Black type runner for emerging trainer

Cambridge horseman Glen Harvey is loving being back in New Zealand and is fulfilling a life-long ambition.

The 30-year-old became a licensed trainer only a few months ago and will send out his first stakes runner when two-year-old filly Beaune contests Saturday’s Listed Fasttrack Insurance 5k Bonus 2YO Stakes (1100m) at Pukekohe.

Harvey, the son of well-known racing and bloodstock identities Bruce and Maureen Harvey who operate Ascot Farm in Cambridge, has grown up with racing in the blood.

“I always wanted to be a trainer, but it has just been a work in progress,” Harvey said.

“I was only five-years-old when Roysyn, who was raced by my grandparents, won the New Zealand Derby (Gr.1, 2400m)

“When mum and dad got back from the races I said ‘one day I want to be a horse trainer’.

“It was quite cool the other day to have mum and dad’s colours go around on Alamo and Vinnie Colgan, who rode Roysyn, in the saddle.”

Having worked in several capacities in the thoroughbred industry, Harvey has most recently returned from a stint in Singapore just over four months ago.

“For the last couple of years I have been in Singapore, where I was assistant trainer to Kah Soon Tan and we had a fair bit of success,” Harvey said.

“It was great. I got to spend a lot of time with the horses there and we were very patient. In addition to Soon, I was able to connect with trainers like Lee Freedman, Shane Baertschiger and Donna Logan.

“Whenever I’m questioning whether I am doing the right thing with a horse, I ring them, especially Lee, who I talk to quite frequently.”

Harvey used his time in Singapore to good effect, growing his list of contacts, with first-starter Beaune raced by a leading owner.

“The filly is owned in Singapore by one of the biggest owners up there, Aramco Stable, and they have won two Group Ones in Singapore this year. They have most of their horses with Shane Baertschiger,” Harvey said.

Harvey is basing himself at his parents Ascot Farm, which is ten minutes from the Cambridge track.

“I am preparing the horses from Ascot Farm and we take three truck loads to the track every morning,” Harvey said.
“We have got a treadmill at home, plus our own track and it is well equipped with walkers and good staff.

“Mum and Dad have been right behind me and although they still have horses with Guy Lowry and Neill Ridley, as well as five in Singapore, it has been great to have their support and it probably works well for them too.”

Whilst keen to make a success of training, Harvey is realistic about the economics of training versus trading.

“It is difficult to survive unless you are trading horses,” he said. “We sold one to Hong Kong last week and that is like winning a Derby.

“I am quite keen to train a few fillies as it would be nice to have some horses to take through to the races that are not competing with the trade horses, which are mainly colts and geldings.”

With around 30 horses on the books, Harvey is hopeful Beaune can help garner further interest from prospective new owners.

The daughter of Kermadec finished second in her only trial and has drawn barrier nine in the 11-horse field on Saturday.

“With the draw, she is most likely going to have to go back, but we will just see where she lands,” Harvey said.

“The way she has been working this week would suggest she is not just there to make up the numbers. If she could run a place, she is a very valuable filly, but whatever she does she will improve again and she will make a lovely three-year-old.”

Harvey purchased six horses from this week’s Ready To Run Sale at Karaka and is looking forward to racing one of them in partnership with retail-King Gerry Harvey.

“It was good buying if you did your homework. I am looking forward to racing one with Gerry Harvey, who has the same initials as me. It will be good to see the GH brand on one I train.” – NZ Racing Desk

Gap / Track Attendant

Applications are invited for the position of Gap / Track Attendant at the Club’s Training Complex at Cambridge.

The successful applicant must be capable of maintaining a good relationship with all staff, track users and general public and must be able to work as a team member. An interest in thoroughbred racing would be a distinct advantage.

This is a permanent position and the gap control hours are 4.30am – 10.30am rostered Monday – Saturday.

Extra hours are also available by negotiation (until 4 pm weekdays and 12 noon Saturdays) and could include:

• Maintenance of grass, sand and plough tracks

• Preparation of hurdle and steeplechase tracks

• Running rail movement

• Maintenance of plant and machinery

• Building maintenance

• General gardening, mowing and grounds maintenance

• Equine swimming pool duties

• Trial Day duties

Hourly rate to be negotiated. There is no house available with the position.

