2018

NZ Breds Nominated for Hong Kong Awards

Wednesday, 4th July 2018

New Zealand-bred horses have enjoyed a great season in Hong Kong, winning six of the 24 stakes races, and have been rewarded with nominations in every category in the Hong Kong Champion awards, reports NZ Racing Desk. In total, New Zealand-bred horses won 227 races for total earnings of HK$309,878,295. Four have been nominated for the Hong Kong Horse of the Year title, namely triple Group 1 winner Beauty Generation, quality sprinter D B Pin, Hong Kong Derby winner Ping Hai Star, and 2015-16 Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther. Meanwhile, Pick Number One and Ugly Warrior are both nominees for Champion Griffin and Fifty Fifty joins Ping Hai Star and Pingwu Spark as New Zealand-bred nominees for Most Improved Horse. Winners of the 2017/18 Champion Awards will be announced at The Hong Kong Jockey Club Champion Awards presentation ceremony which will be held on 13 July at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Hong Kong.

Mikki Rocket Wins Gr1 Takarazuka Kinen

Tuesday, 26th June 2018

At Hanshin racecourse in Japan, 5YO Japanese-bred gelding Mikki Rocket (King Kamehameha-Moneycantbuymelove, by Pivotal) captured his first Group 1 title when holding off the late challenge of New Zealand-bred gelding and former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther (Tavistock) in the Gr1 Takarazuka Kinen (2200m) on Sunday. Noble Mars (Jungle Pocket) finished third. "Mikki Rocket was in great shape after a good fourth in the Tenno Sho (Spring) and in training towards this race so I was secretly thinking that maybe it was time that he deserved to be a G1 winner. I am relieved and happy," said trainer Hidetaka Otonashi. Werther's trainer John Moore felt that with a better preparation the Hong Kong raider could have won. "With a better draw, I reckon we could have won. He lost a lot of weight but he was all heart. He knows where the winning post is and considering he was racing with the weight loss, he still showed a lot of internal fortitude to hit that line. Hugh [jockey High Bowman] said that at the corner when he hit that straight, he thought he was going to win but the winner just kept grinding to the line. But from a Hong Kong point of view, I think we've shown how good our best stayer is," said Moore. Mikki Rocket improved his record to 5 wins (including the Gr2 Nikkei Shinshun Hai) and 6 placings from 22 starts for ¥362,478,000 in earnings.

Milseain's Future To Be Confirmed

Wednesday, 28th March 2018

Immediate plans for well-bred Kiwi filly Milseain are yet to be decided, reports NZ Racing Desk. By Tavistock out of the Zabeel mare Bagalollies, Milseain is a full-sister to former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther and Gr3 Auckland Cup winner Gobstopper. Like her siblings, the 3YO has looked a smart prospect placing in the New Zealand Oaks (2400m), Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic (2000m), Gr3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) and Gr3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) this preparation. "We'll keep her ticking over and see how she is in the next few days," co-trainer Andrew Forsman said. "She won't be going to Sydney though and she'll be much better next time in."

Werther Sibling Chasing Stakes Honours

Thursday, 1st March 2018

Well-bred Kiwi filly Milseain will be out to claim a valuable maiden stakes win in today's Gr3 Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings, reports NZ Racing Desk. The sister to multiple Group 1 winner and former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther has made a promising start to her career with a win on debut followed by placings in the Gr3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) and Gr2 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic (2000m). "Obviously she's only had a handful of starts and she is getting better with each run," said Andrew Forsman, who trains with Murray Baker. By Tavistock out of the Zabeel mare Bagalollies, Milseain was a $300,000 purchase at the 2016 NZB Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Highden Park. Apart from Werther, she is also a full-sister to Gr3 Auckland Cup winner Gobstopper. Arguably the hardest to beat for Milseain will be the Tony Pike-trained Treasure who is among the favoured runners for next month's NZ Oaks.

Time Warp Wins Gr1 Hong Kong Gold Cup

Monday, 26th February 2018

At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, 5YO UK-bred gelding Time Warp (Archipenko-Here To Eternity, by Stormy Atlantic) claimed the second top-flight win of his career when gripping on for a strong front-running victory in the HK$10 million Gr1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m), defeating Werther & Seasons Bloom. Time Warp, who began his career in Europe, advanced his record to 10 wins (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Cup & Listed Prix de Pontarme) and 7 placings (including the Gr2 Jockey Club Cup) from 25 starts for £2,603,020 in earnings.

Seasons Bloom Wins Gr1 Stewards' Cup

Monday, 29th January 2018

At  Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, Raheen Stud's deceased Gr1 Epsom Handicap winning stallion Captain Sonador (Shamardal-Pushing Daisies, by Kenny's Best Pal) celebrated an elite race success when 5YO Australian-bred gelding Seasons Bloom (Captain Sonador-Pyramisa’s Lass, by Not A Single Doubt) broke through for his first win at the highest level with a strong performance in the HK$10 million Gr1 Stewards' Cup (1600m), defeating Fifty Fifty & Werther. Purchased for $26,000 by Ampulla Lodge at the 2013 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale, Seasons Bloom advanced his record to 7 wins (including the Gr2 Jockey Club Mile) and 3 placings (including the Gr3 HKJC Celebration Cup, Listed Hong Kong Classic Cup & Listed Hong Kong Classic Mile) from 16 starts for $3,139,259 in earnings.

Boom Opening Session at Karaka 2018

Monday, 29th January 2018

New Zealand Bloodstock’s Karaka Sale ring saw an excellent opening session of the 2018 National Yearling Sales Series last night. A brand new format saw the first 100 Lots of the new Book 1 go through the ring, with heated bidding setting a positive tone for the new four-day session. A strong buying bench of both overseas and local buyers competed keenly for the selection on offer, with the clearance rate of 81% a good indicator of the strength of the demand. "With no comparable Sale, we won’t get the full measure of the sale from a statistics point of view until the end of the week, but all early indications point to a great week ahead," NZB’s managing director Andrew Seabrook said. "This is probably the best opening session we’ve seen at Karaka to date, and with really good reports on the overall quality on offer this year, and great depth to the buying bench, it bodes well for the momentum to continue." A total of 76 lots were sold for $11.5 million at an average of $151,382, with an extremely pleasing clearance rate of 81%. In total 11 lots sold for $300,000 or more. Two yearlings shared top honours on day one selling for $500,000 apiece. Byerley Park-based training duo Bruce Wallace and Allan Peard secured the top-equal price of the opening session with a colt by More Than Ready out of the Redoute's Choice mare Buckling (Lot 84). The colt is a half-brother to Gr2 winner Ego and is a direct descendant of celebrated blue hen Denise's Joy. The other top lot was the filly by Tavistock x Bagalollies, by Zabeel (Lot 48), a full-sister to Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther who was knocked down to Dean Hawthorne for $500,000. Meanwhile, Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis emerged as the leading buyer on day one with eight yearlings purchased for $1.03 million at an average of $128,750. Book 1 continues today from 11am (local time) with Lots 101 to 320.

more than ready colt

More Than Ready x Buckling colt (image: NZB)

NZB Karaka Day-1: $500K For Werther Sister

Monday, 29th January 2018

Bloodstock agent Dean Hawthorne secured the equal top seller on day one of the 2018 NZB National Yearling Sales Series at Karaka last night when paying $500,000 for a full sister to Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther and Gr3 winner Gobstopper. Consigned by Highden Park as Lot 48, the filly is out of the good producing Zabeel mare Bagalollies. The plan is for the filly to remain in New Zealand for six months before heading to Australia where her owners are based. "She’s athletic, neat, and a good Tavistock filly," said Hawthorne. "We love the pedigree and what the mares do. We have seen some nice fillies in this Sale and there are some nice Tavistock’s still to come." Hawthorne added: "The stayers in New Zealand are the best in the southern hemisphere."

