One door closes, another one opens 21 Feb 2019
The Hastings training partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen lost class filly Xpression in a transfer to Chris Waller's stable in Sydney recently, but they just might have a worthy replacement.
Allacciato, who cleared maidens with a barn-storming success at Gisborne last Sunday, is heading for bigger and brighter things.
And, so much so, the Niagara filly was due to be nominated today (Friday) for the $100,000 Group 2 Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings next Wednesday, with a view to the $400,000 Group 1 NZ Oaks (2400m) at Trentham two and a half weeks later.
Allacciato (pronounced Alla- Charto) is bred to be pretty useful, and co-trainer Guy Lowry does not hold back when describing her potential.
"We've had a lot of time for her since day one, and she's held in very high regard," he said.
"She's probably a year away from showing us her true talent but, at present, she's good enough to take on some of the better fillies around."
Before last Sunday, Allacciato had had just four race-day starts for three thirds. She actually made her debut in a Listed race (1200m) at Hastings back in September, finishing seventh of 12.
"Though out of the money that day, she impressed us immensely," Lowry said.
Allacciato has been restricted to three races in maiden company since then, with a wee break in between, but now it's back to the big time.
"She's a big, raw-boned filly with a long stride, and has certainly got the goods," he added.
Allacciato is raced by her breeder Trish Dunell, of Pukekohe, better known as one of New Zealand's leading race photographers.
She has had previous lucrative success as an owner-breeder with last season's Waikato Guineas winner Xbox (by Niagara), trained by the Graham Richardson and Gavin Parker partnership.
She also has three-year-old gelding Jaguary (by Niagara) in the Lowry-Cullen barn. Jaguary took solid maiden form into this year's Waikato Guineas a few weeks ago, but was unplaced.
Allacciato (by Niagara) is out of un-raced Keeninsky mare Laced Up, who is a half-sister to none other than former champion galloper Jimmy Choux, trained at Hastings by John Bary.
Dunell bought Laced Up at the 2014 NZ Bloodstock Mixed Sale and paid $5000 for the mare as a racing or breeding proposition.
"We put her into work, but she just didn't want to be a racehorse," said Dunell, who then got Laced Up in foal to Niagara, a stallion she has shares in, and Allacciato was the resultant progeny. The second foal is an un-raced full sister.
"She has a Showcasing filly at foot and is in foal to Niagara again."
Dunell was on course at Gisborne last Sunday, but Allacciato's victory left her with mixed emotions.
"My sister passed away a few weeks ago, and I was in two minds whether to make the trip down to Gisborne, but I'm certainly glad I did. The win was a great pick-me-up."
Allacciato, ridden by Sam Collett, was last in the early running and still had plenty of work to do with 600 metres to go, despite having started a forward move in a slip-stream.
At the 350-metre mark, her task still seemed a bridge too far but, once Collett balanced her up, the filly really put in the big strides over the final 200 metres. Allacciato dive-bombed the leaders to snatch victory by a nose in the last bound.
She now joins another worthy Hastings-trained contender for the Lowland Stakes next Wednesday in Miss Labasa, who is prepared by John Bary.
Miss Labasa went to the Foxton trials last week, racing in blinkers and ear covers as additional gear, and came through with flying colours, finishing third over 1200 metres. She will take those gear changes into the Lowland Stakes.
Shiarna shines at Gisborne
Apprentice rider Shiarna Johnson was the quintessential picture of calm as she scored the first winner of her fledgling career aboard royally-bred filly Simogramor at Gisborne last Sunday.
Having just her second race-day ride, Johnson was entrusted with the mount on the $2.30 favourite after guiding the daughter of multiple Group 1 winner Katie Lee to a brace of trial wins.
Prepared by Team Rogerson, Simogramor was placed on debut as a juvenile, but that was as good as it got in four further starts before heading for a spell.
The Fastnet Rock filly showed a torrent of speed for Johnson when leading all the way to win her two trials by a combined 18 lengths prior to last Sunday’s meeting.
Johnson adopted similar tactics at Gisborne and was six lengths clear approaching the home turn. The filly was shortening stride in the home straight, but had enough in reserve to hold out stablemate Masarova by a head.
Co-trainer Debbie Rogerson was thrilled by the performance of both horse and rider.
“I’ve got a lot of time for Shiarna, she has come a long way in a short time,” she said.
Rogerson was also quick to pay tribute to former top-class riders Noel Harris and Jim Cassidy, who have played a major role in educating Johnson.
“Noel introduced me to her 12 months ago and we started to teach her how to ride trackwork properly.
"She has progressed from there, and she'll be a very good apprentice because she has what it takes.”
Johnson was quick to double the triumphant pleasure last Sunday when she produced a carbon copy on Rogerson-trained Hingis two races later, leading throughout to score by a nose in a blanket finish, and the apprentice seemed to take the day's proceedings in her stride.
“I originally started riding trackwork around the Takanini area when I was 13 or 14,” she said.
“I stopped after a few years to try something different, but got back into it last year with the Rogersons.
“My goal is just to have fun and learn as much as I can.”
Australia here we come
Monarch Chimes will head across the Tasman later this year in an attempt to plunder Australia’s feature jumping races again.
He began that campaign at Gisborne last Sunday with a terrific third placing behind Cutting Up Rough and Pasabache in the $30,000 Poverty Bay Cup (1600m).
The David and Emma-Lee Browne-trained gelding was last sighted in the New Zealand Cup (unplaced) in November and his connections were not holding any huge expectations at Gisborne.
“He’s pretty well, as we saw,” Emma-Lee Browne said. "I was really pleased there was a bit of give in the ground, but it really was just a starting point for him, a nice run around and a trip away, just to have him on track for April-May.”
The son of Shinko King experienced two successful Australian campaigns last year and is set to head back this autumn.
“We seem to be tracking alright," Browne said. “He hasn’t had a lot of time off, though, and I think he's a lot more forward than he was this time last year.”
Monarch Chimes will follow the same path in Victoria, contesting the Spencer Memorial Steeplechase (3200m) at Pakenham in April, which he won last year.
