Henry Hubert smashes the clock at Ashburton


Robert Dunn has trained enough good horses in his career to know when he’s got something pretty serious on his hands and the way he lights up when speaking about impressive Ashburton winner Henry Hubert would suggest there’s exciting things in store.

The striking son of Bettor’s Delight produced a stunning New Zealand record performance to win a lower-grade mobile event on Monday during a day where the stopwatches were on fire, but few hotter than when strolled around the big Ashburton track.

He dominated a field of potential rising stars but it was when the time for the 2400-metre mobile was confirmed that people really started to sit up and take notice.

He registered the second fastest time on record for a 2400-metre mobile in New Zealand of 2:52.7. That’s just outside the national record mark held by the ill-fated, The Dorchester who, incidentally, won the same race 12 months ago, in equally as dominant fashion.

It was, however, quick enough to give Henry Hubert the new 4yo & older national mark.

And Dunn wasn’t fazed by the performance at all.

“He’s a very good horse, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.

“We’ve always known that time was going to be his best friend. He went some huge races last season, but his gait was never right and he needed to develop - something he’s quite clearly done.”

After a superb win fresh up in the hands of Ben Hope last month, Henry Hubert found the going a bit tougher the next time around against a powerful All Stars line up.

“He just did a bit too much work that time around, but I wasn’t disappointed with his performance by any means,” Dunn added.

Trapped away on the second line on Monday, many expected a nice, quiet run before booming home, but when a gap opened up for Gavin Smith to extricate himself off the fence, he took it and that’s when the fireworks began.

After burning to get past Beaudiene Western, Smith never really relented on the leader and paced even quarters until the 800-metre mark, when he took off again.

“He’s got such a high-cruising speed, he just bowls along and loves it,” Dunn said.

“That backed up what I’ve always thought of him today and I’m just really grateful to Ross and Angela Gordon for allowing me to be patient with this horse and let him develop.”

Dunn said the PGG Wrightson Aged Classic at Kaikoura on Monday would be the next target and after that there’s endless possibilities and he didn’t rule out the potential of a trip to Australia to contest a race like the Chariots Of Fire next year.

  • NZ Harness News

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