2018

Jukebox To Aquis Farm

Wednesday, 29th August 2018

Talented Gr3-winning colt Jukebox (Snitzel-Jestajune, by Rory's Jester) will stand at Aquis Farm's Hunter Valley base this spring at a fee of $10,000 plus GST. Trained by Ciaron Maher, Jukebox was undefeated as a juvenile and went on to win 3 of his 8 starts highlighted by the Gr3 MRC Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield. Jukebox is by dual Champion Australian Sire Snitzel from the Listed WATC Gimcrack Stakes winner Jestajune, a half-sister to Gr1 Kingston Town Stakes winner Itsahymn. In a deal brokered by Damon Gabedy of Belmont Bloodstock, Jukebox is already assured every chance of success at stud with his breeder Neville Duncan electing to remain in the horse, along with Colin McKenna who raced both Merchant Navy and Jukebox with Ciaron Maher. "Jukebox is what Australian racing is all about – an unbeaten 2YO with speed to burn and a pedigree dominated by colonial speed through Snitzel and Rory's Jester – and he's bred on the same cross as Not a Single Doubt," Aquis CEO Shane McGrath said.


Jukebox To Aquis Farm

Tuesday, 28th August 2018

Talented Gr3-winning colt Jukebox (Snitzel-Jestajune, by Rory's Jester) will stand at Aquis Farm's Hunter Valley base this spring at a fee of $10,000 plus GST. Trained by Ciaron Maher, Jukebox was undefeated as a juvenile and went on to win 3 of his 8 starts highlighted by the Gr3 MRC Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield. Jukebox is by dual Champion Australian Sire Snitzel from the Listed WATC Gimcrack Stakes winner Jestajune, a half-sister to Gr1 Kingston Town Stakes winner Itsahymn. In a deal brokered by Damon Gabedy of Belmont Bloodstock, Jukebox is already assured every chance of success at stud with his breeder Neville Duncan electing to remain in the horse, along with Colin McKenna who raced both Merchant Navy and Jukebox with Ciaron Maher. "Jukebox is what Australian racing is all about – an unbeaten 2YO with speed to burn and a pedigree dominated by colonial speed through Snitzel and Rory's Jester – and he's bred on the same cross as Not a Single Doubt," Aquis CEO Shane McGrath said.


Invincible Star Launches Everest Campaign

Tuesday, 28th August 2018

Gai Waterhouse is looking forward to Invincible Star launching her Everest campaign in the Gr3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on Saturday. A two-time Gr3 winner and runner-up to Merchant Navy in last year's Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes, Invincible Star (I am Invincible-Romany Flyer, by Catbird) will represent Greg and Barbara Ingham's GPI Racing in the $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 13 October. The lightly raced 4YO showed she had returned from a break in tremendous order winning a barrier trial by 9.8 lengths at Randwick on 13 August. Among Invincible Star's opponents in the Concorde will be defending Everest champion Redzel. "It's almost a mini-Everest, isn't it,'' Waterhouse told racingnsw.com.au. "I think she is shaping up super. I can't see why she won't be the horse to beat in the race. She's pretty well ready to go. I think it's a wonderful thing to think a mare that is so lightly raced has been able to get in,'' she said. Waterhouse added: "For the slot holder to be so admiring of her to want to have her in the slot speaks to her credentials because she's by far the most lightly raced of all the horses in the Everest. But she's such a lovely mare, so honest and has such amazing cruising speed.''

Invincible Star Launches Everest Campaign

Monday, 27th August 2018

Gai Waterhouse is looking forward to Invincible Star launching her Everest campaign in the Gr3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on Saturday. A two-time Gr3 winner and runner-up to Merchant Navy in last year's Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes, Invincible Star (I am Invincible-Romany Flyer, by Catbird) will represent Greg and Barbara Ingham's GPI Racing in the $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 13 October. The lightly raced 4YO showed she had returned from a break in tremendous order winning a barrier trial by 9.8 lengths at Randwick on 13 August. Among Invincible Star's opponents in the Concorde will be defending Everest champion Redzel. "It's almost a mini-Everest, isn't it,'' Waterhouse told racingnsw.com.au. "I think she is shaping up super. I can't see why she won't be the horse to beat in the race. She's pretty well ready to go. I think it's a wonderful thing to think a mare that is so lightly raced has been able to get in,'' she said. Waterhouse added: "For the slot holder to be so admiring of her to want to have her in the slot speaks to her credentials because she's by far the most lightly raced of all the horses in the Everest. But she's such a lovely mare, so honest and has such amazing cruising speed.''

