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Hastings-trained Talenti fulfils early promise 30 May 2019

   Hastings-trained Talenti lived up to the high opinion jockey Johnathan Parkes has of the gelding when scoring a game debut win at last week’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   The Niagara three-year-old was unplaced in two barrier trials towards the end of last year but was unlucky not to finish a lot closer in one of them, when ridden by Parkes.

   “In his first trial at Foxton he got jammed up against the inside rail in the straight, when he was going well, and probably should have won,” the horse’s co-trainer Guy Lowry said this week.

   “Johnathan liked him then and said he was one of the most promising three-year-olds he had ridden at that stage of the season.”

   Lowry and his training partner Grant Cullen have taken Talenti along quietly since those trials and the horse showed a glimpse of his ability when winning a 1000m jumpout at Hastings a month ago. He also finished second in another 1000m jumpout at Woodville on May 10.

   “He’s a horse that has taken a bit of time to come to it but he should go on with it now,” Lowry said.

   “Johnathan Parkes has always rated him and was keen to ride him when he finally got to the races.”

   Talenti was the centre of a major betting plunge at Hastings last week, opening at a double-figure quote on the tote before coming into $5.90 when the race started.

   The three-year-old was slow to begin in the 1200m event and was a clear last on settling. Parkes then sent him on a forward move around the field and he ranged up wide out rounding the home bend.

   The horse then took a while to get properly balanced in the home straight before producing a great finishing burst, under a vigorous ride from Parkes, to get up and snatch a nose victory on the line.

   Talenti is owned by his Auckland breeder Trish Dunell, whose husband is noted Singapore-based punter Graeme Mackie.

   Dunell has shares in the stallion Niagara, who started his breeding career at the former Hawke’s Bay stud of Lime Country Thoroughbreds before being transferred to The Oaks Stud in Cambridge.

   Dunell bred Talenti out of the Lonhro mare La Tourneau, a mare she raced and who recorded one win and five minor placings from 26 starts. She is a daughter of the six race winner Tonic.

   “We have got a Niagara yearling filly coming on out of the mare and she is now back in foal to Niagara,” Dunell said.

   “We sent her to Showcasing two years ago but she didn’t gel with him and didn’t get in foal,” she added.

   Lowry and Cullen have now turned Talenti out for a brief spell and will bring her back for races in the early spring.


Savvy Coup sells for $A1million at auction

   Dual Group 1 winning mare Savvy Coup was sold for $A1million at the Magic Millions Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale in Queensland on Tuesday.

   The daughter of Savabeel was offered by Attunga Stud on behalf of her New Zealand owners, Ray Coupland and Jim Bruford and their families.

   Savvy Coup won the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham as a three-year-old and also took out the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings in October last year. She also included the Group 3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings among her New Zealand victories.

   She has had 16 starts for six wins, two seconds and three thirds and her stake earnings total more than $669,000.

   She is one of two winners from the unraced mare Eudora, who is a sister to Group 2 winner Legless Veuve and the Group 3 scorer Tootsie and was purchased by Coolmore in conjunction with Morning Rise Stud’s Rob McClure.

   Attunga Stud’s Brian Nutt was hopeful the mare would make somewhere in the region of her eventual $1 million price tag.

   “I thought the million was spot on for her,” Nutt said.

   “We were hoping to get a million and we had a reserve in place to under a million in the hope she would make that. We got the price that we were hoping for - so it was a good result.”

   Coolmore has previously enjoyed success with daughters of Savabeel, having purchased Group 1 winner Diademe for $740,000 in partnership in 2015 before reselling her last year for $1.7 million.

   They also sold a Fastnet Rock colt out of Diademe for NZ$1 million last year.

   The top-priced mare at Tuesday’s sale was Missrock who will head to the UK after being knocked down to the bid of Highclere Stud’s John and Jake Warren for $A2.3million.

   The Warrens came out on top in a lively bidding battle with Coolmore Stud to secure the Group 3 winning daughter of Fastnet Rock, who won four times including the Group 3 Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) and also finished runner-up in Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) on two occasions during a stellar career on the track.


Myrtle chalks up fourth victory

   Hawke’s Bay-owned Myrtle made it four wins from 15 starts with another dominant victory in a $25,000 Rating 72 race over 1600m at Awapuni on May 18.

   The Keeper mare, trained on the Awapuni track by David Goldsbury, added to her good record on her home course where she has had six starts for two wins and a third.

   She is a mare that has had niggling injuries in the past but looks to have come back this season better than ever, with two wins from her last three starts.

