IN Racing
Hastings focus for well-performed stablemates
Defibrillate and Tiptronic are progressing well toward Group One spring targets for trainers Graham Richardson and Rogan Norvall.
NZ Racing Desk | August 30, 2022
Group One targets await Defibrillate this spring. Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

Defibrillate and Tiptronic are progressing well toward Group One spring targets for trainers Graham Richardson and Rogan Norvall, who are also blessed with depth in the younger ranks of their Matamata stable.

The proven duo have the Hawke’s Bay carnival on their programs while three-year-old Channel Surfer will also be Hastings-bound and Bonny Lass is building toward a major summer sprint prize.

Defibrillate has returned home following a highly successful time in Australia and, like Tiptronic, has the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) on his radar.

“He is going well and he’s had two trials, the first one was really good and in the second one he jumped out sideways and Craig (Grylls) nearly fell off so he just sat quietly on him after that,” Richardson said.

“It’s not about finding out if he’s got ability because we obviously know he has.”

Defibrillate will have another trial at Avondale on September 7 and will either resume in the Gr.1 Arrowfield Stud Plate (1600m) at Hastings or closer to home a day later.

“He might go fresh-up into the Group One mile on the second day and then run in the mile and a-quarter (Livamol) on the last day,” Richardson said.

The other option is to kick off the eight-year-old’s spring campaign in an open 1600m event at Te Rapa on September 18.

“Tiptronic will definitely go there on the 18th, but I don’t know yet if he will trial again,” Richardson said.

“The only thing with him is that he’s never done really well until Christmas time so I brought him back in a little bit earlier to see if that will help.

“He’s a nine-year-old now so this might, and I’m not saying it is, probably be his last season. He’s been an amazing horse.”

The son of O’Reilly has won eight races, including the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) and the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) and has also placed multiple times at the highest level.

“He is part of the family. I’m building a house and, when I can afford to being a poor horse trainer, I’ll put some paddocks in. When he and Defibrillate are retired they are going to be living there for the rest of their lives and be well looked after,” Richardson said.

Defibrillate won two of his three New Zealand starts for Richardson, who co-bred the son of Shocking and shares in the ownership group, before he joined Paddy Payne’s Victorian stable.

He added a further eight victories to his credit in Australia, including three at stakes level.

“He reached his grade over there and he was only beaten 1.7 lengths in the Australian Cup (Gr.1, 2000m) at weight-for-age so we’re very proud of the boy,” Richardson said.

“I believe he’s a 1600 to 2000m horse, but he has won over 2600m and that’s just on sheer ability. Paddy did an amazing job with him and he’s come back happy and sound.”

Among the three-year-olds in the stable, Richardson has particularly high hopes for the lightly tried pair of Channel Surfer and Sorghaghtani.

“Channel Surfer is a lovely-actioned horse and the plan is to run him in a maiden three-year-old race over 1300m at Taupo on September 16 and then, all going well, in the Hawke’s Bay Guineas (Gr.2, 1400m),” he said.

The son of Derryn was a debut fourth before he finished third in the Listed Castletown Stakes (1200m) while Sorghaghtani ran fifth in her only juvenile outing.

“She’s a really nice filly by Mongolian Khan and I threw her and Lucienne in at the deep end at Ruakaka as we were looking for a good track,” Richardson said.

“Lucienne got completely lost and Sorghaghtani went well and I really like her. She’s out of a Northern Meteor mare and, no disrespect to Mongolian Khan, she looks more like him.

“It’s really encouraging and we’ve got some nice young horses coming through.”

Multiple stakes winner and two-time Group One placegetter Bonny Lass spelled particularly well since the daughter of Super Easy’s autumn victory in the Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m).

“She is a much stronger horse this time in and is pretty straight forward to train. She is a very good mare,” Richardson said.

“She will trial on September 7 at Avondale and will target the Railway (Gr.1, 1200m) and there will be races for her before that obviously.” 

Defibrillate Tiptronic Graham Richardson Rogan Norvall Channel Surfer Bonny Lass Livamol Classic O’Reilly Shocking Paddy Payne Derryn Mongolian Khan Lucienne Northern Meteor