The latest from the trials - September 27
Now that many of the very best horses are coming out to play we are regularly updating what's happening at the trials right around the country. Here's the latest installment.
The Addington Trials Wed 27th September
Weather Raining and cold and windy / Track Easy
Patani (2c Father Patrick - Sagan)
The Hope trained 2yo trotter trailed before improving to lead 1000m out, extended nicely last 300m and in the end 4 1/2L clear of rivals. MR:2:07.9, 800m in 61.9, 400m in 29.1.
Only the two race day starts so far but did win on debut back in May then struck Wilma’s Boy when a resuming sixth, some 11L from winner. Should be further improved next up and from a stable that does well when placing its trotters.
Ohara (3f Always B Miki – Paula’s On Fire )
The Howe trained filly trailed before popping out at the 400m to challenge in her qualifying heat run in trying conditions, too good for her two rivals in the straight, winning by 4L, MR:2:03.9, 800m in 62.5, 400m in 30.6.
This filly comes from the immediate family of Hot N Treacherous and The Orange Agent so has a few things going for a potential race career.
A Fine Patrick (2g Father Patrick – Harriet Of Mot)
The Edmonds trained 2yo again showed why he is so highly regarded by his connections while the time did not set any records.
Driver John Dunn bided his time back in the field before launching wide out on final bend, picked up his rivals with ease over the final stages without being extended.
MR:2:14.4, 800m in 63.2, 400m in 30.6
Conditions again were not condusive to quick times but he will be at cramped odds when he makes his debut this season
The Quiet Pirate (2g Captaintreacherous – Silence Is Golden)
The Purdon trained 2yo broke briefly when crossing to lead just after the start but came down pacing in the hands of Mark Purdon and kept going to be way too good for his rivals MR:2:05.5, 800m in 60.4, 400m in 28.7.
He was a $60k purchase at the 2022 Auckland Yearling Sales and is from the Auckland Reactor family that Purdon has had considerable success with in the past .... there must be a story behind that name !
We Walk By Faith (2g Bettor’s Delight – Wicked Nights)
Another Purdon trained 2yo with plenty of breeding. He trailed mostly then used the passing lane to win in good style MR:2:03.6, 800m in 60.4, 400m in 28.7
Qualified back in June, owned by the Dunfords who have had much success with their ‘faith’ horses.
Zara Tindall (3f Vincent – Royal Impression)
The Robbie Holmes trained filly boomed off the gate, steadied midrace before coming home sharply, 400m in 27.8 (on an ‘off’ track) to win well
She has placed four times already in just eight raceday starts including a meritorious second to the capable Treacherous Miss back in June, freshened, she should be one to follow in races restricted to Non Winners F&M.
Kawhi (3g Andover Hall – Miss Lovalot)
The Tom Bagrie trained runner is a full brother to the well performed Harold Smith (6 wins) and after 400m led for driver John Dunn, cleared out from the 400m and officially 8L clear of his rivals at the line.
MR:2:04.9, 800m in 59.3, 400m in 29.0
Already the winner of one from 12 raceday starts and good enough to place twice as a 2yo, has not raced since May, but good enough to build upon his record at short notice.
Millwood Nike (3f Captaintreacherous – Alburquerque)
The star Purdon trained filly (14 starts for 14 wins) took time honours on what was quite a miserable day. She settled 4th of seven in indian file, received a nice 1x1 cart into race by a game Sweet Diamond at the 400m, not pushed to get over the top of her rivals, MR:1:59.7, 800m in 57.2, 400m in 27.2.
With a number of her 3yo rivals hardened by recent racing and with the filly specials looming, one imagines that this hit out was much needed and her trainers would have been smiling post race.
Her unbeaten stablemate Vessem (5 starts for 5 wins) set the pace and fought strongly when challenged to just hold second from the above mentioned Sweet Diamond and Celtic Spirit (trail) close up
Piccadilly Pete (2g Sweet Lou – Piccadilly Princess)
The Purvis trained 2yo is yet to qualify but proved too good for his six rivals, winning by a comfortable margin in the hands of his trainer, MR:2:08.7, 800m in 58.9, 400m in 27.8.
