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Indikator Romps Home In Hurdle Debut

August 26, 2013

The worst kept secret of the winter was made official at Ellerslie on Saturday when the triple Group Three flat winner Indikator (NZ) (Sandtrap) romped to victory in his hurdle debut.

The three-time Rotorua Cup hero had little more than a training gallop on his way to a six and a-half length win in The Karaka Demons Maiden Hurdle for trainers Keith and Gavin Opie and jockey Craig Thornton.

“He jumps really well and he’s been doing it for a long time now,” Thornton said. “He’s an absolute gem, a lovely horse, and I’ve ridden him in two jumping trials and got to know him and know what he’s capable of.”

The subject of two hefty $10,000 and $5000 fixed odds win bets at $1.70, Indikator gave his army of supporters no cause for concern with a faultless display in fourth spot. He strode to the front before the final flight and forged clear with a minimum of effort.

Raced by his breeder Peter Setchell, the 10-year-old has been jumping since his three-year-old days, but his trainers still hold further flat hopes for the gelding with an attempt at a fourth Rotorua Cup success next winter a possible goal.

Meanwhile, amateur rider and trainer Jacob McKay successfully defended one of New Zealand’s oldest racing titles when he got Stagehand (NZ) (Drama Critic) home a slender winner of the IUHH Duke of Gloucester Cup.

The 20-year-old, who trains with his father Peter at Matamata, had triumphed in the cup, first contested at Marton in 1935, last year aboard Miss Isle and at Ellerslie he drove Stagehand to the finish a half-head in advance of Scott Wenn and Solyn (NZ) (Lucky Unicorn).

Story from New Zealand Thoroughbred News