Racing: Stayer set for Marton Cup

Jimmy Mac's trainer taking one race at a time with $1 million bonus a distant dream.
Jimmy Mac will again be ridden by Lisa Allpress. Photo / Race Images.
Jimmy Mac will again be ridden by Lisa Allpress. Photo / Race Images.

Caption: Jimmy Mac will again be ridden by Lisa Allpress.Picture / Race Images

A relaxed Gene Andrew is more than satisfied with his stable star Jimmy Mac ahead of his return to racing on his home track.

The Awapuni trainer has been pleasantly surprised by the leading stayer's condition leading into the $55,000 Marton Cup tomorrow.

"With the family owning the horse there has been no pressure and we just want to do the right thing by the horse," Andrew said.

"It's been seven weeks since he last raced, but he doesn't take a lot to come up. He had a gallop in company last Saturday and he had his final piece of fast work yesterday and he's more forward than I thought."

A winner on all three days of the Hawke's Bay carnival, Jimmy Mac ran third in the Metropolitan Trophy at Riccarton before he proved too good in the group three New Zealand Cup.

The seven-year-old will earn his connections a $250,000 bonus if he can add the group two Wellington Cup to his record later this month and a further $1 million should he then claim the group one Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup.

Andrew, however, isn't getting ahead of himself and is taking a race at a time approach.

"The horse comes first and we'll get Saturday and Trentham out of the way first," he said.

Jimmy Mac will again be ridden by Lisa Allpress, who could also have partnered race rival Pentathlon.

"I didn't pressure Lisa - things can change and horses can go amiss at any time, but she always said she would stick with our guy," Andrew said.

The Australian challenge on the Karaka Million might be doubled this weekend.

The Liam Birchley-trained O'Reilly Cyrus is a confirmed starter and a bold showing from Shadow Prince in an A$80,000 event at Caulfield tomorrow would also see the Nigel Blackiston runner in contention.

The grey son of Dalghar, a $22,000 Festival Sale purchase at Karaka last year, is currently 34th in order of entry after a debut fourth at Geelong on Boxing Day.

- NZ Racing Desk

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