Trainors getting thrills from McLovin
By Jonny Turner
Australian trotter McLovin will have his own southern support crew when his Dunedin breeders, Daryl and Anne Trainor, are on hand for his New Zealand Cup carnival tilt.
The Andy Gath-trained 7yr-old showed he was on track for a raid on his former homeland when producing an astounding performance to win in the Bill Collins Trotters Sprint at Melton on Saturday.
McLovin looked at long odds to win when off the bit at the 500m after racing three wide for much of the 1720m feature, but the Otago-bred rallied bravely in the straight
The Trainors admitted they did not have high hopes during the race after McLovin faced such a big task to win.
''We always called him Big Mac, because he was a big horse and I said 'Big Mac is going to sleep well tonight','' Darryl Trainor said.
''But, he kept going and we cheered him all the way down the straight - we probably woke the neighbours up.''
The Trainors will be track side to watch McLovin in Christchurch, so their cheers will not be wasted on their neighbours again.
McLovin has thrived since arriving in Gath's stable after the horse was sold to major owner Norm Jenkin, out of the Canterbury stable of Ray Jenkins.
The Trainors sold the trotter to Jenkins' clients when he was an unqualified 3yr-old.
McLovin is from the Trainors' four-win former racemare Winfield Invasion.
The squaregaiter may have been able to reach the group 1 heights her son has if her career had not been limited to just 11 starts by injury.
''She was in Brent Lilly's stable and he had [Interdominion winner] Game Bid at the time,'' Trainor said.
''He did not rate our mare any inferior to him. She had a motor, but she was unsound.”
“Three out of her four legs had issues.”
Winfield Invasion has thrived since her retirement.
''She is 21 now, but she runs around the paddock like a 2yr-old,'' Trainor said.
''She looks a picture.''
McLovin is the third of the Armbro Invasion mare's seven foals.
Her first foal by Monarchy showed huge promise before she died unexpectedly.
A subsequent foal by Skyvalley showed limited ability before retiring to the broodmare paddock.
The Trainors won once race in New Zealand with her fourth foal, Say Your Pres.
She has won four more races in Sydney with the couple's son, Jack, in the sulky.
Former two-win Otago trotter, Havehorsewilltravel, who recently joined Brent Mangos' stable, is Winfield Invasion's fifth foal.
The Trainors have a sixth foal from the mare – a 3yr-old by Angus Hall, who is shaping up nicely for trainer Mark Jones.
Jones drove Winfield Invasion in three of her wins and had an association with almost all of her foals.
“We have a great association with Mark and he has been really good to us.”
“He has been really happy with the way the Angus Hall filly has been coming along.”
The Trainors, who plan to mate the mare with Majestic Son this season, also have a 2yr-old filly from Winfield Invasion.