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Alfie Dee’s win was a shock even to his connections 26 Oct 2016

   Former Hawke’s Bay and All Black rugby representative Mick Duncan was used to a few upset results back in the days when he took the field but Alfie Dee’s first up win at last Sunday’s Woodville meeting took him completely by surprise.

   Duncan bred the six-year-old Zed gelding but hadn’t seen the horse for months and had no idea how he would perform in his race debut, over 1600 metres. The horse won at odds of 43 to one and Duncan said this week he never even had a bet.

   “It was a bit of a surprise all around,” he said.

   “He can jump a bit and the plan was just to give him a run on the flat to see what he was like. If he wasn’t able to keep up then he probably wasn’t going to be worth carrying on with.”

   Alfie Dee was ridden by Otaki apprentice Nivesh Teeluck, who got the horse into a midfield position in the early stages of the race and then angled him for an inside run in the home straight. The well supported Dream Lover looked the likely winner when mounting a run out wide but Alfie Dee kept up a resolute finishing burst down on the inside to get up and snatch a nose victory.

   Alfie Dee is trained by Ken Duncan at Hunterville but has been in the care of a few other trainers during his early days.

   “James Bridge broke him in and had him for a while but he was a horse that was always going to need time so we turned him out on the hills and forgot about him for a while,” recalled Duncan.

   “He then went down to Donna Beck at Levin and she mucked around with him but couldn’t get him going and so Dean Cunningham picked him up and took him back to his place Hunterville.

   “But then Dean had too many other horses so he gave him to Ken Duncan.”

   Ken Duncan is no relation to Mick but is a very good conditioner of jumpers and trained Wee Biskit to win the 2013 Great Northern Hurdles and the last two runnings of the Wellington Hurdles.

   “Ken only rang me about three or four weeks ago and asked me what I wanted to do with this Zed horse,” Duncan added.

   Ken Duncan and his wife now have an 80 per cent racing share in the horse, with Mick Duncan retaining 10 per cent and one of his close friends, Richard Marlow from Blenheim, also taking a 10 per cent share.

   Alfie Dee is now likely to be turned out for a spell and brought back early next year, with a jumping campaign in mind.

   “He’s still as green as grass and he’s got a rough sort of galloping action so the firm tracks will get to the bottom of him,” Duncan added.

   Alfie Dee is the only living foal produced by Isadora, a Victory Dance mare who won once for Duncan, a 1600-metre maiden at Foxton in July 2005.

   The mare produced two other foals by Zed before Alfie Dee but one died of colic and the other died at birth.

   “We haven’t bothered breeding from the mare since but we might have to look at that job again now,” Duncan added.


HB-bred Derby favourite

   Hawke’s Bay’s Graham de Gruchy has bred and owned a Japan Cup winner and bred a Melbourne Cup winner. Now he is the breeder of the favourite for tomorrow’s $A1.5million VRC Derby in Melbourne.

   De Gruchy is the breeder of the New Zealand-trained Sacred Elixir, who rocketed into favouritism for tomorrow’s 2500-metre Flemington feature with a resounding victory in last Saturday’s Group 2 Super Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley.

   That was the three-year-old’s fifth win from only nine starts and his second this campaign, after taking out the Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on September 24. He also won the Group 1 JJ Atkins Stakes for two-year-olds over 1600 metres in Brisbane in June.

   Sacred Elixir is prepared by Cambridge trainer Tony Pike who is confident the horse will cope with the step up in distance tomorrow and should relish the big roomy Flemington track.

   Graham de Gruchy is best known as the breeder of the outstanding mare Horlicks, winner of 17 races including six at Group 1 level. She is still the only New Zealand-bred and trained winner of the Japan Cup, which she won in 1989.

   Brew, who was by Sir Tristram out of Horlicks, was raced by De Gruchy for a short time before he was sold to bloodstock agent Paul Moroney and went on to win the 2000 Melbourne Cup for Moroney’s Melbourne-based brother Mike.

   Sacred Elixir also descends from Horlicks. He is out of the Stravinsky mare Baltika, who is a grand-daughter of the great mare.

   Baltika was raced by De Gruchy and had three starts from the Hastings stable of John Bary for a win and a second.

   “She won her first start over 1200 metres at Taupo really well and then struck a bad track at Trentham at her second start and was unplaced,” De Gruchy said this week.

   “She only had one more start for a second and then injured herself so we retired her to stud.”

