New Zealand news briefs

Robinson holds strong hand at local meeting

By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Local trainer Lance Robinson holds a strong hand heading into Riccarton’s synthetic meeting on Thursday, and he is hopeful he can snare a couple of winners cheques on the nine-race card.

Delphillius was a last start winner on the track and Robinson is hopeful the daughter of Rageese can put in a repeat performance in the Book A Suite Mid-Winter Xmas Races 22 June Rating 65 (1200m).

“She really enjoys the synthetic,” Robinson said. “She has drawn wide (16) but has got a lot of speed, so she will roll forward and hopefully she can drop in somewhere. She steps up a little bit in grade, but she won well in her last start, so we are hoping.”

Stablemates Soul Destroyer and Pearl Opulence both take last start runner-up performances into their respective races, and Robinson believes they can go one better on Wednesday.

“Soul Destroyer ran really well the other day in a three-year-old race, we were really pleased with that run. He is back to maiden company, and he should run really well,” Robinson said.

“Pearl Opulence is one of those mares that hasn’t had a lot of luck in quite a few of her runs. She will be running home strong. She doesn’t mind it (polytrack), she has always raced pretty well on it. She has a good draw (2) and should run well.”

Robinson is also upbeat about the chances of Boot It Scooter in the Betavet Rating 65 (1600m), In Awe and Anneliese in the Racecourse Hotel & Motor Lodge Rating 65 (1600m), and Fire Away in the Speight’s Summit Ultra On Tap Maiden (1200m)

Boot It Scooter hasn’t had a lot of luck lately but has got a better draw (6) this week,” Robinson said. “Fire Away is having her first run for us and she is a nice filly by Shalaa. She won a trial and she has got a nice draw (7), hopefully she will run well. In Awe is back to 65 rating with a claim, so I expect him to run really well, his work has been really good.”

Meanwhile, Robinson went to the Ashburton trials on Tuesday with four horses and was delighted to pick up three wins.

Juveniles Alleato and Zoo Beer won their respective 800m heats, while Elusive Impact took out his 1000m heat.

“We had four nice horses who all ran well,” Robinson said.

“We had two nice two-year-olds who were having their first trials and they went really well and won their heats. We will just get them home and see how they are in the next week or so and then make a plan for them.

“We had a nice Impending maidener (Elusive Impact) who trialled up really well and won his heat as well.

“Waihora Mist was fresh-up in an Open 1200m heat. She ran well, I am really pleased with her. She is just getting ready for winter racing. She has come up really well this year, so I expect her to do a good job.” 

Filly Bound To Be a winner

By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

The Haunui Farm-bred and raced Bound To Be impressed with her runner-up debut performance at Ruakaka earlier this month and trainer Kylie Hoskin believes she can go one better at Cambridge on Wednesday.

The three-year-old daughter of Reliable Man will head to the midweek synthetic meeting where she will tackle the Waikato Tractors 1300. Bound To Be had two trials on the surface last year and Hoskin believes she is capable of featuring in her first raceday appearance on the track.

“She had a few trials there (Cambridge Synthetic) and Warren Kennedy rode her,” Hoskin said. “He said she gave him a really nice feel, but she was just a bit weak and needed to strengthen up a bit.

“She has been on the surface before and liked it, so I am reasonably confident of a good showing tomorrow.”

Hoskin was pleased with Bound To Be’s debut performance and isn’t perturbed by her wide alley of 10 on Wednesday.

“It was a really nice run, we were really impressed with how she found the line,” she said.

“She didn’t draw well at Ruakaka either and she has got some gate speed, so I think she will be okay.”

Hoskin said she has taken her time with the filly and believes her connections will now bear the fruit of their patience.

“The connections at Haunui and Mark Chitty have been really patient. She is a bit of a hot filly and they have allowed me to take my time with her,” she said.

“She seems to be hitting her straps now. She is a happy horse and really content within herself. We are confident that she has got a good prep ahead.”

The Byerley Park trainer will also head south on Wednesday with two-year-old filly Fun Never Sets, who will be fresh-up in the Pryde’s Easifeed 970.

The daughter of Proisir will get her first taste of Cambridge’s synthetic track and Hoskin is looking forward to testing her left-handed ahead of a potential tilt at the Listed Castletown Stakes (1200m) at Wanganui next month.

