Local racehorse owner Colin McKenna tastes success at Caulfield and Rosehill on Saturday

Jockey Craig Williams urges Gregers to victory in the group 3 Spring Series Stakes at Caulfield. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Jockey Craig Williams urges Gregers to victory in the group 3 Spring Series Stakes at Caulfield. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

WITHIN 25 minutes on Saturday, Woolsthorpe’s Colin McKenna enjoyed double black type success as an owner when horses he part-owns won races at Caulfield and Rosehill.

Talented mare Gregers, bred at The Union at Woolsthorpe by McKenna and his wife Janice, won the  group 3 $150,000 Spring Series Stakes in Melbourne, while the imported galloper Greatwood took out the listed $100,000 Premier’s Cup in Sydney.

Top trainer David Hayes puts the polish on the four-year-old Gregers and the English-bred five-year-old Greatwood is prepared by Gai Waterhouse.

McKenna’s day didn’t finish there. 

He is also in the ownership of the Ciaron Maher-trained Marksmanship, which ran third in the Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock Stakes at Caulfield and another import Bonfire the second placegetter to Greatwood in the 1800-metre race.

The Warrnambool businessman described the results from Saturday as terrific.

“All the horses are being aimed at feature races in the spring so it was great they ran so well today,” McKenna said. 

“I’ve got small shares in the horses as we race them with other people. 

“I’ve got a real soft spot for Gregers because Janice and I bred her out at The Union.

“David is confident she will keep on running well over the spring.

“Gai was really happy with the efforts of Greatwood and Bonfire. She is earmarking some of the future staying races over the spring carnival for both horses.”

Hayes said he was keeping his options open about when Gregers may have her next start but he favoured the group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 28.

“We’ll consider the Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in two weeks but I really like the idea of heading into the Sir Rupert Clarke with fresh legs,” Hayes said. 

“I don’t think the month between runs will hurt her. There’s always a risk that if you peak in winter that you can be left with nothing when it matters. 

“The Myer Classic is her ultimate goal or we could even switch back to the sprints. 

“I just want to avoid a clash with Lankan Rupee.”

Saturday’s win took Gregers’ record to six wins from 15 starts. She also has four minor placings to her credit.

Waterhouse described Greatwood and his stablemate Bonfire as horses still getting used to Australia conditions.

“They’re both lovely European stayers that take different courses now and I believe there is further improvement in them,” she said. 

“Greatwood will stay here (Sydney) and progress towards the Metropolitan Handicap,  while Bonfire will go to Melbourne and prepare for the Caulfield Cup.”

Greatwood defeated Bonfire by 1¾ lengths, with He’s Your Man a half-neck back in third.