West Coast tops Oulaghan masterclass

Star steeplechaser West Coast (NZ) (Mettre En Jeu) added another crown to his impeccable record for Mark Oulaghan with a tough victory in the L J Hooker Manawatu Steeplechase (4000m) at Woodville on Sunday. The phenomenal record of West Coast over the bigger fences commenced when he won a maiden steeplechase at Hawke’s Bay in June of 2022, and he has made nearly every post a winner since with a Koral Steeplechase (4250m), Hawke’s Bay Steeplechase (4800m), Wellington Steeplechase (5500m) and a pair of Grand National Steeplechases (5600m) to his…

Berry The Cash a class above in Awapuni Hurdle

Berry The Cash (NZ) (Jakkalberry) firmly asserted himself among the top hurdlers in the country at Woodville on Sunday with a dominant display in the Manawatu ITM Awapuni Hurdle (3000m). The son of Jakkalberry contested last year’s edition at just his second jumping appearance, and a narrow second placing to talented jumper Suliman indicated there was plenty more in store. A fall in the Wellington Hurdles (3400m) in July was soon rectified when he travelled to Riccarton Park and delivered with a stunning victory in the Grand National Hurdles (4200m),…

Devastate back to winning form

Progressive galloper Devastate (NZ) (Vadamos) bounced back to winning form when he prevailed in a thrilling three-way finish to the feature race at Pukekohe, the Jamieson Park 1500. The four-year-old son of Vadamos displayed all his fighting qualities as he held out a stirring challenge from Zaila and the late finishing Accidental Tourist to register his fifth career win for a large group of owners that includes the sponsor of the race, Jamieson Park. Given a perfect trip in transit one-out behind pacemaker Pow Wow by rider Michael McNab, Devastate…

First Gear caps big week for Grays

Days after Copper Belt Lodge went public with the news that Stephen Gray will return to New Zealand’s training ranks alongside his distinguished father Kevin, the opening race at Trentham on Saturday unveiled an exciting young prospect for the soon-to-resume partnership. The Kevin Gray-trained First Gear (NZ) (Derryn) was sent out as a $2.10 favourite for the TAB Odds Surge Every Race at Trentham 2YO (1200m), having finished second in both of his previous two starts behind the subsequent stakes winner Domain Ace and the Hong Kong-bound Endued. Saturday was…

Here To Shock stakes Stradbroke claim

Here To Shock (NZ) (Shocking) has claimed a berth in the Gr.1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) by the barest of margins when nosing out Freedom Rally (Rubick) to land the Gr.3 BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday. Prepared by Ben, Will and JD Hayes, the ever-improving six-year-old continued his strong recent form which included a win in the Gr.3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) last month, prior to a close second to Dashing (Magnus) over a mile at Caulfield. Winning jockey Michael Dee had Here To Shock on a clear path for…

Wet track no worry for Spencer

Fresh off a seven-month spell, promising winter sprinter Spencer (NZ) (Derryn) produced a stunning performance to claim one of the feature events on the programme at Trentham, the Metro Interiors Autumn Sprint Final (1200m). Trainer Erin Hocquard was confident of a good performance after the four-year-old had performed well in gallops and jump-outs leading into the contest, however she was in two minds as to whether the testing Heavy10 track may trip him up after such a long break away from racing. As it turned out, he simply relished the…

Group Three win bolsters Maracana’s value

Five-year-old mare Maracana (NZ) (Shamexpress) recorded a timely victory in the Gr.3 Drinkwise Mile (1600m) at Doomben on Saturday, with the daughter of Shamexpress set to go under the hammer at this week’s Gold Coast broodmare sale. Prepared by Danny O’Brien, Maracana bounced out of a Benchmark 70 victory at Cranbourne to claim Saturday’s contest with a hard-fought victory over Osmose (Zoffany). The smart mare was a multiple stakes performer earlier in her career, including a third placing in the Gr.2 Fillies Classic (1600m) at three. Given a perfect ride…

Mike Moroney out of hospital

Mike Moroney is set to leave hospital seven weeks after being admitted with the popular trainer looking forward to getting back to business. In a short video message to his Ballymore stables staff and clients from Epworth Hospital on Friday, Moroney paid tribute to hospital staff and his own at Flemington and New Zealand as he packed his bags for home. “I’m fine and I will be going home today and things have progressed really well,” Moroney said. “Seven weeks is long enough in hospital though for me and I’ve…

Mike Moroney out of hospital

Mike Moroney is set to leave hospital seven weeks after being admitted with the popular trainer looking forward to getting back to business. In a short video message to his Ballymore stables staff and clients from Epworth Hospital on Friday, Moroney paid tribute to hospital staff and his own at Flemington and New Zealand as he packed his bags for home. “I’m fine and I will be going home today and things have progressed really well,” Moroney said. “Seven weeks is long enough in hospital though for me and I’ve…