Kase does family proud

By Jonny Turner


Tom Kilkelly and his family have plenty to celebrate over Waitangi weekend thanks to the wins of Kase and Smokin Bandar at Winton yesterday.

Both horses are raced by the Invercargill owner along with his wife Julie, her daughter Holly Brown and partner Shea McKenzie.

Kase was always going to be a family favourite as he was named after Brown and McKenzie’s son.

The Kirstin Barclay and Tank Ellis trained three-year-old’s win in a slick 2.56.9 for 2400m suggests the equine version will do his namesake proud as his career goes on.

“Kase is named after my grandson, so it is quite special for the family,” Kilkelly said.

“They are quite keen on the horses, so we gave them a share in him.”

“Kirstin said when they took him on she thought he just might not be able to finish it off, but he just slipped away from them and they couldn’t get near him,” Kilkelly said.

Kase had shown potential in his five starts leading into Sunday’s win before Barclay took the pacer straight to the front where he showed his true worth.

“He kept on drawing the second line and things like that and he just couldn’t get into the race,” Kilkelly said.

“I was talking to Graham Court who was staying with us for the weekend and he said that it has probably been the making of the horse because he has learned to race in the field.”

Smokin Bandar was on his best behaviour when trotting to an impressive five-length win on Sunday for the same ownership group as Kase.

The victory made the talented trotter’s gallops in his prior three starts a little easier to swallow.

“I said to someone at the races when you have a nice trotter trotting nicely you are on top of the world,” Kilkelly said.

“And when they gallop on you you’re down the other end.”

Kilkelly and trainer Craig Ferguson were leaning towards turning Smokin Bandar out after he made his latest mistake at Addington.

A quick change of plan led to the five-year-old starting on Sunday and delivering a powerful win for driver Kerryn Tomlinson.

Smokin Bandar will now enjoy a week off rather than an extended spell.

The excitement is set to continue for Kilkelly this week with the return of his star pacer U May Cullect.

The popular horse will step out for the first time since the spring in the Riverton Cup this weekend.

U May Cullect’s camp hopes the race will provide a nice starting point for the horse’s new campaign.

“We are hoping it won’t be too strong for him first-up because some of the good ones will be up at the Summer Cup at Addington,” Kilkelly said.

“We don’t want him having a gut-buster against Pembrook Playboy first-up.”

U May Cullect could head up to Christchurch for feature racing once he is ready, but there will be no set plan for the pacer’s new campaign.

“The plan was to not have a plan when we brought him back in this time.”

“What happened last time was we had to get to the Hannon, we had to get to here, we had to get to there and we were doing things when the horse really wasn’t ready to go and do them.”

“So this way we will take things week by week.”

U May Cullect won a 2400m workout at Wyndham on Saturday, reeling off a 26.8sec final 400m.

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