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   A good solo gallop by Londaro on the course proper was the highlight at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Most fast work was confined to the plough, which provided good footing. A penetrometer reading was taken on the course proper during the session and came up as a dead-4.

   Londaro was the only horse worked on the course proper and galloped up against the inside rail, which was out 4 metres from the true position.

   The big chestnut bowled over 1000 metres in 1:3.9, running the first 400 in 28.7 before quickening appreciably over the last 600 in 35.2. He was working well at the finish and has obviously trained on well since winning over 1600 metres at Hastings on April 14.

   Trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen have been tossing up whether to start Londaro in a Rating 75 1400-metre race at this Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting or reserve him for a Rating 75 1600 at Te Rapa the following Saturday.

   “I think we will run him here on Saturday,” Guy Lowry said.

   “He will be dropping back to 1400 metres, which is not ideal, but it is on his home track and he does go well here.”

   Scandalo, another last start winner, was the other horse who showed out in trackwork this morning when he sprinted 600 metres on the plough in 37.1. He has also trained on the right way since his victory in a Rating 85 race at the last Hawke’s Bay meeting and will line up in the Open 1400 on Saturday, with Chris Johnson booked to ride him.

   Vino Blanco looked to be marginally in front of stablemate Pakapunch at the end of their 1000-metre gallop on the plough in 1:3.9, the last 600 in 37.5 and they will both line up in the Rating 65 1200 at Hastings on Saturday.

   Performante finished ahead of a Pins-Alleyway three-year-old filly at the en d of an easy 1000 metres in 1:8.5, the last 600 in 38.1. Performante is a two-year-old by Super Easy in the Lowry/Cullen stable who was unsuited by a slow track at Hastings last start. He is likely to contest the two-year-old race over 1200 metres at Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   A Per Incanto two-year-old gelding and one by Not A Single Doubt worked together over 800 metres in 52.1, the last 600 in 36.6 while a Castledale three-year-old gelding finished in front of one by Zacinto at the end of 1000 metres in 1:5.5, the last 600 in 37.3.

   A Playmaker three-year-old filly looked to be travelling better than Whakatu Express at the end of 600 metres in 40.8.

Hastings-trained Londaro shows potential 19 Apr 2018

   Hastings-trained Londaro had to be good to win the opening event over 1600m at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   After being caught three-wide in the early stages, in a muddling run race, jockey Samantha Collett let the big four-year-old roll forward in the middle stages to sit outside the leader Pincanto until the home turn.

   The big striding Londaro bounded to the front early in the home straight but, when Collett went to pull the whip 200 metres from the finish, it fell out of her hand and she then had to rely on just riding the horse hands and heels over the final stages.

   Londaro quickly shook off Pincanto but then had to withstand a late charge from the Robert Hannam ridden Johnny Lincoln and the two horses hit the line locked together.

   Neither jockey knew who had got in the deciding stride but the photo-finish print had Londaro’s nose fractionally in front.

   Londaro was recording his second win after also his maiden victory was also recorded on his home track in October last year.

   He is prepared by the partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and owned by Waikato couple Bruce and Maureen Harvey, who paid $200,000 for the horse at the 2015 Karaka yearling sales.

   “He had to do a fair bit of work today after being trapped wide going forward,” said Lowry.

   “He stuck on really well. He is a long-striding horse so I’m not too sure if the slow tracks will suit him in the future.

   “She (Collett) did a good job putting him in the race and luckily he held on.”

   The victory marked a milestone for Samantha Collett as she reached the 100-win mark for the season, the first time in her career.

   “I’ve got a lot of people to thank but it’s not the end of the season yet,” said Collett as she acknowledged her achievement after the race.

   “It’s been a labour of love, not just in this season, but to get to the milestone is really great.”

   Collett admitted her original plan had not been to adopt the pacemaking role on her charge.

   “When I did the form before the race I had thought about settling in mid-field, one off the fence,” she said.

   “There wasn’t much speed on and when the pace steadied I thought I just had to roll forward.

   “He’s a big, strong horse and his run last start was better than it looked. Full credit to him as he fought like a tiger.”

   Lowry said he and Cullen now have two options for Londaro’s next start.

   “He will either run in a Rating 85 1600 at Hastings on April 28 or in a Rating 75 race over 1600 at Te Rapa a week later,” Lowry said.

   Londaro is out of the Flying Spur mare Spurcent, who was the winner of three races in Australia including the Listed Gimcrack Stakes in Sydney. She is a half-sister to Glorious Days, who won eight races in Hong Kong including the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Mile.


Excellent run by Campbell team

   There would be no more deserving winner of a Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred owners’ prize than Hastings trainer Patrick Campbell.

   The highly successful trainer prepares only a small team of horses and shares in the ownership of most of them.

   He owns Scandalo, who won a $30,000 Rating 85 race over 1400m at Hastings last Saturday and also shares in the ownership of Hunta Pence and Lady Guinness, who have also performed with plenty of merit in recent weeks.

