McKay brings up 200th training win

The win of Miss Tuscan on Champions' Day at Wingatui on Saturday brought up Ascot Park trainer Sally McKay's 200th success as a trainer.

Miss Tuscan launched a big late finish under stable apprentice Sutvhire Toolooa to register the milestone victory.

The win came 23 years after McKay notched her first victory as a trainer in the most remarkable circumstances at the Riccarton during the Grand National Carnival.

''The first winner I had, I owned, trained and rode a hurdle winner at the Grand National meeting so that was pretty hard to beat,'' she said.

''Your first win is pretty special, but when you own, train and ride it you never forget that.''

More than two decades later, McKay has seen several top horses pass through her barn.

Singling one out is a hard task.

''They are all special to me - they really are.''

McKay deflected praise for her achievement, instead heaping thanks on those who have supported her during her career.

''I have been very lucky and I have had a lot of support from my family, my friends, my staff and my neighbours.

''I just need to thank an awful lot of people, including all the owners. It has been amazing.''

The trainer rates her six wins in one day at Ascot Park in 2010 in partnership with former husband and training partner Ben Gordon as her career highlight.

''Winning six in a day at Ascot Park was probably the biggest feat. It was an awesome day,'' McKay said.

''We only had them in seven races and we won six, had a quinella and the other race we had one in we got third.''

McKay has nine stakes race successes with horses including Bus Us, Relampago, Hazard and Showemup.

Showemup will not be adding to McKay's tally of wins as she has been sold to clients of Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.

''If they can fix the problem she has had with hitting herself then they have got a very, very good horse - it's something we could not get on top of.

''The syndicate that have bought her have the 3yr-old, 2yr-old and yearling from the mare, so they know how good the family is.''

Seeing good horses leave is a reality for southern trainers and in the best interest of the horses, McKay said.

''I am thrilled that Showemup is getting an opportunity in a top stable.

''It is always nice to have a really good horse in the stable but it is hard to keep them in Southland.

''But really they need a lot of travelling and when you run a stable like I do it is hard because I try to do the majority of the work myself.''

Other trainers looking to mark a milestone would be well advised to take on a horse from the Invercargill based tri-code syndicate which races Miss Tuscan.

The syndicate helped Ascot Park harness racing trainer Murray Brown score his 500th win with its pacer Soapbox, last year.

Today's Wingatui jumpout fields, 10am start.-

Heat 1, maiden 800m: Battle Paint, Gemima, Nordea Wee Thing, Hot Diggitty, Lukka.

Heat 2, maiden 1000m: Parklane, Raise Us, Raise A Saint, Otago Flyer.

Heat 3, open 1000m: Saffhon, Hilarious, Miss Norway.

Today's Oamaru harness trial fields.-

Race 1, qualifying pace 2000m: Geordies Boy, Rock N Rod, Benz Buy, Boweden Emerald.

Race 2, qualifying trot 2500m: Nevernever Land, Majestic Rose, Superfast Ninja, Ken's Dream, Ridgemount Son.

Race 3, qualifying pace 2000m: Motu Top Mach, Burlington, Its Official Babe, Better Sensation.

Race 4, mobile pace 2000m: Playboys Brother; Motu Speedy Star.

Race 5, trot 2600m: Whatasister, Gorilla Playboy, Holdontoya Spurs.

Race 6; pace 2600m: The Edge Of Reason, Mickey Jay.

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