News In Brief
Gradual improvement by Jacksstar
It is proving a long, steady road to recovery for smart stayer Jacksstar.
The Gr.3 Manawatu Cup (2300m) winner has been off the scene since he pulled up with a serious tendon injury after finishing third behind Chenille in last March’s Gr.1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie.
“He tore the ligaments in his near foreleg and the tendon was hanging on by a few strands,” trainer Gary Vile said.
“To run third in the Auckland Cup after doing that at the 200 metres shows how tough he is.
“He has had two stem cell treatments and the last scan showed there is still a hole but a lot has been repaired.
“It’s been a long, slow process, but we’re not in a hurry with him. I just want to get him back and racing whenever that is.”
Jacksstar has spent most of his recovery time in a box, but is now in a paddock and is showing some improvement.
Another Haunui Farm toast
The Haunui Farm clan had good reason to be toasting its broodmare Valpolicella after last Saturday’s Ascot meeting in Perth.
Successful on the day was Celebrity Dream, a daughter of Thorn Park and Valpolicella, who took her record to six wins and four placings from 13 starts. She was ridden by William Pike for local trainer Adam Durrant and high profile owner Bob Peters
Co-bred by Haunui Farm, Celebrity Dream was sold through its 2014 National Yearling Sale draft at Karaka for $260,000 and she has continued the black-type streak for her dam.
Valpolicella’s first three foals have now all been stakeswinners with Celebrity Dream following on from Catalonia (Vilanova in Australia), winner of the Gr.2 MRC Autumn Classic (1800m) and Gr.3 BBR Grand Prix Stakes (2200m), and Vavasour (by Redoute’s Choice), whose wins included the Gr.2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic (2000m) and a couple of Group Threes – the 2015 Gr.3 Counties Cup (2100m) and Gr.3 Waikato Cup (2400m).
Marsh in no rush with Akoya
Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh isn’t in a hurry with Akoya despite a trials win at Matamata on Tuesday.
Akoya has recorded two wins and two placings from six starts for Marsh, but hasn’t raced since finishing unplaced in the Gr.3 Inglis Sales Cambridge Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa last April.
She reappeared at the Cambridge trials late last month and had another trials outing on the same track 16 days later and both those outings sharpened her up for Tuesday’s trial.
Ridden by Danielle Johnson, Akoya settled behind the leaders and rounded off her effort solidly to beat the joint pacemakers Gift Of Power and Break My Stride in an open 1000-metre heat.
“She’s taken the three trials to get her fitter,” Marsh said. “I’ll look at a 1200-metre race somewhere for her, but she won’t do much racing over the summer.
“She really needs the sting out of the ground and is better in the autumn. We’ll just keep her ticking over and aim for then.”