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Daily News | 15th December 2017
Hopfgarten Chasing Summer BonusesFriday, 15th December 2017Trainer Robert Heathcote will chase some rich summer bonuses with Hopfgarten starting in tomorrow's Gr2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick. However, Heathcote's confidence suffered an early blow when the talented 7YO drew barrier 14 for the $250,000 feature. "There's a $100,000 bonus if he wins the Villiers and Bernborough Handicap [in Queensland] and there's a $50,000 bonus if he places in the Villiers and wins the Bernborough," Heathcote told Racing Queensland. "It's disappointing...our chances have nosedived after the barrier draw. But he drew the same barrier in last year's Villiers and ran home strongly to run fifth, only two lengths away." Hopfgarten (Mossman-Black Tourmaline, by O'Reilly) has been in good form this campaign, winning over 1200m at Doomben in October and placing in the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1600m) and Listed Recognition Stakes (1350m) at his past two outings. "He's a good miler and the big Randwick track will suit him," Heathcote said. "He's definitely capable of winning the Villiers but he'll need a lot of luck and a good ride from Christian Reith."
Wolf Can Claim VilliersFriday, 15th December 2017The Chris Waller stable are expecting a bold showing from Irish-bred gelding Mister Sea Wolf (Amadeus Wolf-Rose de France, by Diktat) in tomorrow's $250,000 Gr2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick, reports ANZ Bloodstock News. Formerly trained in Ireland by Ger Lyons, the 6YO made an encouraging start to his Australian career when finishing a close second to Testashadow in the Gr3 Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on 2 December. "His former trainer said he was a real trier and very genuine horse," Waller’s racing manager Charlie Duckworth said. "He's certainly got every chance on Saturday to take out a Group 2 on only his second Australian start." Mister Sea Wolf is the $5.50 second favourite for the Villiers behind the Godolphin-trained Interlocuter at $3.40.
Monsieur Gustave To Continue Winning WaysFriday, 15th December 2017Highly talented Queensland galloper Monsieur Gustave (Al Maher-Saigon Moonlight, by Stravinsky) will be just one win away from a huge bonus if he can land tomorrow's Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) at Doomben, reports Racing Queensland. A $400,000 bonus is on offer to the owners of any horse who claims three of the five legs of the Summer Crown series which concludes on Magic Millions day at the Gold Coast next month. The Darryl Hansen-trained Monsieur Gustave won the first leg of the five-race series in the Gr3 George Moore Stakes at Doomben earlier this month. The well-related 5YO has emerged as arguably Queensland's best sprinter after four consecutive stakes victories in the Eye Liner Stakes, Glasshouse Handicap, Keith Noud Quality and George Moore Stakes. "He's kept his condition well and hasn't missed a beat," Hansen said. "He's stepping up in distance but that's to his favour as he's better over 1400 metres than 1200 metres." He added: "He goes up in weight to 59.5 kilos and has barrier nine but he's used to carrying big weights so it's not a great concern. He'll be there at the finish." Monsieur Gustave, who has won 8 of his 17 starts, is out of a full-sister to the dam of former champion sprinter Lankan Rupee. This is also the family of champion racehorse and stallion Lonhro.
Inglis To Conduct Waratah DispersalFriday, 15th December 2017Waratah Thoroughbreds farm in the Southern Highlands will disperse its 20 strong Australian-based broodmare band and concentrate on racing and trading in stock. Waratah, owned by businessman Paul Fudge, will continue its elite breeding operations offshore, where mares are covered to Southern Hemisphere time with an eye to selling progeny in Australia. Of the 20 mares to be sold as part of the dispersal, 11 will be offered through The Chairman's Sale (Breeding Prospects) on Thursday, 12 April at Riverside Stables, while the remaining nine mares will be offered at the Inglis Australian Weanling and Broodmare Sale from 15-17 April. Highlights include:
- Group 1-winning Bernstein mare Miss World in foal to Champion sire Fastnet Rock;
- Jemsa, a three-quarter sister to Kentucky Derby winner and successful sire Street Sense in foal to Medaglia d'Oro;
- City-winning Elusive Quality mare Gamba, a half-sister to Group 1 winner Cosmic Endeavour in foal to Capitalist;
- Plus mares in foal to Sebring, More Than Ready, Hinchinbrook, Star Witness, Choisir, Starspangledbanner and Redoute's Choice.
Inglis National Bloodstock Director Jonathan D'Arcy commented: "This group of mares have been mated to the very best sires in the world over the past few years and several of them have yearlings and 2YOs about to hit the racetrack by stallions like Deep Impact, Fastnet Rock, I Am Invincible and Exceed and Excel and many are from some of the world's most active female families," he said. "This unreserved dispersal sale offers breeders from around the world access to a high-class group of mares in the prime of their breeding lives with some amazing upside to come."
