Receive Our Newsletter Twitter Facebook

News Archive

Hawkes Bay Racing Column 26 Sep 2019

Peso to take on class mare in Livamol

(By John Jenkins)

   Hastings owned and trained Peso is now rated one of the main dangers--if there is one--to outstanding mare Melody Belle in the Group 1 $250,000 Livamol Classic, feature race on the last day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring carnival at Hastings tomorrow week.

   The big Colombia gelding shot into reckoning for the 2040m feature with a strong win in an Open 2000m race at Hastings last Saturday, his seventh win from 36 starts, and is now on the fifth line of betting for the Livamol at $21.00.

   Melody Belle has been so dominant in winning the first two Group 1 races at this year’s carnival, the Tarzino Trophy (1400m) and Windsor Park Plate (1600m), that she has been installed a raging hot $1.30 favourite to take out next week’s Livamol and become the first horse to complete the Hawke’s Bay Group 1 triple crown.

   The Australian raider Starcraft has been the closest horse to achieve the triple crown since its inception more than 20 years ago. Gold Coast trainer Gary Newham brought the big chestnut across the Tasman in 2004 with hopes of completing the treble for high flying Australian owner Paul Makin. Back then the three races had different names.

   Starcraft produced outstanding performances to win the Mudgway Partsworld Stakes (1400m) on the first day and Stoney Bridge Plate (1600m) on the second day only to finish second behind the Kevin Myers-trained Balmuse in the Kelt Capital Stakes (2040m) in the penultimate event.

   The great galloper, who later went on to become champion miler in the United Kingdom and a successful sire, was found to be suffering from a pulled muscle in his chest after the Kelt which was probably the result of him become fractious and rearing up in the birdcage before the start.

   Outstanding mare Seachange twice tried to win the triple crown, coming up short each time. She won both the Mudgway Partsworld Stakes and Stoney Bridge two years in a row, in 2006 and 2007, but could only manage third in the Kelt Capital Stakes in the first year and fourth 12 months later.

   Melody Belle certainly looks well capable of pulling off the hat-trick this year and her chances are likely to be enhanced with several of her main rivals likely to bypass the Livamol.

   Verrname is now second favourite at $7.00 following his return to winning form in an Open 1600m race at Pukekohe last Sunday while Mongolian Marshal, who was third behind Melody Belle and Sultan Of Swing in last Saturday’s Windsor Park Plate, is third favourite at $9.00.

   Peso will be having his first start under weight-for-age conditions in the Livamol but is used to carrying big weights in handicap races and had 58.5kg on his back last Saturday.

   Regular rider Rosie Myers had the eight-year-old travelling sweetly in a trailing position behind the leaders until the home turn before taking control. Peso quickly put a winning break on the opposition and maintained a strong run to the line to beat My Gift by half a length, with another half a length back to the fast finishing Nymph Monte in third.

   Peso, who was crowned Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Trained Horse of the Year for the last season, has shown he can measure up in top company by winning the Listed Jakkalberry Classic (1950m) at Rotorua last spring and also finishing second to Five To Midnight in he Group 3 City Of Auckland Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie.

   He is trained at Hastings by Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal and was bred by his owners, Paul and Carol Nelson.


Peso, in the hands of jockey Rosie Myers, scores a decisive half length win over My Gift in the Open 2000m race at Hastings last Saturday. The Hastings owned and trained eight-year-old will now take on Melody Belle in the Group 1 Livamol Classic.

HB Guineas now for Callsign Mav

   It is nine years since Hastings trainer John Bary produced Jimmy Choux to win the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas but he now looks to have another royal chance of success this year with the highly talented three-year-old Callsign Mav.

  The Atlante gelding made it two wins from three starts with a decisive three-quarter length win against older horses over 1300m at last Saturday’s second day of the Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival and will now drop back to his own age group in the Guineas on the same track tomorrow week.

   Jimmy Choux not only won the Hawke’s Bay Guineas in 2010 but he also went on to take out the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton a month later and, the following year, he won the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie, the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in Sydney and the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) at Hastings.

   Bary is not expecting Callsign Mav to reach those same lofty heights but says he has always had a high opinion of the horse and, providing he performs well in the Hastings feature on October 5, there is every chance he will head south for the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas on November 9.

   “We’ve always rated him but he’s very raw and still learning what it’s all about,” Bary said.

   “He still did a few things wrong last Saturday but putting the blinkers on certainly helped and it was a good win.”

   Callsign Mav was having his third start and all three races have been on his home track. He won on debut over 800m on July 18 and then had to overcome a very wide draw and interference in the straight when a fast finishing sixth over 1200m on August 31.

