The Waikato Racing Club is the host club conducting 16 licences of the 19 race days held annually at Te Rapa Racecourse, Hamilton. The racetrack has been upgraded in recent times and provides an excellent surface all year round. More recently the club has undertaken work on a training and trials track which is expected to be in operation in early 2016. With a healthy membership and support from long term sponsors the Club continues to grow and develop, if you are interested in becoming a Member or Sponsor of the club please find further information below or contact us today!
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No one is riding better in Macau then ex-pat kiwi Andrew Calder who has booted home seven winners in six race days.
Last week, Calder struck early in the day with Magician Code in the Class 4 over 1500 metres.
Sea King defied his top-weight to successfully defend his Waikato Steeplechase crown, winning by three and half lengths at Te Rapa on Saturday.
Sea King went into the $50,000 Warren Storm Lifebrokers Waikato Steeplechase as a hot favourite and he didn't let supporters down with a polished display of jumping and out gunning lightweight Brer at the finish.
A year after the gelding became the first horse to complete the Waikato Hurdle-Steeplechase double, he also completed a memorable double for his 20-year-old rider Shaun Fannin.
Lumping 70kgs, the nine-year-old was conceding 5kgs to Brer and the two looked to fight out the finish after jumping the last together but the top-weight raced away to score convincingly.
The win was Sea King's 12 win over the fences and career win number 15 from 53 starts. The $31,000 first prize purse adds to the $531,000 he has already won for breeder and part-owner Sue Harty and part-owner Chris O'Reilly.
For trainer Kevin Myers it was his fourth consecutive win in the Waikato Steeplechase. On hand to represent Myers was Jo Rathbone, the most recent of eight to complete the Waikato Hurdle-Steeplechase double when successful on Sea King in the Hurdles and stablemate Rioch in the Steeplechase in 2013.
Rider Shaun Fannin rapid ride to the top of jumping jockeys in only his third season of riding is a tremendous story on its own. The former equestrian rider became good friends with Myers former apprentice Mick Dee - who is now a successful rider in Victoria.
Fannin completed the Waikato Hurdle-Steeplechase double when he won on Ready Eddie earlier in the day.
Sea King looks set to fly to Australia for the lucrative jumps races in Victoria. He previously won the Mosstrooper Steeplechase, second in the Crisp Steeplechase and fourth in the Australian Grand National.
On Saturday we had fiasco of a situation of a late scratching of a horse at the barrier, because of an un-well jockey. While it is not good to see any jockey un-well, especially around at the barriers, lessons should be learnt.
Rider Reese Jones fell off from his mount Our King Sway - one of the favoured runners in the Fairview Motors 2100, on the way to the barriers. Jones was un-well to ride the horse and Our King Sway was a late scratching.
The official stipe reports reads:
Race 8 FAIRVIEW MOTORS 2100 B R Jones the rider of OUR KING SWAY dismounted behind the barriers when the gelding became fractious. B R Jones then advised the Starter that he had begun to feel unwell and after being attended to by St John's ambulance personnel was deemed unfit to ride in the race with OUR KING SWAY consequently being declared a late scratching at 3.15 pm. B R Jones was subsequently examined by the Course Doctor and stood down from his remaining ride suffering the effects of dehydration.
There are many losers of the mishap including owners and the trainer, the Waikato Racing Club, and punters; with no-one held accountable.
"We thought we had a genuine chance of winning. It's not every day you race in an eight horse field worth $30,000," part-owner and trainer Glenn Old said.
"His campaign has been aimed towards the Foxton Cup at Wanganui. He needed to win on Saturday to get the rating points, and he would have been a real light-weight chance."
"He's jumping out of his skin, we now need to run him before he hurts himself in the paddock. We have to run him in a mile at Ellerslie this week now. His whole campaign has been de-railed," Old added.
Further insult, Old is left with the starting and transport fees. His horse was late scratched through no fault of his, the track or his runner.
The Waikato Racing Club lost money, as Our King Sway was one of the favoured runners in the event.
Punters were left fuming with the late scratching. Unable to re-invest but also because of the race was the first leg of the Treble. Our King Sway was substituted with Tiffany's. Punters are unable to get their money back but are left with the race substitute - Tiffany's. Tiffany's finished well back in sixth position.
This mishap could have been avoided if it wasn't for recent NZTR rule change.
Previously a replacement jockey could have been weighed and taken to the barriers with a slight delay. This rule was changed in order to fulfill our race time slots with Australia. But, how many delays do we see with re-shoeing at Randwick? A replacement jockey could have been used and taken to the barriers quicker than re-shoeing a horse.
