Majoris has become the latest winner for champion Frankel after winning a 1400m maiden at Brighton in the UK overnight, reports Racing Post. Trained by Hugo Palmer, the 2YO colt was having his second start after finishing sixth on debut at Haydock in May. Majoris' dam is the Kingmambo mare Drops, a daughter of English, Irish and Yorkshire Oaks winner Alexandrova. Frankel now boasts a perfect record with his European 2YOs this season of 5 winners from 5 runners, namely Cunco, Queen Kindly, Frankuus, Fair Eva and now Majoris. His only other racetrack representative to date, Rise Eagle, finished fifth on debut in Japan on Sunday. Trained by the late Sir Henry Cecil, Frankel was unbeaten in 14 starts, winning ten Gr1 races and finishing his racing career with a phenomenal Timeform Rating of 147, the highest in history. He stands at Juddmonte's Banstead Manor Stud near Newmarket at a fee of £125,000.
At Ellerslie in New Zealand, Three Bridges Thoroughbreds' Gr3-winning stallion Stryker (Fastnet Rock-Laetitia, by Woodman) added a Group success when promising 3YO gelding Rangipo (Stryker-Holloway Castle, by Zabeel) scored by a neck for trainer Tony Pike in the NZ$100,000 Gr2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) for 3YOs, over 3YO colt Brighton (Buffalo Man-Gore Bay, by Danehill Dancer) & fellow 3YO gelding Get That Jive (Street Sense-Cobbley, by Falbrav). Rangipo took his record to 6 wins (including the Gr2 Gr2 Waikato Guineas & Gr2 Great Northern Guineas) and 1 placing from 11 starts for NZ$234,570 earnings. Rangipo is now the $5 favourite for the Gr1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on 5 March. "He's an amazing horse as he's been in work a long time and he just keeps turning up," trainer Tony Pike told NZ Racing Desk. "He'll be back in a fortnight and then he can have a well-earned break."
On the eve of the 2016 NZB National Yearling Sales Series (see above item), at Auckland's Ellerslie Racecourse on Sunday, 2YO colt Manolo Blahniq (Jimmy Choux-Floramour) is a short-priced $2.50 favourite to win the prized Karaka Million for juveniles. Trained by Craig Thornton, the exciting prospect finished 2nd on debut in the Gr3 Murdoch Newell Stakes at Avondale before a resounding 3.5-lengths winner in the Listed Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie on New Year's Day. A NZ$115,000 Curraghmore Stud-consigned yearling at last year's Select Sale, Manolo Blahniq is expected to be pressured by the unbeaten duo Xiong Feng & O'Reilly Cyrus. The other black-type event on the popular Summer twilight program is the Listed NZB Insurance Karaka 3YO Mile for 2014 graduates of the NZB National Yearling Sales Series. Among a few chances, Brighton will be a popular pick after a jaw-dropping last start victory.
At Ashburton in New Zealand, Wellfield Lodge's 4-time Gr1-winning stallion Alamosa (O'Reilly-Lodore Mystic, by Centaine) added a black-type success when 3YO filly Strada Cavallo (Alamosa-Abenroad, by Danroad) scored by a half head for trainer Graham Richardson in the NZ$50,000 Listed John Grigg Stakes (1400m) for 3YOs, over fellow 3YO filly Princess Davone (Iffraaj-Nikey Davone, by Bertolini) & 3YO colt Brighton (Buffalo Man-Gore Bay, by Danehill Dancer). Strada Cavallo, who was purchased by her trainer Graham Richardson for NZ$60,000 at the 2014 NZB Seelect Yearling Sale from the draft of Bradbury Park, took her record to 1 win and 2 placings from 4 starts for NZ$35,350 earnings.
