Waikato RC @ Te Rapa
Darci Brahma Waikato Guineas GR II
Waikato RC @ Te Rapa
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Ex-pat kiwi jockey Andrew Calder is among 12 jockeys invited to the inaugural International Mixed Doubles Challenge which will be held at Taipa Racecourse on Saturday.
As its name suggests, the unique concept pits six teams of one male and one female rider apiece against each other. It is reportedly the first of its kind to be ever staged worldwide.
Teams were drawn on Monday and Calder was drawn in the Blue Team with Australia's Katelyn Mallyon. The full listing is as follows:
Red Team: Manoel Nunes (Singapore)
Kim Hye Sun (Korea)
Yellow Team: Olivier Doleuze (Hong Kong)
Nanako Fujita (Japan)
Blue Team: Andrew Calder (New Zealand)
Jacqueline Davis (USA)
Black and White: Moon Se Young (Korea)
Checks Team Katelyn Mallyon (Australia)
Purple Team: Luis Corrales (Macau)
Emily Finnegan (Ireland)
Orange Team: Yutaka Take (Japan)
Jeane Alves de Lemos (Brazil)
The winning team will be determined by a point system allocated over a series of four races on turf. Mounts were drawn on Wednesday morning and Calder has pulled out Lucky And Wealthy (Race 1) for trainer Geoff Allendorf, Felizmaster (Race 2), Obrigado Mais (Race 3), Windsor Arch Five (Race 4).
There are some big names in the line-up like Yutaka Take, who has won more than 100 Group 1 races, which is just amazing, not to mention Luis Corrales and Olivier Doleuze as well.
Calder, who has ridden over 700 winners in New Zealand including seven Group 1 contests, eight Group 2 events and over 20 Group 3 and Listed races including a Listed race on Damigos at Rosehill for Gerald Ryan.
After a six month stint as a freelance rider in Singapore in 2006-07, winning 20 races there he then switched his attention to Macau and has been very successful there since.
A natural lightweight, Calder is a lovely balanced rider blessed with good hands, and his patient riding displays have become his trademark.
Champion jockey Lisa Allpress is counting down to her return to serious business.
The Wanganui rider has made a quicker than anticipated recovery from a serious leg injury that in October cut short her riding stint in Japan.
"I'm hoping to be back on the first weekend of February at Te Rapa," Allpress said.
The Waikato meeting on February 4 will feature the Gr. 2 Darci Brahma Waikato Guineas, with the Gr. 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes and NRM Sprint to follow a week later.
"With a bit of luck I might secure some decent rides on those Group days," Allpress said.
The 41-year-old has yet to secure a clearance to resume her career and she isn't anticipating any problem.
"I have to see the doctor on the second of February, but I'm feeling pretty good," she said.
Allpress was in her second riding spell in Japan when she suffered a broken tibia after parting company with a two-year-old on their way to the barrier.
"Initially they said I would be out for four to six months and it's been three months this week," she said.
"I've done a couple of days of track work at Wanganui and one at Waverley and I rode some work for John Bary at Hastings when we were over there.
"It's just my fitness levels that I need to keep working on."
Allpress is the reigning champion jockey after an outstanding 2015-16 season that was rewarded with 171 winners.
Australian raider Odyssey Moon looked in good order at Cambridge trackwork this morning having his final hit-out before his Group One $250,000 JR & N Telegraph (1200m) tilt at Trentham this Saturday.
Trainer Robert Smerdon reported the four-year-old Snitzel entire, coming off an all-the-way win in the Group Three on New Year's Day, had travelled as well as possible across the Tasman.
"We were really happy with him. It was a really good trip. It was about 10 hours door-to-door, which is good time," Smerdon said.
"Having won the Standish, James [Harron] thought, 'The Telegraph is a Group One race, he's an entire by Snitzel', if he can win a race like that, it's a big tick on his CV. There could be stud masters anywhere watching him, but mainly in New Zealand," Smerdon said.
"I think he can measure up quite well if he takes his A-game. The course there at Wellington is very similar to Flemington, it's got one dog-leg turn, so it's almost straight, and he's won a couple at Flemington.
"It's a difficult thing to travel that far and take on the locals, you're always giving up something, but if he gets there and produces an effort like he did to win the Standish, I'm sure he'll be right in the mix," the Caulfield trainer added.
Odyssey Moon is stabled at leading trainer's Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman stable at Cambridge and will be floated to Wellington on Friday with race-rival Luna Rossa, a late nomination for the Telegraph from the Baker/Forsman stable.
The three year old daughter of Written Tycoon won the Group One Manawatu Sires Produce last season and finished second in the Group 2 Schweppes Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield in September.
