Lightly raced 3YO Viridine (Poet's Voice-Patina, by Anabaa) has come out of his last race in excellent order and is primed for a bold showing in tomorrow's $1 million Group 1 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville, according to Godolphin trainer James Cummings. "He's come out of the Euclase Stakes [Gr2 over 1200m] in very good order. He galloped beautifully on the course proper this morning and he'll be going to the Goodwood," said Cummings. "Even though he's not well off under the conditions of that race, he'll get there in very, very good shape and in a condition that's going to see him perform adequately again at Group 1 level." Cummings added: "If he can improve a bit and find a couple of lengths on his first performance left-handed then I think he's a knockout chance in this race." Viridine has hitherto won 4 of his 9 starts highlighted by the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) in the spring. He also showed his class when finishing third behind smart mares In Her Time & English in the Group 1 Galaxy (1100m) in the autumn.
At Morphettville racecourse in Adelaide, Arrowfield Stud's Gr2-winning and Gr1-placed stallion Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock-Comical Smile, by Comic Strip) added a Group success when 3YO bay filly I'll Have A Bit (Smart Missile-Take All of Me, by Jeune) stormed home down the outside for trainer John McCardle to swallow up a classy field in the $500,000 Gr2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) for 3YOs at a massive starting price of $151, defeating She's So High & Viridine. I'll Have A Bit, who was purchased by Redgum Racing for $48,000 at the 2016 Inglis VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale from the draft of Basinghall Stud, took her record to 2 wins (including the Gr3 National stakes at the same track) and 3 placings (including the Gr2 Moonee Valley Fillies Classic) from 13 starts for $531,435 earnings. Her victory adds further depth to a family that also includes multiple stakes winning second dam Tickle My.
Trainer Gary Portelli is hoping a change in riding tactics will see former star filly She Will Reign return to her best in Saturday's $600,000 Gr2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) at Royal Randwick. Last year's Golden Slipper heroine has been slightly disappointing at her past two outings, finishing 10th and 8th respectively in the Gr1 Oakleigh Plate and Gr1 William Reid Stakes in Melbourne. "At Moonee Valley we rode to suit the race and not herself. She was never comfortable," Portelli told racingnsw.com.au. "They were scorching out in front and the winner came from second last. Had she been back with the winner does she run on strongly like she did when she won the Moir? We'll never know." Portelli says She Will Reign has undergone changes to her physical conformation which will necessarily affect how she is ridden in her races. "She's a different shape. When she was in the Slipper she was short and compact but now she's longer and leaner," Portelli said. "Because she's changed shape it means her action has changed. I feel she's looking to settle and unwind and I'm hoping to see that. She looks absolutely amazing. It probably sounds silly but she's giving the impression she's a 1400m horse now she's a bit older." She Will Reign is rated a $13 chance with TAB for the Arrowfield Sprint. The Godolphin-owned Viridine is the current pre-post favourite at $3.50 ahead of the progressive I Am Excited at $4.60.
Godolphin hold a strong hand in Saturday's Gr2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) at Royal Randwick with smart colts Viridine and Isaurian set to represent the blue army in the $600,000 feature. Already a Gr2 winner of the Roman Consul Stakes in the Spring, Viridine (Poet's Voice) is coming off an excellent third behind open class sprinters In Her Time and English in the Gr1 Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill three weeks ago. "Viridine came out of the Galaxy in good shape and he looks a little better for the run," Cummings told Godolphin.com. "It's a strong test for him. The filly I Am Excited is flying and her form is faultless but I still feel he could show us one of his biggest performances." Cummings is also bullish about the prospects of the highly promising Isaurian (Exceed And Excel), a winner of 2 of his 3 starts and a last-start second to I Am Excited in the Listed Darby Munro Stakes (1200m). "Don't count this colt out," Cummings said. "He has great form around I Am Excited after finishing second in the Darby Munro three weeks ago. If he can get the breaks at the right time he's not without a chance."
