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Longer assignments now for Lady Guinness 22 Feb 2018

   Hastings trainer Patrick Campbell is now looking to step Lady Guinness up in distance after the four-year-old registered her fifth win from only 13 starts when successful at last Sunday’s Poverty Bay meeting at Gisborne.

   The Falkirk mare, aided by a great ride by top apprentice Sam Weatherley, led all the way in taking out the $30,000 Jon Snow Poverty Bay Cup (1600m).

   Campbell has had a $25,000 Rating 75 race over 2100m at Hastings next Thursday in mind for the horse but is now concerned about how much weight she will have to carry following last Sunday’s win. She has now gone from Rating 71 to Rating 76.

   “She is still eligible to run in the Rating 75 race at Hastings but she will now probably have to carry topweight and, being her first run over a middle distance, it is going to make it that much harder,” Campbell said this week.

   A gear change brought about a required form improvement by Lady Guinness at Gisborne last Saturday. The mare had proved hard to handle at her last start when she laid out entering the home straight at Tauherenikau and threw away an advantage she had on her rivals at that point.

   Campbell opted for a one-cup blinker on the off-side of the horse’s head for last Sunday’s contest and the change worked the oracle. The plan was to try and settle the mare in the trail but, with no early pace, rider Sam Weatherley took her straight to the front and dictated the pace to a nicety. He kicked her clear on the point of the home turn and she ran straight as a gun-barrel up the home straight to hold out the fast finishing Tavigarde by half a neck.

    “She had been going well but she pretty much threw it away last time when she went a bit rank on the home bend,” Campbell said.

   “I had a bit of a tinker with her gear and worked her in a one-cup blinker during the week which seemed to suit her.”

   Campbell is part of the large syndicate that races the mare on lease from her breeder Windsor Park Stud and is keen to find a black-type assignment for her in the future.

   “She is a handy galloper who can handle a bit of cut in the ground, so she should be suited by the autumn tracks,” he said.

   Jason Brittin manages the syndicate that races Lady Guinness and has a 20 per cent share with the other members being Don, Rob and Alistair Poulgrain, Aaron Brittin, Nick Dorwood, Aaron Bourke, Jamie Flett, Mark O’Shaughnessy, Kelly O’Rourke, Eddie and Scotty Burn and Kim Bone.


Two big racedays at Hastings

   Hastings racegoers are in for a bonanza week with two feature meetings now scheduled to be run on the Hastings track within the next six days, both carding important black type races.

   With the Otaki track, at this stage, deemed unsuitable for racing tomorrow’s Otaki-Maori meeting has been transferred to Hastings. It is the club’s biggest raceday of the year and features the running of the Group 1 $200,000 Haunui Farm Weight-for-age Classic.

   The 1600m event has drawn small fields in recent years but the change of venue has enticed a number of extra horses from northern stables and there is a full field of 14 entered. They include last season’s New Zealand champion horse of the year Bonneval, last season’s champion sprinter Start Wondering, other Group 1 winners in Authentic Paddy and Consensus, outstanding performer Scapolo and the highly talented trio of Beefeater, Devise and Savvy Dreams.

   Gates will open at 11am and there is free admission to the racecourse and free access to the Hylton Smith Members Stand.

   The first race is timed for 12.33pm and the last at 4.38pm.

   There will also be free admission to next Thursday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting at Hastings, which will feature the running of the Group 3 $70,000 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes.

   The 2100m event is one of the races in the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year series and is expected to draw a high class field of three-year-old fillies including the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas winner Hasahalo, the exciting Cambridge-trained pair of Treasure and Milseain and the Michael and Matthew Pitman trained stablemates Savvy Coup and Pinup Coup.

   The Lowland Stakes has proven to be a tremendous guide to the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) to be run at Trentham next month, with the seven of the first four horses home in the last two runnings of the Hastings race going on to fill a first four placing in the Oaks.

   Two years ago Sofia Rosa took out the Lowland in front of Strada Cavallo, Amazing Lady and Fanatic. The following month Sofia Rosa was again first past the post in the Oaks from Fanatic and Strada Cavallo, with the first two placings reversed following an enquiry.

    Last year Bonneval won both the Lowland Stakes and New Zealand Oaks double. Savvy Dreams finished second to her in the Lowland and filled third place in the Oaks while Devise was third in the Hastings race and second in the Oaks. Nicoletta was fourth in both races.

    There will be an eight race programme next Thursday and it will be a twilight affair, with the first race timed for 2.12pm and the last at 6.27pm. The gates will open at 1pm and there will also be free access to the Hylton Smith Members Stand.


