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Hawkes Bay Racing Column 25 Sep 2020

Success aplenty of HB owned and trained horses

(By John Jenkins)

   Hawke’s Bay owned and trained horses have had a stellar past week highlighted by Callsign Mav’s upset win in last Saturday’s Group 1 $200,000 Tarzino Trophy on the first day of the Bostock New Zealand spring carnival.

   Callsign Mav captured the day’s major event while another Hastings-trained horse, Shezzacatch, took out the Listed $50,000 El Roca-Sir Colin Meads Trophy and Perry Mason recorded back-to-back wins in the main jumping race, the $50,000 AHD Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase.

   Rum, part-owned by Napier businessman Simon Tremain, took out a $30,000 Rating 65 race on the same programme while, two days earlier, Hastings owned and trained Overstayer broke through for a maiden win at Te Rapa and Fashion Street, part-owned by Waipukurau’s Michael Ormsby, was also successful that day.

   Callsign Mav may have upset the punters when winning at odds of 81 to one but he certainly brought a much needed smile to the face of his Hastings trainer John Bary, who brought up his 10th Group 1 training success and his first as an owner.

   Bary was not on course to celebrate the win. Instead he was laid up at home after undergoing two recent back operations to fix a prolapsed disc.

  “The first operation went okay but I probably pushed it a bit too hard too quick and I’m taking it a lot slower this time,” Bary said this week.

   He added that he feels good now and, when he watched Callsign Mav go past the post first last Saturday, it certainly made his back feel a lot better.

   Bary was recording his second win in what is the first Group 1 race of the New Zealand racing season, after Survived won the event (then named the Makfi Challenge Stakes) in 2013. He also produced Jimmy Choux to win five times at the elite level as well as Recite (two) and Miss Wilson (one).

   Last Saturday’s win by Callsign Mav gave him special satisfaction as he also owns a 10 per cent share in the Atlante four-year-old.

   “I’ve trained 10 Group 1 winners but this is my first one as an owner,” Bary said.

   Callsign Mav cost just $3000 at a 2017 mixed bloodstock sale at Karaka and was bought by Victorian-based Jeremy Cross, on behalf of some of his Australian mates.

   Bary said he had a brief acquaintance with Cross before suddenly getting a ring out of the blue from him, asking whether he would train the horse.

   “You never want to turn down a horse to train but when I got him I saw he was turned out in the off foreleg, which is why he was never really saleable,” Bary said.

   “I said I would take him on and also agreed to take a small share.”

   Jeremy Cross manages the syndicate that races the horse, with the other five owners being friends of his in Victoria.

   Although Callsign Mav returned a dividend of $82.60 for a win and $14.20 for a place Bary said he didn’t doubt that he would measure up in the Group 1 event, especially given his great record on his home track.

   “He’d had five starts on the Hastings track before for three wins and a second to Catalyst in the Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas and he also beat Quick Thinker there one day and that horse went on to win the Australian Derby so the form around him was good.”

   “He ran the same time last Saturday as Melody Belle did when winning the race last year,” Bary added.

   Callsign Mav’s win in the Tarzino Trophy was attributed to a 10 out of 10 ride from jockey Jonathan Riddell, who hunted the gelding out of the barrier to slot into a perfect trail before driving him between horses at the top of the straight to take the lead.

   The gelding kept up a strong run to the line to win by three-quarters of a length from the fast finishing Supera, who just nosed out race-favourite Avantage for second place.

   It was a case of the old firm being reunited in Group 1 glory as Riddell was the regular rider of Jimmy Choux for Bary, piloting that great galloper to 11 of his 12 wins including Group 1 victories in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas, New Zealand Derby Rosehill Guineas, Windsor Park Plate and NZ Bloodstock Spring Classic.  

   Bary said Callsign Mav has pulled up well from Saturday’s win and he now intends lining the horse up in the second race in the Hawke’s Bay spring triple crown, next Saturday’s $200,000 Windsor Park Plate (1600m).

Callsign Mav is at full stretch as he and jockey Jonathan Riddell cross the finish line three-quarters of a length clear of the fast finishing Supera and race favourite Avantage in last Saturday’s Group 1 Tarzino Trophy at Hastings.


