Tribute to a Great Racemare25 Sep 2017
It's not always plain sailing in this business and last week we experienced one of the sadder sides of the industry when the outstanding racemare Grand Archway was laid to rest at the ripe old age of 22.
It's not always plain sailing in this business and last week we experienced one of the sadder sides of the industry when the outstanding racemare Grand Archway was laid to rest at the ripe old age of 22.
It has been a positive start for new stallion Tarzino with three of the four mares he covered in his first two days on the job now scanned in foal.
Tarzino is bred on the popular Tavistock/Zabeel cross with his dam Zarzino gifting the young stallion with strong characteristics from her sire and grand sire Zabeel and Sir Tristram.
Exciting young sire Redwood will have representatives in three Group races across Australasia on Saturday with his daughter Swampland engaged for the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes over 1400m at Flemington, three-year-old Dashper scheduled to run in the Group 3 Tavistock Northland Breeder’s Stakes, and in-form mare Rosewood a strong lightweight chance in the Group 3 Boehringer Ingelheim Metric Mile at Awapuni.
Bonneval became the first three-year-old filly since Sunline to win the coveted NZ Horse of the Year title on Sunday and is starting to put a picket fence formline as her predecessor achieved. While the two are markedly different in their distance range and style of racing, and Bonneval still has a lot to do to be compared to Sunline, the next three months will tell us where Bonneval could get to.
Reliable Man’s son Sully showed he has plenty of raw ability after making it back-to-back wins when he scored against the older horses at Bendigo yesterday. Sully settled back in the field under apprentice Zac Spain over the 1600m and began a forward move from the 500m; at the 300m the grey gelding ranged up ominously before ducking in sharply when he spied a gap to his left, almost crashing into the running rail with less than 200m to run. Once he got to the rail the three-year-old balanced up and set to his task to reel in the favourite Minoan Spirit, getting up in the last stride to snatch victory.
Champion filly Bonneval (and her dam Imposingly) carried all before them at the 2017 New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Awards dinner at the Langham Hotel on Sunday evening with the daughter of Makfi taking out the NZ Horse of the Year honours, as well as the award for Champion 3YO, the Champion Stayer title, and the prestigious NZB Filly of the Year title; while her dam Imposingly (Zabeel) made it a real “family affair” when she was awarded NZ Broodmare of the Year on the night.
New Zealand’s Champion 3YO Filly of last season, Bonneval, returned to the track in excellent fashion at Moonee Valley on Saturday when she swept past her rivals to land the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes over 1600m at her first start in Melbourne and establish herself as a serious contender for the A$3,000,000 Caulfield Cup on 21 October.
Bonneval’s older sister Imposing Lass (by Makfi) makes a long awaited return to the track tomorrow when she contests the Group 3 Toy Show Quality at Randwick tomorrow. Imposing Lass has not been seen out since winning the Group 3 Belle of the Turf Stakes in mid-January and resumes tomorrow having had two trial outings to prepare, finishing third behind Tom Melbourne and fourth behind the Champion mare Winx.
Redwood filly Rosewood will look to make it five winners for the week for her sire Redwood when she tackles the BCD 1400 at Te Rapa tomorrow. The Marilyn Paewai owned/trained mare has been in a purple patch of form in recent starts and steps into a strong race at Te Rapa after winning the $40,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Leasing Handicap at New Plymouth.
With the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy less than three weeks away it was exciting to hear the El Roca Trophy (run on the same day) has been granted black type status and will run as a Listed race for the first time in 2017.
High Chaparral’s Group 1 winning son Redwood has started his stud career in excellent fashion and the results in recent days would indicate the stallion has a very bright future ahead of him with three of his first crop foals Swampland, Suliman, and Nights Watch all scoring impressively over the weekend.
Singapore Group 2 winner Lim’s Racer (Red Giant) returned to the track after a six month break in the best possible manner on Sunday when she began well, and led throughout, to prove too good for her rivals in the Class 4 sprint over 1100m.
This year marks the first running of the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy, known as the Makfi Challenge Stakes for the last six years, and hosted by the Hawke's Bay Racing Club both organisations are pleased to again partner with the Cancer Society on Tarzino Trophy Daffodil Raceday.
The Watson Bloodstock bred Faaltless posted the first stakes success for the new racing season for the farm when he took out the S$200,000 Garden City Trophy at Kranji on Sunday afternoon.
The winning roll for resident sire Swiss Ace continues to go from strength to strength as the weeks unfold, and this weekend saw yet another impressive winner for the stallion as the Graeme & Debbie Rogerson trained Straight Sets scored an all the way victory in the last race at Rotorua and took his record to three wins from his past 5 starts.
Former Westbury stallion Red Giant notched up an impressive double over the weekend in Singapore when Lim’s Regard and Ground Control ran out good winners for their respective connections.
A nomination as Breeder of the Year is an outstanding recognition for three close friends who have invested broadly in the bloodstock industry over a 30 year period and achieved an amazing level of success from the modest number of horses they have bred, and often raced.
Former Westbury sire Makfi had a great weekend with winners in three different countries across the southern hemisphere. The highly talented Portman started the ball rolling when he scored an easy victory on his home track at Flemington for Danny O’Brien and Qatar Bloodstock, and took top hoop Craig Williams one win closer to taking out the Metropolitan Jockey’s Premiership in Victoria for the season.
Exciting young sire Redwood produced a Trans-Tasman double on the weekend when his daughters Swampland and Rosewood recorded smart victories in good company.
A former Westbury graduate I Am Impinge made his debut at Coff’s Harbour in an open maiden yesterday, and created a good impression in winning comfortably for Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds. Bred by Peter Newsom, Mac Whitehouse, and Tony Wales – also the breeders of Bonneval and Imposing Lass – I Am Impinge is a 2YO gelding by I Am Invincible from the Generous mare Impinge and was a A$190,000 yearling purchase by Edmonds from the Westbury Stud draft at the Gold Coast in 2016.
With the 2016-17 coming to an end, it is timely to look at the achievers in the various fields over the last twelve months, and when it comes to broodmares one of New Zealand’s ‘shining lights’ is the Zabeel mare Imposingly who produced her fourth individual Group winner this year when her daughter Bonneval scored a trans-Tasman Oaks double and took out the 2017 NZB Filly of the Year Title.
The Swiss Ace gelding Hostwin Meraki made an excellent fist of his debut when he proved too strong for his opposition over 1200m at Newcastle on Thursday.
Redwood's oldest crop are proving themselves as three-year-old performers with a further two individual winners over the weekend in I See Red and The Big Sur.
Standout two-year-old Belle Du Nord has recently returned to Emma-Lee and David Browne’s Cambridge stable after a two-month spell.
A smart winner for Redwood came at Avondale’s meeting on Friday when three-year-old gelding Youvebeenlitup careered away for a four-length victory in the AJC Members 2100.
The Gerry Harvey bred Mastercard scored his first win at Te Rapa over the weekend in the Iplex Pipelines NZ Maiden (1600m) while also being the first winner for trainers Karen and Kelvin Zimmerman since transferring to Bylerley Park.
Westbury bred Perpetual Joyance (by Red Giant) put in a strong performance in the HK$1,235,000 HKU Faculty of Science Handicap over 1200m at Sha Tin.
Reliable Man’s first two-year-old crop continues to gain momentum with another of his progeny performing early with Sully stepping out at Ballarat on Sunday to place second for ex-pat kiwi trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young in just his first start.
The impressive looking Kementari, a half-brother (by Lonhro) to Telperion created a huge impression when he burst clear of his rivals to win the A$100,000 Seven News Plate over 1100m by a widening four lengths and stamping himself as a serious horse of the future.
The Rachel Frost trained Kate Louise ran a very good race on debut to finish second to the favourite Hard Merchandize, and meets the same horse again in tomorrow’s Listed Castletown Stakes at Wanganui.
The first Group 1 race of the season, known as the Makfi Challenge Stakes for the last six years, will in 2017 become the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy, sponsored by the Tarzino Syndicate, with the feature race hosted by Hawke’s Bay Racing on Saturday 2 September.
The Tavistock sire line lit up Hong Kong’s home straight on Sunday night when Werther ignited a three-length victory in the HK$10 million Group 1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup.
An impressive performance by Kementari at Randwick on Saturday in the A$100,000 Seven News Plate over 1400m has opened a bright future for the juvenile colt.
Swiss Ace gelding Huka Eagle proved a cut above his rivals when he landed the M$1,000,000 Chairman’s Challenge Cup M-1 on Saturday for trainer Geoff Allendorf and ex-pat jockey Andrew Calder.
Hard on the back of the announcement that Telperion will retire to stud at Westbury this year, Street Cry’s son Street Sense sired the winner of Saturday’s Group 1 Doomben Cup in Queensland with Sense of Occasion scoring a dominant win in the time-honoured race.
Gerry Harvey has purchased a significant interest in the Godolphin bred and owned colt Telperion, with the son of Street Cry scheduled to join the Westbury Stud stallion roster in 2017.
The Westbury bred Music Magnate will head to Doomben tomorrow seeking to defend his Doomben 10,000 title and looking to make it two wins in succession after an impressive win in the Group 2 Victory Stakes at his most recent start.
