2018

Enzo's Lad Wins Gr1 Telegraph

Monday, 22nd January 2018

At Trentham in New Zealand, Vinery Stud's 6-time Gr1-winning stallion Testa Rossa (Perugino-Bo Dapper, by Sir Dapper) celebrated an elite race success when 5YO Australian-bred gelding Enzo's Lad (Testa Rossa-Sheerama, by Catbird) landed the biggest prize of his career when causing a huge upset at odds of 73-1 in one of New Zealand's premier sprints, the $250,000 Gr1 Telegraph (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating Kawi & Ferrando. A $15,000 purchase at the 2014 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale, Enzo's Lad improved his record to 5 wins (including the Listed Pegasus Stakes Handicap) and 7 placings from 20 starts for NZ$231,200 in earnings. Co-trainer Matthew Pitman was ecstatic with the win. "There's just no better feeling than this," he told NZ Racing Desk. "He's got a great bunch of owners, all from Wellington, and it was their choice as much as ours to bring him up. This means the world to me."

Volpe Veloce Chasing History

Thursday, 18th January 2018

Richly talented Kiwi mare Volpe Veloce (Foxwedge-Bardego, by Barathea) will be in elite company if she can win Saturday's Gr1 Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham, reports NZ Racing Desk. A winner of the Gr1 Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year's Day, Volpe Veloce will become just the fourth horse in the past 40 years to complete the Railway Stakes & Telegraph double in the same season if she can land Saturday's $250,000 sprint feature. It has not been done since Bawalaksana won both races in 1999, with Loader (1996) and Mr Tiz (1989/90) the only others to claim the double. The Graham Richardson & Gavin Parker-trained 4YO will carry an extra 2kg as a result of her Railway win but opened as a $4 favourite for the Telegraph in final field betting, with Kawi second favourite at $6.20.

Savabeel Saunters To Big Lead In Premiership

Wednesday, 3rd January 2018

In New Zealand, Monday's Gr2 Rich Hill Mile win by Waikato Stud's cleverly-named Coldplay (Savabeel-Forty Two Below) at Ellerslie was the icing on the cake on what has been a couple of extraordinary months for their incumbent New Zealand Champion Sire Savabeel. By early September last year he was already comfortably leading both the Dewar Stallion Trophy (combined Australian & New Zealand progeny earnings) and the Centaine Award (NZ-conceived progeny earnings worldwide). Subsequent to that point his hand-canter has turned into a full-blown gallop as he marches on to a fourth consecutive NZ Champion Sire title while starring on both sides of the Tasman Sea. Since then, which should have the vendors of his 75 NZB National Yearling Sales Series entries full of aniticipation, his progeny wins have included:

  • Gr1 Cantala Stakes (Shillelagh)
  • Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (Embellish)
  • Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (Hasahalo)
  • Gr1 Captain Cook Stakes (Kawi)
  • Gr2 Matriarch Stakes (Savapinski)
  • Gr2 Rich Hill Mile (Cold Play)
  • Gr3 Eulogy Stakes (Savvy Coup)
  • Gr3 J Swap Contractors Sprint (Royal Success)
  • Listed Hill Smith Stakes (Savaheat)
  • Listed Spring Classic (Grazia)

2017

Telegraph Confirmed for Kawi

Friday, 22nd December 2017

Allan Sharrock is lamenting a missed opportunity with his multiple Group 1 winner Kawi, reports NZ Racing Desk. The New Plymouth trainer has been forced to withdraw his star galloper from tomorrow's Gr2 weight-for-age Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni, a race he was ultra-confident of winning. "It wasn't originally on his programme, but I thought it was an easy $100,000 race," Sharrock said. "The scary thing was that he had been galloping better this week than he was before the Captain Cook – they'd have needed a tow rope to beat him. Unfortunately, he's got a stone bruise and I'm not prepared to risk him." Sharrock added: "Maybe it's the Good Lord saying freshen him up for the Telegraph. It's seven weeks to the Thorndon and that's too big a gap...Perhaps it's a sign, go for the Telegraph and put the hood on him." The Gr1 Telegraph (1200m) will be run on 20 January at Trentham where Kawi won the Gr1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) earlier this month. Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad), who along with champion Kiwi mare Seachange has seven Group 1 wins on his CV, needs just one more to equal the feat of former two-time New Zealand Horse of the Year Mufhasa who holds the record of eight domestic Group 1 wins.

2018 NYSS

Tivaci To Stay Home

Friday, 15th December 2017

Waikato Stud has decided not to shuttle exciting young stallion Tivaci (High Chaparral-Breccia, by Fastnet Rock) to Europe for the 2018 breeding season. The Group 1-winner was very well received by Australasian breeders with a top quality 2017 book of more than 140 mares. "After such a successful season that has just gone so quickly, we have decided not to take up the offer of a Northern Hemisphere season at the English National Stud," Waikato Stud principal Mark Chittick said. "This decision was not taken lightly. As you know, this option was not in our original planning, but developed after the initial approach from the English National Stud." Chittick added: "However, he would have been one of four first season sires within their operation so we felt his opportunities may become limited and we were not prepared to risk Tivaci on this venture." Tivaci’s book included Group 1 winner's Daffodil, Costume and I Do. He also covered the dams of Group 1 winners Ambitious Dragon (dual Hong Kong Horse of the Year), Kawi, Shamexpress, Brambles, Thee Auld Floozie and Consensus.

tivaci

Tivaci (image: Steve Hart)

Wellington Targets for Kawi

Tuesday, 12th December 2017

Top-class Kiwi galloper Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) is likely to be aimed at either the Gr1 Thorndon Mile or Gr1 Telegraph in the New Year, reports NZ Racing Desk. Kawi's win in last Saturday's Captain Cook Stakes at Trentham saw him post the seventh top-flight success of his career, equalling the number of Group 1 titles of champion mare Seachange. The 7YO needs just one more to equal the feat of former two-time New Zealand Horse of the Year Mufhasa who holds the record of eight domestic Group 1 wins. "He's won seven Group Ones now and he ain't finished yet," trainer Allan Sharrock said.  "He won't be going to Ellerslie though for the Zabeel Classic, if I'm going to run him over 2000m again it will be toward the end of his season." Sharrock added: "They are the options and we can put the blinkers on if it's the Telegraph, if we decide not to it will be the Thorndon."

Kawi Wins Gr1 Captain Cook Stakes

Monday, 11th December 2017

At Trentham in New Zealand, Waikato Stud's Cox Plate winning stallion Savabeel (Zabeel-Savannah Success, by Success Express) celebrated an elite race success when 7YO New Zealand-bred gelding Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) scored a gallant win in the $200,000 Gr1 weight-for-age Gr1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Consensus & Sofia Rosa. Kawi advanced his record to 15 wins (including the Gr1 WFA Classic, Gr1 Windsor Park Plate, Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes - twice, Gr1 Thorndon Mile, Gr1 Zabeel Classic, Gr3 Taranaki Cup & Listed Anniversary Handicap) and 11 placings (including the Gr1 Windsor Park Plate, Gr1 Easter Handicap & Gr1 Herbie Dyke Stakes) from 37 starts for NZ$1,217,149 in earnings. "He's a very good horse – he sat four wide and that's not how we saw it, but he was tough enough," trainer Allan Sharrock told NZ Racing Desk. "He was travelling on the corner, it was a terrific effort." The Captain Cook was Kawi's seventh Group 1 victory and saw him draw level with champion mare Seachange. Kawi needs just one more top-flight success to equal the feat of former two-time New Zealand Horse of the Year Mufhasa who holds the record of eight domestic Group 1 wins.

