Memorable weekend for Fannin

Opawa Scarlett (inside) winning on debut at Trentham on Saturday. Photo: Peter Rubery (Race Images Palmerston North)

Dual license holder Shaun Fannin had a weekend to remember, training a double at Trentham on Saturday with Hazel Schofer, before jumping in the saddle at Woodville on Sunday to guide Champion jumper West Coast to victory.

“It was a wonderful weekend and hopefully we can get a few more like that,” he said.

Opawa Scarlett kicked off proceedings at Trentham when taking out the Lisa Latta Racing 1300 on debut by a long neck over the Bill Thurlow-trained Steal My Thunder.

“It was a really tough win,” Fannin said.

“She has always shown a lot and we thought she would be hard to beat. There was just a question mark over the really heavy track at Trentham and we thought she might be better on a better track. It was pleasing to see that she got through it well enough, and she stuck her neck out and really wanted to win.

“I think we will just back off Opawa Scarlett, I think she might be a nice mare in the spring when she gets out over a mile to 2000m.”

Later on the card, recent stable acquisition Farrenc improved on her first-up placing when taking out the Manawatu ITM Steeplechase Day Tomorrow At Woodville 1200 by a head over Super Time.

“We haven’t had the mare very long in our stable. She came to us a happy horse and she loved the heavy track there, stuck her neck out and wanted to win as well, so that was pleasing to see,” Fannin said.

“She seems to like those wet tracks and I might find a nice 75 rating race for her in the next few weeks.”

Closer to his Awapuni base on Sunday, Fannin jumped back in the saddle at Woodville aboard Mark Oulaghan’s champion jumper West Coast, who once again showed his tenacity when beating Izymydaad by a neck in the Manawatu Steeplechase (4000m).

With training becoming more of a priority for Fannin of late, he has made a conscious decision to reduce his riding commitments but has maintained his association with West Cost.

“I make an exception to ride such a good horse as him,” Fannin said.

“It was wonderful to see him back carrying such a big weight.

“He definitely hasn’t gone backwards, I think he has come back the same as he was last season.

“He got back and relaxed nicely and came into the race when I asked, and he showed that usual fight that he always does. He seems like and old marvel, he comes back just as well every year.

“You always get excited when you know he is going somewhere and have the opportunity to ride him. It definitely makes it more exciting for the winter looking forward.”

Fannin now has 12 training wins for the season, bettering his previous best mark of 10 last term, and with two months to go in the season he is hoping he can extend that margin.

“We are trying to work hard and do the best for all the horses and try and place them as best we can,” he said.

“It is nice to see we are getting some results now, which is very pleasing.”

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