NZ briefs for 16th August 2019

Deserved break for National hero; Something about Tavistock 4YO; Ride Like A Girl exclusive; Another Group Winner for Charm Spirit

Deserved break for National hero

Waverley trained nine-year-old It's A Wonder will enjoy some R&R after a successful season in which he went from winning a maiden hurdle in May to landing the Grand National Steeplechase (5600m) at Riccarton last weekend in dominant fashion.

The Harvey Wilson-trained gelding won four of seven starts over jumps including the traditional Grand National lead-up, the Koral Steeplechase (4250m) but he will not carry on to the Irvines Great Northern Steeplechase (6400m) at Ellerslie on September 7.

"He has had a great season and the National was the pinnacle," Wilson said.

"He is a tired horse but there is nothing wrong with him. We just feel it will be in his best interests to go to the paddock and have a break now."

Wilson narrowly missed a notable double after Bad Boy Brown was beaten a nose in the Grand National Hurdles (4200m) and the Waverley horseman confirmed the son of St Reims is likely to contest the Boutique Body Corporates Great Northern Hurdle (4190m) at Ellerslie.

Something about Tavistock 4YO

Patiently handled Tavistock four-year-old Somethinaboutharry looks to have a bright future after breaking maiden ranks at his second start at Sale on Thursday.

Prepared by astute horseman Patrick Payne for Hong Kong-based Price Bloodstock, Somethinaboutharry was still back near the rear of the field with 1 f left to run, but let down powerfully to win going away.

"He is pretty smart and he won very comfortably," winning rider Michael Dee said.

"I was a little bit held up on the home corner but he was always travelling like he was going to let down very strong and it was just a matter of getting to the outside.

"I didn't have to use the whip and there was still a bit left underneath me and there was a bit of greenness as well. There is plenty of upside."

Identified by well-regarded bloodstock agent John Foote, Somethinaboutharry was purchased for $75,000 from the draft of Brighthill Farm at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale.

Ride Like A Girl exclusive

The New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Association have secured the first viewing of the inspirational movie Ride Like A Girl, the story of Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to win the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) when riding New Zealand-bred Prince Of Penzance to victory in 2015. 

The viewing will take place on Friday August from 5pm at the Tivoli Theatre in Cambridge. Cash bar available. Movie starts at 5:45pm. Tickets are strictly limited and to secure please phone the NZTBA office on 07 827 7727 or email [email protected]

Tickets are on a first first served basis. $20 for NZTBA members and $25 for non-members.

Another Group Winner for Charm Spirit

Leading young sire Charm Spirit's progeny continued on with their fine form overnight when his three-year-old son Kick On defeated the older horses to land a thrilling renewal of the Gr.3 Tattersalls Sovereign Stakes (1600m) in England.

From the stable of champion Newmarket trainer John Gosden, Kick On produced a performance reminiscent of his own sire's relentless courage and class to hold off Gr.1 Queen Anne Stakes (1600m) hero Accidental Agent.

"To be honest, from where I was standing I wasn't sure if he had won, but thankfully he stuck his neck out," assistant trainer Thady Gosden said.

"He was three wide the whole way and tried his heart out and considering the second horse is a Royal Ascot Group One winner, it was pretty stiff competition."

Kick On has now won on four occasions including two black type events, having previously won the Listed Feilden Stakes at Newmarket on his seasonal return.

"He went to post bright and relaxed," jockey Oisin Murphy said. "John (Gosden) has spent time freshening him up and he was in really good order today. The horse was giving his all and even if we'd got beaten, there'd have been no complaints. With an attitude like his, he is bound to win more big races."  

Charm Spirit has also made an excellent start to his stud career in the Southern Hemisphere with seven individual winners of ten races from his first crop, which have just turned three.

These include last Saturday's impressive winner Heirborn, who defied a moderate tempo and a wide passage to close well from the rear in claiming the VRC Member Helen Saffin Handicap (1400m) at Flemington.

The Anthony Freedman-trained three-year-old is unbeaten in two starts and is expected to progress further with a step-up in distance and holds a nomination for the Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).

A day earlier at Ballarat, Charm Spirit was also represented by the impressive debut winner (1000m) Leporem Star for trainer Robert Hickmott.

His best southern hemisphere performer to date is last season's Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained leading two-year-old Aretha, who won the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders' Stakes (1200m) and was twice Group One placed, is being aimed at the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) this term.

A triple Group One winning miler, Charm Spirit is the highest earning son of leading international sire and sire of sires Invincible Spirit and stands at Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand.

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