Trainer Gary Portelli says he is looking forward to former star filly She Will Reign making her return to racing in Saturday's Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick. The Missile Stakes is shaping as an early highlight of the new racing season, with several high-class sprinters entered for the race including Gr1 performers Kementari, Pierata, Music Magnate, Showtime, and Takedown. Portelli is hoping She Will Reign can extend her brilliant speed out to a longer trip this campaign, and he says Saturday's race will give him a better idea of the most suitable races to target. "She looks fantastic," Portelli told Darby Racing.com. "The preparation will all hinge on what she does in this race, as far as what distance we go up to. I'm looking forward to seeing how she goes." Portelli added: "It's going to be a very high pressure race, I've got no doubt, with the horses they're spruiking going into the Missile first-up and with horses trying to get into The Everest." Syndicator Darby Racing has previously announced that She Will Reign will have her final Australian campaign this spring after being sold privately to overseas interests.
Meanwhile, Godolphin trainer James Cummings is confident that promising sprinter Osborne Bulls will give a good account of himself when he makes his stakes debut in the $150,000 Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at Scone tomorrow. The 4YO son of Street Cry has established a good horse's record of 6 wins from 9 starts, but he faces by far his biggest test to date against a quality field that includes triple Gr1 winner Le Romain, Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes winner Takedown, and Gr2 winner and Gr1 Randwick Guineas runner-up Invincible Gem. "Osborne Bulls makes his Stakes debut in the Luskin Star after continuing to thrive after the closest of second placings at Randwick last start," said Cummings. "This race should set up nicely for him, and while he can get back, he should have the entire straight to wind up. He'd add more to his reputation if he can show himself in a good light against horses of this calibre."
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.
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.”
Trainer Gary Moore has provided an update on the progress of classy sprinter Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic) who is back in work after spelling at Washpool Lodge in Queensland, reports ANZ Bloodstock News. The Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes winner disappointed when finishing seventh in the Gr1 Doomben 10,000 in May, but Moore said the 4YO had returned from a break in good order. “He looks fantastic now. He has been wintering up at Washpool Lodge. He’s been on the water walker and treadmill so we’ve been able to build up his top-line which he lost with the length of quarantine between Hong Kong and Australia,” Moore said. “He’ll have his first trial on 18 August and then he will back up again on 31 August. We will then go to The Shorts [Gr2 The Shorts on 17 September] and the Premiere Stakes [Gr2 on 30 September] at Randwick, then after that you never know what might happen…He could go to The Everest.”
Racing Queensland has released the latest order of entry for the $1.5 million Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) to be run at Eagle Farm on Saturday week (10 June). Saturday’s Gr1 Kingsford-Smith Cup winner and current Stradbroke favourite Clearly Innocent, as well as Gr1 Goodwood winner Vega Magic and Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes winner Takedown, are all exempt from ballot. Click here to view the latest order of entry.
Meanwhile, top sprinter Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic) has been declared fit to run in Saturday's Gr1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) after a throat scope came up clear earlier in the week, reports AAP. Trainer Gary Moore ordered the scope after the 4YO pulled up from his last-start fourth in the Gr2 Victory Stakes with mucus in his throat. Moore also sent the Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes winner to Washpool Lodge for a week to freshen up. "He has come back a brighter horse and we had him scoped again on Monday and it was all clear," Moore said. "He was able to work strongly on Tuesday morning and his trackwork rider, who regularly rides him, was happy." Moore added: "The other good thing is he is eating up properly. He is right to run in the 10,000 but where we go from there remains to be seen." Moore said the Gr1 Kingsford Smith Cup (1300m) on 2 May was an option.
Trainer Gary Moore is expecting a bold showing from smart sprinter Takedown in Saturday’s Gr2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm, reports AAP. A winner of the Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes in November, Takedown was far from disgraced when 6th (beaten 1.9 lengths) in the Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint in December, before resuming with a disappointing 8th behind Redzel in the Gr3 Hall Mark Stakes at Randwick two weeks ago. "He worked well on Monday with Tim Clark in the saddle. He will head up to Queensland on Wednesday night and I expect him to race well," Moore said. Takedown is being aimed at the $700,000 Gr1 Doomben 10,000 on 13 May.
