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Taranaki Cup next for in-form Wait A Sec 18 Jan 2018

   An upset win by top Hastings galloper Wait A Sec in last Saturday’s Group 3 $70,000 Anniversary Handicap at Trentham has prompted a change of plans for the Postponed seven-year-old.

   The Group 1 $500,000 Barfoot & Thomson Auckland Cup is still the main target for the horse but he will now take a slightly different path to that 3200m feature at Ellerslie on March 10.

   “He’ll now go to the Taranaki Cup next,” co-trainer Guy Lowry said this week.

   The Group 3 $80,000 Platinum Homes Taranaki Cup is run at New Plymouth on February 3 and will be three weeks to the day after his outstanding win in last Saturday’s 1600m feature at Trentham.

   “The Taranaki Cup is only over 1800 metres but it will be a good step up from last Saturday and the race will have a maximum topweight of 59kg.

   “He will be conceding weight to the rest of the field but he won’t have to carry too much.”

   Following that New Plymouth race Wait A Sec will then contest the Group 1 $400,000 Herbie Dyke Stakes, a weight-for-age race over 2000m at Te Rapa a week later.

   There he will come up against the best weight-for-age horses in the country, as well as the new boom three-year-old Age Of Fire. But he showed he is up to competing under such conditions, at the elite level, with his win in the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings back in October last year.

   “After the Herbie Dyke there is two weeks to the Wairoa Cup and that’s still an option if we think he needs another race before the Auckland Cup,” Lowry added.

   Wait A Sec, who is trained by Lowry in partnership with Grant Cullen, was having his first start for two months when he lined up at Trentham last Saturday and gave weight and a beating to a high class field of metric milers. His connections thought he would be competitive but to win fresh after such a break, carrying topweight of 58kg, was an amazing result. He certainly flew under the radar with the punters, returning a dividend of $16.60 for a win and $4.70 for a place.

   The horse was perfectly ridden by Jason Waddell, who settled him three-back on the inside until just before the home turn and then angled him out to get a clear run at the top of the home straight.

   Travimyfriend looked the likely winner when he kicked clear early in the home straight but Wait A Sec soon ranged up outside and then Asama Blue joined them in what developed into a three horse war over the final stages.

   Asama Blue, carrying the minimum weight of 53kg, looked to have the momentum to go past the other two. But Wait A Sec stuck his neck out on the line to get a nose decision over that horse, with Travimyfriend only a short head away in third.

   Wait A Sec was recording his 12th win from 43 starts and took his stake earnings to more than $371,000. He is owned by his Hawke’s Bay owner-breeder Iain Henderson, who races the horse in partnership with his Australian-based son Paul.

   Wait A Sec has now won seven of his last nine starts and his great run of form is mainly attributed to the fact that he is now farm trained. He spends the majority of his life on the Dannevirke property of Grant Cullen’s partner Nikki Lourie who mixes his work between working around the hills and some dressage.

   “It’s incredible,” Grant Cullen said.

   “His form this season has been amazing really and he’s just a happy horse. Nikki’s done a fantastic job with him.”


Strong Hastings team at Trentham

   Hastings stables will have one of its strongest representations on a Wellington Cup day at Trentham for many years this Saturday.

   The John Bary-trained Miss Wilson will contest the Group 1 $250,000 J & N Berkett Telegraph Sprint (1200m) while her stablemate Swiss Precision will line up in the Group 3 $70,000 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) for three-year-old fillies. The stable will also have High Spirits in the Group 3 $250,000 Wallaceville Estate Wellington Cup (3200m) and The Bandito and Steppenwolf in a $40,000 Rating 75 race over 1400m.

   The partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen will be tackling the Group 1 $200,000 Harcourts Thorndon Mile (1600m) with Savvy Dreams and will also have Saint Kitt in the Wellington Cup and Real Beach in the $40,000 Rating 65 race over 1600m.

   The country’s leading jockey, Samantha Collett, has been booked to ride Savvy Dreams, Miss Wilson and High Spirits while top apprentice Sam Weatherley is aboard Swiss Precision. Tony Allan, who is chasing his 1000th New Zealand win, will team up with Saint Kitt in the Cup.  

   Several of the Trentham entrants underwent searching gallops at Tuesday’s Hastings trackwork session, where Savvy Dreams and Miss Wilson both recorded quick times for their last 600 metres.

   Savvy Dreams had Tavijazz as a workmate in a 1000m gallop close to the inside rail on the course proper and surged clear of that horse over the final stages to record 35.9s for the last 600m while Miss Wilson worked on her own over 1000m and clocked 34.5s for her last 600.

   Swiss Precision looked to be travelling slightly better than stablemate Smokin’ Oak at the end of their 1000m gallop and clocked 36.1s for the last 600.