Late entry proves worthwhile

   Hastings trainer Guy Lowry’s late decision to enter first starter Shezzacatch in last Saturday’s Listed $50,000 El Roca-Sir Colin Meads Trophy at Hastings proved to be a masterstroke with the filly downing a talented field of three-year-olds in the 1200m event.

   Shezzacatch was not among the original nominations for the race with Lowry, who trains in partnership with Grant Cullen, thinking that a mid-week maiden race at Woodville would probably suit her better.

   But, after looking at the field for the Hastings black type event and waying up his options, he decided to make a late entry.

   “We were looking at a maiden race at Woodville on Thursday, but we were worried about the possibility of not getting a start there. I looked at the field for the Hastings race and noted that most of the horses only had wet track form and so we decided to give her a chance against them on a good track.”

   Ridden by Craig Grylls, Shezzacatch settled in a midfield position for most of the race and suffered a check half-way through the race. With 200 metres to run, she was still fifth and more than three lengths behind the leaders Suffused and Alchemia, who appeared to be fighting out the finish.

   But then Grylls angled Shezzacatch into the clear and she produced a dazzling turn of foot, charging to the front to win by three-quarters of a length.    

   “We weren’t surprised by that performance,” Lowry said.

   “She still doesn’t know much really and has been a real handful but she’s continued to improve since her recent Foxton trial and she’ll learn a lot more from this.”

   Lowry and his wife Brigid share in the ownership of the filly with the horse’s Cambridge breeder Tony Rider and close friends Paul and Maree Apatu, Grant and Ali Syminton, Sam and Anna Wood and John and Diane Bongard.

   Lowry said Shezzacatch will now be turned out for a brief 10-day spell. She will then be aimed at the $70,000 Group 3 Eulogy Stakes (1600m) at Awapuni on December 12, with the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) in January also on the agenda.

Shezzacatch gets up in the last couple of strides to head off a talented field of three-year-olds in the Listed El Roca-Sir Colin Meads Trophy at Hastings last Saturday.


Another HB Steeples triumph

   Hastings trainer Paul Nelson brought up his fifth Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase success when Perry Mason recorded back-to-back wins in last Saturday’s 4800m prestige event.

   Nelson now trains in partnership with Corrina McDougal and the pair celebrated a memorable milestone when winning both the AHD Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase, with Perry Mason, and Te Whangai Romney Hawke’s Bay Hurdles, with No Change, last year.

   Nelson also produced No Hero for two victories in the Hawke’s Bay Steeples, in 2003 and 2005, before also taking out the race in 2007 with Just A Swagger.

   Hastings-born jumps jockey Aaron Kuru, who has been an integral part of the Nelson/McDougal stable in recent times, produced another masterful ride on Perry Mason last Saturday.

   After letting the horse work to the front in the early stages, Kuru dictated the pace of the race and saved every inch of ground in the running. They were left clear in front when the only close challenger, Des de Jeu, slipped over on the flat with 800m to run and went on to win by 2-1/4 lengths from Napoleon, with third placed Delacroix a further 12-1/4 lengths back.

   Nelson said winning the race for a fifth time was “a huge thrill” especially as he and McDougal had worked overtime to get Perry Mason back to peak fitness this year.

   “We’ve had a bit of trouble getting him back and it’s thanks to Corrina. She does most of the work on the horse and said he was right again,” Nelson said.

   He added that Perry Mason, who is raced by the Hawke’s Bay-based I See Red Syndicate, will now contest the $50,000 Pakuranga Hunt Cup Steeplechase (4900m) at Ellerslie tomorrow week as a lead up to another tilt at the $125,000 Great Northern Steeplechase (6400m) on October 17. The 11-year-old Zed gelding finished runner-up behind Chocolate Fish in the Great Northern two years ago.


Rum led rivals a merry chase

   Lightly raced four-year-old Rum made it two wins from three starts when leading all the way in the $30,000 J Swap Contractors 1400 at last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   The Burgundy gelding had scored a debut win over 1200m at Hastings back in January and followed that up with a creditable fourth behind Callsign Mav in a 1400m three-year-old race on the same track in February before going out for a spell.

   The Cambridge training combination of Shaune Ritchie and Colm Murray turned the horse out in magnificent condition for his resuming run last Saturday and he gave jockey Sam Weatherley an armchair ride in front, clearing out from the opposition over the final stages to win by 2-3/4 lengths.

