At Kranji racecourse in Singapore, Coolmore's former Gr1-winning Champion Australian Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added a Group race success when 5YO Australian-bred gelding Elite Excalibur (Fastnet Rock-Romantic River, by Irish River) claimed a narrow 0.3 length win in the S$200,000 Gr3 Committee's Prize (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Elite Invincible & Well Done. Elite Excalibur, who raced as River Wild out of the Gai Waterhouse stable in Sydney, was passed in for $325,000 at the 2014 inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Coolmore Stud. He improved his record to 6 wins and 5 placings (including the Listed Singapore Gold Cup & Listed Raffles Cup) from 22 starts. From the Irish River mare Romantic River, Elite Excalibur is a three-quarter brother to Waterhouse's former top-class mare Aqua D'Amore (Danehill) and a full-brother to Gr2 Sandown Guineas winner Petrology.
At Morphettville Park in Adelaide, Coolmore's brilliant 4-time Gr1-winning stallion Henrythenavigator (Kingmambo-Sequoyah, by Sadler's Wells) added a black-type success when 5YO Australian-bred gelding Lite'n In My Veins (Henrythenavigator-Beauty World, by Danehill Dancer) ran out a comfortable winner of the $100,000 Listed CS Hayes Memorial Cup (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Chamois Road & Petrology. This was the fourth career stakes win for Lite'n In My Veins who advanced his record to 6 wins (including the Gr3 Lee-Steere Classic, Gr3 Northerly Stakes & Listed Birthday Stakes) and 2 placings from 20 starts for $496,300 in earnings. Bred by Oakland Park Stud, the former WA-trained Lite'n In My Veins is a half-brother to Gr3 ATC Frank Packer Plate & Gr3 ATC Carbine Club Stakes winner Hi World (High Chaparral) and Listed winner Loveyamadly (Bel Esprit) from the Danehill Dancer mare Beauty World.
At Caulfield racecourse in Melbourne, 6YO entire Tosen Stardom (Deep Impact-Admire Kirameki, by End Sweep) became the first Australian Group One winner for his superstar Japanese sire Deep Impact when scoring a powerful win in the $500,000 Gr1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Sovereign Nation & Petrology. This was a thoroughly deserved maiden Gr1 success for Tosen Stardom who had placed three times previously at the elite level. The Darren Weir-trainee improved his record to 6 wins (including the Gr3 Hanshin Challenge Cup) and 4 placings (including the Gr1 Memsie Stakes, Gr1 Futurity Stakes & Gr1 Ranvet Stakes) from 23 starts for $2,135,607 in earnings. A delighted Darren Weir said the victory now meant Tosen Stardom possessed all the attributes to become a great stallion at the end of his racing career. "It's such a relief because this horse has everything it takes to be one of the great stallions," Weir told racing.com. "He's got the pedigree, the ability and now he's got his Group One." Weir said he would consider running Tosen Stardom in the Gr1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday week. "It's either the Cox Plate or the Cantala next for this horse," he said.
At Flemington in Melbourne, deceased Armidale Stud stallion Savoire Vivre (Sadler's Wells-Oh So Sharp, by Kris) added a black-type success when 5YO mare Iggimacool (Savoire Vivre-Hidden Moment, by Ladoni) scored a fast-finishing 0.4-length win for trainer Robert Smerdon in the $150,000 Listed Winter Championship Series Final (1600m) for 3YO+, over 4YO gelding Petrology (Fastnet Rock-Romantic River, by Irish River) & 6YO gelding Onpicalo (Hussonet-Olympic Halo, by Danzero). Former Tasmanian galloper Iggimacool advanced her record to 9 wins (including the Listed Tasmanian Stakes & Listed Tasmanian Oaks) and 7 placings (including the Listed MRC Heatherlie Stakes) from 29 starts for $456,335 earnings. Trainer Robert Smerdon said he would now attempt to find a suitable race for over the spring for Iggimacool, who became just the fifth mare to win the winter feature since it was first run in 1980. "She had a long time off – she had bone chip removed from her fetlock at the end of last preparation, which required 16 weeks in the paddock – and being an older horse, they take longer to come back," Smerdon told Racing.com. "She's a pretty good mare. She's won Listed races there (in Tasmania), but now she's won a Listed race here, so we'll probably back off her a bit and see if she can win a Group race over spring somewhere."
