Water walker does the trick for Macandrew Aviator
By Michael Guerin
Water walkers can do amazing things for horses or, in Stephen Boyd’s case, trainers too.
Boyd is the new trainer of Macandrew Aviator who arrived in Canterbury with a boom at Addington on Friday night with a first up win for his new stable.
Sent off the gate by Jonny Cox he led, trailed, was three back and then expertly secured the one-one to outsprint a gutsy Beach Ball and Laver, although not without some drama as he went stargazing over the last 50m.
The win wasn’t just his first for Boyd but his first north of his native Southland, where Kirstin Green has trained him to win a Northern Southland Cup and finish third to Krug and Self Assured in the Invercargill Cup.
The now six-year-old was just starting to suffer from a hind suspensory issue so Boyd was asked to put him through a waterwalker course at his Canterbury property, a regime that can have hugely positive results in strengthening horses up without straining their legs.
“I had been working with him when the syndicate offered me him to train, which I think was for a couple of reasons.
“Hind suspensories can be funny on the beach where Kirsten trains while the bigger reason is the travel.
“Most of his racing is up here for now so being based here will cut down on his travel. But I made sure I wasn’t stepping on anybody’s toes by taking him.”
Macandrew Aviator was solid in his first Canterbury open class campaign last season which took him all the way to the NZ Free-For-All (ninth) and like most horses he should be better for that experience and improved this time around.
“The aim is the New Zealand Cup, the owners have made it clear that is the race they’d like to target,” says Boyd.
“Of course he will have to prove he deserves to be there but clearly he is a pretty good horse and Kirstin has done a super job with him.
“So we will give him open class starts the next couple of weeks and have a better idea where he stands after that but having such a long break this year might stand by him.”
Boyd, who has 15 horses in work, says the difference between training lower grade horses and his new stable star was obvious after the win.
“Any time you win a race at Addington is great but winning the big race of the night with a good horse, that gets you a lot more reaction and congratulations,” he smiled.
It was a night for smaller stables early in the Addington card with Kyle Austin (Live On Legend) taking Race 1, Coaster Howe training Monarch Prince to win the second and the Tom Bagrie’s smart filly Walkinonsunshine quite brilliant in a deep Race 4.
But the big teams were soon back at it with Double Jeopardy winning a strong juvenile race for Team Telfer and Dunn Racing training Who's Delight to down Sinbad in the three-year-old race.
Mo’unga won the night’s other feature pace for Regan Todd and Robbie Close, hopefully a good pointer for the other Mo’Unga and his mates in France starting next Saturday.