Damion Flower of Jadeskye Racing says he chose top-class sprinter English as his representative in The Everest because he is confident she has plenty more big race wins in store. "Looking at the other runners that have been secured I think she is way up to the mark," Flower told racingnsw.com.au. "She showed in the 10,000 [Gr1 Doomben 10,000] she can beat Redzel and In Her Time on any day. I know she'll be six years old but she's had 26 starts so she's lightly raced." Flower added: "I've been lucky enough to see her as of Friday and she is in outstanding condition." English is owned by the Kelly family's Newhaven Park and is trained by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott. "Charles Kelly approached me and we came to the stage where I wanted to secure her and Gai and Adrian are happy to run her," Flower said. "I wanted them, along with Gai and Adrian, to know exactly where they are going. It's less than four months to the race and now they can plan their attack." English, who finished sixth in last year's inaugural running of The Everest, is currently $15 with TAB for this year's renewal which will be run at Royal Randwick on 13 October.
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."
The fifth annual Goffs London Sale will see 30 lots go under the hammer on Monday evening in the stunning grounds of Kensington Palace Gardens. The catalogue features 24 horses in training, most of whom hold entries at this week's Royal Ascot carnival, alongside three elite broodmares and three breeze up two-year-olds. Henry Beeby, Group Chief Executive of Goffs commented: "We are very pleased with the depth and strength of the catalogue ahead of Monday with a record number of horses-in-training entries that could run at the Royal Meeting. The three select breeze-up two-year-olds reintroduce that dimension to the sale and should appeal to a range of buyers, while the very select breeding stock complete the elite catalogue." Beeby added: "Goffs London Sale is the perfect curtain raiser to Royal Ascot and since its inception in 2014 has grown in popularity and attracted significant new investment into the British and Irish bloodstock industry. We are hopeful for a strong renewal as we celebrate its fifth year." Click here to view catalogue.
John Gosden will use a tried and tested route to next month's Epsom Derby when he runs Classic aspirants Crossed Baton and Roaring Lion in the $220,000 Gr2 Dante Stakes (2100m) at York tonight, reports Racing Post. The Dante is one of Britain's traditional Derby lead-ups and has been used by Gosden in previous years with great success with Benny The Dip and Golden Horn graduating to Epsom glory after claiming the race. Gosden again holds a strong hand in this year's renewal with Crossed Baton having won the Listed Blue Riband Trial (10 furlongs) at Epsom on 25 April, while Roaring Lion, the likely favourite for the Dante, returned with a pleasing fifth in the English 2,000 Guineas on 5 May. The Juddmonte Farms-owned Crossed Baton (Dansili-Sacred Shield, by Beat Hollow) will be ridden by Frankie Dettori, while the US-bred Roaring Lion (Kitten's Joy-Vionnet, by Street Sense) will be ridden by Oisin Murphy. Aidan O'Brien will also be doubly represented in the Dante with James Cook and Zabriskie set to turn out for the famous Ballydoyle yard. However they are considered outsiders after finishing fourth and sixth respectively behind Crossed Baton at Epsom. The Mark Johnston-trained Mildenberger is one of the more fancied runners having won 4 of his 6 starts. The Gr1 English Derby (2400m) will be run at Epsom on 2 June.
A beautifully-bred ultra commercial mare, in-foal to the world's highest rated racehorse, is the first mare entered for Goffs' London Sale. Landikusic, a winning own-sister to Zoffany, in foal to Frankel, has been announced as the spectacular first entry for the 2018 Goffs London Sale in association with QIPCO. The five-year-old daughter of Dansili is also a half-sister to Gr2 Futurity Stakes winner and Gr1 Goffs National Stakes-placed Rostropovich who sold for over 1 million as a yearling. The fifth renewal of the Goffs London Sale in association with QIPCO will once again take place on the eve of Royal Ascot, Monday, 18 June 2018. Graduates of the sale include Australian Gr1 winner Pornichet, Classic winner Harbour Law and Saudi Arabian Gr1 winner Smoking Sun as well as stakes-winners Realtra, Jet Setting, Madam Dancealot and Mirage. This year’s sale will take place at a new and improved location, albeit at the same address, on the greenfield Perks Field site adjacent to Kensington Palace while renovations take place at The Orangery.
The $200,000 Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m) has attracted a capacity field of 16 runners and two emergencies for its 2018 renewal on day three of the Warrnambool carnival tomorrow. The race is scheduled for 3:55pm. Click below to view field and form.
In a coup for Queensland, the State is set to gain Australian Champion 2YO Colt Sidestep (Exceed and Excel-Dextrous, by Quest For Fame). In an historic arrangement with Godolphin Australia, Sidestep will become the highest-rated son of exceptional juvenile stallion Exceed And Excel to stand in Queensland. The dual Group-winning half-brother to Gr1 performers Skilled and Ambidexter was the first colt home when runner-up to Overreach in the 2013 renewal of the Gr1 Golden Slipper (see below). Sun Stud’s decision to consolidate its thoroughbred investments in Victoria will see its currently leased Queensland stud farm re-launched as Telemon Thoroughbreds in June, with principal Dan Fletcher enthusing, “It’s our privilege to offer a horse the calibre of Sidestep. He’d be one of the best 2YOs to stand up here in my time. The other horses that were at a similar level at two include Written Tycoon, General Nediym, Show a Heart and Brave Warrior and they all made a massive impact.” Godolphin Australia Managing Director Vin Cox said, “It’s a really exciting opportunity for all breeders in Queensland. I know the quality of the farm where he’ll be standing from my time in Queensland so that was a huge attraction.” Meanwhile Darley’s stallion Head of Sales, Alastair Pulford noted, “Those of us familiar with the horse know he’s a fantastic type. He’s very correct, has great scope as well as width, and looks exactly what he is: an elite, precocious athlete.” Telemon and Godolphin have committed to make Sidestep, currently a reverse shuttler in Europe, available to Queensland breeders for a minimum of the next two seasons, with breeders supporting him in 2018 guaranteed they can access the horse in 2019 without paying an increase to his current season fee of $7,700.
