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   Led Zeppelin, who makes a return to racing in the final event at Hastings on Saturday, turned in one of the fastest times in a reasonably quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.

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

   A further 10 millimetres of rain fell on the track overnight and a penetrometer reading on the course proper came up as a slow-9.

   Zed Leppelin had co-trainer Mick Brown aboard when running a solo 800 metres in 53.1, the last 600 in 38.5. He has shown form on wet tracks in the past and Matthew Cameron has been booked to ride him on Saturday.

   Wait A Sec, another resuming from a spell at Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting, was kept under a hold when running 800 metres in 58.1, the last 600 in 43.1. He lines up in the Rating 75 race over 1400 metres, with apprentice Jordan Bassett the rider.

   A Roc de Cambes three-year-old filly and a Sir Percy four-year-old mare, both in the Lowry/Cullen stable, were both striding out well at the end of 600 metres in 39.5 while Hoskins, another down to resume at Hastings on Saturday, ended her work with an easy 600 metres in 43.

   Castle Of Boom was kept to just three-quarter pace over 1000 metres in 1:17.1, the last 600 in 45.4 while a Nadeem three-year-old filly in Kelly Burne’s stable ran over the same ground in 1:12.5, the last 600 in 42.5.

   Davey Crockett looked to be travelling better than his stablemate Cool Spirit at the end of 1000 metres in 1:13.8, the last 600 in 41.4 while Cowboys Don’t Cry ran a solo 1000 metres in 1:11.8, the last 600 in 42.6.

   Cajun, in the early stages of a fresh campaign, ended her work with an easy 600 metres in 45.9.

Runny Honey’s sweet success for HB owners 28 Sep 2016

   It has been a long time between celebratory drinks for Hawke’s Bay couple John and Lucy Scoular but their long trip to Te Aroha last Sunday certainly proved worthwhile.

  The Scoulars have been long time thoroughbred owners and breeders and are extremely passionate about the industry. So, when their horse Runny Honey was entered for a $10,000 maiden hurdle race at last Sunday’s Te Aroha meeting, they decided they had to be there to see her run.

   The couple, both in their 80s, attended the Hawke’s Bay-Tasman rugby game at Napier’s McLean Park on Saturday night before getting up in the early hours of Sunday morning and heading off to Te Aroha.

   Runny Honey lined up in the second race on the 11-race programme and they managed to make it to the track in time.

   The High Chaparral mare’s form credentials were hardly that inspiring. She was having her fourth hurdle start, the first three resulting in fourth placings before she had been pulled up in the final stages of her most recent run, over 3100 metres at Riccarton.

   Jockey Aaron Kuru took Runny Honey straight to the front in last Sunday’s 3100-metre event and dictated the pace, which was very pedestrian in the early stages. He stacked the field up behind him until the last 1000 metres before asking his mount to accelerate.

   Runny Honey had a good break on the field rounding the home turn and, apart from dipping badly on landing over the second to last fence, she always held a good advantage over her rivals and won by 4-1/2 lengths.

   Runny Honey has now won two races, the first being in a 1200-metre maiden race at Woodville in November 2014. She is prepared by Hastings trainer Paul Nelson, who said he had his doubts whether the mare would be able to cope with the heavy-11 track conditions at Te Aroha.

   “But the fact that the track was loose probably helped her. She jumps well and, apart from the second to last one, she jumped them all pretty straight,” Nelson said.

   Runny Honey is a six-year-old mare by High Chaparral out of the Volksraad mare Bizz and was bred by John and Lucy Scoular and their two children, Andy Scoular and Sally Tothill. The four race the mare together.

   Bizz was the winner of three races. Her first foal was Murdoch, who won one race, and Runny Honey was the second foal.

   A filly by Mastercraftsman out of the mare sold for $18,000 at the 2013 Karaka yearling sales and a colt by Rip Van Winkle for $40,000 at Karaka the following year.

    Bizz then produced another colt by Rip Van Winkle, which sold for $36,000 at last year’s Karaka sales and a weanling filly by Guillotine.


Second Innings scores again

   Hastings trainer Paul Nelson’s patient policy with exciting jumper Second Innings should reap big rewards next year.

   The Yamanin Vital eight-year-old made it three wins from three starts over hurdles with another impressive 4 length win in a $20,000 Novice Hurdle race at Te Aroha last Sunday, following two hurdle victories at last month’s Grand National meeting at  Christchurch.

   In between his three jumping wins Second Innings was successful in a 2200-metre flat race at Awapuni and has now won seven races from only 25 starts.

   Nelson said this week there is a good chance Second Innings will now be turned out for a spell and then brought back for early jumping races next year.

   “He’s quite exciting and we will look at bigger races next year,” Nelson said.

   Jockey Aaron Kuru has ridden Second Innings in each of his three wins and certainly rates him as a star in the making.

   “This horse is pretty serious. He’ll be one to look out for next year,” Kuru said after last Sunday’s win.

   Second Innings is raced by Nelson and his wife Carol in partnership with the horse’s Central Hawke’s Bay breeders Garry and Jan Sherratt and Cambridge trainer Ben Foote and his partner Kim Rogers.

   Foote trained the horse for his first two wins before he was transferred to Nelson’s stable to further his education as a jumper.


Cup plans back on

   Pacorus, a horse part-owned by Havelock North couple Dave and Jenni Morison, returned to winning form with a vengeance at last Saturday’s Auckland meeting and feature race aspirations are now back on track for the Tavistock five-year-old.

   The horse’s Cambridge trainer Chris Wood has had next month’s Group 3 $250,000 New Zealand Cup at Riccarton in mind for the horse for some time and the gelding took another step towards that goal with a runaway win in the Mitchelson Cup at Ellerslie.

   Rated perfectly in front by apprentice Viktoria Gatu, Pacorus was always travelling better than his rivals in the 2200-metre event and crossed the line 4 lengths clear of race favourite Megablast.

   It was a dominant performance and more in line with the horse’s hat-trick of wins through the winter at Tauranga, Te Rapa and New Plymouth before he blotted his copybook with a fifth placing over 2100 metres at Ruakaka on September 10.

   “A lot of horses don’t cop Ruakaka and he got beaten fair and square on the day,” Wood said.

   “But he won well again last Saturday and he’s come through it  well.”

   Wood said the horse will now either contest the $35,000 Egmont Cup (2100m) at Hawera tomorrow week or a 2200-metre race at Rotorua a week later and a decision will then be made whether to proceed down to Riccarton for the New Zealand Cup.

