May eyes 3000 in Forbury farewell
By Jonny Turner
Ricky May returns to Forbury Park on Thursday night hoping to bring up a significant career milestone and add to his more than four decades of successes at the Dunedin track.
The Canterbury reinsman will be out to add to his 256 wins at the 120-year-old venue he became intimately acquainted with well before taking up race driving.
May goes into Thursday night’s seven-race meeting sitting on 2998 career wins in New Zealand, just two victories short of becoming just the third driver to join the elite 3000-win club.
May won his first race at Forbury Park in April of 1977 with Speyside, who won in what would now be described as a painfully slow time of 4-38.2 for 3200m.
The reinsman remembers the victory well and has even more vivid recollections of prior memories at Forbury Park.
“I didn’t realise it was that long ago, but I do remember Speyside,” May said.
“He was an honest horse and he tried hard, it must have been a wet night if he ran a time like that.”
“When people ask me about my best memories of Forbury Park it actually goes back to before I was driving there.”
“We used to go there on holiday, Dad would take our better horses for the Festival meeting and we would stay in Dunedin.”
“I have got some great memories of us doing that.”
May gained plenty more memorable Forbury moments once he graduated from trackwork driver and stable supporter to race day driver in the late 1970s.
“I had a lot of success at Forbury in the early days, it has been pretty important to my career.”
“It is a shame to see it go.”
May is a three-time winner of Forbury Park’s signature race, the now discontinued Forbury Park 4YO Championship, with Soft As Silk (1993), Coringa It’ll Be Mee (2001) and Camero (2002)..
May hasn’t been a regular at Forbury Park in recent seasons but will make a rare return to say goodbye to the track in its second last meeting.
The chance to drive Girls Let Loose in race 4 was also a big attraction.
“When Stuart said he was taking Girls Let Loose down there that was the main motivation for the trip.”
“She has been going pretty good and she would have to be a pretty good chance you would think.”
Leconte in race 2 looks one of the best winning chances among May’s five remaining drives on Thursday night.
“From the draw he would have to be a decent show,” May said.
“He ran fourth behind our horse (The Terrofier) at Timaru last weekend and they went 3.14 (for 2600m), which looks pretty good for a race like this.”
May also combines with Elish Hall (race 1), Cute Art (race 3), Tetrick (race 6) and veteran pacer Alexy (race 7).
May hopes he will be able to bring up his 3000th win in New Zealand this weekend.
“It will be good to be able to get there, hopefully it might happen this weekend, I have got quite a few drives over the three meetings."
The reinsman will compete at Addington on both Friday and Sunday.