Wait A Sec's win in the $22,500 Stella Artois Stayers Handicap at last Saturday's Hawke's Bay meeting provided the horse's Hastings breeder and part-owner, Ian Henderson, with a special celebration.
Henderson has been racing horses for many years but it was his first ever success on his home track.
Wait A Sec made up for a couple of unlucky runs in recent weeks with a comprehensive victory. The Postponed 6-year-old was given a perfect trip in transit by jockey Johnathan Parkes, who settled the horse in the last four and up against the inside rail in the early stages of the 2500m staying test and never went around a horse.
Parkes waited for the field to fan on the home turn before quickly improving his position and then pushed Wait A Sec through a narrow gap inside the leader El Bayardo 250m off the line.
Once into the clear Wait A Sec dashed away from his rivals and went on to win easily by three-and-a-quarter lengths from Ticket Clipper, with El Bayardo a short neck back in third place.
It was Wait A Sec's fifth win from 33 starts and his first since he took out a 1600m event at Awapuni 12 months ago. The horse was unlucky not to finish a lot closer than ninth in the Waipukurau Cup (2100m) two starts back when held up at a vital stage in the home straight and followed that up with a fast finishing third over 2100m at Awapuni on April 1.
The horse is trained on the Hastings track by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and is expected to have his next start at either Hastings or Te Rapa tomorrow week.
"There is a 2100m race for him back here at Hastings or a 2400 at Te Rapa so we will have to decide which way to go," Lowry said.
Ian Henderson races Wait A Sec with his Perth-based son Paul and bred the horse after purchasing the mare Security several years ago. She is out of Secrecy, who was the winner of seven races for another Hawke's Bay owner-breeder, Don Gordon.
The first foal Henderson bred out of Security was a full-brother to Wait A Sec, called Secured. He was sold to Australian-based trainer Brian Jenkins for $25,000 and went on to a record a win and six minor placings in that country.
Henderson then bred a colt by Handsome Ransom out of Security but it broke down before getting to the races, with Wait A Sec being the next foal and the first one he has raced out of the mare.
Hastings pair in Adelaide
Savvy Dreams and Lamborghini, two in-form horses from the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, will both make their Australian debuts at tomorrow's Morphettville meeting in Adelaide.
Savvy Dreams will contest the Group 3 A$120,000 ($128,000) Schweppervescence Stakes (1800m), a 3-year-old fillies' race run under set weights and penalties conditions. She has drawn seven and will be ridden by South Australian jockey Paul Gatt.
The Savabeel filly has not raced since finishing a game third behind Bonneval and Devise in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 18. That run followed a close second to Bonneval in the Group 3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings on March 2.
Savvy Dreams will be using tomorrow's race as a lead up to the Group 1 A$500,000 Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville on May 6, a race that is also restricted to 3-year-old fillies and run at set weights. Top Victorian jockey Craig Williams has already been booked to ride her in that race.
Lamborghini lines up in an A$100,000 Open Handicap over 1800m tomorrow, where he has drawn well at barrier six and will be ridden by Jason Holder. He was a last start winner of the Waipukurau Cup (2100m) on March 23.
Co-trainer Grant Cullen travelled with the two horses when they left New Zealand on Wednesday of last week. They were flown from Auckland to Melbourne and then had a nine-hour float trip down to Adelaide.
The two horses are based at Paul Beshara's Morphettville stables and Cullen said both had settled in well in the new surroundings.
They were given their final hit-outs at the Morphettville track on Wednesday and both worked very well.
Lowry and Cullen will be hoping for a change of luck after previous trips to Australia have brought little in return. They lined up Pimms Time in the 2013 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) but she only managed 10th out of 13 and Irish Fling crossed the Tasman after winning the Group 1 Telegraph Sprint (1200m) at Trentham in 2014 but broke down when finishing last in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill in her only Australian start.
