Hawke’s Bay owned and trained Bold Iris made up for two recent unlucky runs with a last stride victory in a $30,000 Rating 65 race at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting at Hastings.
The four-year-old mare, prepared by Hastings trainer John Bary, was recording her third win from 18 starts but her first since taking out a three-year-old 1200m race at Trentham in January last year.
Bary thought highly enough of Bold Iris back then that he decided to test her against Group 2 company in the Wellington Guineas (1400m) two months later. However she was forced to cover plenty of extra ground from a wide draw before finishing 10th out of 11.
The daughter of The Bold One was then given a lengthy spell before resuming earlier this season. She only managed two fourths from her first nine starts back but should have finished a lot closer when unplaced in her two most recent runs.
She was caught three-wide throughout in a Rating 65 race over 1600m at Trentham on March 12 and then got held up in the home straight over the same distance at Awapuni on April 2.
Bary’s racing manager Mike Sanders thinks the drop back to 1400m last Saturday suited Bold Iris a lot more and a jumpout over 1000m at Waipukurau six days before also helped boost her race fitness.
“She only finished third in the jumpout but it topped her off for Saturday,” Sanders said.
Bold Iris was ridden by apprentice Temyia Taiaroa, who settled her midfield in a fast run race before angling to the centre of the track at top of the home straight. The mare accelerated quickly to go up and briefly head the leader Deep Beauty 250m from the finish and the two horses then fought out the finish.
Deep Beauty looked to have the race won when he got his head back in front but Bold Iris made one last lunge on the line to get a nose decision.
Bold Iris was bred by Waipukurau couple Peter and Ann Evans and they race her in partnership with their Auckland-based son Royce and four other Hawke’s Bay people, John Bateman, Lyn Bibby and the brothers Allan and Wayne Chittick.
She is out of the Sandtrap mare Aribasan and closely related to Sanriba, a horse that recorded five wins, 10 seconds and 11 thirds for Peter and Ann Evans several years ago.
Sanders said Bold Iris will now go out for a winter spell and return for more racing in the spring.
New Gold Trail Stakes sponsor
The Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Thoroughbred Breeders Association will be the new sponsor of the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes, to be run on the first day of this year’s Hawke’s Bay spring carnival on September 10.
In recent years this prestigious event, which serves as the opening race in the New Zealand Three-year-old Filly of the Year series, has been generously sponsored by a group of Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred breeders.
The HB/PB Thoroughbred Breeders Association feels it is now appropriate to take up the race sponsorship and is looking forward to being involved with the important spring carnival.
This season’s Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) was run on September 18 for a stake of $80,000 and was won by Bellacontte from Mustang Valley, with Imperatriz third.
The HB/PB Thoroughbred Breeders Association is also planning a joint fun day, in conjunction with the Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners Association, at the Hastings race meeting on the Monday of Queens Birthday weekend, June 6.
Hawke’s Bay Racing is hosting this premier race day which would normally be held at Ellerslie. That racecourse will be out of action for some time while renovations are being done.
Four jumping races are scheduled on the June 6 programme at Hastings, including the $60,000 K S Browne Hurdle (3100m) and the $60,000 Ferguson Gold Cup Steeplechase over 4000m.
The Ferguson Gold Cup dates back to 1929 and was formerly run by the Poverty Bay Hunt Club on the Gisborne track. It has been resurrected by the Poverty Bay Turf Club which has agreed to stage it at Hastings.
The Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Thoroughbred Breeders Association has a new team at the helm as it looks to move forward.
Waipukurau-based Chris Walker is the new president with Tracy Andersen now the secretary. Existing committee members Isabell Roddick, Eliot Cooper, Dave Morison and Sharyn and Mike Craig have been retained and the association is currently looking to recruit further members to the committee.
The Association held its first official meeting for the year last week with former committee member Jo Griffin and Alex Kelly two special guests who addressed the meeting.
Griffin and her husband Greg originally operated Lime Country Thoroughbreds in Hawke’s Bay before setting up a business in Australia while Kelly is the Central Districts Area Representative for the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association.
