The curtain will come down on the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series for another year on Saturday when an outstanding field lines up in the tenth and final leg, the $400,000 Group 1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham. There are only two fillies who can win the coveted title of Filly of the Year for 2017-18, namely Dijon Bleu (Burgundy) and Contessa Vanessa (Bullbars). The Lisa Latta-trained Dijon Bleu's season came to a premature end in February due to injury, but she has compiled an imposing total of 30 points with wins in the Gr3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m), Gr3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) and Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic (2000m), and placings in the Gr3 Eulogy Stakes (1550m) and Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m). Dijon Bleu's tally of 30 points would have been enough to win the title in any of the last six seasons. However, the winner of the New Zealand Oaks receives 12 points, which gives Contessa Vanessa a chance of a last minute victory. The Team Rogerson filly has earned 19.5 points through wins in the Gr2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) and Gr3 Sunline Vase (2100m), along with placings in the Eulogy Stakes and Gr2 Royal Stakes (2000m). Victory in the Oaks would see her claim the title with 31.5 points. Click here to view commentary on each NZ Oaks runner.
Graduates of the New Zealand Bloodstock South Island Sale have a rich history of gaining substantial returns on their purchase price, and this season so far has delivered five stakes wins from five individual runners that cost between $15,000 and $32,500 at the Sale. Shadows Cast (NZ) (Per Incanto) kicked off the 2017-18 season in style with a win in the Gr2 Coupland's Bakeries Mile with Fully Funded (NZ) (Fully Fledged) claiming the Counties Bowl in quick succession. The New Year saw two victories in Australian territory with Parthesia (NZ) (Raise the Flag) winning the Bagot Handicap and Civil Disobedience (NZ) (Raise the Flag) taking the lead in the Tasmanian Derby. Taking the tally to five, Boots 'n' All (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) triumphed in the Timaru Stakes. Meanwhile, $5,500 2YO graduate Signify (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) became one of the greatest bargain purchases of the Sale's history with an impressive win in the 2017 Gr1 Telegraph Handicap while Natuzzi (NZ) (Coats Choice) adds to that Group-winning list with a victory in the 2016 Group 3 Concorde Handicap. There are a total of 28 vendors offering drafts at the Sale this year with the progeny from a range of 44 sires. There are siblings to eight stakes performers while two yearlings are out of stakes-winning dams.
Only one filly poses any threat to current 2017-18 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series leader Dijon Bleu (Burgundy). That filly is Contessa Vanessa (Bullbars) who will line up in tomorrow's ninth leg of the series, the $70,000 Gr3 Sunline Vase (2100m) at Ellerslie. Dijon Bleu has amassed a formidable tally of 30 points, which all but guarantees her the prestigious Filly of the Year title. However, with injury prematurely ending Dijon Bleu's season, a window of opportunity presents for second-placed Contessa Vanessa. If the latter can win both the Sunline Vase (6 points to the winner) and the final leg of the series, the $400,000 Gr1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on 17 March (12 points), Contessa Vanessa will finish with a winning score of 31.5 points. Other fillies in Saturday's field with Filly of the Year Series points to their name are Kapoor (Reliable Man) with 4, Blanco Belle (Cape Blanco) with 3, Gris Dame (Reliable Man) with 2, and Marcellina (Savabeel) with 2. Click here to view commentary on each Sunline Vase runner.
The connections of top-class sprinter Russian Revolution say a decision about his immediate future will be made soon. Raced by Newgate Farm and China Horse Club, the son of Snitzel and Ballet d'Amour (by Stravinsky) doubled his Gr1 tally with a typically brave win in the $500,000 Gr1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday. Henry Field, whose Newgate Farm is a major shareholder in the entire, was naturally delighted with the win particularly given the 4YO will commence stud duties at the Hunter Valley farm this spring. "He is a remarkable racehorse...blistering speed," Field said. "There are not exactly a heap of those 1000m, 1100m Group Ones and to win both the The Galaxy and now the Oakleigh, is really special. A lot of good stallions have won those races: Snippets won them both, while you also have Bletchingly, Luskin Star, Snitzel, Fastnet Rock and Starspangledbanner up on the honour board." China Horse Club Bloodstock & Racing Manager, Michael Wallace, said a decision on Russian Revolution’s immediate racing future would be made in the next few days. "It was a brilliant performance and we’ll sit down with Peter and Paul [Snowden] and the other partners and see where he goes from here," Wallace said. "One way or another he’ll be heading to Newgate this spring."
Lizzie L'Amour will be out to double her Group 1 tally in tomorrow's Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 5YO Zabeel mare is already a winner at the highest level after landing last year's Gr1 New Zealand Stakes, and she is favoured by bookmakers to add another elite success in the weight-for-age feature. The Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman-trained 5YO is in top form having resumed with a win in the Gr2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) in December and recorded placings in the Gr1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) and Gr2 Westbury Classic (1400m) at her last two outings. Her Westbury Classic run marked her as the horse to beat in the Herbie Dyke after she stormed home for second over the unsuitable seven-furlong trip. "She's done well and she likes Te Rapa," Baker said. "She's got to be hard to beat." Lizzie L'Amour (Zabeel-Sabia, by Sadler's Wells) is also entered in the Gr1 Auckland Cup (3200m) on 10 March, but Baker says she is more likely to defend her New Zealand Stakes crown on the same day. "It's doubtful that she'll go for the Auckland Cup," he said.
Not A Single Doubt's daughter Pretty Fast rewarded the patience & management of her owner Sheikh Khalifa and trainers Peter & Paul Snowden with victory in Saturday's $100,000 Listed BRC Mode Plate (1200m) at Doomben. Her win was Not A Single Doubt's seventh stakes winner for the season and improved his career tally to 49. Pretty Fast will now head to the paddock for a brief break before the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas at the Gold Coast on 13 January. Purchased for $650,000 by Tim Stakemire for Sheikh Khalifa, Pretty Fast is a three-quarter sister to Group winner Villa Verde, and the first foal bred by Arrowfield and GSA Bloodstock from Group-placed winner Miss Sharapova (Ustinov). Miss Sharapova has since delivered two colts by Not A Single Doubt, 2YO Newstead (in training with Bjorn Baker) and a foal born this spring. She also has a yearling colt by Snitzel to be offered in Arrowfield's 2018 Inglis Easter consignment. The mare has maintained her perfect record in the breeding barn and is in foal to Champion European 2YO colt Shalaa (Invincible Spirit). Not A Single Doubt, currently fifth on the Australian General Sires' Premiership, has 35 yearlings on offer at the 2018 Magic Millions Sale, including two colts and a filly in the Arrowfield consignment. Click here to view Arrowfield's upcoming sales drafts.
