At Flemington in Melbourne, imported UK-bred 6YO gelding Redkirk Warrior (Notnowcato-Flag, by Selkirk) returned to his best straight track form for trainers Hayes, Hayes & Dabernig in the $750,000 Gr1 Lightning Stakes (1000m). While acknowledged as one of the best sprinters in the country after destroying his rivals in last year's Gr1 Newmarket Handicap, Redkirk Warrior was tried at slightly longer distances before being brought back to 1200m sprints that included a win in the Gr2 Bobbie Lewis Handicap at this track, but this was followed by below par performances in Sydney's The Everest and Flemington's Gr1 Darley Classic. Despite starting at a respectable and respectful quote of $11, not many expected Redkirk Warrior to have enough time to reel in his opposition over the shorter 1000m dash despite David Hayes spruiking his charge's chances during the week. Proving it ain't over until it's over, jockey Regan Bayliss, after missing the kick, managed to snatch victory away right on the line from odds-on 5YO gelding Redzel (Snitzel-Millrich, by Rubiton) who last no admirers with anothet typically gritty performance, and 4YO mare Missrock (Fastnet Rock-Miss Judgement, by Strategic). With the prospect of another Gr1 Newmarket Handicap and the Gr1 TJ Smith still ahead in the Autumn, Redkirk Warrior adds a thrilling dimension to the sprinters' ranks. His record now stands at 7 wins (including the Gr3 Sandown Stakes) & 2 placings (including the Listed Hong Kong Classic Cup) from 16 starts for $2,156,080 earnings. Not bad for a horse who won on debut in a UK maiden over 2000m.
Saturday's Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) final acceptances have left a field of ten quality sprinters to face the starter at Flemington. Australia's premier short course galloper Redzel is understandably favourite, with the son of Snitzel and reigning The Everest holder undefeated in his past 6 starts. He is at $1.80 following last start's Gr1 Darley Classic where he defeated Terravista by less than a length. The return to form by Terravista ($9) is notable as he won this race last year. Hey Doc ($8) has not raced since winning the Gr1 Manikato Stakes last October, but has won at Group level down the Flemington straight and will be primed to go. Others expected to feature prominently are former Gr1 Newmarket Handicap winner Redkirk Warrior, Ball of Muscle (whose last start produced a victory over this course and distance in Group company), proven course and distance speedster Supido and gifted Gr1-performed 3YO filly Formality, who carries just 53.5kg under the conditions and is a strong eachway hope at $10. The knock-out chance is outsider Missrock.
At Flemington in Melbourne, Rangal Park Stud's Gr3-winning stallion Danerich (Danehill-Millrich, by Rubiton) added a Group race success when 5YO brown gelding Rich Charm (Danerich-Charmly, by Kingston Mill) continued his progression through the sprinting ranks with yet another impressive win in the $300,000 Gr2 TAB Multiplier Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating Missrock & The Monstar. Rich Charm, who is part-owned by his veteran trainer Udyta Clarke, improved his record to 8 wins (including the Listed Italktravel Stakes) and 5 placings from 17 starts for $692,900 in earnings.
At Moonee Valley in Melbourne, Coolmore's Gr1-winning son of Danehill and former champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added a black-type success when 4YO bay mare Missrock (Fastnet Rock-Miss Judgement, by Strategic) swooped late to get up right on the line in the $120,000 Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) for 4YO+, defeating Heatherly & Lady Esprit. Missrock, who was purchased for $500,000 by her trainer Robbie Laing at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Cressfield Stud, improved her record to 4 wins (including the Gr3 Percy Sykes Stakes) and 4 placings (the Gr1 Goodwood, Gr2 ATC Sapphire Stakes & Gr3 VRC Emirates Airline Plate) from 15 starts for $972,100 in earnings. From the Gr3 winning mare Miss Judgement, Missrock hails from the family of Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Lady Jakeo, Gr1 Oakleigh Plate winner Mrs Onassis, and Gr3 Ming Dynasty Handicap winner Aussies Love Sports. Laing said he would love to secure a slot for Missrock in the inaugural $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 14 October. "She's got Vega Magic form [Gr1 Goodwood] and she beat English home two starts ago and they're talking The Everest," Laing told racing.com. "If she won a nice Group race in the next few weeks she might get a spot and she does go well at Randwick."
