At Doomben racecourse in Queensland, Widden Stud's ill-fated Gr1-winning sire Northern Meteor (Encosta de Lago-Explosive, by Fappiano) added a Group success when 5YO brown gelding Burning Passion (Northern Meteor-Dearness, by Snippets) opened his stakes account when winning the $500,000 Gr3 W.J. Healy Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating Irish Constabulary & Too Good To Refuse. Purchased by Darby Racing for $24,000 at the 2016 Inglis Sydney Autumn Thoroughbred Sale from the draft of Gooree Stud, Burning Passion improved his record to 6 wins and 7 placings from 21 starts for $421,430 in earnings. Burning Passion is a half-brother to Gr1 JJ Atkins winner Romantic Touch from the Snippets mare Dearness, herself a half-sister to 6-time Gr1 winner Desert War and Gr1 Rosehill Guineas winner Laser Hawk. Burning Passion was possible James Cummings' final winner in his own right before he takes over as head trainer for Godolphin.
Meanwhile, stakes-winning WA mare Let It Slip (Not a Single Doubt-Oopsy Doopsy, by General Nediym) has joined the Caulfield stable of Mick Price, reports the West Australian. “Her syndicate of owners received a Victorian offer which was too good to refuse,” former trainer Dan Pearce said. Let It Slip, a half-sister to Listed Lex Piper Stakes winner Gangbuster, has won 4 of her 18 starts, including victories in the Listed Placid Ark Stakes & Magic Millions Perth 3YO Trophy.
At Doomben racecourse in Brisbane, Think Big Stud's dual Gr3-winning stallion Pendragon (Elnadim-Alacrity, by Grosvenor) added a black-type success when 4YO brown mare Miss Gunpowder (Pendragon-Forever Rafter, by Delineator) scored a determined win in the $100,000 Listed Hinkler Handicap (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating Too Good To Refuse & Jimmy Rea. Originally a $60,000 purchase from the Think Big Stud draft at the 2014 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, Miss Gunpowder fetched $700,000 at the recent Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale on the Gold Coast. In claiming her second stakes victory she improved her record to 6 wins (including the Gr2 Thousand Guineas Prelude) and 5 placings (including the Gr3 Quezette Stakes) from 16 starts for $380,500 in earnings. Miss Gunpowder, who is out of a half-sister to Gr1 winner Absolut Glam, will now head to the Gr1 Tatts Tiara (1400m) at Doomben on 24 June.
Aquis Farm has announced that Shane McGrath will join the rapidly expanding thoroughbred breeding enterprise in the newly created role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer. "We have great aspirations for the next three years and Shane has the necessary expertise, experience and ambition to take our operation through the next stages of its development. I am thrilled that Shane has decided to join Aquis Farm," said Aquis Farm CEO Justin Fung. McGrath is a well-respected figure in the Australasian bloodstock industry. He was General Manager of Victoria's Eliza Park for 15 years and prior to joining Aquis Farm was Bloodstock Sales Manager for Coolmore Australia. He will be based at Aquis Emirates Park and commenced his role on May 23, 2017. "I am very excited to be joining Aquis Farm," McGrath said. "I am hugely grateful to Tom Magnier and the team at Coolmore for the opportunities that I was afforded in my time there." He added: "However, I was inspired by the vision for the future that Justin outlined to me and his obvious passion for the industry. The opportunity to be part of the operation that is being built by Aquis Farm was just too good to refuse." Mr Fung said the recent establishment of a Hunter Valley base for Aquis Farm at Emirates Park was a significant step for the company and provided a foothold in the heartland of Australian thoroughbred breeding.
Trainer Desleigh Forster is pressing ahead with a bold plan to run talented Queensland galloper Cylinder Beach (Showcasing-Queen's Colours, by Rainbow Quest) against champion mare Winx in the $4 million Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on 8 April, reports Racing Queensland Webnews. Cylinder Beach will make his return after a brief let-up in the Open Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday. The 4YO will leave for Sydney next Tuesday along with stable-mate Too Good To Refuse who will kick-off his autumn campaign in the in the Gr1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) on 4 March. It will be followed by the Gr3 Newcastle Newmarket on 17 March and the Gr1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick on 1 April. “He and Too Good To Refuse leave next Tuesday and I’m Belucci could go to Sydney as part of his Brisbane winter carnival campaign,” Forster said. “It’s a big step to take on a champion like Winx but someone’s got to do it.” Forster only gave Cylinder Beach two weeks in the paddock following his outstanding summer which included wins in the Listed Recognition Stakes and Listed Bernborough Handicap. “He only had three runs and should have won them all but he was unlucky not to win the Brisbane Handicap as well,” she said. “It was always the plan to give him three runs then go to Sydney for the Queen Elizabeth and come back for the winter."
