Go Racing and Thoroughbred News

Sun 28 Nov, 2021

Go Racing continued a brilliant season with another trans-Tasman double on Saturday.
 
Progressive stayer Starrybeel got the ball rolling in the Dunstan Feeds Championship Qualifier (2200m) at Te Aroha.
 
Under a determined ride from Michael McNab, the Go Racing Rock Star-owned runner settled just better than midfield from barrier four, relaxing well before obliging when asked at the top of the straight before fighting off a wall of three contenders to win by 1.3 lengths.
 
“He’s come back super,” said Go Racing’s Albert Bosma. “I think he’s back to the form he was in when he won the Dunstan Stayers’ Final in 2019.”
 
The Stephen Marsh-trained son of Savabeel will get the chance to add further staying credentials to his resume with Albert confirming he will be pressing on to the Gr.3 Skycity City of Auckland Cup (2400m) on New Year’s Day.
 
“He’ll probably have one more run before then and we’ll work that out over the next little while,” he said.
 
“We certainly think he can knock off a cups race over summer. He’s relatively lightly raced and he has loads of ability so we’re really excited about him.
 
Across the Tasman Lord Ardmore was also a cause of great excitement.
 
Formerly trained by Stephen McKee, the four-year-old son of Reliable Man transferred to the Sydney stable of champion trainer Chris Waller when McKee retired.
 
He picked up his second win in three starts, having finished second last start, in the Elite Haulage Handicap (1800m) at Rosehill.
 
Under a superb ride by apprentice jockey Tom Sherry, Lord Ardmore jumped and led from barrier one, set the tempo and then bolted away to win by 1.73 lengths.
 
“It was a terrific win, he began nice, he got a couple of easy sectionals early and he got into a beautiful tempo,” said Tom.
 
“As the tempo increased, he just felt bigger in this stride, he really attacked the line and got home strongly.”
 
Albert said that while the decision to send Lord Ardmore to Australia was forced, it had worked out for the best.
 
“He was just handicapped out of racing in New Zealand unfortunately,” said Albert. “He was a one-win horse in open class so we were forced to send him to Australia, but it’s turned out to be the best decision we could have ever made.
 
“He’s picked up another win in a A$130,000 race today and he’s just flying. He’s going to win a lot of money and be very successful in Australia and I wouldn’t put it past him becoming a cups horse over there either.”
 
In the short-term Lord Ardmore will run in a Benchmark 88 race over 2000m in three weeks’ time, where he will likely carry 57kgs and be very hard to beat again.
 
Stablemate Mightybeel was also very impressive, stepping up to stakes company for the first time and finishing second to wet track specialist Polly Grey in the Listed ATC Cup (2000m) in the heavy10 track conditions.
 
“He’s gone enormous again today,” said jockey Tommy Berry. “It was his first time in this grade and he acquitted himself very well.
 
“I thought he was the winner at the top of the straight. He just got beaten by a more superior wet tracker that’s all.”
 
Albert agreed that the track conditions were his only fault.
 
“It was a great run today and he was just beaten by the wet track,” he said.
 
“He likes a firm track and it was just his class that got him so close today.”
 
Mightybeel will now either go to the B88 2000m worth A$130k on December 18 or the Gr.3 Summer Cup (2000m) worth $160,000 on Boxing Day.
 
“We’ll have to have a think about where he goes but I think he’s got a massive future in Australia and he’s certainly a cups horse for the future.
 
Go Racing’s other runner at Rosehill was the European import Mubariz who capped of a great day for the team with a fresh up fifth placing I the Gr.3 Petaluma Festival Stakes (1500m).
 
“He’s come up really well,” said Albert. “His next run will be in the Group Two Villiers Stakes over 1600m in two weeks and while on today’s run a mile seems too short for him with a very low weight you certainly shouldn’t count him out.”
 
The Gr.3 Summer Cup is also on the radar for Mubariz, another of Go Racing’s very successful European imports.

Click here for the replay of Starrybeel’s win.
Click here for the replay of Lord Ardmore’s win.

Photo: Lord Ardmore, Bradley photos.

Go Racing celebrate another trans-Tasman double
Fri 19 Nov, 2021

Atishu will contest the A$1 million The Gong (1600m) at Kembla Grange on Saturday. Photo: Bradleyphotos.com.au

The blue, white and red silks of syndicators Go Racing will be carried in feature races in New Zealand, New South Wales and Victoria on Saturday, headed by star mare Atishu in the A$1 million The Gong (1600m) at Kembla Grange.

