At Morphettville racecourse in Adelaide, French 2000 Guineas & French Derby-winning shuttler Lope De Vega (Shamardal-Lady Vettori, by Vettori) added a black-type success when 5YO bay gelding Lope De Capio (Lope de Vega-Dance of the Ocean, by Danzero) made it two stakes wins in succession when landing the $100,000 Listed Durbridge Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating Casino Wizard & Lord Aspen. Lope De Capio, who was an $8,000 purchase at the 2014 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale, improved his record to 7 wins (including the Listed WH Wylie Handicap) and 6 placings (including the Listed SAJC Christmas Handicap) from 23 starts for $298,930 in earnings.
At Morphettville in Adelaide, French-bred 6YO gelding Gailo Chop (Deportivo-Grenoble, by Marignan) scored by a half-length for trainer Darren Weir in the $100,270 Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1400m), defeating 6YO gelding Lord Aspen (Good Journey) & 7YO mare Hermosa Beach (Magnus). The win was the first for Gailo Chop since his Gr1 McKinnon Stakes success in October 2015, after which he raced once in France and once in Dubai (Gr1 Sheema Classic). Then followed a long break where he underwent tendon rehabilitation before a return to the track in last month's Gr2 PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield for new trainer Darren Weir. His record now stands at 9 wins (also including the Gr3 La Coupe de Maisons-Laffitte) and 4 placings (Gr1 Prix d'Ispahan) from 18 starts for $1,563,297 earnings.
At Morphettville in South Australia, Greta West Stud's Gr1 Caulfield Guineas-winning stallion God's Own (Redoute's Choice-Angel In Disguise, by Sky Chase) added a black-type success when 7YO gelding Mio Dio (God's Own-Hageabi , by Scenic) scored a gritty 0.4-length victory for trainer Todd Pannell in the $120,000 Gr3 Spring Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, over 6YO gelding Lord Aspen and 5YO gelding Casino Wizard. This was the first stakes victory for Mio Dio and took his record to 11 wins & 12 placings from 55 starts for $378,265 earnings. Mio Dio was a bargain $5,000 yearling purchase from the 2011 August Thoroughbred Sale from the draft of Basinghall Farm. He is from a three-quarter sister to Gr1 Manikato Stakes winning filly Piavonic (dam of Gr1 Golden Slipper runner-up and sire Von Costa De Hero).
At Morphettville racecourse in Adelaide on Saturday, Vinery Stud's 6-time Gr1-winning stallion Testa Rossa (Perugino-Bo Dapper, by Sir Dapper) added a black-type success when 6YO mare Cavaloce (Testa Rossa-Refit, by Encosta de Lago) scored by 0.7 length for trainer Will Clarken in the $100,000 Listed Durbridge Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, over 5YO gelding Lord Aspen (Good Journey-Lady Aspen, by Bianconi) & 6YO gelding Casino Wizard (Any Given Saturday-Casino Nights, by Final Card). Cavaloce, who was a $56,000 purchase at the 2011 Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale, improved her record to 7 wins and 7 placings from 23 starts for $214,195 earnings.
At Morphettville in South Australia, Cornerstone Stud's Gr1 winning shuttler Good Journey (Nureyev-Chimes of Freedom, by Private Account) added a black-type success when very smart 4YO gelding Lord Aspen (Good Journey-Lady Aspen, by Bianconi) scored by 0.8-length for trainer Mick Huxtable in the $100,000 Listed City Of Marion Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, over 5YO gelding Baligari (Purrealist-Littlemiss Sandown, by Encosta de Lago) & 7YO gelding Karacatis (Hussonet-One in a Million, by Redoute's Choice). Lord Aspen, who was purchased by his trainer Mick Huxtable for $40,000 at the 2013 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale from the draft of Cornerstone Stud, boosted his impressive strike rate to 6 wins (including the Listed Hilton Hotels & Resorts Stakes) and 1 placing from 9 starts for $285,800 earnings.
At Flemington in Melbourne, multiple Gr1-winning shuttler & former star Australian sprinter Choisir (Danehill Dancer-Great Selection, by Lunchtime) added a black-type success when 4YO entire colt Worthy Cause (Choisir-Tahnee Tango, by Grand Lodge) scored by a short-head for trainer John Zielke in the $120,000 Listed Paris Lane Stakes (1400m) for 4YO+, over fellow 4YO entire Turn Me Loose (Iffraaj-Indomitable, by Danehill) & favoured 4YO gelding Lord Aspen (Good Journey-Lady Aspen, by Bianconi). A $26,000 purchase by Kendrick Racing Stables at the 2013 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale from the draft of Canning Downs Stud, Worthy Cause took his record to 5 wins (also including the Gr3 Gunsynd Classic) and 5 placings (including the Gr3 Sunshine Coast Guineas & Gr3 Vo Rogue Plate) from 15 starts for $364,600 earnings.
