2018

Extra Trip No Problem for Merchandize

Tuesday, 9th January 2018

Gary Vile is confident his leading 3YO Hard Merchandize will cope with a step up to a mile, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Awapuni trainer has his sights set on upcoming features at Trentham and Ellerslie with the Group-winning son of Burgundy. "He's got two major assignments left and I think he'll handle a mile fine," Vile said. The gelding will make his next appearance in the Gr1 Levin Classic (1600m) on Saturday followed by the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) a fortnight later. A winner of 4 of his 10 starts, Hard Merchandize's biggest win came in the Gr2 Hawke's Bay Guineas (1400m) in October. He first showed a glimpse of his potential when finishing fifth in the Gr1 Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes as a 2YO last year. At his two most recent outings, Hard Merchandize (Burgundy-Pride and Passion, by Encosta de Lago) ran fifth in the Gr2 Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) and then acquitted himself well against the older horses when fifth in the Gr2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni. "I thought he fought on very, very well and he's come through the race nicely," Vile said. "He's looking good."

2017

Sumstreetsumwhere Wins Gr2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes

Tuesday, 24th October 2017

At Te Rapa in New Zealand, NZ-based Berkley Stud's Gr2-winning stallion Highly Recommended (Fastnet Rock-Suggestive, by Al Hareb) added a Group race success when 3YO gelding Sumstreetsumwhere (Highly Recommended-Street Siren, by Street Cry) claimed his maiden stakes win in the $100,000 Gr2 James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) for 3YOs, defeating As You Will & Hard Merchandize. Hailing from the family of Gr2 Maribyrnong Plate winner Exclusive Halo and Gr3 Mannerism Stakes winner Miss Jugah, Sumstreetsumwhere improved his record to 2 wins and 1 placing from 3 starts for NZ$79,125 in earnings. Sumstreetsumwhere will now head to next month's Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton. "He's a horse on the way up and he's still got a lot to learn," said trainer Stephen Marsh, who won last year's classic with Ugo Foscolo. "As long as he comes through the race well, we'll head to Riccarton."

Journey Commences for Karaka Million Series

Monday, 16th October 2017

Meanwhile, the race to the richest meeting on the New Zealand calendar has begun with a number of talented youngsters vying for a start. 2018 is set to showcase the enhanced Series with the $1 million Karaka Million 3YO Classic a new addition to the $1 million Karaka Million 2YO. The feature events will include a sensational support card of four Group races to be run at the Auckland Racing Club.

  • $1m Karaka Million 2YO (Click here to view the 2018 Karaka Million 2YO order of entry)This will be the 11th edition of the hotly contested 2YO purse on the eve of New Zealand Bloodstock's National Yearling Sale Series at Karaka. With the 2YO order of entry determined by prize money won, both Avantage (Fastnet Rock) and Masque (Savabeel) have made an early dash sitting equal on the leader board with earnings of $14,060.
  • $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (Click here to view the 2018 Karaka Million 3YO order of entry): The 3YO order of entry for the inaugural running of the new $1m 3YO Classic is determined by NZTR ratings, and 2017 Karaka Million 2YO winner Melody Belle is sitting nicely at the top. With four wins in the 2016-17 season, the Commands filly backed up her Karaka Million 2YO win with a victory in the Group 1 Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes, followed by the Gr2 BRC Sires Produce Stakes for three consecutive wins. Sully is currently second on the leader board with a Rating of 80, and trained by Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young. Timely updates were given to Dijon Bleu and Hard Merchandize when they respectively won the Gr3 Hawke's Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes on 23 September and Gr2 Sacred Falls Hawke's Bay Guineas on 7 October. They are now sitting third equal on a Rating of 77.

Classic Bid Weather Dependant

Wednesday, 11th October 2017

Firm ground will rule soft track specialist Hard Merchandize  (Burgundy-Pride and Passion, by Encosta de Lago) out of next month's Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton, reports NZ Racing Desk. "I haven't decided yet, but he definitely won't be going if it looks like a hard track. It can get very, very firm there," trainer and part-owner Gary Vile said. The talented Hard Merchandize led all the way to win last Saturday's Gr2 Hawke's Bay Guineas (1400m) and has delighted Vile with the way he has come through the race. "He pulled up brilliantly, he's very bright," said Vile, who is also eyeing off January's Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie with the son of Burgundy.

