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Exciting galloper Café Culture turned in an excellent solo gallop at this morning’s Hastings track session in preparation for Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

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

  A penetrometer reading was taken on the course proper during the session and came up as a good-3. Track manager Richard Fenwick said he would be irrigating today.

   Café Culture was sent over 1200 metres in 1:20.3, running the first 600 in a leisurely 43.2 and then coming home the last 600 strongly in 37.1. The Citi Habit five-year-old has recorded two wins and two thirds from only four starts and will contest the Rating 75 race over 1600 metres at Hastings on Saturday.

   Gold Moet, entered for the Rating 65 1400 at Hawke’s Bay on Saturday, showed his usual keenness in his work when sprinting a solo 1000 metres in 1:1.9, the last 600 in 35.2. He has been freshened since finishing fifth over 1450 metres at Wairoa on February 22.Robert Hannam has been booked to ride him at Hastings.

   Viceroy looked to be travelling well on the outside of Is Possible at the end of 1000 metres in 1:6, the last 600 in 37. Viceroy looks ready to kick off a fresh campaign and is entered for the Rating 65 1400 at Hastings on Saturday.

   Adventador worked very early in the session and ran 1000 metres in 1:9.4 but poor light prevented the timing of the last 600 metres. He is another who has been freshened and lines up in the $25,000 open sprint over 1200 metres at Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   Broadwalk worked over a round and was timed to run the last 1200 metres in 1:20.8 and final 600 in 38.2 while Decorum worked easily over 1200 metres in 1:28.8, the last 600 in 40.2. She is entered for the Rating 65 2000 at Hastings on Saturday.

   A Savabeel-Misspro O’Reilly two-year-old filly and an Iffraaj two-year-old filly, both in the Lowry/Cullen stable, worked together over 1000 metres in 1:7.1, the last 600 in 37.7 while Zed Leppelin ended his 1000-mettre workout with 600 metres in 38.1.

   Samogon was keen to go a lot faster when running a solo 1200 metres in 1:21.5, the last 600 in 39.4 while a Dane Shadow two-year-old fi9lly and Waipatiki Girl, two others in the Lowry/Cullen stable, ran an easy 1000 metres in 1:14, the last 600 in 41.1.


No Change’s win puts plenty in the coffers 31 Mar 2015

   Punters were caught napping when Hastings galloper No Change won at odds of 32 to one at last Saturday’s Manawatu meeting.

   The Shinko King six-year-old returned a dividend of $33.60 for a win and $6.60 for a place when taking out the $30,000 Rating 75 race over 2100 metres, which was amazing given the horse’s overall race record.

   No Change is trained by Paul Nelson who bred and races the gelding in partnership with his wife Carol. He was having his 23rd race start and had previously recorded two wins, four seconds and three thirds but, more importantly, he has filled a first six placing in all but five of his races.

   “In his first 16 starts he picked up a stakemoney cheque 14 times so he is a pretty good little horse,” Paul Nelson said this week.

   No Change recorded his maiden win over 1600 metres at Waipukurau in March 2013 and followed that up with two good seconds before winning again over 1400 metres at Hastings in August that year.

   Two starts after that No Change finished third over 1600 metres at Trentham but suffered a tendon injury in doing so and was sidelined for the next 11 months.

   “He was out for six months and then had a slow build up and didn’t race again until the start of this season,” Nelson said.

   “He went a very good fourth first up at Wanganui and then nothing happened for a while after that but it was a good win on Saturday,” he added.

   No Change indicated he was on the way back to form with a good third behind Saint Kitt and Cajun over 2000 metres at Hastings three starts ago but then suffered  a heart fibrillation when a well beaten ninth over 2100 metres at Otaki at his next start. He showed he had made a full recovery from that by performing well a jumpout at Waipukurau at the beginning of last week and Nelson was confident the horse would be competitive at Awapuni.

   “I don’t normally bet but I had a bit of a go on him last Saturday,” Nelson added. 

   The plan was for rider Johnathon Parkes to settle No Change one off the fence with some cover but the horse began quickly and was soon trailing the pacemaker Beau Agen. He moved up to challenge the leader on the point of the home turn and then had to overcome interference early in the home straight.

   Danielle Johnson, the rider of fifth placed Quintastics, admitted a charge of careless riding in that she angled her mount outwards passing the 400 metres when there was insufficient room, resulting in No Change being buffeted and unbalanced for several strides. She was suspended from the close of racing this Saturday until the close of racing on Friday, April 17 (six riding days).

   No Change and Beau Agen were joined by Guarantor in the straight and the trio settled down to fight out the finish before No Change surged clear in the final stages to win by 1-1/2 lengths.

   No Change is by Shinko King out of the Grosvenor mare Grosveness who has been an outstanding producer at stud.

   The Golden Child, a colt by Blues Traveller, was the first foal out of the mare and the Nelsons have since raced a further six foals who have won 23 races and more than $420,000 in stakemoney between them.

   Ho Down won eight races including both the Hawke’s Bay Hurdles and Awapuni Hurdles and finished second in the Great Northern Hurdles while  the other winners produced by Grosveness include No Cash (7 wins), No Governance (3 wins) and No Credit (2 wins).

   The Nelsons also have an unraced three-year-old by Mettre En Jeu out of Grosveness coming on but they have since ceased breeding from the mare, who is now 25 years old.

