Day At The Track

Model starting to look the part

10:27 AM 11 Aug 2020 NZST
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Sporting Model,Harness racing
HRV

Another pacer looks set to take a step in the right direction for Mick Gadsden, who’s latest reclamation project strides on to the track at Shepparton tonight for her first start, an achievement that's no small feat.

Supremely bred Sporting Model makes her debut in the Equine After Care 3YO Maiden Pace tonight, something of a milestone for her owners, including trainer Shaun McNaulty, who snapped her up at the 2018 Australian Pacing Gold sales.

The Art Major filly is out of 27-time winning mare All Eyes On Me ($349,926), which makes her a full-sister to Breeders Crown Graduate winner All Eyes On Us ($307,515). However, that royal breeding hasn’t yet shone through.

McNaulty recently handed the three-year-old to Gadsden, hoping the latter's extensive experience as a farrier could overcome the prospect’s early difficulties.

“She had a few tries with Shaun and was getting on her knee a bit,” Gadsden said. “He decided to send her to me to try and get her sorted out.”

Two months on and good progress has been made, including a competitive third placing in a Stawell trial on July 1.

Gadsden said being a professional farrier made it much easier for him to continually experiment with different practices to overcome the pacer’s troubles.

“I can work with her, make changes and little adjustments, trial and error,” he said. “I think we have got the knee knocking under control and am pleased she is starting to look like a racehorse.”

It’s not an unfamiliar situation for the Charlton trainer, who is one half of Mickbeigh Racing, along with partner/driver Denbeigh Wade.

“Nearly all the better horses we have had have come with foot issues, including King Denny and Ainthatrightmacca,” he said. “It’s definitely a challenge I enjoy and it can give you an edge to be able to shoe your own horses and fix things there and then.”

Having said that, his expectations are modest for Sporting Model in tonight's third race, which streams at 6.23pm on Trots Vision.

“She is quite a large horse for a three-year-old, well over six or seven hands, and is a little slow picking things up,” Gadsden said.

“She definitely has a race in her, but it may take her four or five races to learn what it takes to be a racehorse. Being the size she is and the issues with her knee knocking she has lost a bit of conficence, but I feel she is improving each time.”

Gadsden will also race Markleigh Caz tonight, with the consistent six-year-old mare contesting the Saddleword Shepparton Pace.

“She’ll need the run. She lost out a bit when the Maryborough meeting was called off. She needs to race once a week to stay in race shape, so she’ll be a run short,” Gadsden said. “She draws awkward, but she will run an honest sort of race.”

Markleigh Caz is a consistent race day presence for the stable, which has recently relocated to Charlton’s training centre and is thriving.

“We’re up to working 12 now with another due to come back in,” Gadsden said. “We have had a few wins and King Denny was good first up and will be in at Shepparton on Saturday night.

“There is a Charlton meeting next Monday and we are looking to have three or four there, and it will be good to get out on the new home track.”

 

HRV - Michael Howard

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