For a copy of the job description and application form, please contact:

The Office
Cambridge Jockey Club
PO Box 329
CAMBRIDGE
Phone: (07) 827-6004

Email: accounts@cambridgejockeyclub.co.nz

Applications should be in writing by returning the application form with your CV, marked “Confidential” and attention: Course Manager. These will be treated in the strictest confidence. Applications close on Friday 22 November 2019 at 12 noon.

Goodbye Bob, a humble hero to so many

Bob catching up with friends Don Sellwood and Royce Dowling at his home earlier this year. (Photo: Brian de Lore).

It’ll never be the same on Cambridge Jockey Club race days, or other racing and sales occasions, with the recent death of Robert Lloyd (‘’Bob’’) Morris.

So integral, not only the success of the CJC but also a great contributor to the racing and breeding industry over his lifetime, Bob died at his home on October 17, one month short of his 92nd birthday.

Bob was without doubt a highly respected horseman, a great stockman and a very successful owner, trainer and breeder, but, above all, he was also a true gentleman.

In a sincere written tribute to a long-time friend and adviser since the late 1970s, Brian de Lore beautifully summed him up: ‘’Bob proved a great mentor to so many successful people in horses, and was man who commanded unending respect from all who knew him.

‘’He was a man of the land who had an extraordinary knowledge of farming stock and thoroughbred horses. A quiet achiever, he avoided taking credit for anything, or for helping anyone who needed help. He often shared his vast knowledge to the thoroughbred fraternity. He was a man of decisive action who didn’t suffer fools, but equally was kind of heart, a loyal friend.’’

Bob was born in 1927 in Cambridge, were he lived there almost his entire life. He served on the Cambridge Jockey Club committee for an amazing 44 years, from 1951 to 1995, and he was President from 1976 to 1981 and Life Member from 1995.  He was the CJC Patron at the time of his death.

‘’Bob guided the Club through all the trials and tribulations of converting a rundown dairy farm of 100 acres purchased in July 1977 and a further 50 acres purchased afterwards and transforming it into the magnificent facility we have today,”’ said Gayle Barkla, Secretary of the Cambridge Jockey Club and associated with the CJC for 32 years.

‘’His contribution to this Club could not have been any greater.

‘’Bob very rarely ever missed a CJC race day.  He was at our most recent race day, Travis Stakes day in April.  He regularly popped into the office to say hi and ask how the CJC was going and always took a very keen interest in everything CJC.’’

Bob was recognised for his outstanding contribution to Cambridge racing at the 2004 Awards evening, a well-deserved honour for such a humble contributor to the club and everything racing.

Bob bred and raced several top horses over many years with his most notable success as a breeder  with Abdul in the 1970 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) Trained by Geoff Murphy, Abdul (by Sovereign Edition) also included in his 17 wins, the Gr.1 All Aged Stakes (1600m), the Gr.2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) and the Gr.2 Orr Stakes (1400m).

Bob also bought and raced Savoir (also by Sovereign Edition), who won the 1976 Gr.1 VATC 1000 Guineas (1600m), the Gr.2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and was runner-up in both the Gr.1 VRC Oaks (2500m) and the Gr.2 Moonee Valley Stakes (1600m).

As de Lore recalled, ‘’Bob’s best friend was the late Maurice Paykel of Fisher & Paykel fame. They were very similar characters, completely devoid of ego, but relists, intelligent, and they shared a great sense of humour and a passion for horses. Bob was a practical horseman and Maurice was the enthusiast and together they bred and raced many horses over many years.’’

The winners includes the Hermes mare Sequitur and her daughter, Sequita (by Sovereign Edition) who were both were multiple black-type winners.’’

Sequitur left six winners with the best being Ideal Centreman (13 wins; Gr.1 Adelaide Cup,3200m and seven others black-type races) and Sequita, whose 10 wins included the Gr.2 Great Britain – New Zealand Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie, the Gr.3 Lady Norrie Stakes (1600m) and Ellerslie’s Listed Alison Stakes (2000m).

Sequita went on to be a highly successful broodmare, leaving nine winners from 10 raced progeny, including Never Quit (Gr.2 AJC Frank Packer Plate, 2000m, the Gr.2 Prime Ministers Cup, 2015m, and Gr.3 STC Shannon Handicap,1500m, twice) and (Super) Sequel (Gr.2 VRC Hardy Brothers Classic Stakes, 1600m, Listed Tauranga Classic, 1400m). It’s a family which has produced a host of black type winners and placegetters.