   “I’ll check out how the track is at Christchurch before confirming the trip. I wouldn’t want to take him down there if the track is too hard,” Wood said.
   Pacorus has now won six races from only 21 starts and most of his victories have been on rain affected tracks.

   The horse is certainly bred to stay, being by Tavistock out of a Zabeel mare, and Wood is reasonably confident he will see out the 3200 metres of the New Zealand Cup.

   “He doesn’t have to lead in his races. He can sit off them like he did when he won the Interprovincial at New Plymouth three starts ago so I don’t think the distance will be a problem.”

   Gatu, who is apprenticed to Wood, said Pacorus was nice and relaxed in front last Saturday and gave a good kick when she asked him to extend at the top of the home straight.

   “That’s my fifth win on him and he’s a lovely horse to have around the stable,” Gatu said.

   Pacorus cost $15,000 as a yearling at the select session of the 2013 Karaka yearling sales and was purchased by Hastings-based Eddie Lowry on behalf of  Dave and Jenni Morison. The couple were reluctant to race the horse on their own and are now part of a 10-member syndicate that races him, with most of the others being close friends and stable clients of Wood.


A powerful elixir

   Hawke’s Bay-bred Sacred Elixir has come through his impressive victory in last Saturday’s Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude in fine style and is now right on target for the $A1million Caulfield Guineas (1600m) tomorrow week.

   The Pour Moi gelding, bred by well known Hawke’s Bay racing identity Graham de Gruchy, was recording his fourth win from just seven starts.

   Sacred Elixir’s Cambridge trainer, Tony Pike, said he was pleasantly surprised by the gelding’s fresh up win over 1400 metres, in what was his first race since taking out the Group 1 JJ Atkins Stakes (1600m) in Brisbane on June 11. 

   “I thought they just might have been a bit sharp for him around a tight Caulfield circuit first up, so to get the win was probably a little bit of a surprise,” trainer Tony Pike said.

   “He’s pulled up super. He went for a very light trot and canter on Monday morning at Flemington so it’s all systems go for the Guineas.

   “We didn’t have to ride him quite as far back last Saturday because he drew a good gate for the first time in a long-while.

   “It was good to see him travel a bit closer to the speed and do it comfortably and he’s a horse with a very good turn of foot and a strong finish, so it’s a good combination to have.”

   Damian Lane will retain the ride on Sacred Elixir in the Caulfield Guineas, a race in which he is presently rated third favourite behind the Sydney-trained colts Impending and Divine Prospect, who were first and second in the Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill last Saturday.

   Sacred Elixir is a three-year-old by Pour Moi out of the Stravinsky mare Baltika, who only had three race starts for a win and a second. She is out of the Zabeel mare Zambuca, who is a daughter of the champion racemare Horlicks.

   Graham de Gruchy sold Sacred Elixir at the premier session at last year’s Karaka yearling sales, with the horse fetching $170,000. He was purchased by Bruce Sherwin, on behalf of Raffles Racing.


Singapore beckons

  Talented young New Zealand race caller Tom Wood has made a fleeting visit to Singapore to audition for a vacant commentator's role with the Singapore Turf Club.
   The 26-year-old called race two last Friday evening at Kranji, showcasing his accuracy and vocal talent in a race won by New Zealand-bred galloper Dicaprio for ex-Kiwi trainer Laurie Laxon.

   "It was an experience of a lifetime and it was a great opportunity to be given by the Singapore Turf Club," Wood said.
   Wood, the son of successful Cambridge-based trainer Chris, was interviewed by a four-member panel which included one of the current callers - Matt Jones – who will be staying on.
   "The vibe was positive, but I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch," Wood said.
   "If I were to be successful, it would be a three-year contract and there is a mix of calling the races and presenting, plus presenting and producing a couple of shows throughout the week and interviews at trackwork."
   Despite his relative youth, Wood has already spent eight years commentating on races for the New Zealand Racing board, the last three domiciled in the central districts.


Biggest HB raceday

   Hawke’s Bay Racing will stage its biggest day of the year at the Hastings racecourse tomorrow with the final day of the Bostock Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival.

   There will be a 10 race programme, with the first timed for 12.33pm and the last at 5.54pm. There will be a general admission charge of $25.00.

   There will be Hawke’s Bay interest in the day’s feature event, the Group 1 $250,000 Livamol Classic, with the John Bary-trained Bohemian Lily among the entrants and one of the race favourites, Mime, bred by the late Laurence Redshaw.

   O’Reilly’s Choice, bred and owned by Hawke’s Bay brothers Chris and Ken Russell and trained by John Bary, is among the entrants for the Group 2 $100,000 Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas.



The stablemates Chic and Castle Of Boom, both entered for Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting, strode out well together 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.

   A penetrometer reading was taken on the course proper during the session and came up as a slow-7.

   Chic and Castle Of Boom worked in from about the 1100-metre peg on the No.1 grass and steadily increased the speed, running home the last 600 metres in 38.5.

  Chic will be entered for the Rating 65 race over 1600 metres at Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting while Castle Of Boom will contest the Special Conditions 1400.

   Kinimont was another who worked well when running a solo 1000 metres on the grass in 1:12.1, the last 600 in 39.1. He is another who will be entered for the Rating 65 race over 1600 metres at Hastings on Saturday.

   Zed Leppelin worked over 1200 metres on the plough and was timed to run the last 800 metres in 52.1, the final 600 in 38.1. He looks to be coming up well in another campaign.

   In Another Life ran a solo 1000 metres on the grass in 1:8.1, the last 600 in 39.9 while Wait A Sec, who will contest the Rating 75 race over 1400 metres at Hastings, ran a solo 1000 metres on the plough in 1:8.6, the last 600 in 40.5.

   Davey Crockett worked early in the session, with trainer Kate Hercock aboard, and ran 1200 metres on the plough at three-quarter pace, the last 600 in 45.4 while Cowboys Don’t Cry underwent similar work and came home his last 600 metres in 46.2.

   Adventador went on his own on the No.1 grass and ended his work with an easy 600 metres in 43.6 while Worldclass ran 800 metres on the plough in 58.4, the last 600 in 42.6.

   My Tommy was not hurried when running 1000 metres on the plough in 1:15.5, the last 600 in 43.2. He could resume in the Rating 65 1200 at Hastings on Saturday.

