HASTINGS TRACKWORK 22 Mar 2019
Well performed winter galloper Dez created plenty of interest when he had a workout at this morning’s Hastings track session.
Fast work was again confined to the plough, which provided good footing.
Waipukurau trainer Simon Wilson brought Dez up to Hastings for a gallop and rode the horse himself over 1000m in 1:8.9, the last 600 in 38.3.
Dez is the winner of five races from only 12 starts and took out the Christchurch Casino Winter Classic (1800m) at Riccarton last August. He looks to be coming up well again in a new preparation and had a 750m jumpout at Hastings at the end of last month.
Wilson said the Zed seven-year-old is still several weeks away from returning to the racetrack and is likely to have another jumpout at Waipukurau on March 29.
One Prize One Goal, entered for the Masterton Cup (1600m) at Tauherenikau on Sunday, looked keen to go faster when running an easy 600m in 41.1. He has recorded two good seconds from his last two starts and gets in well off at the weights in Sunday’s race. Leah Hemi has the mount.
His stablemate Stradivarius was also kept under a hold when running 1000m in 1:15.4, the last 600 in 403. He makes a fresh start in the Rating 82 race over 1000m at Tauherenikau, with Danielle Hirini the rider.
Mohaka was restricted to just three-quarter pace over 100m, running the last 600 in 46.2. She has been ticking over nicely since her last start win at Otaki on March 8 and will now have a jumpout at Waipukurau before heading south for black type races at Riccarton next month.
A Niagara-La Tourneau three-year-old and one by Bullbars worked together over 800, in 53.4, the last 600 in 38.7 while Sacred Party and a Prince Conti two-year-old filly ran an easy 600m in 41.
War Of Words, from the Thompson/Brown stable, worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1000m peg in 1:14.4, quickening over the last 600 in 40 while a Showcasing-Zaballet two-year-old filly and one by Hallowed Crown out of Brianna worked together over 800m in 57.1, the last 600 in 41.3.
Heart Of Stone stamps herself as a special filly 20 Mar 2019
It may have only been a Sunday maiden race at Woodville but Hastings-trained Heart Of Stone certainly got tongues wagging when she demolished her rivals over 1200m at Woodville last Sunday, in a quick time.
The John Bary-trained three-year-old filly took a clear lead at the end of the first 200m of the 1200m event and was never in danger of defeat from then on.
Jockey Chris Johnson had a stranglehold on the daughter of Swiss Ace as they came to the home turn and hardly had to move a muscle in the home straight as the filly blitzed her rivals by 4-1/4 lengths.
Commentator Tony Lee was in raptures in calling the filly home, saying Johnson was swinging on the horse in the run to the line and he thought she was a filly that still had 10 lengths improvement on that performance.
Heart Of Stone was being eased down at the finish by Johnson and still recorded a quick 1:09.18 for the 1200m which was more than half a second faster than Vincent took in winning the previous race for Rating 65 rated horses.
Bary was not surprised by the win, saying the filly had always shown plenty of ability.
“She won a trial before her first start last year and also won a jumpout at Hastings a couple of weeks ago. In the jumpouts I get my track riders to ride my horses so they are usually carrying a lot more weight than the others,” Bary said.
Heart Of Stone won an 850m trial at Foxton at the beginning of this season before a debut second behind the highly rated Lincoln Falls over 1100m at Woodville in September.
“She then whacked a leg but it was not major,” Bary said.
“I actually saw it happen. She was bucking and carrying on in her paddock and hit a tendon.”
Bary said the injury didn’t require a long layoff but he decided to give the filly plenty of time to recover before a long slow build up back to race fitness.
Bary is now looking at starting Heart Of Stone in the $30,000 three-year-old race over 1200m at Awapuni on March 30.
“That looks the logical next race for her but we are just taking it one step at a time,” Bary said.
Heart Of Stone is owned by New Zealand Thoroughbred Holdings Limited and bred by the company’s head, Australian millionaire Gerry Harvey.
She is the latest star in a growing list of horses by Swiss Ace that John Bary has had success with, the most successful being the three-year-old filly Miss Labasa. She won three races in a row earlier this season and finished seventh in last Saturday’s Group 2 Wellington Guineas (1400m). She has now been turned out for a spell, along with stablemate King Louis who finished sixth in the same race.
Third Trentham success for Pep Torque
Waipukurau-trained Pep Torque is building a strong affinity with the big roomy Trentham track.
