HASTINGS TRACKWORK 29 Mar 2016
Class mare Recite stole the limelight at this morning’s Hastings track session when she galloped impressively the reverse way on the course proper.
Recite and Steppenwolf were the only horses to work on the course proper, which provided dead footing, while the other gallops were confined to the plough (soft).
Recite finished about 3 lengths clear of Steppenwolf at the end of 1000 metres on the course proper in 1:2.7, running the first 400 metres in 26.3 and the last 600 in 36.4.
Trainer John Bary was pleased with the workout as he prepares the Darci Brahma mare for the Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha on Saturday week.
Designated Driver was another who worked well this morning when she ran 1000 metres on the plough in 1:5.9, the last 600 in 37.6. The Danroad mare heads to the Manawatu meeting this Saturday where she will contest the Open 1400-metre sprint.
Turkey Lowe and a Redoute’s Choice-Cierzo two-year-old filly worked together over 1000 metres in 1:4.7, sprinting the last 600 in 36.6. The Redoute’s Choice filly is a half-sister to Jimmy Choux.
In Another Life was not after a fast time when running a solo 1000 metres in 1:11.4, the last 600 in 41.6. He recorded a good second over 1600 metres at Trentham last start and will be stepped up to 2000 metres in this Saturday’s Group 3 Manawatu Classic at Awapuni.
Percy’s Jazz and Moss Jazz, two horses from the Thompson/Brown stable down to race at Wanganui on Thursday, worked together over 1000 metres in 1:9.6, the last 600 in 39.3.
Shezgorgeous was restricted to just three-quarter pace, recording 45.5s for the last 600 while stablemate Keep Us Happy also underwent similar work and came home her last 600 in 44.7. They are both likely starters at Saturday’s Manawatu meeting, where Shezgorgeous will contest the Rating 85 race over 1600 metres and Keep Us Happy will run in the Rating 65 race over the same distance.
The John Bary-trained Amalgamation worked on his own over 1000 metres in 1:4.2, the last 600 in 38.7 while Wanganui entrant Castle Of Boom clocked 57.4 for 800 metres, the last 600 in 40.9.
A Fully Fledged two-year-old filly and a No Excuse Needed four-year-old mare were allowed to sprint up the straight, clocking 26.8 for 400 metres while a Captain Rio three-year-old gelding ran 600 metres in 43.6.
Hastings-trained Hunta Pence shows potential 24 Mar 2016
Hastings trainer Patrick Campbell got a quick return on his investment when Hunta Pence cleared maiden ranks over 1600 metres at last Sunday’s Waipukurau meeting.
Campbell owns the No Excuse Needed three-year-old in partnership with Wellington-based Luke Walding and bought the horse from his American-based breeder, Butch Thomas, in a private sale two months ago.
Thomas had given Hunta Pence one run back in December last year and he finished an encouraging fifth over 1400 metres at Hastings.
Campbell has since started the horse three times for a sixth, a fifth and a win.
Kane Smith picked up the winning mount on Hunta Pence at Waipukurau after Michael McNab, who was originally booked, decided not to attend the meeting.
Smith had Hunta Pence trailing the pacemaking Perfect Pitch to the home turn and then brought his mount out to challenge for the lead early in the home straight. Perfect Pitch kicked back gamely and the two horses went head to head over the final stages before Hunta Pence was able to get his neck in front on the line.
Campbell said Hunta Pence still has plenty to learn but is a nice moving horse that has plenty of potential.
“He’s the sort of horse that would be a good type to send up to a place like Singapore,” he said.
Hunta Pence is out of the Pins mare Vanitas, who only raced six times for a win, two seconds and a third. Her grandam was the stakes placed mare Jellybean, who won five races.
Campbell says Hunta Pence has come through his hard race at Waipukurau well but he is unsure where the horse will start next.
The Campbell-trained filly Goodsav picked up an important black type placing at last Saturday’s Wellington meeting at Trentham and may now be headed south for a stakes race at Riccarton.
The Savabeel filly finished a game second behind the highly talented mare Rasa Lila in the Group 3 $70,000 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham to take her record to two wins, a second and a third from only seven starts.
Campbell said Goodsav’s next start could be in the Listed $50,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Stakes (1600m) at the Canterbury meeting on April 16.
Wait was worthwhile
Hastings galloper Wait A Sec capped off two good minor placings on the recent East Coast circuit with a strong win in a Rating 65 race over 1600 metres at last Sunday’s Waipukurau meeting.
The Postponed five-year-old had finished second over 1600 metres at Gisborne on February 21 and third over 1900 metres at Wairoa four days later and was then given a freshen up by his Hastings trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.
He resumed at Waipukurau in great order and scored a decisive 1-1/4 length win in the hands of jockey Lisa Allpress. She let the horse settle back fifth in the seven horse field until the home turn and then timed her run perfectly to sweep past her rivals in the last 100 metres.
