At Ellerslie in New Zealand, 4-time Gr1-winning NZ Windsor Park shuttler & former European Champion 2YO Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer-Starlight Dreams, by Black Tie Affair) celebrated an elite success when 6YO New Zealand-bred mare Thee Auld Floozie (Mastercraftsman-Thee Auld Hussie, by Spinning World) showed her class when sprinting clear late for a comfortable win in the $100,000 Gr2 Westbury Classic (1400m) for 3YO+ fillies & mares, defeating Lizzie L'Amour & Coldplay. Thee Auld Floozie, who is out of dual stakes winning mare Thee Auld Hussie, improved her record to 11 wins (including the Gr1 Thorndon Mile, Gr3 Sunline Vase & Listed J Swap Contractors 1400) and 8 placings (including the Gr1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes & Gr3 Manawatu Breeders' Stakes) from 35 starts for NZ$528,360 in earnings.
In New Zealand, Monday's Gr2 Rich Hill Mile win by Waikato Stud's cleverly-named Coldplay (Savabeel-Forty Two Below) at Ellerslie was the icing on the cake on what has been a couple of extraordinary months for their incumbent New Zealand Champion Sire Savabeel. By early September last year he was already comfortably leading both the Dewar Stallion Trophy (combined Australian & New Zealand progeny earnings) and the Centaine Award (NZ-conceived progeny earnings worldwide). Subsequent to that point his hand-canter has turned into a full-blown gallop as he marches on to a fourth consecutive NZ Champion Sire title while starring on both sides of the Tasman Sea. Since then, which should have the vendors of his 75 NZB National Yearling Sales Series entries full of aniticipation, his progeny wins have included:
At Ellerslie in Auckland, Waikato Stud's Cox Plate winning multiple champion stallion Savabeel (Zabeel-Savannah Success, by Success Express) added a Group success when 5YO mare Coldplay (Savabeel-Forty Two Below, by O'Reilly) scored by 0.1-length for trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman in the $100,000 Gr2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m), over 5YO gelding Ronchi (Stravinsky-Rose of Tralee, by Sadler's Wells) & 4YO gelding Charles Road (Myboycharlie-Giant's Mystique, by Giant's Causeway). Well fancied in an open affair, Coldplay (carrying the familiar Chittick family's silks) was forced to tough it out after hitting the front at the top of the straight. The hard luck story of the race was Ronchi who, after dropping out a clear last, was strung up in traffic after heads were turned for home, before unleashing a withering run to just miss. Cold Play now has 6 wins & 2 placings from 18 starts for $248,700 earnings.
At Pukekohe in New Zealand, Darley's 2006 Champion 2YO Colt & 2007 Kentucky Derby-winning shuttler Street Sense (Street Cry-Bedazzle, by Dixieland Band) added a Group race success when 5YO New Zealand-bred mare Sensible Princess (Street Sense-Cape Princess, by Cape Cross) broke through for a well-deserved maiden stakes victory when landing the $100,000 Gr2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1400m) for 3YO+ fillies & mares, defeating Francaletta & Coldplay. Sensible Princess improved her already impressive strike rate to boost her record to 6 wins and 2 placings from 10 starts for NZ$115,660 in earnings.
Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman will launch a three-pronged attack on the second leg of the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown series at Hastings on Saturday week, reports NZ Racing Desk. The champion New Zealand trainers will be represented by Mime, Stolen Dance, and Coldplay in the Gr1 Windsor Park Plate over 1600 metres. All three are Group Two winners chasing their maiden win at the elite level. "We're happy with Mime and we're intentionally keeping her on the fresh side," Forsman said. "By the time she got to the third leg last year it was all a bit too much." Stolen Dance was set to have her first start for the Cambridge trainers in the Gr1 Tarzino Trophy, but those plans were abandoned due to the soft conditions. "It would have been too tough first-up on her," Forsman said. "We left it until late, but the forecast was for more rain on the day and she's hopeless on wet tracks." As for Coldplay, the stable are hoping for a change of luck after she was blocked for a run when unplaced in the Gr2 Foxbridge Plate and failed to handle the slow track in the Tarzino Trophy. "She went to let down, but she couldn't handle the track," Forsman said. "She's come through the race fine though."
