HB Racing Column 23 Jun 2017
Successful day for HB connections at Trentham
(By John Jenkins
Kings Deep, ridden by Aaron Kuru, leads Colonia (Shaun Fannin) over one of the jumps on his way to a dominant win in last Saturday’s maiden steeplechase at Trentham. The two Hastings-born jockeys both recorded wins at the meeting and Fannin added another one at Timaru on Sunday.
It was a great day for Hawke’s Bay at last Saturday’s Manawatu Racing Club’s meeting at Trentham.
Sea King, bred and part-owned by Pourerere’s Sue Harty, took out the $50,000 Awapuni Hurdles with Hastings-born jockey Shaun Fannin in the saddle while King’s Deep, prepared by Hastings trainer Paul Nelson and part-owned by him and his wife Carol, was a dominant winner of the $10,000 maiden steeplechase in the hands of another Hastings-born jockey, Aaron Kuru.
There were no more deserving winners at Trentham last Saturday than Sea King and Kings Deep as both horses have suffered adversity in the past.
Sea King was crowned equal top New Zealand jumper for the last racing season and is now the winner of 18 races and more than $700,000 in stakemoney. But a freak accident during the running of Melbourne’s Crisp Steeplechase in August last year almost ended his life.
A horse racing in front of Sea King clipped a section of the running rail causing it to spring out and the sharp edge drove straight into the Kiwi jumper’s chest.
The impact dislodged Sea King’s rider Steven Pateman and resulted in the horse suffering a nasty gash, about the size of an average human fist.
Despite the serious wound, the tough competitor carried on riderless and nearly completed the 3900m journey before being caught.
Fortunately Sea King’s injury missed any vital organs but required several stitches and necessitated him being sidelined for the rest of the year.
It was touch and go whether Sea King would race again but, after spending six weeks of pre-training in the care of his Otaki part-owner Rachael Frost earlier this year, the horse was given a steady build up by Wanganui trainer Kevin Myers that saw him peak at exactly the right time last Saturday.
Myers gave the 10-year-old Shinko King gelding three races on the flat before he resumed racing over hurdles at Hastings on May 11. He beat only one home that day and was pulled up during the running of the Waikato Hurdles at his next appearance. However he showed a marked improvement when third over hurdles at Trentham two weeks ago which set him up for a return to his best last Saturday.
Jockey Shaun Fannin had Sea King trailing the pacemaker Shamal from the outset of the 3000m event and they were left in front when that horse clipped the top of the fourth last fence and dislodged rider Charlie Price.
Fannin then only had to make sure Sea King negotiated the last three fences safely before kicking him clear in the run to the line to score by 3 lengths.
Fannin heaped praise on Myers following the victory, saying the master jumps trainer and his staff had spent tireless hours getting the horse back to full fitness.
Sea King started his career from Frost’s Otaki stable but she says he proved almost unmanageable in her care which is why he was transferred to Myers. Frost still shares in the ownership of the Shinko King 10-year-old, along with the horse’s Central Hawke’s Bay’s breeder Sue Harty and Auckland’s Chris O’Reilly. He now has a record of 18 wins, nine seconds and nine thirds from 64 starts.
Ocean Princess, the dam of Sea King, is now deceased but she left two other winners after Sea King in King Tap and Pacific Tap.
Hawke’s Bay owned horses took out the quinella in last Saturday’s Awapuni Hurdles with Upper Cut, part-owned by Waipukurau’s Michael Ormsby and trained at Awapuni by Mark Oulaghan, finished a clear second.
Kings Deep back on top
Down one week but up the next. That was how the connections of Hawke’s Bay-trained Kings Deep felt after the horse scored a popular win in the maiden steeplechase at Trentham last Saturday.
The 10-year-old gelding gave an almost faultless display of jumping in the 4000m event, getting in a bit too close to one fence, but recovering quickly before going on to win by 5-1/2 lengths.
For his connections it was in stark contrast to a week before at Trentham when the horse was taken out of contention during the running of the $20,000 Restricted Open steeplechase. The big Viking Ruler gelding was leading in that race when a riderless horse tried to run him off at one of the fences on the figure eight course and then side-swiped him as he approached the next obstacle, punching his rider Shaun Phelan out of the saddle.
Kings Deep is trained at Hastings by Paul Nelson who races the horse in partnership with his wife Carol and Christchurch-based Tom Behrns, a former trotting trainer-driver.
Last Saturday’s win was Kings Deeps fifth and his first since he took out a 3350m hurdle race at Ellerslie in August, 2013. The horse has been plagued by soundness issues throughout his career and spent almost two years on the sideline after suffering a severe tendon injury.
Nelson has done a marvellous job getting the horse back to race fitness, with his last Saturday’s race being only his third start back after that long break.
Jockey Aaron Kuru let Kings Deep bowl along in front last Saturday and the horse produced spectacular leaps at most of the fences.
