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CD gelding could be setting sail for Australia

3 minute read

Sailor Jack ended his campaign on a winning note at Waverley on Thursday and now the four-win gelding could be set to further his career in Australia next year if everything goes to plan.

SAILOR JACK winning the TARANAKI-WANGANUI NZTBA
SAILOR JACK winning the TARANAKI-WANGANUI NZTBA Picture: Race Images Photo

Sent out a $1.30 favourite in the Taranaki-Wanganui NZTBA (2200m), Sailor Jack  lived up to his price when running out an 11-length victor under leading jumps jockey Shaun Fannin, who also prepares the gelding with his fiancé Hazel Schofer.

"He has been racing very consistently all season in probably stronger company than what he met yesterday (Thursday)," Fannin said.

"He was originally given to me as a jumper. He has done a fair bit of jumping at home and has got his ticket, but the more we did with him throughout the year we realised that he is definitely better on the better tracks.

"We have raced him a bit throughout the summer and yesterday was his last run of the campaign before we give him a holiday."

Fannin has a high opinion of the six-year-old gelding he part-owns and said an Australian campaign could be on the cards next year with the son of Jakkalberry.

"We will hopefully find some races through next spring and summer, and the way he is going on the flat, I think he has probably got ability to head to Australia," he said.

"That might be an option for early next year if we can get him over there while the tracks are still pretty good. He has got the flat ability to foot it with the horses in Australia."

While rapt with Sailor Jack's dominant performance, Fannin was just as pleased to see Champion Jumper West Coast's strong finish for fourth in the Chris Hay Livestock (2200m).

Fannin is the regular rider of the Mark Oulaghan-trained gelding, who added four prestige jumps titles to his resume last year, all under Fannin.

Jonathan Riddell was in the saddle on Thursday, and Fannin said he got a glowing report from him following the race.

"One of the most exciting parts of the day was watching him (West Coast) run," Riddell said. "He hit the line strongly and talking with Jonathan Riddell after he said he attacked the line and didn't want to pull up after. That gives us plenty of confidence looking towards the start of the season.

"He is the best jumper I have ridden. He is a wonderful horse and what he did last year, not too many horses have ever done that. He is definitely the one I am looking forward to for the season."

Fannin has three of his own team members he is looking forward to competing over fences this winter.

"Jesko and Fourty Eight look quite sharp at the moment," he said. "They seem to jump very well, so they will have a jumping trial on Monday at Hawera, then they might have a flat run and then they will be ready to have a hurdle race towards the end of May.

"Oxygen has had five hurdle starts for one win and he seems to be pretty good. I will give him a flat run and then he will go to a steeplechase pretty quickly I would think. He is coming up very well." 


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