Friday Flash – 26th April 2024

Headline News

Double Victory for the Fortuna runners last weekend

John to attend Warrnambool Carnival 30th April – 2nd May

Fortuna has four runners next few days – two in NZ – two in Victoria

Matamata – Friday

MITRE PEAK contests the Maiden Fillies 1200m event – Race 4 @ 2.32pm and will be ridden by Vinnie Colgan from a good barrier – resumed Otaki 1 April over 1000m for a solid 5th placing – has taken a lot of  improvement from that – ready for a bold showing at home trackNed’s say “Local who can pay a dividend here after a good resuming run” @$10/$3.30

Cranbourne – Friday

RUBICON CROSSING races in the Fillies and Mares 1000m event – Race 7 @ 8.15pm Aus time (10.15pm NZT) and will be ridden by Apprentice Luke Cartwright, claiming 3kgs, from a mid field Barrier 2 – was good this track and distance on resuming 29th March finishing 4th – is right in this as a good each way chance @ $5.50 – Bookmaker Neds say “Fitter and a winning chance.”

Te Rapa – Saturday

MALBOROUGH BAY contests the R65 1400m event  – Race 9 @ 4.34pm in the hands of Craig Grylls  from a good draw- was very good resuming at Matamata 27th March but then floundered on a very heavy track Otaki 13th April – can be hard to catch but very capable on his day – showing $18/$6 Fixed odds

Warrnambool – Tuesday

LEADERBOARD is in the Maiden Hurdles 3200 event – no race no or time yet – Aaron Kuru to ride – had his first Hurdles race in Victoria at Pakenham 14th April for a solid 3rd placing – has taken huge improvement from that and is poised to be very competitive in this – is a lovely jumper, is very fit, will relish the trip and had the right man on top – strong each way chance

Matamata Trackwork – Fortuna runners

Tuesday 23rd AprilMarlborough Bay (R Sheehan) a galloped over 1000 metres in 1.10.2, last 600 in 40.3.

Mitre Peak (N parmar) and Not Straight Laced (J Allen) galloped over 1000 metres in 1.11.4, home in 39.3.

Singapore Trackwork 

No timed Fortuna runners trackwork this week


Double Victory for the Fortuna runners last weekend

Following on from Star Shadows lovely win at Otaki the previous week, Fortuna runners managed to keep the resurgence going with Sailing Away breaking maidens at Riccarton on Saturday in the hands of Niranjan Palmer and then the next day at Hawera Ragamuffinrecording his third career win and his first in over two years, with Craig Grylls aboard

Prior to this winning streak we had gone 77 days without a winner with a frustrating run of seconds, thirds and fourths, so it was good to record the three winners in an eight day period – as the old saying goes “the night is darkest before the dawn” – see the website stories below on both of these successes

Fortuna 3yo Gelding SAILING AWAY wins for the first time at Riccarton 20th April

Sailing Away (3 g Merchant Navy – Anchovy, by Galileo) got the day off on a bright note for Te Akau trainersMark Walker & Sam Bergerson  when winning the  $20,000 Maiden 1400 metres on Saturday at Riccarton. Freshened following three starts in his first campaign, which included a third over 1200 metres at Timaru, Sailing Away finished fifth from a handy position when resuming in the Maiden 1200 metres on 4 April at Ashburton, and took the necessary improvement.

Beginning well from barrier one to idle along in the trail, Sailing Away received a clear passage near the rail and kept mustering under the urgings of stable apprentice Niranjan Parmar, who recorded his 20th win for Te Akau this season and 10th at Riccarton. In the race named Riccarton Park Function Centre, Sailing Away ran 1400 metres in 1:24.3, last 600m in 34.7 (approx.), and shortened in betting as race favourite to pay $3.80 & $1.70 on the NZ TAB tote.