   Out of all the 11 foals produced by Grosveness only one of them was a filly and that horse represented New Zealand as a polo pony.


Queen rules at Rotorua

   Hastings owned and trained The Knight’s Queen suggested she could go on to much better things this campaign with a dominant fresh up win at last Friday’s Rotorua meeting.

   The Any Suggestion mare posted her second success with an easy 1-1/2 length victory in a Rating 65 race over 1200 metres, clocking a smart time of 1:10.53 on a dead-5 track.

   It was the horse’s first start since she finished fifth over 1400 metres at Hastings in November last year but she showed she was ready to produce a bold fresh up performance when winning a 1000-metre trial at Foxton on March 19.

   The Knight’s Queen was bred by Hawke’s Bay couple Kevin and Shirin Wood and they race the five-year-old in partnership with their daughter Tina and her husband Steve Ryan. The mare has only had nine starts for two wins and two seconds.

   Formerly trained by Kelly Burne, the mare was a recent addition to the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and is likely to have her next start in either a Rating 65 1400 or a Rating 75 1400 at the Hawke’s Bay Cup meeting on April 18.

   The Knight’s Queen is out of the Al Akbar mare Melanie, who was the winner of three races for the Woods. She has produced four foals to race and they have won nine races between them.

   The Knight was the first foal out of the mare and has had five wins and 13 minor placings from 39 starts. He started out in the Hastings stable of John Bary but is now prepared in the South Island by Bruce Tapper.

   The Knight’s Queen was the second foal and the third is a horse called Generous Bobo, by Towkay, who was sold to Hong Kong where he has had eight starts for two wins and three minor placings.

   The Woods are now also racing Knight’s Princess, a three-year-old filly by No Excuse Needed out of Melanie, who has been unplaced in three starts for Hastings trainer John Bary.


Super result

   Super Jockey, a horse bred in Hawke’s Bay and who started his racing career on the Hastings track, has finished a close second in the Group 1 $US2million Golden Shaheen in Dubai.

   The Sandtrap gelding, nowadays trained in Hong Kong, produced a strong late run the feature 1200-metre sprint at last Saturday’s World Cup meeting and narrowly missed running down the American sprinter Secret Circle.

   Super Jockey was bred by Waipukurau’s  Craig Harvey and Elsthorpe’s Duncan MacLean in partnership with Sydney-based Tim Morris and is out of the Pompeii Court mare Pennies In Heaven.

   The horse was originally called Okie Dokie and was owned  by Hawke’s Bay’s John Bridge and his son James, who prepared the gelding for one New Zealand start for a win over 1200 metres at Hastings in September, 2012.

   The horse was then sold to Hong Kong where he has had a further 14 starts for three wins and six minor placings. His Dubai placing was on the dirt track and against some of the best sprinters in the world.

   The mare Pennies In Heaven has produced only one other foal to race since Super Jockey, that being a Stravinsky two-year-old called Shrapnel who has been unplaced in one start from the Hastings stable of John Bary.


Special win

   Waipukurau apprentice Rebecca Goldsbury achieved instant success with her first ever ride from the powerful Kevin Myers stable when Overtheriver took out a $30,000 Rating 85 race over 1600 metres at last Saturday’s Manawatu meeting.

   The 22-year-old has now kicked home 19 winners, 16 of them this season.

   Overtheriver had won on six previous occasions and was weighted on 60kg for the Awapuni race but Goldsbury was eligible for a 3kg apprentice allowance, bringing the horse’s handicap down to 57kg.

   She jumped the four-year-old away well from the barrier and then took up a trail behind the tearaway pacemaker Don’t Gloat until the home turn. Overtheriver got to the front early in the home straight and kept up a sustained run to hold out the race favourite Gustavo by a neck.   


Brisbane beckons

   Addictive Habit, bred by Hawke’s Bay couple Graham and Isabell Roddick and raced by them as part of a syndicate, could be campaigned at this year’s Queensland winter carnival providing he performs well in his next two starts.

   The Colombia five-year-old kicks off a fresh campaign in a $40,000 open sprint over 1400 metres at Te Aroha this Saturday and will then contest the Group 1 $200,000 Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie on April 18.

   Addictive Habit is the winner of seven races, including the Group 2 $230,000 Couplands Mile (1600m) at Riccarton last spring. The horse impressed when winning a 950-metre trial on his home track at Cambridge last week and trainer Lee Somervell expects him to reach his peak this campaign.

   “I think his win at Riccarton showed he was up to the best we have here so I don’t think he will be out of his depth in the Easter,” Somervell said.

   “He thrives when there is a little bit of a cut in the track so if he gets conditions to suit I think he will be competitive this weekend and right at his best at Ellerslie.”

   Safely through his two New Zealand assignments, Addictive Habit could then be on a plane to Brisbane where Somervell has the weight-for-age Group 1 $A500,000 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 16 as his main mission.

   “I’ve always held the opinion he would suit a race like the Doomben Cup and while he is on the way up it will be the best time to tackle a race like that.

   “He is a superb traveller so I’m hopeful we can get him there and firing on all cylinders,” Somervell added.


Survived rounded off his preparation for Saturday’s weight-for-age Awapuni Gold Cup with a quick 600-metre sprint at this morning’s Hastings track session.

