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HB Racing Column 19 May 2017

Six of the best by Hastings trainers at local meeting

Hastings trainers had a field day at their local race meeting on Thursday of last week, producing six of the nine winners at the annual Hawke’s Bay Fruitfed Supplies raceday.

Paul Nelson, a renowned trainer of high class jumpers, produced the winners of the two hurdle races in Rocky and Ooee; the Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen partnership also had a brace of wins with Pakapunch and Worldclass; while Patrick Campbell (Hunta Pence) and John Bary (Moscow Mistress) also picked up a win each.

Nelson’s double success was a welcome change of luck for both him and his wife Carol as they lost one of their best performers of recent times, San Pedro, when the horse died suddenly at their Air Hill Station a couple of weeks ago.

Nelson said San Pedro had just completed a workout on the property’s famous hill climb when he collapsed. The horse had shown no sign of distress beforehand but Nelson said he did suffer a bad bout of travel sickness when taken south for the Grand National meeting at Christchurch, in August last year, and has since been told that can have a lasting effect on horses.

San Pedro had a record of 10 wins, 6 seconds and 8 thirds from his 62 starts. Seven of his victories were on the flat, the most recent being over 2200m at Woodville in April last year. He had also shown good promise as a jumper, with his nine hurdle starts resulting in 3 wins, two seconds and a third.

The Nelson-trained Rocky disputed the pace in the 2500m maiden hurdle at last week’s Hawke’s Bay meeting and really attacked his fences in the early stages. He was taken on by Cullister with 1000 metres to run but shrugged off that challenge coming to the last fence and surged clear soon after to win by 3 lengths.

It was a Paul Nelson-trained quinella with Rocky’s stablemate No Change running past Cullister in the final stages to get second place by 3-3/4 lengths.

Rocky is a seven-year-old gelding by Danroad out of Sugar Bee and was bred by Hawke’s Bay couple John and Lucy Scoular. They are members of the I See Red Syndicate that race Rocky and several other horses from the Nelson stable.

Ooee showed plenty of potential as a hurdler last winter and he looks in for another successful campaign judging by his dominant win in the Restricted Open Hurdle (2500m).

The Ruff Nipper seven-year-old settled perfectly in the trail for jockey Aaron Kuru before jumping his way to the front at the third to last fence. They were always clear of the opposition after that and Ooee’s winning margin was 2-1/2 lengths from Wiggle, with another 2-1/2 lengths back to third placed Yipson. 

Ooee is owned by Nelson and his wife Carol and is now the winner of five races, two on the flat and three over hurdles. He finished second in last year’s Hawke’s Bay Hurdles and is a likely starter in tomorrow’s $50,000 Waikato Hurdles at Te Rapa.

The horse’s little known sire, Ruff Nipper, is a son of Pentire and stands at stud in the Waikato. The Nelsons bought Ooee for $2000 from a South Island Mixed Bloodstock sale in August 2011 and he has now won them more than $60,000 in stakemoney.


Winter break for Hunta Pence

 Hunta Pence has earned a winter spell following his success in the Rating 65 race over 2100m on his home track last week.

Trainer Patrick Campbell said the No Excuse Needed four-year-old has shown a dislike for rain affected tracks in the past so he will now be given a break and brought back again in the spring.

The horse started favourite for the Ballance Agri-Nutrients 2100 but his supporters had some anxious moments when the horse, who had been positioned midfield on the fence by rider Chris Johnson, got shuffled back to second last inside the last 600 metres.

Fortunately the field fanned out on the point of the home turn and Johnson was able to pick a path between horses.

Hunta Pence still had several lengths to make up on the leaders with 300 metres to run but showed great acceleration to get up and score by half a length from Tiffany’s, with 3-1/2 lengths back to third placed Zcastle.

Hunta Pence has now won three of his 16 starts and has also picked up a second, a third and two fourths. Campbell owns the gelding in partnership with Wellington’s Luke Walding after they bought the horse in a private sale off his then Hastings-based owner-breeder Butch Thomas.

