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Otago trotter Majestic Man has the chance to follow up his sensational first-night performance when he steps out again in the Interdominion trotting heats tonight.
The Phil Williamson-trained squaregaiter turned heads with a sizzling finish for third behind Winterfell and Marcoola at Alexandra Park last Friday.
The 5yr-old produced stunning closing sectionals that made his effort arguably the best of all beaten runners across the heats of both Interdominion series.
Majestic Man’s closing splits of 54.6sec (last 800m) and 26.9sec (last 400m) left driver Brad Williamson shaking his head.
“They were unbelievable times – he just flew,” the reinsman said.
Majestic Man has every chance to continue the momentum in tonight’s second round. The sprint trip of 1700m, a premium No3 barrier draw and racing right-handed make the race tailor-made for the Majestic Son trotter, and Williamson has no plans to waste the opportunity.
“We will definitely look to use his gate speed, with a draw like that you have to use it.
“We will come out and if we found the front, that looks the perfect scenario. But other drivers are out there and they will have their own plans.
“My horse has got plenty of gate speed, but a few of the others have plenty of gate speed, too.”
Many expected Habibi Inta to feature in the first of last Friday’s trotting heats but instead his performance was lacklustre.
Williamson said it would be no surprise if driver Blair Orange had the Paul Nairn-trained trotter much handier tonight.
“Habibi Inta has got a decent amount of gate speed. He has led up in a Harness Jewels.
“It looked like Blair had to go back [in the running] last week. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go out hard this time.”
Habibi Inta will start from barrier 2 alongside the Phil Williamson-owned Kenny’s Dream, who starts from barrier 1.
The early fate of first-round runner-up Massive Metro rests with the Tony Herlihy trained-and-driven Kenny’s Dream, the horse he will follow out of the gate.
All Stars trotter Winterfell, who was extremely keen behind the mobile before his big opening-round heat, starts from barrier 5.
Those wishing to scrutinise Majestic Man’s first-round effort may have noticed the trotter put in a rough stride on the home turn. Williamson said he was initially concerned about the incident that cost the horse any chance of winning.
However, he is less worried now, having analysed the sectionals.
Otago-bred trotter McLovin will not be racing. Trainer Andy Gath has scratched the horse from the series after he contracted a virus.