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Call Me Jack part of Hastings treble at Wanganui 21 Jun 2019

   Hastings-trained horses dominated the early part of last week’s Wanganui meeting, winning the first three races on the programme.

   Call Me Jack, trained and part-owned by Tim Symes, stunned punters when winning the opening event at odds of 18 to one. Look Out brought up a second success for the new partnership of Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal when taking out race two. And the John Bary-trained Louboutin capped off four previous minor placings with an easy maiden win in race three.

   It has been a long time between celebration drinks for Tim Symes, a former board member of Hawke’s Bay Racing and a long time Hastings-based owner and trainer of thoroughbreds.

   He said this week that the last horse he trained to win a race was Second Hope when he scored in an open 1850m event at Wairoa in February 2014. That horse won nine races in total and more than $160,000 in stake money.

   “I’ve had other winners since then but they haven’t been trained by me,” Symes said.

   “Viceroy won two races in 2016, including one over hurdles, but Kevin Myers trained him and My Tommy won a maiden race at Hastings on New Year’s Day in 2016 when trained by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.”

   Symes races Call Me Jack in partnership with his son Wilfred and the pair bred the three-year-old Jakkalberry gelding out of the Stark South mare Gizakis, a horse that was unplaced in four starts.

   “Gizakis was one of the slowest horses I’ve ever had,” Symes said. We gave her four starts and she showed nothing.”

   But what gave Symes hope was that Gizakis was out of the Spectacular Love mare Love Proposal, who was a two race winner and had left the 2008 Hawke’s Bay Cup winner The Veep.

   Call Me Jack had been unplaced in eight starts going into last Thursday’s 1600m maiden highweight at Wanganui but rider Lemmy Douglas put the horse in the race from the outset, positioning him just behind the leaders at the end of the first 600m.

   He then pushed forward to take the lead coming to the home turn and Call Me Jack quickly put his rivals to the sword, relishing the heavy-11 track conditions to race right away in the final stages and win by 14-3/4 lengths

   Symes, who was surprised as anyone at the horse’s winning margin, said he will obviously have to find another heavy track for the horse’s next start.

   “If it rains he could run here at Hastings on June 29 in a Rating 65 1400 or there is also a Rating 65 1400 at Wellington two weeks later,” Symes said.

   Symes and his son are still breeding from Gizakis and have a weanling colt by Jakkalberry out of the mare coming on.


Look Out back in full focus

   Talented winter galloper Look Out returned to winning form in emphatic style with a 3-1/2 length victory in the 1600m Rating 72 highweight at Wanganui last week.

   The Nom du Jeu six-year-old had won three of his 17 previous starts but had not graced the winner’s stall since leading for most of the way over 2200m at Rotorua in September last year.

   He had hinted at a return to form with a useful last start sixth over 2100m at Trentham and the heavy-11 track conditions at Wanganui obviously suited him.

   Rider Aaron Kuru positioned the horse perfectly in a trailing position on the inside in the early stages before moving forward to take a clear lead coming to the home turn.

   The well fancied Qian Gua looked to have his measure when he swept up to take control early in the home straight but Look Out had a bit more in reserve and wrested the lead back before surging clear in the final stages to win by 3-1/2 lengths.

   Look Out brought up the second success for the newly formed training partnership of Paul Nelson and Corina McDougal following No Tip’s win over hurdles at Trentham on June 8.

   Nelson took over the training of Look Out 18 months ago after health problems prevented the horse’s Feilding owner Gary Freeman from continuing to train the horse.

   Freeman still has a racing share as does Paul Nelson, while the other syndicate members are Nelson’s brother David, his cousin Mark and close friends Brian Guerin, David Holden, Stuart Mitchell, Mike Stovell and Peter Tod from Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu’s Angus MacLeod.


Deserved win for Louboutin

   There was probably no more deserving winner at last week’s Wanganui meeting than Louboutin, who streeted her rivals when taking out the maiden three-year-old race over 1600m.

   The Jimmy Choux filly, trained by John Bary, had recorded two seconds and two thirds from nine previous starts, with one of those placings being a long neck defeat over 1400m at Hastings earlier this season.

   He was coming off a last start third on a heavy-11 track at Wanganui on Queen’s Birthday weekend and relished similar conditions last week by careering away over the final stages to score a 14 length win.

   Louboutin was one of the slowest to begin and was back second last after the first 200m. But rider Lisa Allpress then sent him on a forward move around the field and he cantered to the front just before the home turn.

  Allpress kept the horse close to the outside fence and he straightened up with a 6 length margin on the field. She then took a quick look behind before asking the horse to extend and he ran right away over the final stages.

