SPACE FORCE LAUNCHES AT DONALD
The results just keep on coming!
Another Hallmark graduate salutes, SPACE FORCE gets a very convincing victory on debut at Donald this afternoon. This 4yo son of Choisir was a $110k purchase from the Karaka sale for our farm clients Jenny Chapman and David Price
Super Flash too fast at Awapuni
Did you miss Super Flash (Super Easy) at Awapuni yesterday?
This son of Super Easy recorded win number 3, with a tough effort over the 1550m for Mark Oulaghan and Chris Dell. This same combination had success last week with another of Super Easy's progeny - Super Spirit at Waverley.
Super Thief strikes again
Great result for Super Thief who makes it back to back wins, taking the career tally to three starts for two wins, this latest win was at Sale, we look forward to seeing him progress through the grades.
Not only is Super Thief by Super Easy but he is also out of our broodmare Hestolemyroses (Elusive Quality), she is also the dam of talented Australian winner and Karaka Millions performer Neptune's Spear (Super Easy).
Super Easy posts a Waverley success
Super Spirit (Super Easy) was a winner at Waverley today over 2200m for Chris Dell and Mark Oulaghan. Super Spirit has been racing strongly of late with a solid placing prior to today's win.
Hopefully it's the start of a big weekend for Super Easy, we're very excited to see the Daniel Miller Racing trained, Gr.3 winner SHEEZALLMINE back at the track on Friday in a competitive Open Handicap over 1200m at Te Rapa Racing.
Graduate a trial sensation
What a trial win!!!
Hallmark graduate Charm Spirit x Lets Have Some Fun scorches the synthetic with this victory. This colt was purchased from our 2021 Book 1 Yearling Draft by Chad Ormsby/Riverrock Farm. Certainly an exciting prospect.
Shock 'em breaks through on debut
Shock 'em (Shocking x Lady Catamarca) who was just a $40,000 purchase from Book 2 back in 2019 at the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale wins on debut at Donald. A smart purchase of a progressive type, nice result for connections.
EVER SO EASY SATURDAY SUCCESS
Yes another Saturday winner for Super Easy. The Chris Gibbs trained Ever So Easy a winner fresh up over the 1200m at Te Rapa Racing.
It’s an important time of the year for breeders, mares are foaling and decisions need to be made on matings. With Super Easy you know what you a going to get - good tough racehorses who love to win, he is also a proven source of stakes success, with 4 individual stakes winners for 2020/21.
SUPER THIEF STEALS A DOMINANT WIN
SUPER THIEF (Super Easy) victorious for Lindsay Park Racing and Blaike McDougall.
No wonder the team have recently bought two more Super Easy's, given the style of this super impressive win. Dream Queen and a trial winner from Richardson Racing are now residents of the Victorian powerhouse.
Three year old Super Thief is a son of Hestolemyroses (Elusive Quality) whose first foal was Karaka Millions contender Neptune Spear. She has a lovely Windsor Park Stud Turn Me Loose colt heading towards the 2022 Karaka Yearling Sale.
Aurora Dolce wins for Moroney/Gerard
The return of racing at Matamata Racecourse provided another winner for Super Easy, 4yo mare Aurora Dolce victorious in race 7, a big congratulations to the Moroney/Gerard stable and connections.
You know the drill! Super Easy is just $6,000 + GST for this breeding season. A proven source of winners and stakes success, get in touch today to find a deal that suits you!
Australian Double for Hallmark Graduates
An Australian double for Hallmark Graduates yesterday. A nice result with both horses coming through our 2020 Yearling draft.
Tramontana (Toronado x Subtle Breeze) broke through at Ballarat for Ben and JD Hayes of Lindsay Park Racing. The 3yo was a $200,000 purchase by Lindsay Park & Andrew Williams Bloodstock from the 2020 Book 1 Yearling Sale.
Our other winner was Eyes to Eye (Tivaci) who lead and won, breaking the maiden at start number two. First dam Adriatico (Stravinsky) is already a proven producer as the dam of Bobby Dee and Robusto.This 3yo was a $140k yearling purchase.
Fun in the sun
Fun in the sun making do with a natural beauty spa
Our 2006 Gr.1 Easter Handicap winner Rags to Riches babysitting our Karaka bound boys
Trusty Tavisan strikes again
Tavisan (Tavistock) put paid to his rivals on Sunday at the Sunshine Coast, it was his first race day start in Queensland when taking out the 1000m Class 5 Plate for Kris Lees Racing.
Tavisan was originally purchased by Ontrack Thoroughbreds for $135,000 out of the NZB Premier Yearling Sale.
Missed the race? Watch the replay: https://www.racingqueensland.com.au/.../scst/20210822/race/
NIKAU SPUR (Proisir) makes steady progress through the grades in Victoria. The lightly raced gelding has now recorded 4 wins in 9 starts.
Bred in partnership with Robert Stewart, Nikau Spur was born and raised at Hallmark Stud. First dam Sarsarun is back in foal to Rich Hill Stud stallion Proisir.
Gr.1 gold under the rainbow
Who needs gold under the rainbow when you have Gr.1 winner Julius.
He fills a vital role here at the farm babysitting the yearling fillies (plus giving great cuddles ) John Bell Bloodstock and Racing
We have action, two Eminent fillies to start the ball rolling
A Big Easy Win
Well done to THE BIG EASY and Donna Logan, who had success in Singapore last night. It was a 5th win for the son of Super Easy who is out of Stratum mare Vital Choice, she has had 2 named foals to race both winners. He was a $100,000 purchase out of the NZB Ready to Run Sale back in 2016 consigned by Kiltannon Stables Ltd.
Check out the race replay here: https://youtu.be/4JQ5QYJz-fs
What a treasure..
Two year old Treasure State (Trust in a Gust) lives up to punters expectations with a well deserved win in the first of the day at Te Rapa Racing.
Festivus a reason to get excited
A colt for the future, we like the sound of that!
Hallmark graduate Festivus (Teofilo x Lets Have Some Fun) gets the job done at Ballarat for Tony and Calvin McEvoy, win one at start two. A $250,000 purchase out of Book 1 Karaka 2020, he has always been a cracking type.
A stunning Saturday double for Super
It was a competitive afternoon of racing at Ruakaka on Saturday, where Super Easy secured a winning double.
Dream Queen has always shown plenty of ability, she was a maiden winner at Te Aroha before placing at Ellerslie behind star 2 yr old On The Bubbles, who went on to record Karaka Million and Gr.1 success this season.
After a well deserved spell she looks to have returned to the stable in fine order posting a placing fresh, before an impressive victory on Saturday in the 2 yr old feature.
It was an easy watch, leading throughout she kicked clear and cruised down to a 4.5 length win. The perfect stepping stone towards some bigger assignments, although Kenny Rae has some big decisions to make.
