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13/12/2013 Waller hoping Villiers history can repeat
A change in the Villiers Stakes distance could work to
leading trainer Chris Waller's advantage for a second
time on Saturday.
Waller will start topweight Coup Ay Tee (NZ) (Danske) as
well as Said Com (NZ) (O'Reilly) in the $175,000 Group Two
that has been shortened from 1600m to 1550m because
racing has been switched from the Randwick course proper
to the Kensington track.
He says the reduction in distance will help Said Com, just
as it did in the post-equine influenza era as he trained Honor
In War (Lord At War) to beat Takeover Target (Celtic Swing) on
protest when a rescheduled Villiers was run over 1400m in
Waller prefers Said Com over Coup Ay Tee as his best
chance for a small piece of Villiers history to repeat itself.
"With the weights I'd be leaning to Said Com," he said.
"I don't know if he is a genuine miler so it is a bit of a relief
to see the race back to 1550 metres."
A Hugh Bowman mount, Said Com completed his Villiers
build-up in the Festival Stakes when he finished off late to run
fifth to White Sage (Reset).
"He's had the right preparation, he's well weighted and
he's well drawn so there will be no excuses on Saturday," Waller said.
Waller is cautious about the prospects of Coup Ay Tee who
returns to Sydney racing with the burden of 59k.
"There are other horses as good as him in the race but
they are still getting to the top whereas he's already there," Waller said.
"Therefore they have got a weight relief and that's how
For the best odds visit bookmaker.com
13/12/2013 Country Cups hero chasing metro success
Country Cups specialist Gottino (NZ) (Johar) is
continuing to try his luck in the big smoke with new
trainer Dan O'Sullivan convinced the six-year-old is up
to a metropolitan level of racing.
Under the guidance of part-owner and trainer Ken Moore,
Gottino has cut a swathe through country Victoria races
during the last 12 months winning a swag of Cups, including
the Ararat Gold Cup.
But with a city win proving elusive, Moore has had to hand
over the training to O'Sullivan following arm surgery.
O'Sullivan paid tribute to Moore's training and especially
his placing of Gottino, saying he did a terrific job.
Gottino's next city assignment is the $100,000 Zouki
Western Health Cup (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
"I've always had this in mind for him," said O'Sullivan.
"I think he has been looking for 2000 metre-plus distances
as he has got older."
Since O'Sullivan took over Gottino's training, the gelding
has run fourth at Moonee Valley behind Lord Wimble and
sixth last week behind Lord Durante at Caulfield.
"I have no doubt he is up to city class with both those runs
being worthy," O'Sullivan said.
"There should be no excuses for him because this race is
the right distance."
His belief that Gottino, a $17 chance behind the $2.70
favourite Electric Fusion (Fastnet Rock), has got what it takes
was confirmed when Glen Boss, who rode the son of Johar at
Moonee Valley, agreed to ride him again on Saturday.
"Glen was happy to stick with him so that showed me the
horse has the ability," O'Sullivan said.
Gottino's next race after Saturday is shaping up as the
Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on New Year's
during his New
For the best odds visit bookmaker.com
Pelicano wins the 2013 Parramatta Cup in driving rain at Rosehill Gardens
Tony McEvoy believes Pelicano is better placed than 12 months ago ahead of Sunday’s Werribee Cup
Tony McEvoy is hoping Pelicano can claim a fourth Stakes victory this year when he takes his place in Sunday’s $120,000 Listed TAB Werribee Cup (2600m).
Coming off a runner-up finish in the $200,000 Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m), the son of Court Of Jewels also finished second in the Ballarat Cup last year before running fifth in the Werribee Cup as the $1.75 favourite.
Though he will carry 5.5kg more than he did 12 months ago, McEvoy believes the five-year-old is a better horse this time around.
“I thought his run in the Ballarat Cup this year was probably a bit better than last year considering the weight he had to carry on a heavy track,” McEvoy said.
“He probably didn’t quite stay the 2600m in the Werribee Cup last year but in saying that he was only beaten a length-and-a-half so he wasn’t far away.
“Glen Boss gave him a beautiful ride but he was on the inside locked away and he just couldn’t quite build his momentum.”
Drawn in barrier five of the ten horse field for Luke Nolen, McEvoy said it was a perfect draw.
“He’s been frustrated with wide barriers lately but he should get a nice run from there,” he said.
“I’m hoping that from the barrier Luke will be able to ride him really patiently and I’m really pleased with him going into the race.
“He’s done really well since Ballarat. He’s trained on beautifully and he’s a very fit horse. He’s just been doing long staying work and is really thriving.”
Though he is yet to win beyond 2400m, McEvoy said if Pelicano ran out the 2600m strongly on Sunday then he would consider aiming the gelding at the $150,000 Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on January 1.
Joining Pelicano at the top of the Werribee Cup weights is Darren Weir’s Hurdy Gurdy Man.
Set to start alongside Pelicano in barrier six, the six-year-old will be searching for a third country cup win this preparation to add to his victories in the Murtoa (2050m) and Hamilton (2200m) Cups.
Other key barrier draws include David Hayes’ dual Stakes-winning mare Unchain My Heart who will start from barrier two, barrier eight for the Mike Moroney trained Garud, barrier three for Melbourne Cup Day winner Mujadale and gate four for You Think So in his quest to provide trainer Mick Kent with back-to-back Werribee Cups.
The TAB Werribee Cup is scheduled to jump at 3.58pm, with Sunday’s eight-race program set to kick off at 1.00pm.
By Ben Asgari
Flamberge scores first-up at Caulfield
Straight-track lover on trial for feature summer sprint
Peter Moody is hoping to cash in on Flamberge’s liking for the famed Flemington straight in coming weeks.
Melbourne’s premier trainer has the diminutive gelding in the $80,000 Lanec Services Handicap (1000m), which he is a using as a lead-up to the $150,000 Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) on New Year’s Day.
The son of Exceed And Excel has had three starts at Flemington for two wins and a Listed second placing and Moody hopes his liking for the track will offset the jump to 57.5kg for the last-start Caulfield winner.
“He does love the straight, he’s from a good straight-track family,” Moody said of the brother to Sunburnt Land and Curtana, who were both Group 1-placed up the straight.
“Eleven-hundred (metres) back to 1000 is probably not the ideal scenario, but he has pleased us and his main aim is the race on New Year’s Day.
“That’s the race we’re aiming him at, so you’d want to see him run well in a 0-84. He’s up a lot in weight, he pays the penalty there, but he’s in good shape.”
Flamberge resumed with a strong win, when carrying 52kg, over stablemate Infinite Energy at Caulfield on 30 November.
That win took his record to four victories from 11 starts, with five minor placings, and Moody has been pleasantly surprised with how he has continued to rise through the grades given his small stature.
“I always told (owner) David Moodie I thought he would struggle because of his size, but he’s continued to make a mug out of me which I’m very pleased about,” he said.
Flamberge is the $3.20 favourite for the Lanec Services Handicap, which is Race 3 on the eight-event card.
The Western Health Community Raceday proved a good Standish Handicap pointer last year with Adamantium winning the open 1200m sprint before going on to claim the Standish.
Adamantium’s stablemate Decircles is the $4.20 favourite for this year’s open sprint, the $80,000 ISIS Handicap, in which Infinite Energy shares the $6.50 second line with By The Way and Morant.
By Brad Bishop
Prettyhappyaboutit, inside, wins at Moonee Valley on 15 November
Mare chasing back-to-back wins in Moonee Valley speed series
Prettyhappyaboutit missed out on securing a Mazda for trainer Robbie Griffiths last start, but she gets another shot at it tonight at Moonee Valley.
The Listed winner goes in search of back-to-back Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge heat wins when she runs in the $55,000 event that is the eighth heat of the series that offers a car to the trainer of the horse who clocks the fastest time across the Night Racing Season.
Prettyhappyaboutit won her heat in 55.94 seconds – 0.39secs outside the benchmark time, held by Thiamandi – on 15 November, but Griffiths said the suitability of the 955-metre races was the reason for her sticking with the series rather than any desire by him to upgrade his garage.
“The series is a bonus if you get the car, but with her it is more that these type of races suit her style of racing,” Griffiths said.
“So she may as well have a crack at both. She’s effective around the Valley, that was proven off a freshen up and if she can do the same again on Friday night she’ll probably go back there on the 28th for a normal mares’ race.”
Prettyhappyaboutit, the daughter of Magnus, carried 54kg to victory in fillies and mares’ heat of the Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge and rises to 57kg tomorrow night after the claim for Harry Coffey.
The four-year-old drew barrier 11 and the early scratching of Bawcatme and She’s Ellie mean barrier 10 is the best she can hope for, but Griffiths if confident she can get the job done providing she gets the right run.
“If the speed map works out and she gets a good run in transit, you would think that she’s the right mare to be very hard to beat because she’s in form – she won there last start – she comes in well with Harry’s claim and is only two (kilograms) over the minimum.
“There are a lot of plusses providing she gets fair luck from the barrier.”
Prettyhappyaboutit is one of two runners for Griffiths in the 55 Second Challenge heat with God’s Own five-year-old Manor Lady also engaged.
April Rose, a winner of six of her nine starts, Lamingtons, Minnymoo and four-length Cranbourne maiden winner Sassy Tycoon among the Griffiths pair’s rivals.
The 55 Second Challenge duo form part of a strong Valley hand for Griffiths, who will also see Chow Meow chase a fourth-straight win in the following event – the $35,000 SPP Group Handicap (1200m).
The Tale of the Cat four-year-old followed a first-up Traralgon win with three-length Cranbourne blitz and Griffiths excited about his chances providing he handles the track.
“He’s drawn four, he has 60 kilos but he’s probably deserves it, and while he’s never been to the track you’d think that he’s got the right type of style to handle it,” he said. “He’s won Traralgon.
“He’s trained on really well (since Cranbourne) and I think he has to be a great chance.”
Griffiths’ other runners are King’s Spirit in the $35,000 Charter Keck Cramer Maiden Plate (1200m) that kicks off the meeting at 6.45pm and Madam Archer, who is an emergency for the final event on the card.
By Brad Bishop
Morning Rise Stud's star mare Yosei, pictured here winning the Thousand Guineas
Barbara and Robert McClure looking to cap a hugely successful year with exciting Flemington debutant
Few have had as big a year in racing as Victorian owners and breeders Barbara and Robert McClure.
Emirates Melbourne Cup success, a breeding coup and the impressive start to the careers of a number of young horses have ensured the couple will never forget their feats of 2013.
On Saturday, two-year-old filly La Cicciolina will be out to continue their hot run and book a place in next month’s $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast when she makes her debut in the $80,000 LeadWest Plate (1000m) at Flemington.
A filly by Darley stallion Bernadini, La Cicciolina is trained by David Hayes and is one of five juveniles kicking off their careers in the opening race on Saturday’s card.
Raced by Barbara McClure and close friends, La Cicciolina is eligible to collect a $500,000 bonus distributed to the first four all-female owned or leased horses past the post in the Magic Millions Classic on 11 January.
“If she wins on Saturday or runs well enough to suggest there’s some improvement then we’ll keep her on the Magic Millions path,” Barbara McClure said.
“She was purchased on her breeding and on the basis that she could be a chance of making it to the Magic Millions.”
“The main reason we bought this filly was that her dam, Chuckle, ran second in a Magic Millions Classic, as well as second in a Silver Slipper and a Sweet Embrace Stakes.”
The couple, who operate Morning Rise Stud on the Mornington Peninsula, have tasted huge success on and off the track this year, most notably as shareholders in a syndicate that part-owns Emirates Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente.
While Fiorente’s Cup win is undoubtedly their most notable success on the track to date, it wasn’t the McClure’s first taste of victory at racing’s highest level, with the pair racing popular three-time Group 1 winner Yosei, a mare who is now in foal to Fastnet Rock.
“Obviously our biggest success was the Melbourne Cup as we’re shareholders in Fiorente.” Robert McClure said.
“We’re breeders, we have Morning Rise Stud in Red Hill and our major claim to fame as far as racing goes is that we were 50% shareholders in Yosei who won three Group 1 races.
“She’s in foal to Fastnet Rock and she actually left last night (from the Hunter Valley in NSW) to come home so we’ll be hoping for a nice result next year.”
And while 2013 has been massive, the New Year poses the opportunity for more success with the Mcclure name also appearing in the racebook alongside nine-length debut winner West Africa and $1 million yearling purchase Monkstone.
“We’ve currently got a share in West Africa with Mark Kavanagh and we’re very hopeful with him,” McClure said
“I think he’s going to have his next start at Moonee Valley on Friday night (next week).
“We’ve got shares in a horse called Monkstone who we bred and we’ve got quite a few with Gai (Waterhouse) as well."
In addition to the prospect of a massive Magic Millions windfall on the Gold Coast, La Cicciolina is nominated for Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold and can collect some of the $50,000 in bonuses offered in Saturday’s race.
McClure said the popular Victorian schemes were vital for both breeders and potential buyers and the incentives on the track made it attractive to retain shares in many of the horses he breeds.
“Being a breeder, VOBIS is pretty important to us and it does assist us at sales and it’s a very good scheme.”
By James Tzaferis
Ginga Dude has taken to his new training for Gallaway. Image: BW Photography
Ginga Dude, pictured here winning the Coongy Stakes at Caufield
Kath Gallaway has retired racehorse Ginga Dude on track for a successful transition into post-racing career
He was an enduring star on the racetrack in a career spanning seven seasons and now retired 10-year-old galloper Ginga Dude looks set to make a successful transition to the show ring.
Ginga Dude will be a familiar name to many racing fans, with the galloper having claimed feature Stakes races in his native New Zealand, Victoria and Queensland.
In the care of Queensland horsewoman Kath Gallaway since his retirement from racing late last season, the imposing chestnut gelding has already made his show debut and will chase feature success in 2014.
“He only finished racing in June and he’s already attended two shows,” Gallaway said.
“There aren’t huge expectations with him although he is going to be a very nice horse.
“He’s in full preparation for Toowoomba Royal next year and hopefully he can do quite well up there.”
Gallaway has around 10 horses in her stables at any one time, mostly ex-racehorses, that she rides, trains and finds suitable homes for, and was contacted by Gold Coast trainer Tracey Wolfgram about adding Ginga Dude to her watch.
A winner of 15 races and more than $1.1 million in prizemoney for trainer Graeme Boys and connections, Ginga Dude was a dual-Group 2 winner and was placed in Group 1 events on three occasions, including behind champion So You Think in the 2010 Mackinnon Stakes.
“I’ve taken a couple of horses from Tracey Wolfgram on the Gold Coast and Graeme actually had him stabled next to Tracey’s racehorses,” Gallaway said.
“Tracey had sent me a message telling me there was a horse looking for a new home and at the particular time I was full up and told her that I couldn’t take another horse.
“She told me he was a really nice looking horse and he’d done a fair bit on the track so I asked her to send me some pictures so I could try to find the right home.
“I did actually put a post on Facebook about him and because he was a giveaway I got absolutely inundated with enquiries.”
The response was overwhelming and the story could’ve ended with Gallaway pairing Ginga Dude with another rider but instead she chose to take a look at the horse in person.
While he was still recovering from his final racetrack appearance, when last of 16 runners in the Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m), Gallaway saw potential in the horse and decided to take him on.
“I knew he was a little bit light on because held had a hard run in the Ipswich Cup at his last start and Graeme had said he might need a couple of weeks off.”
“I told them I would pick him up and make an assessment and see what we could do but when I got down there I was just in awe of the horse, he was just a beauty.”
“I still am going to find him a home but now that I know the horse and the fact that he’s a bit older the home I’ll find for him will be a forever home because I don’t want to see the horse sold from pillar to post.”
The galloper had built an intimate bond with Boyd during his 60-start racing career and Gallaway admits the son of Istidaad struggled when he first arrived at her Greenbank property.
But Ginga Dude has since picked up in his condition following a visit from Boyd and feature show events in the New Year are firmly on the radar.
“He crashed quite hard in the first month which I don’t think was from feed or lack of racing,” Gallaway said.
“The relationship he has with Graeme Boyd is just phenomenal and you could just see he was depressed because Graeme gave him so much one on one attention from when he was a yearling.
“Graeme was still in Queensland at the time and while the horse was coming along slowly in condition I asked him to come up and see the horse and when he pulled up at the front gate the horse literally went running to him.”
While she has worked closely with other horse breeds, Gallaway admits that thoroughbreds hold a special place in her heart and she takes great satisfaction from seeing them succeed in post-racing pursuits.
“I do love a thoroughbred and I’ve dealt with a lot of breeds before going down this path and I find thoroughbreds very easy to read,” Gallaway said.
“Each one is different and I like that they are more refined, they’ve just got that elegance and presence about them.
It’s nice to be able to go down this path and give them a start outside of racing because I think they all deserve it.”
12/12/2013 Repauric has Fred Cooper Cup in sights
Reliable veteran Rapauric is more than capable of winning his second Fred Cooper Cup at Goulburn on Thursday, according to owner Mauro Poletti.
Rapauric won last year’s edition as a $7.50 chance with Lester Grace in the saddle and will have the same jockey in charge in the $20,000 feature race which honours the work of long serving club official Fred Cooper.
Below: Goulburn stalwart Fred Cooper
Twelve months ago, Rapauric was able to add to his impressive record at Goulburn where he now has raced eight times for four wins and three seconds.
Poletti, who trains the nine-year-old in partnership with Amanda Turner, said the stable favourite was capable of another win.
“He still has the zest for racing and winning again isn’t beyond him,” he said.
“If you count his fourth placings he has been in the money at about fifty per cent of his starts.”
Rapauric was purchased as a yearling as an afterthought for $25,000 and has since earned $185,000.
He has raced 95 times – a feat in itself for most racehorses – for 12 wins and plenty of great memories.
“I was in a meeting and couldn’t make the yearling sale so my father attended and bought Rapauric instead,” he said.
“He has the nickname Rocky on his door and has been with us for about eight years.
“He always gives his best and even though he hasn’t won this campaign he is racing well enough to win again.”
Last start Goulburn winner Faust will carry 61.5 kilograms – one kilogram more than he lumped to victory last time.
The winner of three of his 11 starts will be having his third start back from a spell for Goulburn trainer Danny Williams.
Defenceman and Central Act both started in the Bong Bong Picnic Cup last start, while Druid, Heysen, Setta Rocks and Recess add to an evenly graded line-up.
Last year at the corresponding meeting, trainer Guy Walter won the first three races and four overall and will be represented by four runners on Thursday.
In other races, impressive debut winner Kazoom for Williams appeals as a strong chance while the clash of Bella Kuria and last start winners Miss Espresso and Trafalgar Belle is another highlight.
For the best odds on today's Goulburn meeting visit bookmaker.com
12/12/2013 Light autumn for Lloyd’s stars
Fawkner and his fellow Macedon Lodge big names are in for light autumn preparations
Spring 2014 the priority for Macedon Lodge guns
The autumn features are likely to be run without Macedon Lodge stars with leading owner Lloyd Williams favouring giving his A-graders light campaigns with a view to the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Williams this morning said he and private trainer Robert Hickmott were unlikely to be represented in the autumn majors with his big-name performers likely to have one run at the most.
“(There are) no plans for autumn,” Williams said via text. “One run (then) spell, some will have no runs. (We’re) not going to any of the big races.
“It’s too hard to win in the Spring if you have a major autumn prep.”
Williams is yet to decide whether any of his big three – Green Moon, Fawkner and Sea Moon – will be among those who have an autumn cameo.
Williams had a bigger-than-usual presence at the Melbourne Festival of Racing earlier this year, starting three horses in the $1 million Darley Australian Cup – Tanby (third), Green Moon (fourth) and Mourayan (eighth).
The latter then continued on to Sydney where he won the Group 1 Sydney Cup.
Mourayan was one of six horses Williams started in the Emirates Melbourne Cup, finishing 15th. BMW Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner was the best of Williams’ Melbourne Cup brigade, finishing sixth, while Seville (12th), Sea Moon (13th), Masked Marvel (18th) and Green Moon (21st) were Macedon Lodge’s other runners.
By Brad Bishop
12th December 2013
A total of 14 horses will start in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes over 1550m at Randwick-Kensington on Saturday.
The Chris Waller trained Coup Ay Tee will share the load of topweight with Western Symbol out of the Gai Waterhouse camp.
Below: Tommy Berry will reunite with Western Symbol for the Group 2 Villiers Stakes
The two runners will each carry 59kg and are the highest rated horses in the field, with a benchmark rating of 103.
Coup Ay Tee's last run was in the Group 2 Bakeries Mile at Riccarton Park in November where the six-year-old finished sixth, starting at $6.
That run might be what the gelding needs to edge out the field, although Western Symbol has not had a race start since the seven-year-old injured a tendon and finished third in the 2012 City Tattersalls Club Cup.
Meanwhile Zaratone and Heat Testa will duel once again when the two start in the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap over 1150m.
The pair met in the Listed Starlight Stakes at Rosehill Gardens in November where Zaratone got the better of Heart Testa when winning by 1-3/4 lengths.
Saturday's Randwick-Kensington meeting will feature eight races with the track currently rated good (3).
On the provincial racing circuit, Illawarra Turf Club received 129 nominations for their seven race TAB program on Saturday.
Also racing on Saturday is Albury Racing Club, which received 128 nominations for their seven race program; Port Macquarie (TAB); Moulamein and Gosford (picnic meeting).
For the best odds on Saturday's Villier's race visit bookmaker.com
Chris Calthorpe set to make his metropolitan Saturday training debut in style
Working as a horse trainer can be hard enough, let alone when you juggle it with running a domestic horse transport business.
But that is exactly what Geelong-based trainer Chris Calthorpe does.
Calthorpe has owned Air Horse Transport with his brother David for 15 years and juggles the day-to-day management of the business with training a team of 12 horses.
Already with three winners to his name since taking out his training license in April, Calthorpe will saddle his first Saturday metropolitan runner when two-year-old colt Armageddon On It lines up in the $80,000 LeadWest Plate (1000m) at Flemington.
Asked he how manages the two separate jobs, 41-year-old Calthorpe admitted there wasn’t too much time for sleep.
‘It’s pretty full on,” Calthorpe said. “Most of the time the horses fly at night, anywhere from 9.00pm till 5.00am.
“In between not much sleep and having good staff the job gets done.”
Bred by Calthorpe’s good friend Aaron Bott, Calthorpe said Bott had offered the son of Domesday at the 2012 Inglis Classic Sale only for the horse to have been passed in.
“Aaron and I are pretty good mates,” he said. “We’ve known each other for years and I was up there at the sales and I’d only had my training license for a month and when he was passed in Aaron asked me if I’d take him and train him.
“He was broken-in at the Hunter Valley and when he came down to me at Geelong he was in really good order and he’s just flourished since and developed into a lovely colt.
“This is my first runner for Aaron so hopefully we can get a bit of luck. It would be a great result if he could run in the money, but it’s just nice to have the horse get to the races considering he was passed in at the sales and he wasn’t the best looking yearling at the time.”
Calthorpe’s only metropolitan runner so far was Young Nicola who finished third in a maiden on a heavy track at Sandown in June.
Given a barrier trial at Cranbourne on November 25 in which he finished second, Calthorpe said he instructed James Winks to give Armageddon On It “a good hit out” in the trial to get a guide on his ability.
“When James came back after the trial I asked him if we would be kidding ourselves going to a race at Flemington and he said ‘you’ve got a nice little colt on your hands have a crack’,” Calthorpe said.
“Obviously we’ll see how he goes on Saturday first but because he was in the Inglis Classic Sale he’s nominated for the $250,000 Inglis Classic (1200m) race in Sydney on the 18th of January.
“If everything works out and pulled up well and there’s no reason to pull the pin on the preparation with him then that race would be an option for him going forward.”
Armageddon On has drawn in barrier seven of the nine horse field on Saturday for Winks, with the race also offering $50,000 worth of Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold bonuses on top of the $80,000 prize money for qualified gallopers.
As well as Shane Nichols’ Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) hopeful I Am The General, the race also features well-bred first starters from the powerful David Hayes, Peter Snowden and Mark Kavanagh stables.
Other highlights on Saturday’s eight-race Western Health Community Race Day include the $100,000 Johnstaffs Projects Handicap (1410m), as well as the feature $100,000 Zouki Western Health Cup (2000m).
The racing action kicks off at Flemington with the LeadWest Plate at 12.50pm and concludes with the $80,000 Western Health Handicap (1410m) at 5.30pm.
By Ben Asgari
Bet early and get the best odds for this Saturday's meetings visit bookmaker.com
Prince Harada (pictured winning his second start at Moonee Valley)
Boom colt back bigger and stronger ahead of Australian Guineas mission
Exciting three-year-old Prince Harada is back in work and on a path towards the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 1.
Trainer Tony Vasil said the one-time BECK Caulfield Guineas favourite, who finished sixth in the $1 million three-year-old classic behind Long John, has matured both physically and mentally since the Spring.
“He had a lovely spell and is 35kgs heavier than what he was when he went out after the Caulfield Guineas,’ Vasil said.
“He’s matured and muscled up a bit more because he’s still been in a fairly active growth phase.
“He’s mentally more mature than he was and he’s ticking over very nicely. He’s in perfect order and he looks a treat.
“His goal in Melbourne is obviously the Australian Guineas and he’ll have two or three runs before that race. Which exact races they are I don’t want to really set down in concrete at the moment.”
After winning his first two starts, the son of Vasil’s former star galloper Haradasun then finished an unlucky runner-up in the Group 3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield, before twice running unplaced at Group 1 level.
Likely to be nominated for the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) in Sydney, Vasil said he doesn’t want to miss out should Prince Harada live up to his expectations and not be entered in any of the major Sydney autumn races.
“I think you have to pay up for those sort of races as insurance just to keep all the options open because if all of a sudden everything comes together and you’re not entered then you look silly,” he said.
“He’s a very good horse. I keep saying it but he’s a Group 1 horse in the making.
“He certainly runs a mile but I think he’ll run 2000m. It’s yet to be proven but my gut feeling is he will run 2000 because he settles and he seems even more settled in his demeanour than he was last time in work.”
Vasil said fellow three-year-old The Bowler will resume over 1200m at Moonee Valley on January 28 with his main target this preparation the Magic Millions 3YO Classic (1400m) on the Gold Coast.
By Ben Asgari
Under The Leaner wins, the first leg of a running double for Mark Zahra
Under The Leaner rediscovers winning feeling
Tony Vasil is always happy to prepare a winner, but he took special satisfaction out of Under The Leaner’s victory in today’s $35,000 Spinal Cord Injury Network Christmas Cup at Caulfield.
The four-year-old tested the patience of connections when he missed the start by big margins at two his two runs in October and some of the owners toyed with the idea of selling him.
But Caulfield-based Vasil convinced them to persist and after a second placing at Cranbourne on 22 November the son of Strada justified the trainer’s faith.
“We’ve had him at the gates a few times and done a bit of work with him, but last start he hadn’t run for a month with that drama of having to retrial and qualify him and he just probably got softened up in the run and then was left a sitting duck,” Vasil said.
“The managing part-owner Rod Lyons wanted to sack him and I said to him, ‘you’ve been very spoilt and had too many good horses in your life’.
“I said, ‘no, he’s going good this horse’, so it was very satisfying to see him win today.”
There was no sign of bad barrier manners as Under The Leaner jumped well and lobbed in the one-out, one-back position with Mark Zahra in the saddle.
Zahra edged the $10 chance to the outside rounding the home bend, when he set out after leader and well-backed favourite La Venta ($4 into $3.20) before reeling her in midway down the straight and edging away late for a comfortable 1.5-length win.
La Venta held second, a long head in front of the fast-finishing Nesbo ($3.70).
Although only the third victory of Under The Leaner’s 25-start career – and first since the Elvstroem Classic in June last year – he has run 11 minor placings since and Vasil is hopeful rediscovering that winning feeling will lead to more victories.
“He’s a nice style of horse and he’s very sound, so hopefully today’s an indication he’s starting to turn his mindset around.”
Under The Leaner’s victory was the first leg of a winning double for Zahra, who followed up with victory aboard Prince Stratum in the following event.
The four-year-old son of Stratum made it an Aquanita Racing running double when he cruised home by 3-1/4 lengths for Robert Smerdon.
By Brad Bishop
Five in Melbourne and Perth
for Aquanita Racing
11th December 2013
Robert Smerdon takes two onto his home track for an unusual midweek meeting at Caulfield. Of course with Sandown still down, the other metro track has taken up some slack.
Synthetic runs in race 4. This three year old ran home well for second at Cranbourne over 1200m and should be better again over seven furlongs.
Yet to miss a place in four runs, he has a lovely barrier to jump from in a big field which is generally a good spot to be from this starting position.
Looking for him to work to the line strongly.
Last start winner Prince Stratum tries to back that up with another win after missing a run at Moonee Valley last Friday night.
It was only a maiden but he put them away fairly easily that night. Despite winning, the blinkers have gone on and from this draw he can kick up and hold a position which he likes to do.
This appears an even field but he has as good a chance as any.
Hoping to get a deserved win on the board, Tony Vasil has Under The Leaner engaged over 1440m from a nice gate.
He has had a few hiccups this campaign, not having much luck and missing the start but jumped so much better last time and actually led most of the way.
It was only until the final 50m that he was run over. Doubt he will lead this field but taking up a position would not be unwise if he could.
It’s been a while since he won a race but he keeps putting in.
Ascot race on Wednesday and Simon Miller has two older horses entered.
The first of them is Jolly Moss resuming from a spell over 1200m. The four year old went out a winner at Pinjarra back in May.
He had a very consistent preparation, not being far from the winner each time after getting back in his races. From this barrier you would think that was the likely place he will race from. There looks several chances in this race.
Austerity Measures is the other and she has been charging through her grades before running to a tough line-up in Jungle Mist Classic.
Racing much more forward than her previous efforts, she couldn’t sustain that but with decent speed here, expecting she can resume normal duties and run home hard.
Back to the 1000m looks more her go as well so is a really good hope again.
Jazz Song after her Wangaratta win
Daughter of champion sire and Group 1 winner chasing city win
Top trainer Mick Price was happy to see a midweek meeting programmed for Caulfield today
It affords him the opportunity to get a look at promising three-year-old filly Jazz Song at metropolitan level, in a midweek setting, on her home track.
The daughter of Fastnet Rock and Group 1 winner Absolut Glam, whose only start produced an impressive Wangaratta maiden win, will run in the $35,000 Hardings Hardware Handicap (1440m).
Price considered it the ideal scenario for a filly who is still evolving as a racehorse.
“I’m not saying that she is a Group horse in the making, maybe she is, but she’ll need to keep improving,” Price said.
“She’s been a bit immature, she was the first foal (out of Absolute Glam) and she’s not overly robust, so we’ve had to give her a bit of time to furnish out a bit, which she’s started to do.
“She’s always been a pleasant, nice filly to train but she’s improved and she should go pretty well.”
Jazz Song overcame difficulty to win her 1170m Wangaratta race, encountering multiple bouts of interference before scoring by a length.
“It was a good first up victory because she had to weave a bit of passage to find the line. She had a bit of traffic in front of her and had to duck back in and look for a run and I thought her last 100 metres was good.
“I think she’s improved since she raced. She’ll have the run of the race (from barrier eight) and I think she’s a good winning chance.”
Jazz Song – who will be ridden by Dale Smith – is one of two Price-trained runners in the Hardings Hardware Handicap, joined by Titian Silk (Craig Newitt), who is having first run since finishing sixth at Ballarat in June.
Jazz Song is not the only promising Fastnet Rock youngster Price will unleash at Caulfield with Royal Ocean to debut in the $35,000 Beveridge Williams Plate (1000m) that kicks off the eight-race card.
The two-year-old was due to debut at Caulfield on 30 November, in the race won by stablemate Nordic Empire, but Price saved her for an easier option where she will clash with stablemate Ready to Fight.
Royal Ocean is owned in similar interests to another Price-trained runner, Cottonwood Grove, who will step out in the $35,000 Winslow Constructors benchmark 70 Handicap for three-year-olds.
That 1800m event, the second race on the card, showcases another blueblood with Championmet – a brother to former champion filly Samantha Miss – out to follow up a strong debut Kyneton win with victory in the 1800m event.
By Brad Bishop
Isabella Snowflake may yet resume her racing career
Quality sprinting mare recovering well from serious injury
The racing career of former promising sprinter Isabella Snowflake may not yet be over.
When the daughter of Not a Single Doubt severed a tendon in The Galaxy at Rosehill on 30 March it was thought she was destined for the breeding barn, but Price said she may yet be seen on a racetrack.
Although she remains on a rehabilitation program in the spelling paddock, Price said she had avoided any complications to this point and the likelihood was that she would be given every chance to resume her career.
“We’re a little bit optimistic,” the Caulfield horseman said.
“They’ve done a great job to ward off infection and all sorts of ugly possibilities with an injury that severe.
“I think she’ll be fine for breeding and we’re going to try at some stage to see if she can be a racehorse, but I’m not sure when.”
Isabella Snowflake has not raced since suffering the tendon injury when 10th of 13 in 1100m The Galaxy.
The four-year-old’s other five starts have produced four wins, including victory over Ready to Rip and Karuta Queen in the Listed Bob Hoysted Stakes (1000m), and a Listed third placing over 1200m.
B y Brad Bishop
Hurdy Gurdy Man wins the 2013 Hamilton Cup (Image: Todd's Photographics)
Hurdy Gurdy Man leads strong Werribee Cup nominations
Hurdy Gurdy Man heads a quality list of 19 nominations for Sunday’s $120,000 Listed TAB Werribee Cup (2600m) at Werribee.
Third in the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) last start, should Darren Weir accept with the six-year-old he will be out to claim a third country cup this campaign to add to his wins in the Murtoa (2050m) and Hamilton (2200m) Cups.
Joining Hurdy Gurdy Man at the top of the list of entries is the Tony McEvoy-trained Pelicano.
Coming off a runner-up finish in the Ballarat Cup for the second successive season, should the son of Court Of Jewels take his place on Sunday then McEvoy will be hoping he can improve on his fifth placed finish as an odds-on favourite in the race 12 months ago.
After winning the race last year with import Unusual Suspect, Mick Kent has nominated two runners in his quest to go back-to-back.
As well as Listed ADAPT Australia Night Cup (2500m) winner You Think So, Kent has also entered the lightly-raced VRC St Leger (2800m) runner-up Mcnulty.
Other key nominations in the race include dual Stakes-winner Unchain My Heart for Hall of Fame trainer David Hayes, Melbourne Cup Day victor Mujadale, ultra consistent stayer Crafty Cruiser, emerging four-year-old mare Spinderbella and the Mike Moroney-trained Garud.
Acceptances for the eight-race program close at 9.45am on Thursday with the final fields to be revealed later that morning.
By Ben Asgari
Power Princess (inside) runs 2nd behind Barakey in the 2012 Winterbottom Stakes (Image: Hollands Photography)
Classy mare heads a two-pronged Victorian charge for Simon Miller
Perth trainer Simon Miller will bring a two-pronged attack to Melbourne this summer headed by dual Group 1 placegetter Power Princess.
Runner-up behind Barakey in the 2012 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m), the daughter of Marwina also finished third behind legendary mare Black Caviar in the 2012 Sportingbet Classic (1200m).
After resuming with a narrow runner-up finish behind Barakey in the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m), the seven-year-old finished sixth behind Buffering in the 2013 Winterbottom before a fast-finishing third in the Group 3 A.J. Scahill Stakes (1400m).
Miller said Power Princess will have the first run of a possible three-start Victorian campaign in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 25, where she will face a likely rematch with 2013 Winterbottom Stakes runner-up Moment Of Change.
“The Australia Stakes will be a fork in the road,” Miller said.
“Depending on how she goes, she can either then go to the (Group 1) Orr Stakes (1400m) or the Group 3 Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) against her own sex (both on February 8 at Caulfield).
“The plan at the moment is to give her a couple of weeks in the paddock and then I’ll bring her back into work.”
As well as Power Princess, Miller will also be bringing exciting three-year-old filly Miss Rose De Lago over to Melbourne.
Runner-up behind subsequent Group 1 winner Ihtsahymn in the Group 2 W.A. Guineas (1600m) last start, Miller said the daughter of Encosta de Lago would resume in the Group 3 Tyhoon Tracy Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on February 14.
“I’ll bring her over a bit later just so that I can give her a bit of a break here,” he said.
“Ideally I’ll kick her off in the Typhoon Tracy Stakes (1200m) and then go to the Kewney Stakes (1400m) at Flemington (on March 8).”
By Ben Asgari
Ferlax wins the 2013 Australian Guineas
Australian Guineas winner sets sights on potential Group 1 double
Australian Guineas (1600m) winner Ferlax is back in work and on a path towards the Group 1 Sportingbet C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 8.
Runner-up behind superstar mare Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in August, Conlan said the son of Pentire jarred up when 12th in the Group 1 Toorak Stakes (1600m) at Caulfield in October.
“He actually jarred up mildly in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and he seemed to get over that alright but then he jarred up quite significantly in the Toorak,” Conlan said.
“He’s in great order at the moment and he looks beautiful. He’s been back in work for a few weeks now and everything is going very smoothly for him.”
Conlan said the lightly-raced four-year-old would contest the Orr Stakes at either his first or second up run, with the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 25 the other first up option.
“I’ll just have a look at him in his work and gallops and then will decide which race we kick him off in,” he said.
“With the Orr being over the 1400m at Caulfield, under weight for age conditions, it looks a pretty good race for him.
“He did finish second to Atlantic Jewel in the Memsie over the track and distance and the horses behind him that day were all the stars of the Spring, so it’s probably the right option to have him pretty well wound-up for that race.”
Conlan said Ferlax would then likely follow the traditional weight-for-age path to the $1 million Group 1 Darley Australian Cup (2000m) via the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
By Ben Asgari
Racing Victoria is reviewing the circumstances that led to the abandonment of Tuesday’s NMIT Ararat Park meeting
Racing Victoria (RV) has expressed its disappointment at the abandonment of today’s NMIT Ararat Park meeting after jockeys determined the track was unsafe for racing.
RV Executive General Manager – Infrastructure, Jamie McGuinness, said the Ararat Turf Club has been asked to explain the unsatisfactory preparation of the track in the lead up to today’s meeting.
McGuinness said RV would also review communication procedures to better understand why the issue that led to the abandonment was not addressed earlier.
“It’s unacceptable that we’ve lost today’s Ararat meeting and we’ve commenced discussions with the Club and our officials to review the circumstances that led to the abandonment,” RV Executive General Manager – Infrastructure, Jamie McGuinness, said.
“Our initial inquiries indicate there was an issue with the irrigation of the track which led to a section in the home straight being considerably wetter than the remainder of the surface."
“Before the meeting commenced the stewards ordered the rail be moved out five metres in the home straight around a wet section of the track however concerns remained about the suitability of the track for racing even after the rail was moved.
“Ultimately, horse and rider safety is paramount so the decision of the jockeys not to complete the meeting was accepted.”
The connections of each affected horse and the riders will be compensated under RV's meeting abandonment policy.
In light of the abandonment, nominations have been extended for a series of meetings for those horses that missed out on competing at NMIT Ararat Park today.
Trainers have until 4pm Wednesday to nominate horses for Saturday’s country meetings at Stawell and Cranbourne (night) where they’ll be assessed as late entries for the purpose of balloting.
I Am The General (right), who finished third behind Sheer Style in the Magic Millions Clockwise Classic, could line up at Flemington
Nominations ensure two-year-old VOBIS feature one of the highlights of Saturday's Flemington card
The potential racetrack debuts of a number of well-related two-year-olds shapes as one of the highlights of Saturday’s Flemington meeting after nominations were taken today.
Of the 18 juveniles entered for the $80,000 Super VOBIS Two-Year-Old Plate (1000m), a race that also carries $50,000 in Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold bonuses to eligible horses, 14 are unraced including potential debutants from the Moody, Hayes and Snowden yards.
Moody’s Shamardal colt Better Land, a son of one-time glamour juvenile Amelia’s Dream, could line up in the race alongside Snowden’s VOBIS Gold-nominated colt Faraja, a son of Medaglia d’Oro.
They are joined in the nominations by a quintet of Lindsay Park gallopers, including For Lulu, a daughter of multiple Group 2 winner Cats Whisker, Lonhro filly Wawail, a daughter of Stakes winner El Daana, and Jade Diva, a half sister to gun Western Australian mare Bliss Street.
Shane Nichols-trained colt I Am The General, a last-start third placegetter in the $200,000 Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m) at Ballarat, shapes as the most intriguing runner of the raced brigade with his trainer chasing prizemoney to secure a place in January’s $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast.
The Western Heath Cup (2000m), one of two races on the card carrying $100,000 in prizemoney, also shapes as an exciting contest with 24 quality entries received.
Among them are last-start Caulfield winner Electric Fusion, consistent gelding Whisper Downs and the Sam Kavanagh-trained import Midsummer Sun, a last-start fourth behind Sertorius in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m).
Resuming stayer Fieldmaster, talented Chris Waller-trained import Multilateral and recent Kyneton Cup (2000m) winner Constant Force are also in line to contest Saturday’s feature.
The meeting’s other $100,000 highlight, an open handicap over 1400m, has attracted 25 nominations including Ellerton/Zahra sprinter Amaethon, the Robbie Griffiths-trained pair of Chile Express and Dash For Viz and last-start Caulfield 1400m winner Loot ‘N’ Run.
Other entries of note include former Macedon Lodge galloper Base, now in the care of Luke Oliver, lightly-raced Weir gelding Prince Of Penzance and ex-Kiwi stayer Surpass who has been freshened since his runner-up effort in September’s Listed Ansett Classic (2415m) at Mornington.
By James Tzaferis
Dominant wins the Hong Kong Vase (Image: HKJC.com)
John Moore hoping to send Hong Kong Vase winner to Team Hawkes
After defeating the likes of Red Cadeaux, Dunaden and Mount Athos in yesterday’s Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m), Hong Kong trainer John Moore wants to aim Dominant towards the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Speaking to RSN’s Shane Anderson, Moore said he would talk to Dominant’s owners about sending the five-year-old to Team Hawkes to be prepared for both the BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
“I’ll then sit down with the syndicate and ask them if they’ll give me permission to send him over to John Hawkes in Australia,” Moore said.
“It would be probably four months before the big Cup races to make sure he has got the time to acclimatise and hopefully he can repeat what he did here.”
Moore said the initial target for the son of Cacique was the Group 1 Sheema Classic (2400m) at the Dubai World Cup meeting in March, before heading back to Hong Kong for the Group 1 Hong Kong Champions and Chater Cup (2400m) in May.
Given a gun ride by Australian jockey Zac Purton, Dominant defied his $24 starting price with TAB to defeat the $2.70 favourite The Fugue, with 2011 winner Dunaden running home strongly into third position.
The luckless runner in the race was last year’s winner and two-time Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux who still finished fourth after racing wide throughout the race.
Moore admitted it was surprise to win the Vase, saying it was always hard to beat the seasoned European stayers with a scarcity of suitable lead up options in Hong Kong.
“We drew barrier 14 and I didn’t think he had the mileage in his legs,” he said.
“Zac (Purton) gave him a great ride, there was a little bit of interference in the race and we got lucky.
“The 2400m race (Hong Kong Vase) is really put on for the Europeans. I bought Dominant to win that race as well as come back to Melbourne.
“To get away with the race today when I went into it not that confident, I’m in Disneyland.”
The Hong Kong Vase was the first leg of a double on the International Race Day program for Moore who also took out the 1600m Class 2 Handicap with exciting four-year-old Able Friend.
By Ben Asgari
Voleuse De Coeurs (pictured during track work at Werribee)
Voleuse De Coeurs set to resume on Super Saturday at Flemington
Classy import Voleuse De Coeurs could be targeted towards a first up tilt at the $1 million Group 1 Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington in March.
A six-length winner of the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2800m) under former trainer Dermot Weld in September, the five-year-old mare was then purchased by new owners and transferred to Mike Moroney.
Debuting for Moroney in the Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), the daughter of Teofilo finished tenth, beaten eight lengths behind the winner Fiorente.
Currently spelling at Eliza Park Stud in Victoria, Moroney said Voleuse De Coeurs would definitely resume at Flemington on March 8 in either the Australian Cup, or the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m).
