Ricky May upbeat about A G’s White Socks’ return
By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
They've been at the trials in recent weeks and now the old firm of Ricky May and A G’s White Socks are about to re-unite at the races for the first time since his near death experience at the beginning of the year.
“I feel pretty fond of him,” said May, “he helped save my life… It was amazing how he pulled up that day.”
It was during the Central Otago Cup on January 2 when May’s heart stopped and he collapsed onto the Omakau track. He was revived on-course before being airlifted to Dunedin hospital.
May was later diagnosed with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy – a condition where the heart muscles thicken even though the heart itself is healthy. May has since had a cardioverter defibrillator implanted in his chest.
The seven-time New Zealand Cup-winning driver has made a remarkable recovery. He’s been back working on the family farm at Methven for months though it has been a relatively quiet time for him in the sulky with five wins since racing resumed post lockdown.
The most recent of those was Skippys Delight at Kurow on August 16.That takes his overall tally to 2954, third all-time behind Tony Herlihy (3535) and Maurice McKendry (3279).
May is not one for over-statement though as he reflects on his own experiences on January 2 and the COVID-19 pandemic he concedes “she’s been one helluva year”.
He’s rating his book of drives, including A G’sWhite Socks, on Friday - “it’s the best lot I’ve had for a while” - and is especially keen to get back in the sulky behind the seven-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding, after being impressed by his form at the trials.
“He went super, he was phenomenal,” May said of A G’s White Socks’ trial at Rangiora when he started off 40 metres and finished second to Minstrel.
The Maurice Holmes Vase, a traditional lead-up to the New Zealand Cup, has attracted a top line-up including Cup favourite Self Assured, All Stars stablemate Princess Tiffany as well as the likes of Classie Brigade, Nandolo and Spirit of St Louis.
Fresh up May reckons the horse they call “Richie” is a chance, especially if the pace is on.
“He’s pretty ready… hopefully he’ll behave himself at the start and there’s no doodling.”
As for his health May says he’s just “carrying on as normal” and that two specialists he’s seen in recent weeks are both “happy”.
With that and AG White Socks’ impending return, May can only hope that 2020 is finally looking up.