Stakes-winning WA galloper Variation will embark on an eastern states campaign in the New Year, reports the West Australian. Trainer Stephen Miller said Variation would be spelled after Saturday's Gr3 AJ Scahill Stakes (1400m) at Ascot to be prepared for a trip to Melbourne. "We'll give him a break and then have a look at races over there," Miller said. "We won't be looking at any of the bigger races." He added: "We'll have a look at what our options are, but the main thing is to get through Saturday and see how he measures up at weight-for-age." Variation (War Chant-Fleeting Angel, by Don't Say Halo) is a four-time stakes winner with his biggest win coming in the Gr2 WA Guineas (1600m) as a 3YO.
Talented 4YO Variation has been elevated into Saturday's Gr1 Railway Stakes field at the expense of Tradesman, reports the West Australian. Chief handicapper Ian Malpass used his discretionary powers to ensure the multiple stakes winner gained the 16th and final spot in the $1 million feature, a move which relegated Tradesman to first emergency. Malpass said he based his decision on the fact that the last time the two horses met, Variation finished second and Tradesman seventh behind Pounamu in the Gr3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) on 4 November. "They raced against each other in the Asian Beau and Variation beat Tradesman home comfortably," Malpass said. "I felt that performance was good enough to give Variation the final spot in the field." Variation's trainer Stephen Miller was understandably delighted. "We're very happy," he said. "He came through Saturday's run pretty good. He'll go to the beach for the rest of the week."
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the 131st running of the $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot racecourse in Perth this Saturday. Defending champion and local star Scales Of Justice is currently the $5.50 TAB favourite for the race, ahead of 5-time Gr1 winner Black Heart Bart at $6 and Gr1 performer Tom Melbourne at $7. The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Supply And Demand is the only other runner under double figure odds at $8. The final field is:
The final field has been declared for the 131st running of the $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot racecourse in Perth this Saturday. The barrier draw will be conducted today commencing at 4:30pm (7:30pm AEDT) and will be telecast live on Sky Racing. The final field is:
At Ascot in Perth, West Australia, stakes-winning & Gr1-placed stallion Danehill Express (Danehill-Savana City, by New Regent) added a Group race success when 6YO Australian-bred gelding Properantes (Danehill Express-Scala's Quest, by Marooned) scored an upset win at odds of 21-1 in the $150,000 Gr3 RJ Peters Stakes (1500m) for 3YO+, defeating Royal Star & Variation. Properantes, who was a $20,000 purchase by his trainer Colin Webster at the 2013 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale from the draft of Mungrup Stud, improved his record to 9 wins (including the Listed Raconteur Stakes) and 8 placings from 32 starts for $521,850 in earnings.
At Ascot racecourse in Perth, triple Gr1-winning former English Derby victor & Darley shuttler Authorized (Montjeu-Funsie, by Saumarez) added a Group race success when 6YO grey gelding Pounamu (Authorized-Tangiwai, by Street Cry) arrived with a late flourish to score an impressive first-up win in the $150,000 Gr3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) for 3YO+, defeating Variation & Whispering Brook. Pounamu, who was placed at Gr3 level in the Gloaming Stakes & Spring Stakes as a 3YO, improved his record to 8 wins (including the Listed Detonator Stakes) and 13 placings (including the Gr3 WATC Strickland Stakes, Gr3 Gloaming Stakes & Gr3 Spring Stakes) from 35 starts for $497,330 in earnings.
At Belmont racecourse in Perth, Western Australia, Yarradale Stud shuttler War Chant (War Chant (Danzig-Hollywood Wildcat, by Kris S) added a black-type success when 3YO bay gelding Variation (War Chant-Fleeting Angel, by Don't Say Halo) posted his third consecutive stakes victory in the $100,000 Listed Aquanita Stakes (2000m) for 3YO colts & geldings, defeating Western Temple & Jackpot Prince. A $32,000 purchase at the 2015 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale from the draft of Mungrup Stud, Variation improved his record to 7 wins (including the Gr2 W.A. Guineas, Listed Belmont Guineas & Listed Raconteur Stakes) and 5 placings from 13 starts for $656,650 in earnings. Trainer Stephen Miller said Variation will be aimed at the $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in November. "The horse is just a bloody exceptional little horse," Miller told the West Australian. "Hopefully he can get a couple points and he can qualify for the Railway. It's a race I'd say the horse would be a big chance in."
