Receive Our Newsletter Twitter Facebook


   An easy all the way win by Smokin’ Oak and a good hit out by Sheer Elegance were among the highlights at today’s Hastings jumpouts.

   There were seven heats run at either 750m or 1000m and were held up against the running rail on the course proper (dead).

   Smokin’ Oak flew the gates to take a clear early lead in his 750m heat and never looked like being caught, winning by 6 lengths in a time of 46.1s.

   The Burgundy four-year-old disappointed when finishing last over 1400m at Awapuni last Saturday and so trainer John Bary said he changed some gear on the horse for today’s jumpout and he certainly showed a marked improvement.

   Bary is unsure where Smokin’ Oak will start next but did say he is considering stepping the horse up in class for a Rating 72 race over 1200m at Wanganui on June 1.

   Sheer Elegance clocked the fastest time of the three 1000m heats when she clocked 59.8s in beating two rivals in good style. Trainer Lee Somervell is finding it hard to find a suitable race for the Civics mare, who has recorded a second and a fourth over 1600m in her last two starts.

   “I’d like to give her another 1600 somewhere but there is a lack of 1600-metre maiden races at the moment,” Somervell said.

   Other good winners at the jumpouts were Overstayer, Motivation and a Savabeel two-year-old gelding from the Lowry/Cullen stable.



Heat 1, 750m: Ocean Park 2yr-old gelding (T Morgan) 1, Iffraaj 2yr-old gelding 2, Raise The Flag 3yr-old gelding 3. Three starters. Margins: Head, 15 lengths. Time: 51.2. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 2, 750m: Niagara-Little Hazel 2yr-old filly (K Hercock) 1, Niagara-Belfast babe 2yr-old filly 2, Jakalberry 3yr-old filly 3. Three starters. Margins: Long neck, 7 lengths. Time: 51.4. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 3, 750m: Savabeel 2yr-old gelding (T Morgan) 1, Ocean Park 2yr-old gelding 2, Jimmy Choux 2yr-old filly 3. Three starters. Margins: Neck, 2 lengths. Time: 45.9. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 4, 750m: Smokin’ Oak (K Hercock) 1, Rock ‘N’ Pop-Mink 2yr-old 2, Eastern Warrior 3. Four starters. Margins: 6 lengths, ½ length. Time: 46.1. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 5, 1000m: Overstayer (S Thompson) 1, Mistletoe 2, Louboutin 3. Four starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, 5 lengths. Time: 1:01.1. Winner trained by Sue Thompson & Mick Brown, Hastings.

Heat 6, 1000m: Sheer Elegance (T Morgan) 1, Bucky 2, Devi 3. Three starters. Margins: ½ length, 2 lengths. Time: 59.8. Winner trained by Lee Somervell, Hastings.

Heat 7, 1000m: Motivation (K Hercock) 1, Charlie Zulu 2, Stradivarius 3. Five starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, 1 length. Time: 60.5. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

View Article

Celebratory drink for The Puketapu Lad’s owners 23 May 2019

   The owners of The Puketapu Lad, who broke through for a maiden win at Otaki on Thursday of last week, are so devoted to their horse that they have even invited him in for a drink at their local pub.

   Sean O’Connor, who manages the See You At The Puke Trap Syndicate that races the four-year-old Roc de Cambes gelding, says that even though the horse is only a one-race winner he is already a legend in the country area of Puketapu, north-west of Napier.

   “It was when he was in his first preparation, at the end of last year, that we arranged to have him come into the bar of the Puketapu,” O’Connor said this week.

   “It was a big occasion and I have to thank Mary Danielson , the proprietor of the Puketapu Hotel, for allowing it to happen. But she has got a share in the horse anyway so that helped.”

   Asked whether The Puketapu Lad had a drink while he was up at the bar, O’Connor replied: “We gave him a beer. He had a sniff of a jug but probably preferred something else.”

   The Puketapu Lad, who is prepared by the Hastings partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, was having his seventh start when he broke through for his first win over 1600m at Otaki. The horse was slow away and a distant equal last for the first 400m of the race before jockey Sam O’Malley managed to pinch runs down on the inside and improve to midfield approaching the home turn.

   O’Malley stayed hard up against the inside rail swinging round the home bend, so that he never had to go around a horse, and The Puketapu Lad hit the front early in the home straight to put a break on his rivals.

   Rex Royale put him under pressure inside the last 100 metres but The Puketapu Lad managed to hold him out by half a head on the line.

   It was the horse’s first glimpse of form, with his best placing in six previous starts being a fifth over 1600m at Hastings on New Year’s Day.

   O’Connor said there are 13 members in the See You At The Puke Trap Syndicate and most of them are first time owners. They include a couple from Palmerston North, who were on course at Otaki to celebrate the win, and one member who lives in Papua New Guinea.

