Princess on road to being a star

Pop Star Princess and Lynsey Satherley beating Short Fuse (outer) at Rotorua yesterday on their way to the Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders Stakes next month.

Cambridge trainer Fred Cornege acknowledges he has taken an unorthodox build-up with his promising filly Pop Star Princess, but it’s worked– again!

Cornege is keen to get Pop Star Princess into the Gr.3 $70,000 Cambridge Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa on April 28 and he achieved the desired result with a strong win in the Campbell Infrastructure 3YO over 1215 metres at Rotorua yesterday.

Cornege can’t be accused of keeping secret the high regard he holds for the three-year-old daughter of Makfi.

In fact, it has been there for all to see as after shaping well with a couple of encouraging trials wins, Pop Star Princess made her debut, not in a maiden race, but in a $25,000 open three-year-old 1400 metres at the Matamata Breeders Stakes meeting against such proven opposition as Group One winner Age Of Fire, Group Two winner Contessa Vanessa.

She was the sole first-starter in the event and after showing pace to lead she almost caused a 30/1 boilover with only Contessa Vanessa able to get the better of her.

Contessa Vanessa had won four races previously, including the Gr.2 Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic, and been second in the Gr.2 Stella Artois Royal Stakes and third in the Gr.3 Lawnmaster Eulogy Stakes. And she went on next start to win the Gr.3 McKee Family Sunline Vase and just failed to pick up the NZ Bloodstock Filly Of The Year award when a gallant second to Savvy Coup in yesterday’s Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai NZ Oaks at Trentham.

Left chasing Pop Star Princess home on that occasion in third spot, a further three-quarters of a length in arrears, was Age Of Fire, who had won three of his previous six starts and been runner-up to stablemate Embellish in the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld NZ 2000 Guineas at Riccarton. Age Of Fire went into the Matamata race fresh from Group One success in the Grant Plumbing Levin Classic at Trentham.

The promising Ladynadel, a two race winner who had been fourth in the Gr.3 Mongolian Khan Trophy and continued on to finish third in the Listed Mufhasa Fasttrack Stakes, was over two lengths from Pop Star Princess in fourth placing, while the next two home were Parvina, who had impressively won debut at Hastings, and La Mia Stella, who went on to win next start at Te Aroha last Friday.

With such a strong formline, Pop Star Princess had to be hard to beat next-up and again at Rotorua yesterday, rather than run her in the maiden 1215 metres, Cornege continued along the open age group path and lined her up in the $25,000 Campbell Infrastructure 3YO.

With regular rider Lynsey Satherley aboard, Pop Star Princess got the job done against more experienced rivals, scoring by a neck from Short Fuse, a one-race winner and four-time placegetter who had been fifth to Group One winner Melody Belle in the Gr.3 Mongolian Khan Trophy at Ellerslie.

Beauden, a last-start maiden winner, fought on for third, three lengths behind Pop Star Princess, while the favourite Caesour’s Dream, a two-race winner and last-start runner-up to Astor in the Listed Mufhasa Fasttrack Stakes, was fourth ahead of the only other runner, the highly rated Felton Road, a three-race winner who has been Group Three-placed and was third to Melody Belle in last year’s Listed Karaka Million.

Fred Cornege leading Pop Star Princess (Lynsey Satherley) before her thrilling debut effort at Matamata last month.

Satherley worked Pop Star Princess through to lead on settling, then soon allowed her to dispute the pace with anticipated leader Caesour’s Dream before letting the rival take over.

Satherley had her under a hold across the top and the pair led into the straight and kicked ahead. Short Fuse issued a threat on the outside, but Pop Star Princess refused to give in and gave plenty to win by a neck.

“They didn’t go over-hard down the back and the other horse was on the bit so I let it go in front of me a tad,” said Satherley. “Turning for home I gave mine a kick in the guts and boom, she’s gone.

“She’s still quiet raw. She’s a good filly, She’s got that angry little tartiness going on which makes them good.

“She’s aggressive and it was a good effort coming back from 1400.

“I’m very lucky to be on her, very privileged.”

Cornege was obviously thrilled with the result and very happy with Satherley’s performance.

“It was a very good ride from Lynsey,” he said. “Riders of her calibre, if they get on a good horse they can show their ability.