Bob was a big help to Sir Patrick Hogan in getting Cambridge Stud established, having a significant influence on the preparation of yearlings, and his experience went much beyond New Zealand.

Bob Morris and the mighty galloper El Khobar, pictured at Hollywood Park, California in the 1956.

As a 29-year-old in 1956, Bob took Sir Woolf Fisher’s outstanding sprinter, El Khobar, by ship to America after the horse had a series of victories in both New Zealand and Australia. El Khobar (by Gabador) had won the Gr.1 BATC Doomben Ten Thousand Handicap (1500m), the Listed QTC Ascot Stakes (1400m), and the Gr.2 AJC Warwick Stakes (1400m).

El Khobar also won a match race over 1700m with the mighty Syntax in Brisbane in September, 1956 by eight lengths and was the best sprinter in Australia that year. Later after displaying his talent in the United States, he retired to stud in America before returning to Sir Woolf’s Ra Ora Stud.

Bob never married and is survived by his older sister Grace and his nieces and nephews, while another older sister Margaret passed always three years ago aged 94.

Until her death, Margaret lived with Bob and Carol Marshall, who worked for Bob and was with him for 47 years.

Carol was a close and constant companion, so often taking Bob to the race meetings and functions and it was a delight to see Bob making the long trip from Cambridge to Hastings to watch Lily D’Or, a mare Carol bred and races in partnership with him, win on September 21.

The photo of Bob and Denny Moroney (father and long-time stable helper of co-trainer Mike Moroney), both aged 91, at the winner’s stall to greet  Lily D’Or and rider Donovan Mansour that day will long be cherished. The smile on Bob’s face was heart-felt for his love of racing and the horses and, although enjoying his moment of success quietly himself, true to character, he no doubt was more pleased to see Carol getting another win.

Racing has lost a true, honourable member of New Zealand racing with the death of Bob Morris, a person who touched so many hearts and asked nothing in return.

The Cambridge Jockey Club will forever be in Bob’s debt for all his help and guidance over the years. He is sadly missed, but rest assured Bob,  your memory will live on.

  • By Wally O’Hearn

Bright Sunlight Dark Shadow – Judy Hale’s life story

Bright Sunlight Dark Shadow is a moving and inspirational life story which Judy hopes will give others a sense of worth no matter what trials they must face.

Following a blessed rural life based around Maramarua, enriched with family love, animals and the land, Judy lost her husband and father of their children in a truck accident. Ten years later she lost her sight, sense of smell and some sense of taste in an equine accident, but this was a new beginning.

At the heart of Judy’s story is her courageous reclaiming of a life she had loved before the accident. Horses helped in Judy’s post-accident recovery too, ably assisted by Ted, the country’s first guide dog trained specifically for a farm environment. She got back in the saddle then settled into a life of breeding horses, travelling and writing. Judy moved to Cambridge in 1994 and quickly found her feet, joining a walking group, taking on motivational speaking engagements and helping others through the Cambridge Blind and Vision Impaired Support Group. She also fundraised for guide dogs and continued her thoroughbred line.

Proceeds donated to The Blind Foundation and its Guide Dogs.  Available from Cambridge PaperPlus Cost: $35.00 or by post from samantha.lifestories@gmail.com  plus $5.00 P&P within New Zealand.

 

Trip south proves rewarding

The Frank Ritchie-trained Fiscal Fantasy (Leith Innes) scoring a big win in the Manawatu Breeders Stakes today.

Cambridge galloper Fiscal Fantasy had to call on all her reserves to win the Gr.3 Property Brokers Arohanui Hospice Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes (2000m) at Awapuni today.

The Frank Ritchie-trained mare jumped from barrier 12 and settled towards the rear of the field for jockey Leith Innes.

Innes steered his charge to the extreme outside of the track when turning for home and the daughter of Skilled was able run down her opposition and nab Monrecour on the line to win by a neck.

Ritchie said he headed into the race with reserved expectations given his mare’s wide barrier, but he was delighted to get the result.