   “I couldn’t get there myself because it was a mid-week race meeting and I had to work,” O’Connor said.

   “Most of us in the horse are from around the Puketapu area and we meet and drink at the Puketapu Hotel.”

   O’Connor and his wife Angela and two other syndicate members, Garry and Heather Collins, bred The Puketapu Lad out of the Danske mare Boxer Fluffies.

   Boxer Fluffies was the winner of four races and finished second behind subsequent Group 1 winner Baldessarini over 1300m at Awapuni in December 2004.

   “Angela and I and Garry and Heather are the Mow The Lawn Syndicate and we own the mare Boxer Fluffies,” Sean O’Connor said.

   “We are still breeding from her and Guy and Grant have got a two-year-old full-brother to The Puketapu Lad in work now.

   “We’ve also got a weanling full-brother coming on but the mare missed getting in foal this year.”

   The Puketapu Lad has spent most of this preparation working over the hills on the Dannevirke property operated by Grant Cullen and his partner Nikki Lourie and that has obviously built up the horse’s stamina.

   “He really fought on well when he won the other day and the heavy-10 track obviously helped him,” co-trainer Grant Cullen said.

   “He might now go back to Awapuni on May 30 for a Rating 65 race over 1550 metres or else to Wanganui on June 1 for a Rating 65 over 2040 metres.

   “It all depends on the tracks and he’ll go wherever it is the heaviest.”


Top goal is finally achieved

   Hastings-trained One Prize One Goal picked up a well deserved win for his connections when taking out the $22,500 Awapuni-Water Force 1400 at Awapuni last Saturday.

   The Ekraar five-year-old had recorded four seconds, three thirds and a fourth from nine starts since New Year’s Day and had been narrowly beaten on several occasions.

   “He certainly deserved that win,” trainer Lee Somervell said this week. “He’s gone so close a number of times and has been just beaten by some pretty good horses.”

   “I told the girl that rode him to give him a good look at the winning post on the way to the start just so he knew where it was,” he quipped.

   Somervell was worried that the heavy-10 track at Awapuni could have been a bit too testing for One Prize One Goal so he instructed promising apprentice Hazel Schofer to be positive on the horse and get him up into a handy position from the start.

   Schofer followed the instructions to the letter, bouncing the horse out quickly from the barrier to get up outside the leader Pincanto at the end of the first 400m. She then let One Prize One Goal slide forward to take the lead coming to the home bend and he quickly established a break on the opposition early in the home straight.

   Paddy Bourke mounted a big finish from the back inside the last 300m but  One Prize One Goal, with Schofer keeping him balanced with just a hands and heels ride, managed to just hold on for a nose decision.

   “It was a good ride by young Hazel, who is building a good record. The 4 kilogram allowance that she gets certainly helped because this track didn’t really suit the horse,” Somervell said after the win.

   One Prize One Goal was recording his fourth win and his first since taking out a $22,500 Rating 65 race over 1200m at Hastings in April last year.

   He is owned by Somervell’s Napier-based partner Shirin Wood and her son Calvin and raced by them along with the estate of Shirin’s late husband Kevin.

   The Woods bred One Prize One Goal out of the Towkay mare Sheeza Kinda Magic, who was unplaced from three starts but was out of Wake Up Suzie, a mare that recorded five wins and 11 minor placings.

  Somervell had intended turning One Prize One Goal out for a winter spell after last Saturday’s race but said the horse has come through it so well that he might give him one more start, in a Rating 72 race over 1600m at Wanganui on June 1..

   “I’d like to give him a break and then bring him back for some of those good races at Hawke’s Bay in the spring,” Somervell said.


Napoleon rules in  maiden steeples

   Hawke’s Bay racehorse owner Don Poulgrain has waited 15 years to get a good horse and Napoleon could be the one that fulfils his life-time dreams.

   The six-year-old Shinko King gelding created a big impression when winning a maiden steeplechase at Te Rapa last Saturday. It was the horse’s fourth win and his second over fences after he took out a maiden hurdle at the same Te Rapa   meeting last year. He now looks destined for much bigger things as a jumper.

   “He’s certainly looking good,” Poulgrain said when contacted earlier this week.

   “He seems to be a two course specialist at this stage because he’s raced twice at Te Rapa and won and twice at Wairoa and won.”

   Napoleon started out in the Otaki stable of former New Zealand trainer Rachael Frost, who still has a share in the horse, but is now based in Victoria, Australia. She transferred him to Wanganui trainer Kevin Myers just over 12 months ago with the plan to develop him into a jumper.

   Myers has adopted a patient policy with the horse and it should now start to reap rewards. He finished second in his hurdle debut over 3000m at Wanganui in May last year before winning a 2800m hurdle race at Te Rapa.

