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   Stablemates Shez Ekstra and Uncle Bro, both likely entrants for Sunday’s Wellington meeting, worked well together at this morning’s Hastings track session.

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

   Shez Ekstra and Uncle Bro worked in from the 1000m peg in 1:11.9, running the first 400m at three-quarter pace before quickening over the last 600 in 38.6.

   Shez Ekstra was an unlucky last start fifth over 1600m at Woodville on April 18 and will line up in another maiden 1600 at Trentham while Uncle Bro will be entered for the Rating 65 1600.

   Real Beach, who may start next in the Rating 72 race over 2000m at Matamata on Wednesday of next week, ran a solo 1000m in 1:7.5, the last 600 in 39.6. She disappointed in the Listed Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m) last start but will appreciate the drop back in class at Matamata.

   Matt Cain was let off with an easy 800m in 58.4, coming home the last 600 in 41.3 while Scandalo, who could also be entered for Trentham on Sunday, was let off with pacework.


Satu Lagi, who is likely to start next in the three-year-old 1400m race at Trentham on Sunday, impressed when scoring with authority at today’s Hastings jumpouts.

   There were five heats run up against the inside rail on the course proper, which provided dead footing after light overnight rain.

   Satu Lagi contested one of the 1000m heats where he was opposed by two others, the one race winner Devi and the lightly raced maiden Foggy Lyttle.

   Experienced jockey Leah Hemi was aboard Satu Lagi and got the Per Incanto gelding to settle perfectly back last of the trio until the home turn before angling the horse out to about 10 metres off the rail and asking him to extend.

   Satu Lagi quickly raced past the other two and went on to score by 1-1/4 lengths in a time of 1:01.3 and was doing his work easily at the finish.

   Trainer Patrick Campbell decided against running Satu Lagi against a strong field in last Saturday’s Cambridge Breeders Stakes at Te Rapa and will instead target the $25,000 set weights and penalties race at Trentham. The horse is likely to get topweight so apprentice Danielle Hirini will take the mount and claim a 1kg allowance.

  Foggy Lyttle finished second in the heat, 3-1/2 lengths clear of Devi, and is also likely to start next at Trentham on Sunday. He is also a three-year-old gelding by Per Incanto and has had three starts from the Lowry/Cullen stable for a second and a third.

   Veuve Clicquot, a Rock ‘N’ Pop four-year-old now trained by Lee Somervell, and Overstayer were both good winners of the two 750m heats. Overstayer is a big Zed four-year-old gelding in the Thompson/Brown stable and was having his first jumpout.



Heat 1, 750m: Overstayer (S Thompson) 1, Jakkalberry 2yr-old filly 2, Mistletoe 3. Five starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, 3-1/2 lengths. Time: 45.9s. Winner trained by Sue Thompson and Mick Brown.

Heat 2, 750m: Veuve Clicquot (L Hemi) 1, Power 4yr-old gelding 2, Ocean Park 2yr-old gelding 3. Five starters. Margins: ½ length, 2-3/4 lengths. Time: 45.1s. Winner trained by Lee Somervell, Hastings.

Heat 3, 1000m: Satu Lagi (L Hemi) 1, Foggy Lyttle 2, Devi 3. Three starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, 3-1/2 lengths. Time: 1:01.3. Winner trained by Patrick Campbell, Hastings.

Heat 4, 1000m: Talenti (L Hemi) 1, Crumpet 2, Valerius 3. Four starters. Margins: 1-3/4 lengths, neck. Time: 1:02.1. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 5, 1400m: Call Me Jack (Z Thomson) 1, Zed 4yr-old gelding 2, Donardo 3. Six starters. Margins: 1 length, neck. Time: 1:28.3. Winner trained by Tim Symes, Hastings.

Hastings apprentice to have stint in Australia 26 Apr 2019

Promising Hastings apprentice Hunter Durrant left for Melbourne on Tuesday where he will be on loan to Victoria trainer Patrick Payne for eight weeks.

   Durrant, 18, is apprenticed to the partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and could also have a stint with Wanganui trainer Kevin Myers when he returns to New Zealand.

   “We have sent him over the Patrick Payne’s to further his experience. He is a good rider with a good work ethic and will benefit a lot from the experience,” Guy Lowry said.

   Durrant only started race-riding last year and has had one win from 60 rides. That was aboard Royal Ruby in a Rating 72 race over 1600m at Hastings on New Year’s Day when he led all the way and judged the pace of the race to a nicety. That success followed several minor placings for the young rider.

   Durrant is not from a racing family but was always keen on horses and started riding when he was five. He had a grounding in show jumping before signing up as a probationary apprentice two years ago with Lowry and Cullen.


Somervell banking on a gear change

   Hastings trainer Lee Somervell is hoping a gear change can bring about a change of luck for his consistent performer One Prize One Goal on his home track tomorrow.

   The Ekraar five-year-old will contest the $25,000 Rating 72 race over 1400m at the Hawke’s Bay meeting and will have the blinkers removed after wearing them in each of his last eight starts.

   “I’m going to take the blinkers off and hopefully it will help him see the winning post a bit better,” Somervell joked after watching the horse turn in a strong gallop at the Hastings track on Tuesday.

   One Prize One Goal worked with the open sprinter Scandalo over 1000m at Tuesday’s Hastings trackwork session, clocking 1:3.5 for the full distance and the last 600 in an excellent 35.7.

   “He worked well without the blinkers on so I don’t think he needs them on Saturday,” Somervell added.

   One Prize One Goal has had 33 starts for three wins, seven seconds, seven thirds and two fourths and chased home the impressive winner Satu Lagi when second in a Rating 72 race over 1300m at Hastings last start.

   His last success was in a Rating 65 race over 1200m at this same Hawke’s Bay meeting last year, where he overcame interference in the running to score by 2-3/4 lengths.

   Somervell has engaged talented apprentice Holly Andrew for One Prize One Goal in what is the last race at tomorrow’s Hawke’s Bay meeting and she will claim a 2kg allowance. Unfortunately the horse has the extreme outside barrier draw to overcome.


