Stakes-winning mare Ellicazoom is a late supplementary entry for the Magic Millions Perth Winter Thoroughbred Sale and will go under the hammer this Sunday. A stakes-winner and group-performer on both sides of the country, Ellicazoom will be the star attraction of a quality packed catalogue when she is offered as a racing and breeding prospect. Trained during her career by Neville Parnham, Ellicazoom won a listed Burgess Queen Stakes in Perth and was placed in no fewer than five other stakes events. Among those placings were three runner-up finishes in Group Two events - the WA Guineas at Ascot (see below), the Angus Armanasco Stakes at Caulfield and the Kewney Stakes at Flemington. In her two Melbourne Group Two second placings she was beaten in photo finishes. From just 17 starts the beautifully related Testa Rossa four-year-old earned over $335,000. Ellicazoom, a half sister to the New Zealand stakes performer El Doute, is a daughter of the Group One Robert Sangster Stakes winner and $770,000 earner Ellicorsam. Also joining Ellicazoom in the sale is the lightly raced and two time winning Snitzel mare Snitz 'n' Giggles. She is from the stakes-winner For Your Eyes Only, making her a half-sister to this season's quality juvenile Secret Lady. Sunday's Perth Winter Yearling, Thoroughbred and Racehorse Sales has brought together a great line up of prospects with selling to commence at Belmont from 11am (WA time). The day's sale has attracted the entry of 44 yearlings, 53 broodmares, 63 weanlings and 36 racehorses.
What started as a nomination swap between old family friends ten years ago ended in Spirit of Booms fifth stakes winner at Morphettville on Saturday. "Scott [McAlpine] thought it would be a nice idea to support each other’s stallions, so we sent Almah to Red Dazzler and Scott sent Precious Pearl to Good Journey back in 2008," Cornerstone Stud's Sam Hayes explained. The result of the Good Journey mating was a filly called Done Deal. After selling Done Deal as a yearling the team at Eureka acquired her back at the end of her racing career and sent her to their first season sire Spirit of Boom. "We were keen to make sure that we had Spirit of Booms racing in every state, so we asked Sam and Emily if they would like to invest in some foals with us to sell in Adelaide," said Scott McAlpine. The Spirit of Boom filly out of the Good Journey mare Done Deal was one of the foals on offer and the association had come full circle. "We sold her here in Adelaide to Richard Jolly for $23,000 and we were all delighted when she won by five lengths at Murray Bridge first up," said Hayes. Heavens Deal put in a professional performance to become the fifth individual stakes performer for Spirit of Boom winning the Listed SAJC Queen Adelaide Stakes on Saturday. "The Spirit of Boom story highlights that if you work hard, persist and do the right thing, good things can happen. We were just happy to be a small part of the script on Saturday," added Hayes. Spirit of Boom is standing at Eureka Stud at $55,000 inc. GST this season.
A successful year for Brighthill Farm stallion Dalghar has seen his 2018 fee increased from NZ$8,000 to NZ$10,000 + GST. Dalghar's best performer has been the home-bred Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) and Gr2 Wellington Guineas (1400m) winner Scott Base. Dalghar's associate sire Preferment, a multiple Group 1-winning son of Zabeel, will stand at $12,500 + GST while Group 1 producer Perfectly Ready will remain at $3000 + GST.
Waikato Stud's champion resident stallion Pins passed away on Sunday due to complications from colic, reports NZ Racing Desk. He was 21. Trained by Clarry Conners, Pins (Snippets-No Finer, by Kaoru Star) retired to the famous Matamata nursery in 2000 after an outstanding career that yielded 7 wins from 14 starts and $1.7 million in earnings. His biggest win came in the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington where he defeated Freemason & Hades. "I was on course the day he won and knew then that he would be a great horse to be a part of and he has been such a great stallion for us for the past 18 years," said stud principal Mark Chittick. "Pins was an incredible stallion and his versatility as a sire has always amazed me." From 15 crops, Pins sired a total of 75 individual stakes winners including 8 Group 1 winners. He twice won the Centaine Award for the leading New Zealand-based sire for global progeny earnings and his record of stakes winners-to-runners places him in the top seven stallions of Australasia. Pins' best Australian performer was 4-time Gr1 winner and Cox Plate winner El Segundo, while in New Zealand his top-flight winners included Katie Lee who created history in 2009 when becoming the first horse to claim the New Zealand 2000 & 1000 Guineas double. Pins is also well-established as a broodmare sire with his daughters having produced 28 stakes winners. They include Australian Group 1 winners Stratum Star and Brambles and New Zealand Oaks winner Savvy Coup. He has been laid to rest at Waikato Stud alongside fellow champion stallions O'Reilly, Centaine and Pompeii Court.
The 2018 Karaka May Sale is undergoing a major enhancement to the Yearling section with all yearlings offered now eligible to be nominated for the lucrative Karaka Million Series. The Yearling category will see the first horses of the Sale go through the ring on Monday 7 May with Lots 1 to 65 selling from 10am. This will provide buyers another opportunity to contest two $1 million races – the 2019 Karaka Million 2YO and the 2020 Karaka Million 3YO Classic, and the $100,000 CollinsonForex Karaka Cup for the remainder of their career. Among the 65 yearlings catalogued are the progeny of Gr2 winners Alagant Satin (Lot 4, by international Gr1 sire Tavistock) and Highflying (Lot 34, by first season sire at Karaka Proisir); and stakes winners Aimee's Idol (Lot 3, by Proisir) and Tip the Wink (Lot 64, by Australia's leading sire Snitzel). In addition to these stakes performing dams are siblings to stakes performers:
The Karaka May Sale will be held on 7 and 8 May with selling commencing at 10am each day. A total of 518 horses will go through the ring including Weanlings (294), Yearlings (65), Two-Year-Old's (three), Unraced Stock (two), Racehorses (10) and Broodmares (144). Click here for more information about the Sale and click here to view catalogue.
