MacGregor seeking further southern spoils

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  • April 12, 2023
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Opaki trainer Alby MacGregor is looking to add to his southern cups haul when he heads to Riccarton this weekend with Times Ticking.

The Group Three-winning son of Tavistock was victorious in the Banks Peninsula Cup (1800m) at the Christchurch track in February and MacGregor is hoping he can repeat the dose in the Listed Avon City Ford Easter Cup (1600m) on Saturday.

Times Ticking finished eighth in the Gr.2 Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) when fresh-up earlier this month and MacGregor said he didn’t get all favours that day.

“He got ridden a bit upside down the other day and got to the front a bit too soon, but he has come through the race well,” he said.

The South Island has been a happy hunting ground for MacGregor and in recent years he has enjoyed the added bonus of visiting family members in the region.

“I have been fairly lucky down in the South Island over the years,” he said.

“I have got family down there so I thought I would go down there and see them. They are going off to Fiji on holiday, so I am going to look after the farm for a while.

“My eldest son is down there and we stayed with him the last time I was down there.

“He handles a horse or two and my grandson, Matthew, has just started serving his time as an apprentice farrier and he is fairly keen on it all.

“They will be there helping on Saturday.”

Rain is forecast ahead of the weekend, but that doesn’t faze MacGregor, with Times Ticking having recorded five of his eight wins on a heavy track.

“He handles most tracks. He is a versatile horse,” he said.

All going to plan, Times Ticking will get two chances to add to his stakes tally during his southern venture, with MacGregor also eyeing the Gr.3 Coca-Cola Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m) at Riccarton on Saturday-week.

“The Canterbury Cup is the following Saturday, so we will just see how he pulls up after Saturday and go from there,” he said.

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