“She seems good,” Moroney said. “She’s still out in the paddock but she comes back into work next week.
“She’s done really well. She was putting on weight while we had her in work and has continued to do so in the paddock.”
Following her run at Flemington, Moroney said Voleuse De Coeurs would then head to Sydney where her main aim will be the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) in April.
By Ben Asgari
Barakey wins the 2012 Winterbottom Stakes (Image: Hollands Photographics)
Black Caviar Lightning to be Barakey's final start under Jim Taylor
Leading Perth sprinter Barakey will be aimed towards the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington in February.
The six-year-old who was unbeaten in his initial 11 career starts, tasted defeat for the first time in last year’s Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) where he pulled up lame and subsequently underwent surgery to remove bone chips from a knee.
Trainer Jim Taylor said the Lightning Stakes would likely be Barakey’s final run in his care, with the son of Key Business to then be transferred to another trainer to his continue his racing career in the eastern states.
“It was my decision,” Taylor said. “The owners left it up to me but I haven’t spoken to anyone yet.
“Nothing has been confirmed so I don’t want to mention any potential names at the moment.”
A narrow winner first up in the Group 3 Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) in October, Taylor said Barakey had a genuine excuse after finishing ninth in his attempt to win a second straight Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot.
“He’s alright now but he pulled up with a virus after the Winterbottom,” he said. “He had a high temperature for five days but he’s back to normal now.
“The horse that ran third, Watermans Bay, it has never got close to Barakey in its life. He just wasn’t at his best.
“He was at his best first up. He raced hard into the wind and he just got tired over 1200 metres first up but if it had of been 1000m that day he would have won by about five lengths.
“He’s in the paddock now and starts work again next Monday. That will give him three weeks off after the Winterbottom. He’ll then fly over to Melbourne during the week of the race.”
Barakey has so far amassed $768,000 in prize money and boasts 12 victories from 14 career starts.
By Ben Asgari
Racing Victoria and State Government announce funding for three research programs to assist horse welfare
The health, safety and well-being of Victoria’s thoroughbred racehorses is to be bolstered with the announcement of funding for three equine research projects to be carried out by the University of Melbourne’s School of Veterinary Science.
Premier and Minister for Racing Denis Napthine announced the new research projects today.
“This new research is part of the racing industry’s ongoing efforts to enhance horse welfare,” Dr Napthine said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government, Racing Victoria and the University of Melbourne have formed a partnership which will see more than $617,000 invested in these three new equine research programs.
“The projects are a great example of industry collaboration with researchers and will provide a scientific basis for future horse training programs and help to reduce the frequency of serious injuries,” Dr Napthine said.
Scope of projects
The Racehorse Bone Damage Measurement Project will:
- examine 50 racehorses to determine the relationship between bone damage, bone activity and response to damage in racehorses undergoing race training; and
- study bone repair activity over the training cycle.
The Racehorse Injury Prevention Research Project will:
- investigate the effects of changes to the bone microstructure in injury;
- assess resistance to injury; and
- improve understanding of changes to the bone microstructure during race training.
The study on the Impact of Track Surfaces on Horse Hoofs/Legs will:
- Develop simulated horse hoofs to study impact from various track surfaces; and
- Explore development of optimal track surfaces for racing and training to improve equine injury management and prevention.
Racing Victoria’s Head of Equine Welfare and Veterinary Services Brian Stewart welcomed the Coalition Government’s support for the equine research projects.
“Racing Victoria believes the three research projects will significantly advance knowledge and understanding of the causes of racehorse leg injuries and how we can reduce their incidence,” Dr Stewart said.
“We are pleased to be working with an outstanding team of researchers from the University of Melbourne who are world class in the field of equine musculoskeletal medicine.”
Associate Professor Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Veterinary Science said the new work would build upon a long history of cooperation between the racing industry and the University and will target critical research priorities.
“The funding will maintain the expertise and collaborative partnerships that have been developed in equine research in Victoria over the last 10 years,” Associate Professor Whitton said.
“Expected benefits from this new work include increased career longevity of horses, fewer breakdowns and fatal injuries, and improved equine welfare.”
The Coalition Government will provide$219,250 for the programs with Racing Victoria providing a matching contribution. The University of Melbourne will also provide in-kind contributions totalling $179,000.
The Coalition Government’s funding is sourced from unclaimed wagering dividends.
Monday, 9 December 2013 Bill Vlahos & BC3 Thoroughbreds
Racing Victoria (RV) Chief Executive, Bernard Saundry, has issued the following statement regarding media reports pertaining to Victorian-based owner Mr Bill Vlahos and the operation of a punters club;
“Racing Victoria has regulatory control over the conduct of thoroughbred racing in this state, however it does not have regulatory control over punters clubs or wagering schemes,” Saundry explained.
“Whilst such clubs or schemes may be wagering on Victorian thoroughbred racing, we do not have the powers to investigate their operations nor take any action on behalf of aggrieved investors.
“Such clubs or schemes fall within the jurisdiction of the ACCC, Consumer Affairs Victoria and the Victoria Police and I strongly encourage any investors with grievances to contact these parties.”
Saundry added that in the interests of thoroughbred racing, RV’s Integrity Department is investigating BC3 Thoroughbreds, for which Vlahos is company Chairman.
“As the lead regulator for syndication in this state, Racing Victoria Stewards are investigating BC3 Thoroughbreds and the conduct of its racehorse ownership business,” Saundry said.
In addition, Victoria Police are currently investigating an assault at BC3 Thoroughbreds’ Connewarre spelling property overnight.
“In light of this incident we have been liaising with BC3 Thoroughbreds today regarding the welfare of their horses and staff which remains of importance to Racing Victoria,” Saundry said.
December 8, 2013: Hawkesbury Sunday preview
Jockey Tim Clark has four
bookings at the first of Hawkesbury's two Sunday Christmas meetings
Clark's Hawkesbury mounts on Sunday are Never Back Down (TAB Rewards
Maiden Plate (1100m), Winding Road (Starr Partners - Your Local
Property Experts Maiden Plate, 1100m), Street Savvy (Knickerbocker
Hotel Bathurst Maiden Handicap, 1500m) and Tramp (Hawkesbury Race Club
Motel Benchmark 60 Handicap, 1300m).
Never Back Down and Winding Road are prepared by brothers Jim and Greg
Lee, Street Savvy by Bart and James Cummings and Tramp is in the local
stables of Garry Frazer.
Never Back Down finished third on debut at Hawkesbury on November 22
and has drawn nicely, whilst stablemate Winding Road is making her
debut and has the inside alley.
Street Savvy resumed at Newcastle on November 17 and finished third to
Egyptian Ruler in a 1300m Maiden Plate on a wet track.
Former Victorian Tramp last raced in July and is first-up on his home track.
Latest riding bookings for the meeting are Nathan Berry for Chris
Waller's Manorkinski in the 1500m Maiden against Clark's mount Street
Savvy and Peter Robl for David Pfieffer's No Doubt A Diamond (White
Prince Mushrooms Class 2 Handicap, 1500m). Hawkesbury this morning was rated a Good 3, with a penetrometer
reading of 4.71.
The course has received no rain in the last 24 hours, and 8mm in the past week.
8/12/2013 Vatican breaks Stakes drought
Vatican scores his first Black-type victory for Michael Rodd
Michael Rodd defies instructions to capture Doveton Stakes
Michael Rodd made the most of a late call up to guide consistent gelding Vatican to his first Stakes victory in today’s $120,000 PFD Food Services Doveton Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield.
Rodd only gained the ride on the five-year-old after his regular jockey Billy Egan was injured in a fall at Moonee Valley.
Instructed by trainer Byron Cozamanis not to lead, Rodd said he ignored that advice after watching replays of Vatican’s previous runs.
“I was told not to lead on him but I looked at his replays and saw that every time he begins a length in front and then they grab hold of him so I thought to myself this morning that I’m going to try and lead on him today,’ Rodd said.
“When Byron said not to lead I was a little bit crushed but I had no choice in the end, it was probably the least amount of pressure that he has felt in a race for a long time.
“He really cantered in front and he showed his class at the finish. Bill (Egan) will be getting a really good Christmas present from me this year.”
After travelling kindly in the lead, Vatican ($5) raced a length clear at the top of the home straight before Loveyamadly ($3.70F) appeared set to go straight past him at the 200m mark.
No sooner had he looked in trouble, Vatican responded to the challenge to extend his margin and record a 1.8 length win over Loveyamadly, with her stable mate Halle Rocks a further length away in third.
The eighth win in 34 starts for the son of God’s Own, Cozamanis said he could now be aimed towards the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield in February.
“He’s just a good horse to train and sound as a bell,” Cozamanis said. “He’s very lazy in his track work but once he gets in the gates he’s a different horse.
“He had his first start as a two-year-old and he’s just been competitive ever since.
“He (Rodd) rated him well but I did turn away when he went to the front. I don’t know what we’ll do now, I’d rather keep to around 1000m or 1100m at this stage.
“We’ll just sit down and map out a plan now but I think we’ll go to Moonee Valley for another 1000m race in two weeks time depending on how he pulls up.”
By Ben Asgari
Harquila and Dwayne Dunn prove too good in a narrow finish
Promising filly scores an impressive first up win at Caulfield
Harquila made it two victories from as many starts after taking out today’s $80,000 Cotton On Group Christmas Handicap (1200m) at Caulfield.
A winner over 1000 metres on slow ground at Bendigo on debut in July, trainer Greg Eurell said the daughter of Haradasun has continued to improve as she matures.
“I think she’s a really nice filly,” Eurell said. “She has still got a lot to learn and I think there is still genuine improvement left in her.
“What distance she gets to I really don’t know but she’s heading in the right direction.
“I think the timing of having racing now is quite good. She hasn’t been thrown in the deep end and hopefully we can get a good assessment of her and see whether she can stretch out to a mile (1600m) this campaign.”
Driven forward by jockey Dwayne Dunn to settle on the outside of the leader Mother Grace ($8), Harquila ($8) joined the leader at the top of the straight with the favourite Mokoro ($1.90) on her outside.
No sooner had Mokoro wilted on her run, Harquila took over the lead before maintaining a narrow margin in the run to the line and eventually defeating Mother Grace by a head, with Mokoro half-a-length away in third.
Dunn said the decision to go forward in a slowly run race was the difference between winning and losing.
“She’s was very professional and did a good job,” Dunn said.
“Michael (Rodd) was probably going a bit too slow for all us so making the decision to go forward was probably the winning move.
“I think we’ll see the best of her at 1400m, she’s still learning her trade.”
By Ben Asgari
Winta Chiller caps a double for Michael Rodd at Caulfield
Lightly-raced mare proves a class above her Caulfield rivals
Despite losing what appeared his best ride on the program, jockey Michael Rodd capped a double at Caulfield today when Winta Chiller took out the $80,000 LUCRF Super Handicp (1400m).
Rodd was originally set to partner nine-length debut-winner West Africa in the opening race before the horse was scratched yesterday as the $2 favourite.
Two hours after leading throughout to claim the feature Doveton Stakes (1000m) with pick-up ride Vatican, Rodd showed his versatility to come from last aboard Winta Chiller.
“She began pretty well and they were really running, coming around to the 1200m I was three and four wide so there was only one spot I could go which was back,” Rodd said.
“She did nothing the first half of the race and she only had a light weight on her back so when we got to the 800 I just pulled her out and started going forward to make sure I wasn’t too far off them.
“She really showed her class at the finish.”
A clear last with 800 metres left to travel, Rodd eased Winta Chiller ($2.50F) to the outside approaching the home turn before she let down quickly at the top of the straight.
Despite wanting to lay in approaching the 200m mark, once Rodd straightened her up again she quickly raced past the leaders to defeat Defiant Angel ($18) by just under a length, with Dance For Cash ($11) narrowly behind her in third.
The only horse in hobby trainer Ross Pecora’s stable, Pecora said the home-bred daughter of Artie Schiller deserved a change of luck.
“That was enormous,” Pecora said. “She’s been promising to do something like that but she’s had bad luck and bad barriers and today was her day.
“We’re looking at a mile (1600m) race here on Boxing Day and it’s upwards and onwards I hope.”
By Ben Asgari
Lord Of The Sky wins the National Patient Transport Plate at Caulfield
Exciting three-year-old returns where he left off at Caulfield
Apprentice Jake Duffy made the most of a late opportunity to partner hot favourite Lord Of The Sky to victory in the $80,000 National Patient Transport Plate (1000m) at Caulfield today.
With the three-year-old’s original rider Kayla Nisbet held up in traffic, Duffy, who wasn’t down to ride until Race 2, made a late dash to get to the track in time.
“I was driving on Dandenong Road when they happened to call me so I did a bit of weaving through traffic to get here and as it turned out it was the right choice,” Duffy said.
“He’s a really nice horse as soon as I got on top of him you could feel how powerful he was underneath you.
“He did knuckle a little bit coming out of the barriers but so did the horse inside of him (Tankster). He travelled well throughout the run and as soon as I asked him to quicken he did and that was it.”
After crossing to the lead from the outside barrier, Duffy nursed Lord Of The Sky ($1.45) until well into the home straight before racing two lengths clear at the 200m mark.
Though the victory wasn’t as dominant as his last performance over the same track and distance, the son of Danerich still had a length-and-a-half to spare on the line from Salute To Jude ($26), with Romancingthestone ($16) in third.
Trainer Robbie Laing said Lord Of The Sky could be targeted towards a race like the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield in February if he continued to improve.
“With improvement he may end up in a race like the Oakleigh Plate, he wouldn’t win an Oakleigh Plate on that run today,” Laing said.
“Last preparation he got beaten first up but then took a lot of benefit out of that run. He’s run 57.8 seconds on a dead track and he did a lot of work early and probably didn’t have a lot left at the finish.
“I’d like to see him from a good barrier one day too where he can just jump and idle through the early stages.
“We may have a crack at the Christmas Handicap (1200m) on Boxing Day but whether that win today was good enough to take on the older horses over 1200m I don’t know. We’ll go home and see how he pulls up but it wouldn’t be a great surprise if we gave him a month out.”
By Ben Asgari
Ascot highlights the weekend for Aquanita
7th December 2013
Some more excellent races at the Ascot program on Saturday and Simon Miller will be a part of it all.
Things kick off with Sujet running in the Group 3 Sir Ernest Lee-Steers Classic over 1400m. Not many horses can do what he did on debut.
Taking on a Listed Race first time to the races, he was ever so brave in the Placid Ark kicking off the bend under Douglas Whyte and was only nabbed in the final few strides.
He meets a similar field here with five of the same opponents, surely benefitting greatly from the experience of that initial effort and the fitness gained as he steps up to seven furlongs.
Then his top mare Power Princess attempts to make it back to back wins in the Group 3 Scahill Stakes.
Last year she won with some ease after being runner up in the Winterbottom. She ran well in it again this year when it wasn�t easy to be making up ground from as far back as she was. Plus this year�s edition was a stronger race.
From another wide draw she will be back but several of these are coming back in distance from the Railway as opposed to her up from the big sprint.
Despite being seven, she seems to be thriving on racing and this is exactly the same preparation which led to her win in 2012.
Darlington Abbey runs in the Listed Jungle Dawn Classic in a very even race for the fillies and mares.
Things were too bad to be true last time after racing so well at Group 2 level the run prior. Found to be lame after the event, that last placing was totally excusable.
Going back to her WA Guineas run 12 months ago, any runs at 1400m or beyond are not beyond her. This is a tricky barrier so Peter Knuckey will need some luck early on.
Final entrant on the day is Comfysofa in the final race. He was being considered for the Railway but after leading in the RJ Peters, wasn�t able to make the field.
So he�s been dropped back to a race of lesser quality but unfortunately drawn very wide. He does have good speed in his races so maybe he can slot in near the leaders.
Another race with several up and comers, this three week break won�t harm him as he�s won beyond a fortnight back on multiple occasions.
Robert Smerdon has one in at Caulfield on Saturday and that is the returning Salute To Jude in Race 1.
This three year old gelding raced some handy horses around the middle of the year including breaking his maiden in an Open 2yo at Cranbourne.
By Stratum, he likes to lead in his races but there appears very solid speed engaged in this 1000m event.
It also gives the impression of being a strong race going forward with some promising youngsters running.
The runner for Tony Vasil at Caulfield on the weekend is The Wingman who returns to racing for the first time since June.
He runs in a 1200m sprint on his home track but this is the longest break he has had since 2011 so maybe he will sprint well fresh.
Much of his form is around the mile however when he does resume like this, he has run some really good races including winning here three years ago.
6/12/2013 Mr John Messara AM elected Chairman of the Australian Racing Board
Mr John Messara AM has been elected Chairman of the Australian Racing Board (ARB) on the retirement of the Honourable Michael Duffy after 6 years as an ARB Director, the last two as Chairman. The ARB is the national body representing the Principal Racing Authorities (PRAs) of Australia’s 8 States and Territories.
Mr Messara is currently Chairman of Racing NSW and has had a long-standing involvement in all aspects of the industry. Previously a stock broker and a Member of the Sydney Stock Exchange, in 1985 Mr Messara established and has since managed the leading Australian-owned racing and breeding operation, Arrowfield Group. In 2008, Mr Messara was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the breeding and racing industry.
“I strongly support a national approach to the key regulatory and integrity functions of racing. In this, the ARB plays an essential role in formulating uniform rules and cooperation between the States and Territories.” Mr Messara said.
Mr Messara paid tribute to his predecessor Michael Duffy saying that he had expanded and strengthened the ARB in fulfilment of its national and international responsibilities.
“Michael’s term as Chairman saw an overhaul of the rules of racing relating to integrity, including the introduction of minimum penalties and the ban on anabolic steroids. He was an outstanding leader who enjoyed the respect and support of all jurisdictions.” Mr Messara said.
The Chairman of Racing Queensland [RQ], Kevin Dixon, was elected Deputy Chairman of the ARB at the same time. Mr Dixon is a former Chairman of the Brisbane Racing Club and Managing Director of Racetree Thoroughbred Stud before his appointment as Chairman of RQ in early 2012. Mr Dixon brings business acumen to his responsibilities, having commenced his career with international company Andersen Consulting.
6/12/2013 Outside alley for Famous Seamus in Moore
The Noel Mayfield-Smith trained Famous Seamus (NZ) (Elusive City) faces a tough task in tomorrow's Gr.3 George Moore Stakes
Noel Mayfield-Smith is a realist.
His consistent sprinter Famous Seamus (NZ)
(Elusive City) will carry topweight of 60kg in
Saturday's Group Three George Moore Stakes (1200m) at
Doomben which Mayfield-Smith expected.
"I would've been really happy if he got 59kg but I was
realistic and thought he'd get 60kg," Mayfield-Smith said.
"If you take a line through the Lightning at Randwick, he
won that with 59kg and was placed after that in a Group race.
"I don't think this race is as strong as either of those two
Famous Seamus arrived in Brisbane on Wednesday to
prepare for the Moore as Mayfield-Smith works on a strategy
to deal with barrier 18.
"I didn't want to draw 18 but I also didn't want to draw
inside," Mayfield-Smith said.
"We have two choices. Either scratch or come up with a
plan to give him the best opportunity to win from that gate."
Famous Seamus didn't disappoint Mayfield-Smith when
he finished third to Lankan Rupee at Caulfield on November
"He never handled the track and was on the wrong leg the
whole way," he said.
"If you look at the replay, the front-on shot, he's got his
head on the side and it was only the last 100 metres that
he stretched out and got third after it looked as though he
wasn't going to run anywhere.
"He was finishing off quite nicely and I thought if the race
was a bit further he probably would've run second."
The Moore will be the only summer start in Brisbane for
Famous Seamus but the gelding is likely to make a return visit
for next year's winter carnival.
The gelding won the Hinkler Quality at Eagle Farm and the
Prime Minister's Cup at the Gold Coast in May before ending
his winter campaign in the Stradbroke Handicap when he ran
13th to Linton (Galileo).
6th Dec 2013
Group One placegetter Carrick's Australian experience has been less than ideal so far but trainer Danny Williams believes he can regain his confidence and his form.
Third in Silent Achiever's 2012 New Zealand Derby, Carrick (NZ) (Shinko King) was brought across the Tasman by then trainer Tony Pike earlier this year but a foot infection stopped his campaign after one run in Queensland.
| Carrick (NZ) (Shinko King)
Owner Alan Cardy decided to keep him in Australia and he was spelled after his first race under Williams in July when he finished last in an 1800m race at Rosehill.
He comes back to the races at Randwick in Saturday's Benchmark 95 (1400m) with Peter Robl aboard.
"He obviously hadn't fully recovered from the infection so we decided to give him a good spell," Williams said.
"He is a nice big horse who will be at his best when he gets up to 2000 metres and beyond.
"We need to get his confidence back and get him winning.
"He has been up in the weights since he was a three-year-old and it takes a long time for the rating to come down.
"It makes it harder for the older horses to get back to the level they were at."
Holding a benchmark of 89, Carrick will carry 56kg on Saturday with Said Com (NZ) (O'Reilly) the 59.5kg topweight ahead of his Chris Waller-trained stablemate Tromso (Lonhro) on 59kg.
The meeting will be run on the StrathAyr Kensington track with the course proper being saved until the Villiers meeting a week later.
West Africa wins by 9L on debut at Kilmore
Nine-length debut winner tackles exciting three-year-old contest
Despite a stunning debut, Mark Kavanagh wants to see three-year-old colt West Africa do it again in Saturday’s $80,000 National Patient Transport Plate (1000m) at Caulfield.
Coming off a nine length win in a Kilmore maiden, Kavanagh said Saturday will give him a better guide as to the son of Henrythenavigator’s true ability.
“I don’t know how far he is going to take us right now,” Kavanagh said.
“I think anybody that has a horse win its first start by nine lengths is pleasantly surprised.
“He won a maiden on a Tuesday against questionable opposition and I would like to see him frank the form a bit and see him do it again before we get too carried away.
“He’s coming off a maiden win and it’s very hard for any horse to win in the city coming straight off a maiden and he’s up against some very promising opposition on Saturday.”
Among West Africa’s opposition is Robbie Laing’s Lord Of The Sky, who was last seen at the races scoring a three-and-a-half length win over subsequent city-winner Monkstone at Caulfield in July.
Others who feature prominently in the opening event on Saturday’s National Jockey’ Trust Race Day include talented gelding Tankster, dual Stakes-placed filly Romancingthestone, as well a trio of unbeaten gallopers.
Drawn in barrier nine, West Africa will be partnered by Michael Rodd who was also on board at his debut.
One of a string of exciting three-year-olds unveiled by Kavanagh in recent weeks, he said it was too early to rank him against the likes of Moonee Valley winner Awasita, or Mother Grace, who lines up at Caulfield 35 minutes later in the $80,000 Cotton On Group Christmas Handicap (1200m).
“As young horses we don’t really test them out against the stopwatch so we’ll learn a lot more each time they go to the races,” he said.
As well as West Africa and Mother Grace in the first two races, Kavanagh will also be represented by Inglis Sales-bound seven-year-old Undeniably in the feature Doveton Stakes (1000m) and potentially Crookhaven, who is third emergency for the $80,000 National Jockeys’ Trust Handicap (1200m).
A four-year-old gelding by Fastnet Rock, Kavanagh said Crookhaven could certainly be competitive should he gain a start.
“It was my opinion that Crookhaven was a fairly promising horse that just didn’t come up last preparation so we tipped him out again,” Kavanagh said.
“He’s third emergency on Saturday which is a bit disappointing because I thought we have him back towards his best.”
By Ben Asgari
Beau Brommell is one of two Luke Oliver-trained runners in the Italian Plate
Representation in both country features for Caulfield trainer
He won’t be able to emulate Stephen Theodore’s early spring effort of two country cup wins in the space of 20 minutes, but Luke Oliver gets his chance to bag two regional features in one day.
The Caulfield horseman has representatives in both of Victoria’s country features this Sunday.
Oliver has two runners in the $20,000 VRACA and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600m) at Tatura along with a runner in the $50,000 Unibet Traralgon Cup (1900m) at Traralgon.
Oratorio gelding Gotta Dream flies the Oliver stable flag at Traralgon.
A winner over the Traralgon Cup course – at benchmark 72 level – in March this year, Gotta Dream enters Sunday’s race off a couple of sixth placings at Moonee Valley.
The six-year-old has drawn well in barrier three for the event that has attracted a competitive field that includes defending champion King’s A Star.
The Doug Harrison-trained Alrouz, Dunkeld and Mortlake Cup placegetter Xavier, Hamilton Cup placegetter Kim Command, last-start winner Suspended Gem and yesterday’s Sale winner Unique Assassin are among the others engaged in the event that rounds out the eight-race card at 5.30pm.
Oliver’s Beau Brommell heads the field for the Italian Plate – Race 5 on card at 4.07pm – in which stablemate Now And Zen is also engaged.
While the latter has struggled to recapture the form that saw him win at Moonee Valley last summer, Beau Brommell was a last-start benchmark 70 winner at Yarra Valley.
Veteran gelding De Mars, the capable Devonshire Duke and Jetconi, who dead-heated for victory in the Euroa Cup at Benalla two starts ago, are among the other Italian Plate runners.
The Traralgon and Tatura cards are among the highlights of a big day of country action, which also includes a seven-race card at Geelong.
By Brad Bishop
Linda Meech partnered Feeling Invincible to Port Fairy Cup success
Successful combination claim Port Fairy Cup
Michael O’Leary and Linda Meech combined for another feature Victorian success today at Warrnambool.
The Mt Gambier trainer and prolific hoop, who have teamed for much success including back-to-back Winter Championship Series Finals with Glaneuse, snared the $40,000 Port Fairy IGA Cup with Feeling Invincible.
The six-year-old turned in a dominant display to make what was a tough road trip worthwhile.
“He’s as honest as they come, he’s only got one trouble – he’s a bad traveller,” O’Leary said.
“He shook the float from Mt Gambier to here. He’s hard work, but he can gallop.”
The son of Invincible Spirit, who O’Leary got after purchasing his mother Sal’s Belle in foal for $8000, underlined that with the eighth win of his 21-start career.
He raced in a prominent position, but cruised up three-wide alongside the leaders rounding the home turn before dashing clear early in the straight.
At the line the $4.80 chance had 2-1/4 lengths to spare over Melete ($12) with Upbeat ($6) 1-1/4 lengths back third.
Meech said it was an impressive performance given the race did not go to plan.
“He didn’t begin as good as I thought he was going to and the two (leaders) from the outside gates just flew across the front (of the field),” Meech said.
“I was in a bit of an awkward spot but I was happy because there’s a strong side-wind. He’s flying.”
O’Leary is already planning his next trip to Warrnambool with Feeling invincible with the $35,000 Woodford Cup (1700m) on Sunday 29 December the target.
By Brad Bishop
5/12/2013 Feature Magic Millions Race Entries Closing
With just five weeks until the commencement of the Magic Millions 2014 Gold Coast Yearling Sale, trainers and owners are reminded of important race entry deadlines for upcoming Magic Millions Racedays held at Wyong and the Gold Coast.
First entries close this Friday for the two feature races programmed on Jeep Magic Millions Raceday at the Gold Coast on 11 January. On a day offering a massive $4.7 million in prizemoney, first entries (free nomination) for the $2 million Jeep Magic Millions 2YO Classic and the $1 million Gold Coast Magic Millions 3YO Guineas close this Friday at 1pm AEDT / 12 noon QLD time. The Jeep Magic Millions Raceday is restricted to horses offered at Magic Millions Yearling Sales which are nominated to the Race Series.
Detailed nomination deadlines for both racedays are listed below. Entries and acceptances for all races must be lodged with the RISA Service Centre (tel 1800 138 704).
Magic Millions Race Series – Important Nomination Deadlines
Wyong, NSW: Thursday 19 December 2013
$200,000 Magic Millions Wyong 2YO Classic (1100m) – Restricted Listed
$100,000 Magic Millions Wyong 3YO Stakes (1200m)
Entries close Friday 13 December (11am AEDT)
Gold Coast, Queensland: Saturday 11 January 2014
$2,000,000 Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) – Restricted Listed PLUS $500,000 Racing Women's Bonus
$1,000,000 Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) – Restricted Listed
First entries (free nomination) close Friday 6 December (1pm AEDT / 12 noon QLD time)
Late entries close Thursday 2 January 2014 (12 noon AEDT / 11am QLD time)
Late entry fee of $275 (inc GST) applies per entry
$400,000 Magic Millions Cup (1400m) - Restricted Listed
$200,000 Magic Millions Open Sprint (1100m)
$200,000 Magic Millions Stayers Cup (1800m)
$200,000 Magic Millions Fillies & Mares Hcp (1300m)
$100,000 Magic Millions Maiden Plate (1200m)
$100,000 Magic Millions Class 6 Plate (1200m)
First entries (free nomination) close Thursday 2 January 2014 (12 noon AEDT / 11am QLD time)
Late entries close Monday 6 January, 2014 (10am AEDT / 9am QLD time)
Late entry fee of $275 (inc GST) applies per entry
For Race Series eligibility enquiries please contact Magic Millions on 07 5504 1220 or email email@example.com
5/12/2013 Swettenham Stud extends sponsorship for MRC Summer Championship
The Swettenham Stud Summer Championship has been an unqualified success since its inception two years ago and the Melbourne Racing Club has announced that its relationship with Adam Sangster’s Swettenham Stud has been extended by an additional two years with the third series kicking off at Caulfield on December 26.
The Boxing Day opener is the first of 10 legs to be run at Caulfield, Moonee Valley, Mornington and Flemington. The leading point-scorers will then do battle in a $100,000 Final at Caulfield on February 1.
The winning owner will also secure a free service to Swettenham Stud’s Melbourne Cup winner Americain which is valued at $13,750.
Over Quota (Testa Rossa) won the 2011-12 Swettenham Stud Championship and, apart from earning over $122,000 in prizemoney during the series, his Bairnsdale based owners Arno Blank and Judy Bourke received a free service to Swettenham’s Royal Ascot star Equiano.
“The series suited us because Over Quota is so tough,” winning trainer Mark Webb said. “It’s a fantastic concept.”
Over Quota went on to frank the form in the Kilmore Cup the following month and his owners sent their mare Miss Panama (Not A Single Doubt) to Equiano.
The 2012-13 Swettenham Stud Championship was upgraded to include the LR John Dillon Stakes at Caulfield on Australia Day as the last heat of the Series. Le Remas (Al Samer) won the Dillon Stakes and then claimed the Championship in a cliff-hanger for Maldon based owner-breeder-trainer Brian McKnight and his wife Judy.
McKnight thanked the Melbourne Racing Club and Swettenham for sponsoring the Summer Championship. “It’s a great initiative,” he said. “There aren’t enough people like Adam Sangster and enough organisations like Swettenham in racing.”
The McKnights won a service to Swettenham sire Master Of Design and sent Le Remas’s dam Tilden Lady (Zabeel) to the Group 1 winning sprinter this spring.
Melbourne Racing Club CEO Brodie Arnhold said that the club was thrilled about the evolution of the Swettenham Stud Summer Championship and the continual support of Swettenham Stud.
“It is incumbent on racing bodies like ours to implement new programs to generate interest in the sport and our racing product outside of popular carnival times, and the Swettenham Stud Summer Championship, now in its third year, is a great example of that,” Arnhold said.
“To be able to partner with an organisation as respected as Swettenham Stud in doing so is doubly pleasing. Swettenham is a leader in its field, and it's easy to see why. It’s prepared to innovate, try new things and unite with other industry bodies for greater good.
“Most importantly, this year's Swettenham Stud Summer Championship looks set to be the most successful yet, with the lure of a free service to Americain very tempting, and representative of Swettenham's generosity.”
A social media competition will be run in conjunction with the Series offering a lucky group the chance to win a VIP tour of Swettenham Stud at Nagambie.
The Melbourne Racing Club and Swettenham Stud websites and social media will have regular updates during the Swettenham Stud Summer Championship.
Top jockey and new father Hugh Bowman has a fine book of rides at Thursday’s Gosford race meeting. Bowman opens the day on early favourite Love Takes Over in race 1, the Schweppes Class 1 Hcp (1600m). The Gwenda Markwell trained 3 year old was an easy winner at Kembla on 16 November and he performed creditably when beaten 1.8 lengths in a much stronger field at Randwick on 23 November.
Former Hong Kong galloper Touchy Feely is another good mount for Bowman in race 5 the Booths Motor Group Maiden Hcp (1200m). Touchy Feely has had two starts for Kris Lees for an encouraging second at Gosford and a disappointing fifth on a slow track at Newcastle. The 5 year old will appreciate the firm track on Thursday.
Darren Smith’s speedy mare Southern Girl resumes in race 6 the Wideline Benchmark 65 Hcp (1000m) with Bowman aboard. The boy from Dunedoo rode Southern Girl to a 4.8 length win at Gosford in August and she races well first up.
Joe Pride has booked Bowman for last start Canterbury winner Redhawks in race 7 the Robson Accountants Class 1 (1000m). Redhawks came from last to win at Canterbury and he has raced well at Gosford in the past. The 4 year old takes on a classy lineup but he will be storming home.
One of the better bets on the program is the Peter Snowden trained Negociant in race 2 the XXXX Gold Maiden Hcp (2100m). Negociant goes to 2100 metres for the first time but he has been narrowly beaten in 1800 metre races at Hawkesbury and Newcastle recently.
Central Coast boy Tim Clark has a good chance of landing the final event aboard Barachello in the WRHS – Samaritans Class 2 Hcp (1200m). Barachello is a backmarker but he was a winner at his only start at Gosford.
Racing royalty training partnership still intact
James Cummings remains hopeful that his training partnership with legendary grandfather Bart will continue beyond this year.
Doubts over the future of the operation surfaced this morning with The Australian publishing a report that indicated the partnership would be dissolved at the end of the year with Bart, 86, to train horses from Hawkesbury.
While James, 25, conceded the partnership was experiencing rough times, he was hopeful they could be resolved so the partnership could continue.
“In response to the story published in today’s The Australian newspaper, I wish to make it clear that the issue is a family matter that can be resolved,” James said in a statement.
“As of now, the Bart and James Cummings training partnership is intact and we have an obligation to maintain our professional service to the loyal clients that support us.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with my grandfather and I sincerely trust we can resolve the issues and continue to work together in the future.”
James entered into a partnership with the 12-time Melbourne Cup winner from the start of the current season, on 1 August, and have prepared 14 winners together.
They experienced good success from limited opportunities during this year’s Spring Racing Carnival, including success in the Group 2 Drake International Cup and Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes with Precedence.
By Brad Bishop
Fab Fevola on his way to one of two heat wins in last year's 55 Second Challenge Series
Sparks set to fly as speedsters clash at Moonee Valley on Friday
Weather pending, the 2013/14 Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge benchmark appears in serious danger on Friday in the seventh heat of the popular series.
This season’s leading time of 55.55 seconds currently sits with Thiamandi, who is one of three past heat winners set to contest Friday’s $55,000 955m event.
The Lloyd Kennewell-trained three-year-old who took out Heat 4 has drawn in barrier two, with Prettyhappyaboutit, the mare that defeated her at her latest start in Heat 5, drawn in barrier 13 for apprentice Harry Coffey.
Though he could only manage eighth place in his first up run in Heat 3, Fab Fevola will be searching for the third 55 Second Challenge triumph of his career on Friday.
A two-time winner in last season’s series, the seven-year-old’s hefty impost of 62.5kg will be reduced by 3kg with the booking of apprentice jockey Kayla Nisbet with the pair drawn in gate 14.
Notably, the Dean Binaisse-trained son of Falvelon carried 60kg to win last season’s 16th heat in a time of 54.87 seconds.
Potentially adding even further speed into the equation is one-time Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) favourite Clevadude, who has drawn the outside barrier (16) for jockey Glen Boss.
Also accepted for the opening race at Caulfield on Saturday, should trainer Rick Hore-Lacy opt to head that way instead there are four emergencies ready to take his place including Mark Riley’s exciting four-year-old Innocent Hero.
At the other end of the spectrum, cult figure Anudjawun will be searching for his second straight victory in the $35,000 “K” Line Australia Handicap (3000m).
After scoring only his second success in 39 career runs last time out, should the eight-year-old hope to make it back-to-back successes he will need to defeat a competitive field of stayers including Hornet’s Nest and Altonio.
The racing action gets underway at Moonee Valley on Friday with the running of the $35,000 Strathmore Flowers Maiden Plate (1200m) and concludes with the $35,000 Sportingbet Best Tote Plus Handicap (1200m) at 10.15pm.
By Ben Asgari
Eyes already on spring 2014 with impressive staying type
Mick Kent is hoping to have a bit of fun over summer with Cadel Triomphe, the star act of today’s meeting at Sale.
The son of Keeper maintained his unbeaten record with an arrogant win in the $30,000 Steeline Gippsland Roofing & Accessories Showcase BM64 Handicap (2219m).
It was just the second start for the five-year-old, who did not debut until 11 October due to seasmoiditis and what Kent described as “growing pains”, but he is looking forward to laying the foundation for spring 2014 in coming months.
“I really like him, he’s got a really good pedigree,” Kent said of the gelding, who is out of Kiwi mare Libra Belle.
“There are some beautiful races around for him this time of year, there’s those graded races at Moonee Valley, and some good money races.
“We’ll give him a couple more runs then put him away and hopefully do something in the spring with him.”
Despite almost eight weeks between runs – the result of a foot abscess – and jumping from the 1600m of his debut success at Cranbourne, Cadel Triomphe overcame sitting near the rear and swinging wide rounding the home turn to power away from his rivals late and score by 5-1/4 lengths.
Winning jockey Brad Rawiller was taken by the performance of the $2.30 favourite.
“He’s exciting,” Rawiller beamed. “I have never been so confident so far off them. He was just never going to get beaten.
“Each time I needed him back on the bridle...I had so much horse underneath me. He just cantered home basically.”
While Cadel Triomphe was the equine star of the Sale meeting, the human star was jockey Dean Holland, who partnered a winning treble.
After winning the second event on the card aboard $16 chance Romantic Spirit for Anne Blackburn, he guided Zebrinz ($3.80) to victory for Greg Eurell in Race 4. Holland completed the treble aboard the Frankie Stockdale-trained Unique Assassin, who started at $15.
A $1 all-up on Holland’s winners at their starting prices would have netted a $912 return.
By Brad Bishop
Lord Of The Sky wins impressively at Caulfield in June
Quality three-year-old contest kicks off Saturday’s Caulfield program
An exciting field of three-year-olds will kick off Saturday’s National Jockeys’ Trust Race Day at Caulfield in the $80,000 National Patient Transport Plate (1000m).
Offering a further $50,000 worth of Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold bonuses for qualified runners, the race features five last-start winners as well as one-time Magic Millions 2YO Classic favourite Clevadude, who will carry the top weight of 58kg after the 2kg claim for apprentice Tom Sadler.
Victoria Derby winning trainer Robbie Laing has opted to use the event for the return of boom colt Lord Of The Sky, who was also nominated against the older horses in the Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m).
The son of Danerich hasn’t been seen at the races since recording a 3.5 length all-the-way victory over 1000 metres at Caulfield in June for apprentice Kayla Nisbet, who again takes the ride on Saturday.
Mark Kavanagh’s exciting colt West Africa is one of four unbeaten gallopers in the race, with the son of Henrythenavigator fresh off a nine-length debut win at Kyenton.
Other key runners include Lucky Symbol, who is two from two at Morphettville for in-form South Australian trainer Phillip Stokes, dual Stakes-placed filly Romancingthestone, as well as Peter Moody’s unbeaten pair of Colors Of The Wind and Brotherly Secret.
A further highlight on the eight-race program promises to be the $120,000 Listed PFD Food Services Doveton Stakes (1000m) which features a field of 10 headed by the injury-plagued 2011 Group 2 Stutt Stakes winner Chase The Rainbow.
The five-year-old hasn’t raced since winning over 1400 metres at Caulfield in September 2012 and had been on a path towards the BMW Caulfield Cup before succumbing to injury.
Mick Price looks to hold an exceptionally strong hand in the race with Stakes-winning mare Loveyamadly heading a three-pronged assault for the local trainer alongside fellow mares Halle Rocks and Vicario.
Additional runners of interest in the day’s feature include reigning Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge champion Vatican, multiple city-winners Zedi Knight and Rescue Mission and Oakleigh Plate/Newmarket Handicap fourth-placegetter Undeniably.
Price again features prominently in the $100,000 Kerrin and Rochelle Shortis Handicap (1600m) where he has Sunshine Coast Guineas victor Eximius engaged.
Drawn in the inside barrier for jockey Craig Newitt, should the four-year-old hope to bounce back into form on Saturday then he will have to defeat the likes of Group 2 Drake International Cup (2500m) winner Vatuvei, the last-start Tony Beddison Cup (1600m) quinella of Lord Wimble and Lord Durante as well as the David Hayes-trained Auld Burns.
Race 1 kicks off at 1.10pm with the final event on the program set to jump at 5.30pm.
By Ben Asgari
4/12/2013 More trackwork from the Gai Waterhouse stables
Article courtesy of the Gai Waterhouse stables
Gallops 3 December 2013
Tommy Berry’s best of the morning was 2-year-old Fighting Sun (Northern Meteor x Irish Darling) who galloped strongly over 600m coming home his last 200m in 11.4 seconds. This colt is fast getting ready to trial and when he does, look out.
Adam Hyeronimus’ best of the morning was Rochallor (Fastnet Rock x Oraia) who galloped very well over 1200m coming home his last 200m in 11.8 seconds. This three-year-old colt has taken a little time to find his best but now he has really turned the corner and when he hits the trials he will really stand up and be counted. Adam feels the colt is ready to trial for the first time in the coming weeks.
Neil Paine mentioned that Star Thoroughbreds King Cobia (Exceed And Excel x Amitola) was ‘working great’ after the veteran hoop partnered the in-form gelding over 1400m coming home their last 200m in 11.5 seconds. Last start King Cobia gave a very much ‘boomed’ Joe Pride runner a real race and he has come on since and will be exceptionally hard to beat at his next start.
Other nice gallops came from…
Northern Glory (Northern Meteor x Cliantha) and Star Thoroughbreds Whittington (Tale Of The Cat x Maha Chakri) who made a terrific pair. They galloped over 1000m coming home their last 200m in 11.4 seconds.
Sookie (Casino Prince x Purple Blood) rattled off a solid 1200m coming home in 11.6 seconds.
Able Boy (Oratorio x Cladagh) ran 600m coming home in 11.6 seconds.
Some smart 2-year-olds worked out impressively too. Mystery (More Than Ready x Mary Marvel), Star Thoroughbreds' Meteor Storm (Northern Meteor x Elahi), Hostile Witness (Street Sense x Biru Lang) and Mr Cha Cha (Snitzel x Molly Dot Com) all worked over 600m and all looked extremely promising.
Stay tuned form more two-year-old news each and every day.
Sale for the midweeks for Aquanita
4th December 2013
The runner for Robert Smerdon at Sale on Wednesday is Prime Hope in Race 2.
After not being in the finish at her first start, the filly by Primus has since had a barrier trial at Cranbourne where she looked to be far more attuned finishing second.
There isn’t a great deal of established speed here, accompanied by little form as well. This is a Fillies only maiden as well so quick improvement is possible.
Looking for a better showing this time.
Loveyamadly and Dale Smith will combine for Saturday's Doveton Stakes at Caulfield
Three chances in Doveton Stakes for leading Caulfield trainer
Mick Price will have three runners in the feature event on Saturday’s Caulfield program, the $120,000 Listed Doveton Stakes.
The Caulfield trainer today accepted with, and declared jockeys for, the three horses he entered in the main event on the National Jockeys’ Trust Raceday.
Dale Smith will retain his association with resuming Black Type-winning mare Loveyamadly, who is the highest-rated runner in the 1200-metre event and will carry 58.5kg.
Melbourne’s leading jockey Damien Oliver, who rode the Price-trained Nordic Empire to victory at Caulfield last Saturday, will partner Halle Rocks, while Daniel Moor has the job aboard Vicario.
Price’s trio are among a strong set of entries for the Doveton Stakes, which heralds the return of Rick Hore-Lacy’s injury-plagued Group 2 winner Chase The Rainbow, who will be ridden by Dwayne Dunn.
He will share the 60kg topweight with the Byron Cozamanis-trained Vatican, who is to be ridden by Billy Egan.
