Meanwhile, a vet inspection conducted by Racing NSW on Monday afternoon has detected no abnormalities with top sprinting mare English. The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained mare kicked off her Everest campaign with a lacklustre performance (6th of 7) in last Saturday's Gr2 Shorts (1100m) at Randwick. Despite the disappointing display, connections intend to press on towards the $13 million Everest (1200m) at Randwick on 13 October with Bott advising stewards that the stable was satisfied with English's post-race condition.
Meanwhile, Coolmore has announced that Saxon Warrior has been retired after suffering a tendon injury when runner-up to Roaring Lion in Saturday's Gr1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. "He badly damaged his tendon in the race," trainer Aidan O’Brien told the Irish Times. "It’s a big pity. He was an amazing horse." By Deep Impact out of Gr1 Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Maybe (Galileo), the Japanese-bred Saxon Warrior won 4 of his 9 starts for £1,117,093 in earnings. He retires as a dual Gr1 winner of the Racing Post Trophy and English 2,000 Guineas.
Beautifully bred filly and brilliant debut winner Frankely Awesome has been nominated for Friday's Gr3 Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle. The Kris Lees trained daughter of champion racehorse Frankel is set to make her stakes debut after scoring an explosive debut win in a 1300m fillies & mares maiden race at Newcastle on 4 September. "She couldn’t have done more on debut. She’s come through it well but whether she’s ready to take that step up to a stakes race at her second start I’m not sure yet," Lees told racenet. "There’s plenty of options for her down the track so I don’t want to get there too quick. That said we’ll be giving her every opportunity to measure up to some of the better races." A homebred for Bruce Neill's Cressfield Stud, Frankely Awesome is out of the stakes-winning Street Cry mare Street Secret and is a direct descendant of Allegretta, dam of English 2,000 Guineas winner King's Best and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner and legendary producer Urban Sea (Miswaki).
Superstar filly Enable showed she has lost none of her exceptional ability when resuming from a long lay-off with a dominant win in the Gr3 September Stakes at Kempton in the UK on Saturday. Last year's European Horse of the Year, who had not raced since winning the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe due to knee problems, proved too strong for King George runner-up Crystal Ocean when leading throughout to score by a comfortable 3.5 lengths. She is now 9-4 to defend her Arc title in four weeks' time. "I couldn't be more thrilled with her. It was hands and heels. It was good to see her back, as it's been a long wait," trainer John Gosden told Sky Sports. "She will come on, she came here 80 per cent and the race will put her right. She is at a good place mentally and the race will put her right." Gosden added: "She is back, let's hope we can get to the Arc in four weeks' time." Owned by Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, Enable (Nathaniel-Concentric, by Sadlers Wells) stamped herself as one of the best fillies of the modern era when rounding out her 2017 campaign with a brilliant win in the Gr1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly in October. The victory capped a remarkable 3YO season for the now 4YO who won 5 Group 1 races, namely the Arc, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, English, Irish & Yorkshire Oaks.
Frankely Awesome, a daughter of champion racehorse Frankel, could emerge as a dark horse in the feature 3YO fillies races in the spring after posting a brilliant debut win at Newcastle on Tuesday. Trained by Kris Lees, Frankely Awesome settled in last position before unwinding an explosive sprint at the top of the straight to score by a widening 3 lengths in a fillies & mares maiden plate over 1300m. A homebred for Bruce Neill's Cressfield Stud, Frankely Awesome is out of the stakes-winning Street Cry mare Street Secret and is a direct descendant of Allegretta, dam of English 2,000 Guineas winner King's Best and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner and legendary producer Urban Sea (Miswaki). Urban Sea is of course the dam of champion racehorses and sires Galileo and Sea The Stars. Click here to watch Frankely Awesome's win.
Group 1 winning Kiwi entire Age Of Fire has joined the stable of champion Victorian trainer Darren Weir, reports NZ Racing Desk. The beautifully related 4YO won the Gr1 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham in January, but has failed to flatter in races and trials since. "We sent him to Darren Weir to try and put a bit of enthusiasm back into him," Te Akau principal David Ellis said. "He was just going through the motions and we thought training him on the beach and with his expertise we could turn his form around." Ellis added: "He is a very good horse on his day and he has been bought to stand at Cambridge Stud, so we thought we would give him every opportunity to perform at the elite level in Melbourne in spring." By Fastnet Rock, Age Of Fire is out of Dragon's Tail (Galileo) and hails from the family of Gr1 English 1000 Guineas & Gr1 French Guineas winner Highclere, dam of Gr1 winner and UK blue hen Height Of Fashion (Bustino). Height Of Fashion made her name in the breeding barn producing legendary racehorse Nashwan, his three-time Gr1 winning brother Nayef, and successful sire Unfuwain.
Budding superstar Too Darn Hot is set to make his next appearance in the Gr2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster on Saturday week, reports Racing Post. The blue blooded colt, by Dubawi out of three-time Gr1-winning racemare Dar Re Mi (Singspiel), is now pre-post favourite for next year's Epsom Derby and 2,000 Guineas after he maintained his unbeaten record with a slashing win in the Gr3 Solario Stakes (7 furlongs) at Sandown on Saturday. Trainer John Gosden said of the Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber owned colt: "Too Darn Hot won well at Sandown and providing he comes out of that in good shape the plan is to go for the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster." The last colt to win the Champagne Stakes and English 2,000 Guineas was Rodrigo De Triano in 1991. Too Darn Hot who also holds an entry in next month's Gr1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
Co-trainer Adrian Bott says top-class sprinting mare English is "ticking over nicely" ahead of her return in the Gr2 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on Saturday week (15 September). English, who will represent Damion Flower's Jadeskye Racing in next month's The Everest, continued her spring build-up with a pleasing second behind speedy colt Ef Troop in an 895m trial at Rosehill on Monday. "It was a lovely trial at this stage of her preparation," Bott told Sky Sports Radio. "She did what she had to in that trial and still has plenty of improvement to come. I think she is ticking along nicely." Bott added: "You will see her in a fortnight in The Shorts, then most likely into the Premiere and then The Everest." English is currently rated a $26 chance by TAB for the $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 13 October.
