IN Our Horses
John Jenkins | June 25, 2024

Taika, preparing for Saturday’s $60,000 Hawke’s Bay Hurdles, worked keenly in company at this morning’s Hastings trackwork session.

Fast work was carried out on the plough and wide out on the No.1 grass, both tracks providing heavy footing.

Just over 30 millimetres of rain has fallen on the Hastings track in the past week, with 10 millimetres recorded overnight.

The forecast is for more rain in the next couple of days meaning the racing surface for Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting is certain to provide very heavy footing.

Taika and stablemate Dictation worked in from the 1200m peg on the plough in 1:18.5, running the first 600m in 39.1 and coming home the last 600 in 39.4.

Taika looks to have improved since his last start third in the Awapuni Hurdle (3000m) at Woodville on May 24 and should be hard to beat in Saturday’s 3100m event while Dictation will contest a maiden hurdle race on Saturday. Hamish McNeill has been booked to ride both horses.

McNeill will also be aboard The Anarchist in Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase (4800m) and he also worked well this morning when running 1200m with Donna Ricca in 1:24.2. They ran the first 600m in an easy 45.5s before quickening appreciably over the last 600 in 38.7.

Eyegeegee, who is likely to contest a Rating 65 race over 1600m at Otaki on Friday, schooled over the pony jumps in the bullring before running a solo 800m in 57.3, the last 600 in 42.6. He was disappointing last start but has had his work-rate stepped up since then and won a 2000m jumpout at Hastings on June 5.

It’s Amelia, another heading to Otaki on Friday, was let off with an easy 800m on the plough in 57.3 while stablemate Testwin strode out freely over 800m in 52.1. He looks to be coming up well in a new preparation.

Moonlight Hustler worked well on her own over 1000m on the grass in 1:06.8 while Poukawa and Speed Dial were also working well at the end of an 800m gallop on the plough, the last 600 in 39.3.

Foxalot and Imperial Party worked together over 1200m on the plough in 1:20.8, the first 600 in 41.6 and final 600 in 39.2 while Epairama ran a solo 800m on the plough in 51.1, sprinting home the last 600 in a very creditable 37.5.

Just Looking and a Bullbars four-year-old gelding, both trained at Waipukiurau by Kirsty Lawrence, clocked 1:19.7 for 1200m on the grass, the last 600 in 42.3 while Waft and Go To Be Dreaming ran 800m together on the plough in 55.1, the last 600 in 38.8.

Satomi and a Rubick two-year-old filly also worked over 800m on the plough in 55.2, the last 600 in 38.6 while a Proisir three-year-old filly in the Thompson/Brown stable, clocked 55.5 for an easy 800m on the plough, the last 600 in 40.2.