The five-year-old Nadeem gelding brought up his fourth victory and his third on the Wellington Racing Club’s course when successful in a $30,000 Rating 72 race over 1600m there last Saturday.
Trained at Waipukurau by Kirsty Lawrence, Pep Torque has also recorded two seconds, two thirds, two fourths and a fifth from his 23 starts and Saturday’s success took his stake earnings to more than $72,000. That is a great return on the $2600 Lawrence and her husband Steve paid for the horse from the thoroughbred trading operation Gavelhouse.
The Lawrences race Pep Torque in partnership with stable employee Susan Best and the sisters Diana and Christina Newman, who have been long time stable clients.
Pep Torque is out of the Star Way mare Cosmic Flight, who recorded two wins and seven minor placings from only 20 starts.
Kirsty Lawrence said Pep Torque is not overly big but he has been very honest and is a delight to train.
“He’s a lazy trackworker and will hit the line and pull up before you have even gone 20 metres past the winning post. But yet he is a different horse on race day.”
The horse has obviously come through last Saturday’s win in perfect order as he is now expected to back up in the $20,000 Masterton Cup (1600m) at Tauherenikau on Sunday.
Seventh win for Xcuses Xcuses
Former Hastings-trained Excuses Xcuses brought up the seventh win of her career when successful in an $11,000 Rating 82 race over 1400m at Ashburton last Thursday.
The No Excuse Needed seven-year-old was initially trained at Hastings by John Bary, who bred and owns the mare in partnership with long time stable client Ivan Grieve. She won four races from the Bary stable before being leased out to a South Island syndicate and has since added another three wins for Rangiora trainer John Blackadder.
Xcuses Xcuses is out of the Shinko King mare Xpectacular, who looked smart when winning her debut over 1200m in May 2009 but only had one more start before injury forced her early retirement. She has also left the winner Chouxperb, by Jimmy Choux.
On trial for Hawke’s Bay Cup
Promising stayer Felaar will be using tomorrow’s $30,000 Drymix Bay Of Plenty Cup at Tauranga as a stepping stone to the Listed $70,000 Hawke’s Bay Cup at Hastings on April 13.
The Ekraar five-year-old, rated by trainer Stephen Marsh as “a top stayer in the making”, has not raced since winning over 2200m at Otaki almost a month ago but that is not expected to detract from his chances this weekend.
With Marsh over in Australia this week overseeing the team he is campaigning there, stable foreman Rhys Mildon has been in charge back in Cambridge and said this week that Felaar will go into Saturday’s Tauranga race a very fit horse.
“He’s come through his last race at Otaki very well and looks in great order,” Mildon said.
“This race will be his final lead up before the Hawke’s Bay Cup.”
Felaar is dropping back in distance to 2100m this Saturday but Mildon does not see that being a problem.
“Not at all. He’s a big lean horse who doesn’t take a lot of work and actually goes best when his races are spaced.
“He’s a lot bigger and stronger horse now than last year.”
Felaar has only won three races but Marsh thought enough of the horse to send him south for a crack at the New Zealand Cup (3200m) in the spring. He was a gallant second in the Metropolitan Trophy Handicap (2500m) on the first day of the cup carnival and started favourite for the Cup a week later, finishing third behind Bizzwinkle and Duplicity.
Hastings sprint now on agenda
Hastings trainer John Bary was pleased with Vinnie’s Volley’s fifth placing in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1200m) at Trentham last Saturday and he is hoping she can gain some black-type by season’s end.
“I was very proud of her. It was her first time in the big league,” Bary said.
“I know she had a light weight, but she ran fifth and was one and a-half lengths off some of the big boy sprinters in New Zealand, so I was very pleased with her.”
Bary is eyeing the Listed $50,000 NZB Finance Sprint (1200m) at Hastings on April 13 with his charge before putting her out in the spelling paddock in preparation for the spring.
“I’d love to run third at Hastings, get that bit of black-type, then put her aside and come back in the spring with her.
Meanwhile Cambridge trainer Ross McCarroll may also target the Listed Open sprint at Hastings on April 13 with Chicane after her game last stride win in a Rating 82 race over 1200m at Tauranga last Saturday.
The Coats Choice mare brought up her fifth success from 18 starts when she came with a nicely timed rails run to get up and knock off Dama Zoro by a nose.
Chicane brought up her 10th dividend bearing placing from 17 starts and McCarroll, who is also a part-owner in the mare, said she has rarely run a bad race.
“She’s a very good mare, especially with a cut in the ground,” McCarroll said.
