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Allacciato turned in the best workout in a quiet session at the Hastings track today.

   There was very little in the way of fast work, which was confined to the plough (good).

   Allacciato finished ahead of stablemate Carillion at the end of 1000m in 1:5.4, running the first 400m in a leisurely 29.2s before quickening over the last 600 in 36.2.

   Allacciato recorded a good fresh up third over 1400m at Hastings on New Year’s Day and will be stepped up to 1600m at next Wednesday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   Carillion is one of several horses from the Lowry/Cullen stable likely to have a jumpout at the Hastings track next Thursday.

   Tuigold and a Niagara-Blurred three-year-old filly worked together over an easy 1000m in 1:13.5, the last 600 in 41.7. They are two others from the Lowry/Cullen stable who will have a jumpout at Hastings next Thursday.


Perfect birthday result for Pep Torque’s minder 24 Jan 2019

Waipukurau trainer Kirsty Lawrence’s right-hand woman Susan Best got a birthday present she will cherish forever when Pep Torque won a $40,000 Rating 65 race over 1600m at Trentham last Saturday.

   Best, described by Lawrence as the most conscientious worker she has employed, is not only a part-owner in Pep Torque but also his devoted caregiver.

   “She just loves the horse and for him to win a race on her birthday was just out of this world,” Lawrence said this week.

   “Susan has worked for me for seven years and you would not get a better worker. She used to work for Margaret Bull at Awapuni years ago and she just loves what she does.

   “She rides Pep Torque in work and she loves him to bits.”

   Pep Torque was one of several big priced winners to rock the punters at Trentham last Saturday, returning a dividend of $55.90 for a win and $14.40 for a place.

   Lawrence was surprised by the long odds considering the five-year-old had recorded a second, two fourths and a seventh from his four most recent starts.

   “He actually built to that win,” she said.

   “He’d been going really good races but was just run off his feet at Trentham the previous Saturday.

   “The step up to 1600 metres was the real key. It just slowed the pace of the race down early and he was able to get travelling.”

   Apprentice Charlotte O’Beirne bounced Pep Torque out well from the barrier and had him travelling well outside the leader in the early stages. They took the lead at the top of the home straight and Pep Torque kept up a resolute finish to hold out second placed Lincoln Sky by a neck.

   It was Pep Torque’s second win, his first being in a 1000m maiden race at Tauherenikau on Waitangi Day, almost 12 months ago.

   Kirsty Lawrence and her husband Steve bought the horse from the thoroughbred trading operation Gavelhouse for just $2600 and he has now picked up $36,565 in stakemoney from two wins, two seconds, a third, two fourths and a fifth.

   The Lawrences race Pep Torque in partnership with Susan Best and the sisters Diana and Christina Newman, who have been long time stable clients.

   Pep Torque is out of the Star Way mare Cosmic Flight, who recorded two wins and seven minor placings from only 20 starts.

   Kirsty Lawrence said Pep Torque is not overly big but he has been very honest and is a delight to train.
   “He’s a lazy trackworker and will hit the line and pull up before you have even gone 20 metres past the winning post. But yet he is a different horse on race day.”

  She said the horse has come through last Saturday’s win in perfect order and she intends backing him up in a $25,000 Rating 72 race over 1600m at Trentham tomorrow.


Miss Labasa primed for Karaka Million

   Hastings trainer John Bary says his unbeaten filly Miss Labasa is right on target for tomorrow’s $1million Karaka Million Three-year-old Classic at Ellerslie.

   In a Trackside TV interview last Monday, Bary said he is delighted with the progress the daughter of Swiss Ace has made since her last start win over 1400m at Awapuni on January 5.

   “I’m really happy with her and looking forward to Saturday,” Bary said.

   John Bary has his own training track at his property in Mutiny Road but took Miss Labasa into the Hastings track last Friday for a gallop on the grass.

   “She galloped reverse over 1200 metres and ran her last 1000 in 1:02 and I was really happy,” he added.

   Miss Labasa has drawn barrier nine for tomorrow’s 1600m feature and will again be ridden by Johnathan Parkes.


Auckland Cup plans for Peso

   Hastings owned and trained Peso is ticking over nicely as he prepares for the Group 1 $500,000 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup at Ellerslie on March 9.

