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Hawkes Bay Racing Column 26 Sep 2019

Peso to take on class mare in Livamol

(By John Jenkins)

   Hastings owned and trained Peso is now rated one of the main dangers--if there is one--to outstanding mare Melody Belle in the Group 1 $250,000 Livamol Classic, feature race on the last day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring carnival at Hastings tomorrow week.

   The big Colombia gelding shot into reckoning for the 2040m feature with a strong win in an Open 2000m race at Hastings last Saturday, his seventh win from 36 starts, and is now on the fifth line of betting for the Livamol at $21.00.

   Melody Belle has been so dominant in winning the first two Group 1 races at this year’s carnival, the Tarzino Trophy (1400m) and Windsor Park Plate (1600m), that she has been installed a raging hot $1.30 favourite to take out next week’s Livamol and become the first horse to complete the Hawke’s Bay Group 1 triple crown.

   The Australian raider Starcraft has been the closest horse to achieve the triple crown since its inception more than 20 years ago. Gold Coast trainer Gary Newham brought the big chestnut across the Tasman in 2004 with hopes of completing the treble for high flying Australian owner Paul Makin. Back then the three races had different names.

   Starcraft produced outstanding performances to win the Mudgway Partsworld Stakes (1400m) on the first day and Stoney Bridge Plate (1600m) on the second day only to finish second behind the Kevin Myers-trained Balmuse in the Kelt Capital Stakes (2040m) in the penultimate event.

   The great galloper, who later went on to become champion miler in the United Kingdom and a successful sire, was found to be suffering from a pulled muscle in his chest after the Kelt which was probably the result of him become fractious and rearing up in the birdcage before the start.

   Outstanding mare Seachange twice tried to win the triple crown, coming up short each time. She won both the Mudgway Partsworld Stakes and Stoney Bridge two years in a row, in 2006 and 2007, but could only manage third in the Kelt Capital Stakes in the first year and fourth 12 months later.

   Melody Belle certainly looks well capable of pulling off the hat-trick this year and her chances are likely to be enhanced with several of her main rivals likely to bypass the Livamol.

   Verrname is now second favourite at $7.00 following his return to winning form in an Open 1600m race at Pukekohe last Sunday while Mongolian Marshal, who was third behind Melody Belle and Sultan Of Swing in last Saturday’s Windsor Park Plate, is third favourite at $9.00.

   Peso will be having his first start under weight-for-age conditions in the Livamol but is used to carrying big weights in handicap races and had 58.5kg on his back last Saturday.

   Regular rider Rosie Myers had the eight-year-old travelling sweetly in a trailing position behind the leaders until the home turn before taking control. Peso quickly put a winning break on the opposition and maintained a strong run to the line to beat My Gift by half a length, with another half a length back to the fast finishing Nymph Monte in third.

   Peso, who was crowned Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Trained Horse of the Year for the last season, has shown he can measure up in top company by winning the Listed Jakkalberry Classic (1950m) at Rotorua last spring and also finishing second to Five To Midnight in he Group 3 City Of Auckland Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie.

   He is trained at Hastings by Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal and was bred by his owners, Paul and Carol Nelson.


Peso, in the hands of jockey Rosie Myers, scores a decisive half length win over My Gift in the Open 2000m race at Hastings last Saturday. The Hastings owned and trained eight-year-old will now take on Melody Belle in the Group 1 Livamol Classic.

HB Guineas now for Callsign Mav

   It is nine years since Hastings trainer John Bary produced Jimmy Choux to win the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas but he now looks to have another royal chance of success this year with the highly talented three-year-old Callsign Mav.

  The Atlante gelding made it two wins from three starts with a decisive three-quarter length win against older horses over 1300m at last Saturday’s second day of the Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival and will now drop back to his own age group in the Guineas on the same track tomorrow week.

   Jimmy Choux not only won the Hawke’s Bay Guineas in 2010 but he also went on to take out the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton a month later and, the following year, he won the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie, the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in Sydney and the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) at Hastings.

   Bary is not expecting Callsign Mav to reach those same lofty heights but says he has always had a high opinion of the horse and, providing he performs well in the Hastings feature on October 5, there is every chance he will head south for the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas on November 9.

   “We’ve always rated him but he’s very raw and still learning what it’s all about,” Bary said.

   “He still did a few things wrong last Saturday but putting the blinkers on certainly helped and it was a good win.”

   Callsign Mav was having his third start and all three races have been on his home track. He won on debut over 800m on July 18 and then had to overcome a very wide draw and interference in the straight when a fast finishing sixth over 1200m on August 31.

   The gelding again drew an outside barrier last Saturday and was caught three-wide in the early rush for positions. Rider Craig Grylls elected to send the horse forward to sit outside the leader Willy Away and they dictated the speed coming to the home turn.