New Zealand's champion sire Savabeel (Zabeel) has continued to scale new heights as a sire in recent weeks, with his progeny boosting his tally of individual Group 1 winners to fourteen, reports NZ Racing Desk. Shillelagh kicked things off for Waikato Stud's Cox Plate-winning stallion on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival wining Gr1 Kennedy Mile (1600m) for owners and breeders Christopher and Susanna Grace. A week later $775,000 Karaka graduate Embellish sealed his future as a prospective stallion prospect winning the New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton. While on the same day the Waikato-bred Savapinski continued her ascent through the mare ranks with an impressive win in the Gr2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington. The 4YOs victory helped extend Savabeel's strike rate to 6.3 per cent Group winners to runners and an incredible 10.1 per cent Stakes winners to runners. "Saturday was hugely satisfying for us, it was quite an emotional day as well," said Waikato Stud principal Mark Chittick. "Off the back of last season and the amount of stakes winners he had, it stamps him as one of the best stallions out there and with the best stallions that have stood in New Zealand." Savabeel stands at Waikato Stud for a service fee of $100,000 + GST and will be represented at next week's New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale by five lots.
Juddmonte Farms has announced the 2018 fees for its five European stallions standing at Banstead Manor Stud near Newmarket in the UK, heading by champion racehorse Frankel. Stud Director Simon Mockridge commented: “Frankel has had a sensational start with his first two crops, and 2017 has seen him described as being one of the most elite sires in the Northern Hemisphere. His strike rate of 12% Group winners to foals from his first crop is remarkable, and his 2014 crop has produced 13 Group winners so far, a number matched only by Galileo in the Northern Hemisphere.” Mockridge added: “A quarter of Frankel’s runners to date have won black-type – with his tally of black-type performers currently standing at 30. His 2017 season began with a Classic winner in Japanese Oaks winner Soul Stirring, and closes with the stunning performance of Cracksman – officially now the highest rated horse in Europe – in the Gr1 Champion Stakes.” The roster is:
Co-trainer Ben Hayes is bullish about the winning prospects of Vega Magic in Friday night’s Gr1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley, reports Sky Racing. The former West Australian sprinter was considered unlucky by many after starting from an outside gate and racing wide throughout in the inaugural running of $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Randwick two weeks ago. However, Hayes was in a buoyant mood after watching Vega Magic draw perfectly in barrier three for Friday night’s feature. “He was very unlucky in The Everest having to jump from the wide barrier,” said Hayes, who trains in partnership with his father David and the latter’s nephew Tom Dabernig under the Lindsay Park banner. “The way he pulled up after The Everest, we're thrilled with him.” Vega Magic, who will be attempting to triple his Gr1 tally following wins in the Memsie Stakes earlier this spring and the Goodwood Stakes in the autumn, is currently the $2.25 TAB favourite for the $1 million Manikato.
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Redzel (Snitzel-Millrich, by Rubiton) sent his career earnings soaring when winning the inaugural running of the $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday. The son of Arrowfield's incumbent champion Australian sire Snitzel collected the winner's cheque of $5.8 million for the world's richest turf race to boost his prize money tally to $7,195,250. Redzel benefited from an adroit ride by jockey Kerrin McEvoy to sprint clear at the top of the straight and score a comfortable 0.8 length win over Vega Magic with Japanese-bred sprinter Brave Smash holding on for third. Supporters of runner-up Vega Magic can count themselves a little unlucky after the Lindsay Park-trained speedster was caught wide for the entire race. "What a race to win," McEvoy told Sky Racing. "It is so exciting. It's such a thrill to be part of it. Such a huge buzz…He's [Redzel] a little star." Co-trainer Peter Snowden described winning The Everest as one of the highlights of his illustrious training career. "I can't talk," Snowden told racenet. "I've never experienced anything like this." He added: "Our first Golden Slipper was exceptional, I didn't think I'd ever get that feeling again but today is well past it." Redzel improved his record to 10 wins (including the Gr1 Doomben 10,000, Gr3 Concorde Stakes, Gr3 Hall Mark Stakes, Gr3 Heath Stakes & Listed Fireball Stakes) and 5 placings (including the Gr1 ATC Galaxy Handicap, Gr2 Shorts, Gr2 ATC Challenge Stakes & Gr3 ATC Kindergarten Stakes) from 20 starts for $7,195,250 in earnings. Redzel, who is out of 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. Remarkably, Redzel's Everest win has practically guaranteed his sire Snitzel of yet another Australian Champion Sire title with his progeny earnings surging past $10 million.
Following his black-type double at Flemington on Saturday, reigning Champion Australian Sire Snitzel now boasts 13 stakes winners in the first 68 days of the season – exactly half the number of stakes winners he sired in the entire 2016/17 season. First up was the Hayes & Dabernig-trained 2YO filly Nomothaj whose tenacity got her home in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (1000m) to become Snitzel's 28th juvenile stakes winner. Bred by Love Racing, Nomothaj was a $420,000 buy for Shadwell Stud from the Newgate Farm draft at this year's Magic Millions Sale. She's the second foal and first winner out of 2011 Gr3 Maribyrnong Plate winner Real Stolle (Elusive Quality) who delivered another Snitzel filly on 28 August. Next was the Darren Weir-trained 3YO colt Snitzepeg who claimed the Listed Poseidon Stakes over 1400m. Bred in Victoria by Jeff Allis from the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Pegasus Queen, Snitzepeg was purchased by Weir and renowned bloodstock agent John Foote for $260,000. He was offered by Three Bridges Thoroughbreds at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. Snitzel's lifetime tally of stakes winners now stands at 72.
