2018

Winx Wins Gr1 George Main Stakes

Monday, 17th September 2018

At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Darley's deceased shuttler & Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street, by Troy) celebrated an elite race success when his champion 7YO daughter Winx (Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl, by Al Akbar) bounded away for yet another imperious victory in the $500,000 weight-for-age Gr1 George Main Stakes (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Le Romain & stable-mate Egg Tart. Winx, who recorded her 27th consecutive win and her 20th at Gr1 level, also became the first horse in history to win three editions of the George Main Stakes. Jockey Hugh Bowman said of Winx's record-breaking victory: "Le Romain ran a hell of a race and at the corner, I didn’t feel in danger, but I didn’t feel like she was going to be as dominant as she usually is but when that turbo kicked into gear at the 250m it was all over," he told Sky Racing. "We’ll be lucky to see another one like her, while I’m alive anyway." Trainer Chris Waller described Winx as "heroic". "It is actually impossible what she is doing. And what Black Caviar did and what Makybe Diva did winning three Melbourne Cups in a row. It is heroic what she is doing," he said. "She is a superstar." The world's best racehorse advanced her remarkable record to 31 wins (including the Gr1 Cox Plate – three times, Gr1 George Ryder Stakes - three times, Gr1 Turnbull Stakes, Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes - twice, Group 1 Winx Stakes, Gr1 Caulfield Stakes, Gr1 George Main Stakes - twice, Gr1 Doncaster Mile, Gr1 Chipping Norton Stakes – three times, Gr1 Epsom Handicap, Gr1 Queensland Oaks, Gr2 Chelmsford Stakes, Gr2 Warwick Stakes – twice, Gr2 Apollo Stakes - twice, Gr2 Theo Marks Stakes, Gr2 Phar Lap Stakes & Gr2 Furious Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 Australian Oaks & Gr1 Flight Stakes) from 37 starts for record Australian earnings of $19,582,425 in earnings. Winx was a $230,000 Magic Bloodstock purchase at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Coolmore Stud.

Winx

Winx cruises home to win her 20th Gr1 (pic: Steve Hart)

Randwick Hosts TBNSW Annual Awards

Monday, 17th September 2018

The Australian Turf Club hosted Thoroughbred Breeders NSW (TBNSW) members and sponsors at the Directors’ Lunch during Colgate Optic White George Main Stakes Day on Saturday at Royal Randwick. Against the backdrop of magnificent racing, where Winx secured her 20th Gr1 win, TBNSW Director Hamish Esplin introduced the awards at the annual presentation for achievements during the 2017-2018 racing season. Winners were announced by Bred To Win’s Caroline Searcy and sponsors including IRT, Horsepower, G1 Goldmine, HQ Insurance, the ATC and Ranvet. Award winners were:

  • Ranvet NSW Small Breeder Of The Year: Mary Jane Basson who bred Queensland Derby winner Dark Dream (All American). He was only the sixth foal Basson had bred, being from her Lion Hunter mare Buchanan Girl who cost only $800 and traces back to the famous Leica family.
  • Horsepower NSW Champion First Season Sire: Widden Stud’s Zoustar (Northern Meteor) who was also crowned Australian Freshman Champion Sire for the season with record earnings of over $3.2 million including three group-winning first crop 2YOs
  • ATC Champion NSW Sire of 2YOs: dual Australian champion sire Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice), whose 2YOs earned $3.6 million last season, highlighted by Golden Slipper winner Estijaab, plus Nomothaj, Prairie Fire and Sandbar, who between them won six Group and Listed races.
  • G1 Goldmine NSW Champion Broodmare of The Year: Busking’s (Encosta De Lago) owner and breeder Michael Thomas. Busking is the dam of triple Gr1 winner Happy Clapper and 2018 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr2) winner Not A Single Cent. Thomas bought the mare back as a 9YO for $13,000 in foal to Teofilo, with the resultant foal the $6.3 million earner Happy Clapper.
  • HQ Insurance NSW Champion Sire: Arrowfield’s dual Champion Australian Sire Snitzel whose progeny earned a record $29.2 million in the 2017-2018 season with his 26 stakes-winners again equalling Danehill’s record. They were headed by four Gr1 winners, 2YO Estijaab, 3YO Trapeze Artist, 4YO Russian Revolution and 5YO Everest winner Redzel.