Ocean Emperor Wins Gr2 Tauranga Stakes

Monday, 20th November 2017

At Tauranga in New Zealand, Cambridge Stud's deceased multiple champion sire Zabeel (Sir Tristram-Lady Giselle, by Nureyev) added a Group race success when talented 6YO New Zealand-bred entire Ocean Emperor (Zabeel-Tootsie, by Pins) finally opened his stakes account against a quality field in the $100,000 Gr2 Tauranga Stakes (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Miss Wilson & Kawi. The lightly raced but injury prone Ocean Emperor improved his record to 6 wins and 5 placings from 16 starts for NZ$119,625 in earnings. Trainer Gary Hennessy, who purchased Ocean Emperor for NZ$450,000 from Waikato Stud at the 2014 NZ Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale, owns him with Hong Kong partners Andrew Wong and Steve Yang, the same trio that raced Cox Plate winner and Waikato Stud sire Ocean Park. He is out of Gr3 Mannerism Stakes winner Tootsie and hails from the family of stakes winners La Rose Noir, Urbane, and Espurante. Waikato Stud principal Mark Chittick said: "Gary Hennessy has done an unbelievable job with this horse. He's been so patient and he's always rated him so highly." He added: "Good on him, off the back of Ocean Park they bought this horse for $450,000 from us. They deserve it, he's won a really nice race and it's still early days, the horse hasn't had much racing."

Ready To Run Breeze Ups Available Online

Friday, 20th October 2017

Breeze Up videos for New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2017 Ready to Run Sale of 2YOs are now available to view online. 393 youngsters breezed over 200m into gustily winds down the home straight at Te Rapa racecourse earlier this week. The overall quality of horses that breezed up emulates a strong catalogue on type set to be offered at Karaka on 22 & 23 November. Graduates of the sale have won 19 Group 1 races and 110 stakes race in the last five seasons alone. This year’s catalogue has attracted 437 two-year-olds with a cross-section of the very best sires throughout Australasia represented and 14 exciting freshman sires. Highlights include:

  • 51 siblings to stakes winners including siblings to Group 1 winners Adventador, Savaria, Sofia Rosa, Magic Cape, Zabrasive, Able One, Kawi, Lankan Rupee, Brambles, King Mufhasa, and Silent Achiever.
  • The progeny of 31 stakes winners including Group 1-winning dams Champagne and Quintessential.
  • 38 horses nominated for the Karaka Million Series, six fillies nominated for the Pearl Series, 128 horses that are BOBS eligible, 19 Super VOBIS nominated horses and one QTIS eligible horse.

Click here to view high definition video of breeze ups. Click here to view catalogue.

Gingernuts Wins Gr1 Windsor Park Plate

Monday, 25th September 2017

At Hastings in New Zealand, Haunui Farm shuttler Iffraaj (Zafonic-Pastorale, by Nureyev) celebrated an elite race success when New Zealand-bred 4YO chestnut gelding Gingernuts (Iffraaj-Double Elle, by Generous) powered home from the rear of the field to win the $200,000 Gr1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Close Up & Kawi. In claiming his third Group One success, the Te Akau Racing-owned Gingernuts improved his record to 6 wins (including the Gr1 New Zealand Derby, Gr1 Rosehill Guineas & Gr2 Avondale Guineas) and 1 placing from 11 starts for NZ$1,152,909 in earnings. After initially being sold as a weanling for NZ$5,000 at the 2014 NZB National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Sale, Te Akau purchased Gingernuts for NZ$42,500 as a 2YO at the 2015 NZB Horses In Training Sale. Gingernuts is now favourite for the Gr1 Livamol Classic (2000m) in a fortnight but he is far from a certain runner in the race. He also holds entries in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups. The $3.15 million Gr1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) will be run at Caulfield on 21 October. "We won't be making any decisions today and we'll sit down tomorrow and have a chat," co-trainer Jamie Richards told NZ Racing Desk. "The horse still isn't 100 per cent in the coat just yet. He's a staying type of horse and to win over a mile at weight-for-age as a four-year-old is a great effort."

Gingernuts Primed to Add to Gr1 Tally

Tuesday, 19th September 2017

Dual Group One winner Gingernuts (Iffraaj-Double Elle, by Generous) is expected to appreciate the step up to a mile in Saturday's Gr1 Windsor Park Plate at Hastings, reports theinformant.co.nz. Last season's New Zealand Derby and Rosehill Guineas overcame difficulties in running when resuming with a strong finishing fifth in the Gr1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) on 2 September. Co-trainer Jamie Richards says he expects a bold showing from the 4YO who is the equal $4.50 favourite alongside Kawi for the second leg of the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown series. "You could say he was a little bit stiff [first-up]," Richards said. "He got into some trouble at the top of the straight and was knocked off balance…his final furlong was very strong." Richards added: "He's come through the race very well and we're happy with his progress…stepping up to 1600 metres on Saturday will be ideal for him." Gingernuts' primary spring target is the $3.15 million Gr1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in Melbourne on 21 October for which he has been allocated 55kg.

gingernuts

Gingernuts (image: Steve Hart)

Ready To Run Catalogue Brimming With Quality

Monday, 11th September 2017

The catalogue for New Zealand Bloodstock's Ready to Run Sale of Two-Year-Olds is now available online. Graduates of the Sale have claimed 110 stakes wins including 19 Group 1 races in the past five seasons alone, cementing its position as a prolific producer of successful racehorses. Headlined by the recent Group 1-winning performances of Gingernuts (Iffraaj) and Hall of Fame (Savabeel), graduates of the Sale have won races such as the Rosehill Guineas, New Zealand Derby, Levin Classic, Futurity Stakes, Emirates Stakes, New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas, Caulfield Cup, Australian Derby & Victoria Derby. Catalogue highlights include:

  • 49 siblings to stakes performers including siblings to Group 1 winners Adventador, Savaria, Sofia Rosa, Magic Cape, Zabrasive, Able One, Kawi, Silent Achiever, Brambles and King Mufhasa, as well as Group 1-placed Strada Cavallo, Allez Eagle, Fazzle, Formality, Frolic and Kabayan.
  • New Zealand sires such as Alamosa, Dalghar, Darci Brahma, Guillotine, Iffraaj, Jimmy Choux, Keeper, Makfi, Niagara, Ocean Park, O'Reilly, Pins, Pentire, Per Incanto, Power, Redwood, Reliable Man, Rip Van Winkle, Rock 'n' Pop, Savabeel, Shamexpress, Shocking, Showcasing, Super Easy, Swiss Ace, Tavistock and Zacinto.
  • Australian sires such as All Too Hard, Animal Kingdom, Choisir, Delago Deluxe, Denman, Epaulette, Exceed And Excel, Fastnet Rock, Foxwedge, Hinchinbrook, I Am Invincible, Jakkalberry, Medaglia d'Oro, More Than Ready, Pierro, Redoute's Choice, Smart Missile, Snitzel, So You Think, The Factor and Written Tycoon.

