Arise Sir Henry Hubert
While there may have still been some doubters after the big win at Ashburton last week, these have been surely dispelled after a massive win by Henry Hubert in today's PGG Wrightson Aged Classic at Kaikoura.
In what was Henry Hubert's first stand start today, he overcame his 10m handicap with ease, stepping like a toff. As the field hit the winning post with two laps to go, Henry Hubert was up disputing the lead, but after pacing roughly on the bend out of the straight, he lost a few lengths giving driver John Dunn a brief moment of panic.
Once settled down, he immediately occupied a parked position outside leader Franco Hampton, before having a serious lead inquiry at the 1600m, one that horse's driver David Butcher had no intention of entertaining. After the three wide train swept forward just over a lap out, Henry Hubert finally gained some cover on the back of Hail Christian, after All U Need Is Faith had swept past Franco Hampton to lead.
As the pressure started to be applied from the 400m, John started to get busy with Henry Hubert, but was far from confident as the field turned for home.
"He was all done on the turn, but really dug in when I asked him to."
"I thought All U Need Is Faith was home on the turn, but my fella really tried his hardest all the way to the line."
While it took the length of the Kaikoura straight to get past the pacemaker, he managed to get the deciding stride in just before the line to win by half a neck, with the late finisher Cullenburn just a nose away in third place.
Henry Hubert paced the 2400m stand today in 2.57.4, the last 800m in 57.3, the last 800m in 28.4. The win was his 5th from just 19 starts and takes his stake earnings to over the $86,000 mark.
For John, the win was quite special, after a two month hiatus from the sport in terms of his driving. He was again impressed with the Bettor's Delight gelding's toughness.
"He has always tried very hard in his races, but he is just a much better horse mentally and physically now."
"He will now push forward to the Junior Free-For-All on Cup Day, where he could well be joined by Zadaka."
Longer term, the Chariots Of Fire at Menangle could be a target for Henry Hubert.
Zadaka ran home well in the race for 6th. He was well back on the inside most of the race, pushed out with his run three wide from the 400m and ran on nicely in a gap, after the leaders had got away on him.
Posted: Mon 29 Oct 2018