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Hawkes Bay Racing Column 26 Jun 2020

More horses than ever at NZ meetings

(By John Jenkins)

   After two days of action since the return of gallops racing following Covid-19 it is glaringly obvious New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing hugely underestimated the number of horses that are up to race fitness.

   The first day of racing, at Pukekohe last Saturday, saw more than 200 horses nominated for what was originally programmed as a five-race meeting. In the finish the number of races was extended to 11, with full fields carded for most of them.

   Another 200 plus horses were nominated for this week’s second gallop meeting, at Wanganui on Thursday, where again a five-race programme was changed to 11 races.

   The third meeting back will be staged at Riccarton Park in Christchurch today where, once again, the scheduled five-race programme has been revised to 11 races.

   The abundance of horses ready to race was clearly evident following recent barrier trials held in both the northern and central regions.

   There were 33 heats at the Te Rapa trials on June 9, 21 heats at Otaki on June 17, 30 again at Te Rapa last Tuesday and 12 at Waverley three days ago.

   Even the jumpers have been out in force, with 10 heats at the Cambridge jumping trials on June 18.

   NZTR set up a makeshift racing calendar for the month of July, erring on the side of caution as to how many horses would be available to race. Gallops racing was originally expected to resume on July 4 but that date was brought forward by a fortnight once NZTR realised the number of horses raring to go.

   It was decided that every race up until the end of the racing season, on July 31, would be an open entry event and carry total stakemoney of $15,000.

   First prizemoney is $8100, second $2250, third $1050, fourth $600 and there is  also $300 paid out for horses that finish from fifth to 14th.

   NZTR said it would waiver both nomination and acceptance fees for all races, meaning there was no cost to trainers and owners to enter their horses.

   It now means that NZTR have got themselves in a no-win situation. They have had to put on more races with a guaranteed $15,000 stake, to accommodate the huge numbers of horses available, but without any income from nomination and acceptance fees.

   Hawke’s Bay Racing will stage another round of jumpouts at the Hastings track next Tuesday with a large number of horses expected to compete again. And several trainers from the region have indicated they will have horses ready to race at the Awapuni meeting the following Saturday.

   Trainers spoken to are now concerned about what the next season holds as far as stakemoney levels go.

   Prior to the lockdown maiden races carried a minimum stake of $10,000, with increment increases as to the grade of races. The Group 1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby, one of the iconic races on the racing calendar, was raced for a stake of $1milllion in February this year but is one of many of the country’s top races likely to have a prizemoney slash in the coming season.

   Whilst it is true that everyone needs to cut their cloth to suit, especially in trying and difficult times, New Zealand racing is already regarded as a poor cousin to Australia and it would not need to cut back too much more or we will become a third world racing industry likened to the likes of Macau.

 

Apprentice proves an instant hit 

   Last Saturday’s first day back for gallops racing since the Covid-19 lockdown will live long in the memory of apprentice jockey Callum Jones.

   The 17-year-old was having his first day of race-riding, after being granted his licence a few days before, and kicked home two winners and a second from four rides.

   To make the occasion even more memorable Jones was riding at his home track and the wins were on horses trained by his employer, former top jockey Nigel Tiley.

   After notching up a second in his first race-ride, on the Tiley-trained Lupelani in race four, Jones brought up his first win aboard Diogenes three races later and said the success was made even more special as he has a soft spot for the horse.

   Diogenes is one of my favourite horses at the stables,” Jones said. “From his other runs I was just hoping to cruise around and see how he handled the heavy ground and save a bit for the end.

   “I am really stoked that I was able to get my first win on Diogenes. People have been getting a bit annoyed with him because he is a bit nippy (likes to bite), but some of them will be quiet now because he has won a race.”

   Two races later Jones completed a winning double when getting Double Happy up to score in a 1300m race, which came as a bit of a surprise to the young rider.

   “Double Happy normally goes better over a longer distance, around 2100 metres,” he said. “But I thought he would have a little bit left when the others got tired and he just went a bit better than I expected.”

   Jones has no racing background and hadn’t put his leg over a horse until three years ago.

   “I went to the races with a friend’s Dad one time,” Jones said. “He mentioned I was a good size to be a jockey and I would like it, given my need for speed.”