Dark Dream

Gr1 winner Dark Dream is from an $800 mare (pic: TBNSW)

Winx Perfect for George Main

Friday, 14th September 2018

Champion mare Winx rounded out her preparation for Saturday's Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick with a typically nonchalant track gallop at Rosehill on Thursday morning. Winx, who will bid to become the first horse in history to win the George Main three times, cruised to the line when working with stable-mate Religify over 1000 metres. "She is in great order and has come on well since her last run," Winx's regular rider Hugh Bowman told racingnsw.com.au. "I'm very comfortable with where she is at. It was a very strong piece of work and she is certainly ready to go. We are just trying to keep her as relaxed as we can ahead of the big day." Trainer Chris Waller agreed with Bowman's assessment, saying everything about Winx's preparation has hitherto gone to plan. "She certainly hasn't gone backwards and what more can I say, she is pleasing us at home in her general self and that's so important," he said. If Winx (Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl, by Al Akbar) is successful on Saturday, it will be her 27th win in succession and her 20th at Gr1 level.

Bowman to Ride in Singapore

Friday, 14th September 2018

Meanwhile, Winx's champion Australian jockey Hugh Bowman has been granted a visiting jockeys' licence by the Singapore Turf Club to ride at the Raffles Cup meeting on 23 September, reports the Singapore Turf Club website. The four-time Sydney Premiership winning hoop's best performance when riding in Singapore was a close third aboard Fastnet Dragon in the 2015 Gr1 Singapore Derby.

Winx & Unforgotten Set for Gr1 Clash

Thursday, 13th September 2018

Stable-mates Winx and Unforgotten are set to provide one of the early highlights of the spring when they meet in Saturday's Gr1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick. Winx, the world's best racehorse, will bid to for her 27th consecutive win and her 20th at Group 1 level, while Unforgotten, a brilliant winner of last season's Australian Oaks, will continue her build-up to the Caulfield Cup following her impressive win in the Gr2 Chelmsford Stakes two weeks ago. TAB have Winx listed at the prohibitive odds of $1.10, while Unforgotten shares the second line of betting with Le Romain at $12. A total of eight horses have accepted for the $500,000 weight-for-age feature.

Winx Wins Jump-Out

Monday, 3rd September 2018

Champion mare Winx has tuned up for her next spring appearance by winning a 1000m jump-out at Randwick on Saturday. Winx trailed her stable-mates Foxplay, Patrick Erin and The Autumn Sun before letting down over the final 50 metres to run over the top of the trio. Regular rider Hugh Bowman was more than satisfied with the superstar's work-out. "She has certainly come on since her first up run and looking forward to two weeks’ time," Bowman told racingnsw.com.au. "Believe it or not, because I held her up and didn’t let her work into it like I would in a race she just didn’t go through her gears as well but you could see the last 50 metres she was using herself superbly and really stretching towards the winning post." Winx, who is being aimed at an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate victory in the spring, will have her next start in the $500,000 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on 15 September.


Unforgotten Wins Gr2 Chelmsford Stakes

Monday, 3rd September 2018

At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Coolmore's former Gr1-winning Champion Australian Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added a Group race success when outstanding 4YO Australian-bred mare Unforgotten (Fastnet Rock-Memories Of You, by Galileo) stormed home from midfield to score a dominant win in the $250,000 Gr2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Ace High & Libran. Unforgotten, who became the fastest Australian Oaks winner in history last season (2:27 seconds), advanced her record to 6 wins (including the Gr1 Australian Oaks, Gr2 Phar Lap Stakes) and 2 placings (including the Gr1 Vinery Stud Stakes) from 11 starts for $1,242,770 in earnings. Trainer Chris Waller said the Caulfield Cup was Unforgotten's primary spring target. "She is very special," Waller told Sky Racing. "She showed that in the autumn and the Oaks was very special in itself. That was great at the mile." He added: "We'll see where she fits in and where the weights settle [in the Caulfield Cup]. I could have gone Epsom and Cox Plate with her bar for Winx...[but] she won't be taking on Winx I can tell you that." Purchased by Waller for $360,000 at the 2016 NZ Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Curraghmore Stud, Unforgotten is out of a half-sister to French 1,000 Guineas winner Matiara.