   Sacred Elixir was the first foal produced by Baltika and sold for $170,000 at the premier session of the 2015 Karaka yearling sales.

   “He was always an athletic colt and a lovely yearling,” De Gruchy said.

   “He showed himself off very well at the sales. He had a great over-reach and an impressive walk.”

   Baltika has since produced a yearling filly by Darci Brahma which De Gruchy intends to retain and will have her trained by Tony Pike.

   “She has been named Ninkasi which means the goddess of beer,” De Gruchy added.

   “We’ve just been up to Wentwood Grange Stud in Cambridge to see her and she’s doing well.”

   Baltika is out of the unraced Zabeel mare Zambuca, who De Gruchy is also still breeding from and she has been served this year by Darci Brahma.


Exhibited real class

   The high opinion Hastings thoroughbred owner Gerard Moughan has of the three-year-old Exhibit was vindicated when the filly made a brilliant winning debut over 1200 metres at last Sunday’s Woodville meeting.

   The daughter of Iffraaj took a clear lead at the end of the first 200 metres and never looked like being headed, accelerating away from the opposition over the final stages to win by 2 lengths.

   “We’ve always thought a lot of her,” Moughan said this week.

   “She’s been under wraps for a while just waiting for a firm track. She’s had several jumpouts and won them by a margin and finished second in a trial at Foxton in August.”

   Exhibit is owned by Moughan and his wife Vera and trained by Waipukurau-based David Goldsbury.

   They had such a high opinion of the filly that they were prepared to line her up in last month’s Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings first up,  but she drew wide so they decided to pull her out.

   “We always knew she had plenty of ability,” Moughan added.

   The Moughans acquired Exhibit after buying her dam, Royal Show, for $16,000 at a dispersal sale of stock owned by the late Jim Campin. The mare was in foal to Iffraaj at the time and Exhibit was the resultant foal.

   David and Anne Goldsbury broke the filly in and did such a good job that Moughan decided to leave her in their care. Their daughter, Rebecca, also had a lot to do with the horse’s early preparation so it was fitting that she was the winning jockey last Sunday.

   Exhibit’s dam, Royal Show, is by Deputy Governor and was the winner of four races including the listed Gore Guineas. She is also the dam of Folding Gear (by Johar), who won four races in Australia including three stakes races at Caulfield, the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m), Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) and Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m).

   Royal Show has also left Royal Striker, who won two races in Australia; Cactus Jack, who has been twice successful in Singapore and Royal Success, who was a $130,000 yearling purchase by David Ellis of Te Akau Thoroughbreds, and has had four starts in New Zealand this year for three wins.

   Since foaling Exhibit, Royal Show has produced a yearling colt by Niagara and is now in foal to El Roca.

   “We were going to enter the Niagara colt in January’s yearling sales but we will probably take him through to the Ready-To-Run two-year-old sale at the end of next year instead,” Moughan added.


Well deserved success  

   It had been a long time between celebration drinks for Hawke’s Bay couple John and Colleen Duncan but their consistent four-year-old Stradivarius finally got another well deserved win at last Monday’s Waikato meeting at Te Rapa.

   The Stravinsky four-year-old had not graced the winner’s stall since taking out a 1200-metre maiden on debut at Rotorua in April last year but he had chalked up five seconds, seven thirds and a fourth from 17 starts in the interim.

   The Duncans bred Stradivarius and race him from the Cambridge stable of Lee Somervell. He is a full-brother to Fleur de Lune, a high class racemare that the Duncans raced in partnership with the late Ada Parnwell, who died in June 1014.

   Fleur de Lune won six races including the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie in January 2013.

   Stradivarius was ridden on Monday by promising apprentice Emily Farr. He bounced straight to the front and led all the way, showing great tenacity over the final stages to hold on by half a length.


Sunday HB races

   Hastings racegoers will be able to enjoy a Sunday meeting when Hawke’s Racing stages its “Christmas at the Races” raceday on November 6.

   Eight races are programmed at this stage but this is likely to be increased to nine when nominations close next Tuesday.

   Gates will open at 11am and the last race is scheduled for 5.07pm.

   There will be a $10 admission charge.

Saint Kitt chasing minor prizes in South Island 21 Oct 2016

   Hastings-trained Saint Kitt is presently being campaigned in the South Island but won’t be contesting the Group 3 $250,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup on November 12.

