Hypnos (NZ) Outstanding in Taranaki Cup

14 February 2022

Hypnos (NZ) charges clear to win the Gr.3 Taranaki Cup (2000m).

Classy Karaka graduate Hypnos (NZ) (Reliable Man) recorded his fourth black-type success with an emphatic win in Friday’s $85,000 Group Three Powerworx Taranaki Cup (2000m) at Awapuni.

Previously the winner of the Group Two Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m), Group Three Spring Sprint (1400m) and Listed Uncle Remus Stakes (1400m), Hypnos was bought for just $50,000 by co-trainer Roger James at the 2017 Select Sale. He has now earned $449,293 in a 38-start career that has featured six wins, eight seconds and six thirds.

Hypnos had endured something of a win drought since his triumph in the Coupland’s Bakeries Mile in November of 2020, but in between times he had finished fourth in the Group One Captain Cook Stakes (1600m), second in the Group Three Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m), second in the Group Two Tauranga Stakes (1600m), second in the Group Three Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m) and third in the Group Two Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m).

He bounced back to winning form in style on Friday, scoring with ease in the hands of jockey Ryan Elliot. The six-year-old sat in a handy position throughout the 2000-metre feature and was poised to pounce at the home turn, and he quickly bounded past the front-runner The Mitigator (Master Of Design) early in the straight.

Hypnos lengthened stride and went clear through the last 300 metres, winning by a length and three-quarters from the fast-finishing Zola Express (NZ) (Shamexpress).

James took special satisfaction from Friday’s victory with Hypnos, who is owned by long-time stable clients Ron and Fran Dixon.

“I got a big thrill out of it,” said James, who trains in partnership with Robert Wellwood. “He is not the easiest horse at distances further than a mile, but he has always had a lot of class and he is an elder statesman in our stable now.

“It was for my first-ever owner, and he and his wife have become great friends. We have had wonderful success over the years, it just meant a lot to us to do that today. He is probably getting to the twilight of his career and that was a neat win.

“All season his runs haven’t been bad, they have lacked a bit of luck – except his last start, when he ruined his chances by pulling far too hard on not a real genuine pace.

“He probably goes to the paddock now and we will look at another prep in the spring.”

Vendor Westbury Stud
Purchaser Mr RA James (Cambridge)
Breeding Reliable Man – Quality Dream
Sale Lot 962, 2017 Select Sale, $50,000
Bred by G Harvey