Last night at Newturf, Buzz’s favourite virtual racetrack, saw the opening round of the inaugural Hedge Hunters’ Hurdles Championships take place. The competition, which is entirely self-funded and carries significant sponsorship, has been made possible by contributions from members of the team whose name the event bears.
There was an encouraging turnout for this premier round with 22 runners lining up for the heats, as well as a good range of owners participating. The home team fielded a strong contingent but were left without a win in what proved to be races of very high quality.
The first event, for 1 year old sprinters, was full of unknown quantities with the youngest generation yet to establish a hierarchy. The stallion, Medicine Man, sire of Breeders’ Cup winner, Genghis Khan, was to feature significantly here as he was responsible for the first two home. Barnes Stable’s Kream Cracker set a blistering early pace and looked set to make it a pillar to post victory, only to be caught close home by the fast finishing filly, Medicina Fer. The Stonka owned filly had looked outpaced in the early stages but produced a smooth but powerful finish to overhaul the long time leader in the shadow of the post. The french-owned, UK-trained filly was scoring an impressive 6th victory in her fledgling career.
Finishing third in the yearling sprint was the Pietro14 owned colt, Petiriz Piet and it was the same owner who was to be responsible for the winner of the 2 year old heat. Well known as a producer of quality sprinters, Pietro14 fielded two but it was his Choubezi Piet colt, Chourisette Piet that was to land the spoils here. Always travelling well, Chourisette Piet ran out an authoritative winner from Fevam3’s Koktijet’fire. Jemchipsa Magic featured in third place for the Hedge Hunters with his Jemchipsa Kurill but the night belonged to The Wolves, who as a team managed to win both of these first round heats.
The opening heats for classic runners takes place at Newturf this evening.