   Trainer and co-owner Pal Nelson brought the big Colombia gelding into the Hastings track on Tuesday where he was given an easy 1200m workout in 1:30.1, the first 600 in a leisurely 46.3 and the final 600 in 43.8.

   The big Colombia seven-year-old, who has returned a dividend seven times from his last eight starts, looks in great order and has obviously trained on well since finishing second in the City Of Auckland Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day. He has been weighted on 55.5kg in the Auckland Cup (3200m).


Hastings races Wednesday

   Hawke’s Bay Racing will stage its annual Bostock New Zealand race day on the Hastings track next Wednesday.

   There will be eight races carded, with the first timed for 1.15pm.

   There will be no gate charge and the Members Stand will be open to the public.


Overseas races for Pitman speedsters

   Riccarton trainer Michael Pitman is eyeing a start in the Group 1 $A500,000 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) in Melbourne on February 23 with his Group 1 performer Sensei.

  Pitman prepares the son of Dream Ahead in partnership with his son Matthew and was delighted with the entire’s effort to dead-heat for third in last Saturday’s Group 1 Telegraph Sprint (1200m) behind stablemate Enzo’s Lad.

   “Enzo’s Lad’s owners won’t be disappointed in me saying this, but Sensei is the better horse, he is only a four-year-old,” Michael Pitman said.

   “He has started to get to where I have always rated him and everyone that has ever ridden him thinks the same.”

   Sensei raced wide throughout with no cover in the Telegraph after drawing barrier 17. He has won five of his 17 starts, with a further eight placings and Pitman said the horse was likely to head straight to the Oakleigh Plate without another run.

   “He won’t have another run because we have learnt over the last six months that he is probably better off just aimed at a certain race and he doesn’t seem to pull too hard if we don’t race him as often. 

   “Maybe that is the reverse of what most people would think but he is still an entire and he won’t need a run because it is only five weeks away.”

   Pitman is hoping to campaign his back-to-back Telegraph winner Enzo’s Lad internationally as well, and has already spoken with a representative of the Hong Kong Jockey Club regarding a start in the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) on April 28.


Authentic Paddy not finished yet

  Hawke’s Bay-owned Authentic Paddy still has a chance to reach 100 career starts despite a setback at Trentham last Saturday.

   The Group 1 winner dropped out alarmingly before the home turn in the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) and was eased right down by rider Robert Hannam to completely tail off.

   A post-race veterinary inspection revealed he was suffering from cardiac arrhythmia, but trainer Lisa Latta reports he has bounced back.

   “He’s well, but I’ll get my vet to check him over tomorrow morning,’’ Latta said on Monday.

   ‘’He’ll probably have a let let-up and provided he’s all right he’ll race again.’’

   Hastings sisters Marilyn Te Paa and Christine Gray and their Havelock North brother Tony Gray own  Authentic Paddy in partnership with their Paraparaumu-based brother Phillip and their sister Janice Berry, who lives in Upper Hutt.

   The Howbaddouwantit nine-year-old has started 93 times for 11 wins and 48 placings and earned more than $750,000 in prizemoney with his best win coming in the 2017 Group 1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie.


Fifth Group 1 for Beauty Generation

   New Zealand-bred galloper Beauty Generation took his Group 1 tally to five at Sha Tin last Sunday when he dominated his rivals in the Stewards’ Cup (1600m).

   The reigning Hong Kong Horse of the Year was pushed forward early by jockey Zac Purton and was never headed, winning by 3 lengths over Conte, with a further short-head back to Southern Legend in third.

   His trainer John Moore hailed Beauty Generation the best he has trained after the victory and said he is keen to test his stable star on foreign soil after a tilt at further Group 1 glory in Hong Kong.

   “He’s the best of the lot,” he said.

   “I’d love to travel him, but it’s important that I fit into the route that the Kwok family wants to take. I know their Grand Final is the Champions Mile, so that’s our number one focus now – my job is to get him ready for that.

   “If he wins the Champions Mile, it’ll be down to the family as to whether we go to Japan for the Yasuda Kinen (G1, 1600m) or we put him away for next season. It’s always up to the owner.”

   Beauty Generation’s next assignment is likely to be the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) next month, where he will aim to make it back-to-back victories in the Group 1 race.

