Hurdler gives weight and a beating to rivals

The Shackler on his way to victory at Trentham. Source: Race Images.

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

Strongly fancied in the market on Saturday, the sprightly 11-year-old produced a faultless front- running performance under 69kg to hammer his opposition in the K. S. Browne Hurdle (3200m).

“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 (3200m), 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 (4000m) 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.

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