Bosson going hungry  

   Opie Bosson has taken on a weighty summer mission and he’s confident of executing it.

   The top jockey has a constant battle with the scales, but the lure of winning New Zealand’s richest two-year-old race at Ellerslie on Saturday week will have him leaner than ever.

   “We’ve got five horses qualified for the Karaka Million and Opie has chosen Avantage,” Te Akau principal David Ellis said.

   “I said to him do you think you can do 54.5kg and he said I’ll do it easily.”

   Last Saturday Bosson was successful aboard the Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained Avantage when the Fastnet Rock filly stretched her unbeaten run to three following previous victories at Riccarton.

   “We’ve also got Hugh Bowman coming over to ride Al Hasa, Michael McNab will ride Sword Of Osman and Cameron Lammas is on Pinot Grey,” Ellis said.

   “We’ve still got to finalise a rider for The Real Beel.”


Embellish on target

   Karaka Million Three-year-old Classic favourite Embellish is thriving and was given  a look at the Ellerslie track last Monday in preparation for the $1million 1600m race there tomorrow week.

   “He went and worked on the course proper at Ellerslie and Opie rode him and he was thrilled,” Te Akau principal David Ellis said.

   Embellish’s autumn programme includes the A$1 million Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington.

   “He’s a very classy colt and after the Karaka Million he’ll race in Melbourne and then we’ll take him to Sydney,” Ellis said.


Charm Spirit off to a flyer

   Windsor Park Stud shuttle stallion Charm Spirit will be represented by his first crop of yearlings at Karaka later this month and confidence levels are high in the stud’s camp.

   This comes off the back of a strong Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale where the farm sold four Charm Spirit yearlings for an average of A$216,000.

   “It’s a great start,” Windsor Park Stud principal Rodney Schick said. “To be the second leading first season sire in one of the biggest Australian sales is huge, it’s pretty exciting stuff.

   “He was an exceptional racehorse and has a beautiful pedigree, so it’s nice to see that he is sought after in Australia.”

   The son of Invincible Spirit was a high-class miler, he won six of his nine starts on the race track, including three Group 1 races, on his way to being rated the second highest three-year-old turf miler of his year.

   Schick believes the Invincible Spirit link is another drawcard for Australian buyers.

   “The way Invincible Spirit has had his affect in Australia with I Am Invincible we thought they would be sought after in Australia and it looks like they will be,” he said.

   Windsor Park will offer 26 yearlings by Charm Spirit at Karaka, with one of the highlights being a white filly out of the Zabeel mare The Opera House.

   It will be the third year in a row the stud has offered a white yearling out of the mare. Each has sold well, with a High Chaparral filly selling for $450,000 in 2016 and last year’s Shamexpress colt selling for $510,000, but Schick believes the Charm Spirit filly is the pick of the bunch so far.

   “She is a really attractive filly, as the other white ones have been,” Schick said. “But she is probably the strongest of them all.


Hastings Trackwork 16 Jan 2018

   Miss Wilson, preparing for Saturday’s Group 1 J & N Berkett Telegraph Sprint at Trentham, took the time honours when running a solo 1000 metres at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Fast work was carried out close to the running rail on the course proper (good) and on the plough (soft).

   Miss Wilson had track rider Zane Thomson aboard when running a 1000 metres on the course proper in 1:2.7, the first 400 metres in a leisurely 28.2 and the last 600 in 34.5. She has been freshened since finishing last in the Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham a month ago and drops back to 1200 metres in this Saturday’s feature at Trentham.

   Savvy Dreams, preparing for Saturday’s Group 1 Thorndon Mile at Trentham, looked to be travelling strongly at the finish when finishing ahead of Tavijazz at the end of 1000 metres on the course proper in 1:4.3, the last 600 in 35.9. Savvy Dreams has trained on well since winning over 1200 metres at Hastings on New Year’s Day and Samantha Collett has been booked to ride her on Saturday.

   Swiss Precision looked to be travelling slightly better than Smokin’ Oak at the end of their 1000-metre gallop on the course proper and clocked 1:6.1, the last 600 in 36.1. Swiss Precision has won her last two starts in impressive style and will now contest the Group 3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on Saturday.

   Real Beach and Gates To Rio worked together over 1000 metres on the plough and were timed to run the last 800 in 49.9 and final 600 in 36.4. Real Beach is another heading to Trentham this Saturday where she will contest the Rating 65 1600.

   Perfect Shock and Chouxperb also worked together over 1000 metres on the plough and clocked 1:4.3, the last 600 in 35.9. Perfect Shock is likely to race at Woodville on Monday while Chouxperb could start next at the Hawke’s Bay meeting on February 1.