   Scandalo brought up his sixth win from only 21 starts when taking out the $30,000 Rating 85 race over 1400m at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting. Lady Guinness won the $30,000 Poverty Bay Cup (1600m) at Gisborne on February 18 while Hunta Pence took out a Rating 75 race over 2100m at Hastings on March 1 and recorded a game third in last Saturday’s Listed $75,000 Royston Hospital Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m). 

   Campbell bought Scandalo in a private sale, from the South Island, back in December 2016 after the horse had recorded two thirds and three fourths from seven starts.

   Campbell produced the horse to win first up from his stable in a 1450m maiden race at Wairoa in February 2017 and he has since recorded four more wins as well as three seconds and three thirds.

   Scandalo was impressive when scoring by three-quarters of a length over 1400m at Hastings last Saturday. Campbell engaged Korean-born apprentice jockey Alex Shin for the horse to make use of his 4kg claim and the young rider rode the horse to perfection.

   Shin settled Scandalo third behind the pacemaking duo of Lucyinrio and Honneur Noir until the home turn before angling him out to make a challenge early in the home straight. They shot to the lead 300 metres from the finish and never looked like being headed after that, winning by three-quarters of a length from the fast finishing Disturbance, with race favourite Honneur Noir a nose back in third place.

   Scandalo’s win took his rating to 86 points, meaning Campbell will now have to concentrate on open sprint races with the five-year-old but, by the way the horse won last Saturday, there are more victories in store in the future.                                                                                                 

Bassett’s win heralds trip south

   Hastings apprentice jockey Jordan Bassett recorded a timely win aboard Estefania in the final event at last Friday’s Rotorua meeting at Arawa Park.

   The 27-year-old brought up the third win of her career on the eve of embarking on a three month stint in the South Island, where she will be on loan to the successful Riccarton father and son training partnership of Michael and Matthew Pitman.

   Bassett was originally attached to the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen before a brief stint with Wanganui trainer Kevin Myers. She is now indentured to her partner, Richard McKenzie, who is the owner-trainer of Estefania.

   Bassett out-rode the vastly more experienced Danielle Johnson in the Maiden 1200m race at Rotorua. She bounced Estefania out quickly from the barrier and held her line when Johnson tried to cross her aboard Mediterranean Star and take the lead going into the first bend.

   Bassett then maintained control in front before kicking clear at the top of the home straight. Johnson got Mediterranean Star into top gear to come out after Estefania in the final stages but Bassett kept her mount balanced up and, with just a hands and heels ride, managed to stave off the challenge to win by a nose.

   Estefania was bred by Richard McKenzie, who is a Hastings veterinary surgeon. She is by Darci Brahma out of the Success Express mare Zino Belle, who won five races including the Listed Pegasus Stakes (1000m) at Riccarton and was also stakes placed on two other occasions.


Options for Group winner

   The connections of Hiflyer are mulling over their options.

   “He’s had a month’s work, three weeks on the water walker and a week with us,” trainer Peter Lock said. “I’m over the moon with him, he looks great.

   “He’s twice as big and strong now and ticking over well. We’ll get him fit and ready and then decide whether we go to Brisbane or Sydney or stay home.

   “He’ll be telling us what we do. He could even go back to the spelling paddock and then get him ready for the Triple Crown at Hastings.”

   The weight-for-age Group 1 triple crown at the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival consists of the Tarzino Trophy (1400m), Windsor Park Plate (1600m) and the Livamol Classic (2040m).

   Hiflyer is a dual Group 3 winner and hasn’t raced since he ran third in the Group 1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham in January.


Singapore trip confirmed

   Matamata trainer Gary Hennessy has his sights set on a Singapore Group 1 feature after receiving confirmation that Ocean Emperor has gained a spot in the Kranji Mile (1600m) on May 26.

   Hennessy has a proven overseas track record having prepared Ocean Park for Group 1 wins in the Cox Plate (2040m), Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and the Underwood Stakes (1800m).

   A son of Zabeel and the Group 1 performer Tootsie, Ocean Emperor has won seven races including a defeat of subsequent Group 1 winner Miss Wilson and the seven-time elite race winner Kawi in the Group 2 Tauranga Stakes (1600m).

   At his most recent performance, the six-year-old downed multiple stakes placegetter Tiptronic and the Group 1 performer Travimyfriend in the Group 2 Japan/New Zealand International Trophy (1600m).


Hastings Trackwork 19 Apr 2018


   There were very few horses worked at this morning’s Hastings track session with a several from the centre entered for today’s Woodville meeting and a large number having had a hit out at last Monday’s jumpouts.

   Londaro, a game winner in a Rating 65 race over 1600m at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting, showed he has trained on well when undergoing two rounds of half-pace on the plough. The big Lope De Vega gelding could start next in a Rating 85 1600 at Hastings on April 28 or in a Rating 75 race over 1600m at Te Rapa a week later. He shows great potential.