“Lynsey works so hard she deserves her chance to sit on what I think is a good horse.”

While most trainers opt to take the traditional maiden path with their charges to get the first victory, Cornege hasn’t been afraid to put the acid test on early with horses he holds in high regard.

“I’ve done that three times now, lined a maidener up in an open three-year-old race,” he said. “You get smaller fields, you get more experienced horses to race against so you get a better chance. Each time I’ve picked up stakemoney and points so there’s proof in the pudding.”

Cornege says he hadn’t taxed Pop Star Princess much between her two runs.

“We haven’t done a lot of work with her,” he said. “She came into my stable an experienced horse from Shaune Ritchie’s after a winter break.

“She was a wee bit behind the eight-ball with the current better fillies crop so we’ve basically targeted the Cambridge Breeders Stakes, which is the only chance for black type for her. So basically the programme is to stick to three-year-old racing as the handicapper, in his wisdom, gave her 18 points for running second.

“She’s tractable and drops the bit so you can put her anywhere in a race. She doesn’t pull, she relaxes, and finds a nice kick, which is a sign of a good horse.

“There’s another similar three-year-old race in a couple of weeks that she can run in. Hopefully she’s now got enough points to get into the Breeders Stakes.”

Cornege races Pop Star Princess with his wife, Lindsay, and Sue and Pat Calnan, the friends who bought her for $4000 from the 2015 National Weanling Sale at Karaka. She was later entered for the 2016 Festival Yearling Sale but withdrawn.

Bred by Lib Petagna’s JML Bloodstock Ltd, Pop Star Princess is by Makfi from the Pins mare Queen of Pop, who was trained by Donna and Dean Logan and Chris Gibbs.

Queen of Pop won twice and was third to NZ Bloodstock Filly of the Year King’s Rose in the 2011 Gr.2 Royal Stakes at Ellerslie and fourth to We Can Say It Now (trained by Murray and Bjorn Baker) in the 2010 Gr.1 Levin Classic. She also ran fifth to Jimmy Choux in the 2011 Gr.3 Waikato Guineas.

Queen of Pop is a half-sister to the Logan and Gibbs-trained Le Baron, whose three wins included the Gr.2 Great Northern Guineas and Listed Great Northern Guineas Prelude.

This is also the family of the multiple Group One winner Volkstok’n’barrell, whose highlights from the Logan – Gibbs stable have included the Rosehill Guineas, Haunui Farm Group One WFA Classic, Bonecrusher NZ Stakes and Herbie Dyke Stakes and seconds in the NZ Derby and Australian Derby.



Up for another Easter tilt

Bring on the Easter! Seventh Up and Grant Cooksley on their way to a convincing win at Rotorua yesterday.

Smart Cambridge galloper Seventh Up showed at Rotorua yesterday he is right on track to defend his Easter Handicap crown.

In the hands of regular rider Grant Cooksley, Seventh Up won last year’s Gr.2 Manco Easter at Ellerslie in a whirlwind finish from the rear and trainer and part-owner Shelley Hale is keen to attempt a double in the time-honoured Auckland Racing Club 1600-metre feature, this year held at Pukekohe on April 21.

“The Easter is the aim again,” said Hale after Seventh Up took his record to eight wins from 19 starts with a decisive win in the MacMillan Accountants 1400 at the Rotorua meeting.

“I’ll just see how he does this week and, if he comes through it well, there’s a chance he could back up next Saturday in the Group Two (Windsor Park Stud Japan Trophy now being held at Matamata).”

Another possible option for Seventh Up is to wait a couple more weeks and head to an open 1400-metre at Te Aroha, a fortnight before the Easter.

Whatever Hale decides, Seventh Up has shown he is back to his best form and ready to take on any assignment. In fact, Cooksley believes he has the class to become the next Group One winner for Hale next season.

“He’s better than Close Up and he won it easily today. I didn’t have to ask him for much,” said Cooksley after his sixth win on the Shinko King seven-year-old. “He’ll improve a lot with that run.”

In his usual relaxed fashion, Cooksley again lived up to his “Ice Man” title when allowing Seventh Up to settle back in the seven-horse field and get him into rhythm before asking him to edge closer coming to the home turn.