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

   Survived had trainer Kelly Burne aboard when he sprinted 600 metres in 35.8. The Zed five-year-old gets another chance to recapture his best form in Saturday’s 2000-metre event, where Rory Hutchings has been booked to ride him. Any rain on the day will help the horse’s chances.

   Double O Seven, who resumes in the Rating 85 race over 1600 metres at Awapuni on Saturday, worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1200-metre peg in 1:24.8, running the first 600 metres in 45.1 and then increasing the speed slightly over the last 600 in 39.7. Shannon Doyle has been booked to ride him.

   Gold Moet worked keenly on his own over 800 metres in 50.8, coming home the last 600 in 36.8 while Ratpack was given an easy 1000 metres in 1:13.6, the last 600 in 41.2.

   Viceroy ran a solo 1000 metres in 1:7.2, running the first 400 metres at three-quarter [pace and then quickening over the last 600 in 37.4. He looks well and is likely to resume racing in a Rating 65 race over 1400 metres at the Hawke’s Bay meeting on Saturday week.

   A Per Incanto two-year-old gelding from the Lowry/Cullen stable and a Bachelor Duke mare trained by Patrick Campbell, worked easily together over 600 metres in 42.3 while Wait A Sec was one of several horses restricted to just three-quarter pace.

Cup win a first for Napier owner 26 Mar 2015

   Napier racehorse owner Alan Jackson achieved a personal milestone when his horse Slazenjah was successful at last Friday’s Waipukurau meeting and now he hopes to chalk up another at the Hawke’s Bay meeting tomorrow week.

   Jackson has been breeding and racing thoroughbreds for a decade and has had several successful performers in that time. But he had never won a cup race until Slazenjah prevailed in the $20,000 John Turkington Forestry Waipukurau Cup (2100m).

   “It’s only a provincial cup but it will still sit well on the mantelpiece,” a happy Jackson said this week.

   “It was a huge thrill just to win the race and hopefully the horse can now go on and win some more.”

   Jackson has had an undying ambition to succeed on his home track at Hastings and now hopes that Slazenjah can achieve it for him at the Hawke’s Bay meeting tomorrow week.

   “I’ve always wanted to win a race at Hastings and, providing the track remains firm, he will head there next week for the Rating 85 race over 2100 metres,” Jackson said.

   “And, providing he goes well again there, we might try to sneak him into the Hawke’s Bay Cup a fortnight later.”

   Slazenjah’s win at Waipukurau was his third win from only 14 starts and has also recorded two seconds and a third.

   Jackson bred the Towkay four-year-old and races him in partnership with the horse’s Wanganui trainer Paul Belsham and his wife Bridget.

   Slazenjah is out of the Zeditave mare Crisp who Jackson bought from Australia, with a Lion Heart colt foal at foot and in foal to Choisir.

   Unfortunately the mare slipped the Choisir foal but Jackson offered the Lion Heart colt at the select session of the 2008 Karaka yearling sales, where he sold for $200,000 to a Hong Kong buyer.

   Crisp has since died and Slazenjah is the only one of her progeny still racing in New Zealand but Jackson said her foals have now won 35 races, most of them in Australia.

   “It is quite amazing that the furthest distance any of her foals won at over in Australia was 1400 metres and yet Paul Belsham has always said that this horse (Slazenjah) is a real stayer,” he said.

   Slazenjah is one of two horses Jackson is racing at the moment. The other is Benoit, a two-year-old filly by Doomsday who has recorded a win and a third from four starts for the Cambridge training partnership of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.

   “I bred Benoit and own her outright and I’m a part of a syndicate that races her,” Jackson added.

   “She won at Woodville in January and then finished third at Trentham but she’s now spelling and won’t come back until next season.”

   Benoit is out of the Anziyan mare Cashcade and Jackson sold a gelding by Doomsday out of the mare for $240,000 at the 2013 Karaka Ready To Run Two-year-old sale. That horse had one start for one win as a two-year-old, from the Gai Waterhouse stable, but then unfortunately died in a freak training accident.

   Cashcade is also the dam of the Group 1 winner Extreme and the well performed Pellegrini, who won six races for Jackson and finished third in the Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) in Queensland in the winter of 2013.

   However Jackson’s biggest thrill as a breeder was when Keyarna Blue, an O’Reilly filly that he bred out of the Australian mare Oh Blue Angel, won a $100,000 stakes race in Australia.

   Slazenjah’s win at Waipukurau last Friday capped a good week for Jackson as he also bred Emmuska, a four-year-old mare by Sir Percy out of Danone, that had won a 2100-metre maiden race at Ruakaka two days before.


Mare a real gem at stud

   Not Allowed’s maiden win at last Friday’s Waipukurau meeting added to the good record his dam Whakanui Heights is building as a broodmare.

   The four-year-old Shinko King gelding is the fifth individual winner from seven foals to race out of the Centro mare.

   Not Allowed is trained at Hastings by Paul Nelson and he and his wife Carol bred and race the horse.

    The couple purchased Whakanui Heights from a dispersal sale back in the late 1990s and are still breeding from the 21-year-old.

   Waka was the first foal the couple bred from the mare and he won two races in New Zealand before being sold to Hong Kong, where he went on to win another four.

   Kettle Hill was the next foal to race out of the mare and, although she only won one race for the Nelsons, she also recorded five minor placings and has left two winners at stud.

   Shinksho, an older full-brother to Not Allowed, was the next winner out of the mare and had one start in New Zealand for a win before being sold to Hong Kong where he was renamed Dr Union and has won another two races there.