“When we got the wide draw I thought ‘not again’, because she has been beaten by wide draws so many times. As the day went on it didn’t look quite so bad,” he said.

“She is a real sweetheart. She has got a heart much bigger than herself because she’s tiny. She never gives it away.”

Ritchie said he was on the cusp of not bringing Fiscal Fantasy south for the race, but he is glad he did and she will now possibly head to the Gr.2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa later this month.

“To be honest I had some trepidation about coming down for this race because she’s had a hard season,” Ritchie said. “But I gave her a bit of a break and the owners were all keen so it’s more their race than mine.

“She’s had a hard season, but she’s as tough as they come. I guess now, on this, we will have a look at the Travis Stakes. It’s three weeks away. She had to show today that she was up to it (and she was), so we will look at that.”

– NZ Racing Desk

Sydney Cup possible for Rondinella

Rondinella could have a further Australian start in the Sydney Cup.

Cambridge trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood haven’t completely closed the door on quality mare Rondinella lining up in the Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on Saturday week.

The daughter of Ocean Park finished third last Saturday to Avilius in the Gr.1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) and her connections are assessing her options after that pleasing run.

“It is a consideration at this stage (the Sydney Cup) and we will make a final decision after the weekend,” James said.

“It was the intention that she come straight home, but the owners were keen to leave her there for a week to assess the situation and make a decision.”

Jockey Sam Clipperton had been rapt with the way she travelled in the race and finished it off nicely despite the unfavourable heavy10 track conditions.

“He got off and said we had been robbed by the weather,” James said.

“He said she had travelled beautifully everywhere, but when he went to let her down she wandered in the track and the second horse ran past her very easily and he thought he was going to leave her in his wake.

“Then when he balanced her up she got back at it. I think he had put three-quarters of a length on us and we were only a head behind on the line. He did say she wasn’t happy in the ground, which we knew beforehand she wasn’t at her best in that ground.”

While Rondinella is untested at the extreme distance of the Sydney Cup, James was buoyed by her performance over 2400m in the Tancred.

“Two miles is a specialist race and you don’t know until you try really, but she did answer the question on Saturday that she would get the mile and a half,” he said.

Meanwhile, James is hopeful Concert Hall can break through for her first win at elite level in the Gr.1 Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha on Saturday.

The four-year-old daughter of Savabeel recorded her first black-type victory in the Gr.3 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham last month, her third win in a row.

“It was nice to see her do that, it is a big step up from that to Saturday, but she has pleased me and we are pleased to have her here,” James said.

“You are never confident going in to Group Ones. You are more hopeful than confident. The wide draw is an issue as it is always good to have a good draw no matter the distance. If you have to have a wide run, Te Aroha is quite a forgiving track to have it on.

“I rated her last year, but she was just getting there and it is just maturity that has seen the improvement in her.”

– NZ Racing Desk

Pike’s Sacred promise to Lane

Surely Sacred (nearest camera), pictured winning the Avondale Guineas, will face his second Derby test this weekend.

Tony Pike will be honouring a promise to Gr.1 Golden Slipper-winning jockey Damian Lane at Randwick on Saturday.

Lane added the Gr.1 Golden Slipper to his CV when successful on Kiamichi last month and will be out to win at the top level for Pike when the Cambridge trainer legs him aboard Surely Sacred in the Gr.1 A$2 million Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday.

“I owe Damian a Derby ride,’’ Pike said. ‘’He rode Sacred Elixir for me in Melbourne a few years ago and won a couple on him, but he didn’t get to ride him in the Victoria Derby as we had Zac Purton booked for that.

“I told him I’d give him a Derby ride one day and he’ll have his chance on Surely Sacred on Saturday. I’m looking forward to it.’’

Lane rode Sacred Elixir in three starts during the 2016 Spring carnival in Melbourne for a fresh-up win in the Gr.3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) and a win in the Gr.2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m), then Purton was runner-up on him in the Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m).

Pike secured Lane’s services for Surely Sacred (who races in the same Raffles Racing colours as Sacred Elixir) when the Rock ‘N’ Pop three-year-old made his Australian debut in the Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill last start.

Surely Sacred drew wide when he finished fourth, five and a half lengths behind the boom three-year-old The Autumn Sun, on a rain-sodden Rosehill track and Pike is hoping for a better draw for the Derby.

