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Don't Underestimate Boss: Price
Trainer Mick Price is expecting surprise Gr1 Caulfield Guineas winner Mighty Boss to establish himself as an elite 3YO in the autumn. Mighty Boss (Not A Single Doubt-Bullion Mansion, by Encosta de Lago) scored one of the biggest shocks of the year when landing the $2 million spring classic at odds of 100-1 in October, but Price is adamant the chestnut colt should not be underestimated. "He's a sound, tough colt with plenty of options for him," Price told racing.com. "I think he's still going to be a live chance in the autumn. His Caulfield Guineas win, I know it was at big odds and it was a 'fluke' and all that sort of stuff but look, we've always had a good opinion of him and I think you'll find he has a really good prep and is one of the best three-year-olds." Price said the Gr1 Australian Guineas and Gr1 Doncaster Mile were both targets for Mighty Boss in the autumn. "He'll be set for the Australian Guineas," Price said. "I think if you've got a tough 1600 metre horse with lots of stamina about them, you can probably run in the Doncaster and I'd love to run him there."
Godolphin Three-Handed in Perth
Godolphin have confirmed that they will send three horses across to West Australia for the Perth summer racing carnival. Gr1 Emirates Stakes placegetter It's Somewhat, Gr1 Darley Classic placegetter Impending, and promising 3YO Gaulois will fly out to Perth on Sunday. It's Somewhat holds entries in the Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) on Saturday week and the Gr1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on 9 December, Impending is entered in the Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) on 2 December, while Gaulois is set to run in the Gr2 WA Guineas (1600m) on 25 November. "Impending and It's Somewhat came through Saturday as well as I could have hoped and Gaulois has really pleased me since the Carbine Club," trainer James Cummings told racenet. "Perth has always been the grand final for Impending and It's Somewhat and I'm really happy with the way both horses are progressing in their campaigns."
Setsuna Wins Gr3 Emirates 100th A380 Stakes
1. Setsuna (1)
J: S Baster
T: G Waterhouse & A Bott
W: 56 kgs
11. Roobeena (5)
J: Z Purton
T: Tony McEvoy
W: 56 kgs
S: Exceed And Excel
D: Sayuri San
3. Aristocratic Miss (9)
J: D Dunn
T: Tony McEvoy
W: 56 kgs
D: Golden Pedigree
2. Qafila (10)
J: K Mc Evoy
T: D & B Hayes & T Dabernig
W: 56 kgs
S: Not A Single Doubt
D: Zighy Bay
At Flemington in Melbourne, Coolmore's multiple Gr1-winning shuttler & former star Australian sprinter Choisir (Danehill Dancer-Great Selection, by Lunchtime) added a Group race success when 2YO bay filly Setsuna (Choisir-Longoria, by Lujain) showed the benefit of experience when scoring a dominant front-running win in the $150,000 Gr3 Emirates 100th A380 Stakes (1000m) for 2YO fillies, defeating Roobeena & Aristocratic Miss. Racing in the colours of Darby Racing for a large syndicate of owners, Setsuna improved her record to 2 wins (including the Listed (R) Inglis Banner) and 1 placing (the Listed ATC Gimcrack Stakes) from 3 starts for $259,200 in earnings. Setsuna was passed in for $50,000 at the 2017 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale from the draft of Manx Park. Trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott will now turn their attention to next year's Golden Slipper. "She was very professional today," Bott told racing.com. "She's proven herself well and truly this preparation, so we'll look after her now, give her a good spell in the paddock and bring her back for a Golden Slipper campaign." Bott added: "That will give her enough prize money to hopefully qualify her into the Slipper."
