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Hastings may have two-pronged Guineas attack 12 Oct 2018

   Hastings stables could have two representatives in next month’s Group 1 $300,000 New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton in Christchurch.

   Xpression confirmed the trip south for the 1600m feature when she finished a close second behind Avantage in the Group 3 Hawke’s Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings on September 22. Her stablemate Mohaka only had to perform well in a three-year-old maiden 1400m race at Tauherenikau yesterday to also book a place on a float to the South Island next Tuesday.

   “Xpression is definitely going at this stage and it just depends on how Mohaka performs on Thursday but we would like to see both of them head south,” co-trainer Guy Lowry said earlier this week.

   Xpression only went down by a short head at Hastings last start after she and Advantage went head to head all the way up the home straight.

   It was a gutsy run from the Showcasing filly and Lowry is delighted with the way she has trained on since. He and co-trainer Grant Cullen kept the filly tuned up with a 1000m jumpout at Hastings on Monday, where she finished a comfortable third.

   Regular rider Samantha Collett made a special trip down from her Waikato base to ride Xpression in the jumpout. She settled the filly back in the field and kept her under a firm hold before letting her stride out in the last 200 metres.

   Xpression is expected to make her South Island debut in the Group 3 $50,000 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton on October 20 and Lowry thinks this will serve as an ideal lead up to the New Zealand 1000 Guineas on November 17.

   Xpression has only had four starts for two wins, a second and a third. She preceded her Gold Trail Stakes second with a game win over 1100m at Taupo on August 22, where she came from well back at the 600m to get up and down Santa Catarina by a long head.

   “I’m very happy with her and the way she is going she should easily get 1400 metres and I think she’ll get 1600 metres okay. She relaxes in her races really well which is a big asset,” Lowry said.

   Mohaka was having her third start when she lined up at Tauherenikau yesterday after a debut third behind Xpression and Santa Catarina over 1100m at Taupo and a third in the Listed Wanganui Guineas (1340m) last month.

   “No one knows whether Mohaka will run on a good track but she shows plenty of promise and the way she races we’d love to see her get up to a mile,” Lowry added.

   If Mohaka heads south she is expected to contest the Listed $70,000 Zacinto Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton on October 27 as a final lead up to the New Zealand 1000 Guineas.

   Samantha Collett has been booked to ride Xpression in her two South Island races and will also ride Mohaka if she contests the Zacinto Stakes.

   The last Hastings-trained winner of the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas was Burletta back in 1983. She was prepared by Patrick Campbell and ridden by the then Hastings apprentice Jimmy Cassidy.


Record race day at Hastings

   A sell-out crowd and a record betting turnover made for a hugely successful day’s racing at last Saturday’s third day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.

   Hawke’s Bay Racing chief executive officer Andrew Castles said it was a fabulous day and the atmosphere on course was “fantastic”.

   He said a crowd of approximately 7000 people was on course, with about 3000 of them housed in pre-paid hospitality marquees and tents.

   “With so many pre-paid patrons we had to limit the general admission passes on race day to 100 and once they were sold it was a full house,” Castles said.

   He added that, given the huge crowd, there very few problems and the comments he received from the police and authorities was positive.

   On-course betting totaled almost $1.1million, which Castles said was $250,000 ahead of budget.

   The New Zealand Punter of The Year competition drew 162 entrants, which was the highest number since 2006 and betting turnover from the special punters’ room totaled almost $500,000.

   Whangarei’s Tony Erceg was a first time winner of the punter’s competition after 20 years of trying. He amassed more than $9500 from his $1500 outlay and won it all on the last race.

   He said he had $500 left going into the last race and liked the winner Swisswatch which he backed to win. He also anchored that horse to win with five others for second and third in $10 trifectas and struck the $894.10 dividend 10 times. 


Cameron wins jockeys’ prize

   Another highly successful day of riding at Hastings last Saturday saw Matthew Cameron take out the inaugural running of the Murray Thompson Trophy.

   The trophy is in memory of the late Murray Thompson, who was a clerk of the course at Hastings race meetings since the mid 1970s and who passed away in August this year. It was presented to the leading jockey on a points basis over the three days of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring carnival with points awarded on a basis of three for a win, two for second and one for third.

   Cameron started last Saturday’s third day on nine points and picked up another 10 with a win, three seconds and a third over the 10 race programme. Johnathan Parkes and Shaun McKay were equal second on 16 points.

   Cameron received a $500 voucher from Winiata Saddlery.