“He had to make a long-sustained run and the way the track was playing he almost got there too soon,’’ Pike said. ‘’He was off the bridle the last bit and just ground away.

‘’It’s been the same in his last three runs. He’s had to make long sustained runs. But if he gets a good draw and can race a bit handier, he can be held up for the last crack at them. He sprints very quickly.’’

Surely Sacred showed that sprint when he flashed home from last to win the Gr.2 Auckland Guineas (1600m) at Ellerslie in just his third start before an unlucky fifth in the Listed Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m).

He then took off before the home turn and was in front soon after straightening when winning the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) at Ellerslie and had to make a long sustained run from the back when fifth in the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m), the Ellerslie performance which secured his trip to Sydney.

Pike is happy with Surely Sacred’s progress since the Rosehill Guineas and is confident he will be right in the firing line over the final stages of Saturday’s Australian Derby.

‘’He had a quiet hit-out on Saturday morning and will gallop on the course proper on Tuesday,’’ Pike said.

‘’Hopefully there’s not too much more rain in Sydney, but Randwick does hold up better than Rosehill and it is the first day of the carnival.”

Lane will be chasing his second Australian Derby win and his first was also on a Cambridge horse. He rode Jon Snow to victory in the feature two years ago for leading trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.

Whatever the outcome on Saturday, Surely Sacred will be heading for the spelling paddock and be prepared for a spring campaign.

‘’He won’t be going on to Queensland for the Derby there,’’ Pike said. ‘’He’ll have run in two Derbys and that’s enough.’’

Pike is currently finalising his team for the Queensland Winter Carnival and it will include Bostonian and Ever Loyal, who are both being aimed at the Gr.1 A$1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.

‘I’m just waiting on the final details of the flights over there,’’ Pike said. ‘’They’ll probably kick off a week after arriving. They’ll  have a couple of runs in handicaps, not weight-for-age races, as a lead into the Stradbroke.’’

Bostonian was unbeaten in three Queensland starts last year, culminating in his victory in the Gr.3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m), and his five starts this campaign include a win in the Listed Counties Bowl (1100m) and a second to Melody Belle in the Gr.1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa before his last-start fifth in the Gr.1 Haunui Farm WFA Group One Classic (1600m) at Otaki.

‘’He’s had a nice break since Otaki and looks good,’’ Pike said.

Ever Loyal has also been freshened since his last run, in the Gr. 3 Liverpool Cup (1300m) at Randwick on March 2.

‘’He had no luck in Sydney,’’ Pike said. ‘’He was caught three-wide and I knew he had no show after 200m.’’

Before his sole Sydney mission, Ever Loyal has been runner-up to Ardrossan in the Gr.3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) and won over 1200m, both at Ellerslie.

 

 

 

 

 

Cup hopes on line for stablemates

Zacada (nearest camera) going down narrowly to Who Shot Thebarman in last year’s Sydney Cup, needs to shape up on Saturday to have another crack at the 3200m feature.

Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have two contenders for the Gr.1 Sydney Cup in Zacada and Vin De Dance, but the pair will have to perform this weekend to warrant a start in the 3200m feature.

Both horses were failures when unplaced in the Gr.3 Manion Cup (2400m) on a Heavy8 track at Rosehill last month.

While disappointed in their runs, their trainers are hoping they will redeem themselves in the Gr.2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick on Saturday.

“Vin De Dance got caught three-wide the other day over 2400m,” Baker said. “You just can’t do that in that sort of competition.

“He dropped out and he pulled a bit because he was three-wide in the clear, which is not like him to pull.

“Zacada just never got into it. He couldn’t cop the track, which surprised us a bit because he has shown form on wet loose tracks before, but he has just got to take his chance.

“Both are good as gold after the run and will both run in the Chairman’s.”

Baker said it would be unlikely that his runners would press on to the Sydney Cup if they don’t put in a good showing on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Baker-Forsman will also line-up Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) aspirant Clementina at Randwick on Saturday.

The three-year-old daughter of Savabeel will contest the Gr.3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) as a lead-in run to the Oaks and Baker is confident of a good showing from his filly.

