Top­weight over­comes shack­les

Sunday Star-Times - - RACING - NZ RAC­ING

THE Shack­ler coped ad­mirably at Tren­tham with both weight of ex­pec­ta­tion and the top of hand­i­cap.

Strongly fan­cied in the mar­ket yes­ter­day, the sprightly 11-year-old pro­duced a fault­less fron­trun­ning per­for­mance un­der 69kg to ham­mer his op­po­si­tion in the K S Browne Hur­dle.

‘‘He re­laxed well but I was a bit wor­ried when they started com­ing at him,’’ trainer Paul Nel­son said.

‘‘Wee Biskit came up to him and he said I don’t want to see you and away he went.’’

As he had done when suc­cess­ful in the Waikato Hur­dles, The Shack­ler revelled in his work at the head of the field and mea­sured his jumps well.

The son of Isti­daad was eye­balled three flights from home but he jumped the last two fences with pre­ci­sion and drew clear for a hol­low vic­tory.

‘‘We got away with a soft lead and Thatz David chal­lenged and then dropped off and Wee Biskit did pretty much the same,’’ reg­u­lar rider Aaron Kuru said.

‘‘With the 69kg it was a good test for him to­day but he was too good.’’

Thatz David ral­lied well in the clos­ing stages to cut Wee Biskit out of third money with the north­ern vis­i­tor El Corby a sound fourth in his open­ing jump­ing out­ing of the win­ter.

The Shack­ler com­pleted an early dou­ble for Nel­son and Kuru fol­low­ing their suc­cess in the Pak ‘n’ Save Up­per Hutt Steeple­chase with Perry Ma­son, raced by the suc­cess­ful I See Red Syn­di­cate.

‘‘It’s a big thrill for the syn­di­cate, they’ve had well over 30 win­ners since they got go­ing in the early 2000s,’’ Nel­son said.

Char­lie Studd made the most of his op­por­tu­nity at Tren­tham for one of the coun­try’s top jump­ing sta­bles.

The Cam­bridge-based jockey com­bined with the Kevin My­ers-trained The Big Opal for vic­tory in the Irvines McGre­gor Grant Steeple­chase.

Al­though join­ing forces in­fre­quently, they have a good strike rate with Studd now hav­ing rid­den three win­ners from nine rides for the Wan­ganui horse­man.

“It gives a lot of con­fi­dence and means a lot to be in these colours,” Studd said.

He al­lowed The Big Opal to bowl along in front and the nine-year-old gave an ex­cel­lent dis­play of jump­ing on his way to an­other win over the big fences.

“The track re­ally helped him and he was go­ing well and I was just saving him up,” Studd said.

The Big Opal had sta­ble­mate Sea King on his tail 600m from home but the son of Storm Creek wasn’t to be de­nied and he made the most of his four kilo pull in the weights to draw clear.


The Shack­ler on his way to vic­tory in the K S Browne Hur­dle at Tren­tham yes­ter­day.

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