Hawke's Bay-bred Chopin's Fantaisie brought up his fifth win from six starts with another game performance at the Kranji racetrack in Singapore last Sunday.
The Pins 4-year-old contested a S$100,000 Rating 83 race over 1600m, where he drew one from the outside in an 11-horse field.
Experienced Australian-born jockey Vlad Duric earned high praise for the way he bounced the horse out quickly from the barrier and got him across into a trailing position behind the leaders.
Coming to the home Duric clearly had a handful of horse underneath him but when he angled Chopin's Fantaisie out around the leaders' heels the big-striding gelding got off-stride and it took him a while to get properly balanced up again.
Chopin's Fantaisie had a clear lead half-up up the home straight but Duric then had to keep his mind on the job over the final stages to hold out the fast finishing Chairman, ridden by Englishman Alan Munro, and score by a head.
Duric has no doubt the energy sapping run will take nothing out of Chopin's Fantaisie, but did admit that greenness was still the horse's Achilles heel.
"He's still very green, but he's an absolute racehorse. There is still a lot more to come from what he's shown us so far.
"He was very dour today, though. From the start, he got across quite easily and at the 800m I started to get a feel for him.
"I just wanted to stay behind the horse in front and then peel him out for his run. Once he got in front, he loafed and it felt like he was just waiting for a horse to challenge him, and then he kicked again.
"He is a real stayer. He's got toughness too and he can really dig deep."
Chopin's Fantaisie will bypass the first Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series, the Group One Panasonic Kranji Mile (1600m) on October 1 and head straight to the second Leg, the Group One Raffles Cup (1800m) on October 22. The last Leg, the Group One Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) will be run on November 12.
Chopin's Fantaisie was bred by Taupo-based Pat Lowry and was purchased by his now Singapore trainer, Michael Clements, for $150,000 at the premier session of the 2015 Karaka yearling sales. He has a record of five wins and a second from six starts in Singapore and has earned more than S$200,000 in stake earnings for his Singapore owner, Joshua Tan of Jubilant Racing No 4 Stable.
Chopin's Fantaisie is out of the Oregon mare Golden Gamble and the fifth individual winner produced by the mare. Her first foal, by No Excuse Needed, was Addicted who won one race from only seven starts for Hastings trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen before she unfortunately died.
The second foal was Ambitious Dragon, by Pins, who went on to become Hong Kong Horse of the Year. He won 13 races, seven at Group One level, and more than HK$58million in stakemoney.
Golden Gamble has since produced three more well performed horses in Hong Kong. The first was Triumphant Dragon (by Fast 'N' Famous) who won five races and was followed a year later by Ocean Power (by High Chaparral) who recorded two wins.
The mare's latest star in that continent is Packing Dragon, a 6-year-old gelding by Mastercraftsman who is one of the most consistent gallopers in Hong Kong at the moment. The 6-year-old has recorded six wins, three seconds and five thirds from only 24 starts.
Chopin's Fantaisie is the last foal to race out of Golden Gamble but Pat Lowry now has a 3-year-old full-sister to Chopin's Fantaisie who was in work with the Hastings training partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen last season and is due to return to that stable at the end of this year.
Golden Gamble, who is 18 years old, is now due to foal to Rock 'n' Pop.
Diehard's breeding showing through
Hawke's Bay-bred Diehard, a half-brother to the outstanding performer Dundeel, will be out to add to his good record when he lines up at this Sunday's Counties meeting at Pukekohe.
The Pour Moi 4-year-old is entered for the $22,500 Rating 65 race over 2200m, where he has drawn 11 and will be ridden by Matthew Cameron.
Diehard, who is trained at Cambridge by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, has had four starts for a win and two seconds. He was bred by Havelock North's Murray Andersen and the syndicate he set up, Waimarama Partnership, still retains a racing share in the horse.
Diehard is out of the unraced Zabeel mare Stareel, who is a daughter of the 1991-92 New Zealand 3-year-old Filly of the Year Staring.
Dundeel, who is by High Chaparral out of Stareel, was the winner of 10 races from only 19 starts. Six of his victories were at Group One level and his stake earnings totalled more than $6.3 million. He is now standing at Arrowfield Stud in Australia for a fee of A$27,500.