Makfi gelding Hursley is well overdue for a win (after posting four consecutive second placings at his past four starts) when he lines up in the A$100,000 Chandler Macleod Handicap over 2000m at Caulfield tomorrow.
Swiss Ace 3YO Sallybrook is in a rich vein of form at the moment and steps out in the A$100,000 Indian Summer Handicap over 1200m at Flemington on Saturday for Team Corstens and her owner Gerry Harvey. Sallybrook has had five starts for a last start win at Werribee and four second placings previously and the filly looks well placed to further her great run of form as she steps to city class on Saturday.
Unbeaten Swiss Ace gelding Little Giant (aka Blackcrown) will make his Hong Kong debut after being unbeaten in two starts in New Zealand from the Lisa Latta stable. The 4YO is trained by David Hall and has looked good in recent trials and will have the services of leading hoop Zac Purton in Sunday’s HK$1,235,000 Indian Ocean Handicap over 1200m at Sha Tin.
The final race on Sha Tin’s card on Sunday is the HK$1,750,000 Atlantic Ocean Handicap over 1400m and sees to Postponed geldings who were raised in the same paddocks heading into the race with solid formlines and sure to be competitive on another big day in Hong Kong. Happy Agility and Hang’s Decision were both bred at Westbury Stud in the same year and came out of the same yearling draft and appear next to each other in the racebook for Sunday.
Tavistock gelding Werther will be looking for back-to-back wins in the HK$20,000,000 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup when he steps out at Sha Tin on Sunday. The John Moore-trained gelding won the Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup Gr.1 two starts back over 2000m and has since had a prepatory run in the Chairman’s Trophy Gr.2 over 1600m to ready last year’s Horse of the Year for his main target this weekend.
The Bjorn Baker-trained Music Magnate has been confirmed as a definite runner in tomorrow’s Group 2 Victory Stakes over 1200m at Eagle Farm. The son of Written Tycoon had a wonderful time in Brisbane last year winning the Group 1 Doomben 10,000, and has since added the Group 2 ATC Expressway Stakes to his impressive record since last year.
Swiss Ace will be strongly represented across the Cambridge Jockey Club’s feature meeting on Saturday with three black type performers stepping out across the card.
Oaks winning racemare Sofia Rosa returns to her favourite trip of 2000m when she steps out in Saturday’s feature the Group 2 Travis Stakes at Te Rapa. The daughter of Makfi has not won since her ATC Oaks victory just over twelve months ago but the talented mare has competed at the highest level since, and a number of her runs have held plenty of merit including a Group 1 placing behind Kawi and close up in the NZ Thoroughbred Breeder’s Stakes Gr.1 at Te Rapa recently when 2.2 lengths behind one of tomorrow’s main threats in Charmont.
The Westbury born and reared Gold Medals won his ninth race and took his stake earnings past the A$360,000 mark when he ran out a convincing winner of the $48,000 Terang Cup yesterday ahead of the Wayne Walters trained pair of Puccini and No Fairy.
Singapore galloper My Horse made it back-to-back wins when he finished strongly to land the S$60,000 Class 4 over a 1000m at Kranji yesterday. Trained by HW Tan and ridden by Danny Beasley, My Horse has had 8 starts for 2 wins and 4 placings and takes his stake earnings past the S$100,000 mark with his most recent win.
The Bruce Marsh trained Laser Storm created a minor upset when he stormed home to snatch victory in the last stride in the feature race at Kranji on Sunday, the S$100,000 Open Benchmark 83 over 1200m. Bred and reared at Westbury Stud, Laser Storm has been a wonderful performer for his owners Warplan Racing Stable, winning on 9 occasions from his 30 career starts and posting stakes of more than S$400,000.
Exciting young sire Reliable Man heads the Westbury Stud Stallion Roster for 2017 as he heads into his fifth season at stud at a fee of $17,500 + GST. The dual hemisphere Group 1 winner has enjoyed outstanding support in his first four seasons and has limited vacancies available for 2017 with his book firmly capped for the upcoming season and current bookings very near that mark already.
Swiss Ace 2YO Marseille En Fleur was impressive as she made it back to back wins at Doomben when she proved too strong for her rivals in the A$60,000 Darley Kingsford-Smith Day Handicap over 1200m at Doomben on Saturday.
Redwood filly Rosewood scored a much deserved win after two seconds & a third before Friday when she landed the Landmark Homes Maiden over 1400m at New Plymouth.
Wait A Sec continued the great run by the progeny of Postponed when clearing out to win the Stella Artois Stayers over 2500m at Hawkes Bay on Saturday.
Bonneval’s hollow victory in the ATC Oaks at Randwick on Saturday was a huge result for a number of the people involved with the filly and provided her sire Makfi with his second successive win in the time-honoured feature, while the scary thought is that the three-year-old filly could well be open to good improvement in the future.
Evergreen sire Postponed continues to perform consistently and was represented by three winners across the weekend including an impressive winner at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The Pencarrow Stud bred and owned mare Cote d’Or has found a purple patch of form and looks to be heading into her most lucrative year next season after posting four wins from her last six starts when successful in the Te Aroha Cup at Te Rapa on Saturday, her first attempt in open company.
New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Bonneval will spearhead a string of quality performers for former Westbury sire Makfi when she contests Saturday’s A$1,000,000 ATC Oaks at Randwick on the closing day of The Championships.
Redwood filly Sequoia Lady has come a long way in a short time, starting 100/1 at her first start and finishing third, to starting a $1.70 favourite at her second start and winning by five lengths, while this Saturday she steps to Saturday company at Caulfield at her third career start.
Tavistock’s globetrotting son Werther returns to the Sha Tin racetrack for Sunday’s HK$4,000,000 Chairman’s Trophy HK-2 over 1600m and will have a change of rider with Sam Clipperton replacing Hugh Bowman, who has commitments in Sydney.
Impressive last start winner Belle du Nord (by Reliable Man) steps to Group 1 company when she tackles the Manawatu Sire’s Produce at Awapuni on Saturday, with the talented filly set to be the first Group 1 performer by her sire.
Impressive last start winner Sequoia Lady (by Redwood) had her form franked in no uncertain way with Montoya’s Secret (High Chaparral) winning the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill last Saturday.
Promising young sire Redwood was represented by two smart winners during the week, firstly the three-year-old filly Scarlet Princess over 1200m at Pukekohe, and then yesterday at Pakenham when another from his first crop, Sequoia Lady, put a space between her and the opposition when winning by just under 5 lengths in the hands of Damien Lane.
After breaking through for his first black type success at Moonee Valley last Friday, Bassett will head to Mornington for the A$120,000 Hareeba Stakes over 1200m.
Swiss Ace 3YO Nova Swiss heads into Sunday’s S$250,000 Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint over 1200m with a third different rider in his last three starts.
The Murray Baker/Andrew Forsman trained Bonneval was dominant in the Group 1 Wellfield New Zealand Oaks – the final race in the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly series – and became the second daughter of Makfi to land the coveted award for Champion Three-year-old Filly in the past two years.
While small in demeanour, the talented sprinter Bassett fears no-one when it comes to competing and the Savabeel gelding raced away from his rivals as he posted his first stakes win when winning the Abell Stakes over 1200m at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Exciting young stallion Reliable Man was represented by his first winner at Trentham on Saturday when the Emma-Lee and David Browne trained filly Belle du Nord powered home from well back in the running to land the $30,000 Richardson Racing 2YO over 1200m.
The Murray Baker/Andrew Forsman trained Bonneval will be looking to make it three wins in a row and take out the title of NZ Bloodstock Filly of the Year if she can win the Wellfield NZ Oaks at Trentham today.
Oaks winner Sofia Rosa will look to add another Australian Group 1 race to her record when she contests the Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill today. On the corresponding day last year the daughter of Makfi was first past the line in the Wellfield NZ Oaks at Trentham before losing the race in the Steward’s Room, and a month later she made up for the disappointment when winning the A$1,000,000 ATC Oaks at Randwick.
Group 1 winning sprinter Music Magnate comes back in diatance slightly when he leads the field out for today's A$700,000 Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs Galaxy Gr.1 over 1100m at Rosehill. The time-honoured sprint has attracted a star studded field with Fell Swoop, English, Faatinah, Redzel, Heatherley, Felines, Russian Revolution, and Miss Rock entered for the feature sprint.
The 12th renewal of the Westbury Classic for the Fillies and Mares is scheduled to be run at Ellerslie tomorrow and the second time as a Group 2 race, attracting a strong field which includes last start Group 1 winner Thee Auld Floozie, Group 2 winners Lasarla and Mime, dual Group 3 winner Girl of My Dreams, Listed winner Charmont, and black type performers Big Dreamer, Latin Rose, Rising Shot, Serious Satire, and Somethingvain.
It has been almost 12 months since high class mare Sofia Rosa has won a race but she has had just five races and only raced in Group 1 races!
The Graeme & Debbie Rogerson trained Don’t Look Back looks a strong chance to return to winning form in the Crombie Lockwood 1400 at Ellerslie tomorrow after a very good run for second at Matamata recently.
