‘Gingernuts’ Army Strides Into Town Chasing Spring Carnival
‘Gingernuts’ Army Strides Into Town Chasing Spring Carnival Double
The hype is building ahead of the Bostock New Zealand Spring Racing Carnival grand finale, with a growing pack of ‘Gingernuts’ fans set to fire up the racecourse with a sea of orange.
A capacity crowd of over 6,000 is expected to take in Saturday’s racing action and there’s one horse a legion of fans from around New Zealand will be flocking to see – hot favourite ‘Gingernuts’.
The redhead horse with the kiwi classic name and his colourful entourage of owners is rousing a level of public interest rarely seen in racing, and when he steps out in the Livamol Classic there’ll be a groundswell of orange caps to cheer him on.
Hawke’s Bay Racing CEO Butch Castles says having a horse with the rags to riches story, personality and ability of ‘Gingernuts’ is generating huge economic upside for the Club.
“Having a horse like ‘Gingernuts’ coming to Hastings is certainly creating a buzz and will help with the walk up crowd. Gingernuts inspired some phenomenal support on the tote prior to the running of the Windsor Park Plate and I’d expect the G-Nuts fans to put their money where their mouth is again!”
Purchased for $42,500 as a two year old by astute racing identity David Ellis , ‘Gingernuts’ has proved a handsome investment for his 42 owners, going on to win New Zealand’s richest Group 1 race the NZ Derby before claiming victory in the Windsor Park Plate. So far ‘Gingernuts’ has bagged a packet in winnings, racking up 3 Gp1 victories and over $1.2 million in prize money for his owners.
Over 30 of the Gingernuts Syndicate will descend on course at Hastings on Saturday, all decked in tangerine accesories and bright orange caps emblazoned with the horse’s catch cry “Got the bickies”.
So what’s behind the name? Advertising maestro and part owner Blair Alexander explains.
“He (the horse) is bright red or ginger so we started throwing names around like ‘Red Sheeran’ and ‘Eddie Redmane’ but ‘Gingernuts’ was so catchy, we voted and the name stuck. Redheads have been the butt of jokes for years which is what I think endears him to a lot of his fans.
“It doesn’t sound like the name of a fast horse but as it turns out, ‘Gingernuts’ is super fast!”
Blair Alexander says what started as a bit of fun is snowballing into a social media frenzy.
“The number of Facebook postings and requests for information about the horse is unreal,” he said.
“The requests for our special orange caps is also growing so when he hits Hastings you will definitely know the Gingernuts Army is in town.”
Te Akau trained ‘Gingernuts’ is targeting a Spring Carnival double before heading to Australia for the Caulfield Cup and a possible tilt at the Melbourne Cup.
Co-trainer Jamie Richards is having the ride of his life.
“This horse has become quite an attraction which is great for the sport. The combination of his name, his lively group of owners and ‘Gingernuts’’ laid back attitude is really capturing the public’s imagination.”
When it comes to the crunch this Saturday, can ’Gingernuts’’ steal the bickies again? Part owner Blair Alexander says “Hell yeah!”
“Hawke’s Bay will know we’ve won if we do! We’ll be hitting Havelock North and might even end up at a winery on the Sunday, but win, lose or draw, we hope to do that anyway. It’s a great excuse to get everyone together and make a real weekend of it enjoying great food and wine in the Hawke’s Bay.”
And for fans who fancy ‘Gingernuts’, the flavour continues with his little brother ‘Griffin’ set to feature in the Sacred Falls Hawke’s Bay Guineas.