The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted of the Gr1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) to be run at Royal Randwick racecourse this Saturday, 30 September. The Epsom, along with the Doncaster Mile, is regarded as the premier mile handicap on the Australasian racing calendar. The time-honoured feature boasts an honour roll comprising some of the greatest names of the Australian turf, including Nightmarch (1929), Chatham (1932/33), Shannon (1945), Noholme (1959), Gunsynd (1971), Super Impose (1990/91), and of course the mighty Winx (2015). This year a field of 14 high quality gallopers will contest the $1 million feature, headed by Happy Clapper who will carry top weight of 57kg. Among Happy Clapper's rivals are Group One winners Egg Tart, Foxplay, I Am A Star, Sound Proposition, He's Our Rokkii, and Group One-placed gallopers McCreery, Zanbagh and Comin' Through. Click below to view the full Epsom Handicap field.
A star-studded field will clash in Saturday's $200,000 Gr2 Charge Of The Light Horse P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m), the first of four races in the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Caulfield Spring WFA Championship. The 14-horse line-up features no fewer than eight individual Group 1 winners - namely Lankan Rupee (Redoute's Choice), Hartnell (Authorized), Black Heart Bart (Blackfriars), Gailo Chop (Deportivo), Humidor (NZ) (Teofilo), He's Our Rokkii (NZ) (Roc de Cambes), Abbey Marie (Redoute's Choice) and Montoya's Secret (High Chaparral). Tosen Stardom (Deep Impact) and Star Exhibit (Statue Of Liberty) have been Group 1-placed. The race will be run as Race 7 at 4:00pm (6:00pm NZT). The winner of Saturday's race will pick up 10 Championship Points, with 8 for second, 6 for third, 4 for fourth, 3 for fifth and 1 each for horses placed sixth, seventh and eighth. The remaining races in the NZB Caulfield Spring Championship Series are the $1m Gr1 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) on 2 September, the $750,000 Gr1 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) on 1 October, and the $1m Gr1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on 14 October.
Prince of Brooklyn's arrival this week at Grassyards Farm near Dunedin will mark Mosgiel couple Jason Coutts and Charlotte Young's first foray into the stallion business, reports NZ Racing Desk. Coutts negotiated the purchase of 4YO entire with the help of New Zealand Bloodstock and Gavelhouse. "I'm thrilled to get the opportunity to stand such an outstanding type, with both sprinting and staying blood in his pedigree," Coutts said. Trained out of the Caulfield stable of Mick Price, Prince of Brooklyn (Magnus-Tristabeel, by Zabeel) won 3 of his 10 starts for over $270,000 in prize money. Unbeaten at two, he won the Gr3 National Stakes at Morphettville on debut before ending his juvenile season with further success in the $120,000 Elvstroem Classic at Swan Hill. He was also runner-up in the Listed VRC Creswick Series Final and boasts a narrow second to subsequent Gr1 winner He's Our Rokkii. "He is an outstanding type," Price said. "He's 16.2 hands, has great bone, strong feet, he's correct, has a big hindquarter and is a beautiful mover."' As part of the breeding agreement, Prince of Brooklyn's Australian-based owners will send mares to the stallion, who will stand for $3,000 + GST.
The connections of Tivaci (High Chaparral-Breccia, by Fastnet Rock) are predicting a bold showing from the New Zealand-bound sprinter in Saturday's $2.5 million Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick, reports NZ Racing Desk. Trained by Michael Moroney, Tivaci has won 5 of his 18 starts hitherto, highlighted by victories in the Gr3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) and Gr3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m). He has also proven himself to be highly competitive at Gr1 level, finishing third in both the Gr1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) behind He's Our Rokkii and the Gr1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) behind Le Romain in the spring. Waikato Stud has purchased a majority interest in highly talented entire and they are hoping he can secure that elusive Gr1 victory before retiring to stud. "We're happy with Tivaci," said Bruce Perry, who manages the thoroughbred interests of Wellington part-owner Lib Petagna. "There will obviously be some very good horses in it, but we believe he is right up to them. We couldn't be happier and just hope they don't get too much rain." Perry added: "There are a number of options for him after Saturday, including the All-Aged Stakes and the Goodwood Handicap, but Mike will work that out."