His dam, of course, won 17 races and some $760k for the same connections and he is the first live foal from the mare.
Needless to say, he looks to have inherited a fair amount of the family ability.
Ashburton trials Tuesday 26th September
Weather Fine Track Fast
She’s Tough (6m He’s Watching – Cullen’s Mercy)
The Mowbray trained mare started off 20m behind but soon trailed third of five in indian file, out to attack 400m out and kept up strong run to come away from rivals final stages MR:2:06.3, 800m in 56.8, 400m in 26.7
While a natural fast track in good fine conditions, the seven win mare put plenty of dash into her work in the hands of Matty Williamson
Lime In A Bottle (2f Imperial Count – Gina)
The Williamson trained 2yo raced third of four before being set alight by her trainer inside the final 600m, led around final corner, cleared out by 6L at the line
MR:2:12.2, 800m in 58.7, 400m in 28.6
She qualified in early May but has yet to make her raceday debut. She is a half to some handy types including Time In A Bottle (9w and $101k)
The Vixen (3f Always B Miki – Pocket Of Jewels)
High strike rate trainer Laurence Hanrahan produced a handy qualifier in the hands of Rick May, soon led and kept going too well for her rivals, 3 1/2L clear at the line MR:2:06.7, 800m in 58.0, 400m in 28.4
The filly has a bit of breeding behind her and the ‘Miki’ fillies have proven good racehorses, one to watch when the astute trainer elects to take her to the races.
Wyndham Workouts Sunday September 24
Weather Fine Track Fast
Cormac Leo (3g Sweet Lou – Athena Matai)
The Craig Ferguson trained 3yo settled third off five in indian file before improving midrace to take control and kept going strongly to win impressively, last 800m in 55.6, 400m in 27.5
Taken all the way to Addington for his debut where he duly won earlier in the season and then placed fifth in the Group 2 Southern Supremacy at his last start back in April (from only four race day starts), he looks to have come back stronger this time in and will be one to follow in the coming weeks
Wagstar (3g Sweet Lou – Sunny Two Shoes)
Stablemate of Cormac Leo, raced fourth of five in his trial before finishing stylishly down outer in straight to dispute finish (officially 3rd). MR 2:04.4, 800m in 56.1, 400m in 28.8.
The winner of his first two starts then placed second in the Group 2 Southern Supremacy behind the unbeaten Ohoka Connor at his last start (also only four raceday starts), he gives the stable a strong hand at the 3yo level in the deep south but also not to be underestimated if the trainer decides to travel further afield.
Yet another stablemate Glaucus (3g Captaintreacherous – Summer Ale) ran a close up 2nd in the same trial after leading up. He too is lightly raced having won two of his four starts.
Joeking (2g Majestic Son – Bobby Jo) & Yosemite (2f Volstead – Majestic Blaze)
The McIntyre pair trailed in the four horse trial with Joeking finishing best to have half a length to spare over his stablemate at the line but both looked to have plenty in hand, last 800m in 59.6, 400m in 28.8. Both travelled to Addington back in May for their respective debuts where Yosemite finshed 2nd and Joeking was disqualified for galloping.
Put aside after just that one run, they both looked solid in this trial and could still make the trek north to take on the better 2yos in the coming weeks
Pukekohe Workouts Saturday September 23
Weather Overcast Track Good
Chimichurri (4h Bettor’s Delight - Saucycullen)
The Telfer trained entire missed away from the 2500m stand but quickly recovered to assume control after 600m from Bolt For Brilliance (T) who had stepped nicely. Kept up a strong run to hold out Old Town Road. The latter settled last of five then took the short way home inside the final 600m, was giving leader 4L at 400m and got within a neck at the line. Winners last 800m in 58.1, 400m in 27.1
Bolt For Brilliance sprinted sharply from the trail to be a 1/2L away in third and trainer Tony Herlihy would have been super happy with the effort against open class pacers
Yourdoinamazinsweety (2g Sunshine Beach – Alesandra Ambrosio)
The Herlihy trained 2yo raced last of five before improving to sit parked last 800m, fought strongly for his third, less then 1L from winner Lenny Lincoln who trailed then came along inner to just get up. MR:2:04.7, 800m in 59.7, 400m in 27.7
He won a heat of the Young Guns earlier in the season but being a big type he has been given time and should show the benefit from the patient approach once he reappears on raceday
Minjee (2f Bettor’s Delight – Western Confidential)
The Hollis/Robertson filly only had one rival but showed plenty of dash after leading throughout and coming clear by some 5L, running her last 400m in 28.3.Her breeding would suggest she will just get better as she gains further experience. One to paste away.
