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Jockey sings jumper’s praises

Emily Farr can’t hide her admiration for the rising jumping star Laekeeper.
The Welsh-born jockey barely moved a muscle aboard the well-related son of Keeper when they coasted to victory in the Patron Paddy’s Hurdle (3100m) at Te Aroha on Friday.
“He’s awesome, all I was trying to do was to slow him down,” Farr said.
“When I rode him here the first time he won this season he was a bit too fresh and he got up travelling sooner than I wanted.
“To go at that speed and finish off like he did showed he’s a freak. I can’t praise him enough.”
Trained by Simon Rees,Laekeeper’s main aim this preparation is the Hospitality New Zealand Canterbury Grand National Hurdles (4200m) on August 8 and more ground isn’t expected to worry the six-year-old.
“He’s strengthened beautifully, he’s so strong and bold,” Farr said. “All I have to do is to just get him to settle that bit better.
“He’s probably going to come back here on July 18 and we’ll see how much weight he gets, he could even have a flat run and he might go down to Christchurch with the (Craig) Phelan team.
“He was very good last year and the Great Northern Hurdle was being considered, but he was a bit young and green for that.”
Out of an unraced sister to the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) runner-up Laebeel, Laekeeper went to the front 3 f from home at Te Aroha and was untroubled from that point.
He had three and a-half lengths on the last-start winner Newstead at the post.

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