IN Racing
Group One jockey nabs first training success
Shaun McKay is on the board as a trainer after guiding Wolfgang to victory on the Cambridge Synthetic on Wednesday.
NZ Racing Desk | August 31, 2022
Shaun McKay and his father and training partner Peter. Photo: Race Images

Shaun McKay is on the board as a trainer after guiding Wolfgang to a 3-1/4 length victory in the Enigma Farm 1300 on the Cambridge Synthetic on Wednesday.

While it was McKay’s fourth start as a trainer, the Group One-winning jockey needs no introduction to punters, having tasted plenty of success in the saddle over the last decade, something he continued when piloting Wolfgang to victory at Cambridge.

McKay entered a training partnership with his father Peter at the start of the season and they were pleased to record their first win for the partnership.

“It was good to get it (win) in my second ride (for the partnership) and fourth training together,” McKay said.

Group Three performer Wolfgang also broke through for his maiden win at the 12th time of asking, having previously placed in the Listed Wellesley Stakes (1100m) and Gr.3 Woburn Farm 2YO Classic (1200m).

Things didn’t go to plan in his three-year-old term, spending some time on the side-lines through a foot issue, but McKay said he seems to be back to his best ahead of spring racing.

“We have always had a high opinion of him, things just haven’t quite gone his way,” McKay said.

“He had a minor setback as a three-year-old and we had to put him out in the paddock.

“He had a burst out in his hoof. We thought he may have gone sore in his shoulders, but it was that.

“He has come up well this season and his trial and win today was quite convincing.

“I think he is going to improve the further he gets.”

The Matamata trainers are now looking toward the Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival with the son of Puccini.

“Hopefully he can go to Hawke’s Bay now off that. We will see how he pulls up to see whether he goes to the first or middle day,” McKay said.

“We will slowly step him up in distance and if he continues to show what he did today then there will be some nice staying races for him.”

Later on the card, McKay rode stablemate Giacomo to a third-placing in the Garrard’s Horse & Hound 970.

“It was good to get the placing,” McKay said. “Going back from 1300m to 970m, he was left a bit flat-footed today, but he needed another run before he went to Hastings.

“He is coming up well and is another that gets better over further ground.”

McKay is enjoying his time training and said it is always something that he has looked toward as a career post-riding.

“I am really enjoying it at the moment and it is something I can look forward to as a career in the future,” he said.

“It is good that I can still ride and train.”

While he is enjoying training, McKay has no intention of giving up riding in the near future.

“I am still looking at riding for another season or two,” he said. “I still love riding and it is something I will continue to do for as long as I can.”

Shaun McKay Peter McKay Wolfgang Puccini Giacomo