   Poulgrain has been mad keen on racing since he was a youngster and has had shares in a number of horses over the years with limited success. But he was keen to get into another one.

   “I asked Rachael if she had anything I could take a share in and she said yes and that is how I got a 10 per cent share in Napoleon,” Poulgrain said.

   “He now looks a very promising steeplechaser.”

   The only drawback Poulgrain can see is that the horse doesn’t like heavy tracks at the moment and we are now heading into winter.

   “He might have to go to Australia where the tracks don’t get quite so heavy and he could be competitive there.”

   In the meantime Napoleon could contest a minor steeplechase race over 4000m at Trentham on June 8 and then maybe the Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase (4800m) on June 29.


Myrtle chalks up fourth victory

   Hawke’s Bay-owned Myrtle made it four wins from 15 starts with another dominant victory in a $25,000 Rating 72 race over 1600m at Awapuni last Saturday.

   The Keeper mare, trained on the Awapuni track by David Goldsbury, added to her good record on her home track where she has had six starts for two wins and a third.

   She is a mare that has had niggling injuries in the past but looks to have come back this season better than ever, with two wins from her last three starts.

   Myrtle was bred by Napier’s Tony Aldridge  and Hastings-based Gerard Moughan.

   They are both members of a big syndicate that races Myrtle with Moughan’s wife Vera and Aldridge’s Wellington-based brother Pat also among the members. The others are Ken Lynch and Morrie Belle from Napier, Alan Hunt, Bevan Bramley and Alistair Poulgrain from Hastings, Terry Coffey and John and Stephen Dine from Taradale and Peter Wilkins from Havelock North.


View Article

Secret Squirrel proving a hit for Hawke’s Bay owner 16 May 2019

   Taradale racehorse owner Ken Robson is starting to finally reap rewards after nearly 40 years of racing horses with Secret Squirrel providing the 73-year-old with some exciting times of late.

   Robson has a 50 per cent share in the Showcasing five-year-old, who took his record to two wins, seven seconds and a third from 14 starts when scoring a decisive 1-1/4 length win in a $22,500 Rating 65 race over 1200m at New Plymouth last Saturday and looks destined for bigger things in the future.

   Secret Squirrel, who is also part-owned by his New Plymouth trainer Bryce Revell, credited Robson with his first success as an owner when he took out a 1350m maiden race at Wanganui in September last year and the horse has now only once failed to return a stakemoney cheque.

   “It’s pretty exciting,” a delighted Robson said this week.

   “I’ve been in this game a long time and he’s the best horse I’ve had.”

   Robson said the first horse he raced was Ipi Tombi, who was trained at Hastings by Marlene Todd back in 1980 and was unplaced in three starts.

   “I’ve been involved in close on 20 other horses since then but most of them have been no good,” he said.

   “My father Reg was a keen racehorse owner and when he died in 2004 I was left two fillies by Handsome Ransom.”

   “I decided to send them over the Bryce Revell but he quickly told me not to waste my time with them. He said he had bought a yearling from the South Island that I could take a half-share in and that is Secret Squirrel.”

   Revell had paid $8500 at a Christchurch sale for the son of Showcasing out of an unraced Commands mare and the gelding has now won more than $42,000 in prizemoney.

   “Bryce named him Secret Squirrel because, as a young horse, he was always into everything,” Robson recalled.

   Secret Squirrel showed immediate promise on the racetrack, finishing second on debut behind Dark Princess in a 1200m maiden at Hastings in July 2017. He then recorded another three seconds, a third and two fourths from his next seven starts before developing joint issues in his knees.

   He was off the scene for seven months, resuming at the start of this season with a second and a fourth before his Wanganui win.

   “Bryce rang me not long after that win and said the horse was again suffering from joint problems and might be gone in the knees,” Robson said.

   “He had another six months off and has now had three starts back for two seconds and last Saturday’s win.”

   Revell said Secret Squirrel was “full of tricks” as a young horse and took a long to break in.

   “But he’s now grown into a pretty good horse,” he added.

   Revell said Secret Squirrel has come through last Saturday’s win in such good order that he now intends backing the horse up in a $25,000 Rating 72 race over 1400m at Te Rapa tomorrow.

   Robson now has a share in two other horses trained by Revell and he and the trainer purchased a weanling filly by Per Incanto for $700 on Monday of this week off the thoroughbred auction site Gavelhouse.


Australian success for HB couple

   Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred breeder Richard Wood and his wife Liz celebrated a win in Australia last week but he is one of a growing number of New Zealand racehorse owners disillusioned by the current state of the New Zealand racing and breeding industry.

