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Animal Welfare Matters

On 1 October this year new animal welfare regulations come into effect. Check out the information here –

If you’re already doing it right, you won’t see a lot of change. Most of the regulations reflect existing standards, but a few do set new rules and requirements, such as prohibiting tail docking of cattle and dogs.

Regulations make it easier for MPI and the SPCA to take action against animal mistreatment. New penalties such as fines will be issued for certain actions. We will continue to prosecute the worst offenders under the Animal Welfare Act.

We’re making life better for animals, and you can help others get it right too.

  • Check! Are you doing it right? Encourage others to check too –
  • Ask! Email us your questions –
  • Tell! Call us about an animal welfare issue – 0800 00 83 33


Key messages for horse owners: Companion horses

Regulation18: Horses tethered for the purpose of grazing.

Tethering your horse for grazing is not recommended. If you have to tether your horse for grazing, your horse must have constant access to a supply of water, food, shade, and protection from heat and cold. If you don’t provide this to horses tethered for grazing, you can be fined $300.

Check your horses regularly when tethered. Tethering for grazing is not appropriate for long periods of time, as horses need exercise.

Regulation 19: Use of equipment that may injure horses.

Any equipment used on a horse must not cause injuries such as cuts and abrasions that bleed or discharge, or swelling around the head and neck.

Equipment used on a horse must ensure the horse is able to breathe and drink normally. Equipment can include, but is not limited to, halters, bridles, lead ropes, bits, and nosebands. Keep your equipment clean, and ensure saddles and covers are

fitted correctly. Horses that wear equipment need to be checked regularly/daily. If you use equipment that causes injury to horses you can be fined $300.

Regulation 20: Persons must not strike a horse on its head.

Horses must not be struck on the head, with hands or any other object. If you strike a horse on its head you can be fined $500.

Regulation 54: Castrating horses.

Castration is a painful, surgical procedure that must be carried out by a veterinarian using local or general anaesthetic. If a horse is castrated without local or general anaesthetic you could face a criminal conviction and a fine of up to $5000 for an individual or $25,000 for the business.


Key messages for horse owners: Racing and sport horses

Regulation 18: Horses tethered for the purpose of grazing.

Tethering your horse for grazing is not recommended. If you have to tether your horse for grazing, your horse must have constant access to a supply of water, food, shade, and protection from heat and cold. If you don’t provide this to horses tethered for grazing, you can be fined $300.

Check your horses regularly when tethered. Tethering for grazing is not appropriate for long periods of time, as horses need exercise.

If you need to tether your horse, you’ll be fine as long as you ensure that the tether you use

  • Is an appropriate length and material to allow for normal breathing and drinking.
  • Keeps the animal from being caught up on nearby objects and injured.

Otherwise you can be fined $300.

Regulation 19: Use of equipment that may injure horses.

Any equipment used on a horse must not cause injuries such as cuts and abrasions that bleed or discharge, or swelling around the head and neck. All equipment used on a horse must ensure the horse is able to breathe and drink normally.

Use equipment that is approved for use in your sport. Equipment that is not clean, ill fitted to your horse, or not used appropriately can cause injuries and swelling, or result in the horse experiencing pain or distress.

If you use equipment that causes injury to the horse, or swelling around the head or neck, you can be fined $300.

Regulation 20: Persons must not strike a horse on its head.

If you strike a horse on the head you can be fined $500

Regulation 54: Castrating horses.

Castration is a painful, surgical procedure that must be carried out by a veterinarian using local or general anaesthetic. If a horse is castrated without local or general anaesthetic you could face a criminal conviction and a fine of up to $5000 for an individual or $25,000 for the business.

Regulation 48: Prodding animals in sensitive areas.

You must not strike or prod an animal in sensitive areas with a goad. Failure to comply with this regulation can result in a $500 fine. A goad is any object used to make an animal move. Electric prodders are not recommended for use at all.

MVS Success at the 2018 New Zealand Equine Veterinary Association Conference

We are very proud of three of our veterinarians, Barbara Hunter, Jonathan Tam and Therese Ritson, who presented at the New Zealand Veterinary Association conference in the Equine stream.

A massive congratulations also goes to Jonathan who won the award for Best Young Practitioner Presentation at the New Zealand Equine Veterinary Association Conference for his presentation on POD (palmar/plantar osteochondral disease).

MVS Success at the 2017 New Zealand Equine Veterinary Association Conference

Congratulations to MVS Equine Veterinarians, Cordelia Francis and Andrea Ritmeester, for their outstanding achievements at the 2017 New Zealand Equine Veterinary Association Conference.

Cordelia won the Massey Award for Best Practitioner Presentation, presented by Prof Chris Riley, and Andrea received the Brian Goulden Prize awarded to an Outstanding NZ Equine Veterinarian, presented by Neil Houston, president of the NZEVA.

Andrea has also been chosen to be the next president of the NZEVA, commencing in June 2018.

News all good for Valachi chief

Kevin Hickman’s breeding operation has welcomed another highly valuable addition while his prospects for the new racing season also look particularly bright.

In England overnight, the Valachi Downs principal’s former crack race mare Silent Achiever foaled to Galileo’s unbeaten champion son Frankel, already a Group One producer at stud.

“He’s a strong, good-boned colt and just as impressive as his full-sister last year,” Valachi manager Jonathan Scully said. “We’re all absolutely rapt and Silent Achiever loves being a Mum so that’s great.”

Trained throughout her career by Roger James, Silent Achiever won 10 races, including the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby and the Gr.1 New Zealand Stakes and in Australia the Gr.1 Ranvet Stakes and the Gr.1 BMW.

