Day At The Track

NZ purchase poetry in motion

02:01 PM 14 May 2020 NZST
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Troubador,Harness racing

The Jack’s Folly Mobile Pace may not have been a race for the ages, but it meant plenty to Terang reinsman Tim McLean, whose eye was caught by the horse who came fourth.

Racing for Brent Mangos at Alexandra Park on November 22, the Shadow Play five-year-old sat three back on the pegs and ground on gamely in the straight to improve to fourth, finishing just 4.3 metres off Barry Purdon’s winner Havtime.

With the latter’s credits including a Group 1 2YO Fillies win and almost $300,000 in stakes, McLean was confident fourth-placed Troubador’s form would translate to wins back home and so with a syndicate of owners made the leap.

“I thought he was a pretty nice horse when he came over, he had been racing against high quality over there,” McLean said. “He hadn’t had many starts and was racing against Group 1 horses and only getting beaten by a few metres.”

Three months on since the February purchase and the signs have been encouraging for Tim and dad/trainer Jeff McLean, with Troubador producing four wins and a third from his five starts.

“He has definitely lived up to expectations and probably gone a bit above,” Tim McLean said.

That’s despite receiving few favors in the run, with Troubador having had to wrestle to the lead from wide gates on three occasion or, in the other two, sit parked and do plenty of work. What that has revealed is a now trademark toughness, which McLean will likely call on when they pair again for tonight’s Goodtime Lodge Pace at Terang.

“He’s super tough, he just doesn’t give up,” McLean said. “I think he’s gotten better and better. We have a hill track at home and working up hill seems to suit him.

“He wants to run, but then when he gets in the stalls he just falls asleep. He doesn’t waste any energy.”

Tonight will likely prove another test to Troubador’s ascent, with Kerryn Manning’s well-rated Glenavril King and Aaron Dunn’s Silent Major also in the field. Both are last-start winners and likely to provide a tough test over the middle distance.

McLean said a good result may well earn Troubador a holiday before they eye a crack at metropolitan racing, which Harness Racing Victoria announced yesterday was flagged for return from July 1.

“If he can win another race we will probably give him a let up,” McLean said. “He has done a pretty good job this time in, and we will give him three weeks to a month off. I think he’s a metro horse, I don’t know how far he will get but he has earned his go.”

Troubador is one of four steers McLean has tonight. He also shared with Trots Centre his thoughts on the others:

R4 N5 Lifeasweknowit (trained by Jeff McLean)

“She will find it a bit tricky. She was a bit flat at Stawell last start, but was better at Terang. She is down in grade and will be a show if she brings her best.”

R5 N3 Show Me The Moolah (trained by Janet Exell)

“He is a nice trotter. If he begins well early he will be somewhere around the mark, but this is a step up in grade.

R7 N5 Tuesdays Edition (trained by Rebecca East)

“Goes good, but is first up and will probably benefit from the run.”


Hosts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden have another big line-up for today's Talking Trots on SENTrack, which runs weekdays from 11am-1pm on 1377AM in Melbourne, 657AM in Perth and 1575AM in Wollongong.

Click here to listen live and for links to download the SEN app.


The good oil from the Vic trials circuit

BLACKBOOKER: Bendigo, R3 N9, Imnopumpkin

A handy horse when racing at his best form and finished second in the George Croxford Tribute when he was last in work. He was able to lead throughout and took out the third trial with plenty in reserve. REPORT & REPLAY

Terang, R3 N4, Allwatfunjingles

Trialled nicely for an unraced trotter taking on proven winners and finished a close up third. REPORT


HRV - Michael Howard

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