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Hastings horses now target Riccarton features 2 Nov 2018

Hastings stables will attack the Group 1 features at this year’s New Zealand Cup meeting in numbers, with King Louis now heading south for the $500,000 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) tomorrow week and the stablemates Xpression and Mohaka confirmed for the $300,000 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) the following Saturday.

   King Louis confirmed his trip to Riccarton with a dominant 2-3/4 length victory in a 1350m maiden race at Waipukurau on Thursday of last week and is booked on a float heading south tomorrow.

   The Equiano gelding was rated one of the best maiden gallopers in the country before his Waipukurau success. He had raced eight times for two seconds and three thirds, two of those placings being a second in the Listed Wellesley Stakes (1000m) at Trentham as a two-year-old and a third in last month’s Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m).

   King Louis’ Hastings trainer John Bary said the timing of last week’s Waipukurau race was ideal as part of the horse’s preparation for the Riccarton feature, a race that credited him with his first Group 1 success when he prepared Jimmy Choux to win in 2010.

   King Louis was ridden to victory at Waipukurau by Jason Waddell who was pleased with the horse’s performance but added that he needed to dominate a maiden field like that to have any chance in a New Zealand 2000 Guineas.

   King Louis began quickly and soon took control. He was cruising in front as the field turned into the home straight and responded well to the urgings of Waddell over the final stages.

   “I could have just sat on him in the straight but I made him go to the line which should help make him as a racehorse,” Waddell said.

   King Louis is owned by his Havelock North breeders Richard and Liz Wood, who also raced Jimmy Choux. They bred him out of the unraced Flying Spur mare Nimbletoes, who Richard Wood bought for $A20,000 from a Gold Coast sale.

   “I didn’t go to there to buy her but I saw her in the outside parade ring and she was outstanding,” recalled Wood.

   “I actually bought her to mate with Jimmy Choux and the first foal she produced was a colt by him called Bluesuede Chouxs who ran a number of placings but then went in the wind.”

   King Louis is the second foal Nimbletoes has produced and the mare has since left a yearling gelding by Jimmy Choux and has been served this year by Iffraaj.

   Richard Wood said King Louis used to over-race as a two-year-old last season, when still a colt, but has become a lot more relaxed since being gelded.

   “Now every time he goes to the races he seems to be getting better,” he added.

   “He needed the run last week for a fitness thing and a confidence booster.”

   King Louis is now at a $14.00 quote on the Fixed Odds win market for next week’s New Zealand 2000 Guineas.

   The Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen currently has the favourite for the New Zealand 1000 Guineas in Xpression ($2.60) and will also have a good second string in the race with Mohaka ($41.00).

   The latter is still a maiden after four starts but has shown her connections enough for them to push on towards a run in the 1600m feature.

   The Nadeem filly contested last Saturday’s Listed Zacinto Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton where she turned in another game performance for third behind the highly rated colt The Chosen One and the well bred In A Twinkling.

   Mohaka, who also finished third in the Listed Wanganui Guineas (1340m) in September, is said to have thrived since going south and her connections are now hoping for some easing in track conditions.

   “I don’t think she would be able to foot it with some of those top fillies on a good track but if it rained I could definitely see her being competitive,” co-trainer Guy Lowry said this week.

   He added that Xpression has also done very well since winning her South Island debut in the Group 3 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton on October 20 and she is certainly right on target for the New Zealand 1000 Guineas on November 17.

   Sir Nate, part-owned by two Hawke’s Bay people in Kathryn Donoghue and Merv Dudley, also confirmed a start in next week’s New Zealand 2000 Guineas with a strong win in a Rating 72 race over 1600m at Trentham last Saturday.

   The Nadeem colt, trained at Awapuni by Lisa Latta easily accounted for a good field of older horses, scoring by a length from Irish Flame and Balham.

   Donoghue and Dudley are only small shareholders in Sir Nate but they are getting a huge kick out of being part of a horse that has now recorded four wins and a third from nine starts and took his stake earnings to more than $110,000.


