On the fifth and final day of the Royal Ascot carnival in England, Coolmore's former Gr1-winning Champion Australian Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) celebrated an elite race success when top-class 3YO Australian-bred colt Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock-Legally Bay, by Snippets) surged home under Ryan Moore to score a narrow short head victory in an action-packed renewal of the Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating City Light & Bound For Nowhere. Purchased for $350,000 by Ciaron Maher Racing at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Segenhoe Stud, Merchant Navy improved his record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes, Gr2 Greenlands Stakes, Gr3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes & Listed Anzac Day Stakes) and 2 placings (including the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap) from 10 starts for $1,658,291 in earnings. A winner of last year's stallion-making Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington, Merchant Navy was transferred to the famous Ballydoyle stable of Aidan O'Brien earlier this year to be prepared for the Diamond Jubilee. He is scheduled to return to Australia next month to stand his first season at Coolmore in the NSW Hunter Valley, but O'Brien said he is keen to delay his flight so he can bid for the big sprint double in the July Stakes at Newmarket in three weeks time. "We thought it was an impossible task for Merchant Navy as he was meeting the other horse from Australia [Redkirk Warrior] 12lb wrong compared to when they met there," O'Brien told Racing Post. "He's only a three-year-old [bred to southern hemisphere time] but being treated like a four-year-old. He's a lovely big horse. He's relaxed and genuine and has a good mind. He's no problem in any way. He's a joy to have anything to do with." O'Brien added: "He improved a lot from the Curragh to here, and we thought there was plenty more to come, but he's booked to go back to Australia after this so I don't know what's going to happen. Wouldn't it be great to have him for the July Cup too."
Lindsay Park's Ben Hayes has provided an update on Australian sprinter Redkirk Warrior who will contest the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) on the fifth and final day of the Royal Ascot carnival on Saturday. "We are really thrilled with him. He travelled over really well, he's eating well, he's doing everything that you want to see a horse do that has travelled a long way," Hayes told Sky Racing. "We were particularly happy with his gallop on Saturday. We hadn't worked him for a while so it was nice to see him stretch his legs and really put in a sharp piece of work. We are looking forward to Saturday." Hayes added: "He's always had a very good fresh record so hopefully he can continue that over here. He has won at Ascot before, so he's been on the track which is a plus." Redkirk Warrior is in career best form having won the Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) and successfully defended his Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) title at his past two outings.
Lindsay Park has confirmed the race which Redkirk Warrior will contest at next week's Royal Ascot carnival. The dual Group 1 winning sprinter was entered in both the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes (1000m) on day one of the Royal meeting (Tuesday 19 June), as well as the Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) on the fifth and final day (Saturday 23 June). Co-trainer Ben Hayes announced via Twitter that with the prospect of a drier track, the UK-bred 7YO will run in the more suitable Diamond Jubilee over six furlongs. "Thrilled to meet up with this boy this morning, looks in fantastic condition. With the weather appearing to be dry the decision has been made to run in the Diamond Jubilee, not the King Stand Stakes," Hayes tweeted. Frankie Dettori has been booked to ride Redkirk Warrior who is in career best form having won the Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) and successfully defended his Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) title at his past two outings. Redkirk Warrior is currently the 11-2 third favourite for the Diamond Jubilee behind Godolphin's top-class sprinter Harry Angel at 5-2. Former Group 1 winning Australian colt Merchant Navy, who is now trained by Aidan O'Brien, is second favourite at 10-3.