Blue blooded colt Too Darn Hot has emerged as the early favourite for next season's English classics after maintaining his unbeaten record with a brilliant win in the Gr3 Solario Stakes (7 furlongs) at Sandown on Saturday. Trained by John Gosden on behalf of owner-breeders Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber, Too Darn Hot is by Dubawi out of three-time Gr1-winning racemare Dar Re Mi (Singspiel) and is a full sibling to Gr3 winner So Mi Dar and Listed winner Lah Ti Dar. Too Darn Hot is now as short as 5-1 for both the Epsom Derby and English 2,000 Guineas. "He's pretty special," winning jockey Frankie Dettori told Racing Post. "I wanted to make him a racehorse, so at the furlong and a half point, I said 'Come on, let's go, let's not play now, let's put this race to bed'. He just shuffled a bit for 20 yards and then, wow, he got into top gear, he changed his lead and off he went." Dettori added: "I kept him going right up to the line because I suspect a Group 1 will be the next step. I gave him as much experience as I could. He's put a very good field to bed in impressive fashion."
Richly talented 4YO Furrion (Camelot-Acquainted, by Shamardal) looked a horse destined for the top when returning with a slashing first-up win at Geelong on Sunday. Trained by Darren Weir on behalf of owner Gerry Ryan, the UK-bred Furrion advanced his record to 4 wins from 5 starts when scoring a dashing 2.25 length win in a benchmark 78 handicap over 1400m. A one-time favourite for the Queensland Derby, Furrion is sure to be highly competitive in whatever spring features Weir decides to nominate him for. By triple Classic-winning sire Camelot, Furrion is out of the Shamardal mare Acquainted and hails from the female family of English & Irish Derby winner and outstanding stamina influence Shirley Heights.
At Morphettville Parks in Adelaide, deceased dual Derby-winning shuttler & 6-time Gr1 victor High Chaparral (Sadler's Wells-Kasora, by Dashaan) added a black-type success when 5YO Australian-bred gelding Theanswermyfriend (High Chaparral-Blowin in the Wind, by Danehill) held off a late challenge to lead throughout in the $100,000 Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) for 3YO+, defeating Widgee Turf & Waging War. A $70,000 purchase by Aquanita Racing at the 2015 NZB Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Coolmore Stud, Theanswermyfriend improved his record to 7 wins (including the Listed The Sofitel) and 7 placings from 23 starts for $498,525 in earnings. Theanswermyfriend hails from the classic European family of French Gr1 winner Cerulean Sky, Irish Oaks winner Moonstone, English Derby runner-up US Army Ranger, and Gr1 EP Taylor Stakes winner Truly A Dream, dam of former shuttler Catcher In The Rye (Danehill).
Co-trainer Adrian Bott says top-class sprinting mare and Everest contender English will resume in the Gr2 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on 15 September. English, who will represent Damion Flower's Jadeskye Racing in The Everest, pleased the Waterhouse & Bott stable with a fifth placing behind Redzel in a 1000m barrier trial at Rosehill on Monday. "I thought her trial was excellent. She has come back as strong as ever," Bott told Sky Sports Radio. "English will go first-up in the Shorts but she will have another trial. We didn't ask too much of her in the trial on Monday. She will trial again at Rosehill in a fortnight and we'll ask more of her then which will give us more of a gauge of where she's at." English is currently rated a $26 chance by TAB for the $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 13 October.
Three-time Gr1 winner Le Romain is one of the stars from the Kris Lees stable scheduled to trial at Gosford on Monday. Le Romain, who ran second in an 800 metre trial on his home track at Newcastle last week, is expected to open his spring campaign in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Randwick on 18 August. "There are plenty of weight-for-age options for him after that," Lees told racingnsw.com.au. "He could go to Melbourne for the Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 1." Although he failed to hit the board in five starts in the autumn, Le Romain was placed three times at Gr1 level, namely in the All Aged Stakes (behind Trapeze Artist), Doomben 10,000 (behind English), and the Kingsford-Smith Cup (behind Impending).
Undefeated English colt Without Parole will attempt to emulate his illustrious sire Frankel by winning tonight's Group 1 Sussex Stakes (1600m), the showpiece event of the Glorious Goodwood carnival. Frankel, the highest rated horse in history with a phenomenal Timeform Rating of 147, was likewise undefeated winning ten Gr1 races, including the Sussex on two occasions in 2011 and 2012. His son, Without Parole, is the warm favourite for this year's renewal of the "duel on the downs" after he extended his unbeaten record to 4 from 4 with a powerful win in the Gr1 St James's Palace Stakes (8 furlongs) at Royal Ascot in June. "He's a talented horse who has improved all the way and we're pleased with him," trainer John Gosden told Racing Post. "This race is going to be run on a very different track to Ascot's Old Mile. That makes different demands on the horse. You have to handle the undulations and cambers of Goodwood..." Gosden added: "I think it's fair to say if this were being run on a straight mile or Ascot's round mile I would have a lot more confidence. Without Parole has always been a well-balanced horse but he has certainly never run on anything like Goodwood. This is going to be a test of his dexterity."
Meanwhile, trainer John Gosden has provided an update on the preparation of last year's European Horse of the Year Enable who is closer to making her eagerly awaited return to the track. The superstar mare has missed the first half of the northern hemisphere's summer season due to knee problems. "I was very pleased with her this morning (Saturday) when she was doing a half-speed. She's in top nick but I'm not going to name a race yet. It's too soon. The filly can tell me; I'm not going to set dates," Gosden told Racing Post. "The most stupid thing you can do is force a horse. She's had time off for an issue and what you must never do is name a race and try to fit the foot to the shoe. That's the wrong way around. But she's been pleasing me. This morning, nearly too much." Owned by Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, Enable (Nathaniel-Concentric, by Sadlers Wells) confirmed her status as one of the best fillies of the modern era when rounding out her 2017 campaign with a brilliant win in the Gr1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly in October. The victory capped a remarkable 3YO season for the now 4YO who won 5 Group 1 races, namely the Arc, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, English, Irish & Yorkshire Oaks.
