Hat Trick bowls them over at Ellerslie

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  • March 11, 2024
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Kevin Robertson, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Promising four-year-old Hat Trick proved he has plenty more to offer as he claimed his second victory from just three starts, with a stylish front-running performance to take out a Special Conditions Maiden contest over 1400m at Ellerslie.


The statuesque son of Fastnet Rock kept rider Michael McNab on his toes throughout with some erratic behaviour, but when asked to focus his energies on his task he buckled down nicely to dash clear of his rivals in the home straight after setting his own terms in front from barrier rise.


McNab was quick to mention those difficulties, but also praised his charge as having plenty of talent and the ability to progress through the grades quickly as he gets more experience under his belt.


“He was never comfortable, and he is hard work,” McNab said.


“He is beautifully put together though and obviously has great ability, but he is a handful.


“He is still really learning and on a high-pressure day like today he could fall to pieces, but to his credit he picked up and sustained a really good gallop.


“Better manners would be great but he is going the right way.”


Trainer Tony Pike also made mention of the gelding’s manners but also believes more racetrack experience will do him the world of good.


“He has always shown the ability, but he has been a bit of a green goose all the way through,” he said.


“He chopped and changed legs and pricked his ears all the way up the straight, but he is very talented.


“He was dominant last time at Counties (maiden victory) and he was dominant again today.


“He relaxed nicely, and he has a very high cruising speed which he can kick off.


“We think he has a big future, but he is a big horse, and we will have to manage him carefully as I think he can get through to quite a high level.”


Bred and raced by the Smithies family under their Monovale Holdings banner, Hat Trick is out of their stakes winning Savabeel mare No Tricks, who is a half-sister to the nine-race winning mare Amazing Charm.


The win also provided McNab with an early treble on the day after winning the first two races aboard Pearl Of Alsace and Adam I Am.

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