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Hawkes Bay Racing Column 27 Mar 2020

Bargain buy brings pair a kiss of fortune

(By John Jenkins)

   Thousandkissesdeep repaid the faith trainer Lee Somervell and owner Gary Hyde have had in her when she broke through for a dominant maiden win at Tauherenikau last Sunday.

   The three-year-old Sepoy filly scored a 1-1/2 length victory over 1000m and was at the surprisingly good odds of 28 to one.

   Thousandkissesdeep was having her ninth start but only her second since joining Somervell’s Hastings stable at the beginning of this year. She was originally prepared by Pukekohe trainer Nigel Tiley, who went to $55,000 to buy the filly at the 2018 Karaka yearling sales, on behalf of a syndicate.

   “It was a high-profile syndicate that bought her and their big ambition was to get her into the Magic Million Two-year-old race at Ellerslie,” Somervell recalled this week.

   “But, after she didn’t qualify for that race, and was still a maiden after another 12 months, the majority of the syndicate wanted to pull out and so the filly was offered for sale on Gavelhouse.”

   Wellington taxi-driver Gary Hyde, a close friend of Somervell, managed to buy the filly for only $900 and arranged to have her sent to his Hastings stable.

   “When she arrived she was really poor in condition but after I gave her a worm drench and had her teeth done she started to quickly pick up and I’ve had her for three months now and she has absolutely thrived,” Somervell added.

   Thousandkissesdeep only managed to beat one home in her first run for Somervell, in a 1200m maiden at Awapuni on February 28, but nothing went right for her that day. She was severely hampered soon after the start which put her back to a clear last and never had time to recover.

   The filly suggested she was ready to turn that form around when recording one of the fastest gallops in training at the Hastings track on Tuesday of last week and Somervell decided to also add blinkers to her gear for last Sunday’s Tauherenikau race.

   He engaged senior jockey Leah Hemi for the ride who managed to get the horse away well from the barrier and had her up outside the leader, Runthiefrun, until the home turn. She went to the front early in the home straight and raced clear in the final stages.

   It was Hyde’s first win as an owner and Somervell said his good mate was rapt with the result, especially as he had a sizeable bet at the odds of $28.80 for a win and $3.80 for a place.

   “She is a filly with a very good pedigree and so we knew she had something there and, after her great track gallop last week, I was confident she would go a good race,” Somervell said.

   Thousandkissesdeep is an Australian-bred, by Sepoy out of the More Than Ready mare Cast Your Vote and was bred by prominent Australasian thoroughbred owner-breeder Gerry Harvey. She gets her name from a song produced by the late Leonard Cohen.

   Last Sunday’s win came as a welcome change of luck for Somervell. It was his fourth win for the season but his first for several weeks and he is now down to only eight horses in work after the owners of two of his better performed ones, Stradivarius and Yossarian, decided to lease them out and they have gone to other trainers.

 Hastings trainer Lee Somervell looks happy with himself as he leads Thousandkissesdeep away following the filly’s dominant maiden win at Tauherenikau last Sunday


Brothers are on a winning roll

   After a long absence of success as racehorse owners, Waipukurau brothers Bill and Murray Rose have now celebrated three wins in three weeks.

   When Happy Tav took out a Rating 65 race over 1400m at Tauherenikau last Sunday it was her second win in a row, following a similar performance at Awapuni on February 28.

   And between those two wins, the familiar Rose family colours were also carried to victory by Sola Power in a 1400m maiden race at Woodville on March 15.

   The Rose brothers have bred and raced thoroughbreds for over 30 years and have had some very good performers in that time, including Black Ace, Rough Planet and Kiora Star.

   Black Ace won 18 races, 12 of them on the flat, three over hurdles and three over steeples. Rough Planet won 12 times and was also a very versatile performer, with four of his wins being over steeples and three in hurdle events. Kiora Star won eight races on the flat and, in his last start, he finished second behind Vegas in the 1998 Group 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham.

   Happy Tav and Sola Power are both out of A’Guin Ace, an O’Reilly mare that the Rose brothers are still breeding from.

   “We’ve got a two-year-old filly by Burgundy out of the mare which is also due to start racing soon and we’ve got a weanling colt by Telperion,” Bill Rose said this week.

   “The mare didn’t get in foal last year, so she is empty at the moment.”

   The Rose brothers have built up a close association with Palmerston North trainer Kevin Gray, who prepares both Happy Tav and Sola Power and looks after their other horses on his property.

   Apprentice jockey Temyia Taiaroa, a recent addition to the Gray stable, had the mount on Happy Tav at Tauherenikau last Sunday and her 3kg allowance proved a telling factor in the finish.