Santa Could Arrive Early For Supporters

Friday, 31st August 2018

Outside of Winx's half-dozen Gr1 wins last season, only Trapeze Artist, Happy Clapper and Shoals (also trained by Anthony Freedman) boasted a Gr1 season as good as Santa Ana Lane's premium treble. One of the surprise packets of  2017-2018, Santa Ana Lane managed to get under everyone's guard on each of those three ocassions, starting at $26 in the Gr1 Sir Rupert Clarke, $26 in the Gr1 Goodwood Handicap and then $14 in the Gr1 Stradbroke. The oft-forgotten sprinter of Australia's short-course ranks is no doubt more comfortable over 1200m and slightly further, however he has decent enough form first-up, and over 1100m, to suggest he's a genuine eachway hope in tomorrow's Heath 1100 at Caulfield where course and distance specialist Voodoo Lad is the popular pick. Again ridden by Ben Melham, who guided him to his past two Gr1 wins, Santa Ana Lane is an $8 chance to make it a hat-trick.

Santa Ana Lane

Gr1 star Santa Ana Lane returns in the Heath (pic: Steve Hart)

Kementari Primed for Memsie

Thursday, 30th August 2018

Top-class galloper Kementari is expected to be at his peak for Saturday's $1 million Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield after an ultra impressive track gallop on Tuesday. While trainer James Cummings acknowledges the strength of Kementari's opposition in the weigh-for-age feature, he is satisfied the Lonhro entire is primed to double his Gr1 tally after his Randwick Guineas win in the autumn. "He absolutely flew in a gallop on Tuesday morning," Cummings told Godolphin.com. "Coming into this race he's been really bright. He's come out of his last run in sensational order." The Memsie will be Kementari's third run this campaign having run second to Pierata in the Gr2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick and fourth to Winx in the Gr1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at the same track twelve days ago. "There's no doubt this is a very powerful weight-for-age field in the Memsie with horses like Vega Magic and Happy Clapper up against us," Cummings said. "I like the fact that he's had experience at Caulfield, he's handled the track, he's trained very well and he's gone forward with each run. So we're looking forward to Saturday's race and expecting a good performance."

kementari

Kementari (image: Steve Hart)

Seasonal Gr1 Review Dominated By Winx

Thursday, 30th August 2018

While her half dozen equanimous performances out of 106 Gr1 races covered in the 2017-18 seasonal review of Australian, New Zealand and Hong Kong Gr1 races may only be a single figure percentage, Winx's omnipotence is hard to miss in this year's edition. Featuring 12 Gr1 events from Sha Tin for the first time, the latest edition also includes another first: the News button next to the silks of any of the first four placed runners in each event provides an immediate archive of relevant Daily News articles from newest to oldest – here's an example for Winx. Click on this year's cover image below to access the 2018 Gr1 Annual.

2018 Gr1 Annual

Latrobe Unlikely for Cox Plate

Wednesday, 29th August 2018

Joseph O'Brien has indicated he is likely to run Irish Derby winner Latrobe in the Gr1 St Leger at Doncaster on 15 September. If he does run in the St Leger, then it means Latrobe will not travel to Australia and take on champion mare Winx in the Cox Plate. The Lloyd Williams-owned Latrobe was on trial for a start in the Cox Plate when he contested last week's Gr1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York (2000m), but the 3YO son of Camelot lacked the sprint of his top-class opponents finishing 7th of 8 behind Roaring Lion. "We went to York to see how Latrobe would get on over ten furlongs against older horses. We knew it would tell us where we stand with him and help us figure what route to take with him for the rest of the season," O'Brien told Racing Post. "We are thinking of stepping him back up in trip now and aiming him at the St Leger at Doncaster. The Irish St Leger is a lesser possibility." O'Brien added: "He saw out the mile and a half in the Irish Derby really well so you would be hopeful that a mile and three-quarters at Doncaster would be right up his street."

