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Mr Mor heading north in search of further riches 28 May 2015

  Hawke’s Bay-owned jumper Mr Mor will be trying to improve on his fourth placing in last year’ McGregor Grant Steeplechase when he heads to Ellerslie for Monday’s $50,000 feature event over 4150 metres.

   The 10-year-old gelding finished almost 10 lengths behind race winner Amanood Lad in the last year’s feature jumping race at the Auckland Queen’s Birthday weekend meeting but showed he is right on target for this year’s tough stamina test over the Ellerslie hill with a convincing win in a $20,000 Restricted Open Steeplechase over 4000 metres at last Sunday’s Egmont meeting.

   Mr Mor bungled the last fence in Sunday’s Hawera race but had already established a winning break on his rivals and crossed the line 12 lengths clear of second placed McCulley, with Authentic another three-quarters of a length back in third.

   The win was Mr Mor’s seventh in total but just his third over jumps. He won a maiden steeplechase at Hawera and then a maiden hurdle at Woodville at the beginning of the 2012-13 racing season when trained by Kevin Myers.

   These days the horse is prepared by the Wanganui father and daughter combination of Evan and JJ Rayner but he has been plagued by injuries and has only had eight jumping starts in the last two years.

   Mr Mor was bred by Waipukurau’s Brian Denton and was initially raced by him in partnership with his wife Dianne and their daughter Symone Stevens, who lives in Blenheim.

   He is out of the Red Tempo mare Redmor, who won the Dentons two races before they mated her with Corrupt after being gifted a free service to that stallion by Hastings man Tony Lyndon. Mr Mor was the resultant foal and he has always been a slow mature, taking 16 starts to win his first race, a 2040-metre maiden event at Wanganui.

   After Brian Denton died his wife and daughter asked Tony Lyndon if he could arrange a group of people to assist them in racing Mr Mor and Lyndon is now manager of the Bogga Syndicate that races the horse.

   The other syndicate members are Lindsay McIntosh, Greg Horton, Peter Johnstone, Peter Unverricht and Pat and Sheryl Watson of Hastings and Christchurch-based Paul Kavanagh.

   “There are nine shares in the horse with eight people having a 10 per cent share and two others having 5 per cent each,” Lyndon said this week.

    Mr Mor had only four steeplechase starts last winter for a third, a fifth and two fourths. Following his fourth in the McGregor Grant Steeples he contested the Manawatu Steeplechase at Awapuni but suffered a deep gash to his stifle during that race and it ended his campaign.

   “It was the second year in a row that he had been injured in the Manawatu Steeples,” Lyndon said. “He did a check ligament two years ago in the same race.”

   Evan Rayner says that the half-round sighter boards that are used on the steeplechase fences at Awapuni caused Mr Mor’s injury last year and so he is reluctant to start the horse there again.

   “That’s why we will head up north with him,” he added.

   Tony Lyndon said the Rayners got an equine chiropractor to go over Mr Mor just over a week ago he found the horse had two vertebrae out of alignment.

   “He manipulated his back and Evan says it has made a huge difference to the horse.”

 

Promising jumper

   Waipukurau-trained Field Daze looked a talented jumper in the making when he made an auspicious winning debut over hurdles at last Sunday’s Egmont meeting at Hawera.

   The No Excuse Needed six-year-old produced a faultless jumping display in a $10,000 maiden hurdle race over 2900 metres, taking control approaching the last fence and then racing clear to score by 2-1/4 lengths.

   Rider Michael Mitchell had Field Daze in front after jumping the first fence but then settled him into a trail behind the pacemaking Ivenoida.

   The leader started to tire with 600 metres to run and Just Ishi swept up to take the lead. But Mitchell had Field Daze stalking him as they entered the home straight and the horse jumped the last three fences perfectly before surging clear.

   It is little wonder Field Daze is a proficient jumper as he is trained by Waipukurau’s Simon Wilson, a New Zealand showjumping representative.

   Wilson, 43, races the horse in partnership with Waverley trainer Sam Lennox and Patea-based Paul Mitchell. The trio have been close friends from an early age and always said they would like to race a horse together one day.

   They acquired Field Daze after he had been given up on by another syndicate after producing one fourth from 10 starts. The horse has since recorded three wins, three seconds and three thirds for his new owners.

   Field Daze won his first race, a 2200-metre maiden, at Rotorua two years ago and his second victory came in a Rating 75 event over 2100 metres at Trentham 12 months ago. He seems to relish heavy track conditions, which should assist him in his future career as a jumper.

 

500 up for Johnson

   New Zealand’s leading female jockey Danielle Johnson celebrated a personal milestone at last Saturday’s Auckland meeting at Ellerslie when she kicked home her 500th career success aboard Ramarro in a Rating 85 race over 1400 metres.

   Johnson, 24, is locked in a battle with Matthew Cameron for this season’s jockeys’ premiership with just a few wins separating the pair.

   Johnson’s win aboard Ramarro was the middle leg of a treble for the talented rider after she scored with Chill Bill in the previous race before adding the day’s feature event to her haul when she guided Secret Spirit to success in the Listed Graeme Thomson Jewellers Great Northern Foal Stakes.

   Those three wins took her season tally to 117 and it is the first time in her career that she has topped to 100 win mark. She is now keen to add a first premiership title to the other milestones she has achieved so far.

   “My manager mentioned a few weeks ago that I was getting close to 500 wins but to be honest I didn’t really think about it too much although now I’m very happy to have achieved it,” Johnson said.

   “When I started riding my goal was to get a Group 1 winner and then it became breaking 100 wins in a season. I just missed that last year so this season I was really determined to do it and now I would really like to win the premiership.

   “Although there would be more opportunities if I travelled to the South Island in the next few weeks I’m just going to concentrate on what I have been doing of late and hope that lets me get the job done.”

