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Hawkes Bay Racing Column 31 Jan 2020

HB owner first and fourth in Karaka Million

(By John Jenkins)

   Hastings woman Christel Jager experienced the thrill of a lifetime when the only two horses she has a share in finished first and fourth in last Saturday’s $1million Karaka Million Two-year-old at Ellerslie.

   Jager, a first-time racehorse owner, has a small but significant 2.5 per cent share in the race winner Cool Aza Beel and also has a 10 per cent shareholding in Bordeaux Le Rouge, who finished fourth in one of only two million dollar races now on the New Zealand racing calendar.

   The winning stake in the race was $550,000 which meant Jager picked up $13,762 from that and the fourth place stake was $40,000 so she reaped another $4000 for a total return of $17,762.

   “What I picked up from those two results has paid for my share in both horses as well as my share of the training fees up to this stage,” an excited Jager said this week.

   “It was a huge thrill just to have two horses in the race and to get the result I did was amazing.”

   Cool Aza Beel has now had four starts for three wins and a fourth and has total stake earnings of $573,560 while Bordeaux Le Rouge has also had four starts for a win, a second, a third and a fourth and has amassed stake earnings of $57,525.

   Both horses are trained at Matamata by Jamie Richards and were syndicated after being purchased from last year’s Karaka yearling sales by Te Akau Stud principal David Ellis.

   Cool Aza Beel was a $150,000 yearling purchase and is raced by the Te Akau Sassy Beel Syndicate while Bordeaux Le Rouge was a cheap $20,000 buy and is raced by the Te Akau Fine Red Syndicate. Both are managed by Karen Fenton-Ellis, the wife of David Ellis.

   Jager has always had a keen interest in thoroughbreds. When she was younger, she spent four years working for Hastings trainer Marlene Todd, regularly riding trackwork on the Hastings track. She now works at the Aspyre Fitness Centre in Hastings and is the only Hawke’s Bay person with a share in both Cool Aza Beel and Bordeaux Le Rouge.

   Jager made the trip to Auckland to be on course for last Saturday’s big meeting and soaked up the pre-race excitement and celebrations that followed.

   “I went up on the Friday and stayed at my sister’s place at Papakura. We went to the Auckland trots on the Friday night and it was the first time I’ve ever been to a trotting meeting.

   “We then got dressed up on Saturday morning, with the hair done and make up on and headed off to Ellerslie.

   “It was great to just be there and be part of it. I said to Jamie Richards (the trainer) that I was just stoked to have two runners in the race and, whatever happened, it was going to be a great experience.”

   Cool Aza Beel, aided by a 10 out of 10 ride by top jockey Opie Bosson, scored a dominant 1-1/2 length win in the 1200m event.

   Bosson urged the colt out of the gates to be prominent early before easing back into a perfect trailing position in fourth.

   Race-favourite Play That Song and Cool Aza Beel surged forward at the top of the home straight to fight out the finish and, for a moment, it looked like Play That Song would scoot away for a fourth straight win.

  But Cool Aza Beel kicked powerfully on her inside and shook her off, opening up a comfortable margin in the run to the line. Play That Song finished second, a neck in front of the Brendan and Jo Lindsay-owned filly Taroni.

   “I saw the favourite’s head come up beside me, but I have to give credit to my horse – he gave a really good kick in the straight,” Bosson said. “It’s a great result and a privilege to be part of the Te Akau team.”

   “We’ve always had a lot of faith in this horse,” Richards said. “We took our time with him. He missed a run here at Ellerslie a couple of weeks ago, but we had Tauranga as a back-up plan and he won there.

   “We’d been really happy with his work coming into today. It’s been a great effort by the team at home with this horse, and a great ride by Opie, who’s just a freak.”

   Plans for Cool Aza Beel now are that he heads to Matamata for the Group 3 $70,000 Waikato Stud Slipper (1200m) on February 22 and then will be aimed at the country’s two Group 1 races for two-year-olds, the $200,000 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on March 7 and the $225,000 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni on March 28.

   Jager said Bordeaux Le Rouge is more of a three-year-old type and may not be seen competing too much more this season before being spelled and brought back in the spring.

Some of the happy syndicate members following Cool Aza Beel’s success in last Saturday’s Karaka Million Two-year-old race at Ellerslie. Pictured (third from left) is Hastings woman Christel Jager, the only Hawke’s Bay person with a share in the colt.


Cool Aza Beel looks pretty proud of his achievement in winning last Saturday’s Karaka Million Two-year-old at Ellerslie as his adoring strapper, Mette Mosebo, gives the colt an affectionate pat.


Stakes race next for Wicket Maiden

   The Group 2 $100,000 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes on February 22 could be the next assignment for exciting Hawke’s Bay owned and trained two-year-old Wicket Maiden .

   The Power filly scored an impressive debut win in a maiden two-year-old race over 1000m at Trentham last Saturday and is held in very high regard by her Hastings trainer John Bary.

   After easily winning two Hastings jumpouts earlier this season, Wicket Maiden was supposed to make her race debut over 800m at Otaki on January 6. However she became fractious at the start that day and was a late scratching after refusing to enter the barrier stalls.

   The filly then had to trial to the satisfaction of the stewards before she could race and went to the Foxton trials on January 14, where she loaded into the barrier without a problem and won by 1-1/2 lengths.

   “When we took her to Otaki for her first start there was a lot of wind that day and other horses played up so I think she was just over-awed by it all,” Bary’s racing manager Mike Sanders said this week.

   “She was fine when she went to the trials at Foxton and loaded okay again at Trentham.”

   Wicket Maiden began well last Saturday and rider Holly Andrew positioned her outside the leader Just Ben until the field came across the junction and joined up with the running rail at the top of the home straight.

