U May Cullect NZ Cup bound?
By Dave Di Somma - Harness News Desk
Just ask Kirstin Barclay what her ultimate plans are for U May Cullect and the answer is simple: “The New Zealand Cup”.
After being unbeaten in his first seven starts the Southern pacer was the talk of harness racing last year and at one stage had firmed into third favouritism for the New Zealand Cup.
But after his first defeat, a fast-finishing third at Winton, he was sidelined with tendon problems for the third time in his career.
It was a cruel blow for Barclay and training partner Paul “Tank” Ellis with vets diagnosing a small tear and advising their star pacer take 4-6 months off to recover.
Now the six-year-old is showing promising signs.
“The vet has been well pleased with the last scans, it is looking good”
At the moment “Carlos” is boxed 24/7. “Initially he was not a fan.
Now he gets 25 minutes walking and 20 minutes trotting a day”, with plans to increase that gradually in the next few weeks and months.
And physically there have been changes.
“He was actually quite a narrow light framed horse but he is carrying more muscle and condition.”
“His diet is very fibre high to keep his stomach right and avoid ulcers . Meadow hay and lucerne hay is available all the time and he gets a small amount of grain hand fed to him twice a day.”
As long as the scans remain positive Barclay is confident her star pacer could be at the start line at Addington in November. “We have heaps of time.”
But she admits there’s been some frustration during his lay-off, especially knowing what U May Cullect could have achieved.
“I see the likes of Classie Brigade and Triple Eight and how well they’ve gone and know that we were competitive.”
U May Cullect beat Classie Brigade by a nose with Triple Eight third at Addington in June last year.
Classie Brigade went on to win the Kaikoura Cup and then finish third in the New Zealand Cup behind Cruz Bromac and Spankem.
Barclay says it would be a “dream come true” to drive U May Cullect in the Cup but she knows it is literally one step at a time.