Filly Of the Year Series Leader Returns

Friday, 19th January 2018

The New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series continues tomorrow with the running of the sixth leg, the $70,000 Gr3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham. The fillies feature sees the return of current table-topper Dijon Bleu (Burgundy). The Lisa Latta-trained filly has led the Series from the start, winning the first leg – the Gr3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings in September. She then finished second in the Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and Gr3 Eulogy Stakes (1550m), boosting her total to 16 points. Dijon Bleu will maintain her Series lead regardless of Saturday's result, with 6 points available to the winner and her nearest rival in the field, The Lustre (Darci Brahma), sitting on 3.5. Larima (Pour Moi) was a fast-finishing fourth in the Eulogy and Sandrine (Savabeel) finished seventh in the Gr2 Eight Carat Classic, while the rest of the Desert Gold field will make their Filly of the Year Series debut. They include a number of impressive last-start winners such as Swiss Precision (Swiss Ace), Rondinella (Ocean Park), and Milseain (Tavistock), a full-sister to Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther. In addition to the 6 points on offer to the Desert Gold Stakes winner, there are 3 points for second and 1.5 for third. Click here to view runner comments.

Werther Sister to Fly Stable Flag

Thursday, 18th January 2018

Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman will be relying on the raw talent of a well-related filly to defend the stable's title in Saturday's Gr3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham, reports NZ Racing Desk. The champion Cambridge trainers won the 3YO fillies feature 12 months ago with Nicoletta while their subsequent multiple Group One winner Bonneval finished third. "We had a strong hand last year and this year it will be up to Milseain, a full-sister to Werther," Forsman said. "She won her first start at Hastings and while it was a maiden race she did it all well." By Tavistock out of the Zabeel mare Bagalollies, Milseain was a $300,000 purchase at the 2016 NZB Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Highden Park. Apart from Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther, Milseain is also a full-sister to Gr3 Auckland Cup winner Gobstopper. Milseain looked a very smart filly indeed when bounding clear over the concluding stages to score an easy debut win in the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Maiden Stakes (1400m) on New Year's Day. "The race turned a bit ugly and wasn't run how we thought so for a green filly to overcome all that at her first start was very impressive and she's got the pedigree to match," Forsman said. "She lacks a bit of ring craft, but hopefully she can do it." Highden Park will offer a full-sister to Werther and Milseain (Lot 48) during Book 1 of the upcoming NZB Premier Yearling Sale.

Karaka Distaff Lines Boast Rare Residual Value

Wednesday, 17th January 2018

The last five racing seasons have seen New Zealand mares produce in excess of 270 stakes winners and 39 Gr1 winners in Australia alone. These include an array of Gr1-winning sires the ilk of Dundeel (ex Stareel), Mongolian Kahn (ex Centafit), Sacred Falls (ex Iguazu's Girl), Tarzino (ex Zarzino), Tivaci (ex Breccia) and Turn Me Loose (ex Indomitable). From a racetrack perspective, Champion mare Winx is a daughter of NZ mare Vegas Showgirl, while Gr1 winners Terravista and Tiger Tees (both ex Parfore) and triple Gr1 winner Gingernuts (ex Double Elle) exemplify the distaff depth of the New Zealand market. This year's Karaka Sale is represented by a swathe of female Gr1 gold including:

  • Daughters of Gr1 winning mares - Arapaho Miss (Lot 34), Honor Babe (Lot 259), Keepa Cruisin (Lot 305), Lashed (Lot 329), Miss Raggedy Ann (Lot 397), Prize Lady (Lot 499), Seachange (Lot 561), Shez Sinsational (Lot 577) and Soriano (Lot 608)
  • Full-sisters to Group 1 winners - Werther (Lot 48), Recite (Lot 101) and Turn Me Loose (Lot 272)
  • Half-sisters to Group 1 winners - Shamrocker and Rock Diva (Lot 77), Music Magnate (Lot 119), Maco'Reilly (Lot 169), Gingernuts (Lot 170), Sound Proposition (Lot 180), Miss Keepsake (Lot 285), Melody Belle (Lot 371), Nashville (Lot 533), I Am a Star (Lot 619), Veloce Bella (Lot 694), Shootoff (Lot 725) and Miss Mossman (Lot 786)

Proven Sires in Force at Karaka 2018

Wednesday, 10th January 2018

Global powerhouse sires from the ranks of Australasia’s best stud farms will be represented at the fast-approaching 2018 National Yearling Sales with preceding feature-race winners boosting their demand. Waikato Stud titan and reigning Champion New Zealand Sire Savabeel made a clean sweep of New Zealand’s major sire awards for the second consecutive season and is the sire of Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner Embellish, among others. Amassing an aggregate of $11.46 million in the Premier session alone last year, his 2018 Karaka crop features an impressive 75 yearlings in Book 1 including full siblings to Group 1 winners Costume (Lot 163) and Brambles (Lot 493). There are also the progeny of Group 1 winning dams A Touch of Ruby (Lot 44), Irish Fling (Lot 280), Katie Lee (Lot 301) and Legs (Lot 336). Another sire with significant representation at Karaka 2018 is Haunui Farm’s Iffraaj who sired a Group 1 Derby winner on both sides of the Tasman last season – Gingernuts in the New Zealand Derby and Jon Snow in the Australian Derby. The Champion 3YO Sire in New Zealand will have 39 progeny at Karaka across all three Book’s including a full-sister to Champion Sprinter and multiple Group 1 winner Turn Me Loose (Lot 272) and a half-sister to Group 1 winner I Am a Star (Lot 619). Cambridge Stud's Tavistock will be represented by the largest crop with 96 of his yearlings to go under the hammer across Book 1 and Book 2 including a full-sister to Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther (Lot 48). Click here to view a detailed synopsis of the sire talent at Karaka 2018.

Karaka 2018 Schedule

  • Karaka Million Twilight Meeting: Saturday 27 January
  • Book 1: Sunday 28 – Wednesday 31 January
  • Book 2: Thursday 1 & Friday 2 February
  • Book 3: Sunday 4 February

Gobstopper To Run Them Ragged In Marton

Friday, 5th January 2018

Tomorrow's lone feature race in Australia and New Zealand, Awapuni's Listed Gallagher Marton Cup (2100m), could be all over bar the shouting at the turn if Gobstopper runs to his usual pattern. One of the best named horses in an industry known for some clever monikers, the 5YO son of Tavistock is out of the Zabeel mare Bagalollies, a pedigree which gives him license to run his races like recently knighted UK distance athete Mo Farah. Last start winner of the Gr3 New Zealand Cup at Riccarton, Gobstopper has a penchant for rolling to the front in his races and them simply grinding his opposition into the ground with his catch me if you can antics. With maturity, the brother to multiple Hong Kong Gr1 winner Werther is a very different horse to the 3YO that finished well down the field in 2016's Gr1 New Zealand Derby. His only possible drawback is a 7 week break between runs. Stunningly-bred Seraphim could be the knock out hope. By Rip Van Winkle, Seraphim is a 5YO daughter of Gr1 Caulfield Cup & Melbourne Cup heroine Ethereal (ex Romanee Conti), and runs in the familiar silks of Pencarrow Stud's principal Sir Peter Vela. After winning her past two, and placed in 9 of her 12 starts, this is Seraphim's first start beyond a mile and her first outing in stakes company.

