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New Zealand Racing News
Saturday, April 29 2017

Stablemates Amarula and De Niro provided the perfect going-away present when they combined to produce a winning double for Matamata trainer Peter McKay and his wife Kim on the weekend.

De Niro  - Troy Leggett  (Race Images Palmerston North)

The McKay's are about to head off on a 10-day holiday break in Thailand and will have some extra spending money in their pockets courtesy of the pair who brought some welcome relief to the stable who have experienced a lean trot in recent months.

"We've had a pretty tough last four months with not a lot going right with the team," explained McKay.

"We've been looking forward to having a wee break so this will make it even sweeter when we are relaxing during the time away."

McKay admitted he was confident of a good performance from both of his runners and got a real boost immediately before De Niro lined up in the last race of the day.

"He's a horse with real ability but has had his issues along the way," he noted.

"He has had bone chips removed and we just got him right when he bled at Ellerslie back in December. He had to have the mandatory three months off so we got him back and brought him along for the autumn.

"He ran a beauty first-up at Pukekohe after missing a run when they called off the Avondale trials which I think cost him that day. The winner was Selfie who won about 30 minutes before our race on Saturday so that really gave me some hope he could grab the win."

A change in riding tactics also played a major role in the performance as McKay's son Shaun employed a "handlebars down" approach from barrier rise as he freewheeled in front throughout the rating 75 1400m contest.

"In the early days, we used to let him roll along in front but after that I think we may have got it wrong as we tried to ride him with a sit," admitted McKay.

"Now he has had a bleed we have decided to let him stride out in front and I think that is how he performs best.

"He can run the times as he showed on Saturday so I don't think he has finished winning just yet.

"He can have 10 days off while we are away and then we'll get him ready for one of those winter meetings at Ruakaka. We'd like to get start with him in the Group Three on the last day of the Hawkes Bay spring carnival so he will probably need another win to make the field."

McKay also advised that promising stayer Clarify was in the spelling paddock with a tilt at the Gr. 3 New Zealand Cup in November set to be his major focus for a summer campaign.

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 09:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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