Menu ×

8th Jul: The Saturday Race-day Wrap
Published: 08 Jul 2017 - - Author: Crossfire

Ruakaka hosted the northern Saturday racing scene under typically variable northern skies, while it was fine at Awapuni for the Marton Jockey Club’s winter meeting.  

Whangarei meeting opens with a Logan/Gibbs/Harris treble

Donna Logan & Chris Gibbs put comeback rider Troy Harris aboard a horse in each of the first three races at Ruakaka, and all prevailed.

In the Fell Engineering 3yo Maiden it was the Tavistock first starter Rocstock, and the money was on after an impressive trial win at Avondale. Next up Pursued caused an upset in the White Cliffs Timber Maiden #1, beating home stablemates Rubyreddress and hot favourite Kyrie Eleison  for a trainer trifecta.  The combination’s treble came when Chasing Great finished best in the second White Cliffs Timber-sponsored event. 

Donna Logan

It was an auspicious start for the prominent local training team, who by the end of the day had notched up six wins, including Zafrenzy (Alysha Collett),  Rockabyebaby (Chris Johnson), and  dead-heater Toorak Tower (Sam Weatherley). Toorak Tower had won at the same track on 17 June  and once more came up trumps, but couldn’t be separated at the line from the Steven Cole-trained /Alysha Collet ridden Creative Genius.

Pins filly a class above the northern two year olds 

Most impressive winner of the day at Ruakaka was Florence Jean in the Tavistock Owners Syndicate 1000m for two year olds.  Bouncing out to lead early, the Pins filly gave the field a lesson as she cleared out to win by six lengths.

Florence Jean is the only horse Te Rapa trainer John Morrell has in work, and he wasn’t sure how she would run. “There’ll be a lot of improvement in her,” John said before the race.  That suggests the competition is in for quite a challenge if Florence Jean lines up in the weeks ahead against 3yo company.

It was an armchair ride for Alysha Collett, who would go on to have a great day at the office with three wins and two seconds. Alysha said after the race that the horse was under no pressure and balanced all the way. “I was a bit worried I couldn’t hear them behind me at the 200,” Alysha said.  The win came at a difficult time for the Morell family, with John’s brother’s grandson recently suffering a serious sporting injury.

Alysha Collett - 3 wins, 2 seconds

The Power’s on in the Central Districts

Leading first-season 2yo sire Power has come up with another good filly in Nuclear Fusion, brought south by the Rogerson team to comfortably take out the first at Awapuni from Beltoy and Eva Dawn. 

After Gift of Power led the way for her sire in the early part of the season, Nuclear Fusion looks to be ending it in similar fashion for the Cambridge Stud stallion. She took out the Rayner Building 2YO after always travelling well. The filly showed some greenness on the turn before straitening up and running away with it.  

The Marton meeting raced on a Heavy 10 track that rider of Nuclear Fusion Johnathan Parkes described as “good” for the time of year.

Stallion: Power

Deserved win for local mare at Awapuni

Race 5, the Evans Henderson Woodbridge Barristers & Solicitors R75, went to 7yo mare Itsagem, achieving her fourth victory in 52 starts.  “She has had little luck lately and deserved that win”, said trainer Lisa Latta.


Itsagem, by Falkirk, had finished second to Redefine a week earlier at Hastings, so had plenty of support on her home track. She took over on the turn and nothing was making ground on her down the straight. Next best was Thorn Pass, for a Lisa Latta-trained quinella. Itsagem has now had a win in each of the last four seasons on top off a steady stream of minor placings.


Ruakaka track downgraded as skies open

Starting the day a Dead 5, the Ruakaka track was a Slow 7 by the time the Northpine Waipu Cup 1600m (race 5) had been run in a heavy shower. The Peter Mckay-trained Amarula took out the race in a tight finish from Spider. Shaun McKay had the Thorn Park 4yo in front in the running, and pressured by Spider down the straight Amarula fought tenaciously to hold on by a head from the local horse. Spider started favourite on the back of a great track record and an impressive win in lower grade at the previous Ruakaka meeting.

Photo: Amarula

With a good horse that has proved he can lead or take a sit in the running, Amarula’s trainer is keen to test him out over a middle distance. “We’ll see if he can do 2100 metres now,” said McKay on being asked about Amarula’s immediate future.

Bright sunshine returns to shine on Zafrenzy

Showers had cleared when the horses went to the barrier for the Northbeam Timber Beams and Posts R85 over 2100m.

The Logan & Gibbs team had a good hand here, training three of the seven runners including the two favourites Zafrenzy and Greencast.  And predictions were on the money when these two, by the country’s top two sires Savabeel and Iffraaj respectively, fought out a close finish.  It was the older horse that prevailed, the 6yo mare Zafrenzy coming from the rear on the turn to just get up. This was her  fifth race win from 45 starts and the third at home. 

“She’s come in close behind some good horses in her time,” said co-trainer Chris Gibbs after the race. “The owners have been very patient and it’s good to see them get another win.” 

Kaye horses don’t disappoint on return to racing

Sylvia Kaye brought up and comers Dolcetto and Sylvester to Awapuni after short let ups, and both performed well on the day. Dolcetto was impressive in winning the open handicap Norwood Farm Machinery Centre Handicap over 1400, taking the race out convincingly from the well-performed Longchamp. Dolcetto was ridden by Samantha Collett and having just his eight start to notch up his fifth win.

Sylvester (by  Road to Rock), also ridden by Sam, came up against a good mare in finishing second to She’s Poppy, after the two had come wide on the turn to dominate the Bonny Glen Landfill Handicap, a Rating 85 event over 2100m.

She’s Poppy, trained by Raymond Connors at Wanganui and ridden by Kate Cowan, took out her fifth race win from 18 starts. The Alamosa mare is in a great vein of form since resuming with a win first-up in May at New Plymouth. 

Friday Flashback

Outdoing both Saturday meetings in stakes and with some good fields carded, Ashburton Racing Club ran its Winter Cup on Friday. The feature was run over 1400m for a stake of $30,000,taken out by Dynamic, ridden by Parvesh Shaikh, who beat Luke (Kin Kwo) in a dogged finish. The Perfectly Ready gelding gave Michael and Matthew Pitman their third win for the day, a feat also achieved by Sean Cameron.

Photo: Parvesh Shaikh

Apprentice jockeys were certainly to the fore at Ashburton Friday. Jacob Lowry rode his 100th winner to end his claiming days, and in fact went on to ride the last three winners on the day.

Big Day for

And for those that subscribe to our 'selection' service, there'll be plenty to play with at Te Aroha races tomorrow - our tipster had eight 'Top Pick' winners today! And picked thw Quaddie at Awapuni with 3 of those winners and the hotpot in the first.

Here's what we told subscribers in Race 3 at Awapuni where he also gave out the $1068 First Four for the multi punters.

And not to be outdone, our Aussie tipster came up with a $20 winner in Race 2 at Warwick Farm, among his successes


By Commenting Below you agree to the Terms and Conditions found here

15th Jan: Jockeys Best For The Weekend
A selection of New Zealand’s leading jockeys...

about 10 months ago

7th Dec: Snippets: Lisa Allpress, concern for Gingernuts
Lisa Allpress, Gingernuts, Cambridge Stud

about 10 months ago

30th Nov: Jockeys best for the weekend
A selection of New Zealand’s leading jockeys...

about 11 months ago

30th Nov: Moloney comes to NZ to ride for Moroney
High-flying Australian jockey Patrick Moloney...

about 11 months ago

Message us
Contact us