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Arrogate Pleases Baffert
Champion 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.
All Options On Table for Volkstok'n'barrell
Domestic feature race challenges await multiple Group One winning Kiwi galloper Volkstok'n'barrell, although a return to Australia hasn't been ruled out, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 6YO Tavistock gelding will run in Saturday's Gr1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) at Hastings, but is not expected to peak until the final leg of the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown – the Gr1 Livamol Classic (2000m) on 7 October. "We certainly want to go back for the Livamol," said Donna Logan, who trains at Ruakaka with Chris Gibbs. "We think that is the best race for him." However, plans beyond the Livamol are yet to be confirmed. "At this point in time we will probably stay in New Zealand, but you never say never. Have horse can travel," Logan said. Volkstok'n'barrell, who galloped between races at Ruakaka on Saturday, carried 64.5kg when resuming earlier this month following a seven month break to finish fifth on his home turf over 1200m. "That was great, just what we wanted," Logan said. "I had been away and Chris had been happy with the horse's work. He's come through the race well and he's looking good."
$2.7M Tapit Filly Stars on Day-1 of Keeneland Sept
Keeneland's reformatted September Yearling Sale produced eight million-dollar-plus horses and posted huge increases in trade during Monday's opening select Book 1 session. Topping the opening day's trade was a filly by champion US sire Tapit which was knocked down to Coolmore's M.V. Magnier for US$2.7 million. The price makes her the most expensive yearling sold at public auction in North America this year and the highest-priced filly sold at the September Sale since 2008. Consigned by VanMeter-Gentry Sales as agent, the filly (Hip 69) is out of the Gr2-placed mare Pretty 'n Smart and is a full sister to this year's Gr1 Santa Anita Gold Cup winner Cupid, and a half-sister to Gr3 winners Heart Ashley and Ashley's Kitty. "She's a very well-bred filly and she's very good-looking," Magnier said. "Let's hope she's anywhere as good as Cupid is." Keeneland sold 95 yearlings for a gross of US$54,175,000, up 56.89 percent from the $34,531,000 recorded for last year's three-day Book 1 session. The session average of US$570,263 was up an incredible 78.36 percent, while the median price of US$500,000 was 86.92 percent higher than the US$267,500 posted in 2016. "The first day, Book 1 session far exceeded our expectations," Keeneland Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said. "We had a couple of goals for this new format. First and foremost, we wanted to create momentum from the very beginning that we hoped to take through the entire sale…Mission accomplished," before adding: "The fireworks are not over, I promise you that."
Keeneland Sept Day-1: $1.9M for War Front Colt
A colt by War Front out of two-time Gr1-winning mare Iotapa (Afleet Alex) has become the first horse to fetch seven figures on day one of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in Kentucky when selling for US$1.9 million. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, the colt (Hip 27) was purchased by Donato Lanni during the select Book 1 session. "He's a lovely colt, I can't say who I bought him for," Lanni told Blood Horse. “He just looked like a good horse. He looks like a really athletic horse, a strong horse. We wanted him and we got him." The colt is the first foal out of Iotapa, winner of the Gr1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes & Gr1 Vanity Stakes.
Champion Tepin To Be Sold
Two-time champion US mare Tepin (Bernstein-Life Happened, by Stravinsky) will be offered for sale at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale. She will be consigned by Elite Sales in foal to Hill 'n' Dale stallion Curlin. "My interest and my love of the sport lies in racing, and my family and I have decided to sell her because we wanted her breeding career to be nurtured by someone who loves that aspect of the business as much as I love the racing aspect," said owner Robert Masterson. Fasig-Tipton President & CEO Boyd Browning commented: "Tepin truly has unlimited potential as a broodmare. She is in foal on one cover to Curlin, sire of five Grade 1 winners in 2016 alone. It's a once-a-decade type offering that is truly elite." Tepin retired in April with 13 wins from 23 starts and over US$4.4 million in prize money. Bred in Kentucky, she won 6 races at Gr1 level, namely the Just a Game Stakes, First Lady Stakes, Breeders' Cup Mile, Jenny Wiley Stakes, Woodbine Mile, and the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, becoming the first North American-based horse to win the race.
Promising Debut For American Pharoah Full Brother
A full-brother to US Triple Crown winner and Coolmore Australia shuttle stallion American Pharoah has finished a promising second to stablemate Zatter in his Del Mar debut, reports bloodhorse.com. Named St. Patrick's Day, the Pioneerof the Nile colt not only appears to have an almost forensic fascination with his surroundings, but also shares many of the same mannerisms as his legendary brother and full-sister America Cleopatra. "He has Pharoah's and his sister's kind, sweet disposition," notes Baffert. "But Pioneerof the Nile was that way, too." In terms of physique and temperament, however, St Patrick's Day appears quite different, reports Baffert. "He's just made differently. Pharoah was a leaner-type horse. And Pharoah was a run-off. He wanted to bolt and run. He was a handful. This guy is a pretty smart colt. He does everything right." Baffert was equally euphoric post-race, saying "He's the kind of horse - he'll get so much more out of (racing). I don't see him getting beat next time out." Dubbed The Horse of a Lifetime as the first US Triple Crown winner in 37 years, American Pharoah will stand the 2017 season at Coolmore at a fee of $66,000.
First Foal for Outreach
The first foal of beautifully related young stallion Outreach (Exceed And Excel-Bahia, by Snippets) has been born at Widden Stud. The foal is a lovely filly out of the well related mare Queen of the Nile. By Wanted, Queen Of the Nile is out of the At Talaq mare Cleopatra's Girl making her a half-sister to Caulfield Cup hero and six–time Gr1 winner Mummify. "She is a lovely strong filly, well-marked with exceptional muscle, very much in the mould of Exceed and Excel and just what we had hoped for with Outreach," said David Merrick, Stud Manager at Widden Stud. Outreach, a full-brother to 2013 Gr1 Golden Slipper winner Overreach and a three-quarter brother-in-blood to Gr1 Blue Diamond winner and leading Victorian sire Reward for Effort, is bred to be a top stallion. Bred by George Altomonte's thoroughbred nursery par excellence Corumbene Stud, he was retired after fracturing his pelvis when second at his only race start behind subsequent Golden Slipper winner Vancouver in the 2015 Gr3 Canonbury Stakes at Rosehill. Outreach, who covered 136 mares last spring, will once again stand at $7,700 for the upcoming breeding season.
