Metaki Majic may not be the first two-year-old to debut at Tabcorp Park Melton but, given her pedigree, there’s a good argument the location for the filly’s first race this Saturday night could be the most fitting.
|Make Mine Cullen||60||29|
The Art Major filly’s dam - champion mare Make Mine Cullen – holds the record for the most wins at Tabcorp Park Melton with a staggering 29.
While Glenn Douglas, trainer of mother and daughter, isn’t counting on Metaki Majic to register her first metro win in this weekend’s $20k Swift Signs Premiere Stakes he is obviously hoping the similarities between the two translate to the racetrack.
“Make Mine Cullen was a very relaxed and laid-back kind of mare and (Metaki Majic) seems a lot like her mother in that not much fazes her,” Douglas said.
“She always looks like she is happy to do whatever you ask her to; the comparison there with her mum is quite uncanny.
“I am happy enough with the way she trialed and what she is doing at home, so we thought we would drop her in Saturday night; I am not expecting big things but I don’t think she’ll disgrace herself.
“I’m sure whatever she does from there she will improve on.”
Make Mine Cullen (pictured) isn’t the only member of Metaki Majic’s family with black type form. Her sire, multiple premiership winning stallion Art Major, needs no introduction and Make Mine Cullen, who won 40 of her 80 starts and more than $800k, is no slouch in the breeding barn either, producing multiple race winners Make Mine Heaven and Make Mine Memphis – both by US sire Rock N Roll Heaven.
Her granddam, Fake Left mare Intrude, produced seven winners from 11 starters – including $100,000-plus horses Bella Joy, Billy Badlands and Rogers Passion.
As a result, Metaki Majic went for $41,000 at last year’s Australian Pacing Gold (APG) sales in Melbourne.
Douglas said the lucrative $350,000 APG series – starting with the Victorian qualifying heats at Tabcorp Park Melton on April 26 – was on the radar.
“That’s our short-term plan, (we will) certainly try and have her up and about and going for it,” Douglas said.
“(The APG series) is probably the end game for the short-term (but it) will all depend on her and how she comes through these first few runs.
“I haven’t formed a huge opinion of her yet but she excites me more and more every time we take her out – what we ask her to do, she seems to be able to keep stepping up.
“She will have to improve quite a bit more before we start saying she is a good mare, but she is doing all the right things early on.”
Douglas, who also has Ozzie Battler and Ozzie Sunshine in the Swift Signs Premiere Stakes, said he was impressed with how his juveniles were going.
“Making it to the races early (with two-year-olds) has probably never been my strong suit so I am quite happy,” he said.
“Ozzie Battler, I have been very happy with his progression; he has gotten quicker each time he has stepped out and his racing manners are improving all the time. The other little girl (Ozzie Sunshine), I’m probably more excited by what she did at Bendigo, she did a bit of work from the 800m, she sat in the death for quite a bit and finished on well.
“You are comparing them all the time with each other and you get a feel – I think Ozzie Battler is probably the best of the three at the moment; he took to his racing really good and took to his work really quick and really good. But the other two are catching him.”
The three two-year-olds are among six horses Douglas has entered at Saturday night’s meeting, which is headlined by the Group 3 Carlotta’s Pride Trotters Free For All.
The Strathfieldsaye horseman will also gear up Kotare Mahdi and Vandata in the DNR Logistics Pace for those classified MO and Bernie Winkle in the M2-M4 Hygain Team Teal Pace.
“You know what you are going to get from Bernie Winkle week in, week out; I’d love a stable (full of horses like) him,” Douglas said. “He’s just a lovely little horse that keeps turning the till over and paying his chaff bill.
“And Kotare Mahdi is competitive with the right run, he’s capable in the M0, how far he goes past that I don’t know, while Vandata has got better with racing; he is low in class but he is a capable horse with a bright enough future.
“He certainly won’t disgrace himself either. “