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Intransigent out-toughs his rivals in cup win 31 Jul 2013

   They don’t come much tougher than Hawke’s Bay galloper Intransigent who suffered a black eye when he took a blow to the head during the running of last Saturday’s $80,000 Taumarunui Cup but still managed to down his rivals in the 2100-metre event.

   The tiny six-year-old produced an outstanding performance to come from last at the 600 metres. He looped the field and was the widest runner on straightening for the run to the line, keeping up a long sustained finishing burst to get up and snatch a last stride victory.

   The horse’s Waipukurau trainer, Kirsty Lawrence, said this week she was as surprised as anyone to see the horse tailed off in the early stages of the Te Rapa feature.

   “It wasn’t until we viewed the race again on video that we saw he copped a clod of dirt to the head with a round to go. It knocked him back for a few strides but I think it also made him angry and even more determined,” Lawrence said.

   “He had a black eye on Saturday night so it must have been quite a whack but that’s now gone down and he’s back to normal.”

   It speaks volumes of Intransigent’s toughness that he was able to overcome such a body blow and still win, especially when you consider he stands not much more than 14.3 hands high and weighs just 412kg. He was once again dwarfed by most of his cup rivals.

   Lawrence said she and winning jockey David Walsh had mapped out a plan several weeks ago to have Intransigent at peak fitness for the Taumarunui Cup and she was thrilled that everything had come together perfectly on the day.

   Lawrence and husband Steve took the horse up to Hamilton on the eve of the race and he settled in so well and ate everything that night that she gave him a workout on Saturday morning and a sprint up the Te Rapa straight.

   It obviously took nothing out of the horse as he was able to outstay his rivals in the cup later that day, getting in the deciding stride to beat Magna Carta by a head, with Noble Warrior a short head back in third place.

   The three horses were wide apart as they crossed the line and Lawrence said she thought Intransigent had only managed to get third. Her and husband Steve let out a scream when he was called in first.

   Intransigent was back home and in his box by Saturday night and Lawrence said the energy-sapping race and long trip took nothing out of him at all.

   “He thrives on racing and I had to take him back to the track on Monday morning. I thought I’d give him a day off because of the long trip and tough race but he was having none of it and wanted to get straight back into it.”

   She is now planning to take the horse south next week for the $40,000 Christchurch Casino Winter Classic (1800m) on the third day of the Grand National meeting at Riccarton.

   “He’ll be dropping back in distance but I’ll freshen him up a bit and it’s a race he finished third in last year,” she said.

   “I’ve got no worries about him coping with the travel and David Walsh will be down there for the week so he can ride him. He has been coming up from Palmerston North to ride him in trackwork for a while now and has built up a real bond with the horse.”

   Intransigent has now won eight races from 50 starts and has earned his connections more than $216,000 in stakemoney. He is raced on lease by Kirsty and her husband Steve along with Hastings mother and son Barbara and Brendon Ray, Waipukurau’s Barry Sizer and Palmerston North couple Brian and Annette Hawkins. They lease the Refuse To Bend gelding from Judge John Clapham.

   Intransigent’s win last Saturday earned him another four rating points to take him to 97, meaning he has now climbed to near the top of the handicap in open class races in New Zealand.

   As a consequence Lawrence is looking at a possibility of taking the horse across the Tasman for races in Victoria in late August and early September as he is only rated on 90 points over there.

   “It all depends on how he comes through his next race and what the tracks are like over there by then,” she said. “We wouldn’t want to get over there and the tracks are too firm for him but there is a Rating 96 race over 2500 metres at Moonee Valley on August 24 that we might look at.”

   Intransigent is one of 11 horses Lawrence has in work at the moment after she turned out a couple of other youngsters last week for a winter spell.

   She has an unraced two-year-old half-brother to Intransigent that is presently on the market.

   “He is by Elusive City and is a similar type. He was passed in at the Ready To Run sale and I’m now trying to sell him for Judge Clapham,” she said.


Nelson team heads south

   Zardetto’s win in a hurdle race at Awapuni on Thursday of last week will now see him head to Christchurch for the Grand National meeting, which begins tomorrow.

   Trainer Paul Nelson has regularly made successful raids to the three day Grand National meeting at Riccarton and said this week Zardetto would accompany four others from his stable making the trip south. They are the veteran campaigner Solid Steal, the consistent Bally Heights, proven jumper No Governance and promising hurdler King’s Deep.

   The first day of the Grand National meeting is tomorrow and the second day next Wednesday. The final day is the following Saturday and will feature the 139th running of the Grand National Steeplechase.

   Zardetto’s main mission will be the $20,000 0-1 win hurdle race over 3100 metres on the last day while Solid Steal will only have one race over the carnival, that being the $70,000 Grand National Steeplechase (5600m).

   Bally Heights and No Governance will both line up tomorrow. Bally Heights will contest the time-honoured Koral Steeples (4250m) while No Governance, a winner over hurdles, will step up to the big fences for the first time in a maiden steeplechase over 3200 metres.

   Zardetto certainly deserved to break through for his first hurdle win last week after recording three third placings over fences this winter. The five-year-old is bred to be a cups contender more than a jumper, being by the champion Australian sire Redoute’s Choice out of the Zabeel mare Champagne.

   Champagne was the winner of seven races from just 19 starts, including the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington and the Group 1 Ansett Stakes (2000m) in Sydney. She also finished second in the 1988 Melbourne Cup (3200m), going down by just a neck behind fellow New Zealand-trained mare Jezabeel.

   Zardetto started out in the Cambridge stable of Ken Kelso and then had a brief stint in the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen. Paul Nelson and his wife Carol now race the horse on lease, along with Paul’s cousin David and his wife Kaye. He races in the colours once used by Paul and David’s grandfather.