   Louboutin is owned by prominent New Zealand thoroughbred owner-breeder Kevin Hickman and was a $50,000 purchase from the premier session of the 2017 Karaka yearling sales.

  She is certainly bred to be good as her dam is the Pentire mare Say No More, whose six wins included two at Group 1 level, the Thorndon Mile at Trentham and New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha.

   Bary said this week Louboutin is likely to return to Wanganui for her next start, in a Rating 65 fillies & mares race over 1360m on July 4.


Weanling walk finalised

   The itinerary for the Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Thoroughbred Breeders annual weanling walk on Sunday, June 30, has been finalised with six properties to be visited.

   Below is the itinerary for the day:-

  • Commence at 10am sharp at Guy and Brigid Lowry’s property – 305 Kawera Road, Okawa.
  • Chris Russell’s – 793 Valley Road (off Highway 50)
  • Patrick Campbell – 45 Mangaroa Road, Longlands
  • Mike Newrick’s – 51 Turamoe Road, Paki
  • Barry Smyth’s – 143 Crystall Road, RD 2
  • Davey Jones – 1316 Southland Road

   Among the weanlings on show will be those by Adelaide, Burgundy, Charm Spirit, Darci Brahma, Iffraaj, O’Reilly’s Choice, Per Incanto, Pins, Puissance De Lune, Shocking, Super Easy, Tarzino, Teleperion and Wrote.

   At the completion of the weanling walk there will be a luncheon and ‘Silent Auction’ at 1pm at Off The Track Restaurant, 114 Havelock Road, Havelock North.

   The cost of the luncheon is $40 per head but this will generously be subsidised by 50% from Haunui Farm. For catering purposes, reservations are required by Thursday June 27 by contacting Sharyn Craig on 027 499 9084 or email:  Alternatively contact Kate McDonald on 021 335 796.


Feature jumping events at HB races

   There will be plenty of exciting jumping action at the Hawke’s Bay Hunt race day at Hastings tomorrow week.

   The day will feature two of the most prestigious jumping races on the New Zealand calendar, the $50,000 AHD Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase (4800m) and the $50,000 Te Whangai Romneys Hawke’s Bay Hurdle (3100m).

   There will also be a maiden steeplechase over 4000m and at least one maiden hurdle event at 2500m.

   At this stage the first race is timed for 11.05am and the last at 4.15pm but these times have yet to be confirmed.

   There will be a $10 gate charge with free admission for those under 18. There will be a $30 Members Stand charge for non-members.

    Patrons can also purchase a Mid-Winter Premier Lounge Package for $110.00 per person. The package includes reserved seating in an indoor area overlooking the track, a gourmet buffet luncheon, a beverage package including beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks, course admission and racebooks and pens.

   Bookings for this package can be made by contacting


HB Hurdles next for Tommyra

   The direction promising jumper Tommyra will take this winter hinges on his performance in the Te Whangai Romneys Hawke’s Bay Hurdle at Hastings tomorrow week.

   A last-start winner of the K.S. Browne Hurdle (3350m) at Ellerslie, Tommyra has won three of his six hurdle starts and been placed on the other occasions, including a third two starts ago in the Waikato Hurdles (3200m) at Te Rapa.

   Trainer Toby Autridge will use a Rating 72 flat race 2100m at Tauranga this weekend to further his preparation for the next jumps assignment at Hastings.

   The options being considered for Tommyra after that are Australia, the Grand National Hurdles (4200m) at Riccarton on August 7 and the Great Northern Hurdle (4190m) at Ellerslie on September 7.

   “We’ll be wiser after the Hawke’s Bay Hurdle,” Autridge said. “Doug (part-owner and breeder Doug Robb) lets me make the plans, but he has said that he would love to have a go at the Grand National. It will all depend on the weather where he goes.” 



Impressive last start winner Smokin’ Oak turned in a good solo gallop in what was a reasonably quiet Hastings trackwork session this morning.

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

   Smokin’ Oak was one of eight horses trainer John Bary brought into the track to work and he had former jockey Kate Hercock aboard when running a solo 1000m in 1:5.9, the last 600 in 37.3. The Burgundy four-year-old scored a 1-1/4 length win over 1200m at Wanganui on Queen’s Birthday weekend and is expected to head back to that track on July 4 for another Rating 72 race over 1200m.

   Bucky, who could have his first start for the Bary stable in a maiden 1400 at Hastings on June 29, also worked on his own over 1000m in 1:4.5, the last 600 in 37.7. He finished fourth in a 1050m Taupo trial on Tuesday of last week.

