News Briefs - 29 August
By Garrick Knight
Southland superstar to race next week
The wait is almost over for the many, many fans of unbeaten Southland pacer U May Cullect.
He’ll return to the races at Winton next Sunday, contesting a 2400-metre handicap off 50 metres.
Co-trainer Kirstin Barclay confirmed the plans on Thursday as she and Tank Ellis ramp up proceedings for a tilt at November’s New Zealand Trotting Cup.
“That’s the plan (to go to Winton) and we’ll be treating it like a workout.
“We can’t be tripping up to Canterbury every other week so we just have to cop racing him off a big handicap.”
“He had a private workout at Winton on Tuesday and we were really happy with him.
“The main thing at the moment is to get the standing start practice in to him.
“His training on the beach has been bang on and we are very happy with his fitness.”
Safely through next week, the $30,000 Hannon Memorial at Oamaru on September 22 is the first goal of the Spring.
“That will be his first time from a standing start with the rest of the field so it will be a big test for him.”
U May Cullect was third favourite for the New Zealand Trotting Cup before nominations closed on Wednesday and bookies took the market down.
Setback for Cup-nominated pacer
A foot abscess has delayed the racetrack return of exciting Canterbury prospect, Ive Already Told You.
Trainer Stephen Boyd confirmed on Thursday that a foot complaint had seen the four-year-old withdrawn from the nominations for Friday night’s Maurice Holmes Vase.
“He’s got a foot abscess and it’s half-pie looking like a quarter crack,” he said.
“We’re just going to see how it heals up over the next week before making any decisions.”
Boyd was so elated by the work of the son of Prodigal Seelster, that he was prepared to throw him in the deep end against the country’s best pacers this spring, and that included the New Zealand Cup.
“He was working very good and he ran a half in 54 at the trials last week.
“I’m a bit gutted because we were all set-up to have a crack at the Maurice Holmes Vase this week.
“But I’m feeling a lot better about things today than I did on Tuesday.”
A week on Boyd’s water walker awaits Ive Already Told You while his trainer waits for the abscess to burst out.
From there he will decide if a spring campaign is viable or not.
Purdon sells promising pacer
One of the north’s more progressive types from last season has been sold to American interests.
Benson Boys will fly out of Auckland on Friday destined for New York according to his trainer, Barry Purdon.
Purdon and wife, Katrina, bred Benson Boys and named the son of Art Major after their neighbours’ children.
Racing exclusively as a four-year-old in New Zealand, Benson Boys won five races and over $60,000 and contested both the Taylor Mile and Harness Jewels.
Others on the American consignment include impressive last start Oamaru winner, Montefalco, and low-grade northern pacers, Sea Change and Two Fiftyeight and four-win Auckland trotter, All American.