Classically bred dual Group One winner Ulysses (Galileo-Light Shift, by Kingmambo) will stand at Cheveley Park Stud in the UK when he retires at the end of this season. Trained by Sir Michael Stoute on behalf of the Niarchos family's Flaxman Stables, Ulysses has hitherto won 5 of his 12 starts for earnings in excess of £1.4 million. Already a winner of the Gr1 Juddmonte International Stakes and Gr1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes, Ulysses will bid to triple his Gr1 tally when he lines up in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Sunday. Cheveley Park's managing director, Chris Richardson, said: "David and Patricia Thompson are delighted to have acquired a significant interest in Ulysses, who certainly adds a notable and exciting element to the portfolio of stallions available at Cheveley Park Stud, for both domestic and international breeders." From the English Oaks winner and Irish Oaks runner-up Light Shift, Ulysses hails from a prolific family of Gr1 winners including Tattersalls Gold Cup winner Shiva, French Oaks winner Northern Trick, and Prix Ganay winner Cloth of Stars.
Kodiac broke his own European record for 2YO winners in a season when Seen The Lyte won at Beverley overnight, reports Racing Post. The Tally-Ho Stud resident, who is a Danehill half-brother to previous record holder Invincible Spirit (43 2YO winners in 2014), now sits on 44 juvenile winners for the season. Kodiac, whose fee has increased tenfold to €50,000 since he retired to Tally-Ho in 2007, now has his sights on the world record of 51 juvenile winners set by the legendary Japanese stallion Sunday Silence in 2004.
Dual Group One winner Gingernuts (Iffraaj-Double Elle, by Generous) is expected to appreciate the step up to a mile in Saturday's Gr1 Windsor Park Plate at Hastings, reports theinformant.co.nz. Last season's New Zealand Derby and Rosehill Guineas overcame difficulties in running when resuming with a strong finishing fifth in the Gr1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) on 2 September. Co-trainer Jamie Richards says he expects a bold showing from the 4YO who is the equal $4.50 favourite alongside Kawi for the second leg of the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown series. "You could say he was a little bit stiff [first-up]," Richards said. "He got into some trouble at the top of the straight and was knocked off balance…his final furlong was very strong." Richards added: "He's come through the race very well and we're happy with his progress…stepping up to 1600 metres on Saturday will be ideal for him." Gingernuts' primary spring target is the $3.15 million Gr1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in Melbourne on 21 October for which he has been allocated 55kg.
Sofia Rosa's prospects of doubling her tally at the elite level have been boosted, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 5YO daughter of Westbury Stud shuttler Makfi hasn't won a race since she claimed the Gr1 Australian Oaks, however trainer Stephen Marsh was buoyed by her recent resuming effort in the Gr1 Tarzino Trophy at Hastings. In Sofia Rose's first appearance for five months, the mare struck trouble in the running before getting home well for seventh, less than four lengths off the winner Close Up. Marsh said Sofia Rosa had come through the race well and she would return to Hawke's Bay for the remaining two legs of the Triple Crown series. "She'll run in the Windsor Park and she is right on target for the Livamol Classic."
At Caulfield in Melbourne, Coolmore's former Gr1-winning Champion Australian Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added yet another stakes win to his incredible CV when 3YO colt Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock-Legally Bay, by Snippets) claimed his second black type success and retained his unbeaten record in capturing the $150,750 Gr3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) for 3YOs, defeating Booker & Muraahib. Purchased for $350,000 by Ciaron Maher Racing at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Segenhoe Stud, Merchant Navy is now 4 from 4 on the win tally (including the Listed Anzac Day Stakes) with $196,500 in earnings. From the Gr3 Sweet Embrace Stakes winner Legally Bay, Merchant Navy is a full-brother to Gr2 ATC Roman Consul Stakes winner Jolie Bay. Legally Bay herself is a half-sister to Gr1 Myer Classic winner Bonaria. An obviously chuffed Ciaron Maher commented to racing.com post-race, "[Merchant Navy] was very relaxed pre-race and I thought that was a great sign for the future as he was a pretty raw colt." He will now likely head to Rosehill Gardens for what is shaping up to be a magnificent Gr1 Golden Rose on September 23.
The Sir Mark Prescott-trained Marsha (Acclamation-Marlinka, by Marju) caused one of the bigger upsets of the British Flat season when winning Friday's Gr1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (5 furlongs) at York. The 4YO, who doubled her Gr1 tally after claiming last year's Prix de l'Abbaye in France, launched late to defeat hot favourite and champion filly Lady Aurelia by a nose in the £350,000 sprint feature. Exceed And Excel 5YO Cotai Glory finished third. "That was amazing. Coming here we were happy she was as well as we'd ever had her. She'd never looked better," said Dan Downie, representing owners the Elite Racing Club. "I didn't know if we'd won, but it's a funny camera angle here. It's fantastic for the club and she's a home-bred, too. She'll go for the Prix de l'Abbaye again." Marsha improved her record to 7 wins and 7 placings (including the Gr1 King's Stand Stakes) from 16 starts for £601,666 in earnings.
One of Europe's leading 2YO Gr1 races has fallen to a runner trained out of the North of England, reports guardian.com. North Yorkshire trainer Karl Burke actually went one better than claiming the lion's share of the €190,000 purse. Run over 1200m for 2YOs, Burke's colt Havana Grey (Havana Gold) led proceedings for some time before surrendering to the stable's second colt Unfortunately (Society Rock-Unfortunate, by Komaite) who had been biding his time off the pace. Unfortunately came into the race with strong form to recommend him, having captured the Gr2 Robert Papin (1100m) at his previous start. A €24,000 yearling buy from Tally-Ho Stud at Tattersalls' September Sale, Unfortunately took his record to 3 wins & 2 runners-up from 6 starts for £268,201 earnings.