He will then head to the Warrnambool carnival for the Brierly Steeplechase (3450m) and Grand Annual Steeplechase (5500m) double, in which he finished third and fourth respectively last year.
Shadows Cast ready
Awapuni trainer Mark Oulaghan is pleased with his Group 1-winning miler Shadows Cast heading into the Group 1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m) at Otaki tomorrow (Saturday).
The Per Incanto gelding was an impressive winner of the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) last start and Oulaghan believes the six-year-old will run well again.
“He came through that win well and has had a reasonably light time since,” said Oulaghan, who elected to bypass Group 1 races at Te Rapa, meaning it has been more than a month between runs.
“The big sprint (1400m) would have been a bit sharp for him, and we didn’t want to step up to 2000 metres for the Herbie Dyke Stakes at that stage, so we decided to sit and wait for this race at Otaki,” he added.
“I'm comfortable with it. He has done that in the past and been okay and, taking a line through that, I don’t think he's far off the mark.”
Shadows Cast will be re-united with Johnathan Parkes, who missed the Thorndon Mile ride after committing to Darscape Princess. He has drawn well (5) and is likely to be ridden forward once again.
His performance tomorrow will dictate whether he pushes on to the Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie.
Start Wondering retired
Triple Group 1-winning sprinter Start Wondering has been retired after suffering a minor tendon strain.
Prepared at Whanganui by Evan and JJ Rayner, the eight-year-old won 11 of 29 starts, including back-to-back editions of the Group 1 Waikato Sprint (1400m) and the 2017 Group 1 Railway Handicap (1200m).
Initially trained by Paul Belsham, Start Wondering enjoyed a stint across the Tasman with Chris Waller (3 wins) before rejoining the Rayners after a bleeding attack.
Under the Rayners' guidance, Start Wondering was voted New Zealand’s Champion Sprinter for 2016-17.
“He’s still at our place, out in the back paddock, and we're really trying to find a good home for him,” Evan Rayner said.
“He had a hell of a lot of ability and, once he settled in his races, he ran them out pretty well.”
The retirement of the star sprinter has also proved the impetus for Evan Rayner to hang up his stopwatch, with daughter JJ to take sole charge of the stable.
“At the end of March, the end of the financial year, I will hand it over to JJ, but I'll still be around. I just won’t renew my licence,” said Rayner, who has been training since 1969. For many years, prior to his Whanganui base, he trained at Marton.
Madison County sale falls through
Dual Group 1-winning three-year-old Madison County will head to Sydney in preparation for an autumn campaign after his sale to Hong Kong fell through.
The Baker/Forsman-trained gelding won the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November followed by the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham before finishing a gallant third behind Long Leaf in the rich Karaka Million 3YO (1600m) at Ellerslie last month.
He was set to start in the Herbie Dykes Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa two weeks ago, but was scratched, with a seven-figure sale to Hong Kong pending.
However, that sale was not to eventuate and the son of Pins will now head to Sydney, where he is nominated for a number of races, including the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m).
“We're not disappointed, we have still got a good horse to train," Murray Baker said. “He has missed very little work because we just kept him ticking over.”
Olympic eventer back training
Sir Mark Todd, New Zealand’s greatest Olympic eventer, has taken on a new challenge and is training regally-bred racehorse Eminent. He plans to run the five-year-old son of Frankel at Group 1 level in Sydney this autumn.
Eminent, a Group 2 winner for UK trainer Martyn Meade, is owned by New Zealand Bloodstock principal Sir Peter Vela, who has owned a number of event horses with Todd.
Sir Peter and bloodstock agent Hubie de Burgh bought Martyn Meade out of the horse with the idea of sending him to stud in New Zealand.
He’s got a great pedigree and is a Group 2 winner,” Todd said.
“They sent him to me to do something with him before going to New Zealand, and then I got a phone call, saying they were thinking of taking him to Australia to run in a couple of races before retiring.
"And we want you to do it.
“I can never resist a challenge. I’ve had to take out my training licence in a hurry. The plan is to run him in two Group 1 races over 2000m in Sydney - the Ranvet Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, though he does have an entry in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile as an insurance.”
By outstanding racehorse and emerging sire Frankel, Eminent is a son of the Group 1-placed Kingmambo mare You’ll Be Mine."
He’s a lovely horse - on the ball, and still an entire of course, but he has a great nature,” said Todd, who has done all the slow riding work himself.
Beating Winx in the Queen Elizabeth would be a pretty tall order, but you’ve got to be in to win.
“Sir Peter embraced it when I started eventing again and has never been afraid to think out of the box. What other owner would give me a chance to do this?”
Todd is no stranger to training thoroughbred racehorses, having successfully taken up the profession after the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
His biggest successes came with Bramble Rose in the New Zealand Oaks, in 2003, and Willy Smith in the Wellington Cup, in 2007.
“I’ve toyed with the idea of getting back into training, but I'm not giving up eventing just yet.
"It's a great privilege to be allowed to train Eminent, and winning a Group 1 for Sir Peter would be wonderful.”
HASTINGS TRACKWORK 14 Feb 2019
Cambridge five-year-old Artiste has won five races so far, just like her illustrious older sister Mime, but one thing is still missing from the resume - some much-sought-after black type.
Artiste took a step closer to that ultimate goal with victory in the $20,000 Wairarapa Cup (r82 2050m) on Waitangi Day last week, ridden by an in-form Rosie Myers.
Mime and Artiste, both by Mastercraftsman out of un-raced Montjeu mare Maidjeu, were bred by former Hawke's Bay racing administrator, the late Laurence Redshaw, who passed away in May, 2016, aged 72.
He bred and raced horses for more than 30 years and was a committeeman of both the Wairoa Racing Club and Hawke’s Bay Jockey Clubs before becoming a senior board member of Hawke’s Bay Racing Incorporated from its inception in 1993.
He was also Chairman of the judicial panel at Hawke’s Bay race meetings for several years.
In the late 1980s, Redshaw raced horses successfully from the stables of Patrick Campbell at Hastings and Bruce Marsh at Woodville, but it was Cambridge trainer Murray Baker, formerly of Woodville, who brought him most success as an owner.
