Gath's Kiwi plan

By Adam Hamilton

A WORKOUT the Auckland-way of going is all that stands between former Kiwi trotter McLovin and an Anzac/Rowe Cup raid.

Trainer Andy Gath admitted a mix of relief and excitement when McLovin bounced-back to winning form and smashed the clock at Melton last Saturday night.

It made a lie of his flop seven days earlier and took his Aussie record with Gath to three wins from four starts.

“He beat a good field and ran time. He’s very smart,” Gath said.

“We’d almost shelved Auckland after the previous run, but he’s put his hand up again for sure.

“He’s certainly good enough to take. We know he’ll be competitive. One of the races is a mobile, the other a stand. He’s now won two of each for us.”

Gath said McLovin had come through Saturday’s win well.

“We’ve got the time to give him another run here,” he said. “As far as a decision on Auckland goes, that hinges on when we try working him that direction at home. If he handles it, we’ll head across.”

Interestingly, McLovin tends to hang out a little in his Aussie races so he could actually be even more comfortable going the opposite direction.

The other upside of an Auckland trip now is the experience ahead of heading back for the Inter Dominion series at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the reigning Inter Dominion winner and stablemate Tornado Valley is out spelling.

Team Gath’s huge recent success with trotters looks set to continue with them adding another former Kiwi, Il Pirata, to the stable.

The eight-year-old son of Love You only won seven races from 75 NZ starts, but did run another 31 placings and – in recent times – has been up against hot opposition.

Il Pirata’s last-start run was a close second to emerging star Sundees Son on March 3.

“His form certainly reads well. Yes he’s a veteran and hasn’t actually won that many races, but he’s run lots of placings. I guess what we’ll find out is how genuine he is once he starts racing over here,” Gath said.

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