By Jonny Turner
A buck and a kick told trainer Denis O’Connell Aveross Majesty was on song ahead of his victory in the Icon Dunedin Trotters Cup at Wingatui yesterday.
O’Connell pulled off an excellent training performance, having his seven-year-old ready to win after testing the horse against open-class star Oscar Bonavena in the Methven Trotters Green Mile on Sunday.
The trainer gave Aveross Majesty an easy week in his work on Waikouaiti Beach, and it proved a winning formula at Wingatui.
“He didn’t have much work through the week, I took him on the lead, and he wanted to buck as he was going along, so that was a good sign,” O’Connell said.
Aveross Majesty was perfectly handled by Brent Barclay, who has formed a great association with the trotter in just his last two starts.
Barclay had a successful stint at Waikouaiti more than two decades as a junior driver, working for the Noel Creighton stable.
“It is very good of Denis to give me a go, we have been mates for a long time, so it is great to be able to win it for him,” Barclay said.
“The horse trotted really nice today – he felt really sharp.”
O’Connell will now weigh up his options with Aveross Majesty and try to time his run into the Group 3 David Moss Stakes at Ascot Park on Invercargill Cup Day.
“Brent is keen to drive him down at Invercargill, so we may just save him for that race,” O’Connell said.
Outside the revived Dunedin Trotters Cup, the Wingatui meeting was something of a Williamson-athon.
Nathan Williamson won four races, with Matthew Williamson also in the winner’s circle.
Among Nathan’s winners was Hacksaw Ridge, whose full sister Insarchatwist scored later in the program.
Both horses are trained by Ricky Gutsell, who races the pair with Neil and Eualie Thwaites.