Whiskey Tango looking for repeat performance at Te Rapa

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  • July 10, 2023
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Waverley’s Bill Thurlow will return to Te Rapa this Saturday with rising jumping star Whiskey Tango, hoping the promising jumper can produce a repeat of his winning performance at the Waikato venue last month.

The rising jumping star will head north to contest the SVS Starting Gates 0-1WIN Steeplechase (3900m), with his front-running maiden steeplechase victory coming over the same distance to score from next-start victor Torque Time.

“He’s good, it didn’t seem to have worried him at all, so we’re very happy with him,” Thurlow said.

Whiskey Tango, a well-bred son of Proisir, produced his first career win over the steeplechase fences under visiting expat-Kiwi hoop Aaron Kuru, and Thurlow was thrilled to book premiership-leading Shaun Fannin for Saturday’s chase.

Fannin capped off his stellar recent form completing the Hawkes Bay Steeplechase/Hurdle double with West Coast and Happy Star last Saturday at Hastings, and will partner Whiskey Tango for the first time on raceday at Te Rapa.

“Shaun schooled him in his early days and really liked him, and he always said if he had the opportunity he would love to ride him, so it just worked out,” Thurlow said.

“It’s not always easy to get someone of Shaun’s calibre, obviously they’re committed to the bigger stables, so we’ve been lucky to secure him this time.”

While Thurlow has yet to make any concrete plans with his gelding after the weekend, a trip down to Riccarton for the Grand National Festival of Racing is a possibility.

“It’s on the radar, we want to get through one race at a time having in mind he’s only a young horse as far as steeplechasers go, so he has plenty of time on his side all going well,” he said.

Looking beyond the winter jumps season, Thurlow has several other runners in work at his Waverley base, among them a promising rising three-year-old called No Rain Ever.

A daughter of No Nay Never, the filly produced three runner-up performances this season as a two-year-old capped by a strong performance for sixth behind Pignan in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

“No Rain Ever is a really nice filly of Matt Goodson’s and she’s been back in work for a little over a month, she went really well last time in, in the Autumn,” Thurlow said.

“We have two or three untried ones here, but at this stage, she will be the pick of them.”

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