   Beauty Generation was purchased for $60,000 out of Highden Park’s 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale and raced as Montaigne in Australia before his sale to Hong Kong.



   Peso was given an easy workout at this morning’s Hastings track session as he continues on a path towards next month’s Group 1 Auckland Cup.

   There was not much in the way of fast work, which was confined to the plough (good).

   Peso had former jockey Kate Hercock aboard when he bowled over 1200m in 1:30.1, the first 600 in a leisurely 46.3 and the final 600 in 43.8. The big Colombia gelding looks in great order and has obviously trained on well since finishing second in the City Of Auckland Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day. He has been weighted on 55.5kg in the $500,000 Auckland Cup (3200m) on March 9.

   Rekohu Diva and Le Cailloux, two horses in the Thompson/Brown stable, took the time honours for the session when they clocked 1:5.1 for 1000m, the last 600 in 37.1. Le Cailloux is an unraced four-year-old mare by Cape Blanco.

   Lady Guinness, preparing for the Hawke’s Bay meeting on Wednesday of next week, ran an easy 600m in 40.9. She will be stepped up in distance in a Rating 72 race over 2000m at Hastings.

   A Niagara three-year-old filly and a Niagara three-year-old gelding worked together over 1000m in 1:8.3, running the first 400m at three-quarter pace before quickening over the last 600 in 37.4.

   Saint Kitt was given an easy 800m workout in 56.9 while a Niagara-Blurred three-year-old filly ran home the last 600m of her work in 43.8.


Concorde now beckons for Hugo The Boss 17 Jan 2019

   Hastings trainer John Bary is now seriously considering lining speedster Hugo The Boss up in the  Group 3 $70,000 Brighthill Farm Concorde Handicap at Ellerslie tomorrow week after the five-year-old broke one minute eight seconds to win over 1200m at Trentham last Saturday.

   “John is looking at the Concorde with him but he may not make the field,” Bary’s racing manager Mike Sanders said this week.

   “If he does go he’ll be right at the bottom of the handicap but the big incentive is that Chris Johnson will be riding at the meeting and has already indicated he is happy to ride him.”

   It was a masterful ride by Johnson that paved the way for the success by Hugo The Boss in a $30,000 Rating 72 race at Trentham last Saturday and Bary was quick to heap praise on the 54-year-old jockey.

   “It was a great ride. He seems to suit these hard going horses because he’s got amazing hands and seems to be able to get the best out of them,” Bary said.

   Hugo The Boss drew one from the outside and wanted to over-race when stuck out three-wide outside the leaders in the early stages. But Johnson was able to get the horse to semi-relax before giving him a bit more rein to go up and challenge for the lead at the top of the home straight.

   Morweka, ridden by Matthew Cameron, appeared to hold a distinct advantage over Hugo The Boss inside the final 200 metres but then Johnson started to urge his mount , waving the whip in the left hand, and Hugo The Boss got up in the final few strides to snatch a half-neck win.

   “He wanted to go a bit keen early but the more I asked of him the more he gave,” Johnson said after the win.

   Hugo The Boss clocked 1:07.49, which was more than a second faster than two-year-old winner Louis Luck took in the preceding event.

   Sanders said the very firm track conditions at Trentham suited Hugo The Boss as all five of the horse’s wins have now been on good tracks. He had also excelled on firm footing when winning over 1200m at Waipukurau two starts before.

   Hugo The Boss is raced by the Best Dressed Syndicate, of which Bary is a shareholder. The other members are his Hastings-based mother Ann, Alan and Paula Keall and Laurie Parker from Taradale, Innes Nisbet (Havelock North), Narendra Balia and Blair and Denise Martin (Auckland), Gavin Dunnett (Christchurch), Lawrie Bolton (Tauranga) and Heath Newton, who lives in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.


The Bandit finally gets Trentham win

   Hastings-trained The Bandito broke through for a well deserved Trentham win when taking out a $30,000 Rating 82 race over 1400m there last Saturday.

   The John Bary-trained seven-year-old was having his 11th start on the course and had previously recorded seven second placings there.

   “The whole stable was absolutely thrilled to see him finally win one down there after so many seconds,” Bary’s racing manager Mike Sanders said this week.

   “He’s been a great horse for the stable and probably should have won a lot more races than he has.”

