IN Racing
No Bizz credits new Hastings jockey with instant success
John Jenkins | April 13, 2024
Hastings-trained No Bizz record her first win in the maiden highweight at Wanganui

Irish-born jockey Dylan Mcdonagh managed to shake off the effects of jet-lag to post a win in his first New Zealand race-ride at Wanganui on Friday of last week.

The 29-year-old steered the Hawke’s Bay owned and trained No Bizz to a short neck win in the $18,500 maiden highweight over 2040m, 24 hours after he had endured a grueling flight from the United Kingdom.

Mcdonagh answered an advertisement to join the Hastings stable of Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal for the upcoming winter months and Nelson said he picked him up from the Napier airport at 9.30am on the day before the Wanganui races.

“He was pretty shattered after a 31 hour trip to get here. He rode one horse in work when he got back to our place and then I think he slept for about 11 hours on Thursday trying to catch up,” Nelson said.

Mcdonagh then had another three hour trip to Wanganui the following morning where he teamed up with the Nelson and McDougal trained No Bizz in the opening event.

Mcdonagh rode the perfect race on the five-year-old mare, disputing the pace in a slowly run race before taking a clear lead approaching the home bend.

No Bizz came under attack from several runners in the straight but Mcdonagh showed plenty of vigour to keep the mare going strongly over the final stages.

McDonagh is still eligible for a 3kg claim in New Zealand races and Nelson said he has ridden a few winners over jumps and on the flat and has also worked in the Australian stables of Cairon Maher and Archie Alexander.

Initially set to ride in Australia over the jumps season, visa issues meant that was no longer an option so Mcdonagh then decided to try his luck in this country.

He had spoken to fellow jumps jockey Aaron Kuru, who has enjoyed tremendous success riding for the Nelson/McDougal stable, and that influenced his decision.

“I am going to take it as it comes, ride out the season for as long as I can and then go travelling and see a bit of the country before I head back home,” Mcdonagh said.

He has ridden winners in England, America and Australia and has now kicked off in the best possible way in New Zealand.

No Bizz certainly deserved her success last week as she had recorded three seconds and a third from her previous eight starts.

She is a mare that has been bred on very stout staying lines, being by the Melbourne Cup placegetter Jakkalberry out of the High Chaparral mare Runny Honey.

“She’s an out and out stayer and she’s grown into a very nice big mare,” Nelson said.

“We’ll look around for a Rating 65 race over a middle distance for her now.”

No Bizz is raced by Paul Nelson and his wife Carol along with the mare’s owner-breeder Lucy Scoular, the estate of her late husband John, and their two children, Andy Scoular and Sally Toothill.

Her dam Runny Honey was the winner of two races when prepared by Paul Nelson, one of them over hurdles.

Runny Honey has produced three named foals with No Bizz being the first of them.

The second was a colt by Time Test that was sold for $45,000 at the 2021 Karaka yearling sales and went to Australia but never raced.

The third was also a colt and by the Windsor Park-based sire Mongolian Khan. It was also sold to Australia, fetching $75,000 at the 2022 Karaka yearling sales. Named Khant Bee he has had one start for a second and shows plenty of promise.

Lucy Scoular said this week Runny Honey has since produced a yearling gelding by Turn Me Loose and a colt foal by Circus Maximus which will be offered at next January’s Karaka yearling sales.

Runny Honey descends from Honeypot, the foundation mare that has provided Lucy Scoular and her late husband John with numerous highlights over many years.

“We bought Honeypot as a weanling from Tom Lowry at Okawa Stud and, although she never raced, she left a lot of winners,” Lucy said.

Honeypot left Jolly Jake, whose five wins included the 1984 New Zealand Derby. She was also the dam of Our Secret Weapon (11 wins), Lady Beebee (five wins), Busy Bee (two wins) and Showbiz (two wins).

Another descendant from the family is the 2018 New Zealand Cup winner Bizzwinkle.

Irish-born jockey Dylan Mcdonagh chalked up a win in his first New Zealand race-ride aboard No Bizz



Champion’s great run continues

The golden run being enjoyed by new Hawke’s Bay trainer Danny Champion continued last week when he saddled up Wish Me Well to win a Rating 65 race over 1600m at Wanganui.

For Champion, who moved up from the South Island at the beginning of this year, it was his fourth win in the space of five weeks.

