Everest slot-holder Damion Flower says he is looking beyond Australia's shores for his 2018 representative. Flower, who was the last to lock in his slot last year when selecting the Kris Lees-trained Clearly Innocent (8th), says he won't be waiting so long this year. Among the horses Flower has identified as a perfect Everest candidate is the Sheikh Mohammed-owned Harry Angel (Dark Angel-Beatrix Potter, by Cadeaux Genereux). The 4YO Irish-bred entire has established himself as one of the top sprinters in Europe winning the 4 of his 8 starts, including the Gr1 Haydock Sprint Cup & Gr1 July Cup. He is currently being prepared for the Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. "I’m scouting a little bit earlier than I was last year. I’ve got a couple of nice horses up my sleeve and an international horse I’m looking at," Flower told Sky Sports Radio. "I’m looking at those sprinters overseas that could match the locals, a dead set six furlong horse that can sprint off a fast pace." He added: "The only horse I see at the moment is the Sheikh’s horse Harry Angel, I’m not too scared to say that. I haven’t contacted them or anything but he’s one." Harry Angel's trainer Clive Cox told Racing Post says he's not surprised that Flower is interested. "I can understand the interest as he's a very exciting horse but it would be the owners' decision," Cox said. "The horse is in great form and we're looking forward to going to the Duke of York next week as a suitable starting point towards the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot."
Group 1-winning sprinter Music Magnate (Written Tycoon-Concert Girl, by Danehill Dancer) is being aimed at the Listed Christmas Classic (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 30 December, reports ANZ Bloodstock News. A winner of the 2016 Gr1 Doomben 10,000, the 6YO hasn't raced since finishing last behind Clearly Innocent in the Gr1 Kingsford-Smith Cup in Brisbane in May. "He's fit and well and back to a hundred per cent," trainer Bjorn Baker said. "The main thing is he's back in action. We're looking at the Christmas Classic and then a couple of very early autumn targets."
TAB have opened defending champion Redzel as $8 favourite for the 2018 The Everest (1200m) to be run at Royal Randwick on 13 October, reports racingnsw.com.au. Prize money for next year's Everest, now the richest turf race in the world, will jump from $10 million to $13 million. The Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Redzel has established himself as the pre-eminent sprinter in Australia stringing together six consecutive wins since April, including Gr1 victories in the Darley Classic and Doomben 10,000.
TAB Everest Market
$8 - Redzel
$11 - Chautauqua, Vega Magic
$15 - Menari, Merchant Navy, Winx
$26 - Brave Smash, Clearly Innocent, English, In Her Time, Invincible Star, She Will Reign
$51 - Deploy, Hey Doc, Houtzen, Impending, Nature Strip, Performer, Redkirk Warrior, Terravista, Trapeze Artist, Tulip, Viddora
$101 - Ball of Muscle, Fell Swoop, Formality, Malaguerra, Rock Magic, Sheidel, Spieth
Trainer Kris Lees says Clearly Innocent (Not a Single Doubt-No Penalty, by Zabeel) is in top order ahead of the inaugural $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday. Clearly Innocent, who will represent slot holder Damion Flower in the first-ever running of the world's richest turf race, did his last piece of work on the course proper at Broadmeadow on Tuesday morning. "He worked on his own wide out, and galloped strongly," Lees told racingnsw.com.au. "I'm very happy with him." Lees was also delighted when Clearly Innocent came up with barrier six at Tuesday's barrier draw. "I don't get too flustered about barrier draws," he said. "But if someone had asked beforehand what I would like, I would have said around midfield. You can't get any more midfield than six. That will give Hugh (jockey Bowman) the opportunity to get him to the outside in the straight and enable him to wind up." Last season's Gr1 Kingsford-Smith Cup winner had the flashing light on when resuming with a fast-finishing third behind In Her Time in the Gr2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) two weeks ago. Clearly Innocent is currently a $14 chance with TAB.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the inaugural running of the world's richest turf race – the $10 million The Everest (1200m) to be held at Royal Randwick racecourse in Sydney this Saturday. A capacity field of 12 sprinters will line up in the race with each horse representing a slot holder. There are four emergencies should there be any scratchings. In the case that any of the 12 horses is withdrawn, the affected slot holder/s will be able to negotiate with the connections of the substitute emergency runner. Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign (barrier 2) is the current $4.60 TAB favourite for the race, ahead of Vega Magic (10) at $5.50, Chautauqua (5) at $6, Redzel (4) at $7, and Redkirk Warrior (3) at $9. All other runners are at double figure odds. Click below to view The Everest field.