   Rum was a $105,000 purchase from the 2018 Karaka yearling sales and Napier’s Simon Tremain owns a five per cent share in the horse. Another shareholder is former Hawke’s Bay man Craig Baker, who is now manager of racing and operations at the Auckland Racing Club while the horse’s Cambridge breeder, Tony Rider, has also retained a 10 per cent racing share.

   Rum is out of the Pins mare Show No Emotion, who was the winner of three races including one over 1600m on the Hastings track.


Overstayer gets a deserved win

   The luckless run Hastings owned and trained Overstayer has endured in his short racing career finally came to an end when the big chestnut powered to an impressive maiden victory over 1600m at Te Rapa on Thursday of last week.

   The Zed six-year-old had recorded three close second placings from his previous seven starts and been unlucky not to win each time.

   Top woman jockey Danielle Johnson took over the reins last week and got the horse to settle perfectly in the early running before starting a forward move approaching the home turn.

   Overstayer was one of the widest runners making the home bend and took a while to get fully balanced up in the straight before producing giant strides late to get up and win by half a length.

   Overstayer is prepared on the Hastings track by the husband and wife partnership of Mick Brown and Sue Thompson and is raced by his Hawke’s Bay breeder Megan Harvey in partnership with Sam Nelson.


More syndicate success  

   Waipukurau’s Michael Ormsby added to the success he has enjoyed with Te Akau racing syndicates when Fashion Shoot scored a dominant maiden win over 1200m at Te Rapa on Thursday of last week.

   Ormsby, who is treasurer of the Waipukurau Jockey Club, is involved in several syndicates run under the Te Akau banner including the Te Akau Avantage Syndicate, which races the multiple Group 1 winner Avantage.

   Fashion Shoot is raced by the Te Akau In Vogue Syndicate and was having just her second start last week, following a debut third over 1100m at Taupo last month.

   The Savabeel filly was ridden to victory by Danielle Johnson who bounced her out quickly from the barrier and had tracking the leader coming to the home turn. She took over soon after and kept up a strong run to the line to win by 1-1/4 lengths from Extortion.

   Fashion Shoot is out of the O’Reilly mare High Fashion and was a $320,000 purchase from the 2019 Karaka yearling sales by Te Akau Racing’s principal David Ellis.


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Hastings Jumpouts 21 Sep 2020


(By John Jenkins)


   The stablemates Atlanta Peach and Bellesgirl provided the star performance at today’s Hastings jumpouts when they crossed the line almost locked together at the finish of a 1200m heat

   The jumpouts were held five metres out from the running rail on the course proper, which provided firm footing.

   Bellesgirl got the decision by a nose over Atlanta Peach in one of the three 1200m heats, with both horses looking to have plenty in reserve at the finish. The winning time was 1:14.5.

   Both horses are trained by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, with Atlanta Peach being the winner of five races from only 16 starts and Bellesgirl placed twice from three starts last season. They could both make a return to the racetrack on the second day of the Bostock New Zealand spring carnival at Hastings on October 3.

   An unraced Charm Spirit mare from the Lowry/Cullen stable was the most dominant winner at the jumpouts, clearing out from the opposition over the final stages of her 1000m heat to win by 3-1/2 lengths. Her winning time of 1:01.2 was more then one and a half seconds faster than the other 1000m heat.

   Zakhan, a nice looking three-year-old by Mongolian Khan in the John Bary stable, and Miss Krystal, prepared by Lee Somervell, were two impressive winners among the 780m heats.




Heat 1, 780m: Saskatchewan (L Sutherland) 1, Atlante-Kalahari Princess 3yr-old gelding 2, Galileo Express 3. Four starters. Margins: 1 length, 2-1/2 lengths. Time: 46.9s. Winner trained by Pam Holden, Hastings.

Heat 2, 780m: Miss Krystal (L Hemi) 1, Blarney 2, All American 4yr-old mare 3. Four starters. Margins: Neck, 2 lengths. Time: 47s. Winner trained by Lee Somervell, Hastings.

Heat 3, 780m: Hesacityboy (L Hemi) 1, Tavistock 3yr-old gelding 2, Pins 3yr-old filly 3. Four starters. Margins: Long neck, 2 lengths. Time: 46.9s. Winner trained by Penny & Tony Ebbett, Waipukurau.

