The Thorndon Mile at Trentham has always been one of the McKay family's favourite races, but yesterday, it became much more special.
The Mitigator delivered a third victory in the time-honoured feature for Matamata trainer Peter McKay, who had previously won it with Alamosa in 2008 and Puccini in 2015.
Even more significantly, it was a first taste of Group 1 glory for his son, jockey Shaun McKay.
"This is awesome," the 23-year-old said. "I'm speechless and over the moon. To win a Group 1 race has been a dream, and to do it for my family is even better. Dad's an awesome trainer, and it means a lot to win a Group 1 race for him."
Peter McKay described it as a special win for a close-knit family.
"I'm thrilled for Shaun," he said. "It was a very good ride on a good horse. When he had a look over his shoulder, I thought he must have been pretty confident, but it's a long way down that straight. It's great for Shaun, and also my wife Kim."
The Mitigator's win in the metric mile showpiece was a career pinnacle for the son of Master of Design, and it came at long odds of $28.70.
The Mitigator dominated the race from the front and fought for all he was worth when challenged in the straight.
- NZ Racing Desk