Every horse entered in the Ready to Run Sale has the opportunity to Breeze Up with the last 200m of their work filmed and timed. Breeze-Ups are set to be conducted at Te Rapa Racecourse on 16 & 17 October, and the footage will be available online from 20 October. New Zealand Bloodstock's Ready to Run Sale will be held on 22 & 23 November with selling commencing at 11am each day. Click here to view the catalogue.

Bonneval Named NZ HOTY

Monday, 11th September 2017

Top-class New Zealand mare Bonneval has dominated the 2017 New Zealand Thoroughbred Horse of the Year Awards in Auckland overnight, reports NZ Racing Desk. Bonneval’s connections spent much of the night on stage as the dual Oaks winner was voted Horse of the Year, Three-Year-Old of the Year and Stayer of the Year. Her owners were also presented with the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year trophy. In addition, Bonneval’s trainers, Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, gained all bar one of the 57 votes cast for Trainer of the Year and Bonneval’s dam, Imposingly, was named Broodmare of the Year. Bonneval is the first three-year-old filly to be named Horse of the Year since Sunline in 1999. She is also the fourth successive Horse of the Year winner to be trained by Baker and Forsman, following Dundeel (2014) and Mongolian Khan (2015 & 2016). Voting for Horse of the Year turned into a three-way battle, with Bonneval receiving 27 votes to comfortably defeat Gingernuts by 12 votes. Kawi, the Middle Distance Horse of the Year, gained 10 votes with three for another three-year-old in Jon Snow. Click here to view all the category winners.

bonneval

Bonneval winning the Australian Oaks (image: Steve Hart)

Gingernuts to Find Speedsters Too Nippy

Thursday, 31st August 2017

Caulfield Cup prospect Gingernuts will open his spring campaign in Saturday's Gr1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings. However, co-trainer Jamie Richards says connections aren't expecting any first-up fireworks from the dual Group One winner, who after Saturday will return to Hastings for the second leg of the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown – the Gr1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) on 23 September. A decision will then be made whether or not to cross for the Tasman for the $3.1 million Gr1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in Melbourne on 21 October. "The 1400 metres will be too short for him on Saturday," said Richards, who trains the 4YO in partnership with Stephen Autridge. "He'll get back and be running on at the finish, but it's not his race against the likes of Kawi, Perfect Fit and Volpe Veloce." He added: "He will go back to run in the mile and then, all going well, he could go to Melbourne but that will be decided after the Windsor Park." A winner of the New Zealand Derby and Rosehill Guineas in the autumn, Gingernuts (Iffraaj-Double Elle, by Generous) has hitherto won 5 of his 9 starts for over $1 million in earnings.

Kawi Seeking Gr1 Treble

Wednesday, 30th August 2017

New Plymouth trainer Allan Sharrock says Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) is in top shape as he bids to make it three consecutive victories in Saturday's Gr1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings. Kawi, who resumed with an encouraging third in the Gr2 Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa on 19 August, has won the past two editions of the feature when it was known as the Makfi Challenge Stakes. "He had a gallop on Saturday morning and he went over 1000 metres this morning [Tuesday] and he worked well," Sharrock told NZ Racing Desk. "We had a lot of rain and the track was quite testing. I would have loved a firmer surface for him, but he's got the class and he's done the work." He added: "I think he is ahead of where he was this time last year. I'm happy where we're at."

Underthemoonlight Wins Gr2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate

Monday, 21st August 2017

At Te Rapa in New Zealand, 6YO mare Underthemoonlight (El Herman-Midnight Dip, by O'Reilly) clocked up her third career stakes victory when winning with almost a length to spare in driving rain from Close Up and Kawi in the $100,000 Gr2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m) for fillies and mares. Underthemoonlight's victory took her record to 5 wins (including last start's Listed Tauranga Classic & Gr3 Taranaki Breeders Stakes) and 11 placings (including the Gr3 Rotorua Stakes) from 22 starts for NZ$250,050 in earnings. Trained by Karyn McQuade for owners that include her husband and breeder Hamish, Underthemoonlight looks a genuine Gr1 prospect in the Spring, with NZTM reporting that prior to Saturday the owner-breeder snapped up $26 on offer about Underthemoonlight's prospects in the forthcoming Gr1 Tarzino Stakes.

Underthemoonlight

Underthemoonlight (blinkers) gets home at Te Rapa (pic: NZTM)

Longchamp Wins Listed Opunake Cup

Monday, 24th July 2017

At Pukekura in New Zealand, Cambridge Stud's dual Gr1-winning stallion Tavistock (Montjeu-Upstage, by Quest For Fame) added a black-type success when 5YO bay gelding Longchamp (Tavistock-Shot at the Title, by Danehill) successfully defended his title in the 65,000 Listed Opunake Cup (1400m) for 3YO+, defeating Nashville & New York Minute. A NZ$40,000 yearling at the 2013 NZ Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale from the draft of Cambridge Stud, Longchamp improved his record to 7 wins (including the 2016 Listed Opunake Cup) and 4 placings (including the Gr2 Hawkes Bay Guineas) from 22 starts for NZ$201,745 in earnings. Longchamp will now progress to the Gr1 Tarzino Trophy (formerly the Makfi Challenge Stakes) at Hastings on 2 September, the race in which he finished 4th to Kawi last year.  "He's just so brave and although he's had a hard run all the way he's done the job. He's got a heart the size of a lion," trainer Andrew Campbell told NZ Racing Desk. "He's had a lot of issues on the way through so we're just so proud of him and I'm thrilled for all the people who have helped us along the way." He added: "It's just an amazing result and we can carry on towards the Group One now."

Longchamp Looking for Cup Repeat

Friday, 21st July 2017

Longchamp will be chasing successive Listed Opunake Cup (1400m) titles at New Plymouth tomorrow, reports NZ Racing Desk. Trainer Andrew Campbell is happy with how the five-year-old has performed during this campaign, placing in both of his starts. He ran a creditable third at Trentham behind Opunake Cup rival New York Minute, before heading to Awapuni on July 8 where he was pipped at the line by the promising Dolcetto. "In the first race (at Trentham) he needed a run because he hadn't had a trial at all and he just came to the end of it when he hit the bog up the straight. I was happy with that run, he had a good blow," Campbell said. "His last start was a good run I thought, he carried a lot more weight than Dolcetto, who is an up and coming horse." He added: "I'm over the moon with him, he's come through it great and he'll be going in there really happy. His work on Tuesday was super." Campbell has set Longchamp an ambitious programme for the spring, with the Gr2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa and the Gr1 Tarzino Trophy on the agenda. "We'll see how he comes through the race and he may go to Te Rapa for the Foxbridge, we'll just play it by ear with that," he said. "He'll head to Hastings for the first race (Tarzino Trophy), which has always been his main aim." Longchamp finished 5th in last year's Foxbridge Plate (behind Saracino), and 4th (behind Kawi) in the Makfi Challenge Stakes (now the Tarzino Trophy).