Heat 4, 780m: Zakhan (J Riddell) 1, I’m Chuck 2, Savabeel-Miss Pro O’Reilly 3yr-old gelding 3. Four starters. Margins: Long head, 1-3/4 lengths. Time: 47.1s. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 5, 780m: Uncle Bro (J Riddell) 1, Who’s Alice 2. Two starters. Margin: 1-1/4 lengths. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 6, 1000m: Charm Spirit-Stepping Out 4yr-old mare (J Bassett) 1, Fur 2, Audition 3. Four starters. Margins: 3-1/2 lengths, 1-1/2 lengths. Time: 1:01.2. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 7, 1000m: Reliable Man 3yr-old gelding (J Riddell) 1, Showcasing 3yr-old gelding 2, She’s So Reliable 3. Five starters. Margins: Head, 1 length. Time: 1:02.8. Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 8, 1200m: Jakkalberry-Molly O’Reilly 4yr-old gelding (L Zydenbos) 1, Velarde 2, Argentiere 3. Four starters. Margins: Head, 2 lengths. Time: 1:14.5. Winner trained by Tim Symes, Hastings.

Heat 9, 1200m: Kaluanui (L Hemi) 1, Niagara-Pare 4yr-old mare 2, Per Incanto 5yr-old mare 3. Five starters. Margins: ½ length, 2-1/2 lengths. Time: 1:14.6.Winner trained by John Bary, Hastings.

Heat 10, 1200m: Bellesgirl (L Hemi) 1, Atlanta Peach 2, Bucky 3. Four starters. Margins: Nose, 1-1/4 lengths. Time: 1:14.5. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.


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Hawkes Bay Racing Column 18 Sep 2020

Penny Royal rules yet again on the Taupo track

(By John Jenkins)

   Hastings-trained mare Penny Royal is fast becoming a Taupo track specialist.

   The five-year-old daughter of Per Incanto has won three races from 11 starts and all three victories have been on the Taupo track.

   She was having her fourth start on the course when bringing up her third success there last Sunday, leading all the way in a Rating 74 race over 1400m.

   Penny Royal is officially trained by the partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen but spends a lot of her time down on the Porangahau beach property of Mary Darby.

   The mare is a lot more settled in a smaller stabling environment and also thrives on being able to be worked on the beach.

   She was having her first start back from a six month spell when she lined up at Taupo but had indicated she was ready for a bold fresh up performance by winning a 1000m Hastings jumpout on August 20.

   Hastings apprentice Jordan Bassett was aboard Penny Royal last Sunday and claimed a 1.5kg allowance, bringing the weight the horse had to carry down to just  52.5kg.

   Bassett bounced the mare out quickly from the number one draw and they were clear in the lead at the end of the first 200 metres. From then on Bassett managed to dictate the pace to suit and Penny Royal still had plenty in reserve in the final stages, kicking clear to win by two lengths from Saignon, with a further gap of 1-3/4 lengths back to third placed Sacrosanct.

   For 29-year-old Bassett it was the sixth win of her career and her first for the new racing season. She originally started her apprenticeship attached to the Lowry/Cullen stable but is now indentured to her partner, Hastings owner-trainer Richard McKenzie.

   Penny Royal was bred by Feilding farming couple Neil and Yvonne Managh and they race the mare in partnership with their son Andrew and daughter Geraldine.

   Guy Lowry said that, due to a lack of suitable races for Penny Royal in the coming weeks, they have decided to back her up in a $30,000 Rating 72 race over 1300m at today’s Hawke’s Bay meeting.

   “It’s not ideal to back her up so quickly after racing last Sunday but there are just no other races around for a mare of her class in the next month,” Lowry said.

   Jordan Bassett has again been engaged for Penny Royal in today’s race and the plan is to take her to the front from the start once again.

Hastings apprentice jockey Jordan Bassett has a beaming smile as she brings Penny Royal back at the head of the field following the mare’s win in a Rating 74 race over 1400m at Taupo last Sunday. It was the mare’s third win on the Taupo track.


Public barred from Hastings races

   Under the present Level 2 Covid-19 restrictions Hawke’s Bay Racing members and the general public will not be able to attend today’s first day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.

   Only race day officials, trainers, owners and other specifically ticketed personnel will be allowed on the Hastings racecourse and those working in the birdcage area will be required to wear masks.