Invincible Star Secures GPI Everest Slot

Friday, 24th August 2018

GPI Racing has secured the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Invincible Star as its representative in The Everest, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Speaking on behalf of principals Greg and Barbara Ingham, GPI representative Andrew Williams said: "She has been on our short list for a long time and her work on Wednesday was amazing. We are delighted to be teaming with Gai and Adrian with a horse that has some of the strongest form references in the world." Williams added: "There is the potential there for her to go to another level. She is a big, strong mare with an abundance of speed and we believe she has the X factor for this race." Invincible Star (I am Invincible-Romany Flyer, by Catbird) is a two-time Gr3 winner and was also runner-up to Merchant Navy in last year's Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes. She showed she had returned in tremendous order when winning a barrier trial by 9.8 lengths at Randwick 10 days ago. Click here to watch Invincible Star's trial.

US Sprinter Bound for Everest

Friday, 13th July 2018

US trainer Wesley Ward has confirmed that he is planning to target The Everest with classy sprinter Bound For Nowhere. Bound For Nowhere (The Factor-Fancy Deed, by Alydeed) showed he would be a force to be reckoned with in The Everest when an excellent third to Australian-bred colt Merchant Navy in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot last month. "The Everest is the plan now. It works right in line with what I'd like to do," Ward told racing.com. "We've been in negotiations with slot holders. We've spoken to Coolmore, but that will likely depend on Saturday's July Cup and how the Aiden O'Brien trained horses run there."Ward added: "He ran a very credible race against best in world in the Diamond Jubilee. I wouldn't go unless he was going to have a big chance and I think he does." Ward said Bound For Nowhere was been booked to fly to Australia on 19 July, the same flight as Coolmore's Triple Crown winning stallion American Pharoah. "He flies over with the stallions and once he's there and gets out, he'll stay with a great friend of mine in Gai Waterhouse," said Ward. "He came home and had a little bit of a break and is now in quarantine at Ashford in Lexington."

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Jukebox Primed for Return

Friday, 13th July 2018

Caulfield trainer Ciaron Maher says he is looking forward to seeing smart colt Jukebox (Snitzel-Jestajune, by Rory's Jester) resume on his home track tomorrow, reports racenet. Not sighted since finishing well beaten by former stable-mate Merchant Navy in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington in November, Jukebox will open his spring campaign in the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield. Maher says Jukebox has lost none of his ability and that he even had s light edge of Merchant Navy as a young horse. "Jukebox and Merchant Navy were my standout young colts. Jukebox was actually more natural and sharper whereas Merchant Navy was one of those sort of horses that just knew how to get it done," Maher said. "I still do have a very high opinion of Jukebox. He has prepped up really well for his return to racing with a couple of impressive jump-outs. I expect him to run a really bold race." After Saturday, Maher said Jukebox was likely to head to the Gr3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 28.

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Jukebox (image: Mark Gatt)

Redkirk Ready To Bounce Back in July

Wednesday, 11th July 2018

Co-trainer David Hayes believes Australian sprinter Redkirk Warrior is ready to return to his brilliant best in Saturday's Group 1 Darley July Cup (1200m) at Newmarket. The triple Group 1 winner, who was last seen finishing a disappointing 10th behind Merchant Navy in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, completed his July Cup preparation with a strong gallop on the hallowed Newmarket turf on Monday morning. Redkirk Warrior was reunited with his Australian jockey Regan Bayliss, who replaces Frankie Dettori. "It was just an easy gallop because the horse is ready to go," Hayes told Sky Sports Radio. "The gallop was really for Regan's benefit because Newmarket is quite an undulating track. But both horse and jockey handled it well." Hayes added: "Regan, who knows the horse really well, said he feels as good as ever, so hopefully it was a case of him just not liking Ascot." Hayes said Redkirk Warrior's performance in the Diamond Jubilee should simply be put down to the horse having a bad day. "We tested him after Royal Ascot to see if there were any problems and we can't find anything. We're very happy with him," said Hayes. "I think you have to forgive a horse one bad run, especially if they are a three-time Group 1 winner."

Newmarket Hit-Out for Redkirk

Monday, 9th July 2018

Australian sprinter Redkirk Warrior will complete his preparation for Saturday's Group 1 Darley July Cup (1200m) when he works at Newmarket on Monday, reports racing.com. The three-time Group 1 winner is coming off a disappointing performance in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot where he weakened noticeably in the straight to finish 10th of 12 behind Merchant Navy in the sprint feature. Despite that uncharacteristic effort, co-trainer David Hayes is confident Redkirk Warrior can bounce back to his brilliant best. "Regan [Bayliss] gets on him for a look up the straight, more for Regan's benefit, on Monday and we're lucky enough to get on the course proper," Hayes said. "He'll stretch his legs there and then he'll taper off into the race. Ben [Hayes] is giving a glowing report and we're really hoping that it was just a case of right to left not suiting him in the straight race [at Ascot] whereas Newmarket is more like Flemington, they start from left and finish right. We're expecting him to get on the right leg and turn his form around."

