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Daily News | 25th September 2018
Irish Everest Contender Arrives in AustraliaTuesday, 25th September 2018Irish sprinter US Navy Flag arrived at the Canterbury Quarantine Centre on Sunday ahead of the $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 13 October. The US-bred US Navy Flag (War Front-Misty For Me, by Galileo) was confirmed as Coolmore's representative in The Everest after posting a comfortable front-running victory in the Gr1 July Cup (1200m) at Newmarket last month. Trainer Aidan O'Brien's travelling foreman Andrew Murphy said US Navy Flag took the 28-hour flight from Ireland to Australia in his stride. "US Navy Flag has done a lot of travelling before he started his journey here and he travelled great," Murphy told racingnsw.com.au. "He's a very laid back, docile horse with a great attitude and that's why he travels so well." US Navy Flag has wasted no time acclimatising to Australian conditions stepping out with travelling companion Somerset Maugham for some light work out on the Canterbury polytrack yesterday. "We'll give Aidan a daily report and he decides all these things, even though he is in Ireland," Murphy said. "Each day we will do a little bit more with them. It's a long way to come so you're not going to bring a horse you don't think is going to run well."
Caulfield Cup Penalty for Night's WatchTuesday, 25th September 2018Progressive stayer Night's Watch has received a 1kg penalty for next month's Caulfield Cup, reports racing.com. The Darren Weir-trained Night's Watch earned ballot exempt status for the Caulfield Cup after his win in the Gr3 Foundation Cup (2000m) at Caulfield last weekend. The penalty means the Kiwi-bred will carry 52kg in the $5 million Gr1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on 20 October. "Night's Watch was a narrow but impressive winner of the Naturalism Stakes in a very strong renewal of the race and the merit of his victory warranted a penalty of one kilogram," explained Racing Victoria's general manager of racing, Greg Carpenter.
Nothin' Leica Derby ColtTuesday, 25th September 2018Gai Waterhouse has paid a big compliment to last Saturday's impressive Gr3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) winner Thinkin' Big saying he reminds her of former top-class 3YO Nothin' Leica Dane. Nothin' Leica Dane, who was a member of the vintage 3YO crop of 1995 that also included champions Octagonal and Saintly, and the brilliantly enigmatic Filante, won 6 of his 28 starts, including the Gr1 Spring Champion Stakes and Gr1 Victoria Derby. He also finished second to Doriemus in the 1995 Melbourne Cup, the last southern hemisphere-bred 3YO to be placed in the race. Waterhouse has similar classic ambitions for Thinkin' Big and hopes to emulate Nothin' Leica Dane by running the former in the $2 million Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on 3 November. "I can't tell you how much he reminds me of Nothin' Leica Dane," Waterhouse told racing.com. "We planned the derby right from day one. I trained his full brother Stampede and he's a good horse and has already got to black type in his pedigree now but this horse is a serious contender." Waterhouse added: "He's got a great cruising speed and this amazing ability to quicken."
Thinkin' Big (image: Steve Hart)
Houtzen Ready for Gr1Tuesday, 25th September 2018Trainer Toby Edmonds says flying mare Houtzen is in career-best shape heading into Friday night's Gr1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley. Houtzen showed she had returned in top order when running a slashing second to Nature Strip in track record time in the Gr2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on 8 September. "If she's ever going to figure in a Group 1 this could be the one and we couldn't have her any better," Edmonds told racing.com. "After her last race she bounced straight into the feed bin and she was quite bright the next morning and has been ever since." Edmonds added: "She just came along for a maintenance gallop at the Valley this morning but she ran up in really quick time and she looked good."
Houtzen (image: Magic Millions)
QLD Announces New 3YO Stayers SeriesTuesday, 25th September 2018Racing Queensland has announced a new series designed to give emerging 3YO stayers the chance to test their 2019 Queensland Derby and Oaks credentials during the Queensland Summer Racing Carnival, reports Racing Queensland Web News. The Eagle Way 3YO Stayers Series, named after the 2016 Queensland Derby winner, will culminate in a $100,000 Final (plus QTIS bonuses) at Doomben on 22 December 2018. The series will comprise three heats beginning at the Sunshine Coast on 10 November 2018, with horses to qualify for the final on a points-based system. Racing Queensland Thoroughbred Racing Manager Ross Gove said the series was developed following consultation with the Queensland branch of the Australian Trainer's Association (ATA) after the conclusion of the 2017/18 summer carnival. "This series aims to give trainers the opportunity to qualify for Queensland's winter three-year-old classics well in advance and then plan their winter preparations accordingly," he said. "The advent of the series not only provides a great new opportunity for trainers with budding stayers but is an extension of RQ's commitment to a continuation of the development of its Summer Racing Carnival."
Savvy Coup Primed for LivamolTuesday, 25th September 2018New Zealand Oaks winner Savvy Coup looks primed for Saturday week's Gr1 Livamol Classic (2040m) after her fast-finishing effort to claim second in last weekend's Gr1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) at Hastings, reports NZ Racing Desk. "I've made no secret of the fact that I think she will be a big chance in the Livamol," co-trainer Michael Pitman said. "Had we got clear on Saturday I don't think it would have made any difference, the winner won too good. We might not have won the race, but I'm just as happy." Pitman said Savvy Coup is continuing to improve and depending on how she performs on the last day of the Hawke's Bay spring carnival, she could continue her spring campaign in Australia. "I'm really looking forward to the next two to three runs with her because I hope to take her over to Melbourne and we'll see what happens next start," he said.
