MAYGROVE added another major cup to its collection when winning the $100,000 Counties Cup at Pukekohe on Saturday.
With a total of nine wins and more than $450,000 in the bank, Maygrove has become one of the crowd favourites in New Zealand and despite carrying top weight of 60kg, the seven-year-old was able to hold off the challengers.
A $7.60 chance at Neds.com.au coming into the race, Maygrove wasn’t one of the more fancied runners because of its weight, but travelling jockey Johnathan Parkes was able to find a forward position and fight doggedly to the line.
“He’s a cracker horse isn’t he?” Parkes said. “To be able to carry 60 kilos. It’s a super effort with the weight.
“The gaps came quite nicely in the straight and he was headed halfway down, but he’s kept on giving.”
Co-trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman weren’t on hand following the race, but JML Bloodstock manager Bruce Perry was. Perry went close in the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes with Francaletta, but was happy to settle for the cup win.
“He’s a star. We didn’t expect him to win as we thought the weight would be too much,” Perry said. “At one stage he wasn’t going to come here because he doesn’t normally like coming this way around, but we thought he’d drop in rating points and we’d be competitive next time.
“This makes up for Francaletta’s good performance.”
Perry doesn’t think Maygrove will return to Trentham for the Wellington Cup and believes it might be forced to running at weight-for-age level.
“I’ll leave that to Murray and Andrew. We might have to go weight-for-age,” he said. “He’s not a weight-for-age horse, but we might be forced into it.
“We’ll probably stay away from that (Wellington Cup), but we’ll see what happens.
“I just do what I’m told.”