McKay favours Cavallo Ve­loce

The New Zealand Herald - - Super Sport / Racing -

Jockey Shaun McKay has elected to ride Cavallo Ve­loce over sta­ble­mate Langkawi in the Gr.3 Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) at Eller­slie to­mor­row.

“It’s been a hard de­ci­sion for him, but he’s al­ways had a lot of faith in Cavallo Ve­loce,” McKay’s fa­ther Peter, who trains the pair, said.

“I just said to him Langkawi is prob­a­bly go­ing to be the bet­ter horse once they get to the mile and beyond.”

In the in­terim Grant Cook­sley has picked up the ride on Langkawi, who has had five starts for four sec­ond plac­ings and a win.

“Un­less I’m mis­taken Langkawi will be go­ing to the Derby, but I’m start­ing to think Cavallo Ve­loce might be just a lit­tle bit bet­ter from 1200m to a mile,” McKay said.

The Mata­mata trainer, who pre­pared Puc­cini to win the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) in 2014, has nom­i­nated three horses for the blueriband event in March, in­clud­ing Cavallo Ve­loce.

“We paid up be­cause his half­brother Charles Road has been go­ing over ground, but my gut feel­ing is that he’ll prob­a­bly be best up to a mile,” McKay said. “But you never know, class three-year-olds can some­times push it out past their lim­its.

“When Puc­cini was rac­ing up to a mile, jock­eys were com­ing in and say­ing that he was rac­ing too fiercely and that he wouldn’t get over fur­ther and then we changed his style of rac­ing and sud­denly he loved the ex­tra dis­tance.” Al­ready stake­splaced on two oc­ca­sions, Cavallo Ve­loce broke maiden ranks when win­ning over 1200m at Tau­ranga at his last start and McKay is pleased with his progress. “The 1400m will suit him down to the ground. He’s got a nice draw (2) and he can just take a sit . . . so he’ll be able to possie up just be­hind the lead­ers and then have the last say at them.”

Langkawi hasn’t raced since win­ning at Hawke’s Bay in Oc­to­ber.

“We put him out for a week or so and then he came back, and he just had a touch of a virus,” McKay said.

“He was go­ing to go down to Otaki last week, but when it came up a Slow8 I didn’t trust the weather. As it turned out it ended up be­ing a pretty good track, so I was kick­ing my­self that we didn’t just ac­cept and wait un­til the last minute.”

McKay also pre­pares The Mita­ga­tor who has drawn bar­rier 12 in to­mor­row’s Dun­stan Feeds 1500 Cham­pi­onship Qualifier (1500m).

Photo / Tr­ish Dunell

Cavallo Ve­loce runs in the Bonecrusher Stakes at Eller­slie to­mor­row.

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