At Belmont racecourse in Perth, West Australia, Yarradale Stud shuttler War Chant (War Chant (Danzig-Hollywood Wildcat, by Kris S) added a black-type success when 3YO bay gelding Variation (War Chant-Fleeting Angel, by Don't Say Halo) showed his class when scoring a comfortable win in the $100,000 Listed Belmont Guineas (1600m) for 3YOs, defeating Gatting & Western Temple. A $32,000 purchase at the 2015 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale from the draft of Mungrup Stud, Variation improved his record to 6 wins (including the Gr2 W.A. Guineas & Listed Raconteur Stakes) and 5 placings from 12 starts for $576,650 in earnings. Variation also entered the record books by becoming the first horse to win the Gr2 WA Guineas & Belmont Guineas double in its 37-year history. "Credit to the horse…he's just an unbelievable little horse," trainer Stephen Miller told Sky Racing. Variation will have his next start in the Listed Aquanita Stakes (2000m) in a fortnight with his long-term aim being the $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) in November. "It's obviously another level again the Railway, but I think he's capable of putting his best foot forward and running a good race in that," jockey Brad Parnham said.
Talented 3YO Variation (War Chant-Fleeting Angel, by Don't Say Halo) has drawn barrier 13 in his bid to claim a unique double in Saturday's Listed Belmont Guineas (1600m) in Perth, reports the West Australian. A dual stakes winner of the Gr2 WA Guineas and Listed Raconteur Stakes, Variation put up an excellent Guineas trial when a fast-finishing fifth behind Rock Magic and Scales Of Justice in the Gr3 Belmont Sprint (1400m) three weeks ago. If successful in tomorrow's $100,000 feature, Variation will become the first horse to win the Gr2 WA Guineas & Belmont Guineas double in its 37-year history. Jockey Brad Parnham said the Stephen Miller-trained gelding deserved to be favourite for the race. "He'll appreciate the step back up to 1600m," Parnham said. "He's won at his only two starts over the distance and should be hard to beat again." He added: "I expect him to be favourite on Saturday after an outstanding run in the Belmont Sprint."
At Ascot racecourse in Perth, Western Australia, Yarradale Stud shuttler War Chant (War Chant (Danzig-Hollywood Wildcat, by Kris S) added a black-type success when 3YO gelding Variation (War Chant-Fleeting Angel, by Don't Say Halo) scored by 1 length for trainer Stephen Miller in the $100,000 Listed Raconteur Stakes (1500m) for 3YOs, over fellow 3YO gelding Western Temple (Dream Ahead-Western Jewel, by Jeune) & 3YO filly Quilista (Scandal Keeper-Brocky's Ace, by Surtee). Variation, who was a $32,000 purchase at the 2015 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale from the draft of Mungrup Stud, improved his record to 4 wins (including the Gr2 W.A. Guineas) and 5 placings from 9 starts for $437,650 earnings.
At Bunbury racecourse in Western Australia, Yarradale Stud’s beautifully bred stallion Scandal Keeper (Danzig-Canny Miss, by Marscay) added a black-type success when 3YO filly Quilista (Scandal Keeper-Brocky's Ace, by Surtee) scored by 2 length for trainer Justin Warwick in the $100,000 Listed Rangeview Stud Classic (1400m) for 3YOs, over 3YO geldings Variation (War Chant-Fleeting Angel, by Don't Say Halo) & Parading (Patronize-Blue Nonna, by Polish Blue). This was the first stakes victory for Quilista who improved her record to 4 wins and 2 placings from 7 starts for $127,900 earnings. Quilista was purchased by Warwick for $10,000 at the 2015 magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale from the draft of Korilya Stud.
The catalogue for next year’s Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale was launched overnight, and is available online. To be held at the Belmont Park Sales Complex on February 20 and 21, the sale has brought together a quality catalogue of 368 lots. With past graduates including Gr1 winners Scenic Blast, Moment of Change, Magnifisio, Eagle Regiment and Scenic Shot and current stars Black Heart Bart, Variation, Silent Sedition, Lucky Street and Tradesman, the Perth Yearling Sale is regarded as one of the best value sales in Australasia. Among the pedigree highlights are half, three quarter or full relations to Gr1 or Gr2 winners Elite Belle, Playing God, Catapuled, Celtic Dancer, Clueless Angel, Conservatorium, God Has Spoken, Gold Rocks, Lords Ransom, Motion Pictures and Salade. And Yearlings from group winners including Belle Bizarre, Paradise Park, Sister Patricia, Bantry Bay, Clearly Foxy, Hi On Love, La Sirenuse, Molta and Moodometer are also catalogued.
At Ascot in Perth, West Australia, Yarradale Stud shuttler War Chant (War Chant (Danzig-Hollywood Wildcat, by Kris S) added a Group success when 3YO gelding Variation (War Chant-Fleeting Angel, by Don't Say Halo) overcame trouble in running to score an impressive 0.5 length win for trainer Stephen Miller in the $500,000 Gr2 W.A. Guineas (1600m) for 3YOs, over 3YO filly Ellicazoom (Testa Rossa-Ellicorsam, by Fimiston) & fellow 3YO gelding Ragazzo d'Oro (Medaglia d'Oro-Danebeela, by Danetime). Variation, who was a $32,000 purchase at the 2015 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale from the draft of Mungrup Stud, improved his record to 3 wins and 4 placings from 7 starts for $357,650 earnings. "The horse has always showed us a lot and has had a faultless preparation," winning trainer Stephen Miller told Sky Racing. "The owners have been with me for 35 years...just to repay them is incredible."