   Chouxmaka, a likely runner in the maiden 1600 at Otaki this Friday, was kept under a good hold over 1000m in 1:8.5, the last 600 in 39.2. He was unplaced over 1400m on a very heavy track at Awapuni last start.

   Coresign Mav, a promising two-year-old by Atlante in the Bary stable, clocked 51.1 for an 800m gallop, the last 600 in 37.4 and finished the workout off well. He has shown up at Hastings jumpouts and is likely to have another jumpout on July 1.

   An El Roca two-year-old filly and one by Nom de Jeu worked together over 800m in 54.1, the last 600 in 38.7. They are two others from the John Bary stable.

   A Nom de Jeu four-year-old gelding rained by Kate Hercock clocked 1:9.8 for 1000m, the last 600 in 39.8 while a Niagara two-year-old and a Zed four-year-old worked easily together over 600m in 45.5.

   Zed Leppelin, preparing for the maiden hurdle at Hastings on June 29, was given three rounds of strong pacework on the plough.

First win for new Nelson/McDougal partnership 13 Jun 2019

The new training partnership of Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal celebrated their first success when No Tip scored a strong win in the maiden hurdle at Trentham last Saturday.

   Nelson has been one of Hawke’s Bay’s top trainers for many years, concentrating mainly on jumpers but also achieving great success with flat performers and has produced more than 200 winners since he started training in the mid 1970s.

   McDougal has worked, off and on, for Nelson for the past 20 years and has been a regular employee at his Air Hill Station property for the past four. She has also been a licensed trainer herself for 15 years and has produced 17 winners in her own right.

   The two joined forces at the beginning of last month and had picked up a few minor placings together before No Tip’s decisive victory in the 2500m event.

   No Tip was coming off a last start second over 2600m on the flat at Woodville on May 8 and had one hurdle start last year for a fourth over 3100m at Te Aroha.

   Jockey Aaron Kuru, who has built up an outstanding record on Nelson-trained horses, was also part of the celebrations as he got No Tip home for a three-quarter length win over Zartan after the two horses had fought out the finish.

   Kuru was not very complimentary about his ride but was happy to get the job done. He settled the seven-year-old midfield and three-wide in the early stages before improving quickly to set out after the front runner Zartan at the top of the home straight. The two jumped the second to last practically on terms but No Tip had gained a slight advantage jumping the last and proved too tough in the run to the line.

   “His toughness was the key,” Kuru said.

   “I didn’t want the jumpers in front coming back on me so I planted him three-wide but he was still too good.”

   No Tip was recording his second win from only seven starts and Nelson agreed that the horse is very tough.

   “He’s a nice little horse and has learnt to try very hard,” Nelson said.

He could possibly return to Trentham next month to contest the Wellington Hurdle (3400m).

   “He’s a seven-year-old and he’s been in work since he was a three-year-old, so he’s mature enough now to do something,” Nelson said.

   “The fact that he does handle Trentham, it does make you think about it.”

   No Tip is owned by Nelson and his wife Carol and they bred the Mettre En Jeu gelding out of the Grosvenor mare Grosveness.

   Grosveness has now ceased breeding but has been a prolific producer of winners for the Nelsons over many years. Others out of the mare include No Change (10 wins), Ho Down (eight wins), No Cash (seven wins), No Governance (three wins) and No Credit (two wins).


Napoleon unbeaten over steeples

  Napoleon looks ready to contest some of the major steeplechase races this winter after his dominant victory in the $20,000 Super Star Zed Em ‘Chase’ over 4000m at Trentham last Saturday.

   The six-year-old Shinko King gelding, part-owned by Otane-based Don Poulgrain, was recording back-to-back steeplechase victories after winning over 3900m at Te Rapa last month and is now unbeaten in three starts over the big fences.

   Napoleon is in the Wanganui stable of astute jumps trainer Kevin Myers and also includes a hurdle success among his five career wins.

   He scored by 2-1/4 lengths last Saturday after he and Hastings-trained Zardetto were involved in a two-horse war in the home straight. They jumped the last fence in unison but Napoleon had a bit too much in reserve and surged ahead in the run to the line.

   Paul Nelson, who co-trains Zardetto with Corrina McDougal, was pleased with his charge’s performance and will also aim him at bigger targets this winter.

   “I never like running second that much, but second is better than third and Napoleon looked like he was going to be a good horse, especially a couple of years ago when he first came out,” he said.

   “Zardetto has raced very well so far this winter, but he is very prone to accidents and you never know whether you have got him or not.

   “When you have got him, and the ground is reasonable, he’s more than useful.

