More to come for McKee pair

A delayed trip from their Ardmore base in Auckland was not enough to faze the Stephen McKee trained runners Neeson and Shadows who both notched impressive victories at Te Rapa on Saturday.
The McKee pair were caught up in heavy traffic congestion during their journey to Te Rapa with their transporter arriving on-course considerably later than planned. The delay had no ill-effects on either runner with Neeson taking out the fifth event on the card with a gritty on speed performance before Shadows produced a last-to-first effort in the final event of the day.
McKee, who was in Christchurch with 1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas contender Star Treasure, was blissfully unaware of the situation until told about it on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m glad I didn’t know about it on the day or it may have had me worried,” he said.
“I just managed to watch both races on the television and it was exciting to see them both put up a good performance.”
McKee, who has made a slow start to the season, was pleased to get a brace of wins on the scorecard.
“Neeson had gone well at his last start so I was expecting him to be thereabouts, but it was a very strong field for that grade of horse,” he said.
“He had to be tough as he was wide early on and then did the donkey work outside the speed. He was headed quite clearly in the run home but fought back nicely to grab a good win.
“He has started to relax well in his races and I think he could get up to a mile during this campaign, so we will take him along quietly and see if he can make it through the grades.”
Neeson is raced by Auckland Racing Club Board member Daniel Nakhle and his father Elias who also raced the O’Reilly gelding’s dam, Group Two winner Irish Colleen.
Four-year-old Thewayyouare gelding Shadows put up one of the performances of the day when he rounded up a quality field of rating 75 gallopers from last in the final event of the card.
“His was a top run as well as it was only his second start in this campaign,” said McKee.
“We’ve always fancied him as a handy stayer in the making but he was just too immature to really cope with a middle distance as a three-year-old.
“He’s come back far stronger this time in and he showed that with the way he picked them up pretty quickly in the run home on Saturday.
“He’s another we will try and take through the grades but a race like the Dunstan Feeds Stayers Championship at Ellerslie is one we have in mind for him.”

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