Top French trainer Criquette Head-Maarek, best known as the trainer of champion mare and dual Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Treve, has announced she is retiring from the sport. Head-Maarek, whose career has spanned 40 years, will saddle up her final runners on 1 February. However, she will not be lost to the sport and plans to spend more time at her family's stud, Haras du Quesnay in Deauville. "It was a tough decision to take, because it is always tough when you decide to change. It is a big change for me. I have been training since 1977, so 41 years," she told Sky Sports. "I've been very lucky to train for some wonderful owners, like the Wertheimer brothers, Juddmonte Farms and Prince Khalid Abdullah, Maktoum Al Maktoum and obviously my dad [Alec Head]," she told Racing Post. "For 40 years I've been lucky to have fantastic horses throughout, and I've enjoyed every minute of it. It was a hard decision to make, but I'm nearly 70 and it's time to stop."
With NZB's Karaka set to literally light up on Sunday 28 January with the commencement of Book 1's new night session at the 2018 National Yearling Sales Series, buyers will have the opportunity to invest in a catalogue laden with matriarchal strength. A lofty 19% of Gr1 winners in Australia over the past 5 seasons are NZ-bred. The dazzling role call includes dual Oaks and Underwood Stakes winner Bonneval, Champion 2YO Melody Belle, together with fellow Gr1 winning fillies Charmont, Chenille, I Am A Star and Montoya's Secret. 2018 has already commenced spectacularly with Gr1 Guineas winners Aloisia and Hasahalo as well as top drawer sprinter Volpe Veloce taking the Railway. Amidst a buoyant contemporary bloodstock market, prices are again tipped to soar and rival the $800,000 outlaid by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum in 2017 for the High Chaparral filly out of Diamond Like.
Trainer Tony McEvoy will unveil valuable 2YO Al Naifa at Moonee Valley tonight. Purchased by Tim Stakemire on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum for $1.8 million at this year's Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Newhaven Park, Al Naifa is by Redoute's Choice out of Court (Anabaa) and is a half-sister to classy sprinter and Gr1 All Aged Stakes winner English. It is also the family of dual Group 1 winner and successful sire Grand Lodge. Foreman Michael Shepherdson said the stable was expecting a forward showing from Al Naifa when she debuts in the CRT/Whites Rural Plate over 1000m. "She's a high-priced yearling that's been well-educated and we've been really excited to have her in the stable," Shepherdson told racing.com. "She's had a jump-out at Flemington and two trials at Cranbourne. In the first one she showed quite a lot of speed and natural talent so in the second trial we wanted to bring her in behind to teach her to switch off and she did that before circling them to win the trial." He added: "She's banging the door down to go to the races and we've drawn a nice barrier so she should get the run of the race."
At Doomben in Brisbane, Arrowfield Stud's multiple stakes-winning stallion Not A Single Doubt (Redoute's Choice-Single's Bar, by Rory's Jester) added a black-type success when 3YO Australian-bred filly Pretty Fast (Not A Single Doubt-Miss Sharapova, by Ustinov) lived up to her name with a brilliant display of sustained speed to lead throughout in the first leg of the Summer Crown series for 3YOs, the $100,000 Listed Bobby Clarke Mode Plate (1200m) for 3YO fillies, defeating Winter Bride & Dream Kisses. Purchased by Tim Stakemire on behalf of owner Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum for $650,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Arrowfield Stud, Pretty Fast improved her record to 4 wins and 1 placing from 7 starts for $191,335 in earnings. Pretty Fast is out of the talented mare Miss Sharapova (3rd in the Gr3 Lowland Stakes & 4th in the Gr1 New Zealand Oaks) and is a direct descendent of the good producer Rory's Rocket, dam of Gr1 Golden Slipper winner and successful sire Rory's Jester. "She's a valuable broodmare now she's won Black-Type and she's a Magic Millions filly," co-trainer Paul Snowden said. "We think 1200 metres is probably her best distance and there's a similar race for her in two weeks." He added: "The Magic Millions Guineas is over 1400 metres so we'll just wait and see." Pretty Fast is the 49th stakes winner for her prolific sire Not A Single Doubt.
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, former Westbury Stud triple Gr1-winning shuttler Makfi (Dubawi-Dhelaal, by Green Desert) added a Group race success when 2YO bay colt Run Naan (Makfi-Raneen, by Perfectly Ready) maintained his perfect record when powering to an impressive win in the $150,000 Gr3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) for 2YOs, defeating Encryption & Belzella. A homebred for Sheikh Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Run Naan extended his unbeaten record to 2 wins from 2 starts for $103,600 in earnings. Run Naan is the first foal to race of the Perfectly Ready mare Raneen, a direct descendant of champion Australian mare Emancipation (4th dam). Emancipation, a six-time Gr1 winner and Australian Horse of the Year, has been just as influential off the track with her daughters and granddaughters producing numerous stakes performers including Gr1 winners Railings, Virage de Fortune and Rumya. Trainer Tony McEvoy said Run Naan had a bright future. "He will grow up," McEvoy told racing.com. "I want him to settle down because I need to keep him as an entire." He added: "He's a pretty good colt this fellow and I'll pop him aside now and we'll come back in the autumn and we'll have a look at him then."
At Chantilly in France, 3YO Irish-bred sprinter Battaash (Dark Angel-Anna Law, by Lawman) claimed his maiden top-flight success when streeting his rivals by 4 lengths in the Gr1 Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp (5 furlongs) for 2YO+, defeating Marsha & Profitable. Owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum's Shadwell Stud, Battaash improved his record to 5 wins (including the Gr2 King George Stakes) and 3 placings from 10 starts for £446,344 in earnings. Trainer Charlie Hills was delighted with the result. "It's very important to win that Group One with him and he did it in great style," Hills said. "I'm looking forward to having him around next year. He's finished for this season, but everything is open next year, including the Breeders' Cup."
