Day At The Track

U May Cullect brilliant again

10:05 AM 24 Mar 2019 NZDT
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U May Cullect,Harness racing
U May Cullect
Southland Harness Racing

We didn't know it at the time but when the five-year-old U May Cullect put a couple of potentially career-ending setbacks behind him to win on debut at the Northern Southland meeting a fortnight ago, it was a case of 'you haven't seen anything yet'.

Plenty on course that day were in awe of the performance of the Tom Kilkelly-owned gelding who suffered tendon damage at three and four but came back to record a 1:57.9 mile rate when winning over 2200 metres by four lengths.

They were in all sorts of raptures on 'Wairio Mile Day' at Central Southland Raceway on Saturday. Drawn 13 in a 13 horse field, U May Cullect settled in the last pair and made only minor progress when the one out line moved. But just outside the 400, when driver Kirstin Barclay - who in partnership with Paul Ellis also trains the gelding at Oreti Beach - asked him to sprint, the acceleration was incredible.

U May Cullect stretched out to an eight and a quarter length win and stopped the clock at 1:52.1, just 0.2 seconds outside the track and Southland record held by Delightful Memphis. It was clearly the day's fastest.

The time did however better the previous Southland 1609 metre record for entires and gelding of 1-52.5 recorded by Mach’s Back at Wyndham at the end of January and the Winton track record for aged geldings and entires of 1-53.9 which was held by Fly Like An Eagle.

“He was a bit keen out of the gate but relaxed beautifully,” Barclay said. “Then when I asked him to go, I've never felt any horse turn on the speed like he did.”

After his first win, Kilkelly described U May Cullect as a day to day proposition and while that hasn't changed, he is clearly enjoying the ride.

“There's no backing off now,” Kilkelly said.

 

 

Mac Henry

for Southland Harness racing

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