Redshaw owned Mime himself, but Artiste is raced by his estate.
Mime was passed in as a yearling at Karaka in 2014 (Select Sale), but went on to amass $325,625 in stakes from her 26 starts on the race-track.
Her younger sister Artiste, passed in at Karaka as well, has won just as many races (5 from 26), but has collected only $74,685 in stakes, with the promise of a lot more to come.
Mime was a Group 2 winner at three of the 2016 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic (2000m) at Te Rapa, going on to win the Group 3 Sun Vase (2100m) at Ellerslie next start before finishing fourth in the NZ Oaks at Trentham (2400m).
As a four-year-old the following season, she was again a winner at Group 2 level in the Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa following a second in the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1400m) at Hastings, a second in the Group 2 Westbury Classic (1400m) at Ellerslie and a third in the Group 1 NZ Breeders' Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha.
Redshaw dispersed with a lot of his breeding and racing interests before he passed away, but Mime, in particular, was later purchased by the China Horse Club Racing Pty Ltd., whose colours have become very prominent in New Zealand recently.
They have had great success this season with dual Group 1-winning three-year-old Madison County, who was scratched from the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa last Saturday, with a sale to Hong Kong pending.
Mime is now based in Australia, and she was the fifth foal of Maidjeu (2012), Artiste the sixth (2013).
Maidjeu then missed to Mastercraftsman in 2014 before being bought by Mapperley Stud. She then produced a dead foal to He's Remarkable (2015) and slipped to the same stallion a year later.
A 2017 filly by Contibutor out of Maidjeu was sold for $130,000 at the Karaka yearling sales last week and has gone to South Island interests.
Meanwhile, Wairarapa Cup winner Artiste will continue to fly the family flag under the guidance of trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.
The latter was delighted with the Tauherenikau performance and believes it could set Artiste up for a tilt at black-type level in the near future.
“She has really matured this campaign and we are now seeing the benefit of that," Forsman said.
“She's a very valuable mare already, being a full sister to Mime. If we could go to the next level with her, then that would certainly add further to what she's already worth.
“There are some nice races coming up over the next month or so and, given she's going so well, it would be foolish not to test her ability.”
Lamborghini still in the fast lane
New Zealand-bred and owned galloper Lamborghini, ridden by Michael Dee, finished second in last Sunday’s $250,000 Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) in Tasmania, thus continuing his rich vein of form for owner Tony Rider.
Originally trained at Hastings by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, the talented stayer has been in the care of Victorian trainer Patrick Payne since mid-2017 and, before Hobart, had won three of his previous four starts, including a dominant win at Caulfield (2000m) the week before.
“We campaigned him in Adelaide, with a view to qualifying for the Melbourne Cup, but he ran below par in the 2017 Port Adelaide Cup,” Rider said.
“We did get an offer for the horse from a bloke in Melbourne, and accepted it, but the money didn’t come through.
“The horse was heading from Adelaide to Melbourne, because that is where he was meant to be going and, when the money didn’t go into the bank, we ended up racing him in Melbourne.
"Guy Lowry said, Paddy Payne is a good trainer, let’s put him there, and see what happens. The rest is history, and he’s in great form.”
Lamborghini, a son of Shinko King, has a career record of six wins and 13 placings from 32 starts and has earned well in excess of $300,000 in stakes.
Rider, who operates the boutique thoroughbred nursery Milan Park on the outskirts of Cambridge, said he was likely to have more runners in Australia in the future, simply to take advantage of the substantial prizemoney.
Lowland Stakes for Miss Labasa
Hastings trainer John Bary will press on with plans to run Miss Labasa in the $100,000 Group 2 Lowland Stakes (2100m) on home soil next Wednesday week (Feb 27).
The talented filly (Swiss Ace-Savoia), who is held in high regard, was unplaced in the Karaka 3YO Classic (1600m) last start, but had her excuses.
She was first to hit the ground and led early before easing to trail the next pacemaker, Langkawi. Miss Labasa then became a handful for regular rider Johnathan Parkes.
The stipendiary report that day noted Miss Labasa over-raced in the middle stages of the race behind the leader and was later in restricted room near the 350-metre mark. She lost her left hind plate during the race as well.
The filly lodged a brief challenge soon after turning for home, but could not sustain the effort.
"All in all, she's still learning about what this racing game is about," Bary said. The trip to Auckland did her the world of good, and I wasn't disappointed with her Ellerslie run one bit. She pulled up extra well."
However, Bary took Miss Labasa to the Foxton trials earlier this week, experimenting with blinkers and ear covers on the filly in an effort to get her more relaxed in competition.
She was ridden off the pace deliberately by Parkes, and came through the whole task with flying colours, finishing third to Blue On Black and Galway Lil in an open heat over 1200 metres.
"That was a good, harmless hit-out that answered a few questions," Bary said. "I'm pretty happy with that, so onward to the Lowland."
Verry Elleegant joins Waller
New Zealander owner John Carter has confirmed that top three-year-old filly Verry Elleegant (CORRECT SPELLING) will continue her career with Chris Waller.
The winner of the Group 3 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) last spring, Verry Elleegant had been in training with Darren Weir, who was disqualified last week for four years.
“Obviously, it all happened quite quickly,” said Carter, who races horses under the banner of Jomara Bloodstock in conjunction with his brother Mark and sister Rachel.
“Verry Elleegant had a jump-out at Terang on Monday last week, but has now joined Chris Waller’s Flemington stable.”
Meanwhile, Carter said that multiple Group 1 winner Humidor, who is raced by Jomara Bloodstock as well, will join the stable of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace next season.
“He suffered a tendon injury in the Cox Plate last October and is in rehab and recovery. It has healed well and he’ll be back on track for the spring,” said Carter.
Before being transfered to Australia a few seasons ago, Humidor was trained in New Zealand at Otaki by Johno Benner, for whom he won four races from nine starts.
His best success on New Zealand soil was the 2016 Group 3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) at Awapuni. At his last appearance here, the following spring, he finished second to Willie Cazals in the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings.
Carter said Maher and Eustace will be opening a Ballarat stable soon, and absorbing a number of the horses and staff from the Weir regime.