Price will have three other runners at Caulfield this Saturday, headed by Sunshine Coast Guineas winner Eximius, who will contest the $100,000 Open Handicap (1600m) with Craig Newitt in the saddle.
Smith has been engaged for General Offer in the $80,000 0-84 Handicap (1200m), while Hirad has the services of Glen Boss in the $80,000 Benchmark 78 Handicap (1400m).
By Brad Bishop
Veteran galloper out to add 2013 Port Fairy Cup to the one he won in 2011
Given he thinks Bocuse is going as well as he was two years ago, Kelvin Bourke found Thursday’s $40,000 Port Fairy IGA Cup (1400m) at Warrnambool too hard to pass up.
The Geelong horseman will start Bocuse, now a nine-year-old, in the 1400-metre event that he won in 2011.
Bocuse confirmed to Bourke that he had lost nothing with a fine second in the Listed Tasmanian Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Launceston on 20 November, which was when sights were set on another Port Fairy Cup.
“I’d say he’s going as good (as two years ago),” Bourke said. “They ran one (minute) nine (seconds) in Tassie – his time would have won any one of the last five Newmarkets – but the horse that beat him is a pretty smart horse.
“He travelled home good on the ferry and he’s happy enough. He’s done a bit of beach work since then so, all going well, he’ll go there and run another good race.”
Bocuse’s Tasmanian effort followed a sixth placing in the feature sprint on Bendigo Cup Day, but before that won the $50,000 Dual Choice Plate on Geelong Cup Day.
It was a remarkable effort from a galloper whose career was in doubt when suffered a tendon injury in autumn last year.
He spent 17 months away from the races before resuming at Caulfield in September this year, a lay-off Bourke said looked more daunting than it was.
“He only had a slight tendon and I never gave him the 12 months off,” he reported. “He was going to the beach everyday and he’s more or less been acting as the lead pony. I was using him like that for nearly 12 months.”
Bocuse, who has won eight of his 35 starts and a tick over $268,062 – $50,000 of it since returning from injury – will start from barrier two in the 12-horse Port Fairy Cup, for which he is the 59.5kg topweight.
Last-start Mt Gambier winner Feeling Invincible (57kg) is closest to him at the weights, while former Darley galloper Sabres (55kg) and defending champion Scaredymac (54.5kg) are the others above the 54kg limit.
“He probably would have been better off drawn out a little bit, but it’s a winnable race for him,” Bourke said of Bocuse, who will be ridden by Jamie Mott.
By Brad Bishop
Sign off on two parcels of land at Flemington
The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) and Greenland Australia have signed a contract for the sale of two surplus parcels of land at Flemington.
The sale, which would inject more than $45 million into Flemington Racecourse, is subject to approvals from the appropriate authorities for development of approximately 10,500 sqm (1.05ha) of land on Epsom Road and approximately 30,174 sqm (3.01 ha) known as the Hill Precinct.
The agreement follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding in October that involved the preparation of a development concept.
VRC CEO David Courtney said the VRC will now work with Greenland to facilitate a design competition process with a number of leading architectural practices.
The sale will be finalised once the VRC approves the final development concept and all necessary approvals are obtained.
Courtney said the VRC is satisfied the process will deliver a development concept that will complement and respect the Flemington Racecourse precinct.
“The sale is an important milestone in the implementation of the VRC’s ambitious Masterplan, designed to deliver greater benefits to Members, patrons, the racing industry and the community,” Courtney said.
“The Masterplan includes the construction of a new grandstand and enhanced facilities for all visitors to Flemington, and will ensure the Melbourne Cup Carnival remains Australia’s foremost major event.”
Greenland Managing Director Sherwood Luo welcomed the signing and said the planned development of both sites would contribute considerably to Melbourne.
“We are committed to working collaboratively with the VRC to ensure the sale and development provide benefits to the VRC, Flemington and the wider community,” Luo said.
“Our next task is to undertake an internal design competition to ensure we deliver a final concept that reflects the character of Flemington.”
It is envisaged that initial plans will be made available for review and discussion by the middle of 2014.
4/12/2013 RAD Board appeal - Jason Maskiell
The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board will hear an appeal by jockey Jason Maskiell at 10.30am on Tuesday, 17 December 2013.
Maskiell has appealed against the severity of the penalty imposed by Stewards when at an inquiry on Friday, 29 November 2013 he pleaded guilty to a charge under the provisions of AR 81A(1)(a) which states that: Any rider commits an offence and may be penalised if a sample taken from him is found upon analysis to contain a substance banned by AR 81B.
The particulars being that he provided a urine sample at the Kyneton race meeting on Wednesday, 6 November 2013 that was found upon analysis to contain a substance banned under AR 81B.
Maskiell had his licence to ride in races suspended for a period of 18 months, commencing on Sunday 10 November 2013, at which time he was stood down, and expiring at midnight on Sunday 10 May 2015. Mr Maskiell was also suspended from riding trackwork and in trials for a period of 12 months, expiring at midnight on Monday 10 November 2014.
Maskiell must also provide a sample that is free of any substance banned by AR 81B and provide written evidence of a satisfactory period of counselling prior to resuming riding trackwork and in trials.
A stay of proceedings was not requested.
3/12/2013 Latest trackwork from the Gai Waterhouse stables
Article courtesy of Gai Waterhouse stables - 2/12/2013
James McDonald’s best of the morning was Star Thoroughbreds Shaftesbury (Sebring x Apollo's Pride) who galloped over 600m coming home his last 200m in 11.1 seconds. This son of Sebring has just come into the stable and he is already making his mark.
‘I like him’ is what Blake Shinn said after getting off star 2-year-old colt Valentia (Fastnet Rock x Smart Company) this morning. The colt galloped stylishly over 600m storming home his last 200m in 11.0 seconds.
Adam Hyeronimus’ best of the morning was Rock the Boat (Fastnet Rock x Attessa) who galloped brilliantly over 600m. Like Valentia, Rock the Boat is a Fastnet Rock colt which by definition equals excitement.
The three above mention youngsters were the standouts this morning but they were not the only ones who turned some heads. Stay tuned to the daily trackwork reports for updates on all the young horses that are fast getting ready for the Magic Million plus the other very rich upcoming 2-year-old races.
More older horses will step out tomorrow and with the stable winning three major Cups (including the race that stops a nation) in the last month, expect the older horses to really keep going on their merry way towards Christmas.
Samaready wins the shark.com.au Stakes at Caulfield in August
Star mare on a path towards Flemington Group 1 sprint double
Samaready is back in work with the four-year-old mare to be set for a first-up tilt at the $500,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 15.
The 2012 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) winner added to her Group 1 haul over the Spring Racing Carnival with a dominant four-length win over subsequent triple-Group 1 winner Buffering in the Programmed Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
She was then found to have suffered an exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhage when eighth behind Buffering in the Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at the same track.
Trainer Mick Price said the daughter of More Than Ready returned to work today to start her pre-training at Rockmount Stud.
“She’s very well in herself,” Price said. “She has had about a month off and is in lovely condition.
“We’re thinking we’ll go to the Lightning with her and then the Newmarket and then five weeks after the Newmarket into the T.J. Smith (1200m) in Sydney.
“She’s a proven weight-for-age mare so it (Black Caviar Lightning) looks a suitable first up race for her.”
As well as Samready in the $1 million Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m), Price will also be targeting the other $1 million Group 1 on Flemington’s Super Saturday program with Pakal to be aimed towards the Darley Australian Cup (2000m).
A dominant winner of the $200,000 Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) carrying 60kg, Price said the five-year-old import “didn’t have a lot of luck” when a close-up fifth in the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
“Hugh Bowman got off him and said he was intimidated by the closeness of horses around him,” Price said.
“He has had a good Australian paddock spell which he wouldn’t have had for a while so he should be blooming.”
Price is yet to confirm which race Pakal will resume in but said the son of Lord Of England could run in the Australian Cup second-up.
By Ben Asgari
Track investigation clears Warrnambool for Thursday's feature meeting
Thursday’s Port Fairy IGA Cup meeting at Warrnambool will go ahead following the completion of an investigation by Racing Victoria (RV), the Warrnambool Racing Club (WRC) and the Warrnambool City Council into the state of the track.
Racing Victoria (RV) commenced an investigation following the abandonment of the Warrnambool meeting on Thursday, 7 November, owing to safety concerns with the track.
RV Stewards made the decision to abandon the meeting following Race 1 after a hole, approximately 400 millimetres in depth, was discovered in the track about 150 metres past the winning post.
After extensive investigations, it was found a build up of silt and debris in a stormwater drain pipe under the track caused water to run back up the trench which resulted in subsidence of the soil profile.
The pipe has since been cleared with subsequent investigations by Warrnambool City Council engineers and RV declaring the pipe structurally sound.
The affected section of the track has been filled and compacted and RV and the WRC are pleased to resume racing for the popular Port Fairy Cup meeting.
A number of horses will gallop on track on Tuesday morning as part of standard pre-race meeting preparation.
Nominations for the meeting will close at 12 noon today with final acceptances taken at 9am on Tuesday.
Chase The Rainbow wins at Caulfield in September 2012
Talented galloper heads a quality list of Caulfield nominations
Gifted but injury-plagued galloper Chase The Rainbow heads an exciting list of 20 nominations in Saturday’s $120,000 Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield.
Last seen at the races winning over 1400 metres at Caulfield in September 2012, trainer Rick Hore-Lacy had planned to target the five-year-old at the BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) in October before he succumbed to a second tendon injury in 12 months.
A winner of the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley as a three-year-old, should the son of Dash For Cash hope to return with a victory he could have to defeat an impressive field.
Other key nominations include Mick Price’s Stakes-winning mare Loveyamadly, multiple city winner Rescue Mission, exciting three-year-old Lord Of The Sky, reigning Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge champion Vatican and veteran sprinter Zedi Knight.
A further highlight on the eight-race National Jockeys’ Trust Race Day program is the $100,000 open handicap over 1600 metres which features 23 entries headed by Eximius.
Among four career wins, the Mick Price-trained four-year-old boasts a victory in the Listed Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) in June.
Fellow Caulfield trainer Peter Moody has Group 2 Drake International Cup (2500m) winner Vatuvei and progressive mare Zoomania both entered alongside the likes of last-start Moonee Valley winner Lord Wimble and David Hayes’ import Auld Burns.
Hore-Lacy features prominently among the nominations again with one-time boom galloper Clevadude leading a list of 18 entries in the Benchmark 78 three-year-old handicap over 1000 metres.
The son of Bel Esprit is one of six horses in the field qualified for $50,000 worth of Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold bonuses on top of the $80,000 prize money.
Robbie Laing has entered Lord Of The Sky (also nominated in the Doveton Stakes), with the colt one of six last-start winners among the nominations that also include nine-length debut Kilmore winner West Africa and Phillip Stokes’ Lucky Symbol.
Apprentice Jye McNeil lands Rising Stars heat at Kilmore
A late pick-up ride at Kilmore today has delivered talented apprentice Jye McNeil his first victory in this season’s National Patient Transport Rising Stars series.
McNeil joined a crowded group of his peers near the top of the Rising Stars leaderboard after netting maximum series points for his win aboard the Alicia Macpherson-trained Call On Kevin ($4 fav) in the 0-58 Handicap (1207m).
While the pre-race instructions were to settle midfield with cover, McNeil opted to sit outside the leader after beginning well from barrier six on the son of God’s Own.
Striding to the lead at the top of the straight, McNeil’s mount proved too good for his rivals and posted a three length win over Before All ($6.50), ridden by Brooke Sweeney, with Josh Cartwright piloting Master Luca ($5) into third place.
McNeil, who inherited the ride from an absent Katelyn Mallyon, said he had used his initiative to make the most of Call On Kevin’s early speed and the horse was tough to the line.
“I didn’t really know much about this bloke and I only picked up the ride this morning but I watched his last run at Kilmore and he was probably getting a bit tired towards the line but he ran right through the line today,” McNeil said.
“He just began that well that we were going to end up being caught wide so we just pressed forward and he travelled well.
“He gave a nice kick around the turn and was just too strong to the line.”
McNeil collected 12 points for the victory, taking his series tally to 18 and alongside rivals Patrick Moloney (suspended) and Jordan Childs (injured).
Series leader Ryan Hurdle (26 points) missed today’s heat following a fall at Pakenham last week while Josh Cartwright moved to outright second (22 points) after today’s minor placing.
The series moves to Wangaratta next Tuesday for the final heat of 2013 before resuming in the New Year at Mornington on 10 January.
The full leaderboard and the 2013/14 heat winners for the National Patient Transport Rising Stars series are available here.
1/12/2013 Travolta and Tommy Berry have the ATC Cup well and truly parcelled up
Gai Waterhouse is so much more than a Melbourne
Cup-winning trainer – she's become the "Cups
queen". And still basking in the lights of fame after
her horse Fiorente won Australia's richest race, Waterhouse
awarded herself the royal title when referring to herself in the
third person at Rosehill yesterday.
Her gelding Travolta (NZ) (Handsome Ransom), the $3.10
favourite, had just added to her Flemington glory with a
classy win in the 2000 metre ATC Cup.
"And the Ballarat Cup, I should say," Waterhouse said of her
recent victories. "She's the Cups queen, isn't she."
With Tommy Berry aboard, Travolta led all the way to take
the race by a solid 2¼ lengths, in front of the Chris Waller pair
Hoylonny (Lonhro), a last-start Rosehill winner, and German
import Secessio (Konigstiger).
It was an impressive performance from the five-year-old,
who is on his second race back after a spell and had stepped
up to the 2000 metre distance from a 1350 metre run two
Waterhouse said moving up to 2400 metres over the
summer should be no problem for the gelding, who is back in
form after "losing the plot".
Berry said while Travolta clearly displayed fitness there
was still a question mark over whether he could cut it over
the longer distance. "We'll definitely try him at it. But he's one
of those horses who runs 2000 metres that strong you think
he's going to get further – but he might not."
– AAP TURF
Race ATC Cup L 2000m
Winner Travolta (NZ) 2008
Owners White Sock Holdings Pty Ltd (Mgr: H Kassim),
T G Heptinstall, Gurners Bloodstock Co (Mgr:
Est A P Ramsden), B G Neville-White, Mrs D G
Neville-White, T M Pivac, M J Allen & Miss K
Trainer Gai Waterhouse (Randwick)
Breeding by Handsome Ransom (Aus) out of Belongs in
Lights (Aus) by Belong to Me (USA)
Breeder T G Heptinstall & T M Pivac
1/12/2013 Freshwater Storm back in form
The opposition are nowhere in sight as Freshwater Storm charges away with the Ballymore Stables Handicap at yesterday's Caulfield
A winner on One Thousand Guineas day of the Caulfield
Cup carnival last month before a disappointing
eighth in the greys race on Oaks day at Flemington,
Freshwater Storm (NZ) (One Cool Cat) was confidently
expected by trainer Tony Parker to rebound in the 1700 metre
Ballymore Stables Handicap at yesterday's Caulfield meeting.
Parker also expected the gelding would be prominent
in the running, notifying stewards that the horse would be
ridden forward. But those plans didn't pan out as Freshwater
Storm was shuffled back slightly after jumping and settled
down about fifth or sixth in the sixteen-strong field and found
himself in eighth place on the home turn.
In the wash-up, it mattered little as Freshwater Storm,
a $14 chance, stormed home mid-track to a 2¾ length win
from rank outsider Angelology (NZ) (Coats Choice), with
three-quarters of a length to another roughie in London
Stripe (Rock of Gibraltar). The favourite Murcielaga (Testa
Rossa), backed from $4 to $3.60, was unable to make any
impression as he finished seventh.
"There was a lot of early speed," said Parker post-race. "At
this distance, he can usually keep up there – but it worked
out okay in the end. He's a lot stronger now and will get out
to 2000 metres easily.
"The track was too firm for him at Flemington," he added,"and he was at his right distance here today."
Ending an exasperating run for Jye McNeil, Freshwater
Storm's effortless win provided the apprentice with his first
metropolitan success since he partnered Clang And Bang to
victory at Moonee Valley on August 24.
McNeil had endured seven city placings, including
two seconds at Moonee Valley the previous night, before
Freshwater Storm won.
Race MRC Ballymore Stables H. 1700m
Winner Freshwater Storm (NZ) 2008
Owners A H & Mrs V M Parker and Freshwater Racing
(Mgr J P Murnane)
Trainer Tony Parker (Geelong)
Breeding by One Cool Cat (USA) out of Egeria (Ire) by
Breeder Mrs G E Boucher, M J Gatt, Mrs C A & P D
Leaming, I E McCarrison and P A Moroney
Sales 2010 Ready to Run Sale; V: Kilgravin Lodge, P:
Mr A H Parker; $50,000
Nordic Empire scores an impressive debut win at Caulfield
Mick Price-trained two-year-old impresses in Caulfield debut
Nordic Empire will be aimed towards the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast in January, after the colt kicked off his career in style winning the $80,000 Flemington Equine Clinic Plate (1000m) at Caulfield today.
Because he is owned solely by women, the son of Wilander is eligible for a $500,000 bonus that will be distributed to the first four all-female owned or leased horses in the January 11 feature on the Gold Coast.
Trainer Mick Price said Nordic Strike and stable mate Geramayo, who finished runner-up in last week’s Clockwise Classic (1000m) at Ballarat, would both run in the $200,000 Magic Millions Wyong 2YO Classic (1100m) on December 19 en route to Queensland.
“I have worked them together and Nordic Empire had Geramayo covered,” Price said.
“I thought he was good, he was a bit off and on and he has a few things still to learn. I thought the end of the race was good where he showed a nice but of stamina and I think he beat the right horse too.
“He’s athletic, his knees are good, his shins are good and he’s a real natural two-year-old type with improvement to come.”
Settling just behind the leaders in a three-wide position, jockey Damien Oliver allowed Nordic Empire ($5) to stride forward and join the leaders approaching the home turn.
Racing to the lead at the 200m mark, Nordic Empire powered away over the concluding stages to score a 1.8 length victory over the fast-finishing Zulu Land ($7), with My Lucky Strike ($7.50) 2.5 lengths away from the winner in third.
Though he said it was probably a big advantage for Nordic Empire to be racing on his home track, Oliver still had a good opinion of the youngster.
“He’s a really neat little two-year-old,” Oliver said. “He didn’t do much wrong and looks a good pick up.
“He’s progressing nicely and if Mick can hold him together then he’s going to have a lot of fun with him in the upcoming two-year-old race.”
The victory gave Oliver an 18th city success this season and opened a three win lead in the metropolitan jockey premiership over Craig Williams and Glen Boss in second position.
Price made it an early double on the Cystic Fibrosis Summer Race Day program when he also claimed the CRV Hospital Helping Hand Plate (1400m) with Countersnip.
Speaking after the victory of Nordic Empire, who races in the BC3 Thoroughbreds colours, BC3 Sales and Industry Liaison Manager Simon Marshall said the win was a great boost with Black Caviar’s $5 million half-brother “Jimmy” still battling laminitis.
“With laminitis it’s a day-to-day thing, the staff at Werribee (Melbourne University Veterinary Clinic) tell us he’s coping well,” Marshall said.
“He’s eased off the medication a little bit but he’s not out of the woods yet.
“He looks terrific, his coats a lot better and he’s a really resilient colt. He’s a phenomenal horse and he really is fighting the fight which is giving us hope.”
By Ben Asgari
Girl In Flight makes it three from three at Caulfield
Girl In Flight maintains her unbeaten record with a barnstorming finish at Caulfield
Exciting filly Girl In Flight took her record to three wins from three starts after coming from last to win today’s $80,000 Leigh Thomas Gift (1700m) at Caulfield.
The longest race yet to carry a VOBIS Gold bonus, the win landed the daughter of Commands’ connections over $78,000 in prize money after claiming the lion’s share of the $50,000 worth of Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold bonuses.
Trainer Robbie Griffiths said he would see how she came through today’s run before deciding whether she races on this preparation, but that the the long-term aim was the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) in Adelaide in April.
“For a tall filly she has got a great turn of speed and great balance which allows her to really run a good sectional so it all looks good for the future,” Griffiths said.
“I think she’s a black-type filly and we’ve always had Adelaide in our mind because it just suited her timing. She’s a late-foal that has kicked-off her racing behind the Spring Carnival which makes it very hard to be ready for the (Melbourne) autumn.
“She’s got a fantastic pedigree, we spend so much money importing horses that when I bought her in Melbourne for $60,000 I thought this is fantastic, we were very pleased to pick her up.”
Settling in last position early, jockey Ryan Maloney elected to save ground on the corner by not going to the outside before being blocked for a run at the top of the home straight.
When the gap did appear with 200m left to travel, Girl In Flight ($2.30F) sprinted quickly to run down the two leaders and record a half-length victory over Collins Street ($10), with Cottonwood Grove ($4.80) a further length away in third.
Maloney said it was good effort by Girl In Flight, who he described as only a small filly, to carry the 59.5kg to victory.
“It was only her third career run but I knew she had the talent and if she got the split that she’d do the job so I banked on that and when she got through it was all over,” Maloney said.
“She’s still very green, every start she’s had she’s improved that bit more and I just think with time she’s going to make a really nice filly.
“She has a really nice temperament and I just hope that I can stay aboard.”
By Ben Asgari
30th November 2013 Aquanita's runners for Saturday
Runners at three venues on Saturday for the Aquanita team.
At Caulfield Robert Smerdon has two four year olds running.
The first of them is in Race 5 where Aurora Lights kicks off for the stable. The former kiwi mare ran as one of the favourites in the Australasian Oaks and has not raced since.
Given she is more a staying mare, starting at 1400m will allow her to balance up near the rear from the bad barrier and she won’t be totally run off her feet.
Her best is up to many of these when you consider her placing in the New Zealand Oaks.
Electric Fusion then takes on a 2000m BM96 handicap. He has run very well this preparation bar the run at Caulfield when nothing went right.
He loomed to win last week at the Valley but was a sitting shot for the winner and the quick back up means he’s hard fit and ready to run it out strongly.
It was at this stage of his last campaign in the Winter when he began to really hit his stride including the Derby placing to Hawkspur.
Cranbourne hosts a night meeting again this week but it is on a Saturday for a change. Robert has two in there.
Canyoukeepasecret had some serious excuses on debut when she became unbalanced and appeared to contact the inside running rail at the furlong mark at Yarra Valley.
She’s had over a month off to get over that matter and runs again over 1000m but on what should be a firmer track this time. She finds a nice barrier as well.
Tony Vasil’s Cranbourne runners on Saturday night have been thereabouts in recent starts.
Positive Decision only raced last Saturday and was in the market at Mornington. He was midfield on a day when it wasn’t easy to make up ground.
This gate will allow him to ridden forward if need be and allows him the chance to be well ahead of much of the field. That might be important around here.
A race later, Goomah Gal finished closer than she ever has at Traralgon and only races against the fillies and mares here.
The setup of this race means it could pan out similarly to last time and so her tactical speed will be advantageous. Expecting her to be a show.
Last Saturday produced some excellent performances for Simon Miller’s team on Super Saturday at Ascot but there just wasn’t the number one in the win column.
So this week he looks to bounce straight back and Fine Rock kicks things of in Race 5.
This three year old debuted in September and was only beaten a head at Belmont. He was on speed then over the 1000m.
That pace will be critical from the eight gate as there looks to be quite a bit of it here. It’s an even sort of contest but no surprise for him to be right there at the end.
Then there are two entered for the 1000m Open Sprint in another decent sized field.
Bombora was scratched last week from the Carbine Club Stakes and that means he’s 25 days between runs. Doubt that will affect him much as he’s run well under those circumstances in the past.
The claim helps offset the weight rise and assuming he’s in touch over this short trip, it’s such a big drop in grade from Group 3 level that he’ll go well.
Also in Race 7 is Ron’s Call who resumes off a ten week break. He was well supported several times last prep including the Hannans Handicap but it’s now a couple of years since he won a race when he had issues.
The five year old does go well fresh and carries the limit weight which has to help his cause.
Peter Snowden is looking for his first Melbourne 2YO winner of the season
Darley looking to translate its hot run with Sydney juveniles in Melbourne
Much of the focus in Sydney racing in recent weeks has been the stunning run of Peter Snowden-trained two-year-olds.
The top trainer has won a juvenile race at the past three Saturday meetings in Sydney and goes in search of another tomorrow with Memorial, who will be out to back up her win at Rosehill on 16 November with victory at the same track.
It has been a different story in Melbourne. In contrast to recent years, when Snowden has been the dominant force in pre-Christmas juvenile races, the head trainer for Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley operation is yet to train a two-year-old winner in Melbourne this season.
But he has had nowhere near the representation of years gone by. Snowden has saddled just four starters in Melbourne this season and none have placed.
He gets his best chance yet to strike a blow tomorrow at Caulfield, where Orujo will run in the $80,000 Flemington Equine Clinic Plate (1000m).
Orujo will become Snowden’s first juvenile starter in Melbourne that is among Darley’s entries for next year’s Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes and Snowden is looking to the son of Exceed And Excel, who won a Warwick Farm trial on 21 November, for a strong showing.
“He is in the Diamond and I think he’s a legitimate chance (to make it to the race), but he needs to show us something tomorrow,” Snowden told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“He’s a nice little horse and he’s trialled well up here in Sydney. He’s only been down there a couple of days, but he’s quite tractable and does everything right.
“He settled in extremely well, Paul (Snowden, assistant trainer) said he was on his right leg this morning and you’d swear he’d been here before the way he went around, so that’s a good sign.”
Snowden opted for the Caulfield assignment for Orujo, who was also an acceptor for the event that Memorial will contest in Sydney.
The colt, who is a half-brother to Limes, will start from barrier nine in the 11-horse event, for which he is the $3.30 favourite with TAB.
Peter Moody-trained debutante It’s About You ($5) and David Hayes’ $1.5 million yearling buy Zulu Land $7) are among Orujo’s rivals, as are My Lucky Strike ($21 to $6) and Trailofdestruction ($41 to $15), who have been backed at long odds.
Snowden said Orujo was likely to take up a forward position but would prefer if jockey Craig Newitt was able to find some cover.
“He’s not just one-dimensional,” Snowden said. “I think he’s got enough race-nous to go forward but not overrace and get back in behind a couple, which would probably be to his benefit first time Caulfield which is a pretty hard track to win at your first time the Melbourne way.”
Memorial joins Orujo among Darley’s 25 Blue Diamond nominations, as are its other recent Sydney winners Earthquake – who is the early favourite for the $1 million event to be run at Caulfield next February – and Occitan.
Orujo is Snowden’s only runner at Caulfield but one of several fancied early mounts for Newitt, who also partners Disciple – the $2.70 favourite for Race 4 – and Cottonwood Grove, who is the $5.50 second elect in Race 2.
By Brad Bishop
Commanding Jewel wins the Let's Elope Stakes
Injury-plagued mare back at stable to complete recovery from hoof injury
The likelihood of seeing Commanding Jewel at the races next autumn should be known before Christmas.
The brilliant-but-injury-prone four-year-old has been back at trainer Leon Corstens’ Romsey property since early last week where she sports a cast on the hoof that she cut in a paddock accident in late-September.
That cast will come off midway through next month and part-owner Brad Spicer said that will determine whether she can be prepared for a one or two-run campaign before the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“The cast will come off in two to three weeks time and once that’s off we’ll be able to assess where we go with her; whether she’ll have a short autumn campaign or whether she’ll be missing until the spring,” Spicer said.
“The vets are pretty hopeful everything’s fine and if we can get her back for some races in April or May that’d be great.
“But it’s pretty much up to the vets. Once they pull that cast off and if everything’s heeled up the way they want it and knitted well we could be looking at a mini-campaign in the autumn with a view to the spring. That’d be the best-case scenario.”
Commanding Jewel has not started since winning the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington on 7 September, which was her fourth win from just seven starts and took her earnings to $541,700.
The daughter of Commands and Regard, which makes her a three-quarter-sister to former champion racemare Atlantic Jewel, hurt herself the week of the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, in which she would have started one of the favourites.
Spicer and some of his co-owners visited the 2012 Thousand Guineas winner yesterday and were heartened by her mood.
“She’s not on any pain-killers or anything and she’s really bright and bubbly in her box,” he said. “I think she’s just itching to get back out there again.”
By Brad Bishop
30/11/2013 Stewards Inquiry - Jason Maskiell
Stewards today inquired into a report received from Racing Analytical Services Limited confirming that a urine sample taken from licensed jockey Jason Maskiell at the Kyneton race meeting on Wednesday, 6 November 2013 contained a banned substance.
Jason Maskiell subsequently pleaded guilty to breaching the provisions of Australian Rule of Racing 81A(1)(a) after providing a sample that was found upon analysis to contain substances banned by Australian Rule of Racing 81B.
Jason Maskiell was suspended from riding in races for a period of 18 months, commencing 10th November 2013, at which time he was stood down, to expire midnight 10th May 2015.
Further, Jason Maskiell is suspended from riding in trackwork and trials for a period of 12 months, to expire midnight 10th November 2014. Jason
Maskiell must also provide a sample that is free of any substance banned by AR81B and; provide written evidence of a satisfactory period of counselling, prior to resuming riding trackwork and in trials.
30th November 2013 Racing Victoria releases first draft of 2014/15 race dates
Racing Victoria (RV) has today revealed Ballarat Turf Club (BTC) has been allocated a standalone Saturday metropolitan meeting for its popular Cup Day in 2014 amongst a suite of preliminary race program and infrastructure enhancements outlined in the initial draft of race dates for the 2014-15 season.
BTC’s popular regional Cup meeting will be staged on Saturday, 22 November 2014 and remain the concluding event of the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
In announcing the change, Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said Ballarat’s Cup meeting would provide an endpoint to the Carnival and showcase country racing to a broader audience.
“Ballarat’s standalone Saturday race meeting provides a great opportunity to showcase the quality Cup program and another opportunity for racing to take its stars to country Victoria in racing’s most popular timeslot,” Carpenter said.
“The announcement reflects Racing Victoria’s desire to create new events in the calendar by restructuring the race program to take advantage of key attendance, media and wagering windows.
“A major review of the calendar is underway, as outlined in the recently released Strategic Plan for 2013-16, and a further series of enhancements will be announced after a review of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and late summer/early autumn period of racing is conducted.”
A second standalone Saturday metropolitan meeting was also allocated with the Mornington Cup to be transferred from its traditional Wednesday timeslot in mid February to Saturday, 28 March 2015, allowing for a natural progression for quality staying horses during the late summer/early autumn period.
While Mornington picks up this important Saturday timeslot for its rich Cup day, in September its AFL Grand Final day race meeting has been moved to Sandown which returns to racing next season after a surface renovation.
Ballarat and Mornington join Bendigo, which hosts the Golden Mile Raceday in the late summer/early autumn period, as the three regional centres hosting standalone Saturday meetings in the 2014/15 season.
RV will guarantee the new standalone meetings for three years, with key performance indicators in place for each year to assess success.
One of the major highlights of the dates will be the opening of a new race track in Victoria with Pakenham Racing Club beginning racing at their state of the art racing facility at Tynong.
The new $70 million racecourse development will commence racing over two stages in 2014/15 with the opening meeting on the turf track on Wednesday, 26 March 2015, and the synthetic surface, which will provide an important all-weather option for the state’s south-east, from June 2015. In 2014/15 the Pakenham Racing Club has been allocated 17 meetings, 10 on grass, and seven synthetic meetings transferred from Geelong Synthetic.
Alongside race date changes, RV was pleased to welcome back several venues for a full racing season which have been out of action while renovations were underway;
- $4.5m major track renovation at Moe racecourse is also nearing completion, with the Moe Racing Club scheduled for its return meeting on its StrathAyr surface on Tuesday, 18 February, 2014.
- Ballarat to return after its current surface renovation on Sunday, 11 May 2014.
While Moe and Ballarat will return, Caulfield’s race surface will undergo a renovation immediately following the 2014 Caulfield Cup meeting in October with the Melbourne Racing Club to return at Caulfield for its Orr Stakes meeting on Saturday, 14 February 2015.
During this period, RV will reprogram Caulfield meetings to Sandown (six) and Moonee Valley (two).
The Colac Cup will also be shifted as part of RV’s strategy to remove, where possible, country cup clashes and maximise wagering and event opportunities for clubs. It will now be held a week earlier on Sunday, 15 February.
The changes announced today are part of RV’s commitment to strengthening the quality and depth of Victoria’s racing program to better showcase Victorian racing, while delivering growth in wagering, attendance, media reach and whole of industry engagement.
Following another round of industry consultation and the development of further enhancements of the calendar and program the final version of the race dates will be released in March 2014.
29/11/2013 Stars align for Cummings in Summer feature
Strike The Stars (NZ) (Savabeel) has skipped Perth for Sydney with a view to the future
Long-term interests have won out over a potential endof-
year windfall for one of the best horses in Anthony
Cummings is renowned for the deep-end approach with
his string but his plans for Strike The Stars (NZ) (Savabeel)
are measured by the Randwick trainer's usual standards.
Strike The Stars will line up in the Listed Festival Stakes at
Rosehill on Saturday when he could have easily been in Perth
having run in one Group One race while waiting to contest
But instead of figuring in last week's Railway Stakes
and next month's Kingston Town Classic, Strike The Stars
has returned to Sydney after a Melbourne campaign for a
sequence of summer stakes races.
"I thought about Perth and he was on track to go but he
felt the track at Flemington on the last day of the carnival and
jarred up a little bit," Cummings said.
"He's a pretty nice horse and I want to look after him for
"Perth can be pretty tough on horses and I wasn't
prepared to take that risk."
It has taken time, but Strike The Stars is back in the form
which made him a three-year-old of considerable promise
after a Gloaming Stakes win and an Australian Guineas
placing during the 2011-2012 racing season.
More than two years and 16 races went by after Strike The
Stars' Gloaming win until a first-up victory over 1400m.
His Randwick win last month earned a Melbourne Cup
carnival call-up for a Group Three placing and a midfield
return in the Gr.1 Emirates Stakes.
Strike The Stars finished only two lengths from the winner
Boban (Bernardini) in the Emirates, convincing Cummings
there are more wins ahead.
"He's had his best prep since his three-year-old year so I'm
pretty happy about that," Cummings said.
"There's this race (the Festival), he's got the Villiers and he's
got the Summer Cup.
"If I got to that point then he can have a break and get
ready for the autumn after that."
Up and comers Terravista (Captain Rio) ($A3.20) and
White Sage (Reset) ($A3.40) standout in early Festival betting
because of their impressive run through the classes.
Strike The Stars and one-time stablemate Ninth Legion
(Fastnet Rock) are the only other horses under a doublefigure
quote as they share the third line of betting at $A9.50.
Brown rates Post D'France stayer on rise
29th Nov 2013
The Mornington Cup and potential Caulfield Cup qualification is in the sights of trainer Stephen Brown with Post D'France (NZ) (Postponed).
But the gelding first has to pass another city test at Caulfield on Saturday in the $100,000 CFV Ambassadors Plate (2000m).
|Post D'France (NZ) (Postponed).
Post D'France has won five of his seven starts since crossing the Tasman to join Brown's stable at Flemington.
His most recent victory was over 1600m at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup carnival and Brown insists the five-year-old is better suited stepping up in trip.
Should the stayer win again on Saturday, Brown will look to the $350,000 Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) in February as the short-term target.
"It's not an easy race. There's three or four nice horses in it," Brown said of Saturday's event.
"If he can handle them, we'll press on with him towards the Mornington Cup for sure."
The winner of the Mornington Cup secures a spot in next year's Caulfield Cup.
Brown said Post D'France would likely have a short let-up should he confirm Mornington Cup aspirations at Caulfield.
The Chris Waller-trained Multilateral (Mizzen Mast), also a winner during the Flemington carnival, has been installed $3.50 favourite in early betting ahead of Electric Fusion (Fastnet Rock) ($5.50), with Post D'France and Constant Force (Jeune) at $9.50.
Patrick Moloney has ridden Post D'France in six of his seven Australian starts, including five wins, but senior rider Stephen Baster has been called on to replace the suspended apprentice.
Well-bred fillies kick their racing careers off at Caulfield
Simon Zahra and Matthew Ellerton will unveil debutants Idle Dreams and Trailofdestruction in Saturday’s $80,000 Flemington Equine Plate (1000m) at Caulfield.
Being Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold qualified, the first of the training partnership’s two juveniles, Idle Dreams, is eligible for $50,000 worth of bonuses on top of the $80,000 prize money.
By Domesday, she will be partnered by jockey Chris Symons from barrier eight, while Trailofdestruction, a daughter of Exceed And Excel, will have the services of Katelyn Mallyon from gate four.
Though he believes both horses will improve with maturity, Zahra said it wouldn’t surprise him to see either run well on Saturday.
“Both of them came into the stable to start their preparation at the same time and they’ve both naturally got plenty of speed,” Zahra told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“Idle Dreams will be a nice filly next time in work, she’s got a little bit more maturing to do but she shows good natural talent.
“Trailofdestruction has got really good gate speed, good cruising speed and she can quicken from the front too from what she’s shown in her trials.
“They’ve got to step up and show what they can do on Saturday, they can all do it in the jumpouts and track work with no pressure but Saturday is D-Day to really see where they’re at.”
Backed from $41 into $21 with TAB fixed odds, the same price as Idle Dreams who has drifted from her opening quote of $16, Zahra said Trailofdestruction would improve significantly in her next preparation.
“I think she’s going to be a really nice late two-year-old and three-year-old and I don’t think she’s one dimensional,” he said.
“She’s from a New Zealand family that’s shown they can get over 1800 to 2000m.
“It all depends on what she shows on Saturday but if Trailofdestruction can show us the talent she does at home then we might give her a short break and bring her back for races in the autumn.”
Charge Forward colt My Lucky Strike has been the best backed runner in the opening event on Saturday’s Cystic Fibrosis Victoria Summer Race Day, with the Matt Laurie-trained debutant firming from $21 into his current price of $6.50.
Girl In Flight wins her maiden on debut at Pakenham
Unbeaten filly on a Schweppes Oaks fact-finding mission at Caulfield
Robbie Griffiths will saddle two runners in Saturday’s $80,000 Leigh Thomas Gift (1700m) at Caulfield, headed by unbeaten filly Girl In Flight.
An impressive winner at both of her career starts, Griffiths said the daughter of Commands was stepping up in distance to give him an idea of whether she could measure up to the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville in April.
“She’s a nice filly that has done everything perfect so far,” Griffiths said. “I shouldn’t get ahead of myself with those types of plans but if you don’t have aspirations then nothing happens.
“The depth of this race is a long way behind that level but the whole idea of getting her out over 1700 on Saturday is to give her some experience over the extra journey and to give us some data as to whether her performance warrants setting her on a path towards a race like that (Australasian Oaks).
“She has trained on well since her last start and this is tougher race again but all the indicators are there to suggest she’s the right type of filly to be the one to beat in the race.”
After winning her maiden impressively by two lengths over 1300 metres at Pakenham, Girl In Flight then scored by the same margin in a Benchmark 64 at Sale.
Though Griffiths will also start God’s Own gelding Smart Guy in the race, the Cranbourne-based horseman said Girl In Flight was definitely the pick of his pair.
“She’s found the winner’s stall two from two whereas the other guy’s just lobbed there,” he said.
“Girl In Flight can settle in a better position and sprint off a slower tempo whereas he’s got to get back and switch off in his races.
“If he (Smart Guy) can switch off and not have to work early then he might be able to sneak into the placings because he’s fit, he’s strong and he runs further than 1700 metres.
“If she can turn up in as good form as she has shown in her first two starts then you’d have to think that she should go very well.”
Offering $50,000 worth of Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold bonuses on top of the $80,000 prize money, the 1700m handicap the longest race so far to carry a VOBIS Gold bonus.
With both of his runners Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold qualified, the tree-time Super VOBIS Trainer of the Year said he was keen to take advantage of the riches on offer.
“It’s fantastic prize money,” Griffiths said. “To be having a crack at $130,000 in a race where you’re the highest rated (67) horse (Girl In Flight) is a fortunate position to be in, hopefully she can take advantage of her recent form and be the horse to get the job done.”
Girl In Flight has already been well supported with TAB fixed odds firming from $3.20 into $2.70 in the early betting.
Among a team of seven runners at Caulfield that includes veteran sprinter Cascabel and last-start Melbourne Cup Carnival winner Chile Express, Griffiths rated two-year-old colt Lock And Load as his second best chance behind Girl In Flight.
“Lock And Load’s a lovely horse but he’s drawn awkwardly in barrier ten and being a first starter it’s impossible to know where you stand in that race when most of the form is unexposed,” he said.
“He’s had two trials this preparation, one in the reverse direction at Ballarat and another private trial which he won.
“I don’t know if he beat much but he did everything right and I’m sure he’ll be in the firing line somewhere on Saturday.”
By Ben Asgari
Scatcat (pictured winning at Albury)
Exciting filly faces her biggest task yet in Sunday’s Wodonga Cup
It’s not often you see a three-year-old filly in her first preparation tackle the $80,000 Telstra Business Centre Wodonga Gold Cup (1590m), however that will be the case if Scatcat takes her place in Sunday’s country feature.
Boasting five wins from eight starts, trainer Brett Cavanough believes the daughter of Shaft should probably be unbeaten in her last six runs.
“She went around at Wodonga in the Jack Maher (Classic) on debut and then she stumbled across Marwood in a maiden at Seymour and she probably shouldn’t be beaten since,” Cavanough said.
“Jake’s (Duffy) had the last five rides on her and when she was beaten with him onboard she hadn’t had a run for five weeks and it was probably as much my fault as anyone’s.
“I’ve seen Wodonga Cups where there have been last-start Melbourne Saturday winners and I don’t think there’s too many of them in there this year.
“It’s worth $48,000 to the winner and I’ve only got to drive 8kms so I’m pretty happy to go there with her.”
Drawn in the outside (17) barrier for regular jockey Jake Duffy, Cavanough said Scatcat can be positioned anywhere in a race.
“She just a very versatile filly going through her grades,” he said. “She gave a mob of open handicappers a belting the other day at Wagga.
“I thought that race would have been a good guide to see if she was up to a (metropolitan) Wednesday race, but with the way she beat them a few of the guys who do times and splits said maybe she’s a Saturday filly.
“I thought if she drew a good gate then she could go around in the Wodonga Cup and what happens? She draws barrier 17.”
“Barrier 17 scares me a bit but I think they have quite a long run down the back straight from the barrier and if I wake up Sunday morning and she’s in really good order then I’ll probably run her.”
Likely to head for a spell regardless of how she performs on Sunday, Cavanough said he has already knocked back a couple of sizable offers to buy the filly who he believes will have no problem stretching out in distance as she matures.
“The way she relaxes I think she might run 2000 metres,” he said. “She might end up being an Oaks filly.
“We’ve fielded a couple of big offers for her already. Her pedigree is worth nothing but as a racehorse we don’t know how good she is, it has all been off one preparation so far but she just keeps improving.
“My wife and I own her with Bernie and Anne Kelly and everyone’s happy just to sit back, see where we end up and go along for the ride.”
Should Scatcat hope to secure the biggest win of her career to date, she will have to defeat two-time Wodonga Cup champion Jetconi.
Following wins in the 2010 and 2011 Cups, the Gerald Egan-trained nine-year-old heads into his quest for a third triumph in the race on the back of a dead-heat victory at Benalla.
Other key runners include Our Smokin’ Rock from the in-form Wez Hunter stable and 2011 Victoria Handicap winner Red Colossus who will carry the top weight of 60kg for Brett Scott.
Leading the way by sheer weight of numbers is local trainer Brian Cox, who will have a team of four in his hometown Cup including Tumbulgum, Chinzia, Full Hand and Murdoch’s Joy.
The racing action kicks off at Wodonga 1.00pm and concludes with the final event of the eight-race program scheduled to jump at 5.14pm.
By Ben Asgari
Jockeys pleased with track ahead of Werribee Racing Club's December Cup meeting
Racing Victoria (RV) has today confirmed racing will resume at Werribee for its popular TAB Werribee Cup meeting on Sunday, 15 December, after RV Stewards and the Victorian Jockeys’ Association gave the surface their tick of approval.
The Werribee Racing Club (WRC) was originally scheduled to host its Cup meeting on Wednesday, 13 November, 2013, but the meeting was transferred to Ballarat and the Cup program rescheduled to its current December timeslot to allow the inside seven metres of the surface time to further consolidate after it underwent major renovation in July.
