McIntyre back again
NZ HARNESS NEWS
Macca Lodge not only sponsored the 'South of Waitaki Winter Warmer Series' at Addington last July, but principal Brent McIntyre produced Pantastic to win the final.
He's back again this year as sponsor and The Bull Pen will represent him next week in the first heat of the 2018 series.
After some good efforts in May, the son of Tintin In America disappointed when finishing last in a couple outings at Ascot Park earlier this month.
McIntyre could see The Bull Pen was off colour but wasn't able to pinpoint the reason.
The five-year-old's tidy run for second at Forbury Park last week showed that whatever troubled him wasn't causing problems any more.
From the second line, The Bull Pen eventually settled four back on the outer, peeled out on straightening and motored home to beat all but Kagee VC.
The gelding is owned by Neil Timms, of Pyramid, about five minutes from Macca Lodge, and although five, is in his first season of racing.
“We broke him in as a yearling and I think Neil forgot about him,” McIntyre said.
“He came back at four and was shaping up so we carried on.”
After running 3:03.5 to qualify at Winton in May last year, The Bull Pen was put aside again.
Since resuming in November, he has raced at least twice, sometimes three or four times each month and the rating 46 gelding has rewarded his connections with two wins, three second and three thirds.
“I was thinking of giving him a spell but he went well enough at Forbury and it wouldn't look too good if I didn't have a horse in my own race,” McIntyre said.
“We'll just play it by air but he'll go up for the first race with a plan to stay up for the series. He probably can't beat the sharp ones but gets a reasonable draw and if he's on his game is good enough.
“He's looking a million dollars.”
Now in his 10th year at Macca Lodge, a one-stop breeding, education and racing shop, McIntyre is delighted how support for his business is holding up in Southland, despite the overall downward trend in breeding numbers.
Macca's involvement with the 'South Of The Waitaki' concept began with the race on Show Day 2015 and the winter series followed.
It is for three-year-old and older pacers, in the name of a trainer(s) based South of the Waitaki River as at 1 May through to 27 July 2018, and assessed up to Rating 60 at the closing of nominations for next week's heat.
Three heats will be held on 05, 13, 20 and a final on the 27 July, for total stake money of $42,000.