   Johnson’ s win on Secret Spirit was her eighth stakes success this season, which includes Group 1 victories on Puccini in the Thorndon Mile and Shuka in the Captain Cook Stakes, both at Trentham.  She rode her first winner in April 2007 when she guided the then Russell Cameron & Gareth McRae trained The Sportsman to success at Ellerslie so it was fitting her 500th win should be at the same venue where she kick-started her career.

   Johnson will have to wait a few days before her next success however as she was charged with careless riding when winning aboard Ramarro last Saturday and copped a five day suspension.

 

Out for a spell

   Hastings-trained mare Shezgorgeous, a game second in last Saturday’s $40,000 North Island Challenge Stakes at Trentham, has now been turned out for a spell and could be retired to stud in the new season.

   The six-year-old O’Reilly mare only went down by half a head behind Marotiri Miss in the 1400-metre event after looking the likely winner when clear in the lead with 50 metres to run.

   Trainer Patrick Campbell said rider Rosie Myers told him that Shezgorgeous lost concentration when left in front and it wasn’t until the winner ranged up to her that she started to rally again.

   Campbell also has a racing share in Shezgorgeous, who took her stake earnings past the $100,000 mark. She has recorded five wins, five seconds and six thirds.

 

Improvement expected

   The connections of the New Zealand-trained fillies Exquisite Jewel and Platinum Witness are expecting much better performances from their charges in tomorrow’s Group 1 $A500,000 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben than their disappointing runs last Saturday.

   Foxton trainer Sue Walsh will add blinkers to Exquisite Jewel’s gear for tomorrow’s race in the hopes that this will sharpen the filly up following her late finish for fifth in last Saturday’s Group 2 The Roses (2020m).

   "Her rider Jim Byrne came in and said there was no way he was getting off her for the Oaks,” Walsh said.

   "I warned him that she would go to sleep mid-race and that she'd need a good dig up to get going and he said that was exactly what happened. The blinkers might help her to get going more quickly.”

   Platinum Witness, prepared by Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta, finished sixth in last Saturday’s The Roses and rider Damien Browne said she struggled on the right-handed track.

   “She was on the wrong leg the whole way,” Browne said.

   However Browne said the Californian Dane three-year-old would take a lot benefit from the experience and was also keen to stick with her for tomorrow’s Oaks.

HASTINGS TRACKWORK 28 May 2015

 

   Waipatiki Girl, preparing for Monday’s Wairarapa meeting at Tauherenikau, was the only horse to work at any speed at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   There were very few horses worked during the session and all of them used the plough track, which was in good order.

   Waipatiki Girl worked on her own over a round and was timed to run the last 1000 metres in 1:5.4 and final 600 in 37.6. She went a much improved race for second over 1600 metres at Woodville last start and will contest a $12,000 Maiden 1600-metre race for fillies and mares at Tauherenikau.

   Broadwalk rounded off his preparation for Saturday’s Foxton Cup at Wanganui with an easy 1000 metres in 1:16.4, the last 600 in 45.5. He was a winner on the Wanganui track two starts back.

   Viceroy and Is Possible, two other likely starters at Tauherenikau on Monday, did strong pacework together over three rounds, running the last 600 metres in 44.9. Viceroy will step back up to a middle distance in a Rating 75 race over 2050 metres.

   A Towkay-Love Proposal two-year-old gelding and an Ekraar two-year-old filly ran an easy 600 metres together in 42.6.

 

Tremendous sale results for Hawke’s Bay stud 20 May 2015

   Hawke’s Bay’s Lime Country Thoroughbreds achieved outstanding results at the recent national weanling sale at Karaka, where they topped the average sale price and their resident stallion Niagara was third top stallion behind the Group 1 producer Tavistock and Cox Plate winner Ocean Park.

   Lime Country Thoroughbreds, operated by the husband and wife team of Greg and Jo Griffin, offered six weanlings and sold five for an aggregate of $198,000, an impressive average of $39,600. This was a higher average than such high profile thoroughbred breeding establishments as Curraghmore Stud, Phoenix Park Stud, Trelawney Stud Park and Brighthill Farm.

   Niagara, who stands at a fee of just $5000 plus GST, had seven weanlings offered and five sold for an average of $29,600. This was the third highest average by a stallion at the sale, behind Tavistock ($37,357) and Ocean Park ($37,227).

   “It was great to be able to put Niagara’s weanlings to the market and have our opinion of his progeny validated through the prices they generated,” Jo Griffin said.

   “Niagara covered 101 mares in his first season and 119 in his second and we are only breeding 10 mares ourselves,” she added.

   The son of Encosta de Lago was a Group 2 winner of the ATC Ajax Stakes in Australia when trained by Gai Waterhouse and is related to champion Australian sire Redoute’s Choice.

   His top-priced lot in last week’s weanling section of the national mixed bloodstock sale was a colt out of the Bigstone mare Granita and was knocked down to the bid of Victoria’s Ampulla Farm for $60,000, following an opening bid of $50,000. The colt is a half-brother to Twilight Granita, winner of the Listed Fordell O’Leary Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui and runner-up in the Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha.

   Other star offerings from Lime Country included a Niagara colt from the family of top stallions Flying Spur and Holy Roman Emperor, who went to Ballymore Stables’ racing manager Nick Fairweather for $35,000, while Marc and Sarah Devcich’s Henley Park went to $32,000 for the Niagara colt out of a Starcraft mare.

   “To receive the great feedback on Niagara’s weanlings from people whose opinions we respect so much, and who are some of the best judges of young stock, such as Ascot Farm, Henley Park, Lyndhurst Farm, Phoenix Park and the vets who were vetting pre-sale was hugely important to us,” Jo Griffin added.