   Nelson, who ended the season on nine wins as a trainer, predicts a good future for Zardetto over fences. “He jumps very evenly. He’s not extravagant but just jumps them as they come,” he said after last week’s win.

   Winning jockey Richard Cully was also impressed with the horse’s performance, which saw him take control over the field on the home bend and race away for a 4-1/4 length victory.

   “I couldn’t ask for anymore. He was travelling the best turning in and made my job easy,” Cully said.

   Hawke’s Bay-owned horses filled the first three placings in the other hurdle event at the Manawatu meeting on Thursday of last week.

   First home was the Lisa Latta-trained Zane Bay, who finished half a length in front of No Governance, with Ripdiddler 1-3/4 lengths back in third place.

   Zane Bay was making his hurdle debut after recording four wins on the flat. The seven-year-old Shinko King gelding was bred by Pourerere’s Sue Harty, who has retained a 10 per cent racing share.

   No Governance is trained at Hastings by Paul Nelson and raced by him and his wife Carol while Ripdiddler is prepared by Foxton’s Christine Eagle and owned by his Waipawa breeders John and Jan Frizzell.


Kapsboy wins again

   Underrated winter galloper Kapsboy is proving a good money-spinner for Hastings couple John and Colleen Duncan, with the Ishiguru three-year-old picking up his third win from just 12 starts in a $20,000 three-year-old race at last Saturday’s Taumarunui meeting at Te Rapa.

   The Duncans own Kapsboy in partnership with well known Cambridge thoroughbred owner-breeder Ada Parnwell and he is a half-brother to their Group 1 winner Fleur de Lune. Both horses are trained at Cambridge by Lee Somervell.

   Kapsboy has recorded two wins, a second, a third and a fourth from his last five starts. Jockey Jason Jago took him straight to the front in Saturday’s 1400-metre event and they never looked like being headed, crossing the line 2-1/4 lengths clear of the opposition.

   Despite his good form credentials, Kapsboy was overlooked by most punters and returned a dividend of $11.20 for a win and $3.50 for a place.


HB races Thursday

   The next Hawke’s Bay race meeting will be held at the Hastings racecourse next Thursday. There will be a seven race card with the first timed to start at 12.30pm and the last at 4pm. There will be free entry to the course. 


Viceroy, preparing for the Hawke’s Bay meeting on Thursday of next week, looked to be striding out well at the end of a solo gallop at this morning’s Hastings track session.

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

   Viceroy was timed to run 1000 metres in 1:9.3, coming home the last 600 in 38.7. The Deputy Governor three-year-old turned in a good performance for third over 1200 metres at the last Hawke’s Bay meeting and will be stepped up to 1600 metres next week.

   Pimms Time was let off with an easy 600 metres in 43.1. She looks in tremendous order as she prepares to kick off a fresh campaign in the weight-for-age Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings on August 31.

   A Captain Rio two-year-old in the Thompson/Brown stable worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1000-metre peg in 1:11.8, increasing the speed over the last 600 in 38.9.

   Hawkeye Chief and a Rusty Spur two-year-old filly, two others from the same stable, clocked 1:9.5 for 1000 metres, the last 600 in 38.4 while Beautiful Man was not doing much more than three-quarter pace when running 800 metres in 57.7, the last 600 in 42.7.

   A Savabeel-Tycoon Miss 3yr-old gelding  in the Lowry/Cullen stable ran 800 metres in 54.4, the last 600 in 40.1 while a Shinko King two-year-old gelding worked easily over the same ground in 59.5, the last 600 in 44.2.

   A Bachelor Duke-Boxer Fluffies two-year-old filly clocked 1:10.7 for 1000 metres but fog prevented any sectional times being taken.

Major Milestones for John Bary 24 Jul 2013

Commett’s win at last week’s Hawke’s Bay meeting brought up two special milestones for the horse’s Hastings trainer John Bary.

   It was the 43-year-old’s 100th training success in a career that has spanned just five years and it also posted a new record for the most wins by a Hawke’s Bay trainer in a season.

   I have been a racing journalist for 36 years and kept records from when I started. Back in the early 1970s the Hawke’s Bay district was a vibrant racing community with at least 15 trainers making a good living from the industry. Racing back then was restricted, in the main, to just Saturdays and Wednesdays so there was definitely less opportunities compared to today, where we have race meetings almost every day of the week.

   In the past 40 years the 1977-78 season stands out as one when racing in Hawke’s Bay was at an all time high. It was a year when the district totalled 146 wins and more than $400,000 in stakes, a sizeable sum given the stakemoney levels back then.

   Many of the trainers of that time have since passed away but leading the way was Don Sellwood, who saddled up 22 wins from a stable that comprised of no more than 15 horses. Now in his 70s, Sellwood has been based in Cambridge in recent years and rumours are that he won’t be renewing his trainer’s licence in the new season.

   Second top Hawke’s Bay trainer back in the 1977-78 season was the late Charlie Cameron with 17 wins. Back then he was regularly racking up more than 20 wins a season with a team of no more than 20 horses. Unfortunately he died of cancer in June 1981 aged just 57.

   Keith Couper and Mike Donoghue were in partnership back then and totalled 11 wins that season. Both have unfortunately passed away, as have Brian Harris and Alan Pringle, who had 9 wins apiece. Then came Linton Cullen and Marlene Todd on 7 wins and Patrick Campbell, Lochie Ross and Ron Saxon on 6 wins.

   Other notable trainers at that time were Tony Burridge & David Pocock (5 wins), Rose Durrant (5 wins), Arnold Gregory (5 wins), Colwyn Hercock (5 wins) and Bob Quinlivan (4 wins).