   No I Don’t was the next foal to race out of the mare and also won his only New Zealand start before being sold to Hong Kong, where he was renamed Chok Chok and has been placed there.

   The Nelsons are now training Not Allowed and a  six-year-old half-brother to him called No Escape, who has recorded two minor placings from 14 starts.

   The mare Whakanui Heights has since left an unraced three-year-old full-sister to Not Allowed and a yearling colt by Howbaddouwantit and was served last year by Sufficient.

   Whakanui Heights is by Centro out of the high-class racemare Royal Heights and from the family of the great Battle Heights. Royal Heights had a record of seven wins and six minor placings from 29 starts and took out the 1986 Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m), where she defeated the subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Empire Rose by a head.


Impressive trial win

   Addictive Habit showed he is gearing up for another successful campaign on the racetrack when he scored an easy win at last Tuesday’s Cambridge trials.

   The Colombia five-year-old, bred by Hawke’s Bay couple Graham and Isabell Roddock and raced by them as part of a syndicate, took out an open 950-metre heat by 2-1/2 lengths and clocked one of the fastest times for the distance on the day.

   The Lee Somervell-trained gelding has not raced since winning the Group 2 $230,000 Couplands Mile (1600m) at Riccarton in November last year but is likely to resume racing in a $40,000 open sprint over 1400 metres at Te Aroha tomorrow week as a lead up to the Group 1 $200,000 Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie on April 18.

   Addictive Habit is the winner of seven races from 25 starts and has also recorded seven seconds and a third.

   Somervell also produced another good trial winner at Cambridge, a two-year-old called Stradivarius. The Stravinsky colt is a full-brother to the Group 1 winning mare Fleur de Lune and owned by Hawke’s Bay couple John and Colleen Duncan.

   The colt won comfortably, by a neck, in a 950-metre heat and it was his second trial win after he also took out a 1000-metre heat at Matamata last month.

   One of the most impressive trial winners in recent weeks has been the Hawke’s Bay owned and trained Miss Wilson.

   The two-year-old filly led all the way for a 5 length victory in an 800-metre heat at Foxton on March 19, recording a very slick time of 45.15s.

   Miss Wilson is by Stratum out of the Centaine mare Cierzo, making her a half-sister to the five time Group 1 winner Jimmy Choux. She is trained at Hastings by John Bary and raced by her breeders, Richard and Liz Wood. 


HB Cup plans  

    The Group 3 $75,000 Hawke’s Bay Cup at Hastings on April 18 is now on the agenda for the progressive staying mare Imperial Hawk, an impressive winner over 2100 metres at Tauranga last Saturday.

   Sent out a warm favourite in a Rating 75 race, the four-year-old mare enjoyed an economical trip for most of the race but then got jammed up behind the weakening pacemaker Even Better on the home turn and rider Matthew Cameron was sweating on a run until a gap opened 200 metres from the finish.

   By that stage the topweight Dubai Shuffle looked to have established a winning break but Imperial Hawk showed a good turn of foot to snatch the lead in the shadows of the winning post and forge ahead for a decisive three quarters of a length victory.

   Imperial Hawk is prepared by the country’s leading training partnership of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman and the Purrealist four-year-old has now won three races from only 11 starts.

   With the victory set to take the mare to near the top of her current rating grade Forsman isn’t afraid to look at some bigger targets for her over the next two months.

   “She doesn’t mind some cut in the track so I think she still has a couple of runs left in her for this preparation,” he said.

   “The staying ranks do look a little thin at present so she might be able to sneak into races like the Rotorua or Hawke’s Bay Cup with a light weight and hopefully be competitive if she can get a similar run to the one she got on the weekend.”


HB races

   Hawke’s Bay racegoers will have two Saturday race meetings to attend in April, the first being a nine race programme at Hastings tomorrow week and the other the traditional Hawke’s Bay Cup meeting at Hastings a fortnight later.

   The feature race at next week’s Hawke’s Bay meeting will be the $25,000 City Of Napier Sprint Prelude (1200m), which will serve as a lead up to the Listed $50,000 City Of Napier Sprint (1200m) at Hastings on April 18.

   There will also be a $20,000 Rating 85 race over 2100 metres and a $20,000 Rating 85 event over 1400 metres at the Hawke’s Bay meeting tomorrow week.

   There is no gate charge for the April 4 race day and there will also be free admission to the Members Stand.


Oaks winning dam in foal to Niagara 25 Mar 2015

Amathea, the dam of last Saturday’s New Zealand Oaks winner Savaria, is now in foal to the Hawke’s Bay-based stallion Niagara, who stands at Greg and Jo Griffin’s Lime Country Thoroughbreds at Okawa.

   The O’Reilly mare has produced three foals to date, with Savaria being her first.

   Cambridge-based couple Monty and Judy Henderson are the listed breeders of Savaria after they purchased Amathea in foal to Savabeel and then offered the resultant yearling at the premier session at the 2013 Karaka yearling sales. The filly was purchased by Taranaki dairy farmers Des and Kay Fleming for $110,000 and she raced in their colours when taking out last Saturday’s $300,000 Group 1 feature at Trentham.