   He approached Nigel Tiley and told him he wanted to be a jockey and he said to come in and do some work experience on the weekends, as he was still going to school.

   “In Year 10 I dropped out of school and went to work for Nigel. He taught me to ride and the rest is history.”

   Jones said it has been a great asset to have Tiley, a former champion jockey, teach him the ropes and guide him.

   “I have got a lot of respect for Nigel. It is a big help with him having the experience he has.

   “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Nigel. He has just a good way of putting things to help me, especially with me not coming from a horse background.”

   A keen surfer, Jones said his favourite past time compliments his riding career.

   “As long as the weather is good and I have got a spare hour, at least, I am out there in the sea,” he said.

   “It helps with my balance and with arm strength, paddling out.”

   Jones is keen to make a real go of becoming a jockey and has set himself a few goals early in his career.

   “I want to outride my claim in the first two years of my apprenticeship, that’s my main goal, and to just ride as many winners as possible, both for Nigel and other trainers.”

Apprentice Callum Jones looks well satisfied with himself as he brings Diogenes back to the winner’s stall at Pukekohe last Saturday, his first success on his first day of race-riding

Hastings Trackwork 23 Jun 2020

HASTINGS TRACKWORK

(By John Jenkins)

 

   Kaluanui, a member of the John Bary stable, hit out well in a reasonably session at the Hastings track this morning.

   Fast work was carried out on the plough (slushy) and wide out on the No.1 grass (soft).

   John Bary sent eight horses from his stable into the Hastings track to gallop including Kaluanui, who finished in front of a Ghibellines two-year-old filly at the end of 1000m on the plough in 1:09.7, the last 600 in 38.2.

   Kaluanui is a Sacred Falls two-year-old filly who finished fourth on debut over 1200m at Wanganui in February and finished a close second in a 780m jumpout at Hastings a fortnight ago.

   Kaipawe and Free Thyme worked together over 1000m on the grass in 1:07.3, running the first 400m in an easy 30.4s before quickening over the last 600 in 36.9.

   Free Thyme is owned and trained by Richard McKenzie and won a 780m jumpout at Hastings a fortnight ago.

   A Pure Champion two-year-old filly in the Thompson/Brown stable and a Darci Brahma two-year-old gelding trained by Richard McKenzie worked together over 800m on the grass in 56.9, the last 600 in 39.2 while a Jakkalberry three-year-old and a Jakkalberry two-year-old, both prepared by Kate Hercock, clocked 52.2 for 800m, the last 600 in 37.6.

   A Niagara-Pare three-year-old filly and a Prince Conti four-year-old gelding worked over 1000m on the plough in 1:10.5, the last 600 in 38.4 while the John Bary-trained Louboutin ended her work with an easy 600mon the plough in 41.

   A Shamoline Warrior three-year-old gelding worked over a round on his own, coming home the last 800 in 54.6 and final 400 in 26.3.

   A Jimmy Choux two-year-old gelding and one by Makfi, both trained by John Bary, were only let stride out over 400m on the plough and recorded 26.4.

   A Rip Van Winkle two-year-old filly and a Nadeem two-year-old filly, both in the Kate Hercock stable, worked together over 600m in 40.7 while Smokin’ Bullet worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1000m and quickened over the last 600 in 40.8.

 

 

Hawkes Bay Racing Column 22 Jun 2020

CD gallops to return next Thursday

(By John Jenkins)

 

   Gallops racing is set to resume in the central districts next Thursday when the Wanganui Jockey Club stages what is hoped to be an eight-race programme.

   When the country went into lockdown on March 25 New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing said the resumption of thoroughbred racing would not be until July 3, at the earliest. But that date was brought forward by a fortnight, with the first meeting being run at Pukekohe today, where there are 11 races.

   Two extra race meetings have been added to the original July schedule announced by NZTR in their ‘Return to Racing’ plan.

   The first is scheduled for Wanganui on Thursday, June 25 and the second is at Ellerslie on Saturday, July 11.

   Strong numbers of horses at trials and jumpouts have confirmed that there is an abundance of horses out there that are race fit and raring to go.     