The Murray Baker/Andrew Forsman training partnership capped off a good week with their Makfi fillies when Eleonora scored a strong win in the Group 3 McKee Family Sunline Vase at Ellerslie on Saturday. Just days earlier the training partnership also won a Group 3 fillies race with the NZ Oaks favourite Bonneval when she powered home to land the Little Avondale Lowland Stakes at Hawkes Bay on Thursday.
Rising Red went ever so close to providing his sire Redwood with a dream result from his first crop of three-year-olds as he finished a brave second to Gingernuts in the $1,000,000 Vodafone NZ Derby over 2400m at Ellerslie.
It’s been more than three years since Champion Australian 3YO Colt Tarzino has had a taste of New Zealand grass, and when he landed back ‘home’ this week to take up stud duties at Westbury Stud, it took little to encourage him back into the role of being a Kiwi horse again.
Makfi colt Savile Row and Redwood’s son Rising Red both head into the $1,000,000 Vodafone NZ Derby with strong chances on Saturday.
High class sprinter/miler Music Magnate returns to Group 1 company tomorrow when he tackles the topliners Chautauqua, Le Romain, Hauraki, Japonisme, and Kiwi-bred 3YO Ugo Foscolo.
The win of Bonneval in yesterday’s Group 3 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes at Hawkes Bay cemented her favourtitism for the Wellfield NZ Oaks on 18 March as the NZ TAB shortened her price to $3 for the 2400m feature at Trentham, and along with Savile Row – favourite for tomorrow’s Vodafone NZ Derby at Ellerslie – and providing sire Makfi with a notable milestone having produced the favourites for both Group 1 events.
Talented sprinter Red Striker will look to go one better than she did this time last year when she lines up in Saturday’s $100,000 Group 3 Darley Plate at Ellerslie. This time last year the Red Giant mare flashed home to beat all but the talented Group 1 winner Sacred Star, finishing ahead of Durham Town, Trepidation, Passing Shot, Irish Moon, Statham, Mabeel, Miss Foxwood and company. Red Striker comes into this year’s edition off a similar preparation to that of last year, where she had a lead up run at Matamata the week before the Darley Plate.
Redwood’s three-year-old son Rising Red will return to New Zealand to contest the $1,000,000 Vodafone NZ Derby after passing his latest test with flying colours in Melbourne on Wednesday. Stepping out against the older horses in the OTI Handicap over 2100m, Rising Red was ridden against his normal pattern by Dwayne Dunn who ensured the horse was not spotting the leaders too bigger start and had placed perfectly behind the speed. When the gap came he was there to challenge and was quite purely the better stayer on the day.
Swiss Ace filly Improvement – the winner of her last four starts in Sydney – will travel to Moonee Valley on Friday night for the A$150,000 Group 3 Tycoon Tracey Stakes over 1200m. Improvement has been a wonderful find for trainer Gary Portelli, narrowly beaten on debut and the winner of her four subsequent starts in impressive fashion.
The David and Emma-Lee Browne trained Belle du Nord will become the first black type runner for her sire Reliable Man when she tackles Saturday’s race. Runner up on debut at Te Aroha over 1100m, Belle du Nord is sure to appreciate the extra 100m (and probably even more as she matures) of the $100,000 Group 2 Swaps Matamata Breeders Stakes.
The talented Swiss Ace gelding, The Dom, made an impressive return to the winner’s circle for his new connections when taking out the $22,500 Norman Disney & Young 1200 at Ellerslie on Saturday.
Evergreen sire Postponed produced two “new” winners on Sunday with the three-year-old Malfarious winning at Gisborne at just his second raceday start and looked a good staying prospect for the future, while Hidden Promise broke through in Singapore at his fifth start when he powered home strongly to land the second race over 1600m.
Less than a week after Bonneval took out the Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic at Te Rapa, providing her dam Imposingly with her fourth individual Group winner, another family member continued the great run of form at Newcastle on Thursday.
The much needed rain has arrived but it has raised a lot of questions regarding who will and who won’t handle the conditions. One horse who will shoot into calculations is the High Chaparral colt Highlad trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman as he has previous form on rain affected ground and the stable would have been smiling at the weather gods this week.
Makfi filly Bonneval further enhanced the breeding record of her outstanding dam Imposingly, becoming the fourth individual Group winner from the daughter of Zabeel as she put up a brave effort to land the Group 2 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies Classic at Te Rapa on Saturday, and is now quoted as a clear cut favourite for the Group 1 Wellfield NZ Oaks to be held on 18 March at Trentham.
Former Westbury sire Makfi could well be on track to land a rare double having strong chances in both the Vodafone NZ Derby with his 3YO colt Savile Row, and the Wellfield NZ Oaks with his daughter Bonneval who both indicated their readiness for the respective blue-riband assignments with top level performances at Te Rapa on Saturday.
International sire Makfi will be represented by runners in each of the Group 1 events at Te Rapa on Saturday with three-year-old colt Savile Row taking on the older horses in the $300,000 Herbie Dyke Stakes over 2000m and Sofia Rosa returning to the track in the NRM Sprint over 1400m.
The ‘old gentleman’ among the Westbury stallions – Postponed – will have strong representation in tomorrow’s $300,000 Herbie Dyke Stakes with Group 1 winner Consensus and the Group 1 placed Trojan Warrior taking their place in the 11 horse field at Te Rapa.
Highly talented mare Alaskan Rose makes her return to the track in a fresh state when she lines up in the A$150,000 Bellmaine Stakes Gr.3 at Caulfield tomorrow. The daughter of Encosta de Lago and Saskia has won two of her three starts at Caulfield and was most impressive in a fresh state last campaign when she came from well back to win well, and while the distance could be a touch short, there is no doubt she will be hitting the line hard on Saturday.
A sales series which began at the Gold Coast on 11 January concluded on Sunday with the final few yearlings knocked down at the Festival Sale at Karaka. Overall our results can be deemed as successful and the fact that we sold 75 yearlings out of the 92 offered in what was a mixed market, was a result the team can be proud of.
Swiss Ace gelding Nova Swiss continued on his winning way in Singapore when he won his fifth straight win in the colony. Ridden by regular jockey Manuel Nunes, Swiss Ace jumped fairly from his inside barrier to sit just behind the speedy Sebas. Coming to the turn he joined Sebas in the lead and went on to win by 1.25 lengths from Speedy Dragon and The General.
Racing can bring some very difficult moments for those involved at times, and on Saturday we saw this heart-breaking side of the Industry when the high class mare First Serve met with her demise in the Group 1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph Handicap at Trentham.
Westbury Stud consigned a draft of eleven horses to the recent Gold Coast Yearling Sale and it was a very satisfying result with ten of the eleven sold and a top price of A$440,000 for the Savabeel colt from stakes winning mare Illuminates. A half-brother to current stakes winner Hursley, the striking looking colt was purchased by Gai Waterhouse/Blue Sky Racing and was the highest priced yearling by his sire at the Coast.
Highly talented racemare Imposing Lass continued on her winning way when she cruised away from her rivals in the Group 3 Belle of the Turf Stakes at Gosford last Friday. The Makfi mare was given a lovely trip behind the speed by Jason Collett and when asked to quicken, she was quick to put the race away. Going on to win by a length from Queen of Wands (Not a Single Doubt) and stablemate Sewreel (Savabeel).
The progeny of Swiss Ace have been in a rich vein of form in recent weeks and the son of Secret Savings heads into tomorrow’s Telegraph Handicap with two talented representatives in the form of South Island sprinter First Serve and the Trentham specialist Passing Shot.
Swiss Ace filly Improvement is going from strength-to-strength as she steps up in class and distance for Sydney trainer Gary Portelli and owner Gerry Harvey. In the hands of leading apprentice Deanne Panya, Improvement has now won three of her four career starts, and other than going down to Fastnet Rock’s close relation Montreal on debut, she would have a perfect score.
Makfi ended 2016 on a perfect note as his good looking son Noor Al Hawa landed the US$500,000 Qatar Derby Gr.1 at Al Rayyan Racecourse in Doha.
Redwood’s son Romancer will look to step up to Group 2 company when he contests the Group 2 Jamieson Park Great Northern Guineas at Ellerslie on Sunday and further his preparation towards a start in the Group 1 Vodafone NZ Derby on 2 March.
Diminutive mare Red Striker will step into Sunday’s Sistema Railway Stakes at her third run back from a spell and will be looking to complete a long range plan set by her trainer Jim Collett after she won the Listed Hallmark Stud Stakes at the same meeting twelve months ago.
The up and coming mare Rising Shot earned herself a start in the Group Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie on Sunday when she flashed home for second in the Cal Isuzu Stakes Gr.2 at Te Rapa three weeks ago, the drop of 3.5kg from her last start sees her well placed under the handicap conditions of the race, and positioned just 1.5kg over the 52kg minimum.
The Kevin Hickman owned three-year-old Savile Row couldn’t have been more impressive as he made his first appearance back at the track since running second to Ugo Foscolo in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas Gr.1 as he raced away from the older horses over 1200m at Ellerslie on Thursday.
