Day At The Track

Pacing winner at Reefton is soon to be a trotter

09:50 PM 06 Mar 2016 NZDT
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Ricky May, Di Heenan and Culley Backy in the birdcage at Reefton yesterday
Ricky May, Di Heenan and Culley Backy in the birdcage at Reefton yesterday
Culley Backy

The four year old gelding Culley Backy provided Methven trainer Michael Heenan with a well overdue win yesterday when he was successful in the Thomas Freight Pace at the harness racing meeting at Reefton.

Facing the starter yesterday for the eighteenth time,Culley Backy had already been placed six times in his previous seventeen starts and had had little luck throughout his short career.

Taken straight to the front yesterday by leading driver Ricky May, Culley Backy set a solid tempo in front and had them all in trouble as they straightened for home and when Ricky asked for the big effort, the son of Gotta Go Cullect shot clear and won with with plenty in hand by 2 1/2 lengths.

Culley Backy paced the 2000 metres from the stand in 2:38.6 with closing sectionals on the grass of 59.6 and 29.1.

Michael was relieved that Culley Backy had finally put a complete performance together.

" He has promised to do that for a while to be honest but he rarely gets the rub of the green this horse and it was nice to see him in front today and out of trouble for once."

" He has had a lot of little issues that haven't helped the cause as well but we seem to be getting on top of these at the moment," Michael told Harnesslink yesterday afternoon.

Michael and his wife Di bought Culley Backy off local Methven trainer Danny McKendry as a three year old.

" Danny likes to sell his horses that he develops while they are still three year olds but Culley Backy had had a couple of setbacks and it was getting late in the season when we bought him."

"Danny quite liked him which is always a good recommendation as he is a great judge, " Michael said.

Culley Backy qualified quite impressively at Ashburton last year but a shoulder injury has taken a lot longer to come right than initially envisaged which has hindered his progress.

Varying his training routine to help his recovery, Michael discovered that Culley Backy can trot quite impressively.

" He looks to have a fair bit of upside as a trotter in my opinion and I will be switching him over to trotting full time in the near future."

" I may give him a start in an upcoming Junior Drivers event as a pacer but after that I will concentrate on sorting out his switch to trotting.

"I gave him a run at the qualifying trials as a trotter and he missed away badly but made up a huge amount of ground after that and was well inside the time required so the ability is there"

" He only broke because he touched himself behind so sorting that issue is the first priority at the moment," Michael said.

Harnesslink Media


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