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Redkirk Warrior (image: Mark Gatt)

Merchant Navy Retired to Stud

Monday, 2nd July 2018

Top-class Australian-bred colt Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock-Legally Bay, by Snippets) has been retired and will commence stud duties at Coolmore in the NSW Hunter Valley this spring. A winner of last year's stallion-making Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington, Merchant Navy was transferred to the famous Ballydoyle stable of Aidan O'Brien who prepared him to win the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot two weeks ago. That win boosted his appeal as a dual hemisphere stallion. "He's a very special horse," said trainer Aidan O'Brien. "For a 3YO to come up from Australia and win like he did at the Curragh [Gr2 Greenlands Stakes] and then at Royal Ascot while being weighted as an older horse is remarkable. He was actually 12lbs wrong in the Diamond Jubilee. Only a horse with such natural speed and wonder temperament like he has could do it." Coolmore Australia's Tom Magnier commented: "Merchant Navy's amazing win at Royal Ascot means he retires to stud as one of the best sprinting colts of modern times. We are very excited about his stallion prospects as he was such a brilliant 3YO sprinter just like his sire Fastnet Rock and grandsire Danehill." Purchased by his former trainer Ciaron Maher for $350,000 at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Segenhoe Stud, Merchant Navy retires with a record of 7 wins (including the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes, Gr2 Greenlands Stakes, Gr3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes & Listed Anzac Day Stakes) and 2 placings (including the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap) from 10 starts for $1,658,291 in earnings.

Appleby Pointing at Darley July Cup

Friday, 29th June 2018

Charlie Appleby will bid to claim another feature Group 1 contest when he saddles Blue Point in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday, 14 July. Blue Point, a winner of last week's Group 1 King's Stands Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot, was one of 31 horses to stand their ground following Tuesday's scratching stage for the £500,000 six furlong event, which is a leg of the QIPCO British Champions Series. Appleby has enjoyed an outstanding season having also prepared Masar to win the English Derby, and he is looking forward to seeing if the rejuvenated Blue Point can continue his winning ways at Newmarket. "Blue Point has come out of the King's Stand Stakes very well and the plan is for him to head straight for the Darley July Cup," said Appleby. "He will be stepping back up to six furlongs but a stiff six is well within his compass. He holds the Ascot track record at that trip, don't forget, and he was placed in a Dewhurst Stakes [Gr1] over seven furlongs as a two-year-old." Appleby added: "To win the Darley July Cup with him would be huge, not just because we sponsor the race, it's also a great race for making stallions, one of the summer spectacles that you really want to be part of, and one that usually decides who is going to be Champion Sprinter." Other key entries for the July Cup include Group 1 Diamond Jubilee winner Merchant Navy, Redkirk Warrior and Harry Angel, who suffered an injury and lost all hope of winning when leaving the stalls in the Diamond Jubilee.

July Cup Next for Redkirk

Tuesday, 26th June 2018

Australian sprinter Redkirk Warrior will press on towards next month's July Cup despite his disappointing performance in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday, reports racing.com. Co-trainer David Hayes said Redkirk Warrior had experienced an "off day" after he weakened noticeably in the straight to finish 10th of 12 behind Merchant Navy in the sprint feature. "We were really disappointed with the run," Hayes said. "Looking forward, Newmarket is where he's trained, he doesn't have to travel and he worked very well on the course proper there so we think that we're here, we might give him one more chance in the July Cup." Hayes added: "His best form is as good as the winner [Merchant Navy] so if we can get him back in form and change a couple of things in the next two or three weeks, he can turn things around because he's got the ability." The Group 1 July Cup (1200m) will be run at Newmarket on 14 July.

