Weather, fine; track, heavy (11), rail, true position.
Race 1: Central Southland and Freight Hurdle, $10,000, maiden, 2750m.
Speedy Jax won narrowly at his sixth start over hurdles. Ridden by Hamish McNeill, he trailed the pacemaker Paddy Owen, came to the fore at the last fence and lasted by a nose from the powerful finishing Point Proven, who gave the leaders a start of eight lengths at the third last fence. Tai Ho fought on well for third, half a length back after joining the leader at the 1200m. There was two and a half lengths to Paddy Owen, ahead of Payment Pending and Beethoven. Speedy Jax is a 7yr-old by Spartacus from Aromay trained by Kevin and Pam Hughes for Dame Wendy and Don Pye.
Horse to follow: Point Proven.
Race 2: Wairepo Hereford Stud Otago Hurdles, $20,000, restricted open, 2750m.
The Energizer was an impressive winner. He settled last in the eight-horse field, improved to fourth at the second last fence. He burst clear after the last obstacle and won by two lengths. Ridden by James Seivwright, The Energizer is trained by Kelvin Tyler for the Trodmore Partnership No 2. Jackfrost came along the inner from back in the field for second, a length clear of Drumgold, who shared the lead at the last fence after keeping in touch with the pace. Delacroix was two and a half lengths back fourth after being prominent from the 800m. The Young Pretenda, who held a big lead in the middle stages, weakened to sixth.
Horse to follow: The Energizer.
Race 3: Brocklebanks Dry Cleaners, $30,000, rating 85, 2200m.
Shakti mastered 59.5kg to win after racing close up in the open in the hands of Gosen Jogoo. It was the third win in his last four starts for the Duelled gelding raced by trainer Jo Gordon with Murray Scott, Trevor Young and Jim Mee. Shakti was outside pacemaker Shezatoucha at the 800m and stuck to his guns in the run home to score by half a length. Tilly Dunnage, who was fourth in the running, finished on for second with two and a half lengths to Shezatoucha, who made the pace and fought on well. Satin Guru ran on for fourth, a head back with a gap of two and three quarter lengths to Shanzino.
Horse to follow: Shezatoucha.
Race 4: No Limits Interiors, $25,000, rating 75, 1200m.
Prince Oz had his fourth win on end since joining the Riccarton stable of Neill Ridley. The 6yr-old O’Reilly – Royal Princess gelding was transferred after a win when trained by part-owner Mark Connors at Wanganui. Prinze Oz has now won on all types of track conditions. Prince Oz trailed in the second line on the outer in the hands of Terry Moseley, forged to the front near the 200m and won by a length. Taieri Gem ran on solidly wide out from eighth at the 400m for second. There was three lengths to Dutch Courage, who had tracked the leaders Tiebreaker and Nakyama. Born A Royal battled on for fourth, ahead of The Czar (last mostly) and Barabas.
Horse to follow: Taieri Gem.
Race 5: GO Healthy NZ Maiden, $10,000, 1400m.
Juliette was a runaway winner in the colours of Alexandra owner, Peter Lyon. There was sentiment in the decision of Lyon to lease the filly who had finished fourth in a listed race at Pukekohe as a 2yr-old last season when trained by Brendon Hawtin.
“I have a daughter called Juliette and I raced a horse of that name who won four races,’’ recalled Lyon.
The earlier Juliette (by Exattic) won four races in the 1995-96 season when trained by Mel Coles at Washdyke.
The present day Juliette is by Poet’s Voice and the first foal of the Redoute’s Choice mare Redscilla.
Juliette finished third in her other start since joining the Wingatui stable of Terry and Debbie Kennedy. She was a late scratching when she lost her rider at the start at Wingatui on May 25.
Juliette (Shankar Muniandy) settled third on the outer, led near the 300m and dashed away by four and a quarter lengths. She’s Fun, who led early then trailed, held second with two and a half lengths to Miss Catherine, who ran on strongly from the ruck for third, shading Buster Bolt (always handy) and Flying Agent (closest at finish).
Horse to follow: Juliette.
Race 6: Bowel Cancer New Zealand, $22,500, rating 65, 1400m.
Opio Rose, who had not raced for six weeks, held off the fast finishing Flicka Of Gold. Opio Rose (James Bohorun) is trained by Stephen Blair – Edie and she had won a maiden race at her previous start at Invercargill in April. She trailed in the second line on the outer, challenged three wide to lead near the 350m and prevailed by half a head from Flicka Of Gold, who was ridden back in the field. There was three quarters of a length to Valetina Vittoria, who ran on strongly from well back with a length and a quarter to Civic Reception, who was doing his best work at the finish. Plutonium faded to fifth after disputing the lead with Free And Easy.
Horse to follow: Flicka Of Gold.
Race 7: Wild Range Photography, $35,000, 1400m.
Shaara continued the run of success for Invercargill trainer Jo Gordon, who won earlier in the day with Shakti. She has trained the winners of 21 races and $383,000 in stakes this season.
Shaara raced by the Vino and Punters syndicate, the Jonah’s 11 syndicate and Murray Bloodstock partnership, has now won nine races. Shaara, ridden by Krishna Mudhoo, was handy but three wide, disputed the lead at the 350m and prevailed in a close finish. He won by half a head from the favourite Raise You Ten with a long neck to Stokers Rock and a head to Irish Excuse. Raise You Ten ran on from mid-field and Stokers Rock came from well back. Irish Excuse made the pace.
Horse to follow: Raise You Ten.
Race 8: Wingatui Function Centre, $25,000, rating 75, 1600m.
Ablaze, who had not raced since March 31, did best with stablemate Londonderry Air in third place. Both horses are trained by Brian and Shane Anderton. Tina Comignaghi settled Ablaze fourth on the inner and struck to inside rail to score by a neck from Ruby Marie, who showed up wide in the lead at the straight entrance from back in the field. There was half a neck to Londonderry Air, who ran on from sixth. Opihi Ranger made ground from the rear for fourth, ahead of the favourite Wild Jack, who faded after racing handy. The pacemaker Lin was next to finish, ahead of Squizzy, who was slow away.
Horse to follow: Ruby Marie.
Photo credits: Wild Range Photography