Hawke’s Bay trained or owned horses dominated last Sunday’s Waipukurau Jockey Club’s meeting at Hastings, winning five of the seven races on the card.
No Time To Jazz, No Rock No Pop and Maria Dior were Hastings-trained winners on the day while two other successful runners, Gee String and White Diamond, both have Hawke’s Bay people in their ownership.
The win by No Time To Jazz was especially significant for Hastings woman Pam Holden as it was her first training success.
Holden has had a permit to train license for two and a half years and presently has three horses in work.
She has had a good upbringing with thoroughbreds as she started out working for the late Keith Couper, who was one of the leading trainers in Hawke’s Bay in the 1960s and 1970s, and she then joined the stable of fellow Hastings trainer Patrick Campbell.
She spent five years working for Patrick Hogan’s Cambridge Stud, where she was responsible for preparing yearlings for the sales.
“I was then with Chris McNab when he trained the Group 1 winner Moss Downs and I got to take him to Australia for the Cox Plate, a race he finished fifth in,” Holden said.
She then spent a brief time working for the Mike Moroney stable in Matamata before moving back to Hawke’s Bay and is now the partner of Hastings racehorse owner-trainer Steven Carey.
No Time To Jazz is raced on lease by Holden and Stephanie Russell from the horse’s Hastings owner-breeder Chris Russell.
Stephanie Russell is a daughter of the late Roger Russell, who was a brother of Chris Russell and one of the people that originally started the breed that No Time No Jazz descends from.
Chris Russell started the breed with an unraced Duke Ellington mare called Jazz Concert and took in his brothers Roger and Ken to help breed and race the mare’s progeny.
Jazz Concert’s first foal was Johnny Loves Jazz who was unraced but left a horse called Native Jazz, who won seven races including the Group 2 Craiglee Stakes (1600m) in Melbourne and also finished second in the Group 1 Adelaide Cup (3200m).
Since the passing of Roger Russell his brothers Chris and Ken have bred and raced many winners from that initial breed, with No Time To Jazz being the latest.
No Time Top Jazz is a five-year-old mare by Swiss Ace out of the Dieu D’Or mare Donna Jazz, a horse that recorded two wins and three minor placings from 19 starts. She is also a half-sister to Shesalljazz (five wins) and Hesalljazz (seven wins).
No Time To Jazz was having her second start on Sunday. She had produced an inglorious debut performance over 1400m at Hastings back in February, where she was slow away and raced greenly throughout before finishing last of 10 runners.
Holden has since put plenty of work into the mare including a total of seven jumpouts at Hastings and one at Waipukurau, and she won seven of them.
Holden said she was unsure how No Time To Jazz would cope with the slow track conditions at Hastings last Sunday and didn’t give apprentice jockey Faye Lazet any specific riding instructions.
Lazet jumped the mare out well from the barrier to take an early lead but then found herself caught three-wide when two horses pushed up inside her.
She decided to press on and take a clear lead with 800m to run and maintained the advantage from then on.
No Time To Jazz rounded the home turn three lengths clear of the opposition and, despite wanting to lay out over the final stages, she kept up a strong run to the line to win by 2-1/2 lengths.
Holden said this week that No Time To Jazz has come through the win incredibly well and she is now looking at lining the mare up in a $30,000 Rating 65 race over 1600m at Otaki on November 25 and then another Rating 65 race over 1600m at Hastings on December 8.
Secret Falls, another horse Holden has in work, is a three-year-old filly by Sacred Falls who finished a close second in a 1000m trial at Woodville last week. She will now have another trial at Foxton on November 17 before making her race debut in a Pearl Series maiden three-year-old race over 1200m at Hastings on December 8.
Deserved success by unlucky mare
There was no more deserved winner of last Sunday’s $20,000 AON Insurance Brokers Waipukurau Cup (1600m) than Hastings-trained No Rock No Pop.
The Rock ‘N’ Pop four-year-old was recording her third win from 20 starts and her first since she took out a Rating 65 race over 1400m on the same track back in May.
To say trainer Lee Somervell has had a frustrating time with the mare in the interim would be an understatement. She drew one from the outside on the first day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival on September 18 and covered a huge amount of extra ground in the running before finishing a game third.
She was again caught three-wide and faded late over 1600m on the second day of the Hawke’s Bay carnival on October 2 and was then a late scratching when she played up in the barrier on the third day of the carnival, on October 16.