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman training partnership has claimed its second New Zealand National Trainers' Premiership off the back of an outstanding season of feature race success, reports NZ Racing Desk. After finishing runner-up to the Te Akau Racing team of Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards last year, following their inaugural title in 2014-15, the Baker-Forsman combination ramped up their efforts this year as they claimed a remarkable 19 black-type victories among their tally of 107 wins. Highlighted by the classic victories of Australian Derby and Australian Oaks winners Jon Snow and Bonneval, the Baker-Forsman stable amassed earnings of $2.92million for the season. "We've certainly had a great year, but I think it really just continues on from the level we have been at for the past four or five years," Baker said. "I think this is the most number of black-type wins we have achieved with the 24 across New Zealand and Australia. Last season we probably won more prize money thanks to wins like the Caulfield Cup with Mongolian Khan and the Emirates Stakes with Turn Me Loose." Baker added: "Before that we did well with Dundeel and the like so we really have been building to the stage we are at now for a while." Like any successful stable, Baker acknowledged the often unrecognised role of his staff. "We have a staff of twenty something who do an outstanding job and really put in the hard yards. Without that we certainly wouldn't be in the position we are now," he said.
Widden Stud's Gr1-winning stallion Your Song (Fastnet Rock-Zembu, by Fuji Kiseki) has capped a remarkably successful 12 months to finish as the leading Australian First Season Sire by winners, wins, metropolitan winners and stakes horses. “Widden Stud have had a great track record for producing successful first season sires in recent years with Stratum, Northern Meteor, Sebring and Star Witness all finding immediate success before going on to become established as leading Group I sires,” said Antony Thompson. “Your Song has just kept improving right through the season and as we come into spring he has the right type of horses out there to keep his name in lights.” Your Song’s tally of 11 Australian winners of 15 races come from just 30 Australian runners with stakes-winner Split Lip the highlight horse accompanied by stakes-placegetters Memento, Soundcheck and Peristrophe. Juvenile colt Brave Song also stamped himself as a young horse with a promising future when running out an impressive 3 length winner at Canterbury last Wednesday for Peter & Paul Snowden. Your Song will cover his best ever book of mares as he is fully booked this spring at a fee of $22,000.
Highly talented filly Madam Dancealot (Sir Prancealot-Sisal, by Danehill) added a valuable black-type success when winning the Gr2 San Clemente Handicap (8 furlongs) at Del Mar in the US on Sunday, reports Thoroughbred Daily News. After trailing in last position with significant work to do turning for home, the 3YO stormed down the centre of the track to score an impressive 1.75 length win over fellow fillies Lull (War Front) & Sircat Sally (Surf Cat) in the US$200,000 feature. "The way she was finishing the last two races on the grass down the hill at Santa Anita, I thought she could get a mile," said trainer Richard Baltas. "She's settled now, she's relaxed and when she was last down the backside, I was like 'Wow.' I know she can run and when a good horse gets settled like that they're going to run at the end, and she did." The Irish-bred Madam Dancealot improved her record to 4 wins (including the Gr3 Dick Poole Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Listed Special Goddess Stakes) from 12 starts for 169,497 in earnings. Madam Dancelot is by Europe's Champion Freshman Sire Sir Prancealot, who will shuttle from Tally Ho Stud in Ireland to Cornerstone Stud in South Australia this year. A precocious 2YO who won his first two starts including the Listed National Stakes, Sir Prancealot (Tamayuz) went on to run fourth in Gr2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot behind Dawn Approach and fourth in the Gr1 Prix Morny at Deauville before winning the G2 Doncaster Flying Childers Stakes on his final outing. He will stand at Cornerstone Stud at a fee of $16,500 (inc. GST).
Meanwhile, trainer Richard Fahey says top-class galloper Ribchester (Iffraaj) is on track for the Gr1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on 2 August. The Godolphin-owned star boosted his Group One tally to three when setting a new track record in the Gr1 Queen Anne Stakes (1600m) at Royal Ascot last month. "We've been very lucky this season, everything's gone according to plan, no issues. He enjoys his work and we're happy,” Fahey told Racing Post. "Early on he was immature mentally and he over-raced a bit, but he enjoys it so much now. He's rated the highest I've ever trained, so it's official and I can say he's the best I've trained,” Fahey added: “He's doing everything we want; every time I see him he just looks better and better."
Meanwhile, also in Brisbane Carnival news, Gr1 winning 5YO mare Miss Cover Girl (Monashee Mountain-Tolart, by Show a Heart) will bow out at Eagle Farm in the Gr3 Glenlogan Park Stakes before embarking on a broodmare career, reports theinformant.co.nz. A victory would send her through the $1 million prizemoney tally and add to her already exceptional eight-win career. With her penultimate performance coming via a typically honest third in the Gr2 Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm a fortnight ago, trainer Kelly Schweida is confident the flashy mare will be more than competitive in her swansong. "She is a five-year-old mare now and the time is right to send her to stud," Schweida said. "It would be lovely to send her out a winner. No matter what happens, she will be worth a bit as a broodmare. There aren't many Group One-winning mares around for sale, so I am sure she will bring in the high six figures or even seven figures [in the sale ring]." He added, "Another Group Three win would be a bonus and we do know she handles Eagle Farm, which is a question over a few others."
Top-class galloper Black Heart Bart is primed to defend his title in Saturday’s $1 million Gr1 Goodwood at Morphettville, according to the Darren Weir stable. The 6YO was last seen adding a fifth Gr1 win to his career tally in the Futurity Stakes on 25 February. “He’s in great form. He went to Ballarat last week and had a jump out and he’s just in great order,” Weir’s racing manager Jeremy Rogers told ANZ Bloodstock News. “He’s drawn barrier two, the same barrier he drew last year when he went and won. He will need a bit of luck in running, but as long as he gets it he will run well.” He added: “He is a fantastic horse. If Winx wasn’t about, he would probably be the best horse in Australia.”