Godolphin have revealed that English Derby hero Masar (New Approach-Kawlah, by Cape Cross) will miss the remainder of the season, but that he will return to action next year, with the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom his first target, reports Godolphin.com.au. "The vet has seen a change in the soft tissue damage to Masar's off-fore, and after speaking to His Highness, we have decided to call a halt to the colt's season immediately," trainer Charlie Appleby said. "Sheikh Mohammed is keen for Masar to run again at four, and if we are to deliver on that, the best option is to give him a long break." Appleby added: "In time, though, we can give him the right preparation for big races such as next year's Coronation Cup, which is over the same course and distance as the Derby. Other targets we will look at are Ascot's Gr1 King George and the Gr1 Arc."
UK Trainer Martyn Meade has decided to drop Eminent back in trip for Saturday's Summer Mile Stakes at Ascot in an effort to kick-start his season, reports Sky Sports. The blue blooded Eminent, who races in Sir Peter Vela's famous Pencarrow Stud colours, has put in two disappointing performances this campaign after showing a stack of promise in his 3YO season, including a win in the Gr3 Craven Stakes and a fourth in the English Derby. "He's had a couple of disappointing runs this season, so I think we'll try a new tactic with him," said Meade. "It's an absolute mystery because he's perfectly fine at home, it's all a bit baffling to me. I think the drop in trip might just help his confidence, or maybe even my confidence as well, really, and we'll maybe ride him a bit different." By Frankel, Eminent is out of the Gr1-placed You'll Be Mine (Kingmambo), herself a daughter of Gr1 Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Quarter Moon who was also multiple Gr1-placed in the Irish 1000 Guineas, English Oaks and Irish Oaks.
Crown Walk became the 100th individual Group winner for Darley's three-time Gr1-winning world-class shuttler Dubawi (Dubai Millennium) when landing the Group 3 Prix Chloe (1800m) at Chantilly on Monday. The 3YO UK-bred filly improved her record to 3 wins and 2 placings (including the Gr2 Prix de Sandringham) from 6 starts for £83,262 in earnings. Winner rider William Buick said he was honoured to bring up the milestone on behalf of owner Sheikh Mohammed. "This filly is very tough. She dug deep and kept fighting on. I am very glad to have ridden Dubawi's 100th Group winner," he said. "To do it in the Godolphin blue for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed is very special." Dubawi has firmly established himself as one the world's elite stallions siring Group 1 stars such as Dubai World Cup winner Monterosso, King George winner and promising sire Al Kazeem, Hong Kong Cup winner and sire Akeed Mofeed, English 2,000 Guineas winner and sire Makfi, as well as Postponed and Night Of Thunder, and Australian winners Srikandi, Shamal Wind, Secret Admirer and Tiger Tees.
Multiple Classic-winning UK trainer John Dunlop has died at the age of 78, reports Sky Sports. Among Dunlop's many accomplishments was training the winner of two English Derbies, namely Shirley Heights in 1978 and Erhaab in 1994. John's son and fellow successful trainer Ed Dunlop, best known in Australia as the trainer of Red Cadeaux, commented: "He will be greatly missed by so many. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and also a brilliant trainer. He also gave tirelessly to charity work." He added: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank the amazing staff at both Chichester and Worthing Hospitals for all they did for him. Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course."
Co-trainer Adrian Bott has provided an update on the preparation of high-class sprinting mare English who is being aimed at the $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 13 October. "She did well in the turnaround from Queensland. We haven't fully decided on exactly what each step to The Everest will look like," Bott told racingnsw.com.au. "We have a good idea of how we want to get to the race but will finalise that over the next couple of weeks." English, who doubled her Group 1 tally when landing the Doomben 10,000 in Brisbane in the winter, will represent Everest slot-holder Damion Flower's Jadeskye Racing. English is currently rated a $15 chance by TAB for the world's richest turf race.
Legendary Australian performer Barry Humphries says he has acquired a new-found love of Australian racing after watching his horse Dante Rossetti (Sebring-Cute Emily, by Choisir) win at Gosford on Tuesday. Trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, the 3YO chestnut gelding improved his record to 2 wins from 9 starts when running away with a comfortable 3 length victory in the Tab.com.au Benchmark 65 Handicap over 2100 metres. "We [my wife and I] own a part of that wonderful animal and its a novel experience for me, because I had no interest in horses until I met my wife. But now I am very fond of them," Humphries told Sky Sports Radio. "I was very excited. I was actually shouting in an uncharacteristic manner. I am now a man of the turf, the thing that I least expected to be." Humphries also discussed a close encounter he recently had with a horse that he says deeply affected him. "Now I love them, I relate to them. I've experienced this mysterious thing called equine therapy," he said. "I had a period about a year ago where I was worried about a few things and I was in the country outside of Sydney. The herd was at the end of the paddock and I was with this horse called Olympia. The horse got very close to me and put its head on my shoulder and it was sort of like a sympathetic friend. It's a difficult thing to describe but I felt cares evaporate." Humphries continued: "This is a known phenomenon apparently. A horse tunes into you. It tunes into your heartbeat and you can develop quite a close emotional relationship with the horse." Humphries said the romantically named Dante Rossetti derived his name after English composer and theatrical producer Andrew Lloyd Webber suggested it. "Because of its chestnut colour it was suggested by Andrew Lloyd Webber, who is a good friend of mine," Humphries explained. "He is a collector of late 19th century paintings. Amongst them is the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti who specialised in painting beautiful women with tumbling chestnut locks."