It was Wait A Sec’s third win from 19 starts and he has also recorded four seconds and three thirds.
The horse was bred by Hastings man Ian Henderson, who races him in partnership with his Perth-based son Paul.
Wait A Sec is out of the Grosvenor mare Security, who Henderson purchased privately several years ago. She was out of Secrecy, who won seven races for her Hawke’s Bay owner-breeder Don Gordon.
The first foal Henderson bred out of Security was a full-brother to Wait A Sec called Secured and was sold to Australian-based trainer Brian Jenkins for $25,000. He went on to record a win and six minor placings.
Henderson then bred a colt by Handsome Ransom out of Security but it broke down before getting to the races and Wait A Sec was the next foal and the first one he has raced out of the mare.
The horse is likely to start next in a $10,000 Rating 75 race over 1600 metres at Awapuni on April 8.
Hastings-owned Verna Audrey broke through for a maiden win over 1200 metres at Timaru on Friday of last week.
The Shocking filly was bred by Ian Holloway, who races her in partnership with fellow Hawke’s Bay man Chris Cowan, as well as his Rotorua-based brother Graeme and Rowland Bartlett, who lives in Paraparaumu.
Verna Audrey started out in the Hastings stable of John Bary who gave her two starts last year.
Holloway said it was then decided to send the filly to a smaller stable and she is now prepared by Michael Daly at Washdyke.
Top South Island apprentice Sally Wynne was aboard Verna Audrey at Timaru. She settled the filly in the trail until the last 300 metres where she took the lead and surged clear to win by 1-1/2 lengths.
Ian Holloway bought Verna Audrey’s dam Pukalee several years ago and has also bred a two-year-old filly by Any Suggestion out of the mare, which is now in work with John Bary.
He also has a Nadeem yearling colt out of the mare presently being broken in and Pukalee was mated with Alamosa last year.
Sofia Rosa off to Aussie
Sofia Rosa is almost certain to complete a strong New Zealand attack on next month’s $A1 million Australian Oaks.
The Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs-prepared Valley Girl and Danica Guy’s Capella are definite contenders for the April 9 feature at Randwick with Stephen Marsh keen for his Makfi filly to join them.
“Sofia Rosa’s bright and happy and at this stage she will be going over,” he said.
Sofia Rosa was a narrow winner of last Saturday’s Group 1 New Zealand Oaks, but a subsequent inquiry saw her relegated to second behind Fanatic and Marsh has accepted the decision.
“It happened close to the line, but our filly definitely shifted out,” he said.
Sofia Rosa’s placing and her previous wins in the Group 2 Royal Stakes and the Group 3 Lowland Stakes earned her the New Zealand Bloodstock Three-year-old Filly of the Year crown.
“That’s a big thrill and it salvaged something from the remnants,” Marsh said.
Sofia Rosa will make her next appearance in the Australian Oaks while another stablemate will debut in Sydney a week earlier.
No More Tears will be flown to Australia next Tuesday and will step out in the Group 3 $A200,000 P.J. Bell Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 2.
“We’ll see how she goes in that, but there are suitable races for her pretty much every fortnight after that,” Marsh said.
Successful in half of her eight starts, No More Tears won the Listed Hamilton Vets Equine Stakes last season and this term she has added the Listed Soliloquy Stakes and the Group 3 Mr Tiz Trophy to her record.
Moody opts out
Peter Moody says he will "walk away confidently" from horse training after announcing he will not return to the sport once his six-month suspension for a cobalt offence ends.
Moody, known internationally for training unbeaten champion sprinter Black Caviar to 25 successive wins, was last week found guilty of unintentionally administering one of his horses, Lidari, with excessive levels of cobalt in 2014.
He was last week issued with a one-year ban with half of the penalty suspended.
The 46-year-old Moody said "I'm over it" and he would not operate a training business despite being potentially allowed to return to racing in September.
"I can't see myself training again in the foreseeable future," he told a media conference on Tuesday.
Moody said he would leave the racing industry with his reputation intact.
Te Akau Racing has completed an about turn with their dual Group 1 winner Xtravagant, who was back in work at Matamata this week.
Following a below-par performance when eighth in the Group 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington, the Pentire colt returned home for a spell ahead of a spring campaign.
However, Te Akau principal David Ellis with trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards inspected Xtravagant on Thursday of last week and the trio have now decided more immediate targets are worth chasing.
"We had a good look at him and he's already put on 30kg so if we left him out much longer he would get too big," Autridge said.
"We'll now get him ready for the Cambridge Breeders' Stakes and then, if we're happy with him, we'll have a look at Brisbane."