    While Saint Kitt has shown ability over the 3200 metres of the New Zealand Cup in the past, with a seventh in the race two years ago and a sixth in the 2014 Auckland Cup, trainer Kelly Burne wants to concentrate on slightly shorter races with the horse and also keep him in his own grade.

   Saint Kitt has not won since taking out a Rating 85 race over 2200 metres at Ellerslie on Melbourne Cup day last year and has dropped to a Rating of 82 points. He lined up in a $25,000 Rating 85 race over 2100 metres at Ashburton last Saturday and remained on 82 points despite finishing third.

   Burne said this week that Saint Kitt will have his next start in a $12,000 Rating 90 event over 2200 metres at Motukarara on October 30 and then, provided track conditions are not too firm, he will contest a $40,000 Rating 85 race over 2500 metres at Riccarton on New Zealand Cup day, November 12.

   Burne has left Saint Kitt in the care of Riccarton trainer Pam Robson and the horse has shown steady improvement in three starts since going south. He finished eighth of 12 over 1800 metres at Riccarton on September 17, fifth behind Zentangle in an open 2000-metre race at Riccarton on October 1 and then third at Ashburton last Saturday.

   The Keeper seven-year-old has a record of four wins, three seconds and two thirds from 36 starts with one of his best performances being a fourth in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) as a three-year-old.


Cafe Culture sidelined

  Well performed Hastings galloper Cafe Culture’s racing future is in doubt after suffering torn tendons in both front legs.

   The horse’s owner-trainer, Margaret Larsen, said this week she is at a loss as to how the horse injured himself but says he will need 12 months to mend and there is no guarantee that he will return to racing after that.

   “Normally they do those sort of injuries galloping but I don’t know how he did it because he wasn’t even up to galloping stage on the track,” Larsen said.

   “All I can think is that he has done it running around in his paddock. He can be a bit of a hooligan and he may have slipped over in the wet at some stage.”

   Larsen said she first noticed swelling in a tendon on one of the horse’s front legs and then, a couple of days later; there was also a slight swelling in the other leg.

   “There are no nerve endings in tendons and so there might have been something small there and he kept aggravating it,” Larsen added.

   The horse has since undergone an operation to have plasma implants inserted into the tendons at a cost of $1500 and he will undergo scans every three months for the next year to gauge his progress.

   Cafe Culture has only had 12 race starts for five wins, three thirds and two fourths. He will be eight years old in another 12 months but Larsen is not giving up hope of getting the horse back on the racetrack.

   “They say they have had good results with the implants and Willie Cazals had torn ligaments in both of his front legs and came back and won the Group 1 Livamol Classic at Hastings this month,” she said.


Walker on Kawi in Perth

   Former champion New Zealand jockey Michael Walker will ride Kawi in Australia.

   Taranaki trainer Allan Sharrock confirmed the engagement as he puts the finishing touches on the star son of Savabeel ahead of a three-start campaign in Perth.

   “Michael’s going to be riding him and the horse looks magnificent,” he said.

   “He flies to Melbourne on October 29 and he’ll be there for a day and a half before he carries on to Perth.

   “There’s a risk involved every time you travel a horse, but Kawi is a good traveller so I can’t see any problems.”

   The multiple Group One winner will make his debut at Ascot on November 5 in the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes.

   “That’s over 1400 metres at weight-for-age so it’s an ideal race,” Sharrock said.

   Kawi will then target Ascot’s two major prizes, the $A1 million Gr.1 Railway Stakes on November 19 and the $A1 million Gr.1 Kingston Town Classic on December 3.

   Walker served his apprenticeship with Sharrock and he made a remarkable start by winning both the apprentices’ title and the senior jockeys’ premiership with 131 winners in his first full season in the 1999-2000 term. He is now based in Victoria.


Allpress has broken leg

   Lisa Allpress’ riding stint in Japan has been halted by injury.

   The champion New Zealand jockey has a broken tibia and ligament damage to a knee after she parted company with a two-year-old on their way to the barrier last weekend.

   Allpress, 41, began her second three month contract in Japan in September and had been in the winner’s circle again after having ridden seven winners there during her initial spell last year. She is expected to return home to New Zealand as soon as she is well enough to travel.


Willie Cazals injured

   Willie Cazals’ brief New Zealand career has been ended by a suspensory ligament injury.

   The Irish-bred galloper won the Group 1 Livamol Classic at Hastings last time out in his fourth appearance from the Matamata stable of Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott.