Charlie Appleby will bid to claim another feature Group 1 contest when he saddles Blue Point in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday, 14 July. Blue Point, a winner of last week's Group 1 King's Stands Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot, was one of 31 horses to stand their ground following Tuesday's scratching stage for the £500,000 six furlong event, which is a leg of the QIPCO British Champions Series. Appleby has enjoyed an outstanding season having also prepared Masar to win the English Derby, and he is looking forward to seeing if the rejuvenated Blue Point can continue his winning ways at Newmarket. "Blue Point has come out of the King's Stand Stakes very well and the plan is for him to head straight for the Darley July Cup," said Appleby. "He will be stepping back up to six furlongs but a stiff six is well within his compass. He holds the Ascot track record at that trip, don't forget, and he was placed in a Dewhurst Stakes [Gr1] over seven furlongs as a two-year-old." Appleby added: "To win the Darley July Cup with him would be huge, not just because we sponsor the race, it's also a great race for making stallions, one of the summer spectacles that you really want to be part of, and one that usually decides who is going to be Champion Sprinter." Other key entries for the July Cup include Group 1 Diamond Jubilee winner Merchant Navy, Redkirk Warrior and Harry Angel, who suffered an injury and lost all hope of winning when leaving the stalls in the Diamond Jubilee.
Damion Flower of Jadeskye Racing says he chose top-class sprinter English as his representative in The Everest because he is confident she has plenty more big race wins in store. "Looking at the other runners that have been secured I think she is way up to the mark," Flower told racingnsw.com.au. "She showed in the 10,000 [Gr1 Doomben 10,000] she can beat Redzel and In Her Time on any day. I know she'll be six years old but she's had 26 starts so she's lightly raced." Flower added: "I've been lucky enough to see her as of Friday and she is in outstanding condition." English is owned by the Kelly family's Newhaven Park and is trained by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott. "Charles Kelly approached me and we came to the stage where I wanted to secure her and Gai and Adrian are happy to run her," Flower said. "I wanted them, along with Gai and Adrian, to know exactly where they are going. It's less than four months to the race and now they can plan their attack." English, who finished sixth in last year's inaugural running of The Everest, is currently $15 with TAB for this year's renewal which will be run at Royal Randwick on 13 October.
French Oaks winner Laurens will bypass next month's Irish Oaks and instead be prepared for the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks on 23 August, reports Sky Sports. The Karl Burke-trained filly has been in stellar form this season, returning from her winter break with a narrow second to Billesdon Brook in the English 1,000 Guineas before landing successive top-flight wins in the Prix Saint-Alary and Prix de Diane. The daughter of French sire sensation Siyouni now boasts three Group 1 victories on her CV ( which currently stands at 5 wins from just 7 starts) after rounding out her juvenile season with a win in the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket. "She has come out the race [Prix de Diane] really well and there have been no issues," said Burke. "She will have a nice easy two or three weeks. We are not going to go for the Irish Oaks. We will miss that and hopefully go for the Yorkshire Oaks. If we try take in the Irish Oaks as well it will not give her a break before an autumn campaign so it makes sense to do that." Burke added: "We certainly hope we will go back to France for the Arc. The Yorkshire Oaks will tell us a lot more when we step up in trip again." Burke said other end of season options include the Prix de l'Opera, a trip to Japan, and also the Breeders' Cup in the US.
New Zealand thoroughbred owners will be represented in three Group 1 races at Royal Ascot this week, reports NZ Racing Desk. The blue blooded Eminent will race in Sir Peter Vela's famous Pencarrow Stud colours in the Prince of Wales's Stakes (2000m) on day two of the Royal meeting. However, the Frankel 4YO faces a huge task up against the John Gosden-trained odds on favourite Cracksman. Vela's colours is also a part-owner of Ascot Gold Cup (4000m) contender Torcedor (Fastnet Rock). The Ascot Gold Cup will be run on day three. Meanwhile, Wairarapa owner-breeder Richard Craddock is a part-owner of the English 1,000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook (Champs Elysees), who tackles the Coronation Stakes (1600m) on day four. Craddock, who moved to New Zealand from England in 2006, became involved n Billesdon Brook through his friendship with the filly's breeder, Bob McCreery.
Trainer John Gosden unveiled a future star of the turf when the well-bred Without Parole emulated his famous sire Frankel by winning the Gr1 St James's Palace Stakes (8 furlongs) on day one of Royal Ascot overnight. The handsome 3YO bay colt lived up to Gosden's lofty opinion of him to see off his more experienced rivals when unleashing a smart turn of foot in the straight to comfortably defeat the Coolmore-owned Gustav Klimt and Wooton. Gosden said Without Parole, who missed the English 1,000 Guineas after a slight setback, would now be aimed at all the upcoming feature mile contests. "He wouldn't have been worldly enough for the Guineas. You saw a little bit of that today on the bend, where he was green. This was the huge target but he'll be in the Sussex, the Jacques le Marois and he could go to York [Juddmonte International]," Gosden told Racing Post. "He'll improve and get sharper but he's incredibly laid-back, just like Cracksman. Maybe I'm lucky to have two laid-back Frankels." Without Parole extended his unbeaten record to 4 wins from 4 starts for £336,489 in earnings.
This afternoon's meeting at Royal Ascot in England hosts a triple treat for racing fans around the world, with a Gr1 treble carded. In the first of the day, Godolphin's recent Gr1 Dubai Turf winner Benbatl and last-start French Gr1 winner Recelotos do battle with Ballydoyle's Gr1 Lockinge Stakes heroine Rhododendron. Second-up is Race 3, the Gr1 King's Stand Stakes, where US-bred mare Lady Aurelia and Shadwell's Battash are expected to be the testing material over the 5 furlong dash. One race later, dual Gr1-winning juvenile US Navy Flag gets the chance to turn the tables on Gr1 Irish Two Thousand Guineas conqueor Romanised when the pair clashes in the Gr1 St James's Palace Stakes (8 furlongs). Gr1 English 2000 Guineas runnerup Tip Two Win is second favourite behind Frankel's undefeated son Without Parole, last start winner of the Listed Heron Stakes and one of the most exciting 3YO prospects in training. Without Parole's US owner-breeder John Gunther also bred this year's US Triple Crown hero Justify.