Pitman on the mend after surgery

   Early indications are positive for Riccarton trainer Michael Pitman, who underwent surgery for bowel cancer on Monday.

   The 63-year-old, who trains in partnership with his son Matthew, prepared Savvy Coup to win last Saturday’s Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m), feature race on the third day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke’s Bay spring carnival.

   The daughter of Savabeel will now head to Melbourne for a clash with Winx in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) on October 27 and Pitman is hoping to recover in time to be trackside.  

   “He was meant to be in theatre for five hours and he ended up being in there for about seven and a half, but other than taking a bit longer than anticipated, it went pretty well from what the surgeon told us,” Matthew Pitman said.

   Savvy Coup will travel to Melbourne on the October 17 to give the dual Group 1 winner 10 days to prepare for her toughest assignment to date.

   “Mum will go over with her and Savvy Coup is a mare that loves travelling,” Pitman said.

   “She got back (from the North Island) on Monday afternoon and was straight into her feed. The run hasn’t knocked her around one little bit and she looks as bright as ever.”


Simon Wilson wins award

   Waipukurau’s Simon Wilson is the recipient of Hawke’s Bay Racehorse Owners Association’s by-monthly trophy for the months of August and September.

   Wilson is the trainer and part-owner of the well performed galloper Dez, who had four starts during the months of August and September for a win and two thirds. He won the $40,000 Christchurch Casino Classic (1800m) at Riccarton while his third placings were in the Group 3 Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton and the Group 3 Boehringer Ingelheim 1600 at Awapuni.


Ladies First will miss Cup

   Allan Sharrock says he has nobody but himself to blame after missing the first acceptance payment for next month's A$7 million Melbourne Cup (3200m), rendering Auckland Cup winner Ladies First ineligible to start.

   The New Plymouth trainer was alerted to his mistake when talking to co-owner Humphrey O'Leary, who noted that there were 85 horses remaining in contention after Tuesday's first acceptances.

   Sharrock hurriedly made calls to Victoria Racing Club and Racing Victoria officials and took advice off racing administrators and fellow trainers in New Zealand but to no avail.

   A payment of $A3000 was due by midday on Tuesday, with fellow New Zealand stayers Bonneval, Mongolianconqueror, Our Abbadean, Highlad and Surrey also not paid up.

   That leaves Jon Snow (10th on the order of entry), Vin De Dance (17th), Zacada (34th), Charles Road (35th) and Pentathlon (58th) as the remaining New Zealand-trained entries for the 3200m Flemington showpiece on November 6.


Waikato Stud buys Bonneval

   Waikato Stud has won the race to purchase the two-time New Zealand Horse of the Year and multiple Group 1 winner Bonneval.

   The Matamata nursery acted quickly when her retirement was announced last week and dug deep to secure the daughter of Makfi.

   “She is on her way to Yarraman Park in Australia to be covered by I Am Invincible,” stud principal Mark Chittick said.

   “She’s a beautifully-bred mare and while one mare won’t turn it around, it is a bit of a reversal of our top mares going overseas.

   She was a $150,000 Karaka yearling purchase in 2015 for Terry Jarvis, Alastair Lawrence and John Rattray.

   Bonneval was prepared by Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman and was a debut winner in the autumn of the following year.

   Six starts later she triumphed in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) and crossed the Tasman to add the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) to her record.

   Bonneval won the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) 12 months ago, but subsequently suffered a suspensory ligament injury.

   Following two below-par efforts this spring, the decision was taken to retire the five-year-old.

   Bonneval will officially be in the ownership of Chittick’s father Gary.



Impressive wins by Nebraska and Peso and a nice hit out by star filly Xpression were the highlights at today’s Hastings jumpouts.

   There were nine heats run up against the running rail on the course proper, which provided good footing.

   Nebraska broke a minute when scoring an all the way victory in one of the 1000m heats. Rider Dylan Turner bounced the He’s Remarkable four-year-old out quickly from the barrier and he was always clear of the opposition, crossing the line with a 2-1/4 length advantage and clocking a slick 59.9s.

   Nebraska is a four-year-old by He’s Remarkable trained at Waipukurau by Brooke Edgecombe. He was a maiden winner over 1200m on a heavy track at Awapuni in July and has had one start since, finishing last of 11 horses in a Rating 65 race over 1200m at Waverley in August.

