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This lady is a star in the making 30 Apr 2015

Co-trainer Paul Shailer predicted a bright future next season for the talented Lady Le Fay after she recorded her first black type success in last Monday’s Listed $50,000 Anzac 1600 at Awapuni.

   Shailer prepares the Thorn Park mare in partnership with his brother Kris at Matamata and said after the win that the pair had hatched a plan with the mare that came to fruition.

   “She’s been targeted for this race since she came back from a spell,” he explained.

   “It was a two run plan so it’s nice when that plan comes off.

   “She’s adept in any track conditions and my brother Kris and Emily Holmes, who has joined our team now, have done a wonderful job with her so all credit to them.”

   Lady Le Fay was coming off a fresh up win over 1400 metres at Te Aroha on April 4 and has now recorded five wins, a second and two thirds from 12 starts.

   The four-year-old is raced by a large syndicate that includes Havelock North man Dan D’Esposito and it is the first horse he has raced. She was a $25,000 purchase from the select session of the 2012 Karaka yearling sales.

   Shailer said Lady Le Fay will now be put aside for a winter break before returning in the spring which he believes holds plenty of promise.

   “She will go to the paddock now for about four weeks and then we will set her for a spring campaign,” he advised.

   “We’re not sure where she will go but we will sit down with the owners and work it through with them but I think we can aim her at some pretty serious races.”

   The win for Lady Le Fay not only gave her valuable black-type success for any future breeding career but also provided a fitting present for co-trainer Kris Shailer, who announced his engagement on Sunday.

   Runner-up Thorn Prince was brave in defeat with trainer Fraser Auret saying the six-year-old was likely to have his next start in the Listed $50,000 James Bull Rangitikei Gold Cup (1600m) back at Awapuni May 16.


Form turnaround  

   The addition of blinkers and a suitable soft track saw Hastings-trained Broadwalk turn in a complete form reversal when winning an $8000 Rating 75 race over 1600 metres at last week’s Wanganui meeting.

   The Casino Prince five-year-old had failed to beat a runner home in a seven-horse field over 2100 metres at Hastings at his previous start, on April 4, yet he was able to produce a dominant winning performance less than three weeks later.

   Grant Cullen, who co-trains the horse with Guy Lowry, said after the win that the addition of blinkers and the fact that the track was a slow-8 was a huge assist to the horse’s chances.

   Broadwalk has always shown plenty of ability on the racetrack but has not always been genuine. He has been troubled by niggling injuries throughout his career but has still managed to win five races from 24 starts.

   The horse was originally owned by prominent Wellington racing identity Lib Patenga, who paid $60,000 for the horse at the premier session of the 2011 Karaka yearling sales. His dam Femmebot was the winner of only one race at 1300 metres but she was a half-sister to Zaciello, who won seven races including the Hobart Cup, and was from the family of Gurner’s Lane, winner of the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup double in 1982.

   Broadwalk looked a star in the making when winning three races in a row between December and March of last season but then his form started to drop away and his owner decided that he no longer wanted to race him.

   Cullen and his partner Nikki Lourie decided to lease the horse off Patenga and have now been rewarded with two wins, the first over 1600 metres at Hastings on New Year’s Day.

   Broadwalk produced a game performance to win at Wanganui last week as he carried topweight of 59kg and was forced to cover plenty of extra ground from the extreme outside draw. Jockey Hayden Tinsley brought him down the outside with a well timed run to get up and beat the pacemaking Katie McKeen by 2 lengths, with Nancylee half a length back in third place.

   The win continued a hugely successful roll being enjoyed by the Lowry/Cullen stable, which has now won five races in the past fortnight.


Riders to the fore

   Hawke’s Bay woman riders Miranda Dravitzki and Rebecca Goldsbury both kicked home a winner at last Monday’s Feilding meeting at Awapuni and are now closing in on personal milestones.

   Dravitski, 27, steered Windermere Lad to win the 2100-metre maiden race, with the High Chaparral four-year-old taking the lead at the top of the home straight and bolting away from his rivals to score by 12 lengths.

   It was Dravitzki’s 17th win for the season which is just one short of her total in 2013-14 and she is now only 18 wins away from posting a career tally of 100.

   She and her partner Shannon Doyle moved from the Taranaki to base themselves in Hawke’s Bay at the beginning of this season. They both ride work for Hastings trainer John Bary as well as the partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.

   Rebecca Goldsbury brought up the 22nd win of her career when successful aboard the first starter A Tad Leica in a three-year-old maiden race over 1200 metres.

   Goldsbury, 22, had the Rios filly trailing in fifth place coming to the home turn but  then cut the corner to challenge for the lead on straightening for the run home and the horse kept up a strong run to the line to win by three-quarters of a length.

   Goldsbury has now ridden 19 wins this season. She is still eligible to claim a 3kg apprentice weight allowance but that will drop to 2kg when she reaches 30 wins and she is now only eight away. She is apprenticed to her father, Waipukurau trainer David Goldsbury.


Flowing success

   Hawke’s Bay-born bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster has never been one to rest on his laurels and is now on the lookout for more international horses to hopefully add to his Group 1 winning tally in the Southern Hemisphere.

   Mulcaster has been wholly or partly responsible for nine Group 1 winners of 10 top-flight races across Australasia in the 2014-15 season.

   “It all comes down to the support of good clients,” he said. “They’ve backed me and you have to back your own judgement and then it’s always about looking for the next good horse.

   “I’ll be off to Australia again soon and then to England again after that.”

   At the top of the success list this season has been dual Group 1 winner Sacred Star (Telegraph Handicap, NRM Sprint) purchased in conjunction with Raffles Farm’s Bruce Sherwin and trainer Tony Pike, as was the now Waikato Stud-domiciled Sacred Falls.

