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Include Oaks bound after fine Guineas victory
Ellerslie treble for budding star
Patterson in search of another South Island victory
Puccini earns further Guineas success

Thebarman gets easy Avondale cup win
Knight's change of fortune wins Taranaki Cup on
Artic Wolf works hard for win
Sprint wins shows mare ready to achieve in Australia this Autumn

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17/02/2014 Include Oaks bound after fine Guineas victory

Southland Guineas winner Include is headed to the Wellfield New Zealand Oaks in March

Promising South Island filly Include (NZ) (Gallant Guru) showed she was right on track for a tilt at the Wellfield New Zealand Oaks at Trentham in a month's time with a stylish victory in Saturday's Listed Southland Guineas.
The daughter of Gallant Guru smashed her three-year-old rivals by four and a half lengths in the ILT Ascot Park Hotel sponsored event and provided her trainers, Brian and son Shane Anderton, with every reason to eye the Group One
prize at Trentham with increased confidence.
The win was the fifth in a seven race career to date for Include with the last two wins at Listed level.
"She is a lovely relaxed filly who has done everything right in her career to date," said Anderton senior.
" I thought she showed plenty of guts to win at Dunedin two starts ago and she backed that up with a pretty emphatic performance on the weekend.
"I told Courtney (Barnes) to ride her like she was the best horse in the field on the weekend and she did exactly that which was very pleasing."
Anderton is keen to give the filly a run over more ground before the New Zealand Oaks but isn't confident he can find an appropriate race for her.
"I want to start her over a mile and a quarter before Wellington but I just don't know if there will be a race for her before then," he said.
"They don't tend to programme those races in the rating 85 grade down here and I'm not keen to travel her too far to find a race so we will have to sit down and see what we can find.
"I think we can get her ready for Trentham without another run but it's certainly not ideal to run over a mile and a half without a run over ground beforehand."
Anderton was also delighted with the win of handy mare Ortem Fire (NZ) (Gallant Guru) in the last race on Saturday's programme.
"She has come right after Christmas and it was a nice win on the weekend," he said.
"I think we made a mistake with her after a long threeyear- old season where we tried to get her ready for Cup Week at Christchurch and she never showed her best.
"We gave her a decent break and brought her along slowly this time and it is great to see her back in the kind of form we know she is capable of."

Race Southland RC Southland Guineas L 1600m.
Winner Include (NZ) 2010
Owners Mrs K T & W K Stewart
Trainer Brian & Shane Anderton
Breeding by Gallant Guru (AUS ) out of She's Snubbed by O'Reilly
Breeder Mrs K T & W K Stewart; Dunedin; NZ

17/2/2014 Ellerslie treble for budding star

Rising star Michael Dee guides Dresden Park (blue colours) to victory to complete a winning treble at Ellerslie

A winning treble at Ellerslie on Saturday provided further evidence that New Zealand racing may have unearthed another prodigious talent in Central Districts apprentice Michael Dee.
The son of former thoroughbred trainer Richard Dee commenced his riding career in December 2012 under the guidance of one of New Zealand's best conditioners in Kevin Myers and has made every post a winning one since.
After riding his first winner on Bamboo (NZ) (Falkirk) at New Plymouth in January 2013, Dee has saluted the judge on a further 57 occasions with 41 of those victories coming this season which places him 10th of the National
Jockey's Premiership, just 7 wins behind the current leading apprentice Rory Hutchings.
The three wins at Ellerslie was the third time Dee has ridden a treble on one day but his first at the country's premier venue.
"I was hoping for at least one win on Saturday but to get three was totally unexpected," explained a modest Dee.
"It was a great thrill to get a ride on such a good horse as Silent Achiever and to win on her was icing on the cake.
"She travelled beautifully throughout the race and I was quite confident as we came to the turn as she was taking me into the race under her own steam.
"On the line I was sure I had got up but when I saw the replay I started to have a few doubts as it looked pretty close.
"She did a great job as she had to give the runner-up six kilograms so it was a real top effort."
Dee's success to date has attracted the interest of most of New Zealand's leading trainers with the apprentice snapping up an opportunity to spend three months with the powerful Te Akau Stable of Jason Bridgman last year.
"Riding for Jason was a fantastic opportunity and I learnt so much during my time there," noted Dee.
"I also now have Mike Brown as my agent and he has done a superb job in getting me on the best horses whenever he can."
Although he has expressed a desire to ride internationally at some stage in his career Dee is currently focused on developing his skills on the local stage.
"I've managed to pick up some really valuable tips from a number of senior riders and try to improve my riding every time I go out on raceday," he said.
"One day I would love to ride overseas but for now I just need to keep improving and getting better each time I compete."

17/02/2014 Patterson in search of another South Island victory

New Plymouth trainer Robert Patterson is hoping the long trip from his home base to Invercargill will be rewarded in more ways than just one when he lines up impressive debut winner Regal Ranger (NZ) (Istidaad) in
the 5th race on today's Southland programme.
Patterson employed the same tactics for the rugged four-year-old gelding's first race where he tripped to Gore for a stunning maiden victory after being tardily away from the barriers that day.
"He has always shown us plenty at home but quite simply he is a bit of a weirdo on raceday," joked Patterson.
"He is fine until he gets into the birdcage where he starts to perform and carry on when he sees the people and other horses.
"While there were plenty of opportunities to give him a race near home we thought a trip away would do him the world of good and we also had other horses racing down south at the time hence he had his first start at Gore."
Despite a slow start the son of Istidaad showed there was a decent motor in place as he powered home late to score with some ease and fulfill the expectations Patterson had for him that day.
"We thought he could win as his work had been very good although when he missed the kick I did start to get a bit anxious about it," he said.
"In the end he did the job nicely and I don't think the step up to the next grade will be too tough for him either.
"He has settled down a wee bit since the first run so the travel again today should give him more experience and help with his education even further."
Patterson's team has been in fine form this season with thirteen wins to date which is just two shy of the fifteen win record he set last year.
"We set a goal of twenty wins this season so we are on track to achieve that at this stage," he noted.
"I've got a few nice winter horses getting ready for later in the year so hopefully we will have the firepower to get to the target and beyond."

New Plymouth trainer Robert Patterson

16/2/2014 Puccini earns further Guineas success

Puccini and Michael Walker race into outright Derby favouritism as they comfortably take yesterday's Avondale Guineas

A few more pieces to next month's New Zealand Derby puzzle were locked into place at Ellerslie yesterday when a number of the leading contenders were put through their final paces.
Most significant was the 2100 metre victory of Puccini (NZ) (Encosta de Lago) in the Group Two Auckland Eye Avondale Guineas with another sublime front-running display that has earned him a $4 quote for the March 1 classic.
His performance to account for Rising Romance (NZ) (Ekraar), who was also excellent in her first appearance since New Year's Day, promoted him to Derby favouritism over the filly, who is at $5.
Third placegetter Glorious Lad (NZ) (Falkirk) moves out a point to $8, although there was plenty to like about the way he went to the line.
Earlier in the day, Habitual Offender (NZ) (Guillotine) was another to press his Derby claims when he beat the older horses in the Rating 65 event over 2100 metres to come in from $61 to $31.
However, it was Puccini who made the most serious of statements with a case of more of the same from the colt, who had also run his rivals ragged last time out in the 2000 metre Waikato Guineas.
"He was very impressive at Te Rapa and he's really matured this time around," co-trainer Jacob McKay said. "He's always been a bit weak behind but he's put on ten kilos and is holding his condition well.
"It was exciting. I was waiting for the one of the Logans (Rising Romance) to come outside but I think he always had her covered. He took a while to win his maiden race and since then he's just kept improving."
Puccini's rider Michael Walker is confident the colt can give him a second Derby success following his victory with Military Move in 2010.
"He blew harder today than he did after Te Rapa and he'll be spot on for the Derby," he said. "I don't drive him to the front, he gets there on his own – if they want to take him on they'll do it at their peril."

Race ARC Avondale Guineas Gr.2 2100m
Winner Puccini (NZ) 2010
Owners Monovale Holdings Ltd
Trainer Peter & Jacob McKay (Matamata)
Breeding by Encosta de Lago (Aus) out of Miss Opera by
Paris Opera (Aus)
Breeder Monovale Holdings Ltd
Sales 2011 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed
Sale; V: Monovale Farm, P: New Zealand
Bloodstock Ltd; $175,000

16/2/2014 Thebarman gets easy Avondale cup win

Out on his own at the finish of the Avondale Cup, Who Shot Thebarman gets the number one salute from Matt Cameron and instals himself as the $3 favourite for next month's Auckland Cup

The training skills of Mark Oulaghan were to the fore at Ellerslie yesterday when he produced Who Shot Thebarman (NZ) (Yamanin Vital) to demolish a competitive field of stayers in the Group Two Avondale Cup.
The Awapuni horseman brushed aside the disappointment of his last visit to Auckland with the five-yearold to celebrate a runaway win in the Go Racing Syndicationssponsored event.
Who Shot Thebarman had been favourite for last month's Karaka Stayers' Cup when he escaped from under the front of the gates and careered off down the track to become a late scratching.
The southern-bred gelding was on his best behaviour yesterday and gave rider Matt Cameron an easy time near the pace before powering clear in his first appearance since finishing runner-up in the Group Three Manawatu Cup in
"It's a bit of a turnaround, but he had done the work and condition-wise he wasn't far off the mark," Oulaghan said.
"It was a big ask and he handled it well. He's always had the ability and being by Yamanin Vital he's a good, tough horse and we're looking at the two miles next start."
Who Shot Thebarman, who carries the colours of the O'Leary brothers' dashing Waikato and Manawatu Steeples winner Rioch, is now set for the Auckland Cup on March 5.
He has now won five of his eight appearances and with his first two starts bringing victories by wide margins on heavy tracks he was initially considered by racegoers to be a coming winter star. His trainer, though, was sure Who Shot Thebarman was a versatile customer.
"I've always thought he was better on top of the ground," Oulaghan said.

Race ARC Avondale Gold Cup Gr.2 2400m
Winner Who Shot Thebarman (NZ) 2008
Owners O'Leary Brothers
Trainer Mark Oulaghan (Awapuni)
Breeding by Yamanin Vital out of Ears Carol by
Carolingian (Aus)
Breeder B J & Mrs L E Anderton

16/2/2014 Knight's change of fortune wins Taranaki Cup on

Fortune Knight outstays the game pacemaker Guess What to win the Taranaki Cup and give jockey Mark Sweeney his third win on the Premier Day programme.

Cambridge trainers Tim and Margaret Carter have done an admirable job to bring out the best in the widely travelled Fortune Knight (Compton Place).
They have won two races with the five-year-old since he joined their team, with the first an open 1600 metres at Ruakaka last year and now the Group Three Hookers Pacific Taranaki Cup, over 1800 metres.
Fortune Knight's only previous success had been as a twoyear- old in his native England and he was later sent to Hong Kong where a tendon issue prevented him from racing before he arrived in New Zealand.
His career has been successfully resurrected and a placing in the Group Two Rich Hill Mile on New Year's Day was further evidence of his quality.
"He really has been so unlucky in his last six starts and we were expecting him to win at least one of them," Margaret Carter said.
"He was under a ride early today and I was a bit worried, but it didn't matter in the end."
Fortune Knight responded to the urging of Mark Sweeney and they came with a resolute finish to beat the bold frontrunner Guess What (NZ) (Danroad) and last year's winner Capone (NZ) (Al Akbar).
"The speed was on and that suited him," Sweeney said. "I was able to push him forward a bit and kept him one off and out of trouble all the way."
The victory capped off a great day for Sweeney, who was also successful aboard the smart filly and leading Oaks contender Moozoon and the Cuddle Stakes-bound mare Neena Rock.

Race Taranaki RC Taranaki Cup Gr.3 1800m
Winner Fortune Knight (GB) 2009
Owners G C Bloor, Mrs M, M M G & T G Carter, P T J & T G
O'Shea and L J Tissiman
Trainer Tim & Margaret Carter (Cambridge)
Breeding by Compton Place (GB) out of Night Kiss (Fr) by
Night Shift (USA)
Breeder Poulton Stud

16/2/2014 Artic Wolf works hard for win

Artic Wolf (NZ) (Keeper) yesterday earned himself a crack at higher juvenile honours when he produced a determined display to continue trainer Leo Molloy's winning record in Taranaki's feature two-year-old event.
Although made to work hard for his nose win, the youngster wasn't to be denied in the Group Three Phoenix Park Classic, a race the stable was successful in last year with Girl Of My Dreams, and will now head toward the Group One
Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie on March 8. "He's good enough to run in the Diamond," Molloy said.
"He's a very sound horse, a good-actioned little fellow." Artic Wolf had placed in two of his three raceday starts and had finished runner-up at Pukekohe, where he was denied a clear run in the straight, at his most recent appearance.
A subsequent trial win at Avondale confirmed his readiness for yesterday's test and he knuckled down strongly in the straight to get the better of the filly Duey (NZ) (Guillotine) with pacemaker Magic Moment (NZ) (Don
Eduardo) holding third.
"He travelled really well the whole race and he went to Duey easily," successful rider Mark Hills said.
The local hope Macklemore (NZ) (Edenwold) took fourth money ahead of the winner's stablemate Aspery (NZ) (Alamosa), who is tipped to make his mark in the best of company. "He's got a very big future – he's a special horse,"
Molloy said.
Meanwhile, the odds on offer for Moozoon (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) in the New Zealand Oaks were trimmed to $10 after her dominant victory in the Coca Cola Prelude.
After keeping handy for most of the 1800 metres then moving into contention on the turn, she powered clear in the closing 200 metres to score by a length and a half. The win completed a hat-trick for the Stephen McKee-trained filly,
who had triumphed in the Desert Gold Stakes at Trentham last month.

Race Taranaki RC Taranaki 2YO Classic Gr.3 1200m
Winner Artic Wolf (NZ) 2011
Owners K W & Mrs L M Oddy
Trainer Leo Molloy (Byerley Park)
Breeding by Keeper (Aus) out of Pyrate Princess by Pyrus
Breeder K W & Mrs L M Oddy

Mark Hills grits his teeth and punches Artic Wolf (cerise colours) to a nose win over the grey filly Duey and Rogan Norvall

16/2/2014 Sprint wins shows mare ready to achieve in Australia this Autumn

In a three-way finish with the margins a nose and a nose, Silent Achiever (nearest camera) gets up to beat Fix (#3) and Undisclosed (rails) and launch her autumn campaign in the best possible way.

Top mare Silent Achiever (NZ) (O'Reilly) sent a message of intent across the Tasman when she surprised even trainer Roger James with her dashing first-up victory at Ellerslie yesterday.
The five-year-old took her first steps toward the lucrative Sydney autumn carnival as she made light of her 60kg after getting back on a muddling tempo to win the Retina Specialists Open 1500.
"Class comes out, doesn't it, and it turned into a sprint home after they slowed up in the middle stages," James said.
"It's pleasing going forward as she's not wound up yet and there are bigger fish to fry down the track.
"She'll either run next in the Australian Cup in three weeks' time or here in the New Zealand Stakes. I tend to favour the New Zealand Stakes as it cuts the Melbourne trip out.
"Then it will be two weeks into the Ranvet Stakes, two weeks later to The BMW and then two weeks on to the Sydney Cup."
Silent Achiever's upcoming Australian campaign will present the 2012 New Zealand Derby winner with Group One opportunities to compensate for a frustrating visit last spring.
Galloped on in the Caulfield Cup, complications from the injuries she sustained resulted in her being scratched from the Melbourne Cup.
"We had to be pretty aggressive with some treatment and her whole body was affected by cellulitis," James said. "She was a very sick horse."
Given a good break, Silent Achiever had trialled well in preparation for yesterday's return to racing and was impressive in giving last season's New Zealand Filly of the Year Fix (NZ) (Iffraaj) six kilos and a beating in the hands of Michael Dee.
This was just the apprentice's third ride for James, having previously combined with Hera to claim the Group Two Eight Carat Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day for the Cambridge trainer.

Race ARC Retina Specialists H. 1500m
Winner Silent Achiever (NZ) 2008
Owners K J Hickman
Trainer Roger James (Cambridge)
Breeding by O'Reilly out of Winning Spree by Zabeel
Breeder K J Hickman

14/2/2014 Mare deserves a change of luck

More Than Sacred (More Than Ready) will tackle the Gr.2 Avondale Gold Cup at Ellerslie tomorrow

Recent frustrations with More Than Sacred (More Than Ready) will be forgotten if the racing fortunes of the top quality mare take a turn for the better at Ellerslie on Saturday.
Last season's Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks winner looked set for an outstanding four-year-old campaign after she added the Gr.3 Waikato Gold Cup to her record before Christmas, but little has gone her way in two subsequent outings.
She was inconvenienced by a Dead 6 track when a game fourth in the Gr.2 City of Auckland Cup and her race was over when the gates opened for the Gr.2 Wellington Cup.
"She hasn't had much luck in her last couple of runs," cotrainer Tony Pike said. "The saddle slipped at Wellington and she got a long way back and then she was pushed off the track turning in and she closed quite well after that."
More Than Sacred did well under the circumstances to finish just over three and a-half lengths from the winner at Trentham.
She hasn't been helped by a poor draw in this weekend's Gr.2 Go Racing Syndications Avondale Gold Cup, but the 2400 metre trip does give her time to work up to her favoured role on the pace.
"If she goes close then we'll be pushing on toward the Auckland Cup with her," Pike said.
There's a similar scenario around stablemate and classic prospect Sacred Park, who will take on a quality line-up in the Gr.2 Auckland Eye Avondale Guineas.
"Saturday's probably D-Day and if he's hitting the line strongly and runs in the first four or five then we'll press on to the Derby," Pike said. "I don't think the trip will worry him."
The Gr.2 Wellington Guineas winner was a last-start seventh in the Gr.2 Waikato Guineas after he was crowded at the start and had an interrupted run over the final 600 metres.
– NZ Racing Desk

14/2/2014 Ritchie has another glorious chance

Trainer Shaune Ritchie is full of praise for Glorious Lad (NZ) (Falkirk) ahead of Saturday's Avondale Guineas

When a New Zealand Derby and multiple Oakswinning trainer rates his current classic hope favourably with his past success stories it should put punters on red alert.
Shaune Ritchie claimed both titles in 2010 with Military Move (NZ) (Volksraad) and Keep The Peace (NZ) (Keeper) respectively and added another Oaks two years later with Artistic (NZ) (Darci Brahma). So when he puts Glorious Lad
(NZ) (Falkirk) in that class bracket it's high praise indeed.
"He's as exciting a three-year-old as I've had," the Cambridge trainer said. "He's going to take all sorts of beating."
With Glorious Lad to jump from barrier eight in the Gr.2 Auckland Eye Avondale Guineas, the Falkirk gelding should get every chance to further press his claims in a race that promises to be pivotal to the likely Derby outcome.
Glorious Lad has won three of his six starts and at his latest appearance he finished fourth in the Gr.2 Waikato Guineas after drawing an outside gate and covering extra ground.
"His run at Te Rapa was massive after he was caught wide and a mid-race move told in the end," Ritchie said.
Glorious Lad is currently the $7 second fancy for the Gr.1 TV3 New Zealand Derby market with the filly Rising Romance (NZ) (Ekraar) the pre-post favourite at $6.
The Gr.2 Waikato Guineas winner Puccini (NZ) (Encosta de Lago) is at an $8 quote with Weregoingtogetcha (Testa Rosa), the only one of the quartet who won't be in action at Ellerslie.
By design, Rising Romance will come in with fresh legs having not raced since she claimed the Gr.2 Royal Stakes on New Year's Day.
"It's a stepping stone for her and she's fit and well," cotrainer Donna Logan said. "I've been pleased with her work and she's obviously got to go 2400 metres in the Derby and I don't want to be over-taxing her too much before that, but I feel she's pretty solid."
– NZ Racing Desk.

10/2/2014 Fitness focus paying dividends for Coleman

A commitment to a new and varied fitness regime is paying dividends for Matamata jockey Michael Coleman who secured his 32nd Group One winner at Te Rapa on the weekend.
One of New Zealand's leading jockeys for over 20 years, Coleman produced a patient and gritty ride to land the Gr. 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes on the Garry Chittick owned Costume (NZ) (Savabeel) and take his career stakes winners to 150 in a tally of over 1770 winning rides.
While the margin of victory was a bare nose, Coleman was confident he had hit the line first during the wait for the judge's call.
"I was pretty sure I had got there although it was closer in the end than I thought it would be," he admitted after the race.
"I knew I had The Solitaire covered and when Shuka went up to us my mare really fought hard and was holding him at the line."
Coleman acknowledged that his new fitness programme had him feeling motivated about the season as he has begun to see the results of his hard work.
"I guess like most athletes it gets harder to stay as fit and flexible as you get older so I decided at the start of the season I would really work hard on that area in order to keep up with the younger generation of riders that are coming through," he said.
"I now do some gym work and I'm running two or three times a week to change up the normal routine of riding trackwork and on raceday.
"It was hard going at first but I'm feeling great and I have noticed a number of changes since I really buckled down and I'd like to think my riding has improved with it."
Coleman currently lies 17th on the national jockey's premiership with 30 wins for the season including 4 stakes victories, 2 of which are at the elite Group One level.
Although the fitness regime is a priority for Coleman he still finds time to indulge his other main sporting passion of golf where he currently plays off a 10 handicap.
"Thursday is generally golf day with a group of 15-20 playing at the Matamata course where the competition as fierce as it is on the racetrack," he laughed.
"I might have to try and get my handicap out so I can compete with guys like Craig Grylls who has been cleaning up lately."

Top kiwi jockey Michael Coleman unsaddles Costume who provided his 32nd Group One winner on Saturday

10/2/2014 Kelso eyes Auckland Cup Week with class filly

Leading three-year-old filly Bounding will now be seen at Auckland Cup Week

A bruised heel kept pre-race favourite Bounding (Lonhro) from the Gr. 1 NRM Sprint at Te Rapa on the weekend with trainer Ken Kelso now eyeing a run during the prestigious Auckland Cup Week Carnival at Ellerslie as her next assignment.
Kelso and his team worked late into the night last Friday to try and get the valuable three-year-old filly ready for the Te Rapa event but Kelso pulled the pin on Saturday morning when he felt she wasn't ready to perform at her best.
"It wasn't a major issue and more of a niggle than anything but when you compete at that level you need to be 100 percent ready and I wasn't happy with her so we pulled the pin," he explained.
"While it is disappointing it may turn out to be a great decision in hindsight as she would have been down on the fence where the going looked to be a little slower than wider out so she may have been vulnerable in those circumstances."
Kelso is now considering his options during Auckland Cup Week where the Gr. 3 Darley Plate (1200m) on New Zealand Derby Day is a possible target with the Gr. 3 Mr Tiz Trophy for the three-year-olds on the last day of the Carnival another option.
Kelso will be well represented at the rich Ellerslie event with classy mare Fix (NZ) (Iffraaj) aimed at the Gr. 3 Westbury Classic on Auckland Cup Day while promising stayer Quest (NZ) (Volksraad) could sneak in to the Gr. 1 Auckland Cup if she can snatch a win in the Nathans Memorial on New Zealand Derby Day.
Before then the stable will produce exciting two-year-old filly Thrill (NZ) (Flying Spur) on her home track in the Gr. 2 Matamata Breeder's Stakes on the 22nd of February while multiple Gr. 1 winner Xanadu (NZ) (Elusive City) will have her next start in the Gr. 1 Haunui Farm Classic at Otaki on the same day.
NZ Racing Desk

10/2/2014 Practice doesn't make perfect for Lady Royale

Lady Royale and Johnathon Parkes are in complete control as they cruise to victory

Although she spends the majority of her time training in the standard clockwise direction at her Pukekohe home base, speedy filly Lady Royale (NZ) showed she was a natural left hander when dealing out a drubbing to her two-year-old rivals at Te Rapa on the weekend.
The daughter of Captain Rio left co-trainer Richard Collett with a rueful grin after she showed a clean pair of heels to all chasers during a "go to whoa" six length victory on Saturday.
"She does a lot of her work at home going right-handed but she clearly prefers it the other way around as she has shown when we have tried her that way during training," explained Collett.
"We knew she had plenty of ability but as we were trying to get her to the Karaka Million at Ellerslie we had press on and see if she would be okay going that way but she just wouldn't settle and did everything wrong when we raced her there during a potential qualifying race.
"Once she did that we had to ease off and look at her other options which included the race on Saturday.
"Her work during the week was first rate so we were confident despite the reputations of a couple of her rivals."
Collett was mainly referring to Saturday's race favourite Highland Park (NZ) who had trialled impressively in October and was expected to win Saturday's event. The son of Volksraad had to settle for a runner-up finish although he will
take plenty of improvement out of his first raceday start.
The Gr. 2 Matamata Breeder's Stakes is the next target for the filly who is prepared by Collett and training partner Gareth McRae with the possibility of a Gr. 1 Manawatu Sires Produce tilt in April should she continue the improvement she produced on the weekend.
NZ Racing Desk

10/2/2014 Problem child now on the straight and narrow

Ashburton trainer Jan Hay has her fingers crossed that her charge Revolutionary (NZ) has overcome several wayward tendencies and is ready to deliver on her undoubted promise at Ashburton today.
Hay will produce the well bred daughter of Darci Brahma in the rating 85 Ashburton Racing Club Life Member's 1600 after she gained a deserved victory on her home track a fortnight ago.
"We've had her for about six months now and she has beaten herself on a number of occasions through running around or doing all sorts of strange things during her races," explained Hay.
"She finally put it all together last time so I'm hopeful a little maturity and experience has been the key to her finally working out just what racing is all about."
Hay trains the mare on behalf of the recently knighted Sir Peter Vela and is keen to work her through the grades during this campaign.
"She is a lovely mare with plenty of potential although I'm not very happy having to race her out of her grade today," she said.
"There simply aren't any races for her in the Canterbury region in the next eight weeks so she is going around out of her grade as it is the only way to get a run."
Hay will also produce handy mare Sand'ior (NZ) (Scaredee Cat) in the seventh event on the eight race programme who faces the same dilemma as her stablemate.
"Sand'ior is in a similar boat in that there just aren't any races coming up for her as well which is a real shame as she is in good form and that's when you want them on the track and not at home in their barn," she said.
"I expect a big run today as she had no luck last time and has been working nicely in the interim."
NZ Racing Desk

Ashburton trainer Jan Hay with jockey Kylie Williams who will ride her two runners today

9/2/2014 Weight lift and longer trip can't stop Costume

Michael Coleman getting the best out of Costume at the finish of yesterday's Herbie Dyke Stakes.

Two high-profile racing families celebrated a memorable victory at Te Rapa yesterday as Costume (NZ) (Savabeel) crowned her rapid rise to the top with Group One success in the Herbie Dyke Stakes. Coping admirably with a rise in weight and distance, the four-yearold mare claimed top honours in the familiar Waikato Stud colours for breeder/owner Garry Chittick and trainers Graeme and Debbie Rogerson.
"I said to Garry I thought we could win the Thorndon and then run at Te Rapa – I've got so much confidence in her," Debbie Rogerson said.
"She's a very, very good horse and to get a Group One is great. She's by Savabeel, who we trained, so it's all pretty emotional."
Costume had won a Rating 75 event over 1600 metres at Trentham on the first day of the cup carnival and a week later she beat all but A Touch Of Ruby in the Group One Thorndon Mile when carrying 52kg.
"I've always had a lot of faith in her – she had no luck as a three-year-old and not that much as a four-year-old," Rogerson said.
That all changed over Te Rapa's 2000 metres, where Costume sat back off the pace and finished off strongly in the straight under rider Michael Coleman to win by the barest of margins from Shuka (NZ) (Bachelor Duke) with The Solitaire (NZ) (O'Reilly) third ahead of Zurella (NZ) (Zabeel).
"Shuka drew level at the hundred and she really dug deep," Coleman said. "She's a tough mare who has come a long way in a short time – she's just kept on improving all the way through."
The Matamata-based Coleman has now ridden 32 winners at the highest level and is confident he can add to that tally with Costume.
"It's my fifth win in this race – my first was when it was a Group Two back in those days – and this won't be her last Group One," he said.
The strongly supported Historian (NZ) (Choisir) was being niggled at to hold his place a fair way from home and dropped out to finish last with a wide run taking its toll on the three-year-old Aspen (NZ) (Alamosa), who was back at
the tail with him.

Race Waikato RC Herbie Dyke S. Gr.1 2000m
Winner Costume (NZ) 2009
Owners G J Chittick
Trainer Graeme & Debbie Rogerson (Tuhikaramea)
Breeding by Savabeel (AUS) out of Disguised by O'Reilly
Breeder G J Chittick

9/2/2014 Viadana's second Group 1 win has Lance looking at Oz

Viadana and Craig Grylls are close to the rails and on their own as they take the NRM Sprint.

Lance Noble is looking to Australia with his grand mare Viadana (NZ) (Towkay), but not before he gives her the opportunity to travel with three Group One wins to her credit.
The Matamata trainer celebrated his first success at the top level in his own right with her in last year's Easter Handicap and they doubled their tally at Te Rapa yesterday with victory in the NRM Sprint.
"She's a high-class mare and all going well she'll go to Otaki and possibly Australia after that," said Noble, who had previously enjoyed Group One success in partnership with Jim and Chris Gibbs and with Roger James. "I'm really chuffed with the mare and it's been another great team effort."
Viadana will take in the Haunui Farm WFA Classic on February 22 with a likely trip to Sydney to follow.
"We'd love to get some Australian black type and a race like the Emancipation Stakes might be ideal for her," Noble said.
Viadana came into the Te Rapa feature with fresh legs after a let-up following her fourth placing in the Group One Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and the style of her win was against the day's trend.
Rider Craig Grylls elected to stay closer to the inside than his rival jockeys and they burst to the front 200 metres from home then had enough in reserve to see off the late runs of Sacred Star (Flying Spur), Diademe (NZ) (Savabeel) and Xanadu (NZ) (Elusive City).
"Down the back they all stayed off the fence and I would have had to push around a lot of traffic," Grylls said. "She kicked really strongly and it's a great thrill – success breeds confidence."
The 23-year-old was referring to his hot run of recent form that earned the rare Group One Thorndon Mile and Group Two Wellington Cup double last month aboard A Touch Of Ruby and Graphic in the Trentham features.

Race Waikato RC Waikato Sprint Gr.1 1400m
Winner Viadana (NZ) 2007
Owners Easdon No4 Racing Syndicate (Mgr: Mrs L G Noble)
Trainer Lance Noble (Matamata)
Breeding by Towkay (Aus) out of Yeah Nah by Kinjite
Breeder Little Avondale Trust
Sales 2009 NZ National Yearling Sale, Select Session;
V: Little Avondale Stud, P: Mr L R & Mrs L Noble;

9/2/2014 Hera earns a short spell with Sir Tristram fillies classic win

A case of mission accomplished for Hera (NZ) (O'Reilly) will see the talented filly now go for a break with a view to a trip to the Queensland winter carnival later in the year.
She successfully turned the tables on Spellbinder (NZ) (O'Reilly) from their last meeting with a decisive win in the Group Two Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic at Te Rapa yesterday and trainer Roger James is happy to put her out at the top of her game.
"I'll probably put her aside now and look at Brisbane – a race like the Doomben Roses would suit her perfectly," he said. "An extra three months will really help her."
The Doomben Roses, to be run over 2000 metres on May 17, is a race James has previously enjoyed success in – Melora taking the event for him in 1998 and Gaze triumphing in 2006.
Hera has been in excellent form this campaign and was the winner of the Group Two Eight Carat Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and then finished runner-up to fellow O'Reilly filly Spellbinder in the Listed Karaka 3YO Mile.
Jockey Vinnie Colgan was positive from a wide gate yesterday to cross and dictate the race from the front. Hera produced a strong kick when challenged by Spellbinder in the closing stages to take the major honours by a neck.
"She showed her true class and that of the rider to do things outside the square and upside down for her – it was an enormous effort," said James, who had won the opening race with the Colgan-ridden Derby hope Delago's Secret.
The Fire Inside (NZ) (Sir Percy) enjoyed a good run near the pace and she boxed on gamely in the run home for third ahead of Chop Chop (NZ) (Guillotine), whose effort from the tail of the field was also sound.

Race Waikato RC Sir Tristram Fillies Classic Gr.2 2000m
Winner Hera (NZ) 2010
Owners Mrs F E & R A Dixon
Trainer Roger James (Cambridge)
Breeding by O'Reilly out of Corsica by Centaine (Aus)
Breeder G J Chittick
Sales 2012 National Yearling Sale, Select Session; V:
Waikato Stud Ltd, P: R A James; $28,000

9/2/2014 Time getting tight for Derby hope

Delago's Secret sweeps past his rivals and into an almost-certain start in next month's New Zealand Derby.

New Zealand Derby master Roger James doesn't often back his horses up within seven days but he is on that path with his current classic hope Delago's Secret (Encosta De Lago).
The Cambridge trainer is heading toward the TV3- sponsored three-year-old feature with the gelding, whose winning sequence was extended in yesterday's 1600 metre NZI Insurance Premier at Te Rapa following a maiden victory
at Matamata three weeks ago.
"Our plan went astray when he was the first ballot in the Waikato Guineas. I had intended to run him over 2100 metres today but for a three-year-old he wasn't well-weighted and it didn't make sense to run," James said.
"I want to run him once over a middle distance before the Derby and that will probably be in the Avondale Guineas next Saturday."
James' first Derby success came with Tidal Light in 1986 when in partnership with Jim Gibbs and then followed Roysyn (1995), prepared with Ross Taylor, Zonda (1997), in partnership with Lance Noble, and in his own right with
Hades (1999) and Silent Achiever (2012).
Former stable apprentice Vinnie Colgan was the successful rider aboard Roysyn, Zonda and Hades – he also won the Derby with Redoute's Dancer (2007) and Habibi (2013)– and he was back from Brisbane on a fleeting trip to partner Delago's Secret.
"He's a nice horse and I put him to sleep for most of the race," Colgan said. "When I asked him he gave me really good acceleration and he'll improve plenty."
Delago's Secret settled midfield on the fence after a tardy start and once clear he finished too well for another threeyear- old in Mountain Jack (NZ) (Postponed) with Wayne (NZ) (Postponed), in third spot, the best of the older horses.
The winning performance saw Delago's Secret's pre-post Derby odds tumble in from $81 to $21 behind current $6 favourite Rising Romance.

Race Waikato RC NZI Insurance H. 1600m
Winner Delago's Secret (Aus) 2010
Owners R S Balcombe and J B Struthers
Trainer Roger James (Cambridge)
Breeding by Encosta De Lago (Aus) out of Divine Secret
(Aus) by Thunder Gulch (USA)
Breeder Roncon, Cobra Bloodstock Australia Pty Ltd
and Austramore Pty Ltd

7/02/2014 New partnership chasing first victory

Nashville (NZ) (Darci Brahma) will represent father and son training partners Adrian and Harry Bull at Te Rapa tomorrow.

Young Hunterville horseman Harry Bull will continue his high level entry into the training ranks when Nashville (NZ) (Darci Brahma) takes aim at Saturday's Gr.1 NRM Sprint at Te Rapa.
Bull and his father Adrian are seeking to open their winning account as an official partnership after their first attempt with the stable star came to an unlucky conclusion in the Gr.1 Telegraph Handicap at Trentham last month.
Nashville suffered an interrupted run – as he had done in the Wellington feature the previous year – and was in the clear too late to play a role in the finish.
"It was a nice first-up run and he was a bit sore afterwards, but he's right now and he looks really good in the coat," Bull junior said.
"He'll get a wee way back again and he should be hitting the line. It will really top him off for the Otaki race (Gr.1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic) he won last year."
Bull's licence was confirmed before the Telegraph to fulfil a long-held ambition and continue the family involvement with thoroughbreds.
His late grandfather Jim raced numerous horses, most of them trained by his sister Margaret, with two leading representatives the Gr.1 Epsom Handicap winner Magnitude (NZ) (Amalgam) and the prolific winner London Trader (NZ)
(Coeur Volant II).
He was also a respected administrator at club and national level and from 1988 to 1992 was the president of the New Zealand Racing Conference.
"After I left school I went to work for Mick Price for four years and then came home two years ago," Bull said. "It's been a childhood dream to train horses – it's all I've ever wanted to do."
The new training partnership will also have a winning prospect at Otaki on Saturday with confidence in Benzini's prospects in the Rating 85 sprint.
"He's trialled up nicely and going the right way this preparation," Bull said.
– NZ Racing Desk.

7/02/2014 Chance for Aspen to show staying prowess

Aspen (NZ) (Alamosa) is being set on a familiar NZ Derby path at Te Rapa tomorrow.

Aspen (NZ) (Alamosa) is considered an exciting middle distance prospect and he gets an opportunity to put quality staying form on the board at Te Rapa on Saturday.
The three-year-old will be pitted against the older horses in the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes and follow a programme previously used to good effect by trainer Jason Bridgman with the Gr.1 TV3 New Zealand Derby in mind.
Two years ago, he prepared Rock 'N' Pop (Fastnet Rock) to finish third behind Hold It Harvey (King Cugat) in the Te Rapa weight-for-age feature before the colt finished runner-up to Silent Achiever (NZ) (O'Reilly) in the Ellerslie classic.
"We've certainly been looking forward to getting Aspen up to a mile and a-quarter (2000m)," Te Akau racing manager Jeff Dore said.
"He's come through Trentham all right after there was a query over every horse that raced there on that first Saturday."
Aspen followed up his fourth placing in the Gr.2 Great Northern Guineas with a solid third in the Gr.1 Levin Classic at Trentham.
Another factor behind the colt taking in the Herbie Dyke was Bridgman's reluctance to have him clash with Chambord (NZ) (Zabeel) in the lead-up to the Derby.
"We wanted to keep them apart – there's not much point in them going head to head," Dore said.
Chambord could beat only two home in the Gr.2 Waikato Guineas with the stable still unable to find an explanation for his performance.
"There's still a bit of mystery surrounding it and his blood was good going in and nothing obviously wrong since," Dore said.
"It certainly is a bit of a headscratcher as to exactly what the issue was, if anything."
At this stage, Chambord is still in the running to start in the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas on Saturday week at Ellerslie.
"That's being considered and on his schedule to go there, depending on what happens between now and then," Dore said. "He's a pretty good athlete though, and he could keep ticking over and go straight to the Derby."
– NZ Racing Desk

7/2/2014 Recite responds in style at Tauherenikau

Recite was too good for her rivals at Tauherenikau yesterday

The pressure was on Recite (NZ) (Darci Brahma) at Tauherenikau and the bonny filly responded with a dashing performance that has kept alive her chances of a crack at Australia's best three-year-olds.
The dual Group One winner turned on the style in Thursday's Listed Pioneer Finance Wairarapa Breeders' Stakes (1600m) with a commanding two and a-half length victory.
"The Australian Guineas (March 1) is still very much in the picture at this point and we'll let the dust settle over the next couple of days," trainer John Bary said.
"She holds a nomination for it and the second is due next week so we'll probably pay that and see what happens.
"She's run a smart time (1.34.91) and Mark (Du Plessis) said if he had let her go she would have run 1.33 so that's shut up a few knockers.
"The four kilo pull was a big help, but as I say she's run time and she's still improving and we would dearly love to a get Group One in Australia for Darci Brahma."
Bary was referring to some who had doubted the quality of Recite's previous performance in winning the Gr.1 Levin Classic at the expense of her stablemate Franzac (NZ) (Iffraaj).
"Our plan there was to go the front with our two horses and walk them and we pulled it off – the sectionals weren't great, but we've got the Group One on the mantle," Bary said.
Recite crossed easily to the front at Tauherenikau and sprinted off the final bend to sail clear and easily account for High Fashion (NZ) (O'Reilly) and the dead-heaters Arietta (NZ) (Falkirk) and Roc de Chine (Fastnet Rock).
"I was quite taken aback how easily she won," Du Plessis said. "The handicap helped a lot and she's definitely improved in her last two starts and won very well."
– NZ Racing Desk.

Race Wairarapa RC Wairarapa Thoroughbred
Breeders' S. L 1600m.
Winner Recite (NZ) 2010
Owners The Oaks Stud
Trainer John Bary, Hastings
Breeding by Darci Brahma out of Chant by Traditionally (USA)
Breeder The Oaks Stud; Waikato; NZ

3/2/2014 Stokes Team Looking For Better Luck At Motukarara

A new day brings new luck will be the motto for Waikuku trainers Michael and Tarsha Stokes as they focus their team's attention on the Banks Peninsula meeting at Motukarara today.
Luck definitely wasn't on their side at Wingatui on the weekend where handy sprinter Toma Valea (NZ) (Al Akbar) blew the start before finishing like a train for fifth in the open 1200 metre event while Captain Todd
(NZ) (Captain Rio) was less than a neck from victory although unplaced in the Listed Dunedin Gold Cup.
To top it off promising galloper Torque It Up (NZ) (Postponed) sustained a leg injury that will see him on the sidelines for the next few months.
"We certainly didn't get much go our way at Wingatui so hopefully we can go better with the team at Motukarara," noted Tarsha Stokes as they headed back to their home base on Sunday.
"Most of the team today would like a bit of fire out of the ground but in saying that we are happy with them and they should all acquit themselves well."
Stokes nominated maiden galloper Seven Excuses (NZ) as one of the leading chances from the team with the threeyear- old No Excuse Needed filly looking to break maiden ranks in race 2 on the programme.
"Seven Excuses went really nicely first-up at Kumara on a wet track and she will appreciate some better ground so she looks like our best chance on the day," she said.
"Howbaddouneedit is getting back into racing trim now and she should be competitive in race 5 as we progress towards the Timaru meeting which is her main target at this stage."
A win for the Stoke's Miss Clevedon (NZ) (Faltaat) in race 6 would make it a big 48 hours for her dam Outraging whose five-year-old Postponed gelding Wayne (NZ) cleared maiden status at Te Rapa on the weekend.

Waikuku trainer Michael Stokes

3/02/2014 Logan To Follow Tested Path To Derby

With less than four weeks to the holy grail of threeyear- old racing, the Gr. 1 TV3 New Zealand Derby, the results from last weekend's feature racing has seen a decent shake-up in the TAB Fixed Odds market for the race.
The win of Puccini (NZ) (Encosta De Lago) in Saturday's Gr. 2 Waikato Guineas has seen bookmakers shorten him in to the second line of betting at $8 behind new $6 favourite, the Donna and Dean Logan trained Rising Romance (NZ) (Ekraar).
Unsighted since a dominant win in the Gr. 2 Royal Stakes at Ellerslie on New Year's Day, the Ekraar filly has delighted Donna Logan with her progress in the intervening four weeks as she targets the Gr. 2 Avondale Guineas at Ellerslie on the 15th of February as her final lead-in to the Derby.
"She galloped on Saturday at home and I was delighted with how she went," said Logan.
"She had a quiet time after Ellerslie and we have brought her along in the same manner as we did with Habibi last year.
"She will have her next run in the Avondale Guineas on the 15th and as long as she pulls up well will go to the Derby a fortnight later.
"She has improved all the way through and the further she goes the better she will be."
Logan's 2013 New Zealand Derby winner Habibi (NZ) (Ekraar) followed a similar path last year although she lost her unbeaten record at the time by finishing third in the Avondale Guineas behind Valbuena (NZ) (Darci Brahma) and
Castlzeberg (NZ) (Castledale) before bouncing back to score a gritty half length victory over Fix (NZ) (Iffraaj) in the Derby.
Logan also reported Gr. 2 City of Auckland Cup winner Mosquito (NZ) (Golan) had come through his most recent run in the Karaka Stayers Cup at Ellerslie in good order and would now head to the Gr. 2 Go Racing Syndications Avondale Cup at Ellerslie before his main mission, the Gr. 1 Barfoot& Thomson Auckland Cup on the 5th of March.

Rising Romance (orange colours) bounds from the gate at the start

31/1/2014 Glorious chance for Derby

Glorious Lad (NZ) (Falkirk) takes another step toward the NZ Derby at Te Rapa tomorrow

Success in Group One races is all about timing and Glorious Lad (NZ) (Falkirk) is ticking over perfectly toward his cup final.
The highly-regarded three-year-old will take an important step toward the Gr.1 TV3 Derby at Te Rapa on Saturday when he makes his first appearance beyond a metric mile in the Gr.2 Darci Brahma Waikato Guineas (2000m).
"He's not bred to be a stayer, but he's got the right attitude and temperament to suggest he is a Derby style of horse," Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie said.
"I really feel he will be peaking at the right time and I'm sure he can do it. We purposefully didn't run him in the Great Northern Guineas or the Levin Classic to concentrate on the Derby.
"We took a punt on that and I'm very comfortable where he's at and there's a lot of improvement to come."
A son of the internationally-performed sprinter Falkirk, Glorious Lad was successful first time out at Taupo in the spring and then finished runner-up on a heavy Trentham track.
He was back in the winners' circle at Dargaville before Ritchie stepped him up in class on a return trip to the Central Districts. He wasn't disappointed when the gelding ran second to Lucia Valentina in the Gr.3 Wellington Stakes.
Glorious Lad has made one subsequent appearance at Ellerslie where he accounted for a competitive field of threeyear- olds over 1600 metres.
He has been ridden in his last four starts by Mark Du Plessis, who said he was the ideal material for the Ellerslie classic on March 1.
"He's the type of horse who will go all day and I don't want to get off him at any stage – he's looking like a perfect Derby horse to me," he said.
– NZ Racing Desk.

31/1/2014 Tinsley on two top Wingatui chances

El Chico (NZ) (Stravinsky) lines up in the Gr.3 White Robe Lodge Handicap at Wingatui on Saturday

Hayden Tinsley will continue his association with two in-form runners from Michael Pitman's stable at Wingatui on Saturday.
The Palmerston North-based jockey will be aboard the evergreen El Chico (NZ) (Stravinsky) in the Gr.3 White Robe Lodge Handicap and the classic contender El Doute (Redoute's Choice) in the Listed Southern Wide Real Estate Guineas.
Tinsley rode El Chico into fourth place in the Listed Anniversary Handicap, where he gave the winner Abidewithme (NZ) (Redoute's Choice) six kilos, and the veteran has since added the Listed Timaru Stakes to his impressive resume.
"He probably should have run third at Trentham and Hayden said he would have been a good chance in the Thorndon, but we'd already decided he was going home," Pitman said.
His youthful stablemate El Doute was a winner at Omakau before he went north and his effort for fifth in the Gr.1 Levin Classic impressed Tinsley.
"Hayden thought he could have won – he was three wide with no cover and he was still finishing on and Hayden's adamant he's riding him in the Derby," Pitman said.
"We gave some thought to the Waikato Guineas, but he's not a horse that needs a lot of racing so we took him back to Waikouaiti to work on the beach.
"He'll go to the Avondale Guineas at Ellerslie and then on to the Derby – he's a terrific type of horse with a great pedigree and he's still a colt.
"While we've freshened him up, the only worry is that this race might be a bit short for him."
Pitman will also be represented by Darci Coup (NZ) (Darci Brahma) in the Listed Coupland's Bakeries Dunedin Gold Cup, a race she finished second in 12 months ago and she is in outstanding form in her bid to go one better.
"She's won three cup races in 18 days, which is a great effort for a five-year-old mare," he said. "Jamie Bullard is wasting to ride her at half a-kilo over. She's going really well and was a bit unlucky in the last year."
– NZ Racing Desk.

30/01/2014 Good Buddy gets Lammas prime mount

Buddy Lammas will be re-united with the smart threeyear- old Percy at Te Rapa with the diligence of his agent instrumental in Saturday's booking.
The Levin jockey rode the gelding in his first two appearances and will be back aboard in the Gr.2 Darci Brahma Waikato Guineas with the 2000 metre event an ideal opportunity to further press Gr.1 TV3 New Zealand Derby claims.
"I'm sticking with Buddy, he knows the horse well and he's got a very good agent and he always rings me," Percy's partowner and trainer Susan Rainford said.
Huw Taylor looks after Lammas' rides and history also played a part in Saturday's engagement being confirmed.
"He said he saw Sir Percy win the English Derby so I'm hoping that's a good omen," the New Plymouth-based Ranford said.
The son of the Epsom classic winner has also given the impression he will be better-suited to more ground following an impressive debut win in Lammas' hands and they then finished fifth in the Gr.2 Wellington Guineas.
Percy showed the benefit of a break and Miranda Dravitzki's apprentice claim when he returned after 10 weeks off to beat the older horses at New Plymouth over 1600 metres.
"We just treated that as a trial after they kept cancelling them," Rainford said. "There was a trial at Waipa over 1150 metres, but that would have told us nothing on a tight, turning track.
"He's eating all I give him and it's 2000 metres for the first time, but he seems to have stayer written all over him.
"If he goes well on Saturday then we could go straight into the Derby – he's a very clean-winded horses and easy to train.
"There's the Avondale Guineas but it's only two weeks between races and they're not machines."
– NZ Racing Desk.

30/1/2014 Mixing it up with top mare

Zurella's training routine has been changed in the hope variety can cajole a feature race victory out of the capable mare.
"She's a step ahead of me and she's got the ability, but she's got the temperament that suggests she's thinking too much," trainer Shaune Ritchie said. "We'll pop her over some pony fences and logs to mix up her training a bit."
Zurella is likely to run next in the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa on February 8 while stablemate Military Move has the Gr.2 Go Racing Avondale Cup at Ellerslie a week later on his radar.
The former Gr.1 New Zealand Derby winner was unplaced last time out in the Gr.2 Wellington Cup.
"He was a little bit jarred up after Trentham," Ritchie said. "There's a good sole of grass at Ellerslie so he'll take his place in the Avondale Cup."

30/1/2014 Cauthen out until the Spring

Talented galloper Cauthen has gone for a spell

The stop-start career of Cauthen is on hold again after he pulled up the worse for wear following his latest appearance.
The Darci Brahma colt has showed great promise in his five starts to date and his connections will now have to wait some months for the three-year-old to fully realise that potential.
Cauthen was a late scratching from the Gr.1 Telegraph Handicap on account of a Fast 1 track and he resumed a week later in an age group event at Trentham last Saturday. He finished a close second and is now on an extended break.
"He pulled up sore and he's in the paddock," trainer Andrew Campbell said. "We had the vets to him and they advised us to put him out – he's still growing.
"When he went to go he never let down like he can, but he was brave and he fought back when the other horse (Silver Eclipse) came at him.
"The track didn't help him and he'll keep. He'll probably have three months off and we'll have him ready again for next spring."
Cauthen won at his only appearance last season and during a following three-start Melbourne campaign he showed a glimpse of his ability at Moonee Valley.
He beat the subsequent Gr.1 Cox Plate winner Shamus Award while third placegetter Long John came out three runs later to win the Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas.
The firm Trentham conditions upset Cauthen and, by contrast, Campbell then had the further disappointment of a wet track blunting his Karaka Million hope Longchamp, who finished fifth at Ellerslie.
"As soon as it rained we knew we were in trouble," he said.
"He didn't handle it and the winner is a really good horse, but on a good track I think he would have given them a fright."
– NZ Racing Desk.

27/01/2014 Benner hits the jackpot at Ellerslie

Vespa and rider Mark Du Plessis return to the birdcage after winning the rich Listed Karaka Million at Ellerslie

Johno Benner admitted he wasn't the easiest person to be around in the lead-up to New Zealand's richest race, but all was forgiven after a royal result for his stable at Ellerslie on Sunday evening.
The Otaki-based trainer produced Vespa (NZ) (Elusive City) to go one better than stablemate Touche (NZ) (Thorn Park) 12 months ago when he claimed the thick end of the stake in the Listed Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie.
"We couldn't beat Ruud Awakening last year and this time I thought we had the horse to do it," Benner said.
"My partner Holly has doted on this horse and I'm probably not the easiest person to live with, especially in the last week, so it's a huge thanks to her.
"It's not often I'm speechless and it's hard to comprehend what's happened. He's definitely the best horse I've trained.
He's just so professional – a huge effort."
Vespa is owned by Chris Rutten and John Norwood, who also race Touche, and the son of Elusive City was purchased out of Valachi Downs' Select Sale draft in 2013.
"Chris has got an amazing eye and he only spent $34,000 on this horse," Benner said.
Rutten has a 30-year involvement in the industry as a pretrainer and breaker and Benner has been part of his operation for the last nine years.
"We're thrilled and so excited - Johno and Holly are so fastidious and perfectionists and it's brilliant what they've done," Rutten said.
Vespa bounced out to lead and when Riding Shotgun (NZ) (Iffraaj) issued his challenge 200 metres from home the colt responded to Mark Du Plessis' call for a second effort. He drew out to score by a length and a-quarter with O'Marilyn (NZ) (O'Reilly) taking third from Way In (NZ) (Thewayyouare).
"I knew this horse would be a huge chance and in his last race he was very unlucky," Du Plessis said. "I don't know if he would have beaten Vinnie Eagle, but he would have run second.
"It's a wonderful story for young Johno and he had the horse rock-hard fit."
The Million was marred by the fall of Massale (Shaft) about 700 metres from home with the horse appearing to be uninjured while rider Kerrin McEvoy suffered bruising to a knee.

Race ARC Karaka Million (R) L 1200m
Winner Vespa (NZ) 2011
Owners John Norwood & Chris Rutten
Trainer Johno Benner, Otaki
Breeding by Elusive City (USA) out of Miss Avalon (IRE)
by Fantastic Light (USA)
Breeder K J Hickman; Canterbury; NZ
Sales 2013 National Yearling Sale - Select Session V:
Valachi Downs $34000 P: Cavallo Agistment

27/01/2014 Spellbender leaves rivals gasping at Ellerslie

Spellbinder and Matt Cameron drive to the finish of the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Karaka 3YO Mile

Matamata trainer Jason Bridgman didn't hesitate when asked to describe the win of classy filly Spellbinder (NZ) (O'Reilly) in the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Karaka 3YO Mile at Ellerslie on Sunday.
"She's just an absolute freak in the wet" was his succinct summing up of a performance that saw the daughter of O'Reilly thrash her rivals by an ever-widening three lengths in the $100,000 event.
Raced during a heavy shower of rain that practically obscured the field until they made their way into the Ellerslie home straight, Spellbinder was given a perfect run in the trail by rider Matthew Cameron before setting out after main rival Hera (NZ) (O'Reilly) who had dashed clear early in the run home.
Spellbinder put Hera and the rest of her rivals to bed at the 200 metre mark as she raced to way to score comfortably from a gallant Hera with pacemaker Fast Dragon (Fastnet Rock) holding on strongly for third from 2013 Karaka Million runner-up Touche (NZ) (Thorn Park).
Bridgman will now consider his options as he looks to a Brisbane winter campaign with the filly.
"I think we will be going to the Sir Tristram Fillies Classic at Te Rapa next with her as we think she could be a candidate for the Queensland Oaks later in the year," he explained.
"I'm pretty confident she will be able to win over a middle distance but there's no point in finding out she doesn't stay when you are over there so we will give her every opportunity here before we make up our minds on a Brisbane campaign.
"The rain we got before and during the race was ideal for her tonight so if there was any moisture around over there she would be pretty competitive in those good three-year-old fillies races."
Spellbinder was a $60,000 purchase by Te Akau principal David Ellis from the Select session of the 2012 National Yearling sales series and has now earned over $140,000 for her Te Akau syndicate of owners.

Race ARC Karaka Mile (R) L 1600m
Winner Spellbinder (NZ) 2010
Owners Te Akau Spellbinder Syndicate (Mgr D C Ellis)
Trainer Jason Bridgman, Matamata
Breeding O'Reilly out of Scenic Sprint (AUS) by Scenic
Breeder D T O'Brien; Waikato; NZ
Sales National Yearling Sale - Select Session V:
Mapperley Stud Ltd $60000 P: DC Ellis

27/01/2014 Berry lands Karaka stayers Cup for Deano

Superstar Australian rider Tommy Berry was at his brilliant best when booting home promising stayer Deane Martin (NZ) (Keeper) in the inaugural The Westbury Karaka Stayers Cup (2200m) at Ellerslie yesterday.
The Sydney based Berry, who primarily came to the meeting to partner Way In (NZ) (Thewayyouare) in the rich Listed Karaka Million, used all his initiative to get the fouryear- old son of Keeper home by a length and a half and set
up a crack at the Gr. 2 Avondale Cup (2400m) at the same venue in three weeks time.
Trapped wide early in the race, Berry sent Deane Martin forward to dispute the speed with favourite and reluctant pacemaker Mosquito (NZ) (Golan) as the field made their way into the back straight. The pair kept up a steady gallop with Berry kicking his mount to a clear lead as they turned for the run to the winning post.
Refusing to flinch in the home straight Deane Martin scored comfortably from the fast finishing pair of Lion Red (NZ) (Fast 'N' Famous) and Her To Eternity (NZ) (Pentire) who both made up good ground along the rails without ever
looking likely to threaten the winner.
Trainer Bruce Wallace was cock-a-hoop after the race as he recalled with Sir Patrick Hogan how the gelding had found his way into his stable.
"Sir Patrick basically gave me the horse after he didn't attract a bid at the National Yearling sale in 2011," he said.
"We had done a lot of work with Cambridge Stud and Sir Patrick over the years and he said to me he's yours for a dollar so I paid the man and he was on his way to my place.
"I got Allan (stable foreman Allan Peard) to put a syndicate together and he has been a pretty decent horse for them given it cost them nothing to get into."
The victory helped ease the syndicate's pain of having the horse late scratched at the barrier before the Dunstan Feeds Championship final on New Year's Day and brings him into contention for the Gr. 1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie on the 5th of March.

Race ARC Westbury Karaka Stayers Cup 2200m.
Winner Deane Martin (NZ) 2009
Owners GJ Ashby, AD Burrett, SB Doull, P Hay, RJ
Limbrick, JH Martin, C Morgan, AC Peard, BJ
Wallace, D West
Trainer Bruce Wallace, Byerley Park
Breeding by Keeper (AUS) out of Ela Nimue by Zabeel
Breeder Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan; Waikato; NZ

Tommy Berry guides Deane Martin to a convincing win

27/1/2014 I Do on track for Group one target

I Do winning comfortably in the Group Three Manawatu Challenge Stakes at her last start before a brief spell

A quiet run for second at last week's Waverley trials has co-trainer Allan Sharrock convinced hardy mare I Do (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) is right where he wants her as she prepares for another crack at Group One glory later in the season.
Although beaten narrowly by promising three-year-old filly Porotene Park (NZ) (Thorn Park) in the 1000 metre trial, jockey Michael Dee never let the brakes go on the No Excuse Needed mare who went to the line hard held and full of
"We gave her a brief freshen-up after her win at Awapuni before Christmas and she has thrived during the break," explained Sharrock.
"She will have a jumpout at Hawera this week and that should clean her up nicely for her first run back which will be in the Wairarapa Thoroughbred Breeder's Stakes at Tauherenikau on Waitangi Day.
"That race wasn't initially on her programme but she has done so well and it is a $50,000 stake so I said to Mark (coowner Mark Chittick) that we should have a go at it."
Sharrock has the Gr. 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeder's Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha in April as the major target for I Do who was not disgraced when finishing seventh in the Captain Cook Stakes in December at her first attempt in elite company.
"She just wasn't quite right that day in the Captain Cook so to finish less than 2 lengths from the winner was a good effort and I think she can definitely get a win in that top grade.
"Her value as a broodmare is already assured with what she has done to date but that Group One win would put plenty of icing on the cake for her future breeding career."
Sharrock is currently finalising the mare's path to the Te Aroha feature with a start in the Gr. 3 Westbury Classic at Ellerslie on Auckland Cup Day a likely option.

24/1/2014 Marsh hoping for a Group one moment

Stephen Marsh is hoping Savour The Moment (NZ) (Savabeel) can land him Group One victory at Trentham tomorrow

Stephen Marsh had high hopes of completing a Group One double at the Wellington Cup carnival and he will reload on Saturday with Savour The Moment (NZ) (Savabeel) after drawing a frustrating blank last weekend.
Months of planning went unrewarded when Barbaric (NZ) (Pins) failed to hit out on a rock-hard surface in the Telegraph Handicap, but the Cambridge trainer remains upbeat about the stablemate's Gr.1 Harcourts Thorndon Handicap chances.
"This time in he's been set for the Thorndon from day one and we didn't take him to the South Island," Marsh said.
"It does take time for them to get over that trip and he's got fresh legs and he's going really well."
Savour The Moment was unplaced in last year's Thorndon following a previous trip to Riccarton for the Gr.2 Coupland's Bakeries Mile, in which he had finished a close seventh after drawing the outside gate.
Marsh has restricted the son of Savabeel to a light leadup with a black type win in the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint followed by a fifth at Te Rapa and last time out he hit the line well for third at Hastings.
The step up to 1600 metres, a trip he has won at three times previously, will be another factor in his favour.
"The 1400 metres was too short for him last time, but with a bit of luck he could still have won that," Marsh said.
"His work has been very good and his final hit-out on Tuesday was great. He hasn't drawn that well, but the mile at Trentham gives them a chance and hopefully this is his best chance for a Group One."
– NZ Racing Desk.

24/1/2014 McEvoy on Massale

Massale (Shaft) will be partnered by Australian jockey Kerrin McEvoy in Sunday's Karaka Million at Ellerslie

Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy will join the Australian riding invasion for New Zealand's richest race.
The Darley operation's stable hoop has been booked to partner Massale (Shaft) in this Sunday's Karaka Million with Noel Callow already confirmed for the Danica Guy-trained Dragon Lair (NZ) (Iffraaj) and Tommy Berry will partner Way In (NZ) (Thewayyouare) for Shaune Ritchie.
McEvoy won the Melbourne Cup at Flemington in 2000 aboard Brew (Sir Tristram), who was prepared by Michael Moroney and the Melbourne-based New Zealander now operates his Matamata stable with Chad Ormsby. Massale will
be one of two runners for them in the juvenile feature.
"I've known Kerrin since I rode against him in Australia and I saw him in Melbourne over cup time last year and said you'll have to come over and ride one for us," Ormsby said.
"It was getting difficult to find a suitable jockey for a race like this so I rang Kerrin and he was keen to come and ride Massale - he's a definite winning chance."
He won on debut at Awapuni before he finished fifth at Ellerslie in his only other appearance.
"He's a laid-back horse who doesn't need a lot of work and he's ready to go," Ormsby said.
Their other Karaka Million runner Divissima (NZ) (Mastercraftsman) will be ridden by Kiwi international star James McDonald.
"We've put James on to give him a chance to ride her with a view to getting her to Australia," Ormsby said. "He's obviously a top judge and he'll tell us if she's good enough to be going over there."
Divissima was a debut winner at Paeroa and her place in the Karaka Million line-up has accentuated the highs and lows of racing. .
The Ballymore Ladies' Syndicate No.1 shares in her ownership and they tragically lost another promising filly Xquisit (NZ) (Iffraaj) after she fractured a pastern at Pukekohe in November and had to be put down.
– NZ Racing Desk

20/1/2014 Parsons eyes further carnival success

After scoring a winning double at the weekend, Balcairn trainer Karen Parsons will be looking for further success when she lines up Confused (NZ) (Bertolini) in the New World Wellington City Wellington Cup Prelude (2100m) at Trentham today.
Parsons and husband John were successful with Paraketo (NZ) (Pins) and Alpine Heights (NZ) (Spartacus) on Saturday and Parsons believes she can continue the winning run with a little luck on her side.
"He is an honest galloper and this is his main target for the week so I'm hopeful he can perform up to expectations," she said.
"He hasn't had a lot of luck recently and it was a good run at Awapuni last time as he got too far back and made ground in the run home."
Parsons had planned a two-pronged attack on today's race but some heat in a leg will see topweight Monachee (NZ) (O'Reilly) miss both the Prelude and the Gr. 2 Platinum Homes Wellington Cup this Saturday.
"It's really disappointing as I thought she would be a huge chance to win today and wouldn't be out of it on Saturday either" she said.
While pleased with the brace of wins on the weekend Parsons was still shaking her head at the circumstances around well performed mare Arietta's race on the weekend.
"I would hate to see my phone bill as both John and I spent over an hour on the phone with the handicapper as he tried to explain the relative weights and rating of our mare against Abidewithme who won the race," she said.
"John and I both believe there are some serious flaws in the rating system we have here as there just doesn't seem to be any consistency and I believe that was a prime example on the weekend."
Parsons also reported classy mare Final Touch (NZ) (Kashani) had taken no harm from her unplaced run in the Gr. 1 Telegraph Handicap although no immediate target for her next start had been set as yet.

Karen Parsons trains Wellington Cup Prelude hope Confused

20/1/2014 Ritchie pleased with Wellington Cup contender

Military Move at the recent Waipa trials

A quiet run at the Waipa trials last week has convinced Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie he has former New Zealand Derby winner Military Move (NZ) (Volksraad) spot on for his bid at the Gr. 2 Platinum Homes Wellington Cup this weekend.
The seven-year-old Volksraad gelding was a convincing winner of the Gr. 3 Manawatu Cup in December with Ritchie confident he can produce his best with the five week break between races.
"He goes best with his races spaced as they found out up in Hong Kong when they tried to back him up quickly a couple of times up there," he explained.
"We have purposely kept him on ice and the five weeks between the Awapuni win and this weekend will be ideal.
"The trial at Waipa brought him along nicely and he is now with my wife and kids at the beach down in Foxton and they all love it there.
"I guess my main concern is the 59kgs he has to carry as while he deserves it with the record he has it will make it difficult to beat a mare like More Than Sacred who can sprint that little bit quicker with her lighter weight.
"In saying that though, he is ready to rock and roll and I expect him to be in the finish if he performs to his best."
Ritchie will also produce quality mare Zurella (NZ) (Zabeel) in the Gr. 1 Harcourts Thorndon Mile while recent maiden graduate Chop Chop (NZ) (Guillotine) is eyeing a start in the Gr. 3 Tiger Prawn Desert Gold Stakes.
"Zurella and Chop Chop have travelled down with Military Move and they should both be competitive," he said.
"Zurella gets into the Thorndon on a nice weight and on her best form will be a winning chance while Chop Chop will either run in the Desert Gold or a rating 65 mile on the day.
"She is on trial for the New Zealand Oaks in March so it will be a learning experience for her and give us a line on how she measures up if she does tackle the good fillies in the Desert Gold Stakes."
Ritchie will have an action packed 24 hours this weekend with his runners at Trentham followed by Way In (NZ) lining up in the Karaka Million at Ellerslie the next day. Leading Australian rider Tommy Berry will make a special trip across the Tasman to partner the Thewayyouare filly in the rich Ellerslie juvenile feature.

20/1/2014 Promise of plenty more to come for Guineas winner

A decision to concentrate on doing what gives him the most pleasure in life is paying off for self confessed "semi-retired horse nut" John Reece who produced his charge Midnite Promise (NZ) (Librettist) to upset the favourites in Saturday's Listed Liquorland Gore Guineas.
After undergoing major heart surgery just over five years ago following a massive heart attack at Wingatui on their Melbourne Cup raceday, the former milk tanker driver said to wife Janice that it was time to give training racehorses some fulltime attention after dabbling in the game for a number of years.
"I've always loved horses and had been involved in the game off and on for a fair while so after I had my quadruple bypass operation I thought there were better things to do in life and if I wasn't going to last too long I might as well be
doing what I loved," he recalled.
"I started training again in Invercargill and had the odd success but we decided to head north to live in Timaru around July last year and it has worked out really well for us."
Reece currently rents space from local trainer Fiona Hurst on her Timaru property and, shortly after settling in, was browsing the Gavelhouse website where he spotted an unraced three-year-old Librettist gelding on offer.
"I made some enquiries about the horse as I really liked what I saw on the site and they wanted $25,000 for him which was a little rich for our blood," he said.
"They did say there was an offer on him but that didn't pan out so I spoke to Frank Gilchrist who owns him and organised to lease him on a three-year deal with a right of purchase included.
"It might sound a little silly but right from the moment I got him I knew he was the type of horse you dream about owning and training. He is just a complete natural and has a bomb-proof attitude."
After a sound second at the Ashburton trials in October, Reece produced the gelding to score handsomely on debut on his home track on the 28th of December. That win convinced him to lift his sights with the horse with the Gore
Guineas as the next target.
"I was hoping he could measure up but you never really know until they have a go in that company so it was a real thrill when he did perform like I thought he could," he said.
"The phone has been ringing non-stop since the maiden win and I'm just not sure what to do as there are three big offers on the table which is enough to give you a few sleepless nights.
"I'm picking they will be ringing even more now." Reece reported the gelding had come through the race in tip-top order and, pending any potential sale, would now head to the Listed Dunedin Guineas at Wingatui on the 1st of February.

Top South Island hoop Jamie Bullard was aboard Gore Guineas winner Midnite Promise

McKays’ focus on Trentham with 2YO

16th Jan 2014

Peter and Jacob McKay are putting all thoughts of the Karaka Million with Al Pacino (NZ) (Alamosa) to one side until next week.

The father and son training combination are taking a one step at a time approach with their precocious youngster, who will step out in the Gr.2 Nadeem Wakefield Challenge Stakes at Trentham on Saturday.

Al Pacino (NZ) (Alamosa)

“We’re just focussing on this race and worrying about anything else afterwards,” Peter McKay said. “We think it’s the best option for the horse at this stage and he’s got that good two-year-old ability.

“He’s close to making the Million field and if he did run in the first three it would be a matter of seeing how he got through next week, but this is a Group race and he’s possibly better-suited to racing left-handed.”

Al Pacino was a trial winner in the spring and was then given a break after he had finished sixth at Te Rapa at the first time of asking.  

He showed good improvement when he resumed earlier this month at Ruakaka where he made all the running under Mark Du Plessis to win, despite racing greenly.

“He raced a little bit erratically and when he led up across the junction he got a bit lost and then started to hang out,” McKay said.

An obvious threat to Al Pacino is the Keith and Brendon Hawtin-trained filly Cryptic (NZ) (Sakhee's Secret), whose form to date has been exemplary.

She ran third on debut at Ruakaka behind the unbeaten Vinnie Eagle (I Am Invincible), who will be in action in Sydney this weekend in the rich Inglis Classic, and Riding Shotgun (NZ) (Iffraaj) and he has subsequently won and placed to book his Karaka Million place.

Cryptic then went south to Trentham to win the Listed Wellesley Stakes at the expense of Jackofall (NZ) (Mastercraftsman), who currently heads the order of entry into the country’s richest event.

NZ Racing Desk.

Wallace roll set to continue

16th Jan 2014

The Bruce Wallace stable has enjoyed a rich vein of form in recent weeks and that purple patch may well carry over to the Matamata meeting on Friday.

The Byerley Park trainer has another two bright prospects on the card with the promising three year-old Street Wars (Street Sense) and the last-start winner Lion Rock Hill (Tiger Hill).

Bruce Wallace and his foreman Alan Peard

Street Wars was a runner-up on debut at Ruakaka earlier this month and from a handy gate he looks primed to go one better in the NRM Race 13 1100. Gifted apprentice Rory Hutchings will take the mount on the son of Street Sense.

Stablemate Lion Rock Hill was promoted to victory at Thames and while he does move up a rating band in the Trac Sports Bar 2000 the free-going gelding will be assisted by the inside alley. Also in his favour is Michael Dee’s allowance, which will drop his weight to a luxury 52.5kg.

There is a sense of timing about race rival Savarhys (NZ) (Savabeel), who looks to be on the verge of winning form after strong recent efforts. Most recently, he finished runner-up to Bouvier (NZ) (Perfectly Ready), who will oppose him again, after being forced four wide to make his run and only just failed to reel in the winner.

Another stable that might be worth following on Friday is Chris Woods’ Cambridge yard, which was successful in the Listed Marton Cup with the top stayer Guns At Five (NZ) (Duelled).

It would be no surprise to see that winning habit picked up by barn-mate Shez All Heart (NZ) (Lion Heart)  in the Paper Plus Matamata 2000.

She broke her maiden on the course before Christmas and followed up with a fair effort when fifth at Stratford over 1600 metres. The extra 400 metres now looks ideal for her.

Wood will also saddle the top Kilgravin Lodge Maiden contender Feroz (Ferocity), who has placed at his last two starts. – NZ Racing Desk.

Group One chances for Avdulla in NZ

16th Jan 2014

Brenton Avdulla will make his first foray into international racing when he rides at the Group One Telegraph Handicap meeting at Trentham on Saturday.

The 10-race program in New Zealand also boasts the Group One Levin Classic (1600m) and will mark an exciting opportunity for Avdulla who has never ridden outside Australia.

Trepidation (NZ) (Falkirk)

"I've got three rides there on Saturday at the moment," Avdulla said.

"My manager rang me at the start of the week and said he didn't have a lot in Sydney and the connections of Trepidation, Windsor Park (Stud), wanted me to go over there.

"There are two Group One races so it will be well worth it."

Trepidation (NZ) (Falkirk) is trained by Chris Waller's former Australian foreman Paul Shailer and heads to the Telegraph Handicap (1200m) off a dominant first-up win at Ellerslie last month.

Avdulla has also picked up a handy mount in the Levin Classic (1600m) in the Danica Guy-trained Gobi Ranger (Tale of the Cat).

The colt has raced nine times, eight of those in stakes grade highlighted by his Group One placing in the NZ 2000 Guineas in November.

Avdulla's remaining ride is Boninsky (NZ) (Keeninsky) in a 1600-metre Listed race on the support program.

The young jockey will forgo riding at Saturday's Inglis Classic meeting at Randwick to ride in New Zealand.


Walker’s words send Boninsky south

16th Jan 2014

Boninsky (NZ) (Keeninsky) will drop back in distance in Saturday’s Listed Anniversary Handicap at Trentham on the recommendation of leading jockey Michael Walker.

