By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
This spring is gearing up to be an exciting one for Kyle Marshall.
The Cambridge horseman is gearing up for his first campaign down south and will give his key raider Son Of Mac one final hit-out at his home track on Thursday night.
Features races in the crosshairs for the colt include the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million C&G (1980m) at Addington Raceway on October 14 and the Gr.1 Sires’ Stakes 2YO C&G Final (1980m) at the Christchurch track on Cup Day.
“It will be the first time I will travel down south with a horse, so I am really looking forward to that,” Marshall said.
Son Of Mac, a $60,000 NZB Standardbred Yearling Sale purchase, will make an important stepping-stone towards his southern campaign when he contests the Woodlands Stud Sires’ Stakes Heat 2 Mobile Pace (1700m) at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday.
The son American Ideal impressed when winning first-up at the Waikato track last month and has since recovered from a health setback.
Marshall said he has fully recovered and he pleased his conditioner when winning a 2200m workout a fortnight ago.
“I am really excited to get him back to the races healthy,” Marshall said.
“We had to scratch him last start with him being a bit under the weather but he has bounced back and he had a good trial a fortnight ago and we are really happy with him.”
Son Of Mac will be met by a quality line-up on Thursday, including undefeated
Group Two winner Merlin, and Marshall said his colt will benefit from is handy barrier of three.
“It is a high-quality field and he has drawn well. I will have to make good use of the draw,” he said.
“Merlin is going to be hard to beat, he seems to be an exceptional horse.”
Son Of Mac is set to be joined on the float trip south by stablemate Yogi Son.
“I am also taking Yogi Son down there and he is going to stay down there until the end of the year and then come back up,” Marshall said.
“There are limited opportunities for two-year-old trotters up here and he needs to gain experience.”
Marshall will also line-up a couple of other runners at Cambridge on Thursday, including in-form mare Whooshka in the Ike Unsworth Colliers Mobile Pace (2700m).
The daughter of Sportswriter has won two and placed in two of her four starts this preparation and Marshall is hoping she can add a third on Thursday.
“She had six months off and that has done her the world of good,” he said.
“She has been racing consistently. She was beaten by a couple of nice horses. Her form his stacking up nicely.”
Rounding out Marshall’s team will be Tennessee Honey in the IRT Mobile Pace (2200m).
“I have changed her work around completely. I have left her on the fresh side so we will see how she goes this week,” he said.
Marshall will also take the reins behind the Ross Paynter trained pair of Mont Blanc and Miss You Bromac.
“Mont Blanc did everything right on the weekend (when winning his 2200m workout) and he tries. If he does everything right I am sure he can be right in it,” Marshall said.
“I think Miss You Bromac has had five or six starts for Ross and she has never had a good draw.
“She is probably a horse that needs to draw well. She trialled against Son Of Mac a fortnight ago and trialled quite well. She just needs a bit of luck.”
Marshall is also excited about the chances of his final drive Hughie Wallace in the Christmas @ The Raceway, Tickets On Sale Now Trot (2200m).
“He is a lovely trotter and he is still learning,” Marshall said.
“He was beaten by a better horse last start (when runner-up) but he did everything right. It is a huge field but I am sure he will handle that.”