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Hastings Trackwork 29 Aug 2017

(By John Jenkins)

A dense blanket of fog covered the Hastings track for most of this morning, preventing the timing of any gallops at the trackwork session.

Almost 17 millimetres of rain fell on the track overnight and a penetromete reading of the course proper this morning came up as a slow-7.

Class mare Miss Wilson was the only horse to work on the course proper and she galloped over 1000 metres, about nine metres out from the inside rail. She looked to be travelling keenly as she emerged from the fog, just after the winning post, and her trackwork rider Theoni Morgan said she felt “very good” during the workout.

Miss Wilson is nominated for Saturday’s Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) on the first day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival but is 21st in order of entry in the weight-for-age feature and unlikely to get a start. 

Hastings Trackwork 25 Aug 2017

Kipkeino’s win confirms another Great Northern tilt

(By John Jenkins)

Top Hawke’s Bay jumper Kipkeino is likely to have another crack at next month’s Great Northern Hurdles following his dominant win in the $20,000 Restricted Open hurdle race at last Sunday’s Wanganui meeting.

The Sunray gelding contested last year’s 4190m Ellerslie feature but was pulled up with 600 metres to run, when well beaten.

His Waipukurau trainer and part-owner Lucy de Lautour said this week the horse was probably not 100 per cent last year and it was also a big ask to line up in such a gruelling race after winning a maiden hurdle the start before.

Kipkeino is now a bit stronger and a more accomplished jumper, as he showed when scoring a 7 length win over 3000 metres at Wanganui.

Rider Shaun Phelan settled the 10-year-old at the back of the field in the early stages and conserved plenty of energy before making a sweeping run to challenge the leaders on the point of the home turn.

Relishing the heavy-10 track conditions Kipkeino took over as he liked and cleared the two home straight fences in efficient fashion before dashing away to record a big victory over Thatz David and Hastings-trained Ooee.

It was Kipkeino’s third hurdle win from nine starts over fences and a followed similar dominant performance in the Hawke’s Bay Hurdles (3100m) at Hastings on July 1.

De Lautour said the wet and loose track conditions suited Kipkeino at Wanganui and she is hoping for similar footing at Ellerslie on September 9.

She said the horse has come through the win in good order and won’t race again before the Great Northern.        

Hastings next for Worldclass

Worldclass is now likely to contest the $25,000 Rating 75 1300m race on the first day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival after she stunned punters with an impressive return to racing at last Friday’s Taupo meeting.

 The Iffraaj mare, trained by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, was having her first start since winning over 1400m at Hastings in May and took out a Rating 65 race over 1300m at odds of 22 to one. She was ridden by Sam Spratt and, after jumping from an outside barrier, was never closer than three-wide for the entire race yet still finished off strongly to get up and score by a long neck.

“I’d given up on her on the home turn,” co-trainer Grant Cullen said this week. “After all the work she had to do in the race I thought she would weaken out but she kept going.”

“She was three-wide going down the back and four-wide at the 600 and even flushed wider on the home turn so it was a big effort to keep going like she did.”

That was win number three for Worldclass from only 11 starts and she has also recorded two minor placings.

The six-year-old is owned by her Feilding-based breeder Mary Wilson and has her training alternated between working on the Hastings track and beach work at the Porangahau property of Mary Darby.

She indicated she was ready for a bold fresh up run when finishing third behind Miss Wilson and My Tommy in a 1000-metre jumpout at Hastings on August 4.


Two vie for broodmare award

It will be a close two-horse race for the title of Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay broodmare of the year for the last racing season.

The award will be one of several presented at the annual Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay racing and breeding awards function held at the Hastings racecourse next Friday, September 1.

 The broodmare award is a much sought after trophy and this year the finalists are Baltika, who is owned by Graham de Gruchy, and Dancing Daze, who was owned by Don Gordon.

Baltika is the dam of Sacred Elixir, a three-year-old trained by Tony Pike who won the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude and Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase in Melbourne last spring and then finished second in the Group 1 VRC Derby.

Dancing Daze is the dam of All Roads, who recorded three wins from the Ruakaka stable of Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs including the Group 2 Japan/New Zealand Trophy Race. He was also second in the Group 2 Rich Hill Mile.

There are six finalists for the title of Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Owned Horse of the Year. They are All Roads, Authentic Paddy, Honey Rider, Jon Snow, Miss Wilson and Pacorus.

 Authentic Paddy didn’t win a race during the 2016-17 racing season but was consistently stakes placed including seconds in both the Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes and Group 3 Trentham Stakes and a third in the Group 1 Zabeel Classic, Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes and the Group 2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Stakes.

Honey Rider was the winner of three races including the Group 3 Hawke’s Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes and was second in the Group 3 Cambridge Breeders Stakes.

Jon Snow won the Group 1 ATC Derby and Group 2 Tulloch Stakes in Sydney and was also runner up in the Group 2 Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas and third in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby, Group 1 Levin Classic and the Karaka Three-year-old Mile.

Miss Wilson was the winner of four races in a row including the Group 3 Cuddle Stakes at Trentham while Pacorus was the winner of five races during the season including the Group 3 Rotorua Cup.

Other awards to be presented at next week’s function include the leading Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay trainer on wins, the leading trainer on strike-rate, the top Hawke’s Bay -trained horse and Group and Listed race winners during the season.

Tickets to the awards function are now on sale at $85/head and can be purchased from the office at Hawke’s Bay Racing or by contacting Gayle Richardson on 873-4545.

Daffodil Raceday at Hastings

After raising more than $70,000 in the last three years, Hawke’s Bay Racing will again be teaming up with the Cancer Society with “Daffodil Raceday” being the first day of the Bostock Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, tomorrow week.

