Exciting jumps future for Brer

Brer was the easiest winner at Te Aroha yesterday, but his Cambridge rider-trainer Craig Thornton isn’t getting carried away at this stage.

Brer, a son of China Cat and owned by the Grieve family, broke through for his first jumps win in his third hurdle start and he did it in style, winning the Te Aroha Liquor Centre Hurdle by 20 lengths from Dan Dinero. He finished unplaced in his hurdle debut at Hastings two months ago, then was just beaten when second at Hastings in his leadup to yesterday’s victory.

Asked whether he has anything ambitious in mind for Brer this winter, Thornton was quick to reply.

“No. He’s a four-year-old and really only a baby,” he said after the race. “I don’t want to rush him. He’s a lovely mover and he can really jump, even better than he showed today.

“The beauty with him is that he’s got a low heart rate and he’ll stay all day. Eventually he’ll make a good ‘chaser, but he’s got a future as a hurdler first.”

Brer had shown his jumps prowess in two hurdle trials at Cambridge. He won in the hands of Emily Farr on May 21 and Farr also rode him in his jumps debut, while Thornton, who has ridden the horse in his last two starts, was aboard when he won his other hurdle trial, on June 17.

While Brer lived up to Thornton’s expectations at Te Aroha yesterday, stablemate Our Destiny disappointed in the previous race, the Sandhaven Stables Hurdle, when starting favourite and finishing sixth of nine starters and almost nine lengths from the winner, Toby Cee.

“I might have backed him up a bit too soon,” said Thornton. “He raced a bit flat, but he’ll be all right.”

Meanwhile, stablemate Chapinta is on track for a start in the Taumarunui Gold Cup later this month. “She goes well at Te Rapa and I’m happy with her,” he said.