   The gelding again drew an outside barrier last Saturday and was caught three-wide in the early rush for positions. Rider Craig Grylls elected to send the horse forward to sit outside the leader Willy Away and they dictated the speed coming to the home turn.

   Callsign Mav dashed clear early in the straight but, with no other horse around him, he started to loaf and drift outwards.

   The experienced Grylls was able to quickly get the horse back on a straight line and kept him going to win by three-quarters of a length from the fast finishing Swords Drawn. There was a gap of 2-1/4 lengths back to third placed Ranger.

   Although last Saturday’s race was only over 1300m Bary says Callsign Mav will probably be at his best over slightly longer distances and he is keenly anticipating stepping him up to 1400m next week and then 1600m at Riccarton.

   “He’s got such a huge stride that I think he will settle well over a mile and finish it off,” he said.

   Callsign Mav was a $3000 weanling purchase by Australian equine physiotherapist  Jeremy Cross and is raced by him in partnership with Bary and five other Australians.

   The horse was bred by Windsor Park Stud and is by the ill-fated sire Atlante out of the Volksraad mare Raadisi, who only raced 15 times for three wins, three seconds and two thirds.

   Raadisi is now deceased but has also left the three-time winner Sea Major and Elegant Assassin, who was the winner of one race.

Callsign Mav, despite doing a few things wrong in the final stages, still proved too strong for older and more experienced rivals over 1300m at Hastings last Saturday and will now contest the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m).

Stradivarius back in tune

   Hastings owned and trained Stradivarius bounced back to his best form with a strong winning performance in the $25,000 L I Redshaw Memorial (1200m) at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   The Stravinsky seven-year-old, prepared by Lee Somervell, was recording his fourth victory and his first since he took out a Rating 82 race over 1400m at Te Rapa in August last year.

   Somervell said this week that Stradivarius has come up this season a lot better than last year and attributes it to the fact that he spelled him, and other members of his team, at the Kamada Park property in Palmerston North during the winter.

   “They did a fantastic job at Kamada Park. The horses did so well there and that has made a huge difference to how they have come up this time around,” Somervell said.

   Jockey Madan Singh made the most of an inside draw aboard Stradivarius last Saturday, settling the horse fifth in the running and then holding him up for as long as he could in the home straight.

   When Singh finally asked Stradivarius for a final sprint the response was electric, with the horse powering past the pacemaking Malambo in the final stages to win by a long neck.

   Somervell now intends lining Stradivarius up in the Group 3 $70,000 Red Badge Sprint on the third day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, tomorrow week.

   “That race is over 1400m but that won’t be a problem as he has won at that distance in the past and it will be another good race on his home track, he said.

   Stradivarius is owned by Hastings couple John and Colleen Duncan and was bred by them out of the Kaapstad mare Kapsjoy.

   The mare is now deceased but has a 100 per cent winning record from the foals that she produced.

   Fleur de Lune, a full-sister to Stradivarius, was the star with her six wins including the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie. Saragarhi (four wins), Kapsboy (six wins) and Anna Kaye (1 win) were the next four foals out of the mare.

   Kapsjoy produced two foals after Stradivarius, one being an unnamed filly by Civics and the other the promising Yossarian (by Rip Van Winkle), who has seven starts from the Somervell stable for a win, a third and a fourth.

Trainer Lee Somervell and part-owner John Duncan discuss the win by Stradivarius at Hastings last Saturday with jockey Madan Singh. The Stravinsky gelding will now step up to a Group 3 race over 1400m on the last day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.

Penny Royal likes Taupo

   Penny Royal, from the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, made it two wins from two starts on the Taupo track when scoring a decisive victory in a Rating 65 race over 1300m there last Friday.

   The Per Incanto mare had broken through for a maiden win over the same distance at Taupo two starts earlier before getting bogged down on a very heavy track at Wanganui at her next start.

   The dead-4 track at Taupo last week was made to order for Penny Royal and jockey Vinnie Colgan had her trailing the leaders until the turn before sending her to the front.

   Penny Royal never looked likely to be caught after that and crossed the line with a 1-3/4 length margin over second placed Familia.

   Penny Royal was bred by Feilding farming couple Neil and Yvonne Managh and they race the mare in partnership with their son Andrew and daughter Geraldine.

   Although the horse is officially trained by the Lowry/Cullen stable, she spends a lot of her time at Mary Darby’s property in Porangahau, where she has undergone plenty of work on the beach and over the hills.

By-monthly award winners

   Former All Black Mick Duncan and his wife Barbara are the recipients of the Kevin Wood Memorial Trophy for the months of July and August.

   The by-monthly trophy is awarded by the Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners Association and recognises the achievements of Hawke’s Bay owners and their horses.