The first foal by Frankel to be born in New Zealand is set to make his debut in the Schweppes 3YO Handicap (1400m) at Warwick Farm today. By the world's highest-ever rated racehorse, Frankel, Tangmere is out of the Zabeel mare Our Echezeaux and was purchased for $1.3 million by a high profile syndicate that includes Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, BBA Ireland, Tom Magnier and the Niarchos Family at last year’s NZ Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Pencarrow Stud. Pencarrow Stud principal Sir Peter Vela has retained an interest in the blue blooded colt. The beautifully bred Our Echezeaux is a daughter of Vice Regal mare Richebourg, making her a half-sister to Romanee Conti, the dam of Melbourne and Caulfield Cup heroine Ethereal and a full-sister to Australasian Oaks winner Grand Echezeaux, the dam of 5-time Gr1-winning sire Darci Brahma and Gr3 winner Burgundy. Our Echezeaux who has already produced Group winners Dolmabache and Pure Elegance. Trained by Chris Waller, Tangmere is currently a $13 chance with TAB to make a winning debut.
At Sandown in the UK, blue-blood juvenile Emaraaty (Dubawi-Zee Zee Top, by Zafonic) closed off his pipe-opener strongly over 7 furlongs in a 2YO maiden last Friday to finish fourth, beaten 3.75-lengths as joint $4 favourite from an unsuitable wide barrier. Owned by Sheik Hamdam Al Maktoum, Emaraaty was a 2.6 million guineas yearling at the 2016 Tattersalls October Book-1 Sale, where he was the joint top lot. Prepared by John Gosden, the colt holds an entry for October's Gr1 Dewhurst Stakes, however may now be put away before a potentially exciting 3YO season next year where much is expected of him. To say Emeraaty's pedigree is soaked in Gr1 form is an understatement. Within his first two dams and their offspring alone are Gr1 winners Zee Zee Top, Izzi Top, Colourspin, Kayf Tara and Necklace.
Well-bred filly Roomooz confirmed connections' plans to target the Gr1 Thousand Guineas in the spring after resuming with a strong win at Moonee Valley on Saturday. The Tony McEvoy-trained 3YO proved too good for Golden Slipper-placed filly and race favourite Tulip when holding on for a tough head win in the Johnnie Walker Plate over 1200m. "I've had a high regard of her for a long time. In a year's time, she'll be better again," McEvoy told racing.com post-race. McEvoy is confident Roomooz will have no trouble stretching her brilliance out to 1600 metres in the $500,000 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield on 14 October. "Her pedigree says a mile. She's by Fastnet Rock and her mother, Pane In The Glass, was a very good mare and was a Group winner at a mile - it won't be an issue," he said. A $480,000 Easter yearling purchase by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Roomooz is by Fastnet Rock out of Gr3 Silver Shadow Stakes winner and multiple Gr1 placed filly Pane In The Glass (Testa Rossa).
Four Group 1-winning Arrowfield graduates were the only Australian-bred finalists for South Africa's 2016/17 Equus Awards, and two of them won their respective categories. Sheikh Hamdan's brilliant colt Mustaaqeem was named Champion 2YO Colt, while Whisky Baron won the Champion Middle Distance title at the awards ceremony in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening. Like his sire Redoute's Choice, Mustaaqeem made only two juvenile appearances that culminated in an outstanding 4-length victory in the Gr1 SA Nursery (1160m) at Turffontein in May. A $1.75 million purchase by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Shadwell Stud Australasia at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Mustaaqeem is the fourth foal to race from the three-time Gr1 winning South African mare National Colour (National Assembly) and is a full brother to stable-mate Rafeef, who won the Gr1 Computaform Sprint on the same program. An $800,000 Easter purchase, Rafeef, now standing at Highlands Stud in South Africa, was a finalist for the Champion Sprinter award won by Carry On Alice. Whisky Baron (Manhattan Rain-Tazkara by Sinndar), a product of the Aga Khan Studs' partnership with Arrowfield, was bought for just $50,000 at the 2014 Easter Sale. Trained by Brett Crawford, Whisky Baron progressed dramatically from three to four winning all five of his starts last season ending with a stunning win in the R5 million Gr1 Sun Met (2000m) at Kenilworth. The fourth Arrowfield Equus Award finalist was 3YO colt Heavenly Blue (Snitzel-Simply Carina by El Prado), who finished third in the Gr1 South African Derby.
The first foal of dual Gr1-winning stallion Pride Of Dubai (Street Cry-Al Anood, by Danehill) has been born at Coolmore Stud in the NSW Hunter Valley, reports breednet. The filly is the second foal out of the unraced Isstoora who, like Pride Of Dubai himself, was bred by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum. By High Chaparral out of Murjana (Giant's Causeway), Isstoora is a direct descendant of celebrated blue hen Best In Show, ancestress of multiple champion Australian sire Redoute's Choice among many others. "His Highness has been looking forward to the first Pride Of Dubai foals for quite some time," said Tim Stakemire, bloodstock manager for HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum. "This filly appears to have inherited all of the best physical characteristics of her sire which is very exciting. His Highness supported him with a large volume of quality mares in his first season and he is very much looking forward to racing his offspring in years to come." A winner of the Gr1 MRC Blue Diamond Stakes and Gr1 ATC Sires' Produce Stakes as a 2YO - the only horse ever to achieve the double - the outstanding Pride Of Dubai retired in February 2016 with a record of 2 wins and 2 placings from 5 starts for $1,336,100 in earnings. Pride Of Dubai, who himself hails from a blue blooded family that includes champion European sire Invincible Spirit and Gr1 Prix de Diane winner Rafha, will stand at Coolmore this spring at a fee of $44,000.
