Hunter Jack sets a new record

TO THE FINISH: Greg Ryan drives Hunter Jack to the line. Photo: Gareth Gardner
TO THE FINISH: Greg Ryan drives Hunter Jack to the line. Photo: Gareth Gardner

HUNTER Jack not only won his trainer, Tim Martin, his first home town Cup but also set a race and track record when he surged to victory in Friday’s $35,000 Elders 2017 Walcha Cup (1440m).

The seven-year-old gelding son of Stratum was first up from a spell on a tough track but kicked home for a three-quarter-length win from Lismore mare Ms Ba Bella. Quirindi gelding So You Know, who led most of the way, was another three-quarters of a length away in a gallant third.

Hunter Jack, who won last year’s Armidale Cup for Martin, ran the Cup in 1min 26.42secs, beating the track and race record (1min 24.6secs) set by Brundaberg in his 2002 Cup win.

It was also the second leg of a winning double for jockey Greg Ryan, who had won the previous race on Epic Dan. Martin reckoned Ryan’s effort aboard Hunter Jack was one to savour.

“Mr Cullen (chief stipendiary steward) should take a video of that and show it to all the apprentices at the apprentice schools,” Martin said.

“That’s how good a ride it was.”

Ryan was delighted to win a race he thought he’d never, like Martin, won before.

“We had a nice run,” he said.

“I got on the back of Pera Pera and he carted me into the race.”

Stable foreman, Justin Webb, in charge of Hunter Jack, said everything went right.

“He’s a good country cups horse,” he said.