New Zealand news briefs

Trainer pulls right rein with well-bred two-year-old

By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

The decision to bypass a trial opportunity with I’m All In proved on the money when the youngster successfully resumed on his home course.

The well-bred son of Zoustar hadn’t raced since February, but he was produced in tip-top order by Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh to prove too good for his rivals on the synthetic track in the Pryde’s Easifeed 2YO (970m).

“We’ve always liked him and he’d had a spell and we were going to trial him at Cambridge on Monday,” Marsh said.

“There was this 970m race and he’d had a jump-out a week ago and gone really well.

“I was very happy with him so thought let’s not go to the trials and go straight to the races. It was worth $17,000 and rather than trial over 950m we might as well race him, and it worked out really well.”

It proved a wise call and I’m All In tucked in behind the pace for rider Warren Kennedy before angling off the fence before the turn.

He lengthened stride well in the run home to account for debut runners Top Dollar and Brazen Affair.

“He really knuckled down that last bit and I thought it was a really good effort to get over the top of those other two,” Marsh said.

I’m All In had finished third, albeit a distant one, when third on debut behind subsequent stakes performers Alabama Lass and Renovations, and was spelled after an unplaced run at Matamata where he missed the jump.

Marsh is undecided about the immediate future for I’m All In and will monitor the youngster’s progress in the coming days.

“I’ll see how he does in the next week or so, we’re probably running out options for him getting deep into May,” Marsh said.

“He may have a little break and then potentially look at some three-year-old races in the early spring.”

The two-year-old is raced by breeders Cambridge Stud and continued their run of success following Bella Waters’ victory in the Listed Rotorua Cup (2200m) last weekend.

I’m All In is a son of the I Am Invincible mare Fuld’s Bet, a talented performer who won on four occasions, including the Listed WATC Gimcrack Stakes (1100m) as a two-year-old.

She is a half-sister to the RL Inglis Nursery winner Irish Bet and the multiple winner and Gr.1 Queensland Derby (2400m) runner-up Rockstar Rebel.

Fuld’s Bet also has a yearling daughter of Hello Youmzain and produced a colt by Sword Of State last season and is back in foal to the Group One-winning son of Snitzel. 

Aladdin Sane eyes northern prize

By Jess de Lautour, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Roger James and Robert Wellwood hope to weave a path to the ITM/GIB 3YO Final (1600m) with Aladdin Sane after the gelding delivered on his promise with victory at the Cambridge Synthetic meeting on Wednesday.

The progressive son of Satono Aladdin commenced his career on the stable’s home track last September, with a runner-up finish emulated at a first attempt on turf prior to spelling.

Favoured when resuming last month, Aladdin Sane gave the impression that a step-up in distance would suit, and he utilised every metre of the 1550m to capture his maiden success, tracking wide from barrier 11 and eventually wearing down a gallant pacemaker in Lucky Bay by half a head.

Wellwood indicated the pair had contemplated running the gelding on turf at Te Rapa on Saturday but were wary of impending rain, and they were pleased to have pulled the right rein.

“He’s always been a horse that has shown a bit of ability, but he’s just taken time in one way or the other,” he said.

“We were in two minds whether to run him today with the wide draw, but with rain expected later in the week we decided to.

“I thought it was a really good run, albeit by a small margin, but he had to sit wide and he won nicely in the end.”

With wetter tracks looming, Aladdin Sane will likely be campaigned on the synthetic and further north at Ruakaka, with the ITM/GIB 3YO Final (1600m) on July 13 an exciting end-of-season prospect.

“It definitely is a possible target, he probably wants good ground, so he’ll be based between the synthetic and Ruakaka between now and then,” Wellwood said.

“It would be nice to get to that race as his final for the three-year-old year, and he’s going to mature into a nice horse next season.”

Bred by Rich Hill Stud, Aladdin Sane was purchased for $32,000 out of New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2022 National Online Yearling Sale by Wellwood, and has earned $16,520 in four starts.

Kingsclere Stables will be represented at Te Rapa’s meeting on Saturday by two runners, including Windsor Park Stud mare Black Queen in the PGG Wrightson Grain 2100.

The daughter of Mongolian Khan was campaigned in Australia under Chris Waller and secured three wins in the 2000-2400m range, before returning to her homeland and failing to get in foal to Almanzor this season.

A half-sister to Karaka Millions 2YO (1200m) winner Dynastic and stakes-placed juvenile Nebuchadnezzar, Black Queen made her first raceday appearance in more than a year in April, and showed improvement second-up over 1600m.