The McGowan stable produced 3 workout winners who all showed enough to be followed when they resume.
Lucky Mum (2f Father Patrick – Girls On Film)
Already placed behind The Moonstone earlier in the season, she trailed against her two rivals then showed plenty of dash to clear out by 5 1/2L, 800m in 62.7, 400m in 29.3
Castana (3g Quaker Jet – Rosemaryz Luck)
Already the winner of two from nine starts, he trailed last of four before improving to lead 600m out, he cleared out in the straight to win impressively, last 800m in 60.3, 400m in 28.4
Broken Promise (5g Sweet Lou – On A Promise)
Settled third of five in indian file before improving to sit parked inside final lap, kept going strongly to win well, MR:2:05.1, 800m in 57.9, 400m in 28.1. The trainers must have some faith in him as he has raced only 5 times over 2 seasons and now nearly 6yo!
Cambridge Workouts Saturday September 23
Weather Overcast Track Slushy
Our Benson (3g Sweet Lou – Helena Jet)
Diamonds Are Forever (3f Always B Miki – Three Jewels)
The Neal trained filly was good enough to place behind Millwood Nike at Group 1 level earlier in the season.
In this trial she trailed throughout, elected to come out on the home turn and without too much effort finished best over her 3 rivals. MR:2:03.3, 800m in 58.8, 400m in 28.6
She would have have derived much benefit from the outing as she prepares to take on the best 3yo fillies in the coming weeks
The Rangiora Trials Wed September 20
(Weather Fine but windy / Track Fast)
Tinkerbelle (2f What The Hill – Belle Galleon)
The Mark Jones trained half sister to top trotter Stent led and then did enough to hold out Bounce N Beyond with 24L to the rest. MR:2.10, 800m in 60.1, 400m in 28.6.
The latter was good enough to beat Wilma’s Boy in a recent Rangiora trial and that runner came out and won a 2yo trot by 9L at Addington on the 15th September.
Tinkerbelle qualified way back in early March where she dead-heated with High Step, now winning in Australia for her connections at Group level.
All these references add up to her being a major player in the upcoming 2yo specials. Its fair to say that the current crop of 2yo trotters is collectively one of the strongest ever !
Heart Throb (3c Sweet Lou - Justalittlebettor )
The Bob Butt trained colt was highlighted in this forum recently and put in another eye catching trials performance behind the explosive Rakero Rocket (another to be highlighted previously). The latter left a trailing spot a lap out to take control then turned the race into a procession winning officially by 18L, last 800m in 55.5, 400m in 26.8.
Heart Throb was only officially fifth but was last and some 15L from the runaway pacemaker at the 250m, brought to the outside, he made up many lengths to be in a photo for the minor placings, under little urging from his trainer/driver.
Masterly (4g Love You - Brilliant)
Formerly with Paul Nairn (4 wins from 14 starts) but now with part owner Bob Butt, the Love You gelding stepped beautifully and was soon in front then had little trouble holding his rivals at ‘arms length’, MR:2:08.7, 800m in 59.5, 400m in 29.4
Remembering he won the 3yo Sires Stakes championship at Alex Park by nearly 7L at Group 2 level and competed at Group 1 level against the best of his age, this fellow has a touch of class and with another year on him, could be a big mover amongst the Canterbury trotters.
Krug (5h Bettor’s Delight – Champagne Princess)
The Dalgety trained runner began well off 40m (2600m) to tag on to a four horse heat (Sweet Diamond made a mess of the stand and took no part in the trial) before being asked to improve a lap out, unfortunately pacemaker Celtic Spirit elected not to hand up and Krug was forced to race parked for the final 1200m,
On a quick half (800m) in 56.5, MR 2:03 (off the front mark), he fought on strongly to be 2L from the pacemaker/winner and now after 2 trials, he looks primed for his raceday resumption at Addington next week.