   Anzhelika chased Nebraska home in second place with Xpression turning in an eye-catching performance for third. Jockey Samantha Collett made a special trip down to ride Xpression and settled the filly back off the pace in the early stages before letting her run home under her own steam. The filly’s co-trainer Guy Lowry was pleased with the way the filly stretched out and confirmed that she now heads south, where she will run in the Group 3 $50,000 Barnswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton on October 20 and then in the Group 1 $300,000 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 17.

   There was one heat run at 1200m and Peso also clocked a good time of 1:12.9 in beating No Need by 1-1/4 lengths.

   Trainer Paul Nelson said Peso, who has recorded two wins and four minor placings from his last seven starts, will probably start next in the Listed $50,000 Jakkalberry Classic (1950m) at Rotorua on October 20.



Heat 1, 400m: Jimmy Choux 2yr-old filly (K Murray) 1, Super Easy 2yr-old filly 2, Niagara 2yr-old filly 3. Three starters. Margins: 1 length, neck. Time: 30.4s. Winner trained by Stephen Carey, Hastings.

Heat 2, 400m: Alamosa 2yr-old gelding (K Murray) 1, Iffraaj-Erbe 2yr-old colt 2, Raise The Flag 3yr-old gelding 3. Four starters. Margins: 1 length, 1-1/4 length. Time: 28.9s. Winner trained by Stephen Carey, Hastings.

Heat 3, 750m: Power 4yr-old mare (D Turner) 1, Niagara 3yr-old filly 2, Showcasing 3yr-old gelding 3. Four starters. Margins: ½ length, neck. Time: 49.2s. Winner trained by Kirsty Lawrence, Waipukurau.

Heat 4, 750m: Per Incanto 6yr-old mare (T Allan) 1, Darci’s Day 2, Estefania 3. Five starters. Margins: Long neck, 4 lengths. Time: 43.7s. Winner trained by Fred Pratt, Hastings.

Heat 5, 1000m: O’Reilly-Music 4yr-old mare (S Collett) 1, Niagara 4yr-old gelding 2, Pins-Golden Gamble 4yr-old mare 3. Five starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, Long neck. Time: 1:01.1. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 6, 1000m: Atlantic Peach (T Allan) 1, Niagara 4yr-old gelding 2, Echoes Of Heaven 3yr-old gelding 3. Five starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, 1-1/2 lengths. No time taken. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 7, 1000m: Nebraska (D Turner) 1, Anzhelika 2, Xpression 3. Five starters. Margins: 2-1/2 lengths, 1-3/4 lengths. Time: 59.9s. Winner trained by Brooke Edgecombe, Waipukurau.

Heat 8, 1000m: Real Beach (H Durrant) 1, Troup Road 2, Sincerity 3. Three starters. Margins: Long neck, ½ length. Time: 1:01.3. Winner trained by Guy Lowry & Grant Cullen, Hastings.

Heat 9: 1200m: Peso (S Collett) 1, No Need 2, Nedwin 3. Three starters. Margins: 1-1/4 lengths, 6 lengths. Time: 1:12.9. Winner trained by Paul Nelson, Hastings.

Successful roll continues for HB horses 3 Oct 2018

The successful roll being enjoyed by Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred owners and trainers has continued in the past week with seven winners at three different venues.

   Hastings-trained Shady Lady, from the stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen,  broke through for a well deserved maiden win at Waipukurau on Thursday of last week while Waipukurau owner-trainer Steve Ellis got one of the biggest thrills of his life when Devi was successful at the same meeting.

   The following day Moss Jazz, part-owned by his Hastings breeder Chris Russell, made it two wins in a row with another all the way victory in a $10,000 Rating 65 race over 1200m at Gore while the Paul Nelson-trained jumper The Arabian Duke took out the feature race at Te Aroha on Sunday.

   Cowboys Dont Cry and Onefortheditch, two other horses owned by Hawke’s Bay people, also graced the winner’s stall at Sunday’s Te Aroha meeting.

   Paul Nelson is having his best ever start to a racing season and is presently in fifth place on the national trainers’ premiership after The Arabian Duke brought up his ninth success since August 1. He has also chalked up six seconds and four thirds and his horses have already amassed more than $229,000 in stakemoney this season.

   Shady Lady brought up the fourth win for the season for the Lowry/Cullen partnership and that stable has now had 28 starters since August 1 for four wins, six seconds and four thirds.


Ellis knows how to celebrate

   There wouldn’t have been a happier person on course at last week’s Waipukurau meeting than local owner-trainer Steve Ellis after Devi led practically all the way to win a maiden race over 1350m.