“She’d been off the scene for a long time, so her first-up run over a mile at Wellington was a glorified trial really,” Wellwood said.

“Her second run was very good, but again she probably just blew out in condition near the end.

“I think this time she will be fitter for it all, and with the lightweight (54kg) she’s a nice chance.”

The mare will jump from barrier 10, as will stablemate and reliable performer Urban Myth when he takes his place in the Jones Trucking 1400 under Vinnie Colgan.

“He’s an honest, consistent horse who probably goes better left-handed, so it’ll be good to see him back that way around,” Wellwood said.

“They’ll both just need a bit of luck from the draw unfortunately.” 

King Charles III new patron for NZTBA

The New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association is delighted to announce that His Majesty King Charles III is their new patron.

The patronages of their Royal Highnesses the King and Queen were announced by Buckingham Palace last week to coincide with the first anniversary of Their Majesties Coronation.

The NZTBA received official notification from Buckingham Palace this week.

“It was a tremendous privilege to have received the letter through the post this week stating that His Majesty The King would be delighted to accept the patronage of our association,” NZTBA chief executive Nick Johnson said.

“Her Majesty The Queen was our patron for 32 years, and her love of the thoroughbred is widely known. To be able to have the patronage passed on to His Majesty I think is wonderful, we are very honoured.”

Following the passing of the Queen in 2022 a review of her patronages was undertaken along with those held by the then Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. Between them they had well over 1000 patronages and presidencies, and this number has now been reduced.

The letter from The Principal Private Secretary to the King and Queen the Right Honourable Sir Clive Alderton stated that the review had been completed and that His Majesty would be delighted to accept the patronage of the Association.

NZTBA President John Thompson is pleased the association former NZTBA Administration Manager Sally Cassels-Brown established with Buckingham Palace during the 1990’s is continuing. Each year since then the Association has sent Her Majesty a copy of the New Zealand Stallion Register which was always acknowledged with a personal comment.

“The New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association was fortunate to have a long -standing connection with The Queen during her reign,” he said.

“It is therefore fantastic news for the New Zealand breeding industry that His Majesty King Charles has accepted the patronage of our association so we can continue this wonderful connection going forward.”

Queensland trip on the cards for Malt Time

By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

A trip across the Tasman is on the cards for Group One performer Malt Time if she performs up to expectations in the Dunstan Horsefeeds 1300 at Te Rapa on Saturday.

The seven-year-old daughter of Adelaide has been a standout for trainers Shaun and Emma Clotworthy this season, finishing runner-up in the Gr.1 Arrowfield Stud Plate (1600m) last September behind Mustang Valley before placing in the Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m)  and Gr.1 TAB Classic (1600m).

She has had a spell since her unplaced run in February’s Gr.1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa and will return to the Hamilton track this weekend to ready for a Queensland campaign.

“She had a good preparation last time, we will give her a couple of runs this time in and hopefully she can show good form again,” Shaun Clotworthy said.

“She went out for four or five weeks and has been back in for a couple of months.

She worked up nicely during the week and we have been pleased with her since she has come back. She is in good order.”

Malt Time ran fourth in her 1000m trial at Avondale last week, giving Clotworthy plenty of confidence ahead of her weekend assignment.

“I thought it was a good trial, we ran her quietly and she got home and hit the line well,” he said.

Queensland is firmly in the crosshairs, with the Gr.1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm next month a potential target.

“She has got a bit of improvement in her and we are thinking of possibly heading to Queensland if she went well this weekend,” Clotworthy said.

“There are a couple of races for her that are a little later on in the carnival, we haven’t confirmed anything yet. She does hold a nomination for the Stradbroke, but we will wait and see what happens.”

Malt Time could be joined on the trip by stablemate Espadas, a three-year-old son of Ace High that has shown a lot of promise in his two starts to date, placing on debut at Pukekohe in March before winning his maiden at Ellerslie a month later.

“We are looking at maybe Espadas (heading to Queensland as well), they have had a bit of a freshen-up so he might join her, but we are undecided at this stage,” Clotworthy said.

Meanwhile, Malt Time will be joined on the float trip to Te Rapa on Saturday by stablemate Mitonic, a last start placegetter who will contest the Greene Racing Mile (1600m).

“He is in the same ownership as Malt Time,” Clotworthy said. “He is not far away from getting a win, he is going to be competitive again.” 

Tuthill taking on new training challenge

By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Former New Zealand eventer Annabel Tuthill has added another string to her equine bow by taking out her thoroughbred trainer’s license.

