The Australian Turf Club hosted Thoroughbred Breeders NSW (TBNSW) members and sponsors at the Directors’ Lunch during Colgate Optic White George Main Stakes Day on Saturday at Royal Randwick. Against the backdrop of magnificent racing, where Winx secured her 20th Gr1 win, TBNSW Director Hamish Esplin introduced the awards at the annual presentation for achievements during the 2017-2018 racing season. Winners were announced by Bred To Win’s Caroline Searcy and sponsors including IRT, Horsepower, G1 Goldmine, HQ Insurance, the ATC and Ranvet. Award winners were:
The New South Wales Racehorse Owners Association (NSWROA) has announced the nominations for its annual 'Racing's Night Of Champions' awards ceremony to be held in the Royal Randwick Ballroom of the Australian Turf Club in Sydney on 16 August. The nominees are:
Other awards to be presented on the night include the BOBS Horse of the Year, the Sydney Strapper of the Year, the NSW Racing Writers' Personality of the Year, the T J Smith Award, the George Moore Award, the Theo Green Award, the Bart Cummings Medal and of course, the NSW Champion Horse of the Year. The awards night will again be televised "live" on Sky Thoroughbred Central on the Foxtel platform, and also internationally by NSWROA's exclusive media partner Sky Racing, with highlights of the night also being shown across all Sky Racing channels.
Queensland Derby winner Dark Dream will be aimed at the $5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in the spring, reports racing.com. Trainer Kerry Parker is unsure at this stage where the 3YO will launch his spring campaign, but says there is one horse he is keen to avoid. "He will go anywhere Winx isn't," said Parker. "I just don't want him getting beaten up by her. He doesn't need that so we might look to go through the back door towards the Caulfield Cup rather than the traditional weight-for-age path." Parker is expecting Dark Dream to take another developmental leap in the spring. "He was a baby when we sent him to Queensland and he certainly matured while up there. That will hold him in good stead come the spring when he goes to Melbourne," he said. "I don't think he'll have a long prep in the spring. He'll commence with residual fitness courtesy of a long prep that ended in the winter." Dark Dream (All American-Buchanan Girl, by Lion Hunter) is rated a $26 chance with TAB for the Caulfield Cup.
At Doomben racecourse in Brisbane, former Arrowfield Stud and now Chatswood Stud-based Gr1 Emirates Stakes winning stallion All American (Red Ransom-Milva, by Strawberry Road) celebrated an elite race success when 3YO Australian-bred gelding Dark Dream (All American-Buchanan Girl, by Lion Hunter) lived up to his favourite billing with a brave on-pace win in the $600,000 Gr1 Queensland Derby (2200m) for 3YOs, defeating Heavenly Thought & Youngstar. Dark Dream's victory was particularly special for trainer Kerry Parker who was celebrating his first Group 1 success. "I will let this sink in and then we might be able to start talking about the spring," a delighted Parker told Sky Racing. "To finally win a Group One has left me very happy indeed." Dark Dream improved his record to 4 wins (including the Gr3 Rough Habit Plate) and 6 placings (including the Gr3 BRC Grand Prix Stakes & Gr3 BRC Gunsynd Classic) from 10 starts for $596,518 in earnings.
Beautifully bred stallion All American (Red Ransom-Milva, by Strawberry Road) has sired his second Group 1 winner in two years for Eddie Rigg's Geisel Park Stud in WA. Rigg was part of the syndicate that purchased All American in February 2016, a fortnight before his Champion Filly Yankee Rose first emerged in Sydney. The 12YO stallion returned east last year but Rigg wouldn’t be denied and purchased him outright in May. Dark Dream gave All American another boost when landing the $600,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m) at Doomben on Saturday. His connections are now looking forward to an iconic Group 1 double in the $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) and $7 million Melbourne Cup (3200m). "It’s a great result for Geisel Park and for Western Australia," said Rigg. "It’s uncanny and so exciting. I can’t believe we’ve done it twice in two years!" All American served 113 mares at an $11,000 fee in his first Geisel Park book and Rigg is assured of bigger numbers second-up after pricing him at $7,700. "We have some cracking weanlings on the farm at Myalup and have consistently received favourable comments from satisfied clients. They wanted All American back and now he’s home for good!" All American stands alongside French Group 1 winner Vert De Grece (Ire) at Geisel Park. A son of former WA shuttler Verglas, Vert De Grece won the Criterium International by five lengths and earned a Timeform 2YO Rating of 116.