Unbeaten Siege Of Quebec Ready for Rosebud
Meanwhile, co-trainer Adrian Bott expects blue blooded colt Siege Of Quebec to acquit himself well when he makes his stakes debut in tomorrow's Listed Rosebud (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens. The $1.2 million Easter yearling, who is raced by a syndicate comprising trainer Gai Waterhouse, Tom Magnier, Nordic Racing & Breeding, and Julian Blaxland, is unbeaten in his two starts to date and will use the Rosebud as a stepping stone to the Gr1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on 10 September. "He has a little bit of time between races now to freshen up and get that speed back into his legs for the 1100m. The horse does have a very good turn of foot and we'll see it again on Saturday," Bott told racingnsw.com.au. "He is well weighted against those horses that have already proven themselves at the top level. He is a horse on the up and has the advantage of race fitness so it looks an ideal starting point for his Golden Rose campaign." Bott added: "We always knew we had a nice horse on our hands and wanted to look after him. We put him away in favour of producing him as a late two-year-old and roll into the spring as an early three-year-old." By Fastnet Rock out of Rose Of Cimmaron (Bite The Bullet), Siege Of Quebec is a full-brother to the smart Gr3 MRC Manfred Stakes winner Bull Point. Rose Of Cimmaron, herself, is a full-sister to Gr3 winner and prolific producer Mica's Pride, dam of multiple Gr1 winning stallion Criterion.
Criterion is closely related to Siege of Quebec (pic: Steve Hart)
El Deal Wins Gr1 Alfred G Vanderbilt Handicap
At Saratoga in the US, 5YO entire El Deal (Munnings-Spirit of Wailea, by Out of Place) claimed his maiden top-flight success when romping to an emphatic 8 length win in the US$350,000 Gr1 Alfred G Vanderbilt Handicap (6 furlongs) for 3YO+, defeating Awesome Banner (Awesome of Course) & Limousine Liberal (Successful Appeal). El Deal, who was purchased privately for US$80,000 earlier this year, gave his owners a huge return on their investment when improving his record to 9 wins and 3 placings from 16 starts for US$505,025 in earnings. Trainer Jorge Navarro said El Deal will now be aimed at the major sprints at the end of the year, including the Breeders' Cup. "You know, I wanted to see what kind of horse I had," Navarro told Blood Horse. "It's the middle of the year, I needed to find out what kind of horse I had - either Breeders' Cup competition or just $50,000 stakes caliber. I guess he proved it today."
Jump-Out for Guineas Winner
Australian Guineas winner Hey Doc will continue his spring preparation with an 800m jump-out at Flemington this morning, reports AAP. The rising 4YO hasn't raced since finishing sixth behind Vega Magic in the Gr1 Goodwood in Adelaide on 20 May. Trainer Tony McEvoy said the high class gelding was likely to make his seasonal reappearance in the Gr3 Aurie's Star (1200m) at Flemington on 12 August. "He's not going to be tested in the jump-out at all but I just wanted to familiarise him again with the Flemington straight because I'm considering running him in the Aurie's Star," McEvoy said. "The Aurie's Star into the Memsie [Gr1] into the Makybe Diva Stakes [Gr1] is the early little program provided the horse tells me he's going well enough."
Hey Doc (image: Mark Gatt)
Baffert Looking Ahead With Arrogate
Bob Baffert has already put Arrogate's shock loss in Saturday's San Diego Handicap behind him and is looking forward to the champion galloper's next assignment in the Gr1 TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar on 19 August. "He's fine. We checked him over and he looks good. He got a lot of dirt in his eyes and mouth," the Hall of Fame trainer told Blood Horse. "We'll just go on with him. As long as he's working well and nothing comes up, we're going in the Pacific Classic. I wanted to give him a race here, thinking it would be a great workout for him, but the Pacific Classic is the main goal." Baffert added: "Arrogate is OK and that's all that matters. He'll be ready next time."
Wanted To Stand In Queensland
Group One winning sprinter and son of champion sire Fastnet Rock, Wanted will commence stud duties at Clear Mountain Fairview in 2017 after being sold and relocated from Victoria. A Group One winner and three-time Group One placed as a 3YO, Wanted has already sired seven stakes performers in his short career at stud, including Dead Or Alive, Rough Justice, Sort After, Wazzenme, Shaf, War Point, and Sun Seeker. Wanted's top-flight victory in one of Australia's premier sprints, the Newmarket Handicap (1200m), saw him lead from barrier to post to defeat high-class rivals including Starspangledbanner, Eagle Falls, Headway, All Silent, Nicconi and El Segundo. "We believe Wanted is one of the best credentialed stallions to hit the state of Queensland," said Clear Mountain Fairview principal, Bob Frappell. "In addition to being a son of Fastnet Rock, who has emerged as one of the most brilliant stallion sons of Danehill, Wanted is out of Fragmentation, a stakes winning daughter of Snippets." Frappell continued: "There are ample reasons for breeders to send their broodmares to Wanted this season - and let's not forget about the lucrative opportunities with his future QTIS eligible foals." Wanted will stand at a fee of $5,500 with payment on a live foal available for breeders. He joins associate sires Hvasstan ($2,970), Tycoon Ruler ($5,500), Worthy Cause ($5,500) and Zaha ($2,200).
Wanted (image: courtesy Clear Mountain Fairview)
Blue Blooded De Gaulle to Stand at Brooker Park
The beautifully bred De Gaulle will stand at John Pratt's Brooker Park in Darnum, part of Gippsland's lush dairy region, reports Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria. By world-class Australian sire Exceed And Excel, De Gaulle is out of the dual Gr1-winning mare Response (Charge Forward), winner of the MRC Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and SAJC Sporting Bet Classic (formerly Robert Sangster Stakes). De Gaulle is a half-brother to the stakes placed 3YO filly Alter Call (Fastnet Rock) who sold for $1.05 million, as well as a Snitzel filly who sold earlier this year for $1.7 million at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. Highly rated as a juvenile and spoken of as the next potential superstar, the Snowden Racing-trained De Gaulle was touted a genuine Golden Slipper contender. A brilliant winner of two of his three trials, which included a defeat of subsequent Gr1 Blue Diamond runner-up Pariah, a tendon injury unfortunately cut short De Gaulle's career without him ever making it to the racetrack. As his owners, including Newgate Farm, China Horse Club, SF Bloodstock and Winstar Farm, had such a high opinion of De Gaulle, they didn't geld him and wanted to give him a chance at stud. "Being by Exceed and Excel he was supposed to run early, but he was just too fast and too young for his own good. I'm sure if he had raced as a late two-year-old or even at three he would have had the chance to win black type races," Pratt said. Brooker Park offers a walk on service to visiting mares for their two stallions, Danesis (Danehill) and now De Gaulle. Both will stand for a service fee of $2,200 inc. GST.
