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Fannin’s main focus on training operation

3 minute read

Shaun Fannin’s priorities will change this winter with his primary focus on the Awapuni stable he runs with Hazel Schofer.

FOURTY EIGHT winning the HOLDEM CONTRACTING LEGEND HAWERA RIDERS MAIDEN HURDLE
FOURTY EIGHT winning the HOLDEM CONTRACTING LEGEND HAWERA RIDERS MAIDEN HURDLE Picture: Race Images Photo

Fannin has multiple jumps jockeys' premierships to his credit but will restrict his riding, with one notable outside exception.

"We're getting pretty busy with the training and plenty of horses around us," he said.

"We've got about 20 on the books and training is our main business, so that's definitely to the forefront of my mind.

"I will ride my own ones and West Coast obviously."

Fannin and the Mark Oulaghan-trained West Coast have been a potent combination with two Grand National Steeplechases (5600m) to their credit.

They have also combined to triumph in the Great Northern Steeplechase (6500m), Wellington Steeplechase (5500m) and Hawke's Bay Steeplechase (4800m).

"He's had a couple of flat runs and is coming up well and is heading to Woodville on Sunday for the Manawatu Steeplechase (4000m), so I'm looking forward to that," Fannin said.

Fannin is in good form after partnering stable representative Fourty Eight to a debut victory in the Holdem Contracting Legend Hawera Riders' Hurdle (2800m) at Sunday's Egmont meeting.

"He won it well and he's showed a fair bit at home and he's got good flat ability," he said.

"He's still a green jumper, he doesn't jump as fluently yet as some of the open hurdlers and he will improve a lot with the experience.

"He will be a much-improved jumper the next time you see him out."

That won't be until next season with Fannin firstly eyeing off a flat target with the son of Ekraar.

"He doesn't handle the really heavy tracks and we might give him a break now until later in the season," he said.

"He goes quite well on the synthetic tracks and there's a good money race ($100,000) at Cambridge in August, so we might look at that and then hurdling in September with him."

Fourty Eight  has been patiently handled with the five-year-old posting his three flat wins from just 12 starts on the polytrack at Awapuni.

"He didn't get broken in until he was a three-year-old and physically and mentally he's been quite a weak horse," he said.

"He got broken in up in the hills in Wairoa where his breeder and main owner lives, who is my cousin (Sheena Martin). We haven't rushed him, he's taken a bit of time."

The top-rated horse in Fannin's team is last-start Waverley winner Sailor Jack, whose longer-term future lies over the jumps.

"He's out having a spell, he's had quite a long preparation. He'll probably run on the flat in the late spring and summer," he said.

"If he's in good form we might look to get him over to Australia early next year for the jumping over there, he likes good tracks." 


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