Stable Change for Gr1 Performer

Wednesday, 19th July 2017

Frank and Faye Drummond are banking on a change of environment to get their Group One performer El Pescado back to his best, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Waikato breeder-owners, who stand his sire El Hermano at their Cheval Stud, have moved last year's Makfi Challenge Stakes runner-up from Stuart Manning's Tauranga stable to Opaki trainer Polly Macdonald. "The horse has gone off and he's just not racing to what we know he is capable of," Frank Drummond said. "We've gone for a change of scenery and we'll see what that does." Manning prepared El Pescado to win three races, including two open handicaps, and a second place finish to Kawi in the Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes. He was also placed in the Gr2 Tauranga Stakes and in the Listed Flying Handicap.

Kawi Has Mufhasa Record in Sights

Thursday, 13th July 2017

Multiple Group One winner Kawi will be seeking to emulate the deeds of former top-class galloper Mufhasa in the spring, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Allan Sharrock-trained Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) currently has six Group One victories to his name, just two short of the two-time NZ Horse of the Year. "Mufhasa won eight Group One races here and Seachange won seven," Sharrock said. "I know Mufhasa won another two in Australia, but to emulate his record here is something I would love to do." Kawi, who is currently tied on six of the best with Mr Tiz and Sir Slick, will have early opportunities to move on to even terms with Mufhasa at the Hawke's Bay carnival. "He'll probably go to Te Rapa to the Foxbridge Plate and he'll be nominated for the first two at Hastings, the Tarzino Trophy [Gr1] and then the Windsor Park Plate [Gr1]," Sharrock said. "We'll look at the Captain Cook after that and the plan would then be to freshen him for the Telegraph." He added: "In saying that, if he came up better than expected we haven't ruled out a spring run in Melbourne." Kawi stretched his legs on Tuesday at the Waverley trials where he won his 1000 metre heat. "He looks enormous and I'm ahead of the eight ball going on to Hawke's Bay," Sharrock said.

2017 Freshman Sires

NZ HOTY Awards Emphasise 3YO Quality

Thursday, 6th July 2017

The strength of New Zealand's 3YO crop is emphasised by the release of the finalists for the 2016-17 New Zealand Thoroughbred Horse of the Year Awards, reports NZ Racing Desk. New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing has announced the finalists for five of the six racehorse categories, with the finalists for the Jumper of the Year to be finalised later in the month. The five finalists for Three-Year-Old of the Year have all been classic winners this season and Bonneval and Gingernuts were Group One winners on both sides of the Tasman. Jon Snow was a dual Group One placegetter in New Zealand and a Group One and Group Two winner in Australia, while La Diosa was a Group One winner in New Zealand and a Group Two winner in Australia. All finalists are also eligible for the Horse of the Year award, which will be announced at a gala dinner in Auckland, at the Langham Hotel, on Sunday, 10th September.

  • Champion 2YO: Gold Fever, Melody Belle, Summer Passage.
  • Champion 3YO: Bonneval, Gingernuts, Jon Snow, La Diosa, Ugo Foscolo.
  • Champion Sprinter (up to 1500m): Kawi, Saracino, Signify, Start Wondering.
  • Champion Middle-Distance (1501m-2100m): Kawi, Thee Auld Floozie, Volkstok'n'barrell, Willie Cazals.
  • Champion Stayer (2101m and further):  Bonneval, Chenille, Chocante, Gingernuts, Jacksstar, Jon Snow, Lizzie L'Amour.

Star Kiwi Sprinter to Make Winter Impact

Wednesday, 3rd May 2017

Wanganui trainer Evan Rayner says star sprinter Start Wondering is poised to make an impact during the winter carnival in Queensland, reports NZ Racing Desk. "Start Wondering is doing everything right and he had a good gallop this morning and wouldn't have blown a match out afterwards," said Rayner, who trains with his daughter JJ. "He'll run in the Doomben 10,000 on May 13 and there's the Darley Kingsford Smith Cup a fortnight later." Rayner added: "We'll then have to work out what we do and if he goes on to the Stradbroke [Gr1], it will depend on what weight he gets in that." Start Wondering (Eighth Wonder-Roseanbar, by Al Akbar) was last seen finishing second to Kawi in the Gr1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m) at Otaki which rounded out a stellar summer & autumn campaign for the 6YO who claimed Gr1 victories in the Railway Stakes and NRM Sprint, as well as the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint. He was also a close second in the Gr1 Telegraph Handicap.

Focus Turns to Brisbane for Star Sprinter

Wednesday, 12th April 2017

Star Wanganui sprinter Start Wondering is set to embark upon a Queensland winter carnival campaign after connections decided against a start in the Gr1 Chairman's Sprint Prize at Sha Tin on 7 May, reports NZ Racing Desk. "He definitely won't be going to Hong Kong. Getting there was fine but getting him home wasn't so great," said J.J. Rayner, who trains Start Wondering with her father Evan. "He would be away for a month and a half and he could be there on his own in quarantine if no Australian horses go. We decided that it wasn't in the horse's best interests so at this stage we will be looking at Brisbane." Rayner added: "The BTC Cup and the Doomben 10,000 are very good options and we could also be looking at the Stradbroke." Start Wondering (Eighth Wonder-Roseanbar, by Al Akbar) was last seen finishing second to Kawi in the Gr1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m) at Otaki which rounded out a stellar summer & autumn campaign for the 6YO who claimed Gr1 victories in the Railway Stakes and NRM Sprint, as well as the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint. He was also a close second in the Gr1 Telegraph Handicap.

Waikato Stud Fees Unchanged

Wednesday, 5th April 2017

Esteemed New Zealand nursery Waikato Stud has announced that its stallion fees for the 2017 breeding season will remain unchanged. "While we are yet to set a fee for our exciting new sire Tivaci who is still in Australia racing, the rest of our roster Savabeel, Ocean Park, Sacred Falls, Pins, Rock 'n' Pop and Rios will be staying the same," studmaster Mark Chittick said. With 15 stakes winners this season and another conceivable clean sweep of the sire awards, Cox Plate winner Savabeel (Zabeel) heads the roster at a service fee of $100,000 plus GST. "He's had another ultra-exciting season with G1 winners Kawi and Hall of Fame heading a tally of 15 individual stakes winners. To have had 15 stakes winners at this stage in the piece is massive, especially when you consider their versatility," said Chittick. All told, the multiple champion sire has sired 60 stakes winners, with an exact 50-50 split between the two sexes and a market leading 9.7% stakes winners-to-runners ratio. The complete Waikato roster is:

Savabeel - $100,000 + GST

Ocean Park - $30,000 + GST

Sacred Falls - $30,000 + GST

Pins - $25,000 + GST

Rock 'n' Pop - $9,000 + GST

Shorter Trips for Explosive Kawi

Tuesday, 4th April 2017

Top Kiwi galloper Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) will be restricted to shorter distances for the remainder of his career, reports NZ Racing Desk. Following the 6YOs last-start fifth in the Gr1 New Zealand Strakes (2000m) at Ellerslie, trainer Allan Sharrock has all but dismissed the chances of Savabeel's best son making another appearance over a similar journey. "I doubt he'll ever run over 2000 metres again," Sharrock said. "The ride the other day was good, but he did have that wind operation last year and when the gap came at the 300 he had run out of oxygen." He added: "He's an explosive sprinter-miler so we'll be keeping him to 1200, 1400 and 1600 metre races." Sharrock confirmed the 6-time Gr1 winner was currently enjoying some paddock time before he resumes in the spring. "He's out for six weeks and he'll be back later on and kick off at the Hawke's Bay carnival or in Melbourne," Sharrock said.

