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1st Jul: The Saturday Wrap
Published: 01 Jul 2017 - - Author: Crossfire

'Crossfire' takes a look at the day's racing - time-honoured Hawkes Bay Hurdles & Steeplechase meeting and good winter flat racing at Te Rapa. 


Fences to the fore at Hastings

A ten-race programme at Hastings was indicative of the number of horses that have been prepared for this winter’s jumping season.  The day’s racing kicked off on a Slow 9 Hastings track with a pair of maiden hurdle races, both taken out by promising horses that showed there is more in store.

The Hawkes Bay Hunt Maiden Hurdle was won by novice hurdler Heistheone from John Wheeler’s stable, having his first start over fences after a three-win flat racing record. At the finish the 6yo gelding by Istidaad was more than three lengths clear of former prominent South Island handicapper Absolute Excelencia, also having his first jumping start.

 Part two of the opening Hawkes Bay stanza was the Stella Artois Maiden Hurdle, which went to local horse No Change in the hands of Aaron Kuru. No Change was coming off a last start win on the flat at Whanganui, and was in just his second jumping event.

In the first, Heistheone was ridden by Austrian-born Stephan Karnicnik, who came down to earth in the second when his mount Jewel of the Naki, another jumping novice, fell in the running. Such are the ups and downs of racing.

Kipkeino runs a measured race to take out the feature hurdles

Kipkeino was having his fourth start of the season and his steady improvement along the way brought him to a peak in the Te Whangai Romneys Hawkes Bay Hurdles. The 9yo by Sunray won by just over a length from Justa Charlie, reversing the result of those two horses’ Trentham battle on 10th June. 

Kipkeino is trained by Lucy de Lautour at Waipukurau and was nicely ridden by Shaun Phelan to get up in an exciting finish. After the race Shaun was quick to praise the horse for his expert jumping ability that made his job “easy.” Favourite Sea King worked hard under 71 kg to lead in the running, look beaten on the turn then rally to finish third.

This inform runner isn’t waiting around

The feature flat race at Hawkes Bay was the Taradale Club Open Handicap over 2100. A small field of seven faced the starter, with in-form runner and favourite Wait A Sec coming home convincingly to triumph for local trainers Grant Cullen & Guy Lowry.  Wait A Sec has now won eight races in total, four of them in his last five starts.

Photo: Trish Dunell

Patience was the word Guy Lowrie used to describe the training strategy with the Postponed 6yo, an approach that has certainly paid off over recent weeks as the rewards have come. Plans are for Wait A Sec to now spell before his next preparation, with the NZ Cup in November his mission. 

Just a fine jumping display in the steeples

Just Ishi went out a warm favourite in the Animal Health Direct Hawkes Bay Steeplechase, and he didn’t disappoint. At the end of the 21-jump journey Just Ishi was 16 lengths clear of Fair Script and Tizza Secret.  The race was made interesting by the pacemaking tactics of Nells Belle, and when the mare went out on the last lap of the 4800 metre trip the race looked on for a while. But in the straight Just Ishi asserted himself in no uncertain terms, going on to score and realising the promise he has been showing as an up and coming jumper.

Photo: Lawrence Racing

Just Ishi is a 9yo by Ishiguru trained by Gail Temperton at Awapuni and on this occasion ridden by Gary Walsh. The gelding has now won eleven races, six of them over fences.

 Form line redefined with third in a row

The Rachael Frost –trained Redefine took out his third race in a row and fourth in total in the Cheltenham and Dubai with T Lee & ARA Rating 75 1400 metre event. A horse that won his first and then went off the boil for some time, Redefine has repaid the faith shown in him with the great vein of form he is now in.

The Captain Rio 3yo was ridden by Johnathan Parkes, who did exactly what Rachael suggested he should. “Just run him where he lands” were her instructions, and that meant leading just about all the way. While it took him 150 metres to find the front, from then on Redefine was always in control to score by 1 3/4 lengths at a good price from Itsagem and Dynamo.

Rachael and owner Cheryl Frost will now be looking to 3yo racing before season end, and there’s every reason to feel confident of more success in store.

And they got it right at

Almo Street starts a new campaign in style

Almo Street stormed down the outside to narrowly take out the last at Hastings, the Bostock New Zealand Spring Carnival Tickets on S Rating 65 over 1400. Having only his fifth start and racing fresh up in the familiar Bill Gleeson colours, The Lisa Latta-trained runner was impressive in picking up the leaders after a tardy beginning that left him two lengths last in the running.

This was Almo Street’s second winning success in his short career. Ridden by Johnathan Riddell, he took the race from Animator and Sound Works. Those horses seemed to be fighting out the finish before the Alamosa 3yo gelding appeared on the scene to win impressively if narrowly.

Ryan Elliot bags a treble and two for the boss

A highlight of racing at Te Rapa was the winning success of jockey Ryan Elliot. The two-kilo claiming apprentice started the day in the Clarence Street Pak N Save 1200 aboard 2yo Duelled filly Malambo, a winner just three days earlier at Rotorua. Confident she was capable of backing up on Saturday, trainer Graeme Rogerson put his apprentice Ryan aboard and the combination duly scored in fine style.

Six races later it was the Bob May Builders 1400 and a ride for Ryan on the Alan Sharrock-trained Darci Mac. Confidently ridden, the Darci Brahma 5yo dominated in the straight to win his second on end comfortably.  And then the very next race Ryan caused an upset on Prodigal Son, taking out the Jamark Plumbing 1400 Rating 65 at a win price of $26.90. In his inimitable way, Rogerson was full of praise for his apprentice jockey, and why wouldn’t he be? 

Francis Drake makes it a really good Rogerson day

It was two out of the first three races for Graeme Rogerson when Francis Drake won the Jumpflex NZ Rating 85 over 1400 metres.  The expected match race between the Tavistock 5yo and Jocken Rindt didn’t eventuate, with the second favourite battling home to finish near last of the eight runners. Instead it was Rough Cut and Arite Guru that filled the minor placings, but they were no match for Francis Drake and top jockey Chris Johnson.

 It seems if trainer Graeme Rogerson has his way, Francis Drake is destined for an Australian jumping career, according to his after-race comments. But in the meantime there’s no doubt more in store on the flat for this talented racehorse that has now won seven races, five

And here picked out the wiiner and the trifecta

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