EMOTIONS were running high following Mackalan’s Sapling Stake victory at Globe Derby last night.
Remaining unbeaten from two starts, Mackalan is part-owned by the estate of Alan Coventry, who died earlier this year.
Known for his passion for harness racing, Coventry regarded Mackalan as “his favourite yearling” after purchasing the son of Mach Three from the Australian Pacing Gold Autumn Sale.
“It’s sad that Alan never got to see him race,” trainer Tyson Linke said. “Alan was always chuffed to watch his horses race and win and this bloke was his favourite yearling.
“To win a feature with this horse in Alan’s memory is wonderful and I’m sure Alan was looking down and smiling.”
Driven by Australian champion reinswoman Dani Hill, Mackalan gained the run of the race from his inside of the back row draw after following Disclosure, which led from the pole.
Utilising the sprint lane during the concluding stages, the colt completed a metre-and-a-half win from Above Average, with Culture King three metres away third in 1:59.8 over 1800 metres.
“I expected him to go well before the race, but during it I was pretty worried,” Linke said. “He over raced and I thought given the amount he had pulled he would have run his race before they hit the straight.
“Thankfully he kept finding and came away with the win.
“In his first start last week he was too calm, so I tried to make some changes and he came out like an idiot and pulled hard.
“It’s just one of those things…I was a bit too easy on him and he was feeling too good about himself, but he stuck on which was good.”
Setting his sights on the Alabar Golden Nursery with the two-year-old, Linke will then aim Mackalan at the Southern Cross Series later in the season.
“The Golden Nursery in a couple of weeks is the next race for him,” Linke said. “He is eligible for the APG Autumn Series, but it clashes with the Southern Cross, which is what we will aim for instead.”