Guineas win donated to appeal
Rodger Finlay put his money where his heart is at Trentham last Saturday.
Finlay and his wife, Emily, race Wellington Guineas winner Emily Margaret and will donate the winning stake from the $100,000 Group 2 race to a Christchurch community reeling from last weekend’s mosque attacks.
It was a decision the Christchurch couple took several hours before Emily Margaret shaded Vigor Winner and Dawn Patrol in the tightest finish of the day.
“We discussed it after breakfast [on Saturday morning] and decided that if we were lucky enough to get any stakemoney, that we would give it away,” Rodger said. “She was the only Christchurch-based horse in the field and we felt she was representing the Christchurch community.
“We didn’t have the money before the race and then one minutes, 24 seconds later we had the money. It was an easy decision to give it away.
“It’s been a pretty tough time for Christchurch and there’s still a very subdued mood down here.”
The net first prize in the Guineas, after the deduction of the winning percentages for the trainers and rider, will be approximately $50,000.
HASTINGS TRACKWORK 19 Mar 2019
Atlanta Peach, preparing for the Rating 72 race over 1600m at Tauherenikau on Sunday, finished her work off strongly at this morning’s Hastings track session.
Galloping was confined to the plough, which provided good footing.
Atlanta Peach galloped on her own, early in the session, and worked in from the 1000m peg in 1:11.3, running the first 400m in 33.7 before quickening over the last 600 in 37.6.
The Bullbars mare was an easy last start winner in a Rating 65 race over 1600m at Otaki on March 8 and boasts a record of two wins, a second and a third from only five starts. Another top performance this Sunday could see her head to the Group 3 Manawatu Breeders Stakes (2000m) at Awapuni on April 5.
Stradivarius, who could resume racing in the Rating 82 1000m race at Tauherenikau, worked with a young stablemate called Eisenhower over and easy 800m in 54.5, the last 600 in 39.6. Stradivarius has not raced since finishing unplaced over 15050m at Awapuni in November last year but has a good record over sprint distances with three wins and 20 minor placings.
Yossarian took the time honours for the session when sprinting 600m in 36.8. He is a promising three-year-old half-brother to Stradivarius in the Lee Somervell stable who recorded a win and a third from three starts earlier this season. He looks to be coming up well in a new preparation and is likely to have a jumpout at Waipukurau on March 29.
A three-year-old Jimmy Choux gelding in the James Bridge stable also showed a good turn of speed when running a solo 800m in 49.3, the last 600 in 37.7 while Hunta Pence was kept under a firm hold when running 800m in 55, the last 600 in 40.2. He was an impressive last start winner over 1600m at Trentham and will now contest the Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) on March 30.
Uncle Bro worked over a round on his own and was timed to run the last 1000m in 1:10.3 and final 600 in 1:9.3, the last 600 in 38.2. He was a last start winner at Wairoa and could line up in the Rating 65 race over 2050m at Tauherenikau on Sunday.
Rekohu Diva ran a solo 1000m in 1:6.5, the last 600 in 38.3 while Estefania was not hurried when running a solo 800m in 55.7, the last 600 in 40.6.
Charlie Zulu worked over 1000m in 1:6.3, running the first 400m in 29 and coming home the last 600 in 37.3 while Le Cailloux ended her work with an easy 600m in 40.3.
A Rock ‘N’ Pop-Mink three-year-old filly looked to be travelling better than Chalky at the end of 1000m in 1:12.5, the last 600 in 40 while Ribamine had trainer Kate Hercock aboard when sprinting 800m in 51.3, the last 600 in 37.6.
Maria Dior sprinted 600m on her own but was not timed, She is likely to start next in the $30,000 three-year-old race over 1200m at Awapuni on March 30.
Another HB Cup bid for in-form Hunta Pence 15 Mar 2019
The time-honoured Hawke’s Bay Cup on April 13 will again be the major autumn goal for Hastings-trained Hunta Pence.
The No Excuse needed six-year-old showed he is right on target for the Hastings feature with a game win over 1600m at Trentham last Saturday and is likely to have one more start before then.
Hunta Pence contested last year’s Listed Royston Hospital Hawke’s Bay Cup, finishing third behind Richie McHorse and Our Abbadean. He was a five race winner then and has since added another two victories and taken his stake earnings to more than $126,000.
Hastings trainer Patrick Campbell owns a 50 per cent shareholding in Hunta Pence with the other 50 per cent divided amongst six other people. They are Lindsay McIntosh, Dean Smith and Mike and Wendy Timmins from Hastings, Shane Govsky (Napier) and Ashburton-based Norm Stewart.
