Bound­ing sails to fin­ish line

Matamata Chronicle - - News - DENNIS RYAN Rac­ing colum­nist

Nat­u­rally gifted 2-yearolds aren’t com­mon­place in the Ken and Bev Kelso sta­ble, but the Banks Rd train­ing cou­ple have one out of the box in the un­beaten filly Bound­ing.

On Satur­day at Pukekohe, Bound­ing proved too slick for her ri­vals in the Mur­doch Newell Stakes, adding that to the de­but win she posted last month at Eller­slie.

Some might say the re­sult could have been dif­fer­ent if the other un­beaten filly in the race, Ruud Awak­en­ing, hadn’t muffed the start.

But there was no deny­ing Bound­ing’s dom­i­nance af­ter she had cruised along out­side the leader and then pro­duced her elec­tric turn of foot when Vin­nie Colgan pressed the but­ton.

What we’re see­ing now could be de­scribed as the log­i­cal out­come for a filly with the pedi­gree and looks that saw her make A$425,000 as a year­ling in April.

That’s what her Ti­rau owner Gary Hard­ing had to out­lay af­ter he and Ken Kelso had trav­elled to Syd­ney on a mis­sion.

Hav­ing scanned the Inglis Sale cat­a­logue, the bay filly by cham­pion race­horse and sire Lonhro from the former smart two year old Be­lieve’N’Suc­ceed, was the one they put at the top of their list. They weren’t the only dis­cern­ing judges taken by Lot 65, but Gary wouldn’t be de­nied as she went to the top of the list of six-fig­ure sale-ring pur­chases he has made over the years.

Gary and Linda Hard­ing have struck up a re­ward­ing as­so­ci­a­tion with the Kel­sos since mov­ing north from Hawke’s Bay sev­eral years ago.

The at­trac­tion to re­lo­cate was their pur­chase of the Ben­jamin fam­ily’s former Fayette Park stud prop­erty, where their se­lect group of thor­ough­breds has been based along with an ex­ten­sive ken­nel of rac­ing grey­hounds, many of them with the Thrilling pre­fix in their names and re­spon­si­ble for a string of ma­jor race wins on both sides of the Tas­man.

While Bound­ing’s stake earn­ings af­ter two starts amount to less than one tenth of her pur­chase price, Satur­day’s win went a long way to es­tab­lish­ing a value in keep­ing with what she cost. But af­ter mak­ing his mark in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try, Gary was quick to point out that as far as his rac­ing pur­suits go, he places en­joy­ment well ahead of any mon­e­tary re­ward.

‘‘It’s not the money, it’s the en­joy­ment,’’ he said as Vin­nie Colgan brought Bound­ing back to scale in the fa­mil­iar white with or­ange spots colours.

‘‘It’s a big thrill when any of my horses win and es­pe­cially with a filly like this.’’

Two days ear­lier the Hardingowned Trav­eller had been just as im­pres­sive when scor­ing on his home track in his first test at a mid­dle-dis­tance, con­firm­ing the be­lief that as a son of cham­pion stay­ing sire Zabeel he would find his true form over ground.

There’s a lot of sat­is­fac­tion also in the achieve­ments of an­other of the Hard­ing-owned, Kelso-trained string – 3-year-old filly Fix, who fin­ished third in the Group I New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Ric­car­ton 10 days ago. Un­til Bound­ing came along she was the best per­formed 2-year-old from the Kelso sta­ble in re­cent times, with wins in her first two starts last sum­mer and a fifth plac­ing in the Group I Manawatu Sires’ Pro­duce Stakes.

Fix won on de­but at Te Aroha in mid-Fe­bru­ary, but as that race fell just eight days be­fore the Group II J Swap Mata­mata Breed­ers’ Stakes, the de­ci­sion was made not to back her up in Mata­mata’s flag­ship race. The Kel­sos have had just one Mata­mata Breed­ers’ Stakes run­ner, fifth placeget­ter Ground­less Threats in 1996.

‘‘Over the years we just haven’t had many of those pre­co­cious 2-year-old types,’’ says Bev.

‘‘Ken and Gary went to the Syd­ney sales with the in­ten­tion to buy a 2-year-old type and that’s what they’ve come up with.

‘‘She’s a lovely filly, so nat­u­ral and easy in ev­ery­thing she does – and she can gal­lop.’’

Bound­ing and Fix are now at home with their owner while plans are made for the sec­ond half of their re­spec­tive sea­sons.

Fix will be back in the sta­ble first, with her re­turn to rac­ing sched­uled for the Eight Carat Stakes at Eller­slie on Box­ing Day, while the Mata­mata Breed­ers’ Stakes will be her sta­ble­mate’s sum­mer tar­get.

‘‘Fix is due back in next week and we’ll let her have a gal­lop be­tween races at the twi­light meet­ing here a week be­fore Eller­slie,’’ says Ken.

‘‘She’s shown she can run 1600 me­tres and she’ll tell us whether she wants to step up fur­ther in dis­tance.

‘‘The Breed­ers’ Stakes in Fe­bru­ary is the race for the other filly.

‘‘Be­ing lo­cals it’s a race we’d love to win and it will give us an­other line on where she’s up to.’’

In the back of con­nec­tions’ minds is a nom­i­na­tion Bound­ing holds for the world’s rich­est twoyear-old race, the A$3.5 mil­lion Golden Slip­per Stakes in Syd­ney next au­tumn. Gary was one of more than 1000 like-minded own­ers to throw in a nom­i­na­tion when Golden Slip­per en­tries closed in June.

‘‘Hey, at this stage it’s only a pipe dream,’’ says Ken. ‘‘She was a qual­ity filly when Gary bought her and ev­ery­thing she’s done since tells us she’s well above av­er­age.

‘‘The plan was al­ways to turn her out af­ter the Pukekohe race and it’s go­ing to be in­ter­est­ing to see how she de­vel­ops with a month or so off.

‘‘We feel pretty lucky to have a guy like Gary in­volv­ing us with such qual­ity horses and it’s great when you can de­liver with a win like that on Satur­day.’’

Xanadu, one mem­ber of the Kelso team that does not race in the Hard­ing colours, is back in the sta­ble af­ter a let-up that fol­lowed her ster­ling ef­forts at the Hawke’s Bay spring car­ni­val. With­out a lot of luck she was placed in all three triple crown legs – sec­ond in the Makfi Chal­lenge Stakes, third in the Wind­sor Park Plate and fourth in the NZB In­surance Spring Clas­sic.

The 4-year-old has been nom­i­nated for the Tele­graph Hand­i­cap, the ma­jor sprint at the Welling­ton sum­mer car­ni­val in late Jan­uary, and all go­ing to plan she will start fresh up in that race down the Tren­tham chute.

Spe­cial: Bound­ing gives Vin­nie Colgan a sweet ride as she wins the Mur­doch Newell Stakes at Pukekohe on Satur­day.

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