   Ellis is very passionate when it comes to his horses and gets hugely excited whenever one of them looks like winning a race. He positioned himself up against the outside fence in a corner of the Waipukurau birdcage to watch Devi’s race and started yelling for the mare from the time she swung into the home straight. He got more and more vocal as Devi crossed the line three-quarters of a length clear of the opposition and had a smile from ear to ear as he waited for apprentice jockey Temyia Taiaroa to bring the Darci Brahma mare back to the winner’s stall.

   It had been a long time since Ellis last celebrated success with his last win being when King Of Rock took out a Rating 65 race over 2000m at Hastings in May 2013. Waipukurau has been a lucky course for him as he brought up his first training success there when Pennies’n Promises took out a 1600m maiden in March 2006.

   “I know I go a bit mental when one of my horse’s wins but top trainer Trevor McKee once told me you need to celebrate the wins because you never know when the next one will come along,” an elated Ellis said.

   “I also had a decent bet on the horse so I had every reason to cheer her on today.”

   Devi was one of the outsiders in the 11 horse field and returned a dividend of $17.60 for a win and $4.10 for a place.

   The success was also a welcome change of luck for Ellis after plenty of disappointment in the past year. He owned Devi’s dam Sachina which he sent north to be mated with a stallion but she got tangled up in a fence and had to be put down. He also stood the thoroughbred stallion Zellis but also had to euthanize him.

   Devi was originally owned and trained by New Plymouth-based Susan Rainsford and was gifted to Ellis.

  “The horse showed a fair bit early on and was placed a few times but Susan said she was starting to do a few things wrong and felt as though she didn’t want to be a racehorse so she gave her to us,” Ellis said.

   Ellis said he has changed Devi’s training regime around and had a special thank-you for Porangahau’s Mary Darby for the work she has done with the horse.

   “Mary looks after her most of the time and works her on the beach. I just take her to the Hastings track when she needs a bit of fast work and the variety seems to have the turned the horse around,” Ellis added.

   Devi showed she was on target for a big fresh up run at Waipukurau by winning a 1000m Hastings jumpout by two lengths on September 3.


Shady Lady’s deserved win

   There was no more deserving winner at last week’s Waipukurau meeting than Shady Lady in the maiden 1600m event.

   The Nom du Jeu mare had recorded eight minor placings from 11 previous starts including three consecutive seconds from her last three appearances.

   Shady Lady capitalized on a positive ride from jockey Johnathan Parkes who took her straight to the front from a wide draw and dictated the pace. He kicked her clear early in the home straight and she never looked like being caught, crossing the line 2-1/4 lengths in front of her rivals.

   Shady Lady is owned by Hawke’s Bay man Gareth Arnold in partnership with his London-based brother Sam. They bred the five-year-old from the Riviera mare Miss Royce and also have an unraced three-year-old half-sister to Shady Lady, by Per Incanto, coming on.


Kuru-Nelson team triumph again

   Top jumps jockey Aaron Kuru was seen at his patient best aboard the Hastings-trained The Arabian Duke in last Sunday’s $30,000 Waikato Hunt Cup Steeplechase at Te Aroha.

   Kuru, 27, settled the Paul Nelson-trained eight-year-old at the tail of the field in the early stages of the 4250m feature and bided his time until the last 900 metres before urging his mount a long.

   The Arabian Duke quickly ranged up to the leading division and took a clear lead with three fences left to jump. The horse didn’t make a great job of jumping the second to last fence but still held a good advantage coming to the final jump and was too strong for his rivals in the run to the line, scoring by 2-3/4 lengths.

   It was The Arabian Duke’s third steeplechase start and he now has a record of two wins and a second. The horse was formerly prepared by his Matamata part-owners Hamish and Karyn McQuade before entering the Nelson stable to be prepared as a jumper. He looks destined for much greater things over the big fences next winter.


Flat success seen as a bonus

   Cowboys Dont Cry, a horse sent north to Pukekohe trainer Rudy Leifting to be prepared for a jumping career, broke through for a maiden win on the flat at Te Aroha on Sunday.

   The D’Cash seven-year-old capped off two recent third placings with a dominant 6 length victory in a 2200m highweight, leading all the way for jockey Buddy Lammas.

   It was the horse’s 12th career start and he had also recorded two third placings last year when trained at Hastings by Kelly Burne.

   She still has a racing share in the horse along with four other Hawke’s Bay people, Kevin Howat, Darryl Morgan, Mark Taylor and Paul Toothill.


