Repeat win for Hypnotize in top chase
REPORT: NEW ZEALAND, Saturday
Ellerslie: Sharp Great Northern Steeplechase 4m
HYPNOTIZE showed his great liking for the Ellerslie course when scoring his second successive victory in the southern hemisphere's toughest jumps event, the Sharp Great Northern Steeplechase, at Ellerslie.
Raced over 4m and 25 big fences with three climbs of the famous Ellerslie Hill on the journey, the Northern is not a race for the faint-hearted, and Hypnotize, the topweight with 10st 8lb, displayed courage aplenty in repeating his 2007 effort.
Ridden by Isaac Lupton, Hypnotize came with a perfectly timed run to snatch the race in the shadows of the post. He had appeared to be labouring on the hill the last time, but Lupton knew best, producing his mount at just the right time.
After a torrid battle over the final furlong, Hypnotize, the even-money favourite, just got the better of Franconero to win by a long neck, with the pacemaker Fair King two lengths back third. The time for the race was 8m15.71s.
The $NZ123,000 (£46,000) marathon winner is trained by Raymond Connors, who races the son of Yamanin Vital with his father Mark. Connors jnr was an accomplished jump jockey, and won the Northern on Our Jonty a few years ago.
Ellerslie: Auckland Great Northern Hurdles 2m 5f
MONTEZUMA (Peter and Casey Lock/Tommy Hazlett), a son of Derby winner Generous, recorded a 13-1 upset victory under a daring ride from the front.