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Hawkes Bay Racing Column 25 Sep 2020

Success aplenty of HB owned and trained horses

(By John Jenkins)

   Hawke’s Bay owned and trained horses have had a stellar past week highlighted by Callsign Mav’s upset win in last Saturday’s Group 1 $200,000 Tarzino Trophy on the first day of the Bostock New Zealand spring carnival.

   Callsign Mav captured the day’s major event while another Hastings-trained horse, Shezzacatch, took out the Listed $50,000 El Roca-Sir Colin Meads Trophy and Perry Mason recorded back-to-back wins in the main jumping race, the $50,000 AHD Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase.

   Rum, part-owned by Napier businessman Simon Tremain, took out a $30,000 Rating 65 race on the same programme while, two days earlier, Hastings owned and trained Overstayer broke through for a maiden win at Te Rapa and Fashion Street, part-owned by Waipukurau’s Michael Ormsby, was also successful that day.

   Callsign Mav may have upset the punters when winning at odds of 81 to one but he certainly brought a much needed smile to the face of his Hastings trainer John Bary, who brought up his 10th Group 1 training success and his first as an owner.

   Bary was not on course to celebrate the win. Instead he was laid up at home after undergoing two recent back operations to fix a prolapsed disc.

  “The first operation went okay but I probably pushed it a bit too hard too quick and I’m taking it a lot slower this time,” Bary said this week.

   He added that he feels good now and, when he watched Callsign Mav go past the post first last Saturday, it certainly made his back feel a lot better.

   Bary was recording his second win in what is the first Group 1 race of the New Zealand racing season, after Survived won the event (then named the Makfi Challenge Stakes) in 2013. He also produced Jimmy Choux to win five times at the elite level as well as Recite (two) and Miss Wilson (one).

   Last Saturday’s win by Callsign Mav gave him special satisfaction as he also owns a 10 per cent share in the Atlante four-year-old.

   “I’ve trained 10 Group 1 winners but this is my first one as an owner,” Bary said.

   Callsign Mav cost just $3000 at a 2017 mixed bloodstock sale at Karaka and was bought by Victorian-based Jeremy Cross, on behalf of some of his Australian mates.

   Bary said he had a brief acquaintance with Cross before suddenly getting a ring out of the blue from him, asking whether he would train the horse.

   “You never want to turn down a horse to train but when I got him I saw he was turned out in the off foreleg, which is why he was never really saleable,” Bary said.

   “I said I would take him on and also agreed to take a small share.”

   Jeremy Cross manages the syndicate that races the horse, with the other five owners being friends of his in Victoria.

   Although Callsign Mav returned a dividend of $82.60 for a win and $14.20 for a place Bary said he didn’t doubt that he would measure up in the Group 1 event, especially given his great record on his home track.

   “He’d had five starts on the Hastings track before for three wins and a second to Catalyst in the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas and he also beat Quick Thinker there one day and that horse went on to win the Australian Derby so the form around him was good.”

   “He ran the same time last Saturday as Melody Belle did when winning the race last year,” Bary added.

   Callsign Mav’s win in the Tarzino Trophy was attributed to a 10 out of 10 ride from jockey Jonathan Riddell, who hunted the gelding out of the barrier to slot into a perfect trail before driving him between horses at the top of the straight to take the lead.

   The gelding kept up a strong run to the line to win by three-quarters of a length from the fast finishing Supera, who just nosed out race-favourite Avantage for second place.

   It was a case of the old firm being reunited in Group 1 glory as Riddell was the regular rider of Jimmy Choux for Bary, piloting that great galloper to 11 of his 12 wins including Group 1 victories in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas, New Zealand Derby Rosehill Guineas, Windsor Park Plate and NZ Bloodstock Spring Classic.  

   Bary said Callsign Mav has pulled up well from Saturday’s win and he now intends lining the horse up in the second race in the Hawke’s Bay spring triple crown, next Saturday’s $200,000 Windsor Park Plate (1600m).

Callsign Mav is at full stretch as he and jockey Jonathan Riddell cross the finish line three-quarters of a length clear of the fast finishing Supera and race favourite Avantage in last Saturday’s Group 1 Tarzino Trophy at Hastings.


Late entry proves worthwhile

   Hastings trainer Guy Lowry’s late decision to enter first starter Shezzacatch in last Saturday’s Listed $50,000 El Roca-Sir Colin Meads Trophy at Hastings proved to be a masterstroke with the filly downing a talented field of three-year-olds in the 1200m event.

   Shezzacatch was not among the original nominations for the race with Lowry, who trains in partnership with Grant Cullen, thinking that a mid-week maiden race at Woodville would probably suit her better.

   But, after looking at the field for the Hastings black type event and waying up his options, he decided to make a late entry.

   “We were looking at a maiden race at Woodville on Thursday, but we were worried about the possibility of not getting a start there. I looked at the field for the Hastings race and noted that most of the horses only had wet track form and so we decided to give her a chance against them on a good track.”

   Ridden by Craig Grylls, Shezzacatch settled in a midfield position for most of the race and suffered a check half-way through the race. With 200 metres to run, she was still fifth and more than three lengths behind the leaders Suffused and Alchemia, who appeared to be fighting out the finish.

   But then Grylls angled Shezzacatch into the clear and she produced a dazzling turn of foot, charging to the front to win by three-quarters of a length.    

   “We weren’t surprised by that performance,” Lowry said.

