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Good times rolling again with Hypnos

3 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

It may have only been a midweek victory at a modest Waipukurau meeting, but it gave trainer Roger James a huge degree of satisfaction. (Photo: Race Images)

He sent Hypnos (NZ) (Reliable Man {GB}) south from his Cambridge base for the Michelle Ormsby/Bernard Booth Maiden and the good-looking 3-year-old produced a quality performance on debut for two of the stable’s longest-standing owners.

“He’s a lovely horse who let himself down in his second trial when he did quite a lot wrong,” said James, who now trains in partnership with Robert Wellwood. “I was going to take him back to the trials but thought no, race day speed is what he needs and Jason (Waddell) rode him beautifully.”

“He’s a lovely horse who let himself down in his second trial when he did quite a lot wrong.” – Roger James.

Hypnos as a yearling

Hypnos is raced by former Wellington Racing Club president Ron Dixon and his wife Fran, who have had horses with James since the late 1980s.

“I’ve had a wonderful run with them, we’ve certainly had a lot of success,” James said. “We’ve become good friends and they actually commissioned me to buy my first-ever yearling. That was Tethys and he was a Group 1 winner.”

Tethys (NZ) (King’s Island {IRE}) claimed the G1 Avondale Gold Cup and further top-flight success was to follow with two sons of Zabeel (NZ) - Cronus won the G1 Adelaide Cup and Hades triumphed in the G1 New Zealand Derby.

Cronus (red and white check) winning the G1 Adelaide Cup in 1997

“Kaatoon and Hera were two very good fillies as well and they both won a Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic.” – Roger James.

“Kaatoon and Hera were two very good fillies as well and they both won a Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic,” James said. “Hera won two Group races before she was sold.”

Skoozi (NZ) (Prince Of Praise {NZ}) was another smart performer for the trio and won the Listed Anniversary Handicap placed in the G1 Thorndon Mile and the G1 Queensland Derby.

“It’s been a while since we had a good one and I’ve been frustrated by that because they are such good owners,” James said. “Hopefully, this bloke might be one in a bit more time and when he gets over ground. He’s not the finished article yet, but he’s a good type.”

Perfect opening to career

Hypnos settled midfield on the fence before rider Jason Waddell got him into the clear before the turn and he lengthened stride impressively to deliver at the first time of asking.

He was purchased out of Westbury Stud’s draft at Karaka in 2017 by James for NZ$50,000 and is a son of the unraced Quality Dream (Elusive City {USA}).

Her dam is the G2 Royal S., winner Dreamworks (NZ) (Maroof {USA}) and Hypnos’ third dam is the Listed Doomben Classic winner and two-time Group 1 placegetter Slancyhvah (NZ) (Kaapstad).

Watch: Hypnos as a yearling