Friday Flash – 22 December 2023

Headline News

Fortuna Owners Day 17th December was a big success


Fortuna has four runners at three different venues Friday and Saturday and Boxing Day 
Friday – Matamata

COURT OF APPEAL steps up in trip in the Maiden 2000m event – Friday 22nd December – Race 1 @ 2.41pm with Michael McNab to ride from a wide barrier. Her last two runs at 1600m have seen two strong third placings. A big rangy Filly by Eminent out of a Zabeel Mare, she is bred to stay all day and will love this 2000m trip. Slightly tricky draw to overcome but will be rattling home closing stages and is a strong each way chance @ $5/$2

INCA BELLE contests the R65 1400m event – Race 8 @ 6.53 pm and will be ridden by the in form Niranjan Parmar from barrier 4 – good 2nd on resuming and then only battled 2nd up – Is a very capable galloper and can feature in the finish here @ $10/$3.30

Saturday – Trentham

LEADERBOARD contests the Group 3 Manawatu Cup over 2300m – race 7 @4.10pm Kozzie Osano to ride from Barrier 11 – produced a solid effort for 5th over 2200m this course last Saturday at just his 2nd up run – on a path toward defending his 2023 Wellington Cup – loves it wet, but may not get that on Saturday – $18/$4.50

Caulfield – Boxing Day

RUBICON CROSSNG  gets her first look at Caufield in the BM 70 1100m event – Race 5 @ 3.40pm Aus time with Jamie Kah to ride from a good barrier. Won impressively at her Aus debut 30th September and has finished close up without winning in 3 starts since. Very capable galloper who meets a tidy field here, but has the draw and the rider to assist. Can run into the money here if at her best on the day


Matamata Trackwork

Tuesday 19th December

Court Of Appeal (O Bosson) galloped over 1200 metres in 1.21.0, final 600 in 38.1.

Singapore Trackwork 

Saturday 16th December

RHETT BUTLER (JAMIL)1000/600-38.5; TRIDENT (AWAH)1000/600-38.5; ELLIOT NESS (ASLAM)1000/600-38.5; KING ARTHUR (YUSOFF)1000/600-39;

Fortuna Owners Day 17th December was a big successApproximately 80 Fortuna clients attended the annual Owners day held at Matamata racecourse December 17. The weather was balmy and Trainer Mark Walker was in attendance. After welcoming attendees, we showed a video clip of the closing stages of the 23 individual wins recorded by Fortuna runners over the last 12 months and that brought back a lot of memories for attendees –  Leaderboard’s Wellington Cup victory drew a particularly big cheer from the attendees. Our most successful horse during the year was the Singapore based 4yo, KNIPPENBERG, who won 4 times from 12 starts

John presented a Winning Owners award, a copy of Aidan Rodley’s very good book on the history of group one winners in New Zealand racing over the last 40 years “Elite” – this was presented to Ian and Sandra Upson, who accumulated 20 wins throughout the year from 11 individual horses.

Notable that the Upsons, who have been clients of Fortuna since 2012, have now accumulated 146 wins in total with Fortuna horses – a simply amazing record. Their secret of course is to take small shares (usually 2.5%) in lots of horses.

We then paraded all of the horses that were based at Matamata on the day and all paraded in great order – the Karaka Million bound 2yo Filly, BELLATRIX STAR, drew a lot of interest as did our very recent Ready To Run acquisition, the Contributor – Victory Parade Filly, “Kylie” – standing at 16.1 hands and tipping the scales at 500 kgs, she is an impressive physical type. Notable that the day before at Te Rapa, the Te Akau trained race mare CAMPIONESSA (also by Contributor) had coninued her rich vein of from when taking out the Group 2 Cal Izuzu Stakes

“Kylie” – the 2yo Filly by Contributor out of Victory Parade


Guest Selector – Gary Williams

Here is what Gary says this week

Hi John and Team

Last week somewhat spoiled by scratchings but I was stunned when Impressa went clear at the top of straight only to be swallowed up by 3 horses close to the post. I was in the collect queue ! Maybe Boxing day redemption there !

Back at Trentham this week and I see jockey Michael McNab having a good day ending on a winning note when the big grey Colorado Silver [ $4/ $2 ] storms down the outside to win race 8.
Earlier in Race3 Charmario [ $11 /$4 ] Race 4 Let’s Get Loose [ $13 /$4 ] and Race 5 Llanacord [ $12 / $4 ] represent good chances at odds.
Race 6 Belclare [ $9 / $3 ] on her day is up to the best mares.
Whatever happens previous count on Colorado Silver to bring Christmas Cheer.
At Te Rapa Race1 Arjays Flight [ $3 win] is at skinny odds but surely this is his turn. He has won once but has 8 seconds and raced in far stronger fields !
Race 3 Suzuka [$10 / $3 ] is very fast and I expect he may run them off their feet !
Race 4 Kiwi Man [ $6 / $3] looks well placed to run on speed and grind them down over 2400m.
Boxing Day fields look very interesting and already I have a couple of ‘money makers’ sorted out, maybe ‘Fortuna John’ will agree to a special edition of treats !
Have a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.