Meanwhile, last season’s Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner Ugo Foscolo was a runaway winner at the trials on Tuesday morning as he prepares for a return to racing from the stable of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.

“I’ve been talking to Adrian and they put Blake Shinn on him and it was a nice trial over 1000 metres,” Scully said. “He pulled eight or 10 lengths away from them at the line.

“He was under a good hold throughout so things are looking good. He’ll probably have another trial and then maybe kick off in a Group Two somewhere.

“He will be hanging around Sydney to see just how he does come up and then we’ll decide whether he goes down to Melbourne to have a go at Winx or not.”

Hickman also has high hopes for Ugo Foscolo’s regally-bred stablemate Honfleur, a half-sister by Fastnet Rock to the Group One winners Shamrocker and Rock Diva.

“She’s had a couple of trials and they’ve seen enough in her to send her straight to Melbourne for her first start,” Scully said. “She looks a million dollars, a lovely filly.” – NZ Racing Desk.

Ex-Kiwi on right track for Final

Nikita Beriman’s enthusiasm for next week’s Winter Championship Final at Flemington increased on Saturday.

The Group 1-winning jockey saw My Paisann announce himself a genuine contender for the $150,000 Listed event with an impressive win at Caulfield.

The New Zealand recruit, who is prepared by Lisa Enright at Mornington, scored a last-stride win in the $100,000 SECUREcorp Handicap (1400m).

“The Grand Final is next week, so this was an added bonus,” Beriman said.

“I actually went down and galloped this horse on Wednesday and was rewarded with the ride today, so I’m happy to stay on board.”

The son of Roc de Cambes took his record to two wins from seven starts with the victory. Backed from $31 into $19 before starting at $21, he scored by a half-head over Revolving Door ($5) with the heavily-backed favourite Enigman ($4.20 to $3.40) third.

The Caulfield victory followed second placings at Ballarat and Sandown at his first two runs in Australia.

His final two runs before leaving New Zealand were a fifth placing in the Group 1 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and a fifth in the Listed Champagne Stakes (1600m).

My Paisann’s win atoned for a near-miss for Beriman earlier in the day, the jockey forced to settle for a short-neck second placing aboard Swan Hill on-pacer Don’t Get Excited in the $60,000 Sheen Group Plate (1600m).

Beriman led until the final few strides aboard the Nathan Hobson-trained gelding, who started at $21, before being nabbed by the Beau Mertens-ridden Coldstone.

“I did get a little bit excited at the 100, but I heard Beau coming and he ran tremendous race, so you have to be happy with that,” she said.


My Paisann Photo: Darryl Sherer


Gastroscopy Day at MVS Equine – 20 June 2017

Does your horse have stomach ulcers? MVS Equine is hosting a ‘gastroscopy day’ on the 20th June 2017 at the clinic to promote diagnosis of stomach ulcers. Please contact the clinic to book an appointment time.

Click on the link below for more information.

MVS Gastroscopy Day – 20 June 2017

Another two-mile chance for accomplished stayer

Connections of the proven distance performance Mister Impatience aren’t letting any two mile chances pass by.

They haven’t wasted any time in sending the stayer back to Australia and he will take his place in Saturday’s $A2 million Gr.1 Sydney Cup at Randwick.

“He was always going to end up back there and he was doing so well that the owners and Mike (Moroney) decided to have a go,” Ballymore Stables racing manager Nick Fairweather said.

Although Mister Impatience raced well below expectations in the Gr.1 Auckland Cup for Moroney and his Matamata co-trainer Pam Gerard, his condition can’t be faulted.

“He got into a good position, but he never fired,” Fairweather said. “It was disappointing because we thought he was going as well as ever and his run for third in the Avondale Cup had been very good.

“He’s come through his racing well and he’s a dead-set stayer so it’s worth him having a go at the Sydney Cup.

“As long as he runs well he’ll probably have another crack at the Queensland Cup.”

Mister Impatience won the 3200 metre event in 2015 and success in the Gr.2 Wellington Cup five months later confirmed his distance prowess. He also has a 3000 metre victory at Ballarat to his credit.

Meanwhile, Dreamcrafter returned to the stable last week and she will make one more appearance as a three-year-old.

“She’s going to run in the Valachi Downs Championship Stakes at Ellerslie,” Fairweather said.

Dreamcrafter finished runner-up in the Gr.3 Sunline Vase before the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks distance proved beyond her at Trentham. – NZ Racing Desk.

Mister Impatience Photo: Trish Dunell

Second Stakes Winner for Roc De Cambes

Lightly raced four-year-old Consommateur (NZ) (Roc de Cambes) tackled stakes company for the first time in Saturday’s $150,000 Group III Bradford Black Epona Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill, and she came out a winner.

Bought from The Oaks Stud’s draft at the 2014 Select Sale for $30,000, Consommateur came from off the pace in the fillies and mares’ feature and powered through the wet ground to win by two and three-quarter lengths.

The win was Consommateur’s third from six career starts, and she has placed in all of the other three. Her prize-money earnings now stand at A$128,600.

“Her whole aim this preparation was this race,” trainer Mick Kent said. “She is owned up here by a good client of mine, Geoff Evers. We bought her in New Zealand.

“She is out of a Zabeel mare. She has taken her time and is a very big mare. She will be better next year.”

Consommateur was bred by The Oaks Stud and is a half-sister to the stakes placegetter Single Act (NZ) (Bachelor Duke).