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes is hoping that regally bred colt Jadeer can stamp himself as a genuine spring carnival contender at Rosehill on Saturday. The 3YO by Fastnet Rock will step out for the second time in a benchmark 72 handicap over 1400m after scoring an impressive front-running debut win at Hawkesbury 13 days ago. A homebred for owner Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Jadeer's pedigree makes him a priceless stallion prospect should he manage to win some black-type this preparation. The blue blooded colt is a half-brother to South African Gr1 winner Amanee and is out of a daughter of the legendary European mare Miesque, dam of multiple Gr1 winner and outstanding sire Kingmambo. "Michael Kirwan said he's probably one of the best bred Fastnet Rocks in the country," Hawkes said. "Sheikh Kalifa owns him so he won't be getting gelded that's for sure." Team Hawkes has no firm plans for Jadeer just yet, but Hawkes admitted some of the 3YO staying features in Melbourne may be on the agenda if he can perform up to expectations on Saturday. "He bolted in the other day at Hawkesbury and this is a really nice race for him at his second start," he said. "Hopefully we can get the job done and then head south to Melbourne and take on some of the staying races over the spring." Arguably the toughest to beat for Jadeer on Saturday will be the Gai Waterhouse-trained River Wild, who announced himself as a potential Gr1 horse when scoring a stunning six-length win on debut at Kembla Grange 13 days ago. By Fastnet Rock out of the Irish River mare Romantic River, River Wild is a three-quarter brother to Waterhouse's former top-class mare Aqua D'Amore (Danehill) and a full-brother to Gr2 Sandown Guineas winner Petrology.
Australia's most popular galloper The Cleaner (Savoire Vivre-Dash of Scotch, by Blessington) will open his spring campaign in the Gr2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday, but his knockabout trainer Mick Burles will be a notable absentee, reports Racing.com. The Longford trainer, who is unable to fly because of a lung condition, said he was forced to miss the race because the ship he usually catches to Melbourne - the Spirit Of Tasmania - was sold out. "The horse is going over on the Spirit 2 which is only carting cargo because they're renovating it," Burles said. "I could get a ticket back on Saturday night on the Spirit 1 but they told me it was full on the way over so I had no way of getting there." Burles says that while he is happy with the way the 8YO is progressing this preparation, he is conscious of the horse's poor record at Caulfield. "I've been looking forward to getting him back to the races for three months. He's come up really well but the only reservation I've got with him is Caulfield," Burles said. "I don't know whether he likes it there or not. He's had two runs there and has done nothing both times but in saying that both runs were at the end of a campaign and he's going there fresh this time." He added: "I think he'll be sharp enough. He should have won at Flemington over 1400 first up last preparation." The PB Lawrence has attracted a small but quality field with Gai Waterhouse's highly regarded import Excess Knowledge, fellow import Big Memory, Gr2 Peter Young winner Mourinho, Sandown Guineas winner Petrology, VRC Oaks winner Set Square and recent Bletchingly Stakes winner Smokin' Joey all set to line up.
At Caulfield in Melbourne, Coolmore's former dual Champion Australian Sire Encosta de Lago (Fairy King-Shoal Creek, by Star Way) added a Group success when remarkably consistent 7YO gelding Smokin' Joey (Encosta de Lago-Dalzing, by Blazing Sword) scored by 2-lengths for trainer Wez Hunter in the $150,000 Gr3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, over 7YO mare Platinum Rocker (Love a Dane-Platinum Strip, by Magic of Money) & 3YO colt Petrology (Fastnet Rock-Romantic River, by Irish River). Smokin' Joey took his record to 9 wins (including the Gr1 Goodwood Handicap, Gr3 Tab.com.au Stakes, Gr3 Victoria Handicap, Listed March Stakes & Listed Eye Liner Stakes) and 8 placings (including the Gr1 Emirates Stakes & Gr3 Sebring Stakes) from 53 starts for $1,489,283 earnings.
