Stablemates Clash in G1

Media Release - Wednesday December 2

Happy versus Grumpy - Not a clash between two of the seven dwarves but a snapshot of trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood's two contestants for Saturday's Gr.1 Rydges Wellington Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham.

Happy is the personality-plus last-start Gr.2 Coupland's Bakeries Mile (1600m) winner Hypnos. Grumpy is last-start Gr.2 Tauranga Stakes (1600m) winner Concert Hall, who prefers her own company and pins her ears back and bares her teeth as a reminder.

Hypnos wins the G2 Couplands Mile - Race Images

But personalities aside, James and Wellwood couldn't be any more content with their pair heading into their weekend weight-for-age assignments.

"All we can do is be happy with what we are sending into the race and I think they have both had great preparations, they've had patient careers and they are both in career peak form," James said.

Savabeel mare Concert Hall heads the TAB's fixed-odds Captain Cook Stakes market at $3.70 ahead of Rock On Wood at $4.20, Prise De Fer at $5, Aimee's Jewel at $6 and Hypnos at $7.

Concert Hall - Race Images

Advertisement

The Joan Egan-bred and raced six-year-old has won eight of her 21 starts, including last year's Gr.3 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) and October's Gr.3 Thompson Handicap (1600m), both at Trentham.

"You never set plans in concrete," James said.

"Originally we thought we'd go to the Counties Cup (2100m at Pukekohe last month) but she did so well after her previous win and I thought why don't we look at going to the Tauranga Stakes (Gr.2, 1600m) and keep our options open? We can either back up in the Counties Cup or go to the Captain Cook.

"She was so impressive at Tauranga that we've taken the second option, hence why they are clashing."

A winner of five of her 10 starts at 1600m, Concert Hall won last year's Gr.3 Manawatu Cup (2300m) at Awapuni and looks to have an exciting future as a stayer but James is happy to take his chances with her at 1600m again at Trentham on Saturday.

"It's a big mile down there, She's been down there twice and won on both occasions over the distance. I'm confident we can get another good mile out of her," James said.

Concert Hall has drawn out in barrier 11 in the 12-horse race with Hypnos set to get an economical run from barrier one just as he did in winning the Coupland's Mile at Riccarton last month.

He floated back to Cambridge straight after the race and spent six days on James' farm before heading to Margaret Park to utilise the water treadmill at that Pukemoremore facility.

"We've used that quite a lot this preparation after every run and it seems to have worked. He's come back tremendously really," James said.

"I expect a good run but know that Group Ones are never easy to win.

“It would be special to win with Hypnos because Ron and Fran (Dixon, owners) have been with me since day one and Ron is a past president at Wellington Racing Club and I know to win a Group One on his home course would be extra special."

James and Wellwood will also produce three runners at Ellerslie on Saturday with Sherrif and London Banker contesting the Vector Wero Whitewater Park 2100, both on trial for Saturday week's Gr.3 SkyCity Hamilton Waikato Cup (2400m) at Te Rapa, and impressive maiden winner One More Time tackling the Westinghouse 1200.

Per Incanto filly One More Time scored by six lengths at Avondale on debut and hadn't taken a backwards step ahead of her weekend assignment according to James.

"She couldn't have been more impressive at her two trials and her first start. She's a filly that doesn't tell you a lot in her work but we're happy with her," he said.

"She should be hard to beat again. Her winning time was a second and a half faster than the next 1200m race and she's won by six lengths pulling up." - NZ Racing Desk

 

 

Advertisment
Stallion Parade
More Reading...
Showcasing Filly Wins Gore Guineas
Connections of Riccarton visitor Showemhowitsdone had to endure some anxious moments before her victory in the Listed Liquorland Gore Guineas (1335m) was confirmed on Saturday.
2021 Thoroughbred Sport Horse Classes Looking for Sponsors
Created in 2019 as the brainchild of respected showjumper and unabashed thoroughbred fan Krissy Harris, the Thoroughbred Sport Horse Association goes from strength to strength in working towards the goal of improving demand for retired racehorses as competition horses.
Fastnet Rock Day at Ellerslie
Champion sire Fastnet Rock put his stamp on the Ellerslie New Year’s Day meeting with three winners headed by his champion daughter Avantage, who put the icing on the cake when winning the Group I Sistema Railway (1200m) .
Te Akau Racing to the fore on Karaka Million Night
Classy three-year-old Need I Say More made his first run at Ellerslie a winning one when he lumped topweight of 60.5kgs to victory in the Gr.3 Cambridge Stud Almanzor Trophy (1200m), the first race on Karaka Million night.
Karaka Million Heavy Hitters to Join Forces
The two leading figures of Karaka Million night, Te Akau and racing group Boys Get Paid, are set to join forces for the first time at Karaka this week.
Super Saturday for Newgate Young Guns
Newgate Farm first season sires were in hot form on Saturday winning all three of the metropolitan juvenile races on the east coast of Australia with Stay Inside (Extreme Choice - Randwick) and Artorius (Flying Artie- Sandown) followed by Mystic Gem (Capitalist), who made a winning debut at Doomben, while Sneaky Shark (Capitalist) was second in the Karaka Million.
Sweet Idea Produces Winner for The Queen
Australian Group I winner Sweet Idea looked an intriguing addition to The Queen’s broodmare band when she was exported to the UK in 2015 and on Friday produced her first winner for Her Majesty.
Sires With Winners - Saturday January 23
Here is the full list of 114 stallions which had winners throughout Australasia today with winners and result details.
Casino Prince Gelding Bandersnatch Opens Stakes Account
Just one stakes race anywhere in Australia on Saturday, the Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, fell to a horse making his black-type debut.
Another Impressive Debut Winner for Extreme Choice
Exciting young Not a Single Doubt stallion Extreme Choice only has 48 two year-olds in his first crop, but they are certainly making an impression.