In just his second hurdle start, The HUntmans looks the part as Shaun Fannin gets him over the last flight at Riccarton today.
Shaun Fannin took double satisfaction out of The Huntsman’s win in the Speight’s Premier Hurdle, opening event on the final day of the Grand National carnival.
As well as being his first win for the season, it came on a horse that Fannin has personally managed for his employer Kevin Myers.
“Gerald Innes sent him to us to make into a jumper and he’s one of the team I look after at Kevin’s Waverley stable, so it’s pretty satisfying to get a win on him, he's definitely a horse with a future,” Fannin told www.theinformant.co.nz. “He’s one of a dozen or 14 that I’m in charge of up there, so it keeps me busy.”
The Hunstman, who won two races on the flat when Innes trained him at his Opaki base, was having just his second hurdle start in today’s 0-1 win contest, having finished second to all-the-way winner Blues Breaker in his debut over brush on Wednesday.
“That was more of an educational run and he finished it off well,” Fannin said. “Today it was a matter of getting him out in the open and once I did the horse did the rest.”
Civic Reception put a big break on his rivals midway through the 3100-metre race but after mixing his jumping was under pressure well before the home turn. The Huntsman, a six-year-old by St Reims, looked ominous as he loomed up to challenge with 600 metres to ruin and had the race in safe keeping from that point.
At the line he had nine lengths to spare over late finisher Cashel, with three and a quarter lengths to Point Proven. Second day winner Blues Breaker was a different horse today, slow to begin and giving brief hope when he made his bid with 800 metres to run. He was unable to sustain his run, however, and faded to eighth.