Happy Clapper Back in Memsie

Tuesday, 28th August 2018

Top-class galloper Happy Clapper has been confirmed as a runner in Saturday's $1 million weight-for-age Gr1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield after pleasing trainer Pat Webster with a strong track gallop at Randwick on Monday, reports racing.com. "We're happy with his hit-out at home here this morning," Webster said. "He worked without going too hard but it was the sort of work we wanted to see." Webster indicated Happy Clapper would race exclusively in Melbourne during the spring. "I'm not getting too far ahead of myself but if he ran well there on Saturday, well, we've got the Makybe Diva Stakes, the Underwood, the Caulfield Stakes, Kennedy Mile and Emirates and the Cox Plate is around there somewhere," he said. "He's had two nice trials and there's a lot of improvement to come after Saturday. It will really tighten him up." Happy Clapper enjoyed a stellar autumn campaign in which he claimed two Group 1 victories in the Canterbury Stakes & Doncaster Handicap, as well as Group 1 placings in the George Ryder Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Stakes - both behind superstar mare Winx.

clapper

Happy Clapper (image: Steve Hart)

Winx In Champion Order

Monday, 27th August 2018

Chris Waller says champion mare Winx has come through her first-up win in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in typically excellent fashion, reports racenet. "She was 545kg going into Saturday’s race and she was 542kg coming out of it. She lost three kilos and probably looks better for it," Waller said. "Horses would normally drop five to 10 kilos then put most of that weight back on over the next two weeks. She just does it so easy. It doesn’t really affect her weight and she bounces through it, hence the reason why she runs so well through the whole prep. She’s incredible." Winx, who is being aimed at an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate victory in the spring, will make her next appearance in the $500,000 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on 15 September. "She had a very quiet gallop this morning [Saturday]. She ran over 1000 metres, ran her last 400 in about 26 seconds so just very well held," Waller said.

winx

Winx (image: Steve Hart)

Theo Marks Next for D'Argento

Monday, 27th August 2018

Chris Waller says top-class 4YO D'Argento (So You Think–Fullazz, by Redoute's Choice) is likely to have his next run in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on 8 September en route to the Gr1 Epsom Handicap. D’Argento, a winner of last season’s Gr1 Rosehill Guineas, signalled he was in for a big spring campaign when finishing third to stable-mate Winx in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick nine days ago. "I haven’t fully decided yet but I would say he’ll most likely be held back for the Theo Marks and then go to the Epsom," Waller told racenet. "Keep him sharp, three weeks between runs into the Epsom where he’s going to have a reasonable weight and that’s his chance to win a big handicap. Then he’s got the next few years to be racing at weight-for-age."

dargento

D'Argento (image: Steve Hart)

Latrobe On Trial for Cox Plate

Thursday, 23rd August 2018

The performance of Latrobe in tonight's Group 1 Juddmonte International at York (2000m) will largely decide the 3YOs programme for the remainder of the year. Trained by Joseph O'Brien on behalf of Australian owner Lloyd Williams, Latrobe has not raced since his surprise win in the Irish Derby in June. Connections want to see how the son of Camelot copes against top-class opposition over 2000 metres before deciding whether or not to travel to Australia and take on champion mare Winx in the Cox Plate. Other options include the Gr1 St Leger at Doncaster on 15 September. "He's in good form and after York we'll make a plan for the rest of the season," O'Brien told Sky Sports. "The plan at the moment is York and then sit down and regroup after that." O'Brien added: "He has a number of different options for the rest of the year and we'll know if our trip is 10 or 12 furlongs and then we'll be able to make a plan for the rest of the season. Obviously its a long way away [Melbourne] so we will wait and see how he goes over the next couple of months and make a decision then."