At Deauville in France overnight, Darley’s unbeaten European Champion juvenile & dual Gr1-winning shuttler Teofilo (Galileo-Speirbhean, by Danehill) added a Group success when 2YO filly Tantheem (Teofilo-Riqa, by Dubawi) led throughout for a convincing win in the Gr3 Prix de Cabourg (6 furlongs) for 2YOs, defeating Darkanna (Dark Angel) & Mister Picnic (Penny’s Picnic). Prepared by master French trainer Freddy Head on behalf of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum's Shadwell Stud, Tantheem improved her record to 2 wins and 1 placing from 3 starts.
At Salisbury in the UK overnight, Darley's Australian three-time Gr1-winning shuttler Helmet (Exceed and Excel-Accessories, by Singspiel) added a black-type success when 3YO Irish-bred gelding Eqtiraan (Helmet-Miranda Frost, by Cape Cross) scored by a neck for trainer Richard Hannon in the Listed Cathedral Stakes (6 furlongs), defeating Mythmaker & Pixeleen. "He's got a lot of speed and he's done it well in the end,” assistant trainer Tom Ward told Racing UK. "That gives us plenty of options and some nice Group races later in the year, hopefully." Raced by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum's Shadwell Stud, Eqtiraan improved his record to 2 wins and 4 placings (including the Gr3 Solario Stakes) from 7 starts for £55,555 in earnings.
Meanwhile, today's opening race at Canterbury in Sydney could be decided by an event held last January. That feature was the Widden Stakes at Rosehill where $6 debutant Boorooj finished 1.5-lengths behind high class 2YO Teaspoon. Boorooj is by Darley's leading stallion Exceed and Excel out of Gr1-winning Zabeel mare Unearthly. She set Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum back $750,000 at 2016's Inglis Easter Sale. This afternoon the juvenile filly takes on some pretty handy opposition in the form of Godolphin's colt Gaulois and James Cummings' Envy Of All, both of which are yet to be unplaced from their first three starts. Throw in All Too Hard's promising Team Hawkes-trained colt Newburgh plus a few interesting debutants, and it's a really intriguing contest.
Kitchwin Hills have announced that beautifully related entire Sooboog (Snitzel-Monte Rosa, by Fraar) will stand at the Scone-based stud for a fee of $13,200 for the 2017 season. A winner of the Gr3 Aurie's Star Handicap (1200m) last year, Sooboog is a full brother to top-class sprinting mare and Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes winner Snitzerland and was purchased for $1.5 million by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum at the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Arrowfield Stud. The Darren Weir-trained 4YO is among the nominations for Saturday's $700,000 Gr1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) in Brisbane.
Following last week's announcement that triple Gr1-winning Kiwi galloper Turn Me Loose will join Windsor Park Stud's roster in 2017, the stud has confirmed their Group One performed Australian entires Vanbrugh and Rageese will also retire to stud this spring. Both the co-owned Windsor Park 4YO's have forthcoming Group One assignments and stud owner Rodney Schick is very enthusiastic about their potential. "The important thing with Vanbrugh, Rageese and Turn Me Loose is they all possessed huge talent from day one and they've all competed successfully at the highest level in Australia," he said. "They are outstanding types with pedigrees to match and now, with the recent announcements around boosted prize money, Windsor Park are excited to offer breeders three new high-class stallion prospects." Vanbrugh (Encosta de lago), who is scheduled to run in the Gr1 Doomben Cup (2000m) later this month, is a winner of the Gr1 ATC Spring Champion Stakes, while Rageese, who is owned in partnership with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, finished runner-up in the Gr1 ATC Sires' Produce Stakes in Sydney as a 2YO. Rageese (Street Cry), a direct descendant of champion Australian mare Emancipation, is scheduled to run in the Gr1 Goodwood Handicap in Adelaide followed by the Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap in Brisbane.
At Turffontein in South Africa, multiple Champion Australian Sire Redoute's Choice (Danehill-Shantha's Choice, by Canny Lad) celebrated an elite race success when 2YO colt Mustaaqeem (Redoute's Choice-National Colour, by National Assembly) confirmed his status as a rising star of South African racing when sprinting clear for a brilliant 4-length win in the R1 million Gr1 SA Nursery (1160m) for 2YOs, defeating stable-mate Naafer & Wonderwall. Mustaaqeem, who is now unbeaten in his only two starts, was bred in Australia by Arrowfield Stud who sold him for $1.75 million to Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Shadwell Stud Australasia at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale. Mustaaqeem is the fourth foal to race from the three-time Gr1 winning South African mare National Colour (National Assembly) and is a full brother to and stable-mate to Rafeef who won the Gr1 Computaform Sprint on the same program. Jockey Callan Murray paid Mustaaqeem a huge compliment saying: "He's one of the better horses I've sat on…at the 400m mark it was no race. He has a lovely nature too…It's a privilege to be able to ride horses like these." Trainer Mike de Kock said on his website: "Breeding the best to the best doesn't always work out but in this case it has. National Colour was an unbelievably good mare. She finished a close second in the Nunthorpe Stakes, a proper English Gr1 sprint, a race she would have won if they didn't change the course." He added: "This would have made Sheikh Hamdan proud and we are happy with him, he deserves the success for his big and continued support of South African racing. Mustaaqeem is a professional, he knew what to do today."