   A Niagara-Shesalljazz two-year-old gelding in the Patrick Campbell stable was given a run along over 400 metres on the plough in 25.2 while an Ekraar two-year-old filly trained by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen also quickened slightly over the last 400 metres of her two rounds of pacework, clocking 29.1.


Hastings jumpouts 16/4/18 16 Apr 2018

   An impressive win by Worldclass was the highlight at this morning’s Hastings jumpouts.

   There were eight heats run up against the inside rail on the course proper, which provided slow footing after more rain since the weekend.

   Worldclass contested one of the 1000-metre heats, where she was opposed by just two other horses. Rider Masa Tanaka settled the Iffraaj mare a couple of lengths the other two, Strut and Pakapunch, until well into the home straight and when he gave her a bit more rein she powered down the centre of the track to win by three-quarters of a length. Her winning time of 1:3.7 was the fastest of the 1000-metre heats.

   Worldclass hasn’t raced since December but could resume at Thursday’s Woodville meeting.

   Other dominant winners at the jumpouts were Dez in the 1200-metre heat and Peso in the 1400-metre heat. Both horses look to be coming up well as they prepare for winter racing.



Heat 1, 750m: Pins-Golden Gamble 3yr-old filly (H Durrant) 1, Niagara-Blurred 2yr-old filly 2. Two starters. Margin: ½ length. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 2, 750m: Postponed 3yr-old gelding (L Hemi) 1, Shady Lady 2, Niagara-Asaweb 3yr-old gelding 3. Three starters. Margins: Long head, 1-3/4 lengths. Time: 47.3. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 3, 1000m: O’Reilly-Vickezzchardonnay 3yr-old filly (M Tanaka) 1, Jakkalberry 2yr-old gelding 2, Sincerity 3. Four starters. Margins: 1 length, 2-1/4 lengths. Time: 1:04.4. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 4, 1000m: Vannoss (M Tanaka) 1, Per Incanto-Danareason 3yr-old filly 2, Pins-Alleyway 3yr-old filly 3. Four starters. Margins: ¾ length, 2 lengths. Time: 1:04.6. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 5, 1000m: Redwood 4yr-old gelding (K Hercock) 1, Galileo Heart 2, Citi Habit 4yr-old mare 3. Four starters. ½ length, 1 lengths. Time: 1:04.2. Winner trained by Sue Thompson & Mick Brown, Hastings.

Heat 6, 1000m: Worldclass (M Tanaka) 1, Strut 2, Pakapunch 3. Three starters. Margins: ¾ length, 1 length. Time: 1:03.7. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 7, 1200m: Dez (K Hercock) 1, Ekraar 3yr-old gelding (M Tanaka) 2, Revolution 3. Five starters. Margins: 1 length, 3 lengths. Time: 1:19.1. Winner trained by Simon Wilson, Waipukurau.

Heat 8, 1400m: Peso (L Hemi) 1, The Shackler 2, Zed Leppelin 3. Four starters. Margins: 2-1/4 lengths, 3-1/2 lengths. Time: 1:33.6. Winner trained by Paul Nelson, Hastings.


Deserved Group 1 success for Bary 12 Apr 2018

   Hastings trainer John Bary buried the demons of the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes that have plagued him in the past when he produced Miss Wilson to succeed in last Saturday’s Group 1 event at Te Aroha.

   Bary, 48, has tried to win the last Group 1 race of the racing season since 2012 but has always come up short and suffered his lowest point in racing when one of his top horses broke down and had to be euthanized in the race two years ago.

   Miss Wilson was a double Group 3 race winner before last Saturday but went to a new level when she took out the $200,000 1600-metre feature at Te Aroha.

   It was the mare’s second attempt at the race after she finished fourth last year and it was Bary’s fifth time of trying to win it. His first was with No Excuse Maggie in 2012, when she finished seventh on an unsuitable firm track.

   He then produced Recite to finish second in the 2014 running, when the then three-year-old filly went down to the older Viadana by 2 lengths.

   Bary took the dual Group 1 winner Recite back for another crack at the race in 2016 but experienced despair as he watched the mare break a leg during the running of the race which necessitated in her having to be put down.

   “That would have to rate as the lowest point in my career,” Bary said this week.

   “She was a real gem of a horse and was owned by The Oaks Stud. They not only lost what would have been a very valuable broodmare but we also lost one of the best horses we’ve had around the stable and it affected everyone.”

   Twelve months ago Bary again tried to win the race, this time with Miss Wilson. He thought he had her at peak fitness after she was coming off a last start win in the Group 3 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham three weeks before but she could only manage fourth. The race was run at Te Rapa that day as the Te Aroha track was deemed unsuitable for racing on at that time.

   That was a learning curve for Bary who realised that Miss Wilson was best when kept fresh and was not a great traveller.

