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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Saturday, April 29 2017

Peter McKay has a lofty goal in mind for Amarula's next visit to Hawke's Bay where the four-year-old successfully signed off his season on Saturday.

Amarula (inner) downs Packing Tycoon - Leggett Race Images

The Matamata trainer, who races the gelding with his wife Kim, produced the capable son of Thorn Park to win the Livamol Autumn Stakes and is now keen on a return for the Gr.1 Makfi Challenge Stakes.

"I'll put him in the paddock now and bring him back up for the early spring," McKay said.

"He goes on an off track so we'll have a crack at the Makfi."

Amarula had previously showed his liking for the Hastings circuit when he won the Gr.2 Hawke's Bay Guineas as a three-year-old.

On Saturday, he jumped smartly and settled in the trail before McKay's son Shaun angled him off the fence 700 metres from home.

"There was plenty of speed early and he's used his head and eased back and then got off the rails," McKay senior said.

"He rode him well and I'm very pleased they got there."

They were hotly challenged in the run home by Packing Tycoon, who looked to have got the upper hand before Amarula rallied for a hard-earned half-head decision.

"It was a really game effort," Shaun McKay said. "Halfway down the straight he was battling a bit, but when that other horse came alongside us he pinned his ears back."

Profile ran on for third without threatening the first two and the frontrunner Southern Icon wilted to fourth.

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 03:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email