Breeders' Cup winner London Bridge (USA) has joined the Ridgeview Park roster at Muskerry East in Victoria. London Bridge is the first son of Roberto line stallion and leading Kentucky sire Arch (Kris S) to stand in Australia. The 5YOs biggest victory was in the 2013 Gr2 Breeders' Cup Marathon where he powered home to defeat older horses by a length at Santa Anita. Beginning his career in England, London Bridge completed a hat-trick as a summer three year-old at Brighton, Sandown and Ripon to book a place in the Breeders' Cup Championships. "He was never really sure on the dirt," winning jockey Mike Smith said. "It would have been a much better victory on grass." London Bridge (Arch-Kindness, by Indian Ridge) was raced by Waratah Thoroughbreds owner Paul Fudge and the Australian expat will stand him in association with Ridgeview Park's Phil and Fiona Sloane. Purchased for US$130,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale, London Bridge won 4 of his 9 starts and earned $307,960. His younger half-sister Letterfromamerica (Ghostzapper) was a juvenile winner in Ireland and was placed in last year's UAE 1000 Guineas Trial at Meydan. Their dam Kindness is a half-sister to Magical Fantasy (Diesis), a 4-time Gr1 winner of the Del Mar Oaks, Gamely Stakes, John C Mabee Stakes & Yellow Ribbon Stakes. Another Gr1 sprinter a generation removed is Keen Hunter (Diesis), a two-time winner of one of Europe's most prestigious sprints - the Gr1 Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp. London Bridge will stand for an introductory fee of $4,950 (inc GST) this year.
At Ellerslie in New Zealand, Totara Park Stud sire Buffalo Man (El Prado-Perfect Six, by Saratoga Six) added a black-type success when 2YO colt Brighton (Buffalo Man-Gore Bay, by Danehill Dancer) scored by 2.25-lengths for trainer Nigel Tiley in the NZ$50,000 Listed Champagne Stakes (1600m) for 2YOs, over 2YO gelding San Miguel (Pins-Kellys Ocean Jewel, by Dansili) & 2YO filly Girlsarebackintown (Murtajill-Soprana, by Carnegie). This was the first stakes victory for Brighton who took his record to 1 win and 1 placing from 2 starts for NZ$30,700 earnings. Brighton was purchased for NZ$8,500 by The White Street Trust at the 2014 NZB Festival Yearling Sale from the draft of Totara Park Stud.
Meanwhile, in the UK, prominent track owners Arena Leisure and Northern Racing have merged "to form a new company, Arena Racing Company (ARC)", reports thoroughbredtimes.com. "The merger makes ARC the largest racecourse operator in the United Kingdom, operating approximately 38% of the UK fixture list. Its new headquarters are at Millbank Tower in central London… ARC owns and operates racecourses at Bath, Brighton, Chepstow, Doncaster, Folkestone, Fontwell Park, Great Yarmouth, Hereford, Lingfield, Newcastle, Royal Windsor, Sedgefield, Southwell, Uttoxeter, Wolverhampton, and Worcester, and operates a 17th course at Ffos Las in West Wales." 552 meetings have been scheduled for ARC in 2012, 213 to be conducted on all-weather tracks. Significantly, "ARC is also responsible for hosting the world's oldest classic, the Ladbrokes St Leger (Eng-G1), final leg of the English Triple Crown." Lord Howard of Lympe has been confirmed as the merged company's non-executive chairman, Tony Kelly as its managing director and Simon Lane as operations director. Kelly commented: "The last few months have been exceptionally busy integrating the two groups, including setting up our new office in London".
Ireland's Derrinstown Stud-based Gr2-winning 8YO freshman stallion Haatef (Danzig-Sayedat Alhadh, by Mr Prospector) recorded his 2nd winner when Irish-bred 2YO colt Kicken Off (Haatef-Affirmed Crown, by Affirmed) scored over 6 furlongs at Brighton in England. Kicken Off was an £11,000 (A$17,600) 2YO at this year's Doncaster Bloodstock April Sale.
Notorious UK punter & tipster John McCracken "who was effectively warned-off for life in 2004 for refusing to co-operate with a UK Jockey Club race-fixing investigation, was among 3 men charged by Sussex police with conspiracy to defraud more than £5 million (A$8m) in relation to alleged betting scams" reported racingpost.com. McCracken, 45, "will appear on bail at Brighton Magistrates Court on Friday June 29, along with Matthew Thole, 39, a company director & racing tipster from Cardiff, plus self-employed John Brice, 39, of Hove". They are all charged that between 30 April 2003 & 13 February 2008, they "conspired with each other & with Paul Spicer, Greg Spicer, Lee O'Donnell & others to defraud prospective & actual participants in various purported betting services & purported investment services by making false claims in relation to the betting services, making false claims in relation to the investment services & seeking & receiving payments in relation to those services referred to". The charges "follow a 9-month investigation by the major fraud unit of Sussex Police". It is alleged that more than £5 million (A$8m) was "obtained by the defendants as a result of their convincing hundreds of individuals across the UK to invest in non-existent betting brochure schemes". Since being banned from the sport, McCracken "has enjoyed taunting the authorities, making regular racecourse visits, often wearing a disguise & claiming to own a string of racehorses that carry the colours of friends & associates". The Spicer twins "were convicted of conspiracy to defraud & each jailed for 7 years in June 2010 following a 5-week trial & O'Donnell received a 21-month sentence as part of the same case".