   “She always races well fresh up but travel is the toughest thing with her and something we have to try and keep on top of,” Bary sad.

   “She doesn’t travel that well but, in saying that, she was good last weekend. We stayed at Valachi Downs Stud at Matamata and she settled in well there and was perfect on race day.”

   Miss Wilson was having her first start since finishing an unlucky third over 1400m at Hastings on March 1 with Bary opting to bypass this year’s Cuddle Stakes on March 17 to keep the freshness in her legs.

   Bary engaged Vinnie Volgan to ride Miss Wilson last Saturday as Opie Bosson, who had ridden the mare to a third at Hastings at her previous start, was across the Tasman competing in Sydney.

   Colgan settled the mare perfectly in the trail behind the tearaway pacemakers Ruud Not Too and Nicoletta before bring her out to lodge a claim at the top of the home straight. The Stratum mare shot to the front soon after and held out a late challenge from Thee Auld Floozie to win by half a length.

   The victory brought up John Bary’s ninth Group 1 success from nine seasons as a  public trainer. His first win was when Neversaynever took out a 1400m maiden race at Gisborne in November 2008 and he chalked up his first Group 1 success when Jimmy Choux took out the New Zealand 2000 Guineas in November, 2010.

   Jimmy Choux went on to record another four Group 1 victories, in the New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie, Rosehill Guineas in Sydney and both the Windsor Park Plate and New Zealand Bloodstock Spring Classic at Hastings.

   Recite credited Bary with two Group 1 victories when taking out the 2013 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni and 2014 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham while his other success at the elite level was with Survived in the 2013 Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings.

   Miss Wilson’s Group 1 success last Saturday is also a major triumph for her Havelock North owner-breeders Richard and Liz Wood.

   The couple bred the five-year-old out of the Centaine mare Cierzo and she is a half-sister to Jimmy Choux, who won them 12 races in total and more than $3.6million in stakemoney.

   Bary said Miss Wilson may now run in the Group 3 ISCL Rotorua Stakes (1400m) on May 12 but won’t be campaigned at this year’s Queensland winter carnival.

   “We’re going to look at Rotorua as it’s another weight-for-age race for fillies and mares but it all depends on the weather,” Bary said.

   “She needs a good track and if the weather packs up then we won’t start and she can go out for a spell.

   “We did have a look at Australia and there are some nice fillies and mares races in Queensland but most of them are at set weights and penalties and that wouldn’t suit her.”


Ormsby’s run continues

   Waipukurau racehorse owner Michael Ormsby’s successful run has continued as he is a shareholder in Ristretto, an impressive debut winner at New Plymouth on Thursday of last week.

   Ormsby has raced horses for many years and nowadays concentrates on taking up shares in syndicates run by the Te Akau operation. He is member of the Te Akau Avantage Syndicate that races this season’s outstanding two-year-old Avantage, winner of five races including the Karaka Million and the recent Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes.

   Ormsby is also a shareholder in the Te Akau Double Shot Syndicate that races the two-year-old filly Ristretto from the Matamata stable of Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards.

   The Makfi filly showed glimpses of her ability when winning two barrier trials last month, at Taupo and Cambridge, and was sent out a raging hot favourite for her debut run over 1100m at New Plymouth. Singapore-born jockey Shafiq Rusof bounced the filly straight to the front and she never looked like getting beaten, crossing the line three-quarters of a length in front of the opposition.

   Ristretto is out of the Lonhro mare Espresso Cavallo and was purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis for $115,000 at last November’s Ready To Run two-year-old sale at Karaka. She is closely related to Fantastic Owners, who was the winner of eight races and successful in both Australia and Singapore.


Owners & breeders function

   The Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners Association and the Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Thoroughbred Breeders will stage their annual members’ day function in the Karamu/Estella lounge at the Hastings racecourse on Saturday, April 28.

   Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by April 20. Racehorse owners can ring Tony Lyndon on 8768250 while thoroughbred breeders can reply to Sharyn Craig on 027 4999084.


Dee on Kiwi cup hope

   Former Hastings apprentice Michael Dee will team up with the New Zealand-trained Five To Midnight in tomorrow’s Group 1 $A2million Sydney Cup at Randwick.

   Dee started out as a probationary apprentice in the stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen before a stint with Wanganui trainer Kevin Myers. He then ventured across the Tasman and completed his apprenticeship with Caulfield trainer Mick Price.

   Dee picked up his second Group 1 success a fortnight ago when he rode the Price-trained Hiyaam to win the $A500,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill and he will again team up with that High Chaparral filly in tomorrow’s Group 1$A1million Australian Oaks (2400m).

   Five To Midnight is prepared by Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta. He was second in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) two starts back before a last start second in the Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) on his home track.

   The connections of Five To Midnight had an added incentive for aiming the stayer at tomorrow’s Sydney Cup.

   He will claim a A$100,000 bonus for the owners and A$50,000 to trainer Lisa Latta if he wins or runs a place.

