Hastings will have another thoroughbred trainer joining the ranks from the beginning of next month.
Successful Cambridge trainer Lee Somervell will be re-locating to Hastings from October 1, bringing with him a team of 12 horses.
Somervell will be leasing the stables, yards and paddocks at Carlton Lodge, a property that Dianne Sergeant prepared many successful horses from over a number of years. She has since given up training.
Somervell has been training out of the Cambridge Lodge complex since 2006, starting out as private trainer for the late Ada Parnwell before taking out a public trainer's licence.
He has prepared 130 winners, nine in group or listed races, and has two Group 1 victories to his credit with Fleur de Lune taking out the 2013 Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie and Addictive Habit winning the 2015 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings in 2015.
Addictive Habit also recorded consecutive wins in the Group 2 Couplands Mile (1600m) at Riccarton in 2014 and 2015 and both he and Fleur de Lune have won the Group 2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa.
Somervell said this week he has enjoyed training horses on the Cambridge track and the camaraderie that goes with being based there but feels it is now time to move on.
"Due to a change of circumstances at Cambridge Lodge I am re-locating my team to Hawke's Bay and I am really looking forward to it," he said.
"The co-operation and support I have received from the people involved in the Hawke's Bay racing scene has been quite overwhelming. The set up at Carlton Lodge looks ideal and Dianne Sergeant has been a big help."
He will be operating under the banner of Somervell Racing and among the 12 horses he will be bringing are four that raced at Hastings last Saturday, One Prize One Goal, Impulsive Habit, Stradivarius and Soroc.
"I've also got some nice young horses including a 3-year-old half-brother to Fleur de Lune called Yossarian and a Darci Brahma-Fleur de Lune 3-year-old filly," Somervell added.
"Every one of my outside owners has agreed to stay with me and it is not as if I'll be starting with a whole lot of new horses."
Somervell said Stradivarius, who finished third in a Rating 82 race over 1200m last Saturday, is expected to start on the second day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke's Bay spring carnival, on September 22, while One Prize One Goal and Soroc are likely to line up on the third day, on October 6.
Wait A Sec HB/PB horse of the year
Wait A Sec was crowned the Hawke's Bay/Poverty Bay trained horse of the year for the 2017-18 racing season at last Friday's annual racing and breeding awards function at the Hastings racecourse.
The Postponed gelding, prepared by the partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen, won five of his nine starts last season, including the Group 1 Livamol Classic at Hastings and amassed stake earnings of $274,325.
Wait A Sec is owned by his Hastings breeder Iain Henderson and his Perth-based son Paul. The horse's dam, Security, was also crowned Hawke's Bay/Poverty broodmare of the year.
Wait A Sec was also one of four finalists for Hawke's Bay/Poverty Bay owned horse of the year. This category was decided on performances in black type races during the season with the other finalists being Jon Snow, Authentic Paddy and Miss Wilson.
The winner, in a close contest, was Authentic Paddy who not only won the Group 1 Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie but was also third in the Group 1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes and was placed four times at either Group 2 or Group 3 level.
He is owned by Hastings sisters Marilyn Te Paa and Christine Gray and their Havelock North brother Tony Gray, in partnership with their Paraparaumu-based brother Phillip and another sister Janice Berry, who lives in Lower Hutt.
John Bary was the leading trainer on number of wins (17) while Patrick Campbell took out the strike-rate award with his 10 wins from only 42 starters giving him a strike-rate of 4.2.
Chouxmaani Investments, operated by Richard and Liz Wood, took out the awards for both owner of the year and breeder of the year. These two categories were determined on a points basis with emphasis on Group race wins.
The Woods are the breeders and owners of Miss Wilson, which won the Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha in April and the Group 3 Red Bad Sprint at Hastings last October. She was also runner-up in the Group 2 Tauranga Classic.
Pat Lowry took out the title of Hawke's Bay/Poverty Bay breeder of the year on wins with horses he bred winning five races during the season while Tom Lowry was presented with the Horlicks Salver for his outstanding contribution to Hawke's Bay racing and breeding spanning many years.