   Sacred Falls took his Group 1 haul to four last spring when successful in the George Main Stakes while Raffles Farms-owned  Rock Diva claimed top honours in the Auckland Cup.

   Mulcaster has also formed a close and successful association with Sydney’s champion trainer Chris Waller.

   One Thousand Guineas winner Amicus, VRC Derby winner Preferment and the Doncaster Mile hero Kermadec were his Australasian purchases while the net was cast further afield to Europe for Foreteller (Underwood Stakes), Moriarty (Kingston Town Classic) and Grand Marshall (Sydney Cup).

   “We spent a number of years going backwards and forwards and not being able to afford much in the tried horse market, but Chris has done such a great job with them that we’ve built up more clients,” Mulcaster said.

   “It took us two or three trips to work out the types to target before others jumped on the band wagon.

   “Three or four years ago they were more readily available. I’m not saying it’s impossible now, but it has definitely got harder. I’m always looking at other markets and tried horses in New Zealand and Australia, you never know what’s around the corner.”

   Mulcaster is a son of Hawke’s Bay-based Rob Mulcaster, a successful racehorse owner whose big wins included Festal (Telegraph Handicap) Kailey (Railway Handicap), Marlon (Brisbane Cup) and Shamrock (Avondale and Hawke’s Bay Cup). The younger Mulcaster branched out on his own in 2008 after gaining experience overseas and at home with New Zealand Bloodstock, and in a training partnership with Laurie Laxon.


Lack of vigour

   Canterbury jockey Chris Johnson has been suspended for seven days for failing to give one of his mounts every possible chance of finishing in a closer position at last Friday’s Marlborough meeting at Blenheim.

   In a hearing that was adjourned to the second day at Blenheim on Sunday, the Judicial Control Authority found Johnson guilty of failing to ride out Feral Ice between the 100-metre peg and the 50 metres in the maiden 1400-metre race, "when it was reasonable and permissible for him to do so".

   Feral Ice finished 11th in a field of 12 and Johnson's suspension starts after racing at Riccarton tomorrow and ends after racing on May 17.


Bounding in Sydney

   Group One winning Kiwi sprinter Bounding has been transferred to the Sydney stable of Peter and Paul Snowden.

   The four-year-old Lohnro mare, winner of the 2014 Railway Stakes (1200m), has been prepared by Matamata trainers Ken and Bev Kelso for seven wins from 14 starts.

   The mare’s Tirau owner  Gary Harding said the opportunities afforded by racing in Australia was uppermost in his decision to change stables.

   "It’s been a hard decision to make after Ken and Bev have done such a wonderful job with her,” Harding said.

   "The reality is that her options in New Zealand are very limited as opposed to what’s available in Australia.

   "She has already shown that she’s up to their best sprinters and by being based there we can pick and choose what races to run her in.”


Riddell suspended

   Palmerston North jockey Jonathan Riddell is presently serving a six day suspension and won’t be back race-riding for two weeks.

   Riddell, riding Thorn Pass in the final event at last Monday’s Feilding meeting, was charged with angling his mount outwards on straightening when not clear of Commett which clipped that horse’s heels and blundered.

   Riddell admitted a charge of careless riding and was suspended from the conclusion of last Monday’s racing, up to an including racing on Saturday, May 9.


Stud fees dropped

   Palmerston North’s Wellfield Lodge has reduced the 2015 service fees for their multiple Group 1 winning stallions Alamosa and Road To Rock.

   Sire of the VRC Oaks winner Kirramosa and currently with 52 winners from 102 runners, Alamosa will be offered at $12,000 + GST. He stood last season at $15,500.

   Road To Rock, who has produced five recent individual three-year-old winners, will be offered at $5000 + GST, down from $7000.

Hawke’s Bay horses strike a purple patch of form 23 Apr 2015

Hawke’s Bay trained and owned horses have had an incredible run in the past 10 days with 10 wins at three different venues.

   Stradivarius and Gifted Lad were successful at Rotorua on Wednesday of last week, Golan Express, Powerade and Rocky Ride were winners at Woodville the following day and Lady Zafira, Mae West, The Knight’s Queen, Hurican and Joanna all graced the number one stall at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   Out of the 10 winners seven of them are trained in Hastings, with the partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen saddling up four, John Bary two and owner-trainer Peggy Leigh-Khan one.

   The Lowry/Cullen stable had a reasonably quiet start to this season but things have really taken off for them in the last four months. Both Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen trained on their own for a number of years before joining forces in the 2009-10 racing season. Their four winners in the past week means that Lowry is now just 10 short of 200 career wins while Cullen is 10 short of 150.

   The Lowry/Cullen stable produced two impressive debut performers among the four win bag.

   Rocky Ride, a gelding by Road To Rock, improved sharply from a fourth and a third in two barrier trials to win a 1400-metre maiden race at Woodville by a short head from Robin Hood.

   The three-year-old is out of the Masterclass mare Enlighten and was bred by his owner, Cambridge supermarket proprietor Tony Rider.

   Rider also bred and owns Huracan, the other debut victor for the Lowry/Cullen stable. The Shinko King three-year-old showed a glimpse of his ability when winning a 1000-metre Foxton trial last month and produced an eye-catching performance to scored in a $10,000 maiden race over 1400 metres at Hastings last Saturday, coming from well off the pace inside the last 300 metres to dive between horses and snatch a half-neck victory right on the line.

   Huracan is out of the Danasinga mare Demerara and a half-brother to Sweet As Wilson and Black Sheep, two other promising horses prepared from Game Lodge Stables in their early careers before they were both sold overseas.