Click HERE to see the race replay

Present on course, co – Trainer Mark Walker said: “It was a nice ride of Parmar’s to have him travelling so well in the trail and it’s always good to get a winner for John Galvin and Fortuna Racing. Sailing Away been a slower maturing horse than initially expected, but he is out of Galileo mare so he should improve with more time and distance. He’s getting that little bit stronger now, that’s the key to him, and Hunter (Durrant) and the team at the Te Akau stables down here at Riccarton have done a really good job with him.


SAILING AWAY breaks Maidens – Riccarton Park 20th April – Niranjan Parmar aboard

It was the second victory in a week for the Te Akau/Fortuna Racing partnership, after two-year-old stable-mate Star Shadow (Reliable Man) scored on debut in the 2YO 1300 metres last Saturday at Otaki.

Syndicate manager, John Galvin, watching the race from his Hamilton home, was well satisfied after the race “David and Mark  picked this horse out of the 2022 Karaka yearling sale, believing that on physical type he would make a lovely two year-old and he certainly suggested that in his initial preparation, but then had a real growth spurt and we had to abandon our two year-old plans for him and wait for more physical development. He had three starts in the December/January period of this season but then, believing he needed a break,  he was given a freshen up and his resuming run at Ashurton recently indicated that he was certainly knocking on the door. His pedigree page indicates that he may well prosper over more ground and the way he won the race today would tend to confirm that as well. Well done to Parmar for a well judged ride and congratulations to Mark and Sam and their team for exhibiting so much patience in the way they have handled Sailing Away.”

Sailing Away stems from a rather phenomenal international family, with third dam Love Me True (Kingmambo), leaving five-time Group One winning stallion Duke Of Marmalade (Danehill), a European Champion that won from 1400m – 2400m, Champion Three-Year-Old and The Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) winner Ruler Of The World (Galileo), along with Group winners Norway (Galileo) and Annus Mirabilis (Montjeu).

Owned by the Fortuna Sailing Away Syndicate – an Ownership group of 56 individuals, he was purchased by David Ellis CNZM and Fortuna Racing for $60,000, from the draft of Cambridge Stud, at the Karaka 2022 Book 1 Sale.

Sailing Away was strapped by Naomi Warrander.

RAGAMUFFIN salutes the judge at Hawera 21st April for his 3rd career win

RAGAMUFFIN brought a lot of joy to his large ownership group when taking out the Johnny Neil Ltd Rating 60 1600 meter event at Hawera 21st of April in the hands of jockey Craig Grylls – it had been a long time between drinks for Ragamuffin, who had not greeted the judge since March 30th 2022. In his early career he had won twice from his first four starts, but subsequently had had a long period away from the track after post surgery complications and had been to the races 15 more times before producing his third career win at Hawera.  Drawn midfield Grylls bounced Ragamuffin away from the gates nicely, using up a bit of petrol to get to the lead and over to the rail, but then was happy to hand up the lead to You’ll Do and was content to lob along in second place – challenging on the turn Ragamuffin hit the lead at the top of the straight and was a dominant winner, going to the line with a two length margin in a time of 137.12 on a Good 4 surface and returned $2.80 and $1.40 on the New Zealand TAB

Click HERE to see the race replay

Ragamuffin was having his second start from the stable of Robbie Patterson, after having previously been trained by Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson of Te Akau Racing Stables. Patterson was on course and was naturally pleased to get a quick result for his new charge. “It’s always a bit of a challenge to take on a new horse from another stable and to get to know its personality and quirks, but Ragamuffin has settled in very nicely with us, produced a good effort over 1400m at Woodville recently to run third and we figured that stepping up to 1600 would be ideal and the addition of the blinkers seemed to work very well also – he didn’t beat much today but clearly he is a galloper with some good ability and I think he could be in for a profitable late autumn/winter of racing.  Congratulations to John Galvin and his Fortuna team of owners – Ragamuffin is the first horse we have trained for John and it’s great to get a result for the Fortuna team”