Waipukurau's Mick Ormond was presented with the Jimmy Choux Trophy for the highest earning three-year-old bred by a Hawke's Bay breeder.
He bred Augustus, who was the winner of two races from the Sydney stable of Chris Waller earlier this year and also finished fourth in the Group 1 QTC Derby.
Magnum outguns Ruakaka rivals
Magnum, part-owned by Havelock North's Jason Fleming, indicated he is in for a prosperous spring and summer campaign when scoring a game fresh up win in a $35,000 race at Ruakaka last Saturday.
The Per Incanto 6-year-old was having his first race since April when he lined up in the 1200m open sprint and picked up his second New Zealand success since returning from Singapore at the end of last year.
Apprentice jockey Ryan Elliot bounced Magnum away smartly from the barrier and soon had him sitting up outside the leader Ugo Foscolo.
He quickly mastered that horse at the top of the home straight but was then momentarily headed by Rikki Tikki Tavi and looked likely to have to settle for the runner up position.
But, under a strong ride from Elliot, Magnum managed to produce an extra effort in the final stages to wrest back the lead for a head victory.
It was Magnum's sixth win from 20 starts, with four of those victories being in Singapore.
He spent his early education in the care of Cambridge trainer Lauren Brennan before heading overseas and she has again been entrusted to train the horse.
Fleming is one of eight shareholders in the horse, with Little Avondale studmaster Sam Williams and prominent bloodstock agent Michael Wallace among the others.
Magnum was foaled at Masterton's Little Avondale Stud and his dam Sound Lover was the winner of five races including a Group 3 event at Ellerslie.
Sound Lover is a full-sister to Candide, who won both the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) during the 1987-88 racing season.
Hartley headed for bigger things
Hawke's Bay-bred Hartley stamped himself as a horse headed for open class with another dominant winning performance at last Saturday's Hawke's Bay meeting.
The Azamour 4-year-old was coming off a fresh up win over 1200m at Waverley on August 18, where he raced away for a 1-1/4 length victory.
His winning margin wasn't so emphatic in a $25,000 Rating 72 race over 1300m at Hastings last Saturday but he wasn't fully extended by jockey Rosie Myers and crossed the line with his ears pricked, half a length in front of second placed Beauden.
Hartley now has a record of three wins, a second and a third from only eight starts and winning jockey Rosie Myers predicted a big future for the gelding.
"He's an exciting horse and seems to be getting better and better all the time," she said.
Hartley is trained at Woodville by Neil Connors, who races the horse in partnership with his wife.
They bought him for $23,000 as a weanling at the 2015 Karaka mixed bloodstock sale after he was offered on behalf of his Pourerere breeder Sue Harty.
Hartley is out of the Towkay mare Madam Butterfly, who won five races for Harty but unfortunately died earlier this year after producing a foal by Sweynesse.
Extra Waipukurau race day
Hawke's Bay racegoers will be treated to an extra race day in the district this month.
With the Otaki racetrack still out of commission, the September 27 meeting scheduled for that course has now been transferred to Waipukurau.
It will be an industry day with a seven race programme planned at this stage.
The 2-year-old race over 800m at this meeting has been removed and an additional $15,000 2-year-old race will be added to the second day of the Bostock New Zealand Hawke's Bay spring carnival on September 22.
Promising Mihaul put down
Talented galloper Mihaul was euthanised on Monday after suffering multiple knee fractures at last Saturday's Hawke's Bay race meeting.
The Moira and Kieran Murdoch-trained 5-year-old went amiss over the closing stages of a Rating 82 race over 1200m and, despite efforts to repair the fractures in his left foreleg; the gelding could not be saved.
The hitherto unbeaten galloper won his first five starts, the first two for New Plymouth trainer Allan Sharrock.
The Kathy Stanley-owned gelding later joined the Murdoch stable after more than 18 months on the sidelines and looked to be fulfilling his potential with three comfortable victories earlier this year.
"His knee fracture was extensive and would have been very difficult to repair enough for him to have a good quality life," Moira Murdoch said.