   A Colombia four-year-old gelding and one by Mettre En Jeu, both in the Paul Nelson stable, worked together over 1000 metres on the plough in 1:10.3, the last 600 in 40 while Foibles ran a solo 1000 metres on the grass in 1:6.

   Superveloce was one of several horses in the Lowry/Cullen stable restricted to just three-quarter pace, running his last 600 metres in 44.5.

   Tartan Bearer and a Savabeel-Elusive Dreams three-year-old filly were two others from the same stable who were kept to just three-quarter pace, running their last 600 metres in 46.9.

   Donardo, a Don Eduardo gelding in the Lowry/Cullen stable, clocked 60.3 for an easy 800 metres, the last 600 in 44.6 while a China Cat three-year-old in Kate Hercock’s stable ran 600 metres in 42.9.

HB pair share tremendous home track success 21 Sep 2016

   There were no more deserving winners of last Saturday’s Gold Trail Stakes at Hastings than close Hawke’s Bay friends Charlie Whyte and Andrew Lockyer.

   The two men have invested sizeable amounts of money into both racing and breeding thoroughbreds and have experienced more lows than highs in their time. They have also both been past board members of Hawke’s Bay Racing and, despite some past disagreements with certain hierarchy; they both remain passionate about the racing industry.

   When Honey Rider went past the winning post a decisive three-quarter length winner of the Group 3 $70,000 Hawke’s Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes Whyte and Lockyer, along with family and friends, were ecstatic. The joyous scenes of people hugging each other in the grandstand is what racing is all about and especially satisfying as it was a win for two of racing’s “battlers”.

   For Whyte it was his second Group race success after Pimms Time, a mare he raced in association with several other members of his family, won the 2013 running of the Group 2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa. For Lockyer it was easily his biggest ever racetrack success and one worth celebrating to the maximum.

   “I’m not taking anything away from Pimms Time’s win in the Travis Stakes but this win was a bit more enjoyable because we were winning on our home track,” Charlie Whyte said this week.

   “It was the biggest win for Andrew, which is great, and it was nice that we bred the horse together and own her.”

   Last Saturday’s Gold Trail Stakes was robbed of plenty of interest with the late scratching of race favourite Volpe Veloce at the start. The filly became fractious in her inside barrier draw and starting lashing out with her back legs. She was taken out of the stalls and veterinary inspection revealed she had suffered superficial abrasions to her left hind leg and had also partially pulled a plate and was noticeably lame.

   There were also a couple of other unlucky runners in the race, especially the well supported Bella Gioia, but nothing could be taken away from Honey Rider’s win as she was nowhere near her peak going into the race.

   “She still had a bit of a winter coat,” Charlie Whyte said.

   “It was a bit of a shame that the favourite came out and they said some of the others in the race will improve a lot next time but I think our filly is going to improve a lot more too.”

   The Gold Trail Stakes is sponsored by a group of Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred breeders and is the first race in the New Zealand Three-year-old Filly of the Year series. The second race in the series is not for another two months, that being the Group 1 $300,000 New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton on November 12, and Honey Rider is now a $8.00 equal second favourite for that 1600-metre event with the South Island hope La Diosa. Bella Gioia, who produced an eye-catching run for fourth last Saturday after coming from the tail of the field on the home turn, is the favourite at $7.00.

   Andrew Forsman, who co-trains Honey Rider with Murray Baker at Cambridge, said the Pins filly is likely to have one more start before Riccarton but that has yet to be decided on.

   “I think she needs a good track which is obviously something we’ll keep in mind,” Forsman said.

   “We were pretty confident on Saturday, she has always shown above average ability. “She’s really improved a lot in the last couple of weeks and even though there were a few unlucky runners behind her, I thought she was as strong on the line as anything.”

   Honey Rider races in the colours made prominent by Charlie Whyte’s late grandfather Bob Whyte, who was a former president of the Wellington Racing Club and the New Zealand Racing Conference, and were carried by such top gallopers as Black Rod, Topsy and Peak.

   Black Rod’s numerous wins included the 1972 Hawke’s Bay Guineas and 1975 Hawke’s Bay Cup while Topsy won the 1971 Manawatu Cup and all three horses also had success in the Wairarapa Cup.

   Honey Rider’s success has provided a silver lining for Charlie Whyte and Andrew Lockyer after they have had plenty of misfortune in thoroughbred breeding.

   They have raced horses together for a number of years. One of the early ones was the Towkay mare Colourful Lady, who won three races from the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.

   At a Karaka mixed bloodstock sale in March of 2008 the pair decided to buy, on the advice of Guy Lowry, a yearling filly by Align out of the Khozaam mare Alpine Beauty for $40,000.

   They named the filly Southern Heights and she was certainly bred to be good as she was a half-sister to Alpine Delight, the winner of nine races including the listed Invercargill Gold Cup (twice) and is also a half-sister to this year’s subsequent Group 1 Telegraph Handicap winner Adventador.

   Southern Heights’ grandam, Mount Tryst, was a three-quarter sister to the outstanding gallopers Mapperley Heights, Noble Heights and Royal Heights and it was the family of the 2008 Melbourne Cup winner Viewed.

   Whyte and Lockyer raced Southern Heights out of the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and she recorded two wins, a second and a third from 13 starts.

   Whyte recalled that she was a big mare but lacked the power and strength to be a really good racehorse so he and Lockyer decided to breed from her.

   The first foal out of Southern Heights was a nice looking colt by Savabeel which was entered for the premier session of the 2014 Karaka yearling sales. But disaster struck when the yearling died just two weeks before the sale.

   At that stage Whyte and Lockyer had Southern Heights in foal to Pins and she produced a filly, which is now Honey Rider.

   They then put the mare back in foal to Ocean Park but she unfortunately died before giving birth so Honey Rider is the only one from the breed they have left.

   Charlie Whyte was sold on Honey Rider’s sire Pins after he and several members of his family raced the high class mare Pimms Time from the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.

   She was by Pins out of the Zabeel mare Brampton Legs and won them five races including the Group 2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.


Sweet success

   Hastings-trained Hokey Pokey looked a horse capable of going through the grades when she managed to get home for a narrow maiden win over 1300 metres at last Friday’s Taupo meeting.

   The big striding O’Reilly mare fought a head to head tussle with the first starter Al Vandaam all the way up the home straight before managing to get her nose in front right on the line.

   Hokey Pokey is trained at Hastings by John Bary and owned by her breeders, Waikato Stud. She was having her fourth start and the success followed a useful run for fifth over 1200 metres at Taupo last month.