Merchant Navy Wins Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes

Monday, 25th June 2018

On the fifth and final day of the Royal Ascot carnival in England, Coolmore's former Gr1-winning Champion Australian Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) celebrated an elite race success when top-class 3YO Australian-bred colt Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock-Legally Bay, by Snippets) surged home under Ryan Moore to score a narrow short head victory in an action-packed renewal of the Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating City Light & Bound For Nowhere. Purchased for $350,000 by Ciaron Maher Racing at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Segenhoe Stud, Merchant Navy improved his record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes, Gr2 Greenlands Stakes, Gr3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes & Listed Anzac Day Stakes) and 2 placings (including the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap) from 10 starts for $1,658,291 in earnings. A winner of last year's stallion-making Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington, Merchant Navy was transferred to the famous Ballydoyle stable of Aidan O'Brien earlier this year to be prepared for the Diamond Jubilee. He is scheduled to return to Australia next month to stand his first season at Coolmore in the NSW Hunter Valley, but O'Brien said he is keen to delay his flight so he can bid for the big sprint double in the July Stakes at Newmarket in three weeks time. "We thought it was an impossible task for Merchant Navy as he was meeting the other horse from Australia [Redkirk Warrior] 12lb wrong compared to when they met there," O'Brien told Racing Post. "He's only a three-year-old [bred to southern hemisphere time] but being treated like a four-year-old. He's a lovely big horse. He's relaxed and genuine and has a good mind. He's no problem in any way. He's a joy to have anything to do with." O'Brien added: "He improved a lot from the Curragh to here, and we thought there was plenty more to come, but he's booked to go back to Australia after this so I don't know what's going to happen. Wouldn't it be great to have him for the July Cup too."

O'Brien Delighted With Merchant Navy

Friday, 22nd June 2018

Aidan O'Brien says he couldn't be happier with former Australian sprinter Merchant Navy ahead of Saturday's Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot. A winner of last year's stallion-making Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington, Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock) was transferred to Coolmore's famous Ballydoyle stable to be prepared for the Diamond Jubilee in the hope of increasing his appeal as a dual hemisphere stallion. Merchant Navy got his European career off to a flying start when landing the Gr2 Greenlands Stakes (6 furlongs) at The Curragh in Ireland last month. "He has settled in really well since arriving and he seems to do everything very easily," O'Brien told Sky Sports Radio. "We were delighted with his run [in the Greenlands Stakes] and we've been very happy with his work since. He hadn't done much work in the lead-up so we couldn't be happier with him." O'Brien added: "It was good to get a run into him and also for Ryan [Moore] to get a sit on him before Royal Ascot. The ground at Ascot looks like its going to be good, proper fast ground so it should really suit him." Merchant Navy will return to Australia later this year to stand his first season at Coolmore at a fee of $55,000 (inc. GST).

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Merchant Navy (image: Mark Gatt)

Target Confirmed for Redkirk Warrior

Friday, 15th June 2018

Lindsay Park has confirmed the race which Redkirk Warrior will contest at next week's Royal Ascot carnival. The dual Group 1 winning sprinter was entered in both the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes (1000m) on day one of the Royal meeting (Tuesday 19 June), as well as the Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) on the fifth and final day (Saturday 23 June). Co-trainer Ben Hayes announced via Twitter that with the prospect of a drier track, the UK-bred 7YO will run in the more suitable Diamond Jubilee over six furlongs. "Thrilled to meet up with this boy this morning, looks in fantastic condition. With the weather appearing to be dry the decision has been made to run in the Diamond Jubilee, not the King Stand Stakes," Hayes tweeted. Frankie Dettori has been booked to ride Redkirk Warrior who is in career best form having won the Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) and successfully defended his Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) title at his past two outings. Redkirk Warrior is currently the 11-2 third favourite for the Diamond Jubilee behind Godolphin's top-class sprinter Harry Angel at 5-2. Former Group 1 winning Australian colt Merchant Navy, who is now trained by Aidan O'Brien, is second favourite at 10-3.

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Ben Hayes & Redkirk Warrior at Newmarket (image: Lindsay Park Racing Twitter)

CWR Secure Brave Smash for Everest

Wednesday, 6th June 2018

Slot-holder Chris Waller Racing (CWR) has announced that it has secured the Darren Weir-trained Brave Smash as its representative for the $13 million The Everest later in the year. The Japanese-bred sprinter, who was third in last year's inaugural running of The Everest, will represent CWR after a deal was finalised with owner Australian Bloodstock. "We thought this year he deserved his chance in the race. He's a Group 1 winner [Futurity Stakes in the Spring] and he was narrowly beaten by some of the best sprinters in the world such as Redkirk Warrior and Merchant Navy in the Newmarket...so we think he has the right profile and we are very excited to be in the race," Australian Bloodstock's Jamie Lovett told Sky Sports Radio. "Darren was very keen to secure a spot early this year. Last year was a bit of an afterthought but this year we will be targeting the race. He's probably a horse that is more effective early in his preparation so he will be trained accordingly He will probably go into the race third-up." Brave Smash is currently on the third line of betting with TAB at $15 for The Everest (1200m) which will be run Royal Randwick on 14 October.

