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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Wednesday, July 19 2017

Paul Nelson and Aaron Kuru dined out on a huge dose of double delight at Hastings where they bagged both prestige jumping events on Thursday.

Amanood Lad - Race Images

The local trainer and the now Cambridge-based jockey combined with The Shackler to claim the Anuka Smoker Wellington Hurdles and then Amanood Lad earned top honours in the Grant Plumbing Wellington Steeplechase.

Both races were incorporated into the Hawke’s Bay programme following the abandonment of last Saturday’s meeting at Trentham.

“It’s a great thrill and it’s a big thank you to Ben Foote,” Nelson said. “We’ve had a really good association with Ben for many years and when he felt he couldn’t do justice to the horse this year he sent him down to us.”

Foote, who made that decision to concentrate on younger flat members of his team, prepared the gelding to win five times over the big fences, including the Great Northern Steeplechase and two McGregor Grant Steeplechases.

Amanood Lad was making his third appearance from Nelson’s stable and he travelled easily behind the pace before Kuru made his move across the top.

“He stayed switched on throughout and there was a gap at the 600 and he shot through,” Kuru said.

“I thought I might have got run down, but to his credit he dug deep and won well. It’s very special, I grew up here.”

Kuru was having only his third ride on Amanood Lad and his confidence was given a pre-race boost when he laid eyes on the rising 13-year-old in the birdcage.

“He looked well, I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “Paul has done a great job with him. It was only his third run back and he had 70kg over 5500m.”

Amanood Lad was dogged to the line to hold Wise Men Say’s challenge at bay with Nells Bell taking third in front of The Oysterman.

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 12:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email