   The horses that were trained in the district that season were some of the best to grace the New Zealand turf at that time. The Don Sellwood-trained Mun Lee was crowned Three-year-old Filly of the Year after amassing four wins, three seconds and two fourths. Schenley, prepared by Keith Couper and Mike Donoghue, won six races on end including the Waikato Cup; the Marlene Todd-trained Tarbela won both the Whyte Handicap at Trentham and Taumarunui Cup at Te Rapa; Tang (Charlie Cameron) won four of her six starts as a two-year-old; Cloudy Lease (Linton Cullen) won six races including the Foxton and Te Awamutu Cups; Chinkara (Rose Durrant) won five races and Dandaleith (Alan Pringle) took out the Chalmers Handicap at Trentham before going on to finish second in the 1978 Melbourne Cup.

   With five days to go in the current racing season John Bary has recorded 29 wins, which is a modern day record. He is nine ahead of Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, with Paul Nelson next on 8 wins.

   Commett’s success in a Rating 85 1400-metre race at Hastings on Thursday of last week brought up Bary’s 98th New Zealand win.  He has also won two races in Australia, with Jimmy Choux taking out the Group 1Rosehill Guineas in Sydney and The Hombre winning the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate in Brisbane.

   John Bary has had a lifetime involvement with horses and was a professional polo player for 13 years, when based in the United States, Argentina and Australia.

   He took up farming upon returning to New Zealand but has always had a passion for horse racing and decided to branch out as a trainer in August of last year, after previously racing horses prepared by his mother, Ann Bary.

   He sold his Hawke’s Bay farm and has turned 65 acres of basic farmland in Mutiny Road, just south of Hastings, into a purposely built racing stable where he now has just over 40 horses in work.  The property has two sizeable barns, 22 paddocks and a 1300-metre training track that has a 400-metre chute and 340-metre straights.

   Bary chalked up his first win as a trainer with Neversaynever in a 1400-metre maiden race at Gisborne in November 2008. It was the first of seven wins he recorded in his first season and he has gone from strength to strength since. He totalled 18 the next season and his tallies in the three seasons since have been 21, 23 and 29.

   Bary says the most satisfying thing about his 100 training wins is that 20 of them have been in either group or listed races.

   Jimmy Choux has undoubtedly been the star of his stable with his eight wins including four at Group 1 level, the New Zealand Derby, Rosehill Guineas, New Zealand 2000 Guineas and Hawke’s Bay Spring Classic. He is now standing at Matamata’s Rich Hill Stud, with his first progeny due to be born next month.

   Recite has been Bary’s latest Group 1 performer. The Darci Brahma two-year-old was unbeaten in four starts this season culminating in a decisive 1-1/2 length victory in the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) in March. She has been back in work since the end of May, with Bary thrilled with the way she has developed during her spell and says she has definitely strengthened up.

   Recite is due to resume racing in a three-year-old fillies race over 1200 metres at Taupo on August 19, which will serve as a lead up to the listed 1200-metre fillies' race at Wanganui on September 7.

   She is then scheduled to tackle the Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie before heading to Melbourne, where she will be aimed at either the Caulfield Guineas or Thousand Guineas.

   Survived and Franzac have also been two other exciting horses in the Bary stable this season. Survived won the Group 3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) and Group 3 Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m) during the autumn before finishing second in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) in Brisbane. He has been back in work for a fortnight and is being aimed specifically at two of the Group 1 weight-for-age features at the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, the Windsor Park Plate (1600m) in mid-September and the Spring Classic (2040m) in October.

   Franzac, who recorded a win and a stakes placing from three starts as a two-year-old this season, has also been back in work for some time and has the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November as his main spring assignment.

   Commett was recording back-to-back victories last week, after also taking out a Rating 75 race over 1600 metres at Wanganui a week before. The No Excuse Needed four-year-old is owned by Bary in partnership with Havelock North’s Allan Chapman and has now won four races from 21 starts.

   Bary is hoping Commett will now be selected to represent Hawke’s Bay in the $50,000 Interprovincial Challenge (1600m) at New Plymouth on August 24.


Adventador in great form

   Hastings-trained Adventador is building a good record on the racetrack, with his win in an $8000 Rating 75 1200-metre race at last week’s Hawke’s Bay meeting being his third from just eight starts.

   The big Fast ‘N’ Famous gelding is prepared by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and owned by Milan Park Stud Limited, which is operated by Cambridge supermarket owner Tony Rider.

   Adventador is out of the Khozaam mare Alpine Heights and a half-brother to the winners Senorita Rosay, Southern Belle and Southern Heights. He has had his share of problems in the past, including having screws inserted in one of his knees and a tie-back throat operation.

   Being such a big heavy horse Adventador jars up on firm footing but seemed to get through the heavy track conditions well at Hastings last week. Rider Hayden Tinsley took the gelding straight to the front and they never looked like being headed, crossing the line with a 3 length advantage over his rivals.

   Adventador will now continue to tick over in the Lowry/Cullen stable and may contest a $30,000 Rating 85 1200-metre race on the first day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, on August 31.


D’Llaro all the way

   D’Llaro, part-owned by Napier’s John McGifford, continued his great run of form this winter with another decisive win in a $25,000 Rating 75 race over 1800 metres at last Saturday’s Taranaki meeting.

   It was the D’Cash gelding’s sixth win and his second from his last three starts. He is trained at Cambridge by Graeme Lord, who also has a racing share in the horse.

   D’Llaro was recording his second win on the New Plymouth track and seemed right at home in the very heavy track conditions. Apprentice Rory Hutchings took him straight to the front and dictated terms from then on, having the horse well clear of the opposition throughout and finally winning by 1-3/4 lengths.