Following a stellar Day-3 of the 2017 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, where Arrowfield Stud sold five Lots for $1 million or more, including the overall sale-topping Lot 333 (a Redoute’s Choice x Secluded brother to Blue Diamond runner-up Pariah), purchased by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s racing manager Tim Stakemire for $2.5 million, Arrowfield’s John Messara praised the Sydney sales company. “Inglis put together a very strong buying bench so all credit must go to them in all honesty,” Messara acknowledged, after the Hunter Valley stud farm sold seven Lots in total for $1 million or more from their 34 sales over the three days, ending with a 92% clearance rate. “We brought a very strong product to market but Inglis brought the market together from all around the world and when you get a strong product and a strong market, you get maximum results.” On the $2.5 million sale-topper, Messara wasn’t surprised the colt attracted significant attention from the buying bench. “I was expecting a big price but I didn’t know what that price would be,” he said. “It’s fitting that Redoute’s should top the sale too because he’s been leading sire here for so long now.”
It took a syndicate of international powerbrokers to outbid a Sheikh for top honours on a strong second day of the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale at Newmarket on Wednesday. The object of their desire was the stunning Medaglia d'Oro x Hoss Amor colt (Lot 178) from Yarraman Park which was eventually purchased by Coolmore, Stonestreet Stables, Aquis/Bluesky and Unifaith for $2.4 million from under bidder Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum. The price tag proved a further indicator of the strength and depth of the buyer market present at the sale, which has led to impressive overall figures. At the conclusion of day two, the sale's average price was $354,044, median $270,000, and gross $79,660,000. The clearance rate was a healthy 81%. The leading vendor by aggregate is Arrowfield Stud ($10,355,000) and by average (three or more sold) is Yarraman Park at $600,714, while the leading buyer by Lots purchased is Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott with 14. James Harron is the leader by average (three or more Lots bought) at $1,050,000 for four Lots. The leading sire by aggregate is Snitzel ($13,590,000 from 29 sales) and by average (three or more Lots sold) is Easter graduate Exceed And Excel at $606,364. With one day to go, there have been 10 Lots sell for $1 million or more, eclipsing last year's results which saw 9 millionaire yearlings sold over the three days. Day three of the sale begins at midday today. Click here to view the video highlights of day two.
Beautifully bred entire Sooboog (Snitzel-Monte Rosa, by Fraar) has been secured by Kitchwin Hills and will commence stud duties later in the year, reports breednet. A winner of the Gr3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) last year, Sooboog is a full brother to top-class sprinting mare and Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes winner Snitzerland and was purchased for $1.5 million by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum at the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Arrowfield Stud. Trainer Darren Weir said Sooboog’s current preparation was progressing nicely. “With the preparation so far going perfectly, the main target will likely be the Group 1 Goodwood at Morphettville and if we are all happy then onto the Brisbane carnival,” he said. "We are really excited to have secured Sooboog," said Kitchwin's Mick Malone. "Breeders can see with their own eyes, Written Tycoon, Beneteau, Not a Single Doubt, Hinchinbrook, I am Invincible, whilst none of them were G1 winners they were all ripping types and as importantly possessed serious 2yo speed. We are proud and excited to be able to offer breeders lifetime entitlements in Sooboog." A lifetime breeding entitlement can be purchased before Sooboog resumes his autumn campaign for $30,000 (plus GST) (limited to a maximum of 40 entitlements). It entitles the owner to breed two live foals in 2017, two live foals in 2018 and a lifetime breeding right from 2019 onwards. Sooboog’s tentative service fee this year will be $12,000 (plus GST), however that may be revised upwards should he perform well during his upcoming campaign.
Tomorrow's race meeting at Newcastle, north of Sydney, will play host to one of 2015's leading yearlings when 3YO colt Shaheen (Snitzel-Admirelle, by General Nediym) has his first start. Accepted for two maiden events (over 1150m & 1300m) Shaheen was knocked down to Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum at the Inglis Easter Sale for $2.2 million from the draft of high profile vendor Milburn Creek. Shaheen is a full-brother to young Newgate Farm stallion Sizzling, a Gr1 winner of $1.3 million. Dam, Admirelle, has had three colts subsequent to foaling Shaheen – by Redoute's Choice, I Am Invincible and Snitzel.
Adelaide trainer Tony McEvoy has nominated well-bred filly Roomooz as the pick of his three runners in Saturday's $1.5 million Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield. Roomooz, by Fastnet Rock out of Gr3 Silver Shadow Stakes winner and multiple Gr1 placed filly Pane In The Glass (Testa Rossa), will be joined by stable-mates Aspect and Azazel in Victoria's richest juvenile race. The Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum-owned Roomooz arguably boasts the best form line of the trio with her most recent outing resulting in a fast-finishing fourth behind Diamond favourite Catchy in the Gr2 Blue Diamond Prelude for fillies (1100m) on 11 February. Roomooz has drawn barrier 5, Aspect 14, while Azazel will jump from barrier 1. "I'd probably lean to the filly. She's one of the least experienced and has quite a bit of upside I think," McEvoy told Racing.com. "From [barrier] five, I'd like to see her in the first half. She's certainly got enough pace to be in the first half. That's a good spot to be in a Diamond. I don't think you need to be right up on the tempo." The Gr1 Blue Diamond Stales will be run as race 7 at 4:10pm (AEDT).
Champion UK filly Taghrooda, winner of the Epsom Oaks and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, is one of the high-profile mares set to visit Muhaarar in his second season at owner-breeder Hamdan Al Maktoum's Nunnery Stud in Norfolk this year, reports Racing Post. The Al Maktoum-owned Taghrooda (Sea The Stars-Ezima, by Sadler's Wells), who became the first filly to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes since Pawneese in 1976, signed off on her brief but brilliant career when finishing third behind Treve in the 2014 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. The beautifully bred Taghrooda hails from the same female family as The Queen's Ascot Gold Cup winner Estimate, as well as Irish Oaks winner Ebadiyla, and Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Edabiya. If that isn't impressive enough, all of the aforementioned mares descend from one of the most influential broodmares in history, namely Frizette, ancestress of the legendary stallions Mr Prospector & Seattle Slew. Other blue blooded mares who are also set to visit the champion sprinter are Tarfah, the dam of triple Classic winner Camelot, as well as the dams of Gr1 winners Tamayuz, Toormore, Robin Of Navan, Red Cadeaux, Planteur and Maarek. Muhaarar confirmed his status as one of the best European sprinters of the modern era when claiming four successive Gr1 victories in 2015. He also became the first British trained horse since Dayjur in 1990 to win three Gr1 sprints in a season.