   Notwithstanding the indication of strong numbers, next Thursday’s meeting will not proceed unless there are sufficient numbers for eight good-sized fields. Highweight races will be scheduled over distances of 1600m and 2060m as well as races over 800m, 1200m and 1360m. These races will be Open Entry events and will be run for a stake of $15,000.

   In the northern region the Auckland Racing Club will now race at Ellerslie on Saturday, July 11 with the currently scheduled Counties meeting moving back four days to Wednesday, July 15.

   The additional Ellerslie meeting will also have stakes of $15,000 per race and be Open Entry with the distances of 880m, 1200m, 1400m 1600m and 2200m being applicable.

   The highweight races that were scheduled for Counties will now be run at the Ellerslie meeting.

   Where the highweight races at both meetings are programmed and potentially split, NZTR in conjunction with the club, will decide what races to allocate as the highweight. This will be done after nominations close.

   Several Hastings trainers have indicated they are keen to line up horses at Wanganui next Thursday, including Lee Somervell who has impressive last start winner Thousandkissesdeep ready to resume.

   The Sepoy three-year-old filly scored by 1-1/2 lengths when taking out a 1000m maiden race at Tauherenikau on March 22, three days before the country went into lockdown amid the Covid-19 crisis.

   Somervell gave the filly, along with the other members of his stable, a good spell during the lockdown and is pleased with the way she has progressed since returning to work. She showed she is ready for a big fresh up performance by winning a 780m jumpout at Hastings on May 27 and turned in a strong solo 1000m gallop at the Hastings track last Tuesday.

   Another Hastings-trained horse who looks primed for a big fresh up run at next week’s Wanganui meeting is the John Bary-trained Spydapus.

   The speedy Burgundy filly also showed good ability back in March, winning an 850m Foxton trial before recording a debut third behind Thousandkissesdeep over 1000m at Tauherenikau.

   The three-year-old won a 780m jumpout by seven lengths at Hastings on May 27 and will be entered for an 800m race at Wanganui.

   Meanwhile Hawke’s Bay Racing has announced that they will be staging another round of jumpouts on the Hastings track on Tuesday, June 30.

   This will be the third set of jumpouts on the Hastings track since the country came out of lockdown, with more than 50 horses competing at each of the first two.

   An additional trial meeting has been added to the northern trial programme and will be held at Rotorua on Tuesday, June 30. Entries close with the bureau at 12 noon on Monday, June 29.

   Recognising the absence of racing opportunities from late March to late June due to COVID-19 restrictions, NZTR has provided a three month extension to the period of riding apprenticeships.

 

Hunta Pence over fences

   Hastings-trained open class galloper Hunta Pence could be seen in a jumping role this year.

   The No Excuse Needed seven-year-old, part-owned and trained by Patrick Campbell, has been the winner of eight races on the flat including a Foxton Cup (2040m) at Wanganui. He has also twice finished second in the Listed Wanganui Cup and was fourth in last year’s Listed Hawke’s Bay Cup.

   Campbell has sent the horse north to Cambridge trainer Samantha Logan to educate him for a jumping career and top jumps jockey Aaron Kuru has been schooling the horse.

   Hunta Pence needs to earn a jumping certificate by twice schooling in company to  the satisfaction of an official before he can be entered for a hurdle race.

   “We’ve sent him up there to get his hurdle ticket and then he can come back to Hastings,” Campbell said. 

 

Eye surgery for Te Akau Shark

   Trans-Tasman Group 1 winner Te Akau Shark’s return to training has been delayed due to impending surgery on a rare eye condition.

   The popular galloper has been spelling in New South Wales after finishing fifth in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at the end of a fruitful campaign that netted Group 1 victories in both the Waikato Sprint (1400m) and Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m)

   “Whilst spelling, we further investigated an eye irritation of Te Akau Shark’s that we have managed successfully,” Te Akau racing principal David Ellis said.

   “Expert international equine eye surgeons, together with our Sydney veterinary team, have decided it is in Te Akau Shark’s best future racing interests to undergo an optic implant surgery. 

   “His issue is a rare one and the procedure has been scheduled for this week.”