   The Henderson’s have since bred a two-year-old filly by the Australian-based sire Shamoline Warrior out of Amathea and a yearling colt out of her by the same sire. The filly was sold for $32,000 at last year’s Karaka yearling sale and then on-sold again for $125,000 at November’s Ready To Run two-year-old sale at Karaka and is now racing in Australia under the name of Interstellar.

   “We’ve had a bit of success and bred stakes performers before but this is the first Group 1 winner for us,” Monty Henderson said.

   “We purchased the mare in foal and credit where credit’s due to those that did the mating – but it still tastes pretty sweet,” he added.

   “She’s only a young mare and to have thrown a Group 1 winner with her first foal is fantastic.”

   Niagara, a son of Encosta De Lago, has just completed his second season at Lime Country Thoroughbreds, which is part of the former Okawa Stud, and has increased in popularity with 119 mares covered compared with 101 in his first season.

   The month of May will see the first of the Niagara’s debut in the sales ring with the up-coming National Weanling & Broodmare sale at Karaka.

    “We’ll take some nice colts to the sale and introduce some of Niagara’s stock to the market. We know there will be genuine buyers there looking for good types to value add and on-sell, and those are the types we’ll be offering.” said Lime Country studmaster Greg Griffin.

   Savaria recorded her third win from only six starts when she dashed home up against the inside rail to score a three-quarter length win in the New Zealand Oaks, the last race in the New Zealand three-year-old Filly Of The Year series.

   The Flemings have been breeding thoroughbreds for more than three decades, but changed tack when they went to Karaka in 2013 and bought Savaria. It is their first Group 1 success after four Group 3 wins with Kay Row, Volkaire, Zapeace and Pero.

   Savaria’s win last Saturday saw her sire Savabeel reach another milestone, with his progeny now having topped more than $2million in stake earnings this season. The Waikato Stud-based stallion is the leading New Zealand sire on stake earnings and has had seven individual stakes winners this season of 12 stakes races.


Syndicate flying again

   The Hawke’s Bay syndicate that races the mare Missteeflying was rewarded for their patience when the five-year-old posted the second win of her career at last Friday’s Ashburton meeting.

   The daughter of Perfectly Ready overcame a slow start to take out a Rating 65 race over 2100 metres. She jumped in the air as the gates opened but rider Darryl Bradley soon got her into a good position fifth and one off the fence. He then bided his time before sending her forward around the leading division on the home turn and she hit the front early in the home straight.

   Young Jim, ridden by Chris Johnson, lodged a challenge to Missteeflying over the final stages and they drew clear of the rest of the field, with just a neck separating the pair at the line.

   For Missteeflying it was her second win from 36 starts and she has also recorded four seconds and seven thirds.

   “She’s been very consistent and has also been a bit unlucky on occasions,” the mare’s Havelock North co-breeder and owner Peter Rochester said this week.

   Rochester bred Missteeflying in partnership with Hamish MacGregor, who also lives in Havelock North, and they are among an all Hawke’s Bay syndicate that races her from the stable of Lisa Latta.

   MacGregor set up the syndicate and there are 10 shares divided among family members and friends. Others involved are MacGregor’s wife Katherine, Ross and Caroline Caulton, Jeremy Harrison, Margaret Kenny, Barry and Wendy McGaveston, Andrew Mulligan, Rachel Pedersen and Ron and Pam White.

   Missteeflying started out in Lisa Latta’s Awapuni stable and broke through for her maiden win in a 2200-metre race at Hastings in January of last year. She was transferred to Latta’s southern stable in Christchurch after finishing fifth in a 1600-metre race at Waipukurau just before Christmas and has now had seven starts in the South Island for a win, a second, two thirds and a fourth.

   “Andrew Carston looks after Lisa Latta’s stable down south and says the mare is thriving down there,” Rochester said.

   “I think it’s because she is paddock trained there and not in such a big stable environment.”

   He added that Missteeflying has come through last week’s win so well that Carston may back her up in a $17,500 Rating 65 race at Riccarton tomorrow.

   Missteeflying is out of the Black Minnaloushe mare Miss Toffelees, who was raced by Rochester from the Hastings stable of Dianne Sergeant. She only won one race but was also fourth in a Listed two-year-old race over 1200 metres at Te Rapa.

   Missteeflying is one of three foals out of Miss Toffelees that have raced. The first, a full-brother called Fready Kruger, was placed twice from 12 starts and the other is a three-year-old filly by Swiss Ace called Pop Hit whose best effort to date has been a fourth from four starts.

   There is also unnamed two-year-old filly by Swiss Ace out of Miss Toffelees that has been leased out and Rochester has since ceased breeding from the mare.


Filly Of The Year winner

   Platinum Witness has been crowned New Zealand Bloodstock Three-year-old Filly of the Year, holding out Hawke’s Bay-owned Saavoya in the final event in the 10-race series.

   Saavoya, raced by the Hawke’s Bay-based Waimarama Partnership Syndicate and trained by the Cambridge partnership of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, went into last Saturday’s Group 1 $300,000 New Zealand Oaks leading the series on 23 points, half a point in front of Platinum Witness. But, while the latter finished a game second in the New Zealand Oaks, Saavoya could only manage seventh.

   That second placing earned Platinum Witness another 7 points to take her tally to 29.5, which put her 6.5 points in front of Saavoya. New Zealand Oaks winner Savaria finished third on 16.5 points.

   Platinum Witness is owned by John Street of Lincoln Farms and Wellington’s Neville McAlister and trained at Awapuni by Lisa Latta.