Back when Guy Lowry was training on his own he also took Lilakyn over for a crack at the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) in 2007. The horse finished second, beaten a nose, after rider Lisa Cropp thought she had the race won.
Sweet success at Taupo
Hastings-owned Honey Rider returned to her best with a decisive win in a 1300m 3-year-old race at Taupo on Easter Monday.
The Pins filly, bred and owned by Hawke's Bay friends Charlie Whyte and Andrew Lockyer, was recording her fourth victory from only 10 starts but had only managed two sixths and a fourth from her three most recent outings.
Honey Rider only had four rivals in Monday's race and she was caught three-wide in the early stages so rider Michael Coleman let her roll to the front with 900m to run.
From then on she was always in control and, after leading by a length on the home turn, she kept up a strong gallop to hold a one-and-a-quarter length winning margin on the line.
Honey Rider won the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings last spring and her trainers, Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, will now aim her at the Group 3 $70,000 Cambridge Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa tomorrow week.
"She did that easily enough today and she'll now go to the Cambridge Breeders' Stakes," said Murray Baker.
"She's had a bit of a freshen up and she was ready to go again.
"She's pretty good when she's right and she looked to be waiting for the others a bit," Baker said.
Honey Rider was the second foal out of the Align mare Southern Heights, who won two races for Whyte and Lockyer when trained at Hastings by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen. The first foal, a colt by Savabeel, unfortunately died.
Peso ready to jump
Hastings-trained Peso broke through for an impressive maiden win on the flat at last week's Rotorua meeting but it is over the jumps that he is expected to excel in the future.
The Colombia gelding was having only his sixth career start when he recorded a dominant two-and-a-half length victory in a 1950m highweight at Rotorua, after a second and a third in his previous five outings.
The horse is trained at Hastings by Paul Nelson and raced by him in partnership with his wife Carol. They bred the 5-year-old out of the unraced Victory Dance mare All Magic.
Although Peso has yet to race over hurdles he was one of eight horses trainer Paul Nelson schooled at the Hastings track a couple of weeks ago where he gave a dashing display over the hurdles.
He is certainly bred to excel as a jumper as his dam is a full-sister to Hummer, who recorded a win, a second, two thirds and two fourths from 13 hurdle starts.
Jockey Aaron Kuru settled Peso just in behind the leading trio in the early stages of last week's Rotorua race and secured a charmed rails run rounding the home bend to quickly challenge for the lead.
The horse strode clear soon after and was being eased down by Kuru over the final stages.
Owners & Breeders function
The Hawke's Bay Racehorse Owners & Breeders Associations will hold their annual race day function at the Hawke's Bay meeting at Hastings tomorrow week, April 29.
The function will be held in the Karamu/Estella Lounge on the top floor of the Members Stand and will commence at 11.30am.
Each member and a guest will receive a complimentary drink, with a cash bar operating after that.
A complimentary luncheon for members and a guest will be served at approximately 1pm. Any additional guests will be charged $30 per person for the meal.
Throughout the day there will be a member's draw prior to each race.
For catering purposes those attending are asked to RSVP by today (April 21) to either Tony Lyndon (06) 8768250 or Sharyn Craig 0274 999084. Or they can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bi-monthly award winner
Hastings trainer Kelly Burne is the recipient of the Hawke's Bay Racehorse Owners Kevin Wood Memorial Trophy for the months of February and March.
Burne and her Perth-based son Vinnie Meenehan race the talented stayer Saint Kitt, who has had four starts since the beginning of the New Year for two wins and two seconds. One of those victories was in the $30,000 Hororata Gold Cup (1800m) at Riccarton.
HB races on April 29
Hawke's Bay Racing will stage an eight-race programme on the Hastings track tomorrow week, with the first race timed for 12.30pm and the last at 4.37pm.
There will be free general admission and access to the Members Stand where you can relax while getting a fabulous view of the horses passing the Winning Post. It promises to be a great day out for families.