Recent Group 1-performing Kiwi-breds have provided a timely boost to several pedigree pages, along with other outstanding performances, for the upcoming New Zealand Bloodstock South Island Sale to be held at the Riding for the Disabled Building at the Canterbury Agricultural Park in Christchurch on 20 April. Mansfield Farm will offer a colt by Ocean Park (Lot 9) who is closely related to recent Gr1 New Zealand Oaks winner Savvy Coup (Savabeel). He is also related to Gr2 Japan-New Zealand International Trophy winner Ocean Emperor (Zabeel) and multiple stakes winner Battle Hero (Stratum) who recently claimed two black-type sprint races back-to-back. Another star 3YO is Grunt (O'Reilly) has made headlines in Australia with a last start win in the Group 1 Australian Guineas. Mansfield Farm will also offer Lot 50, a colt by Road to Rock, who is from the same family as Grunt. The only filly entered in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby, Danzdanzdance (Mastercraftsman) had a stellar performance to finish third. Trained by Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs, she has also placed second in the Group 2 Avondale Guineas. A colt by Mettre en Jeu, consigned as Lot 77 by Long Acres Stud, is from the same winning family. Clearview Park Stud are set to offer two fillies that have also received timely pedigree updates, including Lot 83 by first season sire Ghibellines is from the same family as Group 1 Randwick Guineas winner Kementari (Lonhro). Other Lots to receive updates include relations to exciting filly Sunlight (Lots 35 & 38), and Gr1 Surround Stakes performer Shumookh (Lot 106). Click here to view all significant updates. All yearlings purchased at the 2018 South Island Sale are eligible to enter the lucrative Karaka Million Series which comprises of two $1 million races - the 2019 Karaka Million 2YO and the 2020 Karaka Million 3YO Classic, as well as the $100,000 Karaka Cup for the remainder of their career. Click here to view catalogue.
Champion jockey Hugh Bowman is confident that Performer can provide him with his first Golden Slipper winner in tomorrow's $3.5 million 2YO feature at Rosehill, reports racingnsw.com.au. The talented but enigmatic colt was required to trial to the satisfaction of stewards last Thursday after he dislodged Bowman in the Gr2 Todman Stakes two weeks ago. "Every year I try to talk myself into thinking I've got a winning chance but the reality is my last winning chance would have been Meurice who I rode into third place for Gai Waterhouse in 2007. It's exciting going into the race with a genuine top contender," Bowman said. "I was a little flattened when I saw barrier 16 but with the likely rain-affected track it might nullify the wide draw." Bowman added: "I'm looking forward to being reunited with him. I was very impressed with his trial. My gut feel is they would have gone on to the Golden Slipper regardless of what happened in the Todman. He is an exciting colt and has given me a great deal of confidence since the first time I sat on him." Bowman nominated current favourite Sunlight as the horse to beat. "Sunlight is the benchmark but it's probably the most open Golden Slipper I've seen in 10 years or so," he said.
First run in 1957, the Golden Slipper is recognised as one of the jewels in the crown of Australian racing with past winners progressing to become champions on the track and in the breeding barn. Past winners include inaugural winner Todman (1957), Storm Queen (1966), Vain (1969), Luskin Star (1977), Manikato (1978), Marscay (1982), Rory's Jester (1985), Bounding Away (1986), Canny Lad (1990), Bint Marscay (1993), Flying Spur (1995), Miss Finland (2006), Forensics (2007), Sebring (2008), Sepoy (2011), and Pierro (2012). This year, the Tony McEvoy-trained filly Sunlight is the TAB favourite at $4.20, marginally ahead of unbeaten Melbourne colt Written By at $4.80, followed by Santos & Seabrook at $8.50, and Performer at $10. The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a very high chance of showers (90%) for Sydney today and tomorrow so the track will be rain affected. The Rosehill track is currently rated a Soft 7. The $3.5 million Gr1 Golden Slipper (1200m) for 2YOs will be run as race 7 at 4:10pm at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday. Only Ron Quinton and Shane Dye have ridden four winners of the race. Kevin Langby achieved the feat three times although it should have been four but for fate. Steve Hart interviewed the four-time jockey premiership winner – see below:
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the world's richest 2YO race, the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) to be run at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday, 24 March. Golden Slipper favourites Sunlight (barrier 5) and Written By (barrier 4) drew side by side to confirm their positions at the top of the market. The Tony McEvoy-trained Sunlight remains favourite at $4.20 with TAB but Grahame Begg's Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner is breathing down her neck firming slightly into $4.60. Of the other runners under double figure odds, the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott trainee Santos saw his price shorten into $8 after drawing perfectly in gate 3, while talented but enigmatic colt Performer is also $8 but must overcome the outside gate (16). Bookmakers are taking no risks with Melbourne filly Seabrook who is available at $9 despite drawing barrier 12. The Golden Slipper will be run as race 7 at 4:10pm AEDT on Saturday.
Chris Waller is adamant that Performer is a live chance in Saturday's Gr1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill despite having a less than ideal preparation for the race. The Exceed And Excel colt was required to trial to the satisfaction of stewards last Thursday after he dislodged champion jockey Hugh Bowman in the Gr2 Todman Stakes on 10 March. Before veering out sharply causing Bowman to crash into the hallowed Randwick turf, Bowman said Performer was actually working into the race quite strongly. "I thought he was struggling to win last start but Hugh assures me he was just hitting top stride," Waller told racingnsw.com.au. "I'm not putting any emphasis on it apart from the fact I want to make sure he doesn't do it again. With the blinkers on that will sort him out." He added: "There's no concern from Hugh or us in relation to the horse. It was a freak accident. It's been far from perfect but the horse looks very fit." Performer is being kept safe by bookmakers and is currently an $8 chance with TAB for the Golden Slipper.
Former Hong Kong star and now Goldin Farms resident stallion Akeed Mofeed (Dubawi-Wonder Why, by Tiger Hill) sired his first winner when Heart Conquered saluted over 1000m at Morphettville on Saturday. Prepared by Team Hawkes, the 2YO colt accounted for Frazier (Casino Prince) with fellow Akeed Mofeed juvenile La Vita in third. Akeed Mofeed was a top European Group performer at two and three before establishing himself as one of the best horses in Hong Kong when winning the 2013 Hong Kong Derby & Gr1 Hong Kong Cup where he defeated French star Cirrus des Aigles, among others.