One of last year's star performers is the Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman-trained Coldplay who is being prepared for a tilt at the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown at Hastings, reports theinformant.co.nz. Coldplay (Savabeel-Forty Two Below, by O'Reilly) won the Gr2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) and Gr3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m) at the back end of last year, before a foot abscess ruled her out of the Gr1 Zabeel Classic and prompted a lengthy stint on the sidelines. "She's coming up really well," Forsman said. "She looks great and we're very happy with her. All things being equal, the three Group Ones at Hastings are probably where she'll head." Forsman added: "It's possible that she'll kick off at Te Rapa in the Foxbridge Plate (19 August), but we'll hopefully find a trial somewhere and take it from there."
In form mare Coldplay has been scratched from the Gr1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, reports theinformant.co.nz. Coldplay (Savabeel-Forty Two Below, by O'Reilly), a winner of the Gr2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) and Gr3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m) at her past two outings, will miss the weight-for-age feature after drawing wide in barrier 14. "We just decided against it because of the draw," said Murray Baker, who trains the 4YO in partnership with Andrew Forsman. "It would have been very hard for her from way out there." Baker added: "She'll go to the Rich Hill Mile [Gr2] instead and should be a good chance in that." The Gr2 Rich Hill Mile will be run at Ellerslie on New Year's Day.
Trainer David Greene says multiple Group-winning mare Stolen Dance (Alamosa-Songbird, by Black Minnaloushe) will not run in the Gr1 Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, reports theinformant.co.nz. The talented 5YO, who resumed with a close third to Coldplay in the Gr2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa on 10 December, went within a head of Group One glory in last year's Zabeel Classic when runner-up to top galloper Kawi. "She ran well first-up. It's great to see that she's come back so well," the Te Rapa-based Greene said. "She's been working well since then and she's already taken noticeable improvement from the run. She's stripping a lot fitter now and she's building up well." Greene added: "We've decided not to go to the Zabeel. She'll either go in the Rich Hill Mile [Gr2] on New Year's Day or the open handicap at Tauranga on January 2 – it'll depend what the weather's doing and what sort of weight she gets for the Rich Hill."
At Te Rapa in New Zealand, Waikato Stud's Cox Plate winning stallion Savabeel (Zabeel-Savannah Success, by Success Express) added a Group success when 4YO filly Coldplay (Savabeel-Forty Two Below, by O'Reilly) scored by 0.75 length for trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman in the NZ$100,000 Gr2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) for 3YO+ fillies & mares, over fellow 4YO mare Rising Shot (Red Giant-Derrydane, by Danehill) & 5YO mare Stolen Dance (Alamosa-Songbird, by Black Minnaloushe). This was successive stakes victories for Coldplay who improved her record to 5 wins (including the Gr3 Eagle Technology Stakes & Gr3 Eulogy Stakes) and 1 placing from 12 starts for NZ$177,200 earnings. A homebred for Waikato Stud, Coldplay hails from the same female line as stakes winners The Big Chill & Icy Calm, as well as outstanding Australian sprinter and successful sire Rancho Ruler. Waikato Stud will offer a full sister to Coldplay (Lot 170) at the 2017 NZB Premier Sale at Karaka. Co-trainer Andrew Forsman told NZ Racing Desk that maturity had been the key to Coldplay's recent good form. "She's a typical Savabeel who has come of age as a four-year-old," said Forsman, who prepares the mare with Murray Baker. "What she did as a three-year-old last season was on raw ability alone. She's much stronger and mature now." Coldplay's next assignment has yet to be confirmed, but it's likely to be at Gr1 level. "That's all that is missing for her," Forsman said. "It's just a matter of finding the right one. It could be the Zabeel Classic to see whether she runs 2000 metres and then maybe freshen her up for the Thorndon."
Dual Group-winning Kiwi mare Coldplay (Savabeel-Forty Two Below, by O'Reilly) is being considered for a start in the Gr1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) on Boxing Day, reports theinformant.co.nz. The 4YO, who is unbeaten in two starts this campaign including a win in the Gr3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m) on 26 November, will be on trial for the Ellerslie feature when she contests the Gr2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa on Saturday. "Being a Group One, it's definitely a race that you have to think about when you've got a mare who's performing so well," co-trainer Andrew Forsman said. "I'm not sure yet whether she'd run out a strong 2000 metres in that sort of company, so we'll play it by ear. We'll see how she goes over the mile on Saturday and then take it from there."