Jockeys Chris Symons, Michelle Payne, Brad Rawiller and Steven Arnold today galloped eight horses on the renovated section of the track and returned with glowing reports.
“The area where they have focused on the track is first class,” Symons said of the inside seven metres.
“They’ve added a rye grass to it which has definitely given it a bit of structure and strength, so that will only benefit the track.”
Symons said he had confidence in the track’s condition ahead of its busy summer period of racing.
“The track looked good, they’ll have no dramas with their upcoming meetings.
“Track manager Paul Downes has done a fantastic job.”
The track had remained out of commission during the Spring Racing Carnival and the rail position adjusted for international trackwork to ensure the renovated section could better consolidate for Werribee’s busy summer racing period.
During the last month a routine maintenance program, coupled with warmer weather, had seen the grass explode and WRC’s General Manager, Ross Kendell, said he was extremely pleased with the track’s condition ahead of Werribee’s upcoming Cup meeting.
“It is important for the industry and the local community that racing returns to Werribee with the track in peak condition and we are satisfied that it will be at its optimum for the meeting in two-and-a-half weeks,” Kendell said.
“The inside seven metres, which has undergone a major renovation since July, has made great progress over the past month with the warmer weather and has now consolidated to the standard at which we would like to see racing commence on it.”
The outside seven metres of the track which had received significant traffic from the visiting international horses during the Spring Racing Carnival has also made significant improvement, particularly since the last internationals departed Sunday, 24 November.
“By rescheduling the return to December we have ensured the track will be in ideal condition for its return and that the Werribee Cup will be the quality event it deserves to be,” Kendell said.
RV’s Executive General Manager Infrastructure and Club Support, Jamie McGuinness said Racing Victoria was looking forward to welcoming racing back to Werribee.
“Together with the Werribee Racing Club, we’re excited to be welcoming the return of racing to Werribee for its rescheduled Cup meeting on Sunday, 15 December and encourage the local community to take advantage of the wonderful day out that it is sure to be,” McGuinness said.
The Club will be throwing open the gates with free admission for all as well as hosting an assortment of free kids’ activities and family entertainment, including live music, plus free shuttle buses in and out of the town centre.
28/11/2013 Wyong Thursday Preview by Gary Harley
Peter Snowdens 3 year old Habsburg should breakthrough for his first win in race 2 the Enware Australia maiden (1350m) at the Wyong race meeting on Thursday. The colt has raced three times for two placings. He came from well back to finish fourth on a heavy at Warwick Farm on June 12 and two weeks later again on a heavy track Habsburg was placed at Canterbury. The three year old was narrowly beaten first up at Newcastle on November 9 and he will be much fitter for the outing.
Snowden could land the opening two races as another of his colts Sculptures will probably start favourite in race 1 the GWA Bathrooms and Kitchens Class 1 (1350m). Sculptures was an easy winner in his second race start at Kembla on November 16 and he was placed on debut at Gosford on October 31.
Another of the Snowden team Tuiserkan will be hard to beat in race 6 the Install A Rheem Benchmark 65 (1000m). The mare made her debut with a narrow win on a slow track at Hawkesbury on May 23 and she followed up with a close second on the same track on June 9. Tuiserkan ran out of steam first up at Warwick Farm recently and she will be better for the run.
Former New Zealander Immense winner of two of his three starts in this country has sound prospects in race 3 The Haven Education Centre Benchmark 60 (1600m).
Kathy O’Hara rode the Bjorn Baker trained 4 year old for the first time at Newcastle last start and he was impressive. He was a long way back during the 1200 metre event but he rocketed home to win by three quarters of a length. The step up to the ‘mile’ for the first time is in his favour and from the rails barrier O’Hara will give the gelding a cosy run.
Another Warwick Farm galloper Compels has claims in race 4 the Rinnai Australia Maiden (1600m). Greg Hickman prepares Compels which has only raced twice and his best run was at Newcastle on November 9 when beaten a half head.
RACE 1 –4-1-2
2 – 2-7-9
3 – 4-5-3
4 – 2-1-6
5 – 3-5-8
6 – 5-1-4
7 – 6-2-1
8 – 5-7-1
Harry Coffey after his first city victory at Moonee Valley in February
Harry Coffey continues his remarkable journey at Caulfield on Saturday
Apprentice jockey Harry Coffey has three rides at Saturday’s Cystic Fibrosis Summer Race Day at Caulfield.
It marks the second year in a row Coffey will have a ride on the program after he partnered the Darren Weir-trained Clang And Bang into fourth position at his first Saturday metropolitan ride 12 months ago.
Coffey, who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis (CF), is the ambassador for Country Racing Victoria’s Hospital Helping Hand Program, an initiative designed to support those with the condition which has so far raised close to $35,000.
As someone dealing with the most common, incurable, genetically acquired, life-shortening chronic illness affecting young Australians today, Coffey said the annual race day is one he is particularly keen to make sure he is a part of.
“Obviously being the ambassador for the Helping Hand Program it’s a meeting that my manager, my dad and I work quite hard at getting ride at,” Coffey said.
“It’s a great day and to ride at the meeting is even better.”
To keep on top of the illness, every day Coffey has two physiotherapy sessions as well as 30 tablets to assist with digestion and help keep infection at bay.
Every three to four months, he goes into hospital for what he calls a “tune-up” where he spends five days having treatment in hospital before returning home for another week of medication.
For Coffey, who recently turned 18, the birthday was a particularly significant milestone.
“I’ve just turned 18 and when you turn 18 you have to get a transfer from the Royal Children’s Hospital to an adult hospital,” he said.
“I’ll have one more tune-up at the Royal Children’s Hospital and then I’ll be going to the Alfred.
“The Royal Children’s Hospital doctors really pushed for a tune-up every three to four months where as at the Alfred it will be my own responsibility to come in when I feel I need it. It’s about being an adult and taking responsibility.
“Being 18 there are also a lot more temptations socially but it’s just a part of the job that you’ve got to put your social life aside sometimes and be committed to your riding.”
Currently feeling particularly well in himself, Coffey said the biggest hindrance of his condition and the resulting tune-ups was losing momentum as a jockey.
“If you ask any jockey they’ll say they lose momentum when they get suspended or get injured because you just naturally lose rides on horses that you have been riding,” Coffey said.
“What I try to do is not book a time to go into hospital unless I’m unwell. If it happens that I’m not getting any rides, or I’m going through a bit if quiet period or I’m suspended then I’ll go into hospital and get the tune up out of the way.
“That’s the beauty of being well; you can choose when you have the treatment rather than needing it.”
All things considered, the fact Coffey has managed to ride 93 winners since his debut in October 2011 is an extraordinary achievement.
Currently with nine metropolitan victories, including a double in Adelaide on his 18th birthday last month, Coffey said he is aiming to have ridden 20 metropolitan winners by the middle of 2014.
“My goal is to ride in town regularly and I’m obviously claiming 3kg in town at the moment and hopefully during the next winter I can get the claim down to 2kg,” he said.
“That’s a goal that I think is achievable with the way that I’ve been going at the moment.”
Turning the attention to Caulfield on Saturday and Coffey nominated Flying Hostess, set to line up in the $80,000 Carpet Call Handicap (1400m) and one of two rides for leading trainer Darren Weir, as the pick of his three mounts.
“I’d say Flying Hostess should go well after her very good second at Moonee Valley last Saturday, it will just be a case over whether she handles backing up or not,” Coffey said.
Cystic Fibrosis Victoria volunteers will be selling raffle tickets and rattling tins on course, as well as operating a merchandise stand located at the rear of the Rupert Clarke Stand to raise much-needed funds.
Aside from the action on the track there will also be plenty of free entertainment for the whole family on the front lawn including Christmas card making, an inflatable slide, a 9-hole mini golf course and a clown balloonist.
The racing gets underway with the running of the $80,000 Flemington Equine Clinic Plate (1000m) at 1.00pm and concludes with the $80,000 Ballymore Stables Handicap (1700m) at 5.05pm.
By Ben Asgari
Mark Kavanagh has two runners in what looks a quality 3YO event at Moonee Valley this Friday night
A three-year-old event containing some promising types is among the highlights at Moonee Valley this Friday
The sixth heat of the Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge is the feature of Friday night’s Moonee Valley meeting, but there is a strong chance one of the support races could upstage it.
The $35,000 Sweeney Can Do Agents Handicap (1200m) brings together an impressive array of untapped three-year-olds.
Peter Moody, Mark Kavanagh, Peter Snowden and Anthony Cummings are among the trainers represented in the race that is the third event on the eight-race program.
Kavanagh has dual representation in the form of dominant last-start Ballarat winner Awasita and Great Dehere, who strolled home at Geelong on debut before finishing third behind Polanski and Gracious Prospect at his only other start.
Moody has impressive Kyneton debut winner Chater Gardens engaged, Snowden’s hopes rest with five-length Kilmore winner from last Sunday Boer, while Cummings will be represented by last-start Echuca maiden winner Magnesia.
Others engaged include the Ray Cleaver-trained Tankster – who has won his only two starts, including a Moonee Valley victory on 15 November – Flying Hussler, who was third being Tankster in the Valley event, the Alicia McPherson-trained Lycka Till and Jason Warren’s Magnaro.
The Sweeney Can Do Agents Handicap is two races before the $55,000 Essendon Mazda 55 second Challenge heat.
This weekend’s leg is for the 0-70 performers and has attracted a field headed by Observer and including consistent John McArdle-trained mare Legcut and last-start winners Club Zero, Miss Mazzeo and Sweet Agi.
The time they have to beat in the series that offers a $55,000 Mazda to the trainer of the horse who registers the fastest time across the 18-race series is 55.55 seconds, set by Thiamandi in Heat 4.
The 55 Second Challenge heat will be run at 8.45pm with the first event on the program set down for decision at 6.45pm.
By Brad Bishop
Melbourne 3YO feature the aim for Cox Plate champ
Sportingbet Cox Plate winner Shamus Award has commenced his build up towards the Australian Guineas.
The valuable colt recently began light work at trainer Danny O’Brien’s Barwon Heads property and the Flemington trainer has been taken with the way he looks.
“He’s loving life,” O’Brien said. “He’s been doing a bit down at Thirteenth Beach and he looks great.
“He’ll stay out at Barwon Heads until just after Christmas and then he’ll come back here and he’ll be getting ready for the autumn.”
O’Brien confirmed the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m), at Flemington on 1 March, was his primary focus with the son of Snitzel, who registered his first win in the $3 million Cox Plate on 26 October.
“The Australian Guineas would be his main target for the autumn,” O’Brien said. “He’ll probably have one or two runs (leading into it).”
Shamus Award will become the first Cox Plate winner to win the Australian Guineas, which was first run in 1986, if successful.
He is not the only horse O’Brien has high hopes for in Victoria’s Group 1 events in late summer, early autumn.
The trainer reported that Shamexpress had thrived since his unlucky second to Buffering in the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic at Flemington on 9 November and he would be set for the two Group 1 races up the straight – the Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) and Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
“They’re the two big sprint races and they’re both down the straight, which is good for him,” he said.
Shamexpress finished sixth behind Black Caviar in last year’s Lightning before winning the Newmarket Handicap.
By Brad Bishop
Another Flemington hitout to decide Belle Couture starting point
A jumpout at Flemington on Friday week will determine the highly-anticipated first start for blueblood filly Belle Couture.
The younger half-sister to Black Caviar made her first public appearance in a Flemington jumpout last Friday morning, which trainer Danny O’Brien was impressed with.
The Flemington trainer had previously flagged that the daughter of Redoute’s Choice would make her debut before Christmas, but he said this morning that a decision on where that would be will not be made until after she has another jumpout.
“Her next stepping stone is to have another jumpout here at Flemington,” O’Brien said. “She’s pencilled in to trial here on Friday week, the 6th of December.
“She might need another trial here after that. We’ll just wait and see what happens here on Friday week.”
Belle Couture finished second in an 800m jumpout last Friday, in which she was ridden by Damien Oliver. After a slow getaway, she showed impressive mid-race pace to be up challenging for the lead, before being narrowly beaten.
Her debut will be the most anticipated of the season with the three-year-old, who cost $2.6 at last year’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, a half-sister to champion mare Black Caviar who was undefeated in 25 racetrack appearances.
By Brad Bishop
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 CEO Statement on RV financial position
Racing Victoria (RV) Chief Executive, Bernard Saundry, has sought to clarify statements made in yesterday’s Herald Sun regarding the financial state of the racing industry in Victoria.
The article incorrectly stated that the Victorian racing industry is facing a $20 million reduction in income this financial year, rising to $30 million next year and $40 million the following year.
Saundry explained that the actual facts are as follows;
- RV revenue is expected to increase by $1.3 million this financial year;
- RV is on track to deliver a budgeted profit of $14.4 million this financial year;
- That profit would reduce to $8.4 million if an appeal by the State Government is successful against a Supreme Court decision to uphold an appeal by RV’s Joint Venture partner Tabcorp against the imposition of the Health Benefit Levy on poker machines during the 2012-13 financial year;
- The forecast reductions to RV revenue tabled in the article are grossly inaccurate;
- RV’s newly released Strategic Plan outlines that industry revenue beyond the next three years will come under threat if current wagering trends continue and no innovation or change is enacted collectively by stakeholders;
- Wagering nationally on Victorian thoroughbred racing over the past 12 months has grown only 0.1% to $5 billion with 44% of bets now delivered via digital wagering;
- Corporate bookmakers and Betfair have grown their share of the national Victorian thoroughbred wagering market by 4.4% over the past 12 months to 32%.
“The short term health of the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry is strong and it’s disappointing that this is not accurately reflected in the article published,” Saundry said.
“Longer term though there are challenges for the industry to confront around growth and its measures of success as we’ve clearly documented in our Strategic Plan released this month.
“Racing Victoria does not have all the levers to enact change, but we are committed to working with our stakeholders and commercial partners to build a pathway that delivers long term growth.”
Saundry acknowledged the shift nationally in customer preference from pari-mutuel wagering to fixed odds wagering has come at a time when the industry has been unable to stimulate across-the-board growth.
“The need to grow the entire wagering pie is one of six game changers identified in our Strategic Plan and we’re working to achieve this through a quantum of measures led by a restructure of the raceday calendar, a review of our racing and training infrastructure, the integration of media and digital assets and a more cost effective racing model,” Saundry said.
“The Strategic Plan, developed in consultation with our key stakeholders, is a road map for the future. It identifies the key objectives and priority activities to achieve growth across a number of sectors including wagering, attendance, prizemoney, viewership and digital assets.”
The article titled ‘Racing’s $20m dip’ stated that Victoria’s financial position is influenced by the fact that it has “too many tracks to upkeep”, thus inferring that a reduction in the number of racetracks – currently 67 in Victoria – would deliver significant cost savings.
“It’s too simplistic to say that if you cut a few tracks you’d save money. We have 24 tracks that host one or two meetings a year, but these function largely on a volunteer basis so they are not a financial drain on the industry,” Saundry explained.
“To the contrary, these once or twice-a-year clubs that work to engage with their local communities ensure the vast footprint of thoroughbred racing remains across the state by providing a critically important touch point for the sport in regional Victoria.
“As detailed in the Strategic Plan we’ll be undertaking a major review of the state’s racing and training infrastructure over the next six months with stakeholders to formalise a plan on optimum track usage over the next decade.”
The article also referred to the industry being overburdened with costs stating that “too many overheads, especially staff” is a significant factor influencing its bottom line.
“Returns to owners and participants, club funding, shared services and infrastructure investment represent the vast majority of industry expenditure and there have been significant savings realised over the past five years, particularly around staffing,” Saundry explained.
“Close to 50 Racing Victoria employees now operate under a shared services model with industry stakeholders, predominantly delivering IT, payroll, accounts, HR, industrial relations, racing and Customer First resources and assistance.
“By way of example, there is one payroll team now providing payroll, superannuation reporting, payments and tax reporting services for Racing Victoria, Country Racing Victoria and 41 country race clubs.
“That said, we have outlined in the Strategic Plan the need to review, in conjunction with the clubs, the industry’s raceday resourcing to determine if there are further efficiencies to be made.”
Three in for Wednesday for Aquanita
27th November 2013
After Super Saturday at Ascot which was a case of so close yet so far, Simon Miller goes back there for the Wednesday card.
The first runner is Foxy Commander who resumes off a short let up. She ended her last campaign only in September with a win at Northam.
The mare likes to race on the speed and there are a few go forward types in the race. It looks a very even contest so she could easily be there when whips are cracking.
Shalo then runs in Race 6. According to the market anyway, he was unexpectedly very good off a seven week let up when second here.
This time it’s only a fortnight off and he goes up 100m. He’s drawn right out in his two runs but this time finds a much more favourable gate.
Without much early work to do, Shalo could go that one spot better here.
Robert Smerdon has one runner at the Bendigo meeting on Wednesday.
Leka Secret was down to run at Cranbourne last Friday but now is entered here in a pretty standard maiden field.
He takes on older horses but there are only five other rivals. You only have to consider two of his runs were in Listed Races including the Anzac Day Stakes in which he ran into Long John – we know what he has done since.
Drawn inside, not sure he will be leading, depending on the speed of others but he looks to have the ability to race well and horses in their second preparations often improve greatly.
26/11/2013 Latest trackwork from the Gai Waterhouse stables
Article courtesy of Gai Waterhouse stables
25 November 2013
Neil Paine’s best of the morning was the evergreen Kontiki Park (Thorn Park x Pretty Special) who galloped stylishly over 1400m coming home his last 200m in 11.3 seconds. Neil mentioned that the gelding is going very well which is great news because the summer has traditionally been the season where this old boy has shown his best.
‘Feels good’ is what Neil said after getting off Lucand Star (Lonhro x Baranbali) this morning. The unbeaten daughter of Lonhro galloped over 1200m coming home his last 200m in a very fast 11.2 seconds. Lucand Star will be very hard to beat when she races in town next week.
Adam Hyeronimus’ second best of the morning was Travolta (Handsome Ransom x Belongs in Lights) who worked over 1600m coming home his last 200m in 11.4 seconds. Adam mentioned that the gelding is ‘ready to go’ upon dismounting.
Travolta is a very versatile gelding and will be very competitive at both the shorter distances and once the races reach 2000m and beyond.
Order of the Sun (Encosta de Lago x Sequin) was Blake Shinn’s best of the morning after the colt galloped beautifully over 1400m. Blake’s assessment was ‘very nice’ which indicates this son of super sire Encosta de Lago is back on track and will be extremely hard to beat in the coming weeks.
Tommy’s second best of the morning was imported stayer Rule Book (Aussie Rules x Open Book) who galloped over 1400m coming home his last 200m in 11.4 seconds. This striking grey has continued to progress very well and he is really putting his best foot forward this time in. Anticipation is high regarding his return to the race track.
She Happened (Quest for Fame x Verdon) is ready to go according to James McDonald who rode the mare over 1400m coming home their last 200m in 11.4 seconds. This mature mare has continued to improve and she is getting fitter due to recent trials and increased intensity in her gallops. Once she hits form which will be very soon, look out for her to hold a high standard throughout the upcoming preparation.
Adam’s best of the morning was Western Symbol (High Chaparral x Blue Symbol) who worked with She Happened over 1400m and he too came home his last 200m in 11.4 seconds. The gelding’s best is very good as we have seen on plenty occasions and after a really nice spell it is fully expected that he will reach his best again very early in his preparation.
Thomas Huet’s best of the morning was Starbridge (Encosta de Lago x Salameh) who worked really strongly over 1400m. This extremely well bred gelding is starting to do everything right and he was always going to be a better three-year-old than a juvenile. He is not far away from getting back to the track and when he does look out.
Tommy Berry’s second best two-year-old was Valentia (Fastnet Rock x Smart Company) who worked like an old pro over 600m storming home his last 200m in 11.3 seconds. This was very professional work for a young horse having one of its first gallops. Exciting times lay ahead.
Tommy’s best of his two-year-old gallops was the boom 2YO Echo Gal (Stratum x Pink Siris) who flew over 600m coming home her last 200m in the best of the morning 11.0 seconds. Golden Slipper winning Stratum is starting to produce not just fast horses but staying types and middle distance horses also. Echo Gal is clearly fast but she also has the look of a filly that with time will be able to sustain a good gallop. Echo Gal belongs on page one of the black book.
Fiveandahalfstar pictured winning the 2013 AAMI Victoria Derby
Victoria Derby winner on a path towards the 2014 Melbourne Cup
Fiveandahalfstar is back in work with the four-year-old to be aimed towards the 2014 Emirates Melbourne Cup.
The 2012 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) winner missed the this year’s Spring Racing Carnival with a fetlock injury which followed a tough victory against the older horses in The BMW (2400m) in Sydney in April.
Runner-up in the 2013 Australian Cup (2000m), trainer Anthony Cummings said the son of Hotel Grand will be given a light autumn campaign before concentrating on the Spring.
“At this stage his future program looks to be Sydney-based in the autumn with a view to having a shortened program compared to what he’s done in the past so that he can come back bright and well for the Spring in Melbourne,” Cummings said.
“He’s been back in work for about a week and he looks really healthy and well.
“The issue that he had with his fetlock has settled nicely and touch wood it won’t be an issue for him going forward.
“The right (autumn) preparation for him is probably going through the Doncaster (1600m) into the Queen Elizabeth (2000m) and then he’ll have a break and come back for a Spring campaign aimed at the Melbourne Cup next year.”
Cummings said Fiveandahalfstar would likely target a weight-for-age path through the Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) en route the Melbourne Cup.
By Ben Asgari
Cauthen wins the Essendon Mazda McKenzie Stakes at Moonee Valley
Australian Guineas a possibility for Kiwi colt
Exciting three-year-old Cauthen is back in work and could be headed to Melbourne for the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington in March.
After winning the Listed Essendon Mazda McKenzie Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley in August, the son of Darci Brahma was promoted to favouritism in the early betting for $1 million BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
Sent for a spell after finishing 12th at his next start in the Henry Bucks Stakes (1400m) at Flemington, trainer Andrew Campbell said that decision could be the making of the horse.
“The break did him the world of good and it might be a blessing in disguise for his career,” Campbell said.
“He’s back in work and he looks a million dollars, I’m very happy with him and he’s having a gallop next week.”
Notably, among the two horses that finished behind Cauthen in the McKenzie Stakes were subsequent Cox Plate winner Caulfield Guineas placegetter Shamus Award (2nd) and Caulfield Guineas victor Long John (3rd).
Campbell said Cauthen would resume in New Zealand in either the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham on January 18 or against a his own age a week later.
“We’ll just see how he comes up before we make a decision,” he said.
“We’re just hoping that he comes back as good as we think that he is.
“I’m sure he will get a mile (1600m) but at this stage he can definitely sprint as well.”
By Ben Asgari
24th Nov 2013
Better Than Ready (More Than Ready x Sally’s World) will be aimed Group 1 events in the Autumn following his success in the Listed BRC Keith Noud Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
“In Melbourne he'll be down in the weights so that will give him the chance to show his good turn of foot and he'll be very competitive,” said jockey Ric McMahon after the recent victory.
The Group 1 MRC Oakleigh Plate is a likely target for the promising sprinter that has won $477,000 so far thanks to eight wins and three placings in 15 starts.
Bred by Ian Smith, Better Than Ready was sold as yearling to trainer Kelly Schweida for $140,000 from Newgate Farm’s draft at 2011 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
Schweida was rapt by the son of More Than Ready lumping 60.5kgs to victory in style, noting that there are bigger aims next year.
“The main purpose of giving him these two runs this prep was to stop him getting too fat before the autumn," said Schweida.
Better Than Ready joined Samaready and War as stakes winners this season by More Than Ready purchased as yearlings from the Inglis Easter Sale.
44 progeny by More Than Ready feature in the soon to be released preview magazine for the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, which will be held at Newmarket in Sydney on 8, 9 and 10 April next autumn.
Aquanita's runners for Ballarat on Cup day
24th November 2013
It’s Ballarat Cup day on Sunday and Robert Smerdon has some strong hopes.
Life Of Luxury kicks things off in Race 3. He was second on debut here then was an easy winner at Cranbourne in April by a good margin.
Given a let up since he resumes over 1200m after two trials. The trip may not ultimately be his best given he is by Makybe Diva’s sire Desert King out of a mare by a mile and a half horse in Montjeu. Just hope they can run on at Ballarat on Sunday.
In the Magic Millions 3yo Classic, Robert has two down to run.
Anatina has raced in open 3yo sprints over the carnival and run well in them, including a win in a Listed race. This is by far an easier restricted event but still work $100K.
She handled the 1200m fine in the Thoroughbred Club Stakes at Caulfield so the 1100m looks no dramas. A dead track would enhance her hopes and she’ll be smothered away for some time from the inside gate.
Calcatta runs there too and she hasn’t quite had the same luck this campaign. A black type winner herself, she will probably also get in behind them although her better runs were when up near the front.
The last time she ran over 1100m was in that Dequetteville Stakes when scoring and that distance can be a bit specialized.
The final entry is Spinderbella who has really nailed her form to the increase in trip. Once she got out to 2000m and beyond, she has not looked back.
Three length plus margins have occurred including the last one here and while it is to a BM70 level, she gets Glen Boss as well to sound her out. Hard to be critical in anyway of mares in form.
Luckygray has returned to the west with an emphatic victory in the Group 1 Carlton Draught Railway Stakes at Ascot Racecourse.
The gelding by Bradbury’s Luck won this race in 2011 in controversial style, but there was no doubt surrounding this victory as the grey ran on well to swoop the leaders and pick up his thirteenth win of his career.
Luckygray had recently been in Melbourne where he had 6 runs and could only manage a fourth as his best result.
Trevor Andrews mentioned after the race that since being in Perth he had settled back in well and jockey Shaun O’Donnell had been incredibly happy with the track work and his preparation.
It was a fascinating race with all the Eastern State raiders failing to have an impact on the race after promising so much.
6 of the top 7 were WA based horses, with the only exception being Fire Up Fifi from the Robert Heathcote trained stable up in Queensland.
Simon A Miller again finished second after a huge run from Platinum Rocker who came from barrier 15. Fire Up Fifi finished third with another impressive run, Kerrific fourth, while Neville Parnham finished fifth and sixth with Playing God and God Has Spoken.
24/11/2013 Buffering too strong in the West
Buffering has cemented his spot as Australia’s best sprinter with a nail-biting victory in the Group 1 Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot Racecourse.
Heading into the race with back-to-back Group 1 wins, Buffering was the warm favourite, but he had plenty of challenges hoping to ruin his prospect of a hat-trick of Group 1 victories.
As they jumped, Buffering challenged the undefeated galloper in Western Australia Barakey and appeared to win the battle in the early stages.
The gelding by Mossman hit the front down the straight and was challenged late by Peter Moody’s galloper Moment Of Change.
Moment Of Change finished third to Buffering last start at Flemington and made one last dive at the leader to take the decision to a photo.
Both Robert Heathcote (Trainer of Buffering) and Peter Moody looked around as neither knew had won the Group 1 sprint.
The replays didn’t make it any clearer, but the decision finally came through handing the Group 1 Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes to Buffering.
Buffering has now won a staggering 15 races from 38 races which is a remarkable record considering the company he’s had to race against including Black Caviar and Hay List.
Speaking after the race Robert Heathcote only had praise for the horse, jockey and owners and made mention of his stay in Perth.
“It’s been wonderful to be here, you’ve treated us like your own and we’ve had a fantastic time” Heathcote said.
Buffering will now head back home and enjoy a well-earned spell.
24/11/2013 Esprit De Bullet gets Valley win
Classy sprinter Esprit de Bullet produces real stretch for Vlad Duric as he avenges a disappointing Cox Plate day result with this powerful win
at Moonee Valley yesterday.
Esprit de Bullet (NZ) (Bel Esprit) called on his winning
Adelaide form to produce a strong finish to score in
the City Jeep Compass Handicap at Moonee Valley
yesterday, overcoming an outside barrier and being forced
seven wide on the home turn in the 1000 metre dash.
At Esprit de Bullet's previous start at Moonee Valley,
on Cox Plate day, he started poorly and couldn't make up
ground before finishing sixth. In his three previous races at
Morphettville, though, he had claimed two wins and a second
and it was that form that he showed yesterday.
While trainer John Hyam stayed at home, stable manager
Darryl Carrison was trackside to collect the accolades, saying
there were no plans to keep Esprit de Bullet in Melbourne,
despite the win.
"I think Johnny will take him back home," Carrison said.
"We were unlucky last start when he played up in the gates
and missed the start so Johnny was keen to get him back for
Jockey Vlad Duric said he was focused on getting Esprit de
Bullet away from the barriers in a safe manner.
"It was a nice smooth run in the race and he got away
nicely," Duric said. "We were able to keep his momentum
rolling around the corner and we chased in the straight and
he was too good."
Esprit de Bullet, at $8.50 starting price a mild drifter
from his opening $7 quote, beat home topweight Vatican
(God's Own) by three quarters of a length with Impulse Buy
(Estambul) a nose away third.
– AAP TURF
Race MVRC City Jeep Compass H. 1000m
Winner Esprit de Bullet (NZ) 2005
Owners Mrs P Y McFarlane, A G McFarlane, P
Cunningham, M S Carter, A J Grose, Mrs L
Bennett and A V Gray
Trainer John Hyam (Morphettville)
Breeding by Bel Esprit (Aus) out of Beat the Bullet (Aus)
by Bite the Bullet (USA)
Breeder Tori Park Stud
24/11/2013 Wayne Hawkes thinking big as Zephyron adds another win
Zephyron (NZ) (Zabeel) may still be well in the "red",
but Wayne Hawkes believes this relation to former
champion Octagonal can still win better races after
the five-year-old son of Zabeel, a $2 million yearling, posted
the third win of his career in the 2040 metre City Jeep Patriot
Handicap at Moonee Valley yesterday.
Hawkes said the gelding of Zephyron may prove the
making of this expensive horse, part-owned by his breeders "The Big O was a Zabeel colt, but there are not too many
Zabeel colts that are any good," explained Hawkes. "He's a
cousin of Octagonal and Commands and he just stood out
above the rest and today he really looked fantastic."
Formerly trained by Mark Kavanagh and then Greg Eurell,
Zephyron joined Team Hawkes after a year-long break.
Hawkes praised Dwayne Dunn for his ride on Zephyron,
which brought up a double for the leading jockey.
"He ended up on the fence and he just bided his time and
bided his time. He gave it the gun ride and pushed out and
the horse savaged the line pretty well," Hawkes said.
"This horse is going somewhere."
Zephyron, a $6 chance in an even betting race, finished
strongly to win by three-quarters of a length from another
fancied runner in Electric Fusion (Fastnet Rock), with one and
a quarter lengths to $5 favourite Marden (Danehill Dancer),
Race MVRC City Jeep Patriot H. 2040m
Winner Zephyron (NZ) 2008
Owners Kia-Ora Stud W S Syndicate (Mgr: A Krishnan), L
M Macri and Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan
Trainer Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes (Flemington)
Breeding by Zabeel out of Diamond Like (Aus) by
Breeder Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan
Sales 2010 National Yearling Sale, Premier Session; V:
Cambridge Stud, P: James Bester Bloodstock;
All he needed was time and a snip . . . Dwayne Dunn brings home Zephyron for the royally bred five-year-old's third win from ten starts.
Runners at 4 meetings on Saturday for Aquanita Racing
23rd November 2013
It’s the $1m Railway Stakes at Ascot and Simon Miller has a mountain of runners engaged across the day in what could be a massive result for the stable.
Platinum Rocker runs in the Group 1 Railway coming off her ½ length win in the Asian Beau Stakes.
She has done absolutely nothing wrong this preparation as she gets ready for her second attempt at the mile. The first time she tried it, she has issues in the run so forget that effort.
Racing up on the speed has been her go but unfortunately she lands the second outside gate so will have to do some work early in the big field. The minimum weight will help.
WA’s feature sprint is the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes over 1200m and Simon’s top mare Power Princess takes on as high a quality race at the top end as you’ll see.
The trifecta from last year are entered as well as 1st and 3rd from the VRC Sprint Classic so it contains some of the most elite sprinters around the country. It will be tough.
But Power Princess is in the zone, trying her best every time she steps out. Remember last year in this very race she charged late to miss Barakey by a short margin.
She also flies fresh and so off another month let-up she will be hard to beat again.
Maybe the best chance of the three major races comes in the Group 2 WA Guineas when Saint Bro and Miss Rose De Lago take on a very competitive 3yo feature.
The big drawback is again the barriers which have not been kind to the stable.
Saint Bro has shown plenty in his two races going from a debut win to a stakes win straight away. That is never easy and he was strong on the line over the 1400m in the Fairetha.
Having speed early could be a godsend because he has drawn an outside gate. Patrick Carbery has ridden him well twice but this might need to be a cracker. However the horse is on a fast incline.
The filly Miss Rose De Lago has come so solid as she has gotten up in distances. She went straight to the front in the WA Champion Sillies last week and now backs up a week later.
She must have done well because the stable have a huge opinion of her and she too has a relatively wide barrier. Hard to see her not being in the firing line for a long way.
Earlier Bombora runs in the Listed Carbine Club of WA Stakes. He was asked to run in the Colonel Reeves and did a pretty fair job into fourth spot.
That was over 1100m but now gets up to the seven furlongs - a distance he seems more comfortable at including multiple wins and a close sixth in a Hannan’s Handicap.
He brings a good second up record as well and is nicely placed at the weights.
In the same race, Darlington Abbey is ready to win this preparation. She was excellent in the Lee Steere Stakes. Just over a length from the winner she ran right up to her best a fortnight back.
When she draws barriers like this she can take up a position which complements her good finishing speed. The only real thing against her is the high minimum weight which offer her little relief.
Sujet brings in hot trial form for the Listed Placid Ark Stakes which is a Set Weights & Penalties race for the three year olds.
By Vital Equine, he faces a field many of whom have won races before and yet he debuts in it.
However, like Darlington Abbey in the previous race, Sujet carries champion Hong Kong rider Douglas Whyte on his Perth sojourn. It will be great to see the elite rider on Australian soil again.
The other runner from the Miller yard is Austerity Measures in the Listed Jungle Mist Classic.
She is simply flying this campaign with two wins and two close seconds. This will be her first attempt at 1200m for the Aquanita team but how can you knock her form.
She gets back but charges to the line and even has a little weight drop as well. Plenty of these mares are chasing black type but she deserves some given the way she is attacking her races.
We are back to Moonee Valley for a day meeting this week and there is one runner early and two late.
The first of them is Go Again who tries to rally after being run down at a short quote at Cranbourne.
Staying at the 1200m, she may not find the front here in this Benchmark 78 race and her best rated performance was when back near last and not far behind Lion Of Belfort in the Blue Sapphire. She does drop 2.5kg as well which will help the cause.
Owned in similar interests, Electric Fusion is back to almost his favourite track. Well we guess it must be as his only two wins have been here although he was Derby placed at Eagle Farm.
He had to switch course up the inside which wasn’t the place to be on the last day at Flemington and 2040m now could well be his ideal trip.
Smothered away for a long while, a late split can see him feature in the finish of this 0-84 race.
Aurora Lights is the last entry and she is fourth emergency so needs a few scratchings to make the field.
Her New Zealand form was excellent including a placing to More Than Sacred in the Oaks before she ran only 10-1 in the Australasian Oaks in Adelaide.
She has sprinted well before but this will be some effort from this barrier over the 1200m around here.
Over at Morphettville, Robert takes his recent maiden winner Spareel to pick off a metropolitan race.
In somewhat of a surprise to punters, the Fastnet Rock colt came from well off the pace to run the leaders down by ½ length at Kyneton.
Surely he will be even better for that run, he meets a decent field without being overly excited by the opponents.
Dare say back to the 1000m he probably won’t have the speed early but in Adelaide the place to be has been on the pace. If he can stay in touch, he’ll go well.
The provincials at Mornington sees Black Jack Boy as a real winning hope. He won at Bendigo then has run in three 955m Challenge heats and worked home so well in each of them.
You would have to say Mornington will suit him better and if the pace is at the necessary level, he will charge home. You do have to acknowledge he carries 62kg in this.
The Victorian provincials are at Mornington on Saturday and that is where Tony Vasil has a couple running.
Lucky Valentine is the first of them. She has been very consistent finishing around the placings without winning one.
Again she is due to take the prize because the field is not a great one. This is the shortest race she has run over since coming second this course and distance so should be in the finish.
The following race sees Positive Decision third up now after an improved effort at Kilmore. The three year old has ear muffs on and he clearly enjoyed the six furlongs last time.
It was the firmest track he’d raced and he went well so a dead track or better would be preferable. There isn’t much form amongst the rivals so he could well challenge.
Belle Couture, the half-sister to world champion Black Caviar, moved a significant step closer to her eagerly awaited debut following her first official jump out today at Flemington.
The $2.5 million daughter of Redoute’s Choice and Helsinge made her first public appearance in an 800-metre jumpout that pleased both trainer Danny O’Brien and jockey Damien Oliver.
O’Brien said he’s working towards Belle Couture having her first race start next month.
He said there was plenty of positives to take away from today’s experience.
“It was her first ever jump out so it was a lot about just learning,” O’Brien said.
“Apart from being a bit slow out of the gate, it was pretty good. She mustered speed, travelled pretty easily and Damien Oliver was very positive about her.
“Really, I could not have asked her to do any more. She’s got a bit more to learn, but hopefully she will be at the races in December.”
Oliver didn’t extend the three-year-old as she finished second in the jump out behind an unknown Anthony Freedman-trained horse.
O’Brien said Belle Couture, owned by BC 3 Thoroughbreds, would have further educational jumps before she debuts.
Story by Adrian Dunn, courtesy www.racingnetwork.com.au
There is no prize for guessing Danny O’Brien’s favourite Melbourne racetrack this season.
He’s based at Flemington, where he has been a dominant force in recent years, but produced one of the great training performances of the modern era to get Shamus Award to break his maiden status in the $3 million Sportingbet Cox Plate on 26 October.
Saturday afternoon racing returns to the Valley for the first time since Cox Plate Day tomorrow and O’Brien is well-placed to enhance his 2013/14 record at the unique circuit.
He will saddle the favourite in three races and boasts dual representation in the other race that he is engaged.
O’Brien is hoping the tone for the day will be set in the $80,000 City Jeep Handicap (1200m) that kicks off the card.
O’Brien puts the polish on Mokoro, who at $2.40 is the shortest-priced favourite of the day, and is looking to make it two wins from as many starts after dominant debut win at Seymour on 31 October (pictured).
“She’s come on really well, with natural improvement having had a trip to the races now we’d expect her to go to Moonee Valley and be very competitive,” O’Brien told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“It’s always a big jump for horses to come from a maiden and go straight to a Saturday in town, but she’s a filly we’ve got a good opinion of so we’re giving her that opportunity.”
Glen Boss has the outside barrier to overcome aboard Mokoro and the champion jockey also has the job aboard O’Brien’s other two favourites – Xavi and Defiant Angel.
Xavi, the $3 top pick for the $100,000 Alternate Railway Tony Beddison Cup (1600m), has been working towards a win and O’Brien is hopeful he can one better than his last-start second at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day.
“It looks a nice race for him, it’s a $100,000 race, and the owners have been very patient with him,” he said.
“If you go through his form, he’s got a lot of seconds, so it’d be nice if we could get a couple more firsts on the board.”
Defiant Angel, who is raced in similar interests to Shamus Award and sports the same colours, is the $6 favourite in an open $80,000 City Jeep Wrangler Handicap (1200m).
The son of Dehere hasn’t started since 28 August and O’Brien hopes steering clear of the Spring Racing Carnival will reap its rewards.
“He just stayed out of the heat of the spring, it was going to be a bit more difficult to place him then, so we’ve kept him for this time of the year and the horse is in great order and should run really well”
Thorn Star and Chateau Latour are O’Brien’s other runners for the day and while they occupy the $7.50 and $8.50 third and fourth lines respectively in the $80,000 1print.com.au Handicap (1600m), O’Brien has high hopes in an open mares’ race.
“It looks a very competitive mares’ race and I’d say they’re both live chances,” he said. “(Who is the better chance) will come down to which of them gets a better run on the day.”
Thorn Star will be ridden by Ben Melham with Boss charged with the job aboard Chateau Latour.
There is a Shamus Award link to the 1print.com.au Handicap with the Cox Plate winner’s older half-sister Double Dee the $3.50 favourite.
By Brad Bishop
Jason Benbow has waited almost a decade for an opportunity like the one he is presented with today.
The Victorian jockey will partner the Wez Hunter-trained Smokin’ Joey in the $1 million Group 1 Carlton Draught Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Perth.
While Smokin’ Joey, the TAB’s $4.40 favourite, is Mornington-based Hunter’s shot at a maiden Group 1 success, he is Benbow’s best chance to add to a Group 1 tally that sits at one.
That elite-level success came courtesy of Sky Cuddle, a $51 shot that Benbow partnered to Emirates Stakes victory in 2004 when an 18-year-old 3kg-claiming apprentice.
It was Benbow’s first ride at the elite level and while he has managed just three Group 1 minor placings since – including one aboard Smokin’ Joey a fortnight ago – he never gave up hope that he’d make it back to the Group 1 winner’s stall.
“You never forget the taste,” he said of Group 1 success.
“I don’t think you really ever doubt yourself, but it’s hard to win them without opportunities and I’m forever grateful to Wez for providing me with a good Group 1 opportunity.
“This is a game of opportunities and when they come along you’ve got to make the most of them, so that’s what I’m planning on doing on Saturday.”
Benbow will certainly have done that if he guides the nomadic gelding to victory in Western Australia’s biggest race.
He utilised a friendship with Hunter, his former golf partner, to snap up the ride once Chris Symons, who partnered Smokin’ Joey to victory at Flemington on Derby Day, was unable to take the ride in the Emirates Stakes.
“I was riding work with Daniel Stackhouse at Caulfield and Daniel said Wez had asked him to ride him at 52.5kg and he said it was going to be a bit of a struggle for him so he suggested I give him a call,” Benbow recalled.
“Having had that established relationship with Wez, I called him up and things went from there.”
Benbow had little luck aboard Smokin’ Joey in the Flemington Group 1, posted wide for much of the 1600m event, but he still beat home all bar in-the-zone Sydneysider Boban and Benbow was thrilled to hear shortly after returning to scale that he would retain the ride for Perth.
It was a just reward for the jockey whose career might have hit a Group 1 high earlier than most, but has also had its share of downs.
Benbow broke his shoulder late in 2008 and while he was back in saddle four months later it was another year before he felt like he was back to full fitness. Not long after that, in October 2010, he broke an ankle in a fall at Benalla and was sidelined for another five months.
Despite those problems Benbow rode almost 40 winners in 2009/10 and 2010/11 and he was up around a half-century of winners the past two seasons.
He has ridden 12 winners to date this season, but at a career-best strike-rate and he feels like he is riding as well as ever.
Smokin’ Joey, who found his way to Hunter after stints with Lee Freedman, Anthony Freedman and Mick Price, drew barrier seven in the Railway – he will start from six if the emergencies don’t start – and Benbow’s confidence is sky high.
“The barrier draw was very good,” he said. “It makes it a whole lot easier and he’s a funny horse to ride, so I’m glad that he did draw where he did.
“He’ll come out of six, that’s the same barrier he jumped out of in the Emirates, and generally in Perth they run along at a bit stronger tempo and that should allow us to get the ideal position.”
Smokin’ Joey is part of a strong Victorian hand in the Railway Stakes, which is Race 8 on the Ascot card to be run at 7.50pm AEDT.
Hunter isn’t the only Mornington trainer chasing his maiden Group 1 win in the race, with Sam Pritchard-Gordon to start import Mutual Trust, while Peter Moody has headed across with Melbourne Cup Week winner Plucky Belle.
Plucky Belle’s stablemate Moment of Change is Victoria’s lone representative in the day’s other Group 1, the $500,000 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m), which he will clash with star Queenslander Buffering and defending champion Barakey.
23/11/2013 BRC CEO moving on
The inaugural Chief Executive of Brisbane Racing Club Mr Stephen Ferguson has announced that he is resigning from BRC to take up the role of National CEO with the Australian Hotels Association.
