Greg Hunter confessed to his most satisfying training success when Press On launched his 5-year-old campaign on a winnng note after an absence of eight months in the $15,000 Riverton Cup at Ascot Park yesterday.
The 57-year-old Mataura Island farmer said the auspicious first up triumph was also ''greatly satisfying'' on two other counts. ''For a start, the race was a notable Cup event on the Southland calendar and the second was he beat a good Canterbury horse in Comply Or Die.'' Hunter said.
''He is a particularly clean-winded horse who comes to hand quickly . . . I used him as a farm hack over the hills over winter and he had been in work since June, which is a long time, before today's win.''
Hunter, who will succeed ''Snow'' McLellan as president of the Wyndham Harness Racing Club, races the Elsu gelding in partnership with his son Michael and several mates, Kieran Anderson, Jared Crawford, Hayden Shaw and Jason Milne.
Hunter earlier gained training success with his first winner Regal, Cool Ripple (5), Live Ripple and I'm Kayoss. With four wins, Press on was closing on Cool Ripple as the best horse he has trained. Press On will be on hand for the two days of the Wyndham meetings later this month.
Dexter Dunn was suitably impressed with his first drive behind Press On.
''He travelled well all the way and got a run in the straight . . . There are definitely more wins in him.''
Ken Barron said his Tuapeka Cup winner Comply Or Die might have lost yesterday's race when he lost concentration at the straight entrance and ''gawked about badly.''
Comply Or Die has been a model of consistency with a win, four seconds and a fourth in his last six starts.
Exciting trotter Experiment sealed Cup Week engagements at Addington with her fourth win from her last six starts in the Neville Cleaver Trot.
Driver Brent Barclay said the Sundon mare ''trotted a treat all the way'' and trainer Tony Barron agreed with his reinsman that the 5-year-old's manners had improved greatly as she was more mature and settled.
''She is getting better and better and has a nice motor,'' Barclay said of the winner of four of her last six starts, including a hat-trick yesterday.
Barron said there were suitable $20,000 races for her on Cup Day and Show Day, The trainer won on all three days of an earlier Cup carnival with the Soky's Atom pacer Natom.
Experiment, raced by Makarewa enthusiasts Errol Forde and Jan Hawthorne, will be based at the Toliman Lodge, Christchurch, quarters of trainer Barron's brother Ken for Cup Week.
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