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   Promising galloper Londaro looked to be striding out well in reasonably quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.

   There was very little in the way of fast work, with a large number of horses from the centre expected to have a more serious workout at this Thursday’s Hastings jumpouts.

   Londaro worked easily on his own over 800m on the plough (good) and clocked 58.5, the first 200m in 16s and the last 600 in 42.5. The big Lope de Vega gelding has recorded two wins and a third from only eight starts and looks to be coming up extra well in a new preparation.

   A Zed three-year-old gelding and a Howbaddouwantit three-year-old filly worked together over 600 metres in 39.1, speeding up over the last 400 in 25.4. They are both in the Thompson/Brown stable.

   Promising filly Xpression was kept under a strong hold over 600m in 46s while a Showcasing two-year-old colt and Makeitrain also clocked a similar time for their easy 600m run. They could all step out at Thursday’s Hastings jumpouts.

   A Raise The Flag-Kettle Hill three-year-old filly and one by Howbaddouwantit, two others likely to have a jumpout on Thursday, worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1000m peg and quickened slightly over the last 600 in 41.6.

   Real Beach clocked 26.4 for the last 400m of her work while an Echoes Of Heaven two-year-old gelding in the Lowry/Cullen stable ran his last 600m in 44.5.

   La Tourneau and Guipour, two others in the Lowry/Cullen stable, ran an easy 600m in 44.7 while Performante and Nedawin clocked 45.6 when undergoing similar work. They are others likely to line up in Thursday’s Hastings jumpouts.

Hastings stables bag four wins on home track 25 Jul 2018

   Hastings trainers had a field day at their local race meeting on Thursday of last week, with four different stables taking out four of the nine events on the Hawke’s Bay programme.

   The partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen started the ball rolling when they produced Eastern Warrior to score a gutsy win in the opening event. Surpriseus then lived up to her name by winning race two at odds of 37 to one for trainer Kate Hercock while John Bary picked up a win with Glimpse in race 7and Paul Nelson took out the eighth with Look Out.

   Eastern Warrior was having her first start for the Lowry/Cullen partnership and had only been in their care for 10 days. The Shamoline Warrior filly is part-owned by Christchurch-based trainer Peter Rudkin, who produced her to finish fifth on debut in October last year and then gave her an 850m trial at Rangiora last month.

   “Peter sent her up to us in great order and we didn’t have to do too much work with her before last week’s race,” Guy Lowry said this week.

   “She has come to us because there are more opportunities up here over the next few weeks than down south. Distance wise we don’t know how far she will go but she easily held her rivals at bay last week so she deserves a chance at black type races,” Lowry added.

   Eastern Warrior had to be good to win last Thursday’s 800m two-year-old dash. She drew the extreme outside in the 10 horse field and was a bit awkwardly away for jockey Samantha Collett. However she quickly mustered speed to sit three-wide outside the leaders coming to the home turn and took over on straightening up.

   Eastern Warrior was challenged by several other runners inside the last 300 metres but kicked clear in the final stages for a decisive 1-1/2 length win.

   Lowry said the filly has come through the win in great order will now back up in tomorrow’s Listed $50,000 Courtesy Ford Ryder Stakes (1200m) at Awapuni.


First training success 

   Former successful jockey Kate Hercock brought up her first win as a trainer when Surpriseus was successful in a 1200m maiden race at last week’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   The three-year-old Shamoline Warrior filly certainly surprised the punters with a $38.00 win dividend at her second start. She only managed 11th out of 12 on debut over 1200m at Awapuni back in November last year but was then given a spell to strengthen and showed a glimpse of her ability by recording a fast finishing second in a 1000m Foxton trial on June 21.

   “The win did come as a bit of a surprise but I thought she would definitely finish in the first five,” Hercock said this week.

   “She is a horse that has always shown a bit and won a couple of jumpouts last year but she cut her leg and everything kept going wrong with her.

   “We decided to try her in blinkers and I think that made a big difference last week.”

   Surpriseus drew an outside barrier last week and was forced to travel three-wide  throughout. Jockey Cameron Lammas started to urge her along coming to the home turn and she finished the race off strongly to get up and win by 2 lengths.

   Hercock, 39, was born in Hastings and kicked home 237 winners during her 15-year career as a jockey, four of those victories coming in black type races.

   “I rode my first winner as a jockey on the Hastings track so it was great to get my first win here as a trainer too,” she added.

   She was based in Matamata for most of her riding career but also spent the last two years in Macau where she held a position as an assistant trainer before returning to New Zealand.

   She then took out a permit to train licence and was employed as a pre-trainer for Waikato Stud for a time before moving back to Hawke’s Bay two years

    Hercock has 15 horses in work at the moment. She has a property in Otane, where she still concentrates on pre-training, and also has horses based at Hawke’s Bay Racing’s stables in Wall Road, close to the Hastings track.

   Surpriseus is raced by Ralph and Corrine Kearney and it was also their first success as owners. The couple owned Okaharau Station at Elsthorpe, in Hawke’s Bay, but sold that farm earlier this year and now own a property in the Matamata area.