“That (synthetic track) is a bit of an unknown for her, but she has got a lovely action, so I think it won’t bother her too much,” Hoskin said. “It will be good to have a look at her left-handed to see how she cops that. There is a stakes race at Wanganui next month if she goes okay.”

Meanwhile, Hoskin is pleased with the way her Group Two performer Zaila has come through her unplaced run in last Saturday’s Gr.3 Rotorua Stakes (1400m).

“She was bouncing around the place this morning. I think she just got stuck wide and had no luck, but she hasn’t taken any harm from the run,” she said.

“We will look at the Open 1500m at Pukekohe next Saturday and then after that possibly put her in the stayers race a fortnight after that at Ruakaka just to see if she is going to stay or not before we give her a freshen-up and look at the spring at Hastings.”

Zaila could be joined on a similar path by new stablemate Quality Time, who pleased Hoskin with his runner-up performance behind Turn The Ace in his first start for the stable at Te Rapa earlier this month.

“That far exceeded our expectations,” Hoskin said. “He has never had a race over 1200m in his life so we weren’t really expecting that, but the way he hit the line, it is very exciting and I am looking forward to him over the next few months.

“We are going to look at that Open 1500m at Pukekohe as well and possibly look to give him a freshen-up and look to Hastings in the spring.” 

Partnership strikes another stakes winning blow

By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

A long-standing association that provided Cambridge Stud principals Brendan and Jo Lindsay with their breakthrough Group One success has again come up trumps at stakes level.

The Lindsays bred and raced the 2015 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) winner Marky Mark, who was prepared by Moira Murdoch.

Now operating in partnership with daughter Kieran, Murdoch also trains Cambridge Stud’s progressive mare Bella Waters, who claimed the Listed Rotorua Cup (2200m) at just her ninth appearance.

“Brendan and Jo’s relationship with the Murdochs pre-dates Cambridge Stud, with their first homebred Group One winner with Marky Mark,” the stud’s Sales & Nominations Manager Scott Calder said.

“That’s always going to be a special milestone and it’s pretty cool that the association with the stable is continuing to this day.

“In my time at Cambridge Stud, we’ve pretty much always had something in the stable.”

Sacred Falls’ daughter Bella Waters was part of another successful weekend for Cambridge Stud, whose shuttle stallion Almanzor sired Gr.2 SA Fillies’ Classic (2500m) winner Positivity and impressive domestic three-year-old winners Geriatrix and Eliud.

“I think she’s been in work since May, so to have Bella Waters peak for a career best result is testament to the Murdochs’ training skills,” Calder said.

Bella Waters is out of the Pivotal mare But Beautiful and a second stakes winner for the Pivotal mare following the Gr.2 Autumn Classic (1800m) victory of Immediacy, a son of Tarzino.

“The way he is bred, there could be even more to come from his as an older horse and the same could be said for Bella Waters,” Calder said.

“She is still lightly raced and there’s a lot to look forward to with her in future seasons on the racetrack.”

But Beautiful’s Hello Youmzain filly sold at Karaka this year to Busuttin Young Racing and Andrew Williams Bloodstock for $280,000 and she is in foal to Embellish.

“It’s good for Embellish and he probably bred a high quality of mare last year than before with the way his early runners kicked off and he’s got some nice ones to hit the ground,” Calder said.

“You’d struggle to find a nicer mare than But Beautiful, she’s become a topliner in our broodmare band very quickly.”

The Andrew Forsman-trained Positivity became Almanzor’s 17th black type winner when she outstayed her rivals in the SA Fillies’ Classic.

“It was another really good training effort, she has been up for a while and Andrew has done a great job and she won it pretty convincingly,” Calder said.

“What we keep seeing is the stamina of Almanzor’s progeny coming to the fore. He’s had a Sydney Cup (Gr.1, 3200m) winner now (Circle Of Fire), but he’s also had an unbeaten two-year-old stakes winner (Nucleozor).

“He’s really starting to cement his place as one of the better proven options at stud in New Zealand.”

The Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-prepared Geriatrix, who was bought out of Cambridge Stud’s Karaka draft for $675,000, will now head to the Brisbane winter carnival off the back of his Rotorua win while Tony Pike’s Eliud romped home at New Plymouth.

