The Trials ‘Report Card’

What was worth noting from the trials from all over the country for the week ending 30/5/2024

Crossed Keys (3f Father Patrick - Scuffle) Tr. M Jones

Addington (23/5/24) Trailed in this two horse qualifier, stepped nicely, moved up outside the pacemaker at the 400m, left in front when that runner broke, professional effort more than 8 secs under the qualifying time MR:2:10.7, 800m in 60.6, 400m in 29.3. Half to 7 winners and dam is a Sundon daughter of the mighty Tussle. Looked very solid and likely to be a handy maiden at least. *** Won again at Rangiora Trials (29/5/24).

Lil Whip (3f Father Patrick – Eilish Aimee) Tr. Wallis/Hackett

Pukekohe (25/5/24) Off 10m in four horse field on a slushy track, wasted no time in getting around to lead after 500m, left clear when early leader off stride, always clear and going well after that, way too good Last 800m in 62.0, 400m in 31.2. Has had a couple of runs for new trainers in Group company recently behind Empire City, previously trained by Regan Todd and placed in Addington Group company behind Paramount Kiwi. Still a maiden but might not be for too much longer.

Matai Phil (3g Washington VC – Matai Katie) Tr. P & V Blanchard

Showed gate speed to lead the qualifying heat, not knocked about to stay in front albeit it narrowly MR:2:05.9, 800m in 58.4, 400m in 28.2. Trainers have gone back to the well in securing this fellow from the deep south where they have enjoyed good success in the past, one to respect when that race day debut comes about.

Mhai Surfer Girl (4m Downbytheseaside - Mhairi) Tr. M White

Trailed third of 4 before improving stylishly 400m out to challenge leader, led late and looked comfortable holding out Artisan and the pace-making Treacherous Love. Last 800m in 58.6, 400m in 28.2. The winner of two from just 12 starts (with another 5 placings), hasn’t started since finishing 6th behind Lady Of The Light in Group 1 company back in December 23. Should be very competitive in the lower grades when returning for a new campaign.

Bar Louie (2g Sweet Lou – Motu Haughty Helen) Tr. S & A Telfer

Settled fourth of 6, improved to sit parked last lap, eyeballed pacemaker 400m out and led on straightening, kept going strongly when challenged to win with something in hand, last 800m in 58.7, 400m in 28.1. Remembering that the track was off due to heavy rainfall, he looked best when sprinting a sharp quarter at the business end. Won a qualifier at Cambridge in April.

Major Major (3g Art Major - Miss Elsie) Tr. A Donnelly

Cambridge (25/5/24) Led out field of 6 before trailing stablemate Red Rackham after 800m, good finish along passing lane to easily account for that runner final 200m. MR:2:05.2, 800m in 59.9, 400m in 29.7. Qualified as a very early 2yo but unplaced in three attempts against the best of his northern age group, last start in August 23. Dam was a very good filly and comes from a super family of very good horses. Time will have been his friend.

Always Be Batman (2g Always B Miki – Flying Anvil) Tr. J Douglas

Winton (24/5/24) led field of 5, didn’t flinch when the challengers arrived inside the 400m, did enough to hold on without being extended.Last 800m in 58.8, 400m in 27.2. Unqualified at this time but dam won 6 and from a good family of winners. Getting his raceday ticket shouldn’t be a problem in up-coming weeks.

Dragon Power (3g Fear The Dragon – Shipshewana Flight) Tr. M Brown

Settled third of 4 before improving three wide at the 400m to take issue, led on straightening and ran right away from rivals final 200m, officially 12L at the line. Last 800m in 58.9, 400m in 27.1. Punters have been burnt in short career to date, freshened again and not for the first time has really impressed at the southern workouts. Surely better than a maiden.

Gift Card (6g Father Patrick – Kahdon’s Gift) Tr. J Campbell

Off 20m but soon in front of three lesser performed rivals (all off the front), strode out stylishly last 200m to win with a leg in the air. Last 800m in 59.7, 400m in 28.9. The winner of four hasn’t started since an unplaced run at Addington over Cup week 2023 but before that was a model of consistency especially in the deep south. No reason why he can’t be a southern star again this season.