   Hokey Pokey is certainly bred to be good. She is out of the Savabeel mare Sweet As Candy and a granddaughter of Ugachaka, a mare who won five races in Australia including the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1620m) at Flemington and the Group 2 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill. She was by Danasinga out of the former speedy racemare Bolshoi Star.


A jumping find

   Hastings jumper Zardetto added to his good record over fences when scoring a decisive 3 length win in a $20,000 Restricted Open Steeplechase at Wanganui on Thursday of last week.

   The Redoute’s Choice nine-year-old is now unbeaten in two starts over the big fences and has also had 11 hurdle starts for a win and six minor placings.

   His latest success followed minor placings over hurdles at Wanganui (3000m) and Rotorua (3500m) earlier this season.

   Zardetto is bred to be a “cups horse” as he is by the champion Australian stallion Redoute’s Choice out of the Group 1 winning Zabeel mare Champagne, whose best performances included a win in the 1998 MacKinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington and a close second behind Jezabeel in that year’s Melbourne Cup (3200m).

   Zardetto is trained at Hastings by Paul Nelson who races the horse in partnership with his wife Carol along with his brother David and his wife Kaye.


Carnival’s third day

   Hastings racegoers will be treated to three black type races on the third day of the Bostock Hawke’s Bay spring carnival tomorrow week.

   The day’s feature will be the Group 1 $250,000 Livamol Classic, the richest race run on the Hastings track during the year and a weight-for-age event over 2040 metres. It is certain to attract another outstanding field.

   A number of this season’s leading three-year-olds will do battle in the Group 2 $100,000 Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) while the open sprinters get a chance at black type success in the Group 3 $70,000 Spring Sprint (1400m).

   The annual New Zealand Punter of the Year competition will also be run on the meeting.

   A 10 race programme is carded, with the first timed for 12.33pm and the last at 5.54pm. There will be a $25 admission charge for the public.


   There was very little in the way of fast work at this morning’s Hastings track session, with several horses having had a run at the Waipukurau jumpouts the day before.

   Working on the plough (good) Hoskins was timed to run home her last 600 metres in 41.5. The Volksraad mare looks to be coming up well and could kick off another campaign on either the last day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival or at Woodville on October 13.

   Worldclass, formerly trained by Wayne Marshment at Wanganui and now in the care of Porangahau-based Mary Darby, was given an easy 800 metres in 58.4, the last 600 in 43.3. She is a five-year-old mare by Iffraaj who has recorded a win and three seconds from only six starts.

   A Falkirk-Grace Park three-year-old filly in Patrick Campbell’s stable ran a solo 600 metres in 42 while her stablemate Goodsav was restricted to just a round of strong half-pace.

   Goodsav is likely to resume in the Rating 85 sprint over 1200 metres on the third day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, on Saturday week.

   Alpine Jewel and a Sufficient three-year-old gelding, both in the Lowry/Cullen stable, ran an easy 600 metres in 45.2 while a Sir Percy four-year-old mare and a Roc de Cambes three-year-old ran over the same ground in 44.9.

   Lamborghini, in the early stages of another preparation, ran a quiet 600 metres in 46.3.


   A quick 800-metre gallop by Hoskins was the highlight in a quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.

   Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided good footing. A penetrometer reading was taken on the course proper during the session and came up as a dead-5. With fine weather forecast for the next 48 hours the racing surface is expected to improve to a dead-4 before Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay premier meeting.

   Hoskins ran a solo 800 metres on the plough in a quick 48.5, coming home the last 600 in 35.7. The Volksraad mare has not raced since failing on a slow track at Tauherenikau in June and looks to have come back in good order.

   Byerley Park-based trainer James Bridge was at the track and gave his three-year-old filly Mystery Show two rounds of half-pace on the plough. The daughter of Sakhee’s Secret is entered for Saturday’s Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at the Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   Van Gogh, the other horse Bridge has entered for Saturday’s meeting, was also restricted to just pacework on the plough, running home the last 600 metres in 46.8. He will contest the Special Conditions 1300.

   A Nadeem three-year-old filly in Kelly Burne’s stable worked early in the session and ran an easy 1000 metres in 1:11, the last 600 in 40.2.

   Adventador and Goodsav were among a large number of horses who were restricted to pacework. Both horses look to be coming up well in new preparations.

First win for Hastings apprentice 15 Sep 2016

Hastings apprentice jockey Jordan Bassett had a day she will never forget at last Sunday’s Rotorua races.

   At a race meeting that was predominantly made up of hurdle and highweight events, with an amateur riders’ race thrown in, the 25-year-old Bassett had only one opportunity and had to wait until the very last race for that.

   It was aboard the Kevin Myers-trained Kiddo in a 2200-metre maiden and, with a heady ride, Bassett brought the Istidaad five-year-old home at the head of the field to chalk up the first win of her career.

   Just when the favourite for the race, Libretti, looked set for victory when cruising to the lead at the top of the home straight, Bassett angled Kiddo to the outside of that horse and showed plenty of vigour in steering her mount to a 1-1/2 length win.

   It was Bassett’s 11th race-ride, with her first being aboard Samogon at Hastings on May 19.  She has been involved with horses from an early age and, after first working for the Hastings stable of John Bary, she signed for an apprenticeship with Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen about 15 months ago.

   Realising Bassett needed more experience, Lowry and Cullen decided to send her to astute trainer Kevin Myers for three weeks work experience and last Sunday’s success was the result.

   Kiddo was one of four winners Kevin Myers produced at last Sunday’s Rotorua meeting, the others being Mailly in the $20,000 open hurdle race, Zentangle in the 2200-metre highweight and Teddytwinkletoes in the amateur riders’ race over 1950 metres.

   Zentangle brought up his third success from his last four starts when he led all the way, continuing the highly successful run being enjoyed by Hastings-born jockey Shaun Fannin.

   The Chinese Dragon five-year-old took out a Rating 75 race over 1800 metres at Riccarton back in June and added another victory over 2000 metres on the same track last month.

   Fannin took the chestnut straight to the front in last Sunday’s race and they never looked like being headed, crossing the line 1-1/2 lengths clear of the opposition.

   Zentangle is raced by Kevin Myers in partnership with close friend Charlie Gestro, Hastings-based Jason Donnelly and the estate of his late father Jim Donnelly.