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Brave Smash (image: Mark Gatt)

Merchant Navy Wins Gr2 Greenlands Stakes

Monday, 28th May 2018

At The Curragh in Ireland, Coolmore's former Gr1-winning Champion Australian Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added a Group race success when former top-class Australian colt Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock-Legally Bay, by Snippets) made a successful Irish debut when scoring a narrow win in the Gr2 Greenlands Stakes (6 furlongs), defeating Spirit Of Valor & Tasleet. Purchased for $350,000 by Ciaron Maher Racing at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Segenhoe Stud, Merchant Navy improved his record to 6 wins (including the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes, Gr3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes & Listed Anzac Day Stakes) and 2 placings (including the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap) from 9 starts for $1,050,895 in earnings. A winner of last year's stallion-making Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington, Merchant Navy was transferred to the famous Ballydoyle stable of Aidan O'Brien earlier this year to be prepared for the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot on Saturday 23 June. Merchant Navy will return to Australia later this year to stand his first season at Coolmore at a fee of $55,000 (inc. GST). Aidan O'Brien commented: "The lads in Australia said he was a very good horse, so we just took it totally on trust. He did five little canters, that's all he did," said O'Brien. "Ryan (Moore) was very happy with him. The plan is to go to Ascot for the six-furlong race and I think he has to go after that. I think he's only here for Ascot and then gone after that."

Merchant Navy Set for UK Debut

Thursday, 17th May 2018

Former top-class Australian colt Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock-Legally Bay, by Snippets) is set to make his UK debut in the Group 2 Greenlands Stakes (1200m) at The Curragh on 26 May, reports racing.com. A winner of last year's stallion-making Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington, Merchant Navy was transferred to the famous Ballydoyle stable of Aidan O'Brien earlier this year to be prepared for the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot on Saturday 23 June. "Aidan wants to present him at Ascot in the Diamond Jubilee in the best condition he can have him and historically he likes to give those horses a prep run," said Coolmore Australia's marketing manager, Sebastian Hutch. "Starspangledbanner had a prep run in the Duke Of York before Ascot and Haradasun ran in the Lockinge. He [O'Brien] likes to get to know the horse and first impressions have been very positive." Hutch added: "He would be forced to carry a Group 1 penalty in the race [Greenlands] and be weighted as a four-year-old so it's probably a stiff task in many respects but at the same time, he [O'Brien] is determined to have the horse spot-on for the Diamond Jubilee." Merchant Navy will return to Australia later this year to stand his first season at Coolmore at a fee of $55,000 (inc. GST).

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Merchant Navy (image: Mark Gatt)

HTBA Announces Nominees for Awards Night

Thursday, 3rd May 2018

The Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association (HTBA) has announced the nominees for its 27th Annual Awards Night to be held at Australia's Horse Capital in Scone on Wednesday 9 May. The nominees from the major categories are:

  • Champion 2YO Colt - Encryption, Not A Single Cent, Santos
  • Champion 2YO Filly - Estijaab, Oohood, Sunlight
  • Champion 3YO Colt - Kementari, Merchant Navy, Pierata
  • Champion 3YO Filly - Alizee, She Will Reign, Shoals
  • Champion Racehorse - Winx, Redzel, Vega Magic
  • Champion Sire - Snitzel, Fastnet Rock, I Am Invincible
  • Champion 1st Season Sire - Epaulette, Sizzling, Zoustar
  • Champion Broodmare - Busking, Essaouira, Vegas Showgirl

Dettori Booked for Redkirk

Friday, 20th April 2018

David Hayes has confirmed that champion European jockey Frankie Dettori has been booked to ride Redkirk Warrior (Notnowcato-Flag, by Selkirk) at Royal Ascot next month. A brilliant winner of the Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) and Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at his past two outings, the UK-bred Redkirk Warrior will not race again until the Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot on Saturday 23 June. "We have decided to go with someone who has the experience, and no one has had more winners at Royal Ascot than Frankie Dettori," Hayes told racing.com. "The decision was made through discussions with myself and Redkirk Warrior's owner and for us experience was the key. We settled on either Frankie Dettori or Ryan Moore, but Ryan will ride Merchant Navy in the same race so we have booked Frankie."

Coolmore Announce 2018 Fees

Monday, 16th April 2018

Coolmore has announced its 2018 fees for its Australian roster of 15 stallions including exciting prospect Merchant Navy, who will stand alongside his champion sire Fastnet Rock. "Our roster now comprises many of the best Australian-raced stallion prospects to retire to stud over the past number of years along with international stars like American Pharoah, Churchill and Caravaggio. All in all we believe it is the finest collection of stallions ever to stand at Jerrys Plains," said Tom Magnier. Merchant Navy is the first son of Fastnet Rock to stand at Coolmore and has been priced at $55,000, while other newcomers Caravaggio (Scat Daddy) and Churchill (Galileo) will stand at $33,000 and $27,500 respectively. The full Coolmore roster is (fees inclusive of GST):

