By Jonny Turner
Star trotter Marcoola’s racing career could be over as his stud career beckons.
While it may not be the news trotting fans wanted to hear, the New Zealand breeding industry is about to get a boost with owner Clint Ford confirming his seven-year-old will enter the breeding barn in some capacity this year.
Ford and his father, Ken, who co-owns and officially trains the New Zealand record holder, are currently weighing up exactly what Marcoola’s spring will look like.
And there is a possibility it will not include racing.
“We are treading carefully now and deciding what is the best direction to head in,” Ford said.
“We are definitely thinking about doing something with him and it might be easier to put him to a stud.”
If the Sundon entire could be a success in the breeding barn it would complete a vision his owner and former driver has had for some time.
“It was always in the pipeline to get a son of Sundon and try to turn him in to a champion and breed from him and try to emulate what his father did, which I am sure he can,” Ford said.
Decisions about Marcoola’s breeding and racing future could be finalised in about a week, Ford said.
Arguably the most exciting aspect of Marcoola’s breeding future is the access he gives breeders to two of the all-time greats of New Zealand trotting in undisputed siring king Sundon and the country’s greatest ever trotter, Lyell Creek.
Marcoola is set to do battle with his longtime rival, Speeding Spur, who will also begin his breeding career in the spring.
Ford said he had already fielded plenty of phone calls from breeders who were keen to send their mares to the stallion.
His impending stud duties do not mean Marcoola will not be ready if spring racing is on his agenda.
“We were going to aim at the Rowe Cup, but the virus put us on the backburner a bit and made us think sit down and think about what we should be doing with him.”
If Marcoola has run his last race he will bow out a New Zealand record holder with three Group one wins to his name.
His stunning 1.53.8 win in the 2019 Ashburton Trotter’s Flying Mile and his epic four-length win in the Dominion will head the list of Marcoola’s career highlights with many trotting fans.