Group 1 winning filly El Dorado Dreaming (Ilovethiscity-Solanas, by Zabeel) is set to make her seasonal reappearance in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on 16 September. Trainer Ben Smith says the 3YO, who was a surprise 100-1 winner of the Group 1 ATC Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) in the autumn, was back in work and being prepared for an ambitious Spring campaign aimed at the Group 1 Flight Stakes, Group 1 Thousand Guineas, Group 1 Cox Plate, and the Group 1 VRC Oaks. "She's come back a much more mature horse," Smith told racingnsw.com.au. "We sat down with the owner and mapped out a plan. It's a little ambitious but if she comes back in the order she went out in she'll be right up to it." Smith added: ""Her run in the Champagne justified what we thought of her and that she is top class. We have 15 weeks to the Tea Rose so there's plenty of time up our sleeve, so we'll make sure we do a lot of long slow work and build a strong foundation."
At Doomben racecourse in Brisbane, Coolmore's former Gr1-winning Champion Australian Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) celebrated an elite race success when 4YO Australian-bred gelding Comin' Through (Fastnet Rock-Mica's Pride, by Bite the Bullet) finally delivered on the promise he has always shown when scoring a strong win in the $650,000 weight-for-age Gr1 Doomben Cup (2000m) for 3YO+, defeating stable-mate Egg Tart & Japanese import Ambitious. The well-related Comin' Through improved his record to 6 wins (including the Gr2 Ajax Stakes, Gr3 Bill Ritchie Handicap & Gr3 Carbine Club Stakes) and 5 placings (including the Gr1 Doncaster Mile & Gr1 Randwick Guineas) from 17 starts for $1,675,171 in earnings. Trainer Chris Waller said Comin' Through had been threatening to break through at the top level for quite some time. "He's had a few Group 2 and Group 3 wins and ran second in the Group 1 Doncaster behind Happy Clapper so he's deserved to win a Group 1," Waller told Racing Queensland Webnews. "He was a bit unlucky in the Hollindale when he was pushed three deep and still did a great job to run sixth. I think he's only going to get better..." Retained to race by his breeder Sir Owen Glenn, Comin' Through is the ninth foal to race from the prolific producer Mica's Pride, dam also of multiple Gr1 winning stallion Criterion, Gr2 winner Varenna Miss and Listed winner Silently.
Oregon's Day will be out to defy history when she lines up in the $650,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane tomorrow. Only six mares in history have won the Doomben Cup, namely Cooranga (1939), Qualeta (1943), Dream (1950), Cinque Cento (2007), and Streama (2014). Trainer Mick Price is not concerned with the race's history and is confident Oregon's Day can win the Doomben Cup at her first attempt at 2000 metres. Oregon's Day (Domesday-Oregon Seal, by Oregon) goes into the Doomben Cup as the $5 second favourite behind Ambitious after scoring a strong last-start win in the Gr2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast. "I'm really happy with her since the Hollindale and she's in great shape. The key with her was drawing a good gate and she's done that with barrier two," said Price. "The Hollindale Stakes was a test for her to see if she could run 1800 metres and she did it comfortably and was very strong to the line." Price added: "I know about the history but how many mares have run in this race with the form she's been in and she can't read anyway. I think the race is a bit different this year with the spread of older horses."
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $650,000 Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) to be run at Doomben racecourse in Brisbane this Saturday. A field of 13 horses has accepted for the weight-for-age middle-distance feature. First run in 1933, the Doomben Cup has been won by horses of the calibre of champion Bernborough (1946), Winfreux (1966), Rough Habit (1991-93), Durbridge (1994), Danewin (1995), Juggler (1996), Might And Power (1998), and Intergaze (1999). This year the $4.40 TAB favourite for the race is the Japanese import Ambitious who is set to benefit from a huge drop in class after his last-start eighth to champion Winx in the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in Sydney on 14 April. Next in the market is the Gr2 Hollindale Stakes winner Oregon's Day at $5, ahead of another Japanese import in Satono Rasen at $5.50, and Comin' Through and Tom Melbourne at $9.50. All other runners are available at double figure odds. Click below to view field and barriers.
Blue blooded gelding Surrey, a son of former champion Australian mare Makybe Diva, will take his next step on an ambitious path towards this year's Melbourne Cup when he contests a benchmark 65 race over 1600 metres at Te Rapa on Saturday. Prepared by Team Rogerson, Surrey made the headlines on debut when sprinting clear for an impressive 2 length win over 1600 metres at Matamata on 2 May. Rogerson has big plans for the 5YO whom he purchased from leviathan Australian owner Lloyd Williams. "The dream is the first Tuesday in November, but I suppose a lot has got to happen before then," Rogerson told racing.com. "I think he's a Cup horse in the making. I'm just going to give him two more starts and then give him a break and come back in the spring and see if we can get him over there and make a challenge." Rogerson added: "He's a beautiful-moving horse. He's got a lot going for him. He's only running in a mile race at Te Rapa on Saturday as he's just learning how to race. It might be too short for him but it's an important race for him looking to the future." By High Chaparral, Surrey is the fifth foal to race from the legendary Makybe Diva (Desert King-Tugela, by Riverman) who claims a special place in the pantheon of Australian racing as the only horse to win three Melbourne Cups.
The Anthony Freedman yard are bullish about the chances of Japanese import Ambitious claiming his maiden Group 1 success in Saturday's Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane. Ambitious (Deep Impact) faces a huge class drop after his last-start performance when eighth behind Winx in the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in Sydney when nothing went right for him in the run. He had previously shown his class when finishing an unlucky second to Almandin in the Gr1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Randwick. "We certainly think he's got a very good chance of winning a race like this," Freedman's racing manager Brad Taylor told racing.com. "We put him in the QE thinking he was a good chance after his run in the Tancred, but he didn't get all favours - he lost three shoes in running in the QE, which doesn't help any horses." Taylor added: "If everything goes to plan on Saturday, he should be a big chance. He'll certainly get his chance to win a Group 1 in Australia."
Exciting sprinter Care To Think (So You Think-Slippery Madam, by Hussonet) will gallop between races at Murwillumbah today as he prepares for Saturday's $700,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) in Brisbane, reports Sky Racing. Care To Think is entered in a barrier trial after the last race but trainer Matt Dunn hopes the 4YO will be able to gallop on the course proper. "Unless there is a dramatic change he will work on the course proper," said Dunn. "He is going very well at the moment and we are looking forward to Saturday's 10,000." A brilliant winner of the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) on the Gold Coast in January, Care To Think hasn't raced since finishing a close second to Crack Me Up in the Group 3 Liverpool Cup (1300m) at Randwick on 3 March. Care To Think has been set an ambitious Group 1 programme with the Doomben 10,000, Kingsford Smith Stakes and Stradbroke Handicap all on his winter agenda. "He is a horse who needs to draw a good barrier or he wants to over-race. At least we get three chances at drawing a good barrier in Brisbane," said Dunn.