The winner of last season’s Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) and Warstep Stakes (2000m) at Riccarton, Atishu crossed the Tasman this spring to join the stable of Chris Waller, for whom she won two of her first three starts including the Gr.3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m).

Since then, the Savabeel mare has shot for the stars in the Gr.1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and the A$7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m), finishing sixth and 12th respectively.

“She started the spring in superb form, and then there was plenty of merit in her performances in the Epsom and the Golden Eagle,” Go Racing manager Albert Bosma said.

“We just rode her a little bit too handily in the Epsom. After jumping from a wide gate, Kathy O’Hara had to use up a bit too much gas early in the race. Her first sectional was one of the fastest in the race, and she just didn’t have much left at the end. She still finished only 1.8 lengths from the winner, so it was an outstanding performance.

“In the Golden Eagle, we got well back from another wide draw. Glyn Schofield said he kept running into bums all the way up the straight, and she went to the line basically untested. So it’s been a bit frustrating.

“But Chris Waller has been really happy with her. She’s come through those two races in great order, and she’s been working very well leading into this weekend.

“She’s nicely weighted in The Gong on Saturday with only 54 kilograms, and she should enjoy an ideal midfield run from barrier seven. Kerrin McEvoy has won on her before, and he’s back in the saddle this weekend. We’re looking forward to seeing how she goes.”

Atishu is nominated for the Gr.1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) in Perth on December 4, but Bosma believes that is unlikely to be on her itinerary.

“You have to give yourself as many options as possible with early nominations for those big races, but at this stage I don’t think she’ll be making that trip,” he said.

In Victoria, Atishu’s stablemate Skyman will tackle Saturday’s A$500,000 Listed Ballarat Cup (2000m). The winner of five of his 22 starts, the six-year-old has been a strong-finishing second in each of his last two appearances including the Listed Cup Day Plate (1800m) at Flemington.

“He’s beautifully weighted with 54 kilograms, and he’s been knocking on the door lately,” Bosma said. “He’s finished second in both of his last two starts, in races where the leaders were able to jog and then sprint. With a bigger field on Saturday, there should be a bit more pressure on throughout the race, and I think that’ll suit him well.”

On home soil, Go Racing’s Te Rapa contingent features the talented Loose Cannon in the Gr.2 Dunstan Feeds Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m).

“She’s always had enormous ability, but she’s been injury-prone and has had only 11 starts,” Bosma said.

“I think her problems date all the way back to the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) in the spring of her three-year-old year, where we went into the race very confident. She was put into the rail twice and ended up fourth, but she really should have been in the top three and right up with Avantage.

“She spent a bit of time on the sidelines after that, and she’s had a lot of issues all the way through. Because of those issues that she’s had, we really have to chase black type every chance we get. So, even though she’s not particularly well off at weight-for-age on Saturday, we need to have a go while she’s fit and well.

“She was unplaced last start on a heavy track in the Gr. 3 Taranaki Breeders’ Stakes (1400m). The track was initially reported as slow, but later downgraded to heavy, and it was extremely testing. If we’d known it was as bad as it was, we wouldn’t have run her.”

Loose Cannon is trained by Stephen Marsh, who will also saddle Waimoku Falls in Saturday’s Herbie Dyke Stakes Noms Close 7/12 Mile (1600m). A fast-finishing fifth over 1400m on November 2, the Sacred Falls mare is expected to appreciate the extra 200m this weekend.

Meanwhile, Bosma was delighted to purchase Lot 315 from New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale at Te Rapa on Thursday. Offered by Riversley Park, the Almanzor gelding was secured by Go Racing for $70,000.

“We really, really like this horse,” Bosma said. “We had only three horses on our list for the whole sale, and he was certainly one of them.

“We’ve got a half-brother by Tarzino called Strongbow, who’s trained by Chris Waller. He made his debut at Eagle Farm in Brisbane this month and absolutely flew home from last to run second. We really think he’s a Derby horse in the making.

“The Almanzor is a lovely horse, and considering how highly we rate that half-brother, we were very keen to buy him, so it was a great result.”– NZ Racing Desk

Go Racing gears up for big weekend