Harrison heeds senior riders’ advice

Cambridge trainer Earl Harrison is glad he listed to the suggestion of his long-time mate Noel Harris and fellow jockey Reese Jones with Bahhton, winner of the Gartshore Construction 2100 at Tauranga yesterday.

In fact, if Harrison hadn’t heeded the advice of both jockeys Bahhton would no longer be in his stable.

All Bahhton had to show for his first 18 months in the stable were two trials placings. He had been a disappointment on raceday in five starts, but Jones, then Harris persuaded to try the four-year-old son of Bahhare a bit longer.

“Jonesy rode him at Paeroa (when sixth over 1670m) and told me he wanted ground,” said Harrison. “Then Harry rode him at Te Rapa and felt the same. He just said to put him over ground before I gave up on him.”

Harrison followed the advice of Jones and Harris and stepped Bahhton over 2100 metres at Tauranga on May 20. The result was a win in the hands of Rory Hutchings, then Bahhton headed to Counties and with Hutchings again aboard he won over 2200 metres, carrying 69kg.

“He’s a nervy type and the day when he won his maiden here (at Tauranga) I had to scrape him down twice before he raced,” said Harrison.

Bahhton was allowed to start at the surprisingly long odds of 20/1 yesterday and that surprised Harrison. “Sure he mightn’t have beaten a good field at Counties, but he carried 69kg and he dropped 12kg this time. That’s a big weight difference,” said Harrison.

Hutchings settled Bahhton off the pace and the horse was travelling better than any other runner coming to the home turn. When asked for an effort, he powered to the front and fought on solidly to easily hold out the favourite Surpass by three-quarters of a length.