The run started when Wish Me Well won a maiden race at Tauherenikau on March 3 and that was followed with wins by Sid’s Mate at Otaki on March 6 and Chester Boy at Tauherenikau on March 24.

Champion is the partner of highly successful jockey Kate Hercock and the pair are proving a formidable combination as Hercock has been aboard all four of Champion’s winners. The pair prepare a small team from Hercock’s Otane property and mainly work their horses on the Waipukurau track.

Champion, 52, has been training for 20 years and has produced 138 winners including a Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) at Riccarton with Orovela.

Wish Me Well has only had four starts for two wins and is owned by the Crockett Syndicate, which is managed by Hercock.

He is a five-year-old gelding by Zacinto out of the Volksraad mare Volkara and was bred in the South Island.

Wish Me Well jumped away quickly from the barrier at Wanganui last week and took up a prominent position just behind the leading division.

Hercock waited until the home straight before angling her mount out to take a gap between horses and the gelding quickly surged to the front before staving off a late challenge from the fast finishing Boomtown Boy to win by a short head.


Derby next for Antrim Coast

Antrim Coast confirmed a start in the Group 1 A$1million South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 4, despite having to settle for second in the Listed A$200,000 Galilee Series Final (2400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.

The Stephen Marsh-trained three-year-old finished second behind Orchestral in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) in March and franked that form with a tough victory in the Group 3 Alistair Clark Stakes (2040m) at the Valley, at odds of 40 to one.

The Roc De Cambes gelding lined up at much shorter odds last Saturday and only went down by a head to Gold Wulf after trying to lead all the way up the Caulfield home straight.

Marsh was pleased with the gelding’s performance but admitted that pressure was placed on the horse too soon in a testing 2400m contest.

“I thought he went super, I couldn’t have asked for any better from him,” Marsh said.

“The rider was very apologetic, he just went so far from home and needed to be a lot more patient. We feel he would’ve been very hard to beat, but he was probably travelling so well that he’s gone for him too early.

“But the horse has come through it really well and is right on track for the South Australian Derby. He’s always been a laid-back horse, takes everything in his stride and loves it. He’s the ultimate racehorse.”


Winx yearling sells for A$10million


The first living foal from legendary Australian racehorse Winx was sold at auction for A$10 million on Monday.

The four-time Cox Plate winner amassed more than $26 million in prize money, claiming an Australasian winning streak of 33 races.

This made the 18-month-old filly a hot commodity at the annual Inglis Easter Yearling Sale in Sydney, setting an all-time record for a thoroughbred yearling.

Bidding started at $2million and hit $5million within 30 seconds of her entering the sales ring.

She was eventually purchased by Woppitt Bloodstock, run by Winx's part-owner Debbie Kepitis.

The foal, sired by champion stallion Pierro, doubled the A$5million paid for Black Caviar's half-brother in 2013.

The incomparable Winx was retired from racing after recording her 37th win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in 2019.

The legendary mare became the first racehorse in history to win the Cox Plate four times after jockey Hugh Bowman rode her to victory in 2018.

The horse racing community was rocked in 2020 after the death of Winx’s first foal, sired by I Am Invincible.

She was given a year off breeding before producing this filly in 2022 and is reported to be safely back in foal again.


Six in a row for Dettori

Hall Of Fame jockey Frankie Dettori won a punter over £100,000 after amazingly riding six straight winners on the Santa Anita Derby card last weekend - evoking memories of his incredible magnificent seven nearly 20 years ago.

The Italian memorably won every race at Ascot back in September 1996, on a day which cost British bookmakers an estimated £40million.

Now based in the United States after abandoning plans to retire last year, Dettori rattled off six consecutive victories with cumulative odds of 77,000-1 on Saturday night to give bookies nightmares once again.

One punter backed all six of Dettori's winners with a £1 bet, at odds of 11/4, 6/1, 12/1, 9/2, 10/1, and 10/3. He pocketed £110,880 with Ladbrokes.

A Ladbrokes spokesperson said: "We thought the Frankie Dettori nightmares had ended when he hung up his whip in Britain, but how wrong were we.”

Dettori did not add to his amazing tally from four more rides - but this did not take away from his remarkable feat.

He said: "I adore this place and to be able to say that I won six races on Derby Day is beyond my wildest dreams.”

Dettori’s amazing feat came up one short of the Santa Anita track record of seven wins at a meeting, set by Laffit Pincay Jr back in March 1987.