Fortuna Weekly Round Up 29th August


Tuesday 22nd August saw Trials held at Avondale race course and Fortuna eight year old Gelding, CHANCE TO DANCE, who earlier in his career had won in both Ireland and Australia, was having his first official New Zealand outing. One of the highest rated NZ based handicappers capable of running over ground “Ted” as he is known affectionately to his small army of Syndicate Members (63 in all) is being set for the Group One Livamol Stakes over 2000 metres at Hastings on 7th October. This trial was being touted by his Training Team as a “quiet day out” ahead of a second more serious trial at Cambridge on 12th September. It seemed that no one told Ted about the quiet bit though as he bounced out of the gates like a precocious Two Year Old, contested the lead and running 2nd in the end to the smart up and coming mare, DEALS IN HEELS. Click HERE to see trials replays – we are Heat 3. It was a splendid “quiet day out”. A strong performance by CHANCE TO DANCE  at Hastings could see him travel to Melbourne to contest the Caulfield Cup on 21st October – he has also been nominated for the Melbourne Cup in November.

CHANCE TO DANCE Avondale trials – Wiremu Pinn aboard

Just to prove that it is not all beer and skittles in this game however, this past week has seen the retirement of the beautifully bred Fortuna 4yo mare, LEONESSA (Pour Moi – Lioness). Plagued by soundness issues during her race preparations, “Hazel” had only one race day start, for an unlucky 2nd. Possessing undoubted ability, her “issues” finally got the better of her and her future will now lie in the broodmare paddock. A shame for her loyal band of Syndicate Members, however her pedigree does mean she will have nice residual value as a broodmare proposition.

In case you haven’t noticed, the country is in election mode. In the last week of Parliament’s sitting the long awaited “Race Fields Legislation” was given its first reading. This legislation is designed to make the International Corporate Bookmakers pay a levy to the NZ Racing Board for the right to publish the NZ race fields and take bets on them. As you probably know prize money for NZ Racing comes, in the main, from a percentage of betting turnover placed on the TAB. However any bets placed on NZ races with the Corporate bookies attract no such percentage. The Australian Authorities dealt with this in recent years by enforcing their own version of this legislation and the windfall for Australian racing has been huge with Racing Victoria alone collecting close to A$130 million in the last financial year. It has been estimated that the windfall for the NZ codes (Harness and Greyhounds as well as Thoroughbreds) could be $55 Million – to put that in perspective, the NZ TAB currently pays out approx $160 million per annum to the three codes, so it is easy to see why this extra income is so important to the industry. Of course, we could possibly see a change of Government come election day, however Labour did support the first reading of the Bill and have “promised” to enact the legislation if they do occupy the Treasury Benches post election. We shall see.

Te Teko trials scheduled for Tuesday 29th August were put off due to Heavy overnight rain and are now rescheduled for Thursday 31st August. Just one Fortuna runner, the 3yo BEAU GESTE ( Pour Moi – Villa Wanda). 

Three Fortuna runners this weekend with ITS OUR SHOWTIME resuming at Ruakaka Saturday 2nd, while READY FORTUNE and KING SAVINSKY race at the Perak Turf Club (Malaysia).