Felaar to campaign in Melbourne

   Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh has confirmed a hit and run mission to Melbourne for this year’s Hawke’s Bay Cup winner Felaar.

   The progressive Ekraar five-year-old has thrived since his Hastings victory with Marsh set to test him in Melbourne with a view to possible future assignments across the Tasman in his next campaign.

   “He hasn’t put a foot wrong since his win and has thrived.” Marsh said.

   “He will head over to Melbourne next for a handicap event over 2600m at Flemington on May 4.

   “If he goes well there, then he will contest the Listed Andrew Ramsden (2800m) three weeks later.”

   Restricted to three, four and five-year-olds, the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) is shaping up as an important race for Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) aspirants as it now carries an automatic ballot exemption into the famous Flemington two-miler on the first Tuesday in November.

   Marsh is keen to take the opportunity to assess Felaar against Australian opposition as he looks towards next season.

   “I’m just not sure what he will come up against in Melbourne at this time of the year, but it does represent an excellent chance to gauge where he is at in relation to them,” he said.

   “We know that he has the makings of being a top stayer once he puts it all together so once we see how he goes, we can start to put a programme together for him for next season.”


Five To Midnight now in Australia

   Five To Midnight, winner of the Hawke’s Bay Cup three years ago, has been transferred from the Awapuni stable of Lisa Latta to Patrick Payne in Victoria and will do his future racing in Australia.

   Raced by Kamada Racing principal, Kevin Pratt, Five To Midnight finished runner-up in last month’s Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) in his last run for Latta, a position he also filled in last year’s edition of the event.

   The consistent six-year-old won nine races from 43 starts in New Zealand including the Group 3 Waikato Gold Cup (2400m), the Listed Hawke’s Bay Gold Cup (2200m) and Listed Feilding Gold Cup (2100m).


Dundeel stud fee $A66,000

   Emerging Arrowfield Stud stallion Dundeel, who sired his third individual Group 1 winner at the weekend courtesy of Castelvecchio’s stunning Champagne Stakes (1600m) victory, has had his fee increased markedly to $A66,000 (inc GST) for the 2019 breeding season.

   The son of High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells) has enjoyed a breakthrough year on the track, with Castelvecchio joined by dual Group 1-winning juvenile Yourdeel and Cape Derby (2000m) hero Atyaab as elite-level winners for the stallion, who will be entering his sixth season at stud.

   Five-time Group 1 winner The Autumn Sun (Redoute’s Choice), who will stand for an introductory fee of $A77,000 (inc GST), spearheads a trio of new additions to the Arrowfield roster this year, with Japanese stallion Real Steel (Deep Impact) - a descendant of champion racemare Miesque (Nureyev) - and Showtime - a dual Group 2-winning son of Snitzel - set to stand their debut seasons at $A16,500 (inc GST) and $A11,000 (inc GST) respectively.


Johnson to return next season

   Jockey Danielle Johnson is enjoying life away from race-riding  but is keen to get back into action next season.

   Johnson has been on the sidelines since mid-November when she sustained three fractures to her collar bone in a race fall at Ruakaka.

   “I’ve been back riding trackwork for the last couple of weeks and I had four trial rides last Monday, but I won’t be back race riding until next season,” Johnson said.

   “I still have a plate and six screws in my collar bone and they’re coming out on July 23.

   “I couldn’t move my collar bone at all for a long time and it’s still a bit weak so it’s going to take a while to get my full strength back.”

   Despite her five-month layoff, Johnson has maintained her base fitness and kept her weight under control by going to the gym and keeping active.

   The 28-year-old said her time out of the saddle has been bittersweet.

   “I’ve been a jockey since I was 16-years-old and this is the longest time I’ve had off,” she said.

   “I usually take a break over the winter, so it’s been nice having time off in the summer. But riding over the Christmas and New Year carnival is what we strive for as jockeys and watching the horses that I would usually ride win was tough.”

   However, the break did give Johnson an opportunity to view racing from the other side of the racecourse. 

   “I have a new appreciation for all the work that goes on behind the scenes in a racing stable,” she said. 

   “There’s so much that the trainers and the staff do that jockeys probably don’t always appreciate.”

   Johnson also experienced the other side of the winners’ circle when Balios, a horse she co-owns with Sir Peter Vela, was successful at Ellerslie in December.

   “That was an amazing experience and it was excitement that I haven’t felt before, it’s very different to winning a race when you’re riding the horse,” she said.

   However, nothing beats riding winners for Johnson who is looking forward to returning to the saddle. 

   “My goal is just to ride more winners and big race winners,” she said.

   “I’m really looking forward to getting back in the saddle. I loved riding at the trials the other day.”


Rock On enters Aussie stable

   Six-year-old stayer Rock On has arrived in Victoria and has joined the stable of Peter Gelagotis at his Moe base.

   The last start winner of the Te Aroha Cup (2200m) has been sent over by his New Zealand trainer Gary Vile, who also shares in the ownership.

   “I just thought Melbourne would suit him quite well and there are two or three races there for him,” Vile said.

   “I will just leave it up to Peter and let him get a feel for the horse over the next couple of days.

   “He is ready to go. He has come through his win at Te Aroha very well and I am pretty happy with him, so I thought you might as well have a go.”

   Vile said Rock On, the winner of seven races, was on a mission to bank some more prizemoney whilst also being able to race on superior racetracks over the coming months.

   “Our weather cracks up a little bit quicker than what it does over there and when you can race for $A130,000 on a Saturday, it’s a lot of money to us,” Vile said.


   A strong workout by Scandalo and One Prize One Goal was one of the highlights at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided good footing after 10 millimetres of rain since Monday morning. A penetrometer reading was taken on the course proper during the session and came up as a dead-6.

   One Prize One Goal started behind Scandalo when they left the 1000m peg but the two horses were together at the finish with One Prize One Goal timed to run his 1000m in 1:3.5, the last 600 in 35.7.

