Another milestone for top trainers

New York Minute (Lisa Allpress) was dominant in today’s New Plymouth feature.

All-conquering trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman collected the 20th black type victory of their remarkable domestic season when the strapping mare New York Minute claimed top honours at New Plymouth today.

New York Minute produced a commanding front-running performance under jockey Lisa Allpress to run away with the Listed Powerworx Opunake Cup (1400m).

Baker and Forsman will also easily retain their premiership title with their current winning tally of 141 being a record that may well be further extended before the end of the term.

New York Minute has been a valuable addition to their Cambridge stable and is now unbeaten in three appearances for Baker and Forsman. She was previously trained by Ilone Kelly, whose family races the strapping daughter of Iffraaj.

“We’ll probably freshen her and ideally head to the Foxbridge Plate then the first day at Hastings,” said Forsman, referring to the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m).

New York Minute worked hard early to get to the front at New Plymouth and she kicked strongly in the straight to beat the Matamata mare Sleeping Beauty, who was in receipt of 4.5kgs, and her stablemate Tomelilla.

“She’s hard to catch when she’s rolling along,” said Forsman. “With the pull in the weights that Sleeping Beauty had I thought she was going to give us a fright, but our horse is all heart and dug deep.”

New York Minute was a $15,000 weanling purchase out of Little Avondale Stud’s draft in 2013 and she has now won eight times and banked more than $210,000.

“Tomelilla probably needs a looser track, but Deals In Heels was a bit disappointing,” said Forsman. “She was there, but didn’t quicken.”

Art Deco finished fourth with Deals In Heels fifth and Nashville came from last to be next home.

– NZ Racing Desk.




Pearl continues winning way

Te Toro Pearl (Michael Coleman) making it four on the trot when digging deep to beat fellow Cambridge galloper Cossack Warrior at New Plymouth today.

Te Toro Pearl’s effort to extend her winning streak to four at New Plymouth today further emphasised her talent and determination.

The exciting three-year-old overcame a tough run in the Seaton Park 1400m to prevail and leave trainer Jon Miller shaking his head.

“She’s gone back and had to work really hard for it,” he said.

“She had to take off at the 600 metres and was out wide then hit the front. I’m a bit blown away by her.”

The daughter of Bullbars finished sixth on debut at Te Aroha in April and has since remained unbeaten.

“It’s hard to say what we do next,” said Miller. “I’ll get her home and see how she comes through the race. We could come back here or perhaps look at Hawke’s Bay.”

A return to New Plymouth would be tempting, given that Te Toro Pearl is unbeaten in two starts on the course.

Rider Michael Coleman opted to drop Te Toro Pearl back from the outside gate before he urged her forward and, after challenging on the turn, she was gallant in the run home to deny Cossack Warrior and Ruffy Rahtwo.

Miller was also pleased with stablemate Waipipi Lad’s performance to run fourth behind Strolling Vagabond in the Sinclair Electrical & Refrigeration Handicap (1800m).

“He’s a good old fellow and earned his fee again,” he said. “The track didn’t really suit him. I was going to run him at Te Rapa, but they canned the race.”

– NZ Racing Desk.

Tarzino aim for Francaletta 

Francaletta is being set for the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy, the Hastings feature won last year by another Cambridge galloper, Close Up.

Champion trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have left the door open for a late entry to the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings on September 1.

The partnership had Jon Snow, Francaletta and New York Minute among the entries for the weight-for-age feature when nominations closed earlier this week.

“Jon Snow could potentially run there before heading to Melbourne, but it’s definitely the aim for Francaletta and a lot will be decided with New York Minute by how she runs in the Opunake Cup on Saturday and the Foxbridge Plate,” said Forsman.

“But there is a late entry of only $600 more than the initial payment a week before the race so if we do have something else that is going well, we could consider putting them in late then.”

—NZ Racing Desk

Miller’s pearl chasing four straight

New Plymouth candidate Te Toro Pearl has thrived for trainer John Miller.

Cambridge trainer Jon Miller has no hesitation in rating his emerging filly Te Toro Pearl as at least the equal of past stable star Dasoudi.

 The Bullbars three-year-old will shoot for her fourth consecutive win in tomorrow’s Seaton Park 1400 at New Plymouth and her winning streak has got Miller excited.

Dasoudi ranks as Miller’s previous best galloper, having split Group One winners Booming and Eileen Dubh when second in the 2011 Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham. She also finished an unlucky third to Keep The Peace and Wall Street in the Gr.1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m) at Otaki two starts later.

“Early on, Dasoudi won two in a row and was then beaten a neck then won her next start, but until Te Toro Pearl, I hadn’t had one that had won three in a row,” said Miller.

“I think she’s probably as good as Dasoudi, too – and maybe a little bit better.”

Raced by Keith and Craig Pennell, Te Toro Pearl was placed in her first two trials before finishing sixth on debut at Te Aroha, her only defeat in four starts.

“In her second trial at Cambridge she sat 10-wide and only got beaten a head, and I began to gallop her with Waipipi Lad as a mate and she was not only keeping up but beating him,” said Miller.

