At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Arrowfield Stud's incumbent Champion Australian Sire Snitzel (Redoute's Choice-Snippets' Lass, by Snippets) added a black-type success when 3YO Australian-bred filly I Am Excited (Snitzel-Lady Beckworth, by General Nediym) unleashed a brilliant sprint midway down the straight to post a dominant win in the $125,000 Listed Fireball Stakes (1100m) for 3YOs, defeating Acqume & Houtzen. This was the first stakes win for the talented I Am Excited who improved her record to 3 wins and 3 placings (including the Gr2 ATC Furious Stakes & Gr3 VRC Kennedy Plate) from 9 starts for $257,125 in earnings. I Am Excited is a half-sister to multiple stakes winning mare Flippant (Hinchinbrook) out of the well related Lady Beckworth (General Nediym-Nanshan). Lady Beckworth, in turn, is a half-sister to Regard (Zabeel-Nanshan), the dam of superstar mare Atlantic Jewel (Fastnet Rock) and Gr1 Thousand Guineas winner Commanding Jewel (Commands).
At Flemington in Melbourne, Darley's former Champion Australian Sire Exceed And Excel (Danehill-Patrona, by Lomond) added a Group race success when 3YO bay filly Jorda (Exceed And Excel-Montmelo, by Viscount) claimed the second stakes win of her career in the $200,000 Gr3 Kennedy Plate (1100m) for 3YO fillies, defeating I Am Excited & Smart Coupe. A homebred for Darley and Godolphin, Jorda improved her record to 2 wins (including the Listed Gimcrack Stakes) and 2 placings (including the Gr3 ATC San Domenico Stakes) from 6 starts for $262,400 in earnings.
Aquis Farm has announced the appointment of long-term Darley employee Jimmy Unwala to the position of Head of Nominations – NSW, based at Aquis Emirates Park in the Hunter Valley. Mr Unwala holds a B.Sc. Animal Science (Equine Module) from The University of Kentucky and is a graduate of the Darley Flying Start course (2008-2010). He has been working with Darley since completion of the course, most recently as a Nominations Sales Consultant. "The vision and passion of the Fung family to make Aquis a leading player in the industry and to see firsthand the giant strides they have taken in such a short time has truly inspired me, I am excited to be joining such a progressive organisation," a delighted Mr Unwala said. Aquis Farm Deputy CEO Shane McGrath said: "We were very happy to secure Jimmy's services at Aquis Emirates Park. We are gearing up for a very busy season both in Queensland and Hunter Valley and Jimmy will play an important role in that."
Three Bridges Thoroughbreds has announced the appointment of Jackie Noonan as Business Manager. "Jackie is a talented, enthusiastic and dynamic individual and has a vast knowledge of the industry and its many participants. I believe she will be a huge asset to the Three Bridges team," said proprietor Peter Liston. "Jackie's appointment is part of our commitment to quality and the quest to keep improving our organisation and I look forward to the business continuing to strengthen and thrive with Jackie on board." Noonan has an extensive business and marketing background in racing, sport and local government and leaves her executive post with Racing Victoria to join Three Bridges. "I am excited to join the Three Bridges team and become part of a business which is already respected as a leader in the thoroughbred world," Noonan said. "The Three Bridges brand has been dynamic in promoting the Victorian racing and breeding industry."
At Scone in the NSW Hunter Valley, Arrowfield Stud's Gr1-winning high profile stallion Snitzel (Redoute's Choice-Snippets' Lass, by Snippets) added a black-type success when 2YO chestnut filly Debonairly (Snitzel-Crystal Choir, by Singspiel) took advantage of an inside run at the top of the straight to sprint clear for her maiden stakes win in the $150,000 Listed Woodlands Stakes (1100m) for 2YO fillies, defeating Lipizzan & I Am Excited. A $320,000 purchase by Marette Farrell & Gai Waterhouse Racing at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Milburn Creek, Debonairly improved her record to 3 wins and 1 placing from 5 starts for $158,950 earnings.