Seventh Up ranged up to the leaders with 200 metres to run and it was obvious he had the race in control. He then kicked clear and comfortably held out the favourite Cote D’Or, who had tracked him throughout.

Cote D’Or pleased co-trainer Ken Kelso with her second placing and he believes she is on target for the Gr.1 $200,000 Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha on April 7. That being the case, Hale can feel even more confident she has another winning chance in the Easter with Seventh Up.

The Shaun Ritchie-trained Sultan Of Swing, who started second favourite, fought on for third, just under a length from Seventh Up.

The only surprising aspect of Seventh Up’s win at Rotorua yesterday was the dividend. Incredibly, he was allowed to start at the most generous odds of 7/1, despite his fine record of seven previous wins and eight placings from 18 earlier starts.

He has raced just three times since his Easter win 11 months ago. He followed up with a brave second under 60kg at Te Rapa last May then resumed at Ellerslie on December 9 and,, though he finished last of eight that day (just over six lengths from the winner), there was merit in his performance on a Good3 track (harder than he prefers) in an event fought out by Volpe Veloce, Heroic Valour and Melody Belle.

Volpe Veloce went on next start to win the Gr.1 Sistema Railway, while Heroic Valour followed up with a handy fifth in the Gr.1 J.R. & N. Berkett Telegraph Handicap at Trentham and was runner-up to Julius in the Gr.3 Darley Stallions Plate at Ellerslie and to Ferrando in yesterday’s Listed Te Akau Racing Lightning Handicap at Trentham. Melody Belle won two starts later in the Gr.3 Mongolian Khan Trophy at Ellerslie.

Hale had kept Seventh Up ticking over quietly since his first-up run last December, just waiting for some easing of the ground.

“Since Christchurch (when fourth in the 2016 Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile), runs on firm tracks tickle him up a bit,” said Hale. “He’s been in work just waiting ‘til he tells us he’s right and he’s done that.

“I just thought he might need a run because I haven’t trialled him or anything, but his work this week had been first-class.”

Hinerangi continues winning streak

Hinerangi (Matt Cameron) continuing on her winning way in style at Trentham yesterday.

Talented Cambridge mare Hinerangi enhanced her burgeoning reputation as she completed a winning treble when leading all the way over 1600 metres at Trentham yesterday.

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained four-year-old scored at the venue in rating 65 company on Wellington Cup day in January after breaking her maiden status at Tauranga in December.

Despite rising in grade to rating 75 company and resuming from an eight-week break from the track, the Fastnet Rock mare never looked in danger as rider Matt Cameron rated her nicely in front to score a comfortable three-quarters of a length victory.

Co-trainer Andrew Forsman admitted to some pre-race concerns over the gap between races for the mare, but those worries were quickly dismissed when she received an easy time of it in front.

“We were a little worried about the space between her races, especially if it turned into a bit of a slog,” he said.

“It’s not easy to lead all the way at Trentham but she ended up getting a pretty comfortable trip where she could dictate to them.

“Matt rated her nicely and she found a good kick when he asked her to go. He did say she would probably have been better if he could have taken a trail, but the way the race panned out that wasn’t really an option.

“I think as she gets into a better grade there is likely to be more speed on so the turn of foot she does have will certainly be an asset.”

Forsman believes maturity has been the key to the mare’s improved showings in this campaign with better things to come next season.

“She is a big-boned mare who was quite weak early on,” he said.

“She just needed time to mature into her frame and this time in she is showing the benefits as she has strengthened up nicely.

“We’re in no hurry with her and will continue to take her through the grades, but eventually you would think she could certainly get to stakes company based on what she has shown us.

“She is likely to have one or two more runs before we tip her out although that will depend on the tracks as she won’t handle it when it gets really wet.”

Hinerangi races in the familiar green and gold colours of her breeder and co-owner Christopher Grace, who was on-course to celebrate the victory.

NZ Racing Desk

Sims knows it all with outsider

Amber Sims becoming the sixth apprentice to win on Mr Knowitall when scoring as the result of a well-judged ride at Rotorua yesterday.

Cambridge trainer Margaret Carter was quick to praise local apprentice Amber Sims for her winning ride on 39/1 outsider Mr Knowitall at Rotorua yesterday.