   The Duncans are the breeders and part-owners of the talented jumper Alfie Dee, who won a maiden hurdle race at Awapuni in July and then went on to take out the $75,000 Grand National Hurdles (4200m) at Riccarton in the first week of August.


Hastings Track Report 19 Sep 2019

Look Out a new jumping star in the making

(By John Jenkins)


   Look Out looks to be the next rising star among the jumpers in the strong Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal stable but will revert back to flat racing for his next start.


   The seven-year-old Nom de Jeu gelding made an impressive winning debut over hurdles at Rotorua last Sunday and co-trainer Paul Nelson said this week he will now contest the country’s longest flat race, a Rating 82 and jumpers 3210m event at the Taranaki Racing Club’s ‘Xtreme Raceday’ tomorrow week.


   Look Out started a raging hot favourite for the 3000m maiden hurdle at Rotorua on Sunday and jockey Aaron Kuru positioned him outside the leader Jochen Rindt from the outset.


   The two horses had their own personal duel in front throughout, with the lead changing several times before Look Out gained an ascendency in the final stages to go on and win by 1-1/2 lengths.


   Apart from making one mistake, with 1000m to run, Look Out gave a competent display of jumping which augers well for the horse’s future in that role next year.


   Look Out has only had 23 starts and is also the winner of five races on the flat, including a winning double at Wanganui (1600m) and Waverley (2200m) at the beginning of the winter.


   Nelson took over the training Look Out nearly two years ago after health problems prevented the horse’s Feilding owner Gary Freeman from continuing to train.


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


 Look Out, ridden by Aaron Kuru, clears the last fence ahead of Jochen Rindt (Shaun Phelan) on his way to an impressive winning debut over hurdles at Rotorua last Sunday.


Carnaby wins after long break

    Wanganui’s Kevin Myers pulled off a masterful training performance when he produced Carnaby to win over 1950m at Rotorua last Sunday in what was the horse’s first start for 12 months.

   The Danroad seven-year-old, part-owned by five Hawke’s Bay people, scored at odds of 17 to one and also credited Hastings-born amateur rider Sarah Fannin with her first riding success.

   Carnaby’s last start had been in a 1600m race at Wanganui in September last year, when he finished last of 11 runners.

   Myers then gave the gelding a good break and has mixed his training with plenty of schooling since he returned to work earlier this year. He also gave him two barrier trials before he resumed racing.

   Sarah Fannin, 21, is the younger sister of successful jumps jockey Shaun Fannin and was having her 12th race-ride last Sunday.

   She was in difficulties early in the race when Carnaby wanted to over-race in amongst other horses, but she managed to get him out three-wide and in the clear and he settled a lot better.

   Carnaby ran to the lead on the point of the home turn and kicked clear soon after, keeping up a strong run to the line to win by 1-1/4 lengths.

   It was Carnaby’s third win since joining the Myers stable in September 2017, after initially being prepared by Awapuni trainer Tony Bambry.

   He was bred by well-known racing administrator Alan Fenwick of Marton and Feilding-based Michael Collinson and they initially raced him with Alan’s wife Sue and Cam Arnott, from Palmerston North.


   Hawke’s Bay men Tony Lyndon, Peter Johnstone, Peter Unverricht, Greg Horton and Bruce Yanko took over a 50 per cent racing share in the five-year-old at the end of 2017 and got an instant return on their investment when he won at odds of 20 to one at the Greymouth meeting on January 7 last year.


   The horse won again five starts later over 1950m at Blenheim but his form then dropped away.

   “He had started to switch off, so he has been jumping a fair bit and that has changed him around,” part-owner Tony Lyndon said this week.


   “We weren’t confident he could win first up last Sunday, after such a long break, but he’d had a couple of trials and he’d run pretty good in them. “He also seems to go well fresh up.


   “Some of the owners thought it was a big ask thinking the horse could perform first up over 1950 metres but I said, if anyone can do it, Kevin Myers can.”



Sarah Fannin displays her trophies after chalking up her first success as an amateur jockey aboard Carnaby at Rotorua last Sunday.


De Koning back in form     

   De Koning, part-owned by Taradale woman Judith Buckeridge, bounced back to form with an all the way win over 1600m at Ruakaka last Saturday.


   The five-year-old gelding was having his first start back from a spell and it was his first success since he led all the way over 2100m at Te Rapa back in January.


   Buckeridge, who has been racing thoroughbreds for close on 50 years, races De Koning in partnership with the horse’s Cambridge trainer Fred Cornege and his wife Lindsay along with her Hawke’s Bay-based daughter Luci Frith, grand-daughter Stephanie Buckeridge, Iriaka Pearson and Masterton-based Helen Caseley.