Chairman of Brisbane Racing Club, Mr Neville Bell, has wished Stephen all the best in his new role and thanked him for his contribution to racing in Brisbane.
“Stephen led the “merger of equals” between QTC and BTC to form BRC.
“Stephen has overseen the diversification of BRC to include new ventures such as Gallopers Sports Club, Eagle Farm Markets, and the Australian Open Polo Championships, reconstruction of Beaudesert and management rights of Deagon training centre.
Mr Ferguson said, “I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to have served Brisbane Racing Club.
“I will miss the many friendships I have made with BRC directors, members and racing participants.
“In particular, I will miss the camaraderie of the hard working and innovative BRC staff.
“The skills, work ethic and passion of directors and staff will ensure Eagle Farm and Doomben racecourses are well served into the future.
“Our trainers, horses and jockeys are also playing their part by being extremely competitive against interstate and overseas competition.
“The participation during winter of highly rated interstate competitors also indicates how well regarded racing in Brisbane is.
“I am extremely proud of Brisbane racing and its people and wish everyone the very best for the future.
Mr Bell said that the Board would soon commence a search for a new CEO.
|Collett just the style
|FRIDAY: November 22, 2013: EXPATRIATE New Zealand jockey Jason Collett
is aiming to make it "third time lucky" for Hawkesbury trainer Garry
Frazer at Ballarat on Sunday.
Frazer has retained Collett for his pacy filly Sheer Style in the
$200,000 Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m).
The Snitzel filly has drawn barrier nine in the field of 13.
Collett has partnered Sheer Style twice - though only once under race
He rode her to victory in a 795m barrier trial at Warwick Farm on
October 11, but Tommy Berry was aboard when the filly made her debut
and finished second to Bold Circle over 1100m at Rosehill on October
Collett was back in the saddle when Sheer Style again showed pace and
finished second to the promising Earthquake over 1000m at Randwick on
Mark Riley claimed last year’s inaugural $200,000 Magic Millions 2YO Clockwise Classic (1000m) with I’m Too Sexy and the Mornington Peninsula-based horseman has a chance to go back-to-back at Sportsbet-Ballarat on Sunday.
Riley has accepted in the only race run in Victoria in the clockwise direction with Kayepee, a colt by the little-known sire Bullmore.
While I’m Too Sexy’s win in last year’s Clockwise Classic didn’t prove a stepping stone to the $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast in January, it hasn’t detracted from Riley’s opinion of what is the richest pre-Christmas two-year-old race in Victoria.
“Prize money-wise it is absolutely fantastic,” Riley said. “It gives the Victorian horses that may not be suited to the Magic Millions (2YO Classic) on the Gold Coast in January a chance to win great prize money.
“It also gives horses a chance to have a race in the clockwise direction as a lead up race to the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast if they are suitable.
“The heat and the humidity is a major problem for Victorian trainers travelling these young horses to the Gold Coast in January. With this race being at this time of the year, it gives you time to get up to Queensland and acclimatise.
“The added bonus is the prize money means you are guaranteed a run in the race and can plan your preparation.”
Drawn in barrier 11 for jockey Daniel Stackhouse, Riley said Kayepee was a nice horse but maybe just one barrier trial short of where he would like him to be fitness wise.
“I think the 1000 metres will be too short for him but in saying that he’s very tough and it wouldn’t be beyond him to run really well in the race,” he said.
“I bought him at the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast and he’s going to make a very nice 1400 and 1600 metre horse.
“I don’t know much about Bullmore other than he was named after Kerry Bullmore Packer and that’s why we named this horse Kayepee.”
Kayepee is currently rated at $8.50 in the betting with TAB fixed odds, with the Gary Frazer-trained Sydney raider Sheer Style opening the $2.20 favourite.
A narrow runner-up over 1100 metres at Rosehill on debut, the daughter of Snitzel then finished second behind boom Darley filly Earthquake over 1000 metres at Randwick.
The Clockwise Classic won’t be the only Magic Millions feature run at Ballarat on Sunday, with the $100,000 Magic Millions 3YO Classic (1100m), run in the traditional anti-clockwise direction, a new addition to the Cup Day program.
By Ben Asgari
Victorian and New South Wales thoroughbred racing is set to benefit next autumn with Racing Victoria (RV) working to reignite Japanese participation in Australia’s premier races.
RV’s International Recruitment Officer, Leigh Jordon, is engaged with the connections of talented Japanese performer Lelouch – who will next race in Sunday’s Group 1 Japan Cup (2400m) – on a three-race two-state campaign if the appropriate travel arrangements can be made.
The $1 million Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on 8 March has been earmarked to start the five-year-old’s campaign before progressing to Sydney for the $1.5 million The BMW (2400m) and newly enhanced $4 million Queen Elizabeth (2000m) on 5 and 19 April respectively.
A primary target for this year’s Spring Racing Carnival, Jordon has been negotiating the merits of the trip with the connections of the Kazuo Fujisawa-trained Group 2 winner and working to overcome quarantine and shipping restrictions.
The horse would be required to complete two weeks quarantine at the RV-owned and operated TAB International Horse Centre at Werribee before being permitted to compete and travel within Australia.
“There’s still water to flow under the bridge, but the connections have expressed a genuine desire to come to Australia in the autumn and it would be a great outcome for Victorian and New South Wales racing if we can make it a reality,” Jordon said.
“As we have seen with our Spring Racing Carnival recruitment since the EI outbreak of 2007, there are significant challenges in bringing Japanese horses to Australia with the preferred quarantine facility in Miho not currently sanctioned and direct shipping costly and difficult to arrange.
“I’m working with Japanese officials and IRT to find a suitable solution for all parties as it remains a priority for Racing Victoria to reignite Japanese participation in our premier races and if that can benefit New South Wales too then it’s a real positive for Australian racing.”
Lelouch was a winner of the Group 2 Copa Republica Argentina (2500m) in Tokyo last November (pictured, courtesy of JRA) and finished third when defending his title in the Japan Cup lead-up earlier this month.
Three starts back the five-year-old finished second in the Group 2 Meguro Kinen over the same track and distance when ridden by Australian Craig Williams who would be in contention to ride the horse should he travel to Australia.
Williams will ride Admire Rakti in this weekend’s Japan Cup – a horse that was being set for this year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup before his connections had a change of heart and elected to target their local showpiece instead.
Admire Rakti finished a neck in front of Lelouch last start when runner-up in the Copa Republica Argentina, with race winner Asuka Kurichan set to take on Red Cadeaux, Mount Athos and Dandino in the Group 1 Hong Kong International Vase (2400m) in a fortnight.
The Tomoyuki Umeda-trained Admire Rakti remains an RV target for the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, with Jordon closely watching the Japan Cup for other suitable targets.
CASINO Prince mare Longport is set to swap her two Group 1 'silvers medals' for a 'gold' should she take out this weekend's WATC Railway Stakes (1600m) in Perth.
Already a winner of close to $500,000, Longport has a sterling record in Group 1's having contested four previously for two seconds, a fourth and a fifth at distances ranging from 1600m to 2400m.
Longport’s career highlight before Saturday is her win over Norzita, Jade Marauder and Dear Demi in the Group 2 ATC Tea Rose Stakes (1500m) at Randwick in the spring of 2012.
The Casino Prince mare returned to form for visiting Brisbane trainer Dan Bougoure in the last race of the Melbourne Cup carnival. The mare was purchased by clients of the Bougoure stable for $800,000 out of the Patinack Farm dispersal sale at the Gold Coast in June.
“She ran a good race behind Fontelina here last Saturday even though she didn’t like the slippery conditions,” Bougoure said following that race. “She was down in class today and was suited by the extra furlong.”
Longport is the fourth foal of Dolphin Street mare, Ocean Bridge's, whose previous foal - Win For Wilson - won the 2009 ATC Breeders' Plate (1000m).
Ocean Bridge's Onemorenomore colt was third top price the 2012 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale selling for $200,000.
Dan Pearce's Testa Rossa 3yo Testamezzo.
21 November 2013 |
Vinery sires are gunning for a clean-sweep of Perth’s Gr.1 feature races on Super Saturday with Testa Rossa, Mossman and Casino Prince represented but it might be Testa's rising 3yo star Testamezzo that steals the show.
Mossman’s champion sprinter Buffering can complete a Group 1 hat-trick in the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) and his progressive mare Plucky Belle is right in the market for the G1 Railway Stakes (1600m).
Plucky Belle is coming off a Group 3 victory at Flemington and is on the third line at $7 behind Smokin Joey ($4.40) and Longport ($6.50). Vinery has a strong hand in the million-dollar mile – Longport is by Casino Prince and local star Ranger, a son of Testa Rossa, is at $21.
Testa Rossa can provide a tasty entree for the feature double with Testamezzo in the Placid Ark Stakes L (1200m).
Testamezzo (3g Testa Rossa – Tremezzo by Encosta de Lago) was a brilliant winner of the Appleton Estate Sprint (1000m) at Ascot last Saturday but trainer Dan Pearce was in two minds whether to back him up at Listed level.
“I don’t want to over-cook this one - he’s a special horse,” Pearce said. “He pulled up okay so we decided to go ahead. He’s going to be winning nice races down the track if we look after him.”
Testamezzo has only been beaten once in five starts and that was in the Belgravia Stakes L last month. “He was out the back and caught three-wide at the 600 metres,” Pearce recalled. “But he must have made up 10 lengths in the straight.
“I lost plenty of sleep over that race. We were thinking of setting him for the WA Guineas but the Placid Ark is a better option at this stage of his career.”
Testamezzo was a $60,000 buy at the 2012 Gold Coast Magic Millions for his syndicate that includes Steve Cooper, Kevin & Linda Hughes, Brad Jones, Rob Palm, Tom & Rosemary Watson and Ron Williamson.
Nicknamed ‘Rosco’, he’s bred to get over ground being out of Tremezzo who won five races in Melbourne. She broke the 2000m track record at Caulfield in December 2007.
Testamezzo has a 2yo sister that has been retained by his Victorian breeders Rob and June Harding. And Tremezzo foaled another Testa Rossa colt in September.
Aquanita's runners for Northam Thursday
21st November 2013
Simon Miller has three entered for the Northam card on Thursday as we lead into the biggest weekend of the year in Perth racing.
The first of them is Secret Tycoon making his debut over 1300m in a three year old maiden. This gelding had two trials back in May and then after a break had one at Belmont over a week ago.
Drawing barrier 12 is a concern so you would think he either goes right back or right forward. There looks a little bit of pace here from those who have raced so perhaps he can slot in.
Onto Race 6 where Danish Moment runs for the second time. She did a thoroughly decent job up the outside fence at Pinjarra when just over a length from the winner.
She showed enough speed in that to suggest she may be able to overcome this terrible draw although it won’t be easy.
The filly is getting some good weight relief under this scale as well.
The final runner is Navarda Lad who is such a consistent horse but he just seems to find one better this time in.
He sat on the speed at Pinjarra 11 days ago and kept fighting to just miss the placings. This barrier will allow him to balance up close once more and he deserves to win one soon.
Sheikh Mohammed is on the lookout for a new trainer to head up his Darley operation in Australia following Peter Snowden’s shock decision to relinquish the position.
The man who has been Darley’s head trainer since setting up a full-time Australian operation in May 2008 will leave at the end of next year’s Sydney Autumn Carnival to enter a training partnership with son Paul, who has been the stable’s Melbourne foreman.
Darley announced the development in a media release today and Snowden said that while he had enjoyed some great times with Darley, the time was right to enter the next phase of his career.
“It has been a rewarding six years and I am proud of all that we have achieved,” he said in the statement.
“It is the right time to move on with my son Paul and take on a new challenge. It is something we have always wanted to do.
“With an operation like this it is only fair that there is plenty of time for a transition. Sheikh Mohammed has provided me with an amazing opportunity and I will be forever grateful.
“When the time comes we will deal with the farewells but for now my focus is on producing results for Darley.”
Snowden has prepared 28 Group 1 winners under the Darley regime, including all five Group 1 races run for two-year-olds in 2011. Sepoy won the Blue Diamond-Golden Slipper double, Helmet won the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes and Benfica the J.J. Atkins Stakes.
Two of Snowden’s Group 1 wins came during the Spring Racing Carnival with Long John winning the BECK Caulfield Guineas and Guelph the Schweppes Thousand Guineas.
Darley’s managing director in Australia, Henry Plumptre, paid tribute to what Snowden achieved and said he would have a lasting legacy at the establishment.
“Sheikh Mohammed is very grateful to Peter for his efforts since joining Darley,” Plumptre said.
“Peter’s record speaks for itself and we have been very fortunate to have him as our head Trainer. His legacy will continue as we benefit from the offspring of champion colts Sepoy, Helmet and Denman.”
By Brad Bishop
Though a victory with Jiggle it in Saturday’s $80,000 City Jeep Wrangler Handicap (1200m) at Moonee Valley would be the biggest of John Roberts’ training career, it would be far from his greatest triumph in the past 12 months.
Roberts, who is based at Diggers Rest and currently has seven horses in work, was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in December 2012.
Deciding to go to the doctors to have a troublesome toe inspected, a blood test resulted in Roberts being referred to a specialist in Sunbury for an ultrasound on his kidney.
“I went in to Sunbury to have the ultrasound and I could tell that something was not right,” Roberts said.
“That was about half-past two on the Monday and at eight o’clock that night I was in at Royal Melbourne Hospital.”
Roberts started chemotherapy the following Tuesday, transferring his team of horses to the care of his father-in-law Brian McKnight.
Three weeks later, despite being in the middle of the fight of his life, Roberts decided there was one horse out of his team that he couldn’t part with.
“I brought Jiggle It back and kept riding her in work because I knew I could handle her,” Roberts said.
“I worked her right through my chemotherapy and I think it helped me because instead of sitting down and worrying about whether you’re going to live or die I had something to get up and do in the morning.
“This horse helped me through it to be honest, without wanting to be too dramatic.
“The day she won a showcase race at Kyneton in December, it was actually only three days after I first went into hospital and they let me come home to watch the race.
“I don’t think they knew I was going to the races!”
Thankfully Roberts is now only a scan on the 11th of December, almost exactly 12 months after he was first diagnosed, away from all but getting the better of the disease.
“All my tests have been good and if that PET Scan is clear then I’ve got a very good prognosis that I should be right, in the short-term anyway,” he said.
“When you go into that Peter McCallum Cancer Hospital... it doesn’t really sink in until you go in there.
“Having cancer and hopefully having beaten it has certainly changed my perspective on life a bit.”
Aside from helping him through his most important journey, Jiggle It has also done nothing to hurt Roberts’ reputation as a trainer.
Since her victory at Kyneton in December, the daughter of Ne Coupez Paz went on to provide Roberts with his first city success, wining a $35,000 0-84 Handicap (1200m) in August.
Were it not for his own remarkable story, the tale of how Roberts ended up with Jiggle It would be noteworthy in itself.
Bred by Roberts and his wife, they purchased Jiggle It’s dam Cold Spring Tea out of the Winning Post for $5000.
“We bought the mother out of the Winning Post sight unseen from Queensland,” Roberts said.
“We got a few placings out of her but she had soundness issues. It got a bit hard having to constantly patch her up so we decided to send her to stud and Jiggle It is her first foal.”
Drawn in barrier eight for jockey Nikita McLean on Saturday, the five-year-old is no stranger to Moonee Valley having finished in the minor placings in three of her four runs at the track.
Ninth in her latest effort at Kyneton, Roberts put that effort down to simply failing to handle a five day back up.
“The track was playing a little bit funny that day and she was a little but unsettled in the barriers so we just put it down to the fact that she didn’t back-up and hindsight is a wonderful thing.
“I took her to Kyneton this morning and gave her a gallop on the grass and she couldn’t have worked any better.
“It’s not often that you get to run for $80,000 in restricted grade. You know she tries and you know that she’s going to be in the finish somewhere. That’s the beauty of her, she puts herself in the race and she’s going to be in it for a long way.”
By Ben Asgari
Double Dee’s trip to Moonee Valley this Saturday won’t be as lucrative as her younger half-brother’s last visit there.
That was Cox Plate Day when Shamus Award, who like Double Dee, is out of Sunset Express, won the $3 million Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate.
The $80,000 1print.com.au 0-84 Handicap (1600m) has nothing on the Cox Plate, but Double Dee’s trainer Jason Warren is hoping it proves a stepping stone to feature success of her own for the daughter of Dubleo.
“She’s progressing the right way, winning her last two starts and while the margin last start was probably greatened by the wet track, which she handles, she is still going well,” Warren said.
“This’ll probably be her last run before we give her a bit of a let up. Hopefully we can go to Sydney or Queensland with her next year because I’d love to try and get some Black Type.”
Double Dee won a fillies and mares 0-70 over 1400m at Bendigo four days after Shamus Award’s Cox Plate win and backed up with an eight-length romp in the same grade at Ballarat on 13 November.
She will be one of the leading contenders in one of the most competitive races on an eight-event Moonee Valley card.
The four-year-old will start from barrier five in the race that has drawn five other last-start winners; To Be Honest, Tully Costa, Chateau Latour, Maccy Fields and Princess Mossman.
Adding further depth to the race is Millie’s Man, Thorn Star, Double Dee’s stablemate Proper Madam and the consistent Nautical.
The 1print.com.au 0-84 Handicap is among the highlights of a meeting that includes a couple of $100,000 events.
Sumakaray, Royal Bender, Dashitude, Lady Antebellum, Berrimilla, Mango Mojito and Danestroem are among those engaged in the Sportingbet Best Tote Plus Handicap (1200m) that rounds out the card.
The other $100,000 event is the Tony Beddison Cup (1600m), which is headed by Outlandish Lad and includes Prizum, Gottino, Lord Durante, Lord Pyrus and Xavi.
The $80,000 City Jeep 0-78 Handicap has attracted strong field of three-year-old fillies, including well-performed pair Romancingthestone and Miss Steele plus Danny O’Brien-trained debut winner Mokoro and progressive Peter Moody-trained trio A Saucy Snitzel, Rowdy Belle and Spinning Light.
Vatican heads a strong field of sprinters for the City Jeep Compass Handicap with fellow 55 Second Challenge regulars Fab Fevola and King Cotton engaged along with Esprit de Bullet, Sea Lord and Argee McLaren.
By Brad Bishop
Victoria's richest race for two-year-olds the $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes is commencing to take shape.
The leading nominators for Victoria’s premier juvenile event are Gai Waterhouse with 42, ahead of David Hayes (41) and Caulfield-based pair Mick Price and Peter Moody (29 apiece).
Having paid a final late entry fee of $55,000 to enable eventual winner Miracles of Life to compete in this year’s Blue Diamond, Daniel Clarken paid up for six two year-olds at the first declaration stage for next year’s race.
With 46 of his progeny declared – accounting for almost ten per cent of remaining entries – Fastnet Rock (pictured above) is the best-represented stallion on the list for the 44th running of the race.
26 of Snitzel’s offspring remain targeted at the race, with Northern Meteor immediately behind the primary pair with 23 two year-olds registered to run.
The full list of 2014 nominations can be viewed here.
Yearlings nominated for the 2014 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes also gain automatic entry for the 2014 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire, a $250,000 1200-metre race for three year-olds scheduled to be run on BECK Caulfield Guineas day next year. This year, that race was won by Lion of Belfort.
The 2014 Sportingbet Blue Diamond series commences with the Blue Diamond Previews (Listed, 1000m) on January 25, followed by the Blue Diamond Preludes (Group 3, 1100m) on February 8, climaxing with the Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes over 1200 metres on Saturday, February 22.
Second declarations close at noon (AEDT) on 7 January 2014, where a payment of $440 is required to remain in contention for the feature event.
Smokin’ Joey has firmed in the betting market after drawing barrier seven in Saturday’s $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Perth.
An upset winner of the Group 3 tab.com.au Stakes (1400m) on Derby Day, the Wez Hunter-trained six-year-old proved the effort to be no fluke finishing runner-up behind Boban a week later in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
Mutual Trust fared similarly well at this morning’s draw, with the Sam Pritchard-Gordon-trained import set to start next to Smokin’ Joey in barrier six.
Runner-up behind subsequent Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) winner Mouro in the Sale Cup (1600m) at his latest effort, Mutual Trust has been $21 into $16 since the draw.
Of the three Victorian-trained runners, Peter Moody’s mare Plucky Belle had the least luck with the daughter of Mossman to begin from gate 14.
An impressive winner against her own sex at Group 3 level on Melbourne Cup Day, the wide gate may not prove to be such a negative for the five-year-old who likes to get back and swoop home in her races anyway.
Plucky Belle has drifted from $8 to $9 with TAB following the barrier draw while defending Railway Stakes champion Mr Moet is rated a $14 chance after drawing the extreme outside barrier.
By Ben Asgari
|Race 1 - 12:00PM CARLTON DRAUGHT-RAILWAY STAKES (1600 METRES)
|Of $1,000,000.1st $612,500, 2nd $200,000, 3rd $90,000, 4th $40,000, 5th $20,000, 6th $12,500, 7th $12,500, 8th $12,500 GROUP 1
Quality, Minimum Weight 53kg, Three-Years-Old and Upwards, Apprentices cannot claim.
||Bruce Watkins & Gary Hitchcock
||FIRE UP FIFI
||MUTUAL TRUST (GB)
||Danny J Bougoure
||GOD HAS SPOKEN
||Simon A Miller
||Peter G Moody
||Mitchell Pateman (a)
||Chris Parnham (a)
||ANGEL OF MERCY
Defending champion King Diamond must defy three decades of history if he is to claim back-to-back wins in Sunday’s $200,000 Listed Sportsbet.com.au Ballarat Cup (2200m).
Not since Jim Moloney’s Warri Symbol in 1982-83 has a horse claimed consecutive victories in Ballarat’s feature race with the Jarrod McLean-trained stayer also looking for his first win since last year’s Cup.
King Diamond, one of 30 entries in Sunday’s race, boasts three unplaced runs this campaign however punters are unlikely to quickly forget his win in last year’s Cup when also coming on the back of a significant 18 month winless streak.
Among those that could also tackle Sunday’s final Stakes race of Victoria’s Spring Racing Carnival are Tony McEvoy’s 2012 runner-up and Listed Murray Bridge Cup (1600m) winner Pelicano, local trainer Darren Weir’s Hamilton Cup (2200m) hero Hurdy Gurdy Man and last-start Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) runner-up Epingle.
Epingle’s Mick Kent-trained stablemate Backbone, who defeated subsequent Lexus Stakes (2500m) winner Ruscello at his most recent start, is also among the entries alongside intriguing European imports Hartani, King Of Dudes and The Offer.
While the Ballarat Cup will undoubtedly take top billing on Sunday’s 10-race program, three support races can lay claim to feature status with each carrying at least $100,000 in prizemoney.
The $130,000 Thomas Jewellers VOBIS Gold Eureka Stockade (1400m) is the first race in this season’s $1.8 million VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series and has attracted a quality set of 15 nominations.
The first of six three-year-old events in the 10-race VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series, the Sunday’s race is headlined by locally-trained Trust In A Gust, a winner of three of his four starts this season, unbeaten Anthony Freedman-trained colt Gambaccini and Lindsay Park’s Churchill Dancer, a winner of the $180,000 VOBIS Gold Ingot (1200m) in April when still a two-year-old.
The $200,000 Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m) will again provide a unique spectacle in Victorian racing with the field of juveniles to traverse the 1000m scamper in clockwise fashion.
Mick Price’s Geromayo, fifth in the Debutants Stakes (1000m) behind Moonlight Hussler, Peter Moody-trained Italian Storm and Sydney visitor Tantrum Tester are joined in the 15 nominations by 10 unraced gallopers whose connections are eyeing the $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast in January.
Magic Millions also sponsor the Three-Year-Old Classic over 1100m with the $100,000 attracting entries from exciting Fastnet Rock filly Anatina, Anthony Freedman-trained speedster Charles In Charge and unbeaten Matt Laurie galloper Star Beauty.
The full set of 260 nominations for Sunday’s 10-race Sportsbet.com.au Ballarat Cup Day program are available here, with final accpetances to be taken at 9.30am on Thursday.
Exciting three-year-old El Roca is back in work and will be aimed towards the $500,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington in March.
The luckless runner of the BECK Caulfield Guineas, co-trainer Trent Busuttin said the son of Fastnet Rock would likely head straight to Victoria without a run in New Zealand.
“There are number of options for his lead-up runs but at this stage with the programming he probably will head straight to Australia and run third-up in the Australian Guineas,” Busuttin said.
“He had the saddle on his back for the first time yesterday and we’ll look to kick him off around the end of January or the start of February.
“He did really well during his break. We haven’t given him too long out, being a big heavy colt you don’t want to let them get too far away on you but I’m very happy with him and hopefully we can have a bit more luck in running then what we did over there last time.”
“You never know, we’ll play it by ear after that but there are plenty of options for him after the Guineas and he could target a race like the Australian Cup or the Randwick Guineas.”
Busuttin said 2011 Victoria Derby winner Sangster, who was last seen finishing at the tail of the field in the Turnbull Stakes in October, would be aimed towards the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) in April.
“He just jarred up on the firm tracks but he’s over that now,” he said.
“He comes back into work shortly and he’ll be aimed towards the Sydney Cup.
“The Sydney Cup’s now worth $1 million so it looks a nice race for him, he just wants some cut out of the ground.”
By Ben Asgari
Jockey Linda Meech continued her sizzling spring form with a winning quintet at Echuca today.
Meech followed up a treble at Dunkeld on Saturday with single wins at Donald on Sunday and Wangaratta on Monday before partnering five of her six mounts to victory at Echuca, taking her tally over the last four days to 10 wins.
It was the first time Meech, who had ridden five winners at the 2009 two-day Echuca Cup Carnival and four winners at the 2011 Echuca Cup Carnival, has ridden five winners on a single card in her distinguished career in the saddle.
Meech partnered the exciting Anthony Cummings-trained colt Magnesia to victory in the day’s second race before riding the final four winners at the meeting.
Each win came for a different trainer with Brian Cox’s Sahara Nights providing Race 5 success before the jockey combined with regular supporter Peter Moody on Bernie Of Babylon in the following event.
A pick-up ride on Libby Haworth’s Auramour yielded her fourth win for the day with former Kiwi gelding Just Reminiscing unleashing an impressive turn of foot in the final event to give Meech her quintet.
The 33-year-old came within a length of making it six with her opening ride of the day, Sorority Queen, finishing a close runner-up in the day’s opening event.
Meech will enjoy a welcome rest over the next two days before taking a book of six rides at Terang on Thursday.
Though the Stakes racing action is finished in the Melbourne metropolitan area for another Spring, it has done nothing to dampen the enthusiasm for Saturday’s eight-race program at Moonee Valley which has attracted a whopping 256 entries.
In the first of two $100,000 features on the card, an open handicap over 1600m, a quality list of 26 nominations has been assembled highlighted by the Chris Waller-trained pair of Disciple and Multilateral.
Both more than competitive over the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington, should either of the duo hope to win on Saturday they could have to defeat a tough field.
Other key entries in the race include Dennis O’Leary’s multiple Stakes-winner Outlandish Lad, the Danny O’Brien-trained pair of Xavi and The New Boy, consistent gelding Lord Durante and in-form mare Double Dee.
The second of the two features is a 1200m sprint for the fillies and mares which has attracted 37 entries headed by Brian Cox’s progressive mare Sumakaray.
As well as already being a winner at Moonee Valley, the four-year-old daughter of Manner Hill boasts impressive form having finished fourth at Group 3 level and runner-up in Listed grade at her last two starts.
Other key entries include the Darren Weir-trained pair of Royal Bender and Vain Attraction, Group 3 placegetter Flash Of Doubt, Stakes-winning Adelaide mare Dashitude and the in-form Lady Antebellum.
By sheer weight of numbers, Saturday’s 1200m 0-78 Handicap leads the way with a staggering 63 nominations.
Included among the list of entries is the Mark Kavanagh-trained Oltre Finito who is unbeaten in three starts and hasn’t been seen since an impressive victory at Sportingbet Park Sandown in May.
A further highlight is the 1000m handicap for the speedsters which features 23 entries topped by reigning Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge champion Vatican.
Also on the list of nominations is track specialist and Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) winner Sea Lord, Peter Moody’s pair of short course specialists Planet Voyage and Flamberge as well as talented New South Wales raider Unanimously.
By Ben Asgari
Sertorius continued his progression towards the top level of Australian gallopers with victory in the $350,000 Deadly Design Zipping Classic (2400m) today at Caulfield.
The Jamie Edwards and Bruce Elkington-trained gelding succeeded at his first try at weight-for-age with a soft win – the ninth of a 25-start career that has also yielded 10 minor placings – in the Group 2 event.
It atoned for a narrow defeat in last week’s Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes and was all the encouragement Edwards needed to confirm the partnership’s intentions to raise their sights with the six-year-old.
“He really deserves to be put away now and we’ll raise our sights with him a fair bit in the autumn,” Edwards, who earlier this year suffered a fall that threatened his way-of-life, said.
“I’m just rapt. For a stable like ours, we’ve had a tough time the last 12 months and this has really topped it off.”
Edwards was happy to defer credit for the Zipping Classic success to Ryan Maloney, who turned in a patient ride to score the biggest win of his career.
Normally a safe beginner, Sertorius was only moderately away from the inside barrier, but Maloney didn’t panic and used the rail to advantage and settled three horses back along the inside.
The inside running enabled him to save ground rounding the home bend and when Queenstown, who had run the field along at a solid tempo, raced away from the fence in the home straight Maloney stuck to the inside.
The $3.70 chance struck the front inside the final 100m before edging away to score by two lengths from Epingle ($12), who worked home solidly, with Queenstown ($5.50) battling on to hold down third.
The Bart and James Cummings-trained Precedence ($3.40 fav), who denied Sertorius in the Queen Elizabeth, suffered interference passing the winning post the first time and was never a winning factor, finishing sixth.
It was particularly satisfying for Maloney, who was riding in south-western Victoria on the corresponding weekend last year.
“This time last year I was at Dunkeld and today I’ve won a Group 2, so I’m wrapt,” Maloney said.
“He was really slow out and I had to hold my breath otherwise I was going to be caught in the backwash, like most of them did, but the race was run in a good, genuine tempo I was able to keep sneaking runs on the fence.
“From the top of the straight I was going good enough to win it and I asked him for an effort and, like usual, he gave me everything he’s got.
“He just turns up every week, tries his best and never lets us down. He deserved one of these.”
By Brad Bishop
Mouro scores an impressive win in the G3 Eclipse Stakes
American import overcomes tough run to score Group 3 win
Mouro earned a crack at Sydney’s autumn riches with a stunning win in today’s $150,000 Group 3 Snowhite Maintenance Eclipse Stakes at Caulfield.
The Tony McEvoy-trained import – the 59kg topweight – got home despite a tardy getaway and working hard up the famous Caulfield hill at the back of the course to find a prominent position.
McEvoy was not surprised that the son of Grand Slam won, but had his doubts the way he raced, and is already planning a shot at the Doncaster Mile and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), now worth $3 million and $4 million respectively, in Sydney next year.
“He just showed that he is a good, quality horse and he’s justified us going to a Group 1 with him,” the trainer said.
“I’m glad we waited with him, it’s been a really good result, but in the autumn I think you’ll see him go up a level.
“I think I’ll look a Doncaster or a 2000-metre race in the autumn. I think I’ll step him up. I’ve thought of him as a Group 1 horse for a long time and I suppose we’ve got to find out now.”
Mouro, a five-year-old entire, produced one of the toughest performances of Spring to get home in the Eclipse Stakes.
After jumping in the second half of the field, he was posted wide early and worked to find the spot outside leader St Gabriel and kept the pressure on that galloper so the leading pair retained a break on their rivals.
The front two turned well clear of the rivals, with Mouro taking over 350m out and it was not until around 75m from home that he started to feel the pinch.
But the $3.60 favourite had an unassailable lead by that point and at the line held a half-length margin over the fast-finishing Rain Drum ($3.70). Bel Thor ($5.50) was 2.5 lengths away third.
“He’s done a good job with 59 wanting to go a little bit keen,” Oliver said. “He was a bit vulnerable, but he was too good.”
By Brad Bishop
17/11/2013 Floria's consistency rewarded
Warm favourite Floria strides away with the final race of Melbourne's spring carnival at yesterday's Caulfield meeting.
Luke Nolen's day went from bad to worse when
Floria (NZ) (Savabeel) won yesterday's Group Three
Summoned Stakes at Caulfield.
Nolen spent the afternoon at Epworth Hospital having
scans on his right knee after being thrown when Bullpit
reared in the mounting yard before the first race.
The dual Scobie Breasley medallist landed awkwardly,
injuring his knee and needed to be carried to the jockeys'
room by medicos. And, to compound Nolen's woes, he missed
the ride on the Peter Moody-trained Floria, who showcased
her ability with a well-deserved win in the 1600 metre mares'
Craig Newitt was the beneficiary of Nolen's misfortune and
ended the day with a double.
Moody said Floria will now head to the spelling paddock
with the Sydney autumn carnival as her target. Her
Melbourne spring campaign had consisted of three starts – a
short head, half neck third to British General at Caulfield on
Guineas day, a midfield finish to Red Tracer at Flemington on
Derby day and yesterday's win.
Now a six-year-old, her three-, four- and five-year-old
seasons were spent in New Zealand, in the care of Ardmore
trainer Stephen McKee. A descendant of Solveig, a top-notch
racemare of the 1980s, Floria was a consistent place-getter
in black-type mares' races, the best of her three homeland
wins coming in the Group Three Cuddle Stakes at Trentham in
March of last year.
Race MRC Summoned S. Gr.3 1600m
Winner Floria (NZ) 2007
Owners R J Chitty, D M Nicol and Ms C W Franich
Trainer Peter Moody (Caulfield)
Breeding by Savabeel (Aus) out of Aria by Centaine (Aus)
Breeder R W E Moore
Sales 2009 NZ National Yearling Sale, Premier
Session; V: Soliloquy Lodge, P: T J McKee Ltd;
17/11/2013 Poste Restante seeking redemption
Last December, Brisbane trainer Desleigh Forster
took Poste Restante (NZ) (Postponed) to Sydney for
the Group Three Summer Cup but the trip ended in
disappointment when the mare beat only one runner
But once again Randwick's Boxing Day Summer Cup
is on the agenda for Poste Restante after the mare's
runaway four-length win in yesterday's Awesome
Foursome Membership Handicap over 2400 metres at
"The way she won today you'd think the Summer Cup
would be a lovely race for her," Forster said.
Poste Restante was a beaten favourite at her previous
two starts but Forster was quick to defend her form.
"She's been a headache to punters but she's been
unlucky a few times," she said. "Her runs have been super,
really, and last start she was only beaten by a bob of the
In an effort to coax Poste Restante back to winning form,
Forster and jockey Michael Cahill decided on a change of
"We came up with a plan to go back, ride her cold, don't
move until the 300 metres then let her get home over the top
of them," Forster said. "She wanted to race today and she put
them to the sword."
Cahill said he noticed a change in Poste Restante's attitude
yesterday. "In recent starts she's gone up to win but just hasn't
gone on with the job but she was a different mare today,"
he said. "When she won three in a row this time last year she
only won by narrow margins but today was the first time she's
actually gone on with it and put them away."
– AAP TURF
15/11/2013 Precedence can give Cummings classic gift
Precedence could provide the legendary Bart Cummings with a late birthday present at Caulfield tomorrow...
The most recognisable person in Australian racing could
get a belated birthday present when in-form stayer
Precedence (NZ) (Zabeel) runs in the Group Two
Legendary trainer Bart Cummings turns 86 on Thursday.
Two days later Cummings, who now trains in partnership
with his grandson James, will start Precedence in the Zipping
Classic at Caulfield.
The gelding will be out to continue his winning run this
spring having taken out the Moonee Valley Cup and Queen
Elizabeth Stakes at his past two starts.
Precedence missed out on giving the man known as `the
Cups King' a runner in last week's Melbourne Cup when he
was left stranded one place outside the field of 24 in the Cup
Instead the eight-year-old went around in the Queen
Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) four days after the Cup and scored a
Precedence has been installed equal favourite for
Saturday's Zipping Classic (2400m), alongside Sertorius
(Galileo) who he narrowly defeated in the Queen Elizabeth.
The 60-year training career of Cummings was recently
celebrated at the Australian Horse of the Year awards night in
Cummings, who made a rare public appearance at the
event, presented the inaugural Bart Cummings Champion
Trainer award to Chris Waller who finished last season as the
leading trainer of Group One winners in Australia.
Cummings has won 266 Group One races during his career
to date, including 12 Melbourne Cups.
15/11/2013 Ransomed set for Zipping Classic
Palmerston North-based trainer Gary
Vile has travelled Group One winner
Ransomed (NZ) (Handsome Ransom)
across the Tasman for Saturday's Gr.2
Zipping Classic at Caulfield.
This season's Group One Spring
Classic winner (2040m) will be ridden
by Craig Newitt who is confident of
his mounts chances heading into the
"He'll be hard to beat. He (Vile) has
set the horse for this race and he actually
rang and booked me for the ride before
Caulfield Cup day.
"He looks pretty much the only
weight-for-age horse in the race," Newitt
said of his mount.
"I've watched his Group One win in
New Zealand. He's only got to reproduce
that and he'll be beating these on
15/11/2013 Surgery for Solzhenitsyn
Dual Toorak Handicap winner
Solzhenitsyn (NZ) (St. Petersburg) will
require throat surgery and trainer Rob
Heathcote hopes the horse will return to
the track later in the season.
Heathcote said Solzhenitsyn's wind
problem had deteriorated, as evidenced
by the horse finishing last in Saturday's
Gr.1 Emirates Stakes.
The seven-year-old will now return
to his Eagle Farm base where he would
"In years gone by it may have been
a hit-and-miss operation, but now the
success rate is 70-75 per cent," said
"Basically his larynx down the back of
his throat, which controls his breathing,
well, one side of it has become partially
15/11/2013 Seamus set for improved showing
Famous Seamus winning the Listed Lightning Handicap
The Melbourne Cup Carnival might be the biggest week of the racing year, but Noel Mayfield-Smith is happy racing is back at Caulfield this Saturday.
The Sydney trainer will venture to the venue for this year’s Zipping Classic meeting with quality sprinter Famous Seamus, who is engaged in the $135,000 Group 3 TMB Printing Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1100m).
Hawkesbury-based Mayfield-Smith (pictured with Famous Seamus) deliberately avoided the Flemington extravaganza with the Elusive City gelding, who failed in the MSS Security Sprint on Melbourne Cup Day last year.
Famous Seamus also didn’t settle in to Melbourne well last year, but a different approach this year and sticking to racing around a corner has Mayfield-Smith confident of an improved showing.
“This race has been in the program all along,” Mayfield-Smith told RSN’s Racing Ahead. “We weren’t keen to come to Melbourne to run at Flemington because we’re unsure whether he’ll handle the straight run.
“He had a run in Melbourne (last spring) but he was a spent force before he went to the races. He did very poorly down there that time.”
The five-year-old brings better form to Melbourne in 2013. He heads south after scoring a three-quarters-of-a-length win in the Listed City Tatts Cup (1100m) at Randwick, a race he won by a short-half-head in 2012.
But he only had one other lead-up run last year, finishing 12th in The Shorts (1100m). This year he resumed with a sixth placing in The Shorts before a narrow third placing in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m).
Famous Seamus will start from barrier two in the Heffernan Stakes, in which he occupies the $6 third line in TAB betting. Dual Group 1 winner Platelet is the $4.40 favourite, in advance of Lonhspresso ($5).
“He’s got good gate speed and he should be just off the speed a little bit and then hopefully get his chance,” Mayfield Smith said. “He races best if he’s not right on the speed.”
By Brad Bishop
For a purveyor of staying bloodlines, it is perhaps ironic that Michael Palmer’s most successful horse to date is progressive galloper Sertorius who lines up in Saturday’s Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Caulfield.
To Palmer’s delight, the six-year-old is excelling over staying trips this campaign despite all the indications early in his career that suggested he would be best at a mile (1600m).
“The owner and the trainer have had a debate for three years about what this horse’s best distance might be,” Palmer joked.
“Jamie (Edwards) thought that he was going to be a really good miler whereas I’ve always thought that he was going to be a really good 2000m plus horse.
“He has won eight races at eight different racecourse and at all distances from 1200m to 2400m and on all goings from good to heavy.”
“I think Jamie was probably right when he was younger and I’m right now so it balances out.”
Sertorius rose to prominence last Spring when he strung together five consecutive wins, culminating with victory over 2000m on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, before finishing out of the placings in the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) at his first attempt beyond 2000m.
While his initial target this campaign was the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m), training duo Jamie Edwards and Bruce Elkington quickly realised the son of Galileo was going to be more effective over a longer distance.
Following an eye-catching first-up sixth in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington in September, Sertorius was placed over 1500m at Moonee Valley and in the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m) in two subsequent starts before breaking through in the Listed Jayco Bendigo Cup (2400m) at his first attempt at the mile-and-a-half.
The tough gelding came within a nose of adding the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) to his growing profile after being denied by the Bart and James Cummings-trained warrior Precedence in Saturday’s Flemington feature and will meet the eight-year-old 2.5kg worse under the weight-for-age conditions of the Zipping Classic.
“The idea originally was the Toorak Handicap when he ran first-up in the Bobbie Lewis and was only beaten 1.8 lengths,” Palmer said.
“We threw him in the Cranbourne Cup to see if he’d stay and it was a tremendous run from the outside barrier going around the whole field and he still ran a terrific second.
“If you looked at the whole field, he was the horse looking for 2400m so then we put him in the Bendigo Cup and he just showed that it was, I think, his natural distance.
“He’s gone from 1200m beaten just behind Speediness and Rebel Dane and then he came out and ran over 2600m on Saturday and was still going at the end so you can see the issue with trying to work out what is the best distance for the horse.
“On Saturday he was still running on as good, if not better than anything else so the question now is whether he gets the 3200m.
The sale of his share in a large software services company helped the now-retired Palmer fund an active interest in the sport he has loved for well over 50 years and Sertorius represents his most successful foray yet.
In an industry desperate for speed and early return on investment, Palmer is intent on breeding and racing stayers so it was perhaps fate that saw him purchase Sertorius for $100,000 at the 2009 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale at Oaklands.
“I know people go to the sales and want early returns on two-year-olds but someone once told me if you get into the staying ranks you’re racing a third of the horses for two thirds of the prizemoney and it still applies,” Palmer said.
“I’m trying to breed stayers so I’ve been buying fillies at the sales, racing them to see if they are any good and then trying to breed from them and we went to that sale looking for a Galileo filly to buy.
“Bill Cockram (Glentree Downs) who I knew anyway had this Galileo colt which ended up being Sertorius and we went to look at him and I just fell in love with him because he was exactly the shape of horse that I like.
“I went to buy a filly and came back with him and it’s worked our really well.”
Sertorius, in opposition to Palmer’s guiding philosophy about equine development, had his first start as a juvenile and his owner believes he has made steady progression in each subsequent season.
“I take my time with all of my horses and Sertorius is actually the only one I’ve ever raced as a two-year-old; he went shin sore straight after that and we stuck him out for six months,” Palmer said.
“Horses don’t really finish growing until they are six or seven and if you want staying horses I just figure that you’ve got to give them as much time to grow into their bodies before you start putting stress on them.”
“I think he’s matured a lot and running over these longer distances suits him much more.
It is a progression Palmer believes must continue if Sertorius is going to be competitive in the races touted for the galloper, with his owner keen to use Saturday’s race as testing material for a potential crack at another 2400m feature at Caulfield next year, the $2.5 million BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m).
The Zipping Classic, which has also attracted the likes of New Zealand Group 1 winner Ransomed, talented import Midsummer Sun and classy mare Queenstown, is likely to be Sertorius’ last start this preparation with feature autumn races, including Sydney’s The BMW (2400m) potentially on the agenda.
“We thought coming into this Spring he had to improve a couple of lengths to be a really serious Group horse and I think he has done that.”
“He’ll probably have to improve a little more next season and you’re asking a lot of a horse that’s going to turn seven but if the horse is fit and sound there’s no reason why he can’t do it.