Horse (Slot Holder)
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, former stakes-winning Darley stallion Time Thief (Redoute's Choice-Procrastinate, by Jade Hunter) added a Group success when 5YO bay mare In Her Time (Time Thief-Hell It's Hot, by Zeditave) resumed with a brilliant win in the $500,000 Gr2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating English & Clearly Innocent. In Her Time, who was passed-in for $38,000 by Kanangra at the 2014 Inglis Classic Sale, improved her record to 6 wins (including the Gr2 Millie Fox Stakes & Gr2 Breeders Classic) and 3 placing from 15 starts for $1,013,225 in earnings. Trainer Benjamin Smith said he hoped In Her Time could secure one of the few remaining slots in the $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 14 October.
Gr1-winning sprinter Clearly Innocent will put his Everest credentials to the test when he resumes in the Gr2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday. The richly talented Clearly Innocent (Not a Single Doubt-No Penalty, by Zabeel) came of age last preparation when bounding to a powerful win in the Gr1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) in Brisbane before rounding out his winter campaign with a close-up third in the Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) in June. Trainer Kris Lees is hoping that a bold showing on Saturday will see the lightly raced 6YO secure a slot in the inaugural $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 14 October. “Clearly Innocent is in great order, and is at his best on the big tracks such as Randwick,” Lees told ANZ Bloodstock News. “If he runs well on Saturday, and I’m confident he will, I think he’ll be right to get a slot in The Everest.”
Not A Single Doubt has ended the 2016/17 season in fifth spot with $11.7 million prize money, slightly less than the $12.5 million that secured him the runner-up position behind Street Cry last year. However, in terms of top-level racetrack performance and sale-ring results, 2016/17 has been Not A Single Doubt’s best ever season – so far. Fourteen winners of 25 Australian stakes races (17 Group races) include four Group 1 winners in four states, at distances from 1000 to 1600 metres: 3YO Extreme Choice (MVRC Moir S. G1), 4YOs Scales Of Justice (WATC Railway S. G1) & Secret Agenda (SAJC Robert Sangster S. G1) and 5YO Clearly Innocent (BRC Kingsford-Smith Cup G1). Now with 43 stakes winners (7 at Group 1 level) on his CV and a full book of mares at his new fee of $88,000, Not A Single Doubt has come a very long way from the winter of 2010. As Arrowfield’s Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer says: “Not A Single Doubt is a wonderful Arrowfield home-bred success story and we’re very grateful to all the breeders who have supported him, the buyers who’ve turned that support into profitable sales, and the owners, trainers and jockeys who have given his sons and daughters their racing opportunities.” Freyer continued: “He’s also a great reminder that we need to be very careful not to judge young stallions prematurely. Despite being an outstanding sire of juveniles, it took him 708 days to leave his first stakes winner!”
Almost seven years after Not A Single Doubt opened his stakes account as a sire, Scales Of Justice brought up his milestone 90th stakes victory in Saturday's $150,000 Gr3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m) at Belmont in Perth. Sent out as odds-on favourite, the Lindsey Smith-trained Scales Of Justice took early control of the race, and out-classed his eight rivals to win by three lengths in a time of 1:37.53. It was the 4YO gelding's eighth career win and his third Group victory for owners Chris Wells & Bill Andrews, following last November's Gr1 Railway Stakes & Gr3 RJ Peters Stakes. He has now won or placed in all of his 16 starts since his juvenile debut win two years ago and garnered prize money of more than $1.2 million. Bred by Gerard & Kathy Hammond, Scales Of Justice was bought for $180,000 by agent Craig Rounsefell's Boomer Bloodstock and trainer Lindsey Smith at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. Not A Single Doubt has followed up his spectacular 2015/16 season with career-best numbers in most categories, including 15 winners of 25 stakes races (including 2YO Qiji Phoenix in New Zealand) and four Group 1 winners, namely Secret Agenda, Clearly Innocent, Extreme Choice & Scales Of Justice. Not A Single Doubt's $11.1 million earnings this season give him fourth position on the Australian General Sires' premiership, between Fastnet Rock and I Am Invincible, but when it comes to stakes winners & stakes wins, he is headed only his Arrowfield barn-mate Snitzel.
