January 2020

Enchantee Wins Roxburgh Cup

Bruce Stewart

It was a case of getting away and going straight to the front for Prebbleton mare Enchantee and driver Blair Orange in today’s Peters Genetics Roxburgh Cup.

“She’s a great stand start horse. When she hits the ground there’s not many can beat her over the first 100 metres,” said trainer Nick Le Lievre.

The task was made easier when second favourite Spirit Of St Louis broke at the start and took no part in the days feature.

“We thought we might end up in front and then perhaps hand to one of the good horses because she’s so much better coming from behind. She just doesn’t like being niggled at if horses come up and have a look at her.”

Orange kept up a steady pace with the Bettor’s Delight mare and when fourth favourite Robyns Playboy which had sat parked for most of the last lap, began to give ground Orange must have been confident of winning.

“She’s a very good staying mare and the faster they go the better. Blair probably went as quiet as he could as she doesn’t like being in front. We got away with a relatively cheap lead but she was still good enough to do it.”

Nota Bene Denario was a length and a quarter back in second and Triroyale Brigade ran another honest race finishing third.

The winning time was 3-27.1 with the last 800 metres run in 57.7. The race and track record of 3-22.9 is held by Comply Or Die.

Enchantee and Blair Orange winning the 2020 Roxburgh Cup – Photo Wayne Huddleston – Wild Range Photography.

Today’s win was Enchantee’s seventh. She was good enough to run third in last season’s New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Stakes won by Dream About Me.

“That was my first Group One race. It was a massive thrill for both of us.”

It’s not the first time Orange has won on the mare. He drove her to win at Banks Peninsula in March 2017.

The win was very much a family affair as Le Lievre first winner at Rangiora in August 2010 was Amelie the dam of Enchantee.

“She (Amelie) was a really game mare. She would have won a lot more races if she’d stayed sound. She broke down twice. She only won once but she was hardly out of the money in just seven starts.”

Le Lievre said he will now target the big mare’s races coming up at Addington.

“This will probably be her last season of racing. We’re not going to over race her. If she’s racing well we may just race her a bit longer into the autumn.”

For All Roxburgh Cup winners CLICK HERE

Richard Reigns For Baynes

Bruce Stewart

Richard The Third became part of a purple patch of form being experienced by owner Kenny Baynes and Baynes Racing Limited.

His win today at Roxburgh was the third for Kenny and his sister in-law Penny in as many days and two races later Mach Three three year old Stratofortress also won for the pair. Both are trained at Ryal Bush by Brett Gray.

Richard The Third was widely tipped to win today after running a gallant second to tearaway pace maker Time In A Bottle at Gore last month.

The giant trotter drew barrier one today and had to be on his best behaviour as two false starts were declared prior to the race finally getting underway.

“He’s just matured. The false starts didn’t bother him,” Kenny said.

Driver Brent Barclay settled the four year old in fifth early, with Galleons Future making the pace. At the 800 Barclay got on the back of stablemate Brandy And Dry and got a nice drag into the race. As the field opened up inside the last 500 metres he sent Richard The Third forward. At the top of the straight he was three wide and wore down a gallant Galleons Future to win by a length and a quarter.

The winning time of 2-53.4 was a new all-comers record for the 2180 metre stand, beating She’s Allthe Craze’s previous record of 2-54.1.

One of three winning drives for Brent Barclay – Richard The Third – Photo Wayne Huddleston – Wild Range Photography.

Richard The Third is out of the Gee Whiz ll mare It’s A Whiz which was bred by the late Bert Crooks.

Crooks, a long time President of the Southland Racing Club, raced many good gallopers including Wellington Cup winner Ed and Kurdistan mare Bonny Alouise. She won the 1975 New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Stakes at Ascot Park, trained by Rex Cochrane.

It’s A Whiz won three races for Crooks when trained at Makarewa by Tony Barron.

As a broodmare her first foal was Springbank Richard which was bred by Northern Southland couple Alister and Denise Smith. He won twenty races including the 2009 Dominion Handicap when driven by Nathan Williamson.

The Smith’s bred from It’s A Whiz until 2012 without too much luck and Baynes bought her in 2017

“I was up at Macca Lodge looking for a trotting mare. Alister said that he had one (It’s A Whiz). I asked him what he wanted for her and he said I could have her for nothing on one condition; that he didn’t get her back.”

Smith told Baynes he was sick of breeding fillies out of the mare.

“We’ve only bred from her twice and we’ve bred two colts.”

Since Richard The Third the mare has left a Lucky Chucky gelding named In The Groove which qualified for Gray at Winton in May.

“She’s (It’s A Whiz) just down in the paddock. She’s twenty two. Who knows whether I’ll breed from her again. She’s just in the spare parts department at the moment,” said Baynes who’s well known for his one liners.

Richard The Third got his name by being the third colt out of It’s A Whiz. He’s only had nine starts and this is his second season of racing.

“We might have been asking too much of him last year. He threw away a couple of races when he galloped in front.”

