Horse Racing

JJ Atkins contender Tiger Of Malay enjoys a change of scenery with an equestrian session

Tiger Of Malay will strut into Eagle Farm on Saturday with a spring in his step thanks to Olympians Peter and Michelle McMahon who have spent the past week putting the expensive colt through his paces at equestrian.

While most horses are sent around a racetrack in the lead-up to a Group 1, trainers Richard and Michael Freedman opted for the opposite as they look to replicate his impressive Group 2 Sires’ Produce victory a fortnight ago.

Peter McMahon – who represented Australia at equestrian in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing – said it has been a case of stimulating the two-year-old and teaching him some new tricks in order to squeeze the most out of him on the racetrack.

“These young colts like to be stimulated and do different things,” he said.

“We gave him a bit of a jump and really freshened him up, just a change of scenery really.

“We’d like to think we can recharge their batteries a little bit, every horse is different but it is trying to find a happy medium where they are fresh and happy.”

McMahon also broke in the likes of Farnan, Kings Legacy, Houtzen and Anders at his Kolora Lodge property, 25 minutes out of Brisbane.

Tiger Of Malay goes into the JJ Atkins after winning the BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes. Picture: Trackside Photography,Source:Supplied

After spending a week at the property leading up to his Sires’ victory, Newgate Farm managing director Henry Field said the decision was made to send Tiger Of Malay back to McMahon ahead of the JJ Atkins.

“What a great bit of thinking by Michael Freedman,” Field said.

“He spent the week under the care of Peter McMahon and got immediate results.”

McMahon said schooling a horse in equestrian gives them balance and a sense of direction they otherwise wouldn’t learn at a racetrack.

“They get sick of going around and around so sometimes when you get them in the arena they are flat out holding themselves in a canter,” he said.

“Hopefully when (Tiger Of Malay) goes back he is a lot straighter and more balanced. A lot of these young horses, they are still very green and uneducated.

“To get that under their belt and to get them balanced – they are going to be so much more advanced when they get back into work.”

Golden Slipper winner Stay Inside is currently undergoing the same training as Newgate Farm attempt to further his stallion credentials as a three-year-old in the spring.

While it is not unusual for McMahon to teach battle-hardened racehorses, he said it was out-of-the-box thinking for many.

“It is great to get results for people like Michael Freedman and Henry Field who have made the call to send some of their horses to us,” he said.

“We have done a few things like that under the radar, especially if a horse has been up for a while and they are just not quite putting in.

“If we can get that extra few per cent out of them, it can turn them from a Group 2 horse to a Group 1 horse.”

Originally published asOlympian applies finishing touch to Tiger’s JJ tilt

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