Day At The Track

Nigel McGrath's Templeton stable is on fire

12:20 PM 11 May 2010 NZST
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Nigel McGrath
Nigel McGrath
File Photo

The Templeton stable of harness racing trainer Nigel McGrath has been running hot over the past few weeks with the experienced horseman winning eight races in the space of 10 days.

But humbly McGrath credits "quality racestock" as the key to his latest success.

"We have some pretty nice horses that have come right at the same time. Beaudiene Christian (Christian Cullen) is on the cusp of the good three year olds. He's probably at the top of the second tier. I was pleased with his effort on Sunday (Rangiora) and he will back up in an attempt to qualify for the Jewels," said McGrath.

Also coming into Jewels contention is three year trotter Sonofanearl (Earl). He is likely to travel South to race at Forbury Friday night and is on the bubble behind Wild Isis who sits in 12th position on the Jewels leaderboard. War veteran King Charlie has also struck a purple patch with his trainer thankful just to have him in good working order.

"Yeh he's fought a few battles. He did a rear suspensory, suffers from tie-up and seems to have had troubles the whole time I've had him. But he does seem to be good at the moment."

While Elsu three year old Anvils Best Ever looks to have cemented his place on Jewels day sitting comfortably in 9th spot.

Permanent lung damage has affected the performances of the former top two year old with it seemingly unlikely he will ever fulfill his early potential.

"He will never be what he could have been. His lungs are damaged and Bill Bishop (Vet) described it as his lungs being like an oil soaked sponge. They will gradually get better but he's just not the same clean winded horse he was. On the surface of it he seems perfect but his breathing is far more laboured these days."

McGrath is looking to have a quiet time over winter with the team already down to 25.

"That's alot less then we would normally have but it comes and goes like that and it's probably not a bad thing with winter coming on," he quipped.

Nigel McGrath has climbed his way into 9th place in the trainers premiership this season. The result of 36 wins, 44 placings and $326,000 in stakes at a strikerate of .2433.

Steve DOLAN

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