Offered by The Oaks stud at the 2014 Select Sale, Consommateur was bought by NZB as agent for $30,000.

Bred in New Zealand by The Oaks Stud, Consommateur was purchased for the Kent stable after an early trial victory. A half-sister to the stakes placed Single Act, she is out of the Zabeel mare Consumer whose dam is a half-sister to the Group I winners Magic Of Sydney (Spring Champion Stakes) and Daney Boy (Karrakatta Plate).

Consommateur becomes the second stakes winner for The Oaks Stud’s Roc De Cambes after  Group 1 Toorak Handicap winner He’s Our Rokkii.

story from (photo – Steve Hart)

Chenille delivers perfect get well message

Tony Pike delivered the perfect get well message to his hospitalised father Wayne when he saddled up Chenille to win the country’s premier staying race, the $500,000 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup, at Ellerslie this afternoon.

The big mare’s dominant victory capped a roller-coaster week for the Pike family, beginning with the postponement of Saturday’s originally scheduled Cup day programme. On Monday Wayne Pike underwent cancer surgery in Hamilton’s Braemar Hospital and this afternoon he, wife Vicki and grandchildren Molly and Oliver watched the Ellerslie action unfold via Trackside TV.

“When the rain started on Friday we thought we had done our chips,” Tony Pike recalled. “The postponement to today put us back in the game and the weather played its part to give us the track she needed.

“Wayne had been all set to come to the races on Saturday and then the first thing he said when they postponed was that he might still be able to get out of his hospital bed and be here today.

“There was no chance of that – it was a big operation and he only got out of ICU yesterday, but this is great, it will have done him a power of good.”

Chenille, who became the thirteenth Group One sired by veteran stallion Pentire, was bred by Tony, his wife Kirsten and Wayne and Vicki Pike and is raced by them in partnership with old friends Graeme and Jackie Capes.

The other key contributor to the big win was jockey Leith Innes, who had wasted hard all last week to make Chenille’s 53-kilogram handicap and then had to remain on light rations for another five days.

The saving grace for Innes was that Chenille gave him an armchair ride – albeit a little keen – on the way to her three-quarter-length win over fellow lightweight mare El Pistola. Innes had his mount travelling sweetly one out in midfield before easing her into the clear with 800 metres to run.

Already the $3.90 favourite, it was clear she was the horse to beat as she loped up wide out on the turn and with her tongue hanging out the left side of her jaw, she kept going resolutely for a convincing win.

“She over-raced in the run but she always felt strong,” said Innes. “I had no option but to let her roll into it and even though she got to the front sooner than I would have liked, she always had them covered.

“Wins like this make it all worthwhile and it’s great for the Pikes, who have been such big supporters for me.”

Tokoroa mare El Pistola was game in defeat after making the early running and then racing in a trail, while even braver was third placegetter Jacksstar, who ran all the way to the line but pulled up with a bowed tendon.

story and photo from The Informant

Matamata Racing Club ‘2017 Junior Fashion In The Field’

MVS Equine Veterinarian, Andrea Ritmeester, presenting Lennox Thomson with 3rd place in the Matamata Racing Club ‘2017 Junior Fashion In The Field’ 3-4yr old division. Doesn’t he look great?!

She Brings Joy (NZ) Claims Royal Stakes

With a perfectly timed charge, She Brings Joy (NZ) (Sebring) got up in the last stride for a thrilling win in the fifth leg of the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series, the $100,000 Group 2 Stella Artois Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on Sunday.

In a tactically run race, Adis (NZ) (Mastercraftsman) dictated terms from in front and kicked strongly in the straight. The 20-to-one outsider appeared to have stolen the race. But She Brings Joy lengthened stride in the last 150 metres and snatched victory by a half-head.

It was the second year in a row that trainer Stephen Marsh and jockey Danielle Johnson won the Royal Stakes, having won it in 2016 with the subsequent Filly of the Year Sofia Rosa (NZ) (Makfi).

“I can’t believe this horse was still a maiden,” Marsh said. “She’s been probably our most promising maiden for a long time.

“I thought she’d win first up and then second up but it’s just those bad draws that have plagued us. Finally today she drew a barrier.”

Bred and raced by Kevin Hickman, She Brings Joy has had four starts for one win, one placing and more than $60,000 in prize-money.

She Brings Joy picked up 8 Filly of the Year Series points for Sunday’s win, boosting her to third place on the points table behind Volpe Veloce (Foxwedge) and La Diosa (NZ) (So You Think).

Runner-up Adis collected 4 points to sit in seventh place on the table, with the third-placed Grand Soleil (NZ) (Savabeel) moving on to the table with 2 points.

story and photo from NZ Racing

Atypical Myopathy – NZ Horses at risk if they ingest sycamore or box elder seeds

Horses in New Zealand should be grazed away from areas where they might ingest the seeds of sycamore maple and box elder trees, a veterinary journal report advises.

Horses that ingest the seeds are at risk of developing the serious muscle disease atypical myopathy. Clinical signs may include muscle weakness or stiffness, colic-like symptoms, laboured breathing, dark red-brown urine, recumbency or even sudden death.

The disease has been linked to the ingestion of seeds from the sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) and box elder (A. negundo) only in recent years. Evidence has been mounting that the disease is caused by the toxin hypoglycin A – an amino acid derivative – found in the seeds.

Dr Rabecca McKenzie and her colleagues, in a clinical communication in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal, reported that during April and May 2014, four horses in the Canterbury, Marlborough and Southland regions presented with a range of clinical signs including recumbency, stiffness, lethargy, dehydration, depression, and myoglobinuria (the presence of myoglobin in the urine) suggestive of acute muscle damage.

