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Chairman Sale Entries Building
Entries continue to build for the hugely successful Inglis Chairman’s Sale in April, following on from a stellar first edition of the sale a year ago. Some of the southern hemisphere’s best mares, weanlings and stallion shares will be offered to the strongest buying bench Australasia has to offer on Thursday April 12, a day after the conclusion of the Australian Easter Yearling Sale. The inaugural Chairman’s Sale in 2017 was a phenomenal success, grossing more than $23 million at an average of $330,000 and a clearance rate of 87%. The 2018 Chairman’s Sale catalogue is already taking shape, with the likes of Arrowfield, Coolmore, Yarraman Park, Milburn Creek, Newgate Farm, Willow Park, Bhima Thoroughbreds, Aquis Farm and Newhaven Park already confirming their support of the sale with high quality entries, while Waratah Thoroughbreds has also entered a world-class consignment of 11 horses as part of its broodmare dispersal. Entries already received include weanlings by Snitzel, Vancouver, Pride of Dubai, Dissident, Shooting to Win, Fastnet Rock and Press Statement while mares in foal to the likes of Fastnet Rock, Snitzel, American Pharoah, Capitalist, Sebring, Pierro and Exceed and Excel and I am Invincible will be offered. Included in the race fillies section is a full-sister to the recent Gr3 winning 2YO Ennis Hill and Golden Slipper placegetter Lake Geneva. Entries for the sale close Friday 23rd February.
Stunning Inglis Easter Catalogue Available Online
An elite catalogue of 534 top-level yearlings will be the focus of the world's thoroughbred industry at the 2018 Australian Easter Yearling Sale at Riverside Stables from April 9-11. The catalogue, which is now available online, features 38 siblings to Group 1 winners such as Catchy, Starspangledbanner, Mighty Boss, Shoals, Buffering, Mossfun, Lankan Rupee, Flying Artie, Press Statement, Sebring, English, Shooting To Win, The Quarterback and Lucia Valentina. There are also progeny of 31 Group 1-winning mares including Peggy Jean, Secret Admirer, Amanpour, Go Indy Go, Plucky Belle, Norzita, Sacred Choice, Snitzerland, Bonaria and Steps In Time. Arrowfield's incumbent champion Australian sire Snitzel is the leading sire with 64 progeny, while I Am Invincible (41), Fastnet Rock (39), Sebring (34), Redoute's Choice (23), Pierro (21), Dissident (20), Not A Single Doubt (19), Exceed And Excel (17) and Deep Field (16) round out the top 10. There are also progeny by outstanding international sires Deep Impact (3), Tapit (3), and Frankel (2). Arrowfield Stud is leading vendor with 51 entries ahead of Coolmore Stud (39), Widden Stud (30) and Kitchwin Hills and Segenhoe Stud (24). The 2018 Australian Easter Yearling Sale will be the first held at the new Riverside Stables from Monday April 9 until Wednesday April 11. Click here to view the catalogue.
Easter Sales Schedule:
- Thursday 5 April Chairman's Sale – Racing Prospects Sydney (TBC)
- Saturday 7 April The Championships – Day 1 Royal Randwick
- Monday 9 April Easter Yearling Sale – Day 1 Riverside Stables
- Tuesday 10 April Easter Yearling Sale – Day 2 Riverside Stables
- Wednesday 11 April Easter Yearling Sale – Day 3 Riverside Stables
- Thursday 12 April Chairman's Sale – Breeding Prospects Riverside Stables
- Saturday 14 April The Championships – Day 2 Royal Randwick
- Sunday 15 April Australian Broodmare & Weanling Sale Riverside Stables
- Monday 16 April Australian Broodmare & Weanling Sale Riverside Stables
- Tuesday 17 April Australian Broodmare & Weanling Sale Riverside Stables
Lady Eli Retired From Racing
Champion US mare Lady Eli has officially been retired from racing and will visit War Front in her first year at stud, reports Blood Horse. "We have been wrestling with the very difficult decision of whether to race or retire Lady Eli since we scratched her from the Keeneland November sale days after she was injured in the Filly & Mare Turf," her owners Sol Kumin and Jay Hanley said in a joint press statement. "As her stewards we - with Chad's guidance at every turn - have tried to shepherd Lady Eli through her racing career with the utmost respect, compassion, and love for her as a living being first, and secondarily as a racehorse. It is in this spirit that we have ultimately chosen to retire Lady Eli from racing and allow her to gracefully - and safely - begin her career as a broodmare." Bred in Kentucky by Runnymede Farm and Catesby Clay and trained by Chad Brown, Lady Eli (Divine Park-Sacre Coeur, by Saint Ballado) retires with the outstanding record of 10 wins from 14 starts for US$2.95 million in prize money. Her record - which includes 5 Group 1 victories in the Diana Stakes, Gamely Stakes, Flower Bowl Stakes, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf & Belmont Oaks - is all the more remarkable given she suffered a potentially career-ending bout of laminitis in July, 2015. Lady Eli is an Eclipse Award finalist for 2017 champion turf female.
Inglis Launch 2018 Easter Preview Magazine
The catalogue for the 2018 Australian Easter Yearling Sale is taking shape, with an elite line up set to grace Riverside Stables on April 9-11. The annual Inglis Easter Preview Magazine is now available online and contains the pedigrees of hundreds of world-class yearlings that will be offered to a local and international buying bench next year. Among the 535-strong early catalogue are 39 siblings to Group 1 winners including VRC Oaks heroine Pinot, Catchy, Mighty Boss, Shoals, Flying Artie, Press Statement, Sebring, English, Shooting To Win, The Quarterback and Lucia Valentina. There are also progeny of 36 Group 1-winning mares such as Alinghi, Commanding Jewel, Peggy Jean, Secret Admirer, Red Tracer, Cosmic Endeavour, Daffodil, Bonaria, Steps In Time and Absolut Glam. Arrowfield Stud's Snitzel is the leading sire with 64 entrants ahead of Coolmore's Fastnet Rock (44), Yarraman Park's I Am Invincible (39) and Widden Stud's Sebring (31). There will also be four fillies by champion Japanese stallion Deep Impact, and two Frankel colts. The 2018 Australian Easter Yearling Sale will be the first held at Riverside Stables from Monday April 9 until Wednesday April 11. The Chairman's Sale (Racing Prospects, Thursday April 5) and The Chairman's Sale (Breeding Prospects, Thursday April 12) will bookend the Easter Sale, while the Australian Broodmare and Weanling Sale will follow for three days from Sunday April 15. Click here to view the Easter Preview Magazine.