“Almanzor continues to build momentum and Geriatrix is a horse that doesn’t have black type yet, but hopefully he can do it in Queensland,” Calder said.

“Eliud was bred by Kevin Hickman and again, he’s a horse that has got better and better with time and broke his maiden as easy as you can.”

Meanwhile, Almanzor’s fellow multiple Group 1-winning shuttle stallion Hello Youmzain has made a flying start with two winners, Allee de Bercy and Reux, from four first Northern Hemisphere crop starters.

“While we hoped Hello Youmzain would have early runners, he didn’t debut himself until August so he was a back end two-year-old,” Calder said.

“It’s encouraging to have two winners on the board already and the other thing that is really shining through this year is his results at the two-year-old sales, they have been very, very strong.” 

Williams celebrates domestic success during Kentucky tour

By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Little Avondale Stud’s Sam Williams cheered home a significant black-type result for the Masterton nursery from afar.

He is currently in the United States and was trackside at Churchill Downs to see Mystik Dan win the Gr.1 Kentucky Derby (2000m) during a tour to become better acquainted with American pedigrees.

“I came over here to get more of an understanding of the genetics,” Williams said.

“I used to follow the American pedigrees a lot more closely and we all know the Northern Dancer story, and the likes of Nureyev and Seeking The Gold and those great horses before them.

“I wanted to get more in touch with the pedigrees and I had never been to Kentucky to see the Derby and to see the big farms.

“Fortunately enough, I’m up here with Michael Wallace, who bought (Triple Crown winner) Justify, and his brother David and we’re travelling around with another mate of ours, Ben Kirton. It’s been a lot of fun to see Kentucky.”

Williams took time out to watch Little Avondale graduate Karman Line triumph in the Gr.3 Rotorua Stakes (1400m) for trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott and jockey Masa Hashizume.

“That was a really good win and she’s always showed a lot of ability, and I know she’s had a few hiccups along the way,” Williams said.

The daughter of Myboycharlie is out of the Pierro mare World Away, who was purchased by Little Avondale for A$18,000 carrying Karman Line at the Inglis Sydney Broodmare Sale.

World Away was unraced and is out of the Gr.1 Belmont Garden City Stakes (1800m) winner Miss World and the family of the multiple Australian elite level winner Miss Finland.

“There were two mares I liked at the sale and I rang James Mitchell, who worked at Waikato Stud and then came to work for me for a year,” he said.

“He was over there working for Inglis, so he looked at her and a Snitzel mare and we bought both of them.”

The other purchase was Vienna Lady, who cost A$35,000 and has produced a trio of winners, including Reverberations who has been successful three times for trainers Danny Walker and Aaron Tata.

World Away’s second foal is the Per Incanto filly Alexandra Quick while Wexford Stables bought the daughter of Exceedance, named Tristar, at Karaka last year for $220,000 and a Per Incanto colt sold for A$200,000 at the recent Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.

“The mare missed to Savabeel last season, unfortunately she had a big cyst in her uterus that to be removed last year and we tried to get her in foal to Savabeel because it looked a good mating on paper,” Williams said.

“I’m not sure where she’ll head this year, she could go back to Per Incanto, but we’ll wait and see.”

The Allan Sharrock-trained Alexandra Quick was raced by Little Avondale with partners, but time has been called on her fledgling career due to a back issue.

“Unfortunately, I’ve had to retire her after only four starts for two wins and she was freakish, Allan thought she had Group One potential,” Williams said.

“She had kissing spine and she’ll more than likely go to Chaldean this year.”

Williams was also delighted with homebred Poukawa’s impressive first-up showing with the Per Incanto three-year-old successful on debut at Wanganui.

“He didn’t go to the yearling sale, it was the first year back after COVID so I said we should hold off and target the Ready to Run Sale,” he said.

“Chris Rutten broke him in and said this thing is a star so we sent him to Sam Beatson (Riversley Park) and he said it would top his draft.

“The horse went sore before the breeze-ups and it took us about five weeks to work it out and he had a stress fracture of the hind cannon bone.”

Poukawa was subsequently sent to trainers Guy Lowry and Leah Zydenbos and races in the Little Avondale colours with a sizeable number of partners.