At Ellerslie in New Zealand, Waikato Stud's Cox Plate winning stallion Savabeel (Zabeel-Savannah Success, by Success Express) added a Group success when 4YO filly Coldplay (Savabeel-Forty Two Below, by O'Reilly) scored by a short neck for trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman in the NZ$70,000 Gr3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m) for 3YO+, over 4YO gelding Ronchi (Stravinsky-Rose of Tralee, by Sadler's Wells) & 5YO mare Stylish Attack (Tavistock-Western Invasion, by Best Western). Coldplay improved her record to 4 wins (including the Gr3 Eulogy Stakes) and 1 placing from 11 starts for NZ$114,700 earnings. A homebred for Waikato Stud, Coldplay hails from the same female line as stakes winners The Big Chill & Icy Calm, as well as outstanding Australian sprinter and successful sire Rancho Ruler. Waikato Stud will offer a full sister to Coldplay (Lot 170) at the 2017 NZB Premier Sale at Karaka.
Boom Kiwi colt Heroic Valour will step out in a 1000 metre heat for black type performers before the opening event of Friday's Taupo meeting, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 3YO Australian-bred son of Fastnet Rock, who is a half-brother to Gr1 Doncaster Handicap winner Triple Honour, extended his unbeaten record to three when scoring a last stride victory in the Gr1 Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie in March. Trained by Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards on behalf of Te Akau Racing, Heroic Valour is being aimed towards the Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas in November. Friday's trial will also feature last season's Gr2 Hawke's Bay Guineas winner Amarula and the talented Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained quartet of Coldplay, Saint Emilion, Maygrove and Get That Jive.
The sixth leg of New Zealand Bloodstock's Filly of the Year Series will be held this Saturday with the running of the NZ$70,000 Gr3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham. The sixth leg in the 10-race NZB Filly of the Year Series has attracted a full field of 18 fillies on Saturday. The Desert Gold Stakes will also be the second leg of the Wellfield Lodge Triple Crown Series. The first leg was won by Coldplay (Savabeel) in the Gr3 Eulogy Stakes back in December, while the final leg will take place in March in the Gr1 New Zealand Oaks, which is also the last leg of the Filly of the Year Series. Smart filly Capella (Rip Van Winkle) is the highest rated horse in this year's field with three wins from just five career starts. The Danica Guy trained filly is second in the Filly of the Year Series after an impressive win in the Gr2 Eight Carat Classic on Boxing Day. Drawn barrier 11, she will be ridden by Mark Du Plessis and is currently the $2.80 favourite with the New Zealand TAB. 1000 Guineas winner Risque (Darci Brahma), who has since been transferred across the Tasman to continue her racing career for the Lindsay Park team of David Hayes & Tom Dabernig, currently leads the NZB Filly of the Year Series with 12 points. The field for the Desert Gold Stakes is:
At Awapuni in New Zealand, Waikato Stud's Cox Plate winning stallion Savabeel (Zabeel-Savannah Success, by Success Express) added a Group success when 3YO filly Coldplay (Savabeel-Forty Two Below, by O'Reilly) scored by 3-lengths for champion trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman in the NZ$70,000 Gr3 Eulogy Stakes (1600m) for 3YO fillies, over fellow 3YO fillies Bella Court (Per Incanto-Belle Chantecler, by Redoute's Choice) & Fame Seeker (Showcasing-Dazzling Walk, by Zabeel). This was the first stakes victory for the highly regarded Coldplay who took her record to 2 wins and 1 placing from 4 starts for NZ$46,200 earnings. A homebred for Waikato Stud, Coldplay hails from the same female line as stakes winners The Big Chill & Icy Calm, as well as outstanding Australian sprinter and successful sire Rancho Ruler. Co-trainer Andrew Forsman said that Coldplay was likely to head towards the Gr2 Eight Carat Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day. "It's probably the logical step for her and the timing is pretty good – you have to keep chasing black type with these fillies," Forsman told NZ Racing Desk.
In Malaysia, 14 Australian-bred gallopers scored at Penang: