Hawkes Bay Racing Column 29 Nov 2019
Top galloper Magnum enjoying a dual role
(By John Jenkins)
Magnum, a game winner of a $40,000 open class race at Pukekohe last Saturday, will revert to competing in the showring this weekend.
The seven-year-old Per Incanto gelding, part-owned by Havelock North’s Jason Fleming, is entered for the ‘Best Thoroughbred Life After Racing’ section at Sunday’s Waikato A& P Show.
Among the horses he will be competing against there are the former outstanding galloper Mufhasa, whose 20 wins included 10 at Group 1 level, and the 2010 New Zealand Derby winner Military Move.
Magnum was recording his seventh win when he got up in the last stride to snatch a nose decision over Contessa Vanessa in last Saturday’s 1600m open event at Pukekohe. It was his first success since taking out a 1200m open sprint at Ruakaka in September last year, but he had recorded several good minor placings of late and been plagued by wide barrier draws.
Fleming is one of five people still involved in the ownership of Magnum after some of the other shareholders dropped out.
“He’s been a good horse but seems to always to find one better than him on the day,” Fleming said this week.
“He’s had bad draws which hasn’t helped but he drew well last Saturday and it was a good ride from Opie Bosson, who thinks he’s got a fair bit of talent.”
Magnum is at his best when he can be given a bit of racing room and held up for one final sprint. Bosson positioned him in fifth place and one off the fence until the home turn and waited for as long as he could before asking him for the supreme effort.
Contessa Vanessa looked to have the race is safe keeping when two lengths clear inside the final 200 metres but Magnum launched late to get in the deciding stride.
The horse’s Cambridge trainer Lauren Brennan was both pleased and relieved to get the win with the son of Per Incanto.
“I am glad he got up, even by a whisker,” Brennan said. “We have always thought he would get the mile, just the way he is so relaxed. But he has got to have everything go his way.”
Magnum will now head south to Awapuni on December 21 where he will compete in front of his Central Districts-based owners in the $100,000 Kamada Park Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m).
“David Wallace, Jason Fleming, Sam and Catriona Williams live down that way, so it will give them a day out to see their horse.
“We know he is going to be competitive over that distance, he runs well at Awapuni and it gives him a month to freshen-up.”
Brennan said she would then look towards an autumn return with the lightly raced seven-year-old.
“We might give him a little break over Christmas-New Year, we will just see how he runs first,” she said. “We know tracks around that time are going to come up quite firm and it would be nice to get some dead tracks in the autumn for him before it gets too wet.”
Magnum, who was born at Masterton’s Little Avondale Stud, did his early racing in Singapore where he recorded four wins and seven minor placings from 15 starts. He then returned to New Zealand where he was put in the care of Brennan and his victory last Saturday took his stake earnings to close to $500,000.
“Lauren does a lot of alternative training with the horse and it seems to work for him,” Fleming said.
“He does a lot of trekking up the hills and a lot more than just trackwork.”
Fleming says he has cut back on his thoroughbred interests in recent years but has shares in a few young horses coming on and is a shareholder in the John Bary-trained Champagne Bride, a mare by Roc de Cambes who has won one race at 2000m and was a good last start third over 1600m at Woodville.
“I think she could be a good stayer,” Fleming added.
Trainer Lauren Brennan is happy with the way her other stable star, Vigor Winner, has returned home after his runner-up performance behind True Enough in the Group 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton on November 13.
“Luckily, he got to fly back a few days later, so it saved him the float trip home,” Brennan said.
“It was just unfortunate that he got pipped. It is a long straight at Riccarton and the winning post didn’t come up soon enough for us.”
The performance affirmed the four-year-old’s ability over a mile and Brennan now has her sights set on Group 1 targets for the son of Declaration Of War.
“I am pleased he got the mile; I was starting to think before the Coupland’s that he may be a 1200 or 1400m horse,” she said.
“We will give him three weeks out, freshen him up and aim him for the Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham in January.
“He likes those big, roomy tracks and I think left-handed way of going is probably better for him as well.
“We know he runs well fresh and we may give him another trial before the race, but that will be his next start.”
Charlotte third in Pony Final
Fourteen-year-old, Charlotte New, rode the race of her life to finish in third place in the Sheikha Lateefa Bint Mansoor Bint Zayed Al Nahyan International Pony Race Final at the Abu Dhabi Sports and Equestrian Centre Racecourse last weekend.
A crowd of over 12000 cheered loudly as the fifteen pony riders started the 400m race.
Louis Bouton from France was a tearaway leader and won the race from Evan Nicholas of Romania with Charlotte and her pony Kulla in third place.
Other countries competing were USA, Algeria, Russia, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Great Britain, Belgium, Sweden and the UAE
Sheikha Lateefa, daughter of the UAE Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mansoor, presented the trophy to Charlotte.
Charlotte's proud mum Kylla was in the winners’ enclosure to share the moment with her daughter.
Two HB race days together
Hawke’s Bay racegoers are in for a Christmas treat with two days of racing on two different tracks in the space of four days coming up.
The Waipukurau Jockey Club’s annual Christmas meeting will be held on the Waipukurau track on Sunday, December 8, and three days later Hawke’s Bay Racing will hold a twilight meeting at Hastings on Wednesday, December 11.
The feature race at the Waipukurau meeting will be the $16,000 Dunstan Feeds Stayers Championship Qualifier, a 2200m event for Rating 72 horses.
There will also be a Dunstan Feeds 1500 Championship Qualifier over 1400m for Rating 65 grade horses at the Hawke’s Bay meeting, with the other main race being a Rating 72 sprint over 1200m.
Endless Drama steps out in Perth
Cambridge trainer Tony Pike is stepping into unfamiliar territory with Endless Drama this weekend.
Endless Drama, winner of the Group 2 Easter Handicap (1600m) and the Group 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) this year, is in Perth for an attack on the Group 1 $A1 million Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot tomorrow.
“I’ve never taken a horse to Perth before or been there myself so it’s new to me,” Pike said.
He and jockey Leith Innes were on a flight to Perth on Wednesday.
Pike decided on the Winterbottom Stakes for Endless Drama after weighing up all Australian possibilities for the son of Lope De Vega.
“It looked a nice option for him and outside of Melbourne it’s a tier down,” Pike said.
“The club was keen to get him there when taking into account his form around Melody Belle and Te Akau Shark and they’ve paid all the transport as well as some other costs.”
Endless Drama beat Te Akau Shark (second) and Melody Belle (fourth) in the Foxbridge Plate before finishing unplaced in the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings, won by Melody Belle.
