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Hawkes Bay Racing Column 7 Aug 2020

HB-owned The Cossack dominant in hurdle win

(By John Jenkins)

   The Hastings training partnership of Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal unleashed another potential jumping star when The Cossack recorded a 20-length maiden hurdle win at Te Aroha last Sunday.

   Nelson is regarded as one of the best conditioners of jumpers in the country and has taken McDougal on as a training partner in the last 12 months. The latter was also a successful trainer in her own right.

   The Cossack showed ability as a jumper when recording two seconds and a fourth from three starts over hurdles last winter but co-trainer Paul Nelson believes he has gone to another level now.

   “He has really taken to his work this time in and he is pretty exciting,” Nelson said this week.

   The Cossack resumed from a spell with a second over hurdles at Te Rapa on July 18 and started a warm favourite for the 3100m hurdle race at Te Aroha last Sunday.

   He was a bit keen in the early stages for rider Aaron Kuru but the talented jumps jockey got the horse to relax, just in behind the leaders, with a round to go and then bided his time before applying the pressure.

   Kuru sent The Cossack forward to take the lead with 700m to run and went clear soon after.

   They came to the third last fence, at the top of the straight, five lengths clear and steadily increased that margin over the last two obstacles to win untested.

   “He was pretty impressive. He has always shown us plenty but has wanted to over-race in the past,” Nelson said.

   “He settled a lot better the other day.”

   The Cossack was bred by well-known Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred owner Ivan Grieve, who originally raced the horse with Hastings trainer John Bary.

   The Mastercraftsman gelding won two races on the flat from Bary’s stable before the pair decided to put him on the market.

   Ivan’s brother Peter Grieve and his son Doug bought the horse in partnership with Paul Nelson and another well-known Hawke’s Bay racing identity, John Frizzell.

    Nelson said The Cossack will now return to Te Aroha for a 0-1 win hurdle race over 3100m on August 23 but he has no big plans for the horse after that.

   “He’s a nice horse and doing everything right but we wouldn’t want go get too carried away with him just yet,” he said.

   The Nelson/McDougal stable should be a force to be reckoned with in the two feature jumping races at today’s Waikato meeting at Te Rapa.

   They will saddle up impressive last start winner Revolution and experienced jumper No Change in the $50,000 Waikato Hurdles (3200m) and Perry Mason in the $50,000 Signature Homes Waikato Steeplechase (3900m).

  The latter was pulled up mid-stages in his last steeplechase race, at Te Rapa on July 18. But Nelson is predicting a much better performance from the horse today, especially after he finished fifth in a 2100m flat race at Hastings on Wednesday of last week.

   “That was a big run on the flat at Hastings and I think he’s right now,” Nelson said.

   Aaron Kuru has been Perry Mason’s regular jockey but has opted to ride exciting new steeplechaser Zedman in today’s prestigious event so Nelson and McDougal have engaged Hamish McNeil for their runner.

   Kuru will ride Revolution in today’s Waikato Hurdles while Emily Farr has been engaged for stablemate No Change.


Napoleon rules over the big fences

   Napoleon, part-owned by Otane-based Don Poulgrain, showed he could be a major force as a jumper this year when winning a restricted open steeplechase over 4000m at Awapuni on Friday of last week.

   The seven-year-old Shinko King gelding was having his seventh start over the big fences and now boasts a record of three wins and a third. He recorded back-to-back wins in steeplechase races last winter, winning over 3900m at Te Rapa and 4000m at Trentham.

   Napoleon’s success at Awapuni last week was a bit fortuitous as he was left in front when race leader Magic Wonder crashed at the second to last fence. But the horse was running on well at the time and, after being left clear in the lead, rider Shaun Fannin guided him to a 3-1/2 length win.

   Napoleon, who is trained at Wanganui by Kevin Myers, is now the winner of six races from 42 starts. He is raced by a five-member syndicate that includes Poulgrain and former New Zealand trainer Rachael Frost, who is now based in Australia but had prepared him for a winning double on the flat at Wairoa in February 2017.

   Trainer Kevin Myers and Hastings-born jumps jockey Shaun Fannin dominated last week’s Wellington meeting at Awapuni, with Napoleon’s success being one of four victories for the combination. They also took out the maiden hurdle with Bakela, the Restricted Open Hurdle with Ave Maria and the maiden steeplechase with Albaron.

   Myers won five of the nine races on the card as he also produced Aigne to win the main flat race, the Parliamentary Handicap (2100m).

