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Dez continues rise to stardom with fifth success 16 Aug 2018

   Dez, a horse that could easily have ended up as a showjumper, is fast making a big impression on the racetrack.

   The Waipukurau-trained seven-year-old took his record to five wins from only 10 race starts when taking out last Saturday’s $40,000 Christchurch Casino Winter Classic at Riccarton and his connections say he is still learning what racing is all about.

   “He’s been green and is still learning his ringcraft,” successful trainer and part-owner Simon Wilson said after the horse’s dominant 2-1/2 length victory in the 1800m feature flat race on the last day of the Grand National meeting.

   “He’s taken a bit of time as he had an injury, but he’s getting better and better,” he added.

   Wilson owns Dez in partnership with two close friends, Sam Lennox (Waverley) and Paul Mitchell (Patea) and the trio bought the horse off another friend, Doug Isaacson. Both Isaacson and Wilson have been New Zealand showjumping representatives.

   Wilson recalled this week that Dez’s sire Zed was standing at Little Avondale Stud in Masterton and the stud proprietors, Sam and Catriona Williams, donated a service fee to the stallion as part of first prize in the Grand Prix jump at a Wairarapa show.

   “Doug Isaacson won the Grand Prix and had a mare that he put to Zed and then had a foal running around in the paddock that he didn’t want to carry on with,” Wilson said.

   “He offered the horse for sale to myself and a couple of mates and we’d had a few horses before so we decided to race him together.”

   Dez didn’t start racing until he was a late three-year-old but showed instant ability, winning two of his first three starts before suffering a tendon injury.

   Wilson said Rangitikei vet Tim Pearce gave him an intense programme to follow to hopefully repair the tendon, which involved keeping the horse being confined for three to four months and then a lengthy spell.

   Wilson, who operates a sheep and cattle farm, said he gave the horse a year out running around the hills to strengthen the tendon and then gave him a lot of slow work and more than two months on a treadmill at Sam Lennox’s property before he put any real pressure on the leg again.

   Dez finally returned to the races at his local meeting at Waipukurau on May 3 and showed he had lost none of his ability by scoring an impressive win over 1600m. He followed that up with a couple of minor placings and sealed his Riccarton trip with a win in the Whyte Handicap (1600m) at Trentham last month.

   Dez finished a good third behind Platinum Command and She’s Poppy in the Group 3 Winter Cup (1600m) on the first day of the Grand National meeting and improved on that run to score a decisive win last Saturday, aided by a great ride by jockey Lisa Allpress.

   Allpress made the most of the horse’s inside barrier draw to settle him fourth, just in behind the leader, and hugged the inside rail rounding the home turn while other jockeys scouted out wide.

   Dez shot to a clear lead early in the home straight and, despite getting his head up and wanting to run around, he maintained a strong finish to the line to hold out Elfee and Platinum Command.

   Allpress believes there is still plenty to come for Dez once he improves his racing manners.

  “He’s still so green and does a lot wrong but he just tries so hard,” she said.

  “He charged along quite hard early on and it took a lot to get him to come back underneath me.

   “He’s the sort of horse who doesn’t like to be hit by the whip as he runs around. When I got to the fence I really made him hit the line as having the fence inside him made him run straight.

   “He’s still just figuring out what it’s all about but in time I think he will come right.”

   Wilson is unsure where Dez will start next but thinks it could be in the Group 3 $80,000 Boehringer Ingelheim 1550 at Awapuni on September 15.


Thompson to be honoured

   Murray Thompson, an important official at Hastings race meetings for more than four decades, died last week after a battle with cancer. He was 72.

   Thompson was the regular Clerk of the Course for Hawke’s Bay Racing, leading in thousands of winners whilst also ensuring the jockeys and horses were safe on the track. He took over the role from his father Hugh Thompson in the mid 1970s and had his last day of officiating at the Hawke’s Bay meeting on April 28 this year.

   A successful amateur jockey in his younger days, Thompson was also in national teams for showjumping, representing New Zealand at competitions in Australia. He was a brother of Sue Thompson, also a former national equestrian representative and now a Hastings thoroughbred trainer.

   Murray Thompson was a member of the Hawke’s Bay Hunt for 59 years and the Huntsman for the last 44. He was made a life member of that body at the last hunt for this season, on July 7.

   "Murray was a wonderful horseman and an iconic figure at Hastings race meetings for decades," said Hawke’s Bay Racing CEO Andrew Castles.

   Castles said Hawke’s Bay Racing recently took the opportunity to initiate a trophy in honour of Thompson which will be competed for at the upcoming Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival.