Tycoon Tara to Visit Zoustar
Recently retired Group One winner Tycoon Tara will be served by exciting young stallion Zoustar this coming breeding season at Victoria's Woodside Park.The Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Tycoon Tara (Written Tycoon-Mosstara, by Encores) ended her career on a high when scoring a dashing front-running victory in the $500,000 Gr1 Tattersall's Tiara (1350m) at Doomben on 24 June. The 6YO daughter of Woodside's flagship sire Written Tycoon won 10 of her 32 starts for over $1.17 million in earnings. Apart from her Tatts Tiara success, Tycoon Tara recorded feature race wins in the Gr2 Golden Pendant, Gr2 Missile Stakes, Gr3 Show County Quality, Gr3 MRC Mannerism Stakes, and Gr3 Bellmaine Stakes. "We have decided that Zoustar is the stallion for Tycoon Tara," co-owner Tony Krushka said. "There was certainly a bit of interest in her from other studs, but Zoustar was always on the radar. He was in the top two or three stallions, and we wanted to support Victorian breeding with the VOBIS Gold scheme." Zoustar, who stands alternate seasons at Widden Stud, retired in 2014 as the best son of ill-fated sire Northern Meteor, boasting an outstanding record of 6 wins from 9 starts for $1.4 million in earnings. His biggest wins came in the Gr1 Golden Rose Stakes and stallion-making Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes. He is standing the 2017 season at a fee of $44,000 (inc. GST).
Tycoon Tara has a date with Zoustar (pic: Steve Hart)
Classic Fillies Off to Stud
Classic winning mares Rising Romance and Savaria have been purchased by Australian interests and will soon embark on new careers as broodmares, reports NZ Racing Desk. Rising Romance (Ekraar-Post Romance, by Postponed), a winner of the Australian Oaks and also Gr1-placed in the New Zealand Derby, New Zealand Stakes, Caulfield Cup, Mackinnon Stakes, Makybe Diva Stakes and Memsie Stakes, is bound for the Hunter Valley. "She's been sold to Arrowfield Stud so she's gone to a great home and no doubt she will be visiting a top stallion," former part-owner John Carter said. Meanwhile, Savaria (Savabeel-Amathea, by O'Reilly), winner of the Gr1 New Zealand Oaks and Gr3 Wellington Cup, has also been sold. A winner of 5 of her 26 starts, trainer Roydon Bergerson said the mare's record could have been much better, but for persistently striking rain-affected ground. "It was a standing joke with other trainers to put Savaria in the race if they wanted a wet track," he said.
Lord Of The Sky Returns to Track
Talented Melbourne sprinter Lord Of The Sky (Danerich-Princess Abassi, by Abassi) is back in work with trainer Robbie Laing after his owners failed to find him a home at stud, reports the Herald Sun. The 6YO was bound for the Mitchell's Yarraman Park Stud at Scone, but a deal fell through at the last minute. "It was nearly over the line. Harry [Mitchell] loved the horse, but in the finish he didn't think his dam line was deep enough,'' Laing said. "There were a couple of small studs happy to stand him for the owners, but they decided they wanted to race him again." Laing added: "There's horses coming out here from England with Group 2 form going to stud and he's got Group 1 Australian sprint form. I don't get it." Laing said Lord Of The Sky would trial at Cranbourne next week ahead of his early spring targets, the Sir John Monash Stakes on 15 July and the Bletchingly Stakes on 29 July at Caulfield. "He's done a lot of work. His tendon has been scanned and it's strong," Laing said.
Barney Roy Wins Gr1 St James's Palace Stakes
On day one of the famous Royal Ascot carnival in the UK, Coolmore's triple Gr1-winning stallion Excelebration (Exceed and Excel-Sun Shower, by Indian Ridge) celebrated an elite race success when Godolphin’s top-class 3YO colt Barney Roy (Excelebration-Alina, by Galileo) unleashed a powerful and well-timed run to score by 1 length for trainer Richard Hannon in the Gr1 St James’s Palace Stakes (1600m) for 3YOs, defeating Lancaster Bomber (War Front) & fellow Godolphin 3YO Thunder Snow (Helmet). Barney Roy improved his record to 3 wins (including the Gr3 Greenham Stakes) and 1 placing (the Gr1 English 2,000 Guineas) from 4 starts for £372,636 earnings. Trainer Richard Hannon always maintained that Barney Roy had genuine excuses when running Churchill to a length in the English 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket at his previous outing, and he was vindicated with this excellent performance that saw him turn the tables in emphatic fashion on his last start conqueror. "I was confident he'd run his race, not confident he'd win," Hannon told Racing Post. "I just wanted to give him the chance to prove that as I don't think he got that chance in the Guineas. There isn't another Guineas to go at, but that is a good pot." Odds-on favourite Churchill let down his supporters when disappointing in fourth. Aidan O’Brien commented: "He ran well but his form has changed a little bit with Lancaster Bomber. He just didn't pick up for some reason."
Rogers Honoured at Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards
Jeremy Rogers was honoured with the Thoroughbred Excellence Award at the 2017 Australian Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards announced in front of a record crowd at Eagle Farm racecourse on Saturday night. As the racing manager at one of Australia's largest racing operations, Darren Weir Racing, Jeremy was nominated for his commitment to the racing industry around Australia, and particularly for his work in the programming of over 2,500 runners nationwide for Weir. Jeremy's reaction to receiving both the Thoroughbred Excellence Award and the Dedication to Racing Award typified his approach to his work. "I'm truly blown away. I didn't expect to win an award but to walk away with the top award is a true honour," Rogers said. "All I ever wanted to do was to be involved in racing and I soon realised that the administrative side of a stud or stable was where I had something to offer." He added: "There are so many good people out there who should be recognised, I'm just thrilled to be one of them and to be acknowledged by organisations such as Godolphin, Racing Australia and Thoroughbred Breeders Australia is humbling."
Vela Derby Hope Impresses in Gallop
The New Zealand-owned Eminent is ticking all the boxes ahead of his classic test in the Gr1 English Derby on Saturday week (3 June), reports NZ Racing Desk. The Sir Peter Vela-owned son of Frankel enjoyed a spin around Epsom on Tuesday morning during the Breakfast with the Stars trackwork session and the colt thrilled his trainer Martyn Meade. "He hasn't been away from Newmarket his entire life so it's been a new experience," he said. "He came here and stayed overnight and we wanted to see how he handled everything. He did exactly what we wanted him to do." Rider Jim Crowley was also more than satisfied with Eminent, who won the Gr3 Craven Stakes two runs back before finishing sixth behind Churchill in the Gr1 English 2000 Guineas. "I was really happy with him," he said. "He came down the hill well and changed legs nicely." Eminent is out of Gr1-placed You'll Be Mine (Kingmambo), herself a daughter of Gr1 Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Quarter Moon who was also multiple Gr1-placed in the Irish 1000 Guineas, English Oaks and Irish Oaks.
