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Daily News | 20th September 2017
She Will Reign Sizzles in TrialWednesday, 20th September 2017Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign (Manhattan Rain-Courgette, by Charge Forward) showed she has lost none of her brilliance when scoring a dashing 900m barrier trial win in a slick 52.90 seconds at Rosehill yesterday morning. The Gary Portelli-trained filly is scheduled to resume in the Gr1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at the Moonee Valley night meeting on Friday, 29 September en route to her primary spring target – the $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 14 October. "They don't break 53 seconds very often," Portelli told racing.com. "Everything went like clockwork this morning. She's her usual relaxed self. She did what she had to do. She's a pretty laconic horse these days and it was good to see her hit the line good and she pulled up enormous." Portelli said She Will Reign will travel down to Melbourne next week to prepare for the Moir in what will be her first interstate assignment. "She's just got to step-up now. The two-year-old hoodoo. We'll see if we can get rid of it," he said. "She'll come down next Wednesday night and get there Thursday morning. We'll race her Friday night and get her home as fast as we can." Click here to watch She Will Reign's trial.
Golden Rose Final Field & Barrier DrawWednesday, 20th September 2017The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the Gr1 Golden Rose (1400m) for 3YOs to be run at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday, 23 September. Fourteen 3YOs will contest the $1 million feature headed by star colt Menari who has drawn awkwardly in barrier 11. Despite the wide gate, the Gerald Ryan-trained colt remains the dominant $2 TAB favourite for the race off the back of two brilliant wins in the Gr2 The Run To The Rose (1200m) and Listed Rosebud (1100m). Menari's biggest market dangers, Pariah ($6.50) and boom Victorian colt Merchant Navy ($8), had mixed fortunes drawing barriers 12 and 2 respectively. See the Golden Rose field below.
Menari Has X-Factor: ParrWednesday, 20th September 2017Jockey Josh Parr has no doubt Menari is the horse to beat in Saturday's Gr1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill despite the star colt drawing wide in barrier 11. Parr is also confident the son Snitzel will have no problem stretching out his brilliance to seven furlongs for the first time in the $1 million feature. "He is a big horse with a big stride, therefore my first feeling is I would rather be drawn wide than inside and have the danger of being locked away," Parr told racing.com. "Going into the Golden Rose last year, I thought Astern [last year's Golden Rose winner] might have been too brilliant to run a strong seven furlongs and look what he did." Parr added: "Looking back at the past couple of years, the Golden Rose winner has been the dominant colt and I think Menari has showed similar form as previous winners heading in to Saturday." Parr, who has guided Menari to dashing wins at his past two outings in the Gr2 The Run To The Rose (1200m) and Listed Rosebud (1100m), says the George Altomonte-owned colt has an intangible quality that only special horses possess. "He is definitely the best horse I have ridden," Parr said. "I've been quite lucky over the years working with Gai Waterhouse, Peter Snowden and big Sydney stables to ride some quality horses. But Menari has the x-factor, he is such an exciting horse."
Menari (image: Steve Hart)
Stable Confidence High With Merchant NavyWednesday, 20th September 2017The Ciaron Maher stable is confident that boom Victorian colt Merchant Navy poses a serious threat in Saturday’s $1 million Gr1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens, reports ANZ Bloodstock News. Unbeaten in four career outings after resuming with a narrow but decisive win in the Gr3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on 2 September, Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock-Legally Bay, by Snippets) is the $8 third favourite with TAB for the Golden Rose behind Menari ($2) and Pariah ($6.50). “He is in great order. He galloped out on the course proper at Rosehill yesterday morning. Ciaron is up in Sydney and is extremely happy with him,” said Maher’s assistant trainer, David Eustace. “He has come through his run in the McNeil in very good form and he hasn’t missed a beat since that run.” Eustace added: “Ciaron has always had an awful lot of faith in the horse and believes that he can go a long way. His first up win proved that he is high class and we certainly believe there is improvement in him, especially up in trip and when he gets older. We are really confident that he is up to this level.”
