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Hawkes Bay Racing Column 14 Apr 2017

Ballybay runs rivals ragged again in Trentham sprint

(By John Jenkins)

It was a case of déjà vu when Ballybay, a horse part-owned by Napier accountant Paddy Murphy, scored an all the way win in the $25,000 Rating 85 race over 1000 metres at last Saturday’s Wellington meeting.

The six-year-old gelding was ridden to victory by top woman jockey Lisa Allpress and the same combination won the exact same race, with similar tactics, 12 months ago.

Ballybay was recording his second win in a row when he took out last Saturday’s Trentham race by 1-1/2 lengths, after also scoring a long neck victory over 1000 metres at Tauherenikau on March 26.

The horse’s form before that had been well below his best but Murphy explained this week that the six-year-old Sandtrap gelding suffered some health issues which resulted in him losing condition and failing to produce his best on race day.

“They worked it out that he was suffering from stomach ulcers and once we had that treated he quickly recovered and he’s bounced back to his best in his last two starts,” Murphy said.

Murphy races Ballybay in partnership with Wairarapa-based David Woodhouse and the pair bred the horse, along with former Foxton trainer Grant Laursen.

Ballybay began his racing career in Laursen’s stable but was transferred to Woodville trainer Shane Brown after Laursen was seriously injured in a fall from a horse.

Ballybay has now won six races from only 25 starts, with all six of those victories being over a distance of 1000m.

“He will probably head to Blenheim later this month for another 1000-metre race there and his win last Saturday qualified him for the Hanley Sprint Series Final, which is a $50,000 race at Trentham on May 27,” Murphy said.

 “The only thing is that race is 1200 metres and he’s never won at that distance yet.”

Ballybay is out of the Exploding Prospect mare Gee Baby, who was the winner of five races and is still being bred from.

“She produced a magnificent gelding by Per Incanto that we called Bekan. He was trialed and showed plenty of promise but unfortunately went in the wind and never raced,” Murphy said.

 “David Woodhouse has now got a Per Incanto two-year-old filly out of Gee Baby and the mare is now in foal to Niagara,” he added.

 Paddy Murphy has raced horses for many years, with his biggest success being as a shareholder in the 2011 Hawke’s Bay Cup winner Don Domingo.


Lowry/Cullen pair head to Aussie

Talented Hastings-trained filly Savvy Dreams was flown from Auckland to Australia on Wednesday accompanied by her stablemate Lamborghini.

Trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen had been preparing Lamborghini for this Saturday’s Listed Hawke’s Bay Cup but decided to send him across the Tasman as a mate for the three-year-old Savvy Dreams.

“The weather forecast doesn’t look good for Hastings later this week and Lamborghini needs a firm track. We also thought it would be best for Savvy Dreams to have a mate as it would have been a long trip for her on her own,” Lowry said.

Lamborghini was an impressive last start winner of the Waipukurau Cup (2100m) and Lowry said there are a couple of suitable races for the horse in South Australia.

The two horses landed in Melbourne on Wednesday and then had a nine hour float trip to Adelaide, where they are based at the Morphettville stables of Paul Beshara.

Co-trainer Grant Cullen travelled with the two horses and plans to be in Adelaide for almost a month.

Savvy Dreams will make her Australian debut in the Group 3 $A120,000 Schweppervescence Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville on April 22, a three-year-old fillies’ race run under set weights and penalties conditions.

This will serve as an ideal lead up to the Group 1 $A500,000 Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville on May 6, a race that is also restricted to three-year-old fillies and run at set weights.

South Australian jockey Paul Gatt has been booked to ride Savvy Dreams in her Australian debut and Craig Williams will take the reins in the Oaks.

“We’ll see how she goes and there are the options of the Derby a week later and then the South Australian Oaks as well,” Lowry said.

“Our biggest worry is the travel. She doesn’t carry a lot of condition, but her work has been first class.”

The win by Bonneval in last Saturday’s Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) has franked the form of Savvy Dreams as she only went down by half a head when second behind that Baker/Forsman trained star in the Group 3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings on March 2.

