Professional polo player aiming to score goal at racetrack

Professional polo player Aiden Nunn will be looking for a goal of a different kind when the travelling Tasmanian saddles up an ex-Lloyd Williams owned racehorse at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Nunn breeds and trains and competes with some of the world’s best polo ponies and travels to many parts of Australia to play professional polo.

Based at Longford, in the northern midlands of Tasmania, Nunn often takes a couple of racehorses that he also trains on his journeys far and wide around Australia.

Currently, he has based himself in southeast Queensland for the polo circuit but has already had some joy on the racetrack when import Hype won at the Doomben midweeks in June.

Horse trainer and professional polo player Aiden Nunn. Picture: Supplied

Hype started his life racing in Ireland and was then purchased and sent to Australia by big-time owner Williams, finding his way to trainers Robert Hickmott and Kris Lees before being purchased by Nunn.

Hype, who on Saturday lines up for his third start in Queensland, is an $8.50 chance in the BM78 Handicap (1600m) at Eagle Farm where he has drawn wide.

“I travel around Australia playing polo and I generally try to take a couple of racehorses with me and hopefully they are fast enough,” Nunn said.

“I chase the weather and Queensland is the only state that plays polo during the winter.

“Lloyd Williams wouldn’t originally have purchased Hype if he wasn’t a good type.

“I watched his replays and his breeding and he looked like he would be a miler plus.

“I was looking for a horse with the Devonport Cup in mind and a horse that could race in Saturday grade.

“Physically, Hype looks like he is just starting to come into his own.

“I like his chances on Saturday, he has been working nicely.

“Hopefully he can slot in somewhere in the race and he should finish off pretty well.”

Hype, trained by professional polo player Aiden Nunn, wins at Doomben in June. Picture: Grant Peters-Trackside Photography

Nunn, 35, once wanted to be a jockey but when he realised he was going to be too big, he turned his hand to the polo caper.

Nunn rose through the polo ranks while learning the craft at Wickford Polo Ponies.

“When I was a kid I wanted to be a jockey and when I first left school I started riding trackwork, but after about 12 months I worked out I was going to be too heavy to be a jockey,” Nunn said.

“That was back when we still had jumps racing in Tasmania, so I then thought maybe I could be a jumps jockey.

“But there was no way in hell I was going to be a jumps jockey, my Mum would have hated it.

“I was doing a bit of breaking in and I ended up being introduced to a family who had polo ponies, the Mackinnons from Wickford.

“They own a lot of the (thoroughbred) horses I train, they are part owners of Hype.”

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