   Callsign Mav dashed clear early in the straight but, with no other horse around him, he started to loaf and drift outwards.

   The experienced Grylls was able to quickly get the horse back on a straight line and kept him going to win by three-quarters of a length from the fast finishing Swords Drawn. There was a gap of 2-1/4 lengths back to third placed Ranger.

   Although last Saturday’s race was only over 1300m Bary says Callsign Mav will probably be at his best over slightly longer distances and he is keenly anticipating stepping him up to 1400m next week and then 1600m at Riccarton.

   “He’s got such a huge stride that I think he will settle well over a mile and finish it off,” he said.

   Callsign Mav was a $3000 weanling purchase by Australian equine physiotherapist  Jeremy Cross and is raced by him in partnership with Bary and five other Australians.

   The horse was bred by Windsor Park Stud and is by the ill-fated sire Atlante out of the Volksraad mare Raadisi, who only raced 15 times for three wins, three seconds and two thirds.

   Raadisi is now deceased but has also left the three-time winner Sea Major and Elegant Assassin, who was the winner of one race.

Callsign Mav, despite doing a few things wrong in the final stages, still proved too strong for older and more experienced rivals over 1300m at Hastings last Saturday and will now contest the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m).

Stradivarius back in tune

   Hastings owned and trained Stradivarius bounced back to his best form with a strong winning performance in the $25,000 L I Redshaw Memorial (1200m) at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   The Stravinsky seven-year-old, prepared by Lee Somervell, was recording his fourth victory and his first since he took out a Rating 82 race over 1400m at Te Rapa in August last year.

   Somervell said this week that Stradivarius has come up this season a lot better than last year and attributes it to the fact that he spelled him, and other members of his team, at the Kamada Park property in Palmerston North during the winter.

   “They did a fantastic job at Kamada Park. The horses did so well there and that has made a huge difference to how they have come up this time around,” Somervell said.

   Jockey Madan Singh made the most of an inside draw aboard Stradivarius last Saturday, settling the horse fifth in the running and then holding him up for as long as he could in the home straight.

   When Singh finally asked Stradivarius for a final sprint the response was electric, with the horse powering past the pacemaking Malambo in the final stages to win by a long neck.

   Somervell now intends lining Stradivarius up in the Group 3 $70,000 Red Badge Sprint on the third day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, tomorrow week.

   “That race is over 1400m but that won’t be a problem as he has won at that distance in the past and it will be another good race on his home track, he said.

   Stradivarius is owned by Hastings couple John and Colleen Duncan and was bred by them out of the Kaapstad mare Kapsjoy.

   The mare is now deceased but has a 100 per cent winning record from the foals that she produced.

   Fleur de Lune, a full-sister to Stradivarius, was the star with her six wins including the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie. Saragarhi (four wins), Kapsboy (six wins) and Anna Kaye (1 win) were the next four foals out of the mare.

   Kapsjoy produced two foals after Stradivarius, one being an unnamed filly by Civics and the other the promising Yossarian (by Rip Van Winkle), who has seven starts from the Somervell stable for a win, a third and a fourth.

Trainer Lee Somervell and part-owner John Duncan discuss the win by Stradivarius at Hastings last Saturday with jockey Madan Singh. The Stravinsky gelding will now step up to a Group 3 race over 1400m on the last day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.

Penny Royal likes Taupo

   Penny Royal, from the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, made it two wins from two starts on the Taupo track when scoring a decisive victory in a Rating 65 race over 1300m there last Friday.

   The Per Incanto mare had broken through for a maiden win over the same distance at Taupo two starts earlier before getting bogged down on a very heavy track at Wanganui at her next start.

   The dead-4 track at Taupo last week was made to order for Penny Royal and jockey Vinnie Colgan had her trailing the leaders until the turn before sending her to the front.

   Penny Royal never looked likely to be caught after that and crossed the line with a 1-3/4 length margin over second placed Familia.

   Penny Royal was bred by Feilding farming couple Neil and Yvonne Managh and they race the mare in partnership with their son Andrew and daughter Geraldine.

   Although the horse is officially trained by the Lowry/Cullen stable, she spends a lot of her time at Mary Darby’s property in Porangahau, where she has undergone plenty of work on the beach and over the hills.

By-monthly award winners

   Former All Black Mick Duncan and his wife Barbara are the recipients of the Kevin Wood Memorial Trophy for the months of July and August.

   The by-monthly trophy is awarded by the Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners Association and recognises the achievements of Hawke’s Bay owners and their horses.

   The Duncans are the breeders and part-owners of the talented jumper Alfie Dee, who won a maiden hurdle race at Awapuni in July and then went on to take out the $75,000 Grand National Hurdles (4200m) at Riccarton in the first week of August.


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