For Mike and Wendy Timmins and Shane Govsky it is their first venture into racehorse ownership while McIntosh and Stewart have had shares in several horses as has Smith, who also held a trainer’s licence for several years.
Only four horses contested the $35,000 Open 1600m race at Trentham last Saturday and Hunta Pence led practically all the way in the hands of apprentice jockey Danielle Hirini. Race favourite and Group 1 placegetter Hiflyer looked to have the measure of the Hastings galloper when he mounted a challenge in the final 300m but the latter fought back gamely to score by half a length.
Hirini was having her third race-ride on the chestnut, following a second in the Wanganui Cup last December and a fifth in the Manawatu Cup.
“He just jumped to the lead and I let him do what he wanted,” a happy Hirini said.
Trainer Patrick Campbell said it helped that Hunta Pence was coming off a last start win over 1900m at Wairoa as it made him hard fit to run out a strong 1600m at Trentham.
Campbell said the horse is now likely to contest the Group 2 $100,000 Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) on March 30 as a final lead up lead up to the Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m).
Campbell would dearly love to win his home town Cup after three second placings in the past. In 1979 Tarlton, bred and part-owned by his father Felix Campbell and ridden by his then stable apprentice Jim Cassidy, went down by only a short head behind the Noel Eales-trained Lone Hand, ridden by Des Harris.
Nine years later Campbell again had to settle for a close second when his charge Lagerfeld, ridden by David Walsh, went down by a neck behind the Laurie Laxon-trained Finezza Belle, who was steered to victory by Tony Allan.
Campbell thought he finally had the horse to give him a Hawke’s Bay Cup victory in 1993 when he saddled up the talented stayer Val d’Arno, with Phillip Mercer aboard. But he was again denied success when the Dave and Paul O’Sullivan-trained Surfers Paradise, ridden by Jim Walker, got up to beat him by a length.
Campbell has actually tried to win the Hawke’s Bay Cup seven times. He also picked up a third with Royal Jazz in 2010, while Acraman finished 15th in 1980 and Claymore Boy ninth in 1984.
Andrew makes winning return on Trentham track
Palmerston North apprentice jockey Holly Andrew buried the demons that have haunted her for almost 12 months when she piloted Hastings-trained On Show to an all the way win in the 1000m two-year-old race at Trentham last Saturday.
The 28-year-old’s victory came one week short of a year from the day she was badly injured in a race fall during the Group 3 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) on the same track.
She suffered a broken and badly damaged shoulder as well as severe rib injuries when Bronsteel clipped heels and fell 400m from the finish of the 1600m feature.
Courage and determination is something Andrew has in spades and, after numerous operations and months of rehabilitation, she finally resumed race-riding a fortnight ago.
She recorded a third aboard Likageesix at Awapuni on March 1 and followed that up with minor placings on Tennessee Rose, Royal Inn and Lady Verawood at Otaki last Friday. But to finally get another riding success aboard On Show last Saturday was like a dream come true for the hard working apprentice.
“It’s good to be back,” a beaming Andrew said after dismounting from On Show.
“There have definitely been some lows but today showed there are highs too.
“It’s been hard work. I’ve had to work on my weight because I’m not a natural lightweight and just trying to get connections, and get rides back, has probably been the hardest part.”
Andrew has suffered numerous broken bones in falls, but her most serious injuries were the result of a car accident in 2013. She broke both femurs, smashed both knees and her left ankle and right foot were broken. The muscles and fat were pulled off her lower left calf and she had 20 stitches in a head wound.
On Show is prepared by Hastings trainer John Bary who has been one of Andrew’s greatest supporters so she was delighted her comeback win was on one of his horses.
On Show was making her race debut in the 1000m event but had impressed when winning a 750m jumpout at Hastings in January and then finished second in an 850m Foxton trial on February 12.
Andrew bounced the Showcasing filly out quickly from the barrier to take an early lead and they were never headed, crossing the line a length clear of Curve, with third placed Regal Reward another 3 lengths back.
Bary said the stable has always had a lot of time for On Show, saying she had shown a lot of speed in jumpouts and in her barrier trial. She was a $75,000 purchase from last November’s Ready To Run sale and Bary and his racing manager, Mike Sanders, then set up a syndicate to race the filly.
“It’s a big syndicate and most of them are here on track today,” Bary said.