   Myrtle was bred by Napier’s Tony Aldridge and Hastings-based Gerard Moughan.

   They are both 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.


?Waddell’s surgery successful

   Jockey Jason Waddell is already eyeing a return to the saddle on August 1 after undergoing a successful surgery on his leg on Monday morning.

   Waddell missed parts of the season through the impact of compartment syndrome, which limited the supply of blood to his right leg, causing increased pressure and severe pain.

   “If I do any impact, the calf muscle in my right leg swells. Whether it’s jumping on and off horses, any kind of running, skipping and going down flights of stairs,” he said.

   “Unfortunately no blood goes down my leg and I get a build-up of lactic acid and I am unable to walk for a few hours and in quite a lot of pain.”

   Despite the condition, Waddell has still managed to kick home 53 winners this season including a Group 1 victory aboard Shadows Cast in the Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham in January.

   “Through the leg I had to miss the first Group 1 at Hastings,” he said. “I missed a few big days during the season, just through when it flared up. 

   “To be up over 50 winners and have another Group 1, and I pretty much only rode until Derby Day, so I was very happy with the season.”

   Waddell is happy to get the surgery completed and is aiming towards a return to race day riding at the start of next season.

   “It’s hard for them to give me a timeframe, but it’s quite a common injury with football players. The timeframe they give them is pretty much eight weeks to be back on the pitch playing,” he said.

   “That’s been kicked and tackled around the leg, so I don’t think I will be that far. I have given myself six to eight weeks, so hopefully in the last week of July I’ll be back riding some around and then be rearing to go by August 1.”


Book closed for Roaring Lion

   Cambridge Stud has closed the 2019 book for their freshman sire Roaring Lion.

   “From the moment the horse was released to the market, the response from breeders in both New Zealand and Australia was immediate and we are now closing his book,” Cambridge Stud chief executive Henry Plumptre said.

   “Bringing champion racehorses of the calibre of Roaring Lion and Almanzor into New Zealand, to stand alongside our champion international sire Tavistock, at very competitive service fees is a key component of our business model.

   “We are delighted with the response to all the stallions and appreciate the endorsement from breeders across New Zealand and Australia.”

   Roaring Lion, like Almanzor, was named Cartier Champion three-year-old and Horse of the Year after a stellar 2018 season resulted in four consecutive weight-for-age Group 1 wins in the UK, earning him a Timeform rating of 130.


Tuigirl and One Prize One Goal, both entered for Wanganui on Saturday, hit out well in separate gallops at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   All fast work was carried out on the plough, which provided good footing.

   Tuigirl worked over a round and was timed from the 1200m peg in 1:25.7. She went from there to the 600 at three-quarter pace before quickening over the last 600 in 38.7.

   The Niagara filly only managed seventh over 1800m at New Plymouth last start but that followed a strong win over 1600m at Hastings. She will be entered for the Rating 65 race over 2040m at Wanganui.

   One Prize One Goal, who broke through for a well deserved win over 1400m at Awapuni last week, worked on his own over 1000m in 1:7.8, running the first 400m in a leisurely 28.9 before speeding up over the last 600 in 38.9. He will be stepped up to 1600m in a Rating 72 race at Wanganui, with Rosie Myers booked to ride him.

   King Farouk, entered for the Maiden 1200 at Awapuni on Thursday, had trainer James Bridge aboard when working keenly over 800m in 51, the last 600 in 37.3. He was run down in the last 100 metres when finishing fifth over 1300m at Hastings last Wednesday.

   Valerius rounded off his preparation for the Maiden 1550 at Awapuni on Thursday with an easy 600m in 41 while Sheer Elegance, another entered for the same race, worked well on her own over 600m in 38.7.

   Ivory Madonna, a Jimmy Choux filly trained by Stephen Carey, worked well on her own over 600m in 37.6 while an Atlante two-year-old gelding from the same stable ran an easy 600m in 40.2.

   Atlanta Peach, back after a brief spell, ran a solo 800m in 53.1, the last 600 in 41.1. She is likely to resume racing in a Rating 72 race over 1400m at the Hawke’s Bay meeting on June 29.

   Surpriseus worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1000m peg and was timed to run the last 600 in 42.4 while Call Me Jack and Eisenhower worked easily together over 600m in 42.9.


   An easy all the way win by Smokin’ Oak and a good hit out by Sheer Elegance were among the highlights at today’s Hastings jumpouts.

   There were seven heats run at either 750m or 1000m and were held up against the running rail on the course proper (dead).