Napoleon and jockey Shaun Fannin clear the last fence on their way to victory in the Restricted Open Steeplechase at Awapuni on Friday of last week. It was the seven-year-old’s third steeplechase win from seven starts over the big fences.

Hastings race days this season

   Hastings will stage 14 race days in the new racing season, which commenced last Saturday.

   The first date will be on Saturday, September 19, when Hawke’s Bay Racing will stage the first day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring carnival. Feature races this day will be the Group 1 $200,000 Tarzino Trophy (1400m), Group 3 $70,000 Hawke’s Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) and the Listed $50,000 El Roca-Sir Colin Meads Trophy (1200m).

   Hawke’s Bay’s two prestige jumping races, the $50,000 AHD Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase (4800m) and the $50,000 Te Whangai Romneys Hawke’s Bay Hurdle (3100m) will also be run on this day. They would have normally been run in June this year but racing was cancelled due to Covid-19.

   The second day of the spring carnival will be on Saturday, October 3, where the main races will be the Group 1 $200,000 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) and Group 2 $100,000 Dundeel @ Arrowfield Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m).

   The final day of the spring carnival will be on Saturday, October 17 and will feature the Group 1 $250,000 Livamol Classic (2040m) and the Listed $50,000 Red Badge Sprint (1400m).

   The next Hastings race day after that will be the Waipukurau Jockey Club’s meeting on Sunday, November 8, which will feature the running of the Waipukurau Cup.

   A Christmas at the Races meeting will be staged at Hastings on Wednesday, December 9 with the traditional Hawke’s Bay New Year meeting on Friday, January 1.

   Thursday, January 28, will be the date for the Bostock New Zealand Raceday while Hastings will also have a new date on Sunday, February 21.

   The Group 3 $70,000 Lowland Stakes (2100m) will be the main race on Wednesday, March 3 while the Listed $75,000 Power Farming Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m) and Poverty Bay Cup will be the feature events at Hastings on Saturday, April 17.

   There will be two May Hastings race days next year, on Saturday May 1 and Wednesday, May 26 while Saturday, July 3, will again feature the $50,000 Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase and $50,000 Hawke’s Bay Hurdles.

   The last Hastings race day for the season will be run on Thursday, July 22.

   New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing has announced that there will be no nomination and acceptance fees charged for all races except open class events and that stake money will be paid back to 14th place in those races.


Melody Belle back on track

   Glamour New Zealand racemare Melody Belle has a wide draw to overcome when she makes a return to racing in the Group 2 $217,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill in Sydney today.

   The six-year-old Commands mare, trained by Jamie Richards and part-owned by Waipukurau couple Trevor and Debbie Walters, has drawn 11 out of 13 in what will be her first start since finishing sixth in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 11.

   The mare remained in Australia after that run and was given a brief spell there. She showed she is ready to resume when winning a recent 850m trial on the Kensington track at Randwick.

   Australian jockey Kerrin McEvoy has been engaged to ride Melody Belle in today’s feature, where her main dangers include the impressive last start winner Eduardo and the Godolphin-owned pair of Flit and Savatiano.

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Hawkes Bay Racing Column 31 Jul 2020

Star HB galloper Wait A Sec retired

(By John Jenkins)

   Hawke’s Bay owned and trained Group 1 winner Wait A Sec has run his last race.

   The connections of the nine-year-old called an end to his racing career after he only managed to beat two horses home when resuming from a spell over 1600m at Wanganui on July 10.

   “He just didn’t want to do it anymore,” co-owner Iain Henderson said this week.

   “He has been a great horse for us and given us an unbelievable ride and will be retired perfectly sound.”

   Wait A Sec was prepared by the Hastings-based training combination of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and had a record of 13 wins, five seconds and six thirds from 51 starts. His stake earnings totalled more than $394,000, helped mainly from his win in the Group 1 $250,000 Livamol Classic (2100m) at Hastings in October 2017.

   The Postponed gelding caused a minor upset in that year’s feature event at the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, with the 26 to one shot producing a powerful rails run to stave off the challenge of race favourite Gingernuts by a short head.

   He also included the Group 3 $70,000 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham, the $40,000 Egmont Cup (2100m) at Hawera and $30,000 Wairoa Cup (2100m) among his victories.

   It was during that Wairoa Cup win in February 2018 that Wait A Sec suffered a tendon injury that saw him side-lined for 18 months.

   He resumed racing in August last year, on the first day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, where he finished last over 1600m. He has since been unplaced in a further four starts.