Trainer Tony McEvoy has confirmed that impressive debut winner Roomooz is being aimed at next month's Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes, but says he is in no hurry to decide when she will run next. By former champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock out of Gr3 Silver Shadow Stakes winner and multiple Gr1 placed filly Pane In The Glass (Testa Rossa), Roomooz overcame a wide run to score by a widening 1.2 lengths in a 2YO maiden plate over 1000m at Morphettville on Saturday. Hailing from the same family as champion sprinter and speed influence Gold Brose, Roomooz was purchased for $480,000 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Newgate Farm. "She finished her last 200 metres in 10.97 and ran 21.8 for her last 400 metres, so for a two-year-old filly having her first career start in 40 degree heat..I thought was very impressive, McEvoy told Melbourne's Radio Sport National. "I've spoken to Tim Stakemire, who looks after the Sheikh's horses, and we have decided not to make a decision this week. We just want her to get over that run in that heat." McEvoy added: "There are lots of options. The Blue Diamond Preview is in a fortnight...the Blue Diamond Prelude is in five weeks, so there is plenty of time. I'll wait until I see her later in the week and we will go from there." The Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) will be run at Caulfield on Saturday, 25 February.
Well-bred filly Roomooz looked a more than handy prospect when making a winning debut at Morphettville in Adelaide on Saturday. Despite racing three wide throughout in the small seven-horse field, the Tony McEvoy-trained 2YO proved too classy for her rivals surging clear over the final 50 metres to score by a widening 1.2 lengths. By former champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock, Roomooz is the first foal of Gr3 Silver Shadow Stakes winner and multiple Gr1 placed filly Pane In The Glass (Testa Rossa), herself a half sister to champion sprinter and speed influence Gold Brose. This is also the family of stakes-placed pair Bewilder and Dyslexia. Bred by SF Bloodstock, she was purchased for $480,000 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Newgate Farm.
Outstanding SA-based trainer Tony McEvoy has chosen the Projection Graphics Plate (1000m) at Morphettville Parks tomorrow as the launching pad for highly priced 2YO filly Roomooz (Fastnet Rock–Pane In The Glass, by Testa Rossa. A $480,000 yearling purchase by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum at the 2016 Inglis Easter Sale, Roomooz, an early $2.45 favourite, is the first foal of stakes-winning and multiple Gr1 placed mare Pane In The Glass, herself a half sister to Champion sprinter and speed influence Gold Brose. This is also the pace-laden family of stakes-placed pair Bewilder and Dyslexia. Roomooz was part of the Newgate Farm draft where she set the sale alight early as Lot 3. Pane In The Glass has subsequently had another two fillies, by Pierro in 2015, and Deep Fields last year.
Storm The Stars will continue his racing career under the care of German trainer Andreas Wohler, reports Racing Post. Owner Sheikh Juma Dalmook al Maktoum is hoping the move will eventually lead to career at stud for the well bred son of Sea The Stars. Bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Farm, Storm The Stars is out of the Sadler's Wells mare Love Me Only, an unraced half-sister to champion racehorse and leading sire Giant's Causeway as well as You'resothrilling, the dam of three-time Gr1-winning champion miler Gleneagles and 1,000 Guineas winner Marvellous. Despite winning just 3 of his 17 starts, Storm The Stars has displayed plenty of ability winning the Gr2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York, and placing twice at Gr1 level in the English Derby behind Golden Horn, and the Grand Prix de Paris behind Erupt. Most recently Storm The Stars enjoyed a six-start campaign in Australia with champion trainer Chris Waller which yielded two Gr2 placings in the Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick in Sydney.
Ngaga, a 3YO Fastnet Rock half-sister to champion South African mare Igugu, made it two wins from as many starts when scoring a determined long neck win in a rating 70 fillies & mares race (1200m) at Kenilworth in South Africa on Saturday. By Coolmore's world-class champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill), Ngaga was purchased by renowned bloodstock agent James Bester for $250,000 at last year's Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Kia-Ora Stud. Ngaga is the sixth foal to race from the unraced Irish-bred mare Zarinia (Intikhab), whose best progeny to date is undoubtedly former South African Horse of the Year Igugu. Igugu (Galileo) was bred in Australia by Kia-Ora Stud and sold for R1 million at the 2009 Emperors Palace Ready to Run Sale. Trained by Mike de Kock on behalf of her owners Andre MacDonald and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Igugu won 10 of her 18 starts including the Gr1 South African Fillies Classic, Gr1 Woolavington Stakes, and South Africa's two most prestigious events, the Gr1 Durban July & Gr1 J&B Met. Zarinia has also produced Australian Gr3 Craven Plate winner Honorius (Holy Roman Emperor) and Gr3-placed Sweet Fire (Shamardal) and hails from the outstanding Aga Khan family of undefeated Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Zarkava.