   “It will be known as the Murray Thompson Memorial Trophy and awarded to the leading rider on a points system over the three days,” he said.

   The three day meeting comprises of the Tarzino Daffodil Trophy raceday on September 1; the Windsor Park Plate meeting on September 22 and the Livamol Classic meeting on October 6.

   Castles said Hawke’s Bay Racing felt it was only appropriate to present a trophy for jockeys in recognition of Thompson’s many years of dedication to their cause.

   The winning jockey will also receive a $500 voucher from Winiata Saddlery.


Nelson bags another three

   Hastings trainer Paul Nelson continued his great recent run with three more winners at different venues in the space of a week.

   Nelson was in Christchurch last week campaigning a team at the Grand National meeting and saddled up Peso to win the final race on the middle day, on August 8. The following day he was also represented by runners at Woodville and took out the opening event with No Tip.

   He then lined up two horses at Wednesday’s Te Aroha meeting and took out the $20,000 restricted open steeplechase with Perry Mason.

   Peso brought up his fifth win when taking out a $30,000 Rating 82 race over 2000m at Riccarton. The seven-year-old Colombia gelding is raced by Nelson and his wife Carol and has now won them more than $79,000 in stakemoney.

   The Nelsons also bred and own No Tip, who was having just his second start when he lined up in a 2100m maiden at Woodville, while Perry Mason is raced by the I See Red Syndicate and is now the winner of six races, two of them in steeplechase events.

   No Tip only home by a long head in a close three-way finish and it was mainly due to an inch perfect ride from jockey Lisa Allpress. She had the horse trailing second in the early stages before taking him to the front with 1300m to run and dictated the pace from there. They were headed early in the home straight but No Tip rallied again in the final stages, under a vigorous ride, to outlast Our Charli’s Angel and Grand Rex.

   No Tip is a son of Mettre En Jeu and added to the outstanding record his dam Grosveness has had as a broodmare.

   Grosveness, by Grosvenor, has now ceased breeding but has also left the winners No Change (8 wins), No Credit (2 wins), No Governance (3 wins), No Cash (7 wins), Ho Down (8 wins) and Dash For Fame, who was successful in Singapore.


Tarzino entries down to 28

   Twenty-eight horses are still trying to make the final field of 16 for the first Group 1 race of the new season at Hastings on Saturday, September 1.

   This year’s Tarzino Trophy looks certain to attract one of the best fields ever carded for the 1400-metre weight-for-age feature on the first day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.

   The order of entry for the race is determined mainly by the entrants’ performances in stakes races in the last 18 months, with preference given to Group 1 placings.

   Jon Snow, winner of the Group 1 ATC Derby and Group 2 Tulloch Stakes in Sydney as a three-year-old as well as last season’s Group 3 JRA Cup in Melbourne, heads the order of entry ahead of the three time Group 1 winner Start Wondering.

   Start Wondering is currently second favourite at $8.00 on the TAB’s Futures market for the race while the horse that is favourite, Julius ($7.00), is currently 21st equal in order of entry and probably needs to win tomorrow’s Group 2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa to be assured of making the final 16.

   Melody Belle is on the next line of betting at $9.00 while Jon Snow is at $10.00 and Francaletta, Hiflyer, New York Minute and Scott Base are all at an $11.00 quote.

   The current order of entry for the race is.-

TARZINO TROPHY, $200,000, WFA, 1400M





Jon Snow



Start Wondering



Close Up



Authentic Paddy



Savvy Coup



Age Of Fire



Melody Belle









Charles Road



Ocean Emperor



Our Abbadean



Sensible Princess



Seventh Up



Shadows Cast



Son Of Maher






Scott Base



Contessa Vanessa



New York Minute












Cote D'Or



Ruby Armani






War Affair



Ugo Foscolo



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   Surpriseus, preparing for Saturday’s Waverley meeting, stretched out nicely in company at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided slow footing.

   Surpriseus worked with stablemate Your Not Wrong and they worked in the from the 1000-metre peg in 1:10.7, running the first 400m in 30.8 and coming home the last 600 in 39.9. Both horses looked to be working well at the finish.

   Surpriseus is a four-year-old mare by Showcasing in the Kate Hercock stable and was a decisive 2 length maiden winner over 1200m at Hastings last month. She looks to have trained on well since that success.

   A Niagara-Laced Up three-year-old filly in the Lowry/Cullen stable was let off with 800 metres at three-quarter pace, the last 600 taking 44.6. She is out of a half-sister to former top class galloper and sire Jimmy Choux and is expected to make her race debut at Tauherenikau on August 23.

