The new training partnership of Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal celebrated their first success when No Tip scored a strong win in the maiden hurdle at Trentham last Saturday.
Nelson has been one of Hawke's Bay's top trainers for many years, concentrating mainly on jumpers but also achieving great success with flat performers and has produced more than 200 winners since he started training in the mid 1970s.
McDougal has worked, off and on, for Nelson for the past 20 years and has been a regular employee at his Air Hill Station property for the past four. She has also been a licensed trainer herself for 15 years and has produced 17 winners in her own right.
The two joined forces at the beginning of last month and had picked up a few minor placings together before No Tip's decisive victory in the 2500m event.
No Tip was coming off a last start second over 2600m on the flat at Woodville on May 8 and had one hurdle start last year for a fourth over 3100m at Te Aroha.
Jockey Aaron Kuru, who has built up an outstanding record on Nelson-trained horses, was also part of the celebrations as he got No Tip home for a three-quarter length win over Zartan after the two horses had fought out the finish.
Kuru was not very complimentary about his ride but was happy to get the job done. He settled the 7-year-old midfield and three-wide in the early stages before improving quickly to set out after the front runner Zartan at the top of the home straight.
The two jumped the second to last practically on terms but No Tip had gained a slight advantage jumping the last and proved too tough in the run to the line.
"His toughness was the key," Kuru said.
"I didn't want the jumpers in front coming back on me so I planted him three-wide but he was still too good."
No Tip was recording his second win from only seven starts and Nelson agreed that the horse is very tough.
"He's a nice little horse and has learned to try very hard," Nelson said.
He could possibly return to Trentham next month to contest the Wellington Hurdle (3400m).
"He's a 7-year-old and he's been in work since he was a 3-year-old, so he's mature enough now to do something," Nelson said.
"The fact that he does handle Trentham, it does make you think about it."
No Tip is owned by Nelson and his wife Carol and they bred the Mettre En Jeu gelding out of the Grosvenor mare Grosveness.
Grosveness has now ceased breeding but has been a prolific producer of winners for the Nelsons over many years.
Others out of the mare include No Change (10 wins), Ho Down (eight wins), No Cash (seven wins), No Governance (three wins) and No Credit (two wins).
Napoleon unbeaten over steeples
Napoleon looks ready to contest some of the major steeplechase races this winter after his dominant victory in the $20,000 Super Star Zed Em 'Chase' over 4000m at Trentham last Saturday.
The 6-year-old Shinko King gelding, part-owned by Otane-based Don Poulgrain, was recording back-to-back steeplechase victories after winning over 3900m at Te Rapa last month and is now unbeaten in three starts over the big fences.
Napoleon is in the Wanganui stable of astute jumps trainer Kevin Myers and also includes a hurdle success among his five career wins.
He scored by 2-1/4 lengths last Saturday after he and Hastings-trained Zardetto were involved in a two-horse war in the home straight. They jumped the last fence in unison but Napoleon had a bit too much in reserve and surged ahead in the run to the line.
Paul Nelson, who co-trains Zardetto with Corrina McDougal, was pleased with his charge's performance and will also aim him at bigger targets this winter.
"I never like running second that much, but second is better than third and Napoleon looked like he was going to be a good horse, especially a couple of years ago when he first came out," he said.
"Zardetto has raced very well so far this winter, but he is very prone to accidents and you never know whether you have got him or not.
"When you have got him, and the ground is reasonable, he's more than useful.
"We will hopefully run him in the Hawke's Bay Chase (4800m) and then we might come back with him for the Wellington Steeplechase."
Nelson said his winter team was smaller than usual, but he was looking forward to lining up a few of his stable stars in the coming months.
"We are a bit quieter than we have been in the last couple of years," he said.
"Ooee will probably run in the Hawke's Bay Hurdle and Perry Mason will probably follow some of the better steeplechases around."
Promising HB-bred stayer in Aussie
Chouxting The Mob, bred and part-owned by Hawke's Bay couple Richard and Liz Wood, looked a top stayer in the making when completing a hat-trick of wins with a powerful performance over 2500m race at Flemington, in Melbourne, last Saturday.