Mime Targeting Gr1

Thursday, 23rd March 2017

Group One performed mare Mime will bypass this Saturday's Gr2 Windsor Park Stud Japan-NZ Trophy at Tauranga and target the Gr1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes at Te Aroha two weeks later, reports theinformant.co.nz. The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained 4YO resumed with a narrow second to in-form mare The Auld Floozie in the Gr2 Westbury Classic (1400m) at Ellerslie last Thursday. "We just decided to keep her for the Group One at Te Aroha," Forsman said. "It's a bit of a back-up after Ellerslie last week, and stepping up to a mile second-up before going to Te Aroha might have taken a bit out of her." He added: "We decided it would be better to keep her a bit on the fresh side and go straight to Te Aroha." Mime (Mastercraftsman-Maidjeu, by Montjeu), a winner of the Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic & Gr3 Sunline Vase as a 3YO, and runner-up to Kawi in last season's Gr1 Windsor Park Plate, became the first New Zealand representative for the China Horse Club when purchased by the emerging global racing and breeding powerhouse last year.

Sharrock Banking on Class Factor

Friday, 10th March 2017

Taranaki trainer Allan Sharrock will be relying on Kawi's (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) class to overcome a potentially testing track on Saturday, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 6YO will be shooting for his seventh Group one victory in the Gr1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie. "A heavy track would put me in a bit of a quandary," Sharrock said. "But what else is there for him?" He added: "It's still basically a summer track and it won't be as testing as a heavy track at Ellerslie in June and the race won't hurt him. His class gets him a long way and that Savabeel toughness will also help." Kawi showed he was looking for the mile-and-a-quarter of the New Zealand Stakes when finishing strongly to win the Gr1 WFA Classic (1600m) at Otaki last start. "I couldn't be happier with him," Sharrock said. "I thought he was pretty dominant over the last four strides at Otaki and he has trained on exceptionally well. I think he has improved again."

Megaform

Marsh Fancies Mare's Gr1 Prospects

Friday, 10th March 2017

Meanwhile, this week's inclement weather has buoyed the confidence of Stephen Marsh leading into tomorrow's Gr1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie, reports NZ Racing Desk. Marsh will saddle up last year's Australian Oaks winner Sofia Rosa (Makfi-Bislieri, by Encosta de Lago) who will be having her third start this campaign following two encouraging performances. She made late ground for seventh in the Gr1 NRM Sprint, and also found the line strongly for third in the Gr1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic. "Kawi will obviously be very hard to beat, but a wet track will really suit Sofia Rosa and give her every chance to show her best," Marsh said. "She will have to go close to winning if we are going to go to Sydney. Otherwise we'll be looking at Brisbane." Marsh added: "She's very well and I can't fault her condition. Getting up to 2000 metres is ideal for her."

Sofia Rosa

Sofia Rosa shares the same silks as Tivaci (pic: Steve Hart)

Kawi Wins Gr1 WFA Classic

Monday, 27th February 2017

At Otaki in New Zealand, Waikato Stud's Cox Plate winning stallion Savabeel (Zabeel-Savannah Success, by Success Express) celebrated an elite success when 6YO gelding Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) scored by 0.75 length for trainer Allan Sharrock in the NZ$200,000 Gr1 WFA Classic (1600m) for 3YO+, over fellow 6YO gelding Start Wondering (Eighth Wonder-Roseanbar, by Al Akbar) & 4YO mare Sofia Rosa (Makfi-Bislieri, by Encosta de Lago). The WFA Classic was Kawi's sixth victory at Gr1 level which saw him break through the million dollar barrier to advance his record to 14 wins (including the Gr1 Windsor Park Plate, Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes - twice, Gr1 Thorndon Mile, Gr1 Zabeel Classic, Gr3 Taranaki Cup & Listed Anniversary Handicap) and 8 placings (including the Gr1 Easter Handicap & Gr1 Herbie Dyke Stakes) from 31 starts for NZ$1,059,605 earnings. Trainer Allan Sharrock said the Gr1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) in two weeks time was the logical next target for New Zealand's weight-for age star. "To me he was very strong late and looking like he wants 2000 metres now," Sharrock told NZ Racing Desk. "He's class and they played the waiting game and when they got out into the open he was dominant in the last few strides," he said.

iahp

Kawi in Fine Fettle For Otaki Gr1

Friday, 24th February 2017

Multiple Gr1 winner Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) hasn't missed a beat since a slow start brought about his downfall when resuming in the Gr1 NRM Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa on 11 February, reports NZ Racing Desk. However, trainer Allan Sharrock says the 6YOs track work since has been first class and he is expecting a bold showing in tomorrow's Gr1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic (1600m) at Otaki. "We are very happy with him," Sharrock said. "His work on Tuesday morning was probably the best I've seen from him this prep and he looks to have improved physically." Kawi will be chasing his sixth victory at Gr1 level following previous top flight wins in the Makfi Challenge Stakes (twice), Zabeel Classic, Thorndon Mile, and Windsor Park Plate.

Kawi

Kawi is in search of another Gr1 (pic: Race Images NZ)

Sofia Rosa Confirmed For Otaki

Wednesday, 22nd February 2017

Trainer Stephen Marsh says he is expecting a bold showing from smart mare Sofia Rosa (Makfi-Bislieri, by Encosta de Lago) in Saturday's Gr1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic at Otaki, reports theinformant.co.nz. Last year's Australian Oaks winner gave Marsh cause for optimism when she resumed from a four-month break with an encouraging performance in the Gr1 NRM Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa eleven days ago. Despite beginning slowly and drifting back to the tail of the field, the 4YO ran home strongly in the straight to finish seventh (beaten 3.4 lengths) behind star sprinter Start Wondering. "I thought her last 100 metres in particular was very good," Marsh said. "She was going nowhere for most of the race, but then she really got going late. It showed us that we definitely have something to work with." Marsh added: "She's been doing really well since then...I just have to hope it didn't bottom her out for her second-up run. That's my only concern." Marsh nominated multiple Gr1 winner Kawi as the horse to beat. "I can't fault her, her work's been good. I'd be expecting a tidy run. Kawi might be hard to beat, but we'll give it our best shot," he said. Marsh has previously said Sofia Rosa's primary autumn target is the $4 million Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on 8 April.