   Smokin’ Oak flew the gates to take a clear early lead in his 750m heat and never looked like being caught, winning by 6 lengths in a time of 46.1s.

   The Burgundy four-year-old disappointed when finishing last over 1400m at Awapuni last Saturday and so trainer John Bary said he changed some gear on the horse for today’s jumpout and he certainly showed a marked improvement.

   Bary is unsure where Smokin’ Oak will start next but did say he is considering stepping the horse up in class for a Rating 72 race over 1200m at Wanganui on June 1.

   Sheer Elegance clocked the fastest time of the three 1000m heats when she clocked 59.8s in beating two rivals in good style. Trainer Lee Somervell is finding it hard to find a suitable race for the Civics mare, who has recorded a second and a fourth over 1600m in her last two starts.

   “I’d like to give her another 1600 somewhere but there is a lack of 1600-metre maiden races at the moment,” Somervell said.

   Other good winners at the jumpouts were Overstayer, Motivation and a Savabeel two-year-old gelding from the Lowry/Cullen stable.



Heat 1, 750m: Ocean Park 2yr-old gelding (T Morgan) 1, Iffraaj 2yr-old gelding 2, Raise The Flag 3yr-old gelding 3. Three starters. Margins: Head, 15 lengths. Time: 51.2. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 2, 750m: Niagara-Little Hazel 2yr-old filly (K Hercock) 1, Niagara-Belfast babe 2yr-old filly 2, Jakalberry 3yr-old filly 3. Three starters. Margins: Long neck, 7 lengths. Time: 51.4. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 3, 750m: Savabeel 2yr-old gelding (T Morgan) 1, Ocean Park 2yr-old gelding 2, Jimmy Choux 2yr-old filly 3. Three starters. Margins: Neck, 2 lengths. Time: 45.9. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 4, 750m: Smokin’ Oak (K Hercock) 1, Rock ‘N’ Pop-Mink 2yr-old 2, Eastern Warrior 3. Four starters. Margins: 6 lengths, ½ length. Time: 46.1. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 5, 1000m: Overstayer (S Thompson) 1, Mistletoe 2, Louboutin 3. Four starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, 5 lengths. Time: 1:01.1. Winner trained by Sue Thompson & Mick Brown, Hastings.

Heat 6, 1000m: Sheer Elegance (T Morgan) 1, Bucky 2, Devi 3. Three starters. Margins: ½ length, 2 lengths. Time: 59.8. Winner trained by Lee Somervell, Hastings.

Heat 7, 1000m: Motivation (K Hercock) 1, Charlie Zulu 2, Stradivarius 3. Five starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, 1 length. Time: 60.5. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Celebratory drink for The Puketapu Lad’s owners 23 May 2019

   The owners of The Puketapu Lad, who broke through for a maiden win at Otaki on Thursday of last week, are so devoted to their horse that they have even invited him in for a drink at their local pub.

   Sean O’Connor, who manages the See You At The Puke Trap Syndicate that races the four-year-old Roc de Cambes gelding, says that even though the horse is only a one-race winner he is already a legend in the country area of Puketapu, north-west of Napier.

   “It was when he was in his first preparation, at the end of last year, that we arranged to have him come into the bar of the Puketapu,” O’Connor said this week.

   “It was a big occasion and I have to thank Mary Danielson , the proprietor of the Puketapu Hotel, for allowing it to happen. But she has got a share in the horse anyway so that helped.”

   Asked whether The Puketapu Lad had a drink while he was up at the bar, O’Connor replied: “We gave him a beer. He had a sniff of a jug but probably preferred something else.”

   The Puketapu Lad, who is prepared by the Hastings partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, was having his seventh start when he broke through for his first win over 1600m at Otaki. The horse was slow away and a distant equal last for the first 400m of the race before jockey Sam O’Malley managed to pinch runs down on the inside and improve to midfield approaching the home turn.

   O’Malley stayed hard up against the inside rail swinging round the home bend, so that he never had to go around a horse, and The Puketapu Lad hit the front early in the home straight to put a break on his rivals.

   Rex Royale put him under pressure inside the last 100 metres but The Puketapu Lad managed to hold him out by half a head on the line.

   It was the horse’s first glimpse of form, with his best placing in six previous starts being a fifth over 1600m at Hastings on New Year’s Day.

   O’Connor said there are 13 members in the See You At The Puke Trap Syndicate and most of them are first time owners. They include a couple from Palmerston North, who were on course at Otaki to celebrate the win, and one member who lives in Papua New Guinea.