At Flemington in Melbourne, Arrowfield Stud's incumbent Champion Australian Sire Snitzel (Redoute's Choice-Snippets' Lass, by Snippets) celebrated a Listed race success when 2YO Australian-bred filly Nomothaj (Snitzel-Real Stolle, by Elusive Quality) sustained a strong run on the speed to take out the $120,000 3AW is Football Stakes (1000m) for 2YOs, defeating Irukandji & the fast finishing Virtual Insanity. At only her third race start, Nomothaj showed the benefit of race knowledge to take her record to 2 wins (including the Listed Maribyrnong Trial) for $156,400 in earnings. Nomothaj races in the famous Shadwell colours of owner Sheikh Hamdan which secured him for $420,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Newgate Farm. From the Gr3-winning Elusive Quality mare, Real Stolle, Nomothaj hails from the family of Gr1 Futurity Stakes runer-up Chattanooga and Gr2 SAJC Breeders' Stakes winner Berberia. Runner-up Irukandji, raced by Spendthrift Australia, became the first stakes-performer for Champion racehorse Dundeel who stands at Arrowfield Stud.
In another boost for the Inglis Chairman’s Sale Breeding Prospects session, Gypsy Diamond and Heatherly - in foal to I Am Invincible and Written Tycoon respectively - headline early entries received for the sale’s second renewal, which will be held at the new Riverside complex on April 12, following the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. Gypsy Diamond is part of an 11-strong group of mares being offered in an unreserved reduction sale by Finemore Thoroughbreds and Planette Thoroughbred. The Finemore/Planette draft also includes mares in foal to outstanding stallions, including the likes of sires Snitzel, Not A Single Doubt and Savabeel.
At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Darley's former Champion Australian Sire Exceed And Excel (Danehill-Patrona, by Lomond) added a Group race success when 2YO Australian-bred colt Performer (Exceed and Excel-Gavroche, by Snippets) maintained his perfect record when resuming with a hard fought win in the $150,000 Gr3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) for 2YO colts & geldings, defeating Stratosphere & Exceltic. The highly regarded Performer extended his unbeaten record to 2 wins (including the Listed Arrowfield Breeders' Plate) from 2 starts for $192,000 in earnings. Trainer Chris Waller said Performer would make his next appearance in the Gr2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on 10 March before his grand final in the $3.5 million Gr1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on 24 March. "I was happy at the 100 metres but concerned the last five," Waller told Sky Racing. "But he is still learning and is where I want him to be." He added: "We will stick to the plan to give him a barrier trial and then run him in the Todman Stakes two weeks before the Slipper." Purchased by Harras Syndicate & Mulcaster Bloodstock for $450,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Newhaven Park, Performer is a half-brother to multiple Group winner and Gr1 Galaxy winner Bel Sprinter (Bel Esprit). TAB currently has Performer as an $8 second favourite for the Golden Slipper behind boom Victorian filly Sunlight at $6.
At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Yarraman Park's Gr3-winning stallion I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit-Cannarelle, by Canny Lad) added a Group race success when 2YO Australian-bred filly Fiesta (I Am Invincible-Now Now, by Danehill Dancer) overcame trouble in running for a strong finishing win in the $150,000 Gr3 Widden Stakes (1100m) for 3YO fillies, defeating Adamina & River Bird. Interestingly, Fiesta ran the 1100 metres half a second quicker than her stable-mate Performer in the previous race. Purchased by Star Thoroughbreds in partnership with Chris Waller Racing for $150,000 at the 2017 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, Fiesta got off the mark to improve her record to 1 win and 2 placings (including the Listed ATC Gimcrack Stakes) from 3 starts for $117,150 in earnings. Trainer Chris Waller confirmed that Fiesta would now head to the Gr2 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on 3 March as a final lead-up to the $3.5 million Gr1 Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on 24 March.
Performer (Exceed and Excel-Gavroche, by Snippets) will be out to justify his billing as a leading Golden Slipper contender when he resumes in the Gr3 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday. The Chris Waller-trained colt made the perfect start to his career when charging home to score on debut in the Listed Arrowfield Breeders' Plate (1000m) at Randwick on 30 September. The son of Exceed And Excel was installed as favourite for the Golden Slipper off the back of that performance, but has since been relegated to second favourite after the win of boom filly Sunlight in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic earlier this month. Stable representative Charlie Duckworth said Performer had made the necessary improvement during his break to be a force in the world's richest juvenile race. "He's taller, stronger and put on a considerable amount of weight," Duckworth told racingnsw.com.au. "He's a more mature colt. We never tightened the screws at all last preparation, he did it on raw ability and that's the reason why we didn't tighten the screws because we had to allow his body to develop and strengthen." Duckworth added: "So far as we're all concerned we still think he is the one to beat [in the Golden Slipper]."
If bookmakers odds are any guide, recent Magic Millions 2YO Classic heroine Sunlight (Zoustar-Solar Charged, by Charge Forward) is the juvenile to beat in the Gr1 Longines Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) on 24 March at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney. After the obliteration of her opposition in the Gold Coast feature, Sunlight is now $7 Slipper favourite with most bookies, although some are prepared to offer $8 along with the only other runner below $21, and that's Performer (Exceed and Excel-Gavroche, by Snippets). The Chris Waller-trained colt has had just one start, winning the early season Gr3 Breeders' Plate at Randwick, but has trialled since where he cruised home at Canterbury over 900m. If a week's a long time in politics, two months can be an eternity in racing, and next month's Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes might yet cloud the picture ahead of Sydney's own traditional Slipper lead-ups.
The Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale has re-written the record books for its Book One auction with previous benchmarks smashed during the action packed four-day event. A filly by Snitzel (Lot 830) became the ninth individual lot to reach seven-figures when she was knocked down to New South Wales trainer Mark Newnham during Saturday's night session for $1.1 million. Offered by Arrowfield Stud, as agent, the filly out of Intimate Moment (Dubawi) was the standout performer on Day Four and helped elevate the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale as the highest ever grossing yearling auction in southern hemisphere history. "That's the one we were waiting for the last three days. It's nice we were able to get her," Newnham said. "She just looks a natural. She's got a really good, strong pedigree behind her and you'd nearly give up if she couldn't run." He added: "We thought she'd be pretty dear – for us she was the best one here. You've got to pay for them."