Talented colt Rageese (Street Cry-Rabsha, by Dehere) has recovered from the hoof injury that ruled him out of the Railway Stakes in Perth and will run in the Gr3 Festival Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday, reports racing.com. Trainer Darren Weir said he expects the Sheikh Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum home-bred to run well on Saturday but that he won't be at his peak until the Gr2 Villiers Stakes at Randwick on 17 December. "He seems to be good, he had a few easy days after he had that little foot issue but I'm really happy with him," Weir said. "He is a big bull and having missed that run he might just need the run on Saturday but his main target is the Villiers and he should be right to go there." Rageese, a direct descendant of champion Australian mare Emancipation, was last seen scoring a slashing win in the Gr3 VRC L'Oreal Paris Stakes (1400m) on VRC Oaks day at Flemington.
Ngaga, a 3YO Fastnet Rock half-sister to champion South African mare Igugu, made a winning debut at Kenilworth in South Africa overnight. Trained by Willem Nel, Ngaga settled midfield before charging home late to score by 0.5 length in the Welcome To Kenilworth Maiden Plate over 1200 metres. By Coolmore's world-class champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill), Ngaga was purchased by renowned bloodstock agent James Bester for $250,000 at last year's Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Kia-Ora Stud. Ngaga is the sixth foal to race from the unraced Irish-bred mare Zarinia (Intikhab), whose best progeny to date is undoubtedly former South African Horse of the Year Igugu. Igugu (Galileo) was bred in Australia by Kia-Ora Stud and sold for R1 million at the 2009 Emperors Palace Ready to Run Sale. Trained by Mike de Kock on behalf of her owners Andre MacDonald and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Igugu won 10 of her 18 starts including the Gr1 South African Fillies Classic, Gr1 Woolavington Stakes, and South Africa's two most prestigious events, the Gr1 Durban July & Gr1 J&B Met. Zarinia has also produced Australian Gr3 Craven Plate winner Honorius (Holy Roman Emperor) and Gr3-placed Sweet Fire (Shamardal) and hails from the outstanding Aga Khan family of undefeated Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Zarkava.
Ngaga, a half-sister to champion South African mare Igugu, is scheduled to make her eagerly awaited debut in a 3YO maiden over 1200m at Kenilworth on Wednesday. By Coolmore's world-class champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill), Ngaga was purchased by renowned bloodstock agent James Bester for $250,000 at last year's Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Kia-Ora Stud. Ngaga is the sixth foal to race from the unraced Irish-bred mare Zarinia (Intikhab), whose best progeny to date is undoubtedly former South African Horse of the Year Igugu. Igugu (Galileo) was bred in Australia by Kia-Ora Stud and sold for R1 million at the 2009 Emperors Palace Ready to Run Sale. Trained by Mike de Kock on behalf of her owners Andre MacDonald and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Igugu won 10 of her 18 starts including the Gr1 South African Fillies Classic, Gr1 Woolavington Stakes, and South Africa's two most prestigious events, the Gr1 Durban July & Gr1 J&B Met. Zarinia has also produced Australian Gr3 Craven Plate winner Honorius (Holy Roman Emperor) and Gr3-placed Sweet Fire (Shamardal) and hails from the outstanding Aga Khan family of undefeated Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Zarkava.
Gun Pit looks like he has earned himself a trip to California for next month's Gr1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Karaka graduate remained on course for the Santa Anita feature after an impressive gallop under Zac Purton in a 1200 metre all-weather trial in Hong Kong on Tuesday. "He's trialling with a little bit more purpose now and he seems to be moving better, so it looks at this stage like he's going to go to America," Purton said. "He feels fine - there's nothing wrong with the way he's going." Gun Pit (Dubawi-Magic Tori, by Ali-Royal) was purchased by agent Michael Steadman out of Lyndhurst Farm's 2012 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale draft for $250,000. He trialled twice in New Zealand before he was sent to Hong Kong. He has won 8 of his 25 starts hitherto and been placed at Gr1 level when second in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 Stakes at Meydan in March.
Inglis graduates will be represented in 11 of the 12 season-opening 2YO barrier trials at Randwick today. Among them are several high-priced youngsters including Zatar, a $925,000 More Than Ready x Absolute Joy Inglis Easter graduate for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and trainers Peter and Paul Snowden, and a $340,000 colt by Snitzel x Miss Iguacu for China Horse Club and again Team Snowden, named King Ranch. A total of 89 two-year-olds – 63 colts and geldings and 26 fillies - are entered for the trials, which will be run on the Randwick course proper. Of the sires represented at the trials, Snitzel leads the way with 12 entrants, ahead of Exceed And Excel with seven. Vinery's multiple Gr1-winning stallions All Too Hard and Pierro will also be well represented with five runners each. Inglis National Bloodstock Director Jonathan D'Arcy was, as always, looking forward to seeing the juveniles on the track for the first time. "If you look back over the past few years, several Golden Slipper winners have been seen by the public for the first time on this day and it's exciting to think that could potentially be the case again this year,'' D'Arcy said. The trials come 15 days before the Inglis Ready2Race Sale where 256 two-year-olds are catalogued.
Stakes performed Australian three-year-old High Spirit will be set for the Hong Kong Derby after being sold in a deal brokered by Magic Millions. A runner-up at the his most recent start in the Group Three Sunshine Coast Guineas, High Spirit has been purchased by the Fung family's Aquis Farm operation. Prior to his Sunshine Coast Guineas second to Tivaci, High Spirit was fourth to Tsaritsa in the Group Two Queensland Guineas. Aquis Farm Racehorse and Sales Manager Kacy Fogden said the team was delighted to be able to secure High Spirit. "Mr Fung wanted to buy a lightly raced Australian horses with upside potential to give his Hong Kong trainer Danny Shum every opportunity to show how he can improve horses in the next year or so," Fogden said. "He has a great mindset and is a very relaxed horse which will be perfect for Hong Kong," she added. A son of star international sire High Chaparral, High Spirit is a winner at Gosford and has been placed on five other occasions from just nine starts. High Spirit was bred by his former owner Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum. "Magic Millions is delighted to have been able to broker the sale of another high class Australian galloper to Hong Kong," the company's Sales Director David Chester said. "I must thank Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum's Victorian based manager Tim Stakemire for his professionalism and I most certainly wish the new connections at Aquis Farm the best of luck." He added: "Mr Fung has quickly developed Aquis Farm into one of the country's leading operations - with high class stallions standing at their farm in Queensland and an always growing quality racehorse stable around the world." Aquis Farm tasted success over the recent Brisbane Winter Carnival with group winners including Cradle Me (pictured) and Spill the Beans. Their latest addition High Spirit is one of two winners produced by Azumi, an unraced Encosta de Lago full sister to four time Group One winner Alinghi.