   She then let the filly run to the lead and she kept up a good run to the line to win by half a length from the fast finishing Sumi, with Balalaika a further three-quarters back in third.

   “Talking to Holly Andrew after the race she said the filly was still pretty green and probably got to the front too soon but it was a good win,” Sanders said.

   “She’ll take plenty of improvement from that.”

   Wicket Maiden is owned by Havelock North property developer Jonathan Wallace and Palmerston North’s Gerard Gillespie.

  Wallace raced the filly’s dam, Scarlet O’Hara, who was the winner of six races and is by Fast ‘N’ Famous out of the three race winning mare Southern Belle.

Hawke’s Bay owned and trained Wicket Maiden crosses the line a clear cut winner of the maiden two-year-old race over 1000m at Trentham last Saturday.


Queensland Derby plans for Viscosity

   Napier businessman Simon Tremain is already starting to make plans for a Queensland winter holiday after a horse he shares in the ownership of, Viscosity, recorded his second win in a row in Australia last week.

   “I think the plan is to race him in Tasmania this Friday and then set our sights on the Queensland Derby in Brisbane on June 8,” an excited Tremain said this week.

   He, along with fellow Napier man Tony Goldfinch and close friends Tim Barry (Auckland), Peter Kean (Cromwell) and Doug Paulin (Nelson) own just under a 50 per cent shareholding in the three-year-old, who is an impeccably bred being by Savabeel out of the dual Group 1 winning mare Legs.

   “The five of us have been great friends for years and have a betting syndicate where someone bets each week,” Tremain said.

   “Tim Barry, who works for the Auckland Racing Club, got us all involved in this horse.”

    Viscosity was a $220,000 purchase from the 2018 Karaka yearling sales and was sent to Australia, where he is now prepared at Cranbourne by former New Zealanders Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young.

   “When he first got up and going he had five barrier trials and only got out of the gates once,” Tremain recalled this week.

   “He then finished seventh in his first two starts and we thought we had bought a dud but then he won over 1600m at Cranbourne last month and then took out a $A135,000 race at Flemington last week so we are now pretty stoked.”

   Tremain, who likes to have a punt, said he didn’t back the horse at Cranbourne because he wasn’t sure how he would perform and didn’t back him again at Flemington because it was a big step up in class.

   Viscosity was ridden by former New Zealand jockey Michael Dee in his most recent victory and scored by three-quarters of a length from Mont Madeira, with another three-quarters of a length back to third placed Rogues Point.

   The son of Savabeel obviously appreciated the step up in distance and is certainly bred to run out the 2400m of the Group 1 Queensland Derby as his dam Legs included the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham and Group 1 Kelt Capital Stakes (2040m) at Hastings among her five wins.

   Tremain, who is managing director of Tremain Real Estate and a son of the late legendary All Black Kel Tremain, has had shares in a number of horses over the years but says “most of them have been no good.”

   He also shared in the first starter Rum at Hastings on Wednesday and has bred another couple of young horses out of mares he has raced.


Lane to ride Catalyst in Aussie

   Top Melbourne jockey Damian Lane has been confirmed as the rider for Catalyst in his upcoming Australian campaign.

   The Oaks Stud general manager Rick Williams advised that Lane would replace regular rider Troy Harris when Catalyst takes his place in the Group 3 $A160,000  CS Hayes (1400m) at Flemington on February 15.

   “Damian Lane’s manager emailed and said Damian wouldn’t take another ride until he knew what the riding engagements were going to be,” Williams said.

   “We had a discussion and decided to go with the local jockey.

   “It’s tough on Troy but he took it extremely well and he will always be riding Catalyst when he is racing in New Zealand, which could include the Triple Crown at Hastings next spring, depending on what our targets are.

   “It’s just the local knowledge of the jockeys and the tracks that swayed us to Damian and it wasn’t Troy’s rides in any shape or form.”

   Lane was in stellar form during the Melbourne spring carnival where he took out the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) aboard Mer De Glace before piloting the now retired Lys Gracieux to victory in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).

   Lane is no stranger to riding New Zealand-bred horses to major race success having taken out the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on Humidor and the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) aboard Jon Snow.

Hastings Jumpouts 30 Jan 2020


(By John Jenkins)

   Classy three-year-old Callsign Mav scored a comfortable win in a 1000m heat at today’s Hastings jumpouts.

   There were five heats, run up against the running rail on the course proper, where the ground provided firm footing.

   Callsign Mav contested the second of two 1000m heats and was not extended when winning by a length, in a time of 1:01.7.

   The three-year-old Atlante gelding failed to see out the 1600m of the Levin Classic at Trentham last start so trainer John Bary has freshened him up and he will resume in a three-year-old set weights and penalties race over 1300m at Tauherenikau next Thursday.

   An Ekraar four-year-old mare and Ivory Madonna were other clear cut winners at today’s jumpouts.

   The Ekraar mare won a 750m heat by 1-3/4 lengths in a time of 44.8s while Ivory Madonna, whose last race was in the Group 3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham, won her 750m heat by 2-1/2 lengths and clocked 44.9s.


Jumpout results.-


Heat 1, 750m: Galileo Express (J Bassett) 1, Kaluanui 2, Reliable Man-Dorotea Dior 2yr-old gelding 3. Four starters. Margins: Head, 4-1/2 lengths. Time: 45.8s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 2, 750m: Ekraar four-year-old mare (T Allan) 1, Charm Spirit-Stepping Out 3yr-old filly 2, Ask Pa 3. Four starters. Margins: 1-3/4 lengths, 3 lengths. Time: 44.8s. Winner trained by Pam Holden, Hastings.

Heat 3, 750m: Ivory Madonna (T Allan) 1, Thousand Kisses Deep 2, Jenny Choux 3. Four starters. Margins: 2-1/2 lengths, 4 lengths. Winner trained by Steven Carey, Hastings.

Heat 4, 1000m: Sweet Charlie (T Allan) 1, Manhattan Girl 2, Flautino 3. Five starters. Margins: 1 length, Long neck. Time: 60.4s. Winner trained by Russell Caddy, Opaki.

Heat 5, 1000m: Callsign Mav (H Andrew) 1, Hugo The Boss 2, Cool Hand Duke 3. Four starters. Margins: 1 length, 2-1/4 lengths. Time: 1:01.7. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Hawkes Bay Racing Column 24 Jan 2020

Tuppence could bring HB pair a change of fortune

(By John Jenkins)

   Hawke’s Bay friends Craig Harvey and Duncan MacLean have never really reaped the rewards from several good horses they have bred but the tide may have finally turned for the pair.

   They are the breeders and co-owners of Tuppence, who scored an impressive maiden win over 1600m at New Plymouth on Thursday of last week and who looks destined for much better things.

   The three-year-old Pentire filly was ridden by boom apprentice jockey Kozzi Asano and began quickly from a midfield barrier to sit outside the leader in the early stages. She went to the front rounding the home turn and kept up a strong run to the line to win by a long neck from Reliable Miss, with 1-1/4 lengths back to third placed Capital Gains.

   Waipawa-based Craig Harvey and Duncan MacLean, who lives in Elsthorpe, bred Tuppence in partnership with Australian-based Tim Morris.

   The filly is out of the Pompeii Court mare Pennies In Heaven, who won five races and was one of the last foals produced by that great sire.

   Tim Morris decided to relinquish his shareholding in both Pennies In Heaven and Tuppence and so Harvey and MacLean now race the latter in partnership with Karl Mihaljevich, who works at Rich Hill Stud in Matamata.

   Pentire stands at Rich Hill Stud and Pennies In Heaven has also produced a full brother to Tuppence called Penteverest, who won two races.

   But the mare, who is now 20 years old, also left a couple of top performers early on. The first was Single Currency (by Bachelor Duke), who won seven races including a Listed event over 1200m at Te Rapa. The second was Super Jockey (by Sandtrap) who ended up being a star galloper in Hong Kong.

   Super Jockey began his racing career in Hastings when called Okie Dokie. He had been sold by his breeders to the Hawke’s Bay father and son combination of John and James Bridge and scored an impressive debut win over 1200m at Hastings in September 2012.

   The horse was then on sold to Hong Kong where his name was changed to Super Jockey and he ended up in the stable of Tony Millard. He had 23 starts there for four wins, seven seconds and two thirds and won in excess of $HK12million in stakemoney.

   Super Jockey won a 1200m race in Korea that was rated a Group 1 event in that country and also finished second in a Group 1 race over 1200m on the dirt track in Dubai.

   Harvey, MacLean and Morris also bred a promising colt by Stravinsky out of Pennies In Heaven called Shrapnel, who they regarded as potentially the best the mare had produced.

   “He was the fastest horse we’ve bred,” Craig Harvey said this week.

   “He was trained at Hastings by John Bary and won a trial as a two-year-old but only had one start and pulled up sore. He was operated on but was never the same and never raced again.”

   Tuppence is trained at Cambridge by Tony Pike, who is also preparing another promising Pentire filly for Harvey and MacLean. She is a two-year-old filly out of Organdy, making her a half-sister to the 2010 Group 1 Easter Stakes winner Time Keeper.

   “She is a magnificent filly and Tony Pike thinks she could be even better than Tuppence so we have got our fingers crossed for the future,” Harvey said.

   “We’ve bred a few good horses but we’ve never raced any of them ourselves so hopefully the luck has changed.”

   He added that Pike will monitor Tuppence’s progress following her maiden win but there is a chance she could return to New Plymouth tomorrow week for the Listed $55,000 FastTrack Insurance Oaks Prelude (1800m).

   “There is that race or she could run in a Rating 65 over 1600m at Matamata the following day,” he added.

Tuppence stretches out well under the urgings of top apprentice Kozzi Asano to get up and beat Reliable Miss by a long neck in a 1600m maiden race at New Plymouth last week.


HB owner has Karaka Million runner

   First time Hawke’s Bay racehorse owner Christel Jager is living a dream as a small shareholder in the classy two-year-old Cool Aza Beel, one of the favourites for tomorrow’s $1million Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie.

   Jager, who owns a 2.5 per cent share in the Savabeel colt, has had several years of involvement with thoroughbreds but to actually own a share in a horse racing for a million dollar purse is the ultimate.

   Cool Aza Beel has had three starts for two wins and a fourth. He scored on debut in the first two-year-old race of the season, over 800m, at Wanganui in September and was then put aside by trainer Jamie Richards.

   He resumed with a fourth over 1100m at Pukekohe on November 23 before a commanding win over 1200m at Tauranga last Friday.

   Faced by only three opponents, Cool Aza Bel made light work of his assignment, settling at the tail of the field in the early stages before cruising up to take control early in the home straight.

   Rider Opie Bosson only had to urge the colt with hands and heels in the run to the line and he scored by 3 lengths untested.

   “We’re on track,” a relieved Richards said, eluding to the fact that the win secured the colt a place in the Karaka Million field. 

   “He’s a pretty important horse for us so it was good to see him do that.

   “I thought he did it nicely and physically he has still got a bit of improvement in him for eight days’ time. He hasn’t raced in a fair while.” 

