Hawke's Bay owned and trained horses have had another outstanding week with seven wins on New Zealand racetracks in the space of five days.
Champagne Bride, trained at Hastings by John Bary, broke through for a maiden win at Hastings on Wednesday last week while the Lowry/Cullen stable also produced Upswing for a debut victory at the same meeting.
Hastings owner-breeder Chris Russell picked up wins with Nigella Jazz at Wingatui last Friday and Moss Jazz at Invercargill on Saturday while the Lowry/Cullen stable brought up their second success for the week when Real Beach scored decisively at Awapuni on the same day.
Cutadeel, bred and owned by Hawke's Bay couple Mike and Sharyn Craig and raced by them in partnership with family members and friends, took out the Listed $50,000 Barfoot & Thompson Salver at Ellerslie on Sunday while Molto Veloce, part-owned by Hawke's Bay man Charlie Whyte, was successful in a $27,500 Rating 65 race at the same meeting.
Champagne Bride capped off a second and two fourths from three previous starts this season with a half-length win over 2000m at last week's Hawke's Bay Christmas meeting.
The Roc de Cambes 4-year-old was unlucky when finishing fourth in two 1600m races at Waipukurau in the spring and then only went down by half a head over 2100m at Hastings on November 11.
She started a warm favourite last week and scored a deserved win, aided by a perfect ride from jockey Johnathan Parkes.
He quickly settled the mare into the trail, third on the fence, and bided his time until just before the home turn before getting urgent.
The outsider and pacemaker Iridesa tried to pinch a break on the field swinging into the home straight but Champagne Bride ranged up on her outside soon after and worked clear in the final stages.
Champagne Bride was bred by Hawke's Bay Racing chairman Elliot Cooper and is raced by the Sasanof Syndicate, managed by Mike Sanders.
Cooper and his wife Mary are shareholders along with Jason Fleming, Carolyn Cooper, Bruce and Felicity Meehan and Carl and Muff Knapp from Hawke's Bay, John Young (Auckland), Dean and Anna Bailey (Te Awamutu) and the Schmidt family.
Sanders said, this week, Champagne Bride has come through the win well and will now line up again at Hastings on New Year's Day, in a Rating 65 race over 2100m.
Champagne Bride is out of the Traditionally mare Traditional Bride and a half-sister to Vannoss, who has also been a winner this season from the Hastings stable of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.
The Lowry/Cullen stable lined up two horses in the final event at last week's Hawke's Bay meeting - Jaguary and Upswing - and it was the less fancied of the two that prevailed in the 1600m event.
The 4-year-old Niagara gelding appreciated the rain that fell during the last three races, relishing the downgraded slow-7 track conditions to score a decisive length win while Jaguary was sixth.
Upswing was having his first start but had shown good ability in Hastings jumpouts and finished third in a 1200m Otaki trial in October.
He is owned by his Auckland-based breeder Trish Dunell, who is well known for her racing photography business.
She bred Upswing out of the Secret Savings mare Asaweb, now deceased, but has also left a half-brother by Showcasing called Webster who has won four races in Singapore.
Guy Lowry said this week Upswing will probably now be turned out for a spell and brought back for the autumn.
"He is a horse that needs to strengthen up a bit more and is best suited by an easing in track conditions," Lowry said.
Double success for HB owner
Hastings -based Chris Russell has been enjoying a tremendous run with his thoroughbred interests of late and has now bred five individual winners of seven races this season.
Russell picked up two wins in two days in the South Island last weekend, with Nigella Jazz leading all the way in a maiden 1400m race at Wingatui on Friday and Moss Jazz repeating the feat in a Rating 72 event over 1100m at Invercargill on Saturday.
Russell bred both horses and still retains a share in them.
They were both formerly trained in Hastings but were sent south to the Riverton stable of Stephen Blair-Eddie earlier this year, with the trainer and one of his stable clients now having a racing share in both.
Nigella Jazz was having her sixth start when she lined up at Wingatui last Friday, with her best previous placing being a third over 1200m at Winton in October.
Jockey Lee Callaway bounced the Niagara mare out brilliantly from an outside draw and had her quickly across the field and in front.
She had a handy advantage rounding the home bend and defied the others to run her down, crossing the line a head in front of Lunar Lady.
Nigella Jazz is the first foal out of the Coats Choice mare Shezalljazz, who was the winner of five races.
She has since produced a 3-year-old full-brother to Nigella Jazz and a 2-year-old filly by Reliable Man.
Moss Jazz recorded her third win since transferring to the South Island when she also led practically all the way at Invercargill last Saturday.