   A happy Tony Rider said on Saturday that he has already fielded calls from prospective buyers for both Huracan and Rocky Ride and the latter underwent a veterinary inspection at the Hastings track on Tuesday pending a sale overseas.


Backing up tomorrow

   The John Bary-trained pair of Lady Zafira and Mae West were decisive winners at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting and both horses are likely to back up at tomorrow’s Cambridge meeting at Te Rapa.

   Lady Zafira led practically all the way when taking out an $18,500 Rating 75 race over 1400 metres by 1-3/4 lengths while Mae West came from last approaching the home turn to out finish her rivals in a $20,000 Rating 85 event over 1600 metres and score by three-quarters of a length.

   Bary was delighted with the race to race double and full of praise for the efforts of rider Rosie Myers who was successful on the pair.

   “Rosie got off Lady Zafira and the first thing she said was this horse is a group horse in the making,” he said.

   “We didn’t plan to lead with her but Rosie summed the race up perfectly after she jumped so well and relaxed nicely in front.

   “She also didn’t panic on Mae West when she got a squeeze just after the start and let her get balanced up before she made her run in the home straight.”

   Mae West will now take on a top field in the Group 2 $100,000 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa tomorrow while Lady Zafira will contest a $20,000 Rating 75 event over 1200 metres as a possible lead up to the Listed $50,000 Rotorua Stakes (1400m) at Rotorua on May 9.

   Mae West was recording her fifth win from 17 starts and is raced by a group of Wairarapa people. The Sir Percy mare was bred by Rosemary Laffey and Margaret Wallace and is raced by them in partnership with Laffey’s husband Pat and Wallace’s husband Jim, along with Davey and Wendy Moore.

   Pat and Rosemary Laffey are also part-owners in Lady Zafira, who was recording her third win from 10 starts. They are members of the 14-member Lady Zafira Syndicate that race the four-year-old Iffraaj mare from her Wairarapa breeder Jim Wallace.

   Vicki Sanders, wife of John Bary’s racing manager Mike Sanders, is one of eight Hawke’s Bay people involved in the syndicate, the others being Brian and Karen Strachan, Jill Hardie, Noel Lister, Wink Groome, Andrew Hilldreth and John Freeth. The other members are Emma and Caitlin Laffey from Masterton and two Australian-based people, Tyson Parker and Kathryn Parker.


Stradivarius on song

   Hastings couple John and Colleen Duncan enjoyed  tremendous success on the racetrack with their high class racemare Fleur de Lune and now they have a full-brother to her that could go on to even greater things in the future.

   Stradivarius, a two-year-old colt by Stravinsky out of Kapsjoy, looked a star in the making when he scored a game long head victory over the highly regarded Miss Wilson in a 1200-metre two-year-old race at Rotorua last week.

   Both horses were making their race debuts and Miss Wilson, who is a half-sister to the former champion Jimmy Choux, was sent out a hot favourite on the strength of a 5 length trial win over 800 metres at Foxton last month. But Stradivarius has also shown ability in trials, winning a 1000-metre heat at Matamata in February and then again over 800 metres at Cambridge last month.

   The two horses went head to head over the final stages of the Rotorua race with Stradivarius, under the urgings of jockey Trudy Thornton, just managing to get in the deciding stride over Miss Wilson and Miranda Dravitzki.

   Stradivarius is trained at Cambridge by Lee Somervell, who also prepared Fleur de Lune in her illustrious racing career, which yielded six wins, seven seconds and seven thirds from 37 starts. Her wins included the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie and Group 3 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa and she was also Group 1 placed on five occasions.

   Somervell was unsure how Stradivarius would cope with the heavy-10 track at Rotorua and said the big colt will be even better as a three-year-old next season.

   “Trudy has a huge opinion of the horse and said after he won his second trial that he was her Derby horse," Somervell said. "When someone like Trudy says that, you do sit up and take note.”

   “We did expect a good showing and his sister Fleur de Lune had her first start here and put in a good showing and his half-brother Kapsboy had his first start here and won so he’s kept up the family tradition.”

   The Duncans bred and raced Fleur de Lune in partnership with the late Ada Parnwell but they bred and race Stradivarius on their own.

   Miss Wilson was game in defeat and is also expected to progress into a top class three-year-old next season.


Birthday present

   Hastings racehorse owner Steve Ryan had a birthday to remember when The Knight’s Queen, a mare he races in partnership with his wife Tina and her parents Kevin and Shirin Wood, scored a celebratory win at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   The Any Suggestion mare made it two wins from two starts in a new campaign with a decisive 2 length victory in a $17,500 Rating 65 race over 1200 metres. Rider Rosie Myers had her trailing the leader from the outset and, after taking control early in the home straight, she raced away from her rivals.

   The Knight’s Queen was bred by Kevin and Shirin Wood and has now had 10 starts for three wins and two seconds. She was originally trained at Hastings by Kelly Burne who prepared her to win one race but she has won her last two starts from the Game Lodge Stables of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.


Powerful cup win

   Promising stayer Powerade, winner of the $20,000 Woodville-Pahiatua Cup on Thursday of last week, is likely to back up at tomorrow’s Wellington meeting.

   The Electronic Zone five-year-old chalked up win number two from 13 starts when he out-finished his rivals in a 2100-metre Rating 65 race at Woodville and is down to contest an $18,500 Rating 75 event over 2100 metres at Trentham.

   Powerade is owned by his Waipukurau breeders Dick and Tessa Miller. He originally began his racing career from the Awapuni stable of Mark Oulaghan but joined the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen at the beginning of this season and has had five starts since for two wins, a second, a third and a fourth.

   Powerade was one of three Hastings-trained winners at last week’s Woodville meeting, the others being Golan Express and Rocky Ride.