WA sprinter Rock Magic (Redoute's Choice-Rockabubble, by Bubble Gum Fellow) is a chance of running in Saturday's Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick, reports the West Australian. Trainer Chris Gangemi said the 7YO was likely to back up in the $2.5 million sprint feature after his eye-catching fourth in Friday night's Gr1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley. "We'll put a saddle on him on Monday and if he's feeling well and sound, we'll accept for the TJ," Gangemi said. "All going well, he'll head up to Sydney later in the week." He added: "The only negative is backing up, but it's probably a once in a lifetime chance to run in a $2.5 million race." Formerly prepared by Paul Messara, Rock Magic's best performances have been wins in the Gr3 WATC Prince of Wales Stakes & Gr3 WATC Colonel Reeves Stakes, as well as a second placing behind Takedown in the Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes in November.
The countdown is well and truly on for Canberra's premier event, the Black Opal Stakes on Sunday, 5 March. There are four feature races on 'Super Sunday' with almost $900,000 in prize money offered across the eight race program. Prize money for the Gr3 Black Opal has been increased to $300,000 making it an even more attractive target for youngsters looking to qualify for the $3.5 million Gr1 Golden Slipper a fortnight later. The listed National Sprint and Canberra Guineas both have a purse of $130,000, while the Listed Canberra Cup will be run for $200,000. Takedown's win in the Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes in Perth in November makes him the third Black Opal Stakes winner from the past five years to win at the elite level. The other two being Epaulette (2012) and Criterion (2013).
Widden Stud will celebrate its 150th anniversary next year. The internationally renowned Hunter Valley nursery is the world’s longest standing continuously family owned thoroughbred stud. Established in 1867, Widden has earned the reputation as one of the world’s most successful stud farms and in 2001 the Thompson family became inaugural inductees into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame alongside Phar Lap & Bart Cummings. Some of the champion racehorses and sires that were born and raised at Widden include Kingston Town, Vain, Marscay, Bletchingly, Todman, and General Nediym. "Through the support of such wonderful clients, I am proud that Widden remains a leader in producing the next generation of champion racehorses highlighted by Australia’s latest two Group 1 winners (Takedown and Stratum Star) born & raised here in the ‘Valley Of Champions’," principal Antony Thompson said on Widden's website.
Trainer Gary Moore reports that Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes winner Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic) has thrived since arriving in Hong Kong, reports AAP. Moore says that Takedown, who will contest Sunday's Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin, is weighing in at a hefty 618kg - the exact same weight he was before claiming the Winterbottom. "He's coping well with the amount of travelling," Moore said. "In fact I thought he looked a lot brighter in the coat here in Hong Kong than what he did from Perth." Moore, a former world-class jockey who boasts among his career highlights a win aboard Gold River - the great grand-dam of champion European mare Goldikova - in the 1981 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, is confident Takedown will be highly competitive on Sunday. "I've won the greatest race in the world as a jockey and to come and win probably one of the greatest sprint races in the world would be something that I could be proud of," he said.
Gary Moore has indicated he is considering embarking on a world tour with Saturday's Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes winner Takedown, reports the West Australian. Moore, a former world-class jockey who boasts among his career highlights a win aboard Gold River - the great grand-dam of champion European mare Goldikova - in the 1981 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, says Takedown would prove highly competitive wherever he raced in the world. Plans are already afoot for Takedown to travel to Hong Kong for the Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin in December, but Moore says other prestigious racing carnivals are also on the agenda, such as Dubai and Royal Ascot. "I received an invitation to Dubai for the Al Quoz Sprint and I'd love to take him to Royal Ascot for the Golden Jubilee," Moore said. "I think the undulating track will suit him." Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic) could attempt to emulate the deeds of Ortensia and Buffering, who won the Al Quoz Sprint four months after their Winterbottom victories.