Trainer Anthony Freedman says Queensland's weather will determine whether or not talented Japanese import Ambitious makes an appearance over the winter carnival. Freedman is keen to run the son of Deep Impact in the Gr1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on 19 May provided the track is not rain affected. Freedman says Ambitious' last start performance when eighth behind Winx in the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) should be ignored when nothing went right for him in the run. He had previously shown his class when finishing an unlucky second to Almandin in the Gr1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Randwick. "He's been up there about a week," Freedman told racing.com. "I was really happy with the way he came through the Queen Elizabeth. He lost shoes and it all went terribly wrong the other day but he's still in good shape and the plan is certainly to head towards the Doomben Cup." Freedman added: "If we get wet tracks he certainly won't run. He'll just take a break up there but if we get the right track, he'll certainly be running."
Trainer Ben Smith has outlined an ambitious race program that will see top sprinter In Her Time target Australia's major sprint races before making her debut on the world stage, reports racing.com. In Her Time (Time Thief-Hell It's Hot, by Zeditave) confirmed herself as one of the premier speedsters in the country when claiming her first Gr1 victory in last month's Galaxy. She was then an unlucky third behind Trapeze Artist in the TJ Smith Stakes on the opening day of The Championships. Smith has several domestic Gr1 sprints mapped out for the 5YO before a likely overseas trip for the Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin in December. "Obviously we go to Brisbane for two races, the Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke Handicap [both Gr1s]. I think the month between runs will suit her and then she'll have a short break before having one run into The Everest," Smith said. "After that she'll head to Melbourne for the Darley Classic [Gr1] and then we'll hopefully jump on a plane and head to Hong Kong for the December sprint race."
Hugh Bowman says Winx will face her toughest challenge in years when she lines up in tomorrow's $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick. "It's probably the hardest task she has had for quite some time and when I say that I mean a couple of years, probably [since] her first Cox Plate. It's going to be one hell of a race and all we want it a smooth passage," Bowman told Racing NSW. "Usually there is one main horse to be focused on but this week there is three or four or maybe even five that are primed for their target." He added: "If Gailo Chop is allowed to control things to his liking he will take some running down. If the pressure is right on he might be feeling the pinch from the 200-300m mark but if that's the case a horse like Humidor or Ambitious, who I thought was very impressive in the Tancred Stakes, will be capitalising on the genuine pace...the bottom line is that there are horses there, no matter how the race is run, that are going to perform very, very well." However, despite the healthy respect he has for the opposition, Bowman has absolute faith in Winx. "She's in great order and I'm really happy with how she has come through the George Ryder win. Her work here on Tuesday morning was absolutely outstanding," he said. Winx will attempt to equal Black Caviar's record of 25 consecutive victories and claim her 18th Group 1 title in the Queen Elizabeth. The Chris Waller-trained superstar already holds the world record for most number of Group 1 victories which stands at 17 after her win in the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill on 24 March.
The Lloyd Williams-owned Almandin (Monsun-Anatola, by Tiger Hill) returned to his brilliant best when outstaying his rivals in the $500,000 Gr1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday. The 2016 Melbourne Cup winner proved too strong for his rivals in the time-honoured weight-for-age feature, defeating Japanese import Ambitious & Who Shot Thebarman by 1.3 lengths. The 8YO German-bred gelding is now the $3.50 TAB favourite for the $2 million Gr1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick on 14 April. "It's pleasing to get back on him. He was in great shape today and it's good to see him bounce back at the top level," said Kerrin McEvoy, who was reunited with Almandin for the first time since guiding him to his Melbourne Cup success. "He travelled a bit more forward than I thought we might be but he travelled really well and he was strong at the end of the 2400 metres today." Almandin advanced his record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Melbourne Cup, Gr2 Grosser Preis der Badischen Unternehmer, Gr3 Bart Cummings Handicap & Listed Japan Racing Association Trophy) and 7 placings from 20 starts for $5,301,091 in earnings.
Trainer Anthony Freedman believes that Japanese import Ambitious (Deep Impact-Carnival Song, by El Condor Pasa) can develop into a Cox Plate horse in the spring, but first he is hoping he can make his mark in Saturday's Gr1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill. "Potentially he could be a Cox Plate horse, a fast run 2000m race on firm ground is what his best form says he is," Freedman told racingnsw.com.au. "His form would suggest he is very highly rated. I do think he is probably still acclimatising and that probably won’t be complete until the spring." Freedman added: "We are learning about the horse, if we can get a result along the way it will be a bonus. We’ll get through Saturday and see how we are going after that." Ambitious, who made his Australian debut with a 9th placing in the Australian Cup on 10 March, boasts high class form in his native Japan, including a win over champion stayer Kitasan Black in the Gr2 Sankei Osaka Hai (2000m) and a fourth placing behind the outstanding Maurice in the Gr1 Tenno Sho (2000m) in the autumn of 2016.
The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) has made changes to its leadership team as part of its long term racing strategy to retain its position as Australia’s premier racecourse. This has resulted in Martin Talty, Executive General Manager Racing, and Mick Goodie, Senior Manager Flemington Racecourse, leaving the Club. VRC Chief Executive Officer Neil Wilson thanked both Mr Talty and Mr Goodie for their contribution to the Club and wished them both well for the future. Effective immediately, Liam O’Keeffe will assume the role of Senior Manager Flemington Racecourse, while Mr Wilson will oversee the VRC’s racing portfolio until a permanent replacement for the position of Executive General Manager Racing has been announced. "The VRC is looking to drive the racing strategy forward with an ambitious growth and innovation agenda, essential to maintaining our leadership position locally and globally," Mr Wilson said.
Waikato Stud has decided not to shuttle exciting young stallion Tivaci (High Chaparral-Breccia, by Fastnet Rock) to Europe for the 2018 breeding season. The Group 1-winner was very well received by Australasian breeders with a top quality 2017 book of more than 140 mares. "After such a successful season that has just gone so quickly, we have decided not to take up the offer of a Northern Hemisphere season at the English National Stud," Waikato Stud principal Mark Chittick said. "This decision was not taken lightly. As you know, this option was not in our original planning, but developed after the initial approach from the English National Stud." Chittick added: "However, he would have been one of four first season sires within their operation so we felt his opportunities may become limited and we were not prepared to risk Tivaci on this venture." Tivaci’s book included Group 1 winner's Daffodil, Costume and I Do. He also covered the dams of Group 1 winners Ambitious Dragon (dual Hong Kong Horse of the Year), Kawi, Shamexpress, Brambles, Thee Auld Floozie and Consensus.
