While he may not have been on-course to cheer home his pride and joy Times Ticking (Tavistock x Laoghaire) at Riccarton, trainer Alby MacGregor still made plenty of noise in his lounge at home in Opaki.
MacGregor sent versatile galloper Times Ticking south with son Dean and the pair covered themselves in glory as the seven-year-old gelding produced a timely finish to take out the Listed Avon City Ford Easter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton.
Times Ticking enjoyed a comfortable trip in transit for rider Jacob Lowry before angling into the clear at the 400m to try and chase down pacemaker Tyler Eight and eventual third place finisher Our Echo, who looked likely to fight out the finish at that point.
Despite ducking inwards at the 100m, the son of Tavistock refused to shirk his task and put in two huge bounds to thrust his nose in front at the winning post and deny a brave Tyler Eight, who looked all over the winner at that point.
MacGregor was enjoying a quiet celebratory drink at home as he toasted another victory by his stable favourite.
“I sent him down south with my son Dean and stayed home to watch the race on the telly,” MacGregor said.
“I have to admit things got a bit hectic here when I could see him coming and when they got close to the line, I may have jumped up off the couch for one final roar.
“He has a bad habit of ducking in when he is coming on and the bugger did it again today, but thankfully he still had enough time to balance up and come again.
“The boy (Lowry) who rode hm had told me before the horse knows where the winning post is and thankfully he managed to time it right again today.”
MacGregor is hoping that his charge pulls up well as he has his eyes on a Group Three prize next Saturday at the same venue.
“If he comes through the run today, he will back up in the Canterbury Gold Cup (Gr.3, 2000m) next weekend,” he said.
“I don’t think the 2000m will worry him as he has won over 1800m and he handles all track conditions.
“He carried topweight of 60kgs today and with the race next week at weight-for-age, he won’t have to give so much away to some of the others.
“I know Jacob is keen to ride him, so I’m looking forward to him putting himself in the firing line once again.”
Times Ticking has now won nine of his 29 starts, with the victory being his second at stakes level after he took out the Gr.3 Red Badge Sprint (1400m) at Hastings in October last year. – NZ Racing Desk