Esteemed Matamata-based thoroughbred nursery Waikato Stud has purchased a majority interest in highly talented entire Tivaci (High Chaparral-Breccia, by Fastnet Rock) who will commence stud duties later this year, reports NZ Racing Desk. Trained by Michael Moroney, Tivaci has won 5 of his 18 starts hitherto, highlighted by victories in the Gr3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) and Gr3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m). He has also proven himself to be highly competitive at Gr1 level, finishing third in both the Gr1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) behind He's Our Rokkii and the Gr1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) behind Le Romain in the spring. The 4YO will be out to claim his maiden top flight victory when he contests tomorrow's $1.25 million Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington. "We've always got an eye out and the competition for stallions is fierce across Australasia," Waikato principal Mark Chittick said. "He's a fantastic specimen with a great turn of foot and his pedigree will really suit our broodmare band. He'll cross so well with our mares by O'Reilly, Pins and Savabeel." Chittick added: "He really is a big, strong and imposing horse and we're looking forward to the rest of his racing career before he comes to Waikato Stud." Tivaci, who hails from the family of Gr1 Toorak Handicap winner Allez Wonder and is a direct descendant of Melbourne Cup winning mare Rainbird (7th dam), was a NZ$250,000 purchase by Paul Moroney Bloodstock at the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Princes Farm.
The Melbourne Racing Club has extended nominations for Saturday's $500,000 Gr1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield until 10:00am today (Tuesday) after only seven horses entered for the weight-for-age feature. The nominations thus far are:
1. BLACK HEART BART (Darren Weir)
2. ECUADOR (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott)
3. HE'S OUR ROKKII (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig)
4. LUCKY HUSSLER (Darren Weir)
5. PALENTINO (Darren Weir)
6. TOSEN STARDOM (Darren Weir)
7. TURN ME LOOSE (Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman)
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $500,000 weight-for-age Gr1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) to be run at Caulfield racecourse in Melbourne this Saturday. The Peter Gelagotis-trained Malaguerra, who resumed with a track record-equalling win in the Gr2 Australia Stakes (1200m) two weeks ago, is currently the $3.80 Tab favourite ahead of Australia Stakes runner-up Black Heart Bart at $4.20. The only other runners under double-figure odds are Lucky Hussler at $7 and Caulfield Guineas winner Divine Prophet at $8. Turn Me Loose and Arod are the two market outsiders at $26. The final field is:
He's Our Rokkii will kick off his autumn campaign in the Gr1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on 11 February, reports AAP. Trained by the Lindsay Park team of David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, the New Zealand-bred 4YO is already a winner at the highest level having won the Gr1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) in the spring. "He's Our Rokkii is going to the C F Orr and then the Futurity Stakes," Dabernig said. "He's a good Caulfield horse. He's in great order and doing well." He added: "He's a good, tough gelding and I think he's still got a bit ahead of him." He's Our Rokkii was last seen finishing 10th behind Le Romain in the Gr1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on 29 October.
Melbourne's spring carnival is respected the world over for its prestigious and highly competitive racing, and this year's carnival has provided some notable pedigree updates for New Zealand Bloodstock's upcoming Ready to Run Sale. One of the most exciting races of the carnival was the Gr1 Darley Classic, where Malaguerra just held out Karaka graduate Spieth. Lots 97 and 189 in the Ready to Run Sale catalogue come from the same family as Malaguerra, who is now a dual Gr1 winner after claiming the BTC Cup in the winter. Other notable pedigree updates include:
There are also family members of recent Gr1 placegetters Hasselhoof (Lot 47), Whispering Brook (Lot 61), Rasa Lila (Lot 65), Humidor (Lot 171), Sezanne (Lot 295), Tivaci (Lot 319), Heatherly (Lot 477) and Full Of Luck (Lot 479). The Ready to Run Sale catalogue has attracted 552 two-year-olds. The Sale will be held on 16 & 17 November 2016 at Karaka with selling to commence at 10am each day. Click here to view online catalogue.
At Caulfield in Melbourne, The Oaks Stud's dual Japanese Gr2-winning & Gr1-placed stallion Roc De Cambes (Red Ransom-Fairy Lights, by Fairy King) celebrated an elite success when 4YO NZ-bred He's Our Rokkii (Roc de Cambes-Clerihew, by Lomitas) scored by 0.4 length for trainers David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig in the $500,000 Gr1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) for 3YO+, over 6YO gelding Great Esteem (Redoute's Choice-Park Esteem, by Singspiel) & 4YO entire Tivaci (High Chaparral-Breccia, by Fastnet Rock). This was a maiden top-flight victory for He's Our Rokkii who advanced his record to 7 wins (including the Gr3 Carbine Club Stakes & Gr3 Frank Packer Plate) and 4 placings (including the Gr3 Taranaki 2YO Classic) from 16 starts for $712,207 earnings. Co-trainer David Hayes said he was not tempted to take on Winx in the Cox Plate, instead nominating the Gr1 Emirates Stakes on the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival as a suitable target. "You immediately think of the Cox Plate, but I think after what we saw today, this is probably the year to just watch it," Hayes said referring to Winx's dominant win in the Gr1 Caulfield Stakes earlier on the program. "The Emirates really does look the race for him this spring and so we'll go that way and let him get to weight-for-age level next year."
