IN Racing
Hawke’s Bay owner gets a golden result after patient wait
John Jenkins | June 15, 2024
Indian Gold (inside) scores a half-length win over Brigit in a 1200m maiden at New Plymouth

Hawke’s Bay racehorse owner Peter Grieve is a firm believer in the saying ‘patience is a great virtue’ and that policy looks set to pay dividends for him and his South Island-based partner Barry Thomas.

The two men bred and race Indian Gold, who scored an impressive debut win in a maiden three-year-old race over 1200m at New Plymouth on Thursday of last week and looks a horse with a very bright future on the racetrack.

“We’ve been waiting a while for him to get to the races but I think we’ll reap the rewards in the finish,” a happy Grieve said this week.

The Ocean Park gelding is trained on the New Plymouth track by Allan Sharrock and was the centre of some inspired betting for his race debut, starting a $3.20 second favourite behind his more experienced stablemate Brigit.

The two horses fought of the finish of the race with Indian Gold stretching his neck out in the final few strides to get a half-length decision.

Indian Gold was one of five winners in a row produced by Sharrock at his home meeting and all five were ridden by promising apprentice jockey Tristan Moodley.

Indian Gold hit the side of the barrier as he jumped away from the barrier and got back third last in the early running. He was shuffled back to second last coming to the home turn and Moodley had to wait until the field fanned before picking a path between horses.

They were tightened for room early in the home straight but Moodley didn’t panic and Indian Gold showed a real will to win by barging between horses and then setting out after the leader Brigit.

The two horses went head-to-head over the final stages, with Indian Gold surging ahead close to the line.

Grieve said Allan Sharrock has always thought a fair bit of Indian Gold and thinks he will develop into a good stayer in time.

The three-year-old is certainly bred to be a stayer as his sire Ocean Park was the winner of five Group 1 races including the New Zealand Stakes (2000m) and Cox Plate (2040m).

His dam is the High Chaparral mare Chapinta, who was raced by Grieve and Thomas and recorded six wins and two seconds from 17 starts, with one of those wins being over 2200m and one of the runner-up placings at 2400m.

“We think he is a stayer in the making so we are only going to potter around with him this time in,” Grieve said.

“There is a nice race for him back on his home track on July 20 which we are looking at.

“It is a $35,000 race for horses that were maidens as at June 1 and is run over 1400m, which should suit him by then.

“He’ll probably have one more race before then.”

Indian Gold is the third race winner produced by Chapinta, the others being Island Hop (three wins) and Chapinteel (three wins).

Grieve said Chapinta has since produced a yearling gelding by Proisir called Professional Lad and a weanling filly by the same sire and is now in-foal to Satono Aladdin.

“The yearling gelding is owned by me and my son Doug. He has been broken in and looks a nice type,” Grieve added.

Indian Gold is one of eight horses Peter Grieve has in work, with the most successful being the champion jumper The Cossack.

The 10-year-old gelding will carry Grieve’s brown, yellow and blue colours at Te Rapa this Saturday where he will try to defend his title in the $60,000 Waikato Steeplechase (3900m).

Another horse racing in Grieve’s colours at the moment is the Kevin Myers-trained Rakanui, who will make his hurdling debut at Te Rapa this Saturday.


Lack of opportunities for Miss Emerald

Miss Emerald, an impressive winner of a Rating 65 race over 1600m at Otaki last Saturday, looks a horse on the rise but her Hawke’s Bay connections are now frustrated by a lack of suitable races for her in the coming weeks.

“Believe it or not we can’t find anything in the calendar that will suit her until the end of July,” the mare’s co-owner Richard Wood said this week.

“She has gone up a grade after her win last Saturday but there is not another race, over 1600m, for her until then.”

Wood, who races the mare in partnership with his wife Liz and the horse’s Hastings trainer John Bary, said she is now having a 10-day freshen up and is likely to have only one more start this season before being prepared for a spring campaign.

“We’d like to think she is good enough to have a crack at races over the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival,” Wood said.

