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Kentucky Derby Winner Returns to Work
Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming (Bodemeister-Above Perfection, by In Excess) made his first public appearance as a 4YO when breezing an easy three furlongs in :37.13 at Palm Beach Downs at Florida on Monday, reports Blood Horse. The Todd Pletcher trainee's 3YO campaign was prematurely cut short when he was found to have stomach ulcers following his unplaced effort (9th of 12) in the Gr1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga last August. "It was a nice work, what I would call a controlled work," said co-owner Anthony Bonomo of Brooklyn Boyz Stable. "He's been back with Todd for a while, and Todd knows when they're ready. I think the work was what he expected and what he wanted. The horse was happy as heck, which is always nice to see." Bonomo added: "He looks beautiful and I'm encouraged that he's all systems go. You've got to be optimistic about him, because in the beginning of the year, I don't think anybody would have beaten him. We're hoping he comes back to form - there's a lot of good horses out there - but he's certainly one of them...we're optimistic he'll return to the horse he was last year." No potential targets have been announced.
Tauranga Start for Zabeel Hopeful
Multiple 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.
Valuable Filly Ready for Valley Debut
Trainer Tony McEvoy will unveil valuable 2YO Al Naifa at Moonee Valley tonight. Purchased by Tim Stakemire on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum for $1.8 million at this year's Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Newhaven Park, Al Naifa is by Redoute's Choice out of Court (Anabaa) and is a half-sister to classy sprinter and Gr1 All Aged Stakes winner English. It is also the family of dual Group 1 winner and successful sire Grand Lodge. Foreman Michael Shepherdson said the stable was expecting a forward showing from Al Naifa when she debuts in the CRT/Whites Rural Plate over 1000m. "She's a high-priced yearling that's been well-educated and we've been really excited to have her in the stable," Shepherdson told racing.com. "She's had a jump-out at Flemington and two trials at Cranbourne. In the first one she showed quite a lot of speed and natural talent so in the second trial we wanted to bring her in behind to teach her to switch off and she did that before circling them to win the trial." He added: "She's banging the door down to go to the races and we've drawn a nice barrier so she should get the run of the race."
Al Naifa's star half-sister English (pic: Steve Hart)
Gun Runner Works Ahead of Pegasus
Gun Runner (Candy Ride-Quiet Giant, by Giant's Causeway) has had his first timed workout since winning the US$6 million Gr1 Breeders' Cup Classic at Del Mar on 4 November, reports Blood Horse. The Steve Asmussen-trained Gun Runner (Candy Ride-Quiet Giant, by Giant's Causeway) worked over an easy half-mile in :51 2/5 at Fair Grounds on Monday in preparation for his final career start in the US$16 million Gr1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park on 27 January. "First breeze back after the Classic, quite a bit of travel, a lot of things obviously have transpired since then with the announcement that he's going to run in the Pegasus and that being his last race," Asmussen said. "With the holiday season coming up, we got back on the work tab a touch sooner than planned. But the weather is great right now, the surface at the Fair Grounds is excellent and he's wanting to do something." He added: "I just wanted him to settle in and relax...and get back into the routine." The 4YO chestnut stamped himself as the new king of North American racing with his fourth successive Group 1 triumph and his fifth overall in the BC Classic. His record currently reads 11 wins from 17 starts for US$9,037,138 in earnings.
More Than Ready Adds US Gr2
At Aqueduct in the US, Vinery Stud's champion shuttler More Than Ready (Southern Halo-Woodman's Girl, by Woodman) added a Group race success when 2YO US-bred colt Catholic Boy (More Than Ready-Song Of Bernadette, by Bernardini) bounded away for an effortless 4.75 length win in the US$250,000 Remsen Stakes (9 furlongs) for 2YOs, defeating Avery Island & Vouch. Having his first start since finishing fourth in the Gr1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, Catholic Boy improved his record to 3 wins (including the Gr3 With Anticipation Stakes) from 4 starts for US$314,000 in earnings. “We were really happy with how he exited the Breeders’ Cup and, to us, he galloped out very well in that race and indicated that he wanted more ground,” trainer Jonathan Thomas told Blood Horse. "We came over quietly confident he would show us a little something, but we never expected that".
