Day At The Track

Emerging 3yo talent back in work

01:51 AM 01 Mar 2016 NZDT
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Mattgregor
Talented 3yo Mattgregor has resumed work and will be set for Brisbane features in the coming months
Dan Costello Photo

Exciting Queensland pacer Mattgregor has returned to work today (Monday). Prepared by husband and wife combination of Pete McMullen and Chantal Turpin, the harness racing three-year-old has created a strong impression after being purchased from the leading New Zealand stables of Mark Jones late last year.

But an injury setback to his offside front tendon at Christmas derailed plans to take him south of the border and therefore ruled him out of a host of features including the recent Victoria and New South Wales Derby classics which ultimately, have him been dominated by the Mark Purdon/Natalie Rasmussen All-stars stablemates Lazarus (Melbourne) and Our Waikiki Beach (Sydney).

“We ended up giving him eight weeks off straight away and hopefully we jumped on it quick enough before it became a major issue. It’s always touch and go when dealing with these matters but I think it was a blessing in disguise for him because he looks great and he’ll miss the worst of our summer and it’s been so hot over the past couple of weeks so as a kiwi, he’ll really appreciate that. Everything looks in order and I’m happy to have him back in work.” Turpin said.

Importantly, the decision was made by his group of owners to make the Rob Roy Mattgregor – Miss Sunshine youngster two stone lighter during his time out.

To date, Mattgregor has won three of his four starts to date and all three victories have been recorded in sub 1:54 mile rates at Albion Park.

His most recent start on December 22 was a personal best effort when scorched the oval in a time of 1:53.4 defeating Brass Lantern and dual feature race winner Leos Best.

Connections are now focused on their upcoming home state winter carnival features with the climax being the Gr.1 $100,000 Queensland Derby on July 16 at Albion Park.

“That’s the ultimate aim with Bear (Mattgregor) – the Queensland Derby but hopefully we’ll be able to get a look at quite a few of the other features prior to the Derby all going to plan. Fingers crossed, Mark and Natalie might even bypass the Brisbane features this year.

“Seriously, that stable is just amazing and they continue to set the standard for everybody in this part of the world, I know Pete and I are just awestruck by how they run and operate their stable and it only pushes us harder to obtain better results for our stable going forward.

“The program for our guy will be quite meticulous given his setback but his workload won’t really change once he gains a solid foundation because we don’t see any point changing what worked for him before. He’s exciting, clearly the most exciting pacer in our stable but he’s still untapped and every challenge we set for him in his previous campaign, he conquered.”

Mattgregor is raced by the trainer’s brother Jake, along with their mother Karen and loyal stable client in Denis Golinski.

Jake, 19, is an up and coming NRL prospect with the Melbourne Storm and is hopeful of cracking it into the senior squad this season.

by Chris Barsby

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