The Tavistock 6-year-old was again ridden by apprentice Amless Bohorun, who has been the successful jockey in all three of her wins.
Bohorun bounced the mare away brilliantly from the barrier to take a clear lead at the end of the first 100m.
He then eased his mount in the middle stages, reserving enough energy for a sprint to the line.
Acekingsuited headed Moss Jazz early in the home straight but the latter rallied gamely, wresting the lead back in the final stages for a 3/4-length win.
Moss Jazz is out of the Hey Baba Riba mare Whistling Jazz, who has also left the winners Between The Beats and Tavijazz.
Chris Russell also shares in the ownership of two other winners he has bred this season in Maria D'Or and Southern Jazz while he also bred and sold the good jumper Hesalljazz, who took out a hurdle race at Te Aroha in September.
Real Beach's owners in the swim
Hastings-trained Real Beach made up for some unlucky recent performances with a strong win in a $27,500 Rating 65 race over 2100m at Awapuni last Saturday.
The Nadeem 5-year-old mare was having her fourth start in a new campaign and was stepping up to a middle distance for the first time this season.
She found 1100m too short when resuming at Woodville in October and then covered plenty of extra ground when third over 1600m at Hastings last month and again over 1600m at Wanganui on December 1.
Jockey Dylan Turner was able to give the mare an economical run from a good barrier draw on Saturday and she finished the race strongly to win by three-quarters of a length.
It was Real Beach's second win from 14 starts and her first since she took out a 1600m maiden race at Hastings 12 months ago.
She is raced by former Hastings trainer Kelly Burne in partnership with her Perth-based son Vinny Meenehan, Kevin Papuni and Trevor Burbery from Hastings, Paul Toothill (Wairoa) and Pat Baker and Mike Taylor from Wellington.
Guy Lowry, who now trains Real Beach in partnership with Grant Cullen, said this week the mare has come through the win in great order and will now contest a $25,000 Rating 72 race over 2100m at Awapuni on January 5.
Cutting a fine figure
Hawke's Bay-owned Cutadeel took another step towards a tilt at the Group 1 $1million Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie in March next year with a game win in the Listed $50,000 Barfoot & Thompson Salver there last Sunday.
The Dundeel gelding showed great tenacity to stave off several challengers over the final stages of the 2100m event for a neck victory, his third success from only five starts.
Cutadeel is prepared by the Cambridge partnership of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman and is rated by Baker as a promising stayer in the making.
"He's not very big but he's a nice neat horse and a real good mover who can really stay," Baker said.
"He's been nominated for the New Zealand Derby so hopefully he can get there."
Cutadeel is owned by Hawke's Bay couple Sharyn and Mike Craig and raced by them along with other family members and close friends.
Adrian and Angela Herd, who are Sharyn Craig's son and daughter-in-law, have a racing share along with her other two sons, Brendon and Darren.
Mike Craig's Wellington-based son Jamie and his wife Fleur also have a share while the other members of the syndicate are Hawke's Bay women, Kathleen Wright and Cheryl Leonard.
Another star for HB owner
Hawke's Bay's Charlie Whyte looks to have another exciting galloper in Molto Veloce, who made it two wins from only five starts when successful in a $27,500 Rating 65 race over 1200m at Ellerslie last Saturday.
Whyte, a former board member of Hawke's Bay Racing, raced the talented filly Honey Rider with close friend Andrew Lockyer and she won them four races including the 2016 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings.
Molto Veloce is prepared by Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh and Whyte races the Pins filly with her Cambridge breeder Tony Rider.
She is out of the Fast 'N' Famous mare Youtoofast, who recorded three wins and five minor placings when trained by the Hastings partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.
Molto Veloce's win last Sunday earned Stephen Marsh a new Harley Davidson motorcycle.
The prize, valued at $25,000, was sponsored by Harley Davidson Auckland Limited and was presented to the winning trainer.
Veteran rider Grant Cooksley will take no part in the busy Christmas-New Year racing period after being suspended for 16 race days following an incident at Ruakaka on November 16 which resulted in a fall.
Cooksley admitted a charge of careless riding in that he permitted his mount So Glorious to shift inwards early in the home straight when insufficiently clear of Shafiq Rusof's mount Boundtobehonored which clipped heels and fell, with Tantalising, ridden by Danielle Johnson being brought down as a result.
While both horses escaped injury, Johnson, who was third on the national jockeys' premiership at the time, suffered multiple fractures to her collarbone, while Rusof suffered fractured ribs.
Cooksley will be able to resume riding after the conclusion of racing on January 8.