   “I couldn’t get there myself because it was a mid-week race meeting and I had to work,” O’Connor said.

   “Most of us in the horse are from around the Puketapu area and we meet and drink at the Puketapu Hotel.”

   O’Connor and his wife Angela and two other syndicate members, Garry and Heather Collins, bred The Puketapu Lad out of the Danske mare Boxer Fluffies.

   Boxer Fluffies was the winner of four races and finished second behind subsequent Group 1 winner Baldessarini over 1300m at Awapuni in December 2004.

   “Angela and I and Garry and Heather are the Mow The Lawn Syndicate and we own the mare Boxer Fluffies,” Sean O’Connor said.

   “We are still breeding from her and Guy and Grant have got a two-year-old full-brother to The Puketapu Lad in work now.

   “We’ve also got a weanling full-brother coming on but the mare missed getting in foal this year.”

   The Puketapu Lad has spent most of this preparation working over the hills on the Dannevirke property operated by Grant Cullen and his partner Nikki Lourie and that has obviously built up the horse’s stamina.

   “He really fought on well when he won the other day and the heavy-10 track obviously helped him,” co-trainer Grant Cullen said.

   “He might now go back to Awapuni on May 30 for a Rating 65 race over 1550 metres or else to Wanganui on June 1 for a Rating 65 over 2040 metres.

   “It all depends on the tracks and he’ll go wherever it is the heaviest.”


Top goal is finally achieved

   Hastings-trained One Prize One Goal picked up a well deserved win for his connections when taking out the $22,500 Awapuni-Water Force 1400 at Awapuni last Saturday.

   The Ekraar five-year-old had recorded four seconds, three thirds and a fourth from nine starts since New Year’s Day and had been narrowly beaten on several occasions.

   “He certainly deserved that win,” trainer Lee Somervell said this week. “He’s gone so close a number of times and has been just beaten by some pretty good horses.”

   “I told the girl that rode him to give him a good look at the winning post on the way to the start just so he knew where it was,” he quipped.

   Somervell was worried that the heavy-10 track at Awapuni could have been a bit too testing for One Prize One Goal so he instructed promising apprentice Hazel Schofer to be positive on the horse and get him up into a handy position from the start.

   Schofer followed the instructions to the letter, bouncing the horse out quickly from the barrier to get up outside the leader Pincanto at the end of the first 400m. She then let One Prize One Goal slide forward to take the lead coming to the home bend and he quickly established a break on the opposition early in the home straight.

   Paddy Bourke mounted a big finish from the back inside the last 300m but  One Prize One Goal, with Schofer keeping him balanced with just a hands and heels ride, managed to just hold on for a nose decision.

   “It was a good ride by young Hazel, who is building a good record. The 4 kilogram allowance that she gets certainly helped because this track didn’t really suit the horse,” Somervell said after the win.

   One Prize One Goal was recording his fourth win and his first since taking out a $22,500 Rating 65 race over 1200m at Hastings in April last year.

   He is owned by Somervell’s Napier-based partner Shirin Wood and her son Calvin and raced by them along with the estate of Shirin’s late husband Kevin.

   The Woods bred One Prize One Goal out of the Towkay mare Sheeza Kinda Magic, who was unplaced from three starts but was out of Wake Up Suzie, a mare that recorded five wins and 11 minor placings.

  Somervell had intended turning One Prize One Goal out for a winter spell after last Saturday’s race but said the horse has come through it so well that he might give him one more start, in a Rating 72 race over 1600m at Wanganui on June 1..

   “I’d like to give him a break and then bring him back for some of those good races at Hawke’s Bay in the spring,” Somervell said.


Napoleon rules in  maiden steeples

   Hawke’s Bay racehorse owner Don Poulgrain has waited 15 years to get a good horse and Napoleon could be the one that fulfils his life-time dreams.

   The six-year-old Shinko King gelding created a big impression when winning a maiden steeplechase at Te Rapa last Saturday. It was the horse’s fourth win and his second over fences after he took out a maiden hurdle at the same Te Rapa   meeting last year. He now looks destined for much bigger things as a jumper.

   “He’s certainly looking good,” Poulgrain said when contacted earlier this week.

   “He seems to be a two course specialist at this stage because he’s raced twice at Te Rapa and won and twice at Wairoa and won.”

   Napoleon started out in the Otaki stable of former New Zealand trainer Rachael Frost, who still has a share in the horse, but is now based in Victoria, Australia. She transferred him to Wanganui trainer Kevin Myers just over 12 months ago with the plan to develop him into a jumper.