On day two of The Championships at Royal Randwick, Coolmore's former Gr1-winning Champion Australian Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added a black-type success when 3YO Australian-bred gelding California Turbo (Fastnet Rock-Celebria, by Peintre Celebre) opened his stakes account with a narrow yet impressive win in the $150,000 Listed South Pacific Classic (1400m) for 3YOs, defeating Dark Dream & Renewal. A $330,000 purchase by Asian Bloodstock Services at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Segenhoe Stud as agent, California Turbo advanced his record to 3 wins and 1 placing from 4 starts for $131,430 in earnings. From the beautifully bred mare Celebria, California Turbo is a half-brother to Gr1 WATC Railway Stakes winner Gathering and is a direct descendant of celebrated blue hen Best In Show, ancestress of multiple champion Australian sire Redoute's Choice, among many others.
The $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile is the showpiece event on the opening day of The Championships at Royal Randwick tomorrow. First run way back in 1866 (Dundee was the inaugural winner), the Doncaster has since established itself as Australia's premier mile handicap having been won by turf luminaries such as Wakeful (1901), Chatham (1934), Tobin Bronze (1967, Gunsynd (1972), Emancipation (1983), Super Impose (1990 & 91), Sunline (1999), Grand Armee (2000), More Joyous (2012), and Winx (2016). Australian racing's First Lady, Gai Waterhouse, will be striving to become the most successful trainer in Doncaster history when she chases her eighth winner with Arbeitsam. Waterhouse currently shares the Doncaster record of 7 winners with her legendary father TJ Smith. Chris Waller is another trainer looking to build upon his successful Doncaster record. Exciting 3YO colt D'Argento is Waller's best chance of training a record equalling seventh Doncaster winner following the victories of Triple Honour (2008), Rangirangdoo (2010), Sacred Falls (2013 & 14), Kermadec (2015), and Winx (2016). This year's race is shaping as a cracking renewal with Godolphin's star 3YO colt Kementari the current pre-post favourite at $3.80 with TAB. Next in the market is the ultra-consistent Happy Clapper at $5, followed by D'Argento at $7.50 and dual Gr1 winner Humidor at $9. The Doncaster Mile will be run as race 9 at 4:30pm.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) to be run at Royal Randwick this Saturday. First run way back in 1966 (Dundee was the inaugural winner), the Doncaster has since established itself as Australia's premier mile handicap having been won by turf luminaries such as Wakeful (1901), Chatham (1934), Tobin Bronze (1967, Gunsynd (1972), Emancipation (1983), Super Impose (1990 & 91), Sunline (1999), Grand Armee (2000), More Joyous (2012), and Winx (2016). This year's race is shaping as a cracking renewal with Godolphin's star 3YO colt Kementari the current pre-post favourite at $3.50 with TAB. Next in the market is the ultra-consistent Happy Clapper at $5, followed by the untapped 3YO D'Argento at $7 and dual Gr1 winner Humidor at $8. The Doncaster Mile will be run as race 9 on day one of The Championships at Royal Randwick at 4:30pm.
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.
Eleven days from today, on Sunday 4 March, the first Lot will be led into the sales ring to get 2018's Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale underway. The iconic Victorian sale has grown into one of the very best yearling sales in Australia, one which is firmly on the radar of a strong international contingent to complement the formidable local buying bench. The 2018 renewal features a catalogue of 770 high quality yearlings, of which 505 are Super VOBIS nominated and 339 BOBS eligible, underscoring the huge pulling power of the lucrative incentive schemes in Victoria and New South Wales. The sale, responsible for a plethora of world-class gallopers, is stocked with 70 percent Victorian-bred yearlings, and the catalogue features the progeny of 120 individual sires. To read more about the sale, including dedicated sections on Day-1's popular Blue Riband session plus the influential Freshman Yearling Sires, click here or on the image below:
Australia's largest thoroughbred sale which spans May 24 to June 7 in 2018 is now open for entries. A significant domestic and international buying bench coupled with attractive rates are expected to ensure another very strong renewal of the Magic Millions National Sale at the Gold Coast this Winter. "We are delighted to again present vendors with an opportunity to nominate for one of the world's great auctions," Magic Millions managing director Barry Bowditch said. "Whether it be a weanling, broodmare, yearling or racehorse, the Magic Millions National Sale provides an unmatched selling opportunity for bloodstock at every level." According to Bowditch, "Our industry leading commission rates from the past two years apply again in 2018 and the format of the sale around the Brisbane Winter Carnival is proven to perform across all markets." The National Sale comprises four distinct sales: Weanling, Broodmare, Yearling and racehorse. Entries for weanlings, yearlings, race fillies and broodmares close on March 16. Entries for racehorses close on May 11.
Meanwhile, vendors will be hoping that results at last year's Magic Millions National Sale on the Gold Coast will be replicated in 2018. The 2017 renewal was an unqualified success, with some of the highlights including:
The first of this year's Sydney thoroughbred yearling sales will get underway with a massive splash on Saturday week when Inglis hosts its first ever sale at its all-new Riverside Sales complex in Sydney's south-west at Warwick Farm. To coincide with the 2018 renewal of the sale at the ultra modern facility that also boasts a major hotel on site, the 800 lots catalogued, by 109 individual stallions, are the most in the esteemed sales company's very long history. With the Classic Sale boasting a long list of star graduates that were bought ridiculously cheaply, vendors shouldn't need too many more reasons to be in attendance for Saturday 10 February's 6pm start, yet they'll have another 6 million, with all graduates of this sale eligible for the $6 million Inglis race series. For a preview of the sale and a draft overview of a number of leading vendors, click on the image below.
