A shift to the South Island has worked wonders for Hasabro, who picked up his first black-type win in the Listed Alleviate Administration Hazlett Stakes (1200m) at Wingatui on Boxing Day.
The son of Savabeel spent the first four seasons of his career in the Ardmore stable of Stephen McKee, winning four races and running second in this year’s Gr.2 Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie.
But McKee’s decision to bring the curtain down on his training career coincided with Hasabro’s move south, winning first-up at Riccarton in September before being left in the care of local trainer Andrew Carston.
Hasabro has now won three times from five appearances in the South Island this season, culminating in Sunday’s black-type success.
The six-year-old had to earn it, carrying a 60-kilogram topweight while seven of the top 10 finishers were on the 53-kilogram minimum.
But just as the front-running Ocean Point and King Cougar seemed set to fight out the finish, jockey Jacob Lowry let Hasabro rip and he charged home over the top of them to score by three-quarters of a length.
Hasabro is raced by the Go Racing Hasabro Syndicate, who bought him for $220,000 from the draft of co-breeders Waikato Stud at the 2017 Premier Sale at Karaka. Go Racing has a special affinity with the family, having also won the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) with the gelding’s half-sister Hasahalo.
Hasabro himself is now a seven-time winner in 35 starts, earning more than $191,000 in stakes and became the 123rd stakes winner for his champion sire Savabeel.
For Go Racing manager Albert Bosma, Sunday’s win was a pleasing return to form following a disappointing last-start ninth in the Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m).
“That was a good win by a good horse,” Bosma said.
“It was a distance short of his best, but sometimes these good horses can sprint really well fresh, and that’s exactly what he’s done today. He’s thriving down in the South Island this season with Andrew, who’s doing a fantastic job with him
“We probably got the tactics a little bit wrong in the Coupland’s, but Andrew decided to freshen him up after that and he’s freshened up really well. He stepped out in great order on Sunday and produced a dominant performance.”
Hasabro’s next major target is likely to be either the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham on January 29 or the Gr.3 White Robe Lodge (1600m) at Wingatui a week later.
“He’s nominated for the Thorndon Mile, and he’ll either go there or to the White Robe Lodge – being a weight-for-age race worth $100,000, that could be right up his alley too,” Bosma said. “So he’ll run in either of those races, most likely with one lead-up run beforehand.”