“She stole it,” said Carter as she waited for Sims to return to scale on the Civics nine-year-old after taking the Donelley Natural Wood Products 1215.

“She saved all that ground on the fence and that’s what won the race. She told me before the race she was going to ride it like that. She said they’d fan out and she’d try and come through down on the inside.

“It was a top ride and great for the old horse. He’s nine, but he doesn’t know that. It’s great to get another win with him after so long.”

Sims first got aboard Mr Knowitall on raceday at Matamata last October and she has ridden him in all bar two of his eight starts this campaign for three placings before yesterday’s win.

Those placings included a fourth at Te Rapa behind the smart sprinter Ferrando, who earned a trip to Adelaide with a win in the Listed Te Akau Racing Lightning Handicap at Trentham yesterday, and a third at Ellerslie to Sultan Of Swing, who finished a sound third in the open sprint at yesterday’s Rotorua meeting.

Sims allowed Mr Knowitall to relax at the back of the field in the Rotorua assignment and the pair were second-last with 700 metres to run. Then, as planned, she sneaked up on the inside as riders made their runs wider out approaching the home turn and she pushed Mr Knowitall through a gap against the rail to burst to the front halfway down the home straight. Mr Knowitall held on strongly to score by a half-length.

Grant Cooksley, chasing a double for Shelley Hale on the day, having won the previous race on Seventh Up, urged Go Nicholas on to bridge the gap after coming through one-off the inside rail, but was unable to catch Mr Knowitall in time, though he tried hard.

“The ground was a bit too cut up for him,” said Cooksley of his mount. “He wasn’t really handling it so it was a top run.”

For Hale, it wasn’t the first time one of her horses had been runner-up to Mr Knowitall. Back in November 2015 at Ellerslie Close Up chased Mr Knowitall home and, of course, Close Up and Cooksley went on to credit Hale with her first Group One training success this season when winning the Tarzino Trophy at Hastings.

Mr Knowitall was ridden in that win by Danielle Johnson and apart from Mark Sweeney, who was aboard in his maiden win at Te Aroha in June 2013, each of the horse’s other seven wins have been with apprentice jockeys aboard.

Kevin Leung was in the saddle for Mr Knowitall’s second and third wins, then Shaun McKay guided him to his fourth victory, at Te Awamutu in June 2015, and two starts later Viktoria Gatu was in the saddle when he won at Tauranga.

Mr Knowitall registered his sixth win, and first and only on a Good track, when Alyssa Schwerin was aboard at Ellerslie in November 2015 and his most recent win before yesterday had been at Ellerslie in June 2016 with Zy Nor Azman guiding him to victory.

And now Sims has joined the list of apprentices to have enjoyed the thrill of winning on Mr Knowitall. “He keeps me going, he’s lovely to ride,” said Sims.

In the 21 months between his latest two wins, Mr Knowitall had to settle for eight placings from 22 starts, but Carter never lost faith in the “old boy.”

“He’s been a good old horse for us and he’d been a bit unlucky at times not to win again before this,” said Carter, who trains and owns the horse in partnership with her husband, Tim.

“He fractured both cannon bones in the early days so it’s great that he’s still going.”

Bright future for Daytona Red

Daytona Red (Matt Cameron), sporting the colours of the champion Bonecrusher, cruising to victory in today’s NZ St Leger.

Daytona Red produced a career-best performance at Trentham today, but Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie believes there’s plenty more to come from the four-year-old.

The Sebring gelding was a dominant winner of the Listed Yealands Family Wines New Zealand St Leger (2500m) and expectations are that he will be featuring in some of the country’s premier distance events next season.

“He was certainly impressive today and there is a lot of improvement to come from him,” said Ritchie.

“He’s a tall horse who hasn’t filled out his frame yet. He’s still terrible out of the gates and then comes off the bit in his races.

“He can improve in all those areas with a bit more time.”

Ritchie has yet to decide on Daytona Red’s immediate future and will consult with co-owner Peter Mitchell, whose famous colours were carried by the mighty Bonecrusher.

“He’s away in China so I’ll be having a chat with him,” he said.

“The initial plan, though, was to give him a break then get him back during the winter to build up for some of the spring and summer cups. We’ll wait and see how he is when he gets home.”