The Melbourne-based New Zealand rider partnered the gelding in the Gr.2 City of Auckland Cup on New Year’s Day during his return for the festive period and he had a word of advice for trainer Margaret Falconer following their sixth placing.

Boninsky (NZ) (Keeninsky) 

“We’ve always aimed at the staying races with him and he’s gone well with a lot of fifths and sixths and then Michael got off him and said he doesn’t stay and to drop him back,” Falconer said. “We’ve freshened the horse and we’ll see what happens.”

Boninsky has previously showed an aptitude for the lesser distances and track conditions are also no concern ahead of his attempt on the Tui – Backing a Winner since 1989 Anniversary Handicap.

“He did win over a mile on Melbourne Cup day at Ellerslie, but he’s not entered for the Thorndon,” Falconer said.

“It’s an ideal trip away for him and he’s pretty versatile and can go on most types of ground.”

The Trentham excursion will be a new experience for Boninsky, but Falconer isn’t expecting the southern venture from Cambridge to pose any issues.

“It is his first trip away but he’s a six-year-old so he’s pretty experienced now,” she said. “It’s a good field and we’ll decide what we do (in the future) after Saturday.”

The winner of four races, Boninsky will be partnered at the weekend by the visiting Sydney rider Brenton Avdulla – no stranger to feature metric mile success with a victory aboard Secret Admirer in the Gr.1 Epsom Handicap on his CV. – NZ Racing Desk.

13/1/2014 Sam Mesi to make amends at Avondale

Matamata trainer Peter McKay is looking for an improved performance from his talented galloper Sam Mesi (NZ) (Savabeel) when he steps out in the Rating 65 Functions@ mile, race 6 on the card at Avondale today.
McKay, who prepares the four-year-old in partnership with son Jacob, was encouraged with the gelding's last run at Tauranga even though he finished in mid-field.
"In hindsight the distance of that race at Tauranga was too short for him as he got run off his feet early in the piece but he ground home nicely in the final stages, which was quite encouraging," he said.
"We had given him a short break after he went terribly at Te Rapa in November so we wanted to see him running on at Tauranga before we decided what to do with him next.
"The step-up to a mile will definitely suit him today as he has won and been stakes placed in the Wellington Stakes at Trentham as a three-year-old over the distance."
McKay is also delighted with the progress that Great Northern Guineas winner Puccini has made since his Boxing Day triumph as he looks to the Gr. 1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Wellington this weekend with his charge.
"He bounced through that Ellerslie run nicely and his work since then has been spot on," he said.
"It was a brave effort that day as he did a fair bit of work and kicked on nicely so we will be looking for a good draw this weekend and hopefully he can measure up again."
A bold performance at Trentham would also ensure a tilt at the Gr. 1 TV3 New Zealand Derby (2400m) in March for the son of Encosta De Lago who will use either the Waikato or Avondale Guineas as his final lead-up run to the Ellerslie feature.

13/01/2014 Filly leaves rivals Spellbound at Ellerslie

Spellbinder and Matt Cameron have the situation well under control as they head for the winning post

Fresh from a game third placing in the Gr. 1 One Thousand Guineas (1600m) at her previous start, Spellbinder (NZ) (O'Reilly) stamped her class in a fresh state with an impressive win in the Pegasus Equine Rating 75 1200 metres at Ellerslie on Saturday.
A $60,000 purchase by Te Akau principal David Ellis from the 2012 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Sale, Spellbinder returned to the scene of her six and a half length win in the Listed Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) in September and dealt to her rivals once again as she scored by one and a half lengths, clocking 1:10.80 for the 1200 metres.
Te Akau trainer Jason Bridgman has always held Spellbinder in high regard and the filly vindicated his faith off the back of a limited preparation for the race.
"I thought she would be vulnerable without the benefit of a trial, or even an exhibition gallop as she has only really had one serious piece of work since the Guineas," he said.
"A normal horse would probably have run fifth or sixth, but just sheer class is what I put it down to today.
"She came out of Riccarton quite a sore horse and we had to give her an extra week in the paddock. That was the seed of my concern, the three weeks off, but she had gone well fresh and that was in the back of my mind.
"Only good horses can do that sort of thing and hopefully if she pulls up well we can come back here in a fortnight for the Karaka Mile."
The Listed Karaka 3YO Mile (1600m) is one of the feature events on Karaka Million night at Ellerslie on Sunday the 26th of January.
Although he has plans in mind for the filly following that race, Bridgman will be guided by her performances before committing to a final path of action.
"I just don't know how many runs on fast ground she will take, so we'll just have to assess it after her next run.
"I'm not adverse to a freshen-up with her again and maybe waiting until winter and possibly taking her to Brisbane".
Spellbinder was ridden by Te Akau stable jockey Matt Cameron, who currently leads the Jockey Premiership with 77 wins for the season and achieved a personal milestone during the meeting when recording his 700th career victory.

13/1/2014 Front runner back on song at Ellerslie

A bold front running performance to capture her seventh career victory may have booked exciting mare Skysoblue (NZ) (Cape Cross) a return trip to Ellerslie in search of higher honours in March.
The win was a relief to trainer Graeme Sanders who thought the mare may have been a run short after he was forced to put her out for a short break after she failed to fire in the first three runs of her current campaign.
"She just wasn't going well and seemed a bit scratchy although there was nothing we could really put our finger on," explained Sanders.
"We gave her a couple of weeks off and she has been a lot better this time in.
"I was worried about her needing the run but she is pretty tough and once she gets things her own way in front she takes a fair bit of catching."
Sanders was particularly pleased with the ride of son-inlaw Mark Sweeney.
"She can be a real handful and on Saturday I was glad Mark was on her as she charged out of the birdcage and headed to the start at a rate of knots although, thankfully, she calmed down when she got to the barriers.
"She drifted out in the straight but Mark uses the whip in his left hand which was what she needed and I thought he rated her beautifully to get her home as there were plenty lining up to have a shot at her down the straight."
The win has also eased Sanders worries of getting a start for the mare in several upcoming feature events including the Gr. 1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) in March.
"I have her entered for the Wellington Cup and the points she gets for this win should ensure she gets a start in that and also the Auckland Cup if we press on to there," he said.
"It's always a balancing act to get into those big races with the right weight so I hope this will take the pressure off in that respect."
Sanders is no stranger to Auckland Cup success having produced Prize Lady (NZ) (Prized) to win back-to-back Cups in 2007 and 2008.

Mark Sweeney is all concentration as he guides Skysoblue to victory

Class, heart and perfect run gets Guns At Five home in Marton Cup

Guns At Five is flying high as Trudy Thornton pilots him to an easy win in yesterday's Marton Cup. Smartly (pink colours) fights on well for second with the pace-making Figure Again staying on for third.

Homebody Guns At Five (NZ) (Duelled) is thriving back in his familiar environment and the high-class Cambridge stayer is on target to complete a hat-trick of feature cup victories, bagging the first of them at Awapuni yesterday when he trounced his Listed Gallagher Marton Cup rivals
The six-year-old will now head to Trentham for the Group Two Wellington Cup, for which he is the current second favourite at $5, with the Group One Auckland Cup at Ellerslie on March 5 to follow.
"He's a lovely, kind horse and this was a nice race for him, with no re-handicap," trainer Chris Wood said. "It's a big thrill.
"He went over to Peter Moody in Melbourne and didn't settle in well there. He's got his own paddock at home with the willow tree to stand under and he loves it."
Guns At Five enjoyed a cosy run just off the pace then he asserted his superiority in the closing 150 metres for a comprehensive win.
"It was a lovely ride. We had to be positive out of the gates as he'd had a bit of bad luck in his last few starts," Wood said.
"It's a very sweet victory."
Guns At Five was ridden by Trudy Thornton, who said she was confident of success a long way from home.
"We got an absolutely perfect run and he travelled well all the way. He'll stay all day and he's got a lot of class and heart."
Smartly (NZ) (Fast 'n' Famous) finished runner-up ahead of Figure Again (NZ) (Ishiguru) and Pirinitete (NZ) (Johar).
And while there was no fairytale ending to Sacha's career, she will be sorely missed by trainer Lisa Latta. "She's been a great mare to me," she said.
Sacha (NZ) (Keeper) is in foal to Alamosa and retires as the winner of fourteen races, three at Listed level, and more than $325,000 in earnings.

Race Marton JC Marton Cup L. 2200m
Winner Guns at Five (NZ) 2007
Owners Grand Lodge Thoroughbreds Pty Ltd and Ken
Bee Sports (Aust) Pty Ltd
Trainer Chris Wood (Cambridge)
Breeding by Duelled (Aus) out of Accidentallyinlove by
Cape Cross (Ire)
Breeder C R & G J Dando
Sales 2008 National Broodmare & Mixed Sale; V:
Blandford Lodge, P: Mrs M C Harkema; $12,000

12/01/2014 Arietta, Locket in Awapuni double

The potent partnership of trainers John and Karen Parsons and rider Chris Johnson was back in sync with the red-hot mare Arietta (NZ) (Falkirk) at Awapuni yesterday to continue their winning ways.
The husband and wife team and the top jockey combined to land the Waikato Stud Handicap and they then completed a running double with Locket in the Rating 75 Central ITM Premier 1400.
"It was a bit of a misunderstanding that we hadn't had Chris on our earlier runners and it's good to have him back on," Karen Parsons said. "He rides them in their work so he knows them inside and out."
Arietta has now won five of her last six starts and gained an all important black type credit when she was successful in the Listed Canterbury Breeders' Stakes at Riccarton in November.
"She's been a little marvel," said Parsons, who also bred and races the mare. "She's going to be very hard to place though – she's almost a weight-for-age horse."
Arietta was given an economical run yesterday, one out and one back, and the five-year-old responded valiantly to Johnson's urgings in the straight to win by a short neck.
Home track hope Surreal Storm (NZ) (Storm Creek) continued his genuine run of recent form to follow up placings at Awapuni and Hastings with his run for second.
He made the running and kicked on strongly with last week's Woodville Cup winner Iamishwara (NZ) (Keeninsky) making good ground along the fence for third.
Arietta's stablemate Locket (NZ) (Keeper) was overdue a change of luck on her North Island campaign and fortune finally smiled on the five-year-old mare as she posted the third win of her career.
She'd had an interrupted passage when runner-up at Otaki three starts back and was crowded and had to be pulled off heels at Trentham when looking likely next time out. According to Johnson, Locket had then been beaten by a
wide gate when unplaced in her most recent run, at Awapuni before Christmas.

Race Marton JC Waikato Stud H. 1400m
Winner Arietta (NZ) 2008
Owners Mrs K G Parsons
Trainer John & Karen Parsons (Balcairn)
Breeding by Falkirk out of Prussian Doll (Aus) by Grand
Lodge (USA)
Breeder Mrs K G Parsons

Arietta (#2) and Chris Johnson claim Surreal Storm (purple colours) close to the line with Iamishwara also disputing the finish of the open sprint at Awapuni.

12/01/2014 Thorn Pass on track to top level

Thorn Pass and Robert Hannam sweep past Far Fetched to take the three-year-olds 1400m at Awapuni and put themselves into calculations for bigger and better prizes.

Powerful Awapuni three-year-old Thorn Pass (NZ) (Thorn Park) has provided a compelling argument for an opportunity to take on the best of his age group.
The Lisa Latta-trained gelding won for the second time in his six-start career when he triumphed in yesterday's Bell Booth Ltd Premier and set up a possible shot at Group One glory.
"He's nominated for the Levin Classic so we'll see how he comes through this and make a decision by Wednesday," Latta said.
"He's a very big horse and all the way along he has showed a lot and that was a good field so we're very happy.
He's hit the line well in all his runs, including the Wellington Guineas, from the back."
Thorn Pass again settled off the speed at Awapuni and when drawn wide by Robert Hannam he finished powerfully and reeled in Far Fetched (NZ) (Pins) to win with authority.
"He's a pretty laid-back horse and his last run was phenomenal when he came from well back to run second,"
Hannam said. "He's a little bit special."
All honours rested with Thorn Pass while the favourite Lifeline Express (NZ) (Zabeel) was unable to make an impression in the straight.
Settling a long way back in the field, he came around the home bend awkwardly and held his ground to finish sixth.
Co-trainer Paul Shailer reported the colt to have pulled up well after the race.

Race Marton JC Bell Booth Ltd S. 1400m
Winner Thorn Pass (NZ) 2010
Owners Go Racing No Difficulty Synd (Mgr: A Bosma)
Trainer Lisa Latta (Awapuni)
Breeding by Thorn Park (Aus) out of En Passant by
Defensive Play (USA)
Breeder Mrs H G & W G Bax

Group One sprinter ready for more

9th Jan 2014

Lee Somervell has put the frustration of the Railway Stakes behind him and he is now looking ahead to two prestige races with his stable star Fleur de Lune (NZ) (Stravinsky).

The Cambridge trainer couldn’t fault the mare’s condition leading into the defence of her Group One title at Ellerslie, but her chances were scuppered soon after the gates opened.

Fleur de Lune (NZ) (Stravinsky)

“She got smashed at the start and she’s only 15.1 hands and carrying pretty much the maximum weight she can handle,” Somervell said.

“Then she got hammered again at the 1000 and to still pick herself up and run as close as she did was terrific.”

Apprentice rider Michael Dee, who was aboard Shezhardtocatch (NZ) (Elusive City), was handed a nine-day suspension for causing the interference.

“With any sort of run she might have run second or third – she wouldn’t have beaten Bounding and she has come through it really well,” Somervell said.

“I gave her three days off and she was really getting quite irritable about not going to the track.”

Fleur de Lune will now progress toward the Gr.1 Waikato Sprint on February 8 and Somervell is then keen to give her another opportunity over 1600 metres.

“She’s run well at Te Rapa before having won the Foxbridge Plate there and I think the 1400 metres is what she’s looking for,” he said.

“She’s finishing the 1200 off well, but she’s scrambling a bit early and I’m quite happy to have another crack at the Breeders’ Stakes.”

Fleur de Lune was unplaced in last year’s Gr.1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes at Te Aroha after a tough three-wide run.

The Stravinsky mare has yet to win over a metric mile, but she has been placed at the trip four times in Group One company. – NZ Racing Desk.

Colt out to press Derby claims at Awapuni

9th Jan 2014

Lifeline Express’ hold on the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby market will tighten if he returns from a trip to the Central Districts this weekend with his perfect form line intact.

The Zabeel colt currently holds pre-post sway for the TV3-sponsored classic at Ellerslie on March 1 at $6 and was as short as $14 before he stepped out on raceday.

The only other three-year-olds at a single figure quote for the Derby are the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas runner-up Chambord  (NZ) (Zabeel) ($8) and the Gr.2 Championship Stakes winner Show The World (NZ) (High Chaparral) ($8).

They are followed by the Gr.2 Royal Stakes winner Rising Romance (NZ) (Ekraar) ($10), Aspen (Alamosa) ($12), Glorious Lad (NZ) (Falkirk) ($16) and Kawi (Savabeel) ($16).

Lifeline Express (NZ) (Zabeel)had beaten Chambord in a Te Teko trial last August, but his public debut was delayed by a bout of subsequent shin soreness.

His much awaited first appearance didn’t disappoint either with a smart performance to win on his home Matamata track, much to the relief of co-trainer Paul Shailer.

“They walked early and he got back on the fence and was racing a bit fiercely,” he said. “I was nervous at the 600 when he didn’t have a lot of room.

“Kelly (Myers) didn’t panic though and she rode him beautifully and the split came at the right time and he put paid to them.”

He hasn’t missed a beat since and Lifeline Express will trip south for Saturday’s Bell Booth Ltd 3YO Premier at Awapuni to further his Derby preparation.

“His work has been very good through the week and I couldn’t be any happier with him,” Shailer said.

“He’s a lot fitter than when he went to Matamata and we’ve got a really nice horse on our hands, but having said that he’s got to take the next step. It’s a good field and he’s got a tricky draw.”

Lifeline Express will again be ridden by Myers, who describes the colt as “very, very special.” – NZ Racing Desk.

Back in Black due an overdue change of luck

9th Jan 2014

Hardy stayer Back In Black (NZ) (Storm Creek) has had little go his way this preparation and his veteran trainer John Steffert isn’t dwelling on their lack of good fortune.

“We haven’t had much luck but that’s what racing’s all about and I’ve been around long enough to know that you just have to put up with it until it changes,” he said.

Back In Black (NZ) (Storm Creek)

Undeterred, the Te Aroha-based Steffert is preparing to head south again with Back in Black for Saturday’s Listed Gallagher Marton Cup at Awapuni.

The eight-year-old is also an acceptor for the Rating 85 event in case of an issue booking a suitable rider at the cup weight of 53kg.

Back In Black was a luckless third in the Listed Wanganui Cup three runs back and was again denied a run when unplaced in the Gr.3 Manawatu Cup. At his latest appearance he finished eighth in the Gr.2 City of Auckland Cup on a rain-affected track.

“At Wanganui he got checked on the turn and that was an outstanding run and in the Manawatu Cup he had the perfect sit and then Spiro came back on him,” Steffert said.

“Craig Grylls said he was a certainty beaten and then he didn’t want to let down in the shifty ground at Ellerslie. 

“The horse is very well now after we had a hiccup in the spring when he got a stone bruise – I had him booked to go to Melbourne again.”

Steffert had campaigned Back In Black at the spring carnival for the two previous years and the gelding raced with merit against strong company on both trips.

He placed in both the Gr.3 Geelong Cup and the Kyneton Cup in 2012. “I cleared $25,000 on that trip so it wasn’t bad,” Steffert said. – NZ Racing Desk

Carnival option for filly

9th Jan 2014

The Queensland winter carnival is a longer-term option for the Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained Paeroa winner Justintime (NZ) (Shinko King).

The Shinko King filly led all the way in the hands of Michael Coleman on Thursday to defeat the favourite Velocious Satin (NZ) (Volksraad).

“That was very pleasing and she didn’t have it all her own way and had to work pretty hard in the first part of the race,” Scott said. “It was a good confidence-building exercise for her.”

Scott said the Gr.1 Wellfield New Zealand Oaks might come up too soon for the filly and Queensland was a realistic target. “She’s from the family of Horlicks and Brew so distance isn’t going to be a problem for her.”

Whosyourmaster due a change of luck

9th Jan 2014

The racing fortunes of the genuine Whosyourmaster (NZ) (Captain Rio) may well take a turn for the better at Ellerslie this weekend.

The capable sprinter has been acquitting himself well from the top of the handicap in Rating 85 events and has also proved himself to be competitive against the best short-course performers in the top grade.

Whosyourmaster (NZ) (Captain Rio)

He was luckless last time out in the Listed Newmarket Handicap and this weekend’s Tip Top 1200 presents him with an ideal opportunity to add to his winning tally.

“He’s been going good races and he ran into Waterford when he had a big weight and then he came up against Little Wonder and Albany Reunion with topweight again,” said Andrew Scott, who prepares the five-year-old with Lance O’Sullivan.

Whosyourmaster gave the subsequent Gr.1 Railway Handicap runner-up Waterford (NZ) (Darci Brahma) four and a-half kilos when he ran second to her three starts back. He then carried 59.5kg when fourth, after being denied a run in the straight, to Little Wonder (NZ) (Volksraad).

“His run in the Newmarket last time out was a solid effort after he drew a wide gate and went back to last,” Scott said. “The last 400 metres of his race was really good.”

Whosyourmaster weaved through the field late to finish less than two lengths off the winner and will be back in class and off the minimum on Saturday.

“His light weight will aid his chances no end, but it’s a good field and Fix has a wonderful record around Ellerslie and I’m sure Ken and Bev will have her ready to go,” Scott said.

“A similar performance to the Newmarket should make our bloke hard to beat and hopefully the small field will suit him as he gets back a bit.” – NZ Racing Desk.

6/1/2014 Mark earns his fee on Tempelten

The unpredictable stayer Tempelten (NZ) (Johar) left his bag of tricks at home on Saturday to complete a notable double at Thames for trainers Scott Lucock and Sally Gillespie.
The Byerley Park duo had plenty of confidence in landing the opening leg with the genuine Statham (NZ) (Danroad), who duly delivered at long odds-on in the Rating 85 sprint, and then it was an open market on what Tempelten would
conjure up in the Coastwood Homes Lockwood Thames Cup.
This time it was his talent that won out and the enigmatic six-year-old, in the hands of Mark Sweeney, showed his true worth with an authoritative victory in the feature event on the card.
"I had a good talk with Mark and told him we have to do something different – he's just going around and bludging," Lucock said.
"I said to put him in the race and ride him hard and if he gets everything to go his way then he's a genuine chance, but he is hard to work out.
"He might get to Wellington now with Statham – there are a couple of races for him and he's earned it now."
Tempelten responded to Sweeney's efforts in the saddle and circled the field across the top to join the action on the turn and the six-year-old gelding then raced away to win by two and a half lengths.
"Scott said he'd been disappointing and when he does turn it on he can beat this lot," Sweeney said.
"It's a tight-turning track and we came down the middle, as he's got such a big stride, rather than pull him around the corner. The way he won there's another nice race in him."
Tempelten, whose victory ended a 22-month losing spell, was clear of Travel Wise (NZ) (One Cool Cat) at the post with Classcoroc (NZ) (Sirocco), the winner of the Woodville Pahiatua Cup twelve months ago, a neck back in third.

Simon Rusbridge proudly holds the Thames Cup trophies won by his enigmatic stayer Tempelten, on a day when he also featured as the breeder and part-owner of sprint winner Statham.

Race Thames JC Thames Cup 2000m
Winner Tempelten (NZ) 2007
Owners S Rusbridge
Trainer Scott Lucock & Sally Gillespie (Byerley Park)
Breeding by Johar (USA) out of Honourable by Balmerino
Breeder J T Hunter & P J & P M Vela Ltd
Sales 2009 NZ National Yearling Sale, Select Session;
V: Curraghmore Stud, P: Mr S Rusbridge; $20,000

6/1/2014 Iamishwara comes into Thorndon calculations with Woodville win

Iamishwara holds on grimly for Shannon Doyle in Saturday's Woodville-Pahiatua Cup. Lisa Latta's colours are to the fore on Authentic Paddy (purple cap) and L'Amour while against the rails the pace-setting Kings Court fights on for fourth.

Iamishwara (NZ) (Keeninsky) has moved a step closer to a Group One start during the Wellington Cup carnival – his emphatic victory in Saturday's 1600 metre Bambry's Water Treadmill Woodville-Pahiatua Cup, in the hands of Shannon Doyle, confirming he was on target for the Thorndon Mile at Trentham on January 25.
The ride drew rich praise from connections. "Shannon rode him brilliantly. He listened to Tony's instructions and carried them out perfectly," said Nicola Kaye, whose husband prepares Iamishwara.
"He's nominated for the Thorndon and Tony's always had that in mind – we think he's got the class for the race."
Iamishwara has now won six races and with more than $90,000 in the bank he has proved an astute piece of business for the Palmerston North couple, who paid $8000 for him as a yearling at Karaka in 2011.
The four-year-old had placed in both his previous attempts at 1600 metres and he left no doubt about his ability at the trip with Saturday's bold showing.
"From the outside barrier it was always going to be hard to slot in and I was asked to be positive," Doyle said.
"We were three wide without cover and that's why he was so impressive – he still had a kick and a bit left at the finish.
It's good to get on these good horses and I appreciate the support."
At the post, Iamishwara had a half length to spare from the Lisa Latta-trained stablemates Authentic Paddy (NZ) (Howbaddouwantit) and L'Amour (NZ) (Towkay) and the pacemaker Kings Court (NZ) (Falkirk).

Race Woodville-Pahiatua Cup 1600m
Winner Iamishwara (NZ) 2009
Owners A K & Mrs N Kaye
Trainer Antony Kaye (Awapuni)
Breeding by Keeninsky out of She's Heroic by Clay Hero (Aus)
Breeder R H E Killick & N J Wall
Sales 2011 National Yearling Sale, Festival Session;
V: N J Wall, P: New Zealand Bloodstock Ltd; $8000

6/1/2014 Stoked up Statham wins at Thames

Statham surveys his surroundings with the air of a satisfied winner

It's a major transition from defeating a four-horse Rating 85 field at Thames to one of the country's premier sprints, but there's confidence in the horsepower of Statham (NZ) (Danroad) to bridge that gap.
The four-year-old didn't have it all his own way in beating Gaston (Charge Forward) in Saturday's Pak 'N' Save Thames Sprint and co-trainer Scott Lucock put that down to a possible case of over-confidence.
"I think that the horse has got a little bit arrogant and he's a candidate for blinkers," Lucock said. "He's been over-racing a lot and in small fields so many things can go wrong and he dropped the bit."
Rider Matt Cameron stoked up Statham 600 metres from home to lead at the top of the straight and they held Gaston, who had won the race last year, at bay to win by a long neck.
Lucock and his training partner Sally Gillespie now hope that victory will be enough to ease Statham into the final line-up for the Group One Telegraph Handicap at Trentham on January 18.
"He probably needs three or four points to make the field," he said. "He's definitely better than we expected and to be fair he has come a long way in a short time."
Statham has now won four of his twelve starts and the gelding has already measured up encouragingly in black-type company.
Four runs back he was third in the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint at Te Rapa and then finished fourth in the Group Three Concorde Handicap at Ellerslie. On Boxing Day he was a close second in the Listed Newmarket Handicap.
Victory in the Newmarket would have guaranteed Statham a return visit and a start in the Group One Railway Stakes on New Year's Day, but Lucock saw a positive in defeat.
"We might have dodged a bullet by not getting a run," he said. "He's got to have a good track."

Race Thames JC Pac 'n' Save Thames H. 1200m
Winner Statham (NZ) 2009
Owners L J Cameron, S Rusbridge, G P Stewart and M F Wills
Trainer Scott Lucock & Sally Gillespie (Byerley Park)
Breeding by Danroad (Aus) out of Polyana by Pyrus (USA)
Breeder S Rusbridge

6/1/2013 Jason opens Thames account and kicks off Old Mate's stud career

Jason Bridgman . . . had the right horse at Thames

Matamata horseman Jason Bridgman broke new ground on Saturday when he opened his winning account at Thames and, in doing so, was able to provide a former stable member with the first success of his stallion career.
The Musician (NZ) was only the fourth runner for Bridgman on the track when he claimed the Thames Valley Insurance/NZ Insurance 1000 and in the process he struck a notable blow for his sire Minstrel Court.
"He was one of the colts that came through the Te Akau system and he was a very good horse. Unfortunately, he went amiss so it's nice to get his first winner," he said.
By Danehill Dancer, Minstrel Court won three races as a two-year-old, including the Listed Matamata Slipper, and at three he was third to stablemate Tell A Tale in the Group One New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas and fourth in the Group One Levin Classic.
He now stands at the Waimate-based Willow Glen, operated by The Musician's breeders Mike and Barbara Cooney.
"It's a case of having the right sort of horse to come here and we've had trouble getting him to go slow enough so the 1000 metres suited," Bridgman said.
The Musician bounded straight to the front and answered the call from Matt Cameron in the straight to score at his second raceday appearance.
"We said before the race there was no point trying to hold the horse and he flew the gates," Bridgman said. "We were quite confident."

Race Thames JC Thames Valley Insurance Maiden S. 1000m
Winner The Musician (NZ) 2010
Owners Te Akau Musician Syndicate (Mgr: D C Ellis)
Trainer Jason Bridgman (Matamata)
Breeding by Minstrel Court (Aus) out of Carrots by Ishiguru (USA)
Breeder Mrs B M & M M Cooney
Sales 2012 South Island 2YO & Mixed Sale; V: Willow Glen,
P: Mr D C Ellis; $16,000

6/1/2013 Tornado Alley storms to Woodville victory

Tornado Alley and Kelly Myers have things under control close to the winning post

Cambridge trainer Ralph Manning predicts a big future for handy two-year-old Tornado Alley (NZ) (Bachelor Duke) who scored nicely in his debut run at Woodville on Saturday.
Owned by The Oaks Stud's Dick Karreman, who stands his sire Bachelor Duke, Tornado Alley backed up two trial placings to lead all the way over the 1100 metre journey in the hands of Kelly Myers who had ridden the gelding in his most recent trial.
Manning, who watched the race on television from the Thames racecourse, was suitably impressed by the performance.
"He's not really a two-year-old type so to do what he has done today is really down to his raw ability," he said.
"He's a gross type who has a fair bit of maturing to do so when he does strengthen up I think he could make a pretty useful three-year-old."
Manning selected the Woodville race for the son of Bachelor Duke's debut as he sought to avoid a clash with another promising two-year-old in his team.
"I didn't want to run him against Eyesonyou who went around at Ruakaka on Friday as I thought we might just about be able to win both races," he explained.
"As it turns out the filly got beaten into second but at least we did pick up a win with this guy so the plan nearly worked out perfectly."
Both Tornado Alley and Eyesonyou will now have two weeks in the paddock before returning to work with both likely to be aimed at some of the two-year-old stakes races available later in the summer.
"I think both horses can lift to the level that is required to win a stakes race and as they are owned by their breeders then we need to give them every opportunity to do that."

6/1/2014 Lady Kipling retired

Gallant racemare Lady Kipling (NZ) (Savabeel) has been retired after finishing unplaced in the Gr. 2 Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie on New Year's Day.
The six-year-old daughter of Savabeel won eleven races during her career which included wins in the Cal Izusu Stakes (1600m) and Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1600m), both at Group Two level, amongst her most notable victories.
It was however, her run for second in the Group One Thorndon Mile at Trentham in January 2013 that co-trainer Murray Baker cites as her most memorable performance.
"She carried top-weight of 58.5kgs, drew wide and raced three wide the whole way and got beaten a head where she was in front two strides past the post," recalled Baker.
"She is a mare who deserved a Group One win as she had all the talent but just couldn't quite crack one at that highest level."
Currently in foal to Rip Van Winkle, Baker had thought of giving the mare one more run but the lack of a suitable race and the prospect of carrying topweight in any handicap event put paid to that idea.
"It is the weight that has basically ended her career," said Baker.
"She is of average size but it is just too tough to carry 59kgs against the males in those handicap races so with her being in foal and nothing suitable until Te Rapa in February we decided to pull the plug.
"I'd like to have plenty more like her in the stable as she was an absolute pleasure to train with such a lovely nature and just so easy to do anything with."
Lady Kipling finishes with 11 wins and 7 placings from 36 starts with just under $443,000 in career earnings.

Lady Kipling on the way to the barrier for her final race at Ellerslie on New Year's Day

6/1/2014 Karaka Million field begins to take shape

The Bounty Hunter and Sam Spratt in full flight at Ellerslie

With just three weeks until the running of the richest race in New Zealand, the Listed NZB Karaka Million (1200m), the battle to ensure a spot in the million dollar two-year-old dash is hotting up.
The final 14 horse field is determined by stakes earnings with those who currently occupy the top eight places on the qualifying table (in excess of $11,000) looking certain to make the cut.
Listed Murdoch Newell Stakes winner Jackofall (NZ) (Mastercraftsman) heads that list with $47,775 to his name while Riding Shotgun (NZ) (Iffraaj) is in mid-table with earnings of $11,650.
However, those below that mark will be looking for their opportunity to move up the ladder with a win in one of the few remaining qualifying events.
An impressive seven length winner on the middle day of the Ellerslie Christmas Carnival, The Bounty Hunter (NZ) (Any Suggestion) currently holds down the 14th and final spot in the field with co-trainer Matthew Rogers keen to see his charge put some more cash in the bank.
"Even though we don't think he is really a natural twoyear- old type the Karaka Million has always been a target for him so now he has a shot at making the field we need to do what we can to ensure he makes the cut," he said.
"He will go to Ellerslie on the 11th of January to see if he can earn enough to make it into the big one two weeks later.
"The timing of this race works in nicely for us and Sam Spratt did say she felt there was plenty of improvement in him after the latest win so we have our fingers crossed he can make that leap."
Another who will use the Ellerslie race on 11 January to stake her final claim is Lady Royale (NZ) who is eight places below The Bounty Hunter and in need of a win to improve her current $3,900 in stakes earnings.
The Captain Rio filly finished second in her raceday debut at Ellerslie on Boxing Day with co-trainer Richard Collett realistic about her prospects of making the Karaka Million line-up.
"She will need to win at Ellerslie on the 11th to make the field and although we think she has the ability to do just that, it will be a tough ask as I imagine it will be quite a good field with a few others in the same boat," he said.
The Karaka Million will be run at Ellerslie on Sunday the 26th of January.

2/1/2014 Vinnie Eagle set for Sydney test

Speed machine Vinnie Eagle (I Am Invincible) has beaten the best in New Zealand and now the precocious youngster is set to put his perfect record to the test in Sydney.
The Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue-trained two-yearold was put aside after a debut victory in the spring and yesterday at Ellerslie he returned in style with a slick performance to claim the Group Three Barneswood Farm
Eclipse Stakes.
"He won at Ruakaka, and wasn't overly impressive, but he has strengthened up a lot since and his lead-up trial was super," Pike said.
"He's eligible for the Inglis Classic at Rosehill on January 18 and that's always been his long-term target. We'll get through Sydney and then he'll come back and we might look at the Sires' Produce races."
Vinnie Eagle was purchased by Pike for $A65,000 in Sydney on behalf of stable client Colin Keane, who also races the talented Allez Eagle, with the $A250,000 bonus race in mind.
The young flyer, who is out of a half-sister to the Group One winner Nashville (NZ) (Darci Brahma), showed blistering gate speed at Ellerslie to lead and despite racing greenly he was unchallenged to win by two and a half lengths.
"That was a hot field," Pike said. "He had a good look around half-way down the straight and he will take improvement from that fitness-wise."
Vinnie Eagle has been ridden in both his raceday successes and two trial wins by Leith Innes, who said the gelding was always travelling comfortably.
"He's a really good sprinting horse and once he got to the front he relaxed and quickened really well. Those Sydney two-year-olds are pretty smart but he's going in the right direction."
Steel Rose (NZ) (Guillotine) enjoyed a good run behind the leader and fought on gallantly for second ahead of Karaka Million hopefuls Vespa (NZ) (Elusive City), Dragon Lair (NZ) (Iffraaj) and Jackofall (NZ) (Mastercraftsman)

Race ARC Eclipse S. Gr.3 1200m
Winner Vinnie Eagle (Aus) 2011
Owners W Eagles Plumbing Supplies Pty Ltd
Trainer Tony Pike & Mark Donoghue (Cambridge)
Breeding by I Am Invincible (Aus) out of Sweet Maggie
(Aus) by Danehill Dancer (Ire)
Breeder A Illes

The opposition are well astern as Leith Innes guides Vinnie Eagle to a comprehensive win in the Eclipse Stakes.

2/1/2014 Mark's plan gets Bounding home in Railway stakes

Although favoured by the #1 draw in yesterday's Railway Stakes, Bounding was kept well away from the running rail by Mark Du Plessis, the plan working to perfection as the filly holds out long-time ante-post favourite Waterford (green cap) and course specialist Little Wonder.

Relief was an emotion shared by Ken Kelso and Mark Du Plessis after Bounding (Lonhro) had upstaged her older rivals at Ellerslie yesterday with a richly deserved Group One victory.
The Matamata trainer, who prepares the three-year-old with his wife Bev, and his jockey combined to celebrate at the highest level after the star filly had claimed top honours in the Sistema Railway Stakes.
"It was a big call to run her and I'm glad it's over," Kelso said. "She really deserved that after what happened at Christchurch and we can forgive Du Plessis now."
He was referring to Bounding's defeat in the Group One New Zealand One Thousand Guineas at Riccarton, where she was beaten by Costa Viva after racing three wide in the open in an eight horse field.
"We decided to freshen her up and run here instead of the Eight Carat," Kelso said. "I didn't know whether she would handle a Dead 6 track – she has galloped in it a bit at home but that's different to a Group One. It's a huge thrill and she's a special filly."
Bounding, who became the first filly since Gold Hope in 1981 to win the Railway, also holds a nomination for the Group One Telegraph Handicap at Trentham but Kelso has yet to commit to a start.
"We'll get her home and see how she does," he said.
Du Plessis' pre-race plan to steer away from the fence from the inside gate worked to perfection yesterday and Bounding was willing in front and showed her class and courage to withstand the late challenge of Waterford (NZ)
(Darci Brahma).
"I feel like I've just got rid of King Kong and the monkey's off the back," Du Plessis said. "She showed her class today and I said to the connections that if she jumped well I would put her out a bit."
Bounding raced well away from the rail and she clung grimly to her lead down the straight to get home by a long neck from Waterford, who had been singled out by Du Plessis as the main danger in the race.
Little Wonder (NZ) (Volksraad) was on the pace all the way and fought hard for third ahead of Durham Town (NZ) (Falkirk).

Race ARC Railway S. Gr.1 1200m
Winner Bounding (Aus) 2010
Owners G E Harding
Trainer Ken & Bev Kelso (Matamata)
Breeding by Lonhro (Aus) out of Believe 'N' Succeed (Aus)
by Exceed And Excel (Aus)
Breeder M A W Birchall

2/1/2014 Championship stakes win earns a Derby shot for Show the World

The Championship Stakes finish that caused a few heart flutters for favourite backers . . . Show The World and Opie Bosson hold on to beat the fast-finishing Blizzard, with High Tower not too far away.

A tilt at the Group One Australian Derby is on the cards for showy gelding Show The World (NZ) (High Chaparral) after he justified his warm favouritism when taking out the Group Two Sound Championship Stakes at Ellerslie yesterday.
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained galloper gave punters some anxious moments in the closing stages of the 2100 metre race but held out the fast finishing Blizzard (NZ) (Any Suggestion) by a long head with High Tower (NZ) (Keeninsky) just a short neck back in third.
Settled midfield on the fence by rider Opie Bosson, Show The World looked to have benefited from the addition of blinkers as he strode around the field before the home turn and set out after Fast Dragon (Fastnet Rock), who had
improved to hit the front early in the run home.
After assuming control at the 200 metre mark, Show The World started to loaf with the winning post in sight but had done enough to secure the victory.
"I think he might just need a break now as he may have come to the end of it for this preparation," Baker said. "We thought the blinkers would do the trick and keep him focused but he still has that tendency to switch off at the wrong time. "He is a very good horse in the making. However, I think he will benefit from a fortnight in the paddock now.
"He might just be an Australian Derby horse, this guy, as we believe him to be a very smart animal and we've liked him from day one.
"Funnily enough, he was such a handful as a colt we ended up gelding him and now he's just a pussy cat around the place and very laid back – which will be an asset if we do travel him."

Race ARC Championship S. Gr.2 2100m
Winner Show the World (NZ) 2010
Owners G J & Mrs L M Moore
Trainer Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman (Cambridge)
Breeding by High Chaparral (IRE) out of Bazelle by Zabeel
Breeder Mrs L M Moore

2/1/2014 Filly proves staying credentials

Michael Coleman takes hold of Rising Romance as the filly completes a stayer's win in the Royal Stakes.

Rising Romance (NZ) (Ekraar) has a long way to go to match the deeds of a former Donna and Dean Logan stable star but she's heading in the right direction.
The filly added yesterday's Group Two New Zealand Bloodstock Royal Stakes at Ellerslie to her record and will now follow a similar programme toward the Group One New Zealand Derby, won last year by another Logan-trained
daughter of Ekraar in Habibi.
"It was a big blow to the stable when she was sold but we've been fortunate enough to get this filly," Donna Logan said.
Like Habibi, Rising Romance won the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial, over 1500 metres in late November, as a lead-up and she would have tried to emulate her former barnmate's victory in the Group Two Sound Championship Stakes but for a wide gate.
"I wanted to run her against the boys and the draw was the only question mark," Logan said. "It's forward to the Derby and she'll follow the Habibi trail. The further she goes the better she'll get."
Rising Romance had finished third in the Group Two Eight Carat Stakes on Boxing Day with a performance that convinced Logan of her staying potential.
"I was very pleased with the run and it ticked the box of her getting over a trip," she said.
Rising Romance was ridden closer to the pace this time and she finished off strongly in the straight to win by a length and a half.
"She always showed a lot and keeps stepping up," successful rider Michael Coleman said. "She gave me a lovely ride and relaxed and quickened up when I asked her."
Lucia Valentina (NZ) (Savabeel) chased gamely in the straight to run second in her final New Zealand appearance before joining Kris Lees' Sydney stable and Royal Dominance (NZ) (Shinko King) took third money from Her Choice (NZ) (Coats Choice), who hit the front early in the run home.

Race ARC Royal S. Gr.2 2000m
Winner Rising Romance (NZ) 2010
Owners B H & N J Carter and M R Powell
Trainer Donna & Dean Logan (Ruakaka)
Breeding by Ekraar (USA) out of Post Romance by
Postponed (USA)
Breeder Carter Bloodstock Ltd

2/1/2014 Chintz home in Rich Hill mile

Mark Du Plessis coaxes enough from Chintz (nearest camera) to squeeze out a nose win from Jubilate in yesterday's Rich Hill Mile.

Cambridge trainer Tony Pike delivered a super late Christmas present to parents Wayne and Vicki when he and training partner Mark Donoghue produced Chintz (NZ) (Savabeel) to score narrowly in the Group Two
Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie yesterday.
Bred and owned by the trio, the four-year-old mare backed up from a narrow defeat on Boxing Day to collar pacemaker Jubilate (NZ) (Falkirk) in the shadows of the post with outsider Fortune Knight (Compton Place) flashing home
late for third.
After settling on a steady speed set by Jubilate and Diademe (NZ) (Savabeel), rider Mark Du Plessis angled Chintz into the middle of the track and a challenging position as the field straightened for the run home.
Jubilate kicked strongly for the evergreen Noel Harris but was caught three strides from the post as Du Plessis extracted every ounce of effort from his gallant charge.
"I guess it's an added bonus to own a share in them when you win a race like this," Pike said, "but I'm just thrilled for my parents.
"We thought this was our best chance in the race when the rain came and it proved right as Sacred Star loomed up to win but just couldn't produce the finish in that ground that we know he has.
"The light weight she carried was also a real assist and I think it was a major factor in the finish as you need every advantage you can get to win a race like this.
"It was also a super ride by Mark, who got her well positioned and into the right part of the track. All in all, you couldn't be happier with how things panned out."
The win took Chintz's race record to five wins from just twelve career starts and tipped her total stake earnings over the $100,000 mark.

2/1/2014 Mosquito seals Auckland cup bid

James McDonald gets Mosquito (15) home for the narrowest of wins over Chaparrone and Danielle Johnson in the City of Auckland Cup. Between them, home-turn leader Storming The Tower fights on well for his third placing

James McDonald put aside the disappointment of missing a Group One win with the Donna and Dean Logan-trained Durham Town to provide the next best thing with a superb ride on their rising stayer Mosquito (NZ) (Golan) in the Group Two Scot Thrust City of Auckland Cup.
Rain on the day blunted the chances of Durham Town in the Railway Stakes as he finished a gallant fourth, but it played into the hands of Mosquito, who scored by a nose in a driving finish from 2013 Auckland Cup place-getter
Chaparrone (NZ) (High Chaparral), with a neck back to Storming The Tower (NZ) (Storm Creek).
Race favourite More Than Sacred (More Than Ready) finished a further length and a half back in fourth after a brave run on a track that had been softened by a heavy shower earlier in the day.
"I thought I could win the Railway on Durham Town but that wasn't to be so it was nice to get this win for the Logans and the owners," McDonald said.
The win qualified the five-year-old for a start in this season's Auckland Cup, with the first three runners home exempt from any ballot for that race.
"Actually this race was a little of an afterthought as the Auckland Cup has been our main mission all the way along," Donna Logan said.
"I thought he was a super place bet today but wasn't confident he could beat a couple of these. But it was a lovely ride by James and in the end he did just enough."
Logan, who owns a share in Mosquito, will now aim the gelding at the 2200 metre Karaka Stayers Cup at Ellerslie on Karaka Million night at the end of the month before determining his final lead-in race to the Auckland Cup, to be
held on March 5.

Race ARC City of Auckland Cup Gr.2 2400m
Winner Mosquito (NZ) 2008
Owners Donna Logan, S Scott and Ashley Goodwin
Trainer Donna & Dean Logan (Ruakaka)
Breeding by Golan (IRE) out of Tiger Moth by Sky Chase
Breeder Dr J L Sprague
Sales 2010 National Yearling Sale, Select Session; V:
Phoenix Park, P: D M Logan Racing Stables Ltd;

30/12/2013 Fillies Feature on New Year’s Day

The Group 2 $100,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Royal Stakes will see the fillies battle out the sixth leg of the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series with a further 8 points up for grabs for the successful filly on New Year’s Day.
It will be the first time the fillies have stepped up to a middle distance journey with the Royal Stakes run over 2000m. The last five legs of the Filly of the Year Series will see all bar one race run over 2000m or further culminating in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) on 15 March.
A field of 16 horses has been attracted for the Group 2 feature that will see 14 horses go to the post with 2 ballots hoping to gain a start through scratchings. There are three fillies backing up from the Group 2 Eight Carat Stakes that was run on Boxing Day and a further three fillies are backing up from the Group 2 Great Northern Guineas run on the same day.
At the top of the book is the third placegetter in the Eight Carat Classic Rising Romance (NZ) (Ekraar). Trained by Donna & Dean Logan, the filly by Ekraar is in good form having won her previous two races including a Listed victory before her last start third and jumps from barrier 7. Rising Romance currently sits in equal seventh position on the Series Leaderboard with 2 points.
The current fifth place holder in the Series is Whistling Dixie (NZ) (Pins) with six points following her Group 3 Eulogy Stakes victory two starts ago. The Graeme and Debbie Rogerson trained filly led the field in the Eight Carat Stakes before finishing sixth. She will start from barrier three in the Royal Stakes for jockey Michael Walker.
The Stephen Marsh trained Lucia Valentina (NZ) (Savabeel) started as race-favourite in the Group 2 Great Northern Guineas on Boxing Day however found trouble in the slowly run race and clipped heals causing her to fall. The daughter of Savabeel was an impressive winner of the Group 3 Wellington Stakes at her previous start and has drawn barrier 5 for rider Leith Innes.
One horse that was severely hampered by the fall of Lucia Valentina in the Great Northern Guineas was Total Response (NZ) (Kheleyf) and her run can be forgiven. The filly trained by Mike Moroney and Chad Ormsby was a winner of her two previous starts however has drawn barrier 15 for leading rider Opie Bosson.
Upset last start winner Nigelissima (NZ) (Pentire) broke maidens with victory in the Listed Championship Stakes Prelude over 2100m. The Pentire filly has already proven her staying ability unlike most fillies in the field that are untried over a middle distance. Trained by Jeff McVean an
d Emma-Lee Browne, Nigelissima will once again be ridden by Alysha Collet from barrier 8.
Taranaki visitor Celtic Woman (NZ) (Keeper) carries a consistent form line having recorded a win and two second placings from her last three starts. The John Wheeler trained filly will be ridden by Jonathan Riddell from barrier 2.
Donna & Dean Logan have a strong hand in the race with Telepathic (NZ) (Mossman) also representing the stable. The Mossman filly was fifth in the Eight Carat Classic, the first time she has finished outside of the top two placings in her four start career.
Roger James does not have Eight Carat Classic winner Hera engaged in the race but is represented by Cape Mapperley (NZ) (Thorn Park) in the Royal Stakes. A winner three stars back, the daughter of Thorn Park was a brave third last start and will be ridden by Josh Adams from barrier 9.
Royal Dominance (NZ) (Shinko King) ran a strong race in the Great Northern Guineas after being hampered at the 600m mark to finish a sound fifth. The filly by Shinko King has the advantage of barrier 1 and will be ridden by Rory Hutchings.
Matamata trained trio High Viz (NZ) (Perfectly Ready), Orsmunda (O’Reilly) and Persuasive (NZ) (Darci Brahma) enter the race as lightly raced fillies that have all won one race each. Persuasive will have the services of leading international rider James McDonald.
Satay (NZ) (Keeper) has the benefit of already racing over 2100m when she was third behind race rival Nigelissima in the Listed Championship Stakes Prelude. The Keeper filly will jump from an inside barrier of four and is to be ridden by Trudy Thornton.
Just making the field is Her Choice (NZ) (Coats Choice) a winner of one race. The Nicholas Bishara trained filly has drawn the outside barrier of 16 in the race.
The two ballots hoping to gain entry into the race are Matagouri (NZ) (High Chaparral) and maiden filly Perfect Rose (NZ) (Perfectly Ready).
The winner of the Group 2 New Zealand Bloodstock Royal Stakes will collect 8 points in the Filly of the Year Series with second placing earning 4 points and third picking up 2 points.
Costa Viva (Encosta de Lago) currently sits at the top of the Filly of the Year Series Leaderboard with 19 points ahead of Bounding (Lonhro) who will contest the Group 1 Railway Stakes on New Year’s Day.

30/12/2013 Top English trainer in Nz for Summer break

One of Great Britain's leading training talents is enjoying a two- week summer holiday in New Zealand after a friendship forged over thirty years ago brought about an opportunity to visit the country for the first time.
Born in Scotland, Mark Johnston's interest in racing began with his father's ownership of thoroughbred racehorses and by age 14 he knew he was destined for the training ranks.
Before he commenced his training career he took the opportunity to study for a veterinarian qualification in Glasgow in 1978 where he met fellow student Douglas Black and established a life-long friendship.
Black moved to New Zealand in 1986 and during a return to Glasgow by the Hamilton Veterinary Services Director in November to celebrate the thirty year reunion of their 1983 graduation, Black convinced Johnston to spend a two-week sojourn in his adopted homeland.
"Martin said he would have about 12-14 days break around this time and wondered if he could fit in a visit to both Australia and here so I said to him not to bother with the Aussies and just come directly here" laughed Black.
Since commencing training in 1987 Johnston has quickly established himself as a star of the British flat racing scene where he has produced over one hundred winners each season for the past 19 years. In 2009 he became the first
trainer to produce over 200 flat winners in a season and has replicated that feat in 3 of the next 4 years.
He currently totals just on 3200 career wins, around 1000 shy of the all time leading mark in British racing.
This year he is sitting on 216 victories and needs just one more winner to establish a new record for the stable.
"We've got three more racedays to get the one win to set the record so hopefully we can achieve it," said Johnston.
While Johnston had not been to New Zealand before he was well aware of the quality of the New Zealand bred racehorse after several unsuccessful attempts on the world famous Melbourne Cup for his international client base.
"We've had a few goes at the Melbourne Cup with Double Trigger, who started favourite in 1995, probably one that New Zealand punters would remember while our last attempt was with Jukebox Jury in 2011," he said.
"It's a very big and expensive task to get a horse down to Australia for the race and we have learnt a lot along the way but it does hold a real fascination for a number of our international owners so I wouldn't rule out seeing us there
Johnston was quick to point out that he was thoroughly enjoying the racing based activities that he had engaged in since arriving in the country.
"We've managed to fit in a day at the races at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and some time at several studs and racing operations and I've thoroughly enjoyed everything we've seen so far," he commented.
"We've had an opportunity to see a number of yearlings at Pencarrow Stud, Brighthill Farm and Cambridge Stud and they are simply outstanding. We don't buy horses at this age in the UK so I have taken particular interest in their
preparation and just how superbly they are presented.
"I also got to meet Zabeel at Cambridge Stud which was a real highlight as his record and reputation on the international breeding and racing stage is hugely impressive."
Johnston was also intrigued by some of the unique features of the New Zealand breeding scene.
"I had the opportunity to spend an evening at the Te Akau Farm property of David Ellis and I am fascinated with the sheep and cattle operation they run there along with the racing arm as there is nothing like that back at home."
Over the next week Johnston and his son who has accompanied him on the trip will spend time exploring the South Island before returning home to Middleham for the start of the new British racing season.
"We had heard so much about how green and wonderful New Zealand was and that reputation is well deserved," he said.

Leading British trainer Mark Johnston (left) with longtime friend Douglas Black

30/12/2013 Lucky Feather impressive at Ellerslie

Lucky Feather and Kelly Myers winning comfortably at Ellerslie on Saturday

Impressive winner Lucky Feather (NZ) justified the faith his co-trainer Toby Autridge has in him when he put to rest any queries over his ability to handle a firm track with an authorative victory in rating 65 company at Ellerslie on Saturday.
The Darci Brahma gelding had finished third in three-yearold stakes company at his two most recent starts which were both on rain affected tracks and lent credence to the theory that he was at his best on wet ground.
"I've always said this horse would be better on top of the ground so I hope his win has put to rest the whispers that he is only a wet tracker," said Autridge.
"He had won his maiden on a heavy track but after he ran third in the Wellington Guineas, Darryl Bradley came back in and said the horse wanted a good track to show his best.
"Cyril (training partner Cyril Goodwin) and I have both thought he would be best on top of the ground and we were keen for him to show that so the win has hopefully vindicated our opinion of him."
Autridge was also delighted in the ride of substitute jockey Kelly Myers who was filling in for Leith Innes after Innes was stood down for the rest of the day following race 5 on the card.
"It was a super ride by Kelly who listened to what we told her and followed the instructions perfectly," explained Autridge.
"Mind you she did have a hairy moment when she dropped the reins around 150 metres from the post but once she gathered them up again he pulled away at the finish."
It was the second time in a row that the gelding had carried a substitute rider after Matt Cameron replaced Craig Grylls in the Gr. 3 Wellington Stakes before finishing third behind Lucia Valentina (NZ) (Savabeel).
Autridge will now set Lucky Feather for the Gr. 1 Levin Classic at Trentham on the 18th of January with the rating points gained from his Ellerslie win lifting him into a guaranteed starting spot in the field.

30/12/2013 Revelator on song for Taupo Cup

The prospect of a wet track at Taupo today is the only factor that has co-trainer Chad Ormsby in two minds about rugged stayer Revelator's chances in the feature race on the programme, the Harcourts Taupo Cup (1950m).
Although initially disappointed with the five-year-old gelding's most recent run at Te Rapa where he finished near the rear of the field, Ormsby has since revised his opinion on the race. "He didn't get a lot of luck at Te Rapa as he was wide for a fair portion of the race while they also walked along in front and then sprinted home so he didn't really get an opportunity to show his best," he noted.
"I can't fault his work since that race and he had been building up to a win beforehand so I guess we just carry on and hope it was just one of those days.
"At this stage the only question I have is how he will go on a wet track however he is pretty tough and rock hard fit so I think he should handle it."
The Moroney and Ormsby team have another three runners entered today although the weather will have a bearing on how many of those take their place in the barriers.
"Spitting Image is a duffer on a wet track so if the rain continues he won't line-up in the second," said Ormsby.
"However it will suit Passing Parade who won nicely last time and has won on a heavy track so he will be a good chance with the apprentice claim he gets with Michael Dee riding.
"Our last runner is Suspicious Minds in race eight who is a really lovely filly that won't be a maiden for much longer as we expect her to win a race at short notice."
Ormsby will also be looking for a change of luck for promising three-year-old filly Total Response (NZ) (Kheleyf) when she tackles the Gr. 2 New Zealand Bloodstock Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on New Year's Day.
The filly was badly hampered when favourite Lucia Valentina (NZ) (Savabeel) stumbled and fell during the running of the Gr. 2 Championship Stakes on Boxing Day.
"You can write that run off as she didn't get much of a go at them after the fall while she was also checked early in the race," he said.
"She came through it okay and we definitely think she has the ability to match it at that level so we are hoping for a top run with some good luck thrown in as well."

Matamata trainer Chad Ormsby cuts a picture of sartorial elegance at Ellerslie on Boxing Day

29/12/2013 Grouse Old Horse wins Timaru Cup

A late decision to let El Chico (NZ) (Stravinsky) take his chance in the Listed Timaru Cup proved to be a masterstroke with the Riccarton marvel once again upstaging his younger rivals.
The evergreen nine-year-old handed age, weight and a beating to his rivals in the Coupland's Bakeries-sponsored feature at the Phar Lap Raceway yesterday afternoon for the nineteenth victory of his 93-start career.
"John Parsons and I were talking this morning and he said he was pulling Arietta out – at 6.55am I wasn't going to run because of the track. It was only when Arietta scratched that I decided to stay in," trainer Michael Pitman said.
"He's been very unlucky in this race before and he's just a grouse old horse."
Rider Terry Moseley sat El Chico off the speed and came with a well-timed finish in the straight to down the pacemaker Dr Dee Bee (NZ) (Captain Rio), who was in receipt of two kilos. "It was a beautiful ride by Terry," Pitman said.
He races the old-timer with John and Evelyn Carran and the gelding's lifetime earnings have topped $450,000.
"I bought him as a country cups horse – we only paid $20,000 for him – and he's won fourteen races for us now,"
Pitman said. "He's in at Kurow and Waikouaiti so he'll run next at one of those two places."
El Chico won his first two races when based in the North Island and was also successful for Ashburton trainer Jan Hay before he joined the Pitman team.
He has subsequently won at Group Three level in the Easter Cup and the Stewards Stakes and collected the Listed Timaru Stakes but a career high performance came in defeat at Trentham last year when he ran third to Guiseppina in the Group One Telegraph Handicap.
While best known as a sprinter-miler, El Chico has also displayed versatility and has made his mark over ground in open handicap company. "He's won over 2000 metres at Riccarton and went 2:01.19," Pitman said. "He's just a great old horse."

Michael Pitman . . . late decision pays off.

Race South Canterbury RC Timaru Cup L 1600m
Winner El Chico (NZ) 2004
Owners Mrs E A & J G Carran and M R Pitman
Trainer Michael Pitman (Riccarton)
Breeding by Stravinsky (USA) out of Las Chicas Buenas by Classic Fame (USA)
Breeder R Lam

29/12/2013 Trepidation's hopes rise for tilt at Telegraph

Trepidation is full of running as she carries Kelly Myers to a comprehensive victory at Ellerslie yesterday.

Matamata mare Trepidation (NZ) (Falkirk) laid a ghost to rest when she made a scintillating return to racing at Ellerslie yesterday and in the process confirmed a trip away for a crack at a Group One sprinting feature.
The five-year-old blitzed a small but tidy field in the Rating 85 Stella Artois 1200 in her first appearance since a nightmare experience at Hastings in the spring when she was severely checked and was lucky to stay on her feet.
"She nearly went over the fence and was sore in the hip after she rode the rail for three or four strides," said Paul Shailer, who prepares the mare with his brother Kris.
"This was a bit of a test to see whether she would come back and quite obviously she has. She showed a great turn of foot and was super impressive. Hopefully that will get her enough points to sneak into the Telegraph."
Trepidation has already showed a fondness for Trentham, having won a Rating 75 event on the course at this year's Wellington Cup meeting before returning in March for a runner-up finish in the Listed Lightning Handicap.
"She loves the straight there so hopefully we're heading for the Telegraph in great shape," Shailer said.
Any pre-race concern that the race wouldn't be run at a decent clip were quickly dispelled when noted front runners Miko (NZ) (Jungle Pocket) and So Wotif (NZ) (Iffraaj) failed to get past Alvesta (General Nediym) in an early speed duel.
Trepidation travelled well three back on the fence before jockey Kelly Myers angled her away from the rail before the turn.
When asked for her effort, the mare accelerated smartly to hit the front 250 metres out and she waltzed home by three and a half lengths.
"She was really impressive," Myers said. "It was perfect and there was genuine speed – you're never quite sure in these small fields. She needed that and she came to the end of it half-way up the straight."
Alvesta battled on for her distant second ahead of Miko and Perfect Start (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) with the odds-on favourite So Wotif a disappointment in beating only Gaston (Charge Forward) home.

Race ARC Stella Artois H. 1200m
Winner Trepidation (NZ) 2008
Owners Windsor Park Stud Ltd
Trainer Paul & Kris Shailer (Matamata)
Breeding by Falkirk out of Rebellious Angel by Success
Express (USA)
Breeder Windsor Park Stud Ltd

29/12/2013 Ellerslie quinella softens blow of star's horror Railway draw

The barrier draw for Wednesday's Railway Stakes did the Bruce Wallace team no favours but at least they were able to celebrate a royal result on the middle day of the Auckland carnival.
Rising stable star Shezhardtocatch will have the job ahead of her on New Year's Day after the last-start Concorde Handicap winner was handed a horror gate in the Group One feature.
"She was all good until she drew 13 so we'll have to sit down and make a plan," Wallace's stable representative Allan Peard said.
There were no such problems for the Byerley Park operation yesterday when their runners Travel Wise (NZ) (One Cool Cat) and Endorsement (Nadeem) enjoyed easy runs to quinella the Rating 85 Coca-Cola Mile.
Going to the front, Travel Wise set a gentle tempo and then sprinted from Endorsement would lead but it didn't matter," Peard said.
"They are both honest and it was a good result. Travel Wise had no luck last start when he was caught three wide and Endorsement is a professional placegetter and always puts in a good race. Hopefully he'll
get one soon as well."
Raced by Wallace and Hong Kongbased Dr Gene Tsoi, Travel Wise was capably handled by Rory Hutchings.
"We jumped well and I let him slide to the front and went as slow as I could," he said. "He kicked hard."
Meanwhile, the best backed runner on the Ellerslie card gave his supporters a fright before gaining a slender victory in the Lindauer Maiden. Altius (NZ) (Savabeel) had been relegated after winning on
debut a fortnight earlier and got the job done this time by a nose.
"We thought it would be the other way around and"I don't know how good he is – he is a massive horse and he's got gate speed to burn," trainer Tony Cole said. "He's a superb animal."

Rory Hutchings . . . telling how he got the win on Travel Wise.

Race ARC Coca-Cola Mile H. 1600m
Winner Travel Wise (NZ) 2009
Owners Dr G W Tsoi and B J Wallace
Trainer Bruce Wallace (Byerley Park)
Breeding by One Cool Cat (USA) out of Lady Fashion by Stravinsky (USA)
Breeder Standard 2080 Ltd

29/12/2013 The Bounty Hunter joins KM Posse

No doubt with next month's Magic Millions in mind, Sam Spratt makes sure The Bounty Hunter runs the 1200 metres right out as he takes yesterday's maiden juvenile.

Sam Spratt couldn't have wished for a smoother comeback from injury than her easy time aboard the speedy juvenile The Bounty Hunter (NZ) (Any Suggestion) at Ellerslie yesterday – making all the play in the
Countdown to Karaka Million 2YO before spread-eagling the field in the straight with a seven and a half length margin over the chasers at the post.
It was Spratt's first ride back since being sidelined with a broken cheek bone, concussion and bruising following a December 7 fall on the Auckland track – her mount Moozoon shying and ducking inward when leading and unseating the 28-year-old in front of several following runners.
Yesterday, Spratt allowed The Bounty Hunter to run along at the head of the field before slipping clear once into the straight, from where they turned the race into a procession.
"He did that nicely and he was still a bit green in the straight," she said. "He's got a bit of strengthening to do and will improve."
Palace Rock (NZ) (Fastnet Rock), a full-sister to the Listed Newmarket Handicap placegetter Albany Reunion, was a distant runner-up ahead of the debutant Rockfast (Fastnet Rock).
The Bounty Hunter is now among the top twelve qualifiers for the $1 million Karaka Million on January 26, although he is not yet a certain starter.
"We'll press on to it if we don't sell him," co-trainer Michael Rogers said. "He's always showed us a lot and we think quite a bit of him.
"There's one more race here at Ellerslie before the Million if we think he needs it, but he's a clean-winded horse and we'll see how he comes through this race."
The stable has regularly traded young horses, among them Buckland Boy, who won two of his four juvenile starts for the stable before his sale to Hong Kong interests.

Race ARC Countdown Karaka Million Maiden S. 1200m
Winner The Bounty Hunter (NZ) 2011
Owners Miss G P & M F Rogers and Miss J A Wilson
Trainer M, M F & M L Rogers (Pukekohe)
Breeding by Any Suggestion (AUS) out of Split the Night
by Senor Pete (USA)
Breeder Hudson Rees Ltd
Sales 2013 National Yearling Sale, Festival Sale;
V: Oxford Thoroughbreds Ltd, P: M Rogers;

27/12/2013 Historian all the way in Zabeel classic win

After making the pace for the entire 2000 metres of the Zabeel Classic, Historian (purple jacket) produces a final effort for Matt Cameron to hold out the strong finishing O'Fille (head showing) and Soriano (rails).

Top international jockey James McDonald would have gained a good degree of satisfaction from afar when a gritty Historian (NZ) (Choisir) landed a Group One blow at Ellerslie yesterday.
McDonald had partnered the six-year-old when seventh in the Group Two Coupland's Bakeries Mile at Riccarton last month and gave trainer Gary Alton good reason to set his sights on the weight-for-age feature.
"James said he would love to ride him in a Group One over 2000 metres," Alton said. "I was a bit sceptical but he was right and this is a great horse."
Historian's previous four wins, including the Group One Thorndon Mile, had been at distances up to 1600 metres and, with a ride yesterday McDonald himself would have been proud of, the six-year-old got home by a narrow margin for Matt Cameron.
"The idea was, if he got to the front, to put the pressure on at the half-mile and he kept rolling along," Alton said.
"He got well and truly headed but he's got a lot of ticker and we only ever work him on the water walker. We knew he was well and it was a really good effort."
Historian stuck to his task grimly under pressure in the straight and rallied valiantly to take a long head decision off the Wanganui mare O'Fille (NZ) (O'Reilly).
"It's been a long time between drinks for me in a Group One and it's good to get one on such an honest horse and he deserves it," Cameron said.
"He had a nice breather down the back. He's got a pretty big head and is hard to get past.
"He got a bit off balance on the turn when I went for him and he lost a bit of momentum; but he's tough and got me out of it."
Historian's outward movement allowed Soriano (NZ) (Savabeel) to get up along the fence and she fought well for third ahead of Viadana (NZ) (Towkay) and Shuka (NZ) (Bachelor Duke).

Race ARC Zabeel Classic Gr.1 2000m
Winner Historian (NZ) 2007
Owners Ngai Chun-Hung
Trainer Gary Alton (Cambridge)
Breeding by Choisir (Aus) out of Cyclonic (Aus) by
Breeder Bledisloe Bloodstock Ltd
Sales 2009 NZ National Yearling Sale, Select Session;
V: Lyndhurst Farm, P: Mr Chun Hung Ngai;

27/12/2013 Hera joins Filly of the Year race

Apprentice Michael Dee asks Hera for more as the post looms and Costa Viva keeps coming in yesterday's Eight Carat Classic at Ellerslie.

Talented filly Hera (NZ) (O'Reilly) added spice to the race for the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year title when she stormed into third place on the series points table with a narrow but well deserved win in the
Group Two Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic at Ellerslie yesterday.
The nuggety filly was clearly headed by favourite Costa Viva (Encosta de Lago) early in the run home but fought back in a dour battle to hold the favourite out by a neck with Rising Romance (NZ) (Ekraar) running on stoutly for third.
A stakes winner on the track as a two-year-old, Hera was notching her second black-type victory for trainer Roger James and long-time stable clients Ron and Fran Dixon.
"She's been a brave filly all the way through although a little small in stature," James said.
"She didn't really fire at the start of the spring but has come along well lately and it was a good effort to fight back today when she was headed."
The race was a lucky bonus for apprentice rider Michael Dee, who picked up the ride on Hera after her original jockey, Josh Adams, was unwell and couldn't take up his rides on the day.
"It's a huge moment as it was a pick-up ride and I'm thankful to Mr James and the owners for having faith in me," Dee said.
"It was a gutsy effort as she gave me plenty when the favourite headed me and I think on that effort she might get over more ground."
James wasn't rushing to decide where he would start Hera next but he indicated a start in the Group Two Royal Stakes, over 2000 metres on New Year's Day, wasn't on the agenda.
Costa Viva picked up four points in the Filly of the Year series to lead with 19 points overall, six in front of the Matamata filly Bounding, with Hera now in third on eight points. The Royal Stakes is the next race in the series, which
culminates with the Group One New Zealand Oaks at Trentham in March.

Race ARC Eight Carat Classic Gr.2 1600m
Winner Hera (NZ) 2010
Owners Mrs F E & R A Dixon
Trainer Roger James (Cambridge)
Breeding by O'Reilly out of Corsica by Centaine (Aus)
Breeder G J Chittick
Sales 2012 National Yearling Sale, Select Session; V:
Waikato Stud Ltd, P: R A James; $28,000

27/12/2013 Puccini continues improvement

Mark Du Plessis gives a low-level fist pump in appreciation of Puccini's big-hearted effort to hold all challengers at bay in the Great Northern Guineas.

Puccini (NZ) (Encosta de Lago) has a long way to go to emulate the racing deeds of his half-brother but the three-year-old has time on his side and co-trainer Peter McKay is confident the colt can make it all the way to the top.
The sibling to six-time Group One winner Sir Slick (NZ) (Volksraad) posted his most important success to date when he won an incident-packed Group Two Lindauer Great Northern Guineas at Ellerslie yesterday.
"Sir Slick took a while to win his Group Ones," said McKay, who prepares Puccini with his son Jacob at Matamata.
"I've always had a lot of faith in the horse and he went a couple of nice races as a two-year-old and again this season.
"His run in the Two Thousand Guineas was huge – he knuckled over at the start and then came wide on the turn and just kept coming."
Puccini finished fourth in the Riccarton feature and had pleased McKay with his progress since, including an encouraging trial at Cambridge earlier this month.
"Leith Innes rode him and said he'd improved out of sight and he'd be a nice stayer."
Yesterday, Puccini crossed from a wide gate to sit outside the leader and, after taking control half-way down the straight, fought on valiantly for jockey Mark Du Plessis to beat the genuine Gobi Ranger (Tale of the Cat) and
the stablemates Chambord (NZ) (Zabeel) and Aspen (NZ) (Alamosa).
"He'll go down for the Levin Classic next and I'll step him up to 2000 metres in the Waikato Guineas and then aim for the Derby," McKay said.
The race was marred by the fall of the favourite Lucia Valentina (NZ) (Savabeel), who was racing in tight quarters across the top when she went down. Rider Leith Innes was stood down from his remaining rides with a wrist injury.

Race ARC Great Northern Guineas Gr.2 1600m
Winner Puccini (NZ) 2010
Owners Monovale Holdings Ltd
Trainer Peter & Jacob McKay (Matamata)
Breeding by Encosta de Lago (Aus) out of Miss Opera by
Paris Opera (Aus)
Breeder Monovale Holdings Ltd
Sales 2011 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed
Sale; V: Monovale Farm, P: New Zealand
Bloodstock Ltd; $175,000

27/12/2013 Civics Rock overcomes wide drawand big weight to win

A wide draw and topweight of 59kg was not enough to deny consistent sprinter Civics Rock (NZ) (Civics) victory in the Listed Hallmark Stud Newmarket Handicap at Ellerslie yesterday – but it was an awfully closerun thing.
As anxious connections of the first three placegetters waited for the judge's decision, the tension rose as the minutes ticked by.

Civics Rock and Michael Walker are the meat in the sandwich as they try to overhaul Statham (red cap) and keep out Albany Reunion (nearest camera) in the last few desperate strides of the Newmarket Handicap.

Trainer Ralph Manning was one who wouldn't be drawn on a predicted result until the official call went in his favour.
"It was close but I was hoping he had put his head down at the right time," a relieved Manning said.
"He probably does deserve the win as he's done it tough from a wide draw and carried topweight, so it was a gutsy effort.
"Funnily enough, as he's got older he's gone from being an out-and-out mudder to preferring a drier track."
The five-year-old settled with only one behind him early in the race and it wasn't until well into the straight that rider Michael Walker angled for a run through the middle of the pack and set out after Statham (NZ) (Danroad), who had hit the front with 200 metres to run.
In a desperate finish, Civics Rock bobbed at the right time to deny Statham by a nose, with a further half head back to the favourite Albany Reunion (Fastnet Rock), who made his run alongside the eventual winner.
The 1200 metre journey was cut out in 1:10.30, with the last 600 metres in 34.89 seconds.
Michael Walker was another who didn't know what the photo-finish would reveal.
"I thought I got my head down on the line but it was close," he said. "He's not a big horse but he carries weight well."
It was the second win for Walker since his return from Australia for a short stint riding in New Zealand around the Christmas holiday period.

27/12/2013 Diamond shines in Wingatui gloom

The result that earned The Diamond One favouritism for yesterday's stakes race at Wingatui . . . a half-neck second to Arietta in the Canterbury Breeders Stakes at Riccarton last month

Quality shone through at Wingatui yesterday when the talented four-year-old The Diamond One (Tale of the Cat) overcame testing conditions for a deserved and timely black-type success to go with her impressive pedigree.
On a track that was downgraded from a Slow 9 to a Heavy 11, the daughter of dual Group One winner The Jewel (Waikato International Stakes, New Zealand One Thousand Guineas) was too good for her rivals in the Listed BP2GO Alco Motors Handicap, coming from last turning in to win going away by three-quarters of a length.
The Steve Anderton-trained mare has now won four times from ten appearances, the winning form backed up by a fourth in last season's One Thousand Guineas and a runner-up finish at her most recent appearance in the Listed Canterbury Breeders' Stakes.
The Diamond One is raced by her breeders the Dennis brothers, who will offer her half-brother by the ill-fated champion sire Thorn Park as Lot 305 in the Phoenix Park draft during the Premier session at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2014 National Yearling Sales.
The Val Christophers-bred, owned and trained Belle D'Or (NZ) (Danzighill) had earlier won the Mad Butcher Otago Cup for the sixth victory of her career to deny local trainers Brian and Shane Anderton a running double.
They had won the Speights Guineas Prelude with the progressive Include (NZ) (Gallant Guru) before News Flash, also by their resident White Robe Lodge stallion Gallant Guru, finished runner-up to Belle D'Or.
Brian Anderton believes Include can develop into a New Zealand Oaks prospect and will now look to step the filly up over more ground in the near future.

