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Campbell eyeing elusive HB Cup success 7 Mar 2018

   Hastings trainer Patrick Campbell has come within an ace of winning the Hawke’s Bay Cup three times in the past and he could finally go one better in next month’s feature event.

   Campbell is aiming his promising stayer Hunta Pence for the 2200m event on April 14 after the five-year-old brought up his fifth win when taking out a $25,000 Rating 75 race over 2100m at last week’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   Campbell has recorded three second placings in the Hawke’s Bay Cup in the past so he would dearly love to win what is one of the most iconic races run on his home track.

   The first of his second placings came back in 1979 when Tarlton, bred and part-owned by his father Felix Campbell and ridden by his then stable apprentice Jim Cassidy, went down by only a short head behind the Noel Eales-trained Lone Hand, ridden by Des Harris.

   Nine years later Campbell again had to settle for a close second when his charge Lagerfeld, ridden by David Walsh, went down by a neck behind the Laurie Laxon-trained Finezza Belle, who was steered to victory by Tony Allan.

   Campbell thought he finally had the horse to give him a Hawke’s Bay Cup victory in 1993 when he saddled up the talented stayer Val d’Arno, with Phillip Mercer aboard. But he was again denied success when the Dave and Paul O’Sullivan-trained Surfers Paradise, ridden by Jim Walker, got up to beat him by a length.

   Campbell has actually tried to win the Hawke’s Bay Cup six times. He also picked up a third placing with Royal Jazz in 2010, while Acraman finished 15th in 1980 and Claymore Boy ninth in 1984.

   It would be fitting if Hunta Pence could win next month’s Hawke’s Bay Cup as the horse is not only trained by Campbell but is also part-owned by him in partnership with Wellington’s Luke Walding.

   Campbell bought the horse privately from the horse’s owner-breeder Butch Thomas after he had one start for a fifth and he has since prepared him for four wins, two seconds, two thirds and four fourths.

   Hunta Pence gave every indication that he will run out a strong 2200m in the Hawke’s Bay Cup when scoring a decisive neck win over 2100m on Thursday of last week. Aided by a great ride by jockey Leith Innes, the No Excuse Needed gelding, was given the perfect trail until the home turn before being angled out into the open inside the last 300 metres. He produced a powerful finish to win by a neck from Porcelain Princess, with 2-1/4 lengths back to third placed Hoist.

   Campbell said Hunta Pence will need another run before the Hawke’s Bay Cup and the horse will probably contest an open 2050m race at Tauherenikau on March 25.

   “It looks like he has probably done enough to get into the Hawke’s Bay Cup at this stage but he’ll need another run so if he can go to Tauherenikau and then run in the Cup,” Campbell said.

   Campbell lined up two horses in last week’s Rating 75 2100m race at Hastings and was also pleased by the performance by Lady Guinness in finishing fourth.

   The Falkirk mare was having his first middle distance start following a last start win in the Poverty Bay Cup (1600m) on February 18. Carrying topweight of 59kg she set the pace and fought on gamely to finish less than 2-1/2 lengths behind Hunta Pence.

   “It was a great run and she can now go to the Waipukurau Cup on March 22,” Campbell said.

   Campbell will need to find a replacement rider for Lady Guinness at Waipukurau. Top apprentice Sam Weatherley, who has been aboard the four-year-old in her last two starts, will be serving a suspension from the close of racing tomorrow until the close of racing on March 23.


Mare on best behaviour

   Perseverance paid off when Hastings-trained Kaipawe took out the Rating 65 race over 1600m at the Hawke’s Bay meeting on Thursday of last week.

   The Prince Conti mare was recording her second win from only five starts but has been a problem horse, on several occasions, for trainers Sue Thompson and Mick Brown.

   Kaipawe was a late scratching from a Rating 65 race at Hastings on New Year’s Day when she refused to go to the start, rearing up and dropping rider Lynsey Satherley as she left the birdcage and went out on to the racetrack. Stipendiary stewards warned the horse’s connections that her manners would need to improve before she races again.