General admission to that day’s race meeting will be by donation, with all proceeds going to the Hawke’s Bay Cancer Society.

The day’s feature race will be the $200,000 Tarzino Trophy, New Zealand’s first Group 1 event of the new season, which will see the cream of the country’s gallopers do battle over 1400m at weight-for-age.

 Each individual runner in the Tarzino Trophy will wear a different coloured saddlecloth bearing the horse’s name. These saddlecloths will be signed by both the horse’s trainer and jockey and will then be auctioned on Gavelhouse, with all proceeds also going to support a great charity that has touched the lives of so many Hawke’s Bay families.

The September 2 race day will also feature the running of the Listed $50,000 El Roca Trophy, a 1200m event for three-year-olds which will serve as a lead up to the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) on October 7. There will also be a $40,000 open class race over 1600m and a $30,000 1200m race for Rating 85 horses.

It promises to be a family race day with children’s entertainment, live music and food stalls offering Hawke’s Bay’s finest outdoor catering.   


Pike targeting HB Guineas

Cambridge trainer Tony Pike could have as many as four contenders for the Group 2 $100,000 Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas on October 7, headed by last Saturday’s impressive Te Rapa winner Felton Road.

The lightly-tried Pins colt resumed in Saturday’s Three-year-old 1100m race at Te Rapa where he overcame a testing track and traffic problems in the home straight to post his third win from five starts.

Felton Road sat at the back of the small field and was momentarily hemmed up down against the inside rail as the field swung into the home straight. But once a gap presented itself in the closing 100 metres he was through in a flash and went on to beat Ohceedee by a long neck.

“I thought it was going to get a bit ugly, there wasn’t much room there for a while,” Pike said.

 “It was good to see him come back so well. He relaxed nicely and it was good to see him sprint so well on such a wet track.”

 Felton Road, whose major spring target is the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas at Riccarton in November, will make his next appearance in the Listed Tavistock Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Ruakaka on September 16 and then take in the Hawke’s Bay Guineas.

   Pike could also line up Sacred Rebel, Bostonian and Aim Smart in the Hawke’s Bay three-year-old feature on October 7. Sacred Rebel, a gelding by Sepoy, has had one start for a win while Bostonian is a gelding by Jimmy Choux and is unbeaten in two starts, one of those wins being on the Hastings track in April. Both of these horses are likely to contest the Listed $50,000 El Roca Trophy (1200m) at Hastings tomorrow week. Aim Smart, a gelding by the Australian sire Smart Missile, has had two starts for a win and a sixth and is also a likely starter in the Northland Breeders’ Stakes on September 16. 


Hastings return

Progressive mare Jessiegee will be back in action on the first day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, tomorrow week.

The unbeaten daughter of Alamosa and the Group-winning mare St Jessie furthered her preparation when she galloped between races with stablemate Ringo at Tauherenikau last Saturday.

“I’m happy with both horses and they will line up on the first day at Hastings,” trainer Mike Breslin said.

Jessiegee was a debut winner at Tauherenikau and was again successful at Trentham in April before a break.


Sea King unharmed

Top New Zealand jumper Sea King, bred and part-owned by Hawke’s Bay woman Sue Harty, escaped unscathed after a tumble at Ballarat on Sunday.

The son of Shinko King came to grief when looking likely in the Grand National Steeplechase and was subsequently vetted and cleared of any injuries after his fall.

The race was won for a third time by Wells at the expense of the Mark Brooks and Missy Browne-trained Over the Yardarm.

Hastings-trained  Worldclass (number 7) stretches her neck out under the urgings of jockey Sam Spratt to get the decision over Keep Up and Asama Blue in the Rating 65 race over 1300m at Taupo last Friday.

Waipukurau owner-trainer Lucy de Lautour leads her top jumper Kipkeino away following the horse’s easy win in a 3000m open hurdle race at Wanganui last Sunday.

Hastings Trackwork 23 Aug 2017

(By John Jenkins)

A strong solo workout by Hunta Pence and an impressive gallop by Myrtle were two of the highlights in a busy session at the Hastings track this morning.

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

Hunta Pence stretched out well over 1000 metres and was timed to run the last 800 in 51.8 and final 600 in 37.3. He looks to be coming up very well in a fresh campaign and is likely to resume racing at the upcoming Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.

Trainer John Bary brought eight horses into the track to gallop and Myrtle was one who showed out when she looked to be working better than Tautu at the end of 1000 metres in 1:3.9, the last 600 in 37. Myrtle was a winner over 1200 metres at Awapuni in April and has been freshened since finishing eighth over 1400 metres at Hastings on July 1, when unsuited by a slow track. Tautu is an unraced four-year-old by Thorn Park who was a winner over 750 metres at the Hastings jumpouts on August 4.

Quick Choice and an Ocean Park three-year-old gelding, two others in the Bary stable, were the only horses to work on the No.1 grass (soft) and went 1000 metres, the last 600 in 35.9.

Scandalo and Lady Guinness, two others preparing for the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, worked together over 1000 metres in 1:8.8, the last 600 in 38. They also look to be coming up well after a winter spell.

Swiss Precision and Van Halen clocked 1:2.4 for 1000 metres on the plough, the last 600 in 37.6 while High Spirits and The Cossack worked in from the 1200-metre peg on the same track and were timed to run the last 1000 metres in 1:3.3, the last 600 in 36.6.

Red Tiara had trainer Kelly Burne aboard when working over 1000 metres, the last 800 in 53.4 and final 600 in 38.6 while Nigella Jazz ran the last 800 metres of her work in 52.3, the final 600 in 38.4.

