The Return to Racing

19 June

The day we have all been waiting for, New Zealand Racing is set to resume our first raceday tomorrow at Counties Racing Club after 13 weeks since the last Saturday meeting as the result of Covid-19 and with 11 races on the card there will certainly be a long overdue buzz in the atmosphere.

The first race of the day kicks off at 10.40am with Westbury Stud’s principal Gerry Harvey to have three debutants go head to head as local trainer Annabelle Johnson saddles Swiss Ace three-year-old Exclusive who has drawn barrier 6 with Danielle Johnson to ride, while Chad Ormsby returns to the jockey’s room and is booked to ride the Shaun and Emma Clotworthy-trained Hillard, also by Swiss Ace, with the pair jumping from barrier 1. The third horse in the race is the half-brother to the Doomben 10,000 Gr.1 winner Music Magnate, named Capaldi, a two-year-old by Savabeel who represents Team Rogerson and has drawn the widest barrier of the 16-horse field.

Heading the following race is the Group 3 winner Speedy Meady (by Swiss Ace) for owner-breeder Russell Mead and trainer Stephen Ralph while later in the day will see the Redwood mare Livin’ On A Prayer step out over 1100m, the winner of five races and twice placed in the Group 3 Taranaki Breeders Stakes who is just shy of earning $180,000 in prizemoney.

Westbury have a host of runners to follow at Pukekohe Park tomorrow while there are also a number of horses across the ditch including the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Mr Dependable, Grinzinger Star, younger sibling Grinzinger Allee, Wunulla Lady (half-sister to Capaldi and Music Magnate), and Resolute Lad (currently as the first emergency) who will all be looking to continue the wonderful form their sire Reliable Man has revelled in of late.

While the son of Redwood, Romancer, looks well placed to add to his record for OTI Racing and their partners when he heads to Flemington Racecourse tomorrow for the A$100,000 Brian Beattie Handicap over 1420m. Trained by Graham Begg, Romancer has raced well at Flemington previously and his last start effort for third over the course and distance should see him well primed at his third run back from a spell.