May and Hill double up at Motukarara

by Dave Di Somma, HRNZ News Desk

On a day when he reined home two winners and also had three placings, Ricky May was especially impressed with the performance of Sargent Best at Motukarara yesterday.

The Art Major five-year-old charged from from being well back to nudge Radioactive Jaffa on the line in Race 8 the Creedwood Equine Agistment Pace. Paying $11.50 and $2.80 it was Sargent Best’s fourth win in 31 starts.

“It was a good effort,” says May, “any horse that’s come from last at Motukarara has done a good job.”

Officially the margin was half a head.

“I thought it was lot closer that,” says May, “closer to a nose but I thought I’d done enough.”

The victory gave Ricky May and trainer Brendon “Benny’ Hill a double for the day, after Matador had earlier won race 2, the Graham Bunz Memorial Pace. May and Hill go way back now, highlighted by their back-to-back New Zealand Cup successes with Monkey King in 2009 and 2010.

Matador was three back the fence before getting out turning for home to record his first win in 11 starts.

“He’s a funny horse but he felt good and sprinted well once the gap opened up for him.”

The Raging Bull four-year-old paid $8.70, beating the favourite Michael Caine by more than a length.

“I thought he was a bit overdue.”

May also had a third with another Hill runner in Bad Hombre, and placings with Tremendous Lover (2nd in race 9) and Roydon Muscle (3rd in race 5).

The favourite in Race 3, Bad Hombre sat parked and looked likely before fading.

“On the face of it he looked slightly disappointing but it wasn’t a bad run.”

May noted that no horses during the day were winning after either leading or sitting parked. Coming from off the pace was a recurring theme.

It’s been a flying start to 2023 for May – he has four winners so far – and with Ben Hope being out suspended it’s likely he’ll have plenty of chances to add to his tally when he drives for Greg and Nine Hope at Nelson this Friday and Sunday.