At Moonee Valley in Melbourne, Widden Stud's dual Gr1-winning sire Nicconi (Bianconi-Nicola Lass, by Scenic) added a black-type success when 6YO Australian-bred gelding Faatinah (Nicconi-Alqwah, by Danehill) scored a narrow on-pace win the $120,000 Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) for 4YO+, defeating Sunday Escape & Mr Sneaky. A homebred for Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell Stud, Faatinah improved his record to 6 wins (including the Gr2 Bobbie Lewis Quality & Gr2 Euclase Stakes) and 8 placings (including the Gr1 Oakleigh Plate & Listed VRC Poseidon Stakes) from 9 starts for $361,280 earnings. Co-trainer David Hayes said Faatinah would head to the next month’s Gr1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley.
The Lindsay Park team will be represented by two runners at this year’s UAE racing season in Dubai. Ben Hayes said the dual Gr2-winning and Gr1-placed sprinter Faatinah (Nicconi) and stakes-placed Shaf (Wanted) will compete during the early part of the season at the behest of their owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai and owner of Shadwell Stud. “The sheikh suggested it and we decided to take a couple over,” Hayes told racenet. “It will just be great to show off some Australian talent in Dubai. They are going over to target the 1000m and 1200m races before the big carnival in March.” Hayes added: “I reckon the way Faatinah is going, he’ll definitely measure up and Shaf is a good travel companion.”
At Flemington in Melbourne, Arrowfield Stud's deceased Gr1-placed stallion Beneteau (Redoute's Choice-Slice Of Paradise, by Encosta de Lago) added a black-type success when 5YO bay mare Ocean Embers (Beneteau-Burningwood, by Tabasco Cat) stormed down the grandstand side of the track to claim the third stakes win of her career in the $150,000 Listed MSS Security Sprint (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating Faatinah & I Thought So. Ocean Embers, who was purchased by her trainer Shea Eden for just $23,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale from the draft of Cornerstone Stud, advanced her record to 6 wins (including the Gr3 TRC Bow Mistress Stakes & Gr3 Cockram Stakes) and 1 placings from 16 starts for $412,050 in earnings.
At Caulfield racecourse in Melbourne, Arrowfield Stud's incumbent Champion Australian Sire Snitzel (Redoute's Choice-Snippets' Lass, by Snippets) added a Group race success when 4YO bay mare Snitty Kitty (Snitzel-Lassiter's Cat, by Tale of the Cat) put on an exhibition of brilliant sustained speed when scoring a dominant win in the $200,000 Gr2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m) for 3YO+, defeating Super Too & Faatinah. A $175,000 yearling consigned by Willow Park at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, Snitty Kitty improved her record to 6 wins (including the Listed Lightning Handicap) & 3 placings from 11 starts for $385,785 in earnings. Trainer Henry Dwyer was full of praise for Snitty Kitty who set a new race record of 56.28 seconds. "I've never had a horse simply improve out of nowhere like her," Dwyer told racing.com. "Usually the good horses show something to start but we started on a very low base with her." Dwyer said Snitty Kitty was now likely to head to the spelling paddock with Gr1 goals in mind for the autumn. "There's not a lot left for her this spring as we don't want to push her out to 1200 metres and the Oakleigh Plate really looks the race for her to win a Group 1," he said. "She's by no means found her mark yet…she's very dynamic and untapped."
At Caulfield racecourse in Melbourne, dual Gr1-winning former Coolmore shuttler Holy Roman Emperor (Danehill-L'On Vite, by Secretariat) celebrated an elite success when 5YO mare Sheidel (Holy Roman Emperor-Laventour, by Metal Storm) resumed with a strong 1 length win for trainers David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig in the $500,000 Gr1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) for 3YO+, over 4YO gelding and stable-mate Faatinah (Nicconi-Alqwah, by Danehill) & 3YO colt Extreme Choice (Not a Single Doubt-Extremely, by Hussonet). This was a thoroughly deserved maiden Gr1 victory for former Perth mare Sheidel who boosted her record to 15 wins (including the Gr3 Sensis Stakes, Gr3 Cape Grim Beef Steaks, Listed Bel Esprit Stakes, Listed Summer Scorcher Stakes, Listed RS Crawford Stakes & Listed Jungle Mist Classic) and 6 placings (including the Gr1 WATC Winterbottom Stakes & Gr1 SAJC Robert Sangster Classic) from 27 starts for $1,571,450 earnings. Sheidel gave owner Robert Crabtree's Dorrington Farm two of the three Group One races on the day after earlier claiming the Blue Diamond Stakes with unbeaten filly Catchy. "I've placed in these two races before but to get them with two fillies who will become part of my broodmare band is just fabulous," Crabtree told Racing.com. Co-trainer Tom Dabernig added: "She really deserves this win. She's been narrowly defeated in a couple of Group ones but today she really travelled and never looked like she was going to get beaten." Sheidel is likely to have her next start in the $1.25 million Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on 11 March.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $750,000 weight-for-age Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) to be run at Flemington this Saturday, 18 February. Star colt Flying Artie, a brilliant winner of the stallion-making Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes in the spring, is the current $4 Tab favourite, ahead of fellow 3YO and Coolmore Stud Stakes third placegetter Star Turn at $4.40, and progressive sprinter Spieth at $6. The only other runners under double-figure odds are Supido at $8, as well as Heatherly and veteran sprinter Terravista at $9. The final field is:
At Caulfield in Melbourne on Saturday, former Craiglea Stud stallion Top Echelon (Umatilla-Advisory, by Kingston Rule) added a Group success when 8YO chestnut gelding Our Boy Malachi (Top Echelon-Rusticate, by Rustic Amber) scored by 1.5 lengths for trainers John, Wayne & Michael Hawkes in the $200,000 Gr2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m) for 3YO+, over 4YO gelding Faatinah (Nicconi-Alqwah, by Danehill) & 7YO gelding Lankan Rupee (Redoute's Choice-Estelle Collection, by Stravinsky). Our Boy Malachi, also known as the 'Rockhampton Rocket', boosted his remarkable record to 19 wins (including the Gr2 Expressway Stakes, Gr3 Hall Mark Stakes, Listed Razor Sharp Handicap & Listed Starlight Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 BTC Cup & Gr2 ATC Premiere Stakes) from 26 starts for $946,400 earnings. Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes revealed that Our Boy Malachi is now likely to get another opportunity at Gr1 level in the Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on 5 November.
