Shaun Fannin's charge toward a first jumps jockeys' premiership continued at Awapuni yesterday where it was another case of double delight for the 20-year-old with trainer Kevin Myers.
It was Fannin's 16th win of the season to give him a buffer of five on the reigning champion Michael Mitchell.
The pair were quickly into stride at Awapuni with success in the opener with Twentythirtyfour before they combined with Kick Back to claim the Manawatu ITM Manawatu Steeplechase.
While stablemate Snodroptwinkletoes was the ruling favourite after his last-start second in the McGregor Grant Steeplechase at Ellerslie, Fannin had fancied his chances aboard Kick Back.
"I won a couple of steeplechases on her at Te Aroha last year and she's got a good sprint on her," he said.
Kick Back led over the last two fences and she had enough in reserve to hold out Wise Men Say by a head with Snodroptwinkletoes a long neck back in third.
While Twentythirtyfour hadn't eyed a fence on race day before, Fannin was also confident of a top showing from him in the Winstone Wallboards Maiden Steeplechase.
"He has been sensibly schooled and he's been to numerous jumping trials," he said.
Twentythirtyfour took control of the race down the back for the final time and he proved too good for his stablemate Beforunoit.
Meanwhile, champion jumps jockey Michael Mitchell came up up trumps aboard the local hope My Magician in the Manawatu ITM Awapuni Hurdles.
They tucked in behind the pace before Mitchell, riding to instructions, urged the gelded son of Remind to the front a long way from home.
"He went super and I put them under a bit of pressure at the 1400 and I didn't want him to be headed so he kept his confidence and he got to the line strongly," he said.
My Magician jumped the final fence well to beat Ngario with Thatz David fighting on bravely for third. My Magician has now won twice over fences.
- NZ Racing Desk.