Majestuoso stamps himself as the next trotting superstar

Majestuoso. Picture Stuart McCormick

Michael Howard

Potential spilled over into performance at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night as Majestuoso stamped himself as the next trotting superstar with a dominant Group 1 performance.

For Long Forrest trainer Andy Gath and reinswoman Kate Gath, the four-year-old conclusively emerged from the shadows of his successful stablemates with a bold front-running performance that left the squaregaiting heads of state gasping in his wake and claimed the Schweppes Australasian Trotting Championship.

“Everything went terrific,” Kate Gath told Trots Vision after the Alabar-bred Majestic Son gelding claimed a second career Group 1 to go with his 2019 Victoria Trotters Derby success.

“Twelve months ago when he won the Derby we thought that he was our next top line trotter, then I wasn’t sure for a little while. I thought a couple of his runs – they weren’t bad, just probably weren’t as good as I thought they would be.

“Because he was out of the draw, he always drew impossible positions, but now that he’s back in it, he’s got gate speed, he’s good from the stands, that will go a long way to helping him win races, instead of being in those impossible positions where there’s a good one up front and it’s really hard to get past them.”

He was certainly the complete package at Melton on Saturday night, stepping well from outside the front row of the standing start, advancing outside Drop The Hammer, who looked set to lead until galloping, and soon after Margaret Ruth and Red Hot Tooth followed suit.

While the pack split in three, Majestuoso advanced to the lead ahead of Cruisin Around and there they settled for the long haul home in the 2760-metre classic.

Majestuoso was able to lead without pressure, but began to race keenly with a tick over a lap to go and then when Tough Monarch loomed at the bell it was to become a stamina battle for the high-speed trotter.

But the leader would have all the answers, running under 30 seconds in all of the final four quarters including 28.8 and 28.5 seconds for the second and third quarters that would space the field.

Both long-shot chances Andyou and Well Defined ran on superbly to clear out from higher credentialled rivals Tough Monarch, Red Hot Tooth and McLovin, but the limelight was Majestuoso’s.

“Everything was just playing exactly into our hands like we wanted and he began so well and I thought this is perfect, and when he got keen I was like, ‘yeah, this isn’t great’,” Gath said. “But he actually went better than he’s ever gone, or as good as he’s gone. The last mile was off the clock.”

Majestuoso ran a 2:01.0 mile rate, only marginally outside Monbet’s track record of 1:59.6, set in the 2016 version of this race.

Majestuoso’s last mile of 1:56.9 overshadowed Monbet’s 1:58.6, and is the quickest this race has seen, comparing favourably to wins in 2019 by Savannah Jay Jay (1:57.7), in 2018 by Fabrication (2:00.4), in 2017 by Red Hot Tooth (1:57.1), in 2015 by Flying Isa (1:58.7), in 2014 by My High Expectations (1:58.3), in 2013 by Mister Zion (2:00.3) and in 2011 by Let Me Thru (2:02.5).

“And I thought the track was slow tonight, just a little bit slower than normal, it seems quite heavy, which is good because it’s got good cushioning,” Gath said, before returning to Majestuoso’s times. “But maybe not.”