   “We’ve enjoyed good results for our clients in the past and we’ve consistently been in the top 10, but this is the first time we’ve been the leading vendor overall by average at a sale so it’s a great milestone for us.”

  

Aussie beckons now

   Outstanding jumper Sea King, bred and part-owned by Central Hawke’s Bay’s Sue Harty, looks set for a starring role as a steeplechaser in Australia this winter after he demolished his rivals in last Saturday’s $50,000 Warren Storm Life Brokers Waikato Steeplechase at Te Rapa.

   Following four outings on the flat this preparation, the Kevin Myers-trained jumper coasted to a 7 length win in the 4000-metre event to record his 10th jumping win but his first over the bigger fences.

   The Shinko King eight-year-old has now won 13 races in total and more than $440,000 in stakemoney and winning jockey Matthew Gillies is confident there is a lot more success in store for the horse in the coming months.

   “I haven’t won on a horse like that…well, forever. He won with a leg in the air,” Gillies said.

   Sea King showed he was right up with the best in Australia in three starts there last winter, winning two races including the Grand National Hurdles and finishing third in the Grand National Steeples.

   He must now rank one of the favourites for the $A100,000 Australasian Steeples (3400m) on May 30 and the $A250,000 Grand National Hurdle (3900m) on July 25. He could also take in the $A200,000 Grand National Hurdle (3900m)  on July 12 as well and. If he was to win all three, he would claim a $A300,00 bonus for his owners as the winner of three races in a special six-race series.

   Sea King is owned by Sue Harty in partnership with Otaki trainer Rachel Frost and Auckland-based Chris O’Reilly.

   Harty bred the Shinko King eight-year-old out of the Prince Of Praise mare Ocean Princess and the horse was originally in work in Frost’s stable. However the horse proved a handful to manage and no amount of gear helped to curb his wayward habits. She tried blinkers, nosebands, tongue ties and even a severe butterfly bit but still the horse proved uncontrollable.

   It was then that she decided to send him to Wanganui trainer Kevin Myers, who is not only renowned for sorting out problem horses but, more importantly, educating and developing potential jumpers.

   Despite his headstrong ways of the past, Sea King has the Waikato, Hawke’s Bay, Sydenham and K S Browne Hurdles titles to his record and now looks set to really leave his mark as a steeplechaser.

   “He hasn’t done badly for a horse who didn’t have much of a future on the flat,” Frost said.

 

Jumping career in mind

   Hawke’s Bay owned and trained gelding Kipkeino led his rivals a merry chase over 2100 metres on the flat at last Saturday’s Rangitikei meeting at Awapuni but the Sunray seven-year-old is likely to be seen in a jumping role at some stage in the future.

   Waipukurau’s Lucy de Lautour, who trains Kipkeino and races him in partnership with her husband Will, said the horse has passed his hurdling ticket and will probably race over jumps either this year or next.

   “He jumps pretty good,” Lucy de Lautour said this week.

   “He’s still got a bit to learn but he’s passed his ticket so he must be able to jump okay and we’ve always had it in mind to make him into a jumper.”

   Kipkeino brought up his fifth win and increased his stake earnings to more than $70,000 when he took out a $20,000 Rating 85 race at Awapuni last Saturday. That is not a bad return on the $5500 his owners paid for him as a two-year-old at a 2009 South Island mixed bloodstock sale.

   “He’s been a pretty honest horse for us and the stakemoney has certainly helped pay a few vet bills,” Lucy de Lautour said.

   Kipkeino got tangled up in a fence as a young horse and still bears the scars and swelling on his back legs. 

   Rider Miranda Dravitzki took Kipkeino straight to the front in last Saturday’s 2100-metre event and dictated the pace before kicking him clear at the top of the home straight. He seemed to relish the very heavy track conditions and raced away from his rivals to score by 6-1/2 lengths.

   “His form on heavy tracks is fantastic but he seemed to get through the ground well last Saturday because it was loose and I don’t think he’s as good on sticky ground,” Lucy de Lautour added.

   Kipkeino’s dam, Awesome Annie, was unraced but his second dam was Au Revoir, who won five races including two Listed events.  

 

Alleyoop back in form

   Promising mare Alleyoop, part-owned by Hawke’s Bay man John Bridge, returned to the winning ways she demonstrated early in her career when she scored a comfortable victory in a Rating 75 race over 1400 metres at Te Rapa last Saturday.

   The now five-year-old mare is raced by Bridge in partnership with his son James, who trains the mare from his Byerley Park base, south of Auckland.

   Alleyoop won three of her first four starts back in late 2013 and, after finishing a game third to Natuzzi in stakes company at just her fifth career assignment, she looked to have a rosy future in front of her. Several niggling issues then surfaced which saw her given a decent spell and, despite a win at Te Rapa in October last year, a summer campaign failed to see her recapture her best.

   A short break in the paddock seems to have worked the oracle for the daughter of Thorn Park as she indicated a winning turn wasn’t far away with a game second behind the promising Sancerre at her most recent start before Saturday’s victory.

   “It’s nice to have her back in top form as it was only the barrier draw that beat her last time and she had improved from that run,” said James Bridge.

   “She probably operates best when the track is somewhere between the dead 4 and slow 8 range and, although the penetrometer reading said it was heavy on Saturday, that Te Rapa track is a wonderful winter surface and it suited her perfectly.”

   Depending on how the mare comes through her exertions from the weekend Bridge is looking towards one further run in this campaign before giving her a brief spell over the winter months.

   “There is an open 1400 metre race at Te Rapa in early June which I think will suit her then she can have a few weeks off,” he said.

   “The plan is to see if we can get some more black type on her resume’ so she won’t be out for too long as she will be best suited on those spring tracks with some give in them. A race like the Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa in August is an option but we will take a look at the programme for her while she is having her break.”