Multi-million dollar earner Viddora shone a light on the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale when she raced away for the easiest of wins on the $10 million Magic Millions Raceday at the Gold Coast last Saturday. Now live online, the 2018 renewal includes 454 lots from leading breeders across the country. The Morphettville-based auction will now be held over two days, on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 March. Among the catalogued lots for Adelaide include (at least half) relations to group winners including Sirmione, Viddora, Riva de Lago, Arabian Gold, Carrara, Waging War, Vinnie Eagle, Concealer, Cartaya, Moment in Time and Vain Queen. The sale’s appeal to a broad market is highlighted this March by a catalogue comprising 193 BOBS eligible, 136 Super VOBIS nominated, 144 SABOIS Breeder Paid. This year some 120 different sires are represented by yearlings in the catalogue, including the first Australian crops of 25 individual sires. To view the online catalogue for the 2018 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale click here or download it via the Equineline iPad app.
The 2017 Arqana December Breeding Stock Sale set new records across the board when the four-day sale concluded on Tuesday. The set of figures posted by the 2017 renewal of the sale were unprecedented. The aggregate broke the €30 million barrier for the first time in the sale’s history, reaching €31,783,000 which represented a 36% increase from 2016. The average price climbed 22% to €45,444 and the clearance rate improved to almost 80%. Looking back over the past five years, the increase is even more striking, showing a 60% rise in the sale’s turnover and 39% for the sale’s average. Arqanan CEO Eric Hoyeau commented on the sale: "Trade has been nothing short of phenomenal over the last four days and most importantly demand was strong at every level of the markets. We didn’t lose momentum as we progressed through the sale, and this is down primarily to the quality of stock brought to the market by our vendors, as well as to the hard work produced by our international representatives with the skilful support of the ARQANA and FRBC teams. Together, we left no stone unturned whether in Japan, America, Australia, Australia, New Zealand, Eastern Europe, Turkey, Northern Africa and of course on both sides of the Channel...the seeds have now been sown for French bloodlines to continue to produce classy winners across the world and in both disciplines."
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $1.5 million Gr1 Victoria Derby (2500m) to be run at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne on Saturday. First run in 1855, the 3YO blue-riband Classic is justly regarded as one of the greatest races on the Australian racing calendar. And with names such as Phar Lap (1929), Comic Court (1948), Tulloch (1957), Sky high (1960), Tobin Bronze (1965), Taj Rossi (1973), Sovereign Red (1980), Mahogany (1993), Nothin' Leica Dane (1995), and Efficient (2006) adorning the honour roll, it's easy to see why. This year New Zealand-bred gelding Main Stage and Gr1 Spring Champion Stakes winner Ace High share TAB favouritism at $5 in what is widely regarded as a very open renewal. Next best in the market is Main Stage's stable-mate Sully and the Chris Waller-trained Tangled at $7, ahead of another Kiwi 3YO in Weather With You at $8. All other runners are at double figure odds headed by Godolphin's Astoria at $11. Click below to view the full Victoria Derby field.
The final instalment of the once-in-a-generation Ballymacoll Dispersal, comprising 22 fillies and mares, heads an outstanding catalogue for the Tattersalls December Mares Sale (December 4-7). In total eight of the 14 Ballymacoll broodmares are Group or Listed performers including the champion Islington, in foal to Kingman, Gr2 winner Eleanor Duse, in foal to Frankel, and Gr3 winner Liber Nauticus, in foal to the Aga Khan's Derby winner Harzand. The 2017 renewal of the Tattersalls December Mare Sale combines the best of British and Irish bloodstock with top class consignments from throughout Europe. Dual Gr1-winning sprinters Marsha and Quiet Reflection, as well as Gr1 winners Zhukova and Intricately, are among the more than 60 Group and Listed performed fillies in and out of training catalogued. Moreover, no less than 36 mares are in foal to the current top five stallions in Britain and Ireland, namely Galileo, Dark Angel, Dubawi, Frankel and Kodiac. Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony commented: "The once in a generation Ballymacoll Dispersal adds a unique dimension to this year's Tattersalls December Sale and it is backed up by a catalogue of real distinction including four outstanding Group 1 winning fillies, the highest rated two-year-old filly we have offered at the December Sale this century and a host of beautifully bred, well covered mares." The catalogue can be view at www.tattersalls.com.
A colt by Frankel claimed top honours on the final day of the Goffs Orby Sale in Ireland when purchased by agent Justin Casse on behalf of Zayat Stables for €1.6 million. Consigned by Eddie Irwin's Marlhill House Stud, the colt (lot 330) is out of the Xaar mare Belesta and hails from the family of Gr1 Prix de l'Opera winner We Are. International competition was fierce throughout an action packed day in the sales ring, with another of the stand-out lots including the Kingman colt out of an own sister to champion filly Immortal Verse (Lot 444). "Two millionaires by Galileo and Frankel were the clear highlights of another strong renewal of our flagship Orby Sale which has been well supported by a huge international cast of buyers who flocked to Co Kildare to buy some beautifully bred world class yearlings that had been sent to us by leading breeders," said Goffs Chief Executive Henry Beeby.
Following the exceptional win by Ulysses in the Gr1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York overnight (see above), his trainer Sir Michael Stoute rubber-stamped the Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Turf for the improving Nirachos family home-bred. According to thoroughbreddailynews.com, Stoute said, “He’s a professional athlete now and has everything–constitution, rhythm and pedigree. I think it’s time to give him a break and I know Maria [Niarchos] is keen on the Breeders’ Cup Turf, so we’ll work backwards from that.” The son of Galileo won’t be fazed by the US sojourn, having finished fourth in 2016’s renewal at Santa Anita. The Juddmonte International carries a Win and you’re in clause, so Ulysses is automatically qualified to run.