   Surpriseus is bred to excel over longer distances than 1200m as her dam Lady Pompallier is a Postponed mare who won four races from 1600m to 2100m.


A glimpse of family ability

   Glimpse went some way towards living up to her excellent breeding when she broke through for a maiden win over 1650m at Hastings last week.

   The daughter of Rip Van Winkle is out of the Kingdom Bay mare Taitanium, who was the winner of five races and stakes placed. She is now deceased but is also the dam of the 2014 Wellington Cup winner Graphic (five wins) and Tenacity (five wins).

   Glimpse is owned by Hunterville couple Christopher and Susanna Grace and was originally trained by Emily Holmes. She was transferred to John Bary’s Hastings stable last month and had her first start from the new base when ninth over 1400m at Hastings on June 30.

   She obviously improved a lot from that run and scored a decisive 2 length victory last week. Rider Cameron Lammas settled the mare just in behind the leading division before getting a run through to lodge a challenge rounding the home bend. The four-year-old shot clear soon after and kept up a strong run to the line.


Look Out outstays rivals

   Look Out looked a promising stayer in the making when he powered home to win a maiden race over 1650m at Hastings last week.

   The five-year-old Nom du Jeu gelding was having his second start for Hastings trainer Paul Nelson, following a good fresh up sixth over 1400m on the same track last month.

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

   “Gary has been in ill-health and so we have set up a syndicate to race the horse and he has kept a share,” Nelson said this week.

   “It was a great result for those who have come in on the horse and hopefully it provided Gary with a boost.”

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

   The country’s leading jockey Samantha Collett was aboard Look Out last week and settled the gelding back fourth last in the early stages before sending him forward starting the last 600 metres.

   The horse was the widest on the turning into the home straight but maintained a strong finishing burst down the outside of the track to get up and win by half a length.


Miss Wilson retired to stud

   Top class Hastings racemare Miss Wilson has run her last race.

   The Group 1 winning half-sister to former champion galloper Jimmy Choux was injured when finishing last in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Club Tiara (1350m) on the Doomben track in Brisbane on June 23 and her Havelock North owners, Richard and Liz Wood, have decided to retire her to stud.

   “She is still over in Australia, spelling on the Gold Coast, and will be served by Zoustar this year,” Richard Wood said.

   “She got knocked around quite badly in her last race and pulled up with a badly swollen leg.”

   Zoustar stands at Widden Stud, in New South Wales, for a service fee of $A60,500.

   Miss Wilson was prepared throughout her career by Hastings trainer John Bary and had 26 starts for seven wins, four seconds and three thirds. She won the Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha in April and also recorded Group 3 victories in the Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham and Red Badge Sprint (1400m) at Hastings.


Savvy Dreams has tendon injury

   High class Hastings-trained racemare Savvy Dreams has suffered a tendon injury and her racing future is now in doubt.

   The Savabeel mare looked to be coming up well in a fresh preparation and finished a close third in a 1000m jumpout at Hastings last Friday. However she was found to have some heat in one of her forelegs the following morning.

   The leg was scanned on Tuesday and revealed tendon damage in two areas.

   “There is a stretch in one area and a hole in another so she definitely won’t be racing again this year,” Lowry said.

    “She has gone back home to her owner Tony Rider’s Milan Park Stud in Cambridge and we are now weighing up whether or not she will be tried as a racehorse again.

   “She is a Group 1 placegetter and will be a valuable mare at stud.”

   Savvy Dreams has only had 14 starts for two wins, a second, two thirds and four fourths. She finished a game third behind Bonneval and Devise in last year’s Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham and also recorded Group 1 fourth placings in the South Australian Derby (2500m) in Adelaide, the Thorndon Mile at Trentham and Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa.


Zed Leppelin, preparing for the hurdle race at Trentham on Thursday, schooled well over nine hurdle fences in another reasonably quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.

   The Zed gelding had co-trainer Mick Brown aboard when jumping nine hurdles in the centre of the course and had the pace on all the way. He recorded two fourths in hurdle races last winter and recently spent some time in the Kevin Myers stable to further his jumping education. Charlie Studd has been booked to ride him on Thursday.

   Shez Ekstra and an Echoes of Heaven two-year-old gelding, both in the Lowry/Cullen stable, worked together over an easy 1000m on the plough, the last 800 in 56.4 and final 600 in 40.4. Shez Ekstra is a two-year-old filly by Ekraar and was impressive when winning a 1000m trial at Foxton last week.

   Vickezzmoet, another in the Lowry/Cullen stable, was given an easy 600m on the plough in 44.3.

   The class mare Savvy Dreams has unfortunately suffered a tendon injury which will prevent her from racing this spring.

   The Savabeel mare looked to be coming up well in a fresh preparation and finished a close third in a 1000m jumpout at Hastings last Friday. However she was found to have some heat in one of her forelegs the following morning. The leg was being scanned today (Tuesday) and the full extent of the injury should be known by the end of this week.

