Meatloaf rings true for Somervell

Haypin (Trudy Thornton) grabbing the obscured Conrwin to deadheat for first at Ellerslie yesterday. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).

Haypin (Trudy Thornton) grabbing the obscured Conrwin to deadheat for first at Ellerslie yesterday. (Photo: Kenton Wright, Race Images).


The Meatloaf hit song “Two out of three ain’t bad” is how Cambridge trainer Lee Somervell summed up yesterday’s results for his stable.

Somervell’s interest was divided between the Doomben, Ellerslie and Trentham meetings and he enjoyed success at the latter two venues with respective wins by Haypin and his stable apprentice Ulrika Holmquist (on the Tony Bambry-trained outside Dance In The Park), while his Queensland hope Addictive Habit disappointed when unplaced in the Gr. 3 A$125,000 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m).

“Obviously I’d have liked to see Addictive Habit do much better, but overall it wasn’t a bad day for the stable with two out of three,” said Somervell upon his arrival back in New Zealand tonight.

“It was great to see Haypin win (deadheat) and I was so pleased to see Ulrika get a win and a third down at Trentham. It’s good to see her do that on the big stage.”

Holmquist impressed with her performance on 33/1 outsider Dance In The Park in the Echoes Of Heaven 1200 at Trentham and she picked up a third on Ysabella Brave for Cambridge trainer Anne Herbert.

“Dance In The Park’s mum (Eternal Dancer) won the Trentham Gold Cup at this meeting seven years ago,” recalled Bambry after the upset win.

The win was the 20th for 21-year-old Holmquist and her 10th this season, matching her debut innings last season, and her first on the Trentham track.

“It’s the first time I’ve ridden at Wellington, the straight is long,” said Holmquist after Dance In The Park had ploughed through the mud to win by almost three lengths.

Meanwhile, at Ellerslie Haypin picked up her first win from the Somervell stable and her third in total from just eight starts.

The five-year-old Danroad mare owned by Don Wilson had won her first two starts for Te Awamutu trainers Keith and Brendan Hawtin and was having her second start for Somervell.

“She came to me because Don thought she would be better-suited being paddock-trained,” said Somervell. “She has adapted to the outdoor style of training well and Trudy (Thornton) was impressed with her run yesterday. She feels she will go further.”

Haypin got up in the last stride to deadheat with Conrwin in the Shamrock Group 1200, running the 1200 metres in a slogging 1:19.91.

Somervell kept tabs on Haypin and Holmquist from Brisbane where he watched Addictive Habit finish seventh, seven and a quarter lengths behind the winner Strawberry Boy, in the Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m).

“He raced flat,” said Somervell, explaining Addictive Habit’s below-par performance. “His rider, Michael Cahill, said he just wasn’t sharp enough.

“He certainly wasn’t at his best but I don’t regret going over for a crack. And it wasn’t as though he was the only one who failed. All the New Zealanders didn’t fire. I was told some horses just don’t go at Doomben.”

Addictive Habit will undergo a blood test tomorrow and Somervell will then decide what to do with the Group Two winner.

“We might bring him back home, but I won’t make a decision for a few days,” said Somervell. “I was happy with him before the race.”