At Flemington in Melbourne, Arrowfield Stud's Gr1-winning high profile stallion Snitzel (Redoute's Choice-Snippets' Lass, by Snippets) added a Group success when 4YO entire Sooboog (Snitzel-Monte Rosa, by Fraar) scored by 1.75-lengths for trainer Darren Weir in the Gr3 Aurie's Star Handicap (1200m) for 3YO+, over 6YO Irish-bred gelding Dibayani (Shamardal-Dibiya, by Caerleon) & 5YO entire Tashbeeh (Commands-More Valour, by More Than Ready). This was a well deserved maiden stakes victory for the beautifully bred Sooboog who improved his record to 3 wins and 4 placings (including the Gr2 SAJC Euclase Stakes) from 15 starts for $271,375 earnings. Sooboog, who is a full brother to top-class sprinting mare and Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes winner Snitzerland, was purchased for $1.5 million by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum at the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Arrowfield Stud. "When he gets in a rhythm he's got a great turn of foot, he's a really good galloper," trainer Darren Weir told racing.com. "We knew one day that when things fell in place he would do something like that, so hopefully he can continue now." He added: "We'll try and target something in the spring with him."
Coolmore has announced that freshman stallion Pride Of Dubai (Street Cry-Al Anood, by Danehill) will shuttle to Ireland for the 2017 northern hemisphere season. Winner of the Gr1 MRC Blue Diamond Stakes and Gr1 ATC Sires' Produce Stakes as a 2YO - the only horse ever to achieve the double - the outstanding colt was retired in February this year with a record of 2 wins and 2 placings from 5 starts for $1,336,100 earnings. “He’s an exceptionally good-looking horse with plenty of size and strength, he was a brilliant two-year-old and his pedigree is all about speed,” said Coolmore’s Director of Sales David O’Loughlin. “He’s by a top class sire in Street Cry, out of a close relative to Invincible Spirit and Kodiac who both sired major winners at Royal Ascot this year over the minimum trip. I can see him proving extremely popular with breeders here, particularly once they’ve come to see him.” A homebred for Sheikh Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Pride Of Dubai is a half-brother to stakes winner Al Aneed from the Danehill mare Al Anood, herself a half-sister to Gr1 Prix de Diane winner Rafha. This is also the family of champion European sire Invincible Spirit. A fee will be announced at a later date.
Godolphin's prestigious Twin Hills Stud farm near Cootamundra in NSW has been listed for sale, reports the Australian Financial Review. Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who owns global thoroughbred breeding powerhouse Godolphin, purchased the 1011-hectare property as part of a $500 million deal to acquire the Ingham family's Woodlands racing empire in 2008. In a statement, Godolphin said William Inglis and Son would be managing the sale of the property. "The Twin Hills Stud Farm has played an important part in Godolphin's success over the years and so the decision to sell has not been taken lightly," said Godolphin's managing director in Australia, Henry Plumptre. "However, as our operations are increasingly focused on the Hunter Valley, Sydney and Central Victoria, the location of Twin Hills makes it difficult to consolidate our operations around our other significant landholdings." Mr Plumptre added: "Ultimately, this will have no impact on the horses as the time they previously spent at Twin Hills will now be spent at other properties."
At Belmont Park in the US, leading 4YO entire Frosted (Tapit-Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister) added to the plaudits for his leading North American sire Tapit when scoring by an eye-boggling 14.25-lengths for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin in the US$1.25 million Gr1 Metropolitan Handicap (8 furlongs) for 3YOs+, over 5YO entire Anchor Down (Tapit-Successful Outlook, by Orientate) & fellow 4YO entire Upstart (Flatter-Party Silks, by Touch Gold). The win, Frosted's second in elite company, took his record to 5 wins (also including the Gr1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, Gr2 Pennsylvania Derby & Dubai's Gr2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2) & 7 placings (including the Gr1 Belmont Stakes & Gr1 Travers Stakes) from 15 starts. In his most recent start Frosted finished close up in the Gr1 Dubai World Cup, as he did in the Gr1 Kentucky Derby.
At The Curragh in Ireland, former Darley shuttler Cape Cross (Green Desert-Park Appeal, by Ahonoora) celebrated an elite success when 3YO colt Awtaad (Cape Cross-Asheerah, by Shamardal) scored by 2.5-lengths for trainer Kevin Prendergast in the Gr1 Irish 2000 Guineas (8 furlongs) for 3YOs, over fellow 3YO colts Galileo Gold (Paco Boy-Galicuix, by Galileo) & Blue de Vega (Lope de Vega-Burning Heights, by Montjeu). Racing in the Shadwell colours of owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, Awtaad improved his record to 4 wins (including the Listed Tetrarch S) and 1 placing from 5 starts for €231,365 earnings. This was a stylish win by Awtaad who travelled strongly throughout the mile contest and looked the winner a long way from home. Both the English and Irish Derby's are now under consideration. "He was very backward as a two-year-old, and I'd say he's as good a horse as I've had," said veteran trainer Kevin Prendergast, who was celebrating his second Irish 2000 Guineas success after the win of Northern Treasure in 1976. "I think he's a very good horse, but how far he will go I don't know. He was forced to go a bit early today as Frankie was in a bit of bother on the inside, so he kicked and hoped for the best." He added: "I don't know where he will go next. The boss man (Sheikh Hamdan) makes the decision and we go along with it. He's in the Derby and the Irish Derby, so we'll see what he wants to do. There is a good bit of stamina in the family, so who knows?" Jockey Chris Hayes was also effusive in his praise of Awtaad. "He just excites you so much. Even from his maiden run, everything about him is special, even going in to ride him in the mornings is exciting," he told Sky Sports. "He's the best horse I've ever ridden."