Tonight’s Nassau Stakes (10 furlongs) at Goodwood will bring together a stellar group of fillies vying for further Group One glory. The 2017 race promises to be a high quality renewal with the likes of English & Irish 1,000 Guineas winner, and Coronation Stakes winner Winter, Breeders' Cup winner Queen's Trust, John Gosden's highly regarded So Mi Dar, and Godolphin's Group 1 winner Sobetsu all lining up. That is despite top fillies such as Shutter Speed and Nezwaah, and Godolphin’s brilliant filly Wuheida being withdrawn from the race on account of the very soft ground. Trainer Aidan O’Brien said he expects race favourite Winter to handle the step up to a mile-and-a-quarter for the first time. "It's her first time over a mile and a quarter but she is in good form," O’Brien told Sky Sports. "We always thought she was a very high-class filly. From the first time she ran she has progressed with every run.” He added: “You can never be sure that she will get the mile and a quarter, but she is by Galileo, which is obviously a big help."
The records continued to tumble at Tattersalls with new benchmarks for turnover, average and median all set at the 2017 renewal of the July Sale. The final session saw a total of 178 lots realise 4,161,300 guineas and featured the sale-topping price of 330,000 guineas. The three-day sale totals saw 574 lots sell for 14,691,700 guineas, at an average of 25,595 guineas and a median of 12,000 guineas. The sale high price was realised during the last session on Friday evening when Asanta Sana was knocked down to Saeed Manana for 330,000 guineas. Asanta Sana is by Galileo out of the beautifully bred Danehill mare Milanova, a Gr3 winner and Gr1 placegetter in Australia who is a sister to Gr1-winning stallion Holy Roman Emperor and a direct descendant of influential blue hen Fanfreluche. "We will send her back into training," said Manana, "to my trainer James Tate." Tate, who was standing with the successful purchaser, added: "We will try and win a race with her, and then she will join Saeed's broodmare band. She will come straight back to us and we will ready her for a race in the autumn." The next sale at Tattersalls is Book 1 of the October Yearling Sale which takes place from October 3–5.
A record 1470 yearlings are in early contention for the 2018 renewal of $1.5 million Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) following the closure of nominations on Tuesday. This year's figure represents an increase of 89 from last year's total of 1381 nominations (up 6.44%), and sets a new benchmark for Victoria's richest two-year-old race. "It's very pleasing that the 2018 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes has recorded the highest number of entries in the race's history," Melbourne Racing Club General Manager of Racing Jake Norton said. "It demonstrates just how important the race has become to the Australasian racing and breeding industries. Since the race's inception in 1971, 20 Blue Diamond winners have gone to stud, including superstar stallion Redoute's Choice." Topping the list of nominators is the victorious 2017 Blue Diamond training partnership of David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig with 112 entries, ahead of Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott (97), Godolphin (89), Snowden Racing (69), and Ciaron Maher (66). Snitzel once again heads the stallion list with 83 of his progeny nominated, ahead of I Am Invincible (78) and Fastnet Rock (49). The Hawkes Racing-trained Prince Of Caviar, the second foal of legendary mare Black Caviar, is also entered.
Nominations for NZB's National Yearling Sales Series close on Monday 3 July. Held from 28 January to 4 February at Karaka, south of Auckland, the 2018 renewal kicks off with an all-new night session on Sunday 28 January, starting at 5pm. Book I continues until Wednesday 30 January, followed by Book II on Thursday 1 February and Friday 2 February. The series finishes on Sunday 4 February with Book III. Next year's Karaka Million Twilight meeting will be held on Saturday 27 January at Ellersilie, where the Karaka Million and 3YO Classic are both worth $1 million, and are butressed by four supporting Group races.
Pat Smullen will ride Cracksman (Frankel-Rhadegunda, by Pivotal) in Saturday’s Gr1 Irish Derby at The Curragh, reports Racing Post. Smullen, who won last year’s renewal of the Irish Classic aboard the Aga Khan-owned Harzand, replaces the injured Frankie Dettori on the John Gosden-trained 3YO who was a last-start beaten favourite when third in the Epsom Derby behind Wings Of Eagles. Smullen is expecting the Irish Derby to be a tactical affair. "You have to have your wits about you. We'll have to see who the final runners are, but in any big race you have to be tactically aware. You have to do your homework and you have to expect the unexpected,” he said. “Cracksman is a great spare ride to get. He's a very smart colt. I don't think there were too many hard luck stories on the day for him at Epsom, but even if he reproduces that run it makes him one of the principal horses and it should leave him very competitive.” He added: "You can't take away from Wings Of Eagles the fact he won the Derby, but this will be a new day on a new track.”
Trade proved strong at the fourth renewal of the Goffs London Sale which was held at The Orangery at Kensington Palace on Monday evening. The top selling lot was the Gr1-placed colt Lockheed (Exceed and Excel-Clinical, by Motivator) who was purchased by Australian agent Chris McAnulty on behalf of Hong Kong-based owner Henry Cheng Kar Shun for £900,000. The 3YO, who was third behind Churchill in the Gr1 National Stakes last season, was sold by the China Horse Club and had been in training with William Haggas. McAnulty commented: "He will be gelded and given a couple of months here in the UK before being shipped to John Size's yard in Hong Kong. He's for a long-time owner, Henry Cheng Kar Shun and this is the first time he has purchased at a European sale." A key player at the sale was SackvilleDonald on behalf of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the owner of Leicester City, who purchased a total of six horses in training for just over £2million. Henry Beeby, CEO of Goffs commented: "We're delighted with the fourth renewal of the London Sale. We welcomed a huge international audience once again to the Orangery at Kensington Palace which got Royal Ascot week kicked off in some style. Spirited bidding saw the key statistics advance with average rising by 26% to over £375,000 and median was up almost 80% to £340,000."