   It appeared to be good work by both horses, especially One Prize One Goal who is entered for the Rating 72 race over 1400m at Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting. He deserves to pick up a win after three seconds and a third from his last four starts.

   Scandalo contests the $35,000 Open sprint over 1400m at Hastings on Saturday with apprentice Danielle Hirini booked to ride him. He suffered a nasty gash to the top of his nearside foreleg when he hit the side of the birdcage gate at Awapuni on March 30 but the wound has healed up well.

   Satu Lagi and Stradivarius were two others who clocked a quick time this morning. They worked in from the 1000m peg together and were timed to run home the last 800 in 52, the final 600 in 36.6.

   Satu Lagi was an impressive last start winner at Hastings on April 13 and will head to Te Rapa this Saturday while Stradivarius will line up at Hastings.

   A Jimmy Choux three-year-old gelding trained by James Bridge ran a quick solo 1000m, the last 800 in 48.8 and final 600 in 35.2. He has won two barrier trials and shows good promise.

   Estefania finished clear of Polizzi at the end of their 1000m gallop but the latter is thought to have choked down over the final stages of the workout. Estefania clocked 1:4.8 for the full distance, the last 600 in 36.6 and looks to be coming up well in a fresh campaign.

   Yossarian, entered for the Rating 65 race over 1400m at Awapuni on Thursday, was keen to go faster when running a solo 600m in 37.5. He needed the run when resuming from a spell at the Hawke’s Bay meeting on April 13.

   Hunta Pence, who contests the Anzac Metric Mile at Awapuni on Thursday, was kept to just two rounds of pacework this morning. He dead-heated for fourth in the Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m) last start and trainer Patrick Campbell is now of the belief that the horse doesn’t quite see out a strong 2200m.

   Chalk worked with Surpriseus over 800m in 52.3, the last 600 in 38.1 while Foggy Lyttle ended his work with an easy 600m in 41.8.

   A Niagara-La Tourneau three-year-old gelding from the Lowry/Cullen stable ran an easy 800m in 54.9, the last 600 in 40.1.

Another big week enjoyed by HB owners and trainers 18 Apr 2019

   Hawke’s Bay owned and trained horses have enjoyed another successful run with five winners and a Listed stakes placegetter in the space of two race days.

   Hastings couple Mick and Sue Thompson chalked up their first winning double when Rekohu Diva and Le Cailloux were victorious at Otaki on Wednesday of last week.

   At the same meeting Hawke’s Bay-owned Myrtle resumed from a spell with a game win while two Hastings-trained horses, Satu Lagi and Glimpse, were successful at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay premier meeting.

   The Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen also picked up a second with Mohaka in the Listed $50,000 Warstep Stakes (2000m) at Riccarton last Saturday.

    Mick and Sue Thompson definitely had a day to remember at Otaki on April 10. The couple took just the two horses to the meeting and won race four with Rekohu Diva and the final event with Le Cailloux. Both horses were overlooked by punters, with Rekohu Diva returning a win dividend of $12.30 while Le Cailloux was at odds of 40 to one.

   It was a welcome change of fortune for the Thompson/Brown stable, being their first wins since the start of the season last August. The couple only have six horses in work but also have five unraced youngsters coming on.

   They have recorded 26 wins since embarking in a training partnership in the 2009-10 season, with their best season being in 2014-15 when they produced six winners and picked up second placings with Designated Driver in both the Group 1 Telegraph Sprint (1200m) and Listed Levin Stakes (1200m) at Trentham.

   “It hasn’t been a good season so far but hopefully this is the start of better things,” Sue Thompson said.

   “Rekohu Diva had been knocking on the door with two fourths from her last three starts and Le Cailloux had the blinkers on for the first time and had been working the house down in trackwork with blinkers on.”

   Rekohu Diva began well in last week’s 1200m event and jockey Johnathan Parkes quickly had her positioned up outside the leader. The mare looked to be travelling easily when she took a slender lead coming to the home turn and kept finding in the run to the line to win by three-quarters of a length from the fast finishing Booty Lara, with Enduring Love a further two lengths back in third.

   Rekohu Diva was bred by Hawke’s Bay’s Sarah Gregory-Hunt, who races the mare in partnership with her mother Diana Clough. Both women were on course to help celebrate the win.

   Le Cailloux now looks a bargain buy for her American-based owners Butch and Lu Thomas after her decisive 3-1/4 length win in a maiden 2200m event.

   The Thomas’s reside in California but also spend several months of the year in New Zealand. They bought Le Cailloux for $1000 off the thoroughbred auction site Gavelhouse and the mare’s win last week followed a last start fifth over 2100m at Waipukurau.

   Le Cailloux’s win was mainly due to a rail hugging ride from experienced jockey Chris Johnson. The horse wanted to over-race in the early stages but Johnson was able to restrain him back to fourth last and bided his time.

   As the field rolled away from the inside coming to the home turn Johnson was able to secure a perfect rails run to have Le Cailloux in a challenging position in a matter of strides and the horse maintained a strong run to the line.

   Le Cailloux is by Cape Blanco out of the Zabeel mare Lithe, who was the winner of three races from 1400m to 2200m in Australia and was also placed at Randwick and Eagle Farm.


First winner for HB-based stallion

   Little known Hawke’s Bay-based thoroughbred stallion Playmaker was represented with his first winner when Rekohu Diva scored a three-quarter length victory over 1200m at Otaki last week.

   Rekohu Diva is owned by her breeder Sarah Gregory-Hunt who races the five-year-old mare in partnership with her mother Diana Clough.

   Gregory-Hunt stands Playmaker, a son of highly successful sire Pins, at her Rekohu Equestrian facility on the outskirts of Napier. The 12-year-old was unraced after being injured in a paddock accident and commenced stud duties in 2009.

   He has covered a very limited number of mares and has only had two race starters to date, the other being Mystic Bay who has been unplaced in three starts.

   “There hasn’t been much interest in him but there are some other progeny by him coming along,” Gregory-Hunt said.

   “I have a three-year-old filly and a yearling gelding out of Rekohu Delight, who is a Colombia mare. And there are another couple of young horses owned locally by him.”

