Day At The Track

Positive drive by McKendry in Oaks

09:54 PM 27 Feb 2015 NZDT
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The Orange Agent - Bolted in tonight in the Great Northern Oaks
The Orange Agent - Bolted in tonight in the Great Northern Oaks
The Orange Agent

All week the harness racing pundits previewing the Great Northern Oaks had predicted that Classical Art from barrier one would lead and control the race with the favourite The Orange Agent unlikely to get the lead off her.

No one obviously told Maurice McKendry on The Orange Agent because he did exactly what everyone said couldn't be done.

Maurice worked her forward from barrier four and grabbed the lead from Classical Art inside the first 200 metres and that effectively was race over.

Allowed to get away with a couple of easier mid race sections, Maurice applied the pressure from a fair way out and then blew them away with a last half in 55.1 and quarter in 27.4 to cruise home home by five lengths in a new New Zealand record of 3:18.8 for the 2700 metres mobile.

When talking to Harnesslink during the week, Maurice said contrary to what a lot of people thought, The Orange Agent could really leave the gate and he thought he would go forward.

The daughter of American Ideal has been a revelation this season with her win tonight her seventh from just nine starts with her only unplaced run coming in the Sires Stakes Final for fillies on New Years eve when pushed out four wide by Democrat Party with a lap to go.

The inexperienced Start Dreaming provided a minor highlight of the race by running home well for second to give American Ideal the quinella with Supersonic Miss holding on for third after sitting parked for the last 1200 metres and Classical Art disappointing in running fourth after having the run of the race.

Maurice was pretty philosophical about the win post race.

" I got the lead pretty easily really and there was no real pressure so I was pretty confident during the running that she would be tough to beat."

" When you run home in front in 55 it makes it pretty hard for those behind you."

" She knocked off a bit the last 100 metres when she was out on her own but she won with a bit in hand".

" I like winning those Group 1 races because the extra money keeps the bank manager happy," Maurice said with a bit of a chuckle.

Maurice thought that The Orange Agent would now head south to Addington.

" The plan at the moment is to head south now for the New Zealand Oaks and Nevele R Fillies Final in early May," Maurice said.

With a combination of a filly as talented as The Orange Agent and a driver right at the top of his game like Maurice McKendry, then you need to look no further for the favourite for the remaining fillies classics this season.

Harnesslink Media

 

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