Hong Kong double caps great run for Falkirk
10 Dec 2014 |
Last weekend first starter Trendy World and multiple winner Lovely Delovely added further kudos to the success enjoyed by the progeny of Falkirk (Tale Of The Cat) in Hong Kong.
To date, included among Falkirk’s 11 winners from 20 runners in Ho
Jaggard in fine fettle
05 Sep 2014 |
The seven-year-old version of the Foxton sprinter-miler Jaggard is an impressive sight, according to his co-trainer Sue Walsh.
The Group One performer is back in work at the Foxton stables she operates with Bruce Gregory after spelling particularly
Son of Falkirk impresses in Hong Kong
04 Jul 2014 |
Lovely Delovely, a 4YO son of Falkirk, proved too slick for his rivals when scoring impressively by 4 lengths over 1000m at Sha Tin earlier this week.
Having just his fourth start in Hong Kong, Lovely Delovely was ridden by Joao Moreira for trainer
Big future predicted for Falkirk’s daughter La Valeta
07 Apr 2014 |
A gutsy win in the Rating 85 Team Wealleans 1200 by La Valeta (Falkirk) at Te Aroha on the weekend has both her connections and regular pilot Mark Du Plessis convinced that the best is yet to come for the speedy four-year-old mare.
Ridden a treat by
Ritchie has three-year-olds on Brisbane trail
01 Apr 2014 |
Shaune Ritchie is confident he has two ideal prospects to tackle the three-year-old features during the Queensland Winter Carnival.
The Cambridge trainer has confirmed Chop Chop (by Guillotine), a last-start fourth in the Gr. 1 New Zealand Oaks, w
Du Plessis excited over Glorious Lad's Derby prospects
12 Jan 2014 |
Mark Du Plessis has already made up his mind on his ride for the $750,000 Gr. 1 TV3 NZ Derby, even though the three-year-old classic is still seven weeks away.
Du Plessis has yet to win the New Zealand Derby and was narrowly beaten on Fix when secon
Trepidation targets the Telegraph
29 Dec 2013 |
Matamata trainers Paul and Kris Shailer greeted their mare Trepidation with a mixture of relief and delight as she headed to the winner’s stall after the Stella Artois 1200 at Ellerslie today.
Trepidation had her first start since being badly
Durham Town ready for Gr.1 assignment
23 Dec 2013 |
An impressive run at last Tuesday’s Te Aroha trials has Ruakaka trainer Donna Logan convinced her highclass sprinter Durham Town (NZ) (Falkirk) is ready to put his first Group One victory on the board as he gets ready to contest the Sistema Rai
Jubilate to target major mile races over carnival
15 Dec 2013 |
Falkirk's son Jubilate gave his trainer Graham Richardson ammunition to push on to a couple of the country’s biggest 1600-metre events when winning at Ellerslie today.
Aided by a beautiful ride from Noel Harris, Jubilate completed a double wh
Arietta wins Breeders' for Falkirk and Johnson
14 Nov 2013 |
Chris Johnson, the veteran of the South Island jockeys’ ranks, added to his record in the Listed $55,000 Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders Stakes when guiding Arietta to victory at Riccarton today.
Johnson has now won the feature on six occasi
Falkirk sires a stakes race double and a hat-trick
14 Nov 2013 |
Two outstanding performances in two stakes races - one by a son and one by a daughter - highlighted a red-letter day for emerging young sire Falkirk at Riccarton yesterday.
First to provide Falkirk with a new stakes winner was the John and Karen
Falkirk's son wins for Devlin
14 Nov 2013 |
Devlin was well-known and respected in both the galloping and harness racing fields and tributes flowed in for him on social network sites with the Logans one of the first to post their tribute.
“JD was a legend to the Logan Racing team who wi
Best On Breeding
21 Aug 2013 |
No horse made greater strides last season than the Chris Waller-trained filly Royal Descent whose seasonal finale came when she ploughed through the mud at Randwick for a 10-length rout over a class bunch of fillies in the Group 1 ATC Patinack Farm A
WPS bred stakes winner leaves Guineas bound colt
27 Jul 2013 |
The Peter Moody trained Monkstone who was unluckily beaten after missing the start on debut at Caulfield two weeks ago, showed the benefit of that experience to post his first win on his home track on Saturday.
The top priced son of Fastnet Rock w
Trans-Tasman double continues sparkling run for Falkirk
22 Jul 2013 |
Flemington racetrack in Melbourne was where exciting young sire Falkirk delivered one of his more memorable racetrack performances when he carried 59.5kg’s to win in the time honoured Gilgai Stakes, in the process beating Gr.1 winner Glamour Pu
Another Group winner for Falkirk
15 Jul 2013 |
Last night’s S$200,000 Spg-3 Paititi Gold Trophy (1200m) saw Makkura (NZ) race away to a decisive two-length victory for champion Singapore trainer Laurie Laxon.
It was a well-deserved first stakes win for the consistent mare. She had not be
International double for Falkirk
18 Jun 2013 |
The hot run of form being enjoyed by the progeny of Falkirk continued at the weekend with the success of Captain Kirk at Kranji and Fluoro Lite at Ellerslie.
Captain Kirk (ex Chiming by Star Way) followed his impressive 1200m debut win on turf in Si
Falkirk's daughter a Kranji star
14 Jun 2013 |
Though we are fairly into winter now, each weekend it seems comes up with two or three flat gallopers whose futures will be by no means restricted to ploughing round on the heavy tracks associated with the season.
Two in this category at Te Rapa las
Recording Breaking Win By Falkirk's daughter Makkura
08 Jun 2013 |
The improving mare New Zealand-bred Makkura (Falkirk) broke the 1100m track record when taking out the $125,000 open Handicap in Singapore yesterday.
Ridden by Barend Vorster, Makkura scored a three-quarter length victory over the favourite Goal Kee
Schooner Bay earns black-type chance
08 Jun 2013 |
Schooner Bay set up a shot at valuable black-type with a convincing win in the Norris Ward McKinnon Open 1400 at Te Rapa today.
The half-sister to Australian Group winners Centennial Park and Ballack has always shown promise and having taken her rec
Weekend treble for Falkirk
20 May 2013 |
Group One sire Falkirk enjoyed an international treble of winners at the weekend with a Friday evening double in Singapore followed by success at Te Rapa in New Zealand on Saturday.
In Singapore, Falkirk’s 3YO son Captain Kirk was an impressiv
First group win for Falkirk's Solar Great
03 Mar 2013 |
Solar Great (Falkirk) made it five wins from as many starts this season to ensure a home victory in the HKG3 Hong Kong Macau Trophy (Handicap) at Shatin last night.
Hong Kong has now won eight of the 10 renewals of the race, which is the first of tw
Special Draw on target to realise sprinting potential
04 Dec 2012 |
Special Draw has been tagged as a Group quality sprinter for some time and this season may well see her succeed at that level.
The Falkirk mare has won three of her nine starts and last time out earned black type with a solid performance to place in
Cambridge trainers looking for winning Tale To Tell
23 Nov 2012 |
Fresh from a decent winter break, up-and-coming Falkirk mare Tale To Tell (NZ) will step out in open class company for the first time when she tackles the Listed BNZ Partners Counties Bowl over 1100 metres at Pukekohe tomorrow.
Placed third in st
Success after surgery
29 Aug 2012 |
Lightly-raced gelding Mr Epic (Falkirk) made a winning return from surgery when successful in the $65,000 Penang Turf Club trophy over 1200m on the Polytrack at Singapore on Sunday.
Ridden by Barend Vorster, Mr Epic ran his rivals ragged before s
Hong Kong double for Falkirk
05 Jul 2012 |
Hong Kong Derby-winning sire Falkirk secured a double at Happy Valley last night when his sons Keen Marie and Serendipity were both successful.
Keen Marie scored his third win in Hong Kong this year in the HK$1,200,000 HKJC Hong Tung H., running a time of 1:09.80 over 1200m while Serendipity was winning his second race following his maiden win earlier this year.
Falkirk has sired 6 winners from 9 runners in Hong Kong this season including 2012 HK-1 Hong Kong Derby winner Fay Fay and currently lies in fourth position on their Sires’ table behind Encosta De Lago (14 winners from 31 runners), Danehill Dancer (14 winners from 36 runners) and Pins (8 winners from 18 runners).
Onyx targets more Gold
13 Jun 2012 |
New Zealand bred Group 1 winner Gold Onyx (NZ) has continued his winning build-up to the Grade 1 Durban July Handicap (2200m) next month with victory in the Grade 3 Cup Trial (1800m) at Clairwood in South Africa on Saturday.
Trained by Sean Tarry, Gold Onyx (Black Minnaloushe x Egoli Lass) produced a late finishing burst to finish over the top of stablemate Buy and Sell (National Emblem) with jockey Anton Marcus in the saddle.
The four-year-old made his stakes-winning return two starts ago when successful in the Listed Sledgehammer Handicap (1800m) early last month, his first stakes victory since winning the Group 1 Greyville Premier's Champion Stakes at two.
The Group 1 Durban July Handicap will be held on 7 July on South Africa's premier race day at Greyville and carries a purse of R 3 million (NZ$460,000).
Bred by Phil Newman and Windsor Park Stud, Gold Onyx was purchased by Andrew Seabrook for South African buyers from Windsor Park Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2009 Premier Sale for $80,000.
Owned by Mr C J H van Niekerk, the four-year-old's record now stands at 24 starts for six wins and four placings for R 833,325 (NZ$127,820) in stakes.
Faxed puts problems behind him to return to winners' circle
27 Mar 2012 |
Faxed’s eventful life took a turn for the better this afternoon at Matamata where the widely-travelled four-year-old posted an overdue victory at the expense of his Rating 75 sprint opposition.
He settled off a genuine pace and came with long strides in the straight under rider Chad Ormsby to down the favourite Sateka and win his first race for 15 months.
Bred by Aucklander Maureen Douglas, Faxed was initially offered through Windsor Park Stud’s 2009 Select Sale draft at Karaka, but a $40,000 sale subsequently fell through.
“He failed the scope as a yearling with a throat infection,” Rodney Schick said. “I liked him and as he was from Falkirk’s first crop I leased him from Maureen for his racing career.”
