The popular 10th DEC SKYCITY Hamilton Waikato Cup and 17th DEC Te Rapa Christmas at the Races Hospitality packages are now on sale. With $15 early bird General Admission for the regions biggest Christmas party, the SKYCITY Hamilton Waikato Cup is sure to be a sell out. Check out all the event details or contact us for further information.
SKYCITY Hamilton Waikato Cup
Waikato RC @ Te Rapa
Christmas at the Races
Waikato RC @ Te Rapa
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Pukekohe trainer Nigel Tiley is looking forward to having a strong hand in the feature races at Te Rapa next weekend, including Group One mare Girl Of My Dreams who has quickly bounced back from a bad experience last start at her home track.
The Gold Centre mare dropped out alarmingly in the home straight in the Gr. 2 NRM Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes two weeks ago, finishing a distant last. She was found to have suffered cardiac arrhythmia.
"It wasn't a very good experience for her, but she's come through it fine," Tiley told www.theinformant.co.nz this afternoon.
"She was pretty much normal by the time she got back to the stables actually, which was good to see. We'll carry on and have a go at the fillies and mares' race at Te Rapa next Saturday, which has been the plan all the way through her campaign."
The Gr. 2 Cal Isuzu Stakes is run over 1600 metres and carries prize-money of $100,000.
Girl Of My Dreams has won seven of her 36 starts and more than $220,000 in stakes, headed by wins in the Gr. 3 Taranaki Cup and 2YO Classic. She was also a desperately close second to Volkstok'n'barrell in this year's Gr. 1 New Zealand Stakes.
Stablemate Megablast acquitted himself well in the Gr. 3 Counties Cup and will carry on along the cups trail. Stepping back down to 2100 metres following a dominant win over 2400 metres at Trentham, the son of Shinko King stuck on well to finish fourth and within three lengths of Chocante.
"I thought it was a very good run at Counties," Tiley said. "It was his first run in open company and he was dropping back in trip, so it was a good effort and I was pleased. He'll go to the Waikato Cup next week."
Cambridge trainers Tony Pike, Brendon Hawtin, Roger James, Stephen Marsh and Murray Baker talk about their weekend chances, after Thursday morning trackwork.
Von Tunzelman displayed why trainer Roger James has a high opinion of the gelding, with a brave performance taking out the $7,000 Monovale Sand (Rating 65) over 1600 metres on Sunday.
The four year old has the breeding to go further, being a son of Zabeel out of the top-class mare J'Adane, placed in seven Group races also owned by Brendan and Jo Lindsay.
A winner on debut at Te Aroha, followed by solid placings here at Te Rapa at his next two starts.
Although he only battled away last start at the end of September, punters sent him out favourite and with in-form rider Leith Innes aboard. The pair settled midfield three wide, went forward, taking the lead with 250m to travel to win by two lengths to El Cajero (S.Collett), with Her Choice (A.Jones) finishing third a further length back.
Von Tunzelman 's winning time was 1:37.21 (last 600m in 37.23) on a Dead4 track
James has targeted the special conditions event $80,000 Dunstan Feeds Stayers Championship (2200m) at Ellerslie. on New Year's Day, but is not sure on future plans.
"The option is there, but I don't know whether it's the best race for him at this stage. It could be a big ask. There's bigger fish to fry later on. We've given him time now and maybe it would be best to look for other options rather than step him up over ground so soon. I'll look to give him another mile race somewhere and go from there," James said.
Von Tunzelman has won two and placed two from five starts and has earned $13,450 in prizemoney.
Dark Universe stepped up in class but was simply too good for the opposition in the $7,000 Stablecraft (Rating 65) over 1200 metres at Te Rapa on Sunday to make it two wins from two.
The Chris Wood trained three year old has been a handful for his trainer and Viktoria Gatu, who Wood credited his apprentice, "She's (Gatu) done an outstanding job on him. He used to want to do everything at a hundred miles an hour. He was hard work."
With Mark Hills in the saddle, the pair settled sixth on the outside, but soon strode to the front to win comfortably by two and three-quarter length to Wimbledon (S.Collett), with Vitesse (S.Weatherley) a nose back in third.
Dark Universe's winning time was 1:11.16 (last 600m in 35.33)
"He's a very promising horse with a lot of upside. He hasn't been the easiest in his early trials but a bit of time was his friend and now the owners can benefit from their patience," said winning rider Mark Hills.
Wood is targeting Dark Universe towards the Karaka Million (Jan 29th) night and the $50,000 special conditions event over 1200 metres.
"I'm aiming him at Karaka Million night at Ellerslie but not sure what path to take to it," Wood said.
Chris Wood purchased the three-year-old son of Darci Brahma and the one-race Lonhro mare Shalaka for $30,000 at the 2015 Karaka Select Sale.
Dark Universe is raced by his trainer as well as The Rowe Family Syndicate, A D Christie, H Callagher, Mrs J Duckworth, A & C Prescott, P G Proverbs, R Thornley, S B Wilshire.
Pushtheboundaries was a surprise winner of the $7,000 Porritt Sand 1600 metres on Sunday.
The Lee Somervell trained mare hadn't been placed since her debut run - seven starts ago, but put in a polished display for rider Viktoria Gatu at odds 37/1.
Gatu settled the daughter of Pentire handy, challenging the leaders in the middle of the track, taking the lead in the final 100m and hold off fast finishing Keep Up (V.Colgan) by a neck, Red Raven (R.Elliott) was next, three quarters of a length back in third.
Pushtheboundaries' winning time was 1:38.76 (last 600m in 36.08) on a Dead4 track.
"The improved performance was due to the mare prefers the left-handed way of going, and I was confident of an improved performance as the mare had worked well leading into the race," said trainer Lee Somervell.
Pushtheboundaries is raced by her breeders T R & Mrs V M Pascoe as well as Mrs J Peters & Mrs M C Taylor.
It was small consolation for Somervell, who sponsored the Listed Wanganui Cup that was abandoned the previous day due to track conditions. Somervell had hoped to win the race with Celebrity Miss, in foal to Shocking but won't be able to compete in June's rescheduling.