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Heartfelt win by Tautu at Awapuni last Saturday 29 Nov 2017

   Tautu, a horse lucky to be alive let alone racing, defied the odds when he took out a maiden race over 1550 metres at Awapuni last Saturday.

   The four-year-old gelding was having his fifth start and scored a decisive 2 length win over Star Quality and race favourite Rip Into Ghia.

   Tautu is prepared by Hastings trainer John Bary and boasts excellent breeding, being by Thorn Park out of the Galileo mare Sirani.

   He was bred by Waipukurau’s Mick Ormond in partnership with his former neighbour and close friend Belinda Scott, who now lives in England.

   The pair raced Sirani together from the then New Zealand stable of John Sargent and she was the winner of three races from only 11 starts, over distances ranging from 2100m to 2400m.

   Tautu was Sirani’s first foal and was originally catalogued as part of the draft offered by Little Avondale Stud at the 2015 Karaka yearling sales. However he was not considered big enough to command a decent price and was withdrawn.

   John Sargent, who had moved to Australia by then, offered to buy the horse on behalf of Hong Kong owner, Oliver Wong, for $140,000.

   However within five days of the sale being finalised Tautu was struck down with a bout of pneumonia which led to a serious heart affliction so Ormond and Scott reimbursed Wong the purchase price and kept the horse.

   “Not many horses survive such a thing and he has been under the care of a vet since he was a yearling,” Ormond said this week.

   “He seemed to come right and we thought we might try him as a racehorse but couldn’t race him at three because he had an irregular heartbeat.

   “He’s been treated with hundreds of human heart pills ever since and it has been touch and go whether he would ever get to the races.

   “John Bary had him in work for a start and then we turned him out and then he went back into work for this season. He seems fine in himself and is a lovely moving horse but he does have a heart murmur of two out of six and it is a permanent problem that will always be there,” Ormond said.

   Tautu certainly showed plenty of heart in his winning performance last Saturday. After beginning quickly from the barrier jockey Masa Tanaka settled the horse third until the home turn. Tautu quickly bounded up to challenge for the lead early in the home straight before surging clear in the final stages.

   Ormond said Tautu is likely to have his next start in a Rating 65 race over 1600m at Waipukurau on December 10 and could then be tried over a middle distance.

   He is certainly bred to excel over longer distances as his grandam Sneetch finished third in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) and it is the family of Black Mamba, who won seven races up to 2400m; and Roman Emperor, who won the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) and finished second in a Caulfield Cup (2400m).

   Tautu is a half-brother to Pissaro, by Pierro, who is also part-owned by Ormond and Scott and finished a gallant fourth in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at this year’s Melbourne Cup carnival at Flemington.

   Ormond and Scott have a Per Incanto colt out of Sirani that they will offer at the Magic Millions yearling sales on the Gold Coast in January and the mare now has a Fastnet Rock foal at foot which they intend to keep. She has been served again by Pierro.


Ebbetts nearly get a double

   The Waipukurau husband and wife training team of Tony and Penny Ebbett went close to a 100 per cent winning record with their two horses at Awapuni last Saturday.

   Pincanto scored a runaway win in a $10,000 maiden over 1300m while Royal Ruby only went down by a short head when second in the $22,500 Rating 65 race over 1550m.

   They are the only two horses the Ebbetts have racing at the moment. Both are mares by Per Incanto and both look likely to progress to better things in the coming months.

   Penny Ebbett said this week she got a special thrill out of the win by Pincanto as she and Tony only took the horse over in the September of this year after she had had previously been trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman at Cambridge.

   Pincanto is owned by her Havelock North breeders Dave and Jenny Morison and had seven starts from the Baker/Forsman stable for two seconds and three fifths.

   “She has always shown she can gallop and finished fifth in a Listed race at Ellerslie as a two-year-old but I don’t think the big stable environment suited her,” Dave Morison recalled this week.

   “She was a bit light on it when she came down and raced at Hastings about Christmas time last year and so we decided to keep her here,”

   Taupo-based Roger Harvey, a close friend of the Morisons, and his brother Graeme decided they would like to take a racing share in the horse along with Taupo stock agent David Gash.

  “She went up to Roger’s place at Taupo for a few months and came back looking good so then we had to decide who would train her,” Morison said.

   That is when she was offered her to the Ebbetts, with Dave Morison knowing that they were only a small training operation and would be able to give the horse the individual care she probably needed.

   The Ebbetts only have an owner/trainer licence and so they have taken out an 80 per cent lease in the horse with Morison and the other three men leasing the other 20 per cent between them.

   Penny Ebbett said that when Pincanto first arrived on their property all she wanted to do was go too hard in her work and she and Tony have spent a lot of time just trying to calm her down.

   “We lease a big paddock which is about 17 acres and we do a lot of nice slow work on her around there and that has definitely helped,” she said.

   Pincanto showed a glimpse of her ability when winning a 1000m jumpout at Hastings last month. The Ebbetts were then pleased with her first up fifth from their stable over 1200m at Hastings on November 12, considering she had missed a week’s work beforehand.

   Apprentice jockey Albert Chan was aboard Pincanto at Awapuni last Saturday and Penny Ebbett said the instructions were not to lead but to take up a handy position, get a bit of cover and don’t go too wide.

   Chan followed the instructions to the letter, settling Pincanto in third place until the home turn before lodging a claim early in the home straight. The mare showed a great turn of foot to accelerate away from her rivals and win by 1-3/4 lengths.

   Chan was also aboard Royal Ruby in the last race at the meeting and followed similar instructions. Another success looked likely when they were in front inside the last 200 metres but they were collared in the last couple of strides by The Rippa.

   Both Pincanto and Royal Ruby are expected to race next on their home track at Waipukurau on December 10, where Pincanto will contest a Rating 65 race over 1200m and Royal Ruby will run in a Rating 65 event over 1600m.  


