A trip to Australia remains a possibility for the highly regarded Hiflyer (Tavistock-Lady Firebird, by Stravinsky) who has been the subject of significant overseas interest, reports NZ Racing Desk. Trainer Peter Lock said Hiflyer's upcoming programme is yet to be finalised, but that Sydney was firming as an option. "We were looking at going to the Foxbridge Plate and then the first day of the Hastings carnival, but they are probably going to come up too quickly," Lock said. "It makes sense to go to Sydney. It's very tempting and a trip over there and a good look around would really help to furnish the horse." Lock added: "It's not all about the money either, it's about doing the right thing by the horse. The syndicate has already turned down a fortune, we're talking way over $700,000 and he's a gelding." Hiflyer, who Lock has previously described as the most gifted horse he has ever trained, had a good break after finishing second in the Gr2 Easter Stakes at Ellerslie in April and is now building up to his return. "He's on the water walker after he spelled exceptionally well. He's more mature and becoming the real racehorse we want him to be – horses like him don't come along very often," Lock said.
At Ascot racecourse in Perth, Western Australia, Gr1-winning Darley shuttler & 2007 Gr1 Kentucky Derby runner-up Hard Spun (Danzig-Turkish Tryst, by Turkoman) added a Group success when 3YO gelding Gatting (Hard Spun-Stubborn, by Lonhro) scored by 1.75 lengths for trainer Darren Mcauliffe in the $400,000 Gr2 WATC Derby (2400m) for 3YOs, over 3YO fillies Very Tempting (Redoute's Choice-Fit and Ready, by More Than Ready) & Chill The Champers (Artie Schiller-Champagne Amore, by Xaar). Gatting improved his record to 5 wins (including the Listed Melvista Stakes) and 5 placings from 12 starts for $503,600 earnings.
The final field has been declared for the 129th running of the $400,000 Gr2 WATC Derby (2400m) to be run at Ascot this Saturday, 8 April. The barrier draw will be conducted at approximately 8:30am (10:30am AEST) on TABRadio today (Tuesday 4 April). The final field is:
At Ascot racecourse in Perth, Western Australia, Arrowfield Stud's multiple Champion Australian Sire Redoute's Choice (Danehill-Shantha's Choice, by Canny Lad) added a Group quinella when 3YO filly Very Tempting (Redoute's Choice-Fit and Ready, by More Than Ready) scored a narrow 0.25 length win for trainers Grant & Alana Williams in the $250,000 Gr3 WA Oaks (2400m) for 3YO fillies, over fellow 3YO filly and stable-mate Royal Star (Redoute's Choice-Star Encounter, by Jeune) & 3YO filly Just Like Fire (Sakhee's Secret-Jarna's Choice, by Torrential). Owned by prominent WA owner and breeder Bob Peters, Very Tempting was a $420,000 purchase by Belmont Bloodstock Agency at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Vinery Stud. Very Tempting's maiden stakes victory boosted her record to 3 wins and 3 placings (including the Listed WATC Natasha Stakes) from 9 starts for $191,050 earnings.
At Ascot racecourse in Perth, Western Australia, Arrowfield Stud's multiple Champion Australian Sire Redoute's Choice (Danehill-Shantha's Choice, by Canny Lad) added a black-type success when 3YO filly Royal Star (Redoute's Choice-Star Encounter, by Jeune) scored an impressive front-running 2 length win for trainers Grant & Alana Williams in the $100,000 Listed Natasha Stakes (2200m) for 3YO fillies, over fellow fillies Vain Stryker (Authorized-Violet Vain, by Kenvain) & stable-mate Very Tempting (Redoute's Choice-Fit and Ready, by More Than Ready). A homebred for prominent WA owner and breeder Bob Peters, Royal Star improved her record to 3 wins from 4 starts for $100,000 earnings.
Exceptional Sydney sprinter Japonisme (Choisir-Haiku, by Encosta de Lago) continues to surge in betting for the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap tomorrow. According to horseracing.com.au, the Ingham family-owned 3YO gelding has been backed into $3.70 for the big Flemington sprint over 1200m, as a result forcing favourite Chautauqua to drift out to a very tempting $2.50 quote to record another victory in the feature, despite his impost of 58kgs. If successful, Japonisme would give trainer Chris Waller his second successive success in the race. After working with his stable mates Delectation and Counterattack earlier in the week, Waller said Japonisme’s work was probably the best, noting, “He is already a winner at Gr1 level up the straight and he got beaten a head in the Lightning.”