Friday Flash – 28th April 2023

Headline News
KHAFEEF wins Open Hurdle Race at Hawera 26th April

DARCI BRAHMA retired from commercial Stud duties


Fortuna has five runners Friday/Saturday – three in NZ, two in Singapore

New Zealand

HAYATE contests the R65 1400 event at Rotorua Friday 28th April – Race 7 @ 3.42 pm and will be ridden by Stable Apprentice Jess Allen, claiming 4kgs from a good barrier draw – was very good for 4th at Matamata this grade and trip last start and will appreciate the softer conditions at Rotorua looks well placed here and can run into the money – showing $9/$3 Fixed Odds

NAVALHA contests the R65 1400 event at Hastings Saturday 29th April – Race 9 @ 4.23pm and will be ridden by Temyia Taiaroa, claiming 2kgs, from a good barrier. Was average last start at Te Rapa but had drawn wide in that R75 event– is capable on his day, now back to R65 and is looking for the 1400m trip – each way – showing $9/$3 Fixed Odds

LEADERBOARD contests the R75 2400 event at Te Rapa Saturday 29th April and will be ridden by Stable Apprentice Jess Allen, claiming 4kgs from an outside barrier draw. Was super on resuming at Matamata last start over 200om for 2nd, gets up to a trip that suits and is a recent winner of the Wellington Cup in January – has some weight to carry, but is very fit and is using this race as a lead up to a Hurdles debut the following Saturday – would certainly appreciate some rain which if it came, would bring him right into it  – showing $8/$2.50 Fixed Odds


RHETT BUTLER races in the Restricted Maiden1100m Poly – race 2 @ 12.30 Sing time (4.30pm NZT) and will be ridden by Stable apprentice, S Jamil, claiming 4kgs from a wide barrier. This well bred 2yo is on debut, has trialed well and only has to carry 48.5kgs in this race. Hard to fault his preparation for this but is making his very first race day start, does come against more seasoned 3yo’s in this and has a tricky draw to contend with – but has a huge weight advantage – a professional effort on debut would see him feature in the finish

Here is what the STC tipsters have to say about this race;

1st Pick: DIAZ (1)
Finished second to Speedy Buck at this level over a shorter trip and had to burn petrol from a wide draw early. Stuck it out well to the line and the winner recorded a nice time. Will sit handy from barrier four.
2nd Pick: GRAND SUPREME (2)
Drops back sharply in grade after contesting the G3 3yo sprint. He was only beaten 5.5 lengths to the winner, and this looks a great steppingstone at start number three in Singapore.
3rd Pick: RHETT BUTLER (12)
Carries no weight being a two-year-old and well bred. Dam was placed at black type grade as a two-year-old and contested at the elite level. Trialed in easy fashion for this.
4th Pick: KING GEE (3)
Comes with race experience but also a string of trials in Australia since joining the Logan team. Won his trial with plenty in hand.

KNIPPENBERG contests the Group 2 Singapore Classic over 1400m Turf – race 11 @ 5pm Sing time (9pm NZT) and will be ridden by regular race day rider Ronnie Stewart from a handy barrier. Produced a barnstorming finish for 4th off an outside barrier in the 3yo Sprint 1200m three weeks ago. Gets a good marble this time and will appreciate the extra 200m as well – meets a very good field of 3yo’s here but won in dominant fashion at his Singapore debut in January and his two runs since for 2nd and 4th have been full of merit – is up for this and is a good each way chance


Fortuna Track work – Matamata

Tuesday 25th April
Navalha (T Wenn) galloped over 1000 metres in 1.04.2, home in 37.3.
Hayate (J Allen) galloped over 1000 metres in 1.03.1, final 600 in 37.5.

Thursday 27th April
Navalha (O Bosson) galloped over 1000 metres in 1.08.3, home in 39.7.

Fortuna Track work – Singapore

Saturday 22nd April


Tuesday 25th April


Other News

KHAFEEF wins Open Hurdle Race at Hawera 26th April

Lovely hurdling effort by this fellow as just his 2nd start over the fences – read the story from the Fortuna website below

KHAFEEF wins Open Hurdles at Hawera 26th April with a great display of jumping
Published 27 April 2023

KHAFEEF, the 7yo Gelding by Champs Élysées out of Tawaareekh, produced an excellent display of jumping in the Restricted Open Hurdle over 2800 metres at Hawera 26th April. Ridden by the classy Shaun Fannin, the Kevin Myers trained galloper was eased back from the start with Fannin content to let him find a good rhythm in the back half of the field – jumping smoothly throughout, Fannin gave KHAFEEF more rein from about the 800m mark – traveling strongly from that point he hit the front taking the 1st jump at the top of the straight and ran away from his opposition closing stages to score with a 3 length margin at the finish post.