Yet to be unplaced at Moonee Valley from six runs, speedy 5YO mare Heatherly (Lonhro-Dancing Heather) appears likely to have tomorrow's Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley run to suit. Drawn in barrier 2, jockey Damian Lane will either have her right on the bunny or box seating around the tight turning circuit. A contemptuous jump out winner at Flemington a few weeks ago, Heatherly always races well fresh, and will go off near enough to even money favourite. Lady Esprit could cause a boil over at odds, however the two runners more likely to pressure Heatherly are Gr1 Good Handicap runner-up Missrock and the Darren Weir-trained Northern Meteor colt Speedeor, unraced since an authoritative win in last year's Ballarat Magic Millions.
At Morphettville racecourse in Adelaide, French 2000 Guineas & French Derby winning shuttler Lope De Vega (Shamardal-Lady Vettori, by Vettori) celebrated an elite race success when 4YO chestnut gelding Vega Magic (Lope de Vega-Admirable, by Magic Albert) landed the biggest prize of his career for new trainers David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig when winning the $1 million Gr1 Darley Goodwood (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating Missrock & Casino Wizard. Having his first start outside of his home state of West Australia, Vega Magic, who hails from the family of Golden Slipper winner Century Miss, advanced his record to 10 wins (including the Gr3 Colonel Reeves Stakes & Gr3 AJ Scahill Stakes) and 3 placings from 15 starts for $1,352,050 earnings. Trainer David Hayes said Vega Magic had trialled impressively prior to his eastern states debut and that he would now be aimed at the inaugural $10 million The Everest (1200m) in Sydney on 14 October. "He trialled very well and while you can't be too confident in a Goodwood of this class…the track work he was doing suggested he had to be an outstanding horse," Hayes old racing.com. "He did one gallop up our hill at Lindsay Park which had to be seen to be believed." Hayes added: "We'll probably back off him because I think he'd be an ideal horse for The Everest and there might be someone out there with a ticket that might want to share with us."
On day two of The Championships at Royal Randwick in Sydney, Arrowfield Stud's multiple stakes-winning stallion Not A Single Doubt (Redoute's Choice-Single's Bar, by Rory's Jester) added a Group success when 4YO mare Secret Agenda (Not a Single Doubt-Negotiate, by Red Ransom) scored by 1.3-lengths for trainer Mick Price in the $300,000 Gr2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+ fillies & mares, over 3YO filly Missrock (Fastnet Rock-Miss Judgement, by Strategic) & 5YO mare Artistry (Shamardal-Lady Peony, by Belong to Me). A $120,000 yearling consigned by Arrowfield Stud at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, Secret Agenda improved her record to 5 wins (including the Gr3 MRC Ladbrokes Odds Boost Stakes & Gr3 Gucci Stakes) & 4 placings (including the Gr2 Sapphire Stakes, Gr3 Typhoon Tracy Stakes, Gr3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes & Gr2 Champagne Stakes) from 16 starts for $614,750 earnings.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $750,000 weight-for-age Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) to be run at Flemington this Saturday, 18 February. Star colt Flying Artie, a brilliant winner of the stallion-making Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes in the spring, is the current $4 Tab favourite, ahead of fellow 3YO and Coolmore Stud Stakes third placegetter Star Turn at $4.40, and progressive sprinter Spieth at $6. The only other runners under double-figure odds are Supido at $8, as well as Heatherly and veteran sprinter Terravista at $9. The final field is:
At Flemington in Melbourne, Kingstar Farm's dual Gr1 winning stallion Monaco Consul (High Chaparral-Argante, by Star Way) sired his first stakes winner when 3YO filly Tiamo Grace (Monaco Consul-Sicile, by Anabaa) scored by 1.25 lengths for trainer Darren Weir in the $300,000 Gr2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) for 3YO fillies, over fellow fillies Sebring Dream (Sebring-Dream 'n' Believe, by Shamardal) & Missrock (Fastnet Rock-Miss Judgement, by Strategic). Tiamo Grace, who was a $50,000 purchase by Darren Weir Racing & John Foote Bloodstock at the 2015 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, advanced her record to 2 wins and 2 placings (including the Gr3 MRC Ethereal Stakes) from 5 starts for $238,600 earnings. Tiamo Grace firmed into $4.40 for Thursday's Gr1 VRC Oaks at Flemington but Jeremy Rogers, stable manager for trainer Darren Weir, said the filly was by no means a certain starter in the race. "We'll just see how she is before deciding whether to push on for Thursday's Oaks or putting her in the paddock and coming back in the autumn," Roger told racing.com. From the French-bred Anabaa mare Sicile, Tiamo Grace is a direct descendant of celebrated blue hen Fanfreluche, ancestress of former champion Australian sires Encosta de Lago and Flying Spur and Coolmore stallion Holy Roman Emperor.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $500,000 Gr1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) for 3YO fillies to be run at Caulfield racecourse on Saturday. Heading the market at $2.60 is the Chris Waller-trained filly Foxplay, a winner of the Gr2 Furious Stakes & Gr2 Tea Rose Stakes in Sydney at her past two outings. Next best is Gr1 Flight Stakes heroine Global Glamour at $6, while former champion WA 2YO Whispering Brook is the only other runner under double figure odds at $9. The final field is:
1. WHISPERING BROOK (Simon A Miller-Nicholas Hall) 55.5kg (3)
2. MISSROCK (Robbie Laing-Dwayne Dunn) 55.5kg (9)
3. GLOBAL GLAMOUR (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-K McEvoy) 55.5kg (8)
4. FOXPLAY (Chris Waller-Hugh Bowman) 55.5kg (5)
5. I AM A STAR (Shane Nichols-Steven King) 55.5kg (2)
6. LA LUNA ROSSA (Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman-D Oliver) 55.5kg (7)
7. SAMARA DANCER (Phillip Stokes-Dom Tourneur) 55.5kg (13)
8. LEGLESS VEUVE (Stuart Webb-Mark Zahra) 55.5kg (6)
9. SWORD OF LIGHT (Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-D Lane) 55.5kg (4)
10. LEOTIE (Henry Dwyer-Chris Parnham) 55.5kg (14)
11. SEBRING DREAM (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig-M Walker) 55.5kg (11)
12. HARLOW GOLD (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig-R Bayliss) 55.5kg (1)
13. SMART AMELIA (James Cummings-James McDonald) 55.5kg (12)
14. PEEKING DUCK (Trent Pennuto-Craig Newitt) 55.5kg (10)
15. FROMPARIS WITHLOVE (Leon & Troy Corstens-B Thompson) 55.5kg (15)
If her daughter's first three starts are any guide, history has repeated for the broodmare Prompt. This afternoon at Newcastle, the Gai Waterhouse stable will saddle one of the best performed maiden juveniles in the country. Prompt Response is by Arrowfield Stud's ill-fated sire Beneteau (Redoute's Choice-Slice of Paradise, by Encosta de Lago) out of the Exceed and Excel mare Prompt. Dam of Listed Blue Diamond Preview runner-up Diamond Glow, Prompt's first foal by Beneteau is Prompt Return, winner of the Gr3 Maribyrnong Plate. Thus far from three starts – she was tossed into group company from the start – Prompt Response finished runner-up in the Gr3 Emirates Airline Plate on debut, 4th in the Gr2 Magic Night Stakes, and then runner-up again by a head in her most recent start behind exciting filly Missrock in the Gr3 Percy Sykes Stakes. Whatever stands between her and a maiden win today will need to be one out of the box. That's reflected in the market where Prompt Response is at $1.20.