Ridden by Matt Cameron, Daytona Red settled at the tail of the field before picking up ground 600 metres from home then swinging wide into the straight. He held a strong gallop to the post to score by two and three-quarter lengths.

The commanding favourite Felaar, trained by Stephen Marsh, completed a Cambridge quinella when finishing second after tracking Daytona Red into the race.

– NZ Racing Desk.

Pike now eyeing Sydney treasures

Tony Pike still has two NZ Oaks prospects at Trentham today despite the withdrawal of well-favoured Treasure.

Tony Pike’s focus with Treasure has turned to Australia after a foot abscess forced the filly’s withdrawal from today’s Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham.

“We got close with her, but not close enough,” said the Cambridge trainer. “It’s a shame as I thought she was a big chance. She’ll probably be sound as a bell on Monday or Tuesday so we’ll look to Sydney.

“There are a couple of options heading toward the Oaks so we’re looking at those.”

Pike still has the luxury of having two runners in the Trentham classic with Caricature and Terra Sancta representing the stable.

“Caricature isn’t bred to get a trip, but everything she has done suggests she will and Terra Sancta will definitely stay the distance,” he said.

“Her run in the Sunline Vase wasn’t as bad as it looked. She was just warming up in the last 100 metres and was one of the last to pull up.”

  • NZ Racing Desk



Watch out for Pike’s runners in Oaks

NZ Oaks partnership Treasure and Michael McNab in winning style in the Oaks Prelude at New Plymouth.

Cambridge trainer Tony Pike isn’t confident to publicly declare he can beat the Savvy Coup in Saturday’s Gr.1 $400,000 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai NZ Oaks at Trentham, but he likes his chances of being right in the finish with his charges.

Savvy Coup, trained by Michael and Matthew Pitman, is a firm $3.40 favourite for the 2400-metre fillies feature, while Pike will line up Treasure, who is equal on the second line of the TAB’s Fixed Odds betting at $8 with Contessa Vanessa and Milseain, Caricature, who is an $18 shot and the outsider Terra Sancta ($71).

Treasure and Caricature clashed with Savvy Coup last start in the Gr.3 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings. Records show Savvy Coup was an impressive two and a quarter-length winner, while Caricature finished third and Treasure ninth.

“Obviously the favourite Savvy Coup was hugely impressive, but there were plenty of nice runs behind her so it’ll be interesting on Saturday,” said Pike.

“There were a lot of hard luck stories in the Lowland. There was probably five or six runners out of that race that you could say were unlucky.”

Both Caricature and Treasure fit into the unlucky category and Pike is looking forward to a change of luck this weekend.

“Treasure is a filly that probably needs to get out and get rolling, but she was buried away on the fence and was travelling nicely coming to the corner,” said Pike.

“The big roomy track at Trentham will suit her and we’re pretty confidence she’ll run out a strong 2400 metres. She’s in the race with a nice chance.

“Caricature got held up a touch coming to the 300 metres, but she was extremely strong on the line and past the post. The 2400 metres looks right up her alley and I was really impressed at Hawke’s Bay just how quickly she did sprint once she got clear.”

The support for Treasure in the Oaks is as a result of her impressive maiden win over Caricature in the Listed Fasttrack Insurance Oaks Prelude (1800m) at New Plymouth two starts ago. That day she was tried in blinkers for the first time and powered clear over the final stages to win by two and a half lengths from her stablemate.

Caricature (Leith Innes) clearing maiden ranks in fine style at Matamata today.

“We’ve always had a high opinion of her and it was nice to see her do it that impressively at Taranaki,” said Pike.

“She had her final gallop on Monday and Michael McNab came over and worked her with Caricature. Both fillies went well.”

McNab has been aboard Treasure in her last four starts and will again take the mount on Saturday, while Leith Innes will sport the China Horse Club Racing colours aboard Caricature.

Innes rode Caricature in her first two starts, including the maiden win over 1600 metres at Matamata on January 12, and Johnathan Parkes was aboard at New Plymouth, but he was back in the saddle in the Lowland Stakes.

Though Caricature was beaten by Treasure in the Oaks Prelude at New Plymouth, Pike acknowledges there was plenty of merit in her performance.