Northern trip planned

   A trials win at Foxton last week has Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) winner Hard Merchandize on target for a northern test next week.

   Freshened since finishing a game third in the Group 2 Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa last month, Hard Merchandize contested an open 1000m Foxton trial and scored a long neck win.

   “It was a nice trial, a run just to keep him ticking over,” his Awapuni trainer Gary Vile said. “He had a week in the paddock after the Sarten Memorial and needed a nice hit-out.

   “The plan is to take him north next start for the Bonecrusher Stakes at Ellerslie to give him a look right-handed. He’s had no problem working right-handed but I just want him to have that raceday experience.”

   The Group 3 Hynds Holding Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) will be run tomorrow week and Vile feels the timing is right for Hard Merchandize.

   “The main aim is the $1 million Karaka three-year-old race in January and I’m just working out a path to get there,” Vile said.


Waipukurau races

   The Waipukurau Jockey Club will stage its annual Christmas race meeting at the Waipukurau racecourse on Sunday, December 10.

   Eight races have been programmed at this stage with the first starting at 1pm and the last timed for 5.05pm.

   It will be country racing at its finest and in a festive atmosphere, with live entertainment, Fashion in the Field, childrens’ entertainment and up-close thoroughbred racing.

   The gates will be open at 11.30am and there will be a $10 gate charge.


Racing annual on sale

   The book that has served as a Christmas treat for generations of racing fans Is available again.
   The 2017 New Zealand Racing Annual is the 46th successive review of the racing year.
   The hard-cover publication covers the key performers, both equine and human, in the 2016-17 season. Many of the high points were provided by a vintage crop of three-year-olds, headed by Bonneval, Gingernuts and Jon Snow, who matched the best of their generation on both sides of the Tasman.
   The annual will be available in some bookshops and can be purchased online at


Hastings Trackwork 28 Nov 2017

Scandalo, preparing for Friday’s Otaki meeting, recorded the fastest time in a relatively quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.

   Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided soft footing after 5 millimetres of rain late yesterday afternoon.

   Scandalo was only let stride out over the last 600 metres of his work and clocked 38.8s. Trainer Patrick Campbell has freshened the Shocking five-year-old since his last start second over 1400 metres at Awapuni and he will contest the $25,000 Rating 75 race over 1200 metres at Otaki.

   His stablemate Lady Guinness will also line up at the Otaki meeting, in the Rating 75 1600. This morning she was let off with an easy 800 metres in 53.6, the last 600 in 39.1. She was a last start winner over 1400 metres at Hastings on November 12.

   Xpression, a likely starter in the 1000-metre two-year-old race at Otaki, ended her work with 400 metres in 25.6s. She is a filly by Showcasing in the Lowry/Cullen stable who has shown up well in a couple of jumpouts.

   Lightning Flash recorded 55.2 for his 800-metre workout, the last 600 in 40.5 while Gates To Rio ran a solo 800 metres in 56.9.

   Pakapunch was kept under a strong hold over 800 metres in 58.1, the last 600 in 42.6 while Oscar’s Shadow worked over the same ground in 58.5, the last 600 in 43.2.

   Kaipawe had co-trainer Sue Thompson aboard when running an easy 800 metres in 60.7, the last 600 in 45.3 while Knife ended his work with 600 metres in 45.2.

The Bandito finally outguns rivals again 24 Nov 2017

   The win by Hastings-trained The Bandito at Tauranga last Saturday was certainly well deserved after the horse had recorded three consecutive seconds in his three most recent starts.

   The Pins six-year-old led most of the way in the $22,500 Devan Plastics Handicap, a Rating 65 race over 1600m. It was the horse’s first success since he took out a 1200m maiden at Waipukurau in December two years ago but he has been runner-up a total of eight times in his 27 starts and has also chalked up three third placings.

   The John Bary-trained gelding only went down by head behind the highly regarded Princess Kereru over 1300m at Taupo on September 22 and was beaten by the same margin behind Lady Shabeel over 1400m at Rotorua on October 21. He then lined up over 1400m at Trentham on October 28 where he finished second behind the subsequent New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner Embellish.

   “He’s a horse that has had a few niggling problems in the past but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him better than he is now,” Bary’s racing manager Mike Sanders said this week.

   Promising apprentice jockey Holly Andrew was engaged to ride The Bandito last Saturday and her 2kg allowance brought the weight the horse had to carry down to 57.5kg.

   Andrew bounced The Bandito out quickly and they shared the early pace with National Asset and Johnathan Parkes before taking a clear lead with 1000m to run. She then rated the horse well in front before kicking him clear rounding the home turn. He had three lengths on the opposition inside the last 300 metres and had enough in reserve to hold out the fast finishing pair of Lady Shabeel and Grand Soleil to win by three-quarters of a length.

   The Bandito is owned by Australian Heath Newton, who lives in Wagga Wagga and is a major operator in the Australian meat industry.

   He was initially bought for $50,000 at the 2013 premier session of the Karaka yearling sales but then re-offered at that year’s Ready-To-Run Two-year-old sale. He was passed in for $75,000, with a reserve of $100,000.

   The Bandito is out of the unraced Quest Of Fame mare Reputedly and is a half-brother to Stickpin, who was the winner of eight races in Australia including the Group 3 VRC Chester Manifold Stakes.

   Sanders said The Bandito will now head to the Wellington meeting on December 9 where he will contest a Rating 75 race over 1600m. The horse has a great record on the Trentham track, where he has never been further back then fourth in six starts.


Hastings pair star trialists

   Two future stars among the Hastings-trained gallopers turned in impressive performances at Tuesday’s Foxton trials.

   King Louis and Savvy Dreams both produced very encouraging performances in preparation for important summer targets.