   The key to Happy Tav’s recent success is that she has been ridden on the speed and Taiaroa bounced the Tavistock mare out quickly from the barrier before settling her third, behind the two leaders.

   She improved the mare up to second just before the home turn and then challenged the leader Platinum Wild Card early in the home straight. They were joined by Princess Ani and the three horses fought it out to the line, with Happy Tav putting in a lunge right on the line to win by a nose from Platinum Wild Card, with Princess Ani only a long head back in third.

Happy Tav (centre) gets in the deciding stride right on the line to beat Platinum Wild Card (inside) by a nose, with Princess Ani only a long head away in third in the Rating 65 race over 1400m at Tauherenikau last Sunday.


Aussie guineas win for HB-bred

   Chuck A Luck, bred and part-owned by a Waipukurau syndicate, recorded a notable victory in last Saturday’s $A135,000 Mornington Guineas in Australia.

   The Niagara three-year-old, prepared by the former New Zealand-based partnership of Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, managed to get in the deciding stride over Power Scheme in a close two-horse finish to the 1600m feature.

   It was the gelding’s second Australian start and followed a good third over 1400m at Sandown on February 19.

   Before heading across the Tasman, Chuck A Luck had eight New Zealand starts from the Riccarton stable of Michael and Matthew Pitman for a win, two seconds and a third. He took out a 1400m maiden at Riccarton in October last year and followed that up with a second behind subsequent New Zealand Derby winner Sherwood Forest in the Group 3 $80,000 War Decree Stakes (1600m) on the same track.

   He then contested the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November where he only finished sixth but had his chances extinguished when he suffered a severe check soon after the start.

   Chuck A Luck is now raced by a large group of people including the Waipukurau-based Chuck A Luck Syndicate, whose members are Ali Baldwin, Paul Beachen, Phil King, David Giblin, Bruce Hooper-Smith and Chris and Rae Walker.

   Most of the Chuck A Luck syndicate also share in the ownership of Thunder Bay, a four-year-old full-sister to Chuck A Luck who has recorded two wins and three seconds from 15 New Zealand starts.

  That mare is now in the care of Matamata trainers Katrina and Simon Alexander but is presently spelling after undergoing a knee operation. It is hoped that she will be campaigned again in the spring.

   Chuck A Luck and Thunder Bay are both out of the Catbird mare Boomchuckalucka, who only raced eight times for a win, a second and two thirds.


Stables allowed to stay open

   In light of the government’s announcement to move the country into COVID-19 alert level 4 from midnight on Wednesday only “essential services” are permitted to operate.

   Advice from the Ministry for Primary Industries confirms that training centres, training stables, agistment properties and stud farms where horses are in containment are businesses that may register as an essential service under animal welfare considerations.

   Businesses with more than five people (including the owner) working at each business site, or who cannot achieve social distancing between staff, are required to register. 

   The businesses will need to answer 11 questions to provide assurance they have a plan and process to manage infection risks.  Much of this will be covered in the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing protocols. 

   In addition to this NZTR, the NZ Trainers’ Association and the NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association will be providing a template to assist with completing the paperwork. 

   MPI has requested that all businesses which need to register do so by 5pm today, Friday March 27.  Businesses will be able to continue operating while going through the registration process.


Sydney campaigns scrapped

   The New Zealand government’s recent announcements regarding further travel restrictions and New Zealand border closures due to COVID-19 has resulted in the suspension of all international equine flights until further notice.

   The decision made by airlines to cease the uplift of cabin occupants means that professional grooms are no longer able to safely accompany the shipment of horses travelling overseas. 

   Among those hoping to travel across the Tasman to contest feature races in Sydney were quality fillies Jennifer Eccles and Two Illicit in addition to the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained True Enough, a weight-for-age Group 1 winner over 2000m. 

   The restrictions are currently in place for the four-week period that mirrors New Zealand’s lockdown. 


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Covid-19 Industry Update 24 Mar 2020

cing industry media release

23 March 2020
The announcement that New Zealand would move to level 4 of the COVID-19 alert system in 48 hours means that all racing will cease for the next four weeks from Tuesday 24 March.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, Harness Racing New Zealand, Greyhound Racing New Zealand and the TAB, have met to discuss what steps the industry needs to take to protect the livelihoods of its participants.
While the country will effectively be in lockdown, the welfare of our animals remains as an essential service during this time. 
Horses and dogs will still need to be fed, exercised and cared for during this time.  People caring for our animals will need to look at stringent procedures around staffing levels and any contact between staff members.  The codes will be addressing this in more detail tomorrow.  
We recognise that these are challenging times for everyone within our industry and we will be working closely with those impacted to help them through the coming weeks.
As has been announced the government is providing financial assistance for those impacted and the codes will provide guidance for those wanting help as to how they go about seeking that assistance.
While the country is presently at level 3 alert moving to level 4 on Wednesday will involve the following:
  • People instructed to stay at home
  • Educational facilities closed
  • Businesses closed except for essential services (e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics) and lifeline utilities.
  • Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities
  • Travel severely limited
  • Major reprioritisation of healthcare services.
The codes will issue regular updates to their participants as this situation evolves.