   “Obviously, this is a disappointing setback but it is necessary that we operate now to ensure a viable future racing career for this wonderful athlete. 

   “While the prognosis remains guarded, we are hopeful that Te Akau Shark will return to the track in due course, to again display his talent and that “wow” factor that he is so well known and loved for.”

   Purchased by Ellis from the NZB Ready to Run Sale for $230,000, Te Akau Shark has won seven of his 14 appearances for New Zealand’s leading trainer Jamie Richards.

   The son of Rip Van Winkle has won in excess of $1.5 million in prizemoney and the dual Group One winner has placed at the elite level on a further three occasions, including finishing third in last year’s Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).

Hastings trainer Lee Somervell leads Thousandkissesdeep away following the three-year-old’s last start win over 1000m at Tauherenikau in March. She is ready to resume racing at Wanganui next Thursday.

 

Hastings Trackwork 16 Jun 2020

HASTINGS TRACKWORK

(By John Jenkins)

 

   Thousandkissesdeep, a last start winner before the country went into lockdown, showed she is ready to resume racing with a strong solo gallop at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   There was not much in the way of fast work, with a number of horses from the area heading to the Otaki trials tomorrow.

   Thousandkissesdeep worked in from the 1000m peg on the plough in 1:07.3, running the first 400m in 29.9s before coming home strongly over the last 600 in 37.4. The Sepoy filly broke through for a maiden win over 1000m at Tauherenikau on March 22 and will resume at the newly added Wanganui meeting on Thursday of next week.

   My Tommy, another likely to be entered for the Wanganui meeting next week, was not hurried when running 1000m on his own in 1:10.5, the last 600 in 40.2. He won a 1000m jumpout at Hastings last month and is likely to resume over 1360m at Wanganui.

   Matt Kain, who is likely to be entered for a 1000m race at Awapuni on July 4, was given an easy 1000m workout in 1:13.9, the last 600 in 41.2 while Free Thyme was keep to just three-quarter pace over 1000m, coming home the last 600 in 45.9.

  

Hawkes Bay Racing Column 15 Jun 2020

Spring carnival Gold Trail Stakes brought forward

(By John Jenkins)

 

   The Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring racing carnival has had another minor reshuffle, with the Gold Trail Stakes now to be run on the first day instead of the last.

   The dates for the three-day carnival have already been pushed back, with the first day now on Saturday, September 19 followed by the second day on Saturday, October 3 and the final day on Saturday, October 17.

   The race dates for a proposed thoroughbred racing calendar through to early November were originally allocated on the assumption of both travel, and attendance, would be limited due to the Covid-19 alert level restrictions. But, with those restrictions now removed, and both the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) now reinstated to the Riccarton Park track in November, New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing thought it necessary to adjust some black-type events that sit around these races.

   In consultation with members of the Pattern Committee, together with affected clubs, the following changes have been made.

   Hawke’s Bay Racing’s Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m), which had been scheduled for the third day of the Hawke’s Bay carnival, will now be brought forward to the first day, on September 19.

   It will replace an 1100m three-year-old race run last year, which resulted in Jennifer Eccles being first past the post but later relegated to second behind Kali for alleged interference in the final stages.

   The Group 3 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) will be run at Te Rapa on October 24 (the same day as the Group 2 James and Annie Sarten Memorial, also over 1400m).

   The Canterbury Stakes, run at Riccarton Park, will be moved from November 14 to October 24 and the Tauranga meeting (featuring the Group 2 weight-for-age Tauranga Stakes) is expected to return to its original date on November 14.

   This last date change will need to be ratified by RITA.

   NZTR said that, while there are other considerations to be made around black-type races as part of the dates process, it was deemed timely to confirm these particular changes for purposes of planning a programme for three-year-old horses.

   New Hawke’s Bay Racing chief executive Darin Balcombe is pleased the Gold Trail Stakes is back to a date where it has traditionally been run in the past.

   “It will now be a nice lead up to the Hawke’s Bay Guineas and other three-year-old fillies races in the spring,” he said.

   The Gold Trail Stakes is also traditionally the first race in the New Zealand Bloodstock Three-year-old Filly of the Year series, which was taken out this season by Jennifer Eccles.