“Clementina was very unlucky in the New Zealand Oaks (Gr.1, 2400m),” Baker said. “She went for a run and got balked and couldn’t get a run and Leith Innes had to pull across them. She finished strongly for fourth. I thought it was an outstanding run, she was just unlucky.

“She is going to run in the Adrian Knox this week and Opie Bosson is riding her and we will just go from there.

“She is stakes placed twice in New Zealand. The Adrian Knox does fall away a bit.  The big race was The Vinery last week for the three-year-old fillies, but she’ll have her chance (on Saturday).

Baker and Forsman will also have The Chosen One and Madison County in the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Last-start Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) winner The Chosen One has drawn barrier 17 in the 18-horse field and will be ridden by Blake Shinn, while dual Group One winner Madison County will jump from barrier 11 under regular Sydney rider Tommy Berry.

Fellow Kiwi contenders Platinum Invador, Arrogant, In A Twinkling and Surely Sacred have drawn 14, 12, 15 and 6 respectively.

– NZ Racing Desk

 

Brisbane plans for Big Mike

Big Mike (Jye McNeil) in full flight after leading throughout in the A$300,000 Pakenham Cup during his Australian campaign last year.

Handy Cambridge stayer Big Mike impressed his trainers ahead of a possible Australian campaign when back in action at the Avondale trials on Tuesday.

Big Mike earned in excess of A$200,000 last preparation when testing the waters  in Australia with a four-start Victorian campaign, which included victory in the Listed Pakenham Cup (2500m).

The six-year-old surprised his trainers when winning his 1200m trial on Tuesday.

“We were very impressed with him,” said Shaun Phelan, who has just joined in his father, Craig, in a training partnership. “We didn’t realise how forward he was as we haven’t done that much galloping with him this time in.”

Phelan said the son of Don Eduardo would likely contest the Gr.2 Manco Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie on April 20 before a trip to Brisbane is considered.

“His rating is quite high now and that is the only open handicap race he can go for and not be carrying top weight,” Phelan said.

“He might go to Queensland for the Brisbane Cup (Gr.2, 2400m), depending on how he comes up.

“We leant a lot from his last campaign in Australia. The Kiwi horses are obviously up to it and he thrived on the trip. We thought we might have a go at Brisbane in the winter.”

Meanwhile, Phelan said he was hopeful that talented three-year-old Notabadidea could join his older stablemate in Queensland this winter.

Notabadidea finished third in the same 1200m heat behind Big Mike and is progressing nicely having not raced since finishing seventh in the Gr.2 Sarten Memorial (1400m) in October.

“He is coming up well,” Phelan said. “He had a long spell after going shinsore early as a three-year-old after the Sarten Memorial.

“He has had two trials now, just to improve his fitness, so we will be looking for a race for him soon.

“We are likely to get him over a bit of ground and it was good to get a line on him today with Opie Bosson on him in his trial.

“If he is good enough, he will go on the trip to Brisbane with Big Mike possibly for the Queensland Derby (Gr.1, 2400m).

“Being by Highly Recommended, they seem to want a bit of sting out of the track, so we dodged the summer racing.”

Despite turning his hand to training, Phelan will still be seen in action over the jumps this season.

“I am going to ride Monarch Chimes in a steeplechase trial at Cranbourne at the end of this week and then he is aiming for Warrnambool, so I will be going to ride him there,’’ he said.

“We will just see what happens with Big Mike and whether we can get him to Brisbane. We will have plenty of horses racing in winter here and we might even look at taking a couple of jumpers to Victoria, so there is plenty happening. But there are enough of us to make a go of it.”

– NZ Racing Desk

Big future tipped for two-year-olds

Aretha again proved up to top company when second in the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes last weekend.

Though Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman didn’t win the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni last Saturday, they are excited for the future with talented two-year-olds Aretha and Holy Mongolemperor.

Aretha finished runner-up and Holy Mongolemperor ran home late to finish eighth.

“She’s a good filly, Aretha,” Baker said. “Her four starts have all been in Group races and she has won or been placed in them all.

“Holy Mongolemperor is very green. He lost his way a bit on Saturday unfortunately.

“He stretched out a bit in the last 200m when he got going. He’s just more of a three-year-old, but we had to have a crack.  It was a Group One.

“We know he is a bit rough around the edges, but I am sure next season he will certainly be a horse to follow.”

–NZ Racing Desk