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Hawkes Bay Racing Column 20 Mar 2020

Group 1 event now for Wicket Maiden

(By John Jenkins)

   Hastings-trained Wicket Maiden earned a start in the Group 1 $225,000 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes at Awapuni tomorrow week with a decisive win in a $30,000 two-year-old race at Trentham last Saturday.

   The Power filly, prepared by John Bary, scored by 1-1/2 lengths over 1200m and will now take on the cream of New Zealand’s youngsters over 1400m.

   Bary has already achieved success in the Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes, which is one of only two Group 1 races for two-year-olds in the country. He saddled up the ill-fated Recite to take out the feature in 2013.

   Wicket Maiden chalked up her second win from only three starts last Saturday and both have been on the Trentham track. She won her debut over 1000m there in January before finishing sixth in the Group 2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) last month.

   Nothing went right for the filly at Matamata. She missed the start slightly and then got caught three-wide and wasn’t that happy in the slow track conditions.

   Everything worked out perfectly for her at Trentham last Saturday, although she did tend to want to over-race in the early stages. Jockey Johnathan Parkes managed to get her in a trailing position from the number one barrier and got a charmed rails run when Boomer Hill, on her outside, made the junction awkwardly and carried most of the field out wide.

   Wicket Maiden accelerated through on the inside to put a break on the field and maintained a strong gallop to the line to easily beat Amosia and Sacred Command.

   Bary said he initially thought about sending Wicket Maiden straight into the Manawatu Sires’ Produce after her Matamata run but said she did so well after that run that he needed to give her another race.

   “John said, if she finished in the first three at Trentham, she would go on to the Sires’ Produce and to win like she did she would have to have a crack at it now,” Bary’s racing manager Mike Sanders said this week.

   Bary’s problem now is to find a suitable rider for the filly. She will carry just 54.5kg at Awapuni, a weight that is normally too light for the very tall Johnathan Parkes.

   “I have given him (Parkes) the first option but if he can’t make the weight I’ll have to find someone else,” Bary said this week.

   Wicket Maiden is bred to be good, being out of the Fast ‘N’ Famous mare Scarlet O’Hara, who was the winner of six races and is a daughter of the three-race winning mare Southern Belle.

   Wicket Maiden was bred by Havelock North property developer Jonathan Wallace, who races the filly in partnership with Palmerston North’s Gerard Gillespie.

   The two certainly had a weekend to remember as they also won a race at Woodville the following day with a three-year-old older half-brother to Wicket Maiden called Second Slip.

   The Alamosa gelding scored a short head victory in a Rating 65 race over 1200m, his second win from 12 starts.

   Second Slip is trained at Palmerston North by Kevin Gray and, coincidentally, was also ridden to victory by Johnathan Parkes.

   Trainer John Bary had a mixed day at Trentham last Saturday. He picked up a win with Wicket Maiden but had no luck with the other three horses he took there in Heart Of Stone, Callsign Mav and On Show.

   Heart Of Stone was a late scratching from the Listed Lightning Stakes (1200m) after becoming caught up in the barrier before the start. The four-year-old mare suffered swelling in the stifle area and lacerations to her hindquarters and has now been turned out for a spell.

   Callsign Mav has also been turned out for a winter spell after finishing fifth in the Group 2 Wellington Guineas (1400m). He trailed the leader until the home turn but then received a lot of buffeting from other horses in the home straight.

   On Show finished fifth in a Rating 65 race over 1400m, with Bary saying she raced a bit handier than was intended and probably found 1400m on the big Trentham track a bit too testing.

   He said she will be brought back to 1200m for her next start, which is likely to be in a three-year-old race at Awapuni tomorrow week.

Hastings trainer John Bary gives Wicket Maiden an affectionate pat on the head following her decisive win in a two-year-old race over 1200m at Trentham last Saturday. The Power filly will now contest the Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes at Awapuni tomorrow week.


Bassett chalks up her fifth win

   Hastings apprentice Jordan Bassett brought up the fifth win of her career when steering Magic Incanto to an easy win in a Rating 72 race over 1400m at Woodville last Sunday.

   Bassett, 29, was chalking up first win for the season but has not had many opportunities with it being only her 24th race-ride since August and only her 91st since she started out five years ago.