   Golan Express was having her first start for more than four months when she lined up in a Rating 75 race over 1200 metres. She settled back near last in the early stages and Robert Hannam saved every inch of ground, bringing her along the inside rail in the home straight to win by half a length.

   It was the Golan mare’s third win from only nine starts and she has also recorded three seconds for her Hastings owner-trainer Peggy Leigh-Khan.


Taking on Aussies

   Gifted Lad, part-owned by well known Hawke’s Bay cricket identity Mark Greatbatch, was flown to Melbourne this week and will contest tomorrow’s Listed $A200,000 VRC St Leger Stakes (2800m) at Flemington.

   The Zabeel three-year-old gelding confirmed the trip with a decisive 4-1/2 length win in a Rating 65 race over 1950 metres at Rotorua last week.

   Cambridge training partners Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young had considered a tilt at the $A600,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby on June 6 with the horse, but opted for  the Melbourne race instead as they feel he is better suited to left-handed racing.

   Gifted Lad has only had seven starts for two wins, a second and a third. He beat the older horses in his lead-up to last month’s Group1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) and he was given a break after an unplaced run in the Ellerslie classic.

   “We gave him 10 days off after that and we would have been disappointed if he hadn’t been able to win at Rotorua,” Young said.


Joanna back in form

   Havelock North surgeon Noel Nicholson shares in the ownership of Joanna, who returned to her best form with a strong win in the final event at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   The Captain Rio mare drew the extreme outside barrier from the tricky 1600-metre start at Hastings but a great ride by Rosie Myers saw her score a decisive 1-1/4 length victory.

   Myers dropped Joanna out to the tail of the field in the early stages and stuck to the inside, where she was able to improve by many lengths coming to the home turn. Once in the straight she angled out from behind the leader and  raced clear over the final stages.

   Nicholson races Joanna in partnership with the horse’s Cambridge trainer Ross McCarroll.



   Viceroy, who could race at either Trentham or Te Rapa this Saturday, took the time honours quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.

   There was little in the way of fast work which was carried out on the plough (good).

   Viceroy was striding out strongly at the end of a solo 1000 metres in 1:2.1, running the first 400 in 25.2 and coming home the last t600 in 36.9. He has obviously thrived since his great fresh up run for third over 1400 metres at Hastings on April 4. There is a Rating 65 race over 1600 metres at both venues this Saturday that would suit him and owner-trainer Tim Symes said it depends on track conditions as to which way the horse will head. He doesn’t want to over tax the horse on a heavy track in his second start back from a spell.

   Saint Kitt had trainer Kelly Burne aboard when he ran an easy 1000 metres in 1:9.6. He ran the first 400 metres in 31.9 and increased the speed marginally over the last 600 in 37.7. He looks in good order.

   A Pins three-year-old filly that is being prepared by jockeys Shannon Doyle and Miranda Dravitzki, ran an easy 800 metres on her own in 53.6, the last 600 in 39.8.

   Ratpack took 1:7.1 for 1000 metres, running the first 400 in 30o and the last 600 in 37.1 while his stablemate Odensian ran an easy 800 metres in 57.2, the last 600 in 42.

   Dances With Wolves worked over 1000 metres at three-quarter, clocking 43.5 for the last 600 while Trinovantes ended his work with an easy 400 metres in 27.1. They are both trained by Dave Stenning


   A two-year-old gelding by Shocking and a two-year-old filly by Savabeel were two impressive winners at jumpouts held on the Hastings track today.

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

   The Shocking two-year-old scored an easy 2 length win in the second of three 750-metre heats and clocked a good time if 44.3. He is out of the Pompeii Court mare Etna Court and was a $60,000 purchase from last November’s Ready To Run two-year-old sale at Karaka. He is trained at Hastings by John Bary.

   The Savabeel two-year-old filly won the first of the 750-metre heats by 6 lengths. Her winning time was significantly slower than the other two heats but she only had two rivals and they were not going hard in the early stages. The way the winner stretched out over the final stages was nevertheless impressive and she is trained by Patrick Campbell.



Heat 1, 750m: Savabeel 2yr-old filly (R Goldsbury) 1, No Excuse Needed filly 2, Thorn Park 2yr-old 3. Three starters. Margins: 6 lengths, 2l. Time: 49.9s, Winner trained by Patrick Campbell, Hastings.

Heat 2, 750m: Shocking 2yr-old gelding (J Bassett) 1, Verna Audrey 2, Amalgamation 3. Four starters. Margins: 2 lengths, neck. Time: 44.3s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 3, 750m: Bid (M Dravitzki) 1, Patapan 3yr-old filly 2, Sandtrap 4yr-old mare 3. Four starters. Margins: ½ length, 1l, Time: 43.9. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 4, 1000m: Queen Of Harps (J Bassett) 1, Docket 2, Boudica 3. Four starters. Margins 1-3/4 lengths, 1-1/2 lengths. Time: 59.9s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 5, 1000m: Galileo Park (J Bassett) 1, Zed Leppelin 2, Super Scot 3. Five starters. Margins: 1 length, 1-1/4l. Time: 61.6s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.



   Gold Moet took the time honours in a reasonably quiet trackwork session at Hastings today, sprinting a quick 600 metres on his own.

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

   Gold Moet had co-trainer Sue Thompson aboard when sprinting 600 metres in 35.5 and looked to be working well at the finish. The Gold Mine six-year-old contests the Rating 65 1600-metre race at Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting with apprentice Navish Teeluck to ride him.