“I said to the guys ‘if she lives up to her trials and trackwork, we’re going to have a bit of fun’.

“She has surprised me, though, just how quickly she has come to it. I’d have been happy to get one win out of her in her first preparation.”

Millar was delighted with the improvement Te Toro Pearl has made through each of her runs and her courage in overcoming tough runs on heavy tracks to record wins at New Plymouth, Avondale and Tauranga leading into Saturday’s race.

“She’s in great order going into this one, too,” said Miller. “She’s jumping out of her skin.

“Four in a row will be hard, but as long as she kicks on and does what she’s been doing, she should be competitive. She handles these heavy tracks.”

Safely through tomorrow’s race, Miller intends continuing to take Te Toro Pearl through the grades with a view to stepping her up to better company next preparation.

Miller will have two runners at tomorrow’s meeting with Waipipi Lad tackling the Sinclair Electrical And Refridgeration 1800 after the Mr Nancho gelding’s Te Rapa target of the 1600-metre open handicap was canned through lack of entries.

“He got taken on the whole way at Te Rapa last time so it was a tough run, but he never gave it away,” said Miller.

“He’s better off left to his own devices in front and if he’s out in front bowling along on Saturday, he’ll be a chance.”

Miller, a former accountant, is looking forward to the new season with a promising young team coming through as he approaches a year since shifting base from South Auckland to Cambridge last September.

However, Miller has lost the services of his Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) runner-up Prince Of Passion, who has transferred stables with a view to a possible Australian campaign.

– NZ Racing Desk.

Stablemates primed for Opunake Cup

Opunake Cup hope New York Minute and Lisa Allpress maintaining their fine record with victory at Tauranga recently.

Champion trainer Andrew Forsman has indicated the prospect of a repeat feature-race trifecta in tomorrow’s Listed Powerworx Opunake Cup (1400m) at New Plymouth.

Forsman and training partner Murray Baker produced New York Minute, Deals In Heels and Tomelilla for a stable one-two-three in last month’s Listed Tauranga Classic (1400m) and he told NZ Racing Desk all three were going into this weekend’s feature in prime order.

“All three galloped brilliantly this morning and I can’t fault any of them going into this one,” he said yesterday.

“It’s a bit frustrating they have to clash again, but this is the right race for them again. They are all going really well but there are a few decent ones in there against them again, too.”

Forsman said while all three were accomplished performers on winter going, just what type of track was presented at New Plymouth would probably determine the pick of the stable runners.

“The comments from the riders of Deals In Heels and Tomelilla after Tauranga was that they were just wanting looser ground,” said Forsman.

“New York Minute gets through those holding tracks better than the other two so track conditions will probably decide it.

“At the the top of the straight at Tauranga, Deals In Heels looked to have the race shot so for New York Minute to fight back and win the way she did you can’t take anything away from her.

“She races on the pace too, which is an advantage, but it also means she does a lot more work in running than the others.

“All three are going as well as they were going into Tauranga and I can’t split them on their work, though Deals In Heels does come in a couple of kilos better at the weights.”

TAB bookmakers opened New York Minute a $3.40 favourite ahead of Deals In Heels and Art Deco at $6.50, with Tomelilla a $9.20 fifth favourite.

Safely through tomorrow’s race Forsman will consider New York Minute for the Gr.2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa on August 18, with the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings on September 1 a possibility.

“She’s a stakes winner now so her job is done and whatever we can pick up with her from here is a bonus,” he said.

The Gr.3 Winter Cup (1600m) at Riccarton on August 4 is the likely aim for Deals In Heels, while Tomelilla could be freshened for spring racing on slightly better track conditions.

“We’re really excited about the team we’re taking to New Plymouth, not just the three in the Opunake Cup,” said Forsman.

“Beau Jeu is going well. Rodrico’s last run was better than it looked and he’ll be hard to beat and our three-year-olds Smiling Proud and Socially Excited are working well.

“We’re expecting Socially Excited to bounce back to something like his best form and we expect Pearlescence to go well in her Rating 65 race.”

– NZ Racing Desk


Cambridge jumper on easy list

Iffitel (Aaron Kuru), pictured on her way to victory in the Manawatu Hurdles, had no joy at Trentham.

Iffitel is feeling the effects of the Wellington Hurdles (3400m) at Trentham.

“She ploughed through one down the front straight and was never travelling,” said trainer Glynn Brick. “The jockey (Stuart Higgins) made the right decision to pull her up.

“We’ve had the vet to her and she’s a bit muscle sore.”

Iffitel had been unbeaten in her two previous jumping starts, including the Awapuni Hurdles (2900m).

—NZ Racing Desk

Setback for Woodloveto

Injury has forced the end to Woodloveto’s campaign aimed at the New Zealand Cup.

Injury has derailed this year’s plans for the exciting Cambridge stayer Woodloveto.

The son of Redwood has won three of his seven appearances and connections were considering feature race options in the new season before he was laid low.

“We had in the back of our minds a race like the New Zealand Cup for him as he only goes left-handed,” said trainer Samantha Logan.

“We’ve had a setback with him, though. He was back in work for a month when I noticed some swelling in his hock.