At Ascot in Perth, West Australia, Widden Stud's deceased Gr1 Golden Slipper-winning stallion Stratum (Redoutes Choice-Bourgeois, by Luskin Star) celebrated an elite success when 4YO gelding Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic) scored by 0.25 length for trainer Gary Moore and jockey Tim Clark in the $1 million Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, over 5YO mare Sheidel (Holy Roman Emperor-Laventour, by Metal Storm) & 7YO gelding Rock Magic (Redoute's Choice-Rockabubble, by Bubble Gum Fellow). Takedown, who was retained to race by his breeders Widden Stud and Robert Anderson, improved his record to 7 wins (including the Gr2 Premiere Stakes, Gr2 The Shorts, Gr3 Gold Coast Guineas, Gr3 The Schweppervescence & Gr3 Black Opal Stakes) and 6 placings (including the Gr2 ATC Arrowfield 3YO Sprint Stakes) from 20 starts for $1,450,000 earnings. For Gary Moore, son of legendary Australian jockey George Moore, the victory was his first Gr1 winner as a trainer. "To win this great race, my first Group One as a trainer, I think my dad would be very proud," he told Sky Racing. Moore said Takedown would now head to Hong Kong for the Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin in December. "We have to give him a go. He's a gelding, he's had a wind operation, he's at the top of his game, we have to go [to Hong Kong]," he said.
Raiders from Sydney and Melbourne are favoured to win Perth's prestigious Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot tomorrow. The Joe Pride-trained Terravista and Peter Gelagotis-trained Malaguerra are both $3.50 quotes against a local field of high-class short course specialists who will also have to contend with other leading interstate sprinters Takedown and Keen Array. Among the local contingent who are expected to perform with distinction are in-form Rock Magic, boom horse Vega Magic, untapped State Solicitor, and Sheidel who returns from a successful East Coast sojourn and has the services of Damien Oliver in the saddle.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $1 million Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) to be run at Ascot in Perth, West Australia this Saturday. Malaguerra tightened his grip on favouritism for the $1 million sprint feature after drawing the inside gate at Tuesday afternoon's barrier draw. The Peter Gelagotis-trained 5YO, who is seeking his third Gr1 win after victories in the Manikato Stakes & BTC Cup, is currently $3.20 with TAB ahead of Terravista at $3.40, and Takedown at $8. Local hope Rock Magic is next best at $9 with rising WA star State Solicitor rated a $10 chance. Julian Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Perth Racing, said the quality of horses entered in this year's Winterbottom was a reflection of the race's high standing in Australia's sprint ranks. "Perth Racing has attracted a truly outstanding field to the Crown Perth-Winterbottom Stakes," Sullivan said. "Malaguerra and Sheidel won Melbourne Cup Carnival events and Terravista was magnificent in defeat on the third day of the Flemington festival when he was carrying the grandstand in his first appearance since April. The Winterbottom Stakes is one of the world's great sprints." The field is:
1. TERRAVISTA (Joseph Pride-Hugh Bowman) 58.5kg (5)
2. MALAGUERRA (Peter Gelagotis-Ben Melham) 58.5kg (1)
3. TAKEDOWN (Gary Moore-Tim Clark) 58.5kg (8)
4. ROCK MAGIC (Chris Gangemi-Jarrad Noske) 58.5kg (3)
5. KEEN ARRAY (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig-C Parnham) 58.5kg (4)
6. FIRST AMONG EQUALS (Simon Miller-Brad Parnham) 58.5kg (9)
7. BATTLE HERO (Grant & Alana Williams-Glenn Smith) 58.5kg (10)
8. VEGA MAGIC (Sean Casey-Jake Casey) 58.5kg (2)
9. REGAL COMMANDER (G Durrant & J Miller-Peter Hall) 58.5kg (7)
10. STATE SOLICITOR (Grant & Alana Williams-William Pike) 58.5kg (11)
11. SHEIDEL (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig-Damien Oliver) 56.5kg (6)
12. MILITARY REIGN (Darren Mcauliffe-Corey Brown) 56.5kg (12)
At Caulfield in Melbourne on Saturday, Yarraman Park's Gr3-winning stallion I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit-Cannarelle, by Canny Lad) added a Group success when 5YO gelding Voodoo Lad (I Am Invincible-O'Fortuna, by Gilded Time) scored an easy 1.5 length win for trainer Darren Weir in the $150,000 Gr3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) for 3YO+, over 4YO gelding Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic) & 6YO gelding Turnitaround (Hard Spun-Devon Dancer, by Royal Academy). The progressive Voodoo Lad showed why he is one of the most improved horses in training when advancing his record to 9 wins (including the Listed Regal Roller Stakes & Listed MVRC SAJ Fruit Supply Stakes) and 8 placings (including the Gr1 MRC Sir Rupert Clarke Handicap & Listed VRC All Victorian Series Final Handicap) from 17 starts for $670,910 earnings. A $36,000 purchase by Segenhoe Stud at the 2013 Inglis Select Scone Yearling Sale, Voodoo Lad hails from the same family as champion grey sprinter and 8-time Gr1 winner Schillaci. Trainer Darren Weir said Voodoo Lad was likely to be given the chance to emulate his famous relation by targeting another Gr1 race before the end of his campaign. "He's been a happy horse for quite a while now...I can't see why he won't continue to race in great form," Weir told racing.com. "I think he deserves another crack at a Group One...he was probably a little unlucky in the Sir Rupert Clarke, I think he should have finished closer." Weir added: "I'll have to see what races are coming up. Perth may be an option," he said, referring to the Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in Perth on 26 November.