   Ratpack rounded off his preparation for the Maiden 1400 at Hastings on Saturday with an easy 800 metres in 55.6, the last 600 in 39.7 while Broadwalk ran a solo 1000 metres in 1:7.3, the first 400 in an easy 28.5 and the last 600 in 38.8

   A Sandtrap four-year-old mare and an Alamosa three-year-old filly, both in the Lowry/Cullen stable, clocked 50.4 for 800 metres, the last 600 in a quick 36.9. They both show promise and are likely to have a run at the Hastings jumpouts next Monday.

   A Tavistock three-year-old gelding trained by Dave Stenning took 28.7 and 27.2 for two easy 400-metre runs up the straight while Zed Leppelin was kept to just three-quarter pace when running 600 metres.

   A Savabeel two-year filly trained by Patrick Campbell worked with a China Cat four-year-old gelding over 600 metres in 40.1.

HB-based stallion Citi Habit offers value for money 16 Apr 2015

   Citi Habit, the sire of the exciting galloper Café Culture, is standing at stud in Hawke’s Bay for a stud fee of just $1000.

   Graham and Isabell Roddick bred Citi Habit, who was a stakes winning racehorse and is a half-brother to champion galloper Rough Habit, and they are standing him at their Swamp Road property, south west of Napier.

   The stallion was based at Four Winds Stud in Hawera when Otane’s Margaret Larsen mated the mare Irish Wonder with him six years ago. Café Culture was the resultant foal and the five-year-old gelding has had five race starts for three wins and two thirds. He was an impressive last start winner over 1600 metres at Hastings on April 4 and Larsen has now turned him out for a winter spell with high expectations that he will return even better in the spring.

   Café Culture was one of only seven foals produced by Citi Habit that season with one of the others being Skychi, who has recorded a win and six minor placings from 15 starts.

   Since 2009 Citi Habit has only had light patronage from breeders. He produced just seven thoroughbred foals in 2010, three in 2011, two in 2012, three in 2013 and two last year.

   “He hasn’t been able to get a lot of mares in recent years but we’ve got a couple of nice fillies by him on our property at the moment,” Isabell Roddick said.

   “He was a pretty good racehorse himself and of course he is a half-brother to Rough Habit.”

   Citi Habit raced 28 times for six wins, seven seconds and a third. His biggest win in New Zealand was in the Group 3 Merial Metric Mile (1600m) at Awapuni but his best performances were at the 2001 Queensland winter carnival where he won the Group 3 $A120,000 Chairman’s Handicap (2020m) and then finished second in both the Group 2 $A250,000 P J O’Shea Stakes (2400m) and the Group 1 $A600,000 Brisbane Cup (3200m).

   Citi Habit is by Citidancer out of Certain Habit and a younger half-brother to Rough Habit, who is rated one of the best horses produced in New Zealand in the past two decades.

   The Roddicks also bred Rough Habit who had 74 race starts for 29 wins, 16 seconds and seven thirds. His stake earnings totaled more than $4million. He won 11 Group 1 races including three consecutive Doomben Cups in 1991,1992 and 1993 as well as consecutive Stradbroke Handicaps in 1991 and 1992. He died in November last year aged 28.

   The Roddicks are also the breeders and part-owners of Addictive Habit, who is a close relation to both Rough Habit and Citi Habit and who will be trying to post his first Group 1 win in tomorrow’s $200,000 Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie.

   Addictive Habit is the winner of seven races, including the Group 2 $230,000 Couplands Mile (1600m) at Riccarton last spring. He resumed from a sell with a good second behind Allez Eagle in a 1400-metre open sprint at Te Aroha a fortnight ago and is expected to strip a much fitter horse for tomorrow’s 1600-metre feature.

   Addictive Habit is prepared by Cambridge trainer Lee Somervell who has said he would be keen to campaign the horse at this year’s Queensland winter carnival if he performed well again tomorrow, with the Group 1 $A500,000 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 16 the main mission.


Great training feat

   Waipukurau thoroughbred trainer Lucy de Lautour pulled off a tremendous training feat when she produced Kipkeino for a fresh up win over 1600 metres at last Friday’s Manawatu meeting at Awapuni.

   Kipkeino was having his first start for four months, with his last run being over 3200 metres at Trentham on December 6. Yet de Lautour had the seven-year-old primed for a winning return in the $12,000 Speight’s Ale House Rating 85 (1600m).

   The slow 9 track conditions, which were bordering on heavy in places, suited Kipkeino admirably and rider Miranda Dravitzki was able to settle the horse in a trailing position against the inside rail until the home turn. They were held up briefly at the top of the home straight but once Dravitzki angled the horse across the heels of the leaders and got him into the clear he powered home to win by 2-1/4 lengths.

   Kipkeino was the rank outside in the seven horse field and returned a dividend of $16.20 for a win and $5.20 for a place.

   It was the Sunray gelding’s fourth win from 34 starts and he has also recorded two seconds and six thirds. He seems to have an affinity with the Awapuni track as he has now had 12 starts there for three wins and a third.

   Although Kipkeino won on the flat last week his trainer plans to turn him into a jumper this winter.

   Kipkeino is one of only a couple of horses de Lautour has racing at the moment and she races him in partnership with her husband Will. The other is Havataste, who also resumed from a spell at Awapuni last Friday but was unplaced in a 1600-metre maiden.


HB owners of Epineaux

   Four Hawke’s Bay men are enjoying a great ride as part-owners of the promising three-year-old filly Epineaux, who recorded her third win from just 10 starts last Saturday and is now a contender for tomorrow’s Listed $50,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes (2000m) at Riccarton.

   Malcolm Dixon, Mark Gifkins, Wiremu Pearson and Kerry Rich call themselves the Wikemama Syndicate and they each have a five per cent share in Epineaux, who is trained at Wanganui by Kevin Myers.

