In-form Zentangle takes immediately to hurdling

Zentangle won his first attempt over jumps at Timaru yesterday just five days after winning the Waimate Cup.

The versatile Kevin Myers-trained and Shaun Fannin-ridden galloper nosed out another newcomer to the jumping game in The Energizer to score in yesterday's open 3000m hurdle.

The Myers stable looked as if it could win both open jumps races at Phar Lap Raceway but Ours could not hold out the David Hutton-trained Irish Dude in the 4280m open steeplechase.

Myers has a big team of jumpers heading to Trentham today to compete in the Manawatu Racing Club's features.

Myers has The Big Opal, who opened an early $2 fixed-odds favourite over recent McGregor Grant Steeplechase winner Wise Men Say, who was rated at $2.60 by bookmakers.

And the Whanganui trainer lines up Sea King and Guy Fox in the Manawatu Hurdle.

Sea King and Just Charlie were rated $4.50 chances in an even early market for the race.

$7.50 shot Upper Cut is using the race as a stepping stone on a path trainer Mark Oulaghan has set towards the horse's defence of his Grand National Steeplechase crown at Riccarton in August.

''He'll have this run and then he'll go to Hastings for the Hawke's Bay Steeplechase,'' Oulaghan said.

''He's coming up pretty well and I couldn't be happier with him.''

''He's had a few things go wrong in the past, but he's good now and going well.''

Hunterville galloper Benzini will again attempt to bag Queensland riches in today's Ipswich Cup.

Benzini is coming off eye-catching late finish in last Saturday's group 2 Brisbane Cup at Doomben, a run which impressed his rider, Kelly McCulloch.

''His run was really good. They walked then sprinted from the 800m so he was no chance really but he felt awesome and I was really happy with him,'' McCulloch said.

''It was just a leader-dominated race that played against him but he ran really well."

''It doesn't look as strong as last week. He's got 60 kilos but that's indicative of him being a better class of horse. I don't think the weight will stop him.''

-By Jonny Turner

-Additional reporting by NZ Racing Desk.

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