Harty tastes success in deep south
Well known Central Hawke's Bay thoroughbred breeder Sue Harty tasted success at the Southland meeting at Invercargill last Thursday.
Former Awapuni-trained gelding Son Of Surf bolted in over 1400 metres (r65) for new trainer Sally McKay (Ascot Park), leading all the way under apprentice jockey Tanya Jonker, at nice odds.
Co-bred by Harty, Son Of Surf began his racing career from the stable of Mike Breslin, who won one race from 16 starts with the son of Any Suggestion.
His one and only win before last Thursday was at Waverley in October, 2017, in the hands of Breslin's apprentice Danielle Hirini.
Harty still has an ownership interest in Son Of Surf along with Hastings-based co-breeder Neville Robertson. Two Southland syndicates are among the other owners.
Son Of Surf is out of Towkay mare Surf Patrol, who won seven from the Breslin stable, and who was very adept in wet ground.
Surf Patrol's only other foal is un-raced Niagara three-year-old filly Flying Surf, who was in work with Breslin last year.
Meanwhile, another Harty-bred galloper Golden Bay (Perfectly Ready-Golden Butterfly), has been retired after spending his last few years trained in the South Island.
Raced by a syndicate comprising North and South Island owners, Golden Bay finished with five wins from 79 starts, chalking up an array of minor placings, including 11 seconds and 16 thirds for a total of nearly $87,000 in stakes.
He began his racing career with Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta and ended up in the stable of Cheri Trembath at Ashburton. He made his final race-day appearance at Kumara last month.
Still riding the crest of a wave
Waipukurau couple Trevor and Debbie Walters were back in Group 1 glory last Saturday when Melody Belle snatched the $200,000 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa last Saturday.
They own 10 percent of the four-year-old as part of the Fortuna Melody Belle Syndicate and are the only Hawke's Bay owners in the daughter of Commands.
The mare has now won nine races from 18 starts, with stake earnings closing in on $1.4 million. Four of those wins have been at Group 1 level, in the Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m), the Tarzino Trophy (1400m), the Windsor Park Plate (1600m) and now the BCD Group Sprint (1400m) last week
HB’s Livamol Classic rated in World top 100 races 11 Feb 2019
The Livamol Classic, the feature race run at the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival at Hastings, has received an international tick of approval.
The weight-for-age Livamol (2040m) has been named among the top 100 Group I races in the world for 2018.
It is the first New Zealand race to make the top 100 since the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) introduced annual race rankings four years ago. The rankings are based on the international ratings of the top four placegetters.
The 2018 Livamol was won by Savvy Coup from Lizzie L’Amour, Danzdanzdance and Scott Base.
Savvy Coup was a dual Group I winner in 2018 and Lizzie L’Amour had a runaway Group I win, in the Herbie Dyke Stakes, and five seconds, all at Group level, from her eight starts in 2018.
Danzdanzdance franked the Livamol form by winning Group I races at her next two starts and was placed in the NZ Derby earlier in the year, and Scott Base was a Group II winner in 2018.
The Livamol Classic’s rating of 116.50 put it in 91st place and in good company. It was on the same mark as the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, which had been ranked 25th or better in each of the previous three years, and the Doomben Cup and Moir Stakes, two Australian Group I races.
The Livamol rated ahead of the Santa Anita Derby, in California, and the Australian Cup, Underwood Stakes and Toorak Handicap from Melbourne. It was marginally behind four Australian features, including the Tancred Stakes and Manikato Stakes, and the Hong Kong Vase and English St Leger, which were all at 116.75.
“It was fantastic news,” Hawke’s Bay Racing CEO Butch Castles said. “It has been the icing on the cake after what was a very successful spring carnival [at Hastings], both from a racing and attendance point of view.
“The Livamol is a race with a long history and it is important for the New Zealand industry. Savvy Coup showed it can still be used as a springboard into the Cox Plate. It’s a credible pathway through to Melbourne.”
The race sponsor, International Animal Health Products (IAHP), was also delighted with the accolade. “It was a thrill for us, and we were also thrilled for the club, which has worked very hard to a build up the Livamol Classic and the spring carnival in general,” IAHP managing director Chris Lawlor said.
“It was a great step for the race and also for New Zealand racing. It’s good for [New Zealand] racing to hear positive things. There’s a tendency for people to get too tied up in the negative.”
IAHP, which includes Livamol and BioWorma among its products, is based in Australia but has a New Zealand division. The company has been sponsoring the Livamol Classic for five years and is keen to maintain the association. “We are committed to the race,” Lawlor said. “It’s drawing good crowds and good fields.
“There are some good things happening in New Zealand racing and some of the best stayers in the world are produced in New Zealand,” added Lawlor, who was a vendor in the Book 1 session at Karaka last week.
The Arc de Triomphe, in France, was the highest rated Group I race run in 2018, a position it has held in three of the past four years.
Races from 11 countries made the top 100, with Australia having the most, with 31. Great Britain (19), United States (14), Hong Kong (11), Japan (10), France (6), Germany (3), South Africa (3), United Arab Emirates (3) and Ireland (2) were also represented. Because of a seven-way tie for 97th, there were 103 races on the list.
Lamborghini powers to another win
Former Hastings-trained Lamborghini has struck a purple patch of form across the Tasman.
The eight-year-old Shinko King gelding recorded his third win in the space of four starts when taking out the $A135,000 Ladbrokes Handicap (2000m) at Caulfield last Saturday. That victory followed one in a $A120,000 race over 2000m at Flemington in December and another one in a $A135,000 race over 2000m at Caulfield last month. He is now the winner of six races from 31 starts and has amassed more than $300,000 in stakemoney for his Cambridge owner Tony Rider.
Lamborghini commenced his racing career from the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and posted his first win in a 1600m maiden at Woodville in January 2016. He won twice more in New Zealand, including the 2017 Waipukurau Cup (2100m), before crossing the Tasman as a travelling partner for Savvy Dreams when that horse was campaigned in South Australia in autumn that year.
Lamborghini was placed in Adelaide and it was then decided to transfer him to the Victorian stable of Paddy Payne.