   Myers bought the horse for $5000 at the 2013 Ready To Run sale of two-year-olds and the horse has now won his connections four races in total and more than $60,000 in stakemoney.


HB-bred wins Korea Sprint

   Super Jockey, a horse that is Hawke’s Bay-bred and formerly owned by John Bridge and his son James, created history last Sunday when he won the first ever Group 1 race run in Korea.

   The Sandtrap gelding, trained by Hong Kong’s Tony Millard, produced a dominant performance to secure a pioneering victory in the $US700,000 Korea sprint (1200m) on the sand track at Seoul racecourse.

   He is the first Hong Kong-trained horse to race in Korea and competed in the first of two contests open to overseas competitors at the all-new Korea autumn racing carnival.

   Super Jockey broke smartly from barrier two and, once out of the sand-churning slipstream of the pacemaking local runner, Perdido Pomeroy, he was always in control under South African-born jockey Karis Teetan.

   The win was Super Jockey’s fifth from 23 starts and a deserved first outside of Hong Kong for the 2015 Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen runner-up.

   Super Jockey was bred by Takapau’s Craig Harvey and Taradale’s Duncan MacLean in partnership with Australian-based Tim Morris. They sold the horse to the Bridges as a weanling.

   The horse was initially trained by the then Hastings-based James Bridge and had one New Zealand start under the name of Okie Dokie, for a win in a Special Conditions race over 1200 metres at Hastings in September 2012.

   The Bridges then sold the horse to Hong Kong buyers but they still own a half-sister to him called Lotsapennies, who is due to foal to Niagara.

   Super Jockey was the third foal out of Pompeii court mare Pennies in Heaven and is a half- brother to seven race winner Single Currency.

   Craig Harvey, Duncan MacLean and Tim Morris are still breeding from Pennies In Heaven and she has produced an unraced three-year-old filly by Stravinsky and a yearling colt by Pentire.

   James Bridge has been training out of Byerley Park in Auckland for the past couple of seasons but will be returning to Hawke’s Bay at the end of November. His father John has purchased a property at Pourerere Beach and they are in the process of building stables and yards there at the moment.

   “It is right next to the beach and James will be able to work the horses on the sand there which should be a big advantage,” John Bridge said.

  The Bridges were the original owners of last Saturday’s impressive Sydney winner Mackintosh. They bought the Pins four-year-old as a weanling for $11,000 and James Bridge prepared him to win two races from three starts before he was sold to clients of top Sydney trainer Chris Waller. The horse has since added another four wins from five Australian starts.


Hurdle race next

   Second Innings, who scored a strong win on the flat at Awapuni last Saturday, is likely to revert back to hurdling at his next start.

   Hastings trainer Paul Nelson believes he will have a genuine feature jumps prospect on his hands next year in Second Innings and will probably give him one more jumping start this year, in a hurdle race at Te Aroha on September 25, before turning him out for a summer spell.

   “You would like to think that he’s going to go on with it after what he’s done so far, we’re pretty hopeful,” Nelson said after the horse staved off a late challenge from Zedbee to win by a neck in a $25,000 Rating 85 race over 2200 metres at Awapuni.

   It was the horse’s sixth victory from 24 starts and followed a winning double over hurdles at last month’s Grand National meeting at Riccarton.

   The eight-year-old also won on his home track during the winter before finishing runner-up at Trentham in the Parliamentary Handicap and earned black type when third in the Listed Taumarunui Gold Cup at Rotorua.

   Nelson and his wife Carol share in the ownership of the Yamanin Vital gelding with the horse’s Central Hawke’s Bay breeder Garry Sherratt, along with Cambridge trainer Ben Foote and his partner Kim Rogers.

   Foote prepared Second Innings to win his first two races before the horse was transferred to Nelson’s stable.

   “He was always going to come to us and Ben did a great job with him – it’s always a lot better if they do a bit on the flat first,” Nelson said.

   “Ben’s had a lot of horses for Garry as well – he had Just Not Cricket before we got him.”

   Just Not Cricket included two Great Northern Hurdles and the Grand National Hurdles among his wins from Nelson’s stable.


Beadle makes it two

   Beadle, a horse raced by a syndicate that includes two Hastings men, Les Byford and Ian Newton, notched up his second win when taking out a $20,000 Rating 65 race over 1400 metres at Awapuni last Saturday.

   The Gold Centre four-year-old coped well with the heavy-11 track conditions and finished strongly to win by three-quarters of a length from Off Roading, with third placed Golden Bay a further 1-1/2 lengths back in third place.

   Beadle’s first win was also on a heavy track, in a 1200-metre maiden at Otaki in June, and the horse’s Trentham trainer Mike Bentley said the horse is now likely to be spelled.

   “I think he’ll be better horse in another six months so he will now go out into the paddock and come back in the autumn,” Bentley said.


By-monthly award

   Graham Duff and Paul Robinson, part-owners in the promising mare Onefortheditch, are the recipients of the Kevin Wood Memorial Trophy for the months of June and July.

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

   Onefortheditch is the winner of four races and scored a winning double, over 1899 metres and 1400 metres, at last month’s Grand National meeting at Riccarton.


Xtravagant to trial

   A trial at Cranbourne next Monday will decide the future of star New Zealand galloper Xtravagant.

   The four-year-old tailed the field home in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington last Saturday, but subsequent tests have failed to find anything amiss with the entire.

   Connections will monitor Xtravagant’s trial performance before deciding if he stays in Melbourne or returns home.


   In Another Life showed he is ready to make a fresh start at Friday’s Taupo meeting by turning in a sharp 600-metre sprint at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided good footing. A penetrometer reading was taken on the course proper during the session and came up as a dead-5

   In Another Life ended his work with a solo 600 metres in 37.1. The Per Incanto four-year-old has not raced since finishing sixth over 1800 metres at Riccarton in April and is likely to resume in a Rating 75 race over 1300 metres at Taupo.

   Davey Crockett was another who turned in a quick time this morning. He worked in from the 1000-metre peg in 1:4.4 and picked up a Gold Mine two-year-old gelding at about the 800. The two horses then sprinted home the last 600 metres together in 36s.

   My Tommy ran a solo 1000 metres in 1:5.3 and came home the last 600 in 37.9. He is another being geared up for a fresh campaign and is likely to have a jumpout at Waipukurau next Monday.

   The Group 1 winner Adventador was let off with an easy 800 metres in 58.2, the last 600 in  43.3 while stablemate Kininmont underwent similar work when running 1000 metres in 1:13.7, the last 600 in 41.3.

