IN Racing
Racing success making up for sale setback
The bright start Lhasa has made to his racing career has put aside early disappointment for the Treweek family’s Lyndhurst Farm, who initially had high hopes of a tidy sale return from him.
NZ Racing Desk | March 24, 2023
Lhasa will contest the Bayleys Mt Maunganui (1400m) at Tauranga on Saturday. Photo:

The bright start Lhasa has made to his racing career has put aside early disappointment for the Treweek family’s Lyndhurst Farm, who initially had high hopes of a tidy sale return from him.

The three-year-old son of Hellbent will make his fourth appearance when he steps out in the Bayleys Mt Maunganui (1400m) at Tauranga on Saturday and the benefit of the inside gate has boosted his chances of further success.

Lhasa is trained at Cambridge by Mark Treweek, who races the gelding with wife Shelley and their children Dylan and Nicole along with Hong Kong’s David Lui, of Sweet Briar Equine.

“We’ve been friends with David for quite a few years and he’ll often come in shares with weanlings or breeze-up horses and if we have to carry on and race them he is happy to take that next step,” Treweek said.

A grandson of the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner Clean Sweep, Lhasa was purchased on their behalf at the Gold Coast Weanling Sale for A$80,000 by former Valachi Downs General Manager Jonathan Scully.

“We couldn’t get to the sale and we had Jonathan looking at them for us over there. He did the bidding while we were on the phone with him,” Treweek said.

“He’s always showed a lot and he’s a horse we bought to put him back through the sales, but he had chondritis as a yearling and we couldn’t sell him.

“We just carried on and he breathes 100 percent and it doesn’t affect him at all, but he’s got a bit of scar tissue in his throat.

“His record has been great and he had three trials for a second and then won his next two.”

Lhasa has subsequently made good progress and comfortably broke his maiden at his second appearance.

“On race day, he has done well each time and probably my fault the first time when he ran on a track that didn’t suit him,” Treweek said.

“The next two runs have been very good and he won before he copped a bad draw at Pukekohe and was three and four deep the whole trip without cover.

“He was entitled to probably weaken a bit, but he hung on for fourth so I was rapt with the run. He’s been working well and I’m really happy with him.”

Lhasa will run at Tauranga and then likely to be put aside to further develop.

“He’s not a horse that will enjoy wet tracks so I thought this race will suit him and he will probably go for a break after that,” Treweek said.

“He’s still lightly framed and will be a lot better and stronger as a four-year-old and we don’t want to put too much pressure on him just yet.”

Lhasa is one of only two horses Treweek has in work, the other is Seamsew who was unplaced at New Plymouth on Friday after a tardy getaway.

“Seamsew is another we couldn’t sell due to bad X-rays on his knees so we ended up training him because we’ve got a water treadmill,” he said.

“We’ve cut back on sales and only buy and sell our own now and the treadmill is keeping us really busy.

“It’s really popular and very good for fitness and freshening up after a race when they come here for a week or 10 days.

“Some people may send them for four or five days and they don’t lose any fitness and the horses really enjoy it.”

Lyndhurst will be a notable absentee later this year from New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale where they have enjoyed so much previous success as vendors.

“We haven’t bought any yearlings and will probably give the breeze-ups a miss this year, we sold all our yearlings at Karaka and had a good sale and we’ll look at doing the same again next year,” Treweek said.

“We had a good sale at Book 1 so we couldn’t complain, we made good money on three of them.”

Lyndhurst sold four at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale in January with a top price of $260,000 paid by Hong Kong buyer Bryan Kwan for a son of Deep Field, who was bought for A$120,000 as a weanling in Australia.

The Treweeks also enjoyed a strong pinhook result when they sold a colt by National Defense for $250,000, having paid A$57,500 for the youngster as a weanling.

Bayleys Mt Maunganui Bryan Kwan David Lui Dylan Treweek Gold Coast Weanling Sale Jonathan Scully Lhasa Mark Treweek Nicole Treweek Pukekohe Shelley Treweek Tauranga