IN Racing
Catch And Release puts HB owner back in a winning groove
John Jenkins | May 11, 2024
Catch And Release gets up on the outside of Starbilly and Rebal Agent to win a maiden highweight over 2100m at Woodville

Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred owner-breeder Ivan Grieve reckons he is back in the game after Catch And Release broke through for a maiden win at last week’s Woodville meeting.

Grieve has bred and raced numerous race winners over the years but had not celebrated a success since Galileo Invader took out a maiden hurdle race at Woodville in October last year.

Grieve is probably best known as the breeder of New Zealand’s dual champion jumper The Cossack, a horse he raced initially but then sold. He was bought privately by Ivan’s brother Peter and his son Doug, along with Hastings trainer Paul Nelson and John Frizzell and has gone on to win 17 races and more than $600,000 in stakemoney.

Ivan Grieve bred The Cossack out of the Galileo mare Stellardelmar, who is also the dam of Catch And Release, the two-race winner Galileo Express and Galileo Queen, the dam of Galileo Invader.

Grieve unfortunately lost Stellardelmar when she suddenly dropped dead just over 12 months ago, when in-foal to Vanbrugh.

Catch And Release was the second to last foal the mare produced but Grieve said he also has an unraced two-year-old full-sister coming on.

She is called Cut And Run and will be trained at Hastings by John Bary.

“She has had a couple of little preps and is due to come back into work at the end of this month,” Grieve said.

“We think a bit of her and she looks a lot more mature at this stage than what Catch And Release did.”

Catch And Release, a five-year-old by Turn Me Loose, was having his seventh start when he took out a maiden highweight over 2100m at Woodville and had not finished better than sixth in his previous outings.

He was one of three horses trainer Kevin Myers had entered for the 2100m event and was the best supported of the three, returning a dividend of $7.10.

Kayla Macnab was aboard the gelding and settled him  a clear last in the early running. They were still at the tail of the field coming to the home turn but, once angled to the outside of the track, Catch And Release started to lengthen stride and finished strongly to get up and win by a head from the race favourite Starbilly, with Rebal Agent a nose away in third.

Grieve races Catch And Release in partnership with Hastings trainer John Bary, who gave him one start before he was transferred to Myers.

“He’s always been a clean winded horse but has just been a bit weak and has needed time,” Grieve said.

“He has been slow to develop and mature but he looks like he is coming to it now.

“He’s not brilliant but he’ll stay and we are going to try him as a jumper.”

Catch And Release had one hurdle start last year, finishing last of six over 3000m at Woodville, but Grieve said he is a much stronger horse now and both he and Galileo Invader were down to contest hurdle races at Thursday’s Wanganui meeting.


Atishu not for sale just yet

The connections of outstanding racemare Atishu have voted not to sell the Savabeel mare and she is likely to have another racing campaign next season.

Dannevirke’s Dean Shuker, who owns a five per cent shareholding in the six-year-old mare, said Atishu was to be offered for sale at an Australian mixed bloodstock sale but the large group of owners that race her voted 65% to 35% not to sell.

“We are going to keep her and give her one more campaign and then she’ll be put up for sale,” Shuker said.

Despite having had 41 race starts, Atishu is still fully sound and Shuker said they are now looking at giving her another autumn campaign next year.

Atishu is the winner of 10 races and more than A$4.5million in stakemoney, a fantastic return on the $260,000 she cost when bought by Go Racing’s Albert Bosma from the 2019 Karaka yearling sales.

She still races in the Go Racing colours and Shuker said there are 19 people involved in the ownership.

Atishu commenced her racing career from the Cambridge stable of Stephen Marsh, winning four races in New Zealand before being transferred to top Australian trainer Chris Waller.

She has since won a further six races, two of them at Group 1 level. Her first Group 1 success was in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick 12 months ago and she then took out the MacKinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last November.

Atishu’s last start was in this year’s Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on April 13, where she finished an unlucky second after being held up in the home straight.