Australia Post To Release Commemorative Winx Stamp

Monday, 20th August 2018

Australia Post will release a commemorative stamp to celebrate Winx's record-breaking 26th consecutive win in Saturday's Gr1 Winx Stakes at Royal Randwick. Her win is a new Australian record, surpassing the 25 wins by Black Caviar, and is second worldwide only to the Hungarian mare Kincsem who won all of her 54 races in the 1870s. Commenting on the stamp release Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Michael Zsolt said: "It is a fitting tribute to such a significant sporting achievement and amazing racehorse. The beautiful artwork on the stamp, and what it represents, will no doubt appeal to horse racing enthusiasts and collectors alike." The $1 base rate stamp features Winx being ridden by jockey Hugh Bowman who rode Winx in today's recordbreaking win. Bowman commented: "She's really become an Australian icon who'll be remembered for generations. For her to be commemorated in this manner is a great honour and a very worthy distinction."

Winx Wins Gr1 Winx Stakes

Monday, 20th August 2018

At Royal Randwick on Saturday, Darley's deceased shuttler & Gr1 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street, by Troy) celebrated an elite race success when his champion 7YO daughter Winx (Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl, by Al Akbar) opened her spring campaign in auspicious fashion with a sublime victory in the eponymous $500,000 Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) for 3YO+, defeating long-shot Invictus Prince & stable-mate D'Argento. Winx also broke Black Caviar's record to become the first Australian horse in history to win 26 races in succession. The world's best racehorse advanced her astonishing record to 30 wins (including the Gr1 Cox Plate – three times, Gr1 George Ryder Stakes - three times, Gr1 Turnbull Stakes, Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes - twice, Gr1 Caulfield Stakes, Gr1 George Main Stakes - twice, Gr1 Doncaster Mile, Gr1 Chipping Norton Stakes – three times, Gr1 Epsom Handicap, Gr1 Queensland Oaks, Gr2 Chelmsford Stakes, Gr2 Warwick Stakes – twice, Gr2 Apollo Stakes - twice, Gr2 Theo Marks Stakes, Gr2 Phar Lap Stakes & Gr2 Furious Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 Australian Oaks & Gr1 Flight Stakes) from 36 starts for record Australian earnings of $19,290,425. Winx was a $230,000 Magic Bloodstock purchase at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Coolmore Stud.

Winx

Winx cruises home in the Gr1 Winx Stakes (pic: Steve Hart)

Waller Praises World’s Best

Monday, 20th August 2018

Chris Waller was in awe of Winx after the champion mare returned from a break with yet another emphatic, and hollow, victory in the eponymous Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday. Waller said Winx, officially recognised as the world’s best racehorse, is the quintessential champion. “The last 25 starts she has overcome hard tracks, wet tracks, windy days, short distances , long distances, pressure, big weight. She just ticks every box like you expect champions to do,” Waller told racingnsw.com.au. “What she is doing for sport in Australia - we should all take a bow and say well done.” Waller’s assessment of Winx is that he believes she has actually improved this preparation, a daunting thought for her future rivals. “Just looking for signs of her losing that dominance, I haven’t seen one ounce of it,” he said. “If anything I’ve seen improvement. It’s quite staggering. What she does to horses is simply break their hearts.” Winx, who is being aimed at an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate victory in the spring, will make her next appearance in the $500,000 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on 15 September.

D’Argento Thrills in Return

Monday, 20th August 2018

While all eyes were understandably on Winx in Saturday’s Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, lightly raced 4YO D’Argento (So You Think–Fullazz, by Redoute's Choice) signalled a big spring awaits when running a slashing third behind his champion stable-mate. “He ran super,” jockey James McDonald told racingnsw.com.au. “He gave me a beautiful ride throughout the race. He was exposed with no cover half way through the race and then slotted in nicely. He just peaked late.” Trainer Chris Waller said D’Argento, a winner of last season’s Gr1 Rosehill Guineas, would chase more Gr1 glory in the spring with races such as the Memsie Stakes & Makybe Diva Stakes in Melbourne, and the Epsom Handicap in Sydney on his agenda.