Saint Kitt worked easily over 1000 metres in 1:10.1, the last 600 in 42.5 while Pakapunch also worked over 1000 metres and was timed to run the last 800 in 57.4 and final 600 in 42.6.

Deb and a Postponed four-year-old gelding clocked 57.2 for an easy 800 metres, the last 600 in 41.9 while and Uncle Mo three-year-old colt on the Lowry/Cullen stable ended his work on the plough with an easy 600 metres in 42.7.

A Nadeem-Song four-year-old mare in the Lowry/Cullen stable took 1:12 for an easy 1000 metres, the last 600 in 41.3 while a Per Incanto-Mal four-year-old gelding ended his work with an easy 600 metres in 42.

Real Beach had trainer Kelly Burne aboard when running an easy 1000 metres in 1:15.1, the last 600 in 42.8 while others to work at three-quarter pace were Gilhoolie, a Castledale three-year-old gelding, Oscar’s Shadow, a Nom de Jeu four-year-old gelding and a Nom de Jeu three-year-old gelding.

Hastings Trackwork 18 Aug 2017

Waipukurau owner bags a fifth Grand National victory

(By John Jenkins)

Not many racehorse owners can say they have won five Grand Nationals but that is the record Waipukurau’s Michael Ormsby now has following Upper Cut’s success in last Saturday’s $75,000 Racecourse Hotel Grand National Steeplechase at Riccarton.

Ormsby shares in the ownership of Upper Cut with the horse’s Awapuni trainer Mark Oulaghan and three others from the Manawatu region, Aroha Duncan, Jim Speedy and Warren Scott. The 11-year-old Yamanin Vital gelding completed back-to-back wins in the prestige jumping event after also taking out last year’s feature.

Ormsby, Oulaghan, Duncan and Speedy also raced the top jumper Counter Punch together. He was also a son of Yamanin Vital and recorded back-to-back Grand National Steeplechase wins in 2010 and 2011 as well as a triumph in the 2007 running of the Grand National Hurdles.

“It’s been a great involvement,” Ormsby said this week as he recalled how he first came in contact with trainer Mark Oulaghan in 1996.

“My good friend Jim Speedy and I first went into a horse called Yaka that was trained by Mark,” Ormsby said.

   Yaka won two hurdle races, one at Foxton and one at Trentham and it whetted the appetite for both men in their passion for racing horses.

Mark Oulaghan bought three yearlings at the Karaka sales in1999 and he, Ormsby and Duncan raced one of them, Miniskirt, together. The Kingdom Bay mare was the winner of five races, including two at the Grand National meeting at Riccarton in 2002.

“They used to have sales at Riccarton at that time of the year and we got Mark to go to the sales and buy another horse for us and that is when we got Counter Punch.” Ormsby said.

Counter Punch was the winner of 13 races, six over hurdles and five over steeples.

Ormsby said that when Counter Punch was retired from racing after breaking down he instructed Oulaghan to find the group of owners a replacement.

“Mark rang and said there was an unraced three-year-old by Yamanin Vital running in a paddock down in the South Island and I asked him what money they wanted for it.

“After some negotiating we got him for $5000 and that horse is now Upper Cut.”

Upper Cut’s outstanding performance last Saturday took his record to five wins from only 17 starts and has now won more than $178,000 in stakemoney for his connections.

The reason he has been so lightly raced is because he has been plagued by injuries throughout his career and required a year off following a tendon injury in 2012.

Upper Cut’s latest win brought up a record six Grand National Steeplechase victories for Mark Oulaghan. The Awapuni trainer had previously won the Riccarton event with Counter Punch (2010, 2011) and Deecee Seven (1997, 1998) and he took Saturday’s success in typically humble fashion.

“I’ve got to say we’ve been lucky and, as you know, luck goes a long way in racing,” Oulaghan said.

“He’s been a little behind all winter and the run on the first day did improve him.”

   Fourth in the Koral Steeplechase, Upper Cut was patiently handled behind the pace by Shaun Phelan and when the pressure went on 800 metres from home they began to get serious.

Upper Cut took the final fence on terms with Kina Win and he finished on too well to take the honours by a length and a quarter.

“I put a lot of it down to his sire Yamanin Vital, one of his progeny (Ready Eddie) won the National Hurdle on Wednesday and they can stay,” Oulaghan said.

Yamanin Vital was a son of Sir Tristram and he has also sired other top-class jumpers such as Hypnotize, Climbing High and the Oulaghan pair of Yourtheman and Counter Punch.

Auckland Cup winner and Melbourne Cup placegetter Who Shot Thebarman has been his top flat representative.

Upper Cut’s rider Shaun Phelan paid tribute to Oulaghan’s conditioning skills after the event.

“He’s a genius. I sat there and enjoyed the ride, the horse did it all,” he said. “These are the races you live and dream for.”

Phelan was recording his second win in the race after guiding Eric The Viking to victory in 2014. He stood high in the irons and gave a victory salute as Upper Cut crossed the finish line, earning the wrath of the judicial committee who fined him $300.

Ormsby said Upper Cut is now likely to be turned out for a well earned spell and will hopefully be brought back for another winter campaign next year, with a tilt at a third Grand National Steeplechase a possibility. 


Aussie plans for three-year-old

Getty’s performance on the opening day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring carnival will decide whether he makes another appearance at the carnival or if he heads to Melbourne.

Unbeaten in two appearances last season, he will make his three-year-old debut in the Listed El Roca Sprint (1200m) at Hastings on September 2

“Then it would be the Hawke’s Bay Guineas, but if he won like a superstar then we could look at taking him over for the Prelude and the Caulfield Guineas,” said trainer Andrew Campbell of the Excelebration gelding, who is also nominated for the Group 1 Cox Plate.

