Lance Justice with winning trifecta trainer Chris Neilson and partner Kristen Harris. Photo by Graham Fischer.
Young South Australian trainer Chris Neilson achieved the ultimate when he supplied the trifecta in the $10,000 2017 Justice Family Plate (2645m) at Globe Derby Park.
Machtwister ($6), a query at the trip, sprinted up the sprint lane to grab leader Im A Peregrine ($7.90) and scored by a long neck with Soho Monza ($19.40), 4-1/2 metres away third.
Ironically, Machtwister started his career as a two-year-old with champion trainer-driver Lance Justice who was on course at Globe Derby Park to be part of the presentation of the race named in honour of his family.
“Lance said Machtwister was a bit of a rogue early and I can tell you age hasn’t improved him, but I love him because he has been a wonderful horse for my stable,” Neilson said.
A son of prominent SA trainer Jill Neilson, Chris has been slowly building a handy team of pacers starting out by purchasing older horses and running them mainly in claimers. It is fair to say he was in a state of shock after training the trifecta in the Justice Family Plate.
Neilson said he had to thank his mother for helping with his team.
“I actually took a week’s holiday last week and none of the horses were fast worked in the lead up to tonight,” he said.
“With the hot weather in Adelaide this week that might have been a good move.”
Neilson prove he has an astute brain telling driver Wayne Hill to take a sit on Machtwister rather than leading which he had been expected to do from gate one.
“He was a doubt at the trip and I knew if he led he would possibly fire up and over race,” Neilson said.
“Sitting in behind he settled a lot better but when Im A Peregrine was able to lead I thought he would be the one to beat but Machtwister was good enough to sprint lane him.”
Neilson owns Machtwister outright, shares ownership with fiancée Kristen Harris in Ima A Peregrine, and with business partner Byron O’Reilly in Soho Monza.
“It was a big result,” Neilson said.
“It is the first $10,000 race I’ve won, it was my first trifecta and I’m pretty sure it has never been done before in the Justice Family Plate.”
The trainer celebrated hard on Saturday and admitted on Sunday he was “standing myself down on vet’s advice.”