   “The four of us have had a little punting syndicate together for a while now and we decided to try something different,” Malcolm Dixon said this week.

   A large number of people have a small racing share in Epineaux with the group managed by former Riccarton trainer Jan Kerr and the horse races in her colours.

   Epineaux is by Thorn Park out of the Montjeu mare Monjarni and won her first race in a 2100-metre maiden at Wairoa in February. She then added a second over 2200 metres at Waverley last month and made it three when taking out an $18,500 Rating 75 race over 1800 metres at last Saturday’s Canterbury meeting.

   In between her wins Epineaux finished an unlucky fifth in the Listed New Zealand St Leger (2500m) at Trentham where she was hampered at the start and  lost valuable ground.

   Dixon said tomorrow’s Warstep Stakes has always been the aim for Epineaux this season and last Saturday’s win was a bit of a bonus.

   “The wet track last week certainly helped,” he said.

   “She’s pulled up very well and so it is all go for the Warstep Stakes this Saturday and we are also looking towards the New Zealand Cup next season.”


Stakes race next

   Promising Hastings three-year-old Taken The Liberty confirmed a start in the Group 3 $70,000 Windsor Park Stud Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa tomorrow week when he returned to winning form at Awapuni last Friday.

   The O’Reilly gelding started a warm favourite for a Rating 65 race over 1200 metres and, after settling back past midfield in the early stages, he looped the field on the home turn and kept up a strong finish down the outside of the track to score by 1-1/2 lengths.

   Trainer John Bary said after the win that he is keen to step the horse up to a Group race again after he finished ninth in the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham in January.

   Taken The Liberty showed plenty of ability at the beginning of this season, beating the subsequent Group 1 winning filly Platinum Witness when winning his debut over 1200 metres at Hastings on August 7 and then finishing second over 1200 metres at Hastings at his second start.

   The three-year-old is owned by Cambridge-based racing commentator George Simon and his wife Maryanne in partnership with Havelock North’s Tony Clark and his partner Michelle Scanlon.

   Maryanne Simon bought the horse out of the premier session of the 20o13 Karaka yearling sales for $60,000 with intentions of on-selling him at that year’s Ready To Run Two-year-old sale in November.

   But the horse went through a fence a week and injured a leg a week before the breeze ups were held for that sale and had to be withdrawn.

   Meanwhile the racing future of the dual Group 1 winner Recite, one of the stars of the John Bary stable in the past two seasons, is now in doubt after a leg injury prematurely ended her autumn campaign.

   The Darci Brahma mare, owned by The Oaks Stud, has returned there to spell over the winter months while stud manager Rick Williams ponders her future.

    "She won't race again this season and we're undecided about her future at the present time," Williams said.

   "She's got a problem in her off hind leg. She's lame and we've had a scintigraphy done which was inconclusive. She's coming right and we'll just see what happens with her."

   Recite resumed from a spell with an impressive fresh up win over 1200 metres at Matamata in February but has not raced since. She is the winner of seven races, including the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) as a two-year-old and the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham at three.


By-monthly winner

   Hastings couple John and Gretta Flynn are the recipients of the Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners Associations’  by-monthly award for February and March.

   The Flynns share in the ownership of Thien Ly, who capped off a string of minor placings with a game maiden win over 1400 metres at Hastings on February 28.

   At that stage Thien Ly, who is trained at Awapuni by Jeff Lynds, had raced nine times for one win, two seconds and two thirds and he has since had one subsequent start for an unlucky ninth over 1400 metres at Hastings on April 4.

   The four-year-old Stravinsky gelding is raced by the Flynns in partnership with two Wellington men.


Last start winner Adventador showed he is going to be a force to be reckoned with again at this Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting when turning in an excellent solo gallop at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   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 a slow-7

   Adventador ran a solo 1000 metres in 1:4.5, running the first 400 in an easy 27.3 and coming home the last t600 in 37.2.

   The big Fast ‘N’ Famous gelding led all the way for a game win over 1200 metres at the last Hawke’s Bay meeting and should again be hard to beat in the Listed $50,000 City Of Napier Sprint (1200m) this Saturday. Rosie Myers has been booked to ride him as he is unlikely to get enough weight for regular rider Hayden Tinsley.

   Viceroy is another who turned in an impressive solo gallop this morning, running 1000 metres in 1:2.2, the last 600 in 36.5. He came from near last on the home turn to fill a place at long odds over 1400 metres at the last Hawke’s Bay meeting and will appreciate the step up to 1600 this Saturday.

   Saint Kitt, who looks to be coming to hand well again after a brief spell, sprinted the last 600 metres of his work in 36 while stablemate Pit A Pat was timed to run over the same distance in 38.3.

   Gold Moet, another entered for Hawke’s Bay on Saturday, was kept under a strong hold when running 1000 metres in 1:10.4, the last 600 in 40.4. Apprentice Navish Teeluck has been booked to ride him.

   Chic and Shadows Pride, two promising youngsters in the Lowry/Cullen stable likely to contest the maiden two-year-old race over 1400 metres at Hastings on Saturday, worked together over 1000 metres in 1:4.5, the last 600 in 36.7 and final 600 in 24.1. They both performed well on debut at the last Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   Don’t Change, preparing for the Rating 65 1600-metre highweight race at Woodville on Thursday, galloped well on his own over 1000 metres in 1:5.6, the last 600 in 36.9 while his stablemate Keep Us Happy ended her work with 600 metres in 36.5.

   Rocky Pride, another entered for Woodville on Thursday, ran a solo 800 metres in 52.9, the last 600 in 38.7 while his stablemate Powerade was not doing much more than three-quarter pace in his work, the last 600 in 42.2.