   Myers has adopted a patient policy with the horse and it should now start to reap rewards. He finished second in his hurdle debut over 3000m at Wanganui in May last year before winning a 2800m hurdle race at Te Rapa.

   Poulgrain has been mad keen on racing since he was a youngster and has had shares in a number of horses over the years with limited success. But he was keen to get into another one.

   “I asked Rachael if she had anything I could take a share in and she said yes and that is how I got a 10 per cent share in Napoleon,” Poulgrain said.

   “He now looks a very promising steeplechaser.”

   The only drawback Poulgrain can see is that the horse doesn’t like heavy tracks at the moment and we are now heading into winter.

   “He might have to go to Australia where the tracks don’t get quite so heavy and he could be competitive there.”

   In the meantime Napoleon could contest a minor steeplechase race over 4000m at Trentham on June 8 and then maybe the Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase (4800m) on June 29.


Myrtle chalks up fourth victory

   Hawke’s Bay-owned Myrtle made it four wins from 15 starts with another dominant victory in a $25,000 Rating 72 race over 1600m at Awapuni last Saturday.

   The Keeper mare, trained on the Awapuni track by David Goldsbury, added to her good record on her home track where she has had six starts for two wins and a third.

   She is a mare that has had niggling injuries in the past but looks to have come back this season better than ever, with two wins from her last three starts.

   Myrtle was bred by Napier’s Tony Aldridge  and Hastings-based Gerard Moughan.

   They are both 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.


Secret Squirrel proving a hit for Hawke’s Bay owner 16 May 2019

   Taradale racehorse owner Ken Robson is starting to finally reap rewards after nearly 40 years of racing horses with Secret Squirrel providing the 73-year-old with some exciting times of late.

   Robson has a 50 per cent share in the Showcasing five-year-old, who took his record to two wins, seven seconds and a third from 14 starts when scoring a decisive 1-1/4 length win in a $22,500 Rating 65 race over 1200m at New Plymouth last Saturday and looks destined for bigger things in the future.

   Secret Squirrel, who is also part-owned by his New Plymouth trainer Bryce Revell, credited Robson with his first success as an owner when he took out a 1350m maiden race at Wanganui in September last year and the horse has now only once failed to return a stakemoney cheque.

   “It’s pretty exciting,” a delighted Robson said this week.

   “I’ve been in this game a long time and he’s the best horse I’ve had.”

   Robson said the first horse he raced was Ipi Tombi, who was trained at Hastings by Marlene Todd back in 1980 and was unplaced in three starts.

   “I’ve been involved in close on 20 other horses since then but most of them have been no good,” he said.

   “My father Reg was a keen racehorse owner and when he died in 2004 I was left two fillies by Handsome Ransom.”

   “I decided to send them over the Bryce Revell but he quickly told me not to waste my time with them. He said he had bought a yearling from the South Island that I could take a half-share in and that is Secret Squirrel.”

   Revell had paid $8500 at a Christchurch sale for the son of Showcasing out of an unraced Commands mare and the gelding has now won more than $42,000 in prizemoney.

   “Bryce named him Secret Squirrel because, as a young horse, he was always into everything,” Robson recalled.

   Secret Squirrel showed immediate promise on the racetrack, finishing second on debut behind Dark Princess in a 1200m maiden at Hastings in July 2017. He then recorded another three seconds, a third and two fourths from his next seven starts before developing joint issues in his knees.

   He was off the scene for seven months, resuming at the start of this season with a second and a fourth before his Wanganui win.

   “Bryce rang me not long after that win and said the horse was again suffering from joint problems and might be gone in the knees,” Robson said.

   “He had another six months off and has now had three starts back for two seconds and last Saturday’s win.”

   Revell said Secret Squirrel was “full of tricks” as a young horse and took a long to break in.

   “But he’s now grown into a pretty good horse,” he added.

   Revell said Secret Squirrel has come through last Saturday’s win in such good order that he now intends backing the horse up in a $25,000 Rating 72 race over 1400m at Te Rapa tomorrow.

   Robson now has a share in two other horses trained by Revell and he and the trainer purchased a weanling filly by Per Incanto for $700 on Monday of this week off the thoroughbred auction site Gavelhouse.


Australian success for HB couple

   Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred breeder Richard Wood and his wife Liz celebrated a win in Australia last week but he is one of a growing number of New Zealand racehorse owners disillusioned by the current state of the New Zealand racing and breeding industry.

