Major Star ... now or never.

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by barryf on Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:26 pm

Grass track racing in the North Island is an exercise in futility as the tracks are "prepared" for galloping and not suited to harness racing.

Time to pull the plug and centralise on all weather surfaces.

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by ray the beancounter on Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:54 pm

Star - like many other good horses today - couldn't handle the sticky wet boggy track conditions at New Plymouth. The track looked on television to be one of the worst grass tracks that I have seen used and most horses looked exhausted at the end of the 1750m races. Thankfully there were only two longer races of 2600m run today and none of our syndicate horses went over the longer distance.

Forget the races of Major Star and Major Change today - it should be seen as nothing more than a heavy workout.
Surprisingly Bettors Pocket handled the conditions a little bettor running third in his race, with the winner of that race being a horse driven by lightweight Jay Abernethy.

I say only one of the worst tracks that I have seen. I recall visiting relatives at Hokitika several years ago and going to the dual code meeting at the local Hokitika track. They ran three harness races and the track was so wet that the harness horses damn near stopped rounding the final bend when the sulkies bogged down in the heavy track. The track officials didn't know whether to laugh or hide with embarrassment.
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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by Conwell on Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:23 am

Reports from the trainers yesterday were that the pace wasn't quick enough for Star and that Posie was travelling well at the top of the straight and would have been right in the finish if he hadn't been interfered with.
Back in company on Sunday and drawn the inside of the front row, Bettors Pocket should be very hard to beat.

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by Des Carruthers on Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:18 am

How close can Major Star go to winning and still finish second? A grinding finish but all credit to the winner off 40m. Bettors Pocket was about to run up behind Major Star when the interference put him out of the race at the top of the straight. I think that he would have been right in the finish without the interference. What a nice group of horses in The Faithful's trial tomorrow.

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by barryf on Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:22 pm

Looked so much better on the all weather surface of Palmerston North Raceway and clearly travelled down with more comfort than he did to Stratford.

Followed the right horse in Lewy Risk who Brent would know would carry him a long way into the race due to his class but also probably being aware that he would weaken after losing ground early.

Now awaits the grand final I guess but being off 20 metres and on his least favoured surface may need alot in his favour to win.

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by ray the beancounter on Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:32 pm

The real Major Star turned up tonight. Coming down the home straight I was just about tossing a coin wondering if Star would switch off or switch on - and the On switch was definitely in operation tonight.
Nice win and valuable points towards the Country Cups final. Yes the win adds a further 10m handicap to his standing start in the final, to now be a 20m handicap as a C5 , but he seemed to give himself a 10m handicap tonight when he was last with a lap to go but he did plenty of work during the final lap running 3 wide and still won.
Will he like running on the grass at New Plymouth - who knows - but that is a puzzle for another day.
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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by Des Carruthers on Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:46 pm

I would like Major Star to run second in order to confirm a start in the final and therefore not be reassessed for the final. Similarly with Bettors Pocket next weekend, to run second and not be reassessed and still be off the front in the final. This would give us a great chance to quinella the final. At his best Major Change would be highly competitive with most of this field but he would need to do everything right in order to gain enough points to make the final.

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by Conwell on Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:40 pm

The Preferential Barrier Draw for this race is Based on: Assessment then Sex (fillies and mares drawn inside colts, geldings and entires) using the track grid.
Usually it will mention stakes earnings if that is also part of the criteria, so I can only assume that all C4 male horses were in the barrier draw and Star drew the better marble.

My pick for this race is Star over Change.

I like the fact that he's back on the all weather surface, not off a handicap and that he hasn't had a trial the weekend before this race.


Last edited by Conwell on Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:36 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by ray the beancounter on Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:48 pm

Major Star or Major Change in the Palmerstonian at Manawatu on Friday evening??

I don't understand how Major Star draws inside Major Change under a preferential barrier draw. Yes they are both graded as a C4 but Star has higher lifetime stakes earnings and winning stakes earnings than Major Change. Makes no sense to me, surely Change should draw inside Star.

As for which horse will finish in front of the other - my pick is for Change to finish ahead of Star. Star hasn't shown me enough recently to pick him ahead of Change, and the way Change finished in his workout on Saturday was impressive.
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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by Conwell on Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:36 pm

Yeah, I've been saying for a while now that I don't believe that Star is a grass track horse. I would much prefer to see him racing on all weather tracks without the hopples. I was pleased to see him driven with a sit on a grass track for a change though, as he's had a tendency to hit the front early in the straight and lose his way, but ultimately he still just didn't finish the race off very strongly.

The Palmerstonian and Manawatu Cup will be back on the all weather track but given that the Manawatu track is on the small side I wouldn't be surprised if Brent decides to keep the hopples on him.

He's moved up to 5th on the Country Cups ranking with 13 points, so he should have already qualified for the final, which unfortunately will be back the grass at New Plymouth.