   “The tendon doesn’t look too bad but she definitely won’t be racing this spring,” co-trainer Guy Lowry said.

Hastings jumpouts 20/7/18 23 Jul 2018

   The talented two-year-olds King Louis and Xpression were two horses that showed up well at today’s Hastings jumpouts.

   There were seven heats run on the course proper, which provided heavy footing.

   King Louis and Xpression contested the last of the four 750-metre heats and fought out the finish with the pair locked together as they crossed the line. King Louis was given the decision by a nose and his winning time of 46.2s was more than a second faster than the other heats over the same distance.

   King Louis is a two-year-old gelding by Equiano in the John Bary stable and recorded a second and two thirds from five starts earlier this season. He was also placed fifth in the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes.

   Xpression is a two-year-old filly by Showcasing trained by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and has only had two starts, finishing third on debut over 1000m at Otaki in December before winning the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m) at Trentham.

   Both horses are likely to resume racing towards the end of next month, possibly at the Taupo meeting on August 22.

   Vinnie’s Volley and Smokin’ Oak were other impressive winners in 750-metre heats. Both horses were ridden to victory by top South Island jockey Chris Johnson, who had flown up especially to ride several of the John Bary-trained runners.   

   Savvy Dreams also pleased her connections when finishing a close third in the sole 1000-metre heat.




Heat 1, 400m: My Melody Prince 2yr-old filly (J Bassett) 1, My Melody Prince 2yr-old filly 2. Two starters. Margin: Nose. Time: 25.6s. Winner trained by Sue Thompson and Mick Brown, Hastings.

Heat 2, 2000m: Revolution (E Nicholas) 1, Perry Mason 2, Ooee 3. Five starters. Margins: 3 lengths, 4 lengths. Time: 2:29.7. Winner trained by Paul Nelson, Hastings.

Heat 3, 750m: Vinnie’s Volley (C Johnson) 1, Raise The Flag 3yr-old filly 2, Howbaddouwantit 4yr-old mare 3. Six starters. Margins: 10 lengths, Long neck. Time: 47.6s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 4, 750m: Nom du Jeu-Dizzie Limit 4yr-old gelding (K Hercock) 1, Fastnet Rock 2yr-old colt (C Johnson) 2, Perfectly Ready 2yr-old filly 3. Three starters. Margins: Nose, 4 lengths. Time: 51s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 5, 750m: Smokin’ Oak (C Johnson) 1, Prince Conti 2yr-old gelding 2, Niagara-Laced Up 2yr-old filly 3. Five starters. Margins: 3 lengths, 1 length. Time: 47.3s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 6, 750m: King Louis (C Johnson) 1, Xpression 2, Makeitrain 3. Four starters. Margins: Nose, 3 lengths. Time: 46.2s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 7, 1000m: Saint Kitt (H Durrant) 1, Cowboys Don’t Cry 2, Savvy Dreams 3. Five starters. Margins: ½ length, neck. Time: 1:04.5. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.


Dez’s win could earn a trip south 19 Jul 2018

Waipukurau galloper Dez is now almost guaranteed a start in next month’s Group 3 $100,000 Winter Cup at Riccarton should his connections take that path.

   Last Friday the Zed gelding was languishing in 28th position on the order of entry for the 1600m Canterbury feature but a gallant win in Saturday’s $40,000 Hanley Formula Whyte Handicap (1600m) at Trentham has seen him move up to 19th.

   The starting limit from the 1600m barrier at Riccarton is 18 and, given the usual number of horses that drop out before final acceptance time, he would almost certainly make the field.

   The horse’s trainer Simon Wilson, who also co-owns the horse, said after the Trentham win he wouldn’t be making an immediate decision on a trip to Riccarton. However it was clearly in his thinking.

   “We’ll just see what happens,” he said.

   “We’ll evaluate things over the next few days but we could possibly look that way.”

   Dez made up for an unlucky ninth over 1550m at Awapuni the previous Saturday when he scored a determined victory in last Saturday’s time-honoured Whyte Handicap. The six-year-old gelding was sent out a $4.20 second favourite behind Rosewood and landed some good bets when finishing strongly up against the inside rail for a long neck win.

   He proved a great pick up ride for senior jockey Darryl Bradley after Dylan Turner could not make the horse’s 54kg handicap.

   Wilson warned Bradley before he climbed aboard that Dez was not without his quirks, one of them being his tendency to switch off with about 600m to run.

   Bradley settled the six-year-old in third place and was ready when the horse suddenly felt under pressure coming to the home turn.

   “I was warned about him hitting a flat spot, so I knew what was going to happen,” he said.

   “When he did I was able to pick him up and get him going again.

   “He fought extremely well. This horse has done a good job.”

   The victory took Dez’s career record to four wins from just eight starts, with two of those victories having come in this campaign. He was sidelined for two and a half years with a tendon injury, hence the reason for his limited racing career.

   Wilson owns the gelding in partnership with two close friends, Sam Lennox (Waverley) and Paul Mitchell (Patea).


