Day At The Track

Successful night for McGrath and McIntyre

12:33 PM 23 Dec 2010 NZDT
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Nigel McGrath,Harness racing
Nigel McGrath
File Photo

It was smiles all round for harness racing trainer Nigel McGrath and his trusty side-kick Megan McIntyre at tonight's (Thursday) Addington meeting when the pair combined to win two races on the program.

McIntyre, who acts as stable foreman for the McGrath barn, drove Gate Bender to win the junior drivers race, out-smarting her rivals with a clever front running drive to score by anose from fast finishing stable-mate Anvil Attack (Tim Williams) who trailed throughout.

The decision for McIntyre to drive Gate Bender wasn't so much a case of first choice but more one of loyalty. "The owner has been really good to me, so it was an easy decision to make," McIntyre said. The son of Courage Under Fire was massive last start and had next up written all over him, although punters still let the gelding drift on the tote with McIntyre landing her entourage of happy investors a $21 dividend. The result still wasn't enough to sway Megan's preference in her role as foreman, driving duties still very much secondary. "Im happy as the foreman and really enjoy travelling with the horses, that's still my main focus."

One race later talented square-gaiter Ready Set gave Nigel McGrath a double for the night. The impressive son of Monarchy made it three wins on end when he scored by 1 1/2 lengths in a slick 2.00 mile-rate for the 1950m mobile. "He's always had a motor but has tended to do things wrong," said McGrath. "He's put in some mighty runs in the past and he just seems to be coming right with a bit of practice." Raced by David Renwick Ready Set is likely to travel South to compete at the Winton meeting next Wednesday.

The Highlights:

Top Sire: Monarchy 2 wins.

Top Driver: Dexter Dunn 2 wins.

Top Junior Driver: Dexter Dunn 2 wins.

Top Trainer: Cran Dalgety and Nigel McGrath 2 wins.

Results from the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club's meeting held tonight (Thursday) were:

Race 1: The Tim Butt trained ADAM POCKET (In The Pocket) Anthony Butt.

Race 2: The Robert Anderson trained and driven DRAGONS DEN (Monarchy).

Race 3: The Richard and Julia Aubrey trained VLADIMIR THE GREAT (Bettor's Delight) Shane Walkinshaw.

Race 4: The Chris Coutts trained RURIK (Village Jasper) Jamie Keast.

Race 5: The Bruce Hutton trained EXOTIQUE (Dream Away) Craig Thornley.

Race 6: The Nigel McGrath trained GATEBENDER (Courage Under Fire) Megan McIntyre.

Race 7: The Nigel McGrath trained and driven READY SET (Monarchy).

Race 8: The Cran Dalgety trained SPERO DENARIO (Presidential Ball) Dexter Dunn.

Race 9: The Cran Dalgety trained LIVING PROOF (Live Or Die) Dexter Dunn.

Race 10: The Jim Curtin trained and driven BLACK LORD (Elsu).

Extensive Results

Steve DOLAN

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