Friday Flash – 6th October 2023

Headline News
Fortuna 3yo Filly RUBICON CROSSING brilliant on her Australian debut at Mornington Saturday 30th September
Entain’s NZ Managing Director, Cameron Rodger, updates us on Entain’s progress to date and plans
Fortuna has 3 runners this Saturday, two in New Zealand and one in Singapore

New Zealand

MALBOROUGH BAY contests the R75 1600m event – Race 5@3.03pm but is on the ballot and will need two scratchings to get a run – no rider engaged given his ballot situation – was not disgraced this grade 1400m at Te Rapa 17thSeptember – drawn nicely if he does get a start – can feature here with the right run

SOPRANO SUPREME races in the Open 2000m – Race 7@4.17pm with Joe Kamaruddin to ride – resumed Te Rapa Open 1600m 17th September and battled away without threatening. Up in trip here will help as will the 54kgs, but we are looking for an improved effort –  if she provides it, she can feature in the finish.


ROCKY races in the Class 4 1600m Polytrack Saturday 7th with Vlad Duric aboard from an inside barrier. Hardly ever runs a bad race and was desperately to be relegated last start after winning the race despite not making contact with the horse that was promoted. Trip and surface suits and will get an armchair ride from Barrier 4 in the hands of the former Singapore Champion rider. Strong top 3 chance in this.

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

1st Pick: PACIFIC HUNTER (7)
Open maiden winner who broke through impressively. Provided he has come on from that run, a class 4 win looks within his grasp.
2nd Pick: ACE SOVEREIGN (1)
It was a tough watch if you were on last start as he never got a crack at the leading chances buried away in the pack. With more luck this weekend, he can win.
3rd Pick: ENGINE START (2)
Manoel Nunes continues his association with this runner who is finally starting to get some consistency in his form. His last start win was impressive enough to entertain as an each way prospect in a field of this quality.
4th Pick: ROCKY (5)
Lost last start on protest laying out late in the race when under pressure. Vlad Duric jumps in the saddle this week as the runner drops back to 1600m, a distance he has won at in the past.


Matamata Trackwork
Tuesday 3rd October Malborough Bay (J Kamaruddin) galloped over 1000 metres in 1.09.5, home in 40.1.

Singapore Trackwork

Saturday 30th September

DECEPTION (AWAH)800/600-41; KNIPPENBERG (ASLAM)1000/600-38.5; KING ARHUR (YUSOFF)800/600-41;

Tuesday 3rd October


Fortuna 3yo Filly RUBICON CROSSING brilliant on her Australian debut at Mornington Saturday 30th September

A dream start for Fortuna Racing with this victory coming at our very first start from the new Cranbourne base – and what a win it was – if you have yet to see the replay, Click HERE – she now deserves a crack at good race in the City and that will come Friday October 27th in the 3yo BM70 over 1000m – with prizemoney of A$150k

RUBICON CROSSING – Winning at Mornington 30th September 2023

 Harry Coffey aboard


Entain’s NZ Managing Director, Cameron Rodger, updates us on Entain’s progress to date and plans looking ahead

Greetings John and the Fortuna Team – John was kind enough to ask me to pen a few words about Entain and its new venture in New Zealand running the NZTAB

Progress & Initiatives to Date

It’s been nearly four months since we entered the New Zealand racing landscape as Entain Australia & New Zealand. During this last quarter, we’ve been keen to get out and about as much as we can, talking with participants about how we can best drive this industry forward. The team and I have been really enjoying our interactions and we’ve had some really positive feedback on some of the changes that have been made already.

Most significant is the increase in stakes that has flowed through to the Thoroughbred Code as a result of funding we have paid both upfront, and guaranteed over the course of the next 5 years as part of our strategic partnership. That funding is critical as it shores up the immediate financial future for racing participants – whilst we all work collectively on initiatives needed to set the industry up for success well into the future.