Lightly raced NZ filly Larima (Pour Moi-Splinter, by Thorn Park) is reported to be thriving since unwinding on her stakes debut in the Gr3 Eulogy Stakes (1550m) at Awapanui to finish a closing fourth behind Savvy Coup, Gr1 performer Dijon Bleu and subsequent Gr2 Eight Carat Classic winner Contessa Vanessa. A stylish Maiden winner on her home deck at Taranaki in December, New Plymouth-based trainer Janelle Millar is excited at the progressive nature of her filly as the Gr1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai NZ Oaks looms on March 17. "It was a really good run [at her stakes debut] and she had a week off after that and she's back in work now. We weren't surprised, we've always had a lot of time for her. The way she won her second start was pretty impressive, she's a very classy horse." Next up for Larima is likely to be the Gr3 Wellfield Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) on January 20 at Trentham before a potential tilt at the Oaks Prelude leading into the Lowland Stakes at Hastings. A NZ$30,000 purchase by Michael Wallace's Waterford Bloodstock at the 2016 NZB Ready To Run Sale, Larima hails from a family which includes Joint Champion 3YO Sprinting Filly Star Satire and her Gr2 Silver Slipper-winning daughter Satin Shoes.
Perth Cup placegetter Tradesman is the latest WA galloper to join the stable of champion Victorian trainer Darren Weir, reports the West Australian. A winner of 7 of his 21 starts, Tradesman's (Trade Fair-Virelay, by Laranto) biggest win to date came in the Listed Belmont Guineas as a 3YO. The consistent performer has also been placed three times at Group level, namely in the Gr2 Perth Cup, Gr2 Lee Steere Classic and Gr3 Northerly Stakes. Todd Harvey, who is also a part-owner of Tradesman, hopes a change of environment can help the 7YO realise his potential. "He's got a high rating here, but he doesn't have to race in top company over there," Harvey said. "There are plenty more options there. I feel he's a genuine stayer and we haven't really had a crack at getting him over ground. We all thought it was best for the horse to send him to Weir." Harvey added: "He'll fly over when Black Heart Bart and Ulmann go home in a couple of weeks and he'll probably have a month or so off when he gets there." It was announced last week that former champion West Australian 2YO Whispering Brook (Hinchinbrook-Artful Whisper, by Machiavellian) would also be joining Weir in the New Year.
Exposure on the international stage has provided Little Avondale Stud with another timely boost ahead of next month's New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale series at Karaka, reports NZ Racing Desk. The win of Time To Celebrate in the Maurice Handicap (1600m) at Hong Kong's international meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday has shone a light on his exciting young sire Per Incanto. "To do it at Sunday's international meeting in front of pretty much all of the big owners around the world is just so important and great for us and New Zealand," Little Avondale's studmaster Sam Williams said. "Per Incanto has got two very good horses in Hong Kong, apart from Time To Celebrate there's also Morethanlucky, who's won three of his last four starts." He added: "Per Incanto has got a fantastic ability to upgrade mares, he's done it from second tier mares off a $4000 and $5000 fee and now he's got a new crop coming through off a $15,000 service fee." Per Incanto's numbers at Karaka in 2018 reflect the stallion's ongoing success. "Next year he's got 17 in the Book 1 Sale...the two stand-outs are Lot 670, a colt out of Tsukioka and he's a ripping type and a half-brother to Regency Bo Bo, who ran second in Hong Kong on international night," Williams said. "The other one I really like is Lot 193 out of the More Than Ready mare Exposed." Williams added: "He had 18 individual winners in November and this month he's had seven already." Crowned Champion Italian 3YO Sprinter in 2007, Per Incanto's (Street Cry-Pappa Reale, by Indian Ridge) best performer to date is Gr1 Diamond Stakes (1200m) winner Dal Cielo.
Meanwhile, co-trainer Paul Snowden has confirmed the stable will target the Wyong Magic Millions race on 21 December but was unsure if current Magic Millions Classic favourite Bondi would be among them, reports racingnsw.com.au. Bondi (Snitzel-Bondi Blonde, by Red Ransom) ran a close second to Performer in the Listed Breeders' Plate in September and is currently the $8 TAB fixed odds favourite for the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast on 13 January. "There are a couple of options in Queensland so at this stage I don't know where we will head with Bondi," Snowden said. "Our aim is to qualify as many runners as we can so we are chasing the prize money." He added: "Bondi had a nice trial at Wyong on Monday. He had look at the track and that is an advantage. He's nowhere near screwed down yet with the grand final still six weeks away."
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
TAB has installed the Chris Waller-trained Performer as favourite for the 2018 Gr1 Golden Slipper (1200m) to be run at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday 24 March, reports racingnsw.com.au. Performer (Exceed and Excel-Gavroche, by Snippets) made the perfect start to his career when charging home to score on debut in the Listed Arrowfield Breeders' Plate (1000m) at Randwick on 30 September. Performer has opened up as the $8 pre-post favourite for the world's richest juvenile race, ahead of the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Bondi at $11. Bondi, by incumbent Champion Australian Sire Snitzel, ran a close second to Performer in the Breeders' Plate. The Breeders' Plate has been a very strong historical form guide with Capitalist (2015), Vancouver (2014), Pierro (2011) and Sebring (2008) the most recent to complete the Breeder's Plate-Golden Slipper double. Performer, a $450,000 yearling from the Magic Millions Gold Coast sale, is currently in pre-training ahead of his return to Waller's Rosehill stable in the coming weeks. Click here to view the full TAB Golden Slipper market.