Sale Pending for Kiwi 3YO
Smart Kiwi 3YO Tavidream (Tavistock-Cinnadream, by King of Kings) will be sold to Australian interests pending the outcome of a veterinary inspection today, reports theinformant.co.nz. The son of Tavistock has looked an exciting prospect winning 5 of his 7 starts to date, including a win in last Saturday's Gr2 Championship Stakes (2100m) at Ellerslie. Co-trainer and part-owner Chris Gibbs said he expected the sale to be finalised by the end of the week. "He's under offer to Australia and we've got a vet coming up tomorrow," said Gibbs, who prepares Tavidream in partnership with Donna Logan. "There was talk of a sale last week but we let them know that we wanted to run him at Ellerslie." Gibbs added: "This way there'll either be a sale by Friday afternoon if he passes the vet, and if he doesn't we'll continue to race him. As it is he's got owners who aren't that keen to see him go but you can't argue the money that's being offered." At this stage, plans are for Tavidream to be aimed at the Gr1 Queensland Derby. He holds a booking for next week's charter flight to Brisbane.
Exciting Debut Winner Given Guineas Target
Boom Victorian 2YO Doubt I'm Dreaming (Not a Single Doubt-Dreaming of You, by Spectrum) will trial at Cranbourne on Friday ahead of his return in the Listed Redoute's Choice Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday week, reports racenet. The son of Arrowfield stallion Not a Single Doubt made one of the most impressive debuts by a juvenile all season when winning the Listed Valley Pearl (1200m) in class record time at Moonee Valley last month. The China Horse Club and Newgate Farm were so impressed with the performance that they acquired a quarter share in the colt from trainer John McArdle and his business partner for an undisclosed sum. The Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) has been nominated as Doubt I'm Dreaming's primary target in the spring. "He'll run in the Redoute's Choice Stakes and then he'll go to the paddock," McArdle said. "I wanted to give him one more run and I wanted to give him a look at Caulfield before the spring because he's a big kid."
Rock On Happy in New Surrounds
Rock On (Road to Rock-St Jessie, by Jetball), last start winner of the Listed New Zealand St Leger (2500m) at Trentham, has settled in well at John Sargent's stable ahead of his Australian debut in Saturday's Gr2 Chairman's Handicap at Randwick, reports NZ Racing Desk. "John rang me on Tuesday and the horse travelled over well," trainer Gary Vile said. "There wasn't much else for him here, apart from the Hawke's Bay Cup, and we wanted to give him a trip away. He'll only have the one run there." Vile hopes that Rock On can develop into a Melbourne spring carnival horse.
Silent Sedition Wins Gr1 William Reid Stakes
At Moonee Valley in Melbourne on Friday night, Yarradale Stud shuttler War Chant (War Chant (Danzig-Hollywood Wildcat, by Kris S) celebrated an elite success when 4YO mare Silent Sedition (War Chant-Fiorentina, by Dubai Destination) scored by 0.1 length for trainer Andrew Noblet in the $500,000 Gr1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, over 4YO entire Hellbent (I Am Invincible-Volkaspray, by Volksraad) & 3YO colt Star Turn (Star Witness-Golden Delicious, by Made of Gold). This was a thoroughly deserved maiden top-flight victory for Silent Sedition who advanced her record to 6 wins (including the Gr3 Mannerism Stakes, Gr3 Summoned Stakes, Gr3 Schweppervescence Stakes & Listed Bendigo Guineas) and 9 placings (including the Gr1 Coolmore Classic & Gr1 Australasian Oaks) from 16 starts for $961,650 earnings. Silent Sedition, whose dam is a half-sister to Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Monterosso from the Gr1 Coolmore Classic winner Porto Roca, was purchased for the bargain price of $45,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale from the draft of Korilya Stud. Not only was this Silent Sedition's first Gr1 success, but it was also the first for trainer Andrew Noblet and jockey Katelyn Mallyon. "I can't believe this. I'm just so over the moon, you can't imagine how much I've wanted this," Mallyon told racing.com. "It's just so good to be a Group One winner. It's all I've ever wanted." "It's unbelievable," Noblet said. "To come here and do that after coming back from a mile and coming back from Sydney…she's just an unbelievable talent this mare."
Silent Sedition drives up the inside (image: Mark Gatt)
Dream Vinery Result for Karaka & Phoenix Park
The National Yearling Sales Series at Karaka and the sales preparation company Phoenix Park stole the spotlight at Rosehill on Saturday with a quinella in the $500,000 Gr1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) for 3YO fillies. The race was won by Montoya's Secret (High Chaparral), who sold for $130,000 from Phoenix Park's draft at the 2015 Premier Sale. Runner-up Nurse Kitchen (Savabeel) was in the same draft but had to be withdrawn the day before the sale. Montoya's Secret and Nurse Kitchen had the finish of Saturday's race all to themselves, kicking two lengths clear of the rest of the field and fighting tooth and nail to the finish. Montoya's Secret, ridden by Noel Callow, prevailed by a desperate neck. "It was a good win," Callow said. "She had to dig deep. She just wandered that last bit, but she still held on though. I got there too early and she wanted to have a look around." Trained by Leon and Troy Corstens, Montoya's Secret has now had 10 starts for three wins and four placings for prize money of $405,375 – more than three times her purchase price. The win completed a Rosehill Group 1 double this week for 3YOs who are graduates of Karaka sales, with Gingernuts (Iffraaj) winning the previous Saturday's Rosehill Guineas.
Snowdens Two Handed for Slipper
The powerful Snowden yard will be represented by two runners in Saturday's $3.5 million Gr1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill. The stable had accepted with four horses, namely Pariah, Invader, Gunnison, and Khan, but have decided to only accept with Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes runner-up Pariah and Gr2 Todman Stakes runner-up Invader. "With Pariah I was only holding back because I wanted to make sure. The Diamond was his main race and I wanted to be sure he'd come back and recovered," co-trainer Paul Snowden told racenet. "He worked really good (sic) this morning [Tuesday] and I'm more than happy to take him there." As for Invader, who is raced by a high profile syndicate including Newgate Farm, the China Horse Club, Aquis Farm, and the Kentucky-based WinStar Farm, Snowden said: "Invader won't be out of it at all. The weather is one of the major factors in changing our mind to run him." He added: "His Todman run was excellent and he gets through a soft track."
Debt Collector Dubai Bound
Singapore Horse of the Year Debt Collector has been confirmed as a definite runner in the Gr1 Dubai Turf (1800m) at Meydan racecourse on 25 March. The planned trip to Dubai was in some doubt after the New Zealand-bred Debt Collector (Thorn Park-Prompt Payment, by In the Wings) suffered his first defeat since November 2015 when third on 3 March. He was subsequently found to have been suffering from respiratory distress but trainer Cliff Brown says the 4YO son of Thorn Park has now recovered from the minor setback. “I’m happy with his condition and that’s the race we wanted to have a crack at. We wouldn’t know if he can measure up if we stayed at home, and that’s why we rolled the dice and went for it,” Brown told the Singapore Turf Club. “He is leaving at the end of this week.”
Extreme Choice to Run in Newmarket
Meanwhile, with Flying Artie out of Saturday's Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington, trainer Mick Price has decided to run his stable-mate Extreme Choice in the $1.25 million sprint feature. Price also confirmed that superstar jockey Joao Moreira, who was booked to ride Flying Artie, will now jump aboard Extreme Choice replacing the colt's regular rider Craig Newitt. It has been reported that connections wanted a new rider for the dual Gr1 winner after his first-up third placing in the Gr1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield. "He [Extreme Choice] deserves his chance in the Newmarket and he will now run with Flying Artie out of action," Price told racing.com. "I don't think we saw the best of Extreme Choice in the Coolmore Stud Stakes last spring. I think he is better than that." Price added: "Joao Moreira was booked for Flying Artie but he will now ride Extreme Choice. There is still a chance he could go to the William Reid after the Newmarket, it is 13 days after. We will just see how he comes through Saturday."
Magic Eight for Record-Breaking Moreira
Joao "Magic" Moreira has rewritten the record books by becoming the first jockey in the history of Hong Kong racing to ride eight winners in a day at Sha Tin on Sunday, reports the South China Morning Post. Moreira had equalled the feat previously riding eight winners in Singapore and also his native Brazil, but never in the former British colony. "I think it is even harder to do in Hong Kong," Moreira said. "I was so pumped. And my wife was out on the balcony and screaming out to me, so I screamed back. I so wanted to share that moment with her. You can't ever expect these things, I have no words to describe it." Moreira will fly to Australia later this week to ride Flying Artie in the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and Godolphin 3YO Tally in the Gr1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Inglis Premier Day-4: McEvoy Finds His Melbourne Cup Winner
When Tony McEvoy first laid eyes on Lot 624 in Session II of the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, all he could see was champion stallion Zabeel. So when he was the underbidder to Singaporean Thomas Loke on the Americain x Reveal The Goddess colt, McEvoy thought his dreams of getting his hands on the youngster were dashed. But within minutes, things changed. “I approached the buyer through his representative and congratulated him, told him I thought the horse looked exactly like Zabeel...I was at Lindsay Park when Zabeel came through as a yearling and this horse just kept giving me flashbacks of him,’’ McEvoy said. “As it turns out, the owner wanted to keep the horse in Australia and didn’t have a trainer, so after a short discussion they offered me the horse to train, which I’m so excited by." McEvoy added: "You won’t see him run at two. I’ll take him home, give him time and develop him into a Melbourne Cup winner.’’ The colt was the day’s sale-topper at $175,000 in what was a successful Session II of the Premier Yearling Sale, which ended with an 84% clearance rate, $42,868 average and a gross of $6,516,000. Inglis’ Victorian Bloodstock Manager Simon Vivian described the entire four days of Premier selling as “a great success all round’’. “Vendors left happy, buyers left happy, there was a great atmosphere on every day with great crowds, and to set a new record with the $1.4million colt on Day 2 was fantastic,’’ Vivian said. The next sale on the Inglis calendar is the March Thoroughbred Sale at Oaklands Junction on Friday March 17. Click here to view catalogue.
La Bella Diosa Wins Gr2 Surround Stakes
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Coolmore Stud stallion and former Australian Champion Racehorse So You Think (High Chaparral-Triassic, by Tights) added a Group success when 3YO New Zealand-bred filly La Bella Diosa (So You Think-Star Affair, by Star Way) scored by 1.5 lengths for trainers Mandy & Matt Brown in the $200,000 Gr2 Surround Stakes (1400m) for 3YO fillies, over fellow fillies Omei Sword (High Chaparral-Irish Lights, by Fastnet Rock) & Global Glamour (Star Witness-Spectacula, by Testa Rossa). This was a most encouraging Australian debut for La Bella Diosa who, when campaigned as La Diosa, established herself as the best 3YO filly in New Zealand last season when winning the Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton. La Bella Diosa improved her record to 5 wins (including the NZ 1000 Guineas, Listed John Griggs Stakes & Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes) and 1 placing from 7 starts for $357,733 earnings. La Bella Diosa primary autumn target is the $1 million Gr1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on 8 April. "She has always shown a lot. She won the Thousand Guineas pretty well. The owners wanted to have a bit of a go at the Australian Oaks so we've come over early. To get a result like this is just great," co-trainer Matt Brown told Sky Racing. By former Champion Australian Racehorse So You Think (High Chaparral-Triassic, by Tights), La Bella Diosa is out of Gr2 winning Star Way mare Star Affair and is a half sister to Gr3 AJC Summer Cup winner Solid Billing and dual Listed winner Thy. Star Affair, herself, is a daughter of The Grin and a granddaughter of The Dimple and consequently hails from the same family as NZ 1000 Guineas winner The Jewel and Gr1 Auckland Cup winner Irish Chance.
La Bella Diosa (image: Steve Hart)
Maurice To Join Arrowfield Roster
Six-time Group 1 winner and Japanese superstar Maurice will shuttle to Arrowfield from the 2017 southern hemisphere breeding season onwards. Owned by Mrs Kazumi Yoshida, Maurice was named the 2015 Japanese Horse of the Year, as well as Champion Sprinter & Champion Miler. He was also honoured with a Special JRA Award for his 2016 victories in the Gr1 Tokyo Tenno Sho, Gr1 Hong Kong Champions Mile, and his sensational swansong victory in the Gr1 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin in December. Mrs Yoshida's husband, renowned international owner and breeder Katsumi Yoshida, has given Maurice the best possible endorsement by sending him two-time Horse of the Year and 7-time Group 1 winner Gentildonna (Deep Impact). Yoshida said: "She is the best mare I own, she will be covered by Maurice." Two-time World Champion jockey Ryan Moore said of Maurice: "He was just an outstanding looking horse. He has a fantastic mind, he always wanted to win. He put everything into his races. He was really powerful, travelled wherever you wanted him to and he had a fantastic turn of foot." Arrowfield's Chairman John Messara said: "Nobody could fail to be impressed by Maurice's extraordinary performances at the highest level. We are privileged to have the opportunity to stand the Yoshidas' charismatic superstar whose physique, 1600-metre dominance and Danehill-free status make him a wonderful addition to our roster." Maurice (Screen Hero-Mejiro Frances, by Carnegie) retired last month with a record of 11 wins from 18 starts for ¥1,063,480,620 in earnings. His six Group 1 wins came in the Hong Kong Cup, Autumn Tenno Sho, Champions Mile, Hong Kong Mile, Kyoto Mile Championship & Yasuda Kinen. Maurice will stand at Arrowfield this year at a fee of $33,000 inc GST.
