News In Brief
Kiwi jockey riding high
Success is breeding success for New Zealand jockey Michael Dee.
Group One spring victories aboard Foundry in The Metropolitan (2400m) and with Shillelagh in the Kennedy Mile (1600m) have boosted his profile and earned him the ride on Gingernuts in Saturday’s A$2 million Gr.1 Emirates Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
“It's been a good spring. Almost a breakthrough spring for me,” Dee said. “If I hadn't won those Group Ones I would have probably been no chance.
“Now that I have won two Group Ones it probably made it a bit easier to give me the ride.”
Dee started his career at Hastings with Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and later had spells with Kevin Myers and Gingernuts’ trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards before he finished his apprenticeship with Caulfield trainer Mick Price.
Time bringing out best in strapping 5YO
Trevor and Martin Cruz’s patience with Elusive Treasure is being rewarded.
The Cambridge-based brothers have produced the five-year-old to win his last two starts and the gelding will attempt to complete a hat-trick when he runs in Saturday’s Distinction Hamilton Hotel 1200m at Te Rapa.
“He’s needed time, as a yearling he was 16.1 hands – he’s massive and a lot of people were put off by his sheer size, but I liked him,” Trevor Cruz said.
“I think he’s quite exciting this guy and he’s versatile as far as tracks go.”
Game 3YO standing tall
Brave filly Satin Belt keeps earning gold stars from her co-breeder, part-owner and trainer Kevin Gray.
The daughter of Power has won twice from eight starts and she has yet to finish out of the money in eight appearances.
“She’s not very big but she’s like me, she’s got a big heart,” the Palmerston North horseman said. “We’re very proud of her.”
Satin Belt, who earned black type when third in last season’s Listed Castletown Stakes (1200m), posted her second career success at Otaki on Thursday when she beat the older horses in the New Zealand Bloodstock Pearl Series Race (1200m).
Questions go unanswered in Oaks
Luke Nolan was unable to pinpoint the reason for the failure of the New Zealand-bred Aloisia in the Gr.1 VRC Oaks (2500m).
He rode the daughter of Azamour, who started a short-priced favourite, into sixth place at Flemington on Thursday.
“We had a sound run in the race, travelled up well behind the winner then Blake Shinn (Luvaluva) rounded me before straightening and poured a bit more pressure on, but we still travelled well and just when I asked her she didn’t have her normal zip,” Nolan said.
“I don’t know if that’s because we were at the 2500 or things didn’t go her way. Probably hasn’t answered every question and we might have another go at the mile and a-half in the autumn.”
Hiyaam fared best of the New Zealand-breds with the High Chaparral filly finishing third behind Pinot.
Owners hoping for buyer interest
Crossedem’s debut victory might stir interest in the three-year-old.
“He’s a nice horse and on the market, but no-one wants him,” said trainer Stephen Marsh, who prepares the three-year-old for the Smithies family of Monovale Farm. “We might be able to move him on after this.”
Crossedem’s victory in the Avondale Maiden (1200m) came at the expense of his stablemate, Volpe Veloce’s brother Raposa Rapida.
“He was four and five wide, he just had no luck and he’s a winner waiting to happen,” Marsh said.
The stable also produced first-starter Seduttore to win the previous event, the AJC Members’ Maiden (1200m).
“He’s been very good at the trials and we expected him to get going a lot earlier, but he is a duffer on the wet tracks,” Marsh said. “We originally thought he could have been a Hawke’s Bay Guineas horse, but we couldn’t get him ready. We’ve been waiting for a good track.
“I’ve got a great team of owners. Chris Rutten gave me the horse and [Valachi Downs General Manager] Jonathan Scully syndicated him among his friends. I’m just rapt to get a quality colt like this and he’s going to go through the grades.”
Trainer celebrates first winner
Belle Volant delivered an extra special result for Debi Saxton at Avondale on Friday.
The Danroad mare won the opening event, the Friends of Football 2100m, to provide the Byerley Park horsewoman with her first training success.
Belle Volant was making just her second start for Saxton and the victory was a reward for the persistence of the owners as the seven-year-old had failed to trouble the judge in 23 previous appearances.