“She’s not a big robust filly but she has got plenty of ability.

“Liz and I bred her and we would love to pick up some black type with her along the way.”

Miss Emerald brought up her second win from 11 starts when scoring a decisive half length win at Otaki.

The four-year-old daughter of Iffraaj was coming off an unlucky fourth over 1600m at Woodville on May 26, where she ruined her chances by being very slow away.

Apprentice jockey Ashvin Mudhoo gave the mare a perfect run last Saturday, settling her third in the running before pushing her out into the clear at the top of the home straight.

Miss Emerald kept up a strong run  to the line to win by half a length from Tiny Diamond, with 1-1/4 lengths back to third placed Love Janie.

The Woods bred Miss Emerald out of the High Chaparral mare Uluru, who has also left the winner What  A Charma.

The mare has also left a three-year-old by Charm Spirit, named Wild Ruby, who is trained in Australia by Clayton Douglas.

“He shows plenty of promise and Liz and I race a 10 percent share in him along with a group of our friends from Western Australia,” Wood said.


La Crique to spell in Queensland

A group of jockeys riding horses on grass

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La Crique winning at Eagle Farm last Saturday.                                                     Photo: Grant Peters


It’s a case of mission accomplished in Queensland for multiple Group 1 winner La Crique, who will now head for a spell on the Sunshine Coast of Australia following her victory in last Saturday’s A$500,000 Magic Millions National Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm.

Trainers Simon and Katrina Alexander felt a sense of relief and vindication by the victory after a tumultuous few months battling feet issues with their mare.

“You always want those sort of horses to showcase a good performance,” Katrina Alexander said. “It was nice to come back and prove that she can do the job, albeit it wasn’t a black-type race.

“It was a great sense of relief to begin with and it was an exciting run after you have had the opportunity to watch it a few more times.

“We were really happy when we sent her over, she was in good nick. Travelling does take a lot out of her. It is not an easy thing for her as she does drop body condition quite quickly.

“We gave her a bit of extra time to settle in this time, she had a week extra than last time (she travelled to Australia), which was helpful. She trained on well over there and we didn’t think we missed any work, which was really good.”

The daughter of Vadamos felt the impact of Saturday’s run in the ensuing days, but Alexander said she has since recovered well and will now enjoy some downtime.

“She came through it relatively well. She was a bit jarry on Monday when we took her for a light bit of exercise, but that was to be expected as the track was quite firm at Eagle Farm last Saturday,” she said.

“At this sage it will be the end of the line. She will spell there and it is a better climate for that and then we will make a plan from there as to whether she stays there to be pre-trained for her next campaign or not, depending on the weather here in New Zealand.”


Malaysia now an Asian racing centre

With the imminent closure of thoroughbred racing in Singapore and racing already having ceased in Macau earlier this year, Malaysia has become a key developing market for the thoroughbred industry in Asia.

Acknowledging this, New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters visited the Selangor Turf Club last weekend during his trade mission to Malaysia to help strengthen ties between the two nations.

Peters, who is also New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister and Racing Minister, was met by a contingent of dignitaries and racing club officials, along with a number of expat New Zealand trainers, including Simon Dunderdale, Sharee Hamilton ad Singapore-based Donna Logan.

Dunderdale, who is the country’s leading trainer, said Peters was warmly received.

“He is a shrewd operator and he spoke so highly of the New Zealand racing scene and how it is going ahead. He is really optimistic and said the work has only just started and there is a long way to go,” Dunderdale said.

“He also spoke about the relationship we need to develop between New Zealand thoroughbred racing  and Malaysia, and he was speaking on ways to get more trainers and owners to the sales in New Zealand.

“He came and visited my stables and had a look at the horses, particularly the New Zealand-bred horses. Unfortunately, he was here on a non-race day, but he was very well received by the committee and invited guests.

Dunderdale said with the closure of racing in Singapore and Macau, there is a huge potential in Malaysia, and the growth can already be seen.

Prizemoney has already gone up 15 per cent and is set to double in January.