Big season for our gallopers
Bounding in the box seat to take over where her year-older stablemate Fix left off last autumn.
Fix, who like Bounding is not only trained by the Kelsos but is owned by major stable client Gary Harding, won the same Taupo race 12 months ago in the first step to taking the prestigious New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year series.
In a purple patch of summer form Fix won the Eight Carat Classic, Royal Stakes and Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic, while her placings included second in the New Zealand Derby and third in the New Zealand 1000 Guineas.
Unfortunately Fix’s four-year-old season is on hold after she developed a bone chip in a front fetlock, but that has been operated on and she is now recuperating with a view to returning in time for a summerautumn campaign. In the meantime Bounding promises to keep the Harding colours to the fore, with her next scheduled start the Gold Trail Stakes at Hastings on September 21.
The Kelso stable has a strong hand in this weekend’s opening day of the Hawke’s Bay spring carnival, with Xanadu one of the favourites in the first Group One race of the new season, the Makfi Challenge Stakes.
The big mare returned to racing with a photo-finish second in the Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa 10 days ago.
Her return clash with Foxbridge winner Postmans Daughter and ace South Island mare Final Touch will be an early season highlight this weekend.
Another highlight of the Taupo meeting came when Darryn Weatherley saddled up La Vitesse, his first runner since recently gaining his trainer’s licence, for a memorable win.
In recent years Darryn has run a pre-training operation mainly servicing local trainer John Sargent. John’s decision to open a stable in Sydney has been the spur for Darryn to try his own luck in the training business, but he has no plans to grow that side of the Banks Road operation beyond a handful of racehorses in work.
La Vitesse is raced by Darryn and his wife Louise in partnership with Aucklander Barry Wright.
Hamish and Karyn McQuade, have come up with a smart sort in Mr Mendelssohn, who has two from two starts with a smart performance at New Plymouth last Saturday.
The McQuades race the threeyear-old in partnership with Auckland client Cliff Solomon, who signed for him at just $6000 at the 2012 Karaka Yearling Sales.
The bay has proven a handful to get to this point, but on the strength of a debut win at Te Aroha earlier this month and then his even easier win against much stronger opposition he has a real future.