Nairn duo gearing up for Auckland raid

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Leeston trainer Paul Nairn is gearing up for an Auckland raid later this month and he is putting the final polish on a couple of square-gaiters for the trip this weekend.

Masterly extended his unbeaten streak to three when victorious at Geraldine last Sunday and he will attempt to keep his unblemished record intact when he contests the Lone Star Sires’ Stakes 3YO Prelude (2000m) at Rangiora on Sunday.

While he won last weekend, Nairn said it wasn’t without its faults.

“I was happy with Masterly last Sunday, the only issue we had was he was getting in a wee bit at the finish,” he said.

“He had a bit of mud fever, which has pretty much cleared up now, and that was contributing to that, we think.

“I hope he goes another good race this weekend and does everything right.”

Nairn is eyeing the Group 2 NZ Sires’ Stakes 3YO Trotting Champs and Group 1 Northern Trotting Derby at Alexandra Park later this month and he will likely be joined by stablemate El Conqueror.

The son of Sebastian K will join Masterly in Sunday’s race and Nairn is hoping for an improved performance from the gelding after breaking last time.

“I am hoping for a better showing this week. He didn’t go that well the other day and had a couple of gallops,” Nairn said.

“He had a bit of a problem with his heels and that may have been annoying him a bit the other day.

“He worked well on Thursday. I wasn’t going to start him this week unless I was happy with his work.”

Travelling is nothing new to El Conqueror, having kicked off his career on the West Coast Christmas circuit last year before heading north to Alexandra Park in February where he finished runner-up in the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 3YO Trotters Final (2200m).

“It (Auckland trip) was good experience for him. He went to the West Coast over Christmas time and that was great experience for him too,” Nairn said.

The pair could also be joined on their trip north by Matua Tana and the dual-gaited Outamyway.

“Depending on how Matua Tana is going, he could go. The other one that could go is Outamyway, trotting,” Nairn said.

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