HB breeder shares in win

   Lubaya, a three-year-old co-bred by Hawke’s Bay’s Doug Phillips, broke through for an impressive maiden win at last Friday’s Wanganui meeting.

   The three-year-old Rip Van Winkle Mare came from near last at the 600 metres to get up and snatch a long neck victory over Detonate over 1360m.

   Lubaya is out of the Generous mare Lioness and was bred by Phillips in partnership with Windsor Park Stud and was sold for $85,000 at the premier session of the 2016 Karaka yearling sales.

   The filly is a half-sister to Lion Tamer, who won six races from the Murray Baker stable including two Group 1 races, the VRC Derby (2500m) and the Underwood Stakes (1800m).


Miss Wilson back next week

   Multiple stakes winner Miss Wilson will be back in action on her home course next Thursday.

   The Hastings mare has been freshened since she finished a luckless eighth in the Group 1 Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham last month.

   “She copped a couple of checks and was last at the crossing before she got put off balance again, but that’s Group 1racing,” trainer John Bary said.

   “She ran the third fastest last 600m so under those circumstances it was a good run.”

   The younger half-sister by Stratum to the Hawke’s Bay conditioner’s former champion three-year-old and multiple Group 1 winner Jimmy Choux has won six of her 23 starts.

   Miss Wilson doubled her black type tally in the spring when she was successful in the Group 3 Red Badge Sprint (1400m), having won the Group 3 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) last season.

   “We’ll take the softer option and she’ll run in the open 1400m here at Hastings on March 1 and then we’ll make a plan from there,” Bary said.

   “She could defend her Cuddle title and then maybe look at Te Aroha again.”

   Placed at the recent Foxton trials over 1000m, Miss Wilson ran fourth in the last edition of the Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha in April last year.


By-monthly award winners

   Megan Harvey and Sam Nelson, the owner-breeders of Kaipawe, are the recipients of the Kevin Wood Memorial by-monthly trophy for December and January.

   The award is presented by the Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners Association and Kaipawe won a 1300-metre maiden race at Hastings on December 13 at his third start, after a fourth placing over 1200m on the same track in November.


Top mare bound for Brisbane

   Volpe Veloce will chase top Australian honours at the Queensland winter carnival.

   The high-class four-year-old broke through at the highest level during her summer campaign when she won the Group 1Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day and was a luckless seventh in the Group 1 Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham in January.

   Her Ellerslie success completed her full house of black type credits following Group Two, Group Three and Listed successes last season.

   Volpe Veloce was given a break after her Telegraph outing and is now back in pre-training.

   Graham Richardson, who trains the mare in partnership with Gavin Parker, said she may have one race here before she goes to Brisbane, where the Stradbroke and the Tatts Tiara will be her main assignments.

   The Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) will be run at Eagle Farm on June 9 with the Group 1 Tatts Tiara (1600m) at the Gold Coast a fortnight later.


Brisbane plans for Queen

   The Queensland winter carnival remains firmly on the radar of the multiple stakes winner Prom Queen.

   “She’s fine and she’ll likely kick off in mid-April, there’s a race at Te Rapa for her and a week later one at Doomben, but we’ll give her a trial first and take it from there,” co-trainer Kenny Rae said.

   Prom Queen has won eight of her 11 starts, four of them at black type level, and was fourth last time out in the Group 3 Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m).

   “She had four or five weeks off. She’s come back a bit bigger and stronger,” Rae said.

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Hastings Trackwork 21 Feb 2018

   Good solo gallops by Savvy Dreams and Scandalo were the highlights in a reasonably busy trackwork session at Hastings today.

   The majority of fast work was carried out on the plough (good) with just Savvy Dreams given permission to work about five metres out from the running rail on the course proper (dead).

   She worked over 1000 metres in 1:8, the first 400 in a leisurely 29.8 and the last 600 in 38.2. The Savabeel mare looked to be full of running at the end of the gallop and it took track rider Hunter Durrant another 800 metres to pull her up.

   A change of plans will see Savvy Dreams line up in this Saturday’s Group 1 Haunui Farm Weight-for-age (1600m) now that the Otaki meeting has been transferred to Hastings. Originally she wasn’t going to race again until the Group 1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on March 10 but she has done so well since finishing fifth in the Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa that her connections are keen to give her another run before then. With Samantha Collett riding at the Matamata meeting on Saturday Masa Tanaka will be reunited with the mare at Hastings. He rode her to her first win on the Hastings track last year.

   Scandalo worked over 800 metres on the plough in 53.5, the last 600 in 37.8 and was also travelling strongly at the finish. He is another horse that has had a change of plans now that the Otaki meeting is at Hastings on Saturday and will contest the Rating 85 race there over 1200 metres.

