Tassie gelding on borrowed time

Tough Tassie gelding Geejayhaitch is racing on borrowed time but trainer Walter McShane reckons there’s at least another year left in the old boy.  The seven year-old gelding was injured during his last-start victory in the Grey Boots Hcp (3100m) at Sandown and won’t race again until 2011.

“He struck a pastern so I’ve had to tip him out,” McShane said shortly after the gelding improved his record to 6 wins in just 31 starts.  “He’s a wet-tracker and will be back to fight another day next year.”

McShane has prepared Geejayhaitch with the aid of a water treadmill since the gelding broke down at Sandown in 2007.  “He trots up to 14 kilometres every second day in the water,” McShane said.  “It keeps him fit without the wear and tear on his legs.”

Geejayhaitch is a seven year-old by Lunchtime sire Matsqui who stands at McShane’s property at Broadmarsh.  He won 6 races in New Zealand and was runner-up in a G1 Easter Hcp at Ellerslie before crossing the Tasman to win the Listed Doomben Classic in May 1995.

Matsqui has sired 54 winners at a 56% strike-rate.  Now 19, he’s expecting no more than a handful foals this spring on the back of a $2,750 service fee.

Geejayhaitch is one of two winners for the Armidale Stud bred mare Aliocha Lady who won five races up to 2100m at Elwick.  His year younger brother Weaverboy has won four races to date for McShane.

Aliocha Lady also has unraced colts by Atlantis Prince and Matsqui on the horizon.  Atlantis Prince was raced by Sheikh Mohammed to win the G2 Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot.  He was the only son of Tagula based in Australia but didn’t fire in five seasons at Broadmarsh.

McShane races Geejayhaitch with publican Geoff (Joseph) Hoare hence the name.  The injury-plagued stayer is the best horse McShane has trained since he crossed Bass Strait with Bastille Beggar in the 1970s.  He was by Lanesborough and won a string of races at Moonee Valley as well as the George Adams Hcp in Launceston.

Lanesborough is the most successful stallion to ever stand in Tasmania.  He sired 1970 Caulfield Cup winner Beer Street and 1972 Melbourne Cup winner Piping Lane.