European 2007 champion sprinter & NZ The Oaks Stud's Gr1-winning stallion Sakhee's Secret (Sakhee-Palace Street, by Secreto) recorded his 3rd 1st-crop winner when 2YO filly Belle Intrigue (Sakhee's Secret-Belle Bellino, by Robellino) scored on debut over 5.5 furlongs at Brighton in England for trainer Amanda Perrett. Belle Intrigue was initially an 8,000 guineas (A$13,200) yearling at the 2011 UK Tattersalls December Sale & subsequently a €30,000 (A$38,400) 2YO at this year's Goffs March Sale.
On the UK track, Cheveley Park Stud's dual Gr1-winning & triple Gr1-placed 7YO freshman stallion Dutch Art (Medicean-Halland Park Lass, by Spectrum) recorded his 25th 1st-crop winner when Irish-bred 2YO filly Go Dutch (Dutch Art-Paix Royale, by Royal Academy) scored over 7 furlongs at Brighton for trainer Roger Varian. Dutch was a 27,000 guineas (A$42,000) yearling at the 2010 UK Tattersalls October Sale.
In the UK, deceased Gr1-winning & multiple Gr1-placed 8YO freshman stallion & 2007 Cartier Champion European Sprinter Red Clubs (Red Ransom-Two Clubs, by First Trump) recorded his 21st 1st-crop winner when Irish-bred 2YO colt Red Quartet (Red Clubs-Nans Lady, by Mozart) scored over 6 furlongs at Brighton for trainer Robert Eddery. Red Quartet was a €8,000 (A$11,000) yearling at the 2010 Tattersalls Ireland Sale & later a £6,000 (A$9,300) 2YO at this year’s UK Doncaster April Sale.
Irish-based Gr2-winning & Gr1-placed 9YO freshman stallion Echo Of Light (Dubai Millennium-Spirit Of Tara, by Sadler's Wells) recorded his 2nd 1st-crop winner overnight when Irish-bred 2YO colt Counterglow (Echo Of Light-Quintellina, by Robellino) scored over 7 furlongs at Brighton in Britain for trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni.
In the UK, Gr1-winning Irish-based 6YO freshman stallion Dark Angel (Acclamation-Midnight Angel, by Machiavellian) also recorded his 15th 1st-crop winner when Irish-bred 2YO colt Pride And Joy (Dark Angel-Fey Rouge, by Fayruz) scored over 6 furlongs at Brighton in England for trainer Jamie Osborne. Pride And Joy was a £20,000 (A$30,000) yearling at the 2010 Doncaster Bloodstock Sale.
The half-sister to 2009 Champion Irish 2YO & Gr1-winning WA Lynward Park shuttler Alfred Nobel (Danehill Dancer-Glinting Desert, by Desert Prince) recorded her 1st win when Irish-bred 3YO filly Starbound (Captain Rio-Glinting Desert, by Desert Prince) scored over 8 furlongs at Brighton in England for trainer William Haggas. Starbound was a 400,000 guineas (A$620,000) yearling at the 2010 Tattersalls October Sale.
US 11-year-old freshman stallion Brighton Ridge (Touch Gold-Swingin Nickel, by Plugged Nickel) recorded his 1st winner when 2YO filly Rayo Halo (Brighton Ridge-Rayo de Sol, by Sunny's Halo) scored on debut over 5 furlongs at Louisiana Downs for trainer Morris Nicks. Brighton Bridge (a half-brother to Gr2-winner Swingin On Ice) stands privately at Crooked Creek Farm in Louisiana & has 6 2YOs in his 1st-crop. On the track, he won 3 of his 22 starts.
Also in the UK, multiple Gr1-winning 7YO freshman sire Cockney Rebel (Val Royal-Factice, by Known Fact) recorded his 3rd 1st-crop winner when 2YO filly Marygold (Cockney Rebel-Contrary Mary, by Mujadil) won over 6 furlongs at Brighton for trainer John Akehurst.
Also in the UK overnight, Gr1-winning & multiple Gr1-placed 8YO stallion & 2007 Cartier Champion European Sprinter Red Clubs (Red Ransom-Two Clubs, by First Trump) recorded his 2nd 1st-crop winner when Irish-bred 2YO filly Red Hearts (Red Clubs-Red Trance, by Soviet Star) scored over 5.5 furlongs at Brighton for trainer Julia Feilden. Red Hearts was initially a €1,200 (A$1,700) yearling at the 2010 Tattersalls Ireland December Flat Sale & subsequently a £6,000 (A$9,300) 2YO at this year's Goffs Kempton Breeze-Up Sale.
In the UK, Darley's French-based multiple Gr1-winning 8YO freshman stallion & NZ Westbury Stud shuttler Librettist (Danzig-Mysterial, by Alleged) recorded his 6th 1st-crop winner when 2YO filly Star Now (Librettist-Affair Of State, by Tate Gallery) scored on debut over 6 furlongs at Brighton for trainer Mick Channon. Star Now was a 7,000 guineas (A$12,600) yearling at the 2009 UK Tattersalls October Sale.
Ireland's Tally-Ho Stud-based 9YO freshman stallion Kodiak (Danehill-Rafha, by Kris) recorded his 3rd 1st-crop winner when Irish-bred 2YO filly Kojak (Kodiak-Face The Storm, by Barathea) scored over 6 furlongs at Brighton in England for trainer Richard Hannon. Kojak was a 26,000 guineas (A$47,000) yearling at the 2009 UK Tattersalls October Sale.
Dual Gr1-winning freshman sire & Coolmore shuttler Holy Roman Emperor (Danehill-L'On Vite, by Secretariat) recorded his 6th 1st-crop winner when Irish-bred 2YO filly Two Feet Of Snow (Holy Roman Emperor-Current Affairs, by Selkirk) scored over 6 furlongs at Brighton in England. Two Feet Of Snow was a £5,000 (A$8,600) yearling at the 2009 Doncaster August Sale.
Gr1-winning 9YO stallion & 2005 European Champion sprinter Avonbridge (Averti-Alessia, by Caerleon) recorded his 19th 1st-crop winner when 2YO colt Essexbridge (Avonbridge-Aonach Mor, by Anabaa) scored over 7 furlongs at Brighton in the UK for trainer Richard Hannon. Essexbridge was initially a 21,000 guineas (A$39,000) weanling at the 2007 Tattersalls December Sale & later a £22,000 (A$40,000) yearling at the 2008 Doncaster August Sale.
Gr1-winning 9YO stallion & 2005 European Champion sprinter Avonbridge (Averti-Alessia, by Caerleon) recorded his 17th 1st-crop winner when 2YO filly Avon Lady (Avonbridge-Delightful Rhythm, by Diesis) scored over 8 furlongs at Brighton in Britain for trainer James Fanshawe.
In the UK, Irish-based 9YO freshman stallion Big Bad Bob (Bob Back-Fantasy Girl, by Marju) recorded his 3rd 1st-crop winner when Irish-bred 2YO colt Spanish Duke (Big Bad Bob-Spanish Lady, by Bering) scored over 7 furlongs at Brighton.
Gr1-winning Coolmore freshman sire & former shuttler Footstepsinthesand (Giant's Causeway-Glatisant, by Rainbow Quest) recorded his 11th 1st-crop winner when Irish-bred 2YO filly Bab At The Bowster (Footstepsinthesand-Charmingly, by King Of Kings) scored over 7 furlongs at Brighton in England for trainer William Haggas. Bab At The Bowster was a €25,000 (A$43,000) weanling at the 2007 Goffs Ireland November Sale & later a €24,000 (A$42,000) yearling at the 2008 Goffs Million Sale.
In the UK overnight, Brighton trainer Gary Moore paid top price of 65,000 guineas (A$163,000) for dual-winning 3YO filly First Avenue (Montjeu-Marciala, by Machiavellian) during the final session of the 4-day mares section at the 10-day Tattersalls December Sale (1 day of yearlings, followed by 5 days of foals & ending with 4 days of breeding stock). First Avenue was consigned from Kremlin House Stables.
Also in the UK overnight, 4-time Gr1-winning 8YO Darley 1st-season stallion & shuttle sire Refuse To Bend (Sadler's Wells-Market Slie, by Gulch) recorded his 10th individual winner when 2YO colt Liberation (Refuse To Bend-Mosaique Bleue, by Shirley Heights) scored over 7 furlongs at Brighton for trainer Mark Johnston in his 2nd start (after finishing 3rd on debut last month at Sandown).
In the UK, NZ stud Stoney Bridge's Darley shuttle stallion Storming Home (Machiavellian-Try To Catch Me, by Shareef Dancer) recorded his 1st stakes-winner when 3YO colt Captain Webb (Storming Home-Criquette, by Shirley Heights) scored a 3-lengths victory in the Listed Glasgow Stakes (11 furlongs) at Hamilton for trainer Mark Johnston in a new track record time. Captain Webb (bred by Gainsborough Stud & raced by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum) took his record to 4 wins from 5 starts (also including a 20-lengths victory over 10 furlongs at Brighton). Storming Home (2001 Champion British 3YO whose 8 wins included the UK Champion Stakes at Newmarket, plus both the US Gr1 Charles Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park & Gr1 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship at Santa Anita) is standing the 2008 season at Stoney Bridge Waikato for NZ$10,000+GST.
In the UK, 2003 European champion 2YO male & now 7YO NZ Cambridge Stud shuttle stallion One Cool Cat (Storm Cat-Tacha, by Mr Prospector) recorded his 3rd winner when 2YO colt Smoky Storm (One Cool Cat-Marisa, by Desert Sun) scored over 5 furlongs at Brighton for trainer William Jarvis. One Cool Cat's 1st-crop of NZ-bred progeny are yearlings & 24 sold at this year's NZB Premier Sale at Karaka averaged NZ$192,708 (with the top-priced filly from Diamond Cashel selling for NZ$925,000). One Cool Cat stands at Coolmore Stud in Ireland's County Tipperary for €12,500 (A$21,250) & has 120 2YOs in his 1st northern hemisphere crop. On the track One Cool Cat won 5 of 10 starts (including both Ireland's Gr1 Phoenix Stakes & Gr1 National Stakes as a 2YO) & earned US$568,000.
In a session at the IFHA Paris conference which discussed "how to attract new generations to racing", presenters from both sides of the Atlantic emphasised "competition from other sports is on the increase," reported racingpost.co.uk. David Nathanson, general manager of TVG (the US broadcaster & betting operator which partners with At The Races in the UK), noted family-friendly entertainment & a variety of forms of gambling offered alternatives to racing, especially other sports that have broad televised distribution, & commented: "We've learned in the US that while there's competition for our audience everywhere, people will wager on what they can see. Of TVG's total handle, 90% is on televised races & our average handle-per-race on televised races is 900% greater than on non-televised races." He added "combating the competition is not a matter of re-inventing the wheel"; rather racing should "take a cue from what has worked in other sports, gaming formats & programming: keep it simple by taking care of the customer & keeping it entertaining." Alan Switzer from UK-based Deloitte's sports business group highlighted the Newmarket Nights as "a way of combining racing with entertainment to great effect, with double the attendance at Newmarket's music meetings than standard fixtures". He also pointed to the "positive impact of rebranding Ladies Days, which accounted for the highest attendance at Ascot & the 2nd highest at Aintree & Brighton in 2006". Switzer also said "one area of growth that could be exploited is the luxury goods market, which is booming & expected to grow by approximately a third in the period to 2010. Elements of racing, notably horse ownership, share characteristics of luxury goods. But racing is likely to face increased competition from other luxury activities. Delivering value to racing's luxury investors will be critical & prize-money is only one part of the mix."
Amid on-going headlines in the UK, Karl Limbert (a "long-time gambling associate" of disgraced Brighton punter John McCracken) "has denied being the betting-link between 2 high-profile losers being examined by the British Horseracing Regulatory Authority," reported racingpost.co.uk. Defeats for I'm Lovin It at Catterick & Mia's Boy at Lingfield "are under examination due to suspicious betting patterns sparked over concerns of an involvement by McCracken" (who was warned-off in December 2004 for being "undesirable in the interests of racing" after failing to co-operate with an investigation into alleged race-fixing). Limbert, 40, is a professional punter & poker player who admits knowing McCracken, but "denies reports that he laid Mia's Boy" (whose rider Adrian McCarthy received a 14-day ban for not making enough effort to win the race). Limbert (who claimed to have lost £3,500 via bets placed on his Betdaq account & with a racecourse bookmaker) declared: "I can tell you categorically, 1000%, I had nothing to do with laying that horse & that I was a backer. Iraj Parvizi (who owns Mia's Boy & a couple of other horses with trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam) is one of my closest friends, so why would I be laying one of his horses? I have been racing twice in the last 18 months, both to see Mia's Boy run: why would I be involved in seeing it get beat? I spoke to Peter in the morning & he told me the horse was an absolute certainty; & I was in the paddock & gave the jockey the instructions to get a good position, to take a pitch & not in any circumstances come up the rail. He will never ride for us again. Somebody has pulled a stroke, but it definitely wasn't me. There was unbelievable opposition to this horse on Betfair & Betdaq: whatever was put on Mia's Boy it got bet & then it ran like it had been shot." Limbert also claimed his Betfair account was frozen after he laid I'm Lovin It, but he had since received his money: "I didn't profit a penny from that bet. It was a hedge, a desperate chance to try & get some of my money back. I bet the horse steadily all day; but then I spoke to a couple of good judges, including one who said he thought I had been put away, & I didn't start laying it until 15 minutes before the race. So how they could suggest I was involved in some sort of conspiracy was ridiculous. My Betfair account has been closed, but only because I told them straight: as soon as I got my money, I would never be doing business with them again. I can't do business with people who have taken £600,000 (A$1.44m) off me in commission & then want to instigate these sort of proceedings against me." Asked about the HRA's suspicions that McCracken is involved in some of his betting activities, Limbert replied: "Even if I did put a bet on for John McCracken, would I be committing a criminal offence? I don't think so. I have known John McCracken for 20 years: he used to be a snooker player, that's how I know him. But just because I know John McCracken doesn't make me John McCracken. It is no secret I have had business with John McCracken on countless things: sport, rugby, cricket, whatever. So obviously some of the bets that I might put on, they may be as a result of whatever I may be doing with him, if I am doing anything with him. But that doesn't make me John McCracken & I am certainly not breaking the law for putting bets on for him or having bets with him. That is a personal matter between me & him. And as far as I am aware, he is still allowed to walk the streets."
Despite being "just 1 ride into his 3-month visit from Australia", Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman "is already considering extending his stay with Mick Channon, with whom he will be based through the UK summer.," reported racingpost.co.uk. Bowman, 26, "experienced a baptism of fire when partnering Channon's Rio Taffeta in the opener at Brighton on Sunday & admitted the switch-back course was a unique experience". Rio Taffeta finished almost 5-lengths last of 5 runners & Bowman commented: "It was different, but it's not the worst racecourse I've ever seen. It can only get better from here. I was picking up coming down the hill & needed somewhere to go, but on the climb he didn't handle it." Bowman (who was due to "experience the somewhat more orthodox gradients of Wolverhampton" overnight) has ridden 500 winners in the past 5 seasons in Australasia & added: "I'm doing well at home, but would definitely look to stay longer than 3 months if things work out." Bowman is set to team-up with 2 visiting Australia horses in coming weeks, including Bentley Biscuit of whom he confirmed: "Bentley Biscuit will be aimed at the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. Looking at him in the yard, you wouldn't swap him for anything else. He's won 2 Gr1 races & though he has a way to go yet he could end up being another Choisir or Takeover Target."
Wednesday Odd Spot 2: Meanwhile John McCracken "the notorious Brighton punter who was warned-off for life 2 years ago, turned up on Britain's Lingfield racecourse where he was confronted by security staff before making a swift exit," reported racingpost.co.uk. In a "bid to conceal his identity, McCracken was accompanied by what appeared to be 2 burly minders & arrived at Lingfield wearing dark sunglasses & with either a balaclava or scarf wrapped around his face". He had 2 bets with bookmakers before his presence was exposed: a winning £2,000 (A$4,800) punt on a debutant 2YO & a losing £4,000 (A$9,600) wager. The racegoer who raised the alarm said that during the meeting, he overheard McCracken talking on a mobile phone & telling an accomplice to lay a horse for £40,000 (A$96,000). McCracken was duly approached by 2 security officials & asked for identification; when he refused, he was asked to leave & "was subsequently seen getting into a silver Bentley which drove away".
Victoria's Brighton-based 6YO stallion Kempinsky (Danehill-Tristalove, by Sir Tristram) has his 1st foals on the ground & Newlands Thoroughbreds principal Robert Alteri declared: "They are cracking types: compact, strong, well-boned & correct on what we've seen so far." Dual Gr1-placed & Gr2-winner Kempinsky (a member of Australasia's celebrated Eight Carat family) retired to stud last year with 2 wins & 3 placings from 8 starts for $453,500 prize-money; he already has "a strong book of mares booked to him for the coming breeding season" for which he is standing at $8,800.
In France, Coolmore shuttler & unbeaten world champion 2YO Johannesburg (Hennessy-Myth, by Ogygian) recorded his 3rd 1st-crop winner in a week when juvenile filly Rockmanella (Johannesburg-Reine De Romance, by Vettori) scored for leading trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. The victory followed Johannesburg's 1st winner via the Hugh Morrison-trained colt Johannesburg Jack (Johannesburg-Out Of Egypt, by Red Ransom) over 5 furlongs at Brighton in the UK & then 2nd winner when the Todd Pletcher-trained fellow colt Scat Daddy (Johannesburg-Love Style, by Mr Prospector) scored by 5.25-lengths at Belmont Park in New York. In addition, the David Wachman-trained colt Rabatash (Johannesburg-Attasliyah, by Marju) finished 2nd at Tipperary in Ireland this week; & earlier the 215,000 guineas (A$559,000) yearling colt Jo'burg (Johannesburg-La Martina, by Atraf) also finished 2nd on debut for trainer Amanda Perrett at Newbury in England. Johannesburg will stand the upcoming southern hemisphere season at Coolmore in the NSW Hunter Valley for $27,500.
Also in the UK overnight, fellow Coolmore shuttler & unbeaten world champion 2YO Johannesburg (Hennessy-Myth, by Ogygian) recorded his 1st winner from his 1st crop when Johannesburg Jack scored over 5 furlongs in a 2YO maiden at Brighton. Johannesburg Jack (ridden by Steve Drowne for trainer Hugh Morrison) defeated odds-on favourite Winning Spirit & High Style (owned by The Queen). Johannesburg Jack was a €77,000 (A$123,000) yearling at the Goffs Million Sale & is closely-related to Gr2 winner Wandering Star & leading sire Silver Hawk. Just last week in the US auction ring, a Johannesburg colt set a new sale record US$625,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2YOs-In-Training Sale in Maryland. Johannesburg will stand the upcoming southern hemisphere season at Coolmore in the NSW Hunter Valley for $27,500.
Easter Odd Spot: Warned-off UK punter John McCracken "has stuck up 2 fingers to British authorities by launching a tipping service that promises subscribers profits of up to £1 million (A$2.4m)" reported racingpost.co.uk. "Far from attempting to convince potential clients he is a reformed character, advertising material promoting the disgraced Brighton-based punter's venture glorifies in his notoriety." UK Horseracing Regulatory Authority head of security Paul Scotney "urged people receiving the brochure to rip it up" & warned "any licensed individuals found associating with McCracken will face disciplinary action". Billing himself as "The Man They Couldn't Stop", McCracken (warned-off in 2004 for refusing to co-operate with an investigation into race-fixing) reproduces newspaper articles "highlighting why he topped the UK Jockey Club's Most Wanted list in its battle against corruption"; his brochure also claims he won £500,000 (A$1.2m) when Exponential "landed one of the biggest gambles in recent years after being backed from 100-1 to 8-1 at Nottingham in August 2004". McCracken is offering a "full money back guarantee" on 4 of his service's 6 options, including a 10-year platinum membership which will cost £2,297 (A$5,500) but is now available for £697 (A$1,600); as part of this package, subscribers are "guaranteed profits of £1 million (A$2.4m) " & can also receive his "information on horses to lay". Telephone respondents to the brochure hear a taped message in which McCracken says he is looking for 70 members before May & brazenly declares racecourse & betting shop bans have not inconvenienced him, claiming: "I am more active than ever. I am without doubt the most successful, the most informed man in racing. They say I had 20 contacts in the weighing room, believe me it's a lot more."