   Besides being a son of multiple Group 1 winning sire Pins, Playmaker also boasts good bloodlines on his maternal side. He is out of the O’Reilly mare My Irish Rose, who won two races and has also left the nine race winner Tristan’s Choice.

   Playmaker’s second dam is Sounds Exciting, a daughter of Sound Reason who was a winner at 1200m and was a full-sister to the Auckland Cup winner Senator.

   Playmaker, who stands at a fee of just $1500 plus GST, served only two mares last season and both are in foal.


Game fresh up win by Myrtle

   Hawke’s Bay-owned Myrtle brought up her third win from 13 starts when she got a nose decision over Lodi in a Rating 65 race over 1400m at Otaki last week.

   The Keeper mare, prepared at Awapuni by David Goldsbury, was having her first start since finishing last of 12 runners over 1200m at Hastings in October last year but showed she was ready for a big fresh up performance by winning an open 1000m trial at Foxton at the end of last month.

   Jockey Johnathan Parkes bounced Myrtle out quickly from the barrier to be vying for the lead at the end of the first 200m but then took a hold and settled the mare back fifth on the rails. He got her off the fence coming to the home turn and she dashed through a gap at the top of the home straight to hit the lead.

   Race favourite Lodi went with Myrtle and the two horses had a head to head tussle over the final stages, with the latter just managing to get her nose in front on the line.

   It was Myrtle’s first win since she took out a Rating 65 race over 1400m at Woodville in May of last year while her debut win was recorded over 1200m at Awapuni in April 2017.

   “She has had some niggling problems that have held her up,” said Napier’s Tony Aldridge, who bred and owns the mare in partnership with Hastings-based Gerard Moughan.

   “She had bruised feet for sometime and then she struck herself when she raced  on the last day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, which put her out for some time.”

   Aldridge and Moughan are members of a big syndicate that races Myrtle with Moughan’s wife Vera and Aldridge’s Wellington-based brother Pat also among the members. The others are Ken Lynch and Morrie Belle from Napier, Alan Hunt, Bevan Bramley and Alistair Poulgrain from Hastings, Terry Coffey and John and Stephen Dine from Taradale and Peter Wilkins from Havelock North.


Satu Lagi dominated rivals

   It might have been only a Rating 72 race but Satu Lagi’s victory over 1300m at Hastings last Saturday was undoubtedly one of the most impressive performances on the day.

   The three-year-old Per Incanto gelding scored by 3-1/4 lengths and it could have been more had apprentice jockey Danielle Hirini really asked him to extend in the final stages. He sat outside the leader Barcelo until the home turn before cruising to the front and then showed a tremendous turn of foot to quickly race clear of the opposition.

   That was Satu Lagi’s third success and he has not finished further back than sixth in seven starts. He is owned by his trainer Patrick Campbell, who bred the horse out of the Danasinga mare La Singa.

   Campbell said Satu Lagi will probably now be stepped up to 1400m at the Hawke’s Bay meeting on April 27.


A glimpse of her true ability

   Hastings-trained Glimpse returned to her best form with a gusty win in a Rating 65 race over 1600m at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   The Rip Van Winkle mare, prepared by John Bary, won two races in the space of three starts last year but her form then dropped away. She was then given a spell and resumed with a sixth over 1400m at Woodville last month as a lead up to last Saturday.

   In-form jockey Johnathan Parkes produced a perfect ride on Glimpse, settling the horse in second place behind stablemate The Cossack to the home turn before taking the lead.

   Glimpse was headed soon after by Harbourside and looked likely to only finish second but Parkes managed to extract a bit more out of the mare and she fought back to put her nose in front right on the line.

   Glimpse races in the colours of prominent Hunterville owner-breeder Christopher Grace and is out of the Kingdom Bay mare Taitanium, who was the winner of five faces and was stakes placed.


Owners & Breeders Function

   The Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners & Breeders Associations will stage their annual race day function at the Hastings racecourse on Saturday, April 27.

   This will be the day of the Hawke’s Bay Racing’s feature race meeting and the function will be held in the Karamu/Estella Lounge, situated in the top floor of the Members Stand.

   The room will be available from 11.30am and there will be a $10 surcharge for financial members and partners with a luncheon served at approximately 1pm. There will be a charge of $35/head for the meal for additional guests.

   For catering purposes members are asked to RSVP by April 20 with their numbers to either Tony Lyndon (06 8768250) or Sharyn Craig (0274 999084).



   Open class sprinter Scandalo scored a good win in a 750m jumpout at Hastings today, showing he is back on track after suffering an injury in a freak accident at the Awapuni racecourse on March 30.

   There were seven jumpouts held up against the running rail on the course proper, where the ground was dead.

   Scandalo contested the second of two 750m heats and, although the opposition was made up of mainly maidens, he still looked good when winning by a length in a time of 43.4s.

   The six-year-old Shocking gelding, winner of seven races from 29 starts, suffered a severe gash to his nearside foreleg when he crashed into the side of the Awapuni birdcage gate as he was going out on to the course proper to do his preliminary for the Listed Flying Handicap.

   Trainer Patrick Campbell said the horse bounded forward as he was released off the lead and caught the top of his leg on a bolt that was sticking out of the gate post. The horse was bleeding profusely from the wound as was declared a late scratching.

   Campbell said the injury didn’t require stitches but Scandalo was treated with antibiotics and had a gaping wound and a swollen leg for several days after.

   Campbell was able to give Scandalo a bit of light work six days after the incident and today was his first real serious hit out since. Providing the horse continues to progress he could now contest the $35,000 Open Sprint over 1400m at Hastings on April 27.

   Other good winners at today’s jumpouts were the last start winner Charlie Zulu, the race fit Pep Torque and the promising Polizzi.

   Charlie Zulu clocked the quickest time of the four 1000m heats when recording 59.1 and won by three-quarters of a length. The Zed four-year-old was a game maiden winner over 1200m at Waipukurau at the end of last month and has obviously trained on well since.