The Group 3 $70,000 Cambridge Breeders Stakes (1200m) is run at Te Rapa on April 30 while the two Queensland Group 1 targets for the horse will be the Doomben 10,000 on May 28 and the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm a fortnight later.
Cafe Culture to step up in class 17 Mar 2016
Talented Hawke’s Bay galloper Cafe Culture is likely to take on the open class horses at his next start.
The six-year-old Citi Habit gelding brought up his fifth win from only 12 starts when successful over 1600 metres at Otaki on Thursday of last week and owner-trainer Margaret Larsen is now seriously considering running him in the Group 2 $100,000 Awapuni Gold Cup at the Manawatu premier meeting on April 2.
The 2000-metre race is run under set weight and penalty conditions and Larsen thinks the horse should get in on a reasonably light weight.
“There is not a lot else around for him and I only really want to give him one more race before I turn him out for a spell,” Larsen said this week.
“I had been looking at running him in the Hawke’s Bay Cup but that is 2200 metres and not until the middle of April.”
Cafe Culture bounced back to winning form with an impressive win in a Rating 85 race at Otaki. His winning margin was only a long neck but jockey Darryl Bradley didn’t need to punish the horse to get the win.
It was Cafe Culture’s first success since he took out a Rating 75 race over 1600 metres at Woodville in November last year but he has not had a lot of luck in four starts in the interim. The horse turned in one of his worst performances when sixth over 2400 metres at Te Rapa two starts back but was found to be suffering from heat stress after the race.
Larsen gave Cafe Culture a good freshen up after that run and had him back to his best at Otaki last week. Bradley took him to the front with 1200 metres to run and controlled the race from then on, comfortably holding out second placed Antonio, with On The Hill a further 2-1/2 lengths back in third place.
Margaret Larsen bred Cafe Culture after being gifted the McGinty mare Irish Wonder for a breeding season and she put her to Citi Habit. He is the only horse she has in work.
Hastings pair in Lightning
Hastings-trained sprinters Adventador and Designated Driver return to the scene of their best past performances when they line up in tomorrow’s Listed $50,000 Dixon & Dunlop Lightning Handicap at Trentham.
The pair will take in a high class field in the 1200-metre feature but certainly have the ability to be competitive.
Adventador will be having his first start since winning the Group 1 Telegraph Sprint (1200m) at Trentham on January 16 this year while Designated Driver was a fast finishing second behind Sacred Star in last year’s Telegraph Sprint.
Both horses have had their share of injuries throughout their campaigns. Adventador suffered from a recurring hoof problem for most of last year but seems to be fully recovered now while Designated Driver was sidelined for several months after sustaining a serious cut to a hind leg when galloped on during the running of a 1200-metre sprint at Awapuni on November last year.
The connections of both horses are confident they have their charges ready to perform well tomorrow.
Guy Lowry, who co-trains Adventador with Grant Cullen, said this week the big Fast ‘N’ Famous seven-year-old will be going into tomorrow’s race as good as when he took on the country’s top sprinters in the Telegraph at his last start.
“He’s 10 kilograms lighter than he was back then and he had a strong gallop over 1000 metres last Saturday. Wearing blinkers made a big difference when he lined up in the Telegraph and he’ll have the blinkers back on again this Saturday.”
Leith Innes has been booked to ride Leith Innes and Lowry said he would like to see some easing in track conditions at Trentham to help the horse’s chances.
Mick Brown, who co-trains Designated Driver with his wife Sue Thompson, also reported that the mare turned in a very pleasing track gallop at Hastings last Saturday.
The fact that the Danroad mare has not raced for four months should not be a disadvantage as she has won over 1200 metres when fresh up in the past. Robert Hannam has been booked to ride her.
Bosson on Capella
Opie Bosson has been booked to ride the gifted filly Capella in Australia.
He will partner the daughter of Rip Van Winkle in the Group 1 $A400,000 Vinery Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 26 and in the Group 1 $A1million Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick a fortnight later.
Capella finished fourth last time out in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby, one spot ahead of Valley Girl who is also on target for those two Sydney features.
Racing at Pukekohe
Racing will return to Pukekohe Park next month after a successful trial meeting on the course this week.
Fifty-three horses went around in eight heats on Tuesday morning with positive comments from all participants giving the green light to the Counties Racing Club’s meeting on Sunday, April 10.
“The track is great, it rode very well,” leading jockey Leith Innes said.
Back in work
Talented two-year-old Manolo Blahniq returned to Craig Thornton’s stable on Monday.
The Group 3 Eclipse Stakes winner was given a break after finishing unplaced as favourite in the Listed Karaka Million.
“He had six weeks out and that was always the plan,” Thornton said. “He’s done very well and he’s in really good shape.”
Manolo Blahniq’s immediate future has yet to be decided, but at some stage he is expected to join the Mornington stable of Tony Noonan who purchased the Jimmy Choux colt at Karaka.