Maurice (image: Raymond Ho)
$250,000 Inglis Premier Field
A final field of 10 runners has been declared for tomorrow's $250,000 Listed (restricted) Inglis Premier (1200m) at Caulfield. The Inglis Premier is restricted to horses purchased at the 2016 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale and VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale. This will be the 18th edition of the Inglis Premier, a race in which prize money is taken into account in the ballot conditions for the Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes. The race has proven to be a launching pad for future stars, with previous winners Snitzerland and Twilight Royale progressing to win Group One races during their careers. The two undefeated Snitzel colts Jukebox (Ciaron Maher) and Perast (Paul Perry) will be out to keep their perfect race record intact on Saturday, while four of the runners in this year's race are on debut. Jukebox is the $2.35 favourite for the race ahead of Perast at $3.40 and Coppergate (Helmet) at $9.50. The final Inglis Premier field is:
1. JUKEBOX (Ciaron Maher-Craig Williams) 57kg (5)
2. PERAST (Paul Perry-Stephen Baster) 57kg (3)
3. BEAVERBROOK (Robbie Griffiths-Ben Thompson) 57kg (7)
4. FULLY MAXED (Shane Nichols-Michael Dee) 57kg (10)
5. CAPTIVATOR (Lee & Anthony Freedman-Damien Oliver) 57kg (6)
6. COPPERGATE (Tony McEvoy-Dwayne Dunn) 57kg (1)
7. EVIL CRY (Robbie Laing-Mark Zahra) 57kg (8)
8. WANTED HARMONY (Shawn Mathrick-Luke Currie) 57kg (2)
9. FALLING WATERS (Michael Moroney-Patrick Moloney) 55kg (4)
10. ALICE ISLAND (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig-Regan Bayliss) 55kg (9)
Diamond Target For Hasahalo
Karaka Million runner-up Hasahalo (Savabeel-Halloween, by Encosta de Lago) is almost certain to be returning to Ellerslie to chase a Group One prize, reports NZ Racing Desk. "All going well, we'll be back for the Diamond Stakes," trainer Stephen McKee said. "She really rattled home, but to be fair the winner (Melody Belle) was too good." McKee added: "We got a bit further back than we wanted when the pace went out of the race." Hasahalo has won 1 of her 4 starts hitherto, namely the Gr3 Eclipse Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year's Day.
Gauci Announces Retirement
Veteran jockey Darren Gauci has announced his retirement at the age of 51, reports Racing.com. Gauci, a four-time Melbourne premiership winning hoop, will now be responsible for nurturing the next generation of stars following his appointment as apprentice jockey coach alongside Matt Pumpa at Racing Victoria. "I probably could've ridden for a couple more years but this job came up and I applied because it's something that I've always wanted to do and the time feels right to transition into the next chapter of my life," Gauci said. Gauci rode over 2,500 winners including 35 at Gr1 level. Some of the champion racehorses he was associated with included Super Impose, Shaftesbury Avenue, and 11-time Gr1 winner and champion sire Lonhro whom he partnered to victory in the 2001 Caulfield Guineas.
Mixed Fortunes For Champs After Pegasus Draw
Arrogate and California Chrome have drawn barriers 1 and 12 respectively ahead of their rematch in the inaugural running of the US$12 million Gr1 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. The champion US gallopers, who currently occupy the top two spots on the World's Best Racehorse Rankings, last met when Arrogate scored a thrilling win over California Chrome in the Gr1 Breeders' Cup Classic in November. But despite drawing the outside gate in the field of 12, California Chrome's trainer Art Sherman remains bullish about the chestnut's chances. "We can't make any excuses. The only good thing I thought about this is that he doesn't have to be in the starting gate long," Sherman told Blood Horse. "Chrome is Chrome; he's got tactical speed. I was hoping that we would get closer inside. He will overcome all this, believe me." Trainer Bob Baffert said Arrogate had continued to thrive since his Breeders' Cup win. "He's getting stronger every week. I wanted to see what I saw today and he's ready for the big race," Baffert said after Arrogate worked over six furlongs at Santa Anita. "Now we have to ship and there's more hurdles, but I love the way he's training. This horse is so fit. He's ready for the challenge."
Chrome Prepares For Pegasus Cup
California Chrome has had his first serious gallop since arriving at Gulfstream Park when working strongly over five furlongs on Saturday, reports Blood Horse. The Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Dubai World Cup winner is set to have his final race start in the inaugural running of the US$12 million Gr1 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on 28 January. "We put blinkers on him today because I didn't want him to look around so much," said Alan Sherman, assistant trainer to his father Art. "I wanted him to focus on the task at hand because he likes to look around and gawk a little bit a new places. But we put the blinkers on him, he stayed focused, he was nice and relaxed, his ears were pricked. It was a perfect work." He added: "I try not to think about too much that this is our last race and just approach it like this is any other race. I'll probably get a little emotional after the race. But he just keeps getting better." California Chrome, the richest North American racehorse of all time, will commence stud duties at Taylor Made Farm this year.
Major Cash Injection For Adelaide Carnival
South Australia will host two $1 million horse races at Morphettville in May, following a State Government decision to inject $6 million into the Adelaide autumn racing carnival over the next two years. The government and local racing officials hope the move will attract big-name horses, trainers and jockeys to Adelaide and, in turn, build crowd numbers and regenerate broader public interest in the sport. Prizemoney for the Darley Goodwood on May 20 will double to $1 million, while the UBET Classic, two weeks earlier, will receive a $600,000 boost to also reach the seven-figure mark. Both races were won by champion Black Caviar in 2012, with sellout crowds of more than 30,000 on both days. Fourteen non-feature races will also receive a prizemoney boost during the six-week autumn period, and all races will have a $100,000 minimum purse. An additional $100,000 will also be allocated annually to promote the carnival. While there are no immediate changes to the Adelaide Cup, scheduled for March 13, it is expected this latest boost will reignite debate over requests from the racing industry for the race to return to May. Racing Minister Leon Bignell said the Government wanted the industry to “not just grow but to thrive”, adding, “It’s the biggest and most significant cash injection from government into the racing industry for years, on top of the money the government already provides.”