Special meeting

   A meeting is planned for Thursday August 1, in the Cheval Lounge at the Hawke’s Bay Racing centre, to discuss the feasibility study of a possible racecourse relocation. The meeting is timed to start at 5.30pm and all members and stakeholders in racing are welcome to attend.


Hastings jumpouts 19/7/13 19 Jul 2013

   Class mare Pimms Time stretched out nicely in a 750-metre jumpout at the Hastings track this morning as she prepares to kick off a fresh campaign.

   The Pins mare, winner of the Group 2 Travis Stakes, last raced when unplaced in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 18. She is likely to kick off a fresh campaign in the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings on August 31.

   There were five 750-metre heats run at this morning’s Hastings jumpouts, which were held on a very heavy course proper.

   Pimms Time contested the last heat and was ridden by top woman jockey Rosie Myers, who had stayed in Hastings overnight after competing at yesterday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   Although she only finished third out of four runners, Pimms Time looked to be coasting in her heat as she made her run down the outside of the track. The heat was won by Miss Lioness, who was a head in front of Pearls, with Pimms Time just a head further back. The winning time was 51.7s.

   Irish Fling clocked the fastest time when winning the first heat by a long neck in 48s while a Rusty Spur two-year-old filly trained by Sue Thompson and Mick Brown clocked 49.6s when winning the third heat.


Jumpout results.-


Heat 1, 750m: Irish Fling (C Anderson) 1, Mr Nancho 5yr-old mare 2, Captain Rio 2yr-old gelding 3. Four starters. Margins: Long neck, 3 lengths. Time: 48s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen.

Heat 2, 750m: Gold (J Andersson) 1, Coz I’m Lucky 2, Sandtrap 2yr-old gelding 3. Four starters. Margins: 2 lengths, 3 lengths. Time: 51.2s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 3, 750m: Rusty Spur 2yr-old filly (S Thompson) 1, Savabeel-Tycoon Miss 3yr-old gelding 2, Bachelor Duke-Boxer Fluffies 2yr-old filly 3. Five starters. Margins: ½ length, 1-1/4 lengths. Time: 49.6s. Winner trained by Sue Thompson & Mick Brown, Hastings.

Heat 4, 750m: Thedepot (C Anderson) 1, Mink 2, Danske 3yr-old gelding 3. Four starters. Margins: Neck, ¾ length. Time: 52.4s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 5, 750m: Miss Lioness (C Anderson) 1, Pearls 2, Pimms Time 3. Four starters. Margins: Head, Head. Time: 51.7s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Mixed bag for HB owner 17 Jul 2013

   Hastings thoroughbred owner-breeder Peter Grieve experienced mixed fortunes at last Monday’s Te Aroha meeting.

   Grieve had runners in each of the two hurdle races on the programme, with Our Destiny carrying his colours in the opening event and Brer in the second.

   Our Destiny started a warm favourite and looked a good winning chance when in a prominent position for the first half of his 3100-metre race. However he hit a fence hard with about 1000 metres to run and lost a considerable amount of ground before battling on again late to finish sixth.

   Brer was also prominent from the outset in his 3100-metre race and took a clear lead entering the last 1600 metres. The China Cat four-year-old had a 3 length advantage over his rivals rounding the home bend and skipped over the last three jumps before racing away for an impressive 20 length win.

   It was Brer’s second success, his first coming in a 2000-metre maiden flat race at Matamata 12 months ago. He also finished second in a hurdle race at Hastings last month.

   Peter Grieve bred Brer and races the China Cat gelding in partnership with his son Doug and daughter Kath. The three-year-old is trained at Cambridge by Craig Thornton, who also rode the horse to victory on Monday.

   Brer is out of the Corrupt mare La Fox and descends from the family of Braless, who is undoubtedly the best horse Grieve has had. He bred and raced that Showoff II mare in partnership with his father Doug and brother Ivan and she won nine races from 1000 to 1700 metres and was rated the third top filly on the 1977-78 New Zealand Three-year-old Free Handicap list. Her victories included the 1977 Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas and the Group 3 ARC Owens Stakes (twice) while she also finished second in both the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas and Group 2 Great Northern Oaks. La Fox is a grand-daughter of Braless.


Commett flies again

   Hastings owned and trained Commett returned to the winner’s stall with a dominant performance in a Rating 75 1600-metre race at last week’s Wanganui meeting.

   The No Excuse Needed four-year-old revelled in the heavy and loose track conditions to score by 2-1/4 lengths, in the hands of apprentice jockey Miranda Dravitzki.

   Commett had not won since January of last year but had recorded several good minor placings in the interim, including a third over 1600 metres on the Wanganui track last month. He is trained by John Bary who races the gelding in partnership with Havelock North’s Allan Chapman.

   Bary predicted a big future for Commett after the horse won his race debut over 1200 metres at Waverley in September 2011. He was raced then by his Cambridge breeders, Peter and Christine Scoular, and won again over 1200 metres at Rotorua five races later.

   Commett is out of the Jetball mare Ginja Gem and thus a half-brother to Heredity, who recorded four wins, four seconds and a third from just 21 starts. Ginja Gem is out of Half Cut, who won eight races and was placed fourth in the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m).


First South Island win

   Hastings-based jumps jockey Charlie Studd brought up his third New Zealand win and his first on South Island soil when successful aboard High Forty in a $12,000 steeplechase at last Friday’s South Canterbury meeting at Timaru.

   Studd, 34, is an English-born rider who has spent the last two New Zealand winters working for the Hastings stable of Paul Nelson. He recorded his first New Zealand win aboard the Nelson-trained No Quota in a steeplechase at Te Rapa in September last year and also ride that horse to victory over the big fences at Te Aroha last month.

