Hat-trick to Vandermeer

Apr 18, 2016

By Greg Mansfield, The Examiner

Being in the right place at the right time has proved rewarding for Longford trainer Alana Fulton who brought up a winning hat-trick with Vandermeer at Spreyton on Sunday. Fulton was in Victoria with another of her team, Merricks Beauty, when she spotted a horse in a paddock on the property of leading trainer Ciaron Maher. “I asked him if it was for sale and, when he said it was, I offered him $5000,” Fulton explained. “And, he took it.”

The horse was Vandermeer who, at the time, had won just a lowly maiden at Hamilton. Since coming to Tasmania, the gelding has won another six races for Fulton and her co-owners, husband Dean and Aiden Nunn. His latest victory was an impressive performance in Sunday’s Palentino (Bm82) Handicap when Daniel Ganderton brought him from the rear of the field to score over 1350 metres in track record time of 1:20.04. Fulton will now raise the bar and take on open company in the $30,000 Autumn Classic at Mowbray in five weeks. “I think he deserves a crack at something a bit better,” the trainer said. “And the gap between runs will suit him because he goes well fresh.”

Fulton said that Vandermeer had only started to show his full potential since learning to settle in his races. “And he’s certainly suited when the pace is on,” the trainer said. Ganderton said the leaders went “ridiculously hard” in Sunday’s race and, although Vandermeer “over-travelled a fraction” he was always going to be hard to hold out. “In the finish it was a pretty soft win and the horse is flying,” the jockey said.

Scott Brunton took training honours at the meeting, landing a treble with Demons Run, The Captain and Extended Warranty. The Captain ran down Scouting Around to win the Class 1 Handicap and Brunton expects the three-year-old to go to a higher level. “He’s a nice horse, a very handy Class 4 type at least,’’ the trainer said. “He was actually unlucky not to win the Magic Millions over the carnival. “He missed the start before pulling hard outside the leader and still only got beaten 1-½ lengths.’’

Picture shows Vandermeer ridden by Daniel Ganderton wins at Devonport on Sunday.