HUNTER Valley trainer Jason Mackay had a week to remember, landing two feature race winners and a metropolitan treble.
On Friday night at The Gardens promising young stayer Zipping Katelyn (Mogambo x Crafty Lady Sep ’15) saluted in the Listed Newcastle Cup (715m) at just her fourth crack at the gruelling longer journey.
Leading virtually all the way from box one, the fawn bitch was able to hold off a late challenge from rising star Lochinvar Hugo (Barcia Bale x Lochinvar Vogue Apr ’15) and Ebby Ripper (Sh Avatar x Ebby Miss Feb ’15) to win by half a length in 42.04.
Owned and bred by the Hallinan family, Zipping Katelyn has now won six of her 17 starts and almost $35,000 in prize money.
“We threw [Zipping Katelyn] to the wolves a little bit – got her out of the sprints pretty quick because she lacked pace and was getting belted around and the corner starts [over 600] weren’t ideal,” Mackay said.
“I worked her up – that was the fourth 700 of her life and she took on some good ones and she prevailed.
“The second dog [Lochinvar Hugo] is obviously a star of the future and Ebby Ripper is no mug either – she’s probably got as good a finish as any stayer in Australia.
“There’s a bright future ahead for her, I’m sure.”
Just over 24 hours later Mackay once again took top honours, this time in the Group 3 Christmas Gift (520m) at Wentworth Park with Riley Tokaam (Don’t Knocka Him x Skyela Tokaam Mar ’15).
The blue brindle dog was only fairly away from box seven and had to come from behind to defeat Black Hole Sun (Cosmic Rumble x Chasing Diana Feb ’15) by three and three quarter lengths in 30.17.
He has now won three of his last four starts since returning from an interstate campaign where he competed in the Hume Cup and Melbourne Cup series’.
“He was out on the part of the track where he likes to be to get through his gears and once he was stable and in clear galloping room he [was going to be] hard to beat,” Mackay said.
“He is one of those blokes he lacks that tenth to the first mark speed wise, he warms up in his second section but his third section is lethal – he can really get to the line.
“He has always shown plenty of promise but he is one of those blokes which did a lot of things wrong [early in his career].
“He is more seasoned now, he is the complete race dog.”
Mackay also got a treble at Wentworth Park last Wednesday with three of his hot youngsters.
Aston Duke (Go Wild Teddy x Aston Elle Jan ’16) – a younger half brother to Melbourne Cup winner Aston Dee Bee – kicked things off in race five with a strong 30.21 win.
Then Zipping Blaze (Fernando Bale x Zipping Tess Sep ’15) and Zipping Clive (Turanza Bale x Zipping Tess Dec ’15) gave Mackay the next two legs of the quaddie when saluting in 30.20 and 30.30 respectively.
Zipping Katelyn and Riley Tokaam will now be chasing further group glory in the Summer Distance Plate and Gosford Cup respectively.