   High Forty was making his steeplechase debut at Timaru but had won twice over hurdles and had been well schooled, coming out of the Wingatui stable of Brian and Shane Anderton.

   Studd settled the horse just in behind the pace until the last 800 metres of the 4280-metre event and then put his rivals under pressure with a quick move to take a clear lead approaching the home turn.

   Once over the last fence High Forty ran clear to win by 8 lengths from Kidunot and Lagerfield.


Niagara well received

   More than 60 people braved the wet and cold weather last Sunday to attend a parade of Hawke’s Bay’s latest stallion acquisition, Niagara, at Okawa Stud.

   The Australian-bred has been imported to stand at Greg and Jo Griffin’s Lime Country Thoroughbreds property on the Taihape Road.

   Niagara was well received by those in attendance, most of whom were impressed by not only the horse’s great physique but also his very placid temperament.

   The son of Encosta de Lago was a $A620,000 yearling purchase and raced 11 times from the Sydney stable of top trainer Gai Waterhouse for a record of two wins, four seconds, a third and a fourth. He won the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) by 3 lengths as a three-year-old and was the fifth highest rated three-year-old colt in Australia that season, with his Timeform rating of 121 being only 8 points below the top rated Sepoy.

   Encosta de Lago, the sire of Niagara, has been a champion stallion and has also left Northern Meteor, who is currently Australia’s champion first season sire.

   Niagara’s dam River Song is by Fusaichi Pegasus and carries the bloodlines of both Redoute’s Choice and Danehill, two of the most influential sires Australia has produced.

   Niagara is standing at a fee of $5000 plus GST and is expected to cover over 100 mares in his first season at stud. Lime Country Thoroughbreds is offering free return freight for mares booked to him this year.

Trackwork 16 Jul 2013

   No Excuse Maggie, preparing for Saturday’s Listed Opunake Cup in New Plymouth, hit out keenly in training at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Fast work was carried out on the plough and wide out on the No.1 grass, both tracks providing heavy footing after several days of almost constant rain.

   No Excuse Maggie worked on her own over 1000 metres on the plough, clocking 1:3.6 for the full distance and coming home the last 600 in a quick 36s. The grey mare was hardly blowing at all after the workout and has obviously trained on the right way since winning over 1200 metres at Hastings on June 29.

   Trainer John Bary said No Excuse Maggie will contest Saturday’s 1400-metre feature race at the Taranaki meeting providing she is not over-burdened with weight in the handicap event.

   Pimms Time, who looks to have strengthened a lot since her last preparation, worked over 800 metres in 54.8, the last 600 in 39.3. She could have a jumpout at Hastings this Friday and is likely to kick off a fresh campaign in the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings on August 31.

   Sloshed, entered for the Rating 65 1600 at Hastings on Thursday, was another who recorded a good time this morning when sprinting 600 metres in 36.4 while stablemate Commett ran 600 metres in 37.1.

   Commett was an impressive winner at Wanganui last Thursday and is entered for the Rating 85 1400 at Hastings on Thursday. Apprentice Miranda Dravitzki has been booked to ride him again.

   Lucernup ended her work with 600 metres in 38.3. She is a Fast ‘N’ Famous filly trained by Fred Pratt and down to make her race debut in the three-year-old maiden 1200 at Hastings on Thursday. Viceroy, another entered for the same race, ended his work with 600 metres in 40.7.

   Turquoise, another likely starter at Hastings on Thursday, clocked 37.5 for 600 metres while her stablemate Enuffisenuff ran an easy 600 metres in 40.6.

   Miss Lioness, one of several horses from the Lowry/Cullen stable that will be entered for the Hastings jumpouts this Friday, was let off with 1000 metres on the grass at three-quarter pace, running home the last 600 in 45. Her stablemate Thedepot underwent similar work, running 1000 metres in 1:12.4, the last 600 in 42.5.

   Coz I’m Lucky worked early in the session and was time to run his last 600 metres on the plough in 42 while a Casino Prince three-year-old gelding ran 1000 metres on the same track in 1:14.7, the last 600 in 42.5.

   Midnight Paddle and Da Beast, two others entered for Thursday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting, worked together over 800 metres on the plough in 57.1, the last 600 in 41.7 while a Hawkeye there-year-old gelding and Stellare ran 600 metres together in 41.5.

   A Rusty Spur two-year-old filly and a Captain Rio two-year-old gelding worked in at three-quarter pace from the 800-metre peg on the plough and quickened slightly over the last 600 in 42.7.

Hawke's Bay Selections for Thursday 16 Jul 2013

Race 1: Golden Emperor, Fully Fashioned, Silver Shadow.

Race 2: Keyora, Adventador, Platinum Dancer.

Race 3: Princess Lincoln, Turquoise, Tsar Reformer.

Race 4: Persian Dancer, Mr Lincoln, Viceroy.

Race 5: Pencuri, Kenneth, Beauty Glow.

Race 6: Jazz Rock, Lady Lincoln, Sortemout.

Race 7: The Flying Affair, Commett, Guessing.

Race 8: Bonny Heights, Clan O’Ceirin, Sandy’s Star.

Best bet: Bonny Heights (race 8).

Ambitious Dragon still roaring in Hong Kong 10 Jul 2013

   Hawke’s Bay-bred Ambitious Dragon successfully defended his title of Champion Miler in Hong Kong when the annual racing awards in the continent were announced last weekend.

   The Pins gelding took out both the Champion Miler and Horse of the Year awards in the 2011-12 season and was also Hong Kong Horse of the Year for 2010-11. But he was beaten to the post for the top award this year by the Hong Kong Cup winner Military Attack.

   Ambitious Dragon was bred by Taupo’s Pat and Jane Lowry and had his initial education from the Hastings stable of their son Guy Lowry. Masterton bloodstock agent Bruce Perry negotiated a private sale of the horse to Hong Kong and he is now trained by Tony Millard.

