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Honey’s Run Continues in Gold Trail Stakes

Honey Rider (white cap) wins the Gold Trail Stakes at Hastings. Photo -Trish Dunell

Honey Rider (white cap) wins the Gold Trail Stakes at Hastings. Photo -Trish Dunell
The $70,000 G3 Hawke's Bay Breeders' Gold Trail Stakes at Hastings on Saturday was won in impressive style by Honey Rider (Pins (AUS) – Southern Heights (NZ)). Under a lovely ride by Michael Coleman, Honey Rider swept through the field of twelve to finish three quarters of a length ahead of Glass Slipper (Pins (AUS) – Fairy Tale (NZ)), with Mystery Show (Sakhee's Secret (GB) – Showstra (NZ)) a further length behind in third place.

Trained at Cambridge by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Honey Rider has now won twice from three starts for Hastings based owner/breeders Charles Whyte and Andrew Lockyer, taking her career earnings to $58,125 with valued black type success.

Self styled "hobby" breeders Whyte and Lockyer, having endured the highs and lows of the rollercoaster ride which is horse breeding, are very excited with Honey Rider's potential. "She's a filly who has exceeded our expectations so far, and appears to have a bright future ahead," Charles Whyte said.

Southern Heights (Align (AUS) – Alpine Beauty (NZ)), a $40,000 Karaka graduate from Milan Park Stud, brought Whyte and Lockyer limited success on the racetrack under the stewardship of Guy Lowry before a brief breeding career ensued. Southern Heights, who Whyte describes as a "Scopey big mare with a lovely stride but unfortunately on the weak side," gained two wins up to 1,600 metres from thirteen starts. The decision to send her to the breeding paddock was made easier as across the Tasman, extended family member Viewed (AUS) (Scenic (IRE) - Lovers Knot (NZ)), was adding G1 value to her pedigree page with wins in both the Melbourne and Caulfield Cups.

The switch to the breeding paddock was sadly short lived for Southern Heights. During a heart breaking 2014, which began with the death of her Savabeel (AUS) (Zabeel (NZ) – Savannah Success (NZ)) yearling colt prior to the Karaka sales, both Southern Heights and her foal were lost during a difficult foaling to Ocean Park(NZ) (Thorn Park(AUS) – Sayyida (NZ)). Fortunately this sadness has now been overshadowed by joy through the success of Honey Rider, her only remaining progeny.

The mating of Southern Heights with Pins (AUS) ( Snippets(AUS) – No Finer (AUS)) was seen by Whyte as "a great match", one to inject some speed whist adding strength. The resulting foal has always been held in high regard by co owner/breeder Charles Whyte ever since her early days at Waikato Stud.

It is with this belief, along with Charles Whyte's love of Bond films, and his friendship with Milan Park Stud proprietor Tony Rider, which led to the inspiration of the apply named, Honey Rider. This early opinion led to the appointment of Baker and Forsman as trainers for their pride and joy. With an eye to retaining the filly for breeding after a race career, Honey Rider was placed with Baker and Forsman by Whyte who views the partnership as "possessing the best strike rate around" and "having a great track record of taking horses to Australia and competing with distinction."

With her initial success at Hastings, followed by a second placing behind the highly regarded Volpe Veloce (AUS) (Foxwedge(AUS)- Barelego(AUS)) in the Listed Castletown Stakes at Wanganui and now G3 success of her own, Honey Rider has already assured her place at stud. The 2016 G1 Telegraph success of Adventador (Fast 'N' Famous (AUS) – Alpine Beauty (NZ)), raced by Tony Rider, has also added strength to Honey Rider's page, where Spring targets include theG1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton in November.
By Richard Wright