The Spar Mighty Again

Date: 1 Jul 2024

The Spar Mighty Again


Continuing their terrific association, jockey Aaron Kuru and The Mighty Spar (6 g Savabeel – O’Dianne, by O’Reilly) won the A$35,000 WC & AC Miller Steeplechase (3800m) on 30 June at Casterton (Victoria).

Kuru had given The Mighty Spar an excellent ride to win the Ecycle Solutions Steeplechase (3296m) on 11 June at Sale, and fair to say it was another outstanding performance by both horse and jockey.

On the multi directional course with quite a few live brush fences, The Mighty Spar was camped on the leaders throughout before putting the slipper in with a beautiful jump at the 600m, never missed a beat at the remaining two fences, and raced clear to win easily by five and half lengths.

Given Soft6 footing, The Mighty Spar ran 3800 metres in 4:43.6 and paid $2.70 & $1.80 after easing on the NZ TAB tote. 

“He jumped so well, it was another great win, and a class ride by Aaron,” said trainer Mark Walker.

“He’s just getting more confident with his jumping each time he goes out and really appeared to have the race won a long way from home.

“The owners have been really patient with him and it just shows how much horses like The Mighty Spar love jumps' racing. 

“Emma Wilson, who straps The Mighty Spar, just loves him to bits and we’ll start thinking about loftier targets now that he’s won his last two. 

“It was another brilliant ride by Aaron. He’s such a polished jumps' jockey, moves beautifully with the horses, and it was great that The Mighty Spar was so strong at the end of 3800 metres. 

“Extra staying distances was a bit of a question mark with him over the jumps, but he’s just getting stronger and more confident as time goes on.”

Evidence of his confidence in jumps' races is reflected in a record of one win, three places, and two fourths, from six starts over hurdles, and two wins and a second from three steeplechase attempts. 

The Mighty Spar was purchased by David Ellis CNZM, from the draft of Waikato Stud, at the 2019 Karaka Book 1 Sale, and owned by Te Akau Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

By Cox Plate (Gr. 1, 2040m) winning three-year-old and eight-time Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel), who proved himself one of the most versatile stallions in Australasia, The Mighty Spar has a lovely cross of immortal sire Northern Dancer on the dam side of Zabeel (Sir Tristram), the sire of Savabeel, and through the sire line of dam-sire O’Reilly (Last Tycoon).

Aaron Kuru, a former New Zealand Champion Jumps' Jockey of the Year, has won over 50 jumps' races in Australia, and his record with Mark Walker is top-notch: five wins and four places from 10 starts. 

A week earlier, Kuru combined with stable-mate Leaderboard (9 g Street Cry – Flower Fairy, by Dynaformer) to win the BM120 Steeplechase (3450m), in a flawless display of jumping, on 23 June at Warrnambool, Victoria.

Leaderboard is now preparing for the A$100,000 Thackery Steeplechase (3450m) on Sunday 7 July at Warrnambool, prior to the A$300,000 Australian Grand National Hurdle (4200m) on Sunday 4 August at Sandown, and the A$350,000 Australian Grand National Steeplechase (4500m) on Sunday 25 August at Ballarat.

The Mighty Spar, winner of eight races, was strapped by Emma Wilson.


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