   The Woods are part-owners in Chouxting The Mob, who took out a $A50,000 Rating 70 race over 2400m at Sandown on Wednesday of last week.

   It was the horse’s fourth win from 15 starts and he has also recorded three seconds and two thirds for stake earnings of $A94,615.

   The Woods bred Chouxting The Mob but decided to sell him as a weanling at the 2014 Karaka mixed bloodstock sale.

   “We sold him for $60,000 but retained a 10 per cent ownership in him,” Wood recalled this week.

   The horse went to Australia to be trained by Simon Morrish at Ballarat and he arranged a large syndicate to take up the other 90 per cent ownership in the horse.

   Chouxting The Mob showed good early potential with a win, a second, a third and a fourth from his first six starts. However he was then found to have a bone fracture in one of his legs which necessitated in him being sidelined for more than 12 months.

   The five-year-old resumed with a fifth over 1500m at Geelong in January this year and has since had another eight starts for three wins, two seconds and a third.

   “He is a pretty good horse and he stays very well,” Wood said.

   “He’s the sort of horse that you need to starting moving on at the 1000-metre peg in a race. He can’t sprint at the finish but he never stops.”

   The Woods bred Chouxting The Mob out of the Reset mare Bidthemobgooday, who they bought from Australia when in-foal to Duporth.

   They sold the resultant foal who is now called Duplicity and has won five races and finished second in last year’s New Zealand Cup (3200m).

   Chouxting The Mob is likely to have his next start in a $A50,000 race over 2500m at Cranbourne on May 24. He is the second foal the Woods bred out of Bidthemobgooday and they then sold the mare in foal to Jimmy Choux.

   The Woods are best known as the breeders and owners of former champion galloper Jimmy Choux, who was a five time Group 1 winner and finished second in the 2011Cox Plate.

   Jimmy Choux has been standing at Rich Hill Stud, in the Waikato, since 2012 with the Woods retaining a 35% ownership in the horse. However he has recently been sold outright to prominent West Australian  owner-breeder Alan MacAlister and will stand next season at Wayne and Tracy Rodwell’s Rosalee Park Stud in Serpentine, WA.

   Jimmy Choux was New Zealand’s leading first season sire in 2015-16 and has been a consistent producer of winners in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

   He was represented with his first Group 1 winner when The Bostonian took out last Saturday’s $A800,000 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) in Queensland and Wood believes the stallion will be much better patronized in Australia.

   “You make some bad decisions in life and bringing him (Jimmy Choux) back to stand at stud in New Zealand was the worst decision I’ve made in 45 years,” Wood said.

   “He has not been well patronized at stud here and I don’t know why,” Wood said.

   “We sold the highest priced yearling by him for $210,000 at the 2016 Karaka sales and that horse went to Japan. He has been named Cosmo Periot over there and has had two wins and six seconds in Tokyo.”

   Jimmy Choux covered 75 mares in the 2014 breeding season but his popularity with breeders has waned ever since.

   Wood says the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry in New Zealand is in very bad shape which is why he is now concentrating more on Australia.

   “Most of our mares are moving to Australia. It is a waste of time breeding and racing horses here with the poor stakemoney that is on offer.”


Miss Wilson to be sold at auction

   The Group 1 winning racemare Miss Wilson is to be offered for sale at the Magic Millions mixed bloodstock sale in Queensland at the end of this month.

   The Stratum six-year-old, bred and owned by Hawke’s Bay couple Richard and Liz Wood, is a half-sister to the five-time Group 1 winner Jimmy Choux.

   She will be offered as part of the draft from Lime Country Thoroughbreds and is in foal to boom Australian sire Zoustar.

   Miss Wilson had 25 starts from the Hastings stable of John Bary for seven wins, four seconds and three thirds. She took out last year’s Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha and was also twice successful at Group 3 level, in the Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham and Red Badge Spring Sprint (1400m) at Hastings.


By-monthly award winners

   The mother and daughter combination of Diana Clough and Sarah Gregory-Hunt are the recipients of the Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners Association’s Kevin Wood Memorial by-monthly award for the months of March and April.

   Clough and Gregory-Hunt are the breeders and owners of Rekohu Diva, a five-year-old mare by Playmaker who  is trained on the Hastings track by Sue Thompson and Mick Brown and scored a game maiden win over 1200m at Otaki on April 10.


HB races next Wednesday

   Jumping action will return to the Hastings track next Wednesday when Hawke’s Bay Racing stages its annual Fruitfed Supplies raceday.

   At this stage an eight race programme is scheduled, including an open hurdle race which may be split into two races, depending on the number of entries.

   The first race is timed for 12.01pm and there is free admission for patrons as well as free entry to the Members Stand.

View Article

© Copyright 2019 Hawkes Bay Racing