A cunning pre-race plan was executed to perfection when Katie McKeen distanced her rivals in the feature staying event on yesterday's Tauranga card.

Taranaki owner-trainer Gary McBeth and his jockey Robert Hannam decided to put the pressure on a long way out in the Orora Kiwi Packaging-LRK Kiwifruit Cup and to cut the corner into the home straight when others were scouting wide.

"I was expecting a very good run," McBeth said. "Hugging the rail was perfect " Robbie has ridden her a few times and he knows her."

Katie McKeen settled in the early trail before Hannam got busy down the back straight to take the six-year-old to the front and he stuck to the fence across the top.


"I thought he may have gone a bit soon, but he knew best and it all worked out great," McBeth said.

It proved to be a stroll, albeit a very wet one, for Katie McKeen who had 13 lengths on the local longshot St Saturnin, the winner of only one race, with Celebrity Miss third.

"It's the fittest I've ever had her," McBeth said.

"She's 20 kilos lighter than last year."

- NZ Racing Desk