Shaun Fannin is caught in a tussle with northern hoop Shaun Phelan for the lead in the jumps jockey premiership and he is hoping to gain an advantage at Whanganui today.
The local jockey has a quality book of rides, headed by the Kevin Myers-trained Mandalay in the Open Steeplechase (4100m).
The nine-year-old mare has been in good form of late, winning at Whanganui two starts back before finishing runner-up behind her star stablemate Tallyho Twinkletoe in the Grand National Steeplechase (5600m) at Riccarton last month.
"Her three jumping starts this season have been very good," Fannin said yesterday.
"Her win at Wanganui and her run at Riccarton were on extremely heavy tracks, which she really seems to appreciate, but she probably won't get it as heavy [today].
"Her work has been very good lately and I am expecting her to be very competitive in a weaker field than what she has been running against."
Fannin is also looking forward to partnering stablemate Fantasy Flight in the Open Hurdle 3000.
The seven-year-old mare has shown plenty of ability over hurdles, winning and placing in her two starts.
"She won by a big margin down at Riccarton on a very heavy track and looks like a mare on the way up," Fannin said.
"She gets in with a very good weight [64.5kg] in what is probably not the strongest field.
"I think she should be a definite winning chance in that."
Rounding out Fannin's trio of rides is the Mark Oulaghan-trained West Coast in the Maiden Steeplechase 4100.
"He has had two hurdle starts and both have been full of merit," Fannin said. "I schooled him [Tuesday] and he jumped very well. I think he has got a very bright future."
●The Jamie Richards-trained The Perfect Pink picked up her maiden victory at just the third time of asking when winning the NZB Pearl Series Race (1300m) on the synthetic track at Cambridge yesterday.
The filly got the perfect trip in the one-one before jockey Michael McNab asked her to improve three-wide turning for home where she was able to run away to a 2-length victory.
"We've always had a bit of time for her and it was a nice effort," Richards said last night.
"She's been immature and needed a patient approach, but she's getting there now," he added.
NZ Racing Desk