Hamish Hunter

Hunter 500 

Bruce Stewart

Hamish Hunter became the first Southland based trainer to join the elite 500 club when I Try won at Forbury Park tonight.

I Try is owned by  Hunter and loyal clients of the stable The What Ever Syndicate. Together, they also own the stable’s biggest winner, Franco Ledger.

I Try is a Mach Three four year old. Tonight he raced three back on the rails and found room in the straight to get up and nab Pembrook Harry.

“It was pretty good for a middle of the road trainer as I describe myself. I was aware I was getting close as my family informed me,” said Hunter.

Hamish Hunters best season was in 2014 when star pacer Franco Ledger was a leading stake earner. That season he racked up 33 wins from 339 starters and $347,376 in stakes.

“He’s back in work (Franco Ledger). He’s a 100 percent sound and all going well we’ll have one more go at the cup. It’s probably be his last chance.”

In 1989 he recorded his best UDR ranking when he started horses 174 times for 23 wins, 18 seconds and 14 thirds for a UDR .2165. Horses racing that season included Betonim, Benachie Lad and Admiral Luca.

 He’s won the Southland trainers premiership 6 times; 1985, 1986, 2007 (jointly with Brendon McLellan and Kirk Larsen), 2008 (jointly with Murray Brown), 2011 and 2014.

Out of his 500 training successes he’s driven 374 himself.

 His first winner was Karen’s Pride at Waikouaiti in October 1976. He won five races on the mare between October and June of that season. In the following two season’s he had the services of half brothers Good Too and Model Hardcraft. Model Hardcraft won his first three races as a two year old including the 1979 New Zealand Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham. Good Too won eight races for Hunter.

Hunter has trained three winners in one day three times; Forbury Park October 1984 (Heiden, Sissy Bogart and Tapado Time), Invercargill September 2001 (Catalina Dreaming, Galleons Treasure and Grenadier) and Northern Southland October 2005 (Grenadier, Rockie’s Dream and Mainstay).

Of all the Southern Harness feature races it’s the Wairio Cup that he’s won the most: Josephine Bret (1984), Yandoon (1992), Grenadier (2004), Franco Ledger (2013) and Canardly Lover (2014).

List of major winners:

Franco Ledger (25 wins)

Malaz (15 wins)

Nursemaid (14 wins)

Devil May Care (11 wins)

Canardly Lover (10 wins)

Good Too  (8 wins)

Grenadier (8 wins)

Cornell (8 wins)

Betonim (8 wins)

Model Hardcraft (7 wins)

Holmezy (7 wins)

Galleons Treasure (7 wins)

Southern Boy (6 wins)

Christian Ruler (6 wins)

Stand Asquire (6 wins)

Galleons Cheer ( 5 wins from just nine starts)

Nordette (5 wins)

Blueberry Hill (5 wins) 

Benachie Lad (5 wins)

Admiral Luca (5 wins)

Congratulations Hamish – great effort.