   The horse is owned by two Hong Kong men, Johnson Lam Pui Hung & Anderson Lam Hin Yue and has put together an impressive record of 13 wins from 26 starts, eight of them at Group 1 level. His stake earnings total more than $HK57million.

   Ambitious Dragon was mainly confined to mile races this year, only once stepping out beyond 1600m.

   He started the season with a first up win in the HK-2 Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy over 1600m and then finished runner-up behind another New Zealand-bred, Glorious Days, in the Group 2 HKJC Jockey Club Mile when carrying a hefty 60.5kgs.

   Ambitious Dragon’s best victory of the season then came in the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Mile (1600m), at the famous international race meeting, where he turned the tables on Glorious Days. He then went on to add another stakes victory in the new year, winning the HK-1 Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup (1600m).

   He is out of the unraced Oregon mare Golden Gamble, who has also left the winner Addicted. Three colts out of the mare have sold for six-figure sums at the last three national yearling sales. The first was by High Chaparral and fetched $420,000, the second was by Thorn Park ($200,000) last year and the third, by Mastercraftsman, was sold to Hong Kong this year for $190,000.

   Pins, the sire of Ambitious Dragon, was crowned champion sire in Hong Kong for the season, a title he also took out in the 2011-12 season. The Waikato Stud-based stallion had six individual winners in Hong Kong during the season.


Niagara on show

   Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred enthusiasts will get an opportunity to view the district’s latest new stallion acquisition this Sunday.

   Australian-bred Niagara has been imported to stand at Greg and Jo Griffin’s Lime Country Thoroughbreds and the couple’s property at Okawa Stud will be part of the Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Thoroughbred Breeders Association’s annual foal walk.

   The foal walk will start at Guy and Bridget Lowry’s property on Ngamahanga Road at 10.30am and then move on to Lime Country Thoroughbreds at approximately 11am.

   It is a great opportunity for local breeders to view Niagara, a son of Encosta de Lago who was a Group 2 winner and multiple group race performer in Australia.

   He had 11 starts from the stable of top Australian woman trainer Gai Waterhouse for two wins, four seconds and a third.

   Following on from the foal walk a luncheon has been  arranged at Vidal’s Restaurant in St Aubyn Street, Hastings, commencing at 1pm. Reservations for the luncheon are advisable and can be made by contacting either Isabell Roddick at 8798662 or Shirin Wood at 8710050.


Pair nominated for top award

   The Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay branch of New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders has nominated Havelock North’s Murray Andersen and Taupo’s Pat Lowry for the award of New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeder of the Year.

   The award will be one of several presented at this year’s Horse of the Year Awards function at the Claudelands Event Centre, Hamilton, on Thursday August 15.

   Murray Andersen has been a prominent Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred owner and breeder for more than 35 years. His first top performer was Grand Zam, winner of the Parliamentary Handicap-Winter Oats double at Trentham in 1979 and he raced her in partnership with her Hastings trainer Michael Peacock. The pair later bred and raced the 1989 New Zealand Cup winner Exocet (by War Hawk II) out of the Zamazaan mare.

   Andersen and his wife Jo then bred and raced the outstanding filly Staring (by Fiesta Star), who won eight races from 45 starts and was the New Zealand Three-year-old Filly of the Year for the 1991-92 season. She recorded Group 1 victories in the New Zealand Oaks at Trentham and Bluebird Foods Classic at Ellerslie and also took out the Group 2 Dulcie Stakes at Te Rapa and three other Group 3 events.

   Murray and Jo Andersen have now bred this season’s outstanding three-year-old Dundeel, who is a grandson of Staring. They race the son of High Chaparral in partnership with a group of others and in the 2012-13 racing season he had 11 starts for seven wins and two seconds and amassed stake earnings of more than $2.8million.

   Dundeel became the first horse in history to win all four Group 1 three-year-old classics for colts and geldings in Sydney, the Spring Champion Stakes, Randwick Guineas, Rosehill Guineas and ATC Derby.

   Pat Lowry is a member of the famous Okawa Stud family dynasty that has bred and raced some of the best gallopers to come out of New Zealand for decades. He and his wife Jane operate Kiwitahi Station in Taupo where they have enjoyed great success with a small broodmare band.

   One of their mares is Golden Gamble, a daughter of Oregon and the dam of Ambitious Dragon, Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year for both the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons and Hong Kong’s champion miler this season.

   Ambitious Dragon, by Pins, had six starts during the 2012-13 season for three wins and a second. He easily accounted for an international field in the Group 1 Hong Kong International Cup (1600m) and also won the Group 1 Queen Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) and Group 2 Sha Tin Trophy (1600m).


Quinella for HB breeder

   Central Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred breeder Sue Harty achieved a first when Di’s Boy and Coastal Mist filled the first two placings in a 1200-metre Rating 75 race at last week’s Waverley meeting.

   “It’s the first time I’ve bred a quinella,” the excited Harvey said a few hours after the race.

   Harty was the co-breeder of Di’s Boy, who is by D’Cash out of Olympic Flame. She is also the breeder of Coastal Mist, who is by Handsome Ransom out of the Blues Traveller mare Blue Pacific.

   Both Olympic Flame and Blue Pacific are out of Ladies Bay, who has been the foundation mare for most of the well performed gallopers Harty has both and raced over many years. Golden Butterfly (9 wins), Irish Mist (6 wins) and Private Bay (4 wins) were three of the best.

   She sold both Di’s Boy and Coastal Most as young horses and the former has now won four races for Woodville trainer Marty Johnson, who also shares in the ownership of the five-year-old.