Exciting 3YO set for stakes test
Unbeaten three-year-old Lewis Caroll will have one more start before he takes on his own age group at black type level.
The son of Darci Brahma has been untested in both of his runs to date for Cambridge trainer and breeder Ngaire Fraser, who races the gelding with her daughter Wendy.
“We’ve had a couple of little niggles with him, but no more than any other racehorse, and he’ll head to Tauranga for a Rating 75 over 1200 metres on March 26 and, all going well, he’ll then run in the Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes,” Fraser said.
Whether Lewis Caroll stays in this country in the longer-term is also undecided with a number of overseas agents having made inquiries about the horse.
“There have been offers, but it’s such a prolonged process and we still own him,” Fraser said.
Fraser also has Lewis Caroll’s two-year-old half-brother Johnny Angel, by Jimmy Choux, who has been broken in by her son Mark Fraser-Campin, of Chequers Stud, and a yearling half-sister by Battle Paint.
Heroic Valour powered to the top of the two-year-old standings when he stretched his unbeaten record to three when taking out last Saturday’s Group 1 Sistema Diamond Stakes
The Fastnet Rock colt’s greenness couldn't mask his raw ability with a sterling effort to down the season's most competitive juvenile line-up in the 1200-metre feature.
A debut winner at Trentham who then claimed the Listed Matamata Slipper, Heroic Valour was ridden aggressively from a wide gate to race close to the pace and he rounded off strongly in the run home to maintain his perfect record at the expense of Wyndspelle and O'Rachael.
"He's improving all the time and keeps stepping up," said Jamie Richards, who trains the youngster with Stephen Autridge.
Heroic Valour credited Te Akau Racing with their fourth individual Group One winner of the season and his champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock with his first two-year-old success at the highest level.
A deep seated stone bruise is thought to be the reason behind the well supported Xiong Feng’s disappointing performance in last Saturday’s Group 1 Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie.
The two-year-old Iffraaj gelding, winner of the Karaka Million at Ellerslie in January, suffered the first defeat of his career when he tailed the field home in the1200-metre race.
“He had a stone bruise come out on Monday morning and that’s really all we can put that run down to,” the horse’s co-trainer Eddie Chippendale said.
“He has been x-rayed and they are all fine. He knuckled over at the start and got bumped so he didn’t have much go his way – he’ll go for a spell now.”
Xiong Feng was one of three horses the Stephen McKee and Eddie Chippendale stable lined up in the Diamond Stakes and the other two produced excellent performances with O’Rachael third and Tennessee fourth.
Both fillies will now go on to the Group 1 $225,000 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni on April 2.
Volkstok'n'barrell remains an outside chance to make two appearances during the Sydney autumn carnival.
The in-form four-year-old's principal target across the Tasman is the Group 1 $A3million Doncaster Mile on April 2 and his performance in that race may earn him a return a week later for the Group 1 $A4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
"If he went super in the Doncaster then we would have to seriously contemplate that," said Donna Logan, who prepares the Tavistock gelding with Chris Gibbs.
A disappointing spring in Melbourne is a distant memory now for the connections of Volkstok'n'barrell, who have celebrated consecutive Group 1 domestic wins in the Haunui Farm WFA Classic and the New Zealand Stakes.
With the weights released before his return to top form, the gelding will carry an attractive 52.5kg in the Doncaster.
"We haven't booked a jockey yet, we're just going to wait and see what other overseas riders might be available," Logan said.
A similar situation applies to Volkstok'n'barrell's stablemate Valley Girl, who will also head to Sydney in fine fettle.
She was a surprise winner of the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa, beating Stolen Dance and Kawi, before overcoming the outside gate and an early check to finish strongly for fifth in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby.
"It was a super run and she's come out of the race 100 percent," Logan said.
Valley Girl will run in the Group 1 $A400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill tomorrow week and a fortnight later in the Group 1 $A1 million Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.
HASTINGS TRACKWORK 17 Mar 2016
Superveloce turned in one of the best workouts in a quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.
The Savabeel three-year-old has not raced since October last year but was impressive when winning a heat at the Hastings jumpouts on March 3.
There was very little in the way of fast work which was confined to the plough (soft).
Superveloce worked on his own over 800 metres in 52.6 and was stretching out nicely over the last 600 in 38.5. He is likely to have another jumpout at Waipukurau on Monday in preparation for a return to racing at Wanganui at the end of this month.
Boom Boom Didi, a maiden entered for Sunday’s Waipukurau meeting, took the time honours when she finished her work off with a 600-metre sprint in 36.2. She was well beaten on debut over 1300 metres at Hastings on March 2 and steps up to 1400 metres at Waipukurau.
