IN Racing
Times Ticking provides MacGregor with Trentham tonic
“To go and put it to them in a good race and bring home a fine bit of prizemoney, he is just a fantastic old horse."
Kevin Robertson, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | January 13, 2024
Times Ticking and Joe Doyle stride to victory the Gr.3 Mode Technology Trentham Stakes (2100m) on Saturday. Photo: Peter Rubery (Race Images Palmerston North)

Popular Opaki trainer Alby MacGregor was full of emotion as he welcomed his stable favourite Times Ticking back to the winners’ enclosure after a thrilling victory in the Gr.3 Mode Technology Trentham Stakes (2100m).

MacGregor, who is in his mid-seventies, hasn’t enjoyed the best of health in recent times but was on hand to see his pride and joy register his eleventh career success with a determined finish in the hands of Joe Doyle.

The well fancied Sagunto and rider Lisa Allpress set a hectic pace out in front and was more than a dozen lengths in front mid-way through the contest. The pair were still five lengths clear as they headed for home in the middle of the track as Allpress went in search of better footing despite the Good3 track rating.

At this stage Times Ticking and Doyle were still well back but winding up nicely as they hunted a run closer to the inside rail. Times Ticking burst through to head Sagunto at the 100m and held nicely to win by a long neck with Waisake flashing home late to snatch third from Nom De Plume.

MacGregor had a tear in his eye as he spoke with pride about his charge.

“I won my first race here back in 1974, but I can’t take all the credit for this one as my son (Dean) has had him down south for a day or two and has been doing the job,” MacGregor said.

“He’s a pretty handy horse and he is part of the family.

“I will have to talk to the boss (Dean) about where to next but he is taking him home tonight.”

Doyle was full of praise for the horse and his connections.

“He is the type of horse every small stable dreams of having,” Doyle said.

“To go and put it to them in a good race and bring home a fine bit of prizemoney, he is just a fantastic old horse.

“I was kind of comfortable where he was early on and they had said to me to have him where he was comfortable.

“When we turned in I was able to spy Sagunto and I was confident we could get him so well done to the horse.

“He is proven on all ground and at a mile to a mile and a quarter and I’m very grateful to have got the call to ride him.”

Bred by MacGregor and Vicki Lackner, Times Ticking has now won eleven of his 35 starts and over $425,000 in prizemoney. 

Times Ticking Alby MacGregor Gr.3 Mode Technology Trentham Stakes Joe Doyle Dean MacGregor Sagunto