Trainer Peter Snowden says the stable’s two Doomben 10,000 contenders, Russian Revolution and Redzel, are primed to run big races in the Gr1 sprint at Doomben tomorrow, reports racing.com. Snowden, who trains in partnership with his son Paul, said the stable-mates had coped surprisingly well with the arduous trip from Sydney to Brisbane. “I'm really surprised how they have come off [the float], it is a long trip, it is about 13 hours, it is a long haul but they have travelled up really well," Snowden said. Russian Revolution, who will be attempting to double his Gr1 tally after winning the Galaxy in the autumn, is the current $3.20 Tab favourite for the race ahead of Redzel and defending champion Music Magnate at $6.50. "He [Russian Revolution] has had five weeks between runs, which is good for him, he had a nice trial last Tuesday week and trialled strongly,” said Snowden. "The only downside, and there is no downside with the horse, he is 100 per cent, but just meeting really good horses at weight-for-age is not ideal for three-year-olds, they don't get much advantage.” He added: “[But] he is a good colt, he is there to run well and he will be hard to beat." As for Redzel, a last-start winner of the Gr3 Hall Mark Stakes in Sydney, Snowden commented: "Redzel loves wet ground, this track is definitely going to be wet come Saturday.” He added: "The last time these two met in The Galaxy, which is a handicap, Russian only beat him a neck. Under weight-for-age conditions he is a lot better off so he might turn the tables."
Before Saturday, Redoute's Choice already had a same-track, same-day Group 1 double on his extraordinary record. That was achieved more than a decade ago, when Nadeem & Snitzel won the Blue Diamond and the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield on 25 February 2006. But a Group 1 double at the same meeting by two full brothers, bought from the same vendor & breeders by the same owner and prepared by the same trainer? Such a feat may well be unprecedented. On Champions Day at Turffontein in South Africa on Saturday, Sheikh Hamdan's colts Mustaaqeem and Rafeef, both by Redoute's Choice out of South African Horse of the Year National Colour, and both Arrowfield Inglis Easter graduates, won Group 1 races within three hours of each other. Speaking from Newmarket in the UK after the victory, Angus Gold recalled inspecting Mustaaqeem at the 2016 Inglis Easter Sale where he purchased him for $1.75 million. "I thought he was outstanding, with a very classy look. He was really well-balanced with a lovely head, and a ready-made stallion if he could run. And I got him on my very last bid, thank god," Gold said. The brothers take Redoute's Choice's tally of Group 1 winners to 32, among 146 lifetime stakes winners. Mustaqeem is the super sire's eighth Group 1 juvenile winner and joins Ardrossan, successful earlier on Saturday in New Zealand, on his list of 36 2YO stakes winners.
The Lindsay Park team are bullish about the prospects of smart mare Sheidel (Holy Roman Emperor-Laventour, by Metal Storm) in Saturday’s Gr1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville. The former West Australian sprinter will be looking to double her Gr1 tally after posting her maiden top-flight success in the Oakleigh Plate in the autumn. The 5YO hasn’t raced since finishing a close-up sixth (beaten 2.2 lengths) in the Gr1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on 24 March. “Sheidel is back against her own sex, which is a big bonus, and she has really freshened up well since her last run,” co-trainer Ben Hayes told ANZ Bloodstock news. “She trialled the other day at Geelong and trialled very impressively and showed no signs of having a long prep. From barrier ten she’ll be able to cruise across outside the lead or lead.” Sheidel has drawn barrier 10 and will be ridden by Hong Kong-based superstar jockey Joao Moreira.
At Morphettville racecourse in Adelaide, South Australia, Yarraman Park's Gr3-winning stallion I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit-Cannarelle, by Canny Lad) added a Group trifecta when 4YO mare Viddora (I Am Invincible-Snow Flight, by Colombia) doubled his stakes tally when landing the $120,000 Gr3 RN Irwin Stakes (1100m) for 3YO+, defeating Illustrious Lad & I Am Gypsy. Viddora improved her record to 6 wins (including the Listed Lightning Stakes) and 5 placings (including the Listed SAJC Manihi Classic & Listed BRC Falvelon Handicap) from 19 starts for $553,480 earnings. Purchased by her trainer Lloyd Kennewell for $40,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale from the draft of Riva Ridge Stud, Viddora is a direct descendant of the influential broodmare Derna (FR), meaning she hails from the same female family as multiple champion sire Zabeel, Australian Guineas winner Baryshnikov, and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winning mother and son Detroit and Carnegie.
Godolphin are confident that UK stayers Penglai Pavilion and Polarisation are primed to run well in Saturday's rescheduled $2 million Gr1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick, reports Godolphin.com. "They both gave 110 per cent the first time around and I really can't fault them this time," said James Ferguson, assistant to Godolphin's Newmarket-based trainer Charlie Appleby. "They've both done very well, they're extremely fit and we've got the same jockeys on, so they know their horses." He added: "It's going to be a bit strange watching the same race again, but we're very happy with the condition of both horses and I'm looking forward to it." The locally-trained Tally will also back-up in take-two of the Sydney Cup for Godolphin, with the stable confident he can run well. "We've been really optimistic about getting him out to two miles," trainer John O'Shea said. "He definitely hasn't gone backwards since the first running of the race."
At Oaklawn in the US, 5YO mare Stellar Wind (Curlin-Evening Star, by Malibu Moon) boosted her Gr1 career tally to four when scoring by 1.25 lengths for trainer John Sadler in the US$600,000 Gr1 Apple Blossom Handicap (8.5 furlongs) for 4YO+ fillies & mares, defeating Terra Promessa and Streamline. Stellar Wind, crowned champion US 3YO filly in 2015, advanced her record to 8 wins (including the Gr1 Zenyatta Stakes, Gr1 Clement L Hirsch Stakes & Gr1 Santa Anita Oaks) from 12 starts for over US$1.8 million in earnings.
