Haruki's first New Zealand win
Five Kings gave Japanese jockey Masaji Haruki and Otautau trainer Bruce Tapper memorable wins at Gore yesterday.
Haruki was having his first ride in New Zealand and Tapper chalked up his first training success after receiving a licence in July. The pair met through Coffs Harbour trainer Gordon Yorke, a friend of Tapper.
Yorke trained Natural Destiny, whom Tapper bought and now stands at Dave Haywood's Phuttocks End stud, Otautau. Haruki rode Natural Destiny in trackwork at Coffs Harbour before taking up employment with Tapper three months ago.
Tapper, who is also a dairy farmer, bought Five Kings at the Karaka yearling sales. Now a 4-year-old, Five Kings is developing a better attitude after having a history of dumping riders and being difficult to load into the barrier.
His two trial wins last month pointed to a bold run in yesterday's Hokonui Contracting Ltd Maiden.
Tapper is working seven horses but could have up to 10 during the summer.
Haruki, 30, rode five winners in New South Wales and is looking forward to increasing his win tally.
Consistency was rewarded when Belle D'Or won the Gore Town and Country Club Handicap.
She has been a regular placegetter in this campaign for Winton owner-trainer Val Christophers, who trains the Danzighill mare at Riverton racecourse most days.
''I can't get a track rider at Winton,'' Christophers said.
Rebecca Black, of Riverton, rides Belle D'Or in training and on raceday.
''She's tough and honest and doesn't knock-off,'' Black said.
Christophers was delighted to get the opportunity to race Belle D'Or over 2000m yesterday. Middle distance races for Belle D'Ors class have not been held in recent months.
''She's been screaming out for a mile and a-quarter. She'll stay all day and would have gone another round today,'' Christophers said of Belle D'Or.
Jockey Jamie Bates rated Misscattlecreek perfectly in front in the Clearwater Crutching Maiden. She responded to Bates' urgings near the finish to win by one and a-half lengths from Rugby Street, who was having her first race for seven months.
The Valley Syndicate, whose members are mostly from the Hakataramea Valley, race Misscattlecreek from Ellis Winsloe's Knapdale stable. The galloper's dam, Jo Valachi (one win), is a half-sister to My Kinda Girl (nine wins).
Gold Coat made a successful debut from Tommy Beckett's Ascot Park stable in the Clover Export Maiden. He had four starts, for a fourth, when trained in Christchurch by Beckett's brother, Ross.
Tommy Beckett, who took over training Gold Coat three months ago, said the 5-year-old gelding would race at Winton on October 13.
- The Southland Times