Sixth win for HB-owned mare

   Onefortheditch, part-owned by Hastings men Graham Duff and Paul Robinson, brought up her sixth win when she out-finished her rivals in a Rating 65 amateur riders race over 2200m at Te Aroha on Sunday.

   The Elusive City seven-year-old had not graced the winner’s stall since taking out a 1400m race at New Plymouth in July last year but had turned in several encouraging performances since then. She is trained at Wanganui by Kevin Myers, who also has a racing share in the mare and has been preparing her as a jumper. She has had four hurdle starts for a second and a fourth.

   Onefortheditch is out of the O’Reilly mare Molly O’Reilly and was bred by another Hawke’s Bay racing identity in Tim Symes.


Two in a row for Moss Jazz

   Moss Jazz made it two wins from two starts in the South Island with another all the way victory in a rating 65 race over 1200m at last Friday’s Gore meeting.

   The Tavistock mare was backing up after leading all the way in a 1200m maiden race at Wingatui on September 13 and again proved too strong for her rivals, winning by 2 lengths.

   Moss Jazz was bred by Hawke’s Bay brothers Chris and Ken Russell and was originally trained on the Hastings track by Sue Thompson and Mick Brown.

   Chris Russell decided to send her south to Riverton trainer Stephen Blair-Edie earlier this year and has retained a 30 per cent ownership.


HB owner finally gets first win

   It has taken 38 years but Hawke’s Bay racehorse owner Ken Robson finally got his first win when Secret Squirrel was successful in a 1350m maiden race at Wanganui on September 20.

   The Showcasing five-year-old, trained at New Plymouth by Bryce Revell, was having his 11th start and had previously recorded five seconds and a third. He started a warm favourite and scored by a neck from Keepin Harmonee, with the Hastings-trained Allacciato a close third.

   Robson said this week that the first horse he raced was Ipi Tombi, who was trained at Hastings by Marlene Todd back in 1980 and was unplaced in three starts.

   “I’ve been involved in close on 20 other horses since then but most of them have been no good,” Robson said this week.

   “My father Reg was a keen racehorse owner and when he died in 2004 I got two fillies by Handsome Ransom.”

   “I decided to send them over the Bryce Revell but he quickly told me not to waste my time with them. He said he had bought a horse from the South Island that I could take a half-share in and that is Secret Squirrel.”

   “I’m over the moon to finally get my first win and I think he is a horse that could go on to better things now,” he added.


   Serenity, who will be entered for the Rating 65 race over 1600m at Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay meeting, took the time honours at this morning’s Hastings track session.

   Most fast work was carried out on the plough, which provided good footing. Two horses worked up against the running rail on the course proper as a test run and a penetrometer reading was taken after. It came up as a good-3 and track manager Richard Fenwick said he would be putting on 12 millimetres of irrigation later in the day.

   Serenity had co-trainer Penny Ebbett aboard when working in from the 900m peg on the plough and was timed to run the last 800 in a quick 48.2, the final 600 in 36.6. The Per Incanto mare ran a good race for third over 1400m on the second day of the Hawke’s Bay carnival and her connections are now keen to step her up to 1600m.

   Kaipawe and Surpriseus were the two horses worked on the course proper and they clocked 1:19.5 for 1200m, the last 600 in 35. Kaipawe is entered for the Rating 72 race over 1400m at Hastings on Saturday.

   Soroc, one of several horses new Hastings trainer Lee Somervell has brought down from Cambridge, worked on his own over 1000 metres on the plough in 1:9.8, running the first 400m at three-quarter pace before quickening over the last 600 in 38.4. He was running on well for sixth over 1300m on the first day of the Hawke’s Bay carnival and will be stepped up to 1400m this Saturday.

   Cafe Culture worked in from the 1200m peg and was timed to run home the last 1000m in 1:5.4, the last 600 in 38.1. He will probably start next in a Rating 82 race over 1600m at Otaki on October 21.

   Star filly Xpression was restricted to just three-quarter pace, running home her last 600m in 44.8. She looks to have come through her close second in the Gold Trail Stakes in great order and is now headed south for next month’s Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton.

   Who Would Know had trainer Kate Hercock aboard when running an easy 1000m in 1:12.6, the last 600 in 42.7 while Estefania ended her workout with a 4000m sprint in 24.1.

   A Showcasing three-year-old gelding in the Lowry/Cullen stable was ahead of a Showcasing-Emerald three-year-old colt at the end of 600m in 40.


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