Co-trainer Ben Hayes has provided an update on the progress of Royal Ascot bound sprinter Redkirk Warrior who flew out for the UK overnight. Hayes has declared the dual Group 1 winner "spot on" for his Royal Ascot assignment, which will be either the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes (1000m) on day one of the Royal meeting (Tuesday 19 June), or the Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) on the fifth and final day (Saturday 23 June). Frankie Dettori has been booked to ride regardless. "It will be weather dependant whether we run in the King's Stand or the Diamond Jubilee. If its a dry track then the preferred target is the Diamond Jubilee," Hayes told Sky Sports Radio. "Its a beautiful time of year [in the UK] and we are just hoping we get some good weather because we'd love him to have a dry track over there." Hayes says Redkirk Warrior will have a relatively easy time once he arrives at his Newmarket base, with the UK-bred 7YO having already completed the majority of his preparatory work. It will be a homecoming of sorts for Redkirk Warrior, who began his career at England's most famous racecourse. "We are really happy. Since his Newmarket win we have freshened him and we have been really happy with the build-up. He did a really nice piece of work on Monday and we think he is spot on. We are really looking forward to getting him over there. He began his career at Newmarket so I'm sure he won't have any problems settling in," said Hayes. "We've done all his main work here in Australia. It definitely won't be a lack of fitness that beats here over there. So we won't have to do much with him. It will just be a matter of keeping him happy."
Slot-holder Chris Waller Racing (CWR) has announced that it has secured the Darren Weir-trained Brave Smash as its representative for the $13 million The Everest later in the year. The Japanese-bred sprinter, who was third in last year's inaugural running of The Everest, will represent CWR after a deal was finalised with owner Australian Bloodstock. "We thought this year he deserved his chance in the race. He's a Group 1 winner [Futurity Stakes in the Spring] and he was narrowly beaten by some of the best sprinters in the world such as Redkirk Warrior and Merchant Navy in the Newmarket...so we think he has the right profile and we are very excited to be in the race," Australian Bloodstock's Jamie Lovett told Sky Sports Radio. "Darren was very keen to secure a spot early this year. Last year was a bit of an afterthought but this year we will be targeting the race. He's probably a horse that is more effective early in his preparation so he will be trained accordingly He will probably go into the race third-up." Brave Smash is currently on the third line of betting with TAB at $15 for The Everest (1200m) which will be run Royal Randwick on 14 October.
Redkirk Warrior will have an exhibition gallop between races at Flemington on Saturday to further his preparation for next month's Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. The UK-bred Redkirk Warrior is in career best form having won the Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) and successfully defended his Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) title at his past two outings. "We've planned for the exhibition gallop at Flemington this Saturday and then he'll trial at Werribee on Monday week on May 28 and that should have him spot-on," co-trainer David Hayes told racing.com. The Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) will be run on the final day of the Royal Ascot carnival on Saturday, 23 June. Frankie Dettori has been booked for the ride.
Meanwhile, trainer David Hayes says everything is going to plan for Redkirk Warrior's trip to Royal Ascot. Redkirk Warrior is being prepared for a tilt at the Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot on Saturday 23 June where he will be ridden by champion European jockey Frankie Detorri. The UK-bred Redkirk Warrior is in career best form having won the Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) and successfully defended his Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) title at his past two outings. "He galloped on the course proper at Flemington this morning [Tuesday] and will trial next week at Flemington, hopefully down the straight. He will then leave [for England] the following Wednesday." Hayes added: "Its getting very close and we are very excited."
Meanwhile, US trainer Wesley Ward will be keeping a close eye on the performance of Australian sprinter Redkirk Warrior when he clashes with Bound For Nowhere in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot next month, reports racingnsw.com.au. Ward has expressed an interest in bringing a horse to Australia for The Everest (1200m) in October and has identified Bound For Nowhere (The Factor) as an ideal horse to contest the $13 million sprint feature. Bound For Nowhere, who made his Royal Ascot debut last year when a close fourth in the Gr1 Commonwealth Cup (1200m) for 3YOs, is unbeaten in his two starts this year, the latest being a victory in the Gr2 Shakertown Stakes (5.5 furlongs) at Keeneland. "Bound For Nowhere is coming into his own right now. He is in great form and undefeated in the United States. He is better than he ever was," Ward told Sky Sports Radio. "I wouldn't come [for The Everest] unless I thought I could win. It's a long way to go to lose. I certainly have The Everest on my radar, that's for sure." The Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) will be run at Royal Ascot on Saturday 23 June.