Connections are hoping that a rise in trip to a mile can help exciting prospect Chopin's Fantaisie (Pins-Golden Gamble, by Oregon) return to winning ways at Kranji in Singapore on Sunday, reports the Singapore Turf Club. The New Zealand-bred 4YO stamped himself as an emerging star when winning is first four starts in his adopted homeland before suffering the only loss of his brief career in a Class 3 event over 1400m on 28 August. On that occasion the son of Pins had genuine excuses, getting too far out of his ground but still running on strongly against a perceived leaders track bias. "He will have to win well this Sunday. We are eventually looking at the Gold Cup for him, but that race will dictate where we go from here," said assistant-trainer Michael White. "It's unlikely he will go to the Kranji Mile but the Raffles Cup and the Gold Cup are options we are looking at for him." Purchased for $150,000 by his trainer Michael Clements at the 2015 NZB Premier Yearling Sale, Chopin's Fantaisie is a half-brother to three-time Gr1 winner and former Hong Kong champion racehorse Ambitious Dragon.
After an outstanding autumn which resulted in three consecutive city wins, trainer Brad Graham is planning an ambitious spring campaign with promising Western Australian galloper Tonkatuff. After a short break, Tonkatuff is now back in work and Graham is raising the bar for the exciting son of Bombora Downs Stud stallion Therock (Fastnet Rock). "He's such a big, strong and athletic horse that it was obvious that he only needed time to mature to fulfil his potential," said Graham. "We are looking at some pretty good races for him and will target the $100,000 Listed Hannans Handicap at Kalgoorlie in September and the $100,000 Listed Northam Cup in October." Both Graham and owner-breeder Brad Cooper are big fans of Tonkatuff's sire, Therock. "I really like the breed," Cooper said. "I have seen the stallion and he is one of the best looking stallions that you could ever wish to see. He is clearly stamping his progeny and they all seem to be big, strong and athletic types – just like him." From limited opportunities, Therock continues to produce winners around the country with Mercury Rocks winning impressively at the recent Bendigo meeting and Miss Harley Quinn winning in WA. Therock is again standing at Christoph Bruechert's Bombora Downs Stud on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula at a fee of $3,500 + gst.
Following a runaway win on debut at Hawera in August, New Zealand filly Blanco Belle is set to face her first acid test when she lines up in the Listed The O'Leary's Fillies' Stakes at Wanganui on Saturday, reports theinformant.co.nz. Trainer and part-owner Susan Rainford purchased the daughter of Irish Derby winner Cape Blanco for a bargain NZ$3,000 from the Cambridge Stud draft at the 2015 New Zealand Bloodstock National Weanling, Broodmare and Mixed Sale with staying events in mind. "She's a staying filly and this is her first preparation," Rainford commented. "She was difficult to break in – she's tough and strong for her age, even though she doesn't actually turn three until October." Rainford is also bullish when it comes to potentially exploring grander plans with the filly, "There's not a lot around for staying fillies in New Zealand, so we might give her a spell after this. There's a nice race in Australia – the VRC Oaks. That's ambitious, but you never know." Interestingly, from a pedigree angle, Blanco Belle descends from Gr1 VRC Sires' Produce Stakes and Gr1 WATC Australian Derby winner Wonder Dancer, while her fourth dam was star staying filly and NZ Champion 3YO Star Belle.
Top Irish trainer Willie Mullins has unveiled an ambitious plan that could see unheralded 5YO Riven Light take on champion Australian mare Winx in the Gr1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on 28 October, reports Racing Post. Riven Light, an Irish-bred son of Raven's Pass, is a winner of 4 of his 15 starts, but is yet to win a stakes race. What seems to have ignited Mullins' interest in travelling to Australia is Riven Light's impressive win in a Galway Handicap over 8.5 furlongs earlier this month. However, he would face a monumental task. Winx is currently rated the world's best turf horse and will be chasing her 18th consecutive victory when she makes her seasonal reappearance in the Gr2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday. That race will mark the beginning of an historic spring campaign for the 12-time Gr1 winner and recent Hall Of Fame inductee, who will attempt to join the legendary Kingston Town as the only horse to win three Cox Plates. "Riven Light will need to improve but the Cox Plate is on our radar for him and we would like to take it on," Mullins said. "We will hopefully get one or two more runs into him before we start making concrete plans about Australia. We would like to run him on better ground on a more conventional track as Galway is a very unique racecourse and the ground was quite soft for both of his runs there."
Longchamp will be chasing successive Listed Opunake Cup (1400m) titles at New Plymouth tomorrow, reports NZ Racing Desk. Trainer Andrew Campbell is happy with how the five-year-old has performed during this campaign, placing in both of his starts. He ran a creditable third at Trentham behind Opunake Cup rival New York Minute, before heading to Awapuni on July 8 where he was pipped at the line by the promising Dolcetto. "In the first race (at Trentham) he needed a run because he hadn't had a trial at all and he just came to the end of it when he hit the bog up the straight. I was happy with that run, he had a good blow," Campbell said. "His last start was a good run I thought, he carried a lot more weight than Dolcetto, who is an up and coming horse." He added: "I'm over the moon with him, he's come through it great and he'll be going in there really happy. His work on Tuesday was super." Campbell has set Longchamp an ambitious programme for the spring, with the Gr2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa and the Gr1 Tarzino Trophy on the agenda. "We'll see how he comes through the race and he may go to Te Rapa for the Foxbridge, we'll just play it by ear with that," he said. "He'll head to Hastings for the first race (Tarzino Trophy), which has always been his main aim." Longchamp finished 5th in last year's Foxbridge Plate (behind Saracino), and 4th (behind Kawi) in the Makfi Challenge Stakes (now the Tarzino Trophy).
New Zealand-bred 3YO Chopin's Fantaisie (Pins-Golden Gamble, by Oregon) extended his unbeaten record to four when winning the $60,000 Open Benchmark 67 race over 1400m at Kranji racecourse in Singapore on Sunday, reports turfclub.com.sg. The son of Pins had to really stretch to hold off the gallant Aotearoa, but jockey Glen Boss played down the narrow half-length margin suggesting it was simply the gelding's nature to do the bare essential to get the job done. The winning time of 1:21.88 was only 0.10 of a second outside the class record. "He will never win by a space - that is not his caper. It's more cat-and-mouse style with him," said Boss after dismounting. "But he's got a lovely long action and has a great attitude. He will grow and mature further as he's not the full product yet. He is coming along quite well and will be even better in six months' time." Purchased for $150,000 by his trainer Michael Clements at the 2015 NZB Premier Yearling Sale, Chopin's Fantaisie is a half-brother to three-time Gr1 winner and former Hong Kong champion racehorse Ambitious Dragon. "Considering he has a well-related sibling we were quite happy to get him at such a price," Clements said. "He will go towards a Class 3 race in four to five weeks' time and I may look at a feature race late in the season for him, like the Committee's Prize." The Gr3 Committee's Prize is a handicap race run over 1600m on 17 September.
Exciting Kiwi colt Summer Passage (Snitzel-Subsequent, by Encosta de Lago) has returned to the stable of Lance O’Sullivan to prepare for an ambitious spring carnival campaign in Melbourne, reports AAP. Summer Passage has reportedly been back in work for a month with O’Sullivan confirming that his primary spring target is the stallion-making Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on 4 November. A winner of the Gr1 Sistema Stakes at Ellerslie in March, Summer Passage confirmed his status as one of the best 2YOs in training with a second placing behind Invader in the Gr1 Inglis Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) in Sydney in the autumn.
New Zealand Bloodstock subsidiary gavelhouse.com's record breaking sale on Monday saw the business hit major milestones. A total of 40 lots were sold for an aggregate of $587,800, pushing the total turnover for gavelhouse.com sales to over $3 million since it launched in April 2016. The top lot was purchased by renowned bloodstock agent John Foote in his first foray into buying online. Foote secured broodmare Ampin (Pins x Ambitious) in foal to New Zealand's award-sweeping Group 1 sire Savabeel for a record $211,000. The increased popularity of online trading has had a positive influence on clearance rates, with the site consistently achieving clearance rates of over 80% in recent months and in particular, 93% for this sale. "gavelhouse.com has well and truly exceeded our expectations. In a little over a year the company has sold 531 horses for just under $3.1 million dollars" said NZB managing director Andrew Seabrook. Entries for gavelhouse.com's next New Zealand auction are now open and will close on Monday, 19 June at 7pm. The catalogue will be launched at 5pm on Tuesday, 20 June and bidding will close from 7pm on Monday 26 June. Nominations are now open for NZB's 92nd National Yearling Sales Series due to be held at Karaka on 28 January – 4 February 2018, while online entries for the 2017 Ready to Run Sale of 2YOs will open on 11 July. The Sale will be held at Karaka on 22 & 23 November, with Breeze Ups at Te Rapa on 16 & 17 October.
At Doomben racecourse in Brisbane, Rich Hill Stud's Melbourne Cup winning stallion Shocking (Street Cry-Maria di Castiglia, by Danehill) added a Group success when 4YO bay gelding Chocante (Shocking-Strictly Maternal, by O'Reilly) relished a return to firmer footing when posting a dominant win in the $300,000 Gr2 Brisbane Cup (2200m) for 3YO+, defeating Single Gaze & Pemberley. Chocante's performance showed why trainer Stephen Marsh holds him in such high regard and improved his record to 5 wins (including the Gr3 Counties Cup) and 6 placings (including the Gr3 BRC Chairman's Handicap) from 15 starts for $305,271 in earnings. Marsh said Chocante will return home to New Zealand before returning in the spring for an ambitious tilt at the Caulfield & Melbourne Cups. "He's a good horse and I rapt to win this race before he goes home," Marsh told Racing Queensland Webnews. "I'll bring him back for the spring in Melbourne and aim high for the Cups but we can always come down a level or two."
Trainer Michael Costa has reported to Racing NSW stewards that talented filly Manaya (Hinchinbrook-Hot 'n' Breezy, by Zephyr Zip) pulled up with back soreness following her sixth place to Omei Sword in Saturday's Gr2 Silver Shadow Stakes at Randwick. Costa said the 3YO would now be spelled. Manaya, who is a three-quarter sister to brilliant dual Gr1-winning mare Hot Danish, made an auspicious start to her career when storming home from last on the turn to win the Listed Woodlands Stakes (1100m) at Scone in May. Costa had some ambitious plans for Manaya in the spring, including a tilt at next month's $1 million Gr1 Golden Rose.
Trainer Donna Logan says that classy Kiwi mare Valley Girl is likely to have one more start at home before crossing the Tasman to prepare for the spring carnival in Melbourne. Valley Girl, a winner of the Gr1 Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa earlier this year, kicked off her ambitious spring campaign with a surprise win in the Harcourts Optimize Group Handicap (1200m) at Ruakaka on Saturday. Logan said the 4YO Mastercraftsman mare will make her next appearance in the Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings on 27 August before flying out to Australia where her primary target will be the Gr1 Caulfield Cup. "She's terrific. She's come back bigger and stronger than ever. She won beautifully the other day and she's bounced out of it very well," Logan told Melbourne's Radio Sport National. "We're looking forward to her next start in the Makfi [Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes] which will determine our direction so its very exciting." Logan, who prepares Valley Girl in partnership with Chris Gibbs, said there were plenty of options for the mare moving forward. "We have a few options pencilled in at this stage," she said. "She could go to Melbourne and run in the Makybe Diva, Turnbull and Caulfield Cup, which is the obvious path, or she could go to the Windsor Park Plate before the Turnbull. We're lucky that we have a few options." Logan added: "She is also nominated for the Cox Plate." Logan said Valley Girl compared very favourably to her former top mare Rising Romance, who finished runner-up to the ill-fated Admire Rakti in the 2014 edition of the Caulfield Cup. "I definitely think she is up to a Caulfield Cup," Logan said. "She is probably a bit sharper than Rising Romance. I think she'll be well suited." The Caulfield Cup (2400m) will be run at Caulfield racecourse on 15 October.
At Eagle Farm in Brisbane, 6YO imported gelding Murphy's Delight (Hurricane Run-Akoya, by Anabaa) landed the first stakes victory of his career when scoring by 0.8-length for trainer Chris Waller in the $100,00 Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) for 3YO+, over 5YO gelding Pop 'N' Scotch (Husson-Popnik, by Galileo) & 5YO mare Viva Espana (Dubawi-Expressly, by Success Express). Murphy's Delight, who began his career in his native Ireland, was a £65,000 purchase by Chris Waller Racing at the 2013 Tattersalls Autumn Horses-in-Training Sale. His latest success boosted his record to 5 wins and 14 placings from 30 starts for $276,977 earnings. Waller will now spell Murphy's Delight before bringing him back for a spring campaign. "He'll spell now and come back for the spring but we won't be looking at anything too ambitious," Waller said. "We've had him all the time since he came over here and he's made steady improvement but he's not up to the big Cups in Melbourne." He added: "There's a 2800 metre race on Melbourne Cup day which looks attractive."
Outstanding filly Yankee Rose (All American-Condesaar, by Xaar) will have her workload stepped up a gear this week as trainer David Vandyke lays the platform for an ambitious campaign aimed at the Cox Plate in the spring, reports ANZ Bloodstock News. The rising 3YO is set to barrier trial at the Sunshine Coast in two weeks time as she continues to build toward a return in the Gr1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on 10 September. The aptly named daughter of All American stamped herself as the best juvenile filly in Australia courtesy of her second placing behind Capitalist in the Gr1 Golden Slipper and her brilliant win in the Gr1 Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) in the autumn. However a foot abscess in the lead-up to the Champagne Stakes forced her to abandon her bid for a juvenile Gr1 double. “Condition wise I am happy with her. She is going to have a barrier trial two weeks on Tuesday,” Vandyke told ANZ Bloodstock News. “I’m happy enough with her, but this next week will be a telling factor because I am going to put the pressure on her." He added: "At this stage, we’ll go to the Golden Rose, the Flight Stakes, Cox Plate and the Oaks and it’s just a matter of whether I put the Run To The Rose in front of that.”
Gr1-winning filly Single Gaze has returned to the stable of trainer Nick Olive as she commences her build up towards the spring. The 3YO daughter of Arrowfield stallion Not A Single Doubt gave Olive the biggest win of his career when claiming the Gr1 Vinery Stud Stakes in the autumn. "I'm really happy with her," Olive told AAP. "She's tough and has come back even stronger than at the commencement of her last campaign. She's settled back in, is relaxed and going through everything perfectly." He added: "She's more muscular and feels stronger under saddle." Olive has mapped out an ambitious spring campaign for Single Gaze which could include a tilt at the Gr1 Cox Plate in October. "She will initially be headed towards the W H Stock Stakes which is a Group 2 mares race at Mooney Valley over a mile; it looks a really nice race for her," he said. "She will be nominated for all the big spring races and if she can win the Stocks - or goes well - the Cox Plate will definitely be on the radar, but she's got to show she's up to it."
Meanwhile, trainer Fred Kersley is keen to see how Lite'n In My Veins (Henrythenavigator-Beauty World, by Danehill Dancer) comes up this preparation before making any ambitious plans for the spring, reports the West Australian. The boom WA three-year-old, who is a half-brother to Gr3 ATC Frank Packer Plate & Gr3 ATC Carbine Club Stakes winner Hi World (High Chaparral), has won 3 of his 4 starts to date, highlighted by his win in the Gr3 Lee-Steere Classic (1400m) in December. "Lite'n In My Veins has had about three weeks' work," Kersley said. "He'll go through the classes to get more experience." He added: "Until he races against the best and beats them, he is a work in progress."
At Flemington in Melbourne, Raheen Stud's deceased Gr1 Epsom Handicap winner Captain Sonador (Shamardal-Pushing Daisies, by Kenny's Best Pal) celebrated his first stakes winner when 2YO gelding Throssell (Captain Sonador-O' Venus, by Anabaa) scored by 1.25-lengths for trainer Ciaron Maher in the $120,000 Listed Anzac Day Stakes (1400m) for 2YOs, over 2YO colt Pyx Chamber (Street Cry-Ambitious Lady, by Anabaa) & 2YO filly Smart As You Think (So You Think-Satirical Lady, by Giant's Causeway). The unbeaten Throssell extended his record to 2 wins from 2 starts and $84,200 earnings. Throssell was purchased by Wylie Dalziel Racing for $70,000 at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Raheen Stud. Trainer Ciaron Maher said Throssell would now be spelled to prepare for races such as the Caulfield Guineas and Victoria Derby in the spring. "The horse has really got no idea what he's doing still," Maher told racing.com. "Whatever he's doing now he seems to be doing on raw ability and I think he's still got to grow a bit as well." He added: "He's got a bright future I think."
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, inery shuttler More Than Ready (Southern Halo-Woodman's Girl, by Woodman) added a black-type success when 2YO colt Prized Icon (More Than Ready-Tropical Affair, by Danehill) scored by 2 lengths for trainer James Cummings in the $150,000 Listed Fernhill Handicap (1600m) for 2YOs, over 2YO gelding Crown Him (Casino Prince-Ambitious Princess, by Savabeel) & 2YO filly Lasqueti Spirit (Beneteau-Supriym Story, by General Nediym). This was the first stakes victory for Prized Icon who took his record to 1 win and 5 placings (including the Gr3 ATC Schweppervescence Handicap & Gr3 Black Opal Stakes) from 6 starts for $195,850 earnings. Prized Icon was retained to race by his breeder Gooree Stud when he was passed in for $250,000 at last year's Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale. From the stakes winning Danehill mare Tropical Affair, Prized Icon is a full-brother to Gr3 Sweet Embrace Stakes winner Romantic Moon and a half-brother to Gr3 Inglis Mile winner Matras (Zabeel).
Talented mare Azkadellia (Shinko King-Raving, by Centaine) will launch her Doncaster Mile campaign in tomorrow's Gr3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield. The New Zealand-bred 4YO is yet to win a black-type race but showed she possesses plenty of potential when finishing third behind Politeness in the Gr1 Myer Classic (1600m) at her most recent outing in the spring. "I think she will take a lot of improvement out of it [her first-up run]. She a quality horse and I'm training her to peak in Sydney a bit later on but she's had a couple of soft trials and she'll be pretty sharp at 1200m," trainer Ciaron Maher told Melbourne's Radio Sport National. "We'll ride her in her usual pattern [get back run on]. If she's good enough, good, if she doesn't get there I know she'll be pretty right to go next time." After Saturday, Azkadellia will have her next run in the Gr3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on 27 February before heading to Sydney for the Gr1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) and Gr1 Doncaster Mile.
The Inglis Summer Thoroughbred Sale concluded at Newmarket in Sydney on Friday with a clearance rate of 95 per cent. "Today's sale has been a great end to what has been a stellar year in the Newmarket Sale ring," said Inglis National Bloodstock Director Jonathan D'Arcy. "The outstanding clearance rate was helped by over 80 individuals registered for online bidding today and obviously this has become a big part of Inglis mixed sales throughout the year," D'Arcy said. Topping the sale was Gr1-placed 5YO Best Case (Savabeel x Ambitious) which was secured by Queensland-based Aquis Farm for $120,000. "We've got 25 two-year-olds coming through our system, and are in the process of adding a few proven gallopers such as Best Case into the stable. We are excited for our clients to get him to Aquis Farm where our trainer Brian Guy will be able to plan his 2016 campaign, which will hopefully take in some of the top races in Queensland and New South Wales," said Aquis Farm Racehorse and Sales Manager Kacy Fogden. The second top price was achieved by lightly raced 3YO filly Moodhilla (Exceed And Excel x La Guichet) who was sold for $82,000. Purchasers Yu Long Investments have had recent success with another of their Inglis mixed sale purchases, Our Voodoo Prince, which won the Pakenham Cup last week under the guidance of Darren Weir, who will take charge of Moodhilla also. The final Inglis sale in 2015 is the December Thoroughbred Sale, at Oaklands Complex in Melbourne this Friday 11 December. 140 Lots have been catalogued so far, with supplementary entries for the sale closing at 9.00am Monday 7 December.
Valachi Downs general manager Jonathan Scully has provided a brief update on former star Kiwi mare Silent Achiever (O'Reilly-Winning Spree, by Zabeel) who was sent to England earlier this year as part of the first stage of an ambitious breeding programme, reports theinformant.co.nz. The outstanding daughter of O'Reilly, who is owned by Valachi Downs principal Kevin Hickman, will be courted by some of the stars of the international stallion world, with the likes of Sea The Stars, Galileo and Dansili expected to be among her potential suitors. She was covered by the world's highest-ever rated racehorse, Frankel in September. "She took to her first service in early September, so she's well in foal," said Scully. "Kevin has yet to decide who she will go to next year, but he's got a range of lovely stallions to choose from." Trained by Roger James, Silent Achiever will be remembered as one of the best Kiwi mares of the modern era winning 10 of her 36 starts for over $3.1 million prize money, highlighted by four Gr1 victories in the New Zealand Derby, New Zealand Stakes, Ranvet Stakes and The BMW.
Able Friend (Shamardal-Ponte Piccolo, by Volksraad) was crowned Hong Kong Horse of the Year at a glittering ceremony at the Grand Hyatt on Friday night. The outstanding galloper, who won 4 Gr1 races this season, was also named Champion Miler and secured 59 per cent of the public vote to claim the Most Popular Horse title. The Australian-bred 5YO joins an elite group that includes Fairy King Prawn, Electronic Unicorn, Bullish Luck, Good Ba Ba and Ambitious Dragon as horses to have claimed Horse of the Year honours and the Champion Miler title in the same season. Able Friend was bred and sold by Stuart Ramsey's Scone-based Turangga Farm draft at the 2011 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale to Hong Kong bloodstock agent George Moore for $550,000. The son of Shamardal has now won 12 of his 19 starts for $8,185,156 in prize money. Among the other winners on the night were Able Friend's trainer John Moore who claimed his seventh Champion Trainers title; Aerovelocity was named Champion Sprinter; Designs On Rome collected the Champion Middle-Distance Horse award; while exciting young sprinter Thewizardofoz, by Redoute's Choice out of champion NZ filly Princess Coup, claimed the title of Champion Griffin. Click here to view all category winners.
Allan Sharrock says a bigger and stronger Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) is set to make a serious impact this spring, reports NZ Racing Desk. The New Plymouth trainer is keeping close tabs on his star galloper as the 5YO Savabeel gelding prepares for an ambitious early campaign beginning with the Gr2 Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa on August 15. "I'm hoping to have him at the Foxbridge Plate and then we'll look at the triple crown at Hastings," Sharrock said. "As to whether he races in all three races there, we'll just play that as it comes but I think you'll see the real Kawi this year." Kawi spelled after his fast-finishing third behind Pondarosa Miss in the Gr1 Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie in April, capping a string of high-class performances, including wins in the Listed Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham and the Gr3 Taranaki Cup (1800m) at New Plymouth. "He's with the pre-trainer at the moment and he'll be back to me on the first of July," Sharrock said. "I'd like to give him a couple of jump-outs before the Foxbridge Plate and he might have an exhibition gallop here on Opunake Cup day [at New Plymouth on July 15]." He added: ""He had five weeks out after the Easter but he's only being paddock-trained at the moment, so basically it's an extended holiday. I'm really happy with him. He's probably put on 50 kilos. He's a big horse now."
Dermot Weld has outlined ambitious plans for richly talented Prince Of Wales's Stakes winner Free Eagle (High Chaparral-Polished Gem, by Danehill), which include top European features the Juddmonte International Stakes, Irish Champion Stakes and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, reports Racing Post. Held in the highest regard by Weld, the 4YO by High Chaparral vindicated his trainer's lofty opinion when defying an eight month absence from the track to defeat The Grey Gatsby in an exciting finish to the Prince Of Wales's Stakes. "It was one of those special days," Weld told At The Races. "He's a very talented horse, but unfortunately a lot of people never got the opportunity to see that. We're beginning to see it though." He added:"We always saw natural talent in him and then we had a chapter of problems, but that's behind us and it's onwards and upwards. He's got an excellent Group 1 behind him and hopefully we can go on to more Group 1 races with him." The sky appears to be the limit for the lightly raced Free Eagle, who has battled injury for much of his career in which he has won 3 of his 5 starts. "We haven't made final decisions yet, but you look at the Juddmonte International, you look at the Irish Champion Stakes and hopefully the Arc would be the final aim for him," said Weld. "He's a high-class horse over a mile and a quarter, but I have every reason to believe he'll get a mile and a half."
Dual Classic winner Mongolian Khan (Holy Roman Emperor-Centafit, by Centaine) has returned to the Cambridge stable of trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman as he prepares for an ambitious spring campaign aimed at the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, reports AAP. The 3YO Holy Roman Emperor colt has been back in work for about two weeks following an outstanding autumn prep in which he claimed both the New Zealand and Australian Derby's. Baker said Mongolian Khan is likely to make his seasonal reappearance in the Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on 12 September. Mongolian Khan has won 7 of his 9 starts for $1,908,333 earnings.
Trainer Tony McEvoy has confirmed that exciting 3YO Alpine Eagle (High Chaparral-Zephyria, by Zabeel) is back in work as he prepares for an ambitious spring campaign aimed at the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup, reports theinformant.co.nz. The High Chaparral colt emerged as a potential star when scoring a stunning win in the Gr2 Autumn Classic (1800m) and finishing a close second to Wandjina in the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) in the autumn. The form out of the Australian Guineas has proven to be a strong with Wandjina going on to finish second behind Dissident in the Gr1 All Aged Stakes, and fourth-placed Kermadec winning the Gr1 Doncaster Mile. McEvoy believes Alpine Eagle is as good as any horse he has trained and says he has made the necessary physical improvement to be a force in the spring. "He's been back in for about three or four weeks. He put on 45 kilos, which tells me that he needed the spell and I'm really pleased," McEvoy said. "I haven't quite sorted his preparation out but his goals will be the Cox Plate or Caulfield Cup. I'm hoping as a four-year-old, now that he gets it (mentally), he might come back and be a bit sharper. But 2000 to 2400, that'll be his range." He added: "If you look at a lot of the top three-year-olds on the Timeform ratings, a lot of those have retired and gone to stud. The form after his Guineas held strong, so I'm very excited going forward."
High class New Zealand mare Pondarosa Miss (High Chaparral-Bak da Princess, by Danske) is likely to launch her Melbourne spring carnival campaign in the Gr3 Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa in August, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 4YO daughter of High Chaparral, who broke through for a well deserved Gr1 success in the Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie last month, is being prepared for an ambitious tilt at the Melbourne Cup in November. "That's what we're looking at as long as everything goes well," said Darrel Hollinshead, who co-bred and part-owns the mare with his father and trainer Peter. "She's out for a month and she's jumping out of her skin." Hollinshead said Pondarosa Miss may make an appearance during the Triple Crown series at Hastings before leaving for Australia.
Our Boy Malachi (Top Echelon-Rusticate, by Rustic Amber) has returned to his native Queensland to run in the $500,000 Gr1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday, reports horseracing.com.au. Known as the 'Rockhampton Rocket', the brilliant sprinter boosted his remarkable record to 17 wins from 19 starts when saluting in the Gr3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Randwick two weeks ago and will now embark on an ambitious winter campaign aimed at the Gr1 BTC Cup, Gr1 Doomben 10,000 and Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m). Co-trainer Michael Hawkes labelled Our Boy Malachi a "serious galloper" after his Hall Mark Stakes win and can't see why the 6YO won't continue his tremendous winning streak. "Why can't he keep winning?" Hawkes told the Gold Coast Bulletin. "He has done everything right and the biggest thing is the horse is a winner." he added, "It's been a phenomenal story and if we could win a Group 1 with him that would be the icing on the cake." Jockey Tommy Berry, who was aboard Our Boy Malachi in his most recent outing, believes the striking chestnut has what it takes to be competitive at the elite level. "I am looking forward to seeing what he has got to offer in Queensland," Berry said. "He can't do anymore then what he has done thus far and he is quite exciting."
Cyrus Rocks, the unraced 2YO whom Gai Waterhouse has nominated for Royal Ascot, will make his eagerly anticipated debut at Canterbury today. The Bernardini colt was last week given an ambitious entry by Waterhouse for the inaugural Gr1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in June, and will take the first step in realising that goal when he steps out in the opening race at Canterbury over 1100m. Waterhouse's assistant racing manager, Emma Pearce, told ANZ Bloodstock News that the stable was expecting a bold performance from the colt. "He is going really, really well," Pearce said. "He's a colt Gai has always had a very high opinion of and she was delighted with how he has trialled so far. He's taken a lot of improvement from those [trials] and we are expecting a very good run from him [today]." Pearce said that a trip to England would be contingent on Cyrus Rocks making a winning debut. "If he was going to make the trip, we would expect to see a winning performance from him and to come through the run well and progress from it," she said.
A special ceremony took place at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday to bid farewell to two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon, who has been retired to his native New Zealand, reports NZ Racing Desk. Ambitious Dragon (Pins-Golden Gamble, by Oregon) retired with a record of 13 wins from 30 starts with stakes of HK$58,722,850 (about NZ$9.8 million) to make him the sixth-highest earner in Hong Kong racing history. Trainer Tony Millard prepared the brilliant son of Pins to win a host of big races at Sha Tin, notably Gr1 victories in the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup and the 2012 Hong Kong Mile. He recorded a further five wins at the top level, including the Hong Kong Derby. Ambitious Dragon was selected and purchased from breeder Pat Lowry as a yearling for owner Johnson Lam by the Masterton-based bloodstock agent Bruce Perry. "I am delighted to confirm that Ambitious Dragon will be coming back to New Zealand to Kiwikawa Farm, the place where he was raised," said Perry. "He will enjoy a well-earned retirement, getting the best of care in a familiar environment."
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Gai Waterhouse has taken the unprecedented step of entering an unraced 2YO for Royal Ascot, reports racing.com. Cyrus Rocks, a colt by Bernardini out of the Flying Spur mare Lustre Lady, has been nominated for the inaugural running of the Gr1 Commonwealth Cup in June. Waterhouse's racing manager Adrian Bott confirmed the ambitious move. "Gai's all about looking internationally and keeping an open mind with these type of horses," Bott said. "She's wanted to take a two-year-old over to Europe for a number of years and this one may well be the likely prospect. Obviously it's still very early days and it would take a lot to confirm that move and take the horse over there but there's no harm in putting in a nomination." Cyrus Rocks, who has impressed in two recent barrier trials, will make his debut at Canterbury on Wednesday week. "That will give us an indication of which way he's going," Bott said. "He's doing everything right at the moment and (we've) been very impressed by what he's shown." He added, "He's a type with a lot of scope for improvement." The Commonwealth Cup, which replaces the Buckingham Palace Stakes, will be run on the Friday card for £375,000 and is open to 3YO colts, geldings and fillies. This only adds to the challenge for Cyrus Rocks, who will be regarded as a 3YO when he touches down in Britain despite really only being two.
Group winner Proisir, a son of the leading international Group One winner and producer Choisir, will commence the next phase of his career at Rich Hill Stud in New Zealand this year. Under the care of the champion Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse, Proisir (Choisir-Prophet Jewel, by Encosta De Lago) won his first two starts in commanding style before he distanced his rivals by six lengths in the Gr3 Spring Stakes at Newcastle. The colt then stepped straight up to Gr1 company to finish a close second behind the New Zealand Horse of the Year Dundeel in the Spring Champion Stakes, before rounding out his first preparation with a creditable midfield finish - the only unplaced start of his career - in the Gr1 Cox Plate behind Ocean Park. Proisir then kicked off an ambitious autumn program with a third placing in the Gr2 Hobartville Stakes behind multiple Gr1 performers Pierro and Rebel Dane. He again pushed Dundeel close when runner-up in the Gr1 Randwick Guineas, in a field that also featured top-flight gallopers Rebel Dane, Ferlax, and Sacred Falls. Proisir was subsequently sidelined by injury and after a rehabilitation period, he joined Peter and Paul Snowdon's stable. He trialled brilliantly late last year, but a decision was made to retire him after a recurrence of the injury. "Proisir was a legitimate Group One performer and fortunately he has the looks and pedigree to complete a quality package," Rich Hill's John Thompson said. "His sire Choisir has been a world-wide success story for Australian racing and Coolmore Stud. Choisir's first sire son at stud Starspangledbanner has made a sensational start to his career in both Hemispheres." He added, "Proisir's dam is a multiple winning mare by champion sire Encosta De Lago so he possesses all the genetic ingredients to make a successful sire. He will be a very valuable addition to the New Zealand stallion ranks." Proisir will stand at Rich Hill alongside Pentire, Shocking and Jimmy Choux at an introductory fee of NZ$7000 + GST, with a live foal guarantee.
Trainer David Hayes has mapped out an ambitious autumn campaign for talented mare Star Fashion (Street Cry-Elegant Fashion, by Danewin) who resumes in the Gr3 Frances Tressady Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday, reports racing.com. Hayes, who trains in partnership with nephew Tom Dabernig, said he had Gr1 options in both Sydney and Hong Kong in mind for the daughter of Street Cry and Hong Kong Derby winner Elegant Fashion if she can run well first-up. "I think she'll sprint well fresh and if she was to win first-up I might keep her fresh and head straight to the Queen Of The Turf (1600m) in Sydney," Hayes said. "She's owned in Hong Kong so if she ran well in that then I might take her for the international races in Hong Kong that follow after the Sydney Carnival if she was invited." Star Fashion hasn't raced since finishing 7th in the Gr2 Matriarch Stakes at Flemington on 8 November, but prior to that landed two wins in succession including the Gr3 Ladies Day Vase (1600m) at Caulfield.
Young trainer Sam Kavanagh's ambitious plan of aiming Tales Of Grimm at the Gr1 Doncaster Mile in April appeared more than reasonable after the European import made an impressive Australian debut in the Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association Trophy (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday. Having his first start since finishing sixth in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot in June last year, Tales Of Grimm (Distorted Humor-Stupendous Miss, by Dynaformer) showed he could be a force to be reckoned with during the autumn carnival in Sydney when letting down with a smart turn of foot to score by 0.2-length over handy sprinters Tahitian Black and Earnest Ernest. "He's a pretty nice horse. We put a lot of work into buying these Europeans and I've got some great owners who have supported me here," Kavanagh told TVN. "He's got a fair bit of improvement in him so we will see where we end up. The nominations for The Championships are on Monday so we might see him in the Doncaster. He looks pretty decent." The $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) will be run at Royal Randwick on day one of The Championships (4 April). By two-time Champion North American sire Distorted Humor from the Gr2-winning Dynaformer mare Stupendous Miss, Tales Of Grimm is a full-brother to Gr2 Zabeel Mile winner Do It All and is a direct descendant of South Ocean, dam of champion European racehorse Storm Bird. Tales Of Grimm has now won 3 of his 17 starts for $124,346 earnings.
Trainer Roger James has provided an update on outstanding Kiwi mare Silent Achiever (O'Reilly-Winning Spree, by Zabeel) who is scheduled to resume in the Gr2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday week (14 February). Speaking to RSNs Shane Anderson, James confirmed that the 4-time Gr1 winner will campaign in Sydney during The Championships with either the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) or Gr1 The BMW (2400m) as her main goal. Longer term, James and Silent Achiever's owner Kevin Hickman have mapped out an ambitious plan that involves travelling to Europe for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and a mating with the world's highest-ever rated racehorse, Frankel. "She's on the plane in about ten days time to run first-up in the Apollo Stakes on the 14th," James said. "We have three races lined up for her in Europe, all Gr1s, but before we can concentrate too much on that we've got Sydney first." He added, "As I say we start in the Apollo, then two weeks to the Chipping Norton and then three weeks to the Ranvet. After the Ranvet we've got to make a decision as to whether she runs in the Queen Elizabeth or the BMW."
Trainer Lee Freedman has confirmed that the Australian Derby is a potential target for promising young stayer Nozomi (Street Cry-Rose of Danehill, by Danehill), reports horseracing.com.au. The Geelong Classic (2200m) winner was sent for a spell after finishing third behind Preferment and Bondeiger in the Victoria Derby (2500m) in November, but is now back in work preparing for a similarly ambitious autumn campaign. "I really haven't settled down and had a good look at the calendar and I know to be ready for a race like the ATC Derby he will need to have run by February and I'm guessing that is the best time (to resume)," Freedman said. "It depends on how strong the Sydney Derby is looking because there are so many options in the autumn." He added, "There is the South Australia Derby and a host of races that we could aim at if we don't think he is ready for Sydney. He has certainly strengthened up since the spring." Freedman compared the son of Street Cry to his former Caulfield Cup winner Mummify, and said he was one of the most exciting horses in the stable. "He is built in the mould of a really good stayer," Freedman said. "He is a big strong horse. He needs to take the next step, but he reminds me, not in type, of a horse like Mummify, a horse that keeps improving with each start and looks like he will get a really solid 2400 metres."
Former Hong Kong sprinter Time After Time (Danehill Dancer-Recurring, by Pentire) is being set for the Gr1 Railway Stakes (1200m), a race his dam Recurring won for Sydney trainer Gerald Ryan in 2005, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 7YO Australian-bred gelding turned in an eye-catching New Zealand debut in the Listed Counties Bowl at Pukekohe on 22 November where he was tightened for room before finishing a close seventh. "He didn't have a lot of luck and if a few of those gaps had opened up he would have finished closer," said Margaret Carter, who trains in partnership with her husband Tim. The Cambridge couple are now racing Time After Time with his Hong Kong owner David Kam. "He's our number one client in Hong Kong and we've always had a few horses for him," Carter said. "This one has got a few joint problems so we have to manage him carefully and we're still learning about him, but we know the ability he's got." Time After Time showed plenty of ability when racing in Hong Kong, winning five races and finishing runner-up to two-time Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon in the Gr1 Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup at Sha Tin last year. Saturday's Gr3 Concorde Handicap at Ellerslie will be Time After Time's last run before returning for to the same venue for the Railway Stakes on Thursday, 1 January.