   The colt was purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis for $150,000 from the draft of Fairdale Stud at last year’s Karaka yearling sales and the stable will be hoping he can emulate their previous Karaka Million winners Melody Belle (2017), Avantage (2018) and Probabeel (2019).

   Cool Aza Beel is raced by the Te Akau Sassy Beel Syndicate and managed by Karen Fenton-Ellis. There are 10 members in the syndicate and, although most of them have a much bigger shareholding than Jager, she is getting immense enjoyment from her involvement and will be making a special trip to Auckland this weekend to see the colt race.

   Jager spent four years working for former Hastings trainer Marlene Todd, regularly riding trackwork on the Hastings track. She is now a gym instructor at the Aspyre Fitness Centre in Hastings and is the only Hawke’s Bay person with a share in Cool Aza Beel.

Cool Aza Beel is out on his own at the finish of the two-year-old race over 1200m at Tauranga last Friday. The Savabeel colt is now one of the favourites for tomorrow’s Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie.


Ormsby’s golden run continues

   The dream run being enjoyed by Waipukurau racehorse owner Michael Ormsby has continued in the past week, with Avantage taking out last Saturday’s Group 1 $250,000 JR & N Berkett Telegraph Sprint at Trentham and Spirit of Galway making it two wins in a row at Otaki on Monday.

   Ormsby, the treasurer and long time committeeman of the Waipukurau Jockey Club, is a member of the Te Akau Avantage syndicate that races class mare Avantage, who is now the winner of eight races and close to $1.2million in stakes.

   The daughter of Fastnet Rock also won the Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie this time two years ago before recording her first Group 1 victory in the Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni two months later.

   The four-year-old was a game winner of last Saturday’s Group 1 feature at Trentham, overcoming a wide draw in the weight-for-age event. She sat three-wide, and midfield, in the early running before rider Opie Bosson managed to get her handier at the top of the home straight.

   Enzo’s Lad, chasing his third successive win in the race, looked the likely winner when clear inside the last 100 metres but Avantage ran him down late, getting up to score by a short neck.

   Avantage was purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis for $210,000 from The Oaks Stud’s premier draft at the 2017 Karaka yearling sales. Her latest success made up for a disappointing Sydney campaign in the spring, where she was unplaced in two starts.

   Trainer Jamie Richards has hinted he would like to take the mare back to Australia this year, saying he would love to show the Aussies her true ability.

   “We’ll have a think about what’s next for her but we would like to go back to Australia and try and show her off over there as we have a bit of unfinished business from the spring,” he said.

   Richards also prepares Spirit Of Galway, who produced another impressive performance to take out a Rating 65 race over 1400m at Otaki last Monday.

   The Rip Van Winkle four-year-old mare was outstanding in winning a maiden race over 1400m at Hastings on New Year’s Day, overcoming a very slow start to score by 1-1/4 lengths.

   She was again slow away at Otaki and near last coming to the home turn before unleashing another paralyzing finishing burst down the outside to get up and snatch victory right on the line.

   Spirit Of Galway is raced by the Te Akau Galway Girl Syndicate and has now had 10 starts for two wins, two seconds and three thirds. She was purchased by David Ellis for $100,000 from the 2017 Ready To Run Two-Year-old sale.

Spirit Of Galway gets up in the last stride to snatch victory off Fly To The Sky in a rating 65 race over 1400m at Otaki last Monday. It was the mare’s second win in a row after her outstanding maiden win at Hastings on New Year’s Day.


Heart Of Stone wins again

  Hastings-trained Heart Of Stone overcame adversity when recording back-to-back wins and her third success from eight starts in a Rating 72 race over 1100m at Rotorua on Wednesday of last week.

   After proving difficult to load into the barrier, the Swiss Ace mare was unbalanced when hitting the side of the stall as she jumped away. She was then caught three-wide before being held up on the home turn and again 150m from the finish.

   Jockey Lisa Allpress managed to finally find a needle-eye gap between horses in the final stages and Heart Of Stone dashed through to get up and win by a long head.

   The four-year-old mare, prepared by John Bary, is owned by Gerry Harvey’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Holdings Limited and is out of an Australian-bred mare called Hot Rocks.


HB races Wednesday

   Hawke’s Bay Racing will stage its annual Bostock New Zealand race day at the Hastings track next Wednesday, January 29.

   An eight race programme is scheduled with the first starting at 12.52pm and the last at 4.59pm.

   The gates will open at 11.30am, with free gate admission and also free admission to the Members Stand.

   The Sasanof Lounge bar & cafe will be open throughout the day for all beverage and catering needs and totes will be operating in the Sasanof Lounge and also in the main ramp.



(By John Jenkins)


   Jonny Russ and Magic Incanto, two horses preparing for the Hawke’s Bay meeting on Wednesday of next week, turned in quick times in training at this morning’s Hastings track session.

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

   Jonny Russ worked with Lean Thy Arms over 1000 metres. They started very quickly, running the first 400 in 24s, before easing slightly over the last 600 in 36.8 and Jonny Russ was slightly ahead at the finish.

   He looks to have trained on well since winning a Rating 65 race over 2100m at Hastings on New Year’s Day and will now step up to a Rating 72 event over 2000m there next week.

   Lean Thy Arms is a Raise The Flag four-year-old gelding in Patrick Campbell’s stable who finished seventh on debut over 1400m at Otaki on January 6. He will be stepped up to a Maiden 1600 at Hastings next week.

   Magic Incanto sprinted keenly over 600m on her own in 35.4. She hasn’t raced since being unplaced over 1600m at Awapuni in November and that followed a maiden win over 1400m at Hastings. She will resume over 1300m at Hastings next week.