The consistent flow of winners for Swiss Ace continues at a rapid rate and continued on Thursday at Ellerslie with two winners for the son of Secret Savings with the debutante Fast and Furious posting a most impressive victory under Leith Innes, and the promising Julius recording his second win from five starts.
Swiss Ace mare Icehouse should be primed for a bold effort when she steps out in the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race at New Plymouth on Saturday.
Two impressive last start winners by Redwood – Night’s Watch and Our Sequoia – will face off in the $50,000 Conveyancing Shop Lawyers 3YO 1400 at Ellerslie on Boxing Day where they will meet a smart line up of three-year-olds including Hall of Fame, Barcello, Kingsman, Jon Snow, and the unbeaten Dark Universe.
Exciting stallion prospect Reliable Man has returned to his base in Germany this week, Gestut Rottgen, after proving very popular in his fourth season at stud in New Zealand.
Departing stallion Makfi produced the quinella in the last at Bendigo yesterday when his sons Portman (ex Farasha) and Secret Prophet (ex Secret Silence) provided the quinella in the last race, the Bendigo Coachlines Handicap over 1300m.
Redwood continues to make his presence felt in Australia with the Anthony and Lee Freedman trained High Mode (ex Lalla) having no problem with the step up to 1950m at just his second start at Yarra Valley on Friday.
Mossman gelding Sabino Speed left his rivals with no excuses at Randwick on Saturday when he led from the start under Peter Wells and clung on bravely to his lead to win the A$100,000 JLT & QBE Supporting Surf Lifesaving Handicap over 1400m from Careless with four lengths back to the third horse Zaunkonig.
It is amazing how quickly the yearling sales series comes around each year and we are now just 25 days out from the start of the Magic Millions Yearling Sale on the Gold Coast and the Westbury draft of eleven yearlings heads off on Monday on the first leg of their trip to Sydney, before heading up to the Gold Coast.
Impressive last start winner Improvement (Swiss Ace-Upgrading) can carry on her winning way for owner/breeder Gerry Harvey and trainer Gary Portelli in the A$40,000 Hyland Race Colours Handicap over 1100m at Canterbury this evening.
High class mare Imposing Lass makes her return to the track on Saturday when she steps out in the A$100,000 Segenhoe Cup for the fillies and mares over 1200m at Randwick. The Bjorn Baker-trained daughter of Makfi went from a maiden to starting favourite in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks during her last preparation, and while the 1200m of Saturday’s race is sure to be well short of her best trip, her class will take her a long way.
It could be a case of deja vu when the Graham Richardson-trained Suliman makes his debut in the THEBESTLITTLEBOOKSTORE.CO.NZ 3YO Maiden over 1400m at Te Rapa tomorrow.
Impressive debut winner Night’s Watch has pleased his trainers Peter & Dawn Williams and Paul Richards since his win at Ellerslie last Saturday and is likely to reappear back at headquarters over the upcoming Christmas Carnival.
Makfi filly Bonneval has been given plenty of time to kick off her three-year-old season and will make her first raceday appearance this season when she steps out in the $30,000 New World Te Rapa Premier at Te Rapa on Saturday.
The outstanding run of form by Red Giant mare Rising Shot in recent weeks has earned her a well-deserved crack at black type company with her connections stepping out in the Group 2 Cal Isuzu Stakes over 1600m at Te Rapa on Saturday.
Redwood’s son Romancer credited his sire with his first stakes winner when he came from well back to post an impressive victory in the inaugural running of the Listed Schneider Electric Mufhasa Stakes over 1300m at Ellerslie on Saturday.
Redwood’s son Night’s Watch signalled he could well be heading to better company in the weeks ahead after he debuted in excellent fashion in the Laser Group Services Maiden at Ellerslie on Saturday. The three-year-old gelding got back in the running after a tardy start but under the guidance of Mark du Plessis he quickly made up ground approaching the turn, and once balanced up, he appeared on the scene to challenge Doubtless Bay and go on for an impressive two length victory.
Five-year-old Faltaat gelding Marciano made a great first attempt at a middle distance for the season when he finished strongly to out-finish Zafrenzy in the last few strides of the Philips Lighting 2200 at Ellerslie on Saturday.
Quality mare Imposing Lass (Makfi-Imposingly) makes her return to the racetrack in the A$100,000 Treeserve Handicap over 1200m after a successful Brisbane campaign back in May, Imposing Lass went from being a maiden winner in November to a Listed stakes winner in one preparation, ending her three-year-old season starting favourite in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks where she finished sixth on a water-logged track.
After the recent wins of Our Sequoia and Rising Red, the promising Redwood geldings Night’s Watch and Romancer will be in action at Ellerslie tomorrow as they look to build their respective three-year-old campaigns towards the feature races in the New Year.
The talented sprinter Red Striker returns to her favourite track tomorrow as she tackles a smart field in the Group 3 JA Russell Ltd Concorde Handicap at Ellerslie on her way to her ultimate goal for the season, the Group 1 Sistema Railway Stakes on New Year’s Day.
Westbury Stud principal Gerry Harvey bred two winners on the card at yesterday’s Hong Kong Jockey Club meeting at Sha Tin when the Postponed gelding Happy Agility made it back-to-back victories for trainer Ricky Yiu and one race later the John Size trained Perpetual Joyance did a lot of work during the run but came out a convincing winner on the all-weather surface.
Swiss Ace gelding Top Prospect stamped himself as a three-year-old with well above ability as he ran out a dominant winner of the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial Stakes and made three wins in succession from a career spanning just six starts to date.
Red Giant mare Rising Shot has found a rich vein of form in recent weeks for Te Rapa trainer David Greene and owner/breeder Gerry Harvey with three wins from her last four starts and Saturday’s win in the Dunstan Feeds Rising Stars Championship Qualifier at Ellerslie assuring the mare of a start in the inaugural running of the $80,000 Dunstan Feeds Rising Stars Final to be run on Boxing Day.
Talented three-year-old Nova Swiss is relishing the transition to Singapore, winning his fourth race from as many starts in the colony and quickly establishing himself as one of the best sprinters at Kranji.
Postponed filly Cascata tackles black type company for the first time when she steps out in today’s Lucia Valentina Wellington Stakes at Otaki. Trained at Cambridge by Stephen Marsh for owner/breeder Gerry Harvey, Cascata has done little wrong in her three raceday appearances to date, finishing a close third to promising colt Secret Stash on debut before breaking her maiden at Avondale, while her latest effort held plenty of merit when she finished fifth to the very smart filly Volpe Veloce in a strong three-year-old race at Tauranga.
The New Zealand TAB released the markets for the $1,000,000 Vodafone NZ Derby this week with the Redwood gelding Romancer on the second line of betting behind the favourite, Group 1 winner Sacred Elixir. Romancer shares the second line of betting with Makfi colt Savile Row who ran a courageous second in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas a few weeks back.
The Cambridge trained Trojan Warrior will be out to gain some well-deserved compensation when he steps out in the Group 3 Eagle Technology Stakes at Ellerslie tomorrow. Back in April Trojan Warrior had the Group 1 Manco Easter Stakes all parcelled up until Sound Proposition appeared on the scene and knocked him off in the last stride.
The Richard Collett trained Top Prospect has been very impressive in his last two starts, winning at both Ruakaka and Ellerslie in recent weeks, and tomorrow he will step to black type company for the first time when tackling the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial at Ellerslie.
Swiss Ace gelding Little Giant, who raced in New Zealand as Blackcrown from the Lisa Latta stable, makes his Hong Kong debut in the HK$1,235,000 Chevalier E & M Enginerring Handicap over 1200m for the Class 3 horses on Sunday afternoon.
The Makfi-Make Me Strong colt headed our results for 2016 when knocked down to the bid of Hong Kong buyer KIR Racing for $180,000. The colt is a half-brother to the stakes placed Dreamer, and to Megara – the dam of quality sprinter Red Striker (by Red Giant). The colt is a half-brother to five winners including the Zabeel mare Assertion, from whom we will offer a smart colt by More Than Ready at the 2017 Magic Millions Sale on the Gold Coast.
Talented sprinter Red Striker resumes from a long break in the Listed Counties Bowl at Pukekohe tomorrow as she prepares for her summer campaign in the coming months. Red Striker last raced when running a close second to Group 1 winner Sacred Star in the Group 3 Darley Plate back in March and has had two trials to prepare for tomorrow’s 1100m sprint.
Two horses headed for greater things provided the farm with a winning double at Tauranga on Saturday. Having his second start back from a spell, Trojan Warrior came from off the speed to unleash a powerful burst to take out the O’Connor Warren Insurance Brokers 1400 and signal he was in for a big season. The son of Postponed was narrowly beaten in last season’s Group 1 Easter Stakes at Ellerslie behind Sound Proposition and finished second to Maygrove in the Awapuni Gold Cup, but this season the gelding has furnished markedly and is now a fully mature racehorse and has some serious black type assignments ahead of him.