   Chic, who could resume at Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting, worked with a Guillotine three-year-old gelding over 1000 metres in 1:3.4, running home the last 600 in a quick 36.1. Chic was a winner over 1000 metres at the last Hastings jumpouts.

   A Shocking three-year-old gelding in the Lowry/Cullen stable ran an easy 1000 metres in 1:11.9, the last 600 in 40.2 while stablemate Castle Of Boom was also kept under a good hold over 800 metres in 56.1, the last 600 in 40.9.

   A Bullbars-Saddle three-year-old filly and a Nadeem-Kettle Hill three-year-old gelding, both in the Sue Thompson and Mick Brown stable, ran 600 metres in 40 while an O’Reilly-Brianna three-year-old colt was kept to just three-quarter pace over 600 metres in 43.2.

   A Jimmy Choux two-year-old and a Shocking three-year-old were also kept to just three-quarter pace over 600 metres in 42.4.


Fannin adds Great Northern to growing tally 7 Sep 2016

   The meteoric rise Hastings-born Shaun Fannin has made amongst the jumps jockeys in New Zealand reached a new pinnacle last Saturday when the 20-year-old triumphed in what is arguably the greatest jumping race in the southern hemisphere.

   Riding the pony-sized mare Kick Back, Fannin showed a coolness that belied his years as he brought the eight-year-old from near the tail of the field inside the last 800 metres to score a decisive win in the $125,000 Great Northern Steeplechase.

   In a race that is steeped in history, Fannin added another chapter to the great event when he saved many lengths by cutting the corner approaching the second to last fence and then saved more ground by angling to the inside approaching the last jump. By that stage he and Kick Back had joined the co-leaders Amanood Lad and Zed Case and, in a slog to the finish, they outlasted their rivals to win by 2-1/2 lengths.

   Fannin makes no secret of that fact that he and Kick Back are a dynamic team. He has ridden the Bahhare mare in five of her six steeplechase wins, their other major prizes being in the Manawatu Steeplechase in June and the Pakuranga Hunt Cup at Ellerslie on August 20.

   “She’s my favourite,” Fannin said.

   “She’s only a pony but has a heart of a lion.”

   Victory in last Saturday’s gruelling 6400-metre feature capped what has been a truly remarkable year for Fannin, with his other major wins being in the Waikato Hurdle and Steeplechase, McGregor Grant Steeplechase, Great Western Steeplechase, Manawatu Steeplechase, Sydenham Hurdle, Grand National Hurdle and Pakuranga Hunt Cup.

   After kicking home only four winners from 25 rides in the 2013-14 season, Fannin has since notched up another 42. Most of those wins have been in jumping races and the majority for his employer, astute Wanganui trainer Kevin Myers.

   Fannin was an accomplished equestrian rider before embarking on a career as a jockey. He started out working in the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and held an amateur rider’s licence for a start.

   It was not until he transferred to the Myers stable that he took up race-riding seriously and his progress has been nothing short of outstanding. He kicked home 10 winners in the 2014-15 season, 27 last season and already he has notched up five for this term, which only began on August 1.

   Fannin attributes his success to Kevin Myers and his stable staff, saying that without their help he would never have achieved what he has in such a short time.

   Myers has won just about every major jumping race on the New Zealand racing calendar but Kick Back’s win last Saturday was his first ever Great Northern Steeplechase success. He went close when Snodroptwinkletoes finished a game second to Jack Romanov and last year’s race and the same horse also finished fourth in 2013.

   Myers had a three-pronged attack on last Saturday’s race. Snodroptwinkletoes was back again but fell at the second to last fence while his other runner, Crash Bandicoot, finished eighth.

   The handicapper will now have the final say on the racing future of Kick Back.

   The tiny mare’s connections won’t subject the mare to carrying big weights and they won’t hesitate to retire the eight-year-old.

   She is owned by her breeders, Marton couple Sam and Phillipa Trotter, and has won them 11 races in total from 39 starts.


D’Llaro game as they come

   Emotions ran high when D’Llaro, part-owned by Napier man John McGifford, scored a decisive 3-1/4 length win in last Saturday’s $125,000 Great Northern Hurdles at Ellerslie.

   The horse’s trainer and part-owner, Graeme Lord, choked back tears of joy as he explained how he had always dreamed of winning the race as a trainer after twice being successful as a jockey, aboard Vincere in 1987 and 1988.

   “My father and my grandfather rode over fences and so did my brother Murray and so to win this race as a trainer after taking it out twice as a jockey, is just great,” Lord said.

   McGifford, a past general manager of Hawke’s Bay Racing, is also a former successful jumps jockey. He and Lord race D’Llaro in partnership with Cambridge farrier Kim Hughes and the estate of Lord’s father Ivan.

   The 10-year-old D’Cash gelding has now won them 11 races and more than $211,000 in stakemoney, with his record over hurdles now standing at four wins and six minor placings from 15 starts.

   Lord engaged Australian jumps jockey Brad McLean for D’Llaro in last Saturday’s 4190-metre event after no other jockey would commit to the ride.

   Lord’s riding instructions to McLean were to let the horse find his feet and then take the lead after the first quarter of the race.

   “I’m just rapt and the bloke rode him a treat. He did exactly what I wanted him to,” Lord said.

   D’Llaro revelled in his work at the head of the field and he never looked in any danger.

   “Once we got to the front he got into a beautiful rhythm and jumped well,” McLean said after.

   “I was thinking a lap out that we’ll take some catching. It was great to be part of it.”

   D’Llaro took the last two flights cleanly and he held a strong gallop to win by 3-1/4 lengths from the favourite Raisafuasho.


Ready for Hastings feature

   Talented mare Rasa Lila will be primed to kick off another campaign in the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) at Hastings tomorrow week after two trial wins in recent weeks.

   The Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie-trained six-year-old won a 1040-metre heat by three-quarters of a length at Te Teko on August 2 and then cruised to a 4 length win in an open 1200-metre heat at the same venue on August 25.

   Garry Cossey, racing manager to the Darci Brahma mare’s co-breeder and owner Sir Peter Vela, is confident she is right on target for next week’s feature.

   “She performs superbly fresh-up and while she came up well last season, she seems to be going a lot better now,” Cossey said.

   “She’s stronger and she’s has really matured into a grouse mare.”