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Coolmore's Gr1-winning son of Danehill and former champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added a Group success when 2YO filly Missrock (Fastnet Rock-Miss Judgement, by Strategic) scored by 0.2-length for trainer Robbie Laing in the $500,000 Gr3 Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) for 2YO fillies, over fellow fillies Prompt Response (Beneteau-Prompt, by Exceed and Excel) & Spright (Hinchinbrook-Dashoff, by Dash for Cash). Missrock, who was purchased for $500,000 by Robbie Laing at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Cressfield Stud, took her record to 2 wins and 1 placing (the Gr3 VRC Emirates Airline Plate) from 4 starts for $500,500 earnings. From the Gr3 winning mare Miss Judgement and hails from the family of Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Lady Jakeo, Gr1 Oakleigh Plate winner Mrs Onassis, and Gr3 Ming Dynasty Handicap winner Aussies Love Sports.
At Flemington in Melbourne, Widden Stud's dual Gr1-winning sire Nicconi (Bianconi-Nicola Lass, by Scenic) added a Group success when 2YO filly Concealer (Nicconi-Beauty Kit, by Tale of the Cat) scored by 0.5-length for trainer Tony McEvoy in the $150,000 Gr3 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) for 2YO fillies, over fellow juvenile fillies Prompt Response (Beneteau-Prompt, by Exceed and Excel) & Missrock (Fastnet Rock-Miss Judgement, by Strategic). This was an impressive debut victory for Concealer who took her record to 1 win from 1 start for $91,500 earnings. Concealer was purchased for $35,000 by McEvoy Mitchell Racing at the 2015 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale from the draft of Widden Stud.
Swettenham Stud has jumped the blocks with its 2YOs this season. The Victorian nursery has earned black-type twice in the first two juvenile events of the season in Melbourne. First-season Master of Design filly Kinetic Design was runner-up in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on 4 October, while Equiano colt Valliano was placed in the Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on Saturday. Swettenham sold Valliano for $60,000 at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale. He's the first foal to race from the Elusive Quality mare Sunday School, a winning sister to Flemington Gr2 performer Viking Turf Belle. Lindsay Park co-trainer Tom Dabernig was keen on his chances despite a $31 starting quote. "He's a forward colt and has done everything right since we broke him in," Hayes said. Valliano was beaten less than length but had excuses behind the winner Missrock. "He ran very well and had no luck," jockey Dwayne Dunn admitted. "He should almost have won." Equiano sired his 7th first-crop winner from Swettenham when Orvassa landed her maiden at Echuca last week. The 3YO filly is trained by Jason Warren for owner Steve Watkins. Orvassa is being set for the $130,000 Inglis 3YO Trophy (1400m) at Sale on 25 October. "She didn't let us down with a tough win at Echuca and I think she's in for a good spring," Warren predicted. "She was a stunning yearling. Steve and I were both very keen...He was determined to have her and went bid-for-bid finally getting her for $160k." He added: "She showed ability last prep but didn't quite put it together on race day. She's gone to a new level this preparation and has come back a much better race filly. A win at Sale will go a long way to paying off her price tag!"
At Caulfield in Melbourne, Coolmore's Gr1-winning Danehill stallion Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added a black-type success when 2YO filly Missrock (Fastnet Rock-Miss Judgement, by Strategic) scored by 0.75-length for trainer Robbie Laing in the $120,000 Listed Debutant Stakes (1000m) for 2YOs, over fellow 2YO filly Pearl Congenial (Gio Ponti-Congenial, by Redoute's Choice) & 2YO colt Valliano (Equiano-Miss Valley Road, by Elusive Quality). Missrock, who is out of Gr3 How Now Stakes winner Miss Judgement, took her record to 1 win from 1 start for $72,5000 earnings. She was purchased by Robbie Laing for $500,000 at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Scone nursery Cressfield Stud.