Hank The Hustler stormed into RSN Sandown Cup calculation with a breathtaking 41.38 gallop at Sandown Park on Thursday night.
On a warm night conducive to fast times, Hank The Hustler was sent to the 715m boxes the $1.40 favourite following his 41.69 win a week earlier. He began cleanly from box 8 but it was kennelmate My Girl Kizzy who began best to open a four length margin through the first turn, a margin she’d maintain passing the winning post the first time. Hank The Hustler made his move through the catching Pen and quickly erased the deficit after one lap and accelerated away, powering to the line to win by 4.5 lengths in 41.38.
His winning time was the fastest recorded since Here’s Tears set the track record in January 2020 and the 11th fastest ever.
“He got out well and went well,” said trainer Jeff Britton, who completed the trifecta with Weblec Haze and My Girl Kizzy.
Formerly trained by owner Nathan Wilson in South Australia, Hank The Hustler arrived in Britton’s kennels in November last year after running third to local staying star Sir Truculent on his staying debut.
“Nathan thought he’d stay. He was bit of a duffer over 600m – he was getting well back and running home really well, but I just didn’t really know.
“I didn’t think he’d be running those sort of times, but Nathan was quite confident he was going well enough to send him over.
“I was rapt in the time and everything, but the track is on fire and the weather is good, so that obviously helped.”
Following the run, TAB installed ‘Hank’ the $6 second favourite for the $250,000 RSN Sandown Cup. However with the series still six weeks away (the final will be run on Thursday 27th May) and Hank now a grade 3 at Sandown Park, Britton faces some challenges in getting his relatively inexperienced stayer ready for the world’s richest race for stayers.
“There’s a Special Event next week so hopefully he can get a race, otherwise he’ll probably have to go to the Meadows for a grade 5.
“After his run last week I thought about going to Perth, but then I thought about getting a few wins under his belt and get him used to the staying game here.”
Three races after Hank The Hustler’s brilliant victory, Zipping Rambo blitzed his rivals to record the second fastest 595m victory at Sandown Park, saluting in 33.659 and missing Dyna Double One’s longstanding track record by less than half a length.
Click here for full results and replays.