Local trainer Paul Nelson was pleasantly surprised to welcome back The Cossack a victor following The TLJ Handicap (2200m) at Hastings on Monday.
New Zealand’s Champion Jumper was having a hit-out on the flat at his home track to keep him up to the mark ahead of the Signature Homes Waikato Steeplechase (3900m) at Te Rapa next week, but he loomed late to score by 2-1/4 lengths and rewarded his loyal backers with a $10.40 winning price.
“He was pretty full of himself and seven weeks between runs was a bit much, so we thought we would give him a run. It (win) was a bit unexpected,” said Nelson, who trains in partnership with Corrina McDougal.
“The Road To The Jericho was his last win on the flat (two years ago), but I think he might have only had one or two other flat runs since then.
“He had won a couple (on the flat) before we got him.”
The Cossack’s exploits on the flat will be short-lived, with plenty of prestige jumps races in his sights over the coming months.
“At the moment he will he head up to Te Rapa next week,” Nelson said.
Watch The Cossack's brilliant win at Hastings on Monday below.