Trainer Kris Lees is expecting Danish Twist to be right in the finish when she makes her Melbourne debut in tomorrow's Gr2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield. A winner of the Gr3 Dark Jewel Classic, Listed June Stakes and NSW Provincial Championships Final in the autumn, Dansih Twist showed she would appreciate the step up to seven furlongs when resuming with a fast finishing third to Takedown (beaten 0.2 length) in the Gr2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick two weeks ago. "She's settled in well and had a nice look around the course proper [Caulfield] on Tuesday," Lees told ANZ Bloodstock News. "She's never stopped surprising us. We gave her a month up in Queensland after the Tatt's Tiara [Gr1] and she really thrived. If she gets the right tempo she'll be strong late and she'll be right in the race." By Dane Shadow, Danish Twist is a half-sister to three-time Gr1 winner Happy Trails and has built up an impressive record of 8 wins from 19 starts for over $750,000 in earnings.
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Widden Stud's deceased Gr1 Golden Slipper-winning stallion Stratum (Redoutes Choice-Bourgeois, by Luskin Star) added a Group success when 4YO gelding Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic) scored by 0.1 length for trainer Gary Moore in the $300,000 Gr2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, over 8YO gelding Our Boy Malachi (Top Echelon-Rusticate, by Rustic Amber) & 5YO mare Danish Twist (Dane Shadow-Madame Flurry, by Perugino). Takedown, who was retained to race by his breeders Widden Stud and Robert Anderson, improved his record to 6 wins (including the Gr2 The Shorts, Gr3 Gold Coast Guineas, Gr3 The Schweppervescence & Gr3 Black Opal Stakes) and 5 placings (including the Gr2 ATC Arrowfield 3YO Sprint Stakes) from 17 starts for $805,500 earnings.
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Widden Stud's deceased Gr1 Golden Slipper-winning stallion Stratum (Redoutes Choice-Bourgeois, by Luskin Star) added a Group success when 4YO gelding Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic) scored by 0.2-length for trainer Gary Moore in the $200,000 Gr2 The Shorts (1100m) for 3YO+, over 6YO gelding Ball Of Muscle (Dubawi-Parfore, by Gold Brose) & 5YO gelding Kaepernick (Fastnet Rock-Volcada, by Stravinsky). Takedown, who was retained to race by his breeders Widden Stud and Robert Anderson, improved his record to 5 wins (including the Gr3 Gold Coast Guineas, Gr3 The Schweppervescence & Gr3 Black Opal Stakes) and 5 placings (including the Gr2 ATC Arrowfield 3YO Sprint Stakes) from 16 starts for $625,300 earnings.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the showpiece event of the Queensland winter carnival - the $1.5 million Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday. The TAB favourite for the race is the Gr1 winning mare Azkadellia at $4, ahead of Gr1 Goodwood winner Black Heart Bart ($6), Counterattack ($7), and Gr1 BTC Cup winner Malaguerra and Gr1 Doomben 10,000 winner Music Magnate who are both at $9. Next best is Team Hawkes' enigmatic but highly talented galloper Kaepernick at $11. The final field is:
1. BLACK HEART BART (Darren Weir-Brad Rawiller) 58kg (10)
2. DELECTATION (Chris Waller-James McDonald) 57kg (7)
3. MALAGUERRA (Lee & Anthony Freedman-Hugh Bowman) 56kg (9)
4. MUSIC MAGNATE (Bjorn Baker-Kerrin McEvoy) 55.5kg (3)
5. AZKADELLIA (Ciaron Maher-Damien Oliver) 54.5kg (5)
6. CHARLIE BOY (Peter & Paul Snowden-Tommy Berry) 54.5kg (6)
