Uptown Funk gets well-deserved spell

After a great run of early-winter form, Uptown Funk has headed off for a spell, though it's planned he'll back in time for some key assignments in November.

It's been quite the year for the Art Major three-year-old with three wins in nine starts, with his form justifying the faith shown in him by trainer Trent Yesberg at a young age.

Yesberg secured Uptown Funk (Art Major – Uptown Attitude) at the 2021 NZ Bloodstock Yearling Sales. However his familiarity with the horse goes back further than that. While doing contract work at Dancingonmoonlight Farm, Trent handled him as a weanling.

“I really liked the look of him, he was very mature and had a lot of class about him .... when the opportunity came at the Sales I thought $50,000 was good value.”

Racing six times a two-year-old Arnold, as he’s known round the stable. didn’t have a lot of luck. His first start saw him burned up early in a last-to-first sprint and puncturing a tyre in the process. That was unfortunate for a trainer who is very patient with young horses and wants them to have good experiences as they learn about racing.

“He wasn’t quite right after that,” says Yesberg.

A minor placing at Oamaru was all he had to show for his first campaign.

Returning as a three-year-old, and after beating race winners at the trials, it only took two starts for Uptown Funk to clear maidens in May. That was at Rangiora when driven by Ricky May who would become his regular driver.

He then had a hoof issue which affected his form for a while, until in July he thrilled his connections and supporters with back-to-back wins at Addington.

Despite his ability, when Uptown Funk is not totally happy he shows it.

“After some hard racing, something’s niggling him right now,” says Yesberg.

He's hopeful when he returns, the horse’s sheer ability will take him a long way.

In the meantime his owners are taking plenty of satisfaction out of his successes to date and considering what the future may hold.

Uptown Funk takes a break before aimed for some of the bigger three-year-old races later in the year, hopefully racing in Cup and Show Week.

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