A decision to send Military Man north to Alexandra Park’s Level 3 restricted meeting on Thursday night paid off for Cambridge trainers Andrew and Lyn Neal.
The husband and wife team were the only trainers outside of the Auckland Super City boundary to record a victory on the night, with the four-year-old entire breaking maiden ranks in the Smith & Partners Mobile Pace (2200m).
The Neal’s were pleased to get the win after a number of placings.
“It was well overdue, but he went super,” Lyn Neal said.
“His run two weeks ago had a lot of merit in it, when he sat parked, so that is why we went to all the effort to get him to the races.
“To be fair he just hasn’t had a draw. He hasn’t got a lot of gate speed, so drawing one on Thursday night he could use what he had.”
The Neal’s were unable to attend Thursday’s meeting as a result of COVID-19 Level 3 restrictions in Auckland, so they had to rely on the assistance of a couple of friends.
“John Dickie, who has been a close friend for a long time, rang us in the weekend and said if we had one to send up just send it to him,” Neal said.
“We thought Military Man was probably going to win his next start and it might as well be at Auckland, so we sent him to John’s and it was great that everything panned out.
“I put a stable change through for him on the Monday morning before I nominated him and he went to John’s on Thursday with all his feed and belongings.
“Josh (Dickie) took him to the races for us and luckily he didn’t have a drive in that particular race (so he was able to drive him).”
Neal said they also had to thank another close friend in Tony Shaw for getting Military Man across the Auckland Super City border.
“You had to have a licensed transporter take him into Auckland and bring him back,” Neal said.
“Tony has always been a good friend and he ran him up specially on Thursday and he was back home in his paddock by lunchtime on Friday.”
While pleased to get the maiden win with Military Man, Neal admitted to currently feeling a bit frustrated by another stable runner.
Nine-win trotter Credit Master had been destined to head south to Christchurch this spring to contest several feature trot races, however, those plans have now been shelved due to temperament issues.
“I think that run over 2200m (two starts back when finishing sixth) really got to him and then he went back a couple of weeks later and really didn’t want to be there,” Neal said.
“He had a complete meltdown and was just stressed out about everything, so we put him out for a couple of weeks.
“We have got him on a completely new diet now, something that John Dickie suggested. He is eating great and looks good.
“We will just see what happens, but he is just so difficult.”
While a southern campaign has been ruled out, Neal said their attention has now shifted to several feature northern races over the Christmas-New Year period.
“We were hoping to send him south, but his nature is not going to allow it, so we are just going to have to keep him up here and hopefully we will get some races where they are not going to have to be off such big back marks,” Neal said. – Cambridge Raceway
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