Beat that bro!

Ekarosa and Sam Collett on their way to victory at Ellerslie last Saturday.

Ekarosa and Sam Collett on their way to victory at Ellerslie last Saturday.

Cambridge owner Sheryn Hobbs got one up over her brother, Taranaki Racing CEO Carey Hobbs, when Ekarosa cleared maiden ranks at Ellerslie last Saturday.

Hobbs gifted a share in Ekarosa to her father, Ivan, as a present last Christmas, and, though neither were at Ellerslie for the Ekraar four-year-old’s first win in four starts, the excitement was fever pitch as they watched the televised coverage.

“Dad was very excited,” said Hobbs. “He watched it at home with Mum and had a little bit on her.”

As for Hobbs and her partner, Neil Rutherford (who also has a share in Ekarosa), it was celebration time at the Group One Turf Bar in Cambridge.

“We made a hell of a noise. You would have heard us all the way down the street,” said Hobbs. “I was doing handstands when she won.”

The handstands quote is a bit of an exaggeration, but anyone who knows Hobbs wouldn’t put it past her, especially if you dared her to do it.

Hobbs is a diehard racing fan and if she’s not at a racemeeting she is usually watching the televised coverage at home or with friends.

It is one of her friends, Te Aroha farmer Peter Doughty, who got her into Ekarosa, a mare he bred from the Unfuwain mare Silver Fashion, who was a juvenile winner in France and boasts a strong pedigree of French black-type winners.

Doughty has won with four races Capo, a Cape Cross son of Silver Fashion, who now has a 100 percent strike rate with her four foals to race.

“I’ve known Pete for years and he’s often said he wanted to race one with us,” said Hobbs. “When he offered us a share in this mare (Ekarosa) we said yes and we’re having so much fun.”

The other member of the partnership which races Ekarosa with the Hobbs, Rutherford and Doughty is Graeme McVeagh, Doughty’s friend whose success as an owner includes a win 22 years ago at Pukekohe with the Ray and Sharon Johnson-trained Ballyjamesduff, a horse he bred.

Ekarosa was broken in and educated by Jonathan McRae and began her career in his stable, finishing second on debut on a heavy11 track at Matamata last July with Sam Collett in the saddle.

A minor leg injury, along with a planned spell, saw Ekarosa off the scene until last April when she had her first start from Paul Mirabelli’s Cambridge stable and finished second to Jet Charged on a slow9 surface at Rotorua. She then ran ninth on a dead4 track at Matamata, but back to wetter ground there was some confidence in the camp leading into last Saturday’s race.

When Ekarosa skipped clear with 200 metres to run thoughts of celebrating with a few “bubbles” would have crossed Hobbs’ mind and, though she got home by a nose, it was still a memorable occasion, and a good cause to crack open the” bubbles.”

“She’s got a bit of a ticker,” said Hobbs. “It was close but she got there. Good on Sam (Collett) and Paul (Mirabelli). They’ve done a great job with her.”

Meanwhile, down in Taranaki Ivan Hobbs is counting not only his winnings but also the days to Ekarosa’s next start.

He’s got a great Christmas present from his daughter and the pressure is now on Hobbs’ brother, Carey, to trump it next Christmas. It’s incredibly hard to beat the thrill of winning a race.

Yes, good old friendly family rivalry, you’ve got to love it.