David Hayes has confirmed that champion European jockey Frankie Dettori has been booked to ride Redkirk Warrior (Notnowcato-Flag, by Selkirk) at Royal Ascot next month. A brilliant winner of the Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) and Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at his past two outings, the UK-bred Redkirk Warrior will not race again until the Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot on Saturday 23 June. "We have decided to go with someone who has the experience, and no one has had more winners at Royal Ascot than Frankie Dettori," Hayes told racing.com. "The decision was made through discussions with myself and Redkirk Warrior's owner and for us experience was the key. We settled on either Frankie Dettori or Ryan Moore, but Ryan will ride Merchant Navy in the same race so we have booked Frankie."
Meanwhile, trainer David Hayes has confirmed that brilliant sprinter Redkirk Warrior's international campaign will be restricted to England. The UK-bred Redkirk Warrior is in career best form having won the Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) and successfully defending his Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) title at his past two outings. He holds an entry in next month's Gr1 Chairman's Sprint Prize (1200m) in Hong Kong, but Hayes said he will go straight into the Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot in June without another run. "He'll fly straight to England and run race fresh at Royal Ascot," Hayes told racing.com. "We know how much he loves it at Euroa so it'll just allow him to spend more time preparing from the farm, rather than extra travel."
At Flemington in Melbourne, imported UK-bred 7YO gelding Redkirk Warrior (Notnowcato-Flag, by Selkirk) continued his freakishly strong form down the famous Flemington "straight six" for Hayes, Hayes & Dabernig in winning the $1.25 million Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) for the second year in succession, defeating Brave Smash and Merchant Navy. Leading the outside division for the entire race, against his normal swooping pattern, Redkirk Warrior displayed both diversity and courage to become the first horse since Razor Sharp in 1982/83 to achieve the rare back-to-back result. Correct (60/61), Gothic (27/28) and Aspen (1880/81) are the only other sprinters in the history of the Newmarket to do this. Redkirk Warrior was a £22,000 yearling from the draft of Manor House Stud at the 2012 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale (Book 2). His record now stands at 8 wins (including the Gr3 Sundown Stakes, Gr1 Newmarket Handicap & Gr1 Lightning Stakes) & 2 placings (including the Listed Hong Kong Classic Cup) from 17 starts for $2,911,080. It's now likely that Redkirk Warrior will represent Australia at Royal Ascot, most likely via Hong Kong, reports racing.com. Co-trainer Ben Hayes noted: "Talking to the owners, I think they're pretty keen to go travelling. He seems to have pulled up well this morning...and why not? He's done two amazing runs, and I think we can freshen him up and take him overseas now." Hayes added: "There's no [specific] plans set in stone yet. We'll have a big talk on Monday about it. We can go via Hong Kong and then onto England, or we can really freshen him and run him at Royal Ascot."
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.
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
Trainer Lindsey Smith is anything but confident about Scales Of Justice mounting a successful defence of his title in Saturday’s $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot. West Australia’s best racehorse embarked on a Melbourne campaign in the spring that began well enough with an excellent first-up second behind Redkirk Warrior in the Gr2 Bobbie Lewis Quality, but things quickly went awry. Smith had no choice but to pull the pin on the 5YOs campaign after he pulled up lame in the Gr1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at his next start. But he has been playing catch-up ever since with Scales Of Justice resuming with an encouraging third in the Gr2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) on 11 November. “They were a couple of decent horses who beat him and while I’m not a bookmaker I thought $1.50 was a bit short considering the preparation he had going into the race,” Smith told ANZ Bloodstock News. “The horse raced well, but he was a bit fresh and he has come through the race all right and I have given him a bit more work in between. A lot will hinge on the barrier draw today.” Smith added: “I was quite confident that he was going to be very hard to beat last year, but this year I am hoping.”
