Ricky May talks Oaks and Monbet
By Michael Guerin
The two most important drives of Ricky May’s weekend could hardly be more different.
But that doesn’t mean the result will be.
May treks north to Alexandra Park tomorrow night to try and lead throughout the $125,000 Pascoes Northern Oaks with Wainui Creek.
That is not giving away any pre-race secrets as May, who can sometimes lean toward the conservative, is open about what he intends to do in the classic.
“She hasn’t had a lot of good draws and she has finally got one so I will be trying to use it,” says May.
“So she will attempting to stay in front and if they are good enough to come from behind her and beat her, then so be it.”
Wainui Creek returned to racing with a storming late third at Alexandra Park last Friday and after drawing the ace she and arch rival Belle Of Montana (two) completely dominate the market for the Oaks, the feature at Alexandra Park’s premier meeting to start their Derby week.
Wainui Creek has been able to get in front of Belle Of Montana the last two times they have met and been run down by the northern speed machine both times but this time she could be on the markers while the latter could be covering extra ground in the running line, so often the kiss of death in Alexandra Park staying races.
“That other filly (Belle Of Montana) is very fast but I think you will see the best of Wainui Creek up to the 2700m,” says May.
While May has only one plan in the Oaks he is going to let the horse do the talking when champion trotter Monbet returns on Sunday.
The incredible trotter hasn’t raced for over 27 months and at times during that period it felt like his injuries would rob us of ever seeing him again.
But after a bold trial at Rangiora last week he has accepted to start in a 1980m mobile trot at Addington on Sunday afternoon in which he has drawn the outside of the front line.
“Greg (Hope, trainer) thought it was easier to go back to the races than chase them off a log mark at the trials,” explains May.
“But after such a long break from racing it is a big, big ask to expect him to win.
“He felt great at the trials last week and most importantly very sound but winning might be another thing.”
So how does a driver approach driving the best trotter, and maybe even the best harness horse in the country, fresh up after such a gigantic break?
“I can’t go out there with a plan. I will have to just drive him how he feels but I really don’t think he will win.”