   King Louis only won by a long neck in his 800-metre two-year-old heat but he could have won by a lot more had rider Dylan Turner asked him for a serious effort.   

   The Equiano colt settled third, one off the inside rail, in the early stages but moved up easily to the leaders on the home turn and strode clear soon after. He was only under a hands and heels ride over the final stages and won by a long neck. His winning time of 47.93s was almost a second faster than the other 800m heat.

   King Louis followed up two impressive performances at Hastings jumpouts with a close debut second in the Listed Wellesley Stakes (1000m) at Trentham on October 28.

   “He did a few things wrong in that Trentham race so John wanted to give him another trial and it was exactly what he wanted,” Bary’s racing manager Mike Sanders said.

   King Louis will now contest the Group 2 $100,000 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m) at Trentham on December 9.

   He will be part of a strong team John Bary will have competing at that Wellington meeting as he will also have Miss Wilson in the Group 1 $200,000 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m), The Bandito in the $30,000 Rating 75 race over 1600m and Smokin’ Oak in the $30,000 three-year-old race over 1400m.

   Savvy Dreams contested a 1000m catchweight heat at Tuesday’s Foxton trials, where she finished a close third. She began quickly and then settled perfectly in third place until the home turn. Rider Masa Tanaka kept the Savabeel mare under a firm hold and she was travelling keenly at the finish, to be only a head and half a length from the winner.

   Savvy Dreams is trained by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and was one of the country’s top three-year-old fillies last season. She won on debut over 1200m at Hastings on New Year’s day and then progressed quickly to be three times stakes placed, finishing second in the Group 3 Lowland Stakes (2000m) at Hastings, third in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham and fourth in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) in Adelaide.

  She hasn’t raced since being unplaced in the South Australian Classic (2500m) at Morphettville on May 20 and is likely to resume in a Rating 75 race over 1200m at Hastings on December 14.

   Lowry and Cullen have earmarked the Group 1 $200,000 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham on January 20 as a long range summer target for the mare.


Classy colt has Bosson keen

   Precocious youngster Al Hasa earned lavish praise from Opie Bosson following a spectacular winning performance at Riccarton last Saturday.

   The handsome son of Exceed And Excel turned the Listed Barneswood Farm Welcome Stakes (1000m) into a procession and was hard held by the top jockey at the post, when scoring by 6 lengths.

   “He’s a top class horse, one of the nicest two-year-olds I’ve sat on for quite a while,” Bosson said.

   “He’s a Karaka Million horse and maybe even the Golden Slipper.”

   The colt was offered at Karaka earlier this year by Cambridge Stud and Te Akau principal David Ellis went to $625,000 to secure the first foal out of the Oasis Dream mare Oasis Rose, who finished runner-up behind Sacred Falls in the 2012 Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).

   Al Hasa was quickly into stride to lead one off the fence and Bosson sat quietly until well into the straight.

   “He had a good look around and he’s only going to keep improving. Once I gave him a back hander he took off.”

   Trained by Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards, Al Hasa had performed well at the trials before he made his debut last month at Ellerslie, where he bucked out of the gates before finishing runner-up.


Versatile sire Pentire dies

   New Zealand has lost one of its most successful and undoubtedly versatile stallions with the death last Monday of Rich Hill Stud’s Pentire, at the age of 25.

   A top quality racehorse with a Timeform rating of 132 at three and four, Pentire was the dual Group One winner of the Irish Champion Stakes (2000m) and the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (2400m) before his retirement in 1997.

   Pentire has left 16 individual Group 1 winners, nine of them in Australia, of 33 races, from 1200 to 3200m with his son Mufhasa a 10-time winner at the elite level. His record was further rewarded with two New Zealand Horse of the Year titles.

   Xcellent was another outstanding representative with multiple Group One victories and a Melbourne Cup placing while Prince Of Penzance sparked Rich Hill celebrations three years ago when he won the 2015 Melbourne Cup.

   Pentire’s Group 1 roll of honour also includes Xtravagant, now at stud in New South Wales, Zarita, Rangirangdoo, Pantani, Art Success, Penny Gem, Pentane, Recurring, Markus Maximus, Say No More, Chenille, Volatile Mix and Ferlax.

   At the time of his death, he was New Zealand’s leading active sire of Group 1 winners with only Redoute’s Choice and Fastnet Rock boasting more individual Group 1 winners from their Australasian-bred progeny.


Aussie two-year-old in Karaka race

   David Hayes will follow in his late father’s footsteps when he chases a feature two-year-old victory on New Zealand soil.

   The Australian Hall Of Fame trainer has all but confirmed his unbeaten young star Long Leaf will cross the Tasman for a crack at the country’s richest race, the Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 27.

   “He definitely won’t run again before then and as long as he trials well in Sydney in a couple of weeks he’ll be there,” he said.

   Thirty years ago, Hayes’ father Colin went close to a Group 1 victory at Awapuni with the Godswalk filly Glorious Way, who was part-owned by the late Robert Sangster.

   She finished runner-up in the Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) behind the subsequent Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner Satisfy.

   “I’ve had one runner in the Karaka Million, but that was a few years ago now,” Hayes said.

   That was the Exceed And Excel filly Optimizing who finished seventh in the 2009 edition won by The Heckler.

   Long Leaf was a debut winner over 1000m at Morphettville last month and last Saturday the colt kept his perfect record intact with victory in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) at Sandown.

   “He flew the gates, but he’s not a sheer speed horse,” Hayes said. “He’s very good and he’ll be much better at 1200 or 1400m.

   “He’s a beauty this horse and he’s always showed a lot. He’s a lovely type.”

   The colt is son of Fastnet Rock and the Stravinsky mare Frustrating, a half-sister to the Group 1 winners Tiger Tees and Terravista and the former Singapore Horse of the Year Super Easy, now standing at Hallmark Stud.