Miss Drama Queen, entered for the New Zealand St Leger at Trentham on Saturday, was given two easy 600-metre runs, the first taking 46.4 and the second in 39.7.
Broadwalk worked on his own over 1000 metres in 1:7.8, the last 600 in 39.9 while a Shocking three-year-old gelding and a Keeper three-year-old filly ran an easy 800 metres in 57, the last 600 in 41.2.
HASTINGS TRACKWORK 15 Mar 2016
Knife, a three-year-old by Guillotine who is likely to make his race debut at Waipukurau on Sunday, turned in one of the best gallops in a relatively quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.
Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided soft footing.
Knife and stablemate Castle Of Boom worked early in the session and ran 1000 metres in 1:6.9, steadily increasing the speed to clock 52.3 for the last 800 and 37.9 for the final 600.
Knife is by Guillotine out of Mal in the Lowry/Cullen stable and finished second in a 1000-metre jumpout at Hastings earlier this month.
Moss Jazz, another likely starter at Waipukurau, worked with stablemate Percy’s Jazz over 800 metres in 51.7, the last 600 in 37.1. Moss Jazz won a 100-metre jumpout at Hastings on March 3 and will contest one of the 1400-maiden races on Sunday.
Boom Boom Didi was given two 600-metre runs, the first in 38.1 and the second in 37.9. She is another likely starter in a one of the maiden races over 1400 metres at Waipukurau.
Miss Drama Queen, a possible starter at Trentham on Saturday, worked over about 2200 metres at three-quarter pace. She was timed to run the last 1200 in 1:38 and final 600 in 48.
Adventador, who will line up in Saturday’s Lightning Handicap (1200m) at Trentham, was restricted to just two rounds of half-pace. He had a strong gallop last Saturday and looks in good order for Saturday’s assignment. He hasn’t raced since winning the Group 1 Telegraph Sprint (1200m) at Trentham on January 16.
Powerade, who will be entered for both Trentham and Waipukurau this weekend, was given two 600-metre sprints, running the first one in an easy 40s and then speeding up significantly over the second one in 36.8.
Oscar’s Shadow clocked 1:10.2 for an easy 1000 metres, the last 800 in 53.8 and final 600 in 38.9. She is likely to contest a 1200-metre maiden race at Waipukurau.
Keep Us Happy, entered for the Rating 65 race over 1600 metres at Waipukurau, sprinted 600 metres but was not timed.
Niagara moves north to The Oaks Stud 10 Mar 2016
A serious illness to principal Greg Griffin has forced the rapidly emerging Hawke’s Bay operation Lime Country Thoroughbreds to relocate the highly rated young stallion Niagara.
Having created a big impression with his first crop yearlings at auction this summer, Niagara is set to be transferred to The Oaks Stud in Cambridge, where he will join Darci Brahma and Roc De Cambes.
Lime Country will continue as an agistment and sales preparation business, but imminent heart surgery means that Griffin has to step back from the stud side of the operation.
“Greg has had heart valve issues since his teenage years and has already had two major operations,” his wife Jo said when announcing the revised situation.
“He has managed a large workload well until recently but now he faces a third lot of surgery.
“As a family we’ve decided that our priority is Greg which includes a long recovery period, and standing a stallion with all that goes with the breeding season is no longer an option.
“We’re naturally very disappointed, but we believe we’re making the right decision in relocating Niagara to The Oaks, who are part of his ownership syndicate and will give the horse every chance off the platform we’ve already built.”
Niagara, a Group 2 winning son of major stallion influence Encosta de Lago and from the illustrious family of Redoute’s Choice, Al Maher and Manhattan Rain, has made a big impression since taking up duties in 2013.
At a fee of $5000 in his first three seasons he has covered 336 mares and his first crop yearlings met strong demand in both New Zealand and Australia sales, selling up to $85,000. His Karaka Select yearlings averaged more than $53,000, while as recently as last week one of his yearlings fetched $75,000 at the Melbourne Premier Sale.
“Niagara was the stallion we chose after a long search and he’s given our operation a tremendous start,” added Jo Griffin. “We and the rest of the syndicate will continue to support him and it’s exciting to think that his first crop are only a matter of months away from appearing on the racetrack.”
That factor is uppermost in the mind of The Oaks Stud general manager Rick Williams, who sees a definite place for Niagara on his roster following the retirement of Bachelor Duke due to fertility issues.
“Greg and Jo have done all the hard work with Niagara, which means we are in a very good position to carry that on. We’ve been happy to patronise him with the share-holding we’ve held to this point and we’ll be sending more mares to him from here on.
“He’s a fantastic type of horse from a stallion family and we’re as confident as anyone involved with him that he has a very bright future.”
The original core business at Lime Country - agistment and sales preparation – remains, which will include building on the success of recent sales drafts as well as broodmare trading and other client services.
