Town Cryer (inside) could be in for a lucrative spring campaign.  Photo: Race Images Palmerston North

Town Cryer set to be in full voice in spring

Joshua Smith, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk
2 April 2024

Town Cryer has enjoyed a standout season for trainer Roydon Bergeron and is now enjoying some well-deserved time in the paddock ahead of what could be a lucrative spring campaign.

The six-year-old daughter kicked off the season in emphatic style when downing Group One winner Prowess to win the Gr.3 Taranaki Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) and in February added the Listed Wairarapa Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) to her stakes haul.

She followed that victory up with two runner-up results at Ellerslie, including last month’s inaugural $350,000 Rangitoto Classic (1500m) and last Saturday’s Gr.1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m), bringing her season earnings to $277,850.

Bergerson was rapt to get the Group One placing with his mare and is hoping to go one better in some elite-level targets in the spring.

“I am very happy with her, she just got beaten by a better horse (Belclare) on the day,” he said.
“It is great for the owners, I am really happy for them. She is a lovely mare to get to train for them.

“She has gone to the paddock today. We could have gone to the Travis (Gr.2, 2000m) or the Easter Handicap (Gr.3, 1600m), but I thought it was better to get her out now while the weather is still good and bring her in before it gets too cold, and hopefully aim her at the (Hawke’s Bay) Spring Carnival, she has proven that she can race at weight-for-age.

“The beauty with her is that it doesn’t matter if it is hard-and-fast or heavy. She has won on them all. She is a tough, versatile mare. Hopefully there is a bit of rain to slow some of the others down.”

While he is looking forward to the spring with Town Cryer, Bergerson’s immediate focus is racing at Wanganui and Trentham later this week.

The Awapuni conditioner will take two horses to Wanganui’s Friday meeting, with Nadheema lining up in the Maiden 1200m, while Asahi will contest the Rating 65 1600m.

“Nadheema trialled up really well the other day,” Bergerson said. “I see the horse (Chester Boy) that beat her won the other day, and the horse (Good Craic) that ran third behind her ran second the other day. She has worked on nicely and I am happy with the way she looks. It is not an overly big field so she will get her chance.

“Asahi was very good at Wellington. I think he is a very good top-two chance. His work this morning was fantastic, so I am looking forward to getting him to the races.”

Looking ahead to Trentham on Saturday, six-win gelding Bradman will contest the Listed Bramco Granite & Marble Flying Handicap (1400m), while Charlotte’s Way will line-up in the Rating 75 1200m.

“I just hope they run along for him (Bradman),” Bergerson said. “He is better if the pace is on, he always seems to find the line better when the race is run genuinely quick. If it is run slowly then he gets into trouble and starts to over-race. His racing manners have been better this year than they have any other year. I am really happy with him, he has trained on really well and he likes Wellington, so he should be hitting the line strongly.

“Charlotte’s Way has been a hard horse to place. She likes to run around the bend but there have been no 1200m races for about five or six weeks and there isn’t another one for another couple. We thought we would attack the money, see if she can get up on the speed and stay out of trouble. She is not a very big mare, and she panics in her races, so we will press forward.

“Wiremu (Pinn) is riding them both and he is a good jockey, I am happy to have him on.”

Meanwhile, Bergerson was pleased with La Bella Grande’s trial over 1200m at Foxton on Tuesday and is eyeing some stakes targets over autumn for the Little Avondale Stud-bred and raced mare.

“La Bella Grande is a really nice mare going forward,” he said. “She is 17 hands and has just taken a while to grow into herself.

“She was very disappointing in her last start at Te Rapa. We threw the ball at the stumps and we missed. She jarred up really bad, so we put her straight in the paddock and she went and did a bit of pre-training down at (Chris) Rutten’s and she has come back in magnificent order.

“I am really happy with the way she trialled today. She is coming up nicely for the autumn.

“We will have to chase a bit of black-type with her, I think she is up to it. She is a beautiful mare and she is just starting to learn the game. She used to be really quirky and was hard to control, but now she is taking it all in her stride."

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