Waller Claims Eighth Successive Bart Cummings Medal

Friday, 17th August 2018

Last night in Sydney, trainer Chris Waller was presented with his eighth successive Bart Cummings Medal during the NSW Racing’s Night of Champions awards held at Royal Randwick. The Bart Cummings Medal point score – honouring the legendary trainer who passed away just under three years ago – is comprised of votes from leading Sydney racing journalists. With an incredible 189 city winners for the 2017/18 season, Waller easily passed his previous milestone of 169 wins established during the 2015/16 racing season. Brenton Avdulla claimed his first George Moore Award for winning the Sydney Jockeys’ Premiership with 92 wins for the season, while Rachel King, now a fully-fledged jockey, took out the coveted Theo Green Award for leading Sydney apprentice with 38 wins for the season. The NSWROA Committee acknowledged the wonderful service to the industry of the late Mr Noel Bracks by presenting his family with the NSWROA Industry Recognition Award. Other key Award winners on the night were:

  • Winx (TAB.com.au NSW Champion Horse of the Year and NZ Bloodstock Middle-Distance Horse of the Year)
  • Estijaab (ATC NSW Two-year-old of the Year)
  • Trapeze Artist (International Animal Health Products NSW Three-year-old of the Year)
  • In Her Time (Sky Thoroughbred Central NSW Provincial Horse of the Year)
  • The Monstar (Sky Thoroughbred Central NSW Country Horse of the Year)
  • Redzel (ATC NSW Sprinter of the Year)
  • Who Shot Thebarman (Emirates NSW Stayer of the Year)
  • Prompt Response (Inglis Queen of the Autumn)

Kementari Accepts For Winx Knuckle Fight

Thursday, 16th August 2018

In what could be one of the most exciting spectacles seen on a Sydney racetrack in many a moon, Godolphin’s last minute nomination for Kementari in the Gr1 Winx Stakes on Saturday is now an official acceptance. What makes the clash potentially so mouth-watering, aside from Winx being on the brink of history if she makes it win 26 in-a-row, is that the darling of Australian racing is building towards the Cox Plate distance of 2040m in October, while Kementari is still a realistic prospect of getting a slot for The Everest (1200m). Taking nothing away from Pierata’s gallant first up win in the Gr2 Missile Stakes (1200m), luckless Kementari was gobbling up ground off the winner over the concluding stages and should be cherry-ripe second-up for Saturday’s 1400m journey. Adding to the allure of the clash where Winx is first-up is that both candidates like to wind up from off the pace. Kementari has drawn 7, two outside Winx in stall 5, while D’Argento (9) is also likely to get back and come with his customary late dash. Winx is a $1.14 chance ahead of Kementari at $7.50 and D'Argento at $15. Biggest roughie in the field is Oriental Runner at $401. Early on Wednesday afternoon, TAB reported a $140,000 bet on Winx for Saturday was accepted at $1.12, eclipsing the $124,500 placed on her at $1.18 in this year's Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Winx Cox Rival Prepping Well For Juddmonte

Thursday, 16th August 2018

While trainer Chris Waller has his focus firmly on Saturday’s Gr1 Winx Stakes on Saturday, particularly with the late Godolphin nomination of exciting galloper Kementari, at the back of his mind will be the looming Gr1 Cox Plate in October. There the mighty mare might meet her toughest rival yet in the form of Poet’s Word, rated second to only Winx among the world’s best turf horses. According to racinguk.com, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained 5YO galloped a treat last Sunday in his build up to next Wednesday’s Gr1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York, won last year by the stable’s Ulysses. At York Poet’s Word is likely to clash with Joseph O’Brien’s Gr1 Irish Derby victor Latrobe who also remains in Melbourne Cup contention.

