At Ipswich in South-East Queensland, 5YO UK-bred gelding Maurus (Medicean-Shastye, by Danehill) set a new metric weight carrying record when scoring an easy 3.5-length win for trainer David Vandyke in the $175,000 Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) for 3YO+, over 4YO entire Jumbo Prince (Outback Prince-Maggie Jain, by Lujain) & 7YO Irish-bred gelding Instrumentalist (Amadeus Wolf-Kobalt Sea, by Akarad). Raced by Paul Fudge's Waratah Thoroughbreds, Maurus not only registered his maiden black-type success but also set a new weight carrying record for the Ipswich Cup of 58kg - the most since metrics were introduced in 1971. The win took his record to 6 wins and 7 placings (including the Gr3 TC Kingston Town Stakes) from 17 starts for $354,000 earnings. "It's been a dream year and Waratah has been such a good supporter of mine. It's a shame Paul Fudge couldn't make it to the races today but he will be over the moon because he's always promised to be a top horse, that's why we ran him in the Doomben Cup," trainer David Vandyke told Sky Racing. "To be so dominant today in what was good time is outstanding." Vandyke indicated the Listed Caloundra Cup in two weeks time was the logical next target for Maurus. "It would be a shame to see him go the paddock after that because he was so dominant," he said.
Champion Australian trainer Chris Waller might be a force at the Auckland Cup meeting in March, reports NZ Racing Desk. The former Foxton horseman has nominated seven horses for the Gr1 Auckland Cup and has five entries for the Gr1 New Zealand Derby. Nominations for the cup and the derby closed this week and there has been notable interest from Australian stables, with 15 entries for the 3200 metre test and 10 for the classic. Waller has become the dominant trainer in Australia and his team have already topped 100 wins this season and earned more than $11 million in stakes. The highest-rated of his cup entries is former Irish galloper Beyond Thankful, who has won four of his last six starts. The 6YO won the Listed Wyong Cup and Gr3 Newcastle Cup before being unplaced in the Gr1 Metropolitan at his most recent outing. Waller has also nominated Instrumentalist, winner of four races at 2400m or further in the past year, including the Listed Mornington Cup in February. Quick Strike, a High Chaparral gelding and the youngest of Waller's cup entries, ran fifth behind Mongolian Khan in the 2015 Australian Derby. He has had four starts this spring and won over 1900m at Canterbury at his last start. Waller's other cup entries are Danjeu, Defrost My Heart, Four Carat and Loving Home, all of whom began their racing careers in the northern hemisphere. The stable's Derby entries include Devil Hawk, who is a Gr3 winner over 1600m, and the promising Spatsizi, a Savabeel colt who has recorded two successive wins.
Gai Waterhouse has confirmed that New Zealand-bred stayer Travolta (Handsome Ransom-Belongs in Lights, by Belong to Me) will line up in the Gr1 Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie following his second-placed effort in the Mornington Cup, reports NZ Racing Desk. Travolta was burdened with 60kg in Wednesday's 2400m event but managed to beat all but the Chris Waller-trained import Instrumentalist, who earned an automatic entry into this year's Caulfield Cup. Travolta, who has been allotted 59kg in the Auckland Cup on 5 March, won twice and finished sixth in the Gr1 New Zealand Derby as a 3YO before joining Waterhouse's Sydney stable in late 2012. He has since won four races, including the Listed ATC Cup and the Listed Australia Day Cup.
In the UK overnight, Irish-based Gr1-winning & triple Gr1-placed 8YO freshman stallion & Chatswood Stud shuttler Amadeus Wolf (Mozart-Rachelle, by Mark Of Esteem) recorded his 22nd 1st-crop winner when Irish-bred 2YO colt Instrumentalist (Amadeus Wolf-Kobalt Sea, by Akarad) scored over 8 furlongs on all-weather at Lingfield for trainer John Best.