Another class jumper

   Hastings trainer Paul Nelson looks to have another potential jumping star in his stable in The Arabian Duke.

   The seven-year-old Bachelor Duke gelding, placed in three of nine hurdle starts, made an impressive winning debut over the bigger fences in last Saturday’s maiden steeplechase at Trentham.

   The Arabian Duke scored a dominant 6-1/4 length win in the 4000m event aided by another outstanding ride by jockey Aaron Kuru.

   The 26-year-old rides the figure-eight steeplechase course at Trentham better than any other jockey at the moment. He settled The Arabian Duke just in behind the pacemakers in the early stages and made sure he saved every inch of ground around the tight turns in the centre.

   The Arabian Duke was still only fourth with two fences to jump but was obviously full of running and Kuru again took an inside run coming back on to the course proper to give him a handy advantage approaching the last fence.

   Once over that obstacle The Arabian Duke raced away from his rivals for a dominant win.

   Nelson only took over the training of The Arabian Duke in March after the horse was previously trained by Matamata-based Karyn McQuade, who races the horse in partnership with her husband Hamish and another close family friend.

   McQuade trained The Arabian Duke for two wins and seven minor placings and gave him five hurdle starts last year for a second and two fourths. They decided to transfer the horse to Nelson’s establishment to further his jumping career.

   “He promised a lot as a real stayer as a hurdler in his early days and now that he’s steeplechasing he’s going to have a lot of fun,” Nelson said.

   “Hamish and Karen had schooled him over the steeplechase fences before he came down to us and he had performed pretty well.”

    Nelson has yet to confirm The Arabian Duke’s next assignment but said the horse is likely to head back to Trentham on July 26 for a Special Conditions Steeplechase over 4000m.


Gold Mag has a silver lining

   Gold Mag, part-owned by Hawke’s Bay’s Peter Grieve, indicated he is destined for a bright future after backing up an impressive maiden win in the country with a stunning victory in his city debut in Australia on Wednesday of last week..

   With top Victorian jockey Craig Williams aboard, Gold Mag settled midfield in a $A40,000 1200m Rating 64 race for three-year-olds at Sandown before bursting to the front in the straight and then clearing out from his rivals in the final 200m.

   The gelding’s 5 length winning margin bettered the 4-3/4-lengths he recorded when winning on debut over 1100m at Bendigo last month.

   "He still doesn't know anything about what he's doing but he's got a serious motor and really good raw ability," Craig Williams said.

   "I was very impressed.

  "His asset is that he's got really good acceleration but he could sustain that for 400 metres and he still has no idea what he's doing.

   "So he's a very exciting horse for the future."

   Gold Mag is now expected to be given a freshen-up by his trainers David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig and then aimed at important races in the spring.

   The three-year-old was bred by Peter Grieve in partnership with his close friend Barry Thomas of Christchurch. The pair raced the horse’s dam Chapinta, who was the winner of six races including an open class event over 2200m at Ellerslie.


Van Gogh adds another win

   Van Gogh, part-owned by Hawke’s Bay’s Jamie Bridge, recorded his second win when successful at Timaru last Friday.

   The five-year-old gelding followed up a third over 1600m at Wingatui last month with a decisive length success in a $10,000 Rating 65 race over 1600m.

   He settled fifth until the home turn before 40-year-old jockey Brandon Morgenrood angled him  to the inside and he finish strongly along the rail to get up and beat race favourite Bridget Town.

   Bridge, when based in Auckland, was the original trainer of Van Gogh and prepared the horse for a couple of minor placings before transferring him to Wanganui trainer Kevin Myers.

   The horse won a maiden race over 1500m at Greymouth in January last year for Myers before he was transferred to the South Island stable of Kerry and Ian Taplin at Otautau.

   Bridge still races the horse in partnership with his Auckland-based uncle Ivan Bridge and Kevin Myers.




Bi-monthly award winner

   Havelock North’s Tess Castles is the recipient of the bi-monthly Kevin Wood Memorial trophy for the months of May and June.

   The award is sponsored by the Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners Association.

   Castles is one of four close friends who lease a 50% racing share in the highly promising two-year-old London Express, who is trained by New Plymouth’s Allan Sharrock.

   The Shamexpress filly has had four starts for two wins and two thirds. She  broke through for a maiden win over 1200m on her home track on May 12 and then took out the Listed $50,000 Castletown Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui on June 2.


Parkes happy with Hiflyer

   Jockey Johnathan Parkes was more than happy with Hiflyer’s effort in his Australian debut in Sydney last Saturday.

   The Wanganui-based jockey finished fourth aboard the Peter Lock-trained son of Tavistock in the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m).

   “I thought it was a god run under the weight (59.5kg), he’s not an overly big horse and there’s a bit of improvement in him,” Parkes said. “He was doing his best work late.”

   Hiflyer was bustled to settle in behind the pace before sticking on bravely in the straight.