Sanders manages the Surf’s Up Syndicate with the members being Doug Callaghan and Richard Koorey from Hastings, Ian McLean and Tony Clark (Havelock North), Dave Whittington (Napier), Neil and Rayleen Whitmore (Wairoa), Barry and Leith Wrenn (Dannevirke), Michael Phillips (Masterton), John and Thelma Glasgow (Rotorua), Craig Smith and Adrian Berry (Palmerston North), Aidin Dennis (Tauranga), John Knox, Paul Lamb and Tim Mitchell (Wellington), Mike Fitzgerald and Kevin Parker (Waikanae), Culham Hardy and Kristen Whittington (Petone), Mark Hardy (Lower Hutt) and Phillip Parker (Queensland).
Bary said On Show will now go out for a spell and be brought back for early three-year-old races in the new season.
Cassidy injured in car smash
Hall of Fame Kiwi jockey Jim Cassidy has revealed how close he came to death after being involved in a horror head-on car accident in Australia.
Cassidy, 53, suffered bleeding on the brain and bruising to his body last Saturday after a car allegedly veered onto the wrong side of the road and collided with the retired hoop's trusted Nissan X-Trail while taking a corner in wet conditions.
The accident occurred not far from Lynwood Country Club in Sydney where Cassidy had that afternoon played golf and watched The Autumn Sun's dramatic win in the Randwick Guineas.
"I thought I was dead," Cassidy said this week. "I don't know how I got out of it the way I did but I did.
"We were going around a corner. The other bloke came to the corner, I could see him, I was 50 metres away. All of a sudden, he went bang into my windscreen. He lost control on the wet road and just hit me head on. I had nowhere to go. If I went to the left, I would've hit a tree.
Cassidy was rushed by ambulance to hospital where he remained until he was discharged on Tuesday.
"I've got a sore head and a sore body but I'm blessed," he said.
"I had a little bit of bleeding on the brain but that's stopped, according to the neurosurgeons. My head is quite big. My head smashed into the driver's side window.
“I'm just very thankful that I had a seat belt on and the airbag worked. Very, very lucky boy."
One of the sport's greatest jockeys before retiring in 2015, Cassidy suffered numerous race falls and injuries throughout his illustrious riding career but said he would rather fall off a horse any day than experience what happened last Saturday.
Hastings pair now headed for stakes races
The Hastings training partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen continued their good run in 2019 with a brace of wins at the Otaki meeting last Friday.
Mohaka capped off minor placings in stakes races with a dominant 2 length win in a 1200m maiden race while Atlanta Peach made it two wins from only five starts with another commanding 2-1/2 length victory in a Rating 65 race over 1600m.
The Lowry/Cullen partnership has now produced 17 winners this season and six of them have come since New Year’s Day.
Mohaka’s win will now see her head south in search of more black type. The Nadeem filly finished third in two Listed stakes races earlier this season, the Wanganui Guineas (1340m) and Zacinto Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton and her connections now intend starting her in another two Listed races at Riccarton next month.
“She’ll have a jumpout at Waipukurau on March 29 and then run in the $50,000 Air Freight Stakes over 1600 metres on April 6 and, a week later, in the $50,000 NZ Bloodstock Warstep Stakes over 2000 metres,” co-trainer Guy Lowry said.
Atlantic Peach is also likely to tackle a stakes race within the next month.
Lowry said the Bullbars four-year-old will now contest a Rating 72 race over 1600m at Tauherenikau on March 24 as a lead up to the Group 3 $70,000 Manawatu Breeders Stakes (2000m) at Awapuni on April 5.
HASTINGS TRACKWORK 12 Mar 2019
Stablemates Satu Lagi and Scandalo looked to be working strongly together when galloping over 1000m at this morning’s Hastings track session.
All fast work was carried out on the plough (good) and a dense blanket of fog covered the track for most of the morning, preventing the recording of most of the sectional times.
Satu Lagi and Scandalo worked in from the 1000m peg in 1:12.8, the last 600 in 38.5. They are both expected to start next at Awapuni on Saturday week, where Satu Lagi will contest the three-year-old race over 1200m and Scandalo will run in the Open 1400.
Matt Cain and Shez Extra, both likely starters at Woodville on Sunday, looked to be striding out well at the end of their gallop but could not be timed in the fog. Matt Cain was forced to cover plenty of extra ground when fifth over 1400m at Otaki last Friday while Shez Ekstra also covered plenty of extra ground when seventh over 1400m at Wairoa last start.