“He was caught wide in the Tarzino and we battled foot problems with him from then on,” Pike said.
“He’s been off for a while, but he goes well fresh and as long as he gets a reasonable draw he should be a big chance.”
The Winterbottom Stakes field will include the James Cummings-trained Trekking, to whom Endless Drama finished third in the Group 1 Stradbroke (1400m) at Eagle Farm.
Trekking has since won the Group 2 Schillaci (1100m) at Caulfield in October before finishing third to Yes Yes Yes in the $A14 million Everest (1200m) at Randwick and a last-start second to Pierata in the A$1 million Redzel Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill.
Endless Drama won twice in Ireland, raced in England, chased champion Winx home when third in the 2017 Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick and won the feature the following year before transferring to Pike last March.
Matthew Cameron sidelined
Leading jockey Matthew Cameron is likely to be sidelined for at least another couple of weeks after he was injured when unsaddling fifth placed Visenya in race six at New Plymouth last Friday.
“I came back, dismounted and started taking the saddle off the horse, and then she just brushed her back legs against one of those little hedges they have on the sides of the ‘first’ to ‘sixth’ stalls,” Cameron said.
“She got a bit of a fright and lunged forward, then kicked with both barrels. She got me in the knee, and straight away I felt something happen, whether it was a pull or a tear to a ligament, I’m not sure yet. But I’ve had it x-rayed and at least there’s no fracture.”
Cameron was to see a knee specialist yesterday morning where he will get the results of an MRI scan. He will then have a better idea of what the dame is and how long he will be out of action for.
HASTINGS TRACKWORK 26 Nov 2019
(By John Jenkins)
A fast 600-metre sprint by the stablemates Satu Lagi and Maria Dior was the highlight in a quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.
There was very little in the way of fast work as several horses from the centre were to compete at the Woodville jumpouts later in the morning.
Working on the plough (good) Satu Lagi and Maria Dior sprinted the last 600m of their work in 36.2s, with both horses striding out well at the finish.
Trainer Patrick Campbell is unsure where both horses will race next, saying there is a possibility one, or both, could go to Otaki this Friday or Trentham on Saturday week.
Resolution, entered for the Rating 65 race over 2300m at Otaki, worked with stablemate Unionhall over a round. They were timed to run the last 1200m in 1:21.7 and came home the final 600 in 37.5.
A Jimmy Choux three-year-old gelding worked in from the 600m peg in 42.8, quickening slightly over the last 400 in 26.8.
Chalk was kept to just three-quarter pace over 1000m in 1:15.8, the last 600 in 44.3. He may race next at the Hawke’s Bay meeting on December 11.
Hawkes Bay Racing Column 22 Nov 2019
Outsider Ruie’s Crumpet turns her form around
(By John Jenkins)
Ruie’s Crumpet, prepared by the Hawke’s Bay partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, stunned punters when she showed a complete form reversal with a decisive all the way win in a $10,000 maiden over 1400m at Waverley last Sunday.
The four-year-old Bullbars mare was having her fourth start, with her previous best placing being an eighth over 1200m at Awapuni on November 2.
Her debut run over 1200m at Otaki back in May proved a complete disaster, with the horse tailing off in the early stages before being eased down to not much more than a trot when finishing a long last, more than 73 lengths from the winner.
The judicial report after that race stated that Ruie’s Crumpet raced ungenerously in the early stages and hung badly rounding the home turn. Her rider did not persevere over the final stages and she must trial to the satisfaction of a stipendiary steward before she could race again.
Ruie’s Crumpet was given a 1200m trial at Otaki five days after that race and performed to the satisfaction of the steward, finishing third out of five runners.
Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen decided to give the horse a winter spell and she resumed with a win in a 750m Hastings jumpout at the beginning of September followed by a second in a 1000m trial at Foxton in September, where she only went down by half a length.
However, her resuming race, over 1200m at Otaki on September 26, resulted in another poor performance. She raced in the first half a dozen until the home turn but then dropped out sharply to beat only one horse home.
The mare was given another freshen up and sent down to be trained on the Dannevirke farm property operated by Grant Cullen and his partner Nikki Lourie. Her last start eighth over 1200m at Awapuni on November 2 was a slight improvement but hardly endeared her to the punters and she was sent out a 30 to one shot when she lined up at Waverley last Sunday.
Jockey Holly Andrew’s instructions were to bounce the mare out fast from the barrier and get her to race on the pace and she followed them to the letter.
Ruie’s Crumpet was in front at the end of the first 50 metres and just kept on running, keeping up a strong gallop to the line to win by a length from Posh Porotene, with Qiji Olympia a further 2 lengths back in third.
Although the result rocked the punters, Cullen was not completely surprised by the win.
“She’s shown a bit of potential at times but she has been green,” he said.
“So, from the draw today, I told Holly to go forward and put her in the race.
“I did think she might have been going a bit too hard at one stage but she stuck it out well.”
Ruie’s Crumpet is owned by Dannevirke’s Roger Jefferd in partnership with his Australian cousin Dan Morice but there were also several other family members involved in celebrating the win.
“It is a big family affair with about 20 people involved,” Roger Jefferd said this week.
“We bought the horse in a private sale and it is the only horse we are racing at the moment.
“Her first two races were a total disaster but she seems to have come right now.”
Apprentice jockey Holly Andrew is all smiles as she brings Ruie’s Crumpet back at the head of the field following the mare’s upset win in a maiden race at Waverley last Sunday.
Co-trainer Grant Cullen and Ruie’s Crumpet’s Dannevirke part-owner Roger Jefferd (wearing hat) discuss the horse’s victory with winning jockey Holly Andrew.
HB-owned gelding ran rivals ragged
He’s Done A Runner, bred and owned by Pourerere’s Sue Harty, certainly lived up to his name when breaking through for a maiden win at Waverley last Sunday.
The Per Incanto gelding, having his first start in a new campaign, bounced straight to the front in the 1200m event and led his rivals a merry chase from then on.
The four-year-old was taken on by Blue Arrow in the middle stages of the race but quickly shook him off and, after kicking clear on the home turn, he never looked like being caught. At the finish he was 3-3/4 lengths clear of second placed Trendy Belt, with Blue Arrow weakening to be a short neck back in third place.
He’s Done A Runner , who is trained at Awapuni by Mike Breslin, was having his third start after a debut second over 1200m on his home track in May and an eighth over 1200m at Wanganui the following month.