Ace High's Cups Campaign Kicks Off This Saturday

Wednesday, 15th August 2018

David Payne's Gr1 Spring Champion Stakes and Gr1 VRC Derby winner Ace High (High Chaparral) commences his campaign this Saturdaywith his ultimate goal being the Melbourne Cup during the spring carnival. Last seen on race day with a fighting second behind Levendi (Pierro) in the Gr1 Australian Derby at Royal Randwick, the $130,000 Magic Millions yearling sale graduate has been readied for his first-up assignment in the $500,000 Gr1 Winx Stakes with two sound barrier trial performances. Second behind Godolphin's Alizee (Sepoy) on August 7 in a Rosehill barrier trial, with Winx (Street Cry) in third, trainer David Payne is under no illusion of the enormity of the task in taking on the world's best horse on Saturday in the race named after herself, but is adamant that the Summertime Thoroughbred-owned 4YO will acquit himself well. "I just want him to run well, finish a couple of lengths off them. If he can finish a few lengths off Winx I'd be very happy," stated Payne (Racing NSW). Ace High is to race in Sydney for the first few runs of his campaign which could see the stallion prospect target races like the Gr1 Chelmsford Stakes, Gr1 George Main Stakes, Gr2 Hill Stakes and Gr3 Craven Plate before heading to south to target the Gr1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).

Ace High

Ace High (pic: Mark Gatt)

Waller Adds Five To Winx For Winx Stakes

Tuesday, 14th August 2018

Champion trainer Chris Waller has nominated almost half the possible field for next Saturday’s first Group 1 of the new season – the Winx Stakes (1400m). Along with Winx herself, looking to better Black Caviar’s record run, the Waller nominees include D’Argento, Libran, Religify, Single Gaze and Unforgotten. The remaining 7 entrants, spread across 7 stables, are Ace High, Alizee, Cabeza De Vaca, Classic Uniform, Invictus Prince, Luvaluva and Showtime. There will be a lot of interest to see which nominees stand their ground to be part of the history-making event at Royal Randwick. The feature's make-up could change yet with nominations for the Winx Stakes extended until 11am tomorrow (Tuesday).

Luvaluva

Luvaluva has been nominated for the Winx Stakes (pic: Steve Hart)

Winx At Attractive Odds For Cox Plate

Thursday, 9th August 2018

Given Winx’s average starting price over the past year has seen the champion mare around the $1.15 mark or less, Cox Plate markets following official nomination closures have her at positively luxurious odds of $1.55, and not too dissimilar to the $1.50 offered months before her Gr1 Queen Elizabeth triumph. Understandable, as he was beaten less than a half-length in 2017’s Cox Plate, Humidor is a $15 quote ahead of overseas raiders Benbatl ($21), Cliffs Of Moher & Neorealism ($26), with D’Argento, Happy Clapper, Kementari and Unforgotten all at $31. Curiously, given their strong reputations, possible European challengers Poet’s Word and Saxon Warrior are both listed at $41, possibly casting doubt on the likelihood of both or either of them actually contesting the race.

It's 134 Versus 1

Wednesday, 8th August 2018

It’s official: Winx’s potential rivals for the 2018 Gr1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley in October will come from a pool of 134 gallopers. Amongst them will be some of Australia’s other big name turf luminaries, however Winx is also likely to have to see off the challenge of a number of potential raiders from the Northern Hemisphere if she is to create history with four Cox Plates in a row. When nominations closed, their numbers made up nearly 20% (26), any one of whose connections would like nothing better than to dethrone the queen. Chief among the protagonists is Europe’s highest rated horse of 2018, Poet’s Word, trained by Sir Michael Stoute. The powerful Ballydoyle stable has nominated no less than 14 horses, including a half dozen Gr1 winners, headed by Saxon Warrior. As reported recently, Godolphin star Benbatl has already been invited to (and accepted) the Valley challenge. Throw in a few of his high performing stablemates, Lloyd Williams’ Irish Derby winner Latrobe, and brilliant Japanese entrant Neorealism, and this year’s Cox Plate promises to be anything but a gimme for Winx – except that’s been said before...

