Whosy­our­mas­ter back to his win­ning ways

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery – Opinion - DEN­NIS RYAN Rac­ing colum­nist

A flour­ish of late au­tumn form by Whosy­our­mas­ter has put a smile on the faces of those clos­est to the geld­ing af­ter a frus­trat­ing run of mi­nor plac­ings.

Be­fore his re­turn to the win­ners’ list at Hast­ings 10 days ago, it had been 18 months since he had last been suc­cess­ful, at Mata­mata in Oc­to­ber 2012.

Through late sum­mer-au­tumn he had been knock­ing hard with three con­sec­u­tive sec­ond plac­ings and fi­nally got his re­ward in the $50,000 Napier Park Sprint, scor­ing by nearly four lengths on a heavy track.

With suit­able

op­por­tu­ni­ties run­ning out as win­ter looms, the de­ci­sion was made by train­ers Lance O’Sul­li­van and Andrew Scott, and own­ers Dan and Judy Moss, to back Whosy­our­mas­ter up in the $40,000 open sprint at last Satur­day’s Te Rapa meet­ing.

The mar­gin this time was only a long head but once again the fiveyear-old gave ev­ery­thing to take his earn­ings for the week to $ 56,250 and his to­tal from 23 starts to five wins and stakes of $132,000.

But this only tells part of Whosy­our­mas­ter’s story.

As a two- year- old and early three-year-old he was shap­ing as likely to fol­low in the foot­steps of his older half- sis­ter Keep The Peace, who had put to­gether a tre­ble of Group One wins in the New Zealand Oaks, Mudg­way Stakes and Otaki Weight-For-Age Clas­sic.

But af­ter scor­ing his first win at start num­ber three, a se­ri­ous prob­lem came to light in the form of a par­tially col­lapsed lar­ynx which re­quired surgery known as a tie-back to re­open his air­ways. Such an af­flic­tion can spell dis­as­ter for a race­horse re­quir­ing max­i­mum oxy­gen flow and in most cases, surgery only par­tially cor­rects the prob­lem.

That has been the case for Whosy­our­mas­ter over the past two years, but even if his record would other­wise read more im­pres­sively, it says a lot for the horse’s nat­u­ral abil­ity and courage in the face of ad­ver­sity.

The son of West­bury Stud stal­lion Cap­tain Rio is out of the for­mer handy race­mare Peace Of Mind, whose six wins un­der the train­ing of Mike Moroney in­cluded three with Lance O’Sul­li­van in the sad­dle.

That mare and her half-brother, Hong Kong Horse of the Year Makarpura Star, were bred by the late John and June Smel­lie, whose daugh­ter Judy Moss, along with her hus­band Dan, have con­tin­ued to breed suc­cess­fully from the line on the fam­ily’s for­mer Rock­field Stud property at Tai­hoa.

Mata­mata-based jockey Craig Grylls con­tin­ued his land­mark sea­son with yet an­other mile­stone at Te Rapa at the weekend, notch­ing his 500th win when rid­ing out­sider Shezhard­to­catch to vic­tory in the $70,000 Cam­bridge Jockey Club Breed­ers’ Stakes.

The past six-month pe­riod has been like no other in the 24-yearold’s ca­reer, with three Group One wins, two at Group Two and now a Group Three to add to a sea­son tally of 59, which has him well on tar­get to eclipse his pre­vi­ous sea­son best of 63 wins.

Great re­sults: Whosy­our­mas­ter and Rory Hutch­ings make it two wins in a week with a nar­row vic­tory over Spin Doc­tor at Te Rapa on Satur­day.

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