U May Cullect heads stable's four Diamonds Day wins
by Jonny Turner
Southland’s star act U May Cullect helped his trainers Kirstin Barclay and Paul Ellis score a quartet of wins on their province’s biggest race day at Ascot Park on Saturday.
The untapped five-year-old got a massive applause from the Diamonds Day crowd when powering away from his opposition to score by six and a half lengths.
U May Cullect’s fourth win in his fourth start will be his last before the pacer’s freak show takes its first intermission.
“I am going to put him in the paddock now and bring him back on the first of June and aim him for a nice race at Cup Week,” Barclay said.
U May Cullect’s four explosive career wins have all come in smart times with sizzling sectional splits.
Saturday’s victory took U May Cullect’s to a 77 handicap rating.
That meant he was likely to clash with junior free-for-all types at New Zealand Cup week.
Barclay said the times U May Cullect has produced meant that kind of company should hold too many fears for the horse.
She went on to say that no race at the New Zealand Cup Carnival would be ruled out as a possible target for the five-year-old.
When U May Cullect steps out in free-for-all company, or possibly even the New Zealand Cup, he should be an even better horse than the incredible specimen he is now.
Barclay said the pacer had consistently improved since winning his debut in March.
How much U May Cullect had come on since then was evident in his final track-work hit-out before winning on Saturday.
“I didn’t say anything to anyone, but this week his work was phenomenal on the beach.”
“He felt better than he ever had, I just kept that to myself because there is so much pressure.”
“The racing is making him better - he doesn’t wear the hopples, he only wears the hopples on race day.”
“He is really light, he carries no condition, he is just born to run.”
U May Cullect produced the second of the Barclay and Ellis stable’s four Diamonds Day wins after Wee Man Trouble notched the first.
The four-year-old bounced back from three disappointing recent efforts with a strong front-running win over Harness Jewels contender, War Admiral.
Well regarded horse chiropractor Tommy Beckett treated the trotter’s back after his recent flops in Canterbury and that helped the horse get back to his best form, Barclay said.
Paddyproudfoot produced a good late burst of speed to make it three wins for the Barclay-Ellis stable.
The previously problem plagued pacer’s body has stayed sound for long enough for him to make it two wins from two starts this preparation.
The Barclay-Ellis stable sealed a quartet of wins on Southland’s premier race day when Chuckles scored a maiden win in Saturday’s last race.
The three-year-old brought form behind Paddyproudfoot in to the race.
He was the third placegetter in an all Barclay-Ellis trifecta in his debut at Winton earlier this month.