Exciting stayer Esteban will continue on a path towards the Mornington Cup on 25 March when he steps up to 1400m in tomorrow's $100,000 Schweppes Handicap at Randwick. Trained by Kiwi ex-pat John Sargent, Esteban (Encosta de Lago-Nadege, by Giant's Causeway) looked a high-class stayer in the making when stringing together four consecutive victories in the winter which yielded a combined winning margin of 25.9 lengths. The 4YO, whose long term targets are the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, will be having his second run this campaign after resuming over 1200m at Rosehill on Christmas eve. "I'm expecting a nice run without thinking he's a winning chance. He should be hitting the line strongly," Sargent told AAP. Despite being labelled a stayer, Sargent thinks Esteban possesses the requisite change of gears required to be effective at weight-for-age level. "He's not a grinding stayer. I've had a lot of those but he's more a horse that you'd think would be a weight-for-age horse in time," Sargent said. "Weight-for-age horses have got to sprint off a fast pace. He's a horse that can do that." He added: "I am excited about him because he can do those high cruising speeds up on the pace and then kick again." Raced by a syndicate headed by Segenhoe Stud, the New Zealand-bred Esteban is out of the stakes-winning Giant's Causeway mare Nadege, a daughter of 1998 Champion New Zealand mare and Melbourne Cup runner-up Champagne (Zabeel).
Holler, Australia's only representative at Royal Ascot this week, has had his final hit-out ahead of the Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) on Saturday. The 3YO went six furlongs on the straight Limekilns grass gallop at Newmarket on Tuesday under race jockey James McDonald. "Holler went well this morning over six furlongs and he is looking on track for Royal Ascot on Saturday," trainer John O'Shea told the Godolphin website. "He has had a nice preparation since arriving in Newmarket and appears to have met the challenges of the undulating ground and the straight run having worked three times over the last couple of weeks." O'Shea added :"We are happy enough at this stage with his preparation and we are looking forward to Saturday's race." McDonald commented after the trackwork: "Holler felt good this morning and put in a nice piece of work. He seems to have adapted well to the conditions and I am excited for Saturday's race." Holler (Commands-Shouts, by Strategic) has built up an impressive record winning 4 of his 11 starts, highlighted by his Gr1 victory in the Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on 5 March. At his most recent outing, he was runner-up to Flamberge in the Gr1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on 24 March.
Aushorse Marketing is pleased to announce that Oliver Tait has joined its team as a consultant, and will act as its new representative for Europe and North America. Tait has an unparalleled knowledge of the global bloodstock industry and Australia’s place within it, having previously been responsible for the management of Darley’s operations worldwide. After starting in sales and marketing for Darley in Europe, Tait established the Darley brand in Australia in 2001, became Chief Operating Officer of Darley America in 2008 and then Group Chief Operating Officer in 2010. He also served as a director of Darley Japan. “I’m thrilled that Olly has agreed to join our team” said Aushorse Marketing Chief Executive Tom Reilly. “He brings and immense knowledge and deep understanding of international breeding and racing and I have no doubt he’ll be an excellent point of contact for those in Europe and North America wanting to learn more about Australia." Tait said he was honoured to work on behalf of the Australian industry. “The Australian thoroughbred industry has so much to offer and leads the world on many fronts. I am excited to be able to play a part in its promotion and I am looking forward to working with Aushorse, a respected and forward thinking industry organisation," he said.
Following on from a successful stallion parade conducted last Saturday 18th April, Grenville Stud with the support of TasRacing and Tasmanian Racing Club have announced the sponsorship of the newly created 'Mawingo' Autumn Fillies and Mares Series. The race series will be conducted over two races restricted to fillies and mares held at the Elwick Racecourse on Sunday 26th April and Sunday 10th May. The two races will be run over 1100m and 1200m respectively. Points will be awarded for first, second and third in these events and the horse with the most points will successfully be awarded a free covering to Mawingo valued at $4,400. The German bred son of Tertullian is an internationally performed racehorse, who raced successfully in Germany, Australia and Singapore. During his campaign in Australia under the watchful eye of Anthony Freedman, Mawingo was successful in the Gr1 Doomben Cup and placed in the Gr1 CF Orr Stakes behind Black Caviar's half-brother All Too Hard. Mawingo will stand the 2015 Breeding Season at Grenville Stud for a fee of $4,400 (inc GST), alongside fellow Grenville stallion Cardinal Virtue. Stud master and principal of Grenville Stud Graeme McCulloch commented: "I am excited to have a horse of this calibre stand at stud in Tasmania and look forward to him being well supported by Tasmanian Breeders." He added: "It pleases me to be able to support the Fillies and Mares series with a service fee to Mawingo and I would like to thank Tasracing and the Tasmanian Racing Club for facilitating the series."