2017

Time Warp Wins Gr1 Hong Kong Cup

Monday, 11th December 2017

At Sha Tin in Hong Kong, 4YO UK-bred gelding Time Warp (Archipenko-Here To Eternity, by Stormy Atlantic) landed the biggest prize of his career when scoring a powerful front-running victory in the HK$25 million Gr1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m), defeating Werther & Neorealism. Time Warp, who began his career in Europe, improved his record to 9 wins (including the Listed Prix de Pontarme) and 7 placings (including the Gr2 Jockey Club Cup) from 23 starts for £2,081,457 in earnings. Trainer Tony Cruz said he was not surprised by the win. “It’s no big surprise to me. The horse has been pushing me to run in this class of race and I believe there is a lot of horse in him. 2000 metres around this course is perfect for him. If he has it his way, nobody can beat him," he said.

Werther Pre-Race Antics Guide to Gr1 Prospects

Friday, 8th December 2017

Meanwhile, Werther's former trainer Andrew Campbell has provided an insight that may give a clue as to the horse's chances in Sunday's Gr1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin, reports NZ Racing Desk. Campbell said the New Zealand-bred former Hong Kong Horse of the Year's pre-race demeanour could be an indicator of his winning prospects. "When he won the Hong Kong Derby the lady doing the commentary from the birdcage said she didn't like him – he was trying to kick out at the strapper so as soon as she said that I rang Tommy [co-breeder Tommy Heptinstall] and said whatever you've got on, double it," explained Campbell. "When the horse is like that he's right. He's a loner and likes to be left alone." Werther (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel), now trained by champion Hong Kong horseman John Moore, already has four Group 1 victories to his credit, namely the Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup, Gr1 Hong Kong Gold Cup, Gr1 Hong Kong Derby & Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup. "It's a bit of a surprise, I didn't think he was a world beater," Campbell said. "I knew he was a really smart horse, but all the breed gets so much better with time – just like his brother Gobstopper."

Gobstopper Wins Gr3 New Zealand Cup

Monday, 20th November 2017

At Riccarton in New Zealand, Cambridge Stud's dual Gr1-winning stallion Tavistock (Montjeu-Upstage, by Quest For Fame) added a Group race success when 5YO New Zealand-bred gelding Gobstopper (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel) outstayed his rivals to record a comprehensive win in the 154th running of the $250,000 Gr3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) for 3YO+, defeating Pentathlon & Kaharau. Gobstopper, who is a full-brother to multiple Gr1 winner and Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther, improved his record to 6 wins and 2 placings from 21 starts for NZ$198,656 in earnings. "We decided to target this race right from the time he came back in. He's a lightly-framed horse so he doesn't need much racing," trainer Andrew Campbell told NZ Racing Desk. "He's only going to get better with time like his brother Werther."

Werther Wins Gr2 Jockey Club Cup

Monday, 20th November 2017

At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, Cambridge Stud's dual Gr1-winning stallion Tavistock (Montjeu-Upstage, by Quest For Fame) added a Group race success when 6YO New Zealand-bred gelding Werther (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel) returned to the winner’s circle with a workman-like victory in the HK$4 million Gr2 Jockey Club Cup (2000m), defeating Time Warp & Nassa. Werther, the 2016 Hong Kong Horse of the Year, advanced his record to 10 wins (including the Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup, Gr1 Hong Kong Gold Cup, Gr1 Hong Kong Derby & Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup) and 10 placings (including the Gr1 South Australian Derby & Gr1 Queensland Derby) from 26 starts for $8,181,853 in earnings.

World-Class Entries for Hong Kong International Races

Friday, 27th October 2017

A total of 293 horses have been nominated at the first stage for the HK$84.5 million Hong Kong International Races which will take place at Sha Tin racecourse on Sunday, 10 December. The meeting consists of four Group One events, namely the HK$25 million Gr1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m), the HK$23 million Gr1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m), the HK$18.5 million Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m), and the HK$18 million Gr1 Hong Kong Vase (2400m). Among the overseas stars entered are top-class UK miler Ribchester, Ballydoyle stable-mates Highland Reel and Roly Poly, Japan's QEII Cup winner Neorealism, and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe runner-up Cloth Of Stars. The home contingent includes former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther, last year's Hong Kong Mile winner Beauty Only, and gun sprinters Lucky Bubbles and Mr Stunning. There are 17 Australian horses entered, including Gr1 winners Vega Magic, Redkirk Warrior, and Boom Time, as well as Takedown and In Her Time.

Redkirk Warrior

Redkirk Warrior is among the Australian entries (pic: Mark Gatt)

New Zealand Pair Sold To Hong Kong

Thursday, 5th October 2017

Following the recent sale of winner Lisdoonvarna to Australian interests, a further two talented New Zealand bred 3YO's have been confirmed as sold to Hong Kong, reports theinformant.co.nz. Trainer Andrew Campbell has advised that Waldorf and Getty will join the respective stables of high ranking trainers Tony Cruz and Dennis Yip. Campbell acknowledged, "The sales for both Waldorf and Getty have been completed. I pulled Waldorf out of the Hawke's Bay Guineas this morning. He added, "It's a shame to see them go as they're both smart young horses, but the money was too good to turn down. They'll do well in Hong Kong, they're the right type of horses for up there." Waldorf and Getty will be aiming to follow in the footsteps of previous Campbell stable exports such as triple Gr1 winner Werther. Waldorf (Highly Recommended–Skite, by Pins) departs with three victories. He is a half-brother to Gr3 Winter Cup winner Timy Flyer, while Getty (Excelebration–Cousin Katerina, by Stravinsky) leaves with 2 wins from only 3 starts and a pedigree that includes Champion Gr1 Cox Plate winner Ocean Park.

Ruthven HK Bound

Monday, 3rd July 2017

Queensland Derby winner Ruthven (Domesday-Ruddigore, by Octagonal) has been sold and will continue his racing career out of the powerful John Moore stable in Hong Kong, reports AAP. Formerly trained by Ciaron Maher, Ruthven advanced his record to 3 wins from 10 starts when bonding to an emphatic 4 length victory in the $600,000 winter classic at Doomben last month. Moore seems to have an affinity with Queensland Derby performers with 2015 runner-up Werther going on to claim Hong Kong Horse of the Year honours, while 2016 QLD Derby winner Eagle Way is also making a name for himself in the former British colony with 2 wins, including the Gr3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup, and a last-start third behind Werther in the Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup.

