An impressive win at Rotorua on May 12, was the perfect segue for the talented 4YO O’Reilly mare Campari who will now be set for the $50,000 Listed Tauranga Classic (1400m) for fillies and mares under weight for age conditions on June 22.
“She needed the fresh up run at Counties in April [where she ran fifth] and it tidied her up nicely for Rotorua.” trainer Stephen Marsh said. “Her effort was impressive as she jumped from a very wide draw, but Leith Innes rode her superbly to get her handy and keep her in a good rhythm.”
The Go Racing team knew they had a talented mare on their hands and her recent Australian campaign bore that out.
Campari had two wins in Sydney in late last year, with her win on Melbourne Cup Day at Royal Randwick a highlight. Under a well-judged ride by Jason Collett who rode her right off the speed and then burst home on the rail for an impressive and, in the end, easy win.
“She broke a class record at Randwick that day – 1.21.33 seconds over 1400 metres. To do that in Sydney, you have to be good,” Go Racing racing manager Albert Bosma said.
“Not only has she proved herself but also franked our approach of bringing her to Australia while at a low point in the ratings. It paid dividends for her owners – she earned almost $50,000 for those two starts alone and it gave her city form in Australia, which will be important to her value when she retires as a broodmare.
“The syndicate is called Go Racing Gullivers Syndicate which rings true – this filly can travel!”
Campari will have a lead-up to the Tauranga Classic this Saturday when she races at Ellerslie in the Rating 82 (1400m) worth $30,000 with Craig Grylls in the saddle. Post this she may have one more lead up, or possibly trial if the management team feels she doesn’t need another race before her Listed assignment.
An absolute favourite of the McKee Stable and Go Racing family seven-year-old gelding Passing Shot has been retired.
“It is a very heavy heart that we are making the decision to retire Passing Shot. He’s been having ongoing wear and tear issues which in past we have been able to successfully manage. While he has been a little jointy this preparation his form has been superb and when he is well, he is quite a sight flying along in front. In himself he is feeling very well and jumping around like a young thing so it hasn’t been easy,” says Stephen McKee. “He’s an absolute character and a favourite with my staff.”
This time last year the seasoned campaigner was notching up an incredible 10th career win.
Says Syndicate Manager Albert Bosma, “It was a significant milestone as very few horses clock up double digit wins. Right from the beginning we knew we were onto something special with this Swiss Ace x Derrydane colt bought from the Select Sale at Karaka in 2013 for just $50,000. He was such a physical colt and had presence.”
His final campaign this year was equally as impressive adding one more victory to the tally winning the Open 1400 metre Handicap in the Hawkes Bay in February, the first time he had won at that distance. “He also notched up a second, a third and two fourths in this final campaign so he certainly has gone out with his head held high.”
It’s been a hell of a career and a hell of ride for Go Racing The Ace Syndicate. Known for his bold front-running style, he was one of the fastest horses out of the barriers in the country and won most of his races by running his opposition into the ground. He was always an exciting horse to watch.
Passing Shot won the Gazely Cup by four lengths as clear top weight and the Group 3 Mr Tiz Trophy as a three-year-old in 2015. In 2016 he won the Listed Lightning Handicap and the Listed NZB Finance Sprint.
“He was beaten a short margin in the Group 3 Stewards Stakes Handicap in November 2017 and looked to have won the Listed Newmarket Handicap on Boxing Day at Ellerslie that year, but somehow the judge saw it the other way. I think he was the only person in the country that did, but his decision was the one that counted,” says Stephen.
In 2018 he ran a career highlight of fourth in the Group 1 Telegraph.
He earned a total of $414,500 prize money for his extremely happy syndicate.
Says long time Go Racing supporter and part owner of Passing Shot, Phil Mitchell, “We are sad to see him retired but he has done us proud and deserves to be well looked after. He was one of the first Go Racing horses I was involved with and he really brought our syndicate together. We’ve all had a lot of fun with “Shottie”, and a number of firm, enduring friendships have been formed. Winning 11 races was a real bonus too – only a very few manage to do that!”
Passing Shot is enjoying phase one of his retirement at McKee Racing until the perfect home is found for him.