Two horses were euthanised while two recovered. Seeds of sycamore maple or box elder trees were present where the horse had been grazing in all cases, the researchers reported.

Hypoglycin A was detected in the serum of affected horses but not in healthy controls used in the study.

To determine if hypoglycin A was present in the seeds of Acer trees in New Zealand, 15 samples were collected from box elder and sycamore maple trees throughout the country that were associated with cases and analysed for the toxin. Hypoglycin A was detected in 10 of the samples.

The researchers reported that sycamore and box elder trees in New Zealand are a source of hypoglycin A associated with the development of atypical myopathy.

“If pastured horses present with clinical and biochemical signs of severe muscle damage then the environment should be checked for the presence of these trees,” they said.

Horses should be prevented from grazing seeds from the trees, which are prevalent in autumn.

Detection of hypoglycin A in the seeds of sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) and box elder (A. negundo) in New Zealand; the toxin associated with cases of equine atypical myopathy
R.K. McKenzie, F.I. Hill, J.A. Habyarimanac, F. Boemerd and D.M. Votione.
NZ Vet J. 2015 Nov 22:1-17.

story from

Primo Ready to Run opening day for Prima Park

Prima Park enjoyed a super day of selling on day one of the NZB Ready to Run Sale at Karaka.

The South Waikato operation sold five two-year-olds for more than $1 million at an average of nearly $210,000 for the father and daughter team of Leighton and Kelly Van Dyk.

Their top seller was a Sebring colt (Lot 184) out of the stakes-performed Danzero mare My Brilliant Way, who was signed for by NZB’s Danny Rolston for $340,000.

“He was the top pick of the sale and by a stallion that the clients love,” Rolston said. “They had to pay a lot for him, but really happy.”

The youngster was bought on behalf of the Sydney stable of Mauro Poletti and Amanda Turner, who boosted their sale kitty at Rosehill on Saturday with a winning Sebring double from Ready to Run Sale graduates More To Gain ($280,000) and Bring Luck ($200,000).

Their latest Sebring purchase crowned an outstanding day for vendors Prima Park.

“When we bought the horse as a yearling there were two other people on him so we actually paid a bit more than we wanted,” Leighton Van Dyk said. “But I said to Kelly that we only need two people afterwards when we resell that were in the same position.

“Obviously he was a cracking type and he found a good home. We’re very pleased, over the moon, and we were really confident we had a good bunch of horses.”

Prima also sold colts by Not A Single Doubt and Smart Missile to Hong Kong trainers David Ferraris and Ricky Yui for $270,000 and $260,000.

The Van Dykes’ big day was completed by Vermair Racing’s purchase for $100,000 of a son of Showcasing, while their Encosta de Lago colt went to the Macau Jockey Club for $75,000.

Story from: The Informant


A long-term prediction came true at Riccarton yesterday when Risqué (NZ) (Darci Brahma) came from well back in the field to claim the Group One New Zealand Bloodstock One Thousand Guineas.  The victory capped a stunning week for trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards and jockey Matt Cameron, who had combined seven days earlier to triumph in the Group One New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas.

Risque is raced by Dick Karreman’s The Oaks Stud, whose racing manager Rick Williams sent the filly to Te Akau’s Matamata stable with a message. “When we got her Rick said ‘this is the horse’ and we were fortunate he gave her to us,” Autridge said. “After a while we knew in the back of our minds that she would be special and she’s proved it. It’s been an unbelievable seven days.”

As has been the stable’s tradition in recent years, Risqué was sent south early and she was an eleven length maiden winner at Ashburton in September. Continuing to progress, she finished runner-up in the Guineas Trial at Riccarton before being successful in the Listed Armadillo Stakes on Labour Weekend.

“We won this race ten years ago with Seachange and we’ve had a few placings since so it’s terrific; a big thrill for Dick and Darci Brahma,” Williams said.  Stable rider Cameron pulled the right rein when he opted to partner Risque in the Guineas and he brought her with a powerful finishing run from back in the field to down Strada Cavallo (NZ) (Alamosa), the front-runner Dezzies Dream (NZ) (Coats Choice) and the winner’s stablemate Special Memories (Fastnet Rock).

“I can’t believe it – I made the right choice,” Cameron said. “I had to come a bit wide and once I went for her and gave her a couple behind the saddle she really lengthened out and was too good for them. What a week it’s been.”

story from NZ Thoroughbred News


No More Tears in the Soliloquy Stakes

Promising three-year-old filly No More Tears (NZ) (Darci Brahma) scored her second stakes victory in the $50,000 Listed Harold Plumley Junior Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie yesterday.

From the stable of Stephen Marsh, No More Tears made a stakes winning debut late autumn in the Listed Hamilton Vets Equine Stakes as a juvenile. Returning as a three-year-old, her last start saw her flashing home to finish fourth in the Group 3 Windsor Park/Hawke’s Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes.

“Not many horses that have had three starts have two wins at black-type level and she will come on again,” commented Marsh. “She’s nearly right in the coat now.”

No More Tears holds a nomination to run in the Group 1 New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas, held on 14 November at Riccarton Park.

Drawn the widest, jockey Michael Coleman and No More Tears jumped quickly to cross to the front of the field and settle behind the leader, Untamed Diamond (Snitzel). Edging forward as the field entered the straight, the daughter of Darci Brahma drove to the lead, with High Class (NZ) (Shocking) challenging on her the outside.