Race Otago RC Eclipse S. L 1200m
Winner The Diamond One (Aus) 2009
Owners A G, K C, M C & P R Dennis
Trainer Steve Anderton (Wingatui)
Breeding by Tale of the Cat (USA) out of The Jewel by O'Reilly
Breeder Mr A Dennis

24/12/2013 Fillies Set for Boxing Day Battle

The country’s three-year-old fillies reach the halfway point of the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series on Boxing Day with the running of the Group 2 Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic at Ellerslie.
Race five of the ten-race Series has attracted the strongest field so far, with two Group 1 winners lining up with a host of lightly raced fillies that have shown enormous potential with winning records in the 11-horse field.
Current Series leader Costa Viva (Encosta de Lago) will attempt to build on her two point lead following her last start victory in the Group 1 NZB 1000 Guineas at Riccarton. The Jason Bridgman trained filly has not been seen since winning at the elite level on 16 November however did win a trial at Cambridge earlier this month in preparation. She currently sits on 15 Series points, two ahead of Bounding.
The other Group 1 winner in the field is Recite (NZ) (Darci Brahma) who will carry the number one saddle cloth. The Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes winner as a two-year-old has had one start this preparation, finishing second to the highly-touted Kawi at Wellington earlier in December. The John Bary trained filly has the services of leading rider Opie Bosson from barrier 4.
Roger James has a two-pronged attack at the Group 2 feature with Hera (NZ) (O’Reilly) and Miss Foxwood (Fastnet Rock) carrying the hopes of the stable. Hera was a last start second in the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial Stakes at Ellerslie and is a stakes winning two-year-old. Ridden by Australian jockey Joshua Adams, Hera has drawn well in barrier 2.
Miss Foxwood was last seen running fourth in the Group 1 NZB 1000 Guineas behind race rival Costa Viva. The daughter of champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock has only had five starts and has been competitive against the best three-year-olds this season. She will jump from barrier 9 for Rory Hutchings.
Last start Group 3 Eulogy Stakes winner Whistling Dixie (NZ) (Pins) earned six points in the Series for her victory on 14 December, placing her fourth overall to date. The Group 3 victory capped a consistent and sometimes unlucky campaign. The filly has drawn the outside barrier of 11 and has the services of leading rider Leith Innes.
Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial winner Rising Romance (NZ) (Ekraar) got under the guard of punters when paying $35 on the Ellerslie track last start. The stakes victory was a particularly good effort as she was held up for much of the straight and rider Michael Coleman sticks with the Donna & Dean Logan trained filly.
The partnership of Donna & Dean Logan also has Telepathic (NZ) (Mossman) engaged in the race. The Mossman filly has been consistent in her three-start career winning once and finishing second at her two other appearances. To be ridden by Mark du Plessis, Telepathic has drawn the ace barrier on Thursday.
Jason Bridgman has a worthy second stringer to Costa Viva with the promising Flirty Gertey (NZ) (Thorn Park) also in the race. The daughter of Thorn Park was narrowly beaten on debut and in her two starts since has won both races for a combined winning margin of six lengths. With stable jockey Matthew Cameron riding Costa Viva Kelly Myers has been engaged to ride the filly from barrier 7.
The undefeated Procurement (NZ) (O’Reilly) enters the race with a big reputation following two impressive wins at her first two starts for trainer Stephen Marsh. The O’Reilly filly has never tasted defeat, winning two trials before making her raceday debut and is the unknown factor having come through the grades. Procurement is a close second favourite currently to Costa Viva and Danielle Johnson will once again ride from barrier seven.
The stable of Mike Moroney and Chad Ormsby round out the field with their two runners Total Response (NZ) (Kheleyf) and Stella’s Honour (NZ) (O’Reilly), both horses owned by prominent stud farms from Australia and New Zealand.
Total Response, owned by Segenhoe Stud in Australia who also own Whistling Dixie, has won her last two starts in succession, appreciating the step up to a mile. Young apprentice Micheal Dee, who rode the horse well at her last start, retains the ride in the Group 2 feature from barrier 3.
Representing the sponsor, the famous silks of Sir Patrick Hogan will be carried by Stella’s Honour, an impressive winner on debut. The filly by champion sire O’Reilly was last seen chasing home Procurement at Te Rapa and has the services of returning kiwi jockey Michael Walker from barrier 8.
The winner of the Group 2 Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic will earn 8 points in the Filly of the Year Series, with 4 points allocated to second placing and 2 points for finishing third. To view the field for the Group 2 Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic, click here.
After four rounds, the Filly of the Year Series Leaderboard is tight at the top with Costa Viva only two points ahead of Bounding (Lonhro) who is not entered in the race. The only other filly in the Eight Carat Classic with points in the Series is Whistling Dixie.
A quick back-up could be on the cards for the fillies with the following leg of the Filly of the Year Series the Group 2 Royal Stakes over 2000m run on 1 January, just six days after the Eight Carat Classic.

For more information on the Filly of the Year Series and further news from New Zealand Bloodstock visit

23/12/2013 Durham Town ready for Group one assignment

Durham Town is ready for his bid at Group One glory on New Year's Day

An impressive run at last Tuesday's Te Aroha trials has Ruakaka trainer Donna Logan convinced her highclass sprinter Durham Town (NZ) (Falkirk) is ready to put his first Group One victory on the board as he gets ready to contest the Sistema Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year's Day.
Although he only finished second in the day's open class heat over 1200 metres, it was the manner in which he practically towed rider Michael Coleman to the line that put a wide smile on Logan's face and confirmed to her he was
cherry ripe for Ellerslie.
"I was absolutely delighted with the outing and I couldn't be happier with him with ten days to go until the race," said Logan.
"He travelled back beautifully from Riccarton after the Stewards and hasn't put a foot wrong as we have prepared him for Ellerslie."
James MacDonald will return from Australia to ride Durham Town in the Railway after making the commitment immediately after his win in the Gr. 3 Lindauer Stewards Stakes on the middle day of Riccarton's New Zealand Cup Carnival.
"James got off after the Stewards and said that if the horse was going to win a Group One then the Railway would be it and he was keen to come home and ride him," explained Logan.
"His ride that day at Riccarton was one of the finest you will see and when you have a jockey with the skill and class of James offer to ride your horse then you take that opportunity every time."
It will be Durham Town's third attempt at the feature Ellerslie sprint after finishing an unlucky eighth in 2012 and then third last year behind Fleur De Lune and Jetset Lad.
Meanwhile it is a case of déjà vu for Logan as she decides whether to line up promising three-year-old fillies Rising Romance (NZ) (Ekraar) and Telepathic (NZ) (Mossman) against their own sex in the Gr. 2 Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic (1600m) on Boxing Day or take on the colts and geldings in the Gr. 2 Lindauer Great Northern Guineas (1600m).
Last year Logan opted for the latter with unbeaten filly Habibi (NZ) (Ekraar) who dealt to the boys in the Guineas and then returned six days later to repeat the dose in the Gr. 2 Championship Stakes (2100m) before winning the ultimate prize in the Gr. 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) in March.
"I guess it's nice to have the option again this year and both fillies will be competitive in whichever race they contest," said Logan
"Like last year we will probably wait until race morning to see what the track is like before we decide although it would be a pretty decent Christmas present if we could get the same result as we did twelve months ago."

23/12/2013 Auckland Cup campaign on the cards for gift horse

Although now comfortably qualified for a start in the Dunstan Feeds Championship Final at Ellerslie on New Year's Day, trainer Bruce Wallace is thinking past that day to a date in March at the same venue for his exciting
staying prospect Deane Martin (NZ) (Keeper).
The four-year-old son of Keeper booked his place at Ellerslie with a stylish victory in last Saturday's Championship qualifier at Te Rapa and provided Wallace with the evidence he wouldn't be out of place in the Gr. 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) on the 5th of March.
"He was very unlucky in his last run at Ellerslie as he got stopped in his tracks when making a run in the straight so I was keen to see him get a win on Saturday as we do have some big plans for him," noted Wallace.
"I've been keen all along to look at a Cup race with him although Allan (stable foreman Allan Peard) wanted to target the Dunstan so we have prepared him for that series with a view towards the Auckland Cup later on.
"I actually think the Dunstan is a really hard race to win given how many promising horses make the final so if he can be successful there then I know he will be a serious contender for a race like the Auckland Cup."
Wallace likens the son of Keeper to his former Auckland Cup winner Able Master (NZ) (Zabeel) and believes he could be a chance in some of Australia's premier staying events next season.
"I think a race like the Metropolitan Handicap in Sydney would be perfect for him so once he completes this campaign we will spell him with the plan to takes him across the Tasman in the Spring if he develops like I think he can."
Wallace shares in the ownership of Deane Martin with Peard and a group that his foreman put together when the horse was gifted to the stable by Cambridge Stud owner Sir Patrick Hogan.
"Sir Patrick and I have had a great association over a number of years and he said to me one day that he had a Keeper gelding that I could have if I wanted him," he explained.
"I asked Allan if he could get some people together and he went out and did just that and as luck would have it they have a pretty handy horse to enjoy now."
Deane Martin is raced by a group that includes several staff from Wallace's construction company along with well known cricket commentator and former Black Cap Simon Doull.

A group of Deane Martin's owners look well pleased with their charge after an easy Te Rapa win on the weekend

23/12/2013 Reformed rogue starting to shine

Zero Tua Hundred gave his rivals a galloping lesson on the weekend.

Speedy Cambridge galloper Zero Tua Hundred (Nadeem) made it back-to-back wins with a slick victory in the Print House 1400 at Te Rapa on Saturday and continued on his path to redemption after severely testing the patience of all who have been involved with him in his career to date.
An Australian yearling purchase by Matamata trainer Peter McKay and wife Kim, the son of Nadeem proved such a handful during the breaking in process that the McKay's called in Cambridge's Sam and Jamie Beatson to try and work the oracle with the horse.
The Beatson cousins set about what seemed an impossible task and despite some harrowing experiences including Sam being "double barreled" (kicked) by the horse after he was thrown one day, they persevered and finally
managed to complete the job.
It was then that Cambridge trainer's Darrel and father Roger Lang were given the task of getting him to the races for the Beatson's who now owned the horse.
"He was just one tough hombre although I think the fact we operate a small stable and can give the horses plenty of one-on-one attention helped to turn him around," explained Darrel Lang.
"Right from day one we knew he had ability but it was going to be a massive challenge to get that on the track without hurting someone in the process.
"Thankfully he has started to mellow a bit as he has gotten older and we're now starting to see what he can do when his mind is on the job."
The initial plan was to qualify the horse for a possible sale to Hong Kong however luck ran against the gelding in his first campaign with a solitary win in a $7,000 maiden at Rotorua not enough to fulfill that criteria.
"We just couldn't crack it with him as a three-year-old so we put him aside and brought him back after a decent winter break where he really strengthened up and developed," said Lang.
"He beat a really good field at Te Aroha in his second run back and has now done it again in a super time from a bad barrier so I think he could go a lot further in this campaign with a stakes win a real possibility."
Lang will look to a $30,000 Rating 75 mile at Ellerslie on New Year's Day as the gelding's next assignment with the $100,000 Gr. 3 Darley Plate at Ellerslie on New Zealand Derby Day a longer term target.

22/12/2013 I Do puts trainer, jockey back on speaking terms

Racing luck returns to the Jonathan Riddell - Allan Sharrock combination as the consistent mare I Do scampers away for an easy win in yesterday's Manawatu Challenge Stakes.

It was a case of all's well that ends well at Awapuni for Allan Sharrock and Jonathan Riddell yesterday after they finished on good terms with another winning statement from the genuine mare I Do (NZ) (No Excuse Needed).
The trainer and jockey relationship was tested after oddson favourite Kawi was rolled in the three-year-old event and stablemate Landlord was later unlucky when beaten into fourth in the Rating 75 metric mile.
It was left to I Do to put the smiles back on their faces after she had posted a commanding victory in the Group Three Cash Converters Manawatu Challenge Stakes
"That might make up for Kawi – we weren't talking earlier," Sharrock said.
I Do was given an ideal run one off the fence by Riddell and when he asked the six-year-old for an effort in the straight she responded instantly and strode clear to beat Fritzy Boy (NZ) (Brilliance) and the pacemaker Surreal Storm
(NZ) (Storm Creek).
"It's probably the best I've had her. Her work on Thursday was enormous and she just killed them," Sharrock said.
He races the grey mare with his co-breeder Mark Chittick, of Waikato Stud, and she has now won ten of her 27 starts, with 12 further placings.
"I said to Mark we'll set her for the Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes so she'll go out for three weeks now," Sharrock said. Redemption was sweet for Riddell, who said the race unfolded perfectly for I Do and she was untroubled to stroll
clear by two and three-quarter lengths.
"This mare's got me out of trouble with Allan – she's flying," he said. "I stayed one off and followed Fritzy Boy, who always goes a game race, and once I peeled off him she did it easily." Following her miss when galloped on in the Captain Cook Stakes a fortnight ago, the southern mare Final Touch (NZ) (Kashani) was again a costly failure, settling last and running on only fairly to finish fourth.

Race Manawatu Challenge S. Gr.3 1400m
Winner I Do (NZ) 2007
Owners Allan & Kane Sharrock and Waikato Stud Ltd
Trainer S A Sharrock (New Plymouth)
Breeding by No Excuse Needed (GB) out of Freequence
by O'Reilly
Breeder S A Sharrock and Waikato Stud 2001 Ltd

22/12/2013 Derby winner still has the moves

Military Move (lime green colours) thunders home in centre track to hold out favourite Who Shot Thebarman (orange and white) in the Manawatu Cup. Santos (left) runs on well to take third.

You can't keep a top-quality stayer down as Military Move (NZ) (Volksraad) proved at Awapuni yesterday when he won another battle ahead of a sterner upcoming central districts challenge.
The former New Zealand Derby winner has come back to excellent form since his return from Hong Kong to original trainer Shaune Ritchie, who has gained immense satisfaction from the seven-year-old's current run of form.
At his first try over ground in his current campaign, Military Move won at Awapuni last month and returned to Palmerston North yesterday to triumph in the Group Three Hotel Coachman Manawatu Cup.
"The ability never goes away and any horse that can win a Derby has got a touch of class," Ritchie said. "He had a good bit of racing in Hong Kong and they backed him up a few times but I feel he's better with his races spaced." For that reason, Military Move is likely to bypass the City of Auckland Cup at Ellerslie on New Year's Day.
"We'll have a team talk but I don't think that's his go and he thrives down here in the central districts," Ritchie said.
"Waiting a month for the Wellington Cup might be the way. It's not easy to place them when they get to the top of the handicap and he is a high quality horse.
"As an older horse, he carries a bit of condition, as they often do, and he's a lovely, shiny bay and he makes me look good."
Military Move was given a cosy run back on the fence by Jonathan Riddell, who was able to steer off the rail across the top. They shouldered their way into the clear 250 metres from home and fought strongly to hold off Who Shot Thebarman (NZ) (Yamanin Vital), who was in receipt of five kilos.
Santos (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) came from last in the running to take third money ahead of Lady Platinum (NZ) (Savabeel), whose effort for a two-race winner was commendable.

Race Manawatu Cup Gr.3 2300m
Winner Military Move (NZ) 2006
Owners A P Ritchie, B A Bellingham and S E Anderson
Trainer Shaune Ritchie (Cambridge)
Breeding by Volksraad (GB) out of All Night Party by Just
a Dancer
Breeder Windsor Park Stud Ltd
Sales 2008 NZ National Yearling Sale, Select
Session; V: Windsor Park Stud, P: New Zealand
Bloodstock Ltd; $75,000
2008 Ready to Run Sale; V: Amity Lodge, P: Mr
A Lee; $110,000

22/12/2013 Kelly keen on Derby prospects

Weregoingtogetcha has swept past and is well on the way to victory for Kelly Myers as a grim-faced Jonathan Riddell and Kawi chase in vain.

If first impressions count for anything then Kelly Myers will be sticking like glue to the talented Woodville colt and Group One prospect Weregoingtogetcha (Testa Rossa).
The jockey was lavish in her praise for the three-year-old after guiding him to a commanding victory in the Rich Hill Stud Premier at Awapuni yesterday and promptly labelled him the ideal material for the New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie on March 1.
"He's definitely a really good Derby type," Myers said. "He relaxes and his turn of foot is super so it's the perfect race for him."
Settling down at the tail-end of the field, Weregoingtogetcha came with a bold finishing run in the straight for his second career victory from eight appearances.
"He travelled up well underneath me across the top and he really let down when I asked him," Myers said.
Weregoingtogetcha has always been highly rated by his part-owner and trainer David Hayes, who said the horse was now back to peak form after a setback.
"He had a fetlock injury and I only had nine weeks to get him ready for the Guineas (at Riccarton) and he was ridden upside-down there."
The colt had signalled the trip down south hadn't overtaxed him when he finished runner-up against older horses at Hastings earlier this month.
"It's the first time I've felt he's back to where he was as a two-year-old," Hayes said.
Weregoingtogetcha was a runaway three and a half length winner at Hawera last season on heavy going and Hayes has always believed the colt was better suited to firmer conditions. "I've never had any worries about him on the
good tracks," he said.
Runner-up and odds-on favourite Kawi (NZ) (Savabeel) enjoyed a good early run before he got into tight quarters. He ran on well, but far too late, once into the clear.

Race Manawatu RC Rich Hill Stud Premier 3YO.
Winner Weregoingtogetcha (Aus) 2010
Owners D Hayes and S H Prenter
Trainer David Hayes (Woodville)
Breeding by Testa Rossa (Aus) out of Sweetness 'N Light
by Entrepreneur (GB)
Breeder Patinack Farm

22/12/2013 Moneytree on way to Dunstan final after Te Rapa win

Michael Walker brings Moneytree (gold and blue colours) home close to the rails to head off Grand Admiral (left) in the open 2100m at Te Rapa yesterday.

Moneytree (NZ) (Captain Rio) produced a number of firsts when it really mattered when he was successful at Te Rapa yesterday for the father and son training combination of Keith and Brendon Hawtin.
The gelding was recording his first open company win when too good for Grand Admiral (General Nediym) in the 2100 metre White Bros Panelworks & Truck Steering Services Handicap – his first attempt at a middle distance.
Moneytree also delivered the first winning ride of his New Zealand sojourn to the Melbourne-based Michael Walker, who is combining business with a family Christmas back home.
All those factors added up to the five-year-old now moving on to his main festive-season target at Ellerslie on New Year's Day.
"It's a relief really because he's been unlucky a few times and we know how good a horse he is," Brendon Hawtin said.
"He had to win or run second to go for the Dunstan Final. Michael rode him a treat and he'll be sticking with the ship now."
Moneytree settled three back on the fence and when thesplit came in the straight he bounded between runners to hit the front 200 metres from home. He then found another kick to repel the challenge of Grand Admiral and score by a comfortable length.
Le Bon Fin (NZ) (Le Bec Fin) hit the line well for third ahead of the topweight Chaparrone (NZ) (High Chaparral), who made ground from the tail without seriously threatening.
Breaking Dawn (NZ) (Gold Mine) was another runner at Te Rapa to bridge the gap to open company when he got in the deciding stride to claim the 1600 metre Lodge Real Estate Handicap.
A placegetter in the Waikato Guineas on the course last season, the John Mason-trained four-year-old wound up late under regular rider Noel Harris to edge out Classcoroc (NZ) (Sirocco) and Powerplaya (NZ) (Bachelor Duke).

Race Waikato RC White Bros H. 2100m
Winner Moneytree (NZ) 2008
Owners G N & Mrs P E M Brindley
Trainer Keith & Brendon Hawtin (Te Awamutu)
Breeding by Captain Rio (GB) out of Tristagen by
Generous (Ire)
Breeder Chapman Farms Ltd
Sales 2010 Ready to Run Sale; V: Diamond Lodge, P:
Mr G N & Mrs P Brindley; $26,000

20/12/2013 Oulaghan to toast second Cup win

Trainer Mark Oulghan is looking for a second Manawatu Cup with Who Shot Thebarman (NZ) (Yamanin Vital) tomorrow

Rising staying star Who Shot Thebarman (NZ) (Yamanin Vital) is in the right order to make a bold bid for a second Gr.3 Hotel Coachman Manawatu Cup for his trainer Mark Oulaghan.
The lightly-raced Awapuni gelding has thrived since his unbeaten visit to Riccarton last month and will on Saturday attempt to emulate the 2011 victory of Cassini in the Hotel Coachman-sponsored event.
"He had a decent gallop on Tuesday morning and he's done a fair bit of work – he'll be pretty right," Oulaghan said.
Who Shot Thebarman won his first two starts on heavily rain-affected tracks and picked up two more placings on wet going before he headed south to the New Zealand Cup carnival.
The five-year-old won on the middle and the last days of the meeting and both times on top of the ground.
"I thought he would handle it okay and he's an athletic sort of horse rather than an old mudder," Oulaghan said.
"It'still a relief when they prove that."
To be ridden at the weekend by Rosie Myers, Who Shot Thebarman's versatility has also given Oulaghan added confidence with a long-term goal in mind.
"I've got him in the Auckland Cup and he obviously stays pretty well," he said. "That's a way off yet and we'll get through Saturday first and then look ahead."
Who Shot Thebarman also has a stout pedigree to back his 3200 metre claims and is from the family of the Gr.1 Brisbane Cup (3200m) winner Prized Gem, the dam of the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) winner Nom du Jeu and the Gr.2 Counties Cup (2100m) winner Jeu de Cartes.
Another who will appreciate the 2300 metres of Saturday's Cup is the last-start Ellerslie winner and former Gr.1 New Zealand Derby placegetter On The Level (NZ) (Align).
"He's pretty good when he's right and we hope to get him through to the Auckland Cup," co-trainer Murray Baker said.
– NZ Racing Desk.

Trimmer Chaparrone ready for Te Rapa

19th Dec 2013

Stephen McKee gave Chaparrone (NZ) (High Chaparral) a pass mark for her last-start performance and he’s expecting to award the mare a higher grade at Te Rapa on Saturday.

The Ardmore trainer said the six-year-old had improved with her Gr.3 Counties Cup outing and would strip a lot closer to her peak for the White Bros Panelworks & Truck Steering Services 2100.

“She probably got a little bit too far off them at Pukekohe, but she made ground steadily and was grinding home okay,” McKee said. “She’s done well since and will be much fitter going into this race.”

To be ridden again by Danielle Johnson, the daughter of High Chaparral will again be heading into familiar territory this preparation.

“She’ll run in the City of Auckland Cup next and then on to the Wellington Cup,” McKee said.

Chaparrone finished third in the Ellerslie feature last season and went on to run sixth at Trentham before further third placings in both the Gr.2 Avondale Gold Cup and the Gr.1 Auckland Cup.

McKee will also present Michael Walker with a gilt-edged chance to celebrate his return home for the festive season with a winner when they combine with Vibrant in the More Than Sacred 1600.

“She’s third-up and I would expect her to be very hard to beat,” McKee said.

Vibrant has won two of her five starts and started her four-year-old season off with a front-running victory at Te Aroha. Last time out she ran second to Chintz, who has since run fourth in an open class Listed sprint, and she will relish the step up to 1600 metres.

The Melbourne-based Walker was also booked for the promising duo of So High (NZ) (High Chaparral) and Pinzano (NZ) (Pins), but McKee said both would be non-runners.

“So High’s got a bit of an infection and Pinzano has drawn 16. She only won over 800 metres the other day and that was just a warm up – she’s a nice type and So High will develop into a lovely staying filly and handicap mare later on.” – NZ Racing Desk.

Not for sale sign on Kawi

19th Dec 2013

Deep-pocketed admirers of Kawi (NZ) (Savabeel) have come up short in their efforts to prise the three-year-old out of Taranaki.

Trainer Allan Sharrock, who prepares the potential top-line performer with his son Kane, said there had been considerable interest in the son of Savabeel but all offers had, and would be, turned away.

 Kawi (NZ) (Savabeel)

“They all want to buy him, but he races in the same ownership as the good mare (Shez Sinsational) and they’re at the time of life when they don’t want to sell.”

Kawi defeated last season’s Group One winner Recite at Trentham at his last appearance and is unlucky not to be sporting an unbeaten record. He ran second on his home track on debut after he was denied a clear run until too late in the straight.

He will start a short-priced favourite in the Rich Hill Stud Premier at Awapuni on Saturday and the good-looking gelding has made all the right moves since his most recent outing.

“I’m very happy with him and he worked really well on Tuesday morning and he’s improved again,” Sharrock said.

“He’ll run on Saturday and hopefully everything goes to plan and then we’ll try to slip another run into him before the Levin Classic.

“He hasn’t been nominated for the Derby, although there is the option of a late entry, but there’s also one in Aussie (Sydney) and a fair bit of money over there.”

The stable will also be represented at Awapuni by I Do (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) in the Gr.3 Cash Converters Manawatu Challenge Stakes. She took on a hot field last time out when seventh in the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes.

“Her run was full of merit at Wellington and it might have been a bit different if she’d drawn an inside gate and not had to go back – she only finished 1.8 lengths from the winner,” Sharrock said.

“She’ll have this run on Saturday and then go out for three weeks.” – NZ Racing Desk.

16/12/2013 Upset win caps top weekend for Cambridge pair

Nigelissima (outer) masters favourite Show The World in the run to the line on Sunday

A magical 48 hours that started with a win at Tauranga on Friday afternoon was topped off for Cambridge trainers Jeff McVean and Emma-Lee Browne when they produced their maiden three-year-old filly Nigelissima (NZ) (Pentire) to score an upset victory in the Listed Jesters Pies Championship Stakes Prelude (2100m) at Ellerslie on Sunday.
The father and daughter training combination had their three-year-old Any Suggestion gelding Blizzard (NZ) break his maiden status impressively over 2100 metres on Friday but that paled into insignificance when landing the prized blacktype win with Nigelissima on Sunday.
After settling well back in a muddling run race, jockey Alysha Collett guided the Pentire filly into a challenging position as they turned for home and in a slogging finish she out-toughed race favourite Show The World (NZ) (High
Chaparral) with Satay (NZ) (Keeper) plugging on resolutely for third.
"It's just been a brilliant weekend and we couldn't have hoped for a better result," said an excited Browne as her charge returned to the Ellerslie birdcage.
"We were originally going to run on Saturday but they left the nominations open here so we chucked in a cheeky one and I'm now really glad we did.
"She's just so relaxed in her races and has a great finish so we did think she had a chance as she has always looked like more ground would be in her favour."
Browne doesn't have any immediate plans for the filly who does hold a nomination for the Gr. 1 TV3 New Zealand Derby on the 1st of March along with stablemate Blizzard.
"We will just take her home now and see how she recovers from the run before we make any plans for her," she said.
"There are a number of options to consider but we will settle on a plan once we see how she has come through the race."
A full brother to Nigelissima will be offered as Lot 727 at the 2014 Select session of the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales series that commences at Karaka on the 27th of January.

Race Auckland RC Championship Stakes
Prelude L. 2100m
Winner Nigelissima (NZ) 2010
Owners J Wong & Maggie Kerrigan Trust
Trainer Jeff McVean & Emma-Lee Browne (Cambridge)
Breeding by Pentire (GB) out of Posing Zero (AUS) by
Danzero (AUS)
Breeder A R Galbraith

16/12/2013 What a difference a week makes

Karen Parsons - the trainer of Saturday's Awapuni winner Santos

Seven days is a long time in racing with trainer Karen Parsons more than happy that all the luck she and husband John got on Saturday was of the good variety rather than what they experienced at Trentham a week ago.
The Parsons team snared a double at Awapuni with hardy gelding Santos (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) capturing the McDonald's Manawatu Cup Prelude (2000m) while two races later Dillinger (NZ) (Pins) scored comfortably in the Mills Reef Noel Eales Memorial (1600m).
The two wins made up for a poor result at Trentham the previous weekend where nothing went right for the couple's three member team that included stable star Final Touch (NZ) (Kashani) finishing an inglorious last in the Gr. 1 Captain Cook Stakes.
"It's really a funny old game isn't it as we went to Trentham confident we could get a win or two and came away with nothing and then this week we were hopeful rather than confident and we got wins with both our horses," said a
delighted Parsons.
The win of Santos was particularly pleasing for his trainers as they had battled to get the horse's racing manners under control after a disastrous experience in his campaign opener back in October.
"We've spent a lot of very frustrating hours trying to get him to settle in his races and he got so stirred up by the jockey that day at Riccarton that it has taken until his last two runs to get him calmed down again on raceday," explained Parsons.
"I had thought about taking the blinkers off on Saturday but Chris (jockey Chris Johnson) said not to as he felt the horse was ready to win and once again he has been proven right.
"There was also a little extra motivation in the win as he had been written off by the Trackside TV presenters on their Saturday morning show and I said to John I didn't understand how you couldn't consider a horse that finished less than three lengths from the winner in the Counties Cup a chance on that form.
"It's nice that we were right on this occasion." Parsons was also full of praise for rider Hayden Tinsley who continued a fine association with the son of No Excuse Needed when recording his third win from just five rides on the gelding.
"Hayden did everything we asked of him beautifully and he does have a great affinity for the horse as shown by the record he has on him," she said.
Santos will now return to Awapuni this weekend for the Gr. 3 Hotel Coachman Manawatu Cup (2300m), a race he ran fourth in last year behind subsequent Group One winner Ransomed (NZ) (Handsome Ransom).

16/12/2013 Shailer relieved after Forefront's Te Rapa win

Forefront and Alex Forbes have the situation under control as they hit the line at Te Rapa

A comfortable win in quick time at Te Rapa on Saturday has thrust exciting sprinter Forefront (NZ) (O'Reilly) into calculations for the Gr. 1 Telegraph Handicap at Trentham in a month's time, much to the relief of his cotrainer Paul Shailer.
Shailer, who prepares the four-year-old gelding in partnership with brother Kris, had been ruing a decision he made after the horses win at Ellerslie in September when allowing him to run at Hawera after a mishap during his
transportation to the races that day.
"He had won so well at Ellerslie that we thought he might be looking for a little more ground so we decided to step him up to 1400m at Hawera," he explained. "He had a really bad trip to the races that day and came off the float with a real bee in his bonnet so in hindsight I probably should have asked to have him late scratched as he went out and never fired a shot that day.
"He then struck a very heavy track at Trentham and battled there so we had to freshen him up a little and rethink what we wanted to do with him.
"Thankfully he showed his true colours on Saturday as he really is a smart galloper and we can now concentrate on getting him into the Telegraph as I think he would be a real chance down in the weights in a race like that."
Shailer will target the Listed Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day as the gelding's final lead-up to the Telegraph as he attempts to avoid a clash with stablemate Trepidation (NZ) (Falkirk) who is also being aimed
at the Trentham feature sprint.
"Trepidation will resume in the rating 85 sprint at Ellerslie on the 28th of December and she would need to win that to justify a start in the Telegraph," he said.
"I don't want the pair of them to clash so that's why Forefront will run on Boxing Day as we are hopeful we can qualify them both for Trentham."
Trepidation has been back at the stable for the last three weeks after an enforced spell due to a mishap in her last run at Hastings in September when she was nearly forced over the running rail after a severe check early in the race.

16/12/2013 Black-type the next goal for exciting filly

Danielle Johnson and Procurement were low flying at Te Rapa on Saturday

Exciting three-year-old Procurement (NZ) (O'Reilly) will be given the opportunity to extend her unbeaten record with a run against the gun three-year-old fillies at her next assignment as trainer Stephen Marsh contemplates a start in the Gr. 2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.
The daughter of O'Reilly had been impressive clearing maidens at Te Rapa in late November after two trial victories and took her next step with aplomb on Saturday as she decimated a tidy rating 65 field over 1400 metres at Te Rapa.
"After her second trial win we felt we had something special on our hands so we have always had the thought in our minds to get her to a stakes race during this preparation," noted Marsh.
"We think she has the ability to compete at a high level and while it looks as though the Eight Carat will be a crack Danielle Johnson and Procurement were low flying at Te Rapa on Saturday field I don't believe she will be out of place against them.
"Saturday's win was a beauty as they went a very quick time and she did it quite comfortably all the way with plenty in the tank at the finish."
Marsh is likely to have a two-pronged attack on the Eight Carat Classic with stablemate Lucia Valentina (NZ) (Savabeel) also a possibility to contest the race.
A winner of the Gr. 3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) at her last run, Lucia Valentina has pleased Marsh with her progress since the win.
"She has done superbly since that Otaki win and has impressed me with her work in the last fortnight," he said, "We have it in our mind to put her in the Eight Carat although there is the option of taking on the boys in the
Great Northern Guineas that day so we will make a final decision closer to the time."

15/12/2013 Oaks winner now on Cups quest

More Than Sacred finishes off a powerful staying effort under Leith Innes to head home the tearaway Wisecrack and Mark Du Plessis in the Waikato Gold Cup. Guns At Five, giving the lightweight pair a 6kg start, gets his head into the picture for third.

A lean and mean Leith Innes can dine out on a feature race double after landing the two biggest prizes at Te Rapa yesterday, the in-form jockey kicking off with super staying mare More Than Sacred (More Than Ready) in the Group Three Waikato Times Gold Cup.
Innes' discipline was rewarded after he had wasted hard to meet More Than Sacred's light weight and that was exactly what he was pinning his victory hopes on in the closing 200 metres.
Mark Du Plessis on Wisecrack (NZ) (High Chaparral) had headed for home with a decent margin on the field but More Than Sacred finished resolutely to head the tearaway close to home and hold a three-quarter length winning margin on the post.
"There didn't look a lot of speed on paper and Mark's horse was racing fiercely when he took off at the half-mile," Innes said.
"They had a handy break on us and I was hoping the 53kg was going to kick in and, to the mare's credit, she got up late.
I've been doing it pretty tough in the last week so it was a good result."
More Than Sacred has now added the Gold Cup to her Group One New Zealand Oaks success of last season at 2400 metres and Innes has no doubts she can go further.
"She's going to get two miles, be it this year or next.
There's not much of her but she just jumps out and relaxes," he said.
Trainers Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue will now attempt to complete a hat-trick of cup wins with More Than Sacred with Ellerslie next on the list.
"She'll go to the City of Auckland Cup on New Year's Day and then down to the Wellington Cup," Pike said.
"The race didn't really go as planned. They were stacked up down the back and we were a bit further back and off them turning in due to a daring ride by Mark. But all credit to Leith and he didn't panic.
"She's better chasing and a tough staying mare and she was good on the line. The further she goes the better."
The topweight Guns At Five (NZ) (Duelled) turned in a meritorious effort for third after racing three wide while last year's winner Annie Higgins (NZ) (O'Reilly) came on late to take fourth money from Atacama (NZ) (Pentire).

Race Waikato RC Waikato Gold Cup Gr.3 2400m
Winner More Than Sacred (Aus) 2009
Owners Raffles Dancers (NZ) Pty Ltd
Trainer Tony Pike & Mark Donoghue (Cambridge)
Breeding by More Than Ready (USA) out of Danalaga
(Aus) by Danehill (USA)
Breeder Raffles Dancers (NZ) Pty Ltd

15/12/2013 At last, luck goes Diademe's way

Diademe completes a Group race double for Leith Innes with an all-the-way victory in the Cal Isuzu Stakes.

The racing fortunes of Diademe (NZ) (Savabeel) took an upward swing at Te Rapa yesterday when she went one better to claim top honours in the Group Two Cal Isuzu Stakes – the win also completing the feature race double for jockey Leith Innes.
The now five-year-old mare had finished runner-up to the high-class Shez Sinsational in the event last year and a subsequent autumn placing in the Group One New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes set up a potentially lucrative visit to the Queensland winter carnival.
"We took her over to Brisbane but she didn't have a lot of luck in a couple of races," co-trainer Murray Baker said.
Diademe was a sound fourth when resuming last month before the rub of the green again went against her when sixth in the Group Two Auckland Breeders' Thoroughbred Stakes at Pukekohe.
"She got stopped by another horse coming back on her," Baker said. "She is a very good mare and she's by Savabeel, who's just flying."
He was confident of a bold showing from the mare yesterday as well as her well-performed stablemate. "I thought it was out of her and Lady Kipling, who seemed to slip at the 700 and she finished on well. She could be looking
for more ground now," Baker said.
Multiple Group winner Lady Kipling (NZ) (Savabeel), who is in foal to Rip Van Winkle, got going again to finish fifth behind Diademe, who was always travelling comfortably at the head of affairs.
"I didn't know what was going to lead so I left it up to Leith and he rated her perfectly," Baker said.
Diademe was clear on the turn and she held a strong gallop to the finish to defeat the charging Zurella (NZ) (Zabeel), who was slow out of the gates. Wanganui mare O'Fille (O'Reilly), being targeted at longer races, ran well for third.

Race Waikato RC Cal Isuzu S. Gr.2 1600m
Winner Diademe (NZ) 2008
Owners Scott Richardson Bloodstock Ltd
Trainer Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman (Cambridge)
Breeding by Savabeel (Aus) out of Bling by O'Reilly
Breeder G J Chittick
Sales 2010 National Yearling Sale, Premier Session;
V: Waikato Stud Ltd, P: Scott Richardson
Bloodstock; $50,000

15/12/2013 Steel Rose lands stakes race for Taranaki fishing and diving mates

They all lined up to have a crack at her in the home straight but as they crossed the line Steel Rose was still in front. Closest to the Taranaki filly and Samantha Collett at the post were Perkins (red and black colours) and O'Marilyn (6).

New Plymouth trainer John Wheeler and a team of mates landed the catch of their day at Te Rapa yesterday when Steel Rose (NZ) (Guillotine) turned in a performance befitting her name.
The gutsy filly belied her 17-1 tote price with a tenacious effort to lead all the way and keep all-comers at bay in the straight to claim the Listed Wentwood Grange 2YO Stakes from Perkins (NZ) (Sir Percy) and O'Marilyn (O'Reilly).
"All the owners are close friends and Taranaki people," Wheeler said, "and most of them I dive and fish with, so it's a terrific result."
Steel Rose had finished third on debut at Otaki and was sent north with a fair degree of confidence once she had drawn an inside barrier.
"She's showed a fair bit but to be fair she wouldn't have gone if she'd had a bad alley – it was quite a hot field," Wheeler said.
"Once she drew well I thought she'd be a big chance. She's worked with Bryce Revell's horse (Second Time Lucky) and he was quite confident. He thought his was superior and I thought the other way."
Steel Rose, who isn't eligible for the Karaka Million, is out of the unraced Viking Ruler mare Aga Panther.
"I had her and she was a bit crazy – claustrophobic and wouldn't go in the gates – but she's quite well-bred," Wheeler said.
Steel Rose is a direct female descendant of Glorious Way (Godswalk), who will be remembered by New Zealand racing fans with long memories.
Trained by David Hayes for the late Robert Sangster, she was a stakes winner in Australia and then narrowly failed to pull off an ambitious transtasman raid when she finished runner-up to Satisfy in the 1987 Group One Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes at Awapuni.

Race Waikato RC Wentwood Grange S. L 1100m
Winner Steel Rose (NZ) 2011
Owners Steel Rose Syndicate
Trainer John Wheeler (New Plymouth)
Breeding by Guillotine out of Aga Panther by Viking
Ruler (Aus)
Breeder P J & Mrs S J Cowley

15/12/2013 Dazzling home straight finish by Pizzazz

With Reese Jones bringing him home with an irresistible finishing burst, Pizzazz (red and green colours) hits the lead close to the post in yesterday's open sprint at Te Rapa. Needlly (gold cap) fights on well for second, the third-placed Harvest to her inside.

A New Zealand-bred sprinter has announced his return home in dazzling style and now looms as a serious contender for Group One domestic honours following a successful career in Hong Kong.
Pizzazz (NZ) (Bertolini) lived up to his flashy moniker with a suitably exciting performance at Te Rapa where he powered home from well back in the field to land yesterday's Listed Shaw's Wire Ropes Sprint.
"I bought him out of the South Island Sale and sent him up to Paul O'Sullivan untrialled as he kept going shin sore all the time," trainer and part-owner John Bell said.
"Paul did a great job with him in Hong Kong and he set a track record at Happy Valley coming from last. He had a bit of a bleed and that sorted out and then we spelled him for a year or more."
Pizzazz had trialled well at Cambridge last month and while he was unplaced when resuming in the Listed Counties Bowl, rider Trudy Thornton had an encouraging post-race report.
"He didn't really disappoint as he was wide the whole way," Bell said. "Trudy got off him and said he'll win his next start– and she was right!"
Yesterday, Pizzazz settled well back in the field and came with long strides in the closing 200 metres to down Needlly (NZ) (O'Reilly) and Harvest (NZ) (Ishiguru). At 62-1, the sevenyear- old may have rocked punters, but not Bell. "I had a bet," he said.
Pizzazz has Group One nominations for the Railway Stakes and the Telegraph Handicap and successful rider Reese Jones believes the sprinter is up to making his mark at that level, despite his habit of settling well off the pace in his races.
"It's no good trying to change his racing pattern," he said. "He's got a very good finish."

Race Waikato RC Shaw's Wire Ropes Sprint H. L 1400m
Winner Pizzazz (NZ) 2006
Owners John Bell and Benedict Sin
Trainer John Bell (Cambridge)
Breeding by Bertolini (USA) out of Endrita by End Sweep (USA)
Breeder A W Jones & Mrs E W Morris
Sales 2008 South Island Sale; V: Berkley Stud, P: New
Zealand Bloodstock; $80,000

15/12/2013 Dixie whistles home

Aimee Taylor encourages Whistling Dixie to the line as Miss Selby and Jonathan Riddell arrive too late in the Eulogy Stakes at Awapuni.

Inspired by words of advice from one of New Zealand's great jockeys, Aimee Taylor has promptly taken her career to the next level with her first black-type win. The 22-year-old is apprenticed to Graeme and Debbie Rogerson and at Awapuni yesterday she guided the stable runner Whistling Dixie (NZ) (Pins) to victory in the Group Three Ezibuy Eulogy Stakes.
Taylor said the race had gone exactly to plan and, after enjoying a good run near the pace, the filly found the line strongly to deny the fast-finishing Miss Selby (NZ) (O'Reilly).
"Jimmy Cassidy went through the form with me on Friday and we wanted to sit third or fourth. Jimmy's out here on holiday at the moment and he said to me if you're confident you're half-way there – and I was really confident on the turn." Stakes-placed last season in the Listed Champagne Stakes at Ellerslie, Whistling Dixie was making her fourth appearance of her current campaign and the feeling within the stable is that she can go a lot further.
"I ride her every morning so she's a favourite and we think she's going to be an Oaks filly," Taylor said.
Taylor began her apprenticeship in the central districts with noted mentor Kevin Gray before moving north.
"I was with Mr Gray for at least four years and I just wanted a change so I came up to Stephen Autridge and then on to Graeme and Debbie Rogerson," she said.
"They have let me go down the line to ride a lot and that's also given me more and more opportunities."
She made the most of hers yesterday with Whistling Dixie as they accounted for Miss Selby by a long head. The first two were clear of third placegetter Zaperb (NZ) (Volksraad), who fought on gamely after making the pace and dashing clear into the straight.

Race Manawatu RC Eulogy S. Gr.3 1600m
Winner Whistling Dixie (NZ) 2010
Owners Segenhoe Thoroughbreds Australia Pty Ltd
Trainer Graeme & Debbie Rogerson (Tuhikaramea)
Breeding by Pins (Aus) out of Zephyr Song by Danasinga (Aus)
Breeder G J Chittick
Sales 2012 National Yearling Sale, Select Session; V:
Waikato Stud Ltd, P: D G Rogerson; $30,000

13/12/2013 Zurella back to happy hunting ground

Zurella (NZ) (Zabeel) takes on a smart field of mares in the Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes at Te Rapa tomorrow

Zurella (NZ) (Zabeel) will be back in familiar surroundings and a course that has treated her extremely well in the past when she resumes her New Zealand career at Te Rapa on Saturday.
The valuable Zabeel mare has been freshened since a mediocre spring campaign in Melbourne and is forward to take on a smart field of mares in the Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes.
"She's doing well and she had a nice gallop last Saturday," Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie said.
"She's dappled up in the coat and I'm convinced she's fit enough to make her presence felt."
Ritchie was further buoyed by Zurella's past history at the Hamilton course, where she has yet to finish out of the money in four appearances.
"She's got a great record at Te Rapa – she won the Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic there and she ran a close third behind Final Touch and Xanadu in the Waikato Draught Sprint," he said.
The five-year-old also finished runner-up in her raceday debut on the track and later beat subsequent Gr.3 Manawatu Classic winner Malandrino in a Rating 70 event there.
Ritchie believes another solid pointer to Zurella's weekend prospects was her effort to finish seventh behind Red Tracer at Group One level at Flemington in November.
"If she can reproduce her Myer run then she's going to take a lot of holding out," he said.
An obvious danger to Zurella is the high-quality mare and past winner Lady Kipling (NZ) (Savabeel), who coasted away with the Gr.2 Eagle Technology Stakes last time out. She beat
Shez Sinsational (NZ) (Ekraar) to take top honours in the Cal Isuzu two years ago.
The Taranaki mare went one better last year when, ironically, she beat Lady Kipling's stablemate Diademe (NZ) (Savabeel) who is a genuine chance again on Saturday.
Wanganui mare O'Fille (NZ) (O'Reilly) will be looking for a reversal of fortune at Te Rapa following an unlucky visit last season when she was promoted to runner-up in the Gr.2 Travis Stakes. She will also have derived great benefit from her last-start run for fourth in the Listed Wanganui Cup.
– NZ Racing Desk

Filly at peak for Eulogy

13th Dec 2013

Taranaki trainer Robert Patterson believes Porotene Park (NZ) (Thorn Park) is primed to strike a blow at black type level.

He has never made any secret of the high regard he has for the daughter of Thorn Park and the New Plymouth horseman declared the filly to be spot on for Saturday’s Gr.3 Ezibuy Eulogy Stakes at Awapuni.

 Porotene Park (NZ) (Thorn Park) 

“She’s perfect and ready to go,” Patterson said. “She’s got all the attributes – she’s got the right attitude, she eats well and she’s got the ability – it’s all there.”

Porotene Park gave a sneak preview of what was to come when she won at the trials last August and then she made a winning debut over 1400 metres at Tauherenikau in the spring. A fifth placing followed at Trentham and last time out she powered home to finish runner-up at Awapuni.

“First-up she didn’t really know what she was doing and found the line strongly and then she struck a bad track at Trentham,” Patterson said.

“She was against the older horses last time out and that’s not easy. She had to take off 800 metres out and was four, five and six wide and still got home.

“It was a super run and she’s gone forward from there and improved a lot. Safely through Saturday and all going well, I’ll take her to Ellerslie for the Royal Stakes. She’s looking for the 2000 metres.

“She’ll have a bit of a let up then and we’ll target the Oaks and have a run over 1800 metres (Oaks Prelude) here at New Plymouth in February. When I was with Kevin (Gray) we won it with Legs and I won it with Our Ko Ko.”

Patterson will also be represented on Saturday by the in-form Any Question (NZ) (Brilliance) in the Silvester/Clark Maiden. 

“We toyed with the idea of putting her in the Eulogy before taking the softer option,” he said. “We might send her south for races likes the Gore and Dunedin Guineas.” – NZ Racing Desk.

13/12/2013 Popular Racing Man Dies In Level Crossing Accident

The Auckland racing community is in shock at the news that well known administrator and owner Ron Murphy died yesterday when the vehicle he was driving was involved in a level crossing collision with a freight train.
It is understood the 73-year-old was exiting the Waimauku stable property of his long-time partner Davina Waddell when the accident occurred.
Mr Murphy was well liked and respected by a wide range of racing industry participants. He had a special affinity with the Avondale Jockey Club, having becoming a committee member of the club in 2000 and serving as president from 2009 to 2012.
Mr Murphy, who owned a North Shore transport business, bred and raced numerous horses and took an active role in the training career of his partner Davina Waddell. His most recent performer was Kidnapped, the winner of five races and a runner at Ellerslie just last Saturday.

9/12/2013 Prince has highhopes for Royally bred filly

Lot 493 from the Premier session of the 2012 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales is now The Lion Queen who debuts at Wingatui today

Local Wingatui trainer Steven Prince has high hopes for his royally bred filly The Lion Queen (NZ) who makes her raceday debut at Wingatui today in the McGoo Auto Dunedin Maiden (1400m), race seven on the programme.
The three-year-old daughter of international sire sensation High Chaparral and Gr. 1 Avondale Cup winner The Mighty Lions has impressed Prince with her work to date and he is hopeful she can bring that form to raceday.
"She has shown plenty of promise in what she has done so far and I think she has the ability to match her breeding so hopefully we can see some of that today," he said.
"The biggest issue for her will be the wide draw which means she is likely to get back early in the race but I think with her breeding that may be her normal racing pattern anyway.
"She will be running on strongly and the experience will do her good as she will definitely get better as she strengthens and matures."
The Lion Queen is a full sister to Vaquera who won the Gr. 3 Tibbie Stakes at Newcastle earlier this year.
Prince has a five strong team in today and rates maiden Snip In Time (NZ) (Snippetson) in race five as his best chance.
"He went a beauty at Winton last time and has trained on well since then so with the handy barrier he should be hard to beat," he said. "He will have side winkers on for the first time and that should sharpen him up as well."
Prince will also line up Eleven Black (NZ) (Patapan) in race 3, Doctor Thunder (NZ) (Danroad) in race 4 and Red Bull (NZ) (Spartacus) in Race 8.
"Eleven Black is a first starter by Patapan who has shown some promise in her work while Doctor Thunder is still very green and needs more racing before we see the best of him," he noted.
"Red Bull is a half brother to Ric O'Shea and has some ability as well but I have had a tough time getting a start for him so I'm hopeful of a good run so he can get some rating points which will mean he can get in a few more races over the Christmas period."

9/12/2013 Injury plagued galloper back on top at Ellerslie

On The Level and Matt Cameron are a picture of concentration as they hit the front early in the run home on Saturday

Plenty of care and dedication was rewarded on Saturday when former top galloper On The Level (NZ) (Align) returned to the winner's circle at Ellerslie after scoring his fourth career victory and first in over two years.
Third to Jimmy Choux (NZ) (Thorn Park) in the 2011 edition of the Gr. 1 New Zealand Derby, On The Level sustained a ligament injury soon after and was off the racing scene for 21 months before returning in December 2012 for
an unsuccessful five start campaign followed by another lengthy break.
Saturday's run was just his second in this preparation where he both surprised and delighted co-trainer Murray Baker with the winning effort.
"Honestly I thought he would probably need another run and then he pulled fiercely during the running so to hold on and win was a super effort," he said.
"I thought he had every excuse to weaken out but he kept going and that is testament to the ability and the desire to win of the horse.
"He has had a number of issues along the way but right now he seems very good so we have our fingers crossed he is over the problems that have affected him."
With the horse still a day-to-day proposition, Baker wasn't looking too far ahead however his next start is likely to be the Gr. 3 Manawatu Cup at Awapuni on the 21st of December.
Baker was also looking forward to having stable star It's A Dundeel (NZ) (High Chaparral) back in training as he makes his return from a six week break later this week.
"I managed to take a look at him about ten days ago and he looks great and ready to get back into it," he said. "His main target will be the Gr. 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in April so we will sit down soon and work out his program to get to that race."
Stablemate and 2013 Gr. 1 Two Thousand Guineas winner Atlante (Fastnet Rock) is another returning from a brief break this week and may accompany It's A Dundeel across the Tasman where the Gr. 1 AJC Australian Derby is on his agenda.

9/12/2013 Te Akau three-year-old juggernaut rolls on

There is plenty of stretch about impressive Thorn Park filly Flirty Gertey

The powerful Te Akau Racing team produced another contender for higher honours when their three-yearold Thorn Park filly Flirty Gertey (NZ) destroyed a rating 65 field at Ellerslie on Saturday.
An impressive four length maiden win at Paeroa in October saw her installed a warm $2.40 favourite and her many supporters had little to worry about as she raced handy to the speed before issuing her challenge on the home bend
and racing away to a soft one and three-quarter length victory.
"She's a good filly," said Bridgman. "We gave her a freshen-up of a couple of weeks after Paeroa, and although coming into the race looking spot-on you would still expect improvement having not run for a couple of months.
"On the score of natural ability, she won her maiden pretty handily by four [lengths] and has come out in the next grade and been commanding again.
"I think she is above average, no question, and she is a lovely filly with a fair bit of scope. She relaxes well, has a lovely big stride, is getting better all the time, has a good cruising speed and can quicken off that, and I think she will run a trip.
"The test on faster ground remains as yet, but other than that she is a nice, progressive filly at this stage."
The daughter of Thorn Park, who was a $110,000 purchase by Te Akau principal David Ellis at the 2012 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling sale, will now head to the Gr. 2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) on Boxing Day at Ellerslie.
Bridgman also reported that his star three-year-old performers of the season to date were all gearing up for their Christmas/New Year assignments.
"Costa Viva is back after her break and will trial at Cambridge on Tuesday as will Chambord and All Decked Out," he said.
"Spellbinder is also back in work although she was a week later than the others so she won't be running at the trials this week."
Costa Viva (Encosta De Lago) is being aimed at the Eight Carat Classic while both Chambord (NZ) (Zabeel) and All Decked Out (NZ) (Darci Brahma) will contest the Gr. 2 Great Northern Guineas at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.

9/12/2013 Fast Learner soaking up the knowledge

Fast Learner heads to the winner's enclosure at Ellerslie on Saturday

Promising gelding Fast Learner (NZ) (Align) showed the benefit of raceday experience when he displayed a deft sidestep to narrowly avoid trouble in the Ellerslie home straight then charge home to grab victory in the shadows of the post in the Sistema 3YO Mile on Saturday.
It was the son of Align's second win in just his third raceday start and delighted co-trainer Richard Collett who was concerned the long striding galloper wouldn't handle the tricky track conditions.
"We were really concerned about the track as he had two attempts on rain affected surfaces at the trials and never really handled it so we thought it might have been the same on the weekend but he managed to get through it in the
end," said Collett.
Fast Learner heads to the winner's enclosure at Ellerslie on Saturday "Leith (rider Leith Innes) did a great job to miss the skirmish just after they turned for home and the horse did a good job to get the win as he had plenty of distractions going on around him."
Collett was referring to the pacemaker Moozoon (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) who shied and dropped rider Sam Spratt as the field straightened for the run home and then proceeded to hamper those making their challenges wider out, including race favourite Persuasive (NZ) (Darci Brahma) who lost all chance.
Spratt suffered a broken cheekbone in the incident and was taken to hospital for further observation.
Another of Collett and co-trainer Gareth McRae's team wasn't so lucky later in the day when their handy sprinter Payette (Volksraad) was galloped on by the riderless Rough Odds (NZ) (Stravinsky) in the main race of the day, the Gr. 3 Aussie Butcher Concorde Handicap.
"She seemed to cop the worst of the interference caused by the riderless horse as he galloped on her as he tried to follow the rail at about the 800 metre mark," noted Collett.
"Thankfully she only suffered a few minor cuts so she did escape what could have been a nasty accident."
Payette will now head to the Listed Newmarket Handicap at Ellerslie on Boxing Day while Fast Learner will continue his preparation towards a start in the Gr. 1 Levin Classic at Trentham in January.
Collett also reported former top three-year-old So Wotif (NZ) (Iffraaj) was making good progress from a niggling foot problem and would commence his four-year-old campaign later in the month.

8/12/2013 At last Shuka's in the spotlight

In the hands of Danielle Johnson, Shuka's irresistible finishing surge carries him to a head win over Viadana (dark blue colours), Brave Centaur (obscured), Survived (black cap) and Nashville (gold cap) in a blanket finish to yesterday's all-star Captain Cook Stakes.

After spending most of his life playing minor roles in the best of company, Shuka (NZ) (Bachelor Duke) finally had the big stage all to himself with a stellar performance at Trentham yesterday.
The five-year-old was a deserved winner of the Group One Rydges Wellington Captain Cook Stakes following a string of placed performances in Group events stretching back to his juvenile days.
"It's great to see he's finally got it," said Dawn Williams, who trains the son of Bachelor Duke with husband Peter at Byerley Park. "He's been hard work and one of those horses that has to be right on the day and happy."
Shuka won the Group Two Wakefield Challenge Stakes as a two-year-old on his only previous visit to Trentham and finished fifth at the highest level in both the Diamond and Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes.
His classic season produced a win in the Listed Ray Coupland Stakes, another Group One fifth in the Two Thousand Guineas and then placings in the Group Two Great Northern and Avondale Guineas and in the Group Three
Waikato Guineas.
Shuka started last season with four consecutive runner-up finishes, including in the Group Two Coupland's Mile, before belated wins later in the term in the Te Aroha Cup and the Group Three Canterbury Gold Cup.
He kicked off this campaign with a sprint win at Ellerslie and headed to yesterday's big mile at Trentham off the back of a fourth placing in the 1600 metre Group Three Tauranga Stakes.
Shuka shared his first Group One success with rider Danielle Johnson, who brought him with a well-timed finish to down the Lance Noble-trained stablemates Viadana (NZ) (Towkay) and Brave Centaur (NZ) (O'Reilly) with Survived (NZ) (Zed) a close fourth.
"Around the corner he felt a bit flat, but he worked very hard and won well," Johnson said. "It was a great field and it showed the class of the horse.
"He felt great going down to the start and I always thought he would be in with a huge chance."

Race WRC Captain Cook S. Gr.1 1600m
Winner Shuka (NZ) 2008
Owners Parr Bloodstock Ltd
Trainer Peter & Dawn Williams (Byerley Park)
Breeding by Bachelor Duke (USA) out of Alabama Rose
by Cape Cross (Ire)
Breeder Karreman Bloodstock Ltd
Sales 2010 National Yearling Sale, Select Session; V:
The Oaks Stud, P: New Zealand Bloodstock Ltd;

8/12/2013 Shezhardtocatch upsets in sprint

Not too many saw this coming . . . Paul Taylor drives one-win filly Shezhardtocatch across the finish line in yesterday's Concorde Handicap, narrowly beating The Filly (#5), Fleur de Lune (yellow cap) and Statham (rails). Fast-finishing favourite Natuzzi just manages to get his head into the picture at right.

The gamble of the season paid off handsomely for the Bruce Wallace stable at Ellerslie yesterday when the unheralded Shezhardtocatch (NZ) (Elusive City) dented a number of reputations in the Group Three Concorde Handicap.
Barely out of maiden company, the filly turned the form book upside down with her victory in the Aussie Butchersponsored sprint, which granted her safe passage into the Group One Railway Stakes on New Year's Day.
"We were quietly confident of a big run from her," stable representative Allan Peard said. "She'd pulled up well after her last run so we took the punt and it's paid off."
Placed in one of her three two-year-old appearances last season, Shezhardtocatch kicked off her second season with first-up win in maiden company at Avondale and two placings followed before she fronted up to some of the best
sprinters in the country at Ellerslie.
"Her last race at Tauranga was a sit-and-sprint. From where she was on the corner she turned in a huge run and we made the call to put her in this," Peard said.
Shezhardtocatch drew the inside gate at Ellerslie and rider Paul Taylor had her three back on the fence before he was able to angle into the clear. In a finish where less than a length covered the first six home, the daughter of Elusive City drove through to snatch her shock long-head decision.
"She's a Rating 64 and not long out of maidens so it's hard to expect a horse like that to win a race like this," Taylor said.
"She had the right draw and the right weight and she's still a little bit weak so it's all onward and upward from here."
The Filly (NZ) (Ishiguru) turned in another genuine effort for second ahead of the defending Railway champion Fleur de Lune (NZ) (Stravinsky) and Statham (NZ) (Danroad), who had kicked clear 300 metres from home after sitting outside the pacemaker to the turn. The well-supported Natuzzi (NZ) (Coats Choice) ran on from well back for fifth while the start was marred by Alysha Collett parting company with Rough Odds.
The TAB's bookmakers reacted to yesterday's surprise result by shortening the Railway fixed-odds quote on favourite Waterford – already tightened from $5 to $3.50 during the week – to an uninviting $3.

Race ARC Concorde H. Gr.3 1200m
Winner Shezhardtocatch (NZ) 2010
Owners Able International Ltd
Trainer Bruce Wallace (Byerley Park)
Breeding by Elusive City (USA) out of Party Queen by
Gold Brose (Aus)
Breeder Able International Ltd

8/12/2013 Karaka Million on cards for colt

Mark Du Plessis guides Vespa past the winning post in the opening event on yesterday's Trentham card and cements the colt's place in next month's Karaka Million

Johno Benner is guaranteed a second consecutive runner in the Karaka Million but it's no foregone conclusion that his latest candidate will front up for the Ellerslie feature.
The Otaki trainer prepared Touche to finish third in the country's richest event earlier this year and stablemate Vespa (NZ) (Elusive City) is certain of a start in 2014 following his win in yesterday's Phil Cataldo Bloodstock Premier at Trentham.
"Sometimes the Karaka Million can be a bit detrimental to your horse and it's a hard road to get there. But, in saying that, it's hard to shy away from a million-dollar race," Benner said.
"We'll see how he comes through this race and how he does first – we've got to do the right thing by him. If he does go for it then he'll need a run right-handed first and if so there's the Eclipse Stakes or a race on January 11."
Vespa, who is raced by Touche's owners John Norwood and Carl Rutten, has now won two of his three starts after a debut second and a home-track success last month.
"He's got a $30,000 TB bonus now and a $10,000 one the other day as well," Benner said. "We targeted them so it's been really good."
Ridden positively by Mark Du Plessis, Vespa was prominent all the way and showed quality and courage under his clear topweight in the run down the Trentham straight to seal the deal.
"We wanted to see him take that next step and he's definitely done that now," Benner said. "He paraded a bit portly so there's plenty more to come from him.
"We took luck out of the equation with 59kg and didn't want a start and stop affair on a dead track," Benner added.
"Mark took the bull by the horns and the best horse won the race."
Vespa got home by three-quarters of a length from Coachella (NZ) (Mastercraftsman), who was encouraging on debut, and All Charm (NZ) (Volksraad) ran on bravely after another tardy start to take third money.

Race WRC Phil Cataldo Bloodstock H. 1000m
Winner Vespa (NZ) 2011
Owners C J B Norwood and C A Rutten
Trainer Peter & Dawn Williams (Byerley Park)
Breeding by Elusive City (USA) out of Miss Avalon (Ire) by
Fantastic Light (USA
Breeder K J Hickman
Sales 2013 National Yearling Sale, Select Session; V:
Valachi Downs, P: Cavallo Agistment; $34,000

8/12/2013 Aussie rider opens his Kiwi account

Former champion Sydney apprentice Josh Adams added winning momentum to his New Zealand riding stint with success at Ellerslie yesterday, opening his account aboard the Tony Pike and Mark Donoghuetrained mare Bellbird (NZ) (Align) with a barest-ofmargins win in the Hospice North Shore Maiden.
"It was a nice run and she took a long time to get to the front and I was confident on the line," the 21-year-old Adams said. "But when I looked at the replay I wasn't so sure."
A natural lightweight able to go to scale comfortably at 53kg, and lighter if needed, Adams is keen to make the most of his current opportunities here.
"I was approached to come over for a few months and see how it goes. Now that I've got my first winner I want to build on that," he said. "I'm living in Cambridge and loving it."
With his services in demand, Adams has been riding trackwork for a number of leading stables including Roger James, Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Stephen Marsh and Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young.
Later on the Ellerslie card, Adams combined with the Jamestrained trio of Mitcham, Cape Mapperley and Hot In Pink for minor-place finishes.

8/12/2013 Looks, Talent - he's got the lot

Stretching out magnificently for Jonathan Riddell, second-starter Kawi delivers on promise shown by decisively beating last season's leading juvenile Recite.

He's got the ability to match his pretty-boy looks and the Sharrock stable are confident they have another Group One prospect in the handsome shape of Kawi (NZ) (Savabeel).
Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes winner Recite (Darci Brahma) in the Curraghmore Premier at Trentham yesterday, in just his second raceday outing, came as no surprise to his connections.
"His work on Tuesday morning told me that he's an open class horse," said co-trainer Allan Sharrock, who prepares the gelding with his son Kane. "We've nominated him for the Levin Classic and he's gone from $61 to $21 in a week so someone's had a bet."
Kawi's odds for the Group One Levin Classic caved in again after his Trentham display and he is now the equal second fancy, with Bounding, at $8 behind the $6 favourite Chambord.
"He's a serious horse with a wee way to go," Sharrock said.
"He's still a bit on and off and pulling and acting like a buffoon before the race, but he'll come right.
"He's won with a leg in the air and he's learning all the time – he's just a magnificent animal. He'll have a couple of runs in three-year-old races and we'll keep him in his age group through to the Classic."
Kawi, who was unlucky not to have won on debut at New Plymouth, was in behind the pace and angled across the leaders' heels 300 metres from home.
The topweight Recite had jogged to the front half-way down the straight but she had no response to Kawi's finishing burst and the gelding won going away by two and a quarter lengths for rider Jonathan Riddell.
"I was two lengths off her and always had the feeling we would come over the top," he said. "I gave him a couple and he took off."
Riddell had been aboard the son of Savabeel in his first appearance last month and he had been desperate to retain the ride.
"I instructed my manager Brent Wall after his last start to get me back on him – he should have won," Riddell said.
The Sharrocks and Riddell also combined with Landlord (NZ) (Keeper) to claim the $20,000 Super Saturday 18th January special conditions event.

Race WRC The Curraghmore S. 1400m
Winner Kawi (NZ) 2010
Owners A A Baeyertz, J P Goodin, G A MacDonald, G H
Phillips and R W Sharrock
Trainer Allan & Kane Sharrock (New Plymouth)
Breeding by Savabeel (Aus) out of Magic Time by
Volksraad (GB)
Breeder Mrs C M & J P Goodin

6/12/2013 Best yet to come from Survived

John Bary is happy with Survived's development ahead of tomorrow's Group One feature at Trentham

John Bary is more than happy with Survived's physical condition and it's also been the continued mental development of the Group One winner that has thrilled the Hastings trainer.
He has always maintained the Zed gelding to be a work in progress with further improvement to come before he reaches the full peak of his racing powers.
"He's looking and working well and mentally he's getting better and better and relaxing much more in his gallops," Bary said.
"He's really starting to get there and I believe he's going to be better still as a late four-year-old, a five-year-old and maybe even at six."
A first-up winner this preparation of the Gr.1 Makfi Stakes, Survived had little luck in the next two legs of the Triple Crown series before he returned to his best last time out with victory in the Gr.3 Tauranga Stakes.
Survived (NZ) (Zed) moves back up to the top level this Saturday in the Gr.1 Rydges Captain Cook Stakes at Trentham and he will then be stepped out over more ground.
"He'll go to Ellerslie on Boxing Day for the Zabeel Classic (2000m) and that will be another test for him going righthanded on the big stage and in front of a big crowd," Bary said.
"We'll take stock of things after that and work out the plan for the autumn. If we want him to compete at 2000 metres against the best then he has to learn how to settle and I think he will with more maturity."
Bary will also be represented by Recite (NZ) (Darci Brahma) at Trentham where last season's Gr.1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes winner will resume in the Curraghmore Premier.
She failed to come up to expectations in two early threeyear- old starts following her unbeaten juvenile season, but has delighted Bary with her development since a break.
"I'm really happy with her and to see her back on song," he said. "She's been working well and running some nice times in her gallops."
– NZ Racing Desk.

Statham up for the challenge

6th Dec 2013

Statham (NZ) (Danroad) has been fast-tracked to the top and he’s now only a step away from taking on the very best the country has to offer.

The lightly-raced gelding made his open class debut at Te Rapa at his ninth raceday appearance and a third placing in the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint got the tick of approval from the most experienced of judges.

“We threw him in at the deep end, there didn’t seem much point in waiting, and Noel Harris said he’ll make the grade all right,” said Scott Lucock, who prepares Statham with Sally Gillespie at Byerley Park.

“He jumped away a bit awkwardly and ended up a couple of spots further back than we wanted and he was beaten by two good horses.”

Statham will start in Saturday’s Gr.3 Aussie Butcher Concorde Handicap with the winner to gain automatic entry into the Gr.1 Sistema Railway Stakes on New Year’s Day.

“We’re more than happy with him,” Lucock said. “We’ve got a light weight, a good draw and a top jockey with Matt Cameron to ride him.

“At the start of the campaign it (the Railway) was a bit of a pipe dream and so far everything has fallen into place perfectly, touch wood.”

Lucock said their only concern was the prospect of a wet surface at Ellerslie, but even then he had an inkling Statham would cope.

“There’s no reason to really think he wouldn’t, the Danroads seem to go with a bit of moisture and while he has won on a Slow 7 we would still prefer a good track,” he said.

While the four-year-old has yet to race beyond 1200 metres, Lucock believes Statham may go over more ground in the future.

“He’s quite relaxed and settled now and he was a mad-headed puller in his trackwork earlier on,” he said. “He’s become very professional, although he’s still aggressive with other horses and he gets to the races and he just wants to get out there and do the job.” – NZ Racing Desk.

Home appearance unlikely for top colt

6th Dec 2013

The unbeaten home record of the highly-rated El Roca (Fastnet Rock) is unlikely to be challenged before he heads back across the Tasman.

He is making good progress for Cambridge trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, who have an array of rich options to pick and choose from in Australia with the colt next year.

 El Roca (Fastnet Rock)

“I can’t see him running in New Zealand first – there isn’t a three-year-old race over 1200 metres in the north in January for him and I don’t want to have to put him on a float for nine hours to Wellington,” Busuttin said.

“We sat down the other night and had a good look at Melbourne and Sydney with races like the Australian Guineas and the Randwick Guineas and it will depend on how quickly he comes up.

“If he won one of them, then there’s the George Ryder Stakes and the Doncaster Handicap, three-year-olds have a good record in those races, but he has to step up and do it first.”

El Roca won his first start at Taupo last August in what has turned out to be an outstanding form race. Runner-up Lucky Feather (NZ) (Darci Brahma) has since placed in the Gr.2 Wellington Guineas and the Gr.3 Wellington Stakes while in third place was the subsequent Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner Atlante (Fastnet Rock).

In his only other domestic appearance, El Roca beat Riccarton placegetter Gobi Ranger (Tale of the Cat) in the Listed Challenge Stakes at Ruakaka.

Busuttin and Young then made the brave call to take on the best three-year-olds in Australia and were buoyed by El Roca’s strong effort to finish runner-up in the Gr.3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude.

He returned home for a break after a chequered run when fifth in the Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas. - NZ Racing Desk.

Derby prospect delivers at Te Aroha

6th Dec 2013

The lucrative Sydney autumn carnival is a possible long-term aim for the well-bred Show The World (NZ) (High Chaparral), who opened his account in sterling fashion at Te Aroha on Monday.

The three-year-old has been held in high private regard by Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman for some time and the $A2 million Gr.1 Au


stralian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 12 is a potential target.

“We’ve always thought he was a special sort of horse and definitely a Derby type,” Forsman said.

“We were a bit nervous today though and how to ride him on a track that was hard to come from the back on.”

However, Show The World’s quality was evident when he came from the tail-end of the field under rider Opie Bosson to post a commanding victory over 1600 metres in the Te Aroha Veterinary Services Maiden.

“There’s a 2100 metre race for three-year-olds for him at Ellerslie on Sunday week and we’ll probably freshen him up after that for the Derby in the autumn – there’s options everywhere,” Forsman said.

A son of High Chaparral and the dual Group One Auckland Cup and Zabeel Classic winner Bazelle (NZ) (Zabeel), Show The World had placed in one of his two trials before he finished third on debut at Tauranga last month.

“First time out he drew well and we had to ride him up near the pace and that didn’t really suit him,” Forsman said.

“The way to ride him best is to do nothing on him early and let him come home.” – NZ Racing Desk.

2/12/2013 Marsh keen for winning roll to continue

Panna Cotta is a promising maiden lining up at Te Aroha today for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh

Fresh from seven wins in the last month including a "black type" double at Otaki last Friday, Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh will be looking to kick December racing off on a similar note at Te Aroha today.
Marsh has four runners entered for the meeting although maiden Seize The Moment (NZ) (Pins) is an unlikely starter due to a minor hoof problem.
"I think all of my runners have realistic winning prospects and I'd like to think we will be walking away with a win to kick off December the right way," he said.
Darci Brahma filly Cursive (NZ) brings good form to the first race on the card with a step up in distance to 2200 metres expected to work in her favour.
"She hasn't had all the luck lately although she has gone well so I think the extra distance she gets today could be just what she needs to make it into the winner's circle," said Marsh.
"She is likely to have a wee break after today's run and then we will bring her back for racing after the Christmas Panna Cotta is a promising maiden lining up at Te Aroha today for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh period.
"Panna Cotta was beaten by her barrier draw last time and went a super race to finish second so if she can get a little bit of cover today I think she will go a top race.
"Bingo will be our last runner for the day and might be my best chance as she has really come on nicely since her win at Dargaville.
"I think she is a filly who will get over more ground so the step up to 1400 metres today will be in her favour although there is a couple of very promising types in the race that will make it a decent test for her."
Marsh also reported that Gr. 2 Wellington Stakes winner Lucia Valentina (NZ) (Savabeel) had pulled up well from her impressive victory at Otaki last Friday.
"She travelled home nicely from Otaki and has come through the run in great condition so we will look to the Eight Carat Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day as her next major assignment."

