Hula Beat provides Weatherley with fine birthday gift

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  • June 04, 2024
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Hula Beat provides Weatherley with fine birthday gift

Kevin Robertson, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

In a desperate finish to the Te Aroha Veterinary Services Te Aroha Cup (2200m) on Monday, race favourite Hula Beat provided rider Sam Weatherley with a fitting birthday gift when he thrust his nose in front at just the right time to claim victory.

Weatherley would have been counting the money shortly after turning for home as his mount was travelling like a winner as he looped the field and shot to the front.

Shortly afterwards the first signs of panic appeared as firstly Georgian Warrior issued a strong challenge before the pair of Rua Rocks and Ata Rangi entered the fray along the inner.

As the quartet hit the line it was the Stephen Marsh-prepared Hula Beat who thrust his nose in front to take the decision over Rua Rocks with Ata Rangi just a nose away in third as Georgian Warrior finished close up in fourth.

Marsh was also confident when he saw his charge take control early in the run home and was prepared to excuse him a few wayward tendencies over the closing stages to the contest.

“I thought he was going to win by five lengths, but he got a bit distracted and I have said he is not as effective going right handed,” Marsh said.

“Sam said he was gawking around at the steeplechase fences and the crowd but when he put his mind back on the job he really knuckled down and got the win.

“It was probably a better effort than it may have looked and he is a nice progressive horse that is suited by the winter surfaces.”

Marsh will now take a look at some of the options available to the horse over the next few months although he will look to avoid meetings where the tracks offer firmer footing.

“We will try and keep him going left-handed so that probably precludes looking at those Ruakaka winter meetings as he is also likely to strike a better surface than he needs up there,” he said.

“In saying that he races well at Te Rapa and there is some nice money on offer there and at a few meetings on left-handed tracks coming up so that is likely where we will aim him.”

Bred by Westbury Stud owner Gerry Harvey and raced under his New Zealand Thoroughbred Holdings Ltd banner, Hula Beat is a son of Westbury’s resident stallion Redwood and is the last foal of unraced Zabeel mare Limbea.

His granddam Dancing Hula is a half-sister to multiple Group One winner Love Dance while he is also closely related to Gr.1 Railway Handicap (1200m) placegetter Tip The Wink.

The victory took his career record to four wins from 20 starts while he added another success to an outstanding season for Marsh who currently sits on 87 wins with more than $5million in prizemoney earnt for his Cambridge stable.


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