AAP reports that trainer Greg Bennett has resigned from his position at Aquis Farm after only three months due to personal reasons. The former Scone-based horseman was appointed as Aquis’ Director of Racehorse Development in February. The trainer of top notch sprinter Clearly Innocent before his move to Queensland, Bennett retired from training immediately after The Championships in April to commence his new role. According to racenet, Bennett will take some time out to consider what he'll do next.
At Doomben racecourse in Brisbane, former Champion Australian Sire & 11-time Gr1-winning World Champion Miler Lonhro (Octagonal-Shadea, by Straight Strike) celebrated an elite race success when Godolphin's 3YO bay colt Impending (Lonhro-Mnemosyne, by Encosta de Lago) unleashed an irresistible sprint from midfield to claim his maiden top-flight victory in the $1.5 million Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) for 3YO+, defeating In Her Time & Clearly Innocent. Impending, who became the seventh 3YO to win the Stradbroke in the past 25 years and the first since Sincero in 2011, advanced his record to 3 wins (including the Gr2 Stan Fox Stakes) and 5 placings (including the Gr1 ATC Golden Rose Stakes & Gr2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint) from 12 starts for $1,518,000 in earnings. A homebred for Darley, Impending is out of Gr1 Thousand Guineas & Gr1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes winner Mnemosyne and is a half-brother to Gr3 Newcastle Cameron Handicap winner Forget (Exceed And Excel). This is also the family of Gr1 Golden Slipper, Gr1 AJC Sires' Produce & Gr1 VRC Sires' Produce Stakes winner and sire Full On Aces. Godolphin Australia managing director Henry Plumptre paid tribute to former champion jockey Darren Beadman who was celebrating his first Gr1 winner as a trainer. "Hats off to the trainer. He's a Group One person," Plumptre told Racing Queensland Webnews. "He's planned this for a long time and he's done a great job." Plumptre added "I think he and James [incoming head trainer James Cummings] will work tremendously well together."
Strong pre-post favourite Clearly Innocent has drawn a horror marble for connections in Saturday's Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben which has thrown the market into disarray. As short as $3.60 before the barrier draw, the top weight has eased markedly out to $4.60 after being asked to jump from gate 20. Also faring badly was Derry (21) who has also slipped out a few points. Counterattack, close up behind Redzel over 1200m at Doomben two starts ago, has fared much better for trainer Chris Waller, drawing two off the paint. While his price has remained constant at $8.50, each of Jungle Edge (7) and Ulmann (8) has tightened up since the draw.
Racing Queensland has released the latest order of entry for the $1.5 million Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) to be run at Eagle Farm on Saturday week (10 June). Saturday’s Gr1 Kingsford-Smith Cup winner and current Stradbroke favourite Clearly Innocent, as well as Gr1 Goodwood winner Vega Magic and Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes winner Takedown, are all exempt from ballot. Click here to view the latest order of entry.
