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Tommy tucker completes rare double

(Tommy Tucker (Jacob Lowry) provided a highlight of holiday racing.)

Tommy Tucker became  the first winner of successive Timaru Cups in 34 years when he triumphed under topweight of 60kg in the $50,000 listed 1600m race at Washdyke on Wednesday (28/12/2016). The Gallant Guru - Lady Vital 8yr-old gelding trained by Brian and Shane Anderton and raced by Brian and Lorraine Anderton with Ian Nichol, of Outram, was again ridden by Jacob Lowry, the stable apprentice. He aided Tommy Tucker under his big weight (a kilogram more than last year) by having him handy to the pace. He was then able to edge out the pacemaker, Pepper Mill by the barest of margins. Lowry has ridden Tommy Tucker in his last eight wins. It was the 13th win for Tommy Tucker in 43 starts and the $31,250 first prize took his stake earnings to $248,120. He has also won the listed Easter Cup at Riccarton. It was the sixth Timaru Cup win for Brian Anderton, who has also been also been successful  with Random Chance (1986), A Gordon For Me (1993), All Chance (1998) and  Burton (2002). He had Shane as a training partner when All Chance and Burton won the race. All Chance was raced by Ian and Sue Nichol.

The previous horse to win successive Timaru Cups was The Dimple in 1981- 82. The race was then run under weight-for-age conditions. It was back to a handicap in 1987. The Timaru Cup has a history dating to 1875 and the only other successive winners are Tasman (1883-84) and Quick Time (1960-61) when the race was over a mile and a quarter (2000m). It has been over 1600m since 1976. The 60kg is the biggest weight carried to win the race  over 1600m as a handicap.

Flag The Groom was an appropriate winner of the White Robe Lodge sponsored  $12,000 Clare Memorial Gold Cup at Omakau on January 3. Flag The Groom is by the WRL sire, Raise The Flag. He is raced by his Ashburton breeders Bevan and Robyn Wilson, formerly of Omakau. The Wilsons, who have bred to WRL sires over a long period, raced Royal Miss, the 2007 Clare Cup winner when trained by Peter and Dawn Williams.