   Silhouette Beauty ended her work on the plough with 600 metres in 42. She is a half-sister to Group 1 winner Adventador, by Ocean Park, and turned in a very encouraging third on debut at Hastings on New Year’s Day.

   A Jakkalberry two-year-old gelding trained by Tim Symes ended his work on the plough with a 400-metre sprint in 24.1 while Estefania and a Thewayyouare three-year-old gelding were kept to three-quarter pace over 600 metres in 45.6.

Hastings horses bag seven winners in two days 4 Jan 2018

   Hastings stables have kicked off the New Year in the best possible way with seven winners coming out of the centre in the first two days of 2018.

   Hastings horses dominated the traditional New Year’s Day meeting on their home track, with five of the eight races taken out by locals. John Bary and Patrick Campbell each picked up two wins while the Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen partnership saddled up one. Then, at the following day’s Wairarapa meeting, Bary picked up another brace of wins to give him four in the space of two days.

   Bary started the successful run at Monday’s New Year’s Day meeting when he produced Quick Choice to win the 1200m maiden race for three-year-olds. Apprentice jockey Holly Andrew gave the Darci Brahma filly a perfect run, fourth and one off the fence, until the home turn and she unleashed a strong finishing burst to win by 1-1/4 lengths.

   It was Quick Choice’s second start and followed a debut eighth over 1200m at Awapuni in November. The filly is certainly bred to be good as her dam Bonaichi won three races including the Listed Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie.

   Quick Choice is owned by Auckland’s Haunui Farm Stud which races the filly in partnership with a large group of people that include two Hawke’s Bay men, Chris Tremain and Andrew Bayly.

   Bary’s other success at Hastings came with Swiss Precision, who made it two wins in a row when taking out the Rating 65 event over 1400m. She was also ridden by Holly Andrew and, after sitting three-wide to the home turn, she still had plenty in reserve to kick clear and hold on to win by a length.

   Swiss Precision is owned by the Challenge No.7 Syndicate, one of several syndicates set up and managed by bloodstock consultant Adrian Clark. The filly has only had five starts for two wins and a third, with her maiden victory coming over 1200m at the Waipukurau meeting on December 10.

   Bary now intends to step her up in class in the Group 3 $70,000 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on January 20.


Two from two for Campbell

   Trainer Patrick Campbell had a 100 per cent winning strike-rate on his home track on Monday, producing Scandalo to win the $20,000 Russell Roads City Of Hastings Cup and Lady Guinness to take out the Kahungunu Kapa, a Rating 75 race.

   Campbell only has a small team in work and only had the two runners on New Year’s Day.

   The win by Scandalo was especially satisfying for Campbell as he owns the horse outright while he also has a small racing share in Lady Guinness.

   Scandalo only had two rivals in the day’s feature event over 1300m, the first time there has been only a three horse field at Hastings for many years.

   Jockey Darryl Bradley settled the Shocking five-year-old behind the leading pair of Morse Code and Petite En Jeu and waited until they were well into the home straight before asking his mount to extend. Once he did the big gelding bounded up outside  the leading pair before racing on for an emphatic 1-3/4 length win.

   Campbell bought Scandalo privately from the South Island after the horse had recorded two thirds and three fourths from seven starts down there. He had immediate success when the horse took out a 1450m maiden race at Wairoa in February last year and has given him a further nine starts for four wins and two seconds.

   Lady Guinness is starting to become a Hastings track specialist with all four of her victories having now been recorded on her home track.

   The Falkirk mare led all the way for apprentice Holly Andrew in Monday’s 1600m race and held out the fast finishing Wide Awake by 1-1/2 lengths.

   The four-year-old won her maiden race over 1300m at Hastings in March last year and then added two Rating 65 victories, the first over 1600m at Hastings in April and the second over 1300m there in November.

   Lady Guinness is owned by Windsor Park Stud and is raced on lease by a 14-member syndicate, all of whom live in Hawke’s Bay.

   Jason Britton manages the syndicate and has a 20 per cent share with the other members being Don, Rob and Alistair Poulgrain, Aaron Brittin, Nick Dorwood, Aaron Bourke, Jamie Flett, Mark O’Shaughnessy, Kelly O’Rourke, Eddie and Scotty Burn, Kim Bone and Patrick Campbell.


Thorndon Mile next

   Savvy Dreams confirmed another tilt at a Group 1 race when she proved a class above her three rivals in the Rating 75 Best Travel 1200 at Hastings on Monday.

   The mare’s Hastings trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen have had the $200,000 Thorndon Mile in mind for the horse and she will now go straight into that 1600-metre Trentham feature on January 20.

