The never say die attitude of accomplished hurdler Bad Boy Brown was on display for all to see at Ellerslie on Saturday after he produced a stirring home straight rally to claim the day’s first prestige jumping event, the Boutique Body Corporates Great Northern Hurdle (4190m).
Narrowly beaten in a tight finish to the Grand National Hurdles (4200m) at Riccarton last month, the Harvey Wilson-trained eight-year-old put that disappointment aside as he rallied bravely in the final 100m of the Ellerslie feature after being clearly headed by Laekeeper earlier in the run home.
Rider Isaac Lupton, who is no stranger to success at Ellerslie, had made his charge for victory on Bad Boy Brown at the 700m as he sent the St Reims gelding to the lead with two fences to clear. Laekeeper tracked him into the race and swooped to the front with 300m to run but clipped the final fence allowing Bad Boy Brown to fight back and take the win by a neck.
Wilson was almost lost for words with the win, as he acknowledged a run at the Foxton trials on Tuesday had played a significant role in the result. “When that other horse was coming at us, I wasn’t certain (of victory) as I was thinking back to Christchurch,” Wilson said. “We were lucky but it was a great ride by Isaac, he’s a legend. “He (Bad Boy Brown) needed a good hit-out at the trials so that has worked for us.”
The win added another feather in the cap for Wilson this season after he produced It’s A Wonder to win the Grand National Steeplechase (5600m) on the last day of the recent Christchurch Winter Carnival. Runner-up Laekeeper fought bravely for his placing after lumping topweight of 68.5kgs around the Ellerslie circuit while No Tip battled on well for third for rider Aaron Kuru, who had celebrated his 100th New Zealand riding victory when successful on Bee Tee Junior in the day’s opening event.