   Last Saturday’s success was only The Bandito’s third from 39 starts but he has also chalked up 13 seconds and four thirds and his latest success took his stake earnings past $107,000.

  “He loves the Wellington track and he was a fit horse and it was a 10 out of 10 ride,” Bary said after the win.

   The Bandito was not quick to begin from the barrier but jockey Samantha Collett soon had him travelling keenly outside the leaders and took him to the front entering the last 1000m. She managed to pinch a break on the field rounding the home turn and they never looked like being caught after that, crossing the line half a length clear of the fast finishing Henree Winkler.

   “He was really tough,” Collett said after the win.

   “I had to work a bit to get to the front but managed to get across. He loves the rail this horse and he loves a fight.”

   Sanders said there is now a lack of suitable races in the coming weeks for The Bandito and he may have to head to Tauranga on Friday of next week for a $30,000 open sprint over 1400m.

   The Bandito is owned by Australian Heath Newton, who lives at Wagga Wagga in New South Wales.

   Bary went to $50,000 to purchase the son of Pins from the premier session at the 2013 Karaka yearling sales and he is a full-brother to the good Australian performer Stickpin, whose eight wins included one at Group 3 level and he was also runner-up in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Moonee Valley.


The Fugitive shin sore

   Talented Hastings-trained two-year-old The Fugitive is likely to be off the scene for four or five weeks after pulling up severely shin sore following his second to Louis Luck at Trentham last Saturday.

   The Wanted gelding was having his second start after a dominant debut win over 1100m at Awapuni on December 22 and was sent out favourite for last Saturday’s 1200m event. He sat outside the eventual winner all the way in the race but could not quicken in the final stages and was a length behind at the finish.

   The Fugitive was being aimed at the Group 1 $200,000 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on March 2 but those plans have now been scrapped according to Mike Sanders, racing manager for trainer John Bary.

   “He’ll miss the Group 1 at Ellerslie and we’ll now look at aiming him for the Sires’ Produce Stakes instead,” Sanders said.

   The Group 1 $225,000 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes is run over 1400m at Awapuni on March 30.   


Apprentice faces long recovery

   Apprentice jockey Zubair Bholah faces a lengthy recuperation period after suffering serious injuries in a nasty race fall at last Saturday’s Kumara meeting.

   The Mauritius-born Bholah was aboard his employer Steve Tyler’s horse, Morena Roc, in the second race and got into difficulties when attempting to restrain his mount shortly after the start and it clipped heels and fell.

   Bholah, who lay unconscious on the track for several minutes, was transported to the Grey Base Hospital in Greymouth before being air-lifted to Christchurch where he remains. He has three fractures in his neck, a broken collarbone and shoulder and has needed cosmetic surgery on his face after a large laceration around his jaw and chin. However there has been no spinal cord damage and doctors are no longer concerned about any potential brain damage.

   The 29-year-old Bholah joined the Tyler stable in February last year after arriving in New Zealand from New Caledonia where he had begun his riding career. He lives in the Tyler household and is considered a member of the family.

   “The best news we could get is that there is no spinal cord damage as you just don’t want to think about the ramifications of what that would mean otherwise,” Tyler said.

   “He is in for a long recuperation period once they have operated on his injuries, but I think we are all very thankful for it could have been so much worse.”

   Tyler also reported that Morena Roc had come through the fall in one piece despite suffering abrasions and bruising in the incident.


Twenty years since Miss Bailey’s win

   Tomorrow’s Wellington Cup meeting at Trentham marks the 20th anniversary since Hastings owned and trained Miss Bailey caused a major upset by winning the Cup at odds of 142 to one.

   The Kings Island mare was owned by Hastings businessman Wayne Mudgway and raced by his partner Annemarie Bailey and cousin Kris Eckhold. She was prepared by the then little known Hastings trainer Grant Cullen.

   Miss Bailey will never be mentioned among the great Wellington Cup winners, a race that dates back to 1874, but her name still strikes a chord with the general public, particularly those who backed her.

   Backing a horse who pays $143.70 in one of New Zealand’s most famous races tends to stick in the memory and Mudgway now drives a car with a number plate that commemorates the win.

   There was plenty of depth in the 1999 Cup, which still had Group I status. Miss Bailey’s rivals included five of the first six placegetters from that month’s Auckland Cup, a previous Wellington Cup winner in Ed, and the previous season’s NZ St Leger winner.