The Group 1 Coronation Stakes (8 furlongs) shapes as one of the most intriguing races at Royal Ascot this week with the winners of the English, Irish and French 1,000 Guineas set to clash. English 1,000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook (see below), Alpha Centauri (Irish 1,000 Guineas) and Teppal (French 1,000 Guineas) are among the 17 entries, but it is the Aidan O'Brien-trained Clemmie that is the 7-2 favourite for the race. Clemmie, a full-sister to former champion 2YO and dual Guineas winner Churchill, could manage only ninth behind Alpha Centauri when resuming in the Irish 1,000 Guineas on 27 May. "Clemmie is in good form and we've been happy with her since the Irish Guineas," said O'Brien. "We knew going to the Curragh that she was just ready to start her season and that she would come forward from the run. We think she has done that."
At Epsom Downs in the UK, 5-time Gr1-winning Darley stallion New Approach (Galileo-Park Express, by Ahonoora) added a significant Gr1 success when the colt Masar (New Approach-Kawlah, by Cape Cross finished full of running to score by 1.5-lengths for trainer Charlie Appleby in the lucrative Gr1 Epsom Derby (12 furlongs). Defeating Dee Ex Be and Roaring Lion, the Irish-bred Godolphin-owned 3YO colt had finished third behind subsequent Derby favourite Saxon Warrior in the Gr1 English 2000 Guiness last month, however was a completely different proposition over the extra half mile at the testing English circuit. Masar displayed exceptional ability as a juvenile, winning the Gr3 Solario Stakes at Sandown before a merit-laden placing in France's Gr1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagadrere. As an early 3YO he totally gapped his rivals in Newmarket's Gr3 Craven Stakes to the extent he jumped favourite in this year's Guineas. The prestigious Derby victory for the Godolphin colt is the first for Sheikh Mohammed in his own right, and provides him not only with another exciting future stallion prospect for Darley, but a versatile racehorse who appears to have it all before him. With earnings now beyond a million pounds, Masar could appear next in the Gr1 Irish Derby.
Jockey William Buick is confident that English Oaks favourite Wild Illusion will handle the step up in trip in tonight's fillies Classic at Epsom, reports Racing Post. The Charlie Appleby-trained Wild Illusion (Dubawi-Rumh, by Monsun) is already a winner at the highest level, having landed the Gr1 Prix Marcel Boussac (8 furlongs) at Chantilly in October. Wild Illusion is yet to race beyond a mile, but her performance when resuming for fourth (beaten 2 lengths) in the English 1,000 Guineas was that of a filly who is likely to appreciate more ground. "Wild Illusion ran a lovely race on her comeback in the 1,000 Guineas and is a filly who will appreciate stepping up in trip. Her form is very solid and she's never done anything wrong," said Buick. "She's very stoutly bred on the dam's side and, being by Dubawi, and has a great pedigree. You would like to think the distance won't inconvenience her. She seems straightforward and ticks a lot of boxes." Wild Illusion will bid to become the fourth Oaks winner for Godolphin after Balanchine (1994), Moonshell (1995), and Kazzia (2002).
Aidan O'Brien says boom colt Saxon Warrior continues to please the Ballydoyle stable ahead of Saturday's Group 1 English Derby (2400m) at Epsom. The Japanese-bred Saxon Warrior (Deep Impact-Maybe, by Galileo) extended his unbeaten record to 4 wins from as many starts when returning from his winter break with an impressive win in the Group 1 English 2000 Guineas earlier this month. The victory saw him installed as the dominant 8-11 favourite for Saturday's Classic ahead of Roaring Lion at 11-2. "Ryan [Moore] will be back on Saxon Warrior on Saturday and everything is fine with the horse. He's pleasing everyone with what he's doing and everyone seems very happy," O'Brien told Racing Post. "Donnacha [O'Brien, the trainer's son] rides him in all his work and he's been very happy with everything over the last few weeks since the Guineas. It was his first run of the year at Newmarket, so you'd expect him to come on from that, but we'll have to see what happens on Saturday." O'Brien added: "I would not like to compare him to any of our other horses at this stage. We all know he was a very good two-year-old and he was a good winner of the Guineas on his first start at three, so hopefully he can continue to progress the way he is doing."
Racing Queensland has released the weights and ballot order for the $1.5 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) to be run at Doomben racecourse on 9 June. Defending champion Impending, Santa Ana Lane, English, and 3YO colt Perast are the only four horses exempt from ballot. Click here to view entries and weights. Click here to view ballot order.
At Doomben racecourse in Brisbane, Coolmore's deceased dual Derby-winning shuttler & 6-time Gr1 victor High Chaparral (Sadler's Wells-Kasora, by Dashaan) celebrated an elite race success when 3YO Australian-bred filly Youngstar (High Chaparral-Starspangled, by Danehill) overcame a wide run and showed great spirit to fight back and win the $500,000 Gr1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) for 3YO fillies, defeating stable-mate Another Dollar & Sheezdashing. Trainer Chris Waller praised Youngstar's fighting qualities after she endured a tough run in the race. "She's gone from a perfect spot one off the fence then shunted three and four wide," he told Sky Racing. "They took off very early and she needed all of her qualities to come back on the line." Waller said Youngstar may now bid for dual Classic honours in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Doomben on 9 June. "It's a good idea having it two weeks apart. One week for fillies is a bit hard. We weren't tempted to back Winx up but it's something to think about," he said. Youngstar, who hails from the family of English, Irish & Yorkshire Oaks heroine User Friendly, improved her record to 4 wins (including the Gr2 Magic Millions The Roses) and 1 placing from 7 starts for $478,562 in earnings. She was purchased by Anton Koolman Bloodstock for $200,000 at the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Young-based nursery Bowness Stud.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $700,000 Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday. The weight-for-age sprint has attracted a field of 11 runners. Interestingly, Sydney trainer Bjorn Baker has decided to run impressive Gold Coast Guineas winner Champagne Cuddles in the race, after originally planning on running her against her fellow 3YOs in the Gr3 Fred Best Classic as a final lead-up to the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap in a fortnight. First run in 1964, the Kingsford-Smith Cup (until last year known as the BTC Cup) has been won by some outstanding sprinters including Tontonan (1974), Strawberry Road (1983), St Jude (1991), Buck's Pride (1993 & 94), Chief De Beers (1996), General Nediym (1998), Falvelon (2000), Thorn Park (2004), Apache Cat (2008), and the legendary Black Caviar (2011). The favourite for the 2018 edition of the race is the Kris Lees-trained Le Romain, who has drawn favourably in barrier five. Le Romain is at the top of the TAB market at $3.80, ahead of Godolphin galloper Impending (barrier 9) at $4.20, Doomben 10,000 heroine English (barrier 1) at $5.50, Champagne Cuddles (barrier 10) at $6.50, and local hope Care To Think (barrier 11) at $7.50.