Breeders' Stakes Target For Mime

Friday, 17th February 2017

Group One performer Mime is being aimed at the Gr1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha in April, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained daughter of Mastercraftsman hasn't raced since she was unplaced in the Gr3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie in November. The 4YO indicated she was progressing well in her new campaign when second to stable-mate Francaletta in a 1200m trial at Cambridge on Tuesday. "We'll head her towards Te Aroha. We haven't yet decided which race she'll kick off in, but we've got options for her leading in," said Michael Wallace, racing manager for owner the China Horse Club. "She trialled well earlier this week and we're happy with her." Mime (Mastercraftsman-Maidjeu, by Montjeu), a winner of the Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic & Gr3 Sunline Vase as a 3YO, and runner-up to Kawi in last season's Gr1 Windsor Park Plate, became the first New Zealand representative for the China Horse Club when purchased by the emerging global racing and breeding powerhouse last year.

Walker To Ride Kawi

Tuesday, 7th February 2017

Michael Walker has been booked to continue his association with top Kiwi galloper Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) in Saturday’s Gr1 NRM Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa, reports NZ Racing Desk. “It was a hard one and it was discussed by the syndicate – Leith (Innes) has got a good record on the horse, but Michael had the knack of settling him in his races,” trainer Allan Sharrock said. Walker rode Kawi during the Savabeel gelding’s three-start campaign last year in Perth, after which Kawi was given a break. Sharrock says he is happy with the 6YOs recent progress. “He’s had two jump-outs and a trial,” Sharrock said. “He’s still quite big, but he’ll be hard to beat.” Kawi also has the outstanding record at 1400 metres of seven wins, including two editions of the Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes and the Gr2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes, and three placings from 11 appearances. “He’ll run at Te Rapa and then in the weight-for-age mile at Otaki [the Gr1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic] and then we come to the fork in the road – there’s the New Zealand Stakes at Ellerslie or we could be looking at Sydney or Brisbane." He added: "We’ll wait and see what his form is like at the time, he’ll tell us.”

Easy Trial For Kawi

Thursday, 19th January 2017

Top Kiwi galloper Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) enjoyed a winning outing at the Foxton trials ahead of his return to domestic top-flight competition, reports NZ Racing Desk. In his first appearance since his three-start campaign in Perth, the 6YO gelding coasted home in his 1000 metre heat in the hands of Jonathan Riddell. Trainer Allan Sharrock said Kawi will resume in the Gr1 NRM Sprint at Te Rapa on 11 February before returning a fortnight later for the Gr1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic at Otaki. A decision on a trip to Ellerslie for the Gr1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes on 11 March and the possibility of another trip to Australia will be made after his first two runs.

2016

Kawi In Top Shape

Thursday, 22nd December 2016

Top Kiwi galloper Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) has returned to training ahead of a potential Trans-Tasman campaign in the late summer and autumn, reports theinformant.co.nz. The 6YO increased his Gr1 tally to five with domestic wins in the Makfi Challenge Stakes and Windsor Park Plate in the spring, before embarking on a three-start campaign in Perth. His first two outings resulted in fourth-placed efforts in the Gr1 Kingston Town Classic and the Gr2 Lee Steere Stakes, before rounding out his first Australian sojourn with a sixth placing in the Gr1 Railway Stakes. Trainer Allan Sharrock said Kawi had coped perfectly with the trip home. "He travelled home beautifully," Sharrock said. "He's doing so well that I had to start working him again on Monday." He added: "Everything's on track and he'll resume in the Group One sprint [the Gr1 NRM Sprint] at Te Rapa on February 11."

No Zabeel For Stolen Dance

Tuesday, 20th December 2016

Trainer David Greene says multiple Group-winning mare Stolen Dance (Alamosa-Songbird, by Black Minnaloushe) will not run in the Gr1 Zabeel Classic  at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, reports theinformant.co.nz. The talented 5YO, who resumed with a close third to Coldplay in the Gr2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa on 10 December, went within a head of Group One glory in last year's Zabeel Classic when runner-up to top galloper Kawi. "She ran well first-up. It's great to see that she's come back so well," the Te Rapa-based Greene said. "She's been working well since then and she's already taken noticeable improvement from the run. She's stripping a lot fitter now and she's building up well." Greene added: "We've decided not to go to the Zabeel. She'll either go in the Rich Hill Mile [Gr2] on New Year's Day or the open handicap at Tauranga on January 2 – it'll depend what the weather's doing and what sort of weight she gets for the Rich Hill."

Kawi Coming Home

Wednesday, 7th December 2016

Kawi will return to New Zealand tomorrow following mixed results from his first Australian campaign, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Allan Sharrock-trained 6YOs three-start campaign in Perth saw him run fourth in both the Gr1 Kingston Town Classic and the Gr2 Lee Steere Stakes, and sixth in the Gr1 Railway Stakes. Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) is likely to resume his domestic career in the Gr1 NRM Sprint at Te Rapa on 11 February with a start in the Gr1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic likely to follow a fortnight later.

Kawi At Peak For Kingston Town Classic

Friday, 2nd December 2016

The pre-race instructions from Allan Sharrock to his former champion apprentice before tomorrow's $1 million Gr1 Kingston Town Stakes (1800m) at Ascot will be succinct, reports NZ Racing Desk. The New Plymouth trainer's words to Michael Walker will be don't get cluttered up and get the multiple Gr1-winning six-year-old rolling before the turn. "I just think the main thing is to get him out 600 from home and have a crack at them," Sharrock said. "At weight-for-age the best horse wins in my opinion. It suits Kawi, they all come up to his weight now and we've had two nice runs to ready him for this." He added: "It has always been our target race and I couldn't be happier with my horse and the rest is really up to him and Michael on the day and luck in the run." Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) was a last-start sixth in the Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and the gelding has come through the race in perfect order. "He would have got closer with some clear air and he was quite happy to pick grass afterwards in the birdcage so he didn't really have a hard run," Sharrock said. "He's thrived since." Sharrock nominated defending Kingston Town champion Perfect Reflection as the toughest to beat.

Odds Makers Leaning Towards Perfect Reflection

Friday, 2nd December 2016

The sentiment of Kawi's trainer Allan Sharrock as to which is the horse to beat in tomorrow's Gr1 Kingston Town Classic (see above item) is shared by bookmakers. Following her excellent third behind Scales Of Justice, who has a shocking draw to contend with, in the Gr1 Railway Stakes two weeks ago, Perfect Reflection is a solid $4.20 quote to repeat last year's victory in the race. While the daughter of Vinery Stud's redoubtable star sire More Than Ready should get all the favours in the run with William Pike retaining the ride, Scales Of Justice will also benefit from having last start's pilot Dougie Whyte in the irons. At $15 from a good draw, the Chris Waller-trained Good Project looks exceptional value given that he has finished first and second in the Gr1 Railway Stakes in his only two starts in Perth, and has Hugh Bowman to pilot him.

