Racing: Myers leaves us all guessing

By Mike Dillon

Amanood Lad might need his first-up run in the Pakuranga Hunt up at Ellerslie tomorrow but he has a strong record over the hill and is worth a place chance. Photo / Dean Purcell
Amanood Lad might need his first-up run in the Pakuranga Hunt up at Ellerslie tomorrow but he has a strong record over the hill and is worth a place chance. Photo / Dean Purcell

It goes like this: you call Wanganui trainer Kevin Myers, no answer.

You call one hour later, same result.

The high-profile trainer does not talk to the press, desperate to know his thoughts on his two runners, Crash Bandicoot and Kick Back, in tomorrow's $50,000 Tractor Centre Pakuranga Hunt Cup at Ellerslie.

We may have said this previously, but this column was the only one on both sides of the Tasman to defend Myers when he fell foul of stewards during the infamous Stacey Jones Trackside television incident at Te Rapa a few years ago that resulted in serious consequences.

Kevin Myers, who goes by the greatest misnomer of all time "Dummy" to his mates, swerved television viewers when he told them he didn't particularly fancy Stacey Jones.

His one mistake was when he soiled the laundry by coming back on television after the race with something like: "I got you".

While Myers was technically off centre, this column pointed out it wasn't too many years previous when it was against the Rule Of Racing for a jockey or a trainer to declare the details of a horse to anyone beyond the owner.

For offering defence, this columnist got three months on the inside, but after that we were back with the pack and Kevin no longer appears on television, nor does he answer his phone to the press.

So, we are guessing in tomorrow's big race, the best pointer these days to the biggest of them all, arguably in the world, the Great Northern Steeplechase in two weeks.

Crash Bandicoot is the veteran of just 14 race starts and has a sole victory over jumps in seven starts, not typically what you look for in a race like this.

But Kevin Myers is the best in the business at preparing a horse for such a race -- look at his record already this season. Even in the heyday of Ann and the late Ken Browne have we seen better?

The tip for this race was when Crash Bandicoot finished second to Eric The Viking in the Wellington Steeplechase as a one-win jumper. There is a sense this gelding has been primed for this race and the Great Northern. He comes into this on the minimum and if he wins will be liable for a maximum of just 1.5kg re-handicap for the Great Northern, so he will still be well off.

He fought on strongly over the 5500m of the Trentham race and his previous win at Ellerslie sets him up nicely for this.

Kick Back is also an interesting runner. Her two starts since winning a steeplechase at Awapuni have been on the flat so immediate form cannot be rated. Her form from seven steeplechase starts is four wins and two placings. She, too, looks as though she has also been set for this carnival.

Previous Northern winners Amanood Lad, Jack Ramanov and Rangatira are at the top of the handicap with 70kg, 5kg ahead of Kick Back, and each give the impression they will be better for this last race before the big one. Amanood Lad finished third in this last year, but he is 12 years old and can probably be expected to need one more prep race.

- NZ Herald

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