June 2019


Take Two – Take A Bet

Bruce Stewart

Free-legged pacer Take A Bet capped off a successful stay in Southland when she won the $12,000 Ryal Bush Transport Limited Nuggets Final at Ascot Park today.

The Mach Three filly has won $21,200 in the space of five weeks for Canterbury trainer Geoff Dunn whilst down here, and she’s become the first horse to win both a Ladyship and Nugget final.

Punters had some anxious moments though after Take A Bet which was the favourite, galloped in the score up. Starter Ben Ward declared a false start but Take A Bet galloped round to the start point before Williams was able to pull her up.

“It’s uncharacteristic for her. I think Brett (caretaker trainer Brett Gray) must have let the hopples out on her during the week (laugh). She just needs to learn how to be a racehorse,” said Williams who decided to stand in Gate Two for the re-start.

When the field left for the second time the mare paced away perfectly and was taken straight to the lead where she stayed, withstanding a late charge up the passing lane by American Mac. She won by three quarters of a length.

“She’s getting better each time. The trips down here have been the making of her. She’s starting to develop a bit of speed now. Brett and the team have done a good job in looking after her and making sure she’s been ready to go.”


Take A Bet and Tim Williams hanging on to beat the late charge of American Mac and Mark Hurrell – Photo Bruce Stewart.


Coming back to the birdcage – Photo Bruce Stewart

Take a Bet is raced by William’s parents Brent and Suzanne along with Gary and Keri Woodham who were all on-course today.

Brent Williams, Gary Woodham, Suzanne Williams and Keri Woodham – Photo Bruce Stewart


She’s out of the six win Bettor’s Delight mare Kabet which started favourite in the 2013 Southland Oaks Finals – then driven by Tim.

As a broodmare Kabet has also left Above N Beyond which ran fifth in the Two Year Emerald in the recently held Harness Jewels at Addington.


Above n Beyond on Jewels Day at Addington – Photo Bruce Stewart.

Kabet’s third dam is the 1994-1995 Broodmare of the Year Sakuntala which left Brad Adios the 1977-1978 Three Year Old Pacer of the Year in Australia and Tuapeka Star who was the winner of twenty two races and the dam of New Zealand Cup winner Iraklis.

Meanwhile Robbie Royale capped off a consistent season by winning The Williamson Racing Stables Handicap Trot.


Robbie Royale and Brent Barclay – Photo Bruce Stewart

The five year gelding trained by Brett Gray has won four races this season from twenty three starts and has banked $27,745. for his connections.


 The Paua Diver Doesn’t Run Outta Puff

Bruce Stewart

The plan to take The Paua Diver to the front by trainer driver Allan Beck worked perfectly at Ascot Park today when the four year old cleared maiden ranks at his fifth start.

The Live Or Die gelding showed promise early when he ran third behind the talented Zinny Mac at Winton in mid December, pacing the 2400 metres in 2-56.2.

“After that first run he got himself a bit worked up. Before that he was a perfect natured horse. He’s been a bit disappointing in a couple of his runs,” said Beck who part owns the gelding with breeders Ben and Karen Calder.

From Gate Six Beck used the horse’s natural early speed and took The Paua Diver to the lead. From that point he ran good solid even quarters before Flaming Jim made a lightening quick move to challenge inside the last 800 metres. Duty Bound, driven by Robin Swain, which had trailed The Paua Diver for most of the way pulled out and forced Flaming Jim three wide before taking the lead.

“They showed a bit too much speed for me so I just let them go in the finish. Robin’s one was going alright.”

Once Duty Bound had taken The Paua Diver to the passing lane Beck pushed the go button again and the gelding showed he was too good for his rivals, beating Duke Of Dundee by two lengths with Flaming Jim another length back in third.

The_Paua_Diver_winning_at_Ascot_Park_950_x_358.jpgThe Paua Diver winning for trainer driver Allan Beck – Photo Bruce Stewart

Coming back to the birdcage – Photo Bruce Stewart

“He’s like his sister (Bettor Enforce). You just have to let them go. The harder you go the more they seem to enjoy it.”

Beck trained The Paua Divers dam Their Excuse which won her first race but was unplaced in three further starts.

The win with The Paua Diver was one of two for Beck today. He also drove the Brian Nicol trained Cast A Shadow to win the Sheet Metalcraft Mobile Pace.

Cast_A_Shadow_winning_at_Ascot_Park_950_x_370.jpgCast A Shadow and Allan Beck beating Ellie Barron and Paduka – Photo Bruce Stewart


Back to the muddy birdcage – Photo Bruce Stewart


I’mallaboutthebase Win Big Thrill For Baucke

Bruce Stewart

“It was great to see Southland getting some of the chocolates for once. It was also good seeing U May Cullect getting up to get the job done,” said Southland trainer Steve Baucke after his mare I’mallaboutthebase won the $40,000 Listed Uncut Gems Mares Classic at Addington last night.