All went according to plan when Faxed placed at his two-year-old debut from Allan Sharrock’s stable and was successful at his next start at Trentham. He won again in his first appearance at three and two runs later was unlucky when unplaced in the Listed Dunedin Guineas. “He’d stayed down there and was with Peter Williams when he bled,” Schick said.
The gelding returned home for a lengthy spell and resumed work with Allan Jones, who manages the Windsor Park-owned Hallidon Hill. The 300-acre property is used to spell mares and racing stock. “He’s trained behind the motorbike and has a few gallops at the track and he really enjoys it out on the farm,” Schick said.
Faxed came back after a break of 10 months to finish fifth on his re-appearance and was then unplaced after racing three wide without cover. Today he settled one off the fence close to the pace and rounded off his effort powerfully in the straight.
He is out of the Volksraad mare Maxamore, who won the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes winner and is a half-sister to the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Cup winner and Gr.1 Auckland Cup runner-up Maxam.
Windsor Park Stud completed a Matamata double with the stock of the resident sire Falkirk when Tale To Tell carried the blue and gold colours to a runaway success in the Rating 65 sprint.
The three-year-old coasted along at the head of the field before dashing clear for an effortless victory to remain unbeaten this preparation after breaking her maiden in style at Ellerslie.
Falkirk is enjoying a hot run of form with his flagship performer the Gr.1 Hong Kong Derby winner Fay Fay. Gr.2 Concorde Handicap and Gr.3 Darley Plate winner Durham Town, Schooner Bay (also owned by Windsor Park) and the unbeaten Australian-based three-year-olds Aqualin and Scottish Queen have all starred in recent times for the Tale Of The Cat stallion.
Unbeaten fillies add to stallion’s strike rate
27 Mar 2012 |
With a regular flow of winners, capped by Fay Fay’s prestigious win in the $HK16 million Gr.1 Hong Kong Derby last week, exciting stallion Falkirk continues to advance his way up the sire lists with an impressive strike rate.
In Victoria on Sunday the 3YO Falkirk filly Scottish Queen followed her debut win with a 2.3 length victory over 1200m, elevating Falkirk’s Australian performance to 10 winners from 12 starters (83.3%).
Falkirk is also the sire of unbeaten Queensland-trained racemare Aqualin, winner of her first three starts, while in New Zealand recently his daughters Schooner Bay (on debut) and Tale To Tell have been successful.
In Hong Kong, where Falkirk currently lies in second position on their sire’s list, he has 5 winners from only 7 runners this season (71.4%) - headed by the brilliant Fay Fay, winner of 6 races and 4 times second from 11 starts.
Falkirk’s New Zealand performers are lead by this season’s brilliant multiple Group winning sprinter Durham Town, winner of 6 races from 10 starts to date.
Interestingly, from 5 runners out of Centaine mares Falkirk has sired 4 winners including Group winners Fay Fay and Jaggard while he counts 3 winners from 4 runners out of Volksraad mares, among who are the exciting five-times winner Galaxy Star.
Falkirk’s Fay Fay gives Size a first Hong Kong Derby
19 Mar 2012 |
Fay Fay (NZ) (Fay Fay) gave trainer John Size a long-awaited first victory in a thrilling renewal of the HKG1 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby yesterday, thanks in no small measure to an ice-cool ride from perennial Champion Jockey Douglas Whyte.
The Falkirk gelding prevailed in a battling drive to the wire by a neck from the persistent John Moore-trained Same World (Hawk Wing), with the fast-finishing HKG1 Mercedes-Benz HK Classic Mile victor Sweet Orange (War Front) a diminishing head away in third for trainer David Ferraris. Moore’s HKG1 Mercedes-Benz HK Classic Cup winner Zaidan (Street Cry) took fourth as Fay Fay stopped the clock at 2m 04.41s.
Whyte exhibited precisely why he is a Hong Kong riding legend with an intelligent example of jockeyship in the 2000m showpiece. Drawn widest of the 14 runners, the South African allowed his mount to roll forward three deep into the first turn before slotting in to sit handily within striking distance of the slow fractions set by the front-running Bullish Champion (Exceed and Excel).
“Your options are limited when you’ve got Gate 14, it wasn’t our initial option to go that close forward but we were going to be positive on him,” revealed Whyte. “But when they slackened up on the stable bend I let him roll forward under his own steam and within a matter of 100m I had the race in control. He was just lobbing along beautifully so from that point of view I’ve got to say that Gate 14 was a blessing in disguise.
“Same World levelled up with me in the final 100m but this horse knows how to fight and he knows how to lay it down when the pressure’s put on him,” continued Whyte.
And the Size stable star, a close runner-up in the Classic Mile before running a below-par fourth in the Classic Cup, proved his resilience in the final stages as he saw off all-comers to give Whyte his second victory in the race following on from Super Satin (NZ) (Danehill Dancer) in 2010.
“I was positive on him at the 600m and that was the key between winning and losing today because Same World had to make up the ground on me,” added Whyte.
Size has enjoyed numerous big-race victories since relocating to Hong Kong in 2001 and has six Champion Trainer titles under his belt, but was clearly elated at having landed a first triumph in the Blue Riband event.
“It’s always nice to win a big race and in Hong Kong the big race to win is the Derby,” said the Australian. “Fay Fay won a race very early as a two-year-old, which is probably a bit unusual for a Derby winner.
Through injury he had more than 12 months off the track through his three-year-old year but that has probably stood him in good stead as I’ve been able to step him up at his leisure and he made steady progress to the point that he got into the Group 1 races.
Douglas Whyte with Fay Fay (NZ)
“We’ll see how the horse is. (The Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup) is a pretty good idea but the horse might not agree with that. It depends on what sort of condition he’s in and how he takes this race.”
The owner’s sister, Nancy, has been involved with Fay Fay from an early stage, having purchased the gelding as a yearling.
“I bought him very cheaply in New Zealand and he has done so much for us,” she said. “I’m very proud of the horse. I hoped he would go on to do great things but the Derby is the Derby and you can never expect a horse is going to be a Derby winner, so to win it is something special.”
bred by Peter Smith, Fay Fay (NZ) is a graduate of the New Zealand Bloodstock Festival Sale, purchased for just $13,000 from the draft of Maara Grange.
New Zealand-breds have now won six of the last nine editions of the Hong Kong classic, a sequence that began in 2004 with Lucky Owners (NZ) (Danehill) and continued with Vengeance Of Rain (NZ) (Zabeel) in 2005, Vital King (NZ) (Almutawakel) in 2007, Super Satin (NZ) (Danehill Dancer) in 2010 and Hong Kong Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon (NZ) (Pins) 12 months ago.
Fay Fay makes most of brilliant ride for Hong Kong Derby win
19 Mar 2012 |
Douglas Whyte celebrates his Hong Kong Derby win on New Zealand-bred Fay Fay.
A brilliant Douglas Whyte ride proved the winning of the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby at Sha Tin tonight as Falkirk gelding Fay Fay completed a Kiwi-bred hat-trick in the most important event on the Hong Kong domestic calendar.
Fay Fay had the right form for the 2000-metre classic but the outside gate in the 14-horse field saw him lose favour while Sweet Orange, who had beaten him in a Derby lead-up, went to the start as the punters’ elect.
Whyte proceeded to show just why he has been the dominant jockey in Hong Kong over the past decade as he sent his mount forward for the short run to the first bend, didn’t panic when forced over ground and then eased him to trail with cover before putting him in a challenging position on the home turn.
With the pace having been only moderate, Whyte held a full hand of cards for the dash home as Fay Fay defied his challengers and hit the line with a neck advantage over Same World and a head to Sweet Orange, who was late working into the clear.
“Your options are limited when you’ve got gate 14, it wasn’t our initial option to go that close forward but we were going to be positive on him,” Whyte told Hong Kong media. “But when they slackened up on the stable bend I let him roll forward under his own steam and within a matter of 100 metres I had the race in control.
“He was just lobbing along beautifully so from that point of view I’ve got to say that gate 14 was a blessing in disguise. Same World levelled up with me in the final 100 metres but this horse knows how to fight and he knows how to lay it down when the pressure’s put on him.”
The hat-trick of New Zealand-bred Hong Kong Derby wins, following Ambitious Dragon (Pins) last year and Super Satin (Danehill Dancer) in 2010, is complemented by six of the last 10 editions having been won by New Zealand-breds.
Tonight’s win was a first for former Sydney trainer John Size and the second for Whyte, who rode Super Satin two years ago. It was also the most significant for Fay Fay’s sire Falkirk, a brilliant sprinter in his day who has been represented this season by three black-type winners from his first (four-year-old) crop.
Durham Town won the Gr. 2 Concorde Handicap in December and returned to Ellerslie to add the Gr. 3 Darley Plate earlier this month, while Jaggard won the Gr. 3 White Robe Lodge Handicap at Wingatui in February.
Fay Fay, from the Centaine mare Glamaine, has won six of his 11 starts and will now bid to follow the same path to the Audemars Piguet QE 11 Cup as Ambitious Dragon and another Hong Kong Derby winner that became Hong Kong Horse of the Year, 2005 winner Vengeance Of Rain.
Gr.1 success continues great season for sire
19 Mar 2012 |
The highly successful season being enjoyed by the progeny of Falkirk gained added momentum at the weekend with the Group One success of New Zealand-bred galloper Fay Fay in the 2012 HK$16,000,000 Hong Kong Derby.
Fay Fay was bred by Wanganui breeders Peter & Barbara Smith and has now won 6 races and been placed second 4 times from only 11starts. His stakes earnings now exceed HK$14.4 million.
A 4YO, Fay Fay is a member of Falkirk’s first crop and to date is his most successful representative in Hong Kong where he has sired 5 winners from just 7 runners this season. Falkirk also includes the smart galloper Best City among his other successful gallopers there.
Besides Fay Fay, Falkirk’s other first-crop 4YO’s include this seasons boom Group winning sprinter Durham Town (ARC Concorde H., Gr.2, Darley Plate, Gr.3), recent Gr.3 winner Jaggard, highly rated stakes placed and five-times winner Galaxy Star and promising Macau based runner Easy Money.
This gives Falkirk an impressive tally of 5 stakes performers among 28 individual winners from 41 first-crop runners (68% wnrs/rnrs).
As well, Falkirk has sired 15 winners from his second-crop 3YO’s which include the talented stakes performed filly Arietta, multiple winner Purpose, recent Ellerslie carnival winner Tale To Tell and unbeaten debut winner Schooner Bay.
Falkirk has so far sired 10 winners from 12 runners in Australia and at the recent 2012 NZ Bloodstock Yearling Sales series at Karaka his progeny sold to $140,000.
Falkirk’s overall total of 43 individual winners to date is comprised of 25 colts or geldings and 18 fillies.
Stud toasts Schooner Bay's first-up success
14 Mar 2012 |
Schooner Bay’s stylish debut victory at Te Awamutu yesterday may present the well-bred filly with an appropriate future opportunity to emulate her sire Falkirk.
“One race we might be looking at is the Windsor Park Stud-sponsored Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes, which Falkirk, of course, won himself,” the farm’s general manager Steve Till said.
Schooner Bay’s early success came as no surprise to the stud, who race the three-year-old, after receiving encouraging reports from her trainers and rider James McDonald’s customary polish in the saddle was another major plus.
“Team Rogerson had let us know the filly has got tremendous ability and it was another very good ride from James,” Till said. “She missed the kick, but he sat on her and came three wide and never touched her with the whip.”
Schooner Bay is the first filly produced by the Last Tycoon mare Trephina, the winner of one race from a handful of starts, who was an inspired purchase at the Sydney Easter Yearling Sale for $A160,000.
“She’s got a beautiful pedigree and she showed quite a lot of ability, but it was the residual value that encouraged us to buy her,” Till said. “She had some scarring on a hind leg that may have put others off, although we still paid a significant amount for her.”
Trephina is a daughter of the Gr.3 Tristarc Stakes winner Procrastinate, who produced the champion South African galloper Laisserfaire as well as Australian stakes winners Foreplay, Time Thief and Personify.
“We always look to try and purchase fillies from those target families in Australia and she was one of them,” Till said. “She’s kicked off at stud right from the get-go as well.”
All six of her foals to race have been successful and include the Group winners Centennial Park and Ballack, who have both been placed at the top level.
“We’ve also retained her second filly by High Chaparral and she’s got a colt foal at foot by Mastercraftsman and is in foal to Rip Van Winkle,” Till said.
Big week for young sire
06 Mar 2012 |
When Durham Town confirmed his position among New Zealand’s leading sprinters at Ellerslie on Saturday he highlighted an excellent week for emerging young sire Falkirk, who also enjoyed continuing success further afield in Hong Kong.
Durham Town recorded his sixth win from ten starts in the 1200m Gr.3 Darley Plate, the showpiece sprint race at the Auckland Racing Club’s Cup Carnival. This followed his victory three months earlier in the Gr.2 Concorde Handicap over 1200m on the Ellerslie racetrack.
Multiple Group winning sprinter Durham Town
(Photo courtesy of Durham Town's breeders Debbie & Peter Seebeck)
The following day Falkirk’s 3YO daughter Arietta won her second race from four starts in the Otago Racing Club’s New World Purse Handicap while in Hong Kong Falkirk’s sons Keen Marie and Serendipity have both been successful in the past week.
Five of Falkirk’s eight runners in Hong Kong are winners and include Gr.1 performed Fay Fay, a leading contender for the Gr.1 Hong Kong Derby later this month.
In Australia Falkirk has sired nine winners from eleven runners and with his oldest progeny 4YO’s his first-crop performers this season also include Gr.3 winner Jaggard and up and coming galloper Galaxy Star, winner of his last three starts.
Falkirk recently completed a successful sales series at Karaka where his sought-after progeny sold to $140,000 and averaged $52,278 in the Select session.
Durham shows his character in Darley
05 Mar 2012 |
The Logan stable of Northland knew Durham Town had speed before Saturday's group three Darley Plate, but they now know he has character as well.
Durham Town had his rider dislodged when he was pushed into the running rail after colliding with Australian sprinter Atomic Force in the group one Telegraph Handicap (1200m) coming off the Trentham chute and onto the course proper.
It followed his Railway Stakes chances on New Year's Day being hampered by a wide draw, but he showed he'd come through those races fine by beating Vonusti and Kitt And Miss in the 1200m Darley Plate.
Dean Logan, who trains Durham Town with Donna Logan, said Durham Town wasn't the same horse when he got back from Trentham as when he left.
"He was just a bit quiet and it took a little while for him to get his bounce back. It may just have been the travelling, but it could have been a bit of worry too," Logan said.
"We've galloped him in company with Upsala and Flash Hapi and put him in the middle of them. All thanks to (fellow Ruakaka trainer) Kenny Rae for allowing us to do that and giving us a bit of confidence that he wasn't too worried."
Logan said no firm plans had been set for Durham Town but the stable may consider running him at 1400m and 1600m before thinking of taking him to Australia.
"We think of going to Aussie and all that but it's very hard with a sprinter," he said.
"You feel a lot more confident going over there knowing you can get a mile."
Vonusti ran on well from the rear but never looked like catching Durham Town, who won comfortably by a length.
Durham Town bounces back
05 Mar 2012 |
Durham Town, hampered by horses in two group one races lately, might be beaten by the weather in today's $100,000 Darley Plate at Ellerslie.
If ever a horse deserves a change of luck it's Durham Town, despite the fact he's had just nine career starts and won five of them.
All of those five have been at Ellerslie and, although his last visit resulted in a rocky Railway Stakes passage, being on his favourite track might just be enough to turn his fortunes.
Provided the track is reasonable, that is.
Durham Town is a big, long-striding type, the sort that gets shortened up on a rain-affected surface.
If the Auckland Racing Club, horse connections and punters are lucky, we won't get the rain the forecasters are predicting for today.
"It will be a great shame if we get rain because by Friday night the track here will be just about perfect," ARC racing manager Andrew Castles said yesterday.
"The track was a dead 5 this morning, it'll be a dead 4 by tonight and perfect tomorrow if we get the same fine, windy weather - which we are supposed to.
"Everything depends on whether we get the Saturday rain and how much."
On a good surface, Durham Town looks a standout in today's line-up.
He was badly shaken by the incident when he hit the running rail in the Telegraph at Trentham, but has had six weeks to recover.
He's drawn away from the rail, which is probably an ideal factor to give him confidence in his first race back.
New Group winner for Falkirk
07 Feb 2012 |
Punters may have been stunned by the Group Three White Robe Lodge Handicap victory of Jaggard (NZ) (Falkirk), but his Wingatui co-breeder, part-owner and trainer Shaun McGarry wasn’t.
“He’s some horse and from day one he’s showed heaps of ability,” he said. “He’s had a few problems, nothing major, and he’s done the job today.”
The winner of two of his previous nine career starts, Jaggard (NZ) was a 75-1 chance after claiming a Rating 65 sprint at Omakau two runs back and followed up with a second placing in rating 75 company at Gore.
The four-year-old entire jumped smartly from an inside draw on Saturday to lead for apprentice Ryan Hurdle and they were clear on the home turn.
Jaggard (NZ) was headed by Ziva (NZ) (Duelled) 250 metres from home, but fought back strongly to gain a nose decision on the post.
“I walked the track on Friday afternoon and the caretaker’s done a great job,” McGarry said. “I told Ryan if we get away okay, to lead or trail, and it worked out just fantastic.”
The northern pair of Flash Hapi (NZ) (Coats Choice) and Alegrio (NZ) (Captain Rio), who started the favourite, were next home ahead of El Chico (NZ) (Stravinsky). He got home nicely under topweight of 59kg after being well back on straightening.
Jaggard (NZ) is a son of Centastage (NZ) (Centaine) who won five races and was stakes placed.
She hails from a productive New Zealand family that has also made its presence felt further afield with a feature name in the pedigree the South African Group One winner Port Pegasus (Trocadero).
Rising Stars Primed for Gr.1 Hong Kong Classic Mile
24 Jan 2012 |
The first leg of the 2012 Four- Year-Old Series kicks off at Sha Tin’s popular Chinese New Year Raceday on Wednesday, 25 January, when some talented hopefuls line up for the day’s feature event, the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Classic Mile (HK Gr 1, 1600m) on turf.
Among the rising stars aiming for glory is the exciting Fay Fay (Falkirk), who is one of eight runners to also hold an entry in the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby (HK Gr 1, 2000m). The four-year-old extended his unbeaten sequence this season to four when sweeping to an impressive Class 2 course and distance triumph on 1 January.
John Size has primed the Falkirk gelding for five wins and three seconds from eight career starts and believes his charge is equipped for the leap into HK Group 1 company. “The horse is fine and if he holds together we’ll be looking ahead to the Derby”, said the trainer, who is seeking a first success in the Mercedes-Benz HK Classic Mile. “Fay Fay has been doing his best in his races and I’m looking forward to Wednesday’s race, in the sense that he has to improve to keep winning.”
Admiration (Encosta de Lago) finished seventh behind last year’s Mercedes-Benz HK Classic Mile (Gr 1, 1600m) winner, Lucky Nine (Dubawi), in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint (Gr 1) over 1200m in December. The John Moore trainee makes his third attempt at 1600m, a distance at which he is yet to win,
having crossed the line two places behind stablemate Captain Sweet in the Chinese Club Challenge Cup (HK Gr 3, 1400m) last time.
Captain Sweet (Fastnet Rock) posted a career best effort in the CCC Cup when second, conceding 13 pounds to the winner. He too holds a Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby entry, as do Moore’s other two candidates for the Mercedes-Benz HK Classic Mile, Zaidan (Street Cry) and Smart Giant (Pins), who heads the
standings after the latest Rising Star voting.
“Captain Sweet is one of the most genuine horses in my yard, and, now that he takes the big step up to Group 1 class, I don’t have any doubts that he’ll be able to hold his own. His work, as usual, has been impressive in the lead up but there is always a little doubt as to whether he’ll get a strong run mile,” revealed Moore, who has won the prize twice since it was upgraded to HKG1 status in 2000, with Tiber (2004) and Sunny Sing (2006).
“The same can be said of Admiration,” he continued. “He found the sprint too short last time, even with blinkers, and he looks like he’ll be a 1400m/miler but there’s that question mark over a strong mile. “Smart Giant is definitely Group 1 class and dropping back to the mile is not a problem. He’s getting ready for the Derby and this race fits his programme in the lead up, but saying that, he’ll be the one of mine to beat.
“Zaidan has become much more genuine since he was gelded. He’s another being aimed at the Derby and this race fits in nicely - the drop back to a mile may raise a doubt.”
Tony Cruz has a fine record in the Mercedes-Benz HK Classic Mile. Victorious as a trainer with Floral Pegasus (2007), Helene Mascot (2008) and Beauty Flash (Golan) (2010), he aims for a fourth success with Packing Tycoon (Danehill Dancer) (formerly Alexander Pope). Longwah Supreme (Southern Image) (formerly Hatupatu) stretches out to 1600m for the first time and represents last year’s winning trainer Caspar Fownes, while David Ferraris relies on Sweet Orange (War Front) (formerly Warning Flag) , who will be ridden by Weichong Marwing.
The field includes another with good past European form, New Deerfield (Choisir) (formerly Codemaster) from the Derek Cruz stable, as well as Horace’s Empire (Grand Slam) (formerly Zelimir), trained by Sean Woods.
The remaining two legs of the Four-Year-Old Series are the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Classic Cup (HK Gr 1, 1800m) on 19 February and the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby (HK Gr 1, 2000m) on 18 March.
Punters chase Durham Town following Mufhasa scratching
16 Jan 2012 |
Durham Town is the Telegraph Handicap market mover following the scratching of Mufhasa from Saturday’s big Trentham sprint.
After weighing up Mufhasa’s 6l-kilogram impost and wide barrier draw, connections opted to resist the temptation of a third Telegraph win by the brilliant sprinter-miler and withdrew him just after 10 o’clock this morning.
According to TAB bookie Thad Taylor, Durham Town has been the most popular target for punters, bringing his overnight odds in from $12 to $9. Atomic Force remains the favourite at $2.50 (in from $2.60), while Guiseppina is at $6 (n from $5.50).
“When Mufhasa was pulled out we had to adjust the market by 10%, but the scratching came through relatively early and will affect only a few bets,” Taylor said. “We’ve had a $2,000 bet on Atomic Force and $1,000 on Guiseppina, but as far as the actual number of bets sold, Durham Town has been easily the most popular.”
Taylor is anticipating a repeat of the betting pattern around Atomic Force immediately before the Railway Stakes three weeks ago when a single bet of $25,000 at $2.20 was placed on the Australian horse on race morning.
“We expect to see that money again but as things stand we’re comfortable with where he is. The better track brings in some of the others and while we’re happy at this stage to take any money on him, we’ll still respect it if and when it comes.”
The Trentham track is currently rated Dead4 after 5mls of irrigation was applied yesterday and the forecast through to Saturday is for fine weather.
“It’s highly unlikely that any more irrigation will go on the track, in fact I would say no more,” Wellington racing Club general manager Darren Balcombe told www.theinformant.co.nz this afternoon. "There's a slight breeze blowing now and it's all looking good for the weekend."
Happy birthday Harry
14 Jan 2012 |
Noel Harris celebrated his 57th birthday in the best way possible with a typical late finishing win on the promising Falkirk sprinter Galaxy Star early in today’s Awapuni programme.
Long after many others have swapped their riding boots for slippers, Harris has continued to front up and show the same style that has won a host of feature races in New Zealand, Australia and Asia over the past four decades.
His winning ride at the Marton Jockey Club meeting was in only a Rating 85 but still had the same flair that has marked the Manawatu-born maestro’s career. In a repeat of the combination’s win on the same track a month ago, Harris let Galaxy Star find his feet early before bursting through with 250 metres to run and coasting to the line comfortably clear of Precision King and Royal Queen.
Galaxy Star, a four-year-old trained on the course by leading central districts trainer Lisa Latta and now the winner of four of his 14 starts, is one of a growing list of talented gallopers by the former brilliant galloper Falkirk, whose sons Jubilate and Face The Sun quinella’d a 3YO Ellerslie maiden race a short while later.
Although in no hurry to pit Galaxy Star against the best open grade gallopers, Latta rates the upstanding brown as being well up to that class in time.
Fay Fay extends his winning sequence
02 Jan 2012 |
Brilliant Falkirk 4YO Fay Fay remained unbeaten this season in Hong Kong and extended his winning sequence to four races when successful in the final race on the card at Sha Tin yesterday.
The John Size trained galloper was once again impressive and looked destined for higher honours when easily accounting for his opposition by 2 ½ lengths over 1600m.
Fay Fay, who is being aimed towards the prestigious Hong Kong Derby in March, has now won 5 races and finished second three times in 8 starts for earnings of HK$3,509,500.
Logan sounds warning on Railway start for Durham Town
09 Dec 2011 |
There’s no guarantee that Durham Town, the new star in sprinting ranks, will be a starter in the Gr. 1 Blandford Lodge Railway Stakes at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.
That’s the warning to punters from the horse’s connections, who have serious concerns at the weight that he will have to carry under the set weights and penalties conditions of the big sprint, and associated concerns about punters getting burnt in the belief that the Railway is definitely on his schedule. Set weight for a four-year-old male is 55kg, with an additional two-kilogram penalty for his Gr. 2 Concorde Handicap win at Ellerslie last Saturday.
“His Concorde win means he will have to carry 57kg, which will be more than much better performed horses, even the likes of Ortensia will have less,” co-trainer and part-owner Donna Logan told The Informant.
“I wouldn’t know for sure, but if the Railway was a straight-out handicap he would be carrying probably three kilos less at least.
“I believe he’s at about seven-to-one now on the fixed odds and I heard that someone put a huge bet on the other day at nines.”
Another member of the Durham Town camp who has doubts about the Railway being the right race is co-owner and former leading trainer Jim Gibbs.
“They don’t come any more astute than Gibbsy and as he says, it would be lovely to stick to our original plan but you have to look at the bigger picture. In the first place what chance would he have giving away so much weight and if he was to beat home a horse like Ortensia, what would that do it his handicap mark.”
The options therefore facing the Durham Town camp are to proceed with their original plan and start in the Railway or switch him instead to the Listed Newmarket Handicap on Boxing Day and reserve him for the Gr. 1 Telegraph Handicap at Trentham on January 21 (current TAB odds $14).
“It’s not what we planned, but if we feel it’s in the best interests of the horse that’s what we’ll do,” Logan said. “What we’re saying now is also in the best interests of punters.”
*Late Friday Durham Town's odds on the TAB's Railway Stakes fixed odds market were $6, making him equal second favourite with Australian sprinter Atomic Force, behind Ortensia, a clear favourite at $2.80.
Durham Town (NZ) a Star in the Making
05 Dec 2011 |
The talented sprinter Durham Town (NZ) has confirmed his status as a star in the making after producing a brilliant performance to win Saturday's Group 2 The Aussie Butcher Concorde Handicap (1200m) at Ellerslie.
Trained by Donna & Dean Logan and ridden by jockey Jason Collett in the Group 2 sprint, Durham Town (Falkirk x Durham Walk) took the lead in the race despite pre-race plans to tuck in behind the leaders.
After traveling well in transit, Collet kept the four-year-old honest in the straight and, without serious urging, held on to record a classy half-length win from fellow New Zealand Bloodstock graduates Upsala (Oratorio) and Rough Odds (Stravinsky), giving NZB the race trifecta.
A horse that has only raced on seven occasions, Durham Town's impressive performance was matched in the race sectionals, running the last 600 metres in a hot 33.83 seconds.
Windsor Park Stud's young sire Falkirk
The winner of five of his seven starts, Durham Town broke his maiden at Ellerslie in his second start and has recorded all five of his race victories on the Ellerslie track. The son of Falkirk will have a chance to improve on that impressive record as he holds a nomination for the Group 1 Blandford Lodge Railway Stakes (1200m) on New Year's day.
He also holds a nomination for another of New Zealand's premier sprints, the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap in late January where he could face eight-time Group 1 winner Mufhasa.
By Windsor Park Stud's young sire Falkirk, Durham Town is the first stakes winner for the internationally performed sprinter. With 33 winners on the track in five countries thus far, Falkirk has a winners to runners ratio of over 80% in Australia, headlined by the unbeaten mare Aqualin.
Bred by Peter and Debbie Seebeck, Durham Town is raced by his trainers in conjunction with Jim Gibbs, Paul Collins, David Wale and ex All Black coach John Hart.
"An absolute standout yearling," according to Logan, the four-year-old was purchased by Donna Logan from Nerobella Lodge at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2009 Karaka Select Sale for $43,000. He has now won over $107,000 in his short career.
Durham Town flies home in Concorde
04 Dec 2011 |
Although new to the ranks of top echelon racing, Durham Town (4g Falkirk – Durham Walk, by Marju) measured up with aplomb to justify his favouritism in The Aussie Butcher-sponsored Concorde Handicap (Gr 2, 1200m) on Saturday at Ellerslie.
While plans to tuck in behind the pace went awry, talented young rider Jason Collett got Durham Town home in 33.83 off the front for the last 600 metres, in a sectional that made it difficult for his rivals, and he stuck to his guns in the straight to win by half a length in 1:09.51.
Trained by Donna & Dean Logan at Ruakaka, the bullish 16.3hh, 566kg, gelding further enhanced his course-distance record to five wins from six starts in a career that has only seen him in action seven times.
“I know he had a light weight on his back [52.5kg], but he’s a very, very talented horse,” said Donna Logan.
“We were hoping he might be a star on the rise and our judgement could be right. He has shown so much with so little racing.”
Finishing second, Upsala (Oratorio), trained by Ken Rae, made it a quinella for Ruakaka trainers, while third placed Rough Odds is owned by the sponsor, Keith & Lyn Oddy.
Logan purchased Durham Town as a yearling for $43,000 at the 2009 New Zealand Bloodstock Festival Sale, from the draft of Nerobella Lodge. She also bought his half-sister by Lucky Unicorn (Redoute’s Choice) the following year.
“He was an absolute standout and really caught my eye,” said Logan. “I like to have a crack at young stallions, like Falkirk (Tale of the Cat), and I liked the fact there was some Sir Tristram (Sir Ivor) in the second dam [Majestic Walk]. He ticked all the boxes on vetting, so really he was the type of horse I like to buy. I’d done some research on the pedigree and he’s from Vela’s family [Peter & Philip Vela own Pencarrow Stud and New Zealand Bloodstock].”
Durham Town, or 'Bobby' as he is known, as a yearling at
Nerobella Lodge, the property of breeders Debbie & Peter Seebeck
Soon after signing for the horse, former top trainer Jim Gibbs (MNZM) asked if she had an owner.
“No one owns him, Jim, you know what I’m like,” said Logan.
“I buy them first and worry about that later, but I have to like them enough to want to buy them and realise I might end up owning them myself.”
Logan remained in the horse, while Gibbs put a syndicate together with Paul Collins, David Wale and ex All Black coach John Hart.
Nerobella Lodge owners Peter and Debbie Seebeck compete as dressage riders and prepare one or two horses a year for the NZB National Yearling Sales Series each January at Karaka. They purchased the mare Durham Walk for $7,000 from the Pencarrow draft at the 2006 NZB Broodmare Sale, based on her pedigree, and are hoping that the cross with Zabeel (Sir Tristram) mares that has been so prominent recently through the deeds of Atlantic Jewel (Fastnet Rock), Planet Rock (Fastnet Rock), Southern Speed (Southern Image) and He’s Remarkable (Pentire) will draw people to their sole entry in the 2012 NZB Select Yearling Sale on 1 February: Lot 581 (Ch. F. Sakhee’s Secret – Astrology, by Zabeel).
Coincidentally, Astrology was trained by Jim Gibbs to win six races. Durham Town will now be set for the Railway Handicap (Gr 1, 1200m) on 1 January at Ellerslie.
Durham Town takes Concorde with slick performance
04 Dec 2011 |
Durham Town’s rivals had their chance but were unable to match the big baby of northern sprint racing as he took his record to five wins from seven starts in the Gr. 2 Aussie Butcher Concorde Handicap at Ellerslie this afternoon.
Against expectations and for the first time in a career that began less than 12 months ago, Durham Town led throughout in the 1200-metre feature. First he shook off last start Counties Bowl winner Undisclosed and then withstood the late challenges of Upsala, Rough Odds and Atapi.
At the line he held a half-length margin over fellow Ruakaka-trained Upsala, with Rough Odds, Atapi and Aspinal close up next. In his open company debut Durham Town stopped the clock at 1:09.51, with his final 600 metres in a slick 33.83.
Today’s winning ride went to the country’s current leading apprentice Jason Collett, due to his most recent jockey Vinnie Colgan being unable to make his 52.5-kilogram handicap.
The Gr. 1 Blandford Lodge Railway Stakes back at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day now beckons Durham Town, a four-year-old by another speedy customer in Falkirk. The catch is that unlike today’s race run under handicap conditions, the Railway is contested under weights and penalties and Durham Town will be required to carry 57 kilograms.
“In that type of race standard weight for a four-year-old gelding is 55kg and with today’s Group Two win he has to carry an additional two-kilogram penalty,” explained co-trainer ad part-owner Donna Logan. “That makes it very tough on a young horse who is so far untapped.
“Realistically he’s weighted out of the Railway but that’s the race we’ve had in mind and we’ll still head towards it. At this stage we’ll be aiming him for it, but if he was to draw wide or we were to strike an unsuitable track I wouldn’t take a lot of convincing to pull him out.
“I’m someone who says you take the food when it’s on the table, but then again he’s got a big future and when you see a horse like Mufhasa still winning Group One races a as seven-year-old you have to ask yourself what the hurry is.”
Members of the partnership who race Durham Town include retired trainer Jim Gibbs and former All Black coach John Hart, who were both associated with the 1995 Railway winner Coberger. Gibbs also part-owned 2004 Railway winner Vinaka and back in 1982 prepared Valencia’s Image to win Ellerslie’s premier sprint.
Logans banking on some Railway rub-off for Durham Town
02 Dec 2011 |
Ruakaka trainers Donna and Dean Logan are hoping some of the Jim Gibbs – John Hart Railway Handicap luck will rub off on their latest venture, Durham Town.
When training in partnership with his son Chris, Gibbs prepared Coberger to win the 1995 Gr. 1 Railway Handicap for the First Five Syndicate, which included former All Black coach John Hart, who is now an executive director of the Warriors rugby league team.
Gibbs and Hart are now part of the syndicate which races Durham Town, an exciting sprinter who will be chasing a start in the Gr. 1 Blandford Lodge Railway Stakes at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day when he competes on the track tomorrow.
Durham Town’s mission this weekend over the same 1200 metres as the Railway is the Gr. 2 $85,000 The Aussie Butcher Concorde Handicap, which will be an opportunity to prove whether or not he is worthy of a start in Ellerslie’s major sprint.
“I think he’s got the goods, but this will be a big test for him,” said Donna Logan. “He’s been pretty solid all the way through, but the acid goes on now. He’s striking some good sprinters and he’s got to prove he can take the step up.”
Durham Town has recorded four wins and a fourth from just six starts and his co-trainer acknowledges it has been surprising to see him develop into such an exciting sprinter considering his looks and size.
“He’s such a big horse – he’s just under 17 hands high and his racing weight is 566kg,” said Logan. “It’s incredible what he can do over 1200 metres because he looks the type who will get ground. He’s got exceptional speed for a big horse.”
The Logans have nominated Durham Town for both the Railway and Trentham’s Gr. 1 Telegraph Handicap and are keen to get to the major sprints. “If he went a shocker on Saturday we might change and go for the mile over Christmas instead, but at this stage we’re looking to get him to the Railway,” said Logan. “I just hope some of Gibbsy and John Hart’s Railway luck rubs off.”
The Logan stable has tried to nab the Railway Handicap with three of their talented sprinters over the years - Vain Ana, Jazzella and Dashing Donna - but minor placings are the best results achieved.
Vain Ana, a winner of five races, contested three Railways with the highlight being her third behind the controversial winner Bawalaksana and Dantelah in the 1999 Railway Handicap. Beforehand Vain Ana had been runner-up in the Listed Newmarket Handicap, the Ellerslie sprint she won the following year.
Jazzella won six sprints and was a Gr. 3 Darley Plate winner at Ellerslie and a Listed winner on the Gold Coast. Her best result in two Railway Handicap attempts was a fifth to the Australian raider Gold Trail in 2010.
Dashing Donna, a seven-race winner, came closest to giving the Logans success in the Railway Handicap when second to upsetter Jacowils in 2009. She was fifth the following year after winning the Listed Newmarket Handicap at the expense of Mae Jinx and Double Barrel, two opponents for Durham Town tomorrow.
Each of the three Logan runners also tried to win the Concorde Handicap, with Vain Ana second to O’Malley’s Boy at her third attempt in 2000, while Jazzella and Dashing Donna finished second and third respectively to Pinsoir in 2008.
Now Durham Town will attempt to better their Concorde Handicap efforts and earn further support for his Railway bid. “He loves Ellerslie and that’s a big plus,” said Logan. “All bar one of his runs have been at Ellerslie. The time he missed out was at Te Rapa.”
Logan bought Durham Town for $43,000 at the 2009 Festival Yearling Sale at Karaka and was approached afterwards by Gibbs, who had taken a liking to the son of Falkirk. Gibbs was told the horse was available and he formed a syndicate.
Logan has retained an interest in Durham Town and the other syndicate members are Gibbs’s wife Ann and Hart’s close friends, Paul Collins and David Wale. “I just really liked him at the sales,” said Logan. “He’s my type of horse, a big solid horse who was a good walker and could develop into a staying horse.
“Funny that now that he’s showing so much as a sprinter. I still believe he will go over ground, but while he’s going so well at 1200 why step him up?”
Durham Town does look something special now, but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing with the big fellow. “He was naughty early on,” said Logan. “He was so big he’d use his size and weight and think he was the boss so he needed to learn a lesson. We put him with some broodmares and they gave him grief. It changed his attitude and he’s come right.”
Durham Town, who will be ridden tomorrow by Jason Collett, can expect some stern opposition from Mae Jinx and Double Barrel. Mae Jinx won well fresh-up at Te Awamutu before a close sixth at Pukekohe, while Double Barrel was third in the Te Awamutu event then just beaten a nose in the Pukekohe feature, the Listed Counties Bowl.
Winner of the Counties Bowl was Undisclosed, who had finished eighth fresh-up behind Durham Town at Ellerslie on November 1. Old-timer Atapi also contested the Pukekohe event and will be improved by that run, while Viva Roma and Cool Storm didn’t have much luck in the Counties Bowl.
Hastings visitor The Hombre is on the fresh side since his stakes placing at Te Rapa, while the presence of Aspinal, Flash Hapi, Upsala and Run Like Al will add interest to the event.
Aitken labels eight Kiwi-breds to watch in Hong Kong
26 Nov 2011 |
There is no better student of form in thoroughbred racing than Alan ‘Hats’ Aitken.
A former racing editor of the Sydney Morning Herald and frontman of the Australian Jockey Club’s popular Punters’ Podium in the 1990s, Aitken switched his attentions to Hong Kong more than a decade ago and now earns rave notices for his work as chief racing writer for the South China Morning Post.
While Aitken’s priority at this time is the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International meeting scheduled for December 11, the expatriate is also keeping abreast of untapped prospects making their way through the grades to bigger and better prizes later in the season.
When it comes to those Hong Kong imports born and bred in New Zealand, Aitken has identified a selection with the potential to develop into feature race winners. They comprise:-
Best City (4g, Falkirk-Albacora)
Fay Fay (4g, Falkirk-Glamaine)
Gift Is Gift (4g, Thorn Park-Yield)
Pizzazz (5g, Bertolini-Endrita)
Right Timing (4g, Black Minnaloushe-At Lass)
Scarlet Camellia (4g, Spartacus-Avelina)
Smart Giant (4g, Pins-Spring)
Solar Great (4g, Falkirk-Harmonics)
Besides the fact that each member of this talented bunch sports the (NZ) suffix, they also mostly share one other significant thing in common: virtually all could have been bought at public auction for a relatively modest figure at some stage of their formative lives.
At $80,000, the 2008 South Island Sale of 2YOs purchase Pizzazz is one of the more expensive Kiwi-bred prospects earmarked by Aitken as a progressive type.
Similarly, 2009 Premier Yearling Sale graduate Scarlet Camellia was acquired for $70,000 in a year when the top price at New Zealand’s most high profile thoroughbred auction was $800,000.
However, others in the group selected by Aitken were at some stage bought out of the Karaka sale-ring for a relative pittance, Best City fetching $16,000 as a 2009 Festival Sale yearling; Fay Fay at the same assembly for $13,000; and Gift Is Gift not even reaching his $6,000 reserve as a 2009 Select Sale offering.
There is also Solar Great, whose sole appearance in a bloodstock sales arena saw him sell for $18,000 at the May, 2008 National Weanling, Broodmare and Mixed Bloodstock Sale.
All but one of the eight selected by Aitken can be traced on New Zealand Bloodstock’s sales results archive, with Smart Giant proving to be the exception.
A product of Waikato Stud’s hugely successful production line, the promising son of Pins was a member of his breeder’s 2009 Australian Easter Yearling Sale consignment, fetching A$160,000 to the bid of Scone Bloodstock Services, Hong Kong.
A half-brother to the Chittick family’s AJC Oaks winner Daffodil, Smart Giant is one of at least three Aitken nominations with apparent Hong Kong Derby aspirations, Scarlet Camellia and Fay Fay being the others. Fay Fay is also among a contingent of three selections by Windsor Park Stud’s third-crop stallion Falkirk, and was one half of his sire’s double at Sha Tin last weekend.
If Aitken’s predictions prove to be correct, expect the stocks of the young sire-son of Tale of the Cat to increase appreciably.
HAT AITKEN’S HONG KONG EIGHT TO FOLLOW
Best City (4g, Falkirk-Albacora; 2009 Festival Sale $16,000): Impressive maiden winner at Tauranga under the name Big Quick before coming to Caspar Fownes late in 2010-11 season. Has won two of six local starts, both this season, despite not having any luck with barriers on most occasions and being caught wide more often than not. Fownes has a big opinion of him and he definitely should find his way into the upper echelon of the four-year-old crop.
Fay Fay (4g, Falkirk-Glamaine; 2009 Festival Sale $13,000): Showed ability as a juvenile, then missed almost all of the 2010-11 season with niggling injuries, but trainer John Size was always confident that Fay Fay's career was not seriously threatened and gave him the time. Had one run at the finish of last season and found the very talented Smart Giant too fit and strong. but has returned winning two from two at 1400 and 1600 metres. Has plenty more upside that should see him make his way to the four-year-old classics in early 2012.
Gift Is Gift (4g, Thorn Park-Yield; 2009 Select Sale $5000 passing): Won four from four as a three-year-old, which catapulted him into the higher grades quite early in his career. Has returned this season without a win in two starts but acquitted himself well enough in some good company, suggesting that he will win a decent race as he becomes more seasoned.
Pizzazz (5g, Bertolini-Endrita; 2008 South Island Sale $80,000): Already a 16-start 'veteran’ with a good record prior to this season which would have been better but for a succession of bad barrier draws. Huge win first-up suggested there is still upside despite his rating in the middle of class two and having no luck again with draws in two runs since. Could surprise in a good handicap race if he gets the bounce of the ball on the right day.
Right Timing (4g, Black Minnaloushe-At Lass; 2009 Festival Sale $22,000): Looked a nice prospect from the trials in New Zealand and finished second over 1200 metres in good time on debut. Had a mishap at the start when beaten at odds-on second start stepping to 1400 but ran home strongly. Maiden at the time of writing after just those two starts, but in the right hands with John Size to win multiple races. Expect him to progress significantly.
Scarlet Camellia (4g, Spartacus-Avelina; 2009 Premier Sale $70,000): Big striding, raw-boned four-year-old seriously impressive winning only run at three over unsuitable 1200 metres. Has been unsuited by slow tempo races so far this season but still won two of three starts at 1400 and 1600 on the score of quality. Really looks like he wants more tempo, more ground and physically has improvement in store as he fills out his leggy frame. Still rated below Derby level at this stage by the handicapper but that will be where connections will be aiming.
Smart Giant (4g, Pins-Spring): Closely-related to Oaks winner Daffodil and overcame greenness in his early runs to win three times up to 1400 metres as a three-year-old, though always gave the impression he would make a top four-year-old. Has a terrific turn of foot and has put together two wins and two seconds, going as far as 1800 metres this season. Already rated highly enough to make the field for the Derby in March.
Solar Great (4g, Falkirk-Harmonics; 2008 Weanling Sale $18,000). Showed ability at trials in New Zealand but took a long time to get going in Hong Kong after a battle with colic in quarantine. Unlucky in only run as a three-year-old but on the improve this season, finishing second twice before a convincing maiden win in late November. Nice stamp of horse open to improvement and is going to win his share of races.
Another big weekend for Falkirk
21 Nov 2011 |
Young sire Falkirk has been enjoying a great run of success and it continued at the weekend when he sired a treble of winners in NZ and Hong Kong.
Meadows got the ball rolling on Saturday when she was successful at the Masterton Racing Club meeting. Settling in the second half of the field the lightly raced 3YO filly unleashed a powerful sprint to win in the slick time of 58.8 for the 1000m journey.
Meanwhile, as racing in Hong Kong builds towards their prestigious international meeting next month, Falkirk’s highly regarded sons Fay Fay and Solar Great underlined their credentials with both racehorses scoring in impressive fashion.
Solar Great came from well back in the field to win with authority, his victory following two seconds in his first two runs in the new season.
The final race on the card saw two more promising sons of Falkirk featuring at the head of the market.
It was the John Size trained galloper Fay Fay who proved successful with the Casper Fownes prepared Best City finishing quickly to just miss giving his sire the quinella.
Fay Fay has now had three wins and three second placings from six starts for stakes earnings in excess of HK$2 million.
Falkirk enjoyed excellent results at the recent NZB Ready To Run sale where seven of his progeny sold for an average of $88,143 with George Moore, son of champion Hong Kong trainer John Moore, giving $220,000 for the colt out of Trephina.
Durham a Rising Star for Logan
10 Nov 2011 |
The resumption of racing for Durham Town was met with some trepidation within the stable as he was having his first start back after a lengthy lay off following an operation to remove a bone chip from his fetlock.
Although his work had been good and there were no signs of any soreness you can never be sure that they will still retain the same will to win and competiveness after an operation.
He ran at Te Rapa on Sunday 2nd October, he finished a fair 8th after racing very keenly. The good news was there was no sign of soreness or reluctance to stretch out fully as can occur after surgery.
The fact that he was never sore and the chip would probably never have been picked up at such an early stage if there wasn’t interest in an overseas sale meant that he had no pain associated with racing.
His second start was back to his favoured track at Ellerslie where he had recorded two wins previously, he not only won again but did it with such authority while still only about 80% fit.
At the time of writing he has had a further start at Ellerslie on Tuesday 1st November, Melbourne Cup Day and recorded his fourth win from only his sixth race day start, beating the highly regarded Magic Briar, in the process.
This provided the stable with an interesting Quinella, even though we do not train Magic Briar, she was purchased by Donna at the same sales as Durham Town. After Breaking her in and spelling her the owners shifted south to the Waikato so she changed stables at the same time.
We will now look to raise our sights with Durham Town with a possible start in the Group 2 Concorde Handicap on Saturday 3rd December. Hopefully his good association with Ellerslie can continue.
Falkirk enjoys another successful weekend
31 Oct 2011 |
Back to back wins in Hong Kong yesterday for smart galloper Best City highlighted another successful weekend for emerging young sire Falkirk.
Best City followed up his win at Sha Tin two weeks ago when successful again over 1600m in the HKJC Lung Hang Handicap.
Trainer Caspar Fownes holds Best City in high regard.
"He's an exciting prospect," Fownes said. "He'll surprise us during the season and this is a horse that will keep climbing through the ratings."
Falkirk is also sire of the promising 3YO filly Arietta who followed her recent trials win with success at her first raceday start at Banks Peninsula yesterday for trainer/breeders John and Karen Parsons.
Super fast Falkirk making mark at stud
28 Oct 2011 |
A brilliant sprinter on the international stage and a big, strong, handsome fellow with a black-type pedigree, Falkirk went to stud five years ago with, it seemed, all the credentials to make a significant contribution as a sire.
Faced with the need for a virtual snap decision on whether to retire Falkirk to stud in the spring of 2006 - he was then in England, where he had run gallantly for fourth in the King's Stand Stakes at Ascot - Windsor Park Stud back in New Zealand decided to bring him home to stud rather than race him for another year.
He has since had to make it through his progeny on the racetrack and this year that still relatively small band of sons and daughters have begun to draw marked attention to the previously under-valued son of Tale of the Cat.
Last weekend Falkirk had two winners in New Zealand and two in Australia. A week earlier his son Fay Fay had resumed on a winning note in Hong Kong, where his trainer John Size holds him in high regard.
The local winners were Rose of Falkirk and Durham Town, both at Ellerslie. Both look progressive types but especially Durham Town, whose strong rugby links in the ownership made his victory on the eve of the All Blacks' World Cup triumph particularly appropriate.
In Australia the Falkirk winners were Aqualin, who completed a hat-trick of wins on the Sunshine Coast’s Caloundra track, and Desire Path, who notched her third win in West Australia. Aqualin's connections are familiar to New Zealanders - she is raced by Alan and Linda Jones.
Figures supplied by Arion Pedigrees show that, with three crops now racing, Falkirk has had just 34 runners in New Zealand (16 of them winners) and 10 in Australia, of which seven have won. Throw in a dozen or so runners in Asia and Falkirk's total world-wide is 53 runners for 27 winners of 48 races.