A total of 293 horses have been nominated at the first stage for the HK$84.5 million Hong Kong International Races which will take place at Sha Tin racecourse on Sunday, 10 December. The meeting consists of four Group One events, namely the HK$25 million Gr1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m), the HK$23 million Gr1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m), the HK$18.5 million Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m), and the HK$18 million Gr1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m). Among the overseas stars entered are top-class UK miler Ribchester, Ballydoyle stable-mates Highland Reel and Roly Poly, Japan's QEII Cup winner Neorealism, and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe runner-up Cloth Of Stars. The home contingent includes former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther, last year's Hong Kong Mile winner Beauty Only, and gun sprinters Lucky Bubbles and Mr Stunning. There are 17 Australian horses entered, including Gr1 winners Vega Magic, Redkirk Warrior, and Boom Time, as well as Takedown and In Her Time.
The connections of Malaguerra (Magnus-Tennessee Morn, by Bletchingly) have warned punters not to overlook the classy sprinter in Friday night's star-studded Gr1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley. The $1 million feature is likely to attract a top quality field of speedsters with the likes of Everest winner Redzel, the world's highest rated sprinter Chautauqua, Vega Magic and Redkirk Warrior all nominated for the race. But Manny Gelagotis, stable representative for his trainer brother Peter, says Malaguerra should be included among the winning prospects. Gelagotis says the dual Gr1 winner has been set for the race and his first up 7th (beaten just 2.2 lengths) behind She Will Reign in the Gr1 Moir Stakes (1000m) on 29 September has his primed to run a big race. "This has been the target race for the horse all along and the Moir was always going to be the stepping stone," Gelagotis told racing.com. "He galloped well this morning so we are really pleased with the way he's going to present on Friday." He added: "It's an open race but there are going to be some really quality horses running, of which he is one of them." Damien Oliver is the new rider for Malaguerra replacing the suspended Ben Melham.
Weights have been released for the 2017 edition of the $1 million weight-for-age Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) to be run at Ascot racecourse in Perth on Saturday, 2 December. A total of 53 horses have been nominated for West Australia’s premier sprint, including defending champion Takedown, Gr1 winners Vega Magic, Redkirk Warrior, Malaguerra, The Quarterback, and Sheidel, as well as local star Rock Magic. Click here for the full list of nominations.
Black Heart Bart, Scales Of Justice and Vega Magic are among the 18 Group One winners that feature in the nominations for the three $1 million races of The TABtouch Masters – the Gr1 Railway Stakes, Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes and Gr1 Kingston Town Classic. Black Heart Bart and Scales Of Justice, the WA Horse of the Year recipients of the past two years, are just two of the 10 Group One winners among the Railway Stakes nominations, with the others being Egg Tart, Good Project, Ihtsahymn, It’s Somewhat, Perfect Reflection, Redkirk Warrior, Silent Sedition and Single Gaze. Vega Magic, which has won two Gr1 titles since transferring from the WA stable of Sean Casey to the Victorian yard of David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, headlines the Winterbottom Stakes entries that include fellow top-flight winners Hey Doc, Impending, Malaguerra, Redkirk Warrior, Santa Ana Lane, Sheidel, The Quarterback, as well as defending champion Takedown. Mark Worwood, Racing and Wagering Manager of Perth Racing commented: “Perth Racing is delighted with not only the quantity and quality of the nominations but also their geographical spread. One hundred and nine of the 222 nominations for the club’s three Group One races are trained outside Western Australia and that demonstrates the pulling power of an event of which there’s none like it anywhere else.” Worwood added: “It’s the world’s only single-track thoroughbred racing festival featuring a Group One race worth at least $1,000,000 on three consecutive Saturdays.”