Tuthill competed at the highest level in eventing, competing at the Badminton and Burghley horse trials in the United Kingdom, and was named as reserve for New Zealand’s three-day eventing team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, with fellow team member Mark Todd also now carving out a career in thoroughbred racing.

“I was eventing here (New Zealand) and had some success and then went over to the UK for quite a while to aim for the Beijing Olympics, and I was named in the team as a reserve,” Tuthill said.

“I competed at Badminton and Burghley quite a bit over there, which was an amazing experience. I rode some really nice thoroughbreds along the way, they were always my favourite.”

While in the United Kingdom, Tuthill met her now husband Olly, who also competed at the highest level in his chosen equine pursuit – polo.

“Olly played polo in New Zealand and England, and he played for England. He was a professional over there and then we decided to move back to New Zealand and set-up Beaufort Downs, have a family and settle down,” she said.

Beaufort Downs is a boutique thoroughbred breeding nursery set on 100 acres in North Canterbury. The couple have spent the last few years establishing their broodmare band and have featured prominently as vendors at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale.

Their highest profile graduate to date has been So Dazzling, who was purchased for $200,000 out of their 2021 Book 1 draft and went on to finish runner-up in the Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) for trainer John Sargent.

“It was cool when she was favourite for the Oaks, that was an exciting time, and she came second to Pennyweka,” Tuthill said.

While she has been kept busy running Beaufort Downs with her husband, alongside raising their three children, training thoroughbreds has always been an itch Tuthill has wanted to scratch, and she is excited to have now taken on that challenge.

Group Two performer Milford Sound, who was bred by the Tuthills under their Beaufort Downs banner, has returned to her care for the twilight of his career.

The six-year-old son of Ocean Park was initially in the care of Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston, for whom he had a pleasing three-year-old season, finishing runner-up in the Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) and Listed Southland Guineas (1600m), and third in the Gr.2 Championship Stakes (2100m).

He has failed to replicate those deeds in subsequent seasons, including a stint across the Tasman, and Tuthill believes he is the perfect horse to help kick-off her training career.

“I would like to train a nice filly that we have bred, that would be my main goal,” Tuthill said.

“Mum and Dad’s horse, Milford Sound, came along and he is towards the end of his career, so it was quite a good opportunity for me to have a go and use him for learning experience.

“We bred him and then Andrew Carston did a really good job with him. He did well as a three-year-old. He went over to Australia but unfortunately he had a problem with his wind and has had two wind operations now.

“He has got to be managed nowadays and he is a good horse that has been there and done that, that I can have a go with without too much pressure.”

Tuthill said she has received some great advice and support from a number of trainers.

“Everyone has been super helpful,” she said. “We have got a good relationship with Anna Furlong, Andrew Carston, and Kayla Milnes. Kayla in particular has helped me out a lot at the track and the beach.

“We also went up to Cambridge and stayed with Roger James and Robert Wellwood. They were amazingly helpful.”

Tuthill is taking a patient approach with Milford Sound, who last raced when fourth in the Greymouth Cup (2000m) in January. She gave the gelding a 1200m hit-out at the Ashburton trials on Tuesday and she said he will benefit from the rain-affected tracks over winter.   

“I will just see how he comes through yesterday and then make a plan about what we are going to do in the next few weeks,” she said. “He quite likes the wet tracks, so I am waiting for the rain, it has been really dry down here.”

Tuthill is enjoying training in a new discipline and said it is quite different to training eventers.

“With eventing, we have to get them super fit, and it is more endurance compared to racing,” she said. “Olly is always in my ear telling me not to overdo it. It is a big learning curve.”

While looking forward to kicking off her training career, Tuthill said they are kept busy at their farm and don’t have any ambitions of taking on client horses at this stage.

“We are really busy with the farm and have three little kids, so it is a real juggling act,” she said.

“We are up to around 15 mares. We are loving it, it is awesome. Hopefully we are going over to Magics (Magic Millions broodmare sale) to get another one. We are always trying to improve the broodmare band.

“It is a real team effort and we have got a really good team here, and at this stage, we are doing it (training) for ourselves.”

While Milford Sound is the only racehorse Tuthill has in work at the moment, he is being kept company by retired Group One performer Vernanme, who is enjoying life after racing.

“I am working Vernanme, who belongs to Jasmine Casey, Kevin Hickman’s daughter, which is quite fun,” Tuthill said. “Jasmine is just wanting to find him the best home possible. We have had him here since he retired from racing. I am just doing a bit of schooling with him to get him ready. He is really lovely.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk