News In Brief

Racing Desk
24 November 2017

Savvy Dreams shaping up well

Smart young stayer Savvy Dreams put smiles on the faces of trainers Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen when she trialled at Foxton on Tuesday.

Making her first appearance since campaigning in Adelaide, Savvy Dreams finished on well for a handy third over 1000 metres.

She trialled very nicely,” Cullen said. “She got to the line really well and has come through it well.

She’ll kick off in a Rating 75 1200 metres at Hastings in early December and we’ll aim to get her to the Wellington Cup carnival.

It’s always interesting to see how three-year-olds come up the next season. She’s strengthened a lot and looks good.”

Savvy Dreams won her debut at Hastings on New Year’s Day and went a long way on her first preparation, right through to competing at top level in Adelaide.

She finished second to Bonneval in the Gr.3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) and third to the same champion filly in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) before her South Australian campaign which brought mixed results.

She was late scratched from the Gr.1 South Australian Oaks (2500m) after rearing in the barrier then had to pass a stewards’ inspection before starting in the Gr.1 South Australian Derby (2500m), in which she finished a highly creditable fourth.

We backed her up a week later (in the South Australian Classic) but she jarred up badly so we brought her home and gave her a good spell,” Cullen said. ”Hopefully that trip to Aussie has made her.”


Ferrando due change of luck

Ferrando’s connections are hoping their speedy galloper will get a clean break early in the Listed Haunui Farm Counties Bowl (1100m) at Pukekohe on Saturday.

Ferrando was impressive when winning at Trentham last month, but had to settle for a close third behind Untamed Diamond and Speech Craft in the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint (1200m) at Te Rapa recently.

He was a bit unlucky. He slipped as the gates opened and that cost him jumping clear,” co-trainer Debbie Rogerson said. “It meant he had to be used a bit more to get to the front.”

A winner of five of his 12 starts, Ferrando will be ridden in the Bowl by Chris Johnson, who will also be aboard stablemate Francis Drake in the Gr.3 Ssangyong Counties Cup.

Francis Drake has won seven races and Johnson has been in the saddle in his two most recent wins, a double at Ruakaka and Te Rapa during the winter.

Freshened after finishing fifth in the Listed Taumarunui Gold Cup (2200m), Francis Drake has had three starts this campaign and will be stepping up to a more suitable 2100-metre distance on Saturday.

He should run a good race,” Rogerson said. “He went a nice race last time (for seventh over 1600m).”


Boosted by trials outcome

A bold debut by Simogramor helped persuade trainers Moira and Kieran Murdoch make a late decision to start their filly Flying in Saturday’s Listed Ashford Lodge 2YO Stakes (1100m).

Flying, a daughter of first-season sire The Factor, chased Simogramor home when second at the Te Aroha trials last month and the winner has since gone on to be runner-up to the smart Espumoso on debut at Te Rapa and is highly fancied to break maiden ranks at Sunday’s Te Rapa meeting.

She ran on well in that trial and she might get 1100 at this stage,” Moira Murdoch said. “She’s shown a bit or promise. Besides there is only one winner (Pinot Grey) in the race so the rest of us are all in the same boat.”

Flying is eligible for the Karaka Million, having been bought by Murdoch for $10,000 from this year’s NZB Select Yearling Sale.

She is from the unraced Show A Heart mare Lotus Blossom and has stakes-winning juvenile form on her side as her third dam is Fleur De Chine, one of the top juvenile fillies of the 1995-96 season.


Fix keenly sought in Ireland

Fix, the 2012/13 New Zealand Filly of the Year, caught the eye of several international buyers when sold overnight at the Goffs broodmare sale in Ireland.

Trained by Ken and Bev Kelso, Fix won the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m), Gr.2 Royal Stakes (2000m) and Gr.2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic (2000m) for owner Gary Harding before being sold as a broodmare.

She was sold again last night in foal to Galileo through the Coolmore/China Horse Club draft, with Tom Goff of Blandford Bloodstock securing the daughter of Iffraaj for €750,000.

She’s a lovely roomy mare who, to my eye, looks like she’s carrying a good sized foal,” said Goff. “Obviously she was a good racemare and goes back to the Juddmonte family of Showcasing and Prophecy.

NZB Yearling Sale catalogue online

The catalogues for New Zealand Bloodstock’s 92nd National Yearling Sales Series are available online now at

The week-long showcase, which commences on Sunday January 28, is set to present 1,247 of the best thoroughbreds from around the country at New Zealand Bloodstock’s iconic Karaka Sales Centre.

2018 will see a brand new sales format with the Karaka Million Twilight Meeting, New Zealand’s richest race meeting on the calendar, now on Saturday January 27 leading into the Sales Series which will commence on Sunday and run through until the following Sunday.

The first session of the 2018 National Yearling Sales Series will now take place on the evening of Sunday 28 January, commencing at 5pm. With 100 yearlings to be offered, this night session will kick off the new-look catalogue structure, being the first of 700 horses catalogued together in the new Karaka Book 1.


Du Plessis an All Star

Zimbabwean-born New Zealand-based jockey Mark Du Plessis will compete in his first State of Origin Jockey series next month after accepting an invitation to compete for the new All Stars team.

To be held in Queensland, the series includes two days of competition at Doomben racecourse on December 8 and 9, before heading to Caloundra on December 10 to decide the series.

Du Plessis will be joined in the All Stars team by Robbie Fradd and will compete against six other teams representing Australian States and New Zealand.

Tasmania will compete for the first time in the series and will be represented by Craig Newitt and Brendon McCoull.

Michael Rodd and Tye Angland will represent New South Wales, Luke Nolen and Claire Lindop will fly the flag for Victoria, while Dwayne Dunn and Jamie Kah will ride for South Australia, and New Zealand will be represented by Damian Browne and Larry Cassidy.


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