Weights have been released for the 2017 Gr1 Magic Millions Kingston Town Classic (1800m) to be run at Ascot racecourse in Perth on Saturday, 9 December. A total of 99 horses have been nominated for the $1 million weight-for-age feature, headed by 5-time Gr1 winner Black Heart Bart, Scales Of Justice, Vega Magic, Redkirk Warrior, Silent Sedition, and dual Oaks winner Egg Tart. Click here for the full list of weights and nominations.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the inaugural running of the world's richest turf race – the $10 million The Everest (1200m) to be held at Royal Randwick racecourse in Sydney this Saturday. A capacity field of 12 sprinters will line up in the race with each horse representing a slot holder. There are four emergencies should there be any scratchings. In the case that any of the 12 horses is withdrawn, the affected slot holder/s will be able to negotiate with the connections of the substitute emergency runner. Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign (barrier 2) is the current $4.60 TAB favourite for the race, ahead of Vega Magic (10) at $5.50, Chautauqua (5) at $6, Redzel (4) at $7, and Redkirk Warrior (3) at $9. All other runners are at double figure odds. Click below to view The Everest field.
Horse (Slot Holder)
Trainer Lindsey Smith says Scales Of Justice (Not a Single Doubt-Beymatilla, by Umatilla) has improved since his kicking off his spring campaign with an strong finishing second to Redkirk Warrior in the Gr2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington a fortnight ago. Smith was delighted with the first-up performance of the champion West Australian galloper despite racing erratically in his first outing down the famous Flemington straight. "He was good first-up. He just decided to go exit right, but they say the straight can be daunting the first time," Smith told the West Australian. The 5YO warmed up for Sunday's Gr1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield with a strong gallop alongside Lucky Hussler at Coleraine on Monday. "The way he pulled up after his first-up run, he wasn't that far off, but he has tightened up a bit," Smith said. "He worked well on the wet track at Coleraine. The jockey [Brad Rawiller] was smiling and he's looking forward to him at Caulfield on top of the ground."
At Flemington racecourse in Melbourne, 6YO UK-bred gelding Redkirk Warrior (Notnowcato-Flag, by Selkirk) submitted a brilliant Everest trial when bolting up in the $200,000 Gr2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating a wayward Scales Of Justice and Land Of Plenty. The ex-Hong Kong-based Redkirk Warrior improved his record to 6 wins (including the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap & Gr3 Sandown Stakes) and 2 placings (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Classic Cup) from 13 starts for $1,528,580 in earnings. Redkirk Warrior's performance virtually assured him a slot in the inaugural $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 14 October. "I've been seeing his raw ability now for 12 months and if he gets the right conditions in Sydney it will take a very good horse to beat him," Hayes said. "Star [slot holder Star City] will choose in the next 24 [hours] and I've been recommending this one to them all the way through but Vega Magic confused them a little bit." Hayes added: "When it rains it pours. They are the two best sprinters I've had in a long time and they'd be good in any era so it's luck in running and who handles Sydney the best."
Meanwhile, brilliant sprinting mare Sheidel (Holy Roman Emperor-Laventour, by Metal Storm) is set to make her seasonal reappearance in Saturday's Gr3 The Heath 1100 Stakes at Caulfield, reports racing.com. The Lindsay Park-trained Sheidel, who hasn't raced since finishing 11th in the Gr1 Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville on 6 May, showed she was in top shape for her spring return when scoring an outstanding 1000m barrier trial win over stable-mates Redkirk Warrior and Dibayani at Tatura on 22 August. "It was a really class field," said owner Rob Crabtree. "We had a little 48kg apprentice on Sheidel but, nevertheless, she won the official trial by seven lengths." Crabtree added: "So we think in The Heath on Saturday, she's right in it. And maybe that'll lead us to The Everest, who knows? She's ready to win on Saturday." Sheidel has won 15 of her 30 starts for over $1.6 million in prize money. Her biggest career win to date was in the Gr1 Oakleigh Plate in February.
Lindsay Park's Group One-winning sprinters Redkirk Warrior and Vega Magic will trial at Flemington on Friday as they step up their preparations for the spring, reports AAP. Former Hong Kong-based speedster Redkirk Warrior (Notnowcato-Flag, by Selkirk) broke through at the elite level when scoring an explosive first-up win in the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap in March. He could return in the Gr2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on 16 September. Meanwhile, Vega Magic (Lope de Vega-Admirable, by Magic Albert) continued the impressive strike rate of WA sprinters in the eastern states when landing the Gr1 Goodwood at Morphettville in May. The Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on 19 August has been earmarked as his possible return. Both gallopers are being aimed at the inaugural $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 14 October.