   Pep Torque also won a 1000m heat today and, although the winning margin was close, the four race winner looked to be doing it easily at the finish.

   Polizzi indicated a maiden win may not be far away by winning her 1000m heat by three-quarters of a length in a time of 60.1. The Niagara mare, trained by Kate Hercock, recorded a second and a fifth from four starts earlier this season.




Heat 1, 750m: Calsign Mav (Z Thomson) 1, El Roca 2yr-old gelding 2, Eisenhower 3. Four starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, 6 lengths. Time: 44.3. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 2, 750m: Scandalo (K Hercock) 1, Surpriseus 2, Cinzento 3. Four starters. Margins: 1 length, ½ length. Time: 43.4. Winner trained by Patrick Campbell, Hastings.

Heat 3, 1000m: Chalk (K Hercock) 1, Chouxmaka 2, Showcasing 3yr-old gelding 3. Five starters. Margins: ½ length, 3 lengths. Time: 59.9. Winner trained by Richard McKenzie, Hastings.

Heat 4, 1000m: Pep Torque (L Hemi) 1, Louboutin 2, Band 3. Five starters. Margins: ½ head, ½ neck. Time: 60.2. Winner trained by Kirsty Lawrence, Waipukurau.

Heat 5, 1000m: Polizzi (L Hemi) 1, Rip ‘N’ Roll 2, Showcasing-Zaballet 2yr-old filly 3. Five starters. Margins: ¾ length, head. Time: 60.1. Winner trained by Kate Hercock, Hastings.

Heat 6, 1000m: Charlie Zulu (H Durrant) 1, Talenti 2, Smokin’ Oak 3. Six starters. Margins: ¾ length, head. Time: 59.1. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 7, 1400m: Zardetto (D Turner) 1, Galapagos 2, No Tip 3. Six starters. Margins: 1-3/4 lengths, ¾ length. Time: 1:27.4. Winner trained by Paul Nelson, Hastings.




   Hunta Pence rounded off his preparation for Saturday’s Listed $75,000 Royston Hospital Hawke’s Bay Cup with another keen workout 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 and came up at a dead-5.

   Hunta Pence was only meant to do three-quarter pace from the 1000m peg but was very keen, running the distance in 1:3.4 and the last 600 in 36.7. It was a bit faster than trainer Patrick Campbell wanted but showed the No Excuse Needed six-year-old has obviously trained on very well since his seventh placing in the Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) two weeks ago. Apprentice Danielle Hirini has been booked to ride him on Saturday.

   His stablemate Satu Lagi also turned in another good gallop this morning when sprinting a solo 600m in 37.8. He lines up in the Rating 72 1300 at Hastings on Saturday with Danielle Hirini also booked to ride him.

   One Prize One Goal, another entered for the Rating 72 1300, was only let sprint up the straight in his workout, clocking 26.4 for the last 400m. In-form apprentice Taiki Yanagida rides him on Saturday.

   Talenti and a Bullbars four-year-old mare, both in the Lowry/Cullen stable, worked together over 800m in 52.7, the last 600 in 38.4 while Shez Ekstra was restricted to three-quarter pace, clocking 42.8 for the last 600.

   Chalk finished clear of Surpriseus at the end of 800m in 53.8, the last 600 in 38.9 while Valerius and a Showcasing three-year-old gelding clocked exactly the same time for their 800m workout.

   Polizzi had trainer Kate Hercock aboard when running 800m in 53.8, the last 600 in 38.5.


Charlie Zulu produces big fresh up performance 10 Apr 2019

A large group of Hawke’s Bay people were rejoicing after Charlie Zulu’s win in a $10,000 Maiden 1200m race at Waipukurau on Thursday of last week.

   The four-year-old Zed gelding hails from the Hastings stables of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen but, more importantly, he is raced by a syndicate of 18 people with the majority of them Hawke’s Bay-based and at least two-thirds first time racehorse owners.

   Charlie Zulu was having his sixth start when he lined up at Waipukurau, but his first from the Lowry/Cullen stable. He was formerly prepared by the Cambridge partnership of Roger James and Robert Wellwood and finished a good third on debut over 1300m at Tauranga in January last year. His form then dropped away and it was decided the horse needed a change of environment to hopefully rejuvenate his form.

   He was transferred to the Lowry/Cullen stable just before Christmas and they immediately sent him out to Mary Darby’s property at Porangahau, where she has built the horse up with plenty of hill work and the occasional trip to the beach. He showed a glimpse of his ability when finishing a close second in a 750m jumpout at Hastings on March 28.

   Jockey Johnathan Parkes was seen at his vigorous best when getting Charlie Zulu home for a neck win at Waipukurau. The horse was in front but looked to be in danger of defeat when under siege from several challengers inside the last 200m. The jockey never missed a beat over the final stages and the horse responded, sticking his neck out on the line.

   “There is no doubt that Johnathan Parkes won the race for us,” co-trainer Guy Lowry said.

   “It was the horse’s first start for a long time and he was gone at the 200 but Parksy managed to get him to find a bit more.

   “The horse was blowing a fair bit after the race and will take a while to get over it but he won for his connections and that’s what you want.”

   Waipukurau’s Chris Walker manages the Charlie Zulu Syndicate that races the horse, with the other members being his wife Rae, Alison Baldwin, Paul Beachen, Emmett Hills, Brian Doyle, Colin and Jenny Shaw, Craig Preston, Roger Chrystall, Phil King, John Corbett, Angus Walker, Hadleigh Walker, Marcus Peacock, Pieter Zwart and Keith and Aine Rice.

   Apart from the Rices, who live in Brisbane, the other syndicate members either live in Hawke’s Bay or were originally from here.

   Charlie Zulu was bred by the Walkers, the Rices, Alison Baldwin and Paul Beachen under their banner of Boomchuckalucka Syndicate.

   He is out of the Catbird mare Boomchuckalucka, who recorded a win and three minor placings from only eight starts when trained by Roger James. She is now deceased and Charlie Zulu was her first foal.

