By Jonny Turner
If the team from Kirstin Barclay and Paul Ellis’ stable go as well on the track at Winton on Sunday as U May Cullect has been going off the track, they will be in for a big day.
The training partners will line up five strong chances on the Winton Harness Racing Club’s innovative programme, including former All Stars pacer Freddiesam.
The former All Stars 3yr-old has been sent south in the hope he will find suitable races and break his maiden after being competitive in good fields in Canterbury, recently.
“The owners just wanted find an easier spot for him,” Barclay said.
“With his Canterbury form, you think he would be a good show.”
Freddiesam headed south after producing a sound fourth behind the talented Navagio at Kaikoura last month.
The pacer showed good gate speed to lead, which he gets to show off again from barrier 1 in Sunday’s 1609m event.
The ace draw gives Freddiesam an edge over his stablemate, Cab Calloway, who is drawn out in barrier 5.
“From the draw Freddiesam is just a little bit sharper at the moment, I would say,” Barclay said.
Cab Calloway goes in to Sunday’s race after going sound races behind smart pacers, Cassius Bromac and Silent Major, in strong maiden fields.
“He is actually a really nice horse, he is a good chance as well,” Barclay said.
“He just lacks a little bit of top end speed, but he tries hard.”
The Barclay-Ellis team start another talented maiden in race 8 in Watch Me Now.
The 3yr-old finished off strongly, but a little roughly, behind Renegade Rose at Wyndham last month.
“She is definitely a nice filly in the making – she is still a bit green and learning it all,” Barclay said.
“But, she is not far away from putting her hand up.”
Betterthenbrie represents Barclay and Ellis in race 6 — Sunday’s feature — the Equine Stakes for mares.
The 5yr-old, who starts from barrier 2 on the second row, went a reasonable race when fighting on for a last-start fifth, after running in to smart types, Rockabilly Blues and Lawrence, in her previous two runs.
“Its not a bad draw for her – she should lob a nice possie and she is always there abouts,” Barclay said.
“She has been going some great races this season and popping up and running some nice placings.”
Lite Percussion also ran in to Lawrence recently – in his last start at Ascot Park
The 6yr-old drops significantly in class when he starts in race 3 on Sunday.
“I thought he definitely had a good chance,” Barclay said.
U May Cullect has continued to please his trainers during his rehabilitation from the tendon injury that ruled him out of the New Zealand Cup Carnival.
Barclay and Ellis have been walking the southern sensation along Oreti Beach to help build up strength in his affected leg.
“He is doing amazing – we are absolutley rapt with him,” Barclay said.
“He is up to walking 20 minutes and his leg looks really good.”
“He is going up to Dunedin for another scan after Christmas, but it is unbeleivable how good it looks.”