David Hayes says Redkirk Warrior is chance of running in Saturday week’s Gr1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick if Sydney’s premier track dries out. The UK-bred Redkirk Warrior (Notnowcato-Flag, by Selkirk) failed to heavy the conditions when finishing 11th of 20 runners (beaten 9.7 lengths) in Saturday’s Gr1 Doncaster Mile in Sydney. “He just hated the track. He didn’t handle it at all,” Hayes told racing.com. “We’re in a bit of a holding pattern with him. We’ll go to the All Aged if it dries up, but if it doesn’t he’ll be turned out.” Redkirk Warrior showed just how effective he is on a firm track when he became the first horse in history to win the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) first-up from a spell.
Trainer David Hayes is bullish about the prospects of Redkirk Warrior in tomorrow's $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick, describing him as "a horse that breaks the rules". The UK-bred Redkirk Warrior (Notnowcato-Flag, by Selkirk) did exactly that at his most recent outing when he became the first horse in history to win the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) first-up from a spell. Hayes says he is unfazed about the prospect of the 6YO stepping up from six to eight furlongs, citing his win in the Gr3 Racing Club Stakes over 1500 metres at Sandown in the spring. "When he won the Sandown Stakes last spring we knew we had a serious horse. He beat Stratum Star that day and he has just kept winning since, including a Group One," Hayes told the Sydney Morning Herald. "That was second-up in Australia and it gives you confidence that the mile is not going to be a problem for him on Saturday." Hayes added: "People didn't think he could win a Newmarket, I did. I really think he will be competitive in the best weight-for-age races in the spring, so with 53kg in a Doncaster, he is going to be hard to beat."
Redkirk Warrior will carry 52kg in next month’s $3 million Doncaster Mile after receiving a 2kg penalty for his win in last Saturday’s Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington. Trained by David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig, the UK-bred Redkirk Warrior (Notnowcato-Flag, by Selkirk) created history by becoming the first horse to win the time-honoured sprint first-up from a spell. The Newmarket was first run in 1892 when Wild Rose saluted. Meanwhile, Heaven’s Above was penalised 1.5kg for next month’s Gr1 Doncaster Handicap for her win in last Saturday’s Gr1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill. The Tim Martin-trained mare will now carry 51.5kg in the $3 million feature.
At Flemington in Victoria, 6YO UK-bred gelding Redkirk Warrior (Notnowcato-Flag, by Selkirk) posted a top shelf success in scoring by a comfortable 2-lengths for trainers David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig in the $1,255,000 Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) over fellow 6YO gelding Voodoo Lad (I Am Invincible-O’Fortuna, by Gilded Time) & 4YO colt Star Turn (Star Witness-Golden Delicious, by Made of Gold). The former Gr1-placed Hong Kong galloper improved his record to 5 wins (including the Gr3 Sandown Stakes) and 2 placings (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Classic Cup) from 10 starts for $1,392,080 earnings. Redkirk Warrior became the first horse ever to win the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap first-up from a spell in what was an amazing training performance. The first running of the race was in 1892 when Wild Rose saluted. Redkirk Warrior was a £22,000 yearling from the Tattersalls 2012 Yearling Sale from the draft of Manor House Stud.