   Miss Bailey gained the last spot in the field. But she was hard fit and Cullen, who had been confident that the mare could cope with 3200m, instructed rider Leanne Isherwood to go to the front and quicken the tempo from the 800m.

   Miss Bailey set the pace and, though headed by runner-up Emerald in the straight, fought back to win by a short head. The seven-year-old crock, who went into the event as a three-race winner with career earnings of $15,970, had claimed the first prize of $155,000.


Lady Guinness was one of only a few horses to work at any speed at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Only two gallops were timed on the plough, which provided slushy footing after heavy early morning rain.

   Lady Guinness ran a solo 800m in 54.6, running the first 200m in 15.2 before quickening slightly over the last 600 in 39.4. Trainer Patrick Campbell was disappointed with her last start effort for fourth over 1600m at Otaki and will now step her up in distance in a Rating 72 race over 2100m at Hastings on January 30.

   A Niagara three-year-old filly and a Niagara three-year-old gelding worked together over 600m in 39.2 and both appeared to be hitting out well at the finish.


   Stablemates Hunta Pence and Scandalo, both entered for Trentham on Saturday, hit out well in separate gallops at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   There was very little in the way of fast work, which was confined to the plough (good).

   Hunta Pence worked in from the 1200m peg at three-quarter pace, running the first 600m in 45.9 and then quickening slightly over the last 600 in 39.9. He looks in great order and contests the Group 3 Trentham Stakes (2100m) on Saturday. Johnathan Parkes has been booked to ride him.

   Scandalo worked over 1000m on his own in 1:6.8, the last 600 in 37.3 and was striding out well at the finish. He was well beaten over 1300m at Hastings on New Year’s Day but step up to a more suitable 1600m in Saturday’s Group 3 Anniversary Handicap. Lisa Allpress has been booked to ride him.

   One Prize One Goal finished slightly ahead of stablemate Sheer Elegance at the end of their 1000m workout. They were kept to three-quarter pace for the first 200m but then clapped on the pace to cut out the last 800 in 49.6 and final 600 in 35.7. Both horses are likely starters at Rotorua next Wednesday.

   Penny Royal and a Rock ‘N’ Pop-Mink three-year-old filly worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1000m peg in 1:10.7, quickening slightly over the last 600 in 40.9.

   Penny Royal recorded a good fourth over 1200m on debut at Hastings on New Year’s Day and is likely to start next at either Otaki or Hastings at the end of this month.


Hastings filly makes it three from three 11 Jan 2019

   Star Hastings-trained filly Miss Labasa maintained her unbeaten record and took another step towards the Group 1 $400,000 New Zealand Oaks in March with another dominant performance at Awapuni last Saturday.

   The big Swiss Ace filly was having her first start for almost two months when she lined up in the $25,000 three-year-old race over 1400m.

   Jockey Johnathan Parkes bounced her out quickly from the barrier to take up a handy position and then took her to the front inside the last 1000 metres. From there he dictated the pace and when he asked the filly to quicken in the home straight she powered away to win by 2-1/2 lengths from Sir Nate, who was also fresh up from a third placing in the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas at Riccarton in November.

   “She’s still learning but she’s a quality filly and has got a great turn of foot,” Parkes said after the win.

   Trainer John Bary was both pleased and relieved by the filly’s performance. He revealed the efforts his staff had put in to get the filly back to the races after she suffered a bruised heel following her last start win over 1600m at Hastings in November. She had also been a dominant winner when making her race debut over 1400m at Tauherenikau in October.

   “It was a stone bruise that developed into a bruised heel and it has just been patience and time that has got her back,” Bary said.

   “All the handling we have been doing with her has helped her a lot.

   “A big thank-you to my staff as they’ve done a lot of soaking her feet and things, so it has worked out all for the good.”

   Although pleased with Miss Labasa’s performance he had envisaged rider Johnathan Parkes would look to take a sit on the filly rather than press on and lead like he did.

   “I think he could have taken a sit when he tried to go forward, but he’s the man on top and he’s done the job,” he said.

   Bary said Miss Labasa’s next assignment will be the $1m Listed Karaka Million Three-year-old Classic (1600m) to be run at Ellerslie on January 26. That will serve as another lead up to the New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 16.