He was then given a spell to strengthen and mature and has come back a lot better horse this time in.
“He’s always been a nice horse and Mike likes him but his brain has had to mature,” owner Sue Harty said this week.
“He’s growing up all the time and is getting better.”
He’s Done A Runner is a big rangy gelding and the last foal produced by the Justice Prevail mare Out On Bail, who is now deceased.
Out On Bail was the winner of three races herself and has been a prolific producer of winners at stud. From eight foals to race she has produced seven individual winners of 32 races.
Her successful progeny have been Ocean Storm (four wins), Parole (eight wins), Acquit (10 wins), Surf Patrol (seven wins), Legal Aid (one win), Justice Well (one win) and He’ Done A Runner (one win).
Harty has reduced her thoroughbred interests in recent years but still retains a breeding and ownership interest in Surf Patrol, who has left the three race winner Son Of Surf as well as Flying Surf, who has recorded a second and a third from four starts.
“Surf Patrol now has a foal at foot by Dalghar and has gone to be served by Staphanos,” Harty added.
He’s Done A Runner and jockey Johnathan Parkes are out on their own at the finish of a 1400m maiden race at Waverley last Sunday. The Per Incanto gelding led all the way and scored by 3-3/4 lengths.
Talenti wins in Melbourne
Former Hastings-trained Talenti broke through for an impressive win in his Australian debut at last Friday night’s Moonee Valley meeting in Melbourne.
The Niagara four-year-old gelding was having his first start for Caulfield trainer Robert Hickmott when he lined up in a $A50,000 Class 1 race over 1500m and was ridden by South African-born jockey Barend Vorster, who was having his first ever ride on the famous Moonee Valley track.
Talenti dropped out to a clear last in the early stages of the race before Vorster started to improve his position coming to the home turn. The horse was the widest turning in and unleashed a powerful finish down the outside to win by 1-3/4 lengths, going away.
Talenti is owned by his Auckland breeder Trish Dunell and is out of the Lohnro mare La Tourneau. He had his first three starts from the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, winning on debut over 1300m at Hastings back in May.
He was then given a winter spell before resuming with an unlucky fourth over 1200m at Hastings on the last day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.
He was then stepped up to 1400m at Awapuni on November 2 where he drew wide and covered plenty of extra ground in the running before recording another fourth. He was then transferred to Hickmott’s Melbourne stable.
Pony race win to contest final
Charlotte New, winner of the New Zealand Pony Race Final at Hastings on August 31, travelled with her mother Kylla to Abu Dhabi on Wednesday night to compete in the international final of the Sheikha Lateefa series tomorrow.
The 14-year-old, riding a pony called Armadale Hitari, was a three-quarter length winner of the 300m dash up the Hastings straight on the first day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.
It was Charlotte and Armadale Hitari’s ’s third win from as many starts in pony races this season, following victories in the Waikato Hunt Pony Scurry at Te Rapa and the Pakuranga Hunt Pony Sprint at Ellerslie.
At Abu Dhabi she will be competing against other riders from Algeria, Sweden, Romania, France, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the United States and the United Emirates.
Charlotte has always loved horses. Her first word was ‘horsey’ and she got her first pony at 18 months old. She was the youngest member of Waikato Hunt at eight years old and is an avid fan of hunting. She has previously served the huntsman as a whipper in and led the field at the children’s hunt.
Charlotte has been showjumping competitively to a height of one metre and was a member of the Hauraki Plains College Equestrian team that won the Waikato secondary schools Showjumping Championship.
Charlotte often rides three or four ponies after school and has them all fed and cared for before school in the mornings.
She is also training a wild Kaimanawa stallion and hopes to start riding him this summer.
Waikato’s Charlotte New displays her trophies after winning the New Zealand Pony Race Final at Hastings in August. She will now represent New Zealand in an international final at Abu Dhabi tomorrow.
First Group win for Hemi
Central Districts jockey Leah Hemi experienced her biggest day in racing at Riccarton last Saturday.
Hemi brought up her sixth stakes victory and first at Group level when riding home Dee and Gee to take out the Group 3 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup (3200m).
“This one is definitely the biggest one because all of the other ones have been Listed races and this is the first Group race I have won,” she said.
It was just the second ride Saturday for Hemi, who kept her perfect record on the day intact after winning aboard Riviera Rock earlier in the card.
“It’s pretty surreal, it still hasn’t sunk in yet because we were straight on a flight afterwards and there were races on Sunday,” she said.
“It was a great day, it just seemed to work out really well. We had a quiet week on the Wednesday and Saturday prior, so it all made up for it on the last day.”
The pair had gone close to a Cup victory before, having finished runner-up in the Group 3 Wellington Cup (3200m) behind Gorbachev earlier this year.
HASTINGS TRACKWORK 19 Nov 2019
(By John Jenkins)
Trainer Lee Somervell intends taking a team of horses to Saturday’s Rangitikei meeting at Awapuni and all of them worked in good style at this morning’s Hastings track session.
Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided good footing.
Yossarian and Sheer Elegance, two members of the Somervell team, worked together over 800m in a quick 48.9, coming home the last 600 in 36.3. Both horses were hitting out well at the finish and look ready to show a return to form. Yossarian will contest the Rating 65 race over 1600m and Sheer Elegance will be in a 1300m maiden. Madan Singh has been booked to ride Yossarian while Danielle Hirini is on Sheer Elegance.
One Prize One Goal and Stradivarius, two others from the Somervell stable, also worked together over 1000m in 1:06, the last 600 in 36.7, with One Prize One Goal slightly ahead at the finish.
Stradivarius will contest the Open 1400 at Awapuni while One Prize One Goal will be in the Rating 72 race over 1400m. Madan Sign will ride them both.
Last start winner Magic Incanto showed she has taken no harm from that run when she strode out well at the finish of her 600m workout in 38.2 while Resolution, another who was a last start winner at Hastings, worked with stablemate Unionhall over a round. They were timed to run the last 1200m in 1:23.9, the final 600 in 39.9.
Veuve Clicquot and a Giant Steps three-year-old gelding, two others trained by Somervell, clocked 1:07.7 for 1000m, the last 600 in 36.7. Veuve Clicquot is another entered for Awapuni on Saturday where she will be one of Yossarian’s race-rivals in the Rating 65 race over 1600m.
Mi Jakky worked over a round on his own and was timed over the last 1200m in 1:21.2, the last 600 in 39.3.
Sigourney Heights and Fabulous Fleet worked together over 1000m in 1:11.1, the last 600 in 38.1 while My Tommy and a Jakkalberry three-year-old gelding were let run along over the last 400m of their work in 24.5.
