Hawke's Bay thoroughbred owner-breeder Richard Wood says he would like to take his talented mare Miss Wilson back to Australia one day but, if she does go, Hastings trainer John Bary will be the one that campaigns her there.
The 4-year-old made an impressive winning return for Bary in last Saturday's $40,000 Blue Star Group Premier over 1200m at Trentham suggesting she could go on to much better things in the future.
Miss Wilson began her racing career from the Bary stable, recording a second and two fourths from her first three starts in 2015. Wood then decided to send her over to Victorian trainer Simon Morrish and she won her Australian debut in a 1400m maiden at Ballarat in October 2015. She then added a second and two thirds in eight more Australian starts.
The horse was returned to New Zealand after only managing 12th of 15 in a race for 3-year-olds over 1600m at Sandown in April last year and resumed full work with Bary earlier this season. She went into last Saturday's race without the benefit of an official barrier trial but had won two Hastings jumpouts in recent weeks and paraded in great order for her return.
The Stratum mare began brilliantly for jockey Jonathan Riddell and quickly took up a trailing position behind the pacemaking Ellerstina. She bounded up outside that horse at the 300m to take a clear lead and then withstood a late challenge from Crookshanks to win by a long neck.
"It's a good result and she's a pretty good filly," Wood said after the race.
"She may go back to Australia for a race or two but only with John.
"We'll see how she pulls up but it's just great to see her back."
Miss Wilson is a half-sister to the five-time Group 1 winner Jimmy Choux, who also raced in the colours of Richard and Liz Wood, was trained by John Bary and was ridden in 24 of his 26 starts by Jonathan Riddell.
Jimmy Choux had a record of 12 wins, five seconds and two thirds, with his Group 1 victories coming in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas at Riccarton, New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie, Rosehill Guineas in Sydney and both the Windsor Park Plate and Spring Classic at Hastings. He now stands at Rich Hill Stud in Matamata.
Miss Wilson and Jimmy Choux are both out of the Centaine mare Cierzo, who has also left the winners Choux Diva, Chouxshine and Bootlegger. Rich Hill Stud will offer a colt by Fastnet Rock out of Cierzo at next week's premier session of the Karaka yearling sales.
Success was sweet
Talented Hawke's Bay owned filly Honey Rider bounced back to her best with a dominant winning performance at last Sunday's Waikato meeting at Te Rapa.
The Pins filly was having her first start since a disappointing 10th out of 11 runners in the Group 2 Sarten Memorial (1400m) at Te Rapa on October 24. She over-raced in the early and middle stages of that race and dropped out in the last 200m.
Trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman gave the filly a freshen up after that performance and, with the benefit of a 935m Cambridge trial on January 10, she resumed in top order at Te Rapa last Sunday.
Honey Rider was opposed by only four runners in the Rating 75 race over 1200m and, after trailing the leaders to the turn, she took control in the home straight and raced clear to win by 2-1/2 lengths.
Honey Rider is raced by Hawke's Bay friends Andrew Lockyer and Charlie Whyte, who bred the filly out of their Align mare Southern Heights.
She gave the pair their biggest moment in racing when successful in the Group 3 $70,000 Hawke's Bay Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings on September 17 and has a record of three wins and a second from only six starts.
Co-trainer Andrew Forsman was pleased with Honey Rider's performance last Sunday.
"It can be tricky in a small field but she got the right run and she hit the line well," he remarked.
"We don't have any real plans for her at present. She is a Group 3 winner already so we will just look for some more black-type options for her.
"We're still trying to figure out what the go is with her, whether we keep her fresh as a sprinter or whether we try to get her to go further."
Hastings trainer John Bary predicts The Cossack will develop into a top stayer with time and intends tackling classic races for 3-year-olds with him later in the season.
The Mastercraftsman gelding broke through for a maiden over 1600m at Woodville last Monday with a grinding performance, coming from several lengths off the leader at the top of the home straight to get up and score by three-quarters of a length.
Winning rider Robert Hannam said he definitely earned his riding fee as The Cossack felt flat and wasn't going anywhere with 600m to run but just outstayed his rivals in the home straight. He added that the horse had a big stride and wasn't suited by the rain affected track.
The Cossack was having his third start following a debut sixth over 1400m at Hastings in December and a fifth over 1400m at Tauherenikau on January 2.
Bary said he has always had a good opinion of the horse and, at one time, had him nominated for the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie ion March.
"I've pulled him out of the New Zealand Derby but I think a race like the Manawatu Classic will suit him," Bary said.
The Group 3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) will be run on April 1. Bary produced Survived to win the 2013 running of the race before campaigning him at the Queensland winter carnival, where he finished second in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2100m) and eighth in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m).
The Cossack is certainly bred to excel over longer distances as he is out of a Galileo mare. He was bred by Hawke's Bay's Ivan Grieve who races the horse in partnership with John Bary.
Class Hastings sprinter Adventador had his final race start when finishing 10th in last Saturday's Group 1 $250,000 Telegraph Sprint at Trentham.
The horse's trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and his Cambridge owner-breeder Tony Rider had decided before that race that it would be his swansong, win lose or draw.
Adventador was trying to record back-to-back wins in the 1200m feature after scoring in last year's event at odds of 80 to one. He had to work hard from a very wide draw last Saturday but momentarily gave his connections some hope when still disputing the pace at the top of the home straight and only weakened in the last 200m.
The big Fast 'N' Famous 8-year-old was plagued by leg and hoof problems throughout his career which restricted him to just 28 starts. He ended with a tally of seven wins, six seconds and two thirds and won more than $274,000 in stakemoney.
Sydney Cup plans
Promising stayer Pacorus, part-owned by Havelock North couple Dave and Jenny Morison, is being aimed at the A$1 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on April 8.
The Tavistock 5-year-old stamped himself as one of the country's leading middle distance talents last year when he won six races, including the Mitchelson and Egmont Cups.
"We're going to try and get him to the Sydney Cup," Cambridge trainer Chris Wood said.
"The form around him is pretty good and he'll probably have his first run back some time next month.
''Pacorus beat subsequent Counties and Waikato Cups placegetter Megablast when winning the Mitchelson Cup at Ellerslie while Perfect Start, who was in the money in the New Zealand and Wellington Cups, was third.
He then accounted for the New Zealand Cup winner Pump Up The Volume in the Egmont Cup at Hawera before Wood's hopes of heading to Riccarton with Pacorus were cut short by illness.
"He got a blood disorder and we thought we had him right, but we were fighting a losing battle and his last gallop wasn't his best so we gave him six weeks out," he said.
"He's come back really well and he's bulked up, I couldn't be happier with him."
Aussie campaign likely
A trip to Australia later this year is a possibility for the regally-bred filly Fashionably.
"It would be nice to think we could get some black print with her in the next year or so, the mare was a bit later maturing so she might yet be a Queensland filly," part-owner Garry Chittick, of Waikato Stud, said.
A daughter of Redoute's Choice and the Group 1-winning Savabeel mare Scarlett Lady, Fashionably opened her account for trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards with an impressive 1-1/2 length win at Te Rapa last Sunday.
"I think she'll start to put it together now, it's a pity it's taken so long because she's missed out on most of her 3-year-old career, but the owners are very patient people and there are some nice races coming up," Autridge said.