“She had to do a lot more work than Treasure at Taranaki,” he said. “We tried to ride her forward that day and they went hard in that race. She didn’t drop the bridle for 1000 metres so it was a good effort to fight on for second.”

While Treasure and Caricature have the better lead-up form of Pike’s three Oaks prospects, outsider Terra Sancta has managed to sneak into the field on a rating of 62 and will be ridden by the country’s leading hoop, Sam Collett.

A daughter of Pierro, Terra Sancta followed a trials win with a debut success over 1400 metres at Avondale on January 24, then trekked to Gisborne where she ran on late for fourth to fellow Cambridge galloper Cutting Up Rough over 1600.

Terra Sancta (Michael Coleman) stretching out well to win her debut at Avondale last January.

Pike then stepped her up to stakes company in the Gr.3 McKee Family Sunline Vase (2100m) and she battled away for eighth of the 11 runners, just over six lengths from the winner, Contessa Vanessa.

Pike knows what is needed to win the NZ Oaks, having taken it in 2013 with More Than Sacred, ridden by Innes.

More Than Sacred made it the fifth year in succession for Cambridge fillies in the feature, following on from Jungle Rocket (trained by Jeff McVean), Keep The Peace (Shaune Ritchie), Midnight Oil (Paul Duncan) and Artistic (Ritchie again and the quinella to boot with Zurella second).

Cambridge was to the fore again last year when Bonneval, prepared by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, prevailed over the Ritchie-trained Devise. And the previous year Stephen Marsh’s filly Sofia Rosa was first past the post for Cambridge, but was relegated to second behind Fanatic, who went on to win last Monday’s Gr.2 Adelaide Cup.

Pike and McNab will also join forces in another Trentham feature this weekend, with Anarchy in the Listed $50,000 Yealands Family Wines NZ St Leger (2500m).

A four-year-old daughter of Alamosa, Anarchy has recorded two wins and four placings from just seven starts. She won over 1950 metres at Rotorua on January 17 then over 2000 at New Plymouth before a last-start fourth to the talented Excalibur over 2100 in the NZ St Leger Trial at Hastings a few weeks ago.

“We’ve thrown her in the deep end, but she’s a nice staying mare,” said Pike. “We’ll ride her a touch quieter than we did at Hawke’s Bay.”

Another Cambridge winner on horizon?

Podravina (Matt Cameron) living up to expectations at Matamata yesterday.

Cambridge trainer Lauren Brennan and owner-breeder Gary Carvell should be heartened by the win of the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Podravina at Matamata yesterday.

Though the pair have no direct interest in the Bel Esprit filly, her form gives them some hope of a breakthrough maiden win with their charge Executive Power.

Executive Power’s most recent of his three starts is a second behind the exciting debut winner Sherrif over 1400 metres at Pukekohe a few weeks ago and that race is proving to be a good form guide.

Podravina finished third in it, a head behind Executive Power, while the fourth placegetter that day was Bellinsky, who was two lengths behind Sherrif and a half-length from Podravina, then came out next start and won decisively at Avondale last week.

Roger James holds Sherrif in high regard and believes he will be even better next campaign, while Baker was expecting Podravina to clear maiden ranks yesterday.

“It was a good maiden field at Counties and she goes all right,” said Baker. “She’s going to keep improving.”

Podravina began racing last October with an eighth at Ruakaka followed by a couple of trials with the best result being a fourth at Cambridge over 935 metres before she finished third to Sherrif. And there was plenty of merit in her Pukekohe placing as she became unbalanced when looking for racing room in the final 250 metres and rider Matt Cameron dropped his whip.

But there were no hard luck stories with Podravina yesterday as Cameron rode her positively from her outer draw and kept her up to the mark.

After leading in the early stages, Podravina was joined then headed at the 900 metres and settled second coming to the home turn. Once Cameron asked her to go, she kicked strongly to take over and went to the line three-quarters of a length ahead of the Tony Pike-trained Pink Graffiti.

Raspberry Beret, a stablemate of the winner, completed a Cambridge trifecta when finishing on to be a length behind Pink Graffiti, while Baker and Forsman’s other entry, Into The Groove, was scratched at the barrier when the veterinarian ruled her to be sore in the near foreleg.

