Course specialist Fair King took full advantage of a 5kg pull in the weights to beat hot favourite Hypnotize in the $85,000 Great Northern Steeplechase yesterday.

Fair King is a daunting competitor at Ellerslie where the 8-year-old excels during the winter racing period.

James Gillies was sporting a large smile once he safely negotiated the final fence with Fair King grinding their way to a seven-length victory over the top weight (69.5kg) Hypnotize.

A further 13 lengths away third was Volkswagin.

With course statistics of four wins and five minor placings from 11 starts it was hard to ignore the claims of the Ann Browne-trained Fair King, particularly with such a massive pull in the weights.

GINGA DUDE took bragging rights in the $35,000 JRA Trophy Open but nothing could be taken away from the performance of Sir Slick.

Ginga Dude prevailed by a half-head over Sir Slick who came from off the pace.

A further long head away third was Cent Per Cent.

Part-owner and trainer Graeme Boyd is now focusing on features at Hastings including the Kelt Capital Stakes.

SOUTH ISLAND visitor Kidunot was ruthless in his course debut, powering to an impressive victory in the $85,000 Great Northern Hurdles.

The Gore-trained 8-year-old shocked punters despite an imposing form line scoring by 1 lengths over Ho Down with a further three-quarters of a length to Western Line (third).

Kidunot has six wins and four minor placings from 14 starts over hurdles.

Part-owner and trainer Ellis Winsloe produced his charge in superlative physical condition for the jumps racing feature.

MATAMATA TRAINER Peter McKay had a pleasing hit and run raid on the spring meeting at Wanganui yesterday winning two races.

Warrentherooster responded to a well-calculated front running ride from Sam Spratt to overpower the opposition in the $45,000 Wanganui Guineas.

The 3-year-old son of Savabeel ran his rivals into submission scoring by two lengths over Star Chaser with a further half-head back to Time Keeper (third).

Stablemate Al Qurhah was an impressive one-length winner over The Twist and Yelracm in the $15,000 Open 1200m.

McKay is a proven trainer of age group talent and he will be one horseman worth following over the spring racing period.

Another Matamata-based trainer, Mark Walker, produced Big River for an impressive debut performance.

Big River, a colt by General Nediym, scored by three-quarters of a length over Aladdin Prince and Kylemore Abbey in the first 2-year-old race of the season in New Zealand.