   Miss Labasa was a $30,000 purchase for her Auckland-based owner Narendra Balia from the Select session at the 2017 National Yearling Sale.

   The filly is out of the Charge Forward mare Savoia, who is also the dam of top South Island performer Starvoia who numbers the Listed Hazlett Stakes (1200m) amongst her six career victories.


Trentham next for Real Beach

   Hastings-trained Real Beach is now likely to be stepped up in distance after consecutive wins at 2100m in her last two starts.

   The Nadeem five-year-old stepped up to a middle distance for the first time this campaign at Awapuni on December 15 and scored a three-quarter length win. She was even more impressive when racing away from her opposition for a 1-3/4 length victory in a $25,000 Rating 72 event at Awapuni last Saturday.

   The mare, who has now won three races from 15 starts, is prepared by the partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and they now intend setting her for a $30,000 rating 82 race over 2400m at Trentham on January 26.

   “She won well and I think there’s a bit more improvement in her,” Lowry said this week.

   Real Beach is raced by former Hastings trainer Kelly Burne in partnership with her Perth-based son Vinny Meenehan, Kevin Papuni and Trevor Burbery from Hastings, Paul Toothill (Wairoa) and Pat Baker and Mike Taylor (Wellington).


Xpression turned out for a spell

   Classy Hastings filly Xpression has been turned out for a spell and won’t be seen racing again until at least the autumn.

   The Showcasing three-year-old was to have contested tomorrow’s Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham but trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen have not been happy with her progress since finishing third over 1400m at Awapuni on December 22. She had been freshened for that race after finishing a game third in the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November.

   “She was disappointing last start,” Guy Lowry said. “She seemed to be working up well before the race and she should have gone a lot better than she did. There had to be something wrong. 

   “We had her thoroughly checked over after the race and her bloods weren’t 100 percent.

   “It’s not viral, but she’s just got a few niggling issues and we’ve backed off her.

   “She’ll go out for a spell and we’ll monitor her. Before we do anything with her we’ll wait until she has a clean bill of health.”

   Xpression won the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m) at Trentham as a two-year-old and was in fine form during the recent spring, adding two more wins to her tally, including the Group 3 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton, and being runner-up to Avantage in the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings.

   The Showcasing filly then headed to Riccarton and ran a highly creditable third behind Media Sensation in the New Zealand 1000 Guineas.

   “We’re devastated she’ll miss the Levin Classic and it would be nice to think she could be at Te Aroha for the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes, but that’s unlikely now,” Lowry said.

   While Xpression is now on the easy list, her Group 1 winning stablemate Wait A Sec is ticking over nicely as he prepares for a return to racing in the autumn.

   Wait A Sec became the stable star when winning the 2017 Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings, but has been off the scene since winning the Wairoa Cup (2100m) 11 months ago.

   “He had a tear in his tendon and has had a good long break,” Lowry said.

   “We’ve been scanning him the whole way through and we’ve really been taking it day by day with him, but he seems to be coming up well.

   “He’s not far off having a jumpout, but we’ve got no big plans for him.

   “The main goal is to get him going again and set him up for a really good prep in the spring.”

   The eight-year-old Postponed gelding has won 13 races and almost $400,000 in prizemoney with his last campaign also bringing a win in the Group 3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham.


Hiflyer pleases in final hit-out

   Group 1 performer Hiflyer pleased his trainer Peter Lock with his trial performance at Cambridge on Tuesday ahead of his next assignment, the Group 1 $250,000 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham tomorrow week.

   The six-year-old son of Tavistock finished third in his 900m heat behind Pop Star Princess and Cyber Attack and Lock said his charge did enough to show that he is spot-on ahead of the Telegraph.

   “I was more than happy with him. It was only 900m, but he settled lovely and Shaun McKay (jockey) said he felt like he had two or three more gears if he really wanted them,” Lock said.

   “Shaun got off him this afternoon and said that he feels better, bigger and stronger than what he did last time in. We are pretty confident that we have got him in the right space.”

   Hiflyer posted a runner-up performance behind Melody Belle in the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings in the spring and Lock is hoping he can go one better this time in.

   “If you look back over his record, whenever he’s gone into a race fresh he’s very hard to beat,” Lock said.

