Whosyourmaster back to his winning ways
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.
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.