 

Kuru’s biggest win

   Hastings-born jumps jockey Aaron Kuru hit the biggest home run of his burgeoning career when he piloted Prologue to victory in last Saturday’s $50,000 Porritt Sand Waikato Hurdles at Te Rapa.

   The 23-year-old is a former Black Sox softball representative who started out as an amateur rider in Hastings, when working for the stable of John Bary. He has since progressed into a professional jockey and is now based in Cambridge.

   Last Saturday’s win aboard Prologue was his 19th and biggest success to date and he got the Raymond Connors-trained six-year-old home by a nose in a driving finish.

   “I first got on him at Wanganui last year and we’ve never looked back,” said Kuru, who has now ridden the gelding six times for five wins and a second placing.

   Successful in the Waikato Hurdles prelude a fortnight ago, Prologue was within striking distance of the leader throughout and moved seriously into contention approaching the final two flights.

   He cleared them neatly enough and stayed on strongly to claim a narrow decision in the opening prestige jumps event of the season.

   “He only just got there, but I can’t complain,” Kuru said. “He was set for the race and he’s got the job done.”

   Prologue won his maiden flat race for Matamata trainer Peter McKay, who races him with his wife Kim and breeders Paul and Cushla Smithies. The horse subsequently underwent a wind operation and was sent to Connors for a jumping career.

   Connors and his father Mark now also share in the ownership and Prologue looks set to add to his record for them during the winter months.

HASTINGS TRACKWORK 20 May 2015

   Impressive gallops by the proven winter gallopers Commett and Shezgorgeous were the highlights at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided good footing.

   Commett finished well clear of stablemate Super Scot at the end of a fast 1200 metres in 1:15.4, the first 600 taking 38.6 and the final 600 in a quick 36.8.

   Commett showed good improvement when finishing second over 1400 metres at Rotorua last start and could be a starter at this Saturday’s Wellington meeting.

    Shezgorgeous, a likely starter in the $40,000 North Island Challenge Stakes at Trentham on Saturday, worked in from the 1000-metre peg at three-quarter pace and then sprinted keenly over the last 600 in 37. She has a good record on the Trentham track and over the 1400-metre distance.

   Double O Seven, another who could run at Trentham on Saturday, worked on his own over a round and was timed to run the last 1200 metres in 1:19.1 and final 600 in 38.1. He is likely to start at Saturday’s Wellington meeting as a lead up to the Foxton Cup (2040m) at Wanganui the following Saturday.

   An Iffraaj three-year-old gelding finished clear of a Thorn Park three-year-old gelding at the end of 1000 metres in 1:4.9, the last 600 in 36.9. They are both in the John Bary stable.

   Viceroy rounded off his preparation for the Rating 65 race over 1600 metres at Woodville on Thursday with 800 metres at three-quarter pace, the last 600 in 42.1. Michael McNab has been booked to ride him.

   Odencian, another entered for Woodville on Thursday, had trainer Kelly Burne aboard when running an easy 1000 metres in 1:13.9, the last 600 in 41.1 while Miss Drama Queen ended her work with 600 metres in 38.1. Apprentice Josh Oliver rides her at Woodville on Thursday.

   A No Excuse Needed three-year-old filly and a Sandtrap four-year-old mare, both in the Lowry/Cullen stable, were not extended when running 800 metres in 54.1, the last 600 in 40. They both performed well at the last Hastings jumpouts and could have another jumpout at Woodville this Friday.

    Waipatiki Girl, entered for Thursday’s Woodville meeting, ran an easy 1000 metres in 1:12.5, the last 600 in 40.9. She was scratched from Saturday’s Rangitikei meeting due to the very testing track conditions.

  A No Excuse Needed three-year-old filly and a Handsome Ransom three-year-old gelding, both in the Thompson/Brown stable, worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1000-metre peg and were timed to run the last 600 in 40.3 while a Patapan three-year-old gelding trained by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen ran an easy 800 metres in 55.5, the last 600 in 40.8.

   Dances With Wolves was only let stride out over the final 300 metres when running 1000 metres in 1:15.5.

Super Scot overcomes wayward tendencies 15 May 2015

The problem child finally delivered for his loyal connections when Super Scot broke through for a maiden win on his home track at Hastings on Thursday of last week.

   The Falkirk four-year-old put it all together when he got up to snatch a nose decision over race favourite Silver Blade in a 1400-metre maiden race at the Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   It was Super Scot’s 11th start and, although he had recorded two previous third placings, his antics before the start of his races have often caused his owners, and his Hastings trainer John Bary, some consternation.

   Barry Smyth, a former board member of Hawke’s Bay Racing, bred Super Scot and races him with his son and a group of close friends. He said this week the horse is normally quite settled around the stables and in training but on race day he can get quite obnoxious.

  “He’s a quiet horse normally but when he goes to the start on race day it is a different story,” Smyth said.

   “He dropped the rider at Otaki going to the start one day and had to be a late scratching.”

   Super Scot needed two handlers to get him onto the racetrack at Hastings last week and caused some minor damage to the running rail when he cannoned into it before finally making his way to the start.

   At times Super Scot has also been reluctant to load into the barrier but he went in reasonably well last week only to be hampered at the start when another runner bashed into him as they jumped away.

   As a consequence Super Scot was back second last in the early stages but had improved to midfield mid-way through the race. Rider Craig Grylls decided to stick to the rails and made up several lengths on the point of the home turn. He then angled the horse one out to get clear running before switching back to the rails and Super Scot finished it off strongly to get up and head off Silver Blade in the last couple of strides.

   Super Scot is out of the Lord Ballina mare Racqueteer, who won two races for Smyth when trained by the late John Stenning, both of them on the Hastings track.

   Racqueteer was a slow maturing type and Smyth said Super Scot is in the same mould.

