TRAINER Symon Wilde and stable jockey Aaron Kuru have proven to be the most potent combination in jumps racing this year and they will combine with Britannicus in the Australian Steeplechase and Count Zero in the Australian Hurdle at Sandown Lakeside on Sunday.
The pair have combined to win five races this year over the jumps. Wilde has won six in total and Kuru is up to eight winners even though it's early in the season.
Wilde said he latched on to the former leading New Zealand jumps jockey last year and he had become an integral part of his team.
“He’s good for our team. He does a lot of our gallops and all of our jumpers. He’s a very talented and driven guy who is quiet and unassuming which suits us well. He’s a very good rider,” Wilde said.
“He puts the hard yards in and I’m pleased he’s doing well. He’s a natural lightweight. He’s very keen and committed. He looks after his weight and he’s a driven guy who does the work.”
Wilde said it was rare to see a horse and rider so in sync as Kuru and Elvison were when they won at Casterton last Sunday.
Wilde will be trying to win the Australian Steeplechase for the second year in a row with Britannicus, who won the Brierly Steeplechase at Warrnambool at his last start.
He will also saddle up Tolemac, who was also a last start winner when he won his fencing debut at Warrnambool in the Benchmark 120 by eight lengths.
“Both have only had the one jumps run for the season. They are two contrasting horses as we’ve got the established horse and the one on the way up,” Wilde said.
“Britannicus is the tried and true horse. He’s sneaking up in weight and the soft ground is going to suit him. He’s effective on anything but heavy. Tolemac is an up and comer; he’s had a couple of seasons of hurdling and his chasing debut was good.”
Wilde also gives Count Zero a sneaky chance in the Australian Hurdle where he is up against the champion from the Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace stable Saunter Boy who is aiming to win the feature event for a third successive year.
“Count Zero won a chase earlier in the year but he just hasn’t taken to the fences. We dropped him back to the hurdles at Casterton last Sunday and he ran a cracker. We were very pleased with the effort and he only failed to defeat Fabalot by an inch. He’s not the roughest in the race and he will get 3900 metres without a problem. He doesn’t like it heavy though.”