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Hawkes Bay Racing Column 10 Jan 2020

Hastings mare’s win brings sheer delight

(By John Jenkins)

   Hastings-trained Sheer Elegance posted a well-deserved maiden success on her home track on New Year’s Day.

   The Civics mare, prepared by Lee Somervell, was having her 17th start but had gone close to winning on several occasions before, with two seconds, a third and three fourths to her credit.

   The six-year-old indicated a win was not far away when an unlucky fourth at Hastings on December 11 and, aided by a good ride from Leah Hemi, she was able to out-finish race favourite Fearless by a head after the pair had a two-horse war over the final 300 metres.

   Hemi settled the horse in fifth position in the early stages before moving her forward into a challenging position on the home turn. The mare quickly ranged up outside Fearless turning into the home straight and the two horses went head to head from then on, with Hemi managing to get the best out of her mount in the final few strides.

   “It has taken her 17 starts but she deserved that win,” trainer Lee Somervell said.

   “She is a big mare who has just taken time to come to it.”

   Sheer Elegance is owned by her Waikato breeders Craig Gray and Christine Wilkinson and is out of the Bluebird mare Azurebelle, who was the winner of four races.

   The Waikato couple have bred and raced several horses over the years, including last season’s Group 2 Waikato Guineas winner Sponge Bob, who has since been sold to Hong Kong.

   “They are a great couple who have raced horses with me for years and so they deserved this success,” Somervell added.

   Sheer Elegance was one of five horses Somervell lined up at the Hawke’s Bay New Year’s Day meeting and he also picked up fourth placings with Stradivarius, One Prize On Goal and Yossarian.

   He now intends giving them all a bit of a freshen up and won’t have another runner until Yossarian steps out in a Rating 65 race at Otaki on January 20.


Hastings-trained mare Sheer Elegance has her big head in front of Fearless as the two horse’s cross the line in a 1400m maiden race at Hastings on New Year’s Day. It was a deserved success for the mare after several minor placings.


De Koning dominated from in front

   De Koning, part-owned by Taradale woman Judith Buckeridge, showed he has good staying ability with an all the way win over 2200m at Awapuni last Saturday.

   The Niagara five-year-old was recording his fourth win and his second at a distance beyond 1600m, following a similar front running victory over 2100m at Te Rapa in January last year.

   Jockey Lynsey Satherley seems to know how to get the best out of De Koning, having been aboard the horse in each of his four wins. She took him to a clear lead from the outset last Saturday and dictated her own rules in front, putting the pressure on her rivals before the home turn.

  De Koning was there to be run down in the home straight but kept finding under a strong ride from Satherley to win by a length from Don’t Know Jack, who was half a length in front of third placed Red River Rock.

   Buckeridge, who has been racing thoroughbreds for close on 50 years, races De Koning in partnership with the horse’s Cambridge trainer Fred Cornege and his wife Lindsay along with her Hawke’s Bay-based daughter Luci Frith, grand-daughter Stephanie Buckeridge, Iriaka Pearson and Masterton-based Helen Caseley.


Taradale thoroughbred owner Judith Buckeridge discusses the win by her horse De Koning with trainer Fred Cornege and jockey Lynsey Satherley at Awapuni last Saturday.


HB Cup plans for Jonny Russ  

   The Listed $75,000 Hawke’s Bay Cup on April 11 could be a long range goal for Hastings owned and trainer Jonny Russ if he can continue in his present vein of form.

   The Ocean Park five-year-old made it two wins in a row when he led all the way in a Rating 65 race over 2100m at Hastings on New Year’s Day.

   It was a similar performance to when the big chestnut led his rivals a merry chase in a 2000m maiden at Hastings on December 11.

   Jonny Russ is owned by his Hastings breeders Chris and Ken Russell and prepared on the Hastings track by Anita Gardner.

   The horse is named after Chris’s late son, who died suddenly while visiting his brother in the United States a couple of years ago.

   Jonny Russ is out of the Redoute’s Choice mare Dorothea Dior, who only had nine starts for Hastings trainer Patrick Campbell for two wins, two seconds and a third.

   Chris Russell said Jonny Russ is now expected to have his next start in a Rating 72 race over 2000m at Hastings on January 29.

   “After that there is another Rating 72 race over 2000 at Hastings on Lowland Stakes day in March and, if he can continue to race well, the Hawke’s Bay Cup in April could be a goal,” Russell said.  



Jonny Russ and with his delighted connections following his all the way win over 2100m at Hastings on New Year’s Day. Pictured (from left) is Ken Russell, Anita Gardner and Chris Russell.


Timely win by Ivan Kane

   Ivan Kane provided his Hawke’s Bay owner-breeder Ian Holloway with the perfect advertisement when he scored a decisive 2-1/2 length win at Hastings on New Year’s Day.