   “He would have suffered the injury in that race,” O’Sullivan said.  “We swam him for the first week afterwards and then the vet ran his eye over him and identified a suspensory ligament issue.

   “It wasn't a major and our advice was that we could give him three or four months off and he’d be okay. But by the time he got back racing he would be 10, so we’ve done the decent thing and retired him.”


Oaks next for Kiwi

   In-form New Zealand filly Eleonora is unlikely to have another outing before the Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on November 3.

   “She doesn’t need a lot of racing and the Wakeful is just five days before the Oaks,” co-trainer Murray Baker said. “Flemington can get pretty firm and I wouldn’t want to risk jarring her up.”

   Eleonora pressed her classic claims with a convincing win in the Group 3 Ethereal Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last Saturday where her stablemate Highlad had no luck when caught wide when unplaced in the Group 3 Ladbrooks Classic (2000m).

   Meanwhile, the Baker/Forsman trained La Luna Rossa will make her next Australian appearance in the Group 2 P.W. Glass Fillies’ Classic at Moonee Valley tomorrow.


Likely to head home

   Last season’s Group 1 New Zealand Derby winner Rangipo may return home from Australia without another run.

   His impressive three-year-old form has placed him at a difficult place in the weights and wide barriers and firm tracks have also been against him in his two starts in Melbourne.

   ”I don’t want to dent his confidence,” trainer Tony Pike said. “He might come home for the Tauranga Stakes on November 12 and then be aimed at the Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie.”


Secret Spirit retired

   The Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained multiple stakes winner Secret Spirit has been retired.

   That decision was made after the daughter of Swiss Ace performed far below expectations at Rotorua on Saturday.

   Secret Spirit won the Group 3 Bonecrusher Stakes and the Listed O’Leary’s Fillies’ Stakes last season and as a two-year-old she claimed the Listed Ryder Stakes and the Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes.


Tauranga plans

   Graham Richardson is now looking to the Tauranga meeting tomorrow week to belatedly open Volpe Veloce’s three-year-old career.

   “She’ll probably go there. There is a $7000 race for her but it’s not about the money, it’s about getting her a run,” the Matamata trainer said.

   Volpe Veloce won both her starts last term, including the Listed Castletown Stakes, but this season has been one of frustration.

   She was a late scratching before the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings on September 17 after lashing out in the gates and then missed a race at Te Rapa with an elevated temperature. Richardson was then forced to withdraw her from last Saturday’s Rotorua meting due to the heavy going.

   Volpe Veloce’s trip to Riccarton for the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas is now in jeopardy.


Sold to Hong Kong

   Pearson Square’s outstanding debut victory at Ruakaka on September 28 didn’t go unnoticed on foreign shores.

   The Tony Pike-trained three-year-old crossed the field to lead from the outside gate and jockey Vinnie Colgan had an easy time of it thereafter, cruising to a 3-1/2 length win.

   That first-up success set Pearson Square on a path to next month’s Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas, but Riccarton is now off the table following the gelding’s sale to Hong Kong interests in a deal brokered by bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo.

   “He won’t race here again and he’ll be going to the spelling farm until he goes to Hong Kong where he’ll be trained by David Hall. He’ll probably go up there in six or eight weeks,” Cataldo said.



   Class sprinter Adventador strode out well in a solo 1000-metre workout at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   The big Fast ‘N’ Famous gelding looks in great order as he gears up for another campaign, aimed at some of the rich sprint races over the summer months.

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

   Adventador was keen to go a lot faster when working over 1000 metres on his own in 1:9.5, the last 600 in 39.7. He could resume racing in a 1200-metre open sprint at Awapuni on November 10.

   Red Tiara, one of three horses trainer Kelly Burne has entered for Sunday’s Woodville meeting, was given two 600-metre sprints, the first taking 38.6 and the second in 37.1. She has unfortunately drawn very wide in a 1200-metre maiden.

   Cowboys Dont Cry, another from the Burne stable entered for the Woodville meeting, also underwent two 600-metre runs, the first one in an easy 41.8 and the second a lot faster in 36.9.

   Zed Leppelin had co-trainer Mick Brown aboard when running an easy 1000 metres in 1:11.1, the last 600 in 39.5. He is entered for the Rating 65 race over 1600 metres at Woodville.

