Douglas enjoys nearly perfect day

By Jonny Turner

Minnie McGoogan was in the mood to run at Winton yesterday, streeting her rivals and booking a trip to Addington for the New Zealand Trotting Oaks in the process.

The three-year-old was so far in front of the field, trainer-driver Jeremy Douglas had the luxury of easing her down over the final 100m of race 7.

Minnie McGoogan went on to score by six and three-quarter lengths to register an impressive victory that Douglas wasn’t overly hopeful of seeing earlier in the week.

“I didn’t know what to expect from her, I worked her two days ago and she pulled up to a walk and didn’t want to go with the other horse,” the trainer-driver said.

“We put the blinds back on today and she was never going to get beat.”

Minnie McGoogan’s decisive win means she has done enough to warrant a trip north for the Group Two New Zealand Trotting Oaks, later this month.

“That is the plan at the stage, the New Zealand Oaks is on the 25th [of November],” Douglas said.

“Providing she comes through this race well, we will have a crack at it.”

“It is an amazing bunch of fillies this year, normally if you can get one or two that can run a 27sec quarter (400m) at the end of a race you are doing pretty well.”

“But this year there are about ten of them.”

Macandrew Navigator impressed with a fresh up fourth before running a fair sixth heading into race 8 yesterday.

Some fine-tuning from Douglas during the week had the pacer right back to his best which helped him score a deserved win.

“I actually got caught out last week, there is a bit of spring grass around and he is finding every blade of it.”

“He has copped a fair bit of work this week and he’s stripped a far fitter horse.

Macandrew Navigator has shown promise and compiled a tidy record since debuting in April.

Something of a late bloomer, Douglas has high hopes the pacer can continue to improve.

“He has a massive amount of improvement left in him, so in twelve months who knows where he could go.”

“He will be a nice country cups horse, anyway.”

Douglas lined up just three horses at yesterday’s Winton meeting with Magic Sign producing a third placing alongside his two winning stablemates.

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