Podravina became the second winner on the day for her owner-breeder, Sir Peter Vela, who also won with the promising Devil May Care, a Lonhro four-year-old trained by Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards.

For Baker and Forsman, the win with Podravina capped off placings earlier in the day with Princess Origami (second) and Lady Lira (third).

Egan’s luck continues

Concert Hall (Shaun McKay) showed fine acceleration over the final stages to race away for a convincing debut win at Matamata yesterday for Joan Egan and Roger James.

Cambridge trainer Roger James added to a successful few days for Hamilton owner-breeder Joan Egan when producing Concert Hall for a debut win at Matamata yesterday.

Last weekend Egan celebrated her first Group One success as a breeder when the smart Sword Of Osman raced away with the Sistema Stakes at Ellerslie and, though it was a low-key midweek meeting held by the South Waikato Racing Club yesterday, she still got a thrill from the victory of Concert Hall, a filly she bred and races.

Concert Hall was ridden a treat by Matamata jockey Shaun McKay in the Team Wealleans 1400, being settled midfield and not going around a horse.

After being fifth across the top, McKay took the inside passage on straightening and Concert Hall dashed through to head off the leader Ivy’s Dream and race clear to win by a length and a quarter in an all-Cambridge finish.

Another debutante, Princess Origami (trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman) ran on strongly for second ahead of the Tony Pike-trained Sacred Delight, who also finished well, while Margaret Falconer’s Treadstone was a sound fourth.

A three-year-old daughter of champion sire Savabeel, Concert Hall is the first winner for the Carnegie mare Classic Legacy, who won three on the flat and one over fences when trained by Shelley Wright.

James gave Concert Hall a couple of trials leading into yesterday’s event and was pleased with her showings in both hit-outs, the efforts being a fourth at Matamata last November then a win at Taupo last month.

“I thought her first trial in the spring was good, but she went shinsore and we had to wait for her,” said James. “She duly trialled up nicely at Taupo.

“It was a nice ride by Shaun today. He saved ground everywhere and she’s a staying filly in the making.”

Until Sword Of Osman came along Egan had to settle for Group winners and some Group One placegetters as her best results as a breeder.

Flying Babe, whose seven wins included the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders Stakes, and Cheiron, a winner of 11 races for the Marsh stable, had headed the honours board for Egan.

Flying Babe also won the Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes and Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes and was Group One-placed when third in 2001 to Kapiston in Ellerslie’s Sistema Stakes (then known as the Ellerslie Sires’ Produce Stakes), while Cheiron’s wins included the Gr.2 Sir Byrne Hart Stakes in Queensland and the Gr.3 Metric Mile at Awapuni and he was runner-up at Group One level in the Telegraph Handicap at Trentham.

Egan also co-bred the 2011 Karaka Million winner Fort Lincoln, who is closely related to Flying Babe, being out of a half-sister.

Another tragic blow for Cambridge trainer


The lightly tried Enough, who showed a lot of talent for John Bell.

John Bell has been on a high recently with his dual Group Three winner Julius, but his fortunes have been devastating in the last few days.

On Monday the Cambridge trainer lost the services of his highly talented filly Kapoor, a multiple stakes-placegetter, when she shattered a fetlock during his trackwork preparation for this weekend’s Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m).

Kapoor had to be humanely euthanised and a day later Bell suffered the loss of the talented Enough. The son of O’Reilly has been buried on the Bell property alongside Kapoor.

Enough recorded two wins and six placings from 10 starts with both his wins coming in his first three starts. He won his debut at Tauranga in December 2015 then won again at Ellerslie the following month.

After being off the scene for 10 months, he resumed on January 19 with a third at Tauranga and followed with another third, at Te Rapa, when unlucky after his rider Jake Bayliss lost the use of his right stirrup iron passing the 100 metres and was unable to fully ride out the six-year-old.

Enough’s most recent start was 18 days later at Matamata when he finished unplaced over the same 1400-metre trip.

Enough was O’Reilly from the good racemare Lafleur, a daughter of Zabeel whose wins in 2003 included the Gr.2 NZ Bloodstock Royal Stakes at Ellerslie and the Gr.2 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies Classic at Te Rapa.