Pam Brindley and trainer Keith Hawtin had a memorable day at Te Rapa on Friday Photo: Trish Dunell
Keith Hawtin has made a flying start to his resumption as a trainer, headlined by a treble at Te Rapa on Friday.
The Te Awamutu trainer has recently renewed his license to take up the running of his son Brendon’s barn after he accepted a position with Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young in Victoria.
“He rang after each race and told me he got them ready for me,” Hawtin quipped, regarding his winning treble.
“I think Brendon has made the right move. It was too good to turn down and he has got Simply Optimistic over there now and Animator will get ready here and he will head over there after Christmas.
“He will be competitive on the flat in some of those staying races, and over jumps, that is his forte.”
Hawtin, who had been running his son’s Te Awamutu stable, said he is enjoying being back in the training ranks.
“I have got to do something with myself and I kept Te Awamutu going with a few horses Brendon, my wife and I own, as well as a few local owners,” Hawtin said.
“When Brendon decided to go to Australia I thought I’d have to get my license out anyway. I’m only going to sit on about 16 horses and that’s with about eight clients that we have had from day one.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what happens over the next 12 months.”
While he is looking ahead, Hawtin was delighted to record a treble at Te Rapa, a feat he previously attained when training in partnership with Graeme Rogerson.
“I think we have done that a few times (in partnership with Rogerson) and we went close a couple of times here (when in partnership with Brendon),” Hawtin said.
“We have had a couple of doubles and have just got beaten in the third one. It’s nice to have a winner, let alone three.”
Hawtin was particularly pleased for owner Pam Brindley, whose yellow and blue colours made up two of Hawtin’s wins.
“We expected them all to have a rough chance, but for all three of them to win was a special day, especially for Pam Brindley who puts so much into it,” Hawtin said.
“She has got about four with us. She has got a nice little team at the moment.”
One of Brindley’s victors was seven-year-old gelding Money Trail, who took his winning tally to five on Friday and Hawtin said he has improved immensely since treatment to his hocks.
“Fresh up a few months ago he put in two ordinary runs at Ellerslie and he has normally gone pretty good fresh,” he said.
“We ended up injecting his hocks and he just found another gear after that. Since he has had his hocks done he has definitely turned into a different horse.
“He is probably coming to the end of it, but he has found a new lease on life. He can probably go for another 12 months.”
Brindley and Hawtin also combined with Aligns With Me who won over 1400m in open grade and Hawtin has always thought he could be competitive in that grade.
“We thought he was going to be a two-year-old, that’s how much ability he showed,” he said.
“We have tried to keep the weight off him and that’s why we have been jumping through the grades.
“He was always going to get to open class. His rating has gone up to 87, and he is only a three win horse, but I think he will be competitive and will win a big mile.
“We are going to bite the bullet and on the 26th at Wellington we are going to run him in the Thompson (Gr.3, 1600m). I think he will get in at a reasonably nice weight.”
It’s Doable rounded out Hawtin’s treble and he said the four-year-old daughter of Zoffany has strengthened a lot since her last preparation.
“She is a nice mare who showed a bit of form last prep. She was always a little weak and had a bit of trouble with her saddle slipping. We put her out and brought her back and she just looks amazing.
“We thought we would use that race as a trial and I said to the owners she would be very competitive.
“We are quite happy with her. I think we’ll keep her a bit fresh for 1200m next start and then we will step her up to 1400m and a mile. She is a nice mare going forward.”