2/12/2013 Winning feeling easy to get used to for Bridge

Ill-fated champion sire Thorn Park looks to have another top performer to add to his record with impressive Wanganui winner Alleyoop

Promising intermediate galloper Alleyoop (NZ) (Thorn Park) made it three wins on end for fledgling trainer James Bridge when she destroyed a capable rating 75 field by eight lengths at Wanganui on Saturday.
It was an armchair ride for jockey Johnathon Parkes who took the four-year-old daughter of ill-fated Windsor Park stallion Thorn Park straight to the front from a wide barrier draw and made every post a winner over the 1200 metre journey.
"That's a feeling that you certainly could get used to" remarked Bridge as he reflected on the win twenty four hours after raceday.
"The barrier dictated what we had to do as originally I had hoped she might be able to settle back but Johnathon did the right thing and she did it easily in the end."
Alleyoop was a late starter to the racing game after Bridge and his father John purchased her as an unbroken three-yearold from Keltern Stud.
"We picked her out of a paddock where she was with fifteen other fillies and took her home where I broke her in and started her preparation off.
"Guy Lowry used to train her mother and told me one day that she had been a real handful and that sort of put things into perspective as this mare has been very challenging from day one although she has definitely got better as she has
"She has a real 'win at all costs' attitude and a real touch of arrogance about her but she is learning more each time she goes to the races and certainly knows what to do when raceday rolls around."
Bridge is excited about the potential of the mare but is also cautious about asking too much from her in this campaign.
"She has been in work for quite some time now and I think the best thing will be to back off her and put her in the paddock for a short break then bring her back for an autumn campaign.
"I do think she will measure up to the best company but that won't be for another 12 months so we want to do what is best for her now so she will be ready to take them on next season."
The win was the ninth of Bridge's training career which started just over three years ago after he turned his back on the world of advertising to work in the racing industry.
"I actually liked motorbikes far more than horses when I was younger although I soon came around and started mucking around with ponies and going hunting with my sisters so it got into the blood pretty quickly," he laughed.
"Although my family has a strong racing heritage I actually started off in advertising after completing my degree at Canterbury University and did about six years both here and in Australia before I returned home and got into the racing game.
"Like all young trainers it has taken time to get up and running but the results we have had lately have shown me we're on the right path and there has been an increasing interest from prospective owners which is what I need to keep the momentum up.
"I'm really excited about what we have coming up as we have some super young horses with us at the moment and hopefully we can keep putting the wins on the board."

2/12/2013 Black Type the goal for Bellazeel

Bellazeel cruises to the line in the hands of replacement rider Rory Hutchings who took over for an ailing Opie Bosson

Bellazeel (NZ) (Zabeel) shook off a disappointing performance at Tauranga recently to register maximum points at Ellerslie on Saturday for her bid to gain a start in the final of the ever popular Dunstan Feeds Championship at the same venue on New Year's Day.
Trainer Roger James was philosophical about the sharp turnaround in the mare's performance after she beat just one runner home at her last start before dispatching a handy lineup in emphatic fashion on the weekend.
"We had every test in the book done on her after Tauranga including having her scoped, cardio-graphed and blood tested and couldn't find a thing wrong with her," he explained.
"I just couldn't put my finger on what the problem was so we decided to press on with her as she certainly didn't show anything in her work and thankfully we did as that was a nice run to win well on Saturday.
"We just have to put it down to one of those things as she has done it once before although it's not something I really want her to have as a trait."
Although James hasn't mapped out a program for the mare he is adamant about the goal for her in this campaign.
"We didn't pay any of those early nominations for the upcoming Cup races however the goal is to get some black type with her so I will be looking at how we can achieve that over the next few months."
James was also pleased with stable runners Hera (NZ) (O'Reilly) and The Tidy Express (NZ) (Volksraad) who notched up creditable placings in the two feature events at Ellerslie on the weekend.
"I thought they were both good runs although Hera was beaten by the conditions of the race," he said.
"I'm not a fan of age-group races being run at anything other than set weights and I think my filly was disadvantaged even though she did go very well.
"She will now go to the Eight Carat Classic on Boxing Day.
"The Tidy Express went a super race so we will set a programme for her now we know she can compete at that level."

2/12/2013 Rogerson pleases with progress of class mares

The Graeme and Debbie Rogerson training partnership had plenty to be pleased about after class mares Soriano (NZ) (Savabeel) and Polyantha (Encosta De Lago) performed to expectations at the recent Paeroa trials.
Soriano did everything asked of her to win untouched over 1150 metres in the first heat of the day while one heat later Polyantha put in an eye-catching late burst to close off strongly behind the placegetters over the same distance.
"Soriano will run in the Captain Cook Stakes at Trentham this weekend so she needed a nice hit-out which she got," said Debbie Rogerson.
"She has been going really well in this campaign so it would be nice to think she could get amongst the finish although it's looking like she will be up against a pretty good field."
Soriano finished fourth in the Gr. 1 Spring Classic (2040m) at Hastings three starts back and has since recorded stakes placings at both Rotorua and Ellerslie. Safely through this weekend's event the four-year-old Savabeel mare will head to
the Gr. 1 Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.
The royally bred Polyantha was having her first serious gallop since suffering a bleeding attack at Ellerslie in April and delighted Rogerson with her run.
"We have taken her along quietly since she had her bleeding problem and so far she has done everything without a hitch," she said.
"She will have another trial at Te Aroha on the 17th of December and then we will look to kick her off sometime over the Christmas period."
The Rogerson team also produced stylish Nadeem twoyear- old, Candid Man (NZ), to score nicely over 700 metres in the fastest time for the journey on the day.

Soriano and rider Rory Hutchings at the Te Teko trials back in August

1/12/2013 Lady Kipling adds another stakes win

Leith Innes urges Lady Kipling to victory in the Eagle Tecnology Stakes, having got the better of Postmans Daughter and Derek Nolan in a race dominated by the two top-class mares.

Mother-to-be Lady Kipling (NZ) (Savabeel) is in a race against time to add a richly deserved Group One victory to her record with the Zabeel Classic, on Boxing Day at Ellerslie, likely to be her last chance to lock in a top-flight success.
The six-year-old has finished fourth in the last two runnings of the event to go with minor placings at the highest level in the Thorndon Mile, Captain Cook Stakes, Otaki-Maori WFA Classic, Levin Classic and the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes.
Now in foal to Rip Van Winkle, Lady Kipling showed she was ready to make the most of the opportunity when she claimed yesterday's Group Three Eagle Technology Stakes at Ellerslie.
"She's just a very good horse and so honest," co-trainer Murray Baker said. "She's been a beautiful mare to train and if they were all like her it would be easy. She's another Savabeel and they are terrific horses."
Speaking of her future prospects, Baker noted, "There's the Zabeel Classic or the Thorndon Mile – but she'll have weight in the Thorndon and that makes it very hard for a mare."
Lady Kipling was given a dream trip by Leith Innes one off the fence and they came with a perfectly timed run to beat the iron horse Postmans Daughter (NZ) (Postponed), who will back up in next Saturday's Group One Captain Cook Stakes at
"She's got a terrific finish and she's an easy horse to ride and you can put her where you want," Baker said. "Leith rode her beautifully and two class mares fought out the finish."
The victory continued Innes' success with daughters of Savabeel, having won the Group Three Wellington Stakes at Otaki the previous day aboard Lucia Valentina.
Baker said Lady Kipling was likely to round off her preparation for the Zabeel Classic in two weeks' time in the Group Two Cal Isuzu Stakes at Te Rapa. She beat the top-class Shez Sinsational to win the event two years ago.

Race ARC Eagle Technology S. Gr.3 1600m
Winner Lady Kipling (NZ) 2007
Owners G Candy & L I Redshaw
Trainer Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman (Cambridge)
Breeding by Savabeel (Aus) out of Akela by Al Akbar (Aus)
Breeder Alchemy Family Trust & Windsor Park Stud Ltd
Sales 2009 NZ National Yearling Sale, Select Session;
V: Windsor Park Stud, P: Mr M P Baker; $62,500

1/12/2013 Rising Romance has the answer

Habibi is the yardstick for three-year-old fillies in the Dean and Donna Logan yard and a current member of the team is doing her best to emerge from the shadow cast by the stable's champion performer.
Now in the United States following her sale to American owner George Strawbridge, Habibi won six of her nine starts for the Ruakaka trainers, including the Group One New Zealand Derby and the Great Northern Guineas and
Championship Stakes, both at Group Two level.
She also won the Trevor Eagle Memorial and the Logans successfully defended that title, run for the first time this year at black type level, on her behalf at Ellerslie yesterday with the promising Rising Romance (NZ).
The pair also share another common factor – both are by Ekraar. And while Donna Logan isn't so wildly optimistic to expect Rising Romance to match Habibi, she is enthusiastic about her future.
"We've always rated her quite highly and John Carter (the owner) was asking me in the parade ring why we were lining up in this race. I said we need to know if she's good enough to go on to the Eight Carat Classic and races like that," Logan
Rising Romance answered that in the affirmative when she handled the step up from a last-start Dargaville maiden success to stakes company with ease.
Rider Michael Coleman gave her an economical run three back on the fence and was then able to angle her into the clear 250 metres from home. The filly bounded between runners to leave no excuses for the beaten brigade.
Hera (NZ) (O'Reilly) fought on for a solid second after looking to have every chance with Fast Dragon (Fastnet Rock), back after a dismal Sydney campaign, the best of the male contingent in third place.
There was chaos at the start when Lady Cumquat was scratched after she got out from underneath the front of her gate. Black Mascara, who was next to her in the barrier, was also withdrawn.

Race ARC Trevor Eagle Memorial S. L 1500m
Winner Rising Romance (NZ) 2010
Owners Carter Bloodstock Ltd
Trainer Donna & Dean Logan (Ruakaka)
Breeding by Ekraar (USA) out of Post Romance by
Postponed (USA)
Breeder Carter Bloodstock Ltd

After a sweet run in transit in the Trevor Eagle Memorial, Rising Romance dashes to the lead close to home for Michael Coleman and announces herself as a coming contender for three-year-old honours.

1/12/2013 Grand old mare gets win#14 with defiant display in Wanganui Cup

On a day turned unpleasant by driving rain, Darryl Bradley is the only one smiling as he acknowledges Sacha's brave win in yesterday's Wanganui Cup with a victory salute on the field's return to scale.

The curtain is coming down on the career of Sacha (NZ) (Keeper) and yesterday she made the most of one of her final racing chances with a game effort to add the Listed Wanganui Cup to her record.
There will be some long faces around Lisa Latta's stable when Sacha does finally head to the broodmare paddock as she has been an outstanding servant of the Awapuni operation.
"She's been with us since she was a yearling and you just don't get many mares like her," Latta said. "She's definitely a favourite."
Sacha's win in the Cambridge Thoroughbred Lodge Civics-sponsored feature was the 14th of her 86-start career, which also features black type successes in the Opunake and Rangitikei Cups and the Tauranga Classic.
Raced by Levin couple Hoko and Nita Gardiner, the doughty eight-year-old daughter of Keeper is in foal to Alamosa.
"She'll probably have a couple more runs – obviously the Manawatu Cup and we'll see whether she needs a lead-up run for that," Latta said.
Rider Darryl Bradley can also take a bow for his frontrunning ride aboard Sacha, who was clear at the head of the field 800 metres from home and saw it out to the bitter end to beat Delecta Dreims (NZ) (St Reims) by a head with Back In
Black (NZ) (Storm Creek) arriving late for third.
"Darryl thought he'd be up in the first five, but he said the mare is just thriving being in foal and she lobbed along and ended up in front," Latta said.
Heavy rain during the day and a downgrade to a Dead 6 track didn't help the cause of the favourite O'Fille (NZ) (O'Reilly). The top-class mare finished a creditable fourth in her first run over ground of this campaign and can be
expected to show marked improvement for the outing.

Race Wanganui JC Wanganui Cup L 2040m
Winner Sacha (NZ) 2005
Owners H P & Mrs N L Gardiner
Trainer Lisa Latta (Awapuni)
Breeding by Keeper (Aus) out of Viva Romance (GB) by
Machiavellian (USA)
Breeder J Sung

1/12/2013 Lucia completes Stephen's day and signals a successful season

Lucia Valentina prompts a victory fist-pump from Leith Innes as the filly carries him to an impressive win over Glorious Lad in Friday's Wellington Stakes at Otaki.

Filly of the future Lucia Valentina (NZ) (Savabeel) gave a taste of what's to come when she completed a rewarding day at Otaki on Friday for trainer Stephen Marsh and his owners.
In the hands of Leith Innes, the three-year-old put her male rivals in their place with a sublime victory in the Group Three Ekraar @ Linwood Wellington Stakes and the team around her all confidently predicted the best is yet to come.
Lucia Valentina followed the earlier winning lead of her stablemate Barbaric, who had also displayed an impressive turn of foot to win the Levin Stakes.
"We've had a good day and got both the features," Marsh said. "I'm rapt to do it with two horses really going through the grades."
Lucia Valentina is raced by Wellingtonian Lib Petagna– whose colours were carried to victory by Atlante three weeks ago in the New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas – and was making only her third raceday appearance. She won first-up
at Tauranga and was then denied racing room when sixth at Te Rapa.
"She's obviously very talented and she should be unbeaten," Marsh said. "We went out with a plan to ride her a bit cooler and Leith rode her beautifully. He got her out and presented her in the middle of the track and she picked up
really well.
"She's gone 1200 metres, 1400 and now a mile and when she gets to 2000 metres and further she'll be even better."
Lucia Valentina lengthened stride impressively in the closing 200 metres to beat Glorious Lad (NZ) (Falkirk), who was on the pace all the way, and the genuine Lucky Feather (NZ) (Darci Brahma).
"She really let down well when I angled her out and I was pretty confident once we were into the clear," Innes said.
"She's such a nice and relaxed filly and you won't see the best of her until she gets up to 2000 metres."

Race Levin RC Wellington S. Gr.3 1600m
Winner Lucia Valentina (NZ) 2010
Owners JML Bloodstock Ltd (Mgr L Petagna)
Trainer Stephen Marsh (Cambridge)
Breeding by Savabeel (Aus) out of Staryn Glenn by Montjeu (Ire)
Breeder Mrs H G & W G Bax
Sales 2012 National Yearling Sale, Premier Session;
V: Blandford Lodge, P: Bruce Perry Bloodstock
Ltd; $60,000

1/12/2013 Barbaric on track to Telegraph

On arguably better ground centre-track, Barbaric (nearest camera) comes with a storming finish to pip the pacemaker Eight Schillings in the Levin Stakes.

Stephen Marsh has never doubted the talent possessed by Barbaric (NZ) (Pins) and it's only been a case of whether the chestnut's troublesome feet and joints would allow him to realise his potential.
The Cambridge trainer tagged him as a Group One horse some time ago and the gelding's performance at Otaki on Friday suggested they are on the verge of cracking the big time.
Barbaric overcame an interrupted run to unleash a dashing late burst to win the Listed Chainey's Panasonic Levin Stakes with a bid at Trentham's feature sprint confirmed by his effort.
"He's definitely a Telegraph horse and that's where he's been aimed for a while," Marsh said. "Now he's right, that is where he's headed."
Bred and raced by Goodwood Stud, Barbaric has won five of his eleven starts during a career that has been regularly interrupted by injury. Marsh attributed maturity and a lengthy break following his last preparation as the two key factors
behind the horse's current soundness.
Barbaric didn't leave the gates brilliantly at Otaki and was then squeezed back before rider Matt Cameron was able to get him into the clear at the top of the straight.
Pacemaker Eight Schillings (NZ) (O'Reilly) set a solid clip in front and was holding a strong gallop in the closing hundred metres before Barbaric thundered home wide out to nail him right on the wire.
"I didn't want to be that far back, but he never jumps that well and the others came across and we got shuffled back," Cameron said.
"He's really come right and is feeling good – Stephen's done a great job with him."

Race Levin RC Levin S. L 1200m
Winner Barbaric (NZ) 2008
Owners Goodwood Stud Ltd (Mgrs R S & W P Fell)
Trainer Stephen Marsh (Cambridge)
Breeding by Pins (Aus) out of Burnzees Magic by Kinjite
Breeder Goodwood Stud Ltd

Lucia Valentina looking for black-type

29th Nov 2013

Trainer Stephen Marsh believes Lucia Valentina (NZ) (Savabeel) is unlucky not to be sporting the perfect form line ahead of her sternest test at Otaki on Friday.

The Cambridge trainer has a high opinion of the daughter of Savabeel, who will take on a competitive line-up of three-year-olds in the Gr.3 Ekraar @ Linwood Park Wellington Stakes.

Stephen Marsh

A half-sister to last season’s Gr.3 Manawatu Classic winner Malandrino (NZ) (Darci Brahma), Lucia Valentina showed she had inherited a good dose of the family ability with an impressive debut success at Tauranga. She then ran into dead ends when sixth at Te Rapa.

“If she had got any luck then I think she would have won there, she’s well above average,” Marsh said.

Lucia Valentina is considered an Oaks filly in the making and the extra distance, among other factors, at Otaki will be to her advantage.

“The mile will really help her, she’s drawn well, the smaller field will suit her and we’ve got a senior rider in Leith Innes aboard,” Marsh said.

He also has a genuine winning prospect in the other feature event on the Wellington card, the Listed Chainey’s Panasonic Levin Stakes, with Barbaric (NZ) (Pins).

“He’s definitely better left-handed and gets in with 54kg from a good draw,” Marsh said.

“Matt Cameron will ride him and he’s got to be a big chance.”

Barbaric was an outstanding winner in the lower grade when he resumed at Rotorua under 60kg last month and then finished fourth behind last Saturday’s stakes winner Waterford at Ellerslie.

“He just doesn’t like it right-handed and he was never really balanced up,” Marsh said. “He laid in down the straight, but he has come through the race really well.”

Long considered a Group One horse in the making, Barbaric has a history of leg issues, but as a five-year-old he has been untroubled.

“We gave him a really good spell and his feet have grown out and he’s the best he’s ever been,” Marsh said. – NZ Racing Desk.

Double O Seven licensed to win

29th Nov 2013

Watch out for a much-improved performance from Double O Seven (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) on Saturday is the message from Hastings co-trainer Guy Lowry.

With the head gear back on and a rain-affected track in prospect, the stayer is expected to make his presence felt in the Listed Cambridge Thoroughbred Lodge Civics Wanganui Cup.

Double O Seven (NZ) (No Excuse Needed)

“He’ll have the blinkers back on this time and he’s only ever really performed with them on,” said Lowry, who prepares the eight-year-old with Grant Cullen.

“We like him and we’re quietly confident and it’s nice to have one good enough to run in the Wanganui Cup.

It’s significant that the last time Double O Seven raced in blinkers he turned in a career-high performance with a strong third placing in the Gr.3 Hawke’s Bay Gold Cup behind Survived (NZ) (Zed).

He was given a deserved break after that effort and resumed on an encouraging note when he made ground well for sixth over 1600 metres on the final day of the Hawke’s Bay carnival.

Double O Seven was again doing his best work late over the metric mile at Hastings last month before he stepped up to a middle distance at Woodville where he finished fourth of five on a Good 2 surface.

“The firm track there got to him and he didn’t stretch out at all,” Lowry said.

The Wanganui event will present Double O Seven with an overdue crack at a cup race after false starts in two previous attempts.

“The plan was to go to the New Zealand Cup with him, but he knocked a leg and then we tried to get him ready for the Feilding Cup and he missed out on his Rating so we switched to the Wanganui Cup,” Lowry said.  

“Apart from his last start, all his runs have been good and we think he can measure up to them.” – NZ Racing Desk.

29/11/2013 Tougher task than expected at Ellerslie

Cambridge galloper Historian (NZ) (Choisir) pictured here on the inner of Neo (NZ) (One Cool Cat) will compete in the Eagle Technology Stakes at Ellerslie tomorrow

Gary Alton thought he had found a softer path to another target race with Historian (NZ) (Choisir) only to find one or two others had similar thoughts.
The Cambridge trainer has plumped for Saturday's Gr.3 Eagle Technology Stakes at Ellerslie in preference to another trip south, but the metric mile has attracted the presence of unexpected competition.
"The Captain Cook was looking like a who's who of racing so I thought I'd try the easier option with him," Alton said.
"It's turned out to be a bit stronger than I thought with Murray Baker's horse (Lady Kipling) and Postmans Daughter.
"I don't like racing him too much after all his problems, but I do need to get another run into him for the Group One there at Christmas time."
The Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day will provide Alton with the ideal opportunity to step last season's Gr.1 Thorndon Mile winner Historian out over more ground.
"I always thought a mile was his best distance, but it's not like he sprints – he just puts himself there and keeps going so maybe 2000 metres is what he needs these days," he said.
Historian has a good record at Ellerslie with two wins and four placings, including a runner-up finish in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby.
"It's not quite as good as it could have been – I had the biggest bet of my life on him when he ran second there (in March). He had chips taken out of a fetlock after that so I guess he had an excuse, that's racing."
Historian returned after surgery to win the Gr.3 Spring Sprint first-up at Hastings and then ran seventh from a wide gate in the Gr.2 Coupland's Bakeries Mile at Riccarton.
"He did a bit of work early and when Scapolo quickened he couldn't go with him," Alton said. "It wasn't a bad run, he was beaten about five lengths, and he has come through it really well," Alton said.
NZ Racing Desk.

25/11/2013 Neo sheds bridesmaid tag at Counties

Neo and rider Opie Bosson are well in control close to the winning post on Saturday

Former Wellington Guineas winner Neo (NZ) shed the bridesmaid tag he had developed lately with a decisive win over 1600 metres in open company at Pukekohe on Saturday.
Runner-up in his previous three starts, the speedy son of One Cool Cat was ridden a treat by top jockey Opie Bosson to hold off all challengers down the long Pukekohe home straight and record his fourth win from sixteen career starts.
"It was a very cool ride by Opie who felt the horse still had something up his sleeve if they had come at him again in the closing stages," said co-trainer Andrew Forsman.
"Opie really clicks with this horse as he rode him to win the Wellington Guineas and it may have been what he needed to get him home in first place after those frustrating placings recently."
A start in the Gr. 3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie this weekend is a possibility for Neo provided he pulls up well from Saturday's contest.
Forsman was disappointed but realistic about the sensational late scratching of stable runner Thunderbird One (Storm Creek) from the Gr. 3 DHL Counties Cup on Saturday after the temperamental gelding refused to enter the starting
"We thought we had turned a corner with him two starts ago as he was starting to relax and move into the gates okay but he got stirred up at Ellerslie last time even though he finally went in and when he banged the gate on Saturday
as they made the first attempt to get him it just all turned to custard," he said.
"Once he gets it in his head he doesn't want to do something he just won't do it and the last thing we would have wanted was to see one of the other runners or the barrier staff get hurt if they had kept trying to force him in on the weekend."
There was also further bad news for the stable during the week with talented four-year-old Usainity (NZ) (Zed) out for up to 12 months with tendon damage that was sustained during the running of his first start in a new campaign at Tauranga recently.

25/11/2013 Emotional win at Awapuni

Iamishwara registers the first win for his trainer and owners since their devastating stable fire in August

Promising sprinter/miler Iamishwara (NZ) (Keeninsky) finally managed to put a smile back on the face of his owners Antony and Nicki Kaye with a win in the Scully Products Bulls Country Cup (1400m) at Awapuni on Saturday
as the couple rebuild their lives following a devastating stable fire back in August.
The Kaye's were woken in the early hours of Sunday the 9th of August to find their stable complex on fire where, despite valiant efforts from all involved, they lost the entire building and several of the animals inside including two ponies that were the prized possessions of their two daughters.
"It was such a gut wrenching experience and I still have nightmares about it," remarked Nicki Kaye. "We had no insurance and lost everything we had in terms of equipment, feed and the like but more importantly we lost some
beautiful animals that were like members of our family.
"It brought us to a standstill and we basically had to decide what we were going to do next but thankfully we received the most amazing support from people throughout the whole community and even from overseas so we decided
we would soldier on and try to make our way back.
"To win with Iamishwara on Saturday was a really magic moment as he is such a special horse and hopefully it will put us on the right track from now on."
It was the son of Keeninsky's fifth career win from just twenty eight starts and was just reward for several unlucky runs in recent starts.
"He has got the X factor and all he needed was a wee bit of luck to show that which he got on Saturday despite having some trouble finding a gap early in the run home," said Kaye.
"We know he has a serious turn of foot but even Aimee (rider Aimee Taylor) was shaking her head when she came back at just how fast he sprinted when she found a path for him.
"The great thing about him is that he is a horse who can backup after a hard run so we think he will now go to Wellington for a rating 85 race on Captain Cook Stakes day and then back to Awapuni on Manawatu Cup day for the Gr. 3
Challenge Stakes."
The Kaye's currently prepare a team of four from their property at Awapuni that is slowly being put back into shape with Nicki hopeful Iamishwara can attract further horses to their operation.
"While he is helping us financially with his efforts on the track we are also hoping that the success he has will get more owners to give us a try as we rebuild and get back on our feet."

25/11/2013 Softly approach for Queens Rose

Queens Rose in the parade ring before she entertained the huge crowd at Pukekohe with a convincing win

Matamata trainer Graham Richardson is in no hurry with his promising mare Queens Rose (NZ) (O'Reilly) who dealt to a competitive rating 85 line-up over 1400 metres at Pukekohe on Saturday, Despite recording a time that was fractionally
quicker than the feature race on the programme, the Gr. 2 NRM Auckland Breeders' Thoroughbred Stakes, Richardson was quick to point out that times don't tell the whole story in racing.
"She may have gone quicker than Final Touch but we had the perfect run in our race whereas she was three and four wide most of the way so it was a phenomenal effort to win which had me shaking my head," he noted.
"I have no doubt our mare can measure up to that grade in time but right now she needs to be taken along quietly as I think in six to twelve months she will be strong enough to mix it successfully with those top ones."
Richardson has always had a high opinion of his charge and has had a tilt at Group One company in the back of his mind since her maiden win at Matamata just on a year ago.
"She has always showed us plenty but has been quite weak and has really done everything on raw ability to date," he said.
"We did try her against the better mares at Hawera back in October but it proved that she just wasn't quite ready to take them on although the trip away has been the making of her as she has just thrived since that day.
"We have the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeder's Stakes at Te Aroha in April as a target for her but we will take it quietly until then as she will have plenty of chances to get a major win as she gets older."
Richardson is looking to a suitable rating 85 event at the Ellerslie Christmas Carnival as the mare's next assignment on her path to the Te Aroha feature on the 5th of April.

25/11/2013 Derby hope ready for next assignment

Lord Turbo (inner) is doing it easily at the end of his exhibition gallop in company with stablemate Lord Cassanova

With designs on the biggest prize in New Zealand three-year-old racing, the Gr. 1 TV3 New Zealand Derby, trainer Tony Bambry is happy his charge Lord Turbo (NZ) is right on track with his preparation for the classic in March.
The son of Perfectly Ready galloped in company between races at Awapuni on the weekend and left his mentor in no doubt he has him ready for a big race in Friday's Gr. 3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) at Otaki.
"He had a lovely hit-out and came his last 600 metres in 34 seconds on his ear so I think he is ready to go a big one at Otaki," said Bambry.
"I'm not sure what the weather forecast for the weekend is but he copes with all surfaces so if we did get rain it wouldn't worry him although he showed he can handle a better track when he ran 4th in the Hawkes Bay Guineas where he had no
luck and got home strongly.
"He really hasn't had the luck of the draw in either of his last two starts as he has been back on the fence and making ground late when the others had already got away on him."
Bambry has set out his programme to get Lord Turbo to the Derby with a start in the Listed Championship Stakes Prelude (2100m) at Ellerslie on the 15th of December next on his dance card.
"I will run him at Ellerslie on the 15th to give him a look around there and then he will have one more run before the Derby on the 1st of March," he said.
"I have no doubt he can get the Derby distance as he has horses like Senator, who won an Auckland Cup over two miles, in his pedigree and he relaxes in his races which tells me he will be fine as he gets over more ground."

24/11/2011 No hard luck stories this year as Final Touch takes the Breeders

Chris Johnson guides Final Touch past the winning post a comfortable winner of the Breeders Stakes at Pukekohe yesterday. Postmans Daughter (tartan jacket) fights on well for second as Lady Kipling's head pokes into the picture for third.

The south's glamour girl Final Touch (NZ) (Kashani) had a year-long score to settle at Pukekohe Park and she duly exacted her revenge yesterday at the expense of a hot field of mares.
Last season's champion sprinter was blocked for racing room when fourth in the NRM/Auckland Breeders' Thoroughbred Stakes twelve months ago and she took any luck out of the equation this time around before scoring a
resounding victory in the Group Two feature.
Final Touch went back in the field from an outside gate and settled kindly for her regular rider Chris Johnson, who made his move before the home bend.
"She was travelling that nicely that I thought I would let her stride up," Johnson said.
Final Touch was the widest runner into the straight and after quickly taking control she held all challengers at bay in the closing 200 metres to win by three-quarters of a length.
"She hit the front a wee way out and the second horse fought hard, but she went to the line nicely," Johnson said.
"She's as honest as and always tries."
Final Touch's previous visit to Pukekohe was the springboard to multiple Group One honours in the Captain Cook Stakes, the Telegraph Handicap and the Waikato Draught Sprint and she will be returning to Trentham next
month to defend the first of those titles.
"The Captain Cook is the next one again," said breeder and owner Karen Parsons, who also trains the grand mare with her husband John.
She was also quick to pay tribute to her jockey for all the behind the scenes work he has put in with Final Touch.
"We've got to thank the man on top – he's there at five in the morning to work the horses," Parsons said.
Runner-up Postmans Daughter (NZ) (Postponed) fought valiantly in the closing stages after racing three wide and Lady Kipling (NZ) (Savabeel) got home well once she had cleared a pocket. The first three runners home will renew
their rivalry in the Captain Cook Stakes.

Race Counties RC Auckland Thoroughbred
Breeders' S. Gr.2 1400m
Winner Final Touch (NZ) 2007
Owners Mrs K G Parsons
Trainer John & Karen Parsons (Balcairn)
Breeding by Kashani (USA) out of My Lydia (Aus) by
Breeder Mrs K G Parsons

24/11/2013 Annie carries punters through after Thunderbird misbehaves

Annie Higgins (10) gets her head in front at the right time for Leith Innes to snatch the Counties Cup from outsider Noble Warrior and Rogan Norvall. In a bunched finish, Atacama (blue and white hoops) pips Hiace (rails) for third.

Well-performed stayer Annie Higgins (NZ) (O'Reilly) looks set for another lucrative summer after turning up the heat at Pukekohe yesterday – providing the late excitement to the Group Three DHL Counties Cup with a storming finish to snatch victory on the
post following drama before the event.
When favourite Thunderbird One (NZ) (Storm Creek) refused to enter the gates, his late scratching handed favouritism to Annie Higgins and the Leith Innes mount was able to justify the weight of support, albeit by only a head.
"That was heart in the mouth stuff," Matamata trainer Lance Noble said, "but Leith timed it to perfection."
Annie Higgins settled midfield on the outer during the running and didn't fully hit top gear until late in the piece to edge out the longshot Noble Warrior (NZ) (Le Bec Fin) and the well-supported Atacama (NZ) (Pentire).
"She's a really tough and honest mare and gives one hundred per cent every time," Noble said. "She needed every bit of the 2100 metres so it's onwards and upwards now to the 2400 metres of the Waikato Cup."
Annie Higgins finished fourth in last year's Counties Cup before she won the Group Three feature at Te Rapa and also collected a placing in the Group Two Wellington Cup.
Noble had been expecting his staying mare to prove a handful for her rivals yesterday after a handy first-up effort over 1600 metres when seventh in the Listed Matamata Cup and then filling a similar placing in the Group Three
Sofitel Luxury Hotels Stakes, over 2000 metres at Ellerslie on Melbourne Cup day.
"She didn't have all favours at Ellerslie where it got a bit messy in the straight and she hit the line well," he said.
Victory also crowned an excellent day at Pukekohe for rider Leith Innes, who had earlier won aboard the Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue-trained duo of Sacred Star (Flying Spur) and last season's New Zealand Oaks winner More Than Sacred
(More Than Ready).

Race Counties RC Counties Cup Gr.3 2100m
Winner Annie Higgins (NZ) 2007
Owners Mrs N M Leicester
Trainer Lance Noble (Matamata)
Breeding by O'Reilly out of Diva Belle by Carnegie (Ire)
Breeder Mrs N M Leicester

24/11/2013 Waterford caps Tony's day

Versatile mare Waterford (NZ) (Darci Brahma) will go into the Group One Railway Stakes at Ellerslie on New Year's Day with an unbeaten record this preparation.
The four-year-old was successful when resuming at Ellerslie earlier this month and yesterday at Pukekohe she added a further victory with a scintillating performance to run away with the Listed BNZ Partners Counties Bowl.
"That was a super win and we'll keep her nice and fresh now for the Railway," co-trainer Tony Pike said. "We don't want to risk a re-handicap – she'll get in with 53.5kg and be a really good chance."
Runner-up in last season's Group One New Zealand One Thousand Guineas, Waterford showed outstanding acceleration for jockey Mark Du Plessis over the 1100 metres at Pukekohe. Coming from last on the turn, she mowed down
her rivals to win going away by four and a quarter lengths from Civics Rock (NZ) (Civics) and The Filly (NZ) (Ishiguru).
"Mark didn't panic when she got back to last and she picked them up easily," Pike said. "It's nice to have a filly that can sprint that well and get 1600 metres."
Du Plessis has no doubt the daughter of Darci Brahma has the talent to succeed at the highest level over 1200 metres.
"Kept fresh, she's up to winning a Group One sprint," he said. "She relaxes well and she's got a very good turn of foot."
For Pike, it was a perfect way to celebrate his 39th birthday – the stunning display from Waterford, whom he bred and races with his parents Wayne and Vicky, following the earlier wins of stablemates Sacred Star and More Than
Sacred."You don't get a treble on a Premier day very often," he said.

Race Counties RC Counties Bowl H. L 1100m
Winner Waterford (NZ) 2009
Owners V T W Breeding Company Ltd
Trainer Tony Pike & Mark Donoghue (Cambridge)
Breeding by Darci Brahma out of Crystal Hailey (USA) by Greinton (GB)
Breeder V T W Breeding Company Ltd

24/11/2013 Wide draw and wandering ways can't deny Jackofall a stakes win

Jackofall (3) has drifted out to centre-track but still manages to hold on and win the Murdoch Newell Stakes in the hands of Jonathan Riddell. To his outside, carrying the Bonecrusher colours, the filly Way In finishes well for second, with the green-hooded head of thirdplaced
Lautener just making the picture.

Lisa Latta's Fort Lincoln shocked punters as a $40-plus winner of the Karaka Million in 2011 but there will be no surprise factor about the stable's current hope for top honours in the country's richest two-year-old event.
Latta produced Jackofall (NZ) (Mastercraftsman) to win the Listed Murdoch Newell 2YO Stakes at Pukekohe Park yesterday and will now reward the youngster with some time off before the $1 million event at Ellerslie on January 26.
"We'll put him in the paddock for a couple of weeks now and maybe give him one lead-up race," the Awapuni horsewoman said.
She rates Jackofall as a superior customer to Fort Lincoln, who followed his Karaka Million win, in the hands of yesterday's winning rider Jonathan Riddell, with a second to the crack filly Anabandana in the Group One Diamond Stakes.
"This horse has a bit more ability than him," Latta said.
The colt showed his talent and courage at Pukekohe where he drew the outside gate and sped across the face of the field to lead and then fought on tenaciously in the run home.
"He's got a super attitude. There were obvious concerns about the draw but he jumped well and Jonathan did the right thing," Latta said.
Riddell said Jackofall's slender winning margin was more a reflection of his inexperience.
"Rather than get tired, he was looking at the big screen and the grandstand – he's a country boy coming to town," he said.
"He began okay without being spectacular and the plan was to try and get some cover. But I could see I was going to get flushed out so I had to use him."
From the first Southern Hemisphere crop of Mastercraftsman, Jackofall had a long head to spare on the filly Way In (NZ) (Thewayyouare) at the post with Lautner (NZ) (Keeninsky) in third spot ahead of Flaming (NZ) (Bachelor Duke).
There was a tragic sequel to the race with the wellsupported Xquisit (NZ) (Iffraaj) humanely destroyed after she broke down about 600 metres from home.

Race Counties RC Murdoch Newell S. L 1100m
Winner Jackofall (NZ) 2011
Owners Kamada Racing Partnership, J C McNeill, B &
Mrs L M Purvis and S J Scott
Trainer Lisa Latta (Awapuni)
Breeding by Mastercraftsman (Ire) out of Wizard Princess
(Aus) by Rory's Jester (Aus)
Breeder Mrs H G & W G Bax and Go Bloodstock New
Zealand Ltd
Sales 2013 National Yearling Sale, Select Session; V:
Blandford Lodge, P: Lisa Latta Racing; $34,000

22/11/2013 Promising stayer primed for Cup bid

Thunderbird One parades before his last run at Ellerslie

Thunderbird One (NZ) (Storm Creek) can step up to the plate on Saturday and confirm his middle distance prowess at Pukekohe Park.
He has long being considered a top staying prospect by trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman and the Gr.3 DHL Counties Cup over 2100 metres presents an ideal opportunity to confirm their belief.
"There won't be too many excuses with him – he's had that one run over ground so he's spot on for the weekend," Forsman said.
Thunderbird One sped through the grades with five successive wins, the last of them in an open sprint at Hastings, and he has added three placings since.
At his most recent appearance he tackled 2000 metres at weight-for-age and finished a strong third in the Gr.3 Sofitel Luxury Hotels Stakes.
"For an inexperienced horse at Ellerslie for the first time he was really good and he did beat home Ransomed and Postmans Daughter, two of the best middle distance horses in the country," Forsman said.
"We'd like to ride him a bit quieter on Saturday because he's better off getting out into the open and chasing."
A set plan to follow Saturday's outing has yet to be made for Thunderbird One and the Cambridge trainers might be spoilt for choice with the versatile five-year-old.
"He can run in weight-for-age races like the Zabeel Classic or handicaps so we've got plenty of options with him," Forsman said. "While he continues to race well we'll keep going."
The Cambridge stable also hold a strong hand in the Gr.3 NRM/Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes with laststart winner Lady Kipling (NZ) (Savabeel) and Diademe (NZ) (Savabeel), a solid fourth when resuming.
"They have both obviously improved and they're not far off their best," Forsman said. "They will take good improvement out of this race again and they are both drawn to get soft runs."
– NZ Racing Desk

22/11/2013 Dame Margot's progress rewarded

Johnathon Parkes sporting the Sandie Cookson colours on Dame Margot (outer)

Every question asked of Dame Margot (NZ) (Dance Floor) has been answered positively and that's earned her a shot at some of the best mares in the country.
The Foxton five-year-old will travel outside the Central Districts for the first time when she runs in the Gr.2 NRM/ Auckland Breeders' Thoroughbred Stakes at Pukekohe Park on Saturday.
"She's gone ahead in leaps and bounds and she had to win really well last time out to justify it and that's exactly what she did," trainer Sandie Cookson said.
"In the early stages she was pretty boisterous - she wasn't hard to handle or ride, she just wanted to do everything 100 miles an hour, but she's settled with maturity."
Dame Margot posted the fourth victory of her 12-start career last time out when she finished off powerfully to account for her Rating 85 rivals at Hastings.
She has been ridden in all of her wins by Johnathon Parkes and he will continue his association with the mare in the Counties feature.
"He's been on her just about all the way through," Cookson said. "He's got a real affinity with her and he's riding like a demon. I'm rapt for Johnathon – he works really hard and deserves all the success."
She is confident Dame Margot is a Group quality mare and options after Saturday include the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes on December 7, or more likely the Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes at Te Rapa a week later.
Cookson went close to winning the 2008 Captain Cook when O'Ceirins Angel (NZ) (Al Akbar), a dual Group Three winner, finished second in the Trentham feature. She also prepared Mr O'Ceirin (NZ) (Postponed) to win
two races before his sale to Australia where he won the Gr.3 Naturalism Stakes at Caulfield this spring.

Kayes in positive mood

21st Nov 2013

The Kaye stable are approaching their local meeting at Awapuni on Saturday full of confidence.

The star of their small team is Iamishwara (NZ) (Keeninsky) and they expect the four-year-old to advance his record when he runs in the Scully’s Products Bulls Country Cup over 1400 metres.

“On paper and the way the horse is he shouldn’t really be beaten,” said Nicola Kaye, whose husband Tony trains the gelding.

“He’s won three times on the track and he galloped really well on Thursday morning. Tony can’t fault the horse.

“Aimee Taylor is on him and she’s riding really well. Iamishwara can pull a bit and he’s quite a strong horse so hopefully she can hold him.

“The plan is to step him up to a mile after Saturday. We haven’t sorted out a specific race and we’ll just take our time with him, there’s no rush.”

A winner last season on a Premier day at Te Rapa, Iamishwara was fifth behind the very much in-form I Do (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) two runs back and then finished fourth at Awapuni after being blocked for room early in the straight.

“We’re hoping he can finally get one – he hasn’t had much luck this preparation,” Kaye said.

Neither has the Palmerston North-based couple, whose stables were ravaged by a fire back in August with two ponies and some sheep killed in the blaze. A return to winning form by Iamishwara on Saturday would be a well-overdue change of fortune for the Kayes.

He doesn’t meet a field of great depth with Aldebaran Star (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) a likely challenger for major honours after his run for second two starts back. He failed last time out, but they key to his chances is the step back to 1400 metres.

NZ Racing Desk.

22/11/2013 Top stables supporting Adams

A number of New Zealand's leading northern stables have already showed their support of young Australian riding talent Josh Adams.
The former champion Sydney apprentice is in the country to further his career, which boasts more than 230 winners, and as a natural lightweight he can comfortably ride at 53kg and lighter if required.
Since his arrival in New Zealand, Adams has been riding trackwork at Cambridge for Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Roger James, Stephen Marsh and Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young.
He has also ridden work for Nigel Tiley at Pukekohe where he will ride Sharakti for Baker and Forsman in the Rating 75 metric mile at Saturday's Counties meeting.
Adams plans to be in New Zealand for at least the next two or three months and the 21-year-old is keen to make an impression in the lead-up to the feature Christmas racing.

18/11/2013 Flying start to season to continue at Woodville

Consistent performer Double O Seven furthers his Wanganui Cup preparation at Woodville today

The Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen training partnership are off to a flying start in the first four months of the racing season with Lowry hopeful the run can continue for their team at Woodville today.
Their ten wins to date put them thirteenth on the National Trainer's Premiership ladder as they look to better the stable tally of twenty wins achieved in each of the previous two years.
"We have had a great start this year and with a little luck it could have been even better as we have been dogged by bad barrier draws of late," he said.
"Mind you, you always need plenty of luck to win a race so hopefully we can keep getting our share as we do have a nice team for summer racing."
That team includes five runners at Woodville with honest stayer Double O Seven (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) heading the list in the Stepmac Limited Stayers rating 85 2100 metre event, race two on the day's programme.
"He's a genuine horse who has raced well lately without cracking a win so we are hopeful of another good run today," he said. "He was supposed to go down to Riccarton for the Cup Carnival but had a small setback so we have him set for
the Wanganui Cup now so he would want to show us he is ready for a race like that today."
Promising mare Pearls (NZ) (Sudurka) is in the same race with Lowry keen to see how the mare performs as he looks to a potential start in the Gr. 2 Waikato Cup in December.
"She would need to go well today to consider a race like the Waikato Cup but I do have plenty of time for her and she has been very consistent of late."
The other three Lowry/Cullen entrants on the day are Bliss (NZ) (Thorn Park) in race three, Showstopper (NZ) (Pins) in race four and Pheasant (NZ) (Thorn Park) in race six.
"Bliss is a nice filly having her first start while Showstopper is having her second start after a good win at her first time to the races last month," said Lowry. "They are both very well and should perform creditably although Showstopper has drawn
a pretty tough field to compete against.
"Pheasant is our other runner and he is starting to test our patience as he has plenty of ability but doesn't want to show it at the moment.
"We've schooled him lately over a few hurdles to try and get his mind on the job but he is a real enigma so you never really know what he is going to produce."

18/11/2013 Speed Machine back for Summer campaign

Judging by the ease of his heat win at last week's Cambridge trials, free-going galloper Pellegrini (NZ) (Mr Nancho) will be a force to be reckoned with in this summer's feature sprint events.
Back in the Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman stable after a stint in Queensland with Robert Heathcote, the son of Mr Nancho led all the way to score untouched by a neck to indicate he was ready for a raceday return in the Listed
Counties Bowl at Pukekohe this weekend.
"We've had him back for about three weeks and he is pretty fit as he had a run back in October so he will be well forward for the race at Counties," said co-trainer Murray Baker.
"He did well over in Queensland including a third in the Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich so we think he can measure up in some of the good sprints over the summer period here."
Pellegrini won four races from the Baker stable before heading to Brisbane in February where he put two wins together from ten starts along with his placing in the Listed Eye Liner Stakes behind handy sprinter Conservatorium
(Royal Academy).
The Baker/Forsman stable will also be well represented in the feature race at Counties with Lady Kipling (NZ) (Savabeel) and Diademe (NZ) (Savabeel) strong contenders in the Gr. 2 NRM/Auckland Breeders Thoroughbred Stakes (1400m).
"They are both well and we expect big runs from them judging by their work since their first-up efforts," said Baker.
"Lady Kipling looks very bright and she will be attempting to defend her title in the race while Diademe has also pleased me after going a top race from a wide draw at Te Rapa."
The news wasn't as good for the team at Tauranga on Saturday where promising stayer Usainity (NZ) (Zed) pulled up lame after shifting a plate during the running of the Gartshore Construction 1400.
"It looks like he has driven the nail into his hoof when he lost the plate and he pulled up very lame," reported Baker.
"He had to have the vet treat him on the track and will need some time off before we get him back on track for his summer programme."

Pellegrini (inner) scoring at Te Aroha for trainer Murray Baker

18/11/2013 Tauranga double for Noble team

Despite a narrow defeat for Viadana (NZ) (Towkay) in the Group Three feature at Tauranga on Saturday, trainer Lance Noble was still feeling pleased with his afternoon's work after scoring an impressive double earlier in the day.
Handy stayer Beauty Perception (NZ) (Zabeel) put himself in contention for a potential Gr. 1 Auckland Cup start later in the season with a storming late run to victory in the Sea Containers NZ Ltd 2100 while one race later speedy
former Hong Kong galloper Beauty Show (Elusive Quality) led all the way in the Koning Webster Lawyers Tauranga 1200 in a quick 1.09.72 for the 1200 metre journey.
Both horses carry the familiar "Beauty" moniker of Cosmetics Industry magnate Simon Kwok, who races the horses in New Zealand in the ownership of his racing manager Clarence Tung.
"We have had a long association with Simon and Clarence so it is always very satisfying to win a race for them," noted Noble.
"We had Beauty Show as a young horse and won a trial with him before he went to Hong Kong where he won two trials and his first raceday start before injuring a tendon.
"They felt he would be better back here if he could get back to the track at all so we have taken it very slowly with him and, as you would expect after an injury like he had, he really is a day-to-day racing proposition.
"We think he has the ability to win in stakes company so we deliberately ran him out of his grade on Saturday as he needs the rating points to get in to some of those good sprint races over the next couple of months."
Noble is also delighted with the development of Beauty Perception who returned to the stable for this preparation after doing his early racing for Cambridge trainer Fred Cornege.
"We initially had Beauty Perception but he just didn't enjoy being in a big stable so we sent him to Fred who doesn't have big numbers in his team and he did a great job with him.
"He has finally matured both mentally and physically and he looks as though he can go through the grades in this preparation.
"Ideally we would like to target the Auckland Cup as his major assignment so we are looking at how to get him there with the City of Auckland Cup on New Year's Day being a likely option."
Noble reported Viadana had pulled up well from her weekend's exertions and will now head to the Gr. 1 Captain Cook Stakes at Trentham on 7 December along with stablemate Brave Centaur (NZ) (O'Reilly) who finished a
gallant third in the Gr. 2 Couplands Bakeries Mile at his last start.

Matamata trainer Lance Noble scored a double at Tauranga on Saturday

17/11/2013 Costa capitalises on Bounding's Blues and grabs a Guineas win

Urged on by the railbird section of Riccarton's capacity crowd, the country's best three-year-old fillies reach the winning post in yesterday's One Thousand Guineas – Costa Viva (left) outgunning Bounding (centre) with Spellbinder (right) fighting on for third.

Jason Bridgman couldn't possibly have wished for yesterday's New Zealand One Thousand Guineas at Riccarton to have unfolded any better for Costa Viva (Encosta De Lago) and rider Leith Innes did the rest.
The Matamata trainer knew his filly required a genuine pace and the opportunity to have the final crack at her rivals in the straight and that's exactly how the New Zealand Bloodstock-sponsored Group One feature panned out.
"It played out well for her with a bit of early tempo," Bridgman said. "Unfortunately Bounding got caught wide and Leith ended up in a lovely spot and set it up for the last shot and he executed it perfectly."
Costa Viva settled one off the fence toward the back of the small field and when presented by Innes she was able to power over the top and win going away by three-quarters of a length.
"This filly has done absolutely nothing wrong. David Ellis bought her at the Gold Coast and she didn't get broken in until June as a two-year-old," Bridgman said.
"She's a terrific filly in the making and the logical focus is the Filly of the Year series so we'll be following that path with her."
Bridgman was also proud of the effort of Costa Viva's stablemate Spellbinder (NZ) (O'Reilly) to finish third for rider Matt Cameron after racing outside the leader.
"She was very game and she showed a lot of heart on a track that was a bit too good for her," he said. "When you see her up to 2000 metres at Ellerslie at Christmas time she'll be a special filly."
For winning rider Leith Innes it was a moment to savour after he had been denied victory in the event twelve months ago aboard Waterford, who was pipped on the post by Rollout The Carpet and Mark Du Plessis.
This time around it was Innes' day after Du Plessis couldn't get a sight of the fence aboard the hot pot Bounding (Lonhro) and had to settle for second best.
"I had a race plan and thought there would be an even tempo and wanted to ride her a bit quiet and have the last run at them," Innes said.
"I always had the drop on Bounding. It's a shame Matt chose the wrong one, but I'm not complaining."

Race CJC New Zealand One Thousand Guineas Gr.1 1600m
Winner Costa Viva (Aus) 2010
Owners Mrs J & R K Batten, Mrs D Ford, D P & Mrs N E Hurst
Trainer Jason Bridgman (Matamata)
Breeding by Encosta De Lago (Aus) out of Vivacious
Spirit (Aus) by Bel Esprit (Aus)
Breeder K G Williams and K R Biggins

17/11/2013 Spring Cheer bounds clear to land the Cup for team Myers

That man Kevin Myers was at it again at Riccarton yesterday with yet another successful feature race raid that had an experienced and respected horseman shaking his head in admiration.
The Wanganui trainer had set Spring Cheer (NZ) (Bachelor Duke) on a path toward the Group Three Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup some months back and The Oaks Stud-bred and raced mare duly won out in the 3200 metre feature.
"I can't believe how good this trainer is and I wish he was here to share it all with us," the Cambridge farm's general manager said.
"It's huge for me and for (stud owner) Dick Karreman– he puts all the money in and I'm just the guy who runs the orchestra."
It was a winning tune that Williams presided over in Christchurch and the other major player was Myers' niece and successful rider Rosie.
"She rode a filly called Blanket Bay for us in the Oaks and rode it perfectly," Williams said. "She's had a few seconds and I said to Rosie before the race here's your chance to break the duck."
Myers got Spring Cheer moving across the top and the four-year-old outfinished Go Joeli (NZ) (Brilliance), who was in front into the straight, to take major honours by a long head and join Kelly as a cup winner after her sister's 2008 success
aboard Hoorang.
"That was outstanding and full credit to Uncle Kevin, who targeted this race a long time ago," Myers said. "I was a bit handier than I had expected and when they all started going around me I let her get out and cruise around them and she
got to the line beautifully."
When Spring Cheer was improving the favoured Guns At Five (NZ) (Duelled) was strung up in traffic and he hit the line well for third ahead of the winner's stablemate Mahanadi (NZ) (Tiger Hill). His effort to run fourth after winning the
Grand National Hurdles in August further underlined Myers' conditioning skills.

Spring Cheer and Rosie Myers are led back to scale by Jason Myers, son of the trainer Kevin Myers and trackwork rider of the New Zealand Cup winning mare.

Race CJC New Zealand Cup Gr.3 3200m
Winner Spring Cheer (NZ) 2009
Owners The Oaks Stud
Trainer Kevin Myers (Wanganui)
Breeding by Bachelor Duke (USA) out of Guardian Angel
(Ire) by Groom Dancer (USA)
Breeder Karreman Bloodstock Ltd

17/11/2013 Opie tears up Tauranga

Rival trainers John Bary and Lance Noble were side by side watching Saturday's Group Three Tauranga Stakes and the pair couldn't help but smile about the way the race developed.
Bary's Survived (NZ) (Zed) won the Stella Artois-sponsored event after making the play out in front and the Noble-trained Viadana (NZ) (Towkay) came from last to finish runner-up.
"It was sitting with Lance and we were laughing – his horse was meant to lead and our bloke was supposed to be at the back," Bary said.
While both horsemen were more than satisfied with the outcome, it was the Bary camp that came out on top and credit was duly given to the successful rider Opie Bosson.
"That's why Opie is a fantastic jockey," Bary said. "To lead fresh-up over a mile is an ask, but it's no good sitting at the back when he's pulling his head off."
Survived settled well once he was able to take control and kicked hard in the straight to win in his first appearance since running third in the Group One Spring Classic six weeks ago.
"It was really good to see him put his nose down and out.
Sometimes he gets his head up and the gear changes seem to have worked," Bary said.
"He's still a work in progress and it will be on to the next step and the Captain Cook Stakes and then the Zabeel Classic. We'll re-group after that and assess things."
The revamped Sydney autumn carnival is high on the list of priorities for the four-year-old Survived for 2014. "It's in the brain, all right," Bary said. "There's an awful lot of money on offer."
Second placegetter Viadana did well to get within a long head of the winner after rounding the corner widest of all. She went close to providing a perfect day for Noble and rider Craig
Grylls, who had combined to win the previous two events with Beauty Perception (NZ) (Zabeel) and Beauty Show (Elusive Quality).
There was also a pre-race drama to the Stakes, with the late scratching under Rule 2091 (c), administration of an unknown substance on raceday, of Postmans Daughter.

John Bary . . . shared an in-race joke with fellow trainer Lance Noble.

Race BOP RC Tauranga S. Gr.3 1600m
Winner Survived (NZ) 2009
Owners D J Gordon
Trainer John Bary (Hastings)
Breeding by Zed out of Liberal by Generous (Ire)
Breeder D J Gordon

17/11/2013 Bryce escapes the wet weather - rewarded with welcome win

Black and red slugging it out against blue and white always raises the pulse rate of a Christchurch crowd . . . in this case, though, it's Taranaki's Second Time Lucky holding out Hamilton's Serein in the Welcome Stakes.

Bryce Revell's decision to escape the lingering rain in Taranaki with his two-year-old Second Time Lucky (NZ) (Any Suggestion) has been vindicated with two cheques and a Listed win for the filly.
The New Plymouth trainer headed south early with the daughter of Any Suggestion, who yesterday showed the benefit of her first-up run with victory in the Barneswood Farm Agistment Welcome Stakes.
"It was pretty wet at home so I thought she'd thrive down here," said Revell, who also shares in the ownership.
He was delighted with her debut performance at Riccarton last month when she finished runner-up over 800 metres behind the flying Hurunui (NZ) (Buffalo Man).
"That was a huge effort," Revell said. "She got beaten by a track record and she'd only had a couple of jump-outs."
Second Time Lucky had to overcome the outside gate in the Welcome and that proved no problem to the sublime riding skills of Chris Johnson, who landed the juvenile home by a half neck.
"She's a pretty classy filly and we hope she goes on with it – she's looking good at the moment," Revell said.
A bargain $5500 Karaka purchase, Second Time Lucky had enough in reserve to repel the late run of the Avondale debut winner Serein (NZ) (Postponed) with Perkins (NZ) (Sir Percy) third. He was ridden aggressively from the barrier by James
McDonald and looks one to follow over more ground.
The favourite and previously unbeaten Hurunui showed his usual gate speed to lead but was in trouble halfway down the straight and ran greenly under pressure. He held fourth money from Don't Change (NZ) (Thewayyouare).

Race CJC Welcome S. L 1000m
Winner Second Time Lucky (NZ) 2011
Owners M Aiken, G P Hughes, S M Payne and B D Revell
Trainer Bryce Revell (New Plymouth)
Breeding by Any Suggestion (Aus) out of Dance Parade
(Aus) by Personal Hope (USA)
Breeder G & Mrs L M Jones
Sales 2013 National Yearling Sale, Festival Session; V:
Highbury Park Stud, P: B D Revell; $5500

17/11/2013 Who Shot the Barman sets up a shout at next year's Nz Cup

A successful scouting mission to Riccarton has set up Who Shot Thebarman (NZ) (Yamanin Vital) for a return in twelve months' time with the meeting's biggest staying prize on the agenda.
Trainer Mark Oulaghan has a happy knack of winning feature races on the Christchurch course and the Group Three New Zealand Cup is the long-term target for his latest distance specialist.
"That's the aim with him and we've had a good run here in the past," Oulaghan said. "He's a typical Yamanin Vital – a strong staying horse."
Who Shot Thebarman was an easy winner on the middle day of this year's carnival and yesterday he completed a double in the Airpark Canterbury Premier, although with only a short head to spare over Black Stockings (NZ) (Painted
Black) at the end of the 2500 metres.
"Halfway down the straight it looked like he was going to win easily so it was a good run from the other horse," Oulaghan said.
Who Shot Thebarman was forced into the uncustomary role of pacemaker but he made the most of the situation and stuck to his task gamely in the closing stages for rider Mark Du Plessis.
"He's still very raw and an immature sort of stayer," he said. "I didn't want to lead and got there by default. The more racing the better for him."
The five-year-old began his career last season with a pair of runaway wins on rain-affected tracks at Trentham and two further placings followed this preparation on similar going.
A further string has now been added to his bow with his Riccarton double on much improved footing.
Another lightly tried galloper with strong future prospects to impress on the Cup day undercard was Lisa Latta's King Kamada (NZ) (Shinko King), who won for the third time in his 13-start career when successful in the 1800 metre
NZ Tax Refunds Premier – the four-year-old appreciating a stronger tempo than he'd encountered when unplaced over 1600 metres on the first day.

In what may turn out to be a preview of next year's New Zealand Cup, Who Shot Thebarman hangs on grimly for Mark Du Plessis to win the opening event on yesterday's card from the brave mare Black Stockings and Chris Johnson.

Race CJC Airpark Canterbury H. 2500m
Winner Who Shot Thebarman (NZ) 2008
Owners O'Leary Brothers
Trainer Mark Oulaghan (Awapuni)
Breeding by Yamanin Vital out of Ears Carol by
Carolingian (Aus)
Breeder B J & Mrs L E Anderton

17/11/2013 Big money beckons for mare and colt as winning form continues

The dress rehearsal for the sternest test of her career went without a hitch for I Do (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) at Tauranga yesterday when the grand grey mare and apprentice Dylan Turner continued their unbeaten association.
The six-year-old has been set for the Group One Captain Cook Stakes at Trentham on December 8 and she will carry a near impeccable form line into the weight-for-age feature.
The Allan and Kane Sharrock-trained I Do won yesterday's Gartshore Construction Open Handicap after a previous sprint win at Awapuni. Those back-to-back successes came off her solid resuming run for second behind Postmans Daughter
in the Group Three Taranaki Breeders' Stakes.
I Do was ridden off the pace at Tauranga by Turner before the 19-year-old allowed the mare to slide around the field across the top.
They were the widest pairing into the straight and maintained a sustained finishing run to post the ninth win of I Do's career. Turner's previous three rides on the daughter of No Excuse Needed returned victories at Awapuni, Otaki and
Meanwhile, promising colt Fraajilistic (NZ) (Iffraaj) continued his steady progress toward a Group One target with further success in the O'Connor Warren Insurance 3YO Handicap.
"He's starting to produce what we always knew he was capable of and he's got his confidence up now," co-trainer Brendon Hawtin said. "He'll go to Ellerslie in a couple of weeks and we'll be looking at the Levin Classic with him. He can only
get better."
A last-start maiden winner at Ellerslie on Melbourne Cup day for Keith and Brendon Hawtin, Fraajilistic got home narrowly but well from Black Mascara (NZ) (Don Eduardo), who had won at her Pukekohe debut 2½ weeks ago.
Topweight Cosmic Cube (NZ) (Dehere) was third in his first appearance since his late scratching from the Group Three Sarten Memorial at Te Rapa on Labour Day.

Race BOP RC Gartshore Construction H. 1400m
Winner I Do (NZ) 2007
Owners S A Sharrock & Waikato Stud 2001 Ltd
Trainer Allan & Kane Sharrock (New Plymouth)
Breeding by No Excuse Needed (GB) out of Freequence
by O'Reilly
Breeder S A Sharrock & Waikato Stud 2001 Ltd
Race BOP RC O'Connor Warren Insurance H.
Winner Fraajilistic (NZ) 2010
Owners D O Chantrill
Trainer Keith & Brendon Hawtin (Te Awamutu)
Breeding by Iffraaj (GB) out of Centime by Centaine (Aus)
Breeder D O Chantrill

Allan Sharrock . . . has I Do in a purple patch of form.

15/11/2013 Bridgman taking blinkered approach to Guineas

Spellbinder is one of two leading chances for trainer Jason Bridgman in the Gr. 1 New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas

Jason Bridgman is taking a blinkered approach to Saturday's Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton.
All his attention has been focussed on Spellbinder (NZ) (O'Reilly) and Costa Viva (Encosta de Lago), the Matamata stable's two in-form candidates for the New Zealand Bloodstock-sponsored classic.
"You can't be worried about the competition and we just have to get our two there in the best possible shape that we can," Bridgman said.
"Spellbinder ran a top race in the Sarten and obviously Bounding was too slick, but our filly was finding the line well enough to suggest she will run the mile out strongly.
"She will be suited to a big galloping track like Riccarton and all she probably needs is a shower of rain. She's ready to make the step up."
Spellbinder was a stylish first-up maiden winner at Taupo and then streeted her rivals by six and a-half lengths in the Listed Soliloquy Stakes at Ellerslie before she finished second in the Gr.3 Sarten Memorial.
"She won the Soliloquy on a Slow 9 over 1400 metres and she ran that (1400m) out strongly," Bridgman said. "She's got a big, beautiful action and Matt (Cameron) has chosen to ride her over Costa Viva."
To be ridden by Leith Innes, Costa Viva has also won two of her three starts, including the Listed Ray Coupland Stakes, and ran Bounding (Lonhro) to three-quarters of a length when runner-up in the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes.
"The biggest question mark will be whether she runs the mile – her pedigree suggests she should, but she's quite speedy," Bridgman said.
"Having said that, she has run her races out strongly and I expect no different on Saturday. She's a very good chance."
NZ Racing Desk

15/11/2013 Apprentice gets the cup nod

Frank Ritchie is keen to make use of Miss Isle's inside gate in Saturday's Gr.3 New Zealand Cup and believes apprentice Alex Forbes is just the jockey to settle the mare in a prominent early position.
"He's been doing quite a bit of riding for me and he's been keen to get on her," the Cambridge trainer said.
"He's a very good barrier rider who gets them out and can put them right in the race. The cup is one two mile race where I believe the barrier is important and we've drawn two this year.
"We'll be looking to get her up handy and give her as economical run as is possible."
Miss Isle (NZ) (Bachelor Duke) finished seventh in the Christchurch Casino-sponsored staying test 12 months ago from a wide alley. She got well back in the field and made ground late.
"Last year we gave her four runs leading into the race and it's the same this time, although she missed one other run because she hates wet tracks," Ritchie said.
"She's a year older and taken a little while longer, but I was satisfied with her the other day."
Miss Isle raced three wide with cover from the 1000 metre mark in the Listed Metropolitan Trophy last Saturday and fought on to finish fourth behind the upset winner Esprit d'Or.
"She came to the end of it, but she's thrived down here and has done well since the race so I'm pretty happy with her," Ritchie said.
Guns At Five (NZ) (Duelled) is a proven stayer and his last two performances will ensure he attracts strong support in the hands of Mark Du Plessis.
The Chris Wood-trained New Zealand St Leger winner won the Rotorua Plate two runs back and rounded off his preparation when he charged home for a close second in the Listed Feilding Cup.
NZ Racing Desk

Trainer Frank Ritchie is confident jockey Alex Forbes (pictured) is the man for the job in tomorrow's Gr. 3 New Zealand Cup

14/11/2013 Riccarton Park runner for Gai Waterhouse

Melbourne Cup winning trainer Gai Waterhouse will be represented by a runner in Saturday's New Zealand Bloodstock 41st New Zealand 1000 Guineas.

The three-year-old filly Role Model has undergone a change of racing ownership to Round Table Racing, a client of the leading Australian trainer, and was officially transferred from Auckland trainers Peter and Dawn Williams on Tuesday.

Peter and Dawn have a long association with Riccarton Park, having previously trained from the venue and prepared Planet Rock to win the 2011 version of the race, while Waterhouse will be saddling her first runner at Riccarton Park.

Bruce Slade, director of Round Table Racing, is an ex-pat Cantabrian who developed his passion for racing at Riccarton Park and actually lived in a house on the property as a youngster.

Role Model flies to Christchurch on Thursday to take her place in Saturday's Group 1 Classic over the metric mile.

13/11/2013 Select Field for NZB 1000 Guineas

A small but select field of three-year-old fillies will assemble for the Group 1 $300,000 New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas (1600m) on Saturday at Riccarton Park, the third race in the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series.


Current NZB Filly of the Year Series leader Bounding.

The eight-horse field has attracted quality fillies from both the North and South Island, along with one runner now trained by leading Australian trainer Gai Waterhouse.
Heading the field is current Filly of the Year Series leader Bounding (Lonhro), trained by Ken and Bev Kelso at Matamata. The daughter of Lonhro has been a dominant three-year-old this season, winning all three of her starts including the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes and the Group 3 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes.
The early race-favourite, Bounding is the highest rated horse in the race with five wins from seven career starts and her last start resulted in victory in the Group 3 Memorial Stakes over 1400m on 28 October. She has the services, once again, of jockey Mark du Plessis from barrier seven.
Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse is represented in the race by Role Model (NZ) (Bel Danoro), having her first start for the Melbourne Cup winning trainer. The filly bred by Gerry Harvey was recently purchased by Bruce Slade’s Round Table Racing and transferred to Waterhouse’s tutelage after doing her early racing in Harvey’s colours.
The filly by Bel Danoro has won two races from her six starts and was a last-start second in the Group 2 Wellington Guineas against the colts and geldings, going down narrowly to Sacred Park (NZ). Role Model will be ridden by Hayden Tinsley from barrier six.
Te Akau Racing’s Jason Bridgman travels two horses down from his Matamata base, the first of the two is Costa Viva (Encosta de Lago), a winner of two of her three starts. She finished second behind Bounding at her last outing in the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes, picking up three points in the Filly of the Year Series putting her in currently third place on the Series leaderboard.
The Encosta de Lago filly was a Listed winner at her start at Ashburton beating stablemate Chambord (NZ), runner-up in the Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas last weekend. Top jockey Leith Innes has been handed the task of piloting Costa Viva from the outside barrier on Saturday.
The other runner for Jason Bridgman is Spellbinder (NZ) (O’Reilly), the winner of her first two starts including a 6.5 length victory in the Listed Soliloquy Stakes that places her second on the Filly of the Year points table. The daughter of O’Reilly was beaten into second at her last start behind Bounding in the Group 3 Memorial Stakes. Te Akau Racing’s regular rider Matthew Cameron will ride the Karaka graduate in Saturday’s feature race.
Cambridge trainer Roger James has Miss Foxwood (Fastnet Rock) engaged in the $300,000 feature event. The filly by champion sire Fastnet Rock has only had four raceday appearances, winning one race and never finishing out of the top four. She was last seen running third in the Group 3 Memorial Stakes behind race rivals Bounding and Spellbinder.
The last of the Northern raiders is Miss Mossman (NZ) (Mossman) trained by John Sargent and Hayden Allen. The Karaka graduate is a winner of one race and also comes through the Group 3 Memorial Stakes where she finished mid-field. The filly by Mossman has drawn favourably in barrier three for rider Kelly Myers.
There are two South Island runners in the race, with both horses trained on the Riccarton Park course.
Rachel Rafter (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) will represent the Kevin and Pam Hughes stable for breeder/owner Adrian Clark. She is the winner of one race and has been stakes placed as a two-year-old on her home course.
The other Southerner is the Terri Rae trained Silhouette Noir (Dane Shadow), a winner from only three starts that has drawn the coveted one barrier. The Dane Shadow filly won on debut before finishing third in the Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes. The local filly will be ridden by Jamie Bullard who recently cracked 1000 career wins.

The winner of the New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas will receive 12 points towards the New Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series, with second placing collecting 7 points and third earning 3.5 points. To view the full field for the $300,000 New Bloodstock 1000 Guineas, click here

13/11/2013 Hell Raiser Claims $40,000 NZB Southern Bonus

The connections of the sixth placed Hell Raiser (NZ) (Any Suggestion) got an added bonus today with the horse’s connections collecting the $40,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Bonus for being the first eligible runner past the post in the $20,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Bonus 3YO (1400m) at Riccarton Park today.
The $5,000 purchase at the 2012 New Zealand Bloodstock South Island Sale of 2YOs was one of three runners vying for the lucrative Bonus after being purchased by trainer Steven Prince at the Sale last year and entered into the Bonus race.
The daughter of Any Suggestion was ridden by Australian based jockey Daniel Stackhouse, working to the lead in the early sections of the race but unable to defeat race winner Whackomaco (NZ) (Fully Fledged) who collected her second raceday win.
Hell Raiser finished ahead of the two other horses entered for the Bonus, Our Castle (NZ) (Castledale) and Penultimate (NZ) (Pentire), to collect the $40,000 windfall.
“We purchased her at the Sale and paid up the money for the incentive but there was no pressure at all.
“We got her home and broke her in and the race wasn’t really on the radar. We took her to the races and the she ran fourth and then second so we thought we would have a go at the race, it is a really good incentive and that’s what you buy them for.
“She has got ability, she was never probably going to win today. The thing that worried me was the 1400m and she drew the outer. Daniel Stackhouse said that she has got a lot to learn but she is going to get there in time.
“These owners have had a couple of handy horses but it was like winning a Melbourne Cup to them, they were on the front stage at Riccarton on the microphone so they are on cloud nine.
“They are passionate about racing and, being from the South Island, it is a tough industry to be in. They are going to go back to the Sales, with the South Island Sale moving forward and becoming eligible for the Karaka Million, they have said they are prepared to pay the money so it is all good for racing.”

The winning owner Nathan Campbell, Adam Brown, Jason Coutts, Charlotte Young & Shane Forgie share $30,000 between them as the winning owners, with trainer Steven Prince taking home $5,000 and the owner of the filly at the time of the Sale, Mr V C & Mrs B L Mercer, also enjoying a $5,000 share of the Bonus.

12/11/2013 Trio of Horses to Compete for NZB’s $40,000 Southern Bonus

New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2013 Southern Bonus Race is set to jump tomorrow at Riccarton, with the $20,000 Open Three-Year-Old event attracting a field of 14 horses, and three horses that are eligible to compete for NZB’s $40,000 Bonus.


Connections of 2012 Southern Bonus Race Winner Kosalot.

The race is open to all three-year-olds, with Southern Bonus eligible runners getting preferred entry into the race. The race is run over 1400m at Riccarton Park on the undercard to the Group 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile.
The $40,000 Southern Bonus is for eligible horses that were nominated for the incentive when purchased at the 2012 South Island Sale of 2YOs. The Bonus is certain to be struck tomorrow, as the connections of the first eligible horse past the post are set to collect the $40,000 on top of their share of the $20,000 prize purse.
The owner(s) of the successful horse will gain the lion’s share of the Bonus with $30,000 paid to the owner, $5,000 to the successful trainer, and $5,000 for the vendor (i.e. the owner of the successful horse at the Sale).
The first of the three runners eligible for the $40,000 Bonus is the Ellis Winsloe trained Our Castle (NZ) (Castledale). The son of Castledale was placed third on his racetrack debut, beaten less than three lengths on that occasion.  The three-year-old gelding has now had three starts and will have the services of leading South Island rider Chris Johnson from barrier 9.
Also vying for the Bonus will be Penultimate (NZ) (Pentire), trained by Ross Becket. The son of leading New Zealand sire Pentire has only had one raceday appearance, finishing ninth at Motukarara.
The run is better than it appears on face value with the horse only beaten 3.6 lengths and battling on well after racing ungenerously in the early stages of the race. Leading North Island rider Danielle Johnson will take the mount and if she is able to settle the horse in the early stages the gelding could run an improved race.
The horse likely to be the most favoured out of trio eligible for the Bonus is Hell Raiser (NZ) (Any Suggestion), trained by Steven Prince. The Any Suggestion filly has had two starts in her short career, running fourth on debut after receiving bad luck during the running and was then runner-up on 5 November after leading and being run down late in the piece.
Former South Island jockey Daniel Stackhouse returns from Australia to ride the filly - where he has become an established rider in Victoria - but has to overcome the outside barrier draw of 14 from the 1400m starting point.
The field has attracted only one three-year-old that has been successful on raceday and outside of Our Castle and Hell Raiser there are only four other runners that have placed leaving the race wide open.
Last year saw Kostalot (NZ) (Any Suggestion) seize the inaugural Southern Bonus with his second placing in the race but the first eligible horse past the post. The promising gelding has won three races in his short career now.

To view the full field for the New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Bonus Three-Year-Old, click here.