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by barryf on Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:47 am

Disappointing run at Stratford after a slow getaway and not looking comfortable on the grass track again when the pressure went on.

I think he is much better on an all weather surface so Manawatu should suit him better, particularly since both the Palmerstonian and the Manawatu Cup are mobile starts.  However can he handle the long trip away?

All the ducks have to be in a row for Star to perform at the level we know he can.

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by nealclan on Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:38 am

We were at Thames on Sunday so are able to hopefully answer any queries. Brent explained that he moved forward when he did when the pace slackened and Star started to pull , he believed it was better to let him roll forward than fight him . Brent felt he probably just blew out inside the last 100m. He mentioned Star is eating very well at present , so may have been left a little short. . Star had a good blow after the race . With regards to Belle , Rob mentioned on the phone message that her knee wound as almost healed , but on Tues 5th she was lame in the paddock. The vet found an infection in the heel. This blew out a couple of days latter and she is ok. Should start hoppled work again shortly .

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by barryf on Mon Jan 11, 2016 1:50 pm

Mango likes to get to the front and dominate so taking luck out of play and I believe he thought the horsepower was there to see it out. However,as you say, he had to work a bit harder than he hoped to head off Shestherealdeal and Celtic Warrior, who sat on the fence throughout, had plenty in reserve to finish better. That horse was also probably more race hardened.

Some positives were that Star began well, handled the grass better than I thought he might and did look good in his action. Stays on C4 so is well placed to take a win next time.

All quiet on the Ideal Belle front so I presume Barry Purdon is just waiting for the healing process to work through.

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by Des Carruthers on Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:57 am

Can anybody explain to me why Major Star gave up the 1/1 sit to challenge a noted frontrunner with a lap of a racecourse still to go. His best wins have come from using his power in the final 600m. I am also looking for an update on Ideal Belle and others as I do not get the phone message updates here in Western Australia.

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by Des Carruthers on Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:18 am

When you look at the replay of Major Star's last run you will see that despite losing so much ground he ran on so strongly that after the finish he passed all the other horses and was in front by the end of the straight. His draw on 20m is better than it appears with two horses scratched and a couple out on the unruly mark. If he steps away cleanly he may have a passage through the field if the driver wants to make an early move. At his best he is easily the best horse in this race having competed against the NZ Cup horses a couple of starts ago. I don't get too concerned with the change of gear although I must say that I enjoy watching the free legged Major Star but both the horse and driver need to have confidence if Major Star is to produce a vintage performance.

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by barryf on Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:13 pm

Yes, also wondered about that "change". However it suggests that Brent is not too confident that Star can deal with the early part of the race on the Thames grass.  I would think that if it was an all weather track he would race without hopples.

Just speculation on my part.

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by Conwell on Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:34 pm

I notice in the gear changes for Major Star's race at Thames on Sunday that he is listed as FLP-Off which means he must be racing with the hopples back on again. Rolling Eyes

This concerns me as his best races in recent times have been with the hopples off and I wish Brent would pick a strategy and stick with it rather than chopping and changing every start.

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

Post by barryf on Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:24 pm

Will the old Major Star turn up on the grass at Te Awamutu tomorrow?

Did show a bit more interest in his latest workout when third behind the favourite for the race, Millie Sampson.

Fingers crossed I guess.

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Major Star ... now or never.

Post by Des Carruthers on Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:13 pm

With the imminent return of Major Star I believe that it is time to give him an extended run at racing with the best horses on both sides if the Tasman. I have just finished watching the Australian trotting programme "In The Gig" and they were singing the praises of Mossdale Connor and suggested that he was targeting the Miracle Mile. He is well credentialed to do so being a Taylor Mile winner and a nose second in the NZ FFA. Major Star came from behind and beat him in the Jewels and although he did not flatter in his NZ Cup campaign, he ran home well in his first start and was driven upside down in his other start and was later found to have been unwell.
Lenny The Shark has moved to outright favourite for the Interdominion and has an even history of competition with Major Star earlier in their careers. I know that many of the ATC2012 members were involved with Changeover and/or Tin Tin In America but Major Star has proven to me that, at his best, he is competitive at the top level and has paid his way for an overseas trip if his form warrants it. Here in Perth, I see Norvic Nightowl, The Bucket List, My Hard Copy, Northview Punter and Jason Rules matching and beating interdominion rivals. Major Star is definitely in that class.
Ideal Belle is another who can more than match it with the mares that are over here in Perth for the lucrative mares races to be held during the Interdominion carnival. When Ideal Belle was injured and missed the Breeders Crown, her race was won by Our Cala who ran about eighth in Ideal Belle's Oaks win. We, as trotting enthusiasts, are very fortunate to own such horses and may never again be in the position to challenge at the highest level. It would be a great shame if their careers ran their course without ever knowing what might have been.

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Re: Major Star ... now or never.

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