Defending champion Scales of Justice has retained favouritism for Saturday's Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot despite drawing barrier 13 in the $1 million feature, reports the West Australian. But with three of the four emergencies drawn inside him, Scales Of Justice (Not a Single Doubt-Beymatilla, by Umatilla) is likely to start from barrier ten in his bid for back-to-back Railway victories. Despite the unfavourable draw, he is currently the $5.50 TAB fixed odds favourite for the race ahead of 5-time Gr1 winner Black Heart Bart ($6) and Gr1 performer Tom Melbourne ($6.50). "I've got great faith in the horse," managing part-owner Chris Wells said. "If he's right he'll go very well." However, trainer Lindsey Smith does not seem to share Wells' optimism. Smith has been playing catch-up with West Australia's best racehorse ever since he pulled up lame in the Gr1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes in Melbourne. The 5YO was also below his brilliant best when resuming with a third placing in the Gr2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) on 11 November. "I think Lindsey's a bit apprehensive, but as time goes on we get more confident. The weight (57.5kg) is not a problem. It's whether he's 100 per cent," Wells added. Scales Of Justice will run with a pad on his off-fore foot on Saturday, but Wells said the gear change wasn't a cause for concern. "Lindsey's farrier suggested it because his off-fore is two degrees off his near-fore. He doesn't have a foot problem," he said.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the 131st running of the $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot racecourse in Perth this Saturday. Defending champion and local star Scales Of Justice is currently the $5.50 TAB favourite for the race, ahead of 5-time Gr1 winner Black Heart Bart at $6 and Gr1 performer Tom Melbourne at $7. The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Supply And Demand is the only other runner under double figure odds at $8. The final field is:
Devise enjoyed a prosperous 3YO season and she is impressing trainer Shaune Ritchie as she closes in on a return to racing, reports NZ Racing Desk. The daughter of Darci Brahma is a two-time winner and finished runner-up to NZ Horse of the Year Bonneval in last season's New Zealand Oaks (2400m). "She looks terrific and she'll trial at the end of the month and she should be back at the races in November," Ritchie said. "She's come back much stronger and her form looks good." The half-sister to the multiple stakes winner Zurella was placed last term behind Bonneval in the Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic (2000m) and the Gr3 Lowland Stakes (2100m). Both Devise and Zurella are out of the Volksraad mare Doneze Girl, a granddaughter of Shadea, dam of champion racehorse and stallion Lonhro. This is also the family of champion sprinter Lankan Rupee, Victoria Derby winning stallion Grosvenor, and Australian Oaks winner Mahaya.
At Canterbury in Sydney this afternoon, connections of promising 4YO gelding Stonebrook (Hinchinbrook-Calaluna) will get a strong guide as to just how untapped he is in Race 5. The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained galloper was put away after winning on debut at Hawkesbury before making his race return at Kembla Grange as odds-on favourite, where he won as he liked. While well fancied at $2.90, Stonebrook is meeting some quality opposition, including beautifully bred and consistent performer Our Royal Egyptian (Fastnet Rock-Our Egyptian Raine) and Godolphin's even money favourite Marsupial. By Street Cry from Koala Bear, Marsupial has been mixing it with top company in races like the Black Opal Stakes, Bailleau Stakes and Heritage Stakes.
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Darley's former Champion Australian Sire Exceed And Excel (Danehill-Patrona, by Lomond) added a black-type success when 2YO chestnut colt Performer (Exceed and Excel-Gavroche, by Snippets) made the perfect start to his career when charging home to land the $150,000 Listed Arrowfield Breeders' Plate (1000m) for 2YO colts & geldings, defeating Bondi & Santos. In winning the first Sydney 2YO race of the season, Performer improved his record to 1 win from 1 start for $84,000 in earnings. Purchased by Harras Syndicate & Mulcaster Bloodstock for $450,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Newhaven Park, Performer is a half-brother to multiple Group winner and Gr1 Galaxy winner Bel Sprinter (Bel Esprit).
Ampulla Lodge's I Am Invincible x Lustful colt (Lot 139) clocked 10.07secs for his 200m gallop at Canterbury on Friday, making it the fastest breeze up time in the history of the Inglis Ready2Race sale. Steve Jostlear of Ampulla Lodge was thrilled with his star performer, although not surprised. "This horse has shown us he's super-fast," said Jostlear. "We're very happy with the time and a fortnight ago he won a jump-out by 10 lengths as well. He's a very smart individual. In total, 44 horses breezed at Canterbury with 26 of the 2YOs breaking the 11-second mark. Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster couldn't have been happier with the performances of the 2YOs at both tracks this week. "I was impressed with the breeze ups at Cranbourne and Canterbury," Webster said. "The two different track surfaces, with it being wetter in Melbourne, created some differences in the times but that is to be expected. Overall there were a lot of fast times and a lot of well-educated 2YOs and that is the key.'' The 2017 Inglis Ready2Race sale will take place at Oaklands Junction in Melbourne on Wednesday October 4, with inspections from Monday October 2.
Roger James is looking at Australian options for his stakes-winning stayer Von Tunzelman, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Cambridge trainer has yet to lock in the lightly-raced grey’s Spring programme, which will be firmed up after his first domestic appearance. “He’s come back well and I’ll look to step him out over 1400 metres once there is improvement in the tracks. That will hopefully be in the next two or three weeks and then we’ll decide about Australia, be it Sydney or Melbourne.” Raced by breeders Brendan and Jo Lindsay, Von Tunzelman has won four of his 11 starts including the Listed Kaimai Stakes at Matamata in February. The son of deceased multiple Champion Cambridge Stud sire Zabeel and Gr1 performer J’Adane finished a creditable sixth in the Gr1 New Zealand Stakes at Ellerslie. Von Tunzelman enjoyed a hit-out at the Avondale trials on Tuesday and, despite the Heavy 10 going, he finished runner-up over 1000m.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the pedigree spectrum this afternoon at Melbourne's Sandown Park, a 4YO mare appears likely to remain undefeated from her first three runs following an aggregate winning margin of nearly 8-lengths from her first two starts. Eurack has a pedigree that could be described as lacking depth. By Gr1-performed One World, Eurack's dam and grand dam were both unraced, while her great grand dam raced just once. Each of them has produced one winner. Fifth dam Vilikaia was a multiple Gr1 performer in Europe which perhaps explains Eurack's ability. In her most recent start at Sandown for Cranbourne trainer Nathan McPherson, also over 1000m, she gave her rivals a thumping. Eurack's drawn out wide again which has clearly not troubled her to date, and she has been crunched in to $2.20 favourite. Toughest to beat is probably Toy Boy.
