Faber keeps faith in gelding

JAMIE SEARLE
Last updated 05:00 14/12/2012
House
ROBYN EDIE/FAIRFAX NZ

ON THE MOVE: A house on a transporter squeezes through the Findlay Rd entrance to the Ascot Park Racecourse in Invercargill yesterday. Transit Homes Ltd owner Bill McNamara will use the house to entertain family, friends and clients at the Christmas races tomorrow. He wanted to hire a marquee from the Southland Racing Club but, when none was available, he gained approval to have a house on course. The house will stay on the transporter, and decking and stairs will be built.

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The time and patience spent on getting The Hand Of Faith back to the races might be rewarded at the Ascot Park Christmas meeting tomorrow.

The Hand Of Faith fractured a cannon bone in trackwork a month after his third in last year's New Zealand Cup at Riccarton. Ashburton trainer Lenny Faber said yesterday the Danske gelding had three screws inserted into the bone, was confined to a loose box for two months and kept in a yard for a month.

The Hand Of Faith was then swum for three months. Faber has taken the 6-year-old along quietly and believes his charge is close to regaining form.

''We've taken our time with him to make sure the leg is OK,'' he said.

Faber, who is on the maintenance staff of the Ashburton Licensing Trust, has started The Hand Of Faith three times in this campaign.

The Hand Of Faith resumed with an eighth in the Ashburton Cup (1200m) on October 19. He pleased his connections that day by finishing two lengths from the winner in a fast-run sprint (1min 9.74sec). The gelding went to Wingatui for an open 1400m on November 6, but managed only seventh of eight.

''He didn't travel too good and didn't eat (on the trip),'' Faber said.

In his only run since, The Hand Of Faith raced wide and finished eighth over 1600m at Timaru on November 29.

''He's improved and the blinkers are on to sharpen him up.''

Timaru jockey Ross Doherty will ride The Hand Of Faith in Stadium Southland Game On Rating 85 Handicap tomorrow.

The short-term goal for The Hand Of Faith is the $50,000 Dunedin Gold Cup at Wingatui on February 2. He is nominated for the Auckland Cup in March.

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- The Southland Times

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