Coming of age for Hakuna Matata at Bunbury meet

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Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
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The Ross Price-trained Hakuna Matata had no worries on Sunday at the Bunbury Turf Club, winning the $15,000 APH Contractors Maiden (2219m).
Camera IconThe Ross Price-trained Hakuna Matata had no worries on Sunday at the Bunbury Turf Club, winning the $15,000 APH Contractors Maiden (2219m). Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

After 18 races, Ross Price’s Hakuna Matata has recorded his first victory by winning the $15,000 APH Contractors Maiden (2219m) at the Bunbury Turf Club yesterday.

In the stallion’s 19th start, Hakuna Matata jumped from barrier seven and started slowly, before jockey Chris Parnham timed his run to perfection and pushed the three-year-old to victory by three-quarters of a length from Iron Maggie.

My Fair Beauty struggled down the straight to finish third, despite hitting the turn in front of the pack.

Price said Hakuna Matata was a horse which was slow to mature, but now he had broken through for a win, he was set for a good career.

“He has got better steadily each prep,” he said.

“He has learnt to get out early and turn a foot where he can get past the other horses.”

Price said the five-year-old would go to the paddock for a spell after a tough campaign the past few months.

“Then we will go again with him,” he said.

“We will just have to see how he comes back. He will probably be out for a month to six weeks.”

Price said a greater distance than the 2200m would suit Hakuna Matata better, but ruled out entering him in this year’s Bunbury Cup.

“That is probably another class or two before that,” he said.

“The distance is right, but he is probably not up to that quality just yet.”

Parnham recorded a double for the day, riding the Lindsay Smith-trained Bounce Down to a comprehensive win in the $15,000 Owners Only Maiden (1008m), leading from start to finish in a strong display.

Apprentice jockey Randy Tan continued his fine form at the Bunbury Turf Club, riding Wings of Hope to a win in the $17,500 TabTouch Super Pick Handicap (1108m).

The pair were the best duo from start to finish, leading the pack the entire sprint to finish a nose in front of Glenn Smith and Regal Class.

It was a second victory from 12 starts for Wings of Hope and a return to form, after coming off a seven-month spell.

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