   Iain Henderson bred Wait A Sec after purchasing the horse’s dam, Security, from another Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred breeder in Don Gordon. He raced the gelding in partnership with his Perth-based son Paul.

   Security, by Grosvenor, only had five race starts for a second and a third but was out of the high class racemare Secrecy, who won seven races from only 22 starts.

   It is also the family of Mun Lee, who was the 1977-78 New Zealand Three-year-old Filly of the Year.

   Henderson said Wait A Sec will spend the next few months on his lifestyle property, just out of Hastings, but there is a chance he may enter the equestrian arena in the future.

   “I think he’d make a great dressage horse,” he said.

Wait A Sec, under a vigorous ride from jockey Johnathan Parkes, gets up to win the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2100m) at Hastings in October 2017. It was one of 13 wins the horse chalked up from 51 starts.


Popular racing return at Hastings

   Racing returned to the Hastings track on Wednesday after an absence of five months and was well received by trainers, jockeys and racegoers alike.

   Twelve races were carded, the most that have been run on the track for many years. The inside running rail was out 7.5 metres from the true position, meaning there was a restriction on starting limits for some races, but 141 horses competed on the day.

   The course proper was rated a slow-7 and most trainers spoken to were glad that they were able to start their horses on reasonably good footing after having to put up with extremely heavy track conditions in the north and at other courses in the central districts.

   Impressive winners on the day were Viking and Mandalorian in 1200m maidens, Red Beach in a Rating 65 race over 1650m and Conor O’Ceirin and River Run in Rating 65 races over 1300m.

   Viking is a three-year-old gelding by Savabeel out of the Group 1 winning mare Irish Fling and trained at Cambridge by Tony Pike. He was having his first start since February and had recorded a second over 1400m from three previous starts.

   Mandalorian was a first starter from the Cambridge stable of Stephen Marsh and was following up a trial win over 1000m at Rotorua last month. He is a three-year-old by Darci Brahma out of the Pins mare La Grande Dame, who was the winner of only one race but was placed another eight times from 26 starts.

   Red Beach was the second winner by Darci Brahma on the day and obviously appreciated the better footing after struggling on a heavy-10 track when beating only two home over 1400m at Ellerslie on July 11. She brought up her fourth win from only 12 starts with a decisive 1-1/4 length victory.

   Conor O’Ceirin made it two wins from two starts in a new campaign with a strong win, carrying 60kg. The three-year-old Dial A Prayer gelding led all the way over 1200m on a heavy-11 track at Wanganui on July 10 and was just as dominant on better footing on Wednesday, scoring by three-quarters of a length.

   Cambridge trainer Tony Pike produced his second winner of the day when River Run took out the final race on the programme and predicts a big future for the Pour Moi five-year-old, especially when he steps up over longer distances.

   The five-year-old carried topweight of 61kg and came from well off the pace on the home turn to get up for a last stride victory over Matt Cain.


Lowry/Cullen top HB trainers

   The training partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen have been crowned the leading Hawke’s Bay-based trainers for the 2019-20 racing season.

   In a year that was severely cut short by the Covid-19 crisis, Lowry and Cullen produced 12 winners which was one more than John Bary.

   The two stables have had an ongoing battle for the Hawke’s Bay premiership with just one or two wins separating them most years.

   John Bary was the victor in the 2018-19 season with 26 wins, one more than Lowry and Cullen while in 2017-18 Bary also came out on top with 17 wins to 16 for Lowry and Cullen.

   Both stables had runners at Wednesday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting but had to settle for second placings, with the Bary-trained Spydapus runner-up in race four and Red Sunday filling the same position in race 10 for Lowry and Cullen.


Hannam sidelined with broken leg

   Popular central districts jockey Robert Hannam is expected to be sidelined for a minimum of six to eight weeks after breaking a femur at the Awapuni track on Thursday of last week.

   Less than three years after an ankle injury out of action for eight months, Hannam has again broken a bone in his leg.

   “I was just on my way back off the track after riding trackwork. It was quite early and quite windy,” the 54-year-old said. “The horse just got a bit of a fright and ended up kicking me and breaking my femur.”

   Hannam was operated on at Palmerston North hospital later that day and was discharged the following day. He is now back at home recuperating.

   Robert Hannam has ridden more than 1000 winners in New Zealand, including five at Group 1 level.

   His 2018-19 season featured a new personal best with five Group or Listed victories – the Group 2 Wellington Guineas on Emily Margaret, Group 3 Manawatu Cup aboard Rock On, Group 3 South Island Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes on Residential, Listed NZB Insurance Stakes with Emily Margaret and Listed Rangitikei Gold Cup aboard Hinerangi.