   “We will hopefully run him in the Hawke’s Bay Chase (4800m) and then we might come back with him for the Wellington Steeplechase.”

   Nelson said his winter team is smaller than usual, but he is looking forward to lining up a few of his stable stars in the coming months.

   “We are a bit quieter than we have been in the last couple of years,” he said.

   “Ooee will probably run in the Hawke’s Bay Hurdle and Perry Mason will probably follow some of the better steeplechases around.”


Promising HB-bred stayer in Aussie

   Chouxting The Mob, bred and part-owned by Hawke’s Bay couple Richard and Liz Wood, looked a top stayer in the making when completing a hat-trick of wins with a powerful performance over 2500m race at Flemington, in Melbourne, last Saturday.

   The five-year-old son of Jimmy Choux came from second last on the home turn in the $A140,000 event. Once jockey Beau Mertens angled him away from the inside fence and got him into the clear he swept past the opposition in the last 200 metres to score by 2-1/2 lengths.

   It was a similar performance to when he won over 2400m at Sandown on May 8 and he followed that up with another dour effort to win over 2540m at Cranbourne on May 24.

   Chouxting The Mob, who is trained at Ballarat by Simon Morrish, has now recorded six wins from only 17 starts.

   The Woods bred the gelding 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).

   They also sold Chouxting The Mob for $60,000 as a weanling at the 2014 Karaka mixed bloodstock sale but retained a 10 per cent share in the horse.

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

   Jimmy Choux commenced stud duties in 2012 at Rich Hill Stud, in the Waikato, with the Woods retaining a 35% ownership in the horse. However he was recently 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.


HB Foal walk on June 30

   The Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Thoroughbred Breeders annual foal walk around several properties in Hawke’s Bay will be held on Sunday, June 30.

   The walk will commence at Guy and Brigid Lowry’s property at 305 Kawera Road, Okawa, at 10am sharp.

   At the completion the foal walk a luncheon has been arranged at Off The Track Restaurant in Havelock Road.

   For luncheon bookings please RSVP to Sharyn Craig at


Topliners to miss Hastings carnival

   Top gallopers Supera and Princess Kereru are due back in work next month, but already a decision has been made to bypass the first major events for the new season with the pair.

   While most open-class performers will be aimed at legs of the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown, beginning with the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings on August 31, both Supera and Princess Kereru will be absent.

   “They’re not going to Hastings,” co-trainer Ken Kelso said. “They’re better having a bit more time and getting ready for the summer.

   “Princess Kereru is really a 1200m horse and she could kick off in the Group 3 Sweynesse Stakes (1215m) at Rotorua in October, while a race like the Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham could be a better first big target for Supera, though nothing will be confirmed until we see how they do when they come back into work.”

   Both Group 1 placegetters went to the spelling paddocks on winning notes, Supera taking the Group 2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa and Princess Kereru prevailing in the Listed NZB Finance Sprint (1200m) at Hastings in April.

   Also currently out spelling is stablemate Shoshone, who became the first winner for Waikato Stud sire Sacred Falls when winning at Ellerslie on June 2.

   “She’ll be back on July 1 and will kick off at the Taupo meeting on August 21 then go for the Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings,” Kelso said.


Melbourne Cup stake now $A8million

   The Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) has received a funding injection and will be run for a record $A8million on November 5 this year.

   The total prize money, including trophies, for the Lexus Melbourne Cup will increase to $A8 million, up from $A7.3 million last year.

   The winner of ‘the race that stops a nation’ will receive $A4.4 million plus $A250,000 in trophies, second place $A1.1 million and third place $A550,000.

   Prizemoney will continue to be paid from 1st down to 12th. From sixth to twelfth place, each will now receive $A160,000, up from $A150,000.

   “At $A8 million, the Lexus Melbourne Cup is the world’s richest handicap and the world’s richest staying race,” Victoria Racing Club Chairman Amanda Elliott said.

   “It is the race every Australian owner, trainer and jockey wants to win, and internationally, has become one of the most sought after prizes in world racing.

   “Connections cannot buy a place in the Lexus Melbourne Cup, it has to be earned. The results of the recently revamped Andrew Ramsden at Flemington highlights the sheer joy that comes with knowing your horse has secured a place in the Cup.”

   The 2019 running of the Melbourne Cup will be run at 5pm on Tuesday November 5.

Hawkes Bay Racing Column 12 Jun 2019

Rock ‘N’ Pop now standing at Okawa Stud

(By John Jenkins)

   Okawa Stud, once one of the famous thoroughbred nurseries in Hawke’s Bay, is undergoing a revival with the property now standing the well-bred stallion Rock ‘N’ Pop.

