IN Racing
Hawkes Bay Racing Column - May 8
Ivanka earns a winter break after game Hastings win
John Jenkins | May 08, 2021
Ivanka (nearest camera) holds a clear advantage over her rivals

Ivanka earns a winter break after game Hastings win

(By John Jenkins)

The Hastings husband and wife training combination of Mick Brown and Sue Thompson have resisted the urge to chase black type with their talented two-year-old Ivanka this season and instead the filly will be turned out for a winter spell.

The daughter of promising first season sire Vadamos scored an all the way victory in a $22,500 two-year-old race over 1200m at Hastings last Saturday and that followed a close second behind the highly rated Rangi Toa over 1300m on the same track last month.

Ivanka has come through last Saturday’s win in such great order that Brown and Thompson were considering giving her one more run this season, in the Listed $50,000 Castletown Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui on June 5. But, after consulting with the horse’s American-based owner Butch Thomas, it has been decided to turn her out and bring her back in the spring.

“Last Saturday’s run took nothing out of her at all,” Mick Brown said.

“When we got her back home and put her out in the paddock she was squealing and she never left a scrap of feed on Saturday night.

“We did look at the Castletown Stakes as a maybe but we could strike a heavy track by then and so it is probably better to turn her out now and then get her ready for the spring.”

The filly stands not much more than 15 hands high and it is hoped that, given time, she will grow a bit more and also strengthen.

Ivanka was ridden to victory last Saturday by Hawke’s Bay-based jockey Kate Hercock, who was recording her fourth success since making a comeback to race-riding earlier this season.

She bounced the filly out brilliantly from an inside draw and had her clear in the lead by the end of the first 200m. She then kept just a length in front of her rivals before pinching a break rounding the home bend.

The challengers started to close in the last 200m but Ivanka had enough in reserve to hold on for a half-length win over Flying Amelia, with another half-length back to third placed Medal.

Butch Thomas races Ivanka in partnership with his wife Lou and purchased the filly as a weanling off Gavelhouse Horse Auctions for only $4300.

He and his wife have raced other horses from the Thompson/Brown stable, the most successful being the good sprinter Designated Driver who won four races and was second to Sacred Star in the 2015 Group 1 Telegraph Sprint (1200m) at Trentham.

Ivanka is out of the Australian-bred mare Alessandra, who is a daughter of champion Australasian sire Fastnet Rock.


Hartley’s fourth Hastings success

Consistent sprinter Hartley is fast becoming a Hastings track specialist, bringing up his fourth success on the course at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

The Azamour gelding, owned by Dannevirke couple Neil and Erin Connors, scored a game win in the $32,500 open 1400m event, bringing up his seventh career victory from only 30 starts.

The big six-year-old looked in trouble when blocked for a run at the top of the home straight but apprentice Ashvin Mudhoo was able to get a gap between horses inside the last 200 metres and Hartley drove through strongly to beat Raposa Rapida by half a head.

Hartley is prepared by Neil Connors, a semi-retired dairy farmer who took out an owner-trainer’s licence in the mid-1990s and has regularly had one or two horses in work ever since. He is one of only a few trainers who still work their horses on the Woodville track, once one of the biggest and most successful thoroughbred training centres in the country.

Connors has been a quiet achiever, boasting a 2003 Auckland Cup triumph with Bodie among his 58 wins.

Other horses Connors and his wife Erin have enjoyed good success with include the top sprinter/miler Samurai (eight wins), Oakley (seven wins), Tyne Cot (six wins).


Apprentice Ashvin Mudhoo brings Hartley back to the winner’s stall after their win in the open sprint at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting

Next season’s Hastings race dates

Hawke’s Bay Racing has been granted 14 race dates for the 2021/22 racing season which begins on August 1, the same number as the current season.

Whilst the bulk of the race dates are the same there has been a minor change to the spring carnival and a major change with a move away from the traditional New Year’s Day race day.

The first day of the spring carnival, Tarzino Trophy Daffodil race day, will be on September 11 and is two weeks after the Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa.

There will then be a three week break before the second day of spring carnival on October 2, which features the Windsor Park Plate, and the final day of the carnival will be on October 16, which will be Livamol Classic day.