When final declarations were made for tomorrow's Gr1 Qipco 2000 Guineas (1 mile) at Newmarket in the UK, just 10 runners had stood their ground. Three of those are from the powerful Ballydoyle stable, among them last season's Champion 2YO Churchill (Galileo-Meow, by Storm Cat) who is the pronounced favourite for the event after 5 wins (including the Gr1 Dewhurst Stakes) and a placing from 6 starts last season. The only other three in the market under double figure odds are Godolphin's Greenham Stakes winner Barney Roy, Sir Pete Vela's exciting Frankel colt Eminent, and the Andre Fabre-trained French raider Al Wukair, winner of the Prix Djebel (see below). The small field has not detracted one iota from what should be a fascinating renewal of the time-honoured event.
Two of the best 3YO colts, from what is a vintage crop, are involved in pre race jousting before tomorrow's Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington. Both Flying Artie and Star Turn are taking turns to swap leads at the head of a market that can't settle on a favourite. The duo is around the $4.80 mark, although both of them have the year older Spieth nipping at their heels at $5. With Terravista, Flamberge, The Quarterback, Supido and Heatherly also among the main chances, this year's renewal is expected to be a thriller right down to the wire. Adding to the intrigue is Illustrious Lad, who has not finished out of the first two in his past seven starts. It could be a big day for Vinery Stud, co-owners of Star Turn who will stand at their Hunter Valley property at the end of his race career. Vinery's icing on the cake could come earlier in the Listed Talindert Stakes where four 2YOs by resident stallion and Champion 3YO All Too Hard are among the chances to provide their high profile sire with his first winner.
The Tattersalls February Sale, being held over two days for the first time, saw records across the board as it concluded on Friday evening. The robust trade continued from where it left off on Thursday with a remarkable 94% clearance rate sending turnover past 2 million guineas for the second consecutive day. The turnover for the sale of 5,710,200 guineas was more than double the previous February Sale record set last year whilst the average and median of 16,944 guineas and 8,000 guineas were both records for the sale, up 56% and 60% on last year's corresponding sale. Leading the way on the second day was the Oasis Dream filly Dream Waltz consigned from John Gosden's Clarehaven Stables who was knocked down to Laurent Benoit's Broadhurst Agency for 105,000 guineas. The filly was purchased on behalf of Australian owner Peter Maher who raced her Classic winning dam Valentine Waltz. Maher secured the filly despite the efforts of agent Barry Lynch and Arrowfield Stud's Paul Messara and indicated that she would be shipped to Australia and covered. At the conclusion of the 2017 Tattersalls February Sale, Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony commented: "The Tattersalls February Sale has achieved phenomenal growth in recent years and the 2017 renewal has taken it to a new level...This year we extended the sale to two days for the first time and the turnover has soared to nearly 6 million guineas, more than double last year's record level, the average has reached a new record of 16,944 guineas and even last year's impressive clearance rate of 82% has jumped to 90%."
The 2017 renewal of New Zealand Bloodstock's National Yearling Sales Series returns to Karaka, south of Auckland, from Monday January 30 to Sunday February 5, inclusive. Preceded by Sunday January 29th's elegant Karaka Million twilight meeting at Ellerslie, next year's flagship NZB catalogue is awash with quality bloodstock, including siblings to many household names that have earned Gr1 and/or Champion honours on both sides of the Tasman Sea. Boasting 15 individual winners of 21 Gr1 races last season among its alumni, the National Yearling Sale Series comprises three distinct sessions: the Premier Sale, Select Sale and Festival Sale, each responsible for its own share of elite performers. With the introduction of the $1 million Karaka Million 3YO Classic, every yearling sold at Karaka in 2017 will be eligible to compete for two individual $1 million races. For a detailed preview of the world class lineup on offer at Karaka, click on the image below.
A record number of horses remain in contention for the 2017 renewal of the Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes following the conclusion of the first round of acceptances on Wednesday. A total of 686 horses have been declared as first acceptors for Victoria's richest 2YO race to be run at Caulfield on 25 February next year. Mick Price, trainer of last year's Blue Diamond winner Extreme Choice, is the top nominator with the Caulfield-based horseman accepting with 55 horses. The Lindsay Park team of David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig have 46 horses entered, with Aquanita Racing (45) and global powerhouse Godolphin (43) the other leading first acceptors. The best-represented sire among the list of first acceptances is Arrowfield's high profile stallion Snitzel who has 47 progeny still in contention. Two horses have been added as late acceptors for the $1.5 million feature. Tony McEvoy has paid up with Maribyrnong Plate winner Aspect, while the John Price-trained and Peters Investments-owned Battle Storm has also been entered as a late acceptor. The Blue Diamond series kicks off with the Blue Diamond Previews (Gr3 for fillies & Listed for colts and geldings) on Australia Day. Second declarations for the 2017 Blue Diamond Stakes close at 12pm noon (AEDT) on January 10. Click here to view the full list of first acceptors.
New Zealand Bloodstock’s highly successful Ready To Run Sale of 2YOs has its 2016 renewal next week, with the sale boasting 70 potential contenders for the lucrative Karaka Million Series run at Ellerslie in Auckland each January, on the eve of the NZB National Yearling Sales Series at Karaka. These particular juveniles belong to the first wave of Karaka graduates that are competing for the enhanced Karaka Million Series featuring two separate $1 million races. They are eligible to enter for the $1 million Karaka Million in 2017, the $1 million Karaka Million 3YO Classic in 2018, plus the $100,000 Karaka Stayers Cup from 2019 and each year thereafter. The 70 young prospects, which are identified in their catalogue pages via a Karaka Million logo, are amongst 552 individual 2YOs that have been entered for the 2-day sale on 16 & 17 November. Breeze Up videos can be watched on NZB's website.
The catalogue for the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale was published online overnight, and can be accessed here. Traditionally the first yearling sale held each year in Australia and New Zealand, next year’s renewal is being promoted as having its best catalogue ever. “We would like to thank the breeders and vendors of Australasia for their incredible support,” Magic Millions Managing Director Vin Cox said. “With the outstanding quality of this catalogue we will be able to attract a market that will repay their confidence in Magic Millions.” There are 814 yearlings catalogued in Book 1, and 214 yearlings in Book 2, by a range of 96 individual sires. The sale runs from Wednesday January 11 to Tuesday January 17, with the multi-million dollar Magic Millions race day on Saturday, January 14.
World-class stallion Dubawi will stand at a fee of €250,000 at Darley's Dalham Hall Stud in 2017 - up from €250,000 in 2016. Darley will stand nine new stallions in Europe in 2017, headed by Champion 2YO and Gr1 Lockinge Stakes victor Belardo, who will stand for €15,000 at Kildangan Stud, and Gr1 Prix Jean Prat winner Territories, standing at £12,000 at Dalham Hall Stud. Two exceptional winners of the Gr1 Middle Park Stakes also join Darley. Charming Thought, triumphant in the 2014 renewal of the stallion-making race, will stand at Dalham Hall Stud for £8,000, while The Last Lion, who captured this year’s contest with a stunning all-the-way victory over Blue Point, will stand at Kildangan Stud for €12,000. Among the other new recruits is Gr1 winning sprinter Exosphere. The brilliant son of Lonhro, who was crowned Australia’s Champion 3YO last season, will stand at Haras du Logis for €6,000. Click here for Darley's full 2017 roster.
This year’s renewal of the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes is without a doubt one of its best ever. While just 10 runners are carded to face the starter, there are at least half-a-dozen performers that might have been favourite in any other year. It’s a promoter’s gift to have the winners of the Gr1 Golden Slipper and Magic Millions 2YO Classic (Capitalist), Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes (Extreme Choice) and Gr1 Golden Rose (Astern), but there’s also every chance tomorrow’s winner could come from Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes and Golden Slipper-placed Flying Artie, dominant Gr2 Schillaci Stakes hero Star Turn, or undefeated dual stakes-winner Russian Revolution. History beckons...
Immediately following the running of the Gr1 Cox Plate tomorrow, some of the most promising 3YOs will jump from the same 2040m starting stalls in the Gr2 Moonee Valley Vase, a race that is often a good guide as to what might unfold in the Gr1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington (run tomorrow week). While this year's renewal has some exceptional prospects engaged, including Gr1 winners Prized Icon and Sacred Elixir, there is a strong push for black-type maiden So Si Bon. By dual Cox Plate hero So You Think, So Si Bon ran a blinder in the Gr1 Caulfield Guineas and is just one of her sire's progeny really starting to come into their own as 3YOs. Also prominent are the only two fillies in the race – both likely to face off in the Gr1 Crown Oaks in 12 days time. Whispering Brook and Harlow Gold acquitted themselves well in the 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield behind Global Glamour, and their 2kg weight relief brings them right into calculations over tomorrow's longer journey.
Trainer John Gosden says Irish Derby winner Jack Hobbs is thriving and is cautiously optimistic of a forward showing when he returns in Saturday's Gr1 Champion Stakes at Ascot, reports Blood Horse. The Godolphin-owned 4YO looked set for a lucrative 2016 campaign but suffered a stress fracture to his pelvis when pulling up on his seasonal reappearance in the Gr2 Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket on 30 April. "We're very pleased to have him back on Saturday. It's not a particularly easy race to have him come back in! The field is not only deep but very strong. I don't think we're under any illusions," said Gosden. "He's had the summer off which has given him time to develop. With his sire they get better with age and time has benefited him enormously." He added: "He's in great order and is not the type to be ring rusty. He won first-time out as a three-year-old. But we're aware we're coming back in a fantastic renewal of the race."
Two races have been upgraded and two downgraded following the New Zealand Pattern Committee's (NZPC) annual review of the Group and Listed races run in New Zealand in the 2015-16 season. The Gr1 Easter Stakes at Ellerslie and the Gr2 Wellington Cup at Trentham have been downgraded, while the Rotorua Stakes has been upgraded to Group status and an Ellerslie three-year-old race promoted to Listed level. The Easter Stakes (1600m) had a rating of 109.2 for the 2015-16 season, with a pattern race rating of 107.9 and had failed to meet the Group I threshold in each of the four years under review. Consequently, it has been downgraded to Gr2 status. The Wellington Cup (3200m) has also been downgraded from Gr2 to Gr3, after failing to meet the Gr2 threshold in each of the last three seasons. The Rotorua Stakes, a weight-for-age fillies and mares race, has been promoted from Listed to Gr3 status and a 1300m three-year-old race run at Ellerslie in early December has been given Listed status. Volkstok'n'barrell and Sofia Rosa have been the most recent winners of the Ellerslie race, which has actually met the threshold rating for a Gr3 in the last two seasons. Surprisingly, the Gr1 Auckland Cup also failed to meet the tolerance threshold in each of the last four years and the 2016 renewal was particularly weak, with a rating of 103.5. However, the NZPC has endorsed the decision of the APC that the race should retain its Gr1 rating for another year.