Gr1 Kingston Town Classic Barrier Draw

Wednesday, 30th November 2016

The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the 41st running of the $1 million weight-for-age Gr1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) to be run at Ascot in Perth, West Australia this Saturday. The current $3.80 TAB favourite for the race is the Bob Peters-owned mare Perfect Reflection who will be seeking to make it back-to-back Kingstown Town victories. Next in the market is multiple Gr1-winning Kiwi galloper Kawi at $5, ahead of last-start Gr1 Railways Stakes victor Scales Of Justice at $6.50. All other runners are at double figure odds. The final field is:

1. GOOD PROJECT (Chris Waller-Hugh-Bowman) 59kg (5)

2. IHTSAHYMN (Fred Kersley-Steven Parnham) 59kg (13)

3. STRATUM STAR (Darren Weir-Damian Lane) 59kg (1)

4. KAWI (Allan Sharrock-Michael Walker) 59kg (4)

5. DISPOSITION (Grant & Alana Williams-Glenn Smith) 59kg (8)

6. HE OR SHE (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig-C Parnham) 59kg (14)

7. DUBAI ESCAPADE (Justin Warwick-Ben Kennedy) 59kg (6)

8. BASS STRAIT (Neville Parnham-Brad Parnham) 59kg (11)

9. TRADESMAN (Robert & Todd Harvey-Dwayne Dunn) 59kg (9)

10. SCALES OF JUSTICE (Lindsey Smith-Douglas Whyte) 58.5kg (16)

11. VANBRUGH (Chris Waller-Ben Melham) 58.5kg (7)

12. MACKINTOSH (Chris Waller-Damien Oliver) 58.5kg (10)

13. HEART STARTER (Grant & Alana Williams-Peter Hall) 58.5kg (12)

14. NEVERLAND (Grant & Alana Williams-Jarrad Noske) 57kg (3)

15. TICK TICK BLOOM (G Durrant & J Miller-Patrick Carbery) 57kg (15)

16. PERFECT REFLECTION (Grant & Alana Williams-William Pike) 56.5kg (2)

Gr1 Kingston Town Classic Field

Tuesday, 29th November 2016

The final field has been declared for the 41st running of the $1 million weight-for-age Gr1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot this Saturday. The barrier draw will be conducted at 4:30pm this afternoon in the Director's Room at Ascot racecourse in Perth. The final field is:

1. GOOD PROJECT (HUGH BOWMAN-CHRIS WALLER) 59kg

2 IHTSAHYMN (STEVEN PARNHAM-FRED KERSLEY) 59kg

3. STRATUM STAR (DAMIAN LANE-DARREN WEIR) 59kg

4. KAWI (MICHAEL WALKER-ALLAN SHARROCK) 59kg

5. DISPOSITION (GLENN SMITH-GRANT & ALANA WILLIAMS) 59kg

6. HE OR SHE (CHRIS PARNHAM-D & B HAYES & T DABERNIG) 59kg

7. DUBAI ESCAPADE (JUSTIN WARWICK) 59kg

8. BASS STRAIT (BRAD PARNHAM-NEVILLE PARNHAM) 59kg

9. TRADESMAN (DWAYNE DUNN-ROBERT & TODD HARVEY) 59kg

10. SCALES OF JUSTICE (DOUGLAS WHYTE-LINDSEY SMITH) 58.5kg

11. VANBRUGH (BEN MELHAM-CHRIS WALLER) 58.5kg

12. MACKINTOSH (DAMIEN OLIVER-CHRIS WALLER) 58.5kg

13. HEART STARTER (PETER HALL-GRANT & ALANA WILLIAMS) 58.5kg

14. NEVERLAND (JARRAD NOSKE-GRANT & ALANA WILLIAMS) 57kg

15. TICK TICK BLOOM (PATRICK CARBERY-G DURRANT & JASON MILLER) 57kg

16. PERFECT REFLECTION (WILLIAM PIKE-GRANT & ALANA WILLIAMS) 56.5kg

Kawi's Trainer In Confident Mood

Tuesday, 22nd November 2016

Allan Sharrock feels he is a step closer to achieving a career goal, reports NZ Racing Desk. "This could be my chance to win a Group One in Australia," the Taranaki trainer said following Kawi's encouraging sixth placing in last Saturday's Gr1 Railway Stakes in Perth. "I thought his run was terrific, I couldn't be any happier. He pulled up well, it was like a track gallop for him – he never got clear in the straight and a blind man could see it was one of the runs of the race." Kawi will make his next appearance in the $1 million Gr1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot on December 3.

Gr1 Railway Stakes Field & Barriers

Wednesday, 16th November 2016

The final field has been declared for the $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) to be run at Ascot racecourse in Perth, West Australia this Saturday. Sharing favouritism for the race is the Chris Waller-trained Mackintosh and the Bob & Sandra Peters-owned Perfect Reflection at $5.50, ahead of Melbourne visitor Rageese at $6. Next best is Disposition at $9, then Scales Of Justice and Tradesman at $11, and He Or She at $13. Racing and Wagering WA handicappers have exercised their discretion to promote Tradesman into the 16-horse capacity field over Zarantz, who is the first emergency. Tradesman earned his spot after an eye-catching third to Perfect Reflection in the Gr2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m). The field is:

1. Kawi (Allan Sharrock-Michael Walker) 58.5kg (3)

2. Disposition (Grant & Alana Williams-Glenn Smith) 56kg (19)

3. Pornichet (Daniel Morton-Jarrad Noske) 56kg (18)

4. He Or She (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig-C Williams) 55.5kg (15)

5. Good Project (Chris Waller-Hugh Bowman) 55kg (7)

6. Perfect Reflection (Grant & Alana Williams-William Pike) 54.5kg (2)

7. Mackintosh (Chris Waller-Damien Oliver) 54kg (16)

8. Lite'n In My Veins (Fred Kersley-Steven Parnham) 53.5kg (9)

9. Rageese (Darren Weir-Damian Lane) 53.5kg (11)

10. Balmont Girl (Paula Wagg-Shaun O'Donnell) 53kg (13)

11. Heart Starter (Grant & Alana Williams-Chris Parnham) 53.kg (1)

12. Ideal Image (G Durrant & J Miller-Joseph Azzopardi) 53kg (17)

13. Neverland (Grant & Alana Williams-Peter Hall) 53kg (10)

14. Scales Of Justice (Lindsey Smith-Douglas Whyte) 53kg (8)

15. Tick Tick Bloom (G Durrant & J Miller-Jason Brown) 53kg (4)

16. Tradesman (Robert & Todd Harvey-Troy Turner) 53kg (6)

17e. Zarantz (Simon Miller-Brad Parnham) 53kg (5)

18e. Great Shot (Rhys Radford-Craig Staples) 53kg (14)

19e. Showy Chloe (Jason Pateman-Patrick Carbery) (12)

Sharrock Not Confident Of Kawi Victory

Wednesday, 16th November 2016

Trainer Allan Sharrock believes the odds are stacked against top Kiwi galloper Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) winning Saturday's $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) in Perth, reports NZ Racing Desk. "If he won then he would exceed my expectations," the New Plymouth trainer said. "It's a handicap and he's got to carry 58.5kg and he'll be giving the one that won the other day four kilos and not two." He was referring to Perfect Reflection, who was successful in the Gr2 Lee Steere Stakes, in which Kawi finished a respectable fourth. "He blew out noticeably and it was 37 degrees," Sharrock said. "He got over there late and he had very little fast work in the week before the race, but I'm happy with him." Kawi, who is in the care of his regular strapper Emma Davies in Perth, will again be ridden by Michael Walker. "This is the race of the three that I always thought would be the biggest battle," Sharrock said. "I honestly can't see him winning at the weights, but I would like to see him hitting the line strongly and I expect him to be doing that. He'll be right for the third one then." Kawi's three-start Western Australian campaign will end with the Gr1 Kingston Town Classic on 3 December.