   Five To Midnight qualified for the bonus by finishing runner-up in last month’s Auckland Cup (3200m). He is one of three New Zealand-trained horses in tomorrow’s Sydney Cup, the others being Sir Charles Road and Zacada.

   Promising Sydney apprentice Andrew Adkins has been confirmed as the rider for Sir Charles Road while Dean Holland will ride Zacada.

   Blake Shinn was successful aboard Sir Charles Road in the Group 2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick last Saturday, but he is unable to make this weekend’s weight of 50kg.


Easter target for All Roads

   The Group 2 $100,000 Easter Handicap (1600m) at Pukekohe on April 21 is the main goal for the talented All Roads, a horse that was bred by Hawke’s Bay’s Don Gordon and now raced by the All Roads Syndicate.

   The six-year-old Road To Rock gelding was unplaced when resuming his New Zealand career at Te Aroha last Saturday, but the outing will significantly improve him.

   All Roads won six races, including the Group 2 Japan/New Zealand Trophy (1600m), before a stint with Chris Waller in Sydney where he finished fourth in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m).

   “He’s loving being home,” trainer Tony Cole said. “He lightened up after his last run in Perth so the syndicate decided to bring him home.”



   Excellent 1000-metre workouts by Scandalo and Tavijazz were the highlights in another reasonably quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.

   Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided good footing. A penetrometer reading was taken on the course proper during the session and came up as a good-3. Rain is forecast for the Hastings area today and tomorrow.

   Scandalo, preparing for the Rating 85 race over 1400 metres at Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting, ran a solo 1000m in 1:4.5, running the first 400 in 28.2 and then coming home the last 600 strongly in 36.3. The Shocking five-year-old has been freshened since finishing eighth over 1400m at Hastings on March 1.

   Tavijazz also worked over 1000m this morning and was timed to run the last 800 in 49.2 and final 600 in a quick 35.9. She has also not raced since the March 1 Hawke’s Bay meeting, where she was found to be suffering from cardiac arrhythmia after finishing fifth in a 1200-metre race. She could also line up at Hastings this Saturday.

   A Citi Habit four-year-old mare in the Kate Hercock stable ran an easy 1000m in 1:12.7, the last 600 in 41.3 while a Zed three-year-old gelding from the same stable clocked 1:13.9 for 1000m, the last 600 in 41.7.

   A Postponed three-year-old gelding prepared by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen was kept to just three-quarter pace, running 600 metres in 44.2 while a Niagara three-year-old gelding from the same stable did similar work and ran his last 600m in 46.6.

Hastings Trackwork 11 Apr 2018

   Hunta Pence showed he is right on target for this Saturday’s $75,000 Hawke’s Bay Cup with a strong solo gallop on the course proper at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Fast work was carried out on the course proper and the No.1 grass, both tracks providing dead footing after 28 millimetres of rain since yesterday.

   Hunta Pence was the only horse to gallop on the course proper and he was well out from the inside rail. He worked in from the 1400-metre peg and was timed over the last 1200 metres in 1:18.5. He went from the 1200 to the 600 in 41.9 before coming home strongly over the final 600 in 36.6. The No Excuse Needed five-year-old is in great order for Saturday’s 2200-metre feature and will be ridden by the country’s leading jockey Samantha Collett.

   Londaro, entered for the Rating 65 race over 1600 metres on Saturday, worked on his own over 1000 metres on the grass in 1:10.4, the last 600 in 40.7. He only beat one horse home when resuming over 1200m at Waipukurau last month but looks to have improved a lot from the run.

   Performante and Vickezzmoet, two others in the Lowry/Cullen stable, worked together over 1000 metres on the grass in 1:7.6, the last 600 in 39.4 while Pakapunch was kept to just three-quarter pace when running 1000 metres on the plough, the last 600 in 42.7.

   A Per Incanto-La Singa two-year-old gelding and a Rip Van Winkle-Dorothea Dior two-year-old filly sprinted 600 metres on the No. 1 grass in 37.6.


Magnum back in top form for HB owner 5 Apr 2018

   Former Singapore galloper Magnum, part-owned by Havelock North’s Jason Fleming, opened his winning account in New Zealand with a stakes success at Awapuni last Saturday.

   The New Zealand-bred son of Per Incanto was too good for his sprinting rivals in the Listed $50,000 Bramco Granite & Marble Flying Handicap (1400m) and his connections are now keen to step the five-year-old up in distance.

   “I think a mile will be his go,” trainer Lauren Brennan said. “We’re looking at the Easter Handicap.”

  The Group 2 $100,000 Manco Easter Handicap will be run over 1600m at Pukekohe on April 21.

   Bred by the Little Avondale Trust, Magnum was offered by the Masterton-based stud at the 2014 Premier Sale and sold for $100,000, with studmaster Sam Williams retaining a share. He is now one of eight people racing the horse, with Fleming and prominent bloodstock agent Michael Wallace among the other shareholders.