   This year’s Hawke’s Bay spring carnival will also see a first with the two prestige jumping races at Hastings, the AHD Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase (4800m) and Te Whangai Romneys Hawke’s Bay Hurdles (3100m) run in September.

   Both races would have normally been run at Hastings in late June but will now been held on the first day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, on September 19.

   It is expected there will be a 10-race programme that day, the two jumping races and eight flat events.

 

Tote operators to stay for now

  The TAB has partially backed down on a plan that would have seen human betting operators on course replaced by self-service terminals for all but the biggest meetings.

   The plan to move away from human betting staff on track is one of the cost cutting measures the TAB has announced but it has met with a furious response from racegoers, many of whom do not know how to use the self-service machines.

    The migration of on-course punters to betting either with their phones or using the machines will still continue but will not be brought in immediately to ensure a longer transition period.

   The TAB has now agreed to allow betting operators on track for the rest of this season and next year, apart from smaller midweek industry meetings.

   The smaller midweek meetings that will be without betting operators from next season tend to attract mainly regular horse racing participants so won’t have the same walk-up crowds who are less likely to be unfamiliar with the self-service machines or without the TAB app on their phone.

   The TAB has agreed to work with clubs hosting larger meetings, like some of Ellerslie’s glamour days and the final day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, on bigger temporary totes to cater for casual racegoers.

 

HB horses ready to resume

   More than 50 horses were in action at the Hastings track on Tuesday as Hawke’s Bay Racing conducted a second set of jumpouts.

   It followed the first set (on May 27), since the Covid-19 crisis and this time owners and the general public were allowed to attend.

   A number of the thoroughbreds on show were two and three-year-olds undergoing early education but there were also several proven race day performers getting ready for when gallops racing resumes at the end of this month.

   Two of these were the open class gallopers Hunta Pence and Peso, who both recorded impressive wins in their respective heats.

   Hunta Pence contested the last of three 1000m heats and cruised to a 1-1/2 length win in a time of 1:02.3, which was two and a half seconds faster than the others at the same distance.

   The Patrick Campbell-trained Hunta Pence has not raced since finishing fifth over 1600m at Trentham on March 7. He spent several weeks out spelling during the country’s lockdown but looks to have come back in great order for another preparation.

   Peso also looks in tremendous order and he scored a decisive 2-1/4 length win over Dez and Call Me Jack in the only 1400m heat of the day.

   Peso has not raced since February but trainers Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal have managed to keep the horse’s fitness level up during the Covid-19 crisis. The Colombia eight-year-old also won a 1200m jumpout at Hastings on May 27 and should be ready to compete when racing resumes.

   Noted wet track performer Dez also looks to be coming up well in another preparation and last year’s Winter Cup winner should be close to his peak again when winter racing returns.

   Trials are scheduled for the Otaki track next Wednesday, with entries closing with the Bureau at 12 noon on Tuesday, June 16.

 

Hawke’s Bay Racing chief executive Darin Balcombe is pleased the Gold Trail Stakes will now be run in September.

 

Hastings Jumpouts 9 Jun 2020

HASTINGS JUMPOUTS

(By John Jenkins)

 

Easy wins by the open class gallopers Hunta Pence and Peso were among the highlights at today’s Hastings jumpouts.

   A total of 48 horses contested 10 heats, over distances raging from 780m to 1400m. The jumpouts were conducted about eight metres out from the running rail on the course proper, which provided dead footing.

   Hunta Pence contested the last of three 1000m heats and cruised to a 1-1/2 length win in a time of 1:02.3, which was two and a half seconds faster than the others at the same distance.

   The Patrick Campbell-trained Hunta Pence has not raced since finishing fifth over 1600m at Trentham on March 7. He spent several weeks out spelling during the country’s lockdown but looks to have come back in great order for another preparation.

   Peso also looks in tremendous order and he scored a decisive 2-1/4 length win over Dez and Call Me Jack in the only 1400m heat of the day.

   Peso has not raced since February but trainers Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal have managed to keep the horse’s fitness level up during the Covid-19 crisis. The Colombia eight-year-old also won a 1200m jumpout at Hastings on May 27 and should be ready to compete when racing resumes.

