Waychinicup, Prince Friar give Hunter winning double
Albany trainer Paul Hunter scored a winning double at Percy Spencer Racecourse, with Waychinicup and Prince Friar notching narrow wins at the first Albany Racing Club meeting of the new season.
Hunter joined Steve Wolfe and Rebecca Wallrodt with two wins so far in the Great Southern this season after Waychinicup held off strong late challenges to win the God Has Spoken@Rivercrestpark.com.au Handicap (1100m), and then Prince Friar charged home on the rail to salute in the Tradies Day December 22nd Handicap (1500m).
With leading Great Southern rider Mitchell Pateman aboard, Waychinicup settled fourth in running and hit the front in the home straight before having to hold off the fast-finishing Parisienne Lady at the line.
Hunter’s five-year-old prevailed by a nose while Ellens Choice and Money Trainer were only a half-length away in third and fourth respectively.
“His first-up run was good and he came on a bit from that,” Hunter said.
“He’s got a bit of ability but when he hit the front I thought he was going to win real good.”
Consistent middle distance runner Prince Friar continued his impressive return from a spell, winning second-up aided by a top ride from jockey Alan Kennedy in the closing stages.
Starting an $8 chance on the tote, Prince Friar got a beautiful run in behind the speed from gate one and shot home along the inside rail after leader Jester Rock rolled off into the fence in the concluding stages.
After finishing second to Niccatrice when resuming at Mt Barker a fortnight ago, the six-year-old won by a half head in a photo finish over Jester Rock ridden by Shaun McGruddy.
Tommi Toocan flashed late to grab third, beaten a neck.
“He puts himself in races being on speed,” Hunter said.
“He got all the favours but he is still a handy horse that is chalking up a pretty good record.”
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails