News In Brief
Winter Cup aim for She's Poppy
Next season's Gr.3 eStar Winter Cup (1600m) is the mid-term target for She's Poppy, a gallant last-start runner-up in the Listed Ag Challenge Stakes (1590m) at Wanganui.
Trainer and part-owner Raymond Connors was rapt with She's Poppy's effort to run Tomelilla to a nose in the weight-for-age feature, though admitted disappointment that the Alamosa six-year-old missed getting the judge's decision.
“She went a really good race. It was a pity because that finish could have gone either way, but we're happy she's run so well at weight-for-age,” he said.
“She's having an easy week, but we'll probably nominate her for the Winter Cup.”
Keen interest in Tavistock 2YO
The New Zealand career of the promising two-year-old Chasing Returns might be a short one.
“There’s a fair bit of interest in him, there’s a strong chance he’ll be sold,” co-trainer Johno Benner said.
The son of Tavistock gave a good account of himself on debut at Trentham on Saturday when runner-up to the smart filly Tutta La Classe, who has been set for the Listed Courtesy Ford Ryder Stakes (1200m) in late July.
Kiwi-bred still undefeated
Heartlight has retained his unbeaten record following a successful debut at Kranji.
The Any Suggestion three-year-old made an instant impact from Mark Walker’s Singapore stable with victory on Sunday over 1200m in the hands of Vlad Duric.
“He did everything right and he got a gun ride from Vlad,” Walker said.
“I think he was in a weaker Class 4 race, but still, it is always hard to win first-up. He’s got a nice future here.”
Racing as Crossedem, Heartlight was a first-up winner for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh at Avondale in the spring before his sale.
Pikachu surpasses HK$9million
Kiwi-bred Pikachu has taken his earnings past the HK$9 million mark after victory in the Class 2 Happy Valley Clubhouse Handicap (1800m) on Sunday.
“The light weight made all the difference in this race,” trainer David Ferraris said.
“The field was not too strong and he only had 109lb, and he’s a fairly easy horse to ride so he’s a good match for an apprentice.
“Pikachu has been a great horse to us, he’s a stable favourite and he’s earned over $9 million, that’s incredible. Touch wood, he’s never had any leg problems and he’s a lovely horse to train. What more can you ask for?”
The seven-year-old Keeper gelding won both of his starts in New Zealand for trainer Jim Collett before his sale to Hong Kong interests.
Pikachu was purchased out of Shelby Park’s 2012 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale draft by bloodstock consultant Paul Beamish for $48,000.
Another Group One for Mastercraftsman
Former Windsor Park Stud stallion Mastercraftsman secured his ninth individual Group One winner as a sire on Saturday when A Raving Beauty won the Gr.1 Just a Game Stakes (1600m) at Belmont.
It was the first victory at elite level for last year’s Champion Older Female in Germany, who has gone two from two in her North American career after winning at her last-start in the Gr.3 Beaugay Stakes (1700m) at Belmont.
"We took our time with her since she's come into the programme, and she's really taken to it well," trainer Chad Brown said.
"I've been impressed with her development, and each of her works has gotten better. We showed a lot of confidence with her first time in this country, putting her in a graded stakes last time, and she delivered and ran really well.”
Jumper bounces back
St Ransom turned his form around at Trentham to open his hurdling account.
The gelding had been pulled up in his previous start over fences, but bounced back on Saturday to defeat the Kevin Myers-prepared stablemates Kiddo and Blazing Opal.
“He’s taken a while to learn and now he’s got the tracks to suit we’ll press on,” St Ransom’s part-owner and trainer Gary Vile said.
St Ransom won five times on the flat before switching to his new role.
“We got in the trail and he jumped well,” rider Gary Walsh said. “Coming into the straight we got the split and he did enough.”