Another magic day for All Stars at Addington had many highlights-maybe too many to mention. A 5th successive win in the Sires Stakes final by Ultimate Sniper was one but there were plenty of others.
Hero of the All Stars barn on Sunday morning as final workouts for Tuesday, for once maybe, wasn’t actually a horse as you would expect. It was a man and that man’s name is Callam Maxwell.
Many will know Callam as a long time Majestic float driver something he did for 15 years. But he decided on a change of direction and when the opportunity came up to join All Stars as track manager and general surfaces boss he leapt at it.
“At least it means I am home most nights which didn’t used to be the case. “
Callam’s work leading up to the all important Cup week earned high praise from Natalie.
“This has been a really good pre-Cup Sunday and one of the main reasons is that the tracks are in such magnificent order” she said
“Callam was here for hours yesterday setting up the track surfaces and he has done a magnificent job for us. It makes a busy day so much easier and the tracks are as good as they have ever been. That has really made our day”
Callam for his part is as happy as a sandboy to be helping All Stars to success.
“I have only been here a few weeks but I love it”
Nice to have you too, Calla
Training horses on the straight track at Rolleston is a very effective way to go about it-but it takes time. Four or five “laps” are prescribed the first 800m in a relaxed warm up mode and the last one fairly brisk. With All U Need is Faith (Nat) and Turn It Up (Mark) on Sunday it was training down to 1.02 and 59 for the last two sprints. At each end there is a walk around as shown here
Addington workouts Friday
It was Addington. It was wet. It was cold. It got colder. And wetter. Natalie’s goggles after one workout made you wonder how she could see where she was going. She wondered too.
When Mark was asked what he was thinking about a horse after one workout he quipped he was too busy thinking of when he might get home and dry out. Understandable.
But this was All Stars on the eve of the Cup meeting it has dominated in recent years and conditioning the horses took precedence over all else. Had these horses been home at Rolleston they would have been lucky to get a jog and at Addington they did better than that.
Starting at 6.30 a big team got through their paces with Natalie and Mark leading an excellent team. Michelle had the organisation sussed, Tim and Peter led a good team and Rebecca and Alison made a great contribution.
Teamwork is vital at All Stars and it shows.
First lot out was Thefixer trailing GP Horace with Peter Ryder, an expert in the field, in the cart. Meanwhile Cruz Bromac and Dream About Me worked together over 3200m in 4.40
A TIP FROM ONE WHO KNOWS
Peter Ryder is not a professional horseman as defined these days but he has been around horses a long time. He also has one of the best strike rates of any New Zealand Cup driver. One drive in the race for a third placing is an average to be proud of. That was back in 1988 behind Speedy Cheval. But Peter, who “moonlights” from his real job on Saturday mornings often as a reliable guide of the galloping prompter knows enough to know what counts and what doesn’t
When it comes to the 2018 Cup Peter was thoughtful after THEFIXER worked yesterday.
“The way he worked he is going to be very hard to beat” he said.
Peter was driving Horace the stable GP so was in the best position outside of Natalie to make an assessment. His advice might be well worth taking
Patience brings its own rewards and that was certainly the case for the connections of Spankem when he triumphed with a masterly Tim Williams drive to give All Stars a win on the 50th anniversary of the Purdon family’s first runner in the Kaikoura Cup.
Phil and Glenys Kennard, Ken and Karen Breckon, Jim and Ann Gibbs and Gary and Kerre Woodham learned patience early with the well-bred Spankem.
He posted four smart placed performances as a two year old before a winning turn but then he got his due reward winning the Sires Stakes Final after a great placed run from outside the second row in the PGG Wrightson Sales Pace. Then he had to settle for third in a tight finish behind stablemates Ashley Locaz and The Devil’s Own in the Harness Jewels.
The same thing happened to him as a three year old in the rich Sales Pace running third to Chase Auckland and All U Need is Faith and after a win in a heat of the Victoria Derby but a fourth in the final Mark and Natalie specified a lengthy spell to regain his fire and fitness after a busy younger campaign.
He seems to have come back better than ever and after his bold run at Ashburton it seemed only a matter of time before he took out a feature race.
That was up to Tim who seized the lead off Natalie and Eamon Maguire and dictated the terms. The time for the race was the slowest since Natalie drove Arden Rooney to victory four years ago and over three seconds slower than Lazarus posted with his easy win last year. But Tim sprinted them home in 55.6 and 26.4 and that gave nothing else, including Eamon Maguire, a chance of overhauling him on the flat- cambered Kaikoura track.
It was the Kennard’s third win in the race in five years, Fly Like an Eagle having won in 2013 but a first for his partners. Jim Gibbs, busy celebrating a birthday could not be there but he is sure to be on hand for Spankem’s next run in the Junior Free for All on New Zealand Cup day.
All Stars have now won four of the last six Kaikoura Cups and All Stars have won nine in all.
Eamon Maguire fought on and Cruz Bromac lost no New Zealand Cup caste on his sectionals after appearing to have not all favours at the start.
WHERE YA BIN -BEEN AND DONE THAT
Natalie gave Where Ya Bin the run of the race in his maiden graduation and he delivered for owners Cheryl Rasmussen and Peter Baken. Originally named Bolting Bookmaker Where Ya Bin was a cheaper yearling by All Stars standards being knocked down for $25,000 so to win at his third outing is a feather in the cap. He led home an All Stars trifecta, Portalegre being outfinished late and Having The Faith running on well. The time was over two seconds faster than the previous maiden.
ASHLEY -at last !
Ashley Locaz had been overdue to score and he took advantage of an easier assignment than his previous one at Ashburton to give Tim an armchair ride even though sitting parked for much of the way.
Tim’s view was that it was the safest place to be on a track where progress from the back is very difficult and Ashley went on to win more easily than the margin suggests.
Consider his previous outing at Ashburton. He led up on a well rated pace and a sprint home and was beaten by trailing stablemate Turn It Up with Spankem third. Not bad form for a race such as this