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Notable hurdles double for Jackfrost

(Jackfrost connections celebrating at Te Aroha)

The White Robe Lodge trained and bred Jackfrost added the $125,000 Great Northern Hurdle at Te Aroha on Sunday to his win in the New Zealand Grand National Hurdles, the first horse to complete the double in the same year for 35 years.

Jackfrost, an 8yr-old gelding by Gallant Guru - Vital Note, is raced by the Frosty's Shoutin The Beers syndicate.

The previous winner of both races in the same year was Jean Rapier, trained by Graeme Rogerson, in 1985 when the Northern was run at Ellerslie in June. The race was switched to September in 2005 and run at Te Aroha this year with construction taking place at Ellerslie.

Buddy Lammas, who rode Jackfrost at Te Aroha had won the NZ Grand National Steeplechase at Riccarton last month on Shamal.

Others horses to have to both prestige hurdle races since 1985 are Narousa (National in 2001 for WRL trainers Brian and Shane Anderton and Northern two years later for Pam Gerard) and The Paul Nelson-trained Just Not Cricket (Northern in 2006  and 07 and National in 2008.)

The WRL stable had three earlier attempts at the Northern Hurdles for a fall with One Chance in 1998 and seconds with Melomai in 1999 and Lord Venture in 1985.

"It is nice to think that the third dam of Jackfrost (Ararat Note) is a sister to Baghdad Note, winner of the Melbourne Cup (1970) when ridden by "Midge" Didham, great uncle of Courtney,'' said Brian Anderton.

Courtney Barnes, stable jockey at WRL, was in charge of Jackfrost on his trip north.

Vital Note, the dam of Jackfrost, is by Yamanin Vital, the sire of Second Innings, runner up in the Northern Hurdle.

"I feel Yamanin Vital is probably the most underrated sire to stand at White Robe Lodge. He has sired a Sydney and Auckland Cup winner (Who Shot Thebarman), a NZ Derby winner (Cut The Cake),Wellington Cup winner (Cluden Creek), NZ Cup winner (Trebla) and numerous major jumps winners such as Hypnotize (three Great Northern Steeplechases),'' said Brian.

Jackfrost will now be spelled with a view to racing in Australia next winter.

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Delegate(Raise The Flag - River Bear) won his first start over hurdles at Te Aroha on Sunday. The winner of three flat races, he is trained at Karaka by Shaun and Emma Clotworthy. Delegate who changed hands for $7000 at the 2014 NZ Bloodstock Festival yearling sale, is the first foal of the River Bear, by Chief Bearhart. He was bred by Mrs B E Brough.