   “He has always shown promise since year one but physically he still doesn’t look like he has matured yet,” Smyth said. “Hopefully he can put it all together now.”

   Smyth owns Super Scot in partnership with his Auckland-based son David and another Auckland man Jim Speedy. The other shareholders are his close Hawke’s Bay friends David McClurg, Howard Padman, Mike Piper and Mike White.

  McClurg owns a jewelry shop in Napier, Padman is a Hastings accountant, Piper is the president of the Hastings Golf Club and White is a board member of Hawke’s Bay Racing and owns the Hastings business Bedpost.

   Smyth said Super Scot has come through last week’s win well and he could possibly start next in a $20,000 special conditions 1400-metre race at Trentham tomorrow week.

    “That’s if the track is not too heavy down there,” Smyth added. “He would probably handle a dead to slow track but we wouldn’t want to race him on a bog.”

   If Super Scot doesn’t race at Trentham there is a $17,500 Rating 65 race over 1340 metres at Wanganui the following Saturday that could be suitable.

   Smyth has had a frustrating time breeding from Racqueteer, with Super Scot the only one of her foals to have got to the races so far.

   He said the mare’s first foal, a filly by No Excuse Needed called Ballsinyourcourt, proved so cantankerous that it was hard to even put a saddle on her let alone get her to the races.

   The second foal, a colt by King’s Chapel, had to be put down after suffering a mysterious illness and Super Scot was the third foal.

   Since then the mare has left an Iffraaj colt that died of pneumonia and Smyth now has a yearling gelding by Jimmy Choux and a weanling colt by Alamosa out of Racqueteer coming on.

   He is also breeding from Ballsinyourcourt, who as produced a two-year-old gelding by Patapan.

  

Corks pop for Gold Moet

   It has been a long time between celebration drinks for Hastings racehorse owner Graham Wainwright and he had special reason to celebrate the success by Gold Moet at the Hawke’s Bay meeting on Thursday of last week.

   The six-year-old, trained on the Hastings track by the husband and wife team of Sue Thompson and Mick Brown, was recording his second win from 29 starts, with his first being in a 1200-metre maiden race at Waipukurau in March two years ago.

   Unfortunately Wainwright was not on the Waipukurau racecourse to witness Gold Moet’s maiden win as he is employed by Hastings trainer John Bary and was on his way to Tauranga that day looking after the Bary-trained The Hombre, who was racing there the following day. But he was at the Hastings track last week to see Gold Moet hold on for a half-head victory in a Rating 65 race over 1400 metres.

   A former owner-trainer himself, Wainwright has owned Gold Moet since the horse was a weanling and paid $11,000 for him at a Karaka mixed bloodstock sale. He broke the horse in but then almost lost him when the gelding developed a serious case of scours.

   Wainwright recalled that Gold Moet became so ill as a late two-year-old that he nearly died. After weeks of treatment, including an injection by a vet and regular saline drenches, it was decided to give the horse a lengthy spell to let him fully recover, which is why he never started racing until he was four.

   Gold Moet showed he had ability by recording a second, a third and two fourths from his first four starts before his Waipukurau maiden win.

   His form since has been patchy with the horse often showing plenty of early speed in his races but usually failing to finish them off.

   Thompson and Brown have changed the way they train the horse in recent weeks, alternating his work on the training tracks with a course of schooling over some hurdle fences in the centre of the Hastings track.

   The tactics seemed to have worked the oracle with Gold Moet showing a lot more fight over the final stages of last week’s race.

   Sue Thompson said this week she is unsure what the immediate future plans are for Gold Moet, who jumped from 62 rating points to 67 with his win last week.

   “We might turn him out for a spell or look for a suitable Rating 75 race for him somewhere but the handicapper certainly hasn’t treated him very well,” she said.

 

Parkes’ plan worked                                      

   An outstanding ride by jockey Johnathon Parkes paved the way for Gwynethanne’s game win in the $25,000 open handicap race at last Saturday’s Taranaki meeting at New Plymouth.

   While most jockeys scouted wide in search of better footing on the heavy-10 track, Parkes stuck hard up against the inside rail aboard Gwynethanne and saved many valuable lengths. The mare rounded the home bend with a good advantage on her rivals and, although getting tired towards the finish, she was able to hold on to win by a long neck from the fast finishing Madonna Mia.

   “Johnathon said he was going to cut the corner and that there was nothing wrong with the rail,” the horse’s Otaki trainer Karen Zimmerman said.

   Gwynethanne is part-owned by Hastings man Lindsay McIntosh, who had pre-race doubts about the mare’s ability to cope with the heavy track conditions. It probably helped that the distance of the race was shortened from 1800 to 1760 metres so that the stalls could be immediately removed from the track and clear of the horses after the start.

   Gwynethanne is a Handsome Ransom six-year-old who has now won six races and more than $100,000 in stakemoney for her connections. She was runner-up in last year’s Group 2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa and had run sixth in the Group 3 Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes (2000m) three runs back before Zimmerman had to ease up on the mare.

   “She got a bit of a cold after the fillies and mares’ race at Awapuni and we had to miss the Travis this year,” she said.

   Gwynethanne showed she was back on track with a solid run for second at Otaki over a mile at the beginning of the month and she will step back up to a middle distance at her next appearance.

   “She’ll have one more run in the Foxton Cup at Wanganui before she goes out for a spell,” Zimmerman said, “The distance will suit her and hopefully the ground will be a bit better.”

 

Miss Wilson spelling

   Promising Hastings-trained two-year-old Miss Wilson has been turned out for a winter spell and won’t be seen again on the racetrack until the spring.

