News In Brief
Harris pays tribute
It was a special moment for Troy Harris when he won the Make A Wish NZ 2200 on Where Are You at Te Aroha on Sunday.
Sporting a black armband, Harris sent a kiss skywards going past the winning post in a tribute to Fiona McNab, who lost her battle with cancer early Sunday morning. McNab is the mother of successful jockey Michael and former wife of Cambridge trainer Chris McNab.
“She was a big part of my life,” Harris said. “She was like a second mother to me when I was young.”
Though concentrating on rejuvenating his flat riding career, Harris did use the Te Aroha meeting, National Jumps Day, to keep his eye in over fences. He finished third on Cruiseo in the maiden hurdles.
Harris is now looking forward to a further Group One opportunity on Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) winner Sofia Rosa in Saturday’s Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m).
“She needs to improve a bit on her last run, but she’s been covered (by Savabeel) so that may help,” he said.
Change of plans for Floozie
Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh has decided to switch missions with Group One winner Thee Auld Floozie.
The Thorndon Mile winner holds a nomination for Saturday’s Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m), but she won’t take her place in the Hastings feature.
“I’ll be pulling her out of the Livamol and running her the following Saturday in the fillies and mares race at Taranaki,” Marsh said. “It’s been a hard spring and she’s doesn’t need to run 2000 now. She’s been freshened up and she’ll be better suited over 1400.”
The Taranaki feature at Hawera is the Gr.3 Rich Hill Stud Taranaki Breeders Stakes.
Thee Auld Floozie has had two starts at Hastings this campaign. She finished eighth fresh-up in the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) then ninth in the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m).
Perfect result for sponsor
Well-known Waikato owner-breeder Pam Brindley couldn’t have wished for a better result to the race she sponsored at Te Aroha on Sunday in memory of her late husband, Geoff.
The Geoff Brindley Memorial 1600, an amateur riders’ event, was won by the Tarissa Mitchell-trained Wagner, who was given a gun ride by top amateur rider and successful Te Aroha trainer, Scott Wenn.
Wenn has trained many horses over the years for the Brindleys and has become a family friend. Making the moment even more special for Pam was the fact their son, Michael, was over from Tasmania for the occasion.
Wagner has now won twice at Te Aroha for Mitchell, who is establishing a good record with her small team.
Magorrian in form
Former New Zealand apprentice Lee Magorrian made his mark at last Saturday’s Randwick meeting with last-race success.
The 23-year-old continued his good strike rate on Isorich for Wyong trainer Wayne Seelin when getting the Choisir seven-year-old home at 20/1 in a close finish to the Snitzel Sprint.
It was Magorrian’s third ride on Isorich with his record being two wins and a third. He also won on him the previous start in another $A100,000 1200-metre event at Randwick.
Magorrian had 96 wins in New Zealand, including one black-type event, before heading to Sydney to link up with Chris Waller’s stable and he has ridden five winners this season.
Spieth set for Gilgai
Thorn Park entire Spieth (NZ) will line-up in the Gr.2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday in preparation for a shot at redemption in the Gr.1 Darley Classic on Emirates Stakes day.
The Bryce Heys-trained runner was runner-up to Malaguerra in the Group One last year and the race has once again been set as his major target for the spring.
Initially in contention to run in the A$10million The Everest (1200m), Heys opted out of the race early in favour of taking a more traditional path to the Darley Classic.
"The option of The Everest had to be kept open for obvious reasons,” he said. “But pretty much when a deal wasn't done the week before he ran first-up or the week after, we're not changing a horse's preparation around.
"It's been geared around running well in the Gilgai, which will pave the way to run well again in the Darley - that's been the objective for him."