A close-run race in the Boxing Day feature with Nutuzzi coming through to hold out over Suntanned by half a head.
A close-run race in the Boxing Day feature with Nutuzzi coming through to hold out over Suntanned by half a head. RON BURGIN

Nutuzzi raining on sunny's day

THERE was only half a head in it, but Deagon-trained flyer Nutuzzi was the horse responsible for bringing local favourite Suntanned’s dream run to an end on Saturday at Thabeban Park.

Its second placing in the main race of the day — the Open Handicap 850m — caused trainer Mary Hassam to say it may be time to give the highly successful gelding a rest, perhaps for good.

“At the end of the day it’s up to the owner, but we’re lucky to have got him this far,” she said.

“You don’t want to knock him round by being greedy, even if he still seems to be enjoying it.”

“We’ll see what happens, but I think Sunny’s earned a holiday.”

The 10kg extra it was carrying proved too much over 850m for the horse that has tasted success on the track 20 times in the past.

The gelding held off Bundaberg rival Red Tarn, with the Darryl Gardiner-trained long distance charger running in a tight third.

But it was the out-of-towner that spoiled the party and the horse that Hassam tipped to be the major threat.

“Looking at past form I knew that would be the one to beat. I don’t know too much about Nutuzzi but it’s won at Toowoomba and you have to be fit to go well there,” she said.

Despite not being able to repeat the efforts of Melbourne Cup day, where it pipped the field despite carrying significantly more than its rivals, Hassam was impressed with how Suntanned ran.

“It’s a pretty honest horse and it ran well again, it was looking good in the lead up and was only an inch away from another one,” she said.

“But it wasn’t to be and you can’t win them all.”

Even if “Sunny” calls it a day Hassam has plenty in the stable to keep her busy.

“It may go on a bit of a holiday but we certainly won’t be for a while,” she said.

“There is a stable full of two-year-olds, and a few other horses that are looking quite good for us at the moment. We won’t be resting.”

Nutuzzi was the only non-local horse to taste success on the Thabeban sand at the Boxing Day meet.

Beat the Bullseye lived it up to its pre-race hype to easily win the Class B 1212m race five from Craiglea Fury and Tendane.

Trained by Tony Hess, the four-year-old ran more than five lengths clear of the field in its first start at Thabeban, following a first and third at Caloundra.



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