   Adventador, preparing for the Hawke’s Bay meeting on Thursday of next week, was one of a number of horses from the Lowry/Cullen stable who worked up well at this morning’s Hastings track session.

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

   Adventador was not after a fast time but looked to be stretching out nicely at the end of 1000 metres in 1:8.8, the last 600 in 41. The big Fast ‘N’ Famous gelding found track conditions too heavy for him when unplaced over 1200 metres at Tauranga last start but was an impressive winner at Wanganui before that. He has been given a brief freshen up since his last race and looks in good order.
   The class mare Pimms Time is another from the Lowry/Cullen stable who looks in tremendous condition after returning from a spell and this morning she ran an easy 600 metres in 42.5. The Pins mare looks to have strengthened up all over and could be in for a very successful spring campaign. Co-trainer Guy Lowry said the mare could kick off a fresh campaign in the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings on August 31.

   Mink was keen to go a lot faster when running a quiet 800 metres in 57.1, the last 600 in 42.5 while Pearls went easily over the same ground in 58.9, the last 600 in 43. They will both have a jumpout at Hastings on July 19 and could resume racing in early August.

   Viceroy, another preparing for the Hawke’s Bay meeting on July 18, was being eased down over the final stages of his solo 1000-metre workout in 1:11.1, the last 600 in 40.5. He has been gelded since last racing and looks in good order.

   A Falkirk three-year-old filly in the stable of John and Pam Stenning ran an easy 600 metres in 41.8 while a Fast ‘N’ Famous-Lucerne three-year-old filly trained by Fred Pratt ran 600 metres in 40.

   Mahora Gold, another likely starter at Hastings on July 18, was timed to run her last 600 metres in 38 while Tansava ran over the same ground in 38.4.

   A Keeper-Inzabeel three-year-old filly worked in at three-quarter pace from the 800-metre peg in 55.1, speeding up slightly over the last 600 in 40.5. She is a younger full-sister to The Innkeeper and trained by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.

   Broadwalk, another from the Lowry/Cullen stable, took 1:9 for a solo 1000 metres, the last 600 in 39.9. He finished second in a Hastings jumpout last month and will have another jumpout on the track on July 19.

   Honky Dory had co-trainer Sue Thompson aboard when running an easy 1000 metres, the last 600 in 42.7 while Savarose worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1000 and ran home the last 600 in 39.4.

   Thedepot, Irish Fling and Midnight Paddle were among a number of other horses restricted to just three-quarter pace.

Stakes race next for ‘Maggie’ 3 Jul 2013

Tough Hastings mare No Excuse Maggie will now head to the Listed $65,000 Waikato Stud Opunake Cup (1400m) at New Plymouth on July 20 after a decisive winning return in a 1200-metre sprint on her home track at Hastings last Saturday.

   The No Excuse Needed mare was backing up from a game third in the Listed weight-for-age Tauranga Classic (1400m) seven days before when she stepped out in the $25,000 Taradale Club Open Sprint.

   The mare’s trainer, John Bary, wouldn’t normally back a horse up so quickly but said it would have been too big a break between the Tauranga race and the Opunake Cup and the Hastings race suited because there was no travelling involved.

   Bary is keen to pick up as much black type with the six-year-old as he can before she is retired to the broodmare paddock hence the attraction of the Opunake Cup.

   Last Saturday’s win was No Excuse Maggie’s seventh from 32 starts and her first since taking out the Group 3 $80,000 Taranaki Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) at Hawera last October. She also won the Listed Matamata Cup (1600m) and finished third in both in the Group 3 Merial Metric Mile and Group 3 Thompson Handicap in the spring of 2011.

   The grey mare has now won more than $200,000 in stakemoney, a huge return on the $2500 retired Wairoa farmer Howard Jones and his wife Kay spent to buy her from the 2007 national weanling sales.

   Howard and Kay Jones have leased No Excuse Maggie to the Full Of Excuses Syndicate and have retained a racing share. The other members in the syndicate are trainer John Bary, Mike Sanders, Mike White and Steve Ryan from Hastings and Judy Halkett, Lloyd and Beth Wallace, Murray Renner, Ken and Valerie Charlton, Amanda Cheetham, Ivan Gordon, Leigh Jones and Flora Jones from Wairoa.

   Bary heaped praise on New Plymouth apprentice Miranda Dravitzki for her winning ride on No Excuse Maggie, saying she followed pre-race instructions to settle the mare towards the back in the early stages and get some cover. She then sent her forward entering the last 600 metres and, after being the widest on straightening, the mare kept up a strong run to get up and win by three-quarters of a length.

   Bary produced race-to-race winners at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting with No Excuse Maggie’s victory following a 1400-metre maiden win by Bay Dancer in the previous event. Both were ridden by Miranda Dravitzki.


Jumper’s connections on a high

   There was no more popular winner at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting than Bally Heights in the $12,500 Just A Swagger HB Hunt Maiden Steeplechase.

   The 10-year-old Lord Ballina gelding is trained at Hastings by Paul Nelson and owned by Hawke’s Bay Racing board member Barry Smyth, who is also the horse’s co-breeder.

   Smyth has retained a small racing share in the horse but has leased out the majority interest to the I See Red Syndicate which happened to be the sponsor of Saturday’s race.

   The I See Red Syndicate is a large group of mainly Hawke’s Bay people which has raced a number of successful horses over the years from the Paul Nelson stable, the most notable being Just A Swagger.

   The Just A Dancer gelding was described as an iron horse who raced over fences for five seasons and amassed eight wins, seven seconds, seven thirds and five fourths from 65 starts. His stake earnings totalled more than $229,000 and his victories included the Grand National Steeplechase, Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase and the Grand National Hurdles (twice).

