No Excuse Maggie capped off a much welcomed change of fortune for Hastings trainer John Bary when the mare brought up her second black type success in Saturday's Group 3 $80,000 Windsor Park Stud Taranaki Breeders Stakes.
The success was Bary's third in the space of three days, after a winning double at Tauherenikau last Thursday, but before that he had been winless for 30 starts.
Bary was the leading trainer on wins in the Hawke's Bay/Poverty Bay district for the last racing season with a tally of 23. He is presently on six for this season, one more than the partnership of Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.
No Excuse Maggie brought up her sixth win from 25 starts when she came from a clear last mid-way through the 1400m feature event at the Egmont meeting to score a decisive win.
The pre-race plan was to make full use of No Excuse Maggie's inside barrier draw and have her trailing the leader in the early stages. But experienced jockey David Walsh took it on himself to settle her at the back after he could see there was a frantic pace up front and a lot of runners were getting knocked around.
Walsh started No Excuse Maggie on a forward move entering the last 700m, looping the field to be the widest runner entering the home straight. The grey mare then kept up a strong run to the line to easily beat race favourite Floria by 2- lengths, with Dubai Belle just a nose back in third place.
It was No Excuse Maggie's second stakes win and came 12 months to the day since her first one, in the 2011 running of the listed $45,000 Matamata Cup (1600m).
Saturday's win took the No Excuse Maggie six-year-old's stake earnings to $168,900, a huge return on the $2500 that 73-year-old retired Wairoa farmer Howard Jones and his wife Kay spent to buy her from the 2007 national weanling sale.
Howard and Kay Jones have leased No Excuse Maggie to the Full Of Excuses Syndicate and have retained a racing share.
The other members in the syndicate are trainer John Bary, Mike Sanders, Mike White and Steve Ryan from Hastings and Judy Halkett, Lloyd and Beth Wallace, Murray Renner, Ken and Valerie Charlton, Amanda Cheetham, Ivan Gordon, Leigh Jones and Flora Jones from Wairoa.
No Excuse Maggie is out of the O'Reilly mare Maggie O'Reilly and her future value as a broodmare is now building rapidly. A half-brother to her, Showing Off, has also been in excellent form with four wins from 10 starts for Matamata trainer Danica Guy. And Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta has got an unraced full-brother to No Excuse Maggie that she rates highly.
No Excuse Maggie is now likely to be aimed at the Group 2 $100,000 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1400m) at Pukekohe on November 24.
The Bary stable's two winners at last Thursday's Wairarapa meeting were Cajun and Basildon Bond.
Cajun came in for some inspired betting in a maiden 1600 and made up for an unlucky fresh up run at Hastings on September 22 to score a comfortable two-length win. The 4-year-old Keeninsky mare is raced by the Think Big Syndicate, a group of mainly Hawke's Bay people. She is out of the former good racemare Madison Mary, who won five races and was placed second in the 2001 Woodville Cup (2000m).
Basildon Bond obviously appreciated the firmer track conditions when he turned his form around with a long neck victory in a maiden 1400. The My Halo gelding turned in a good performance for third on dead footing at Hastings in July but had failed twice since on heavy tracks. The Tauherenikau track started out as a dead-4 in the morning but had dried to a good-3 by the time Basildon Bond's race came up for decision. The 5-year-old was recording his first win from eight starts for owners Howard and Dorothy Saunders.
High-flying filly Hastings-trained Irish Fling cleared maiden ranks at last Thursday's Wairarapa meeting like a horse capable of going on to much better things.
The Darci Brahma mare was caught wide from an outside draw in the 1000m race but produced a strong finish in the final 200m to score by 2- lengths.
It was her fourth start and followed a fourth and a second in two starts last season and a fresh up fourth at Gisborne last month.
Irish Fling is trained on the Hastings track by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen.
The 4-year-old was bred by Cambridge supermarket owner Tony Rider and is raced by the Pak n Save Syndicate, which is made up of him and a group of his employees.
The mare is certainly bred to be good as her dam is the O'Reilly mare Irish Belle, who won five races and whose dam Society Bay was a multiple stakes winner and successful in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) in Sydney.
Overdue first win Lady Chapel, part-owned by Napier woman Janet Hill, broke through for a well-deserved maiden win at Saturday's Matamata meeting.
The King's Chapel mare had recorded four seconds and three thirds from 16 previous starts, including two placings in stakes races as a 2-year-old last season.
She is trained at Te Awamutu by the father and son combination of Keith and Brendan Hawtin and raced by a group of women that also includes Keith Hawtin's wife.
Rider Mark Hills had Lady Chapel three back on the inside in the early stages of Saturday's 1200m event but then found himself blocked for a run early in the home straight.
He managed to angle the mare into the clear in the last 250m and she finished strongly to win by a short neck.
Janet Hill and her husband Derek were former shareholders in the good performers Seasquill and Danceforme.