   The Stratum filly, a half-sister to the former outstanding galloper Jimmy Choux, has had two race starts for a close debut second over 1200 metres at Rotorua on April 15 and a fourth in the Listed $50,000 Hamilton Vets Equine Stakes (1100m) at Te Rapa a fortnight ago,

   Trainer John Bary said, while Miss Wilson appeared to have every chance at Te Rapa last start, she was caught down in the worst part of the track and couldn’t really accelerate like he knows she can.

   “But she has come through it well and can go out now and come back in the spring,” Bary said.

 

Recite’s career in the balance

   A decision has yet to be made on the future of the dual Group One winner Recite.

   The Darci Brahma mare is presently spelling on the Cambridge property of her owners, The Oaks Stud, sidelined since she was successful in an open sprint when resuming at Te Rapa in February for Hastings trainer John Bary.

   “It’s not a race or stress-related injury, she probably did it playing in the paddock,” The Oaks Stud manager Rick Williams said.

   “It’s an upper limb injury so the next two or three weeks with her will tell the full story.

   “She’s already done a fantastic job for us, but it’s frustrating because physically she’s finally there and the best might be ahead if we can get her back to being sound again.”

   Recite’s recovery has been further hindered by a more recent front foot abscess.

   The four-year-old mare has had 16 starts for seven wins, three seconds and a third and has amassed more than $500,000 in stakemoney. She won the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) as a two-year-old and then added the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham at three.

 

Gifted Lad back home

   Gifted Lad, the promising three-year-old part-owned by Hawke’s Bay cricket identity Mark Greatbatch, has returned home to the Cambridge stables of Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young after only managing 10th in a 2800-metre race in Melbourne last Saturday.

   The Zabeel three-year-old was following on from a game third, on a wet track, in the VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington on Anzac Day but was never a serious contender on the good-4 surface at Flemington.

   “The track was a bit hard for him,” Young said. “His St Leger placing showed he’s got ability and the trip will help him to grow up. We might go back over there with him in the spring.”

   Gifted Lad has had nine starts for two wins, a second and two thirds.

 

Silent Achiever retired

   The retirement of the outstanding mare Silent Achiever has been confirmed, but that doesn’t mean her travelling days are over.

   Owner Kevin Hickman has plans to send the daughter of O’Reilly to Europe where she will be served to Southern Hemisphere time. He has yet to decide on a stallion.

   The curtain came down on Silent Achiever’s racing career after her unplaced run in last Saturday’s Group 1Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane.

   Her 10 wins included Group One successes in the New Zealand Derby, the New Zealand Stakes, the Ranvet Stakes and The BMW.

HASTINGS TRACKWORK 14 May 2015

   Viceroy and Is Possible, two horses likely to race next week, were paired up in a strong 1000-metre gallop at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided good footing.

   Viceroy and Is Possible were both striding out well when running 1000 metres in 1:1.9, the first 400 in 25.4 and the final 600 in 36.5.

   Viceroy is likely to race next in a Rating 65 event over 1600 metres at Woodville next Thursday while Is Possible is one of two horses trainer Corrina McDougal plans to race at the Wellington meeting on Saturday week.

   Mac Dara the other member of McDougal’s stable likely to race at Trentham and this morning he worked on his own over a round and was timed to run the last 1000 metres in 1:3.3 and final 600 in 37.2.

   Saint Kitt, entered for the Rating 85 race over 2100 metres at Awapuni on Saturday, ended his work with an easy 600 metres in 40.2. He is a talented stayer but struggles on very heavy track conditions, which is what he is likely to strike on Saturday.

   Waipatiki Girl, another entered for Awapuni on Saturday, ran an easy 800 metres in 57.3, the last 600 in 41.1 while Corsair was not doing much more than three-quarter pace over 800 metres, the last 600 taking 42.

   Miss Drama Queen had trainer Kelly Burne aboard when running an easy 1000 metres in 1:9.8, the last 600 in 39.1 while Zed Lepplin ran over the same ground in 1:10.9, the last 600n in 39.7.

   Dances With Wolves worked in from the 1000-metre peg at three-quarter pace, running the last 800 in 59.2 and final 600 in 43.5 while a No Excuse Needed three-year-old filly was in front of a Handsome Ransom three-year-old gelding at the end of an easy 1000 metres, the last 600 in 44.3. They are both in the Sue 

HASTINGS TRACKWORK 12 May 2015

   Viceroy, who may start next at the Woodville meeting on Thursday week, took the time honours in a reasonably quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.

   Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided good footing.

   Viceroy worked over 800 metres on his own in 50.6, running the first 200 in an easy 14.8 seconds before scampering home over the last 600 in 35.8. He found 1400 metres too short for him at Hastings last Thursday but was running on at the finish and will be stepped up to 1600 metres in a Rating 65 race at Woodville.

   Saint Kitt, who may contest the Rating 85 race over 2100 metres at Awapuni on Saturday, had trainer Kelly Burne aboard when working over a round. He was timed from the 1200-metre peg in 1:24.8, running at three-quarter pace for most of the workout before quickening slightly over the last 600 in 39.5.

   Last start winner Golan Express was let off with just three-quarter pace over 800 metres, running home the last 600 in 43.8. She may start next in an $18,500 Rating 75 race over 1200 metres at Wanganui on May 30.

   Ratpack, entered for Thursday’s Otaki meeting, ran a solo 1200 metres in 1:23, the last 600 in 37.7 while Decorum took 1:13.1 for an easy 1000 metres, the last 600 in 42.2.

   Waipatiki Girl worked over a round on her own but could not be timed in the bad light while Odencian ran an easy 1000 metres in 1:12.4, the last 600 in 40.8.

   Dances With Wolves worked early in the session and galloped the last 400 metres of his work in 25.8.

HASTINGS JUMPOUTS 12 May 2015

The royally-bred filly Donna Beel turned in the star performance at jumpouts staged on the Hastings track today.