   Cossey said not much was expected of Rasa Lila in the first of her two trial wins but the second one has given him and the mare’s connections plenty of confidence.

   Rasa Lila won four races last season, including the Gr.2 Travis Stakes and the Gr.3 Cuddle Stakes, and she was Group 1 placed when third in the Easter Stakes.


Carter pair back again

   Farm Boy and Battle Time are almost certain to chase the remaining two legs of the Triple Crown series at Hastings before trainers Tim and Margaret Carter set their sights on another carnival attack with the half-brothers.

   Despite starting at better than 50-1, the siblings produced bold showings for third and sixth respectively in the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes behind the defending champion Kawi.

   The stayer Farm Boy came from last in the running while Battle Time was courageous after being caught three wide from an outside gate.

   “They have both come up so well this time and we knew we weren’t going down there to make up the numbers,” Tim Carter said.

   “We weren’t expecting to win, but we were expecting very good runs from them.   

   They will both be going back for the middle day and most likely the Livamol.

   “Battle Time was so brave and he only peaked 100 metres out, and he was entitled to, and Farm Boy will only get better the further he goes.”


HB second day races

   The second day of the Bostock Hawke’s Bay spring carnival at Hastings tomorrow week will feature two important black type races, the Group 1 $200,000 Windsor Park Plate and the Group 3 Hawke’s Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes.

   The Windsor Park Plate is a weight-for-age race over 1600 metres and the second leg of the Group 1 triple crown, with the third leg being the $250,000 Livamol Classic (2040m) on October 1.

   The Gold Trail Stakes over 1200 metres is the first race in the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year series and always attracts a top field of three-year-old fillies.

   A nine race programme is planned for the day, with the first timed to start at 12.18pm and the last at 5.06pm. There will be a $10 admission charge for the public.



A strong workout by the stablemates Rawhide and Perfect Shock and some impressive schooling by horses trained by Paul Nelson and Lucy de Lautour were the highlights in a reasonably busy session at the Hastings track this morning.

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

   Rawhide and Perfect Shock, two members of John Bary’s stable, worked in from the 1000-metre peg in 1:5.5, running the first 400 metres in 28.4 and then finishing off the last 600 strongly in 37.1.

   Rawhide finished second on debut over 1400 metres at Hastings in July but then  suffered a minor injury and missed some work. He looks in good order now while Perfect Shock hasn’t raced since April but was placed in a 1600-metre maiden race at Wanganui in March.

   Ooee, a dual winner over hurdles, schooled with stablemate Rocky over 15 hurdle fences in the centre and both horses jumped well. Rocky has been a useful performer on the flat for trainer Paul Nelson and could make his hurdle debut at either Rotorua this Sunday or Te Aroha later in the month.

   Second Innings and Zardetto, two others from the Nelson stable, schooled together over nine hurdle fences and then galloped 1000 metres in 1:5.1, the last 600 in 38.2. They are likely starters at Rotorua on Sunday.

   Havataste, trained by Lucy de Lautour, schooled well with the more experienced Perry Mason over 12 hurdle fences and shows good potential as a jumper.

   Former Australian-trained mare Bohemian Lily, preparing for the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) at Hastings on Saturday week, worked on her own over 1200 metres in 1:15.1, the last 600 in 37.5 while her stablemate O’Reilly’s Choice clocked 1:1.6 for 1000 metres, running the first 400 in 24.2 and the last 600 in 37.4.

   The Group 1 winning sprinter Adventador, back in work with trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, worked in at three-quarter pace from the 800-metre peg and was timed to run the last 600 in 43.4.

   Chic, a likely starter at Hastings on Saturday week, worked on her own over 1000 metres, the last 800 taking 53.1 and the final 600 in 39.5. She won a recent 1000-metre jumpout at Hastings.

   Tavijazz and Davey Crockett worked in easily from the 1200-metre peg to the 600 in 43.5 before clapping on the speed over the last 600 in 36.3 while the John Bary-trained stablemates Chouxmania and Chouxperb also showed speed over 800 metres in 49.4, the last 600 in 36.6.

  Shezachoux and a Mastercraftsman two-year-old, two others in the Bary stable, worked together over 800 metres in 50.8, the last 600 in 37.4 while Caversham ended his work with 600 metres in 39.1. He is an unraced Redwood three-year-old trained by Dave Stenning.

   A Guillotine three-year-old gelding and one by Nadeem were not pressured when running 800 metres together in 55.2, the last 600 in 39.7 while a Darci Brahma-Stepping Out three-year-old filly and a Nadeem-Song three-year-old filly, both in the Lowry/Cullen stable, ran an easy 800 metres in 58.6, the last 600 in 41.5. The Nadeem filly is a half-sister to the Hawke’s Bay Cup winner Flemington.

   A Jimmy Choux two-year-old filly trained by Katie Hercock ended her work with an easy 600 metres in 43.6.


Meeska Mooska continues to impress 2 Sep 2016

   Not many horses win four races in a row but Meeska Mooska, part-owned by Central Hawke’s Bay couple Iain and Eva Gollan, achieved the feat in style at last Saturday’s first day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.

   The El Hermano six-year-old was having his first race for three months when he lined up in the $40,000 Westbury Club Mile but gave his rivals a galloping lesson with a powerful front running performance.

   Apprentice Anna Jones, in her only ride at the meeting, had Meeska Mooska clear in the lead at the end of the first 200 metres of the 1600-metre event and they were never headed from then on.

   Meeska Mooska held a length advantage over his rivals for most of the race and, after slipping clear on the point of the home bend, he fought doggedly to repel the challenge of race favourite Underthemoonlight and score by a short neck.

   It was the horse’s sixth win from only 18 starts and his fourth in succession. The run started when he took out a Rating 75 race over 2100 metres at Tauranga in April by 3-1/4 lengths. He then added a double over 2100 metres on the Te Rapa track in May, the first by 1-1/2 lengths and the second by 2 lengths.

   The Gollan’s race Meeska Mooska in partnership with their Cambridge-based son Robert and his wife Kirsten as well as Auckland couple Vaughan and Kate Mace and the horse’s Waikato breeder Leigh Phillips.

   Meeska Mooska is out of the Vyner’s Orb mare Kirkebi, who died just minutes after foaling him and Robert and Kirsten Gollan had to bottle feed the colt for a week, just to keep it alive, until a foster mother could be found.

   Meeska Mooska was nicknamed “Mickey” from an early age and gets his name from the Walt Disney television character Mickey Mouse, whose club house is called Meeska Mooska.