She was originally to be targeted at the Listed Courtesy Ford Ryder Stakes (1200m) at Otaki on July 31 but some consideration is now being made to sticking on home turf, and lining up in the Gr.3 Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) on August 21st. Where she would once again clash with stablemate Follow Your Dreams.“The long-term plan is a shot at the Group One three-year-old races at Riccarton in November, so there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before then,” Rae said.
The second part of the winning double was raceday success for Regal Duchess, who broke the maiden at start number seven. The story of the race was most definitely the result for trainer Michelle Bradley, who trained her first winner in her own name.
Michelle, worked for the successful Donna Logan stable for many years before joining in training partnership with Chris Gibbs in 2017. She pulled out of the partnership in October last year, taking a complete break from the sport, using the time to reset and refresh. We wish Michelle the best of luck with her future training endeavours.
On Regal Duchess, Michelle commented "I thought she might find it a little wet today as the track can be quite tricky when it rains here."
“It was a really gritty performance, off the back of a lovely ride by Lynsey, so I’m feeling absolutely elated at the moment."
Western pearl delievers
A weekend double for Super Easy! Pearls and Prawns salutes this afternoon in Western Australia, win number 7 for the BROCK Racing trained mare.
First dam Pussycat Holiday has had 2 foals to race for 2 winners. This family goes back to Gr.1 VRC Derby winner and sire Blackfriars (Danehill), as well as Gr.1 winner Quick Thinker (So You Think).
On a Mission...
A breakthrough win for Super Mission in Race 2 at Sha Tin.
The son of Super Easy started his career in NZ with Lance Robinson as Space Cowboy. He had two trials for a win and a place before heading up to Hong Kong
Life After Racing - Boogie Easy
Lady Whistledown, formerly Boogie Easy, was acquired by the Jarvis family in Christchurch after being retired from racing with three wins for the Social Racing Starting Gates syndicate and owner/breeder Sandy Moore. The family turned her out on arrival to chill and meet their two geldings and she soon relaxed happily in her new environment. They report on her as follows:
“Since starting her career as a sport horse Boogie aka Lady was a very (super?) easy horse out around the roads and she loves being part of our team. She initially started her flatwork training for dressage and has recently started her cross country training to become an eventer and has taken water jumps, banks, logs, ditches, etc in her stride, which is fantastic. She loves big red carrot treats and she sticks her head in the side of the truck any chance she gets, but we are still working on her liking real apples and carrots! She is a fantastic addition to our team and is dearly loved. She also still loves to remind us occasionally of her sassy side to keep us on our toes!”.
Davis Blinds Hurdle success
In Australia the Davis Blinds Hurdle has been won by New Zealand bred Eckhart (7g Pentire-Classic Blonde) for trainer Patrick Payne. We sold him at the 2015 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Sale for $70,000
Tumbleweed gets a decisive 4.5 length victory at Wanganui this afternoon for trainer Lydia Pickford. The daughter of Super Easy had been threatening a win after placing at her first two starts back from a spell before winning today when 3rd up
Saturday double for Super Easy
Saturday double for Super Easy. Yesterday, Honovi scored at Grafton over the 1730m on a good surface. Puchased by Nigel Tiley out of the NZB Festival Sale, Honovi is now a 3 x winner.
First dam Eagle Feather has had 9 named foals, 8 to race, for 6 winners.
Nikau Spur justifies short odds
Hot favourite Nikau Spur justified the short odds when getting home to win at Sandown this afternoon.
The son of Proisir is a Hallmark graduate who started his career in NZ with Rosie Buchanan, recording one start at Awapuni for one placing. Since jumping the ditch he has now become a three time winner. He holds a nomination for Sandown on June 16th.
Almanzor colt tops strong Weanling Sale
Mark Baker has had plenty of success pinhooking out of New Zealand Bloodstock’s May Sale, and he believes he has found another promising youngster at Karaka on Friday.
The Hallmark Stud principal paid $145,000 for lot 78, the Almanzor colt out of Group One performer Girl Of My Dreams from Haunui Farm’s draft.
The colt topped the Weanling Sale and Baker thought justifiably so. “I loved him from the time we saw him at Haunui. Myself and my partners are delighted to get him,” Baker said.
“He has a wonderful temperament, he never batted an eyelid up here all week. He is beautifully balanced with great strength, great movement, and is correct. He is off a great farm by an extremely exciting young horse in Almanzor.”
The colt will return to Karaka in January where he will be offered through Hallmark Stud’s New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale draft. “The plan is to go through Karaka in 2022. But with a lovely horse like this you have got some options too,” Baker said.
Baker has already had great success with Almanzor’s first crop of yearlings at this year’s sales.
“Almanzor has been very good to us,” he said.
“We sold one for $560,000 on behalf of the Pike’s, and a filly we bred for $300,000. “They are wonderful types and I have worked with enough of them now and they have got brilliant temperaments, they are going to be a huge chance.”
Baker played a dual role at Karaka, also offering a five-strong draft under his Hallmark Stud banner.
“For a nice horse, they were extremely hard to buy,” he said. “If you had a genuine horse here today, as was proven, there was a lot of money here.”
Haunui Farm principal Mark Chitty was delighted with the result and expected the colt to sell well.
“We have been selling weanlings for a long time and he is the nicest we have brought to this sale, and he sold accordingly,” Chitty said.
“He is a lovely colt out of a very good mare and by a young sire who has created a lot of interest, and they have sold really well.
“I expected him to be a six-figure horse. He oozed class and handled pressure. He was bought by a very good judge in Mark Baker. He bought Hardline off us and he went on and won the Karaka Million. He was a very good pinhook result for him."
“The mare is back in-foal to Almanzor, so it was a great result.”
Haunui Farm were leading vendor by aggregate at the sale and Chitty said the higher end of the market sold well.
“The good horses, and there haven’t been a lot of them, have sold well, but underneath that reflects the state of the industry,” he said.
“You haven’t got people buying horses to put in the paddock and wait. It’s the traders, people who are looking to pinhook yearlings or ready-to-runners.”
Chitty is a big supporter of the dedicated weanling sale and his thoughts were justified by the strong market on Thursday.
“I totally support a standalone weanling sale,” he said. “I don’t think you have to have it mixed up and I think that it is great to be back at a sale ground.
“The pinhookers like to see horses in the flesh and they like to see how they handle pressure, especially if they are going to pay decent money for them.”
Super Easy HK success
Hong Kong success for STRIKING MR C (Super Easy) in the Ninepin Group Handicap over 1200m. It was win number 4 for the 6yo gelding.
Striking Mr C is out of Charming Elle who is by Al Samer, she is a half sister to Australian Listed winner Battlefield (Choisir), from the same family as Gr1 winner Khaptingly (Bletchingly) and stakes winner Khaptivaan (Adraan).