   The horse was originally in Brennan’s Cambridge stable and won three trials before he transferred to the Kranji operation of Michael Freedman.

   He was successful three times for Freedman and, when he decided to return to Sydney, the gelding was taken over by Englishman James Peters who won a further race with him.

   Joint issues resulted in Magnum returning home to his birthplace at Little Avondale Stud for a good break before Brennan took charge of the five-year-old again.

   “It’s like he’s never been away,” she said. “He’s got the best temperament in the world. He’s the coolest horse to have around and he’s got a great mind. We’re rapt with him.”

   Magnum pleased connections with his resuming effort for second over 1200m at Ellerslie in February and, while then unplaced in the Group 3 Darley Stallions Plate (1200m) there at his next start, he didn’t disappoint.

   “He got well back and hit the line strongly that day,” Brennan said

   Magnum was ridden close to the pace by Danielle Johnson at Awapuni and, after hitting the front early in the run home, he staved off the late challenges by Ruby Armani and Shadows Cast to win by a long neck.

   Magnum is by Little Avondale Stud’s resident sire Per Incanto out of the Sound Reason mare Sound Lover, who was the winner of five races including a Group 3 race at Ellerslie and also finished second in the Group 2 Soliloquy Stakes at Ellerslie.

   Sound Lover is a full-sister to Candide, who won both the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) during the 1987-88 season.


Deserved maiden win

   Baxstreetboy, part-owned by Havelock North’s Lester Drake and Neville Jackson, broke through for a deserved maiden win at last week’s Wanganui meeting.

   The Burgundy three-year-old was resuming from a three month break when he stepped out over 1340m and scored a runaway 3 length victory over Lodi and Yakety Yak.

   It was Baxstreetboy’s fifth start and followed three seconds and a third earlier this season. He is trained at Awapuni by David Goldsbury, who also shares in the ownership along with his wife Anne.

   The horse cost $7500 as a weanling at a 2015 Karaka Mixed Bloodstock sale and is out of the O’Reilly mare Strictly Time, who is a three-quarter sister to Tantamount (six wins). It is also the family of the group race winners Soltanto, Soliloquy and Solveig.

   Lester Drake said Baxstreetboy lacks a bit size, being not much more than 15 hands high, but has furnished into a stronger horse now and weighed 480kg when he raced last week.

   “He’s been knocking on the door but just wasn’t finishing his races off and was getting a bit jarred up on the hard tracks so we turned him out for a break,” Drake said.

   “It’s been the making of him and he likes the sting out of the tack so we can box on with him now.”

   He added winning jockey Johnathan Parkes was impressed with the horse’s performance at Wanganui and wants to stick with the horse in the future.


Another highlight for Ormsby

   Avantage’s win in last Saturday’s Group 1 $225,000 Courtesy Ford Sires Produce Stakes provided Waipukurau’s Michael Ormsby with another huge moment in his long history of racehorse ownership.

   Ormsby is a member of the Te Akau Avantage Syndicate, a large group of people that were brought together to race the filly by Te Akau principal David Ellis after he purchased the daughter of Fastnet Rock for $210,000 at last year’s Karaka yearling sales.

   Ormsby and his wife Helen have raced numerous horses over the years and have had tremendous results with jumpers. Between them they have shared in the ownership of eight winners of either the Grand National Steeples or Grand National Hurdles.

   Michael Ormsby has been involved with Te Akau syndicates for the past two years and says he can’t speak too highly of their operation.

   “It’s a tremendous outfit to deal with. No one knows who all the members are in each syndicate but we get emails just about every day keeping you informed on where the horses are at and where they are racing.”

   Avantage brought up her fifth win from only six starts when taking out last Saturday’s 1400m feature at Awapuni and the only time she has been beaten was when she finished second to stablemate Sword Of Osman in the Group 1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on March 10.

   Other Te Akau syndicate horses Ormsby has raced this season include the winners Irish Cream and Gris Dame, the latter also finishing third in the Group 2 $100,000 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.

   Avantage produced a stunning performance to blitz her rivals in the Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes.

   Rider Danielle Johnson was able to position the filly one off the fence in fifth spot and it was clear she was going to be the one to beat when she cruised up outside the leaders rounding the home turn.  Once Johnson released the brakes she bounded to the front and dashed away to win by 2 lengths from Melt, with another 3 lengths back to third placed Sir Nate.

   “She was very impressive, it’s a huge thrill,” winning jockey Danielle Johnson said.    “From the wide gate I got a nice run with the pace on all the way.

   “I had a lot of horse underneath me and it was just a case of when to push the button.”

   Avantage’s latest victory should assure her of being crowned champion two-year-old for the season. She is trained at Matamata by the partnership of Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards and will now be spelled and brought back early next season, with her main mission being the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November.


