Hastings stables are now likely to have two good chances in the Group 3 $70,000 Wellington Stakes at Otaki at the end of this month following results from last Sunday's Hawke's Bay meeting.

Trainer John Bary has the 1600m feature on the agenda for Miss Labasa, who made it two wins from two starts with another impressive win in a Rating 65 race over 1600m.

New Hastings trainer Lee Somervell said he would also like to give the talented 3-year-old Yossarian a chance in the black type event after he broke through for an emphatic maiden victory over 1300m.

Miss Labasa is rated very highly by Bary, who has the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham in March next year as the long range goal for the filly.


"We have always thought a lot of the horse and we've been patient with her," Bary said.

"I think she's pretty smart and the aim is the Oaks but she'll run next in the Wellington Stakes at Otaki on November 30."

Not many horses win next up after a maiden victory and even less are unbeaten after two starts but Miss Labasa has now done both.

The Swiss Ace filly only won by a long neck in the final event at Hastings but showed she still has a lot to learn and will only get better with more experience.

She bounced away quickly from the number one barrier draw to lead going into the first bend before jockey Johnathan Parkes managed to restrain her to trail third on the fence.

She then became unbalanced and lost momentum making the bend at the 800 metres but Parkes quickly got her back into full stride and had her camped behind the leaders coming to the home turn.

The in-form rider angled her into the clear rounding the bend and she shot to the front but then started to stargaze and he had to make her concentrate before she finally pinned her ears back and showed a great will to win to surge clear in the final stages.

Miss Labasa is owned by Auckland's Narendra Balia, who has been a long time client of the Bary stable, and he paid $30,000 for the filly at the select session of the 2017 Karaka yearling sales.

She is a half-sister to the stakes placed Starvoia while her second dam is the South Australian Oaks winner Dowry.

Balia also has horses in other stables and is the owner of the highly talented Demonatization, who has recorded three wins and two minor placings from the Pukekohe stable of Nigel Tiley.

He also raced the speedy mare Madhuri Dixit, who won six races when trained by Frank Ritchie.

More success for HB couple

Hastings couple John and Colleen Duncan have raced some very good gallopers in the past and they look to have another one in the making in Yossarian.

The promising 3-year-old gelding followed up a fast finishing debut third over 1300m at Woodville last month with a decisive win in a 1300m maiden race at Hastings last Sunday, crediting trainer Lee Somervell with his second success from his new Hastings base.

The Duncans have raced horses for many years, with the best of them being the Group 1 winner Fleur de Lune.

They bred and owned the Stravinsky mare in partnership with the late Ada Parnwell and she won them six races including the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year's Day in 2013.

Yossarian is a half-brother to Fleur de Lune, by Rip Van Winkle.

The dam of both horses was the Kaapstad mare Kapsjoy, who is now deceased but also left the winners Saragarhi (four wins), Kapsboy (six wins), Anna Kaye (1 win), and Stradivarius (3 wins).

The Duncans are now breeding from Fleur de Lune and a colt by Per Incanto out of the mare sold to the Hong Kong Jockey Club for $370,000 at this year's Karaka yearling sales.

She is now in foal to Per Incanto again.

The offers have also been coming in for Yossarian but the Duncans are quite happy to continue racing the horse at this stage.

"We'll see what happens in the future. I think he could be a real good horse and we might look at racing him in Australia at some stage and keep a share in him," John Duncan said.

"He's still got a fair bit to learn, will be a better horse next year and I think he'll get over more ground too because he relaxes so well in a race."

Somervell also has a high opinion of Yossarian, so much so that he now intends lining the horse up in the Group 3 $70,000 Wellington Stakes (1600m) at Otaki on November 30.

"I think he's a pretty smart horse and I'll just keep him ticking over until then. I know he'll be up against a strong field but they are only three once," Somervell said.

Impressive maiden winner

Hastings-trained Atlanta Peach cleared maiden ranks in style at last week's Otaki meeting, scoring by 4-1/4 lengths over 1600m.

The 4-year-old Bullbars mare, prepared from the stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, was following up a debut second over 1200m at Woodville last month and had also won a 1000m jumpout at Hastings at the beginning of October.

Jockey Tony Allan bounced Atlanta Peach out quickly from the barrier at Otaki and soon had her sitting outside the leaders.

He then bided his time until the home turn before asking the mare to extend and, when he did, she quickly took control before racing clear in the final stages for a dominant victory.

Atlanta Peach is owned by Cambridge's Tony Rider, a long time client of the Lowry/Cullen stable.

The mare is out of the Clay Hero mare Flame Of Atlanta and a half-sister to Khimar War, who was a 2-year-old winner at Riccarton earlier this year.

It is also the family of What Can I Say, whose eight wins included the Group 2 AJC Warwick Stakes in Sydney.

Counties Cup contender

In-form Hastings galloper Peso showed he is now on target for the Group 3 $100,000 Counties Cup tomorrow week with a strong exhibition gallop between races at last Sunday's Hawke's Bay meeting.

The big Colombia 7-year-old had Rosie Myers aboard when working in from the 1200m peg on the course proper, running the first 600m in 39.1s before quickening over the last 600 in 35.5s.

He looked full of running at the finish and has obviously thrived since his gallant last start win in the Listed Jakkalberry Classic (1950m) at Rotorua on October 20.

Peso, who is trained by Paul Nelson and raced by him and his wife Carol, has been a model of consistency this year with his 10 starts since April resulting in three wins, two seconds and three thirds.

He has won six races in total and has been successful on both left-handed and right-handed tracks.

Savvy Coup transferred to Waller

Top New Zealand mare Savvy Coup has remained in Australia and is to be transferred to the Sydney stable of Chris Waller.

The Savabeel mare was prepared by Michael and Matthew Pitman to win last season's Group 1 New Zealand Oaks and the Group 1 Livamol Classic at Hastings in October.

That form led to a Melbourne spring campaign but she was unplaced in both the Cox Plate and last Saturday's Matriarch Stakes.

Savvy Coup, who is owned by long-time Pitman stable clients the Bruford and Coupland families, was tentatively booked on a return flight to Christchurch yesterday, but she will now be transported to New South Wales pending the confirmation of future racing plans.

"We had a long discussion between the owners and Diane, Matthew and I, and we agreed that Australia is where her future belongs," Michael Pitman said.

"She will be far easier to place over there and there are so many opportunities for a mare of her calibre.

"I think it's the right decision, its times like this that you can't have your cake and eat it too. I've got huge respect for Chris Waller and his operation, there's none better anywhere and I'm sure he'll do the right thing by her and her owners."

Walker's 500th Singapore win

Two-time Singapore champion trainer Mark Walker came up trumps at Kranji last Sunday when he produced former European galloper Elite Invincible to take out the rich S$1.35 million Singapore Gold Cup (2000m).

Superbly handled by Benny Woodworth, the four-year-old gelding capitalised on a rails run in the home straight to dash clear before holding out the gallant challenge of topweight Circuit Land by a head in a desperate finish.

The win in the country's richest and most prestigious domestic race was also the 500th winner for Walker in Singapore.

The Matamata horseman relocated to Singapore in 2010 and sits fourth on the trainers' premiership headed by Lee Freedman.