Jon Snow to Relish Flemington
The connections of Jon Snow (Iffraaj-Orinda, by O'Reilly) believe the Kiwi stayer will relish the wide open spaces at Flemington in next Tuesday's $6.2 million Gr1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), reports NZ Racing Desk. "The main thing for him is getting away from Caulfield and on to a bigger track will really suit him," said Andrew Forsman, who trains the 4YO with Murray Baker. Last year's Australian Derby winner is starting to strike form at the right time, winning the Gr3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley three starts back before finishing third in the Gr1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m). He was then a victim of interference in the straight when unplaced (9th) in the Caulfield Cup (2400m). "He's doing well and he had a good gallop this morning and Stephen Baster is happy that the horse is on target," Forsman said. "It's hard to go into a race like this too confident when they haven't run the trip before and the form lines are so hard to work out, but he is very well."
Winx Heads Cox Plate 2nd Acceptances
Champion mare Winx heads the 48 horses still in contention at the second acceptance stage for the $3 million Gr1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on 28 October. Among the other notable acceptances were Melbourne Cup winner Almandin, Bonneval, Catchy, Egg Tart, Gingernuts, Hartnell, Humidor, Royal Symphony, Foxplay and Scales Of Justice. Winx is aiming to create history this spring by joining the legendary Kingston Town as the only horse to win three Cox Plates. Click here to view full list of Cox Plate second acceptances.
Yankee Rose Facing Retirement
Yankee Rose has likely run her last race with connections all but deciding to retire the star mare and offer her for sale, reports racing.com. The David Vandyke-trained 4YO, who was crowned Queensland Horse of the Year last week, was found to be lame on Wednesday morning, the latest in a series of setbacks which have plagued her career. The two-time Gr1 winner of the ATC Sires' Produce Stakes and Spring Champion Stakes in Sydney was set to have the second start of her campaign in Saturday's Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington after a disappointing first-up performance (9th of 11) in the Gr1 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield. "I wasn't happy with her this morning and as such I didn't accept in the Makybe Diva Stakes," Vandyke said. "The owners have had a meeting and they voted to sell her so I'll just keep her in work until as such time as they find a buyer." While he laments the loss of his stable star, Vandyke said he was grateful for the opportunity to train a horse of her calibre. "She's always had issues," he said. "I think we've done well to get what we've got out of her. It's disappointing that we've reached this point but at the same time she's been a wonderful mare and it's been fantastic to train her up to this point." Yankee Rose retires with 4 wins from 10 starts for $2,043,700 in earnings. Apart from her two Group One victories, she will also be remembered for her third placing behind champion mare Winx in last year's Cox Plate.
Melbourne Cup Carnival Calendar Of Events Released
With weights for the Gr1 Melbourne Cup set to be announced on Tuesday 12 September, anticipation is certainly starting bloom along with the famous roses at Flemington. Following is a virtual potpourri of key race dates and events news the VRC has announced:
- Myer Spring Fashion Lunch (Gala event at The Atrium) – Wednesday 13 September.
- Sofitel Girls' Day Out (Featuring the Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes) - Saturday 16 September. Flemington's Spring racing opening day.