   The fact that the meeting has to be run under Level 2 restrictions is a massive blow to Hawke’s Bay Racing who not only had a huge day of racing action planned but also had all the hospitality rooms on course fully pre-booked.

   “It is quite gutting really,” Hawke’s Bay chief executive Darin Balcombe said.

    “We are going to have to refund all the hospitality packages which is disappointing but we are also shattered for our members and some owners who also will not be able to attend to see what really is an exciting and action packed day of racing.”

   The first day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival is also the traditional Daffodil Raceday with any proceeds from gate takings donated to the Hawke’s Bay Cancer Society.


By-monthly award winner

   Hawke’s Bay agricultural contractor Mark Apatu is the recipient of the by-monthly Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners Association’s Kevin Wood Memorial Trophy.

   Apatu is a part-owner of the talented galloper Scorpz, who had 10 starts last season for three wins, a second and three thirds.

   The Charm Spirit gelding, trained at Cambridge by Stephen Marsh, included the Group 3 $70,000 Wellington Stakes (1600m) among his victories and was also placed in both the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) and Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2000m).

   The horse was taken to Australia in March of this year but unfortunately broke down when finishing last when making his Sydney debut in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and was retired from racing. 


Catalyst primed for return

   Te Awamutu trainer Clayton Chipperfield is getting used to training his stable star Catalyst remotely.

   Last season’s Group 2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas winner is in Sydney preparing for a fresh up run in today’s Group 2 $500,000 The Shorts Sprint (1100m) at Randwick, while his trainer is stranded in New Zealand due to Covid-19 restrictions.

   It will be the first time the Kiwi four-year-old has been seen on the racetrack since his sixth placing in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington in February, with that campaign ending abruptly when heat was detected in the gelding’s joints.

   “It will be great to see him back out there again and to try and improve on his last run in Australia,” Chipperfield said.

   Jockey Glen Boss partnered Catalyst in a gallop on the Randwick course proper on Tuesday morning and gave Chipperfield the tick of approval ahead of today’s race.

   Chipperfield is hoping the son of Darci Brahma will put his hand up for a slot in the $A15million The Everest (1200m) but is mindful there are other lucrative races in Sydney, including the $A7.5million Golden Eagle (1500m) which is restricted to four-year-olds.


Sharrock chasing fourth success

   New Plymouth trainer Allan Sharrock had a golden run in the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) a few years ago, winning three on-end, and he is hoping he can add a fourth to his mantlepiece after today.

   Sharrock’s first victory in the race came in 2014 with I Do and he followed that win back-to-back victories with Kawi in 2015 and 2016.

   He will contest today’s weight-for-age feature with pocket rocket Tavi Mac who, while small in stature, has proved to have an iron willpower which was evidenced by his brave runner-up performance behind Avantage in the Group 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa earlier this month.

   Tavi Mac’s diminutive stature is in stark contrast to Sharrock’s dual-race winner Kawi, but he believes the little gelding’s determined character far exceeds his stable predecessor.

   “Kawi was a beast,” Sharrock said. “He was 16.2 hands and half a tonne. This horse is 14.3 with a sway back and probably only 450kg.

   “You wouldn’t have bought him out of the paddock, and he would still be in the paddock now if I didn’t breed him for his owners.

   “You wouldn’t have tried him. But he defies science, it is his character and will to win that makes him the horse he is.”

   Tavi Mac has drawn out at barrier 11 for today’s classic race and will have another change of jockey, with Troy Harris taking the mount.

   Sharrock’s stable apprentice Hazel Schofer has ridden the horse in four of his seven wins while Michael McNab was aboard for his last start second in the Foxbridge Plate.


Dragon Leap is sidelined

   New Zealand-trained four-year-old Dragon Leap has suffered a set-back that will curtail his Sydney spring campaign.

   The Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained gelding had looked in for a good campaign, having found the line well for eighth in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m), beaten just two lengths, and was on target for the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).

   “It’s a minor injury and certainly nothing of any note that is going to have any long-term effect on his racing career,” O’Sullivan said.

   “It is a case of six weeks rest and he will be as good as gold.”

   The Hong Kong-owned galloper will recuperate initially in Australia but will return to the O’Sullivan-Scott stable Matamata.

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