   Cornege added blinkers to De Koning’s gear for last Saturday’s race and jockey Lyndsey Satherley bounced the son of Niagara out quickly from the barrier and had him clear in the lead throughout, crossing the line a length clear of race favourite Hanger.


   Cornege said De Koning, who has now won three races from 17 starts, will now contest the $30,000 Te Awamutu Cup (1600m) at Te Rapa on October 4.


De Koning is clear of his rivals as he crosses the finish line in a Rating 72 race over 1600m at Ruakaka last Saturday.

Kipkeino retired following injury 

   Kipkeino, one of the most durable horses produced from Hawke’s Bay in recent years, has been retired after sustaining a suspensory ligament injury.


   The 12-year-old gelding ended his career with a game second behind Gagarin in the $75,000 Wellington Steeplechase (5500m) on July 13 and his trainer and part-owner, Lucy de Lautour, says he will now spend his remaining active days on the hunting field.


   Kipkeino raced 74 times from May 2012 to July 2019 for 10 wins, eight seconds and 11 thirds and earned more than $225,000 in stakemoney.


   Six of his wins were on the flat and three over hurdles, with his last success being in a maiden steeplechase over 4100m at Wanganui in August last year.


   The highlight of Kipkeino’s racing career was when he defeated Justa Charlie and Sea King in taking out the 2017 Te Whangai Romneys Hawke’s Bay Hurdle (3100m) while he also finished third in that year’s Great Northern Hurdles (4190m) at Ellerslie.


   He also filled minor placings in both the Awapuni Hurdles (2900m) and Wellington Hurdles (3400m) last year while his placings this year included a third in the Manawatu Steeplechase (4200m).


   Lucy de Lautour and her husband Will purchased Kipkeino for $5500 from a South Island mixed bloodstock sale in August, 2009.


   Hastings trainer Paul Nelson initially trained the horse and prepared him for his first win, in a 1600m maiden highweight at Awapuni in May 2012. Lucy de Lautour took out an owner-trainer’s licence soon after and has prepared the horse ever since.


Allen resigning from Board

   Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) chief executive John Allen is stepping down from his role at the end of the year. 

   “After five years as chief executive it is time to begin the search for a new leader to oversee the transition to TAB NZ,” Allen said.

   “This was a difficult decision, but with the racing reforms underway, it’s timely for someone else to lead the TAB and deliver the revenue growth to support a sustainable racing industry.”  

   RITA chairman Dean McKenzie acknowledged Mr Allen’s leadership since becoming chief executive in 2015 during which time there have been important investments in the TAB. 

   “The innovations overseen by Mr Allen have provided the TAB with a solid foundation for growth to support racing and sport in New Zealand, and the Board is optimistic the initiatives will deliver the returns the industry needs in coming years,” McKenzie said.

   “We now need to focus on lifting profits, increasing distributions to racing and improving the betting experience for Kiwi punters. Achieving the outcomes set out in the current reform of racing will play an important part of securing a positive future for racing.” 

   Allen paid tribute to the team at RITA for its support and effort to deliver innovations that he said will have long and lasting benefits for racing. 

   “It has been a great privilege to hold this position and lead an incredible bunch of people.

   “I also want to acknowledge the huge number of people from across the industry, in the codes, club volunteers, the owners and trainers for their support. 

   “There is significant opportunity ahead for the industry and I am genuinely confident of the future.” 

   Allen will stay on until Christmas to support RITA through the next phase of industry reform and to oversee a transition to a new chief executive. 


New “Triple Crown” series

   New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance, in association with New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, has announced three new Triple Crown Series for the 2019-20 New Zealand racing season.

   Each series comprises three prestigious Group races, and each series will carry a bonus of $100,000 for any horse that can win all three races.

   The new initiative includes a weight-for-age, sprint, and fillies and mares series.

   The Weight-For-Age Triple Crown begins with the Group 1 Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on December 26, followed by the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on February 8, and the Group 1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on March 7.

   The Sprint Triple Crown comprises of the Group 1 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 1, the Group 1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham on January 18, and the Group 1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa on February 8.

   The third Series is the Fillies and Mares Triple Crown, made up of the Group 3 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on March 14, the Group 1 Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha on April 4, and the Group 2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on April 25.

   New Zealand Bloodstock’s managing director Andrew Seabrook believes the new Triple Crowns will provide a vital and timely boost to the New Zealand thoroughbred industry.

   “New Zealand Bloodstock, through its Insurance Division, is delighted to be offering these three significant bonuses,” he said.

   “In a time of stagnant prizemoney, I’m sure this announcement will be welcome news for stakeholders.” 