   “You can’t be too confident going into a Group 1 with just the one trial under your belt, but he went to Taupo on a nice track over 1000m and went 59 (seconds) and ran home the last 600m in 33. That showed us he was pretty close to the mark.

   “We were more than happy with what’s happened today. He has pulled up well, he had a little blow. That’s his final hit-out, he will head to Wellington from here.”


Vale Kevin Crampton

   Popular farrier and former trainer Kevin (George) Crampton passed away on Friday after a short illness.

   Affectionately known as K.G, the 82-year-old had been a race day farrier for over 50 years.

   He was the regular farrier for Champion three-year-old McGinty, while he enjoyed good success as a trainer himself, preparing Beechcraft to win the 1983 Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and 1983 Hawke’s Bay Guineas.

   Long-time friend and trainer Kim Clotworthy remembers Crampton as an extremely strong man, well-known for always wearing shorts, no matter the conditions.

   “He was a prop for Manurewa and one of the strongest men you would ever see,” Clotworthy said.

   “Even when the doctors gave him less than a week to live, he lasted another six.”

   He is survived by his wife Valerie, his children Alan, Gary and Sheryl and five Grandchildren.

Popular first success for Hastings apprentice 3 Jan 2019

   There was no more popular winning combination at Tuesday’s Hawke’s Bay New Year race meeting than Royal Ruby and Hastings apprentice jockey Hunter Durrant.

   They were the toast of the huge crowd in attendance after leading all the way in the Kahungunu Kapa Handicap, one of the feature races on  the eight race programme.

   Royal Ruby is owned and trained by Waipukurau couple Tony and Penny Ebbett, two of the most likeable people in racing. They only ever have one or two horses in work at any one time and put a lot of hard work into getting their horses to peak on race day. It was their 25th training success and their second for the season.

   But more importantly Royal Ruby’s win on Tuesday brought up the first riding success for apprentice Hunter Durrant.

   The 18-year-old had a smile from ear to ear and received a huge ovation as he brought Royal Ruby back at the head of the field. It was so well deserved for a young man who has endeared himself to so many in the racing industry for his great demeanour and work ethic.

   Waiting to greet him was his proud mother Michelle Tindall who was quick to embrace her son before he was mobbed by several other well wishers. Hawke’s Bay Racing CEO Butch Castles, after doing a quick check to verify Durrant’s age, arranged a special presentation of a bottle of champagne to help celebrate the success.

   The win came at Durrant’s 32nd race-ride and followed several second and third placings in the six months he has been race-riding.

   He is not from a racing family but was always keen on horses and started riding when he was five. He had grounding in show jumping before signing up as a probationary apprentice two years ago with the Hastings training partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.

   “This is such a great thrill,” an elated Durrant said.

   “To get my first win on the home track is special and to get it on a horse trained by the Ebbetts is also fantastic. They have been so supportive of me since I started race-riding.

   “It’s certainly a great way to start the New Year.”

   Durrant rated Royal Ruby the best of his three rides on Tuesday and had no hesitation in taking the Per Incanto six-year-old straight to the front in the 1600m event. He rated the mare perfectly and still had her under a firm hold approaching the home turn where he slipped her a bit more rein and quickly put a break on the field.

   He then kept her going with a hands and heels ride and they never looked like being headed, crossing the line 2-1/4 lengths clear of second placed Roll The Gold, with Lady Guinness a short neck back in third.

   It was Royal Ruby’s fourth win and she has also picked up 12 minor placings and earned more than $63,000 in stakemoney for her owners.


Special win for race day sponsor

   Maria Dior’s win in the Best Travel 1100 at Tuesday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting was a special moment for her Hastings owner Chris Russell.

   Russell and his family have been great supporters of Hawke’s Bay Racing and one of the main sponsors of the New Year’s Day race meeting for more than 30 years. But it was the first time one of his horses had been successful at a New Year’s Day meeting.

   The main race on Tuesday was called the Russell Roads City Of Hastings Cup while the final event was the Roger Russell/Charlie Keenen Memorial, held in memory of Chris Russell’s late brother Roger and close family friend Charlie Keenen, the two people who started the sponsorship all those years ago.

   “Roger loved this day and he was the one that started getting the family involved,” Chris Russell recalled.

   “Back then most of us would head off to the beach at this time but then gradually more and more of us became involved in the race day and it just took off from there.”

