Wez Hunter maintains top strikerate

Nov 09, 2013

By Sky Racing News

Rookie trainer Wez Hunter has emerged as an unlikely star of the Melbourne spring carnival with half of his team successful in the past week.

As well as bringing up a double for the trainer on successive Saturdays at Flemington, the win of Bel Thor in the Antler Luggage Handicap (2000m) gave Hunter four winners from the past four horses he has saddled on race day.

Bel Thor's win followed that of Smokin' Joey at Flemington last Saturday and Our Smokin' Rock has won two races on country tracks in the past fortnight.

As welcome as his run of success may be, Hunter acknowledges it emphasises the vagaries of racing.

"I've got a pretty good strikerate, I suppose, but three weeks ago I didn't," he said.

"I've only got five horses and to win two at Flemington in Cup week is a fantastic thrill."

Bel Thor ($3.70) showed the benefit of a cool ride from Ben Melham to score by 2-1/4 lengths from Keep Cool ($11) with Supremacy ($21) three quarters of a length away third.

For Hunter, who started his racing life driving top jockey Nash Rawiller to the races each day, Bel Thor's victory provided particular satisfaction.

"I've had him from day one, done everything with him," he said.

"Smokin' Joey we only had for a week before he won the other day."

Bel Thor served notice of Saturday's win with a good second to Hvasstan at Moonee Valley two weeks ago, a performance Hunter said typified the horse's career.

"He's raced out of his class a lot and run really well," he said.

"This was his right race and he put them away pretty well."

Mike Hedge - AAP