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, The Oaks Stud's dual Japanese Gr2-winning & Gr1-placed stallion Roc De Cambes (Red Ransom-Fairy Lights, by Fairy King) added a Group success when the gelding He's Our Rokkii (Roc de Cambes-Clerihew, by Lomitas) scored by 1.3-lengths for trainers David Hayes & Tom Dabernig in the $150,000 Gr3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) for 3YOs, over favoured colt Old North (Lonhro-Bernicia, by Elusive Quality) & the colt Torgersen (Pins-Oh So Glam, by O'Reilly). Winner of the Gr3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) two weeks prior to Saturday, there was a question mark over whether He's Our Rokkii would get the longer trip, however he swept any concerns away in the straight when looming ominously on the outside of Old North. He's Our Rokkii took his record to 4 wins and 4 placings from 13 starts for $310,457 earnings. Co-trainer Tom Dabernig revealed that while the intention had been to send Our Rokkii to the paddock after Saturday, the manner of his victory could see a rethink, with both Adelaide or Brisbane's upcoming Winter carnivals considerations.
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, The Oaks Stud's dual Japanese Gr2-winning & Gr1-placed stallion Roc De Cambes (Red Ransom-Fairy Lights, by Fairy King) added a Group success when 3YO gelding He's Our Rokkii (Roc de Cambes-Clerihew, by Lomitas) scored by 0.5-length for trainers David Hayes & Tom Dabernig in the $200,000 Gr3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) for 3YOs, over 3YO colt Odyssey Moon (Snitzel-Run to the Moon, by Arch) & 3YO filly Queen Of Wands (Not a Single Doubt-She's Warrego, by Giant's Causeway). This was the first stakes victory for He's Our Rokkii who took his record to 3 wins and 4 placings from 12 starts for $218,957 earnings.
Meanwhile, Risque's stable-mate and fellow ex New Zealand galloper He's Our Rokkii (Roc de Cambes-Clerihew, by Lomitas) will launch his autumn campaign next month, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 3YO showed plenty of promise when embarking on his first Australian preparation in the spring, finishing sixth behind Sovereign Nation in the Gr2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley and fourth behind emerging star Mahuta in the Gr3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington. He was last seen finishing eighth in the Gr2 Western Australian Guineas (1600m) on 21 November. "He hasn't had a lot of luck and had a short break after he came back from Perth," co-trainer Tom Dabernig said. "He'll kick off in a restricted event in February and we're sure he's got a good race in him, he's a tough horse and an improving type." Racing as Our Rokkii in his native New Zealand, the gelding finished runner-up in the Gr3 Phoenix Park 2YO Classic at New Plymouth and fourth in the Gr1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes at Awapuni for Cambridge trainer Mark Forbes before his sale to clients of Hayes and Dabernig.
The final field has been declared for the 79th running of the $500,000 Gr2 WA Guineas (1600m) to be run at Ascot in Perth this Saturday. The final field with barriers is:
1. LONDON LINE 56.5kg (7)
2. MAN BOOKER 56.5 kg (11)
3. KEY TO FAME 56.5kg (3)
4. UNIVERSAL LAW 56.5kg (8)
5. HE'S OUR ROKKII 56.5kg (12)
6. GEORGE 'N' ERNIE 56.5 kg (10)
7. SEE ME SIZZLE 56.5 kg (9)
8. EXPRESS SNOOPER 56.5kg (1)
9. FREMOND 56.5kg (14)
10. THE COBBLA 56.5kg (6)
11. WHO DAT SINGA 56.5kg (17)
12. BIG RED COSTA 56.5kg (2)
13. SHOWY CHLOE 54.5kg (5)
14. BLACKWOOD 54.5kg (13)
15. ARCADIA DREAM 54.5kg (15)
16. SPIRIT BIRD 54.5kg (4)
17. SECRET DOUBT 54.5kg (16)