Emotional win for Hunter
By Jonny Turner
Trainer-driver Peter Hunter kept up his good holiday form at Winton on Thursday after scoring one of the best wins of his career at Gore just days prior.
Hunter saluted the skies as he passed the post when driving Call Me Keith to win for his brother Hamish on Sunday.
Hunter raised his whip to salute his late sister Marjory Combridge, who he wore a black armband in remembrance after she died on Christmas Eve.
The reinsman described the emotional win as one of the highlights of his career.
“That was one of the biggest thrills I have had in the game.”
“You don’t expect to be able to pull something like that off.”
“I know the family got a big kick out of it – probably more than Hamish and I did.”
“It was great to be able to do it for them.”
Combridge, who was from Rangiora, was a big supporter of Peter and Hamish Hunter as well as their brother, Henderson.
“She was a great supporter of ours,” Hunter said.
Hunter was involved in another emotional win earlier this year.
In September the trainer-driver wore a black armband in memory of the passing of the late Barbara Fahy.
Hunter was also able to salute Fahy when winning with Wattlebank Lass at Ascot Park.
The trainer-driver’s victory at Winton on Thursday came in conjunction with Fahy’s husband, Brendan.
Sitting parked for much of her mile (1609m) assignment was not enough to stop Rakarippa from delivering an impressive win.
After an even early pace, the four-year-old reeled off a fast closing 800m to score in a respectable 1-55.4.
The victory came in Rakarippa’s first start since March suggesting she is in for a fruitful summer.
“She had a few starts earlier in the season and then we chucked her out and she has come back in a bit better,” Hunter said.
“She is a handy wee mare.”
“We set her for this meeting, so it was a good result.”
Rakarippa scored by half a length over the leader Sassy VC at the finish.
The four-year-old has not been nominated for any of the three upcoming meetings in Central Otago and will step out closer to home afterwards.