Here he is at the NZB Select Sale back in 2016 https://vimeo.com/151687940
NZB NATIONAL WEANLING SALE
Lot 30 Exosphere x Tattle (Bay Filly)
Lot 68 El Roca x Donna Marie (Chestnut Colt
Lot 73 Reliable Man x Flamette (Bay Colt)
Lot 81 Derryn x Hampton's Gold (Bay Colt)
Lot 101 Exosphere x La Valeta (Bay Filly)
Out and About
Out and about with our gal Bonny Lass, the Gr2 winner and 2 x Gr1 placegetter is enjoying a well deserved break at the farm.
Dreaming Easy an easy winner at Riverton
Riverton provided the goods for Super Easy yesterday when Dreaming Easy cruised down to an emphatic 2 length win, a seventh career victory for the 6yo mare.
Do you remember this guy?
It’s the Tivaci x Sorellina colt from our ‘Follow a Yearling’ segment earlier this year. He looks as laid back as ever, we are delighted to see him doing so well with Danielle N Alex Oliveira
Star graduate at Awapuni
By Hallowed Crown out of Encosta De Lago mare Lets Have Some Fun, Crowning Star had a half brother by Charm Spirit go through the 2021 NZB Yearling Sale making $80,000 to Riverrock Farm.
As "Easy" as it looked
Heavy track conditions were no issue for It's So Easy (Super Easy) at the Southland races on Sunday. Scoring by 2.5 lengths, it was a first win for the Centaine Spittles trained mare.
Smart graduate back in the winners enclosure
Hallmark graduate Nikau Spur (Proisir) was back in the winners enclosure on Friday night at Cranbourne. Starting his racing career in New Zealand with Rosie Buchanan he was impressively placed at a first raceday start and later sold to Ciaron Maher/David Eustace.
Ruakaka filly a winner in the first
Eva James (Super Easy) gets our day off to a solid start at Ruakaka with a victory in R1. Win number 4 at start 11 for the well fancied daughter of Super Easy.
Previously stakes performed the Rae/Tuhoro stable has always had a solid opinion of the 3yo. First dam Imperial Miss (Shinko King) is a four time winner and from the same family as multiple stakes winner Duanette's Girl and Listed winner Zabuan.
Superdonna good on debut
Well, in very unusual circumstances the Daniel Miller trained SUPERDONNA (Super Easy) gets a win on debut. After getting back, she made up a stack of ground, getting blocked for a run between horses close to the line, a lengthy protest ensued and she was eventually promoted to first spot.
The daughter of Super Easy was bred by Curraghmore Stud, here she is as a foal and at the races on Saturday.
Bonny Lass primed for Group One
NZ Racing Desk
Graham Richardson is an excited man ahead of the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni on Saturday.
The Matamata horseman, who trains in partnership with Rogan Norvall, will line-up Bonny Lass in the juvenile feature and he is hoping she can take home the lion’s share of the $225,000 purse.
“It’s really exciting heading into the Group One with a filly like her,” Richardson said.
The daughter of Super Easy has been impressive in all three of her starts to date, winning on debut on her home track over 1200m before returning to win the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m).
She put in a bold effort in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie last month, running the second fastest last 200m to place behind Te Akau pair Sword Of State and On The Bubbles.
Richardson was pleased with the run and believes she will be suited by Saturday’s extended distance.
“It looked like she would go the 1400m after that run,” he said.
Her three raceday appearances and one trial have all been on Dead4 tracks and with the Awapuni track rated a Slow8 on Thursday morning and further rain forecast, Richardson is interested to see how she will handle the wet track conditions.
“The question mark is the Slow8, but the track would come back I would imagine,” he said. “She worked up on Tuesday on ground that was Dead to Slow and she enjoyed that.”
Saturday will likely be Bonny Lass’ last hit-out for the season before she heads to the spelling paddock in preparation for the three-year-old fillies series next term.
“We are talking with Brent Cooper about that, who is the manager of the Social Racing Syndicate,” Richardson said.
“I would say she will be tipped out after Saturday and will get ready for the Gold Trail Stakes (Gr.3, 1200m) and those fillies series races.”
TAB bookmakers have installed Bonny Lass as a $10 fourth-favourite for the Sires’ Produce, behind On The Bubbles ($2.80), I Wish I Win ($3.40), and Quicken Away ($9).
Richardson is also looking forward to watching Tiptronic contest the Gr.2 City of Palmerston North Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m).
Tiptronic put in a brave performance to hold on for third behind Melody Belle and Avantage in the Gr.1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie last start, after being the pacemaker throughout.
Richardson was proud of his efforts and is expecting another bold showing this weekend.
“He was courageous and things didn’t go right before that (in the Herbie Dyke Stakes), and before that he won the Karaka Cup,” Richardson said.
“He is very genuine, he tries his hardest and he is a very good horse.”
Mr consistent secures 12th win
Mr consistent Camino Rocoso secured win number 12 at Riccarton Park Racecourse yesterday.
In unusual tactics for the Shocking gelding, jockey Gosen Jogoo elected to go back, unleashing the John and Karen Parsons trained galloper down the outside.
As always, a big congratulations to his ownership group. Hallmark graduate Camino Rocoso was raised and broken in with us here at the farm.
Wheels in motion for Locomotion
LOCOMOTION broke through for a well deserved win on Wednesday at Pukekohe.
Bred and raced by Wentwood Grange the daughter of Super Easy had placed in five of her seven starts before this win in the hands of Danielle Johnson.
Locomotion also took home a Pearl Series Bonus with her win in Race 7, NZB INSURANCE PEARL SERIES RACE.
Penang success for former Ready to Run graduate
A first start at Penang provided a win for Super Easy. VIJETA (Super Easy) was victorious over 1200m.
Purchased out of the NZB Ready to Run Sale in 2016 for $90,000 he was consigned by Mana Park. First dam Cycee Nugget is a sister Golden Era and Golden Sound, she is also the dam of Rio Nugget who is the dam of Fernando.
Number one of the top 50 NZ based sires stakes winners to runners list
We can’t quite believe it but the victory of Bonny Lass in Saturday’s Gr2 Matamata Breeders Stakes means that Super Easy has actually surpassed Savabeel and now leads the Top 50 NZ based sires Stakes Winners to runners list.
We are incredibly proud of this achievement, Super Easy is not just producing winners but quality gallopers who can compete and dominate in black type company.
How's this for a flash back?
Gr2 Matamata Breeders Stakes winner Bonny Lass as a foal and yearling.
By our resident sire Super Easy, she was born and raised here for breeder Sandy Moore, well done to Social Racing and their syndicate. First dam Posh Bec is by Le Bec Fin, she is a three time winner and is the dam of 4 named foals, 3 to race, all winners.
Yes!!! Go Super Easy..
YES!!! Punching well above his weight SUPER EASY scores Gr2 success in the Matamata Breeders Stakes with Bonny Lass. In the top 40 NZ based sires, Super Easy is second only to Savabeel in stakes winners to runners.
What a season it has been with Sheezallmine, Super Strike, Spine Tingle and now Bonny Lass.