   The son of champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock took up residence at Okawa  last month, having transferred from Waikato Stud where he has stood since 2013.

   Tom Lowry, who is the third generation to take over Okawa Stud, said this week he was delighted to stand Rock ‘N’ Pop and hopes that it will give Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred breeders an option of mating their mares with a locally-based stallion that has extremely good bloodlines and is at a reasonable fee.

   “We will be standing him at a fee of $2000 plus GST and if breeders want to send two mares, and they both get in foal, we will only charge $1000 plus GST for each one,” Lowry said.

   He added that there is no live foal guarantee.  

   Rock ‘N’ Pop is a Group 1 winning son of Fastnet Rock and out of the Group 1 winning Sir Tristram mare Popsy. He only had 11 starts as a racehorse, recording three wins, three seconds and a third.

   He won the 2011 Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton as a three-year-old and also took out the Listed Karaka Mile (1600m) at Ellerslie before finishing second to Silent Achiever in that season’s Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m). He was also placed third in the Group 1 International Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.

   At stud Rock ‘N’ Pop has achieved good results from a limited number of horses to race.

   Surely Sacred is his best performer, with his three wins including the Group 2 Auckland Guineas (1600m) and the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m). He was also third in the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) and fourth in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in Sydney before being transferred to Hong Kong.

   Other winners from his progeny include The Lord Mayor, who won two races in New Zealand before going on to better things in Australia. Rainbow Thief and Breakdance have also been successful in Australia while Telecom Man has been a winner in Hong Kong and My Boss has won in Singapore.

   Rock ‘N’ Pop was bred by Hawke’s Bay’s Sam Kelt who raced his dam Popsy. She was the winner of six races, including the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie and Group 1 Grosvenor Championship Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa, and finished second to Royal Tiara in the 1995 Auckland Cup (3200m).

   Tom Lowry bought a share in Rock ‘N’ Pop after the horse won the New Zealand 2000 Guineas so he was involved when the horse finished second in that season’s New Zealand Derby.

   “He’s always been a nice horse and he will be the first locally-bred Group 1 winner to stand in Hawke’s Bay since Shannon back in the 1980s,” Lowry added.

   Shannon, who was bred and owned by Rob Mulcaster, won the 1986 Group 1 QTC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) in Brisbane before going on to be a successful stallion.

   Lowry still retains a shareholding in Rock ‘N’ Pop and said Waikato Stud has agreed to lease the stallion to Okawa Stud for three years.

   “He is a stallion that only needs to produce one good horse and he could take off and, if he does, then I dare say Waikato Stud will take him back,” Lowry said.

   “In the meantime we are happy to have him here and I will certainly be mating mares to him and, hopefully, other local breeders will do the same.”



The well-bred stallion Rock ‘N’ Pop has been transferred from Waikato Stud to stand at Okawa Stud in Hawke’s Bay.


Xpression back in Hastings stable

   The Group 1-placed mare Xpression has returned to the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen after a stint with top Sydney trainer Chris Waller and is entered for a $30,000 Rating 82 race over 1200m at Trentham tomorrow.

   The Showcasing mare, who has a record of three wins and five minor placings from only 14 starts, arrived back in New Zealand on Tuesday of last week and has settled in well back in her former environment.

   “She looks great and we are really happy with the condition she arrived here in,” Lowry said.

   He added that Xpression is positively in-foal to top Australian sire Snitzel so her racing days are numbered.

   “We want to give her a run at Trentham this Saturday and, if she performs well, she could then contest the Group 1 Telegraph Sprint at Trentham in January.”

   Xpression has already shown a liking for the near straight run at Trentham, winning the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m) there as a two-year-old. She also won the Group 3 Barnswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton as a three-year-old before finishing third behind Media Sensation and Valalie in the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton.

   She was then transferred to Chris Waller’s stable in Australia where she had six starts, her best placing being a third in the Group 3 Toy Show Stakes (1100m) at Randwick. She was an unlucky last start sixth over 1300m at Newcastle in Australia, where she did not get much luck in the running.

   Xpression showed she has lost none of her zip when given two 400m sprints in trackwork at Hastings on Wednesday, clocking 23.3s for the second one. She has to carry equal topweight of 59kg in tomorrow’s Trentham race, with Michael Coleman booked to ride her.




Xpression winning the Group 3 Barnswood Farm Stakes (1200m) at Ashburton in October last year. The now four-year-old mare has returned from Australia and is back in the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.


Stakes race for Atlanta Peach

   Class Hastings-trained mare Atlanta Peach is being aimed at the Group 2 $100,000 Cal Isuzu Stakes at Te Rapa tomorrow week before she is turned out for a summer spell.