   Long Leaf was purchased out of Curraghmore’s draft at Karaka earlier this year for $750,000 and is raced by a syndicate that includes a number of Coolmore’s leading principals from Australia and Ireland as well as New Zealand’s Sir Peter Vela.


Winning weekend for brothers

   Werther completed a memorable family double last Sunday with victory in the Group 2 Hong Kong Jockey Club Cup (2000m).

   His win at Sha Tin came a day after his younger brother Gobstopper produced a dominant front-running performance to claim the Group 3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton.

   “That was a cracking good run considering it was only his second run this season,” Werther’s trainer John Moore said.

   “His fitness was really tested and he will improve from this run.

   “We got away with it and now we go to the Hong Kong Cup.”

   Werther and the Andrew Campbell-trained Gobstopper are sons of Tavistock and the Zabeel mare Bagalollies, who is back in foal to the Cambridge Stud stallion.


Million race on Hasahalo’s radar

   Stephen McKee is eyeing the Karaka Million Three-year-old Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on January 27 with his Riccarton heroine Hasahalo.

   The Ardmore trainer celebrated Group 1 success with the Savabeel filly last Saturday when she came from the back of the field to win the New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).

   “I was confident she was going well enough and she got a good track to show what she can do,” McKee said. “Very few horses have the acceleration she has.

    “She’ll have a race somewhere over Christmas and then work toward the Karaka Mile.”

Hastings Trackwork 21 Nov 2017

   Hunta Pence, preparing for the Wanganui meeting on Saturday week, looked in good order when undergoing an easy workout at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   There was little in the way of fast work, which was confined to the plough. Several horses from the centre were entered for the Foxton trials later in the day.

   Hunta Pence was kept to just three-quarter pace when working on his own over 1200m, the last 600 in 44.8. The No Excuse Needed gelding only beat two horses home over 1550 metres at Awapuni last start but trainer Patrick Campbell said he was unsuited by the track conditions that day. He will now be stepped up to 2000 metres in a Rating 75 race at Wanganui.

   Whowouldknow had trainer Kate Hercock aboard when running 1000m, the last 800 in 53.6 and final 600 in 38.9 while Pakapunch was let off with an easy 800 metres in 56.1, the last 600 in 41.7.

   My Big Sister, a filly by Nadeem in the Patrick Campbell stable, ended her work with 600 metres in 39.9. She was a winner over 1000 metres at the last Hastings jumpouts and could make her race debut at the Hawke’s Bay meeting on December 14.

   Oscar’s Shadow clocked 54.1 for 800 metres, the last 600 in 39.8 while Dare To Rock was restricted to just three-quarter pace, running her last 600 metres in 46.4.


Lady with an attitude has what it takes 16 Nov 2017

The skills of Hastings trainer Patrick Campbell have turned Lady Guinness from a one-time problem horse into now being a three race winner.

   The Falkirk mare brought up her third victory from only eight starts when she got a last stride decision in a $10,000 Rating 65 race over 1400m at last Sunday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   Campbell is the first to admit that when Lady Guinness first entered his stable she was nothing but trouble. She was difficult to do anything with and it was always a mission just to get her on and off the track of a morning to undergo normal work.

   It got to a stage that, instead of walking out, Lady Guinness was jogged from the tie up stalls to the training track to prevent her from stopping and either spinning around or rearing up.

   Campbell says Lady Guinness is still not easy to train but at least she now walks out to do her trackwork without too much fuss.

   “She can still be a problem coming off the track, especially when there are other horses around her, but she is a lot better,” Campbell said.

   Lady Guinness certainly lacks nothing on the score of ability and toughness, as she showed when winning last Sunday.

   She jumped from the extreme outside barrier and was always at least three-wide in the running. Apprentice jockey Jasmine Fawcett sent the mare on a forward move starting the last 600m and she was the widest runner making the home turn.

   Handful, with Jonathan Riddell aboard, looked the likely winner when in front 100 metres out but Lady Guinness was not to be denied and got up on the line for a half-head victory.

   All three wins by Lady Guinness have been on her home track and at three different distances. The first was over 1300m in March of this year and she was then successful over 1600m the following month.

   Campbell said he will now step the mare back up to 1600m in a Rating 75 race at Otaki on December 1.

   Lady Guinness is owned by Windsor Park Stud and is raced on lease by a 14-member syndicate, all of whom live in Hawke’s Bay.

   Jason Britton manages the syndicate and has a 20 per cent share with the other members being Don, Rob and Alistair Poulgrain, Aaron Brittin, Nick Dorwood, Aaron Bourke, Jamie Flett, Mark O’Shaughnessy, Kelly O’Rourke, Eddie and Scotty Burn, Kim Bone and Patrick Campbell.

   Lady Guinness is out of the Danske mare Grace Park, who recorded three wins and eight minor placings from only 16 starts and one of her victories was in the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Air Freight Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton.


High Spirits back in form 

   It was a case of déjà vu when Hastings-trained High Spirits won over 2100m on her home track last Sunday.

   It was the horse’s second success and the first was also over 2100m at the same Hawke’s Bay meeting 12 months ago. The only differences were the winning margin and dividend.

   When High Spirits won her maiden race 12 months ago she came from eighth on the home turn to get up and snatch victory by a long head and paid $6.90. Last Sunday she again came from off the pace at the 600m but quickly got to the front early in the home straight and kept up a strong run to the line to win by 1-3/4 lengths, returning outside odds of 16 to one.

   It was a complete form reversal after her best placing from her four most recent starts had been a seventh.

   High Spirits is a four-year-old mare by Darci Brahma out of the Montjeu mare Spiriting and is trained by John Bary. He bought the filly for $80,000 from the premier session of the 2014 Karaka yearling sales and then set about syndicating her.