Viddora Gets Gr1 Chance
Trainer Lloyd Kennewell is hoping class can secure Adelaide mare Viddora a maiden Gr1 triumph in Saturday’s Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot. Viddora (I Am Invincible-Snow Flight, by Colombia) arguably boasts the strongest form heading into the $1 million sprint feature, having finished runner-up to She Will Reign in the Gr1 Moir Stakes and fourth in the Gr1 Manikato Stakes in Melbourne at her past two outings. The 5YO has drawn midfield (barrier 7) and will have regular rider Joe Bowditch on board. “We didn’t really want to draw inside or outside with her and barrier seven is in the middle where we wanted to be and she had a really nice gallop over 1400 metres on Tuesday morning and worked really well,” Kennewell told ANZ Bloodstock News. “You don’t disrespect the locals in Perth on their home track, and they always run well, but she probably has the best form in the race leading into it and you hope that she can execute that on race day.” Kennewell said Viddora would be aimed at the rich Magic Millions raceday on the Gold Coast in January after Saturday.
Star Sprinter Close to Comeback
Top-class Kiwi sprinter Sacred Star is on track to return from an extended hiatus in the Gr1 Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year's Day, reports NZ Racing Desk. The dual Group 1 winner hasn't raced since the Brisbane winter carnival in July last year - some 16 months ago - but he proved at Tuesday's Matamata trials that he has lost none of his talent. The 8YO was given an easy time when coasting to the line to finish fourth in his 1000m heat. Trainer Tony Pike was thrilled with the hit-out and quick to give him the tick of approval to press on towards a Railway start. "He'll have a go at the Railway fresh-up," Pike said. "He was fresh-up when he won the Telegraph (in 2015) and the set weights of the Railway will suit him. Instead of carrying 59 kilos he will get in on 55 and that's a nice weight for him." Pike added: "He's still carrying plenty of condition so he'll have another trial at Te Aroha and maybe an exhibition gallop after that." Although off the scene for quite some time, Pike said Sacred Star had not been idle. "He has had a lot of foot problems so we sent him up to Moira Murdoch and she did a lot of beach work with him," Pike said. "We just wanted to tick him over while the tracks were wet." He added: "He's been back with us since the Cambridge trial and we've been happy with him." The Raffles Racing-owned Sacred Star (Flying Spur-Irish Nova, by O'Reilly) was the Champion New Zealand Sprinter in 2014-15 after claiming the Group 1 sprint double of the Telegraph (1200m) and Waikato Sprint (1400m).
Fuhryk in Top Shape for Winterbottom
The Lindsay Park yard are confident of a forward showing from highly regarded sprinting mare Fuhryk in Saturday’s $1 million Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot. The 4YO daughter of Star Witness had a mixed spring campaign winning the Listed Alinghi Stakes over 1100m, but disappointed (finishing 9th) when stepped up in distance in the Gr3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes over 1400m. Co-trainer Tom Dabernig said it was now clear that Fuhryk was best suited to sprint trips. "We have in the past had our horses run well in the Winterbottom off the spring and we just thought she'd had a relatively light spring,” Dabernig told ANZ Bloodstock News. “She didn't quite get to where we wanted her to, not through her lack of ability, but things didn't fall into place." Dabernig added: "We were going to turn her out after Flemington, but she had done that well and she seemed bright we thought being a Group One we'd send her over and then aim her at the Adelaide carnival next year."