Following that incident No Rock No Pop had to trial to the satisfaction of stewards before she could race again, which she did, and a barrier blanket was added to help get her into the barrier at Hastings last Sunday.
No Rock No Pop loaded perfectly and jumped away quickly to be one of the leaders going into the first bend. Apprentice Ashvin Mudhoo then took the initiative to press on and take an early lead and gradually increased the margin going down the back straight.
No Rock No Pop had six lengths on the opposition at the half-way point and Mudhoo took a hold and gave the mare a breather for the next 200 metres before kicking clear again.
The mare never looked like weakening in the home straight and crossed the line 3-1/4 lengths clear of race-favourite Fiddyafortnight.
No Rock No Pop is owned by Hawke’s Bay Regional councillor Neil Kirton, who purchased her off the thoroughbred auction site Gavelhouse for a reasonable price and her stake earnings now total more than $43,000.
Maria Dior back in top form
Maria Dior scored a runaway win in the Rating 65 race over 1400m at Hastings last Sunday but her Hastings trainer and part-owner Patrick Campbell was not on course to celebrate the victory.
Campbell was instead in Christchurch where he had Satu Lagi contesting Wednesday’s Group 3 Stewards Stakes (1200m). That horse finished a gallant third in the race after suffering interference in the running.
Maria Dior was coming off a last start 10th over 1100m at Awapuni on October 30 but Campbell said last week that race was best forgotten as the Rip Van Winkle mare was all at sea on the shifty track conditions that day.
The mare had worked up well since that run and looked in peak condition when she lined up in Sunday’s race.
Apprentice Ashvin Mudhoo had used daring tactics to win the previous race, the Waipukurau Cup, by taking No Rock No Pop to a big early lead and running his rivals ragged. He adopted the same tactics on Maria Dior having her out in front by as much as seven lengths mid-stages and she was never in danger of being caught, crossing he line five lengths clear of second placed Tango Love.
Maria Dior is owned by Campbell in partnership with his Australian-based son Phillip. They bought the mare off her Hastings breeder Chris Russell, who originally raced her from the Campbell stable.
Mixed day for Kate Hercock
Kate Hercock was seen at her vigorous best when getting Gee String home a narrow winner in the opening event at last Sunday’s Waipukurau meeting at Hastings but it proved to be an expensive day for the talented Hawke’s Bay jockey.
Hercock faced a charge of excessive use of the whip in the race in that she struck her mount six times prior to 100 metres from the finish in the 1200m event and was suspended from after riding this coming Sunday until November 24 (five riding days).
Two races later Hercock again faced a similar charge and pleaded guilty to striking her mount Moonlight Hustler seven times prior to the 100m mark and was suspended again from November 24 until the conclusion of racing on December 2 (another six riding days). She was also fined $150 on each charge.
There is little doubt that Hercock’s vigorous ride paved the way for Gee String’s success in the Rating 74 race over 1200m. The Niagara gelding was momentarily headed by race favourite Caminata inside the last 200m but came again to get up in the last few strides for a three-quarter length win.
Gee String was recording his second win from seven starts and Hercock has been aboard in both victories.
The horse is trained at Woodville by Shane Brown and raced by a syndicate that includes Taradale accountant Paddy Murphy, his wife Gill Bradshaw and his sister Glenys Murphy.
Gee String is out of the Exploding Prospect mare Gee Baby, who was also raced by Paddy Murphy and won five races from the stable of former Foxton trainer Grant Laursen.
Lightning strikes for Waipukurau owners
The win by White Lightning in the Affco CHB Cup at last Sunday’s Waipukurau meeting at Hastings was appropriate in that the mare is raced by a syndicate that includes Waipukurau Jockey Club committeeman Peter Evans and his wife Ann along with another keen Waipukurau racing man Wayne Chittick.
The four-year-old Reliable Man mare showed a welcome return to form in the 1600m event, leading all the way and racing away from her rivals in the home straight to score by six lengths.
It was her second success from 11 starts, with her maiden victory coming over 1400m at Otaki in November last year,
The grey mare is trained at Marton by Fraser Auret who said after the win that she is a horse that has always shown plenty of ability but has been a slow mature.
“She was stakes placed in the Group 3 Wellington Stakes as a three-year-old but has just needed time and thankfully the owners have been patient,” Auret said.
In-form jockey Craig Grylls was aboard White Lightning and said after the race that the mare was always travelling like a winner.
“I didn’t how far I was in front of the others but on the point of the turn I could hear the whips cracking behind me and I thought she only had to keep going like she was to win and she did.”