The Samantha Logan-trained Lacustre laid down the gauntlet to his steeplechasing rivals heading to the prestigious Great Northern Steeplechase (6400m) in a fortnight with a comprehensive victory in yesterday's major dress rehearsal, the CLC Pakuranga Hunt Cup (4900m) at Ellerslie.
Logan has bided her time with Lacustre who hadn't been sighted in the winner's enclosure since winning a maiden steeplechase at the venue on Great Northern day in 2017.
The Postponed eight-year-old has been thereabouts in most of his starts since then and enhanced his burgeoning credentials for the Northern with an eye-catching run for third in the McGregor Grant Steeplechase back in June.
Handy throughout for rider Shaun Phelan, Lacustre jumped proficiently in mid-field before being sent forward by Phelan as the field climbed the famed Ellerslie hill with 1000m to run.
Lacustre and outsider Kokanee Gold scooted down the hill and jumped the last fence together before Lacustre forged clear in the final stages to win by five lengths from a fast finishing The Arabian Duke with Kokanee Gold battling on bravely for third.
A patient ride by Shaun Fannin saw topweight Laekeeper take out the days other feature jumping contest, the Corson Maize Pakuranga Hunt Hurdle (3350m).
Laekeeper stepped the final two fences in grand style to defeat No Tip with King Oberon battling on well to take third.
- NZ Racing Desk