   The Woods are part-owners in Chouxting The Mob, who took out a $A50,000 Rating 70 race over 2400m at Sandown on Wednesday of last week.

   It was the horse’s fourth win from 15 starts and he has also recorded three seconds and two thirds for stake earnings of $A94,615.

   The Woods bred Chouxting The Mob but decided to sell him as a weanling at the 2014 Karaka mixed bloodstock sale.

   “We sold him for $60,000 but retained a 10 per cent ownership in him,” Wood recalled this week.

   The horse went to Australia to be trained by Simon Morrish at Ballarat and he arranged a large syndicate to take up the other 90 per cent ownership in the horse.

   Chouxting The Mob showed good early potential with a win, a second, a third and a fourth from his first six starts. However he was then found to have a bone fracture in one of his legs which necessitated in him being sidelined for more than 12 months.

   The five-year-old resumed with a fifth over 1500m at Geelong in January this year and has since had another eight starts for three wins, two seconds and a third.

   “He is a pretty good horse and he stays very well,” Wood said.

   “He’s the sort of horse that you need to starting moving on at the 1000-metre peg in a race. He can’t sprint at the finish but he never stops.”

   The Woods bred Chouxting The Mob out of the Reset mare Bidthemobgooday, who they bought from Australia when in-foal to Duporth.

   They sold the resultant foal who is now called Duplicity and has won five races and finished second in last year’s New Zealand Cup (3200m).

   Chouxting The Mob is likely to have his next start in a $A50,000 race over 2500m at Cranbourne on May 24. He is the second foal the Woods bred out of Bidthemobgooday and they then sold the mare in foal to Jimmy Choux.

   The Woods are best known as the breeders and owners of former champion galloper Jimmy Choux, who was a five time Group 1 winner and finished second in the 2011Cox Plate.

   Jimmy Choux has been standing at Rich Hill Stud, in the Waikato, since 2012 with the Woods retaining a 35% ownership in the horse. However he has recently been sold outright to prominent West Australian  owner-breeder Alan MacAlister and will stand next season at Wayne and Tracy Rodwell’s Rosalee Park Stud in Serpentine, WA.

   Jimmy Choux was New Zealand’s leading first season sire in 2015-16 and has been a consistent producer of winners in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.

   He was represented with his first Group 1 winner when The Bostonian took out last Saturday’s $A800,000 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) in Queensland and Wood believes the stallion will be much better patronized in Australia.

   “You make some bad decisions in life and bringing him (Jimmy Choux) back to stand at stud in New Zealand was the worst decision I’ve made in 45 years,” Wood said.

   “He has not been well patronized at stud here and I don’t know why,” Wood said.

   “We sold the highest priced yearling by him for $210,000 at the 2016 Karaka sales and that horse went to Japan. He has been named Cosmo Periot over there and has had two wins and six seconds in Tokyo.”

   Jimmy Choux covered 75 mares in the 2014 breeding season but his popularity with breeders has waned ever since.

   Wood says the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry in New Zealand is in very bad shape which is why he is now concentrating more on Australia.

   “Most of our mares are moving to Australia. It is a waste of time breeding and racing horses here with the poor stakemoney that is on offer.”


Miss Wilson to be sold at auction

   The Group 1 winning racemare Miss Wilson is to be offered for sale at the Magic Millions mixed bloodstock sale in Queensland at the end of this month.

   The Stratum six-year-old, bred and owned by Hawke’s Bay couple Richard and Liz Wood, is a half-sister to the five-time Group 1 winner Jimmy Choux.

   She will be offered as part of the draft from Lime Country Thoroughbreds and is in foal to boom Australian sire Zoustar.

   Miss Wilson had 25 starts from the Hastings stable of John Bary for seven wins, four seconds and three thirds. She took out last year’s Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha and was also twice successful at Group 3 level, in the Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham and Red Badge Spring Sprint (1400m) at Hastings.


By-monthly award winners

   The mother and daughter combination of Diana Clough and Sarah Gregory-Hunt are the recipients of the Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners Association’s Kevin Wood Memorial by-monthly award for the months of March and April.

   Clough and Gregory-Hunt are the breeders and owners of Rekohu Diva, a five-year-old mare by Playmaker who  is trained on the Hastings track by Sue Thompson and Mick Brown and scored a game maiden win over 1200m at Otaki on April 10.


HB races next Wednesday

   Jumping action will return to the Hastings track next Wednesday when Hawke’s Bay Racing stages its annual Fruitfed Supplies raceday.

   At this stage an eight race programme is scheduled, including an open hurdle race which may be split into two races, depending on the number of entries.