   “I said to Peter that he’ll be a lot better-suited over there to a mile when you don’t have to ask him for too much early,” Parkes said.


Tayla Wenn to start training

   Tayla Wenn is preparing for the transition from jockey to trainer.

   The 23-year-old’s riding career will take a back seat when she takes over the Byerley Park stables of Scott Lucock and Sally Gillespie, who are moving to senior positions with the Te Akau operation from August 1.

   Wenn is currently apprenticed to the duo, but she is unlikely to continue race day riding.

   “I’ve enjoyed riding and I may still get a senior licence, mainly to ride my own horses at trials. Being a jockey isn’t a top priority.”

   Wenn, who has ridden 13 winners, said Byerley Park offered an ideal location and excellent facilities.

   “It’s nice and quiet here and I’ve learned a lot from Scott and Sally, they’re really good people.

   “They will leave four horses with me, Sheradream and three untried young horses.”

   Wenn’s partner is Jack Mackinnon, a junior driver within the harness ranks, and he is also backing the new venture.

   “Jack bought two yearlings at the sales, which I’ll be breaking in as well,” she said.

Jumping career planned for Donardo 12 Jul 2018

   Hawke’s Bay-owned Donardo scored an emphatic win on the flat at Wanganui on Thursday of last week but his future will be as a jumper according to Waipukurau trainer Lucy de Lautour.

   She now owns the five-year-old gelding with her husband Will after the horse initially started out in the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.

   “We’ve had him about 18 months,” de Lautour said this week.

   “He’d had a couple if starts on the flat and hadn’t shown much so we’ve given him a second chance.

   “He’ll have a few more runs on the flat but we actually got him to be a jumper so that’s the plan at some stage. He’s jumped a few things at home okay and he’s only a five-year-old so there is still plenty of time for him.”

   Donardo was having only his ninth start when he lined up in a 2060m maiden highweight at Wanganui and scored a runaway 6-3/4 length win in the hands of jockey Will Gordon.

   The Don Eduardo gelding settled fourth last in the early running before Gordon started to improve his position entering the last 1000m. He sprinted quickly to join the leaders, wide out, on the home turn and then raced right away over the final stages.

   The performance made up for a disappointing eighth by Donardo over 2040m on the same track at his previous start with de Lautour putting that failure down to track conditions.

   “It was late in the day and the track was a bit too cut up,” she said.

   Donardo has good bloodlines to back up his ability and was originally passed in for $50,000 at the 2014 Ready To Run Two-year-old sale. His sire Don Eduardo was a son of Zabeel while his dam Devil In Red is an unraced half-sister to Surpassing, who won six races.

   Donardo’s grandam is Superior Star, who won seven races and was crowned champion four-year-old in Singapore and Malaysia in 2004.

   Lucy de Lautour only has a couple of horse in work with the stable star being Kipkeino. The 10-year-old Sunray gelding is the winner of nine races, six on the flat and three over hurdles and was successful in last year’s Hawke’s Bay Hurdles.

   Kipkeino only managed fifth in this year’s Hawke’s Bay feature, run two weeks ago, but de Lautour said the horse has improved a lot since that run and will now line up in tomorrow’s $75,000 Wellington Hurdles, where the extra distance and expected very heavy track conditions should suit him.


HB man joins James in training

   Hawke’s Bay-born Robert Wellwood will be promoted to a training partnership with Cambridge-based Roger James in the new racing season, which begins on August 1.

   Wellwood, 23, has been working for the James stable for close to two years and is the current racing manager.

   James, who has had the likes of Ross Taylor, Lance Noble and Leanne Bertling in successful training partnerships in the past, says Wellwood has got a passion for the racing industry and is a very good people’s person.

   James, who has trained over 1000 winners and nearly 30 Group 1 winners across Australasia including Silent Achiever and Zonda, is keen to pass on his knowledge to the future generation.

   “Rob’s a very good horseman and I’m proud to bring him into partnership,” he said. “It’s not an easy game and I’m happy to give the younger people a chance.”

   Robert Wellwood is a son of Hawke’s Bay lawyer Margaret Wellwood. He attended Twyford Primary School and then Lindisfarne College before going on to Waikato University where he completed a Bachelor of Business Analysis, majoring in Finance.

   He started riding horses when he was four and went on to be a successful equestrian competitor, first at pony club and then at Grand Prix level.

   His interest in thoroughbreds was also sparked at an early age.

   “My grandfather has been a member of the Hawke’s Bay Racing Club for a long time and I used to watch the racing with him,” Wellwood said.

   “As a kid I had huge aspirations of being a top jockey, but my dream was shattered pretty early on when I passed the six-foot mark as an early teen.”

   Wellwood subsequently enjoyed stints at Windsor Park Stud and at Lime Country Thoroughbreds, then based in the Hawke’s Bay. While at university he also rode trackwork for Cambridge trainer Tony Pike.

   “After graduating I struck it lucky with Roger,” he said. “I started with him in December 2016 and he’s willing to pass on his knowledge. Hopefully, it’s going to be the start of a good career.”