Photo credit Mark Nowell.
Ruakaka filly strengthens Oaks bid
NZ Racing Desk
Lightly raced filly Spine Tingle sent shivers down the backs of plenty of her potential Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) rivals with a stunning victory at New Plymouth on Saturday.
Bred and raced by the Hawkins family under their Llanhennock Trust banner, the Super Easy three-year-old went into Saturday’s Listed Fasttrack Insurance Oaks Prelude (1800m) at New Plymouth with just two runs under her belt, including a last start victory over 1400m on her home track at Ruakaka.
The Chris Gibbs-trained galloper was overlooked in the market for the race, starting at a closing price of $17.60 on the tote, however she made a mockery of those odds as she streaked to a hollow four-length victory.
Settled beautifully in the trail by rider Lisa Allpress, Spine Tingle travelled easily before hugging the rail on the home bend and spurting to the lead when a yawning gap opened up shortly after straightening.
Allpress gave her charge full bore at the 250m and the filly raced clear to win easing down by four lengths from the well favoured Providenceprovides with Ezdara battling on gamely to take third.
Gibbs admitted he had trekked south to New Plymouth with hopes of a good performance but no certainty his charge was up to the opposition she faced.
“I didn’t really expect that, but she was very impressive today,” he said.
“We made a plan to hug the rail the whole way and hoped the leaders would roll off and sure enough they did.
“She races so well just off the bridle, which I just love about her.
“When Lisa asked her, she sprinted so quickly that I was stunned.
“When we first got her she looked like she would make a two-year-old and not much after that, but she changed completely and turned into a long, scopey individual, who had stayer written all over her.
“We haven’t done that much with her, so after she won her maiden at home, we decided this race would be our main target.
“I just didn’t know how she would measure up, but she travelled down perfectly, ate and drank everything last night and gave me confidence she would go a good race.”
Gibbs is unsure how he will go about formulating a plan to get Spine Tingle to the Oaks in March but admits it is a good problem to have.
“Today was really where we had put our efforts into, so I’m not sure what to do next,” he said.
“It’s a long trip back home so she can have an easy time of it while I work out how we get to the Oaks.
“The good thing is she has qualified now so I don’t have to worry about that and can pick and choose where we start.”
TAB Bookmakers reacted swiftly to the victory, slashing the Fixed Odds for Spine Tingle to win the New Zealand Oaks from $61 to $14 behind current favourite Amarelinha ($4).
A new journey ahead
This is what we love to see, our Tivaci x Sorellina colt with his new owners Danielle N Alex Oliveira
He has the most beautiful nature, we wish him the best of luck in his new journey.
Photo Trish Dunell
El Tirador a Derby prospect
Nigel Tiley trained 3yo El Tirador (Shocking x Pamela Place) a very promising winner today at Pukekohe Park beating a strong field over 1400m. Connections indicating he is now on a Derby path.
Born, raised and spelled here at Hallmark for a great team of owners lead by Greg Glogoski. The same ownership group involved with Camino Rocoso.
Perry saves his best until last
NZ Racing Desk
Masterton Bloodstock agent Bruce Perry has been a constant presence on the buyer’s sheets throughout the three days of the Book 1 sale at Karaka this year, but he left his biggest hit until the 11th hour.
Lot 578, the Almanzor colt, who is a half-brother to Australian Group Two winner Subpoenaed, was the last horse through the auction ring on Tuesday and despite his position in the catalogue, had plenty of heavy hitters’ keen on him.
The auction ring action boiled down to a slugfest between Perry and former trainer Graeme Sanders, with Perry lodging his winning $560,000 bid on behalf of clients, Brae Sokolski and Chris Waller Racing.
“I was acting for Brae (Sokolski), who is one of the main owners in the colt’s half-sister Subpoenaed and Chris Waller,” Perry said.
“I was doing the work for them, so I had a look at him and just loved him.
“They were very strong on him, as it was a good fight to secure him, but I had Brae on the phone talking with me the whole way.
“I really just hope the Almanzors can run now.”
Perry has been keen on yearlings by the Cambridge Stud-based first season sire during the sale, having purchased seven individuals for local and international clients including three for Melbourne trainer Danny O’Brien.
“I knew this horse would be a $500,000 plus buy as he was a lovely type and mover, so the mare has done a good job,” he said.
“Brae and Chris had him on their radar, so I just did the legwork for them.”
Out of the five-win O’Reilly mare Notice Received, the colt was sold through the Hallmark Stud draft on behalf of Cambridge couple Wayne and Vicki Pike, with studmaster Mark Baker thrilled with the result.
“The colt is the perfect specimen,” he said.
“His x-rays, his scope, both perfect. He is perfect.
“The way he handled the pressure, right from when we got him all the way to ring, was incredible.
“We are grateful to be chosen to prepare him for Wayne and Vicki Pyke. It really was a pleasure.”
Vicki Pike was on hand to congratulate Perry after the sale and was delighted with the result.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to bits,” she said. “He was worth every penny of it though.
“We’ve been breeding for a long time and I think he is probably the best we have ever put in the ring.
“They rated him the best Almanzor colt born at Cambridge Stud that year and he has never gone backwards.
“He has always just gone forwards and improved into the product you saw today, and his temperament is just unbelievable.”
With the Pikes holding a share in Almanzor, Notice Received is back in foal to the triple Group One winner and European champion.
“We bought Notice Received for $52,000 out of a mixed sale in Melbourne and she has been very good to us. She has had two by Rip Van Winkle, including Subpoenaed who we initially raced and sold after winning impressively for (son) Tony.”
Hallmark Stud also sold a Tavistock colt out of their Group One winning mare Chenille for $180,000 on behalf of the couple, who operate from a boutique property in Cambridge.
“Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young bought him so he has gone to the best possible place for a Tavistock and we also sold a very nice Proisir colt,” Pike said.
“We’re thrilled. I can’t believe the positivity here and the domestic buying to go with the internationals.”
The Pikes have reduced the volume of mares they are breeding from 14 to six, with a focus on quality and couldn’t speak more highly of the preparation skills of Hallmark Stud.
“They’re very good friends, they’re like family to us,” Pike said. “They love the horses and they do a super job.”
The Support Crew, Karaka 2021
A 'Super Easy' debut
Another 2yo winner for Super Easy, Bonny Lass scored with ease on debut at Matamata yesterday in race 3. Beating home well fancied favourite Noverre. All being well she will head to the J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders Stakes on the 27th Feb.
Trained by Graham Richardson and Rogan Norvall, Bonny Lass is out of Posh Bec who has already produced winners Way Too Easy and Super Posh.
What a journey...
What a journey it has been, from the foaling paddock to the sales ring.
Its fair to say the Tivaci x Sorellina colt has bloomed over the past year, he goes through the ring as Lot 134.
Three Karaka Million contenders
We are excited to have three graduates featuring in tonight’s Karaka Million.