At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, former stakes-winning Darley stallion Time Thief (Redoute's Choice-Procrastinate, by Jade Hunter) celebrated an elite race success when 5YO Australian-bred mare In Her Time (Time Thief-Hell It's Hot, by Zeditave) broke through for a well-deserved maiden top-flight success in the $700,000 Gr1 Galaxy (1100m) for 3YO+, defeating English & Viridine. In Her Time, who was passed-in for $38,000 by Kanangra at the 2014 Inglis Classic Sale, improved her record to 8 wins (including the Gr2 Premiere Stakes, Gr2 Millie Fox Stakes, Gr2 Breeders Classic & Listed Sydney Stakes) and 4 placings (including the Gr1 Tatts Tiara & Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap) from 18 starts for $1,890,725 in earnings. "I don't know what to feel at the moment. It probably hasn't sunk in yet," trainer Ben Smith told Sky Racing. "It's something that we've targeted for a long time, winning a Group One with this mare and she finally has now." Smith said In Her Time would have her next start in the $2.5 million Gr1 weight-for-age TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 7 April.
Darley stallion Poet's Voice has died at the age of 11 after suffering a fatal heart attack on Saturday at Dalham Hall Stud in the UK. A winner of the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot, Poet's Voice (Dubawi-Bright Tiara, by Chief's Crown) has hitherto sired 13 individual stakes winners including Poet's Word, winner of the Gr3 Glorious Stakes and runner up in both the Gr1 British and Irish Champion Stakes, Gr2 ATC Roman Consul Stakes winner Viridine, Gr3 winner Poet's Vanity, Australian Listed winning filly My Country, and highly promising WA stayer and multiple stakes winner Trap For Fools. Saeed bin Suroor, who trained Poet's Voice, said: "I am very sad to hear of the death of Poet's Voice and my condolences go to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and everyone connected to him at Darley. He was a pleasure to train, always relaxed in his work and gave his best throughout his career. His victory in the QEII Stakes was very special indeed."
Talented colt Beau Geste will be out to continue Godolphin' recent domination of the Gr2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) on Saturday. Beau Geste will attempt to become the fifth Godolphin or Darley winner of the $250,000 feature in the past nine years, following Morton's Fork (2016), Paximadia (2013), Kidnapped (2009) and Caymans (2008). Trainer James Cummings is buoyant about the 3YOs prospects. "He's come a long way this prep and he goes to Sandown on Saturday with the right lead up to this race," Cummings told Godolphin.com. "I thought he closed off well in the Carbine Club last time out. He'll go for a spell after this and it would be a big thrill to see him go out a winner." Beau Geste (Street Cry-Haut Ton, by Redoute's Choice), a winner of 2 of 6 starts to date, is yet to win at stakes level but boasts placings in the Gr2 ATC Roman Consul Stakes (behind stable-mate Viridine) and most recently in the Gr3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
Trainer James Cummings believes that boom Godolphin colt Viridine (Poet's Voice-Patina, by Anabaa) has had the perfect preparation for Saturday’s stallion-making $1 million Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington. “He was last seen winning the Roman Consul Stakes [Gr2], a race that’s been used as a lead up to the Coolmore quite effectively in the past by horses like Japonisme and Brazen Beau,” Cummings said. “He’s a very fast colt and we’ve been delighted with his training. He comes into this third up and ready to hit an absolute peak. He needs to have gone ahead if he’s going to be winning, but we feel like he’s done that.” Cummings added: “He looks a particularly happy horse and very healthy within himself.” A homebred for Darley, Viridine is a direct descendent of Flight Stakes, Wakeful Stakes & Surround Stakes-winning mare La Caissiere (Luskin Star), dam of Gr1 Thousand Guineas & Gr1 Flight Stakes winner Dashing Eagle. He is unbeaten in his four starts to date.
Golden Rose winner Trapeze Artist is set to resume racing in Saturday’s $1 million Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington, reports ANZ Bloodstock News. Trapeze Artist (Snitzel-Treppes, by Domesday) missed a scheduled run in the Sydney Stakes on 14 October due to a minor neck issue, but trainer Gerald Ryan says he has fully recovered and ready to take his place in the stallion-making feature. “He is a cool dude and nothing worries him,” Ryan said. “He is very quiet and never a problem in the stable. We treated him with anti-inflammatories and he only missed one day of work.” Trapeze Artist is one of 22 three-year-olds nominated for the Coolmore with Godolphin’s unbeaten colt Viridine heading the market at $6.
