Feet issues an ongoing battle for Cambridge winner
By Garrick Knight
It was a long road to the winner’s circle for Morrinsville horseman Paul Green with Cambridge victory on Friday night, Hello It’s Me.
The now five-year-old daughter of American Ideal outpointed a modest maiden field in the hands of Scott Phelan and, in the process, ended a long 2019 for her trainer.
“I have had a lot of trouble with her feet.
“She’s been in work for virtually the last eight months, just coming in every day doing her feet and jogging.
“It’s been a very big slog.”
Hello It’s Me made an impression in a three-race campaign as a late three-year-old but abscesses would wreak havoc on her feet and she never raced last season.
“At her second start she sat parked at Auckland and ran second. She went real good.
“Then we backed her up a week later and in hindsight that was a bit too soon.”
It was then that the rot started to set in – quite literally.
“Both her front feet were bad there for a while; they just got kind of rotten and we had to cut quite a bit away.”
But his patience paid off and, after a disappointing resuming effort at Cambridge earlier in August when she was backed in to second favourite, she had too much mettle for her opponents this time.
“I think she’s good enough to win three or four races; she seems like quite a nice stayer.”
Green and a collection of friends and clients purchased Hello It’s Me’s dam, Miss Operative, in foal with her and with a Real Desire filly at foot, at the 2014 mixed sale at Karaka for $2200.
“The one at foot was a very tough horse to deal with and never made it.
“Even this mare can get a bit wound up. We’ve had a few issues with her getting hot on us.”
Green says he is working just the two horses at present, the other being the now seven-year-old maiden mare, Lady Ameera.
“I also have the three-year-old half-brother to Leanne’s Boy (nine wins) due to come back in and he shows a bit.”
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A career-first training treble for Vaughan Blanchard with his father, Peter, saw them temporarily propelled to top of the national trainers’ premiership.
Wins by Ocean Beach, Lovely Bundy and Matai Geordie took them to six for the first month of the season, tied with Cran Dalgety and Nathan Purdon, until Canterbury duo scored a double at Forbury Park on Sunday.
“The horses are racing good and naturally we were very happy with how the night went,” said Vaughan.
“A few of the team got very crook four or five months ago and now they’re back racing at the level we want them.”
Ocean Beach cleared maidens in the hands of Peter Ferguson after three consecutive third placings since arriving north from Ken Barron’s Canterbury stable.
“He had been trialing good and (co-owner) Peter Presley had been looking for another horse at the time so we bought him.
“He was a little bit disappointing at his first start for us but he got sick after he arrived and I think it just took a little longer for us to figure him out.”
Matai Geordie was arguably the night’s most impressive winner, coming from off the speed in a torrid 2.41.8 (1.58.3) mile-rate in the slush.
Blanchard said the stable think quite highly of the former Southlander and are giving consideration to sending him south to compete in the Show Day Futurity Series at Addington, which carries a $30,000 final.
“He’s a pretty smart horse that just keeps stepping up.”