The Australian Turf Club hosted Thoroughbred Breeders NSW (TBNSW) members and sponsors at the Directors’ Lunch during Colgate Optic White George Main Stakes Day on Saturday at Royal Randwick. Against the backdrop of magnificent racing, where Winx secured her 20th Gr1 win, TBNSW Director Hamish Esplin introduced the awards at the annual presentation for achievements during the 2017-2018 racing season. Winners were announced by Bred To Win’s Caroline Searcy and sponsors including IRT, Horsepower, G1 Goldmine, HQ Insurance, the ATC and Ranvet. Award winners were:
Meanwhile, while the powerful Hayes, Hayes & Dabernig stable is represented by exciting More Sundays (see above), Fundamentalist and Muuraqeb in Sydney (plus three in Adelaide), the bulk of their runners are at Caulfield where 17 alumni will step out, including a quintet in the Jockey Celebration Day Handicap (1400m). Although The Everest-bound Vega Magic is a short-priced favourite to back-to-back in the Gr1 Memsie Stakes, exciting 3YO colt Tony Nicconi has another chance to press his claims as one of the best sophomore sprinters in the country. Solidly supported into favouritism for the Gr3 HDF McNeil Stakes over 1200m, the jump-and-run type has the advantage of an inside draw, however will quickly know he is starting to play in the big leagues as he works towards a possible start in the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes. Stable-mate Alymerton, beaten less than 5-lengths in the Golden Slipper, makes his seasonal return, as does last start Gr1 Champagne Stakes heroine Seabrook. Throw in Champagne runner-up Bondi, Happy Clapper's Gr2-winning half-brother Not A Single Cent, speedy Brisbane raider Granny Red Shoes and Native Soldier, who was closing strongly behind Tony Nicconi last start, and the result is far from a certainty.
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:
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Darley's unbeaten European Champion juvenile & dual Gr1-winning shuttler Teofilo (Galileo-Speirbhean, by Danehill) celebrated an elite race success when 7YO Australian-bred gelding Happy Clapper (Teofilo-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) showed he had returned from a break in tremendous order with a stylish first-up win in the $500,000 Gr1 weight-for-age Canterbury Stakes (1300m) for 3YO+, defeating Global Glamour & Invincible Gem. This was the second top-flight success for Happy Clapper after his Gr1 Epsom Handicap win in the spring which advanced his record to 10 wins (including the Gr1 Epsom Handicap, Gr2 Tramway Stakes, Gr2 ATC Villiers Stakes) & Gr3 Newmarket Handicap) and 11 placings (including the Gr1 VRC Emirates Stakes, Gr1 George Main Stakes, Gr1 ATC Doncaster Handicap – twice & Gr1 ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes) from 32 starts for $3,875,800 in earnings. "I just hope I haven't taken too much out of him first-up but who cares, it is a Group One," trainer Pat Webster told Sky Racing. Webster and owner-breeder Michael Thomas will now discuss the best options for Happy Clapper ahead of his primary autumn target, the $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick on 7 April. Thomas is also the breeder and part-owner of Happy Clapper's half-brother Not A Single Cent (Not A Single Doubt) who was an impressive winner of Saturday's Gr2 VRC Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.
At Flemington in Melbourne, Arrowfield Stud's multiple stakes-winning stallion Not A Single Doubt (Redoute's Choice-Single's Bar, by Rory's Jester) added yet another stakes success in the $200,000 Gr2 Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) for 2YOs with the Aaron Purcell-trained Not A Single Cent (Not A Single Doubt-Busking, by Encosta de Lago) defeating Seberate & Akkadian. This was the maiden victory for Not A Single Cent at only his second race start boosting his earnings to $123,050. Not A Single Cent was a $280,000 yearling purchase from the draft of Willow Park Stud at the 2017 Gold Coast Magic Millions. The promising colt is from the Encosta de Lago mare Busking and is a half-brother to Gr1 Epsom Handicap & Gr1 Canterbury Stakes winner Happy Clapper, as well as dual Gr3 stakes-placed filly Gig. Trainer Aaron Purcell commented post race to the Sydney Morning Herald: ''We were sure he was going to run well. He's a big, strong colt, a really well-bred horse, he's been in work quite a while." Purcell also confirmed that the Gr1 ATC Sires' Produce Stakes now appears on the colt's radar. ''There's a good chance he will head there now [to Sydney]. Knowing the horse well, he's always a strong horse, always finishing off his work really well. He takes a little while to wind up but the gaps came for him today and when the pressure came he dug deep to the line. I think this horse will be a mile-to-2000 metre horse for the spring. This trip of 1400 is definitely the shortest distance he is going to be effective at. He is a half-brother to Happy Clapper, a high-class mile-to-2000 horse."