Tuigirl finished ahead of So Gold at the end of an easy 1000m in 1:11.7 while a Jimmy Choux three-year-old trained by James Bridge ran a solo 1000m in 1:3.5.
A Nom de Jeu three-year-old gelding, also in the Bridge stable, was not extended when running 1000m in 1:12.1 while a Civics three-year-old gelding and a Prince Conti two-year-old filly clocked 46.2 for an easy 600m.
David Walsh back on a track where he holds a record 7 Mar 2019
Former top jockey David Walsh returned to the venue where he holds the record for the most wins when he turned up on Lowland Stakes day at Hastings on Wednesday of last week.
Walsh, in his capacity as a licensing, training and welfare advisor for New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, made a fleeting visit to the Bay before being guest speaker at the Hawke’s Bay-Manawatu apprentice jockey school in Palmerston North the following day. He then attended the Manawatu race meeting at Awapuni on the Friday and the next morning he caught flights that saw him end up at the Otago Racing Club’s meeting at Wingatui.
“I knew I was coming up for the apprentice school at Palmerston North and I found out there were some cheap flights to Napier so I thought I’d take in the Hastings races as well,” a happy Walsh said when he turned up unexpected in the judge’s box at the Hastings racecourse.
“I haven’t been here for years and it’s great to be back.”
Without wanting to brag, Walsh let it slip that he was given the nickname as “King Of The Bay” when he was race-riding, alluding to the fact that he holds the record for the most wins on the Hastings track.
“Someone told me I held the record at Hastings but I wasn’t sure until recently,” Walsh added.
He said he competed on the Hastings track for well over 30 years, his 1412 race-rides there reaping 217 wins for a winning strike-rate of 6.5.
It was fitting that Walsh was on course to witness this year’s running of the Lowland Stakes as he won the race at Hastings in 2010 on Posavina and also took out the 2006 running on Molta, when it was staged on the Trentham track.
In typical Walsh-style, he dominated the race from the front on Posavina, setting and even pace to the turn before kicking his mount clear. Race favourite Keep The Peace, ridden by Jason Waddell, closed late but only got to within 1-1/4 lengths at the finish.
Walsh’s name is not on the list of Group 1 winners on the Hastings track but he did win the 1994 Kelt Capital Stakes (2040m), when it was rated a Group 2 event, and that led to both horse and rider recording a historic win in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) in Melbourne three weeks later.
Walsh won the Hawke’s Bay Cup four times, aboard Marlon in 1986, Tawbeau (1994), Bel Air (2001) and Gordon’s 2002. He also won the 1990 Hawke’s Bay Guineas on Tripita.
The now 59-year-old Walsh retired from race-riding 2-1/2 years ago, going out on a winning note aboard Rapt N Red in a Rating 65 race over 2016m at Ashburton on July 30, 2016.
He is a member of the elite group of New Zealand jockeys who have ridden over 2000 winners, ending his career with a tally of 2260, including 156 Group & Listed race wins.
Trentham start now for Serena
A change of plans will see promising Hastings two-year-old Serena line up at Trentham tomorrow week as a lead up to a possible start in the Group 1 $225,000 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes at Awapuni on March 30.
Hastings trainer John Bary initially planned to spell the Swiss Ace filly following her gutsy debut win in the $20,000 Winiata Saddlery 1200 at Wairoa on February 24, with a mind to bring her back for early three-year-old races next season.
But he says Serena has come through that win so well that he needed to review that decision.
“She’ll go to Trentham now for the $30,000 two-year-old race on March 16 and the winner of that race gets automatic entry into the Manawatu Sires’ Produce so it is worth having a crack,” he said.
Serena only got the decision by a short head when winning at Wairoa but showed a great will to win over the final stages to gain an advantage over Amazing Team after they had gone head to head in the home straight.
Serena was a $17,000 buy from last November’s Two-year-old Ready To Run sale at Karaka and is owned by Bary in partnership with Hamilton-based Todd Bawden.
She is a half-sister to the two-time winner Beach Beauty.
Rock On Wood outstanding
There was no more impressive winner at last week’s Hawke’s Bay meeting than Rock on Wood in the Rating 72 event over 1300m and he looks destined for much bigger things in the future.
The Leanne Elliot-trained four-year-old hadn’t been seen on race day in almost a year and showed his class when taking out the last race on the card.
The son of Redwood started a hot favourite but his big band of supporters would have had heart palpitations when he was shuffled back to last on the home turn and with a wall of horses in front.