Fuhryk (image: Mark Gatt)
TBA Chinese Internship Ends Today
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia’s first Chinese internship program will come to an end today. A group of eight interns spent the past two weeks in the Hunter Valley, where they visited many of the region’s leading farms; including Widden Stud, Coolmore, Yarraman Park, Newgate and Darley. TBA and the marketing body for the Australian breeding industry, Aushorse, developed the program to help build the skills of those working in the growing thoroughbred sector in China. “I’ve been visiting China regularly for three years and I was frequently told by the major owners up there that they wanted their staff to have the opportunity to learn from the world’s best,” said TBA and Aushorse chief executive, Tom Reilly. “In response to that, TBA and Aushorse put in place a program that really gave the interns the opportunity to see how the Hunter farms operate and learn from the leaders in our industry. It’s been a great couple of weeks and the feedback from those on the program is that they’ve learnt a huge amount.” The program is part of a broader move to work with the Chinese industry to assist its growth. Australia’s trade with China has grown significantly in the last five years. In 2013 there 106 thoroughbreds shipped to China, while this number soared to 261 last year.
Chinese interns at Scone (image: TBA)
Aussie Sprinters to Compete at Dubai
The Lindsay Park team will be represented by two runners at this year’s UAE racing season in Dubai. Ben Hayes said the dual Gr2-winning and Gr1-placed sprinter Faatinah (Nicconi) and stakes-placed Shaf (Wanted) will compete during the early part of the season at the behest of their owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai and owner of Shadwell Stud. “The sheikh suggested it and we decided to take a couple over,” Hayes told racenet. “It will just be great to show off some Australian talent in Dubai. They are going over to target the 1000m and 1200m races before the big carnival in March.” Hayes added: “I reckon the way Faatinah is going, he’ll definitely measure up and Shaf is a good travel companion.”
La Diosa Ready to Return to Winner’s Circle
The connections of last season’s New Zealand 1000 Guineas winner La Diosa say she has thrived in the lead-up to today’s $230,000 Gr2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 4YO daughter of champion racehorse So You Think is coming off an encouraging effort when fourth in the Coupland's Bakeries Handicap over 1400m “We’re very happy with her, it’s a big test against the older horses but we’re sure she’ll give her best,” said Mandy Brown, who trains La Diosa with her husband Matt. “She’s very well and we were especially pleased with her last run,” Brown said. “She hit the line really hard, she was just coming into it. It was exactly what we wanted to see from her. She’s trained on really well. She’s a fit and happy horse.” Click below to view all of today’s stakes races at Riccarton.
Mighty Boss Wins Gr1 Caulfield Guineas
17. Mighty Boss (5)
J: M J Walker
T: M G Price
W: 56.5 kgs
S: Not A Single Doubt
D: Bullion Mansion
11. Kementari (10)
J: Damian Lane
T: James Cummings
W: 56.5 kgs
16. Catchy (3)
J: M Zahra
T: D & B Hayes & T Dabernig
W: 54.5 kgs
S: Fastnet Rock
D: Cats Whisker
6. Royal Symphony (9)
J: D Dunn
T: Tony McEvoy
W: 56.5 kgs
At Caulfield racecourse in Melbourne, Arrowfield Stud's multiple stakes-winning stallion Not A Single Doubt (Redoute's Choice-Single's Bar, by Rory's Jester) celebrated an elite race success when 3YO chestnut colt Mighty Boss (Not A Single Doubt-Bullion Mansion, by Encosta de Lago) scored a shock win at odds of 100-1 in the $2 million Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) for 3YOs, defeating Kementari & Catchy. Mighty Boss, whose second dam is the Gr1 Australasian Oaks winner La Volta, improved his record to 2 wins and 1 placing from 6 starts for $1,239,750 in earnings. Racing in the familiar colours of Mr Muzaffar Yaseen's Teeley Assets, Mighty Boss was purchased by his trainer and co-owner Mick Price for $180,000 at the 2016 NZB Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Curraghmore Stud. Price was counting his lucky stars that Mighty Boss – who was the first emergency – even gained a start in the stallion-making feature. "I really liked this bloke as a yearling and I asked My Yaseen if I could keep ten percent," Price told racing.com. "Ever since he won his Sale maiden, we wanted to point him in this direction and see if we could get a run." Price added: "We crossed our fingers and a little bit of magic got us in the field." Price said Mighty Boss would now be spelled and aimed at the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington in March.