   Havelock North couple Hylton and Colleen Gudsell own a 40% share in the horse with Bary being one of 12 shareholders who own the other 60 per cent between them.

   Other Hawke’s Bay people involved are Napier couple Bruce and Annette Keighley, Richard Koorey and Mark Donnelly. Gisborne-based John McLaughlin also has a share while the other owners live in Auckland, Wellington and Ashburton.

   John Bary’s racing manager Mike Sanders said this week that High Spirits has been a work in progress.

   “She’s quite a quirky mare. She can do some unbelievable things in trackwork and can run 11 seconds for 200 metres but hasn’t always done it on race day.

   “John has varied her training and given her dressage and jumping to keep her mind ticking over and it has obviously worked.”

   Sanders said last Sunday’s win was mainly attributed to a great ride from in-form jockey Samantha Collett, who sensed that she needed to get the horse going at the 600m and never missed a beat in urging her to the line.

   “It was an 11 out of 10 ride,” Sanders said.

   “She is a big striding mare and you’ve got to get her out and keep her rolling and that was what she did.”

   High Spirits was only on a rating of 56 points before last Sunday and that win has taken her to 62 points, which will now make her eligible for a Rating 65 race over 2300m at Otaki on December 1.

   Sanders said John Bary thinks the mare is an out and out stayer and can’t wait to get her up to 3200 metres. Her dam Spiriting was the winner of one race and that was over 2000m.


Miss Wilson on song

   Class Hastings-trained mare Miss Wilson turned in an impressive exhibition gallop between races at last Sunday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting in preparation for tomorrow’s Group 2 $100,000 Stella Artois Tauranga Stakes (1600m).

   Jockey Jonathan Riddell was aboard the Stratum mare and she recorded 1:11 for a solo 1200m, up against the running rail, on the course proper. She ran the first 600 metres in 36.3 and quickened over the last 600 in 34.7.

   Riddell said the horse felt great in the gallop, adding that she is obviously a class galloper.

   Miss Wilson, who is trained by John Bary, was an impressive last start winner of the Group 3 Red Badge Spring Sprint (1400m) at Hastings on October 22. Bary will be using tomorrow’s race as a lead up to the Group 1 $200,000 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on December 9.


HB connection with greys’ race

   The Subzero Handicap, a race confined to grey horses, is one of the feature events on Oaks Day at Flemington each year and last week’s edition was won by a horse with a strong Hawke’s Bay connection.

   Tribal Wisdom, a four-year-old gelding by Makfi, scored a game head victory in the 1400m event for former Kiwi trainer Mike Moroney, who is now based at Flemington.

   Moroney is best known as the trainer of the 2000 Melbourne Cup winner Brew, who was by Sir Tristram out of the outstanding mare Horlicks and was bred by Hawke’s Bay’s Graham de Gruchy.

   Tribal Wisdom is a grandson of Horlicks. His dam is Platinum Passion, who is by Redoute’s Choice out of the unraced mare Stella Artois.

   De Gruchy bred Stella Artois, who was by Star Way out of Horlicks. She recorded three seconds and a third in barrier trials but never got to the races and was sold to Jomara Bloodstock.

   Horlicks was the winner of 17 races from 1200m to 2400m including the Group 1 Japan Cup. Her other Group 1 victories were in the Auckland Racing Club’s DB Draught Classic (twice), The New Zealand Stakes at Ellerslie (twice) and the LKS MacKinnon Stakes at the Flemington track in Melbourne.


Savabeel’s stock to the fore

   New Zealand’s champion sire Savabeel has continued to scale new heights as a sire in recent weeks, with his progeny extending his number of individual Group 1 winners to 14.

   Shillelagh kicked things off strongly for the Waikato Stud stallion on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, winning the Group 1 Kennedy Mile (1600m) for owners and breeders Christopher and Susanna Grace.

   A week later regally-bred colt Embellish improved his sire’s statistics further by taking out last Saturday’s Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton.

   Purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis for $775,000 out of Waikato Stud’s 2016 Premier yearling sale draft, Embellish is a brother to Group 1 winner Diademe and is now being set for lofty targets on both sides of the Tasman.

   “We’ll now get him ready for the Karaka Mile at Ellerslie in January,” Ellis said.

   “We’ll then look at taking him to the Australian Guineas at Flemington and then we’ll head up to Sydney for the classic races up there.”

    Savabeel was represented by another classic winner last Saturday when  Savapinski won the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington, in Melbourne.

   Savapinski was purchased by Gai Waterhouse and Dynamic Syndications for $70,000 at the 2015 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale.

   The four-year-old’s victory has helped extend Savabeel’s impressive strike-rate to 6.3 per cent Group winners to runners and an incredible 10.1 per cent Stakes winners to runners.

   Savabeel stands at Waikato Stud for a service fee of $100,000 + GST and will be represented by five lots at next week’s New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale.

Peso progressing well as a stayer 10 Nov 2017

   The $100,000 Dunstan Feeds Stayers Championship at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day is now the long range goal for Hastings galloper Peso, who made it two wins in a row with another runaway victory last Saturday.

   The Colombia six-year-old took out a $22,500 Rating 65 race over 2100m by 4-3/4 lengths at the Tauranga meeting and that followed a 4 length win over 1950m at Rotorua on October 21.

   He now boasts a record of three wins, two seconds and two thirds from 13 starts for Hastings trainer Paul Nelson, who races the horse with his wife Carol.

   Paul Nelson said this week Peso will now try and earn some valuable points in the Dunstan Stayers series so as to guarantee a start in the final, which is run over 2200m.

   “He’ll probably go to Ellerslie at the beginning of next month,” Nelson said.