Trainer Kerry Parker says Dark Dream has recovered from a foot injury sustained during last week's Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben. The 3YO son of All American was a beaten favourite in the Group 3 feature in which he finished third to the Darren Weir-trained Heavenly Thought. The performance saw Dark Dream displaced as favourite for the Queensland Derby on 9 June, but Parker says the run should be ignored after the gelding injured a sensitive part of his foot when treading on a shoe. "I don't really know how long he ran with the toe clip in his foot, but it pierced a sensitive area and ripped away a fair bit of the wall of his foot," said Parker. "When that happened he was more aggressive in the run, he grabbed the bit and tried to run through it. There were genuine excuses for what happened and given everything that happened, I was happy with his effort." Parker said Dark Dream was now over the injury. "He trotted and cantered up really well the last couple of days and his action looks great," he said. Dark Dream is currently on the third line of betting at $6 with TAB, behind Live And Free at $4 and Lucky For All at $4.50.
At Doomben racecourse in Brisbane, Coolmore Stud stallion and former Australian Champion racehorse So You Think (High Chaparral-Triassic, by Tights) added a Group race success when 3YO Australian-bred colt Heavenly Thought (So You Think-God Love It, by St Jude) stormed into Queensland Derby contention when jumping out of the ground late to score a strong win in the $150,000 Gr3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) for 3YOs, defeating Han Xin & Dark Dream. Heavenly Thought, who saw his price for the Queensland Derby firm into $7, was purchased for $120,000 by his trainer Darren Weir and revered bloodstock agent John Foote at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Fig Tree Thoroughbreds. He improved his record to 3 wins and 2 placings from 11 starts for $142,696 in earnings. From the St Covet mare God Love It, Heavenly Thought is a half-brother to Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Mimi Lebrock. Trained by the late Bart Cummings, Mimi Lebrock won 5 of her 16 starts for $1,152,095 earnings. Apart from her 2YO Magic Millions success, she also registered victories in the Gr2 Tristarc Stakes, Gr3 Let's Elope Stakes, and Listed Sheraco Stakes, as well as Gr1 placings in the Myer Classic behind Forensics & the Emirates Stakes behind All Silent.
At Doomben racecourse in Queensland, former Arrowfield Stud and now Chatswood Stud-based Gr1 Emirates Stakes winning stallion All American (Red Ransom-Milva, by Strawberry Road) added a Group race success when 3YO Australian-bred gelding Dark Dream (All American-Buchanan Girl, by Lion Hunter) showed he was a genuine Queensland Derby contender when bounding to an emphatic 4 length win in the $125,000 Gr3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) for 3YOs, defeating Higher Ground & California Turbo. The progressive Dark Dream improved his record to 3 wins and 5 placings (including the Gr3 BRC Gunsynd Classic) from 8 starts for $204,901 in earnings. Dark Dream's victory saw him promoted to the top of betting ($3.50 with TAB) for the Group 1 Gr1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Doomben on 9 June.
At Doomben in Brisbane, Vinery Stud's 4-time Gr1 winning stallion & half-brother to champion Black Caviar All Too Hard (Casino Prince-Helsinge, by Desert Sun) added a Group race success when top class 3YO colt Villermont (All Too Hard-Bollinger, by Dehere) scored by 0.1-length for trainer Ciaron Maher in the $125,000 Gr3 Gunsynd Classic (1630m) for 3YOs, defeating the geldings Dark Dream & Omineca. Bred and part-owned by Vinery Stud, blue-blooded Villermont is the last foal of the exceptionally pedigreed Gr1 Coolmore Classic winner Bollinger (Dehere x Bint Marscay) who died in 2016. Purchased by Ciaron Maher Racing for $250,000 at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Vinery Stud, Villermont's normal racing pattern is to race off the speed, but taken to the lead from his wide marble he showed massive grit to cling on when Dark Dream ranged up over the concluding stages. He improved his record to 3 wins (including 2017's Gr2 Sandown Guineas) and a runner-up from 9 starts for $313,060 earnings. Villermont also finished fourth in the Gr1 Australian Guineas at Flemington.
On day two of The Championships at Royal Randwick, Coolmore's former Gr1-winning Champion Australian Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added a black-type success when 3YO Australian-bred gelding California Turbo (Fastnet Rock-Celebria, by Peintre Celebre) opened his stakes account with a narrow yet impressive win in the $150,000 Listed South Pacific Classic (1400m) for 3YOs, defeating Dark Dream & Renewal. A $330,000 purchase by Asian Bloodstock Services at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Segenhoe Stud as agent, California Turbo advanced his record to 3 wins and 1 placing from 4 starts for $131,430 in earnings. From the beautifully bred mare Celebria, California Turbo is a half-brother to Gr1 WATC Railway Stakes winner Gathering and is a direct descendant of celebrated blue hen Best In Show, ancestress of multiple champion Australian sire Redoute's Choice, among many others.