And in doing so he almost certainly has locked up the NZ 3YO Pacing Colt / Gelding of the Year.
He found the front in the early stages courtesy of his swift gate speed and from there he controlled the race.
He shot clear in the home straight and held off Dont Stop Dreaming to win the Group 1 event.
Merlin is the fourth foal of the Bettor’s Delight mare Imaginary Bet and thus a brother to the stakes placed Gemma Mac.
Bred by Taffy Limited, Merlin was a $120,000 NZB Standardbred yearling sale purchase by Dean Shannon’s Montana Park.
Art Major continues to lead the Alabar roster and is having a banner year. He is currently the leading Two Year Old sire in Australia, and both the Leading Two Year Old and Three Year Old sire in New Zealand.