Foaled in 2000, Falkirk is still a young stallion and, at a fee of $6,500, definitely affordable. His percentages stack up. What he now needs is numbers - numbers in the breeding barn and numbers on the racetrack. That will be achieved if some of his promising progeny take the step up to black-type company and achieve glamour status. Durham Town, for one, looks sure to achieve the first part of this equation and very possibly the second.
A four-year-old chestnut gelding from his sire's first crop, Durham Town was bred by Mrs D.S. and P.L. Seebeck out of Durham Walk, a mare Peter and Phillip Vela bred by Marju from Majestic Walk, by Sir Tristram. This family was earlier prominent in Australia, where fourth dam Fairy Walk won the Golden Slipper and was top filly on the 1970-71 Australian Two-Year-Old Free Handicap.
A half-sister to Planet Kingdom, Fairy Walk was a notable broodmare as well, her progeny including the Doomben Cup and Queensland Derby winner Cheyne Walk.
The family has continued to play a role in Australia, where Crawl and Marching have been relatively recent black-type performers, and has done well in New Zealand as well through the likes of Classic Walk, ARC Railway Handicap winner Coogee Walk and current good handicap performer Mr Tipsy.
Ruakaka trainer Donna Logan spotted the then yearling colt who was to be named Durham Town at the 2009 Karaka Festival Sale and was really taken by him. She went to $43,000 to purchase him from his breeders - who, Donna remembers, provided her with a “baby book” covering the youngster's development from the time he was foaled.
Soon after the purchase she was approached by recently retired training maestro Jim Gibbs, whose son Chris was then in a training partnership with the Logans.
“I see you bought that really nice horse, Donna,” said Gibbs senior. “If you haven't already sorted out owners, could you give me an option to put a syndicate together?”
Himself an incomparable judge of a horse on physical type, Gibbs knew a bit about the Falkirk colt's pedigree as well. He trained Madam Valeta, the dam of Falkirk, and also a smart sort named Darcybee who was closely related to the colt on the dam's side.
Thus it turned out that Durham Town was put into training with the Logans for a partnership comprising Jim and Ann Gibbs, former All Black coach John Hart (who had horses with Gibbs for years), director of Rugby New Zealand 2011 Paul Collins and Wellington businessman David Wale.
And thus it was inevitable that when the presentation was made after Durham Town's convincing win at Ellerslie on Saturday, the subject of the following evening's Rugby World Cup final came up.
Hart, who had experienced in 1999 how a previously underperforming French rugby team could rise to a big occasion (they stunningly defeated the Hart-coached All Blacks in the World Cup semi-final), warned the gathering that the All Blacks of 2011 were in for a difficult battle but would still win - by, he predicted, 12 points.
He was right about the hard battle and he was right about the All Blacks win. Four million New Zealanders would have had a much more comfortable night if he'd been right about the 12-point margin.
Big money was offered for Durham Town after he won two successive starts as a three-year-old last season. He was then found to have a small “floating” bone chip and required an operation to remove it. The sale was off and, says Donna Logan, it was a blessing in disguise.
“The operation was a complete success and he has been given time to strengthen and mature. Even though Falkirk was such a fast horse himself, I think his progeny need a bit of time. I've always liked Durham Town and he's a really exciting horse now.”
Which isn't going to change the Logan policy of taking the now four-year-old (with three wins from just five starts) along quietly.
He has been working his way through the grades and the next appropriate race for him is at Ellerslie on Melbourne Cup day. After that, however, the team's sights must surely be lifting a bit. Perhaps as high as the Railway Handicap at Ellerslie, or - though he has been kept to sprints so far - a race like the Thorndon Mile at Trentham.
At the least it is hard to imagine he won't have made a mark in Group company before summer's end.
Falkirk's golden run continues
27 Oct 2011 |
The progeny of Windsor Park's young sire, Falkirk, have been in outstanding form with doubles in three different countries in seven days.
John Size’s boom galloper Fay Fay and Casper Fownes prepared Best City captured a race to race double in Hong Kong last week, both starting short priced favourites when winning at Sha Tin. The stallion's exciting run continued with Falkirk's progeny achieving doubles in New Zealand and Australia over the weekend.
Rose Of Falkirk got the ball rolling at Ellerslie on Saturday when she took out the opening event for three year olds over 1200m in good style. The win was no surprise for connections as Rose Of Falkirk has always shown potential after winning as a two-year-old; she was then only beaten 3.6L in the Gr.2 Matamata Breeder's Stakes, New Zealand’s premier race for two year old fillies.
Another highly promising Falkirk tasting success at the Auckland Racing Club meeting was the lightly raced Durham Town who won the CNC Handicap over 1200m, making it career win number three from only four starts at Ellerslie.
In Australia over the weekend, his unbeaten four-year-old daughter Aqualin made it a hat trick of wins after being well tried in the betting for Alan Jones in Queensland . Desire Path made it double number three for Falkirk when she captured her third career win at Northam over 1300m, running away by 3-3/4 lengths for leading Perth trainer Lindsay Smith.
These victories follow on from last weekend’s win at Wanganui of San Rafael, who retained his unbeaten record making it two from two and now looks towards a start in the Gr.1 Levin Classic over 1600m in late November at Otaki.
Falkirk's golden run is perfect timing for the upcoming New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale held at Karaka on the 15th and 16th of November where he will be represented by seven lots, which are available for viewing on the following link;
Hong Kong double for Falkirk
18 Oct 2011 |
Rising Hong Kong star Fay Fay cemented a raceday double for his young sire Falkirk when successful in the Soin d'Eau Handicap at Sha Tin yesterday.
After drawing wide in the 1400m contest the John Size-trained Fay Fay launched a sustained run from the rear to win comfortably by 3 1/4 lengths. The manner of his victory prompted a glowing reference from champion jockey Douglas Whyte.
"We've always thought he was a proper horse," Whyte said. "I'm just glad that John has got him back to where he is now."
"He has had his niggling problems but he's trialled the house down really and he's the type of horse, we'll keep our fingers crossed, that can go on to bigger things."
Best City, another 4YO son of Falkirk, followed up in the next event on the card with success in the Neogence Handicap over 1600m completing a notable weekend treble for Falkirk whose promising son San Rafael retained his unbeaten record when winning at Wanganui over 1340m.
Kirkson (NZ) stars for Falkirk
26 Nov 2010 |
Kirkson, a 3YO colt by Falkirk ex Assonnata by Soviet Star, lived up to the high regard in which he is held to win over 1208m at Moe yesterday for trainer Mick Price.
Kirkson made mincemeat of his rivals, coming right away in the straight to score by four and a half lengths in the fastest time for the 1208m on the day. This was his third race start and he was racing first-up since May.
A good looking colt, Kirkson has the hallmarks of a typically well-placed Mick Price horse and it would not surprise to see him run up a sequence over the summer months.
Gold Onyx (NZ) glitters in Premiers Champion Stakes
02 Aug 2010 |
Gold Onyx (NZ) delivered on his early promise with a scintillating win in the Gr 1 Premiers Champion Stakes over 1600m at Greyville on Saturday, coming from last to mow down favourite Kavanagh (SAF) as Zanzamar (SAF) and The Assayer (SAF) filled the minor placings.
Trojan River went out to make the running from The Assayer and Wonderlaine with Copper Parade handy but battling to get across from a dreadful draw. Kavanagh travelled comfortably on the rails ahead of English Garden, Not Liable and Perana while Zanzamar and Gold Onlyx, both of whom has also jumped from hopeless draws, sat at the rear.
Kavanagh made his move soon after entering the straight with The Assayer staying with him and looking a contender up the centre. Kavanagh eventually shook him off and looked a likely winner 200m out but Gold Onyx had started to motor up the outside and he produced a telling burst of acceleration to run down Kavanagh and win going away by nearly a length.
Although Gold Onyx went off at 33/1, those odds were by no means a true reflection of his chances. He had signalled his potential with an impressive win on debut in feature race company and although beaten in three subsequent efforts, had given clear signs that he was crying out for this distance. The draw was always going to pose a challenge, but he was superbly handled by Felix Coetzee and he looks to be a horse with a future.
Kavanagh had also won on debut in feature race company and had in fact finished well ahead of Gold Onyx in both their previous meetings. He has failed to reproduce the brilliance of that first victory in the SA Nursery in three runs since then, but he did have the rest of this field well beaten and should go on to make his mark.
Zanzamar and The Assayer once again found themselves fighting out the minor placings, just as they had done in the Golden Horseshoe at the beginning of July. Zanzamar came out on top this time and this was a top effort from draw 18. They're not quite as good as the pair that beat them - at this stage, anyway - but they will both find much easier opportunities than this to get back on the winning trail.
2 br c Black Minnaloushe (USA) - Egoli Lass (NZ) by Kaapstad (NZ)
Owner: Mr C J H van Niekerk
Bred by P A Newman & Windsor Park Stud Ltd
Winning trainer: Sean Tarry
Race 6 - R500K - PREMIER'S CHAMPION STAKES (Grade 1)
For 2 year olds - 1600m
No Horse Jockey Al/Bl Kg Dr Fin Dist Time OP SP
7 GOLD ONYX (NZ) Felix Coetzee A 58.0 16 1 0.00 96.18 20/1 33/1
2 KAVANAGH Kevin Shea A 58.0 2 2 0.75 96.32 13/20 8/10
3 ZANZAMAR Karl Neisius A 58.0 18 3 3.00 96.73 16/1 25/1
4 THE ASSAYER Anton Marcus A 58.0 10 4 3.75 96.87 8/1 15/1
5 PERANA (AUS) Anthony Delpech A 58.0 5 5 4.50 97.01 7/1 28/10
15 NOT LIABLE Glen Hatt A 58.0 1 6 4.75 97.06 20/1 40/1
12 ENGLISH GARDEN Bernard Fayd'Herbe A 58.0 9 7 6.00 97.29 20/1 15/1
11 WONDERLAINE Raymond Danielson A 58.0 3 8 6.10 97.31 25/1 33/1
10 FIDELIS Aldo Domeyer *0.0 A 58.0 7 9 6.20 97.33 33/1 50/1
14 APPROACHABLE Gavin Lerena A 58.0 12 10 6.30 97.35 33/1 33/1
9 SKY LINK (AUS) Johnny Geroudis A 58.0 8 11 6.35 97.36 12/1 20/1
8 SHERE KHAN Muzi Yeni A 58.0 6 12 9.60 97.97 50/1 66/1
6 DOMINO PLAYER Hennie Greyling *2.5 A 58.0 17 13 9.85 98.02 33/1 66/1
1 COPPER PARADE Piere Strydom A B 58.0 15 14 11.10 98.26 11/2 9/1
16 IRISH EMINENCE Richard Fourie A 58.0 11 15 12.85 98.59 50/1 66/1
13 TROJAN RIVER Marthinus Mienie A 58.0 4 16 16.60 99.32 50/1 50/1
Gold Onyx (NZ) wins South Africa Gr.1 Feature
02 Aug 2010 |
4th Gr.1 winner this season for Windsor Park Stud
12:56 PM Monday Aug 02, 2010
Windsor Park Stud’s exceptional 2009/2010 season ended in storybook fashion on Saturday.