Redwood posted his third individual winner in Australia yesterday when the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young trained Rising Red proved far too good for his rivals over the 1620m. Starting at the prohibitive odds of $1.65 Rising Red capped off some excellent form at his recent starts and took control of the race with more than 600m to run. Bred by Carter Bloodstock Ltd, Rising Red is out of the High Yield mare Diva in Red, and races for T L Busuttin, N J Carter, Mrs V M Carter, Mrs J A Carter & B H Carter and carries the same colours as the outstanding racemare Rising Romance.
The Michael Moroney trained Alaskan Rose has been desperately unlucky at her last two starts and given anything like a gap at her last start (Myers Stakes Gr.1) she runs in the first two. Alaskan Rose steps from the 1600m to 1800m tomorrow which should be perfect for the daughter of Encosta de Lago as she strives to add a Group victory to her record. As a three-year-old Alaskan Rose flashed home for second in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick, before being severely hampered in the ATC Oaks and still finishing within five lengths of Sofia Rosa at the line.
Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie has the Swiss Ace filly Bella Gioia set for the biggest assignment of her career to date when she tackles the Gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton tomorrow. Owned by Dominic Li’s IDL Racing in conjunction with George and Maryanne Simon of Cambridge, Bella Gioia impressed with back to back victories in the early spring before finishing strongly from the rear to finish a close up fourth in the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes at Hawkes Bay. The filly has had one start subsequent in the James & Annie Sarten Memorial Gr.3 at Te Rapa where she peaked on her run to finish seventh.
The Matthew and Michael Pitman trained First Serve became the fifth individual stakes winner for her sire Swiss Ace when she took out the Group 3 Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders Stakes at Riccarton yesterday.
The manner in which the Swiss Ace gelding Nova Swiss extended his winning sequence to three in Singapore on Friday evening has seen leading trainer Alwin Tan label the three-year-old as the best sprinter in his stable and heading for the top company.
Resident sire Red Giant had a super weekend across Australasia with five individual winners and some promising horses at that.
Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie unleashed an impressive maiden winner at Hawkes Bay on Sunday when first starter Cut Me Loose stormed home under Mark du Plessis to take victory in a fashion which labelled him a horse to watch in the future.
Makfi colt Savile Row will look to cement a stallion career when he contests the Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas on Saturday. Bred and owned by Kevin Hickman, the regally bred Savile Row heads into the stallion-making race at just his fourth career start, but the potential he has displayed gives the colt genuine claims in the Riccarton feature.
The Michael and Matthew Pitman trained mare First Serve will look to continue the fantastic run of form of the Swiss Ace progeny of late when she lines up in the Listed Pegasus Stakes at Riccarton tomorrow. The four-year-old mare has had five wins from her six career starts – her remaining effort resulting in a strong third behind glamour colt Xtravagant in the Group 3 Cambridge Breeder’s Stakes at Te Rapa – and a win tomorrow would underpin her value for a breeding career in the future.
The progeny of Redwood are starting to hit their straps as the season unfolds and we saw another impressive trial winner at Ellerslie yesterday when the Peter & Dawn Williams & Paul Richards trained Night’s Watch showed an excellent turn-of-foot to sprint pass his rivals over 900m. Night’s Watch is the first foal of the Exceed and Excel mare Glory Run – a daughter of Group 1 winner Penny Gem – and bears a strong resemblance to his sire.
Makfi filly Eleonora will miss Saturday’s traditional lead-up (Wakeful Stakes) to the VRC Oaks and head straight into the Group 1 feature for three-year-old fillies next Thursday. Winner of the Group 3 Ethereal Stakes at her most recent start, Eleonora is on the second line of betting behind WS Cox Plate placegetter Yankee Rose and is sure to relish the step up to 2500m being a granddaughter of Melbourne Cup winner Ethereal.
Henry Dwyer’s promising Redwood filly, Swampland, is entered for the A$150,000 Lexus Hybrid Plate over 1400m on Melbourne Cup Day after which time the Caulfield trainer will make a final decision as to whether she returns to her country of birth to tackle the NZ 1000 Guineas 11 days later.
Makfi filly Ruby Armani, owned by Kylie Bax’s B.A.X. No.2 Syndicate, looks set to atone for an unlucky effort at her last start when she steps out at Tauranga in the Kirsty Cashmore Bayley’s 1300 on Saturday.
Red Giant gelding Nova Strike couldn’t have been more impressive when looping the field from last and powering home to win the S$125,000 Landex Cup at Kranji on Sunday.
The Gerry Harvey bred Happy Agility (Postponed-Ballyalla) was very impressive when he cleared out to win the HK$840,000 Zenith Excellent Handicap over 1200m for trainer Ricky Yiu and rider Neil Callan.
The first black type race for two-year-olds will be run at Trentham tomorrow when the Swiss Ace @ Westbury Stud Wellesley Stakes is run and the farm will be represented by homebred filly O'Marina who will make her debut for the McKee/Chippendale stable.
Not for one minute did we expect to see the progeny of Reliable Man out and running over 800m as two-year-olds, but tomorrow we will see the son of Dalakhani with two runners in the NZB Ready to Run Sale Two-Year-Old race at Riccarton.
Two-year-old filly Swiss Love is down to make her debut at Eagle Farm tomorrow with no exposed trial form and coming from the astute stable of Bevan Laming.
There was a real moment of déjà vu at Caulfield on Saturday when the Murray Baker/Andrew Forsman trained Eleonora strode to victory in the Group 3 NZ Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Swiss Ace mare First Serve has really gone to a new level this season and made short work of some handy sprinters in the $30,000 Half the Asset Open over 1200m at Ashburton on Saturday as she posted her fifth win from just six starts.
The progeny of Swiss Ace had an excellent weekend winning races in New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore over the weekend. On Saturday the talented mare First Serve won the open sprint on a good day of racing at Ashburton and stamped herself as one of the emerging sprinters in New Zealand after just six career starts.
High class racemare Royal Descent has returned a positive scan to Swiss Ace from her first service at stud.
Fifteen years after her grand-dam Ethereal won the Caulfield Cup for Sir Peter and the late Phillip Vela, Makfi filly Eleonora will be out to repeat some family tradition on Caulfield Cup day when she tackles the A$150,000 Group 3 Ethereal Stakes tomorrow.
The Kevin Hickman owned Savile Row will look to put his NZ 2000 Guineas back on track tomorrow when he steps out in the Listed Barneswood Farm Stakes at Ashburton. In what appears to be a very strong field, the beautifully bred Makfi colt was an impressive winner on debut and reappeared as a three-year-old in the Group 3 Bonecrusher Stakes at Ellerslie where he struck an unsuitable heavy track and finished sixth.
Redwood filly Swampland has impressed her trainer Henry Dwyer sufficiently in her two raceday starts to date that he has decided to step her up into a smart field of three-year-old fillies race in the opener on Caulfield Cup day with a view to getting to the NZ 1000 Guineas if her form warrants the trip.
The heavily supported Romancer, a striking son of Redwood, broke his maiden at his second start yesterday when successful in the Northpine Maiden over 1200m at Ruakaka and rewarded those punters who had stuck with the horse after going down narrowly on debut. Trained by Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs, Romancer was a $110,000 yearling for his trainer and is raced by Mrs A Gibbs, J A Gibbs MNZM, Mrs D M Logan, D & K Milliken, OTI Management Pty Ltd, Stirling Bloodstock Ltd & Mrs L A Warwick.
Red Giant gelding Junzi – aka as Rebel Heart in New Zealand – broke his maiden in Hong Kong overnight when landing the HK$840,000 Poplar Handicap over 1000m at Happy Valley.
The Mike Moroney trained four-year-old Alaskan Rose will make her second appearance for the season when she steps out in the $150,000 Group 3 Ladies Day Vase over 1600m at Caulfield tomorrow.
It was announced yesterday that the exciting young stallion Makfi, has been sold to Japanese interests and will travel to Japan following his southern hemisphere season at Westbury Stud in New Zealand.
Caulfield trainer Henry Dwyer is giving serious consideration towards bringing the Redwood filly Swampland back to New Zealand for a tilt at the NZ 1000 Guineas in November.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Reliable Man was represented by his first trial winner during the week when a two-year-old gelding from Wannabe Queen showed his rivals a clean pair of heels when careering away to win by 5.5 lengths over 800m on a good track at Ruakaka.
While on the face of things Sofia Rosa might appear to have been disappointing in her first two starts from a spell, she gets her opportunity to put the record straight on Sunday when she steps to 2000m for the first time this preparation when she takes on the likes of Preferment, Hartnell, Tarzino, and Jameka in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.
Red Giant’s daughter Platinum Command will be a fit mare heading into tomorrow’s Livamol Classic at Hastings after racing throughout the winter and the likelihood of track which will race in the slow region, the five-year-old mare could well enter calculations in the Group 1 feature for Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta and owners Lincoln Farms and Neville McAllister.
Makfi’s three-year-old daughter Eleonora takes another step towards a VRC Oaks start in November when she lines up in Sunday’s Edward Manifold Stakes at Flemington.
The very consistent Swiss Kiss (Swiss Ace-Regal Kiss) will contest the $40,000 William Hill Handicap at Moonee Valley tonight for the Leon & Troy Corstens team and while she has drawn horribly at 13, the mare has never gone poorly with a record of 3 wins, a second, and 2 thirds from her 7 career starts.