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Darley's Gr1-winning shuttler Poet's Voice (Dubawi-Bright Tiara, by Chief's Crown) added a Group race success when boom 3YO Godolphin colt Viridine (Poet's Voice-Patina, by Anabaa) maintained his perfect record when winning the $300,000 Gr2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) for 3YOs, defeating Single Bullet & stable-mate Beau Geste. Viridine extended his unbeaten record to 4 wins (including the Listed Heritage Stakes) from 4 starts for $415,000 in earnings. A homebred for Darley, Viridine is a direct descendent of Flight Stakes, Wakeful Stakes & Surround Stakes-winning mare La Caissiere (Luskin Star), dam of Gr1 Thousand Guineas & Gr1 Flight Stakes winner Dashing Eagle. Viridine is now likely to head to the stallion-making Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on 4 November. "We've got a month to go to the Coolmore if that is the way we decide to go and I dare say there is a little more improvement there," trainer James Cummings told the Sydney Morning Herald. "They crawled the first 600m. I don't think I've seen a horse pull that hard at Randwick and still put them away with so much ease over the concluding stages."
Godolphin trainer James Cummings thinks boom colt Viridine can continue his impressive winning run when he contests the Gr2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday. The son of Poet's Voice extended his unbeaten record to three when claiming the Listed ATC Heritage Stakes (1100m) on 16 September, and Cummings sees no reason why he won't maintain his perfect CV in the $300,000 3YO feature. "We've given him an extra week to get over his strong first up win where he wanted to overdo it a bit in the Heritage Stakes," Cummings told Godolphin.com. "Since then he's gone ahead again, the only thing I could say is that he may have worked too well in the lead-up to this race." He added: "He's an impressive three-year-old with an enviable record and if there's more to come, then we have a lot to look forward to." A homebred for Darley, Viridine is out of the Anabaa mare Patina and is a direct descendent of Flight Stakes, Wakeful Stakes & Surround Stakes-winning mare La Caissiere (Luskin Star), dam of Gr1 Thousand Guineas & Gr1 Flight Stakes winner Dashing Eagle. Godolphin will also run Beau Geste in the Roman Consul. "He's been a slow-maturing sprinting type who seems to be coming into his own now," Cummings said. "Physically he's growing stronger the deeper we get into the spring and I feel he's going ahead enough to be competitive."
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Darley's Gr1-winning shuttler Poet's Voice (Dubawi-Bright Tiara, by Chief's Crown) added a black-type success when exciting 3YO Godolphin colt Viridine (Poet's Voice-Patina, by Anabaa) opened his stakes account when saluting in the $125,000 Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) for 3YOs, defeating Single Bullet & Albumin. Viridine extended his unbeaten record to 3 wins from 3 starts for $218,000 in earnings. A homebred for Darley, Viridine is a direct descendent of Flight Stakes, Wakeful Stakes & Surround Stakes-winning mare La Caissiere (Luskin Star), dam of Gr1 Thousand Guineas & Gr1 Flight Stakes winner Dashing Eagle.
Racing Queensland has released an updated order of entry for the $600,000 Gr1 JJ Atkins Stakes (1600m) to be run at Eagle Farm on 10 June. Heading the order of entry is Gr1-wining Kiwi filly Melody Belle, ahead of dual stakes-winning Queensland colt Ours to Keep. Recent stakes winners Tangled, Debonairly, and Taking Aim also figure prominently. Melody Belle currently shares TAB favouritism with Chris Waller's progressive colt and Gr2 BRC Champagne Stakes winner Tangled at $6, ahead of Gr2 Champagne Stakes runner-up All Too Huiying, boom Kiwi Qiji Phoenix, Taking Aim & Viridine all at $11. Click here to view the latest order of entry.