Wild Range Photography/Supplied
U May Cullect is getting ready for the New Zealand Trotting Cup.
Top Southland racehorse U May Cullect is on the comeback trail with his short-term goal being the New Zealand Trotting Cup in Christchurch in November.
U May Cullect was preparing for the Cup last year when a tendon injury forced him into nine months of rehabilitation.
Owner Tom Kilkelly, of Invercargill, said the tendon had healed and U May Cullect returned to the Oreti Beach stable of Paul Ellis and Kirstin Barclay three or four weeks ago.
His rehabilitation was done at the trainers’ stable-training facility at Tisbury. The recovery plan, mapped out by Dunedin veterinarian Peter Gillespie, was for U May Cullect to be kept in a loose box, with the only exercise being walking and slow trotting.
* Fairytale story halted as injury shatters New Zealand Cup dream
* A season to remember for harness racing trainers Barclay and Ellis
* Meet Southland’s favourite horse, U May Cullect
* All eyes on U May Cullect’s Addington race debut
Kilkelly said he “couldn’t be happier” with U May Cullect’s progress since resuming serious training.
“I can’t speak highly enough of Peter Gillespie.”
Tendon issues over the years have restricted the 7-year-old gelding to eight race-starts. However, he has gained a large following with his seven impressive wins, including one in Christchurch.
Barclay and Ellis were 14th equal, with 28 wins, on the national trainers’ premiership for the 2019-20 season, which finished on Friday. The pair were second to Nathan Williamson (30) on the Southland premiership.
Williamson was also the top Southland driver for season with 50 wins. The Branxholme horseman trained and drove two winners at Ascot Park on Thursday. They were Chinese Whisper and Flight Crew.
Meanwhile, Kelvin and Aimee Tyler, with 33 wins, were the province’s top thoroughbred trainers for 2019-20.
Southland’s top greyhound trainer, Brett Conner, prepared 10 winners.