Esteemed New Zealand nursery Waikato Stud has announced that its stallion fees for the 2017 breeding season will remain unchanged. "While we are yet to set a fee for our exciting new sire Tivaci who is still in Australia racing, the rest of our roster Savabeel, Ocean Park, Sacred Falls, Pins, Rock 'n' Pop and Rios will be staying the same," studmaster Mark Chittick said. With 15 stakes winners this season and another conceivable clean sweep of the sire awards, Cox Plate winner Savabeel (Zabeel) heads the roster at a service fee of $100,000 plus GST. "He's had another ultra-exciting season with G1 winners Kawi and Hall of Fame heading a tally of 15 individual stakes winners. To have had 15 stakes winners at this stage in the piece is massive, especially when you consider their versatility," said Chittick. All told, the multiple champion sire has sired 60 stakes winners, with an exact 50-50 split between the two sexes and a market leading 9.7% stakes winners-to-runners ratio. The complete Waikato roster is:
Savabeel - $100,000 + GST
Ocean Park - $30,000 + GST
Sacred Falls - $30,000 + GST
Pins - $25,000 + GST
Rock 'n' Pop - $9,000 + GST
At Mornington in Victoria, Darley's deceased shuttler & Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street, by Troy) added a black-type success when 4YO gelding Tally (Street Cry-Itemise, by Kris S.) scored by a short neck for trainer John O'Shea in the $300,000 Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) for 3YO+, over 5YO Irish-bred gelding Vengeur Masque (Monsun-Venetian Beauty, by Lear Fan) & 5YO gelding Settler's Stone (Savoire Vivre-Rock Chick, by Octagonal). A homebred for Darley and Godolphin, Tally improved his record to 6 wins (including the Gr2 MVRC Alister Clark Stakes & Gr2 MRC Autumn Classic) and 7 placings from 19 starts for $820,110 earnings.
The first step in a long-range Spring plan will be taken by The Gold Trail when the Irish-bred entire he makes his Australian debut in the $300,000 Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) on Saturday, reports Godolphin.com. Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby will attempt to take advantage of a special clause in the conditions for the Mornington feature that grants the winner automatic entry into the Gr1 Caulfield Cup in October. Assistant trainer James Ferguson said The Gold Trail had pleased him in his recent work and he is expecting a strong showing from the horse who will be joined in the race by locally prepared Godolphin runner Tally. "He's in peak condition and if he can put in a performance anything like his wins at his last two starts then he should be very competitive," Ferguson said. "He worked on Tuesday, it was routine, but I was very happy with him." The Gold Trail has won his past two starts in Dubai and at Newmarket, with Ferguson likening him to Scottish as "a horse with genuine class". Scottish finished runner-up to Jameka in last year's Caulfield Cup. The Gold Trail (Teofilo-Goldthroat, by Zafonic) is a winner of 7 of his 20 starts with 6 minor placings.
Bonneval (Makfi) was crowned the 2016-17 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year when she won Saturday's Gr1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham. The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained filly began her rise with a placing in the Gr3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham in late January. Since then she has put together successive victories in the Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic (2000m) at Trentham, the Gr3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings and a crowning glory in Saturday's New Zealand Oaks. "She's a beautiful filly," Forsman said. "She was a standout when Murray and the guys bought her at the sales and she's gone on with it." He added: "She doesn't necessarily need to do any more this preparation, we'll just get her home and see how she is. She's only going to get better as an older mare." Bred by City Bloodstock, Bonneval was purchased by Baker Racing for $150,000 at the 2015 Premier Sale at Karaka. She is a full-sister to the Group winner Imposing Lass and a half-sister to the Group winners Full of Spirit (Flying Spur) and Lady Cumquat (Duke of Marmalade). Bonneval finished with an imposing tally of 27.5 points. Volpe Veloce (Foxwedge) was second with 14, while Oaks runner-up Devise was third with 13.5 points.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $1.5 million weight-for-age Gr1 Australian Cup (2000m) to be run at Flemington racecourse this Saturday. Joint $4.20 Tab favourites for the race are stable-mates from the Darren Weir yard Humidor and Jameka who are coming off second and fourth placings respectively in the Gr2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield. Next best is Peter Young Stakes victor Stratum Star at $6, followed by The United States at $7.50 and Exospheric at $8.50. The final field is:
Joao "Magic" Moreira has rewritten the record books by becoming the first jockey in the history of Hong Kong racing to ride eight winners in a day at Sha Tin on Sunday, reports the South China Morning Post. Moreira had equalled the feat previously riding eight winners in Singapore and also his native Brazil, but never in the former British colony. "I think it is even harder to do in Hong Kong," Moreira said. "I was so pumped. And my wife was out on the balcony and screaming out to me, so I screamed back. I so wanted to share that moment with her. You can't ever expect these things, I have no words to describe it." Moreira will fly to Australia later this week to ride Flying Artie in the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and Godolphin 3YO Tally in the Gr1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Melbourne 3YO Farson and New Zealand-based juvenile Summer Passage gave the sensational Snitzel his ninth same-day stakes double on Saturday, taking his tally of stakes winners to 52. Farson started favourite in the $200,000 Gr2 MRC Autumn Classic (1800m) after consecutive wins at Caulfield and Moonee Valley. He kept punters happy when he took control of the race round the turn and kicked clear to score by almost two lengths. Farson was a $180,000 Gai Waterhouse buy from the draft of breeder Stuart Ramsey's Turangga Farm at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. His stakes-winning dam Clear View is a daughter of Gallo Di Ferro (by Deputy Minister), from a family that produced New Zealand Gr1 winners So Casual & Zola almost 20 years ago. $800,000 Inglis Easter graduate Summer Passage extended Snitzel's record on several fronts with a stylish defeat of Summer Monsoon & Hanger in Saturday's Listed Matamata Slipper (1200m) in New Zealand. Summer Passage is both Snitzel's 23rd juvenile winner this season and his 23rd lifetime 2YO stakes winner, as well as his first black-type winner in New Zealand. He and Farson take Snitzel's 2016/17 record to 17 stakes winners - his best-ever season total, and it's only February.
Gun 3YO sprinter Extreme Choice ((Not A Single Doubt-Extremely, by Hussonet) has enjoyed an ideal preparation leading into Saturday's $500,000 Gr1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield, according to his trainer Mick Price. Extreme Choice, who claimed the Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes as a 2YO this time last year before returning as a spring 3YO to double his Gr1 tally in Moir Stakes, will be having his first start since finishing fifth behind stable-mate Flying Artie in the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes on 29 October. "He had a really solid gallop here [Caulfield] Saturday morning and pulled up well in the wind and he worked well with Craig Newitt riding him on the course proper at Caulfield on Tuesday," trainer Mick Price told Racing.com. "I can't get him any fitter, it's just a question of whether he can win the Oakleigh Plate first-up as a three-year-old but he's really well in himself and he'll run well."
