Kiwi harness racing fans will see a seriously talented mare when Major Occasion tackles Saturday week’s Harness Jewels at Addington.
Make no mistake, the Bathurst-based mare has improved so much this season she is a massive winning chance – especially with a kind draw – in the 4YO Diamond.
While Elle Mac is very good, Major Occasion’s best Aussie form shows she is at least the equal of the All Stars’ mare who currently dominates betting.
And, most important of all, trainer Chris Frisby assures punters Major Occasion is over a virus which sidelined her after her latest run, a fighting second at Menangle on April 13.
A trial at Bathurst last night certainly looked to back-up Frisby’s confidence.
“Gee she’s trialled well and she’s been jumping out of her skin this morning,” Frisby said.
“I won’t lie, I was worried for a while we’d have to cancel the trip because it took her a bit to get over the virus, but I had her blood done last Friday and it was perfect.
“That gave me the confidence to head to the trials and she showed she was right back to her best.”
Major Occasion settled well back from the outside draw in the 1730m trial and stormed home for second in privately-timed closing splits of 54.4 and 27 flat.
“I want her fresh for the Jewels, but she’ll have another couple of strong workouts at home this week before she gets on the plane on Saturday,” Frisby said.
Major Occasion has been competitive with the best of her age all the way through, but Frisby said there’s no doubt she’s gone to the next level this season.
Aside from her four wins from 10 starts this season, Major Occasion’s best performance was a second to the now retired Kiwi star Our Dream About Me in the Group 1 Ladyship Mile in 1:50.1 at Menangle on March 2.