   Wellwood has become a familiar figure at New Zealand race meetings and also gained overseas experience this season when he accompanied the James-trained pair of Von Tunzelman and Sherrif on their Australian campaigns.


Ishinktaatledo adds another win

   Ishinktaatledo, a mare co-bred by Hawke’s Bay Racing chief executive officer Andrew Castles, brought up her third win and her first in the South Island with a dominant performance at Ashburton on Wednesday of last week.

   The Shinko King five-year-old was having her third start since being transferred to the Riccarton stable of Les and Richard Didham and her 1-1/2 length victory in a 1200m Rating 65 race followed fourth placings at Timaru and Riccarton last month.

   Ishinktaatledo was bred by Castles in partnership with New Plymouth trainer Allan Sharrock, Christchurch-based Dean McKenzie and two Auckland men, Gary Milne and Paul Baker.

   The five raced the horse originally from Sharrock’s stable and she won them two races in a row in the spring of 2016, the first being a maiden over 1400m at New Plymouth and the second over 1200m at Awapuni. They have now leased the mare out to a 13-member syndicate in the South Island.

   Ishinktaatledo is out of the Faltaat mare Tattledoya, who was the winner of two races before an injury ended her career on the track. Her dam was the Defensive Play mare The Gifted Shifta, who won five races and recorded a second in the Listed Marton Cup (2200m) and third in the Group 1 Wellington Cup (3200m) in 2000.

   Thatstheticket, another of Taatledoya’s progeny, was a winner over 1600m at Trentham in April 2016 and was then transferred to Brett Scott’s stable in Victoria. He has been renamed Hammerstein in Australia and has gone on to win another two races there.

   Castles and his partners are still breeding from Taatledoya. They have an unraced three-old gelding by Zed out of the mare and a rising three-year-old filly by Road To Rock that is expected to come into work in the spring. The mare has also produced a weanling colt by The Bold One and is now back in foal to that stallion.


Hastings races Thursday

   The last Hastings race meeting of the season is set down for next Thursday, July 19, and a friends and family day is planned with free admission on course and free entry to the Members’ Stand.

   There will be packages available of food and beverages for groups of any size and patrons will also be allowed BYO beverages on the public lawn area and public grandstand. This will be limited to six bottles of beer or one bottle of wine per person.

   The gates will open at 11am with the first race timed for 12.27pm and the last at 3.57pm, although these times may change if additional races are programmed.


Horse of the Year finalists

   The strength of New Zealand’s two leading stables is illustrated by the first batch of finalists for the 2018 New Zealand Thoroughbred Horse of the Year Awards.
   New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) has announced the finalists for five of the six racehorse categories, with the finalists for Jumper of the Year to be determined later this month.
   Half of the 22 flat finalists are trained by either the Cambridge partnership of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman or the Te Akau team of Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards.

   All finalists are eligible for the Horse of the Year title, which will be announced at a gala dinner in Auckland, at Ellerslie Racecourse, on Sunday, August 26.
   Baker and Forsman, who have established a record tally in the trainers’ premiership this term, prepare all four finalists in the middle-distance category – reigning Horse of the Year Bonneval, Jon Snow, Lizzie L’Amour and Saint Emilion – and will also be represented by Vodafone New Zealand Derby winner Vin De Dance and Sydney Cup placegetter Zacada.
   The Group I-winning juveniles Avantage and Sword Of Osman give Autridge and Richards a strong presence in the two-year-old category and the stable will also be represented by Gingernuts and the three-year-olds Embellish and Age of Fire.
   Gingernuts is a finalist in the sprinter-miler category, which has been reintroduced this year.
   The finalists are:
Champion Two-Year-Old: Avantage, Melt, Spanish Whisper, Sword Of Osman.
Champion Three-Year-Old: Age Of Fire, Dijon Bleu, Embellish, Savvy Coup, Scott Base, Vin De Dance.
Sprinter-Miler (up to 1600m): Close Up, Gingernuts, Kawi, Start Wondering.
Champion Middle Distance (1601m-2200m):  Bonneval, Jon Snow, Lizzie L’Amour, Saint Emilion.
Champion stayer (2201m and further):  Charles Road, Five To Midnight, Ladies First, Zacada.



Surpriseus and a Shamoline Warrior three-year-old gelding were the only horses timed in another very quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.

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

   Surpriseus  and the Shamoline Warrior gelding, both in the Kate Hercock stable, worked in easily from the 1000-metre peg in 1:11.1, running the first 400m in 32.3 and then quickening slightly over the last 600 in 38.8.

   Surpriseus is a three-year-old filly by Showcasing who was unplaced in one start last season but finished second in a 1000-metre Foxton trial last month.

   Class mare Savvy Dreams was again restricted to just two rounds of pacework on the plough as were her stablemates Xpression and Vickezzmoet. All three horses look to be coming up well as they prepare for spring campaigns

Great variety of HB weanlings on show 5 Jul 2018

   A half-sister to dual Hong Kong horse of the year Ambitious Dragon was among 21 weanlings on display at last Sunday’s annual Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Thoroughbred Breeders Association’s foal walk in Hawke’s Bay.