The investment in Richard The Third has turned out to be a good one for Baynes. Not only was the mare given to him for free but the service fee to The Pres (the sire of Richard The Third) was also won as a prize.

Two races later Stratofortress having his first start also won for the Baynes/Gray/Barclay combination.

“After Full Noise ran third in the first race I gave Brent a Jimmy’s pie. That’s what got him on a roll.”

Stratfortress is out of the Bettor’s Delight mare Better Hurry and is named after the long range B52 Bomber.

Stratofortress gets up on the inside to beat Yuko – Photo Wayne Huddleston – Wild Range Photography

The two wins today capped off a great start to 2020 for the Baynes family.

Further up country Play Ball trained by Michael House won for the partnership at Tauherenikua on Thursday while Miss Mucho also won in the Baynes colours at Omakau on the same day. She’s trained by Tony Barron.

Baynes has a host of horses spread across the South Island and says his tighter assessed trotter War Admiral is due to return to the race track this month.

The now five year old last started in the Four Year Old Ruby on Jewels Day at Addington in early June. He’s now trained by Michael House who’s given the horse two trials to get him ready to resume racing.

“He’ll be racing at the end of the month in the longer distance races around Canterbury. We want to target the shorter distance mobile races for War Machine.”

Franco Too Good In Summer Cup

Bruce Stewart

Nathan Williamson’s race strategy worked out well yesterday in the House Of Travel Lakers Summer Cup.

Driving Franco Santino and drawing the outside of the front line he knew he had the gate speed to cross all of the inside runners and that’s what he did.

“I was quite keen to leave the gate but I had to work a lot harder than I thought to cross, so I elected to trail Bettathanfast which was good. He’s a rolling horse that was never going to hand up. He was a good target to follow,” he said.

Bettathanfast took Franco Santino to the passing lane and the two horses fought out a sterling finish, Franco Santino winning by a head.

“He was travelling that good turning for home but I struggled to get him to the inside. He flattened out when he got there. They ripped home in 27.”

The overall winning time was 2-43.7.

It’s the second time Williamson has won the Summer Cup, also winning with Costa Del Magnifico in 2017.

Owned by Neville Cleaver, Franco Santino has now won eight races. His racing has been restricted each season to a limited number of starts, as the stable  waited for him to mature.

“He still needs probably another six months to develop. His hind quarters aren’t real strong yet. He’s racing really well so you can’t knock him too much.”

The rescheduled Omakau Cup at Wyndham and the Invercargill Cup the week after are two of his immediate targets.

“The Northern Southland Cup is also coming up so there’s plenty for him”

Belle Heat Winner Started Life As Orphan

Bruce Stewart

Southern Belle Speed Series heat winner at Ascot Park yesterday Bridesdale Robyn didn’t have the best start to life, as at six weeks old her mother Robyn’s Treasure had a paddock accident shattering her shoulder, and she had to be put down.

From that point part-owners Judy Dillon hand reared Bridesdale Robyn, feeding her two and a half litres of milk four times a day.

Understandably that experience has shaped who she is.

“That’s why she’s got a bit of bolshiness about her,” said part-owner and co-trainer Ross Wilson.

At the start Bridesdale Robyn was left three wide on a hot pace set by Stay Aboard. With a lap to run of the 1700 metre race driver Craig Ferguson had reached the front, but he’d used a bit of petrol to get there.

At the 300 Ferguson pulled the ear plugs and pinched a break on the chasing bunch and she held on to beat Bella Sara and Yankee Party who both came late down the middle of the track.

The time was 2-04.2 and the winning margin over Bella Sara was a length and a quarter.

Bridesdale Robyn holding out Bella Sara (3) and Yankee Party (wide out) – Photo Bruce Stewart

Winning connections and sponsors Vet South – Photo Bruce Stewart

Co-trainer Chris Wilson wasn’t able to enjoy the win on-course. Previously he’s missed stable wins because of his children’s hockey tournaments and family holidays, but this time he was busy at work.

As a senior technical field rep for the Gore based Advanced Agriculture, at this time of year there’s a fair bit of demand from farmers requiring his services.

The win was Bridesdale Robyn’s seventh and she’s now inelidgible to start in any further heats of the Southern Belle Speeds Series.

“We may have to look at going to Christchurch and look at those mares races. The fact that we have two horses we can take (Robyns Playboy for other races) will make it a bit easier.”

Wilson however is holding his breath as the stable has a virus running through it at the moment.

“That’s why Swift Robyn dropped out at her last start. It’s probably just a matter of time before they all get it.”

The races was delayed a considerable time as the previous race result was under review and given Bridesdale Robyns record, Wilson was understandably starting to get nervous.

“She’s on the warning list from the other day. At Winton she was just looking out at the car park, not concentrating and broke. She’s done it before. Same race, same day.”

By Christian Cullen, Bridesdale Robyn is named after stock the Dillons produce on their farm ‘Bridesdale’ at Ardlussa in Northern Southland where they also raise Romney and Dorset Downs sheep on their 100 acre home block.