Two Hawke's Bay people, Merv Dudley and Kathryn Donoghue, are enjoying a great ride as part-owners of the talented juvenile Sir Nate.
The Nadeem colt brought up his third win from five starts when taking out the $30,000 two-year-old race over 1200m at Trentham last Saturday.
Dudley and Donoghue are only small shareholders in the horse but they are getting a huge kick out of being part of a galloper that is not only winning races but is now one of the favourites for the Group 1 $225,000 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni tomorrow week.
Dudley is a relative newcomer to racing horses while Donoghue was the wife of the late Mike Donoghue, a successful jockey who later became a successful trainer.
Sir Nate is prepared by Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta, who paid $65,000 for him at the select session of the 2017 Karaka yearling sales.
She then set about syndicating the horse out and, with two of her loyal clients in Kamada Bloodstock and Craig O'Neill, taking up the major shareholding in the horse.
O'Neill manages the syndicate that races Sir Nate and the horse has well and truly paid for itself, with his latest victory taking his stake earnings past the $70,000 mark.
Last Saturday was Sir Nate's first race day appearance since he finished strongly for seventh in the Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 27.
"He's just a really laid back colt and he only gives what you ask," Latta said.
Under top jockey Opie Bosson, Sir Nate settled behind the leader on the fence and once into the clear he rounded off strongly to beat the pacemaker What A Smasher and King Louis.
"I thought Opie would suit him, he needs a strong rider," Latta said. "The 1400m of the Sires Produce is really going to help him."
Bosson was suitably impressed by Sir Nate and gave a glowing report on the 2-year-old.
"Lisa said to me that he was lazy and she was right, he only does what he has to," he said. "Once he was balanced he got home well.
"The 1400m at Awapuni is going to be ideal for him. If he gets a soft run behind them he'll be hard to beat."
Sir Nate will need a new rider for the Sires' Produce as Bosson will be continuing his association with the star juvenile and last-start Group 1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) winner Sword Of Osman.
Savvy Dreams takes a break
Hastings-trained Savvy Dreams has been turned out for a well deserved spell following her last start fourth in the Group 1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on March 10.
Co-trainer Guy Lowry dropped the mare off at Cambridge's Milan Park Stud after the Ellerslie run and she will remain there until May, when she will return to the Lowry/Cullen stable.
"We don't want to give her too big a break as we want to have her ready to race again in August," Lowry said.
He said he and Grant Cullen want to target the mare for the Group 1 Livamol Stakes (2040m) at Hastings in the first weekend in October.
"We won't bother with the first two Group 1 races at the Hawke's Bay spring carnival, over 1400 and 1600, and just target the Livamol," Guy said.
"She should be ready to race again about mid-August and will have three starts before the Livamol," he added.
Savvy Dreams was having her sixth start this season when fourth at Ellerslie. She was also a winner over 1200m at Hastings on New Year's Day before a fourth in the Group 1 Thorndon Mile at Trentham and fifth in the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.
Gold Cup for Paddy
Hawke's Bay-owned Authentic Paddy will make his next appearance in a set weights and penalties feature on his home track at Awapuni tomorrow week.
"He's doing well and he'll go to the Awapuni Gold Cup, there's not a lot else for him," trainer Lisa Latta said.
Authentic Paddy won the Group 1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) on Boxing Day and bounced back from three unplaced runs for a last-start third in the Group 1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie a fortnight ago.
"He had a few wide draws and a foot problem, but he's good now," Latta said.
Allan brings up 1000
Tony Allan's long awaited milestone victory at Te Aroha last Friday earned the plaudits of everyone involved in the New Zealand racing industry.
The Melbourne Cup-winning jockey's comeback to riding this season was crowned when he rode the 1000th New Zealand winner of his career aboard Aigne in a 2200m maiden race.
Allan made the trip north from Levin for just the one ride and his dedication was rewarded when he teamed up with Aigne's trainer and close friend Clint Isdale.
"It's a relief and it couldn't have come at a nicer place than Te Aroha," Allan said.
The 51-year-old won the 1988 Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on giant New Zealand mare Empire Rose and bowed out of racing in 2005 after racking up 998 wins. At that stage he was battling alcohol and drug problems and was basically washed up.
He moved to Japan that year to work as a track rider, which he said allowed him to work through some personal issues and, following a stint in Sydney working for Peter and Paul Snowden, he returned home in May last year.
Allan rode his first winner back on Mr Cool Boy at Waverley in June and, despite a lean spell since, he never doubted his own ability.
"To get to 1000 wins was always the goal and I'm happy to have done it," he said. "I've always believed I could do it, I'm very happy with my riding."
Fenton-Ellis bowing out
Broadcaster Karyn Fenton-Ellis has called time on her Trackside career.
"Last week, I advised the New Zealand Racing Board's John Allen and Andy Kydd that I did not intend to return to Trackside after the conclusion of this season of Weigh In," she said.
"I will miss the team, the people who make the coverage happen and everyone who supports them. I will be involved in some projects from time to time, but I made this decision as I know the time is right for me. This was my, and my decision alone, to step down.
"I remember well first going to air on my birthday, November 6, 1992, together with George (Simon) for the pioneering first edition of Action TV. A tiny team that had a dream and a quarter of a century on I look at the team with huge pride and respect."
Power off to Aussie
Group 1 winner Power has been relocated from Cambridge Stud to Oaklands Stud in Queensland.
The 9-year-old son of Oasis Dream's leading representatives include the Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) winner Gift Of Power and the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes (1200m) winner and Group 1 performer Peace Envoy.
Power was the leading first-season sire in New Zealand during the 2016-17 season.
Seventh Up eyes another Easter
Last year's Group 2 Easter Stakes winner Seventh Up looks in fine fettle to defend his title next month judging by his comfortable first-up victory at Rotorua last Saturday.
The lightly raced 7-year-old was resuming after finishing well back at Ellerslie in early December and relished the give in the Rotorua surface that was officially rated as a Dead-4 on the day.
Despite being off the scene for over three months trainer Shelley Hale felt her charge could run a bold race based on his lead-up work.
"I just thought he might need a run as he hadn't had a trial but when I legged Grant (Cooksley) on I told him his work had been first-class," she said.
"He has been in work the whole time but since the firm ground can tickle him up you just have to look after him and wait until he tells you he's right.
"He's done that recently so we're back racing again."
Cooksley had Seventh Up lobbing along nicely towards the rear of the seven-horse field throughout the early stages of the open 1400m contest before moving him into a challenging position.
Asked to sprint at the 300m mark, Seventh Up lengthened nicely to quickly take control before easing to the line under a hands and heels ride to score by a neat length from race favourite Cote D'Or.
The Auckland Racing Club's Group 2 Easter Handicap (1600m) will be run at Pukekohe on April 21 due to the track renovation programme that started at Ellerslie following the their Auckland Cup week carnival last week.