First NZ Born Frankel Set for DebutWednesday, 20th September 2017The first foal by Frankel to be born in New Zealand is set to make his debut in the Schweppes 3YO Handicap (1400m) at Warwick Farm today. By the world's highest-ever rated racehorse, Frankel, Tangmere is out of the Zabeel mare Our Echezeaux and was purchased for $1.3 million by a high profile syndicate that includes Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, BBA Ireland, Tom Magnier and the Niarchos Family at last year’s NZ Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Pencarrow Stud. Pencarrow Stud principal Sir Peter Vela has retained an interest in the blue blooded colt. The beautifully bred Our Echezeaux is a daughter of Vice Regal mare Richebourg, making her a half-sister to Romanee Conti, the dam of Melbourne and Caulfield Cup heroine Ethereal and a full-sister to Australasian Oaks winner Grand Echezeaux, the dam of 5-time Gr1-winning sire Darci Brahma and Gr3 winner Burgundy. Our Echezeaux who has already produced Group winners Dolmabache and Pure Elegance. Trained by Chris Waller, Tangmere is currently a $13 chance with TAB to make a winning debut.
Manners Key to HumidorWednesday, 20th September 2017Darren Weir has discussed last Saturday's impressive Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) winner Humidor (Teofilo-Zalika, by Zabeel) and plans for the horse moving forward. Speaking to New Zealand's Radio Trackside yesterday, Weir revealed the secret behind the horse's transformation into a genuine star since relocating to Australia from New Zealand. "He has matured a bit physically but is really starting to mature mentally," the champion Melbourne trainer said. "That has helped him on the track. I think that [the Makybe Diva Stakes] was his best win by a long way." Weir added: "He used to have a few quirks about him. I always thought the key to the horse was improving his manners so we have worked on that. I think it paid off on Saturday. He pulled up great so we are now looking forward to the Turnbull [Gr1 Turnbull Stakes over 2000m at Flemington on 7 October]." Weir said Humidor's primary spring target remains the $3.15 million Gr1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on 21 October, but that the Melbourne Cup is also on the agenda. "There is still a long way to go but we are really happy with the horse," Weir continued. "Everything has been focused on having him right for the Caulfield Cup. Obviously if he runs really well and is strong through the line and pulls up well, then the Melbourne Cup is certainly an option."
Underwood Next for Black Heart BartWednesday, 20th September 2017Meanwhile, trainer Darren Weir has confirmed top-class galloper Black Heart Bart (Blackfriars-Sister Theresa, by At Talaq) will make his next appearance in the Gr1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Sunday 1st October. The 7YO put up a typically honest performance when third behind stable-mate Humidor in last Saturday's Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington. "He will go to the Underwood," Weir told New Zealand's Radio Trackside yesterday. "He ran really bravely like he always does. He didn't have much luck and probably if he had a bit more luck he would have run second, but I don't think he would have beaten Humidor." Weir added: "He's been a great horse for the stable. He's a five-time Group One winner and I believe there is another big race in him."
Brave Smash to Run in Testa RossaWednesday, 20th September 2017Darren Weir says Japanese-bred sprinter Brave Smash is likely to use Saturday's Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield as the horse's final preparatory run for the inaugural $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 14 October. The 5YO entire will represent slot holder the Australian Turf Club in what will become the world's richest turf race. "The owners have secured a spot in the race which is terrific," Weir told New Zealand's Radio Trackside yesterday. "We just have to work out the best program for him leading up to the race. He is entered in the Testa Rossa Stakes on Saturday and will gallop tomorrow morning [Wednesday] at Casterton and we'll then decide if he runs on Saturday." Weir added: "It would then be three weeks into The Everest and his fourth run back from a spell so he should be at his peak." Owned by a syndicate headed by Australian Bloodstock and Mt Hallowell Stud, Brave Smash (Tosen Phantom-Tosen Smash, by Tokai Teio) claimed his maiden Australian stakes victory when landing the Listed Bendigo Bank Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on 9 September.