La Diosa To Launch Autumn Campaign In Sydney
Star Kiwi filly La Diosa (So You Think-Star Affair, by Star Way) will do all of her racing in Australia in the autumn, reports NZ Racing Desk. The tentative programme for La Diosa will see her make her Australian debut in the Gr2 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on 25 February followed by the Gr3 Kembla Grange Classic over a mile. "Then there's a couple of 2000 metre races, including the Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick, as options before the Oaks," said trainer Matt Brown, who prepares the So You Think filly with his wife Mandy. The $1 million Gr1 Australian Oaks will be run at Randwick on 8 April. La Diosa's trainers and her breeder and principal owner Terry Archer haven't left anything to chance, embarking on a scouting mission to Sydney. "We wanted to have a look around Randwick," Brown said. "It's pretty quiet at our place for her, but we're happy to be staying at John Sargent's place." A winner of 4 of her 6 starts, La Diosa hasn't arced since winning the Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton in November. "She had a nice break after that and she's been back for a couple of weeks," Brown said. "She's doing some light pacework at this stage and she's thriving." By former Champion Australian Racehorse So You Think (High Chaparral-Triassic, by Tights), La Diosa is out of Gr2 winning Star Way mare Star Affair and is a half sister to Gr3 AJC Summer Cup winner Solid Billing and dual Listed winner Thy. Star Affair, herself, is a daughter of The Grin and a granddaughter of The Dimple and consequently hails from the same family as NZ 1000 Guineas winner The Jewel and Gr1 Auckland Cup winner Irish Chance.
Arrogate Sizzles In Trackwork
Trainer Bob Baffert is considering giving star US galloper Arrogate (Unbridled's Song-Bubbler, by Distorted Humor) a lead-up run to January's Pegasus World Cup following an impressive piece of work at Santa Anita Park on Tuesday, reports Blood Horse. Arrogate, who shot to the top of the World's Best Racehorse Rankings following his thrilling win over California Chrome in the Gr1 Breeders' Cup Classic in November, sizzled around Santa Anita in a time of :58 2/5 seconds for 5-furlongs prompting Baffert to reassess the colt's 2017 program. Baffert said the 3YO could potentially make his 2017 debut in the Gr2 San Pasqual Stakes 98.5 furlongs) before shaping up for a rematch with California Chrome in the inaugural running of the US$12 million Gr1 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on 28 January. "After that the San Pasqual might be an option, here at Santa Anita," Baffert said. "The Pegasus is still there. If I wanted to prep him, I could run him there and then run him in the Pegasus. " He added: "With what he did today, I don't know if I can sit on him that long. After today, he's pretty ready." In an ominous warning to rivals, jockey Martin Garcia said Arrogate continues to get better. "He's so impressive," Garcia said."After retiring American Pharoah, I never dreamt I would be dealing with another horse of his calibre, but this horse is just getting stronger and better every day."
Destiny Determines Gr1 Winner's Path
Tony Kaye believes fate has played a hand in Iamishwara contesting Saturday’s Gr2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes at Awapuni, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Palmerston North horseman had considered a start in the race for his Gr1 winner, but his primary focus this week was on the stable star’s performance at the trials on Tuesday. “We had contemplated it, but the nominations closed at 12 o’clock and we wanted to see how he went at Foxton first and his trial wasn’t until after 1 o’clock,” Kaye said. Iamishwara, who hasn’t raced for 19 months following a tendon injury, duly won his open 1000 metre heat. “Everything panned out nicely for him and when we got home we saw that they had left the nominations open so it was all meant to be,” said Kaye, who races the son of Keeninsky with his wife Nicola. “He’s come through the trial really well. To be honest, he’s better now than he’s ever been." He added: "He’s an amazing horse and he’s put on weight and grown. He can be hard to have around the place though, when he hears a float pull up he thinks it’s time for him to rock and roll.”
Trainers On Recon Mission With Star Filly
Trainers Matt and Mandy Brown are currently in Sydney on a reconnaissance mission as they prepare to map out an autumn program for star Kiwi filly La Diosa (So You Think-Star Affair, by Star Way), reports theinformant.co.nz. "At this stage we haven't set a plan, we wanted to check out our options, which is why we're over here now," Mandy Brown said. "For a start we'll probably stable her at Randwick, but we also plan to see what's available outside the city, just in case she doesn't settle in what will be quite a different environment to what she's used to." Brown reported that La Diosa has thrived since her win in last month's Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton. "She's very well, she's doing a bit of hacking and is thriving," she said.
Stable Change For Star Kiwi 3YO
Ugo Foscolo (Zacinto-Bequests, by Stravinsky) will do his future racing in Australia following a change in the top three-year-old's ownership, reports NZ Racing Desk. Prominent breeder Kevin Hickman, of Valachi Downs, and Hamilton's Todd Bawden have taken the majority interest in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner who will be transferred to the Sydney stable of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. Hickman is also a part-owner of Ugo Foscolo's sire Zacinto and he has moved to both protect and promote his assets. "There had been a lot of interest in Ugo Foscolo from a lot of places and Kevin wanted to ensure the horse was keeping Group One company in Australia for the stallion," said Valachi Downs manager Jonathan Scully. "As far as Kevin is concerned it's about making sure that Ugo Foscolo gets every possible opportunity." Scully said Ugo Foscolo's future targets include the Gr1 Australian Guineas and Cox Plate. "He's spelling at Dean Hawthorne's place and he'll probably be there for another 10 to 14 days and then go over the Gai," Scully said. "The Australian Guineas is a likely target and longer term we're hoping to get through to the Cox Plate."
Hartnell Sibling Tops Tattersalls December Yearling Sale
A colt by the world champion Frankel topped the one-day Tattersalls December Yearling Sale when purchased for 250,000 guineas on a day that saw a record average and median and robust trade throughout the day. In total, 142 lots sold for 4,377,500 guineas which was a increase of 7% on last year’s corresponding session, whilst the average and median rose 7% and 8% respectively to a record 30,827 guineas and 21,500 guineas. The clearance was an impressive 85%. The day's top seller was a Frankel colt out of the Anabaa mare Debonnaire, making him a half-brother to Godolphin's multiple Gr1 winner and recent Melbourne Cup and Cox Plate placegetter Hartnell. He was knocked down to Charlie Gordon-Watson for 250,000 guineas after he saw off former Champion Australian trainer Peter Moody and Oliver St Lawrence. "My client wanted to buy two horses today, but I suggested that we target one," Gordon-Watson said. "This is a very nice horse out of a very nice mare. There is an Arc winner on the page and he out of an Anabaa mare, which I particularly like. He is all two-year-old." The four-day Tattersalls December Foal Sale gets underway at 9.30am on Wednesday, November 23.
Frankel x Debonnaire colt (image: Tattersalls)
Te Akau Racing Ends Sale As Leading RTR Buyer
The leading buyer for the first time at the NZB Ready to Run Sale was Te Akau Racing's David Ellis who purchased 10 horses for $1,525,000, including Lot 41, the Savabeel colt from Prima Park for $280,000. Ellis credited his increased activity at the Sale to Te Akau Racing's success with Karaka graduates. "We've built up a terrific clientele and they've had great success from NZB's yearling sales and the Ready to Run Sale, plus NZB put a superb catalogue together and I just wanted to be part of it all."