   Vannoss, who will be entered for the Rating 65 race over 2100m at Trentham on Saturday, worked on his own at three-quarter pace from the 1200m peg in 1:26.5, quickening slightly over the last 600 in 41.6. He finished third over 2100m at Hastings on New Year’s Day.

   So Gold, another likely starter at Hastings next week, worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1000m peg and was timed to run the last 800 in 55.8, the final 600 in 41.6. She went a much improved race for fourth over 1250m at Rotorua last week and will line up over 1200m next Wednesday.

   Rekohu Diva was kept to not much more than three-quarter pace when running a solo 1000m in 1:11.6, the last 600 in 41.6. She only went down by a neck when second over 1400m at Hastings on New Year’s Day and will be stepped up to 1600m at Hastings next week.

   Belle’s Girl, who will make her race debut in the three-year-old maiden 1200 at Hastings, worked on her own over 600m in 39.2 while Flautino took 54 for a solo 800m, the last 600 in 38.8.

   A Raise The Flag three-year-old gelding in the Lowry/Cullen stable recorded 1:11.6 for an easy 1000m, the last 600 in 41.4.


Hawkes Bay Racing Column 17 Jan 2020

Hastings pair eye a third Telegraph success

(By John Jenkins)


   The Hastings training partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen have won Trentham’s Group 1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph Sprint twice in the past five years and they could complete a treble in this year’s race.

   The stable will be represented by the talented mare Xpression in tomorrow’s $250,000 feature and, although the Showcasing mare has not raced for six weeks, her connections are confident she will perform well.

   The Lowry/Cullen partnership saddled up Irish Fling to take out the prestigious sprint in 2014 and then produced Adventador for an upset win two years later.

   Irish Fling was an $8.60 chance when she beat Natuzzi by a neck, with Jaggard 1-1/4 lengths back in third place.

   Mark Du Plessis was the winning jockey and he settled Irish Fling eighth in the early running before angling her into the open to lodge a challenge with 300 metres to run. The Darci Brahma mare dashed clear soon after for decisive victory.

   Adventador’s win two years later was filled with a lot more drama. The big Fast ‘N’ Famous gelding took charge of jockey Matthew Cameron and dislodged him going out onto the track to commence his preliminary. The horse broke through the inside running rail and travelled a short distance before being captured.

   Cameron was examined by St John’s personnel and cleared to ride while Adventador underwent a veterinary examination and was passed fit to travel to the starting barrier. Once there he underwent a further veterinary examination before being declared fit to start.

   Adventador bounced straight to the front from a wide draw and set up a strong gallop all the way. Cameron decided to put a break on the field soon after the field joined up with the course proper and the horse never looked like being caught, crossing the line a length in front of Miss Seton Sands, with Trepidation a further 1-1/4 lengths back in third.

   Adventador was one of the rank outsiders in that year’s race, returning a dividend of $80.90 for a win and $18.60 for a place.

   Xpression won’t be at such lucrative odds when she lines up tomorrow, but she is currently a $26.00 chance on the Fixed Odds win market, which represents good value for a mare who was Group 1 placed as a three-year-old.

   Xpression has only had 15 starts for three wins, two seconds and four thirds. She won the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m) at Trentham as a two-year-old and the Group 3 Barnswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton as a three-year-old before a game third behind Media Sensation and Valalie in that year’s Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton.

   Xpression was then sent across the Tasman to join the powerful Chris Waller stable but she never reached her full potential there, with her best placing being a third in the Group 3 Toy Show Stakes (1100m) at Randwick last August.

   The mare re-joined the Lowry/Cullen stable two months ago and has only had one start since, that resulting in a second to the highly rated Tavi Mac over 1200m at Trentham on December 7.

   Despite not having raced since then co-trainer Guy Lowry said this week Xpression is ready to produce a big performance fresh up.

   “The plan was to get her fit and keep her fresh and I think we’ve done that,” Lowry said.

   “I couldn’t be happier with her condition and she worked very strongly over 1000 metres at the Hastings track last Saturday.”

    Xpression has also had the benefit of an exhibition gallop between races at Otaki on December 20 and at Hastings on New Year’s Day and Lowry rates her much better than a 20 to one chance.

   “I give her just as good a chance as when Irish Fling won the race for us,” he said.

   He added that this will be Xpression’s last start as the mare is in foal to top Australian sire Snitzel.

   Xpression has drawn well at barrier three and will be ridden by experienced jockey Michael Coleman.


Xpression pictured on her way to winning over 1100m at Taupo last season. The Showcasing mare will fly the flag for Hawke’s Bay in tomorrow’s Group 1 Telegraph Sprint at Trentham.


Jumping races loom for Carnaby

   Carnaby, part-owned by five Hawke’s Bay people, picked up another win on the flat at last Saturday’s Greymouth meeting but is expected to be seen in a jumping role later this season.

   The seven-year-old Danroad gelding, prepared by astute Wanganui trainer Kevin Myers, followed up a fresh up second over 2000m at Greymouth on January 5 with a dominant 1-1/2 length victory in a Rating 65 race over the same distance last Saturday.

   Carnaby wanted to over-race a bit when midfield in the early stages of the race but experienced jockey Terry Mosely got him to settle going down the back straight before letting him slide forward to challenge for the lead, three-wide, on the home turn.

   He went clear early in the home straight and raced right away from the opposition over the final stages.

   It was Carnaby’s seventh win from 47 starts and he has also recorded seven minor placings. The horse was bred by well-known racing administrator Alan Fenwick of Marton and Feilding-based Michael Collinson and they initially raced him with Alan’s wife Sue and Carn Arnott, from Palmerston North.