In addition to stake increases, you may have noticed a few other initiatives we have kicked off. As a first port of call, we got in behind the 2024 Karaka Millions as named sponsor as part of a long term deal. Auckland is a critical market for us as it currently under-indexes significantly in terms of racing customers and wagering activity. Given it is our largest city, and its growth outlook – that is a trend we need to turn around and the Karaka Millions event presents the perfect platform.

Outside of that, we have invested significantly in boosting the Pearl Series Scheme. The idea to support the Pearl Series came from our first month or so on the road talking with participants. We saw the importance of keeping our fillies and mares racing and ensuring that they can remain in the ecosystem and become breeding prospects, which in turn helps the horse population thrive.

These are a few of the initiatives we have underway, alongside a few additions which will soon be announced. Of course however, our key role in NZ is to provide and promote  a wagering product offering that gets as many customers as possible engaged in racing as possible. We think the current TAB website and app experience needs some work and I am happy to confirm that we are well on our way towards rebuilding these experiences for customers. We are aiming for the end of Q1 next year launch to our new website and app, which will be based on the same platform we use within our Australian business to run the platform. This offering will be significantly improved vs what TAB customers see today – with improved features, generosity options, black book functionality, form, tips, syndicate modes, a vastly improved live betting experience, as well as a raft of other changes that we know customers will love.

We are also planning on investing heavily to revamping the TAB retail network. This will include new betting terminals, as well as a fresh and modern experience that recognises the changing profile of our customers. There will be changes to the look and feel of Trackside in the coming months too; we have already put in motion several initiatives that we expect will maximise the reach, relevance and ultimately interest in racing across the country. On Livamol/Everest day – we will put into use for the first time our new ‘Trackside Premier’ channel – which will be an additional channel hosted on SKY as well as other platforms, where we will be showcasing full wall to wall race coverage from each of the Hastings and Sydney tracks.

Hopefully that gives readers a sense of what is to come. We have been watching closely some of the great emerging talent wearing the Fortuna colours and carrying on what is a truly great legacy. Those in the know on both sides of the Tasman have told me to keep a close eye on the 2YO – Bellatrix Star, who is a star in the making by all accounts. And what a brilliant start to Fortuna Racing’s Australian racing plans with the 3yo Filly, Rubicon Crossing, showing a brilliant turn of foot to win at Mornington last Saturday!!!

Cameron Rodger


Guest Selector – Gary Williams
Gary continued on his merry way last week with two of his three Riccarton selections saluting – Sharp N Smart did not fire with a run too bad to be true and subsequently was shown to have a virus while over the ditch Kimochi ran 2nd @ 1.90 the place and Kovalica was huge in the Epsom running 2nd after being no chance on the turn, for the nice place odds of $3.30 – here is what Gary says this week

Hi John and the Fortuna Team

Early with picks this week , but I off to Melbourne Trots in Melton Friday and hopefully Flemington Saturday where Spring racing really hotting up ! Living the Dream !

Extensive study this week has unearthed several good chances who will be well worth folliowng over next 6 weeks or more.

Matamata …..Race 1 Prometheus  green first start should be vastly improved @$9/$3
Race 5 …..Verstappen…..ticks a lot of boxes as each way prospect @$15/$4.50
Race 6 …..Legarto….should be too classy in Matamata Cup – short at $1.60 but hard to beat

Hawera ……Race 9 …..Ideal, has earned topweight but gets 2kg allowance and likely to extend top stats @$4.50/$1.90

Flemington …..Race 1 Bews  $5/$2 –  should be too strong for good start to day.
Race 7…..Athabascan $9 /$3 – Got it done for us last time, James Mac looking to qualify him for Melbourne Cup, Eachway Allday !
Race 8….West Wind Blows $8 /$3 – Meets a hottie in first start in Australia but has quality.
Race 9 …..Triple Missile  $10/$3 nice odds for big chance !
Race 10……Von Hauke, lightly raced Savabeel who traces back to Auckland Cup winner Royal Tiara. Up in class but looks talented and could surprise at $30’s and $7’s.
I’ll have some gold coins for him , and look out for me driving home with the Champagne Chaffeur . Remember bet with your shoelaces , not your shoes !

All the best, Gary