Exciting Makfi colt Savile Row makes his much awaited return to the track tomorrow when he lines up in the $70,000 Group 3 Bonecrusher Stakes at Ellerslie. Bred and raced by Valachi Downs principal Kevin Hickman, Savile Row created a wonderful impression when he won on debut at Avondale as a two-year-old, and was put aside thereafter with a 3YO campaign in mind.
The Swiss Ace 3YO Bella Gioia will step to black type company for the first time tomorrow when she tackles the Group 3 Hawkes Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes at Hastings and looks to further her path towards the Group 1 NZ 1000 Guineas for which she is currently the $8 favourite with the NZ TAB.
The Gerry Harvey bred Alaskan Rose begins her four-year-old season in the $80,000 MRC Foundation Handicap over 1400m at Caulfield on Saturday and will be an interesting runner in a fresh state after finishing close up in a number of Group races as a three-year-old.
Swiss Ace entire Passing Shot steps out in his third start back from a spell when he contests the $120,000 Listed Testa Rossa Stakes over 1200m and should be getting close to peak fitness.
The combination of Danielle Johnson and Sofia Rosa will look to show “the boys” a thing or two in tomorrows A$500,000 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington as the mare has the second start in her 4YO campaign.
Talented Queensland trainer Liam Birchley has asked the question of Redwood gelding Chamalu early in his career by entering him in the A$1,000,000 Golden Rose at just his second career start, and just ten days after debuting successfully on the Sunshine Coast.
The Red Giant mare Platinum Command will look to make up for some bad luck in recent starts when she contests the Group 3 Merial Ancare Metric Mile on her home track at Awapuni tomorrow.
Talented Queensland trainer Liam Birchley has asked the question of Redwood gelding Chamalu early in his career by entering him in the A$1,000,000 Golden Rose at just his second career start, and just ten days after debuting successfully on the Sunshine Coast.
The last two weeks has seen more of the Redwood progeny step out into the public arena and it is pleasing to see the way they are progressing now they have turned three.
Makfi entire Raw Impulse resumes in the A$85,000 1Print Craig Opie Cup over 1600m at Moonee Valley tomorrow.
The first two-year-old race of the season is scheduled to be run at Whanganui tomorrow and one of the top chances looks to be the John Bary trained Swiss Precision.
The annual Auckland Thoroughbred Breeder’s Stallion Parade will be held at Karaka on Sunday 11th September starting at Haunui Farm at 10:30am and heading to Westbury Stud thereafter.
The Allan Sharrock-trained Kawi made it back-to-back wins in the Makfi Challenge Stakes at Hastings on Saturday when too strong for a quality line up of weight-for-age performers. The son of Savabeel was given a good run back in midfield by Leith Innes after drawing wide, and it became evident on straightening that Kawi was the one to beat when he circled the field and quickly put a couple of lengths on his opposition, and while there were some sound runs behind Kawi, the result was never in doubt with the margin being a clear cut 1.3 lengths at the post.
The Gerry Harvey bred and Westbury raised Laser Storm finished strongly to dead heat with favourite Super Winner in the last nights $125,000 Phumelela Gaming & Leisure Trophy over 1200m at Kranji. The son of Lucky Owners and Miss Ivanovic is trained by Bruce Marsh and was scoring the eighth win of his career, with his stake earnings now breaking the S$350,000 mark. Laser Storm has been a model of consistency throughout his career with 17 first-five placings from his 23 career starts.
The Sheila Laxon/John Symons trained Bexstar is showing the benefit of being given time to mature after winning her second race from her past four starts at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday. The daughter of Tavistock finished strongly to win by a length in the SCTC Samuel Smith & Son Handicap over 1600m and looks to be taking some very good steps towards reaching a higher grade.
Savabeel gelding Kawi will be looking to become just the second horse in the past 31 years to win back-to-back Makfi Challenge Stakes, the first Group 1 race to be run for the 2016-17 season. The Hawkes Bay meeting signifies the start of Spring racing and the Makfi Challenge Stakes has an honour roll which includes the very best of New Zealand’s weight-for-age performers including the likes of Mufhasa, Ocean Park, Sunline, Xcellent, Seachange, Starcraft, Miss Potential, Cent Home, Hero, Snap, Calm Harbour, Surfer’s Paradise, Rough Habit, Poetic Prince, and Field Dancer.
Race 5 on the card at the 2015 Makfi Challenge Stakes Day was a special conditions maiden, won impressively by a 3YO filly having just her second start – her name, Sofia Rosa who went on to be come New Zealand Filly of the Year. In the corresponding event this year Makfi will once again be represented with a strong winning chance when the Murray Baker/Andrew Forsman filly Eleonora kicks of her three-year-old campaign, and could well end up among the best of her generation as the season unfolds.
Six-year-old Panno Rossa will be looking for win number five from his past eight starts when he steps out in the A$60,000 Coke Open Handicap at Doomben on Saturday. Trained by Kelly Doughty Panno Rossa was very impressive when coming from last to first in a similar race at Eagle Farm two weeks ago, where he defeated Brave Ali and Best Case - two of his main rivals again on Saturday.
The Stephen Mckee/Eddie Chippendale trained Passing Shot kicks off his season (and has his first Australian start) when he contests tomorrow’s A$120,000 1Print Carlyon Stakes Norman Carlyon over 1000m at Moonee Valley.
The Swiss Ace pair of Fitzroy and Lincoln Road look to give their sire two strong winning chances over the weekend in Singapore.
The Stephen Marsh trained Kingsgrave (Postponed) will look to add to his impressive formline of late when he lines up in the $25,000 ITM PSP Turfclad Ultra 2000 at New Plymouth tomorrow.
The Makfi Challenge Stakes is gearing up to be a great start for Group 1 racing in 2016-17 with high class performer Kawi looking to make it back-to-back wins in the race, while his opponents this year are likely to include Valley Girl, Hasselhoof, Julinsky Prince, Ryan Mark, Stolen Dance, Our Vergara, Capella, Bohemian Lily, No More Tears, Authentic Paddy and the possibility that Saturday’s impressive Group 2 Foxbridge Plate winner Saracino could also be considered for the first Group 1 race of the season as he prepares for a tilt at Melbourne.
The Postponed gelding Lord Snow credited the mother and daughter partnership of Moira and Kieran Murdoch with their first win as a training partnership when dead-heating in the D.I.C.-Drivers in Control 1600m at Te Rapa on Saturday. Lord Snow was the first runner for the new training partnership and looks a promising stayer in the making having gone down narrowly at his debut at Avondale a few weeks earlier – Cameron Lammas piloting the horse on both occasions.
Makfi gelding Hursley steps out in the first race at Caulfield tomorrow as he looks to make it three wins from his last four starts. Hursley gains some weight relief tomorrow dropping to 57.5kg after carrying 60kg at his past three starts.
The Red Giant mare Platinum Command will look to atone for a narrow defeat in last Saturday’s Winter Cup Gr.3 when she takes her place in the $40,000 Millennium Hotels & Resorts Premier over 1400m at Riccarton tomorrow.
Red Giant mare Platinum Command will be looking to open her black type account when she contests the Group 3 eStar Winter Cup at Riccarton tomorrow.
Swiss Ace’s son The Dom can be expected to make sharp improvement after his first up fourth at Ruakaka four weeks ago when he returns to the winterless North this weekend in the Crowley’s Hire Centre 1200 on Saturday.
Robbie Laing had something of an epiphany as he sat at home and watched the finish of the 2003 Victoria Derby. Elvstroem first. Kempinsky second. Both colts. More importantly, as far as Laing was concerned, both by Danehill. It wasn’t as if Laing had come down in the last shower - after all, this was Danehill’s fourth Victoria Derby winner - but the Cranbourne trainer decided that he needed to get in on the act.
With the 2015/16 racing season now completed it has been a notable achievement that sons of Fastnet Rock have headed both the Australian First Season Sires Table and the Australian Second Season Sires Table and making an emphatic statement in regard to the future of the sireline.
Makfi’s three-year-olds Hursley and Zafiki will clash in tomorrow’s Helen Egan Handicap over the 2000m at Caulfield as they close off their 3YO season.
Swiss Ace filly Serve and Volley (ex Espresso Cavallo) will look to take a step up in company as she takes on Saturday class for the first time at Rosehill on Saturday when she tackles the A$85,000 TAB Rewards Handicap off the back of a sound last start win at Warwick Farm for trainer Steve Englebrecht.
While it was far from our expectation to see Redwood with 2YO’s running in stakes races over 1200m, tomorrow’s Ryder Stakes at Otaki will see Rosewood lining up after two solid efforts for second and third at her only two starts.
A fantastic year on the racetrack has seen Westbury Stud principal Gerry Harvey nominated for the 2016 NZ Breeder of the Year which will be decided at the Annual Horse of the Year Awards in Auckland next month.
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Redzel is set to make his reappearance in Saturday’s A$85,000 July Sprint over 1100m at Canterbury with Kerrin McEvoy listed to ride, and the gelding looks to be well forward after an impressive trial win recently.