   Hawke’s Bay men Tony Lyndon, Peter Johnstone, Peter Unverricht, Greg Horton and Bruce Yanko took over a 50 per cent racing share in him at the end of 2017 and got an instant return on their investment when the horse won at odds of 20 to one at Greymouth in January 2018.

   He has since won another three races on the flat but his connections are keen to see him race over fences.

   “We bought into him as a jumper and he’s done a lot of schooling, so he’ll probably start a jumping career in May,” Tony Lyndon said this week.

   He added there was a fair bit of confidence the horse could win last Saturday.

    “He was chucked in at the weights as he carried five kilograms less than he had on the first day,” Lyndon said.

   “He had raced a bit too keenly on the first day because he was a bit fresh and that run took the edge off him for last Saturday,” Lyndon said.

  Carnaby is out on his own at the finish of a rating 65 race over 2000m at Greymouth last Saturday. The Danroad gelding could soon be seen as a jumper.


Ormsby enjoying great run

   Year 2020 has certainly started well for Waipukurau racehorse owner Michael Ormsby and things could even get a lot better this weekend when Avantage lines up in tomorrow’s Group 1 $250,000 JR & N Berkett Telegraph Sprint at Trentham.

   Ormsby is sold on Te Akau racing syndicates and is enjoying an incredible ride by being involved in some of them.

   The treasurer and long-time committeeman of the Waipukurau Jockey Club is part of the Te Akau Galway Syndicate that owns Spirit Of Galway, arguably the most impressive winner at the Hawke’s Bay New Year’s Day race meeting.

   He is also a member of the Xplosive Te Akau Syndicate that races the three-year-old filly Xplosion, who recorded a maiden win over 1340m at Wanganui on Thursday of last week.

   The three-year-old Showcasing filly broke through for a deserved success after three thirds and two fourths from her previous eight starts.

   She started favourite and was given the perfect run by jockey Craig Grylls, setting fifth in the early running before improving to challenge the leaders on the home turn.

   Xplosion took a clear lead early in the home straight and raced away to win by 1-1/4 lengths.

   Avantage has already been a Group 1 winner for Ormsby, taking out the Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni in March 2018.

   The daughter of Fastnet Rock also won the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) as an early three-year-old before she headed across the Tasman and was successful in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill in Sydney.

   Avantage has had one start back in a new campaign for a close second behind Pretty To Sea in a Listed 1200m race at Ellerslie on Boxing Day. She is one of the favourites for tomorrow’s Telegraph Sprint.


Xplosion surges ahead of Westfield on her way to winning a maiden 1340m race at Wanganui last week. The Showcasing filly is part-owned by Waipukurau’s Michael Ormsby.


By-monthly award winner

   Hastings trainer Steven Carey is the recipient of the Kevin Wood Memorial by-monthly trophy for the month’s of November and December, 2019.

   The award is presented by the Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners Association.

   Carey is the trainer and co-owner of Matt Cain, who followed up a third placing at Awapuni in November with a maiden win over 1300m on his home track on December 11.

   It was Carey’s first training success and he owns the Danroad six-year-old in partnership with another Hastings man, Eric Verhaul.


Star gallopers shine at trials

   Exciting gallopers Te Akau Shark and Catalyst had their first hit-out of the year at the Matamata trials on Tuesday and they pleased their connections with their efforts in a 1000m heat.

   Catalyst jumped well and settled in the one-one for jockey Troy Harris, while Te Akau Shark sat three back on the fence for the majority of the trip in the hands of Michael McNab.

   A gap opened up nicely for Catalyst turning for home and he ran away to a two length victory over Te Akau Shark.

   Trainer Clayton Chipperfield was pleased with Catalyst’s performance, particularly his starting manners.

   “I am very happy,” Chipperfield said. “We took the hood off and he put himself right there and to finish off the way he did, with his ears pricked, was very encouraging.” 

   Catalyst has an impeccable formline as a three-year-old, having won all four of his starts this season, including a last start victory in the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).

   The son of Darci Brahma will be out to continue that run in the Group 3 Henley Park Mr Tiz Trophy (1200m) at Ellerslie tomorrow week before heading across the Tasman next month.

   Matamata conditioner Jamie Richards was just as pleased with the effort of Te Akau Shark and he is looking forward to targeting Australia in the autumn with the last start Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) placegetter.

   “We are really happy with him,” Richards said. “He lobbed three back the fence and came up in behind them with no pressure. 

   “It wasn’t about chasing Catalyst or having a race today, it was just about building fitness and doing the right thing by the horse. We are pleased with how he is coming to hand.

   “He will go to the BCD Sprint (Group 1, 1400m) at Te Rapa on February 8 and then he will go to Sydney.”



(By John Jenkins)


   Last start winner Sheer Elegance showed she has trained on the right way when turning in an excellent gallop at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   There was very little fast work on the plough, which was wet and slushy after 26 millimetres of rain overnight.

   Sheer Elegance looked to be travelling much better than her stablemate Pas de Geant at the end of their 1000m workout. They went easily over the first 400m in 30.5 with Sheer Elegance quickening appreciably over the last 600 in 37s.

   The Civics mare was an impressive maiden winner over 1600m at Hastings on New Year’s Day and trainer Lee Somervell says she has thrived since that victory.

   She is one of three horses Somervell could start at Otaki next Monday, where she will contest a Rating 65 race over 1600m.

   Her stablemate One Prize One Goal worked on his own from the 1000m peg, running the first 400m in an easy 30.5 before quickening slightly over the last 600 in 40.7. He finished fourth in a Rating 72 race over 1600m at Hastings on New Year’s Day and will drop back to Rating 65 grade event over 1400m at Otaki.

   Stradivarious appeared to appreciate the wet conditions when running a solo 600m in 40.4. Trainer Lee Somervell is unsure where he will start next.