“Now that we’ve made the decision and announced our situation, Greg and I would just like to thank our clients for their continuing support and compliment our staff for their loyalty and good service,” Jo Griffin added.
Big week for HB owner
Mime’s win in last Saturday’s Group 3 $70,000 McKee Family Sunline Vase at Ellerslie capped a successful week for her Havelock North owner-breeder Laurence Redshaw.
Redshaw races Mime on his own and he is also the breeder and co-owner of Lady Kalimara, who showed a return to form with a game win in a $12,000 Rating 65 race over 2100 metres at Te Rapa last Thursday.
Lady Kalimara is a five-year-old mare by High Chaparral out of Missraad and is raced by Redshaw in partnership with Napier couple Alister and Jeannette Cameron.
The mare was recording her second win and has also posted three seconds and a third from 15 starts.
Mime’s win at Ellerslie last Saturday has seen her draw level with Sofia Rosa as the leaders in the New Zealand Bloodstock Three-year-old Filly of the year series, with both three-year-olds on 14 points. They are now expected to go head to head in the final leg of the series, the Group 1 $300,000 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham tomorrow week.
The series is still wide open with the points available in the Oaks being 12 for first, 7 for 2nd and 3.5 for third.
Mime has now won two races in the series, following her victory in the Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic (2000m) at Te Rapa last month.
She enjoyed an economical run from an inside barrier in last Saturday’s race, settling perfectly in the third spot and one off the fence until rider Michael Coleman pulled her out to improve across the top.
"We had a lovely trip and she relaxed nicely," Coleman said. "I got out a bit early when the one I was following wasn't going anywhere and my horse cruised into it and won well."
Trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Mime is out of a mare by the noted staying influence Montjeu and Coleman is confident she will handle the 2400 metre trip of the Oaks.
"She's been really consistent at all distances and she ran 2100 metres out very well today," he said.
Mime was in front 150 metres from home and she maintained a strong gallop to again beat Promise To Reign, who also finished second in the Sir Tristram, while the pacemaking Maritimo stuck on well for third.
Great sale result
Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred enthusiast James Russell and his wife Alicia scored a major coup when a horse they bred sold for $A120,000 at last week’s Melbourne Premier yearling sales.
The filly, by Turffontein out of the Fastnet Rock mare Crystal Cheval, was part of the Rushton Park draft and was purchased by Paul Moroney Bloodstock.
The Russells lived in Australia for several years where James was on the lookout for a suitable mare to breed from. He found Crystal Cheval, a four-year-old who had only had a couple of race starts.
“As soon as I saw her I knew she was the one. She was just a perfectly balanced mare,” Russell recalled.
The Russells were able to pick up the mare for a reasonable price and the service fee to Turffontein at that time was also reasonable.
The first foal they bred from the mare was a colt by Turffontein which they sold for $A55,000 to John Foote Bloodstock at the same Melbourne sale last year.
They now have a weanling filly by Turffontein out Crystal Cheval coming on and decided to give the mare a year off this year.
“Her last foal was a bit late so we didn’t get her back in foal but we can now plan an early mating this year,” Russell added.
The Russells returned to Hawke’s Bay in November last year and James has gone into partnership with his father Robert in the livestock company Jimmy Rural.
“We are buying and selling livestock direct from the farmer,” he said.
Myers fractures leg
A riding accident on Tuesday morning has cost Rosie Myers the mount on one of the best backed runners in tomorrow’s Group 1 Auckland Cup.
The Awapuni-based jockey guided Benzini into third place in the Nathans Memorial at Ellerslie last Saturday, an effort that has the gelding at $5 on the Fixed Odds Win market for tomorrow’s 3200-metre event.
"She's fractured one of the smaller bones in her leg and it will put her out for a month to six weeks," Myers' partner William Fell said.
"She was riding a horse at Kevin Myers' place when it spooked and flipped over onto her – it's just one of those things that can happen.
"It's a real shame because Benzini went so well last Saturday. Rosie's trying to stay positive, but deep down she's gutted."
Vinnie Colgan has been booked as Myers' replacement for the Adrian and Harry Bull-trained Benzini.
Bosson has Slipper ride
Crack Kiwi jockey Opie Bosson can't wait for his first ride in the world's richest two-year-old race after this week landing the ride on French Fern in tomorrow week's $A3.5 million Golden Slipper in Sydney.
Bosson, who has won three Group One races in Australia in the past 12 months, was thrilled to secure the ride on the David Payne-trained French Fern, who sealed automatic entry into the Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill with her win in last Saturday's Group 2 Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
"She's a form runner. She's won her last two and won nicely last weekend in a strong field," Bosson said.
"It's a race I've always wanted to ride in and it would be great to win it. I've got the ride on a filly who's going to give me that chance."