   “There is a Rating 75 race over 2100m there on December 2 or one over 2200m on December 9 and well look at running him in one of those two.”

   Although he was the winner of two races before last Saturday, Peso was still eligible for a Rating 65 grade race as the handicapper had obviously not put a lot of emphasis on the horse’s two minor placings in amateur races earlier this season.

   He was carded to carry topweight of 60kg but Nelson engaged promising Singapore-born apprentice Hairi Marzuki, who was able to claim a 3kg allowance.

   Peso drew the extreme outside barrier and was forced to travel three-wide for almost the entire race yet still raced clear of his rivals over the final stages for a dominant win.

   The Nelsons bred Peso out of the unraced Victory Dance mare All Magic and is certainly bred on stout staying lines. His dam is a full-sister to Hummer, a horse that recorded a win, a send, two thirds and two fourths from 13 hurdle starts.


Exhibited a touch of class

   Hastings-owned Exhibit, a mare that promised plenty as an early three-year-old last season, bounced back to form with a good win in a $22,500 Rating 65 race over 1250m at Awapuni last Saturday.

   The Iffraaj mare is bred and owned by Hastings couple Gerard and Vera Moughan and looked a horse headed for big things when scoring an easy 2 length win on debut over 1200m at Woodville in October 2016. However her form then dropped away, with her best placing in her next six starts being a fourth over 1200m at Wanganui in September this year.

   Trainer David Goldsbury, who prepares Exhibit on the Awapuni track, said the filly had suffered a couple of setbacks and been unsuited by wet tracks but is now back to 100 per cent fitness and that certainly showed with her excellent performance last Saturday.

   Apprentice jockey Timothy Johnson bounced Exhibit out quickly from the barrier and had her sitting outside the leader Pure Daze until the top of the home straight. The mare then shot to the front and showed great tenacity to fight off a late challenge by the topweight Abbey Road to score by a long neck.

   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.

   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 won five of his 10 starts.

   Since foaling Exhibit, Royal Show has produced a two-year-old colt by Niagara and is due to foal this year to El Roca.

   Exhibit came through last Saturday’s win in such good order that Goldsbury was keen to back her up in a Rating 65 race over 1200m at Otaki yesterday.


Hastings races Sunday

   Another family day of racing is planned for Hastings this Sunday with eight races carded in what will be the first Christmas at the Races meeting in the district this year.

   The first race is timed for 1.25pm and the last at 5.30pm, with the main event being a Rating 75 over 1200m which has drawn an even field of very promising gallopers.

   There will be a $10 gate charge with free admission for anyone under 18 years old and tickets to the members stand can be purchased at a cost of $30 each.


Distance too far for Humidor

   The New Zealand-bred Humidor failed to cope with the distance of Tuesday’s Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), according to his rider Blake Shinn.

   “He just doesn’t run the two miles, it’s as simple as that,” he said. “He gave me a nice ride throughout, but the pressure went on and he didn’t respond.”

   Despite his unplaced effort, the Darren Weir-trained Humidor has enjoyed a lucrative spring campaign with a victory in the Group 1 Maybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and placings in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).

   The Teofilo five-year-old finished second behind Willie Cazals in the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings in the spring of last year, when prepared by the Otaki training partnership of Johno Benner and Hollie Wynyard.


Fanatic brings back memories

   Eight years after Rich Hill Stud stallion Shocking won the Melbourne Cup, a daughter of the highly successful sire graced the winner’s stall at Tuesday’s big Cup day at Flemington.

   Fanatic, a five-year-old mare by Shocking out of the Groom Dancer mare Komplete Klass, claimed top honours in the undercard staying contest, the $A130,000 Ronald McDonald House Plate (2800m). She was ridden by Kiwi jockey Michael Walker and produced a brilliant late burst to score by 1-1/4 lengths.

   Fanatic triumphed in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) for Te Awamutu trainers Graeme Sanders and Debbie Sweeney before transferring to the powerful Victorian operation of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig.

   Tuesday’s win came at her sixth start from her new quarters.

   “She was in season at her last start so we were looking for her to bounce back,” said Jack Kiernan, son of the mare’s Taranaki breeder and owner Sean Kiernan.

   Shocking won the 2009 running of the Melbourne Cup when ridden by Corey Brown and he was again the successful jockey in Tuesday’s cup, aboard the European entrant Rekindling.

   Shocking is also the sire of the talented stayer Chocante, who will be given opportunities to star at weight-for-age during a two-start summer campaign.

   The five-year-old is back in New Zealand after an Australian spring campaign and has rejoined the Cambridge stable of Stephen Marsh.

   Chocante will open his summer campaign in the Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on December 9 ahead of the Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.

   “If he wins or goes very well in the Zabeel, which is his main goal, then we might take him back to Sydney in the autumn,” Marsh said.

   The winner of last season’s Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) and the Group 3 Counties Cup (2100m) raced creditably during his first campaign in Sydney.

   Chocante resumed with a placing behind the champion mare Winx in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) before he finished out of the money in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m).

   The gelding bounced back to finish third in the Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m) and was then seventh in the St Leger Stakes (2600m) before heading for a break.

   “He had 10 days in a nice paddock over there before coming home,” Marsh said. “He won’t take too much work to get ready, he’s still got that residual fitness after racing over 2600m.”


Comeback date confirmed

   Dual Group 1 winner Start Wondering is likely to kick off a new campaign at Otaki at the beginning of next month.

   Connections had originally pencilled in this Saturday’s Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint (1200m) as the starting point for the champion sprinter’s resuming run, but have now delayed his return until the Listed Chainey’s Panasonic Levin Stakes (1200m) on December 1.

   “He’s had a couple of jumpouts, but he needs another jumpout, trial or a gallop at the races,” said J.J. Rayner, who trains Start Wondering with her father Evan.