   Her second foal is the three-year-old filly Thunder Bay, who was runner up behind the star filly Avantage twice as a two-year-old last season and bolted by 3 lengths in a 1400m maiden race at Ashburton on March 14. The Boomchuckalucka Syndicate has retained a 10 per cent racing share in that filly and she is now entered for tomorrow’s Listed $50,000 NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton.

   The third foal out of the mare, a full-brother to Thunder Bay, was sold as a young horse to Riccarton trainer Michael Pitman. He has now been named Chuck A Luck and is in work with Michael and Matthew Pitman at Riccarton.

   The last foal produced by Boomchuckalucka is a yearling filly by Contributor, who is likely to be retained by her owner-breeders.


The Bandito takes out feature sprint

   Hastings-trained The Bandito has gone out for a spell on the back of a stakes race win after his all the way victory in last Saturday’s Listed $50,000 Bramco Granite & Marble Flying Handicap (1400m) at Awapuni.

   The seven-year-old Pins gelding, prepared by John Bary, went into the race as a three race winner on a Rating of only 76 points and dented the reputations of some well performed open sprinters.

   Jockey Samantha Collett bounced the horse out brilliantly from the outside barrier and quickly crossed the field to take a clear lead at the end of the first 200m. The other jockeys allowed her to dictate terms in front and, after skipping clear rounding the home bend, The Bandito had enough in reserve to cling on for a short head win over Beefeater, with Magnum half a head back in third.

   “He was defiant wasn’t he,” John Bary said.

   “He gets in that mood and you have to ride him that way.

   “It was a 12 out of 10 ride by Sam Collett as she didn’t hustle him, just let him slide to the front and dictate terms with the light weight.”

   Bary said the horse has had a busy season, with seven starts since December 1 reaping two wins, a second and a third, and he will now be turned out for a winter spell.

   The Bandito is out of the Quest For Fame mare Reputedly and was bought by Bary for $50,000 from the premier session of the 2013 Karaka yearling sales.

   The plan was to re-sell the horse at the two-year-old Ready-To-Run sale 10 months later but when that didn’t eventuate Bary was able to sell him to Australian Heath Newton, who lives in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.

   Newton also shares in the ownership of the Bary-trained Hugo The Boss, another last start sprint winner and a likely starter in the Listed $50,000 NZB Finance Sprint (1200m) at Hastings tomorrow week.

   Last Saturday’s victory by The Bandito continued the fantastic run of former Waikato Stud sire Pins, who passed away last year. He became the sire’s ninth individual stakes winner this season.


Gold Mag back in winning form   

   Gold Mag, part-owned by Hawke’s Bay’s Peter Grieve, showed he is in for another good campaign with an impressive win over 1600m on a heavy track at Warwick Farm in Sydney on Wednesday of last week.

   The Savabeel four-year-old, ridden by Hugh Bowman, settled back seventh in the 10 horse field early before improving his position coming to the home turn. Once in the straight Gold Mag showed great acceleration in the conditions to race away and score by 1-1/2 lengths.

   It was the horse’s third dominant win from only seven starts. He scored by 4-3/4 lengths on debut over 1100m on a heavy track at Bendigo in June of last year and followed that up a month later with a 5 length winning margin over 1200m on a soft track at Sandown. He then finished second at his third start, over 1200m at Flemington, before being put aside for a spell.

   Gold Mag is trained by David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig and is owned by Grieve in partnership with his close friend Barry Thomas, who lives in Christchurch. The pair raced the horse’s dam Chapinta, who was the winner of six races including an open class event over 2200m at Ellerslie.


Scandalo suffers leg injury

   Talented Hastings-trained sprinter Scandalo is likely to be out of action for at least three weeks after he was injured in a freak accident at last Saturday’s Manawatu meeting at Awapuni.

   The six-year-old Shocking gelding, winner of seven races from 29 starts, sustained a severe gash to his nearside foreleg when he crashed into the side of the birdcage gate as he was going out on to the course proper to do his preliminary for the Listed Flying Handicap.

   Trainer Patrick Campbell, who also owns the horse, said he bounded forward as he was released off the lead and caught the top of his leg on a bolt that was sticking out of the gate post.

   Scandalo continued to the start of the 1400m event but was bleeding profusely when he got there and, after a veterinary inspection, he was declared a late scratching.

   Campbell said the injury didn’t require stitches but Scandalo was treated with antibiotics and he still had a gaping wound and a swollen leg four days after the incident.

   Scandalo’s injury was the second devastating blow for Campbell last Saturday as a promising Reliable Man youngster he had in his stable broke its shoulder when working on the Hastings track that morning and had to be euthanized.

   Campbell also lost the services of the well performed mare Lady Guinness a couple of months ago with the horse being retired after suffering what is thought to be a spider bite.

   The mare’s leg became badly infected and Campbell said it has still not completely healed.

   Lady Guinness, a five-year-old by Falkirk, was raced on lease from Windsor Park Stud and was the winner of five races from 23 starts.


Cup shaping as one of the best   

   This year’s Listed $75,000 Royston Hospital Hawke’s Bay Cup, which will be run at Hastings tomorrow week, looks likely to attract one of the best fields seen in many years.

   Last Saturday’s Awapuni Gold Cup winner Jacksstar and last Thursday’s Waipukurau Cup winner Toms are the latest two horses to be confirmed for the prestigious 2200m event and are likely to be joined by the likes of Igraine, Felaar, Mental Telepathy, Saint Emilion, Hunta Pence and Real Beach.

Dead-heat a first for Hastings owner-trainer 10 Apr 2019

Hastings-trainer Paul Nelson has achieved some amazing things as an owner and trainer of thoroughbreds but he brought up a first when No Change dead-heated for a win in a jumpers’ highweight at Wanganui on Thursday of last week.

   “That’s a first for us,” Nelson said. “We’ve never had a dead-heat before.”

    Nelson and his wife Carol have owned and trained horses since the mid 1970’s and Nelson has lined up 1885 runners for 210 wins since then. To not having had a dead-heat decision in that time is quite remarkable.

