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Nichols' new Star scores at Sale

*Article by Andrew Eddy for

Orion The Hunter is on his way to repaying the faith of his trainer Shane Nichols after the $800,000 yearling purchase won his maiden at just his second start at Sale on Thursday.

Orion The Hunter,. TBB Racing, Shane Nichols Racing, Kingstar Farm
Image Courtesy of Racing Photos

Despite his fine breeding, being out of Group 1 winner I Am A Star, Orion The Hunter was sent out a $19 chance in the opening race at Sale on the back of an unplaced run at his first preparation, but he gave his rivals little chance as he led throughout for a soft win.

"It was a painless watch," Nichols said post-race.

"He got to the front pretty easy and was travelling pretty strong, I saw a couple behind him come off the bridle at the top of the straight and he was good enough through the line.

"I think he'll be better in time and better on top of the ground, but hopefully that is the mould of something that means he is going to become a nice horse."

Nichols, who said the colt may now go to a race at Caulfield next month, revealed his nervous time when bidding for Orion The Hunter as a yearling as his price spiralled.

"I was a bit nervous at fall of hammer," he said. "I had 60 per cent of him done (sold) and still had 40 to go - it was a significant amount of dough - but he's starting to build back."

Zac Spain expected the colt to run well: "He's a lovely colt, I rode him at his first start last preparation and he just had zero luck, whereas today he was really switched on, he flew the barriers and naturally took it up.

"He's still learning his craft. He handled the Heavy track today, which is good, and he's just the ultimate professional."

TBB Racing are involved in the Shane Nichols Racing Syndicate involved in the ownership of Orion The Hunter.


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