   Noted wet track performer Dez also looks to be coming up well in another preparation and last year’s Winter Cup winner should be close to his peak again when winter racing returns.

 

Results:

 

Heat 1, 780m: Savabeel-Misspro O’Reilly 2yr-old gelding (Sammy) 1, Power 2yr-old filly 2, Jakkalberry 2yr-old gelding 3. Five starters. Margins: 1 length, 1-3/4 lengths. Time: 50.6. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 2, 780m: Rock ‘N’ Pop 2yr-old filly (L Hemi) 1, Kaluanui 2, Iffraaj 3yr-old filly 3. Five starters. Margins: Long neck, 1-3/4 lengths. Time: 46.7s Winner trained by Lee Somervell, Hastings.

Heat 3, 780m: Free Thyme (J Bassett) 1, Prince Conti 4yr-old mare 2, Super Easy 3yr-old filly 3. Six starters. Margins: Long neck, 1-1/2 lengths. Time: 46.3s. Winner trained by Richard McKenzie, Hastings.

Heat 4, 780m: If Only I Knew (L Hemi) 1, Swiss Ace-Midnight Molly 3yr-old gelding 2, Redwood 2yr-old filly 3. Five starters. Margins: 2 lengths, 2-1/4 lengths. Time: 47.4s. Winner trained by Kate Hercock, Hastings.

Heat 5, 780m: Per Incanto 3yr-old filly (Sammy) 1, El Roca 2yr-old filly 2, Showcasing 3yr-old gelding 3. Five starters. Margins: 3 lengths, 3-1/2 lengths. Time: 47.3s. Winner trained Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 6, 780m: Polizzi (L Hemi) 1, Matt Cain 2, Shady Lady 3. Four starters. Margins: Neck, 3 lengths. Time: 46.6s. Winner trained by Kate Hercock, Hastings.

Heat 7, 1000m: Pas de Geant (L Hemi) 1, Ferlax 3yr-old filly 2, Roc de Cambes-Boxer Fluffies 3yr-old gelding 3. Four starters. Margins: 2 lengths, 3 lengths. Time: 1:05.1. Winner trained by Lee Somervell, Hastings.

Heat 8, 1000m: Per Incanto-Queen Aly 3yr-old gelding (Sammy) 1, Jakkalberry 3yr-old gelding 2, Atlante-Kalahari Princess 2yr-old gelding 3. Five starters. Margins: ½ length, 2-3/4 lengths. Time: 1:04.8. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 9, 1000m: Hunta Pence (D Hirini) 1, My Tommy 2, Rippin 3. Five starters. Margins: 1-1/2 lengths, ½ length. Time: 1:02.3. Winner trained by Patrick Campbell, Hastings.

Heat 10, 1400m: Peso (J Bassett) 1, Dez 2, Call Me Jack 3. Five starters. Margins: 2-1/4 lengths, 2-3/4 lengths. Time: 1:27.9. Winner trained by Paul Nelson & Corrina McDougal, Hastings.

 

Hawkes Bay Racing Column 8 Jun 2020

More jumpouts at Hastings track Tuesday

(By John Jenkins)

   A second round of jumpouts is planned for the Hastings track next Tuesday and the number of horses expected to compete will be nearly as big as the last lot, held on Wednesday of last week.

   Fifty-six horses lined up that day to contest 11 heats, over distances ranging from 780m to 1400m. There were 33 raced horses among the contestants but also 23 unraced horses getting ready for the new racing season.

   Despite only registered licensed personnel able to attend the jumpouts, under Alert 3 restrictions, there was a positive feel since the Covid-19 crisis hit the racing industry three months ago, with trainers sensing there was light at the end of the tunnel.

   New Zealand thoroughbred racing has been dealt a heavy blow compared to the other two racing codes, with New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing stating early on that it would not resume gallops racing until July 3.

   The time frame was, as thought, to give trainers time to get their horses back to race fitness after a country-wide five week lockdown, which closed down racetracks for training.

   But they didn’t count on the numerous horses that are trained on private tracks, farms and beaches that could be worked, almost as normal, during the lockdown period. Horses prepared from such places would certainly have an advantage over those who have had to wait for training tracks to re-open.