Hawkes Bay Racing Column 15 Nov 2019
A magical day for Hastings-trained horses
(By John Jenkins)
Hastings stables dominated their local meeting last Sunday, winning five of the eight races on the programme.
John Bary saddled up two winners while James Bridge, Fred Pratt and the partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen each produced a win apiece.
One of the most popular wins on the day was that of the Fred Pratt-trained Magic Incanto in the 1400m maiden event.
Not only was it the seven-year-old mare’s first victory but it was also the first success for her trainer since he saddled up Golan Express to win a 1000m maiden at Tauherenikau in June 2014.
The 61-year-old Pratt, a former successful jumps jockey, has dabbled at training for many years. He was based in Woodville for a start before crossing the Tasman where he spent 20 years training with success in Australia.
He decided to return to New Zealand about eight years ago, first spending time assisting Levin trainer Peter McKenzie before shifting to Hastings, where he is now employed at the local freezing works.
Racing has been in Pratt’s blood since he was born so there was always a desire to continue an involvement in the industry, whilst also trying to make a living elsewhere. He presently has three horses in work and is one of the first at the Hastings track of a morning to get his horses worked so he can go off to his main job.
‘I’d love to get more horses and give up the freezing works but it is hard to get them and it is getting a lot harder,” he said.
Magic Incanto was bred by Woodville butcher John Shannon and Wellington’s John Fokerd and is raced by Shannon’s wife along with several other butchers’ wives from around the central districts and other family friends.
Although Magic Incanto is seven years old, she was having only her 15th start last Sunday and has been plagued by injuries. She had to be late scratched from a race at Waipukurau in March of this year after injuring herself during the float trip from Hastings to the races and also took plenty of skin off when she got tangled up in a fence at one stage.
The mare was having her first start since finishing sixth of eight over 1350m on a heavy track at Wanganui in July but had performed well in jumpouts and turned in an impressive trackwork gallop at Hastings a couple of weeks ago.
Magic Incanto and jockey Leah Hemi led all the way when winning at Hastings last Sunday but Pratt said that was not the plan.
“I thought she’d be a bit fresh and said to Leah to jump her out of the gates and go forward but I didn’t expect her lead all the way,” Pratt said.
“But she was always traveling well.”
Magic Incanto bounced straight to the front and Hemi dictated terms, maintaining a good advantage over the field until the home turn before kicking clear at the top of the straight. The mare kept up a strong run to the line to win by 1-1/4 lengths from Vita Sicilia, with 2 lengths back to third placed Unbroken.
Although it was only a maiden win Pratt is confident Magic Incanto will measure up in stronger company and has the $35,000 Open 1400m race at Awapuni on November 23 as a possible target for the mare.
“There is also a $22,500 Rating 65 race over 1600m at Awapuni that day and I’ve told the owners that could be an easier assignment,” Pratt said.
Magic Incanto and jockey Leah Hemi are clear of their rivals at the finish of the 1400m maiden race at Hastings last Sunday. The Per Incanto mare led all the way and never looked like being caught.
Trainer Fred Pratt (centre) is congratulated by fellow Hastings trainers Guy Lowry and Patrick Campbell following Magic Incanto’s maiden success at last Sunday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.
Good training feat
James Bridge started the ball rolling for the five Hastings-trained winners at last Sunday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting when Resolution scored in the opening event, a 2100m maiden.
The Nom de Jeu five-year-old was coming off a last start third over 1400m at Woodville on October 24 and it was a good training feat by Bridge to get the horse to step up 700m in distance and win.
Resolution got no favours in the running either. He drew the outside of a 10 horse field and was caught three-wide for the first 600m before rider Jonathan Riddell decided to push on and take up a trailing position behind pacemaker Border Leicester.
The latter tried to put a winning break on the field rounding the home bend and had a 3 length advantage at the top of the straight. But Resolution was not to be denied and kept grinding away to get up and win and win by half a neck.
Resolution is owned by James Bridge in partnership with his parents, John and Jackie, and was bought in a private sale from the Fell family’s Fairdale Stud in Palmerston North.
He is bred to be a good stayer, being out of the Alleged mare Miss Vita and a half-brother to the 2010 Auckland Cup winner Zavite.
“He definitely appreciated the step up in distance today,” James Bridge said.
Motivation very impressive
The John Bary-trained Motivation was arguably the most impressive winner at last Sunday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.
The Mastercraftsman five-year-old came from two lengths last on the home turn to win by a decisive three-quarters of a length in a Rating 65 race over 1300m, stamping himself as a promising stayer in the making.
Motivation had not raced since disappointing when only eighth of 11 over 1600m on the third day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, on October 5, but had shown good ability on the first two days of that carnival, with a second and a fourth over 1400m.
The grey was turned out in prime condition by Bary for last Sunday’s assignment and jockey Johnathan Parkes rode the gelding like he was the best horse in the field, dropping him back to last and biding his time until the home turn.
Once in the straight Parkes picked a path between horses and Motivation unleashed a devastating final sprint in the last 200 metres.
It was the horse’s second win from 15 starts but his first since joining the Bary stable after he was formerly prepared by the then partnership of Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards at Matamata.
He is owned by his Hunterville-based breeders Christopher and Susanna Grace and is out of the Zabeel mare Tenacity, who was the winner of five races in the South Island.
Bary’s racing manager, Mike Sanders, said Motivation is now likely to head to the Wellington meeting on December 7, where he could start in either a Rating 72 race over 1400m or a Rating 82 sprint over 1200m.
Motivation was the second of two winners produced by the Bary stable at Hastings last Sunday. The first was Bucky, who scored an all the way win in a 1200m maiden.
The Power five-year-old was having his first start since finishing an unlucky seventh over 1200m at Hastings in July but had indicated he was ready for a big fresh up performance when finishing a close second in a 1000m jumpout at Hastings a month ago.
The horse bounced straight to the front from the outset last Sunday and rider Johnathan Parkes was able to dictate the pace, maintaining a good advantage before kicking clear in the home straight.
Race favourite Holsty and Rakuten lodged a challenge to Bucky inside the last 100 metres but he was able to stave them off and win by a long head.
Bucky is bred to be good as he is out of the former speedy racemare The Lady, who won two Listed stakes races as a two-year-old and was also placed at Group 3 level. He is owned by his Auckland breeders Ron and Nuala Saunders of Maroal Bloodstock Limited.
