Fast finishing Hula Lua

Feb 09, 2013

Always well regarded by the stable, promising mare Hula Lua was impressive saluting second up at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

Catching the eye with a strong late finish when resuming over 1532m at Mornington late last month, the New Zealand bred mare appreciated a quick step up to 2040m and she was always travelling well for apprentice Adam McCabe.

"He gave her a good ride," Michael Kent noted, adding that "she looked pretty dangerous from the 1000m."

"We are really pleased to have her in form," he continued - "I rate her a fair bit which is why she went to Queensland last year - I thought she could win the Oaks but she didn't get a run."

To be stepped up to Saturday city class, Hula Lua may then campaign in Sydney - "there are some nice staying races for her up there," Kent said.

Raced by Andrew Reichard (who runs popular breeding magazine Bluebloods), Michael Hewett, the Darling Heart Syndicate (manager Peter Matthews), John O'Brien, Maria Vidovich, Robert Hewett and Charles Fipke, Hula Lua has won three of her first seven starts.

By Danehill's Group One Phoenix Stakes winner Spartacus, Hula Lua - a descendant of the famed matriarch La Troienne - is out of a half-sister to the stakes winner Hulachine from the family of big race winners Hulastrike, Hula Chief, Hula Drum, Go For Gin, Pleasant Tap and Silent Achiever.

Hula Lua was purchased for her owners by New Zealand bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo who accompanied Andrew Reichard on a tour of Hunter Valley studs a few years ago.

"Friends had asked me to find a horse for us to race together," Reichard recalled, "and Phill found Hula Lua who had shown ability at the trials in New Zealand."

"Mick got a few more people in and after she ran on nicely at her first start he told us she was showing good staying potential so we thought we'd have a crack at the Queensland Oaks but she ended up second emergency.

Patience has paid dividends however, Hula Lua given "a nice long break" after her trip north - returning all the stronger and more mature.

"She is shaping up very well," Reichard enthused, adding that "she has been a lot of fun so far!"