The uncatchable No More Tears fought off all challengers to win strongly by three-quarters-of-a-length over High Class, who made the Karaka quinella, with Secret Spirit (NZ) (Swiss Ace) in third.

A dual stakes-winner from just three starts, the three-year-old filly has totalled $64,750 in prizemoney to date for connections of the Go Racing Don’t Cry Syndicate, managed by Albert Bosma.

Bosma’s Go Racing purchased No More Tears at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2014 Select Sale for $75,000 from Ardsley Stud.

Bred by DW Wallace, the daughter of Darci Brahma is out of Ocean of Tears (Minardi), a half-sister to the winner of the Group 2 Reisling Stakes Hips Don’t Lie (Stravinsky) and stakes placegetters Acquired (O’Reilly), Azevedo (Helissio) and Procurement (O’Reilly).

Story from NZB

Stephen Marsh reflects on Hastings premier treble

A tired but happy Stephen Marsh had plenty to reflect on as he went about his stable chores on Sunday morning after notching a winning treble at Hastings less than 24 hours earlier.

The Cambridge based trainer provided one of the day’s feature race winners in Serious Satire who took out the Group III Gold Trail Stakes before All Torn Up and Seize The Moment added two more victories to move their mentor into the top 10 in the trainer’s premiership.

“It was a super day for the stable and is a real credit to the team I have working with me as they have put in plenty of hard work to get the horses to the level they are at,” he said.

“It’s also very pleasing when a plan works out as we do target the premier days. That’s where the prizemoney is and when you can win a $40,000 race it goes a long way to balancing the books.”

While Serious Satire made most of the headlines leading into the day Marsh was quietly confident his other two winners could deliver a victory for their connections.

“Seize The Moment is a very good galloper who went a beauty at Taupo fresh-up for third,” he said.

“His work since then had been very good and with natural improvement I was confident he was in with a big chance. He is the type who will win a good race in the future so we will start to shape a programme for him with that in mind.”

Marsh was also confident of a good showing from former Hong Kong galloper All Torn Up before the barrier draws for the weekend came out on Wednesday.

“Bryce Tankard gave me a call a few months ago to say he had the horse coming back from Hong Kong and would I like to train him,’ he explained.

“I gave Bruce Harvey a call and when he agreed to become involved we got the horse out to his place when he came back.

“Bruce has done plenty of work on the treadmill with him as he does have a few issues but he is a very good horse. He galloped really well on Wednesday morning so we were confident he could win with a decent barrier but when he drew the carpark that confidence took a real knock.

“He’s not a sprinter but those type of horses can go well when they’re fresh and that’s what has happened. I think you will see how good he is when he gets over more ground so there’s a lot to look forward to with him.”

Marsh also advised Serious Satire, No More Tears and Nahema had all come through their exertions in the Gold Trail Stakes well with all three likely to have one more run before heading south for the Group I 1,000 Guineas next month.

story from (NZ Racing Desk)

Sacred Master all class at Hastings

Promising galloper Sacred Master stamped himself as a future star of the staying ranks with a comfortable win at Hastings on the weekend.

Successful on the first day of the three-day Hawkes Bay spring carnival back in August the powerful son of Mastercraftsman ran into traffic trouble when a fast closing fifth behind Jimmy Mac a fortnight ago.

Ridden closer to the speed on Saturday, Sacred Master displayed a devastating turn of foot as he powered to the lead halfway down the run home before comfortably holding his rivals out at the winning post.

“We’ve always had a big opinion of him and he’s starting to come to it nicely now he has matured a little more,” noted trainer Tony Pike.

“He still has a wee way to go but as he gets older he will continue to strengthen up and I think he could be a real Cups horse this time next year.

“He was very unlucky on the middle day when he got too far off them and struck trouble during the race but this time Leith (Innes) had him in a beautiful spot behind the speed and he finished it off nicely.”

Pike will now send his charge to the spelling paddock for a short break before bringing him back with the Ellerslie Christmas Carnival in mind.

“He’ll have a few days in the paddock now before we bring him back in,” he said.

“At this stage the Dunstan Feeds Championship Final at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day is the aim so we will work out a schedule to get him there while he is having a break.”

Pike also reported dual Group One winner Sacred Star was making good progress after being back in work for about three weeks. A tilt at the Gr. 1 Railway Stakes on New Year’s Day is the immediate aim for the son of Flying Spur before he attempts to defend both his Gr. 1 Telegraph and NRM Sprint titles later in the summer. – NZ Racing Desk

story and photo from NZ Racing

Congratulations Caroline

Caroline Gordon one of our internship graduates, who is now doing a Diagnostic Imaging Residency at The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, recently won the prestigious W.Harker Rhodes Award for the best oral presentation at the International Veterinary Radiology Association Meeting in Australia!!  Caroline presented an abstract on cerebellar herniation in dogs.

Well done Caroline! and its great to see yet another MVS graduate doing so well.

Wins boost Cancer Society coffers

Congratulations to all the connections of Sacred Master – winner of the Westbury Stud 2000 at Hastings over the weekend.


The Cancer Society’s coffers were boosted by $2,000 a time when Sacred Master and The Bold One both lived up to their favourite’s tags with easy wins in their respective events at Hastings today.

As part of the Daffodil Race fund-raising efforts, the TAB committed to a $1,000 donation for any of the designated horses whose jockeys wore the Cancer Society colours to victory.

The first to do so was promising four-year-old Sacred Master in the second race and The Bold One followed up two races later with an impressive return to racing. The bonus in each case was that the connections of both horses had pledged to match the TAB donation should they win.