Clearly Innocent gave his Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale bound half-sister a timely boost when he bounded to a powerful win in Saturday's Gr1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm. The Kris Lees-trained 5YO sent his earnings soaring past $1.5 million when he beat a classy field in the $700,000 feature by three lengths. It is the second straight stakes success for Clearly Innocent since the catalogue was printed for the 2017 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. His half-sister Champagne Kisses (Onemorenomore) is catalogued as Lot 676 for the Gold Coast-based auction. Champagne Kisses will be presented by JD Thoroughbreds, and will be housed in the Chester Barn. She is set to go under the hammer during tomorrow's opening session of the National Broodmare Sale. Also set to go under the hammer on day one is Saturday's Gr3 Lord Mayor's Cup winner Col 'n' Lil. A member of the in-form Toowoomba stables of Ben Currie, the daughter of Bradbury's Luck showed great fight in the home straight to hold out her rivals for a gutsy win. A gallant third placegetter in the same race was Elle Lou, a proven group winning daughter of Snitzel who is catalogued as Lot 697 from the draft of Attunga Stud. Other upcoming Magic Millions lots to receive a timely pedigree boost include:
The Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale will be held from May 30 to June 2. Click here to view the catalogue.
At Eagle Farm racecourse in Brisbane on Saturday, Arrowfield Stud's multiple stakes-winning stallion Not A Single Doubt (Redoute's Choice-Single's Bar, by Rory's Jester) celebrated an elite race success when 5YO gelding Clearly Innocent (Not a Single Doubt-No Penalty, by Zabeel) unleashed his trademark electric turn of foot to post his maiden top-flight victory in the $700,000 Gr1 Darley Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) for 3YO+, defeating Jungle Edge & Counterattack. The richly talented Clearly Innocent advanced his record to 9 wins (including the Listed Luskin Star Stakes - twice) and 1 placing from 15 starts for $1,059,650 earnings. Retained to race by his breeder Cressfield Stud, Clearly Innocent is out of the Zabeel mare No Penalty and hails from the female family of New Zealand & Australian Oaks winner Domino and Listed Reginald Allen Quality winner Gimmick, dam of Gr1 TJ Smith Classic (now JJ Atkins Stakes) winner Linky Dink. Trainer Kris Lees hopes that the handicapper gives Clearly Innocent enough weight to ensure he gains a start in the $1.5 million Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on 10 June. "He improved off his Luskin Star win at Scone but going from a Listed race to weight-for-age was always a concern," Lees told Racing Queensland Webnews. "Obviously, he'll improve further now before the Stradbroke."
Darley Kingsford-Smith Cup winner Clearly Innocent is Not A Single Doubt's seventh Group 1 winner overall, and fourth this season, after Extreme Choice, Scales of Justice and Arrowfield graduate Secret Agenda. Clearly Innocent's steep rise to Group 1-winning status has been matched by Not A Single Doubt's emergence as a major Australian sire. Two years ago the son of Redoute's Choice had just posted his 23rd stakes winner, including his second Group 1 winner, and he ended the 2014/15 season inside the top 10 sires with progeny earnings of $7 million. Now, he has 42 career stakes winners on the board, holds fifth spot on the General Sires' premiership with $10.3 million and is pressing hard to finish the season even higher.
Trainer Kris Lees is expecting a big run from Clearly Innocent (Not a Single Doubt-No Penalty, by Zabeel) in Saturday’s Gr1 Darley Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm, reports ANZ Bloodstock News. The 5YO, who returned to his explosive best when claiming back-to-back victories in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at Scone on 13 May, will use the race as a lead-up to the $1.5 million Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) will be run at Eagle Farm on 10 June. "Saturday is a big step up from Listed class to Group One so it will be interesting to see how he races," Lees said. "If he can finish in the first few it might earn him a little bit extra in the weights. He has pleased me since I took him over.” The Cressfield Stud-owned Clearly Innocent was previously trained by Greg Bennett.
At Scone in the NSW Hunter Valley, Arrowfield Stud's multiple stakes-winning stallion Not A Single Doubt (Redoute's Choice-Single's Bar, by Rory's Jester) added a black-type success when 5YO gelding Clearly Innocent (Not a Single Doubt-No Penalty, by Zabeel) returned to his explosive best when claiming back-to-back victories in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) for 3YO+, defeating Snoopy & Gold Symphony. Having just his second start for new trainer Kris Lees, the richly talented Clearly Innocent advanced his record to 8 wins (including the Listed Luskin Star Stakes) and 1 placing from 14 starts for $604,150 earnings. Retained to race by his breeder Cressfield Stud, Clearly Innocent is out of the Zabeel mare No Penalty and hails from the same female family as New Zealand & Australian Oaks winner Domino and Listed Reginald Allen Quality winner Gimmick, dam of Gr1 TJ Smith Classic (now JJ Atkins Stakes) winner Linky Dink. "He really let fly. He has a great affinity with this track," trainer Kris Lees told Sky Racing. "We will assess this race and then look at Brisbane. Hopefully he can go on and win a really good race."
Meanwhile, trainer Kris Lees says gifted sprinter Clearly Innocent (Not a Single Doubt-No Penalty, by Zabeel) has pulled up well following his first run for the stable in last Saturday's Gold Rush Handicap (1100m) at Hawkesbury. The 5YO, who finished strongly after easing back from an awkward draw and racing wide, is also bound for Scone where he will attempt to defend his title in the $150,000 Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) on 13 May. Formerly trained by Greg Bennett, the Cressfield Stud-owned gelding has won 7 of his 13 starts for over $500,000 in prize money.
Celebrations could continue well into the night if locally-owned Something Borrowed lands Friday's $50,000 Mudgee Cup (1600m), reports racingnsw.com.au. Something Borrowed (Volitant-Wedded Chimes, by Chime Zam) is trained at Dubbo by former jockey Justin Stanley but his group of 10 owners are all from Mudgee. "They are a great bunch of owners and are thrilled that their horse is in the Mudgee Cup," said Stanley. "They will be out in force with a large group of friends to cheer him on. They'd obviously love to win their local cup and I think he will be very hard to beat if he gets the right run in the race." Something Borrowed is now an 8YO but has been racing in great form. "He's an eight-year-old who thinks he's three and he's only had the 30 starts so he hasn't been over-raced," said Stanley. Something Borrowed won a $100,000 heat of the Country Championships at Dubbo in March before finishing eighth of 16 to Clearly Innocent in the $500,000 Country Championship final at Randwick on April 2. More recently he finished second to Any Blinkin' Day in the Dubbo Cup (1600m) on September 20, and won the Cotton Cup (1600m) at Warren on November 6.
Greg Bennett is expecting a bold showing from exciting sprinter Clearly Innocent (Not a Single Doubt-No Penalty, by Zabeel) when he makes his Melbourne debut in the Listed Caulfield Village Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield today, reports horseracing.com.au. Clearly Innocent marked himself as one of the most promising horses in training when winning five consecutive races in the autumn, including the Country Championship Final (1400m) at Randwick and the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at Scone, before resuming with a satisfactory sixth in the Gr2 Shorts (1100m) at Randwick 3.5 weeks ago. "On paper, it looks like a winnable race for us if things fall into place, and if Tommy can get a good run in transit, he should be finishing off pretty well," Bennett said. "He's drawn quite well. It's not a big field. I think there's a bit of speed on, the rail's true, so there'll be plenty of room for the 12 gallopers to get around." he added: "I just hope we get a bit of luck in running, and he can finish it off like he normally does." Clearly Innocent will be ridden by Tommy Berry and will jump from barrier 8.
Racing NSW's Country and Provincial Championships have been announced with Clarence River Jockey Club, representing the Northern Rivers region of NSW, having the honour of staging the first Country Championships on Sunday, 12 February 2017. Wyong Race Club will again stage the curtain raiser for the Provincial Championships on Thursday, 23 February 2017. The 2017 Finals of the two series will be held during The Championships at Royal Randwick Racecourse on Saturday, 1 April (Country) and Saturday, 8 April (Provincial). "There have only been two runnings of the Country and Provincial Championships and in the qualifiers and finals we have witnessed some exciting and extremely competitive racing right around the State," said Racing NSW chief executive, Peter V'landys. "The series will only get bigger in 2017 with an extra $50,000 injected into each qualifying race making all qualifiers now worth $150,000 each in prizemoney." The strength of the Country and Provincial Championships this April was franked when the Scone-trained Clearly Innocent won the Country Final and Newcastle mare Danish Twist took out the Provincial Final. Both racehorses went on to stakes success soon after their victories. Click here to view all dates.