   Hannam hopes to be back in the saddle towards the end of the year.

   “Things are still a bit up in the air at the moment and we’ll have to wait and see, but I’m picking that I’ll be absolutely itching to get back into it by the end of that time.

   “Racing’s been so good to me for so many years, and the passion is definitely still there. I’d love to think I’ll be getting back into it later in the year.”

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Hastings Jumpouts 30 Jul 2020


(By John Jenkins)


   Strong wins by Magic Incanto, Callsign Mav and Hunta Pence were among the highlights at today’s Hastings jumpouts.

   There were 12 heats run on the course proper, where the running rail was out 7.5 metres and the footing was rated a slow-7.

   Magic Incanto scored a comfortable neck win in one of the 780m heats, clocking 46.4s. The Per Incanto mare hasn’t raced since winning over 1400m at Woodville in March and looks to be coming up well in a fresh campaign.

   Callsign Mav scored a narrow win over Satu Lagi in another 780m heat and recorded the quickest time over the distance at 46s. The talented three-year-old, runner-up in the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) last spring, is still some way off racing according to trainer John Bary.

   “We are looking at the first day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival for him, either in the Group 1 over 1400 or there is a Rating 82 over 1200,” Bary said.

   “Like most of my team he will have another jumpout and a trial before he races again.”

   Hunta Pence won the only 1200m heat, cruising to a five length victory. The No Excuse Needed seven-year-old is back in Trainer Patrick Campbell’s stable after spending a brief time at Samantha Logan’s Cambridge stable. Whilst there he qualified as a jumper and had a jumping trial over 2000m.

   Campbell said the horse could kick off a fresh campaign in a 1400m sprint at Awapuni next month with the $30,000 Foxton Cup (2040m) at Wanganui on September 5 his main immediate goal.




Heat 1, 400m: Darci Brahma-Stepping Out yearling filly (L Zydenbos) 1, Iffraaj-Madame Marju yearling filly 2, Super Easy-Flare yearling filly 3. Four starters. Margins: ½ length, head. No time taken. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 2, 400m: El Roca yearling filly (Sammy) 1, Zed 2-yr-old  filly 2, Showcasing 2yr-old gelding 3. Four starters. Margins: Head, head. Time: 28.2s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 3, 780m: Velarde (Sammy) 1, Civics 3yr-old gelding 2, Alpine Charm 3. Six starters. Margins: Head, short neck. Time: 47.1s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 4, 780m: Rosa Stella (T Allan) 1, Jimmy Choux 2yr-old gelding 2, Sheezacatch 3. Five starters. Margins: Neck, 1 length. Time: 47.4s. Winner trained by Shane Brown, Woodville.

Heat 5, 780m: Bold Iris (R Oliver) 1, Ocean Park 3yr-oldgelding 2, Galileo Express 3. Six starters. Margins: Head, 1-1/4 lengths. Time: 46.1s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 6, 780m: River Rising (R Bishop) 1, Wicket Maiden 2, Bellesgirl 3. Four starters. Margins: Neck, 2 lengths. Time: 46.3s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 7, 780m: Overstayer (J Bassett) 1, Can I Get An Amen 2, Serena 3. Five starters. Margins: Long neck, 4 lengths. Time: 46.1s. Winner trained by Sue Thompson and Mick Brown, Hastings.

Heat 8, 780m: Magic Incanto (T Allan) 1, Cinzento 2, Maria Dior 3. Five starters. Margins: Neck, long head. Time: 46.4s. Winner trained by Fred Pratt, Hastings.

Heat 9, 780m: Callsign Mav (R Oliver) 1, Satu Lagi 2, Motivation 3. Five starters. Margins: Head, ½ length. Time: 46s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 10, 1000m: Ask Pa (R Oliver) 1, Darci Brahma 2yr-old gelding 2, Per Incanto 4yr-old mare 3. Five starters. Margins: Neck, 4-1/2 lengths. Time: 1:02.7. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 11, 1000m: Louboutin (R Oliver) 1, Pepper 2, Resurrect 3. Four starters. Margins: ¾ length, 1-1/2 lengths. Time: 1:02.8. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 12, 1200m: Hunta Pence (D Hirini) 1, Super Easy 3yr-old filly 2, Bently 3. Three starters. Margins: 5 lengths, 3 lengths. No time taken.


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