Lope De Vega filly French Fern has won two of her three starts, having run third in her other start at Randwick on Boxing Day on debut.
Golden Slipper day is shaping as a big day for Bosson, who has also been booked to ride the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained pair of Turn Me Loose in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m).
Colt home for a spell
Xtravagant won’t race again this season with a break in New Zealand the top priority for the colt.
Despite a clean veterinary bill of health after his eighth placing in last Saturday’s Group 1 Australian Guineas, his connections have decided to send the three-year-old to the spelling paddock.
“He's pulled up well and there is nothing amiss with him,” co-trainer Stephen Autridge said.
Regular rider Matt Cameron couldn’t shed any light on Xtravagant’s failure to reproduce his New Zealand form and said the three-year-old had his chance at Flemington.
Sydney Derby next
New Zealand Derby runner-up What’s The Story is likely to have his next run in the Group 1 BMW Australian Derby on April 2.
“He’s a naturally fit horse and he’s come through the run well,” said Albert Bosma who manages the Go Racing Tall Story Syndicate. “He looks better now than he did before the race.”
Connections of the Stephen McKee and Eddie Chippendale-trained son of Savabeel will be keeping a keen eye on Sydney’s weather in the interim.
“The Derby is the target, track conditions pending – it would need to be a good to dead track for him to run.”
Racing days numbered
Pondarosa Miss is likely to have two more Group 1 starts before she is retired.
A minor injury ruled her out of tomorrow’s Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup and her farewell appearances will now take in two feature miles.
“She just hit a leg at the wrong time and missed a bit of work so she’s had to miss the cup,” said co-owner Darrell Hollinshead, who bred the five-year-old with his father Peter, the trainer of the High Chaparral mare.
“We’ll freshen her up now and we’ll look toward the Breeders’ Stakes at Te Aroha and the Easter Handicap and then she’ll probably go to the broodmare paddock.”
HASTINGS TRACKWORK 8 Mar 2016
The open class galloper San Pedro looked in good order when he underwent an easy 1000-metre gallop at this morning’s Hastings track session.
There was very little in the way of fast work, which was confined to the plough (good).
San Pedro worked on his own and was kept under a good hold when running 1000 metres in 1:8.9, the last 600 in 39. Trainer Paul Nelson is unsure when the horse will race again, saying it will probably be towards the end of this month.
Cajun, a last start winner of the Wairoa Cup, was given two 600-metre runs by trainer Kelly Burne. She ran the first one in an easy 39.1s and then sped up over the second one in 37.5. The Keeninsky mare is entered for the Rating 75 race over 2100 metres at Otaki on Thursday.
Ooee was another who was given two 600-metre runs, clocking an easy 41.5s for the first one and speeding up over slightly over the second one in 38.3.
Miss Drama Queen, another entered for Otaki on Thursday, was kept at just under three-quarter pace over a round, the last 1200 metres taking 1:35.9 and final 600 in 46.8.
Perry Mason was also kept to just three-quarter pace when running 800 metres on his own in 58.4, the last 600 in 42.6.
Cup runneth over for Hastings trainer 4 Mar 2016
Hastings trainer Kelly Burne fulfilled a life-long ambition to win the Wairoa Cup when she produced the underrated mare Cajun to take out Sunday’s feature race on the second day of the annual two day meeting.
“I’ve been coming up to this meeting every year for I don’t know how long so I’m glad I’ve won their big one,” Burne said following Cajun’s narrow victory in the $30,000 event.
Jockey Cameron Lammas managed to extract every inch of energy out of the Keeninsky mare in the final stages of the 2100-metre race to get the decision by a head over Willy Dugan, with Sanasar only a short neck back in third place.
Burne said that her best previous placing in the Wairoa Cup had been a fifth with Saint Kitt in 2013.
“It’s awesome to have won the Wairoa Cup. She (Cajun) deserves it and so do her owners. She’s a good tough honest mare and Cameron rode her perfectly,” Burne added.
Cajun was stepping up a lot in class after taking out a Rating 65 grade race over 2000 metres at Gisborne the previous Sunday but Burne was confident she would measure up.
“I had my horses stabled at the Wairoa track for the week after Gisborne and she absolutely thrived up there. I galloped her Friday morning on the track and then on Saturday I just wanted to give her a bit of easy work and she just about pulled my arms out...she was so well,” she said.
Lammas was keen to stick with Cajun for the cup after piloting her to victory at Gisborne. He settled the mare third last against the inside rail in the early stages in the cup and then angled her one-off and improved his position approaching the home turn. When the field fanned on the tight home turn he managed to find a gap and she finished the race off strongly.
Cajun has now won five races for her owner-breeders, Napier man Paul Sullivan and his daughter Theresa Hislop. She is out of the Porter Rhodes mare Madison Mary, who was also the winner of five races.
