In a feat that has never been seen before, leading jump racer Tarawera will attempt to win both a feature flat race and a feature jumps race at the same carnival.
Tarawera has accepted for the Brierly Steeplechase jumps race and the Warrnambool Cup flat race during next week’s Tabcorp May Racing Carnival at Warrnambool Racecourse.
While Tarawera is expected to compete in the Warrnambool Cup, co-trainer Brian Johnston also chose to nominate the horse for the less likely 5,500 metre Grand Annual Steeplechase later in the week.
“He will go into the Brierly but we are lukewarm about the Annual,” Johnston said.
“We will enter him (in the Annual) and see how he pulls up after the Brierly.”
Johnston believes that his horse is up to the task of taking out the strange flat/jumps race double should he choose to attempt it.
“… We could go the Brierly and the Cup, I don’t think that’s ever been done before,” Johnston said.
“He’s a good flat horse, he’s a last-start metropolitan winner on the flat.
“We toyed with the idea of not running in the Brierly and going straight into the Cup and not jumping at all.”
Tarawera’s training has been affected by the constant cancellation of jumps races at Warrnambool.
“We haven’t had the preparation we wanted,” Johnston said.
“They’ve called off steeplechases and trials. It’s been a terrible year to prepare a horse for a three-and-a-half mile race.
“I guess the only good thing is that everyone is in the same boat, it’s a level playing field.”
Johnston is thrilled to have a horse that is able to win quality races in both jumps and flat racing.
“The horse is young, sound and very versatile,” he said.