Hawkes Bay Racing Column 12 Sep 2019


(By John Jenkins)

   Dez, preparing for Saturday’s Group 3 Boehringer Ingelheim Metric Mile at Awapuni, turned in an excellent solo workout at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Most fast work was conducted on the No.1 grass, which provided soft footing after more than 40 millimetres of rain since the weekend.

   Dez had apprentice Jordan Bassett aboard when working in from the 1000m peg on the grass in 1:6.6, running the first 400m in 29.2 before coming home strongly over the last 600 in 37.4. The Zed gelding looks to have thrived since competing at last month’s Grand National meeting at Riccarton, where he won the Group 3 Winter Cup (1600m) on the first day and finished a game second in the Christchurch Casino Classic (1800m) on the last day.

   Trainer Simon Wilson kept the horse ticking over with a 1400m jumpout at Hastings on September 2, which he won in impressive style.

   Mohaka, a likely runner in the Rating 72 race over 1600m at Awapuni on Saturday, worked with Scandalo over 1000m on the grass in 1:7, the last 600 in 37.5. It was particularly good work from Scandalo, who is likely to resume from a spell in the Open 1200m sprint on the second day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, on September 21.

   Estefania, likely to be one of Mohaka’s race-rivals at Awapuni, worked on her own over 1000m in 1:7.2, the last 600 in 37.6 and seemed to be relishing the wet conditions. She won well over 1600m at Otaki two starts back.

   Impressive last start winner Atlanta Peach was kept to just a bit quicker than three-quarter pace over 1000m on the plough (slushy), clocking 1:10.6 for the full distance and the last 600 in 42.2. She is likely to contest the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) on the second day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, with the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) on the last day being her main mission.

   A Prince Conti three-year-old filly and a Power two-year-old gelding worked together over 600m on the grass in 38.7 while Satu Lagi finished off his work on the grass with an easy 600m in 42.4. He could resume o the third day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, on October 5.

   Resolution and a Fastnet Rock four-year-old gelding worked together over 1000m on the grass in 1:11.2, the last 600 in 41.4 while a Raise The Flag four-year-old gelding from the Patrick Campbell stable clocked 1:11 for a similar assignment, the last 600 in 41.1.

   War Of Words and a Zed five-year-old gelding from Simon Wilson’s stable schooled over six hurdle fences in the centre, with both horses giving a good display of jumping.


Hawkes Bay Racing Column 5 Sep 2019

Four HB horses aimed at Livamol Classic

(By John Jenkins)

   There could be as many as four horses with Hawke’s Bay connections contesting this year’s $250,000 Livamol Classic, the pinnacle Group 1 race at the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival.

   Melody Belle, part-owned by Waipukurau couple Trevor and Debbie Walters, was a dominant winner of last Saturday’s Group 1 $200,000 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) and is expected to contest the remaining two Group 1 events at the carnival, the $200,000 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) on September 21 and the Livamol on October 5.

   She is likely to be joined by two other impressive winners at Hastings last Saturday in Cutadeel and Atlanta Peach while Wait A Sec, who won the Livamol two years ago, is also being aimed at the same race again.

   Melody Belle could not have been more impressive when completing back-to-back wins in last Saturday’s first Group 1 race of the new season.

   After missing the start slightly, the five-year-old got back further in the running than expected but rider Michael McNab was able to get her across and secure a spot back in the field, but with cover. He then bided his time before angling between horses at the top of the home straight and the outstanding mare accelerated clear over the final stages to win by three-quarters of a length from Wyndspelle, with Helena Baby a long neck back in third.

   The original plan was to ride Melody Belle positively to try and overcome the number 15 barrier but when she dwelt at the start rider Michael McNab had to adopt plan B.

   McNab showed a cool head and didn’t panic, letting the Commands mare find her rhythm before getting on the back of race-favourite Endless Drama.

   “I saw Endless Drama out posted and I thought he would take me far enough into the race,” McNab said.

   “We chased him and then sucked up and when she got out, she let rip---just an amazing horse.”

   It was win number 12 for Melody Belle from only 22 starts and her seventh Group 1 success. The Jamie Richards-trained mare has now won more than $1,749,156 in stakemoney.

   Melody Belle is owned by the Fortuna Melody Belle Syndicate, managed by Auckland’s John Galvin. There are 34 individual shareholders in the syndicate and Waipukurau couple Trevor and Debbie Walters have the biggest shareholding at 10 per cent.

   Trevor Walters has always been keen on racehorses and had shares in a few average ones before Melody Belle came along. A keen darts player, he was practicing in his shed at home one day when he heard an advert on the radio from John Galvin offering shares in a filly by Commands who had been bought, by David Ellis, for $57,500 from the 2016 Karaka yearling sales.

   “I spoke to Debbie and we decided to have a go, so I rang John Galvin and said I wanted a 10 per cent share,” Walters recalled.