At Kyoto racecourse in Japan, 5YO entire Fenomeno (Stay Gold-De Laroche, by Danehill) scored by a neck for trainer H Toda in the Gr1 Tenno Sho Spring (3200m) for 4YO+, over 6YO entires Win Variation (Heart's Cry-Super Ballerina, by Storm Bird) & Hokko Brave (Marvelous Sunday-Hokko Memory, by Dancing Brave). This was back-to-back Tenno Sho (spring) victories for Fenomeno who took his record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Tenno Sho - spring) from 14 starts for ¥ 629,108,000 earnings.
Following her dynamic 9-length demolition in the 2012 installment of the Gr1 1,000 Guineas, Irish-bred filly Homecoming Queen (Holy Roman Emperor-Lagrion, by Diesis) "has been retired to join the Coolmore broodmare band", reports racingpost.com. Champion sire Galileo (Sadler's Wells-Urban Sea, by Miswaki) has been chosen as her debut mating and pedigree experts will be salivating at the cross which is a close variation to that of superstar Frankel (Galileo-Kind, by Danehill). Homecoming Queen, whose abbreviated career was definitely on an upward spiral, also managed to capture stakes wins in both the Gr3 Leopardstown Guineas Trial & Listed Lanwades & Staffordstown Stud Stakes. Bred by Tower Bloodstock, she is a mare with high residual value, being a three-quarter-sister to both Gr1 Prix de l'arc de Triomphe-winning Coolmore stallion Dylan Thomas (by Danehill) and Gr1 Oaks runner Remember When (by Danehill Dancer), as well as being a half-sister to Gr1 Cheveley Park Stakes winner Queen's Logic (by Grand Lodge), subsequently the dam of Great Britain's Champion 3YO Sprint Filly of 2010 Lady Of The Desert (by Rahy).
The New Zealand Racing Board & racing codes “have backed a bold initiative proposed by the new Board of NZ Thoroughbred Racing to revitalise the code & improve returns to all industry stake-holders”. The key components of the NZTR initiative “focus on changes to the thoroughbred racing calendar, programming, handicapping & prize-money allocation”. NZTR chairman Matthew Goodson said the proposed changes “marked the start of an exciting period of change & revitalisation for the industry” & declared: “This is an important step towards relieving financial pressure & providing the returns our world class thoroughbred industry merits. Much remains to be done, but this agreement is an excellent example of the racing codes working together for the greater good of the whole industry. When NZTR prepared a case for change that required variation to the current calendar & funding models, we recognised the need to reach agreement with the NZ Racing Board, Harness Racing NZ & Greyhound Racing NZ. We are very grateful for their backing of this NZTR initiative.” The proposed racing calendar changes (scheduled to commence in March next year) will see thoroughbred meetings held most weeks from Monday through to Saturday, in addition to Sunday racing from November through to March of each season. NZTR will run more meetings with the same number of races.
Meanwhile Australian Jockeys' Association chief executive Paul Innes announced the Australian Racing Board decision not to change the whip rule "has put a cloud over the upcoming Spring Racing Carnival". Innes declared: "Unfortunately the ARB has let jockeys & everyone else involved in the industry down today. All we were after was a common sense approach to the whip issue. Jockeys are very happy with the introduction of the padded whips, we're happy to limit the use of the whip prior to the last 100m, but the rules governing the whips use in the last 100m have to change." Innes added: "We can't rule anything out at this stage. We can't have jockeys worrying about counting the number of times they've moved their whips, when they should be concentrating on getting to the line safely. It's just ridiculous. Racing is a dangerous sport as is: jockeys put their lives on the line every time they jump in the saddle. And now by leaving these rules in place, the ARB is making it even more dangerous for our riders. The ARB has completely ignored the unanimous call of all participant stake-holders to make a minor variation to the rules."
Meanwhile the Australian Jockeys' Association says the new whip rules controversy "can be defused with a simple, minor alteration," reported The Herald-Sun. The AJA "is proposing that all whip rules remain except for over the final 100m of a race, when jockeys should have unrestricted use of the whip" & will submit its proposal (after consultation with jockeys across Australia) to the Australian Racing Board at its September 10 meeting. If favourably viewed by the ARB, jockeys would be permitted to "use the whip in consecutive strides in the final 100m providing the horse is in contention & responding". Victorian Jockeys' Association chief executive Des O'Keeffe said the proposal would equate to a jockey "using the whip an extra 5 times over the final 100m". O'Keeffe emphasised jockeys "did not have an issue with using padded whips or restricting the use of the whip before the 200m & even between the 200m & 100m". He summed up: "We just need one minor modification to the rule & it will be sweet. If we leave it to the discretion of the rider how many times he uses it over the final 100m, then I think the rules can work. These rules were such a dramatic change that it is not surprising that we see a need for a very small variation."