Stablemate and Listed Ryder Stakes winner Waldorf will make his next start in the Listed H. S. Dyke Wanganui Stakes on September 9.


Hoping for Tarzino start

Cambridge trainer Shaun Ritchie is keen to kick off his class mare Let Her Rip’s fresh campaign in the in the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy at Hastings on September 2 but has made a contingency plan if she doesn’t make the field.

The daughter of Rip Van Winkle is a Group 3 winner and currently sits on the fringe as 21st in order of entry for the 1400-metre feature on the first day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.

“She’s 40-1 for the race and that’s probably fair as it will be a strong field of weight-for-age performers,” Ritchie said.

“She is borderline to get in so we’re thinking that if she doesn’t, and as she is so effective fresh, then we might look at the Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington. It’s a Group 2 at set weights and penalties and a race we won with Zurella.

“Our first preference though would be to stay closer to home and have a crack at the Hawke’s Bay Group 1 race.”

Ritchie is also hoping to have a couple of talented performers in action on the Hastings undercard.

“Bella Gioia and Cut Me Loose will be presented at Hawke’s Bay at some point over the carnival,” he said.

Bella Gioia, last season’s Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas runner-up, was taken to the Queensland winter carnival  but her campaign was cut short after an unplaced run in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic on a heavy Eagle Farm track that took its toll.

“She’s doing great now and she’s still got residual fitness,” Ritchie said. “Cut Me Loose is a smart horse and he’s coming up nicely as well.”

The Swiss Ace four-year-old has won two of his four starts last season and finished third behind Saracino in the Group 2 Wellington Guineas.


HB Guineas contender

Byerley Park trainer Steven Cole has Group 1 aspirations for his talented three-year-old Ohceedee and intends using the Group 2 $100,000 Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas at Hastings on October 7 as a stepping stone.

Cole said the plan is to get the rangy Power colt to the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November. 

Cole was buoyed by Ohceedee’s excellent performance for second in a 1000-metre open trial at Avondale last Friday and the horse will kick off a fresh campaign in the three-year-old 1100m race at Te Rapa tomorrow and then possibly run again at Ruakaka a fortnight later.

“The Hawke's Bay Guineas would be his first big test if he is going as well as we think he can and then on to Riccarton after that,” Cole said.

The trainer didn’t think Ohceedee would be happy in the testing track conditions when he competed at last Friday’s Avondale trials and would have been happy with just a tidy effort from the horse, where he did things under his own steam.

Ohceedee was placed twice from four starts as a juvenile including an eye-catching performance to finish third behind the highly rated Haussmann in the Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes.


Hastings plans for Nymph Monte

Nymph Monte made his mark at stakes level last season and the six-year-old will be on the trail of higher honours this preparation.

The Listed Metropolitan Trophy Handicap winner took a step closer to a new campaign when he finished a tidy third in an open 1000m heat at last week’s Waverley trials.

“It brought him on again and he did it all under his own steam,” part-owner and trainer Grant Nicholson said.

“He’ll trial again on August 22 at Foxton and then head to Hastings. At this stage, he will run on the first day in the open mile and then into the open 2000m handicap on the second day before the Livamol Classic.

   “He’s a pretty clean-winded horse and two runs should have him right for the Group 1. We just hope the tracks will be good for him.”

   The son of Tavistock has a handy record at Hawke’s Bay, having won there over 2100m and weighed in a further three times from five appearances.

Jockey Shaun Phelan stands high in the irons and gives a victory salute as Upper Cut crosses the finish line 1-1/4 lengths clear of second placed Kina Win in last Saturday’s Grand National Steeplechase.

Waipukurau’s Michael Ormsby (second from right) poses for a photograph with some of the other winning connections following Upper Cut’s second Grand National Steeplechase success. Others from left to right are trainer Mark Oulaghan, Warren Scott, jockey Shaun Phelan and Aroha Duncan.

Hastings Trackwork 17 Aug 2017

(By John Jenkins)

Real Beach and a Showcasing three-year-old filly took the time honours in a reasonably quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.

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

Real Beach and the Showcasing filly worked together over 800 metres, running the first 400 in an easy 14.6 and then speeding up over the last 600 in 37.8.

Real Beach is a Nadeem four-year-old mare in Kelly Burne’s stable. She had one start last season for a third over 1200 metres at Wairoa and could kick off a new campaign at the Woodville meeting on Thursday of next week. The Showcasing filly is one of a number of young horses former jockey Kate Hercock has in work.

Red Tiara, another in the Burne stable, was given two 600-metre runs, the first in a leisurely 42.8 and the second in 39.9. She is also close to kicking off a fresh campaign.

A Zacinto three-year-old filly and a Zed three-year-old gelding ended their work on the plough by running the last 600 metres in 41.3. They are both in work with Kate Hercock.

Cowboys Don’t Cry had trainer Kelly Burne aboard when sent two easy 600-metre runs, the first taking 44.2 and the second in 40.5. He is being prepared for a hurdling campaign and may head north for a few days to hopefully get his jumping ticket.

An O’Reilly-Catalina three-year-old gelding in the Lowry/Cullen stable worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1000-metre peg in 1:13.4, speeding up slightly over the last 600 in 40.5.

HB Racing Column 11 Aug 2017

New running rail a feature at Hastings race meetings

(By John Jenkins)

The cream of the country’s gallopers will be on show on the first day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring carnival on September 2 and so will a new plastic running rail.

The movable rail, built by the Australian company Mawsafe Rail, arrived in Hastings last week and track staff erected in on Tuesday, under the supervision of national venue inspector Garry Foskett.

 The rail has been positioned in the true position for the first day of the spring carnival and will be moved out several metres for the second day, on September 23. A decision will then be made on where it goes for the final day, on October 7.

