At Newcastle in the Hunter region of NSW, triple Gr1-winning Darley shuttler & US Eclipse Award-winning stallion Bernardini (A.P. Indy-Cara Rafaela, by Quiet American) added a Group success when 7YO bay mare Zanbagh (Bernardini-Wild Iris, by Spectrum) overcame a tough three-wide run to score a brave win in the $150,000 Gr3 Tibbie Stakes (1400m) for fillies & mares, defeating Perfect Rhyme & Hetty Heights. Zanbagh advanced her record to 7 wins (including the Gr2 Emancipation Stakes – twice & Gr3 Keith Nolan Classic) and 7 placings (including the Gr1 VRC Oaks, Gr1 ATC Australian Oaks & Gr1 Queen of the Turf Stakes) from 41 starts for $1,243,295 in earnings. A homebred for the Tait family, Zanbagh is out of 2004 Australian Oaks winner Wild Iris. Wild Iris is a granddaughter of talented filly Fiancee who in turn is by the Tait family's outstanding homebred Baguette, winner of the Golden Slipper, George Main Stakes and Newmarket Handicap among a host of other Gr1 races. Trainer John Thompson said Zanbagh would have her next start in the $1 million Gr1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on 1st October. "She's a great mare," Thompson told Sky Racing. "She's consistent and she was probably the class horse of the field…she had a good horses weight and barrier 18 but she had Hugh Bowman on her back."
On day two of The Championships at Royal Randwick in Sydney, Westbury Stud's three-time Gr1-winning shuttle stallion Makfi (Dubawi-Dhelaal, by Green Desert) celebrated an elite success when 3YO filly Bonneval (Makfi-Imposingly, by Zabeel) coasted to an impressive 4.5 length win for trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman in the $1 million Gr1 Australian Oaks (2400m) for 3YO fillies, over fellow fillies Perfect Rhyme (Poet's Voice-Dagmar, by Danehill) & Lasqueti Spirit (Beneteau-Supriym Story, by General Nediym). Bonneval, who was purchased by Baker Racing for $150,000 at the 2015 NZB Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Westbury Stud, improved her record to 5 wins (including the Gr1 New Zealand Oaks, Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic & Gr3 Hawkes Bay Lowland Stakes) and 1 placing (the Gr3 WRC Desert Gold Stakes) from 8 starts for $978,969 earnings. The well-bred Bonneval is a full sister to Gr3 winner Imposing Lass and a half-sister to Gr3 winners Full Of Spirit (Flying Spur) and Lady Cumquat (Duke Of Marmalade) from Imposingly (Zabeel), a three-quarter sister to New Zealand Derby winner St Reims and Gr1 Mackinnon Stakes winner and Melbourne Cup runner-up Champagne (both by Zabeel). Co-trainer Murray Baker, who has now won more Gr1 races in Australia than any other New Zealand trainer, said Bonneval could develop into a genuine weight-for-age mare in the spring. "I really think she might be better than just a handicapper in the spring, I think she could develop in to a weight-for-age horse," Baker told AAP. "She is very good and that was a brilliant ride by Hugh Bowman, he is so patient."
On day one of The Championships at Royal Randwick in Sydney, triple Gr1-winning former English Derby victor & Darley shuttler Authorized (Montjeu-Funsie, by Saumarez) added a Group success when 3YO filly Waking Moment (Authorized-Try This, by Dangerous) arrived in the final stride to score by 0.1 length for trainer John Thompson in the $200,000 Gr3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) for 3YO fillies, over fellow fillies Perfect Rhyme (Poet's Voice-Dagmar, by Danehill) & Fallacy (Commands-Prestigious, by Rainbow Quest). This was the first stakes victory for Waking Moment who improved his record to 1 win and 1 placing from 4 starts for $123,250 earnings.