Mighty Boss (image: Mark Gatt)
English To Peak in Everest
The Tulloch stable of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott believe top sprinting mare English is ready to peak third-up in Saturday's inaugural $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick. A winner of the Gr1 All Aged Stakes last year, English had a mixed autumn campaign before resuming with an encouraging fourth behind in-form speedster Redzel in the Gr2 Shorts (1100m) on 16 September. The 5YO then rounded out her Everest preparation with a fast-finishing second to In Her Time in the Gr2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick eleven days ago. Bott said English, who will represent slot holder TAB in The Everest, was given a solid hit-out on the course proper at Canterbury on Monday. "We brought her to Canterbury to give her a good strong hit out. We put the blinkers on Monday morning as being out there by herself we just wanted to make sure she was fully focused and to switch her on ahead of Saturday," Bott told racingnsw.com.au. "She probably just peaked on her run the last 50m in the Premiere so there was certainly improvement to come out of that and I think we've seen that in between races." He added: "When she is allowed to switch off and relax she has got that brilliant turn of foot so that's her real asset – her acceleration. If she can conserve energy, she is more brilliant at the finish. We're just glad to be a part of it [The Everest] and that we have a live chance."
Viridine Out To Keep Perfect Record
Godolphin trainer James Cummings thinks boom colt Viridine can continue his impressive winning run when he contests the Gr2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday. The son of Poet's Voice extended his unbeaten record to three when claiming the Listed ATC Heritage Stakes (1100m) on 16 September, and Cummings sees no reason why he won't maintain his perfect CV in the $300,000 3YO feature. "We've given him an extra week to get over his strong first up win where he wanted to overdo it a bit in the Heritage Stakes," Cummings told Godolphin.com. "Since then he's gone ahead again, the only thing I could say is that he may have worked too well in the lead-up to this race." He added: "He's an impressive three-year-old with an enviable record and if there's more to come, then we have a lot to look forward to." A homebred for Darley, Viridine is out of the Anabaa mare Patina and is a direct descendent of Flight Stakes, Wakeful Stakes & Surround Stakes-winning mare La Caissiere (Luskin Star), dam of Gr1 Thousand Guineas & Gr1 Flight Stakes winner Dashing Eagle. Godolphin will also run Beau Geste in the Roman Consul. "He's been a slow-maturing sprinting type who seems to be coming into his own now," Cummings said. "Physically he's growing stronger the deeper we get into the spring and I feel he's going ahead enough to be competitive."
Arrogate Continues to Please Baffert
Champion US galloper Arrogate enjoyed an easy day out when breezing over four furlongs at his home track of Santa Anita on Tuesday, reports Blood Horse. The workout was just a maintenance gallop for the world's best racehorse who is being aimed at the Gr1 Breeders' Cup Classic at Del Mar on 4 November. "He worked fast last week but this was just a maintenance move to keep him happy," trainer Bob Baffert said. "I wanted it slow today. The track has been really deep and slow right now. But he went around there and looked like he was just galloping. He did it with ease." Baffert believes Arrogate is back on track after shock losses in the Gr2 San Diego Handicap and Gr1 Pacific Classic at his past two outings. "He's ready," Baffert said. "If the Breeders' Cup could be next week, he's ready." 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.
Blinkers for Brave Smash
The connections of Brave Smash are confident the former Japanese galloper is still a leading contender for The Everest despite his loss at Caulfield on Saturday. The Darren Weir-trained Brave Smash was sent out as the dominant $1.65 favourite in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m) but was gunned down by the progressive Ciaron Maher-trained Bons Away. “I wasn’t really unhappy with the run. If you watch the run again, he didn’t have the kindest run and everyone saw that, but I think he is going to be a horse who will appreciate blinkers,” Australian Bloodstock’s Luke Murrell told ANZ Bloodstock News. “He got to the eventual winner and wanted to run with him and look at him after the post. He has almost stopped when the jockey eases up on him. That is his major issue, but we knew that going into the race on Saturday.” Murrell added: “He will have blinkers on and a properly run 1200 metres in The Everest, which will be right up his alley.” Brave Smash will represent slot holder the Australian Turf Club in the inaugural $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 14 October.
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.