Foskett said the rail is the most popular one in Australia and used on the majority of racetracks in Victoria. It is also similar to others already installed at 12 other venues in New Zealand. They are Ruakaka, Ellerslie, Pukekohe, Te Rapa, Te Aroha, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Awapuni, Riccarton, Wingatui and Ascot Park.

“The rail is a lot easier to shift and is seen as the way forward for racetracks in the future,” Foskett said.

“It has the support of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing.”

The new rail is a lot less time consuming to erect and, being plastic, it is a lot safer for both horses and jockeys. Once the initial foot holes and legs are put in place the top rail is then attached and clipped in, with the entire operation completed in a matter of hours.

A strengthening modification has been made at the base of each leg to eliminate the chance of the rail blowing over in high winds, which has been the case at some venues in the past.

“It is moving with the times and seen as an alternative to the colour steel rails that have been in use at most New Zealand racetracks,” Foskett added.

The old colour steel running rail that has served Hastings race meetings well in the past will, in time, be moved infield and used as a running rail on the plough training track.


Hawke's Bay race upgraded

The three-year-old race on the first day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring carnival has had an upgrade to Listed status, meaning there will be a black type race for three-year-olds on all three days.

The New Zealand Pattern Committee has upgraded the three-year-old 1200m race at Hastings on September 2.
The El Roca Trophy has been given Listed status and the stake will double, from $25,000 to $50,000. It will continue to be run at set weights, with penalties.
The race has attracted strong fields in each of the past three years and last year was won by Ugo Foscolo, ahead of Hall Of Fame and Mongolian Falcon.

Ugo Foscolo and Hall Of Fame were both Group I winners last season and Mongolian Falcon was a runaway winner of the Hawke’s Bay Guineas at his next start. Serious Satire had beaten Battle Times, Stradivarius and Amarula the previous year and subsequent Two Thousand Guineas winner Turn Me Loose was runner-up in 2014.
The Group 3 Hawke’s Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes for three-year-old fillies will be run on the second day at Hastings, on September 23, with the Group 2 Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas a fortnight later.
 Because the El Roca Trophy falls so early in the season, the NZ Pattern Committee decided to review the race ahead of the committee’s scheduled meeting on August 18 and released the following statement.
“The NZ Pattern Committee met by teleconference on August 4 to consider the rating of the unlisted Hawke’s Bay RI 3YO SW&P 1200m race to be next conducted on September 2.
“This race has achieved a Pattern Race Rating using the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Ranking measure of 107.25, with the last three editions being 104, 105.5 and 112.25.
”The required threshold to be considered for promotion to Listed status is 100 and for Group 3 status is 105.
“While the NZPC was somewhat uncomfortable at the one-off nature of the consideration of this race, it was felt that the extremely strong rating merited its upgrade to Listed status from the 2017 running onwards.”
Hawke’s Bay Racing general manager Andrew Castles said the club was delighted that the Pattern Committee had taken a common sense approach to announcing the upgrade. “Clearly the race rated well above the required minimum and was going to be upgraded out of their scheduled August 18 meeting."By bringing this announcement forward it allows stakeholders the opportunity to refine their early season programmes and target a race that carries valuable black type, as well as having had a significant stakemoney upgrade.”

HB/PB thoroughbred awards night

The Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay thoroughbred breeders and owners awards function will be held at the Cheval Room at the Hastings racecourse on the night of Friday, September 1.

The evening will recognise local achievers in the racing and breeding industry from the 2016-17 season.

Tickets are again $85/head and can be purchased from the office at Hawke’s Bay Racing or by contacting Gayle Richardson on 873-4545.

The awards function will again be sponsored by Bramwell Bate and Vet Associates and will be held on the night prior to the first day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring meeting, which will feature the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy. 


Volpe Veloce on top again

Volpe Veloce will head into the Group 1 $200,000 Tarzino Trophy at Hastings on September 2 in prime condition in her quest for a full house of stakes victories.

Last season’s outstanding three-year-old already has Group 2, Group 3 and Listed successes to her name and will attempt to complete her black type box set in the first Group 1 race of the new season.

Volpe Veloce warmed up for the opening leg of the Hawke’s Bay triple crown series with an effortless win in an Open 1200-metre sprint at Te Rapa last Saturday.

“We’re absolutely over the moon,” said Graham Richardson, who trains Volpe Veloce with Gavin Parker. “It’s a great result and she’s on target.”

Volpe Veloce jumped smartly to race outside the leader and regular rider Johnathan Parkes allowed her a little more rein to hit the front at the top of the straight.

The Wanganui jockey was afforded the luxury of several glances over his shoulder as he let the daughter of Foxwedge coast to the line.

“We wanted to ride her positively and take bad luck out of the equation,” Parkes said.

“She was pretty much bolting at the 600 and I just had to hold her up. She gave me a super feeling on the turn - she’s back big time.”


Harris given Group 1 chance

The behind the scenes work jockey Troy Harris has done with Sofia Rosa could pay huge dividends with the talented jockey booked to ride the mare in the Group 1 $200,000 Tarzino Trophy at Hastings on September 2.

Harris has yet to ride Sofia Rosa on race day but he rides the Stephen Marsh-trained mare in all her trackwork and was her strapper when she crossed the Tasman to win the Group 1 ATC Oaks in Sydney as a three-year-old.

“She’s had a jump-out and she’s coming up very well. We’re all happy with her and she will be going straight to Hawke’s Bay for the Tarzino Trophy.” said Bruce Perry, racing manager for the mare’s Wellington owner Lib Petagna.

Sofia Rosa’s performance in the opening Group 1 event of the season will decide the rest of her year.

