Birthday party win for well-known Hawke’s Bay owner
(By John Jenkins)
Imperial Party provided his Otane thoroughbred owner-breeder Garry Sherratt with the perfect birthday present when he led all the way in a 2100m maiden race at Hastings on Thursday of last week.
Sherratt, who turned 72 that day, has bred and raced thoroughbreds since he was 21 but Imperial Party’s success broke a winning drought of more than four years for him.
“I haven’t won a race for long time but I’ve had some pretty big placings since then,” Sherratt recalled this week.
“We had a second in the Great Northern Hurdles and a third in the Grand National Hurdles with Second Innings a few years ago and he was probably my last winner.”
Second Innings was bred by Garry Sherratt and his wife Jan and raced by them in partnership with the horse’s Hastings trainer Paul Nelson and his wife Carol as well as Ben Foote and Kim Rogers from Cambridge.
The Yamanin Vital gelding recorded seven wins, three seconds and four thirds from 33 starts, with three of his victories being over hurdles. His last win was in a novice hurdle over 3100m at Te Aroha in September, 2016.
“He was one of the best horses we’ve had and would have won more had he not suffered a tendon injury,” Sherratt added.
The best horse Garry and Jan Sherratt have bred and raced was Just Not Cricket, who notched up 11 wins and was also a top jumper from 2006 to 2009, winning the 2007 Great Northern Hurdles at Ellerslie and the 2008 Grand National Hurdles at Riccarton. He was also trained by Paul Nelson and unfortunately had to be put down after falling during the running of the 2009 Wellington Hurdles.
Imperial Party descends from the family of Frond, a weanling that Garry Sherratt bought as a 21-year-old back in 1971. She was by Old Soldier and was the winner of four races and finished fifth in the AJC Oaks (2400m) in Sydney.
Frond was the dam of nine named foals including the winners Ponga, Koru and Fernoon.
Imperial Party is a grandson of Frond, being by Ghibellines out of the Corrupt mare Politic, who was also the winner of four races for the Sherratts, including one over hurdles.
Garry Sherratt said Politic has also left two promising jumpers in Argyll and The Anarchist and he and Jan now have an unnamed three-year-old filly by Nadeem and a two-year-old filly by El Roca out of the mare running on their farm.
While Sherratt said it was a big thrill to win a race on his birthday he was also pleased that Imperial Party is trained at Hastings by Patrick Campbell, a close friend who has prepared his horses right from the early days.
“Patrick was groomsman at our wedding and trained the first winner I had when he was in partnership with Bruce Marsh back in the 1970’s. It was a horse called Cock A Hoop that I raced with my father,” Sherratt said.
“He has trained a fair few horses for me and Jan since and most of them have won.”
Imperial Party was having only his fourth start when he lined up at Hastings last week and his win followed a close second over 2040m at Wanganui two weeks before.
Campbell said the four-year-old is a one-paced stayer and so he instructed jockey Danielle Hirini to take the horse straight to the front and dictate a pace to suit.
Hirini followed the instructions to the letter, setting a reasonable pace on the horse but making sure he still had something in reserve for the finish.
Imperial Party was taken on in front rounding the home bend and headed soon after. But he fought back gamely inside the final 200m to wrest back the lead and score by 1-1/4 lengths.
Bold Iris aimed at Guineas
Hastings-trained Bold Iris will now be aimed at the Group 2 $100,000 Wellington Guineas at Trentham next month after she completed back-to-back victories with a gutsy performance in a $40,000 three-year-old race over 1200m there last Saturday.
Trainer John Bary is keen to give the filly a chance in a black type race against her own age group and will look at giving her one more race before the Wellington Guineas (1400m) on March 20.
“She can have a run in a three-year-old race over 1400 at Hastings on March 3 and that should set her up nicely for the Guineas,” Bary said.
Bold Iris was following on from a maiden win over 1200m at Hastings on New Year’s Day and has now had six starts for two wins and three thirds.
Palmerston North jockey Leah Hemi has been the filly’s regular rider this season and seems to know how to get the best out of her.