Hong Kong Awards Finalists Announced

Thursday, 29th June 2017

The final nominees for 2016/17 The Hong Kong Jockey Club Champion Awards have been announced. Winners of the Champion Awards will be announced at The Hong Kong Jockey Club Champion Awards 2016/2017 presentation ceremony to be held on Friday, 14 July, at the Grand Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. The Champion Awards Judging Panel has also decided to present Lifetime Achievement Awards to Able Friend and Aerovelocity, in recognition of their great contributions to Hong Kong racing. The finalists are:

  • Horse of the Year: elected by votes of the Judging Panel from winners of the respective categories, excluding the Champion Griffin
  • Champion Sprinter: Aerovelocity, Lucky Bubbles, Mr Stunning, Peniaphobia
  • Champion Miler: Beauty Only, Contentment, Helene Paragon, Rapper Dragon, Thewizardofoz
  • Champion Middle-Distance Horse: Pakistan Star, Rapper Dragon, Secret Weapon, Werther
  • Champion Stayer: Eagle Way, Werther
  • Champion Griffin: Bravo Watchman, Ivictory, Premiere, Regency Bo Bo, Sight Leader

Internationals Lured To Challenge Winx Cox Dominance

Friday, 9th June 2017

In an effort to at least make the 2017 instalment of the Gr1 Cox Plate mildly competitive, leading international gallopers from five major racing nations have been extended an “all-expenses paid trip” to make the journey to Moonee Valley this October to take on the World’s Best Turf Horse, reports theage.com.au. Although the Coolmore-owned Adelaide was superior to all in the 2014 running, high quality horses such as Highland Reel and French import Vadamos have been uncompetitive against Winx in the past two years. One stumbling block for the MVRC, as it is each year, will be attempting to lure the thoroughbred elite like French prepared Almanzoor and the Aidan O’Brien mare Minding at the same time as one of the world’s premier races, the Gr1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, is run in Paris. Chief among contenders to make the trip Downunder appear to be Japanese Derby winner Makahahi, and possibly Godolphin-trained Ribchester, although he is yet to shine beyond a mile. Also invited will be Champion Hong Kong galloper Werther, ironically often partnered by Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman, while Hong Kong QEII winner Neorealism, another part of a strong Japanese juggernaut is also likely to be pursued. Last year’s Gr1 Caulfield Cup runner-up, Scottish, may also return, with trainer Charlie Appleby sure to have the Cox Plate in his sights. MVRC CEO Michael Browell commented, "The Club has sought to invite the world's premier middle distance weight-for-age horses and, working in conjunction with Racing Victoria's International Agent Leigh Jordon, we are confident we have identified horses that may be attracted by our lucrative prizemoney and incentives.” He added, "The recent global recognition of the W.S. Cox Plate undoubtedly helped us market our race to international connections, but there is no denying the two-sided effect Winx can have on the race."

Werther Wins Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup

Monday, 29th May 2017

At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, Cambridge Stud's dual Gr1-winning stallion Tavistock (Montjeu-Upstage, by Quest For Fame) celebrated an elite race success when 5YO New Zealand-bred gelding Werther (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel) bounded clear over the final 100 metres to score by 3 lengths for trainer John Moore and jockey Hugh Bowman in the final Gr1 race of the Hong Kong season – the HK$10 million Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup (2400m), defeating Blazing Speed (Dylan Thomas) & Eagle Way (More Than Ready). Werther, the reigning Hong Kong Horse of the Year, advanced his record to 9 wins (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Gold Cup Gr1 Hong Kong Derby & Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup) and 10 placings (including the Gr1 South Australian Derby & Gr1 Queensland Derby) from 24 starts for $7,796,490 earnings.

Significant Pedigree Updates for NZB National Weanling Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale

Wednesday, 3rd May 2017

New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale, which will be held at Karaka on Monday and Tuesday next week, has had numerous significant pedigree updates since the catalogues went to print in late March. Among the most significant is Lot 153, Novara Park’s weanling filly by Jakkalberry out of La Pinnicle. She hails from the same family as Gr1 Australian Derby winner Jon Snow as well as Showemup, who won the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes and placed in the Listed NZB Warstep Stakes to claim the title of NZB Southern Filly of the Year. Lots 87, 113 and 369 are all related to Gr1 Australian Cup winner Humidor, while Lot 245, a Proisir filly out of Safari Sunset, is closely related to Dixie Blossoms who finished third in the Gr1 Queen of the Turf Stakes in Sydney. Lot 278 is closely related to the Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther, whose race record includes wins in the Hong Kong Derby, Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup, Gr1 Hong Kong Gold Cup, along with a third in last Sunday’s Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup. To view all a detailed summary of recent pedigree updates click here. NZB’s National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale will be held at Karaka on Monday and Tuesday, commencing at 10am each day. Lots will be available for inspection from Saturday morning. Click here to view the catalogue.

Proven Vendors Present Quality Drafts at May Sale

Monday, 1st May 2017

New Zealand Bloodstock's National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale will feature drafts offered by 51 proven and highly respected New Zealand thoroughbred nurseries. Last year's leading vendor Curraghmore is again likely to play a big part, presenting 18 weanlings, two yearlings and three broodmares who are in foal to Power, Proisir and El Roca. The Curraghmore weanlings include progeny of proven sires Savabeel, Makfi and Uncle Mo and newcomers such as El Roca and Wandjina. Curraghmore owner Gordon Cunningham said he believes the Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock is going from strength to strength every year. "From a buying perspective, I have no doubt that there is more opportunity for pinhooking value at Karaka in May than at any other sale throughout Australasia," he said. Nick and Anne-Marie King's Brighthill Farm finished a close second among vendors in last year's Sale with 15 horses selling for a total of $678,200. Brighthill Farm will offer 23 horses at this year's Sale – 13 weanlings, a two-year-old and nine broodmares. Five of Brighthill's weanlings are by Dalghar, with progeny of leading sires Savabeel and Iffraaj also featured. Lot 113, by Savabeel out of Hameeda, is closely related to the recent Gr1 Australian Cup winner Humidor, while Lot 278 is out of Sunset Stripper, a half-sister to the dam of Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther. For William Fell of Goodwood Stud, the return to Karaka for next month's Sale will bring special memories having sold Gr1 New Zealand Derby and Gr1 Rosehill Guineas winner Gingernuts as a weanling. Goodwood will offer six horses at this year's Sale, all weanlings. The catalogue also features stock from quality New Zealand breeding operations Haunui Farm, Little Avondale Stud, Mapperley Stud, Waikato Stud, Wentwood Grange, Westbury Stud and Windsor Park Stud to name a few. NZB's National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale will be held at Karaka on 8 and 9 May, with the broodmares selling on the second day from Lot 324. Click here to view the catalogue.

Neorealism Wins Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup

Monday, 1st May 2017

At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, 6YO Japanese entire Neorealism (Neo Universe-Tokio Reality, by Meadowlake), a three-quarter-brother to Arrowfield Stud stallion Real Impact, scored by a neck for trainer Noriyuki Hori in the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2000m), defeating the fast finishing Pakistan Star & defending champion Werther. Jockey Joao Moreira, who claimed a 5-win haul on the day, celebrated his first win in the HK$20 million feature. “When you win a race like this for the first time, it is always special,” Moreira told the South China Morning Post. Neorealism improved his record to 8 wins and 3 placings (including the Gr1 Kyoto Mile Championship) from 19 starts for ¥397,006,150 in earnings.

