Fresh from securing a feature jumping double on their home track at Hastings last month, the training partnership of Paul Nelson and Corinna McDougal were at it again at Trentham on Saturday when No Tip took out the Anuka Smoker Wellington Hurdle (3400m).
The lightly raced Mettre En Jeu seven-year-old was having just his ninth career run and only third over fences when he out-stayed his rivals on the brutal Heavy11 track conditions after a beautifully judged ride from Aaron Kuru.
Kuru allowed No Tip plenty of time to find his rhythm in the early stages of the contest as Pukekohe raider Arite Guru set a farcically slow pace out in front.
The speed went on when topweight Laekeeper went to the front with 1600m to run with No Tip still a conservative dozen lengths from the lead but beginning to make a move for Kuru. Rounding the home bend Laekeeper was travelling well however he bungled the last fence which allowed Kuru and No Tip to slip through along the inner to claim victory from Bad Boy Brown and a brave Laekeeper.
McDougal, who was struggling to contain her excitement as she waited for her charge to return to the Trentham birdcage, admitted she had some doubts when No Tip was so far off the lead with 1000m to run.
“That was amazing although I was ooh come on Aaron (during the race), but I don’t know what to say as I’m just so excited and happy,” she said.
“I’ve worked for Paul (Nelson) for a long time so I think we both know the ropes, but I’m learning so much and this is just amazing.”
No Tip is the younger half-brother of last month’s Hawkes Bay Hurdles (3100m) winner, No Change and is also a half to former top jumper Ho Down who won eight races, including both the Hawkes Bay Hurdles and Awapuni Hurdle (2900m) while he also finished runner-up in the 2009 Great Northern Hurdles (4190m)
The victory also eased Kuru further ahead in the race for the Jumps Jockey premiership this season where he now has 15 wins, three clear of his nearest rival Shaun Fannin. – NZ Racing Desk