   Thompson and Brown then hatched a plan to get the horse out on to the track safely. At Hastings trackwork mornings they had her led off the horse that is ridden by the clerk of the course on race days, going from the back parade ring through the birdcage and on to the track.

   They also put ear muffs on Kaipawe, which blocked out a lot of the crowd and speaker noise that seemed to set the mare off.

   The regular practice certainly worked as Kaipawe, with jockey Jonathan Riddell aboard, was led to the 1600m barrier last week without a problem.

   Kaipawe began quickly from an outside draw and Riddell had her positioned outside the leader Makamojito at the end of the first 300m. He then pushed on to take a clear lead entering the last 800 metres and Kaipawe had a handy break on her rivals rounding the home bend.

   She then wanted to run around over the final stages but a vigorous ride from Riddell managed to get the best out of the mare and she held on to win by three-quarters of a length.

   Kaipawe is owned by her Hawke’s Bay breeders Megan Harvey and Sam Nelson and is out of the Fiesta Star mare Meander. Both of her wins have come on her home track, the first being in a 1300m maiden race back in December.

   She is now likely to contest a Rating 75 race over 1600m at Tauherenikau on March 25.


Wait A Sec out with injury

   A tendon injury has ended an outstanding season for Hastings-trained Wait A Sec.

   “He’s got a slight strain on the outside of his tendon,” said Grant Cullen, who trains the Group 1 winner with Guy Lowry. “We’ve put him aside and hopefully we can have him back racing in the spring.”

   A last-start success in the Wairoa Cup (2100m) had boosted the confidence in Wait A Sec’s Group 1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) hopes before he suffered the injury.

   “He sure was going the right way, but that’s the way it goes and he’s done a great job for us,” Cullen said.

   Wait A Sec won five races this season, including the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) on his home track in October and the Group 3 Anniversary (1600m) at Trentham in January.


Allpress back in business

   Two-time jockeys’ premiership winner Lisa Allpress is closing in on a return to riding.

   She has been side-lined since suffering shoulder injuries in a jump-out fall at Hawera last October, but has now received a medical clearance to resume.

   “The doctor said it’s time to start riding so I’ve been to the Wanganui track,” Allpress said.

   “The most terrifying thing was thinking it could have been career-ending and the fact that it was both arms injured, but I’m really excited now and I’m feeling good.

   “I’m just looking to get my strength back up, my fitness and weight are pretty good. I’ve been doing a lot of running and bike riding.”

   Allpress is planning to make her long-awaited race return later this month.

   “I’ve missed out on some good rides so I’m absolutely chomping at the bit,” she said.

   Known for her tireless work ethic, Allpress first won the national jockeys’ premiership in 2012 when she rode 159 winners and added a second title in 2016 with a tally of 171.


Johnson opts for Savvy Coup in Oaks

   Chris Johnson is pinning his Group 1 New Zealand Oaks hopes on Savvy Coup.

   The champion jockey’s agent John Tannahill has confirmed he will ride the Michael and Matthew Pitman-trained filly in the classic tomorrow week.

   Johnson rode the daughter of Savabeel to a last-start victory in the Group 3 Lowland Stakes at Hastings and a performance that has her as the current $3.50 favourite for the Trentham feature.

   The 53-year-old jockey also had the option of riding Contessa Vanessa after he won the Group 3 McKee Family Sunline Vase (2100m) on the Bullbars filly at Ellerslie on Saturday, but has opted to continue his association with Savvy Coup.


Drainage work at Otaki

   Remedial drainage work at the Otaki racetrack means that three meetings scheduled for Otaki in April and May are likely to be transferred to other tracks.
   The meetings are scheduled for Thursday April 12, Thursday May 3 and Thursday May 17. NZTR will announce new venues for these meetings once arrangements are confirmed.
   The Otaki-Maori Racing Club has commissioned new drainage that will be trenched and laid at 5m intervals across the track from the 800m mark back to the 1500m mark.

   Once the new drainage is completed, the track will be monitored by the club and NZTR to determine when horses can return to work on the course proper, while jumpouts and trials will be conducted before a return to racing.

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