It was a memorable weekend for Trelawney Stud principals Brent and Cherry Taylor, with three of their racing team carrying their green, red, and gold silks to victory, including two at stakes level.
Cheaperthandivorce was the first to secure a stakes scalp for the Waikato nursery over the weekend when she recorded a 1.75 length victory over Justaskme in the Group 3 Thompson Handicap (1600m) at Trentham on Sunday.
It was the second run for the Savabeel mare this preparation after winning first-up at Hastings earlier this month and the Taylors are excited for what the future holds for their homebred.
“Cheaperthandivorce has come back super strong this season after showing us she had ability last year but couldn’t manage to understand the game,” Brent Taylor said.
“This time in she has copped the training and copped the work and is just a different horse altogether.
“Her win on the first day at Hastings was fantastic, she showed a lot of grit and determination.
“When she put herself in a winning position on Sunday and the other horse ranged up beside her, I knew she was in for a fight, and she dug in which was great to see.
“She will go to the Counties Cup (Group 3, 2100m). She has had two runs at a mile. She will step up to 2100m for the Counties Cup and that seems an appropriate target for her.
“We will just see how she goes from there. I would imagine somewhere over the summer carnival at Ellerslie she will find something there, probably against Two Illicit (another Trelawney-bred and raced mare).”
On Monday, exciting three-year-old Pareanui Bay continued his unbeaten record when taking out the Group 2 James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa.
The son of Lonhro isn’t nominated for the Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in a fortnight but will still likely target another Group One three-year-old mile early next year.
“He has always had a big rap around him from those who have ridden him,” Taylor said.
“He is a very talented horse with still an enormous amount to learn about the game of racing.
“He is still quite immature, both physically and mentally, so you would think he has got a big future in front of him, probably not this time in but certainly next campaign in the autumn.
“Rightly or wrongly, we have generally only nominated horses for those long-term races which are definitely on their plan. The Guineas was never on the plan for him, he just wasn’t forward enough in his preparation to show us he could ever get there.
“He has pleasantly surprised us but unfortunately the conditions of the race don’t allow that (late nomination) to happen at this stage.
“There is certainly another goal in-mind for one more run this prep and a little let-up and time to mature and look for something in the autumn.
“Tony (Pike, trainer) is thinking the Levin Classic, but we will just see how he gets through this. He will let us know what he wants to do.”
While pleased with both stakes wins, Taylor said the more sentimental victory over the weekend came on Saturday at Matamata when Vamos Bebe won over 1200m.
“Vamos Bebe was emotionally very pleasing for myself, Jamie (Richards, trainer), Danielle (Johnson, jockey), and Cherry after the trials and tribulations from last season,” Taylor said.
“She had won the Hallmark Stud Handicap (Listed, 1200m) and then had a post-race bleed.
“We had an unfortunate situation where she lost the race for a positive swab, which was one of those rare things that the stable certainly couldn’t be blamed for, it was just an abnormality though hay or feed.
“Jamie and the team at Te Akau were rightfully disappointed to have lost that.
“The opportunity to get it back in the future is going to be personally rewarding for Jamie and his team because they try really hard for us.
“To see her come back and put them away like that on Saturday and get through the run so well was very pleasing.
“We always thought she was an outstanding mare but she has now put herself in a position to frank that through the season.”
To add to the weekend, Taylor’s 90-year-old father-in-law Cliff Goss picked up yet another win with his exciting galloper Gold Watch at Te Rapa on Monday.
“You just don’t know how good that horse is,” Taylor said. “Carrying 62 kilos fresh-up and he was full of himself yesterday. He was in desperate need of a run and to lope in there, ears pricked, under no pressure, and put them away like that, he is a very talented horse.”
While the Trelawney racing team has had great success in New Zealand, Taylor is looking forward to the next fortnight in Australia where he will likely have two of his team compete over the Melbourne Cup carnival, including Zayydani and Juan Diva.
“Zayydani is racing really well without a lot of luck in her last start or two. She goes into the Matriarch Stakes (Group 2, 2000m) on the fourth day (of the Melbourne Cup carnival).
“She is flying. As long as the track is good and she has got a reasonable draw, she will be very competitive, I hope. She will certainly try her heart out.
“We hope to have another runner on Saturday called Juan Diva who won her last race in Sydney.
“She has come down to have a crack at the Furphy Sprint (Group 3, 1100m). If she gets into the field and gets a suitable track, I am sure she will try her hardest as well.
“It is fantastic to have a bunch of nice fillies out there running in the right type of races at this time of year for us.
“The racing team is what we have been concentrating on for the last couple of years and they are starting to really fire, which is fantastic. I am looking forward to the rest of the season, it should be a lot of fun.”