   The next biggest shareholder in the mare is a person in Australia who has an eight per cent share.

   Trainer Jamie Richards has said all along that Melody Belle will hopefully contest all three Group 1 races at this year’s Hawke’s Bay Spring carnival and is hoping she can create history by becoming the first horse to complete the “Triple Crown”.

Melody Belle and jockey Michael McNab burst past Wyndspelle in the final stages of last Saturday’s Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings. It was the mare’s second successive win in the race and her seventh Group 1 victory.


Cutadeel back in top form  

   The promise four-year-old Cutadeel showed last season looks set to come to fruition this season judging by his strong win in the $40,000 Reliable Man Trophy at Hastings last Saturday.

   The Dundeel gelding was resuming from a lengthy spell in the 1600m event and was up against a field of seasoned open handicappers. But he still proved superior, scoring by a long neck from Sultan Of Swing.

   Cutadeel is trained by the Cambridge partnership of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman and was recording his fifth win from only nine starts. The Listed Barfoot & Thomson Salver (2100m) at Ellerslie was one of his three wins last season and his connections rated him highly enough to line him up in both the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m).

   Cutadeel was bred by Hawke’s Bay couple Sharyn & Mike Craig and is raced by them with other family members and close friends. Adrian and Angela Herd, who are Sharyn’s son and daughter-in-law, have a share along with her other two sons Brendon and Darren. Mike Craig’s Wellington-based son Jamie and his wife Fleur also have a share while the other members of the syndicate are Hawke’s Bay women, Kathleen Wright and Cheryl Leonard.

   The connections were both delighted and relieved that Cutadeel was able to win fresh up after a long break.

   “I was a bit nervous because you never know whether they will come back, but Murray and Andrew have done a fantastic job with him,” Sharyn Craig said this week.

   “He’s a horse that has had a few problems in the past. He broke his pelvis as a young horse and then had a hoof injury and Murray and Andrew have taken him along very slowly which is now paying dividends.”  

   The Craig’s were part of the syndicate that raced Dundeel, an outstanding performer who included six Group 1 events among his 10 race wins and now stands at Arrowfield Stud in Australia.

   They still own two shares in Dundeel which gives them breeding rights for two mares each year. They sold Cutadeel’s dam Dineeta but own a daughter of Dundeel called Not A Deel which they will be mating with Charm Spirit this year and they still have shares in a Dundeel-Pet Worth House two-year-old that was sold at this year’s Easter yearling sales in Sydney.

   Co-trainer Andrew Forsman said this week Cutadeel will now contest the Windsor Park Plate (1600m) on the second day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival and another good run there could see him then line up in the Livamol Classic (2040m) on the last day.


   The Hastings training partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen could saddle up two runners in this year’s Group 1 $250,000 Livamol Classic on the third day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, on October 5.

   The Lowry/Cullen stable produced Wait A Sec to win the 2040-metre feature two years ago and are aiming the nine-year-old again at the prestigious event while he could be joined by Atlanta Peach, an impressive winner of a Rating 72 race over 1600m at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   Wait A Sec finished last of 12 runners in the Open 1600 at Hastings last Saturday but it was the horse’s first race for 18 months and he is sure to have taken plenty of improvement from the run.

   Co-trainer Guy Lowry was pleasantly surprised by Atlanta Peach’s win as her previous three victories had all been on rain affected tracks and he thought she may be outpaced over 1600m on the dead-4 racing surface.

   Atlanta Peach got back to ninth in the early running and was still well back coming to the home turn. But, while most of the others scouted wide on the bend, jockey Michael Coleman was able to make up many lengths by sticking to the inside and she closed quickly on the leaders.

   Coleman was then able to get a split one off the fence inside the last 300m and Atlanta Peach dived through it before dashing clear to win by 1-1/4 lengths.

   “When Michael Coleman got off her, he said it wasn’t surprising that she won as, although they had been running fast times, there was plenty of give in the track and she coped with it well,” Lowry said.

   “We know that she won’t let down on a good summer track so we will be hoping for a bit more rain for the Livamol.”

   Atlanta Peach was recording her fourth win from only 11 starts. She is owned by Cambridge’s Tony Rider who races the mare in partnership with several employees at his Clarence Street Pak ‘N’ Save supermarket

.Cutadeel and jockey Michael Coleman hold out the fast finishing Sultan Of Swing in the Open 1600 at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting. The Dundeel four-year-old could now contest the remaining two Group 1 races at the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, the Windsor Park Plate (1600m) and Livamol Classic (2040m).


Xpression HB/PB Horse of the year

   The lightly raced Xpression was crowned Horse of the Year at last Friday’s Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Racing & Breeding Awards.