Sacred Master got with the occasion in convincing style in the Westbury Club 2000, striding home wide out for Leith Innes in the manner of a young stayer going places.

At the line the Raffles Dancers-owned Mastercraftsman gelding had put two lengths on his opposition, who were headed by Earl’s Court and Sarabi.

“I really like this horse,” said trainer Tony Pike. “He’s a progressive sort that still needs time but he’ll just keep getting better as he goes.”

Innes shared those sentiments, describing the bay as having the potential to be “a good horse in time”, and he was equally effusive two races later after he had guided The Bold One to an easy win in the El Roca Sprint.

“He’s going to be even better when he gets to open grade,” he told trainer Allan Sharrock. “He was just playing with them out there and he’s going to love it when he’s in a race with more pressure on.”

The Bold One, a five-year-old by Fastnet Rock from former class racemare The Jewel and now the winner of four of his eight starts, has always had big raps on him but had to undergo a wind operation at the end of his last preparation.

Sharrock was relieved when Innes stated that he could not any untoward noise when the big bay lengthened up the straight, but is more likely to stick to sprint racing rather than step him up to 1600 metres or more.

“He’s bred to run a mile and further but he’s got a powerful sprint in him too and I’d like to space his races and aim at something like the Telegraph.”

story from The Informant

Congratulations Claire

Congratulations to Dr Claire Freeman who successfully passed her board exams recently and has now become a member of the American College of Theriogenologists.  Claire was with us during the 2014/2015 equine breeding season as a Theriogenology Resident while studying for her board exams.  Claire is taking a well earned break and we hope to see Claire back down this side of the world in the future.

Early injury a blessing in disguise for Sacred Master

An injury sustained in his second start may prove to be a blessing in disguise for promising staying type Sacred Master, who broke his maiden status at Ruakaka yesterday.

The strapping gelding had won twice at the trials before commencing his career with a third on debut, which had trainer Tony Pike thinking he may have a three-year-old classic contender on his hands if things went to plan.

That idea was soon scuttled when the son of Mastercraftsman severely pulled a muscle when having his second start at Ellerslie in November last year. The injury required plenty of time out in the spelling paddock and resulted in the gelding missing the majority of his three-year-old season.

“It was a fairly wet track that day at Ellerslie and he pulled up very sore in behind,” Pike said. “He pulled a muscle badly and we had to put him aside for a decent break which in hindsight could have been the best thing to happen to him.

“He had shown us plenty at the trials and went well in his first race so I was thinking he might measure up later in the summer to some of the better races.

“He was quite immature though, and that break has done him the world of good as it has allowed him to strengthen up. But he still has a way to go yet.”

Sacred Master made his return to the track at Ruakaka in early July with a storming run for second over 1200 metres which had Pike confident that a winning turn was close at hand.

“He went a super race for second that day after getting into trouble during the run so I did think it wouldn’t be long before he quit maidens,” he said. “He has always appealed as a type that will get over ground so we stepped him up to 1600 metres yesterday, and he did the job nicely despite being a little wayward over the last bit when he was trying to knock off.

“He still has a lot to learn but I can see him developing into a very handy stayer. We will just try and work him through the grades now although his immediate future will be dictated by the weather as he needs a decent track so we won’t run him on anything worse than a dead surface at this stage.”

Congratulations Sam

Congratulations to Samantha Clarke who last night took out the award for the best Practitioner Presentation at the Annual NZVA Equine Conference in Taupo. Sam’s presentation was on a foal with septic osteitis of the proximal sesamoid bone –the first time this had been reported in a foal of this age. This award is competitive and is decided by a panel of judges from Massey. The award is based on presentation, content and originality.

Charm Just as Irresistible over 1400m

Darci Charmer (NZ) (Darci Brahma) passed his first test over 1400m with flying colours on Sunday as he gunned down his rivals with his customary sweeping run from the top of the straight.

Exclusively a six-furlong horse at his previous 13 Kranji starts, the Darci Brahma four-year-old did give a few hints he would not be out of his depth over another 200m going with his recent runs. Trainer Michael Clements decided it was a theory worth proving on more than just paper, and the on-track result more than vindicated him. “At his last run, he was a little outpaced when he was over six furlongs and up in class,” said Clements. “It was a matter of time before we ran him over seven furlongs. He was good in his action and he finished the race off very well. “I was a bit concerned there was no real pace to the race as he can over-race a little, but Manoel was able to get him to run relaxed.

“A lot depends on whether he will jump on terms or can relax, but everything worked out well today.
“I will probably look around for another 1400m race for him now and see how he goes. I may even consider the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge if he keeps doing well.” Nunes, who rode Darci Charmer to one of his previous five wins, said he was a little apprehensive which side of Darci Charmer would show up at the races on Sunday. “He’s a nice horse on his day, but sometimes things can go wrong with him. He can miss the jump or over-race,” said the Brazilian jockey. “But he was all good today. He was relaxed and hit the line very strongly once I took him to the outside.” With that sixth success, Darci Charmer has now brought more than $280,000 in stakes earnings for his owners, the Charming Stable.

Story from: New Zealand Thoroughbred News


Without a win since taking the Sgp-Group Three Marsiling Classic Stakes in March of last year and placed just the once in the meantime, Goliath (NZ) (Darci Brahma) made a positive return to form in the 1700 metre S$100,000 Open Benchmark 83, main race on Friday night’s card at Kranji. “The horse has had a lot of problems since Derby Day last year and it has taken a while for him to get back on track,” said trainer Steven Burridge. “His last run was good, though, so I believed he had a good run coming.”

