Top line-up confirmed for Hannon Memorial

by Jonny Turner

A theme has developed in the lead up to New Zealand Cup as an outstanding field has been confirmed for the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru on Sunday.

The race isn’t short of serious open class talent with the stellar line up including stars like Pembrook Playboy, One Change and Republican Party.

But like last week’s New Brighton Cup, the race is packed full of emerging horses out to make their mark and seriously boost their hopes of making the New Zealand Cup.

Aardie’s Express, Franco Norton and Macandrew Aviator are among those looking to further establish themselves in open company.

Sunday’s Hannon Memorial also features the return to racing of U May Cullect who will start for the first time in almost two years.

Trainer-driver Kirstin Green brought the previously retired pacer back into work to help educate younger horses at her stable.

And with the injury-plagued pacer looking in great shape, he continued to be fast worked and now Green will test the waters with a return to racing on Sunday.

Trainer-driver Nathan Williamson heads into the Hannon Memorial hoping to show off the real Pembrook Playboy.

Though the pacer was highly competitive through last year’s New Zealand Cup build up, Williamson felt his horse was a touch down on his absolute best.

But this year the now six-year-old is showing signs he is ready to produce more electric performances.

“I am a lot happier with the way things have gone this time in,” Williamson said.

“Last season he worked well and did everything right but the difference this year is that he has really turned the corner the last three weeks.”

“He is looking really good.”

“This season I want to see him continue to build with every run as he goes forward.”

“First up, he is going to improve with it the run but he is forward enough to go a nice race.”

“He has got great manners so hopefully he can put himself right there from his good draw.”

Williamson also starts Hidden Talent in the Group 3 Jasmyn’s Gift Stakes at Oamaru on Sunday.

The brilliant first up winner will clash with the inaugural winner of the race, I Dream Of Jeannie.

To see Sunday's fields click here

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