Tivaci To Stay HomeFriday, 15th December 2017Waikato Stud has decided not to shuttle exciting young stallion Tivaci (High Chaparral-Breccia, by Fastnet Rock) to Europe for the 2018 breeding season. The Group 1-winner was very well received by Australasian breeders with a top quality 2017 book of more than 140 mares. "After such a successful season that has just gone so quickly, we have decided not to take up the offer of a Northern Hemisphere season at the English National Stud," Waikato Stud principal Mark Chittick said. "This decision was not taken lightly. As you know, this option was not in our original planning, but developed after the initial approach from the English National Stud." Chittick added: "However, he would have been one of four first season sires within their operation so we felt his opportunities may become limited and we were not prepared to risk Tivaci on this venture." Tivaci’s book included Group 1 winner's Daffodil, Costume and I Do. He also covered the dams of Group 1 winners Ambitious Dragon (dual Hong Kong Horse of the Year), Kawi, Shamexpress, Brambles, Thee Auld Floozie and Consensus.
Tivaci (image: Steve Hart)
Weekend Black Type Feature ScheduleFriday, 15th December 2017Headlined by Sydney's summer showpiece, the Gr2 Villiers Stakes at Royal Randwick, there are 15 stakes races across Australia and New Zealand this weekend. First run in 1892, the Villiers has proven itself to be a good horses race with many using the Group 2 event as a launching pad to Group 1 success. The honour roll includes names such as the legendary Bernborough (1945), Cox Plate winner Rising Prince (1984), Doncaster Handicap winner Soho Square (1992), George Ryder Stakes winner Referral (1998), Queen Of The Turf Stakes winner Ike's Dream (2004), Futurity Stakes winner Aqua D'Amore (2005), and this year's Gr1 Epsom Handicap winner Happy Clapper (2016). This year, the Godolphin-trained Interlocuter is the clear $3.20 TAB favourite for the race, ahead of the Chris Waller-trained import Mister Sea Wolf at $5.50, Crack Me Up at $7 and Cabeza De Vaca at $8.50. Brought to you by International Animal Health Products, below in AEDT order are Saturday's and Sunday's scheduled stakes races incorporating integrated fields, form, indicative odds and runner news:
- 1:12pm: Gr2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) Te Rapa
- 1:49pm: Gr3 Waikato Cup (2400m) Te Rapa
- 1:55pm: Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) Royal Randwick
- 2:13pm: Gr3 Eulogy Stakes (1550m) Awapuni
- 2:24pm: Gr3 J Swap Contractors Sprint (1400m) Te Rapa
- 2:37pm: Listed Phelan Ready Stakes (1110m) Doomben
- 3:12pm: Listed Calaway Gal Stakes (1110m) Doomben
- 4:20pm: Gr2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) Royal Randwick
- 4:32pm: Listed Bribie Handicap (1050m) Doomben
- 5:00pm: Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m) Royal Randwick
- 5:12pm: Listed Gold Edition Plate (1200m) Doomben
- 5:43pm: Listed RS Crawford Stakes (1000m) Ascot
- 5:47pm: Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) Doomben
- 8:10pm: Gr3 AJ Scahill Stakes (1400m) Ascot
- 2:30pm: Listed 3YO Salver (2100m) Ellerslie
Saturday 1:12pm: Gr2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) Te RapaFriday, 15th December 2017
1:49pm: Gr3 Waikato Cup (2400m) Te RapaFriday, 15th December 2017
1:55pm: Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) Royal RandwickFriday, 15th December 2017
2:13pm: Gr3 Eulogy Stakes (1550m) AwapuniFriday, 15th December 2017
2:24pm: Gr3 J Swap Contractors Sprint (1400m) Te RapaFriday, 15th December 2017
2:37pm: Listed Phelan Ready Stakes (1110m) DoombenFriday, 15th December 2017
3:12pm: Listed Calaway Gal Stakes (1110m) DoombenFriday, 15th December 2017
4:20pm: Gr2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) Royal RandwickFriday, 15th December 2017
4:32pm: Listed Bribie Handicap (1050m) DoombenFriday, 15th December 2017
5:00pm: Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1200m) Royal RandwickFriday, 15th December 2017
5:12pm: Listed Gold Edition Plate (1200m) DoombenFriday, 15th December 2017
5:43pm: Listed RS Crawford Stakes (1000m) AscotFriday, 15th December 2017
5:47pm: Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) DoombenFriday, 15th December 2017
8:10pm: Gr3 AJ Scahill Stakes (1400m) AscotFriday, 15th December 2017
Sunday 2:30pm: Listed 3YO Salver (2100m) EllerslieFriday, 15th December 2017
Cummings Notches 100 Winners for GodolphinFriday, 15th December 2017James Cummings trained his 100th winner for Godolphin when Drachenfels won the ATC Membership Open Now Sprint at Rosehill Gardens last Saturday, reports Godolphin.com. The impressive milestone was reached just five months from the day that Cummings assumed control as head trainer of Godolphin's Australian operation on 8 July. Undoubtedly the highlight was the brilliant win of Astern's half-sister Alizee in the Gr1 Flight Stakes at Randwick on 30 September. "It's nice to have reached this milestone, and I'm pleased with the way our new-look team have been working towards achieving such results," Cummings said. "Looking ahead, I have a few new things for the New Year. We've got some very nice young horses to look forward to." Cummings succeeded John O'Shea who was Godolphin trainer for three years.