7. UNDER THE LOUVRE (Robert Smerdon-Dwayne Dunn) 54.5kg (13)
8. SACRED STAR (Tony Pike-Vinnie Colgan) 54.5kg (8)
9. BIG MONEY (Rodney Northam-Robert Thompson) 54kg (4)
10. HOOKED (John Thompson-Tye Angland) 54kg (16)
11. CHARMED HARMONY (John Sadler-Chad Schofield) 53kg (15)
12. COUNTERATTACK (Chris Waller-Joao Moreira) 52.5kg (14)
13. PRECIOUS GEM (Henry Dwyer-Tim Clark) 52.5kg (18)
14. TWO BLUE (Kristen Buchanan-Tegan Harrison) 52kg (2)
15. KAEPERNICK (Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-C Reith) 52kg (17)
16. ARTLEE (Todd Willan-Mitchell Bell) 52kg (1)
17. TAKEDOWN (Gary Moore-Jason Taylor) 50.5kg (11)
18. THE VIRGINIAN (Toby Edmonds-Rosie Myers) 50.5kg (12)
At Doomben racecourse in Brisbane, Arrowfield Stud's multiple Champion Australian Sire Redoute's Choice (Danehill-Shantha's Choice, by Canny Lad) added a Group success when 3YO colt Counterattack (Redoute's Choice-Kisma, by Snippets) scored by 1.3-lengths for trainer Chris Waller in the $125,000 Gr3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) for 3YOs, over 3YO geldings Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic) & Perfect Dare (Fastnet Rock-Perfect Truth, by Galileo). Counterattack improved his record to 4 wins (including the Listed Brian Crowley Stake & Listed Heritage Stakes) and 6 placings (including the Gr1 VRC Coolmore Stud Stakes & Gr2 ATC Arrowfield 3YO Sprint Stakes) from 15 starts for $490,375 earnings. Racing in the familiar black and grey diagonal striped silks of his breeders Geoff and Mary Grimish, Counterattack is a half-brother to Gr1 winners Red Tracer and Shellscrape from the grand producer Kisma (Snippets). Counterattack is expected to have his next start in the Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on 11 June.
At the Gold Coast in Queensland, Gr1 Golden Slipper-winning Widden Stud stallion Stratum (Redoutes Choice-Bourgeois, by Luskin Star) added a Group success when 3YO gelding Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic) scored by 0.3-length for trainer Gary Moore in the $125,000 Gr3 Gold Coast Guineas (1200m) for 3YOs, over 3YO filly Sold For Song (Collate-Buena Chava, by O'Reilly) & fellow 3YO gelding Always Sacred (I Am Invincible-Sacred Hill, by Langfuhr). Takedown, who retained to race by his breeders Widden Stud and Robert Anderson, took his record to 4 wins (including the Gr3 The Schweppervescence & Gr3 Black Opal Stakes) and 4 placings (including the Gr2 ATC Arrowfield 3YO Sprint Stakes) from 13 starts for $478,300 earnings.
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, multiple Gr1-winning shuttler & former star Australian sprinter Choisir (Danehill Dancer-Great Selection, by Lunchtime) celebrated an elite success when 3YO gelding Japonisme (Choisir-Haiku, by Encosta de Lago) scored by 0.1-length for trainer Chris Waller in the $500,000 Gr2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) for 3YOs, over 3YO colt and stable-mate Counterattack (Redoute's Choice-Kisma, by Snippets) & fellow 3YO gelding Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic). Japonisme took his record to 6 wins (including the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes & Gr3 San Domenico Stakes) and 5 placings (including the Gr1 William Reid Stakes & Gr2 Roman Consul Stakes) from 14 starts for $1,158,865 earnings. A homebred for the Ingham family, Japonisme is out of the Encosta de Lago mare Haiku and hails from the family of New Zealand Oaks winner Tapildo and Gr2 Silver Slipper Stakes winner Plagiarize.
