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The Brian and Shane Anderton-trained 9yr-old sent his home crowd into raptures after surging down the Wingatui straight to win the 1600m feature. He had run second in the race the two previous years — to stablemate Coulee last year and The Diamond One in 2016.
The race conditions changed this year to weight-for-age from open handicap.
Rider Shankar Muniandy, who was filling in for regular jockey Jacob Lowry, found a wide midfield spot on Tommy Tucker after jumping from the wide barrier 12.
During the race, Muniandy put to use some advice he received from Lowry.
"He [Tommy Tucker] travelled all the way. He got in a bit of a flat spot at the 800m but Jacob said he can do that every now again," Muniandy said.
"But I gave him a wee flick and he just took off again."
Despite travelling four wide throughout, Tommy Tucker unwound powerfully to reel in the brave Gallant Boy, who cut the breeze for his stablemate after also being wide. Princess Brook, who was held up until the 300m and got out when the race was in Tommy Tucker’s safe keeping, made up an all-Wingatui-trained trifecta.
The result also gave White Robe Lodge sires the race trifecta as Gallant Guru sired the first two horses home and Raise The Flag the third horse.
That feat capped a remarkable week the stud had had in successfully selling their stock at the
national yearling sales at Karaka.The race his employers sponsor has not previously been kind to Muniandy.
Changing that and repaying the faith the Andertons had in him to take the ride on Tommy Tucker was a special thrill, he said.
"Coming through for the bosses and working for Brian and Shane for 10 years, I think I have only run one second in the White Robe before. It was a massive thrill."
It was the 16th win by Tommy Tucker, who is raced by Brian Anderton Anderton and his wife, Lorraine, and Ian Nicol.
Anderton dispelled the widely held notion that the horse was named after the nursery rhyme character of the same name.
"Ian reared him on the farm and the horse was always a great eater, so he used to call him Tucker,’’ Anderton said.
"I said ‘Gee, you can’t call him that. People will think he’s dog tucker’.
"So, I said ‘Your father was Tom, let’s call him Tommy Tucker’."
The team behind Tommy Tucker scored more success during Champions Day on Saturday.
Brian and Shane Anderton produced Crispin to win the first race in the hands of jockey Corey Campbell. Muniandy also rode the Terry Kennedy-trained Macy who beat her stablemate, Bakela, in race 5.