   Chris Russell said there were 75 family members and friends housed in a special marquee on course on Tuesday.

   The fact that Maria Dior won the race sponsored by Best Travel also had special significance for Chris Russell as he regularly uses that company for his travel arrangements.

   Maria Dior started a hot favourite in Tuesday’s 1100m event, after a win and two seconds from her three most recent starts. Apprentice jockey Danielle Hirini retrained the mare back to fourth and one off the fence in the early stages and then  managed to get a split between horses at the top of the home straight.

   Once in the clear Maria Dior bounded to the front and raced right away from the opposition in the final stages to win by 4 lengths.

   It was the mare’s second win from seven starts, with her maiden success coming over 1200m at Waipukurau in October. She also posted second placings at Hastings and Awapuni in November.

   The mare is trained on the Hastings track by Patrick Campbell and was bred by Chris Russell in partnership with his brother Ken.

   She is out of the Redoute’s Choice mare Dorotea Dior, who was also the winner of two races from the Campbell stable.

   Campbell said Maria Dior is now likely to contest a $40,000 three-year-old race over 1200m at Trentham on January 19, where she is likely to be opposed by her exciting stablemate Satu Lagi, who has had four starts for two wins and a second.


Big collect from punters’ club

   Patrons who bought a $10 ticket in the “Punters’ Club” promotion at Tuesday’s Hawke’s Bay race meeting were rewarded with a $75 payout after several astute bets by on-course compere Andre Neill.

   Wellington-based Neill, who travels the country at this time of the year promoting the Christmas at the Races meetings and the Inter-islander series, had the unenviable job of being in control of the punters’ club bets during the day.

   There were 529 tickets sold and Neill was able to turn the $5290 starting pool into almost $40,000 by the completion of betting after race seven.

   Neill had an all-up win bet on Maria Dior, Akela Belle and Lucyinrio in races three, four and five for a return of $28,000 and also picked up more than $7000 from an each-way bet on Akela Belle. One of his last bets was $2400 to win on Just Fabulous in race seven, who won at a dividend of $2.40.

   The Hastings punters’ club payout was topped the following day however with an $85 payout for every $10 ticket sold at the Wairarapa meeting at Tauherenikau.


Miss Labasa back on track

   Unbeaten Hastings three-year-old filly Miss Labasa resumes racing in a $25,000 three-year-old race over 1400m at Awapuni tomorrow as part of  her build up towards the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham in March.

   Trainer John Bary gave the filly an exhibition gallop between races at Tuesday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting and timed her to come home from the 1000m peg in 60.7s, the last 600 in 34.7. She had a sizeable weight to carry, with regular trackwork rider Zane Thomson aboard.

   Miss Labasa has had two starts for two emphatic wins, the first over 1400m at Tauherenikau in October and the second over 1600m at Hastings in November.

   Bary said how the filly performs tomorrow will determine whether she goes to Ellerslie next for the $1million Karaka Million (1600m) on January 26 or contests the Group 3 $70,000 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on January 19.

   She is presently at a quote of $26 on the Futures win market for the New Zealand Oaks.


Two HB-bred cup wins

   Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred breeders were responsible for two cup winners over the Christmas period.

   Lubaya, bred by Doug Phillips in partnership with Windsor Park Stud, won the $35,000 Manawatu Standard Summer Cup at Awapuni on Boxing day. Then Bizzwinkle, bred by John and Lucy Scoular and their son Andy and daughter Sally Tothill, led all the way to win last Saturday’s $25,000 Stratford Cup for the second year in a row.

   Lubaya was recording her third win from 14 starts and is trained on the Awapuni track by Roydon Bergerson. She is by Rip Van Winkle out of the Generous mare Lioness and a half-sister to the Group 1 VRC Derby winner Lion Tamer.

   Phillips is no longer breeding from Lioness after selling her but he does have a filly foal by Jakkalberry out the mare coming on.

   The Scoulars bred Bizzwinkle out of the Volksraad mare Bizz and sold him as a yearling for $36,000. The mare has also left the winners Murdoch and Runny Honey and the Scoulars sold a Charm Spirit filly out of her at last year’s Karaka yearling sales for $40,000 and she has since produced a yearling colt by Charm Spirit and a filly foal by Rageese. She has now been served by Time Test.

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