“My view is that we’ll probably target Sydney in the autumn then in the Spring I’d like to see whether we can get him into the Caulfield Cup and Saturday’s race will be a good guide to how he goes at 2400m around Caulfield.”
The full field, form and draw for Saturday’s $350,000 Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m), in which Sertorius will jump from the inside barrier with regular jockey Ryan Maloney aboard, is available here.
By James Tzaferis
John Price will saddle his first metropolitan runner as a Victorian trainer when Bawcatme lines up in Friday night’s $55,000 Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge Heat 5 (955m) at Moonee Valley.
Formerly based in Western Australia, after starting his training career in Kalgoorlie, Price went on to win some of WA’s biggest races including the 2002 Karrakatta Plate with Confront, as well as the 2000 Winterbottom Stakes with Noble Sky.
Training a team of around 30 horses at the height of his career, Price said he decided to leave Western Australia to cash in on Victoria’s lucrative on VOBIS Gold bonus scheme.
“I’d backed off my numbers right back to handful and I thought instead of winding up again in the West I thought I'd come over here and have a go,” Price said.
“Basically I came over to Victoria two years ago and I bought a couple of yearlings that were VOBIS qualified so I said to a couple of my owners ‘This VOBIS sounds alright, why don’t we race them over there’, so I came over the next year and bought a couple more and I decided to stay here.
“It’s just sounded really good the VOBIS Gold. In some cases the bonus is worth more than the actual prize money, it’s a great concept.”
Now based at Cranbourne, Price has 11 horses in work including eight unraced VOBIS Gold eligible youngsters.
Though Bawcatme isn’t eligible for the rich bonus scheme, Price said he expects the five-year-old mare to prove competitive at her first start in Victoria on Friday.
“I brought Bawcatme over from Western Australia,” he said. “The owner loves his football and his racing in Victoria so he was more than happy to send her over.
“We’ve never ridden her for speed but she’s won three 1000m races and what she does is sit midfield and then she travels really strongly around the corner. I haven’t got a great understanding of Moonee Valley yet but I think you’ve got to be travelling pretty well at the 600m mark to be in the race.
“It’s a starting point for her. She’s usually very consistent and holds her form and whatever she does on Friday night she’ll improve on, I expect her to be able to go with them though.”
Drawn in barrier eight for jockey Damian Lane, the daughter of Kendel Star has opened at $15 with TAB fixed odds for the fifth heat of Moonee Valley’s popular race series.
Should Bawcatme hope to get off to a winning start in Melbourne, she will have to defeat a quality field that includes Heat 4 winner Thiamandi, top weight Johannapine, Lightning Stakes victor Prettyhappyaboutit and speedster Omaru Princess.
The racing action kicks off at Moonee Valley on Friday with the running of the $35,000 Sportingbet Best Tote Plus Handicap (1000m) at 6.45pm and concludes with the $35,000 What’s Up Downunder Handicap (1200m) at 10.15pm.
By Ben Asgari
Mark Kavanagh and Michael Rodd continued their good week with three-year-olds at Bendigo, where Mother Grace scored a tough debut win.
The Snitzel filly made the perfect introduction when she led all the way to claim the $175,000 Schweppes 3YO Fillies Maiden Plate.
Followed impressive wins at Kilmore and Ballarat the past two days and while Rodd said Mother Grace’s professionalism proved a key to her win.
“She’s probably not blessed with an over-the-top abundance of ability, but she does everything right,” Rodd said.
“She’s very professional, very well educated and from day one she’s always been the first out of the barriers and travelled well and she just gives you what she’s got.
“From her last trial until today she’s definitely come on a bit, so hopefully she can continue on and improve again.”
Mother Grace’s win came 24 hours after Awasita, a daughter of Commands, scored a resounding 4.5-length win at Ballarat at what was her only start since a debut fifth placing at Kyneton in April.
It wasn’t the stable’s most impressive win of the week, however, with West Africa scoring by double Awasita’s winning margin in a demolition job at Kilmore on Tuesday.
Rodd and Kavanagh has two chances to add another victory with a three-year-old this week at tonight's Moonee Valley meeting, where they will combine with Cat Tales in the opening race and debutante Da Paolino in the follow event.
By Brad Bishop
Thursday, 14 November 2013 Racing Victoria Releases Strategic Plan
As the Spring Racing Carnival draws to a close, Racing Victoria (RV) has today released its new Strategic Plan which articulates its vision for thoroughbred racing in Victoria during the three financial year periods ending 30 June, 2016.
Developed in consultation with key stakeholders, the plan gives consideration to the current state of the industry and some of the longer-term issues and opportunities impacting the sport in Victoria, while outlining a path from which growth and further success can be achieved.
Focusing on the change levers that RV can either directly control or influence, the plan articulates the key priorities and objectives the industry collectively needs to embrace for the sport to prosper into the next decade.
It defines the need for growth across a number of sectors, including wagering, attendance, prizemoney, viewership and the industry’s digital assets, as the ultimate measures of success across the three years.
“The plan serves to engage the whole of the organisation and our industry stakeholders and participants in a shared vision for the future,” RV Chief Executive, Bernard Saundry, said.
“It is a simple articulation of what we want to achieve as an organisation to ensure future success and growth for the industry. It is a road map that defines our annual priorities and key objectives and says publicly this is the direction the industry is heading here in Victoria.
“The industry faces many challenges with turnover growth rates slowing to 1 to 2 percent, continued competition from other sports and leisure activities, a declining national foal crop and the need to maintain a complex network of infrastructure.
“This plan lays the foundations for us to positively influence the future of the sport, but it requires maximum buy-in from all participants if we are to grow.
“Unless the industry as a collective group is willing to innovate, embrace change and share the vision then we will not achieve the growth across wagering, participation, engagement and funding that our sport needs to prosper.”
The plan is underpinned by 10 key objectives that will be fundamental to driving growth over the next three years;
- Working with the clubs to integrate Victorian-controlled media assets under a new and more effective governance model with work underway on the development of a joint digital platform for the industry to better market and engage the public;
- The restructuring of the raceday calendar and the development of more innovative programming to add more major events within key attendance, media and wagering windows, with a thorough review of all aspects currently underway;
- Continued investment in the showcase Spring Racing Carnival period, whilst seeking to aggressively grow attendances in the late summer/early autumn period in partnership with the clubs;
- Drive an international growth agenda through delivering expanded wagering and media packages for priority international markets in partnership with clubs, media and wagering partners and international Principal Racing Authorities;
- Working with our clubs to build the next generation of fans through investment in fan development and engagement programs, with a particular emphasis on boosting female participation across all sectors, including jockeys, trainers, owners and fans;
- Strengthen the industry’s core revenue, by working with Tabcorp to grow thoroughbred wagering turnover and overall Joint Venture profit, whilst monitoring the effects of RV’s Race Fields Policy to determine the level of media and data support required to encourage promotion of the sport by wagering operators;
- Development of a white paper for the use and maintenance of tracks and infrastructure across the state beyond the 2013-14 season with a view to developing a sustainable footprint for the next decade;
- Further enhancement of resources for issues that affect the fabric of the sport in equine welfare and integrity;
- Restructure the way the industry allocates resources for the different types of racedays, to extract cost savings, efficiencies and performance gains, without compromising the quality or integrity of the sport and the wellbeing of participants; and
- Reduction of RV debt ahead of forecast from $27 million to $6 million, while still being able to invest in priority strategic objectives.
Saundry explained that a range of strategic objectives had been identified across each sector of the industry for the three years, with work underway on a number of priority projects.
“The Strategic Plan clearly defines all the objectives that will bring growth to the industry. Our job now is to work with the stakeholders and participants to determine what the outcomes will be, particularly around our racing calendar and infrastructure,” Saundry said.
Whilst specific targets have been set around such things as debt reduction, average field sizes and international wagering returns, a ceiling for growth has not been placed on other industry measures which carry broader performance targets.
The measures of success will include;
- Growth in feature event attendance above 1.4 million per annum
- Growth in total visitation to the aggregated Victorian thoroughbred racing’s digital assets from 4.1 million unique users per annum
- Growth in total national wagering turnover from $5 billion per annum
- Growth in international turnover from $275m to $366m
- Growth in total income earned from wagering from $296 million per annum
- Raise annual prizemoney from $168 million
- Increase average starter numbers for TAB flat races to 10.5 per race
- Increase Super VOBIS nominations from 2300 and the VOBIS Gold participation rate from 55% of the foal crop
“The future can be very bright for thoroughbred racing in Victoria if the industry challenges itself to innovate and works together on the key objectives outlined in this plan,” Saundry said.
“The Board and staff at Racing Victoria are committed and passionate about achieving this goal and we are excited about what the next three years will bring.”
Wyong trainer Kim Waugh could go home from the Gosford race meeting on Thursday with a triple. Waugh’s three runners will contest the final three races on the program.
Nash Rawiller hops aboard the promising Supreme Effort in race 6, the Presidents Hill Class 1 Hcp (1000m). The 3 year old was most impressive in an easy win on debut at Wyong on 3 October. He then finished second to the smart Polarmore on the Kensington track. His only other start was at Newcastle on 2 November when he was badly pocketed in the straight and finished fourth when an odds on favourite.
The Benchmark 75 Hcp 100 Years of Racing at Gosford (1100m) is race 7 and the Waugh trained Kreskin has strong claims in a cracking race. Kreskin is unbeaten in three starts at Gosford and his first up third placing at Rosehill recently was full of merit. The 4 year old will race on the speed from his favourable barrier and he races well second up.
The final event the Centenary Dinner Saturday 23 November Benchmark 65 Hcp (1200m) is an open race but Waugh’s mare Misaquilina will run well. Misaquilina showed a glimpse of her best form when second at Wyong last start and the 2 kilogram claim for John Kissick brings her in well at the weights.
The Gai Waterhouse trained filly Exceleine has bright prospects in race 2 the Gosford Quarries Maiden Hcp (1000m). Exceleine is resuming from a spell but she was an easy winner of a recent Randwick barrier trial with apprentice Winona Costin in the saddle. The young lady is riding trackwork for Waterhouse and she is expected to attempt an all the way win.
Marc Conners filly Fiftyshadesofgrey is the one to beat in race 3, the Brilliant Logic Maiden Hcp (1200m). She has been runner up in her past two Gosford appearances and from the rails barrier the 3 year old will have a cosy run. In her last state a wayward horse forced her off the track and she still finished second.
The Spring Racing Carnival concludes in Melbourne for another year with a bang on Saturday with the running of Sandown Guineas Day at Caulfield.
Featuring an all black-type, nine-race program, Sportingbet Park’s biggest meeting on the calendar is being run at Caulfield this year with the Sandown track currently undergoing renovations.
Aside from the action on the track, the day also features plenty of family entertainment off the track including pony rides, a jumping castle, a reptile farm and face painting, as well as Richmond Football Club player appearances and football activities.
There will also be the annual charity national anthem performance and mascot race, with the Melbourne Racing Club’s ‘Clip Clop Clyde’ looking to gain revenge on the Richmond Football Club’s ‘Tiger Stripes’.
Turning attention to the on-course entertainment and the trainer Peter Snowden will be searching for a fourth victory in six seasons when he saddles two runners in the $350,000 Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m).
Snowden will run both Paximadia, who will be partnered by Kerrin Mcevoy from barrier five, and Champollion, who has drawn in gate eight for Steven Arnold.
First and last respectively in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last start, should either galloper get the job done on Saturday they would join Snowden’s previous winners Caymans (2008), Kidnapped (2009) and Tatra (2012) on the honour roll.
Other key barrier draws include Carbine Club third and fourth placegetters Equator (barrier nine) and Best Case (four), as well as Shea Eden’s Apollo’s Choice (11), who comes off a most-unlucky fourth placing in the Listed Hilton Hotels Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.
The second of the Group 2 features on the program, the $350,000 Zipping Classic (2400m), is highlighted by a re-match between last Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes quinella of Precedence and Sertorius.
Though the Bart and James Cummings-trained veteran meets Sertorius 2.5kg better off for having defeated him by a head at Flemington, Sertorius has drawn the inside barrier for jockey Ryan Maloney with Precedence set to begin from stall four for Craig Williams.
The pair appear unlikely to get things their own way again with Group 1 Spring Classic (NZ, 2000m) winner Ransomed (barrier six), progressive Sam Kavanagh-trained import Mid Summer Sun (two) and classy mares Queenstown (eight), Kazanluk (10) and Epingle (seven) also sure to make their presence felt.
A further highlight on what is shaping as an exceptional card of racing promises to be the $135,000 Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1200m) which features a stellar field of 13 runners headed by dual Group 1 winning mare Platelet.
Drawn in barrier seven for jockey Michelle Payne, Platelet is joined in the race by her Darren Weir-trained stable mate Lonhspresso, who will jump from gate three for Ben Melham.
In arguably the strongest renewal of the race in years other key draws include Pinwheel (barrier 12), Hot Snitzel (10), Famous Seamus (two), Pago Rock (eight), Lankan Rupee (four) and She Can Skate (13).
Though he doesn’t have a runner in this year’s Zipping Classic, Lloyd Williams will use the $150,000 Group 3 Snowhite Maintenance Eclipse Stakes (1800m) to unveil another of his imports in Hartani.
Set to line up against the likes of Sale Cup (160m) winner Mouro and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Shannon Stakes (1500m) victor Rain Drum, the race should give a good guide to the five-year-old son of Shirocco’s ability.
The action kicks off on Saturday with the running of the $120,000 Listed Desiree Gil Tribute Stakes (1000m) for the two-year-olds at 12.15pm and concludes with the running of the $150,000 Group 3 Le Pine Funerals Summoned Stakes (1600m) for the mares at 5.30pm.
By Ben Asgari
Kerrin McEvoy will fly the Australian flag in next month’s Hong Kong International Jockeys’ Championship.
The first-choice rider for the Darley stable that Peter Snowden operates for Sheikh Mohammed is among 12 of the world’s best riders who will do battle in the four-race series that will be conducted at Happy Valley on Wednesday 4 December.
The meeting serves as a prelude to the Hong Kong International Raceday four days later.
McEvoy was selected after a stellar Spring Racing Carnival in which he won the BECK Caulfield Guineas aboard Long John and the Schweppes Thousand Guineas with Guelph.
In what is one of the strongest international line-ups ever assembled, North American legends Mike Smith and Gary Stevens will join peers from around the globe, among them the three-time British champion Ryan Moore, five-time champion of France Christophe Soumillon and two riders who have ignited the Hong Kong circuit this season, 13-time champion Douglas Whyte and Joao Moreira.
McEvoy joins fellow Aussie, Zac Purton, who is now based in Hong Kong, Japan’s rising star Suguru Hamanaka, as well as five-time Italian champion Mirco Demuro and France’s elite contender Maxime Guyon complete the overseas contingent.
The final spot is open to the leading Hong Kong local jockey according to the standings on 20 November.
“The line-up for the 2013 LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship is about as A-list as it gets,” Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Executive Director of Racing William A Nader said.
“It says much about the prestige of this important international event that we have a line-up of some of the world’s great riders, all coming into the IJC in outstanding form.
“It will be fascinating and incredibly exciting to watch these international stars showcase their skills around Happy Valley Racecourse, one of the sport’s iconic venues.”
The challenge is a four-race competition in which points are allocated 12-6-4 to the first three over the line with the jockey who accumulates the most points declared the winner.
13/11/2013 Latest edition of the ARB Fact Book published
The ARB today released the Australian Fact Book for the 2012-13 season incorporating all of racing and breeding’s key statistics on a national basis.
“The Fact Book is amongst the most comprehensive publications of key results and statistics for any racing industry in the world. It showcases the breadth and scale of our industry across the vast Australian continent,” ARB CEO Peter McGauran said.
“Racing is conducted on a massive scale in Australia, second only to the United States. There are 389 race clubs, 367 racetracks, 19,626 races, 989 jockeys, 3,891 trainers and 95,971 owners all of which goes to employ over 200,000 people,” he said
“Australia has everything. From annual picnic races to sand tracks in the outback to the glamorous carnivals in major capital cities supported by over 2 million Australians who attend at least one race meeting in a year.” Mr McGauran said.
The 2012-13 fact book reveals that the Australian breeding and racing industry is growing across the board with increases in prizemoney, infrastructure spending and wagering turnover.
“I believe that the Australian Racing product is as good as anywhere in the world as vast improvements have been made to racetrack surfaces, racecourse facilities, rider safety, animal welfare and returns to industry participants in recent years,” Mr McGauran said.
“However, racing is in a highly competitive environment with other recreational, hospitality, entertainment and gambling industries and must continually strive to improve every aspect of its performance for both participant and customer alike.”
“The Fact Book attests to the strength of the Australian racing industry but it also is a measure against which we can improve year on year.” Mr McGauran concluded.
The 2012-13 Racing Fact Book is available online at www.australianracingboard.com.au
13th November 2013
There are four entered for Simon Miller at the Ascot midweek program.
The first of them is Shalo who runs for the second time after finishing eighth on debut. He was midfield in running and under four lengths back on the line.
He drew the outside at Northam and once more finds a wide gate to deal with. A slightly drier track and more luck in running may help his cause.
In the same race, Chielo Rossa has her fifth run this time in. She is back up to 1100m and her two best recent efforts have come when able to sit just off the speed.
From this barrier, it is not hard to see her doing just that. She won’t lack anything in terms of fitness.
Race 4 then sees an interesting runner. Rockafellacentre has its first run in WA since arriving from the Gai Waterhouse yard.
These connections had some immediate success when bringing over another horse from Gai’s stable (So Symbolic) and this five year old is straight to the mile suggesting he needs ground.
His three wins were on the provincials in NSW over this and further and needs to get up on the speed to show his best.
Finally to Austerity Measures who has put in three top runs this time in. She has flashed home each time and in this big field you can see it happening once more.
This race is actually rated a touch easier than last time when she went under by a nose. Few going better than her in this field.
Over in Victoria, Robert Smerdon’s runner on the Ballarat card on Wednesday is Dazza’s Girl in the first race.
The three year old filly’s best run came two runs back on a good surface at Pakenham and will be hoping the track can get back toward that level.
She is back to the mile and draws a decent gate so she can be put wherever it suits best. This time she is out of F&M grade.
Jarrod McLean will today go in search of another Spring Racing Carnival Cup success at Ballarat with Brad Rawiller.
The Warrnambool trainer and tireless jockey combined to win last year’s $200,000 Listed Ballarat Cup with King Diamond and today they will join forces with Smarty Mac in the $80,000 City of Ballarat Spring Cup.
Ballarat only landed the meeting last week, when it was announced Werribee would not be ready to host its scheduled Cup meeting, and McLean said the availability of Rawiller was a key in him targeting the 2000-metre event in preference to last Sunday’s Ararat Cup.
“We had him in at Ararat on Sunday, but opted to wait for Ballarat because the track suits and I knew Brad Rawiller could be engaged,” McLean said. “He’s been a key to him his last couple of wins.
“Other than the awkward barrier (14), it looks a nice race for him.”
Smarty Mac, a six-year-old son of Akhadan, headlines the field for the benchmark 78 event that is the feature of an eight-race program.
He will carry 60kg in the event that also includes consistent Darren Weir-trained performer Bia Diamond (59kg, barrier one), the in-form Hannaford (57.5kg, 11), stablemate Nicastro (57kg, 10) and Bendigo Cup also-ran Umatic (55.5kg, four).
Smarty Mac, a winner of six of his 27 starts, hasn’t saluted in five starts this campaign, but McLean is confident he can go one better than his last-start narrow second at Moonee Valley if the ground stays firm.
“He disappointed at Warrnambool (when fifth, beaten 8-3/4 lengths) on the heavy track but back on dry at Moonee Valley he was unlucky not to win in what was a good effort,” McLean said.
“The key to him is dry ground.”
It is the opposite for seven-year-old Testa Rossa gelding Nicastro, who needs a wet track to show his best.
Unless the Ballarat track is rain-affected, he will be scratched with Saturday’s $25,000 Royal Mail Hotel William Thomson Dunkeld Cup (1800m) a possible back-up option.
By Brad Bishop
Sam Kavanagh hopes holding back Midsummer Sun for the tail end of the Spring Racing Carnival reaps its reward on Saturday.
The British stayer will contest the $350,000 Group 2 Deadly Designs Zipping Classic (2400m) at Caulfield.
The weight-for-age event will be just his third run of the campaign and Kavanagh hopes that will prove an asset against horses who have had more testing Spring Racing Carnival preparations.
“I’m pretty happy with how he’s going and he’s on an upward spiral,” he told RSN’s Racing Ahead. “Obviously, these (other) horses are at the end of a long Carnival and we’ve come into the Carnival with these races late as our main goal.
“He’s going there on Saturday ready and I’d like to see him run top four.”
Midsummer Sun beat home all bar impressive German import Salon Soldier over 1800m on Melbourne Cup Day, which following an encouraging seventh, beaten just 1-3/4 lengths, over an unsuitable 1400m at Randwick on 19 October.
Kavanagh has Midsummer Sun stabled with Cup Week success story Wez Hunter at Mornington while in Victoria and he said the beach environment has agreed with the son of Monsun.
“We’ve had him down the beach this week, just poking around, and his work this morning was outstanding,” Kavanagh said.
“The vet’s been over him, he’s sound and scopes clean. The horse is really bright, so I’m really looking forward to Saturday.”
Midsummer Sun will be ridden by Damien Oliver in the Zipping Classic, which is the co-feature of the meeting this year being held at Caulfield due to renovations being carried out at the Melbourne Racing Club’s other metropolitan track, Sportingbet Park (Sandown).
By Brad Bishop
Making the effort to phone Marco Botti has paid dividends for Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Damien Oliver.
The man who partnered Fiorente to Emirates Melbourne Cup victory seven days ago.
was today confirmed as the rider for the Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock-raced Dandino in the Hong Kong Vase at next month’s Hong Kong International Raceday.
The Dandino mount became one of the prized rides once it was announced connections would be replacing Ryan Moore, who partnered Dandino into fifth position in the Melbourne Cup, and ATB’s Darren Dance said Oliver’s professionalism and form played their part in him winning the ride.
“We had a chat to Marco and decided to go with either a Hong Kong or Australian rider for Hong Kong,” Dance said.
“We had a lot of riders ring, including Damien, but at the end of the end of the day I think Damien was the only one who privately rung Marco.
“Marco obviously watched the replay a few times to watch Dandino and he no doubt saw Oliver’s ride on Fiorente and told me he was impressed.
“He’s riding like a man possessed, so it’s good to have him.”
Dandino will go in search of what would be a deserved feature in the 2400-metre Hong Kong, which will be run on Sunday 8 December.
He was one of the unlucky runners in the Melbourne Cup, when shuffled back to near last rounding the home turn before working home solidly to finish just 3.5 lengths from the winner.
At his only other start of the Spring Racing Carnival, in the BMW Caulfield Cup, when ridden by Craig Williams, he again didn’t have the clearest passage before storming home to finish second behind Fawkner.
The way he recovered after the Melbourne Cup confirmed his spot in Hong Kong.
“He’s perfect,” Dance said of Dandino, who will remain at the Werribee Quarantine Centre until 24 November. “He’s come through the race like he’d hardly been around.
“He lost eight kilos – he lost seven after Caulfield – but he’s put that back on, he took the inoculations in his stride and he’s done very little work the last week and freshened right up.”
Following the Hong Kong Vase, Botti will set his sights on the Dubai World Cup meeting in March with Dandino before preparing for a return trip Melbourne for next year’s Spring Racing Carnival.
By Brad Bishop
In Australia’s highly competitive $25 billion racing and sports wagering market, Victorian thoroughbred racing’s popularity is as significant as ever analysis of wagering figures by Racing Victoria (RV) has shown.
With an annual turnover of $4.975 billion, Victorian thoroughbred racing is the most bet on product in Australia’s wagering market with a steady market share of around 20%.
The feature Victorian spring racing period, from Memsie Stakes Day on August 31 through to last Saturday’s Emirates Stakes Day, emphasises the popularity of the Victorian product, where national turnover on the 23 feature meetings during this period accounts for 26% of annual turnover, or $1.3 billion.
These figures highlight Victorian thoroughbred racing as the premier betting product in Australia which is backed up by a breakdown of TAB turnover.
Making up only 9% of races offered for wagering by the Victorian TAB annually, Victorian thoroughbred racing produces about 31.6% of its annual turnover.
Digital channels, comprising the likes of mobile and internet betting, now account for 44% of betting on Victorian thoroughbred racing, totalling $2.2 billion annually.
Digital wagering is growing rapidly by about 25% annually, driven by a rise in mobile (phone and Tablets) betting, and the TABs nationally account for 64% of all wagering on Victorian thoroughbred racing.
Notably, despite this shift to the convenience of mobile betting, RV Chief Executive Bernard Saundry said 60% of TAB wagering is via retail outlets.
“We recognise there is a shift to digital and mobile betting; however at the same time we value our core retail customers who remain critically important to our business,” Saundry said.
“We need to continue to grow overall wagering on Victorian thoroughbred racing which includes both digital wagering and the TAB retail networks in agencies, pubs and clubs.
“One area which represents a significant growth opportunity is selling Victorian thoroughbred racing internationally and this will be a focus for the future.”
International wagering on Victorian thoroughbred racing currently accounts for about $275 million annually.
As an example of the potential for growth internationally, three races on BMW Caulfield Cup Day, generated $5.6 million in turnover with the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Currently with an increasing 32% of the market, corporate bookmakers and Betfair grew their national turnover on Victorian thoroughbred racing to $1.59 billion in the past 12 months – a figure up 16% on the previous year.
The increased share of the market for corporate bookmakers and Betfair has come largely at the expense of interstate totes and on course bookmakers, whilst the Victorian TAB has held its market share.
All approved wagering operators pay Racefields fees to Racing Victoria with total annual product fees for the 2013-14 year expected to return around $85m to the industry.
RV will later this week release its Strategic Plan for the next three years where wagering trends will underpin future activities and objectives.
By Ben Asgari
They recently bid farewell to Atlantic Jewel, but Mark Kavanagh and Coolmore Stud today unearthed a youngster they hope will one day have them back on the feature stage.
West Africa scored a sensational nine-length debut win in the $15,000 Craigieburn Central 3YO Maiden Plate (1112m) at Kilmore.
“He’s got ability, but he has showed a tendency to be a little green,” Flemington-based Kavanagh told Racing Victoria post-race.
“I thought he’d win, but I didn’t expect to see a procession like that.”
West Africa dominated his debut, travelling on the speed before powering away from his rivals in the straight with Michael Rodd, former regular rider of the recently-retired Atlantic Jewel, in the saddle.
By Coolmore stallion Henrythenavigator, West Africa is out of the Danehill Dancer mare Stripper, who won the Group 3 Sweet Embrace Stakes as a juvenile and was runner-up to Duporth in the final edition of the Golden Rose at Group 2 level.
West Africa’s debut effort only heightened Kavanagh’s enthusiasm that he will make a high-level sprinter and he is likely to be tested at city level in the coming weeks.
“I’ll have a look at him overnight but it’s hard to turn them out when they’ve won their maiden by nine lengths,” Kavanagh said.
“Hopefully he’ll graduate into a top-end sprinter, 1400-metre horse.”
Victory aboard West Africa was the first leg of a winning treble for Rodd, who followed up with victory in the next race aboard San Sobarto for Ciaron Maher before saluting two races later aboard He'snotthemessiah for Mick Kent.
By Brad Bishop
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 Racing NSW and ATC announce The Championships
Racing NSW and Australian Turf Club have today announced a momentous change to the Sydney
autumn racing program, heralding a grand finale event towards the end of the Southern
Hemisphere Thoroughbred racing season.
The Championships is an initiative of Racing NSW, to be hosted annually by the Australian Turf
Club at Royal Randwick. The Championships, through the support of the NSW Government, is
expected to attract horses, trainers and connections from across Australia and the world, providing
a significant boost to the NSW economy.
The Championships will comprise ten 'Championship' races across two consecutive Saturdays
beginning on Saturday April 12 and culminating on Easter Saturday, April 19. The program is a
combination of well established, traditional races plus relocated races from other dates in the wider
autumn carnival period. In total there are eight Group One events highlighting the spectacular card
of world class racing.
Over $18 million in prizemoney will be won over the two headline days of autumn making The
Championships one of the richest racing carnivals in the world. On the first Saturday, The Star
Doncaster Mile (1600m) will be worth $3 million, while the Darley TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) is now
$2.5 million and the BMW Australian Derby (2400m) offers $2 million in prizemoney.
The Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) becomes a $4 million race on the second day
with three $1 million and two $500,000 Championship races.
Minister for Racing, George Souris said this is a truly exciting time to be involved in Thoroughbred
Racing in New South Wales.
"The NSW Government is pleased to have contributed $10 million to the event," said Mr Souris.
"The Championships will generate more than $41 million to the economy of NSW, increasing
further as the event gains momentum. We have chosen this path to help ensure funds
accumulated from race fields fees are preserved for use in country and provincial areas.
"We have selected three iconic races and enhanced them to make them the richest of their type in
the world, these are the Star Doncaster Mile, the world's richest mile race now worth $3 million, the
Darley TJ Smith Stakes, the world's richest open sprint race at $2.5 million and on day two the
Queen Elizabeth Stakes, at $4 million becoming the world's richest 2000 metre turf race," said Mr
"Sydney is our global city and offers a stunning backdrop to any sporting event. There's no better
place to stage The Championships."
Racing NSW Chairman Mr John Messara believes that The Championships will become one of the
most competitive carnivals in the world for local, national and international participants.
"We have identified ten Championship races across various age and distance ranges which are
the highlight of these two days. Some of these races become the richest of their category in
Australia and the world," said Mr Messara.
"Eight of those races are already Group One events and with the injection of almost $10 million,
this program will lure the finest horses from Australia and New Zealand and from other countries
across the globe. Our goal is for this to become the greatest event for racing in the Southern
Chairman of ATC, Mr John Cornish said Royal Randwick was already being rated a world-class
venue with its new grandstand and surrounding redevelopment and was ready to host one of the
biggest racing carnivals on the international stage.
"What an exciting trifecta, The Championships, Royal Randwick and Sydney being showcased to
the world," said Mr Cornish.
The Championships CEO, Mr Ian Mackay said Racing NSW and ATC were looking forward to
putting on an event that is as memorable and exciting as other great sporting occasions in
"Royal Randwick is one of the world's great racecourses and it now has an event worthy of its
status," Mr Mackay added.
In addition to the almost $10 million increase across the two Saturdays of The Championships, a
further $2.3 million has been added to key lead up events.
Adding to the eight races at the most elite level, the Royal Sovereign Stakes and the Princess
Stakes (previously Keith Mackay) join the list to make the ten Championship events.
The Rosehill Gardens component of the carnival also receives a boost, with the George Ryder
Stakes moving a week earlier to Rosehill Guineas Day and gaining a $600,000 increase in
prizemoney to $1 million. The world's richest race for two-year-old horses, the iconic $3.5 million
Tooheys New Golden Slipper will take place on Saturday April 5 and will continue to foster the
future champions of Thoroughbred racing.
12/11/2013 Queen Elizabeth quinella top Classic entries
With the Sportingbet Park Sandown track currently undergoing renovations, Sandown Guineas Day will be held at Caulfield this Saturday and the meeting has attracted a typically strong set of nominations.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) quinella Precedence and Sertorius head a list of 12 entries in the $350,000 Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m).
With only a nose between the pair at Flemington, Sertorius will be looking to turn the tables on the Bart Cummings-trained veteran who finished third behind Tanby in last year’s Zipping Classic.
Geelong Cup winner Ibicenco has also been entered following his 16th placing in the Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Also nominated in Saturday’s $150,000 Listed Sportingbet Sandown Cup (3200m), the import is one of two entries in the Zipping Classic for Moody alongside Queensland Oaks (2400m) runner-up Miss Zenella.
Other key nominations in the race include recent Group 1 (NZ) winning Kiwi galloper Ransomed, progressive mares Queenstown, Lake Sententia, Epingle and Kazanluck, as well as Sam Kavanagh’s Mid Summer Sun.
The second of the two features on the program, the $350,000 Group 2 Sportingbet Sandown Guineas (1600m), features a strong list of 14 nominations headed by the Peter Snowden-trained pair of Paximadia and Champollion.
First and last respectively in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last start, should the pair line up on Saturday they would be aiming to give Snowden his third Sandown Guineas victory in the past five years.
Carbine Club third-placegetter Equator is one of two entries for Gai Waterhouse alongside Ryker with Apollo’s Choice, who was luckless at Flemington on Saturday, and Politeness other key nominations.
A further highlight on the eight-race all black-type program promises to be the $135,000 TMB Printing Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1200m) which features a list of 25 entries headed by dual Group 1 winning mare Platelet.
Aside from the Darren Weir-trained five-year-old, Hong Kong-bound Strabroke Handicap champion Linton is also entered alongside the likes of Darley stable mates Pinwheel and Galah, New South Wales raiders Famous Seamus and Hot Snitzel, as well as impressive Oaks Day winner Lankan Rupee.
By Ben Asgari
After finishing runner-up in Saturday’s $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington, Smokin’ Joey will be given the chance to go one better in the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Perth on November 23.
Trainer Wez Hunter said the six-year-old came through the run perfectly and flies out of Melbourne on Sunday.
“He’s pulled up super,” Hunter said. “He ate up, he was free as a bird on Sunday morning and I’m really happy with him.”
Despite being trapped wide throughout the run in the Emirates, Hunter said criticism of jockey Jason Benbow’s ride was unwarranted.
“A few people have said that it wasn’t the best ride but I instructed Jason (Benbow) to ride him that way,” he said.
“He’s massive horse with a huge stride and I told him to make sure he was out in clear running. He was only riding to instructions but it just panned out that because they went so slowly he was caught three deep.
“We had no issue with the ride whatsoever, that’s the way he has to be ridden and if you go through the horse’s history his bad runs have always been when he’s cluttered up back inside the field. His two runs for us he’s been the widest runner and he has hit the line super.”
Currently rated the equal-second favourite at $8.50 with TAB fixed odds, Hunter said Benbow will again partner the son of Encosta de Lago in the Railway.
“Jason will ride him again and hopefully we draw a wide gate, it’s the opposite of what you normally want with a horse but he just needs room,” Hunter said.
“The Railway is traditionally a big field where they run along so it should suit him down to the ground.”
Smokin’ Joey aside, Hunter said his other winner over the Melbourne Cup Carnival, Bel Thor, would back up at Caulfield on Saturday in the $150,000 Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) following his dominant victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Antler Luggage Handicap (2000m).
“The Cranbourne Cup form was excellent,” he said. “The winner Pakal was beaten a length in the Mackinnon and we finished alongside Sertorius, and with a bit of luck we would have beaten him, and he killed them in the Bendigo Cup.
“His form going into the 2000m race on Saturday was ridiculously strong and he worked brilliantly during the week so we expected him to win and we always had on the radar to back-up in the Eclipse.
“We’ll just take him to the beach during the week and keep him fresh but the horse is pretty happy with himself at the moment, he’s taken great confidence out of the win.”
By Ben Asgari
Jackie Beriman returns to scale on Gridhian
Jackie Beriman claims National Patient Transport Rising Stars heat at Mornington
Apprentice jockey Jackie Beriman made her first entry onto the leaderboard for the National Patient Transport Rising Stars series this season with a tough win at Mornington today.
Beriman had failed to collect points in two previous heats of the series but made no mistake aboard the punters’ popular elect Gridhian in the sixth leg of Victoria’s apprentice-only riding series.
After being one of the best out of the barriers in the five horse field, Beriman took the $1.80 favourite to the front where she was able to dictate to her peers with a pedestrian tempo.
While it looked as though Jordan Childs and Starred For Life ($8) had their measure in the straight, Beriman’s mount kept fighting and was able to find a nose margin on the line.
“He was lucky just to hold on,” Beriman said of the lightly-raced Stuart Webb-trained galloper.
“He tries his hardest every time he goes out there and he’s done a fantastic job today and a huge thanks to everyone at Aquanita because they’ve done a terrific job with this horse.
“We’ve had a few problems with him and he had a little bit of a setback but he’s back and he’s done really well.”
Beriman collected the maximum 12 points in the heat where points were awarded on a 12-6-4-2-1 basis to the first five placings.
Series leader Ryan Hurdle (26 points) maintained his lead at the top despite not contesting today’s heat with Jordan Childs, Patrick Moloney and Josh Cartwright now sharing second position on 18 points.
The full National Patient Transport Rising Stars leaderboard is available here.
The full results from today’s Mornington heat are available here.
Tributes flow after the passing of Australian Racing Hall Of Fame member David Coles AM
Racing Victoria and the Australian Racing Museum & Hall of Fame have extended their sincerest condolences to the family of David Coles AM following his sad passing at the weekend.
Coles, who was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame as an Associate earlier this year, passed away on Saturday evening at the age of 91 following a battle with illness.
Australian Racing Hall of Fame Chairman of the Selection Panel, Bob Charley AO, paid tribute to Coles, crediting him for developing the racing interests of many people currently working within the industry.
“The racing community has lost a true statesman and our condolences are extended to his family,” Charley said.
“David was highly respected as a leader of the bloodstock and racing industries and numerous people would have Coles to thank for their involvement in racing.”
One of South Australian racing’s greatest icons, Coles founded Coles Brothers bloodstock agency and was instrumental in establishing ABCOS. He served for many years on the Board of the South Australian Jockey Club, including a four year tenure as its Chairman.
During the 1970s he was appointed Bloodstock Manager of Dalgety’s and worked for a period in London where he fostered interest in Australian racing and became manager of Robert Sangster’s Australian interests.
11/11/2013 Tragic Loss of Desiree Gill
The Australian Racing Board on behalf of the national racing industry wishes to express its condolences and sympathy to Barry Gill and family on the tragic loss of Desiree.
Desiree was a great contributor to racing on every level and generously shared her knowledge and experience with young riders who came to rely on her caring and nurturing nature. Desiree was a fine rider who supported her trainer husband whilst raising a family.
Desiree was much admired and respected for her work ethic and love of horses. There was no job in the stables or on the track too difficult or menial for Desiree to tackle with enthusiasm.
Desiree represented the best of racing. She will be sadly missed by her many fans at bush and regional tracks. Above all else, she will be missed by her family to whom our hearts go out at this time.
Racing mourns the loss of one of its finest.
11/11/2013 Best Case On Target For Sandown Guineas
Anthony Cummings expects Best Case (NZ) (Savabeel)
to make his presence felt in the Sandown Guineas this
weekend with the son of Savabeel coming of a fourth
in the Carbine Club Stakes at the Flemington carnival
to be Cummings' only runner in Saturday's Group Two
Sandown Guineas (1600m), being held this year at
Cummings believes Best Case can develop into a
Group One Australian and Randwick Guineas player
next autumn and saw enough merit in his last-start
Flemington run to be optimistic heading into Saturday.
"A really slow pace in the Carbine Club played against
him but his run was really good," Cummings said of Best
"He got caught behind (runner-up) Hucklebuck and
that horse was late coming into the picture and we were
"There should be better speed on Saturday and that will
be to his benefit."
The Carbine Club Stakes has been a reliable guide to
the Sandown Guineas with 12 horses coming through the
Flemington race in the past 30 years to win the Guineas,
while five have completed the double.
Best Case, a brother to Strike The Stars who was unplaced
in Saturday's Group One Emirates Stakes, defeated
subsequent Wakeful Stakes and VRC Oaks winner Kirramosa
(NZ) (Alamosa) in a photo finish over 1600m at Randwick
two starts ago.
Caulfield hosts the Sandown Guineas meeting this year
because Sandown is out of play due to track renovations.
10/11/2013 Boban caps perfect preparation
Chris Waller continued his dominance of the Melbourne Cup Carnival today when Boban capped a perfect preparation winning the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
Unbeaten in five starts this campaign, the son of Bernadini became the first horse to win the Group 1 Epsom Handicap/Emirates Stakes double since Chanteclair in 1986.
After training three winners from three starters on Oaks Day, Boban’s Emirates triumph gave Waller a third Group 1 over the famous Flemington carnival following the wins of Zoustar in the Coolmore Stud Stakes and Red Tracer in the Myer Classic on Derby Day.
Deflecting any praise onto his horse, Waller said the four-year-old could be aimed at next year’s $3 million Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m).
“He’s made me look pretty special but the horse now has confidence and it’s simple as that,” Waller said.
“I thought he was the winner at the 100m but he had to find a lot in the last 100m and that shows that he fights as well. He was out of petrol and had to dig very deep so it was a brave win.
“He’s no longer a horse that has to be snagged back to near last and taught to settle because he actually jumped with them, held his position and did settle and to win good races you need to be able to do that.
“He is a pretty exciting horse heading towards the autumn and beyond.
“Having had a taste for it at this Carnival, the Cox Plate sounds pretty enticing.”
Settling in a midfield position, Glyn Schofield patiently waited until a gap appeared at the 300m mark before asking Boban ($4.60F) for his supreme effort.
Still a length behind Speediness ($9) at 100 metre mark, which had burst clear on the inside, Boban defied his 57kg impost to reel him in while holding off the late challenge of Smokin’ Joey ($21).
Beaten only a half-neck on the line after a wide run in transit, Smokin Joey’s runner-up finish proved his runaway Derby Day victory to be no fluke, while Speediness was typically honest a short head behind him in third position.
Schofield, whose son Chad finished eighth aboard Strike The Stars ($18), didn’t hold back in his opinion of where Boban stood in the Australian racing pecking order.
“I think I said earlier in the week that Chad won the best race in the country (Cox Plate) and I was riding the best horse and I think he’s proven that today,” Schofield said.
“He won the Epsom with 53kg and today he had 57kg so he was giving weight away but thanks to Greg Carpenter for not giving me that extra pound.
“Chris Waller and his team have turned this horse around from a tearaway rogue to what we’ve seen today and through the Carnival and I’m just the lucky guy to get on his back.”
By Ben Asgari
He might have taken 18 starts to break his Group 1 duck, but Buffering is now making a habit of making trips to the Group 1 winner’s stall.
The Queensland warrior made it back-to-back wins at the highest level when he backed up his narrow Manikato Stakes success at Moonee Valley with victory in today’s $1 million VRC Sprint Classic at Flemington.
The Robert Heathcote-trained seven-year-old led all the way to defeat Shamexpress and Moment of Change in the 1200m event.
Heathcote was thrilled to see him back up the Valley success and confirm his standing as Australia’s number one sprinter.
“There were probably a few unanswered questions after the Manikato, a couple of people thought he might have been lucky but there was no luck in that today,” Heathcote said. “It was pure guts, determination and ability.
“There’s no Black Caviar, no Hay List and no Sepoy, but there’s a Buffering.”
Buffering took his career earnings to $3,821,900 with his 14th win at start number 37.
He took up his customary role as pacemaker in what was a moderate tempo with Hong Kong raider Lucky Nine sitting off to his outside.
Those on the Global Sprint Challenge bonus hopeful knew they were in trouble at the 350m when Brett Prebble started to push the Group 1 winner along, the same point Buffering that slipped more than two lengths clear.
The son of Mossman, a drifter from $8 to start $11, was still that far in front at the 100m and while Shamexpress ($18), who was held up for a run until the 250m, motored home three quarters of a length was as close as he got.
Moment of Change ($9) completed placings in the three open-age Group 1 sprints at Flemington for the year when he finished 1-3/4 lengths away third.
Lucky Nine, well-backed from $3.80 to start $3.40 favourite, finished sixth, almost six lengths from the winner.
Winning jockey Damian Browne said he was always confident the way the race played out.
“The first furlong-and-a-half I got through pretty quietly and as we came across the juncture (500m) I started to put a bit of pressure on and got them off the bit,” he said.
“As soon as I asked him for the kick he gave me a quick length and then it was just a matter of fighting them off.”
The victory was Buffering’s first at seven attempts up the famous Flemington straight, but he had logged four minor placings including a second to Black Caviar in the VRC Sprint Classic two years ago and a close second to Hay List in the 2012 Newmarket Handicap.
He will be given the chance to complete a Group 1 hat-trick in the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot in Perth on 23 November.
By Brad Bishop
10/11/2013 Cup disappointment overcome by Queen Elizabeth win
Precedence stretches out magnificently for Craig Williams to
down favourite Sertorius by a nose in the Queen Elizabeth
Stakes and make sure the famous Bart Cummings chequers
gained at least one win during Flemington's Cup week.