“He was never lame, but we found a small chip which has been taken out so he’s on the back-burner.”

Woodloveto is now unlikely to be seen out again until next year.

“He needs four weeks of box rest then another six weeks in the paddock,” said Logan.

“He’ll probably be out for the summer, but we’re not too concerned. He’s a young staying horse and he’s worth waiting for. Time will be his best friend.

“It’s not the end of the world. He’s a tough cookie and he’ll come back stronger from this.”

Woodloveto posted consecutive victories over 2200 metres at Rotorua and over 2500m at Hawke’s Bay in the autumn before he was spelled.

A son of the Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) winner For Love, the four-year-old is part-owned by Logan’s Singapore-based mother, Donna.

– NZ Racing Desk.

Longchamp retired

The retired Longchamp showing the talent that won him seven races.

Multiple stakes winner Longchamp has run his last race.

The decision was made to retire the six-year-old following a below-par performance at Ruakaka last Saturday.

“I wanted to give him one more go on a better track, but he’s had enough,” said Cambridge trainer Andrew Campbell.

“I’m pleased to retire him sound. It would have broken my heart if something happened to him. He’s been a fantastic horse and given us a lot of thrills.”

Longchamp has been a special member of the stable for Campbell, who trained his sire Tavistock to Group One successes in the Waikato Draught Sprint (1400m) and in the Mudgway Partsworld Stakes (1400m).

“He was Tavistock’s first winner and he’s also won a couple of Opunake Cups so he’s been a great horse to us,” said Campbell.

A $40,000 Karaka purchase for many of the original owners of Tavistock, Longchamp won his debut at Otaki as a two-year-old then finished fifth in the Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie.

The best performance of his classic season saw him finish a close third behind Turn Me Loose in the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m).

“He was only beaten a half-head and a neck. He was a very good horse and wasn’t far off the best,” said Campbell. “He had a few issues so had limited starts.”

Longchamp won seven of his 27 outings, including two editions of the Listed Opunake Cup (1400m), and also ran fourth behind Kawi in the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m).

– NZ Racing Desk.

Hawke’s Bay targets for Close Up

Close Up (Grant Cooksley) beating Aide Memoire in the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy.

Shelley Hale’s Group One winner Close Up is on track for a long-awaited return to the races.

 Last year’s Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy victor made his first appearance on a race track in nine months at the Te Rapa trials today and could be set for a race day return as soon as Saturday.

The Shinko King rising nine-year-old finished a long neck second to quality mare Melody Belle in a 900-metre heat on Te Rapa’s inside track and Hale was satisfied with his performance.

“I’m pretty happy with what I saw,” said the Cambridge horsewoman.

“It looked like they couldn’t do a lot with them on that track, but it’s a day out and he’s had a sweat, a shake and a gallop so we’re all good.”

Close Up hasn’t been seen since his seventh-placing in the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings last year and Hale has given him plenty of time to recover.

“He pulled up a little sore after the Livamol so we gave him a good break and got him all over that,” said Hale.

Close Up had a standout spring last year, winning the Tarzino Trophy and being runner-up in the Gr.2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m) and Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m. Hale is eyeing a similar path this year, despite a recent hiccup in his preparation.

“He was actually ready to kick-off about a month ago, but he got a bit of colic and that just set him back a bit,” she said. “Now we’re just trying to make up lost time.

“He’ll have pretty similar spring targets (as last year). We’ll just see how he gets through this. He could even kick-off at Te Rapa this Saturday in the open 1200. He’ll step out pretty soon.

“I’m very happy with how he went today. He has pulled up well.”

– NZ Racing Desk.

Magnum in line for Group One bid

Magnum, showing his class back in New Zealand with stakes success at Awapuni, is on track for a Group One mission.

A crack at a Group One feature for Magnum will be determined by the opening performance of his upcoming campaign.

“He’ll probably go for the open 1200-metre at Te Rapa on August 4. We’ll aim for that and depending how he runs we could look at the Tarzino Trophy at Hawke’s Bay,” said trainer Lauren Brennan.

The weather will also be a major factor in Magnum’s progress.

“When he ran at Counties in the Easter it was a Heavy 11 and we won’t be doing that again,” said Brennan.

“The ground got to him and he was a little bit distressed after that. Although he recovered quickly, we learned our lesson.”

While the Gr.2 Easter Handicap (1600m) gave no indication as to the Per Incanto gelding’s ability to master the trip, Brennan is confident Magnum will be up to the task on better ground.

“When the tracks improve I think he will go a mile,” she said.

Magnum showed he was in good condition to open a new campaign when he won his 900-metre open heat at Te Rapa today.

“I was very happy, it was a glorified track gallop really and he hit the line strongly,” said Brennan.

Bred and part-owned by Little Avondale Stud, Magnum won three trials from Brennan’s stable before he relocated to Singapore where he won four races and finished third in the $S500,000 Singapore Guineas (1600m), for Michael Freedman.

Since re-joining Brennan, Magnum has raced four times and was successful in the Listed Flying Handicap (1400m) at Awapuni in the autumn.

– NZ Racing Desk.