- Sneaky Shark - (Capitalist x Hidden Attraction) 2yo colt in the Doubletree by Hilton Karaka Million 2yo. $165k purchase NZB Book 1 Karaka 2020
- Miss Ipenema - (Sacred Falls x Miss Elusive) 2yo filly in the Doubletree by Hilton Karaka Million 2yo. $20,000 purchase by Glen Harvey Racing, NZB Book 1 2020
- Beaune (Kermadec x San Cristobel) 3yo filly Karaka Million 3yo Classic. $52k purchase NZB Book 1 Karaka 2019
Super result for proud breeder
NZ RACING DESK
A promise made by Janet Hepi to one day send a mare to Hallmark Stud has resulted in Super Strike (NZ) (Super Easy), the winner of the Gr.3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham on Saturday.
“Dad had a farm right opposite Hallmark, and quite often I would wander over to see the horses,” said Hepi, the daughter of prominent Auckland businessman and breeder Lou Fisher.
“Denny (Baker, Hallmark Stud) always knew how much I loved horses, and he would always say why don’t you send me a mare to one of my horses and I kept saying I will one day.
“I loved watching Prom Queen race and that prompted me to take a look at Super Easy. So, I phoned Denny and asked him about sending a mare. He said you mean you are finally sending me a horse, and Super Strike, or Toby as I call him, is the result.
“It’s wonderful for both of us, Denny is as thrilled as I am about Toby and I’m pleased for Super Easy.”
Hepi races Super Strike in the colours made famous by her father – an emerald jacket, black braces, cerise sleeves and cap, the colours were carried by the great sprinter Yahabeebee.
“I get such a thrill watching those colours,” Hepi said. “I had such a special Dad and Uncle (Sir Woolf Fisher) who introduced me to horses so it’s important to me that I use those colours and continue their dynasty.”
Trained at Pukekohe by Richard Collett, the now four-year-old has been to the races nine times for five wins, three seconds and a third.
Super Strike won on debut in November as a three-year-old. He was placed at his next two starts but severely injured his hindquarter and was out for a prolonged spell, and there was some doubt as to whether he would come back.
“Richard has been really patient with him,” Hepi said. “It was a matter of wait and see.
“When he came out and won his first race back, Richard was still saying let’s wait and see. Then he won his next race and I said to Richard perhaps he’s okay now.”
Super Strike was beaten a nose at his next start before coming out and winning an open handicap at Ellerslie. He returned in late September last year and won fresh up over 1200m at Ellerslie and backed up three weeks later on the same track and won over 1400m.
At his home track in late November he went down by a nose over 1400m, before returning to Auckland in mid-December to win at that distance. His next run was in the Stella Artois 1500 Championship Final where he chased home Mai Tai Before heading to Trentham where he got up to win the prestigious mile event by a nose in the last bound.
“He’s got a real personality, he loves to show off he has an attitude and is a bit of a naughty boy,” Hepi quipped. “l think he just loves going past all the other horses, and that’s why he settles at the rear.
“I am so proud of him I just love horses so much. I love to spend time with them giving them apples and carrots. I had his grandmother and his mother. His mother Becky (Southern Touch) I gave to Sue Ellis to train when she went to Australia, as she had trained a couple of horses for me before that. Well Becky did everything right on the training track, but on the race track I think she went out just to smell the roses, as she let everything go past her and kept tailing the field. In the end I sent her to Written Tycoon and bought her back in foal after that.”
That foal was the placed mare Mills’N’Boon who Hepi raced. Southern Touch’s next foal was Gutsy Gussie who was also placed, followed by Super Strike. She also left another youngster by Super Easy but he didn’t make it to the races, and that was to be her last foal.
“I got the grandmother from David Benjamin,” Hepi said. “My family and his family go way back, and one day I took my daughter Jasmine out to the Karaka sales and went around to talk to Benji. I was busy talking to Benji and then we couldn’t find her! Anyway, we eventually found her in a box with a horse – J was only about 8 or 9 and that was Touche Amora, so I bought her, and from her I got Southern Touch (Becky) and she is the dam of Toby (Super Strike).”
Touche Amora won one race and went to stud and produced five live foals, the first being Stark Touch by Stark South who won nine races in Australia, followed by Embrace (Prized) who didn’t race but has left a couple of winners and Prized Touch (Prized) who Janet also raced out of the Collett Stable.
“Prized Touch won six races,” she said. “I had so much fun racing Oscar (Prized Touch) and he’s still alive and enjoying life at the ripe old age of 20. He raced in Dad’s colours as well.”
Touche Amora was a sister to Touch of Force who won five races including the Gr.2 AJC Villiers Stakes, and to Tantalise who was a stakes placed winner of four races. Their dam Amora was a winner and a half-sister to the smart group one placed two-year-old winner Milton Magic, both being out of the stakes placed winning mare Milton Leigh.
From another former Fayette Park stallion in Germano, Hepi bred the 2009 Sydney Cup winner Ista Kareem who was out of another Touching Wood(USA) mare Princesses Touch. She doesn’t have any broodmares anymore, but she and Denny Baker are hoping to breed another Super Strike.
“I have been in touch with Gail Hughes who bred Touche Amora,” Baker said.
“She still has mares from that family and why wouldn’t we try and bred another one like Super Strike?”
Famous colours to the fore in Anniversary
NZ Racing Desk
16 January 2021
Six decades on from the heyday of the legendary sprinter Yahabeebe, the same colours have played a starring role at Trentham. Super Strike stepped up to stakes level for the first time and triumphed in Saturday’s Gr.3 Wellington Seamarket Anniversary Handicap (1600m). It was the fifth win of a nine-start career for the rising star son of Super Easy, bred and owned by Janet Hepi, whose father Lou Fisher raced the two-time Gr.1 Railway Handicap (1200m) winner Yahabeebe.
“It’s very special to win this race in my father’s colours,” Hepi said. “Those same colours were carried by Yahabeebe in some of our great sprint races, including in the Telegraph here at Trentham.
“I just loved the win today by my super, super Super Strike. It was a sensational ride by Andrew Calder, and Richard and Judy Collett have done such a good job with him. I really appreciate all their efforts, including driving him all the way down here from Auckland for this race.”
Super Strike was backed into warm favouritism at $2.60 for Saturday’s feature, in which he dropped to 53kg after lugging 60kg into a gallant last-start second in the Stella Artois 1500 Championship Final (1500m) on Boxing Day at Ellerslie.
Patiently ridden by Calder, Super Strike dropped out near the tail of the field before rushing into contention with a powerful burst in the straight.
Sacred Elixir fought back strongly on his inside, but Super Strike lunged at the line and got the verdict by a nose.
“He gave me a great feel before the start, he had really fresh legs,” Calder said. “But he’s just such a laid-back horse. You don’t want to get to the front too early on him – he switches off and waits for the others. But he’s exciting and still has improvement in him.”
