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Sam’s a Kick Back believer now
Sam Trotter thought Kevin Myers was pulling his leg when he first told him that Kick Back was ready for a jumping career.
The Marton breeder and owner had to check with the Wanganui trainer’s long-time ally Jo Rathbone for confirmation of his diminutive mare’s change of direction.
“She’s always been a bit of a disappointment to me and when Kevin said she was going jumping I thought he was joking and I had to ring Jo to see if it was true,” Trotter said.
Indeed it was and Kick Back is another leading example of Myers’ horsemanship having now added Saturday’s Meadow Fresh Great Northern Steeplechase at Ellerslie to her previous success on the course in the Pakuranga Hunt Cup.
“I’ve probably been the biggest non-believer in this horse, she’s not very big at all and she’s called Kick Back because she kicked me,” said Trotter, who also bred and part-owns Kick Back’s stablemate Gagarin, the winner of last season’s Great Northern Hurdles.
Kick Back won her second hurdle start in 2014 back before she made a winning debut last winter over the big fences.
She then progressed to finish sixth in the Grand National Steeplechase, but this time around Myers elected not to go south and remained focussed on the Ellerslie feature.
“I thought the distance may be a bit far for her, but to win today is great,” Trotter said. “He doesn’t tell me much, but Kevin does a fantastic job, as do all his team.”
An integral member of the operation is jockey Shaun Fannin, who again gave a patient and polished performance in the saddle.
He was happy to sit well back in the field for most of the race before asking the eight-year-old to get serious and she improved through the field to be third turning for home.
Amanood Lad gave the mare a run for her money in his bid for a repeat of his 2014 victory, but Kick Back was too strong and won by two and a half lengths with the longshot Zed Case a head back in third. – NZ Racing Desk.