“At this stage, the intention is to race on for another season, but that depends on how she goes and otherwise we could look at putting her in foal,” Perry said.

Sofia Rosa hasn’t raced since she finished third in the Group 2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa in the autumn.


Top mare perfect fit for Munz

A change in the ownership of Perfect Fit hasn’t altered plans for the Group 1 winner.

Under his GSA Bloodstock banner, Melbourne breeding and racing identity Johnathan Munz has bought into Haunui Farm’s daughter of Elusive City.

“Johnathan has purchased a half share in her,” Munz’s Cambridge-based bloodstock manager Dean Hawthorne said. “She’ll run in the Foxbridge Plate first-up and hopefully the track will be okay for her.

“She doesn’t mind a bit of cut in the ground, but we don’t want it too testing, and if she’s going well then she’ll head to the Tarzino Trophy at Hastings.”


Danis surgery successful

Apprentice Darren Danis has undergone successful back surgery at the Christchurch Hospital.

The 25-year-old fractured his T4 and T5 vertebrae in a fall at Washdyke and his father, former jockey and now trainer Luke Danis, said the subsequent operation went well.

“We’ll have to give the injury time to heal now,” he said. “There is of course a long recovery and rehab ahead. On behalf of my family and Darren, I’d like to thank everybody for their prayers.”

New Racing Bill welcomed

The governing bodies of the New Zealand racing industry are united in their support for the new Racing Amendment Bill, introduced by the Minister for Racing, Hon David Bennett.

The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB), New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR), Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) and Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ), see the introduction of the bill a major milestone in the process towards enacting legislation that will bring a welcome increase in funding to the industry.

The proposed legislation addresses the rapid and broad growth of online betting and the loss of potential industry income to overseas bookmakers.

“We are delighted to see the recommendations from the Offshore Betting Working Group progressing through to legislation,” says NZRB Chair, Glenda Hughes.

“The support for our industry, which contributes $1.6 billion to GDP each year, is greatly appreciated and we sincerely thank Ministers David Bennett and Nathan Guy, and officials who have brought about this landmark moment,” says Ms Hughes.

“NZRB is also continuing to work on improving its competitiveness to enhance our customers’ experience and ensure they can receive the same level of service and options as they find offshore,” she added.


National venue inspector Garry Foskett clips together a section of the new running rail at the Hastings racecourse in preparation for the first day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring carnival on September 2. Watching on is Kerry O’Neil while also assisting are Chris King, Craig Berge and Peter Dickie.  

Hastings Trackwork 8 Aug 2017

(By John Jenkins)

There was no fast work at this morning’s Hastings track session after a number of horses from the centre competed in jumpouts staged on the course last Friday.

The only horse timed was Dances With Wolves, who worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1000-mnetre peg on the plough, clocking 1: 12.5, the final 600 in 41.9.

Shady Lady, entered for the 1400-metre maiden at Woodville on Thursday, was one of several horses restricted to just two rounds of pacework on the sand. The Nom du Jeu mare was a fast finishing third on debut over 1200 metres at Hastings last month and followed that up with a third in a 1000-metre jumpout at Hastings last Friday.

Hawke's Bay Racing Column

Hawke's Bay Racing Column 4 Aug 2017

Tendon injury ends Addictive Habit’s racing days

(By John Jenkins)

A tendon injury has forced the retirement of top galloper Addictive Habit, winner of the Group 1 Livamol Classic at the 2015 Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.

The seven-year-old gelding, who amassed a total of 11 wins and more than $770,000 in stakemoney, looked set to hit the racetracks again after recording a win and a third in two barrier trials in the autumn of this year. However the tendon problem flared when he was on the Gold Coast of Australia, preparing for another Queensland winter campaign.

“He’s going to be a dressage horse,” said Hawke’s Bay’s Graham Roddick, who bred the horse in partnership with his wife Isabell. The couple raced him in partnership with Graham’s sister Anne and her husband Colin Scott, Bill O’Brien and Keith and Meryl Treadaway.

Besides winning the $250,000 Livamol Classic, Addictive Habit also scored back-to-back wins in the Group 2 $230,000 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile at Riccarton and took out the Listed Southbank Stakes (1800m) on the Gold Coast of Australia. He was admired nationally for his strength and tremendous will to win.

The Colombia gelding had to lump topweight of 59.5kg and overcome an extremely wide barrier draw when winning his second Coupland’s Mile in 2015.

Normally a horse that likes to race close to the front, he was outpaced in the early stages of that 1600m event and back second last starting the final 800 metres.

At that stage he looked a forlorn hope of filling a place let alone winning. Rider Sam Spratt, trainer Lee Somervell and Isabell Roddick all feared the horse was struggling to hit out freely on the firm ground or had gone amiss.

“At the 800 (metres) I thought I was gone for all money,” Spratt said afterwards.

Addictive Habit started to pick up soon after but, even with the winning post in sight, Spratt thought she had no chance of winning.

“I thought we were only going to run third or fourth but that last 100 metres he really put in,” she said.

Lee Somervell and Isabell Roddick watched the race together in the Riccarton grandstand.

“When the horse was so far back I thought there was something wrong with him or he had jarred up badly and Lee put his binoculars down and said he thought he had no chance of picking them up from there,” Roddick said later.

But pick them up he did. Just when Ringo and jockey Opie Bosson looked to have the race won after forging past pacemaker Allez Eagle, Addictive Habit seemed to find another gear and got up in the last stride to snatch a half-head victory.

Illness prevented Isabell Roddick from being on course when Addictive Habit had achieved Group 1 glory in the Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings the previous month but she rarely missed seeing the horse race. She rates those last two victories, at Hastings and Riccarton, as two of the highlights of her life-long involvement in the thoroughbred industry.