   The California Dane filly won the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November , the second leg of the series, before adding another win in the Group 3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham in January and dead-heating for first with Savaria in last month’s Group 3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings.

   Saavoya won two races in the series, the Group 2 Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic (1600m) and Group 2 New Zealand Bloodstock Royal Stakes (2000m), both at Ellerslie, and also recorded second placings in both the Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic (2000m) and Group 3 Sunline Vase (2100m).     

   Platinum Witness was a $55,000 purchase from the 2013 select session of the Karaka yearling sales and taking out the Filly of the Year title immediately makes her a highly valuable breeding proposition and earns her connections $50,000 in bonus cheques, with $10,000 for her breeder, $10,000 for her trainer and $30,000 for her owner.


Protectionist heads to Sydney

   Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist, who finished eighth at his second run this preparation in last Saturday’s Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) is now likely to run in the weight-for-age Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill tomorrow week.   

   He will then bypass the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 11 to tackle the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on the same day. Trainer Kris Lees feels that Protectionist is racing more like a ‘two miler’.


HK criteria a challenge

   A change in the criteria for importing horses into Hong Kong has serious repercussions for the New Zealand thoroughbred industry, according to prominent Kiwi bloodstock agent Phil Cataldo.

   A new Hong Kong Jockey Club rule has recently raised the minimum rating to 70 for incoming private purchases, which would make the likes of the former Hawke’s Bay-owned Okie Dokie, who Cataldo negotiated the sale of two years ago, ineligible now.

   “I sold Okie Dokie, who is now called Super Jockey up there, after his first start at Hawke’s Bay, which he won impressively, and he wouldn’t qualify now,” Cataldo said.

   “Neither would Paul O’Sullivan’s Aerovelocity so they are two pretty compelling examples.

   “It’s going to affect our whole industry – pinhookers who go out and buy nice colts to try to make them into race winners will find it tough.

   “It basically means they now have to be two win horses and they have to do that within a certain amount of starts.

   “These horses are going to cost more and we have to see whether Hong Kong buyers are prepared to pay any more, a lot of them won’t.

   “It’s going to have a serious ripple effect - people here are surviving by selling and that’s the harsh reality with our level of prizemoney.”

   Cataldo also said the rating changes could impact on the overseas-owned population of horses in New Zealand.

   “There are so many here that are trying to qualify and it’s a big jump from a maiden to a Saturday win so we all need to be concerned. Hopefully, Hong Kong will reassess it.”


   Lady Zafira, preparing for Saturday’s Manawatu meeting at Awapuni, turned in an impressive gallop at this morning’s Hastings track session.

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

   Lady Zafira finished clear of stablemate Mae West at the end of 1000 metres in 1:5.5, running the first 400 in 28.7 and then coming home the last 600 in a good 36.8.

   The Iffraaj mare followed up a win over 1300 metres at Wairoa last month with a close third over 1200 at Hastings last start and will contest the $30,000 Rating 75 race over 1200 metres at Awapuni, according to trainer John Bary.

   Mae West is also entered for Saturday’s Manawatu meeting where she will either contest the Listed Flying Handicap (1400m) or the Rating 75 race over the same distance. She is coming off a last start fourth over 1400 metres at Trentham.

   Taken The Liberty started five lengths behind stablemate Xcuses Xcuses when they left the 1000-metre peg but had closed to with a length at the finish of the gallop. Xcuses Xcuses was timed to run the distance in 1:5, the last 600 in 36.9. They are also likely starters at Saturday’s Manawatu meeting.

   Double O Seven worked well on his own over 1200 metres in 1:28.4, the last 600 in 38.6. He is being prepared for another late autumn and winter campaign and could be tried as a jumper.

   Commett and Miss Selby went hard in the early stages when they clocked 1:16.9 for 1200 metres, running the first 600 in 37.8 and the last 600 in 39.1.

   They were the only gallops during the session, with a number of horses from the centre having had a run at yesterday’s Waipukurau jumpouts and others restricted to just pacework.




   Rule The Court, a possible starter in this Saturday’s $50,000 New Zealand St Leger, looked in good order when working during a quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.

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

   Rule The Court worked with a Stratum four-year-old gelding and they went at just half-pace for two and a half rounds before increasing the speed marginally to run the last 600 in 44.1.

   Rule The Court won a maiden race over 1600 metres at Hastings at the beginning of this season and has not finished further back than third in five starts since. He was a good last start second behind Celebrity Miss over 2000 metres at Matamata.

   Such was the lack of fast work that Dukebox recorded one of the best times of the morning when he ran an easy 800 metres on his own in 55.7, the last 600 in 39.4. He won on the first day of the recent Wairoa meeting but was then well beaten on the second day.

   Viceroy, looking in good order for a fresh campaign, also worked on his own when running 1000 metres in 1:6.8, the last 600 in 39.5.

   A Sir Percy three-year-old and a Per Incanto two-year-old, both in the Thompson/Brown stable, ended their work with 600 metres in 39.9 while Ratpack ran an easy 600 metres in 44.

   An Edenwold five-year-old mare and one by Danske, two others in the Thompson/Brown stable, ended their work with an easy 600 metres in 43.

Promising Notting Hill sold to Hong Kong 4 Mar 2015

Promising Hawke’s Bay three-year-old Notting Hill has been sold for an undisclosed six-figure sum and will do his future racing in Hong Kong.