Rider Shaun Fannin was fulsome in his praise after the race saying “Beautiful jumping today by Khafeef – he was a lot more relaxed compared to when I last rode him in the Spring – he got into a nice rhythm, gave me everything I asked for and had plenty in reserve as well – we have always held him in high regard, so great to get this sort of result and there is plenty more in store”

Click HERE to see the race replay

Trainer Kevin Myers was on course and was very pleased “Great display by Khafeef today  – he is a lovely jumper” he said after the race.

 KHAFEEF strides to the winning post – Shaun Fannin aboard

Fortuna Racing Boss John Galvin, who had been unable to attend the meeting at Hawera watched the race from his Hamilton home and was also very pleased with the result “Gee, that was a great watch, Khafeef always seemed to be traveling like a winner – and as they turned for home, you would not have wanted to be on any other horse – he has not done himself a lot of favours with previous racing because he just goes so keen, but Kevin has done a wonderful job with him over the summer months, Shaun handled him perfectly and he was really relaxed in this race – he looks like he could have a great future at the jumping game.”

 KHAFEEF in full flight – Hawera 26 April 2023

KHAFEEF, who had raced in France as a 3yo for one win and a 2nd from four starts for his Owner/Breeder, the Shadwell Estate, was acquired by John Galvin, with the assistance of International Bloodstock Agent, Hubie De Burgh, at the 2019 Tattersalls Horses In Training Sale for 28,000 Guineas (NZ$60k approx).

He is raced by the Fortuna Khafeef Syndicate, an ownership group comprising 71 individuals, in the main New Zealanders, but with three of the Group from Hong Kong. He has now had 4 career wins (3 in NZ – 1 in France) and has accumulated just under $100,000 in Prize money earnings


DARCI BRAHMA to be retired from commercial Stud duties

Sad news yesterday with the above announcement – as most readers would be aware the writer took a 5% share in Darci Brahma when he was acquired by David Ellis for $1.1m at the 2004 Karaka Yearling Sale – a Champion on the race track with Group One wins at ages two, three and four, I attended every one of his races including his amazing last to first win as a 2yo in the Group One T J Smith Stakes at Eagle Farm and then on retirement enjoyed an amazing ride with him, along with my fellow shareholders, as he progressed through his Stallion career. All good things come to an end as we know – enjoy your retirement old fellow!!!

See the news item below from The Oaks Stud

Darci Brahma was laid low last season by illness and an issue that subsequently impacted his fertility. “In early October, he had an infection in his abdomen that wasn’t obvious, and it snuck through to one testicle, and we had to treat him with antibiotics,” The Oaks Stud Manager Rick Williams said. “While we cleared that up, the antibiotics affected his semen production. We test bred him through late January and early February and he wasn’t producing any viable semen. We haven’t given up hope, but realistically he isn’t going to breed commercially and if he showed some return to fertility we might breed a few shareholders’ mares to him. At the moment, I’ve told people he isn’t available and it’s a 90 per cent chance that’s the way it will stay. We have been lucky to have him, he’s been an absolute pleasure and a gentleman to work with.”

Darci Brahma retired to The Oaks in 2007 and to date has sired more than 540 winners in eight countries with 57 individual stakes winners and 12 at Group 1 level.


Guest Selector  – Des Coppins

Here is what Des says for this week;

Hi John and Team – Arby wasn’t up to the task on the down graded track last week. I would back him again but certainly not on a heavy track as he simply plugged to the line in 6th place. He’s a quality galloper but he was clearly at sixes and sevens in the going. Our back up bet at Awapuni Millefiori simply didn’t let down either and maybe for the time being she’s in need of a rest.

Let’s turn the page for Saturday and like most punters I will enjoy the rather settled weather – unlike last week – between now and early next week which means we should be more confident with our selections with stabilised track conditions. I’m heading to Hastings for my bet this week where I hope to get us back in black.

Astute CD trainer Fraser Auret has a maiden in race 4, Magic Express. This daughter of Per Incanto ran a pretty slick time in a recent jump out; in fact recording 1.5 seconds quicker than her stablemate Miss Pamela who won the previous jump out. As you probably know Miss Pamela was an impressive winner at Hawera midweek. That form reads really well for me and I like this horse a lot. I’m going two units to win and five units a place at the $6 and $2.20 for a place.

Good punting. Des

Des runs  his very popular phone tipping line (you can access this by calling 0900 45459 – note this incurs a charge of $2.99 per minute) – this service has been active for over 25 years and covers all NZ gallops from 8am each race day).