“He was a bit keen because he’d missed that race last week and he was jumping through my hands but he was still too good,” Kuru said.
Nelson has no firm plans for Kings Deep, saying the horse is very much a day by day proposition given the horse’s past problems.
First jumping win
Zentangle, part-owned by Hawke’s Bay’s Jason Donnelly, broke through for his first jumping win when taking out the $20,000 Restricted Open Hurdle race at last Friday’s Timaru meeting.
The Chinese Dragon five-year-old was backing up from a victory in an open 2200m flat race and Oamaru five days before and has now won eight races from only 30 starts for his Wanganui trainer Kevin Myers.
Myers races the gelding in partnership with Jason Donnelly, close friend Charlie Gestro and the estate of Jim Donnelly, Jason’s late father.
Sunday’s win capped a great weekend for Hastings-born jockey Shaun Fannin, who is number one stable rider for the Myers jumpers. The 21-year-old also combined with the astute trainer to take out last Saturday’s Awapuni Hurdles with Sea King.
Fannin had to call on all his skills to get Zentangle across the line for a nose decision over The Energizer after the two horses fought a great tussle over the final stages of the 3000m event.
New trophy for Hastings amateur riders’ race
A special new trophy will be presented to the winner of the amateur riders’ race at the Hawke’s Bay winter race meeting at Hastings tomorrow week.
The 2100-metre event is being sponsored for the third year in a row by the Birchleigh Polo Club and they have had a mounted silver cup made which will add to their continuing association with Hawke’s Bay Racing.
The winning rider in the amateur race will have his or her name engraved on the trophy base and it will remain in Hastings to be contested for on an annual basis.
The Birchleigh Polo Club is based at Paki Paki, just south of Hastings, and has been in operation for eight years. It presently has around 32 members.
The club first became associated with Hawke’s Bay Racing three years ago when they sponsored the time honoured Duke Of Gloucester Cup, the prestige event for amateur riders in New Zealand and a race that is run at a different venue each year.
Spokesman for the Birchleigh Polo Club, Richard Kettle, said this week that he and his members see it as “a good fit” for their club to be involved in a race like this.
“Our aim is to get new people into the game of polo and we see amateur riders as some who could easily get involved,” Kettle said.
“We also wanted to cement our sponsorship with Hawke’s Bay Racing by way of a trophy.”
The Birchleigh Polo Club is a standalone body and separate from the Hawke’s Bay Polo Club. It runs programmes in conjunction with schools such as Flaxmere College, Iona College and Woodford House to teach young people the art of polo playing.
“We go away to tournaments and compete as our own club and we will have a number of our people on course at Hastings for next week’s race day,” Kettle added.
Richard Kettle’s company, Animal Health Direct, has also been a great supporter of Hawke’s Bay Racing and will be sponsoring the feature race at next week’s race meeting, the $50,000 Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase, for the eighth year in a row.
Richard Kettle, from the Birchleigh Polo Club, holds the trophy that will be presented to the winning jockey in the amateur riders’ race at next week’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.
Hastings Trackwork 22 Jun 2017
(By John Jenkins)
Kipkeino, preparing for the Hawke’s Bay Hurdles on Saturday week, turned in a solid workout on his own at this morning’s Hastings track session.
There was not much in the way of fast work, which was carried out on the plough (good) and wide out on the No.1 grass (slow).
Kipkeino had trainer Lucy de Lautour aboard when working over 1000 metres on the plough in 1:5.6, the last 600 in 36.7. The Sunray nine-year-old was a game second in a 3000-metre hurdle race at Trentham a fortnight ago.
Gates To Rio and a Lope de Vega three-year-old gelding worked together over 1000 metres on the grass in 1:7.4, the last 600 in 37.8. Gates To Rio disappointed at Wanganui last start but he wasn’t suited by the very puggy track.
Dances With Wolves ran a solo 1000 metres on the plough in 1:6.8, the last 600 in 37.7 while an Uncle Mo two-year-old and an O’Reilly-Catalina three-year-old ended their work with an easy 600 metres in 44.6.
Zed Leppelin and Bernali schooled together over nine hurdle fences and had the pace on all the way. Zed Leppelin is likely to start in the maiden hurdle race at Hastings on Saturday week.
Hastings Trackwork 20 Jun 2017
(By John Jenkins)
Only three horses were timed in another very quiet session at the Hastings track this morning.
The three of them worked on the plough, which provided reasonably good footing.
Tuigold and Vannoss, two horses in the Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen stable, worked together when running an easy 1000 metres in 1:14.6, the last 600 in 43.
Tuigold resumed from a lengthy spell with a fair run for sixth over 1200 metres at Te Rapa a couple of weeks ago while Vannoss is an unraced three-year-old by Sufficient who has shown up well in Hastings jumpouts in the past.
Cowboys Don’t Cry had trainer Kelly Burne aboard when he finished off two rounds of pacework with an easy 600 metres in 43s.View Article
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