   Cajun worked early in the session and ran a good 1000 metres in 1:6.6, the last 600 in 37.7 while La Gigi clocked 51.1 for 800 metres, the last 600 in 37.5.

   Terraplane, another from the Burne stable entered for Sunday’s Woodville meeting, hit out well in two 600-metre sprints, the first taking 38.2 and the second in 37.2. He is a three-year-old by Zacinto.

    Geronimo ran a solo 1000 metres in 1:7.6, the first 400 metres in a leisurely 30s and the last 600 in a quicker 37.6. He is entered for the Maiden 2100-metre race at Woodville.

   Dukebox clocked 1:9.8 for a solo 1000 metres, the last 600 in 39.4 while an O’Reilly-Briana three-year-old in the Lowry/Cullen stable worked well on his own when running 800 metres in 52.4, the last 600 in 37.8.

   A Rock ‘N’ Pop two-year-old filly and a Niagara two-year-old colt, two others in the Lowry/Cullen stable, ended their work with 600 metres in 38s.


   My Tommy indicated he is right on target for his Rating 65 assignment at Trentham this Saturday by turning in an excellent solo gallop at this morning’s Hastings track session.

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

   My Tommy worked in from the 1000-metre peg and stretched out strongly over the last 800 metres in 50.5, the final 600 in 36.7. The Towkay four-year-old resumed from a spell with a close third over 1200 metres at Hastings on October 1 and has obviously trained on well since. He will step up to 1400 metres at Trentham.

   Hunta Pence, another entered for Trentham on Saturday, was restricted to just half-pace on the sand.  He is entered for the Rating 75 race over 1600 metres.

   Superveloce and Pakapunch, two horses in the Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen stable, worked together over 1000 metres in 1:5.1, the last 600 in 37.4 and both were working well at the finish.

   Teraplane, a Zacinto three-year-old, had trainer Kelly Burne aboard when running 1000 metres in 1:6.6, speeding up over the last 600 in 37.4.

   Zed Leppelin had co-trainer Mick Brown aboard when running two 600-metre sprints, the first in 39.3 and the second in 38.5 while Dukebox was restricted to just three-quarter pace when working over a round, the last 600 in 42.9.

   Cowboys Don’t Cry had trainer Kelly Burne aboard when running 1000 metres in 1:7.3, the last 600 in 38 while Moss Jazz and a Prince Conti-Meander three-year-old filly ran an easy 600 metres in 43.9.

   Red Tiara worked with a Savabeel-Elusive Dreams three-year-old filly over 1000 metres at three-quarter pace, the last 600 metres taking 42.5 while Donardo underwent similar work, his last 600 metres taking 41.4.

   Mowitza and Castle Of Boom, two others in the Lowry/Cullen stable, worked together over 1000 metres in 1:7.9, the last 600 in 39.2 while a Fully Fledged three-year-old filly in the Thompson/Brown stable was kept to just three-quarter pace, the last 600 metres taking 46s.

Second Innings back for bigger things next year 6 Oct 2016

   Exciting Hastings jumper Second Innings has been turned out for a well earned spell and will be aimed at major jumping assignments when he comes back into work next year.

   The horse’s trainer and part-owner, Paul Nelson, was in two minds about whether to keep the horse going for one more race or spell him and, after consultation with the other owners, it was decided to turn him out.

   “We were looking at giving him another run on the flat before he went out but there isn’t really any suitable races coming up.

   “It’s been a big year for him and so we’ve decided he can go out now come back early next year,” Nelson said.

   Second Innings is the winner of his last four starts, three of them over hurdles. He won a 3100-metre maiden hurdle race by 3-1/4 lengths on the middle day of the Grand National meeting at Riccarton in August and came out three days later and took out a 0-1 win hurdle over the same distance by 3-1/2 lengths.

   The Yamanin Vital eight-year-old then won a 2200-metre race on the flat at Awapuni on September 10 before heading to Te Aroha on September 25 where he romped home by 4 lengths in another 3100-metre hurdle race.

   He has been ridden in all three of his hurdle wins by Hastings-born jumps jockey Aaron Kuru who was full of praise for him after the Te Aroha victory.

   “This is a pretty serious horse and he’ll be one to look out for next year,” Kuru said.

   Nelson agrees that Second Innings is a pretty exciting jumper and added that it has helped that he has been kept to his own grade this year.

   “There are now plenty of options for him next year,” he added.  