Prebble Talks Up The United States' Prospects

Thursday, 27th April 2017

Ex-pat Australian jockey Brett Pebble thinks owner Lloyd Williams has chosen a good year to have a tilt at one of Hong Kong's most prestigious races, the Gr1 QEII Cup (2000m), reports racing.com. Prebble, who won the 2012 Melbourne Cup for Team Williams aboard Green Moon, will reunite with the Macedon Lodge stable when he partners The United States (Galileo-Beauty is Truth, by Pivotal) in Sunday's HK$20 million feature at Sha Tin. "If you're going to have a throw at the stumps, this is a good year to have a crack at it," Prebble said. "Werther is obviously a stand-out. With rain about, he definitely excels on that and he takes it to a new level on it but it's not a stellar field I would say." He added: "But on his best The United States would be putting his head out." Prebble has been based in Hong Kong for 13 years but is yet to win a QEII Cup. "I'd like this one on my CV. This is one race that I'd love to win in Hong Kong. I've won the Derby and it's one of the majors on the calendar and so it's good to get a decent ride," he said.

Tavistock Unchanged In Cambridge Stud Fee Announcement

Friday, 14th April 2017

Sir Patrick Hogan has announced that Tavistock's 2017 service fee will remain unchanged at $65,000 + GST with a live foal guarantee. In announcing the fee, Sir Patrick has promised to restrict Tavistock's book of mares this season after admitting he allowed the exciting young sire to serve too many mares in recent years. "He's had two or three hectic years. We had more than 300 applications to Tavistock last year and I had planned on restricting him to 160 mares," Sir Patrick says. With stars such as Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther, 4-time Gr1 winner Volkstok'n'barrell, Victoria Derby winner Tarzino, and Australian Derby winner Tavago representing him on the local and international stage, Sir Patrick admitted he did have some serious thinking to do before deciding not to raise Tavistock's service fee. "Marcus [Corban, stud manager] and I have just returned from Sydney and the demand from Australian breeders has remained strong. We took nearly 30 applications for bookings to Tavistock just in the few days we were there," Sir Patrick said. Meanwhile, Power's service fee has increased to $12,500 plus GST with live foal guarantee on the back of a terrific season for the sire. "He's second overall leading sire of New Zealand-based sires of two-year-olds and he's leading first-crop sire for New Zealand and England. He's had a Group Two winner here in Gift Of Power and she's returning to work shortly in preparation for a campaign aimed at the 1000 Guineas," Sir Patrick said. Burgundy has also attracted a fee increase to $7000 plus GST with live foal guarantee after a strong start for the Redoute's Choice stallion, while proven Gr1 Danehill sire Keeper's fee has been reduced to $5000 plus GST plus live foal guarantee for 2017. The full roster is:

  • Tavistock – $65,000 + GST
  • Power – $12,500 + GST
  • Burgundy - $7,000 + GST
  • Keeper - $5,000 + GST

Significant Easter Sale Pedigree Updates

Friday, 24th March 2017

There is a strong list of pedigree updates for the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale (Apr 4-6) which will be the last ever at Newmarket before the company’s move to Riverside Stables at Warwick Farm. Among they key updates are:

  • Lot 86 (Shamus Award x Courgette filly). Her half-sister She Will Reign won the Gr1 Golden Slipper Stakes, and is Australia’s highest rated juvenile this season.
  • Lot 48 (Tavistock x Bagalollies filly). Her brother Werther won the Group 1 Hong Kong Gold Cup last month.
  • Lot 84 (Snitzel x Colorado Claire filly). Her three-quarter brother is Gunnison, an undefeated son of Not A Single Doubt whose winning run most recently includes the Group 2 Todman Stakes.
  • Lot 228 (Smart Missile x Miss Dodwell filly). Her half-sister Kenedna won the Group 3 Vanity Stakes at Flemington in February.
  • Lot 251 (Pierro x Musidora colt). His brother Tulip won the Group 3 Magic Night Stakes and finished third in the Golden Slipper.
  • Lot 256 (Snitzel x National Colour filly). Her three-quarter brother Rafeef won the Group 2 Hawaii Stakes at Turffontein earlier this month.
  • Lot 267 (Exceed And Excel x Nureyev’s Girl filly). Her half-brother Hardham is a last-start Group 2 winner of the Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley.

She Will Reign

2017 Golden Slipper heroine She Will Reign (pic: Steve Hart)

Dubai Off For Werther

Thursday, 2nd March 2017

Werther (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel) will not run in the Dubai World Cup after all following a surprise change of heart from his owner on Tuesday morning, reports the South China Morning Post. The reigning Hong Kong Horse of the Year, who had missed the early part of this season due to a right hind suspensory injury, returned to his brilliant best when scoring a determined win in the Gr1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on Sunday. Trainer John Moore said he was surprised and disappointed to receive a text from Johnson Chen saying that: "in consideration of the climate change, travelling pains and the fact that Werther has just recovered from injury" Chen had decided the horse should not travel to Dubai. "I'm disappointed because I thought the horse had a great chance of winning the race," Moore said. "Most of the horses I've travelled away have come back and won Group One races after, and I wasn't bothered about the trip away from that view point. Anyway, it's the owner's decision in the final analysis so we're staying here to target the QE II Cup and Champions & Chater again." Moore said he is likely to drop Werther back to Group Two company for the Chairman's Trophy (1600m) on 9 April as a prep for the QEII Cup.

Werther Wins Gr1 Hong Kong Gold Cup

Monday, 27th February 2017

At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, Cambridge Stud's dual Gr1-winning stallion Tavistock (Montjeu-Upstage, by Quest For Fame) celebrated an elite success when 5YO New Zealand-bred gelding Werther (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel) scored by a short head for trainer John Moore and jockey Hugh Bowman in the HK$10 million Gr1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m), over 8YO UK-bred gelding Blazing Speed (Dylan Thomas-Leukippids, by Sadler's Wells) & 6YO UK-bred gelding Secret Weapon (Choisir-Just Devine, by Montjeu). Werther boosted his record to 8 wins (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Derby & Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup) and 9 placings (including the Gr1 South Australian Derby & Gr1 Queensland Derby) from 21 starts for $6,431,626 earnings. Werther, who had missed the early part of this season due to a right hind suspensory injury, was having his first start since returning with a sixth placing in the Gr1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) on 30 January. Trainer John Moore confirmed Werther will now be aimed at the US$6 million Gr1 Dubai Turf (1800m) on 25 March. "I always thought he’d come back to his best, I was more worried about his quirkiness than his injury,” Moore said. “Winning the QEII like he did, it put him top five in the planet on turf, so we know that we’ve got a very special horse, but it took something else for him to win today." Moore added: "If he goes to Dubai he’d have to be a legitimate chance, regardless of the field." Jockey Hugh Bowman said: “I don’t get too carried away with international ratings because it’s hard to assess, but I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s in the top 10 horses in the world on turf, this horse."

