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One of New Zealand jumping’s most successful combinations were in their element at Ellerslie on Monday.
Wanganui trainer Raymond Connors and jockey Isaac Lupton teamed up to win the Simply Squeezed Maiden Hurdle with Max before they completed a double with Wise Men Say, who turned in a tenacious performance to claim the White Cliffs Timber McGregor Grant Steeplechase.
|Wise Men Say
Photo: Trish Dunell Photography
The pair celebrated three Great Northern Steeplechase victories with the great jumper Hypnotize and while Wise Men Say isn’t in his league, he looks an ideal prospect for September’s 6400 metre marathon.
The Yamanin Vital gelding lost touch with the leaders 800 metres from home and was a distant fourth at the final fence, but he dug deepest for his fourth win over the big fences.
“He travelled and jumped well, but he would be the most one-paced and dour horse I’ve ridden in my career,” Lupton said.
“Coming down the hill the last time they sprinted and he couldn’t go with them. Once we hit the heavy course proper though he really wound up.
“He’s got the experience now and Raymond is a terrific conditioner.”
Connors, who also trained and rode Our Jonty to win the 1998 Great Northern, races Wise Men Say with his farther Mark and, like most of their jumpers, the gelding was sourced from White Robe Lodge.
He was bought for $37,500 out of the Anderton family’s South Island Sale draft in 2011 on their behalf by Kevin Myers, who in a twist of fate produced Crash Bandicoot to chase home Wise Men Say.
The longshot Nells Bell gave a great sight in front and fought on bravely for third ahead of Just Got Home. – NZ Racing Desk.