Lamborghini was the highest rated horse in last Saturday’s Benchmark 84 race at Caulfield and carried topweight of 57kg, with apprentice Talia Hope claiming a 3kg allowance.
Hope settled the horse at the back of the six horse field and bided her time before making a sweeping move around the field coming to the home turn. Lamborghini hit the front inside the last 300m and kept up a strong run to the line to win by a length.
Magnum back to ideal distance
Former Singapore galloper Magnum will drop back to his ideal distance tomorrow after finishing unplaced in the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham last month.
The Lauren Brennan-trained six-year-old, part-owned by Havelock North’s Jason Fleming, didn’t settle in the mile feature and his trainer believes he is better suited to the 1400m distance of tomorrow’s Group 1 BCD Group Sprint at Te Rapa.
“He was a little keen early, Matt (Cameron, jockey) said he fought him a little bit,” Brennan said.
“There was no pace on and it wasn’t run to his liking. In saying that, I’m not 100 percent sure that he got the mile. He probably gets 1500m and the last 100m he struggles with.
“We are going to bring him back to the 1400m. I think that is his ideal distance and Michael Rodd will ride him.”
Magnum has had three starts over 1400m in New Zealand, winning the Listed Flying Handicap at Awapuni last March before placing in the Group3 Red Badge Spring Sprint (1400m) at Hastings in the spring and the Group 3 J Swap Contractors Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa.
Elliot hoping for speedy recovery
In-form apprentice jockey Ryan Elliot has set himself a Group 1 target for his return to raceday riding.
The Hamilton rider fractured both of his thumbs in a trackwork incident on the morning of the Karaka Million twilight race meeting last month and as a result missed out on riding Group 1 performer Hypnos in the Karaka Million Three-year-old Classic (1600m).
Elliot will undergo an operation to mend his broken thumb and has set himself a target of returning to raceday riding on February 23 for the Group 1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m) at Otaki.
“I have got a broken thumb that will need an operation, that’s only a day job, so it will be alright,” Elliot said.
“The other thumb is fractured with an infection, but it will be all good hopefully.
“I am hoping to be back for Otaki, Haunui Classic Day, that’s the main aim.”
Moroney has positive vibes for NZ industry
Despite some tough times in the New Zealand thoroughbred breeding and racing industry at present, experienced bloodstock agent Paul Moroney believes there are opportunities out there that can be capitalised on.
Moroney was busy during this year’s edition of the National Yearling Sale with eight yearlings purchased during the Book 1 session of the sale along with a further three to date from Book 2.
He was impressed with the quality of individuals he has seen at this year’s sale, making particular comparison with what he perceived as a less than convincing catalogue at the recent Magic Millions Sale on the Gold Coast.
“Having been to the Magic Millions sale this year, personally I thought the quality was down a lot there,” he said.
“I think the problems they have had with drought there in certain areas shone through. There were a lot of horses that were nowhere near as well-grown as in the past and lacked top-line, lacked bone.
“Here in New Zealand they have had a great year to grow horses, they have been naturally grown and the problems have been far less. That means a better stature and constitution.
“With the drought having lasted a long time in Australia it is also the foals at foot and even potentially the ones that are being carried by mares at the moment that are affected.
“It could mean a three-crop advantage for New Zealand to get some of the lost ground back, which could be a real advantage for us.
Moroney believes the Book 1 session of the sale was strong and stood up well under the current economic conditions, however, he cautioned that the breeding industry was facing some rapidly approaching challenges with both the local stallion and broodmare markets.
Moroney was happy to see the increased number of New Zealand trainers active during Book 1 although he is keen to see breeders in New Zealand upgrade both their stallion selections and broodmare bands to ensure they continue to attract a powerful international buying bench to the sale.
“Potentially some of the broodmare families are getting a little long in the tooth. It would be great to see an injection of new blood,” he said. And it seems to have come down to a two or three stallion sale as far as New Zealand-based stallions are concerned and we badly need some new sires coming through.”
HASTINGS TRACKWORK 6 Feb 2019
One Prize One Goal, preparing for Friday’s Manawatu meeting, was given an easy workout at this morning’s Hastings track session.
There was very little in the way of fast work, which was confined to the plough (good).
One Prize One Goal worked in from the 1000m peg in 1:11.5, running the first 400m in 31.7 before increasing the speed slightly over the last 600 in 39.8. The Ekraar five-year-old recorded a good last start third over 1400m at Te Rapa on January 20 and will line up in the Rating 72 race over 1400m at Awapuni. In-form jockey Leah Hemi has the mount.
Atlanta Peach ran a solo 800m in 53, the last 600 in 37.9 and looked to be striding out well at the finish. She has been freshened since finishing third over 2000m at Hastings on December 12.
Hunta Pence was one of several horses restricted to just pacework. He will start next in the $15,000 Open 1900m race at Wairoa on February 21.
HASTINGS TRACKWORK 1 Feb 2019
Impressive wins by Jonny Russ and Tuigold were among the highlights at this morning’s Hastings jumpouts.
There were five official heats, run up against the inside rail on the course proper which provided good footing.
Jonny Russ wasn’t extended at any stage when winning his 750m heat by half a length in a time of 45.9s. The Ocean Park four-year-old was unplaced in three starts as a three-year-old before an injury sidelined him for 12 months. He is now prepared by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and looks to have come back in good order.
Tuigold won the second of the two 1000m heats and also looked to have plenty in hand at the finish when winning by half a length in a time of 1:03.2. He is a four-year-old by Any Suggestion who has also been off the scene for a long time and could resume racing at the Gisborne meeting on February 17.
Another highlight was the return of Group 1 winner Wait A Sec. The eight-year-old Postponed gelding, winner of the 2017 Livamol Classic at Hastings, injured a tendon soon after winning the Wairoa Cup 12 months ago and had to be turned out for several months. He looks to have come back well and wasn’t extended when finishing a close fourth in the second of the two 1000m heats.
Heat 1, 750m: Swiss Ace 2yr—old filly (Z Thomson) 1, Niagara 2yr-old gelding 2, Prince Harmony 3. Three starters. Margins: 1 length, 3-1/2 lengths. Time: 45.1s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.