11/11/2013 Marsh looking for winning run to continue

After setting a stable record of thirty wins in the 2012/13 racing season, Cambridge based trainer Stephen Marsh's bid to better that number this year has gathered real momentum in recent weeks with several chances to continue the winning run at Avondale today.
With eight wins to his credit this season, including his first stakes victory with Savour The Moment (NZ) (Savabeel) at Te Rapa on the weekend, Marsh will line-up promising gelding He Sure Is (Gonski) in the Rating 75 Charlie Farley's 1400
along with maiden prospects Mezzaluna (NZ) (Guillotine) and Chipandchase (NZ) (Pentire) earlier in the day.
"I've got a fair bit of time for He Sure Is and while he will improve from his outing today I still expect him to be thereabouts as he has really come on from his first-up run at Pukekohe," said Marsh.
"He put two wins together last season when he was still pretty immature so after strengthening up over a winter spell I think he could go a lot further in this campaign, especially when he gets up to a mile which will be his best distance.
"Chipandchase is a nice maiden who won't stay in that grade for long and is probably my best chance for the day although I think Mezzaluna could also turn her form around after finally drawing a decent barrier after starting in the carpark
in her last two runs."
Marsh is also excited about the prospects of a second stakes win in less than a week when he lines up Lucky Country (NZ) in the Listed Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders Stakes (1400m) at Riccarton on Wednesday.
Stakes placed on three occasions during her three-yearold campaign, the daughter of Darci Brahma will enjoy the services of superstar jockey James McDonald who is back in New Zealand for the meeting and looks a real winning prospect.
"She is a mare who deserves to get a win at the elite level after her results last season and I think she is cherry ripe for Wednesday," he said.
"I managed to book James about a month ago when I found out he was available for the day so she will get every chance with him in the saddle and we have our fingers crossed she can perform up to expectations on the day."

11/11/2013 Jason Collett looking for Group two win

Coup Ay Tee and Jason Collett (middle) scoring narrowly at Rosehill in August

More than 2-1/2 years after he left New Zealand, Coup Ay Tee (NZ) (Danske) is returning home to try to win his biggest prize in front of his owner at Riccarton.
Ray Coupland sent the gelding to Chris Waller 28 starts and more than $650,000 ago and would like nothing more than to see him win the Group Two race he sponsors, the Couplands Bakeries Mile.
Jason Collett has won five races including the Group Three Hawkesbury Gold Cup on Coup Ay Tee and, like the gelding, is returning to his homeland for Wednesday's Group Two race.
New Zealand's champion apprentice in 2011-12, Collett has established himself in Sydney's top 10 riders over the past 16 months.
The record-breaking Waller is another ex-pat Kiwi who is now Australia's leading Group One trainer and a three-time Sydney premiership winner.
But neither he nor Collett has won a Group Two race in New Zealand and the young jockey is looking forward to putting that right in Christchurch.
"It's a big thing for Chris Waller to be taking a horse over there and for me to be riding it," Collett said.
"The horse has drawn well in barrier two and Riccarton is a lovely big sweeping track which should suit him and help him because he has a bit of weight to carry."
Coup Ay Tee is the third favourite at $8 on the NZ TAB behind Final Touch (NZ)(Kashani) at $3.80 and Scapolo (NZ) (Bachelor Duke) at $7.
Before he gets to Christchurch, Collett will ride for his trainer father Richard at Monday's Avondale meeting. "I haven't ridden in New Zealand for around 16 months so it will be good to go back," Collett said.
AAP Turf

11/11/2013 Family double for Pike at Te Rapa

Kelly O'Reilly is in full flight as she scores easily at Te Rapa on Saturday

Although the Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue training team missed their Group One goal on Saturday there was a special moment at Te Rapa where horses prepared by the duo scored a winning double for Pike's parents, Wayne and Vicki.
The Pike owned and bred Chintz (NZ) (Savabeel) scored a comfortable win first-up from a disappointing Queensland winter campaign while Kelly O'Reilly (NZ) (O'Reilly) made it two in a row for the Cambridge couple with a storming rails
run from last on the home turn in the very next race.
Unfortunately son Tony wasn't on hand to celebrate with the couple as he was in Christchurch with well favoured Sothys 2000 Guineas hopeful Sacred Park (NZ) (Thorn Park) who had excuses for his effort in finishing midfield in the Group One contest.
"They were two nice wins and as always it is extra special to win for Mum and Dad" said Pike as he made his way home from Saturday's Riccarton meeting.
"It was very satisfying to get the win with Kelly O'Reilly as her preparation hasn't really gone to plan with scheduling issues and the like and it looked as though the luck had gone against her again early in the race with a decent check at the start.
"To his credit Kevin (rider Kevin Leung) didn't panic and saved every inch of ground to get a beautiful rails run and score with a little in hand at the end.
"We've always thought she was up to stakes company so she will likely have one more run in her grade before we take a look at black type with her during Ellerslie's Christmas carnival."
Long striding Savabeel mare Chintz will also get her chance at the highest level later in the season if she makes the progress Pike thinks she can in this preparation.
"She showed plenty of promise with those two wins before we took her to Brisbane however that proved a bit of a disaster so we brought her home and gave her a good break," he said.
"She has come back extra well and went a super trial behind Fleur de Lune recently so we were confident she would acquit herself well on Saturday.
"She has plenty of scope about her and I think once she gets up to a middle distance we will see the best of her.
"We will take her through the grades as well and I can see her trying stakes company sometime in the autumn next year."
Pike will be waiting on a vet check in the next few days before making further plans with Sacred Park who finished sixth in Saturday's Gr. 1 2000 Guineas.
"Leith (rider Leith Innes) said he spread himself leaving the starting gates but travelled nicely after that and on the corner was wondering how far he would win by," he said.
"Once he got into the straight he found nothing so we will get the vet to give him a once over and see if that incident at the start had something to do with it.
"We still think he is a Derby horse so if he pulls up well we will make plans for that but at this stage nothing is certain until the vet has made his report."

11/11/2013 Winning carnival start for Logan team

Handsome Mates is well clear at the finish of the first race of Riccarton's 2013 Cup Week Carnival

Although busy on Saturday attending the wedding of a long serving staff member, Donna Logan made time to watch recent recruit Handsome Mates (NZ) (Handsome Ransom) kick off the Logan stable assault on Riccarton's Cup Week Carnival in winning style with the
promise of more to come over the remaining two racedays. The former Chris Wood prepared galloper was transferred to the Logan stable in July for a regular beach training regime and saluted the judge in emphatic fashion for the Ruakaka
based partnership after leading all the way in the opening event on Saturday's 2000 Guineas raceday programme.
It was the second win for a five strong team that the Logan's sent south earlier in the spring with that arsenal boosted by the recent arrival of class sprinter Durham Town (NZ) (Falkirk) who is in town for Wednesday's Gr. 3 Lindauer Stewards Stakes (1200m).
"We were in Paihia for my PA Michelle's wedding on Saturday so couldn't make it to Riccarton but we were all watching the first race and cheering our bloke home so it was a great way to start a special day for the team," reflected Logan.
"We haven't had the horse for that long and he has thrived during the trip away so there was some confidence he could go well as it looked as though he had the conditions to suit on the weekend.
"He is the second winner from the five we sent down for an extended campaign in September although all of that team have gone really well while they have been down there.
"Most of them are running on Wednesday along with Durham Town and Uncle Shayne who have gone for a hit and run mission on the day."
Those Logan stable runners include Timaru winner Ishimine (NZ) (Ishiguru), Jungle Knight (NZ) (Jungle Pocket) and Whistling Straits (NZ) (Thorn Park).
Logan is excited about the prospects of Durham Town who has thrived since his campaign opener at Rotorua where he finished hard for third in Listed company at Rotorua.
"He has come on nicely since that run at Rotorua and I couldn't be happier with him," she said. "It's a good field but on his best form he would have to be in with a winning chance."

10/11/2013 Atlante grinds out Guineas win

Opie Bosson sits up at the end of a hard-fought Two Thousand Guineas, his slice of the winning purse well-earned after a torrid ride on the talented but wayward colt.

Atlante (Fastnet Rock) may lack the experience to put the polish on his racing manners but there's never been any doubt about the raw talent that yesterday saw him fulfil his Group One destiny at Riccarton.
The highly regarded colt relished the good ground to claim the Sothys New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas on his first preparation with a powerful performance that overcame some wayward tendencies.
"I couldn't steer him he was hanging so badly," champion jockey Opie Bosson said. "If he had run straight he would have won by five lengths."
For Bosson it was a fifth Guineas title after previous wins aboard Danske, Buzz Lightyear, King's Chapel and Katie Lee while for Cambridge trainer Murray Baker it represented his first Group One success at Riccarton.
Baker, who is in his second season in partnership with Andrew Forsman, has long held Atlante in high regard and had nominated him for the Group One Caulfield Guineas.
"He had a bit of a shaky start due to the wet tracks and he didn't handle the bend all that well at Taupo where he ran third to El Roca," Baker said.
Atlante was then unplaced on a heavy track at Hastings before he broke his maiden at Avondale and completed his Guineas preparation a fortnight ago with an impressive victory in the Listed Holloway Stakes at Riccarton.
"He needs good ground and he's just not the same horse on a soft track," Baker said.
Atlante jumped well to lead yesterday and was attacked early in the run home before eventual runner-up Chambord (NZ) (Zabeel) headed him 200 metres from home. However, when Bosson asked for another effort the colt responded
in style and rallied strongly to take top honours by threequarters of a length.
"He ended up running away the last bit so all credit to him," Bosson said.
Gobi Ranger (Tale Of The Cat) enjoyed a good run in the trail and he fought on along the fence for third ahead of Puccini (NZ) (Encosta de Lago), who came on well from the back of the field, and Burnt Orange (NZ) (Mossman), who
battled on well for fifth.
According to jockey Leith Innes, there were excuses for the sixth placing of the well-supported Sacred Park (NZ) (Thorn Park), who wilted in the run home after challenging on straightening.
"He was a little slow away and spread himself behind," Innes said. "He travelled great to the turn but when I asked him to let go there wasn't much there. I'd say he might be a little bit sore tomorrow."

Race CJC New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas Gr.1 1600m
Winner Atlante (Aus) 2010
Owners JML Bloodstock Ltd (Mgr L Petagna),
Ms R Phillippo, M A & Mrs S L Treweek
Trainer Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman (Cambridge)
Breeding by Fastnet Rock (Aus) out Readyforcatherine (Aus)
by More Than Ready (USA)
Breeder Reavill Farm Management
Sales 2012 Ready To Run Sale; V: Lyndhurst Farm,
P: Bruce Perry Bloodstock; $200,000

10/11/2013 Pegasus unfolds to plan

Mark Du Plessis signals a win after everything went to plan for Irish Fling in the Pegasus Stakes at Riccarton yesterday.

Irish Fling (NZ) (Darci Brahma) will have to overcome an awkward draw on Wednesday if she is to complete the feature sprint double at Riccarton.
The five-year-old easily won the opening leg yesterday when she surged to victory in the Listed Yesberg Insurance Services Pegasus Stakes and will jump from gate 13 in the Group Three Stewards Stakes on the second day of the
"As long as she pulls up well she'll start," said Grant Cullen, who prepares the mare at Hastings in partnership with Guy Lowry.
Irish Fling settled just off the pace and showed impressive acceleration to win by a length and a quarter going away and remain unbeaten at the 1000 metre trip, which she cut out yesterday in 56.46 seconds.
"It was a huge run and we're thrilled to get some black type with the mare," Lowry said. "She deserved the win. We were happy in the running and where we wanted her to be just off the speed and she was impressive."
Rider Mark Du Plessis said he got all the favours in the race, which unfolded exactly as he had expected.
"The race set up for her to relax, and she did, and she got on the back of the one (King Montrose) I wanted to follow and the weight difference helped a lot. She can only improve from this as well."
King Montrose (King's Chapel) had looked the winner when he cruised to the front 200 metres from home but he had no answer to the finishing dash of Irish Fling, who was in receipt of six and a half kilos.
TAB bookmakers have carved a thick slice off the price of Esprit D'Or (NZ) (Al Jadeed) for next Saturday's Group Three New Zealand Cup, but not before connections of the veteran stayer opened their wallets.
The eight-year-old is now down to $21 following his gritty win in Saturday's Listed Gold Club Metropolitan Trophy after he had been at a three-figure quote for the time-honoured two-miler.
"We got a bit of that price so we might get rich!" trainer Tommy Beckett said. "He should have a pretty good show in the New Zealand Cup now."

Race CJC Pegasus S. L 1000m
Winner Irish Fling (NZ) 2008
Owners Pak n Save Syndicate
Trainer Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen (Hastings)
Breeding by Darci Brahma out of Irish Belle by O'Reilly
Breeder T V Rider

10/11/2013 Class the key to Sprint win

Savour The Moment's 1200 metre win over Eight Schillings at Te Rapa yesterday, after a positive ride by Alex Forbes, may have surprised his trainer and rocked the punters but it sure underlined the six-year-old's class.

Stephen Marsh has set a Group One goal for Savour The Moment (NZ) (Savabeel), who handed his trainer a pleasant surprise with his first-up success at Te Rapa yesterday.
The Cambridge trainer has never doubted the six-yearold's ability, but didn't expect him to trounce a decent field of sprinters in the 1200 metre Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint.
"To be honest I thought it would be a huge run if he could finish third or fourth, bearing in mind that he only won his maiden at 1200 metres," Marsh said. "I thought they would be a bit sharp for him so we're rapt. He put himself right there
and he's done the job well."
Marsh said while Savour The Moment's best trip is 1600 metres, he was also keen to try him over more ground later on.
"His target is the Thorndon Mile and I am looking forward to putting him up to 2000 metres at some stage. He has been quite immature, but he's really furnished now and he's turned in the coat a lot quicker this year. He's come up super."
Savour The Moment got the better of the pacemaker Eight Schillings (NZ) (O'Reilly) close to home to win by a long neck with Statham (NZ) (Danroad) third in front of the resuming Diademe (NZ) (Savabeel).
Savour The Moment's success completed a rewarding day for the Albert Bosma-managed Go Racing syndicates after they had also tasted victory in the opening event with the two-yearold Prince Mambo (NZ) (Thewayyouare).
Trained by Stephen McKee, the colt had finished runner-up at his Avondale debut and is headed toward the Karaka Million.

Race Waikato RC Sprint H. L 1200m
Winner Savour the Moment (NZ) 2007
Owners Go Racing With The Mistress Syndicate (Mgr: A Bosma)
Trainer Stephen Marsh (Cambridge)
Breeding by Savabeel (Aus) out of Dancing Mistress
by Masterclass (USA)
Breeder G J Chittick
Sales 2009 NZ National Yearling Sale, Premier Session;
V: Waikato Stud Ltd, P: Go Racing Limited; $37,500

8/11/2013 Guineas hopes rest with Chambord

Chambord (NZ) (Zabeel) will be Jason Bridgman's sole representative in Saturday's Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas after the stable decided against a start for either of their top female three-year-olds.
The son of Zabeel is expected to be a worthy contender in the Sothyssponsored feature at Riccarton on Saturday with Spellbinder (NZ) (O'Reilly) and Costa Viva (Encosta de Lago) to be reserved for the Gr.1 NZ
Bloodstock 1000 Guineas a week later.
"We kept our options open and Costa Viva would have been the only one you could possibly be tempted to run," Bridgman said.
"It would have been too short a turnaround for Spellbinder and at the end of the day they are chasing the Filly of the Year series and we didn't want to jeopardise their chances in that."
The lightly-raced Chambord ran fifth behind stablemate Wolfwhistle (NZ) (O'Reilly) on debut at Taupo in September and then broke his maiden with ease at Gisborne.
He showed further improvement last time to seal his Guineas berth when runner-up to Costa Viva in the Listed Ray Coupland Stakes at Ashburton.
"They have been working together and there's nothing between them to be honest, on what they've done they've both got plenty of Group One potential" Bridgman said.
"He's going to be a very good chance in the 2000 Guineas in a wide open field. He made up six lengths on Costa Viva in the Ray Coupland and they ran a tick outside the track record.
"You can take a line through Costa Viva's form and she ran Bounding to three-quarters of a length at Hastings (in the Gold Trail Stakes).
"He's a very progressive horse and still a bit rough around the edges. He's has been quite flighty, but in his work he has become a lot more settled and he will improve more on a good track at Riccarton."

Pitman team primed for carnival

7th Nov 2013

Michael Pitman’s stable has made a flying start to the new season and, as always, the Riccarton trainer has a strong team set to attack the three-day New Zealand Cup carnival.

“We’ve won 14 races already and all of them have been on feature or premier days and that’s the most I’ve ever trained at this time of the year,” he said.

Michael Pitman

Pitman will have dual representation in Saturday’s feature event, the Gr.1 Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas, with El Doute (Redoute's Choice) and Lukander (Henrythenavigator). He will also have a quality supporting cast that includes Listed Yesberg Insurances Services Pegasus Stakes contender Coup Align (NZ) (Align). Full story here.

“El Doute got caught out on a limb last time out and he never got in and did plenty,” Pitman said. “A liver function test showed his count was above normal and we’ve had two blood tests since and he’s back to normal.

“It’s a big mission, but it’s not the strongest Guineas field with only three horses rated above 70. Lukander should probably have run third (in the Listed Holloway Stakes) here last time.

“I’m really happy with both horses and they deserve their chances. El Doute will have the blinkers on for the first time and Chris Johnson will be on him and David Walsh rides Lukander.”

Group One sprinter Coup Align, who won the Pegasus in 2009, has been kept ticking over since his blazing victory on the track in April in his first appearance since returning from Singapore.

“He’s really well and they will all be chasing him,” Pitman said.

Another fresh runner for the stable is Venetian Raider, who will carry 62kg when she returns in the Gartshore Group Premier.

“It’s a lot of weight, but sprinters carry it better than stayers,” Pitman said. “Amanda Morgan will be on her and she rides Riccarton really well. Keltic Kitty goes well first-up too and she’s only got 53kg.” – NZ Racing Desk.

8/11/2013 Viana on northern cups' trail

Viana (NZ) (Volksraad) will make one further start at Riccarton before she heads north for a two-start cup campaign.
All but two of the last-start Listed Spring Classic winner's 26 raceday outings have been on southern tracks for five career successes.
"She'll run on the last day at Riccarton in a Rating 85 over 1800 metres to prep her into the Wanganui Cup and then there's the Manawatu Cup three weeks later," trainer Jason Bridgman said.
Meanwhile, stablemate and Gr.3 Merial Mile winner Thrive (NZ) (Colombia) has come through her latest run for third in the Listed Feilding Cup in good shape.
"The Counties Cup will be next for her and we'll take it run by run," Bridgman said. "She's pulled up well from Awapuni."
Derby options for promising 3YO Richard Otto has long-range Derby plans in Australia for Sir Andrew (NZ) (Sir Percy) and he will let the three-year-old do the talking as to which state the target lies in.
"He'll be better come the autumn and whether we go to Sydney or Brisbane will depend on how he comes up, we've got plenty of time to work that out," he said.
The Te Awamutu trainer had intended to give Sir Andrew an early taste of Australian competition during the Melbourne spring carnival, but those plans had to be aborted at the last minute.
"He had a bit of a bruise come out in his foot when we were all ready to hop onto the truck to go to the airport," he said.
"I wasn't happy so we canned it and thank heaven we did – the next day he was worse. It's taken a few days to get out, it was quite deep-seated.
"He's fine now and he'll be out in the paddock for six weeks. He's still immature and growing."

6/11/2013 More Black-Type Success for Zennista (NZ)

The well-performed central districts galloper Zennista (NZ) (Zenno Rob Roy) claimed her second Group 3 victory yesterday, landing the Group 3 $70,000 Sofitel Luxury Hotels Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on Melbourne Cup day.

Trained by Lisa Latta at Awapuni, Zennista entered the race as a winner of seven races, including four black-type successes, and was last seen finishing sixth in the Group 1 Spring Classic at Hastings.
The Festival Sale graduate was given an economical trip throughout the race by leading rider Mark du Plessis who positioned her one spot behind the leader.
In the home straight, a gap cleared near the inside of the track and Zennista burst to the front of the field without going around a horse. Late challenges were mounted out wide by Soriano (NZ) (Savabeel) and Thunderbird One (NZ) (Storm Creek), both Karaka graduates, but were in vein as Zennista triumphed by a long head to lead home a Karaka trifecta.
It was the first win by Zennista on a track rated Good with her seven prior wins all coming on tracks rated Dead or worse.
“I’ll probably freshen her up and have a go at the Tauranga Stakes (1600m),” Latta said. “It’s another weight-for-age race and that suits her now because she’s so high up in the ratings.
“It depends as well on the tracks and they got a decent shower at Ellerslie and that would have helped her.”
The six-year-old mare had previously won at Group 3 level last season and was Group 1 placed in the NZ Oaks as a three-year-old. Zennista has also won at Listed level in Australia in last season’s Caloundra Cup.
A $20,000 bargain purchase, Zennista has picked up her eight wins from 37 starts along with 12 minor placings and has earned $547,281 for her owners N M Cantwell, P S Dudding, D H Robinson, W A Flipp, L L Pratt, R A Pratt & L L Reilly.
Bred by J N Berger, Zennista is from the only crop of Japanese stallion Zenno Rob Roy who shuttled to New Zealand for just one season. She is out of a winning Maroof mare Zarnitsa, a half-sister to triple stakes winner Chartreuse (St. Petersberg).
Zennista was purchased by Lisa Latta Racing Stables at the 2009 Festival Sale for $20,000 from Oxford Thoroughbreds.

Bred: J N Berger Offered: Oxford Thoroughbreds Purchased:Lisa Latta Racing Stables at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2009 Karaka Festival Sale 

4/11/2013 Baker & Forsman team strong chance for Ellerslie feature double

The Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman training partnership look well placed to score a feature race double at Ellerslie on Tuesday with promising gallopers Thunderbird One (NZ) (Storm Creek) and Neo (NZ) (One Cool Cat) looking well placed in their respective
Thunderbird One will attempt his first middle distance contest in the Gr. 3 Sofitel Luxury Hotels Stakes (2000m) while one race later Neo takes on a tidy open handicap line-up in the Carbine Club Trophy (1600m).
"We are pretty excited to see Thunderbird One step up in distance as his breeding suggests he will appreciate more ground and it will be a decent challenge for him at weight-for-age for the first time," noted co-trainer Andrew Forsman. "He has been finishing on strongly at his
last two starts and we are very happy with him although it is a strong line-up with plenty of class in his opposition.
Recent Gr. 1 Spring Classic winner Ransomed (NZ) (Handsome Ransom) heads the field for the Group Three contest with Foxbridge Plate winner Postmans Daughter (NZ) (Postponed) and last year's Waikato Cup winner Annie Higgins (NZ) (O'Reilly) amongst the main contenders.
Forsman is also pleased with Neo as he looks to cap some consistent form with a win in the Carbine Club Trophy.
"He tried his heart out a Trentham on a track that was very testing and has come through the run in fine style," he said.
"He has drawn nicely and has gone well on the track before so he must be given a good chance to get a deserved win."

4/11/2013 Pender seeks more home track success for his prince

Ohope Prince in full flight at Tauranga last weekend

Tauranga trainer Jim Pender has an ambitious summer target in mind for his promising galloper Ohope Prince (NZ) but before he sets him on that path he is keen to secure another victory for the son of King's Chapel at his favoured home venue.
The lanky five-year-old gelding had signalled a win was close at hand after a gutsy run for second at Rotorua a fortnight ago and with the benefit of a handy draw and light weight he duly prevailed at Tauranga on Saturday after a heady ride from apprentice Michael Dee.
The win was the fourth of his sixteen start career with each of those wins coming on his local stamping ground.
"He definitely likes being at home and he did look a good prospect as he dropped seven kilo's on his last run and with the handy draw I expected him to be right in the fight," said Pender. "I told Michael to settle him handy and not be afraid
to lead if he jumped well as he had the weight advantage so he did everything I could have asked of him with a super ride.
"He is a very promising rider and I think he will make it to the top as he has an old head on a young body."
Pender is eyeing the next Tauranga meeting in a fortnight's time before he sets the gelding on a possible path to the Thorndon Mile at Trentham in January.
"I told his owners last year he was the type of horse that could win a race like the Japan Trophy (Gr.2) but it came too soon for him this year so we have taken him along slowly and I think you will see the best of him from now on," he said.
"I want to take him through the grades so depending on what rating increase he gets for this win there could be another chance for him at home in two week's time before we start to step him up in class.
"He is really starting to relax in his races now so I think he will make it to a good race like the Thorndon Mile if he keeps improving like he has."

4/11/2013 Class gallopers enjoy their day out at Te Aroha

Usainity and Opie Bosson head to the start at Te Aroha for their 1000 metre trial heat

The reappearance of quality gallopers Usainity (NZ) (Zed) and Diademe (NZ) (Savabeel) was one of the highlights of a busy day at the Te Aroha trials last week.
The Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman trained pair both finished third in their respective 1000 metre heats and showed they are well on track for feature race targets over the summer racing period.
Unsighted since a successful Australian autumn campaign that netted the Gr. 3 Packer Plate at Randwick, Usainity surprised co-trainer Andrew Forsman with a forward showing in his first serious gallop since a two month winter break.
"We didn't think he was as forward as that so I got a bit of a shock when he was towing the field up to the two pacemakers, still on the bridle," said Forsman. "Opie (rider Opie Bosson) got off and was delighted with how well he went especially as he found the line strongly with no pressure applied.
"We are still working out where we will kick him off for this campaign but we are looking towards the Cup races with him over the summer so he is not far away from a start.
"A race like the City of Auckland Cup on New Year's Day is one possibility as is an Auckland Cup start later in the summer."
Forsman was also pleased with classy mare Diademe who included a win over Final Touch (NZ) (Kashani) and Fleur De Lune (NZ) (Stravinsky) in the Gr. 3 Westbury Classic (1400m) at Ellerslie in her last preparation.
"She had a similar break to Usainity over the winter and has really furnished well for this campaign," he said. "She will most likely start in the open sprint at Te Rapa this weekend as her first run and then we will look to the Auckland
Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Pukekohe later in the month.
"She should be very competitive up to 1600 metres this time in so races like the Rich Hill Mile will be on her agenda later in the summer."
Diademe finished a close second to Miss Pelear (NZ) (Mr Nancho) in the 2013 edition of the Gr. 2 Rich Hill Mile before going on to record a valuable Group One placing behind Xanadu (NZ) (Elusive City) in the New Zealand Thoroughbred
Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha.
Forsman also reported their Sothys 2000 Guineas hope Atlante (Fastnet Rock) had trained on well since his last start win at Riccarton and was in top shape for his bid at the Group One Riccarton feature this weekend where he is currently the
$3.50 favourite on the TAB Fixed Odds market.

4/11/2013 Raffles have another star in the making

The familiar Raffles Thoroughbred Racing colours were to the fore again on Saturday when promising middle distance prospect Sacred Star (Flying Spur) resumed from an enforced injury break in fine style with a resounding victory at Tauranga in the Stewart Browne Group 1400.
Unsighted since finishing well down the track behind Castlzeberg (NZ) (Castledale) in the Gr. 2 Waikato Guineas in February, Sacred Star finished powerfully in the hands of Leith Innes to score easing down by two and three quarter lengths
in the smart time of 1m.21.4s for the 1400 metre journey.
Prepared by Chris Waller in Sydney for two victories in his early career, Sacred Star had returned to the Tony Pike & Mark Donoghue operation for his New Zealand three-year-old campaign but failed to reach his undoubted potential in three
starts for the stable.
"He had disappointed us by failing to finish off like we knew he could in those three runs but it wasn't until he developed some filling in his fetlock after the Waikato Guineas that we discovered he had a chip there that needed to be removed," explained Raffles Farm Manager Bruce Sherwin.
"He came through the surgery well and we have brought him along slowly this time in so it was really satisfying to see him perform like that first up, especially when you see what time they ran and how easily he finished it off.
"Tony reported he has come through the run beautifully so we will work out a programme to take him through the grades in his next few starts."
Sherwin is eagerly looking forward to the weekend where Raffles Racing prospects will contest Group One events on both sides of the Tasman.
Gr. 2 Wellington Guineas winner Sacred Park (NZ) (Thorn Park) will start as one of the favourites in the Sothys 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton while last year's 2000 Guineas winner Sacred Falls (NZ) (O'Reilly) will take on the best milers
in Australasia in the Aus $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
"Sacred Park has thrived since his Trentham win and will be a good prospect on Saturday while Sacred Falls looks like he is back to his best so he has to be a chance if he can reproduce his Doncaster Handicap form from earlier this year"
he said.
Before then summer Cups prospect More Than Sacred (More Than Ready) will be looking to atone for a desperately unlucky run at her last start when she contests the opening event on Ellerslie's Melbourne Cup raceday programme on

Sacred Star cruises past favourite Biggin Hill to score a sensational fresh up win

3/11/2013 Little Alfie rocks punters with long odds Feilding Gold Cup win

Rogan Norvall punches rank outsider Little Alfie Brown to the line in yesterday's Feilding Gold Cup as favourite Guns At Five answers Mark Du Plessis' urgings in a desperate chase.

Punters' nemesis Little Alfie Brown (NZ) (D'Cash) surprised even his owner-trainer Peter Blick with his boilover victory in yesterday's Listed Ricoh Feilding Gold Cup.
Unwanted on the tote at 54-1, the nine-year-old was ridden aggressively by Rogan Norvall to turn his form around and provide Blick with the first stakes success of his career.
"I thought the track would be too good for him," the Cambridge horseman said. "I rated him a runner's chance but would have liked the track to be a bit easier.
"Sometimes you can get one out of them, although he'll probably be feeling it a bit on Sunday.
"I told Rogan you can't beat this lot from behind and said put him in the race and be there on the turn."
Little Alfie Brown, whose last win in July's Te Awamutu Cup came at odds of 37-1, was settled in the body of the field early on before Norvall heeded his trainer's words down the back and cruised around runners.
"We were going to be trapped wide so I let him slide forward and he got there easily," Norvall said.
Little Alfie Brown was in front 800 metres from home and after going clear early in the run home the gelding stuck to his task bravely to score by a rapidly diminishing margin on the line.
Had the well-fancied runner-up Guns At Five (NZ) (Duelled) cleared traffic earlier in the run home he may well have reversed the result and his effort represented a strong trial for the upcoming Group Three New Zealand Cup at
Thrive (NZ) (Colombia), winner of the Group Three Merial Metric Mile on the course two runs back, picked up further black type with her performance to finish third ahead of Josephine (NZ) (His Royal Highness) and Dubai Belle (NZ) (E

Race Feilding Gold Cup L 2100m
Winner Little Alfie Brown (NZ) 2004
Owners P Blick
Trainer Peter Blick (Cambridge)
Breeding by D'Cash (Aus) out of Clipjoint by Krona
Breeder R J C Bennett

3/11/2013 Comfortable Redcraze Bowl win has I Do on track to Captain Cook

Apprentice Dylan Turner has time to salute as I Do carries him to an easy win in the Redcraze Bowl at Awapuni. Although decisively beaten, the pacemaking Aldebaran Star fights on well for second.

Model racemare I Do (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) has fashioned an enviable race record and her connections are hopeful she can rise to the biggest challenge of her career at Trentham next month.
Taranaki co-trainer Allan Sharrock and Waikato Stud's Mark Chittick are co-breeders and joint owners of the six-year-old, who will chase a Group One credit on December 7.
"Mark and I know she might be a length off the best but we're keen to have a crack at the Captain Cook Stakes," Sharrock said.
"If she can run a place in that it will help her in the breeding paddock. At set weights she might be battling against Mufhasa and Nashville, if he comes back, but you never know."
I Do has come back as well as ever this preparation and was a sound second behind Postmans Daughter in the Group Three Taranaki Breeders' Stakes at Hawera before going one better at Awapuni yesterday.
The Courtesy Ford Redcraze Bowl had looked hers for the taking with the engagement of three-kilo claimer Dylan Turner and so it turned out with the pair posting a comfortable victory.
"She didn't jump all that flash but we got three back and one off the fence and she came home really well," Turner said.
"She's got a good turn of foot."
I Do was drawn widest on the turn and she lengthened stride comfortably for the eighth victory of a career that features a Listed success in last season's Rotorua Stakes. A further twelve placings emphasise her genuine nature.
Aldebaran Star (NZ) (No Excuse Needed), who was backing up from an unplaced midweek effort at Wanganui, rallied well for second after making the pace and McLaren (NZ) (Postponed) boxed on gamely for third.
The quality mare O'Fille (NZ) (O'Reilly) made an encouraging return after her winter break with a late charge in the straight for fourth. She lost touch with the leading pack across the top and found the line strongly.
Her main target this preparation is the Group Two Wellington Cup after a luckless seventh placing in the Trentham feature earlier this year.

Race Feilding JC Redcraze Bowl H. 1400m
Winner I Do (NZ) 2007
Owners S A Sharrock & Waikato Stud 2001 Ltd
Trainer Allan & Kane Sharrock (New Plymouth)
Breeding by No Excuse Needed (GB) out of Freequence
by O'Reilly
Breeder S A Sharrock & Waikato Stud 2001 Ltd

3/11/2013 Career winding down but a tale or two remains to be written

Lady Kipling is under a firm hold by Opie Bosson as she cruises past Fleur de Lune (yellow colours) with the rest finding it tough to keep up.

The clock might be ticking against Lady Kipling (NZ) (Savabeel) but she will have a further opportunity to put a deserved Group One victory on a CV that already makes for good reading.
Handled with cool precision by Opie Bosson, the six-yearold resumed in stunning style at Tauranga yesterday when she defeated the quality mare Fleur de Lune (NZ) (Stravinsky) in the Tauranga Hardware & Plumbing Centennial Handicap.
"That was a super performance with 60kg and she is a really good mare," co-trainer Murray Baker said. "I didn't expect her to be back last but Opie rides her just beautifully."
Lady Kipling was making her first appearance since February and she rounded them up in style in the run home after giving them all a decent start.
"She will improve a lot with that run. She's still quite big and she has been served by Rip Van Winkle," Baker said. "I'm not sure if she is in foal, she hasn't been tested yet.
"She's just a lovely mare and she's got a beautiful temperament."
Lady Kipling has won ten races from just 31 starts, with Group Two success in the Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes and the Cal Isuzu Stakes to her credit. She has also finished second at the highest level in the Thorndon Mile,
Captain Cook Stakes and the Haunui Farm Weight-For- Age Classic, third in the Levin Classic and recorded fourth placings in the Zabeel Classic (twice) and the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes.
Lady Kipling is expected to defend her Auckland Breeders' Stakes title at Pukekohe later this month with another tilt at the Captain Cook Stakes to follow in December.

Race BOP RC Hardware & Plumbing Centennial H. 1300m
Winner Lady Kipling (NZ) 2007
Owners G Candy and L I Redshaw
Trainer Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman (Cambridge)
Breeding by Savabeel (Aus) out of Akela by Al Akbar (Aus)
Breeder Alchemy Family Trust & Windsor Park Stud Ltd
Sales 2009 NZ National Yearling Sale, Select Session;
V: Windsor Park Stud, P: Mr M P Baker; $62,500

Group test ahead for unbeaten filly

31st Oct 2013

Lisa Latta is getting ready to put the current perfect racing record of her exciting filly Supercede (NZ) (Bel Danoro) to the ultimate test.

The Awapuni trainer has known for some time of the special talent the daughter of Bel Danoro possesses and will soon pitch her into black type battle.

Lisa Latta

“She’s always showed a lot of ability and as a two-year-old we looked after her and turned her out and now she’s won two impressively,” Latta said.

“She relaxes pretty well and we’ll be targeting some of those Group races with her.”

The Gr.3 Eulogy Stakes at Awapuni on December 14 is likely to be the first of those with Latta to find a suitable lead-up race.

Supercede powered home to score on debut at Wanganui earlier this month and at Trentham on Saturday she made use of an inside gate to race with the pace.

She ambled to the front in the straight and when asked for a serious effort from rider Darryl Bradley she lengthened stride to account for the first-starter Handlemewithcare (NZ) (Keeper) by two and a-quarter lengths.

“It was a top effort to come from last on the turn at Wanganui,” Bradley said. “This time she got a little bit keen, but when I brought her to the centre of the track she just did it with ease.”

From the family of the Gr.1 Galaxy Handicap winner and successful sire Charge Forward (Red Ransom), Supercede is raced by her breeder and Westbury Stud principal Gerry Harvey. She was retained after failing to meet her $10,000 reserve at Karaka last year.

Meanwhile, Shezgorgeous (NZ) (O'Reilly) banked significant travelling funds for a trip to the New Zealand Cup carnival with her runaway victory in the Premier 1200.

“Last year she had issue after issue and she was never 100 per cent right,” trainer Patrick Campbell said. “She was very impressive and we’d like to take her to Riccarton for at least one race.”

Ellerslie to precede Ransomed’s Zipping bid

31st Oct 2013

Ransomed (NZ) (Handsome Ransom) will get a taste of the Melbourne Cup atmosphere before he crosses the Tasman for an important date at the tail-end of the spring carnival.

The Gr.1 Spring Classic winner will return to action on the first Tuesday in November at Ellerslie to launch his bid on the $A350,000 Gr.2 Zipping Classic at Caulfield 11 days later.

Ransomed (NZ) (Handsome Ransom)

“He had a few days off after Hastings and he’s done really well,” trainer Gary Vile said. “He’ll run in the Lindauer Stakes and he may find the 2000 metres a little bit short, but as long as he’s running on I’ll be happy.

“The 2400 metres of the Zipping Classic at weight-for-age should suit him a lot better. He’ll have that run and then come home and then I’ll freshen him up for the Zabeel Classic.”

Ransomed provided Vile with his first Group One success in the Spring Classic when he upset Nashville (NZ) (Darci Brahma) and Survived (NZ) (Zed) in the hands of regular rider Johnathon Parkes, who also celebrated his first top-flight success.

While the Handsome Ransom gelding started at long odds at Hastings, there was confidence in the camp that he could get the job done at the highest level.

“He’s a big, strong horse and I rate him a very good horse and I know he only won country cups last time, but he did win them with a lot of authority,” Vile said.

“His run in the Auckland Cup (when eighth) was huge as well and he was the only horse finishing on after he got so far back.”

Ransomed will again be partnered at Ellerslie by Parkes, who combined with the stayer in the summer to win the Gr.3 Manawatu Cup and the Listed Marton Cup. – NZ Racing Desk.

1/11/2013 Luck deserts Oaks winner

More Than Sacred (More Than Ready) was beaten through no fault of her own at Te Rapa to add to a less than memorable Labour Day Monday for trainers Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue.
The Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks winner finished unplaced against the Rating 85 stayers after being denied any room in the straight and went to the line untested.
"She was a tragedy beaten - I guess you could say she had a nice barrier trial," Pike said.
The Gr.2 Waikato Times Gold Cup in December is a likely target for More Than Sacred, whose stablemate Allez Eagle (NZ) (Guillotine) suffered an injury on Monday that has put paid to his Gr.1 Sothys NZ 2000 Guineas hopes.

28/10/2013 Bounding takes on the glamour boys at Te Rapa today

Bounding cruises to a comfortable win at the Cambridge trials

In a mouth watering clash at Te Rapa today super filly Bounding (Lonhro) will lead the female charge as she takes on several of the current "glamour boys" of the threeyear- old crop in the Gr. 3 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m).
Not that the female team doesn't possess some other heavy hitters to bolster their ranks today with the unbeaten Spellbinder (NZ) (O'Reilly) and royally bred Miss Foxwood (Fastnet Rock) adding plenty of spice to a contest that should
settle favourtism for the two three-year-old Group One features at Riccarton during Christchurch Cup Week.
Competitive at the highest levels as a juvenile, Bounding is unbeaten in her three-year-old season to date with a dominant win in the Gr. 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings at her last start. Since then she has enjoyed a
comfortable win at the Cambridge trials earlier in the month and has trainer Ken Kelso confident she is ready for a top effort today.
"She has done everything right so far and that trial brought her along nicely for today's race," noted Kelso.
"Obviously this isn't her test match but it will serve as the perfect lead-up run before the 1000 Guineas at Riccarton so I'm expecting a good effort from her.
"It is a classy field today with several of her Guineas rivals in along with a number of 2000 Guineas contenders so it should make for a pretty decent contest."
Those contenders that Kelso refers to include the two best backed males on the pre-post TAB Fixed Odds market for the 2000 Guineas in Allez Eagle (NZ) (Guillotine) ($4.50) and Cosmic Cube (NZ) (Dehere) ($6).
Spellbinder ($4) shares the favouritism with Bounding for the 1000 Guineas while rival Miss Foxwood ($10) is also well in the market.
While Kelso will be focused on his talented filly he will also keep a watchful eye on his other two stable runners on the day, Happy Guys (NZ) (Keeper) in race 3 and Traveller (NZ) (Zabeel) in race 5.
"Happy Guys went a super race here last time when runner-up to Zonza so I expect him to perform well again despite the weight he has to carry," he said. "Traveller has done well since Hastings and he should go a good race as well.
"We intend to take him through the grades as best we can with a race like the Counties Cup a possibility if he can keep making the required improvement."
Kelso also reported his star mare Xanadu (NZ) (Elusive City) has come through a disappointing run at Caulfield in good style and was on target for the Gr. 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington this Saturday.

28/10/2013 William's pair impress at Ellerslie

Shuka and rider Opie Bosson look pleased with themselves after Saturday's win

Despite narrowly missing a stakes victory with Role Model (NZ) (Bel Danoro) in the Gr. 2 Wellington Guineas at Trentham on Saturday, the Peter and Dawn Williams team had plenty to smile about after impressive victories with Shuka (NZ) Bachelor Duke) and
Grand Admiral (General Nediym) at Ellerslie on the same day.
Last season's perennial bridesmaid Shuka showed he had matured into a serious classic contender with his fresh-up victory over 1400 metres under the imposing weight of 61 kilograms while two races later Grand Admiral accounted for
a tidy rating 85 field over 1600 metres.
"It was a big ask for Shuka but if he is going to compete with some of the better horses at Group One level later this season it is the type of run you want to see from him,' explained Peter Williams. "I think he is fully mature now after
a decent winter break and it showed with such a professional effort to win carrying that sort of weight.
"He will go to Tauranga now on the 16th of November for the Tauranga Stakes and then we will look at some of those Group One races like the Zabeel Classic over the Christmas period."
Williams was also delighted with the performance of Grand Admiral who he also believes has finally matured into his imposing frame.
"He has been like a big giraffe up until now but the winter break did him the world of good and he looks like he will be able to compete over a middle distance this summer," he said.
"We will take him along quietly and look to some of the Cup races coming up in the next month or so.
"A race like the Waikato Cup should suit him perfectly if he can keep making the improvement he has so far in this preparation."
Williams reported Role Model had come through her Wellington Guineas run in good shape and would now head to Riccarton for the 1000 Guineas in three weeks time.

28/10/2013 Karaka Million on the Dragon's radar

Impressive two-year-old Dragon Lair (NZ) signaled he will be one of the early favourites for January's rich Karaka Million at Ellerslie when he was a stylish debut winner at the venue on Saturday.
The powerfully built son of Iffraaj took trainer Danica Guy by surprise when he easily accounted for his rivals over 880 metres on the weekend, a distance that Guy thought would prove too short for the long striding colt.
"We would have been pleased if he had been running on late into a place but Phillip (rider Phillip Turner) said he just changed gears and pricked his ears when he asked him for an effort at the 200 metre mark," noted Guy."He has shown
plenty of natural ability so far but he has such a massive stride that I thought he might have found the distance a shade too short.
"He really came here for the experience as the owner is keen to have him in the Karaka Million so to pick up a win and take some of the pressure off to qualify him is a super result."
Guy reported the colt had come through the race in fine style which was a relief after he had proved fractious following a trial run in August.
"He came home and ate everything in sight and tucked into his breakfast again on Sunday without a care in the world," she said. "I was a little nervous about how the run would affect him as after he trialled in August he was wound
up for several days afterwards so hopefully he has overcome that now.
"I will sit down with his owner to decide on what we do with him next as there are plenty of options over the next couple of months including putting him out for a brief spell and bringing him back at Christmas time."
Guy will use the experience she gained with her charge Gobi Ranger (Tale of the Cat), who finished seventh in last year's Karaka Million, to plot a course to the million dollar race with Dragon Lair.
Gobi Ranger will step out in today's Gr. 3 James and Annie Sarten Memorial at Te Rapa despite a wide draw, in his final lead-up to next month's 2000 Guineas at Riccarton.
"I guess the barrier draw will limit his options in the race but realistically we want to see him hitting the line if he is to be competitive in Christchurch,' said Guy.
"In hindsight it was a mistake to put the blinkers on him at Hawkes Bay last time as it made him a little field shy so we have taken them off for this run.
"He made up good ground at Hastings and has worked really well since then so with the quality of today's field we should be able to get a good line on him for the Guineas."

Dragon Lair cuts an imposing figure as he returns to scale at Ellerslie

28/10/2013 Natuzzi on target for Stewards sprint at Riccarton

A trip to Ashburton last week proved a double success for Wingatui based trainer Paul Richards with his dynamic sprinter Natuzzi (NZ) (Coats Choice) enjoying both a comfortable win in the open 1000 metre trial and the fitness inducing road trip as he prepares for his bid at
the Lindauer Stewards Stakes Handicap (1200m) at Riccarton next month.
Richards has been eyeing the Group Three sprint feature on the middle day of Riccarton's Cup Week Carnival as the fresh-up target of a summer campaign for his talented son of Coats Choice that may culminate in the Gr. 1 Telegraph Handicap at Trentham in January.
"He has been back in work since the beginning of July and has done everything right to date," reported Richards. "The trip away to Ashburton was ideal for him as it has brought him along nicely in his fitness while he got away with a quiet
run in the trial which he won in good style without overly extending himself.
"Chris (rider Chris Johnson) only really asked him to put in over the last 200 metres and he stretched out well so I'm confident he is on track for a good effort at Riccarton."
Natuzzi made plenty of observers sit up and take notice when he blitzed a useful field in the Listed Lightning Handicap at Trentham in March in a blistering 1.08.29 for the 1200 metre journey.
"That was a super win that day and gave us the impetus to plot a challenging campaign for him in this preparation," said Richards. "It would be nice to think he could get to a race like the Telegraph as he has shown a liking for the Trentham track
and it suits his style of racing down to the ground."
Leading South Island rider Chris Johnson has indicated he will continue his association with Natuzzi in this campaign after piloting him to that Trentham victory.

Natuzzi with trainer Paul Richards

27/10/2013 Trainers tighten grip on Guineas

Sacred Park (gold jacket) digs deep for Rory Hutchings and edges away to win the Wellington Guineas from the brave filly Role Model, who'd given her all for Mark Du Plessis.

Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue yesterday bagged the first leg of an important three-year-old double when Sacred Park (NZ) (Thorn Park) continued on his winning way in the Group Two Buffalo Man Wellington Guineas at Trentham.
Now that the tough colt has delivered on his immediate assignment, the Cambridge training partners will turn their focus to Allez Eagle (NZ) (Guillotine), who takes on a hot lineup in tomorrow's Group Three Sarten Memorial at Te Rapa.
"That's going to be a cracking race," Pike said. "It will be very interesting."
Both three-year-olds are on their way to Riccarton for the Group One Two Thousand Guineas and Sacred Park will be ideally suited to the course and distance.
"He's a big, lazy colt and he only does what he has to do,"
Pike said. "A big track like Riccarton will suit him – he's a longstriding horse and will definitely get a trip."
Sacred Park had won two of his three previous starts and in between had placed at Taupo in his first appearance this preparation.
"He changed legs there and got unbalanced, but to be fair he did need the run and hadn't had a barrier trial," Pike said.
Sacred Park made the running at Trentham and was headed 200 metres from home by the filly Role Model (NZ) (Bel Danoro), but he responded to rider Rory Hutchings' urging to come back strongly for a neck victory.
"He's a very tough horse and I thought Mark Du Plessis was going to run straight past me, but he showed a lot of fight," said Hutchings, who on Friday returned from an injuryforced spell after breaking his wrist in a trackwork accident.
"The plan was to sit behind them but nothing wanted to come across and he was happy in front."
Role Model was gallant in defeat, finishing three lengths ahead of outsider Lucky Feather (NZ) (Darci Brahma), who narrowly headed off Lord Turbo (NZ) (Perfectly Ready). The lightly raced Percy (NZ) (Sir Percy) was another 1½ lengths
away and will now be given a break and return for a New Zealand Derby preparation.

Race WRC Wellington Guineas Gr.2 1500m
Winner Sacred Park (NZ) 2010
Owners Raffles Thoroughbred Racing and E Hwang
Trainer Tony Pike & Mark Donoghue (Cambridge)
Breeding by Thorn Park (Aus) out of Dosh by Danske
Breeder Harvey Digby Bloodstock Ltd
Sales 2011 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed
Sale; V: Windsor Park Stud, P: Mapperley Stud
Ltd; $30,000
2012 National Yearling Sale, Select Session;
V: Mapperley Stud Ltd, P: Raffles Dancers;

27/10/2013 Unfashionable pair land big mile

Good things come to those who wait . . . as Daniel Hain proves on Danza Lad (nearest camera) in yesterday's Thompson Handicap. Runner-up Neo and Rosie Myers are obscured behind the winner while at left grand old performer Spiro
battles his way into the picture for Hayden Tinsley

Pukekohe horseman Rudy Liefting's belief in Danza Lad (NZ) (Woodbury Lad) has been rewarded with a Group Three victory that also provided a career highlight for rider Daniel Hain.
Liefting has rated the unfashionably bred gelding as a potential feature race winner for some time and the five-yearold repaid his trainer with a tough performance to claim the Golden Homes Thompson Handicap at Trentham yesterday.
"Rudy has had such faith in this horse – although there were a few question marks and we gave him a jumping trial," his wife Megan said. "This is just tremendous."
The trial has contributed to getting the best out of the five-year-old, who has now won seven times from eighteen appearances.
"When we got a Heavy 11 track I was a bit worried, but I was more confident with it drying out," Liefting said.
Hain's career tally of 73 previous winners hadn't included a black type success and the Te Awamutu-based jockey made the most of his first chance aboard Danza Lad.
"Daniel hadn't ridden him before, but the opportunity was there and he took it," Liefting said.
Danza Lad sat off the pace in the 1600 metre event and came with a well-timed run down the centre of the track to continue a good run of form for the stable.
"I was a bit worried 600 metres out when he dropped the bit and wasn't travelling that well," Hain said, "so I just dug him up and he was right."
Lightning almost struck twice at Trentham for the connections of the runner-up Neo (NZ) (One Cool Cat), who twelve months ago had won the Wellington Guineas and missed adding the Thompson by three-quarters of a length.
Just a head away, the topweight Spiro (NZ) (Pyrus) was as brave as ever when taking third money, 1½ lengths in front of Winter Cup winner Karla Bruni (NZ) (Pins). Last year's winner Pero (NZ) (Storming Home) was fifth.

Race WRC Thompson H. Gr.3 1600m
Winner Danza Lad (NZ) 2008
Owners B K Erceg
Trainer Rudy Liefting (Pukekohe)
Breeding by Woodbury Lad (USA) out of Danza Daisy by
Danzatore (Can)
Breeder B K Erceg

27/10/2013 Cryptic outsprints the juveniles

Darryl Bradley, having brought Cryptic out and around the leaders, has headed off third placegetter Don't Change and is about to claim Jackofall (hindquarters just showing at right) in the Wellesley Stakes.

It was a case of third time lucky in the Wellesley Stakes for Keith and Brendon Hawtin yesterday when they produced Cryptic (NZ) (Sakhee's Secret) to win the Moemoea Park-sponsored Listed feature at Trentham.
Luck was also on jockey Darryl Bradley's side when he answered a late call from the Te Awamutu trainers after original rider Buddy Lammas was unable to make the filly's carded weight of 54.5kg.
"We finished second with Elle Tresor (2009) and with Lady Chapel (2010) so it's great to get this one," Brendon Hawtin said.
"We were fairly confident, with the heavy track the only question mark – although her mother was a swimmer and her work all week had been super. She hit the line strongly and black type is what we all strive for."
Bred and raced by The Oaks Stud, the daughter of the Cambridge farm's resident stallion Sakhee's Secret had finished third on debut behind Vinnie Eagle at Ruakaka and her stakes success hasn't changed future plans.
"Win, lose or draw she was going out for a break," Hawtin said. "She'll come back and we'll set her for the Matamata Breeders' Stakes."
Cryptic came off the leaders' backs 200 metres from home to beat Jackofall (NZ) (Mastercraftsman) by threequarters of a length with Don't Change (NZ) (Thewayyouare) third, another 1¾ lengths away. There was a gap of almost
seven lengths to fourth-placed favourite Way In (NZ) (Thewayyouare), who had her chance.
"That was a lovely pick-up ride," Bradley said. "She was a bit hesitant to go between them so I had to angle quite sharply across their heels and once she balanced up she got home strongly."
Some ten minutes after Cryptic's win, Wellesley defector Hurunui (NZ) (Buffalo Man), who had stayed closer to home to take on Riccarton's lesser line-up, kept his perfect record intact.
The Mandy and Matt Brown-trained youngster had won on debut a month ago and he turned yesterday's NZB Ready to Run Sale Two-Year-Old into a procession in the straight with a drubbing of a field of maidens. The debuting Second
Time Lucky (NZ) (Any Suggestion), beaten 2½ lengths, got closest.

Race WRC Wellesley S. L 1000m
Winner Cryptic (NZ) 2011
Owners The Oaks Stud
Trainer Keith & Brendon Hawtin (Te Awamutu)
Breeding by Sakhee's Secret (GB) out of Oakwood by
Spartacus (Ire)
Breeder The Oaks Stud

27/10/2013 Atlante tops off Jame's day and rates as serious Guineas chance

On a day when he notched up his thousandth winner, Jamie Bullard raises his whip in a modest victory salute after a well-judged frontrunning ride gets Atlante home first in the Canterbury Stakes.

Jockey Jamie Bullard capped off a special day at Riccarton yesterday with victory aboard the improving colt Atlante (Fastnet Rock), who made an impressive statement for a Group One challenge to follow on the course next month.
The 39-year-old rode the thousandth winner of his career when successful aboard Sir Singo (More Than Ready) in the Rating 75 sprint and then partnered the Cambridge three-year-old to triumph in the Listed Holloway (Builders)
Canterbury Stakes.
Bullard, who rode his first winner in 1993, has three Group One victories to his credit with Balmuse in the 2004 Kelt Capital Stakes, the 2006 New Zealand One Thousand Guineas on Dorabella and the New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas two years ago aboard Rock 'N' Pop.
While a rider has yet to be confirmed for Atlante in the upcoming Two Thousand Guineas, Bullard kept his name to the fore with a polished display on the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-prepared son of Fastnet Rock.
"He's a good rider – you don't get to ride a thousand winners otherwise – but there are a few options," Forsman said.
Atlante jumped well to lead from a wide gate and Bullard executed the pre-race plan to perfection on the last-start maiden winner.
"He's a pretty laid back horse and at Avondale he switched off so we didn't want to be caught napping," Forsman said.
"He's a big, strong colt who loves to roll along and we wanted to run them into the ground. He will improve a lot heading toward the Guineas.
"He needs good ground and it was a shame the other horse (Sakhee's Soldier) didn't get that in the Guineas at Trentham. It was too tough moving up to the 1500 metres on such a testing track, but he'll keep – he's a good horse."
Atlante had three lengths on the filly Libetto (NZ) (Librettist) at the post with Charlestown (NZ) (Myboycharlie) running on well for third. The hot favourite All Decked Out (NZ) (Darci Brahma) came wide on the turn, but was unable to
round off his effort and trailed in sixth.
The Jason Bridgman stable had, however, celebrated an important win in the previous event with the five-yearold mare Viana (NZ) (Volksraad) becoming a black-type performer when proving too strong in the Listed Christchurch
Casino Spring Classic, over 2000 metres.

Race CJC Canterbury S. L 1600m
Winner Atlante (Aus) 2010
Owners JML Bloodstock Ltd (Mgr L Petagna), Ms R
Phillippo, M A & Mrs S L Treweek
Trainer Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman (Cambridge)
Breeding by Fastnet Rock (Aus) out Readyforcatherine
(Aus) by More Than Ready (USA)
Breeder Reavill Farm Management
Sales 2012 Ready To Run Sale; V: Lyndhurst Farm, P:
Bruce Perry Bloodstock; $200,000

25/10/2013 Stable spreads Guineas hopes

Stablemates Atlante (Fastnet Rock) and Sakhee's Soldier (NZ) (Sakhee's Secret) will be islands apart on Saturday before joining forces to give Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman a two-pronged classic attack.
Atlante is to have his dress rehearsal for the Gr.1 Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas in the Listed Holloway Builders Canterbury Stakes at Riccarton this weekend while Sakhee's Soldier will be in action in the Gr.2 Buffalo Man Wellington
Guineas at Trentham.
Forsman said both three-year-olds had trained on well since their last-start wins, but good tracks were crucial to their continued progress.
"Atlante has improved a lot and he's going to thrive on racing and really come on. He's ready for a mile now and a good hit-out on Saturday will be perfect and if Sakhee's Soldier gets decent ground at Trentham I think he'll be right in it."

25/10/2013 Tinsley keen on Trentham prospects

Bruised but not beaten, Awapuni jockey Hayden Tinsley is determined to take advantage of a strong book at Trentham on Saturday.
"I've been better, but I'm up and about and plan to be there – I've got some good rides that I don't want to miss out on," Tinsley said.
He was injured in a birdcage incident at Monday's Ready to Run Sale breezeups at Te Rapa when a two-year-old he was aboard took fright in the birdcage.
Tinsley was thrown and kicked in the chest.
On Saturday, Tinsley has been booked to ride the Jason Bridgman-trained King's Rock (Fastnet Rock) in the Gr.2 Buffalo Man Wellington Guineas and Spiro (NZ) (Pyrus) in the Gr.3 Rich Hill Stud Thompson Handicap.

25/10/2013 Stellar effort will confirm Guineas bid

Royally-bred filly Stella's Honour (NZ) (O'Reilly) was an impressive winner at the first time of asking and another bold showing at Ellerslie on Saturday will earn her a crack at the best of her age group.
The three-year-old from the family of two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year and multiple Group One winner Fairy King Prawn, has a wide gate to contend with in the Davis Funeral Services 1400, but co-trainer Chad Ormsby isn't expecting that to stop the filly figuring in the finish.
"We thought she'd win (at Avondale) and she went out there and did the job well and she's improved with it," he said.
"She's worked nicely since and she has drawn wide, but Ellerslie is a fair track so she'll be running. All going well through Saturday she'll be going down to Christchurch for the Guineas and then she'll have a let-up and we'll be targeting
the staying races with her later on."

21/10/2013 Exciting mare steps out at Wingatui

Impeccably bred four-year-old mare The Diamond One (Tale Of The Cat) furthers her preparation for the Listed Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders Stakes (1400m) during Christchurch Cup Week when she steps out in the last
race on the card at Wingatui today.
The daughter of Group One winner The Jewel (NZ) (O'Reilly) has excited trainer Steven Anderton from the minute she stepped out on a racecourse, with her fourth in the Gr. 1 1000 Guineas last year whetting Anderton's appetite
for greater returns this season.
"She has shown terrific promise right from the moment she entered the stable and her run in the 1000 Guineas last year demonstrated what she is capable of given she had a few niggles with shin soreness going into the race," he said.
"We gave her one more run after the Guineas but the shin soreness returned so we tipped her out for a decent break where she really thrived and has come back a bigger and better version for this campaign.
"She is typical of the Dennis Brothers breed as she just gets better with age so I hope she can keep making the progress she has to date.
"She won well fresh-up and today's race fits perfectly into her programme as we get her ready for the race during Cup Week given it is on her home patch with no travelling involved."
While Anderton has his eyes firmly on the Cup Week prize for The Diamond One he also has plans for a northern raid later in the season along with two of her other well performed stablemates.
"If she runs up to expectations in the Valachi Downs at Riccarton we will most likely tip her out for 2-3 weeks and then get her ready for a campaign in the North Island after Christmas with her stablemates The Glitzy One and The Solitaire" he said.
"There are some nice fillies and mares races up north in February and March which I think will suit them down to the ground."
The Glitzy One (Flying Spur)and The Solitaire (NZ) (O'Reilly) clashed at Ashburton yesterday with The Solitaire finishing fourth behind Ashburton track specialist Voodoo, one place ahead of her stablemate who finished strongly for fifth.
"I was pleased with both their runs although I did think The Solitaire had her chance to win the race," said Anderton.
" She will now head to the Couplands Mile at Riccarton while The Glitzy One will line-up at Riccarton next Saturday in the Spring Classic over 2000 metres."
Anderton has one other runner in today with La Girl (NZ) (Spartacus) lining up in race 5.
"She was a little disappointing at her last start when she weakened late after sitting handy during the run so we hope to see her settle further back in the field and try to find the line better than she did last time."

The Jewel (dam of The Diamond One) beats Distinctly Secret to win the Gr. 1 Whakanui Stud International Stakes at Te Rapa in 2005

21/10/2013 Cool ride gets Barbaric home at Rotorua

A cool ride by apprentice Michael Dee ensured the talented but injury plagued galloper Barbaric (NZ) (Pins) opened his spring campaign in style with victory in the TW Moore Ltd 1200 at Rotorua on Saturday.
Carrying the top-weight of 60kgs even with Dee's 3kg claim in effect, Barbaric stormed home from well back in the handy rating 75 field to score a convincing victory and set himself up for a crack at stakes company at his next outing.
"The race certainly didn't follow the script we thought it might after he struck some trouble early in the piece but I liked the fact that Michael didn't panic and let the horse find his feet before he let him unleash in the straight," said
trainer Stephen Marsh. "The horse has a lethal finish when he's right which we got to see on the weekend.
"He has pulled up well and, most importantly, sound after the race so all in all it has been a great result."
The five-year-old son of Pins has been plagued by hoof issues as well as other niggling problems throughout his career to date with Marsh hopeful he has finally got on top of the situation.
"We have had to take him along quietly as he has had a series of problems but this time in he seems to be a lot better so maturity may have worked the trick," he said.
"He is a very clean winded horse and doesn't need much work on the track so he has spent a lot of time in the pool to build his fitness levels up."
Marsh is eyeing the Listed Timpson Family Trust Sprint (1200m) at Te Rapa on the 9th of November as the next assignment for his charge.
"He will get into the sprint at Te Rapa on a nice weight and he has a tidy record there so it fits nicely into his programme for the spring," noted Marsh.
"That race should also tell us where we head over the next few months as I'm still undecided as to whether he is purely a 1200 metre horse or whether he will be more effective as a miler given he can relax and then sprint in his races.
"He is the type of horse that you could head to Trentham with in January with either the Telegraph or the Thorndon Mile in mind and be confident of a good run in either."

Barbaric and strapper Rhys Mildon head back to the stable for a hard earned shower after a job well done

21/10/2013 Collett pleased with newcomer's trial effort

Pukekohe trainer Richard Collett had plenty to smile about after Eight Schillings (NZ) (O'Reilly) showed he was back with a vengeance following an impressive outing at the recent Cambridge trials.
The free-going sprinter has been off the racing scene for just on six months after a disappointing summer campaign that was plagued by niggling injuries. Transferred to the stables of Collett and his training partner Gareth McRae, the six-year-old O'Reilly gelding showed the benefit of an uninterrupted three-month preparation when he finished a close up second in Thursday's trial and has thrived since the outing.
"He really impressed me on Thursday as we weren't sure what to expect after the problems he had during his last preparation," said Collett. "His record certainly indicates he has any amount of ability but you never know how they will come
up after an injury break so we were very pleased with how it panned out.
"He did it all very comfortably on a track that was pretty testing after the rain they had and has come through the run in great shape so we can now press on and get him ready for a raceday return."
That return is likely to be at Te Rapa on the 9th of November in the Listed Timpson Family Trust Sprint (1200m).
"We have earmarked Te Rapa as the place to kick him off and safely through that we will set a programme for him that will have the Telegraph Handicap in January as his ultimate goal" noted Collett.
Eight Schillings ran 4th in the 2012 Gr. 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham when prepared by Stephen McKee.
The Collett/McRae team also had two of their other quality
sprinters on display at Cambridge with classy mares Payette (Volksraad) and Shandream (NZ) (Pins) having their first serious hit-outs in this preparation.
"They both had a quiet run along as we didn't want to flatten them in the testing conditions and we are happy with how they went," explained Collett. "They will go to the Te Aroha trials on the 29th of October and if they make the right
sort of progress we will look at them both running during Cup Week at Christchurch.
"Payette would most likely run in the open 1000 metre race on the first day while Shandream would go to the Stewards Handicap on the middle day."
Collett is also pleased with the progress his quality galloper So Wotif (NZ) (Iffraaj) is making after being slightly behind his stablemates at this stage of his preparation.
"He is making good progress after a slight setback so he should be ready to trial in early November," he said. "We're not sure of his immediate programme but a race like the Concorde Handicap at Ellerslie in early December could well
be a target."
So Wotif hasn't been seen since finishing a close fourth at Flemington in June to complete a three-year-old campaign that yielded four wins including the Gr. 3 Mr Tiz Trophy (1200m) at Ellerslie.

Eight Schillings is doing it comfortably outside The Last Shower at the Cambridge trials last week

20/10/2013 Fully mature Vadana wins WFA sprint fresh from Winter break

Group One winner Viadana (NZ) (Towkay) has left no doubt that she can add to her feature race tally this preparation for Matamata trainer Lance Noble, rewarding her connections for their no-risk approach when she made a triumphant return to racing yesterday in the
Listed Lion Red Plate at Rotorua.
Last season's Easter Handicap heroine was to have resumed the previous weekend in the Taranaki Breeders' Stakes, but Noble wasn't prepared to risk her on a heavy Hawera surface.
"We were all set to go over 1400 metres there so I knew she was fit enough and she's such a good mare that weightfor- age suits her down to the ground," he said.
"I'm really chuffed and she's fully matured now – the Thorndon Mile will be her ultimate target."
Viadana was allowed to settle off the pace by rider Craig Grylls and they picked up ground across the top to be within sight of the leaders turning in.
"Fresh-up over 1200 metres, the plan was to get back and she jumped into the bridle 600 metres out," Grylls said.
"I let her work into it and she gave everything she's got in the straight."
A $25,000 purchase at Karaka, Viadana has now won more than $315,000 for the Easdon No. 4 Syndicate, a partnership assembled and managed by Noble's wife Leigh.
Runner-up Ginner Hart (NZ) (Volksraad), resuming after his stylish fresh-up victory at Hastings four weeks ago, was gallant in defeat with class performer Durham Town (NZ) (Falkirk) an excellent third in his first start for the season.
Meanwhile at Otaki, emerging star Scapolo (NZ) (Bachelor Duke) thumped his open class rivals in the 1200 metre Ascend Sales Trophies Handicap to signal his readiness for the New Zealand Cup carnival.
Already a stakes placegetter at Riccarton and in Melbourne, the Kevin Myers-trained four-year-old has a nomination for the Group Two Couplands Bakeries Mile, in which he is an early $6 equal favourite with Tyne Cot.

Race Rotorua RC Lion Red P. L 1200m
Winner Viadana (NZ) 2007
Owners Easdon No. 4 Racing Syndicate (Mgr Mrs L G Noble)
Trainer Lance Noble (Matamata)
Breeding by Towkay (Aus) out of Yeah Nah by Kinjite
Breeder Little Avondale Trust
Sales 2009 NZ National Yearling Sale, Select Session;
V: Little Avondale Stud, P: Mr L R & Mrs L Noble; $25,000

Viadana (nearest camera) fights on best for Craig Grylls to deny Ginner Hart and Noel Harris in Rotorua's Lion Red Plate.

20/10/2013 Guns At Five surprises Chris as he jogs home in Rotorua plate

On a day which saw plenty of clear-cut wins, none was more impressive than Guns At Five's demolition job under Trudy Thornton on a handy field of middle distance horses in the Agrodome Plate.

Chris Wood thought two false starts with Guns At Five (NZ) (Duelled) would count against the stayer at Rotorua yesterday, but he was happy to be proved wrong by the six-year-old's emphatic return to winning form.
The Cambridge trainer's pre-race concerns about the gelding's match fitness proved groundless and he bolted away with the Listed Agrodome Rotorua Plate after a canny ride from Trudy Thornton.
"Really happy with that but he did get under my guard and I thought he was one run away," Wood said.
"My owners in Australia asked me to back him and I said no. These things happen and I'll happily apologise for that!" A past winner at Listed level in the New Zealand St Leger, Guns At Five had resumed at Taupo earlier this month and
Wood's attempts to get a further race into the horse had been foiled at two venues.
"He had a day out at Whangarei when they cancelled there and he was at Hawke's Bay when they wiped the last race," he said.
"He's heading toward the New Zealand Cup. He's a reasonably clean-winded horse and he'll have another run somewhere."
Guns At Five settled in behind the leaders at Arawa Park before Thornton got him out into the open and they made a quick move across the top to hit the front on the turn.
"I could see he was jogging down the back and they've done a great job," Wood said.
Guns At Five was clear into the straight and he stayed on strongly to have two and a half lengths on Smartly (NZ) (Fast 'n' Famous) at the post. The well-supported Soriano (NZ) (Savabeel) came on from the back of the field for third ahead
of a much-improved Back In Black (NZ) (Storm Creek).

Race Rotorua RC Rotorua P. L 1950m
Winner Guns at Five (NZ) 2007
Owners Ken Bee Sports (Aust) Pty Ltd
Trainer Chris Wood (Cambridge)
Breeding by Duelled (Aus) out of Accidentallyinlove by
Cape Cross (Ire)
Breeder C R & G J Dando
Sales 2008 National Broodmare & Mixed Sale;
V: Blandford Lodge, P: Mrs M C Harkema;

20/10/2013 Costa Viva and Chambord shore up Te Akau's classic challenge

Jason Bridgman's classic challenge gained further momentum at Ashburton yesterday when his representatives Costa Viva (Encosta De Lago) and Chambord (NZ) (Zabeel) completed their Guineas preparations.
The Te Akau runners quinellaed the Listed Ray Coupland Stakes and, while the filly proved superior, the runner-up did his feature race prospects no harm either.
Bridgman is reluctant to split Costa Viva and his other One Thousand Guineas contender Spellbinder and the former showed continued improvement at Ashburton, where rider Matt Cameron pulled the right rein.
He opted to ride the daughter of Encosta De Lago, who had won on debut at Ruakaka and then finished runner-up to Bounding in the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes at Hastings.
"That was her first time under real pressure and it was always going to bring her on a lot," Bridgman said.
Costa Viva enjoyed a dream run in the Coupland and had the race under control 200 metres from home before eventually scoring by half a length. Chambord got back and, despite racing greenly, made good ground in the closing
stages to post an eye-catching trial for the Two Thousand Guineas.
"He's got a lot of speed even though he's by Zabeel out of a Montjeu mare and his challenge will be relaxing to get the mile at Riccarton," Bridgman said.
Earlier on the card, the evergreen sprinter El Chico (NZ) (Stravinsky) notched career win number 18 when he gave age, weight and a beating to his EA Networks Ashburton Cup rivals.
Under 58½kg, the Michael Pitman-trained nine-yearold cut out the 1200 metres in a slick 1:08.63 to down the younger duo of Fullavino (Falvelon), in receipt of 4½kg, and Paraketo (NZ) (Pins), on 6½kg less.

Race Ashburton RC Ray Coupland S. L 1400m
Winner Costa Viva (Aus) 2010
Owners Mrs J & R K Batten, Mrs D Ford, D P & Mrs N E Hurst
Trainer Jason Bridgman (Matamata)
Breeding by Encosta De Lago (Aus) out of Vivacious
Spirit (Aus) by Bel Esprit (Aus)
Breeder K G Williams and K R Biggins

In a result which lifted hopes of Te Akau success in next month's Guineas, high-class filly Costa Viva completes a professional job for Matthew Cameron to hold out Jamie Bullard's mount Chambord, also talented but with a bit to learn.

20/10/2013 Cosmic Cube's guineas campaign back on track after hollow win

"Get him to relax and give him a good hit-out" were the instructions . . . carried out to the letter by Mark Du Plessis on the Riccarton-bound Cosmic Cube.

Riccarton-bound Cosmic Cube (NZ) (Dehere) fulfilled all expectations of him at Arawa Park yesterday, a hollow victory taking him another winning step toward his Group One goal.
The up-and-comer was set an easy task in the Parrots On Hinemoa 3YO Handicap and he got the job done with a minimum of fuss.
"I said if we can't beat these we're in trouble," co-trainer Graeme Rogerson said. "I'm looking forward to his next few runs."
Cosmic Cube will now head to Te Rapa on Labour Day for what promises to be an intriguing Group Three James and Annie Sarten Memorial – his final outing before the Group One New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas on November 9.
"The Sarten is the right race for him and a good lead-up to Riccarton," Rogerson said.
The winner of both his juvenile starts last season, Cosmic Cube had run third behind Guineas favourite Allez Eagle at his previous start after being denied clear galloping room in the straight.
"He's just some horse and it's only bad luck that he's been beaten," Rogerson said. Cosmic Cube sat fourth in a five-horse field yesterday before he came wide on the turn and drew clear under a hands and heels ride from jockey Mark Du Plessis to win by
two and a half lengths.
"Graeme said to get him to relax and give him a good hitout," Du Plessis said. "He had a very soft run and he hit the line well."
Another three-year-old to shine on the Rotorua undercard was Dezignator (NZ) (Volksraad), who was a stylish winner at the first time of asking for trainer Wayne Hillis.
"I was a little bit worried when he didn't jump to the lead as he's a bit timid with horses around him, but he relaxed well," he said.
"We'll be looking for some big races for him – he's a colt so we want to make a name for him."

