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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Saturday, July 22 2017

Local galloper Katie McKeen once again gave her rivals a galloping lesson on her home patch at New Plymouth as she waltzed home by over eight lengths in the Gail Drought Memorial (2000m) on Sunday.

Katie McKeen  - Race Images

Taken straight to the front by apprentice Alfred Chan the rising eight-year-old set a steady tempo throughout the rating 85 contest. Challenged briefly in the mid-stages by Zartan, Katie McKeen quickly shook off that distraction as she and Chan set sail for home with 600 metres to run. A two-length margin quickly became five, six and more as the pair hugged the rail on the home turn before maintaining a strong gallop to the post where she comfortably held out race favourite She’s Poppy who chased bravely all the way.

The victory was the Keeninsky mare’s sixth on her home track and 10th overall in a career that has netted her in excess of $150,000 in prizemoney. The win was also a repeat of her 2016 effort where she took out the corresponding contest by seven lengths after adopting similar front-running tactics.

Trainer Gary McBeth admitted he was hopeful rather than confident before the race but was boosted by a visit from horse chiropractor Tommy Burns during the week.

“We had Tommy come and see her this week and within 24 hours she was a different horse,” he explained.

“Before Tommy worked on her I couldn’t lift her tail up she was so sore but now you wouldn’t know it was the same horse.

“Today she got things to suit out in front as she hates being ridden in behind. When she is in front she will fight to the bitter end and she showed all those qualities today.”

McBeth is undecided about the mare’s immediate future although he did confirm the mare has a date in the stallion’s barn later in the year.

“We have decided to get her in foal but at this stage we haven’t decided where we will send her,” he said.

“She may have one more run before then but where that will be I just don’t know. The Taumarunui Cup could be an option but she never handled the Rotorua track last year.

“That makes me a little wary about going back there but you wouldn’t think she’s even had a run today she has pulled up that well so I’m going to have to give it some serious thought over the next 48 hours.”

Posted by: Race Desk AT 03:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email