Malborough Bay “all the way” wins stylishly at Tauranga 22nd June

Recording his fourth victory, Malborough Bay (4 g Darci Brahma – Spin ‘N Grin, by Spinning World) took out the $35,000 Rating 75 1400 metres Freeman Challenge Ultimate Cup  on Saturday at Tauranga. A winner three starts ago over 1400 metres at Te Rapa, Malborough Bay had continued to race solidly and ran fastest last 600m (37.5) from a handy position for third in the Rating 75 1600 metres on 6 June at New Plymouth. Ridden by Te Akau apprentice Jess Allen (claiming 3kgs), who was keen to utilize barrier one and lead, Malborough Bay was softened up for a majority of the race, but appeared to travel better than those around him turning home and proved quite dominant in the finish to win by three-quarters of a length. In winning The Freeman Ultimate Champion Cup, Malborough Bay ran 1400 metres in 1:26.9, last 600m in 37.3 (approx.), and paid $5.20 & $1.70 on the NZ TAB tote.

Click HERE to see the race replay

Watching the race from the Te Akau training base in Cranbourne, Victoria, co -Trainer Mark Walker was fulsome in his praise for his young apprentice  “Full credit to Jess Allen because the way she rode him had a lot to do with winning the race,” Walker, who trains in partnership with Sam Bergerson said. “She was positive and having worked hard on her fitness, she was able to keep the horses going strongly. Her riding has gone to another level over the past three months. She knew she had to get stronger in riding out in the finish and her improvement has been substantial. She can now pull the stick through and has the ability to use it in her left hand. So her effort and sheer determination is paying dividends and she’s a valuable asset to the stable with her three-kilo claim.

“Malborough Bay has been doing a ton of schooling over fences and actually shows great promise over the hurdles. He’s been a pretty good horse for the owners, who have been patient, since winning first-up as a two-year-old. His form flattened out for a while when he wasn’t physically strong enough to go to the next level, but he’s improving with age and full credit to John Galvin of Fortuna Racing because he’s always patient with his horses and never pushes them unnecessarily. John never gets despondent, understands the ebbs and flows of racing and along with his wife Jessica and their owners, it’s always a pleasure to train for them.”

MALBOROUGH BAY – 4th career win – Tauranga 22nd June 2024 – Jessica Allen aboard

Malborough Bay was bred by Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM and Glenn & Cathie Holmes, this after Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM bought his dam, Spin ‘N Grin (Spinning World), for $65,000 at the 2003 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale and proved to be  a very good filly when trained by Mark Walker in winning the Eight Carat Classic (Gr. 2, 1600m) at only her fourth start, finished third a week later in the Royal Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m), and unlucky when second at her seventh start in the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m).

Fortuna Racing’s John Galvin was on course along with a few Members of his Ownership Group and was a happy man post race. “Steve Freeman, who sponsored the race, is well known to us as he has shares in a few Fortuna runners, although not Malborough Bay and it was a great pleasure to receive the Freeman Cup from Steve” he said  and it was a lovely strong effort by the horse –  he has struggled a little bit in Rating 75 grade on a Saturday, but we made the decision to come to this race and as it turned out, with a smaller field and the barrier draw (1), the plan was to be positive. We claimed three-kilos down to 54kg with Jess Allen aboard and she gave him a lovely ride – she didn’t let up on him in the run home and she executed the instructions to perfection. Big kudos to Mark and Sam as they started to school this horse over the Hurdles about three months ago and I think it’s improved him not only physically but mentally as well – he’s stronger and more resolute in his racing.”

The win by Malborough Bay was the 161st this season for Walker & Bergerson and somewhat of a milestone in Te Akau racing history as former trainer Jamie Richards, now training in Hong Kong, set a new record of 160 wins in 2020/21, which was subsequently surpassed by Mark Walker last season with a tally of 203 domestic victories. Whichever way you look at it, it reflects another great season for everyone involved with the stable and a special moment for Sam Bergerson in his first season of training.

Malborough Bay is raced by the Fortuna Malborough Bay Syndicate, an Ownership Group of 55 individuals from New Zealand, Australia and Malaysia. He was acquired by Fortuna Racing from his Breeders Karyn Fenton-Ellis and Glenn/Cathie Holmes in a private sale in 2021

Malborough Bay was strapped by Ahbi Pawar.