- Spring Classics Preview Day (Featuring Derby and Oaks trials) – Wednesday 27 September
- Seppelt Turnbull Stakes Day (Featuring Gr1 Turnbull Stakes) – Saturday 7 October
- Melbourne Cup Carnival Launch (Celebrity event at The Park to officially launch the 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival) – Monday October 30
- VRC Members' Trackwork Event (Members and Media only) – Tuesday 31 October
- AAMI Victoria Derby Day (Elegance and equine class combine on Australasian racing's widely regarded showcase day) – Saturday 4 November
- Emirates Melbourne Cup Parade (Swanston Street procession featuring Melbourne Cup jockeys, trainers and connections) – Monday 6 November
- Emirates Melbourne Cup Day (The $6.25 million "race that stops a nation") – Tuesday 7 November
- VRC Kennedy Oaks Club Lunch (Special guests and live entertainment make this a "must-attend" event on the social and racing calendar) – Wednesday 8 November
- Kennedy Oaks Day (Fashion, food and racing combine as the best 3YO fillies fight it out on track) – Thursday 9 November
- Emirates Stakes Day (A Family-friendly final day with some serious racing, including the $2 million Gr1 Emirates Stakes) – Saturday 11 November
Eureka Stud Stallion Parade 20th August
Scott McAlpine and family are proud to show off their 2017 stallion line up on Sunday 20th August at 658 Cambooya Felton Rd, Cambooya, Queensland. Gates open at 10.30am with the stallion parade to commence at 11am. Featuring dual Gr1 winner Spirit Of Boom, beautifully bred Gr1 winning and Gr1-producing stallion Red Dazzler, multiple Champion QLD 2YO Sire Real Saga, and introducing Choisir’s exciting Group winning freshman son Defcon, the stallion parade is a must-attend event for breeders. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everest on Snowdens' Sprinters Radar
Peter Snowden has provided an update on the progress of several of his stable stars ahead of the spring, including Group One-winning sprinters Russian Revolution (The Galaxy) and Redzel (Doomben 10,000). Snowden is confident the sons of Snitzel can once again figure prominently in the feature sprints during the spring, including perhaps the inaugural $10 million The Everest at Randwick on 14 October. "They went out at the same time and came back in at the same time. They spelled well and have returned in sensational order," Snowden told Sky Sports Radio. "They are about five weeks into their prep and will probably trial at Randwick on the 10th (July)." He added: "Both have big assignments this preparation…maybe The Everest, who knows, only time will tell. They are both Group One winners now and they won't be out of place in any race we run them in."
Trainer & Owner Reforms Commence 1st August
As announced in November last year, Racing Australia is introducing new reforms known as the Trainers and Owner Reforms (TOR). The reforms, which have been incorporated into the Australian Rules of Racing, will commence on 1 August, 2017. All trainers and owners are bound by, and subject to, the Rules of Racing and as a consequence are required to comply with the TOR Rules. The key objectives of the reforms remain as originally announced. The reforms are intended to:
- Provide greater certainty and clarity in the relationship between owners and trainers as well as between multiple owners of a horse.
- Encourage on-time payments of training fees and introduce a streamlined process to resolve issues where payments are not made in a timely fashion.
Click here for more information.
Defcon on Show at National Broodmare Sale
First season sire Defcon (Choisir-Nuclear Force, by Encosta de Lago) will be available for inspection during the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale which begins at the Gold Coast today. Ideally suited to the Queensland breeding industry, the powerful son of multiple Gr1-winner and star Australian sprinter Choisir will commence stud duties at Eureka Stud at Toowoomba this spring at a fee of $8,800. Displaying a powerful physique that matched his race record, Defcon was as an explosively fast two-year-old. Testimony to that was his breathtaking last to first dash to win the Gr3 Black Opal Stakes where he defeated subsequent Gr1 winner Prized Icon. Trained by Peter Snowden, Defcon also finished a close-up second in both the Gr2 ATC Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) and Gr3 ATC Canonbury Stakes (1100m) in Sydney, before returning as a 3YO to win the Gr3 MRC McNeil Stakes (1200m) in Melbourne.
Defcon (image: Mark Gatt)
Defcon to Stand at Eureka Stud
The brilliantly fast Group-winning juvenile Defcon will take up stud duties at Eureka Stud in 2017 at a fee of $8,800 (inc. GST). With a powerful, speed physique to match the blistering juvenile speed that befits a son of multiple Gr1-winner and former star Australian sprinter Choisir, Defcon is sure to be an extremely popular commodity. "We really like his profile to make a sire," said Eureka Stud's Scott McAlpine. "Defcon had really high class 2YO ability and retired with the speed, natural talent and a pedigree to make an important impact as a stallion." Trainer Peter Snowden commented "In terms of natural ability, Defcon was up there with the very best 2YOs we had. He had real talent." The lightly raced Defcon recorded brilliant performances as a 2YO winning the Gr3 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) as well as finishing a close-up second in both the Gr2 ATC Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) and Gr3 ATC Canonbury Stakes (1100m) in Sydney. He then returned as a 3YO to win the Gr3 MRC McNeil Stakes (1200m) in Melbourne. "Our ownership group have elected to retain the majority of Defcon and stand him at one of Queensland's pre-eminent studs in Eureka," said James Harron, who purchased the handsome colt for $340,000 as a yearling. "I know firsthand how much natural ability this horse had as a juvenile and we will be getting right behind him in the next phase of his career."
Defcon (image: Mark Gatt)
771 Reasons To Be At Oaklands Junction
At the 2017 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale which gets underway on Sunday, relations to the likes of The Quarterback, Not Listenin’tome, Tiamo Grace, Palentino and Defcon headline a memorable catalogue. A total of 771 yearlings have been catalogued for sale between February 26 and March 1, 2017, and among them are 54 relations to Group winners – including nine Group 1 victors – and 52 progeny of Group winners, 13 of which are from Group 1-winning mares. In total, 109 stallions are represented in the Premier catalogue headed by Written Tycoon (30), Fiorente and Pierro (29), Shamus Award and Helmet (23), Reward For Effort (22), High Chaparral (21) and Sebring and I Am Invincible (20). There are 19 First Season Sires – behind Fiorente and Shamus Award are Fighting Sun (19), Zoustar (17), Epaulette (15) and Unencumbered (13). Supreme Thoroughbreds is the leading vendor with a draft of 43, ahead of Swettenham (38), Woodside Park (33), Rosemont (32) and Blue Gum (31). Of the 771 horses catalogued, 507 are Super VOBIS nominated 439 are BOBS eligible. Click on the below image for a feature preview of the sale.
Inglis Premier Yearling Sale Catalogue Now Online
Relations to the likes of The Quarterback, Not Listenin'tome, Tiamo Grace, Palentino and Defcon headline a memorable catalogue for the 2017 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale. A total of 771 yearlings have been catalogued for sale between February 26 and March 1 next year. Of those to go under the hammer, 507 are Super VOBIS nominated 439 are BOBS eligible. Among them are 54 relations to Group winners – including nine Gr1 victors – and 52 progeny of Group winners, 13 of which are from Gr1-winning mares. In total, 109 stallions are represented headed by Written Tycoon (30), Fiorente and Pierro (29), Shamus Award and Helmet (23), Reward For Effort (22), High Chaparral (21) and Sebring and I Am Invincible (20). There are 19 First Season Sires – behind Fiorente and Shamus Award are Fighting Sun (19), Zoustar (17), Epaulette (15) and Unencumbered (13). Supreme Thoroughbreds is the leading vendor with a draft of 43, ahead of Swettenham (38), Woodside Park (33), Rosemont (32) and Blue Gum (31). Day 1 will again feature the popular Blue Riband session, for select yearlings our bloodstock team has earmarked as potential Classic contenders. The Inglis Premier Yearling Sale will be held at the Oaklands complex in Melbourne from February 26-March 1, 2017. Click here to view the catalogue.
Inglis' Melbourne Premier catalogue is now online
Saracino Primed For Australian Debut
Wairarapa-based bloodstock agent Bruce Perry is expecting Saracino (Per Incanto-Bella Daniela, by O'Reilly) to measure up when he makes his Australian debut in the Gr2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington tomorrow. An impressive first-up winner of the Gr2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate (1200m) in New Zealand, the highly regarded New Zealand colt tuned up for his latest assignment with an easy win in an 800 metre jump-out at Flemington last Friday. "We're very happy with him; can't fault him. Damien Oliver went and rode him in work and he was happy and he had a quiet jump-out last Friday which he won easily," said Perry, who manages owner Lib Petagna's racing team. "He's hard to line up in this one. We know we've got a pretty good horse, but there's a couple of other horses in there that in time we might look back and say 'gee, there were some really top horses come out of that race'." The Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Defcon is currently the $4 favourite for the Danehill, ahead of Saracino at $7, and Highland Beat and Samara Dancer at $7.50.
Defcon Wins Gr3 McNeil Stakes
At Caulfield in Melbourne, multiple Gr1-winning shuttler & former star Australian sprinter Choisir (Danehill Dancer-Great Selection, by Lunchtime) added a Group success when 3YO colt Defcon (Choisir-Nuclear Force, by Encosta de Lago) scored by 1.25 lengths for trainers Peter & Paul Snowden in the $150,000 Gr3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) for 3YOs, over fellow 3YO colts Highland Beat (Exceed and Excel-Highland Daughter, by Kyllachy) & Wazzenme (Wanted-On the Loose, by Strategic). Co-trainer Peter Snowden said Defcon would make his next appearance in the Gr2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on 10 September. "He showed that customary 300 metre dash that he has - it's lethal. If we can hold him up for that final 300 metres, then it will take a good one to get past him," Snowden told racing.com. "He's really furnished this time in. Last preparation he was a bit soft." He added: "Going forward to the Danehill in two weeks time looks perfect for him." Defcon - who was a $350,000 purchase by James Harron at the 2015 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Eliza Park International - improved his record to 2 wins (including the Gr3 Black Opal Stakes) and 2 placings (including the Gr2 ATC Silver Slipper Stakes) from 5 starts for $342,250 earnings.
Defcon (image: Mark Gatt)
Defcon Wins Gr3 Black Opal Stakes
At Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, multiple Gr1-winning shuttler & former star Australian sprinter Choisir (Danehill Dancer-Great Selection, by Lunchtime) added a Group success when 2YO colt Defcon (Choisir-Nuclear Force, by Encosta de Lago) scored by 1-length for trainers Peter & Paul Snowden in the $275,000 Gr3 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) for 2YOs, over 2YO gelding Flash Fibian (Ready's Image-Langfibian, by Langfuhr) & fellow 2YO colt Prized Icon (More Than Ready-Tropical Affair, by Danehill). Defcon, who was a $350,000 purchase by James Harron at the 2015 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Eliza Park International, took his record to 1 win and 2 placings (including the Gr2 ATC Silver Slipper Stakes) from 3 starts for $251,500 earnings. Trainer Peter Snowden said he would now give serious consideration to running Defcon in the $3.5 million Gr1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday week. "He had a bit on them. He relaxed well and produced that sterling turn of foot...It's a great result," Snowden told Sky Racing. "I'll think about that [whether or not he will go to the Slipper]. We'll let the dust settle and enjoy the moment and see what happens."
Canberra The More Likely Target For Defcon
Despite accepting to run in both the Gr2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick tomorrow and the Gr3 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) in Canberra on Sunday, it seems more likely that the highly thought of Choisir colt will take his place in the nation's Capital. That's despite drawing a wide pole for the Black Opal. According to horseracing.com.au, co-trainer Peter Snowden, who also has Gr1 Golden Slipper joint favourite Capitalist accepted for the Todman, Defcon's Randwick entry was just a precation. From his only two starts to date, Defcon has finished runner-up in the Gr3 Canonbury Stakes (1200m) & Gr2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) – both at Rosehill Gardens. Toghest to beat for Defcon are likely to be Dieters, Prized Icon and Super Too.
Defcon (green) went close in the Silver Slipper (pic: Steve Hart)
Small Randwick Fields Stacked With Quality
Meanwhile, while it might not contribute to ideal betting turnover, the across the board relatively small fields for Saturday's Gr1 Randwick Guineas Day have thrown up some beautiful tactical battles between key rivals. The biggest field for any of the 9 races on the card is 13 (Randwick Guineas & Wenona Girl Handicap), dropping down to 6 for the Gr2 Todman Stakes which sees Golden Slipper favourite Capitalist up against Astern, Tessera, Defcon and Weatherly, plus the beautifully bred debut winner Kiss And Make Up (Redoute's Choice-Fashions Afield) in which Gai Waterhouse shares ownership with John Singleton and others. Likewise, the Gr1 Canterbury Stakes field of 7 is low in numbers, but certainly not quality: Criterion, Kermadec, Our Boy Malachi, First Seal, Ecuador, Happy Clapper and Holler will all find betting support.
Astern Wins Gr2 Silver Slipper Stakes
At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Darley's multiple Gr1-winning shuttler Medaglia d'Oro (El Prado-Cappucino Bay, by Bailjumper) added a Group success when 2YO Godolphin colt Astern (Medaglia d'Oro-Essaouira, by Exceed and Excel) scored by 0.5-length for trainer John O'Shea in the $250,000 Gr2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) for 2YOs, over fellow colts Defcon (Choisir-Nuclear Force, by Encosta de Lago) & Mount Panorama (Sebring-Bashaayer, by High Yield). This was the first stakes victory for Astern who took his record to 2 wins from 2 starts for $220,750 earnings. "You could see that he had his ears pricked...Hughie [jockey Hugh Bowman] knew he had plenty up his sleeve. He's a quality colt," trainer John O'Shea told Sky Racing. O'Shea confirmed that Astern would have one more start in the Gr2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on 5 March before his primary target - the $3.5 million Gr1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on 19 March. "He's in the race now [the Golden Slipper] so we will go to the Todman in a couple of weeks and hope he has a good day there and does everything right." By Darley stallion Medaglia d'Oro, Astern is the third foal to race from the well bred Exceed And Excel mare Essaouira, who has already produced fellow Godolphin galloper and stakes placed 3YO Mogador (Lonhro). Essaouira is out of the Gr2 Magic Night Stakes winner Alizes (Rory's Jester) from the brilliant Gr1 winning sprinting mare La Baraka (Euclase), herself a daughter of champion filly Triscay (Marscay). Triscay won 13 stakes races, five of which were at Gr1 level, including the Australian Oaks and Australian Guineas.
Astern (image: Steve Hart)
Supporting Acts On Show In Diamond Preludes
Judged on what he has achieved in his two race starts thus far, $2.70 Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) favourite Extreme Choice is widely considered to have the 2YO feature sprint at his mercy on February 27, albeit that he is yet to be tested over the additional 200m. Tomorrow's Blue Diamond Preludes (one for each of the colts/geldings and fillies) will provide some of Extreme Choice's expected key opposition with an opportunity to debunk suggestions that the Blue Diamond is a one horse race. Calliope, Sword Of Light, Concealer and Zamzam clash in the fillies' division, while Defcon (who currently shares 2nd favouritism with Calliope for the Blue Diamond), Flying Artie, Weatherly, Cohesion and El Venetian are among the key performers in the colts' & geldings' division.
Tessera Wins Gr3 Canonbury Stakes
At Rosehill in Sydney, Darley's multiple Gr1-winning shuttler Medaglia d'Oro (El Prado-Cappucino Bay, by Bailjumper) added a Group success when 2YO Godolphin colt Tessera (Medaglia d'Oro-Chatoyant, by Flying Spur) scored by 1.5-lengths for trainer John O'Shea in the $150,000 Gr3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) for 2YO c&g, over fellow 2YO colts Defcon (Choisir-Nuclear Force, by Encosta de Lago) & Mount Panorama (Sebring-Bashaayer, by High Yield). This was the first stakes victory for the unbeaten Tessera who took his record to 2 wins from 2 starts for $159,750 earnings. From the Flying Spur mare Chatoyant, Tessera is a half-brother to Gr3 winner Montsegur (New Approach) and hails from the family of Gr1 winner Bonaria, Gr3 winning sprinter Legally Bay, and her Gr2 Roman Consul Stakes winning daughter Jolie Bay.