Second bleeding attack  

   Chopin’s Fantaisie, bred by Taupo’s Pat Lowry, resumed from an enforced layoff with a game win at Singapore last Sunday but will now be sidelined for another six months after he was found to have bled again during the race.

   The talented Pins four-year-old bounced back into the winner’s circle in a $S100,000 Stakes B race over 1400m in what was his first start since he bled when finishing fifth in the Group 1 Raffles Cup (1800m) in October.

   Trainer Michael Clements deserved plenty of kudos for producing Chopin’s Fantaisie to win first up and the horse produced a tenacious performance, going head to head with Viviano all the way up the straight before getting the decision by a nose.

   Chopin’s Fantaisie was having just his eight career start and has a record of six wins and a second. His stake earnings have now gone past the $S275,000 mark for his Singapore owners, the Jubilant Racing Stable.

    The four-year-old is by Pins out of the Oregon mare Golden Gamble and a full-brother to former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon.

   The Hastings training partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen has an unraced three-year-old full-sister to Chopin’s Fantaisie in work at the moment.



Iffraaj strikes again

   Haunui Farm’s successful shuttle stallion Iffraaj secured his ninth individual Group 1 winner when Jungle Cat took out Al Quoz Sprint (1200m) at Meydan in Dubai last weekend.

   The Charlie Appleby-trained Jungle Cat produced a telling late burst to down Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (1000m) champion Stormy Liberal by half a length.

   Iffraaj, who stands at Dalham Hall in Newmarket during the Northern Hemisphere breeding season, has sired 58 stakes winners in total.

   His Southern Hemisphere Group 1 success stories include Australian Derby winner Jon Snow, Emirates Stakes winner Turn Me Loose and the New Zealand Derby and Rosehill Guineas winner Gingernuts.


Johnson to ride Kiwi Oaks hope

   Chris Johnson has been confirmed as Savvy Coup’s rider in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m).

   Co-trainer Michael Pitman said Hugh Bowman had been approached for the mount, but he has opted to partner the Chris Waller-trained Unforgotten in tomorrow week’s classic at Randwick.

   Johnson has an outstanding record with Savvy Coup, who was on a flight to Sydney on Wednesday, having ridden her in four of her five wins including victory in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m).

Royal Ruby’s gem result for Waipukurau couple 4 Apr 2018

   Tony Ebbett described it as “like winning the Melbourne Cup” while his wife Penny said “it was something you dream about”.

   They were the raw emotions of two of the most liked people in Central Hawke’s Bay when referring to their horse Royal Ruby’s success in last week’s $20,000 Best Travel Waipukurau Cup.

   The close-knit couple had taken out the most prestigious race run on their home track and were clearly overjoyed.

   “It’s great to win any race but this is something very special,” Penny Ebbett added.

   The win was even more significant in that Tony Ebbett is the manager of the Waipukurau racecourse and also a steward of the Waipukurau Jockey Club. He and his wife Penny are Waipukurau identities, with Penny also operating a successful business in the township.

   What made the win by Royal Ruby even more special is the fact that the Ebbetts are hobby trainers.

   They only have two horses in work, the other being Pincanto who was unplaced in an earlier race at last week’s Waipukurau meeting. The couple work their horses early in the morning, doing all the work themselves, before fulfilling their day jobs.

   For Tony, last week’s win by Royal Ruby provided him with a great tonic. He is still recovering after suffering several broken ribs when he took a heavy fall from Pincanto in a track gallop a few weeks ago.

   “I think it’s about time I gave up riding gallops and leave it to the younger ones,” he quipped.

   He said it wasn’t until after he took the tumble that Penny told him that Pincanto is a horse that you have to talk to while you are riding her and tell her to whoa when you want her to stop.

   “I wasn’t saying a thing. I didn’t have any steering gear and I was just sitting there trying to hang on,” Ebbett said.

   “She started heading for the fence so I decided it was time to bail out and I must have pulled her over with me, which obviously did all the damage.”

   The pain Tony has been in was certainly not evident as he and Penny were presented with their trophies following Royal Ruby’s game cup win last week.

   Although it was only Royal Ruby’s third win from 35 starts she has been a model of consistency, with four seconds, six thirds and three fourths also to her credit.

   The country’s leading jockey Samantha Collett jumped Royal Ruby away quickly from the 2100m barrier to take an early lead before dropping back to take the perfect trail behind the pacemaking Lady Guinness.

   Approaching the home turn Collett sent Royal Ruby forward to challenge for the lead and then kicked her clear early in the home straight. Race favourite Missy Moo started to mount a likely challenge inside the final 100 metres but Royal Ruby had established a winning break and held on to score by half a length.

   The Ebbetts race the Per Incanto five-year-old on lease from her Hastings breeders, John and Colleen Duncan. The mare won her maiden race on her home track at Waipukurau, in March last year. She then added a second victory over 2000m at Hastings at the beginning of last month.

   They are now hoping that Royal Ruby has earned enough rating points to get a start in the Listed $75,000 Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m) at Hastings on April 14. The mare was on a rating of 69 before her win last week and has now gone to 73 points.