Melbourne’s soon to retire race caller Greg Miles might find himself wishing he’d hung up the binoculars earlier than June when the final 100 metres of tomorrow’s Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington plays out. Although the major sprint has been robbed of outstanding colt Flying Artie due to a reported low level lung infection, there are chances just about everywhere one looks, and there is a strong likelihood of another blanket finish down the straight six. Despite the publically aired concerns by trainer Bryce Heys about Speith’s inside marble, the exciting 4YO tops betting markets at $3.50, with his Lightning Stakes conqueror and top-weight Terravista at the luxury quote of $12 due to the weight turn around. Sheidel, Extreme Choice, Illustrious Lad and Star Turn are all under double figure odds and are expected to be the testing material for Speith, however Miles can also expect any one of The Quarterback, Voodoo Lad, Super Cash or Redkirk Warrior to come into play. And then there’s Waikato Stud-bound Tivaci (see below item) who will be hitting the line hard, particularly if there’s a ton of pace through the middle stages of the race.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $1.25 million Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) to be run at Flemington racecourse this Saturday. Weights have been raised 0.5kg to ensure a minimum top weight of 57kg. The time-honoured event is one of the feature sprints on the racing calendar and has been won by some of Australia's greatest sprinters including Black Caviar (2011), Miss Andretti (2007), Takeover Target (2006), Exceed and Excel (2004), Primacy (1993), Schillaci (1992), Placid Ark (1987), Maybe Mahal (1978), Century (1973), Baguette (1971), Bernborough (1946), Heroic (1926), and Wakeful (1901). This year the favourite is the Bryce Heys-trained chestnut Spieth who will be chasing his maiden top flight victory following successive Gr1 placings in the Darley Classic and Lightning Stakes. Spieth is currently $3.50 with the Tab, ahead of dual Gr1-winning 3YO Extreme Choice at $5.50, Gr1-placed 3YO Star Turn at $6.50, and Illustrious Lad at $8. All other runners are at double figure odds headed by Lightning Stakes hero Terravista at $11. The final field is:
At Sandown in Melbourne, 6YO UK-bred gelding Redkirk Warrior (Notnowcato-Flag, by Selkirk) posted his first win since arriving in Australia when scoring by 0.4 length for trainers David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig in the $150,000 Gr3 Racing Club Stakes (1500m) for 3YO+, over 5YO entire Stratum Star (Stratum-Purely Spectacular, by Pins) & 4YO gelding Un De Sceaux (Hinchinbrook-Cross Dresser, by Cape Cross). The former Gr1-placed Hong Kong galloper improved his record to 4 wins and 2 placings (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Classic Cup) from 9 starts for $637,080 earnings. Co-trainer David Hayes said Redkirk Warrior had the potential to develop into a Gr1 horse in the autumn. "That qualifies him for most of the good races in the autumn, so we'll back off him a bit now," Hayes told racing.com. "He's a Group 1 horse for sure." He added: "He's got the scope, and race manners about him, that tells me he's a very good horse...if we ease him, he'll be a star in the autumn."
At Sha Tin in Hong Kong, dual Gr1-winning Widden Stud stallion Lucky Owners (Danehill-Miss Priority, by Kaapstad) celebrated a Gr1 success when 4YO gelding Thunder Fantasy (Lucky Owners-Pink Pier, by Galileo) scored by a nose for trainer John Size in the HK$6 million Gr1 Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m), over 4YO UK-bred geldings Redkirk Warrior (Notnowcato-Flag, by Selkirk) & Giant Treasure (Mizzen Mast-Palisade, by Gone West). This was the first Hong Kong stakes victory for the former Australian galloper who took his record to 4 wins (including the Gr2 MRC Gr2 Autumn Stakes) and 3 placings (in the Gr1 Victoria Derby) from 16 starts for $1,086,171 earnings. Thunder Fantasy's victory put him into contention for next month's Gr1 Hong Kong Derby (2000m). "Mr Chiu (owner) owned the horse when he raced in Melbourne and he ran third in the Victoria Derby there over 2500m as a three-year-old, which is a pretty good effort; so therefore his staying credentials were already in place. It was just a matter of him making the adjustment to Hong Kong and training up well coming through the preliminary races," said Size. "He hasn't put a foot wrong the time he's been here, even though he's a colt, and his temperament's been fine. He's done exactly as we'd hoped – as the distances have gone further he's looked a little bit better."