Brown Booked for ChocanteWednesday, 20th September 2017Veteran jockey Corey Brown enjoyed one of his finest moments in the saddle when he rode Shocking to victory in the 2009 Melbourne Cup, reports NZ Racing Desk. Brown will now have an opportunity to taste Group One glory aboard a son of the now Rich Hill Stud-based stallion when he teams up with Chocante in the Gr1 Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on 30 September. A winner of the Gr2 Brisbane Cup in the winter, Chocante is coming off a 7th placing (beaten 3.7 lengths) behind Libran in last weekend's Gr3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) in Sydney. "From the 800m to the 200m he ran 34.2 [seconds] and in his first run over ground that was probably asking a bit too much," trainer Stephen Marsh said. "He's come through the race really well though and he was on the treadmill on Monday morning and this morning he had a nice canter." Marsh added: "It's onwards and upwards with only 54.5kg to the Metropolitan now."
Grandview Mares Receive Black-Type UpdatesWednesday, 20th September 2017Queensland's Grandview Stud had a weekend to remember when two of its resident broodmares received significant pedigree updates last Saturday. Quite Canny (Canny Lad-Naturalist, by Palace Music) received a boost to her page when her exciting half-brother Royal Symphony (Domesday) scored a stunning win in the Listed Pin & Win Plate (1400m) at Flemington. The Tony McEvoy-trained colt extended his unbeaten record to 4 wins from as many starts and confirmed himself as the horse to beat in the $1 million Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on 14 October. Quite Canny has been served by Under The Louvre. The other mare to receive a black-type update was Brookton Flash after her daughter Nieta (Nicconi) finished a creditable third behind Group One winner Redzel in the Gr2 Shorts (1100m) at Randwick. Brookton Flash (Spartacus) also resides at Grandview and has been served by speed sire Whittington.
Zarak Given Green Light for ArcWednesday, 20th September 2017Zarak, the first foal to race of champion French mare Zarkava, has been confirmed as a starter in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe after pleasing connections in a track gallop yesterday morning, reports Sky Sports. A last-start winner of the Gr1 Prix de Saint-Cloud, Zarak (Dubawi) worked over a mile-and-a-half at Chantilly in preparation for Europe’s most prestigious race on Sunday week (1 October). "He had a gallop in Chantilly and it went very well," trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre said. “He will have another gallop next week and everything is OK."
Arrogate Pleases BaffertWednesday, 20th September 2017Champion US racehorse Arrogate has stepped out for his first official workout since his surprise loss in the Gr1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar on 19 August, reports Blood Horse. Trainer Bob Baffert said the world's best racehorse showed him positive signs that he is ready for his upcoming assignment in the Gr1 Breeders' Cup Classic at Del Mar on 4 November. The Eclipse Award winning 4YO worked over a half-mile in :49 3/5 before striding out to 1000 metres in 1:02 3/5 at Santa Anita Park on Monday. "He went really nice. I just wanted a nice, easy half-mile," Baffert said. "Bejarano [exercise rider Rafael Bejarano] worked him for me, he knows the horse really well. He said he felt great under him, and went nice and easy." Baffert added: "He didn't work really fast, but I just don't want to do that to him. I'm really happy where he's at right now." The Juddmonte Farms-owned Arrogate (Unbridled's Song-Bubbler, by Distorted Humor) has hitherto won 7 of his 10 starts for career earnings of US$17,298,514 making him the richest North American thoroughbred of all time.
Keeneland Sept Day-7: ReviewWednesday, 20th September 2017At the conclusion of Monday’s seventh session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, gross sales reached US$273,298,000 surpassing the total sales gross of US$272,890,500 recorded during last year’s entire 13-day auction. Monday was the first session of the two-day Book 4 with Keeneland selling 276 horses for US$18,385,000 at an average of US$66,612 and a median of US$50,000. Across the first seven days of trade, Keeneland has sold 1,455 horses for US$273,298,000, at an average of US$187,834 and a median of US$120,000. “Today’s session was strong, and there was a lot of activity in the barn area with buyers inspecting horses for tomorrow’s session,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said. The day’s top seller was a colt from the first crop of dual Gr2 winner Cairo Prince (Pioneerof the Nile) who was knocked down to Mike Ryan as agent for US$350,000. Consigned by Lane’s End as agent, the colt is out of the winning South African mare Precious Princess (Horse Chestnut).