   Real Beach, who could resume racing at either Taupo on August 22 or Tauherenikau the following day, ended her work with 600 metres in 42. She was a maiden winner over 1600m at Hastings last summer and looks to have come back a stronger horse this campaign. Trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen are looking forward to stepping her up in distance.

   An Echoes Of Heaven three-year-old gelding in the Lowry/Cullen stable ran an easy 600m in 43.2 while stablemate Makeitrain was also kept under a good hold when running 1000m in 1:11.4, the last 600 in 42.1.

   A Showcasing-Emerald three-year-old colt was restricted to just three-quarter pace when running a solo 1000m, the last 600 in 44.6. He impressed when finishing third over 750m at the last Hastings jumpouts and his dam Emerald won the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) as a three-year-old and was also runner-up in a Group 1 Wellington Cup (3200m).


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Nelson picks up more success at Riccarton 9 Aug 2018

   Hastings trainer Paul Nelson was announced as bringing up his 200th winner when Amanood Lad took out last Saturday’s Koral Steeplechase at Riccarton but his actual figure definitely exceeds that mark.

   The New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing records show him on 200 wins but the official data base only goes back to the 1988-89 racing season and Nelson has been training horses since the late 1970s.

   “I don’t know where they get that figure from but I know we have trained a lot more than 200 winners, in fact I think we went past that mark last year,” Nelson said this week.

   “The figures don’t show the 1987 records and we had a horse called Chibuku who had a lot of success that year and Storm won the Wellington Steeples back then and other races as well.”

   Chibuku remains as one of the best horses Nelson has trained, winning 20 races from 1985 to 1991 and seven of his victories were in 1987.

   Storm won the 1987 Wellington Steeples and was successful in three other steeplechase races before that, the first being at Gisborne in May, 1985.

   Amanood Lad did create history in his own right last Saturday when the 14-year-old became the oldest horse to win the Koral Steeplechase, albeit a somewhat fortuitous victory.

   Amanood Lad was right in contention early in the run home, but coming to the last fence Notabadrooster had swept to the front and looked likely to score while Chocolate Fish was unleashing a strong finish.

   Just as Notabadrooster’s supporters were ready to celebrate, he came to grief on landing over the last obstacle and Chocolate Fish was checked when having to leap the fallen horse.

   Nelson said he felt sorry for Notabadrooster’s connections but, after watching a replay of the race, he was not so certain the leader would have won had it not fallen as he thought it was starting to weaken.

    Amanood Lad has now won 10 races, including the Great Northern Steeplechase in 2014 and last year’s Wellington Steeples. Nelson will now be trying to win the big three with the horse when he lines up in tomorrow’s $75,000 Grand National Steeplechase at Riccarton.

   “You’ve got to marvel at this old horse,” Nelson said. “We’re very lucky to get him to train. Thanks to Ben (Foote, former trainer) and the owners for letting us be part of it.

   “The aim is to take the big three and it would be great if he could do it.”

   Nelson said Amanood Lad has come through his first day run in great order. ”He’s certainly not acting like a 14-year-old, he’s done really well,” he added.

   Nelson’s other Koral Steeplechase winner was No Hero, who completed the Koral - Grand National Steeplechase double in 2005. He also won the Grand National Steeplechase with Just A Swagger in 2008 but no victory would be sweeter than Amanood Lad winning again in tomorrow’s 5600m feature as it is likely to be the horse’s last race.

   Amanood Lad is owned by Te Awamutu couple John and Shirley Blair who have travelled down to Christchurch to watch their pride and joy compete.

   Nelson will have a two-pronged attack on tomorrow’s Grand National Steeplechase with King’s Deep also entered and the trainer says that horse has improved since his first day fourth in the Koral and looks very bright.     

   Last Saturday was a bittersweet day for Nelson as another of his top jumpers, The Shackler, was pulled up in the early stages in the Sydenham Hurdles. Nelson had advised stewards that the horse had been slightly scratchy in its action on the morning of the race but two veterinary examinations revealed nothing untoward.   

   Rider Aaron Kuru said the horse felt okay when doing his preliminary before the start but was noticeably lame after jumping the first fence.  He added that he had been unable to pull The Shackler up until after the second fence due to being unable to remove the gelding from the race clear of other runners.

   A post race veterinary inspection found the gelding to be lame in the right foreleg with swelling around the pastern and Nelson had the leg scanned on Tuesday. The results of the scan will be known later today.


Overdue success for HB couple

   Hastings couple John and Colleen Duncan celebrated another win after a lengthy absence when Stradivarius led all the way in a $30,000 Rating 82 race over 1400m at Te Rapa last Saturday.