Burne said Cajun is likely to have her next start in a Rating 75 race over 2100 metres at Otaki on Thursday of next week.
Cajun’s cup win highlighted a hugely successful day for Lammas. The 31-year-old had seven rides at Wairoa on Sunday for four wins, a second and two thirds.
He originally had a full book of eight rides but had to forgo the mount on Jaides Jewell in race 5 after suffering an asthma attack. He took some medication and kicked home the next two winners, aboard Voxer in race 6 and Cajun in race 7. His wins earlier in the day were on Amperage in the opening event and Savasava in race 4.
He had to be at his very best to get the Hastings-trained Voxer home first in the $10,000 Rating 65 race over 2100 metres. The Savabeel five-year-old needs to settle back in the early stages of his races but became awkwardly placed against the inside rail coming to the home straight and was getting shuffled back to the rear. Fortunately the leading division fanned wide making the home bend and Lammas quickly spied a gap, urging his mount through to quickly take the lead and then managed to hold out the fast finishing Chop Suey to win by a nose.
It was Voxer’s second win from his last three starts. The gelding is trained at Hastings by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and is raced by Lowry in partnership with Porangahau-based Mary Darby and the horse’s Cambridge breeder Tony Rider.
Lammas didn’t have fond memories of the Wairoa track before this year’s two-day meeting. He suffered a severely broken leg when a horse reared up and flipped over backwards in the barrier at the same meeting two years ago which saw him sidelined for about 18 months. He is certainly making up for lost time with his four win haul last Sunday taking his season tally for this season to 45 wins.
Tremains on board
Tremains, a high profile real estate company with a long association with both racing and sport in Hawke’s Bay, has taken up the opportunity to sponsor the new starting gates being used at Hastings race meetings.
The name Tremains is now emblazed in big letters on the front of the gates with the attached logo “Rugby, Racing and Real Estate.”
“We wanted to come up with something that had every sector covered and we think that the logo is perfect and should have wide Hawke’s Bay appeal,” company Director/Principal Simon Tremain said.
“My late father and I have always had a racing interest over the years and the Tremain name is well known nationally in rugby circles so it should give the people of Hawke’s Bay something to smile about.
“The company has sponsored races at Hawke’s Bay in the past but this is an opportunity to have something more fixed and permanent.”
Bary bags three
Hastings-trained horses won five of the 16 races at this year’s two day Wairoa Racing Club’s meeting, with John Bary winning three of them.
Bary produced Xcuses Xcuses and Docket to win on the first day, on the Thursday, and then managed to get Cool Hand Duke home a narrow winner at last Sunday’s second day.
Xcuses Xcuses, a winner over 1000 and 1200 metres earlier in her career, stepped up to 1300 metres for the first time but proved too slick for her rivals in a $10,000 Rating 75 race. Rider Rosie Myers settled the mare perfectly in third place until just before the home turn when she whipped around the leading pair to take the lead. Xcuses Xcuses quickly put a break on the field and held on to win by half a length.
The No Excuse Needed mare has now had 12 starts for three wins, three seconds and a third and is owned by Bary in partnership with his racing manager Mike Sanders and three long time stable clients in Ivan Grieve Tony Clark and Narendra Balia.
Docket, narrowly beaten on debut over 1300 metres at this Wairoa meeting last year, managed to get his nose in front this time when taking out a $10,000 Rating 65 race over 1400 metres. The Iffraaj four-year-old has built a consistent record in the past 12 months with two wins, three seconds and a third from 10 starts.
After being a shade slow to begin rider Jonathan Riddell managed to get Docket into a good trailing position before sending him forward to challenge for the lead on swinging into the home straight. Riddell then had to be at his vigorous best over the final stages to stave off a determined challenge from Star Of Greenbeel and rider Rosie Myers and got the decision by a nose.
Docket is owned by Hamilton supermarket owner Chris Grace. The horse was originally offered for sale at the 2013 Select session of the Karaka yearling sales but was passed in for $18,000. He was then sold as a two-year-old at the Ready To Run sale later that year for $5000.
John Bary produced a good training performance to get Cool Hand Duke to win fresh up over 1450 metres in a Rating 65 race at Wairoa last Sunday.
The Bachelor Duke five-year-old was having his first race for four months, his last start resulting in a fourth over 2100 metres at Te Rapa on October 26 last year. The horse had never won fresh up before and had never raced over a distance less than 1600 metres since finishing fourth over 1400 at Otaki in September 2014.
Cool Hand Duke was lost for early speed last Sunday but rider Jonathan Riddell managed to gradually improve his position before the home turn and had the horse within striking distance soon after.
Judi Anne looked the likely winner when clear in the lead but Riddell managed to get the best out of his mount over the final stages and managed to grab a nose decision on the line.
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