At Caulfield racecourse in Melbourne, Gr3-winning & triple Gr1-placed stallion Primus (Flying Spur-Copa de Oro, by Hector Protector) added a Group success when 6YO chestnut gelding Burning Front (Primus-She's a Knockout, by Kingston Rule) led throughout for a 0.3 length win for trainer Darren Weir in the $150,000 Gr3 TS Carlyon Cup (1600m) for 4YO+, over 4YO New Zealand-bred gelding and stable-mate Humidor (Teofilo-Zalika, by Zabeel) & 4YO Godolphin gelding Tally (Street Cry-Itemise, by Kris S). This was back-to-back Carlyon Cup victories for the ultra-consistent Burning Front who improved his record to 14 wins (including the Gr3 TS Carlyon Cup) and 18 placings (including the Gr3 VRC TAB Rewards Stakes & Gr3 MRC Sandown Stakes) from 43 starts for $816,960 earnings. "He's got a great racing style making his own luck up on the speed," Weir told racing.com. Meanwhile, Damian Lane, rider of runner-up and stable-mate of the winner, Humidor, who flashed home from last on the turn, lamented the latter's waywardness in the straight. "If he goes straight he wins," Lane said. Humidor will have his next start in the Gr2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Blue Diamond day (25 February).
Proconsul, a 4YO full-brother to the world's highest-ever rated racehorse Frankel, will stand at Mickley Stud at Shropshire in the UK at an introductory fee of £3,500, reports Racing Post. "We're delighted to be standing Proconsul at Mickley Stud and we look forward to welcoming breeders to see him," said Mickley Stud owner Richard Kent. "He's a fine-looking colt and obviously his pedigree speaks for itself." Trained by Andre Fabre on behalf of Juddmonte Farms, Proconsul (Galileo) failed to make an impact on the track in his only two starts. He is the fifth son of the grand producer Kind (Danehill) to stand at stud, the others being unbeaten world champion Frankel, three-time Gr1 winner Noble Mission, Gr3 winner and Gr1-placed Bullet Train, who shuttles to Bowness Stud in Australia, and Tally-Ho Stud resident Morpheus.
Top-class colt Sacred Elixir (Pour Moi-Baltika, by Stravinsky) will kick off his New Zealand Derby campaign when he resumes in Sunday's Karaka Mile at Ellerslie, reports NZ Racing Desk. Successful in the Gr1 JJ Atkins at Eagle Farm last winter, Sacred Elixir travelled to Melbourne for the spring where he added the Gr2 Moonee Valley Vase and Gr3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude to his winning tally. His most recent outing saw him finish runner-up to Prized Icon in the Gr1 Victoria Derby on 29 October. "We are really happy with him, but he will be vulnerable first-up," trainer Tony Pike said. "He's forward enough and looks fantastic, but is not going to be fully wound up by any means. He's a naturally clean-winded horse and has got plenty of residual fitness from his Melbourne campaign." Pike added: "His form looks as strong as that for any three-year-old we have had (in New Zealand) for a while." The Karaka Mile will be the first of two lead-up races to the Derby for Sacred Elixir, with his second assignment being either the Gr1 Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa on 11 February, or the Gr2 Avondale Guineas at Ellerslie a week later.
Kris Lees says Sense Of Occasion's best chance of recording back-to-back stakes victories is to allow him to utilise his trademark late finishing burst. Sense Of Occasion (Street Sense-Saywaan, by Zabeel), who was a last-start winner of the Gr2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick when employing similar tactics, will seek to add to his black-type tally when he contests today's $150,000 Listed Gosford Gold Cup (2100m) on the NSW Central Coast. "I prefer him to be ridden back," Lees told racingnsw.com.au. "I'm sure that's his best chance of winning again. I'm very happy with the horse; he has trained on really strongly since the Villiers." Lees will decide after today's provincial feature whether to proceed to the $150,000 Listed Australia Day Cup (2400m) at Randwick on 26 January with the versatile gelding, who has won from 1200m to 2400m. More than likely, he will freshen him for a tilt at the $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick on the opening day of The Championships.
Sir Prancealot, Europe’s Champion Freshman Sire, will shuttle from Tally Ho Stud in Ireland to Cornerstone Stud in South Australia from 2017. With 32 individual winners Sir Prancealot was Champion First Season Sire by both winners and prize money finishing ahead of Helmet and Frankel. Included in the long list of winners were Gr3 winner Madam Dancealot and Listed winner Sir Dancealot. Sir Prancealot will travel from Tally Ho with Zebedee (Invincible Spirit) who has shuttled to Cornerstone Stud for the past two seasons. "The O'Callaghans have been a pleasure to deal with and with the ongoing assistance of Johnny and Susie McKeever we are delighted to be standing another leading sire for Tally Ho Stud," explained Cornerstone's Sam Hayes. "It takes something special to beat the likes of Frankel in a sire’s premiership. Sir Prancealot and Zebedee are upgrading mares with exceptional consistency and that is one of the benefits of breeding to proven stallions." A precocious 2YO who won his first two starts including the Listed National Stakes, Sir Prancealot went on to run fourth in Gr2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot behind Dawn Approach and fourth in the Gr1 Prix Morny at Deauville before winning the G2 Doncaster Flying Childers Stakes at his last start. His fee will announced in March.
Top Kiwi galloper Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) has returned to training ahead of a potential Trans-Tasman campaign in the late summer and autumn, reports theinformant.co.nz. The 6YO increased his Gr1 tally to five with domestic wins in the Makfi Challenge Stakes and Windsor Park Plate in the spring, before embarking on a three-start campaign in Perth. His first two outings resulted in fourth-placed efforts in the Gr1 Kingston Town Classic and the Gr2 Lee Steere Stakes, before rounding out his first Australian sojourn with a sixth placing in the Gr1 Railway Stakes. Trainer Allan Sharrock said Kawi had coped perfectly with the trip home. "He travelled home beautifully," Sharrock said. "He's doing so well that I had to start working him again on Monday." He added: "Everything's on track and he'll resume in the Group One sprint [the Gr1 NRM Sprint] at Te Rapa on February 11."