Group One-winning sprinter Signify (Perfectly Ready-Pica Pica, by Stravinsky) has moved up a weight division, reports NZ Racing Desk. The gifted short course performer has been back in Alex Cowan's Ashburton stable for a couple of weeks after returning from a break in grand order. "He went out a fit and happy horse after he won the Lightning at Wellington," said Cowan, who trains the Gr1 Telegraph winner for his wife Tracey. "He looks terrific and he's weighed in at 568kg and last time around he was 554 when he first came in. He's a much better version now." Signify's first major target will come during the New Zealand Cup carnival at Riccarton. "That will be the Stewards and we'll work backwards from there," said Cowan. Signify will subsequently hit the road for the major North Island sprints. "I'd really like to go to Auckland for the Railway and then the Telegraph again," Cowan said. "At the moment he's telling us he's a sprinter, but if he settles better then he might get up to a mile." Signify is one of the finalists for the New Zealand Champion Sprinter (up to 1500m) award.
Frank and Faye Drummond are banking on a change of environment to get their Group One performer El Pescado back to his best, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Waikato breeder-owners, who stand his sire El Hermano at their Cheval Stud, have moved last year's Makfi Challenge Stakes runner-up from Stuart Manning's Tauranga stable to Opaki trainer Polly Macdonald. "The horse has gone off and he's just not racing to what we know he is capable of," Frank Drummond said. "We've gone for a change of scenery and we'll see what that does." Manning prepared El Pescado to win three races, including two open handicaps, and a second place finish to Kawi in the Gr1 Makfi Challenge Stakes. He was also placed in the Gr2 Tauranga Stakes and in the Listed Flying Handicap.
Gr2 Todman Stakes-winning juvenile Krupt (Flying Spur) will stand this spring at a new property in Southern Tasmania, Kingsley Park Thoroughbreds. From relatively small books, with his oldest progeny five, the quality sire has produced impressive winners’ right around the country. This season Krupt has been represented by no fewer than 30 winners from just 54 runners and progeny earnings of over $1.1 million. Flying the flag for his sire has been talented sprinter Cashed who boasts a Gr2-placing in the weight-for-age Schillaci Stakes beating home star sprinter Lankan Rupee. Cashed is a last start metropolitan winner for his Adelaide based connections. Krupt’s other progeny include stakes performer Trupt, Sydney winners Quantrill and Termele, Melbourne winners Skulduggery and Electric Tribute and Brisbane winner Nardoo and Rebel Miss. “We are delighted to be standing Krupt as our first stallion at our farm at Cygnet,” Kingsley Park’s Rohan Gudden said. “He is a top class stallion with excellent conformation, a lovely nature and he boasts an excellent fertility rate of 90 per cent." Krupt will stand this season at fee of $2,200 (inc GST) with a live foal guarantee.
What's The Story's new trainer has high hopes of a successful return to racing from the Group One performer, reports NZ Racing Desk. The rising 5YO is now with Cambridge horseman Stephen Marsh after doing his previous racing from Stephen McKee's Ardmore stable. What's The Story (Savabeel-Tall Story, by Carnegie) was narrowly beaten in last year's New Zealand Derby and then finished sixth in the Australian Derby before he was turned out. He then suffered an injury when he finished fifth when resuming in the spring at Ruakaka. "He's obviously a very talented horse who's had a tendon problem," Marsh said. "He's doing his rehabilitation with us, but he's yet to be worked under saddle. He's been on the treadmill, swimming and walking." Marsh added: "We'll give him a long, slow build-up and he'll be ready to go in the summer. He could probably be right for the spring, but that would mean working him on wet tracks and we don't want to do that."
Everest slot-holder Inglis has announced that brilliant Canberra sprinter Fell Swoop will be its representative in the inaugural $10 million The Everest (1200m) to be run at Royal Randwick on 14 October. Trained by Matthew Dale, Fell Swoop (Not a Single Doubt-Touched in Flight, by Fasliyev) has won 9 of his 23 starts and has been placed five times at Gr1 level, namely in the Darley Classic, Manikato Stakes, TJ Smith Stakes (twice behind Chautauqua), and the Oakleigh Plate. There are now four confirmed runners in The Everest, three of which are Inglis graduates – Fell Swoop, Chautauqua and She Will Reign. Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster was thrilled to have Fell Swoop as the company's 2017 slot runner. "We opened up expressions of interest for the Inglis slot back in March and received significant feedback from prospective owners, so this certainly wasn't an easy decision,'' Webster said. "In Fell Swoop we believe we have a genuine winning chance trained by one of Australia's best young trainers in Matt Dale and a horse who is proven as a legitimate Group 1 performer. Dale commented: "It's a very exciting concept and it's unbelievable to be a part of it in year one with a horse like Fell Swoop,'' he said. "We're privileged to join forces with Inglis to secure an Everest slot in the inaugural running of the race. He'll come back into the stables in a couple of weeks and then it's all systems go toward the Everest.''
At Tauranga in New Zealand, 5YO bay mare Underthemoonlight (El Herman-Midnight Dip, by O'Reilly) posted her second career stakes victory when winning the $50,000 Listed Tauranga Classic (1400m) for fillies & mares, defeating New York Minute & Meursault. Underthemoonlight improved her record to 4 wins (including the Gr3 Taranaki Breeders Stakes) and 11 placings (including the Gr3 Rotorua Stakes) from 21 starts for NZ$187,550 in earnings. A half-sister to the Group performer Storming The Tower, Underthemoonlight got the better of the pacemaker and favourite New York Minute and scooted clear to score by three and a half lengths, reports NZ Racing Desk. "She's going for a break now and she'll miss those early races next season at Hastings, but I truly believe she is a Group One horse as long as she can get her toe into the ground," said part-owner and co-breeder Hamish McQuade, whose wife Karyn trains the mare.