   In the past that rating would not be enough to get a start in the Hawke’s Bay Cup but last year there were only 12 final acceptors for the 2200m Hastings feature and the bottom two were Pure Lode (72 points) and Tiffany’s (65 points).


Unlucky second in cup

   Hastings-trained Hunta Pence is still on target for next month’s Listed $75,000 Royston Hospital Hawke’s Bay Cup following his close and unlucky second in the Masterton Cup at Tauherenikau last Sunday.

   The No Excuse Needed five-year-old went down by the barest of noses in the 2050m event, with commentator Tony Lee actually calling him first across the line and thinking he had got in the deciding stride.

   There is no doubt Hunta Pence should have won the race. After enjoying a good trailing position, three back on the inside, he became boxed in coming to the home turn and was late getting clear. The eventual winner Overtheriver had put a break on the field early in the home straight and Hunta Pence’s late charge saw him come up fractionally short.

   He will now go straight into the Hawke’s Bay Cup on April 14.


Queensland trip beckons

   Speedy filly Prom Queen will have two chances next month to earn herself a travel pass across the Tasman.

   “She’ll run at Te Rapa on April 14 and then into the Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes two weeks later,” said Kenny Rae, who trains the multiple stakes winner with his wife Lisa and their daughter Krystal Williams.

   “After that we’ll decide whether she goes to Brisbane. We need to make sure she’s on target for a trip.”

   Prom Queen has won eight of her 11 starts, including the Group 3 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m), the Group 3 Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m), the Listed Champagne Stakes (1000m) and the Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m).

   The Super Easy three-year-old hasn’t raced since she ran fourth in the Group 3 Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie in early December.

   “She won a trial at Ruakaka recently, but she didn’t beat much,” Rae said. “She’s definitely strengthened up and she doesn’t need to get any faster.”

   Stablemate Kaharau is also in the running to make the trip to the Queensland winter carnival.

   “I’d love to take Kaharau over for a race like the Caloundra Cup,” Rae said.

   Third in the Group 3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) back in the spring, Kaharau won the Nathans Memorial (2400m) at Ellerslie last month before he was unplaced at his latest appearance in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m).


Focus on HB carnival

   Talented mare Devise has been put aside with connections already eyeing next season’s Group 1 carnival at Hastings.

   “She’s having a break and we know she goes well at Hawke’s Bay so she’ll likely chase the Triple Crown series there,” trainer Shaune Ritchie said.

   The Darci Brahma mare won the Group 1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m) last month before she was unplaced in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington, where she suffered a minor fetlock injury.


Milseain’s future undecided

   Immediate plans for the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks placegetter Milseain have yet to be finalised.

   “We’ll keep her ticking over and see how she is in the next few days,” co-trainer Andrew Forsman said. “She won’t be going to Sydney though and she’ll be much better next time in.”

   A sister to the multiple Group 1 winner Werther, Milseain has also placed in the Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic (2000m), the Group 3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) and the Group 3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) this preparation.

   Stablemate Marcellina, who finished sixth in the Oaks, will race on but where has yet to be confirmed.


Harris has a winning way

   Troy Harris has exceeded his own expectations since resuming race riding.

   The Cambridge jockey has been back in action a little over a fortnight and the 29-year-old has quickly returned to his winning ways.

   “Everything is going really well and my manager Dean Williams is doing a great job,” Harris said.

   “I couldn’t have asked for anything better and hopefully the good rides keep coming.”

   Harris won on Woodloveto at Rotorua in his second day back riding and gained further success aboard Virtuoso Lad and Ambitious Winner at Te Teko on Wednesday of last week. He also won on Wehadadeal at Waipukurau the following day and aboard O’He Can at Avondale on Friday.

   “I was out for three and a-half months after I strained my back,” he said.

   “I do a lot of running to keep the weight off and when I can’t do any exercise I get heavy, I have to work really hard at it.

   “I can do 57kg easily and I was 56.5kg last Saturday. My weight is the best it’s been for a while.”

Hastings Trackwork 4 Apr 2018

   A 1000-metre workout at three-quarter pace by Vannoss was the only fast work in another very quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.

   Vannoss worked on his own and clocked 1:11.7 for 1000 metres, running the first 400 in 29.8 before quickening slightly over the last 600 in 41.9.

   The Sufficient four-year-old showed good promise at the beginning of this season with a second and two fourths from three starts and looks to be coming up well again in a new preparation.

   Lady Guinness, preparing for the Group 3 Manawatu Breeders Stakes (2000m) at Awapuni on Friday, was one of several horses restricted to just a couple of rounds of half-pace on the plough. The Falkirk mare was a last start fourth in the Waipukurau Cup (2100m) on March 22, where she led for most of the race before being run down late.

   Jumpouts are planned for Waipukurau on Thursday and several horses from Hastings are expected to compete there.

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