Heat 2, 750m: Showcasing 2yr-old filly (M Stowe) 1, Ribamine 2, Zed 2yr-old gelding 3. Four starters. Margins: Neck, 5 lengths. Time: 45.9s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.
Heat 3, 750m: Jonny Russ (D Turner) 1, Rock ‘N’ Pop 3yr-old filly 2, I’m Not Joking 3. Three starters. Margins: ½ length, 1-1/4 lengths. Time: 45.9s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.
Heat 4, 1000m: Carillion (K Hercock) 1, Super Easy-Gold 3yr-old filly 2, Niagara-Blurred 3yr-old filly 3. Four starters. Margins: 3-1/2 lengths, 2-1/2 lengths. Time: 60.6s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.
Heat 5, 1000m: Tuigold (Sammy) 1, Champagne Bride 2, Saint Kitt 3. Four starters. Margins: Long neck, ½ length. Time: 1:03.2. Winner trained by Guy Lowry &b Grant Cullen, Hastings.
Winning run by Hawke’s Bay horses continues 1 Feb 2019
The successful roll Hawke’s Bay owned and trained horses have had since the start of the New Year continued last weekend with four winners in the space of two days.
Cutadeel completed a winning hat-trick when successful in the last race at Pukekohe on Friday while on Saturday King Louis took out a $70,000 three-year-old race at Ellerslie and Hugo The Boss and Pep Torque were both victorious again at Trentham.
There have been no fewer than 14 winners with Hawke’s Bay connections since New Year’s Day.
King Louis bounced back to his best in no uncertain terms with a decisive neck win in the Group 3 Mongolian Trophy (1200m) at Ellerslie. The Equiano gelding was having his 12th start with his one previous win coming in a maiden 1350m race at Waipukurau in October last year. However he was good enough to finish third in the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) at Hastings in the spring.
The three-year-old failed to see out a strong 1600m when ninth in the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas in November and went into last Saturday’s race off a fourth placing over 1000m at Tauherenikau on January 2.
King Louis has normally run his races from the front but jockey Jason Waddell adopted different tactics on the horse at Ellerslie and it proved to be the winning of the race.
Waddell let the horse drop back to third last in the early stages from a wide barrier and bided his time until the home straight before picking a path through the field.
King Louis had to change ground a couple of times before Waddell angled him into the clear and he descended on the pacemaking favourite Sword Of Osman inside the last 100m, sweeping past him to win by a neck.
Cyber Attack also finished strongly from the back to dead-heat for second with the favourite.
Hastings trainer John Bary said the win reminded him of stable predecessor and five-time Group 1 winner Jimmy Choux, who carried the same colours for Hawke’s Bay owners Richard and Liz Wood.
“That was exceptional, it was just like the old days with Jimmy’s colours on,” Bary said. “I’m just stoked for Richard and Liz, they are not here tonight, their son Michael is though.”
Bary said the change of tactics played a major part in the win.
“Speaking with Jason (before the race), he needs to take a bow,” Bary said. “We had spoken about the speed. The first option was to do what he did, ride him back and finish strong, and that’s what happened.”
King Louis has now recorded two wins, two seconds and three thirds and his stake earnings now total $93,550.
Cutadeel now a top Derby chance
Hawke’s Bay-owned Cutadeel took another step towards the Group 1 $1million New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie in March with a dominant winning performance in a $25,000 Rating 72 race over 1600m at Pukekohe last Friday.
The Dundeel gelding completed a winning hat-trick when he powered away from his rivals in the last 200m to score by three-quarters of a length.
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained stakes winner is now a joint $8 favourite for the Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 2.
Cutadeel drew wide at Pukekohe and jockey Opie Bosson took him back in the early stages before settling him midfield. Once angled into the clear in the home straight the horse showed a tremendous turn of foot to quickly pick up the leaders.
“Opie rode him a treat, that was a ten out of ten ride and while the margin wasn’t that big I think he had a little bit of horse left there too,” co-trainer Andrew Forsman said.
While there are a number of paths Cutadeel could take into the New Zealand Derby, Forsman said it was likely he would contest either the Group 2 $100,000 Waikato Guineas (2000m) on February 9 or Group 2 $100,000 Avondale Guineas (2100m) on February 16 in the lead-up.
“They are a week apart now, so that’s the problem, so Murray will work that out,” Forsman said. “He will talk with the owners and they will figure out a path, but it will be one or the other, he wouldn’t need to run in both.
“He has already performed over the 2000m trip so it won’t hold any fears.”
Bosson was just as pleased with Cutadeel’s performance and believes he is a genuine Derby prospect.
“He’s a classy horse, it was a pretty good effort coming back to the mile with 59.5 kilos against the older horses,” he said. “He’s definitely a Derby horse.”
Xpression joins Waller stable
Exciting Hastings-trained three-year-old Xpression will do the rest of her racing in Australia after departing for Sydney last Monday.
The three-year-old daughter of Showcasing will join premiership-leading trainer Chris Waller’s stable and will try to add more black-type to her impressive record.
Xpression had seven starts for the Hastings training partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen for three wins, a second and three thirds and has amassed more than $159,000 in stakemoney.
The daughter of Showcasing won the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m) at Trentham at two finished a narrow second to Avantage in the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings in September before easily winning the Group 3 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton.
She started a solid favourite for the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) in November and finished third to Media Sensation before rounding off her campaign with a third behind More Wonder over 1400m at Awapuni in December.
“It has been decided to send her to Australia to increase her value and she should get every chance from Chris Waller’s stable,” Guy Lowry said.
“We wanted to get her over there so she could do some racing as a three-year-old. There are more opportunities there for her, it was a no brainer really.
“There’s not a lot more she can do in New Zealand. She is probably at her peak value here and the only way to increase her value is to send her to Australia.”
Lowry was philosophical about losing such a quality filly from his barn and said he is excited to see what she can do in Australia.
Xpression was bred by Haunui Farm studmaster Mark Chitty in partnership with his childhood friend Iain Renton of Hawke’s Bay. The pair race the filly with other close Hawke’s Bay friends in Paul Bayes, Mark Apatu and Fred Coates.