Darley has announced that Elusive Quality has been pensioned from stud duties at Sheikh Mohammed's Jonabell Farm in Kentucky at the age of 24. "Elusive Quality has had two great careers but it's the right time for him just to relax and take it easy here at Jonabell," said Dan Pride, COO of Godolphin in America. "But given the success of his current sons at stud, along with the production from his daughters, his will certainly be a legacy that will last for quite some time." Despite not winning at Group One level, Elusive Quality was a highly talented individual and dual Gr3 winner who broke the world record for a mile in the Gr3 Poker Handicap at Belmont when scorching the turf in a time of 1:31.63 seconds. His very first crop produced 11 black-type winners, including French Gr1 winner and champion Elusive City. Foals from his second crop included Gr1 Kentucky Derby winner, Gr1 Preakness Stakes winner and Eclipse Award winner Smarty Jones, as well as Gr1 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner and Eclipse Champion Maryfield. Multiple Gr1 winning sires Quality Road and Raven's Pass were other top-class performers, while his best southern hemisphere performer was undoubtedly Darley's champion juvenile and Gr1 Blue Diamond & Gr1 Golden Slipper Stakes-winning sire, Sepoy. Hitherto, Elusive Quality has sired a total of 241 worldwide stakes horses, 127 black-type winners and 51 Graded or Group winners, 14 of those at Gr1 level.
Queensland-based trainer Steele Ryan has announced he is stepping down from full-time training, reports Racing Queensland. Ryan, who also runs a successful manufacturing business, says he wants to focus on his business and spend more time with his family. "I've been doing the same thing for five years now – training and running the business," the 49 year-old Ryan said. "It's just got a bit tiring. It's not a new path, or a bigger leap, it's just trying to put a bit more time into myself, my business and my family instead of the horses." Ryan doesn't plan to surrender his licence, leaving him free to train a "horse or two" in the future, with long-time foreman Darryl Ward expected to take charge in the new season. Among the best horses Ryan has trained are stakes winners Deer Valley, Cariad, and Jasminka, but the best performer is without doubt talented grey mare Chinchilla Rose. The daughter of Lion Hunter won four stakes races including the Gr2 Surround Stakes and Gr3 Sweet Embrace Stakes, and was also seventh in a Golden Slipper and fifth in a Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap.
After a stellar 2016 season, Haunui Farm shuttler Iffraaj (Zafonic-Pastorale, by Nureyev) has had his book closed heading into the 2017 breeding season, reports NZ Racing Desk. Leading the way for Iffraaj has been star Kiwi colts Gingernuts and Jon Snow. Gingernuts was triumphant in the Gr1 New Zealand Derby and Gr1 Rosehill Guineas, while Jon Snow also crossed the Tasman to claim classic honours in the Gr1 Australian Derby. Moreover, Godolphin’s top-class galloper Ribchester landed the Gr1 Lockinge Stakes last month and is a short-priced favourite for next week’s Gr1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, while Iffraaj is also the broodmare sire of Gr1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes winning filly Melody Belle. Haunui Farm Managing Director Mark Chitty said the performances of his progeny exemplifies Iffraaj as an international stallion. "It's been really satisfying. It's seen his book close going into the 2017 breeding season with a service fee rise,” Chitty said. "It has been good for the stud, but it has also been good for New Zealand to have another truly proven international stallion." Chitty added: "Not many stallions have left a Group One performer in every crop they have had and he has so far in New Zealand. That shows the true worth of the horse." Iffraaj will stand at an increased service fee of $25,000 + GST, an increase of $7,500 + GST from last season.
Dual Gr1-winning filly Global Glamour (Star Witness-Spectacula, by Testa Rossa) is back in training with Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott and is being aimed at the inaugural running of the $10 million The Everest (1200m) in Sydney on 14 October. "She has returned in good order and we couldn't be happy with the way she has strengthened and filled out," Bott told racingnsw.com.au. "She had a couple of weeks pre-training out at Muskoka Farm and has only been in the stable for about 10 days now so it's still early days. She'll do plenty of slow, steady work and we'll build her up towards The Everest which is the main aim. We'll finalise a programme as it gets closer to the date." Bott added: "She is a quality filly, a proven Group One performer and has come back a lot stronger this campaign. We'll definitely keep her to the shorter trips early in her preparation to keep her fresh and sharp. She'll be trained specifically for the sprints." The stable are yet to lock in a slot for Global Glamour but are optimistic about her prospects of participating in what will be the world's richest turf race after negotiations with slot-holders are completed.
Highly promising Animal Kingdom colt Royal Phoenix hinted at a bright future when dead-heating with Andaz in the Eugene Gorman Handicap (1100m) at Flemington on Saturday. Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said of Royal Phoenix: "He didn't get cover but neither did the other, but they both fought it out very strong to the line. He will get better - it's never easy first time up the straight, but he did it beautifully." Royal Phoenix is the second foal of Helena Girl, a winning daughter of Commands and also the dam of Macau stakes winner Sparta (by Beneteau). He's prepared for a group of owners, including his breeder Tony Pistikakis, by Team Hawkes, who bought him for $240,000 from Arrowfield's 2016 Magic Millions draft. Royal Phoenix is the fifth winner from Animal Kingdom's first Australian crop, sufficient to hold third on the First Season Sires' premiership by winners. His best performer this term is the Group-placed winner Lord Cecil who ran a meritorious sixth (beaten less than two lengths) in Saturday's Gr1 JJ Atkins Stakes (1600m) after racing wide throughout. Add six placegetters from a representation of only 14 runners and the Dubai World Cup champion is a big watch for 2017/18. Animal Kingdom's second-crop yearlings averaged almost $155,000 at 2017's major sales and his top price of $340,000 was paid by Solis Litt Bloodstock at Inglis Easter for Arrowfield's filly out of Sammy's Girl. Other buyers of his second-crop yearlings include Andrew Williams, Phil Cataldo, Damon Gabbedy, Champion Thoroughbreds, Liam Birchley & Paul Perry.
On Day-1 of the 2017 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale, the top-priced More Than Ready colt (see above) just edged out a Fastnet Rock filly, who sold late in the day, for $350,000. Catalogued as Lot 2032, the filly is a half sister to the multiple Gr1 winner Fiveandahalfstar and the group performer Wordplay. The filly was knocked down to David Lucas on behalf of Dubai's Phoenix Thoroughbreds. Another of the popular lots on Day One was Lot 1922 - the Hinchinbrook-Waterspell colt from Tyreel Stud, as agent for Yarraman Park Stud. The bay colt, from the family of Group One winner River Dove (dam of Vinery's young sire Headwater), also went the way of Phoenix Thoroughbreds, this time at a price of $280,000. Equal fourth top sellers on the day at $250,000 were both sold by Gerry Harvey's Baramul Stud - an All Too Hard half brother to Cox Plate winner Savabeel to Flemington's Danny O'Brien and a More Than Ready three quarter sister to new Aquis Farm recruit Kiss and Make Up to Matthew Dunn and Neil Jenkinson.