NZ Cup bid confirmed

   Hastings-trained mare High Spirits earned a trip south for a crack at the Group 2 $250,000 New Zealand Cup on November 17 with a good staying performance to win a $30,000 Rating 82 race over 2400m at Trentham last Saturday.

   Trainer John Bary has had the Riccarton 3200m feature in mind for the Darci Brahma mare since she finished fifth in this year’s Wellington Cup back in January. That placing followed a win over 3200m on the Trentham track the previous month and Bary has always rated her highly as a stayer.

   High Spirits drew the extreme outside barrier last Saturday and jockey Cameron Lammas settled her back fourth last in the running and bided his time until the home turn before making a move. He then picked a path through the field and the mare was strong at the finish, surging clear of the opposition in the final stages to win by half a length.

   High Spirits has now won four races from 27 starts. She was purchased by Bary for $80,000 at the premier session of the 2014 Karaka yearling sales and is raced by a large syndicate of owners.

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

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


Filly headed for better things

   Hastings owned and trained Maria Dior looked a filly headed for better things when she overcame a wide draw to score a dominant 2-3/4 length maiden win over 1200m at Waipukurau last week.

   The Rip Van Winkle filly was having her third start after recording two creditable performances against strong opposition in special condition events over the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.

    Experienced jockey Rosie Myers was aboard the filly at Waipukurau and bounced her out quickly from a wide barrier to get her across the field and in front by the end of the first 300 metres.

   Myers then rated the filly well in the lead until the home turn before asking her to extend again and she dashed clear of her rivals over the final stages.

   Maria Dior is trained at Hastings by Patrick Campbell, who also prepared her dam Dorotea Dior for two wins, two seconds and a third from only nine starts.

   Hastings brothers Chris and Ken Russell bred Maria Dior and Chris now races the filly in association with his newly formed company Pretty Polly Bloodstock Limited.

   She is the third winner produced by the Redoute’s Choice mare Dorotea Dior, the others being Donna Bell (by Zabeel) and O’Reilly’s Choice (by O’Reilly). The latter is now standing at stud at Chris Russell’s Valley Road property.

   Jonny Russ, a four-year-old by Ocean Park out of Dorotea Dior, was unplaced in three starts for Hastings trainer John Bary last season and is due to come back into work again soon.


Ivan Kane makes it two on end

   Not many horses win their next start after clearing maiden ranks but Hawke’s Bay-owned Ivan Kane did it in style at Riccarton last Saturday.

   The Nadeem four-year-old showed great determination to get up and snatch a last stride victory over Imeldas Girl in a $22,500 Rating 65 race over 1600m, a performance that was similar to when he won a maiden race over 1400m on the same track three weeks before.

   Ivan Kane was bred by Hastings-based Ian Holloway who races the gelding with a group that includes two close friends and brothers Alan Bartlett (Havelock North) and Rowland Bartlett (Kapiti Coast). The others in the syndicate live in the Wellington area.

   Ivan Kane, who is trained at Timaru by Michael Daly, is out of the Australian-bred mare Pukalee who has also produced Numero Uno, who won three races in Singapore, and Verna Audrey, who was also a three-time winner.
   Holloway now has an Alamosa yearling filly out of Pukalee and the mare has just produced another colt foal by Shocking.


Julius retired after injury

   Top sprinter Julius has run his last race.

   A scan has revealed the Swiss Ace gelding has a hole in his near fore tendon, leaving Cambridge trainer John Bell no choice but to call time on the seven-year-old's career.

   "He's not lame but every now and again you'd see him bob a bit and it just showed something was niggling him," Bell said.

   Julius raced just 13 times for seven wins and six placings, earning more than $228,000 in stakes.

   He won his first four races this year, including the Group 3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) and Group 3 Darley Plate (1200m), both at Ellerslie, before he was narrowly defeated by Melody Belle in the Group 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa in August.

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