Easter Catalogue: Best Of The Best

Monday, 30th January 2017

The highlights of the 2017 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale catalogue, now available online, reads as a global who's who of the turf. There are 129 siblings to Stakes winners including 39 Gr1 winners such as Flying Artie, Extreme Choice, Divine Prophet, Yankee Rose, Shooting To Win, Able Friend, Werther, Preferment, Abbey Marie, English, Shamus Award, Dundeel and Star Witness. There are three colts by Frankel (ex Gr3 winner Precious Lorraine, Listed winner Lovetorn, and half-brother to Gr1 winner Fenway), two colts and one filly by leading USA sire Tapit, a filly by Sea The Stars (from Gr3 winner Ready To Lift) and one colt by Shamardal. Snitzel is the leading stallion overall with 44 progeny, ahead of Redoute's Choice (36), Sebring (35), Pierro (33), Fastnet Rock (27) and Medaglia d'Oro (26). Ten First Season Sires are also represented - Zoustar, Fiorente, Dundeel, Shamus Award, Camelot, Dawn Approach, Declaration of War, The Factor, Fighting Sun and Epaulette. Of the 480 Lots to be offered, 146 Lots are from Stakes-winning mares – including 22 Gr1 winners and first foals from Samaready, Secret Admirer, Gondokoro and Steps In Time – and 304 Lots contain black type in the first dam. Arrowfield is the leading vendor with 51 Lots, followed by Widden (36) and Coolmore (32). Chairman John Messara is thrilled with the Arrowfield draft. "We have a very strong draft of 51 yearlings for Easter, which has something for everyone,'' Mr Messara said. Inglis National Bloodstock Manager Jonathan D'Arcy described the catalogue as: "truly world class and representative of the enormous investment that Australasian breeders have put into the bloodstock industry over the past 10 years.'' Click here to view the online catalogue.

Moore Has Faith In Able Friend

Monday, 30th January 2017

Trainer John Moore says champion Hong Kong miler Able Friend (Shamardal-Ponte Piccolo, by Volksraad) can win today's Gr1 Stewards' Cup at Sha Tin despite being only 95 per cent fit, reports the South China Morning Post. The Australian-bred former Hong Kong Horse of the Year will be having his second run since resuming with a sixth placing (beaten 2 lengths) in the Gr1 Hong Kong Mile on 11 December, his first start after more than a year on the sidelines recuperating from a rare tendon injury in his front right foot. “No. I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all to think that we’ll get him back to where he was,” Moore said. “He’s an older horse now but with low mileage on the clock, he’s sound and just suffered an injury that I’ve never seen before. That injury has totally healed, he passed his vet check for this race without any questions and it has just been a case of getting him fit again." Moore added: "He looks a treat, his action’s great – he might not be 100 per cent yet but how fit does he need to be to win this race? I’d say if he’s even 95 per cent, he’s got a panel or two on them.” Today's Stewards' Cup will also see the return of Able Friend's stable-mate Werther (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel) from injury. The reigning Hong Kong Horse of the Year has been sidelined since suffering a suspensory injury to his right hind leg in track work last August.

Werther Returns From Injury

Friday, 27th January 2017

Reigning Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel) will make his eagerly awaited comeback from injury in Monday's Gr1 Stewards' Cup at Sha Tin. The John Moore-trained 5YO has been sidelined since suffering a suspensory injury to his right hind leg in track work last August. "Of course there is a lot of expectation any time you have a horse of the year returning, especially when he has rated so highly with his performances," Moore told the South China Morning Post. "But the jury is out with regard to injury, so there is an element of wait-and-see. But he is a very clean-winded horse, like Rapper Dragon, and maybe is the type of horse that could just come out and do something that could surprise some people."

2016

Top Hong Kong Debut By Eagle Way

Tuesday, 13th December 2016

Queensland Derby winner Eagle Way made an auspicious start to his Hong Kong racing career when resuming with a strong win at Sha Tin on Sunday. Trainer John Moore said Eagle Way (More Than Ready-Wedgetail Eagle, by Lure) would follow the same path as reigning Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther by targeting next season's Hong Kong Derby. Ridden by champion Australian jockey Hugh Bowman, the 4YO surged through a gap at the 200m mark to score by a head in the Class 2 Eishin Preston Handicap over 1600 metres. "He is just an out-and-out stayer this guy," Moore told the South China Morning Post. "The mile is a minimum requirement for him, and it was a great sign for him to run like that first-up." A $200,000 weanling purchase by George Moore Bloodstock from the draft of Segenhoe Stud at the 2014 Inglis Australian Weanling Sale, Eagle Way is a half-brother to the stakes-winners Assertive Eagle, Impressive Eagle & Soaressa, herself the dam of dual Gr3 winner Thermal Current.

Provocative To Visit Tavistock

Friday, 23rd September 2016

Recently retired New Zealand mare Provocative will visit Cambridge Stud's sire sensation Tavistock this season, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Tony Pike-trained daughter of Zabeel won 4 of her 8 starts, including a brilliant victory in last season's Gr1 Queensland Oaks. Pike had high hopes for the highly talented mare who was being aimed at the Caulfield Cup before a tendon injury cut short her racing career. The Zabeel x Tavistock cross has proved to be a potent one with success stories including Gr1 winners Werther and Tarzino, Gr1 placegetter Imperial Lass and the highly talented Gr2 Rich Hill Mile winner Hasselhoof. Provocative is out of the New Zealand-bred mare Betwixt (O'Reilly), winner of the 2009 edition of the Gr3 Tasmanian Derby (2200 metres).

Werther Sidelined With Injury

Tuesday, 30th August 2016

Reigning Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel) has been ruled out for three months after suffering a freak injury in trackwork, reports the South China Morning Post. The injury means last season's Gr1 Hong Kong Derby and Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup winner will miss the big Hong Kong International Races meeting in December. "He is a very aggressive horse and he can do this sort of thing at times," trainer John Moore said. "He was coming off the track after working and tried to kick another horse, a horse from another stable, and he missed and slipped over." Moore added: "In doing that, he has injured a suspensory behind...He will be out for three months and that means the internationals are scratched, but Werther should be right for the big spring races."

Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan Named NZ Breeders Of The Year

Monday, 8th August 2016

After what can only be described as a stellar year for Cambridge Stud, Sir Patrick and Justine, Lady Hogan were last night named the 2015/16 New Zealand Breeders of the Year at the annual New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Awards in Auckland. In an exceptional year for Kiwi-bred horses and breeders worldwide, the Hogans were represented by three individual winners of six Australian Group One contests, and a further 13 stakes performers. They have now won the prestigious title on five occasions, following their awards in 1994/95, 1995/96, 1996/97 and 2003/04. The Victorian Spring Carnival started the season off well for Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan, with Tarzino winning the Gr1 VRC Derby, and Preferment, bred in partnership, winning the Gr1 Turnbull Stakes, also at Flemington. Autumn was just as kind with Preferment adding the Gr1 Australian Cup in Melbourne before heading to Rosehill in Sydney to claim the prestigious weight-for-age event, the Gr1 The BMW. Rosehill was also a happy hunting ground for Tarzino, who won the Gr1 Rosehill Guineas. Tavago, also by Tavistock and also co-bred by the Hogans, then took out the Australian Derby at The Championships to become Group One winner number three. “I have bred the winners of a number of Derbies but the Australian Derby is the Derby of all Derbies, it’s the ultimate and to nail another one is such a thrill,” said Sir Patrick at the time. This season Cambridge Stud’s young sire Tavistock has swept all before him, emerging as one of Australasia’s most exciting young sires, with two Derby winners in Australia and Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther, winner of the Hong Kong Derby and the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup. Besides the deeds of Tavistock, now the sire of nine individual stakes winners, four in Group One company, Cambridge Stud’s former flagship sire Zabeel has continued to shine this year. When Provocative won the Queensland Oaks in June she became his 45th individual Group One winner - equalling Zabeel’s illustrious sire Sir Tristram.

