HB owner shares in two wins on big Karaka Millions night
Matamata trainer Jamie Richards prepared the winners of three of the feature races at last Saturday’s Karaka Million night at Ellerslie and Waipukurau’s Michael Ormsby shared in two of them.
Richards saddled up Need I Say More to triumph in the Group 3 $70,000 Cambridge Stud Almanzor Trophy (1200m), On The Bubbles to take out the $1million Karaka Million Two-year-old (1200m) and Entriviere to score in the Group 3 $70,000 Concorde Handicap (1200m).
Ormsby is a member of the Te Akau Never Say Die Syndicate that owns Need I Say More and is also a shareholder in the Te Akau Buckle Up Racing Partnership that races Entriviere.
The winning double added to what has already been a successful start to the New Year for Ormsby as he also shares in the outstanding mare Avantage, winner of both the Group 1 Sistema Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day and Group 1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham on January 16.
Need I Say More was having his first start on the Ellerslie track and lumped topweight of 60.5kg to record his fifth win from only seven starts.
Carrying the familiar tangerine colours of Te Akau Racing, the son of Australian sire No Nay Never had to be good to win after being caught three-wide throughout the 1200m event.
Rider Troy Harris never panicked as he allowed his charge to ease around the home bend before asking the gelding to sprint inside the final 300m. The big chestnut quickened appreciably in the final stages for a convincing half-length victory.
A $130,000 purchase by David Ellis at the 2019 Karaka yearling sales, Need I Say More has now won more than $190,000 in prizemoney.
Entriviere indicated she could be a future superstar with an effortless victory in the Concorde.
The Tavistock four-year-old had provided an inkling of her potential when successful in Rating 74 company over 1200m at the same venue on Boxing Day but last Saturday was a big step up in class and she handled it with aplomb.
Beautifully handled by leading jockey Danielle Johnson, Entriviere bounded away from an inside draw to dispute the early pace before taking a trail behind pacemaker Rock ‘N’ Affair.
Johnson angled the mare away from the inside fence with 300m to run and she showed amazing acceleration to dash to the lead before comfortably holding out the late challenges from Justacanta and Pretty To Sea.
“She (Entriviere) got the soft run from the good gate and wasted no petrol,” Richards said.
“But it was still a very good effort. It was her biggest test and she duly obliged.
“She is a very exciting mare.”
Johnson was equally impressed by the win.
“She is just so tough and I was really looking forward to riding her today,” she said.
“She sprinted so well once I got her into the clear.
“It definitely isn’t her pet distance, so she is going to get even better at 1400m and a mile.”
Bred by Central Districts training doyenne Kevin Gray and his wife Kath, Entriviere is a half-sister to the Gray-trained horses Granite Ridge (four wins), Satin Belt (three wins) and Welcome Back (one win) and also descends from the family of multiple Australian Group 1 winner Maldivian.
Entriviere has now had five starts for four wins and a second and last Saturday’s victory took her total stake earnings to more than $77,000.
Ormsby said this week that both Need I Say More and Entriviere have now been turned out for a brief freshen up before they race again.
“They are both not going to run again until at Ellerslie on March 6,” he said.
“Need I Say More is not fully matured yet and still needs a bit of time while Entriviere takes a lot out of herself in her races and just needs a bit of time to get over it.”
Jamie Richards had hinted that Need I Say More could tackle the Group 1 $200,000 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa on February 13 but he has decided to keep the horse to his own age group at the moment and the Listed $60,000 Mufhasa Fast Track Stakes (1300m) at Ellerslie on March 6 is the expected target.
Entriviere is likely to contest the Group 3 $100,000 Haunui Farm King’s Plate (1200m) on the same day.
Michael Ormsby will have an interest in the BCD Group Sprint however as that is the next race on the programme for Avantage before she possibly heads across the Tasman to try and get a Group 1 victory in that country.
Advantage has had two Australian campaigns in the past, with her best result there being a win in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill in March, 2019.
She also finished third behind Classique Legend and Jonker in the Group 2 Arrowfield Stakes (1200m) in Sydney at that time but had two starts in Melbourne in the spring of that year and was unplaced in both.
Aegon now headed to Sydney
Unbeaten Aegon’s early three-year-old career looks set to mirror that of his sire, Sacred Falls, with a trip to the Sydney autumn carnival planned.
Andrew Forsman, who trains the gelding in partnership with Murray Baker, said Aegon wouldn’t race in New Zealand again this season following his exciting victory in the Karaka Million Three-year-old Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie last Saturday.
Aegon will head across the Tasman next month unbeaten, as Sacred Falls did when he headed to Sydney in 2013. Though they have not taken identical paths up to now, both numbered the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas and the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) among their New Zealand victories.
And, like Sacred Falls, Aegon is set to contest at least the first two legs of the Sydney three-year-old Group 1 Triple Crown, the $A1million Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 6 and the $A600,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 20.
His performance in those races, particularly the Rosehill Guineas, will determine whether he heads to the Group 1 $A2million Australian Derby (2400m) on April 3, a race Baker has won five times, or follow the Sacred Falls path to the Group 1 $A3millin Doncaster Mile (1600m).
Aegon’s jockey Leith Innes said after last Saturday’s Karaka Million that 1600m would probably be Aegon’s best distance, but Forsman said they will test him at further.
“I think we will give him a chance to get over ground, and that will probably mean a 2000m race,” Forsman said.
“We’ll decide then whether we press on to a Derby distance or keep him back to mile racing.”
Forsman shares in the ownership of Aegon with the Zame family from Gisborne, and they have been close friends since the Zame Partnership raced another Group 1 winner, Jon Snow, from the Baker/Forsman stable a few years ago.
Forsman purchased Aegon from the 2019 Karaka yearling sales for $150,000 and he has now amassed prizemoney totalling $859,900.
Te Rapa race next for Levante
Exciting four-year-old Levante has been enjoying a relaxing week since her superlative win in last Saturday’s Group 2 $100,000 Westbury Classic (1400m) at Ellerslie.
Co-trainer Ken Kelso said the Proisir mare, who electrified the large on-course crowd at Ellerslie with her last to first performance, had pulled up extra well post-race and he was looking forward to lining her up again at Te Rapa on February 13.
“She is having a few days off as she doesn’t run again for three weeks, but she seemed to have come through the race very well,” he said.
While Kelso was delighted with last Saturday’s result, he and the huge group of punters who had backed Levante down to a $1.40 favourite, weren’t feeling at all confident halfway through the race as Levante was last and struggling to keep in touch with the field.
“I think that was as good as I’ve seen from her in the end, but I made it pretty clear I was worried when she couldn’t seem to go with them early on,” Kelso said.
“I think with the pace on she got out of her ground and was flat on the corner, so I had eyes closed and I thought we were in deep trouble.
“When she got a flick with the stick, she just got lower and lower and it was almost like hitting the turbo button in a car.
“She’s gone to the line with her ears pricked and has done it pretty easily in the end.”
Kelso, who trains Levante in partnership with his wife Bev, will now turn his attention to a rematch with multiple Group 1 winning mare Avantage in the Group 1 $200,000 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa after his charge finished a luckless third behind that horse in the Group 1 Sistema Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.
“We haven’t got any plans past that as we have always said we take one race at a time with her.
“I think she still has some maturing to do and will be a better horse for her next campaign.
“I do think she will be very effective at a mile, especially with some pace on, so we could possibly look at the Breeders Stakes (Group 1, 1600m) at Te Aroha in the autumn.”