   Start Wondering was crowned champion New Zealand sprinter for the last racing season following his Group 1 victories in the Sistema Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie and NRM Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa. He also finished a gallant second behind Signify in the Group 1 Telegraph Sprint (1200m) at Trentham.

Hastings Trackwork 9 Nov 2017

   Vannoss, preparing for the first race at Sunday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting, reeled off a quick last 400 metres in his workout at the Hastings track this morning.

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

   Vannoss worked in at three-quarter pace from the 800-metre peg and was let stride out over the last 400 in 23.3. The Sufficient four-year-old has had two starts for two good fourth placings and will be aided by an inside draw on Sunday. Masa Tanaka has been booked to ride the horse and any rain will enhance his chances.

   Waipukurau trainers Penny and Tony Ebbett brought their two horses, Royal Ruby and Pincanto, up to work on the plough in preparation for Sunday’s meeting.

   Royal Ruby ran 800 metres in 53.6, the last 600 in 39.2 and Chris Johnson is booked to ride her in the Rating 65 race over 1400 metres.

   Pincanto was kept under a strong hold over 800 metres in 59, the last 600 in 43.5 and Leah Hemi will ride her in a Maiden race over 1200 metres. The Per Incanto mare won a 1000-metre heat at the last Hastings jumpouts.

   Tudor Angel worked in from the 800-metre peg and was timed to run home the last 600 in 38.4. She is a Cape Blanco filly trained by Dave Stenning and is likely to have a jumpout at Hastings next Monday.

   A Citi Habit four-year-old mare had trainer Kate Hercock aboard and was timed to run home her last 600 metres in 42.1.

   Tuigold was given an easy 800 metres in 57.9, the last 600 in 42.6 and he looks to have come back a lot stronger this time in.

Hastings Trackwork 7 Nov 2017

The stablemates Keilib and Matovani reeled off a fast 1000-metre gallop in a reasonably 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-4 after 20 millimetres of irrigation yesterday.

   Keilib and Matovani worked in from the 1200-metre peg and clapped on the pace over the last 1000 metres in 1:2.7, the final 600 in 36.8. Both horses are likely starters at next Sunday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   Dare To Rock, who is likely to kick off a fresh campaign in the Maiden 1300 at Hastings on Sunday, clocked 37.1 and 38.4 for two 600-metre sprints while Revolution ended his work with a sharp 600-metre sprint in 36.1.

   Deb was another given two 600-metre runs on her own. She went very easily over the first one in 43.3 and quickened slightly over the second one in 39. She is a likely starter in the Maiden 1200 at Sunday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   A Per Incanto-Mal four-year-old gelding in the Lowry/Cullen stable worked in at three-quarter pace from the 1000-metre peg and quickened over the last 600 metres in 37.9.

Meeska Mooska has his connections smiling again 3 Nov 2017

   There was a huge sigh of relief from the connections of Meeska Mooska, including Waipukurau couple Iain and Eva Gollan, when the seven-year-old returned to the winner’s stall with an emphatic fresh up win at Ellerslie last Saturday.

   The El Hermano gelding was the rank outsider in a six horse field for the $35,000 J&R Contracting Open (1400m) but proved a class above his rivals, scoring by 2-1/2 lengths.

   It was Meeska Mooska’s seventh win from only 23 starts but his first since he chalked up four wins in a row between April and August last year. It was soon after the fourth of those victories, in an Open 1600m race at Hastings, that the horse was found to be suffering from an eye ulcer that threatened to end his racing career.

   Iain Gollan, who is a part-owner in the horse along with his wife Eva, said this week it was a fungal infection which was causing a gradual deterioration of the eye.

   “He had to have a major eye operation and we were so relieved that he didn’t lose his eye,” Gollan said.

   Meeska Mooska was back racing in March of this year but, after three well beaten performances, it was decided to give him another good spell.

   “He just wasn’t right and was probably still feeling the effects of the operation,” Gollan said.

   The horse resumed work again at the beginning of this season and finished third in an 1150-metre Te Awamutu trial on October 19 as a lead up to his successful return last Saturday.

   “The 1400 metres of last Saturday’s race has never really been his go but the track deteriorated a bit and that obviously helped him as it slowed some of the others down,” Gollan said.

   Last Saturday’s win was also a significant one for Meeska Mooska’s Cambridge trainers Graham Thomas and Mathew Gillies as it was their first success together. Thomas had formerly trained in partnership with Nick Smith while Gillies is a former top hurdle jockey.

   The pair joined forces several months ago and Gillies has played a hand in many of the stable’s wins since then, including the $50,000 Interprovincial Challenge with the stakes-winning mare Mangaroa Flo Jo. But last Saturday’s win was his first as an officially licensed trainer.

   “We’ve had a few winners over the last few months, but it just took a little while for my training licence to come through,” he said. “It’s nice to pick up our first winner as an official partnership.

   “It’s good for the horse as well – he’s a talented horse with a lot to look forward to. On how he was looking I thought he was a chance, and he’d been working well. But he’d never won over 1400 metres, so the stats were against him.”

   The Gollans 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.

   The horse’s eye problem is not the only setback the horse has had to overcome. He 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, 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 character Mickey Mouse, whose club house is called Meeska Mooska.


Pissaro carries HB hopes in Derby

   There will be strong Hawke’s Bay interest in tomorrow’s Group 1 $A1.5million AAMI Victoria Derby at Flemington with Pissaro, bred and part-owned by Waipukurau’s Mick Ormond, among the contenders.

   The three-year-old Pierro colt is a $23.00 outsider for the 2500-metre event but is certainly not without a chance of getting some of the money after a fourth placing in last Saturday’s Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m).

   That was the colt’s eighth start and followed a maiden win over 1600m at Adelaide’s Morphettville track on September 30 and then a luckless sixth over 1800m on the same track on October 14.

