Barclay's winning quartet at Winton

By Jonny Turner

It wasn’t just Mad Jack’s statement on the track in his victory at Winton on Saturday that was impressive.

Winning from a 30m handicap over 2400m at Winton isn’t a mission completed often, but the Waikouaiti trotter did it in style when scoring for trainer Amber Hoffman and driver Brent Barclay.

Just as the horse’s win was something of a rarity, so was the trotter’s post-race rap from his driver.

Barclay isn’t known for putting hype around too many horses, so his praise for Mad Jack should make harness racing fans take notice.

“He actually had quite a bit in hand today,” the reinsman said.

“He really needed the run last start but the team have done a great job with him.”

Barclay wore a black armband when driving Mad Jack to victory to honour the recent passing of Quinn McIntyre, the son of Macca Lodge proprietors Brent and Sheree McIntyre.

The trotter, who is raced by his breeders Scott Mortimer and Stephen Heffernan, was among four winning drives for Barclay at his home track on Saturday.

Barclay produced two wins for Amber Hoffman, when also combining with Major Medley.

The pacer looked the winner of his first start on the same track earlier this month before veering off suddenly before the winning post.

On Saturday, Major Medley produced a much more polished performance to win.

“He still tried to drift off the track today, he has a lot to offer but he is still very green,” Barclay said.

The reinsman also produced two winners with trainer Brett Gray.

The first of those came in Saturday’s opener with Connie Jaccka.

The pacer sat parked, being denied the lead in the middle stages.

Despite working harder than any of her rivals, the mare ran to a strong victory.

“I just thought we would press on, it wasn’t an overly strong field but she dug deep,” Barclay said.

Barclay also won with Stillyourshot who worked on a strong early speed before sprinting best to score.

“We were part of that early speed, but we got a breather and he dashed up nice.”

While being in the winner’s circle isn’t anything unusual for Barclay, it was a much newer experience for driver Shane Walkinshaw on Saturday.

Walkinshaw won his first race since March of 2021 when driving Jenny Gump to victory.

The pair sat off a hot early speed before sustaining a big run to score.

The reinsman calls himself a hobby driver these days, working around his job in Invercargill with Rockgas.

 

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