The Trials ‘Report Card’

What was worth noting from the trials all over the country for the week ending 8/2/2024

Hezasweetie (3g Sweet Lou - Whitershadeofpale) Tr. Tony Stratford

On a track made slushy after heavy rain, the Stratford-trained gelding worked to the lead early in his qualifier (Winton 2/2/24) and simply left his two rivals behind at the 150m, winning officially by 7L, last 800m in 57.3, 400m in 27.4. A $16k purchase at the 2022 Yearling sales in Christchurch by astute Otago horseman Graeme Anderson, a well know fan of the stock of the sire, he is still part owned by Anderson and is the third foal from a nine-win mare who race timed in 1:53.9. His debut now eagerly awaited after this effort unless sold prior.

Bonnie’s Girl (3f Bettors Delight – Bonnie Joan) Tr. Nathan Williamson

On the same day, this royally bred filly, bred and owned by Tuapeka Lodge won her heat in similar circumstances, leading then racing away by an official 8L last 150m. Last 800m in 57.8, 400m in 28.2
The second foal of a quality racemare who won 10 (from only 28 starts) and over $200k in stakes and good enough to race time in 1:52.8, this filly has great residual value but in the meantime she ticks a lot of boxes when assessing her immediate racing future.

Ruby Roe (3f Captaintreacherous – Arden Caviar) Tr. Nathan Williamson

The winner of two of her three starts (last raced when sixth to Treacherous Baby 22/12/23) and now back on the campaign trail, led out in her heat before taking a trail midrace in four horse field, not really pushed final stages to get the better of the pacemaker, last 400m in 28.6. Has always had a ‘rap’ from strong stable but things just didn’t go her way late last year. Good enough to be a key player in 3YO specials for the fillies in the deep south. One of her main ‘rivals’, Raklou, content to sit fourth of four throughout, still there final turn, ran on to be not far away in third. She also had a frustrating time of it as a late 2YO but is another to be very good when at her best.

Miraculous (3g Bettors Delight – Kelly Maguire) Tr. Nathan Williamson

The unbeaten pacer (two from two) back at the Wyndham workouts (3/2/24), last start a 6L winner in 1:55 mid December last year, on this occasion trailed three deep in eight horse field, out at the 400m to work closer, not extended to finish best in what was a handy field. No great time on an easy track affected by rain but this fella has a touch of class from what is becoming a very strong southern stable, should not be underestimated wherever he is placed when resuming

Fiery Bandito (5g Majestic Son – The Fiery Filly) Tr. Kirstin Green

The lightly tried trotter (only nine race day starts over two seasons) on his best behaviour this day (3/2/24) despite rivals breaking around him at the start and through to trail three deep before improving to take over 1200m out, came clear in straight for impressive 3L win. Manners have let him down on several occasions but at other times has shown glimpses of having a big motor and far better than a one win trotter, his current status. It would be no surprise to see him achieve another success in coming starts.

Major Hipster (3g Art Major – Hip Pocket) Tr. Brendon Hill

8/2/24 at Rangiora, settled last of five until improving with cover inside final 600m, wide turn and kept up sustained finish to get within a head of the winner (St John Eight who led), last 800m in 57.9, 400m in 28.3 and that time would have been off the front so the Hill trained runner went decidedly quicker. The previous week he had won a workout at Methven. Only the two raceday starts to date including a debut second to Spirit Of Anarchy at Addington followed up with a sixth in hot 2YO company to Vessem in a 1:55MR back in late August. Connections have been patient and he looks to have strengthened up considerably. Way better than a maiden!

Treasure Cove (2c Captaintreacherous – Schnucki Putzi) Tr. Steve and Amanda Telfer

Settled fourth of four in his 2yo heat (8/2/24) in the running, came wide on home turn and got the better of rivals last 100m but under a big hold, arrogant win by a horse that could have gone much faster, last 400m in 28.5. Stonewall Stud paid $75k for him at the 2023 yearling sales and this run suggested he has every chance of paying most of it back in quick time. The dam is a half to good pacer One Change and there is a half sister (Lot 279) by Downbytheseaside on offer in the 2024 version later this month.

Rakero Rocket (4g Rock N Roll Heaven – Motu Pocket O’Jewels) Tr. Tom Bamford

In his Rangiora heat (8/2/24) he trailed three deep and without any effort, didn’t pull out in the home straight. Leaders ran 57.5/27.4 for their final sectionals and he was less than 2L from winner. Created a big impression last campaign, only two starts for a win and a placing, the last outing back in October 23. Connections have a high opinion of him and he should be followed with confidence when he resumes.

Ohoka Connor (4g Sunshine Beach – Idolise) Tr. Steve and Amanda Telfer

Galloped away from the stand (8/2/24) but recovered to trail pacemaking stablemate Alta Meteor in three horse field (Mo’unga the other runner), out to challenge final turn and zipped home (56.1/27.4) to get within a neck of the leader. Manners have also let him down in most recent starts after winning his first six starts. No doubting the motor inside but raw ability won't be enough as he attempts to take on the better class of rival. Should not be underestimated nevertheless.

We Walk By Faith (3g Bettors Delight – Wicked Nights) Tr. Mark and Nathan Purdon

A last start Group 1 winner at Addington back in December, he is part of the Allstars assault in Auckland over the next few weeks and went to Pukekohe (8/2/24) where he led a three horse trial which included Old Town Road, zipped home under his own steam and his older rivals could not get the better of him (56.1/26.8).

The winner of three from six (two other placings) + $113k in the bank, he is shaping up as a major player in the 3YO colt/gelding specials coming up. Currently second favourite in the futures market for the Northern Derby behind stablemate Chase A Dream.

Christopher Dance (3c Sweet Lou – Just Dance) Tr. Logan Hollis and Shane Robertson

8/2/24, trailed in his heat then finished powerfully along inner to win in impressive fashion, last 800m in 56.3, 400m in 27.3 over three rivals. Only the four raceday starts (two wins, two placings) and looks full of promise and should be seen to advantage when he next lines up. This 3YO boys crop looks very strong and harness followers are set to see some exciting action in the coming weeks.


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The Trials ‘Report Card’

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