The $400,000 CF Orr Stakes (1400m), the first Gr1 race of the year, will be run at Caulfield on Saturday. The time-honoured event, which has been won by some of Australia's greatest racehorses including Black Caviar (2012), Lonhro (2004), Saintly (1997), Let's Elope (1992), Vo Rogue (1988-90), Manikato (1979-81), Wenona Girl (1962), Rising Fast (1956), and Flight (1946), has once again attracted a quality field for its 2015 renewal. The final field is:
1. HAPPY TRAILS (Paul Beshara-Damien Oliver) 59kg (14)
2. DISSIDENT (Peter G Moody-Ben Melham) 59kg (7)
3. MOURINHO (Peter Gelagotis-Vlad Duric) 59kg (3)
4. TOYDINI (Team Hawkes-James Winks) 59kg (9)
5. BAGMAN (Chris Waller-Steven Arnold) 59kg (2)
6. BEATEN UP (Chris Waller-Glen Boss) 59kg (15)
7. MOURO (Tony McEvoy-Mark Zahra) 59kg (8)
8. SONNTAG (Henry Dwyer-Jack Hill) 59kg (12)
9. AERONAUTICAL (Lionel Cohen-Brad Rawiller) 59kg (5)
10. STAR ROLLING (P Morgan & C Widdison-Stephen Baster) 59kg (4)
11. ENTIRELY PLATINUM (Team Hawkes-Dwayne Dunn) 59kg (6)
12. SPILLWAY (David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-Michael Walker) 59kg (1)
13. REAL LOVE (Adam Durrant-Craig Williams) 57kg (11)
14. PETROLOGY (David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-Nicholas Hall) 55.5kg (10)
15. JAVA (Lee & Anthony Freedman-Chad Schofield) 55.5kg (13)
Three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux is locked in to tackle next month's Australian Cup. Online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au expects money to start to flow for the English stayer. Red Cadeaux is currently $26 for the Gr1 feature at Flemington on 14 March, behind $3.50 favourite Protectionist. "There's not a sniff for Red Cadeaux, but there's no doubt the public will start to get behind him. His three Melbourne Cup placings have elevated his popularity with punters,'' said sportsbet.com.au's Shaun Anderson. $26 outsider Beaten Up has been the best backed horse overall.
Market courtesy of sportsbet.com.au.
$3.50 - Protectionist
$7.00 - Happy Trails, He's Your Man
$11 - Petrology, Contributor
$13- Real Love, Pornichet, Foreteller
$15 - Bondeiger
$17 - Disposition, The Cleaner, Stratum Star, Hawkspur, Preferment
$21 - Akzar, Sweynesse, Junoob
$26 - Weary, Red Cadeaux, Who Shot Thebarman, Le Roi, Spillway, Beaten Up
At Sandown in Melbourne, Darley's multiple Gr1-winning shuttler Medaglia d'Oro (El Prado-Cappucino Bay, by Bailjumper) sired his third Australian stakes winner when 3YO gelding Java (Medaglia d'Oro-Dawn Attack, by Fantastic Light) made it four wins in succession when scoring by 1.25-lengths for trainers Lee & Anthony Freedman in the $150,000 Gr3 Manfred Stakes (1300m) for 3YOs, over 3YO colt Petrology (Fastnet Rock-Romantic River, by Irish River) & fellow 3YO gelding Affirmation (Not a Single Doubt-Apocrypha, by Octagonal). This was the first stakes victory for Java who took his record to 4 wins from 6 starts for $155,050 earnings. Java is a half-brother to Gr3 winners Antelucan and Crucial from the Fantastic Light mare Dawn Attack, herself a half-sister to multiple Gr1-winning stallion Desert King. Co-trainer Anthony Freedman said Java would now be given his chance in the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on 7 March. "The (Australian) Guineas entries close tomorrow, we'll throw in an entry and see if he gets a mile and see if he can be competitive," he told TVN.
Smart 3YO Petrology (Fastnet Rock-Romantic River, by Irish River) is scheduled to launch his Australian Guineas campaign in the Gr3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Australia Day, reports racingandsports.com.au. Petrology, who is a three-quarter brother to Gr1-winning Danehill mare Aqua D'Amore, showed a glimpse of his potential when winning the Gr2 Sandown Guineas last spring. The son of Fastnet Rock had a jump-out at Werribee on Friday and co-trainer Tom Dabernig said the colt was on target for his first-up assignment. "He narrowly won the jump-out and he's going well," Dabernig said. "He's a Fastnet Rock colt who doesn't carry a lot of excess condition." He added, "Some of them are quite big, heavy-framed horses but he's quite athletic and he's come to hand very quickly. I think he'll be pretty forward for that race of the 26th." Daberning confirmed that the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on 7 March was Petrology's main autumn target. "I think first-up will be a good indicator of where he's at," Dabernig said. "But his main goal is third-up in the Australian Guineas if he's going well enough at the time."
