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Blathwayt heads to spelling paddock with winning feeling

18 June 2017, 2:19 p.m.

Hardy campaigner Blathwayt is heading to the spelling paddock on top of the world after scoring a comprehensive victory at Trentham on the weekend.

The ghostly grey bagged win number nine from 39 career starts as he gave weight and a beating to his rivals in the Nelson Pine Industries Handicap, the main flat race on the day’s programme. In a muddling run race rider Jonathan Riddell seized the initiative approaching the home bend as he grabbed a lead that his mount refused to surrender in a slogging finish on the Heavy10 rated Trentham surface.

Blathwayt 
Photo: Peter Rubery (Race Images)

Trainer Albie MacGregor was pleased with the win as he looks forward to a spring campaign with the rising eight-year-old.

“As you know he’s had a few problems in the last eighteen months but I think he’s finally over them now,” he said.

“He spent plenty of time out on the hills at Polly MacDonald’s place in Masterton and that seemed to bring him right. He is going to go for a break now and he will head up there again as he just loves it and really thrives on that hill work.

“We’ve never really thought he was a true winter horse as he doesn’t like the deep stuff. He handled it okay on Saturday as it wasn’t a typical Trentham winter surface but I don’t want him slogging around when he can be having a break before we get him ready for the spring.”

MacGregor is keen to take another shot at the New Zealand Cup at Riccarton with Blathwayt after coming up short when favourite for the race back in 2015.

“We think he’s still got it in him to win a race like the New Zealand Cup so that’s where our thoughts have been lately,” he admitted.

“Now he’s gotten over his issues we’d like to go back and have another go at it. He’s been a pretty happy horse of late as we have varied his work and even done a little bit of schooling with him.

“He jumps very well and enjoys himself but we don’t see him racing over the fences as they are more of an aid in giving him something different to do.”

While Blathwayt is out spelling MacGregor will have his hands full with stablemate Finn who finished a handy third in his first run of a new campaign on the weekend.

“He’s a tough bugger who is well suited when the tracks are a bog,” he said.

“He went a beauty on Saturday and I expect him to get better as he gets fitter with a few more runs under his belt.” – NZ Racing Desk