The past weekend has seen the arrival of Makfi and Reliable Man back in New Zealand and ready to serve an elite group of broodmares this season.
Platinum Command’s emphatic victory in the Whyte Handicap at Trentham on Saturday made it the third consecutive week that one of the Red Giant progeny have claimed a feature race win in the southern hemisphere.
Makfi gelding Hursley will carry the steadier of 60kg as he looks to post back-to-back wins at Caulfield tomorrow in the $80,000 Wilson Medic One 3YO Handicap over 2000m.
Red Giant mare Platinum Command has really come of age this season and will attempt to repeat last week’s impressive effort at Awapuni when she steps out in the $40,000 Whyte Handicap over 1600m at Trentham.
There is no doubt the spotlight on racing from a New Zealand interest point of view, centres on Asia this weekend with a big meeting at Kranji in Singapore, a strong card in Hong Kong, and the running of the Rider Horse Group’s raceday at Khorchin in China.
The very talented three-year-old, The Dom makes his return to the track tomorrow after a lengthy layoff and will create plenty of interest in the last at Ruakaka, the $20,000 Crowley’s Hire Centre over 1200m.
JML Bloodstock’s high class 3YO Sofia Rosa will officially be crowned the NZB New Zealand Filly of the Year at the upcoming Horse of the Year Awards to be held in Auckland on 7 August and is set to join an elite group of fillies to have won the title previously.
Last weekend we saw impressive wins by the Swiss Ace geldings Athena Baby in Hong Kong, and Spade of Ace in Singapore, while on Thursday of this week his daughter Shemai scored impressively at Sandown in Melbourne for owner/breeder Gerry Harvey.
The Shane Baertschiger trained two-year-old I’ve Got A Feeling – having just his second raceday start – gave himself a serious shot at the $250,000 Singapore Group 2 Golden Horseshoe on 8 July 2016 when he scored impressively at Kranji yesterday.
Promising young sire Swiss Ace has had an excellent season and the flow of winners continued again on Sunday with Singapore debutante Spade of Ace (ex Political Princess) winning well in the $75,000 Restricted Maiden. A $27,500 NZ Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale product, Spade of Ace began well and sat outside the leader until the turn.
The Queensland Winter Carnival has been happy hunting ground for Gerry Harvey’s Westbury banner with two stakes victories including a Group 1 win with Music Magnate, and this weekend the farm looks to strengthen that success with five hopefuls contesting Eagle Farm’s feature races.
Trainer Shane Baertschiger’s promising Polytrack sprinter Lincoln Road kept his unblemished record going when he posted his fifth win in a row on Sunday, even if it was tougher than expected.
Makfi filly Imposing Lass heads the team of Westbury graduates in the A$500,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) this Saturday at Eagle Farm along with Alaskan Rose and Zafiki, if she gains a run off the ballot list.
Westbury Stud graduates were in full swing yesterday in both domestic and international races having tallied five winners in three countries.
While Gerry Harvey might be an Australian resident, his New Zealand breeding operation at Westbury Stud has had a vintage year producing two Group 1 winners in Australia – Sofia Rosa and Music Magnate - as well as the stakes winners Telepathic, Passing Shot, Red Striker, and Saturday’s 2YO Listed winner Ichiban.
Swiss Ace juvenile Ichiban gave his sire the distinction of having produced back-to-back winners of the Listed Graeme Thomson Jewellers Great Northern Foal Stakes at Ellerslie on Saturday after Secret Spirit had won the corresponding race in 2015.
Red Giant’s son Surgical Strike continued on his winning way at Arlington over the weekend when he took out the US$100,000 Group 3 Arlington Classic over 1700m.
The Darren Weir-trained Raw Impulse heads to Sydney on Saturday for his first black type assignment since coming to the southern hemisphere as he steps out in the Listed WJ McKell Cup over 2400m.
The Bjorn Baker trained Music Magnate will have his first start in Group 1 company on Saturday when he tackles the BTC Doomben 10,000 over 1200m.
The Graeme and Debbie Rogerson trained Ichiban – a last start winner at Te Rapa on a Good 3 track – will lead the field out for the Listed Graeme Thomson Jewellers Great Northern Foal Stakes at Ellerslie tomorrow, but the Heavy 10 track conditions will be vastly different from that which he encountered when winning at Te Rapa in April.
Three fillies who grew up together at Westbury Stud could meet on Saturday when they take their place in the Group 2 Doomben Roses in Brisbane over 2000m as their final lead-up to the Group 1 Queensland Oaks in two weeks time.
Three-year-old Swiss Ace gelding Turncoat fulfilled the promise he had always shown his trainer Allan Sharrock when he careered away for a 4.75 length victory in the opener at New Plymouth last weekend.
Redoute’s Choice colt Howard Be Thy Name heads to the $500,000 Group 1 South Australian Derby on Saturday as the winner of four of his past five starts and looks a serious chance in the 2500m feature. The son of Group 2 winner Bellini Rose, Howard Be Thy Name has had a perfect preparation under the guidance of Darren Weir, winning the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas over 1800m and more recently the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes over 2000m.
Bjorn Baker will look to continue on his winning way when he takes a team to the stand alone meeting at Scone on Saturday with last start Group winner Music Magnate spearheading the attack. The son of Written Tycoon has won 5 of his 10 career starts and will use Saturday’s $150,000 Listed Luskin Star Stakes over 1300m as a precursor to the bigger assignments Baker has planned for the gelding during the upcoming Brisbane carnival.
Makfi entire Raw Impulse will look to extend his unbeaten record in Australia to three when he contests the $80,000 Racing Photos Handicap over 2000m at Caulfield tomorrow. The Darren Weir-trained stallion is a European import from Makfi’s first northern hemisphere crop where he raced in the ownership of Qatar Bloodstock, and has looked very exciting in his two runs to date in Australia.
Dubawi’s son Makfi will once again head the stallion roster at Westbury Stud and has had his fee increased to $25,000 + GST after an excellent year with his three-year-olds in the southern hemisphere.
The Group 3 Cambridge Breeder’s Stakes over 1200m has attracted an outstanding line-up of autumn three-year-olds on Saturday headed by one of the best of this year’s crop in Xtravagant. Resident sire Swiss Ace will have three representatives challenging Xtravagant, and while all three are lightly raced, collectively they have had five starts for four wins and a second between them, which speaks volumes for their potential with all three looking to have bright futures.
The Redoute’s Choice colt Howard Be Thy Name will look to cement favouritism for the upcoming South Australian Derby Gr.1 in two weeks time when he steps out in Saturday’s Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes over 2020m at Morphettville.
Westbury Stud principal and Australasian breeder Gerry Harvey went close to breeding his second Group 1 winner in two weeks when the Postponed gelding Trojan Warrior all but landed the Manco Easter Stakes at Ellerslie on Saturday. Harvey bred the Australian Oaks winner Sofia Rosa two weeks earlier, and went very close to adding another win at the elite level when Trojan Warrior went down by a half head to Sound Proposition.
The last month has been a continuous roll of winners for resident sire Makfi as he makes his mark on the southern hemisphere breeding scene. The Qatar Bloodstock owned stallion sired his second Group 1 winner (after Champion 2YO Marky Mark) from his first southern hemisphere crop when high class filly Sofia Rosa won the coveted ATC Australian Oaks at Randwick recently and since then we have seen a host of winners for the son of Dubawi including a metropolitan double in Australia this past weekend with the imported entire Raw Impulse.
The Listed NZB Finance Sprint is scheduled for its third running tomorrow as a black type race and Swiss Ace entire Passing Shot will be out to make it a clean sweep for Westbury Stud stallions when he steps out in the 1200m event.
The regally bred Makfi filly Bonneval makes her debut in the Bec, Brad, & Richard Turn 40 1300 for the two-year-olds tomorrow. Trained at Cambridge by Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman, Bonneval is a half sister to the Group winners Full of Spirit and Lady Cumquat; while her 3YO full sister Imposing Lass looks an exciting prospect for Bjorn Baker with two wins and a second from just three starts, her most recent start resulting in a 4.75 length victory under Jason Collett at Warwick Farm.
Makfi filly Sofia Rosa joined an elite list of fillies when she took out the coveted A$1,000,000 ATC Australian Oaks at Randwick on Saturday. Previous winners of the blue riband event include the high class mares Royal Descent, Rising Romance, Daffodil, Gust of Wind, Streama, Grand Archway, Serenade Rose, Republic Lass, Coco Cabana and company.
The aptly named Hollywood Lass created plenty of talk when making a ‘one act affair’ of her debut at Te Aroha on Saturday, clearing out to win by 4.75 lengths in a very quick 1:09.28 over the 1200m journey. The winner of her two trials before going to the races, Hollywood Lass started a $1.70 favourite with the NZ TAB and never gave her supporters any reason for concern from the time the left the barriers.
How time flies! It is just short of three years since exciting young stallion Reliable Man posted the most important victory of his 14 start career when taking out the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick.
Savabeel gelding Bassett heads to Sydney for the $500,000 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint on Saturday which has attracted an outstanding field of 3YO sprinters. A $60,000 purchase by Peter Moody from the Westbury Stud draft at Karaka in 2014, Bassett has always looked to be a topliner from day one where he defeated the subsequent Danehill Stakes winner Kinglike on debut and has developed solid form around the likes of Press Statement, Mahuta, Keen Array and company.
