News In Brief
Grand National hopes alive for Farr
Emily Farr hasn’t given up hope of landing a Grand National win this year.
The Cambridge jockey was favoured to win the Grand National Hurdles (4200m) on Wednesday aboard Waikato visitor Laekeeper after the pair combined to win the Sydenham Hurdles (3100m) on the first day, but had to settle for second behind Jackfrost.
Now Farr is focussing on going one better in Saturday’s Racecourse Hotel & Motor Lodge Grand National Steeplechase (5600m) on Kings Deep for Hastings trainer Paul Nelson.
“He went a good race in the Koral last Saturday for fourth,” she said. “The ground was a bit firm and, being a bit shorter in distance (4250m), I had to keep the pressure on.
“It’s going to be different in the Grand National. It’s going to suit him a lot better.”
Farr has ridden Kings Deep three times, including a win at Te Aroha and a fourth in the Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase (4800m).
Kings Deep has performed well at past Grand National meetings. The son of Viking Ruler won hurdle races on two days of the 2013 Grand National meeting and was second in the 2015 Grand National Hurdles.
Minor operation for Pearl
In-form Cambridge four-year-old Te Toro Pearl has undergone a minor operation.
“She has had a little chip on her fetlock and has had it removed,” trainer Jon Miller said.
“She was going out for a spell when I noticed it so had it taken out. It wasn’t annoying her at all.
“She’ll be boxed until the 20th (August) then have a wee break and I’ll bring her back in and get her ready for next autumn.”
Te Toro Pearl, a daughter of Bullbars, has continued to impress with her progress through the grades, being unbeaten in her last four starts with the latest win over 1400m at New Plymouth last month.
Apprentices score maiden victories
Young Levin apprentice Sam O’Malley will never forget High Quality.
It was aboard the six-year-old gelding for his employer, Geoff Haigh, on whom O’Malley broke his drought and finally landed his first winning ride at Woodville on Thursday.
The win came in his 64th ride and capped off five minor placings, four of them on High Quality, a son of Handsome Ransom.
“It’s great for young Samuel,” Haigh said. “He’s a good kid and he’s ridden some really nice races. He’s just needed that bit of luck and a bit more confidence. He’s starting to pick it up now and is going great guns.”
Meanwhile, later on the card Foxton apprentice jockey Temyia Taiaroa picked up her first win aboard the Kevin Myers-trained Duffers Creek in the Dannevirke Dairy Supplies 1400.
Tavistock filly impresses in Perth
Perth trainer Alan Mathews unveiled a classic filly of the future when Vintage Stock bolted in on debut on Wednesday at Belmont. The Tavistock three-year-old, starting at $10 and ridden by Patrick Carbery, led most of the way in the Western Racepix Maiden (1200m) to score by four and a quarter lengths.
Mathews said he joked with Vintage Stock’s owners about her joining stable star Pounamu on a flight to Melbourne for the spring carnival.
“I thought she could go nice but didn’t expect that much of her,” Mathews said. We had the advantage of having a little gallop on the grass on Saturday morning with Pounamu. She’s a Kiwi filly with a fair bit of upside.
“We paid $20,000 for her in New Zealand and we’ve liked her from day one.”
Bought by bloodstock agent John Chalmers at the 2017 Karaka Yearling Sales from the draft of Rich Hill Stud, Vintage Stock is a half-sister to talented jumper I'll'ava'alf, who was a winner at Warrnambool on Thursday.