Lets remember that Krug at his best is a sub 1:50 miler !
Borrisokane (3g Sportswriter – Tristar Brigade)
The Regan Todd trained 3yo has won two from 10 raceday starts and on this day ran 3rd in the R50 & faster trial, 1L from winner but when the winner is Akuta and the runner up Self Assured, last 800m in 56.8, 400m in 27.8, one takes notice especially as he was making ground solidly over the final stages under his own steam. The stable keeps kicking goals and this bloke did run a sub 1:55 mile earlier in year at Wyndham and former trainer Bruce Negus thought enough of him as a 2yo to debut in the Group 2 Sapling Stakes. Not to be underestimated wherever he travels in the coming weeks.
Akuta led and was too good but Self Assured caught the eye coming on stylishly in the straight and was not pushed to get within a length of the winner.
Posh Painter (2f Terror To Love – Hanover Glory)
The Robbie Close trainer filly raced 4th in indian file before improving to lead 600m out and kept giving to win nicely, last 800m in 57.8, 400m in 28.5. The head wind was quite strong down the back at this time and this qualifying effort looked full of merit. The trainer also has a share in this one.
Winton Workouts Thursday 14th September
(Weather Fine Track Fast)
Raklou (2f Sweet Lou – Raksbet)
The smart 2yo, a winner of three from just four starts, was back from her spell running fourth in behind Captain Tom (R35 to R66 pace) who led over the final lap and stayed on too well for his rivals in a 2:03.4MR, 800m in 59.0, 400m in 28.6.
Raklou was not pulled out in the run home by trainer Peter Hunter after racing back in the six-horse field and looked to have more to give.
Based on what she showed in her first campaign, she will be ultra competitive in the 2yo filly specials coming up over the next few months.
Mallory Maquire (2f Art Major – Miranda Maguire)
Trained by Alister Black, the unqualified filly raced in a learners heat but it was the way she finished that suggested she might have a future when she gets to the races. ‘Mallory’ trailed early but lost her place as a couple of runners went rough in the running, well back starting the last 500m, she came very wide on final turn then collared the leader in the final 50m under her own steam for young driver Riley Black. 800m in 59.6, 400m in 30.3
She is a 3rd foal half sister to a nice maiden in Lewey Maguire (trained by Telfers) and Sonny Maguire now the winner of three in Queensland.
Pukekohe Workouts Friday 14th September
(Weather Showery Track Slushy)
The Surfer (2g Downbytheseaside – Styx On)
Another of the Telfer 2yo fillies Seafield Rose in the hands of Alicia Harrison sped out to lead and kept going too well for her rivals, nearly 3L to the good at the line. 800m in 58.2, 400m in 28.4
The only runner to make any headway over the final 600m was the Donnelly trained The Surfer (3rd) who made up good ground from well back for driver David Butcher. He also qualified back in April where he ran a 2:02MR at Cambridge and has some quality breeding behind him as well.
Wyndham Workouts Saturday 16th September
(Weather Fine Track Fast)
Falcon’s Watch (4g He’s Watching – Touch Of Rose)
The Ross Wilson-trained one race winner trailed three deep mostly before mounting a challenge around the final bend and was able to finish strongly and clear of his rivals at the business end, cutting the 2400 mobile out in a 2:02.8MR, last 800m in 57.2, 400m in 28.8.
Formerly trained by Nicky Chilcott where he was a winner at Alexandra Park, he has been given a good spell and this run suggested he could turn the poor formline around at short notice.
Motukarara Workouts Saturday 16th September
Weather Overcast Track Firm (Grass track)
Quinn (2g Downbytheseaside – Vengance)
Word is that trainer Bruce Negus thinks a lot of Quinn and it was the trainer who hopped in the cart to steer his charge to an impressive win over 3 rivals, last 800m in 61.0, 400m in 27.0
He qualified way back in April at Ashburton but has been given plenty of time to fill into his frame by the astute horseman.
He is definitely one to paste away as we wait for that raceday debut.