   Keilib and Peso, two horses from the Paul Nelson stable likely to start at Wairoa next Sunday, worked together over 1200 metres in 1:18.6, the last 600 in 38.4.

   Keilib was a last start fourth in the Woodville Cup (2100m) on January 25 while Peso has been freshened since he was unplaced in the Dunstan Feeds Championship Final (2200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.

   A Per Incanto two-year-old and one by Roc de Cambes worked together over 600 metres in 38.9 while Tudor Angel ran a solo 1000 metres in 1:10.2, the last 600 in 39.5.

   Riba Mine had trainer Kate Hercock aboard when running 1000 metres, the last 800 in 54.8 and final 600 in 40.2 while Stradivarious was kept to just three-quarter pace when running 600 metres in 46.3.

   A Fastnet Rock two-year-old and a Zacinto three-year-old, both trained by James Bridge, worked easily over 600 metres in 44.6 while Serenity ran the last 600 metres of her work in 45.1.

   A Roc de Cambes three-year-old gelding and a Niagara-Laced Up two-year-old filly worked together at three-quarter pace from the 800-metre peg, the last 600 in 43.

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Hastings pair now on course for Group 1 races at Ellerslie 14 Feb 2018

   Hastings-trained mare Savvy Dreams is likely to have her next start in the Group 1 $200,000 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes at Ellerslie on March 10 following her game run for fifth in last Saturday’s Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa.

   The Savabeel mare drew the extreme outside barrier in the 2000m weight-for-age event at Te Rapa and struck unsuitable track conditions, which became a slow-9 after heavy rain fell there on Friday night and again on Saturday.

   Guy Lowry, who trains Savvy Dreams in partnership with Grant Cullen, doubted the mare’s ability to cope with the very wet track conditions, given that all her best form has been on footing rated no worse than dead.

   “I knew she would struggle and I actually thought she would finish further back than she did. But she is one very tough mare and, although she never handled it, she still tried her heart out,” Lowry said.

   The pre-race plan was to hopefully settle Savvy Dreams just behind midfield from her wide draw and then hopefully improve her position starting the last 800 metres. But rider Samantha Collett was almost unseated when the mare ducked sideways as she bounded out of the barrier and she was clear last at end of the first 200 metres.

   Collett said later that, when she tried to urge the mare to go forward in the middle stages, she felt her floundering in the ground and so elected to sit and wait until the home straight to angle her out into slightly better footing.

   Just as Savvy Dreams started to go forward approaching the home turn another runner, Promise To Reign, pushed out inside the mare and shunted her eight-wide rounding the bend. She looked a forlorn hope after that but rallied gamely in the final 300 metres to pick up fifth stakemoney of $8500 for her connections.

   Savvy Dreams was one of two horses the Lowry/Cullen stable lined up in the race, the other being Wait A Sec. He was expected to cope best out of the two in the testing ground but he got stuck down on the inside, in the worst part of the track, and couldn’t quicken at all over the final stages when finishing a distant eighth.

   Lowry said both horses were noticeably very tired immediately after the race but that both returned to normal after a couple of days, with Savvy Dreams back at the Hastings track on Tuesday where she underwent some slow work.

   Lowry said Savvy Dreams won’t have another run again until the Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes, which is also run under weight-for-age conditions over 2000m.

   Meanwhile Wait A Sec is one of a team of horses the Lowry/Cullen team will have campaigning at the upcoming Poverty Bay and Wairoa meetings.

   Wait A Sec will contest the $30,000 Wairoa Cup (2100m) on February 25 and, providing he performs well there, he will also then head to Ellerslie on March 10 for the Group 1 $500,000 Auckland Cup (3200m).

   The annual Poverty Bay meeting will be staged at Gisborne this Sunday while the two-day Wairoa meeting will be on the following Thursday and Sunday.

   Other horses the Lowry/Cullen stable intend to campaign at either Gisborne or Wairoa include Pakapunch, Saint Kitt, Silhouette Beauty, Real Beach, Strut, Tuigold, Uncle Bro, Dare To Rock, Aperol, Deb, Voxer and Rainbowone.


Lowland next for Dijon Bleu

   Dijon Bleu has taken a commanding lead in the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year series following her outstanding win in last Saturday’s Listed $100,000 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies Classic (2000m) at Te Rapa.

   The daughter of Burgundy has now amassed 22 points in the series, with second placed Contessa Vanessa on 13.5. Hasahalo is lying third on the table with 12 points and Hello It’s Me is the next best on 8.

   There are three races left in the series, the Group 3 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings on March 1, the Group 3 McKee Family Sunline Vase (2100m) at Ellerslie on March 3 and the Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 17.

