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  • Writer's pictureBrian Cross

Uptown Funk goes out for a well-deserved spell

After a great run of early-winter form, Uptown Funk told us he wasn’t quite right when he failed to fire at Addington last Friday. A spell was already the plan after this race, and he showed us he is ready for it. He moves to the paddock after well and truly demonstrating the ability Trent Yesberg had recognised from an early age.

Trent secured Uptown Funk (Art Major – Uptown Attitude) at the 2021 NZ Bloodstock Yearling Sales. However his familiarity with the horse goes back further than that. While doing contract work at Dancingonmoonlight Farm, Trent handled the horse as a weanling. “I really liked the look of him, he was very mature and had a lot of class about him.” says Trent. “When the opportunity came at the Sales I thought $50,000 was good value.”

Racing six times a 2yo, Arnold as he’s known round the stable didn’t have a lot of luck. His first start saw him burned up early in a last-to-first sprint, puncturing a tyre in the process. That was unfortunate for a trainer who is very patient with young horses and wants them to have good experiences as they learn about racing. “He wasn’t quite right after that,” says Trent. A minor placing at Oamaru was all he had to show for his first campaign.

Returning as a 3yo and after beating race winners at the trials, it only took two starts for Uptown Funk to clear maidens in May. That was at Rangiora when driven by Ricky May who would become his regular driver.

Uptown Funk in full flight winning his maiden race at Rangiora

He then had a hoof issue which affected his form for a while, until in July he thrilled his connections and supporters with back to back wins at Addington. In the second of those, Ricky had a prior commitment and John Dunn drove a superb race to consign the champion reinsman to second with the favourite!

Despite his ability, when Uptown Funk is not totally happy he shows it. “After some hard racing, something’s niggling him right now,” says Trent.

He may not be one of those warhorses we read about. But with some time out and Trent’s attention to detail when he returns, the horse’s sheer ability will take him a long way. That’s the hope anyway. In the meantime his owners are taking plenty of satisfaction out of his success to date and considering what the future may hold.

Uptown Funk takes a break before aiming for some of the bigger 3yo races later in the year, hopefully racing in Cup and Show Week - always a highlight for any owner.

Connections enjoy win number two at Addington, July 2023


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