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Arrowfield Stud's Gr1-winning high profile stallion Snitzel (Redoute's Choice-Snippets' Lass, by Snippets) added a black-type success when 3YO gelding Redzel (Snitzel-Millrich, by Rubiton) scored by 0.3-length for trainers Peter & Paul Snowden in the $125,000 Listed Fireball Stakes (1100m) for 3YOs, over fellow 3YO gelding Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic) & 3YO filly Egyptian Symbol (Stratum-Our Egyptian Raine, by Desert Sun). This was the first stakes victory for Redzel who took his record to 2 wins and 3 placings (including the Gr3 ATC Kindergarten Stakes) from 8 starts for $160,700 earnings. Redzel, who is out of the Gr3 Sweet Embrace Stakes winner & Golden Slipper placegetter Millrich, was a $120,000 purchase by Triple Crown Syndications at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Marquee Stud.
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Arrowfield Stud's multiple Champion Australian Sire Redoute's Choice (Danehill-Shantha's Choice, by Canny Lad) added a black-type success when 3YO colt Counterattack (Redoute's Choice-Kisma, by Snippets) scored by 1.5-lengths for trainer Chris Waller in the $100,000 Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) for 3YOs, over 3YO geldings Haptic (Exceed and Excel-Troubeaut, by Beautiful Crown) & Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic). This was the first stakes victory for Counterattack who took his record to 2 wins and 3 placings from 8 starts for $151,875 earnings. Carrying the familiar black and grey diagonal striped silks of his breeders Geoff and Mary Grimish, Counterattack is a half-brother to Gr1 winners Red Tracer and Shellscrape from the grand producer Kisma (Snippets). Trainer Chris Waller said Counterattack would have his next start in the Gr2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on 3 October.
At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Gr1 Golden Slipper-winning Widden Stud stallion & former Australian Champion 1st-Season Sire Stratum (Redoutes Choice-Bourgeois, by Luskin Star) added a Group success when 2YO gelding Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic) scored by 1.3-lengths for trainer Gary Moore in the $150,000 Gr3 The Schweppervescence (1400m) for 2YOs, over 2YO colt Street Rapper (Street Boss-Swing Dance, by Daneill Dancer) & 2YO filly Mine Two (I Am Invincible-Dashoff, by Dash For Cash). Takedown, who retained to race by his breeders Widden Stud and Robert Anderson, took his record to 3 wins (including the Gr3 Black Opal Stakes) from 4 starts for $280,850 earnings.
At Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, Gr1 Golden Slipper-winning Widden Stud stallion & former Australian Champion 1st-Season Sire Stratum (Redoutes Choice-Bourgeois, by Luskin Star) added a Group success when 2YO gelding Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic) scored by 1-length for trainer Gary Moore in the $275,000 Gr3 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) for 2YOs, over 2YO fillies Single Gaze (Not a Single Doubt-Redaluca's Gaze, by Intergaze) & Antelucan (Domesday-Dawn Attack, by Fantastic Light). This was the first stakes victory for Takedown who was retained to race by his breeders Widden Stud and Robert Anderson. He took his record to 2 wins from 3 starts for $190,850 earnings.
US Gr3-winning & stakes-producing mare Little Sister (Valid Appeal-Mepache, by Iron Constitution) "died suddenly in her paddock at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky from a ruptured stomach," reported thoroughbredtimes.com. On the track, Little Sister (a full-sister to leading Texas sire Valid Expectations) won 17 races (9 stakes victories, including the 1997 Gr3 Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes at Calder) for US$720,568 earnings. She was retired after the 1999 racing season & produced multiple stakes-winner Takedown (by Point Given) and stakes-placed winners Spoiled (by Wild Again) & No Fair (by War Chant).
Former Grand Lodge Thoroughbreds shuttler Distorted Humor (Forty Niner-Danzig's Beauty, by Danzig) added another stakes winner when 3YO Forty Grams (Distorted Humour-Belle South, by Phone Trick) was an easy winner of the US$100,000 Listed Alysheba Breeders' Cup Stakes (8 furlongs) at Lone Star in Texas. Ridden by Cliff Berry for Scott Asmussen, Forty Grams defeated Takedown (Point Given-Little Sistr, by Valid Apppeal) & Strong City (Runaway Groom-Young And Wild, by Wild Again).