In South Africa, big race jockeys Anthony Delpech and Bernard Fayd'Herbe have expressed their excitement ahead of tomorrow's Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas at Kenilworth where the rising star of South Africa's fillies ranks, Majmu, will clash with top Western Cape filly Cold As Ice, reports goldcircle.co.za. The clash matches any duel the race has seen in its long history and is as eagerly anticipated as the one between the Mike De Kock-trained Igugu and the Justin Snaith-trained Ebony Flyer in 2010. The vanquished Igugu went on to become a champion by winning the Triple Tiara and then completing the Durban July-J&B Met double, all under the skilled hands of Delpech. Delpech was reluctant to compare Majmu to Igugu, but said the former certainly possessed similar potential. "Igugu won so many Gr1s and Majmu is just starting out, so it would not be fair to compare them yet. But she is obviously very good and I'm really excited as it is only now that we are taking on the better horses and we will see how good she is." The Australian-bred grey daughter of Redoute's Choice possesses a devastating finishing sprint, but in her two runs this season has appeared to take a while to get going. "She does unwind, although it depends how the race is run. Last time I dropped her out because of her wide draw, but she is a simple straight forward filly to ride," said Delpech. While Majmu will no doubt go to post as favourite, the Joey Ramsden-trained Cold As Ice (Western Winter) is expected to give a good account of herself after winning her last three starts in effortless fashion. "Cold as Ice is fit and doing really well, we are very happy, and her last gallop went really well," said Fayd'Herbe. "We have obviously heard a lot about Majmu and seen her, so know how good she is, but I am excited about Saturday's race."
Jamie Alchin has been announced as this year's winner of Sky Racing's 'Sky Star Search' competition, which gives young budding television presenters and producers a chance to realise their dream of working in the racing industry. "Sky is committed to fostering emerging media talent across radio and television and we're thrilled to offer Jamie this opportunity," said Sky Racing Chief Operating Officer Brendan Parnell. The 25YO Alchin has racing in his blood, growing up around horses on his family's Caramar Park Stud in Grose Wold, NSW, where he acquired a valuable insight into many aspects of the industry. Jamie is well credentialed to work in racing media, combining his knowledge and love of thoroughbreds with a passion for acting. He has spent time in Sydney and Los Angeles training as an actor and his experience includes voice over work in television series' Underbelly and Rescue Special Ops, as well as acting in commercials and various short feature films. Jamie will now undertake further training at Sky's Frenchs Forest studios which will provide the ideal platform to launch his career into the world of racing media. "It is just amazing for this dream to come true and I am excited about the media training at Sky and where it will take me," he said.
Young Professionals in Racing has appointed industry journalist Brent Zerafa as a director to its Board. Currently working as a journalist and presenter with TVN, YPR chair Kathryn Thomson acknowledged Zerafa was a logical appointment for the YPR board. She added, "We are thrilled to have Brent join our organisation as he brings a wealth of knowledge, professionalism and industry expertise to the already-strong board .. I am confident his strategic thinking, industry connections and overall enthusiasm for the sport will make Brent an excellent addition to our board." An upbeat Zerafa commented, "I'm very much looking forward to working with the dynamic team heading up Young Professionals in Racing ... It has been well documented that racing's connection with the younger generation is currently experiencing a decline and YPR is a terrific initiative aimed at rectifying this trend .. Working in the media has provided me with brilliant insights to all aspects of racing and I am excited to now formally showcase the industry via YPR to those who are keen to get involved."
In Japan, Grange Thoroughbreds' Gary Mudgway has purchased a colt by Squirtle Squirt (Marquetry-Lost The Code, by Lost Code) at the HBA Summer Sale in Hokkaido. Speaking after the purchase Mudgway enthused: "I am excited to have gained an access to the market that can produce such quality international horses. I'm looking forward to racing this one in Singapore and [then] maybe onto Australia. I have been impressed with the quality of the yearlings overall and surprised that prices are accessible. I am hoping to be able to secure a few more yearlings from this sale and I am focusing on staying types."
South America’s most famous jockey, Brazilian riding legend Jorge Ricardo (the 1st jockey in the world to reach 10,000 career wins in January 2008) “is expected to return to action at Hipodromo Palermo in Buenos Aires in Argentina on Monday after successfully completing his chemotherapy treatment for cancer,” reported racingpost.com. Ricardo, 47, has been away from competition since July, but received clearance from his doctors on November 13 & has been riding 2-horses-per-day in trackwork since November 19”. Ricardo is scheduled to ride Brazilian star Flymetothemoon in Argentina’s Gr1 Gran Premio Internacional Carlos Pellegrini (South America’s most prestigious race) on December 19 & declared: “Every day I dream of a triumphant return in the Pellegrini. I am excited about resuming my riding career & I intend to try to regain the world record that already belonged to me.” Ricardo now ranks 2nd in career victories to his great North American rival Russell Baze; before his temporary retirement in July, Ricardo had ridden 10,570 winners. Baze, 50, rode his 10,749th career winner after adding a double last Saturday at Golden Gate Fields in California.