Kawi On The Up

Tuesday, 15th November 2016

Trainer Allan Sharrock is expecting marked improvement from star Kiwi galloper Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) in Saturday's $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot, reports the West Australian. However, the multiple Gr1 winner, who is coming off a fourth placing behind Perfect Reflection in the Gr2 Lee Steere Stakes on his Australian debut, must set a new weight-carrying record to add to his Gr1 tally. Kawi has top weight of 58.5kg, 0.5kg more than Luckygray won with in 2013. "He was obviously in need of the run," Sharrock said. "It's not going to be easy for him with the handicap conditions, but that comes with the territory for winning five Group Ones. We're looking for a top-five place to give us confidence heading towards the Kingston Town Classic."

Walker Booked For Kawi

Tuesday, 18th October 2016

Taranaki trainer Allan Sharrock has confirmed that former champion New Zealand jockey Michael Walker will ride Kawi during his upcoming campaign in Western Australia, reports NZ Racing Desk. "Michael's going to be riding him and the horse looks magnificent," Sharrock said.  "He won a jump-out the other day and his last public appearance will be at the Waverley trials on Thursday. He flies to Melbourne on October 29 and he'll be there for a day and a half before he carries on to Perth." The multiple Gr1 winner will make his debut at Ascot on 5 November in the Gr2 Lee Steere Stakes, a race won last year by Saturday's Gr1 Cox Plate contender Black Heart Bart. "That's over 1400 metres at weight-for-age so it's an ideal race," Sharrock said. Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) will then target Ascot's two showpiece events - the $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes on 19 November and the $1 million Gr1 Kingston Town Classic on 3 December.

Kawi Booked For Earlier Australian Flight

Monday, 10th October 2016

Star Kiwi galloper Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) will head to Australia earlier than originally intended, reports NZ Racing Desk. Trainer Allan Sharrock has confirmed the 6YOs travel and racing plans for his upcoming campaign in Perth. The Taranaki horseman had considered a run at Awapuni in an open handicap on October 29 before departing, but he has now opted for an extra start in Western Australia. "He would have been given 67.5kg here and that's a lot of weight and there's the possibility of a wet track," Sharrock said. Kawi will instead fly out at the end of this month and after a stop-over in Melbourne will travel on to Perth where he will open his campaign in the Gr2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) on 5 November. "It's worth $250,000 and at weight-for-age so it was a no-brainer really," Sharrock said. He will then run a fortnight later in the $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) and the $1 million Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on December 3. All three races will be run at Ascot. Kawi has won both his starts at Hawke's Bay this season and following his first-up success in the Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes he overcame a three wide run to claim the Gr1 Windsor Park Plate.

High Flying Sires At NZB Ready To Run Sale

Thursday, 6th October 2016

This year's New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale features two-year-olds by 123 high-quality sires, including those whose progeny have shone brightly on Australasian racetracks so far this season. The leading New Zealand sire through the first two months of the new season has been Savabeel, who also made a clean sweep of the New Zealand sire awards in 2015-16. Leading Savabeel's charge so far in 2016-17 is his son Kawi, winner of the opening two legs of the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown - the Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes and Gr1 Windsor Park Plate. Savabeel is the sire of 11 Group 1 winners overall, including this year's $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes heroine Lucia Valentina (NZ), and he will be represented by 13 two-year-olds at this year's Sale. Other leading sires represented include:

  • Iffraaj (sire of triple Gr1 winner Turn Me Loose & Karaka Million winner Xiong Feng) with 11 two-year-olds catalogued;
  • Young guns Tavistock and Per Incanto with 22 & 14 offspring respectively;
  • Leading Australia sire Snitzel (sire of unbeaten colt Russian Revolution) with 4 two-year-olds;
  • Street Cry (sire of champion mares Zenyatta & Winx) with 1 two-year-old;
  • Medaglia d'Oro (sire of exceptional US filly Songbird) has 4 offspring; plus
  • Not A Single Doubt (2), Exceed And Excel (1), High Chaparral (4), Fastnet Rock (2), Sebring (7), O'Reilly (14) and So You Think (2).

The 2016 NZB Ready to Run Sale catalogue has attracted 552 two-year-olds. Each horse entered has the opportunity to Breeze Up with the last 200m of their work filmed and timed. Breeze-Ups are set to be conducted at Te Rapa Racecourse on 17 & 18 October. The NZB Ready to Run Sale will be held on 16 & 17 November 2016 with selling starting at 10am each day. Click here to view the online catalogue.

Weighty Challenge For WA Bound Kawi

Thursday, 29th September 2016

Kawi's broad shoulders will be put to a formidable test if New Zealand's weight-for-age star makes one more appearance before chasing two massive paydays in Perth, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Savabeel 6YO has been set for the $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) on 19 November and a return to the Ascot course a fortnight later for the $1 million Gr1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m). "He could have a run on October 29 at the Feilding meeting at Awapuni in the Redcraze Bowl," trainer Allan Sharrock said. "They've told me that he'll be allotted the phenomenal weight of 67.5kg, which even with the claim of Alfred (Chan) means he'll have to carry 64.5kg. He has won five Group Ones, but even so..." He added: "If I think the weight is far too much then I could trial him, but I'm trying to get him ready for million dollar races and can I do that on a trial? I'll have to have a think about it." Sharrock has also been working out travel arrangements and the easiest route to get Kawi to Western Australia. "He's likely to fly to Melbourne the week before the first race and then rest up for a couple of days before he goes on to Perth," he said. "The alternative is a direct flight on November 13, but that would mean 14 or 15 hours and that could be too much."

Sharrock Questions NZ Prize Money Distribution

Thursday, 29th September 2016

Meanwhile, Kawi's record of 13 wins from 26 starts for earnings of just over $945,000 has left his trainer Allan Sharrock questioning the distribution of prize money in New Zealand following recent stake increases to Group Three races. "After he won both the Group Ones at Hastings [the Makfi Challenge Stakes & Windsor Park Plate] I found out the Wellington and New Zealand Cups are now going to be worth more than both of them – I'm gutted and that's why we don't keep the good horses here," Sharrock said. "He's won five Group Ones and he hasn't cracked a million yet, it's unbelievable." The Makfi Challenge Stakes & Windsor Park Plate - both Gr1 races - are worth NZ$200,000, while the New Zealand Cup & Wellington Cup - both Gr3 races - last week had their prize money levels increased to NZ$250,000.