The Mark Brooks-trained El Disparo gave his rivals a jumping lesson as he dominated proceedings from the front to take out the feature hurdle event at Te Aroha today, the Victor & Frank Matijasevich Open Hurdle (3100m).
The El Hermano seven-year-old looked a different horse to the one that had struggled home near the rear in the Hawke’s Bay Hurdles last month as he attacked his jumps throughout for rider Shaun Phelan before striding home a comprehensive four-length winner.
“It was good display as I think he got too far back when they ran along last time,” Brooks said.
“We forgot that run as he pulled up well, so we had another go today.
“We might look at going down south (Grand National Hurdles, August 7) now.”
Phelan was impressed with the fluency of El Disparo’s jumping as he rolled along in front of the quality field.
“He sort of took his hook on me early so I let him roll and do his own thing,” Phelan said.
“I didn’t realise how far in front I was but he jumped perfectly and did it easy.
“He’s been going around in those good hurdle races and probably needed a confidence boost which he got today.”
The victory was El Disparo’s second over hurdles and his fifth overall for his large group of owners that include his breeders, Frank and Faye Drummond.
The win also provided Phelan with the first leg of a feature race double as he was also aboard Just Got Home in the day’s main steeplechase after picking up the ride from his partner Emily Farr when she was stood down following a fall in an earlier hurdle event.