Adding to the Gr.1 deeds of Monaco Consul, Military Move (NZ),Beauty Flash (NZ),Windsor Park Stud registered a fourth elite level winner on the very last day of the season thanks to Gold Onyx’s (NZ) (Black Minnaloushe) slick performance in South Africa’s Gr.1 Premiers Champion Stakes(1600m) at Greyville.
The talented 2YO gave rise to top shelf estimations back in March with a debut win in the Gr.3 Turffontein Protea Stakes (1100m), but with only one placed effort resulting from his 3 subsequent efforts, his support had disproportionately waned to 33/1 on Saturday.
Clearly appreciating the step up in distance, Gold Onyx (NZ) reasserted his superiority in emphatic style, motoring home from last for Felix Coetzee to win going away by a length.
Not surprisingly, the Sean Tarry- trained gelding is now being lauded in South Africa as a ‘horse with a future’.
All up, Gold Onyx (NZ) has started 5 times for his owner, Mr CJH van Niekerk and has rewarded with 2 wins, a placing and with NZ$89, 523 in stakes earnings.
As a yearling, the strongly built colt cost $80,000, successfully selling on this occasion from Windsor Park Stud’s 2009 NZB Premier Yearling Sale consignment to Mark Tarry.
Bred by Windsor Park Stud and Phil Newman, Gold Onyx (NZ) combines the bloodlines of the former Windsor Park Stud shuttler Black Minnaloushe with the Kaapstad mare, Egoli Lass.
Egoli Lass (NZ) was a Listed stakes winner herself, who achieved 7 win on the track at distances from 1400m-1600m.
Carrying on the bloodlines which include the Group winners Amalfi, Rationale, Vigor and Vincent Mangano (NZ),Egoli Lass has produced four winners from five to race and will be represented by a High Chaparral colt at Karaka’s Yearling Sale Series in 2011
Falkirk's son looks special in Hong Kong
05 Jul 2010 |
The sire prospects of Windsor Park's international sprinting sire Falkirk received a significant boost when his first Hong Kong runner Fay Fay scored impressively at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Fay Fay, a first-crop two-year-old son of the sire, overwhelmed his opposition in the 1400m race for Griffen's under leading Hong Kong jockey Douglas Whyte to win by a widening 4 3/4L in the style of a horse with a good future.
"Probably the 1400m let him show what he's really made of," said trainer John Size.
The win was even more impressive after Whyte kept Fay Fay wide down the back straight ensuring that he was not going to boxed in from a wide barrier.
With 900m to travel Fay Fay was still three wide before being settled behind the two leaders.
Whyte sent Fay Fay forward, three wide again, off the bend into the main straight, and the gelding quickly put paid to the leaders drawing away with 350m to run without pressure, his white blaze from his sire prominent in the run to the line.
To view the race click on the following link mms://wm.hkjc.pbase.net/extra1/replay/20100704/eng_20100704_race01_500.asf
It was Fay Fay's third start with his two earlier races over 1000m and 1200m both resulting in second placings. Fay Fay, out of the Centaine mare Glamaine, has earned stakes of HK$757,500 and he looks a fine prospect for the Size stable next season.
Falkirk, by Tale Of The Cat, has already sired three winners and three placegetters from his first two-year-old crop including metropolitan winners Faxed and Miss Marauder, as well as Australian debut placegetters Kirkson and Triple Treats.
Impressive FALKIRK foals on The Ford Report
05 Oct 2007 |
You'll see a selection of first-crop foals by Windsor Park Stud's Falkirk on the next edition of The Ford Report, as well as up-to-date footage of the stallion. There's also a report from Trelawney Stud about Van Nistelrooy, who is not shuttling this year. Summary of content for Programme 1011...
* FALKIRK and his first crop foals
* VAN NISTELROOY - a report from Trelawney Stud
* FARRIER INSIGHT - from The Ford Report archive
* Pedigree Subject - Gold Edition (by Lion Hunter)
FIRST PLAY - Saturday, 06 October @ 7.30am (Digital)
SECOND PLAY - Sunday, 07 October @ 11.00am (UHF & Digital)
THIRD PLAY - Tuesday, 09 October @ 11.30am (Digital)
FOURTH PLAY - Friday, 12 October @ 11.30am (Digital)
Falkirk's first foals creating a stir - see for yourself
01 Oct 2007 |
Falkirk ex Cremisi (by Royal Academy) colt
Falkirk ex Matamata Breeders Stakes winner Maxamore (by Volksraad) colt
Falkirk ex New Victoria (by Colonel Collins) filly
Falkirk’s Half-Brother Scores in Dubai
01 Mar 2007 |
The pedigree of New Zealand’s top-class Australasian sprinter and now sire Falkirk (NZ) received further enhancement in February when his Volksraad (GB) half-brother Yalaad (NZ) recorded a debut victory in Dubai.
Trained by Mike de Kock and owned by Sh Mohd bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, the smart four-year-old took command of the 1200m event with 100m to run and had the race all sewn up, crossing line with a 2.3/4 lengths margin.
Previously trained by Falkirk’s (NZ) Sydney trainer John O’Shea, Yalaad (NZ) had looked to be a promising young sprinter in Australia, winning and placing second in his first two starts there.
Bred in partnership by Alan Burnet and Windsor Park Stud Ltd, Yalaad (NZ) is the eighth winning foal from Madam Valeta (NZ), who was herself a Gr.3 winner.
Rated the fastest son of Tale of the Cat (USA), the four-time Group winning Windsor Park Sire, Falkirk (NZ), heads the successful mare’s list of progeny.
Other black-type winners have comprised the Gr.2 winning Kaapstad (NZ) mare Mulan Princess (NZ) and the Entrepreneur (GB) mare Luscilla (NZ), who recorded success at Listed level.
To the future, the Palace Music (USA) mare will have further representation on the track with Yalaad’s (NZ) three-year-old brother, Media One (NZ), and with youngstock on the ground by Montjeu (IRE), High Chaparral (IRE) and a Zabeel (NZ) foal in-utero.
Falkirk at home in his new role
27 Oct 2006 |
Windsor Park Stud's top-class Australasian sprinter Falkirk (NZ) (by Tale Of The Cat) has made a highly encouraging start to his new career in the breeding barn.
'Falkirk is certainly enjoying his new role at stud and has received great support from breeders,' said Michael Moran, marketing manager of Windsor Park Stud.
Despite his relative late announcement to the New Zealand sire ranks, Falkirk (NZ) has proved popular with breeders, attracting such mares as the Gr.2 winners' Maxamore (NZ) (by Volksraad) and The Lions Roar (NZ) (by Western Symphony) along with the dam of the 2004 Listed AJC Toy Show Hcp (1400m) Cat In The Hat (NZ) (by Tale of the Cat) (aka Catreign) New Victoria (USA).
Maxamore (NZ) (by Volksraad), the winner of the 1997 Gr.2 Matamata Breeders Stakes (1200m), is confirmed as in-foal to Falkirk and has already produced three foals to race for two winners and a placegetter.
Similarly, The Lions Roar (NZ) (by Western Symphony), the winner of the 1996 ARC Championship Stakes (2000m) has produced three winners and a placegetter from her four foals to race, including the dual Listed winner, Leeu (NZ) (Volksraad) and the recent Gr.2 Winning Edge Presentations Stakes (2400m) winner Growl (NZ) (by Montjeu).
A multiple Group winner from 1100m to 1300m, Falkirk (NZ) won eight races and was four times placed second in his 22 career starts. He subsequently retired to stud in mid-July as the fastest son of his brilliant young sire, Tale of the Cat (by Storm Cat).
Falkirk (NZ) is standing at Windsor Park Stud for a fee of $8000 +GST this season.
Falkirk completes first step of new career
26 Sep 2006 |
The Tale Of The Cat sire Falkirk has taken to his new life at Windsor Park Stud with relish after his long trip home from Newmarket, England, and last week Windsor Park reported that first mare he covered, Maxamore, the winner of the Group II Matamata Breeders Stakes, has tested in foal.
Falkirk, a multiple group winner in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and who displayed blistering speed in his races, raced with distinction at Royal Ascot when a fast finishing fourth to Takeover Target in the King Stand Stakes.
The traditional opening sprint of the Royal Ascot week was a fraction too short for Falkirk, but his closing final 100m was another highlight of the 2006 southern hemisphere challenge at Ascot.
After quarantine in both England and Australia Falkirk arrived at Windsor Park Stud just in time for the commencement of the breeding season. Falkirk has quickly developed from his racing trim and the long flights to embrace his new career.
Falkirk was the image of his Coolmore sire Tale Of The Cat when he was in racing trim and after time to let down he will be an imposing sire. On inspection two weeks ago Falkirk was already looking in fine shape.
Windsor Park's Michael Moran reports that despite the late introduction of Falkirk to their breeding roster the freshman sire has receive 'great support from breeders'.
Falkirk stands for a fee of $8,000, plus gst, which can be considered more than reasonable. Across the Tasman his sire Tale Of The Cat stands at $A38,500 and a sire with Falkirk's proven Australasian pedigree, and racing ability through several campaigns, would be sort after at much more than his New Zealand based fee.