At York in the UK, former Coolmore shuttler and triple Gr1-winning champion European sire Galileo (Sadler's Wells-Urban Sea, by Miswaki) celebrated an elite race success when 4YO Irish-bred mare Rhododendron (Galileo-Halfway to Heaven, by Pivotal) claimed her third top-flight victory in the Gr1 Lockinge Stakes (8 furlongs) for 3YO+, defeating the fast-finishing Lightning Spear & Lancaster Bomber. Trained by Aidan O'Brien on behalf of the Coolmore triumvirate of Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor, Rhododendron improved her record to 5 wins (including the Gr1 Prix de l'Opera & Gr1 Fillies' Mile) and 5 placings (including the Gr1 English 1,000 Guineas & Gr1 English Oaks) from 13 starts for £1,311,036 in earnings. Rhododendron is out of Pivotal mare Halfway To Heaven, winner of the Gr1 Nassau Stakes, Gr1 Irish One Thousand Guineas, and Gr1 Sun Chariot Stakes. This is also the family of former West Australian shuttler Verglas (IRE). O'Brien said Rhododendron would make her next appearance in either the Gr1 Queen Anne Stakes (8 furlongs) or the Gr1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes (10 furlongs) at Royal Ascot.
Lightly raced 3YO Viridine (Poet's Voice-Patina, by Anabaa) has come out of his last race in excellent order and is primed for a bold showing in tomorrow's $1 million Group 1 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville, according to Godolphin trainer James Cummings. "He's come out of the Euclase Stakes [Gr2 over 1200m] in very good order. He galloped beautifully on the course proper this morning and he'll be going to the Goodwood," said Cummings. "Even though he's not well off under the conditions of that race, he'll get there in very, very good shape and in a condition that's going to see him perform adequately again at Group 1 level." Cummings added: "If he can improve a bit and find a couple of lengths on his first performance left-handed then I think he's a knockout chance in this race." Viridine has hitherto won 4 of his 9 starts highlighted by the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) in the spring. He also showed his class when finishing third behind smart mares In Her Time & English in the Group 1 Galaxy (1100m) in the autumn.
John Gosden will use a tried and tested route to next month's Epsom Derby when he runs Classic aspirants Crossed Baton and Roaring Lion in the $220,000 Gr2 Dante Stakes (2100m) at York tonight, reports Racing Post. The Dante is one of Britain's traditional Derby lead-ups and has been used by Gosden in previous years with great success with Benny The Dip and Golden Horn graduating to Epsom glory after claiming the race. Gosden again holds a strong hand in this year's renewal with Crossed Baton having won the Listed Blue Riband Trial (10 furlongs) at Epsom on 25 April, while Roaring Lion, the likely favourite for the Dante, returned with a pleasing fifth in the English 2,000 Guineas on 5 May. The Juddmonte Farms-owned Crossed Baton (Dansili-Sacred Shield, by Beat Hollow) will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, while the US-bred Roaring Lion (Kitten's Joy-Vionnet, by Street Sense) will be ridden by Oisin Murphy. Aidan O'Brien will also be doubly represented in the Dante with James Cook and Zabriskie set to turn out for the famous Ballydoyle yard. However they are considered outsiders after finishing fourth and sixth respectively behind Crossed Baton at Epsom. The Mark Johnston-trained Mildenberger is one of the more fancied runners having won 4 of his 6 starts. The Gr1 English Derby (2400m) will be run at Epsom on 2 June.
Coolmore boss John Magnier made headlines around the world when he sold a nude portrait by Italian-born artist Amedeo Modigliani for US$157.2 million at Sotheby's in New York on Monday, reports Racing Post. Magnier purchased the 1917 painting, known as "Nu couche (sur le cote gauche)", in 2003 for just under US$27 million. Modigliani's painting, which had the highest pre-auction estimate at US$150 million, was still well short of the record for the most expensive painting ever sold. That honour belongs to Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi", which was sold by Christie's in November for US$450 million. Interestingly, Magnier is the owner of the artist's equine namesake, 3YO colt Amedeo Modigliani (Galileo-Gooseberry Fool, by Danehill Dancer), who is entered in next month's English Derby.
At Doomben racecourse in Queensland, Coolmore's former dual Champion Australian Sire Encosta De Lago (Fairy King-Shoal Creek, by Star Way) celebrated an elite race success when 5YO Australian-bred mare English (Encosta De Lago-Court, by Anabaa) posted her first win in more than a year when unleashing her trademark late sprint to claim the $700,000 Gr1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating Impending & Le Romain. English, a Newhaven Park homebred, improved her record to 6 wins (including the Gr1 All Aged Stakes, Gr2 Challenge Stakes -twice & Gr2 Reisling Stakes) & 5 placings (including the Gr1 Golden Slipper Stakes, Gr1 Galaxy Handiacp & Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes) from 25 starts for $3,441,071 in earnings. Co-trainer Adrian Bott said English would be aimed at the remaining feature Group 1 race in the winter as well as the $13 The Everest in Sydney later in the year. "She is entered for the Group One races here the Kingsford Smith, the Stradbroke and the Tatts Tiara. But we are also looking at getting her ready for The Everest in the Sydney spring," Bott told Sky Racing.
At Doomben racecourse in Queensland, Coolmore's deceased dual Derby-winning shuttler & 6-time Gr1 victor High Chaparral (Sadler's Wells-Kasora, by Dashaan) added an Group race success when 3YO Australian-bred filly Youngstar (High Chaparral-Starspangled, by Danehill) continued her smart progression through the fillies ranks when finishing full of running to score a comfortable win in the $175,000 Gr2 Magic Millions The Roses (2000m) for 3YO fillies, defeating stable-mate Another Dollar & Highway. Youngstar, who hails from the family of English, Irish & Yorkshire Oaks heroine User Friendly, improved her record to 3 wins and 1 placing from 6 starts for $164,201 in earnings. Youngstar will now progress to the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben on 26 May. "Obviously on her pedigree being by High Chaparral we felt she was going to be an Oaks horse and about this time last year after a few of her trials we thought about this race," said Charlie Duckworth, stable representative for trainer Chris Waller. "She still isn't overly strong so she was never going to be running in the Oaks in the spring or at Randwick in the ATC Oaks." Duckworth added: "That's what's great about Australian racing - unlike Europe where you've only got three weeks between the English and Irish Oaks, here they're spread over seven months." Youngstar was purchased by Anton Koolman Bloodstock for $200,000 at the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Young-based nursery Bowness Stud.
An injury will see superstar filly Enable sidelined until at least August, reports Sky Sports. Last year's European Horse of the Year was expected to make her seasonal reappearance in the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom on 1 June, but a setback in training will see her return delayed. "Enable has met with a setback in training. She has some filling in her knee which is being fully investigated," explained Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah. "The advice that we have is, that given reasonable circumstances, she should be ready to run in August as a preparation for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe." Owned by Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms and trained by John Gosden, Enable (Nathaniel-Concentric, by Sadlers Wells) confirmed her status as one of the best fillies of the modern era when rounding out her 2017 campaign with a brilliant win in the Gr1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly in October. The victory capped a remarkable 3YO season for the now 4YO who won 5 Group 1 races, namely the Arc, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, English, Irish & Yorkshire Oaks.
Unheralded filly Billesdon Brook (Champs Elysees-Coplow, by Manduro) became the longest-priced winner in English 1000 Guineas history when landing the fillies Classic at odds of 66-1 at Newmarket on Sunday. The Richard Hannon-trained filly defied the doubters when sustaining a strong run from the rear of the field and hitting the front 200m from home before kicking strongly to hold on by 1.75 lengths over Laurens and Happily. "It was a surprise but there was nothing fluky about it," Hannon told Racing Post. "All our Guineas winners, certainly in the last ten years, have needed their first run. We got Sky Lantern beaten in her trial and Night Of Thunder beaten in his trial and they both went on to win their Guineas, and she was no different." Hannon added: "Today she looked great. She's done no work between the Nell Gwyn and here but is obviously a very good filly." The previous biggest-priced winner of the 1000 Guineas was Ferry who saluted at 50-1 in 1918. Billesdon Brook improved her record to 4 wins (including the Gr3 Prestige Stakes) and 4 placings (including the Listed Star Stakes) from 10 starts for £367,354 in earnings.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien says boom colt Saxon Warrior may be aimed at the Triple Crown following his win in last Saturday's Group 1 English 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. The Japanese-bred Saxon Warrior (Deep Impact-Maybe, by Galileo) extended his unbeaten record to 4 wins from as many starts when surging to a decisive victory in the first Classic of the European season, defeating Tip Two Win and Masar. O'Brien said the son of superstar stallion Deep Impact will head to next month's English Derby before a potential shot at the oldest Classic of them all, the St Leger at Doncaster. Coolmore very nearly pulled off the Triple Crown in 2012 with Camelot who failed in the last leg. "The lads always had it in their heads he would go for the Guineas and Derby. Donnacha [jockey Donnacha O'Brien] was very happy, too, so I think that is what everybody is thinking next." O'Brien added: "The Triple Crown has to be on our minds, if he wins the Derby that would be the obvious thing to do but I haven't been told yet."
Highly regarded colt Expert Eye will line up in Saturday's Gr1 English 2000 Guineas at Newmarket following an impressive track gallop on Sunday, reports Racing Post. Owner Juddmonte Farm has decided to let the son of Acclamation take his place in the first European classic of the new season despite his slightly disappointing return when second in the Gr3 Greenham Stakes (7 furlongs) at Newbury eleven days ago. Expert Eye has been touted as a genuine Classic contender ever since landing the Gr2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood last season. "He worked on Sunday and after that we decided to leave him in," said Khalid Abdullah's racing manager, Lord Grimthorpe. "We'll have to look at the going. He wouldn't want it soft or worse, so it's just a question of how much rain they get. Tuesday looks the crucial day." Grimthorpe added: "He obviously needs to improve a great deal on what he showed at Newbury, but he's working well and giving us the right signs. Andrea [Atzeni] will ride him." Expert Eye is currently a $12 chance for Saturday's Guineas. The Aidan O'Brien-trained duo of Gustav Klimt and Saxon Warrior, along with the Godolphin-owned Masar, are currently joint favourite's for the race at $5.
At Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide, Clear Mountain Fairview's Gr1-winning stallion Wanted (Fastnet Rock-Fragmentation, by Snippets) added a Group race success when 3YO Australian-bred gelding Leicester (Wanted-Defy The Odds, by Galileo) opened his stakes account with a determined win in the $120,000 Gr3 Chairman's Stakes (2035m) for 3YOs, defeating High 'N' Dry & stable-mate Amerock. Leicester, who has always been considered a promising young stayer by his trainer Darren Weir, improved his record to 3 wins and 2 placings from 8 starts for $149,710 in earnings. A $10,000 purchase by Paul Willetts Bloodstock Consultancy at the 2015 Inglis Australian Weanling Sale, Leicester hails from the successful European family of English & Irish Derby winner Commander In Chief, dual Gr1 winning sire Warning, Gr2 Hardwicke Stakes winner Await The Dawn, and Gr3 QLD Tattersall's Cup winner Index Linked.