18/10/2013 Bridgman can't split top fillies

As impressive as Spellbinder (NZ) (O'Reilly) was in her last appearance, she hasn't put a gap on stablemate Costa Viva (Encosta de Lago) in trainer Jason Bridgman's mind.
The unbeaten O'Reilly filly demolished her rivals in the Listed Soliloquy Stakes at Ellerslie by six and a-half lengths to earn cofavouritism for next month's Gr.1 New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas.
Costa Viva also won on debut and followed up with a brave run for second in the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes and she will round off her preparation for the Riccarton classic in Saturday's Listed Ray Coupland
"They are two top contenders and it's very hard to assess them until they run against each other, but I couldn't split them at the moment," Bridgman said.
"The Hastings race was always going to bring her (Costa Viva) on and certainly in her work it looks like it has. It's her first trip away and she got there on Wednesday and I'm very happy with her."
Costa Viva will be ridden again at Ashburton by Matt Cameron in preference to the untapped Chambord (NZ) (Zabeel) and the reliable Dreamer (NZ) (More Than Ready).
"It was Matt's decision – he had the choice," said Bridgman, who also rates Gr.1 Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas prospect Chambord as a top prospect. "He's got all the ability in the world and he can hold his own
in work with the fillies. He's a raw talent and his challenge will be relaxing to get the mile at Riccarton.
"He's got a lot of speed and we've got to teach him to relax and switch off – potentially he could be anything."
Dreamer has finished runner-up in five of her seven appearances and Bridgman believes the step up to 1400 metres on Saturday will be to her advantage.
"It's come at the right time and in her last couple of runs she has relaxed well," he said. "We'll add the blinkers this time as well and while the other two at home have got the wood on her, the distance will help."

Te Akau trainer Jason Bridgman will be represented by three runners in the Ray Coupland Stakes

18/10/2013 Top mare backs up at Rotorua

Postmans Daughter (NZ) (Postponed) is a surprise runner in Saturday's Listed Lion Red Plate (1200m) at Arawa Park.
"She's going to Rotorua and then I'll make up my mind whether she goes to the 2000 metre weight-for-age race at Ellerslie on Melbourne Cup day or if we go to Aussie for the Myer Classic," ownertrainer Don Walker said.
Postmans Daughter won last Saturday's Gr.3 Taranaki Breeders' Stakes on a seven-day back-up from the Gr.1 Spring Classic and successful rider Derek Nolan will have the mount again this weekend.

18/10/2013 Riccarton targets for Lucky Country

Lucky Country's next appearance is likely to determine which black-type event she targets at the New Zealand Cup carnival.
"She'll run in the open 1400 metre race at Ellerslie on the 26th and then we'll fly her down to Christchurch for the fillies' and mares' 1400 on the second day," trainer Stephen Marsh said.
"She still holds a nomination for the Coupland's Mile and if she won very well at Ellerslie that's the other option. She deserves to be a stakes winner."
Placed at Group Three level last season in the Wellington and Desert Gold Stakes and in the Windsor Park Stud Breeders' Stakes, Lucky Country (NZ) (Darci Brahma) was an encouragingsecond when resuming at Matamata last
"She went super after she was caught wide from a bad draw and she fought hard," Marsh said. "She's breezed through that race really well."

14/10/2013 Somervell stable star ready for Rotorua

A stunning heat win at the recent Cambridge trials has trainer Lee Somervell ready to declare his Group One winning mare Fleur de Lune (NZ) back to her brilliant best.
In the hands of stable apprentice Tim Askew the daughter of Stravinsky treated her eight rivals with contempt as she kept up a strong gallop all the way to win under a hold by 5 lengths in 55.25 seconds, the fastest time of the day over the
950 metre journey.
"I told Tim to jump her out and give her a squeeze on the corner but I didn't expect her to go so keenly and I did get a bit of a shock when she was so far in front," admitted Somervell."What it did tell me was that the break we gave her
after Hastings did her the world of good and she is happy and ready to return to her best form.
"She has thrived since the trial and hopefully it has built her confidence back up after it took a dent at her last run."
Somervell is referring to the mare's disappointing performance in the Gr. 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings in August where she finished ten lengths off the eventual winner Survived.
"She just didn't handle it at all well that day and the race knocked her around badly," he said. "We had to give her a decent break but I think the trial win has shown we have her ready to be competitive when she lines up next."
That race is likely to be the Listed Lion Red Plate (1150m) at Rotorua this Saturday, a course where the mare broke her maiden status at her first raceday start.
"She handles the Rotorua track well and the race will give us the chance to see if she can bring the attitude she is showing around the stable at present back to the racetrack," said Somervell.
"It will be a good test for her as the owners have been debating whether to put her to stud or to continue with her racing career.
"The Railway at Ellerslie is the main goal for the summer so she will have to show us she is still keen to perform on the track and Rotorua will be the first test of that."

Class mare Fleur de Lune is ready to resume at Rotorua this weekend

14/10/2013 Bridgman three-year old team on a roll

Enhance heads to the start on Saturday in the middle of a decent shower of rain

Impressive Matamata winner Enhance (NZ) (Saperavi) made it two from two on Saturday and in the process kept the winning roll of the Jason Bridgman team well on track as the Matamata conditioner assesses his many options for
the upcoming three-year-old classics.
Although beating only three rivals in a field decimated by scratchings, Enhance showed a turn of foot that will stand the daughter of Saperavi in good stead as she steps up to stakes company later in the year.
"It was pleasing to see her win like that on Saturday as she has shown us she has a real sprint when it's needed and she will need it when she tackles the better fillies," noted Bridgman.
"We are going to back off her now for a few days and then bring her back with an eye on the black-type races around Christmas time.
"A race like the Eulogy Stakes in December could be the first real test for her and then we might look at the Eight Carat Classic and Royal Stakes at Ellerslie as I think she will be at her Enhance heads to the start on Saturday in the middle of a decent shower of rain
best at a mile and beyond as she matures."
Bridgman has also finalised the programme for several of his other potential three-year-old stars as a number head to Cup Week at Riccarton for the Gr. 1 Guineas races.
"Costa Viva and Chambord will go to Ashburton on Saturday for the Ray Coupland Stakes which will be their final lead-up races to the 1000 and 2000 Guineas respectively," he said. "Spellbinder will now go to the James and Annie Sarten
Memorial Stakes at Te Rapa as she gets ready for the 1000 Guineas.
"All Decked Out has come through his Hawkes Bay Guineas run well and he and King's Rock will both head to the Wellington Guineas at Trentham for their final lead-up runs before Riccarton."
Bridgman also reported impressive Ruakaka maiden winner Aspen (NZ) (Alamosa) has been in the paddock since his debut run and will shortly return to work as he is set on the path towards a possible New Zealand Derby run in March
next year.

14/10/2013 Fursdon duo top prospects at Paeroa

Matamata trainer Karen Fursdon is confident a two week break in the paddock has worked the oracle for her promising mare Sunbeam (NZ) (Haradasun) as she looks to get back to winning form in the Rating 75 Paeroa Lions Club 1150 (1150m) at the Waikato
Racing Club's meeting at Paeroa today.
After putting back-to-back victories together Sunbeam finished a lacklustre eighth on a testing track at Ellerslie where she failed to show her customary dash.
"I guess we just went one too many too quickly with her as she certainly didn't show what she had in those previous two wins so it was straight to the spelling paddock for a fortnight off," explained Fursdon.
"We've had her back now for about three weeks and she is bouncing around like her old self so the break has done her the world of good.
"It was such a thrill to pick up those two wins and I'm sure there is still plenty of development left in her so we're hoping for a good performance today."
Stablemate Silk Chardonnay (NZ) (Lucky Unicorn) will be looking to cap off some consistent form with a win in the first race on the card after three second placings at her last three starts.
"She has been going extra well and just needs a little luck to get that maiden win," said Fursdon. "She is another who has had a little break since her last start and she seems to have thrived so it could be her day today."
Fursdon picked up her fourth win for the current season when hardy stayer Sir Elmo (NZ) (Spartacus) finished strongly to win the PIC Insurance Brokers 2000 at Matamata on Saturday in the hands of rider Michael Coleman.
Coleman will continue his association with the stable when he rides both of the Fursdon runners today.

Matamata trainer Karen Fursdon has two bright prospects at Paeroa today

11/10/2013 Postmans Daughter on back up

Don Walker is banking on the luck of the Irish to confirm a Melbourne spring carnival appearance in the Gr.1 Myer Classic (1600m) for Postmans Daughter (NZ) (Postponed).
He is also going back to a proven formula with the mare this Saturday at Hawera where she will be on the quick back-up into the Gr.3 Rich Hill Stud Taranaki Breeders' Stakes (1400m) after finishing fifth in the Gr.1 The Turks Spring Classic.
"Derek Nolan will be on her and he's always been at me to let him have a ride on her so I thought why not give him a chance," Walker said. "I've watched him and he rides well."
"I think she might be a better miler or 1400 metre horse, rather than 2000 metres," he said. "I don't know whether I'd left her short the other day and she looked like she was coming into it (at Hastings) and then struggled a bit.

8/10/2013 First Winner for Pearl Series

The New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Pearl Series kicked off today with the first race in the Series taken out by Way In (NZ) (Thewayyourare) at Avondale, one of three horses nominated for the Bonus in the race.
The Shaune Ritchie trained filly raced professionally at her first raceday start to claim victory in the $7,000 NZB Insurance Pearl Series 2YO Bonus (800m) by a margin of two lengths for rider Sam Spratt.
The filly from the first crop of shuttle sire Theywayyouare came into the race having won her only trial and was able to find the rail from barrier two. She came around the corner close to the rail as many of the other two-year-olds raced greenly and Way In was able to scamper away for the win.
In addition to Way In receiving the lion’s share of the $7,000 prizemoney from the race, she earned an $8,000 Level C Bonus for being Pearl Series nominated.
Today was the first of 200 individual races for this crop that carry a Pearl Series Bonus. In this two-year-old season there are 12 races carrying the Level C bonus. Today’s winning owners receive $7,000 of the Bonus while the trainer earns $700 and the nominator collects $300.
Way In was carrying the famous colours of the Mitchell family who have a strong connection with the Ritchie family with Shaune’s father Frank training the 1986 Cox Plate winner. Owned by P J & S R Mitchell, R J de Lautour, G W Halse & A P Ritchie the filly earned $11,375, including the Bonus, for today’s winning effort.
With bonus money excluded from prizemoney counted towards Karaka Million entry, Way In has also gone to second on the Karaka Million Order of Entry behind today’s race rival Kschessinska (NZ) (Volksraad) who picked up a further $700 for finishing third following her win in the first two-year-old race of the season last month.

Today’s race saw two other horses get their name on the Karaka Million Leaderboard with Staccato (NZ) (Swiss Ace) and Palace Rock (NZ) (Fastnet Rock) both earning prizemoney at their first starts

7/10/2013 Extended programme at Avondale

An extended programme at Avondale today has provided an ideal opportunity for the Mike Moroney/ Chad Ormsby training partnership to step out a number of runners that hold nominations for Riccarton's Christchurch Cup Week age group features later in November.
Originally scheduled for seven races the programme has been extended to twelve events to assist trainers who missed a run at Ruakaka last week when their raceday was cancelled due to weather related conditions that made the track unsafe
for racing.
The additional races have suited a number of stables looking to kick off their spring runners with Moroney and Ormsby no exception as they line-up eight horses on the day including 2000 Guineas nominee Bonappetit (NZ)
(O'Reilly) and 1000 Guineas hopefuls Unknown Pleasures NZ) (Edenwold), Fairy Cake (NZ) (St Reims) and Stella's Honour (NZ) (O'Reilly).
"Like most stables we have been waiting for the tracks to dry out so the extra races today are a bonus as we can get a start for a number of our team on a surface that looks like it will be pretty good," remarked Ormsby.
"If we are going to get some of these horses to Riccarton they need to be running now as the Carnival is only about five weeks away."
Ormsby nominated first starters Unknown Pleasures (race 7) and Stella's Honour (race 10) as two to watch from the stable.
"They both went nicely at the Te Teko trials recently and have shown up well in their work since then," he said. "They would be two of our better chances along with Flying Fantasy (race8) who has been unlucky in her first two raceday starts.

Co-trainer Chad Ormsby has a big team in at Avondale today

"Bonappetit went a nice race at Taupo in his campaign opener and he looks to have taken benefit from the race so I would expect him to be running on strongly as he is already looking for 1400 metres and further."
The other highlight of the day is the running of the first race in the newly introduced NZB Insurance Pearl Series, a bonus scheme for series registered fillies and mares that offers prizemoney incentives across 200 races each season.
The first bonus race for this year is race one on the card for the two-year-olds where the bonus eligible runners are likely race favourite Kschessinska (NZ) (Volksraad) along with Way In (NZ) (Thewayyouare) and Iffitel (Iffraaj).

7/10/2013 Medici earns his tilt at the New Zealand cup

The Gr. 3 New Zealand Cup is now the goal for Medici after his win on Saturday

A plan hatched by trainer Lance Noble back in May began to bear fruit on Saturday when Medici (NZ) (Encosta De Lago) took out the Waimakariri Businesses North Canterbury Cup (2000m) at Riccarton and in the process earned himself a ballot exemption for the Gr. 3
New Zealand Cup in November.
The son of multiple Group One winner Giovana (NZ) (Blues Traveller) was an $800,000 purchase from the Premier session of the 2009 National Yearling sale at Karaka and although he has yet to live up to his expensive price tag, Noble is
convinced this could be the season where he starts to recoup some of that initial outlay.
"I definitely think he has a good race in him as he is now fully mature and he seems to have thrived during his winter spell," said Noble. "He loves the tracks when they get nice and hard so we deliberately spelled him down south this year as
they seem to get better tracks earlier in the season.
"He showed the benefit of that when he won two trials before his first start this time in and he is definitely well ahead in his preparation than if we had kept him home at Matamata.
"We did target Saturday's race due to the New Zealand Cup ballot exemption that was available to the winner and thankfully he managed to grab the win as on his current rating he was unlikely to get a guaranteed start without it."
Before Saturday's victory Medici was well down the order of entry for the New Zealand Cup however now he has obtained a guaranteed start Noble can plot a preferred path to the race.
"He will go to the open 2000 metre race at Riccarton on the 26th of October before he has his final Cup lead-up in the Metropolitan Trophy on the first day of Cup Week," he said."He finished second to Ransomed in the Manawatu Cup last year
so after what that horse did on Saturday I'm hoping our guy can reproduce that form when it matters on Cup Day."
6/10/2013 Ransomed gets Gary's first Group one

After a desperately close finish to yesterday's Group One at Hastings, Johnathon Parkes on Ransomed (chocolate and brown colours) is about to sit up while Rosie Myers (gold cap) goes through with a last despairing push on Nashville

Tough stayer Ransomed (NZ) (Handsome Ransom) repaid his steadfast admirers with the ultimate racing reward at Hastings, where he upset the favourites to claim the biggest prize of the spring carnival's triple crown.
Unwanted in betting at a fixed-odds quote of 30-1 and a similar tote price, the Awapuni six-year-old put a last-start nightmare visit to Hawke's Bay behind him with victory in yesterday's Group One The Turks Spring Weight-For-Age
Classic in the hands of journeyman jockey Johnathon Parkes.
"That's my first Group One," trainer Gary Vile said. "I don't have a lot of horses in Group One races because I sell too many, but this horse is just a beauty.
"After his last run here, Johnathon came back in and said just forget about it and get him fitter. It's his first Group One as well so I'm just rapt."
Ransomed had tailed the field home in the Group One Windsor Park Plate on the middle day of the meeting after twice losing his footing on the rain-affected track.
"He slipped that day a couple of times and a few people had written him off," regular rider Parkes said. "But he had to be good to win those cup races last season, coming from last."
The 24-year-old was successful in both the Group Three Manawatu Cup and the Listed Marton Cup on Ransomed last summer and was delighted to have secured his first win at the top level with the horse.
"It's a big thrill – I can't explain it," Parkes said. "It's been a long time coming and Gary has been very loyal to me."
Ransomed, who had settled in the last three, burst through late in the piece at Hastings for his eighth career victory for Vile, who races the six-year-old with Jean Walsh, wife of the late Taranaki trainer Frank Walsh – who in earlier
years had enjoyed outstanding success with the likes of quality gallopers Koporoa, Counsel, Marinoto and Maria Mitchell.
Ransomed's driving late finish narrowly denied Nashville (NZ) (Darci Brahma), who came down the outside from last in the running, and the favourite Survived (NZ) (Zed), who rallied bravely after hitting the front soon after straightening.
Soriano (NZ) (Savabeel) made good ground from the back for fourth and the genuine Postmans Daughter (NZ) (Postponed) boxed on well for fifth.

Race Hawke's Bay Turks Spring Classic Gr.1 2040m
Winner Ransomed (NZ) 2007
Owners G R Vile, Mrs J T & Est late F M Walsh
Trainer Gary Vile (Awapuni)
Breeding by Handsome Ransom (Aus) out of Ski Queen
by Sky Filou
Breeder F M & Mrs J T Walsh

6/10/2013 Sir Andrew aimed at Aussie riches

Sir Andrew sweeps up on the outside for Mark Du Plessis to collar favourite All Decked Out and Matthew Cameron in the Hawke's Bay Guineas.

Twelve months ago, Te Awamutu trainer Richard Otto made a bold prediction about Sir Andrew (NZ) (Sir Percy) and his forecast proved right on the money at Hastings yesterday when the three-year-old downed his age group rivals in the Group Two DHL Hawke's Bay Guineas and confirmed plans to head across the Tasman.
Sir Andrew is raced by long-time stable clients John and Margaret Thompson, who have enjoyed outstanding success with Otto with the likes of Atapi, Sound The Alarm, Penitentiary and Pacific Dancer.
"I said to John a year ago that this is the best horse you've had – and he's had a lot of good ones. He's now showed how good he could really be," Otto said.
"All going well he'll go to Melbourne now and he'll run in the Carbine Club Stakes on Derby Day at Flemington and then the Sandown Guineas. The long-term aim is Sydney in the autumn and the Derby. He's bred to go two miles."
A son of the former Rich Hill Stud shuttle stallion and English Derby winner Sir Percy, the sire also of impressive midweek Wanganui winner Percy, Sir Andrew settled well back in the field yesterday before rider Mark Du Plessis drew
him wide on the turn.
They roared home down the outside of the track to collar the favourite All Decked Out (NZ) (Darci Brahma) on the line with the filly Fascination Street (NZ) (Elusive City) 2¼ lengths back in third. The previously undefeated Lord Turbo (NZ)
(Perfectly Ready) found the line nicely for fourth ahead of second favourite Gobi Ranger (Tale of the Cat).
"Richard rang me before he had ever raced and said I've got a good one and you'd better ride him," Du Plessis said.
"He won his maiden well and only good horses can do this at their third start. The race was run to suit, which I expected, and he got home really well."
Sir Andrew had won on debut on a heavy track in August and at his only other appearance he finished third, again on wet ground, on the opening day of the Hastings carnival.
"It was a worry the first time on top of the ground and he is going to improve a lot with it," Otto said. "He's just a lovely horse."

Race Hawke's Bay Guineas Gr.2 1400m
Winner Sir Andrew (NZ) 2010
Owners J C & Mrs M A Thompson
Trainer Richard Otto (Te Awamutu)
Breeding by Sir Percy (GB) out of Biennale (Aus) by
Royal Academy (USA)
Breeder A R Galbraith
Sales 2011 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed
Sale; V: Rich Hill Stud, P: Mr P A Willetts;

6/10/2013 Patched up crock and tiny mare star in Hastings open handicaps

Former gun three-year-old Historian (NZ) (Choisir)– runner-up to Jimmy Choux in the Derby 2½ years ago– showed what Group One performers were made of at Hastings yesterday when he put a lengthy series of problems behind him with an emphatic first-up victory.
The now six-year-old was making his first appearance since March and showed his class and fortitude when he defeated last season's Wellington Guineas winner Neo (NZ) (One Cool Cat), who was in receipt of 4½ kilos, for a triumphant comeback in the 1400 metre Group Three Tumu ITM Spring Sprint.
"He's an unreal horse. He's only been ridden once this time in and that was to go to the trials," trainer Gary Alton said. "It makes you wonder if you could work him properly what he could do."
The winner of the Group One Thorndon Mile at Trentham in January, Historian then ran fifth at the same level in Waikato's International Stakes before a runner-up finish in an open handicap over 1600 metres at Ellerslie in March.
"We had to take a chip out of his fetlock after he last raced," Alton said. "He's had issues all the way through. His tendons have been good this time but he's got really flat feet and his soles bruise easily." While Alton was thrilled to see Historian back in winning
form, it has also put the Cambridge trainer in a quandary as to the gelding's immediate future.
"We were going to go to Christchurch for the Coupland's Mile but he'll probably get a bit of weight now so we'll just have to wait and see on that," he said.
Meanwhile, a trip to Riccarton is definitely not on the cards this time around for the diminutive Sou'east (Southern Image), who won the 2500 metre Dundeel All Aged Salver.
"We won't be going south again, although I haven't got anything mapped out yet," Opaki trainer Grant Nicholson said.
Sou'east won at the Hastings carnival last year before she went to Riccarton where she finished well back in the New Zealand Cup on a hard track.
The five-year-old was ridden at Hastings by Rosie Myers, who gave the mare plenty of time to settle before sailing down the outside to reel in the front-runner Canterino (Oratorio).
"Her last two runs had been super and she's so little that she makes me look big," Myers said. "She's got a massive heart and they are the ones that go places."

After winning on Sou'east, Rosie Myers was involved in a couple of nail-biting finishes, this one a nose defeat on Neo (nearest camera), who couldn't quite run down Matthew Cameron's mount Historian in the open 1400m.

Race Hawke's Bay Tumu ITM Spring Sprint H. Gr.3 1400m
Winner Historian (NZ) 2007
Owners Ngai Chun-Hung
Trainer Gary Alton (Cambridge)
Breeding by Choisir (Aus) out of Cyclonic (Aus) by Marauding
Breeder Bledisloe Bloodstock Ltd
Sales 2009 NZ National Yearling Sale, Select Session;
V: Lyndhurst Farm, P: Mr Chun Hung Ngai;

Race Hawke's Bay Dundeel All Aged Salver H. 2500m
Winner Sou'east 2008
Owners W L Dunn, G N Nicholson, T Brooks, M R Curd
and A G Nugent
Trainer Grant Nicholson (Opaki)
Breeding by Southern Image (USA) out of Femmebot by
Stravinsky (USA)
Breeder Cambridge Stud

6/10/2013 Plans change after Adventador shows he's also ok on firm going

Not just a wet-tracker . . . Adventador cruises home for Hayden Tinsley in the Rating 85 sprint.

Guy Lowry and training partner Grant Cullen have been more than happy to be proved wrong by their noted wet weather performer Adventador (NZ) (Fast 'N' Famous).
The Hastings duo had pre-race concerns about the strapping five-year-old's ability to cope with a drier surface on their home track yesterday, but those worries were dismissed in grand style with victory in the Rush Munro's Spring Carnival
"His pedigree suggested he could go on top of the ground," Lowry said, "but the fact that he'd been doing it all on the heavy gave me doubts that he could step up on a good track.
"I was going to spell him, but now we might keep him fresh and find another 1200 metre race."
Adventador's previous three wins had all been achieved on rain-affected going and on the first day of the carnival he had finished runner-up to the highly regarded Scapolo on heavy footing.
"He's performed on those wet tracks because he's so big and strong but he's got the speed and class to go on good tracks," rider Hayden Tinsley said.
Adventador broke smartly from the gates to make the play in front and he held all challengers at bay in the straight to win by half a length.
"He just gets his head down low and trucks along," Tinsley said.
Shezgorgeous (NZ) (O'Reilly) completed a local quinella when the Patrick Campbell-trained mare got home strongly for second ahead of Vincent Street (NZ) (Darci Brahma), who went boldly in his first appearance since March.
The well-supported topweight Open 'N' Shut (NZ) (Bachelor Duke) finished with the tailenders after getting back in the field from a wide barrier draw and was never a factor.

Race Hawke's Bay Rush Munro's Spring Carnival H. 1200m
Winner Adventador (NZ) 2008
Owners Milan Park Stud Ltd
Trainer Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen (Hastings)
Breeding by Fast 'n' Famous (Aus) out of Alpine Beauty
by Khozaam (USA)
Breeder Milan Park Stud Ltd

4/10/2013 Distance query for Nashville

Nashville (NZ) (Darci Brahma) will attempt his first win over 1600m at Hasting's tomorrow

Hunterville galloper Nashville (NZ) (Darci Brahma) will attempt to do something at Hastings on Saturday that has previously eluded him and win over a distance further than a metric mile in the Gr.1 The Turks Spring Classic (2040m).
The Adrian Bull-trained five-year-old has had three runs over 2000m with a fifth placing at Doomben the best he could muster. However they have been on right-handed tracks, with the Darci Brahma gelding having a preference for
racing anti-clockwise.
"It's his first time at this distance left-handed," stable representative Harry Bull said. "The key will be getting him to settle over the early stages."
The rider in charge of settling him is Rosie Myers, who will be only the third jockey to swing a leg over Nashville on raceday. She will replace her suspended sister Kelly, who Nashville (NZ) (Darci Brahma) will attempt his first win over 1600m at Hasting's tomorrow
has been aboard in all but one of his 16 starts, in which apprentice Michael Dee was successful two runs back.
"Rosie knows him well," Bull said. "She has ridden him in jump-outs and gallops before and they get along well."
The son of Darci Brahma raced keenly second-up in the early stages of the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate, but finished well to grab third place behind Xanadu (NZ) (Elusive City) and Mufhasa (NZ) (Pentire).
"He knew he had had a run, but after a few days out in the paddock he came right," Bull said. "He's had a few quiet days since and we galloped him on the course proper at Waverley on Tuesday and he went really well."
Safely through Saturday, Nashville will head toward the Gr.1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 9.
NZ Racing Desk

Opie keen to take top rides

4th Oct 2013

Opie Bosson won’t let an accident at home this week stop him from riding on the final day of the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown meeting at Hastings on Saturday.

The champion jockey is also determined to take a plum mount at Te Rapa on Friday after a tumble on Tuesday.

Opie Bosson

He has been booked by Graeme and Debbie Rogerson for their unbeaten colt Cosmic Cube (NZ) (Dehere), who will attempt to further his Gr.1 Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas claims in the three-year-old sprint at the Waikato meeting.

“I slipped coming down the steps at home on Tuesday and injured my tail bone,” Bosson said. “I went to the doctor and nothing’s broken and I’m on anti-inflammatories. I’ll have to break the pain barrier!”

He picked up the ride on Cosmic Cube after Rory Hutchings, who was aboard the son of Dehere in both his wins at Ellerslie and Te Rapa, broke his wrist in a trackwork accident earlier this month.

Bosson’s book at Hastings on Saturday includes Gr.1 The Turks Spring Classic contender Survived (NZ) (Zed), a partnership that won the Gr.1 Makfi Challenge Stakes before they finished well off the pace in the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate.

That failure was attributed to the deteriorating track conditions that forced the abandonment of the following and final event on the card.

Bosson said Survived had felt unsure of his footing in the going, which had become shifty after the pre-race rain.

He will also partner Gobi Ranger (Tale of the Cat) in the Gr.2 DHL Hawke’s Bay Guineas after riding him for the first time in the Listed Westbury Stud Challenge Stakes. They finished second to El Roca (Fastnet Rock), an excellent form line after the Cambridge colt’s run for second in last Sunday’s Gr.3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude. – NZ Racing Desk.

Ruakaka meeting blown away

4th Oct 2013

Fierce overnight winds forced the abandonment of the Whangarei meeting at Ruakaka on Wednesday.

“A lot of sand blew up from the reconstruction work on to the course proper, about four inches, and we did everything we could to remove it,” club president Dean Logan said.

“A delegation of jockeys and stewards weren’t happy with it and when safety becomes an issue you can’t do anything about it.”

NZ Thoroughbred Racing Chief Executive Greg Purcell said the board has recently considered the issue of compensation when a race or meeting was abandoned.

“NZTR will be making a $200 compensation payment to the connections of all horses that had accepted at 7.30am today (Wednesday) with the intention of starting at Whangarei. NZTR had also waived all nomination and acceptance fees for this meeting.”

The $200 compensation payment would also be paid retrospectively from the start of the 2013-14 season to connections of horses that had missed the opportunity to start at the Egmont meeting on August 29, and those engaged in the last race at Hawke’s Bay on September 21.

Anabolic steroid ban

4th Oct 2013

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing will take a zero-tolerance approach on anabolic steroids.

“While the use of anabolic steroids has not been a major problem in New Zealand, it was important we take a clear and definitive position in the interests of integrity and public perceptions of thoroughbred racing in New Zealand,” chief executive Greg Purcell said.

“There’s no place for performance-enhancing drugs in our sport and this is testament to our commitment.”

The new ban will apply to all thoroughbreds from the age of six months, with this period of permitted steroid use allowed only in the interests of animal welfare. The rule change will be implemented by December 1, 2013, with the ban effective from May 1, 2014.

In mid-September, the Australian Racing Board announced a ban on the use of anabolic steroids both in and out of competition

30/9/2013 Cup week prospects on show at Gore

The journey to Riccarton's New Zealand Cup Week Carnival will start at Gore today for the Brian and Shane Anderton trained pair of Valiant (NZ) and News Flash (NZ).
The Gallant Guru sired duo will contest the AON Insurance Brokers Handicap (1200m) with Brian Anderton looking for a forward showing to justify their nomination for richer prizes during Cup Week.
"Valiant showed plenty of promise as a three-year-old and after a good break during the "They have had some rain down there and although he will handle a slow surface he wouldn't want it any worse than that.
"News Flash has also been working well and although he will probably get run off his feet I want to see him finishing it off well as I think he is a handy stayer in the making."
Anderton has the rating 85 2500 metre race on New Zealand Cup day as the main target for News Flash while Valiant will be aimed at a suitable 1400 or 1600 metre event during the Carnival.
The Anderton team also has several promising maidens on show today with Avow (NZ) (No Excuse Needed), who contests the Davis Shearing Fillies & Mares Maiden (1200m), holding a nomination for the Gr. 1 1000 Guineas at Riccarton.
"She is a pretty talented filly and we think she has a future but she would want to get some winning form on the board if she is going to be a chance of making a race like the 1000 Guineas," said Anderton.
"Heroic Guru (race 5) is a full brother to Valiant who looks like he has inherited the family ability while I think Barter (race 1) is also a filly who has plenty of upside as well."
Anderton also reported that Saturday's impressive maiden winner Include (NZ) (Gallant Guru) had come through her victory in fine style and would be seen next on her home track later in October.
winter he has pleased us so far in his work to date," he said.
"He has had a couple of jump-outs and won them both so he is ready for a race however the track will be the key for him.

Brian Anderton has a promising team in action at Gore today

30/9/2013 Soriano on a group one mission

Soriano winning the 2012 Gr. 3 Eulogy Stakes at Awapuni

Quality mare Soriano (NZ) pressed her claims for a Group One victory at Hastings in seven days time after she buried a useful Rating 85 Fillies and Mares line-up at New Plymouth last Saturday.
Co-trainers Graeme and Debbie Rogerson expect their four-year-old daughter of Savabeel to be very competitive in this weekend's Gr. 1 The Turks Spring Classic (2040m) despite having just a week between races.
"She showed us she could handle the quick back-up during her three-year-old career and while it's not the ideal situation it is the hand we have been dealt after her race at the last Hawkes Bay meeting was called off," explained
Graeme Rogerson. "It was a little disappointing that day as she had the saddle on and was ready to go when the decision came through and although I thought she would just win, it wasn't to be.
"We have had our sights set on the Spring Classic for her and if she can reproduce what she showed as a three-year-old I think she will go a very good race this weekend."
The winner of the Group Three Eulogy Stakes last season, Soriano was competitive against the best of her age with a third placing in the Gr.1 Levin Classic along with runnerup finishes in the Sir Tristram Fillies Classic and Eight Carat
Stakes at Group Two level numbered amongst her five stakes placings.
Bred and owned by longtime stable client and staff member Denise Howell, Soriano may head across the Tasman later in the spring to tackle the Gr. 1 LKS MacKinnon Stakes (2000m) on the first day of Flemington's Melbourne Cup
Carnival, a race that Howell won in 2001 as part owner of the Rogerson trained La Bella Dama (NZ) (Desert Sun).
Rogerson also reported that his unbeaten colt Cosmic Cube (NZ) (Dehere) would resume at Te Rapa on Friday as he prepares for the Gr. 1 2000 Guineas at Riccarton in November.
"He missed his run at Ruakaka when we thought the track might be too wet but he is ready to go and I am happy with him leading into Te Rapa this week," said Rogerson. "I've got Opie Bosson to ride him this Friday so we can get a good line
on him but if he is as good as we think he is he should be hard to beat."

30/9/2013 Double for Cropp at National Jumps Day

Rider Matthew Cropp finished off the 2013 jumping year in fine fashion with victory in the two open races on National Jumping Day at Te Rapa on Sunday.
Cropp triumphed on the Lisa Latta trained Waitaha Toa (NZ) (The Commander) in an incident packed Porritt Sand Steeplechase after earlier taking out the Garrard Horse and Hound Hurdle on Calgacus (NZ) (Colombia).
Cropp bided his time on the 2012 Wellington Hurdles winner before lodging a winning claim on the versatile galloper at the top of the home straight as the six contestants who were left in the race hit the second to last fence in a line.
Waitaha Toa showed he still had plenty of pace on the flat to comfortably hold out Bally Heights (NZ) (Lord Ballina) in the run to the line after the pair strode clear after clearing the last fence on the journey.
The race was marred by the fall of Roberty Bob on the first circuit which necessitated a change in course for the last 1000 metres of the race as the field was directed away from two of the last four fences due to fallen rider Niall Quinn being
attended to by first aid personnel.
The win was Waitaha Toa's second from just three steeplechase starts and took his overall career record to nine wins from sixty two starts and just on $160,000 in stakes earnings.
Meanwhile Tauranga trainer Nigel Mortimer had no hesitation in labeling Calgacus (NZ) as the best horse he has trained when the promising hurdler made it four wins from just nine starts over the fences in taking out the Garrard's
Horse and Hound Hurdle (3200m).
It was the son of Colombia's eleventh career victory and certainly not his last if he can recapture the form he has found recently during next year's jumping season.
"I'm just rapt with him as he loves to jump and thrives on racing," said an ecstatic Mortimer immediately after the race.
"He is not a horse you can give too much of a break as he frets too much when he is not in the stable.
"He will probably have a short break now and then we will bring him back and potter around with him until the jumps season next year. "He is definitely the best horse I have trained."
The Waikato Hurdles at Te Rapa in May will be the first major assignment for Calgacus in 2014.

Waitaha Toa (outside) wages war with Bally Heights in the closing stages of the Porritt Sand Steeplechase at Te Rapa

29/9/2013 Sacred Park on winning path as he follows Falls' footsteps

Sacred Park stretches out nicely for Leith Innes to take the Bonecrusher Stakes by three-quarters of a length from the almost entirely obscured Burnt Orange and Mark Du Plessis

Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue's defence of their Cambridge stable's Group One New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas title gained a serious shot of momentum at Ellerslie yesterday.
The trainers won the classic last year with Sacred Falls (NZ) (O'Reilly) and this time around they will chase the Riccarton crown with Sacred Park (NZ) (Thorn Park), who advanced his claims with a smart performance to win the 1400 metre
Group Three Manuka Doctor Bonecrusher Stakes, at set weights for three-year-olds, in the hands of Sacred Falls' rider Leith Innes.
"It was a great ride by Leith and he gave him a lovely run in the one-one," Pike said. "We've had a great run with Raffles and while he's not as brilliant or professional as Sacred Falls, he is a nice, progressive horse.
"Obviously the Guineas at Riccarton is the aim but eventually he'll go over ground and is potentially a Derby horse. We'll have a good look at the best lead-up to the Guineas for him."
Sacred Park won his only start as a two-year-old in May and then resumed with a third placing earlier this month at Taupo.
"He didn't have a trial beforehand and he really struggled around Taupo, getting on the wrong leg and becoming unbalanced, and he then peaked on his run fifty metres out," Pike said. "He was always going to improve."
Yesterday, Sacred Park showed the benefit of that outing when he lobbed into a handy spot before Innes peeled out to challenge at the top of the straight. They were in front soon after and the colt was strong to the wire.
"He's a nice-looking type and he switched off when he hit the front," Innes said. "Once you see the better tracks you'll see a better horse as well."
Favourite Burnt Orange (NZ) (Mossman) enjoyed a good trail and came through on the inner to take second ahead of the maiden Pajaro (NZ) (Align), who ran on bravely.

Race ARC Bonecrusher S. L 1400m
Winner Sacred Park (NZ) 2010
Owners Raffles Thoroughbred Racing & E Hwang
Trainer Tony Pike & Mark Donoghue (Cambridge)
Breeding by Thorn Park (Aus) out of Dosh by Danske
Breeder Harvey Digby Bloodstock Ltd
Sales 2011 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed
Sale; V: Windsor Park Stud, P: Mapperley Stud
Ltd; $30,000
2012 National Yearling Sale, Select Session;
V: Mapperley Stud Ltd, P: Raffles Dancers (NZ)
Pty Ltd; $110,000

29/9/2013 Spellbinder super in Soliloquy

Spellbinder (NZ) (O'Reilly) staked an ultra-impressive claim for upcoming Group One honours with a performance at Ellerslie yesterday that earned her early equal favouritism for the New Zealand One Thousand Guineas.
The unbeaten record of the dashing filly was never under threat when she thumped her rivals in the Listed Allied Workforce Soliloquy Stakes, for three-year-old fillies at set weights.
She won the 1400 metre event by 6½ lengths and now shares a $4 quote with the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes winner Bounding for the New Zealand Bloodstock-sponsored Guineas at Riccarton on November 16.
Spellbinder is trained by Jason Bridgman – who also saddled the runner-up Ruthless Lady (NZ) (Keeper) – and she responded in rousing fashion to the task he had set her at Ellerslie.
"That was a sensational run from her and her work leading up the race had been very good," Bridgman said. "It was a big ask to step up to Listed company at her second start.
"From here we just need to find one more race; we'll possibly look at Te Rapa or we could go straight to Riccarton.
She leaves it all out on the track and has given herself a harder run than we might have wanted so we'll get her home and see how she comes through it first.
"I'm delighted that the other filly has got some black type for the owner as well."
Spellbinder jumped smartly from the widest barrier to sit outside the leader for rider Matt Cameron and he let the filly stride to the front at the top of the straight. From that point the race became a procession as Spellbinder sauntered to
victory from Ruthless Lady with Zanotti (NZ) (Strategic Image) a half-length back in third.
"She's a smart filly and pinged the gates to go forward and she relaxed well," Cameron said. "She was a little bit green down the straight and had a look around – but a lot of them do first time at Ellerslie. She's pretty special."

Race ARC Soliloquy S. L 1400m
Winner Spellbinder (NZ) 2010
Owners Te Akau Spellbinder Syndicate (Mgr D C Ellis)
Trainer Jason Bridgman (Matamata)
Breeding by O'Reilly out of Scenic Sprint (Aus) by Scenic (Ire)
Breeder D T O'Brien
Sales 2012 National Yearling Sale, Select Session; V:
Mapperley Stud Ltd, P: Mr D C Ellis; $60,000

Well clear and held together by Matt Cameron, Spellbinder cruises home in yesterday's Soliloquy Stakes.

29/9/2013 Patient approach suits Forefront

Swooping past the leaders for Kelly Myers close to home in yesterday's R75 sprint, Forefront has little trouble managing a jump in class, a return from a spell and his first visit to Ellerslie.

Matamata trainers Paul and Kris Shailer are hoping to reward the owner-breeders of Forefront (NZ) (O'Reilly) with a couple of appropriate spring victories.
The brothers have guided Rich Hill Stud's four-year-old to three wins from as many starts with the talented gelding keeping his perfect record intact after another impressive victory in yesterday's The Estate Rating 75 at Ellerslie.
"He'll go to Hawera next for a Rating 85 over 1400 metres on Rich Hill Stud Taranaki Breeders' Stakes day and if he wins that then we'll look at the Group Three Rich Hill Thompson Mile at Trentham," Paul Shailer said.
Patience has been the key to Forefront's success to date, with his two previous wins coming three months apart. He won on debut at Te Awamutu in February and didn't reappear again until May when he claimed a Rating 65 sprint at
"He's still got a fair way to go and is a bit soft both mentally and physically," Shailer said. "He's always showed us a lot of ability but we've been reluctant to put too much pressure on him."
Forefront is from the Group One family of Fun On The Run (Jarden Mile) and her daughter Tall Poppy (Thorndon Mile, New Zealand Stakes, Waikato Draught Sprint).
"He's out of a Zabeel mare so you would have to say he'll get better and better and go over more ground," Shailer said.
"He looks like he needs 1400 metres now."
Forefront was given a good ride at Ellerslie by Kelly Myers and after a cosy run in midfield on the fence she angled the gelding into the clear 200 metres from home. He quickly lengthened stride to reel in the pacemaker Pan Dulce (NZ)
(Don Eduardo) and sailed home by half a length.
"We were reasonably confident but it's never easy and it was his first time around Ellerslie," Shailer said.

Race ARC The Estate H. 1200m
Winner Forefront (NZ) 2009
Owners Rich Hill Ltd
Trainer Paul & Kris Shailer (Matamata)
Breeding by O'Reilly out of Devant by Zabeel
Breeder Rich Hill Ltd

29/9/2013 Front-running tactics win the day in Ellerslie open handicaps

The very essence of a track specialist . . . Twilight Dragon passes the Ellerslie finishing post for his fifth win from seven tries at the premier course – this one an armchair ride for apprentice Kevin Leung.

Danny Walker won't be tempted to press any further ahead with his in-form sprinter Twilight Dragon (NZ) (Spartacus) and will send him to the paddock at the top of his game.
"I'm quite prepared to put him away now and then bring him back in the autumn," the Ardmore Lodge trainer said.
Walker will stick to his plan despite the ease of Twilight Dragon's success in the 1200 metre Ventell Limited Handicap at Ellerslie yesterday. The four-year-old had set up a strong gallop in front and cruised home under apprentice Kevin
Leung to account for Maximum Height (NZ) (Jahafil) by 3½ lengths, recording his fifth win from his last seven starts and sixth from eleven career appearances.
"He's done it really well again and he's a pretty easy horse to ride and therefore claim on," Walker said.
Bragato (NZ) (Brilliance) and David Walsh continued the front-running theme in the 2200 metre Just Juice Mitchelson Cup when they spread-eagled the field and strolled home by 4½ lengths from Indikator (NZ) (Sandtrap), who was caught
wide early and ran on bravely.
"I thought if nothing wanted to lead then we'd bowl along and make them all chase me," Walsh said.
Bragato had the race in safe keeping a long way from home and completed a notable double, having also won the cup in 2011.
"The weather went our way and David judged it perfectly," Otaki part-owner and trainer Richard Joostens said.
Bragato's win represented a major form reversal after the nine-year-old had failed to beat a runner at his previous appearance at Hastings.
"They crawled around there and it was a sprint home," Joostens said. "That's why David went to the front so it didn't happen again."

Race ARC Ventell Limited H. 1200m
Winner Twilight Dragon (NZ) 2009
Owners Brookby Stables Ltd
Trainer Danny Walker (Ardmore Lodge)
Breeding by Spartacus (Ire) out of Our Shinia by Marju (Ire)
Breeder R W E Moore
Sales 2011 National Yearling Sale, Festival Session;
V: Haunui Farm, P: Brookby Stables Ltd; $8500

Race ARC Mitchelson Cup 2200m
Winner Bragato (NZ) 2004
Owners Mrs L C & R A Joostens
Trainer Richard Joostens (Otaki)
Breeding by Brilliance (USA) out of Yarra Rose by One
Pound Sterling (GB)
Breeder Mrs A A Corcoran
Sales 2006 NZ National Yearling Sale, Festival
Session; V: Grangewilliam Stud, P: Mr R L S
Forster; $4000

29/9/2013 Rudy bags a Taranaki pair and aims young styaer at VRC Derby

It may be a giant leap from a Rating 65 event at New Plymouth to Flemington, but Rudy Liefting has faith in the staying ability of Astute And Agile (NZ) (St Reims) to bridge that gap.
The Pukekohe Park horseman's Australian Group One ambition moved a step closer yesterday when the colt won the Juffermans Surveyors 1800.
"There's a very, very good chance he'll go now. What we said in the last few days was that he had to win and we're looking at the Geelong Classic and then the VRC Derby," Liefting's wife Megan said.
"Rudy has always liked this horse and what he did as a two-year-old was a real bonus and being by St Reims you would expect him to stay."
Astute And Agile was a debut winner over 1000 metres as a juvenile and also placed in the Listed Matamata Slipper before he was put aside.
"In his first start back he went dreadful," Liefting said, "but we were happy with his next start when he ran second and we were tossing up whether to put him in the Bonecrusher Stakes."
They decided on a trip south to New Plymouth and stablemate Move Faster (NZ) (Keeper) completed a royal day when he claimed the Powerworx Open Handicap while at Ellerslie his older half-brother Just Got Home (NZ) (Storming
Home) finished second in the 2400 metre Newmarket Rotary Club Rating 75.
They are out of the dual Group One New Zealand Oaks and One Thousand Guineas winner Justa Tad. "She's due to foal soon to Mastercraftsman," Liefting said, "and if that all goes well she will visit Cape Blanco."
Move Faster has a grand record in the central districts with past trips rewarded with Listed wins in the Ryder Stakes and the Wanganui Guineas.
"He was originally entered at Ellerslie but he does go much better left-handed," Liefting said. "A lot of credit also has to go to Natalie Jamieson, who works for us and rides the majority of our trackwork – she's a girl wonder."

David Walker concentrates on keeping Astute And Agile on a straight path as the colt unveils his staying credentials with a strong win in the 1800 metre Rating 65 event at New Plymouth.

Race Taranaki RC Juffermans Surveyors H.
Winner Astute and Agile (NZ) 2010
Owners D J Williamson
Trainer Rudy Liefting (Pukekohe)
Breeding by St Reims out of Lovely Honey by Towkay (Aus)
Breeder D J Williamson

Race Taranaki RC Powerworx H. 1580m
Winner Move Faster (NZ) 2009
Owners R C Hirst & Kakapo Lodge Ltd
Trainer Rudy Liefting (Pukekohe)
Breeding by Keeper (Aus) out of Justa Tad by Istidaad (USA)
Breeder Kakapo Lodge Ltd

27/9/2013 Weather watch for well-bred 3yo

Jason Bridgman is keen to give King's Rock (NZ) (Fastnet Rock) his first crack at black type level on Saturday, but the well-being of the regally-bred colt is paramount.
The Matamata trainer said the Gr.3 Manuka Doctor Bonecrusher Stakes was the ideal next step for the blueblood, provided the Ellerslie course came to the party.
"He's in great shape and it's the perfect race and perfect timing, but he's a valuable horse and there is a query on the track.
"You don't want to miss an opportunity in age group racing and we have to do the right thing by the horse. A gutwrenching run can derail all the good work.
"You can't do anything about Mother Nature and we don't want to slog around on a heavy track."
A $1.75 million Karaka yearling, the half-brother by Fastnet Rock to the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas winner King's Rose (NZ) (Redoute's Choice) raced right up to his pedigree with his debut victory earlier this month.
"He's continued to step up this preparation and he's gone on with it since the win and improved in his work and tightened up," Bridgman said.
King's Rock is on a path toward the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas and should a heavy track keep him away from Ellerslie, he will head to Te Rapa next week.
"Riccarton has got to be his grand final and he'll be there to make it as a stallion – that's the race to do it for him," Bridgman said.
The stable will also have a strong hand in the Allied Workforce Soliloquy Stakes with Spellbinder (NZ) (O'Reilly) and Ruthless Lady (NZ) (Keeper) to contest the Listed event.
"Spellbinder was very impressive on a good surface at Taupo and being by O'Reilly she should handle some cut in the ground, hopefully it can get back to the slow side," Bridgman said.
Ruthless Lady was third to Bounding two runs back and then had no luck when sixth in the Listed Wanganui Guineas. "She got battered from pillar to post up the straight," Bridgman said.
NZ Racing Desk.

Jason Bridgman is on weather watch with King's Rock (NZ) (Fastnet Rock) ahead of the Bonecrusher Stakes at Ellerslie tomorrow

23/9/2013 Ididit on a black type mission

Ididit (pictured scoring at Rotorua in May) has the Gr. 3 Rich Hill Taranaki Breeders Stakes as her next mission

A stylish win at Pukekohe on Saturday has convinced trainer Graham Richardson he has lightly raced mare Ididit (NZ) on the right track to secure black-type for her future breeding prospects during this campaign.
The five-year-old daughter of Ustinov made it career win number five from fourteen starts and will head to the Gr. 3 Rich Hill Taranaki Breeders Stakes (1400m)at Hawera on the 12th of October for her second attempt in stakes company
after finishing unplaced in the Gr. 1 Thorndon Mile in her last preparation.
"I was in two minds whether to run her on Saturday as the track was wetter than she usually likes but if we were going to run at Hawera then she needed the race," said Richardson.
"She had progressed nicely after her trial at Te Teko and I know she goes well fresh so we rolled the dice and ran which proved to be the right thing to do.
"She has come through the race really well so once she has had a couple of quiet days to fully recover we will start to get her ready for the Taranaki race as I think it will fit beautifully into her schedule.
Ididit (pictured scoring at Rotorua in May) has the Gr. 3 Rich Hill Taranaki Breeders Stakes as her next mission "I'm dead keen to get some black-type with her as I know her owners are looking to breed from her at the end of her
career and she definitely has the talent to achieve that goal."
Ididit is owned by the Dowager Duchess of Bedford and Canterbury businessman Ray Coupland, who would like to see the mare in Christchurch in November.
"I know Ray would like her to run in the Couplands Bakeries Mile at Riccarton that he sponsors so once we get through Hawera I will look at how we can get her to that race," said Richardson. "At this stage she would most likely sneak
into the field with a nice light weight and with that I think she would definitely be competitive."
Richardson also has the Taranaki Breeders Stakes in mind for stablemate Queens Rose (NZ) (O'Reilly) who made it three wins from five starts with victory at Avondale last week.
"She is a mare with plenty of scope and I don't think she would be out of her depth if she ran at Hawera," he said.
"I do think she will be better with another six months development so we have set a long range plan to get her to the Gr. 1 New Zealand Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha in April."

23/9/2013 Dickens defies punters once again

Dickens is well in control as he scores in Saturday's New Zealand Cup Trial at Riccarton

Riccarton trainer Peter Rudkin still isn't sure why punters don't seem to rate his handy performer Dickens (NZ) after the six-year-old son of Istidaad scored his seventh career win at handy odds in Saturday's Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup Trial (1800m) at
"Whenever he wins he seems to always pay good money so I can't work out why the punters don't rate his chances," remarked Rudkin. "Not that it worries me as I don't bet but he had been very consistent leading into the race and I rated him a good
chance no matter what the tote said.
"He had gone a real bottler for second to Bragato at his last start and although he's no superstar the field he met on Saturday was weaker than that day so I was confident of a good performance."
The win provided Dickens with automatic entry into November's Gr. 3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) but Rudkin isn't interested in tackling the event.
"He's just not a two-miler so he won't be going to that race," he said. "I think he still has a few wins in him as long as the tracks don't get too hard so we will head to the Listed 2000 metre race at Riccarton in two week's time as his
immediate target."
Although Dickens isn't likely to feature at Christchurch Cup Week, Rudkin does have plans for his promising mare Unrelenting Lady (NZ) to contest an event at the Carnival.
The four-year-old daughter of Falkirk resumed at Riccarton recently with a tidy second behind the Kevin Myers trained Flynn and will be set for a rating 75 mile on New Zealand Cup day.
"I have always said I think this mare could turn out to be one of the best horses I have ever trained so hopefully she can prove me right in this campaign," said Rudkin.
"She has really matured this time in and with that extra strength I think once she gets up to a mile and beyond she will start to show just how much talent she has."

23/9/2013 Plenty of interest in the return of Emerald Queen

The newly formed training partnership of Shane Kennedy and Anna Furlong will be seeking their first notch on the national premiership scoreboard at Timaru today with a two-pronged attack on the main race of the day, the Pitman Racing Stables Anniversary Day Cup
Kennedy and Furlong will line-up consistent mare Zah Girl (NZ) (Keeper) with top South Island hoop Jamie Bullard aboard whilst there will be plenty of interest in the reappearance of stablemate Emerald Queen (NZ) (O'Reilly) who hasn't been seen since she finished a gritty fifth in the New Zealand Oaks in March.
"Emerald Queen had a ten week break after her Oaks run and she has been ticking along nicely since she came back into work," said Kennedy. "She looks bright and happy and although she will definitely improve from the run I would
think she will go a cheeky race fresh-up.
Smart mare Emerald Queen resumes at Timaru today "She obviously has plenty of ability as she was a stakes winner at three and with the natural progression she has made I think she will go on with it as four-year-old.
"Jamie (Bullard) has been riding her in her work and he thinks she has really strengthened up over the winter."
Safely through her run today, the four-year-old daughter of O'Reilly will be set for the Listed Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders Stakes (1400m) on the middle day of the New Zealand Cup Week Carnival at Riccarton.
Kennedy is also pleased with stablemate Zah Girl who will appreciate the return to a firmer track.
"Zah Girl went a beauty for second at her last start on a track she really didn't like so I would think the better surface we are likely to get will be in her favour," he said.
"Ketchme is our other runner on the day and she went nicely at the recent Ashburton trials so we also expect a good run from her today."

Smart mare Emerald Queen resumes at Timaru today

22/9/2013 Blinkers on and better track - Xanadu gets another Group one

Matamata horseman Ken Kelso was indebted to the powers of persuasion of his wife and training partner Bev after a bold gear addition for their quality mare Xanadu (NZ) (Elusive City) was repaid at Hastings with another Group One title.
The blinkers went on the five-year-old for the Windsor Park Plate and she ran out a convincing winner to set up a trip to the Melbourne spring carnival.
"I'd like to thank Bev for talking me into putting the hood on," Kelso said. "I was against it, but she said 'do you want to run second again'. She had only worked in them twice and it obviously made the difference – it's a huge result."
Third in the Windsor Park last year after finishing runnerup to Ocean Park in the Group One Makfi Challenge Stakes on the first day of the Hastings spring carnival, Xanadu had opened her current preparation with a runner-up finish
behind Postmans Daughter in the Group Three Foxbridge Plate but was then all at sea in the heavy going for this year's Makfi.
"I walked the track before the race and couldn't believe how bad it was," Kelso said. "It was a bottomless pit."
On yesterday's better surface, Xanadu was able to show her acceleration and she swept to an impressive win – her second at the highest level after she had opened her Group One account in the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders'
Stakes in the autumn.
"She travelled up nicely with the blinkers on and turning for home I just needed the split and I knew a long way out we would pick up Mufhasa," rider Michael Coleman said.
The nine-year-old Mufhasa (NZ) (Pentire) was superb in defeat in his first run since a disastrous trip to Hong Kong in May while Nashville (NZ) (Darci Brahma) ran home well along the fence for third ahead of Final Touch (NZ) (Kashani), who
rallied bravely after she was under pressure on the turn.
Kelso confirmed that Xanadu would now head to Melbourne where the Group One Myer Classic at Flemington on November 2 was the focus.
Her Hastings win completed an outstanding day for the stable, which had also won the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes with Bounding and the Rating 75 staying event with Traveller.
The Windsor Park Plate proved to be the final action of the day at Hastings with heavy rain leading to a track inspection and a meeting of jockeys – some claiming their mounts had lost their footing in the feature – before the abandonment of
the closing event.
"The general consensus was that the track had deteriorated quite quickly and stewards couldn't guarantee the safety of riders," co-chief stipendiary steward Ross Neal said.

Race Hawke's Bay Windsor Park P. Gr.1 1600m
Winner Xanadu (NZ) 2008
Owners Block Partnership
Trainer Ken & Bev Kelso (Matamata)
Breeding by Elusive City (USA) out of Forest Dream (Aus)
by Forest Glow (USA)
Breeder Little Avondale Trust

With rider Michael Coleman keeping a low profile in the suddenly worsening weather, Xanadu – sporting the hood co-trainer Bev Kelso insisted be added to her gear – powers past the gallant Mufhasa to claim yesterday's Windsor Park Plate at Hastings.

22/9/2013 Bounding taking the right path

Bounding (Lonhro) has a hard act to follow in her stablemate Fix (NZ) (Iffraaj) but she is making all the right moves so far to warrant a favourable comparison with last season's New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year.
The three-year-old followed up her fresh Taupo success with a dominant win in yesterday's Group Three Hawke's Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes and has the Group Three Sarten Memorial next on her programme. She will then head to
Riccarton on a Group One mission – the One Thousand Guineas.
Fix successfully trod a similar path last season with victory in the same Taupo race and then finished an unlucky fourth in the Gold Trail before third placings in the Sarten and the Guineas.
She subsequently reeled off Group Two wins in the Eight Carat Classic, Royal Stakes and Sir Tristram Classic to wrap up the fillies' title.
Bounding is likely to be most potent up to a metric mile and with future targets in mind the pre-race plan of co-trainer Ken Kelso and rider Mark Du Plessis was able to be perfectly executed at Hastings.
"I had a talk with Mark and she needs to run 1400 metres in the Sarten next time and then the mile so we didn't want to get into a speed duel and he agreed," Kelso said.
Bounding was taken on for the early lead before Du Plessis eased to take a trail and angled off the rail into the straight.
The filly sprinted to the front 200 metres from home and was too good for Costa Viva (Encosta de Lago) and Fascination Street (NZ) (Elusive City).
"She's a very good filly and I could afford to make them work from the one draw," Du Plessis said. "She won well and there's improvement to come."
Like Fix, Bounding is raced by Tirau owner Gary Harding, who also enjoyed earlier success at Hastings with the promising Ken and Bev Kelso-trained stayer Traveller.
"He's a great owner," Ken Kelso said. "Gary's not afraid to open his wallet and with Bounding and Fix he's got two very valuable fillies."

After showing her early pace then the good manners to drop out of a speed duel, Bounding proved she was the complete racehorse by striding away in the straight for a comfortable Gold Trail Stakes win under Mark Du Plessis.

Race Hawke's Bay Gold Trail S. Gr.3 1200m
Winner Bounding (Aus) 2010
Owners G E Harding
Trainer Ken & Bev Kelso (Matamata)
Breeding by Lonhro (Aus) out of Believe 'N' Succeed
(Aus) by Exceed And Excel (Aus)
Breeder M A W Birchall

22/9/2013 Another Hastings win for Ginner

Alexander Fieldes has always believed that Ginner Hart (NZ) (Volksraad) would be in his prime as a fiveyear- old and the prediction is looking to be right on the money.
The Wanganui trainer had the Hawke's Bay spring carnival earmarked as a starting point some months ago for the sprinter, who duly returned in a blaze of glory yesterday when running out a dashing winner of the Little Avondale Per
Incanto Open Handicap, a race he had also won last year, to set himself up for a lucrative campaign.
"He hadn't raced for seven months and he's got a bit of a middle-aged spread – which we can all relate to – so it's fair to expect improvement from him," Fieldes said.
"We'll probably head back to Riccarton for the Stewards again. He was a bit big last year when fourth so before then we might give him a race at Rotorua next month."
Ginner Hart's progress wasn't helped last season by persistent foot trouble and Fieldes paid tribute to the subsequent work of his local farrier.
"He's had problems but I've got a very good farrier in Banjo Hackett and the horse is hitting out better than he has ever been," he said.
Ginner Hart was astutely handled as usual by Noel Harris, who followed a hot speed and then drove between runners in the closing 150 metres to beat Sitara (NZ) (More Than Ready) and Stormy Lass (NZ) (Storm Creek). The well-supported
Trepidation (NZ) (Falkirk) finished well out of the frame after copping an early check.
Wanganui stables also claimed victory in the main distance event when a daring ride from David Walker got the Kevin Myers-trained Crocodile Canyon (NZ) (Jahafil) home a comfortable winner of the PGG Wrightson Premier Open.
Walker looped the field down the back straight on the nine-year-old, who has a nomination for the Group Three New Zealand Cup, and they held a strong gallop to beat Ormond Road (NZ) (City on a Hill) by a length, with another
New Zealand Cup hopeful in Storming The Tower (NZ) (Storm Creek) just a half head back in third.

Given a sweet trip in the trail by Noel Harris, Ginner Hart has plenty of energy left to dash away from his rivals in the open sprint at Hastings.

Race Hawke's Bay Little Avondale Per Incanto H. 1200m
Winner Ginner Hart (NZ) 2008
Owners A R A and F G Fieldes
Trainer Alexander Fieldes (Wanganui)
Breeding by Volksraad (GB) out of Lyford Cay by Montjeu (Ire)
Breeder Hobby Horse Hall Racing (NZ) Ltd
Sales 2010 National Yearling Sale, Festival Session;
V: Windsor Park Stud, P: Mr A R A Fieldes;

22/9/2013 Family ties keep Orovela at home

Orovela, running straight and true for Ashley Frye, has no trouble holding off David Walsh's mount Dreamer in yesterday's Canterbury Belle Stakes at Riccarton.

If it wasn't for the intervention of prominent owner and breeder Ray Coupland, the unbeaten southern filly and Group One hope Orovela (NZ) (Saperavi) would be racing overseas.
The three-year-old was purchased as a weanling for $1200 by Ashburton trainers Danny Champion and Kezia Murphy and made a dream start to her career with victory on debut at Oamaru in July.
"We were offered money for her from Singapore and then Ray was very generous and purchased a half-share in her a month ago," Murphy said. "He had bred and sold the dam in foal and was keen to get back into the family so it's worked
out well for all of us."
Orovela made her first appearance in the Coupland colours at Riccarton yesterday and produced the perfect result with success in the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Canterbury Belle Stakes.
"She's a very exciting filly and very strong and robust and just a pleasure to train," Murphy said. "We'll be looking to plot a path toward the Guineas with her and we'll work out whether she will need one or two runs before that.
"She's a very relaxed filly and the way she finishes off in her work and her races she'll definitely get the mile."
Ridden by Ashley Frye, who on Friday night was acknowledged at the South Island Racing Awards as the top apprentice for the 2012/13 season, Orovela was too strong in the straight for the Matamata visitor Dreamer (NZ) (More Than
Ready) and the favoured Silhouette Noire (Dane Shadow).
Orovela is out of the Kashani mare Kims Coup, whose four race wins included the Warstep Stakes and Southland Guineas at Listed level.

Race CJC Canterbury Belle S. L 1200m
Winner Orovela (NZ) 2010
Owners D T Champion, R A Coupland & Miss K C Murphy
Trainer Daniel Champion & Kezia Murphy (Ashburton)
Breeding by Saperavi out of Kims Coup by Kashani (USA)
Breeder L Williams
Sales 2011 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed
Sale; V: Scotsman Valley Farm, P: Mr D T
Champion; $1200

22/9/2013 Rejuvenated mare gets partners black-type win on home course

Sarsarun has snuck through close to the rails for Alysha Collett and continues her new-found form with a win in Pukekohe's Karaka Classic

A new training partnership celebrated their first black type win when a rejuvenated Sarsarun (NZ) (Ustinov) continued her winning form in yesterday's Listed Westbury Stud Karaka Classic.
Richard Collett and Gareth McRae joined forces at the start of the season and, appropriately, their home Pukekohe track was the venue for their fifth and most important victory since teaming up.
Sarsarun has taken time to return to her best this preparation and turned the corner at her previous appearance at Ellerslie where she beat Rafa (NZ) (High Chaparral), who was again the runner-up yesterday.
"It was probably going into the heavy tracks a bit too soon in the winter that tripped her up," Collett said.
"She's what you would call a classic home-bred horse and has taken a while to mature. She's not very robust and would be flat being 470kg and she doesn't take a lot of racing – but when she's on song she's very competitive."
It is also no coincidence that Sarsarun's winning form has coincided with the return from Sydney of Collett's daughter Alysha, who has ridden the mare in six of her seven career wins. "She obviously gets on really well with her," he said.
Sarsarun came through on the inside of runners to hit the front in the straight and she waltzed away to beat Rafa by a length and three-quarters, with John Gray (NZ) (Jahafil) third ahead of Danza Lad (NZ) (Woodbury Lad) and Postmans
Daughter (NZ) (Postponed).
"We've also been schooling the mare over a few logs and hurdles," Collett said. "She'll probably go to the Matamata Cup next in three weeks' time."

Race Counties RC Karaka Classic L 1600m
Winner Sarsarun (NZ) 2006
Owners K Harrison
Trainer Richard Collett & Gareth McRae (Pukekohe)
Breeding by Ustinov (Aus) out of Tramontane by Gaius (Ire)
Breeder K Harrison

20/9/2013 Opie closing in on 50 Group ones

Opie Bosson is chasing down a significant Group One milestone and can take another step toward his goal at Hastings on Saturday.
The 33-year-old will again team up with Survived (NZ) (Zed) in the Windsor Park Plate and victory would advance the champion jockey's haul of top-flight wins to 43, having opened his account aboard Jezabeel (NZ)
(Zabeel) in the 1998 Auckland Cup.
Bosson partnered Survived to an emphatic success in the Makfi Challenge Stakes on the opening day of the Hawke's Bay carnival and is confident the remaining two legs of the Triple Crown series will suit the four-year-old even better.
While no horse has yet made a clean sweep of the Group One features at Hastings, Bosson is aware of Survived's home track advantage.
"Princess Coup won two legs, but then she had to travel," he said.
Bosson rode the former top-quality mare to victory in the Stoney Bridge Stakes (now the Windsor Park Plate) and the Kelt Capital Classic (The Turk's Spring Classic) in 2008 after finishing out of the money in the Mudgway Stakes (Makfi
Challenge Stakes).
Survived is prepared by John Bary, who also went close to lifting the Triple Crown in 2011 with Jimmy Choux (NZ) (Thorn Park). He finished runner-up to Mufhasa in the Makfi and then claimed the remaining two Group Ones.
Bosson hasn't seen Survived since their laststart success, but had spoken to Bary who reported the horse to be in fine fettle.
"He's going well and the better ground will suit the horse," Bosson said. "He's got a turn of foot and will have improved with the first day run, but in saying that so will some of the others.
"The mile (1600m) and then the 2000 metres will be ideal for him."
Bosson expected the impressive last-start winner Nashville (NZ) (Darci Brahma) and Makfi placegetters Full Of Spirit (Flying Spur) and Final Touch (NZ) (Kashani) to be among the hardest to topple on Saturday.
NZ Racing Desk.

Opie Bosson and Survived (NZ) (Zed) will attempt to make in back-to-back Group One wins at Hawke's Bay tomorrow

20/9/2013 Promising filly earns crack at stakes company

Howie Mathews has had to tread carefully with the talented three-year-old Hearsay (NZ) (Postponed) and he is now hoping to reap a black type reward with her at Riccarton on Saturday.
The Otaki trainer has been forced to take a patient approach with the daughter of Postponed, who will face the sternest test of her brief career in the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Canterbury Belle Stakes.
"She's only a frail wee soul and still a bit weak, but she is very promising so we'll try and strike while we can," Mathews said. "She's got a lovely turn of foot.
"I weighed up the options with her while she's so well and I didn't want to go to Hastings and race against Bounding and company and a trip away will do her good as well."
Hearsay finished runner-up in her only two-year-old appearance at Woodville and was an unlucky second when resuming on her home track earlier this month. She was blocked for a run twice before finishing strongly.
"David (Walsh) said she should have won so we'll test her out at Riccarton and then get her home and have a think about what we do next," Mathews said.
Hearsay is raced by high-profile owner and Westbury Stud principal Gerry Harvey and is a grand-daughter of the Danehill mare Confer, who was a quality performer and a multiple Group placegetter in Australia.
Mathews' record with the stock of Postponed – he prepared the Westbury stallion's dual Group One-winning daughter Dorabella (NZ 2000 Guineas, Captain Cook
Stakes) – was a factor in Hearsay's arrival at his stable.
"Earlier this year with some owners we also bought a Red Giant filly off Westbury as well so we got this one to train and I think she's got a big future," he said.
NZ Racing Desk.

20/9/2013 Fantastic Honour set to fire

Matamata trainer Paul Shailer is expecting a bold showing from Fantastic Honour (NZ) (Any Suggestion) on Saturday.

Matamata conditioner Paul Shailer is delighted with the progress of high-class three-year-old Fantastic Honour (NZ) (Any Suggestion) and is expecting a bold showing in the Gr.3 Hawke's Bay Breeders' Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings on Saturday.
The striking grey filly resumed with an eye-catching second behind Orbity (NZ) (Magic Albert) in the Listed Fordell O'Leary's Fillies' Stakes a fortnight ago and has impressed in her work since, including a good hit-out with race rival
Bounding (Lonhro).
"She's in great order and I couldn't be happier with her," Shailer said.
"She had a quiet week after Wanganui and galloped sensationally on Tuesday when working with Bounding over 1000 metres. They ran quick time and neither filly had the edge over the other. I'm sure all concerned were pretty happy.
"She's probably at 90 per cent in terms of fitness and looks great, but there is still improvement there".
Drawn in gate three, Shailer expects Fantastic Honour to be closer to the speed on Saturday than she was when resuming at Wanganui.
"I wasn't that worried about the result at Wanganui and just wanted her to have as soft a run as possible as her main aim has always been the 1000 Guineas.
"I can see her being just in behind the leaders from the draw on Saturday, with Orbity and Bounding likely to push forward" .
The daughter of Any Suggestion is likely to head toward the Gr.2 Wellington Guineas (1500m) at Trentham before tackling the Gr.1 New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas on November 16.
Shailer, who trains in partnership with his brother Kris, will also be represented on Saturday by talented sprinter Trepidation (NZ) (Falkirk), who resumes in the Little Avondale Per Incanto Open 1200m Sprint.
"She's been ready to go for weeks and we've just been waiting for a better surface," Shailer said. "She looks magnificent and I'd be disappointed if she doesn't figure in the first three.
"All going well, Trepidation will head to Sydney for The Nivison, a Group Three mares' race over 1200m at Randwick on October 19."
NZ Racing Desk.

20/9/2013 Plan B for Miss Pelear

Te Awamutu trainers Keith and Brendan Hawtin have opted for plan B with Miss Pelear (NZ) (Mr. Nancho) this weekend.
The five-year-old was declared a non-runner after being caught in the barrier gates in the first leg of the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown last start, but she won't be taking her place in the second leg. She will instead tackle the Listed Westbury
Stud Karaka Classic (1600m) at Pukekohe Park.
"It was an unfortunate thing," Keith Hawtin said. "But she came through it unscathed.
"We have decided to go with plan B and run her at Counties. We didn't get a guide on how she measured up to the others down there and it's a long way to go if she doesn't measure up."
Miss Pelear, who won the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) at Ellerslie in January, will have the services of Cambridge jockey Mark Hills on Saturday with her regular rider Noel Harris riding at Hawke's Bay.
The daughter of Mr. Nancho will face a field of 16 headlined by the in-form Postmans Daughter.
Postmans Daughter (NZ) (Postponed) was the winner of the Gr.3 Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate three starts ago.
She then finished sixth in the Makfi Challenge Stakes before winning at Ellerslie on September 7.
The six-year-old daughter of Westbury Stud-based sire Postponed could deliver a dream result for the race sponsor and her trainer-breeder-owner on her home track.
"She is jumping out of her skin," Don Walker said. "She has been eating well and is ready to go.
"It would be good to get a big win on our home track, but given she's carrying top weight of 59kgs makes the task a bit more difficult."
NZ Racing Desk

Te Awamutu trainers Keith and Brendan Hawtin have opted for Plan B with Miss Pelear (NZ) (Mr. Nancho).

19/9/2013 Karaka Million Series Now Bigger & Better

New Zealand Bloodstock’s Karaka Million Race Series is set to get bigger and better with the addition of a new race and an increase in prizemoney.
In addition to the existing $1,000,000 Karaka Million 2YO feature, yearlings entering the Series at the 2014 Karaka Sales will be eligible for a richer $250,000 Karaka 3YO Mile – an increase of $150,000 – plus, a new third race, the $100,000 Karaka Stayers Cup.