Group 1 racing is the aim of all industry participants and a very difficult goal to achieve. One of the feature races on the final day of The Championships at Randwick on Saturday is the $1,000,000 James Boagg Premium ATC Oaks for the three-year-old fillies, and the farm will have two worthy representatives in the race with Sofia Rosa and Alaskan Rose both accepted for the classic.
Westbury stallion Red Giant sired his third stakes winner when his son Surgical Strike scored an impressive victory in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park on Saturday. The report was posted on the Turfway.com website.
Genuine racemare Palace Rock earned a well deserved win in the $50,000 Swisse Wellness Trophy at Ellerslie on Saturday when storming home from the rear under leading hoop Danielle Johnson to snatch victory just metres from the line.
The talented Postboy sent out a few warning signs that he will be a danger in the Group 1 Manco Easter Handicap come 23 April after an impressive win in the Rating 85 Crombie Lockwood 1600m at Ellerslie on Saturday.
Champion trainer Chris Waller rates the Gerry Harvey owned and bred Telepathic a good upset chance in tomorrow’s Group 1 Coolmore Classic for the fillies and mares. While it will be no easy task in what is recognised Australia’s premier event for the fairer sex, Telepathic’s effort run within a length of Group 1 performer First Seal recently suggests she is not too far away from the very best company.
The talented Nova Swiss steps up to Group 1 company at Ellerslie tomorrow when he tackles the Sistema Diamond Stakes over 1200m at Ellerslie tomorrow. The son of Swiss Ace has been a wonderfully consistent performer for Pukekohe trainer Dean Wiles and his owners the Nova Racing Stable from Singapore, with 2 wins and fourth in the Listed Reid & Harrison Slipper at Matamata from just four career starts.
A win in next weeks Wellfield New Zealand Oaks for Sofia Rosa will see her become the first Group 1 winning filly for her sire Makfi and seal the title of NZ Bloodstock’s Filly of the Year. Trained by Stephen Marsh at Cambridge the three-year-old could not have been more impressive when she resumed in the Group 3 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes at Hawkes Bay and is listed as a $2.80 favourite with the NZ TAB for the 3YO Classic.
The week has already been a rewarding one for Westbury Stud principal Gerry Harvey, and the burning question is, can it get better come Derby Day at Ellerslie?
Two three-year-olds by Postponed will line up in the Listed $125,000 Canberra Guineas on a feature day for the city. Rinviata (ex Symphony Rock) and Intrepid Way (Lady Mulroy) were both bred and reared at Westbury with Intrepid Way sold as a yearling for $35,000 in the 2014 Festival Sale, while Rinviata was a $62,500 purchase in the 2014 Ready to Run Sale at Karaka.
Westbury Stud sires Redwood and Reliable Man will both be represented at the upcoming Melbourne Premier Sale which starts at Oaklands on Sunday.
Westbury Stud graduate Bassett makes his return to the track tomorrow at Caulfield when he steps out in the $150,000 Group 3 Zeditave Stakes over 1200m.
Listed winner Red Striker returns to the racetrack on Saturday when she takes her place in the Waikato Stud 1200 on her home course at Matamata as she prepares for the Group 3 Darley Plate on 5 March at Ellerslie.
The Chris Waller trained Telepathic meets a small but very select field upon her return at Rosehill tomorrow in the Group 2 $175,000 Millie Fox Stakes.
The promising juvenile Pearl Congenial steps out in the Listed Talindert Stakes at Flemington tomorrow and looks a genuine winning chance for Qatar Bloodstock and Caulfield trainer Robert Smerdon.
Swiss Ace gelding Golden Sword will look to continue his purple patch of form in the $80,000 Rating 74 race over 1200m at Kranji on Sunday afternoon.
Northern Meteor mare Parkers Piece is putting a good record together as she matures and the 4YO has now won 3 of her 8 career starts for owners Matthew & Elizabeth Oram and Andrew Li of Hong Kong.
The enthusiasm for the Reliable Man yearlings which was evident at the Magic Millions Sale, and again at the Karaka Premier Sale, has continued through to the Select Sale with a number of high priced lots changing hands over the last two days. Heading the Select Sale purchases, a striking grey colt from Chivvy, was purchased yesterday by Sydney identity Jamie Walter for $160,000, while on the opening day of the Select Sale the filly by Reliable Man from Testa’s Big Lassie went to the bid of Queensland buyer Liam Birchley for $140,000 and the colt from Polyana (presented by Highview Stud) was sold to Team Rogerson for $100,000, while the filly from Scene Queen will head to Australia after being purchased by Troy Corstens for $100,000.
With the first two days of Premier Sale concluded the team at Westbury were more than happy with the results selling 17 of the 19 offered for a total of $2,265,000 and an average of $133,235.
Following on from a very successful sale at the Gold Coast where three yearlings by Reliable Man averaged A$156,667, the Premier Sale at Karaka has also seen strong demand for the progeny of the Queen Elizabeths Stakes winner. Reliable Man ended the two days of Premier selling 13 of the 15 offered for an average of $168,076 – more than 11 times his service fee!
Swiss Ace colt Nova Swiss galloped into Karaka Millions contention when he led throughout at Tauranga on Saturday and cemented a final place in the field for next week’s $1,000,000 event.
Westbury sire Red Giant has really come of age in recent months, beginning with Red Striker’s brace of wins in December (which included a win in the Listed Hallmark Stud Stakes at Ellerslie) and on Saturday the son of Giant’s Causeway was at it again with winners in New Zealand (Montego Bay), Hong Kong (Planet Giant), and Singapore (Sir Reginald).
Trojan Warrior and Postboy scored impressive victories over the weekend and both look very progressive horses bound for better company. Trojan Warrior scored an emphatic win at Matamata on Friday for Anne Herbert as he looped the field and careered away for a good win over 2000m in Rating 75 grade. Another bred by Gerry Harvey, Trojan Warrior is out of the Helissio mare Trojan Lass and was a $25,000 yearling purchase in 2013, while his record sits at 4 wins and 2 seconds from his 17 career starts, and he will be one to follow in the months ahead.
Makfi colt Lucky and Healthy made it three wins from his last four starts when he finished too strongly for the opposition to win the M$200,000 The Walsall over 1050m for trainer Geoff Allendorf and jockey Charles Perkins.
The first yearlings by dual Group 1 winner Reliable Man attracted plenty of attention on the Gold Coast where they averaged an amazing A$156,667 for the three yearlings offered and received excellent feedback from a wide cross section of buyers.
The progeny of Swiss Ace are making their presence felt every week with his tally of winners growing at rapid rate. In recent weeks we have seen the likes of Passing Shot, Staccato, Lincoln Road, He’s An Ace, Halleloojah, Saber, The Dom, Lady Andress, Straight Sets, Blackcrown, and impressive 2YO winner Nova Swiss strike up impressive winning performances.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Role Model will chase a well deserved stakes win this weekend in Queensland when she steps out in the $175,000 Listed Bernborough Handicap over 1600m.
It might have been a Thursday meeting at Wyong, but Warwick Farm trainer Bjorn Baker produced a filly with untapped potential when the daughter of Makfi Imposing Lass proved too good for her opposition under leading hoop Brenton Avdulla.
The past week has seen an outstanding run of form by the progeny of Swiss Ace with Staccato, Mywayorthehighway (Aus), Passing Shot, He’s An Ace, Lincoln Road (Sing.), and Mirka (Aus) all impressing with victories across the southern hemisphere.
The Gerry Harvey bred and Westbury raised mare Telepathic steps from a Listed win in the Festival Stakes two weeks ago to the Group 2 Villiers Stakes at Randwick tomorrow.
Swiss Ace’s son Lincoln Road will attempt to make it three wins from three starts in Singapore when he runs in the last at Kranji on Sunday. Lincoln Road is owned by the Lincoln Farms Stable and has created a very good impression with the emphatic style of his two wins since joining Shane Baertschiger in Singapore.
Swiss Ace entire Passing Shot faces a strong line-up in the opener at Te Rapa tomorrow and has been allotted 58.5kg in the Lowe, Schollum & Jones Premier over 1200m, but should strip a lot fitter going into this having had two runs back from a spell and striking a firm track.
This week’s one to watch is Zabelle, the first foal from the Danehill Dancer mare Sussex Dancer by Zabeel, who claimed her first victory this week in the 1600m event at Ellerslie.
With Lady Cumquat running in the G2 Matriarch Stakes last weekend, it’s a timely look at the her dam, Imposingly, who was a moderate performer with one win from five starts, but at stud has had four foals to race, all winners, and amongst them are two G3 winners, Lady Cumquat and Full Of Spirit (pictured).
Hursley, a lightly-raced son of our very exciting stallion Makfi, took out the Listed VRC TCL Curved TV Stakes at Flemington yesterday in just his fifth start after winning a maiden two runs back at Hawkesbury and showed he’s a stayer of good potential when clearly outpointing his rivals over the 1800m event.