Memorable weekend on the cards

It could be another memorable weekend for Cambridge’s Shelley Hale and her broodmare Regelle.

Wearing three hats (trainer, owner and breeder), Hale will saddle up the brothers Sum Up and Two Up at the Cambridge Jockey Club’s meeting at Te Rapa on Saturday, then a day later her attention will switch to Hong Kong, where Thumbs Up, an older brother from Regelle, will tackle the Group I Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin.

Last December the trio all raced on the same weekend and performed very well, coming close to a truly memorable and highly successful day for Hale and Regelle.

Two Up won the TR Pride Premier at Te Rapa and Sum Up stormed home for an unlucky second behind Dawn Ghost in the Group II Waikato Times Gold Cup, then the following day Thumbs Up was a courageous second to Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden in the Group I Hong Kong Vase.

Thumbs Up was a last-start Group Two winner when he went into last December’s feature and this time he is going into the QEII Cup fresh from a Group III Premier Plate win.

Hale originally trained Thumbs Up and after he won his debut at Avondale in October 2007 there was immense interest in the horse from overseas buyers. Eventually he was sold to Hong Kong and is now being trained by Caspar Fownes. He has now earned over $HK7 million.

While Sum Up and Two Up are racing in the shadow of Thumbs Up, both are performing well and expected to be good prospects at Te Rapa on Saturday.

Sum Up will be on trial for a start in the Group III Rotorua Cup (2200m) at Rotorua on May 12 when he contests Saturday’s Presland Tocker Insurance Premier (1600m). He goes into the race with a last-start sixth behind Veyron in the Group I Manco Easter Handicap at Ellerslie.

“It was a good effort in the Easter and really he needs 2000 metres now, but this is the only suitable leadup race to the Rotorua Cup for him,” said Hale. “We’ve had a few minor setbacks with him this season so it
would be nice to get some compensation.”

Sum Up missed a start in the Wellington Cup when suffering from an abscess in a heel the day before the feature, then he had another setback after running in the Darci Brahma International Stakes at Te Rapa.

“He had a problem with his feet and he was sick for 10 days,” said Hale. “It meant he missed both the Avondale and Auckland Cups.”

Sum Up will be ridden as usual by Mark Hills, while stablemate Two Up will be ridden by Matt Cameron.

Two Up will contest the Raffles Farm Premier (1600m) and looks a leading prospect on the strength of his leadup form. He was a winner on the track three starts ago then finished second at Tauranga and Ellerslie.