   The Bullbars mare, prepared by the partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, has not raced since scoring an impressive win in a Rating 82 race over 1600m at Awapuni on November 2 but has been ticking over nicely in training and looks in great order.

   Atlanta Peach is the winner of five races from only 14 starts and was far from disgraced when finishing eighth in the Group 1 weight-for-age Livamol Classic (2040m) on the last day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival in October.

   The Cal Isuzu Stakes is a weight-for-age event over 1600m and four of Atlanta Peach’s wins have been at the distance of 1600m.


Talenti wins again in Aussie

   The former Hastings-trained Talenti made it two wins from two starts in Australia with another dominant performance in an $80,000 race over 1500m at Moonee Valley last Saturday.

   The Niagara four-year-old scored by 1-1/4 lengths, producing a similar performance to when he won over the same distance at Moonee Valley on November 15.

   Talenti, who is now prepared by Caulfield trainer Robert Hickmott, had his first three starts from the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and was an unlucky fourth on two occasions, the first over 1200m at Hastings on October 5 and the second over 1400m at Awapuni on November 2.


Kiwi-breds dominate Jericho Cup

   Last Sunday’s A$300,000 Jericho Cup (4600m) in Australia delivered a dream result for Dunedin’s White Robe Lodge, with the first two home being by its resident sire Raise The Flag.

   In an entirely Kiwi-bred finish to the ANZAC-themed Warrnambool feature for Australian and New Zealand-bred stayers, Ablaze edged out Golden Flag by three-quarters of a length. The Shaune Ritchie-trained Where Are You finished another 10 lengths away in third.

   Both Ablaze and Golden Flag were co-bred by White Robe Lodge studmaster Brian Anderton and come from the same family. Their dams are both by Personal Escort and are granddaughters of the stakes-performed Mellay mare Lamp Light.

   Trained at Wingatui by Anderton and his son Shane, Ablaze won six of his 36 starts before being sold and transferred to the Australian stable of Cairon Maher and David Eustace at Ballarat.


Stallion’s death a huge loss

   The Chittick family and the team at Waikato Stud are in mourning after the shock loss of emerging young stallion Sacred Falls.

   The Waikato Stud veterinary team identified an issue with the stallion’s liver a fortnight ago and, despite receiving world-class treatment at both the Stud and then at Matamata Veterinary Services equine hospital, his condition deteriorated, and he passed away last Sunday. 

   The son of Waikato Stud’s champion sire O’Reilly was in his fifth season of stallion duties after retiring to the Matamata nursery following a storied career on the track, where he numbered four Group 1 victories amongst nine wins including the Doncaster Handicap (1600m) on two occasions.

   Waikato Stud principal Mark Chittick was devastated with the loss of not only a potential world-class stallion but also a horse that held a special place in the hearts of the Chittick family.

   “I have nothing but praise for our head vet, Dr Chris Phillips, his team and all the staff at Matamata Vet Services as they did everything in their power to try and save the horse, but it just wasn’t to be,” Chittick said.

   Bred and sold by Waikato Stud as a yearling, Sacred Falls won his first six races including the Group 1 New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas (1600m) in the care of Cambridge trainer Tony Pike for owners Raffles Racing. 

   Waikato Stud subsequently secured equity in the homebred colt who added a further three Group 1 victories in Australia when transferred to champion trainer Chris Waller. 

   With his eldest progeny just three, Sacred Falls has left six winners to date including the highly-talented filly Shoshone for Ken and Bev Kelso. 

   A total of 42 yearlings by the emerging stallion will be offered at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sales in late January, while his progeny sold up to $260,000 at the recent Ready To Run Sale of two-year-olds.


Wanganui winners head to the spelling paddock 6 Jun 2019

   The Hastings-trained pair of Hunta Pence and Shez Ekstra, impressive winners at Wanganui last Saturday, have both now been turned out for a winter spell.

   Hunta Pence produced a huge performance to win the $35,000 Steelform Roofing Foxton Cup after looking a forlorn hope when he was struggling in the very testing track conditions and had drifted back to second last in the middle stages of the 2040m event.

   Angled to the outside, and in slightly better ground, jockey Danielle Hirini seemed to inject a new lease of life into the No Excuse Needed gelding and he made up many lengths to range up wide out and challenge the leaders rounding the home turn.

   Hirini angled the horse to the outside fence and he set out after the leader Dr Watson, collaring him inside the last 200 metres, before surging clear for a 3 length win.