   The annual function, sponsored by Bramwell Bate and VetsOne, was held at the Hastings racecourse and recognises the achievements of the district’s horses, trainers, owners and breeders during the last racing season.

   Xpression was trained on the Hastings track by Guy Lowy and Grant Cullen. She was bred by Hawke’s Bay man Iain Renton and Haunui Farm studmaster Mark Chitty and is raced by them in partnership with other close Hawke’s Bay friends Mark Apatu, Paul Bayes and Fred Coates.

   The daughter of Showcasing had five New Zealand starts last season for two wins, a second and two thirds. She won the Group 3 $70,000 Barnswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton and also finished third in the Group 1 $300,000 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton.

   Xpression also took out the Chouxmaani Investments Award for the highest earning three-year-old bred by a Hawke’s Bay breeder and was one of eight horses bred in the Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay area that won a black type race last season.

   The husband and wife team of Paul and Carol Nelson dominated the awards, winning five of the 10 categories.

   They were crowned both owner of the year and breeder of the year while Paul Nelson had the best winning strike-rate among Hawke’s Bay trainers.

   The Nelson owned and trained Peso took out the title of Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Trained Horse of the Year after he recorded two wins, four seconds and two thirds from 11 starts during the season. His victories included the Listed $50,000 Jakkalberry Classic (1950m) at Rotorua while he was also runner up in the Group 3 City Of Auckland Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie.

   Nimbletoes, owned by Richard and Liz Wood, was crowned Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Broodmare of the Year as the dam of the talented King Louis.

   King Louis, trained by John Bary, included the Group 3 Mongolian Khan Trophy (1200m) at Ellerslie among his two wins last season and was also placed in the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m).

   John Bary was the leading Hawke’s Bay trainer for the season on wins, chalking up 26 victories to head off the partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen by one.

Hastings-trained Atalanta Peach is clear of her rivals as she nears the finish of the Rating 72 race over 1600m at Hastings last Saturday. The Bullbars mare could now be aimed at the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) on the last day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.


Hastings Jumpouts 2 Sep 2019


(By John Jenkins)

  Dez showed he is right on target for the Group 3 $70,000 Metric Mile at Awapuni on September 14 with an impressive win at today’s Hastings jumpouts.

   There were 12 heats and they were staged about 12 metres out from the running rail on the course proper, where the ground was firm.

   Dez contested the only 1400m heat and scored a comfortable three-quarter length win in the hands of jockey Chris Johnson. The Zed gelding was kept under a gold hold throughout the heat, which was evidenced by the slow time of 1:28.1, but trainer and part-owner was happy with the hit out.

   “That was a good blow out and just what he needed,” Wilson said.

   “The plan is to go to the Metric Mile at Awapuni and it looks likely to be wet track there which will help.”

   Dez is coming off a last start second in the Christchurch Casino Classic (1800m) at Riccarton on August 10 and that followed a game win in the Group 3 Winter Cup (1600m) there a week earlier.

   Other impressive winners at today’s jumpouts were Talenti, Heart Of Stone, Allacciato and Overstayer.

   Talenti clocked the fastest time of 44.9s when scoring a decisive 3 length win in one of the 750m heats. The Niagara four-year-old, trained by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, hasn’t raced since winning on debut over 1300m at Hastings in May but looks in good order.

   Heart Of Stone recorded a smart 1:01.8 in winning one of the 1000m heats by a neck from the recent Taupo winner Penny Royal and they distanced the other three runners at the finish.

   Heart Of Stone is a talented Swiss Ace mare in the John Bary stable who had three starts last season for a win, a second and a third. She is still carrying plenty of condition but Bary hopes to get her back racing on the third day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, on October 5.

   Allacciato was a comfortable half-length winner of another 1000m heat but no time was taken. She was a maiden winner over 1600m at Gisborne earlier this year before contesting both the Group 2 Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings and Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham.

   Overstayer took out the only 1200m heat and could have won by a lot more than his half length margin had jockey Chris Johnson asked him for a serious effort. The big Zed gelding wanted to over-race in the middle stages but then settled a lot better and finished strongly down the outside of the track to beat the race winners Vannoss and Shez Ekstra.

   Overstayer has recorded a second and a fourth in two starts and should not be long in clearing maiden ranks.



