Emotional win for Big Mike in Hawke’s Bay Cup

Breednet - Saturday April 17

There was definitely a catch in the voice of co-trainer Shaun Phelan as he described just what the victory of stable favourite Big Mike means to his family after he led all-the-way to win the Listed Power Farming Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m) at Hastings.

The eight-year-old son of Don Eduardo has been a flag bearer for Phelan and his father Craig’s boutique training operation, having now won 12 of his 45 starts and more than $500,000 in prizemoney.

Hazel Schofer drives Big Mike clear on his way to victory in the Listed Power Farming Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m). Photo: Grant Matthew

Included in that tally is a victory in the 2018 Listed Pakenham Cup (2500m), a highlight for the Phelan’s who also co-own the gelding. However, there has been plenty of heartache for all concerned in trying to get Big Mike back to his best after a somewhat disappointing spring campaign in Melbourne last year.

An eye-catching run for fifth over 1550m at Awapuni last Friday fitted Big Mike for his Hastings assignment and he didn’t disappoint with a thrilling front-running effort in the hands of apprentice Hazel Schofer.


Schofer never missed a beat as she set up a steady pace before booting clear on the home bend. Just as eventual minor placegetters Sir Nate and Yatima looked like challenging for victory, Big Mike kicked again and closed out a three and a half length win.

Surrounded by well-wishers, Phelan cut an emotional figure as he described the win.

“It’s been a long haul getting him right after Melbourne,” he said.

“It’s pretty amazing and pretty emotional to be honest.

“He’s part of the family and has taken us to places you couldn’t imagine.

“It’s just so good to see him back doing his best at the age he is now.”

Phelan had been worried that one lead-up run to the race would not be enough but was amazed how the horse thrived after that effort.

“We didn’t have many options for a lead up, so we took him to Awapuni last week to get a run into him,” he said.

“He ran a good race and the improvement in him in a week has been unreal. He’s just gone to another level in the last seven days.

“It was also a super ride by Hazel, who gets on well with our horses. He can just run those even sectionals and it took the sting out of those in behind him.

“It was also a perfect surface for him today and I think they should be commended for the track they put out for everyone.”

Phelan doesn’t have any specific plans for Big Mike although a start in the Gr.3 Rotorua Cup (2200m) is an option provided the tracks don’t get too heavy.

“The Rotorua Cup is one idea we have had,” Phelan said.

“That’s Dad’s old stomping ground, so to win that race would be very special, but it will all depend on how wet the tracks get as he isn’t any good when it is deep and heavy.” – NZ Racing Desk


Race Result - Power Farming Hawke's Bay Cup LR 2200m

Hastings Track: Dead(5) Time: 2:18.12
Big Mike
T: Craig & Shaun Phelan J: R H Schofer 58.5
8g Don Eduardo (NZ) x Landvetter (NZ) (Felix The Cat (USA))
Sir Nate
T: Ms L Latta J: L J Allpress 53.5
5g Nadeem (AUS) x Just Diamonds (NZ) (No Excuse Needed (GB))
NZB Select Yearling Sale $65,000
V:Little Avondale Stud
B: Lisa Latta Racing
T: S B Marsh J: A C Goindasamy 53
6m Savabeel (AUS) x Cancun (NZ) (Flying Spur (AUS))
Sherwood Forest
T: A W Pike J: M J Mc Nab 58.5
4g Fastnet Rock (AUS) x Chasing Mammon (AUS) (Giant's Causeway (USA))
MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale $100,000
V:Coolmore Stud Jerry's Plains NSW
B: New Zealand Bloodstock Ltd
T: P M Goodwin J: T L Taiaroa 53
6g Pierro (AUS) x Stellaphyta (NZ) (High Chaparral (IRE))
T: D & E Haworth J: S M Mc Kay 53
5g Savabeel (AUS) x Harinui (NZ) (Generous (IRE))
Hunta Pence
T: F P Campbell J: D G Bradley 57.5
8g No Excuse Needed (GB) x Vanitas (NZ) (Pins (AUS))
T: S A Sharrock J: J Parkes 58
6m Darci Brahma (NZ) x Shez Sinsational (NZ) (Ekraar (USA))
T: S B Marsh J: L T Hemi 53
5m Cape Blanco (IRE) x Voliera (AUS) (Keeper (AUS))
Nymph Monte
T: G N Nicholson J: S J Macnab 53
9g Tavistock (NZ) x Grove Nymph (NZ) (Grosvenor (NZ))
On The Rocks
T: M Moroney & P Gerard J: S O'Malley 60
6g Alamosa (NZ) x Cold Shoulder (NZ) (Volksraad (GB))
NZB Select Yearling Sale $40,000
V:Wellfield Lodge
B: Paul Moroney Bloodstock
More Reading...
Spendthrift Mourn Loss of Malibu Moon
Malibu Moon, the foundation sire of B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, died suddenly on Tuesday in his paddock of an apparent heart attack. The distinguished son of A.P. Indy was 24.
First Season Sire Galleries at MM National Weanlings
107 lots catalogued at this week’s Magic Millions National Weanling Sale at the Gold Coast are by first season sires and, as always, there’ll be plenty of eyes on them.
Lunar Rise Enjoying New Life as Troop Horse Martin
An expensive Inglis Easter yearling bred and sold by Arrowfield, who became a successful Group III winning racehorse / turned more than handy showjumper for the Daybreak Farm team, Lunar Rise is now enjoying life in his new role as Troop Horse Martin in the NSW Mounted Police unit.
One to Watch - - Newcastle
The most expensive yearling filly by Nicconi broke the ice for her first win at Newcastle on Tuesday in the Star Thoroughbreds colours.
Most Expensive Mares – Are They Worth the Money
The impending sale of champion mares Melody Belle and Arcadia Queen and where they may fit in the list of Australia’s most expensive mares sold at public auction got us thinking about the others on the list and where are they now?
Sires With Winners - Tuesday May 18
Here is the full list of 28 stallions which had winners throughout Australasia today with winners and result details.
Sires With Winners - Monday May 17
Here is the full list of 17 stallions which had winners throughout Australasia today with winners and result details.
French Classic Winner for Aussie Breeder
Australian breeder Bob Scarborough has a small band of mares based in Ireland and one of them, 14YO Galileo mare Cabaret, is the dam of top class Siyouni colt St Mark’s Basilica, who won the Group I Poule d’Essai des Poulains (1600m) at Longchamp overnight.
Quantity and Quality
When a first season sire goes to stud he needs two things in his first book of mares to become a commercial success, he firstly needs numbers, but he also needs quality, so we’ve taken a look at the books of mares covered by first season sires in Australia last season.
Inglis Great Southern Sale Online
Weanlings by - and mares in foal to - some of the most in-demand stallions in the country highlight another outstanding renewal of the Great Southern Sale.