IN Racing
HB couple’s amazing run with star sprinter Mazu continues
John Jenkins | April 25, 2024
Mazu winning last Saturday’s Hall Mark Stakes at Randwick

Havelock North couple David and Bry Mossman’s incredible journey as part-owners of top Australian sprinter Mazu gained further momentum last Saturday when the outstanding galloper took out the Group 3 $272,000 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.

The Mossmans’ own a five per cent share in the five-year-old gelding and have enjoyed a dream ride with a horse that has now recorded eight wins from 26 starts and has earned his large ownership group more than A$10million.

Mazu took his stake earnings to A$7,872,000 with last Saturday’s win but also picked up a A$2,601,000 bonus for being the most consistent Group race sprinter in Australia during the 2022-23 racing season.

Mazu’s latest win was his first success since he capped a six-straight winning run in the Group 1 A$1million Doomben 10,000 (1200m) in Queensland on May 14, 2022.

Although it had been 706 days between wins, Mazu had recorded several important minor placings since his Doomben 10,000 success, including a second in the Group 2 A$1million Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick, third in the A$15million The Everest (1200m) at Randwick and second in the A$3million Nature Strip Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill.

Those three placings earned him the title of the most consistent sprinter during the spring of 2022.

“I know it has been a long time between wins but we’ve still enjoyed some great results,” David Mossman said this week.

“We have had a lot of fun and it has still been a good couple of years without a win.

“He (Mazu) has also had a bit of bad luck. He has got crunched three times in big races and has had to be scratched a couple of times because things weren’t right. He never got to run in the Group 1 Galaxy Stakes at Rosehill last month because his blood wasn’t right.”

  After missing that Galaxy Stakes run Mazu had not raced for a month when he lined up in the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes (1200m) on the first day of this year’s The Championships at Randwick. He only beat two home but clearly needed the run and the track was not wet enough for him.

The deluge of rain that fell on the Randwick track last Saturday was made to order for the horse, who relished the wet and muddy conditions.

Top Australian woman jockey Jamie Kah was having her first race-ride on Mazu and got the horse to settle perfectly in second place before lodging a challenge early in the home straight.

Mazu hit the front soon after and kept up a strong run to the line to win by three-quarters of a length from Vilana, with 1-1/4 lengths back to third placed Aft Cabin.

“We were thrilled with the win and thrilled with the ride----Jamie Kah rode him perfectly,” Mossman added.

“She said he is a bit of a thinker and pricked his ears about 50 metres off the post.”

Mazu was recording his first win for new trainer Joseph Pride, who took the horse over from Peter and Paul Snowden in February this year.

Pride said there is now every chance Mazu will try to win a second Group 1 A1.5million Doomben 10,000 on May 18 and the Warwick Farm trainer is likely to have three runners in the race, with Private Eye and Think About It also heading to the Queensland winter carnival.

David Mossman said he and his wife Bry have already booked flights to Brisbane to see their star galloper perform at the elite level again.


HB owner is optimistic for latest winner

Prominent Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred owner-breeder Peter Grieve has shared in the ownership of several well performed jumpers over the years and thinks his latest race winner Rakanui could be the next one.

The five-year-old Zed gelding broke through for a maiden win at his third start when taking out a 2100m amateur riders’ flat race at Hawera last Sunday and is destined for a jumping career in time.

Grieve bred Rakanui from the Corrupt mare La Fox and he is a half-brother to the hurdle winners Brer and Noess. He is also a full-brother to Foxalot, who had one start over hurdles last year for a third.

Rakanui is trained at Wanganui by Kevin Myers, and astute trainer of jumpers, who has already told Grieve that the horse shows good potential as a jumper.

The horse was having his third start last Sunday, following two fourth placings on the flat at Tauherenikau (2050m) and Hawera (2100m).

“They were both good runs and he really stepped up last weekend,” Grieve said.

“The older he gets the better he’ll get.”

Top amateur rider Scott Macnab was aboard Rakanui last Sunday and his experience proved a telling factor in the horse’s win.

Rakanui wanted to over-race in the early stages and MacNab had a job to restrain his mount before finally getting him to settle.

He let Rakanui stride to the front early in the home straight and the horse still had plenty in reserve, lengthening stride in the final stages to win by 1-3/4 lengths.

Grieve said it took MacNab a long time to pull the horse up after the line, which showed there is plenty of stamina there.