   The first race is timed for 12.01pm and there is free admission for patrons as well as free entry to the Members Stand.


   One Prize One Goal, who could race at either Te Rapa or Awapuni this Saturday, 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.

   One Prize One Goal worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1000m peg, quickening over the last 600m. He clocked 1:8 for the full distance, the final 600 in 38.4.

   The Ekraar gelding deserves to pick up a win after four seconds and a third from his last five starts. He only went down by a neck when second over 1400m at Hastings last start and is likely to be stepped up to 1600m this Saturday.

   His stablemate Stradivarius, who could also line up this weekend, was let off with an easy 600m in 39. He has been a past winner on the Te Rapa track.

   Last start winner Carillion, a likely starter in the Rating 72 race over 1200m at Awapuni on Saturday, was kept under a hold when running home the last 600m of her work in 38.4.

   An Atlante two-year-old gelding trained by Stephen Carey sprinted 600m on his own in 37.8 while Scandalo was not hurried when running a solo 600m in 39. He looks in good order but trainer Patrick Campbell says the meeting programming makes it difficult to find a suitable race for the sprinter.

   Matt Cain, who could start next at the Hawke’s Bay meeting on Wednesday of next week, ran a solo 1000m in 1:10.9, the last 600 in 39.8 while Call Me Jack, entered for the highweight race over 1600m at Otaki on Thursday, ended his work with 600m in 42.3.

   Polizzi worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1200m peg, clocking 1:26.3 for the full distance and 42.1 for the final 600.

   Surpriseus and a Jakkalberry two-year-old filly worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1000m peg, speeding up slightly over the last 600 in 40.1 while Johnny Russ ended his work with 600m in 45.

Filly is proving extra good for Hawke’s Bay pair 9 May 2019

Two long time Hawke’s Bay friends who have been racing horses together for more than 20 years, celebrated a deserved success when Shez Ekstra capped off some minor placings with a decisive maiden win at Trentham last Saturday.

   Paddy Murphy and Grahame Hook, who both live in Taradale, bred and own the Ekraar three-year-old filly and the way she won suggests she should go on to much better things for them in the future.

   “Grahame and I have been going to race meetings together for 40 years and have raced horses together for 20-odd years,” Paddy Murphy recalled this week.

   “The first horse we raced together was Regal Secret who was trained by Trevor Whittington, when he was based at Hastings a long time ago.

   One of the best horses the pair has raced was MacDagger, who recorded four wins and five minor placings from the Foxton stable of Grant Laursen.

   Murphy and Hook bred MacDagger and also raced his dam Machadee and grand dam Miradee, who were both one race winners.

   Paddy Murphy has also raced horses in other partnerships over the years, with his biggest success to date being Don Domingo’s win in the 2011 Hawke’s Bay Cup.

   Shez Ekstra is trained on the Hastings track by the Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen partnership and was having her ninth start when she lined up in the Nicoletta Cup Maiden (1600m) at last Sunday’s Wellington meeting.

   The filly’s win followed three second placings, the most recent over 1600m at Waipukurau in March.

   Lowry and Cullen have always had a high opinion of Shez Ekstra and it was just a matter of striking the right track conditions for the filly, and also the addition of blinkers, to bring out the best in her.

   Jockey Johnathan Parkes settled the filly back fourth-last in the early rush for positions before angling her away from the inside passing the 800m peg and then improving around the field coming to the home bend.

   Shez Ekstra was the widest runner on straightening and kept up a strong finish to win by 1-1/2 lengths from Relda, with Greystone a further 1-1/4 lengths back in third.

   The winning time of 1:40.84 on a heavy-10 track was almost two seconds faster than Whatsup took to beat the Rating 65 horses in the following race.

   Shez Ekstra’s victory brought up 100 wins for the season for jockey Johnathan Parkes and he made it 1010 when taking out the following event on Whatsup. It is the third time he has posted in excess of 100 wins in a season, with his best year being when he chalked up 118 wins in 2013-14.

   Murphy said he and Hook have already turned down some lucrative offers for Shez Ekstra but they have so far resisted selling her.

   “Grahame has always been keen to keep her and I agree,” Murphy said.

   “She should get better with age and over more distance.”

   Lowry and Cullen would like to step the filly up in distance in her next start, but the only suitable race for her is a Rating 65 event over 2040m at Wanganui on June 1.

   “It is a long wait until then so we might have to look at another 1600-metre race at Awapuni on May 18 in the meantime,” Murphy added.