   The Duncans bred the eight-year-old Stravinsky gelding out of the Kapstaad mare Kapsjoy and are part-owners in the horse, who is trained at Cambridge by Lee Somervell. It was his third win but his first since taking out a 1600m race on the same track in October 2016.

   Stradivarius has also recorded nine seconds and nine thirds and is certainly bred to be good as he is a full-brother to the high class sprinter Fleur de Lune. She was also raced by the Duncans, in partnership with the late Ada Parnwell, and won six races including the 2013 Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie.

   Another half-brother, Kapsboy (by Ishiguru), also won six races while the Duncans now have an unraced three-year-old gelding by Rip Van Winkle out of Kapsjoy also in work with Somervell.

   Matamata apprentice Taiki Yanagida was engaged to ride Stradivarius last Saturday and the young Japanese rider, who is attached to the Matamata stable of Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott, upstaged his employers in the race.

   The O’Sullivan/Scott representative Andoyas was an eye-catching second in the hands of experienced jockey Michael Coleman, flashing home late from near last on the home turn.

   “Credit to Taiki as I told him if he was going to lead he had to be a length clear so they wouldn’t niggle at him,” said Somervell.

   “At Rotorua last time he got taken on and he just can’t relax. This was a lovely ride and the ride of a boy destined to go places.”


Injury knocks Upper Cut out  

   Outstanding jumper Upper Cut, part-owned by Waipukurau’s Michael Ormsby, is likely to have run his last race after suffering a flexor tendon rupture in a foreleg during the running of last Saturday’s Koral Steeplechase at Riccarton.

   Awapuni trainer Mark Oulaghan had been hoping to give the horse a chance at a third Grand National Steeplechase success this weekend but those plans were scuttled.

   Rider Matthew Cropp had to pull the Yamanin Vital 12-year-old up after jumping the fence with 800 metres to run in the Koral Steeplechase (4250m).


   “It’s a shame as he was travelling alright until then,” Oulaghan said. “It’s probably career-ending for him. He’ll be out for 12 months and will probably be too old to bring him back.”

   Upper Cut was runner-up in the 2016 Koral Steeplechase before backing up to win the Grand National Steeplechase and last year he was fourth in the Koral before his hard-fought win over Kina Win in the Grand National a week later.

   He is the winner of nine races in total, one over hurdles and five in steeplechases.


Nominations called for awards

    This year’s Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay racing and breeding awards function will be held on Friday, August 31, and the Hawke’s Bay Breeders’ Association are requesting nominations for the following awards.

* Jimmy Choux 3YO Of The Year (Criteria – Highest earning 3YO bred by a HB/PB Breeder in the 2017/2018 season)

*  HB/PB Breeder of the Year with the most Wins Award (Criteria – Awarded to the HB/PB based breeder with the most wins in the 2017/2018 season by progeny bred)

* Group and Listed Awards (Criteria – Awarded to the HB/PB based breeders of horses that have won black type races in the 2017/2018 season)

 * HB/PB Breeder of the Year (points) (Criteria – Awarded to the HB/PB based breeder who recorded the most points based on the performances of horses they have bred in the 2017/2018 Racing Season.  Group 1 win – 10 points.  Group 2 win – 8 points,  Group 3 win or Prestige jumping race – 6 points.  Listed win – 4 points.  Any other win – 2 points)

 * HB/PB Broodmare of the Year (Criteria – The mare owned in the HB/PB districts whose progeny has recorded the most success at black type level.  Judged by the Keeper of the Stud Book)

   If you have bred (by yourself or in partnership) any horse which raced and won during the 2017/2018 racing season which you would like to be considered for an award, please phone Sharyn Craig (027 499 9084) or email to nominate.

   Nominations must be received by 5pm Wednesday 15th August 2018 and you must be a financial member of the Breeders Association to be eligible.


Sir Nate on track for HB event

   Promising three-year-old Sir Nate is likely to kick off a fresh campaign in the Listed $50,000 El Roca – Sir Colin Meads Trophy (1200m) on the first day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, on September 1.

   The son of Nadeem put himself in contention for early season feature races when winning an open 850m heat at last week’s Foxton trials at last week’s Foxton trials. It was the horse’s first public appearance since his eye-catching third behind Avantage and Melt in the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni on March 31.

   “It was a bit of a surprise,” trainer Lisa Latta said. “He’s coming up well and he’ll probably go to that three-year-old race on the first day at Hastings.”

   If he performs well in that race he will be back at Hastings for the Group 2 $100,000 Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) on October 6.

   Sir Nate, who is part-owned by Hastings woman Katherine Donoghue and Havelock North’s Merv Dudley, has won three of his six starts, including the Listed Wellesley Stakes (1000m) at Trentham.

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