Another with winning habit
HB-bred Impulsive Habit brought up his second win with an impressive performance in a Rating 65 race over 1200m at last Sunday's Rotorua meeting.
The Echoes Of Heaven 4-year-old made light work of his 59kg topweight, powering clear of his rivals over the final stages to score by 1-1/2 lengths and now has a record of two wins, three seconds and a third from only 13 starts.
Impulsive Habit was bred by Hawke's Bay couple Isabell and Graham Roddick and traces back to the champion galloper Rough Habit. He is out of the Mellifont mare Special Habit, who won three races when trained by the then Woodville-based Bruce Marsh.
Cambridge trainer Lee Somervell picked Special Habit out at the festival session of the 2015 Karaka yearling sales and bought him for $14,000. He then set up a syndicate to race the horse and has retained a share himself.
The Roddicks are still breeding from Special Habit and have an unraced 2-year-old by Colombia out of the mare that they intend racing and the mare is now due to foal again to Echoes Of Heaven.
Impulsive Habit's latest win made up for some bad news the Roddicks received at the end of last month. The Group One winner Addictive Habit, who they bred and shared in the ownership of, had to be euthanised after suffering a colic attack.
The horse had not long been retired from the racetrack after a career that saw him win 11 races and more than $770,000 in stakemoney. His biggest success was in the 2015 Group One Livamol Classic at Hastings while he also scored back-to-back victories in the Group Two Couplands Mile at Riccarton.
Two winners by Niagara
Niagara has been represented by his first two winners in the past week and it was fitting that the sire's first winner was born and reared in Hawke's Bay.
Lord Of Cloud, who was Niagara's first foal and first trial winner, won on debut in a 1400m maiden race at Singapore's Kranji racecourse last Friday night.
The 3-year-old colt, trained by Leticia Dragon for the Billion Dollars Stable, made the perfect start to his career.
Lord Of Cloud is out of the Masterclass mare Miss Jean Brodie and was bred by Lime Country Thoroughbreds which started out in Hawke's Bay and initially stood the stallion Niagara here. Owners Greg and Jo Griffin have now moved to Australia.
Lord Of Cloud began his education in New Zealand with Hastings trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and won his first trial impressively at Waverley when beating Dijon Bleu, who has since won the Listed O'Leary's Fillies Stakes at Wanganui. The horse was then sold to Singapore.
Niagara was then represented by his second winner when Xbox scored a runaway 3-1/4 length victory in a 3-year-old maiden race over 1100m at Te Rapa on Wednesday. The gelding was bred by Auckland racing photographer Trish Dunell, who races him in partnership with a several others from the Matamata stable of Graham Richardson and Gavin Parker.
Niagara now stands at The Oaks Stud in Cambridge for a fee of $5000 +GST.
Waipukurau race day
Hawke's Bay racegoers will be in for an extra race day next week with Thursday's Otaki-Maori Racing Club's meeting now transferred to Waipukurau.
Continuing wet weather on the Kapiti Coast has left the Otaki track extremely heavy and unsuitable for racing.
The change of venue has necessitated the 2-year-old race, which would have been run at Otaki, being transferred to the Taranaki meeting on Saturday, September 30 and will be run as a $10,000 maiden 2-year-old 990m.
A maiden 1400m and maiden 3-year-old 1200m have been added to the Waipukurau programme. Both these races will carry a stake of $10,000.
HB Guineas contenders
Two of the first three horses home in the Listed El Roca-Sir Colin Meads Trophy on the first day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke's Bay spring carnival on September 2 have been confirmed as starters in the Group Two $100,000 Sacred Falls Hawke's Bay Guineas on October 7.
Unbeaten Bostonian has come through that race well according to trainer Tony Pike while John Wheeler is also pleased with the progress made by third-placed Irish Flame.
"He's not very big, he's plain but he is genuine," Pike said of Bostonian. "He's a professional who's done nothing wrong."
Of Irish Flame, Wheeler said, "He will go back to Hastings for the Guineas without another run.
"He definitely looks like he can compete with them. That augurs well for his future as he is still quite immature, both mentally and physically, and I don't think we will see the very best of him for another 18 months.
"His longer-term aim for this campaign is the 2000 Guineas at Riccarton so that is where we will be heading once we get through the Hastings run."