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

   Donna Beel cruised to a 1-1/4 length win in one of the two 750-metre heats, recording a good time of 49.3s. She is a filly by Zabeel out of the winning Redoute’s Choice mare Dorotea Dior and trained at Hastings by John Bary.

   She was unplaced in her only start, back in October last year, and has since been plagued by injuries. Bary said the filly will probably have another jumpout before she returns to the racetrack.

 

Results.-

 

   Heat 1, 750m: Patapan 2yr-old gelding (C Anderson) 1, No Excuse Needed 3yr-old filly 2, Tavistock 2yr-old filly 3. Four starters. Margins Head, long head. Time: 51.5s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

   Heat 2, 750m: Donna Beel (S Doyle) 1, Librettist 3yr-old filly 2, Ily Lily 3. Four starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, 2-1/4 lengths. Time: 49.3s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

   Heat 3, 1000m: Darci Brahma4yr-old gelding (M Dravitzki) 1, Alamosa-Half Your Luck 2yr-old gelding 2, China Cat 4yr-old gelding 3. Four starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, 3-1/2 lengths. Time: 1:2.6. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

   Heat 4, 1000m: Cool Hand Duke (M Dravitzki) 1, Ballywho 2, Trinovantes 3. Three starters. Margins: Long neck, 3 lengths. Time: 1:4.5. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

 

Addictive Habit chasing Queensland riches 7 May 2015

   Hawke’s Bay bred and part-owned galloper Addictive Habit will make his Australian debut in tomorrow’s Group 1 $A650,000 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane.

   Trainer Lee Somervell has decided to push on with plans to campaign the five-year-old at this year’s Queensland winter carnival despite him only managing to finish ninth out of 18 runners at his last start, in the Group 1 Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie on April 18.

   Somervell, while initially disappointed with the horse’s Easter Handicap performance, said it was his second start back from a spell and followed what was a gut-wrenching fresh up run for second behind Allez Eagle over 1400 metres at Te Aroha a fortnight before.

   “I think that first up run got to him a bit. It was quite a firm track that day and he had a big weight to carry (59kg).”

   Addictive Habit was bred by Hawke’s Bay couple Graham and Isabell Roddick and is raced by them along with a group of their family and friends. The Colombia gelding has had 27 starts for seven wins, eight seconds and a third and was successful in the Group 2 $200,000 Couplands Mile (1600m) at Riccarton three starts back.

   Somervell confirmed an Australian trip for the horse after he gave him an exhibition gallop between races at the Te Aroha meeting on Thursday of last week and he was put on a flight from Auckland to Brisbane last Sunday.

   “He really worked well at Te Aroha and is thriving,” he said.

   Somervell has had the Doomben Cup in mind for Addictive Habit from the time he resumed work after his summer spell but says it is going to be a big challenge for the horse, given the high quality of field that he faces and the fact that the race is run under weight-for-age conditions.

    The horse, who will be ridden by experienced Queensland jockey Michael Cahill, will also have to overcome the extreme outside barrier but Somervell is philosophical about his chances.

   “My motto is you can aim for the moon and if you don’t get there you are still among the stars,” Somervell added.

   Addictive Habit will be one of two New Zealand horse’s in tomorrow’s Doomben Cup, the other being the outstanding mare Silent Achiever.

   The O’Reilly six-year-old is also coming off a lack-lustre last start performance, when eighth in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on April 25 and suffered a colic attack when being floated back to her Brisbane base after that race.

   However, she has made a swift recovery and trainer Roger James was delighted with her work on Tuesday morning, which confirmed her place in tomorrow’s race.

   “I couldn’t fault her work and the way she recovered afterwards,” he said. “She galloped very well over a mile at Doomben and finished off nicely.”

   Silent Achiever has also drawn wide out at barrier 10 in what is likely to be her last race start before she is retired to the broodmare paddock.

   Bred and raced by New Zealand’s Kevin Hickman, Silent Achiever has recorded 10 wins, including Group 1 victories in the New Zealand Derby and  New Zealand Stakes at Ellerslie and both the The BMW and Ranvet Stakes in Sydney. Her stake earnings total more than $3.1million.

 

Right on target

   Best Shot, a horse bred by Hawke’s Bay brothers Chris and Ken Russell and closely related to the outstanding Australian performer Shoot Out, broke through for a maiden win at Tuesday’s Murillumbah meeting in Australia.

   The four-year-old High Chaparral gelding produced an eye-catching performance, coming from a clear last on the home turn in a 1200-metre event to get up and score by half a length.

   The Russells bred Best Shot out of the now deceased mare Avant Jazz and sold him to Australian couple Graeme and Linda Huddy as a weanling. The Huddys owned Shoot Out, who was also by High Chaparral out of a full-sister to Avant Jazz called Pentamerous.

   Shoot Out was the winner of 10 races in Australia including five at Group 1 level, the Chipping Norton Stakes (twice), Randwick Guineas, AJC Derby and George Main Stakes.

   Best Shot was broken in and did his early education at Greg and Jo Griffin’s Lime Country Thoroughbreds property at Okawa Stud in Hawke’s Bay before heading across the Tasman.

   The horse was initially pout into work with top Sydney trainer Chris Waller but was then on-sold by the Huddys and is now in the stable of Gold Coast trainer Maryann Brosnan.

   Chris Russell said this week that Best Shot has been a slow mature, who showed very little in his first few starts but started to improve at the beginning of this season, placing twice over a middle distance at Ipswich. He was then turned out for a summer spell and last Tuesday’s race was his first outing in a new campaign.

   Best Shot was the last foal produced by Avant Jazz as she then missed getting in foal to Mastercraftsman and died off an illness in 2012 when in foal to Rip Van Winkle.