   Pissaro is trained at Cranbourne by Robbie Laing and will be ridden by experienced jockey Noel Callow. He is certainly bred to be a good stayer as he is out of the Galileo mare Sirani and his grandam was Sneetch, who finished third in a Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m).

   Ormond raced Sirani from the stable of John Sargent, when he was based in New Zealand, and she won three races from only 11 starts. Her three victories were at 2100m, 2200m and 2400m.

   Ormond was at the Moonee Valley track to watch Pissaro finish fourth behind Aloisha, Cliff’s Edge and Salsamor last Saturday and will be on a flight back to Melbourne today to cheer the horse home again in tomorrow’s big race.


Ellerslie race for Wait A Sec

   New Zealand Cup plans for star Hastings galloper Wait A Sec have been scrapped and the horse will instead contest next Tuesday’s Group 3 $70,000 OMF Stakes at Auckland before having a well deserved break.

   The 2000m Ellerslie race is run under weight-for-age conditions and will give the horse valuable experience racing on the right-handed track with plans to aim him for the Group 1 $500,000 Auckland Cup (3200m) there in March next year.

   The Postponed seven-year-old has thrived since his outstanding win in the Group 1 $250,000 Livamol Classic at Hastings on October 22 but that victory meant that he would now get too much weight in the New Zealand Cup (3200m) whereas he will carry the same weight next Tuesday as he had when winning the Livamol.

   Wait A Sec is trained by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and is the winner of 11 races, seven of those victories coming from his last nine starts. He has amassed more than $330,000 in stake earnings for his Hastings owner-breeder Ian Henderson and his Perth-based son Paul.

   There will still be Hawke’s Bay interest in the $250,000 New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton on November 18 with Locally Sauced, part-owned by Hastings woman Irene Downey and her son Josh, expected to take his place in the Group 3 event.

    Locally Sauced is trained by the Waiuku husband and wife team of Grant and Tana Shaw and they have had the New Zealand Cup in mind for the horse since the beginning of this year. The six-year-old Iffraaj gelding confirmed those Cup plans with a game last start win over 2100m at Ashburton on October 21.

   The Shaws have had Locally Sauced based in the South Island for several months and he has recorded three wins and two thirds from his last five starts. He is expected to contest the $75,000 Metropolitan Trophy Handicap (2500m) at Riccarton tomorrow week as a final lead up to the New Zealand Cup.


Next HB races

   Hawke’s Bay racegoers will be able to enjoy another family day of racing at the Hastings recourse on Sunday, November 12.

   An eight-race programme is scheduled for what will be the first “Christmas at the Races” meeting in the district this year.

   The first race is timed for 1.25pm and the last at 5.30pm.

   There will be a $10 gate charge with free admission for anyone under 18 years old and tickets to the members stand can be purchased at a cost of $30 each.


Jon Snow the Kiwi hope

   The wide open spaces of the Flemington track will be a major plus for New Zealand hope Jon Snow in next Tuesday’s A$6.2 million Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).

   “The main thing for him is getting away from Caulfield and on to a bigger track will really suit him,” said Andrew Forsman, who trains the four-year-old with Murray Baker.

   Jon Snow finished third two runs back in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) before he suffered interference when unplaced in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).

   “He’s doing well and he had a good gallop this week and his rider Stephen Baster is happy that the horse is on target,” Forsman said.

   Meanwhile Jon Snow’s stablemates Bonneval and Lizzie L’Amour were flown back to New Zealand on Wednesday and both horses are expected to be given a break now before being aimed at races in the autumn of next year.

Hastings Trackwork 1 Nov 2017

   Good solo 1000-metre workouts by Hunta Pence and The Cossack were two of the highlights at this morning’s Hastings track session.

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

   Hunta Pence clocked 1:3.5 for his 1000-metre gallop, running the first 400 metres in 27.7 and coming home the last 600 in a quick 35.8. He only managed seventh over 1600 metres at Hastings last start but was less than 5 lengths from the winner and was racing out of his grade. He may start next at the Hawke’s Bay meeting on Sunday week.

   The Cossack recorded 1:5.4 for his 1000-metre workout, the first 400 taking 28.1 and the final 600 in 37.3. He was a last start sixth over 1400 metres at Rotorua but that was his first race for six months and he looks to have taken plenty of improvement from the run.

   Last start winner Scandalo, a possible starter at Awapuni this Saturday, worked with stablemate Lady Guinness over 1000 metres and were timed to run home the last 600 in 37. Both horses look in great order.

   Londaro, entered for the Maiden 1600 at Awapuni on Saturday, was given a sprint up the straight this morning and recorded 25s for 400 metres. He is another who looks to have trained on well since his last start win.

   Craggy Range looked to be travelling well on the outside of stablemate Jonny Russ at the end of 1000 metres in a quick 1:1.9, the last 600 in 35.3 while Mocca and Perfect Shock worked together over 1000 metres in 1:5.7, the last 600 in 36.8.

   Gates To Rio and a Nom de Jeu three-year-old gelding, both in the Thompson/Brown stable, worked in from the 1000-metre peg in 1:9.9, quickening over the last 600 in 37.8.

   Thelma finished in front of Happy Hitter at the end of their 1000-metre gallop in 1:4.8, the last 600 in 36.3 while Hugo The Boss clocked 1:6.6 for a solo 1000 metres, the last 600 in 36.3.

   Kaipawe and a Nom de Jeu four-year-old gelding recorded 1:10.9 for 1000 metres, the last 600 in 39.2 while My Big Sister, who is a Nadeem three-year-old filly in the Patrick Campbell stable, ran home the last 400 metres of her work in 27.7.

  A Jakkalberry two-year-old gelding trained by Tim Symes worked over 600 metres at three-quarter pace, clocking 44.6.

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