She settled her back second last in the early rush for positions in the dog-leg 1200m event and waited until the field came across the junction onto the course proper before asking her to really extend.
Klaasen and jockey Sam Collett looked headed for victory when clear inside the final 300m but Hemi managed to push Bold Iris through a gap between horses and the filly charged late, getting up to win by a neck.
Bold Iris was bred by Waipukurau couple Peter and Ann Evans and they race the filly 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.
Bateman, Bibby and the Evans were all on course at Trentham to celebrate the filly’s win last Saturday.
“It was a big thrill,” Ann Evans said this week.
“We were just hoping for an honest run from the filly and so to actually win again was very exciting. We still wake up smiling.”
Bold Iris is by The Bold One out of the Sandtrap mare Aribasan and is closely related to Sanriba, a horse that recorded five wins, 10 seconds and 11 thirds for Peter and Ann Evans several years ago.
On Show ends frustrating run
It has been a long time between celebration drinks for the connections of Hastings-trained On Show but the Showcasing mare did them proud when winning a $40,000 Rating 65 race over 1200m at Trentham last Saturday.
The four-year-old was recording her second success from 15 starts and both have been on the Trentham track, the first coming in 1000m two-year-old race in March 2019.
In between times On Show has chalked up a frustrating run of minor placings, with five seconds and a third also next to her name.
Her win last Saturday was well deserved after she only went down by half a neck in another 1200m race on the first day of this year’s Wellington Cup carnival, on January 16.
Bary would be the first to admit that On Show has not been an easy horse to train, with the mare having been slow away on occasions and then wanting to over-race.
She blundered at the start again last Saturday but quickly recovered from the outside draw to be third at the top of the home straight.
Jockey Craig Grylls took her to the front soon after and she showed plenty of fight over the final stages to hold out the fast finishing pair of Kick Start and I’m Buzz in a close three-way finish.
On Show was a $75,000 purchase from a two-year-old Ready To Run sale and is raced by the Surf’s Up Syndicate, a large group of people managed by Bary’s racing manager Mike Sanders.
The syndicate members are Doug Callaghan and Richard Koorey from Hastings, Ian McLean and Tony Clark (Havelock North), Dave Whittington (Napier), Neil and Rayleen Whitmore (Wairoa), Barry and Leith Wrenn (Dannevirke), Michael Phillips (Masterton), John and Thelma Glasgow (Rotorua), Craig Smith and Adrian Berry (Palmerston North), Aidin Dennis (Tauranga), John Knox, Paul Lamb and Tim Mitchell (Wellington), Mike Fitzgerald and Kevin Parker (Waikanae), Culham Hardy and Kristen Whittington (Petone), Mark Hardy (Lower Hutt) and Phillip Parker (Queensland).
Sanders said there are now two options for On Show for her next start.
“There is a fillies and mares race over 1400m at Matamata on February 27 or she can run in another 1200m race at Hastings on March 3,” Sanders said.
“She is relaxing in her races a lot better now and if she can get 1400 it opens up doors for other fillies and mares races for her later on.”
HB-bred Foogayzee successful
Foogayzee, who capped off a string of minor placings with a deserved win in the $40,000 Special Conditions race over 1400m at Trentham last Saturday, was bred in Hawke’s Bay.
The four-year-old son of Showcasing is out of the Sudurka mare Pearls and was bred by Taupo’s Pat Lowry. He was initially reared at his son Guy Lowry’s Okawa property before being sold for $80,000 at the 2018 Karaka yearling sales as part of the draft from Milan Park Stud in Cambridge.
Foogayzee was having his 14th start and had recorded two seconds and two thirds previously. In four starts this season, before last Saturday, the Lauren Brennan-trained gelding had chalked up two seconds, a third and a fourth.
Pearls, the dam of Foogayzee, won three races from the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and she has also left a Pour Moi three-year-old called Hong Kong and a yearling filly by Almansor.
“And she has just produced a magnificent looking filly foal by Darci Brahma,” Guy Lowry said this week.