By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Cambridge trainer Kyle Marshall took a big punt at the yearling sales last year when he paid good money for a couple of nice yearlings, and his bravery is paying off in a big way.
Marshall went to $60,000 to secure Son Of Mac out of Leanach Lodge’s 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbred National Yearling Sale draft and went to the same amount to buy Yogi Son out of Breckon Farms’ draft.
The talented horseman is now campaigning both horses down south and has a major chance of bringing home a Group One victory when Son Of Mac lines-up in the Gr.1 Woodlands Stud Sires’ Stakes Final (1980m) at Addington Raceway on Tuesday.
The American Ideal colt has made a flying start to his southern campaign, running third in the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 3 – 2YO C & G Mobile Pace (1980m) at Addington Raceway last month, before returning to the Christchurch venue to comfortably win his 1980m event last start.
“It means a lot to come down here and accomplish what we have been targeting, and to have a good realistic chance on Tuesday makes it even better,” Marshall said.
“It is a good to reward for the owners who supported me at the yearling sales and now they have a runner on Cup Day.
“He is really well at the moment, I couldn’t be happier with him.”
Marshall was full of nerves on Wednesday as he waited to see what barrier his charge would draw, and he was delighted with his marble of three.
“I kept refreshing the page waiting for the field to come out and I am stoked to get that draw,” he said.
“Robbie (Close) will drive him. I think in the bigger races you have just got to be out there all of the time, and I can’t fault Robbie’s driving at the moment.”
While Marshall is looking forward to Cup Day, he is excited about the prospects of Yogi Son who will have his first southern start at Rangiora on Friday in the Rangiora Farrier Shop Mobile Trot (2000m).
“He trained well on Wednesday,” Marshall said. “It is not a bad field with a couple of other two-year-olds in there. We will get a good line on him on Friday.
“He has kept on improving since he has been down here. Both of the horses have really matured.”
Marshall is enjoying his first South Island campaign and has relished using the facilities at Bob Butt’s Woodend Beach stables.
“The horses are at Bob Butt’s place. They have got great facilities here with a pool, the beach, and two very good tracks,” Marshall said.
“I love it down here, there are a lot of great people who are willing to help, which has been awesome.”