Even without a rule change, the only one accountable are the jockeys themselves. Jockeys are professional athletes and should go into each race comfortable they are 100% fit in every race. Any less and they should stand down from the ride.
Sportspeople stand down if they feel they can not perform at their peak. How many times do we see rugby players stand down after the warm-up?
Jockeys are no different. Last week, Vinnie Colgan stood down from his remaining rides after winning the Rotorua Cup. Colgan wasted to get to Storming The Tower 54kg allocated.
On Saturday, Jones had wasted to get down to Ohope Prince allocated 54kgs - a winner he rode in the previous race to Our King Sway.
In the post-race interview with Jones, it was obvious that he was struggling with the sacrifices he had made to get down to Ohope Prince's carded weight. One social media tweet stated "Jones looks like he needs an oxygen mask."
Stipiendiary Stewards would become public enemy No.1 if they start stopping jockeys fulfill their riding engagements if they feel they don't look well. Jockeys look worse for wear at the best of times. But, it was obvious to everyone that saw Jones' Ohope Prince post-race interview that he wasn't well and someone should have stepped in and stopped him riding for the remainder of the day.
Heavens forbid if Jones did participate in the race. He could have become ill and fell off mid-race, endangering himself and his fellow riders. Or, he could have not been riding at the best of his ability.
Do we need to re-look at this recent NZTR rule change where a replacement rider can not be used if a jockey is unwell or hurt on the way to the barriers? Yes.
Does someone need to be held accountable? Yes - the jockey.
The whole fiasco could have and should have been avoided, and should not happen again.
Unbeaten three-year-old filly Let Me Roar displayed qualities that has her earmarked for black-type races next season.
Trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have always held a high opinion on the daughter of Rip Van Winkle., and that opinion was justified with a brave performance by taking out the ANZ at Te Rapa 1400 here at Te Rapa on Saturday.
"She'll be even better with a bit more time, and as a four-year-old we see her as a stakes-winning mare," said Baker
Ridden by Matt Cameron, the well-bred filly began sharply to be outside the leader early until Cameron elected to ease off. Nearly trapped four wide midfield at the 600m, Cameron pushed forward and the pair were third entering the straight.
Let Me Roar took the lead at the 200m mark and fought courageously to hold out the fast finishing Maestro Tom by a long neck.
"We've always liked her and that was a good effort from a three-year-old filly carrying 59kgs against the older horses," Baker said.
The winner of four from four starts, Le Me Roar is owned by her co-breeders Windsor Park.
Let Me Roar won on her debut at Rotorua at the end of last year on a firm track, where she beat Eprouvez - winner of the first race at Te Rapa on Saturday.
The chestnut filly returned to the track in April with successive wins at Pukekohe on rain affected footing, including a six length romp and then a last start impressive win over highly rated Hi Fyer.
Let Me Roar is a half-sister to Group One winner Lion Tamer, also trained by Baker. Lion Tamer won the 2010 Victoria Derby by six and a half lengths, and the Ming Dynasty Stakes.
Matamata trainer Graham Richardson produced two winners with his only two runners at Te Rapa on Saturday.
Richardson's didn't have to wait long when Eprouvez dented a few handy three-year-old's reputations in the first race - the Hamilton Caterers at Te Rapa 1200.
The gelding settled handy to the pace set by De Niro and in the hands of Craig Grylls, the pair tackled the leaders half-way down the straight and went onto to score by half a length to Windborne, with a length and three-quarters to highly fancied Mongolian Empire.
Richardson purchased the son of Thewayyouare for $17,000 at the 2014 Karaka Festival Sales and all 100 shares were quickly snapped up. A bunch of syndicate-holders were present for the victory. "This beats playing golf today," remarked one of the share-holders after the win.
"It's a great result after we bought this horse for the His Syndicate to get people into racing who didn't think they could afford it," Richardson said.
Eprouvez has now won two and placed on three occasions from ten starts and has earned $20,275. Richardson said he may look at running Eprouvez at the next meeting here at Te Rapa (June 11).
Richardson produced his second winner later in the day, with Los Vargas winning the Nabby's Boxing Gym at Te Rapa 1200.
The lightly tried four-year-old was having just her thirteenth career start, although only her fourth in a year. The Fast 'N' Famous mare was a close-up fourth here at Te Rapa last month when resuming after a six month spell.
Ridden by apprentice Shaun McKay, Los Vargas kicked on strongly to win by five lengths. Staccato finished second, with Mr Knowitall a nose back in third.
Los Vargas has won five from 13 starts and has earned $45,400 for her owners, Brown Thoroughbreds Ltd and Fusion Thoroughbreds Ltd.