The grey Motivation produced some big strides late for jockey Johnathan Parkes to get up and down Second Slip (Holly Andrew) in a Rating 65 race over 1300m at Hastings last Sunday
Deserved win for Tuigirl
Tuigirl made up for some unlucky runs this campaign with a deserved success in the final event at last Sunday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting, the Rating 65 race over 1600m.
The Niagara four-year-old, trained on the Hastings track by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, should have finished a lot closer in each of her previous three starts this campaign. She was blocked for a run 250 metres from the finish when a fresh up fifth over 1400m at Hastings in August and then got caught wide in the running when eighth over 1800m at Taupo the following month. She then lined up on the last day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, on October 5, where she was again held up in the home straight and never really got clear running in the final stages, finishing sixth.
Jockey Craig Grylls gave Tuigirl every chance in the running last Sunday, positioning the mare in a trailing position behind the pacemaking Platinum Wild Card soon after the start.
Tuigirl was travelling easily coming to the home turn and hit the front soon after straightening. Grylls then kicked her clear and she maintained a strong run to the line to win by three-quarters of a length from The Midnight Shift, who was a head in front of third placed Kinshasa.
Tuigirl was recording her second win from 10 starts, the first coming in a 1600m maiden at Hastings in April this year. She is owned by her Taradale co-breeder Bruce Lumsden and is out of the Kaaptive Edition mare Miss Tui, who won five races in Australia from 800m to 1600m.
Bruce Lumsden (left), the co-breeder and owner of Tuigirl discusses the mare’s win in the final race at Hastings last Sunday with co-trainer Guy Lowry and jockey Craig Grylls.
By-monthly award winner
Hastings woman Christel Jager is the recipient of the by-monthly Kevin Wood Memorial Trophy for the months of September and October.
The trophy is sponsored by the Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners Association and is presented to a Hawke’s Bay-based owner who has achieved success on the racetrack.
Jager has a small 2.5 per cent share in Cool Aza Beel, who took out the first two-year-old race of the season at Wanganui on September 7.
The Savabeel colt was turned out for a spell after that debut win but resumed with a trial win over 880m at Te Rapa last month.
Hastings Jumpouts 12 Nov 2019
(By John Jenkins)
The well-bred Galileo Express was one of the most impressive winners at today’s Hastings jumpouts, recording a quick time in one of the 750-metre heats.
The jumpouts were held well out from the running rail on the course proper, where the ground was dead after steady rain overnight.
Galileo Express took out the second of the 750m heats, winning by a long neck in the hands of former jockey Kate Hercock. The winning time of 46.4s was the quickest of the four heats at the distance.
Galileo Express is trained by John Bary for long time stable client Ivan Grieve and is by Shamexpress out of a Galileo mare.
Other good winners at the jumpouts were the former northern-trained Trueman, who is now prepared by Paul Nelson ad Corrina McDougal, and the Richard McKenzie owned and trained Chalk.
Heat 1, 750m: Niagara-All In Grace 3yr-old gelding (H Durrant) 1, Darci Brahma-Wind Of Savannah 2yr-old gelding 2, Ferlax 3yr-old filly 3. Four starters. Margins: Neck, 2-3/4 lengths. Time: 53s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.
Heat 2, 750m: Galileo Express (K Hercock) 1, Savabeel 3yr-old gelding 2, Belfast Babe 3. Four starters. Margins: Long neck, 2 lengths. Time: 46.4s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.
Heat 3, 750m: Power 2yr-old filly (M Stowe) 1, Niagara 3yr-old filly 2, Zed 4yr-old mare 3. Four starters. Margins: Nose, 3 lengths. Time: 47.9s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.
Heat 4, 750m: Lou Lou (Sammy) 1, Matta Cain 2, Eleventhour 3. Four starters. Margins: Long head, 3 lengths. Time: 47.3s. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.
Heat 5, 1000m: Tequila (Sammy) 1, Rebamine 2, Nedwin 3. Four starters. Margins: Long neck, 1-3/4 lengths. Time: 1:05.5. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.
Heat 6, 1000m: Trueman (J Bassett) 1, Iffraaj-Erbe 3yr-old gelding 2, Ohms 3. Four starters. Margins: Neck, 1 length. Time: 1:04.3. Winner trained by Paul Nelson & Corrina McDougal, Hastings.
Heat 7, 1000m: Chalk (J Bassett) 1, Sheer Elegance 2, Red Sunday 3. Five starters. Margins: Long neck, 1/2 length. Time: 1:02.9. Winner trained by Richard McKenzie, Hastings.
Hawkes Bay Racing Column 8 Nov 2019
Hastings partners now eyeing feature races
(By John Jenkins)
The Hastings training partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen are on weather watch as they plan feature assignments for two of their stable stars over the next month.
The stable has Riva Capri and Can I Get An Amen nominated for the Group 1 $300,000 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton tomorrow week and are also looking to tackle the Listed $50,00 Wanganui Cup (2040m) on November 30 with Atlanta Peach, who scored an impressive win at Awapuni last Saturday.
Riva Capri has been ticking over in training since her good last start fourth in the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) at Hastings on October 5 and is booked to travel south next Wednesday while Can I Get An Amen is already in the South Island and finished second in a 1400m maiden race at Motukarara last Sunday.
“At this stage both fillies are heading for the Guineas if the track is not too firm,” co-trainer Guy Lowry said this week.
“Riva Capri hasn’t raced for a while but has done well and has raced well when fresh in the past while Can I Get An Amen is still a maiden and, if she doesn’t make the guineas field, there is a $30,000 maiden race at Riccarton for her.”
Riva Capri has had four starts for a win, a second and a fourth, with her victory coming in the Listed O’Learys Fillies Stakes (1200m) on a heavy track at Wanganui.
Lowry says the filly really needs some easing in track conditions to show her best and is hoping there is some rain in Christchurch next week.
Atlanta Peach has also shown her best form on rain affected tracks, with her five wins being on either dead., slow or heavy ground.
“We are looking at running her in the Wanganui Cup at the end of the month, providing the track is not too firm,” Lowry said.
Atlanta Peach produced an outstanding performance to win a $30,000 Rating 82 race over 1600m at Awapuni last Saturday. The mare was last on settling and still a long way from the leaders approaching the home turn.
Rider Ryan Elliot decided to ride her for luck, picking a path through the field but still keeping her under a hold. He managed to get a late split between horses inside the last 50 metres and Atlanta Peach dived through to get up and win by a head in a close four-way finish.