   The Lowland Stakes and the Sunline Vase both carry points of six for a win, three for second and 1.5 for third while the points allocated for the New Zealand Oaks are 12 for a win, seven for second and 3.5 for third.

   Dijon Bleu’s Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta said the filly is likely to contest the Lowland Stakes next and a decision on whether or not she then goes on to the Oaks will be made after that.

   Dijon Bleu won the first leg of the series, the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings at the beginning of September last year and has been campaigned right through since then. She was subsequently placed in both the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton and Group 3 Eulogy Stakes (1550m) at Awapuni before posting a dominant victory in the Group 3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham. She then produced another commanding display at Te Rapa last Saturday in what was her first start beyond 1600m.

   Jockey Jonathan Riddell, who was replacing the suspended Leith Innes, settled Dijon Bleu midfield and bided his time, waiting for the gaps to appear in the home straight. They managed to get a split between horses 300 metres out and Dijon Bleu showed an amazing turn of foot to sprint clear and then hold out the fast finishing Mark Two by three-quarters of a length.


Boxachocolates weighted out

   The connections of Boxachocolates have sent the lightly-tried stayer to Australia for a sweeter future.

   They believe the Alamosa five-year-old has become too difficult to place in New Zealand and he has headed to Melbourne where he will be trained by Stephen Brown at Flemington.

   “I’ve got 25 horses and we looked after Boxachocolates and now he’s gone instead of running in our cup races,” former trainer Mike Breslin said.

   “There’s been no falling out between the owners and I and I don’t blame them the way things are.”

   The trans-Tasman move was prompted following Boxachocolates’ win off a 54kg minimum at Awapuni in December.

   “There wasn’t a Rating 85 for him so we had to run in the Cup Prelude, a $35,000 race and he got 17 points – that was only the fourth win of his life,” Breslin said.

   “Authentic Paddy, a Group One winner, and Ocean Emperor, who won the Group 2 at Tauranga, were in the field, but the handicapper didn’t use any discretion and my horse went from the minimum to 58.5kg.”

   Boxachocolates was unplaced in the Group 3 Manawatu Cup (2100m) a week later when on a rating of 88.

   “I rang Racing Victoria and said to them that I was considering bringing the horse over and they said he would be rated 78,” Breslin said.

   “When I relayed that to the owners it wasn’t really a surprise they decided to send him to a Melbourne trainer.”


Ugo Foscolo back in NZ

   Group One winner Ugo Foscolo will be back on track tomorrow week.

   “He was going to trial at Matamata this week, but they were cancelled, so he’ll go straight to the open 1200m on Matamata Cup day,” trainer Stephen Marsh said. “He looks great and it’s great to have him back.”

   Marsh prepared Ugo Foscolo won his first three starts in New Zealand in 2016, including the El Roca Three-year-old Sprint (1200m) at Hastings. He then went on to take out the Group 2 Sarten Memorial (1400m) at Te Rapa and the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton, before the son of Zacinto transferred to the Sydney stable of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.

   Muscle soreness restricted him to just one unplaced run in Australia before he returned home.


Aussie coming for Derby

   Australian-trained three-year-old has been confirmed as a likely starter in the Group 1 $1million Vodafone New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie on March 3.

   The Darren Weir-trained colt is the winner of four races from only 10 starts and scored an effortless 2-3/4 length victory in the Listed Tasmanian Derby (2200m) last Friday. He was also successful over 2000m at Flemington on New Year’s Day.

   New Zealand-bred Civil Disobedience is by Raise The Flag out of Pernote and was a $32,500 purchase from a 2016 South Island sale when offered from the draft from White Robe Lodge.


Jasd bound for Hong Kong

   Unbeaten three-year-old gelding Jasd will be making his way to Hong Kong after being sold by Waikato bloodstock agent Bryce Tankard to clients of expatriate New Zealand trainer Paul O’Sullivan.

   Formerly trained by Tony Pike, Jasd won impressively on debut at Taupo by nearly 2 lengths late last year before winning his only other start over 1400m at Trentham on Wellington Cup day.

   Jasd was originally purchased by Tankard out of the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale. He went to $240,000 to secure the son of Sepoy out of Kilgravin Lodge’s draft for another Hong Kong client.

   “He’s a horse that has always shown plenty of ability and we just took him along quietly because he is a lovely big horse and we didn’t want to rush him,” Tankard said.

   “The current owner didn’t have a permit for Hong Kong and he has sold a few horses up to Hong Kong that have gone on to do very good jobs. So he is always open to the deal of moving a few horses.”

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