The new Karaka Stayers Cup is set to be an open 2200m event with prizemoney of $100,000 up for grabs.
This race will be added to the racecard from this January and until 2018 will be open to all Karaka Yearling Sale graduates whether they have ever been entered in the Karaka Million or not. From 2018, this race will be restricted to Karaka Million Series eligible horses, with this year’s yearlings then five-year-olds.
 “It has always been our ambition from day 1 to grow the Series at every chance we get, and one obvious target has been to provide more opportunity for the huge selection of quality middle-distance and staying prospects bred here in NZ that go through the Karaka Sales,” explained NZB Co-Managing Director Petrea Vela.
“These two enhancements aim to cater to that and increase the appeal of the Series to a broader range of participants, setting us up for an even bigger and better showcase of New Zealand talent at the Twilight Meeting in January.
“There is a little bonus in there for the next few seasons for all yearlings that have gone through the National Yearling Sales while this year’s crop makes its way through the grades, and it’s a combination of the efforts of many parties that we’re able to get that race off the ground early and have owners starting to benefit right away.
“We are thrilled to be in a position to be able to take the Karaka Million event to the next level and provide a great show for owners, trainers, breeders and buyers alike.”
Any horse that was offered (passed or sold) at the Karaka Premier, Select, Carnival or Festival Sales will be eligible to compete in the Karaka Stayers Cup in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
All owners and trainers should be aware that all their current Karaka graduates will be eligible for the Karaka Stayers Cup in January 2014 and, with $100,000 in winnings on offer, it is a race that presents itself as a rewarding option for their stayers.
Adding to the attraction of the Karaka Million Race Series will be a prizemoney increase in the Karaka 3YO Mile from $100,000 to $250,000 in 2016.
Set to be run once again as a Restricted Listed event over a mile, the race promises to be the fifth richest three-year-old contest in New Zealand.
Yearlings nominated at the 2014 National Yearling Sale Series will be the first horses to compete for the enriched $250,000 Karaka 3YO Mile in 2016.
The $1 million Karaka Million race will continue to be the highlight of the race night, with the 1200m Restricted Listed event set to attract the very best Karaka two-year-old graduates in 2014. The final field will continue to be determined by prizemoney earned prior to the event.
Buyers at Karaka 2014 will get extra bang for their buck with the nomination fee to enter yearling purchases in the Karaka Million Series remaining at the current level of NZ$1750 plus GST.
The new race series structure opens doors for all types of horses to be entered in the Karaka Million Series. With the added prizemoney to the Karaka 3YO Mile and the inclusion of the Karaka Stayers Cup, horses that do not show precocious attributes fit for the Karaka Million 2YO event will have lucrative races to target later in their racing careers.
The Karaka Million Twilight Race Meeting held at Auckland Racing Club’s Ellerslie Racecourse on the Sunday 26 January 2014 will encompass a six-race card with racing set to kick off around 5pm on the eve of the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale Series at Karaka.
Quick Facts:

    • All yearlings offered at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2014 National Yearling Sales will be eligible to enter the enhanced Karaka Million Series in 2014 that will now comprise three races:
      • $1,000,000 Karaka Million 2YO (Res.L) (1200m) – run in 2015
      • $250,000 Karaka 3YO Mile(Res.L)  (1600m) – run in 2016
      • $100,000 Karaka Stayers Cup (2200m) – run in 2018
    • The Karaka Stayers Cup will be run for the first time in 2014 and be open to all yearlings offered at the National Yearling Sales Series.
    • The Entry Fee for the 2014 Karaka Million Series will Be $1750 + GST
    • The 2014 Karaka Million Twilight Meeting will take place on Sunday 26 January 2014 from 5pm at Ellerslie racecourse.

 For further information about the Karaka Million Race Series please visit or contact Marketing Assistant Bevan Smith (

16/9/2013 Uppland to resume at Avondale

Ruakaka trainer Kenny Rae is keen to get his talented performer Uppland (NZ) (Bachelor Duke) back to the racetrack at Avondale today after an extended stint in Queensland although he is a little perplexed with the rating he has returned with from that Australian campaign.
Rae will utilise the three kilogram claim of apprentice Rowena Smyth to reduce Uppland's burden to 58kgs in the rating 75 Super Value Avondale 1200 but admits he didn't realise the four-year-old gelding would be rated so highly when he returned to race here.
"He only managed to win one race while he was in Australia and although that was at Eagle Farm I didn't think he would cop a 79 rating when he raced back here," noted Rae.
"To be fair I would have considered leaving him over there if I had known that.
"I guess he might deserve it though as although he has only won two races he is stakes placed and the Aussie win was in good city company.
"I'm happy with how he has done since his recent trial run as he had a decent break after returning from Brisbane so while he isn't at full fitness yet I think he is ready to run a good race today."
Safely through the race Rae will set the son of Bachelor Duke for a southern campaign that will take in races at Riccarton's November Cup Week Carnival.
"There are some nice races during the Cup Carnival at Riccarton so he can head down there with a number of other runners I'm taking to the South Island for the next few months," he said.
"I'm targeting D'Cash Man at the Stewards Handicap on the middle day at Riccarton while I will also take another 8-10 horses down for races around the South Island circuit over the summer period."

Trainer Kenny Rae has Uppland ready to resume at Avondale today

16/9/2013 Former Derby hope sets sights on Auckland Cup

A powerful staying performance to complete a hattrick of victories has convinced co-trainer Donna Logan that her former New Zealand Derby hopeful Mosquito (NZ) (Golan) has what it takes to tackle the Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m) in March next year.
The five-year-old gelding produced a sustained finish in the home straight to snatch a win from stablemate Uncle Shayne (NZ) (Bachelor Duke) in the Steve Haywood Master Jeweller 2100 (2100m) at Ruakaka on Saturday and earn his
shot at some of the summer's feature staying events.
"I originally bought him as a Derby prospect but he was just too big for his own good and wasn't strong enough to get to a race like that so I had to be patient with him," explained Logan. "He then suffered a hoof injury late last year which put him off the scene for quite awhile but it was actually a blessing in disguise as it has allowed him to fully grow into his frame.
"He has won three in a row and although it wasn't probably the best race planning by stepping him from 1400 metres to 2100 metres in just three starts, the races were all on our back doorstep and he handled it comfortably."
Mosquito will now head for a two week break before resuming work as Logan looks at the best way to qualify the son of Golan for his Auckland Cup goal.
"I think we will try for some of those good races at the Ellerslie Christmas Carnival for him as he can earn his way into the Cup that way," she said.
"The City of Auckland Cup on New Year's Day carries automatic entry for the first three home so a race like that is an attractive target."
Logan was also delighted to grab a win with Jungle Knight (NZ) (Jungle Pocket) in the last race on Saturday's card after the horse had frustrated her on more than one occasion.
"It was actually quite a shock to see him win one" she laughed.
"Every time I think he is going to go well he has found a way to get beaten so I had all but given up on him but he finally put in together on Saturday which was both a relief and a thrill."
Jungle Knight will now join stablemate Ishimine (NZ) (Ishimine) for an extended South Island summer campaign.

Mosquito prevails in a tight finish at Ruakaka to record his third win on end

16/9/2013 Neo on target for Spring Classic day at Hastings

Neo emphasises his fitness with an easy win at last week's Cambridge trials

A strong win at the recent Cambridge trials has former Wellington Guineas winner Neo (NZ) (One Cool Cat) on target for his tilt at the Gr. 3 Tumu ITM Spring Sprint (1400m) on Spring Classic Day at Hastings in October, the last day of the Hawkes Bay Triple Crown series.
The four-year old gelding hasn't been seen since a disappointing performance at Awapuni in June but co-trainer Andrew Forsman is happy with his condition as he prepares for a return to the racetrack.
"He is coming up nicely after a short winter break and he pleased us with his win at the trials," said Forsman.
"He will need a run before the race at Hastings so we will most likely go to Pukekohe this weekend for the rating 85 1200 metre they have on their programme.
"In the long term we are keen to get as much black type as we can with him to assist his owners who are keen to continue breeding from his dam who they also own."
Forsman also reported that stable star It's A Dundeel (NZ) (High Chaparral) had made good progress from his first-up run in Melbourne and was ready for his next race which will be the Gr. 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield this
"We were really pleased with his first run as we hadn't been able to get as much work into him as we would have liked due to the wet tracks here," he said.
"He looks to have come on well since then and while he is still on the way up he will strip a much fitter horse this weekend."
The Baker/Forsman stable will also have star three-yearold filly Orbity (NZ) (Magic Albert) in action on the weekend where she will look to extend her winning streak to six in the Gr. 3 Hawke's Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at

15/9/2013 Thrive gives Kelly an armchair ride in Marton's Merial mile

Matamata mare Thrive travels sweetly as Kelly Myers pushes her to the finish of yesterday's Merial Mile at Awapuni. Closer to the rails, Sacha (purple colours) comes on strongly as the grey Khemosabi weakens out after setting a solid pace.

Kelly Myers has recently re-located to Matamata but it's still business as usual for her in the central districts as evidenced by a lucrative trip south at the weekend.
The 30-year-old jockey teamed up with Thrive (NZ) (Colombia) to claim the Group Three Merial Ancare Metric Mile at Awapuni yesterday and complete a successful day for the powerful Te Akau operation.
Thrive, who is raced by Te Akau principal David Ellis with the mare's Hawke's Bay breeder Ken Browne, was making her first appearance since the Grand National carnival at Riccarton where she had finished third in the Group Three
Winter Cup.
"She's maybe not just a wet-tracker and just likes a bit of give in the ground," Myers said.
On footing that was upgraded from a Heavy 10 to a Slow 8 rating during the day, Thrive bounced out to take up a handy position and she rounded off strongly in the run home.
"It was pretty easy for me and I just sat there and held her up before she tracked into it," Myers said. "I followed Thunderbird One and was going better than him so I just had to angle inside and she kicked away how a good horse can."
The winner of five of her seventeen starts, Thrive accounted for Commett (NZ) (No Excuse Needed), who was tardily away from the barrier and came from last to take second money ahead of Sacha (NZ) (Keeper), who also hit
the line strongly. The well-supported Thunderbird One (NZ) (Storm Creek) raced keenly and faded to finish sixth.
Earlier in the programme, Paul Nelson celebrated a milestone victory with Yorkie (NZ) (Riviera) in the C R Grace Steeplechase. It credited the Hastings horseman with the one hundredth jumping winner of a career that was kicked off by
the win of Storm at Gisborne in 1985.

Race Marton JC Metric Mile Gr.3 1600m
Winner Thrive (NZ) 2007
Owners D C Ellis & K J Browne
Trainer Jason Bridgman (Matamata)
Breeding by Colombia out of Trove by Paris Opera (Aus)
Breeder K J Browne

15/9/2013 Plans upgraded after El Roca's Westbury Challenge stakes win

El Roca and Mark Du Plessis have Ruakaka's Westbury Stud Challenge Stakes in safe keeping.

El Roca (Fastnet Rock) booked his ticket across the Tasman for a crack at Australia's best three-year-olds after a scintillating and appropriate victory at Ruakaka yesterday.
The unbeaten colt was a dominant winner of the Listed Westbury Stud Challenge Stakes to confirm plans for a Group One campaign in Melbourne.
"We were going to run him in the Bonecrusher Stakes and then send him over but we'll take him over next week and let him get settled in," said Natalie Young, who prepares El Roca with her partner Trent Busuttin.
"He'll run in the Prelude and then in the Caulfield Guineas – he's a very smart horse."
El Roca first came to the attention of the Cambridge couple last year at the Karaka sales, where he failed to meet his $120,000 reserve.
"He was a good-looking horse and an athletic type so we approached Westbury Stud afterwards and then went home and got a group of owners together," Young said. "A lot of them are involved in Sangster as well and they are all a great
bunch of guys to be involved with."
El Roca made an immediate impression when he first arrived at the trainers' yard and won two of his three trials before making a winning debut at Taupo last month.
"We've had a high opinion of him from day one and I said this is the best horse to walk into the stable," Young said.
The son of Fastnet Rock settled just off the pace yesterday and strode clear in the straight to beat the resuming Gobi Ranger (Tale of the Cat) by two lengths with All Decked Out (NZ) (Darci Brahma) – a conspicuous last in the early running
– hitting the line stylishly for third.
"He was still a little bit lost in the race and he's still got quite a bit to learn, but he was relaxed and it's going to be fun to have him in Melbourne," Young said.
El Roca also completed a red-letter day for rider Mark Du Plessis, who dominated the Ruakaka meeting after earlier wins aboard Deane Martin, Atacama and Rich'n Unhitched.

Race Whangarei RC Westbury Stud Challenge S. L 1200m.
Winner El Roca (Aus) 2010
Owners Glenn Fielding, Kevin O'Brien, Dave
Kneebone, Larry Stewart, Martin Bradley,
Matthew Fenwick, Richard Patterson, Dave
Taylor, Waihi Livestock Ltd & Boom Boom
Trainer Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young (Cambridge)
Breeding by Fastnet Rock (Aus) out of Rubimill (Aus) by
Rubiton (Aus)
Breeder P Newsom

15/9/2013 Instant success as Eagle Owner spreads his wings to New Zealand

Vinnie Eagle (I Am Invincible) is bred to be good and he hasn't wasted any time in adding winning momentum to a long-range plan for a return to Australia– following up a trial success at Avondale earlier this month with victory at the first time of asking in the Caci Whangarei
Two-Year-Old at Ruakaka yesterday.
A son of the Group One-performed sprinter I Am Invincible, the Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue-trained youngster is out of a half-sister to the Haunui Farm WFA Classic winner Nashville, who will chase further top-flight honours in next Saturday's Windsor Park Plate at Hastings.
Vinnie Eagle was bought for A$65,000 at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale in January by Pike on behalf of Australian client Colin Keane in the hope that he would justify a return across the Tasman for the A$250,000 Inglis 2YO Classic at Rosehill
next January.
"Colin's from Gosford and all his horses carry the Eagle suffix. He races horses in Singapore and Macau, as well as Australia, and I think this is his first runner in New Zealand," Pike said. "It's nice to win for a new owner.
"He wanted a horse that would get up and go early and hopefully be good enough to go back for the Sydney race.
So Vinnie will have a short break now and then we'll make a programme toward Sydney."
Vinnie Eagle jumped to the front under rider Leith Innes and shook off the challenge of Riding Shotgun (NZ) (Iffraaj) in the straight to score by three-quarters of a length.
"He's showed us a bit at home and won comfortably enough," Pike said. "He did a few things wrong and there's a lot of improvement in him."
The stable was also delighted with the effort of Absolutely Sacred (Not a Single Doubt) to finish runner-up over 1000 metres in the Rating 65 sprint in his first appearance for four months.
"It was too short for him," Pike said, "but he was strong to the line so we're very pleased."

Race Whangarei RC Caci Whangarei 2YO S. 880m
Winner Vinnie Eagle (Aus) 2011
Owners W Eagles Plumbing Supplies Pty Ltd
Trainer Tony Pike & Mark Donoghue (Cambridge)
Breeding by I Am Invincible (Aus) out of Sweet Maggie
(Aus) by Danehill Dancer (Ire)
Breeder A Illes

Against a background resembling a construction site as the Whangarei Racing Club carries out a track-widening programme, Vinnie Eagle comfortably wins northern racing's opening juvenile event.

15/9/2013 Bridgman's 3yo production line throws out another good one

In a race run during a rain shower, Aspen seems to be either looking for shelter or wondering if the opposition is still racing. But maybe that puzzled look is just arrogance as he carries Matt Cameron to a dominant debut win.

Jason Bridgman has abundant quality and quantity among the younger members of his team and Aspen (NZ) (Alamosa) is the latest to join the stable's quest for higher three-year-old honours.
The Matamata trainer produced Spellbinder and Wolfwhistle to win at Taupo last Monday and two days later saddled King's Rock and Alchemy's Flight for debut successes at Te Rapa.
All Decked Out was also third in the Listed Westbury Stud Challenge Stakes at Ruakaka, where Aspen was a runaway winner in his first raceday appearance.
"He's got the makings of an exciting horse and everyone who has ridden him has said this is the one," Bridgman said.
"He's a big colt with a long stride and he's a lovely horse who will go a lot further from here."
Bridgman has yet to decide where Aspen, a New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas entry, will make his next appearance, but he is considering a number of upcoming black type options.
The three-year-old hit the ground running from a wide draw yesterday to sit on the speed and then showed a good turn of foot for Matt Cameron to sprint clear in the straight and win by two and a quarter lengths. His stablemate King
Savinsky (NZ) (Savabeel), last on turning in after a slow getaway had him confined to the rear throughout, hit the line strongly for second.
"I wasn't expecting him to jump and run on the pace; I thought he would be back and running on," Bridgman said of Aspen. "I was surprised how close he was and he won really well."
Bred by Peter and Philip Vela, Aspen was purchased out of Pencarrow Stud's 2012 Premier Sale consignment in 2012 by Te Akau principal David Ellis for $170,000.
He is a son of the stakes performed McGinty mare Kirin Belle and is a half-brother to the Group Two Queensland Guineas winner and multiple Group One placegetter Winning Belle and the Group Three Taranaki Cup winner Our Ella Belle.

Race Whangarei RC Maiden
S. 1400m
Winner Aspen (NZ) 2010
Owners Te Akau Aspen Syndicate (Mgr D C Ellis)
Trainer Jason Bridgman (Matamata)
Breeding by Alamosa out of Kirin Belle by McGinty
Breeder P J & P M Vela Ltd
Sales 2012 National Yearling Sale, Premier Session;
V: Pencarrow Stud, P: D C Ellis; $170,000

13/9/2013 Khemosabi in top form for Awapuni

Paul Gordon is hoping that Khemosabi (Commands) can deliver a win in tomorrow's Gr.3 Merial Ancare Metric Mile at Awapuni

Cambridge owner-trainer Paul Gordon was disappointed to miss out on his prime winter goal with Khemosabi (Commands), but the strapping grey has delivered a good measure of compensation since.
Gordon prepared the son of Commands to win the Listed Opunake Cup in 2012 and the former Taranaki resident had set his sights on a repeat performance in this year's renewal.
"I really wanted to win the Opunake Cup again and I still really haven't got over that," he said. "He got run off the track the whole way and it was just bizarre. He drew out wide and Magic Belle was inside him and young Dylan (Turner) couldn't
get in behind."
Khemosabi understandably faded out of contention after covering so much ground, but his fortunes have turned around at his last two appearances and he will now attempt to complete a hat-trick of wins in Saturday's Gr.3 Merial
Ancare Metric Mile at Awapuni.
He finished eighth in the Gr.3 Winter Cup and then came out and won the open sprint at Riccarton a week later before a commanding front-running performance to score over 1600 metres last time out at Hastings.
"His last two runs have been really good and it's been a big thrill – it doesn't always happen, but he had been working well and not having any luck and the track for the Winter Cup found a lot of them out," Gordon said.
"He doesn't like it puggy – he gets away with it when it's soft and likes it best when it's loose."
Khemosabi has been partnered in his last two successes by David Walker, who will retain the mount at Awapuni.
"He's ridden him well," Gordon said. "He's happy in front when he's left alone, it can find them out in the last 100 metres or so if they're taken on. He doesn't have to lead though, and he can sit second as long as he's on the outside
and not on the fence."
NZ Racing Desk.

13/9/2013 Beauty's Beast up for a 3yo challenge

Beauty's Beast (NZ) (Guillotine) will face the sternest test of his fledgling career at Ruakaka on Saturday where the impressive last-start winner will take on a quality field of three-year-olds.
The son of Guillotine is highly-regarded by his connections and is one of a host of potential Group One prospects in the Listed Westbury Stud Challenge Stakes line-up.
"He's going great and I'm very happy with him and he'll be going up against a few horses with fairly big reputations," trainer David Greene said.
"Some will be enhanced and some will be dented, hopefully we're among the former.
"He's nominated for the 2000 Guineas and depending on how he progresses that's the path and the Hawke's Bay Guineas is an obvious next step, all going well." Bred and raced by Windsor Park Stud, Beauty's Beast is the
first horse Greene has trained for the Cambridge farm. "He arrived at the stable with a bit of a rap on him from Rodney (Schick) and the first couple of times we worked him he was impressive without being anything spectacular,"
Greene said.
"After that he put in a couple of pieces of work that had me shaking my head and I thought this guy's got some serious talent.
"He's a big, strong boy and he's also well filled out with plenty of muscle packed in – he's ready to put his best foot forward again."
Beauty's Beast was a trial winner before he finished runner-up to subsequent dual stakes winner Orbity (NZ) (Magic Albert) on debut at Ruakaka in June.
He was given plenty of time to get over that run and again ventured north last month to Whangarei where he cruised away with a maiden event over 1200 metres. He was an effortless three length winner at the expense of Human Torch
(Danzero), who came out and won at his next start just as easily.
NZ Racing Desk.

David Green prepares Beauty's Beast (NZ) (Guillotine) for the Listed Westbury Stud Challenge Stakes at Ruakaka tomorrow

12/9/2013 $1.75m Yearling Scores on Debut

The top-priced yearling of the 2012 National Yearling Sales Series, King’s Rock (Fastnet Rock x Nureyev’s Girl), scored the first win of his career on debut today at Te Rapa in the $7,000 Tom & Don’s Tribute to Dunstan Dave Maiden 1400m.

The $1.75 million colt - a three-quarter brother to the 2011 NZB Filly of the Year King’s Rose (Redoute’s Choice) - was purchased by Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis at last year’s Karaka Premier Sale and is trained by Te Akau’s resident trainer Jason Bridgman.
Ridden by leading jockey Matthew Cameron, the son of hotshot sire Fastnet Rock had to overcome a lack of experience and the outside barrier draw of 15 in the capacity field to score by a head.
“We know Te Rapa is not an easy place to come from well back but he drew the outside gate and we didn’t want to hustle him, and Matthew rode a very patient race on him,” commented Bridgman.
“It was a very good effort to quicken up and finish as strong as he did, we all like to see a colt with his pedigree with a nice turn of foot.”
“He is a lovely big colt that has taken a little bit of time to get the strength to match his frame. He wasn’t really strong enough to race at two, but since he has wintered the strength is there and since his first trial this preparation he has really turned the corner and kept on improving. He is a really progressive type of colt and I think he will just go from strength to strength from here.
“He still has got a lot to learn, we haven’t seen him really knuckle down and hit the line, what he is doing is on raw talent and he will continue to learn with racing.
“He was a beautiful yearling, David Ellis had him marked down as the colt of the sale and he was highly contested at auction and obviously went for a lot of money so hopefully he can go on and fulfil that promise and become a sire prospect.
“I think he is a horse that has good stamina about him as well but he quickened up nice enough today to show that he could be a top-class colt at a miler as well. We will take it race by race and then cement plans but at the moment we have 2000 Guineas in the back of our minds.”
Bred by Standard 2080 Ltd from the stakes placed Nureyev’s Girl (Nureyev), a half-sister to three stakes winners, the impressive yearling was sold at Karaka by Cambridge Stud.

King’s Rock came into his first race on the back of four trials, winning his most recent of them, and earned his owners, Te Akau King's Rock Syndicate, $4,375 for his winning performance today.

King's Rock Yearling

10/9/2013 The Race to the $1m Karaka Million is On

The build-up to New Zealand’s richest race - the $1 million Karaka Million - is officially underway following the first two-year-old race of the season at Wanganui on Saturday.
The $12,500 94.4 The Sound 800 for two-year-olds was taken out by the $20,000 Select Sale graduate Kschessinska (Volksraad) for trainer Leo Molloy, with the filly taking the early lead on the Order of Entry with $7,810 collected from Saturday’s win.

With a start in the million dollar event determined by prizemoney won, a spot in the 2013 Karaka Million field only took a minimum of $3,750 so Kschessinska has already taken a big step towards competing for the $1 million purse in the final 14-horse field.
The Byerley Park visitor sat behind the leaders over the 800m dash and came with a driving finish to get over the top of her rivals for a half-head victory.
The Volksraad filly came into the race on the back of two trials, placing second at her most recent trial at Te Teko on 27 August.
Other Karaka Million nominated horses to get their names on the leader board include runner-up Vespa (Elusive City) for trainer Johno Benner, and Maia’s Angel (Thorn Park) for Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young who finished in fourth.
Kschessinska was bred by Emblem Ltd and purchased by Tony Gavigan at the 2013 Karaka Select Sale for $20,000 from Mapperley Stud.
The $1 million Karaka Million is open to two-year-olds that were purchased at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2013 National Yearling Sales Series and nominated for the 2014 Series. The 2014 Karaka Million, a Restricted Listed event, is set to be held at a Twilight Meeting at Ellerslie Racecourse on Sunday 26 January, the eve of the National Yearling Sale Series.

Keep up-to-date with news and information as the 2014 Karaka Million Order of Entry unfolds at

9/9/2013 Improved track brings out the runners for new team

The newly established training partnership of John Sargent and Hayden Allen will be to the fore at Taupo today with the promise of a firm surface attracting the interest of the stable.
Amongst their eleven runners accepted for the meeting are several promising gallopers with designs on bigger prizes later in the spring while former star juvenile Magic Shaft (Shaft) will look to get his four-year-old campaign on track
after an injury enforced layoff.
"I guess there are a number of trainers who have been waiting for the tracks to firm up and we are no exception," noted Allen. "We targeted this meeting as there has traditionally been decent going which all of our runners will
need to perform at their best."
There will be plenty of attention around the return of Magic Shaft who was placed in the Gr. 1 Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes as a two-year-old. "He had to have a bone chip in his hoof removed after his run at Ellerslie late last year and then we put him aside for a
decent break," explained Allen. "He has been in work for over three months and though he will improve with the run he should give a good sight.
"We've nominated him for the Couplands Mile in November so he will need to show something in his next couple of starts if we are going to get to a race like that."
Promising three-year-old Desert Express (NZ) (Any Suggestion) will resume in the Lance Noble Racing 3YO (1200m), race three on the programme, after running third on debut at Te Rapa behind the Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
trained Orion.
"He ran into a good one at Te Rapa where he wasn't disgraced and has really strengthened up over the winter so he is ready to kick-off his three-year-old season," said Allen.
"He holds a nomination for the 2000 Guineas at Riccarton so hopefully he can do enough to justify the faith we have in him."
Deschabeel (NZ), a three-year-old gelding by Savabeel from the Gr. 3 Highview Stakes winner Naturo is another stable representative who holds a 2000 Guineas nomination and will make his debut in the fourth race on the card, the JJ@
On Tap 3YO (1200m).
"Deschabeel has shown promise to date although he should be outpaced today as he will be best over more ground," said Allen. "La Hoya is a nice maiden in the team who should go well while I'm hopeful that Taoist Master will start to show
his true colours in this campaign now that he has matured.
"He over-raced badly at a number of his three-year-old starts so with some age on him we're hoping he will have learnt to settle better."

Magic Shaft (in winning action) returns to the racetrack at Taupo today after an injury enforced lay-off

9/9/2013 Walker's Pride and Joy delivers again at Ellerslie

Pukekohe trainer Don Walker was happy to admit he wasn't feeling in top shape after celebrating the win of his stable star Postmans Daughter (NZ) in the JRA Trophy (1400m) at Ellerslie on Saturday.
The daughter of Postponed put an average performance in the Gr. 1 Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings behind her when she powered home to nab Maximum Height in the shadows of the post and register career victory number eight.
"It would be fair to say we did celebrate last night and I'm feeling a bit dusty this morning," laughed Walker when contacted about the win. "She always tries so hard and even though I thought she might struggle on that track she really
put in an effort over the last 200 metres and was going away at the finish.
"She simply didn't handle the bog at Hastings last time so I wasn't disappointed with her at all. She has never really coped with a truly heavy track and I don't think it could have got much wetter than it was down there.
"Since she got back she has worked along well and I thought she was in with a good chance on the weekend."
Walker will bypass the second leg of the Hawkes Bay Triple Crown, the Gr. 1 Windsor Park Stakes (1600m), with Postmans Daughter in favour of the Listed Westbury Stud Karaka Classic (1600m) on the mare's home track on the same day.
"We will head to our home track next and then she will go to the Spring Classic on the last day at Hastings," said Walker.
"I think it would be too tough to go back to Hastings three times in a row so she can have that run at home which should have her cherry ripe for Hawkes Bay.
"After that we might have a go at the Couplands Mile at Riccarton although I will have to put in a late nomination as I missed the cut-off date for the race last week."

Opie Bosson and Postmans Daughter score narrowly but well at Ellerslie last Saturday

9/9/2013 King Reigns at Riccarton

Fresh-up specialist King Montrose (NZ) (King's Chapel) again demonstrated his liking for the 1000 metre journey at Riccarton on Saturday with a comfortable victory to kick his latest spring campaign off in winning style.
For the third year in a row the son of King's Chapel dominated his opponents down the Riccarton chute and took his record to ten wins from thirty two starts, six of which have come after a break of thirty days or more.
"He does seem to go his best races fresh and we thought he would be hard to beat on Saturday as long as he handled the track which was wetter than he normally likes," commented trainer Neil Ridley.
"He also carried a fair bit of weight but it was a small field and he got to run the race the way it suits so all in all it was a nice win."
King Montrose has Christchurch Cup Week as his immediate target where he will contest the Gr. 3 Lindauer Stewards Stakes Handicap over 1200 metres on Couplands Bakeries Mile Day, a race he won in 2012..
"He will probably have one more race between now and the Stewards which is likely to be at Ashburton in October," noted Ridley.
A second attempt at the Gr. 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) in January is also on the cards after nothing went right in the 2013 edition of the race.
"He had a terrible trip up to Wellington which got to the bottom of him and he just didn't fire like I know he can so it would be nice to go back again and see what he can do with some better luck on his side" he said.

King Montrose in full flight as he streaks to victory in the 2012 Stewards Handicap at Riccarton

9/9/2013 Bussey team on the scoreboard after Ellerslie win

Co-trainer Katie Bussey and impressive Ellerslie winner Hydrogen

The husband and wife training partnership of Dale and Katie Bussey registered their first New Zealand victory when Hydrogen (NZ) (Brilliance) scored a determined win at Ellerslie on the weekend.
A brave run for second at his previous start indicated the rugged stayer was ready to return to the winner's circle and he did that in a narrow but convincing manner on Saturday in the hands of apprentice Kevin Leung.
"He went a beauty at Te Rapa after he didn't handle the ground at New Plymouth so we thought he could go close on Saturday as he had improved since then," explained Katie Bussey. "The apprentice allowance also played into our hands
nicely and it was a real thrill to get our first win on a premier raceday at Ellerslie.
"Unfortunately there is just the two of us looking after the team so Dale was at home working and we couldn't celebrate until I got home with the horse."
It was Hydrogen's third win in a sixteen start career to date and Bussey believes there is plenty more in store for him.
"I think he will cope with a firmer track although he certainly appreciates some cut in the surface so we will keep going with him until the tracks get really hard," she said.
"There is a 2400 metre race at Ellerslie in three weeks time so we will come back for that and then look to what is available after that."
The Bussey's currently have a team of 17 in work although there is still room available for more in their 32 box barn.
"We have a mainly young team with some promising horses coming through along with a nice team of two-yearolds we are preparing for the Ready To Run Sale in November,"
said Bussey. "There is plenty to keep us busy but a few more in the stable would be nice so hopefully we can keep putting the wins on the board and attract more owners."
The victory of Hydrogen was just reward for apprentice Kevin Leung who missed the winning ride on impressive sprinter Twilight Dragon (NZ) (Spartacus) earlier in the day after a traffic accident near Huntly delayed his arrival at the racecourse.

8/9/2013 Nashville's return will have WFA rivals sitting up and taking note

In an imposing raceday return, Nashville strides home well clear in the open sprint at Wanganui.

With a commanding victory on his return to racing at Wanganui yesterday, Nashville (NZ) (Darci Brahma) sounded a warning to the country's top weight-for-age set – the impressive galloper in a class of his own with a soft 3½ length win, on an unsuitably slow track, in
the 1200 metre Ideal Electrical Suppliers Open Handicap.
Trainer Adrian Bull, who races the five-year-old with his wife Robyn, was forced by the heavy conditions at Hastings the previous Saturday to scratch Nashville from the Group One Makfi Challenge Stakes.
However, he can now look ahead with confidence to the Group One Windsor Park Plate on September 17 after his star's performance at the weekend.
TAB bookmakers were also understandably impressed and have trimmed the gelding's pre-post odds for the second leg of the Triple Crown to $6, behind Survived ($3) and Final Touch ($4).
Yesterday, Nashville dropped back in the early running for apprentice rider Michael Dee, but when he was angled into the clear he got into his work and showed a sharp turn of foot to sail clear and score easily.
"Mick rode him well. We told him to come wide and the horse finished off," Bull's son Harry said.
Dee recently returned to riding after he had been sidelined for two months following a foot injury while riding work on Jo Rathbone's Bulls property.
The 17-year-old, who started his apprenticeship with Kevin Myers, is in his second season of riding after posting 17 winners in 2012/13 and is currently enjoying a stint at Matamata with Jason Bridgman.

Race Wanganui JC Ideal Electrical Suppliers H. 1200m
Winner Nashville (NZ) 2008
Owners A M & Mrs R E Bull
Trainer Adrian Bull (Hunterville)
Breeding by Darci Brahma out of Royal Kiss (Ire) by
Royal Academy (USA)
Breeder Chesterfields Ltd
Sales 2010 Ready to Run Sale; V: Chesterfields Ltd,
P: Beamish Bloodstock; $40,000

8/9/2013 Rangatira's fighback win has Steve speechless at Ellerslie

Rangatira and Isaac Lupton out on their own as they clear a fence with a round to go in yesterday's Great Northern Steeplechase.

It was hardly surprising that Steve Gulliver was left speechless after Rangatira (NZ) (Deputy Governor) had won the Rodd & Gunn Great Northern Steeplechase in the most dramatic of circumstances.
In a result that all but matched the unique 2001 dead-heat of Sir Avion and Smart Hunter, just a bare nose separated Gulliver's Rangatira from the former Great Northern Hurdles winner Kidunot (NZ) (Gaius) at Ellerslie yesterday.
"I just don't know what to say," was the Stratford trainer's reaction. "We didn't plan to do that but he's got such a high cruising speed and he never gives up."
Gulliver was referring to Rangatira's tearaway frontrunning display that at one time had him a conservative hundred metres in front of the second horse.
With one fence to clear, the chasers had closed in and Kidunot and Ross Doherty got to the lead in the gruelling run to the judge. However, Rangatira was able to raise a final effort that saw him get the bob in on the post.
"He relaxed and was jumping well and I didn't know how far in front I was," stand-in rider Isaac Lupton said. "When Kidunot headed me I thought we were going to run third, but he fought and all credit to the horse and to Steve."
The Waverley-based jockey had partnered Rangatira to a previous steeplechase win and had received the late call-up for yesterday's ride after Patrick Ormsby had been unable to make the weight.
Rangatira's Great Northern victory represented a classic result for his Wanganui co-breeder and part-owner Alistair Murdoch, who had convinced Gulliver to take the ten-yearold on as a jumping prospect.
"Essentially, he was in the paddock and retired and I said to Steve to try him for a month," Murdoch said. "He'd always showed a lot of staying ability when Dick and Chris Bothwell had him and earlier on he was entered in the Derby until
things went wrong."
Rangatira won a race on the flat last year for Gulliver and was then put aside after a sixth over hurdles and a similar placing over the bigger fences.
He won two steeplechases at Te Aroha during this winter and finished second at Awapuni before he slipped on landing in the Pakuranga Hunt Cup and lost rider Ormsby. Yesterday's return trip to Ellerslie was memorable for all the right reasons.

Race ARC Great Northern Steeplechase 6400m
Winner Rangatira (NZ) 2003
Owners A A Barnes, A S Murdoch & A S Teki
Trainer Steve Gulliver (Stratford)
Breeding by Deputy Governor (USA) out of Aggie Grey
by Standaan (FR)
Breeder A P Blinkhorne & A S Murdoch

8/9/2013 Harvest the Gold's hurdle win is the cream on the coffee for Kayla

Kayla Veenendaal guides Harvest The Gold over an obstacle in the Great Northern Hurdles as the pair settle in a rearward position in the early stages.

A remarkable year in the career of Kayla Veenendaal was crowned yesterday when she guided the veteran fencer Harvest The Gold (NZ) (Stark South) to victory in the Meadow Fresh Great Northern Hurdles.
The 27-year-old had won last month's Grand National Hurdles at Riccarton aboard Mahanadi and her standing among the country's top jumps riders was further emphasised at Ellerslie with another cool display.
"I just couldn't ask for any more," Veenendaal said. "It's been absolutely amazing."
Veenendaal has come a long way in a short time and her fast track to riding success began when she linked up with Jo Rathbone at Bulls a little over a year ago to become part of the Kevin Myers operation.
She had previously worked for Awapuni trainer Mike Breslin and Bruce and Stephen Marsh when they had stables in Woodville and Palmerston North.
"I went with Bruce Marsh to Singapore when he started up and then came back here and took horses to Brisbane for Stephen," she said. "When I returned I ended up with Bruce Harvey and went to Hong Kong with them for the sales."
Veenendaal was having her second ride on the 11-yearold Harvest The Gold after an uncomfortable time at their previous start, at the Pakuranga Hunt meeting, when they nearly parted company at the last fence.
"We had a bit of miscommunication that day," she said, "but everything went well this time."
Settling back in the pack yesterday, they started to pick up ground 800 metres out. From fourth at the final fence, Veenendaal drove the Mark Oulaghan-trained veteran to a neck defeat of Kings Deep (NZ) (Viking Ruler) with Arose (NZ)
(He is Risen) a brave third.
"Mark's horses are always super fit and he's timed it all perfectly," Veenendaal said.
The well-supported Sea King (NZ) (Shinko King) was fourth after racing keenly then bungling the penultimate flight while favourite Yamanaura (NZ) (Yamanin Vital) had a good run on the fence but was under heavy pressure before the turn and dropped away to finish well back.

Race ARC Great Northern Hurdle 4190m
Winner Harvest the Gold (NZ) 2002
Owners P J Tennant
Trainer Mark Oulaghan (Awapuni)
Breeding by Stark South (USA) out of Ballinda by Lord
Ballina (Aus)
Breeder P J Tennant

8/9/2013 Orbity stretches streak to five with Wanganui fillies' stakes win

Although identified early on by her trainers as a potential star, Orbity (NZ) (Magic Albert) forced a patient approach. Yesterday, the wait proved worthwhile as the diminutive filly delivered on that promise when posting her fifth consecutive win to claim the Listed
Fordell O'Learys Fillies' Stakes at Wanganui.
"We thought she was one of our best two-year-olds after she had won a trial at Paeroa," said Andrew Forsman, who prepares Orbity with Murray Baker.
"She ran second to Ruud Awakening at her first start and we were pushing her to the Karaka Million, but the hard summer tracks got to her and she was too immature."
Orbity was put aside and on her return she showed her appreciation of the rain-affected tracks with wins at Ruakaka, Te Awamutu and at Awapuni in the Listed Ryder Stakes.
She doubled her black type haul on Saturday with a front-running defeat of the Karaka Million runner-up Fantastic Honour (NZ) (Any Suggestion).
"I thought she might have been a bit vulnerable with the other horse (Grant's Girl) taking her on and softening her up and maybe Fantastic Honour ran out of condition," Forsman said.
"I don't see why we wouldn't go to the Gold Trail Stakes now – it's the logical step."
Fantastic Honour gave a strong account of herself in her three-year-old debut and will have the chance to run the tables on Orbity at Hastings.
"She's got plenty of improvement in her yet," co-trainer Paul Shailer said. "We expect her to be competitive through this campaign and it will be the Gold Trail, the Wellington Guineas and then down to Christchurch for the One Thousand Guineas."
Philipa Charlotte (NZ) (Bachelor Duke) took third money ahead of Recite (NZ) (Darci Brahma), who had her chance and was unable to show the turn of foot that earned her a perfect record last season and victory in the Group One Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes.

Race Wanganui JC Fordell O'Leary S. L 1200m
Winner Orbity (NZ) 2010
Owners G B & Mrs L A Morton
Trainer Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman (Cambridge)
Breeding by Magic Albert (Aus) out of Jane Jetson by
Jetball (Aus)
Breeder Mrs L A Morton
Sales 2012 National Yearling Sale, Festival Session;
V: Highden Park, P: New Zealand Bloodstock
Ltd; $15,000

The winning style of Matt Cameron and Orbity.

8/9/2013 Laid- back Lord's fighting spirit comes out in Guineas struggle

Ivory Hunter mare Ivy Darling never made it to the races for Tony Bambry, but she's proved a winner in the breeding barn for the Awapuni horseman with her grandson Lord Turbo (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) proving the star so far of the family.
He is both unbeaten and untapped after adding black type to the pedigree page after seeing off the favourite Burnt Orange (NZ) (Mossman) to win Saturday's Listed HS Dyke Wanganui Guineas.
"We bred him and raced the mother after I bought the granddam for $2000 in the late 1980s – so we've had the breed for a while," Bambry said.
Lord Turbo is out of Sitting On A Hill, who won one race and was Group Three placed and also finished fifth in the 2006 Wanganui Guineas.
"She's got a Nom du Jeu yearling filly and she's in foal to Rip Van Winkle and goes to Ocean Park this year," Bambry said.
Lord Turbo is now likely to head to Hastings for the Group Two Hawke's Bay Guineas on October 5.
"He's so laid back – when I went to get him at half-past one from the stable he was lying down asleep," Bambry said.
"He's special, this bloke."
Lord Turbo was settled in midfield by rider Rosie Myers and they made their move across the top, bounding to the lead 200 metres from home then digging deep to repel the challenge of Burnt Orange by a short head.
Myers has been aboard Lord Turbo in all three of his raceday appearances and said he was still a work in progress.
"He's so raw and putting on the blinkers helped a bit, but he was still running around in the straight. He hit the front way too soon as he's got such a good turn of foot. I've got a lot of time for this horse."
Last season's Group Three Taranaki Classic winner Girl Of My Dreams (NZ) (Gold Centre) was third ahead of the previously undefeated Mr Mendelssohn (NZ) (Librettist), who was wayward under pressure in the straight and proved a
handful for rider Phillip Turner.

Lord Turbo and Rosie Myers (nearest camera) are in lockstep with Burnt Orange and Mark Du Plessis, neither pair giving an inch in a desperate fight to the finish of yesterday's Wanganui Guineas.

Race Wanganui JC Wanganui Guineas L 1340m
Winner Lord Turbo (NZ) 2010
Owners Tony, Chrissy & Judith Bambry
Trainer Tony Bambry (Awapuni)
Breeding by Perfectly Ready (Aus) out of Sitting on a Hill
by City on a Hill (USA)
Breeder Miss C A Bambry & Mangatiti Trust

6/9/2013 Start for Fantastic Honour in the balance

Fantastic Honour (NZ) (Any Suggestion) kicks off her three-year-old season in the Listed Fordell O'Leary's Fillies' Stakes at Wanganui on Saturday

Paul and Kris Shailer are keen to step Fantastic Honour (NZ) (Any Suggestion) out at Wanganui on Saturday, but forces beyond their control will have the final say on the top filly's participation.
The Matamata trainers targeted the Listed Fordell O'Leary's Fillies' Stakes some time ago as the ideal starting point for her three-year-old preparation, which will lead to a Group One start in the New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas
in November.
"The timing of the Wanganui race is perfect, but she won't be running on a heavy track," Paul Shailer said. "If it's a slow eight or nine then we'll be there.
"We're really happy with her and she looks magnificent – she'll be very hard to beat and the small field will be ideal.
It will probably be a walk and sprint race so it wouldn't be a hard run for her first-up."
Fantastic Honour won her first two starts last season and then finished runner-up in the Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes. Any temptation to chase higher honours after her second placing in the Karaka Million was resisted.
"Obviously we always thought she'd be a much better three-year-old and that's why she only had the four runs,"
Shailer said. "We could have carried on for the Diamond Stakes after the Karaka Million, but we stuck to our plan and believe she's got the potential to be a Group One winner."
Among Fantastic Honour's opposition at Wanganui is the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires' Produce winner Recite (NZ) (Darci Brahma), who has had the benefit of a lead-up run when second to Bounding (Lonhro) at Taupo.
Trainer John Bary will also present a strong chance in the HS Dyke Wanganui Guineas with his Gr.1 Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas prospect Franzac (NZ) (Iffraaj) to resume in the Listed feature.
"He's won there before and then whether he follows the same path as Jimmy (Choux) and goes to Hawke's Bay or Wellington before Christchurch we'll see," Bary said.
"He has done really well since his two year old season and has developed into a nice horse.
"He had an easy trial at Foxton and then a jump out and has come along well since.
"Burnt Orange and Mr Mendelssohn are good horses and it will be a test first up over 1350m but I am confident he will run a good race."
NZ Racing Desk

2/9/2013 Ambitious plans held for The Filly

Apprentice Jessica Shackleton has The Filly home for the money in the last race at Hastings on Saturday

An attempt at Queensland's premier sprint, the Gr. 1 Stradbroke Handicap, in 2014 is the ambitious long-term aim for The Filly (NZ) (Ishiguru) who was a gritty winner of the last race on the card at Hawkes Bay on Saturday.
Trainer Murray Neal is confident he has the raw material to work with as he believes there is still plenty more to come from his charge who has already won seven times from nineteen attempts.
"She is such a brave mare who tries her heart out and while she had plenty of weight yesterday I'm convinced they still wouldn't have got to her if the race was another furlong as she doesn't know when to give in," said Neal. "We had her
entered for the Makfi but elected to start in the rating 85 as after her run in the Group Three at Te Rapa I decided I didn't want to burn her out mentally against those top-liners before she was really ready for them.
"I'm confident she would have acquitted herself well though as she went a quicker time than they ran in the main race but I'm very happy with the decision to resist that temptation."
Neal is convinced the five-year-old mare is still on the way up in her racing development and that she will be at her peak once she has had more experience against the top echelon.
"I bred and raised her and all the way through she has shown me the qualities that a top horse requires so I'm excited about where she might get to once she has the experience under her belt to compete at the elite level," he said.
While the daughter of Ishiguru is still a relative racing novice the same can't be said for her trainer who has plenty of local and international experience on his career resume.
"I started off as an apprentice with Brian Deacon and then with Don Sellwood so I got a fantastic grounding from two of the best in the business," explained Neal. "I worked with Stanley Ho in Macau for five years and also spent plenty of
time in Japan as a pre-trainer for some of the big names in Japanese racing.
"I've worked for Bart Cummings and I've had a twenty year association with Bruce Marsh so along the way I've managed to pick up plenty of knowledge from the elite of the training ranks."
The Filly's next target will be the Gr. 3 Traderacks Stakes over 1400m on the last day of the Hawkes Bay Carnival as Neal attempts to gain valuable black-type for the mare's future breeding career once her racing days are over.

2/9/2013 Fresh is best for Ebullient

Lightly raced seven-year-old Ebullient (NZ) (Stravinsky) maintained an outstanding fresh-up record with a brave win in The Derby Dream Habibi Open over 1200 metres at Ruakaka on Saturday.
The win was the fourth of the Stravinsky gelding's career, all of which have been recorded after a break of thirty days or greater from the racetrack.
"He definitely goes his best races when he is fresh so we will concentrate on spacing his runs in this campaign so we can capitalize on that fact," said co-trainer Steven Ramsay who prepares the gelding in partnership with Julia Ritchie.
"He has had a few issues along the way so he hasn't had many starts but at present he is as good as gold so we will press ahead with a preparation aimed at some of the blacktype races during Cup Week at Riccarton.
"He went a screamer in the Pegasus Stakes there last year when he ran fifth after drawing an outside barrier so if he could cop a decent draw this time I think he would be a good chance to win it."
Ebullient is bred in the purple being out of multiple Group One winner Ethereal (NZ) (Rhythm) who numbered the 2001 Caulfield and Melbourne Cups amongst her eight career victories.
The Ramsay/Ritchie stable is currently in a rebuilding stage after losing a number of last season's best performers.
"Guiseppina and Dolmabache have both been retired to the broodmare paddock while we also tragically lost Pure Elegance to illness so we will mainly have a young team to build on this year," said Ramsay.
"In saying that, we have some really lovely horses to work with so we're hopeful of turning up some good performers over the season."

Ebullient has eyes only for the camera as he prepares for a race start

2/9/2013 Richardson pair impress at Te Teko trials

Villifye wins stylishly at Te Teko last week

Impressive wins by Villifye (NZ) (O'Reilly) and Ididit (NZ) (Ustinov) at last week's Te Teko trials was a clear pointer to the Matamata stable of Graham Richardson having plenty of firepower for some of the upcoming spring and early summer stakes races.
Coming off the back of a somewhat disappointing 2012/2013 campaign, Villifye's win was especially pleasing for Richardson as he contemplates his options with the six-yearold mare in this preparation.
"I need to sit down with the owners to work out a programme for her as she really deserves to win another stakes race after she went so well in her first campaign," he said.
"Something was not quite right with her last time in but we just couldn't put our finger on what it was so we gave her a decent winter break and she looks to have come back extra well based on her trial win.
"The biggest problem will be finding a race to kick-off in as she isn't ready to go at Ellerslie this weekend where there is a good race for her and after that it is a struggle to find something suitable."
Richardson is also battling to find the right race to start the spring campaign of his promising mare Ididit who was also an easy winner at Te Teko.
"She's another who I hold in high regard and I think she could definitely win a good race in this campaign but it's difficult to find something suitable to get her underway," he said.
"Ideally a nice open 1200 metre race would be the best for her so we will take a good look at what's around over the next few weeks and get her set for what we find.
"The Coupland's Mile at Riccarton is an obvious target for her but once again I need to sit down and discuss the best way forward with her owners."
Ididit races in the ownership of the Dowager Duchess of Bedford and well known Canterbury businessman Ray Coupland who is the title sponsor of the Gr. 2 Coupland Bakeries Mile on the middle day of Riccarton's Christchurch Cup Week Carnival.

2/9/2013 Murdoch to debut well bred mare at Paeroa

Bucklebury (outer) takes the lead close to the winning post in her Te Teko trial victory

Waiuku based trainer Moira Murdoch will produce promising maiden Bucklebury (NZ) (More Than Ready) in the Barbara L Anderson Family Trust 1150 at Paeroa today and is convinced the four-year-old mare has inherited plenty of her mother's ability.
The four-year-old mare is the first foal of 2007 Gr. 1 Kelt Capital Stakes runner-up J'Adane (NZ) (Danehill) and has taken plenty of time to mature before commencing her racing career.
"She is a big rangy mare who has taken time to grow into her frame but I think she is now strong enough to cope with the rigours of racing so we have decided to start her up today to get a better line on her," explained Murdoch. "She went
nicely at the Paeroa trials in the autumn so we put her away for a spell and she has come up well this time in with another good win at the Te Teko trials early last month.
"I think she will go best on decent footing but as she coped with a heavy track in her Paeroa trial I'm hopeful she will do the same again today.
"I've got a fair bit of time for her as she has shown us plenty in her work although it's always a different ballgame when you get to raceday."
Murdoch is also delighted with the progress of her four-year-old Shinko King gelding Zinko (NZ) who was competitive in good company during his three-year-old season.
"While he's only a one win horse he was good enough to run second in both the Wellington and Waikato Guineas so I'm hopeful he can measure up against the best in this campaign," she said.
"He won nicely at the Te Teko trials and I'm pleased with how he has done since then so I will step him out at Ellerslie this weekend to kick-start his spring programme.
"Ultimately I would like to think he could sneak into a race like the Rich Hill Mile on New Year's Day but he will need to win a couple of races along the way before that becomes a reality."

31/8/2013 Survived kicks off 4yo season with stunning Makfi stakes win

Opie Bosson has flicked off his goggles and wears the look of a man about to declare "mission accomplished" as he eases Survived down after the chestnut's comprehensive win in Hastings' Makfi Challenge Stakes.

Hastings trainer John Bary has long held the opinion that Survived (NZ) (Zed) was a Group One horse and he had to go against his owner to prove it.
Bary's unwavering faith in the four-year-old was rewarded on his home track yesterday when the son of Zed gave a powerhouse first-up performance to claim top honours in the Makfi Challenge Stakes.
However, Bary first had to convince Survived's part-owner and breeder Don Gordon to let the horse take his chance in the opening leg of Hawke's Bay's Triple Crown series.
"He rang in the morning and wanted to scratch and I wouldn't let him," Bary said. "And I got it right this time.
"I've been lucky to train a couple of Group One winners and he's up there. He might not be as mentally as good yet but I can't fault him at this stage and his last two gallops were Group One work."
The winner last April of the Group Three Hawke's Bay Gold Cup, as a three-year-old against the older horses, Survived had little luck in a subsequent Australian winter campaign when second in the Group Three Rough Habit Plate then
unplaced in the Group One Queensland Derby.
"He's a naturally fit horse and he was only out for four or five weeks," Bary said. "He'd done all the work and you have to trust in your systems."
Survived had given another clear indication that he was ready to resume with an impressive exhibition gallop, with Opie Bosson up, at the recent Taupo meeting.
"I said to Opie that he had improved a ton and tightened up and he's done it well," Bary said.
Bosson played his part to perfection with a faultless ride that guided Survived to a dominant victory at the expense of a game Full Of Spirit (Flying Spur) and Final Touch (NZ) (Kashani), who got home strongly from well back.
"I got a beautiful run and I probably got to the front a bit too soon as he was gawking around," Bosson said. "He flew the gates and I managed to get him to settle and he cruised into it from the half-mile.
"He was still dipping and diving up the straight and the better the ground the better he'll be. He'll improve stacks with that run as well."
That sounded an ominous warning to rival trainers with Survived set to contest the next two legs of the Triple Crown – the Windsor Park Plate and The Turks Spring Classic, both Group One.
There was added drama at the start when Thunderbird One charged the barrier, jamming his and the neighbouring gate of Miss Pelear, and then dislodged rider Leith Innes. Both horses were subsequently declared non-runners.

Race Hawke's Bay Makfi Challenge S. Gr.1 1400m
Winner Survived (NZ) 2009
Owners D J Gordon, B J D Hutchinson & Little Avondale Trust
Trainer John Bary (Hastings)
Breeding by Zed out of Liberal by Generous (Ire)
Breeder D J Gordon

31/8/2013 Khemosabi a lone ranger

Khemosabi and David Walker return to scale after their runaway win in the Hawke's Bay Master Plumbers Handicap at Hastings yesterday

He's big, bold and headstrong and the powerful grey Khemosabi (Commands) made sure he had things all his own way at Hastings yesterday when posting an effortless win.
The eight-year-old crossed the field early to take up his favoured front-running role and after coasting into the straight had the Hawke's Bay Master Plumbers Open Handicap in the bag a long way from home.
Such was the ease of his victory that his Cambridge owner-trainer Paul Gordon wondered if he might not have set his sights too low at the meeting.
"He should be running in the Makfi," he said with a postrace wry smile. "There wasn't a lot in the race that likes to lead and he's a natural leader and got it easy.
"He likes a loose track and he's a free-going horse and they just can't pick him up when he gets a break."
The chasers were all struggling to make an impression as Khemosabi sailed home by three lengths from Whoshe (NZ) (Storm Creek) with Intransigent (NZ) (Refuse to Bend) doing his best work late for third.
"He might have been a bit suspect at the mile, but he just kept kicking," successful rider David Walker said.
Khemosabi completed a good day for Walker, who had earlier combined with the talented Scapolo (NZ) (Bachelor Duke) to win the Rating 85 Swiss Ace Sprint.
Trained by Kevin Myers, Scapolo has now won twice in New Zealand and was also twice black-type placed as a juvenile with thirds in the Welcome and Champagne Stakes.
He has made his mark across the Tasman as well with a pair of wins in Victoria and finished runner-up in a Listed event at Flemington during last year's spring carnival.

Race Hawke's Bay Master Plumbers H. 1600m
Winner Khemosabi (Aus) 2005
Owners P A Gordon
Trainer Paul Gordon (Cambridge)
Breeding by Commands (Aus) out of Geordoba (SAf) by
Cordoba (USA)
Breeder Swettenham Stud

31/8/2013 Russell's pocket rocket Philipa keeps the unbeaten record alive

Tauherenikau horseman Russell Caddy is still pinching himself after the dream entry he has made into the training ranks.
He made an instant impact when his first runner Ceviche was successful at Woodville ten days ago and took his record to two-from-two at Hastings yesterday when the diminutive Philipa Charlotte (NZ) (Bachelor Duke) won the Trinity Hill Three-Year-Old.
"I haven't come down to earth yet," Caddy said. "She's got a lot of natural ability and she likes this sort of track so we were pretty confident."
Caddy previously worked for Aaron Bidlake, who prepared Philip Charlotte to win at her only appearance last season and rated the Bachelor Duke filly as potentially the best horse he had trained.
Philipa Charlotte, who is now likely to return to Hastings for the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes, sat in behind the leader and was driven home along the fence by Bridget Grylls for a memorable family victory.
"She's a pocket rocket and loved that heavy track," said Grylls, who is a niece of Caddy. "She just kept going and should improve from this first-up run."
Runner-up Salamanca (NZ) (Alamosa) was ridden aggressively to instructions by apprentice Michael Dee to make the running and boxed on valiantly in the run home.
"He's not wound right up yet and I only decided to run him after a lot of thought," trainer Mike Breslin said. "He's got five weeks to the Hawke's Bay Guineas so there's plenty of time for him to get over it."

Race Hawke's Bay Trinity Hill H. 1200m
Winner Philipa Charlotte (NZ) 2010
Owners R P Caddy & Miss S H MacGregor
Trainer Russell Caddy (Tauherenikau)
Breeding by Bachelor Duke (USA) out of Lucy Mary by
Victory Dance (Ire)
Breeder F M Monopoli

There's not much of her but she sure can gallop . . . Philipa Charlotte carries an obviously impressed Bridget Grylls to victory in the opening event at Hastings yesterday – the apprentice jockey's rail-hugging home straight ride a significant factor in the win.

31/8/2013 Filly's dashing debut has Jason planning her classic campaign

It didn't take long for the well-related filly Costa Viva (Encosta De Lago) to make an impression on Matamata trainer Jason Bridgman after her arrival from Australia.
Her raw talent quickly became evident and a runaway debut victory at Ruakaka yesterday has now confirmed a classic goal at Riccarton in November for the three-year-old.
"She's a lovely filly and has showed plenty of ability right from the outset so we were expecting that," Bridgman said.
"She's still a touch green and with further racing she will continue to improve. She certainly looks stakes quality and we'll be working toward that with her.
"She can handle it up to slow and whether we go in at the deep end next start will depend on how she pulls through this.
"The Gold Trail Stakes would be the deep end and there's the Soliloquy, although that can often be on a heavy track.
Ultimately, we would want to have a go at the Thousand Guineas with her."
Bridgman originally had high hopes for the daughter of Encosta De Lago as a two-year-old but was forced to delay her raceday debut.
"David Ellis bought her out of the June sale on the Gold Coast and we gave her a couple of trials," Bridgman said. "She won the first time and executed perfectly and I said to David I think she can win a two-year-old race. We gave her one more
trial and then her shins got to her so we had to turn her out."
A $A100,000 purchase, Costa Viva is the first foal of the Bel Esprit mare Vivacious Spirit, who won the Group Three How Now Stakes at Caulfield in 2008 and is a member of an international family that features the Irish One Thousand Guineas Tarascon.

Jason Bridgman . . . has the Thousand Guineas as the ultimate spring goal for Costa Viva.

Race Whangarei RC Ekraar at Linwood Park S. 1200m
Winner Costa Viva (Aus) 2010
Owners Mrs J & R K Batten, Mrs D Ford, D P & Mrs N E Hurst
Trainer Jason Bridgman (Matamata)
Breeding by Encosta De Lago (Aus) out of Vivacious
Spirit (Aus) by Bel Esprit (Aus)
Breeder K G Williams and K R Biggins
Sales 2012 Magic Millions Yearling Sale; V: Tyreel
Stud (as agent), P: Mr D Ellis; A$100,000

31/8/2013 New Zealand Pattern Committee Completes 2012-13 Review

The New Zealand Pattern Committee (NZPC) has undertaken its annual review of Group and Listed races run in New Zealand in the 2012-13 season. In accordance with the Rules of Racing the following decisions have been made:

1. The Auckland Racing Club's Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) has been upgraded from Listed to Group 3 for the 2013-14 season.
2. The Manawatu Racing Club's Manawatu Breeders Stakes (2000m) was upgraded from Listed to Group 3 for the 2013-14 season.
3. Two new Listed races were confirmed - the Auckland Racing Club's  Trevor Eagle Memorial (1500m), a race  for three year olds in late November and Hawke's Bay Racing's Open 1200m Handicap, which was  run as the Ocean Park@Waikato Stud 1200 on Hawke's Bay Cup day in April, were both promoted to black type status.
4. The Counties Racing Club's Counties Cup was downgraded from Group 2 to Group 3.

As a result of these changes the following number of Group and Listed races will be scheduled in 2013-14:

  1. 22 Group One races;
  2. 21 Group Two races (one less than in 2012-13 and two less than in 2011-12);
  3. 39 Group Three races (3 more than in 2012-13 with one race having been downgraded from Group 2 and two races upgraded from Listed); and
  4. 65 Listed races (no change).
In total there will be 147 Group or Listed races scheduled, an increase of two on 2012-13 and one more than in 2011-12. The NZPC will review the schedule of Prestige Jumping Races (PJR's) in October when the results for the 2013 jumping season are available. The Committee also considered a request from the Levin Racing Club and the RACE Group to shift the G1 Levin Classic from November, with the race to be run at Trentham in January on the first day of the Wellington Racing Club Cup carnival. The G3 Wellington Stakes, which is run over the same distance and with the same conditions, is proposed to be moved back to November to replace Levin Classic at Otaki.

The Committee agreed to retain a second warning on the Levin Classic and subject to a recommendation from the Pattern Review Committee and appropriate approval from the Asian Pattern Committee and New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, the Committee confirmed its support for the Levin Classic to be moved to Trentham in January with a second warning.

Chas Amon, Chairman of the New Zealand Pattern Committee said: "The Committee conducted its review of the 2012-13 season for the second time utilising the strict guidelines for qualifications for Graded (G1, G2, G3) status and the movement of races within that framework that had been established by the Asian Racing Federation's Pattern Committee (APC), which now oversees the work undertaken by the member countries of the Asian Racing Federation."
"The APC Ground Rules provide for automatic downgrades for Group 2 and Group 3 races to be enforced after three years and Group One races after four years, where those races have not met the minimum race rating benchmarks in successive years."

Amon added that the APC was not concerned with Listed races at this time.

The ANZ Race Classifications confirmed earlier this month for the 2013-14 season were again the basis for the review undertaken by the New Zealand Pattern Committee.  Consistent with Rule 506 (8) of the New Zealand Rules of Racing, the NZPC continues to utilise its warning system as provided in the rules, with a first warning being issued where any race has failed to attain the minimum race rating required. Such a failure in consecutive years is likely to attract a second warning.

Two second warnings were maintained by the Committee - the Group 1 Levin Classic and the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes for two year olds.
A further 12 second warnings were issued -  the Group 1 WRC Thorndon Mile;  the Auckland Racing Club's Group 2 ARC Championship Stakes,  City of Auckland Cup  [Queen Elizabeth]  and the   Rich Hill [George Adams]  Mile were all issued with second warnings, together with the Wellington Guineas (G2); the Japan Trophy (G2), the White Robe Lodge Handicap, Hawke's Bay Cup and Rotorua Cups - all Group 3 and the Listed Riverton Cup, CJC Spring Classic {Easter Classic] and the Dunedin Gold Cup.

First warnings were maintained on six races, including five Group One races, while a further nine first warnings were issued. Second warnings were removed from two Listed races and 14 first warnings were removed.

Chas Amon said the Committee had maintained a second warning on the Group 1 Levin Classic for another year in advance of any recommendation from the New Zealand Pattern Review committee, which is due to report shortly on proposed changes to improve the Group race pattern. "While reluctant to downgrade a Group One three year old race, the Levin Classic has continued to struggle."

He concluded: "The New Zealand Pattern Committee has noted the relatively low quality of a number of our major handicaps, which are likely to continue to trend down under the new regimen imposed under the ANZ rating system. The Waikato Cup was downgraded to Group 3 last year and the Counties Cup has also now been dropped to that status.

First warnings were issued on the Auckland Cup, the Wellington Cup, the Avondale Cup and the Manawatu Cup, which reflects a general lack of quality in those races. This trend mirrors the situation in the Australian pattern. With quality of place-getters being the over-riding factor in determining black type status, there is likely to be a continuing emphasis on set weight races, especially those run for three-year-olds and for fillies and mares."

30/8/2013 Weather may have final Makfi say

No Excuse Maggie (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) is one of two John Bary-trained runners in the Gr.1 Makfi Challenge Stakes tomorrow

The stars will come out to play on Saturday for the first Group One event of the new season at Hastings, where the weather promises to have a major influence on their performances.
The Makfi Challenge Stakes has attracted all the heavyhitting weight-for-age gallopers from across the country, but the prospect of challenging track conditions threatens to dull the brilliance of many.
One trainer who is unlikely to be as inconvenienced as most is the local horseman John Bary, who will be represented by No Excuse Maggie (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) and Survived (NZ) (Zed).
"Realistically, if we get no rain from now until Saturday then the track can get back to a Slow 9, but if there's a shower it will be straight back to a Heavy 10," Bary said. "The forecast isn't great and it's a shame, but that's the spring weather."
He concedes that No Excuse Maggie, good as she has been, isn't a genuine Group One class horse but the going gives her an ideal opportunity to add further value to her future broodmare prospects.
"She's proven on it and is match fit and that will be the theme of the day – anything that's fit will go well right across the board," Bary said.
"She's freshened up nicely and I've said before she's a Listed or Group Three mare, but with her rating she's in the weight-for-age bracket. David Walsh came over to ride her on Tuesday and he was happy so she's half a chance."
Survived hasn't raced since his Queensland campaign and Bary is thrilled with his condition leading into Saturday's big test.
"He's gone on dead tracks and is a young horse who is naturally fit," he said. "I'm confident I've got enough work into him and it's just whether he can make up ground with his big finish on a heavy track.
"I've been lucky to train a couple of Group One winners and he's up there – he might not be as good mentally yet, but I can't fault him at this stage and his last two gallops were Group One work."
NZ Racing Desk

30/8/2013 Noble pumps for easier option

Trainer Lance Noble has opted for Ruakaka with Brave Centaur (NZ) (O'Reilly), pictured winning a recent trial at Te Teko

Lance Noble weighed up a combination of factors before withdrawing Brave Centaur (NZ) (O'Reilly) from Saturday's Gr.1 Makfi Challenge Stakes.
The Matamata trainer scratched the O'Reilly gelding on Wednesday and will instead head to Ruakaka where the sixyear- old will resume in The Habibi Derby Dream Open over 1200 metres.
"He was one on the ballot and whether he got in probably depended on what they were going to do with Mufhasa and with the weather the track might get back to a Slow 9 at best,
but the forecast didn't look that flash either," Noble said.
"We paid up and then he drew 17 and he's not a back runner so he was going to be doing it pretty hard first-up over 1400 metres.
"It was a combination of things and it's a long season – it would have been lovely to run in a Group One, but he would have had to run in the first four to guarantee a start in the next one (the Windsor Park Plate) and if he had a tough run
and ran fifth or sixth it would set him back."
Brave Centaur has also come up with the outside gate at Ruakaka, but will face a much easier task than would have confronted him at Hastings.
"He needs a race and he's full of himself – he's ready to do something," Noble said. "He's drawn nine, but it's a different class of race.
"We'll get Saturday out of the way and then we'll be looking at all the options for him, including Australia. He's not easy to place and we'll see how he might be handicapped over there in any suitable races.
"There's also the Group Three (Spring Sprint, 1400m) on the last day at Hastings so that could also be a suitable target."
NZ Racing Desk

30/8/2013 Coupland planning big day at Riccarton

Ray Coupland has plans to import an Australian-based team for a crack at his own feature race during the New Zealand Cup carnival.
The Christchurch-based businessman and major thoroughbred owner and supporter is keen to bring Coup Ay Tee (NZ) (Danske) back from Sydney for the Gr.2 Coupland's Bakeries Mile on November 13.
"If we can get suitable transport I'd like to – he's going very well there and has won more than $600,000," Coupland said. "I'd also like to bring Chris (Waller) over here, he's a celebrity and I can't speak highly enough of him."
Coup Ay Tee is named after good friend Allan Thomas and Coupland would like nothing better than to have the premier Brisbane race caller at Riccarton to complete the party.
"He might come over and if he does I'd like him to commentate on the race if we could do that," he said.
Bred and raced by Coupland with his wife Jill, the Curraghmore Stud-raised Coup Ay Tee won two of his three New Zealand starts from Michael Pitman's yard before he joined the champion stable of Sydney trainer Chris Waller.
He has won a further seven races there, including the Gr.3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup at his latest appearance.
Coupland's best result in Riccarton's feature metric mile was a third placing by the Peter and Dawn Williams-trained Coup Entrepreneur (NZ) (Entrepreneur) in 2006. "He was a good horse and came from near last and got beaten two
necks," he said.
"This is the ninth time I've sponsored the race and it's the richest mile race ($230,000) in New Zealand – we're trying to get it to a Group One."
Coupland is also hopeful of another runner in the event with Ididit (NZ) (Ustinov), a mare he races with her breeder the Dowager Duchess of Bedford, in line for the trip south.
Trained at Matamata by Graham Richardson, she has won four of her 13 starts and was a winner at Tuesday's Te Teko trials.
"I raced Coup Bloomsbury out of the same mare (Winds Of Conquest) and the Duchess asked me if I'd like to come in as a partner and carry on racing the breed together and we've become good friends," Coupland said.
NZ Racing Desk

Ray Coupland is hoping to bring Coup Ay Tee back to New Zealand for the Gr.2 Coupland's Bakeries Mile in November

26/8/2013 Autridge has high hopes for promissing filly

Although unsighted since finishing well back in the Gr. 1 One Thousand Guineas at Riccarton last year, Matamata trainer Stephen Autridge is confident he has promising mare A Touch Of Ruby (NZ) (Pins) ready for her raceday return at Avondale today.
The winner of the Avondale Classic as a two-year-old returns to the scene of that maiden victory in the first race on the card, the rating 75 Tulloch Café 1200 and will face a tidy field although Autridge isn't fazed by the opposition.
"She has had a decent break away from the track with a few niggles however she has been in work for just on three months so she is well forward to resume," he said.
"She had a nice run at the Te Teko trials earlier in the month which also brought her fitness along so we are keen to see how she will go today to get a line on her future plans.
"All going well I can see her getting up to a mile so some of those nice races around Christmas where the money is up will be her long term aim."
Autridge also has high hopes for his four-year-old gelding Silverdale (NZ) (Castledale) who showed plenty of promise during his three-year-old season including a Gr. 2 placing behind Scared Falls (NZ) (O'Reilly) in the Hawkes Bay Guineas
at Hastings.
"He did a great job for us last season and he really strengthened up over his winter spell," he said. "With his style of racing I can see him easily getting up to a middle distance so we will look at some of the better races over the Christmas
period with him as well."

A Touch Of Ruby gets ready for her trial at Te Teko earlier in the month

26/8/2013 Welcome return to form for Sarsarun at Ellerslie

Sarsarun and Alysha Collett have the situation well under control at Ellerslie on Saturday

Classy winter galloper Sarsarun (NZ) (Ustinov) clearly enjoyed a return to her pet distance, preferred heavy winter footing and the services of regular rider Alysha Collett when she turned around some indifferent form to score decisively in the last race on the card at Ellerslie.
The victory was the sixth for the Ustinov mare and convinced co-trainer Richard Collett she was back on track for a tilt at the Listed Westbury Stud Karaka Classic (1600m) in September, a race she finished third in last year.
"She hadn't shown much in her first few runs this time in but I was encouraged last time at Pukekohe as she made good ground on a day where the leaders were favoured and had worked well since then," explained Collett. "Alysha knows
her well and has now won on her five times so she certainly knows how to get the best out of her.
"We had the blinkers on last time and she over-raced badly but it did spark her up as a result and with a bit of schooling during the week she was sharp for Saturday and it did the trick.
"The mile suits her best so we will have a look at the Karaka Classic next as she ran third in it last year and it would be nice to get a black-type win for her owner/breeder Ken Harrison."
Collett and new training partner Gareth McRae have made a good start to the new racing season with three wins already which has been a pleasant surprise for Collett.
"We only have three genuine wet-trackers in our team so to have won three races already is a nice start for us," he said. "We have a really lovely team getting ready for summer racing so it will be nice to be able to build on the start we
have made."
The formation of the new partnership has also allowed Collett and wife Judy to take a short break as they head to Singapore, Macau and Hong Kong for a seven day working holiday. They will visit clients of the new stable as well as take
in the first day of the new Hong Kong racing year on the 1st of September.

26/8/2013 Twilight Dragon adds to impressive record

Ardmore Lodge trainer Danny Walker still isn't convinced that missing a possible sale to overseas interests with his promising sprinter Twilight Dragon (NZ) was the best course of events but the son of Spartacus is doing plenty to try and change his mind.
Another all-the-way victory at Ellerslie on Saturday took the four-year-old gelding's record to four wins from just nine starts with Walker convinced the best has yet to be seen from him.
"He failed the vet when he was under offer to Hong Kong as he had a few issues but they seemed to have settled down as he has matured and he certainly hasn't done a bad job at this stage of his career," remarked Walker.
"This time in he has really strengthened up and has shown he can handle most track conditions as although he has won in the wet lately he did get his maiden win at Ellerslie on a good track."
Although Walker was delighted with the win on Saturday he was quick to concede that the conditions of the race played a major role in the outcome.
"The runner-up (Flower Bomb) is a real top one in the making but with our apprentice claim she had to give my fellow five kilograms and in the wet it made all the difference," he said.
"He really is the ideal type for an apprentice to ride and we have used that to good effect so far as all of his wins have been with an apprentice in the saddle.
"I think we will try and get one more run out of him before we put him away for a deserved break as he has been up for around fifteen months with only a week here and there out of the stable.
"If he strengthens further I think he will be a gun open class sprinter next year."
Walker has his eye on a rating 85 1200m event at Ellerslie's premier meeting on the 7th of September for the last run in this campaign.

Apprentice Kevin Leung pilots Twilight Dragon to an all-the-way win on Saturday

26/8/2013 Indikator romps home in hurdle debut

Indikator (outer) proved to be a class above his maiden hurdle rivals

The worst kept secret of the winter was made official at Ellerslie on Saturday when the triple Group Three flat winner Indikator (NZ) (Sandtrap) romped to victory in his hurdle debut.
The three-time Rotorua Cup hero had little more than a training gallop on his way to a six and a-half length win in The Karaka Demons Maiden Hurdle for trainers Keith and Gavin Opie and jockey Craig Thornton.
"He jumps really well and he's been doing it for a long time now," Thornton said. "He's an absolute gem, a lovely horse, and I've ridden him in two jumping trials and got to know him and know what he's capable of."
The subject of two hefty $10,000 and $5000 fixed odds win bets at $1.70, Indikator gave his army of supporters no cause for concern with a faultless display in fourth spot. He strode to the front before the final flight and forged clear with
a minimum of effort.
Raced by his breeder Peter Setchell, the 10-year-old has been jumping since his three-year-old days, but his trainers still hold further flat hopes for the gelding with an attempt at a fourth Rotorua Cup success next winter a possible goal.
Meanwhile, amateur rider and trainer Jacob McKay successfully defended one of New Zealand's oldest racing titles when he got Stagehand (NZ) (Drama Critic) home a slender winner of the IUHH Duke of Gloucester Cup.
The 20-year-old, who trains with his father Peter at Matamata, had triumphed in the cup, first contested at Marton in 1935, last year aboard Miss Isle and at Ellerslie he drove Stagehand to the finish a half-head in advance of Scott Wenn and Solyn (NZ) (Lucky Unicorn).