Impressive Irish 2000 Guineas winner Awtaad is likely to be kept to a mile and aimed at the Gr1 St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in preference to a test of his stamina in the Derby at Epsom, reports Racing Post. Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said on Sunday: "I think it would be hard to give up the chance of the St James's Palace Stakes by jumping him up half-a-mile," he said. "He's calm and relaxed and on pedigree will go further than a mile. I'm sure he will go a mile-and-a-quarter. But he has the speed for a mile." Gold added: "He beat the English Guineas winner and the other top milers at the Curragh and would be a wonderful stallion prospect if he won the St James's Palace against the best ones around. The Gurkha was very impressive in France and it will be very interesting if he turns up at Ascot."
Talented colt Rageese (Street Cry-Rabsha, by Dehere) will bid to qualify for next month's Stradbroke Handicap when he contests Saturday's Gr3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben, reports Racing.com. Trainer Darren Weir is eyeing the Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on 11 June for the well related 3YO, who will gain automatic entry into the $1.5 million winter showpiece should he be successful on Saturday. With Brad Rawiller committed to ride Black Heart Bart in the Gr1 Goodwood at Adelaide on Saturday, Weir has booked Kerrin McEvoy to partner the impressive last-start winner. Rageese, who boasts a Gr1-placing as a juvenile in the ATC Sires' Produce Stakes, is coming off a brilliant 4.2-length win in the Listed Nitschke Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville. "He's been competitive at the top level from an early age and it looks like Darren has him firing again," McEvoy said. "He looks a nice ride for Saturday in what should be a very competitive race." A homebred for Sheikh Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Rageese is a direct descendant of champion Australian mare Emancipation. Emancipation, a six-time Gr1 winner, has been just as influential off the track with her daughters and granddaughters producing numerous stakes performers including Gr1 winners Railings, Virage de Fortune and Rumya.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum is no stranger to feature race success, his yellow and dark blue vee silks having been carried to victory all around the world. Tomorrow at Morphettville, his Street Cry 3YO colt Rageese, raced in partnership with New Zealand's Windsor Park Stud, appears to have the Listed Adelaide Guineas (1600m) at his mercy. Currently a $1.45 quote, Rageese (Street Cry-Rabsha, by Dehere) comes into the race off a sensational victory in the Listed HC Nitschke Stakes (1400m) at the same venue where he smashed his rivals by close to 5-lengths. From the Emancipation family of local Gr1 winners Virage De Fortune, Stratum Star, Railings and South African Gr1 winner Rumya, Rageese is living up to his juvenile form which included a runner-up in Randwick's Gr1 Sires Produce Stakes.
At Morphettville in South Australia, Darley's deceased shuttler & Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street, by Troy) added a black-type success when beautifully bred 3YO colt Ragesse (Street Cry-Rabsha, by Dehere) scored by 4.2-lengths for trainer Darren Weir in the $100,000 Listed Nitschke Stakes (1400m) for 3YOs, over 3YO gelding Battle Brewing (Medaglia d'Oro-Elegant Eagle, by Zabeel) & 3YO filly Serenade (Starcraft-Purely Spectacular, by Pins). This was the first stakes victory for the talented Rageese who took his record to 3 wins and 3 placings (including the Gr1 ATC Sires' Produce Stakes) from 12 starts for $411,510 earnings. A homebred for Sheikh Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Rageese is a direct descendant of champion Australian mare Emancipation. Emancipation, a six-time Gr1 winner, has been just as influential off the track with her daughters and granddaughters producing numerous stakes performers including Gr1 winners Railings, Virage de Fortune and Rumya.
Progressive galloper Mahsoob's 2016 campaign got off to the perfect start when he resumed with a win in the Gr3 Earl Of Sefton Stakes (9 furlongs) at Newmarket overnight. The 5YO by Dansili defeated Air Pilot and Tullius by 1.25 lengths to advance his record to 5 wins from 7 starts. Raced by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum's Shadwell Stud, Mahsoob is likely to head to the Gr1 Lockinge Stakes (1600m) at Newbury on 14 May. "He getting quicker with age and I'm delighted with him," Gosden told Sky Sports. "He's been training nicely at home and doing everything on his own. He's been breezing away at home and is a happy horse." Gosden added: "We won at Royal Ascot last year but lost his form after that. He's had a good winter and I wouldn't mind bringing him back a furlong [to a mile]."
At Meydan racecourse in Dubai, 7YO UK-bred gelding Muarrab (Oasis Dream-Licence to Thrill, by Wolfhound) registered the first top-flight victory of his career when scoring by a neck for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi in the US$2 million Gr1 Golden Shaheen (1200m) for 3YO+, over 4YO US entire X Y Jet (Kantharos-Soldiersingsblues, by Lost Soldier) & 6YO UK-bred entire Morawji (Exceed and Excel-Sister Moonshine, by Piccolo). Owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Muarrab took his record to 13 wins and 5 placings from 24 starts for £1,140,866 earnings.