The right trainer, the right
horse, the right dose of
nostalgia. The trouble was, it
came four days late – or, perhaps,
five days early.
Precedence (NZ) (Zabeel), the
only hope Bart Cummings had of
making this year's Melbourne Cup
his thirteenth, won the 2600 metre
Group Three Queen Elizabeth Stakes
by a short half-head at Flemington
yesterday, having missed a place in
the big race by a similar margin.
The win earned his owners a
respectable cheque of A$380,000,
which included a A$100,000 bonus for being balloted out of
last Tuesday's big race. And it also earned Cummings and his
co-trainer and grandson James the right to run him in next
year's Melbourne Cup.
Precedence was Cummings' first Queen Elizabeth
winner since My Sir Avon 31 years ago and saved him from
a rare whitewash in the week of racing with which he is
It also came five days before Cummings' 86th birthday. But
it almost didn't come at all.
Precedence, a solid $6.50 second favourite, survived a 250
metre struggle with the $4.20 favourite Sertorius (Galileo),
nosing that horse out on the line and then surviving a protest.
According to James Cummings, Precedence's win is all
down to his grandfather and the training methods that have
produced those twelve Melbourne Cup wins.
"He's a great credit to the stable and to the philosophy we
have for training our horses," he said. "We keep them happy,
that's what Bart's always told me."
Precedence had done his best to make this year's Cup field,
rediscovering top form in the Moonee Valley Cup, only to fail
to make the field by a kilogram or so.
"Bart was disappointed the horse didn't get into the
Melbourne Cup, but this is pretty good consolation," his
A decision will be made in the next few days on whether
Precedence runs again this preparation. But it's a reasonable
bet one has already been made to set him for the 2014 Cup.
– AAP TURF
Race VRC Queen Elizabeth S. Gr.3 2600m
Winner Precedence (NZ) 2005
Owners Dato Tan Chin Nam, Sir Patrick Hogan,
The Dowager Duchess of Bedford and B A Schroder
Trainer Bart & James Cummings (Flemington)
Breeding by Zabeel out of Kowtow (USA) by Shadeed (USA)
Breeder Bloomsbury Stud and Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan
Sales 2007 NZ National Yearling Sale, Premier Session;
V: Bloomsbury Stud, NZ,
P: DGR Thoroughbred Services; $180,000
10/11/2013 Girl Gone Rockin' gets the bob in
The winning post is less than a length away and Girl Gone Rockin' (nearest camera) has yet to catch Queenstown.
But she and rider Dwayne Dunn have the momentum and, when it matters, her nose will be in front.
Jockey Dwayne Dunn put in an "eleven out of ten
ride" to get unheralded Girl Gone Rockin' (Redoute's
Choice) home in a head-bobbing finish to deny the
Gai Waterhouse-trained Queenstown (Stratum) victory in
the 2000 metre Momentum Energy Stakes at Flemington
Trainer Wayne Hawkes said the five-year-old mare was
probably out of her depth in the field but her value as a
broodmare had just trebled with a Group Two win on her CV.
"Thirty yards to go I didn't think we were going to win and
then right on the line she bobbed the right way," said Hawkes,
part of the Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes team.
Dunn had positioned Girl Gone Rockin' near unplaced
favourite Lake Sententia early in the race and once in the
straight looked to make up ground on the leaders. Swooping
from the middle of the track, he ran down second favourite
Queenstown on the line with Keep De Rose (NZ) (Keeper),
which had made all the running, a half length away third.
"She really attacked the line nicely," Dunn said.
Girl Gone Rockin', which cost $380,000 as a yearling in
New Zealand, gave a clue to her improving form with a
close second to Dream Folk in her last start at the Randwick-
Bred by John Camilleri's Fairway Thoroughbreds,
Girl Gone Rockin' was sold at the 2010 New Zealand
Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale through the draft of
Gordon Cunningham's Curraghmore Stud.
She is from the John and Karen Parsons-trained Sorrento,
a four-time winner in New Zealand as a three-year-old in the
1998/99 season, including the Dunedin Guineas, Southland
Guineas and Inglewood Stakes, all at Listed level. Sorrento
carried her good form to Australia, where she competed
successfully for another three seasons, almost exclusively
at Group and Listed level, winning the Group Three Stocks
Stakes at Moonee Valley and Rosehill's Group Two Queen Of
The Turf Stakes.
Hawkes said Girl Gone Rockin', who is raced by Anthony
Mithen's Rosemont Stud, would now be sent out to the
paddock while they considered her future.
– AAP TURF
Race VRC Matriarch S. Gr.2 2000m
Winner Girl Gone Rockin' (Aus) 2008
Owners Rosemont Stud Syndicate (Mgr: A P Mithen) & N G Austin
Trainer Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes (Flemington)
Breeding by Redoute's Choice (Aus) out of Sorrento by Just A Dancer
Breeder Fairway Thoroughbreds
Sales 2010 NZ National Yearling Sale, Premier Session;
V: Curraghmore Stud, P: Rosemont Stud; $380,000
10/11/2013 Patrick patient on Post D'France
After a patient and well-timed ride by apprentice Patrick Moloney,
Post D'France is too strong for fellow Kiwi-bred Xavi in the Secondbite Plate
The winning combination of Patrick Moloney and Post
D'France (NZ) (Postponed) continued at Flemington
with the apprentice jockey making it five wins from
six rides on the five-year-old after victory in the 1600 metre
After winning a city and two provincial races mid-year on
Post D'France, Moloney was back on the gelding in October,
guiding him to a win at Cranbourne before suspension forced
him out of the picture at Moonee Valley last start, where the
Kiwi-bred lost in the final stride.
Moloney rode a patient race yesterday after a fast tempo
had been set and was four lengths off the lead at the start of
the long Flemington straight.
Post D'France reeled in the leaders without too much
trouble, but had to fight off a sustained challenge from Xavi
(Pentire) to win by a half length, with favourite Sysmo (My
Risk) a fading third.
Trainer Stephen Brown, a former jockey who rode more
than a thousand winners over a 35-year period, mostly in
Darwin and Adelaide, had no qualms in re-instating Moloney
on Post D'France for what became the first win for both jockey
and trainer during the spring carnival.
"He knows the horse inside out and I was really happy for
him to ride it," Brown said. "The track was always going to suit
him and Patrick got into a perfect position and did a good job
Moloney said Post D'France found an extra gear when
Sysmo had threatened down the straight. "Once he hits the
front he pulls up stumps because he knows he's got the job
A $50,000 buy at the 2010 National Yearling Sale, Post
D'France had an eleven-race career in New Zealand from the
Foxton stable of David Haworth and Matt Dixon for two wins,
at Hastings and Awapuni, and four minor placings.
– AAP TURF
Race VRC Secondbite P. 1600m
Winner Post d'France (NZ) 2008
Owners P W Jones, C M Keats, W D Ellery, P B Szalajko,
K W Blechynden, S T Gillespie, R C Burkitt, D Nimmo,
R A Robertson, J K McDonald, Mrs D McDonald & Love
Trainer Stephen Brown (Flemington)
Breeding by Postponed (USA) out of Creil by Frenchpark (GB)
Breeder J D Georgetti
Sales 2010 National Yearling Sale, Select Session;
V: J D Georgetti, P: Mr D R Haworth; $50,000
Big Saturday ahead for Aquanita
9th November 2013
Robert Smerdon has two running at Flemington on the last day of the 2013 Spring Racing carnival.
Electric Fusion was a withdrawal from the Oaks Day card after drawing a horrible gate in 19 in an 1800m race and so takes on this.
He does get back in his races and they can start to swoop as we are now into the final day of the carnival. However he is back to the mile.
The blinkers go back on again and he has the class to run really well on his best form being a Derby runner-up behind Hawkspur. Pace will be needed for him to perform.
The other one is Verdant and he has been a good servant for the stable this Spring with some top runs but just not quite been able to win one.
So close in the Geelong Cup, he was outsprinted from back of midfield in the Bendigo Cup. Now he takes on a Queen Elizabeth which is about the same level as those previous races he’s contested.
Think there will be decent speed in it so he can get back and run on and being the second last race of the entire week, they should be using most of the track.
Remember he did win the 2800m race on Cup day last year so Flemington holds few fears.
Speaking of Geelong, they race on Saturday on the provincials for the Ballan Cup and Robert has four entered there as well.
Hussavi is a dual acceptor for the weekend, down to run at Ararat on Sunday as well. The four year old drops back from an 1887m race at Kyneton when he was beaten a fair way.
There are some consistent maidens in this race but overall it isn’t overly strong in terms of quality. His best run was on the heavy going so perhaps a wetter track would help his cause.
The following race sees Pole Paradise run for the second time. This three year old by Shaft got back to last at Kyneton and wasn’t able to make up much ground after hanging out during the race.
Only a small field here, he shouldn’t be as far behind them as last time over a furlong further. With the slower tempo, he could improve.
No Manners was scratched from the Kyneton Cup card on Wednesday to be saved for this and she finds a Fillies and Mares race with consistent runners but nothing too highly benchmarked.
In fact she is the equal highest rating horse in the race. Her last three runs have been very sound and probably not best suited by the 1000m last time so up to 1318m at Geelong is more appealing.
Able to handle all going, a firmer surface seems more her go.
Finally to Drunken Poet who runs in the last race over 1720m. He was switched back to a much shorter race last week at Kilmore and ran well without threatening.
That would have given him a nice launch for this race and he’ll be hard fit to run better here. The weight is no issue as he won under more at Geelong Synthetic .
A fortnight out from the biggest day in Perth racing, Saturday will be an important lead up day and Simon Miller has good hopes.
In the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes, Darlington Abbey stakes her claim for the Railway Stakes when she runs over the 1400m.
She hasn’t had the best of luck this prep going back twice now over shorter distances but certainly is capable of racing closer as we’ve seen her before.
Considering her very close placing in the WA Guineas, she can handle the trip and the pressure of a tough race.
The race after sees the very promising Saint Bro take on the Listed Fairetha Stakes. His first run was an excellent performance, sitting on the speed and drawing away after two top trials.
This does not look much of a step up even though it is at Listed level. It’s also a superb barrier in this sized field to jump well, sit near them and control the race.
He has a WA Guineas nomination so this 1400m test will show everyone his credentials.
Away from the black type races, earlier in the day Mia China Doll attempts to get back into winning form after two solid efforts this campaign.
She ran into Smoko over the 1000m but this 1100m may help her as will the 3kg claim. It’s a very evenly benchmarked race but she is one of the highest in it.
The mare always shows speed but there looks plenty of it so luck early in finding the right position will be important.
Kerrin McEvoy is maintaining the faith in Epaulette and he hopes the entire rewards him with a second straight VRC Sprint Classic victory at Flemington.
McEvoy, Darley’s stable rider in Australia, had the choice of the three Peter Snowden-trained runners in the $1 million Group 1 and went for the four-year-old, despite a below-part showing last time out when seventh in the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley.
Although well beaten by Samaready, McEvoy said the son of Commands had legitimate excuses and was happy to ride him over Manikato Stakes placegetter Sessions and Golden Slipper runner-up Sidestep in tomorrow’s 1200-metre event.
“He does have to bounce back after a disappointing run at Moonee Valley, when the whole team were quite disappointed with his effort,” McEvoy said.
“But the track was a bit slippery and rain-affected that night. I don’t reckon he handled Moonee Valley as well as that shifty track.
“He’s had a little bit of a freshen up since then, he went back up to the farm at Agnes Banks and he acted really well down the straight the other morning in a jumpout.
“He’s in great order and if he turns up and can concentrate and give it 100 percent, he’s going to give it a real shake.
“It was my choice to ride him in this race on Saturday, so hopefully I’m right.”
McEvoy is chasing his second straight VRC Sprint Classic, having won last year’s edition on Mental.
The in-form jockey, who rode winning doubles on the first two days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, said Epaulette, last season’s Golden Rose and Doomben 10,000 winner at Group 1 level, at his best was “every bit as good as Mental” and thinks the straight will suit.
“I really feel that the straight racing’s going to suit Epaulette,” he said. “I might be wrong, but I feel that it’s going to help him land closer to the pace. If he can lay up a little bit closer, it’s going to help him the final two furlongs.”
By Brad Bishop
Emirates Stakes Day, the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, has long been known as Family Day and that title will carry added significance today.
Father-son jockey combination, Glyn and Chad Schofield, will both take part in the $1 million Emirates Stakes (1600m).
Glyn rides favourite Boban with Chad to partner Strike The Stars in what will be the first time they have ridden against each other in a Group 1 race.
They book-ended yesterday’s Oaks Day card, Glyn winning the first race on Marmelo before Chad rounded out the program with victory aboard Backstedt, and the Schofield Jnr said it would be a huge thrill if either saluted today.
“It’s the first time we’ll ride together in a Group 1 race and we’re both on live chances,” Chad said. “As long as one of us wins I’ll be happy.”
Chad has been one of the stories of the Spring Racing Carnival, partnering his first Group 1 win when he teamed with Shamus Award to win the $3 million Sporting bet Cox Plate.
His achievements have provided a massive thrill for Schofield Snr, but he is now keen to square the feature ledger.
“Anything you do in your life individually and succeed at, it gives you a great thrill, but I’ve got no greater thrill than watching Chad doing what he’s doing (this spring),” Glyn said.
“Chad’s had his big win and now hopefully I can finish it off.”
Punters think Schofield can add to the two Victorian Group 1s he won with Hay List with Boban the $3.40 favourite with the TAB.
Schofield only rode the Chris Waller-trained gelding for the first time in September but has partnered him to four wins from as many rides, including the Group 1 Epsom Handicap and a stunning last-to-first win in the Moonga Stakes at Caulfield on Caulfield Cup Day (pictured).
Boban carried 59kg in that 1400m event and drops to 57kg tomorrow, but that’s a rise of 4kg on his Epsom weight, although Schofield said a good barrier (four) would help offset the weight.
“He’s really come on since his win at Caulfield,” he said. “He draws a good gate in a race that looks devoid of speed, so he won’t have to settle as far back as he has done in the past.
“It’s a different calibre of horse that he’s racing in the Emirates as opposed to Caulfield, it’s Group 1 level and he’s conceding weight to most, but winning the Epsom the way he has and coming to Caulfield and winning the way he did shows that he’s definitely on the up.”
Chad partners the Anthony Cummings-trained Strike The Stars (52kg), a $21 chance with the TAB despite savaging the line when third in the tab.com.au Stakes (1400m) on Derby Day.
“He was very good first-up at Randwick and very unlucky last start at Flemington,” Chad said. “I think he should have won, so I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
The Emirates Stakes is one of three races in which the Schofields will be rivals tomorrow with Chad aboard Unchain My Heart and Glyn on Epingle in the $300,000 Group 2 Momentum Energy Stakes (2000m), while they ride Aashiq and Miss Softhands respectively in the Emirates Airline Handicap that rounds out the nine-race card.
Chad also has a booking for the day’s other $1 million Group 1 event, the VRC Sprint Classic, in which he will team with speedy filly Villa Verde.
By Brad Bishop
8/11/2013 Kirramosa wins VRC Oaks in tigh finish
New Zealand trainer John Sargent has sealed his
move across the Tasman with a thrilling victory by
Kirramosa (NZ) (Alamosa) in a three-way finish to
the VRC Oaks at Flemington.
Driven to the line by Nash Rawiller, Kirramosa prevailed
by a long head over another Sydney-trained filly, Zanbagh
(Bernardini), with the pair coming together in the straight.
Celebrations were put on hold while Blake Shinn, the rider
of the Guy Walter-trained runner-up, studied the head-on
footage before deciding against a protest with the margin
between the pair a long head.
"There's no doubt Zanbagh was disadvantaged but she
had the chance to run the other filly down," Walter said.
Sargent, who has retained a small stable in New Zealand,
moved his better horses to Randwick at the beginning of the
He admitted he had some doubts about backing
Kirramosa up after her win in Saturday's Wakeful Stakes but
punters had no fears, sending her out the $2.70 favourite over
"She has a great constitution but she's not a very big filly
and my concern was whether she would back up," Sargent
"I thought Zanbagh was coming back strong but Nash is
such a good rider."
Solicit (Street Cry) set out in front and stuck on well to
finish a short head behind Zanbagh.
The three placegetters had the final 200 metres to
Rawiller, who was sacked as Melbourne Cup winner
Fiorente's rider last month, was enthusiastic about the win,
saying the filly's staying ability was evident and praising
Sargent for the feat.
"There's no doubt in the world the best stayer won," he
"She's as tough as nails and it's a great training effort off a
pretty light preparation.
"She could be the real deal coming into the autumn."
Kirramosa is from the first crop of foals by 2008 Toorak
Handicap winner Alamosa who stands at stud in New
8/11/2013 Solzhenitsyn Looking For Emirates Victory
Solzhenitsyn's Mackinnon Stakes failure remains a
mystery to his trainer and jockey who will be relying on
what they do know about him in the Emirates Stakes.
What is clear to both Robert Heathcote and Nash
Rawiller is that the seven-year-old dual Group One
winner is a superior middle-distance performer and can
bounce back at Flemington on Saturday.
Solzhenitsyn (NZ) (St. Petersburg) finished a long last
of the nine runners in last Saturday's Mackinnon after
being eased down by Rawiller.
In the absence of any other explanation, the consensus
is that Solzhenitsyn must have choked down and will
wear a tongue tie on Saturday.
"We are 99 per cent certain he choked down but there's
really no way to be sure," Heathcote said.
"There's not veterinary reason for what happened and he
pulled up well.
"Whether it was because he was restrained in what was a
farcical pace but he never got into his rhythm. "We've worked him in the tongue tie all week and he's
taken to it like a duck to water.
"Hopefully that solves things because he's too good a
racehorse to have run like that."
The Chris Waller-trained Epsom Handicap winner Boban
(Bernardini) is favourite ahead of Toydini (Bernardini) who
finished third in the Randwick mile while Solzhenitsyn is on
the fifth line of betting.
Among the group of 22 horses cam to Melbourne to compete over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, David Hayes has welcomed into his care an emerging talent from the UK with Stipulate set to line up in Saturday’s Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m).
Formerly trained by the late Sir Henry Cecil and later by Lady Cecil, Stipulate has won two races and placed nine times in 13 starts.
His latest effort was a second placing in the Group 2 Celebration Mile (1600m) at Goodwood on 24 August behind 2012 Sportingbet Cox Plate aspirant Afsare, who was deprived of a start in that race by injury
“He’s quite a promising horse, I think”, said Hayes at the time of the gelding’s arrival on 19 October.
Following Stipluate’s fast work session at Werribee last Thursday morning, Hayes’ first comment was “I think I might have a good horse here”.
Purchased by MCR Bloodstock, the same interests as this Saturday’s Group 1 Turnbull Stakes entrant Jet Away, Hayes is hoping to develop Stipulate from a sprinter/miler to a Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) contender in 2014.
Stipulate has form around last Saturday’s Group 1 Longines MacKinnon Stakes winner Side Glance finishing 2 lengths behind that horse in the Group 2 Nayef Joel Stakes (1600m) at Newmarket (UK) in September 2012.
This morning’s track work session included a canter over 1400-metres and clicked up from the 1000-metre pole and built on the overall improvement in the five-year-old’s work rate earlier this week.
“What I liked about him today was that his recovery was brilliant”, the five-time Emirates Stakes winning trainer said.
Dwayne Dunn will hop aboard Stipulate for his Australian debut and Hayes says that his general racing pattern is to be “ridden for luck”.
“He’s pretty fit and he’ll run better that his odds suggest, I think”, Hayes added.
By Danny Matthews
8th November 2013
Lucky Nine lines up for Global Sprint Challenge bonus
Star Hong Kong sprinter Lucky Nine will be chasing more than just the $600,000 first prize when he lines up as favourite in Saturday’s Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington.
The race, which is the ninth leg of the Global Sprint Challenge (GSC) and the second in Australia following February’s Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m), offers Lucky Nine the opportunity to win a second race in this year’s GSC.
An impressive winner of the Group 1 Krisflyer International Sprint (1200m) in May, the VRC Sprint Classic will be the Caspar Fownes-trained galloper’s second start in Melbourne after finishing a narrow runner-up to Buffering in the Group 1 Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on 25 October.
The 10-race Global Sprint Challenge offers sprinters from around the world the opportunity to race for a rich $1 million bonus available to any horse who can win at least three races in the series, each in a different country.
A win on Saturday would render Lucky Nine the only live chance of taking out the bonus in the final leg, the Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint (1200m) on 8 December, and becoming the first horse since the GSC’s inception in 2005 to claim this rich prize.
Global Sprint Challenge Chairman Leigh Jordon said Lucky Nine was a world-class sprinter and his eligibility for the lucrative bonus was a credit to trainer Caspar Fownes.
“The Global Sprint Challenge was established to encourage these top class sprinters to compete around the world,” Jordon said.
“Lucky Nine is undoubtedly one of the best sprinters in the world at the moment and his trainer Caspar Fownes has done a tremendous job in targeting the Global Sprint Challenge.
“With a sprinter of Lucky Nine’s calibre competing on Saturday, particularly with the significance it carries for the rest of the series, it really adds that extra element of intrigue to the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s final day.”
Undefeated superstar Black Caviar won the opening leg of the series, the Group 1 Black Caviar Lighting (1000m) with subsequent races staged in Japan, Singapore, Dubai and the UK.
Japanese sprinter Lord Kanaloa has won two legs, the Group 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen (1200m) and the Group 1 Sprinters Stakes (1200m), but is yet to win outside his native Japan and is therefore ineligible for the $1 million bonus should he contest the final race of the Challenge in Hong Kong.
In what could be another significant windfall for Lucky Nine’s connections, the Victoria Racing Club has also offered a further $600,000 bonus to any GSC competitor who has won an overseas leg of the series and also wins the VRC Sprint Classic on Saturday.
The addition of the VRC bonus makes Lucky Nine’s potential $1.2 million collect the richest in world sprinting, alongside Dubai’s Group 1 Golden Shaheen.
Chris Waller capped a perfect Crown Oaks Day at Flemington by taking out today’s $200,000 Group 3 G.H. Mumm Stakes (1100m) with Dystopia.
The victory gave the leading Sydney trainer three victories from his only three runners on the program after the earlier wins of Marmelo and Multilateral in the opening two races on the program.
The treble continued an Emirates Melbourne Cup Carnival to remember for Waller, who also trained a Group 1 double on Derby Day after star colt Zoustar claimed the Coolmore Stud Stakes and classy mare Red Tracer won the Myer Classic.
Dystopia’s triumph came at her third attempt in the race after the daughter of Redoute’s Choice finished fourth behind Ortensia in 2011 and runner-up behind today’s fourth-placegetter Honey Flower in 2012.
Admitting he was very proud of the achievement, Waller said it hopefully wasn’t the last time that he trains a treble during the famous Flemington carnival.
“It’s all made possible by a great team in Sydney and here,” Waller said. “They send the horses to the races in great condition and you also need good supporting owners and good jockeys.
“We’re very proud to have one winner but to get three winners on a big day like today is very special to us.
“Hugh Bowman’s done a lot of work with this horse. She’s not an easy horse to get to win, she’s certainly got the ability and she’s run some great races and this won’ be the last race she wins.”
Settling in a midfield position, Bowman switched Dystopia ($5) into the clear as the field raced onto the course proper before bursting to the lead with 200 metres left to travel.
Shamal Wind ($6.50) finished her race off strongly down the outside to claim second position 1.5 lengths behind the winner, with She Can Skate ($7) narrowly behind her in third.
Bowman, who also claimed the AAMI Victoria Derby on Saturday aboard Polanski, said it was great to make up for Dystopia’s narrow defeat in the race 12 months ago.
“She was unlucky in this race last year, she just got caught up in traffic and just missed and I’m pretty happy I got the job done for connections today,” Bowman said.
“I ride her all the time, I know her well and she’s got a really good turn of foot and the 1100m is just what she’s after and the straight race helps to because she just needs to be smothered up and with the straight racing you don’t have to settle too far back.
“She stargazed a little bit in front but she wouldn’t surprise me if she went up in class and was competitive.”
By Ben Asgari
Thursday, 7 November 2013
TAB Werribee Cup rescheduled to December
Racing Victoria (RV) and the Werribee Racing Club (WRC) have today announced that the Werribee meeting scheduled for Wednesday, 13 November 2013 has been transferred to Ballarat to allow the newly renovated inside section of the track further time to consolidate.
As a result, the TAB Werribee Cup, which was scheduled to be run next Wednesday, will now be conducted at Werribee on Sunday, 15 December 2013 on what will become a major celebration for the local community with free admission and a raft of family entertainment.
The 2000-metre Benchmark 78 race that was to have been run as the Cup on Wednesday will retain its $80,000 stake, but will carry a different name for the new Ballarat meeting. The remainder of the race program remains unchanged.
The inside seven metres of the Werribee track underwent a major renovation following the abandonment of the Club’s meeting on 17 July 2013.
It has remained out of commission during the Spring Racing Carnival so that it could best consolidate for Werribee’s busy summer racing period.
RV’s Chief Executive, Bernard Saundry, said the decision to reschedule the Cup, made in consultation with the Victorian Jockeys Association (VJA), had been made to allow the renovated section of track further time to consolidate.
“It is important for the industry and the local community that racing return to Werribee with the track in peak condition and we are not satisfied that it would be at its optimum for next Wednesday’s meeting,” Saundry said.
“The inside seven metres, which has undergone a major renovation since July, has made pleasing progress over the past fortnight with the warmer weather, but it has not quite consolidated to the standard we would like to commence racing on it next Wednesday.
“We are taking a conservative approach and allowing the inside of the track further time to consolidate and remain confident that it will be of the required standard for racing when the rescheduled Werribee Cup is set to run on Sunday, 15 December.”
Saundry explained that the track outside seven metres has received significant traffic from the visiting international horses for the Spring Racing Carnival with 23 working consistently over the past six weeks.
“Whilst this section of the track is still completely safe and suitable for training we think it would be unfair on our connections and participants to have 100 horses race on it next week given the wear and tear received and the significance of the Cup meeting,” Saundry said.
“By rescheduling the return to December it will ensure the track is perfect for its return and that the Werribee Cup will be the quality event it deserves to be.”
Saundry added that the feedback from the international visitors regarding the Werribee track had been very positive, with horses trained at the track filling second through fifth in the Emirates Melbourne Cup after capturing two feature races at Flemington last Saturday.
He further noted that RV and WRC understood that the decision to transfer was a difficult one when considering the wishes of the local Werribee community, but he explained that it was made in the best long term interests of the WRC and its track.
“We know how frustrating it must be for the Werribee community, who are great supporters of racing, to have their Cup meeting rescheduled to December a week out from the event,” Saundry said.
“Together with the Werribee Racing Club we’ll be throwing open the gates for the rescheduled Cup meeting on Sunday, 15 December and inviting the local community to welcome the return of racing to the track.
“Along with free admission there will be an assortment of free kids’ activities and family entertainment, including live music, plus free shuttle buses in and out of the town centre. We want 15 December to be a great day for the Werribee community.”
The WRC will be contacting people with bookings for next Wednesday in person and working to accommodate alternate arrangements for the 15 December meeting.
Nominations for Wednesday’s transferred Ballarat meeting have been extended to 10am tomorrow, with acceptances to be taken at 9am on Monday, 11 November.
Weather perfect for Ladies' Day at Hawkesbury
| November 7th 2013: A pleasing turnaround in the weather has
Hawkesbury Race Club officials finally looking forward with confidence
to today's Ladies' Day fixture.
Frustrated by poor weather conditions which have marred recent
Hawkesbury meetings, chief executive Brian Fletcher had something to
smile about today when the strong winds of the last few days were
replaced by calmer conditions and bright sunshine.
"Today is a perfect day," Fletcher said. "We've had a shocking run with the weather on our racedays over the
last six months. It's about time things turned for the better."
Fletcher was heartened by a forecast of fine weather and a temperature
in the high 20s for tomorrow's annual Lander Toyota Ladies' Day - one
of the most popular meetings on the Hawkesbury calendar.
"All our corporate areas are booked out, but there's no problem with
racegoers arriving and paying to come through the gate."
The rail is in the true position for the eight-race program.
Racecourse manager Jeff Haynes today rated the track a Good 3, with a
penetrometer reading of 4.84.
He has put 34mm of irrigation on the course proper in the past seven
days (6mm in the last 24 hours).
Sydney's leading trainer Chris Waller has a strong hand in both the
$100,000 Lander Toyota Ladies Day Cup (1400m) and $40,000 Mitavite
Stayers Class 4 Final (2100m).
Waller has topweight Tromso (Josh Parr) and Pipette (Jason Collett) in
the Cup, and another topweight, Republic Lad, in the Mitavite Final.
Whereas senior jockeys will partner his Cup runners, Waller has booked
his own apprentice John Kissick to lessen Republic Lad's 59kg by 2kg.
Ironically, both Parr and Collett have not previously ridden their
mounts in the Ladies Day Cup.
Tim Clark rode seven-year-old Tromso when he was narrowly beaten by
stablemate Secessio over 1500m at Rosehill Gardens last Saturday.
But he is venturing south for two mounts at Flemington's Oaks
meeting, including Wagga-trained Devised in the VRC Vase (1600m).
Tromso hasn't won since May last year and is having his first start at
Hawkesbury. Pipette is resuming from a break after two Melbourne
appearances when she wasn't disgraced, and she usually races well
Her placings in the Darley Crown (1300m) at this track and Dark Jewel
Classic (1400m) at Scone - both in May - are strong pointers to her
first-up prospects today.
Melbourne Cup winning trainer Gai Waterhouse has set her
sights on the Mitavite Stayers Final with Magnetron (Adam Hyeronimus).
The lightly-raced four-year-old is by former smart sprinter Magnus
(but out of a Zabeel mare) and is showing middle-distance potential.
'With Hyeronimus up, he trounced his rivals last time out in a
Benchmark 65 Handicap (2100m) at Gosford.
Brian Fletcher's selections for the meeting are:
RACE 1: SLICK SPEED, Subtlety, Vite Loni.
RACE 2: SHADE OF GREEN, Trent's Quest, Spring Rose.
RACE 3: OCCASION, S'Wonderful, Remlaps Jewel.
RACE 4: ROVING RED, Satin Safari, All I Need To Know.
RACE 5: CHESTNUT ROAD, Magnetron, Zabeiro.
RACE 6: NINTH LEGION, Pipette, Soledad.
RACE 7: GNARLY, Sparkling To Win, Only Money.
RACE 8: SANSUI DRAWING, Sunshine Royale, Appliances.
SPECIALS: SHADE OF GREEN, CHESTNUT ROAD, NINTH LEGION.
John O’Shea didn’t get the first Classic he was after this Melbourne Cup Week, but he gets a crack at another today. The Sydney horseman will saddle Gypsy Diamond in the $1 million Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m).
The feature fillies’ staying race will be run five days after O’Shea’s Savvy Nature failed as favourite in the Victoria Derby, but O’Shea has not let that result get him down and is excited about being a part of his first Victoria Oaks.
“I’ve never had a runner in it before so it’d be nice to be in the finish there somewhere,” he said.
“You’re never confident in a Group 1, but we’re just happy that she’s fit and well.”
O’Shea is excited about seeing the daughter of Not a Single Doubt, who won the Group 2 Moonee Valley Fillies Classic (1600m) prior to a fifth placing in last Saturday’s Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m).
Gypsy Diamond carried 56.5kg on Saturday, conceding 2.5kg to all rivals except Arabian Gold, who met her 1.5kg better.
“The one saddlecloth in the Wakeful has traditionally run very well in the Oaks when they come back and get level weights and she gets that,” O’Shea said.
“It’s not a big field, she’ll just go back just worse than midfield and just try and outsprint them up the straight.”
By Brad Bishop
Robert Smerdon is hoping the decision to miss Tuesday’s $200,000 Group 3 Lavazza Short Black (140m) with Member’s Joy proves the right one when she lines up in the $100,000 TCL 4K UHD Smart TV Subzero Challenge (1400m) at Flemington on Thursday.
Admitting he scratched the four-year-old on Tuesday after she drew barrier 19, Smerdon said the barrier is his biggest concern on Thursday after she drew wide again in gate 18.
“Barriers can make the difference between winning and losing and she’s got to overcome a bad barrier which is my reservation,” Smerdon said. “The horse is going particularly well though.
“It’s logically an easier option as it’s restricted by both colour and rating so you can’t get a race where she’s much better suited.”
Owned and raced by the Melbourne Racing Club on behalf of the club’s members, the initiative has so far proved an overwhelming success with the daughter of Hussonet winning races as a two and three-year-old, as well as twice finishing runner-up at Group 2 level.
Fifth at her latest effort behind Queenland mare Liesele in the Listed Alinghi Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield, Smerdon said Members Joy should be much better suited over the extra distance on Thursday.
“It was a good run last start in an adverse circumstance, she was in an impossible position and made good ground,” he said.
“She has got good form anywhere from 1000m right though to running second in the (Group 2) Edward Manifold last year over the mile (1600m).
“1400 is probably a good trip for her. The 1100 was a bit too short second-up so out to this distance I would think on face value it looks ideal for her.
“It would be great if she was able to win a race over the Melbourne Cup Carnival, it would be a great thing for the Melbourne Racing Club member’s promotion which has been pretty successful up until now.”
After opening at $5.50, Members Joy has been well-supported with TAB fixed odds firming into $4.40.
In related news, Smerdon said the talented Shamal Wind would take her place on Thursday in the Group 3 $200,000 G.H. Mumm Stakes (1100m) after she finished unplaced in the Group 2 Yellowglen Stakes (1200m) on Derby Day.
Drawn in barrier 18 for jockey Mark Zahra who piloted the daughter of Dubawi to a striking win on the same program 12 months ago, Smerdon said the key to her chances were getting cover in the early stages.
“She’s a really tough mare and she’s got a great constitution,” Smerdon said.
“On Saturday she flew the start and Glen Boss said he couldn’t get cover and she just over-raced and didn’t have a kick (at the finish).
By Ben Asgari
Forgotten Voice might just be the unluckiest horse of the 2013 international contingent but hopefully his fortunes will take an about-turn on Saturday when he lines up in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington. Forgotten Voice missed gaining a start in the Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup three weeks ago as the first emergency when the nod was given by the Melbourne Racing Club committee to the Gai Waterhouse-trained Julienas to be included in the final field.
The following Wednesday, and after some impressive work in the lead up, Forgotten Voice started as a $3.50 favourite in the Group 2 Geelong Cup only to be greeted at the course by a rain affected track after torrential rain hit Melbourne in the 24-hours preceding the meeting.
Forgotten Voice ran fourth in that race which jockey Brett Prebble reported that the slow surface played a significant role in that result.
At 30th in the order of entry for the Melbourne Cup, Forgotten Voice also missed a start in that field of 24.
As a result of accepting for the Cup and being balloted out, the connections of Forgotten Voice are eligible for a $100,000 bonus should he win.
Continuing with his consistent track work at the TAB International Horse Centre at Werribee, track rider Ryan O’Reilly (pictured) is very satisfied with his progress since the Geelong run for the gelding who has drawn barrier 12 on Saturday.
“He feels like he has come on well since that run”, the young assistant to champion trainer Nicky Henderson said.
“He has eaten very well and he’s healthy – that’s the main thing – so you couldn’t ask for more.”
One thing the Geelong outing did prove that wet tracks are not ideal surfaces to bring out this nine-year-old’s best.
“The forecast says that there are a few showers coming after tomorrow but one positive thing about Flemington is that it probably has the best drainage system in the country it is unlikely to get like Geelong did”, he added.
The $300,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes has a rich history since it was initiated in 1954.
Cox Plate winner’s Dhaulagiri (1961) and Gunsynd (1972/73) and Melbourne Cup winners including Hyperno (1979/80), Might And Power (1998) and Makybe Diva (2002) all appear on the honour roll.
Forgotten Voice will be looking to become the third internationally-trained horse to win the race after Godolphin's Hatha Anna (2001) and Fantastic Love (2004).
By Danny Matthews
Five-time Group 1 winner Lucky Nine heads an outstanding field of 14 runners in Saturday’s $1 million Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington.
Aside from the $600,000 first prize money, the Hong Kong galloper is also eligible for a $600,000 bonus should he prove successful.
Available to any horse that has won a leg of this year’s Global Sprint Challenge in a country outside of Australia, Lucky Nine earned his shot with a win in the Group 1 KrisFlyer Sprint (1200m) in Singapore in May.
Drawn in barrier nine for jockey Brett Prebble, should the seven-year-old hope to go one better than at his Australian debut then he will have to turn the tables on his Manikato Stakes (1200m) conqueror Buffering.
After finally breaking his Group 1 drought, the Robert Heathcote-trained son of Mossman has drawn in the inside barrier for his third straight attempt at the feature Flemington Spring sprint.
Three-year-olds Villa Verde (barrier 11) and Sidestep (14) will also back up on Saturday, after finishing fourth and sixth respectively behind star colt Zoustar in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
In a field of tremendous depth that features nine individual Group 1 winners, other key runners include the Darley pair of Epaulette (two) and Sessions (three), reigning Newmarket Handicap champion Shamexpress (eight), exciting gelding Unpretentious (13), as well as Rebel Dane (five), Moment Of Change (four), Bel Sprinter (10), Platelet (seven) and Temple Of Boom (12).
The second of the Group 1s on the nine-race program, the $1 million Emirates Stakes (1600m), features a similarly exciting line up headed by another Robert Heathcote-trained galloper in back-to-back Toorak Handicap winner Solzhenitsyn.
Set to back up after finishing unplaced in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on Saturday, the seven-year-old will carry the top weight of 58kg from barrier five for Nash Rawiller.
Fresh off two Group 1s on Derby Day, leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller appears to have another strong hand, with Epsom Handicap victor Boban looking to remain unbeaten this campaign from barrier four and reigning Doncaster Mile champion Sacred Falls drawn in gate six.
International Havana Gold has drawn barrier 15 for his Australian debut, with fellow Werribee-based international Mull Of Killough set to begin from barrier 13.
Other key draws include Schweppes Crystal Mile winner Toydini (barrier 12), consistent Colin Scott-trained gelding Speediness (two) and Stradbroke Handicap victor Linton (one).
Further highlights on a day ever-growing in prominence among the Spring Racing Carnival feast include the $300,000 Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) for the stayers as well as the $300,000 Group 2 Momentum Energy Stakes (2000m) for the mares.
By Ben Asgari
Thursday, 7 November 2013
Michael Inglis elected new chairman of ATROC
It is with great pleasure that the New South Wales Racehorse Owners Association
(NSWROA) announces that our Secretary, Mr Michael Inglis, has been elected the new
Chairman of the Australian Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners Council (ATROC).
ATROC is the national peak body representing racehorse owners in Australia and is
made up of representatives from each of the constituted State Bodies.
ATROC was originally formed in 2003 under an informal charter between ownership
representative bodies throughout Australia with its key objective to enhance the
representative position of racehorse owners.
Mr Inglis, a Lawyer and Accredited Mediator, joined the NSWROA Committee in July
2009 and was appointed Secretary in October 2009. He has been the Association's
delegate at ATROC for three years and also serves as a substitute delegate for
NSWROA on the Racing Industry Consultation Group (RICG).
Mr Inglis is also the Vice President of the Murrumbidgee Turf Club (MTC) and is a
member of the Racing NSW Country Board representing the Southern Region.
NSWROA President Mr McDowell said "It is wonderful that our ATROC colleagues have
recognised the outstanding skills base Michael brings to ATROC".
Mr Inglis said "I thank my fellow ATROC Members for entrusting me with this role. I
would also like to thank outgoing Chairman, Mr Jonathan Munz for the work he has
done for ATROC. I look forward to the challenges that await us as we further advance
the interests of owners in our industry".
7/11/2013 Cadeaux could be back again
Ed Dunlop isn’t ruling out Red Cadeaux coming back to Melbourne in 2014 for a fourth straight Emirates Melbourne Cup.
Second in yesterday’s race that stops a nation behind Fiorente, the eight-year-old finished eighth in the Cup last year, after famously finishing runner-up by the narrowest margin in Melbourne Cup history behind Dunaden in 2011.
Likely to now target the Japan Cup en route to the Hong Kong Vase in December, Dunlop said the 2014 Melbourne Cup was a real possibility for the son of Cadeaux Genereux.
“The owner loves the race and the horse has just run another brilliant race,” Dunlop told RSN.
“It depends on how the horse is. I very much thought to myself before the race that maybe that would be the end of it all but that hasn’t happened so now we can dream of carrying on".
“I think he’s OK but we’ll find out in the next few days, he could go to the Japan Cup and then the Hong Kong Vase, those are the next plans if all is OK with him.”
Despite being trapped wide throughout yesterday’s race, Dunlop said there were no excuses for Red Cadeaux who was beaten by the better horse on the day.
“It was an unbelievable run by him, unbelievable,” he said.
“It was a massive result with a massive weight and I know that he didn’t win again but to run in three Melbourne Cups and come second in twice it’s really phenomenal for an international horse
“The horse thrives when he travels. I think it’s the individual attention and the great job that my team do.
“We’re thrilled although frustrated at being second again.”
By Ben Asgari
Gai Waterhouse has identified the defence of the Emirates Melbourne Cup as an option for Fiorente, but Victorian racegoers might not have to wait that long to see yesterday’s hero in action.
The $1 million Group 1 Darley Australian Cup (2000m), run in March at the scene of Fiorente’s Emirates Melbourne Cup win, is at the forefront of Waterhouse's mind with the Irish import.
The Sydney trainer is still basking the glory of her maiden Melbourne Cup success, but confirmed at today’s Melbourne Cup winners’ media conference that she had her eyes on the Australian Cup.
“It certainly is, I thought that would be a lovely option for him,” she said.
“But I just want to let the dust settle. I think it’s best to go home where you have time to think, where you haven’t got a headache or you’re tired or you not thinking, ‘gosh, we’ve races tomorrow’.
“I’m just taking time to let things settle down.”
No male horse has returned to Flemington four months after winning the Melbourne Cup to claim the Australian Cup since the latter became a weight-for-age event in 1979.
Hyperno, Saintly and Shocking are male Melbourne Cup winners who won the Australian Cup, but not in the same season, something only champion mares Let’s Elope (1991/92) and Makybe Diva (2004/05) have achieved.
Waterhouse has options aplenty with Fiorente beyond autumn, including a trip to Royal Ascot in June, and the champion trainer said consideration would be given to returning to Flemington for next year’s Melbourne Cup.
“Who’s to say this horse won’t come back and do it again?” she said. “I know it hasn’t happened very often but I think he’s a horse that could easily do it.”
Waterhouse was pleased to report that Fiorente came through the Melbourne Cup run well, enjoying a light canter and swim this morning.
“He’s probably come through the Cup run better than he came through the Cox Plate run and he came through that well,” she said.
By Brad Bishop
6/11/2013 Melbourne Cup Celebrated Nationwide
The Melbourne Cup spurred crowds of over 300,000 at 44 race meetings across the length
and breadth of Australia yesterday.
"More than 2 million individual Australians attend at least one race meeting every
year and Melbourne Cup Day accounts for a great many of them," Australian
Racing Board CEO Peter McGauran said today.
"Races were held from Longreach (Qld) to Alice Springs (NT) to Wentworth (NSW)
to Mildura (Vic) through to major regional centres and every capital city," Mr
"The Melbourne Cup is a phenomenon like no other racing or tourism event in the
world. Its history and rich tradition of characters and champion horses captivates an
entire nation and millions around the world," he said.
"At the same time racing is deeply embedded in the culture of Australians with 358
racetracks servicing almost every community in the country. Racing employs
200,000 people and is a vital contributor to the national, regional and local
economies," Mr McGauran said.
"The Melbourne Cup continues to evolve and prosper thanks to the innovative
management and marketing of the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) which, with the
ongoing support of the Victorian Government, has seen the Cup go from strength to
strength every year. The entire Australian community comes together for the
Melbourne Cup in a way and in numbers it doesn't for any other sporting event. It is
a treasured event which racing holds proud," Mr McGauran said.