Lightning mission for Hugo The Boss
Hastings-trained Hugo The Boss is building such a good record in the straight sprints at Trentham that trainer John Bary is now contemplating a start in the Listed $50,000 Lightning Handicap (1000m) with the horse.
The five-year-old completed back-to-back victories down the Trentham chute with a gallant effort in a $30,000 Rating 82 race over 1000m there last Saturday. That followed a similar performance when taking out a Rating 72 event over 1200m on the same track a fortnight earlier.
Craig Grylls was the winning rider last Saturday. He bounced the gelding out quickly from the barrier and he travelled keenly outside the leader and favourite Merlini as they came across the junction and onto the course proper.
Hugo The Boss then looked beaten when Merlini kicked and put a break on him inside the last 300m but he rallied strongly under the urgings of Grylls to get up right on the line to snatch a nose decision.
It was the horse’s sixth victory and his third at 1000m.
Bary said he has taken a patient approach with the five-year-old gelding and that is starting to pay dividends now.
“He’s taken time, he’s only a five-year-old, but it seems like he has been around forever. He’s maturing, he’s in a happy place,” Bary said.
Bary said while the son of Stratum is in form he will continue with his preparation which will likely culminate with a tilt at the Lightning Handicap (1200m) at Trentham on March 16.
He added that the horse will probably have his next start in an open 1200m race at Awapuni on February 8.
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.
Double success for Pep Torque
Waipukurau-trained Pep Torque completed a winning double on the Trentham track in the space of seven days when taking out a $25,000 Rating 72 race over 1600m there last Saturday.
The Nadeem five-year-old, prepared by part-owner Kirsty Lawrence, had won a Rating 65 race over the same distance a week earlier at odds of 55 to one. He wasn’t at those odds last Saturday but still rewarded his followers with a dividend of $11.00 for a win and $3.90 for a place.
Pep Torque would have been unlucky not to have won last Saturday as he was momentarily held up when apprentice Charlotte O’Beirne tried to get him into the clear in the last 300m. She finally angled the horse back to the inside rail and he dashed through a gap to score by a long neck.
Lawrence said after the win she had been a bit worried about backing the horse up so quickly after his win on the middle day of the Wellington Cup carnival but he had done so well that it was a logical decision in the end.
Pep Torque is raced by Lawrence and her husband Steve in partnership with their stable employee Susan Best and the sisters Diana and Christina Newman, who have been long time stable clients.
Timely boost for De Koning’s HB owner
De Koning provided his Taradale part-owner Judith Buckeridge with a great tonic when he led all the way in a Rating 65 race over 2100m at Te Rapa on January 20.
Buckeridge, who has been racing thoroughbreds for close on 50 years, is presently undergoing chemotherapy treatment after a major cancer operation in November.
She made it to the racetrack to see De Koning score his second victory from 14 starts, aided by a great ride from jockey Lynsey Satherley.
De Koning is at his best when he can dictate from the front and Satherley let the Niagara four-year-old slide forward to take the lead at the end of the first 100m. She then set the pace to suit herself before putting the pressure on the opposition entering the last 600m.
De Koning rounded the home bend with a 2 length advantage and kept up a strong gallop to the line to win by 1-1/2 lengths.
Both of De Koning’s wins have now been recorded on the Te Rapa track, the first of them being over 1400m in December 2017. He has also recorded a second, three thirds, four fourths and four fifths from his 14 starts for Cambridge trainer Fred Cornege.
Judith Buckeridge races De Koning in partnership with the horse’s trainer and his wife Lindsay along with her Hawke’s Bay-based daughter Luci Firth, grand-daughter Stephanie Buckeridge, Iriaka Pearson and Masterton-based Helen Caseley.
HASTINGS TRACKWORK 1 Feb 2019
Lady Guinness rounded off her preparation for tomorrow’s Hawke’s Bay meeting with a 600m sprint during a quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.
There was little in the way of fast work, which was confined to the plough (good).
Lady Guinness sprinted 600m in 36.9s and looked to be striding out well at the finish. The Falkirk was a disappointing last start fourth over 1600m at Otaki so trainer Patrick Campbell has made a few alterations to her training and schooled her over the pony jumps on the inside of the track last Thursday. She steps up to 2000m in the Rating 72 race at Hastings with apprentice Wiremu Pinn claiming a 3kg allowance.
A Niagara three-year-old filly and a Niagara three-year-old gelding worked together over 800m in 53.3, coming home the last 600 in 37.8.
A Glass Harmonee two-year-old gelding and a Zed gelding were not hurried when working together over 800m, coming home the last 600 in 43.1.
Hastings trainers bag six wins at Wairoa 1 Feb 2019
Hastings stables dominated this year’s annual two-day Wairoa race meeting, claiming six of the 16 races run over the two days.
The Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen combination struck gold on Thursday’s first day, racking up wins with Swish Az, Carillion and Uncle Bro from their five runners while Patrick Campbell lined up just one runner that day, producing Hunta Pence to score a runaway victory in the Wairoa Cup Trial.
Fellow Hastings trainer John Bary targeted the second day of the meeting, last Sunday, and took out the $20,000 two-year-old race with first starter Serena.
Win was well worth the wait
Patience was well and truly rewarded when Swish Az scored an upset win in a 1200m maiden at Wairoa last Thursday.
The four-year-old Swiss Ace mare, bought as a weanling for $2000, was having only her second career start and scored a decisive 1-1/4 length victory at odds of 26 to one.
Swish Az is owned by her co-trainer Grant Cullen in partnership with his partner Nikki Lourie. They bought her from the 2015 Karaka Mixed Bloodstock sale, mainly on type and breeding.
“I’ve always liked the Swiss Ace horses and we liked the look of her,” Cullen said this week.
“She was a big leggy filly that obviously needed time and we were prepared to give her that time.”
“She has suffered a bit of shin soreness but we have just taken her along quietly and let her mature and strengthen and hopefully we will now reap the rewards.”
Swish Az was unplaced in a 1000m Woodville trial back in November last year and then finished last, more than 34 lengths from the winner, when making her race debut over 1200m at Otaki a month later.