“Ragamuffin” – Hawera 21st April 2024 – Craig Grylls aboard

Savouring the 3rd individual winner in eight days for his Fortuna Team, John Galvin was on course at Hawera to witness Ragamuffin’s win along with a small number of his large ownership group and was a very happy man after the race “It was very satisfying to get this win today – Ragamuffin had showed quite a bit of ability in his early career, but in April 2022 he required some knee surgery, developed some complications from that, was away from racing for over 12 months and since his return it has taken him a while to get back to form, but his previous two starts leading into this race were very good and today he got the job done in stylish fashion for his ownership group. Well done to Robbie Patterson who has only had the horse for about three weeks – he’s got to know him very quickly and has done a great job with him – lovely ride by Craig Grylls, who as we know, is one of New Zealand leading jockeys and who has a fabulous strike rate riding for the Patterson stable. And well done to his ownership group who have been extremely patient over the last couple of years waiting for Ragamuffin to come back into form”

Owned by the Fortuna Ragamuffin Syndicate – an Ownership group of 37 individuals, Ragamuffin was purchased by David Ellis CNZM on behalf of Fortuna Racing for $80,000, from the draft of Lilywhites Lodge, at the NZ Bloodstock 2020 Ready To Run Sale


John to attend Warrnambool Carnival 30th April – 2nd May

Our grand stayer and former Wellington Cup winner Leaderboard is in Victoria to participate in the Victorian jumping season –  he will run on the first day of the famed three day Warrnambool carnival which starts on Tuesday, the 30th of April and ends on the 2nd of May. Monday morning John is on a plane to Melbourne and as well as visiting the Cranbourne stable he will attend the Warrnambool meeting and hopefully Leaderboard can salute the judge on the first day – he did run a very encouraging 3rd placing when making his Victorian hurdles debut a couple of weeks ago

Des Coppins – Guest Selector


Greetings John and the Fortuna Team

In a weekend where we commemorate the role of the armed forces and victims of all wars including equine heroes it’s always a very special time for racing enthusiasts in both NZ and Australia.
On reflection of last week we had two of our three runners that fronted with Pour the Wine running second with the quickest sectionals after a slow start for the first time in her life and Wiseman’s Diva looking the winner at the furlong but sadly not when it mattered!!
(Our third selection St Bathans gets another chance at Te Rapa in the transferred from Ellerslie Manco Easter Mile.)

Three to follow at Te Rapa:

(1) Karman Lane in race 5.
She’s talented and she comes out of a solid group one run where she displayed the quickest last 800m. Attacking the line is akin to her racing style. She’s been the quickest home from the 800m in her last three races.
(2) Tomodachi in race one.
She’s been outstanding in her last two runs. Also she was unlucky on debut. Her form should read three from three. She’s up in class but I’m picking she’s a group one horse in waiting!!
(3) Irish Legacy in race 5.
She’s another who I feel who within the next 12 months will be winning her share of black type races. She clearly beat the hat trick hero Billy Lincoln in race one before the big step into group 3 when desperately unlucky for third behind the classy Certainly and company and didn’t get the rub of the green in the Guineas at Trentham after being slow away in a stop start affair.

Stop Press:

My email selection service of a best bet and a value bet each NZ gallops race day before 9am as well as my top two selections on Saturday is available on subscription.
Cost $230 (gst inclusive) starts May 1 and extends until July 31.
As a bonus to Fortuna clients this service is ex gratis for this weekend  should you wish to take up the offer by sending notification to me before 9am Saturday.
Have a good weekend!


Des has also launched his 2024 Melbourne Cup package as we advised last week – he tells me that a couple of Fortuna clients made enquiry last week and so here is the information again below for anyone that may fancy participating in this tour – spaces are limited

– Click HERE to see full PDF with all details and booking form – many of the Fortuna clients have been on this tour – some even go every year and all report what a great experience it is – see more below – incredibly Des has been hosting this tour for 32 years!!! – this year will be his 33rd