Mackay Shifts Into Gear At Richmond

SPEED machine Straight Shift will be aimed towards the Richmond Cannonball after equaling the track’s 330 metre track record on Wednesday afternoon.

Adam Dobbin

24 February 2021

SPEED machine Straight Shift will be aimed towards the Richmond Cannonball (400m) after equaling the track’s 330 metre track record on Wednesday afternoon.

The high flying son of Fernando Bale, trained by Jason Mackay, recorded a sizzling 18.36 to notch up his 23rd race win, joining prolific winning race bitch Caviar Quality in the record books.

And while elated with the performance, Mackay says with enough opportunity, the brindle flyer will make the record his own.

“I really do think he’ll ping away properly and run 18.20 odd one day,” Mackay said.

“He’s run 18.38 and 18.36 in a race now and he trialled 18.38 one morning as well going 4.39 early.

“Years ago a dog like him would be in New Zealand because there’d be no opportunities for him here but things have changed.  

“Providing he stays sound I reckon he could win 50 or 60 races. He’s just a professional little chaser.”

Straight Shift is a younger half brother to Turbo Thomas which Mackay guided to a record breaking 17 straight TAB victories in 2019.

“He’s on the way back from a cracked hock and ruptured ligament,” Mackay said.

“I’d say he’s on his last legs though. But the Richmond straight track might work in well for him without having to put pressure on the hock on the turns.”

On Friday night, Mackay returns to Richmond with Avalanche engaged in heat two of the Group 2 Richmond Derby while Aston Reward steps out in heat one of the Group 2 Richmond Oaks.

Mackay is no stranger to success in the Derby scoring previously with Bogie Brave and Path To Power, while he’s also landed an Oaks courtesy of Zipping Catra.

“I’ve thrown Avalanche to the wolves running into Wow,” Mackay said.

“If he could make the final it’d be a win. He hasn’t raced for six months and I’ve been struggling to find a race for him so he had to start somewhere.

“Aston Reward is a good chance in her Oaks heat. If ever there’s a bitch that suits Richmond it’s her.

“There’s 33 ½ kilos of her and she went 5.23 early when she won last week in 30.60. I think she can get down to 30.50 which should make her hard to beat.”