Mares Set To Star At NZB Winter Mixed Bloodstock Sale

Thursday, 14th July 2016

The upcoming New Zealand Bloodstock Winter Mixed Bloodstock Sale at Karaka features a number of mares who are carrying foals by some of the country's hottest young stallions. Few fit that description better than Tavistock (Montjeu), whose first two crops to race have included Gr1 winners Volkstok'n'barrell (NZ), Tarzino (NZ), Tavago (NZ) and Werther (NZ). Three mares in the Winter Sale catalogue are in foal to the Cambridge Stud sensation:

Lot 18 is the winning mare Valtier. By Fastnet Rock, she is closely related to the multiple Singapore stakes winner Moon Shadow (Bellotto).

Lot 27 is Coral Reef, a winning mare by the global supersire Galileo. She has already produced a winner from two foals to race, and she is a descendant of the Irish Oaks winner Knight's Baroness.

Lott 44 is the Black Minnaloushe mare Jazzella (NZ). A three-time stakes winner, Jazzella is already the dam of talented Sydney mare Harlem Lady (Zabeel).

Other prized lots include:

Lot 12 - Sunalta (Rock Of Gibraltar), an unraced daughter of legendary mare Sunline.

Lot 13 - Sunset Stripper (Volksraad), a half-sister to the dam of Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther (Tavistock). Sunset Stripper is in foal to Albrecht.

Lot 50 - Pins mare Melodic in foal to Shamexpress. Melodic is already the dam of two winners from four foals to race. She comes from the family of Gr1 winners Black Mamba, Tully Thunder, and Roman Emperor.

A total of 83 horses will go through the Karaka sale ring, starting at 12pm on Friday 29 July. Click here to view the online catalogue.

Derby Runner-Up Sold To Hong Kong

Thursday, 30th June 2016

Queensland Derby runner-up Rodrico (High Chaparral-Truly a Beauty, by Seeking The Gold) will be out to emulate international star Werther after being sold to Hong Kong this week. The quality three-year-old has been sold for an undisclosed price in a deal brokered by Magic Millions Sales Director David Chester and he will be set for the rich Hong Kong Derby. Rodrico is the second top prospect sourced by owner Johnson Chen through Magic Millions - the first was Werther, winner of the Hong Kong Derby and QEII Cup this year. Ironically both Werther and Rodrico were second in the Gr1 Queensland Derby prior to their purchase. "Johnson Chen is a great friend of Magic Millions and our initial purchase together has turned out a remarkable success and we're hoping lightning can strike twice with Rodrico," David Chester reported. "I thank leading bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster for his great assistance in completing the deal and I can't wait to see Rodrico continue his career for his new connections." Rodrico, a son of High Chaparral, has raced on just nine occasions - for three wins and four placings and earnings of $281,710. Prior to his runner-up placing in the Queensland Derby to the John Moore raced Eagle Way, Rodrico had won impressively in Sydney over 2000 metres, the journey of the Sha Tin blue riband. "Rodrico will head to champion trainer John Moore," new owner Johnson Chen revealed. "He's done such a great job with Werther and we can hope for continued success into the future."

Blazing Speed Wins Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup

Monday, 23rd May 2016

At Sha Tin in Hong Kong, Coolmore's European Horse Of The Year & 6-time Gr1-winning shuttler Dylan Thomas (Danehill-Lagrion, by Diesis) celebrated an elite success when 7YO UK-bred gelding Blazing Speed (Dylan Thomas-Leukippids, by Sadler's Wells) scored by a short head for trainer Tony Cruz in the HK$10 million Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) for 3YO+, over 4YO New Zealand-bred geldings Victory Magic (Savabeel-Zephyr Song, by Danasinga) & Werther (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel). Blazing Speed improved his record to 10 wins (including the Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup, Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup & Gr1 Stewards' Cup) and 9 placings (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Gold Cup) from 40 starts £3,663,232 earnings.

Werther Wins Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup

Tuesday, 26th April 2016

At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, Cambridge Stud's dual Gr1-winning stallion Tavistock (Montjeu-Upstage, by Quest For Fame) celebrated an elite success when 4YO New Zealand-bred gelding Werther (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel) scored by 4.5-lengths for trainer John Moore and jockey Hugh Bowman in the HK$20 million Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2000m), over 8YO Irish-bred gelding Military Attack (Oratorio-Almaaseh, by Dancing Brave) & 7YO UK-bred gelding Blazing Speed (Dylan Thomas-Leukippids, by Sadler's Wells). Werther boosted his record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Derby) and 8 placings (including the Gr1 South Australian Derby & Gr1 Queensland Derby) from 18 starts for $5,263,416 earnings. Having his first run since winning the Hong Kong Derby, Werther was sensational in sitting off the speed before coming through near the fence for a stunning four and a half length win. Werther joined the Moore stable in Hong Kong after the former New Zealand based galloper was purchased by his brother Gary Moore in a deal brokered by Magic Millions Sales Director David Chester. "Today I allowed him to really relax throughout the race and we've seen the best of him," champion Australian jockey Hugh Bowman said. "I had a suspicion after the Derby we would see a better horse against better opposition but I certainly didn't expect him to perform to the level he did this afternoon." Moore said Werther would head to the Champions and Chater Cup in a month. He said he would talk to owner Johnson Chen about a possible trip to Melbourne for the Cox Plate in the spring.

Romance Facing Acid Test In Audemars Piguet QEII Cup

Friday, 22nd April 2016

Meanwhile, this coming Sunday at Sha Tin in Hong Kong, the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Rising Romance faces one of the toughest tests of her career, when the New Zealand-bred Australian 5YO mare lines up against a bevy of world class talent in the Gr1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m). Although Rising Romance has shown a recent return to her best form where she has been racing consistently at the top level in Australia without winning, she will clash with the likes of Highland Reel (Ireland), Ertijaal (Dubai), locals Blazing Speed, Designs On Rome and Werther, plus the Japanese contingent Lovely Day, Satono Crown and Nouvo Record. Handicap ratings forecast Rising Romance will struggle to finish in the top five, although her 4th placing in the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick suggests she is not without a chance in a highly competitive race.