    Second Innings is the winner of seven races from only 25 starts and has stake earnings of more than $95,000. He is owned by Nelson and his wife Carol in partnership with the horse’s Central Hawke’s Bay breeders Garry and Jan Sherratt and Cambridge couple Ben Foote and Kim Rogers.


No Hero retires

   Last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay premier race day marked an end of an era for one of the centre’s equine stars.

   No Hero, a former top jumper who included the Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase (twice) and a Grand National Steeplechase among his eight wins over the big fences, made his last racecourse appearance.

   The 20-year-old, who found his niche in recent years as a clerk of the course horse and the Trackside Interview mount for both Tom Hazlett and Jane Ivil on race days, has finally been retired.

   No Hero was bred and owned by Hawke’s Bay couple Paul and Carol Nelson and was certainly a “Hero” in their eyes. The grey had 46 starts for eight wins, four seconds and three thirds and took his connections to Japan in the autumn of 2007, when invited to contest the Pegasus Jumps Stakes and the Nakayama Grand Jump. Unfortunately he found track conditions too firm for him there and he was unplaced in both races.

   Upon his retirement No Hero was taken over by Hastings woman Jo Harrison, who has kept the horse in tremendous condition and perfectly groomed for his race day assignments. He was presented with a farewell dress rug on Saturday, sponsored by the Trackside racing website, and will be able to wear it as he lives out the rest of his days in a paddock at Harrison’s Bridge Pa property.


HB races a success

   Hawke’s Bay Racing was delighted with the outcome of last Saturday’s final day of the Bostock spring racing carnival, where a crowd of more 5000 people flocked to the Hastings racecourse.

   General manager Andrew Castles said there were 2200 hospitality passes pre-sold for the day and more than 700 pre-sold admission passes.

   “We are still working out the final facts and figures but all and all it was a great day,” Castles said.

   “As it turned out the weather was good and we managed to get the racing over before it rained.” 

   The total on-course betting turnover amounted to just on $800,000.

   There were 127 entries in the New Zealand Punter of the Year competition, which was the most for eight years. The betting turnover from the special punters’ room was just on $400,000.

   Castles said the first two days of the spring carnival were also good results in both attendance and betting turnover.


Zentangle’s hat-trick  

   Zentangle is certainly proving a great money spinner for his Hastings part-owner Jason Donnelly, with four wins from his last five starts.

   The big Chinese Dragon five-year-old completed a winning hat-trick when leading all the way for a three-quarter length victory in the $30,000 North Canterbury Cup at Riccarton last Saturday. The victory took the horse’s stake earnings to more than $82,000 which represents a great return on the $5000 he cost at the 2013 Ready To Run sale of two-year-olds.

   Zentangle is prepared by astute Wanganui trainer Kevin Myers, who bought the horse and also has a racing share in him, along with close friend Charlie Gestro and the estate of Jason Donnelley’s father Jim Donnelly.

   Apprentice Leah Hemi took Zentangle straight to the front in last Saturday’s 2000-metre event and let the big chestnut bowl along at a moderate tempo in the early and middle stages. She then kicked him clear rounding the home turn and he was able to stave off the late challengers to win well.

   The victory added to the horse’s great record on the Riccarton track, where he has now had 10 starts for three wins and four minor placings.


Sofia Rosa coming home

   Sofia Rosa’s Melbourne spring carnival campaign has been cut short with the New Zealand mare to return home for a spell.

   Her connections abandoned their Caulfield Cup plans for the four-year-old after she failed to flatter in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last Sunday.

   “She’s not where we would want her to be – she’s just growing and changing a bit and we don’t want to knock her around,” said Bruce Perry, racing manager to the mare’s Wellington-based owner Lib Petagna.

   “She’s going to come home for a break and then we’ll get back and ready for the autumn.”

   The Stephen Marsh-trained Sofia Rosa, who won last season’s Group 1 ATC Oaks, had performed satisfactorily in her first two outings in Melbourne, but she could only beat one runner home in the Turnbull.


Plans for Kawi

   New Plymouth trainer Allan Sharrock has mapped out a three race programme for star galloper Kawi when he heads to Perth at the end of this month.

   The Savabeel gelding is booked on a flight from Auckland on October 29 and is likely to have his first Australian start in a $A250,000 weight-for-age race over 1400 metres in Perth on November 5.

   Following that there are two $A1million races that the horse can run in, the first of them over 1600 metres on November 19 and the second over 1800 metres on December 16.


