Hollow victory for Henny Hoo

Henny Hoo was never out of second gear during a hollow victory at Seymour on Tuesday.

The Brian Mayfield-Smith trained gelding was racing first-up after a 15 week spell and was always in control of the Puckapunyal Army Cup 14/04 Maiden (1109m).  He accelerated to a three length lead at the furlong and was then eased down by Brad Rawiller for an effortless win over Sheikh Hamdan’s filly Rasmeyaa.

Henny Hoo (3g Henny Hughes – Amarouge by Red Ransom) provided born-again trainer Brian Mayfield-Smith with his first winner since 2009.  “It’s nice to be back and win a race,” he said.  “It’s only a maiden but this bloke is a nice, solid horse.”

The Seymour winner is a homebred for Perth-based business associates Joe Horvat and Belmiro Da Silva Jorge.  They also raced the Mayfield-Smith trained stayer Maybe Better to G3 victories in the VRC Saab Hcp and MRC Coongy Hcp.  He also finished third in the 2006 Melbourne Cup.

Henny Hoo’s dam Amarouge is a half-sister to Maybe Better.  The Perth partners bred the mare to Henny Hughes when he was standing at Darley in NSW and another engagement would seem appropriate now that the stallion is based at Rangeview Stud in Western Australia.

Henny Hughes (Hennessy) has sired 22 individual winners from his first Australian crop – 20 at home plus Macau stakes winner The Star Of Geely and promising Hong Kong Griffin Great Charm.

His USA Champion Filly Beholder is due to have her next start in the G1 Santa Anita Oaks (1700m) on April 6 on the way to the G1 Kentucky Oaks (1800m) on May 3.

Beholder won the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in November and G1 Las Virgenes Stakes on March 2.  Installed an 8-1 second-favourite for the Kentucky Oaks after her last-start five-length victory, she firmed again when it was confirmed arch-rival Executiveprivilege had been sidelined with quarter-cracks.

Henny Hughes is currently covering his latest Kentucky book at Walmac Farm.

– Karl Patterson