   NZTR have had second thoughts on when thoroughbred racing should recommence and are now looking at putting on a meeting at Pukekohe in the last week of this month.

   Besides jumpouts being run throughout the country, barrier trials are scheduled for Te Rapa on June 9, Ellerslie on June 16 and Te Rapa on June 23 in the north.

   There were trials held on the Foxton track on Thursday, where there were 14 heats run at distances ranging from 850m to 1600m and 85 horses entered. Other trials planned for the Central Districts this month are at Otaki on June 16 and Waverley on June 24.

   There are also jumping trials planned for Cambridge on June 18 and a Waverley Point To Point on June 11.

   John Bary, who has a 1300m track at his Mutiny Road property, has been able to get his horses up to a good standard of fitness and that showed when he took out three of the heats at last week’s Hastings jumpouts.

   Bary saddled up one of the most impressive winners on the day in Spydapus, a three-year-old by Burgundy who bounced straight to the front in a 780m heat and raced right away in the final stages to win by seven lengths, clocking the fastest time over the distance at 46.7s.

   Spydapus was an impressive trial winner over 850m at Foxton  in March and followed that up that with a debut third over 1000m at Tauherenikau.

   Bary described the filly as ‘a natural runner’ and said he will aim her at an 800m race at Wanganui on July 10.

   “She had one start for a third before we went into lockdown and has come on well from that. She has plenty of speed so 800m at Wanganui will suit her nicely.”

   Bary also produced another impressive winner at last week’s jumpouts in the unraced Ask Pa. The Ocean Park three-year-old filly took out another of the 780m heats and also recorded a good time of 47.7s.

   Ask Pa is out of the Group 2 Waikato Cup (2400m) winner Singing Star and is a half-sister to the Bary-trained Miss Selby, who finished second to Miss Mossman in the 2014 Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham.

   “Ask Pa is a lovely, well related filly who I have a lot of time for,” Bary said.

   “We’ve taken her along quietly but she has made good progress and won’t be far away from having a start once we get back underway again.”

   Bary expects to have at up to three runners at the first Central Districts race meeting at Wanganui on July 11, with one of the others being Louboutin, who finished a close second in a 1000m jumpout at Hastings last week.

   The Jimmy Choux four-year-old mare won two races on heavy tracks at Wanganui last winter and Bary said he expects her to have another good winter campaign.

   The Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen stable could have two or three horses ready to race during the month of July, including Ruie’s Crumpet who was one of two winners they produced at last week’s Hastings jumpouts.

   Ruie’s Crumpet won a 780m heat by a length and clocked a good time of 47.4s.

   Fellow Hastings trainer Lee Somervell is also likely to have two or three from his stable ready to race in July while the Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal stable are likely to have a large contingent of jumpers at the Waverley Point To Point next Thursday as they prepare for when jumps racing recommences at Wanganui on July 10.

Louboutin pictured here recording the second of her two wins on the Wanganui track last winter. The John Bary-trained mare is likely to return to that venue when gallops racing resumes next month.

 

Extended terms for RITA directors  

   Minister for Racing Winston Peters has announced that the terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) have been extended to June 30 2021.

   Due to the COVID-19 crisis the transition period has been extended to ensure that the Racing Industry Bill can complete its progress through the House at a time when the current focus on the Covid-19 response is reduced.

   “We knew from the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis that the racing industry was facing an unparalleled crisis in its history,” Peters said. 

   “The racing industry is seriously underestimated for its important contribution to our regions and our economy and getting the reforms right is pivotal to the economic recovery of all of New Zealand.” 

   This extension will allow the directors to continue contributing to work strengthening the governance and operational settings in the racing industry.

   “It is crucial that the directors continue to offer their extensive expertise and experience during this extended transition period to help make the racing industry both more prosperous and sustainable,” Peters said. 

   “In the long term, when we get all the steps correct, there is no reason why racing in this country cannot be a viable, world-class industry.”

   Each of the directors has extensive industry knowledge and experience. They are Dean McKenzie (Chair), Bill Birnie, Liz Dawson, Kristy McDonald, Anna Stove and Sir Peter Vela.

 

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