Race: Ryder Stakes plan arises for HB Manhattan Jazz winner
Manhattan Jazz and jockey Kate Hercock cross the finish line clear of their rivals at the end of the two-year-old race at the Hawke’s Bay meeting last Saturday. Photo/NZME
Two-year-old Manhattan Jazz, owned and trained by Hastings, is set to start next in the $60,000 (1,200m) Listed Ryder Stakes in Otaki on July 30 after his solid 1,100m victory at his home track last Saturday .
The big Niagara gelding, bred and owned by Chris Russell and groomed by Dean Howard, stunned bettors by scoring 14-1 in the Bonny Glen Landfill Two-year-old (1100m).
It was his third start after running sharply in his first two, where he finished last of the top seven over 1,200m at Otaki in May, then sixth out of 10 over 1,100m at the same track last month.
Coach Dean Howard always thought Manhattan Jazz had more ability than that, especially after their comfortable long-distance victory in a 750m jump in Hastings a month ago. But he also thought the big horse needed more ground than 1100m to show his best.
The extremely difficult track conditions at Hastings last Saturday obviously helped the horse as the race clocked 1:12.73, which is normally a time for 1200m in winter.
Manhattan Jazz was awkwardly absent and penultimate early in the race. Rider Kate Hercock began to urge him into the final 600m but there was little response at first and the horse was still giving the leaders a good start on the home turn.
Hercock took his mount to the outside of the track and he gradually started to pick up speed before sweeping the lead split in the final 50 yards to win by 1-1/4 in length.
It was the second of two victories of the day for Hawke’s Bay-based Hercock, who also won the opening event on Call Me Jack.
Manhattan Jazz is owned by his Hastings breeder Chris Russell, who unfortunately couldn’t be on the track to celebrate the win as he was self-isolating at home recovering from Covid.
“I was really disappointed not to be there to see him race, but I was really happy with the win,” Russell said this week.
“When this race meeting was moved from Awapuni to Hastings a few weeks ago, I told Dean that it would be an ideal race for the horse, given that she was worth $30,000 and on her track at residence.
“He thought the distance was a bit short but the track was so heavy it was probably like a 1200m race.”
Russell bred Manhattan Jazz from mare Sakhee’s Secret Sakhee Jazz, who was out of two-race winner Donna Jazz.
Sakhee Jazz was injured as a young horse and has never raced, but she is a half-sister to Shesalljazz, who is the dam of eight-race winner New York Jazz. It is also the family of No Time To Jazz (three victories).
Manhattan Jazz was Sakhee Jazz’s first foal, but Russell now has a filly weaned from the mare by O’Reilly’s Choice, a stallion he rides at stud in Hawke’s Bay.
Victory upset by Call Me Jack
It’s been almost two years since Hastings owned and trained Call Me Jack last won a race and for most of the $35,000 Open 2200m race at Hastings last Saturday, it looked like that race without victory would continue.
Six-year-old gelding Jakkalberry looked desperate to even pay a dividend as he was a distant fourth and under a tough run from jockey Kate Hercock with 600m to go.
Whether the three horses in front started to tire or he got a second wind is debatable, but Call Me Jack seemed to quickly catch up with the three leaders at the start of the straight and maintained a strong finish on the center track to winning by 2-1/4 lengths, at odds of 26 to one.
It was Call Me Jack’s third win in 24 starts and all three have been on heavy runs.
As a 65 rated horse, he was not supposed to have contested the open handicap last Saturday, but was eliminated from the Rating 65 race over 1650m.
His trainer and Hastings co-owner Tim Symes argues the horse needs a wet, muddy track to show his best, but the fact that he appears to be dealing with the toughest track conditions obviously helped with the win from last Saturday.
Jockey Hercock later said Call Me Jack was clearly under pressure away from the finish, but she persisted in mounting the horse from the start and got the result she wanted.
“It was the heaviest Hastings track I’ve ever ridden on, and it was tough on both of them,” she said.