“That is the way she has to be ridden,” Lowry said.
“You have to ride her quiet and have that last crack at them. She’s got a really good sprint if you can hold her up for one last run.”
Atlanta Peach was recording her fifth win from only 14 starts and her success last weekend followed a creditable eighth in the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings on October 5.
The Bullbars mare is owned by Cambridge-based Tony Rider and raced by him in partnership with staff from his Pak N Save supermarket.
Atlanta Peach sticks her head out on the line to snatch victory in a Rating 82 race over 1600m at Awapuni last Saturday. The Hastings-trained mare is now being aimed at the Wanganui Cup (2040m) at the end of this month.
HB owner celebrates again
Taradale racehorse owner Ken Robson has enjoyed good success with Secret Squirrel from the New Plymouth stable of Bryce Revell and now looks to have another promising galloper in Ekstrememiss.
The big Cape Blanco mare broke through for her maiden victory over 2000m on her home track last Friday and looks a good stayer in the making.
Ekstrememiss was having her 13th start, with her best previous placings being two fourths and three fifths.
Revell decided to step her up in distance last Friday and also added a tongue-tie to her gear and it seemed to have the desired effect. Rider Shaun McKay settled the mare back midfield in the early running before asking her to improve entering the last 600m.
The mare was under a hard ride coming to the home bend but once McKay angled her to the outside she started to hit top gear, stretching out impressively in the final stages to win by three-quarters of a length.
“Bryce has always thought a lot of her but she has just taken time,” Robson said this week.
“At her last start, over 1600 at Woodville, her rider Chris Johnson said she lost her way at the 800 and the track was really too heavy for her. He also said that she would be better suited by 2000 metres.”
Revell bought Ekstrememiss for $15,000 at the 2017 Karaka yearling sales and then set about syndicating the horse out, with Robson taking up a 10 per cent share.
Revell was very familiar with the horse’s pedigree as he had trained her dam Ekstreme to win seven races, including the Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham.
“Ekstreme was a really good mare who won more than $400,000 in stakemoney and Bryce always said he would like to race one out of her,” Robson added.
Ekstrememiss is likely to have her next start in a $22,500 Rating 65 race over 2100m at Awapuni next Thursday.
Extrememiss pictured on her way to winning a 2000m maiden race on her home track at New Plymouth last Friday. The Cape Blanco mare looks a promising stayer in the making.
Melody Belle rings true again
Glamour New Zealand mare Melody Belle, part-owned by Waipukurau couple Trevor and Debbie Walters, will be looking to extend her Group 1 winning record to 11 when she lines up in tomorrow’s $A2million MacKinnon Stakes (2000m) in Melbourne.
The reigning New Zealand Horse of the Year recorded her first Australian success at the elite level when taking out last Saturday’s Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) at Flemington and returns to the same venue for tomorrow’s weight-for-age feature.
“She broke the pattern of the day,” trainer Jamie Richards said, reflecting on the mare’s outstanding win. “She came from off the speed and quickened well.”
It was one of the biggest moments in Richards’ fledgling career and he hopes that Group One feeling will return tomorrow.
“It was a big thrill on Saturday,” he said. “Gingernuts won the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas in Australia when I was training with Steve (Autridge), but to go to Melbourne in the spring, on arguably the biggest day of the year, was very exciting and I was very pleased that she could put it all together.”
The Empire Rose victory gave Richards, Te Akau principal David Ellis and Fortuna Syndications manager John Galvin, the confidence to press on to the Mackinnon rather than the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) on Saturday.
“There’s a big difference in the prizemoney,” he said. “It’s very hard to fault her form and we think she deserves an opportunity to have a go at the best of them.”
Melody Belle will be shooting for her fifth win in a row in the 2000m feature but will need to overcome barrier 15 in the 16 horse field.
It is not the first time Richards has been met with such a hurdle this spring. Te Akau Shark was dealt the outside barrier in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), but a gun ride by leading New Zealand hoop Opie Bosson resulted in a game third-placing.
“We are going to need a little bit of luck with the way the barriers have come out, but hopefully there is good tempo in the race and we can get back a little bit, where hopefully she can finish off as strongly as she did last Saturday,” Richards said.
He has been happy with the way Melody Belle has pulled up after Saturday’s assignment.
“She has done well, we have been pleased with her,” Richards said. “She has eaten reasonably well.”
Melody Belle is unbeaten over 2000m, winning both the Group 1 Bonecrusher Stakes at Ellerslie and the Group 1 Livamol Stakes at Hastings this year and Richards is hoping to keep that record intact on Saturday.
“In the Livamol, she probably didn’t beat much that day, but at Ellerslie in the autumn when she beat Danzdanzdance on a heavy track in the Bonecrusher certainly suggested that she has got a bit of stamina and she can handle the trip. The 2000m doesn’t look to worry her.”
With Melody Belle now having proven herself at the elite level in Australia, the $57,500 Karaka yearling sale purchase by David Ellis is set to return to Australian shores next year in a bid to chase more Group 1 spoils.
“She will be in the spelling paddock on Monday and she will be coming back to New Zealand for a break,” Richards said. “Hopefully we can crank her up in the autumn and get her back over to Australia.”
"She's a fabulous horse and she's been so good for my career," Richards added.
"We're proud Kiwis and we're glad to be over here representing the country.”
Waipukurau couple Trevor and Debbie Walters own a 10 per cent share in Melody Belle and have rarely missed being on course to witness her 25 starts, which have reaped 15 wins and three thirds. They were among a large group of Kiwis rejoicing at Flemington racecourse last Saturday and will again be there tomorrow to cheer home their pride and joy.
Top New Zealand jockey Opie Bosson rode the perfect race to get Melody Belle home first last Saturday and will again be aboard the mare tomorrow, a horse that he now rates as one of the best he has ridden.
"To do it on both sides of the Tasman and win ten Group Ones, not many can do that," Bosson said.
: Melody Belle and jockey Opie Bosson are comfortable winners of last Saturday’s Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) at Flemington The Commands mare will be shooting for her 11th Group 1 victory in tomorrow’s MacKinnon Stakes (2000m).
HASTINGS TRACKWORK 5 Nov 2019
(By John Jenkins)
Riva Capri, still on target for the Group 1 $300,000 New Zealand 1000 Guineas on November 16, was given a quiet workout at this morning’s Hastings track session.
Fast work was confined to the plough, which provided good footing.
Riva Capri worked with stablemate So Gold and they were kept to just three-quarter pace over 1000m, coming home the last 600 in 44.2.
Riva Capri has not raced since finishing fourth in the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) at Hastings on October 5 but co-trainer Guy Lowry said it is still all systems go for the Riccarton feature with the horse, providing the track down there does not become too firm.
“She is a filly that needs some easing in the track but the plan at this stage is for her to go down,” Lowry said.
He added that another three-year-old filly from the stable, Can I Get An Amen, is also being considered for the New Zealand 1000 Guineas following her game second in a 1400m maiden race at Motukarara on Sunday.
“Being a maiden she might not get into the Guineas but if she doesn’t, there is a $30,000 maiden race at Riccarton that she can line up in,” Lowry said.
Overstayer recorded one of the best gallops at this morning’s trackwork session. He gave stablemate War Of Words a five length head start when they left the 1200m peg and was in front at the finish. War Of Words was clocked to run the 1200m in 1:20, the last 600 in 37 so Overstayer’s last 600 must have been at least a second faster.
Raucous was another who turned in a good time when he ran a solo 1000m in 1:05, the last 600 in a quick 36.8. He is a big six-year-old by Nom de Jeu in the Kate Hercock stable who had to overcome a slow track when sixth over 1600m at Tauherenikau last start.
Alpine Charm and Red Sunday worked together over 1000m in 1:09.7, the last 600 in 38.6 while Rippin ran a solo 1000m in 1:05.4, the last 600 in 37.5. Alpine Charm is a three-year-old half-sister to Adventador, by in-form sire Ocean Park.
Miss Tui worked with Matt Kain over 1000m in 1:09.6, the last 600 in 39.3 while a Niagara three-year-old filly from the Lowry/Cullen stable clocked 38.5 for a 600-metre gallop.
Rekohu Diva and Miley worked together over 1000m in 1:05.3, the last 600 in 36.9 while San Riba and a Niagara three-year-old ran 1000m in 1:14.7, the last 600 in 40.
Real Beach worked in from the 800m peg at three-quarter pace, quickening slightly over the last 600 in 41.7. She looks to have done very well during a winter spell.
An Iffraaj-Erbe three-year-old gelding in the Lowry/Cullen stable was not hurried when running a solo 800m in 55.8, the last 600 in 40.6 while a Savabeel-Simply You three-year-old gelding and a Ferlax three-year-old filly from the same stable clocked 40.1 for the last 600m of their work.
Star Elipse and a Charm Spirit three-year-old filly from the Lowry/Cullen stable were timed to run 1000m in 1:10.2 while Belfast Babe and a Niagara full-sister to Allacciato were timed to run 800m in 55.5, the last 600 in 40.4.
All In Grace and a Darci Brahma two-year-old gelding clocked 43.6 for their first serious run along.
Hawkes Bay Racing Column 1 Nov 2019
Plenty of HB interest in Riccarton features
(By John Jenkins)
Hawke’s Bay looks likely to be well represented in the two three-year-old features at this month’s New Zealand Cup meeting at Riccarton.
The John Bary-trained Callsign Mav is currently equal third favourite at $10 on the fixed-odds market for the Group 1 $500,000 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) on the first day of the three day carnival, on November 9, while the Hawke’s Bay bred and part-owned Chuck A Luck ($41.00) is also a likely starter in the race.
Meanwhile the Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen trained Riva Capri is being prepared for the Group 1 $300,000 Gavelhouse New Zealand 1000 Guineas a week later and is currently rated a $26.00 chance for that 1600m event while she could be joined by stablemate Can I Get An Amen, who is presently a $101 outsider.
Callsign Mav is a lightly raced three-year-old gelding by Atlante and has recorded two wins and a second from only four starts. He won on debut over 800m at Hastings in July before another victory over 1400m at Hastings on September 21 and his last start second was behind Catalyst in the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) on October 5.
Callsign Mav, who is owned by Bary in partnership with a group of Australians, is on the third line of betting along with last Sunday’s impressive Te Rapa winner Harlech. Catalyst, winner of his last four starts, is the raging hot favourite at $1.15 with last Saturday’s Riccarton winner Sherwood Forest now second favourite at $8.00.
Chuck A Luck, who finished second behind Sherwood Forest in last Saturday’s Group 3 War Decree Stakes (1600m), was bred by the Hawke’s Bay-based group of Ali Baldwin, Paul Beachen and Chris and Rae Walker along with Queensland couple Keith and Aine Rice.
They sold the horse for $25,000 at the 2018 Karaka yearling sales but are now part of the Chuck A Luck Syndicate that races him from the Riccarton stable of Michael and Matthew Pitman. Other Hawke’s Bay members are Phil King, David Giblin, Bruce Hooper-Smith and Cliff and Julia Paul.
Chuck A Luck has now had seven starts for a win, two seconds and a third and has never finished further back than fifth.
He is three-year-old gelding by Niagara and the third foal produced by the Catbird mare Boomchuckalucka. The first foal was Charlie Zulu, by Zed, who was a maiden winner over 1200m at Waipukurau in March for the Hastings training partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and has now been transferred to the South Island stable of John Blackadder.
The second foal is Thunder Bay, a four-year-old full-sister to Chuck A Luck who was a winner over 1400m at Ashburton earlier this year and finished second in the Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) at Riccarton as a two-year-old. She could also be racing over the New Zealand Cup carnival.
Boomchuckaluka died last year but the syndicate now has a Contributer yearling filly out of the mare coming on.
Riva Capri is a daughter of Atlante who has had four starts for a win, a second and a fourth. She has not raced since finishing fourth in the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) on October 5 but has been kept right up to the mark in trackwork and finished a close third in a 1200m jumpout at Woodville last Friday.
Riva Capri had not raced for seven weeks when she took out the Listed O’Learys Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui on September 7 and then had no luck in the running when unplaced in the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings on September 21. She then took on the colts and geldings in the Hawke’s Bay Guineas and was not disgraced when finishing behind Catalyst, Callsign Mav and Aotea Lad.
Co-trainer Guy Lowry said this week the filly, who is raced by prominent Wellington owner Lib Patenga, has trained on very well and has benefited a lot from last Friday’s jumpout.
“The track at Woodville was a heavy-11 and, although she wasn’t pressured, it was like a race for her in that sort of ground,” he said.
“She can always have a gallop between races at the Hawke’s Bay meeting on Sunday week if we think she needs another strong hit out.”
Can I Get An Amen is a three-year-old filly by Hallowed Crown out of the stakes winning mare Brianna and has had one start for a close second in a 1000m maiden at Tauherenikau on October 10.