Isabell and Graham Roddick bred Addictive Habit from the now deceased mare Chasing The Habit, who was a half-sister to the champion galloper Rough Habit.

The Roddicks have three close relations to Addictive Habit coming on and are also standing the stallion Citi Habit, a half-brother to Rough Habit, at their Montana Lodge Stud. The son of Citidancer was the winner of six races including the Group 3 Merial Metric Mile at Awapuni and Group 3 Chairmans Handicap (2020m) in Queensland and also finished second in the 2001 Group 1 Brisbane Cup (3200m). He is standing at a fee of $1000 plus GST.

The Roddicks managed to purchase another mare from the Rough Habit family, On Eagle Wings, in Australia last year. She was in foal to Bullet Train, who is a three-quarter brother to champion European galloper Frankel. The resultant foal is a filly and was one of 15 weanlings on show at the Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Thoroughbred Breeders annual weanling walk held on Sunday, July 23. The Roddicks intend keeping the filly to race and then breed from her to keep the family line going.


Bary leading HB trainer


John Bary managed to stave off a late challenge from Paul Nelson to be crowned the leading Hawke’s Bay trainer on wins for the past season.

   The 2016-17 racing season ended with last Monday’s Levin meeting at Awapuni and Bary finished on 18 wins, two ahead of Nelson and six in front of the partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.

Bary held a handy lead over his rivals entering the last month of the season but a win by the Nelson-trained No Change in a maiden hurdle race at Hastings on July 1 followed by a winning double by The Shackler and Amanood Lad in the Wellington Hurdles and Wellington Steeples at Hastings on July 20, saw him close the gap.

Nelson lined up six horses at Wanganui eight days ago but had to settle for a couple of minor placings while he had one runner at Rotorua last Saturday that was unplaced and could managed a fourth with his last runner for the season at Awapuni on Monday.

Bary’s tally of wins was four more than he achieved in the 2015-16 season when he finished second behind the Lowry/Cullen stable (15). However it is four less than he managed when he was the district’s leading trainer in 2014-15.


Kawi clear favourite

Kawi is currently a $4.00 favourite on the Fixed Odds Futures market for the Group 1 $200,000 Tarzino Trophy at Hastings on September 2 as he attempts to complete a hat-trick of wins in the race.

The weight-for-age 1400-metre event, previously known as the Makfi Challenge Stakes, is the feature race on the first day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring carnival and always draws a high class field.

Kawi beat Ryan Mark by 1-1/4 lengths when winning the 2015 running of the race and recorded the same margin when defeating El Pescado last year.

One of last season’s star three-year-old fillies, Volpe Veloce, is second favourite at $8.00 for the Tarzino Trophy with Perfect Fit on the next line of betting at $10.00.

The latest betting market is: $4.00 Kawi; $8.00 Volpe Veloce; $10.00 Perfect Fit; $12.00 Coldplay, Thee Auld Floozie; $16.00 Stolen Dance; $18.00 Longchamp, Luna Rossa, Miss Wilson, Rangipo, Sofia Rosa; $20 + others.


Impressive trial win

Class racemare Perfect Fit looked right on target for the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy at Hastings on September 2 when recording an impressive win in an 820m heat at Tuesday’s Te Teko trials.

“She’s pulled up well and had a good blow out and she’s going to improve,” said Ken Kelso, who trains the mare with his wife Bev.

“She’ll go to the Foxbridge Plate and then on to the Tarzino Trophy. She’s in good order and very forward, more so than she has been.”

Perfect Fit has won six races, including the Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes and she placed at the top level during her last preparation in both the Group1 Railway Stakes and the Group 1 Telegraph Sprint.


Rangipo back on track

Group One winner Rangipo is free of the back issues that hindered his last campaign and is now being aimed at the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings on September 2.

“He kept going sore in his back and we couldn’t work out what it was,” trainer Tony Pike said. “We checked his stifles and hocks and the usual places and couldn’t come up with anything.

 “In the end, we found some arthritic changes in his spine so that was the reason. We’ve treated him and it’s made a huge difference.”

 The Group 1 New Zealand Derby winner won an 950m jumpout at Cambridge on Monday to further his spring preparation.

“He travelled well throughout and looked pretty happy doing it,” said Pike, who has yet to decide if Rangipo will have a lead-up run before the weight-for-age Tarzino Trophy.


Transferring to Waller

All Roads, a lightly-tried stakes winner bred and part-owned by Hawke’s Bay’s Don Gordon, is to be campaigned in Australia this season.

The progressive five-year-old has enjoyed a lucrative season from the Ruakaka stable of Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs, which has prompted connections to try their luck further afield.

“He’s going to go over to Chris Waller in mid-August,” Logan said. “He’s in work with Tony Cole and they think it’s worth having a tilt in Sydney.”

 All Roads began his career with Cole before he shifted north last year to take advantage of the better tracks. That move quickly paid off with four wins and a second from five starts on his adopted home track.

The Road To Rock gelding subsequently finished runner-up in the Group 2 Rich Hill Mile before he won the Group 2 Japan-New Zealand International Trophy. His last appearance resulted in a close sixth in the Group 2 Easter Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie in April. He has only had 20 starts for six wins and five seconds

All Roads is out of the Dance Floor mare Dancing Daze and was bred by Gordon in partnership with Little Avondale Stud.  They sold the horse for $40,000 at the Select session at the 2013 Karaka yearling sales but Gordon retained a share.

Dancing Daze, who is now deceased, was the winner of six races including the Group 2 Grosvenor Championship Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie and the Listed Levin Stakes (1400m) at Otaki. She also finished second in the Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic (2000m) at Te Rapa.

