Distance no barrier to further success

Stephen McKee doesn’t see a drop back in distance at Arawa Park on Saturday as a problem for his prolific winner Spin Doctor.

The Ardmore-based trainer has enjoyed a lucrative preparation with the seven-year-old and the Gr.3 Lion Red Plate provides another good opportunity to further his record.

“There’s not a lot else around for him and going back to 1200 metres won’t bother him too much,” McKee said.

The conditions of the feature event will compensate after Spin Doctor lumped 61kg to a runaway win in an open 1400 metre sprint at Te Rapa earlier this month.

“The weight-for-age scale suits him now and he’ll be carrying less than he would in any other handicap,” McKee said.

Spin Doctor has been a revelation this year with a series of excellent performances through a preparation that opened with a runner-up finish behind Fix at Tauranga in March.

He has appeared a further eight times since for five wins and two placings with his only blemish coming in the Gr.3 Foxbridge Plate, in which he suffered a heart fibrillation.

The Pins gelding showed he had made a sound recovery with his most recent victory.

McKee will also be represented in the Lion Red Plate by the Group Three winner and Group One placegetter Little Wonder.

Third behind Bounding in the Railway Stakes earlier this year, he was unplaced when resuming at Ruakaka last month and McKee said he had showed subsequent improvement.

Other strong chances include the last-start winners Antonio Lombardo and Whosyourmaster while Ginner Hart might be the improver. He finished fifth when resuming at Hastings and he finished runner-up in this event last year behind Viadana. – NZ Racing Desk.

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