AJC chairman Ron Finemore said his club was well advanced in addressing its own deficiencies "by cutting costs & becoming more efficient" & summed up: "This is a fantastic opportunity. I am excited & proud that our board & executive have unanimously supported this direction & it is a great outcome for not only our members, but everyone in the industry & for the future of racing. A merger is just 1 of the many issues that should be considered & it should be looked at as 1 part of a whole solution to the issues facing racing & a long-term strategy for the future."
In the US, Denali Stud president Craig Bandoroff has announced the launch of a bloodstock division to be headed by Brian Collins, reported bloodstock.com. Bandernoff commented: "I am excited to further grow Denali Stud with the addition of a bloodstock division.... I feel that Brian's experience in and passion for the industry will make him an invaluable asset to Denali Stud and our clients." Collins, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, is the former pedigree reasearch director at Taylor Made Sales Agency.
Victorian apprentice Campbell McCallum "has moved to Perth on a 3-months loan to Ascot trainer Dan Morton," reported perthracing.com.au. Campbell (apprenticed to Lee Hope in Victoria) commented: "I am excited about riding in Perth. I needed a change of environment & change of scenery. I started my time in Cairns, but then transferred to Melbourne when Equine Influenza hit. I found it hard to get rides in Melbourne & thought I'd try my luck in Western Australia."
Meanwhile Angelique Hyde at NZ's Greenacres Stud in Amberley "has secured the new ownership of Painted Black (Sunday Silence-Oak Tree, by Real Shadai) from Shadai Stud in Japan," reported NZ Thoroughbred Marketing. Painted Black stood at Ashwell Farm from 2002-2005, before transferring last season to Slade Farm & will now stand at Greenacres for the 2007 season. Hyde enthused: "I am excited about this stallion's prospects. Painted Black is not only by the world's most prolific stakes-earning sire in Sunday Silence & from a strong genetic dam-side, but from limited mare & number opportunities, the results from his progeny on the racetrack have so far been outstanding. From Painted Black's 1st small crop (now 3YOs) he has had 4 NZ starters for 4 winners, including stakes-winner Bianca" (who romped home by 9.75-lengths in NZ's Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes over 1400m at Ellerslie as a 2YO, before being sold to clients of Sydney Gai Waterhouse & subsequently adding Australian stakes-placings at both Flemington & Randwick). We see Painted Black as a substantial up-grader from very limited opportunity & this has been recognised in nearly a dozen mares booked to him already by keen North Island breeders for the coming season." As a 3YO in Japan, Painted Black won a Gr2 event (over 2400m) & Gr3 event (over 3600m, defeating subsequent Gr1 Japan Cup winner & US$16 million-earner TM Opera O). He will stand at Greenacres for NZ$2,500+GST.
Kentucky businessman & thoroughbred owner Ron Geary purchased Ellis Park from Churchill Downs for an undisclosed price, reported thoroughbredtimes.com. Churchill purchased Ellis in 1998 for US$22 million but announced in 2003 "it was losing money on Ellis & planned to sell the track". Geary commented: "I am excited to take the reins at Ellis Park at a pivotal time in the track's 85-year history. The track has faced its share of challenges to be sure, including last year's tornado that almost leveled the facility. But today, a rebuilt & rejuvenated Ellis Park is focused on the future & ready to welcome horsemen & race fans back for another season of live racing."
With star Australian 3YO filly Alinghi (Encosta de Lago-Ocean Fast, by Monde Bleu) due to make her US debut over 5.5 furlongs at Saratoga on August 10, thoroughbredtimes.com declared: "Bobby Frankel has another champion in his barn & he cannot wait to finally see her race." Arrowfield Stud's 4-time Gr1 winner Alinghi (who also boasts an additional 4 Gr1-placings) won 10 of her 15 starts in Australia & new US trainer Frankel enthused: "She can do anything. I am excited to run her & see how she does. There will probably be some fast horses in there & she comes from behind."