From gate six driver Tim Williams positioned the mare three back on the running line with Flying Milly Mac setting the pace. The order remained the same until the top of the straight when I’mallaboutthebase was presented with the passing lane and she came through nicely to nail Flying Milly Mac by a length with Naiya Franco another length and a quarter back in third. The winning time was 3-12.7.

“It worked out well. Her sister (Delight My Soul) was deadly three back on the fence. She’s (I’mallaboutthebase) proving to be just as deadly. Tim was stoked and it was just the perfect trip for her really.”

The win was I’mallaboutthebase’s fourth in thirty six starts over three seasons. She has now won $64,898.

I’mallaboutthebase after her win at the Northern Southland Meeting – Photo Bruce Stewart

I’mallaboutthebase is by underrated sire Shadow Play out of the In The Pocket mare Soleil D’or and was bred by Steve and his wife Carol.

“When she was born she had a bit of a rear end on her. I rang Graeme Henley (from Alabar Stud) and told him I was going to call her I’mallaboutthebase. He said ‘are you sure’, and I said I am.”

The Bauckes no longer own Soleil D’or. After I’mallaboutthebase was born they sold her to Aucklander Kevin Haycock who has an Auckland Reactor colt out of her.

Soleil D’Or’s fifth foal Delight My Soul won seven races for the Bauckes. She was retired from racing earlier this year after being served by Sweet Lou.

It was the first time Baucke has won a race at Addington.

Four different drivers have now won on the Shadow Play mare; Craig Ferguson, Matthew Williamson, Blair Orange and now Tim Williams.

It was the mare’s first black type win. She previously ran second behind Dizzy Miss Lizzy in the 2017 Group Three Caduceus Club Of Southland Fillies Mobile Pace.

“We’ll give her a bit of a holiday now and we’ll line up again next season. There has been a bit of interest (buyers) in her but we’ve always wanted to keep her.”


The Rise Of U May Cullect Continues

Bruce Stewart

Boom Southland pacer U May Cullect continued on his winning way at Addington last night. He had to draw on all his reserves but he beat Classie Brigade by a nose.

However after the win, the rumour mill began churning which owner Tom Kilkelly found disappointing.

“The word round Christchurch is that the horse has broken down. I had a couple of phone calls this morning asking what had gone wrong with him. We don’t have any issues. Kirstin put him on the truck this morning and wrapped his legs and said there was no sign of anything. We’ll get him scanned on Monday just to make sure,” he said.

In last night’s PGG Wrightson Standardbred Uncut Gems Classic driver Kirstin Barclay took U May Cullect to the front early before handing up to Classie Brigade and driver John Dunn. From there the pace was on.

“They went down the back in 27. I think Dunn’s idea was to run us off our feet so that we couldn’t beat him.”

Classie Brigade, U May Cullect, Triple Eight and Smokin By gapped themselves from the rest of the field and coming down the straight it became a battle of two mighty willing horses with U May Cullect beating Classie Brigade by a nose.

“I was a wee bit concerned when he took the passing lane. He sprinted for a wee bit then he lost his way but Kirstin felt he just got lost because he’s never taken the passing lane. He’s always either lead or come round them. It was a bit tense in that he didn’t win by lengths like he normally does but he was racing against Cup horses.”

Kilkelly wasn’t even sure whether it was a win or not.

“Everyone round me reckoned he’d won but I didn’t know – I thought it was pretty close. There was only a nose in it. I was talking to Graham Court this morning and he said that’s the sign of a real good horse. They just dig in and have got that wee bit extra.”

The winning time was 3-08.7 on a showery night, on an easy track. The New Zealand record for 2600 metre mobile of 3-05.5 is held by Sheriff. The run of Classie Brigade was full of merit and was only his third race back since a nine month injury break.

U May Cullect – Photo Bruce Stewart

Kilkelly says U May Cullect pulled up well and that now’s the right time for a break.

“He’s a bit of a dumbo. I went down to the barn afterwards and washed him down and he was just standing there like he normally does. He’s definitely going to get a nice month in the paddock now.”

Next on the cards will be the Hannon Memorial at Oamaru in September.

“If we’re competitive we’ll carry on to the Cup.”

Despite the horse’s rapid rise through the grades Kilkelly says there have never been any offers to buy him.

“There’s never been any money put up. We’ve made it very very clear that he’s not for sale. I don’t care what the offers are. I’ve spend my life waiting for a good horse and this is it.”

He says without doubt U May Cullect’s win at Addington last night was a career highlight, surpassing Shard Ark’s win in the 2009 Yearling Sales Series Final.

“Shard Ark hadn’t done much until that race whereas the journey with this fella has been unbelievable.”

Kilkelly says the horse’s notoriety has spread far beyond Southland.

“I was sitting in the stand last night and there was a guy sitting just along from me and he said to me after the race ‘I was cheering louder than you were and I’ve flown down from Auckland just to watch this horse’. It was just an unbelievable feeling. Everyone at Addington congratulating us. Money can’t buy that.”