Day At The Track

McKendry’s (MNZM) big week to continue

09:01 AM 08 Jun 2017 NZST
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Maurice McKendry
HRNZ photo

Less than a week after joining Tony Herlihy in the MNZM ranks, Maurice McKendry believes he can go close to training his first winner of the season at Cambridge Raceway tonight.

McKendry (62) was bestowed with the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit at the annual Queen’s Birthday Awards last weekend.

The Methven born and raised horseman, who has won 3,185 races since 1975, is second only to Tony Herlihy (3,417) on the list of all-time winners in New Zealand harness racing history.

McKendry has trained 115 winners since 1982 and has had one second and a third from 13 starters in 2016-2017, but feels he can go close to breaking his duck tonight.

“Both Shanocon (race 2) and Shandance (race 4) are capable of winning. They have both worked well, and of the five I have in work, they would be my best two," McKendry said.

McKendry will steer Shanocon from gate five in the $6,000 Ooby Ryn Cambridge Mobile for the maiden for the up to R49 pacers.

"He's a nice enough colt who was a little bit disappointing last start at Alexandra Park. He's better than what he showed that night and from the handy draw I think we will push forward.

“I’m happy with the way he has progressed since that run and if he doesn’t win he can certainly place,” McKendry said.

The 3-year-old Bettor's Delight - Veste colt has had one start at Cambridge for an encouraging second behind Father Frank on February 16.

Although Shandance had drawn the outside of the front row, McKendry believed the 2-year-old Art Major filly could go also close in the $6,000 C N Taylor Consulting Mobile for the maiden pacers.

"She's lightly raced but goes okay. She's a nice little filly who only needs time, but in saying that she can win first-up at Cambridge.

"She went nice on debut at Auckland last month (fourth - May 12) and then was ordinary next start. She's in the same boat as her stablemate - good enough to win and certainly good enough to place," the Pukekohe horseman said.

Shandance is the full sister to the former McKendry trained Shandale, who won eight races here, and is now plying his trade in Australia.

Their dam is Delightful Dale, a 9-year-old Bettor's Delight mare who qualified for Gareth Dixon in 2010, but never raced.

Meanwhile, McKendry has five drives at Cambridge Raceway tonight. He said the stablemates were his best winning chances, but also be wary of the Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett trained Donna May in race three; the Scott Dickson trained Ralph Elliott in race six; and the Eddy Clarke trained Will Desire in the last event (race eight).

Donna May looks the pick of the rest but she will have to get past the likely favourite, Majestic One, who has drawn seven compared to Donna May’s eight.


Duane Ranger

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