The 5-year-old son of Jimmy Choux came from second last on the home turn in the A$140,000 event.
Once jockey Beau Mertens angled him away from the inside fence and got him into the clear he swept past the opposition in the last 200 metres to score by 2-1/2 lengths.
It was a similar performance to when he won over 2400m at Sandown on May 8 and he followed that up with another dour effort to win over 2540m at Cranbourne on May 24.
Chouxting The Mob, who is trained at Ballarat by Simon Morrish, has now recorded six wins from only 17 starts.
The Woods bred the gelding out of the Reset mare Bidthemobgooday, who they bought from Australia when in-foal to Duporth.
They sold the resultant foal that is now called Duplicity and has won five races and finished second in last year's New Zealand Cup (3200m).
They also sold Chouxting The Mob for $60,000 as a weanling at the 2014 Karaka mixed bloodstock sale but retained a 10 per cent share in the horse.
The Woods are best known as the breeders and owners of Chouxting The Mob's sire, the former champion galloper Jimmy Choux. He was a five time Group 1 winner and finished second in the 2011 Cox Plate.
Jimmy Choux commenced stud duties in 2012 at Rich Hill Stud, in the Waikato, with the Woods retaining a 35 per cent ownership in the horse. However he was recently sold outright to prominent West Australian owner-breeder Alan MacAlister and will stand next season at Wayne and Tracy Rodwell's Rosalee Park Stud in Serpentine, WA.
HB Foal walk on June 30
The Hawke's Bay/Poverty Bay Thoroughbred Breeders annual foal walk around several properties in Hawke's Bay will be held on Sunday, June 30.
The walk will start at Guy and Brigid Lowry's property at 305 Kawera Rd, Okawa, at 10am sharp.
At the completion the foal walk a luncheon has been arranged at Off The Track Restaurant in Havelock Rd.
For luncheon bookings RSVP Sharyn Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org
Topliners to miss Hastings carnival
Top gallopers Supera and Princess Kereru are due back in work next month, but already a decision has been made to bypass the first major events for the new season with the pair.
While most open-class performers will be aimed at legs of the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown, beginning with the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings on August 31, both Supera and Princess Kereru will be absent.
"They're not going to Hastings," co-trainer Ken Kelso said.
"They're better having a bit more time and getting ready for the summer.
"Princess Kereru is really a 1200m horse and she could kick off in the Group 3 Sweynesse Stakes (1215m) at Rotorua in October, while a race like the Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham could be a better first big target for Supera, though nothing will be confirmed until we see how they do when they come back into work."
Both Group 1 place getters went to the spelling paddocks on winning notes, Supera taking the Group 2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa and Princess Kereru prevailing in the Listed NZB Finance Sprint (1200m) at Hastings in April.
Also currently out spelling is stablemate Shoshone, who became the first winner for Waikato Stud sire Sacred Falls when winning at Ellerslie on June 2.
"She'll be back on July 1 and will kick off at the Taupo meeting on August 21 then go for the Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings," Kelso said.
Melbourne Cup stake now A$8m
The Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) has received a funding injection and will be run for a record A$8million on November 5 this year.
The total prize money, including trophies, for the Lexus Melbourne Cup will increase to A$8 million, up from A$7.3 million last year.
The winner of 'the race that stops a nation' will receive A$4.4 million plus A$250,000 in trophies, second place A$1.1 million and third place A$550,000.
Prizemoney will continue to be paid from first down to twelfth. From sixth to twelfth place, each will now receive A$160,000, up from A$150,000.
"At A$8 million, the Lexus Melbourne Cup is the world's richest handicap and the world's richest staying race," Victoria Racing Club Chairman Amanda Elliott said.
"It is the race every Australian owner, trainer and jockey wants to win, and internationally, has become one of the most sought after prizes in world racing.
"Connections cannot buy a place in the Lexus Melbourne Cup, it has to be earned. The results of the recently revamped Andrew Ramsden at Flemington highlights the sheer joy that comes with knowing your horse has secured a place in the Cup."
The 2019 Melbourne Cup will be run at 5pm on Tuesday, November 5.