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By Ryan Reynolds, Geelong Advertiser, Thursday 10 October

Steve McKenna with 2012 Geelong Cup champion Hurunui Hitman who won’t defend his title.

GEELONG Cup-winning trainer Stephen McKenna may have found the successor for last year’s champion Hurunui Hitman.

McKenna will include talented young bitch You Say Goodbye in the nominations for the Group 2 Geelong Cup when they close this afternoon.

However Hurunui Hitman will be missing from the list.

“He has lost his early pace, so he just won’t be up to all the speed dogs there,” McKenna said.

“I will try and step him up over a bit further ground, I think. I trialled him at 450m at Ballarat and he went shocking, so I don’t think there is much hope for him over that distance.

He is about three or four lengths off his best. His early splits are probably five or six lengths.”

Hurunui Hitman has battled numerous injuries since his blistering win in last year’s Geelong Cup and has struggled to reach the same heights.

“He tore a triangular, so I had that stitched up and he tore it again,”‘ McKenna said.

“Then he dropped a muscle and he had a problem with a stopper bone tendon. Then he had a problem with the tendon in his hock.

It’s just one thing after another.

He is a week-to-week proposition, every race could be his last one.”

You Say Goodbye had her first crack at Geelong’s 460m course in her flying second during The Great Chase heats. She led the whole way except for when it mattered most.

“She was a bit stiff, she just got run down. She is quick very early,” McKenna said.

She is pretty young, she just turned two years old last month. She is a good box dog”

McKenna said she would benefit greatly from the run.

You would think (she would improve from her first run at Geelong),” McKenna said.

Her run was good and you would think she would improve a length so she will be down in the 25.60 seconds.

“You’d think that would be enough to win a heat or go close.”

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