Needed the run

   Champion jockey James McDonald is expecting Kiwi stayer Pentathlon to show improvement with the benefit of his first-up run in Australia.

   The John Wheeler-trained son of Pentire finished seventh in last Sunday’s Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington.

   “He battled on reasonably well, but he just needed the run,” said McDonald, who incurred a five meeting suspension on Monday that has counted him out of a ride in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup tomorrow week.


The Soultaker sold

   The Soultaker’s brief New Zealand career is over with confirmation of the smart three-year-old’s sale to overseas interests.

   His connections had been approached by a buyer prior to his last-start victory in the Group 3 Bonecrusher Stakes on September 24 and the grey is now bound for Hong Kong.

   “We agreed a price before the race – win, lose or draw,” said George Simon, who bred the son of Iffraaj with his wife Maryanne and they remained in the ownership syndicate.

   Trained at Ruakaka by Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs, The Soultaker had seven New Zealand starts for two wins and three seconds.


Adventador shows out at Hastings jumpouts 5 Oct 2016

   Class sprinter Adventador showed he is coming up well in a new preparation by cruising to an easy win in a 1000-metre jumpout at the Hastings track this morning.

   There were nine heats, held up against the inside rail on the course proper and the ground was slow.

   Adventador only had two rivals in his heat and strode to the front from the outset, keeping up a good gallop to win by a length from Hugo The Boss, with a further 1-1/2 lengths back to Docket in third place.

   Adventador’s winning time of 1:2.6 was easily the fastest of the five 1000-metre heats. The big Fast ‘N’ Famous won the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham in January and has not raced since finishing sixth over 1200 metres on the same track in March. He is likely to resume racing in an open 1200-metre sprint at Otaki on October 15.

   A Darci Brahma three-year-old filly and a Savabeel four-year-old gelding called Savudo were two others from the Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen stable who were impressive winners at today’s jumpouts.

  The Darci Brahma filly scored an easy 3 length win in a 750-metre heat and clocked 47.4s. She is out of the former good racemare Stepping Out and shows plenty of potential.

   Savuda clocked 1:3.8 in winning a 1000-metre heat by 2 lengths, beating a Nadeem three-year-old gelding, with a Jimmy Choux three-year-old filly third.



Heat 1, 400m: Niagara 2yr-old (L Beacham) 1, Captain Rio 2yr-old 2, Prince Conti 2yr-old 3. Three starters. Margins: ½ length, 1-1/2 lengths. Time: 28.4s. Winner trained by Patrick Campbell, Hastings.

Heat 2, 750m: Matovani (K Hercock) 1, Rock ‘N’ Pop 2yr-old filly 2, Niagara-Our Jean Brodie 2yr-old colt 3. Four starters. Margins: Long neck, 4 lengths. No time taken. Winner trained by Paul Nelson, Hastings.

Heat 3, 750m: Darci Brahma-Stepping Out 3yr-old filly (R Myers) 1, Nadeem-Song 3yr-old filly 2, Vamos 3. Four starters. Margins: 3 lengths, 1 length. Time: 47.4s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 4, 750m: Alpine Jewels (K Hercock) 1, Steppenwolf 2, Worldclass 3. Five starters. Margins: Long neck, neck. Time: 46.8s. winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 5, 1000m: Don Eduardo 4yr-old gelding (R Myers) 1, Chouxmania 2, Mastercraftsman 3yr-old gelding 3. Four starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, 1 length. Time: 1:4.9. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 6, 1000m: Savudo (R Myers) 1, Nadeem 3yr-old gelding 2, Jimmy Choux 3yr-old filly 3. Four starters. Margins: 2 lengths, 1-1/4 lengths. Time: 1:3.8. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 7, 1000m: Notionannagins (T Morgan) 1, Chouxperb 2, Sir Percy 4yr-old mare 3. Four starters. Margins: 1 length, 2-3/4 lengths. Time: 1:4.0. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 8, 1000m: Falkirk 3yr-old filly (J Parkes) 1, Superveloce 2, Colombia 4yr-old gelding 3. Four starters. Margins: ½ length, 2-1/2 lengths. Time: 1:4.3. Winner trained by Patrick Campbell, Hastings.

Heat 9, 1000m: Adventador (J Bassett) 1, Hugo The Boss 2, Docket 3. Three starters. Margins: 1 length, 1-1/2 lengths. Time: 1:2.6. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

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