Cuneen To Keep Eye On Top Filly
Racha Cuneen says he will keeping tabs on star filly La Diosa (So You Think-Star Affair, by Star Way) as he embarks on an international riding stint, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Canterbury apprentice is looking forward to his first overseas riding experience, but he'll be staying in touch with the leading three-year-old's trainers Mandy and Matt Brown. Cuneen, who partnered La Diosa to an impressive victory in Saturday's Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas, is preparing for a trip to Malaysia. "I'm still waiting for a visa and when that comes through I'll be going for three months," Cuneen said. "I've always wanted to stretch out a bit and explore and I'm being sponsored by the trainer Bonny Ng. If I'm wanted here then I will be happy to fly back and ride La Diosa." Cuneen, 24, has now ridden 103 winners and he finished runner-up on Miss Seton Sands in The Telegraph earlier this year before his breakthrough success at Group One level aboard La Diosa at Riccarton.
Jessy Belle Wins Gr2 Matriarch Stakes
At Flemington in Melbourne, 7-time Gr1-winning former Coolmore shuttler Rock of Gibraltar (Danehill-Offshore Boom, by Be My Guest) added a Group success when 6YO mare Jessy Belle (Rock of Gibraltar-Unconditional Love, by Elusive Quality) scored by 0.5 length for trainers David & Ben Hayes & T Dabernig in the $300,000 Gr2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) for 4YO+ mares, over 4YO mares Sort After (Wanted-Patronyme, by More Than Ready) & Happy Hannah (More Than Ready-Absolute Joy, by Zabeel). This was a deserved maiden stakes victory for the consistent Jessy Belle who improved her record to 8 wins and 12 placings (including the Gr2 Dane Ripper Stakes) from 42 starts for $763,425 earnings. Jessy Belle, who is out of a daughter to dual Gr1-winning mare Flitter, was a $75,000 purchase by Ellerton Zahra Racing at the 2012 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Torryburn Stud.
Jessy Belle (image: Mark Gatt)
Auckland Cup Target For Hasselhoof
Highly regarded Kiwi galloper Hasselhoof (Tavistock-Alpine, by Zabeel) is being aimed at the Auckland Cup following his return to form in last Saturday's Gr1 Livamol Classic at Hastings, reports theinformant.co.nz. The 5YO gelding finished a close-up third behind Willie Cazals in the 2040 metre weight-for-age feature in a performance that delighted his connections. "It was a great performance and very satisfying to see him back somewhere near his best," co-trainer Chris Gibbs said. "He hadn't raced for some time...we were very happy with how he hit the line. It was the best part of his race and he was taking ground off the first two. From the point of view of a Cups campaign, that was exactly what we wanted to see." Gibbs added: "He's a slow-maturing horse who's still got a long way to go. He's got a lot of upside. Hopefully now we'll aim him towards the Auckland Cup. We haven't decided yet how we'll get there, but that's the plan at this stage." The NZ$500,000 Gr1 Auckland Cup (3200m) will be run at Ellerslie on 11 March 2017.
The Quarterback Wins Gr2 Gilgai Stakes
At Melbourne's Flemington racecourse on Sunday, multiple US Gr1-winning sprinter & Darley shuttler Street Boss (Street Cry-Blushing Ogygian, by Ogygian) celebrated a group success when 6YO gelding The Quarterback (Street Boss-Soorena, by Encosta de Lago) scored by a super-easy 0.8-length for trainer Robbie Griffiths in the $200,000 Gr2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m), over 5YO geldings We've Got This (Hard Spun-Akiva, by Keltrice) & Durendal (Medaglia d'Oro-Razor Blade, by Blazing Sword). The subject of an emotional Gr1 Newmarket Handicap win over the course and distance last March, The Quarterback's winning margin belies the ease with which he put paid to his rivals. Sent to the front earlier than connections would have wanted, he sauntered to the line and looks ready for a big Spring. The Quarterback took his record to 9 wins (including the Listed Dilmah Earl Grey Stakes & Listed VRC Kensington Stakes) and 8 placings (also including the Gr3 Manfred Stakes & Gr3 CS Hayes Stakes) from 28 starts for $1,453,250 earnings. The Quarterback, who is a half-brother to Gr2 Tulloch Stakes winner Phillipi (Host), was purchased by Griffiths for $120,000 at the 2012 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Makybe Racing & Breeding.
Tough Task For Extreme Choice
Trainer Mick Price understands the enormity of the task confronting Extreme Choice (Not A Single Doubt-Extremely, by Hussonet) when the talented colt makes his 3YO debut in the Gr1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night. Last season's Gr1 Blue Diamond winner will take on two of the greatest Australian sprinters of the modern era in Chautauqua and Buffering, but Price knows a win will make him one of the most sought after young stallions when he eventually retires to stud. It will be the first time (since the Golden Slipper) that Extreme Choice has sported the red and yellow star silks of the China Horse Club after they and Newgate Farm struck a multi-million deal to secure a controlling interest in the Gr1 winner in March. "A spring three-year-old versus older weight-for-age horses, it's difficult," Price told AAP. "But I did speak to Henry Field (from Newgate Farm) and they wanted to run in the Group One. If he can pull it off I suppose it really helps his service fee." Price said regardless of Friday's result, Extreme Choice will be given an opportunity to double his Gr1 tally in next month's Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington. "If he can't [win], he's going to run against his own age in the Coolmore, so that won't be a problem," he said. "I think he's come up well. So it's just a matter of on the night how he copes with the pressure." The Moir will also feature the return of dual Gr1 winner Lucky Hussler and former boom sprinter Chloe In Paris.
Sacred Elixir Wins Gr3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude
At Caulfield in Melbourne, Windsor Park's Gr1 English Derby-winning shuttler Pour Moi (Montjeu-Gwynn, by Darshaan) added a Group success when 3YO NZ-bred gelding Sacred Elixir (Pour Moi-Baltika, by Stravinsky) scored by 0.4 length for trainer Tony Pike in the $175,000 Gr3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) for 3YOs, over 3YO colts Revolving Door (Sebring-Turnstiles, by Anabaa) & Wazzenme (Wanted-On the Loose, by Strategic). This was a brilliant return by Sacred Elixir who is now a $6.50 third favourite for the Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on 8th October. Purchased for NZ$170,000 by Raffles Racing from the draft of Wentwood Grange at the 2015 NZ Bloodstock National Yearling Sales Series, Sacred Elixir advanced his record to 4 wins (including the Gr1 JJ Atkins Stakes) and 1 placing from 7 starts for $556,203 earnings. Sacred Elixir's Gr1 targets this spring include the Caulfield Guineas, Victoria Derby and potentially the Cox Plate. "He has got a lot of class on his side which probably helped him today," trainer Tony Pike told racing.com. "He's only going to get better as he goes up in trip. That was his first run in a fair while so he's only going to improve. Heading to the Guineas now...its exciting." He added: "He's nominated for the Cox Plate but to be fair, he would have to be really dominant in the Caulfield Guineas to consider that race."