News In Brief
Hastings carnival goals for Magnum
Autumn stakes winner Magnum is being put through his early paces following a let-up.
The New Zealand-bred son of Per Incanto returned to his homeland after four wins in Singapore and didn’t take long to make an impact, winning the Listed Flying Handicap (1400m) at Awapuni in March.
“He’s back in work and building up slowly,” trainer Lauren Brennan said. “We’d like to get him to Hawke’s Bay for the first couple of races in the spring series.”
She was referring to the Gr.1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) and the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m).
Black type hopes for Yearn
Expectations are high for the spring campaign of the multiple winner Yearn.
“I’ve always thought next season would be her best,” part-owner Mark Lupton said.
Trained by Karen Fursdon, Yearn has won five of her 18 starts and was spelled following her effort for sixth at Awapuni in the Listed Flying Handicap (1400m) at the end of March.
“Things didn’t go right for her there so we turned her out,” Lupton said. “She looks terrific and there are plenty of options in the spring to try and get that elusive black type with her.”
Awapuni to suit chaser better
A change of venue on Saturday will be far more to the liking of the well-performed jumper Wise Men Say.
He was never a factor in last weekend’s McGregor Grant Steeplechase (4000m) around the figure-eight circuit at Trentham and will back up in the LJ Hooker Manawatu Steeplechase (4200m).
“He’s come through it well, he just couldn’t keep up at Wellington,” part-owner and trainer Raymond Connors said. “It will be a different ball game at Awapuni.”
Wise Men Say has won five times over the big fences and is the current Great Northern Steeplechase (6400m) title-holder.
Endowment Singapore bound
Donna Logan will add more fire power to her Singapore stable with the addition of stakes placed three-year-old Endowment.
The Savabeel gelding raced six times in New Zealand this season with the highlight being a runner-up performance to Demonetization in the Gr.2 Auckland Guineas (1600m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.
That effort was followed by a fifth placing to Vin De Dance in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) before a disappointing Australian campaign where he finished unplaced in both the Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m).
Conghua Training Centre goes live
After a series of cross-boundary horse movement trial runs over a two-year period, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Conghua Training Centre (CTC) became operational on Tuesday when the first horses to be stabled at CTC arrived to mark the beginning of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s dual-site operations in Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland.
“This is an historic moment for the Hong Kong Jockey Club,” said Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s chief executive officer.
“The commencement of the dual-site operations represents a significant achievement made possible by the establishment of the Equine Disease Free Zone.
“The CTC is a world-class facility that will allow for the continued growth of Hong Kong racing. The centre will offer new options to our owners and trainers and will enable us to expand Hong Kong’s horse population as we look to future development.
“The opening of the Conghua Training Centre will also make it possible for us to commence the important work of further refurbishment of the Sha Tin stabling.”
New Zealand bred gallopers have made up 339 of the 1298 runners in Hong Kong this season (26.1 per cent) and have won 215 of the 724 races (29.7 per cent).