   The Russells are still breeding from another daughter of Avant Jazz, the Kilimanjaro mare Mount Jazz, and have a Sir Percy three-year-old filly out of the mare presently in work with the Hastings training partnership of Sue Thompson and Mick Brown.

 

Nippin finds form

   Nippin, part-owned by Hawke’s Bay Racing’s general manager Jason Fleming, chalked up the sixth win of his career when taking out a $10,000 Rating 75 race over 1400 metres at last Friday’s Otaki meeting.

   The Pins seven-year-old trailed third until the home turn before rider Matthew Cameron took him up to challenge for the lead. Brad Thorn, ridden by Johnathon Parkes, went with him and the two horses fought a head to head tussle over the final stages before Nippin managed to get in the deciding stride.

   Nippin is trained at Hawera by Paul Moseley and has had 30 starts for six wins, five seconds and two thirds.

   The horse was originally prepared by New Plymouth trainer Allan Sharrock and was a $210,000 purchase from the 2009 premier session of the Karaka yearling sales. He is raced by Fleming in partnership with a Taranaki syndicate.

 

‘Dragon’ coming home

   Two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon has been retired to his native New Zealand and will spend his retirement years at the Okawa property of Hastings trainer Guy Lowry.

   The Pins gelding, who was bred by Lowry’s Taupo-based father Pat, retired with a record of 13 wins from 30 starts and amassed stakes of $9.8million. He was the sixth highest stake earner in Hong Kong racing history.

   A special ceremony took place at Sha Tin racecourse last week to bid farewell to the horse, who was trained in Hong Kong by Tony Millard.

   Ambitious Dragon had his early education in the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen before being sold to Hong Kong and joining Millard’s stable. He produced him for seven Group 1 victories including the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, Hong Kong Mile and Hong Kong Derby.

 

Rising Romance for Australia

   Star New Zealand racemare Rising Romance is Australia bound to be prepared for the Melbourne spring carnival as a five-year-old by David Hayes at his Euroa base.

   The horse will remain there for the spring and also contest next year’s autumn championships in Sydney.

   “Donna Logan has done a fantastic job winning the Australian Oaks and finishing runner-up in the Caulfield Cup,” said owner John Carter. “The decision was a hard one.

   “However on balance this is her best chance of winning some more Group 1 races before she retires.

   “Donna is still training other horses for us,” he added.

 

Dee extends stay

   Talented young New Zealand rider Michael Dee is going the distance in Australia.

   The 19-year-old joined Mick Price’s Melbourne stable at the start of the year on a three month loan, but he has made such a success of his time with the Caulfield trainer that he has extended his stay.

   “I’ve been here since January and it’s been going great and exceeded my expectations,” Dee said.

   “I’ve ridden more winners than I thought I would so I’m definitely staying on.”

   Dee, whose parents live in Hawke’s Bay, has 18 months of his apprenticeship left and intends to see out his time with Price.

   “That’s the plan – Mr Price has been good to me and he’s very easy to get along with,” he said.

   “I’ve had some pretty good rides and Ciaron Maher has been another trainer who has given me really good support. I think I’ve settled in well.”

   Dee, who won aboard the Price-trained Royal Snitzel at Moonee Valley in his first ride in Australia in January, began his career in Hastings with the training partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen before transferring to Kevin Myers and subsequently furthering his experience with former Te Akau trainer Jason Bridgman.

   His New Zealand highlight was a victory aboard Hera in the Group 2 $100,000 Eight Carat Classic for Roger James and he also won an open handicap last year aboard that Cambridge trainer’s star mare Silent Achiever

   Dee crossed the Tasman with 106 winners to his credit and has added a further 16 in Australia, 10 of them in the city to place him seventh on the apprentices’ metropolitan premiership.

   “It helps with the two kilo claim in the city,” he said.

HASTINGS TRACKWORK 5 May 2015

   Last start winner Broadwalk, preparing for Saturday’s Rotorua meeting, strode out well in a solo gallop at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided good footing. A penetrometer reading was taken on the course proper yesterday and came up as a good-3.

   Broadwalk worked in from the 1200-metre peg and was timed to run the last 1000 metres in 1:5.1 and the final 600 in 38.4. The addition of blinkers and a slow-8 track saw the horse turn his form around with a strong win over 1600 metres at Wanganui last start and he will contest a Rating 85 race over 1600 at Rotorua this Saturday.

   Saint Kitt had trainer Kelly Burne aboard when running an easy 1000 metres in 1:13, the last 600 in 41.5. He only managed sixth when resuming over 1600 metres at Otaki last Friday but Burne said the distance was always going to be too short for him and he could now step up to 2100 metres at Awapuni on Saturday week.

   Mahora Bay and a China Cat four-year-old gelding turned in one of the best times of the session when running 7800 metres together in 52.2, the last 600 in 37.5. Mahora Bay could line up in a 1400-metre maiden race at Hastings this Thursday.

   Viceroy, another likely starter at Thursday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting, was restricted to just three-quarter pace, running the last 600 metres of his work in 45.2. He failed at Trentham last start but has a good record on his home track.

   Waipatiki Girl took 1:27 for a solo 1200 metres, the last 600 in 43.6 while a Towkay-Yeah Nah three-year-old gelding and an Alamosa two-year-old gelding, both in the Lowry/Cullen stable, clocked 53.2 for 800 metres, the last 600 in 38.1.

   Miss Drama Queen and Odencian worked together over 1000 metres in 1:6.6, the last 600 in 39 while Ratpack ran 1000 metres on his own in 1:10.9, the last 600 in 39.6.

   A Sandtrap four-year-old mare in the Lowry/Cullen stable ran an easy 600 metres on her own in 41.6 while a No Excuse Needed-Stepping Out three-year-old filly and a Patapan full-brother to Beautiful Man ran 600 metres in 40.5.

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