Australian Sires Premiership UpdateTuesday, 25th September 2018After nearly eight weeks of the 2018-19 racing season, Yarraman Park's high-profile sire I Am Invincible is still on top of the national sires leader board with progeny earnings in excess of $2 million. In second spot is Arrowfield Stud's incumbent record-breaking two-time Champion Australian Sire Snitzel, while Darley's deceased shuttler & Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry rounds out the top three. According to arion.co.nz, the Top 10 ranked stallions in Australia (as of 24 September) are:
- I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit) - $2,029,115
- Snitzel (Redoute's Choice) - $1,741,955
- Street Cry (Machiavellian) - $1,538,749
- High Chaparral (Sadler's Wells) - $1,518,881
- Fastnet Rock (Danehill) - $1,367,875
- Redoute's Choice (Danehill) - $1,276,405
- Sebring (More Than Ready) - $1,267,015
- Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock) - $1,156,020
- Lonhro (Octagonal) - $1,093,907
- Exceed and Excel (Danehill) - $1,081,400
Breeders' Cup Possible for LionTuesday, 25th September 2018Trainer John Gosden says November's Breeders' Cup remains a possibility for star colt Roaring Lion. The Qatar Racing-owned Roaring Lion (Kitten's Joy-Vionnet, by Street Sense) claimed the third top-flight success of his career when landing the Gr1 Irish Champion Stakes (10 furlongs) at Leopardstown ten days ago. "I'm very happy with Roaring Lion and we are pointing towards the Champion Stakes [Gr1] at Ascot on October 20. He has got some constitution as he has been on the go since February and I've been impressed with how he has taken his racing," Gosden told Sky Sports. "The Breeders' Cup comes pretty sharply after Champions Day. If he went to the Breeders' Cup, it could be the mile and a half on turf (Breeders' Cup Turf) or we could have a look at the Classic. He is a mile-and-a-quarter horse so you would consider the Classic as well as the turf."
Enable On Track For Arc DefenceTuesday, 25th September 2018Meanwhile, trainer John Gosden says superstar mare Enable (Nathaniel-Concentric, by Sadlers Wells) continues to make smooth progress ahead of a defence of her title in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Sunday week. Last year's European Horse of the Year had her first start since winning last year's Arc when resuming with a dominant win in the Gr3 September Stakes at Kempton two weeks ago. "She has been good since the race at Kempton and we are happy with her. She has been cantering away. We are just building her up to the Arc and we are happy with her progress and she seems well in herself," Gosden told Sky Sports. "Hopefully they will get a bit of rain in Paris as I thought the ground was a bit fast there last week, which is not entirely her scene as she appreciates getting her toe in. She will do a couple of pieces of work between now and then."
Justify Fee AnnouncedTuesday, 25th September 2018Coolmore has announced that Triple Crown winner Justify will stand for a fee of US$150,000 during his first season at Ashford Stud in Kentucky. Raced by a syndicate that included the China Horse Club, Justify (Scat Daddy-Stage Magic, by Ghostzapper) became the 13th horse in history to claim North American racing's coveted Triple Crown and retired unbeaten with 6 wins (including the Gr1 Kentucky Derby, Gr1 Preakness Stakes & Gr1 Santa Anita Derby) from 6 starts for US$3,798,000 in earnings.
Chautauqua to Trial Friday NightTuesday, 25th September 2018Chautauqua will take the next step in attempting to resurrect his racing career when he trials at the Moir Stakes meeting at Moonee Valley this Friday night, reports racing.com. The open trial will be run over 1000 metres with a maximum of seven runners. It will take place between races four and five at approximately 8:20pm. If Chautauqua jumps satisfactorily and passes the trial, it is likely Racing Victoria stewards will permit him to be nominated for races in Victoria. "It’s very exciting with the people’s champion, the grey flash being back at The Valley on Friday night albeit for a trial," said Alistair Dwyer, The Valley’s media and communications manager. "If he jumps, I think the crowd will go absolutely nuts and so we’re really looking forward to it and hopefully it really adds to the night of racing."
Chautauqua (image: Mark Gatt)
Chautauqua Firms for Final Everest SlotTuesday, 25th September 2018Neil Werrett, who along with Max Whitby holds the final slot for next month's Everest, says Chautauqua could be chosen as their representative for the world's richest turf race if he passes his trial test at Moonee Valley on Friday night. "He's definitely in the mix," Werrett told Melbourne's Radio Sport National. "The Hawkes team is a well-oiled machine and very good with their horses and we've got a lot of faith in the Hawkes team so if they say he's ready to roll, he'll definitely come into calculations. He's definitely one that can win the race." Interestingly, Werrett indicated that smart 3YO Graff, who was third in last weekend's Gr1 Golden Rose, was also a horse the slot-holders were considering. "I thought Graff was very unlucky after looking at the replays on Saturday," he said. "If he had won on Saturday and the owners wanted to run in the Everest, we would have been keen to have him on board." He added: "Whether it would interrupt his campaign going to the Coolmore, that's up for Kris and the owners to decide."
Redzel To Relaunch in PremiereTuesday, 25th September 2018Star sprinter Redzel is ready to relaunch his Everest campaign in the Gr2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday. The defending Everest champion has fully recovered from muscle soreness which precipitated his withdrawal from the Gr2 Shorts at Randwick nine days ago. "He is fine now, he is good as gold. He is good to go and he will be running very well, they will know he is there," co-trainer Peter Snowden told racenet. "It doesn’t matter in some ways but I want to see him run well and I know he will run well. He is in good order." Snowden added: "I was super happy with his gallop last Thursday morning and he will have another gallop on Tuesday.
Redzel (image: Steve Hart)