   The Don Eduardo gelding was trained by Waipukurau’s David Goldsbury, who owned him in partnership with his wife Anne and two other Hawke’s Bay couples, Lester and Kay Drake and Neville and Jenny Jackson.

   Notting Hill has only had one race start for an impressive maiden win over 1400 metres at Trentham on January 19, where he took a clear lead soon after the start and kept up a strong gallop to score by three-quarters of a length. Prior to that he had recorded two easy wins in barrier trials, the first by 6 lengths over 1000 metres at Otaki and the second by 4 lengths over 1200 metres at Foxton.

   The horse’s connections had the horse on the market even before he raced and his debut win confirmed their high opinion of him. With his sale pending Goldsbury was preparing him for the Group 2 $100,000 Wellington Guineas (1400m) at Trentham tomorrow week but he won’t be starting in that race now.

   Notting Hill was bought for $17,000 at the 2013 select session of the Karaka yearling sales, after initially being passed in when he went through the sale ring.

   Goldsbury and Drake bought the horse on type and breeding, with Goldsbury attracted to him because he was out of an O’Reilly mare and Drake drawn to him because his dam, Just Polly, had left two previous foals that had both been winners and she was a half-sister to Just Tommy, whose 13 wins included the Group 1 Thorndon Mile at Trentham.

   Notting Hill has been kept in light work by Goldsbury awaiting a flight to Hong Kong this month.


Café Culture a real character

   Café Culture, a horse that is lucky to be racing let alone gracing the winner’s stall, added to his glowing record with another impressive victory at last week’s Marton meeting at Awapuni.

   The Citi Habit five-year-old, owned and trained by Otane’s Margaret Larsen,  scored a decisive half length win in a Rating 65 event over 1600 metres and has now had three starts for two wins and a third.

   Cafe Culture has certainly had overcome adversity to even get to the racetrack, making a remarkable recovery from two serious injuries.

   “He fractured his skull as a three-year-old when he ran into the limb of a tree after being scared by a helicopter,” Larsen said.

   “Then, at the beginning of his four-year-old season, he slipped over and sprained the sacroiliac ligament.

   “He’s been a bit of a character all the way through, but he’s getting serious now.

   “He’s a lovely horse to ride and in his races he settles really well. The only time he gets a bit strong is when he first gets into the birdcage.”

   Cafe Culture created a huge impression when winning on debut, over 1200 metres at Wanganui on January 15, where he came from near last on the home turn to get up and snatch a short head victory.

   He then finished third over 1400 metres at Tauherenikau on February 6, where he was slow away and had to cover plenty of extra ground in the running and  still managed to finish less than 2 lengths from the winner.

   At Awapuni last week Cafe Culture settled fifth in the 1600-metre before improving wide to challenge the leaders at the top of the home straight and then shot to a clear lead. Jockey Hayden Tinsley only had to keep the horse going with a hands and heels ride and he comfortably held out the race favourite Cristal.

   Margaret Larsen bred Cafe Culture after being gifted the horse’s dam, the McGinty mare Irish Wonder. The mare had previously left the hardy performer Belfast Lad, who recorded 12 wins from 102 starts.

   Larsen said Irish Wonder was an old mare when she got her and Cafe Culture was her last foal before she died.

   “He’s the only horse I’ve got at the moment.

   “I work part time for PGG Wrightsons and I’ve got a lifestyle block and also raise Friesian bull calves to sell.”

   Larsen will discuss Café Culture’s immediate future with jockey Hayden Tinsley, who has ridden the horse in all three of his starts. There is a strong chance the horse will now contest a $30,000 Rating 75 race over 1600 metres at Trentham tomorrow week.


Great fresh up run

   Gwynethanne, although not a winner at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting, turned in one of the most impressive performances of the day.

   The Handsome Ransom mare, part-owned by Hastings man Lindsay McIntosh, came from two lengths last approaching the home turn in the $25,000 open 1400-metre sprint to finish third.

   The five-year-old was still several lengths off the leaders entering the last 200 metres but stretched out impressively to finish less than three quarters of a length from the winner Mighty Solomon.

   It was Gwynethanne’s first start since she finished sixth in the Wanganui Cup (2040m) in November last year and her Otaki trainer Karen Zimmerman was thrilled with her fresh up performance, saying the mare would now progress to the Group 3 $70,000 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham tomorrow week before heading to the Group 2 $100,000 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on April 25, a race she finished second in last year behind Lauren Tate.

   Gwynethanne has been a consistent performer for her connections with five wins, three seconds and four thirds from 25 starts.


NZ St Leger plans

   The Hastings husband and wife training combination of Mick Brown and Sue Thompson are now hoping to get the four-year-old  Decorum into the Listed $50,000 New Zealand St Leger (2500m) on March 14 after she won a maiden 2100-metre race at Awapuni last week.

   The Danroad mare was having her seventh start when she lined up at the Marton meeting and improved on a third placing over 2060 metres at Wanganui earlier last month to score a decisive three-quarter length win.

   The Thompson/Brown stable produced Starperfect to finish eighth in last year’s New Zealand St Leger at Trentham and think Decorum would probably be a better chance in this year’s race.

   Decorum is owned by Auckland-based racing photographer Trish Dunell, who bred her out of the Success Express mare Country Road.

