FEATURE RACE COMMENT
The Armbro Invasion 7-year-old furthered a great trot for trainer Kevin Fairbairn in such events lately, with Whatsundermykilt having won the $30,000 Ashburton Flying Mile in 1:57.6 before downing Glenbogle in the $35,000 trot at Kaikoura, and he will now take a two-pronged attack into tomorrow's Group 1 $75,000 NZ Trotting FFA.
Whatsundermykilt was a scratching on Tuesday, but there was nothing amiss with the 8-year-old Sundon gelding. "He is a more lightly framed horse and didn't need two runs in three days, but Glenbogle is a fat bugger just like me, and did need the race - it won't do him any harm anyway," said Fairbairn.
Glenbogle and Whatsundermykilt, the second and third foals from Happy Highlander, a winning trotting mare by Kiltie Boy whose next two dams were by Record Time and Colossal, have returned in rare form this season and Fairbairn says it is simply due to an injury-free and uninterrupted preparation. "Whatsundermykilt put his foot through a grate at the trials here at the start of last season and was lucky not to take his leg off, and that set us back for the rest of the year. Glenbogle had a few niggles along the way as well, but has been perfect so far this time."
Glenbogle began last season well when second at Ashburton to Allegro Agitato and third in the corresponding race last year, but placings continued to be his lot, outside of a win in the Bruce Skeggs Cup at Cranbourne in March. He was runner-up on six occasions during last season's lengthy Australian campaign, which included the Bill Collins Mile, Dullard Cup, Cochran Cup and John Slack Memorial Cup at Ballarat. The latter was won by Whatsundermykilt and the Kaikoura race was the fifth time the half-brothers have quinallaed a feature trot, with the score at present 3-3 to Whatsundermykilt, which all began when Glenbogle upset his stablemate at odds of 30-to-1 in an intermediate trot on Cup Day three years ago. "If they can keep going like this, Happy Highlander must be in the running for a broodmare award, which wouldn't be a bad effort for a mare with such an obscure pedigree."
Young Shane Walkinshaw also won with Whatsundermykilt at Ashburton and Kaikoura, and while he considered winning with Glenbogle and also Woodlea Life on Cup Day as a career highlight, he will be back on the former tomorrow. "There really isn't much between them, but whereas Glenbogle has been a real tradesman, Whatsundermykilt has the razzamatazz. We are only starting to see the best of him now - he has real quick speed when peeling off someone's back."
Walkinshaw, who turned 21 last week, has a cool head for such young shoulders and is a rare talent. Not really from a 'trotting' background, he nevertheless 'caught the bug' at a very early age just from being around the odd horse. He father Paul was a hobby trainer during the 90s, where his best horse was Battle Cruiser (3 wins). Ricky May drove a bit for Dad and he became my idol - I wanted to be a driver and just like him," said Walkinshaw.
"Winning a race on Cup Day was always a dream. I left school when I was sixteen, but the last year I was only there because I had to be," he added. Walkinshaw spent a year with Tommy Behrns and did further work experience in other stables before joining Bruce Negus three years ago.
Credit: Frank Marrion writing in HRWeekly 16Nov06