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Lowry riding over jumps

(Jake Lowry)

Jacob Lowry, the White Robe Lodge stable apprentice, has his first rides over jumps at Washdyke on Friday aboard News Flash in the maiden hurdle and High Forty in the open hurdle. Lowry (18) has won 54 races on the flat and amassed $983,251 in stakes in three seasons of riding. He has won 31 races this season, including the $100,000 Gr 3 eStar Winter Cup at Riccarton on Timy Tyler and the Gr 3 $80,000 Valachi Downs South Island Breeders' Stakes there on Coulee.

He has ridden the WRL -trained News Flash in two wins. The Gallant Guru - Stage Flash 7yr-old gelding has won seven flat races, the most recent at Washdyke last July. He is having his first start over hurdles, along with stablemate Akal, the mount of KC Walters. Akal has had one win on the flat.

"Jacob has been schooling News Flash for about six months and qualified him (for hurdles) during the winter,'' said WRL co-trainer Brian Anderton.

WRL has High Forty and Gold Leaf in the open hurdle on Friday. High Forty has been placed in his three starts over hurdles since he finished third in the Great Western Steeplechase at Riverton when unsuited by the slow track. He is aiming at the $75,000 New Zealand Grand National Steeplechase at Riccarton on August 13 with a lead up in the Koral Steeplechase a week earlier. He won both races 12 months ago. High Forty is the only South Island-trained horse among the nominations for the NZ Horse of the Year awards for the 2015-16 season.

"We hope to take him (High Forty) to the Northern Steeplechase (at Ellerslie) after Riccarton," said Anderton.

Gold Leaf, the mount of Walters, has been runner up in his two starts over hurdles since he won in that role at Wingatui on June 5. He gave stable jockey Shankar Muniandy a win in his first ride over hurdles. Muniandy is at present on holiday in Malaysia.

Patrick Erin, who finished second at Oamaru on Sunday, has been put aside for a spell. "He has been up for a while and has done a good job,'' said Brian. Patrick Erin began racing in April and the Gallant Guru 4yr-old gelding has not finished further back than third in six starts. He cleared maiden ranks at Wingatui with a five and a quarter length win on June 5.