At Flemington in Melbourne, Widden Stud's dual Gr1-winning sire Nicconi (Bianconi-Nicola Lass, by Scenic) added a Group success when 4YO gelding Faatinah (Nicconi-Alqwah, by Danehill) scored by 1.75 lengths for trainers David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig in the $200,000 Gr2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) for 4YO+, over 4YO entire Tivaci (High Chaparral-Breccia, by Fastnet Rock) & 5YO gelding We've Got This (Hard Spun-Akiva, by Keltrice). A homebred for Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell Stud, Faatinah improved his record to 4 wins (including the Gr2 Euclase Stakes) and 2 placings (including the Listed VRC Poseidon Stakes) from 9 starts for $361,280 earnings. Co-trainer David Hayes said Faatinah would make his next appearance in the Gr2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on 2 October. "I think he's got similar ability to what his father had," said Hayes, referring to dual Gr1-winning stallion Nicconi. "He'll probably run in the one on Turnbull Stakes Day, then Derby Day." He added: "I'd love to take him to Dubai one day and show him off to the Sheikh."
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $500,000 Gr1 Goodwood (1200m) to be run at Morphettville racecourse in Adelaide on Saturday. Race favourite is the former West Australian-galloper Black Heart Bart ($4) who has drawn well in barrier 2, whilst his main market danger, the Mick Kent-trained Supido ($5.50), has drawn midfield in gate 9. The only other horse under double-figure odds, Under The Louvre ($8), has come up with barrier 11. Last year's winner Flamberge will find it tough to defend his title after drawing barrier 17. The final field is:
1. FLAMBERGE (Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-D Lane) 59kg (17)
2. THE QUARTERBACK (Robbie Griffiths-Matthew Allen) 58.5kg (1)
3. BLACK HEART BART (Darren Weir-Brad Rawiller) 57kg (2)
4. CHURCHILL DANCER (David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-N Hall) 57kg (15)
5. GRIANTE - scratched -
6. BIG MONEY (Rodney Northam-Robert Thompson) 56.5kg (14)
7. SMOKIN' JOEY (Wez Hunter-Craig Newitt) 56.5kg (5)
8. NOSTRADAMUS (Phillip Stokes-Dom Tourneur) 56.5kg (20)
9. FAST 'N' ROCKING (David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-S Baster) 56kg (16)
10. DAYTONA GREY (Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas-C Lindop) 56kg (18)
11. UNDER THE LOUVRE (Robert Smerdon-Dwayne Dunn) 55.5kg (11)
12. ADMIRAL (Barry Campbell-Brendon McCoull) 55.5kg (6)
13. FAATINAH (David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-Dylan Dunn) 55.5kg (10)
14. SUPER ONE (Lee & Anthony Freedman-D Moor) 54.5kg (13)
15. SUPIDO (Michael Kent-James Winks) 54.5kg (9)
16. SIRBIBLE (Russell Bell-Wayne Kerford) 54.5kg (19)
17. CASHED (Ryan Balfour-Todd Pannell) 54.5kg (4)
18. MISS PROMISCUITY (David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-L Meech) 54kg (8)
19. SHEIDEL (David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-Matthew Neilson) 53.5kg (12)
20. SOOBOOG (Darren Weir-Dean Yendall) 53kg (7)
At Morphettville in Adelaide, Widden Stud's dual Gr1-winning sire Nicconi (Bianconi-Nicola Lass, by Scenic) added a Group success when 3YO gelding Faatinah (Nicconi-Alqwah, by Danehill) scored by 0.4-length for trainers David Hayes & Tom Dabernig in the $250,000 Gr2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) for 3YOs, over 3YO colt Sooboog (Snitzel-Monte Rosa, by Fraar) & fellow 3YO gelding Demonstrate (New Approach-Swishes, by Danehill). A homebred for Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell Stud, Faatinha took his record to 3 wins and 2 placings (including the Listed VRC Poseidon Stakes) from 7 starts for $229,780 earnings.
At Flemington in Melbourne, former 5-time Gr1-winning Coolmore shuttler Duke Of Marmalade (Danehill-Love Me True, by Kingmambo) – now standing at Drakenstein Stud in South Africa – added a black-type winner when promising 3YO gelding One For One (Duke Of Marmalade-Stolen Girlfriend, by Canny Lad) scored a half-length victory for trainer Phillip Stokes in the $120,000 Listed Poseidon Stakes (1400m) for 3YOs, over the colt Deadly Shadow (Savabeel-Bling, by O'Reilly) & fellow gelding Faatinah (Nicconi-Alqwah, by Danehill). A $40,000 yearling buy for his trainer from the draft of The Old Crossing at the 2014 Inglis Classic Sale in Sydney, One For One took his consistent record to 3 wins & 3 placings (including last start's Gr3 Morphettville Guineas) from 6 starts for $128,600 earnings.