Hintons head south in search of better ground

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  • June 23, 2023
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Riccarton trainers Kevin and Annette Hinton will head south to Oamaru on Thursday in search of better footing for their promising galloper Robbie Burns.

Racing will take place on their backdoor step on Saturday, however, the husband-and-wife duo made the decision to head south once they saw the Soft7 track conditions at Oamaru compared to Riccarton’s Heavy10 rating on Tuesday morning.

“We are hoping for better going to what Riccarton is going to be on Saturday, hence why we are going to Oamaru,” Annette Hinton said.

The Hintons purchased Robbie Burns out of Highview Stud’s 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale draft for $26,000 and he has been a consistent performer for the couple.

The four-year-old gelding has had seven starts for a win and four placings, and they are hoping he can improve on that tally in the Michael McNab (1400m).

“Once again he is out of his grade, but he went well down in Wingatui (last start third) out of his grade,” Hinton said.

“He missed the kick, which is unlike him, so to do what he did was great, we were rapt.”

Hinton said they have taken their time with the gelding, who has been hampered by injury.

“He hasn’t been over-raced, we can’t run him on the poly as he has got a few knee issues,” she said.

“He has furnished into a lovely horse now – he is a big, strong boy. We have taken him along quietly and hopefully all his niggles are over with now.”

Robbie Burns will be joined on the float trip south by Dear John Lincoln, who will make his stable debut in the Stephen Heffernan Property Brokers Oamaru (1200m).

The three-year-old son of Wrote was previously trained by Andrew Forsman in Cambridge, and Hinton is looking forward to getting a line on their new acquisition on Thursday.

“He is a new boy to us,” Hinton said.

“He was up north with Andrew Forsman and had his last run in Wellington where he ran fourth. He went up to Guy Lowry’s to spell and he got stuck in the cyclone, which wasn’t ideal.

“We are not 100 percent sure of what track conditions he will handle. He had a gallop on the grass this (Tuesday) morning, it was heavy and he seemed to handle it well.

“He is still a little bit weak and immature, so what he does now he will only improve on.”

The pair make up just a handful of horses in the Hintons care and the former North Islanders said they are enjoying their time in the south since relocating last year.

“We don’t have a lot in work because Kevin has got a full-time job, which makes it a little bit difficult,” Hinton said.

“We are from Waikato originally and we were getting a bit stagnant up there. We sold our property and we thought we would give it (Canterbury) a go, so we did.

“We have been here for about 18 months. It is like anything when you move, you have got to find your vets, farriers and other contacts. We have got some good people around us, which is great.

“The trainers at Riccarton have been absolutely wonderful. If you get stuck with a question of what a track will be like, they will give you an in-depth answer, which always helps.”

While Hinton is in her third season of training, she has a strong family background in racing, and she has enjoyed training alongside her former jumps jockey husband over the last few years.

“Kevin is originally from Scotland, where he was a jumps jockey. He came to New Zealand 29 years ago to work for Ken and Anne Browne in Cambridge,” Hinton said.

“I was a Venn from Te Kuiti and my Dad trained many a good flat and steeplechase horses in his time like No Surrender, Lord Trustful, and Resolution.

“We have kept in it and started off slowly.”

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