Day At The Track

Mighty Conqueror wins nugget final

09:27 AM 15 Apr 2018 NZST
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Mighty Conqueror,Harness racing
Mighty Conqueror after winning at Winton
Photo Bruce Stewart

Mighty Conqueror continued on his winning way when he won his second start at Winton today with the win impressing his regular pilot Shane Walkinshaw

"He's got a bit going for him. He can roll along all day and he's got a bit of speed as well," he said.

In the Winton Mitre 10 Nuggets Final the three year old was taken to the top by Walkinshaw.  

"I've never asked him to go off the gate so it was a new thing for me and him but he did get off it real easy." 

From that point horse and driver dictated all the terms, and the American Ideal gelding which is owned by his co-trainer Mark Shirley and good friend Malcolm Dewe won impressively by a length and three quarters from a brave Betterthanbrie. 


Mighty Conqueror and Shane Walkinshaw winning at Winton - Photo Bruce Stewart.

"He was travelling good all the way and did it all under his own steam."

The win impressed his driver who's reined a few good three year olds in his fourteen seasons of driving. 

"He's definitely up there. He's got the ability but he just needs to get the ringcraft. He just goes out there and  mucks around a bit. He's one of those racehorses that will relax for you and when you ask him to run he'll run."

Walkinshaw doesn't work in the harness racing industry anymore, now working for On Gas during the week and driving at the races at the weekend. 

"I'm loving the change with the work during the week and the horses at the weekend. It's great to be back and driving a nice horse like that."

The win certainly highlights the success of the Nuggets Series and the bearing it now has on the Southern Supremacy Stakes Leaderboard.

Eight of the nine Nuggets Finals including the Super Nuggets Final at the Northern Southland meeting have been won by three year olds; The Bus, Franco Santino, Nota Bene Denario, Ardtoo, Henry Hubert, Convair Hustler, Kilowatt Kid and now Mighty Conqueror.

The $12,000 stake money offered in this races has certainly helped these horses up the leaderboard of the Supremacy, and two wins from only two starts in normal races doesn't guarantee you a start in the Group Two feature anymore. Nuggets appears to be the new pathway to the Supremacy. They have been like heats for the three year old colts and geldings. 

Trainers Mark Shirley and his wife Debbie still have to decided whether Mighty Conqueror will line up in the Supremacy.

2017/2018 Nugget Final winners

Meeting

Horse

Age/Sire

Driver

Trainer

Track 

Distance

Time

Northern Southland

The Bus

3 c -Art Major

Sam Ottley

Mark Jones

Ascot Park 

2200m 

2-43.4

Riverton 

Franco Santino

3 g Christian Cullen

Nathan Williamson

Nathan Williamson

Ascot Park 

2200m 

2-46.8

Invercargill

Nota Bene Denario

3 c - Well Said

Brent Barclay

Terry and Glenise Chmiel

Ascot Park 

2200m 

2-44.6

Winton

Ardtoo

3 g - Auckland Reactor

Craig Ferguson

Russell Ferguson 

Central Southland 

2400m

2-59.1

Northern Southland

Zealand Star

4 g - Washington VC

Brent Barclay

Brett Gray

Ascot Park 

2200m 

2-43.6

Wyndham

Henry Hubert

3 c - Bettor's Delight

John Dunn

Robert Dunn

Young Quinn 

2400m

2-58.8

Invercargill (Grass)

Convair Hustler

3 g - Mach Three

Dexter Dunn

Brett Gray

Ascot Park 

2050m

2-37.6

Northern Southland

Kilowatt Kid

3 g - American Ideal

Blair Orange

Alister Black

Ascot Park 

2200m 

2-44.6

Winton

Mighty Conqueror

3 g - American Ideal

Shane Walkinshaw

Mark and Debbie Shirley

Central Southland 

2400m

2-55.6

 

Bruce Stewart
Southland Harness racing

 

Mighty Conqueror winning the final

 

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