Southland’s Top Horses To Trial Early Next Month

Southland’s Top Horses To Trial Early Next Month

Bruce Stewart

19th August 2021

Southland’s best pacers are gearing up for what could be a defining season.

Robyns Playboy, Vintage Cheddar, U May Cullect and Pembrook Playboy are all progressing well as they gear up for the Hannon Memorial next month.

Owner Tom Kilkelly said trainer Kirstin Barclay is happy with the progress of U May Cullect, and is keen to give him a trial at the Wyndham HRC meeting on the 9th September.

“We’ll have to ask the stipes but we’d like to have a run at Wyndham with the other three horses. Hopefully we can get a stand start. The public will be able to see the Cup horses which is great, and if we take them there the horses get to think it’s race day. There are no races set for us between now and the Hannon,” Kilkelly said.

U May Cullect

U May Cullect has had a number of leg issues in the past but there’s no sign of any problems this time in.

“Kirstin is happy with him. There’ve been no problems whatsoever. She virtually lives on his legs, he gets cream on every day and they get wrapped.”

Meanwhile co-trainer Ross Wilson is happy with the progress of Robyns Playboy.

“He’s had a big spell, about five months, but he probably needed it. He should be rejuvenated. We’re pretty pleased with him. We were hoping to go to the workouts with him this weekend but that’s not happening,” Wilson said.

Robyn Playboy

Vintage Cheddar is also making good progress as he aims to start his New Zealand Cup quest at Oamaru.

He hit a purple patch of form at the New Zealand Cup meeting last season, winning the Junior Free For All. He won three races and was placed six times in seventeen starts.

Vintage Cheddar

After his last run at Invercargill in early May the six year old had five weeks off.

“He needed the break. It’s been a big season for him. He’s put on a bit of weight, probably more muscle than anything,” said Alister Black who trains the gelding. He’s been in work for about sixteen weeks.

Black said  “He’s had plenty. He’s had three trips up to Winton for private runs. I’ve made some changes to his training leading into this year’s cup campaign. I’ve increased his workload and made a few changes to his diet so he doesn’t get too big and heavy.”

Meanwhile two of Black’s three year olds are also gearing up for the new season.

Idealism and Keep On Dreaming are in work and their early season aim is the South Of The Waitaki on Show Day at Addington. Black said both horses are in their third week of hopple work.

“Idealism has grown a lot.”


The American Ideal gelding last started in the Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes, finishing third to Ragazzo Mach. He won twice in a campaign limited to just five starts.

Keep On Dreaming started six times winning three races. He also finished his season in May, running tenth in the Supremacy.

“I think he’s grown outwards instead of upwards. He’s quite a nuggetty little bull now. It should be quite a good season for both horses.”

Keep On Dreaming

Most of Black’s rising two year olds are completing their second preparation and the one he likes the most at the moment is Captain Tom. He’s by Captaintreacherous out of the unraced Bettor’s Delight mare Bettor Go, and is a half -brother to Ghostwriter and Willie Go West.

“He’s the pick of them at the moment.”

Ian and Lindsay Thomson paid $32,000 for the horse at February’s National Yearling Sale in Christchurch.

Across the road at Branxholme, Pembrook Playboy has had a relatively short spell of three and a half weeks after finishing his season in the Uncut Gems in Auckland.

“I just thought with our wet winter that he was better in the box, doing some exercise and ticking over. It seems to have worked because he’s working well and looks great,” said trainer Nathan Williamson. “He’s two weeks away from having a workout or trial but I may just take him to the Wyndham trial. But if the lockdown goes on for weeks that could interrupt our preparation.”

Pembrook Playboy

Williamson says he’s worried about the current Covid lockdown and managing the twenty horses he has in work without outside help.

“It’s the biggest team I’ve ever had, and you can imagen how big a stretch it is for me having to look after them.”

Meanwhile quality trotter Chinese Whisper is back in work and getting ready for another season.

“He’ll start fast work next week. He’s had a bit of a foot issue but we’re on top of that. We’ll look at kicking him off sometime in October. He’s probably six weeks away from trialling.”

Chinese Whisper