The major change for Hawke’s Bay Racing will be the shift of the traditional New Year’s Day to New Year’s Eve.

Hawke’s Bay Racing CEO Darin Balcombe said New Year’s Day has come precariously close to being abandoned due to a lack of entries on a number of occasions.

“This year’s race day needed a great deal of phone work to scramble together enough runners for six races,” Balcombe said.

“Whilst New Year’s Day races has been a traditional event in Hawke’s Bay and does attract a very good family crowd, the industry benefit was a great deal better with the club racing on New Year’s Eve.

“The main issue has been for the northern trainers with most of them being at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day, along with the bulk of the senior jockeys, and they also have a number of other choices regarding race meetings around that time.”

Racing on New Year’s Day also brings added costs for trainers having to pay staff time and a half in wages and also giving them a day off in lieu.

“The move to New Year’s Eve should ensure that we get enough runners to sustain a quality race day,” Balcombe added.

He said Hawke’s Bay Racing is still proactively working with the Waipukurau Jockey Club, Wairoa Racing Club and Poverty Bay Turf Club to confirm they will again race at Hastings and that should be confirmed in the near future.

2021/2022 Hastings race dates

  • Saturday, September 11– Tarzino Trophy    
  • Saturday, October 2– Windsor Park Plate
  • Saturday, October 16– Livamol Classic
  • Sunday, November 7– Waipukurau JC @ Hastings (TBC)
  • Wednesday, December 8– Christmas at The Races
  • Friday, December 31– New Year’s Eve races
  • Thursday, January 27
  • Sunday, February 20– Wairoa Racing Club @ Hastings (TBC)
  • Wednesday, March 2– Little Avondale Lowland Stakes
  • Saturday, April 16– Power Farming Hawke’s Bay Cup Day
  • Saturday, April 30
  • Thursday, May 26
  • Saturday, July 2– Hawke’s Bay Steeple and Hurdles day
  • Thursday, July 21


Tony Lyndon honoured

Tony Lyndon’s lengthy contribution to the Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred racing industry was celebrated and recognised at last Saturday’s Hastings race meeting, with him being presented with a New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Service Award.

One of the races on the programme was named in his honour and he was presented with the award at a special on-course function.

Tony Lyndon has been involved in virtually every aspect of the racing industry, as a jockey, trainer, owner, breeder, administrator, studmaster and track rider.

The most notable feature of his lifelong service to the sport has been his 31-year stint as president of the Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners’ Association, a position he only stepped down from last year.

He has been involved with the Hawke’s Bay branch of the Association since 1962, joining the committee soon after.

He represented the Hawke’s Bay region on the Owners’ Federation Board, and was awarded the Horlicks Salver for his outstanding contribution to racing at the annual Hawke’s Bay Racing & Breeding Awards function in 2014.

His achievements for local racehorse owners include the introduction of the Association’s local race day, which was staged last Saturday, and helping to establish the annual Hawke’s Bay racing awards. He was also instrumental in introducing and continuing a by-monthly owners’ award.

Originally from Hastings, Tony Lyndon, did a stint as an apprentice jockey in Auckland and later became a stable foreman there once he became too heavy to pursue a jockey career.

He then moved back to Hastings to take a job as foreman for another stable and rode work for local trainers before becoming a trainer in his own right and involved in thoroughbred breeding. He trained the quality filly Sheherazade and the good hurdler Harlech in the 1960s and co-bred and trained the stakes-placed Ton Of Luck in the 1980s.

He had a spell as a stud manager in Matamata, assisted by his wife Glynis, and   in recent years he has been an active member in racing syndicates.

He was the manager of the Bogga Syndicate which raced the top jumper Mr Mor, whose 10 wins included the Wellington Steeplechase and back-to-back victories in the Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase.

He is presently part of a 10 member group that races Carnaby from the Kevin Myers stable. The Danroad gelding is the winner of seven races on the flat and is expected to begin a jumping career this winter.

Tony and his wife Glynis are also the parents of Maree Davey (nee Lyndon), who was a leading jockey in both New Zealand and Australia and the first woman to ride in a Melbourne Cup, in 1987.