   Holloway has a yearling half-brother to the Nadeem five-year-old entered for the Karaka yearling sales at the end of this month so his 2-1/2 length victory in the Rating 72 race over 1600m could not have come at a better time.

   “We’ve got his half-brother entered for the select session at Karaka,” Holloway said this week.

   “He’s by Shocking and is a real nice type,” he added.

   Holloway bred Ivan Kane out of the Royal Academy mare Pukalee and races the horse in partnership with a group of friends. They are Rowland Bartlett, Wendy Devenport and Bevan and Rachel Duffy from the Kapiti Coast, Alan Bartlett from Havelock North and Paul Roebuck (Auckland).

   The horse, who has now recorded four wins from only 14 starts, was initially trained in the South Island before transferring to the Woodville stable of Shane Brown last year. He has now won twice from his new base.

   “We wanted him up here where we could get to see him race,” Holloway said.

   “He’d shown a bit down south and so we thought he would measure up.”

   Ivan Kane certainly showed he has good ability by leading all the way at Hastings last week, winning at odds of 15 to one. Jockey Holly Andrew hunted the horse out from the outside barrier in the six-horse field and quickly had him across the field and clear in front at the end of the first 200 metres. From then on Andrew was able to dictate terms before kicking him clear on the point of the home turn and he maintained a strong gallop to the line.

   Holloway was pleasantly surprised by the dividend Ivan Kane returned, of $15.40 for a win and $6.10 for a place, considering he had also won two starts before.

   “He hurt himself when he came out of the gates at his last start so you could forget that run. He started favourite that day, but the punters certainly dropped off him last week,” he said.

   Ivan Kane is expected to have his next start in a Rating 72 event over 1600m on the third day of the Wellington Cup carnival at Trentham, on January 25.

   Brown has two other horses in work for Holloway. One is a three-year-old called Mitchell, who needed the run when unplaced on debut at Hastings last week. The other is a two-year-old half-sister to Ivan Kane, by Alamosa, called Gracie Lee and she is due to have a barrier trial at Foxton next week.

   The mare Pukalee has also produced the three race winner Verna Audrey and is now in foal to Per Incanto.


Showed plenty of spirit

   Undoubtedly the most impressive winner at the Hawke’s Bay New Year’s Day meeting was Spirit Of Galway.

   The Rip Van Winkle four-year-old mare was very slow away from at the start of the 1400m maiden event and became detached from the rest of the field by at least seven lengths going down the back straight.

   She was still a clear last coming to the home turn but once apprentice jockey Chelsea Burdan angled home to the outside of the track she seemed to find another gear, powering home to win by a decisive 1-1/4 lengths.

   The win was not unexpected, given Spirit of Galway had been placed six times from her previous eight starts and was sent out a hot favourite for the race. But to give horses such a big start and beat them so comprehensively was quite an achievement and suggests she could go on to much better things.

   She is prepared at Matamata by Jamie Richards and raced by the Te Akau Galway Girl Syndicate, with one of the members being Waipukurau’s Michael Ormsby.

   Ormsby has shares in several Te Akau syndicates and also picked up a win with Shezathinka at Matamata earlier this season. He also has a share in the Group 1 winning mare Avantage, who resumed from a spell with a close second in a Listed 1200m race at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and is now being aimed at the Group 1 $250,000 JR & N Berkett Telegraph Sprint (1200m) at Trentham on January 18.   


Catalyst revving up again

   Top three-year-old Catalyst will make his first public appearance since his Group 1 success at Riccarton in November when he competes at the Matamata trials next week.

   The son of Darci Brahma lived right up to expectations when registering his fifth win from six starts with a dominant display in the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at the New Zealand Cup meeting on November 9 and he has thrived during his recent spell.

   “He had three weeks off when he came back from Christchurch and put on 23kgs in the 21 days he was out at The Oaks,” trainer Clayton Chipperfield said.

   “He didn’t lose a lot of fitness and when I weighed him the other day he was 473kgs and he last raced at 460kgs.

   “He’s put on a bit more muscle and is more solid. He looks great.

   “He’s all set to go to the Matamata trials next Tuesday and Troy (Harris) is coming over to ride him in work beforehand.”

   Harris has been Catalyst’s regular rider in his last four starts, which also include impressive wins in the Group 3 Northland Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Ruakaka and the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) at Hastings.

   Catalyst will resume in the Group 3 Mr Tiz Trophy (1200m) at Ellerslie’s Karaka Millions meeting on January 25 and, provided he passes the test, he will then head to Melbourne where Chipperfield has several races in mind for the horse, including the Group 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington on February 29.

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