No. Meeting State Club
1 Tue 5Nov2013 Flemington VIC VRC
2 Tue 5Nov2013 Royal Randwick NSW ATC
3 Tue 5Nov2013 Doomben QLD BRC
4 Tue 5Nov2013 Ascot WA WATC
5 Tue 5Nov2013 Morphettville SA SAJC
6 Tue 5Nov2013 Albury NSW Albury RC
7 Tue 5Nov2013 Canberra NSW Canberra RC
8 Tue 5Nov2013 Coffs Harbour NSW Coffs Harb RC
9 Tue 5Nov2013 Corowa NSW Corowa RC
10 Tue 5Nov2013 Dubbo NSW Dubbo TC
11 Tue 5Nov2013 Kembla Grange NSW Illawarra TC
12 Tue 5Nov2013 Murwillumbah NSW Tweed River JC
13 Tue 5Nov2013 Muswellbrook NSW Muswellbrook RC
14 Tue 5Nov2013 Nowra NSW Shoalhaven TC
15 Tue 5Nov2013 Orange NSW Racing Orange
16 Tue 5Nov2013 Sapphire Coast NSW Sapphire Cst TC
17 Tue 5Nov2013 Tamworth NSW Tamworth JC
18 Tue 5Nov2013 Taree NSW Taree-Wing RC
19 Tue 5Nov2013 Wagga NSW Murrumbidgee TC
20 Tue 5Nov2013 Wentworth NSW Wentworth RC
21 Tue 5Nov2013 Alice Springs NT AliceSprings TC
22 Tue 5Nov2013 Darwin NT Darwin TC
23 Tue 5Nov2013 Bundaberg QLD Bundaberg RC
24 Tue 5Nov2013 Cairns QLD Cairns JC
25 Tue 5Nov2013 Charleville QLD Cent Warrego RC
26 Tue 5Nov2013 Gatton QLD Lockyer RC
27 Tue 5Nov2013 Gladstone QLD Gladstone TC
28 Tue 5Nov2013 Gold Coast QLD Gold Coast TC
29 Tue 5Nov2013 Kumbia QLD Kumbia RC
30 Tue 5Nov2013 Longreach QLD Longreach JC
31 Tue 5Nov2013 Mackay QLD Mackay TC
32 Tue 5Nov2013 Mount Isa QLD Mt Isa RC
33 Tue 5Nov2013 Rockhampton QLD Rockhampton JC
34 Tue 5Nov2013 Sunshine Coast QLD Sun Coast TC
35 Tue 5Nov2013 Townsville QLD Townsville TC
36 Tue 5Nov2013 Hobart TAS Tasmanian RC
37 Tue 5Nov2013 Bairnsdale VIC Bairnsdale RC
38 Tue 5Nov2013 Echuca VIC Echuca RC
39 Tue 5Nov2013 Mansfield VIC Mansfield Pic
40 Tue 5Nov2013 Mildura VIC Mildura RC
41 Tue 5Nov2013 Stawell VIC Stawell RC
42 Tue 5Nov2013 Wangaratta VIC Wangaratta TC
43 Tue 5Nov2013 Bunbury WA Bunbury RC
44 Tue 5Nov2013 Geraldton WA Geraldton TC
6/11/2013 Fiorente atones to win Melbourne Cup
Fiorente today joined the most exclusive honour roll in Australian racing with victory in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The Irish import provided Gai Waterhouse with her first win in Australia’s greatest race when he carried jockey Damien Oliver to his third win in the race.
Fiorente defeated Red Cadeaux by three quarters of a length with Mount Athos a further length-and-a-half away third.
Waterhouse was thrilled to return 12 months’ after finishing second with Fiorente – her third trip to the runner-up stall in the Melbourne Cup.
“It’s very exciting and I can’t even describe it,” she said. “I’m just so thrilled for the owners because they bought the horse a year ago and it ran second the first time it goes around in the Melbourne Cup and then comes back and win the Cup.
“He is a world-class horse. He’s got an impeccable pedigree and he’s very versatile from 1400 to 3200. You dream about a horse like this.”
Fiorente joined Gold And Black (1976/77) as the only male horses to win the Melbourne Cup the year after finishing second since 1900 when he went one better than last year’s effort behind Green Moon.
Damien Oliver celebrated his third Melbourne Cup success, following wins aboard Doriemus (1995) and Media Puzzle (2002), at his first race ride aboard the six-year-old.
Oliver rode a patient race aboard the $7 favourite to come from midfield and overhaul a gallant Red Cadeaux ($61) in the final furlong.
It was the second trip to the runner-up stall for Red Cadeaux, who was beaten a nose by Dunaden in 2011 and was 14th last year.
Completing a trifecta for horses who improved on their 2012 efforts was Mount Athos, who finished fifth in 2012.
“He is a special horse and I feel very fortunate to get upon him for the first time in a Melbourne Cup,” Oliver said of Fiorente.
“He moved into the race beautifully on the turn and it was just a matter of holding them off and he was too strong.”
Irish galloper Simenon ran a huge race to finish fourth, marginally in advance of Dandino. Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner was the best of the Macedon Lodge sextet, working home solidly from last to finish sixth.
The was an unfortunate post-script to the race with French mare Varema euthanased after fracturing a right foreleg around 2000m from home.
By Brad Bishop
Salon Soldier made it two wins from as many starts in Australia after the Kris Lees-trained German import claimed today’s $150,000 Listed Visit Victoria Plate (1800m) at Flemington.
Nominated for the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) after a strong first up win at Randwick, Lees revealed that the five-year-old entire would likely be aimed at lofty goals in the autumn.
“I’ll see how he pulls up but my thoughts are to put him out and have a fair dinkum go at the autumn,” Lees said.
“I think he can measure up in a Ranvet and possibly a BMW.
“I had a little reservation only going to 1800m because I think the way he races (suggests) he looking for further.”
Settling in fourth position on the rail, Jim Cassidy tracked the leader Rain Drum ($4) around the turn before switching to the inside in the home straight.
After taking over the lead with 200 metres left to travel, Salon Soldier ($2.80) went on to win by a length from the fast-finishing Mid Summer Sun ($16), with Mull Of Killough ($10) three-quarters-of-a-length behind him in third position.
His second win of the Melbourne Cup Carnival after claiming the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on AAMI Victoria Derby Day, Cassidy said Salon Soldier gave him the feel of the horse capable of measuring up to a higher level next campaign.
“He is a very exciting horse,” Cassidy said. “I think he’d want a little bit more cut in the track than he got today and I think we’ll see the real deal when he gets that cut in the track.”
“He is a magnificent individual and he gives you the feel that you’ve got plenty underneath you.”
Nash Rawiller was in the wars early in Emirates Melbourne Cup Day, but it didn’t take long for his day to pick up.
Two races after enduring one of the most uncomfortable rides of his decorated career, when he lost his irons aboard Opinion early in the 2800m Carnival Handicap, he was able to smile again thanks to Bernabeu.
The John O’Shea-trained three-year-old unleashed a sustained display of speed to claim the $100,000 Schweppes #flemingtonfling (1000m).
“They ups and downs of racing, hey?” Rawiller said. “I was on Opinion before and thought he was the best chance in the race, but that’s what can happen.
“Riding this guy in trackwork, he’s just a beautifully relaxed horse that went through his gears lovely.
“When I saw the fields and that he was over 1000m I was a bit concerned, but he is a different horse out on the track. He really towed me along.”
Like aboard Opinion, Rawiller didn’t have the cleanest of getaways on Bernabeu, but he maintained his irons and controlled the race.
The star jockey set a solid tempo, which Bernabeu ($13) maintained for the length of the race and enjoyed a 3-1/4-length margin on the line.
Second home was Iconic ($6.50) with $41 pop Churchill Dancer a half-length away third.
O’Shea was thrilled to see a plan hatched to utilise the straight come off with the galloper he has always had a big opinion on.
“He’s a big lump of a fellow and he really struggles getting around the bends, so I asked Mr Crismale (owner) if we could bring him down here and let him rip down the straight,” O’Shea said.
“I felt that I’d he ever ran up to his work he’ll win a very big race and today he showed glimpses of what he might be able to do.”
O’Shea is now eyeing even bigger races up the straight with the son of Fastnet Rock, who may be set for a first-up tilt at the Black Caviar Light in February.
By Brad Bishop
After an unusually barren period, one of racing’s most prolific partnerships broke through for their first win of the Emirates Melbourne Cup Carnival when Plucky Belle took out today’s $200,000 Group 3 Lavazza Short Black (1400m) at Flemington.
The victory provided the famous Peter Moody/Luke Nolen combination with their first city success together since Hanks won at Caulfield on August 17.
Joking that he’d forgotten where the winners stall was, Moody said the daughter of Mossman deserved to win a Stakes race.
“She’s probably unlucky not to have won a Stakes race or two by now and with that pattern of having to get back you always need luck and the races run to suit,” Moody said.
“We felt she was going pretty well and full credit to the team up in Sydney because they’ve prepped this mare up there the whole way through at Randwick and sent her down in great shape. We’ve been a bit dry in Melbourne so we’ve to peel one out of from Sydney to get the job done for us.
“It’s no secret Luke (Nolen) and I have been a bit out of form but we found the right one to get on the back of in Arinosa and Luke did the job and the mare did the rest.”
Settling at the rear of the field early, Nolen tracked the favourite Arinosa ($5) throughout the race before following her through into the home straight.
Switching off the back of back of her heels with 300 metre left to travel, Plucky Belle ($17) displayed an impressive turn-of-speed to draw alongside Arinosa at the 200m mark before proving too strong over the final 100 metres.
Despite the wide run in transit, Arinosa battled on gamely to finish in second position just under a length behind the winner, with her stable mate She’s Clean ($10) running on strongly into third a further two lengths away.
Nolen said it was good to silence a few of his critics on the five-year-old mare.
“It was good to get a result today because these guys over the fence have been giving me a fair bit of grief all week,” Nolen said.
“Pete hasn’t put me under any extra pressure because the horses aren’t performing so you always know your job is safe but it’s good to get a win, especially on a feature day during Cup week.”
By Ben Asgari
Aquanita's runners for Melbourne Cup day
5th November 2013
It is Melbourne Cup day, the greatest day on the racing calendar.
Plenty of runners from the Smerdon yard going around on Cup day. It’s a tough day to win but if you do, it becomes enjoyable.
The first of them is Members Joy for the MRC Members. The mare has been excellent in both her runs this time in. She’s flashed home from a long way back, giving away big margins.
She steps up to the 1400m in this Group 3 mares race and has placed at the mile here in the Manifold. All that said she draws an horrendous barrier so probably goes all the way back to near last.
Unless the fields start to swoop by the time this race starts, it will be a long margin to pull back however she’s going well.
A 1000m 3yo race is next on the agenda and Robert has two engaged. Anatina has already won a stakes race down the Flemington straight over this distance and gate 17 could well be the best part of the track.
There will be horses everywhere in this race but she has always shown speed before and over 1000m that isn’t ever a bad thing. This will be the first time she has taken on the boys in a race which does make it harder.
The other one in Race 5 is Calcatta who raced against Anatina in the Cap D’Antibes. This filly is also a Stakes winner back in April in Adelaide, gaining a close finish over 1100m.
She draws the middle of the big field and has shown pace before but struggling to see her leading this field. While she is one who has taken on the colts before, her best is against the girls.
Politeness is the next one to face the starter and she has been freshened since being on a Thousand Guineas preparation.
Things did not work out well in the Manifold when trapped wide and so she was given a slight break of a month before coming back a furlong into this Listed race.
There are some nice fillies entered including Moderate who has been flying in Sydney but at her best, this daughter of Street Sense will be tough to beat.
It was only Cox Plate day that Go The Knuckle charged from the tail of the field in a 1200m open sprint to just miss out.
He takes on a massive line-up in the Listed Sprint and draws a positive alley as most horses tend to come up the middle of the track by this time of the meeting.
There are plenty of group horses in this but he does have a habit of getting better further into a campaign.
Tony Vasil’s only runner on Melbourne Cup day is a new acquisition to the stable.
Richie’s Vibe was with Paul Beshara but after his suspension, the four year was transferred into Tony’s name.
He has done very little wrong in all four runs this preparation and could have nearly won three times. Last week at the Valley he was back and not exactly finding the best of luck in a hotly contested race.
This will not be any different in a 20 horse field but he’s back down on the limit and just needs to find the right amount of galloping room to get home hard.
Melbourne Cup day is always an exciting day’s racing around the country and the same goes for in Perth where Simon Miller has two runners at Ascot coming off a great day on Saturday.
The first of them is Foxy Commander who led and scored by ½ length at Northam some eight weeks back.
She has had that let up and finds the 1000m again in a tougher race than she had been contesting when last in work.
They will be flying along here so she could well be pressured early but at least it is only the short course.
Bombora is the other one headed to Ascot and he resumes from a far longer spell which was after a preparation where he was close to winning a race without being able to get the job done.
There were runs in several Listed races and the Colonel Reeves Stakes is itself a Group 3 event.
Not the strongest renewal of the race, he finds himself down on the limit but drawn a tricky barrier so early decisions will need to be made. It will be interesting to see how he measures up.
Craig Williams has a record that would rival that of most jockeys around the globe.
He has won Group 1 races in Japan, the UAE, Hong Kong and New Zealand among more than 30 victories at the highest level.
Locally Williams has won two Caulfield Cups, two Cox Plates and a Golden Slipper but there is one glaring omission on his illustrious CV, the $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
In 2011, Williams rode Dunaden to win the Geelong Cup before famously missing out on the Melbourne Cup ride after being suspended on Bendigo Cup Day six days out from the race.
Dunaden of course went on to triumph in the closest finish in Melbourne Cup history under jockey Cristophe Lemaire, while Williams went to the movies with his family.
12 months later Williams was aboard Dunaden again when he claimed the Caulfield Cup in sensational fashion before electing to stick with him in the Melbourne Cup, over Green Moon who he’d also been riding that Spring.
Punters agreed with Williams’ choice, sending Dunaden out the $7 favourite in the race that stops a nation while Green Moon started at $20 for jockey Brett Prebble.
In an unusually slow running of the world’s richest 3200m handicap, Dunaden never got into the race, finishing in 14th place close to ten lengths behind the winner Green Moon.
For all his phenomenal success, Williams’ best finish in the Cup to date was aboard $21 chance Mandela, which finished ninth behind the Japanese quinella of Delta Blues and Pop Rock in 2006.
Notably, Williams didn’t ride at the Bendigo Cup meeting this year, which may have something to do with the fact he is booked to ride Mount Athos, the horse he believes could finally deliver him that elusive Melbourne Cup victory.
Trained by Luca Cumani, the seven-year-old was the luckless runner of last year’s Melbourne Cup, racing wide throughout the race before flashing home from well-back to finish fifth.
Though no horse has won the Cup after finishing unplaced the year before since Brew 13 years ago, Williams said he was “very confident” about the international raider’s chances.
“We’re just going to need a little bit of luck from barrier 22 but I think he’s definitely the right horse if he can get the right run on Tuesday,” Williams said.
“When he won in England earlier this year he led all of the way which shows that he has versatility. I then made the call two months ago to secure the (Melbourne Cup) ride and while I was happy, it wasn’t until after I started to ride the horse in his track work at Werribee and I saw the way that he had travelled over here and settled in that I was really delighted.”
Speaking at Monday’s traditional Melbourne Cup Parade at Federation Square, Williams said Cumani’s wealth of experience travelling horses was a big factor in his confidence in Mount Athos.
While Cumani has also never won the Cup, unlike Williams he has gone extremely close, finishing runner-up on two occasions.
The first of those was with Purple Moon, which finished half-a-length behind Efficent in 2007.
A year later he got even closer when only a nose separated his horse Bauer with the winner Viewed.
Despite admitting that he will treat the race no differently to any of the thousands he rides in year in year out, Williams revealed the significance of winning the Melbourne Cup wasn’t lost on him.
“From the perspective of preparing for the race, it’s just another race. But to win it, it is the greatest race on earth,” he said.
“With the build up and everything that is associated with the Melbourne Cup, it would be an amazing feeling (to win it).
“I haven’t been lucky enough to be there yet but that’s what drives us every year to try and get that win.”
By Ben Asgari
Mikel Delzangles knows Dunaden faces a task in tomorrow’s Emirates Melbourne Cup, but hopes one important factor will help tips the scales in the French stayer’s favour.
Dunaden is yet to be beaten first up in Australia. The son of Nicobar, now an eight-year-old, has made two previous trips Down Under and won both times.
He won the 2011 Geelong Cup at his maiden Australian appearance and last year made a winning return in the BMW Caulfield Cup.
Dunaden went on to win the Emirates Melbourne Cup
under 54.5kg during his initial campaign, but failed to go back-to-back last year when forced to carry an additional 4.5kg.
Dunaden will carry half-a-kilogram less this – 58.5kg – and Delazngles said the lessons learned from last year played a part in attacking this year’s race first up.
“That’s one of the reasons,” he said. “Last year he won the Caulfield Cup and that took a bit out of him for the Melbourne Cup.
“That’s why I think he didn’t run so well in the Melbourne Cup and we’ve tried to have him a bit fresher this time for the Cup.”
Dunaden is out to become just the second dual winner of the Melbourne Cup in non-consecutive years. The only horse to achieve it was Peter Pan in 1932 and 1934.
Dunaden goes into tomorrow’s $6.2 million event having not started a second-last placing in the Group 2 Prix Foy (2400m) at Longchamp on 15 September, but registered Group 1 seconds at his two previous starts including one behind superstar Novellist.
Delzangles is convinced the entire is going as well as he was two years ago and thinks barrier ones gives him his chance as top weight.
“I think it is better than barrier 24 because we are carrying a lot of weight,” he said.
“I think he’s in form as well as he was two years ago, he’s just carrying a bit more weight. That might be the problem in the last couple of metres.”
By Brad Bishop
A wide barrier will see Thursday’s Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) favourite Kirramosa needing to repeat her barnstorming Wakeful Stakes (2000m) victory in order to again feature in the winners stall at Flemington.
The John Sargent-trained filly will start from barrier 10 in the $1 million classic after today's barrier draw with jockey Nash Rawiller likely to employ the tactics successfully used by Tommy Berry in Saturday’s Wakeful Stakes that saw Kirramosa thunder home from the rear of the field.
Wakeful Stakes runner-up May’s Dream, a daughter of 2004 Emirates Melbourne Cup runner-up She’s Archie, will jump from the middle of the field after she drew barrier five while Zanbagh, an impressive five length Ballarat winner last start, will begin from barrier two for Blake Shinn and Guy Walter.
Other key draws in the Oaks include Sydney visitor Arabian Gold (1), progressive Ellerton-Zahra-trained filly Solicit (4) and Melaleuca (3), trained out of Stawell by Terry and Karina O’Sullivan.
While the Oaks is the obvious highlight on the nine-race card, this morning’s acceptances confirmed a number of support races that are sure to draw interest from punters.
The Group 3 G.H. Mumm Stakes (1100m) will see a full field of 16 mares (plus four emergencies) battle it out down the straight, headlined by Anthony Cummings-trained topweight Diamond Earth (2).
The four-year-old was beaten just over a length in the Group 1 Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at her latest start and on Thursday she will meet the likes of Alinghi Stakes (1100m) winner Liesele (14), exciting sprinter She Can Skate (15) and defending champion Honey Flower (19).
Also down the famed Flemington straight, the Listed Dilmah Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) has attracted a capacity line-up with no runner likely to draw as much interest as crack sprinting mare Snitzerland.
A five-time Stakes winner who has been freshened since her unplaced effort in September’s Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m), Snitzerland (8) is joined in Thursday’s $151,000 race by exciting Darley three-year-old Safeguard (20), Cox Plate Day winner Canali (3) and popular Mick Price-trained speedster Lankan Rupee (11).
And in a traditional Oaks Day highlight, a sea of grey will flood the track for the TCL 4K UHD Smart TV Subzero Challenge (1400m), the third and final heat of the inaugural Subzero Challenge.
Heat winners Freshwater Storm (13) and Secret Toy Bizness (19) are joined in the field of 16 (with four emergencies) by Robert Smerdon’s talented mare Members Joy (18) and Queensland visitor Black Cash (8).
The local lead-up form might not command the respect it once did, but Clarry Conners couldn’t be happier with Dear Demi’s preparation going into tomorrow’s $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup.
The four-year-old boasts a form card that a decade ago would have had her a short-priced favourite for Australia’s greatest race.After a third placing in the race traditionally regarded as the best local lead-up, the BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m), she was an eye-catching second in Saturday’s Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
Between 1985 and 1994 – when it was considered mandatory to run on Derby Day to be a legitimate Melbourne Cup chance – eight of the 10 Cup winners raced in the Mackinnon, four of them having also run in the Caulfield Cup.
It is a sign of the times that Dear Demi is an $18 chance with the TAB, but Conners is comfortable with the path he has taken.
“Things have changed a bit, we’ve got the influx of the European horses now and they’ve been racing well,” he said.
“But every run I’ve given Dear Demi was planned out months before and she’s performed well every time we’ve sent her around.
“I couldn’t be any happier with the horse and everything’s going right. It’s up to her and our jock now.”
That jockey is Chris Munce, who will partner Dear Demi at 51kg. She will jump from barrier 16, which is the same gate Munce started from in 1998, when he won aboard Jezabeel.
Coincidentally, Dear Demi will carry number 22 saddlecloth, also the same sported by Jezabeel, who also carried 51kg.
Munce also has Melbourne Cup history with Conners, having partnered Zagalia – who, like Dear Demi, was raced by John Singleton – into fifth placing behind Makybe Diva in 2003.
That remains Conners’ best result from four starters in the race.
Dear Demi will join a select group if successful, emulating Evening Peal (1956) and Light Fingers (1965) as the only VRC Oaks winners to return to Flemington as a four-year-old and snare the Melbourne Cup.
By Brad Bishop
Prolific Victorian owner Lloyd Williams is hoping his lone Australian-bred galloper Fawkner can upstage some of the world’s best staying bloodlines in tomorrow’s Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Williams believes Fawkner, one of six Macedon Lodge runners in tomorrow’s $6.2 million Cup, has improved considerably since his BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) win last month and is confident he will stay the two mile trip at what will be his first start beyond 2400m.
One of only five Australian-bred runners in the race, Williams has an obvious soft spot for the six-year-old Robert Hickmott-trained galloper given he raced his sire Reset during his brief but unbeaten career on the track.
“If ever I’ve had a horse that’s come on to my eye, he has,” Williams told RSN.
“He breathes beautifully, he’s got all the attributes I look for in a staying horse and he’s got a turn of foot.
“He’s by Reset who is close to my heart because I used to race him and he’s a half-brother to Tanby and Tanby stays pretty well.
“I would love this horse to win because I would love an Australian-bred horse that was here in Melbourne to beat all these internationals, even though I’ve got five internationals.”
In addition to Fawkner, who will be partnered by godson Nick Hall, Macedon Lodge will be represented by defending champion Green Moon, Group 1 Metropolitan winner Seville, Masked Marvel, Sydney Cup hero Mourayan and highly rated import Sea Moon, with Williams happy to make a sold case for the latter.
Despite having early concerns about whether Sea Moon would make it to the first Tuesday in November, Williams believes the highly-touted stayer is well in the mix to claim his fifth Melbourne Cup trophy.
“He’s really come along because we were worried about him early on,” Williams said.
“He didn’t seem to be acclimatising very well, he didn’t seem to be adapting very well to Australian racing and I was contemplating whether I was going to go on with him or put him out.
“We work them pretty hard at Macedon Lodge, they do a lot more work than most other trainers and their feed is a lot larger than most other trainers and he’s started to cope with the work.
“He’s turned the corner and he’s showed us at home that he’s happy and he’s starting to work well.”
Drawn well in barrier seven, Williams said jockey Steven Arnold was likely to assume a forward position on the last-start Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) winner whose recent trackwork suggests he too could be in the mix at the end of 3200m.
“He’s another one of mine that will go forward.”
“He worked on Friday morning like a horse that could win the Melbourne Cup, that was the last piece of solid work he did and he looked pretty good.”
By James Tzaferis
While every Emirates Melbourne Cup winner creates a piece of history, each runner also has its own unique story.
When the Alain de Royer Dupre-trained mare Verema lines up on Tuesday she will create her own mark as the first ever horse to race in Australia owned by the Aga Khan.
Though the Aga Khan, through his racing and breeding operations have collected Group 1 trophies across Europe including English and French Derbies with horses like the mysterious Shergar and the talented Shahrastrani, it still seems an extraordinary statistic that his colours have never been worn on an Australian racecourse.
“This is a another step for the Prince Aga Khan and his racing stable and he has a very good horse here – one that has the speed and the stamina to be very competitive, said Verema’s trainer who will be hoping to win his second Melbourne Cup after Americain saluted in 2010.
Verema has shown herself to be a very smart mare especially with her latest two victories in the Group 2 Prix Kergolay (3000m) at Deauville in August and the Group 2 Prix De Nieuil (2800m) in July where she defeated Joshua Tree who went on to win the Group 1 Canadian International (2400m) last weekend.
While the Prince won’t be in attendance at Flemington he will be represented by his daughter Princess Zara who was at Werribee this morning acknowledging that the Emirates Melbourne Cup is gaining such a prominence on the world racing stage that they were compelled to compete in it sooner than later.
“Over 90 years we have had a successful breeding operation and runners in Europe and in America but to come here is a major step for us”, the Princess said.
“This race is more internationalised and it is important for us to be involved.”
“As racing is going more global, we are trying to follow.”
Princess Zara was open minded as to Verema’s chances on Tuesday but noted that the mare’s running action was such that she was able to cover a lot of ground with her stride, particularly for her size.
The Emirates Melbourne Cup will be Verema’s second start over the 3200-metre trip with he first being the Group 3 Dubai Gold Cup where she finished fifth behind Godolphin’s Cavalryman.
By Danny Matthews
Team Williams/Hickmott will have a remarkable six runners in Tuesday’s $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) and Nick Williams wouldn’t be surprised if any of the six won the race.
Speaking to TVN’s Bruce Clark after the barrier draw on Saturday night, Williams said it was a “mind-boggling achievement” for the Macedon Lodge team to have a quarter of the field in the race that stops a nation.
“It’s a great credit to dad (Lloyd Williams) and all the team to get these horses to the races win, lose or draw,” Williams said.
“I find it pretty hard to split them all, they’ve all shown bits of form and are going into the race in great order which is the important thing.
“Eddie Cassar and Anthony Darmanin have done a wonderful job with the draw managing to have five of the six inside barrier 10 and the horses will get every chance.”
Though reluctant to split them, Williams gave his thoughts on each of the six runners, beginning with defending champion Green Moon who believes has improved since his 2012 victory.
Green Moon (barrier 10) TAB $26 - “I think he is a better horse and once again he’s drawn to get a good run in the race. Brett Prebble knows the horse much better than he did last year which I think is a real positive and I think he’ll run a very forward race.”
Sea Moon (7) $15 - “He’s a horse that a month ago we weren’t sure where we were going with him this preparation but the amount this horse has improved over the last four weeks is extraordinary. I think he’s in the race up to his eyeballs.”
Fawkner (8) $15 – “I’ve read with interest everyone saying the form out of the Caulfield Cup in relation to the Melbourne Cup probably won’t be any good this year, but I just look at history and history says that the form will be pretty good. I can tell you the horse if flying, he’s taken no harm out of his Caulfield Cup run and he hasn’t two miles but he hadn’t run 2400m just over two weeks ago. Whether he gets the two miles we’ll see on Tuesday but I’m pretty confident that he’ll be in the finish.”
Mourayan (19) $126 – “He’s ready for two miles. He puts in those (flat) runs every now and again. There wasn’t much difference to today’s run in the Mackinnon to his run in the Chairman’s Handicap in the autumn and he came out a couple of weeks later and won the Sydney Cup. He’ll be right on Tuesday.”
Seville (9) $21 – “I think he’s a top chance. We all saw what he did in the Turnbull Stakes last year finishing just behind Green Moon when he probably should have won the race and this year he’s won The Metropolitan, run fantastically in the Cox Plate and has had the perfect preparation, absolutely every box is ticked with this horse and I’m sure that he’ll run a mighty race on Tuesday.”
Masked Marvel (2) $26 – “He’s a horse that we’re still getting to know that has got a few tricks. If I was being kind I would say that his Cox Plate run was inconclusive. We’ve done plenty of work with him and seem to have him back on track and if he finds his English form he might just outstay them. He’s certainly the best stayer in the race.”
By Ben Asgari
4/11/2013 Sacred Falls Ready For Emirates Stakes
Classy kiwi miler Sacred Falls (NZ) (O'Reilly) is back to
his best and ready to collect a second Group One mile
crown on Australian soil as he prepares for the Aus$1m
Emirates Stakes at Flemington this Saturday.
The 2013 Gr. 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m) winner
finished a close third behind Toydini (Bernardini) at
Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day and has bounced
through that run in grand fashion as he prepares for his
"It was great to see him back to that level and Chris
(trainer Chris Waller) has said he has come on extremely
well since the run" said Bruce Sherwin who manages the
Raffles Farm establishment and racing team for owner Dato
Yap Kim San.
"He has always shown he is probably a little better
racing left handed and the roomy Flemington track should
suit him down to the ground so we are hoping for a top
A win in the Emirates Stakes would mark a notable
milestone for the four-year-old son of O'Reilly as it would
come on the same day he scored his first Group One
triumph in the 2000 Guineas at Riccarton in 2012
3/11/2013 Field and Barriers for 2013 Melbourne Cup
|Race 7 - 3:00PM Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200 METRES)
|Of $6,000,000.1st $3,600,000, 2nd $900,000, 3rd $450,000, 4th $250,000, 5th $175,000, 6th $125,000, 7th $125,000, 8th $125,000, 9th $125,000, 10th $125,000 GROUP 1
Handicap, Minimum Weight 49kg, Apprentices cannot claim.
Field Limit: 24
||GREEN MOON (IRE)
||RED CADEAUX (GB)
||SEA MOON (GB)
||BROWN PANTHER (GB)
||MASKED MARVEL (GB)
||MOUNT ATHOS (IRE)
||ROYAL EMPIRE (IRE)
||Saeed Bin Suroor
||VOLEUSE DE COEURS (IRE)
||Peter G Moody
||Alain de Royer Dupre
||TRES BLUE (IRE)
||Chad Schofield (a)
Zoustar emerges as Australia's best
Saturday, 2 November, 2013
Australia's most outstanding three-year-old Zoustar gave his new connections a thrill when he scored a brilliant win in Saturday's Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington.
One of two Group One winners on the card for premier Sydney horseman Chris Waller, Zoustar came from last with a sustained sprint up the famous Flemington straight to win by a widening two length margin.
Having now firmly established himself as Australia's best three-year-old and the country's hottest and most exciting galloper, Zoustar could be headed abroad with a tilt at next year's Royal Ascot Carnival a strong possibility.
The win was a triumph for jockey Jim Cassidy, his 100th win at racing's elite level, making him just the third champion rider in Australia to do so.
Zoustar was sent out a warm favourite after winning the Group One Golden Rose two starts back and a breathtaking Group Two victory, also in Sydney, at his most recent outing.
Connections weren't concerned when he finished off the pace in a recent Flemington jumpout, saving his best for game day to score another sizzling victory.
"He has got the crown of being the best three-year-old in the country and he defended it in the straight," a delighted Waller said after the race.
"He is the most professional horse on the track with looks and speed. He is just a superstar."
After joining Roy Higgins and George Moore in the 100 club of Group One wins, Cassidy described Zoustar as a "machine."
"He can go anything this colt," Cassidy said. "I have ridden some nice colts in 30 years, but he is a deadset star!"
The win was the third straight success for the explosive son of Northern Meteor who was was bred in Queensland and sold twice by Magic Millions before arriving in Waller's Sydney stable.
The Coolmore Stud Stakes win, his second at Group One level, sent his earnings past $1.4 million and gave his new connections a perfect result after a multi million dollar was clinched late in the week.
The deal was struck by the Iskader Racing group, who purchased Zoustar for $140,000 at last year's Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, with Widden Stud, one of the country's most historic and successful breeding operations.
Zoustar was bred in Queensland by well known breeder and high ranking administrator Kevin Dixon, under his Racetree banner, and sold to KP Thoroughbreds for $85,000 at the 2011 National Yearling Sale.
Chloe Latif and Rhys Smith purchased Zoustar as a weanling and prepared him from their Blandford property of Kulani Park before offering him as a yearling on the Gold Coast about seven months later.
He is by former star young Widden Stud based sire Northern Meteor (Encosta de Lago) and is from a winning daughter of champion Arrowfield Stud based sire Redoute's Choice.
Zoustar's dam Zouzou is a half sister to the group placed seven time winner Crestfallen as well as the dam of Melbourne based Group Two winner Dusty Star.
Zoustar follows a long line of recent Magic Millions graduates who starred on the track and headed to stud in deals that valued each colt at many millions of dollars each.
The list includes Sebring, Stratum, Pierro, Casino Prince, Testa Rossa, General Nediym, All American, Savabeel, Delago Deluxe, Snitzel, Shocking and Not a Single Doubt.
The chance to buy Australia's next multi-million dollar stallion prospect will come when the 2014 Gold Coast Yearling Sale is held from January 8.
Breeding: Northern Meteor-Zouzou (Redoute's Choice)
Race: VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes G1 (1200m)
Sold for: $85,000
Sale: 2011 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale
Buyer: KP Thoroughbreds
Sold for: $140,000
Sale: 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
Vendor: Kulani Park (As Agent)
Buyer: Iskander Racing
Owner(s): Iskander.com (Mgr: SR Iskander), Ms JL Leslie, NJ Bearman, S Hedge, SR Ellis, AP McGuinness, JR Pritchard, J Holloway, JM Mahoney, Miss CV Mathews, JL Ellis & EJ Hughes
Trainer: Chris Waller (Rosehill)
3/11/2013 Kirramosa firms to Oaks favourite after last to first win in Wakeful
Tommy Berry has time to sit up and smell the roses as Kirramosa strides past the post an easy winner of yesterday's Wakeful Stakes at
New Zealand-bred and owned filly Kirramosa (NZ)
(Alamosa) raced into VRC Oaks favouritism with a
last-to-first exhibition of staying power to win the
Group Two Wakeful Stakes at Flemington yesterday.
The John Sargent-trained three-year-old's Oaks odds were
immediately slashed from $9 to $3.50 and she has overtaken
Wakeful runner-up May's Dream (New Approach) at the top of
the market for Thursday's classic.
With Tommy Berry riding, Kirramosa sat last in the twelvehorse
Wakeful field until around the 400 metre mark. Berry
then timed his run perfectly down the outside, reeling in the
leaders late to beat the five-to-four favourite May's Dream by
1¼ lengths with Solicit (Street Cry) a further half length away
Kirramosa had finished runner-up at Randwick at her
previous appearance and had come through that race so well
that Sargent decided to start her in the Wakeful.
"She's done us proud. I was originally going straight to the
Oaks with her but she showed at the end of last week when
she was bucking and kicking that she'd be too fresh to go
straight from the mile to 2500 metres so we opted to run," he
"She'll be spot on for the Oaks now. She's quite a laid-back
filly – nothing worries her."
A daughter of Wellfield Lodge's Alamosa, Kirramosa was
bred by the Palmerston North farm and they race her in
partnership with Sargent and John and Glenda Reily.
"That's a big boost with the sales coming up and for her to
win on such a prestigious day is just fantastic," Wellfield's Bill
Tommy Berry will make way on Thursday for Nash
Rawiller, who was booked for the Oaks ride a fortnight ago
but couldn't make her 54kg Wakeful weight.
"We had a bad gate today so the idea was always to go
back and she was able to reel off quick sectionals and won
well," Berry said. "I was never worried in the run. I found it
hard to think they would go the same speed the whole way."
– AAP TURF
Race VRC Wakeful S. Gr.2 2000m
Winner Kirramosa (NZ) 2010
Owners J G Sargent, Wellfield Lodge Synd (Mgr W J
Gleeson) and Mrs G L & W J Reily
Trainer John Sargent (Randwick)
Breeding by Alamosa out of Freyja by Danske
Breeder Wellfield Holdings Ltd
David triumphed over Goliath today when Polanski claimed the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby at Flemington.
The Robbie Laing-trained son of Rakti, who cost just $4000 as a yearling, staved off the challenge of Complacent, a member of Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley operation, to snare Australia’s oldest classic in a dream result for Laing.
“It’s an absolute fairytale but there’s no great surprise with him because he showed great ability as a young horse and every time we raised the bar with him he jumped it,” Laing said.
“I suppose we were a bit optimistic buying a $4000 horse to make him into a Group horse but he could go right on and make a good weight-for-age horse.
“I hope this is the beginning of a new era with Laing Racing. We really gave the jumps a great go through the 2000s and we won every major bar the Galleywood (Hurdle) but I want a select team of Group horses now.”
Polanski, the $5.50 second favourite, was ridden a treat by Hugh Bowman, who although not brilliantly away from the inside barrier, worked through along the fence to settle just forward of midfield in what was a hot tempo set by Throw The King.
Bowman had little trouble edging away from the fence inside the 1000m and flowed into the race rounding the home turn before ambling alongside the leaders 400m from home.
Polanski was then asked for the supreme effort by Bowman and quickly put a margin on his rivals that got greater the further they went up the famed Flemington straight.
The victory continued Bowman’s affinity with the Derby, following victories aboard Lion Tamer and Sangster in 2010 and 2011.
While not quite the margin he enjoyed aboard Lion Tamer, who won by 6-1/2 lengths, Bowman said he was confident a long way from home.
“He was slow out because he was in there a while and he’s a big, strong horse and we got into a bit of trouble around the first corner,” Bowman said.
“It was a concern when the pace was steady but the pace picked up at the 1400m and I thought it was going to take a good horse to beat him.
“He’s a lot stronger than the last two Derby winners I’ve ridden and while I’d say Lion Tamer might have been a bit more brilliant than him, this horse is certainly stronger.
“He is going to be a horse of the future.”
Savvy Nature, who was heavily backed from $5 to start $4 favourite, was under pressure before straightening and was eased out of the race over the final furlong when clearly out of contention to beat home by two rivals.
By Brad Bishop
Red Tracer capped a Derby Day to remember for Chris Waller, scoring a last-stride victory over stable mate Catkins in today’s $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington.
The win completed a Group 1 double for the leading Sydney trainer, who earlier claimed the $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) with exciting colt Zoustar.
Admitting he thought Catkins may have held off her older stable mate at the 100 metre mark, Waller said he always thought Red Tracer would claim a second Group 1 triumph.
“I’ve got a belief that horses don’t win one, they normally win two or more so I was right,” Waller said.
“It was the first time she’s won over the mile and I think she’s failed twice before so to come out and do it pretty tough from the barrier was great.
“She is a very brave mare and if you have a look at her she’s not very big so she deserves all the credit she gets.”
Settling in the box seat on the back of the leader Catkins ($8), Nash Rawiller followed her into the home straight before easing off her heels with 200m left to travel.
With the Waller pair well-ahead of the rest of their rivals, Red Tracer ($3.10F) drew within a length of Catkins at the 100m mark before surging to the lead in the shadows of the post.
Fire Up Fifi ($6.50), who sat behind Red Tracer in the run, was the best of the rest finishing 2.4 lengths away from the winner in third position.
Waller said Red Tracer would be set for the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf (1500m) in Sydney in April.
He said Catkins would probably be aimed at the Group 1 Coolmore Stakes (1500m) two weeks earlier and predicted a bright future for the four-year-old.
“I think Catkins will be the next Red Tracer so her turn will come.” Waller said.
“She’s a very good mare that’s come a long way each preparation, especially this preparation and connections might have to wait but there’s a Group 1 there.”
By Ben Asgari
Aquanita's runners for Saturday
2nd November 2013
Flemington hosts one of the best race days in the world on Saturday and Aquanita has two running in Group 2 races.
Every Faith is the first of them running in the Wakeful Stakes and she has shown a progressive nature as she heads hopefully onto the Oaks.
It will be Zabeel on the dam side that helps her get that far and she draws a barrier to get a decent run here against many she took on in the Ethereal two weeks ago.
This year looks an even Oaks so you would expect the Wakeful to be of similar standard and that is how it appears.
Later in the day, the Yellowglen Stakes holds a very large field down the straight and often it becomes find the middle of the track and wind up.
Shamal Wind can certainly do that well. The only run this prep where she was a touch flat was two back when forced to carry 58kg. Back here she has the limit again and the glue on shoes come off.
Her most impressive career performance was at only her second race start and it was on Oaks day last year when thundering home over this trip.
No doubt this is a highly competitive race but punters thought enough of her to start favourite in the Oakleigh Plate against similar quality opposition.
Just a touch of luck at the right time and she will be right in the finish.
Simon Miller will be part of a strong day’s racing in Perth as the Summer carnival hots up.
From the two black type races, Miss Rose De Lago attacks the Listed Burgess Queen Stakes after being stiff in the Belgravia Stakes. Sometimes gate one can hurt and she wasn’t best placed to take advantage of it once slowly out.
Meeting the winner of that here 1kg better, she goes from the inside draw to the outside draw so will need luck to be finding a spot. Hopefully she can slot in because she was in the betting in that previous start.
Strongest race of the program is the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes for the older WFA horses and Platinum Rocker tries to replicate his Birthday Stakes win at Belmont.
She races forward in her races and should be able to find a nice spot early. There are a few rivals out of the Northerly Stakes in this but she was hardly poor, finishing ½ length back.
The pace in the race could determine how much kick she can give but she showed plenty in the Listed win first up and can do so again.
Earlier in Race 4 Mia China Doll is now third up and ready to win. The mare won third up at Ascot last time in when leading and she finds a barrier which can let her use the pace she has to race right on the speed.
Hard to be critical last time when she ran into a good one in the form of Smoko. But this time she takes on a field without anywhere near that quality. The weight is offset somewhat by the claim so she isn’t that far over the minimum.
Comfysofa runs in the last off barrier one. There were issues first up when he was last so he has trialled since and goes around over the 1400m once more.
It was clearly out of character on that occasion. From the gate he should kick up and lead or be right behind them.
There are some up and comers here but he does have a good strike rate.
Connections of Group 1-winning mare Silent Achiever and progressive stayer Mr O’Ceirin have today advised Racing Victoria Stewards that they do not intend to accept for Tuesday’s Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Silent Achiever suffered lacerations on her hind legs when eight in last month’s BMW Caulfield Cup and a subsequent issue with infection and a temperature has forced the Roger James stable abandon plans to contest the $6.2 million Cup.
Silent Achiever, currently 19th in the official order of entry for the Melbourne Cup, worked impressively at Flemington on Tuesday alongside stablemate Zonza who tackles today’s Group 1 Myer Classic.
She was inspected by Racing Victoria vets today as part of examinations being undertaken on the top 35 ranked Cup entrants and was to be re-examined tomorrow morning given the vets’ concerns about her condition.
With her expected absence from the final acceptances at 4:30pm today, Irish raider Simenon (currently 23rd in the ballot) will be assured a start in the race regardless of the result of Saturday’s Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) and Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m).
The Ciaron Maher stable advised that it was also unlikely to accept for the race with Mr O’Ceirin, who currently occupies 31st position in the Cup ballot, with the horse battling foot problems.
Damien Oliver is acutely aware of the task confronting Lion of Belfort in today’s $500,000 Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.
The Mick Price-trained talent takes on Australia’s premier sprinting three-year-olds, including glamour Sydneysider Zoustar, in what some consider the highlight of the Victoria Derby Day program.
But if Oliver has learnt one thing this Spring Racing Carnival, it is to not underestimate the son of Statue of Liberty.
The champion jockey has ridden him to three straight wins, starting in a Geelong Synthetic maiden at his first ride back from a 10-month ban for betting, and is excited about testing him against a crack field.
“I wouldn’t have been thinking he’d get to this level (after Geelong), but I certainly thought he was city class,” Oliver said.
“To get to where he has, though, not many horses can make that sort of progression from maiden to Group 1 race in one prep.
“He’s got a special place for me – he was my first winner back – and he’s a horse that just keeps answering every challenge that’s put in front of him.
“It’s certainly a tough race for him. It’s another big step up, but I think he’s earnt his place there and expect him to run a bold race again.”
After winning his maiden, over 1100m on 13 September, Lion of Belfort defeated Nite Rocker and Hucklebuck over 1200m at Moonee Valley on AFL Grand Final eve.
He then accounted for a slick field in the $250,000 Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Caulfield Guineas Day.
By Brad Bishop