   Dunell races a number of horses and she and her husband Graeme Mackie own last year’s Singapore Derby winner Spalato.


Maiden success

   Hastings couple John and Gretta Flynn celebrated a win at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting when Thien Ly broke through for a maiden victory over 1400 metres.

   The Flynn’s race the Stravinsky four-year-old in partnership with two Wellington men and the horse capped off a string of minor placings with a long neck win over the fast finishing Suggest Gold.

   Thien Ly is trained at Awapuni by Jeff Lynds and was purchased after initially being passed in at a 2012 South Island mixed bloodstock sale. He is out of the Entrepreneur mare Highflying and a half-brother to Media World, who is the winner of one race and finished second in last year’s Listed New Zealand St Leger (2500m) at Trentham.

   It has been a good couple of weeks for John Flynn as he is a member of the Storming Home Syndicate, which has a racing share in the three-year-old filly Shezenthusiastic, a winner at Wairoa on February 22.


New track record

   A number of people were surprised when Irion created a new track record for 1600 metres when winning a Rating 75 race at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   The Danroad mare clocked 1:32.92 when scoring a two length win in the event, easily eclipsing the 1:33.60 recorded by Greene Street when he won an open class race at Hastings in October 1998.

   The Hastings track has just undergone a re-survey and the running rail was in the true position for last Saturday’s meeting.

   Irion was recording back-to-back wins after an easy 3 length victory over 1600 metres at Tauherenikau on February 6 and has now won four races from 11 starts. She is raced in the colours of Sir Peter Vela and trained at Maungatautiri by Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie.


Another success

   Waipukurau apprentice jockey Rebecca Goldsbury added another win to her tally when she steered Konohiki to an all the way victory in a maiden 1200-metre race at the Marton meeting at Awapuni last week.

   The 22-year-old now has 15 wins to her credit, 12 of them this season.

   Konohiki is trained at Wanganui by Juleen Guilford and her best performances from five previous starts had been a second and a third.




Samogon, preparing for Friday’s Otaki meeting, turned in a good solo workout in what was a very quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.

   Fast work was confined to the plough which [provided soft footing.

   Samogon worked in from the 1200-metre peg in 1:24.8, running the first 600 metres in a leisurely 46.4 and before increasing the speed over the last 600 in 38.4. The Fast ‘N’ Famous four-year-old produced a much improved effort for second over 2100 metres at Wairoa last start and will contest another 2100-metre maiden at Otaki.

   Powerade, a likely starter in the Maiden 1600-metre event at Tauherenikau next Sunday, was given two 600-metre runs, the first in 39 and the second in 38.5. He was also placed at the recent Wairoa meeting and has now had two starts from the Lowry/Cullen stable for a second and a third.

   Last start Wairoa winner Shezenthusiastic was let off with an easy workout when running 1000 metres on her own in 1:12, the last 600 in 41.5. She looks to have come through that Wairoa run in good order and will contest a Rating 65 race over 1400 metres at Otaki this Friday.

   Wait A Sec was given an easy workout over 1200 metres in 1:27.2, the last 600 in 39.7 and he will start next in a Rating 65 race over 1600 metres at Tauherenikau on Sunday.



Decisive wins by Verna Audrey and an Iffraaj two-year-old filly were among the highlights at today’s Hastings jumpouts.

   There were six heats run up against the running rail on the course proper, which provided firm footing.

   Verna Audrey, a member of the John  Bary stable, was impressive in winning one of the 750-metre heats. Rider Shannon Doyle kept her under a good hold throughout the trial and she went to the line with a three-quarter length margin on a Dane Shadow two-year-old filly, with a Guillotine two-year-old gelding last of the three runners.

   An Iffraaj two-year-old filly in the Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen stable was strong at the end of her 750-metre heat, winning by half a length in a time of 44.8s. The winning time was identical to that of Verna Audrey and the filly won well from a Castledale 2yr-old colt and a Savabeel 2yr-old filly.



Heat 1, 750m: Alamosa 2-year-old gelding (J Linton) 1, Savabeel-Queen Of Lions 2-year-old gelding 2, Per Incanto-Cancun 2yr-old filly 3. Four starters. Margins: Head, neck. Time: 51.6s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 2, 750m: Per Incanto 2yr-old filly (J Linton) 1, Sir Percy 3yr-old filly 2, Lucky Unicorn gelding 3. Five starters. Margins: Long head, 1-1/4 lengths. Time: 46.6s.n Winner trained by Sue Thompson and Mick Brown, Hastings.

Heat 3, 750m: Verna Audrey (S Doyle) 1, Dane Shadow 2-year-old filly 2, Guillotine 2yr-old gelding 3. Three starters. Margins: ¾ length, head. Time: 44.8s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 4, 750m: Iffraaj 2yr-old filly (J Linton) 1, Castledale 2yr-old colt 2, Savabeel 2yr-old filly. Three starters. Margins: ½ length, head. Time: 44.8s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 5, 750m: Rocky Molloy (R Goldsbury) 1, Waipatiki Girl 2, Istidaad gelding 3. Three starters. Margins: 12 lengths, 1-3/4 lengths. Time: 45.4s. Winner trained by Simon Wilson, Waipukurau.

Heat 6, 1000m: I’m A Columbian (Z Thomson) 1, Rocky 2, Field Daze 3. Four starters. Margins: Long neck, 1-1/4 lengths. No time taken. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

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