Full Savabeel siblings from the McKee Racing Stable – Group 1 winner Hasahalo and full brother Hasabro – are racing at Tauranga this weekend both drawing barrier 3 and both with Leith Innes in the saddle.
Group 1 mare Hasahalo has a lucrative Pearl Bonus race to compete in – a rating 82 Fillies and Mares over 1300 metres worth $30,000 plus a generous Pearl Bonus of $20,000.
Says Albert, “It’s the equivalent prize money of a $65,000 race if you can win it. These sort of races don’t come along very often in New Zealand and hats off to NZB for providing the Pearl Bonus incentive. We are pleased to have Hasahalo ready for it.”
Ready she is indeed.
Hasahalo ran fresh up in the Group 3 Waikato Stud Plate 1200 metres worth $100,000 on Derby Day and while she finished well down the list dictated by her wide barrier draw, it was her sectionals that really told the story.
“She had the fastest last 600 metres of any horse on the day – 32.77. She was absolutely flying at the end. Fast finishing is her signature move and told us she is back and feeling good,” says Albert.
“The race on Saturday is a drop in class, but she will have to shoulder the top weight of 60 kgs, which is the biggest impost she has ever carried. However the barrier draw of 3 will give her an economical run, and this is a very good chance of her returning to form.”
The race is a perfect lead up for Hasahalo to the Group 1 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes on the 6th of April worth $200,000.
Full brother Hasabro is in the first race of the day at Tauranga in a three-year-old maiden over 1600 metres.
Trainer Stephen McKee is expecting a nice run from the younger sibling. “He needed his first run back after a four month break and took a lot of improvement from the race. We’ve tinkered with his gear slightly and he will wear a crossover nose band which he has been working well in at home. Barrier 3 is an ideal draw for him and will allow Leith to settle him a lot closer to the leaders which is important at Tauranga. You should see a much improved run from him.”