  • Adelaide - $11,000
  • Air Force Blue - $16,500
  • American Pharoah - $66,000
  • Caravaggio (NEW) - $33,000
  • Choisir - $29,700
  • Churchill (NEW) - $27,500
  • Fastnet Rock - Private
  • Merchant Navy (NEW) - $55,000
  • No Nay Never - $19,250
  • Pierro - $88,000
  • Pride of Dubai - $44,000
  • Rubick - $17,600
  • So You Think - $44,000
  • Starspangledbanner - $11,000
  • Vancouver - $49,500

Redkirk Warrior Wins Gr1 Newmarket Handicap

Monday, 12th March 2018

At Flemington in Melbourne, imported UK-bred 7YO gelding Redkirk Warrior (Notnowcato-Flag, by Selkirk) continued his freakishly strong form down the famous Flemington "straight six" for Hayes, Hayes & Dabernig in winning the $1.25 million Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) for the second year in succession, defeating Brave Smash and Merchant Navy. Leading the outside division for the entire race, against his normal swooping pattern, Redkirk Warrior displayed both diversity and courage to become the first horse since Razor Sharp in 1982/83 to achieve the rare back-to-back result. Correct (60/61), Gothic (27/28) and Aspen (1880/81) are the only other sprinters in the history of the Newmarket to do this. Redkirk Warrior was a £22,000 yearling from the draft of Manor House Stud at the 2012 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale (Book 2). His record now stands at 8 wins (including the Gr3 Sundown Stakes, Gr1 Newmarket Handicap & Gr1 Lightning Stakes) & 2 placings (including the Listed Hong Kong Classic Cup) from 17 starts for $2,911,080. It's now likely that Redkirk Warrior will represent Australia at Royal Ascot, most likely via Hong Kong, reports racing.com. Co-trainer Ben Hayes noted: "Talking to the owners, I think they're pretty keen to go travelling. He seems to have pulled up well this morning...and why not? He's done two amazing runs, and I think we can freshen him up and take him overseas now." Hayes added: "There's no [specific] plans set in stone yet. We'll have a big talk on Monday about it. We can go via Hong Kong and then onto England, or we can really freshen him and run him at Royal Ascot."

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Redkirk Warrior (image: Mark Gatt)

Newmarket To Determine Royal Ascot Prospects

Wednesday, 7th March 2018

Meanwhile, should Merchant Navy run up to expectations second-up and take out the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap down the Flemington straight-six on Saturday, his passport is all but confirmed for a trip to June's Royal Ascot Meeting, reports racing.com. With his entire preparation fashioned around Saturday's time-honoured event, and a dual hemisphere stallion deal with Coolmore on the table, there's a lot on the line for the talented son of Fastnet Rock. If the pre-race cartography pans out, the Newmarket will be the stepping stone to the Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes on the final day of the Royal meeting. Trainer Aaron Purcell confirmed Ascot plans after the colt's last serious gallop before Saturday, acknowledging, "If he wins or runs well, I'm sure the Ascot trip will be spoken about and it's definitely on the cards. I think he's spot on. He galloped this morning at Sandown and it's probably the best he's galloped this preparation. He looks terrific and his weight's great." Purcell added, "We've had a month between runs to tighten him up again. He's had a few strong gallops and each one has got better and better and this morning was his best gallop. The 1100 metres [of the Rubiton] was shorter than his best distance. He's obviously a very fast horse but he builds into his races and they went a bit slow early. His closing sectionals were great. I think the 1200 at Flemington in a very strongly-run race, he'll be very powerful to the line."

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Gr1 Newmarket Handicap favourite Merchant Navy (pic: Mark Gatt)

Super Cash Wins  Gr2 Rubiton Stakes

Monday, 12th February 2018

At Caulfield in Melbourne, Woodside Park's Gr2-winning stallion Written Tycoon (Iglesias-Party Miss, by Kenmare) added a Group race success when 5YO Australian-bred mare Super Cash (Written Tycoon-Super Bucks, by Dash for Cash) resumed with a successful defence of her title in the $200,000 Gr2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) for 3YO+, defeating Flamberge & Merchant Navy. In registering the fourth stakes win of his career, Super Cash improved her record to 6 wins (including the Gr2 Schillaci Stakes, Gr2 Rubiton Stakes & Listed Goodwood Racecourse Trophy) and 5 placings (including the Gr3 MRC Kevin Heffernan Stakes & Gr3 MVRC Typhoon Tracy Stakes) from 20 starts for $797,250 in earnings. Trainer Andrew Noblet said Super Cash would now be given a short break ahead of the $1 million Gr1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide in May. "Considering her fresh form, I think we'll give her a little freshen up again and get her ready for the Group 1 in Adelaide," Noblet told racing.com.

Rubiton Option for Merchant Navy

Monday, 5th February 2018

Top 3YO sprinter Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock-Legally Bay, by Snippets) could make his seasonal return in Saturday's Gr2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield. A brilliant winner of the stallion-making Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) in the spring, Merchant Navy is entered in all the major autumn sprints including the Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) and Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington. "He will be nominated for the Rubiton," trainer Aaron Purcell told ANZ Bloodstock News. "We'll just see how the race looks and then discuss it with the owners probably. If we run in the Rubiton or wait a week and run in the Lightning. We'll just try to figure out which race is going to bring him on for the Newmarket better."

merchant navy

Merchant Navy (image: Mark Gatt)

2017

Redzel Favourite for Everest

Thursday, 7th December 2017

TAB have opened defending champion Redzel as $8 favourite for the 2018 The Everest (1200m) to be run at Royal Randwick on 13 October, reports racingnsw.com.au. Prize money for next year's Everest, now the richest turf race in the world, will jump from $10 million to $13 million. The Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Redzel has established himself as the pre-eminent sprinter in Australia stringing together six consecutive wins since April, including Gr1 victories in the Darley Classic and Doomben 10,000.

TAB Everest Market

$8 - Redzel

$11 - Chautauqua, Vega Magic

$15 - Menari, Merchant Navy, Winx

$26 - Brave Smash, Clearly Innocent, English, In Her Time, Invincible Star, She Will Reign

$51 - Deploy, Hey Doc, Houtzen, Impending, Nature Strip, Performer, Redkirk Warrior, Terravista, Trapeze Artist, Tulip, Viddora

$101 - Ball of Muscle, Fell Swoop, Formality, Malaguerra, Rock Magic, Sheidel, Spieth

Merchant Navy Wins Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes

Monday, 6th November 2017

At Flemington in Melbourne, Coolmore's former Gr1-winning Champion Australian Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) celebrated an elite race success when 3YO bay colt Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock-Legally Bay, by Snippets) flashed home along the fence to score a thrilling last stride victory in the $1 million Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) for 3YOs, defeating Invincible Star & Formality. Purchased for $350,000 by Ciaron Maher Racing at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Segenhoe Stud, Merchant Navy advanced his impressive record to 5 wins (including the Gr3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes & Listed Anzac Day Stakes) from 6 starts for $809,450 in earnings. The prestigious Coolmore Stud Stakes boasts a reputation as a stallion-making race, meaning the well-bred Merchant Navy is now one of the most valuable stud prospects in the country. By Fastnet Rock out of Gr3 Sweet Embrace Stakes winner Legally Bay, Merchant Navy is a full-brother to Gr2 ATC Roman Consul Stakes winner Jolie Bay. Legally Bay herself is a half-sister to Gr1 Myer Classic winner Bonaria. "It's a stallion-making race and he's a well-bred Fastnet Rock colt and he's done the job in great style," trainer Aaron Purcell told racing.com.

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Merchant Navy (image: Steve Hart)

Golden Rose Final Field & Barrier Draw

Wednesday, 20th September 2017

The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the Gr1 Golden Rose (1400m) for 3YOs to be run at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday, 23 September. Fourteen 3YOs will contest the $1 million feature headed by star colt Menari who has drawn awkwardly in barrier 11. Despite the wide gate, the Gerald Ryan-trained colt remains the dominant $2 TAB favourite for the race off the back of two brilliant wins in the Gr2 The Run To The Rose (1200m) and Listed Rosebud (1100m). Menari's biggest market dangers, Pariah ($6.50) and boom Victorian colt Merchant Navy ($8), had mixed fortunes drawing barriers 12 and 2 respectively. See the Golden Rose field below.

Super Hard Challenge For Debut Winner's City Step Up

Wednesday, 6th September 2017

A fortnight ago at Pakenham, a 3YO colt turned many a head with a facile 2.25-lengths maiden win over 1000m where he finished with a wet sail. Trainer Robert Smerdon has wasted no time in getting Superhard to the city, with the All Too Hard son immediately tackling a much tougher assignment in today's opening race at Sandown over the same distance. At face value he looks like he's going to appreciate a step up in trip, so the question is how he'll fare over the 1000m against the likes of Written Choice who was very impressive over this course and distance when winning on debut. Waiting in the wings should either falter are Wait For No One from the in-form Team Hayes & Dabernig stable, and Fully Maxed who ran a bottler behind Jukebox in the Vain Stakes. And then there's Bel Sonic, whose formlines from just two starts are ominous. Winning second-up at Geelong over 1100m when a short-priced favourite, he was beaten less than two lengths at Pakenham over 1200m on debut by last start Gr3 winner Merchant Navy, who'd start deep in the red if he was running here.