   Bally Heights was recording his first win since taking out a hurdle race at Awapuni in August 2011 but he has strung together a number of minor placings since then, including three in steeplechase races.

   “He won four races on the flat and had about 15 minor placings when trained by Karen Zimmerman but he’s always been a good jumper and was always destined for a jumping career,” Smyth said.

   “He also had a wind operation almost two years ago so he’s done pretty good to win seven races.”

   Bally Heights was ridden last Saturday by Richard Cully, who had the horse trailing the leaders from the outset in the 4000-metre event and took control just before the home turn. They jumped the last fence clear in the lead and went on to win by 1-1/2 lengths.

   Paul Nelson said Bally Heights will now head to Trentham tomorrow week for $20,000 0-1 win steeplechase over 4000 metres and may then be stepped up to something bigger.

   “He has struggled a bit on very puggy tracks in the past but the figure-eight course in the centre at Trentham doesn’t usually get too heavy,” Nelson said.


Win proves perfect tonic

   Bay Dancer provided Havelock North racehorse owner Herbie Wong with a great tonic when she broke through for a maiden win at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   Wong has a 20 per cent racing share in the Great Britain filly but wasn’t on course to celebrate the horse’s victory. He was instead laid up in bed suffering from a virus.

   “I had to watch the race on TV and didn’t even get to have a bet on her, which cost me plenty,” Wong said this week.

   “But it was good that she won and I’m feeling a lot better now.”

   Bay Dancer is trained at Hastings by John Bary, who also has a racing share along with the Bay Dancer Syndicate and former Phoenix soccer coach and All White Ricki Herbert.

   The Bay Dancer Syndicate consists of John Bay’s mother Ann and his sister Belinda along with Fiona France, Robyne Brook and Anna Wood from Hawke’s Bay and Auckland’s Paul Fowler.

   Wong originally leased Bay Dancer on his own from the horse’s Auckland owner Mark Maiden and has a $30,000 right of purchase on her.

   The filly is out of the Jugah mare Oaks Room, who is a full-sister to the former top Australian performer Juggler.

   Juggler won 15 races including four at Group 1 level, the Doomben Cup, George Main Stakes, Chipping Norton Stakes and Caulfield Stakes.

   Bay Dancer was having her seventh start when she stepped out in the 1400-metre maiden last Saturday, with her previous best placings being a second and a third.

   She was well ridden by apprentice Miranda Dravitzki, who bounced her out quickly from the barrier to have her trailing the leader to the home turn. Bay Dancer took control early in the home straight and responded well to a vigorous ride to hold out the fast finishing Itsagem by a nose.


Star hurdler

   Hawke’s Bay-bred Sea King  picked up his fourth win over hurdles and easily his most impressive when taking out last Saturday’s $40,000 Te Whangai Romney Hawke’s Bay Hurdles.

   The Shinko King six-year-old still does a lot of things wrong in his races but is an exceptional jumper and has only once failed to pay a dividend from 10 starts over fences.

   Sea King was bred by Central Hawke’s Bay’s Sue Harty who races the gelding in partnership with Otaki trainer Rachael Frost and Auckland-based Chris O’Reilly.

Frost originally trained the horse but decided, when he was destined for a jumping career, to transfer him to the Wanganui stable of Kevin Myers as he is renowned as a master at preparing jumpers.

   It was Myers’ third Hawke’s Bay Hurdles win, following victories by Rolls in 1988 and Fontera in 2004.

   For winning jockey Jo Rathbone she finally buried a Hawke’s Bay Hurdles “hoodoo” that has been hanging over her head for years.

   Rathbone, 32, had previously recorded one second placing in the time-honoured event but had fallen off in most of her recent rides in the race.

   “It’s been a bogey race for me…I’ve crashed three times and each time I’ve been right there in a challenging position,” she said.

   Rathbone, who has ridden in excess of 100 winners over jumps, was leading aboard Fontera in the 2007 running when they fell at the fence by the 1000-metre peg and she suffered a broken wrist. It meant that she missed out on the winning ride on Just A Swagger in the Hawke’s Bay Steeples three races later on that programme.

   She said Sea King gave her a few anxious moments in Saturday’s race but it wasn’t his jumping that was the problem. The horse wanted hang outwards almost from the start and she had trouble keeping him on a straight course.

   Sea King’s wayward tendencies were more than compensated by his jumping ability, with Rathbone saying he never put a foot wrong over the fences.

   “He’s real efficient at jumping. He’s got such a huge stride that he just steps over them,” she added.

   Sea King was back in the early stages but improved quickly coming to the home turn. He took a commanding lead jumping the last fence and sprinted clear to win by 2-1/4 lengths from Conquistador, with Zenocoin another 2-1/2 lengths back in third place.


Upset winner

   Bondi Tram, a horse owned by Hawke’s Bay couple Richard and Liz Wood, scored an upset win at last Tuesday’s Geelong meeting in Victoria.

   The four-year-old mare got up to snatch a last stride victory in a $A15,000 Rating 85 1200-metre event, paying $29.60 for a win and $6.80 for a place.

   The Fast ‘N’ Famous mare carries the same colours as the outstanding performer Jimmy Choux and started out in the Hastings stable of John Bary. She won her race debut over 1200 metres at Hastings 12 months ago and had five more starts in New Zealand before being transferred to the Ballarat stable of Simon Morrish.

Trackwork 2 Jul 2013


   Viceroy, a likely runner at the next Hawke’s Bay meeting on July 18, was the only horse to work at speed at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Working on the soft plough, Viceroy ran 1000 metres in 1:9, coming home the last 600 in 39.8. The Deputy Governor gelding hasn’t raced since February but looks in good order to make a return to racing.

   Thedepot, another who looks in good order, was let off with an easy 600 metres in 43.6.

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