“We actually thought she would go alright in her first start but she was badly shin sore after the race. She stumbled out of the gates and never raised a gallop and jockey Johnathan Parkes basically pulled her up over the final stages.”
Swish Az was then turned out for a brief spell to recover and showed she was back on track when winning a 1000m Levin jumpout nine days before her Wairoa victory.
“After that jumpout win we thought she would go well at Wairoa, as long as she didn’t jar up,” Cullen added.
Jockey Samantha Collett bounced Swish Az out quickly from the barrier to take an early lead and then took a sit outside Pokuru’s Gift when that horse went to the front in the middle stages. The pair rounded the home bend locked together but Swish Az had a bit more in reserve over the final stages and drew clear late.
Cullen said Swish Az has come through the race in great order and she is likely to have her next start in a Rating 65 race over 1200m at Woodville on March 17.
Speedy mare’s second success
Hastings-trained Carillion’s early speed was put to good advantage in a Rating 65 race over 1200m on the first day at Wairoa. The Per Incanto mare drew barrier four in a seven horse field and jockey Anna Jones had her disputing the pace from the outset, holding a clear advantage over her rivals entering the home straight. She then came under siege but managed to fight off the challengers to win by three-quarters of a length.
Carillion was recording her second win, her first being over 1000m at Taupo in August last year. She races in the colours made famous by horses bred and raced by the former Te Parae Stud in Masterton and was bred by Wairarapa-based Angela Williams. The mare is now raced by a syndicate that is managed by Auckland’s John Duncan.
Carillion backed up on the second day of the Wairoa meeting on Sunday but, after setting a hot pace over 1300m, she compounded in the straight to finish ninth of 12 runners and will now be given a freshen up.
Uncle Bro fulfilling his promise
Uncle Bro, a $130,000 purchase from the 2016 Ready To Run Two-year-old sale, went a little way to recuperating his purchase price with a dominant win in a $10,000 maiden 1900m race at Wairoa last week.
The Uncle Bro four-year-old, owned by Cambridge-based Tony Rider, was having his sixth start, with his previous best placings being two seconds and a fourth. He had produced an eye-catching last start second over 1600m at Otaki and obviously relished the step up in distance at Wairoa.
Jockey Johnathan Parkes settled Uncle Bro in about sixth place in the early stages before moving him forward to challenge just before than home turn.
Uncle Bro took a clear lead soon after and kept up a strong run to the line to win by 2 lengths from Trumpet and Sylwek.
Uncle Bro is by the American Breeders’ Cup winner Uncle Mo out of the Japanese-bred mare Uno Sayuri, who was the winner of three races from 1400m to 2200m in Singapore.
Trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen are uncertain where Uncle Bro will start next.
“We’d like to give him another run in the near future, while he’s in good form, but there is a lack of suitable Rating 65 middle distance races around,” Lowry said.
Proved a class able his rivals
There was no more dominant winner at this year’s Wairoa two-day meeting than the Hastings-trained Hunta Pence in the $15,000 Wairoa Cup Trial on the first day.
The No Excuse Needed six-year-old blitzed his rivals by 6 lengths in the 1900m event and could have won by more had jockey Samantha Collett asked him to really extend over the final stages. She had the horse in or near the lead throughout and, after taking control just before the home turn, he raced right away from the opposition.
It was Hunta Pence’s sixth win from only 34 starts for owner-trainer Patrick Campbell and his stake earnings have now topped more than $100,000.
Campbell is pleased with the way Hunta Pence has come through the win and will now aim him for the $35,000 Open 2200m race at Trentham tomorrow week.
Game debut win by Serena
Hastings trainer John Bary unleashed a promising two-year-old in Serena at Wairoa last Sunday, with the Swiss Ace filly scoring a game debut win in the $20,000 Winiata Saddlery 1200.
The filly only had one barrier trial, over 850m at Foxton on February 12, to help prepare her for her first race start and she was lost for early speed, getting back to a clear last in the early stages. But when jockey Samantha Collett asked her to improve she quickly swept around the field to be vying for the lead on the turn.
Serena ranged up outside the well supported Amazing Team and the two then knuckled down to a head to head tussle over the final stages, with Serena getting in the deciding stride on the line to win by a short head.
Bary purchased Serena for $17,000 from the two-year-old Ready To Run sale at Karaka in November. He liked the look of the filly and was impressed with the last 50 metres of her breeze up before the sale. He now races her in partnership with Hamilton-based Todd Bawden.
Serena will now be turned out for a spell and be brought back for some of the early three-year-old races in the new season.
Wait A Sec back racing next week
Hastings-trained Group 1 winner Wait A Sec is set to make a return to the race track at Trentham tomorrow week.
The Postponed eight-year-old has been off the scene since winning the Wairoa Cup (2100m) 12 months ago after suffering a tendon injury.
He was given a long spell but has been back in work for a few months now and trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen took him up to this year’s annual Wairoa meeting for a trip.
“He had a gallop up there last Thursday morning and another one between races on Sunday and went well both times,” co-trainer Grant Cullen said on Tuesday.
“He’ll have a jumpout over 1000 metres at Hastings this week and, at this stage, he will kick off again in the open 1600 at Trentham on March 9.
“I’d like to get him up for the Hawke’s Bay Cup in April,” he added.
Wait A Sec is the winner of 13 races and almost $400,000 in prizemoney with his best win coming in the 2017 Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings, but he suffered a tear in a tendon after winning last year’s Wairoa Cup.
Parkes booked for key Cup ride
Johnathan Parkes will be reunited with Five To Midnight for the Group 1 $500,000 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie tomorrow week.
Parkes was attending a wedding when Jonathan Riddell guided the Lisa Latta-trained Domesday six-year-old to third in the Group 2 Avondale Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie last start but had been the regular rider this season of last year's Auckland Cup runner-up.
Latta was thrilled with Five To Midnight's Avondale Cup run and was looking forward to the Auckland Cup.
"He's come through the run well. He went to the paddock for a couple of days and he's good. He's on track for the Auckland Cup," Latta said.
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