   Trainer Patrick Campbell was not on course but watched the race on Trackside TV and was genuinely surprised with the victory after expecting his charge to tail out to the rear, considering how bad he was travelling in the run.

   “I thought he was absolutely no chance at the 1000 metres as he could hardly pick his feet up,” Campbell said.

   “We thought he could handle a heavy track but when I saw how bad it really was, I lost any confidence I had before the race.

   “Danielle said she thought she was going to have to pull him up as he was going that badly but when she managed to get him out wide, he started to pick up for her.

   “He is a good tough horse and I think he showed that at the end so it was a good effort to get up and win like that.”

   Campbell owns a 50 per cent shareholding in Hunta Pence with the other 50 per cent divided amongst six other people. They are Lindsay McIntosh, Dean Smith and Mike and Wendy Timmins from Hastings, Shane Govsky (Napier) and Ashburton-based Norm Stewart.

  The horse has now won eight races from 40 starts.

   Shez Ekstra looks likely to progress through the grades quickly after her decisive 2 length win in the $22,500 Rating 65 race over 2040m.

   The three-year-old Ekraar filly showed toughness by backing up a week after finishing fourth over 1600m on a heavy-10 track at Trentham and win at her middle distance debut.

   Jockey Lisa Allpress settled Shez Ekstra midfield in the early stages before staring her on a forward move from the 800m. They ranged up 4-wide to challenge for the lead rounding the home bend and took the lead soon after.

   Allpress angled Shez Ekstra to the outside fence in the straight and the filly kept up a strong run, under a mainly hands and heels ride, to win by 2 lengths.

   Shez Ekstra, who has now recorded two wins and three seconds from 11 starts, is bred and owned by two long time Hawke’s Bay friends in Paddy Murphy and Grahame Hook.

   Shez Ekstra is trained on the Hastings track by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen who have always had a high opinion of the filly and expect her to go on to better things once she matures and strengthens a bit more.


Smokin’ Oak turns his form around

   Some minor gear changes and a change in attitude brought the best out of Hastings-trained  Smokin’ Oak when he took out a $25,000 Rating 72 race over 1200m at Wanganui last Saturday.

   The four-year-old Burgundy gelding went into the race with a string of duck-eggs next to his name but had shown a glimpse of his true ability when leading all the way for a 6 length win in a 750m jumpout at Hastings on May 23.

   Trainer John Bary said then that he had changed a bit of gear on the horse and, when he lined up at Wanganui last Saturday, removing the tongue-tie and adding a nose band, and the horse had to be tough to win after covering plenty of extra ground in the running.

   Rider Robert Hannam had Smokin’ Oak back fourth last and three-wide in the early running before improving wide out coming to the home turn. The horse still had enough in reserve to challenge for the lead early in the home straight before working clear in the final stages to score by 1-1/4 lengths.

   It was his third win from 14 starts and his second in heavy track conditions.

   He is expected to go back to Wanganui for his next start, in a Rating 72 race over 1200m next Thursday.

   Bary purchased Smokin’ Oak for $45,000 at the select session of the 2016 Karaka yearling sales for a prospective owner but when that deal fell through he was left with the horse. He then offered him for sale at that year’s Two-year-old Ready to run sale but he was passed in, with a reserve of $50,000.

   Bary and his racing manager Mike Sanders then set about organising a group to race the horse and he is now owned by the Burger Boys Syndicate, which is managed by Sanders.

   Several members of the syndicate are based in Hawke’s Bay including John and Ross Stace, Doug and Jill Callaghan, Michael and Pam Thomson, Johnny and Pauline Campbell, Mike White and Ian McLean. The other members are Peter, Gerard and Paul Gillespie and their Australian-based sister Anne, Auckland-based Narendra Balia and Mike and Christine Phillips.


Deserved success for HB owner

   Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred owner-breeder Barry Smyth picked up a well deserved win when Mizzena took out the amateur riders’ race at Ellerslie last Monday.

   Smyth, a former long-time board member of Hawke’s Bay Racing, has bred and raced numerous horses over the years but with limited success.

   He bred Mizzena out of the Al Akbar mare Moonlighter and races the Zed mare in partnership with his Sydney-based brother John and six other close Hawke’s Bay friends, Simon and Melissa Tuner, John McKenzie, Ron Robbie, Neil White and Malcolm Campbell.

   Mizzena was broken in by Hawke’s Bay-based Dean Smith, with the help of Lisa Beacham, who is a trackwork rider for trainer Patrick Campbell.

   “She was a real tough horse to do anything with and they nicknamed her “Zena Warrior Queen” so that is how she got her race name Mizzena,” Smyth said.

