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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Saturday, September 02 2017

Shelley Hale’s previous success with the family of Close Up was trumped at Hastings where the eight-year-old came off the ballot to triumph in Saturday’s Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy.

Close Up downs Aide Memoire (rail)  - Trish Dunell Photography

The Cambridge horsewoman has enjoyed an outstanding run with the progeny of the Exploding Prospect mare Regelle, who has produced seven winners from eight foals to race.

“All the breed has been wonderful,” an emotional Hale said. “Unfortunately, the mare died three months ago.”

Regelle’s offspring also includes Close Up’s brother Thumbs Up, who was a Group Two winner and Group One performer in Hong Kong, while fellow siblings Seventh Up won Hale a Gr.2 Easter Stakes and Sum Up was also a Group placegetter. The trio are by Shinko King.

However, as a co-breeder, part-owner and trainer it is Saturday’s victory that takes pride of place for Hale.

“This is just incredibly special,” she said. “This little horse can’t run in summer, his joints can’t hack it, so we picked a path through winter into this. It’s just magic.”

Runner-up in the Gr.2 Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa at his previous appearance, Close Up is now likely to return to Hawke’s Bay for the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) in three weeks’ time.

“He’s only had one other go at a mile and that was on a bog track at New Plymouth so we’ll be coming back here,” Hale said.

Close Up sat in behind the leading pack before veteran rider Grant Cooksley drove him between runners in the straight to beat a gallant Aide Memoire by half a neck with Underthemoonlight charging late for third.

The favourite Kawi didn’t help his cause by beginning tardily and he finished gamely on the fence for fourth while Gingernuts got home powerfully from the back to be next in.

Posted by: AT 05:14 am   |  Permalink   |  Email