VETERAN Warrnambool trainer Merv McKenzie showed his loyalty to jockey Jarrod Fry by keeping the underrated hoop on his handy sprinter A Good Yarn for a race at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Fry, who has ridden A Good Yarn to three of his six victories including his last at Geelong, will ride the seven-year-old in Saturday's $125,000 race but champion jockey Damian Lane put up his hand for the mount in the 1000-metre event.
McKenzie said Fry had a good understanding of the speedy sprinter.
"I got a call from Damian's manager chasing the ride on A Good Yarn," he said.
"Damian has ridden a few horses for me over the years.
"It was nice to get the call but I never thought of taking Jarrod off the horse.
"Jarrod's been loyal to me and I would like to think I've been loyal to him.
"He's a very underrated jockey and understands A Good Yarn really well."
A Good Yarn has drawn barrier two in the speed test.
McKenzie believes it's an ideal gate for the lightly-raced galloper.
"I've got no complaints about the barrier or the 1000 metres," he said.
"Jarrod should be able to just jump and run from that barrier.
"There's a couple of handy horses in the race but my bloke is going well.
"I gave him a gallop on the fibre at Warrnambool earlier in the week and for the last few days he's been down the beach.
"He's in good shape and with any luck should run really well."
McKenzie said he had options for A Good Yarn. "I could have run him in a $30,000 race at Ballarat's synthetic track but I decided to come to town," he said.
"The $125,000 race is great prize-money for a battling country trainer."
Bookmakers have installed A Good Yarn as a $5.50 chance in the early betting markets.
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