Dancing Daze’s dam War Cry was a half-sister to the best horse Gordon has raced, the high class racemare Mun Lee. She was the winner of 14 races including the Group 1 Lion Brown Sprint and was the 1977-78 Three-year-old Filly of the Year.

Addictive Habit striding out under the urgings of jockey Michael Cahill on his way to victory in the Listed Southbank Stakes (1800m) on Queensland’s Gold Coast track in June 2015. The Colombia gelding won 11 races and more than $770,000 in stakemoney.

Hastings Jumpouts 4 Aug 2017

Miss Wilson stars at Hastings jumpouts - trained by J Bary

(By John Jenkins)

Class mare Miss Wilson provided the star turn at today’s Hastings jumpouts when she stretched out strongly to win a 1000-metre heat with ease.

The jumpouts were held wide out on the course proper, which provided heavy footing.

Jockey Jonathan Riddell made a special trip down from Cambridge to partner Miss Wilson in the jumpout. The mare bounced straight to the front and cruised along in the lead, with Riddell only letting her head go in the last 200 metres. She went to the line 1-3/4 lengths clear of second placed My Tommy and her winning time of 1:5.6 was easily the fastest of the three 1000-metre heats.

Trainer John Bary was pleased with Miss Wilson’s performance and said the mare will now have a barrier trial before, hopefully, kicking off a new campaign in the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings on September 2. The Stratum mare is presently 22nd in order of entry in the weight-for-age feature.

Bary said if Miss Wilson doesn’t get a start in the Tarzino Trophy, or track conditions are unsuitable, she could go straight to Australia for fillies and mares races in Melbourne.

Smokin’ Oak and an unraced Lope de Vega four-year-old gelding were others who showed out at the jumpouts.

Smokin’ Oak is a highly regarded three-year-old by Burgundy in the John Bary stable. He was unplaced in one start as a two-year-old last season but looks to have developed into a nice three-year-old. He won a 750-metre heat by 1-1/4 lengths with his winning time of 48.8s being the fastest of the four heats over that distance.

The Lope de Vega four-year-old was outpaced in the early stages of his 1000-metre heat but then finished strongly in the straight to win by 1-1/2 lengths. He is promising gallop in the Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen stable.


Heat 1, 750m: Quick Choice (D Turner) 1, Postponed 3yr-old gelding 2, O’Reilly-Catalina 3yr-old gelding 3. Four starters. Margins: Long neck, ¾ length. Time: 50.2s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 2, 750m: Smokin’ Oak (J Riddell) 1, Vino Blanco 2, Uncle Mo 3yr-old colt 3. Four starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, ¾ length. Time: 48.8s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 3, 750m: Tautu (D Turner) 1, Deb 2, Ocean Park 3yr-old gelding 3. Four starters. Margins: Long neck, 1-1/4 lengths. Time: 49.7s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 4, 750m: Red Tiara (H Durrant) 1, Per Incanto-Mal 3yr-old gelding 2, Bella Margarita 3. Four starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, 1-3/4 lengths. Time: 50.1s. Winner trained by Kelly Burne, Hastings.

Heat 5, 1000m: Lope de Vega 4yr-old gelding (M Tanaka) 1, Savabeel 3yr-old filly 2, Shady Lady 3. Four starters. Margins: 1-1/2 lengths, 1_3/4 lengths. Time: 1:8.4. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 6, 1000m: Vannoss (D Turner) 1, Gallapagos 2, Per Incanto-Luten Belle 3yr-old filly 3. Four starters. Margins: Head, 1-1/4 lengths. Time: 1:9.1. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 7, 1000m: Miss Wilson (J Riddell) 1, My Tommy 2, Worldclass 3. Four starters. Margins: 1-3/4 lengths, ½ length. Time: 1:5.6. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Hastings Trackwork 1 Aug 2017

(By John Jenkins)

The jumper Kipkeino finished his work off strongly when galloping 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 slow footing.

Kipkeino had trainer Lucy de Lautour aboard when working in from the 1200-metre peg on the plough. He ran the first 600 metres in a leisurely 49.1 but then sprinted home the last 600 in 37.3 and was travelling keenly at the finish.

De Lautour is unsure where the horse will run next but could target the open hurdle race at Ellerslie on August 26 and then on to next month’s Great Northern Hurdles.

Shady Lady was another who stretched out well when running an easy 800 metres on the grass in 55, the last 600 in 39.4. She turned in a good performance for third on debut at the last Hawke’s Bay meeting and is likely to start next at Woodville on Thursday of next week.

A Per Incanto-Mal four-year-old gelding in the Lowry/Cullen stable clocked 55.2 for 800 metres on the plough, the last 600 in 39.1 while a Per Incanto-Luten Belle four-year-old mare from the same stable ended her 800-metre workout on the grass with 600 metres in 39.2.

Dare To Rock clocked 39.3 for 600 metres on the grass while Pak A Punch, in the early stages of a fresh campaign, worked easily over 600 metres on the plough in 45.7.

Vannoss was not hurried when working over 1000 metres on the grass, the last 600 in 46.3 while Vino Blanco did similar work on the grass and ran home her last 600 in 46.5.

Postponed-Mariandaz three-year-old gelding and a Darci Brahma three-year-old filly worked together over 600 metres on the plough in 41.2 while an Uncle Mo three-year-old colt ran over the same ground on his own in 42.5.

An O’Reilly-Catalina three-year-old gelding clocked 42.6 for the last 600 metres of his work on the plough while a Nadeem-Song three-year-old ran 800 metres on the same track in 56.7, the last 600 in 41.5.

A Rip Van Winkle-Snippins three-year-old filly was one of a number of other horses restricted to three-quarter pace, running her last 600 metres in 45.5.

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