Vet­eran wins cup

Herald on Sunday - - RACING -

Amanood Lad might be in the twi­light of his rac­ing ca­reer, but the sprightly vet­eran is still more than a match for the best jumpers in the coun­try.

The 13-year-old proved that again at Eller­slie yes­ter­day when he lumped 71kg to claim The Trac­tor Cen­tre Paku­ranga Hunt Cup.

“He’s done it in style and with a lot of weight,” trainer Paul Nel­son said. “He loves Eller­slie and he loves jump­ing, he’s a plea­sure to have.”

A fourth start in the Irvines Great North­ern Steeplechase in a fort­night’s time now beck­ons Amanood Lad, who re­serves his best for the Auck­land course.

The 2014 cham­pion and two-time placeget­ter has also twice won the McGre­gor Grant Steeplechase at Eller­slie and two plac­ings in the Hunt Cup pre­ceded his brave vic­tory on Satur­day.

“I thought he may have been a bit un­der­done with five weeks be­tween races and he still looked a bit fresh, I won­dered if we had done enough work with him,” Nel­son said.

How­ever, last month’s Welling­ton Steeplechase win­ner rev­elled in his work in or near the lead through­out the 4900 me­tres.

“He was a bit keener than his pre­vi­ous races and he was go­ing well on the top of the hill the last time,” rider Aaron Kuru said.

Amanood Lad took con­trol of the race shortly af­ter and he stayed on strongly to score by a length and a half from the favourite Wise Men Say and Tizza Se­cret com­pleted an all cen­tral dis­tricts fin­ish.

“He prob­a­bly got to the front a bit early re­ally,” Kuru said. “He’s got a big heart and he tries his hard­est ev­ery time, that’s all you can ask for.”

Tr­ish Dunell

Amanood Lad, left, clears the Kenny Brown brush in the lead.

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