Apprentice jockey Ryan Elliot, a son of the trainer, had to weave a passage between horses in the straight and, once in the clear, Rock On Wood showed an amazing turn of foot to surge past his opposition and win by 1-1/2 lengths.
“It was a pretty good win, he was a bit further back than I thought, but the way he did it (ran home) was good,” Leanne Elliot said. “It was also great to have Ryan on board for the win.”
Elliot said it was a relief to get her charge back to the track after nearly a year away from the track, his previous start being an unplaced run in the Group 3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) at Awapuni last March.
“I had him in early and he worked well, but just didn’t hold his condition, he was just growing,” Elliot said.
“I put him out for about six weeks and then got him up again and he cut his leg, so he had a couple of stitches. I have just had to bide my time a bit with him.”
Rock on Wood showed a lot of promise as a three-year-old, finishing fourth in both the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) and Group 2 Waikato Guineas (2000m).
Elliot said connections have had to knock back some sizeable offers for their gelding, who is raced by her in partnership with her mother and another close friend.
“We have had quite a bit of interest in him but Mum likes to race her horses and isn’t keen to sell,” she said.
Elliot hasn’t planned too far ahead with Rock on Wood is now eyeing a potential start at the Wellington premier meeting tomorrow week.
“I just wanted to get through this one and keep him in one piece,” she said.
“I’ll just take every race as it comes. I’ll probably look at going to Wellington and we’ll just see how the tracks hold up.”
Rock On Wood has had seven starts for three wins and a third and has never competed on a track worse than dead.
Ladies First sidelined
Last year’s Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) winner Ladies First has suffered a set-back that will see her autumn campaign shelved.
The Allan Sharrock-trained mare had been on a path to the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) but pulled up sore after finishing 10th in the Group 1 Haunui Farm WFA Group One Classic (1600m).
“It’s a minor strain in a tendon, so she will probably have three months to get over it,” Sharrock said.
“With three months off, she will be fine.
“She had come up really, really well and I was quite excited.
“Her run at Otaki was probably a little bit bemusing. It was a pass, but it wasn’t what I wanted. Then on Sunday she was sore and I thought it might have been a stone bruise but it turns out it was a slight tear in the tendon.”
Ladies First has won nine of her 24 starts to date including three at stakes level.
Five To Midnight primed for Cup bid
Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta is looking forward to lining up Five to Midnight in tomorrow’s Group 1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie, hoping the six-year-old can go one better following his close second in last year’s race.
Latta said the gelding pulled up well after his last start third behind Glory Days and Blue Breeze in the Group 2 Avondale Cup (2400m) on February 16 and believes he will benefit from the set weights and penalties conditions of tomorrow’s race.
“He’s very well,” she said. “He had a couple of days in the paddock after the Avondale Cup and worked well on Friday morning.
“It will be the lightest weight (56kg) he has carried in a very long time.”
Five To Midnight carried 56.5kg when beaten a nose behind Ladies First in last year’s Auckland Cup.
Marsh pair headed to Sydney
Last Saturday’s upset New Zealand Derby winner Crown Prosecutor and stablemate Vernanme have both pulled up well after the 2400m feature and will now head to Sydney for the Group 1 ATC Derby on April 6.
The Stephen Marsh-trained pair will be set on differing paths towards the $A2million 2400m event at Randwick.
“They both pulled up brilliantly (after the New Zealand Derby), you cannot fault them at all,” Marsh said.
“They don’t seem to have taken any harm from the run whatsoever.
“At this stage it looks like we will run Vernanme in the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and we will run Crown Prosecutor in the Tulloch Stakes (2000m) and then both horses could take their place in the Derby.”
HASTINGS TRACKWORK 5 Mar 2019
The stablemates One Prize One Goal and Sheer Elegance, both preparing for Friday’s Otaki meeting, took the time honours with a strong last 600m when working together at this morning’s Hastings track session.
Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided good footing.
One Prize One Goal and Sheer Elegance worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1000m peg, running their first 400m in 31.1 before clapping on the pace over the last 600 in 35.2. Both horses were hitting out strongly at the end of the gallop.
One Prize One Goal only managed sixth over 1600m at Hastings last week but didn’t get much luck in the running, according to trainer Lee Somervell. The Ekraar gelding will contest the Rating 65 1600 at Otaki on Friday with Leah Hemi booked to ride him.
Hemi will also be aboard Sheer Elegance when she lines up in the Maiden Fillies & Mares 1600. She recorded a good third at Te Rapa three starts back but has only managed a seventh and eighth since.
