Ron McCullagh could almost call himself a local at Horsham despite the six hour round trip from his kennels in Lara.
As a self-confessed fan of the redeveloped Horsham track and its long straights, McCullagh has that summer glow of happiness after his home-bred star Summer Skye lit Horsham alright with a win in the $15,000-to-the-winner Presidents Cup on Tuesday 18 September.
With experience on the track and distance (11 starts for five wins and five minor placings), Summer Skye was the $2.20 favourite over fellow Lara trained Milky Jones (Jeff Britton) to win the Horsham Clubs second biggest event of the year – only second behind the Group 2 $67,000 Horsham Cup.
Watch Summer Skye win the 2018 Presidents Cup from box two.
“I couldn’t be happier with her win,” Ron McCullagh said.
“She is no champion, but she is in really good form at the moment which extremely rewarding when you have done everything with them from choosing their breeding, to whelping, breaking and racing.”
Summer Skye, the daughter of Fernando Bale and Motorette, has now accumulated more than $45,000 in prize money from her 44 start career (14 wins and 15 minor placings).
Despite spending a lot of time on provincial tracks from Warrnambool to Bendigo, Summer Skye has showed class at The Meadows over the 525m and she now has McCullagh looking at Sandown’s 515m.
“She likes the 520 at The Meadows – she is a hard chaser and likes the rails, plus she has great field sense,” McCullagh said.
Summer Skye ran second at The Meadows in a Grade 5 Final to Mario Briganti’s Undisputed three days prior to her Presidents Cup win, and admitted it was a last minute decision to enter Summer Skye in the Presidents Cup heats.
“She had won her heat of the Grade 5 Final at The Meadows on a Wednesday, with the final being run on the following Saturday – 10 days later. I saw that there weren’t a lot of nominations for the Cup so put her in.”
“It was a big ask for her to back up three days later.”
Summer Skye’s $15,000 to-the-winner Presidents Cup saw her jump to lead in Horsham’s Greyhound Of The year.
“It is great that country clubs can put on races with this type of prize money – and it was great to see plenty of regulars in the Cup too,” McCullagh said.
McCullagh runs a small team of greyhounds at his Lara property – priding himself in the quality of his line which dates back more than 35 years and five generations.