Although jumping from the inside gate, the five-year-old was well back when the field settled and jockey
Michael Rodd waited until they hit the straight to launch his challenge. Steered to the outside, it took Goliath just a hundred metres to gather in the competition and he kept going to clear the field by a sizeable margin, Rodd easing him down towards the end and still winning comfortably.

“He’s a big horse and very athletic,” said the Australian. “He needed to get to the outside so he could really stretch out and gallop. “The conditions tonight, especially the tempo, were just right for a big
horse like him.” Burridge was happy to finally find a good race for Goliath. “There are no races planned after today because there are none suitable for him. “He loves the Polytrack. We will give him a break and ease off him for now until a suitable Polytrack race comes
along.” – Singapore Turf Club

Story from: New Zealand Thoroughbred News


Bohemian Lily (NZ) (O’Reilly) yesterday threw out a serious challenge to Winx (Street Cry) in next week’s Queensland Oaks with a dominant all-the-way win in The Roses at Doomben, jockey Blake Shinn giving a dashing display aboard the $3.50 second favourite, who thrashed her rivals to win by four lengths.

The filly clocked an impressive 2:04.08, more than half a second quicker than Upham had recorded two races earlier when winning the Grand Prix Stakes over the same distance. Shinn has vowed to make the 2200 metres of next week’s Group One Queensland Oaks a true staying test when Bohemian Lily clashes with Winx, who scored an astonishing last-to-first win in the Sunshine Coast Guineas last Saturday. “This filly likes to bowl along in front and she’s a natural stayer,” Shinn said. “I’d be more confident if the Oaks was over 2400 metres but I’ll ride her to her strengths and she’s got the right attributes for a stayer.”

Shinn acknowledges it won’t be an easy task taking on the Chris Waller-trained pair Winx and Ballet Suite (High Chaparral) in the Oaks but is confident Bohemian Lily will push them to the limit. “She’s made good progress since she’s been up here and she’s got one more box to tick next week,” he said.
“The Oaks is her grand final and it’s going to be a great race.

Trainer Gai Waterhouse said Bohemian Lily relished the genuine tempo established by Shinn. “I knew she would appreciate getting into a proper rhythm because her last race here was a stop-start tempo which didn’t suit her,” she said. “The penny’s really dropped with her since she’s been in Queensland and it’ll take a very good horse to beat her next week.”
New Zealand Oaks runner-up Platinum Witness (California Dane), sent out the $2.80 favourite, was on the wrong leg racing in the clockwise direction for the first time and laboured in the straight to finish sixth. – AAP TURF

Story from: New Zealand Thoroughbred News

National Weanling Sale Graduate Gets G3 Prize in the Rotorua Cup

A son of leading New Zealand sire Savabeel, Pump Up The Volume (NZ) (Savabeel), was a convincing winnner of the $75,000 Group 3 Campbell Infrastrucutre Rotorua Cup (2200m) at Rotorua on Saturday.

This was Pump Up The Volume’s first stakes win, totalling five wins and 11 places from his 35 starts. From the Cambridge stable of trainer Ralph Manning, he ran second in last year’s edition of the race to Indikator (NZ) (Sandtrap).

Starting from barrier 1 for jockey Danielle Johnson, Pump Up The Volume pulled out to find a spot one off the rail, outside of Rose Of Virginia (NZ) (Thorn Park). Miss Mossman (NZ) (Mossman) put a four-length gap on the field as they passed the 800m while Pump Up The Volume continued to travel among the first four.

Homeward bound, Pump Up The Volume chased down the runaway leader, sweeping to the lead inside 100m with an overpowering two-and-three-quarter-length victory over Miss Mossman, who finished in second place, and Decorah (NZ) (Pins) in third.

The six-year-old gelding has now increased his earnings to $150,835 for owners A B Coombe and Manning.

Purchased as a weanling at the 2009 National Weanling Sale for $14,000 by NZB as agent from Waikato Stud, he returned as a yearling at the 2010 Karaka Select Sale where he was purchased by Manning from Raequin Park.

Story from New Zealand Bloodstock

Sweet Success for Ballet Suite (NZ)

Sweet Success for Ballet Suite (NZ)

Karaka graduate Ballet Suite (High Chaparral) took centre stage in the A$100,000 Listed City Property Services Princess Stakes (2000m) at Doomben on Saturday.

The Chris Waller trained filly has run first in four races since debuting at the start of the season. Unlucky in her last start in the Group 1 Australian Oaks, she ran fourth previously in the Group 1 Vinery Stud after three consecutive wins.

“I have no problem (with her) on a soft track but when it’s getting really deep and heavy, she’s not at home at all,” commented Waller. “She was even missing strides down the back straight (in the Australian Oaks) before the pressure went on.”

Taking the ride on Ballet Suite Kerrin McEvoy settled her worse than mid-field one off the rails, after jumping from barrier 4. Kiwi-galloper No Tricks (NZ) (Savabeel) set the pace while Ballet Suite improved her run at a wide angle as she approached the 600m.

Challenging at the 300m, after battling with Bohemian Lily (NZ) (O’Reilly), Ballet Suite swept to victory by a neck over Bohemian Lily and Zarzali (Hussonet) who finished in second and third place respectively.

Ballet Suite’s first stakes victory has increased her prizemoney to A$174,375 for her owners Mrs SC Magnier, Coolmore, Lady C Bamford, Mrs LR Barry, Emmaroo Bloodstock, Mrs FA Ingham, Mrs E Lawlor and Mrs Y Nicoll.