“I’ve had riders say ‘I don’t know how you can keep pushing them’, but I said ‘they keep going so I can’t stop and I keep pushing them, and sometimes they continue well enough that they can run for a place or even win.”
Call Me Jack is raced by Tim Symes and his son Wilfred and they out of mare Stark South Gizakis, who has not been placed for four starts but was out of two-race winner Love Proposal.
Hot Shockolate Special Victory
Hawke’s Bay racehorse owner Ken Robson celebrated his first victory at the Hastings track when Hot Shockolate won the $30,000 Rating 65 1200m race at the Hawke’s Bay meeting last Saturday.
It was the mare’s third success in 16 starts, her two previous victories being at Otaki.
For Robson, who raced horses for several years, the victory was particularly significant as his two daughters, Lisa and Charon, also have a racing share in Hot Shockolate and the latter returned from Australia on Tuesday last week.
“It’s the first time we’ve got to see her win,” Robson said.
“Covid meant we couldn’t see her running for a while and then there were three canceled meetings she was supposed to start at.”
Hot Shockolate is trained by New Plymouth-based Bryce Revell, who also has a racing share in the mare. Other union members are Bryan Godber and Linda Hanley of Taradale, Kelvin Bland (Waipukurau) and Roger McDonald (New Plymouth).
They are racing Shocking’s four-year-old daughter for hire and recently negotiated a 12-month extension.
“Bryce thinks about her a lot and she’s starting to adapt to her runs better now,” Robson said.
“She used to go too hard for her own good, but Bryce got her to settle down and adding blinders helped her.”
Hot Shockolate was ridden by promising Northern apprentice Kelsey Hannan, whose 4kg allowance also proved a telling factor in the win.
She set up the mare in midfield at the start of the race before improving between the horses coming into the home round.
Once down the straight, Hot Shockolate finished strong, under a turn of the hands and heels, to win by 1-1/4 lengths.
Waihaha Falls Impressive Again
Waihaha Falls, owned by Hawke’s Bay, produced one of Australasia’s most impressive performances last Saturday, beating their opponents in the Bowermans Handicap (1,200m) A$150,000 ($165,000) at Randwick.
Formed by John O’Shea, Waihaha Falls is owned by Hastings Guy and Brigid Lowry with Waikato Stud’s Mark Chittick.
They bred four-year-old Sacred Falls with mare Scaredee Cat Mink and he has now won them four races in just nine starts and A$255,300 in wagers.
Patiently ridden by apprentice Reece Jones, Waihaha Falls settled in well at the start of the race last Saturday before starting to deliberately move out of the field as they approached the home corner.
Jones released the brakes on the straight and the race was over in a few strides, with Waihaha Falls clearly surging for a 4-3/4 win.
Waihaha Falls’ dam Mink was a winner at Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen stable in Hastings before crossing Tasmania to join John O’Shea’s Sydney stable. She took two more victories and also finished fourth in the Listed Civic Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill in 2012.
Mink is the dam of two winners of three foals to run, with Waihaha Falls half-brother Golden Key, a five-time winner in Australia and Macau.
Dee wins a sentimental victory
Melbourne-based jockey Mick Dee made a winning return to his native country on Wednesday when he rode Calvaria to victory in an inaugural 1,550m race at Cambridge for a syndicate that includes his Hawke’s Bay parents, Richard and Joe Dee.
Dee is back in New Zealand to visit friends and family and took the opportunity to get in the saddle to ride for his parents. He was aboard Calvaria when she finished third on her 1300m debut at Cambridge a fortnight earlier and the Tavistock filly evidently enjoyed the extra distance on Wednesday.
“It was great to get the win, especially for my parents,” Dee said. “They own the horse, so they’re the reason I’m here riding it.”
Calvaria, who is trained by Shaun Ritchie and Colm Murray at Cambridge, is the only horse Dee has partnered with since returning to New Zealand. His priority has been spending time with his family at their farm in Hawke’s Bay, which he shares with his parents.
“It was great to be back home for a month to see family and have a bit of a vacation,” he said.