At Doomben in Brisbane, Yarraman Park's Gr3-winning stallion I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit-Cannarelle, by Canny Lad) added a black-type success when 4YO gelding Most Important (I Am Invincible-Orange Marmalade, by Stravinsky) scored by 1.3 lengths for trainer Tony Gollan in the $150,000 Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) for 3YO+, over 4YO entire Too Good To Refuse (Rothesay-Alyssa Jean, by Dodge) & 5YO mare Miss Cover Girl (Monashee Mountain-Tolart, by Show a Heart). Most Important, who was a $260,000 purchase at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Yarraman Park, improved his record to 6 wins (including the Gr3 George Moore Stakes) and 8 placings (including the Gr3 Vo Rogue Plate & Listed BRC Keith Noud Handicap) from 23 starts for $483,775 earnings. "He's a really good horse this horse," trainer Tony Gollan told Sky Racing. "He's just so honest now. We gelded him before his last spell and he has repaid us in spades."
At Eagle Farm racecourse in Brisbane, Glenlogan Park's Gr2-winning stallion Rothesay (Fastnet Rock-Schiaparelli, by Woodman) sired his first stakes winner when 4YO entire Too Good To Refuse (Rothesay-Alyssa Jean, by Dodge) scored by 1.8 lengths for trainer Desleigh Forster in the $100,000 Listed Keith Noud Quality (1200m) for 3YO+, over 6YO gelding Sony Legend (Hard Spun-Lasers, by Peintre Celebre) & 4YO gelding Most Important (I Am Invincible-Orange Marmalade, by Stravinsky). This was a well deserved maiden stakes victory for the highly talented Too Good To Refuse who improved his record to 5 wins and 5 placings (including the Gr3 BRC Gunsynd Classic) from 18 starts for $372,200 earnings. Passed in for $40,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Raheen Stud, Too Good To Refuse hails from the famous Wuthering Heights (NZ) family of outstanding 5-time Gr1 winner Battle Heights, Caulfield Cup & Australian Derby winner Sky Heights, and Melbourne Cup & Caulfield Cup winner Viewed.
Trainer Desleigh Forster's decision to bypass the spring carnival in Melbourne is set pay handsome dividends with smart sprinter Too Good To Refuse over the Queensland summer carnival, reports AAP. "The option was there to take him to Melbourne for the spring but in the end I decided to keep him here for our summer races," Forster said. "I have decided to keep him to the sprint races and his next starts will be in the George Moore Stakes (1200m) and the Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m)." Forster even thinks Too Good To Refuse can graduate to Gr1 company next winter. "I think he will make a good Stradbroke Handicap horse but let's just worry about the summer first," she said.
Champion New Zealand farm Waikato Stud have reversed a trend this season, reports NZ Racing Desk. "It's been interesting – usually our racing team is focussed on fillies, but this time between Garry and I we've been having a really good run with the colts and geldings," said principal Mark Chittick, referring to his father's involvement. The Matamata farm has been to the fore in Australia, in particular, with the undefeated Bullrush and the blueblood Beckham, as well as the recently sold Whoop Whoop. "He's gone to Hong Kong and will be trained by Tony Millard," Chittick said. "He's a lovely type of horse, but he didn't pass the x-ray testing as a yearling so we raced him and he's proved to be an up and coming horse and Mick Price had a really good opinion of him." He added: "However, he is a gelding and the money from Hong Kong was too good to refuse." A half-brother by Savabeel to the Group performer Far Fetched, Whoop Whoop won two of his four starts from Price's Caulfield stable. Beckham, a son of Pins and the dual Gr1 Glamour Puss, broke his maiden for Matamata trainer Peter McKay before he was transferred to Liam Birchley's Eagle Farm operation and he has since added five further wins to his record. Meanwhile, the John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes-trained Bullrush will have a light spring preparation. "He might have a trip to Melbourne, but the focus with him will be on the autumn," Chittick said. By O'Reilly, Bullrush is a half-brother to the Gr2 Cal Isuzu Stakes winner and Gr1 placegetter Sports Illustrated.