   A crowd of close to 100 people attended the walk, which took in five properties.

   A filly by Rock ‘N’ Pop out of Golden Gamble was one of eight weanlings on show at Guy and Brigid Lowry’s Okawa property on Kawera Road.

   The filly is the 10th living foal out of the Oregon mare Golden Gamble and bred by Guy Lowry’s father Pat, who lives in Taupo.

   Golden Gamble has had seven foals to race and six of them have been winners. The undoubted star has been Ambitious Dragon, who was the winner of 13 races and more than $HK58million in stakemoney. The son of Pins included the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup and Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Mile among his seven black type victories and took out the title of Hong Kong Horse of the Year in both the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons.

   Golden Gamble is also the dam of Packing Dragon (by Mastercraftsman) who is the winner of eight races and also exciting Chopin’s Fantaisie, who is a full-brother to Packing Dragon and has won six races from eight starts in Singapore.

   Pat Lowry said he is likely to retain the Rock ‘N’ Pop filly and he presently has a two-year-old full-sister to Ambitious Dragon in work in the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen. He added that Golden Gamble is now in foal to new season sire Tivaci, who stands at Waikato Stud.

   Ambitious Dragon was also on show at the Lowry property and in the same yard as the weanlings. He now acts as a father figure to the young horses, albeit a rather bossy one.

   “He wants to eat all the time and pushes all of the young ones out of the road until he’s had his full,” Brigid said.

   The other weanlings on display at the Lowry property were colts by Pour Moi out of Pearls, Shamexpress out of Stepping Out, Pins out of Gold, Swiss Ace out of Midnight Molly, Super Easy out of Flare, Super Easy out of All In Grace and a filly by Darci Brahma out of Diplomacy.

   The Pour Moi colt is from a great Okawa Stud breed, with his fifth dam being the outstanding galloper Key. She was the winner of 16 races and the top rated filly on the 1961-62 New Zealand Three-year-old Free Handicap.

   A yearling colt by Showcasing out of Pearls sold at this year’s Karaka yearling sales for $80,000.

   The Swiss Ace-Midnight Molly colt, although slightly smaller than some of the others, was a nice compact weanling and was said to be Guy Lowry’s pick of his crop.

   Chris Russell’s stud farm on Valley Road, Raukawa, was the next property visited where there were three weanlings paraded, a colt by Reliable Man out of Dorotea Dior, a colt by Makfi out of Donna Beel and a filly by Niagara out of Donna Jazz.

   The Reliable Man colt is out of the Redoute’s Choice mare Dorotea Dior, who was the winner of two races and has left the winners O’Reilly’s Choice and Donna Beel.

   Donna Beel, the dam of the Makfi colt, was a winner at 1200m and is a daughter of Zabeel.

   Mike Newrick’s property at Paki Paki was the next one visited. He is a relative newcomer to thoroughbred breeding but had three well grown weanlings on show, a colt by Rock ‘N’ Pop out of Red Carpet, a colt by Pentire out of Danareason and a filly by Per Incanto out of Kaybebe.

   The two colts will be put up for sale with the Rock ‘N’ Pop youngster being out of a three-quarter sister to the Group 1 winning mare Legs and the colt by Pentire is closely related to the Waikato Cup winner Ultimate Aim.

   Gary and Raewyn Quinn’s property in Middle Road was the fourth stop where they paraded a strongly built colt by Iffraaj out of the Ready At Eight and a filly by Reliable Man out of Ididit.

   The Iffraaj colt is out of a More Than Ready mare and from the family of the top sprinter Bawalaksana, winner of both the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap and Group 1 Railway Sprint.

   Waimarama-based John Moeke also brought in two weanlings to the Quinn’s property to put on show, a filly by He’s Remarkable out of the Jungle Pocket mare Jane and a colt by Rios out of the Fast ‘N’ Famous mare Second Wife.

   John Bary’s stables in Mutiny Road was the final stop where three weanlings were on display, a colt by Shamexpress out of Stellardelmar, a colt by Mongolian Khan out of Galileo Queen and a colt by Darci Brahma out of Traditional Bride.

   The Shamexpress colt was clearly the biggest of the 21 yearlings shown on the day. He was an early foal, being born on August 30, but was also very strongly built and a good mover. He was bred by well known Hawke’s Bay identity Ivan Grieve, who intends keeping the colt to race.


Super day for Shinko King

  The progeny of deceased stallion Shinko King had a stellar day last Saturday, with Megablast taking out the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m), while Monarch Chimes and Justa Charlie won the two feature jumps races at Hastings.

   Novara Park manager Ray Knight stood Shinko King at Ashwell Farm and is enjoying watching the continued success of his progeny.

   “He was always a special horse, he was a very good racehorse and he probably didn’t get the patronage at stud we would have liked,” Knight said.