   “Nowadays you don’t get many dead-heats,” Nelson said. “Not like in the old days.”

   That is because the photo-finish technology of today can define it down to a mere pixsel when determining a margin between one horse and another.

   But there wasn’t even a pixsel separating No Change and Class Above at the finish of the 2050m jumpers’ highweight at Wanganui last Thursday.

   The two horses set down to do battle all the way up the home straight and, just when Class Above looked likely to gain the upper hand, No Change came again on the line to share the honours.

   Nelson was proud of No Change’s performance, given that he was conceding Class Above 6kg in the weights.

   “It was a pretty good effort given the weight difference,” Nelson said.

   The first two horses had the finish to themselves, with 2-1/4 lengths back to third placed Suffice To Say.

   That was No Change’s first race since he finished third in a 3100m hurdle race at Te Aroha in September last year but Nelson had been able to get him ready to win first up with weeks of strong work over the hills at his Air Hill Station property and a couple of jumpouts.

   Nelson said he is unsure where No Change will race next as he has to be mindful about how much weight the gelding will get in coming assignments.

   “He’ll go to the point-to-point at Waverley on April 23 and then might have another flat race before the Waikato Hurdles,” Nelson said.

   “The Waikato Hurdles has to be the next jumping race for him because he’ll now be hammered with weight in other hurdle races.”

   The $50,000 Waikato Hurdles (3200m) will be run at Te Rapa on May 18 and is a race Nelson won last year with The Shackler.

   Nelson also has his other well performed jumpers Perry Mason, The Shackler and King’s Deep gearing up for winter racing as well as two other novice jumpers in Revolution and No Tip.

   “Perry Mason will have a run at Rotorua this Friday on the flat, in a Rating 65 and jumpers race over 1950m, and will also probably have his first jumping race for the year at Waikato,” Nelson said.

   He added that The Shackler suffered another tendon injury when contesting the Sydenham Hurdles at Riccarton in August last year but has since been treated and has spent the last two months on a water-walker.

   Nelson said his star jumper Amanood Lad has been retired. The Germano 14-year-old won the Koral Steeplechase (4250m) at Riccarton at the beginning of this season but then finished only sixth of nine in the Grand National Steeplechase (5600m) a week later.

   Amanood Lad recorded 10 wins, 10 seconds and nine thirds from 72 starts, with his other major wins including a Great Northern Steeplechase, Wellington Steeplechase, McGregor Grant Steeples (twice) and the Pakuranga Hunt Cup.


Atlanta Peach to back up tomorrow

   A change of plans will see last Saturday’s impressive Riccarton winner Atlanta Peach line up in tomorrow’s Group 3 $100,000 Coca-Cola Canterbury Gold Cup on the same track.

   Hastings-based Guy Lowry, who trains the Bullbars mare in partnership with Grant Cullen, had indicated she would return home and be aimed at the Group 2 $100,000 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on April 27.

  “We’ve had think about that since the weekend and this Saturday’s race at Riccarton might suit better,” Lowry said.

   “She’s down there so it means she won’t have to travel any distance for her next race and if she can pick up some black type there it will add to her future value as a broodmare.”

  Atlanta Peach demolished a Rating 72 field over 1800m at Riccarton last Saturday, cruising up to the leaders on the home turn before racing away in the final stages to win by 5 lengths. And she was being eased down at the finish by jockey Terry Moseley.

   The Bullbars mare relished the heavy track conditions and Lowry said she would need another wet track this Saturday to be competitive under the weight-for-age conditions of the Canterbury Gold Cup.

   “The forecast is for some more rain down there later in the week and that will definitely help her,” he added.    

   Atlanta Peach is one of two horses the Lowry/Cullen stable sent south for the Canterbury autumn meeting,  the other being Mohaka who recorded a creditable seventh in last Saturday’s Listed Airfreight Stakes (1600m).

    Mohaka’s main assignment is tomorrow’s Listed $50,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes (2000m) and Lowry said blinkers will be added to her gear for that race.

    Experienced South Island jockey Jason Laking has been booked to ride both horses tomorrow.

   Atlanta Peach was recording her third win and has never finished further back than fifth in seven starts for her Cambridge owner Tony Rider, a loyal client of the Lowry/Cullen stable. Her three victories have all been on heavy or slow tracks.

   Mohaka’s seventh last Saturday followed an impressive fresh up maiden win over 1200m at Otaki a month ago and she was stakes placed earlier this season, with third placings in both the Listed Wanganui Guineas (1340m) and Listed Zacinto Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton.


Demise of Monarch Chimes

   Last year’s Te Whangai Romneys Hawke’s Bay Hurdle winner Monarch Chimes had to be euthanized after breaking down on the flat in a 2800m steeplechase trial at Cranbourne, in Victoria, last Friday.

   Monarch Chimes was trained by the Cambridge husband and wife team of David and Emma-Lee Browne, who have been left ‘devastated” by the accident.

   “The track was perfect and he was the soundest horse we have ever worked with, it was just an unfortunate accident,” the Brownes posted on social media.

   “Thoughts are with everyone who has been involved with him over the years and of course his owners, who loved him dearly,”

   Monarch Chimes was a last start third in a Rating 72 flat race over 2200m at Rotorua on March 20 and left for Australia soon after that. He had a record of eight wins, six seconds and 11 thirds from 38 starts with his other victories including the $50,000 Harrison Lane Hurdle at Ellerslie and a 3200m steeplechase at Pakenham last winter. He also won a 2400m race on the flat at Sandown last winter and was placed in the Brierly Steeplechase (3450m) at Warrnambool, Crisp Steeplechase (3900m) at Sandown and Grand National Steeplechase (4500m) at Ballarat.

   Monarch Chimes was a dominant 1-1/2 length winner of the Hawke’s Bay Hurdle (3100m) in June last year, with the Hastings-trained No Change second and 5 lengths clear of third placed It’s A Wonder.


Owners & Breeders Function

   The Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners & Breeders Associations will stage their annual race day function at the Hastings racecourse on Saturday, April 27.