   Yossarian, another from the Somervell stable headed to Otaki on Monday, was kept under a hold over 1000m in 1:13, the last 600 in 41. He was not ridden to his best advantage when fourth over 1400m at Hastings on New Year’s Day and is likely to line up over the same distance at Otaki.

Hawkes Bay Racing Column 10 Jan 2020

Hastings mare’s win brings sheer delight

(By John Jenkins)

   Hastings-trained Sheer Elegance posted a well-deserved maiden success on her home track on New Year’s Day.

   The Civics mare, prepared by Lee Somervell, was having her 17th start but had gone close to winning on several occasions before, with two seconds, a third and three fourths to her credit.

   The six-year-old indicated a win was not far away when an unlucky fourth at Hastings on December 11 and, aided by a good ride from Leah Hemi, she was able to out-finish race favourite Fearless by a head after the pair had a two-horse war over the final 300 metres.

   Hemi settled the horse in fifth position in the early stages before moving her forward into a challenging position on the home turn. The mare quickly ranged up outside Fearless turning into the home straight and the two horses went head to head from then on, with Hemi managing to get the best out of her mount in the final few strides.

   “It has taken her 17 starts but she deserved that win,” trainer Lee Somervell said.

   “She is a big mare who has just taken time to come to it.”

   Sheer Elegance is owned by her Waikato breeders Craig Gray and Christine Wilkinson and is out of the Bluebird mare Azurebelle, who was the winner of four races.

   The Waikato couple have bred and raced several horses over the years, including last season’s Group 2 Waikato Guineas winner Sponge Bob, who has since been sold to Hong Kong.

   “They are a great couple who have raced horses with me for years and so they deserved this success,” Somervell added.

   Sheer Elegance was one of five horses Somervell lined up at the Hawke’s Bay New Year’s Day meeting and he also picked up fourth placings with Stradivarius, One Prize On Goal and Yossarian.

   He now intends giving them all a bit of a freshen up and won’t have another runner until Yossarian steps out in a Rating 65 race at Otaki on January 20.


Hastings-trained mare Sheer Elegance has her big head in front of Fearless as the two horse’s cross the line in a 1400m maiden race at Hastings on New Year’s Day. It was a deserved success for the mare after several minor placings.


De Koning dominated from in front

   De Koning, part-owned by Taradale woman Judith Buckeridge, showed he has good staying ability with an all the way win over 2200m at Awapuni last Saturday.

   The Niagara five-year-old was recording his fourth win and his second at a distance beyond 1600m, following a similar front running victory over 2100m at Te Rapa in January last year.

   Jockey Lynsey Satherley seems to know how to get the best out of De Koning, having been aboard the horse in each of his four wins. She took him to a clear lead from the outset last Saturday and dictated her own rules in front, putting the pressure on her rivals before the home turn.

  De Koning was there to be run down in the home straight but kept finding under a strong ride from Satherley to win by a length from Don’t Know Jack, who was half a length in front of third placed Red River Rock.

   Buckeridge, who has been racing thoroughbreds for close on 50 years, races De Koning in partnership with the horse’s Cambridge trainer Fred Cornege and his wife Lindsay along with her Hawke’s Bay-based daughter Luci Frith, grand-daughter Stephanie Buckeridge, Iriaka Pearson and Masterton-based Helen Caseley.


Taradale thoroughbred owner Judith Buckeridge discusses the win by her horse De Koning with trainer Fred Cornege and jockey Lynsey Satherley at Awapuni last Saturday.


HB Cup plans for Jonny Russ  

   The Listed $75,000 Hawke’s Bay Cup on April 11 could be a long range goal for Hastings owned and trainer Jonny Russ if he can continue in his present vein of form.

   The Ocean Park five-year-old made it two wins in a row when he led all the way in a Rating 65 race over 2100m at Hastings on New Year’s Day.

   It was a similar performance to when the big chestnut led his rivals a merry chase in a 2000m maiden at Hastings on December 11.

   Jonny Russ is owned by his Hastings breeders Chris and Ken Russell and prepared on the Hastings track by Anita Gardner.

   The horse is named after Chris’s late son, who died suddenly while visiting his brother in the United States a couple of years ago.

   Jonny Russ is out of the Redoute’s Choice mare Dorothea Dior, who only had nine starts for Hastings trainer Patrick Campbell for two wins, two seconds and a third.

   Chris Russell said Jonny Russ is now expected to have his next start in a Rating 72 race over 2000m at Hastings on January 29.

   “After that there is another Rating 72 race over 2000 at Hastings on Lowland Stakes day in March and, if he can continue to race well, the Hawke’s Bay Cup in April could be a goal,” Russell said.  



Jonny Russ and with his delighted connections following his all the way win over 2100m at Hastings on New Year’s Day. Pictured (from left) is Ken Russell, Anita Gardner and Chris Russell.


Timely win by Ivan Kane

   Ivan Kane provided his Hawke’s Bay owner-breeder Ian Holloway with the perfect advertisement when he scored a decisive 2-1/2 length win at Hastings on New Year’s Day.

   Holloway has a yearling half-brother to the Nadeem five-year-old entered for the Karaka yearling sales at the end of this month so his 2-1/2 length victory in the Rating 72 race over 1600m could not have come at a better time.

   “We’ve got his half-brother entered for the select session at Karaka,” Holloway said this week.

   “He’s by Shocking and is a real nice type,” he added.

   Holloway bred Ivan Kane out of the Royal Academy mare Pukalee and races the horse in partnership with a group of friends. They are Rowland Bartlett, Wendy Devenport and Bevan and Rachel Duffy from the Kapiti Coast, Alan Bartlett from Havelock North and Paul Roebuck (Auckland).