Hard Merchandize Wins Gr2 Hawke's Bay Guineas

Monday, 9th October 2017

At Hastings in New Zealand, Cambridge Stud's Gr3-winning stallion Burgundy (Redoute's Choice-Grand Echezeaux, by Zabeel) added a Group race success when 3YO bay gelding Hard Merchandize (Burgundy-Pride and Passion, by Encosta de Lago) posted the second stakes win of his career in the Gr2 Hawke's Bay Guineas (1400m) for 3YOs, defeating Bostonian & Jimmy Lincoln. Hard Merchandize is from the first crop of Burgundy, a three-quarter brother to 5-time Gr1 winning sire Darci Brahma who hails from the family of Melbourne and Caulfield Cup heroine Ethereal. His dam is the Encosta de Lago mare Pride And Passion, a daughter of Gr1 Golden Slipper winner Calaway Gal (Clang). A $38,000 yearling consigned by Little Avondale Stud at NZB's 2016 National Yearling Sales Series, Hard Merchandize improved his record to 4 wins (including the Listed Castletown Stakes) and 1 placing from 7 starts for NZ$120,125 in earnings. Trainer Gary Vile confirmed Hard Merchandize would miss next month's Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas at Riccarton. "He's a Karaka Millions horse so that's where he will be heading," he told NZ Racing Desk.

Options Aplenty for Belle Du Nord

Wednesday, 14th June 2017

Talented Kiwi 2YO Belle du Nord (Reliable Man-Bankside Belle, by Volksraad) has recently returned to Emma-Lee and David Browne's Cambridge stable after a two-month spell, reports NZ Racing Desk. Belle du Nord had an impressive juvenile season which featured a comprehensive victory over subsequent Gr1 JJ Atkins runner-up Aloisia and Listed Castletown Stakes winner Hard Merchandize at Trentham in March. She backed up that performance with a brave second to Karaka Million winner Melody Belle in the Gr1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes at Awapuni. With Melody Belle and Aloisia performing so well during the winter carnival in Brisbane, Browne said a trip across the Tasman could be on the cards for the filly next season. "We're actually going to be having a meeting with the owners in the next week or so," Browne said. "There are quite a few options for her both here and Australia. It's just weighing up what's better for her and her syndicate of owners, because they want to enjoy her racing as much as possible." Browne added: "She has developed quite a lot during her spell, she's looking a lot stronger and feeling very well. I'm pretty excited about the season ahead for her."

Hard Merchandize Wins Listed Castletown Stakes

Monday, 5th June 2017

At Wanganui in New Zealand, Cambridge Stud's promising Gr3-winning young stallion Burgundy (Redoute's Choice-Grand Echezeaux, by Zabeel) sired his first stakes-winner when promising 2YO gelding Hard Merchandize (Burgundy-Pride and Passion, by Encosta de Lago) scored by a narrow margin for trainer and part-owner Gary Vile in the $50,000 Listed Castletown Stakes (1200m) for 2YOs. He defeated fellow gelding Bombard and the filly Satin Belt by 0.1-length. No slouch on the pedigree front, Hard Merchandize is from the first crop of Burgundy (Redoute's Choice-Grand Echezeaux, by Zabeel), a three-quarter brother to 5-time Gr1 winning sire Darci Brahma who hails from the family of Melbourne and Caulfield Cup heroine Ethereal. His dam is the Encosta de Lago mare Pride And Passion, a daughter of Gr1 Golden Slipper winner Calaway Gal (Clang). A $38,000 yearling consigned by Little Avondale Stud at NZB's 2016 National Yearling Sales Series, Hard Merchandize now has 3 wins and a placing from his first 5 starts for $56,375 earnings. He also finished 5th in the Gr1 Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes.

Talented 2YO On Way Back

Thursday, 9th February 2017

Smart Awapuni youngster Hard Merchandize (Burgundy-Pride and Passion, by Encosta de Lago) will step out on his home track next week to further his return to racing, reports NZ Racing Desk. "He's due to trial next Tuesday at Awapuni," trainer and part-owner Gary Vile said of the youngster who hasn't raced since his debut win in the spring. "He injured a knee in a track gallop and while the vet said we could push on, we decided to give him a month in the paddock." He added: "We'll look for a race for him and then probably push on to the Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes [Gr1]." Hard Merchandize is from the first crop of Cambridge Stud's Gr3-winning stallion Burgundy (Redoute's Choice-Grand Echezeaux, by Zabeel), a three-quarter brother to 5-time Gr1 winning sire Darci Brahma who hails from the family of Melbourne and Caulfield Cup heroine Ethereal. His dam is the Encosta de Lago mare Pride And Passion, a daughter of Gr1 Golden Slipper winner Calaway Gal (Clang).