   This will be the day of the Hawke’s Bay Racing’s feature race meeting and the function will be held in the Karamu/Estella Lounge, situated in the top floor of the Members Stand.

   The room will be available from 11.30am and there will be a $10 surcharge for financial members and partners with a luncheon served at approximately 1pm. There will be a charge of $35/head for the meal for additional guests.

   A cash bar will be in operation with complimentary drinks served until approximately 2.30pm courtesy of Brighthill Farm and shareholders in the stud’s new stallion Preferment.

   Wristbands will be issued upon arrival in the lounge and racebooks and pens will be provided. There will also be a member’s draw prior to each of the races run at Hastings that day.

   For catering purposes members are asked to RSVP by April 20 with their numbers to either Tony Lyndon (06 8768250) or Sharyn Craig (0274 999084).


By-monthly award winner

   The Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners Associations bi-monthly award for January and February has been won by Grant Cullen and Nikki Lourie.

   The couple own the four-year-old  mare Swish Az who broke through for a maiden victory over 1200m at Wairoa on February 21.  


Racing tour to New Caledonia

   The New Zealand Racehorse Owners Federation is to conduct a special escorted tour to New Caledonia, with a horse racing focus, in October this year.

   Billed as “The French paradise on New Zealand’s doorstep” New Caledonia is less than three hours flight from Auckland .

   The tour itinerary is varied with time to explore this great group of islands and create lasting memories. The focus will be on fun and friendship, with a highlight being an evening at Hippodrome Henri Milliard for their final Group 1 “Nocturne” race meeting of the year on October 19.

   The tour, at a cost of $1995 per person, is open to NZTROF members, family and friends. It departs from Auckland on Friday, October 18, and returns on Tuesday, October 22.

   Flights, accommodation, transfers, excursions, Hippodrome Henri Milliard entry and a tour escort are included in the price.

   For further details please contact tour leader Sally Blyth on 021 480323.




   Hunta Pence, preparing for Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay Cup, strode out well in a solo gallop on the course proper at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Fast work was mainly confined to the plough, which provided good footing after 7.2 millimetres of rain since Sunday evening. A penetrometer reading was taken on the course proper during the session and came up as a dead-6, with fine weather forecast for the next two days.

   Hunta Pence was the only horse worked up against the running rail on the course proper and worked in from the 1400m peg, with former jockey Kate Hercock aboard. He was timed to run home the last 1200m in 1:13.3, clocking 37.8 from the 1200 to the 600 before quickening over the final 600 in 35.5.

   It was excellent work from the No Excuse Needed gelding, who is coming off a last start seventh in the Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m). He finished third in last year’s Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m) and Danielle Hirini has been booked to ride him on Saturday.

   Yosarian was another who hit out well this morning when running a solo 1000m on the plough in 1:8.5, the first 400m in an easy 30.9 before quickening over the last 600 in 37.6. He resumes in the Rating 65 race over 1300m at Hastings on Saturday with Rosie Myers to ride.

   Satu Lagi and Who Would Know worked together over 1000m in 1:5.6, the last 600 in 37.1 with Satu Lagi entered for the Rating 72 race over 1300m at Hastings on Saturday. He resumed from a break with a good fourth over 1200m at Awapuni on March 30.

   Stradivarius was another who worked on his own when running 1000m in 1:7.3, the first 400 in an easy 30.1 before quickening over the last 600 in 37.2. He was a good fresh up third over 1000m at Tauherenikau and will step up to 1400m in a Rating 82 race at Hastings on Saturday. Apprentice Danielle Hirini has the mount.

   Estefania and Chalk worked together over 600m in 38.9 while Sheer Elegance was not hurried when running a solo 800m in 55.4, the last 600 in 40.3.

   One Prize One Goal, entered for the Rating 72 race over 1300m at Hastings on Saturday, ran a solo 1000m in 1:7.6, the last 600 in 38.5. In-form apprentice Taiki Yanagida has been booked to ride him.

   Shez Ekstra and Foggy Lyttle, two horses from the Lowry/Cullen stable likely to start at Woodville on Thursday of next week, were kept to not much more than three-quarter pace when running 1000m ion 1:11.5, the last 600 in 43.

   Polizzi worked early in the session and ran an easy 800m in 57.7, the last 600 in 42.3 while stablemate Surpriseus followed with similar work over 800m in 60.4, the last 600 in 44.1.



   The training partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen intend sending two horses to Christchurch for this Saturday’s Canterbury meeting and both appeared to work well at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Fast work was again confined to the plough which provided reasonably good footing after 10 millimetres of rainfall overnight.

   The Lowry/Cullen stable have entered Mohaka for Saturday’s Listed $50,000 NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton while stablemate Atlanta Peach will be entered for the $25,000 Rating 72 race over 1800m.

   Atlanta Peach worked over 1000m on her own this morning, running the first 400m at three-quarter pace before quickening over the last 600 in 38.4. The Bullbars mare was a last start fourth in the Masterton Cup (1600m) and that followed an impressive win over 1600m at Otaki. Terry Moseley has been booked to ride her.

   Mohaka was let off with a much easier workout this morning, running 800m in 58.9, the 600 in 44.1. She has not raced since winning a maiden over 1200m at Otaki on March 8 but had a jumpout at Waipukurau last Friday and was stakes placed earlier this season. Jason Laking has been booked to ride her on Saturday.

   Tuigirl, entered for a maiden 1200m race at Wanganui on Thursday, was also let off with an easy assignment when running 600m in 41.9. She hasn’t raced since finishing fifth in the Listed Wanganui Guineas (1340m) in September last year but has also had the benefit of recent jumpouts to help fit her.

   Uncle Bro, who contests the Rating 65 race over 2200m at Awapuni on Friday, was kept to not much more than three-quarter pace when running 800m in 58.3, the last 600 in 42.5 while Valerius and a Showcasing –Zaballet two-year-old filly worked together over 800m in 56, the last 600 in 40.5.

   A Handsome Ransom-La Singa four-year-old mare and a Jakkalberry two-year-old filly worked together over 600m in 42.4.



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