Shaun Fannin has formed a potent partnership with Kevin Myers in recent seasons and they collected another prestige title at Trentham with the outstanding jumper Sea King.
The leading jumps jockey had good reason to trumpet the Wanganui trainer's conditioning skills after they had combined to land Saturday's Manawatu ITM Awapuni Hurdles.
"Kevin Myers is a legend to get this horse back to win this sort of race," Fannin said. "I just can't sing his praises enough."
Sea King's winter campaign got away to a sluggish start and three runs back he was pulled out of the Waikato Hurdles before showing improvement to finish third earlier this month.
"Kevin has done a great job with him," Fannin said. "We got a nice trail and he jumped well. He got the last few fences right and ran away."
The topweight's cause was helped when the leader Shamal came to grief 600 metres from home when going well, but Sea King's effort under 70kg was nevertheless a highly commendable one.
His programme for the remainder of the winter has yet to be confirmed with a return to Victoria, where he has won three steeplechases and two hurdle events, in the mix for the rising 11-year-old.
"There has been some talk of another trip to Australia, but we'll just wait and see," said part-owner Rachael Frost, who prepared the son of Shinko King to win on the flat earlier in his career.
Upper Cut showed he was in good touch for his main assignment, the defence in August of his Grand National Steeplechase title, with his run for second and Justa Charlie finished third ahead of the well-supported Max.