Kevin Pizzuto had planned to win the Ross Gigg Newcastle Mile with champion pacer Tiger Tara, but instead the Sydney trainer took out the group 3 race on Saturday night with a horse he says has “more sheer speed”.
And it would be hard to argue.
Majordan produced one of the greatest Newcastle Mile victories, smashing the track record and winning by more than 20 metres.
The five-year-old Art Major gelding led from the early stages and was never threatened, stopping the clock at 1.51.4 untouched by driver Luke McCarthy. The $1.40 favourite bettered the record of 1:52.2 Avonnova set in winning the same race in 2014.
Pizzuto said he expected Majordan, which ran two sub-1.50 miles at Menangle leading into the race, to go 1.50 at Newcastle.
“He did go a good time when Amanda [Turnbull] had him, and went 1.50.7, but I think he’s just gone that extra step now,” Pizzuto said on Sunday.
“ You can see that, because horses just don’t run like he ran yesterday, especially hard held.
“Luke said he could have gone 1.49. That’s how good he felt.
“He’s just a very fast horse.”
Pizzuto said Majordan would back up next week at Menangle before building to the group 1 Len Smith Mile.
“I got home at two in the morning, put them away, and I was back there at 7am and he’d licked the bowl,” he said. “The run didn’t hurt him at all.”
Past that, Majordan looms as a genuine contender for all major races.
“I said a few weeks ago that this horse has the ability to win a Miracle Mile, and he has,” Pizzuto said.
The trainer said he wanted to bring Tiger Tara to Newcastle but the winner of $1,382,411 in stakes “wasn’t ready”.
Asked to compare the pacers, he said: “I think this horse had got more sheer speed but Tiger Tara just has outstanding toughness.
“Tiger can do work and has beaten the best there is. He’s beaten Lazarus in track record time.
“Who knows? This horse might just get better and better.”
The amazing win came on a night of high drama at Newcastle Paceway.
Visiting driver Josh Willick and Maitland reinsman Jamie Bond were taken to John Hunter Hospital by ambulance after a spectacular fall in a heat of the NSW Breeders Challenge for two-year-old colts and geldings.
Rococo (Bond) and Lets Go To Brazil (Willick) fell after Romero broke and went back through the field.
Bond was flung out of his gig and sustained deep shoulder bruising and possible fractured ribs. He was released from hospital on Sunday morning. Willick was heavily sedated after his fall and remained in hospital with a suspected broken leg.
Also, the Newcastle Derby was declared a no-race after the Shane and Lauren Tritton-trained Chevrons Reward choked down and fell, blocking the track.
Newcastle Harness Racing Club boss Tony Drew said a date, possibly in July, was being considered to run the race again.
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