Racing: Another cup win for McDonald

Glencoe V C paces away effortlessly to win the $25,000 Waikouaiti Cup yesterday. Photo by Matt Smith.
Glencoe V C paces away effortlessly to win the $25,000 Waikouaiti Cup yesterday. Photo by Matt Smith.
Robbie McDonald knows a thing or two about winning the Waikouaiti Cup.

McDonald, of Owaka, owns yesterday's Waikouaiti Cup winner Glencoe V C with his daughters Christine Mitchell and Kathryn Dodds, of Wyndham

And while he has a lovely horse on his hands in the form of the 5yr-old Washington VC gelding, McDonald also won the 1964 version of the race with Toll Booth. He also holds the record of winning the last totalisator saddle race for standardbreds in New Zealand in 1967.

McDonald, who bred Glencoe V C after borrowing the New York Motoring mare Harmonic from Ian Wilson, of Winton, knew the talent factor was there with Glencoe V C from an early age.

''Right from the word go, I worked him on the beach at Papatowai when he was young,'' McDonald said.

''The first day I asked him to go I said this horse will be all right, so I'm not a bad judge.''

The tank-like gelding bashed his way through the grades early in his career, winning six of his first eight starts, but has needed time to adjust to the better class of horse he has encountered in recent times. After 17 starts for Wyndham trainer Brendon McLellan, McDonald decided to send Glencoe VC to Canterbury, and a long-term association with the O'Reilly family resulted in the gelding ending up at Gerard O'Reilly's Rakaia property.

''I knew Gerard's father, Pat. He was a mighty man,'' McDonald said.

''He [Glencoe V C] was ready to develop. He's a different horse altogether really, but he's racing better horses.''

O'Reilly drove Glencoe V C as though he was the best horse in the race, sending the horse forward with half a lap to go to take the lead. The 5yr-old was let loose over the last 400m, cutting out the last sectional in 27.6 seconds.

Glencoe V C paced the 3200m in 4.07.4 for his first win since a handicap pace at Wyndham last February. He had been edging closer to a win after being no worse than fifth behind the likes of Franco Ledger, Four Starzzz Flash, Ellmer Hanover and Terror To Love in his past four starts.

Jimmy Johnstone recovered well from an early gallop to run second, 2 lengths behind Glencoe V C, while Southwind Arden flashed home late for third.