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Times Ticking provides MacGregor with Trentham tonic

Popular Ōpaki trainer Alby MacGregor was full of emotion as he welcomed his stable favourite, Times Ticking, back to the winners’ enclosure after a thrilling victory in the Group Three Mode Technology Trentham Stakes over 2100m on Saturday.

MacGregor, who is in his mid-seventies, hasn’t enjoyed the best health in recent times but was on hand at Trentham to see his pride and joy register his eleventh career success with a determined finish in the hands of Joe Doyle.

The well-fancied Sagunto and rider Lisa Allpress set a hectic pace out in front and were more than a dozen lengths in front midway through the contest. The pair were still five lengths clear as they headed for home in the middle of the track. Allpress went in search of better footing despite the Good3 track rating.

At this stage, Times Ticking and Doyle were still well back but winding up nicely as they hunted a run closer to the inside rail. Times Ticking burst through to head Sagunto at the 100m and held nicely to win by a long neck, with Waisake flashing home late to snatch third from Nom De Plume.

MacGregor had a tear in his eye as he spoke with pride about his charge.

“I won my first race here back in 1974, but I can’t take all the credit for this one as my son [Dean] has had him down south for a day or two and has been doing the job,” MacGregor said.

“He’s a pretty handy horse, and he is part of the family.

“I will have to talk to the boss [Dean] about where to next, but he is taking him home tonight.”

Doyle was full of praise for the horse and his connections.

“He is the type of horse every small stable dreams of having,” Doyle said.

“To go and put it to them in a good race and bring home a fine bit of prizemoney, he is just a fantastic old horse.

“I was kind of comfortable where he was early on and they had said to me to have him where he was comfortable.

“When we turned in, I was able to spy Sagunto, and I was confident we could get him so well done to the horse.

“He is proven on all ground and at a mile to a mile and a quarter, and I’m very grateful to have got the call to ride him.”

Bred by MacGregor and Vicki Lackner, Times Ticking has now won 11 of his 35 starts and over $425,000 in prizemoney.

– LOVERACING.NZ

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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