   “He’s just made every post a winner and it’s still going on. It’s lovely to see.”

   Shinko King was a dual stakes winner on the track before he retired to stud in Japan and subsequently shuttled to Ray Knight’s Ashwell Farm in New Zealand.

   “He was the right horse in the wrong place,” Knight said. “The Japanese don’t really support foreign-bred horses. He was on a smaller farm over there and didn’t get a lot of opportunities, although he did leave a lot of winners over there.

   “We did a deal whereby he shuttled out here. I had him here for two seasons and when Mark Todd’s filly Bramble Rose was starting to show a bit, I managed at that stage to buy him and syndicate him and he stayed here (in New Zealand) after that.”

   Bramble Rose is one of six Group 1 winners sired by Shinko King, while he has left a further 13 stakes winners, including the Nigel Tiley-trained Megablast, who took his stakes win tally to two on the weekend.

   Shinko King moved on to Paxton Park toward the end of his stud career where he eventually succumbed to laminitis.

   Shinko King has become well-known for his ability to leave good jumpers, and that was reinforced on the weekend when he sired the winners of the two feature Hawke’s Bay jumps races. He not only sired the Hawke’s Bay Hurdles winner Monarch Chimes but also produced the runner up No Change.

   Monarch Chimes, could return to Victoria to target further jumping spoils after placing in both of his starts at Warrnambool in autumn.


Marsh pair now in Aussie

   The former Stephen Marsh-trained duo Pierrocity and I Am Queen have joined Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young’s Cranbourne stable in the hope of gaining black type.

   Their owner, Karapiro dairy farmer Roger Blunt, said it was a tough decision to send his fillies to Australia, but his hand was forced due to the current track conditions and lucrative prizemoney on offer in Victoria.

   From the outset we said if we had horses that were good enough to go to Australia, that was where we were intending to go with them,” he said.

   “Stephen had done a great job in prepping them, we had reasonably high hopes for one of them recently and the weather has been totally against them.

   “The decision to send them both to Australia was a really big call. Hopefully they are good enough to make it there. If they are not, then we can easily bring them home.”

   Both fillies were bought by Blunt with a breeding career in mind, and both have showed enough promise in their three-year-old seasons to date.

   I Am Queen holds a nomination for this Saturday’s Listed A.R. Creswick Series Final (1200m) at Flemington where the likely opposition includes highly-rated sprinter Nature Strip.


Singapore strike for Shamexpress

   Windsor Park Stud stallion Shamexpress is on the board in Singapore.

   The son of O’Reilly enjoyed success with his first representative there on Sunday when Mr Hooper made the perfect start to his career with victory over 1200m for trainer Jamie Peters.

   “He won on raw ability. He will come on by a huge amount from the run,” he said.

   Mr Hooper is the sixth individual winner from 13 starters for Shamexpress, with his first crop also featuring three stakes performers.

   Peters also produced the Showcasing three-year-old Mr Hanks to win for the fourth time in his career. He had three starts last season from Nigel Tiley’s Pukekohe stable and finished runner-up in the Murdoch Newell Stakes (1100m).


Grylls back to chase stakes dream

   Bridget Grylls has returned home with a clear career goal in mind.

   “I felt the time was right to come back and I’d love to get on some fast horses and win a black type race here,” she said.

    Grylls headed across the Tasman during the 2013-14 season and rode 138 winners during her spell in Queensland.

   “I enjoyed it there and got a lot of support from some good trainers, it was a great experience and I’m a better rider now,” she said.

   Grylls rode 67 New Zealand winners before her departure, beginning her apprenticeship at Awapuni with Lisa Latta before transferring to the Matamata stable of Ken and Bev Kelso.

   She has returned to her home town of Te Awamutu, but is considering a future move to Cambridge.



   A keen solo workout by Dez was the highlight in another quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.

   Although there were a number of horses at the track only three worked at speed and all three were on the plough (good).

   Dez started keenly when working in from the 1200-metre peg and was timed to run home his last 1000m in 1:3.7. He went from the 1000m to the 600 in 25 and then came home the final 600 in 38.7.

   The Zed gelding has not raced since finishing second over 2100m at Trentham on June 9 but his Waipukurau trainer Simon Wilson has kept the horse’s work-rate up and he will drop him back in distance to a Rating 75 race over 1550m at Awapuni this Saturday.

   Wilson also has a promising two-year-old filly by Burgundy in his stable and this morning she sprinted the last 400m of her work in 24.6. She was impressive when winning a Hastings jumpout a couple of months ago.

   Cowboys Don’t Cry was kept under a hold when running 800m on his own in 58.5, the last 600 in 43.1. He is now in the Lowry/Cullen stable and being prepared for a jumping career.

   Savvy Dreams and Xpression, two talented horses in the Lowry/Cullen stable, were among several horses restricted to just two rounds of pacework on the plough. They galloped together between races at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting but were not extended when running 800m on the heavy course proper in 53.1, the last 600 in 38.3. Both horses look to be coming up well as they prepare for spring campaigns.

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