The filly is already in the South Island and will line up in a 1400m maiden race at Motukarara on Sunday, where she has drawn wide at barrier 15 and will be ridden by Michael McNab.
“If she wins that race on Sunday then she will run in the Thousand Guineas,” Lowry added.
Chuck A Luck (inside) finishing second behind Sherwood Forest in last Saturday’s War Decree Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton. The Niagara gelding is now expected to line up in the Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas at Riccarton on November 9.
Vale Sheryl McGlade
The death last Friday of former Hawke’s Bay-based Sheryl McGlade saw the passing of a highly accomplished horsewoman and one of jumps racing’s strongest advocates.
McGlade died in Waikato Hospital after battling deteriorating health for a few months. She was well-known and respected, not only in racing circles, but also the equestrian front, in which she first made her indelible mark with horses.
On the racing front, she first became prominent when public training from Tauherenikau under the surname of Douglas with her biggest highlight coming in the 1996-97 season when she produced Just Jojo to win the Grand National Steeplechase at Riccarton and Clem to take the Great Northern Hurdles at Ellerslie.
She part-owned Just Jojo, a daughter of Starjo, and she became the only mare to win the Grand National Steeplechase in the last 80 years, while Clem, whom she co-bred and part-owned, also included the 1998 Eric Riddiford Steeplechase at Trentham among his nine wins and was runner-up in the 1998 Grand National Steeplechase and Pakuranga Hunt Cup.
McGlade shifted to Cambridge in 1999 and married trainer Roger McGlade and the pair enjoyed several highlights with Clem’s brother, Bart, who won the 2005 McGregor Grant Steeplechase and Pakuranga Hunt Cup and was third in the 2005 Great Northern Steeplechase.
The McGlades also celebrated consecutive Group 1 Avondale Cup wins with Regal Krona and in the 2002-03 season they recorded 15 wins, her biggest seasonal tally as a trainer.
McGlade also got special pleasure from breeding, racing and co-training Karlos
Winner of the 2011 Waikato Hurdles, Karlos was runner-up to Hypnotize in the 2010 Great Northern Steeplechase and the following season he was second in the Koral Steeplechase and third in Grand National Steeplechase.
Karlos went on to become the last winner trained by McGlade when he won the 2013 Koral Steeplechase. He backed up at Riccarton to finish second in the Grand National Steeplechase and in his final race, two starts later, he was third in the Great Northern Steeplechase.
McGlade’s last runner as a trainer was Moni Nui in 2016.
Being hospitalised prevented her from being at Te Aroha last month for one of her favourite race days, National Jumps Day, though she later watched the races on the Ipad.
Since being granted a trainers’ license in 1988-89, McGlade won 153 races, including 10 black-type events, and came so close to a very special milestone.
“She trained 99 wins over fences and it’s just a shame she didn’t get the 100,” her husband Roger said.
The love of jumps racing began during her childhood days when McGlade (nee Trumper) grew up in Hastings.
She did the pony club scene on borrowed mounts and later excelled at showjumping, making two New Zealand teams to compete in Australia. She was also in the training squad preparing for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, but eventually New Zealand was not represented in equestrian.
Successful at the New Zealand Horse of the Year Show and other major shows, she later ran the National Equestrian Centre in Taupo and was assistant instructor for the New Zealand Horse Society before spending a year at Isola in South Auckland.
Top horsewoman Sheryl McGlade was highly accomplished in both thoroughbred and equestrian circles.
Bosson contemplates Aussie move
The plaudits Opie Bosson earned for his ride on Te Akau Shark at Moonee Valley last Saturday has the champion New Zealand jockey seriously considering a winter stint riding in Australia.
Last season’s New Zealand Jockey of the Year, Bosson guided Te Akau Shark to finish third in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m).
“The plan was to go back from the wide draw and, to be fair, I was hoping to get on the back of something to be able to go wider across the top,” Bosson said.
“I’d walked the track the day before with Brent Thomson (former champion jockey) and he said you can’t be wide going into the first two bends and expect to win a Cox Plate. You have to get in behind something. He also said to try and get out and going before the turn.
“He (Te Akau Shark) hit a flat spot across the top when we were right behind the Japanese mare (the winner Lys Gracieux) and he took another 50 metres to get going again. At that stage Ben Melham (on 11th placed Homesman) was on my outside and wasn’t about to let me out.
“They all peeled four and five wide and off the fence and that’s when I decided to stick to the rails. If I had have tried to go out wider we’d probably have ended up where Kings Will Dream did (sixth).
“I just wish he’d drawn a good barrier. We’d have been able to be three or four lengths closer in the running.”
Bosson was full of praise for Te Akau Shark and can’t wait to be back riding him with the likely target now being the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in Sydney during autumn.
Bosson has always made the most of his hit-and-run raids on Australian carnivals, right back to landing his first Australian Group One win aboard Grand Archway in the 1998 Group 1 VRC Oaks at Flemington as an 18-year-old.
Since then he has ridden a further four Group One winners in Australia, Mongolian Khan in the 2015 ATC Derby (2400m) and Caulfield Cup (2400m), Turn Me Loose in the 2016 Futurity Stakes (1400m) and Gingernuts in the 2017 Rosehill Guineas (2000m).
He has won a host of other black-type Australian features and most times he has ventured across the Tasman he has been approached by Australian trainers to shift from New Zealand to try his luck there.
“It first happened when I won on Grand Archway, but I was too young and too immature then. I was better off coming back to New Zealand,” Bosson said.
“Since then I’ve had offers from quite a few trainers to shift over there, but the timing hasn’t been right. Besides I love my lifestyle in New Zealand. That’s the main reason I’ve stayed here.
“Now it’s something I would really look at, with the way New Zealand racing is going, maybe for a few months during winter.
“I’m contracted to Te Akau Racing (Stables) and that comes first, but it’s a quieter time for them in the winter months. I’d look at staying on in Sydney after the autumn carnival if that works out and Dave (Ellis, Te Akau Principal) is happy with it.
“I’m determined to get out of here next winter and do something. Winter is so depressing and it’s hard to keep my weight down. There’s nothing to look forward to over here in winter.”
Bosson has always had a constant battle with his weight.
“I have to sweat hard to ride 56kgs,” he said. “It’s always a worry, but Emily (wife) makes sure we eat healthy and that helps.”
At 39, Bosson realises he doesn’t have many more years in the saddle.
“Ideally I’ve got another six years riding, but that depends on my body,” he said.
Opie Bosson could spend next winter based in Australia.
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