After bizarrely opening at double figure odds for tomorrow’s Gr1 Golden Rose (1400m) for 3YOs at Rosehill Gardens, exceptional race filly Yankee Rose has been pummeled into $6.00, and while she is unlikely to start favourite for her race return, the move has forced this week’s early favourite Omei Sword to ease to $3.80 equal favourite with Astern. The latter has come in for renewed backing after initially drifting when drawing a wide barrier. Also strongly fancied is Divine Prophet ($4.40) in a very open looking renewal of the feature event.
Sunday's renewal of the time honoured Gr2 Prix Robert Papin (1100m) was won in brilliant fashion by a first-crop son of two-time Emirates Park visitor Harbour Watch (Acclamation). Trained by Clive Cox, Tis Marvelleous stamped himself as a high-class juvenile in winning the French 2YO feature by an authoritative two-and-a-half lengths margin. The son of Harbour Watch was posting his second consecutive win from three starts, having scored by no fewer than eight lengths at his previous outing. Winning trainer Clive Cox confidently predicted bigger and better things for the son of Harbour Watch after his demolition of a small but select six horse field. "I think we may well target the [Group 1] Prix Morny," Cox said. "He is in the Gimcrack [Stakes] as well at York and we will decide. We will take a view and see where the nicest ground is. I am quite relaxed though, because I think he is good enough to continue our progress forward." Cox went on to describe Tis Marvelleous as "a proper horse who is going the right way." Tis Marvelleous is the first stakes winner of Harbour Watch's fledgling stud career. The Gr2 winner is one of six first-crop 2YO winners to have already represented the UK freshman sire in the first half of the 2016 European racing season. The success of Tis Marvelleous put the youngster's name in some elite company. First run in 1892, amongst the many celebrated winners of the Maisons-Laffitte contest are world stud book luminaries Zeddaan and Blushing Groom.
The Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) has announced world class Japanese gallopers Maurice and A Shin Hikari as the headliners of a star-studded international guest list for this year’s $3 million Gr1 WS Cox Plate. Both Maurice and A Shin Hikari have stamped themselves as two of the world's elite horses and are among four Japanese invitees to Australia’s weight-for-age championship at Moonee Valley to be run on Saturday, 22 October. The MVRC has issued invitations to horses from the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, Ireland and France in a bid to attract a world-class field to what is shaping as a vintage renewal for the 96th Cox Plate. Chris Waller has confirmed that 2015 winner and current World’s Best Racehorse Winx will be back to defend her crown, while Australian Cup winner Preferment and Australian Derby winner Tavago are both ballot exempt for the 2040 metre feature. The MVRC has worked in conjunction with Racing Victoria’s International Recruitment Manager Leigh Jordon, with Jordon confident the club has identified horses from each of the major racing jurisdictions that will be competitive in the 2016 William Hill Cox Plate. “The club is delighted to once again issue invitations to the best middle distance horses from around the world to compete in ‘The Race Where Legends Are Made’,” said Michael Browell, Moonee Valley Racing Club CEO. Racing Victoria’s International Recruitment Manager Leigh Jordon is confident that the club has identified the right horses from each of the major racing jurisdictions to ensure a highly competitive Cox Plate. “The MVRC have selected a range of world class WFA performers to invite for the prestigious William Hill Cox Plate. The race is a feature Group One event on the Global Racing Calendar and is now attracting the world’s best owners and trainers with its lucrative prize money and invitation incentives,” said Jordon. The Club will continue to monitor the major international Group 1 races over the coming months for other potential invitees. Click here to view the full list of invitees.
Meanwhile, this year's renewal of the Queensland Oaks will hold special interest for Tim & Karen Bodle of Whakanui Stud. The Cambridge-based thoroughbred nursery can boast having bred not one, but two of the fillies lining up in this year's race. From only five fillies bred that year, paddock mates Tavi Bay (Tavistock) and Chabaud (Lookin At Lucky) have reached the race having followed very different paths. Chabaud was prepared for sale in New Zealand before being sold by Widden Stud at Magic Millions, while Tavi Bay, who went through the same prep in the box next door, was sold at the South Island sale by Fairdale. Both fillies are given good chances - they are $13 with TAB - in what is a very open affair. Tavi Bay, in particular, should have no problems handling the Oaks distance being a great granddaughter of Launceston Cup, Bendigo Cup and Geelong Cup winner Summer Fleur, dam of none other than 1988 Melbourne Cup winner Empire Rose.
At The Curragh in Ireland, Coolmore's Gr1-winning son of Danehill and former champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) celebrated an elite success when 5YO Irish-bred entire Fascinating Rock (Fastnet Rock-Miss Polaris, by Polar Falcon) scored by 3.75-lengths for trainer Dermot Weld in the Gr1 Tattersalls Gold Cup (10.5 furlongs) for 3YO+, over 4YO mare Found (Galileo-Red Evie, by Intikhab) & 4YO entire Success Days (Jeremy-Malaica, by Roi Gironde). This was the second top-flight victory for Fascinating Rock who improved his record to 8 wins (including the Gr1 Champion Stakes, Gr3 Kilternan Stakes, Gr3 Ballysax Stakes, Gr3 Mooresbridge Stakes & Gr3 Derrinstown Derby Trial) and 2 placing (including the Gr1 Tattersalls Gold Cup) from 14 starts for £1,138,353 earnings. "It's a race I love to win. It's an excellent Group One and it always takes a very good horse to win it," Weld told Sky Sports. "I've been fortunate to win it with a few very good horses in the past and he's as good as any of them." He added: "That was a excellent renewal of the race and Found is an outstanding mare." Weld said Fascinating Rock was likely to miss Royal Ascot and be put aside to prepare for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe later in the year. "I'll speak to the owner but he might have the summer off now. We'll look to train him for the Irish Champion Stakes and the Arc," he said "His next race will most likely be the Royal Whip (Curragh in August) as a prep for the Irish Champion Stakes." Weld added: "He has all the class to win an Arc. He has won a group race over a mile and a half at Leopardstown so gets the trip well. I'd be reasonably confident he can be as effective over a mile and a half as he has been over a mile and a quarter. I think he's a stayer with a lot of speed." Fascinating Rock becomes the first offspring of Fastnet Rock to win two Gr1 races in the northern hemisphere.