Godolphin hold a strong hand in Saturday's Gr2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) at Royal Randwick with smart colts Viridine and Isaurian set to represent the blue army in the $600,000 feature. Already a Gr2 winner of the Roman Consul Stakes in the Spring, Viridine (Poet's Voice) is coming off an excellent third behind open class sprinters In Her Time and English in the Gr1 Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill three weeks ago. "Viridine came out of the Galaxy in good shape and he looks a little better for the run," Cummings told Godolphin.com. "It's a strong test for him. The filly I Am Excited is flying and her form is faultless but I still feel he could show us one of his biggest performances." Cummings is also bullish about the prospects of the highly promising Isaurian (Exceed And Excel), a winner of 2 of his 3 starts and a last-start second to I Am Excited in the Listed Darby Munro Stakes (1200m). "Don't count this colt out," Cummings said. "He has great form around I Am Excited after finishing second in the Darby Munro three weeks ago. If he can get the breaks at the right time he's not without a chance."
At Meydan racecourse in Dubai, Darley's Australian three-time Gr1-winning shuttler Helmet (Exceed and Excel-Accessories, by Singspiel) celebrated an elite race success when 4YO Irish-bred entire Thunder Snow (Helmet-Eastern Joy, by Dubai Destination) surged to an emphatic 5 length win in the US$10 million Gr1 Dubai World Cup (2000m), defeating West Coast & Mubtaahij. This was the third top-flight win for the Godolphin-owned Thunder Snow who improved his record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Prix Jean Prat, Gr1 Criterium International, Gr2 UAE Derby & Gr3 UAE 2000 Guineas) and 7 placings (including the Gr1 St James's Palace Stakes & Gr1 Irish 2,000 Guineas) from 18 starts for £6,118,759 in earnings. Thunder Snow is the fourth foal to race from the Dubai Destination mare Eastern Joy who has also produced Gr2 winner Ihtimal, Gr3 winner First Victory, and stakes winner Always Smile. This is also the family of Gr1 Prix de Diane winner West Wind and English Oaks & Irish Derby winner Balanchine.
Superstar filly Enable is set to make her seasonal debut in either the Gr1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh or the Gr1 Coronation Cup at Epsom, reports Sky Sports. Owned by Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms and trained by John Gosden, Enable (Nathaniel-Concentric, by Sadlers Wells) confirmed her status as one of the best fillies of the modern era when rounding out her 2017 campaign with a brilliant win in the Gr1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly in October. The victory capped a remarkable 3YO season for the now 4YO who won 5 Group 1 races, namely the Arc, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, English, Irish & Yorkshire Oaks. Those feats saw her named the 2017 Cartier Horse of the Year. Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Khalid Abdullah, said: "Enable is in very good form. She got put back a little bit by the cold weather in Newmarket, like most fillies she would prefer it warmer than colder. She is coming on well and is happy and cantering." "She has not been asked to do anything spectacular yet, but everyone seems pleased with her. I think it is likely the Prix Ganay will come too...that leads us on to either the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the end of May or the Coronation Cup." Grimthorpe said Enable's primary long term target will be a defence of her Arc title later in the year. "Really and truly the main aim is the Arc, probably preceded by the Juddmonte and the King George," he said. The Tattersalls Gold Cup will be run on 27 May with the Coronation Cup to be held five days later.
Champion two-year-old and dual Guineas winner Churchill will stand at Coolmore Australia for the 2018 breeding season. The outstanding Churchill (Galileo-Meow, by Storm Cat) won 7 of his 13 starts for over £1.3 million in earnings highlighted by wins in the English & Irish 2000 Guineas, Gr1 National Stakes and Gr1 Dewhurst Stakes. His feat of completing the Dewhurst Stakes & 2,000 Guineas double has only been matched in recent times by another star son of Galileo, Frankel. "I travelled to Ireland last week to inspect a number of stallions and I was blown away by Churchill," said Coolmore Australia Sales and Nominations Manager Colm Santry. "He has an unbelievable combination of size, power, quality and athleticism. He is bred in a similar mould to Frankel, Galileo over a speed mare, and the result is an outstanding animal. I have no doubt that people are going to be very taken with him, particularly when they see him in the flesh." From the Gr2-placed mare Meow (Storm Cat), Churchill is a full-brother to Europe’s champion 2YO filly of 2017, Clemmie. His second dam, Airwave, was a champion 2YO herself and finished second to Choisir in the Gr1 Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. Churchill will stand the 2018 season at Coolmore Australia at a fee of $27,500 (incl. GST).
At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, former stakes-winning Darley stallion Time Thief (Redoute's Choice-Procrastinate, by Jade Hunter) celebrated an elite race success when 5YO Australian-bred mare In Her Time (Time Thief-Hell It's Hot, by Zeditave) broke through for a well-deserved maiden top-flight success in the $700,000 Gr1 Galaxy (1100m) for 3YO+, defeating English & Viridine. In Her Time, who was passed-in for $38,000 by Kanangra at the 2014 Inglis Classic Sale, improved her record to 8 wins (including the Gr2 Premiere Stakes, Gr2 Millie Fox Stakes, Gr2 Breeders Classic & Listed Sydney Stakes) and 4 placings (including the Gr1 Tatts Tiara & Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap) from 18 starts for $1,890,725 in earnings. "I don't know what to feel at the moment. It probably hasn't sunk in yet," trainer Ben Smith told Sky Racing. "It's something that we've targeted for a long time, winning a Group One with this mare and she finally has now." Smith said In Her Time would have her next start in the $2.5 million Gr1 weight-for-age TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 7 April.