Savvy Dreams then followed that up with a last start third behind Bonneval and Devise in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 18.

“She’s not Bonneval, but she’s not that far off her either,” Lowry added.


Owners & Breeders function

The Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners & Breeders Associations will hold their annual race day function at the Hawke’s Bay meeting at Hastings on Saturday, April 29.

The function will be held in the Karamu/Estella Lounge on the top floor of the Members Stand and will commence at 11.30am.

Each member and a guest will receive a complimentary drink, with a cash bar operating after that.

 A complimentary luncheon for members and a guest will be served at approximately 1pm. Any additional guests will be charged $30 per person for the meal.

Throughout the day there will be a member’s draw prior to each race.

For catering purposes those attending are asked to RSVP by April 21 to either Tony Lyndon (06) 8768250 or Sharyn Craig 0274 999084. Or they can email:


Saracino’s stable change

Saracino’s preference for left-handed tracks has prompted a move to Mike Moroney’s Melbourne stable.

The son of Per Incanto has been a multiple Group winner and Group One placed for Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.

He finished sixth in last Saturday’s Arrowfield Three-year-old Sprint at Randwick in his final appearance for the Cambridge trainers.

 ”He covered some ground on Saturday and I thought it was still a good run,” Baker said. “He has won three Group Two races this season, but he’s better on left-hand tracks.”

Mongolian Wolf, another three-year-old in the Baker/Forsman stable, has been sold and is expected to join Darren Weir’s stable in Victoria. The horse finished third in the Group 2 Avondale Guineas before he was unplaced in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby.


Wheeler chasing 10th victory

Jumps maestro John Wheeler will be shooting for his 10th win in the Great Eastern Steeplechase at Oakbank on Easter Monday.

The New Plymouth trainer will be relying on Racquetor to take him into double figures in the 4950m feature.

“He'll run on the Saturday (Von Doussa) and then the Monday (Great Eastern) and he's a pretty handy horse so I'd be expecting him to run pretty well,” Wheeler said.


Brisbane beckons

Star Wanganui sprinter Start Wondering will be campaigned in Queensland this winter, according to co-trainer J.J. Rayner, who prepares the horse with her father Evan.

 “The BTC Cup and the Doomben 10,000 are very good options and we could also be looking at the Stradbroke,” Rayner said.

Start Wondering established himself as New Zealand’s premier short course performer with his summer campaign netting him Group 1 victories in the Sistema Railway Stakes and the NRM Sprint, as well as the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint.

He was also runner-up in the Group 1 Telegraph and then stepped up to a mile to finish second in the Group 1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic.


Hannam brings up 1000

Robert Hannam’s successful riding career has been founded on a mix of self-belief and determination.

He had to overcome the slowest of starts to become an established senior jockey and his hard work was rewarded on Saturday when he finally posted his 1000th New Zealand winner aboard Artaxerxes at Trentham.

One of the most popular members of the jockeys’ room, Hannam had got to within one of his milestone victory aboard Classic Touch at Hastings a month ago.

“I’ve had 30 odd rides since then so I’m so happy to have got there,” he said. “To be able to get 1000 is unbelievable. I just wish I could bottle it - I’m proof that dreams do come true!

“Even though I only rode six winners during my four years as an apprentice I was never going to give up. Most people would have, but I love riding and I’m still so passionate about it.”

Hannam, who served his apprenticeship at Otaki with Anton Koolman and Steven Dennett, has five Group 1 successes to his credit – Greene Street (Avondale Cup, International Stakes), Iamishwara (Otaki WFA Classic), Distill (Levin Classic) and Aide Memoire (Captain Cook Stakes).

Hannam, who also rode with success in India during the early 1990s, said he has no plans to retire just yet.

“I’m loving it, my weight’s good and I’m still getting more than 600 rides a season. I’ll do at least another couple of years yet.”


Ballybay, in the hands of jockey Lisa Allpress, scores a dominant 1-1/2 length win in the $25,000 Start Wondering Cup at Trentham last Saturday. It was the horse’s second consecutive win in the 1000-metre race.



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