Hunta Pence, preparing for the $35,000 Open 2200m race at Trentham on Saturday, worked in from the 1200m peg in 1:24, running the first 600 in a leisurely 46.3 before quickening appreciably over the last 600 in 37.7. He bolted in by 6 lengths over 1900m at Wairoa last start and has certainly trained on the right way since. Danielle Hirini has been booked to ride him.
Matt Cain, another headed to Friday’s Otaki meeting, worked in at three-quarter pace from the 600 and was allowed to sprint up the home straight. He will contest the Maiden 1400 at Otaki.
Call Me Jack, who is likely to start next at Woodville on March 17, ran a solo 1000m in 1:7.8, the last 600 in 40 while Le Cailloux clocked 1:6.1 over the same distance, the last 600 in 38.8.
HASTINGS JUMPOUTS 1 Mar 2019
Impressive wins by Mohaka, Real Beach and Sergeant Blast were among the highlights at today’s Hastings jumpouts.
There were nine heats run up against the running rail on the course proper, which provided good footing.
Mohaka was not extended when winning the first of the three 1000m heats, scoring by 1-1/4 lengths in a time of 1:01.4. The Nadeem filly hasn’t raced since contesting the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November and looks to have done well during her spell. She won’t be long in returning to the racetrack.
Real Beach clocked the fastest time of 59.8 when winning the second of the 1000m heats. The Nadeem mare, who has also been freshened since finishing second over 2400m at Trentham on January 26, began from outside of the barrier after proving troublesome to load and was not surprisingly a clear last of the four runners in the early stages. She was still the tailender entering the home straight but then stretched out well over the final stages to get up for a last stride win. She is another who will resume racing soon.
Sergeant Blast scored an easy 3-1/2 length win in the third 1000m heat and clocked a good time of 60.6. The Darci Brahma six-year-old is the winner of six races and was brought across to the jumpouts by his Waverley part-owner and trainer Sam Lennox.
The Group 1 winner Wait A Sec finished second to Sergeant Blast and pleased his connections. The Postponed eight-year-old wasn’t extended and pulled up in good order. He had an exhibition gallop between races at Wairoa last Sunday and is set to resume racing in the Open 1600m race at Trentham on March 9.
Other impressive heat winners were a Hallowed Crown-Brianna two-year-old filly, an Alamosa two-year-old gelding called Pablo Esk, Heart Of Stone and the jumper No Change.
Heat 1, 750m: Hallowed Crown-Brianna 2yr-old filly (H Durrant) 1, Lady Godiva 2, Charm Spirit-Stepping Out 2yr-old filly 3. Five starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, ¾ length. Time: 46.7s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.
Heat 2, 750m: Pablo Esk (L Hemi) 1, Eleventhour 2, Red Sunday 3. Four starters. Margins: 4 lengths, 5 lengths. Time: 44.3s. Winner trained by Stephen Carey, Hastings.
Heat 3, 750m: Stradivarius (Y Mitchell) 1, Nadeem 4yr-old mare 2, Eisenhower 3. Four starters. Margins: Nose, 3 lengths. Time: 44.1s. Winner trained by Lee Somervell, Hastings.
Heat 4, 750m: Jimmy Choux 3yr-old gelding (Z Thomson) 1, Charlie Zulu 2, End Of Story 3. Five starters. Margins: Long neck, 3-1/2 lengths. Time: 44.6s. Winner trained by James Bridge, Hastings.
Heat 5, 750m: Heart Of Stone (M Stowe) 1, Tuigirl 2, Dez 3. Five starters. Margins: ½ length, 2-1/2 lengths. Time: 44.3s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.
Heat 6, 1000m: Mohaka (H Durrant) 1, Nom de Jeu 3yr-old gelding 2, Ribamine 3. Four starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, 2-1/2 lengths. Time: 1:01.4. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.
Heat 7, 1000m: Real Beach (H Durrant) 1, Hugo The Boss 2, Atlanta Peach 3. Four starters. Margins: Nose, 3 lengths. Time: 59.8. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.
Heat 8, 1000m: Sergeant Blast (K Hercock) 1, Wait A Sec 2, The Cossack 3. Five starters. Margins: 3-1/2 lengths, head. Time: 60.6s. Winner trained by Sam Lennox, Waverley.
Heat 9, 1200m: No Change (H Durrant) 1, Champagne Bride 2, Perry Mason 3. Six starters. Margins: 2-3/4 lengths, ¾ length. Time: 1:14.7. Winner trained by Paul Nelson, Hastings.
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