Gr1 Flight Stakes winner Alizee (image: Steve Hart)
EF Troop Flying Ahead of Stakes DebutFriday, 15th December 2017Champion Queensland trainer Tony Gollan is playing down the extraordinary recent barrier trial win of exciting juvenile EF Troop. EF Troop, who became the first winner for Eureka Stud's dual Gr1-winning stallion Spirit Of Boom when saluting on debut at Doomben last month, romped home by 20 lengths in a 2YO trial at the Gold Coast on 7 December. Currently equal second favourite ($11) for next month's $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast, EF Troop will step out for the first time in six weeks in tomorrow's Listed Phelan Ready Stakes (1110m) at Doomben. "I took him to the Gold Coast for a trial so he could have a look at the place, just in case we get to the Magic Millions with him," Gollan told racenet. "To be honest I would have liked it to be a more competitive trial, and maybe one where they got out running and he could have tagged something into it." He added: "But he led and kept getting further in front and came through it well, so I'm happy enough with that." Click here to watch EF Troop's trial.
Small Perth Fields Prompt ReviewFriday, 15th December 2017Handicappers have expressed their disappointment after Saturday's Gr3 Scahill Stakes (1400m) and Listed Crawford Stakes (1000m) fields drew only nine and five acceptors respectively, reports the West Australian. "We programmed the Crawford and Scahill as back-up races for horses who ran in last Saturday week's Winterbottom Stakes over 1200m," Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) chief handicapper Ian Malpass said. "We also designed the Crawford as a lead-up to the 1000m Summer Scorcher on January 1. But responses have been disappointing." Malpass added: "Both races will come under scrutiny when handicappers meet trainers' association representatives at a conference next month. They may have to moved to other timeslots."
Tauranga Start for Zabeel HopefulFriday, 15th December 2017Multiple stakes winner Chance To Dance will further his Group One preparation at Tauranga today, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 8YO Irish-bred gelding has won two of his three New Zealand starts and is making good progress ahead of the Gr1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day. Chance To Dance was successful first-up in the Listed Karaka Classic (1600m) at Pukekohe before he was caught three wide without cover when beaten in the Gr1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hawke's Bay. He then bounced back at Ellerslie last month to beat Mime in the Gr3 OMF Stakes (2000m) and has been kept fresh since. "We wanted to give him a bit of time as an older horse and he appreciates a quieter lifestyle," said Jamie Richards, who trains Chance To Dance with Stephen Autridge. "He looks terrific and we were going to trial him at Te Aroha, but the track was a bit firm so he'll have a gallop at Tauranga with Scrutinize." Formerly owned by Nick & Lloyd Williams and bred by master Irish trainer Jim Bolger, Chance To Dance (Teofilo-Crystal Ballet, by Royal Academy) was purchased by John Galvin's Fortuna syndication company at the Inglis Chairman's Sale (Racing Prospects) for $260,000 earlier this year.
Top Te Akau Colts Ready for ReturnFriday, 15th December 2017Meanwhile, co-trainer Jamie Richards says high-profile stable-mates Embellish and Age Of Fire are back in work at Te Akau's Matamata stables, reports NZ Racing Desk. Embellish (Savabeel-Bling, by O'Reilly) and Age Of Fire (Fastnet Rock-Dragon's Tail, by Galileo) finished first and second respectively in last month's Gr1 New Zealand 2,000 Guineas, and the exciting colts are on track to resume on Boxing Day. "They're in good shape and both colts will run in the 1400m race at Ellerslie on Boxing Day with Embellish going to the Karaka Million 3YO Classic and Age Of Fire to the Levin Classic [Gr1]," Richards said.
Devise Looks Goods for Te RapaFriday, 15th December 2017Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie is bullish about the prospects of Devise in tomorrow's Gr2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa, reports NZ Racing Desk. "She looks a good chance to get some more black type on the pedigree page," Ritchie said. "As long as she races up to expectations and comes through well, the Zabeel Classic is on the cards." The well-bred Devise (Darci Brahma-Doneze Girl, by Volksraad) finished runner-up to NZ Horse of the Year Bonneval in last season's New Zealand Oaks, and connections are hoping she can finally secure an elusive and valuable Group 1 victory in the Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day. Black-type success would boost Devise's value significantly as she is a half-sister to the multiple stakes winner Zurella. Both Devise and Zurella are out of the Volksraad mare Doneze Girl, a granddaughter of Shadea, dam of champion racehorse and stallion Lonhro. This is also the family of champion sprinter Lankan Rupee, Victoria Derby winning stallion Grosvenor, and Australian Oaks winner Mahaya.