Merchant Navy Wins Gr3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes

Monday, 4th September 2017

At Caulfield in Melbourne, Coolmore's former Gr1-winning Champion Australian Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added yet another stakes win to his incredible CV when 3YO colt Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock-Legally Bay, by Snippets) claimed his second black type success and retained his unbeaten record in capturing the $150,750 Gr3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) for 3YOs, defeating Booker & Muraahib. Purchased for $350,000 by Ciaron Maher Racing at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Segenhoe Stud, Merchant Navy is now 4 from 4 on the win tally (including the Listed Anzac Day Stakes) with $196,500 in earnings. From the Gr3 Sweet Embrace Stakes winner Legally Bay, Merchant Navy is a full-brother to Gr2 ATC Roman Consul Stakes winner Jolie Bay. Legally Bay herself is a half-sister to Gr1 Myer Classic winner Bonaria. An obviously chuffed Ciaron Maher commented to racing.com post-race, "[Merchant Navy] was very relaxed pre-race and I thought that was a great sign for the future as he was a pretty raw colt." He will now likely head to Rosehill Gardens for what is shaping up to be a magnificent Gr1 Golden Rose on September 23.

Merchant Navy

Golden Rose aspirant Merchant Navy (pic: Mark Gatt)

Exciting Colt Seeking to Remain Unbeaten

Wednesday, 30th August 2017

Boom Victorian colt Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock-Legally Bay, by Snippets) will be out to preserve his perfect record when he resumes in the Gr3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday. The Ciaron Maher-trained 3YO extended his unbeaten record to three when closing out his juvenile season with a maiden stakes win in the Listed Anzac Day Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in April. Maher, who describes Merchant Navy as a "Caulfield Guineas type", said he had returned a physically stronger horse after his break. "Hopefully he can win that first-up," Maher told racenet. "He's prepped up well and he's developed since his two-year-old year and he's got a great record. And the race is in his backyard." Maher added: "He's got a great set of lungs so I wouldn't mind a bit of give in the track and if there was showers around for the rest of the week, then it would be fine."

Caravaggio Unlikely for Everest

Wednesday, 16th August 2017

Coolmore look resigned to being without top-class colt Caravaggio in the inaugural $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 14 October. The dual Gr1 winning sprinter was expected to represent slot holder Coolmore in what will be the world’ richest turf race, but his disappointing performance when sixth in the Gr1 Prix Maurice de Gheest has forced a rethink. “He came out of the race in France a bit flat and a bit sore, so he is going to need some time off, so he looks less likely than likely at this stage that he will be coming for The Everest,” Coolmore Australia’s sales, marketing and racing manager Sebastian Hutch told ANZ Bloodstock News. “It is disappointing because he is obviously an exceptional horse and he looked to have the perfect credentials to be competitive in the race. That is horse racing, you accept the highs with the lows, and we will see what the next six weeks brings and then make a decision.” Coolmore will instead monitor the progress of some its 3YOs which it has an interest in, including unbeaten colt Merchant Navy, Golden Slipper placegetter Tulip, and Blue Diamond Stakes placegetter Formality.

Golden Rose Target for Boom VIC Colt

Tuesday, 8th August 2017

Trainer Ciaron Maher has confirmed that unbeaten Victorian colt Merchant Navy will be aimed at the $1 million Gr1 Golden Rose (1400m) in Sydney in the spring, reports Racing And Sports. Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock-Legally Bay, by Snippets) extended his perfect record to 3 wins from as many starts when opening his stakes account in the Listed Anzac Day Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in April. Maher plans on giving the son of Fastnet Rock a lead-up run in either the Gr3 McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on 27 August, or the G2 Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on 9 September. The Golden Rose will be run at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, 23 September.

Merchant Navy Wins Listed Anzac Day Stakes

Wednesday, 26th April 2017

At Flemington in Melbourne, Coolmore's former Gr1-winning Champion Australian Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) sired his 114th stakes winner when 2YO colt Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock-Legally Bay, by Snippets) claimed his maiden stakes victory in the $120,000 Listed Anzac Day Stakes (1400m) for 2YOs, defeating Casino Fourteen & Speed Street. Purchased for $350,000 by Ciaron Maher Racing at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Segenhoe Stud, Merchant Navy extended his unbeaten record to 3 wins from 3 starts for $105,000 in earnings. From the Gr3 Sweet Embrace Stakes winner Legally Bay, Merchant Navy is a full-brother to Gr2 ATC Roman Consul Stakes winner Jolie Bay. Legally Bay herself is a half-sister to Gr1 Myer Classic winner Bonaria. "To get a stakes win for a Fastnet Rock colt like him is great," trainer Ciaron Maher told racing.com. "He's definitely on the right path. He's improved every time he's gone to the races and he's a very exciting colt."