Top three-year-old Sacred Elixir (Pour Moi-Baltika, by Stravinsky) is making smooth progress in his build-up toward another Group One title, reports NZ Racing Desk. "He had his first gallop last Saturday morning and he's coming up super, I couldn't be happier with him," Cambridge trainer Tony Pike said. "He looks great and we'll just keep him ticking over until the Karaka 3YO Mile." The NZB Karaka 3YO Mile will be run at Ellerslie on 29 January. Successful in the Gr1 JJ Atkins at Eagle Farm in the winter, Sacred Elixir travelled to Melbourne for the spring where he added the Gr2 Moonee Valley Vase and Gr3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude to his winning tally. His most recent outing saw him finish runner-up to Prized Icon in the Gr1 Victoria Derby at Flemington before heading for a spell. The son of Pour Moi has the $1 million Gr1 New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie on 4 March as the final target of his classic season. Bred by Graham De Gruchy, Sacred Elixir is the first foal out of the Stravinsky mare Baltika, a granddaughter of De Gruchy's champion New Zealand mare Horlicks.
It has been announced that former champion US filly Untapable's first mating will be to Frankel at Banstead Manor Stud at Newmarket next year, reports Racing Post. Crowned the Eclipse champion 3YO filly of 2014 , Untapable (Tapit) won 9 of her 20 starts for trainer Steve Asmussen amassing US$3.9 million in prize money. Untapable enjoyed an outstanding 3YO season winning six of her seven outings including 4 at Group 1 level, namely the Breeders' Cup Distaff, Kentucky Oaks, Cotillon Stakes and Mother Goose Stakes. She returned as a 4YO to capture the Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn to boost her overall Gr1 tally to five. Winchell Thoroughbreds, which raced Untapable, have placed her in quarantine ahead of a planned trip to Britain next month.
Queensland racing officials are set to invite star West Australian galloper Scales Of Justice to contest next year's Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap, reports AAP. The last-start Railway Stakes (1600m) winner, who will attempt to double his Gr1 tally in Saturday's Kingston Town Classic (1800m), is part-owned by Brisbane's Bill Andrews, a former Queensland rugby union player and solicitor. Brisbane Racing Club racing manager Bart Sinclair said the Stradbroke (1400m) in June was an ideal race for Scales of Justice. "Bill is away on holiday in the bush and not in mobile phone range. But we will make it a priority to contact him after the Kingston Town Classic about getting Scales of Justice here," Sinclair said. "The Stradbroke has always been a race for horses who can run a strong 1600 metres and Scales of Justice fills that need." Scales Of Justice's brilliant front-running 2.75 length Railway Stakes win improved his record to 7 wins from 13 starts for $945,250 in earnings.
Rich Hill Stud will be the Southern Hemisphere home of star French galloper Vadamos (Monsun-Celebre Vadala, by Peintre Celebre) from next year. The stud, with support of a high profile group of New Zealand breeders, has purchased a 50 per cent share in the Gr1 Prix du Moulin winner who will shuttle to New Zealand from 2017. Vadamos retired to Tally-Ho Stud in County Westmeath in Ireland following his fourth place finish in the Gr1 Emirates Stakes (formerly the Gr1 Mackinnon Stakes) on the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival. His introductory Irish fee has been set at €10,000. Vadamos was held in the highest regard by his revered trainer Andre Fabre, who once labelled him a potential champion and compared him favourably to his former stable star Manduro with whom he shares the same sire, Monsun. "Vadamos always impressed me with his raw talent," said Fabre. "It is well documented that no other horse in my yard could beat him in the mornings and his final 200 metre time in the Moulin of 10.47 seconds is absolutely top-class." "To get this son of Monsun is unbelievable," Rich Hill's John Thompson said. "He's from one of the Aga Khan's great families and he's one of the best bred Group One winning stallions going to stud anywhere in the world." Vadamos is out of the Peintre Celebre mare Celebre Vadala, a half-sister to the Gr1 winner Valixir. "Sir Peter Vela, of Pencarrow Stud, Greg Tomlinson, of Nearco Stud, and Valachi Downs' Kevin Hickman are the key people in the syndicate and we've joined them with John Camilleri, of Sydney, who bred Winx and Vancouver, and Andreas Putsch, of Haras de Saint Pair in France, who both raced Vadamos," Thompson said.
Malaguerra (Magnus-Tennessee Morn, by Bletchingly) has arrived in Perth ahead of Saturday week's Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot, reports AAP. Already a dual Gr1 winner of the Darley Classic in the spring and the BTC Cup in the winter, the 5YO will seek to triple his Gr1 tally in the $1 million sprint feature on 26 November. "His class will take him a long way," trainer Peter Gelagotis said. "I think him and Terravista look the form line. They're two really good sprinters." He added: "We're just hoping for a bit of luck and hoping the race pans out right." Gelagotis said Malaguerra will be spelled following the Winterbottom to prepare for the autumn. "The owner is from Perth so the aim was to give him a sprint campaign in the spring, just short and sharp, with three runs," Gelagotis said. "Then we'll tip him out. I think he's a really good seven furlong horse into the future so I'm looking forward to getting him out to 1400 metre races in the autumn."
Trainer Allan Sharrock is expecting marked improvement from star Kiwi galloper Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad) in Saturday's $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot, reports the West Australian. However, the multiple Gr1 winner, who is coming off a fourth placing behind Perfect Reflection in the Gr2 Lee Steere Stakes on his Australian debut, must set a new weight-carrying record to add to his Gr1 tally. Kawi has top weight of 58.5kg, 0.5kg more than Luckygray won with in 2013. "He was obviously in need of the run," Sharrock said. "It's not going to be easy for him with the handicap conditions, but that comes with the territory for winning five Group Ones. We're looking for a top-five place to give us confidence heading towards the Kingston Town Classic."