   The horse, who has now recorded four wins from only 14 starts, was initially trained in the South Island before transferring to the Woodville stable of Shane Brown last year. He has now won twice from his new base.

   “We wanted him up here where we could get to see him race,” Holloway said.

   “He’d shown a bit down south and so we thought he would measure up.”

   Ivan Kane certainly showed he has good ability by leading all the way at Hastings last week, winning at odds of 15 to one. Jockey Holly Andrew hunted the horse out from the outside barrier in the six-horse field and quickly had him across the field and clear in front at the end of the first 200 metres. From then on Andrew was able to dictate terms before kicking him clear on the point of the home turn and he maintained a strong gallop to the line.

   Holloway was pleasantly surprised by the dividend Ivan Kane returned, of $15.40 for a win and $6.10 for a place, considering he had also won two starts before.

   “He hurt himself when he came out of the gates at his last start so you could forget that run. He started favourite that day, but the punters certainly dropped off him last week,” he said.

   Ivan Kane is expected to have his next start in a Rating 72 event over 1600m on the third day of the Wellington Cup carnival at Trentham, on January 25.

   Brown has two other horses in work for Holloway. One is a three-year-old called Mitchell, who needed the run when unplaced on debut at Hastings last week. The other is a two-year-old half-sister to Ivan Kane, by Alamosa, called Gracie Lee and she is due to have a barrier trial at Foxton next week.

   The mare Pukalee has also produced the three race winner Verna Audrey and is now in foal to Per Incanto.


Showed plenty of spirit

   Undoubtedly the most impressive winner at the Hawke’s Bay New Year’s Day meeting was Spirit Of Galway.

   The Rip Van Winkle four-year-old mare was very slow away from at the start of the 1400m maiden event and became detached from the rest of the field by at least seven lengths going down the back straight.

   She was still a clear last coming to the home turn but once apprentice jockey Chelsea Burdan angled home to the outside of the track she seemed to find another gear, powering home to win by a decisive 1-1/4 lengths.

   The win was not unexpected, given Spirit of Galway had been placed six times from her previous eight starts and was sent out a hot favourite for the race. But to give horses such a big start and beat them so comprehensively was quite an achievement and suggests she could go on to much better things.

   She is prepared at Matamata by Jamie Richards and raced by the Te Akau Galway Girl Syndicate, with one of the members being Waipukurau’s Michael Ormsby.

   Ormsby has shares in several Te Akau syndicates and also picked up a win with Shezathinka at Matamata earlier this season. He also has a share in the Group 1 winning mare Avantage, who resumed from a spell with a close second in a Listed 1200m race at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and is now being aimed at the Group 1 $250,000 JR & N Berkett Telegraph Sprint (1200m) at Trentham on January 18.   


Catalyst revving up again

   Top three-year-old Catalyst will make his first public appearance since his Group 1 success at Riccarton in November when he competes at the Matamata trials next week.

   The son of Darci Brahma lived right up to expectations when registering his fifth win from six starts with a dominant display in the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at the New Zealand Cup meeting on November 9 and he has thrived during his recent spell.

   “He had three weeks off when he came back from Christchurch and put on 23kgs in the 21 days he was out at The Oaks,” trainer Clayton Chipperfield said.

   “He didn’t lose a lot of fitness and when I weighed him the other day he was 473kgs and he last raced at 460kgs.

   “He’s put on a bit more muscle and is more solid. He looks great.

   “He’s all set to go to the Matamata trials next Tuesday and Troy (Harris) is coming over to ride him in work beforehand.”

   Harris has been Catalyst’s regular rider in his last four starts, which also include impressive wins in the Group 3 Northland Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Ruakaka and the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) at Hastings.

   Catalyst will resume in the Group 3 Mr Tiz Trophy (1200m) at Ellerslie’s Karaka Millions meeting on January 25 and, provided he passes the test, he will then head to Melbourne where Chipperfield has several races in mind for the horse, including the Group 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington on February 29.



(By John Jenkins)


   In-form four-year-old Satu Lagi turned in a nice controlled gallop at the Hastings track this morning in preparation for Saturday’s Wellington meeting.

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

   Satu Lagi worked on his own over 800m in 54.7, the last 600 in 38.9 and looked to be hitting out nicely at the finish. The Per Incanto gelding deserves another win after a third and two seconds from his last three starts and will line up in the Rating 82 event over 1400m at Trentham.

   Trainer Patrick Campbell has engaged promising apprentice Chelsea Burdan for the horse to make use of her 3kg claim.

   Hunta Pence, another from the Campbell stable entered for Trentham on Saturday, was restricted to just two rounds of half-pace and was to have his final strong hit out on the Wednesday. He is entered for the Group 3 Trentham Stakes (2100m) on Saturday with Samantha Collett booked to ride him.

   Red Sunday worked in from the 1000m peg on his own and was timed to run the last 600 in 40.9 while Jonny Russ was restricted to just three rounds of half-pace. He scored another all the way win at Hastings on New Year’s Day and is unlikely to race again until the Hawke’s Bay meeting on January 29.

   Ivory Madonna underwent two 600m runs, the second one in 39.7s. She is a Jimmy Choux three-year-old filly trained by Steven Carey and finished fifth on debut at Hastings on New Year’s Day.

   A Darci Brahma-Stepping Out three-year-old and one by Super Easy, both in the Lowry/Cullen stable, ran an easy 600m in 40.3 while Flautino finished her work off with 600m in 43.7.

   Kaipawe had co-trainer Mick Brown aboard when running 600m in 41.8 while a Reliable Man two-year-old trained by Anita Gardner was only let stride out over the last 400m when running 600m in 44.9.


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