Waikato Hunt Cup fi­nale

Piako Post - - OUT & ABOUT - TIM RYAN

The Waikato Hunt Cup was back in com­mis­sion on Na­tional Jumps Day at Te Aroha on Sun­day and won in a tough bat­tle by course spe­cial­ist Thenames­bond.

The Stephen Ralph-trained and part-owned iron horse was win­ning his12th race and ninth on the course.

The 9-year-old was hav­ing his 69th race and took his earn­ings to around $225,000 for Ralph and his part­ner and joint owner Me­lanie Sutton.

He is mak­ing a habit of win­ning on the fi­nal day of the jump­ing sea­son hav­ing done so at Te Aroha in 2015 and 2016.

Jockey James Seivwright had Thenames­bond in or near the lead through­out and the pair surged clear of Just Got Home who ran gamely for sec­ond while back­ers of the favourite La­cus­tre did their money cold when he was pulled up with a round to go.

Top Choice and That’s How It Goes were late­scratched af­ter their jock­eys were stood down ear­lier in the pro­gramme.

Sarah MacNab was stood down for the day af­ter be­ing dis­lodged from Kan­ga­roo in the open­ing race, while Isaac Lup­ton fell from Cla­p­athunda at the fi­nal fence of the third race of the day and was also stood down.

Aus­tralian jock­eys Shane Jack­son and Lee Horner crossed the Tasman to boost jumps jock­eys’ ranks for a day of bumper fields but re­place­ment rid­ers were un­able to be found for Top Choice and That’s How It Goes.

Their scratch­ings left a field of 12 for the 4250m $40,000 Bay­leys Waikato Hunt Cup af­ter be­ing in re­mis­sion for sev­eral years.

Ear­lier in the day Let­meby sig­nalled his jump­ing tal­ent with his maiden hur­dle win.

The Gra­ham Richard­son and Gavin Park­er­trained hur­dler was hav­ing his sec­ond start in the role af­ter a handy eight-win flat ca­reer and hinted he could be in for a big sea­son next win­ter.

Dy­lan Turner rode a pa­tient race on the Don Ed­uardo geld­ing pre­sent­ing him late in pro­ceed­ings for a com­fort­able win over Raise­d­i­nasand­pit with favourite Cruiseo third.

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