Aviator Navigates Win

Aviator Navigates Win

Bruce Stewart

Saturday 12th February 2022

In one of the most exciting Riverton Cups in years, Macandrew Aviator got himself off the canvas after being headed by hot favourite Pembrook Playboy to win today’s $20,000 feature by a nose.

The Panspacificflight gelding looked to be beaten halfway down the straight but found a mountain of tenacity and won by the barest of margins.

Macandrew Aviator warming up for Craig Ferguson

Trained by Kirstin Barclay he’s been one of the finds in the south this season and he continues to take the next step up in what can be a very tough grade.

After a good beginning driver Craig Ferguson took the five-year-old into the one one with Love On The Rock taking up the pacemaker’s role.

With a lap and a half to run Ferguson took Macandrew Aviator to the lead. With just over a lap to run Pembrook Play moved forward but was forced wide before slotting into the one one. With 400 metres to run driver Nathan Williamson moved Pembrook Playboy forward and it was game on.

With a lap to run Macandrew Aviator leads with Memphis Tennessee in the middle and Pembrook Playboy on the outside.

On straightening Ferguson glanced around expecting to run second but Macandrew Aviator had other ideas and despite being headed, Macandrew Aviator got the nod.

Macandrew Aviator (6) hangs on to win.

The owners reaction in the stand

Winning connections

Sponsor and connections with two cups!!

Macandrew Aviator was bred by vet Megan Tutty and was named after a subdivided block of land in Riversdale, and one of the horse’s breeders who has his pilot’s license.

“I was doing a lot of work at Macca Lodge at the time and Brent (McIntyre) was bringing in Panspacificflight semen. He said he crosses best with Artsplace mares, and I happened to get one (Arts Mistress),” Megan said.

Arts Mistress was trained by Ascot Park trainer Murray Brown for the Highlander Syndicate and was placed a number of times from ten starts. The syndicate bred from her for a number of seasons before Tutty took her on in the mid 2000s.

“He’s only the second horse we’ve bred so the win today was pretty awesome. The other one was Macandrew Majic which Tony Stratford trained. He won a race and then split a pastern.”

It was noted by the ownership group that in all of the horses wins he’s either been number one, number six or sixteen.

“Sixteen is my lucky number so that’s quite handy.”

Interestingly the horses winning divided today was $6-60.

Megan said all of the credit for Macandrew Aviator’s rich vein of form must go to his Tisbury trainer. It was Barclay’s third Riverton Cup in as many years.

“He’s massive and very athletic so it’s just been time. Kirstin has taken her time with him. When he first went to the workouts, she said ‘let him choose the pace.”

Macandrew Aviator was bred by Megan along with her father Mark Reidie, and brothers Andrew and Jamie Reidie.

“We leased out a half share to a syndicate that my dad’s in (Kiwi Connection Syndicate). They’re all members of the Waikiwi Rugby Club.”

Today’s win was the horse’s sixth in just twenty starts and he now has two cups on the mantelpiece – the Cromwell and Riverton Cups.

Meanwhile the full set of Harness Racing Annuals that have been on Trade Me raising funds for Team Teal were sold today for $810.00.

Kindly donated by Southern racing personality Art Bloxham, the set created spirited bidding and the auction winner is believed to be Te Anau trainer Wayne ‘Ox’ McEwan.

The Riverton Trotting Club thanks all those who took part in the auction.

The next Riverton meeting will be held at the Central Southland Raceway in Winton on Friday 4th March.

The day includes a $12,000 Two-Year-Old Fillies race over 1609 metres, the second heat of the Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes worth $15,000, a $12,000 Gold Chip Final, a $12,000 Nugget Final and the third heat of the Southern Belle Speed Series worth $12,000 and run over the mile. There are also plenty of opportunities for trainers to use junior drivers across the day. The meeting starts at 3pm.