That followed a third in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 24 while her last win was recorded in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on March 2.

Besides her 10 wins, Atishu has also recorded seven seconds and seven thirds so she will be a very valuable broodmare when she finally does go up for sale.


New Karaka bonus series for maidens

Karaka Millions riches are set to be increased next season, with horses eligible for the lucrative NZB Karaka Millions Series racing for an additional $1million in bonuses.

In an exciting new initiative, New Zealand Bloodstock and New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, generously supported by Entain, have announced the Karaka Millions Mega Maiden Series, which will contest of $1million in bonuses across 40 maiden races each season, for the next three years.

Comprised of 40 non-Saturday maiden races located throughout New Zealand, a $25,000 bonus will be struck if a Karaka Millions eligible horse, three years or older, wins. The winning owner will receive $20,000 and the successful trainer $5000.

NZB Managing Director Andrew Seabrook said the sales company has been wanting to see more of its graduates reap the benefits of the Karaka Millions Series for some time.

“By hosting a $1million maiden series over 40 races, that goal will be well and truly satisfied,” he said.

NZTR will determine which 40 maiden races will feature in the 2024/2025 season series, which will run from September to May of each racing year.

The selected races will be announced next week.

This series means there are more bonus opportunities for more horses in New Zealand than ever before.


Weanling walk planned for June 30

The Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Thoroughbred Breeders Association plans to stage its annual weanling walk on Sunday, June 30.

Breeders with weanlings they would like to present for viewing are asked to contact Chris Walker at mobile: 021 617561 as soon as possible so that a plan can be made to visit the different locations.

The association’s annual meeting was held in Hastings on Tuesday evening, the highlight being an address by New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association chief executive Nick Johnson.

Chris Walker stepped down from the position as president of the Hawke’s Bay/Poverty branch and has been replaced by Greg Miller.


Warwick new NZTR Board member

The New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) Members’ Council has appointed Russell Warwick as a Director Elect of the NZTR Board, effective from August 1 this year.

Russell Warwick brings a wealth of industry knowledge and administrative experience to the appointment. As the General Manager of Westbury Stud, Warwick’s ability to lead one of New Zealand’s elite breeding and racing programmes made him an excellent candidate to join the NZTR Board.

In what is widely viewed as one of the most exciting times in New Zealand racing history, Warwick is grateful for the opportunity.

“The industry has made excellent headway in recent times, but there is still a lot of work to do. I really enjoy being able to give back to the industry, and timing wise, I feel I can offer a constructive view as we look to inspire a new generation of stakeholders and encourage further growth within the business.”


Endued now bound for Hong Kong

Endued, an impressive four length winner of the two-year-old race at Woodville last week, is expected to do his future racing in Hong Kong.

The son of Deep Field was a $400,000 purchase from the Karaka yearling sales last year by Hong Kong-based Kiwi trainer Jamie Richards in partnership with Andrew Williams Bloodstock. 

Richards entrusted Endued to his Matamata-based father Paul for the early stages of his career, who held up his end of the bargain by producing the horse for a dominant win on Friday of last week.

“The horse is owned in Hong Kong and was bought on a PP (Private Purchase) permit,” Paul Richards said.

“He had to win a race and get a rating of 63 to be eligible to go up to Hong Kong and he’s ticked those boxes. I’d say he will more than likely spell now before heading up there in the spring.”

Endued began his career with a close and strong-finishing third over 1200m at Matamata on February 29. He finished fifth over the same course and distance two weeks later, beaten by four lengths by subsequent Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) runner-up Red Sea.

After a brief freshen-up, Endued showed promising signs with an easy trial win at Cabridge on April 23 ahead of his dominant raceday return at Woodville.

Ridden by Michael McNab, Endued settled into a comfortable rhythm fourth before collaring the tearaway pacemaker First Gear at the top of the home straight and from then on victory was never in doubt as he drew clear in the last 200m.