Trainer Greg Bennett has mapped out a three-race spring program for exciting sprinter Clearly Innocent (Not a Single Doubt-No Penalty, by Zabeel). Clearly Innocent marked himself as one of the most promising horses in training when winning five consecutive races in the autumn, including the Country Championship Final (1400m) at Randwick and Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at Scone. Bennett said the 5YO will resume in the Gr2 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on 17 September, before progressing to the Gr2 Premier Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on 1 October and the Gr3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on 15 October. "He's very well. He's been back in the stable for a few weeks after his holiday in Queensland where he spent some time in the paddock at Washpool Lodge," Bennett told Melbourne's Radio Sport National. "We're going to gallop him before the races at Scone on Friday and then he will trial at Wyong on the 6th September. I have three races pegged in for the spring culminating in coming down to Melbourne on Caulfield Cup day. All being well I will run him first-up in the Shorts at Randwick over 1100 metres, then two weeks later on Epsom day he will run in the Premier Stakes over 1200 metres." He added: "If we're happy with him after those two runs then we will nominate him for the Moonga Stakes over 1400 metres at Caulfield." Retained to race by his breeder Cressfield Stud, Clearly Innocent has won 7 of his 9 starts for $508,925 earnings. From the Zabeel mare No Penalty, Clearly Innocent hails from the same female family as New Zealand & Australian Oaks winner Domino and Listed Reginald Allen Quality winner Gimmick, dam of Gr1 TJ Smith Classic (now JJ Atkins Stakes) winner Linky Dink.
Cliff Bashford is yet to decide which race to run Ocean Grand in at Canterbury Park on Saturday, but his opinion of his stable star is as high as ever heading into the spring, reports racingnsw.com.au. Bashford has nominated Ocean Grand for the TAB Highway Handicap (1250m) and a Benchmark 78 Handicap (1100m) following a trial win at Coffs Harbour on June 24. Ocean Grand beat Country Championships winner Clearly Innocent in a Highway race last December and has a good strike rate at Canterbury winning 2 of 3 starts. Bashford said the horse is ready to win first-up: "He likes Canterbury and I think he'll go well," he said. "He's going very good, he went very well in his trial and the trial form has backed up well. Everything is right with the horse and I can't fault him." Bashford even had his sights on running the Duporth 4YO in the Ramornie Handicap at Grafton last Wednesday. "We would have just missed out on a run in the Ramornie. I thought he was a lightweight chance," he said. Bashford admitted he wasn't sure what Ocean Grand's best distance is, but he's certain the horse is a genuine sprinter despite thinking he'd race over further ground early in his career. "He's won first-up in the past and Koby Jennings will ride him with his 2kg claim and he's the class country horse of the field. He's a really nice horse," he said.
At Scone in the New South Wales Hunter Valley, Arrowfield Stud's multiple stakes-winning stallion Not A Single Doubt (Redoute's Choice-Single's Bar, by Rory's Jester) added a black-type success when 4YO gelding Clearly Innocent (Not a Single Doubt (AUS) 2001 out of No Penalty (NZ) 2000, by Zabeel) scored a fast-finishing 0.8-length win for trainer Greg Bennett in the $140,000 Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) for 3YO+, over fellow 4YO gelding Music Magnate (Written Tycoon-Concert Girl, by Danehill Dancer) & 7YO mare Cradle Me (Easy Rocking-Amphycles, by Machiavellian). In claiming his maiden stakes victory Clearly Innocent, who has looked a Group horse of the future ever since his brilliant win in the Country Championships Final at Royal Randwick in April, boosted his outstanding strike rate to 7 wins and 1 placing from 9 starts for $508,925 earnings. Trainer Greg Bennett said the exciting galloper would now be spelled and be aimed at the spring. "Everybody has been telling me he's a Group horse; he's not yet, but he's a Listed horse now," Bennett told Sky Racing. "Maybe he is a Group One horse, I don't know. But we will think about it [his future]...we will go to the spring and then we will look at next autumn." Retained to race by his breeder Cressfield Stud, Clearly Innocent took his record to 6 wins and 1 placing from 8 starts for $423,725 earnings. From the Zabeel mare No Penalty, Clearly Innocent hails from the same female family as New Zealand & Australian Oaks winner Domino and Listed Reginald Allen Quality winner Gimmick, dam of Gr1 TJ Smith Classic (now JJ Atkins Stakes) winner Linky Dink.
