Promising jumper enhances reputation at Rotorua

Tommyra heads for the winning post after clearing the last fence at Rotorua  - Trish Dunell
Tommyra heads for the winning post after clearing the last fence at Rotorua

Trish Dunell

Matamata trainer Toby Autridge firmly believes he has a very talented jumper on his hands after Tommyra picked up his second hurdle success from just three starts at Rotorua on the weekend.

The handy flat performer commenced his career in the South Island where he won three times before being transferred to Moira and Kieran Murdoch’s Pukekohe Park operation where he won once from fifteen attempts.

Sent to Autridge for education as a jumper the rising seven-year-old won on debut over the fences at Hastings before finishing a meritorious fourth behind Monarch Chimes in the Hawkes’ Bay Hurdle (3100m).

“He has always appealed as a very good jumper from the day we first got him,” said Autridge.

“He has a lot of respect for the fences and I think he has only really made one mistake which was in a trial before he had his first jumping start.

“He won his maiden easily enough before acquitting himself well in top company at Hastings, so he has made really good progress so far.”

Autridge was quietly confident heading into Saturday’s race although he was mindful of the calibre of his opposition. That confidence was well rewarded as Tommyra travelled easily throughout before outfinishing race favourite Banbury Lad in the dash to the post after the final obstacle.

“He was up against some very promising hurdlers so I did have some reservations before the race,” he said.

“The second horse looks a real star of the future so to get the win is very satisfying.

“I do think this horse is going to be much better next year as they generally tend to improve a heap after their first jumps campaign,

“He is a real gentleman to work with, in fact he is so placid he lets the seven-year-old grandson of one of the owners catch him and bring him from the paddock.

“With the attitude he has to the fences I can see him being a good prospect in some of the better races next year.”

In the meantime, Autridge will let his charge recover from his exertions before looking at the possibility of a start in the open hurdle event at Te Rapa on 25 August to round out his winter campaign. – NZ Racing Desk


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