   “She still doesn’t know much really and has been a real handful but she’s continued to improve since her recent Foxton trial and she’ll learn a lot more from this.”

   Lowry and his wife Brigid share in the ownership of the filly with the horse’s Cambridge breeder Tony Rider and close friends Paul and Maree Apatu, Grant and Ali Syminton, Sam and Anna Wood and John and Diane Bongard.

   Lowry said Shezzacatch will now be turned out for a brief 10-day spell. She will then be aimed at the $70,000 Group 3 Eulogy Stakes (1600m) at Awapuni on December 12, with the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) in January also on the agenda.

Shezzacatch gets up in the last couple of strides to head off a talented field of three-year-olds in the Listed El Roca-Sir Colin Meads Trophy at Hastings last Saturday.


Another HB Steeples triumph

   Hastings trainer Paul Nelson brought up his fifth Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase success when Perry Mason recorded back-to-back wins in last Saturday’s 4800m prestige event.

   Nelson now trains in partnership with Corrina McDougal and the pair celebrated a memorable milestone when winning both the AHD Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase, with Perry Mason, and Te Whangai Romney Hawke’s Bay Hurdles, with No Change, last year.

   Nelson also produced No Hero for two victories in the Hawke’s Bay Steeples, in 2003 and 2005, before also taking out the race in 2007 with Just A Swagger.

   Hastings-born jumps jockey Aaron Kuru, who has been an integral part of the Nelson/McDougal stable in recent times, produced another masterful ride on Perry Mason last Saturday.

   After letting the horse work to the front in the early stages, Kuru dictated the pace of the race and saved every inch of ground in the running. They were left clear in front when the only close challenger, Des de Jeu, slipped over on the flat with 800m to run and went on to win by 2-1/4 lengths from Napoleon, with third placed Delacroix a further 12-1/4 lengths back.

   Nelson said winning the race for a fifth time was “a huge thrill” especially as he and McDougal had worked overtime to get Perry Mason back to peak fitness this year.

   “We’ve had a bit of trouble getting him back and it’s thanks to Corrina. She does most of the work on the horse and said he was right again,” Nelson said.

   He added that Perry Mason, who is raced by the Hawke’s Bay-based I See Red Syndicate, will now contest the $50,000 Pakuranga Hunt Cup Steeplechase (4900m) at Ellerslie tomorrow week as a lead up to another tilt at the $125,000 Great Northern Steeplechase (6400m) on October 17. The 11-year-old Zed gelding finished runner-up behind Chocolate Fish in the Great Northern two years ago.


Rum led rivals a merry chase

   Lightly raced four-year-old Rum made it two wins from three starts when leading all the way in the $30,000 J Swap Contractors 1400 at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   The Burgundy gelding had scored a debut win over 1200m at Hastings back in January and followed that up with a creditable fourth behind Callsign Mav in a 1400m three-year-old race on the same track in February before going out for a spell.

   The Cambridge training combination of Shaune Ritchie and Colm Murray turned the horse out in magnificent condition for his resuming run last Saturday and he gave jockey Sam Weatherley an armchair ride in front, clearing out from the opposition over the final stages to win by 2-3/4 lengths.

   Rum was a $105,000 purchase from the 2018 Karaka yearling sales and Napier’s Simon Tremain owns a five per cent share in the horse. Another shareholder is former Hawke’s Bay man Craig Baker, who is now manager of racing and operations at the Auckland Racing Club while the horse’s Cambridge breeder, Tony Rider, has also retained a 10 per cent racing share.

   Rum is out of the Pins mare Show No Emotion, who was the winner of three races including one over 1600m on the Hastings track.


Overstayer gets a deserved win

   The luckless run Hastings owned and trained Overstayer has endured in his short racing career finally came to an end when the big chestnut powered to an impressive maiden victory over 1600m at Te Rapa on Thursday of last week.

   The Zed six-year-old had recorded three close second placings from his previous seven starts and been unlucky not to win each time.

   Top woman jockey Danielle Johnson took over the reins last week and got the horse to settle perfectly in the early running before starting a forward move approaching the home turn.

   Overstayer was one of the widest runners making the home bend and took a while to get fully balanced up in the straight before producing giant strides late to get up and win by half a length.

   Overstayer is prepared on the Hastings track by the husband and wife partnership of Mick Brown and Sue Thompson and is raced by his Hawke’s Bay breeder Megan Harvey in partnership with Sam Nelson.


More syndicate success  

   Waipukurau’s Michael Ormsby added to the success he has enjoyed with Te Akau racing syndicates when Fashion Shoot scored a dominant maiden win over 1200m at Te Rapa on Thursday of last week.

   Ormsby, who is treasurer of the Waipukurau Jockey Club, is involved in several syndicates run under the Te Akau banner including the Te Akau Avantage Syndicate, which races the multiple Group 1 winner Avantage.

   Fashion Shoot is raced by the Te Akau In Vogue Syndicate and was having just her second start last week, following a debut third over 1100m at Taupo last month.

   The Savabeel filly was ridden to victory by Danielle Johnson who bounced her out quickly from the barrier and had tracking the leader coming to the home turn. She took over soon after and kept up a strong run to the line to win by 1-1/4 lengths from Extortion.

   Fashion Shoot is out of the O’Reilly mare High Fashion and was a $320,000 purchase from the 2019 Karaka yearling sales by Te Akau Racing’s principal David Ellis.


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