   Odensian, a member of Kelly Burne’s team, sprinted 600 metres in 36.5 while a Pins three-year-old filly ran an easy 600 metres in 42.5.

   Zed Leppelin was not after a fast time when running 1000 metres in 1:11.1, the last t600 in 40.5 while a Librettist three-year-old filly and a Handsome Ransom there-year-old gelding, both in the Thompson/Brown stable, ran an easy 600 metres in 41.3.


Lady Zafira and Xcuses Xcuses worked keenly over 1000 metres at this morning’s Hastings track session as they prepare for the Hawke’s Bay Cup meeting on Saturday week.

   Fast work was confined to the plough which provided reasonably good footing after steady overnight rain.

   Lady Zafira looked to have a slight edge on Xcuses Xcuses at the end of 1000 metres in 1:2.3, running the first 400 metres in 25.5 and coming home the last 600 in 36.8.

   Lady Zafira has not finished further back than third in nine starts and will contest the Rating 75 race over 1400 metres at Hastings next week while Xcuses Xcuses was a winner two starts back and will line up in the Rating 65 race over 1200 metres.

   Pit A Pat took the time honours for the session when she ran a solo 1000 metres in 1:2.6, the last 600 in 35.7. The Towkay mare only managed seventh over 1400 metres at Hastings last Saturday but that was her first start for six weeks.

   Mae West and stablemate Super Scot worked over 1000 metres together in 1:2.9, the last 600 in 36.9. Mae West is coming off a good last start third over 1400 metres at Awapuni and is another being prepared for next week’s Hawke’s Bay meeting, where she will run in the Rating 85 race over 1600 metres.

   Saint Kitt, who has been back at the track for about two weeks after a brief spell, ran an easy 600 metres on his own in 38.3 while his stablemate Cajun ran a solo 1000 metres in 1:5.4, the last 600 in 37.1.

   Zed Leppelin had co-trainer Mick Brown aboard when running a solo 1000 metres in 1:6.8, the last 600 in 37 while Ratpack was not hurried when running the last 800 metres of his work in 54.6, the final 600 in 39.1.

   A Shinko King three-year-old gelding in the Lowry/Cullen stable ran an easy 600 metres in 41.8 while a Road To Rock three-year-old gelding in the same stable was restricted to just three-quarter pace, running the last 600 metres in 43.8.

Muscle injury halts Café Culture’s progress until spring

Muscle injury halts Café Culture’s progress until spring 8 Apr 2015

   A recurring muscle problem will see exciting Hawke’s Bay galloper Café Culture now head to the spelling paddock with his Otane owner-trainer, Margaret Larsen, looking forward to getting him back on the racetrack again in the spring.

   The Citi Habit five-year-old turned in another excellent performance when winning an $18,500 Rating 75 race over 1600 metres at Hastings last Saturday to take his record to three wins and two thirds from just five starts.

   Larsen revealed on Tuesday that she had been regularly treating Café Culture with a physiotherapy machine on an old injury to one of his hind legs.

   “He was a bit swollen up over one hip and the muscles just don’t operate as good on one side as they do the other,” she said.

   “He seems okay once he gets warmed up and it certainly didn’t affect him on Saturday. I gave him Sunday and Monday off but when I put the physio machine on him again today he was quite sore on it.”

   Larsen said she was only going to give Café Culture one more start this campaign before turning him out for a spell and has now decided to stop now and try and get him right for next season, when she expects him to perform even better once he steps up to a middle distance.

   “He’s been so good to me so far that I want to look after him,” she added.

   Larsen said Café Culture may have aggravated the muscle problem when he appeared to slip when being off-loaded from her horse truck when she returned home after Saturday’s win.

   Larsen bred Café Culture after she was gifted the mare Irish Wonder and mated her with little known sire Citi Habit, who is a half-brother to the champion galloper Rough Habit.

   Café Culture has had more than his share of injury problems, fracturing his skull when he ran into a limb of a tree as a three-year-old and then slipping over and spraining a sacroiliac ligament at four.

   That is why the horse never started racing until this season but he has now won $24,110 in stakemoney from his five starts.

   The horse settled perfectly in the trail in last Saturday’s 1600-metre race and looked to be cruising when rider Hayden Tinsley angled him off heels to lodge his claim at the top of the home straight. He then only had to give him a slap on the shoulder and he accelerated away for a very easy 2-1/2 length win.

   Larsen said she has had interest from prospective buyers for Café Culture but her stock standard answer is that he is not for sale.

   “The whole idea was to breed a horse that I could race and have a bit of fun with and there are a lot of my friends and other people that are getting a lot of enjoyment out of him too,” she added.



Slazenjah comes up trumps

   Slazenjah fulfilled a burning ambition for his Napier part-owner Alan Jackson and rocketed into calculations for the Group 3 $75,000 Hawke’s Bay Cup at Hastings tomorrow week with another gallant winning performance at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   The Towkay four-year-old was following up from a win on the Waipukurau Cup (2100m) on March 20 and showed great tenacity to out finish Girl Of My Dreams in a tough neck to neck tussle over the final stages of the $20,000 Hawke’s Bay Cup Prelude (2100m).

   Jackson has bred and raced horses for more than a decade and has had some very useful performers in that time. But he had never before won a race on his home track at Hastings.

   “My ambition has always been to win a race at Hastings and now the monkey is off my back,” a happy Jackson said after the win.

   Jackson bred Slazenjah out of the Zeditave mare Crisp and races him in partnership with the horse’s trainer Paul Belsham and his wife Bridget.

   Slazenjah has now won five races from 15 starts and Jackson believes that the horse has only started to come into his own now that he has been stepped up in distance.