She hasn't raced since finishing sixth in the Group Two Moonee Valley Classic (1600m) but was impressive winning a 935m trial last week at Cambridge.
This morning the pair worked together with Luna Rossa slightly shading Odyssey Moon, the Australian visitor carrying a heavier riding lad.
Hall Of Fame stamped himself as one of the country's leading three-year-old's, delivering a gutsy performance winning the Group One $225,000 Randwick Meats Levin Classic over 1600 metres at Trentham.
Ridden by Te Akau
stable rider Opie Bosson, the pair jumped from the ace draw and settled
midfield on the rail until the 1000m mark, when Bosson positioned his mount off
the fence to follow favourite Savile Row till the corner. Bosson angled his
mount in the middle of the track, taking the lead with 250m to travel and the
colt dug deep to get the better of Savile Row (M.Du Plessis) by a nose, Jon
Snow (M.Cameron) was game in third, long head back.
"That was a top win. He possibly got to the front a little bit soon and then started gazing around a bit, but to his credit he stuck his head out at the right time. This horse has just got the best attitude," Bosson said.
He's great to ride and I just love him," Bosson added.
Hall Of Fame's winning time was 1:35.54 (last 600m in 34.29) on a Dead4 track.
Co-trainer of the powerful Te Akau stable, Stephen Autridge won the very first Levin Classic as a jockey on the ill-fated Altitude back in 1981.
"Opie gave him a great ride. When I won the Levin Classic, he was one year old!" quipped Autridge.
"This is a colt who's always shown us a lot. He's a great little colt. We still don't know what happened in the 2000 Guineas, maybe it was just that he'd had enough in that campaign. He's come back better than ever. It was a good field today. He only just won, but he really gutsed it out. It's fantastic result for the Te Akau syndicates, especially with the sales just around the corner. It's brilliant for Savabeel too, having a Group One colt like this. We're all rapt," Autridge said.
Hall Of Fame has now had nine starts
for five wins including two at black type having won the Listed Zacinto Stakes at Riccarton earlier in the season, along
with two seconds has earned over $232,000 in prizemoney for the Te Akau 24/7
Bred by M W O'Keeffe, Hall Of Fame was a highly successful pinhook having been bought first from the Newgate Farm draft at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale for A$100,000. He was then offered by Lyndhurst Farm at the 2015 NZB Ready to Run Sale where he was purchased by Te Akau Racing for $230,000.
"He was actually
passed in the RTR, but I bought him five minutes after he went through the
ring. He's out of a Galileo mare, and I thought he was one of the closest I've
seen to Galileo in appearance," Te Akau principal David Ellis said.
Hall Of Fame is the 11th Group One winner for champion sire Savabeel, and is the first winner for Around the Clock, from the family of Group One VRC Victoria Derby winner Nothin' Leica Dane.
Hall Of Fame is now a $9 equal second favourite for the $1 million Group One Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 4.
Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh capitalized on the set weight and penalties conditions of the $70,000 Tui - Backing A Winner Since 1889 Anniversary (SWP) over 1600 metres, to quinella the event with Seize The Moment getting the better of stablemate The Auld Floozie at Trentham on Saturday.
The pair quinelled their previous start in last month's Listed J Swap here at Te Rapa, with The Auld Floozie scoring by nearly two lengths on that occasion.
On Saturday, with slightly favourable weight conditions suiting Seize The Moment, the chestnut gelding reversed the result with a brave performance taking the honors in the Group Three feature.
Ridden by Matt Cameron, Seize The Moment broke well to trail the leader La Fille En Jeu for most of the race until challenging for the lead at the 300m mark. Soon after claiming the lead, they were quickly joined by stablemate The Auld Floozie (R.Myers) in the middle of the track but Seize The Moment fought back gamely to win his first belated black type event after five placings, including second to Mabeel in last year's running of the event.
The Auld Floozie was brave in defeat beaten half a length, with a nose back to Aotearower running on from the rear appreciating a dream inside passage.
"The stablemate came up to win it, but he really fought. He loves a dog fight. We decided to go forward today, and take luck out of the equation. He's as tough as they come," Cameron said.
Seize The Moment's winning time was 1:35.25 (last 600m in 34.64 ) on a Dead4 track.
Seize The Moment has now had won seven and has 15 placings from 28 starts, and earned more than $226,000 in prize-money.
The Pins gelding was purchased by Albert Bosma from Go Racing Syndications for $50,000 at the 2012 Karaka Premier Sale from Waikato stud's draft.
Bosma is a great supporter of Marsh, and the Cambridge trainer won a race earlier on the Trentham card sponsored by Bosma's Go Racing Syndications.
Seize The Moment is now rated a $16 chance in the Group One Harcourts Thorndon Mile in a fortnight, with Thee Auld Floozie at $9.