   “We ended up sending her to Kevin Myers to train and I must thank Rochelle Lockett and her staff as the filly went to her stable for a start, to be educated, and they did a marvellous job.”

   Mizzena was having her fifth start when she lined up in last Monday’s 2200m event and was ridden by the trainer’s son, Luke Myers. He settled the horse at the back of the pack in the early stages of the 2200m event before improving out wide coming to the home turn.

   Mizzena and the well supported Kion worked clear of the others in the home straight and Myers managed to get his mount up for a head decision right on the line.

   Smyth bred Mizzena out of the Al Akbar mare Moonlighter, who recorded one third from seven starts.

   “She was a mare that needed time but the syndicate that raced her didn’t want to wait around so I actually gave her away as a show hack for a while until I was ready to breed from her,” Smyth said.

   Moonlighter has only produced two foals to race, the first being the Iffraaj mare Iffonlynaomi who only had three starts for a third.

   “Unfortunately she had a wind problem and so we never saw the best of her and I ended up giving her away,” Smyth added.

   However he is still breeding from Moonlighter. She has produced a three-year-old filly by Per Incanto who was injured as a young horse and is unlikely to get to the races.

   However Smyth has high hopes for a Rip Van Winkle yearling filly out of the mare, who is presently being broken in and she has also produced  a weanling colt by Per Incanto.


Elle Aye Are relished heavy track

   The heavy-10 track conditions at Ellerslie last Saturday were made to order for Hawke’s Bay-owned Elle Aye Are who registered her fourth career win when successful over 1600m in Rating 82 company.

   The Rip Van Winkle four-year-old, prepared by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, was having her fourth run in her current campaign and overcame a talented field to score a convincing 2 length victory in the hands of Michael Coleman.

   Forsman was delighted to see the rain during the week with Elle Aye Are suited to the testing footing.

   “She showed last winter that she was adept in those sort of conditions so we’ve just been waiting for the wetter tracks to come along for her,” Forsman said.

   “She’s typical of her sire in that she seems to be getting better with age, so I think the best is yet to come for her.”

   Elle Eye Are is owned by Napier couple Alister and Jeannette Cameron and the estate of the late Laurence Redshaw. The latter was a former long time board member of Hawke’s Bay Racing and the horse gets her name from his initials.


Miss Wilson sells for $A900,000

   Group 1 winner Miss Wilson was sold for $A900,000 at last week’s Magic Millions Broodmare Sale in Queensland.

   The daughter of Stratum, bred and owned by Hawke’s Bay couple Richard and Liz Wood, was purchased by Kia Ora Stud’s Andrew Perryman.

   Miss Wilson, who is in foal to the Widden Stud-based sire Zoustar, had 25 starts from the Hastings stable of John Bary for seven wins, four seconds and three thirds. She won the Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha and also recorded Group 3 victories in the Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham and Red Badge Spring Sprint (1400m) at Hastings.

   She is a half-sister to five-time Group 1 winner Jimmy Choux, who is now a Group 1 winning sire.


   The stablemates Yossarian and Sheer Elegance turned in an impressive gallop together at this morning’s Hastings track session in preparation for next Saturday’s Te Rapa meeting.

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

   Yossarian and Sheer Elegance worked over 1000m in 1:5.5, running the first 400m in 29.2 before sprinting home strongly over the last 600 in 36.3. Both horses appeared to be travelling well at the finish.

   Yossarian will be entered for the Rating 65 race over 1400m at Te Rapa while Sheer Elegance will contest the Maiden 1600. Both horses will be ridden by apprentice Madan Singh.

   Trainer Lee Somervell is likely to have three runners at Te Rapa on Saturday with Stradivarius likely to join Yossarian and Sheer Elegance. He will line up in the Rating 72 race over 1200m with Madan Singh also booked to ride him.

   Somervell has turned the consistent performer One Prize One Goal out for a winter spell and will bring him back in the spring while Sheer Elegance will also have a break after she races this Saturday.

   Last Saturday’s Hastings-trained Wanganui winners Shez Ekstra and Hunta Pence have also both been turned out for a winter spell and will return in the spring.

   Johnny Russ worked over 1000m on his own in 1:4.6, the first 400m in 26.7 and last 600 in 37.9. He is now being trained by Anita Gardner, who was formerly Anita Glassey and was an apprentice jockey based in Hastings several years ago.

   Call Me Jack was kept to just three-quarter pace over 1000m in 1:11.4, the last 600 in 41.6 while Mohaka, back in work with the Lowry/Cullen partnership, was also kept to just three-quarter pace when working over 800m.

   Estefania was assigned two 600-metre sprints but bad light prevented any times being taken.

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