New Zealand news briefs

Whiskey ‘N Roses blooms with Ruakaka romp

By Richard Edmunds, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Joanne Surgenor has always had a feeling that Whiskey ‘N Roses was well above average, and that feeling turned into fact in a spectacular final 400m of Saturday’s Storage Bream Bay 2YO (1200m) at Ruakaka.

Raced by breeders Peter and Sherin Walker in partnership with Haunui Farm, the Belardo gelding had finished second on debut at Matamata last month behind the blue-blooded Savabeel colt Magice. Those two faced off again for the second race of their careers on Saturday, and this time the result was emphatically reversed.

Magice and Whiskey ‘N Roses drew side by side in gates one and two, and they both stuck close to the rail as Top Dollar rolled forward to take up the early lead. Magice settled in a handy position in fourth, while Whiskey ‘N Roses drifted further back and had only three behind him coming down the side of the track.

Rider Vinnie Colgan angled Whiskey ‘N Roses off the rail with 600m remaining, and he surged forward and swooped up on the outside of the leading trio at the home turn.

From that point on, all eyes were on the flashy chestnut and his big white blaze. Whiskey ‘N Roses changed gears and charged clear, opening up a dominant winning margin of three and a quarter lengths.

I’m All In took second by a nose from a late-finishing Magice, who only made his way into clear air with less than 300m left to run.

Surgenor was delighted with her new stable star’s spectacular performance.

“When he changes gears, he’s got such a good turn of foot,” Surgenor said. “I was a little bit nervous when he was on the rail and quite a long way off them, but once Vinnie got him into the clear, I thought this was his time to shine and that’s what he did.

“I’m thrilled that he’s done that. He’s such a special horse and I think he’s got a very big future ahead of him. Oh my goodness, it’s so easy to get out of bed in the morning when you’ve got a horse like this.”

Whiskey ‘N Roses may return to Ruakaka for the $60,000 ITM/Gib Winter Championship 2YO Final (1200m) on July 13.

“We’ll see how he pulls up from this, but we could look at bringing him back here for the Winter Championship Finals,” Surgenor said. “We’ll see what happens. This was his first big trip away, he’s a homebred, but he’s handled everything so beautifully. He’s a very relaxed Belardo and lovely to do anything with.”

Further down the track, the TAB now rates Whiskey ‘N Roses a $14 chance for the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) in November. That market is headed by Move To Strike ($6), Super Photon and Yaldi (both $8).

Whiskey ‘N Roses continued a remarkable run of form for former Haunui Farm shuttle stallion Belardo, whose other recent winners include the stakes-winning two-year-olds Belardi and Southern Warrior, along with the weight-for-age Listed AGC Training Stakes (1200m) winner Belardo Boy.

Whiskey ‘N Roses is the first foal to race out of Fullinbloom – a half-sister to the Walkers’ multiple Group Two winner Showoroses, who was also trained by Surgenor. 

Winter Cup possible target for Spencer

By Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

A trip south to contest the Gr.3 Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton in August could potentially be on the cards for Spencer after he scored in the The Tele Otaki Handicap (1200m) on Saturday.

It was the second consecutive win for the Waverley gelding after taking out the $50,000 Autumn Sprint Final (1200m) at Trentham last month.

He jumped away well from the ace barrier on Saturay before jockey Lisa Allpress settled him two back on the rail. She guided him into the clear at the top of the straight and he was able to reel in leader Amend, but he shied just before the post nearly dislodging Allpress, however, she was able to stay on her charge and score a one length victory.

Trainer Erin Hocquard was pleased with the win, but said she was more concerned for Allpress’ welfare following the late race incident.

“I thought she was getting too far back but he is so tough, he just keeps giving,” she said.

“I think she lost her iron. I was more worried about her than happy that he won.

“He has been super. He is just full of himself, and he is such a tough little horse.

“We will just see afterwards (race) and figure out where to go (next).”

While aware of his quirky nature, Allpress said she was taken by surprise with the late-race incident, but was rapt with the win nonetheless.

“He is a quirky fella and he can shy. I wasn’t expecting that at the winning post,” she said. “He is doing it so easy, I think he just lost concentration.

“I was really happy with him (in the running). He was cruising nicely, and I came out and chased that horse (Amend), so I was really happy with that.”

Allpress has a high opinion of Spencer and believes he is capable of tackling a late winter stakes target.

“I think a race like the Winter Cup (would suit him),” she said. “He needs to step up a bit more, but he has won over the mile before, so maybe he can get there.” 

Lippy wins opener on curtailed Timaru card

By Kevin Robertson, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Riccarton-based trainer Andrew Carston didn’t have to make the long trip back from Timaru empty-handed on Sunday after the meeting that featured the running of the Dunstan Horse Feeds Waimate Cup (1600m) was abandoned due to a horse slipping in the second event on the card.

Immediately following the conclusion of the race, jockey Niranjan Parmar reported his mount had lost its footing in behind around the 1000m. After a track inspection revealed slip marks at that point on the track, which had been affected by intermittent rain during the morning, stipendiary stewards ordered an abandonment of the meeting.

It was a bittersweet decision for Carson who had 10 runners entered on the day and had already collected a victory in the first race with Tivaci gelding Lippy and followed up with Domperion running an honest race for second in the race affected by the slip.

“I never complain as safety comes first and I one hundred percent support the decision taken by officials,” Carston said.

“It was quite clear the horse slipped and while you feel for everyone concerned, no-one should be put in danger when this sort of thing happens.

“I guess the most disappointing aspect was this was likely to be the last decent track we get as winter hits.

“There is no doubt plenty of rain coming and a number of mine were looking for that better footing before we put them away until the Spring.”

One of those was Lippy who Carston believes has plenty of upside to his future racing.

“He is a nice horse who has been going good races and deserved that one,” he said.

“He doesn’t like it much wetter than what he struck so he could have one more on the Synthetic track at home before he goes to the paddock and I’m looking to him coming back even stronger for his next campaign.

“It was a close finish but he puts in during his races and he got a lovely ride from my apprentice (Yogesh Atchamah) who now leads the South Island apprentice premiership.

“Yogesh has really come on with his riding and he works hard at home, so deserves the success he gets.

“Domperion also went her usual honest race in the second. She is only a three-year-old filly so she has plenty in front of her and I think she will also make the grade as she continues to strengthen.”

Bred and owned by Waikato Stud’s Chittick family under their Chittick Investments banner, Lippy is a son of Savabeel mare Cheex. His granddam is stakes-placed mare Miracle Miss who ran fourth behind Dorabella in the 2006 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).