Trainer Greg Bennett says he is pleased with the condition of Clearly Innocent heading into his black-type debut in Saturday's Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at Scone. The 4YO son of Not A Single Doubt marked himself as one of the most exciting gallopers in training when scoring a brilliant win in the Country Championships Final at Royal Randwick in April. Retained to race by his breeder Cressfield Stud, Clearly Innocent took his record to 6 wins from 8 starts when unleashing a smart turn of foot to score a runaway 2.5-length win in the $400,000 autumn feature. "He's great. I couldn't have been happier with his work this morning [Wednesday]. It was certainly on par with his work going into the Country Championship Final last month," Bennett told Melbourne's Radio Sport National. "He's done well since then. He had a little break in the paddock for a few days and he's very good, I can't wait." Bennett believes the best is yet to come from Clearly Innocent, and will set him for the spring carnival after Saturday's race. "After Saturday he will definitely go for a break and look at either Sydney or Melbourne in the spring. I'd love to see him at Flemington if we can find the right race for him down there," Bennett said. "We won't overtax him in the spring. We'll just find one or two nice races for him and then I'd love to have him back for The Championships again next autumn."
A red-hot Tommy Berry has dashed clear in the 2016 Nathan Berry Medal after landing a winning treble on Day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick on Saturday. Berry, who shared the Medal with James McDonald in 2014, enjoyed a super day out winning the $400,000 Country Championships Final (Clearly Innocent), the Gr1 Australian Derby (Tavago) and his crowning glory, the Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes (Chautauqua). "I can't tell you how happy I am to be where I am at the moment. There's a few times people have doubted me, whether I've gone off the boil, stuff like that so to show up on a big day like today and get the winners on the board I'm so happy," Berry said after his third winner on the program. Hugh Bowman and Zac Purton are chasing hard in the Medal race in equal second place on five points, with James McDonald and Damien Oliver still within firing range on three points. The Nathan Berry Medal - named in memory of the former top jockey who passed away in 2014 - is awarded to the most successful jockey over the 12 races of The Championships. The Nathan Berry Medal is unique as it features his initials 'NJB' on the medal in the same font Nathan displayed on his racing jodhpurs and is adorned by a dark & light blue ribbon - the colours he carried on Unencumbered, his biggest race win in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic. The points table going into day two of The Championships on Saturday is:
Despite a setback just 24 hours earlier, exciting galloper Clearly Innocent (Not a Single Doubt-No Penalty, by Zabeel) strode away with the $400,000 Country Championships Final at Royal Randwick on Saturday. The Greg Bennett-trained 4YO was in doubt before the race after his trainer reported to stewards that he was being monitored for stone bruises to his off fore hoof. But Clearly Innocent was given the green light to run on Saturday morning and with Tommy Berry in the saddle proved too classy for the big field, coming from well off the pace and unleashing a good turn of foot to score by 2.5-lengths over Pera Pera & Ever So Natural. Bennett predicted a bright future ahead for Clearly Innocent. "Whoever owns that broodmare [No Penalty] should never get rid of her," Bennett said. "This horse is just getting better and better. We had our setback during the week but it's good to be here now." Retained to race by his breeder Cressfield Stud, Clearly Innocent took his record to 6 wins and 1 placing from 8 starts for $423,725 earnings. From the Zabeel mare No Penalty, Clearly Innocent hails from the same female family as New Zealand & Australian Oaks winner Domino and Listed Reginald Allen Quality winner Gimmick, dam of Gr1 TJ Smith Classic (now JJ Atkins Stakes) winner Linky Dink.