Krug Rose (3f Bettor’s Delight – Champagne Princess) Tr. M Smolenski

Rangiora (29/5/24) In this unqualified workout found one better in Showtym Girl (3f Sweet Lou – Hayley Nicole) but found the line nicely and a natural improver. Last 800m in 59.1, 400m in 28.8. Held in some regard by her trainer, the full sister to Krug ($800k+) is one to pencil away for when she officially graces the race track.

Blazing Knuckles (2f Bettor’s Delight – Bare Knuckle) Tr. M Jones

The full sister to Better Knuckle Up (4 wins + 1:53.3) lined up in a learners 2yo pace and did enough to keep out five rivals without being really extended. Last 800m in 58.9, 400m in 28.5. Only the second foal of a mare that won 8 + $100k+ and race timed in 1:51 so has plenty to recommend her as a future racing prospect

Rowdy Yates (3c Waterloo Sunset – Silverdale Pride) Tr. P Nairn

Named after the Clint Eastwood character in Rawhide (TV Western of the 60s), the Nairn trained runner found one better in Fear And Faith (3f Father Patrick – Never Fear) but only a head between them at the line and 10L clear of the others. Eight secs under the qualifying time, last 800m in 60.8, 400m in 30.2. Dam won four and is a half sister to Too Much To Do (11 wins) who has left the Rowe Cup winner in Bolt For Brilliance. Nairn has had good success with stock of the stallion he used to train previously.

Heaven’s Mark (5m Rock N Roll Heaven – Armadoctara) Tr. J Morrison

Led and was way too strong over the final stages running 7 secs under the qualifying time, last 800m in 57.3, 400m in 27.7. Connections have had to wait a fair while for her to get her race ticket (sold at the yearling sales) but the wait could be all worth it in the coming weeks. Very closely related to Armalight and a proven bloodline.

Watching Brief (3f He’s Watching – Sue Me) Tr. J Morrison

Stablemate of the above and went just as good, coming clear of six rivals at the business end. MR:2:01.8, 800m in 58.3, 400m in 28.1. Has impressed at recent Mid Canterbury workouts and looks to be a handy maiden in the making. Young trainer getting a nice team of pacers around him. Another stablemate Sweet Trixie (4m Sweet Lou – Moulin Bromac) ran second in this qualifier but was 2L adrift at the line. The rest were 6L away.

Justcallmemiki (3c Always B Miki – Alchemist) Tr. H Cullen

Previously with Brent Mangos and the winner of two (from just 4 starts), both wins at Cambridge, proved too strong for eight rivals here as ran some time to show that he is ready to rumble MR:2:00.7, 800m in 57.9, 400m in 26.9. Current rating R54 and deserves respect when he makes his South Island debut for his new stable.

Clovelly Hill (3g What The Hill – Jayceekay) Tr. J Howe

Impressive in clearing out from five rivals, officially by 6 1/2L at the line. MR:2:12.1, 800m n/a, 400m in 30.2. Qualified over a year ago behind the smart 3yo Princess Sadie (highly competitive in recent 3yo specials) and on this effort would win a maiden at very short notice.

Galleon’s Ambassador (6m Love You – Galleon’s Royale) Tr. J Morrison

The five win mare showed her readiness to resume with a stylish win over the smart Harold Smith (3L away), last 800m in 59.3, 400m in 29.9. Had April off since last racing and can be somewhat unpredictable but no doubting her ability when she gets her act together. Interestingly, she has only placed in three of her other 26 starts which suggests she is somewhat hit or miss. However, the stock of Love You do get better with time.

Buckskin (8g American Ideal – Got Milk) Tr. R Davis

The 10 race winner gave 11 lesser rivals a headstart then a beating. While the time was not overly flash, he sprinted home sharply in 57.5, 400m in 28.6. Another to be freshened with winter racing in mind, he deserves more respect than he possibly receives in the Canterbury area. A genuine racehorse with over $100k in the bank, he can upset again in coming starts.

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