The three-year-old filly was purchased at the 2013 Karaka Premier Sale by Anthony Penfold for $310,000 from Curraghmore Stud. She was the first of two stakes winners at Doomben to be purchased from Currghamore’s 2013 Premier draft with Kuro (NZ) (Denman) winning the Listed Mick Dittman Plate.

Ballet Suite and Kuro join Group 1 winner First Seal (Fastnet Rock), Royal Ocean (Fastnet Rock), Maastricht (NZ) (Mastercraftsman) and Rockfast (Fastnet Rock) as stakes performers from Curraghmore Stud’s Karaka 2013 draft.

Story from New Zealand Bloodstock

Fascination Street…what a ride!

Around 30 members of the Challenge No.1 Syndicate had a day to remember yesterday when Fascination Street stamped herself as a mare of quality when beating a very good field in the Listed Windsor Park Stud Rotorua Stakes (1400m).

It gave me enormous pleasure to see this group of excited owners standing together with huge smiles on their faces at the presentation ceremony – priceless!

It’s been quite a ride with Fascination Street (affectionately known as ‘Ellen’). We had a terrible career-threatening injury with her as a spring three-year-old. She had won at two & been placed third in the Listed Ryder Stakes. At three she ran third in the Gold Trail Stakes and third in the Hawkes Bay Guineas. Rightly so, we thought we had a 1000 Guineas filly on our hands. But injury struck and it was serious. She suffered a stifle injury and it took months (she was actually of the scene for 13 months) of slow rehab. Special thanks to a number of people including Paul Pertab, Dave Keenan, Michelle Norman, Jim Cherry (& the team at Moemoea Park), Russell & Robyn Rogers, Debbie O’Hearn and, of course, Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott. They all nursed her back to the rock-solid sound horse she is today.

Fascination Street was part of the very first Challenge Syndication. So too was another Listed Race winner Dancer’s Tale. The 50-odd members of the syndicate have had a hell of a ride and there is plenty more to come, clearly, with this mare who has the rare ability of being able to handle all conditions from rock-hard to knee-deep. She has collected a cheque at every one of her starts to date; another rare thing in a thoroughbred.

I can’t finish without thanking John Sargent; I bought Fascination Street with him in mind to train and he – along with the late Hayden Allen – did great things with the filly in her first two seasons.

Fascination Street goes to the spelling paddock this week and will be out for 6 to 8 weeks.

Story from: Adrian Clark Bloodstock


Dr. Barbara Hunter joined our team last August, shortly after finishing her large animal surgery residency in the United States. Originally from Canada, Barbara moved to the U.S. shortly after graduating vet school to pursue an internship at Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center, a busy equine referral hospital centered between Belmont Park, Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands. After cutting her teeth on racehorse colic, colitis and lameness, Barb returned to Canada to do sport horse lameness for a few years in central Alberta. After a few years, she moved backed to the U.S. to pursue a 3-year large animal surgery residency at Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

On completing the residency and a Masters in Veterinary Science this past July, Barb decided she would like to explore living in the Southern Hemisphere. She moved here in August 2014 and has been enjoying the beautiful New Zealand landscape while studying for her surgery board exams for the past several months. October brought a brief respite from studying when Barb represented MVS at the American College of Veterinary Surgeons conference in San Diego with the presentation of her Master’s research. The presentation was a success with Barb taking first place for clinical research in the residents’ forum.

February brought more success when Barb passed all three components of the large animal surgery board exam to become a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. We are very excited to add a second board-certified surgeon to our team. In addition to strong interests in lameness and advanced imaging, Barb also has special interests and experience in laparoscopy, complex wound management and paranasal sinus disease.

Lady Le Fay executes plan to perfection at Awapuni

A plan hatched by Matamata brothers Paul and Kris Shailer to set their promising mare Lady Le Fay (NZ) (Thorn Park) for the Listed Manawatu ITM Anzac 1600 at Awapuni was executed to perfection on Monday when the promising mare scored a convincing victory in the day’s feature event.

On a track that was downgraded to a Heavy 11 after persistent showers throughout the morning, the four-year-old daughter of Thorn Park made light of the difficult conditions to produce an irresistible finishing burst to claim the win.
Ridden by Michael Coleman, the race fitness of Lady Le Fay along with the six kilogram weight differential over runner up Thorn Prince (NZ) (Thorn Park) proved the telling factor, with consistent winter galloper Taurus battling on nicely for third.

Co-trainer Paul Shailer was understandably pleased with the mare’s effort as she gathered her fifth career victory from just 12 starts and her first at stakes level.

“She’s been targeted for this race since she came back from a spell,” he explained.

“It was a two run plan so it’s nice when that plan comes off.

“She’s adept in any track conditions and my brother Kris and Emily Holmes, who has joined our team now, have done a wonderful job with her so all credit to them.”

The lightly raced mare will now be put aside for a winter break before returning for a spring campaign that Shailer believes holds plenty of promise.

“She will go to the paddock now for about four weeks and then we will set her for a spring campaign,” he advised.

“We’re not sure where she will go but we will sit down with the owners and work it through with them.”

The win for Lady Le Fay not only gave her valuable black-type for any future breeding career but also a fitting present for co-trainer Kris Shailer who announced his engagement on Sunday.

Runner-up Thorn Prince was brave in defeat with trainer Fraser Auret advising the six-year-old was likely to tackle the Listed James Bull Rangitikei Gold Cup back at Awapuni on the 16th of May as his next assignment. – NZ Racing Desk