   He is prepared by Cambridge trainer Graham Thomas, who nowadays operates his stable in partnership with Nick Smith.

   For Thomas last Saturday’s win was especially significant as it was his 100th training success. A former professional polo player, Thomas said this week that he learnt the craft of racehorse training from working on the property of the late Ken Browne and his wife Ann. His stables are close to the Browne property and he still uses their family track for speed work for his horses.

   Meeska Mooska was at odds of 10 to one last Saturday but Thomas said he expected the horse to go a good race as, in previous campaigns, he had performed well when fresh.

   Thomas was cautiously optimistic about the future prospects for his charge with a return to Hastings on the second day of the three-day spring carnival his next assignment.

   “We have to take stock after that but we do have some plans in mind,” he advised.

   “He’s got a nomination for the Group 1 Livamol Classic on the last day which of course is a big ask. There is a chance that we might give him another one at 1600 metres before we step him up to a middle distance again.”

   Rider Anna Jones is building up a great affinity with Meeska Mooska, having now guided the horse to victory in each of his last four starts.

   “He’s something special and I’ve been so lucky to keep the ride on him,” she said.

   “He’s got such a big stride so he covers the ground really well. If anything I thought we may have gone a bit too hard and he might get caught but he kicks so well off a good tempo that they struggle to catch him.”

   Meeska Mooska currently lies 35th on the order of entry for the Group1Livamol Classic (2040m) to be run at Hastings on October 1.

   His win last Saturday capped a tremendous day for his little known sire El Hermano.

   The stallion, who stands at Frank and Faye Drummond’s Cheval Stud in the Waikato, also sired the runner up to Meeska Mooska, Underthemoonlight, as well as El Pescado and Farm Boy who were the second and third in the day’s feature race, the Group 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m).

   The Drummonds also race the Stuart Manning-trained El Pescado, who will now return to Hastings for the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) on September 17.


Addictive Habit voted best

   Hawke’s Bay couple Graham and Isabell Roddick picked up two of the main trophies at last Friday night’s Bate Hallett & Vet Associates Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Racing & Breeding Awards function.

   The Roddicks are the breeders and part-owners of class galloper Addictive Habit.

   The now seven-year-old Colombia gelding was voted Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Owned Horse of the Year for the last racing season, heading off four others in Authentic Paddy, Mime, Mr Mor and Sea King for the title.

   Addictive Habit had eight starts during the 2015-16 racing season for three black type wins, the Group 2 $100,000 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1400m) at Te Rapa, the Group 1 $250,000 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings and the Group 2 $230,000 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton.

   The Roddicks bred Addictive Habit out of the Sky Chase mare Chasing The Habit, who was named Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Broodmare of the Year at the awards function.

   Chasing The Habit, who unfortunately died three years ago when in foal to the South Island-based stallion Edenwold, also left the winners Branson, Change Of Habit, Regal Habit, Kings Habit and Anuthahabit.

   The other finalists for the broodmare title were Baltika and Maidju.

   Baltika, a grand-daughter of the Japan Cup winner Horlicks, is the dam of Sacred Elixir, winner of the Group 1 JJ Atkins Stakes (1600m) in Brisbane during the winter while Maidju left the consistent three-year-old filly Mime, winner of the Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic (2000m) at Te Rapa and Group 3 McKee Family Sunline Vase (2100m) at Ellerslie.


On road to glory

   All Roads, bred and part-owned by well known Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred identity Don Gordon, continued his outstanding run of form with another impressive success at last Saturday’s Ruakaka meeting.

   The Road To Rock five-year-old ran out a dominant victor in a $22,500 Rating 75 race over 1600 metres to make it three wins from four starts in his present campaign.

   All Roads, who is trained on the Ruakaka track by the partnership of Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs, made light work of his topweight of 60kg, striding clear of his rivals over the final stages to win by 2-1/4 lengths.

   It was his fourth success from only 12 starts and now has Logan thinking it may be time to step the gelding up to better company in the coming weeks.

    “He has just thrived since he has been with us and has just kept on improving,” she enthused.

   “He had to carry a big weight but handled it really well. I think what impressed me most was just how he attacked the line in the closing stages.

   “I think he can get further than a mile so something over a middle distance will definitely be an option.”

   Don Gordon bred All Roads out of the Dance Floor mare Dancing Daze and has retained a racing interest.

   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.


Success was overdue

   Taken The Liberty, part-owned by Havelock North couple Tony Clark and Michelle Scanlon, finally graced the winner’s stall again last Saturday after a frustrating run of minor placings.

   The five-year-old brought up his third victory in a $20,000 Rating 65 race over 1400 metres at Ruakaka and it came after two seconds and three thirds from his six most recent starts. He was only beaten a head when second over 1200 metres on the same track last month.

   Clark and Scanlon own Taken The Liberty in partnership with Cambridge-based racing commentator George Simon and his wife Maryanne.

   Maryanne Simon bought the horse for $60,000 at the 2013 Karaka yearling sales, with intentions of on-selling him at that year’s Ready To Run Two-year-old sale. But he went through a fence and injured a leg a week before the breeze ups were held for that sale and had to be withdrawn.

   Taken The Liberty started out in the Hastings stable of John Bary. He won over 1200 metres at Hastings at his second start, in August 2014, and then won again over 1200 metres at Awapuni in April last year. He was transferred to the Ruakaka stable of Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs at the beginning of this year.


Mare up for sale

   Talented mare Gwynethanne, part-owned by Hawke’s Bay man Lindsay McIntosh, probably ran her last race when finishing ninth of 11 over 1600 metres at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting and is now on the market.

   The Handsome Ransom seven-year-old recorded her seventh win when successful over 1600 metres at Te Rapa last month and followed that up with a fair fifth in the Group 3 Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton. However, after tailing the field into the home straight last Saturday, she only managed to run past two others in the final stages.

   “I think she is now a length or two below what she was,” McIntosh said this week.

   He is part of a syndicate that owns Gwynethanne and says none of the members are really into thoroughbred breeding so it is time to disperse with her.

   “She is up for sale and, being a Group placed mare, she should be worth a few bob as a broodmare,” McIntosh added.

   Gwynethanne has been trained throughout her career by Otaki’s Karen Zimmerman and, as well as her seven wins, she was also runner up behind Lauren Tate in the 2014 running of the Group 2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa and second in this year’s Listed Manawatu Anzac Metric Mile.

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