Sun Jewellery Wins Gr1 Hong Kong Classic Cup

Monday, 22nd February 2016

At Shat Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, Arrowfield Stud's Gr1-winning high profile stallion Snitzel (Redoute's Choice-Snippets' Lass, by Snippets) celebrated an elite Gr1 success when 4YO Australian-bred gelding Sun Jewellery (Snitzel-Tan Tat Star, by Umatilla) scored by a head for trainer John Size in the HK$10 million Gr1 Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m), over fellow 4YO geldings Werther (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel) & Blizzard (Starcraft-Stormy Choice, by Redoute's Choice). This was consecutive Gr1 victories for Sun Jewellery who took his record to 8 wins (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Classic Mile) and 2 placings from 11 starts for $2,982,053 earnings. Sun Jewellery's wins in the Hong Kong Classic Cup & Hong Kong Classic Mile puts him in line for a shot at history in next month’s Gr1 Hong Kong Derby (2000m) as no horse has ever won all three of Hong Kong’s four-year-old majors. “He’s got to go around a bend past the winning post and that makes it a little bit more awkward – you’ve got gates to deal with and things like that but at least he’s won the first two races; that’s a big help for him and now he gets a shot at the Derby," trainer John Size said. "The distance doubt is always there, it’s something I don’t think about, we just roll onto the next race and hope he gets it.” Champion jockey Ryan Moore seems quietly confident that the Derby distance will pose little concern for Sun Jewellery. "Sun Jewellery’s a class horse and class usually tells over a distance,” he said. "He’s probably just better than them, he’s just got a class edge and that allows horses to go further than you’d think they would.”

Snitzel Adds Hong Kong Gr1 Winner

Monday, 25th January 2016

At Sha Tin in Hong Kong overnight, Arrowfield Stud's high profile stallion Snitzel (Redoute's Choice-Snippets' Lass, by Snippets) added a new Gr1 winner to go with his recent local Gr1 winners Wandjina, Sweet Idea & Hot Snitzel. In the HK$10 million Gr1 Hong Kong Classic Mile for 4YOs, 4YO gelding Sun Jewellery (Snitzel-Tan Tat Star, by Umatilla) scored by 0.3-lengths for trainer John Size over fellow 4YO geldings Werther (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel) & Blizzard (Starcraft-Stormy Choice, by Redoute's Choice). The victory – Sun Jewellery's first attempt at stakes level – took the son of Snitzel's record to 7 wins and 2 runners-up from 10 starts for $940,390 earnings.

2015

Werther Wins Hong Kong Debut

Tuesday, 15th December 2015

Former New Zealand galloper Werther (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel) announced himself as a serious Hong Kong Derby contender when scoring a stunning first-up victory at Sha Tin on Sunday, reports NZ Racing Desk. Making his Hong Kong debut for new trainer John Moore, the 4YO Tavistock gelding looked to have lost none of his ability when bounding to an easy 1.5-length win in the Eishin Preston Handicap over 1600m. Werther was purchased by Hong Kong interests after a successful Australian winter campaign, which saw him claim the Gr2 Eagle Farm Cup in May. He also ran second in both the Gr1 South Australian Derby and Gr1 Queensland Derby for his former trainer Andrew Campbell. A sister to Werther (Lot 185) will be offered by Highden Park during the Premier session at Karaka in 2016.

Campbell Sweet On Gloaming

Wednesday, 23rd September 2015

Well related New Zealand 3YO Gobstopper (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel) has been nominated for the Gr3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill on Saturday, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Tavistock gelding, who departed for Sydney on Monday, is trained by Andrew Campbell and is a brother to dual Gr2 winner and dual Gr1-placegetter Werther. Gobstopper ran fourth at his only start as juvenile and finished a close-up sixth when resuming in the Listed Wanganui Guineas earlier this month. Only 14 horses were nominated for the Gloaming with the highest rated runner being Devil Hawk, a brother to Hawkspur and winner of the Gr3 Spring Stakes at Newcastle last Friday.

Cambridge Trainers Dominate

Thursday, 9th July 2015

Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman's all-conquering season is reflected among the nominations for the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Awards, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Cambridge duo, who are runaway leaders in the trainers' premiership, will be represented by Mongolian Khan, Turn Me Loose, Dal Cielo, Sakhee's Soldier and Maygrove in the horses-in-training divisions. The Gr1 New Zealand and Australian Derby hero Mongolian Khan will be the ruling favourite to be crowned the champion 3YO against a field that also includes the top-flight winners Platinum Witness (NZ 1000 Guineas), Turn Me Loose (NZ 2000 Guineas) and Volkstok'n'barrell (Rosehill Guineas). Mongolian Khan will vie for bragging rights in the staying division with Maygrove, Rising Romance, Rock Diva and Werther while the star colt will also be at short odds for the Horse of the Year title. Marky Mark is a front-runner to claim the champion two-year-old title following his victories in the Gr1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes and the Gr3 Eclipse Stakes. Dal Cielo, Rocanto and Serena Miss are the other nominations. Sacred Star's stunning Gr1 wins in the Telegraph and the NRM Sprint are likely to give him the edge for the champion sprinter's award over I Do, In Style and Whosyourmaster. Meanwhile, Soriano's elite level double in the Zabeel Classic and the Herbie Dyke Stakes has staked a genuine claim for her to be awarded the champion middle distance title. She will be up against Iamishwara, Puccini, Sakhee's Soldier and Silent Achiever.

Magicool Wins Gr1 Queensland Derby

Tuesday, 9th June 2015

At Doomben in Queensland, Coolmore's Gr1-winning son of Danehill Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) celebrated a Gr1 success when 3YO gelding Magicool (Fastnet Rock-Perfect Truth, by Galileo) scored by 0.8-length for trainer Mark Kavanagh in the $600,000 Gr1 Queensland Derby (2200m) for 3YOs, over fellow 3YO gelding Werther (Tavistock-Bagalollies, by Zabeel) & 3YO colt Jumbo Prince (Outback Prince-Maggie Jain, Lujain). Magicool, who was purchased by Mark Kavanagh Racing Stables for $250,000 at the 2013 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Coolmore Stud, took his record to 5 wins (including the Listed UCI Stakes) and 1 placing from 14 starts for $668,450 earnings. Stable representative Levi Kavanagh said Magicool would now head to the paddock to prepare for a spring campaign aimed at the Gr1 staying features. "I thought we'd be a little bit closer but came out and just outsprinted them in the end," Kavanagh said. "He's going to go for a rest now. He's going to stay up here in the sun and then we'll look towards the spring."

Boss Booked For Master Of Arts

Wednesday, 3rd June 2015

Glen Boss has been booked to ride the New Zealand-bred Master of Arts (Mastercraftsman-Petit Verdot, by Carnegie) in Saturday's $600,000 Gr1 Queensland Derby (2200m) at Doomben, reports NZ Racing Desk. Boss replaces the injured Brad Rawiller who has been aboard the promising Darren Weir-trained colt in four out of his five starts. "I have basically got a small tear in the medial ligament," Rawiller told AAP. "It would not be fair to anyone if I went into a Gr1 under a fitness cloud." The Paul Fudge-owned Master Of Arts, who is coming off an unlucky third behind Upham in the Gr3 Grand Prix Stakes (2020m) on 23 May, is currently a $4.60 second favourite behind fellow Kiwi bred Werther ($3.50). Master Of Arts is a half-brother to Gr2 Hawkes Bay Guineas winner Antonio Lombardo and hails from the family of Victoria Derby winner Amalfi, New Zealand 2,000 Guineas winner Steely Dan, and New Zealand Derby winner Popsy, herself the dam of New Zealand 2,000 Guineas winner Rock 'N' Pop.