Trainer Mick Huxtable is confident that unbeaten South Australian 3YO Lord Aspen (Good Journey-Lady Aspen, by Bianconi) has improved ahead of tomorrow's Gr2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) at Sandown, reports racing.com. The son of Good Journey took his record to four wins from four starts when registering his first stakes success in the Listed Hilton Hotels & Resorts Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. "I think (the win) has brought him on, he worked well this morning (Thursday) and I'm so happy with him" Huxtable told RSN. "He's drawn ideally (barrier 6) to have the run of the race. He's a better chaser. When he was chasing he was good and when he got there he switches off. When the other horse came at him he went again." He added, "He's a big boy at heart, he doesn't know a lot about it yet but he's improved every time he's stepped out." Lord Aspen is currently on the third line of betting for the Guineas at $4.60, behind Paul Messara's exciting colt Rekindled Power at $3.80 and favourite Stratum Star at $2.70.
Trainer Paul Messara says he is delighted with the condition of highly promising colt Rekindled Power (Redoute's Choice-Rekindled Applause, by Royal Applause) ahead of tomorrow's Gr2 Sandown Guineas (1600m), but admits to being slightly concerned by the 3YOs wide starting gate, reports horseracing.com.au. Rekindled Power's usual racing pattern is to get back and run home hard, but Messara believes that barrier 12 may make jockey Dwayne Dunn's task of settling the son of Redoute's Choice in a handier position more difficult. "I would have preferred to drawn in and I think that it is going to map awkwardly for us," Messara said. "I think that we will be midfield or a little bit further back with only three or four behind us and it does make it difficult because I think the two favourites in the race Lord Aspen and Stratum Star probably get a lovely run from their barriers and there doesn't look to be a huge amount of speed on paper." Rekindled Power, who is a three-quarter brother to dual Gr2 winner Rekindled Interest, had a confidence boosting win at Bendigo on 29 October when powering clear over the concluding stages to score by 3.5-lengths in a 1400m maiden. "He has come through it well," Messara said. "It was a nice maiden victory and he ran a very good time on the day and for a maiden I think that it rated pretty well. The horse just lacks a bit of race craft and that is what we were there to do, try to educate him a bit more and do it in a race where there is no pressure." He added, "He came out of the Brian Crowley in Sydney and there has been a bit of form out of that race and I think he has some natural improvement to take into this."
Undefeated Murray Bridge-trained 3YO Lord Aspen heads the nominations for the Gr2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) on Saturday. Last Saturday's Listed Hilton Hotels & Resorts Stakes winner is one of 14 entries for the Guineas alongside the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained duo of Petrology and Zululand, Paul Messara's exciting colt Rekindled Power, Godolphin's Careless, and Peter Moody's Ducal Castle. Nominations for the $300,000 mile contest have been extended until 10am today.
At Flemington in Melbourne, Cornerstone Stud's Gr1 winning shuttler Good Journey (Nureyev-Chimes of Freedom, by Private Account) added a black-type success when promising 3YO gelding Lord Aspen (Good Journey-Lady Aspen, by Bianconi) scored by a long head for trainer Mick Huxtable in the $150,000 Listed Hilton Hotels & Resorts Stakes (1400m) for 3YOs, over fellow 3YO geldings Orient Line (Show a Heart-Zilzie, by Generous) & Ducal Castle (Domesday-Princesa, by Danehill). Lord Aspen, who was purchased by his trainer Mick Huxtable for $40,000 at the 2013 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale from the draft of Cornerstone Stud, extended his unbeaten record to 4 wins from 4 starts for $174,500 earnings.
With another exciting Melbourne Cup carnival at a close the analysis of the winners begins. Saturday's Emirates Stakes Day has already been coined "Stokes Day" with a treble from leading South Australian trainer Phillip Stokes. Arguably the most promising cameo on Saturday came from another South Australian, Mick Huxtable, who produced his unbeaten Good Journey gelding Lord Aspen on the big stage and he did not disappoint registering his maiden stakes victory at just his fourth career start. Lord Aspen notched up Good Journey's second win for the carnival after Happy Trails landed the Gr1 MacKinnon Stakes on Derby Day. Good Journey's winning Cup Week double was matched by Fastnet Rock and the late Northern Meteor who also produced two individual winners for the Carnival. The only stallion to go one better was Good Journey's barn mate at Cornerstone Stud; the evergreen Hussonet. Hussonet produced an impressive stakes double on Melbourne Cup day with wins by promising gallopers Hijack Hussy and Mahara. That was followed up by You Rock winning for Troy and Leon Corstens on Oaks Day. To conclude the Melbourne cup carnival as base to sires of six individual winners over the week is a fantastic achievement for Cornerstone Stud and highlights the continued success of Good Journey and Hussonet as proven sources of Gr1 winners and stakes winners.