Shane Anderton couldn’t have been prouder of the stable veteran Tommy Tucker on his home turf on Saturday.
The Wingatui horseman, who trains with his father Brian, gained a hugely satisfying win in the Group 3 White Robe Lodge Weight-For-Age (1600m) with the sprightly son of Gallant Guru.
“He really deserved that, he’s just been so honest for years – he’s a nine-year-old, but he doesn’t know it,” Anderton said.
Tommy Tucker had finished runner-up in the previous two editions of the event, carrying 60kg both times and a change this year from handicap to weight-for-age conditions worked in the gelding’s favour.
“It made it an even playing field,” Anderton said. “He’s been giving these horses up to seven kilos.
“The main thing though is keeping the White Robe a Group Three race, it’s the only one south of Christchurch.”
Ridden by Shankar Muniandy, Tommy Tucker was back in the field before improving around the field across the top and he finished boldly in the straight for the 16th win of his career.
“We’ll probably go the same way as last year and look at Christchurch in the autumn and go for the Canterbury Gold Cup,” said Anderton, whose parents Brian and Lorraine are co-breeders and part-owners of Tommy Tucker.
The chestnut will be defending his title in the Riccarton feature, having beaten Bloodstream and Benzini in 2017.
Anderton couldn’t fault the effort of Tommy Tucker’s barn mate Gallant Boy, who provided the stable with a White Robe quinella.
“He was brave after doing it pretty tough sitting outside the leader and facing the breeze,” he said