Sandown Guineas winner Petrology (Fastnet Rock-Romantic River, by Irish River) has returned to the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig stable to begin his autumn preparation aimed at the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on 7 March, reports racenet.com.au. Petrology, who is a three-quarter brother to Gr1-winning Danehill mare Aqua D'Amore, landed the biggest prize of his short career to date when defeating Stratum Star and Berisha in the Gr2 Sandown Guineas on 15 November. "He didn't get long off between the spring and when he came back in but because he's been out at the water walker and go into the paddock, it's like a spell," co-trainer Tom Dabernig said. "He's a horse that actually hit form deep into his prep, so I'm not too worried about that either. He's a sound horse and he's quite athletic. He's under saddle but only doing light work." Petrology is likely to resume in the Gr3 Manfred Stakes (1300m) at Sandown on 26 January.
At the conclusion of the 16th week of the 2014-15 racing season, there has been little change to the Top Ten in the sires premiership with Coolmore's Fastnet Rock hanging onto the top position courtesy of the wins of Petrology in the Gr2 Sandown Guineas and Fast 'n' Rocking in the Gr2 Kevin Heffernan Stakes. Galileo is the only stallion to exit the top ten with Stratum taking his spot. The latest rankings (according to arion.co.nz as at 20 November) are:
At Sandown in Melbourne, Coolmore's former Australian champion sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added a Group success when beautifully bred 3YO colt Petrology (Fastnet Rock-Romantic River, by Irish River) scored a dominant 2.25-length win for trainers David Hayes & Tom Dabernig in the $300,000 Gr2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) for 3YOs, over fellow 3YO colt Stratum Star (Stratum-Purely Spectacular, by Pins) & 3YO gelding Berisha (Al Samer-Beheshta, by Brief Truce). A $200,000 purchase by Lindsay Park Racing from the draft of Coolmore Stud at the 2013 Inglis Sydney Easter Sale, Petrology took his record to 3 wins (including the Listed TCL Stakes) and 2 placings (including the Listed Dandenong Stakes at Caulfield) from 9 starts for $339,300 earnings. David Hayes said that Petrology, who is a three-quarter brother to Gr1-winning Danehill mare Aqua D'Amore, would be spelled with a view to targeting races such as the Australian Guineas in the autumn.
Undefeated Murray Bridge-trained 3YO Lord Aspen heads the nominations for the Gr2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) on Saturday. Last Saturday's Listed Hilton Hotels & Resorts Stakes winner is one of 14 entries for the Guineas alongside the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained duo of Petrology and Zululand, Paul Messara's exciting colt Rekindled Power, Godolphin's Careless, and Peter Moody's Ducal Castle. Nominations for the $300,000 mile contest have been extended until 10am today.
At Flemington, Coolmore's former Australian champion sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added a black-type success when the colt Petrology (Fastnet Rock-Romantic River, by Irish River) held on to win by 0.2-length for trainer David Hayes in the $150,000 Listed TCL 4K UHD Stakes (1800m) for 3YOs, over fellow colts Chill Party (Nicconi-Dressed to Impress, by Turtle Island) & Tashbee (Commands-More Valour, by More Than Ready). A $200,000 yearling consigned by Coolmore Stud at the 2013 Inglis Sydney Easter Sale, Petrology secured his first stakes victory to take his record to 2 wins & 2 placings (including the Listed Dandenong Stakes at Caulfield) from 8 `starts for $158,300 earnings.
At Caulfield, Australia's Champion 2YO Colt of 2007-2008 and Widden Stud sire Sebring (More Than Ready-Purespeed, by Flying Spur) added a black-type success when 3YO colt Pressing (Sebring-Lamiraqui, by Choisir) scored by 3.5-lengths for trainer Mick Price in the $120,000 Listed Mt Dandenong Stakes (1200m) for 2YOs, over fellow colts Petrology (Fastnet Rock-Romantic River, by Irish River) & Easy Drama (Real Saga-Miss Carefree, by Last Tycoon). This was the first stakes victory for the promising Pressing who took his record to 2 wins from 2 starts for $120,500 earnings. Pressing was purchased for $100,000 by Blue Sky Bloodstock & Mick Price Racing at the 2013 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Widden Stud.