Peter Grieve has enjoyed a lot of success in recent years as a part-owner in the champion jumper The Cossack, who showed he is coming up well again with a second placing in a 1600m jumpout at Waipukurau last week.

The Cossack is prepared by Hastings trainers Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal and Grieve said he has shares in two horses in that stable as well as four with Kevin Myers at Wanganui and one each with Allan Sharrock at New Plymouth and Terri Rae in Christchurch.


Kiwi jockeys dominate Aussie features

New Zealand-born jockeys cleaned up on Australian racetracks last weekend, winning black type events at Randwick and Mornington, including two of the most prestigious races on the day.

Former Hawke’s Bay-based Michael Dee chalked up another huge victory in his career when he piloted Magic Time to win the Group 1 $1.6million Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) on the final day of The Championships at Randwick.

It was Dee’s 13th Group 1 success, with his biggest being the 2022 running of the A$5million Caulfield Cup (2400m) aboard Durston. He also won that year’s A$2.1million VRC Derby (2500m) on Manzoice and is now regarded as one of the best jockeys in Victoria.

Former Australian jockey and well respected racing analyst Ron Dufficy described Dee as “a quiet achiever and a big time performer” while former top Australian jockey Corey Brown said he rated Dee alongside internationally successful Australian jockey Damien Lane.

The other Group 1 race run at Randwick last Saturday, the A$1million Champagne Stakes (1600m), was taken out by Broadsiding who credited New Zealand ex-pat jockey James McDonald with the 95th Group 1 victory of his career and his 16th for the season.

The other big meeting in Australia last Saturday was run on the Mornington track in Victoria where former South Island-based jockey Daniel Stackhouse and New Zealand’s champion jockey for the past two seasons, Michael McNab, were the stars.

Stackhouse kicked home a treble of winners, including the 32-1 outsider Esti Feny in the Listed A300,000 Mornington Cup (2400m) while McNab, in his first day of riding on the Mornington track, took out the Listed A$200,000 Hareeba Stakes (1200m) aboard Maharba.

Stackhouse also notched up a win at the Cranbourne meeting last Friday, aboard the Hawke’s Bay-bred Makbeel in a Rating 58 race over 2025m.

The Makfi six-year-old gelding was bred by Chris Russell out of the now deceased Zabeel mare Donna Beel.

Russell initially raced Makbeel from the Hastings stable of John Bary and he finished third in two starts New Zealand starts before being transferred to an Australian stable.

Russell still raced the horse when he won a 1600m maiden race in January of last year but has since sold him to Pakenham trainer Reece Goodwin, who has prepared him to win another two races.


Auckland meeting now at Pukekohe

Following the partial abandonments of race meetings at Ellerslie on April 10 and Aril 20, Auckland Thoroughbred Racing announced the planned winter renovation of its newly installed StrathAyr track was to commence immediately, meaning the May 25 meeting will now be transferred to Pukekohe Park.

The club said the decision comes as a proactive response to recent track issues and concerns raised by stakeholders, with officials confident the planned renovation will greatly assist in removing the root mat which has compromised traction.

Last Saturday’s abandonment follows a mid-week meeting abandonment on April 10 that required the club to undergo immediate remedial work and conduct a trial meeting. After thorough assessment and constructive dialogue with stakeholders there was a collective agreement that racing could proceed at Ellerslie last Saturday.

Despite these efforts to ensure optimal track conditions, unfortunate circumstances arose during Saturday’s meeting after a horse slipped during race six, resulting in the cancellation of the remaining two races.


Outstanding performer Lonhro dies

Lonhro, one of Australia’s most successful racehorses and an outstanding producer as a stallion, died on Friday of last week at the age of 25.

Lonhro’s glittering 35-start race career netted 11 Group 1 victories, 24 at Group level and 26 overall.

He won the cream of Australia’s races: Caulfield Guineas, Caulfield Stakes (twice), MacKinnon Stakes, Chipping Norton, George Ryder, Queen Elizabeth, CF Orr, Chipping Norton and George Main Stakes.

Arguably, Lonhro’s most stunning race performance came in the 2004 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington where he suffered interference half-way up the home straight. Jockey Darren Beadman had to extract him out of a tight gap, change ground and then set out after the three-year-old Dalzeo, who looked to have a winning break. Lonhro got up to win in the last stride.

Retired to stud, Lonhro left over 1000 individual winners, including 97 stakes winners of 195 black-type races, including 13 at Group 1 level.