After winning one of his three starts in his first preparation, Super Strike began this season in Rating 65 grade. But he has soared through the ranks with four impressive wins from six appearances.
The four-year-old holds a nomination for the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) on January 30, and the TAB now rates him a $10 chance. But Richard Collett was non-committal about a return to Trentham in a fortnight.
“He’s come a long way in this preparation, and this was his first time in open company,” the Pukekohe trainer said.
“So we’ll get him home and see how he’s come through this run before deciding on anything. He might not be far away from going out to the paddock.
“But this was a good result today, and it’s a big thrill to get this win for Janet. She’s a lovely lady and I’ve trained horses for her for a number of years.”
The performance of runner-up Sacred Elixir was full of merit. The son of Pour Moi won the Gr.1 JJ Atkins (1600m) in Brisbane as a two-year-old back in 2016 and finished second in the Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m) later that year.
After three years on the sidelines, he returned to racing with a fifth at Ellerslie on December 10 and a sixth in the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) on New Year’s Day. He also holds a Thorndon Mile nomination.
There was another length and a half back to Guillada, who took third just ahead of Times Ticking and Sinarahma.
Dream filly makes successful debut at Te Aroha
This article is supplied by NZ Racing Desk
Trainer Ken Rae knew he had just the sort of filly he likes dealing with when he picked her up on the float on the way home from a trip away.
The Super Easy weanling had been purchased by Rae for owner Sue Martin off the gavelhouse.com site and needed to be collected from Mark and Denny Baker’s Hallmark Stud.
Rae was bringing home experienced gallopers Kaharau and Blanco Bay and was taken with how the filly handled herself throughout the process.
“Sue had asked me to bid for her on gavelhouse and I think we got her for $1,500,” Rae said.
“I was bringing home Kaharau and Blanco Bay one day and stopped off at Hallmark to collect her.
“She walked straight on the float without a care in the world which had me thinking she was my type of horse, easy to handle.”
Rae took his time with the filly, who is now named Dream Queen, and gave her two trials before electing to start her over 1000m at Te Aroha on Sunday.
Under the guidance of Jasmine Fawcett, Dream Queen missed away before improving along the inner to take over on the home turn and run away from her two-year-old rivals to score by more than a length at the line.
Rae, who is currently campaigning a team on the West Coast circuit, watched the race on television and was delighted with the result.
“She showed us at her recent trial that she had some ability as she ran second to a smart one of Richard Collett’s,” he said.
“The third horse that day came out and won first up at Awapuni, so I knew we had one that could gallop.
“Sue said to me should we enter her for Ellerslie on Boxing Day, but I thought that the field there might be a little tough and we should wait for something easier.
“The way she won today was great, so I’ll need to have a think about what to do next.
“I don’t have anything planned, but if she came out and won again, then a race like the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.2, 1200m) might well be a target for her.”
Rae also reported that classy two-year-old colt Follow Your Dreams had come through his run at Ellerslie on Boxing Day in fine fettle and would head straight to the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) on January 23 next.
The Contributer colt made up good ground in the straight after getting well back off a wide barrier, finishing fifth behind Palamos who heads the current Fixed Odds market for the race at a $3.20 quote, with Follow Your Dreams at $14.
Second stakes success for Sheezallmine
Another black-type success for bargain buy Sheezallmine (Super Easy x Bast).
Bought for just $1,000 from the 2017 Festival Sale, Sheezallmine collected the second stakes win in her career in the $50,000 Listed Alleviate Administration Hazlitt Stakes (1200m). She has now had 17 starts for 6 wins, 3 places and $168,255 in stakes for owners John and Maree Miller.
Ridden by Chris Johnson for trainer Daniel Miller, the five-year-old settled close to the speed before quickening stylishly in the straight to win by a length and a quarter.
"It was nice to get a win like that" Miller told NZ Racing Desk "She has been going good races without a whole lot of luck.
"She came down with my foreman, Mason Stevens, and he told me she had travelled and settled in well, so we were quite confident before the race."
The daughter of Super Easy was bred by Mrs JM & TM Henderson, vendor Leanach Lodge Ltd, purchaser Dreamers Syndicate Cambridge.
Article courtesy of NZB
Hallmark Yearling a Nick that Clicks
Nicks that Click – Karaka 2021 – One of the Best
Sponsored Content - by Tara Madgwick - Sunday December 20
This nick has become one of the best known and most successful in Australasia with an impressive 21% stakes-winners to runners and Karaka Book 1 features two youngsters bred this way and two more that are very close.The 2020 Karaka Book 1 sale was topped by a Pierro colt from Redoute’s Choice colt mare Our Squeezer that made $900,000 for Westbury Stud.Now named Postulate and placed in the care of Team Hawkes for Orbis Bloodstock, he’s a colt whose future will be followed with great interest given the astonishing strike rate for success of horses bred on the Pierro x Redoute’s Choice cross.There have been 31 winners from 42 runners, which equates to nearly 74% winners to runners and those winners include nine stakes-winners headed by Group I stars Arcadia Queen, Regal Power and Levendi.
3.9million earner Arcadia Queen is by Pierro from a daughter of Redoute's Choice.
Lot 323 Colt Pierro x Cosmic Powers – Hallmark StudFirst foal of a juvenile winner by outstanding sire Not a Single Doubt from the family of stakes-winners Pistols and Keep the Faith.
Impressive Maiden Victory For Nikau Spur
Article NZ RACING DESK
Former Kiwi galloper Nikau Spur (NZ) (Proisir) has made an impression in Australia in just his second start across the Tasman.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained gelding ran away to a 3-3/4 length victory over 1600m at Moonee Valley on Friday night after placing over 1300m at Bendigo in his Australian debut at Bendigo last month.
The son of Proisir was identified by Maher’s bloodstock manager Will Bourne after running a game third on debut at Awapuni in July for former trainer Rosie Buchanan.
“I watched the race and the horse almost fell at the 500m mark, and to rattle home (for third) I thought it was a massive run,” Bourne said.
“I thought he was a horse who could really go through his grades in winter over here.”
Bourne duly made contact with Buchanan and was delighted to secure the gelding.
“I try to buy a lot of horses and I can’t believe how quickly I bought the horse,” he said.
“I offered fair money and she accepted it, and it was all done and dusted. I was really rapt with it.”
Bourne is pleased Nikau Spur is living up to his initial expectations and he has been happy with both of his Australian starts to date.
“He looked a bit flat-footed over the shorter distance first-up, but the form out of that race has been good, the winner went on to win at Flemington,” Bourne said.
“He stepped up in distance and was a bit fitter second-up and he showed a pretty impressive turn of foot.”
Bourne is looking forward to the future with Nikau Spur and he won’t have to wait long for his next start.
“He is a horse that has no issues, he is very sound,” Bourne said. “He jars up a bit on the hard tracks, but apart from that he is very clean, with a solid action. He should be a very fun horse for the owners. “His next start will be on New Year’s Day at Flemington.”
Follow a yearling to the sale!
Our Tivaci x Sorellina colt parading for Bevan Smith Bloodstock and Dylan Johnson.
As you can see he is well on his way to Karaka, just over a month to go!
He strikes again!
SUPER STRIKE (Super Easy) keeps up that impeccable record with another dazzling victory. Coming into it 3 wide, from a long way back made his win look even more impressive!
In open company for the first time, Super Strike looks to be a ⭐️ on the rise. He holds a nomination for the Gr1 Thorndon Mile and we are SO excited to follow his progress. Well done to Richard Collett and connections.
Track upgrades and improvements ahead of our upcoming yearling parades
Cromwell Cup for enigma Camino Rocoso
Camino Rocoso added a timely win to his resume when taking out the Cromwell Cup, giving magic man Chris Johnson another victory in his bid to break the New Zealand record for most wins.
Camino Rocoso was raised and broken in at Hallmark Stud.
Road to Karaka 2021
Have you been following our Tivaci x Sorellina colt on his road to Karaka 2021?
He has hit a couple of milestones over the past few weeks, first bath and first time with the rug on. Throughout this process he has handled everything with ease, showing us his genuine nature and willingness to learn.
Follow a yearling to the sale
This is our 2019 Tivaci x Sorrellina colt.
We want to give you a behind the scenes look at his preparation for the 2021 NZB Yearling Sale. Keep following us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to watch his progression. As you can see he is still out with the herd but it won't be long before he starts to make some big steps towards the sale!
Excitement machine Super Strike
It was with great excitement that we watched progressive galloper Super Strike secure another win at Ellerslie on Saturday, recording his third victory in just five starts.
The son of Super Easy was all class and supported not only market favouritism but his trainers high opinion of the galloper. Putting himself in a much more forward position at this latest outing, it was a relatively straight forward win ahead of Babiche (Ocean Park) and Couturiere (Pins).
Super Strike is out of Stark South mare Southern Touch, she is from the same family as Gr2 Villiers Stakes winner Touch Of Force (Touching Wood).
Super Striking win for promising galloper
Progressive galloper Super Strike reminded racing pundits of his undoubted ability when he produced a powerful finish to score first up over 1200m at Ellerslie on Saturday.
The Super Easy gelding had been off the scene since sustaining a muscle injury when running second at the venue back in December last year.
Trainer Richard Collett took a patient approach with the Janet Hepi bred and owned four-year-old who has taken time to grow into his imposing frame. Two handy trial outings at Ruakaka sharpened him up for his raceday reappearance and he looked every inch a galloper going places as he easily lumped topweight of 59.5kgs to victory in the hands of Collett’s son-in-law Andrew Calder.
Collett wasn’t on hand to witness the triumph as he was in New Plymouth with stablemate Sweet Clementine, who went a bottler to finish fourth in their Group Three feature but was pleased with the race report from Calder.
“Andrew was very complimentary of the run and the way the track played as he is a horse that needs good ground,” Collett said.
“He (Super Strike) did a good job and I actually didn’t realise that they ran 1.09.44 until I got home and watched the replay so I thought geez it’s been a big effort to come from where he did to win.
“He just took a while to find clear air and had to come between a couple to make his run but he was very strong to the line.”
Super Strike had impressed when winning his maiden on debut at his home track last November with Collett hoping to see him step up to better company before the untimely injury came about.
“When he had his third start and got beaten by Star Of Bombay at Ellerslie, he pulled up sore behind,” he said.
“When we watched the replay, it looked like he might have done the injury when he was clearing the starting gates.
“He was very scratchy when he came off the track which is unusual as most times with that sort of muscle problem it isn’t for a few hours later when they have cooled down that it becomes apparent.
“It took its toll on him and he took a long time to recover although we had him ready to go in the autumn before the lockdown took effect.”
Following his first up victory there have been a number of offers to buy the horse however they been rejected by Hepi who has been racing horses with Collett for many years.
“Janet, who bred and owns him, has been with me for a long time and I think she is keen to retain and race this one here in New Zealand for as long as possible,” Collett said.
“You get offers all the time but I can understand when you get a smart one that you want to keep them and enjoy that success.
“He’s a big lad at around the 560kg mark and there is still plenty of improvement left in him.
“He’ll be going 1400m at his next start and will most likely carry the blinkers as he is a pretty laidback customer.
“We tried him blinkers at home the other day and he was very sharp so we will keep that option for him but I think he is ready to go through the grades during this preparation.
“He will go back to Ellerslie in three weeks and then we will plan from there but there is a nice sequence of races around here over the next few months, so we have a lot to choose from.”
Tivaci x Two Queens - Filly
Ocean park x Flying Tilly - Filly
Some quality additions to the farm this week
Graduate exceeds expecatations
Wise Counsel confirmed David Eustace’s opinion that he is a potential Victoria Derby contender with his victory in the opening event at Caulfield.
The three-year-old was perfectly ridden by Jye McNeil to break through at his third start in the Longboard Accountants For Mirabel Handicap (1600m) on Saturday. Eustace said they had always had a nice opinion of Wise Counsel but it had taken time to get him to the track due an injury at the end of last season. “We thought the mile would be fine. It was a good race, good maiden (run previously) at Geelong and hopefully he can go onto bigger and better things,” Eustace said.
Eustace plans to use next month’s Super Impose Stakes (1800m) at Flemington and Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield as his lead-in runs to the Victoria Derby on October 31.
Wise Counsel has a Victoria Derby winner high in his pedigree as his dam Circus Polka is a half-sister to Victoria Derby winner Prized Icon.
He is by Toronado and is a full brother to Master Monaro who was sold to Hong Kong earlier this year after winning both of his starts.
One of Hallmark's best back in form
One of the best graduates to have come off the farm here at Hallmark is HUMIDOR (Teofilo). We were delighted to see him bounce back to form and into the Cox Plate after his win in the Feehan Stakes this afternoon
We can’t wait to watch him progress on towards the great race. Just to reminisce here is his unbelievable second in the Cox Plate behind Winx.😳
Charlotte Hook : Three decades of dedication
We were so proud to see our former employee Charlotte Hook acknowledged with this LoveRacing article. Written by Leigh Phelan
Dedication to the job is an understatement when it comes to Charlotte Hook, who after three decades at Hallmark Stud has finally called it a day.
Charlotte was just 14 years old when she decided to leave school behind, instead putting an ad in her local paper on the search for a job. She received just one reply, from the renowned Denny Baker who was simply looking for extra help at his stud farm in Te Kauwhata.
From the small Waikato town of Tuakau and not even old enough to drive, Charlotte packed her bags and moved to work full time at Hallmark Stud. Denny was in complete shock by her young age,“When he asked me how old I was and I said 14, I can still remember him saying; ‘Good God girl!’”.
