Go Kiwi and McIntyre ready for Auckland debut
By Garrick Knight
A call out of the blue helped Canterbury horsewoman Megan McIntyre make her mind up regarding a trip to Auckland with her exciting pacer, Go Kiwi.
The promising son of Courage Under Fire makes his northern debut on Friday night at the latest running of the now-regular mile nights.
“I had looked at bringing him up over the winter with the good stakes on offer,” said McIntyre, who is in her first season as a trainer and recorded her first winner - Go Kiwi - just last month.
“Then Michael House rung me last Thursday and asked if I wanted to go up and take over his Kumeu barn for six weeks.”
McIntyre had just finished up after a stint working with Mark Jones in Canterbury so was available, and being able to bring Go Kiwi north make the decision a no-brainer.
“It’s a great opportunity to come and learn and travel away so I thought, what the hell, why not?
McIntyre has taken over from Neil Munro, who has returned to Canterbury to train his own team after spending most of the year in West Auckland for House.
House has ten horses at Kumeu, including Delightful Major, who also races Friday night and presents as one of the favourites in the $25,000 feature pace after drawing the ace.
Nanelle Franco, fresh off her brilliant upset win at Ashburton 12 days ago, was due to make her Auckland debut but was hit with a bout of tying up after getting off the transporter and has been scratched.
McIntyre has veteran local horseman Rod Bowker to call on for assistance, as well as fellow trainer Cheree Wigg.
“It’s a really good track here and everyone is really helpful.
“There isn’t a heap of trainers here, just Tim Vince, Ken Sefonte, the Wiggs and a couple of others.”
Go Kiwi has impressed many good judges with his high speed and excellent staying prowess in a short career to date.
It took boom pacer Taroona Bromac to best him at Addington last time, Go Kiwi running his last mile in 1.54.6 and last half in 55.6 sitting parked.
McIntyre has natural reservations about a first look at Alexandra Park – the right-handed track can catch out even the best southerners the first time.
Compounding matters is a wide alley over the mile, but in his favour is that Go Kiwi has travelled north well and settled in perfectly.
“I’m really happy with how he’s come up; he travelled up last Friday so had a few days up his sleeve and does seem really well.
“The mile I’m not really too excited about – I would prefer something a bit longer – but it is what it is and as long as he handles it that way round, he’ll be right in it.”
He’s up against crack juvenile Perfect Stride, who is having his last start in New Zealand before tackling the Breeders Crown and a permanent shift to Australia.
It’s certainly not a one-way trip for Go Kiwi, he is definitely not for sale, as McIntyre has told numerous enquirers recently.
“I leave it up to my partner, Stephen Swain.
“It’s his first racehorse and he doesn’t want to sell him.
“Him and a few of his rugby mates, who tag along as owners, call themselves ‘the tight four’ and go to all his races.
“They’re having too much fun to sell.”
- Garrick Knight