   The Savabeel four-year-old was having her second start a new campaign, following a close and unlucky third over 1200m at Hastings on December 14.

   Visiting Australian woman jockey Katelyn Mallyon was aboard Savvy Dreams on Monday. The mare was slow to begin and a clear last on settling down but started to close on her three rivals coming to the home turn and quickly took control in the home straight, racing away to score by 1-1/2 lengths.

   It was only the mare’s second win, with her first coming in a 1200m maiden race at the same Hawke’s Bay New Year’s Day meeting 12 months ago. However she was also stakes placed on three occasions last year, finishing a close second behind Bonneval in the Group 3 Lowland Stakes (2000m) at Hastings before a third in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham and a fourth in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) in Adelaide.

   Bred by Tony Rider at Milan Park in Cambridge, Savvy Dreams is raced by the breeder along with Kelvyn Marshall (Napier), Jim and Lynne Small (Dannevirke) Wendy Spurdle (Hawera), Grant Julian (Perth) and the Storming Home Syndicate.

   There are four Hawke’s Bay people involved in the 10-member Storming Home Syndicate,  Roger Brittin (Hastings), Darrel Cook (Havelock North), Mike Newall (Havelock North) and Robin Vickers (Taradale).


Promising three-year-old filly

   The John Bary-trained Vinnie’s Volley looked a filly headed for much bigger things when winning her race debut in a 1000m maiden race at Tauherenikau on Tuesday.

   The Iffraaj three-year-old jumped awkwardly from the barrier but quickly mustered speed for jockey Samantha Collett and was in front entering the last 600m. She tended to run out making the home turn but, once balanced up, stretched out strongly to win by 1-1/2 lengths.

   Vinnie’s Volley showed a glimpse of her ability when scoring an impressive win in a 750m Hastings jumpout back in November and then finished a close second in an 800m Foxton trial on December 12.

   She is raced by the Too Posh Syndicate, a large group of keen racing enthusiasts. Several members reside in Hawke’s Bay and are Carl Taylor, Renee Dever and Trent Miller, Wink and Andrew Hildreth, Brian and Karen Strachan, Rob Hardie, Craig and Vicki MacMillan, Vicki Sanders, Arron & Vicki Cook, Tina King, Tracey Saxton, BJ Moleta, Richard Koorey, Doug Callaghan, Lex Verhoeven, Merv Dudley and Robbie Lawton.

   Bary’s other winner at Tauherenikau was Hugo The Boss who brought up his third victory from 11 starts when taking out a Rating 65 race over 1000m. The Stratum four-year-old disputed the pace with Katie’s So Kool before shaking her that runner off rounding the home turn and raced right away over the final stages to score by 2-1/2 lengths. He is now expected to contest a $30,000 Rating 75 race over 1200m at Trentham tomorrow week.

   Hugo The Boss is raced by the Best Dressed Syndicate, another large group of owners who include Taradale couple Alan and Paula Keall and Innes Nesbitt from Hastings.


Timely win by Bizzwinkle    

   Bizzwinkle’s win in last Sunday’s $30,000 Stratford Cup was a timely result for the horse’s Hawke’s Bay breeders John and Lucy Scoular and their two children, Andy Scoular and Sally Tothill.

   The quartet sold the Rip Van Winkle gelding but are still breeding from his dam Bizz and have a Charm Spirit yearling filly out of the mare entered at for this month’s Karaka sales.

   They bred the yearling in partnership with Windsor Park Stud and Lucy Scoular said she is a “magnificent looking filly.”

   Bizz was the winner of three races for the Scoulars, from 1400m to 2000m, and has also left the winners Murdoch and Runny Honey. It is also the family of Jolly Jake, a horse that won nine races in New Zealand including the 1984 New Zealand Derby.

   Bizzwinkle was sold as a yearling for $36,000 and brought up his third win when he led all the way in last Sunday’s feature race at Stratford. Apprentice jockey Jasmine Fawcett rated the horse well in front and he kicked on strongly to score by 2-1/2 lengths.


Instant southern success

   Former Hastings-trained Red Tiara made a winning debut from her new South Island stable when successful in a Rating 65 race over 1200m at the Timaru meeting eight days ago.

   The Per Incanto mare was having her first start for Riccarton trainer Pam Robson and, after taking the lead early in the home straight, she staved off all the challengers to score by a head.

   Red Tiara was formerly prepared on the Hastings track by Kelly Burne, who has taken time out from training to pursue other employment. She still shares in the ownership of the mare, along with the horse’s Matamata breeder Derek Mortleman and two Wellington men, Pat Baker and Ramesh Dayal.

   Red Tiara was recording her second win with her first coming almost exactly 12 months ago, when successful in a 1400m maiden at Hastings.

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