However, he agreed to give the young determined girl a chance at a job. Reminiscing on those early years, Charlotte explained how she will never forget her first day as she watched a two-year-old Roman Empire colt being lunged and being in complete awe of its immense size.
Up until then, her experience with horses, let alone thoroughbreds, was relatively small. Only riding her next door neighbour’s ponies as a young girl. “I had no idea of anything, Denny taught me everything.”
She remembers often feeling homesick, but never while she was working with the horses as it was where she felt most content. “When I was working, I was fine.” While Denny, along with his wife and family were always there to help.
As Charlotte’s experience quickly grew, she went on to help with every aspect needed at the Stud. “When I first started, most of the work I did was with the breakers because I was little and light.”
Describing it as a perfect learning environment, she was always encouraged to give new things a go and never be afraid to ask for help. “It was always easy to say, ‘I don't get it. Can you show me again?’”
Over the years that experience built her expertise. “I loved it so much, all aspects. From the riding, breeding, weaning, everything. I loved it.”
From breaking in yearlings to stomach tubing, sales prep to even learning how to drive the farm tractor, she did it all under Denny’s mentorship.
“Everything I know is because of that place,” she said. That willingness to learn and absorb what she was taught saw her work her way to assistant farm manager.
Charlotte pictured at the NZB Karaka Sale. Picture : Supplied
Given those valuable memories Denny has been as reluctant to see Charlotte go as she was to leave.“I loved her qualities,” he said. “She was so kind to the animals; she was great with them.”
Denny confirmed Charlotte’s willingness to learn, stating that every task which was sent her way got done. “If she had my horse and I didn’t see Charlotte or the horse for six months I wouldn’t be worried about her, or the horse,” he said.
The appreciation between Denny and Charlotte is mutual, with Charlotte labelling Denny as invaluable. “It’s nice to be able to be a great mate with your boss,” she said. “It’s huge and I really appreciate that.”
Charlotte also respected the support from others around her which helped her learn so much while at Hallmark Stud. She labels farrier Marshall Stead and vet Murray Bertram as a couple of people whose work fascinated her and whom she learned from. “[Murray] was amazing for teaching something, he was unbelievable, and he took the time,” she said.
Over the past three decades Charlotte saw not just horses but also people come and go.“The more people that come in, those people teach you more about yourself. You’ve got to be flexible because one day a person might be there and the next day they're not.”
She worked alongside individuals with all sorts of nationalities, age and backgrounds, all bringing their own methods and varying experiences. “When you're there that long, and you see that many people come and go, you don't actually realise you're getting better as well.”
She not only became a great mentor, but also learnt a lot from those around her, “Staff would come in, and I would ask them ‘what do you think? Their opinions count as well, or they might come up with something you had never thought of. It was easy for me to be that kind of person.”
Charlotte valued not only her own personal growth, but that of Hallmark itself, remembering when they had their first yearling go through to the premier sale to that being a matter of course.
“To watch something over the years go from one premier horse, to 24-25 book ones, that's huge. I feel grateful that I've been a huge part of that as well,” she said.
One of her favorite aspects of the job was seeing a horse’s life from start to finish, with mares often returning and having foals of their own. “Watching those horses, you've been lucky enough to handle, come out and do something, they stick with you for a long time. You see it go on and do a really good job for someone else, and you feel as though their time at Hallmark, their mental state, helped.”
Some of those horses include the likes of Katie Lee, Miss Jessie Jay, and Banchee, “I feel blessed to have been able to do them as weanlings and yearlings,” she said.
Holding a special place in Charlotte’s heart though, is Hallmark stallion Super Easy. “I’m very one-eyed when it comes to Super Easy, I love him. He’s my screensaver on my phone.”
While Charlotte never really planned on leaving Hallmark, life had other plans. Her day-to-day life changed as she had children and began running her own farm and now she is moving to Christchurch for her partner’s job.
“My heart broke the day I had to say goodbye, they’re real family,” she said with emotion in her voice. “Sometimes you do have to get out of your comfort zone to find out what you’ve really learned in life and I feel they have prepared me for life.”
While initially not sure what she might pursue when settled in the South, she has faith that her time at Hallmark has prepared her to be ready to give anything a crack.
“I’m not worried if I had to do something new, because I think about those big colts that think they can push you around, or broodmares with a one trick mind, you just take a deep breath and say right, we’ve got this. Even if I worked at McDonalds I’d try and be the best,’’ she said.
Her advice to anyone else having to reluctantly leave a job; “Make sure you move somewhere far enough away so you can't get in a car and drive back there.”
Hallmark graduate now a 2 year old metro winner
Nice to get a Hallmark Stud graduate on the board at Randwick today when this son of Vancouver won the first of the card. He came through NZB Yearling Sale back in 2019 on behalf of Coolmore Australia.
He is out of Encosta De Lago mare Haiku, the dam of Gr1 winner Japonisme. Trained by Richard and Michael Freedman he continues a strong run of the form for the training duo.
The Freedmans believes Exhibition could end up a handy stayer and will send him for a break before a possible Spring Champion Stakes campaign. “He’s come a long way from where he was three or four months ago and if he can make the same sort of improvement then he’s got plenty of upside,” Freedman said.
Full article at NZ Racing news:
A fond farewell to Charlotte Hook
It was a bittersweet day for us here at Hallmark Stud as we said farewell to one of our key team members Charlotte Hook.
30 years ago to the day she joined us and now she embarks on a new journey with her husband Richard down in Christchurch. Charly has seen a lot of good horses come and go here at the stud and played a crucial role in all of their lives. We will miss her can do attitude and natural passion for horses.
Good luck to you and the family on this new exciting adventure!
Group Three win for Super Easy
It was a very proud week for us at Hallmark Stud as Super Easy sired the winner of the Group Three Stewards Handicap at Riccarton on Wednesday with Sheezallmine (Super Easy). The Daniel Miller trained mare was able to secure the victory over some of New Zealand's best sprinters including Enzo's Lad and Sensei.
Sheezallmine raced strongly on the first day placing behind Sensei in the Pegasus Stakes, the original plan was to head to the Group Three Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes but Miller followed his gut instinct in keeping his mare to 1200m instead, thinking that she was better suited over the shorter distance.
It has been well publicised that Sheezallmine was a bargain purchase costing just $1,000 from Gavelhouse, an astute purchase by the Miller family. To add to the occasion it was Dan Miller's first stakes winner and was the start of an epic week, with him training three winners across two days plus a second stakes winner with La Romanee.
2019 Foal Pictures
Photo credit: Melissa Marriner
Tivaci ex Babington
Tivaci ex Sorrellina
Derryn ex Zazonali
Super Easy ex Posh Bec
Super Easy ex Secrets Only
Tivaci ex Sorrellina
Iffraaj ex Two Queens
Ocean Park ex Queen's Elect
Ocean Park ex Queen's Elect
Super Easy ex Classic Blonde