Inglis Easter Schedule
- Thursday 5 April Chairman's Sale – Racing Prospects Sydney, TBC
- Saturday 7 April The Championships – Day 1 Royal Randwick
- Monday 9 April Easter Yearling Sale – Day 1 Riverside Stables
- Tuesday 10 April Easter Yearling Sale – Day 2 Riverside Stables
- Wednesday 11 April Easter Yearling Sale – Day 3 Riverside Stables
- Thursday 12 April Chairman's Sale – Breeding Prospects Riverside Stables
- Saturday 14 April The Championships – Day 2 Royal Randwick
- Sunday 15 April Australian Broodmare & Weanling Sale Riverside Stables
- Monday 16 April Australian Broodmare & Weanling Sale Riverside Stables
- Tuesday 17 April Australian Broodmare & Weanling Sale Riverside Stables
Vinery Announce 2017 Service Fees
Vinery Stud has announced its stallion line-up for 2017 with Gr1 sprinter Star Turn joining the roster for a $22,000 (inc. GST) service fee. The high-class 3YO was retired last week following an autumn campaign highlighted by Gr1 weight-for-age placings against the older horses in the Lightning Stakes, Newmarket Handicap and William Reid Stakes. His sire Star Witness was a Gr1 winner as a two and three year-old and he heads this season's third-season sires' premiership with earnings over $4million. The complete Vinery roster is:
- ALL TOO HARD - $44,000
- CASINO PRINCE - $11,000
- HEADWATER - $16,500
- MORE THAN READY - $66,000
- PLUCK - $9,900
- PRESS STATEMENT - $22,000
- STAR TURN - $22,000
- TESTA ROSSA - $16,500
*All service fees (inc. GST)
Yarraman Park Announce 2017 Fees
Yarraman Park has announced the 2017 fees for its resident champion stallions I Am Invincible and Hinchinbrook. I Am Invincible, sire of dual Gr1 winning sprinter and stallion Brazen Beau, has had an outstanding year both on the track and in the sales ring. With 19 stakes winners to his credit, I Am Invincible is the sire of Australia’s best 3YO filly I Am A Star who recently added the Gr2 Kewney Stakes & Gr2 Sunline Stakes to her impressive CV which is highlighted by her Gr1 Myer Classic victory in the spring. I Am Invincible, currently the country’s leading stallion by winners to runners with a consistent percentage of more than 50%, is also the sire of brilliant Queensland filly and Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Houtzen. He will stand at $110,000 (inc. GST) this spring. Meanwhile, Snitzel’s three-quarter-brother Hinchinbrook has had a brilliant start to 2017 following his remarkable spring where he was one of only four stallions to sire more than one stakes winner at the Melbourne Cup Carnival. He is the sire of Gr1-winning freshman stallion Press Statement, Magic Millions 3YO Guineas winner Flying Jess, classy juvenile Diamond Tathagata, Gr3 winner Spright and Listed winners Flippant and Derryn. Hinchinbrook’s fee has been set at $44,000 (inc. GST).
I Am Invincible's aptly named daughter I Am A Star (image: Mark Gatt)
Man Of His Word Seeking Maiden Stakes Win
Trainer Bruce Hill has resisted the temptation of running Man Of His Word in the Villiers Stakes in Sydney by remaining closer to home for the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1600m) at Doomben. The Gold Coast-based Hill, who also will start Coffs Harbour Cup winner Bodega Negra, gave serious thought about sending Man Of His Word interstate following his impressive last start win at Eagle Farm on December 3. “He’s going terrific and he’s always shown us he has the ability,” Hill told Racing Queensland Webnews. “He’s slowly getting there. He’s not quite mature enough and he gets a bit lost and wanders." He added: "We’ve decided to stay in Brisbane instead of going for the Villiers [Gr2]. I gave it a lot of thought but I’m taking the easier option to stay home.” The talented Man Of His Word (Lope de Vega-Mandalina, by Fasliyev) has won 5 of his 17 starts to date, but is yet to be successful at black-type level. However, he has always shown stakes ability as evidenced by his fifth placing behind dual Gr1 winner Press Statement in the Gr2 ATC Stan Fox Stakes last year.
Gr1 Caulfield Guineas Field & Barriers
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $1 million Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) for 3YOs to be run at Caulfield racecourse on Saturday. Heading the market is Godolphin's last-start Gr2 Stan Fox Stakes winner Impending at $4.40, ahead of Stan Fox runner-up Divine Prophet at $4.80, Gr1-winning Kiwi gelding Sacred Elixir at $6.50, Good Standing at $8.50, and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Evacuation at $9. All other runners are available at double figure odds. The Caulfield Guineas is renowned as one of Australia's pre-eminent sire-making races having produced numerous top-class stallions including Starspangledbanner (2009), Lonhro (2001), Show A Heart (2000), and Redoute's Choice (1999), while recent winners Helmet (2011), All Too Hard (2012), Shooting To Win (2014) and Press Statement (2015) are showing all the signs of continuing that proud tradition. The final field is:
1. SACRED ELIXIR (Tony Pike-Damian Lane) 56.5kg (7)
2. IMPENDING (John O'Shea-James McDonald) 56.5kg (10)
3. GOOD STANDING (James Cummings-Hugh Bowman) 56.5kg (11)
4. DIVINE PROPHET (Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-D Dunn) 56.5kg (1)
5. HEY DOC (Tony McEvoy-Luke Currie) 56.5kg (13)
6. SARACINO (Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman-Damien Oliver) 56.5kg (4)
7. SEABURGE (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig-Mark Zahra) 56.5kg (9)
8. REVOLVING DOOR (Clinton McDonald-Corey Brown) 56.5kg (8)
9. WAZZENME (Stuart Webb-Luke Nolen) 56.5kg (5)
10. EVACUATION (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-Kerrin McEvoy) 56.5kg (3)
11. LAND OF PLENTY (Mick Price-Craig Newitt) 56.5kg (14)
12. KACHING (Ciaron Maher-Nicholas Hall) 56.5kg (6)
13. SO SI BON (Robbie Laing-Michael Dee) 56.5kg (12)
14. BARBIE'S BOY (Louise Bonella-Daniel Stackhouse) 56.5kg (2)
Reith Has Faith In Le Romain
Jockey Christian Reith is confident that classy galloper Le Romain will acquit himself well when he lines up against a group of battle hardened older horses in Saturday's Gr3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Royal Randwick, reports racingnsw.com.au. The Randwick Guineas winner in the autumn resumes against the likes of Messene, Generalife, Vashka and Famous Seamous as well as last-start Missile Stakes winner, Tycoon Tara. Reith rode the 4YO in a 1000 metres barrier trial at Gosford on 1 August and declared him ready to fire at his favourite track. "He gave me a good feel at Gosford and he's definitely come back stronger and more mature," Reith said. "I expect a forward showing from him on Saturday. He's working well and doing everything right this preparation so it's exciting. He loves the big, open tracks and he's showed that he can sprint when he's fresh so it's all systems go." Reith conceded it would be hard to overcome a host of stakes-winning horses, but knows his Group 1 winner, who has beaten Press Statement, is a horse on improve. "It will be a test, of course. He's going from the three-year-old ranks and stepping out against the older open-class horses so he's got to take that step. But I think the horse has come back bigger and better and is ready to take that step." Trainer Kris Lees has nominated the Gr1 Epsom Handicap at Randwick and the G1 Toorak Handicap in Melbourne as likely spring targets for the son of Hard Spun.
Vinery Will Stream 20 Aug Stallion Parade On Facebook
The inexorable march of technology embraced by the thoroughbred industry will take another step tomorrow week when the Hunter Valley's Vinery Stud streams one of its stallion parade days. The Saturday session (Aug 20) will be streamed for about 45 minutes from 9.30am, with the stallion parade featuring the full complement of 10 Vinery sires, including the popular new duo Headwater and Press Statement. Clients attending the open days (which also includes Sunday August 21) are being reminded that RSVPs are essential by Tuesday 16 August. The below image is linked to Vinery's facebook page for the August 20 live stream.
New-Look Roster Launched At Vinery Open Days
Meanwhile, incoming sires Press Statement and Headwater will launch a new-look roster at Vinery Stud’s annual Stallion Parades on August 20 & 21. They are the first additions to Vinery’s stellar line-up since Champion 3YO colt All Too Hard retired in 2013. Like All Too Hard, Press Statement won the Caulfield Guineas Gr1 and retires to stud as the first colt in several years to retire as a 2YO (J.J Atkins S Gr1) and a 3YO Gr1 winner. Silver Slipper winner Headwater has always had a strong following being a star Easter yearling with a brilliant pedigree and physique to match. Both newcomers have been extremely well received and have settled in well to Stud life ahead of what will be a busy season. More Than Ready returns for a record-breaking 16th consecutive shuttle season (see above item). Prominent proven 2016 sires Mossman, Testa Rossa, Husson, Myboycharlie and Casino Prince round out a 10-horse roster on show at the historic Vinery Stud property. Key open day info:
- Location: 684 Segenhoe Road, Scone, all visitors are welcome with gates open at 8.30am
- Dates: August 20 & 21
- Times: 8.30am light breakfast for 9.30am parades
- RSVP: essential to Racheal at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office (02) 6543 8333
Marenostro Wins Listed Winter Challenge
At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Dormello Stud stallion Duelled (Redoute's Choice-Leica Pretender, by Sir Tristram) added a black-type success when 5YO New Zealand-bred gelding Marenostro (Duelled-Maybe Yes, by Last Tycoon) scored by 0.5-length for trainer Chris Waller in the $150,000 Listed Winter Challenge (1500m) for 3YO+, over 5YO gelding Oxford Poet (Dylan Thomas-Oxford Princess, by Magic Ring) & 4YO gelding Ruling Dynasty (Medaglia d'Oro-Makarova, by Thunder Gulch). This was the first stakes victory for Marenostro who advanced his record to 10 wins and 6 placings from 29 starts for $455,550 earnings. Marenostro - who was purchased by Phill Cataldo Bloodstock for NZ$20,000 at the 2011 NZB National Weanling Sale - is out of the Last Tycoon mare Maybe Yes, a half-sister to the dam of Gr1 winners Press Statement and Pressday. Maybe Yes, who died in 2014, has also produced Gr1 Avondale Gold Cup winner The Mighty Lions.
Marenostro (image: Steve Hart)
Le Romain To Resume In Liverpool City Cup
Meanwhile, Lucia Valentina's classy stable-mate Le Romain (Hard Spun-Mignard, by Strategic) is set to launch his spring campaign in the Gr3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) on Warwick Stakes day (20 August). Le Romain stamped himself as one of the best 3YOs in Sydney when defeating top colt Press Statement in the Gr1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) in the autumn. Trainer Kris Lees has nominated the Gr1 Epsom Handicap at Randwick and the G1 Toorak Handicap in Melbourne as likely spring targets for the son of Hard Spun.
China Horse Club Purchase Top NZ Filly
Emerging thoroughbred powerhouse The China Horse Club is set to have its first New Zealand runner next season, reports NZ Racing Desk. The China Horse Club has purchased multiple Group winner Mime (Mastercraftsman-Maidjeu, by Montjeu), who will remain with trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman for her four-year-old career. "She will be the first runner here for us," said the Cambridge-based Michael Wallace, racing and bloodstock manager for the China Horse Club. "She will go down to Hastings for the spring series with more of a focus on the second and third legs." Wallace added: "We've had a few horses educated here and then exported to Singapore and we've got the Power-Octapussy filly bought at Karaka with Tony Pike so we are increasing our involvement." Now a prominent global investor in the industry, the China Horse Club continues to expand its interests with the group wholly or partly owning several top-class stallions including Australia (English Derby), Dissident, Pride of Dubai and Press Statement. They also own a share in last season's Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Extreme Choice. Their New Zealand acquisition Mime has won four of her 11 starts, including the Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic and the Gr3 Sunline Vase. She was spelled after finishing fourth in the Gr1 New Zealand Oaks.
Ready For Victory & Jabali Join Sun Stud
Sun Stud (formerly Eliza Park International) has announced the addition of two exciting stallions in Ready For Victory and Jabali to its already formidable rosters in Victoria and Queensland. A stakes winner on debut at two and a son of More Than Ready, Ready For Victory will stand at Sun Stud’s Victorian farm, while Group Two winning 3YO, Jabali (by Exceed And Excel), heads to Sun’s Queensland division. “Sun Stud is very happy to be standing Ready For Victory and Jabali in 2016,” Sun Stud’s Managing Director, Danielle Cheng, enthused. “The line-ups in both states are really doing the job and the inclusion of these two outstandingly-bred and well-performed stallions will only accentuate the existing quality at both farms. “Ready For Victory was an explosive 2YO who won a stakes race on debut - so well in fact that Mick (Price) suggested we put him in the Golden Slipper at only his second start. He ran fourth but was very unlucky and jockey Nicholas Hall believes the colt’s inexperience cost him the race." Cheng added: "Ready For Victory also raced on at three finishing second in the Group Three HDF McNeil Stakes, third in the Group Two Danehill and third behind Press Statement (now standing at $27,500) in the Group One Caulfield Guineas. Ready For Victory is closely related to both Champion 2YO, Meurice and highly successful sire, Rubiton, and will be a perfect fit for Victoria.” Leading trainer, Mick Price, believes racing fans didn’t get to see the best of Ready For Victory: “Sure, he was a terrific 2YO … should have won the Slipper … but he was always going to be the type that would mature into a versatile three and four year old." Price added : "Unfortunately, he suffered an injury in the (Caulfield) Guineas and we just couldn’t get him right after that. I just hope he throws them with the same type and temperament, because I know I’ll be lining up to get them.” Sun Stud also acknowledged that Jabali would be popular in either state, but eventually decided that Queensland was the right fit. “Jabali is a real eye-catcher and is likely to be well supported by Queensland breeders, especially given his resounding victory in the last year’s Queensland Guineas,” Danielle Cheng adds. “Importantly, Jabali was an exceptional 2YO with stakes seconds at his first two starts before running second in the Group One Blue Diamond."
Ready For Victory will stand at a fee of $9,900 inc. GST
Jabali’s introductory fee is $7,700 inc. GST.
As with all Sun Stud stallions, a Live Foal Payment applies to both Ready For Victory and Jabali.
Vinery Announces 2016 Stud Fees
Vinery Stud has announced its service fees for 2016 with champion sire More Than Ready and star galloper All Too Hard being joined by exciting newcomers Press Statement and Headwater. More Than Ready (USA) stays at a $66,000 fee after a stellar season which has unearthed two year-old colts the calibre of Prized Icon (Gr1 Champagne Stakes) & Kiss and Make Up (Gr2 Todman Stakes). His popularity in the sale-ring continues unabated with his yearlings selling to $950,000 at the Inglis Easter Sale at an average of $278,636. All Too Hard's first crop yearlings have been embraced by local and international buyers at all the major yearling sales this year, topping the freshman median ($220,000) at the Gold Coast Magic Millions and average ($244,048) at the Inglis Easter Sale. Press Statement (Hinchinbrook) retires to Vinery on the back of Gr1 victories as a 2YO and 3YO. He will prove popular at an introductory fee of $27,500. Headwater (Exceed And Excel) is by a Newmarket Hcp winner from Oakleigh Plate winner River Dove and was an exceptional talent winning the Gr2 Silver Slipper Stakes at two and he mixed it with older sprinters at three winning the LR Kensington Stakes (1000m) in 56.90s beating subsequent Newmarket winner The Quarterback.
Meanwhile, ahead of Buffering's next international test in Hong Kong, Mossman sired his 33rd stakes winner on Saturday and fellow Vinery favourite Testa Rossa sired his 57th stakes winner with Reldas (LR Abell Stakes) at Moonee Valley last month. Casino Prince is going better than ever this season with 6 individual stakes-winners, and Husson cracked a career-high double at the Gold Coast in January with Lucky Hussler (Magic Millions Cup) and Husson Eagle (Magic Millions Sprint) both winning races in excess of $1 million. Myboycharlie is doing an excellent job in both hemispheres – Brilliant filly Jameka won the Gr1 VRC Oaks this season and he's dominating French racing with Stakes winners Cheikeljack (colt) and undefeated Camprock (filly) both set for the French classics next month. More Than Ready's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Pluck has begun his stud career brilliantly with early winners not only in Australia but also NZ and South Africa and he's great value a $9,900 fee. The full GST-inclusive line-up is:
- MORE THAN READY $66,000
- ALL TOO HARD $55,000
- PRESS STATEMENT $27,500
- MOSSMAN $16,500
- HEADWATER $16,500
- TESTA ROSSA $16,500
- HUSSON 13,200
- CASINO PRINCE $11,000
- MOYBOYCHARLIE $11,000
- PLUCK $9,900
Press Statement Retirement Confirmed
Exciting stallion prospect Press Statement (Hinchinbrook-Kaaptive Empress, by Captive Edition) has officially been retired to stud. The high-achieving 3YO colt had his final start last Saturday at Royal Randwick, and will now be prepared for the 2016 breeding season. Among the owners of Press Statement are Vinery Stud, China Horse Club Racing and Kia Ora, ensuring that he will have excellent support from high quality mares. Press Statement set the bar pretty high for himself after finishing his juvenile season undefeated from 3 starts when winning the Gr1 J.J. Atkins Stakes (1200m) in Brisbane. As a 3YO he became one of the few horses up to the difficult task of winning at Gr1 level as both a 2YO and a sophomore, winning the stallion-making Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (see below) with contemptuous ease. Also the winner this season of both the Gr2 Stan Fox Stakes & Gr2 Hobartville Stakes, in addition to placings in the Gr1 Randwick Guineas & Gr1 Ryder Stakes (against older horses), Press Statement retires with earnings of just under $2 million. Vinery general manager Peter Orton commented, "Press Statement was a colt that exploded onto the scene very quickly with three dominant wins as a juvenile including the Group 1 J.J. Atkins Stakes. Being a good looking grand-son of multiple champion sire Fastnet Rock we didn't hesitate to secure him after his two-year-old season knowing very well that the best of him was yet to come. Press Statement is the first son of Hinchinbrook, a Fastnet Rock half-brother to Snitzel, to retire to stud. A fee is expected to be announced late this week.
Headwater Joins Press Statement In Retirement
Meanwhile, Vinery will also welcome another new stallion to its 2016 ranks following the decision to retire the well-credentialled 3YO colt Headwater. By a Newmarket Handicap winner in Exceed And Excel and from an Oakleigh Plate winner in River Dove, Headwater quickly showed he was a horse with a brilliant turn of foot when winning on debut at Moonee Valley over 1000m as a juvenile. The Team Hawkes-trained colt was then sent to Sydney where he again showed blistering speed when taking out the Gr2 ATC Silver Slipper Stakes at Rosehill by a widening 2.5-lengths. At three Headwater mixed it with older sprinters, in the Autumn defeating Newmarket Handicap winner The Quarterback down the Flemington straight, when winning the Listed VRC Kensington Stakes over 1000m in a time of 56.9. "Headwater is a really exciting prospect given the speed in his pedigree and the speed he showed at an early age," noted Vinery general manager Peter Orton. "A horse with immense quality he is sure to be popular amongst breeders being a son of a proven juvenile sire, strong stakes-winning family and brilliant racetrack performances of his own." Like Press Statement, a fee will be announced shortly.
Headwater wins the Gr2 Silver Slipper Stakes
Kermadec The Forgotten Horse In All Aged
Despite finishing 15th of 15 runners in the Gr1 Doncaster Handicap at the beginning of April, 4YO Kermadec could prove an able back-up for trainer Chris Waller in the Gr1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) in the second of Royal Randwick's Gr1 features tomorrow. Not a lot went right for the former boom galloper in the recent big mile, however his two previous starts, in the Gr1 George Ryder Stakes and Gr1 Canterbury Stakes, both yielded close-up placings. He is a $6.50 quote. Waller also saddles race favourite Press Statement who is expected to bounce back to winning form after placing in the Gr1 George Ryder Stakes and Randwick Guineas. Both Malaguerra and English have also come in for strong support in an intriguing contest that also features talented former WA star sprinter Black Heart Bart.
Kermadec rates a strong eachway chance (pic: Steve Hart)
All Aged To Suit Press Statement: Bowman
Champion Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman believes the 1400 metres of Saturday's Gr1 All Aged Stakes at Randwick will bring out the best in star colt Press Statement, reports AAP. The Chris Waller-trained colt resumed with an easy win in the Gr2 Hobartville Stakes over seven furlongs before claiming Gr1 placings in the Randwick Guineas (1600m) and George Ryder Stakes (1500m). "I think he'll go well," Bowman told Melbourne's Radio Sport National. "In my opinion back to the 1400 metres is a real bonus." He added: "I think he's more of a 1400 metre horse than a miler, despite winning the Caulfield Guineas, [Gr1] and I think the race sets up well for him." Bowman said Press Statement was the class horse of the race. "There doesn't appear to be quite the depth in the All Aged Stakes that we might have seen in other years and even in the last few weeks," Bowman said. "I think it's a race he can win."
Kermadec & Press Statement Confirmed For All Aged
High-profile stable-mates Kermadec and Press Statement are set to clash in Saturday's Gr1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick, reports horseracing.com.au. Kermadec has reportedly bounced back from a setback following his last-place finish behind Winx in the Gr1 Doncaster Mile ten days ago. The 4YO pulled up with an elevated heart rate and back soreness. Trainer Chris Waller told stewards on Saturday that Kermadec had had two treatments with the chiropractor for soreness over the back area. He further advised that the horse had worked well on Saturday morning and had scoped clear after that work. There have been no such health concerns for Press Statement who is coming off successive Gr1 placings in the Randwick Guineas (1600m) and George Ryder Stakes (1500m). Waller indicated the star colt would be on trial for a trip to Royal Ascot in Saturday's $600,000 feature. "I think Kermadec is more of a sprinter and we will bring him back in distance," Waller said. "Press Statement is a good 1400 metre horse and that's what you need for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. It is a tough 1200 metres." Waller is keen to return to Royal Ascot following his experience with Brazen Beau who finished second to Undrafted in the 2015 edition of the Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes. "It's an amazing experience and if you have a colt [like Press Statement] it can be important for their breeding careers," Waller said. Click here to view all nominations for Saturday's meeting at Royal Randwick.
Montaigne Sold To Hong Kong
Highly promising New Zealand-bred 3YO Montaigne (Road to Rock-Stylish Bel, by Bel Esprit) has been sold to Hong Kong interests, reports NZ Racing Desk. The deal, which is understood to be in excess of seven figures, was completed in the wake of the Road To Rock gelding's excellent performance on Saturday when he finished fourth behind Preferment in the Gr1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill. "We've had interest from Hong Kong for the last couple of months and we agreed on a figure after his fourth in The BMW," stable spokesman Edward Cummings said. "You never like to see a horse of his ability leave the stable, but it's business and despite our desire to keep him at Randwick we're always mindful of getting a return for our owners." Montaigne, whose ownership group included a syndicate from New Plymouth, won two races before recording placings in the Gr2 Hobartville Stakes (behind Press Statement) and the Gr1 Rosehill Guineas (Behind Tarzino) for trainer Anthony Cummings. He was purchased for $60,000 at the 2014 NZB Select Yearling Sale from the draft of Highden Park.
Winx Wins Gr1 George Ryder Stakes
At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Darley's deceased shuttler & Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street, by Troy) celebrated an elite success when superstar 4YO mare Winx (Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl, by Al Akbar) cruised to an easy 1.5-length win for trainer Chris Waller and jockey Hugh Bowman in the $1 million Gr1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) for 3YO+, over 4YO entire and stable-mate Kermadec (Teofilo-Hy Fuji, by Fuji Kiseki) & 3YO colt and stable-mate Press Statement (Hinchinbrook-Kaaptive Empress, by Kaaptive Edition). Winx, from the dual stakes-winning New Zealand mare Vegas Showgirl, was a $230,000 purchase by Magic Bloodstock at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Coolmore Stud. Her latest victory boosted her record to 12 wins (including the Gr1 Cox Plate, Gr1 Chipping Norton, Gr1 Epsom Handicap, Gr1 Queensland Oaks, Gr2 Apollo Stakes, Gr2 Theo Marks Stakes, Gr2 Phar Lap Stakes & Gr2 Furious Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 Australian Oaks & Gr1 Flight Stakes) from 18 starts for $4,753,925 earnings. Winx's confirmed her status as the best racehorse in Australia with her eighth consecutive victory. Trainer Chris Waller said she could now contest the Gr1 Doncaster Mile on 2 April en route to the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) a week later. "It's pretty special," Waller told Sky Racing. "We will think about the Doncaster; obviously the Queen Elizabeth is the race we set her for from the start of the carnival but you can’t ignore a $3 million race the week before." Winning jockey Hugh Bowman said Winx was simply a class above her rivals. "This is one of the best races in the country...its a genuine world-class Gr1 event and she showed her dominance her this afternoon," he said.
Winx shows her champion qualities in the George Ryder (image: Steve Hart)
Record Entries For TJ Smith Stakes
The $2.5 million Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) has received a record number of first acceptances following the closing deadline. The number of entries for the feature sprint have steadily risen from 46 in 2014 to 54 first acceptances this year. The $1 million Inglis Sires' (1400m) also rose from 70 in 2015 to 78 this year, along with the $2 million Australian Derby (2400m) which is a couple up from last year (46 first acceptances). "The TJ Smith Stakes has become an iconic race and interest grows each year," said Mr Peter V'landys AM, Racing NSW's Chief Executive. "In just two editions we have seen some outstanding sprinters contest the race with superstars Chautauqua and Lankan Rupee winning." He added: "This year's TJ Smith will be another great race with Chautauqua back to defend his crown in what will be a star-studded couple of days racing during The Championships." The $3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) attracted 74 first acceptances with some outstanding talent set to compete in the time-honoured event including Press Statement, Turn Me Loose, Happy Clapper, Victorian visitor Azkadellia, last year's winner Kermadec and the 'find' of the autumn, Le Romain. The $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) has 60 first acceptances and is led by ruling favourite Winx, along with 2015 Australian Derby winner Mongolian Khan, last year's victor Criterion, Bow Creek and highly-regarded Japanese galloper, Tosen Stardom. Australian Turf Club's CEO, Darren Pearce, said: "The strong number of entries across all races is further evidence of the growing stature of The Championships. The Star Doncaster Mile, with a greater spread of weights this year, is shaping as one of the races of the Sydney Autumn Carnival, continuing in the great tradition of the famous Royal Randwick mile. Click here to view first acceptance for Day One of The Championships featuring the Doncaster, TJ Smith, Australian Derby and Sires' Produce. Click here to view first acceptances for Day Two of The Championships featuring the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Sydney Cup and Australian Oaks.
Le Romain Wins Gr1 Randwick Guineas
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Gr1-winning Darley shuttler & 2007 Gr1 Kentucky Derby runner-up Hard Spun (Danzig-Turkish Tryst, by Turkoman) celebrated an elite Gr1 success when 3YO gelding Le Romain (Hard Spun-Mignard, by Strategic) scored by 0.2-length for trainer Kris Lees in the $1 million Gr1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) for 3YOs, over 3YO colt Press Statement (Hinchinbrook-Kaaptive Empress, by Kaaptive Edition) & fellow 3YO gelding Gold Ambition (Savabeel-Senorita Lucy, by Senor Pete). This was the first stakes victory for the underrated Le Romain who took his record to 3 wins and 4 placings (including the Gr2 ATC Hobartville Stakes) from 7 starts for $788,025 earnings. Trainer Kris Lees said that Le Romain had continued to improve throughout his preparation. "It's a great thrill," Lees told Sky Racing. "He's shown me at home that he is on an upward spiral. Every time we gallop him he just works that little bit better." He added: "It's good to see him get home...he's a pretty smart horse." Lees indicated that Le Romain would not progress to the Gr1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in two weeks time. "He won't get much further," Lees said. "He's probably a genuine seven furlong horse." Le Romain is the 47th stakes-winner and the ninth individual Gr1 winner for his US-bred sire Hard Spun.
Le Romain defeats Press Statement (image: Steve Hart)
Star Hinchinbrook Colt To Make Guineas Statement
With the Gr1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) and Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) being run 20 minutes and 872km apart tomorrow, racing aficionados will have to wait for another day to determine conclusively who the country's best 3YO miler is. As competitive as the Australian Derby field appears to be – Mahuta, Tarzino, Xtravagant, Tivaci, Palentino, Jameka, Perfect Reflection and Risque all come into calculations – in Sydney bookmakers have all but declared correct weight. At $1.50, the exceptional colt Press Statement looks to have the Gr1 feature at his mercy. Undefeated since a soft win in the Gr2 Stan Fox Stakes during last year's Spring, Press Statement slam-dunked his rivals in the Gr1 Caulfield Guineas, and then toyed with challengers in his summer race return when strolling to victory in the Gr2 Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill two weeks ago. If there are any question marks hanging over his head, it's that he is yet to race at Randwick, and will need to find cover from his wide alley.
Inglis Melb Premier Day-2: $340,000 For Two Colts
On Day-2 of the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale – Lots 151 - 362 inclusive – a pair of colts each made $340,000 for the vendors. Lot 205, a colt by Arrowfield Stud stallion Snitzel out of Miss Iguacu, was knocked down to China Horse Club Racing, part owners of Gr1 winners Press Statement & First Seal. He is from the glorious female family of Dancing Show. Lot 339, by Darley shuttler Teofilo from a strong European family, was secured by Kiwi trainer Lance O'Sullivan who will guide his early preparation before sending him to his trainer brother Paul in Hong Kong.
Montaigne A Genuine Gr1 Contender
Anthony Cummings says he is looking forward to testing exciting 3YO Montaigne (Road to Rock-Stylish Bel, by Bel Esprit) at the elite level after his eye-catching third behind star colt Press Statement in last Saturday's Gr2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill. Despite drifting well back and being blocked for multiple runs in the straight, Motaigne was able to weave between runners and flash home for third behind the horse most consider to be the best 3YO in Australia. Cummings will now step Montaigne up to Gr1 company in Saturday week's Randwick Guineas over a mile but is expecting the promising gelding to really come into his own when he runs over 2000 metres in the Rosehill Guineas on 19 March. "Whatever doubt there was about him being up to that grade disappeared," Cummings told APP. "He still has a few things to work out. His barrier manners need to improve a bit. He was a bit slow into gear and that really cost him in that race, but his effort was very good." He added: "I think the 2000 metres of the Rosehill Guineas is really going to suit him. Then after that we will have a decision to make...whether we pull up stumps or go to the Derby or to the Doncaster."
Press Statement Wins Gr2 Hobartville Stakes
At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Yarraman Park's Gr3-winning & 4-time Gr1-placed stallion Hinchinbrook (Fastnet Rock-Snippets' Lass, by Snippets) added a Group success when star 3YO colt Press Statement (Hinchinbrook-Kaaptive Empress, by Kaaptive Edition) - a half-brother to Gr1 winner Pressday (Domeday) - resumed with a brilliant 2.3-length win for trainer Chris Waller in the $400,000 Gr2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) for 3YOs, over 3YO geldings Le Romain (Hard Spun-Mignard, by Strategic) & Montaigne (Road to Rock-Stylish Bel, by Bel Esprit). Press Statement, who races for a prominent group of owners including Vinery Stud, China Horse Club Racing & Raffles Thoroughbred Racing, took his record to 6 wins (including the Gr1 Caulfield Guineas, Gr1 JJ Atkins Stakes & Gr2 Stan Fox Stakes) and 1 placing from 8 starts for $1,520,275 earnings. Trainer Chris Waller was delighted with the winning return of his Press Statement and said the valuable colt would make his next appearance in the Gr1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on 5 March. "He settles so well and he's got a devastating finish," Waller said. "He's about 10 kilograms heavier but he's not fat and that tells me that he's strengthened up physically and has come back even better." He added: "The Randwick Guineas is the logical target and it has always been in our sights."
Press Statement (image: Steve Hart)
Apollo First-Up For Gust Of Wind
Smart staying mare Gust Of Wind (Darci Brahma-Starrystarrynight, by Sadler's Wells) will kick off her Sydney Cup campaign in Saturday's Gr2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, reports horseracing.com.au. Last year's Australian Oaks winner hasn't raced since running an excellent sixth behind Prince Of Penzance in the Melbourne Cup, but has had an 800 metre trial in readiness for her return when well beaten by Golden Slipper runner-up English and Gr1 Flight Stakes winner First Seal. "She is about 25 kilos heavier than when she ran in the Melbourne Cup, but some of that would be strengthening from her spell – she had six weeks out – and the rest would be that she is still pretty big," trainer John Sargent said. "She will have four runs into the Sydney Cup. She will kick-off on Saturday and we just want her to be running home - we are looking to peak her for the main races." The Apollo Stakes is shaping as one of the early highlights of the Sydney autumn carnival, with the likes of Cox Plate winner Winx, Caulfield Guineas winner Press Statement, five-time Gr1 winner Boban, and Gr1 Metropolitan winner Magic Hurricane all making their seasonal returns in the $250,000 weight-for-age feature. Click here to view all fields at Randwick on Saturday.
Press Statement Likely To Miss Eskimo Prince
Star 3YO Press Statement (Hinchinbrook-Kaaptive Empress, by Kaaptive Edition) is unlikely to resume in Saturday's Gr3 Eskimo Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill with trainer Chris Waller instead preferring to wait and run the colt first-up over 1400 metres, reports AAP. Waller said the Gr1 CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield on 13 February or the Gr2 Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill a week later were options the son of Hinchinbrook. Press Statement, who is raced by a syndicate that includes Vinery Stud, the China Horse Club Racing & Raffles Thoroughbred Racing, has not raced since winning the Gr1 Caulfield Guineas in October, but he has had two trials, the most recent of which resulted in him finishing sixth behind Exosphere over 800m.
All Aged Goal For Press Statement
The connections of top-class 3YO Press Statement (Hinchinbrook-Kaaptive Empress, by Kaaptive Edition) are set to bypass The Championships in favour of a tilt at the Gr1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on 16 April, reports horseracing.com.au. Peter Orton, whose Vinery Stud races the two-time Gr1 winner with a syndicate that includes the China Horse Club Racing & Raffles Thoroughbred Racing, said he had the colt's future as a stallion prospect in mind when choosing his primary autumn goal. The All Aged Stakes has emerged as a genuine stallion-making race of late with recent winners including exciting young stallions All Too Hard (2013) and Dissident (2015). "We have mapped out a program of five runs ending in the All Aged Stakes, which year in and year out has proven itself one of the best races on the calendar," Orton told the Sydney Morning Herald. "I personally think the 1400m at Randwick is the best test for what Australians look for in a stallion - speed and stamina." He added: "It has a great record of producing champion winners and is a most underrated race in terms of prize money, but not what it can do for a stallion. The Doncaster doesn't have the same special appeal to us." Orton said races like the Randwick Guineas (Gr1, 1600m) and the George Ryder (Gr1, 1500m) would be targets in the lead-up to the All Aged. "We think Press Statement will be that little bit sharper with maturity this time, so he will go to the Randwick Guineas and George Ryder Stakes before the All Aged Stakes. We will put in a nomination for the Doncaster but only as a safeguard," he said. "There is always the thought of Europe as well if everything goes to plan."
Moroney Excited About Tulsa
Meanwhile, trainer Mike Moroney has labelled 3YO gelding Tulsa as the most exciting horse in his stable. Tulsa (Sebring-Morning Dews, by Peintre Celebre) showed plenty of promise during his four-start spring campaign beginning with an impressive maiden win at Pakenham before graduating to Group company with a fast-finishing second to Bon Aurum in the Gr3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) in September. He was then far from disgraced when finishing midfield (8th) in the Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) behind star Sydney colt Press Statement. "I thought he showed glimpses of real ability last time in," Moroney told RSN's Shane Anderson when asked to nominate the most exciting horse in his yard. Moroney said the son of Sebring lacked nothing in natural ability but needed time to mature. "When young horse's are going through a growth stage they do get the wanders in their races a bit, it's hard for them to balance up," he said. "He only just got beaten in the Guineas Prelude, where if he had gone straight and drawn a better gate he probably would have won, and his Guineas [Gr1] run was still very good but he looked very immature." He added: "But he has matured a lot, he's put on a lot of weight and he's the one I'm most excited about." From the unraced Luskin Star mare Morning Dew, Tulsa is a direct descendant of the good producer Valour (Wilkes), grand-dam of champion 2YO and Golden Slipper winner Burst.
Pride Of Dubai To Trial Next Week
Pride Of Dubai's (Street Cry-Al Anood, by Danehill) comeback from injury has been delayed until next week after today's barrier trials at Warwick Farm were postponed due to the heavy rainfall experienced throughout NSW in the last week. The outstanding colt will now trial at Warwick Farm on Monday or Randwick on Tuesday. Winner of the Gr1 MRC Blue Diamond Stakes and Gr1 ATC Sires' Produce Stakes as a 2YO, the 3YO son of Street Cry missed the entire spring carnival when found to be suffering from bone bruising. "Giving him time doesn't mean that he's definitely over the injury, at this stage he's showing no signs that it could come back but it could pop up tomorrow," co-trainer Peter Snowden told Racing.com. "I want to get this horse as fit as we can and then make a decision about where we want to run because we don't want to be getting too far ahead of ourselves, he could be there today and gone tomorrow." Snowden said the best was yet to come from Pride Of Dubai, adding that jockey Hugh Bowman, who described Pride Of Dubai as the 'most exciting horse he rode all year', might have a tough decision to make. "He always done things wrong in his races and has still been able to win, he hasn't put together a 100 per cent performance as yet," Snowden said. "Hugh might have a bit of a dilemma on his hands with his association with Press Statement [fellow highly regarded Gr1 winner]. He might have to make a choice." A homebred for Sheikh Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Pride Of Dubai is a half-brother to stakes winner Al Aneed out of the Danehill mare Al Anood, herself a half-sister to Gr1 Prix de Diane winner Rafha. It is also the family of champion European sire Invincible Spirit.
Pride of Dubai (image: Steve Hart)
Moroney Welcomes Back Promising 3YOs
Meanwhile, talented 3YOs Tulsa and Alaskan Rose are among a number of horses due to return to trainer Michael Moroney's stable on Monday, reports AAP. Tulsa (Sebring) showed plenty of promise during his four-start spring campaign beginning with an impressive maiden win at Pakenham before graduating to Group company with a fast-finishing second to Bon Aurum in the Gr3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) in September. He was then far from disgraced when finishing midfield (8th) in the Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) behind star Sydney colt Press Statement. "I thought for a horse that looked pretty backward to me, he did a very good job," Moroney said. "He should be a very big improver going into the autumn I would think." Alaskan Rose won her first two starts in good style before disappointing with unplaced efforts in the Gr2 Thousand Guineas Prelude and Gr1 Thousand Guineas respectively. Moroney said the daughter of Encosta de Lago displaced her soft palate in the Gr1 fillies feature Guineas and would do her future racing with a tongue tie.
Winx Installed As Doncaster Favourite
Superstar mare Winx has opened early favourite for the $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on 2nd April 2016. Online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au has the Chris Waller-trained mare at the top of betting at $8. Winx heads Bow Creek and Press Statement, both on $9.00. Winx capped a stellar season when she scored a stunning win in the Cox Plate in which she smashed Might And Power's course record set in 1998. "Winx carried all before her last preparation and deserves to be favourite in anything she steps out in,'' sportsbet.com.au's Ben Bulmer said.
Doncaster market courtesy of sportsbet.com.au
$9.00 Bow Creek
$9.00 Press Statement
$11 Turn Me Loose
$15 Magic Artist
$15 Lucky Hussler
$17 Alpine Eagle
$17 Royal Descent
$17 Stay With Me
$17 First Seal
Delectation Wins Gr1 Darley Classic
At Flemington in Melbourne, European champion 4-time Gr1-winning former Darley shuttler Shamardal (Giant's Causeway-Helsinki, by Machiavellian) celebrated an elite Gr1 success when 4YO gelding Delectation (Shamardal-Grace and Power, by More Than Ready) scored by 0.1-length for trainer Chris Waller in the $1 million Gr1 Darley Classic (1200m) for 3YO+, over 5YO gelding Chautauqua (Encosta de Lago-Lovely Jubly, by Lion Hunter) & 6YO gelding Terravista (Captain Rio-Parfore, by Gold Brose). Waller said Delectation could have earned himself a trip to Royal Ascot next year after proving he was right up there with Australia's best sprinters. "I want to take a horse to Ascot again," Waller told Racing.com. "We'll go back with the horse we think is best suited to that race - whether it be Delectation, Japonisme, Press Statement...I'm not sure who it will be, but we'll be taking one that's for sure." A $250,000 yearling consigned by Vinery Stud at the 2013 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Delectation took his record to 5 wins (including the Gr2 ATC Royal Sovereign Stakes) and 7 placings (including the Gr1 VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes, Gr3 Eskimo Prince Stakes, Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes & Gr2 Roman Consul Stakes) from 20 starts for $1,423,775 earnings.
Delectation (centre) claims the Gr1 Darley Classic (image: Mark Gatt)
First Winner For Therock
The dominance of sons of Fastnet Rock at stud is widely acknowledged through the deeds of last season's Champion First Season Sire by prize money, Hinchinbrook - sire of star 3YO and Gr1 Caulfield Guineas winner Press Statement; last season's Champion First Season Sire by winners, Rothesay; and stake- producing sires Wanted and Stryker. Add to these the two exciting freshman sires in Foxwedge and Smart Missile, both of whom have already produced impressive trial winners in Australia, and it is obvious that Fastnet Rock has emerged as a sire-of-sires who is creating his own dynasty, very much in the mould of his own sire, the immortal Danehill. Now there's a new sire son of Fastnet Rock that has produced a winner from just his fourth starter - Therock (Fastnet Rock-Bumps, by Scenic), who stands at Christoph Bruechert's Bombora Downs Stud on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. Therock sired his first winner at Kilmore on Sunday when 3YO gelding Oz Rock (Therock-Remiss, by Johannesburg) scored impressively over 1200m for leading trainer Darren Weir. Therock is an exceptional looking stallion and was an expensive purchase from Fastnet Rock's first crop. He had an abundance of ability under the care of leading Sydney trainer Gerald Ryan, and after winning two races in Sydney as a 3YO was set to become Fastnet Rock's first Gr1 winner when favourite for the Gr1 New Zealand Derby but sadly injury prevented him from starting in the race. Bruechert continues to be amazed at the quality of foals that Therock throws. "You can't but help but be impressed with his foals", he said. " They are strong, muscular and athletic, just like Therock. He's really quite an exceptional stallion". Progeny of Therock have been secured by leading Gr1 trainers such as Darren Weir, Gerald Ryan, Robbie Laing, Robert Smerdon and Peter Gelagotis. While Therock may not have won the major stakes race he was expected to do, he has been quickly identified as an exceptional option as a "breed to race" sire in Victoria. Standing for just $3,850, Therock offers breeders an opportunity to tap into the bloodlines of the world's hottest stallion for a faction of the price of other Fastnet sons.
Press Statement Wins Gr1 Caulfield Guineas
At Caulfield in Melbourne, Yarraman Park's Gr3-winning & 4-time Gr1-placed stallion Hinchinbrook (Fastnet Rock-Snippets' Lass, by Snippets) celebrated a Gr1 success when 3YO colt Press Statement (Hinchinbrook-Kaaptive Empress, by Kaaptive Edition), a half-brother to Gr1 winner Pressday (Domeday), scored by 1.75-lengths for trainer Chris Waller in the $1 million Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) for 3YOs, over fellow 3YO colts Lizard Island (Sebring-Bourgogne, by Choisir) & Ready For Victory (More Than Ready-Crillon, by Zabeel). Press Statement, who races for a prominent group of owners including Vinery Stud, China Horse Club Racing & Raffles Thoroughbred Racing, took his record to 5 wins (including the Gr1 JJ Atkins Stakes & Gr2 Stan Fox Stakes) and 1 placing from 7 starts for $1,278,275 earnings. Trainer Chris Waller said it was unlikely that Press Statement would run in the Cox Plate in two weeks time, but said a final decision would be made on Tuesday or Wednesday. "I'd say he's a 20 percent chance," Waller told Racing.com. "The good part is, there's no pressure from the owners. If I think it's in the best interests of the horse he'll be there, but if it's not then he won't." He added: "There's no harm in putting him away and coming back and trying to win multiple Group 1 races in autumn."
Press Statement (image: Mark Gatt)
Baker Hopeful Of Big Guineas Run From Cielo
Meanwhile, trainer Murray Baker says he is hopeful of a bold showing from Dal Cielo (Per Incanto-Cent From Heaven, by Centaine) in the $1 million Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on Saturday. The winner of last season's Gr1 Diamond Stakes in New Zealand made an eye catching Australian debut when finishing a close-up third in the Guineas Prelude (1400m) two weeks ago, but Baker is hopeful more than confident given the strength of Saturday's field. "He bounced through the run [Guineas Prelude]. He has surprised us with how well he's doing over here. He's really enjoying life," Baker told Melbourne's Radio Sport National. "We haven't done a lot with him but we are happy with where he is. It's a strong test on Saturday so we'll see if he's up to it." He added: "It's a very strong race. I just hope he can run a good race and he's up to it." Star Sydney colt Press Statement is a dominant $2.20 favourite for the Caulfield Guineas ahead of his nearest market rival Ready For Victory at $7.50. Dal Cielo occupies the third line of betting at $9. Click here to view Saturday's Caulfield fields.
Kermadec Tough To Beat Despite Draw
The Chris Waller stable is expecting top-class galloper Kermadec to be hard to beat in Saturday's Gr1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) despite drawing widest of all in the $400,000 feature, reports ANZ Bloodstock News. The last start Gr1 George Main Stakes winner drew barrier 8 in the field of eight, but Waller's racing manager Liam Prior is still confident of a bold showing. "He has drawn a trick alley so we will see how the track is playing and work it out from there," Prior said. "He's a pretty adaptable horse who can race forward or back." He added: "He is very well and went to Caulfield on Tuesday with Press Statement and had a gallop. Both horses worked very well and the step up to 2000 metres, with the way he is racing this preparation, will suit him down to the ground. I think he will be very hard to beat."
Tulsa To Appreciate True Tempo
Trainer Mike Moroney has provided an update on talented gelding Tulsa (Sebring-Morning Dews, by Peintre Celebre) who will contest the $1 million Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on Saturday. The son of Sebring, who races in the familiar blue and gold lightning bolt silks of prominent owner Rupert Legh, put the writing on the wall with a barnstorming second behind Bon Aurum in the Gr3 Guineas Prelude (1400m) last start, but will have to overcome the outside barrier of 16 if he is to claim his maiden stakes success. Given his get back pattern of racing, Moroney feels he is a live chance as long as the race is run at a true tempo. "We will have to go back from that draw and hopefully they will run along true enough for him. But I think they will. Usually in those big fields the race is truly run," Moroney told Melbourne's Radio Sport National. "He appears to have kept improving. He's eating better and is looking better in the coat etc. He's been a little backwards so he is certainly on the improve." Moroney believes there is little separating Victoria's top males, and nominated boom Sydney colt Press Statement, already a Gr1 winner of the JJ Atkins Stakes in the winter, as the horse they all have to beat. "You could have thrown a blanket over the first seven or eight in the Guineas Prelude so there's not a lot between them. I'm as confident as you can be I suppose going into a Group One...but they are so hard to win." He added: "He's [Press Statement] been very impressive and the way Chris Waller is going at the moment he will be hard to beat." Click here to view Saturday's Caulfield fields.
Possible Gr1 Quartet Could Be Salve For Bowman
Expected to face a hearing with Sydney's stewards later this week following the alleged use of his left elbow on jockey Blake Shinn when looking to get out and get clear running on eventual Epsom Handicap winner Winx last Saturday, champion Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman is still in the running to make it four Gr1 winners in eights days. After Winx's victory, Bowman headed south to Melbourne where he piloted Preferment to a short head win in the Gr1 Turnbull Stakes, and this Saturday he is aboard the favourites for both the Caulfield Guineas (Press Statement), and Thousand Guineas (Pasadena Girl). If found guilty of an offence by stewards, Bowman could face a lengthy ban during the rich Spring Carnival.
Press Statement Wins Gr2 Stan Fox Stakes
At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Yarraman Park's Gr3-winning & 4-time Gr1-placed stallion Hinchinbrook (Fastnet Rock-Snippets' Lass, by Snippets) added a Group success when high profile 3YO colt Press Statement (Hinchinbrook-Kaaptive Empress, by Kaaptive Edition) scored by 3-lengths for trainer Chris Waller in the $198,000 Gr2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m), over fellow colts Shards (Medaglia d'Oro-Shatters, by Lonhro) & Rageese (Street Cry-Rabsha, by Dehere). Cruised to the line by jockey Hugh Bowman, Press Statement took his record to 4 wins (also including the Gr1 JJ Atkins Stakes) & 1 placing (in the Gr2 Run To The Rose) from 6 starts for $669,775 earnings. Made outright favourite for the upcoming Gr1 Caulfield Guineas immediately following his comfortable win, Press Statement races for a prominent group of owners, among them Vinery Stud, China Horse Club Racing & Raffles Thoroughbred Racing.
Press Statement (image: Steve Hart)
Sagaronne Progressing Well
Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds has provided an update on exciting filly Sagaronne who is set to make her next appearance in the Gr2 Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday week. The daughter of Real Saga, who races in the red and yellow colours of Segenhoe Thoroughbreds, announced herself as a potential top-class racehorse in the winter when winning the Listed The Phoenix over 1350m before a fast-finishing second behind classy colt Press Statement in the Gr1 JJ Atkins Stakes (1600m) at Doomben in June. She then resumed with a luckless 11th behind Stay With Me in the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley 12 days ago, when held up hopelessly on the fence for the entire straight. "She's come through the run well, although she didn't do a great deal," said Edmonds. "I'm looking forward to the Guineas Prelude now." He added: "She looks great. She has a little way to trim up yet but she has a long prep ahead of her and she should progress as the distances get longer." Sagaronne's primary spring target is the Gr1 VRC Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on Thursday, 5 November.
Small Field Doesn't Detract From Golden Rose Class
Notwithstanding last season's Champion 2YO Vancouver having gone AWOL for the Spring (see below item), the final field of nine for tomorrow's Gr1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill is brimming with class. Chief protagonist is Exosphere, the stunning looking son of Lonhro returning in last start's Gr2 Run To The Rose (1200m) in the fashion that saw him start one of the Golden Slipper favourites. Hardest to beat will be Gr1 JJ Atkins Stakes winner Press Statement who is likely to relish the extra 200m after finishing runner-up to Exosphere two weeks ago. Having drawn close to the rails, Speak Fondly's star continues to rise off the back of her last two Group wins, and the daughter of Northern Meteor could provide trainer Gai Waterhouse with her first victory in the event.
Golden Rose favourite Exosphere (image: Steve Hart)
Vancouver Golden Rose Decision On Hold
Trainer Gai Waterhouse has postponed any decision regarding Vancouver's (Medaglia d'Oro-Skates, by Danehill) participation in Saturday week's $1 million Gr1 Golden Rose (1400m) following his lacklustre trial at Rosehill on Tuesday, reports AAP. The Golden Slipper winner looked a shadow of the horse that was unbeaten in a stellar juvenile season when hard ridden to finish third behind country galloper Slate On Edge over 1030 metres. "No decision. We will just shoot the breeze for the next week and then we'll decide exactly what we'll do," Waterhouse said. "He was on the inner track at Rosehill, it's only 1000-odd metres. He's probably a little bit out of his comfort zone, as an older horse he's probably looking for 1400 (metres)." She added: "But I'd be very surprised when he gets over 1400 on the track he won his Gr1 on [Rosehill] if you don't see the real Vancouver." Godolphin's impressive Gr2 Run To The Rose winner Exosphere currently heads the Golden Rose market at $2.80, ahead of Press Statement at $3.60 while Vancouver has drifted significantly to $4.40.
Vancouver (image: Steve Hart)
Atlantic Jewel First-Up For Classy Sagaronne
Highly promising Queensland filly Sagaronne (Real Saga-Lasoron, by Oarsman) will launch her VRC Oaks campaign in Saturday's Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley. The daughter of Real Saga, who races in the red and yellow colours of Segenhoe Thoroughbreds, announced herself as a potential top-class racehorse in the winter when winning the Listed The Phoenix over 1350m before a fast-finishing second behind classy colt Press Statement in the Gr1 JJ Atkins Stakes (1600m) at Doomben in June. Although she trialled well when second behind Rudy at the Gold Coast on 11 August, trainer Toby Edmonds said Sagaronne will not be seen at her best until she steps out over further. "What happens Saturday is nearly irrelevant because she's going to be getting over journeys a lot further than 1200 metres," Edmonds told Racenet. "It's just a kick-off point basically and I wanted to give her a look at the Valley because she'll run in the Vase in the lead-up to the Oaks." The Gr1 VRC Oaks (2500m) will be run at Flemington on Thursday, 5 November.
Exosphere Wins Gr2 Run To The Rose
At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, former Champion Australian Sire & 11-time Gr1-winning Darley World Champion Miler Lonhro (Octagonal-Shadea, by Straight Strike) added a Group success when Godolphin's exciting 3YO colt Exosphere (Lonhro-Altitude, by Danzero) resumed with a brilliant 1.3-length win for trainer John O'Shea in the $175,000 Gr2 Run To The Rose (1200m) for 3YOs, over fellow 3YO colts Press Statement (Hinchinbrook-Kaaptive Empress, by Kaaptive Edition) & Holler (Commands-Shouts, by Strategic). This was an outstanding return to racing by Exosphere who took his record to 3 wins (including the Gr2 ATC Skyline Stakes) from 5 starts for $231,950 earnings. Trainer John O'Shea said that Exosphere would next be seen in the $1 million Gr1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on 12 September. "He was soft late, he didn't have a hard run and he should go forward from that," O'Shea said. "You will see him in the Rose in a fortnight."
Bowman To Partner Japonisme
Hugh Bowman has been reunited with smart 3YO Japonisme in tomorrow's $175,000 Gr2 Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens, reports AAP. Bowman partnered Japonisme when the progressive young sprinter registered the first of his four consecutive wins at Canterbury last month, but has not been aboard since. Tye Angland was the most recent jockey to partner Japonisme when riding him to victory in the Gr3 San Domenico Stakes ten days ago, but has jumped off to continue his association with Gr1-winning colt Press Statement who makes his eagerly awaited return after an unbeaten juvenile season. "He's a better horse than I thought he was, I'll give him credit," Bowman said. "He's an unassuming horse but his turn of foot was there for everyone to see last start against the best two-year-olds around from last year." He added: "It was a dominant win the other day. He's going to have softer conditions this time and he has performed on the soft but judging by his performance the other day he is more effective on top of the ground." A field of seven has been assembled for the 10th running of the Run To The Rose which has produced several Gr1 winners in its short history to date, including Hallowed Crown (2014), Pierro (2012), Denman (2009) and Mentality (2006).