By Garrick Knight
Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett have had a rather interesting boarder at their Waiuku property recently.
Group 1-winning trotter Temporale has been utilising their beach training services as connections look to get his career back on track.
His usual trainer and part-owner, Tony Herlihy, made the decision earlier in the month.
“He’s been out here for about three weeks,” said Wallis.
“There was nothing seriously wrong with him; Tony just felt the old fella would benefit from something different.”
The son of Monarchy had an inauspicious finish to his racing last season, dropping out to be beaten 28 lengths in April’s Anzac Cup and then galloping in the Rowe Cup a week later.
After a good spell, Temporale resumes at Alexandra Park tonight in Herlihy’s name, but will be on the track up the Southern Motorway alongside Wallis and Hackett’s own open class trotter, Massive Metro.
“They trialed together at Pukekohe last Saturday and did it nicely. I know Tony was very pleased with Temporale.”
While it would make sense to work two Group 1-winning trotters together, Wallis says they aren’t specifically training partners.
“They have done some work together but they do a bit of work on their own as well.
“Temporale really seems to be enjoying life out on the beach. He’s a lovely horse who has been working nicely.”
It’s not the first time Herlihy has sent his stable star to Wallis and Hackett – he famously did it with injury-plagued pacer Sly Flyin in 2007 and again with Bettor Dream in 2015.
Wallis doesn’t know how long they’ll have Temporale – whether it is through until the Inter Dominions later this month or in to next year.
“It’s entirely up to Tony and he hasn’t given us any indication at this stage.”
Both Temporale and Massive Metro face an almost insurmountable 50-metre handicap over the shorter 2200-metre trip this week and Wallis is none-too-pleased.
“We are happy with both horses but I can’t see them winning off 50 metres.
“But we need to get the racing in to them if we are going to target the Inter Dominions. You can’t go in to it too fresh.
“There’s a race for them in two weeks but it’s a mobile mile, which is ridiculous. I bet the pacers don’t have to contest a mile two weeks before the series.
“We’ve nominated Massive Metro for a two-mile race at Cambridge on Tuesday but there are only five horses so I doubt that race will get off the ground.
“It’s a shame because that race would have been perfect for him.”