   A regular at Hastings trackwork sessions, Bassett spent a good part of last year sidelined with a foot injury that required an operation.

   Originally attached to the stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, she is now apprenticed to her partner Richard McKenzie.

   Magic Incanto is trained on the Hastings track by Fred Pratt and was recording her third win from 21 starts for her owners, a group of butchers’ wives from the central districts area.

   The Per Incanto mare missed the start by a couple of lengths at Woodville and was last on settling down. However, she quickly raced around the field to take a clear lead starting the last 1000m.

   Bassett then managed to give the mare a breather before kicking her clear again rounding the home turn.

   Magic Incanto quickly established a winning break, with Bassett taking a quick look behind early in the home straight to see how far behind the opposition was.

   At the line they were 3 lengths clear of second placed Master Pet, with La Bella Rosa a long neck back in third.

Jordan Bassett has a beaming smile as she brings Magic Incanto back to the winner’s stall following the mare’s easy victory at Woodville last Sunday. It was Bassett’s fifth riding success.


Another success for brothers

  Waipukurau brothers Bill and Murray Rose picked up their second win in the space of a fortnight when Sola Power led all the way to score in a maiden 1400m race at Woodville last Sunday.

   The pair broke a long drought from the winner’s circle when Happy Tav took out a Rating 65 race over 1400m at Awapuni on February 28 and Sola Power is that horse’s year younger half-brother. Both horses are prepared by Palmerston North trainer Kevin Gray.

   Sola Power only had three rivals at Woodville last Sunday and rider Lisa Allpress bounced the three-year-old Power gelding straight to the front.

   Allpress then dictated a leisurely pace before quickening coming to the home turn and Sola Power clearly had his rivals under pressure when he straightened up for the run to the line. He kept up a strong gallop to score by 3-1/4 lengths.

   Bill and Murray Rose bred both Sola Power and Happy Tav out of the O’Reilly mare A’Guin Ace.

Sola Power and jockey Lisa Allpress cross the finish line well clear of the opposition at the end of a maiden 1400m race at Woodville last Sunday. The Power gelding is owned by his Waipukurau breeders Bill and Murray Rose.


Jennifer Eccles was amazing

   Jennifer Eccles achieved Group 1 status and cemented her position as the New Zealand Bloodstock Three-year-old Filly of the Year with another amazing winning performance in last Saturday’s $400,000 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham.

   Aided by a masterful ride from Jason Waddell, the daughter of Rip Van Winkle cruised to a 1-1/2 length victory in the 2400m feature to bring up her fourth success from 12 starts and take her stake earnings to just short of $500,000.

   It is a huge return from a filly that cost bloodstock agent Adrian Clark only $5000 as a weanling at a 2017 Karaka mixed bloodstock sale.

   Clark then set up the Challenge No. 10 Syndicate that now owns the filly with four of the members being Napier couple Brian and Lorraine Henneker and Taupo-based Allan and Judy Payne. 

   Jennifer Eccles drew the extreme outside in the 18-horse field last Saturday, but Waddell was able to get her across to be one off the fence with a round to go and then onto the rails soon after.

   From there he was able to give the filly an economical run and, but for a scare just before the home turn, they always had the race in control.

   Waddell later blamed himself for a mistake, that could have had disastrous consequences, when he tried to get off the fence coming to the home turn. Jennifer Eccles clipped a heel of a horse in front and dipped badly, with Waddell fortunate to stay in the saddle.

   After such a blunder a horse usually loses valuable momentum and takes several strides to get back into full stride. But Waddell said Jennifer Eccles hardly faltered at all, coming back up under him in a matter of seconds before angling into the clear and accelerating away from the opposition with an incredible turn of foot.

   Waddell even afforded himself time to ease the filly down close to the line such was the dominance of her win.

   Jennifer Eccles was a runaway winner of the NZ Bloodstock Filly of the Year series, racking up a total of 44.5 points. She finished 22 points ahead of second placed Loire.


Glory Days retired to stud

   The racing career of Group One winner Glory Days has come to an end.

   The daughter of Red Giant won 10 of her 32 starts and gave trainer Bill Thurlow some of his biggest moments in racing.

   Glory Days had a standout 2018-19 season, recording seven wins, including the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) and placing in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m). 

   “She has been brilliant,” Thurlow said. “She has done everything we have asked of her. She is just feeling the effects of it I think and it’s just time to let her be a broodmare.”

   “Last season was a big highlight. Everything she did was brilliant. Winning the Avondale Cup and Auckland Cup, and even the Waverley and Wanganui Cups, it was great.

   “It was very satisfying to get my first Group 1 with her in the Auckland Cup and she was super in the Sydney Cup. She went a huge race from well back in the field.”

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