   Murphy and Hook bred She’s Ekstra out of the Viking Ruler mare Happiness Rules, who they owned for a couple of years before giving her away.

   “There were only two foals out of the mare,” Murphy said.

   “The first one was by Faltaat and was no good.”


Impressive fresh up victory

    London Express, part-owned by Havelock North’s Tess Castles, brought up her third win from only eight starts when she resumed from a spell with a dominant victory at Trentham last Sunday.

    The Shamexpress filly was having her first start since November last year when she lined up in the $30,000 Enzo’s Lad Cup, a Rating 82 race over 1200m. But she had hinted at a big fresh up performance with a second in a 1000m trial at Foxton in March and then an impressive win in a 1000m Waverley trial on April 9.

   Trainer Allan Sharrock engaged apprentice Madan Singh to ride London Express at Trentham to make use of his two kilogram claim.

   The filly wanted to over-race in the early stages as Singh tried to restrain her back in about sixth place and then he had to wait on a split between horses early in the home straight before asking her to extend.

   Once in the clear London Express accelerated quickly and looked to have plenty in reserve as she got to the line clear of King Cougar and the fast finishing William Wallace.

   “She’s a quality filly that doesn’t mind the sting out of the ground and we’ll have a lot of fun with her,” trainer Allan Sharrock said.

   London Express certainly showed plenty of potential as a two-year-old last season, winning over 1200m at New Plymouth at her third start before taking out the Listed $50,000 Castletown Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui.


Carillion performs at her best again

   Guy Lowry had a special thank-you to fellow Hastings trainer Kate Hercock following Carillion’s return to wining form in the $22,500 Emily Margaret Cup at Trentham last Saturday.

   Carillion is a very highly strung mare who has not been easy to ride in trackwork and has ruined her chances by wanting to go far too keenly in her races. So the Lowry/Cullen partnership has used the experience of former successful jockey Kate Hercock to help settle the filly down in her work.

   The policy certainly worked with Carillion being a lot more manageable, despite leading all the way, when recording a 1-3/4 length win over 1000m at Sunday’s Wellington meeting.

   The speedy mare bounced out quickly from an outside barrier to quickly get across and lead the big field coming across the junction and on to the course proper.

   Jockey Anna Jones then kicked the mare clear early in the home straight and she kept up a strong run to the line to comfortably hold out Desert Magic and Miss Lizzie.

    It was Carillion’s third win from 18 starts. She won a 1000m maiden race at Taupo in August last year and also took out a 1200m Rating 65 race at Wairoa in February.

   The mare races in the colours made famous by horses bred and raced by the former Te Parae Stud in Masterton and was bred by Wairarapa-based Angela Williams. The mare is now raced by a syndicate that is managed by Auckland’s John Duncan, with several of the members residing in the Wairarapa area.

   Guy Lowry said Carillion will now probably head to a Rating 72 race over 1200m at Awapuni on May 18.

   “We weren’t sure whether she would handle that heavy track at Trentham but she got through it well,” Lowry said.


Melody Belle back in work

   Multiple Group 1 winner Melody Belle has returned to Jamie Richards’ stable, with her trainer pencilling in the Group 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa in August as the mare’s early target.

   “She got back on the truck at Te Akau Stud on Monday morning and travelled to Matamata,” Fortuna Syndicate manager John Galvin said.

   “She will trial a couple of times, probably in late July and then at Te Teko (in August), and shell go to the Foxbridge and then on to Hawke’s Bay.

   “This year we will do the three legs of the Hawke’s Bay triple crown, we didn’t go to the Livamol (Classic) with her last year.

   “That’s as far as the planning has got at this stage.”

   The mare enjoyed a lucrative campaign last year, adding five further Group 1s to her CV, taking her total top-level tally to six. She won the first two legs of the Hawke’s Bay spring Group 1 triple crown, the Tarzino Trophy (1400m) and Windsor Park Plate (1600m).


Durrant enjoying Australian stint

   Promising Hastings apprentice Hunter Durrant is enjoying a busy lifestyle in Australia, where he is on loan to Victorian trainer Patrick Payne.

   Durrant, 18, is apprenticed to the partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and left for Australia a fortnight ago. He plans to be there for at least another month and is then likely to 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 contacted Lowry this week and said he had just been granted his licence to race-ride in Australia. He is riding up to 25 horses in trackwork of a morning, starting at 4am with the powerful Hawkes stable before moving on to Payne’s property. He was riding at jumpouts on Wednesday and trials yesterday.

   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.

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