Friday Flash – 7th April 2023

Headline News

Fortuna 3yo KNIPPENBERG to contest the Group 3 Singapore 3yo Sprint on Saturday 8th April

Jessica Galvin wins the “Peoples Choice” Fashion Award Auckland Cup Day at Pukekohe

Des Coppins returns as our Guest Selector and provides details on his ever popular Melbourne Cup Tour as well


Fortuna has three runners over the Easter period, two in NZ, one in Singapore

New Zealand

HAYATE contests the R65 1200m event at Pukekohe on Saturday – Race 6 @ 3.34 and will be ridden by Craig Grylls from a wide barrier. She achieved her 2nd career win at Tauranga over 1300m early December and followed this up with a 3rd at matamata early January after over racing – has had a short freshen since, trialed nicely at Taupo recently and is ready for this. Can feature here with some luck from her draw

ANGELS WINGS contests the Maiden 3yo 1200m event at Woodville on Easter Monday and will be ridden by Michael McNab from the Ace draw. This Filly has been knocking on the door and gets her chance to break through here with top rider and sweet draw. Good each way chance


KNIPPENBERG runs in the feature event, the Group 3 Singapore 3yo Sprint and will be ridden by regular rider, Ronnie Stewart, from barrier 14 in a 16 horse field. He followed up a dominant win on his debut in Restricted Maiden grade late January with a quality performance in Novice Grade 3 weeks later, running 2nd. Has been kept fresh for this event and trialed beautifully over 1000m 28th March. Meets a good quality field here, has a difficult draw to overcome and will need some luck, but he is very classy and if he gets the luck, he can feature in the finish here


Fortuna Track work – Matamata

Tuesday 4th April
Hayate (N Parmar) galloped over 1000 metres in 1.03.3, home in 37.1.
Navalha (T Wenn) galloped over 1000 metres in 1.02.4, last 600 in 36.9.

Thursday 6th April
Hayate (O Bosson) galloped over an easy 100

Fortuna Track work – Singapore

Saturday 1st April

KNIPPENBERG (ASLAM)1000/600- 39.5;OUR FINAL OFFER (ASLAM)1000/600- 38; ROCKY(YUSOFF)1000/600- 39; TRIDENT (JAMIL)1000/600- 43; DECEPTION (ASLAM)1000/600- 38;
Tuesday 4th April


Other News

Fortuna 3yo KNIPPENBERG to contest the Group 3 Singapore 3yo Sprint on Saturday 8th April

KNIPPENBERG (I Am Invincible – Red Fez) really steps up to the plate in Singapore on Saturday 8thApril contesting this Group 3 event at just his 3rd Singapore start

Knippenberg was originally prepared for racing in Sydney by Ciarin Maher/David Eustace from their Warwick Farm base in Sydney for his International Owners and Breeders, Phoenix Thoroughbreds. He had two trials and two race day starts for them, but did not appear to meet their standards as a stallion making prospect, so they offered him for sale on the Inglis Digital platform in June 2022 and he was acquired by John Galvin for A$32,500. Still a Colt, we gelded him straight away, gave him a good paddock break in NSW and then sent him to Singapore in September. Always very forward, he didn’t put a foot wrong in his initial preparation in the hands of Donna Logan, trialing well and then a dominant winner on his Singapore debut 28th January in Restricted Maiden Grade over 1200m on the Turf track.

He then contested a Novice event over 1200m on the Poly track, finishing a close up 2nd after getting carted very wide on the track in the run home by the winner and losing a shoe in the process.

So, now he gets his chance in this event, the first leg of the Singapore 3yo Series – he has to overcome a very tricky gate, but his trial last week was very, very good, rider Ronnie Stewart knows him well and if he gets some luck, he should be able to reward his Ownership Group in the best possible way


Jessica Galvin wins the “Peoples Choice” Fashion Award Auckland Cup Day at Pukekohe

Readers would be very familiar with the “Fashions In the Field” concept which has proven very familiar at several racing venues over the years.

This year at Pukekohe on Auckland Cup Day 11th March a “Peoples Choice” Fashion Award was held with participants having their photos taken on the day, those photos posted on three different Social Media platforms, Face Book, Instagram and Twitter with viewers on those platforms casting their votes for their preferred choice – with Fortuna’s Jessica Galvin gaining the most votes. Congrats Jessica

The writer is very “one eyed” of course, but Jessica looks great doesn’t she!!! For those readers who like to follow fashion, Jessica’s dress is by Zimmerman, her shoes by Valentino and her bag is by Red Current

 Jessica Galvin – Pukekohe Park 11th March 2023

Guest Selector  – Des Coppins

Yes, we like to rotate our Guest Selectors and so Des will be back in the chair over the coming weeks. Big thanks to Butch Castles for taking time out of his busy schedule to provide us with his selections in recent times.

Here is what Des says for this week;

Dear John and the Fortuna Team – On paper it’ll be hard to envisage the downfall of Mustang Valley in the NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Pukekohe on Saturday. We know it’s a quick back up after racing in the Doncaster last week where she was terrific in running 5th less than one length and half off the winner, Mr Brightside.

There is a BUT however. If it’s wet she’s unbeatable given the right run. All her winning form and most of her placed form in a limited career has been all about wet tracks. BUT if it’s a track better than a slow 5 she may be slightly vulnerable. But then again it’s hard to fathom at times the changeable weather patterns and how much rain is likely between now and post time.

So here’s how I read it. On a wet track you go all in on a Mustang Valley and the $2.50 by the bookies is totally acceptable. However, if the track is around the slow 5 or dare I say even better there may be the opportunity for the one of the upcoming three year olds to spoil the favourite’s party. In this category I’m finding it difficult to separate Skew Wiff ($7.50) and Mazzolino ($8.50). Both ran incredibly well against their own age group in the group one Levin Classic three weeks ago at Trentham.  Skew Wiff went up to win half way down the straight but was outmuscled the last 100m or so by her hardened stablemate, Romancing the Moon, while Mazzolino was late in finding clear racing room and charged to the line to finish 4th. Super three year old of last season  and current super star Imperatriz  bounced out of the Levin Classic to win last year’s Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Te Rapa. It’s obviously the right launching pad race for Saturday.

From all accounts both these promising fillies have trained on well since Trentham and they’ll be rock hard fit for Saturday’s big one where they receive a 2.5kg weight concession over Mustang Valley and all other runners.

Here’s how I’m playing it. On a track that’s wetter than a slow 6, it’s all about Mustang Valley, with a generous win bet. If it’s a slow 6 or better one unit for a win and three units for a place on the other pair as well and irrespective of track conditions an exotic bet around box  quinellas and a  trifecta with the trio.

Good punting!


Melbourne Cup Tour 2023

Gee, its incredible to think that Des Coppins has been conducting these Melbourne Cup Tours for 31 years – a number of Fortuna clients participated on the 2022 edition and all had a great time – booked out last year by 31st July, so if you are keen to be involved this year, don’t be tardy about making enquiry – read all details below –