Kentucky Derby favourite Nyquist (Uncle Mo-Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry) had his first look at Churchill Downs on Sunday after arriving from Keeneland on 30 April, reports Blood Horse. "Nyquist had a really good morning," trainer Doug O'Neill said. "He just had an easy jog day today, nothing major. He looked good. Jonny [exercise rider Jonny Garcia] said he felt great. He cooled out great. He seems happy, so we're happy." He added: "He's a little bit more in control. He can be strong. We've just learned that with him, it is one day jog, one day gallop. He'll gallop here Tuesday, so we'll see." The champion colt extended his unbeaten record to 7 wins (which include the Gr1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Gr1 Frontrunner Stakes & Gr1 Del Mar Futurity Stakes) from 7 starts when scoring a dominant 3.25-length win in the Gr1 Florida Derby (9 furlongs) last start. Such has been Nyquist's dominance hitherto, he is undoubtedly the horse to beat in the 142nd renewal of the Run for the Roses on Saturday. However, he must overcome a recent history that is against champion juveniles. Street Sense, the 2007 Kentucky Derby winner, is the only juvenile champion to win the opening leg of the Triple Crown.
Kentucky Derby favourite Nyquist (Uncle Mo-Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry) is set to breeze this Friday at Keeneland on the final day of its spring meet, reports Blood Horse. The champion colt is scheduled to have his final timed workout before the Derby (7 May) at 12:15 pm on the Keeneland main track. Nyquist extended his unbeaten record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Gr1 Frontrunner Stakes & Gr1 Del Mar Futurity Stakes) from 7 starts when scoring a dominant 3.25-length win in the Gr1 Florida Derby (9 furlongs) earlier this month. Such has been Nyquist's dominance hitherto, one would think he only has to remain in one piece to be the horse to beat in the 142nd renewal of the Run for the Roses on 7 May. However, he must overcome a recent history that is against champion juveniles. Street Sense, the 2007 Kentucky Derby winner, is the only juvenile champion to win the opening leg of the Triple Crown.
The time-honoured Inglis Sydney Easter Yearling Sale gets underway at 10am this morning with the first of three days consecutive selling. The 2016 renewal boasts a world class catalogue that has attracted significant interest from both the local buying bench and overseas owners, trainers and agents. Among them are connections from the Middle East, the US, Europe, South Africa, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong, all of whom will vie for some of the top lots that include no less than 5 Frankel yearlings, the progeny of 43 Gr1-winning mares, and siblings to 140 individual stakes-winners – all by leading stallions. To read Breeding&Racing's special preview for 2016, click on the image below.
At the Curragh in Ireland, Coolmore's Gr1-winning son of Danehill and former champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added a black-type success when 4YO Irish-bred mare Zhukova (Fastnet Rock-Nightime, by Galileo) scored a dominant 4.75-length win for trainer Dermot Weld in the Listed Alleged Stakes (2000m) for 4YO+, over 4YO entire Success Days (Jeremy-Malaica, by Roi Gironde) & fellow 4YO Irish-bred mare Found (Galileo-Red Evie, by Intikhab). This was the consecutive stakes victories for the lightly raced Zhukova who took her record to 3 wins (including the Listed Oyster Stakes) from 5 starts for €74,485 earnings. Master Irish trainer Dermot Weld predicted the best was yet to come from Zhikova whose performance was all the more impressive given the fact that dual Gr1 winner Found was among the beaten brigade. "She's a nice mare. She won the Oyster Stakes last year and has grown and strengthened over the winter. My late mother bred her, and we have all the family," Weld told Sky Sports. "It was an excellent renewal of the race, and was really of a Group One or Group Two standard. I'm not sure where she will go next. The Blue Wind at Naas is a possibility." The beautifully bred Zhukova is out of the Irish 1000 Guineas winner Nightime (Galileo) who has also produced Irish stakes-placed filly Sleeping Beauty. Nightime is a half-sister to the stakes-placed Mermaid Island (Mujadil), dam of Listed SAJC Laelia Stakes winner Ondina (Manhattan Rain).
At Gulfstream Park in the US, former Champion US 2YO & Coolmore shuttler Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie-Playa Maya) celebrated an elite success when 3YO colt Nyquist (Uncle Mo-Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry) scored a dominant 3.25-length win for trainer Doug O'Neill in the US$1 million Gr1 Florida Derby (9 furlongs) fro 3YOs, over fellow colts Majesto (Tiznow-Unacloud, by Unaccounted For) & Fellowship (Awesome of Course-Go Girlfriend Go, by Demidoff). Nyquist showed why he is the horse to beat in next months Kentucky Derby when extending his unbeaten record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Gr1 Frontrunner Stakes & Gr1 Del Mar Futurity Stakes) from 7 starts for US$3,333,600 earnings. Nyquist's overall earnings received a significant boost due to the $1 million bonus offered to any graduate of the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale to win the Florida Derby. "He's got the mindset of a champion," O'Neill told Blood Horse. "Now, it's up to the whole crew and the racing gods to keep him injury free." One would think Nyquist would simply have to remain in one piece to be the horse to beat in the 142nd renewal of the Run for the Roses. However, he must overcome a recent history that is against champion juveniles. Street Sense, the 2007 Kentucky Derby winner, is the only juvenile champion to win the opening leg of the Triple Crown.