   “Paul has always said that this horse was a real staying type and he has now had three starts over a distance for two wins and a second,” Jackson added.

   Lisa Allpress was the winning rider aboard Slazenjah at Hastings last Saturday and Jackson said her opening comment after the win was that the horse should now be aimed at the New Zealand Cup (3200m) in Christchurch next spring.

   In the meantime Slazenjah is likely to return to Hastings for next week’s Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m), providing there is no major deterioration in track conditions.

   “Providing the track stays okay then I suppose he’ll be back for the cup,” Jackson added. “But he’s a horse that has to have a good track.”


Adventador on song  

   Hastings-trained Adventador turned in an excellent trial for the Listed $50,000 City Of Napier Sprint at the Hawke’s Bay Cup meeting tomorrow week with a game all the way win in a $25,000 open sprint at Hastings last Saturday.

   The big Fast ‘N’ Famous gelding was expected to need the run in the 1200-metre event, his first race since finishing sixth in the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham in January. But, after bounding to the front from the outset, rider Hayden Tinsley had him travelling boldly in front all the way and he quickly put a break on the field at the top of the home straight.

   The well supported Ruud Awakening came off the trail and started to chase after Adventador in the final stages but the latter was not to be denied and staved off the challenge for a long neck decision.

   It was win number six for Adventador from only 17 starts and his second black type success after he took out the Listed Levin Stakes (1200m) at Trentham back in December.

   The six-year-old is prepared on the Hastings track by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and owned by his Cambridge breeder Tony Rider, who races him under his Milan Park Stud banner.


Finally the bride

   After being a bridesmaid five times from 11 previous starts on her home track the Hastings-trained mare Shezgorgeous finally broke through for a deserved success in the $20,000 Rating 85 race over 1400 metres at last Saturday.

   Trainer Patrick Campbell had his doubts the six-year-old would be able to perform at her best in the firm track conditions but the O’Reilly mare produced a strong finishing burst to win by a long neck from Eternity, with race favourite Oceania three-quarters of a length back in third place.

   Shezgorgeous was notching her fourth win from 37 starts and had previously recorded two seconds and three thirds at Hastings. She is raced by a large group of owners that include Campbell and former All White soccer representative Frank Van Hattum, who bred the mare in partnership with Allan Osborne.

  Her win last Saturday saw Shezgorgeous rise from 78 to 82 points in the ratings which means she will still be eligible to contest another $20,000 Rating 85 race over 1400 metres at the Hawke’s Bay Cup meeting tomorrow week, although Campbell would like to see some easing in the Hastings track before then.


Easter basket

   Hawke’s Bay couple Kevin and Shirin Wood enjoyed a great Easter Weekend with a win, a second and a third from two horses they race in the South Island, The Knight and Jakob Gambino.

   The Knight brought up the sixth win of his career when he got up to snatch a half-head win in a $25,000 open sprint over 1200 metres on the first day of the Riverton meeting last Saturday and backed up again on the second day, two days later, to finish second in  another $25,000 sprint over 1400 metres.

   Jakob Gambino only managed eighth over 1200 metres on the first day of the Riverton meeting but also backed up on the second day where he finished third in a $17,500 Rating 65 race over 1400 metres.

   The Knight is a seven-year-old gelding by No Excuse Needed out of the Al Akbar mare Melanie and is raced by the Woods in partnership with the horse’s Otautau trainer Bruce Tapper.


This lady shines

   Lady Le Fay, part-owned by Havelock North man Dan D’Esposito, looks set for another successful campaign after an impressive winning return in a $25,000 Rating 75 race over 1400 metres at last Saturday’s Te Aroha meeting.

   The Thorn Park mare’s co-trainer, Paul Shailer, thought she would go a good race but didn’t really expect her to win in what was her first start since finishing ninth in the Counties Cup (2100m) at Avondale back in November last year.

   Rider Michael Coleman had the mare travelling nicely in the trail until the home turn and she unleashed a powerful finish between horses to win by a long head from the fast finishing Light Shadow, with Zaperb a short head back in third place.

   Lady Le Fay now has a record of four wins, a second and two thirds from only 11 starts and, with her ability to cope well with rain affected tracks, she should add to that record in the coming months.   


Double for Tremec

   Tremec, bred by Hawke’s Bay’s Graham de Gruchy, scored his second win in the Group 2 $A300,000 Chairman’s Handicap at Monday’s first day of the Championships in Sydney.

   The Zabeel six-year-old obviously has an affinity with the 2600-metre Randwick event as he also won the 2013 running and was runner-up last year.

   Tremec, who is trained at Randwick by John Thompson, was recording his seventh win from 30 starts and took his stake earnings to more than $A534,000. He has now won three stakes races with the other coming in the Listed Randwick City Stakes.

   The gelding was sold at the premier session of the 2010 Karaka yearling sales for $400,000 and was initially raced by Patinack Farm but is now owned by a large syndicate that includes New Zealand couple Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan.

   Tremec was the first foal produced from the unraced Stravinsky mare Tipple, who is a daughter of the champion racemare Horlicks, winner of 17 races including the 1989 Japan Cup.


Hastings races

   The Group 3 $75,000  Hawke’s Bay Cup will be the feature race on a nine race programme at Hastings tomorrow week.

   The time honoured 2200-metre event dates back to 1860 when the first race was worth 100 guineas and run on the then Napier Turf Club at Greenmeadows. The first cup race run on the Hastings track was in 1875, won by Marquis, and it has since been won by some of the greats of the New Zealand turf.

   The other main race at next week’s meeting will be the Listed $50,000 City Of Napier Sprint (1200m).

   The first race is timed for 11.46am and the last at 4.32pm. There will be a $10 gate charge for the public, with free entry for those aged under 18.

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