Heat 1, 600m: Galileo Express (C Johnson) 1, Rommel 2, Pour Moi 2yr-old gelding 3. Six starters. Margins: ¾ length, 3-1/2 lengths. Time: 36.7s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 2, 750m: Hallowed Crown-Brianna 3yr-old filly (L Hemi) 1, Whatchouxxpect 2. Tequila 3. Four starters. Margins: ¾ length, ¾ length. Time: 46.3s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 3, 750m: Rues Crumpet (Sammy) 1, Kiss’n Angel 2, Bella 3. Four starters. Margins: Long neck, long neck. Time: 45s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 4, 750m: Talenti (H Durrant) 1, Katahi 2, Luana 3. Five starters. Margins: 3 lengths, 2 lengths. Time: 44.9s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 5, 750m: Vickezzmoet (H Durrant) 1, Glimpse 2, Scandalo 3. Three starters. Margins: Short neck, ¾ length. Time: 45s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 6, 1000m: Serena (C Johnson) 1, Sigourney Heights 2, Bullet Train 3yr-old filly 3. Four starters. Margins: Head, head. Time: 1:03.6. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 7, 1000m: Lady Godiva (C Johnson) 1, Raise The Flag 4yr-old gelding 2, Niagara-Divine Miss Em 4yr-old mare 3. Four starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, 1-1/4 lengths. Time: 1:05.2. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 8, 1000m: Fine Leg (L Hemi) 1, Red Sunday 2, Manhattan Girl 3. Five starters. Margins: Head, 3-1/2 lengths. Time: 1:02.3. Winner trained by Lee Somervell, Hastings.

Heat 9, 1000m: Heart Of Stone (C Johnson) 1, Penny Royal 2, Surprizeus 3. Five starters. Margins: Neck, 4-1/2 lengths. Time: 1:01.8. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 10, 1000m: Allacciato (L Hemi) 1, Hugo The Boss 2, Charlie Zulu 3. Four starters. Margins: ½ length, ½ length. No time taken. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 11, 1200m: Overstayer (C Johnson) 1, Vannoss 2, Shez Ekstra 3. Six starters. Margins: ½ length, neck. Time: 1:17.4. Winner trained by Sue Thompson & Mick Brown, Hastings.

Heat 12, 1400m: Dez (C Johnson) 1, Look Out 2, Donardo 3. Five starters. Margins: ¾ length, long neck. Time: 1:28.1. Winner trained by Simon Wilson, Waipukurau.



Track Report 2 Sep 2019


(By John Jenkins)

   Peso showed he is ready to take on star mare Melody Belle in Saturday’s Group 1 Livamol Classic at Hastings with a solid solo workout at the track this morning.

   Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided good footing. Five millimetres of rain fell on the track yesterday and the course proper was rated a dead-5 this morning.

   Peso had trainer Kate Hercock aboard when he strode out over 1200m in 1:17.8. He clocked 41.8 for the first 600m before increasing the speed over the last 600 in 36s. The big Colombia gelding has obviously trained on the right way since winning over 2000m on the second day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival and regular rider Rosie Myers will again be aboard this Saturday.

   Satu Lagi was another who turned in a great workout for Saturday’s final day of the carnival when he finished clear of the maiden galloper Fine Leg at the end of 800m in 49.7, the last 600 in 36.5.

   Satu Lagi looks in tremendous order and kicks off a fresh campaign in the Rating 82 race over 1200m on Saturday.

   One Prize One Goal looked to be striding out well at the end of a solo 1000m in 1:08, running the first 200 in 29.7 before coming home the last 600 in 38.3. He was not far away when seventh, from a wide draw, in a Rating 82 race over 1400m on the second day of the carnival and drops back to Rating 72 grade over the same distance this Saturday. Madan Singh has the mount again.

   Overstayer was another who hit out well when running 1000m in 1:07, the last 600 in 38.1 and may line up in the special conditions race over 1400m on Saturday while last start winner Stradivarius ran a solo 800m in 52.5.

   Mohaka was not hurried when running 800m in 56.4 while Hunta Pence worked in from the 1000m peg in 1:10.1, quickening slightly over the last 600 in 39. He makes a fresh start in the Group 3 Red Badge Spring Sprint (1400m) on Saturday with apprentice Danielle Hirini to ride.

   Scandalo was given two relatively easy 600-metre runs, the first taking 39.2 and the second in 38.5.

   Rippin clocked 1:05.4 for 1000m, the last 600 in 38.1 and was a winner at last week’s Waipukurau jumpouts while stablemate Charlie Zulu finished clear of a Dundeel three-year-old at the end of 1000m in 1:07.8, the last 600 in 38.8.

   Resolution and a Fastnet Rock four-year-old gelding, both trained by James Bridge, worked together over 1000m in 1:04.7, the last 600 in 38.2 while Le Cailloux ran a solo 1000m in 1:11.7, the last 600 in 40.9.

   Kuasa Kuda and a Prince Conti three-year-old sprinted 600m together in 37.3 while Zed Leppelin recorded 1:11 for the last 1000m of his work, the final 600 in 41.6.

News Archive

© Copyright 2020 Hawkes Bay Racing