Day At The Track

Mattgregor grounded

11:31 AM 05 Jan 2016 NZDT
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Out; The Sydney campaign for exciting prospect Mattgregor has been cancelled following a slight mishap.
Dan Costello Photo

Exciting Queensland harness racing three-year-old Mattgregor has been temporarily grounded.

The New Zealand bred flying machine was expected to make his maiden interstate sojourn this weekend in the G.3 $31,800 TABCORP Simpson Memorial at Menangle this Saturday night.

But a slight mishap has forced a change of plans.

Prepared by young couple of Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen, Mattgregor has created a strong impression winning three of his four starts to date.

All three victories have been recorded in sub 1:54 at Albion Park.

“He’s a colt and he’s very well within himself at the moment and he just got a little too excited the other day and caused a bit of mischief. It’s nothing too serious but enough for us to shelve his immediate plans.” McMullen said.

The Sydney campaign has been earmarked for some time and everything was in check following his brilliant victory on December 22 in a career best time of 1:53.4.

Connections were hoping the Simpson Memorial start would give them a clearer indication of what the season could provide following the stunning start to his career.

“The Sydney trip will still take place but just not now obviously; all going well I think a shot at the NSW Derby is the long range ran plan but we’re realistic and ultimately we’ll let him tell us if he’s up to it or not. The current depth of three-year-olds is outstanding but at this point, he deserves an opportunity.

“It’s unfortunate with what took place with him because we’ve been looking at this race for some time, we knew it would provide a perfect opportunity to see where he ranked with some of the other promising three-year-olds that will chase Derby classics this season.

“We’re hoping this might be a little blessing in disguise and the time will only make him a little stronger and smarter, the speed is there and hopefully we can work on other areas of his game. He’s a nice horse in the making that will provide plenty of fun for his owners.”

On a brighter note for the stable, a Sydney trip looks certain at some point this season because they have high hopes for their three-year-old trotting filly Illdoitwhenimready.

The Great Success filly has shaped well in two starts to date including her last start victory at Albion Park on October 16.

“The NSW Oaks is scheduled for May and we think she can measure up because we think a bit of her. We liked her from the start and she’s doing a very good job, her best asset is her speed and hopefully she will become a little stronger in time.”

Illdoitwhenimready starts tomorrow (Tuesday) at Albion Park.

by Chris Barsby

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