The combined Hawke’s Bay Racing & Breeding Awards are scheduled to be held on Friday, September 9 this year. Unfortunately these awards have not taken place in the last two years due to COVID restrictions.
The HB/PB Thoroughbred Breeders Association’s annual Stallion Parade/Weanling Walk followed by a luncheon will also be held later this year. This day is very well supported by many of the stud farms in New Zealand.
New Hawke’s Bay/Poverty Bay Thoroughbred Breeders Association president Chris Walker (second from right) is pictured with Hawke’s Bay Racing chairman Eliot Cooper, Jo Griffin and Alex Kelly at last week’s first Association meeting of the year.
Personal milestone for Bosson
Champion jockey Opie Bosson completed a full house of Group 1 wins in New Zealand when Imperatriz cruised to victory in the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa last Saturday.
New Zealand stages 20 Group 1 races annually and the fillies and mares feature was the one domestic one Bosson hadn’t won. But he made no mistake as he produced a textbook ride aboard the Mark Walker-trained daughter of I Am Invincible.
Combined with 10 Australian elite level victories, Bosson now has a career tally of 87 Group 1 wins and his latest one gave hm great satisfaction.
“It wasn’t something that I was really thinking about, but now that I’ve done it it feels good to tick it off,” Bosson said.
“I guess the main thing is that I have had the opportunity to ride some amazing horses during my career and that has enabled me to win so many prestigious races.
“The win with Mongolian Khan in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) probably stands out above the others, while I’ve managed to win a couple of Auckland Cups (3200m) which is also quite special, but any win at that level is one to be proud of.”
Bosson says he is in a good place with his riding at the moment, with his weight under control, which will assist him in his goal to become the first New Zealand-based jockey to achieve 100 Group One wins.
“The lure of becoming the first jockey based in New Zealand to ride 100 Group 1 winners is pretty strong right now and being attached to such a great team at Te Akau Racing makes it a real possibility,” he said.
“My weight is under control and Mark (Walker) has so many good horses to ride over the next few years, it certainly stokes the fires for me.
“I know Mark will be confirming a team to go to Queensland for the winter carnival which I will be riding at this stage and there may be an opportunity to pick up another Group 1 over there.”
Bosson is also quick to admit he doesn’t enjoy the grind of winter racing and will be taking some time off for a special trip to England with wife Emily and son Max later in the year.
Deserved HB Cup win by Swords Drawn
Swords Drawn added to his impressive record on the Hastings track with a richly deserved win in last Saturday’s Listed $85,000 Power Farming Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m).
After playing a supporting role in several feature staying races on the New Zealand calendar in the past, Swords Drawn broke through for his first black type success in the feature race at the Hawke’s Bay meeting.
It was his sixth start on the Hastings track and he now boasts a record of three wins and two seconds on the course.
Bought for $140,000 by co-trainer Shaune Ritchie at the 2017 premier yearling sale, the Camelot gelding has now earned $301,550 in a 34-start career that has produced six wins and 10 minor placings.
Saturday’s first stakes win caps his previous placings in the Group 3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) at Trentham and Listed Three-year-old Salver (2100m)
At Ellerslie. He has also finished fourth in the Wellington Cup (3200m), a last start fifth in the Auckland Cup (3200m), seventh in a Taranaki Cup (2000m) and eighth in a City Of Auckland Cup (2400m).
“He deserved to win a stakes race, because he has been thereabouts in these types of races before,” said Ritchie, who trains in partnership with Colm Murray.
“You always worry when they are having their first run after a two-mile race, but luckily he didn’t have a real gut-buster in the Auckland Cup, and a brief break in the paddock did him the world of good.
Patiently ridden by apprentice Joe Kamaruddin, Swords Drawn settled well back in the field before unleashing a strong, sustained, finish out wide in the home straight.
Race favourite Leaderboard had gone clear and looked the likely winner but Swords Drawn swept past him in the final stages to score by three-quarters of a length.