Patrick Campbell only trains a small team nowadays and intends spelling his entire team over the winter while he takes a holiday, following the Lions Rugby Tour in New Zealand. Scandalo and Lady Guinness, both impressive winners from the stable at Hastings on April 29, went out soon after those wins while Goodsav had been kept in work pending a possible start in a Rating 75 race over 1550m at Awapuni this Saturday but will also now be turned out.

“I kept her in hoping for a reasonably good track at Awapuni but that doesn’t look likely now so she can go out too. The only other horses I’ve got are a couple of young ones and they will also go out within the next couple of weeks,” Campbell said.


Samantha Collett at her best

Trainer Guy Lowry praised jockey Samantha Collett after she produced two excellent winning rides aboard stablemates Pakapunch and Worldclass at last week’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

Collett produced a great front running ride to get Pakapunch home a narrow winner in the Rating 75 race over 1200m.

The Per Incanto mare has to be ridden on the pace to produce her best and Collett bounced her out quickly from the barrier to take a clear lead at the end of the first 200 metres. From then on she kept the horse rolling along at a steady clip before asking her to extend rounding the home bend.

Pakapunch had a 2 length advantage over her rivals inside the final 200 metres and, although she was starting to take short strides late, she managed to hold on for a nose victory over the fast finishing Malacanto.

It was Pakapunch’s third win from only 11 starts. She was bred by Tony Rider, who owns the Pak N Save supermarket in Cambridge and is a member of the Pak N Save Syndicate that races the mare.

Lowry said Pakapunch is now likely to be turned out for a winter spell as she has shown a dislike to rain affected tracks.

“We were a bit worried the dead-5 track wouldn’t suit her today but she got away with it and it was a great ride from Samantha Collett,” Lowry said.

If Samantha Collett’s ride on Pakapunch was a good one her performance aboard Worldclass in the Rating 65 1400 was even better.

The Iffraaj mare drew wide in the 1400m event and Collett restrained her to the back for a start but then found herself caught three-wide, without cover, with her mount wanting to race too keenly.

Instead of fighting her mount Collett used her initiative to let Worldclass roll around the field to be in a challenging position on the home turn and the mare kept up a strong run to the line to win by a head from Royal Ruby, with O’Ceirins Choice a long neck back in third place.

Worldclass is owned by her Feilding-based breeder Mary Wilson and Lowry had a special thank-you for Porangahau-based Mary Darby, who had spent several weeks working the horse at her beach property to help prepare her for last Thursday’s race.


Win was a pleasant surprise

   Hastings-trained Moscow Princess recorded an impressive debut win at last week’s Hawke’s Bay meeting but the performance came as a bit of a shock for her connections.

   The Road To Rock filly scored a decisive 1-3/4 length win in a maiden 1400m event after doing a lot wrong during the race. She was last on settling and then wanted to over-race badly in the middle stages, with rider Chris Johnson having great difficulties trying to restrain her.

Moscow Princess had moved up to be within striking distance of the leaders on the home turn but many, including her connections, thought she had burnt up too much energy by going too keenly in the early stages.

However Johnson still had plenty of horse under him once the field straightened for the run home and Moscow Mistress maintained a strong finish to win by 1-3/4 lengths from Normandy, with Crafty Jess a long head back in third place.

Moscow Princess is prepared by Hastings trainer John Bary who races the horse in partnership with his racing manager Mike Sanders and long-time client Ivan Grieve.

The three men raced Miss Faberge, the dam of Moscow Mistress, and she won four races.

“Miss Faberge was a tough mare but was always a bit small but this filly looks to have a bit more size about her,” Sanders said.

“To be honest the win was a bit of a shock. She won a jumpout here the other week but I thought if she could finish in the top five I would be happy. And when she was pulling her block off going down the back straight I thought she was no hope.”

Rocky, ridden by Hastings-born jockey Aaron Kuru, puts in a magnificent leap on his way to winning the maiden hurdle race at last week’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

Strapper Lisa Beacham looks well pleased as she leads Hunta Pence away following the gelding’s impressive win at Hastings last week.


Paul Nelson picked up a winning double with Rocky and Ooee.


Trainer Guy Lowry is interviewed by Radio Trackside presenter Bevan Sweeney following Pakapunch’s narrow win at Hastings last week.


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