Quality West Australian 3YO Who Dat Singa (Iffraaj- Singadablues, by Danasinga) has been sold to Hong Kong, reports the West Australian. Trainer Alan Mathews said connections received an offer that was "too good to refuse" shortly after Who Dat Singa's ran second in the Gr2 WATC Derby (2400m) at Ascot last month. Who Dat Singa, who hails from the same female family as Gr1 New Zealand Derby winner Great Command, won five of his 11 starts for Mathews, highlighted by his win in the Listed WATC Melvista Stakes (2200m) in April. "We didn't try to sell the horse - they wanted to buy him," Mathews said. "It's disappointing for me, but it's good for the owners. He passed all the vet tests with flying colours which not many do."
At Doomben in Queensland, Haunui Farm's Gr2-winning shuttler Showcasing (Oasis Dream-Arabesque, by Zafonic) added a Group success when 3YO gelding Cylinder Beach (Showcasing-Queen's Colours, by Rainbow Quest) resumed with a strong 0.1-length win for trainer Desleigh Forster in the $125,000 Gr3 Gunsynd Classic (1630m) for 3YOs, over 3YO colt Too Good To Refuse (Rothesay-Alyssa Jean, by Dodge) & fellow 3YO gelding Havasay (Rothesay-Showhama, by Show a Heart). Having his first run since Melbourne Cup day last year, Cylinder Beach advanced his record to 2 wins and 3 placings (including the Gr2 BRC Sires' Produce Stakes) from 7 starts for $158,650 earnings. Cylinder Beach, who is out of a half-sister to Gr1 Sydney Cup winner The Offer, was passed in for $60,000 at the 2014 NZB Ready To Run Sale from the draft of Te Runga Stud.
Cambridge trainer Ben Foote has sold undefeated colt Enigma Machine (Rothesay-Upper Notch, by High Yield) to Hong Kong saying the money was too good to refuse, reports NZ Racing Desk. Foote was a part-owner of the Australian-bred 3YO who was the subject of several offers after winning his only two starts in impressive fashion. "He's been sold to a syndicate in Hong Kong through Bryce Tankard," Foote said. "Much as I loved the horse, I had to let him go." He added: "It's a bit life-changing for me and I've sold a couple of others recently, but from now on I'll be racing one or two and be able to keep hold of them." Enigma Machine was successful at his only start as a 2YO and was again an emphatic winner when he resumed at Otaki earlier this month with a performance that confirmed his sale to clients of Tankard's Waikato Bloodstock. Foote is now looking forward to his role as a vendor at the NZB Ready to Run Sale on November 18 and 19 at Karaka where his draft will include youngsters by Smart Missile, Tavistock and Showcasing. "They will go through Sam Beatson's Riversley Park draft. Sam and I do quite a few together," he said.
Impressive Canberra Guineas winner Rom Baro has been sold to Hong Kong, reports theinformant.co.nz. The Matthew Dale-trained 3YO was entered in last Saturday's Bendigo Guineas but was scratched pending final confirmation of the sale. The son of Time Thief had passed all the necessary vet checks before Bendigo but connections were awaiting the transfer of funds to complete the sale. Dale said the owners had knocked back numerous offers for the talented gelding, but the latest one proved too good to refuse. "A lot of offers had been made on the horse which the owners, because there are 20 of them, had turned down," Dale said. "There were persistent offers which kept coming and in the end there was an offer that was too good to refuse." He added, "We've put a clause in the contract that he returns to the current ownership base once he's finished in Hong Kong. The owners want to know that when he has finished racing he can come back here and have a good home." Rom Baro, who is out of a half-sister to Gr3 Gold Coast Guineas winner Beethog, has won 3 of his 5 starts for over $120,000 prize money.
Meanwhile Gai Waterhouse's stable manager Robyn Hartney is joining Nathan Tinkler's Patinack Farm as racing manager. Hartney told racenet.com.au the Patinack Farm offer was "simply too good to refuse", but added: "It's not all about the money. It's also about the challenge working with such a new & young team in Nathan Tinkler & John Thompson who both share my unbridled passion for horse racing. They have hundreds of horses in 3 states & an exciting operation which I hope I can improve with my experience."