25/8/2013 One Above rules the provinces - now she's after a super title

New Plymouth's Interprovincial Challenge is one arena where the minor unions can meet the big guns on equal terms . . . and sometimes give them a hiding – as happened yesterday with Matt Cameron and One Above, carrying the Thames Valley red and yellow, clearing out
from their rivals.

There's only one thing missing from the record of One Above (NZ) (Darci Brahma) and Te Aroha trainer Lisa Anderson is full of confidence that final credit will be earned in the near future.
"Our aim is for black type this campaign and I'm really sure she'll get it," Anderson said. "I'm very pleased with her and she's five now and just mentally and physically come into herself."
One Above moved a step closer to a stakes assignment yesterday when she comfortably put away a strong ITM Interprovincial Challenge line-up in testing conditions at New Plymouth, her trainer hinting at a Group Three target next
"We definitely had concerns and she's never been on a track like that before so she'll know she's had a race,"
Anderson said. "We'll see how she does and we might have a look at the Merial Metric Mile."
Raced by her breeders The Oaks Stud, One Above was kept in touch with the pace by rider Matt Cameron and they swept to the lead 300 metres from home. The race was over from that point with the mare coasting clear to score by three
lengths from Perfect Start (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) and Celtic Star (NZ) (Bachelor Duke).
"Lisa said she puts herself in the race and she was travelling sweetly the whole race," Cameron said.
"She got through the going, but she's not just a wet tracker and does go on top of the ground as well. The way she put that field away she's got a really bright future and the Darcis just keep on going."
Out of a Kingmambo half-sister to dual American Group One winner Tactile, One Above has now won five times from twelve starts and set up what could be a memorable week ahead across the Tasman for Anderson and her partner Grant
They race the Colin and Cindy Alderson-trained pair of Montgomery, a runner next Wednesday in the Australian Hurdles at Sandown, and The Secret, who on Tuesday will make her Australian debut at Geelong.

Race Taranaki RC ITM Interprovincial Challenge H. 1600m
Winner One Above (NZ) 2008
Owners The Oaks Stud
Trainer Lisa Anderson (Te Aroha)
Breeding by Darci Brahma out of Royal Proclomation
(USA) by Kingmambo (USA)
Breeder Karreman Bloodstock Ltd

25/8/2013 Hunt Cup to bargain buy grey

Snodroptwinkletoes makes Charlie Studd's job easier with a perfectly poised landing at the last fence of yesterday's Pakuranga Hunt Cup. Sportavian's jockey Shaun Phelan (orange cap) is looking anxious as he approaches the fence while Shelley Houston on Ima Heroine
concentrates on hitting the fence squarely.

Kevin Myers' conditioning skills were again to the fore at Ellerslie yesterday when he produced the lightly raced seven-year-old Snodroptwinkletoes (NZ) (Mediator) to down a host of Great Northern hopefuls in the Pakuranga Hunt Cup.
The Wanganui trainer's eye for a bargain was also evident, as he'd purchased the son of the little-known Mediator for $2000 at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2008 Ready to Run Sale.
Snodroptwinkletoes is a son of the winning Americanbred stallion Mediator – a close relative of the successful sire Stravinsky – who produced just twenty foals during a short period at stud in the Waikato.
He is raced by Simon Harrison and the only downside to the Hunt Cup success was the shoulder injury suffered by his partner Jo Rathbone when she had fallen from Sea King earlier in the day that prevented her from taking the ride.
The major beneficiary was substitute rider Charlie Studd, who completed an excellent day after he had also won the maiden steeplechase aboard the Davina Waddell-trained Red Hot (NZ) (Istidaad).
The 34-year-old English jumps jockey, who has 46 wins to his credit in his homeland, arrived in New Zealand a little over a year ago and posted his first win on No Quota for PaulNelson at Te Rapa last September.
He gave Snodroptwinkletoes a gun ride at Ellerslie, biding his time towards the rear for the first round then making up ground in the back straight on the final lap. Continuing to improve, the grey hit the front at the second fence on top of
the hill – one obstacle after making his only dodgy jump of the race – and then kicked on strongly to win by a length and a half.
The gelding has now won three of his fourteen starts after starting his career in perfect fashion with a debut flat success over 2200 metres last winter. He added a maiden win over the big fences at Riccarton earlier this month before finishing a
respectable sixth in the Grand National.
The winner aside, there were a number of other sound Great Northern trials, with 2011 winner Ima Heroine (NZ) (Heroicity) showing she was approaching top form again with a strong showing for second.
Cape Kinaveral (NZ) (Cape Cross) was in the party all the way and boxed on well for third ahead of the dour Sportavian (NZ) (Batavian) while the Grand National winner El Patron (NZ) (Victory Dance) was fifth after drifting a long way off the
pace before making up lost ground.

Race Pakuranga Hunt Cup Steeplechase 4900m
Winner Snodroptwinkletoes (NZ) 2006
Owners S P Harrison
Trainer Kevin Myers (Wanganui)
Breeding by Mediator (USA) out of Anky by Heroicity (Aus)
Breeder G W Thomas
Sales 2008 NZ National Yearling Sale, Festival
Session; V: Willow Tree Farm, P: Abderry (as agent); $6000
2008 Ready to Run Sale; V: Abderry, P: Mr K T Myers; $2000

25/8/2013 Kings Deep making it as a jumper

Kings Deep and Richard Cully make a stylish study as they clear the second jump in the home straight with a round to go in the open hurdles, the luckless Jo Rathbone and topweight Sea King about to follow.

Hastings trainer Paul Nelson will bide his time before he confirms a start in the Great Northern Hurdles with the well-travelled Kings Deep (NZ) (Viking Ruler), who produced the perfect dress rehearsal for next month's feature when he downed a hot field in the Tony
Richards Toyota Hurdle at Ellerslie yesterday"We're looking at it, but we have to do the best by the horse and we have to make sure he's right," Nelson said.
The reason for Nelson's wait-and-see approach to a return trip is Kings Deep's injury history.
"He won a couple of hurdle trials last year and we had him ready to go and then he ran a placing in an amateur riders' race before he did a tendon and we had to turn him out," he said.
Kings Deep began his career with Roger James and as a late three-year-old won a distance maiden well enough for the Cambridge trainer to take him to Australia. He had two starts in Sydney with a fourth placing his best effort.
He subsequently had a four-race stint with David Haworthand Matt Dixon before joining Nelson's yard and yesterday's win was his third from four hurdle starts after a double strike during the recent Grand National carnival at Riccarton.
"Christchurch can be a pretty tough trip, but he's done a bit of travelling so that helped him," Nelson said.
Ridden by Richard Cully, Kings Deep raced in behind the leading pack and headed off Arose (NZ) (He is Risen) in a driving finish. Co-topweight Yamanaura (NZ) (Yamanin Vital) made ground well to take third money off the pacemaker
Thatz David (NZ) (Stark South).

Race Pakuranga HC Tony Richards Toyota
Hurdle 3350m
Winner Kings Deep (NZ) 2006
Owners T C Behrns, Mrs C & P S Nelson
Trainer Paul Nelson (Hastings)
Breeding by Viking Ruler (Aus) out of Misty Gleam by
Gleam Machine (USA)
Breeder Mrs L A Loveday & D E N Wallis

23/8/2013 Stakes on the rise

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) has announced prize money increases from January 1, 2014.
Minimum stakes for all races at the country's top five meetings, to be known as Iconic meetings, will be increased to $40,000 per race. They are Wellington Cup day, New Zealand Derby day, Spring Classic day, New Zealand Cup day and Boxing Day
at Ellerslie.
In addition, minimum prize money for all races at a further 15 Premier meetings, to be titled 'Premier 1' meetings, will be increased to $30,000. Twenty-two current Premier meetings, titled 'Premier 2' meetings will be unchanged with minimum
prize money at $20,000. Five Premier meetings will revert to Feature status.

23/8/2013 Ruud Awakening impresses at Taupo

Last season's champion two-year-old Ruud Awakening (Bernardini) was given a quiet hit-out between races at Taupo on Monday with the emphasis very much on quiet.
"I was rapt with her and she looked super coming up the straight – I was pretty close and you could hardly hear her hitting the ground," Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh said.
"It was more to give her a day out and take that little bit of freshness off her and she had a nice little blow and will improve a lot, Opie said she felt awesome."
Ruud Awakening will head to Melbourne on September 1 and will resume three weeks later in a three-year-old fillies' event over 1100 metres.

23/8/2013 Big week ahead for Anderson

Another bold showing from One Above (NZ) (Darci Brahma) at New Plymouth on Saturday might be a forerunner to further overseas success for trainer Lisa Anderson.
The in-form mare will run in Saturday's Interprovincial Challenge for the Te Aroha horsewoman, who also has significant interest in next week's racing in Melbourne.
Anderson and partner Grant McLeod race Montgomery (NZ) (Montjeu), who will run in Wednesday's $A100,000 Australian Hurdles at Sandown, and the day before at Geelong their promising filly The Secret (NZ) (Sakhee's Secret)
will make her Australian debut. Both horses are trained by Colin and Cindy Alderson at Cranbourne.
Montgomery won a A$35,000 hurdle at his last appearance to earn a shot at the big time while The Secret finished runner-up in both her New Zealand two-year-old appearances last season.
However, Montgomery's immediate focus is on One Above who resumed on a winning note at Te Rapa to take her record to four wins from 11 appearances.
"She's all good to go, although we've got the visitor's draw but that may not be such a bad thing given the (Heavy 10) track," Anderson said.
"She's never started on a track like that, but until you do you never know. Two things on our side are that she's very fit and so tough – she's not the sort of horse that will lie down and spit the dummy."
Anderson said One Above had trained on well since her successful return last month with the goal of adding a stakes performance to the Darci Brahma mare's CV this preparation.
"She belongs to The Oaks Stud so we want to get black type for her future breeding career," Anderson said. "She's five now and just mentally and physically come into herself.
"She's a different horse this time around and this is her season – if we don't pick up black type I'll be surprised.
There's not many options coming up so we'll have a look around Christmas.
"Ideally, she wants the sting out of the ground, but she has performed on a Good 3 and she's the sort you can back off and bring back fresh."
NZ Racing Desk

Trainer Lisa Anderson is hoping for black-type this preparation for One Above (NZ) (Darci Brahma)

19/8/2013 Bary excited to get top filly back to the track

Recite (outer) defeats her Taupo race rival Bounding in the Matamata Breeders Stakes

An uninterrupted preparation to date has Hastings trainer John Bary eager to get exciting filly Recite (NZ) (Darci Brahma) back on the racetrack at Taupo today as she starts her spring campaign where the major aim is to achieve Guineas glory in Australia.
The winner of the Gr. 1 Oaks Stud Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes at her last start in an unbeaten two-year-old season, Recite has done everything Bary has asked of her since resuming work after a six week stint in the spelling paddock.
"She had a good break and put on about sixty kilograms as she strengthened up so we have spent the last few weeks peeling about fourty of those off her as we got her ready to start at Taupo," explained Bary. "While she still has plenty of
improvement in her I did want her well forward for her first run as I don't want to flatten her taking on what we thought might be some tough opposition first-up."
Recite will strike a small but quality field for her threeyear- old debut with Gr. 1 Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes runner-up Bounding (Lonhro) her main rival.
"Bounding is obviously a class filly so we will get a good line on where we are at once the race is run," said Bary. "As long as she pulls up well we will head to Wanganui for a listed fillies event on the 7th of September and then to Ellerslie on
the 28th for the Soliloquy Stakes.
"After that we will head to Caulfield to take on the boys in the Caulfield Guineas or her own sex in the 1000 Guineas depending on which field we think she will be most competitive in."
Bary also has an outing at Taupo tomorrow planned for Hawkes Bay Cup winner Survived (NZ) (Zed) who will have an exhibition gallop between races.

19/8/2013 Ransomed getting ready for Spring classic

Ransomed storms to victory in the 2012 Marton Cup

A strong hit-out at the recent Foxton trials has last season's Manawatu Cup winner Ransomed (NZ) (Handsome Ransom) firmly on the path to a start in the Gr. 1 Spring Classic at Hastings in October.
Trainer Gary Vile is pleased with the way his charge has wintered and is ready to step up his work in preparation for a raceday resumption at Wanganui on the 7th of September.
"He really pleased me at the trials and has come back from his two month break in good heart," said Vile. "At this stage he is still carrying plenty of condition so we will try and organise a gallop for him at Woodville during the races next week or
take him back to the trials at the end of the month.
"His first raceday start will be at Wanganui where there is a nice open sprint he can kick-off in and then we will look to the Windsor Park Plate (1600m) on the 21st of September at "All going well he will go the Spring Classic after that
as I think he can measure up at weight-for-age now he has matured into his frame."
Ransomed blossomed into one of the country's top middle distance performers last year when he strung three wins together that included the Gr. 3 Manawatu Cup (2300m) and the Listed Marton Cup (2200m) in succession.
Vile also revealed plans to test the son of Handsome Ransom across the Tasman later in the season.
"All going well we will take him to Australia after Christmas to have a crack at some of the staying races in Melbourne as he has shown us he should be competitive there at that time of the year" he said.

19/8/2013 Hawkes Bay Guineas target for Zaragoza

Zaragoza heads onto the track before his recent Te Teko trial

The Taupo meeting today will see a number of promising three-year-olds on display with the Peter and Jacob McKay trained Zaragoza (Charge Forward) looking to take the opportunity to stake his claim for some of the upcoming spring classics.
Although successful only once in a seven start two-yearold campaign, the strapping son of Charge Forward managed stakes placings on two separate occasions including a desperately unlucky third in the Gr. 3 Phoenix Park 2YO
Classic at New Plymouth.
"He really should have won that day at New Plymouth as he was held up badly and went a huge race to grab third," recalled Peter McKay. "After that he had one more start at Ellerslie but he was over the top that day so we threw him in
the paddock for a decent spell and he has come back in great order.
"He went well at the Te Teko trials recently although he did over-race a bit which he has a tendency to do in the early stages of a preparation so hopefully he will be on his best behavior at Taupo.
"We have a plan for him that includes the Hawkes Bay Guineas so he would want to show us something today to justify setting him for a race of that standard.
"The further he goes the better he will be so once he gets up to a mile I think we will see the best of him." McKay was also delighted with the run of promising stayer Canterino (Oratorio) at Te Rapa on the weekend after he
finished powerfully from last on the turn to figure in the fight for the minor placings in race 4 on the card.
"He showed us plenty last year and he was our Derby horse until we found he had contracted a virus after he ran down the track in the Avondale Guineas," he said. "We think he could be a Cups horse this year if he makes the progress
we think he can so I expect him to be prominent in his next few starts."

19/8/2013 Improved track the key for Best Command

Tony Pike trains Taupo contender Best Command

An improved racing surface could be the key for a form reversal at Taupo today when the Tony Pike and Mark Donoghue trained Best Command (Court Command) returns to the scene of her maiden triumph.
Successful over 1000 metres at the same meeting twelve months ago, Best Command went on to register a number of placings including third in the Listed Fordell O'Leary Fillies Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui without adding to her winning
"She has proved to be a little frustrating as she hasn't cracked another win after that Taupo victory," noted Pike. "She has gone a number of good races so hopefully the better track she will strike today could see her back in the winner's
"She does like the sting out of the ground so a dead track will be perfect as she just couldn't cope with the really heavy track she struck at Tauranga last time."
Senatorial (NZ) (Savabeel) is the other runner on a quiet day for the stable although Pike is happy with his team as he looks to build on the success achieved in the 2012/2013 racing season.
"We had a super year and although we have lost a little firepower we have some really nice two-year-olds coming through while I'm delighted with the progress of some of our more promising horses from last year," said Pike. "Our Oaks
winner More Than Sacred has really grown and strengthened up and has furnished into a superb specimen.
"It can be tough for a four-year-old mare at this time of the year so we will take it easy with her and she will hopefully be at her peak after Christmas in time for the Wellington Cup.
"Sacred Park is another who has developed well over his break and we think he has the potential to be a 2000 Guineas contender.
"He will have his first run in this campaign at Ellerslie on the 7th of September and then will go to either the Bonecrusher Stakes at Ellerslie or the Hawkes Bay Guineas a week later."

18/8/2013 Sprints, cups, weight for age - it's all the same for Don's girl

Danielle Johnson (tartan colours) sits up after guiding Postmans Daughter to a narrow win over Xanadu and Michael Coleman (nearest camera) in the Foxbridge Plate. Nearer the rails, Final Touch takes third while behind the placegetters Sangster (pink cap) ends his full-ofpromise run into sixth.

Retired dairy farmer Don Walker sold himself short at Te Rapa yesterday after he had produced another masterstroke with his well-performed mare Postmans Daughter (NZ) (Postponed).
The Pukekohe horseman started his six-year-old over 1200 metres for the first time and she responded with a valiant performance to down a high-class field in the Group Three Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate.
"I'm only a cow cocky, not a horse trainer, but she's always had a good turn of foot," said a modest Walker, who also bred and races the mare.
A past winner of the Group Two Counties Cup at 2100 metres, Postmans Daughter has also been a multiple topflight placegetter and will attempt to break through at Group One level at her next appearance.
"She'll go to the Makfi and she'll be a good chance," Walker said. "She's always been a good 1400 metre horse."
Postmans Daughter settled off the leading pack in the Foxbridge and produced a resolute finish to win for the seventh time in her forty-start career.
Victory was also sweet for rider Danielle Johnson, who took up where she left off after returning from an overseas holiday.
"I left after winning the Winter Cup and have come back to win another big race," she said.
"I always thought she would be a huge chance and she goes well first up. I got a perfect run in behind them but at the top of the straight I thought she'd get held up. But she made her own luck and tried really hard and won well."
Walker was also quick to acknowledge the effort put in behind the scenes by former jockey Shane Udy, who rides the mare in trackwork and serves as raceday strapper. "He does an enormous amount of work on the horse for me," he said.
Postmans Daughter beat Xanadu (NZ) (Elusive City) by a head with recently crowned champion sprinter Final Touch (NZ) (Kashani) third. Both the second and third placegetters turned in excellent trials for their rematch in the upcoming
Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings.

Old-timer Fritzy Boy (NZ) (Brilliance) ran his usual honest race for fourth with Faraway Eyes (NZ) (Ustinov) making good ground for fifth. Triple Group One winner Sangster (NZ) (Savabeel) was next to cross the line in a performance that
augured well for his longer distance targets of the spring.

Race Waikato RC Foxbridge P. Gr.3 1200m
Winner Postmans Daughter (NZ) 2007
Owners D H Walker
Trainer Don Walker (Pukekohe)
Breeding by Postponed (USA) out of Kinjabelle by
Breeder D H Walker

18/8/2013 Sights set on better races after late-starting staying mare's win

Chapinta moving sweetly for Mark Du Plessis close to home in the open handicap at Te Rapa. Palm Island (tartan hood) comes on strongly for second while topweight Maximum Height, in his first middle-distance start, battles on bravely for fourth.

Lightly tried seven-year-old Chapinta (NZ) (High Chaparral) is already a valuable broodmare prospect and trainer Craig Thornton has his future sights set on further adding to her value.
A daughter of Irish import Quinta Special, a winner in England, Chapinta won yesterday's www.pencarrowstud. open handicap at Te Rapa to provide her connections with a degree of compensation for missing out on a crack at black type on the same track three weeks ago.
"She missed the Taumarunui Cup from the ballot and that was the main one," Thornton said, adding, to a question about her breeding, "She's a half-sister to Sangster so she's not the worst. We'd love to get some black type now."
Raced by Peter Grieve and Barry Thomas, Chapinta was hampered by early injuries and didn't start racing until she was a five-year-old. She has made good progress since and yesterday's 2100 metre victory, under first-time rider Mark Du
Plessis, was her fifth win from thirteen appearances.
"She's a lovely mare and always showed plenty," Thornton said. "She's not easy to ride and Mark rode her beautifully."
Chapinta sat back in the field and made her move across the top. She ambled up to challenge 200 metres from home and drove clear to beat Palm Island (NZ) (Dubai Destination),
who returned to the form that gained him a placing in last year's Group Three Manawatu Cup.
"Craig said she needs her space and doesn't like it in between them," Du Plessis said. "I was on the winner 600 metres from home – the race was run to suit."
Natsinga (NZ) (Danasinga) was third, looking like he could have finished closer after being squeezed for room in the run home, as the topweight Maximum Height (NZ) (Jahafil) headed off the well-supported Endor (NZ) (Duelled) for fourth

Race Waikato RC H.
Winner Chapinta (NZ) 2006
Owners P H Grieve & B C Thomas
Trainer Craig Thornton (Cambridge)
Breeding by High Chaparral (IRE) out of Quinta Special
(IRE) by Spectrum (IRE)
Breeder Emblem Ltd
Sales 2008 NZ National Yearling Sale, Select Session;
V: Windsor Park Stud, P: Mr N F Ridley; $27,000

18/8/2013 Harry comes 'home' to win crown

Harry Kasim proudly displays his trophy after winning the Young Guns Challenge.

Widely travelled apprentice jockey Harry Kasim has been in outstanding form this season and showed his record-breaking qualities on his return to New Zealand by claiming yesterday's Asian Young Guns Challenge crown at Te Rapa.
"To win the Young Guns series is a massive feeling,"
Kasim said. "It means a lot to me as I began my career here and I had my first win at Te Rapa on Dancing Chief in 2009."
The 27-year-old Malaysianborn jockey made his name as an apprentice with Mike Moroney at Matamata and rode 82 winners before a two month stint in Melbourne.
Bringing that form to New Zealand, he kicked off yesterday's international series with a polished display to get Master Ip (NZ) (Handsome Ransom) home at the expense of local representative Rory Hutchings on Hydrogen (NZ) (Brilliance).
"He put himself right there in a lovely spot and he hit the line very strongly," Kasim said.
In the second of the threerace series, he finished fourth aboard Waipipi Lad (NZ) (Mr Nancho) behind Roll With Pulse (Zariz), who was ridden by South African apprentice Julius Mariba.
"This feels great," twentyyear- old Mariba said. "The people here are very pleasant and I really enjoyed it – it's been Harry Kasim proudly displays his trophy after winning the Young Guns Challenge.
Last year he headed to Singapore, where he is indentured to Stephen Burridge.
Kasim is currently leading the apprentices' premiership there with 41 wins, 23 ahead of his nearest rival. He has already broken the Singapore record for the most winning rides in a season by an apprentice with five months of this year to go.
a very good experience."
Kasim wrapped up the Young Guns challenge with 42 points after he guided Denmark (NZ) (Danehill Dancer) into third placing in the final race of the series, which was won by Seams Like Magic (NZ) (Duelled) and 24-year-old Korean
apprentice Kim Joong. Hutchings and Mariba shared second overall with 32 points.

16/8/2013 Ocean Park named Horse of the Year

The connections of Ocean Park at the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Awards

Five-time Group 1 winner Ocean Park (NZ) (Thorn Park) was crowned Horse of the Year at the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Awards, held in Hamilton last night. Ocean Park took 44 of a possible total 46 votes.
The Gary Hennessy-trained four-year-old was the dominant spring performer, stringing together four successive Group One victories. Raced by Hennessy in conjunction with Andrew Wong and Stephen Yan of Hong
Kong, the son of Thorn Park resumed with a win in the Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings and continued his winning way in Melbourne, where he added the Underwood Stakes and Caulfield Stakes before downing Australia's star three-year-old
pair All Too Hard and Pierro in the Cox Plate.
He returned to racing in late summer and took his Group One tally to five with victory in the New Zealand Stakes at Ellerslie. That win confirmed a northern hemisphere campaign, beginning with the Dubai Duty Free on Dubai
World Cup night, but by the worst luck Ocean Park suffered a tendon injury that ended his stellar racing career.
In completing Australia's Underwood Stakes-Caulfield Stakes-Cox Plate treble, Ocean Park emulated the feats of champion gallopers Ajax (1938), Bonecrusher (1986), Almaarad (1989), Northerly (2001) and So You Think (2010).
Not surprisingly, he was rated 128 by Timeform in April.
A champion galloper, with an unbelievable desire to win, Ocean Park retired to the Chittick family's Waikato Stud to commence stallion duties.
The prestigious Award for Outstanding Contribution to Racing was awarded posthumously to Jim Campin, an Owner, Trainer and Breeder of distinction in New Zealand and overseas.
Campin died in April this year aged 76. His son Mark Fraser-Campin accepted the Award on behalf of his late father and read out a short address written by his father, in the knowledge he had been awarded this accolade.
Other end-of-season award recipients can be found in the table below:

NZ Horse of the Year - Results
Horse Of The Year Ocean Park
Champion 2YO Ruud Awakening
Champion 3YO Dundeel
Champion Sprinter (-1500m) Final Touch
Champion Middle Distance
Ocean Park
Champion Stayer (2101+) Sangster
Champion Jumper Tom's Myth
Outstanding Contribution To Racing Jim Campin
Owner Of The Year Mr A Wong, Mr S Yan & Mr G Hennessy
Dunstan Trainer Of The Year Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
Jockey Of The Year Opie Bosson
Media Award Mr Murray Owles
Mcbeath Champion Apprentice Rider Rory Hutchings
Jumps Jockey Of The Year Isaac Lupton
Breeder Of The Year Trelawney Thoroughbred Ltd - Brent and
Cherry Taylor (Breeders of Ocean Park and
3 other black type winners)
Broodmare Of The Year Sayyida (Dam of Ocean Park)
New Zealand Bloodstock Filly Of The Year Fix
The Dewar Award (NZ Only) O'Reilly
The Grosvenor Award (NZ and AUS) O'Reilly
The Centaine Award (Global) O'Reilly

16/8/2013 Fleur De Lune ready to fire

Fleur de Lune (NZ) (Stravinsky) in an exhibition gallop at Te Rapa on July 27

Group One winner Fleur de Lune (NZ) (Stravinsky) will kick off her spring campaign in the Gr.3 Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa on Saturday, and trainer Lee Somervell couldn't be happier with the sixyear- old mare as she looks to replicate her victory of twelve
months ago.
"I would say she's marginally ahead of where she was at this time last year, Somervell said. She's come up really well.
"She's a mare that takes a bit of managing, as she doesn't have the greatest joints, so we use the water walker quite a bit, but she's flying at the moment and I've been really pleased with her two exhibitions gallops heading into Saturday. "
Fleur de Lune has drawn ideally in barrier 4, the same barrier she started from when defeating Fritzy Boy (NZ) (Brilliance) and Xanadu (NZ) (Elusive City) last year. That pair are again rivals on Saturday, with likely favourite Xanadu
coming up with barrier 6 and Fritzy Boy drawing barrier 9.
"She's drawn perfectly in four, as it gives us options as to whether we press forward or ride her just off the speed," Somervell said.
"It's a terrific field and I thought Xanadu looked magnificent when galloping between races at Te Aroha last week. Our mare's not very big (15.1hh) but she's all heart, and will be giving her best on Saturday as usual."
Fleur de Lune will head towards the Gr.1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings on August 31, but is unlikely to contest the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) or the Gr.1 Turks Bar Spring Classic (2040m), the second and third legs of the
Hawke's Bay triple crown respectively.
"Running in all three legs is extremely taxing on them. It certainly took the edge off her last year and it took me until the first of January to get her right again."
Somervell will have four runners at Te Rapa on Saturday, including Fleur de Lune's progressive half-brother Kapsboy (NZ) (Ishiguru), who will contest the Technical Welding Services 1600.
"He's a horse with a lot of ability and I think the step up to 1600m will suit. He's been a slow maturing type, but he's certainly got the family talent and he won with a fair bit in hand last start."
NZ Racing Desk

12/8/2013 Home track hopes for new training partnership

New Zealand racing legend Lance O'Sullivan is hoping the home track advantage will work in his favour as he and Andrew Scott look to open their new training partnership account at Matamata today.
The O'Sullivan/Scott team has three handy maiden runners entered with Cast King (NZ) (Postponed) looking a top winning chance in the Cheep Liquor 1400, the sixth race on the programme.
"He is fit and bright and with some handy form on the board we are hopeful he can gain a deserved win today," said O'Sullivan. "The improved track conditions will suit all of our runners so it would be nice to get our first win on the board at
our home venue.
"Umizoomi has also been working well and we have put the blinkers on today which will be an assist to her in race 3.
"Falcon Regiment is our other runner and he is a chance although we have had a few problems with him so you would have to take him on trust."
The partnership currently has around fourty horses in the stable but O'Sullivan is keen to boost that number over the next few months.
"We are a little light on three-year-olds at this stage as we are in a rebuilding stage however we have around fourteen two-year-olds in work so I'm hopeful to have some ammunition a little later in the season" he said.
O'Sullivan also reported that the promising four-year-old mare Tiger Moss (NZ) (Mossman) was progressing well in preparation for a new campaign. The daughter of Mossman, who features rugby legend Sir Colin Meads in her ownership,
created a big impression with two wins in her first two starts before being put aside for a winter break after an unlucky run in the Gr. 3 Windsor Park Breeders Stakes at Te Rapa in April.

Lance O'Sullivan is looking for a home track win today

12/8/2013 Quality mares relish Te Teko outing

Two well performed mares showed they were right on target for their spring assignments when Our Famous Eve (NZ) (Fast 'N' Famous)and Miss Pelear (NZ) (Mr Nacho)both produced convincing gallops to score handsomely in their respective heats at the recent Te Teko
Winner of the Gr. 2 Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie on New Year's Day, Miss Pelear delighted her trainers, Brendan and Keith Hawtin, with an easy win over 1040 metres in her first serious hit-out in a new campaign.
"She has really come back better than ever and we knew she was forward for the trial so we were delighted with what she produced," said Brendan Hawtin. "The trial plus the trip away will bring her on nicely so she is ready for her first run
which will be in the (Waikato Stud) Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa this weekend.
"All going well she will then head to the Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings and there again a fortnight later for the Windsor Park Plate.
"We will reassess where we are at after that and if she has shown us she is ready for 2000 metres then the Spring Classic will be next on the agenda for her."
Matamata based trainer Glenn Old was also delighted with his charge when Our Famous Eve scored comfortably by a neck in the following heat.
"She had six weeks off after her run in the Easter Handicap and really strengthened up nicely so we have taken her along slowly until now where we are starting to get serious with her," said Old. "She will go back to the trials at Te Teko
again on the 27th of August and will have her first run in the Windsor Park Plate at Hastings on the 21st of September."
Although the winner of the Gr. 2 Windsor Park Stud Japan Trophy at Tauranga in March, Old is a little concerned that the mare's rating may see her struggle to get a start at Hastings.
"She is a fair way down the order of entry at this stage so she will need a few to drop away to secure a start," he said.
"If she doesn't manage to get in the race there is a $50,000 Listed mile at Counties on the same day so that is our Plan B.
"I am keen to get her in at Hastings as the Spring Classic is our main goal and with the way she has come up in this preparation I would hope she would be a good chance if she can make the field."

Our Famous Eve (inner) scores her biggest win in the Windsor Park Stud Japan Trophy

12/8/2013 Rafa scores for an emotional Wadham team

Emotions ran high at Pukekohe on Saturday after Rafa (NZ) (High Chaparral) scooted home along the rail to score an upset win in the last race on the card for trainer Jacqui Wadham.
It was the six-year-old son of High Chaparral's third career victory and the first for Wadham since her husband Harvey succumbed to cancer in February. Harvey Wadham, a respected figure in the New Zealand racing industry, was
well known as the trainer of many top gallopers including the redoubtable Deb's Mate who won twenty five races.
Unsighted since finishing well back at Ellerslie in December last year, Rafa relished a surface that was loosened by steady rain throughout the day and built on his reputation for producing his best races when fresh from a spell.
"As you can imagine there was plenty of emotion as my daughters and son-in-law have done it tough since the death of Harvey so there were a few tears when he returned to scale," explained Jacqui Wadham. "We put him away for a spell
after his run at Ellerslie and with Harvey passing away when he did the horse didn't come back into work until April so it has taken until now to get him ready and find a suitable race for him.
"He has won fresh-up before in similar conditions to what he struck on Saturday so we were confident he would go a good race as his work leading into the run had been very good.
"I told Harvey when he died that he was welcome to give me any help he could so when I asked for some rain on the day I think he was definitely on the job for us."
Wadham hasn't any firm plans for Rafa although she favours running the horse at Ellerslie in two weeks time before sorting out a spring programme for him.
"Now that he has matured a bit more I think he can definitely be competitive up to 2400 metres and with his breeding you would expect that," she said. "I think there is a nice open mile at Ellerslie in a fortnight and
then we will look at what we do with him for the rest of this campaign.
"He can go on better ground but I wouldn't be adverse to a wet spring as it will aid him and slow a few of the others down."

Rafa in full flight at Pukekohe on Saturday

12/8/2013 Shining Armour avoids trouble to score upset win

Shining Armour with apprentice Brendan Hutton aboard

With a history of finding trouble in his races Shining Armour (NZ) (Spartacus) used the adage that "out in front is out of trouble" when he lead from go to whoa in the Professionals Osborne Realty Ltd. 1400 at Pukekohe on the weekend.
Trainer Lisa O'Shea took the option to take on the open handicappers with her rating 76 galloper when she saw the small field would suit her charge better than racing against a capacity field at Matamata on Monday.
"We knew he was out of his grade but he is such a wonder at finding trouble in his races we thought the smaller field would help him out," explained O'Shea. "He had been working well despite the form he had on the board and as he handles
it wet we threw him in the deep end.
"As it turns out it worked in our favour although it did get a little close for comfort on the line."
O'Shea reported the horse had pulled up well from his exertions on the weekend but wasn't in a hurry to set in place any future plans for him.
"He has had a number of issues with soundness throughout his career so we have to keep him to rain affected tracks although he is probably a better horse on top of the ground," she said. "We will just take it race by race with him
as he is likely to cop a decent penalty after winning out of his grade so the handicapper may dictate where he lines up next.
"He has plenty of ability so if we can keep him sound he will have the chance to justify the faith we have in him."

11/8/2013 El Patron takes Grand National after four year injury break

Matthew Cropp punches the air in joy as El Patron takes him past the post a winner of the Grand National Steeplechase . . . while Aaron Kuru sits up and allows Karlos to coast the final few yards of his brave effort.

John Wheeler's conditioning skills were again evident when he produced the injury-plagued El Patron (NZ) (Victory Dance) to grind down his rivals for top honours in yesterday's Grand National Steeplechase.
The master Taranaki trainer brought the ten-year-old back from the wilderness with the Racecourse Hotel& Motor Lodge-sponsored feature in mind and it was mission accomplished at Riccarton.
"He's a horse who had serious leg issues and no-one thought he'd ever come back," Wheeler said. "I set him for the race a good while ago and gave him three hurdle races into this and I thought he'd improved enough since the Koral."
El Patron finished third in the Koral on the opening day of the meeting in what was his first sight of the big fences since he had won a steeplechase at Rotorua in 2009.
"I love winning races and winning the Grand National with this horse in unbelievable – just fantastic," Wheeler said.
El Patron settled well off the early pace set up by The Rose and, as per instructions, rider Matt Cropp made his move across the top. Runners were six abreast with two fences to go, but it was the son of Victory Dance who stayed on best to
down the Koral winner Karlos.
"I said to Matt to make his run from the 600. He's got quite a bit of pace on the flat and it was a great run," Wheeler said.
"That Karlos is tough, though, and hard to get past." Successful jockey Cropp now has a matching pair of National victories, having ridden Joint Effort to glory in the 2010 hurdles.
"That was my first big winner, but the Steeples is a bigger and better race and more challenging," he said. "The John Wheeler team are fantastic jumpers and you can never doubt them at all. After we jumped the last strongly I knew I had
Karlos (NZ) (Krona) was brave in his bid to emulate the 1996 National victory of his mother Just Jojo while the southerner Kidunot (NZ) (Gaius) finished third ahead of last year's winner Cape Kinaveral (NZ) (Cape Cross).

Race CJC Grand National Steeplechase 5600m
Winner El Patron (NZ) 2003
Owners J N K Martin & J R Wheeler MNZM
Trainer John Wheeler (New Plymouth)
Breeding by Victory Dance (Ire) out of Margaux by War
Hawk II (GB)
Breeder Mrs J L Blinkhorne & J D Corcoran

11/8/2013 Everything falls into place for Bragato as veteran wins again

The versatility of Bragato (NZ) (Brilliance) has served him well during a lucrative career and it was a trump card he again played to deal to his opposition in the main flat event at Riccarton yesterday.
The nine-year-old was a clear-cut winner of the Christchurch Casino Winter Classic to make owner and trainer Richard Joostens' first visit to the National carnival a memorable one.
Bragato has been a grand money spinner for the Otakibased horseman, with eleven wins and more than $230,000 in the bank. He has been successful over a variety of distances with victories in the Group Three Thomson Handicap and the
Listed Ag Challenge Stakes at a metric mile, the North Island Challenge Stakes at 1400 metres and the Mitchelson Cup over 2200 metres.
Bragato has now followed up a solid run for fifth in the 1600 metre Group Three Winter Cup on the opening day of the carnival with success over 1800 metres.
"He's always been a good horse and the track conditions suited – he's won four races on a track like this," Joostens said.
"I thought he'd go well, he was beautifully weighted and the race was run to suit."
This winter's star middle distance galloper Intransigent set a good gallop in front but he was under pressure turning in and Bragato finished too strongly to power clear of the outsiders Dickens (NZ) (Istidaad) and Crystal Duke (NZ)
(Bachelor Duke).
"I might freshen him up now for a mile at Hastings and then perhaps Ellerslie," Joostens said. "It's my first time down here and it's been excellent."
Winning rider Darryl Bradley said he had been confident of victory a long way out and the Brilliance gelding had won with a minimum of effort.
"He went well in the Winter Cup and improved with the run and he dealt to them. I let him slide a fair way out and he was cruising into the straight and cantered in."

The track was right, the weight a luxury, the distance no problem and the race was run to suit . . . Bragato takes advantage and strolls home for Darryl Bradley in the Winter Classic.

Race CJC Winter Classic 1800m
Winner Bragato (NZ) 2004
Owners Mrs L C & R A Joostens
Trainer Richard Joostens (Otaki)
Breeding by Brilliance (USA) out of Yarra Rose by One
Pound Sterling (GB)
Breeder Mrs A A Corcoran
Sales 2006 NZ National Yearling Sale, Festival
Session; V: Grangewilliam Stud, P: Mr R L S
Forster; $4000

11/8/2013 Paul smiles again as Khemosabi sets a solid pace at Riccarton

After a well-judged ride by David Walker, the free-going grey Khemosabi has enough in reserve to hold out the late challenge of Credit Crunch.

Relief was an over-riding emotion for Paul Gordon after cheering home his bold grey frontrunner Khemosabi (Aus) (Commands) at Riccarton yesterday.
The Cambridge owner-trainer has been frustrated by the eight-year-old's lack of progress this campaign, but it was back to winning ways yesterday with the Brackenfield Hunt Premier the sixth victory of his career.
"That's brought a smile to my face," Gordon said. "I've been scratching my head over the last couple of starts."
Khemosabi was in outstanding form a year ago when he won the Listed Opunake Cup and finished third in the Group Three Winter Cup, but was unplaced in both features this time around.
"You've just to let him run along and there are plenty of other nice races around for him at 1400 or 1600 metres," Gordon said.
Khemosabi headed straight for the lead on Saturday and had shaken off Spare A Fortune at the top of the straight.
Rider David Walker kept him going in the closing 350 metres to beat Credit Crunch (NZ) (Pentire) and Guessing (NZ) (Keeper).
"He's a freegoing type and he lugged out a bit in the straight," Walker said, "but he's got all the ability and it's good to see him back in form."
Fourth home was the veteran Tick Tock Turbo (NZ) (Turbulent Dancer) and the 12-year-old is now likely to head to the retirement paddock after giving sterling service to the Awapuni stable of his owner Lisa Latta.
He has won ten races and more than $200,000 after posting his maiden success during the 2008 Grand National meeting. He has since added a further four wins from five carnivals and finished third in the Winter Cup of 2011.

Race CJC Brackenfield Hunt H. 1400m
Winner Khemosabi (Aus) 2005
Owners P A Gordon
Trainer Paul Gordon (Cambridge)
Breeding by Commands (Aus) out of Geordoba (SAf) by
Cordoba (USA)
Breeder Swettenham Stud

11/8/2013 Salering buy has a sweet smell of success after Fragrant wins

Chris Johnson and Fragrant have the situation well in control as they near the finish of the Gladsome Lodge Premier. Astrogal (yellow colours) fights on well for apprentice Casey Lunn while David Walsh keeps Black Berry Punch going for third.

A modest Karaka purchase has taken on further value for Michael Pitman after he produced Fragrant (NZ) (One Cool Cat) to account for her Rating 75 sprint rivals at Riccarton yesterday.
The country's champion trainer had the five-year-old mare primed to win the Gladsome Lodge Premier and he can now also look forward with further confidence to the career of a her half-sister Ripple.
"I bought her with Jim Bruford so that looks a good investment," Pitman said.
By Ishiguru, Ripple was purchased for $11,000 at the recent Winter Mixed Bloodstock Sale from the draft consigned by the estate of the late Jim Campin, for whom Pitman had prepared the now four-year-old to win first-up at Wyndham
in April then run fifth at Riccarton in May at her only other appearance.
Fragrant has now won four races and while she coped with the holding going yesterday, she is far more effective on improved underfoot conditions.
"I've always said she's a nice mare and a far better horse on top of the ground," Pitman said.
She is part-owned by All Whites football coach Ricki Herbert, who has enjoyed a strong association with the stable and been involved with more than twenty winners. "I'll have to put the handcuffs on him and not let him go," Pitman said.
Fragrant was ridden by Chris Johnson and finished off resolutely after being forced to cover extra ground. "We were trapped a bit wider than I wanted, but she handled the ground, got to the front halfway down and held them off," he said.
Pitman posted a double for the day after Golden Globe (NZ) (Gold Mine) had claimed the Zilco Premier Rating 85 in the hands of stable apprentice Amanda Morgan, the pair flying the gates to lead and rallying in the run home to beat
She's Slinky (NZ) (Handsome Ransom).
Golden Globe is part-owned by former top jockey and trainer Jim Collett, who prepared the gelding to win three races and finish runner-up in the 2011 Listed Pegasus Stakes.
Ironically, he was beaten on that occasion by Pitman's So Elusive.

Race CJC Gladsome Lodge H. 1400m
Winner Fragrant (NZ) 2008
Owners R L Herbert, K Luke, J R & M R Pitman & Dr L
Trainer Michael Pitman (Riccarton)
Breeding by One Cool Cat (USA) out of Pastel by
Breeder Chequers NZ Ltd

9/8/2013 The Filly furthers her Group one claims

The Filly will contest the Gr.3 Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate (1200m) on August 17

A long-held plan to take on the country's best sprinters with The Filly (NZ) (Ishiguru) moved another step closer at Hastings on Wednesday for owner-trainer Murray Neal.
The Ishiguru mare progressed her record to six wins from 17 appearances when she proved too slick for her Rating 85 rivals in the Hastings-Heart of Hawke's Bay Benchmark 1400m.
"I've had a plan for the last two years with this girl and the Makfi is the go," Neal said. "She just keeps improving." The Group One feature will be run on August 31 and in between times The Filly will be sent north to Te Rapa for
another black type goal.
"I'll back her up in the (Waikato Stud) Foxbridge Plate and then back here for the Makfi a fortnight later," Neal said.
The Filly will contest the Gr.3 Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate (1200m) on August 17 A game last-start third in the Listed Opunake Cup, The Filly has also proved her versatility with success on both wet and dry going. "On top of the ground there are very few that can
stick with her," Neal said.
The Filly was taken straight to the front at Hastings by Jess Shackleton and she didn't panic when Marotiri Miss and Iamishwara challenged early in the run home.
"My instructions from Murray were to wait until we straightened up and she changed legs," the apprentice said.
When Shackleton asked The Filly for an effort she kicked strongly and had a length and a-quarter to spare on Marotiri Miss at the post.
Meanwhile, rising star Thunderbird One (NZ) (Storm Creek) made an emphatic return to racing when he was an effortless winner of the Westbury Stud open handicap.
He was caught wide early before rider Brendan Hutton took him to the front and it was game over from there with the son of Storm Creek cruising home untouched.
"I'm glad Brendan rode him like he did, as the track got drier they weren't making any ground so we had to be positive," co-trainer Andrew Forsman said.
The early spring target for Thunderbird One is likely to be the Gr.3 Merial Ancare Metric Mile at Awapuni on September 14.
– NZ Racing Desk

9/8/2013 Choice Bro takes the eye at trials

Trans-Tasman trainer John Sargent was delighted with both the appearance and performance of Choice Bro (Choisir) at Tuesday's Te Teko trials.
His Group One winner furthered his return to racing with a second placing behind stakes placegetter Zinko (NZ) (Shinko King) in an open 1040 metre catchweight heat.
"He'll go to Sydney next week and probably have another trial there and then race," Sargent said. "There's nothing planned yet, we'll just see where he's at.
"We've gelded him - he got a bit of a handful and he looks great now. He's come up extra well and is a lot more settled and we'll kick him off in his grade and see how he goes."
The winner of the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes as a two-year-old, Choice Bro hasn't raced since he finished midfield against the older horses in last season's Gr.1 Easter Handicap.
Also joining Sargent's Randwick-based operation will be the Alamosa filly Kirramosa (NZ) (Alamosa), who ran second in her three-year-old catchweight trial over 1040 metres behind Peter and Jacob McKay's Donnie Brasco (NZ) (O'Reilly).
"She'll probably start off in a three-year-old fillies' race and then move on up hopefully to black type," he said. "She's a good enough filly to take there and will get a good mile and be very competitive."
Kirramosa was a debut winner last season at Matamata and then performed creditably when fourth in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes behind the unbeaten Recite (NZ) (Darci Brahma).
The stable also produced Yin Yang Master(Fastnet Rock) and Magic Shaft (Shaft) to place in their respective open heats over 1040 metres.
"Yin Yang Master will stay here and go through his grades and Magic Shaft did his pedal bone when he last raced,"
Sargent said. "We had to take a bit off it after he trod on his shoe at Ellerslie. I'd just like to see him go through the grades as well."
Sargent said he would shortly be moving to Sydney and would continue to commute back to Matamata where new training partner Hayden Allen would be in charge. "Basically, I'll be coming back every three weeks, much like Mike (Moroney) does."
NZ Racing Desk.

Choice Bro impressed at the Te Teko trials

9/8/2013 Mentors' faith repaid with grand victory

Kayla Veenendaal repaid a significant debt of gratitude to her mentors on Wednesday with a faultless display aboard Mahanadi (NZ) (Tiger Hill) in the Hospitality New Zealand Canterbury Grand National Hurdles.
The 27-year-old combined with the Kevin Myers-prepared Peter Vela ONZM-owned and jumper for a dominant victory in the Riccarton feature with a front-running performance that left no excuses for the beaten brigade.
"I did think maybe we were cruising along a bit too fast, but he kept fighting on and did it easily," Veenendaal said.
Success in such a prestigious event has come relatively early for both Veenendaal and Mahanadi, but years of experience pinned the combination together.
Myers is an acknowledged master conditioner of both jumpers and flat performers while the Bulls-based Jo Rathbone has been an integral part of the Wanganui trainer's operation for many years. Together they have been the major
influences on Veenendaal's career.
"I've been in Bulls for the last year and Kevin and Jo have been amazing – they've done a lot to help me to improve," she said.
Before Veenendaal joined the Myers stable she had ridden just twice on raceday and under their guidance she recorded 13 winners last season. She now has a career tally of 16 with nine of them for Myers.
NZ Racing Desk.

Mahanadi bounds to victory in the Hospitality New Zealand Canterbury Grand National Hurdles

5/8/2013 Weekend winners continue the roll for Raffles Farm

New Zealand Oaks winner More Than Sacred in the distinctive Raffles Farm colours

Victories for Henwood (NZ) (Savabeel) at Moonee Valley and Sacred Flyer (NZ) (High Chaparral) at Rosehill capped a satisfying weekend for the team at Raffles Racing as they continued on their winning way after a stellar 2012/2013 season.
Raffles Farm manager Bruce Sherwin was delighted with the performance of Sacred Flyer after the talented galloper made it two wins from four starts since resuming after from an injury enforced lay-off.
"It was particularly satisfying to get that win with Sacred Flyer as he had been out for a long time due to his injury," said Sherwin. "It is a credit to both Chris Waller and Dato Yap as they followed the prescribed programme to the letter as we
fought to get him back to the races so to get this win was a great thrill.
"As long as he can stay injury free we will look at some of the rich country cups in the spring while a tilt at theMetropolitan Handicap is also a possibility as if he got in on a light weight he would be a real threat."
Last season's Doncaster Handicap winner, Sacred Falls (NZ) (O'Reilly), will continue the build-up to his spring campaign opener on the 24th of August with a trial at Rosehill this morning which also has Sherwin excited.
"Chris (Waller) has said the horse is ahead of where he should be at this stage of his preparation so we are looking for a good showing at his trial today and then on to his first start on the 24th, " said Sherwin. "He has come back in great
order so we have a lot to look forward to over the next few months with him."
Sherwin also reported last year's New Zealand Oaks winner, More Than Sacred (More Than Ready), has also returned from her winter break in fine fettle.
"More Than Sacred looks absolutely magnificent after her winter break," he enthused. "She has put on plenty of muscle through her shoulder and over her hindquarters and has really developed into her frame.
"We will give her a very slow spring preparation after she did plenty in the autumn so expect to see her around Wellington Cup time at this stage."

5/8/2013 Age is just a number for Solid Steal

The evergreen Solid Steal

The message was half joking but quite clear - "What do you mean old?" - was the reply from trainer Paul Nelson when asked about the chances of his stable favourite Solid Steal (NZ) (Corrupt) in next weekend's Grand National Steeplechase.
The 2010 Wellington Hurdle winner, who officially turned 14 last week, will attempt to capture his biggest career trophy when he competes in the 139th running of the race on the famed Riccarton circuit on Saturday.
After chasing home Riviera Star (NZ) (Riviera) in the Hawkes Bay Steeplechase on his home track, he again finished runner-up last time out when beaten in the shadows of the post by Saturday's race-rival Brushman (NZ) (Bahhare)
in the Wellington Steeplechase at Trentham.
"It's actually the first time something has headed him when he has been in front over the last fence in any of his races'" noted Nelson. "He is such a tough customer and never knows when he is beaten so it would be nice to secure a top
steeplechase with him as he deserves one.
"At his age you just take it race by race but he has shown no signs of losing his competitive edge and we are pleased with him going into the race.
"He did take awhile to recover from the Trentham race but he has bounced back now so we are hopeful of a good showing, especially if we get some rain on the day."
Richard Cully will partner the son of Corrupt after Jonathan Riddell had the mount at Trentham.
Nelson's hopes for a possible Grand National double have taken a dive with stable runner Zardetto under a cloud for the Grand National Hurdles on Wednesday.
The beautifully bred son of Redoute's Choice, who won his last start at Awapuni, may miss the race with a niggling problem that has Nelson considering withdrawing him from the contest.
"He's just not 100 percent at this stage so we aren't sure whether to run him or not," said Nelson. "We will wait until the morning of the race but at this stage he is definitely a doubtful starter."

5/8/2013 Weather will dictate plans for Egan team

The prospect of an unseasonably dry track at Stratford today has disappointed local trainer Tina Egan who was looking forward to a heavy surface for her stable runners on their home track.
Egan was hopeful that last week's predicted heavy rain would arrive in time for the meeting to enhance her team's prospects but is resigned to the fickle forecast working against her today.
"I was really keen on the rain arriving as it would definitely benefit several of mine but it looks like we will be racing on a pretty good track for this time of the year," she said. "I guess if I had wanted it dry you can guarantee it would have bucketed
"With the way the track will be Riverman Jack will start in the 2000 metre race, along with Jackabean, and they should both go a good race. The only thing that worries me is if they get a bit keen early on and want to get up and trucking as
they could undo both their chances that way but I do think there will be some speed in the race that will help them settle.
"Cassie Ann is an unlikely runner in race 3 after she ran at Waverley last week but Royal Haze could surprise in the 4th as she is very well at present and is ready to run a cheeky race."
While her team of six keeps Egan busy she will still take the time to watch the big jumping races at Riccarton during the week, a venue that brings back fond memories.
"I managed to win the 1994 Grand National Hurdles with Ragamuffin Rose, which was my first ride on the track, so it does hold special memories for me," said Egan. "I actually tried to get my team ready for the meetings down there this year
but due to one thing or another it just didn't come together however I will still keep an eye on the big jumping races as they are such fascinating and exciting events".

Miranda Dravitzki rides Riverman Jack for Tina Egan

4/8/2013 Danielle picks the right path to land Winter Cup for Karla Bruni

Danielle Johnson turns and salutes the crowd after her Winter Cup win on the game mare Karla Bruni.

A masterful ride by Danielle Johnson paved the way for the Awapuni-trained Karla Bruni (NZ) (Pins) to land the Group Three Estaronline Winter Cup at Riccarton yesterday.
The six-year-old mare looked to be labouring as heads turned for home in the1600 metre feature, but a decision to navigate a passage closer to the fence as her rivals scouted wide proved a decisive factor as Karla Bruni downed Taurus
(NZ) (No Excuse Needed) by 2¼ lengths, with Thrive (NZ) (Colombia) third, another 1¼ lengths away.
"At the 600 I thought I was flat for all money and going to run last, but to her credit she's picked herself up and won really well," said Johnson.
"She loves the wet tracks, so it panned out quite well. I hit a bit of a flat spot and the inside has turned out to be the best way home.
"Roydon's done a great job with her and with just the 53 kilos on her back today, it was a huge bonus."
Trainer Roydon Bergerson rated the victory as one of the highlights of his career, with the Awapuni conditioner sharing in the ownership along with his good mate and champion jockey Opie Bosson, who also happens to be Johnson's
"It's probably my biggest thrill in racing to own a horse like her and win a race like this," Bergerson said. "It is just amazing.
"She probably should have won the Whyte Handicap last start, so we thought we'd press on and pay the late entry fee for today's race.
"When she was ridden along at the 600 I thought oh God, she's going to run last. But she just stayed to the inside and kept fighting.
"She's got a great record at a mile – seven starts for four wins and three placings – and I think she'll still be competitive up to 2000 metres as well."

Race CJC Winter Cup Gr.3 1600m
Winner Karla Bruni (NZ) 2007
Owners C R Sheridan, R J Bergerson, O P Bosson & P G
Trainer R J Bergerson (Awapuni)
Breeding by Pins (Aus) out of Cantante by Centaine (Aus)
Breeder Miss L E Jameson

4/8/2013 Little horse with big ticker on track to repeat mum's glory

Riders Aaron Kuru and Shaun Phelan hard at work after 4250 metres over Riccarton's steeplechase course, as only half a head separates Karlos (green and gold colours) and Tobouggie Nights at the finish of the Koral Steeples

Cambridge trainer Sheryl McGlade's dream of winning the Grand National Steeplechase looks well within reach after Karlos (NZ) (Krona) staved off a determined Tobouggie Nights (Tobougg) to win the NZI Koral Steeplechase (4250m) at Riccarton yesterday.
McGlade, who trains in partnership with her husband Roger, has made no secret of her desire to win the Grand National with the ten-year-old son of Krona, a race she won with his dam Just Jojo in 1996.
"This place has always been special to me," said a delighted Sheryl McGlade post-race. "I was lucky enough to win a Grand National with Karlos' mother, one of the gamest mares of all time. There is not much of him. He only weighs
450kg but he has a big ticker inside and that's what counts."
Karlos attempted to win the Grand National Steeplechase for the McGlades two years ago after finishing second in the Koral Steeplechase on the first day, but he had to settle for third to Counter Punch in the big one.
McGlade was quick to praise jockey Aaron Kuru for his polished display when galvanising Karlos over the concluding stages to deny a brave Tobouggie Nights, who gave the winner 4½ kilos.
"Aaron is only in his first year of riding and I thought it was a very good display for a young rider," she said. "I think he did a super job."
As long as he recovers well, Karlos will take his place in the $70,000 Racecourse Hotel Grand National next Saturday as he aims to provide his Cambridge conditioners with a "special moment".
The racing future of race-favourite Rioch remains clouded, with the Kevin Myers-trained eleven-year-old retired from the race with a thousand metres to run, after coming under early pressure.
"He just didn't feel quite right," said rider Jo Rathbone. "I didn't want to take any risks so I pulled him up."

Race CJC Koral Steeplechase 4250m
Winner Karlos (NZ) 2003
Owners Mrs S A McGlade, est late N A & est late Y J Morrison
Trainer Sheryl & Roger McGlade (Cambridge)
Breeding by Krona out of Just Jojo by Starjo
Breeder Mrs S A McGlade, N A & Mrs Y J Morrison

4/8/2013 Given second chance at Ruakaka, a couple of cast-offs come good

Ex-Hong Kong apprentice Kevin Leung and Fortune Knight at Ruakaka.

Imported galloper Fortune Knight (Compton Place) provided Cambridge conditioners Tim and Margaret Carter with a pleasant surprise when taking out the feature event on yesterday's Ruakaka programme, the 1600 metre Morris &
Morris Funerals Open Handicap, in the hands of Kevin Leung.
"He was eligible to run in Rating 65 company but we threw him in the deep end and thought we'd get a good line on the horse," said Tim Carter.
"It was a terrific ride by Kevin and nice to see the horse is up to the mark."
For both horse and rider, the path to New Zealand has come by way of Hong Kong's missed opportunity.
"He was originally trained in the UK by Richard Hannon, and even contested a Group Two race as a juvenile, but he failed to show much for Michael Chang in a couple of trials in Hong Kong. The feeling was he might appreciate rain-affected
tracks, which is why he was sent to New Zealand, but that is certainly not the case.
"We'll see what the handicapper does with him and look to find some nice mile races for him in the spring."
Fortune Knight is raced by the Carters in conjunction with Tom O'Shea and his son Philip, who were also part-owners of the Carters' former stable star Vonusti, along with Colin Bloor and Lindsay Tissiman.
Carter was equally thrilled for former Hong Kong apprentice Kevin Leung, who has recently transferred from the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young yard to join his Cambridge operation.
"I'd like to see him have a decent go," said Carter. "He was regarded as a bright light in Hong Kong, one of their apprentices for the future. He's ridden for the likes of John Size and Derek Cruz; people just don't realise he's been with
these top trainers."
Leung rode fourteen winners in Hong Kong but due to a dispute with the Hong Kong Jockey Club the 24-year-old was sent to New Zealand last year and became an apprentice with Trent Busuttin.
"Since he's been in New Zealand he hasn't been getting many opportunities, so I thought I'd give him a leg up," said Carter. "That's his second win for me and it's only his second week with us."

Race Whangarei RC Morris & Morris Funerals H. 1600m
Winner Fortune Knight (GB) 2009
Owners G C Bloor, Mrs M, M M G & T J Carter, P T J & T G
O'Shea & L J Tissiman
Trainer Tim & Margaret Carter (Cambridge)
Breeding by Compton Place (GB) out of Night Kiss (Fr)
by Night Shift (USA)
Breeder Bary Bull

2/8/2013 It's a Dundeel wins jumpout

Star New Zealand galloper It's A Dundeel (High Chaparral) celebrated the horses birthday on Thursday with an easy jumpout win at his home track in Cambridge.
The now four-year-old is the favourite for Australasia's premier weight-for-age race the Gr.1 Cox Plate, this spring.
"It was a four-horse jumpout and he won it by half-a-length," said Murray Baker who trains the entire in partnership with Andrew Forsman.
"He'll probably have another jumpout at Flemington when he gets to Australia.
Baker is yet to decide on a starting race for It's A Dundeel commenting that it will be dependent on how he travels and settles back into Australia

2/8/2013 Manning to launch three-pronged attack on cup

Innovation (NZ) (Keeper) heads a Ralph Manning-trained trio in the Winter Cup

Cambridge trainer Ralph Manning is poised to kick off the new season in style with three of the leading contenders in the Gr.3 Estaronline 116th Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton tomorrow.
Manning's stable has been in stellar form of late and the Waikato visitor lines-up favourite Innovation (NZ) (Keeper) alongside stablemates Wanabefamous (NZ) (Star Way) and Old Drumble (NZ) (Kashani) in the $100,000 feature.
"I'm never confident," said Manning. "I have been training horses for too long, but I am ever hopeful."
Five-year-old mare Innovation is looking to go one better after finishing runner-up last year behind the Wayne and Vanessa Hillis-trained, Art Beat (NZ) (Captain Rio), who again features amongst her rivals on Saturday.
Innovation has been a model of consistency this season, winning the Listed AG Challenge Stakes at Wanganui prior to finishing eighth in the Listed Team Wealleans Tauranga Classic at her most recent outing, following a contentious
"There was nothing really wrong with her run at Tauranga.
It was just one of those things. Leith (Innes) only had one ride for the day and he probably could have done with another start on the track. He hugged the rail, which turned out to be the wrong option on the day," Manning said.
"She's pretty honest, and goes on all types of going. The better the track, the better she'll go, as she has a great turn of foot."
Innes retains the ride on Saturday.
Although Wanabefamous and Old Drumble's disappointing last start efforts in the $25,000 Oamaru Cup on July 21 left him dumbfounded, Manning is hoping the duo will bounce back to form.
"They were in-form when they came down here, and although people have said the track conditions didn't suit, they have both won on various types of going. We had the vet cast his eye over the pair of them, but we couldn't find any
abnormalities. They seem well enough."
Prior to Oamaru, Wanabefamous won at Waverley on July 4, taking his career tally to five wins from 15 starts.
"He's been improving with every run, until Oamaru, but we just don't know if he's back to his best yet."
Old Drumble finished third to Little Alfie Brown (NZ) (D'Cash) and Atom Cat (NZ) (Traditionally) in the Te Awamutu Cup on July 6 before heading south.
Riccarton has been a happy hunting ground for Manning, since he picked up his first New Zealand Cup victory when he was just 22 years old. The Cambridge horseman has brought a team of eight down for Grand National week.
NZ Racing Desk.

2/8/2013 Makfi on card for Nashville

Nashville (NZ) (Darci Brahma) will make his season debut in the Makfi Challenge Stakes

Hunterville's star galloper Nashville (NZ) (Darci Brahma) will make his season debut in the Gr.1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings at the end of the month.
His trainer Adrian Bull reports that the Group One winning son of Darci Brahma has come back this season a lot stronger and looked really good after his three month break on the Hunterville hills.
"He came back into work at the beginning of June and he has had a couple of months of slow work and we have run him along at three-quarter pace a couple of times. We haven't galloped him yet and will take him up to Dummy's (Myers)
track to do that very shortly," said Bull who races the horse with his wife Robyn.
Nashville, named after Adrian Bull's grandson Nash, does most of his work at the family's Hunterville farm which has been home to six generations of horse trainers. Adrian's grandfather James was a successful owner trainer and Aunty
Margaret trained as well, as a public trainer and for his father former racing administrator James. Adrian's son Harry works the horses on the property and looks after Nashville.
Although there is a track on the farm Nashville treks north to Myer's track where Lisa Whelan rides him in his fast work.
The association with the (Kevin Myers) family doesn't stop there as Kelly Myers was onboard when he scored his Group One and Two victories.
"At this stage he is going to the Makfi on the first day and all going well will probably head into the Windsor Park Plate.
He is nominated for the Spring Classic as well but we don't know if we will take that on. We will see how he gets through the first two at Hawke's Bay before we make any decisions.
Australia could be on the cards after that."
Nashville has only been to the races 14 times and has won on six occasions, his best win coming in the weight-for-age Gr.1 Haunui Farm Classic (1600m) at Otaki in February. He also won the Gr.2 Coupland Bakeries Mile last season.
No less than 10 Group One winners have been nominated for the Makfi Challenge Stakes, including previous winners of the race Fritzy Boy and Mufhasa and previous Group One winners Silent Achiever, Final Touch, Sangster, Nashville,
Xanadu, Fleur De Lune, Historian, and Rollout The Carpet.
NZ Racing Desk

2/8/2013 Xanadu to resume in Foxbridge

Xanadu (NZ) (Elusive City) will resume in the Foxbridge Plate

Group One winning mare Xanadu (NZ) (Elusive City) will resume in the Listed Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa in three weeks time, with her ultimate aim this spring being the Gr.1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington in November.
The Elusive City mare went out for a five-week break after finishing fifth in the Emancipation Stakes at Randwick in April, and according to her Matamata trainer Ken Kelso the mare is making great progress.
"I am pleased with the way she has come up and we will follow the same path that we did last year, before ending up in Melbourne. She will go straight into the Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa without a trial but she will have an exhibition gallop
at Te Aroha on the 9th.
"She is nominated for the Makfi Stakes and Windsor Park Plate at Hawke's Bay and following those two races all going to plan it's onwards to Australia. There is a nice fillies and mares race over 1400 metres at Caulfield that will lead nicely
into the Myer."
Kelso is also very pleased with the way Bounding (Lonhro) is coming to hand.
The smart Lonhro filly who was Group One placed in the Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes has been in work about the same time as her stablemate Xanadu and she may also join her at her proposed gallop between races.
"She has grown a bit, and I am happy with her at this stage as well. She will go to Taupo for the three-year-old fillies race there early next month, and after that head to the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes at Hastings, followed by a crack at the
James and Annie Sarten Memorial.
"Basically she will follow the same campaign as Fix did last year and hopefully we can win another NZ Bloodstock Filly of the Year title," he said.
On the subject of Fix (NZ) (Iffraaj) who is the current NZ Bloodstock Filly of the Year, she has had a minor set-back and is currently not in work. All going to plan she will come back into work in a month or two and be ready to race again
around January.
Kelso reports that other stable members Quest (NZ) (Volksraad) and Wisecrack (NZ) (High Chaparral) are making good progress along with stable newcomer Pussy O'Reilly (NZ) (O'Reilly).
NZ Racing Desk

2/8/2013 Rathbone hoping for Riccarton Joy

Sea King (NZ) (Shinko King) is one of two leading chances for Jo Rathbone at Riccarton tomorrow

Riccarton hasn't been the happiest hunting ground for top jumps rider Jo Rathbone in recent years, but she's hoping that is about to change.
The Bulls visitor will again team up with in-form trainer Kevin Myers on Saturday, with premier jumping action kicking off the first day of the iconic Grand National Carnival in Christchurch.
Rathbone rides current $3 favourite Sea King (NZ) (Shinko King) in the Sydenham Hurdles(3200m), before joining up with current $2 favourite Rioch (NZ) (Rainbow Myth) in the NZI Koral Steeplechase (4250m), both key lead-up races to
the HANZ Grand National Hurdles (4200m) on Wednesday and Racecourse Hotel & Motor Lodge 139th Grand National Steeplechase (5200m) next Saturday.
Although she has won the Sydenham Hurdles before, Grand National honours have continued to elude her.
"I probably haven't had the best of luck at Riccarton, but these two rides are definitely right up there with some of the best horses I have partnered," said Rathbone.
Sea King has been in top form this season taking out both the Waikato Hurdles and Hawke's Bay Hurdles, before finishing seventh on the flat over 2100m in a Rating 75 at his last start.
"Sea King definitely has the ability but he is a bit of a different horse. He can make it very difficult at times, and you never know which Sea King is going to turn up on the day."
He was third in the Sydenham last year, before going on to finish fifth in the Grand National Hurdles behind the Mark Oulaghan-trained Wotabuzz (NZ) (His Royal Highness), who he'll meet again on Saturday.
For Rioch, winner of the Waikato Steeplechase in May, it is the first visit back to Riccarton since his spectacular fall in the 2009 Grand National Hurdles. The injuries he sustained that year, coupled with tendon issues kept him sidelined for the
best part of 3 years.
"I am sure he won't be thinking about it, and neither will I," says Rathbone.
Rathbone is looking forward to a bumper week, with a 20-strong Myers team racing both over fences and on the flat.
NZ Racing Desk

29/7/2013 Final Touch pleases with easy trial win

Final Touch

An easy win at the recent Rangiora trials indicated Thoroughbred Horse of the Year contender Final Touch (NZ) (Kashani) is ready for the start of her spring campaign.
Co-trainer Karen Parsons was pleased with the effort of her multiple Gr. 1 winning mare who is likely to line-up in the Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa on the 17th of August for her first race in this preparation.
"She went a nice trial and has pulled up well afterwards so I'm pleased with where she is at as we get her ready for the Hawkes Bay triple crown races," said Parsons. "At this time of the year it's all about striking the right track conditions but
fingers crossed we haven't had it too bad at this stage so she is where we want her to be.
"I think we'll take her to Te Rapa for the Foxbridge Plate but that will depend on the surface she will get as I don't want to give her a gut buster on a deep track in her first run back."
Parsons also had several of her and husband John's other team members on show at Rangiora with the Gr. 1 placed mare Asavant (NZ) (Zabeel) also winning her heat in good fashion.
"We don't have any specific plans for Asavant at this stage although there is a suitable race for her on the last day of Riccarton's Grand National carnival so she may have a run there if the track is ok," noted Parsons. "She is another who
needs a good track to show her best so we won't be rushing her until the better weather arrives."
Parsons noted that the majority of their team favoured the better tracks, a fact she puts down to the mainly beach trained regime of the stable.
"We just don't seem to have any real mudders these days due to the fact we are training most of them on the beach,"
she said. "Once they have spent time on the beach they don't seem to like the bad tracks so we don't really have many for winter racing which means we need the tracks to dry out before we get back into the full swing of things for the new

29/7/2013 James pair on track for up-coming assignments

Nominations for the three Group One events at the up-coming Hawkes Bay Spring Carnival were announced last week with the Roger James trained Silent Achiever (NZ) (O'Reilly) topping an impressive list of local talent.
However it is Full Of Spirit (Flying Spur), another promising mare in the James camp, that is likely to contest each of the Hastings triple crown legs as her higher ranked stablemate is set for a Melbourne spring carnival campaign that will focus
on the major cup races.
"We've nominated Silent Achiever mainly as a back-up in case her Melbourne campaign has to be called off for some reason," explained James. "At this stage she won't be seen in New Zealand this spring as we will kick her campaign off in
Melbourne in about five weeks time.
"She will travel straight to Melbourne once we have her programme mapped out but I'm leaning toward starting her at Caulfield in the last week of August or at Flemington the following week.
"We do have high hopes for Full Of Spirit though as she was competitive in Melbourne last spring and we have decided to concentrate her on Hastings this year as opposed to heading back across the Tasman."
James is also hopeful that Full Of Spirit can avoid some of the bad luck she experienced in her last preparation.
"She just didn't get any luck in a number of her races so I hope she can get some better fortune this time in," said James. "She has been back in work for a couple of months now and has progressed nicely to date so I'm happy with her.
"She will go into the Makfi Challenge Stakes fresh although I will probably give her an exhibition gallop somewhere before then."
James is also pleased with the crop of young horses he has in the stable as he prepares for the new season.
"I've got some really nice rising two and three-year-olds so it makes it a whole lot easier to get up on those cold winter mornings when you see the talent that is waiting for you" he said.

Silent Achiever winning at Moonee Valley last year

29/7/2013 Triple thrill for Chill Bill

Chill Bill and rider Matthew Cameron

An easy win in testing conditions at Awapuni on Saturday completed a winter hat-trick for the Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman trained galloper Chill Bill (NZ) (One Cool Cat) and paved the way for a winning treble on the day for his Cambridge mentors.
The win also provided his jockey Matthew Cameron with the second victory in a winning treble as he attempted to claw back some ground from rival Opie Bosson who led the national jockey's premiership race by two at the start of the day.
With five wins from seventeen starts, all coming on heavy tracks, Chill Bill is starting to string together a form-line that has Baker considering an attempt at higher honours for the son of One Cool Cat.
"I hadn't really considered what to aim him for at the start of this preparation as he was still quite weak but he has strengthened up nicely and you can see what that has done for him in his recent runs," said Baker. "He relished the ground on Saturday and it was a nice win for him.
"I thought we would just take him through the grades but we may have to lift our sights now although, as he really wants the deep tracks, there may not be that much around for him."
The Baker/Forsman and Cameron team combined three races later to take out the Ryder Stakes with Orbity (NZ) (Magic Albert) while there was also a win for Sharakti (NZ) (Rakti) in the enquiry room at Te Rapa to seal the day's winning efforts.
The three victories took the partnership's season tally to sixty eight on the national trainer's premiership and a strong third place behind title combatants Michael Pitman and Lisa Latta.
"We've had a great year although I tend to measure it by the stakes won as opposed to the number of victories," said Baker. "We have won some nice races and all in all we are delighted with how it has gone."
Baker also reported his stable star It's A Dundeel (NZ) (High Chaparral) was in fine fettle for his Melbourne spring campaign and that the nuggety colt had furnished further during his recent spell.
"We measured him the other day and he is 15.3 hands now so he has definitely grown a little during the break," he said. "James (MacDonald) even commented he thought he had grown when he saw him.
"I think because of his low galloping action people think he is smaller than he really is although he has a massive stride so he is quite deceptive in that regard."

29/7/2013 Fresh is best for One Above