McKendry looking forward to renewing old rivalries at Methven
by Jonny Turner
Maurice McKendry has more than one advantage heading into the Three Wise Men series at Methven on Sunday.
McKendry, Tony Herlihy and Ricky May make up the trio dubbed the Three Wise Men of New Zealand harness racing who will go head-to-head in a six-race driving series.
Born and raised in Methven, McKendry started his incredible harness career in the region.
“I did a lot of training around the track when I was starting out, so I know it pretty well.”
“Though it was on the old track, before they shortened the straight.”
McKendry is looking forward to competing in the Three Wise Men challenge which will get underway this year after previously being held up by covid.
“I am picking it is going to be quite a bit of fun.”
“The three of us have been knocking around together for a few years now.”
“They have been trying to get this day off the ground for a while now and it is good they have been able to do it this year.”
McKendry and Herlihy will have to jump behind horses they haven’t seen before while May has the advantage of knowing the Canterbury form very well.
Though it is nothing new for the northerners to win with a horse they are driving for the first time.
“I don’t know a lot about the ones I am driving, I am going in a wee bit blind.”
“That is what it is like with these kinds of driving series.”
“You rely on the trainers to tell you about the horses and give you a bit of information.”
“But these days the horses are pretty straightforward.”
If the fixed odds markets are anything to go by, McKendry will be hard to beat in the Three Wise Men series.
McKendry starts the competition by driving Janarty who was quickly backed into $3.50 from a $4.20 opening price.
The Laurence Hanrahan trained pacer comes into race 4 on the back of an excellent second placing.
McKendry then links up with another early favourite in race 5 in Izia ($5.50 to $4.80).
The trotter was an impressive winner first up before making mistakes in her next two outings.
McKendry next links up with then in-form Franco Tim ($3.80 to $3.20) in race 8.
The reinsman also drives the John Morrison trained Jimmyray ($2.10) who looks well suited when dropping in class in race 9.
McKendry rounds out the Three Wise Men challenged by linking up with Gazza Beat ($21) in race 10.