Long-time successful Victorian owner and breeder Rob Crabtree has purchased iconic Nagambie stud farm Wood Nook. According to tbv.com.au, the move comes off the back of the Crabtrees having recently sold their Hastings property on the Mornington Peninsula. The Crabtrees, who bred Black Caviar’s dam Helsinge, and recently led in their Gr1 Blue Diamond heroine Catchy, will keep the name Dorrington Farm. Wood Nook, developed extensively by former Moonee Valley Race Club Chairman Bob Scarborough and his wife Rosemary, has produced no less than twelve Gr1 winners, among them Final Card, Gallica, Gold Ace, Hit the Roof, Leica Guv, Light Fantastic, Marble Halls, Sleek Chassis and Stella Cadente. Click here to read the full item.
2016 Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap winner Under The Louvre will stand at Ipswich-based Grandview Stud from this spring at an introductory fee of just $7,700 (inc. GST). "Under the Louvre had incredible acceleration," trainer Robert Smerdon said. "He mixed it with the best and in the Stradbroke he faced nine Group One winners including Black Heart Bart." Smerdon added: "If he can throw that explosive turn of foot, athleticism and temperament into his progeny I believe he's a very good stallion prospect." Under The Louvre retires to stud with nine wins and 14 placings and over $1.8 million in prize money. Incredibly, from 22 starts in black type company, Under The Louvre either won or placed in 15. Grandview Stud's Michael Grieve is thrilled to have secured Under The Louvre who will stand alongside proven sire Jet Spur and the promising Tale of the Cat stallion, Whittington. "Under The Louvre is arguably the most exciting racehorse to enter stud in Queensland for many years," Grieve said. "Under The Louvre is the best performer by Group One winner Excellent Art who only stood a few seasons in Australia, but he is, in turn, a son of the outstanding speed influence, Pivotal." He added: "Another interesting aspect to Pivotal is that matched up with Danehill, he is running at a massive 18% stakes performers to runners. So, being totally free of Danehill, Under The Louvre offers a rare outcross for breeders."
Worthy Cause, a powerful son of champion sire Choisir, will commence stud duties at Clear Mountain Fairview in 2017. Prepared by Queensland's top juvenile trainer John Zielke, Worthy Cause's ability was apparent from the start when he romped home on debut by more than 5 lengths. He would eventually amass almost $500,000 in prize money with his biggest wins coming in the Gr3 Gunsynd Classic (1800m), by two lengths from multiple Group performer Upham, and the Listed Paris Lane Stakes (1400m) at Flemington, where he defeated three-time Gr1 winner Turn Me Loose. "Worthy Cause has arrived at Clear Mountain Fairview and has settled in beautifully," Bob Frappell said. "We are wrapped in the type of horse he is, great conformation and a kind eye. His pedigree and race performances demonstrate versatility and these aspects are certainly sought after when selecting a top sire prospect like Worthy Cause to stand at stud." Frappell added: "He was a top level performer on the track and now he heads to the breeding barn to continue his family's success story." Worthy Cause (Choisir-Tahnee Tango, by Grand Lodge), who hails from the family of Gr1 winners Shogun Lodge, Referral and Singing The Blues, will stand at a fee of $5,500 with payment on a live foal.
Inglewood Stud has announced that its beautifully bred Gr2-winning & Gr1-placed young stallion Zacinto (Dansili-Itacha, by Distant View) will stand at a fee of $12,000 (plus GST) in 2017, reports breednet. Zacinto, currently New Zealand's leading Second Season Sire, has enjoyed an excellent season highlighted by the win of star colt Ugo Foscolo in the Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas earlier this year. "It really has been a brilliant season for Zacinto," Inglewood Stud's Gus Wigley said. "He's had his star performer but he has so many other promising young gallopers coming through as well, including Odeon who ran third in the G1 South Australian Derby on Saturday." He added: "His book filled within days of announcing his fee last year and with the phone already ringing hot we urge anyone interested to book in their mare as soon as possible."
Cylinder Beach’s unlucky last-start sixth placing in the Hollindale Stakes shows he deserves to take his chance in Saturday’s Gr1 Doomben Cup (2000m), according to trainer Desleigh Forster. The stakes-winning Queensland galloper finished within 3 lengths of proven Gr1 performer It’s Somewhat in the Gr2 Hollindale over 1800m, and Forster is anticipating another big run on Saturday. “I thought it was a very good run in the Hollindale as he was beaten three lengths. There were a lot of hard luck stories but I felt we should have also finished a lot closer,” Forster told ANZ Bloodstock News. Cylinder Beach is rated a $21 chance with TAB for Saturday’s $650,000 Doomben Cup. Articus and It’s Somewhat are joint favourites at $4.40.
Meanwhile, Sir Peter Vela will look forward to tomorrow’s Gr2 Travis Stakes with two chances of adding to his previous three wins in the weight-for-age fillies and mares’ feature, reports NZ Racing Desk. Sir Peter and his late brother Philip first won the race (then known as the Dulcie Stakes) with Christiania Belle in 1993, then Dolmabache in 2012 and Rasa Lila last year. Rasa Lila is back to defend her title for Maungatautari trainers Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie on Saturday and will be joined by the Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained Echezeaux. Darci Brahma mare Rasa Lila goes into the race as the higher-rated of the pair and looks an improver on her first-up sixth in the Gr1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa three weeks ago. "She [Rasa Lila] needs to find a couple of lengths but she should have that improvement in her. Steven and Julia have said she has come on nicely since that run," Sir Peter's racing manager Garry Cossey said. "They are really happy with her. She's in a pretty good space but we hold no false illusions - it's a very strong edition of the Travis Stakes this year.” Echezeaux (Encosta de Lago) is the lowest-rated entry in the Travis Stakes but she resumed with a meritorious second placing at Hastings earlier this month and earlier this season won second-up at Trentham, defeating subsequent Gr2 performer Beefeater. "She has come back really well. Her sectionals at Hastings were very good compared to all other runners on the day," Cossey said.