The value of persistence can never be underestimated. And for Cranbourne trainer Matt Martin persistence certainly paid off when his mare Lady Majestic won the SBG Accountants Pace at Cranbourne on Sunday.
Martin took over the preparation of the four-year-old Art Major mare in September when he and a group of friends leased the mare from her owner and trainer Jon Stephens who has decided on taking an extended break from training.
In the few short months that have followed Lady Majestic has driven Martin to the brink of frustration and beyond.
“Honestly she is one of the most untractable racehorses you could find,” Martin complained. “One day she’ll hang in and the next she’ll hang out. She cross fires, hits a knee and goes rough on the bends but she has got ability.”
“At one stage I must have shod her behind every second day for a fortnight trying to get her right.”
Martin has only given Lady Majestic two starts for a promising first up second at Geelong and then her maiden victory at Cranbourne when partnered by Alford.
“She basically cost herself any chance at Geelong when she lost a heap of ground on the last turn,” Martin said on Sunday. “But at least that gave Chris a feel for her and I think that helped today. She still wasn’t great around the last bend but Chris made sure that the race was run at a genuine speed and when she was still thereabouts at the top of the straight I thought she’d be too tough.”
Martin hasn’t got any immediate plans for Lady Majestic and expects that the demands of his busy farrier business will limit the time he will get to devote to his training pursuits for the next six months.
“I have just had a yearling filly broken in out of Illawong Libby who was a handy racemare for Terry Howard, Martin explained. “To be honest, I’d rather concentrate on her but we’ll just have to see how things work out.”
The genius of Chris Alford was certainly to the fore at the latest Cranbourne meeting. Not only did he win the opening event on Lady Majestic but he went on to drive a total of five winners on the seven-event program.
The state’s leading driver has always had an affinity with Cranbourne and will no doubt be back at the track when the club hosts its next meeting on Tuesday night 7th January.
By David Scott
Photo: Claire Weston Photography