Winx Enjoying Perfect Spring Prep

Monday, 6th August 2018

Chris Waller described Winx's spring preparation as "perfect" after watching the superstar mare gallop between races at Randwick on Saturday. "I thought bringing her here would help stimulate her without having to go too hard whereas this morning at Rosehill I would have had to go quite quick to get the same energy and benefit from the workout," Waller told racingnsw.com.au. "Everything is in order. The only thing we have to worry about is her safety. We don’t have to make her run faster or do anything different. We know where she is at and she is perfect in terms of her body weight, breathing and her attitude." Winx is still scheduled to trial on her home track at Rosehill tomorrow where she will line up against a star-studded field that includes stable-mates Unforgotten, D'Argento, Single Gaze, as well as Hartnell, Alizee and Ace High. The 1000 metre open trial will be the first of the morning and is scheduled for 8:15am. Winx, who is being aimed at an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate victory in the spring, will kick off her historic campaign in the eponymous Group 1 Winx Stakes (previously Warwick Stakes) at Royal Randwick on 18 August.

Gr1 Oaks Heroine Retired To Stud

Monday, 6th August 2018

Talented, but enigmatic, Gr1 victress Lasqueti Spirit will retire to stud the winner of only one race, but one which will ensure her breeding career is followed closely. According to AAP, the daughter of Beneteau “will be retired to stud with a leg injury putting paid to spring plans for the mare.” Her catch me if you can tactics were used to dazzling effect when she simply outstayed her rivals in the time-honoured Gr1 Crown Oaks (2400m) in Melbourne, a feat backed up when an admirable runner-up to Winx in last year’s Gr1 Chipping Norton Stakes. Lasqueti Spirit's trainer Lee Curtis noted, "She has a minor tendon strain in her off foreleg which meant she would miss the spring so the owners have made the decision she will go to stud,” adding, “It's really disappointing because she was going so well and we had dreams of getting her to the Melbourne Cup.” Also placed behind Bonneval in the Gr1 Australian Oaks, Lasqueti Spirit's last start was in the Gr1 Sydney Cup where she finished just out of the frame. A $150,000 yearling purchase from the draft of Robyn Wise at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, she retires with earnings of $954,745.

Schofield Has Faith in Kementari

Thursday, 2nd August 2018

Jockey Glyn Schofield has such confidence in Kementari's ability that he says he hopes he can ride him throughout the spring, including The Everest if he happens to gain a start. "I'd be keen to ride him anywhere," Schofield told racingnsw.com.au. "He's filled me with a lot of confidence every time I've ridden him so I'll ride him wherever he goes so long as they want me." Kementari (Lonhro-Yavanna, by Redoute's Choice) proved himself to be one of the best milers in Australia when winning the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) and finishing third to Winx in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) in the autumn. The now 4YO will make his seasonal reappearance in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday, and a victory will almost certainly secure him a slot in the $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 13 October. "James (Cummings) has spoken about The Everest openly, he hasn't secured himself a spot at the moment but there's a fair way to go and things can change," Schofield said. "He's arguably the best performed three-year-old colt last year. He's proven himself against the older horses already and now it's about seeing how he comes back and performs. From his trial he feels pretty good to me." Kementari is the firm $2 favourite for Saturday's Missile Stakes at Randwick.

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Kementari (image: Steve Hart)

Anacheeva To Stand At Riverbank Farm

Monday, 30th July 2018

Following the recent announcement that Winx's half-brother Boulder City would be calling Victoria’s Riverbank Farm home, Caulfield Guineas winner Anacheeva will also stand at the Benalla property this spring. Despite his excellent racing and pedigree credentials, Anacheeva has never served large books of mares but owner Geoff Guest maintains the faith and is hopeful that a new home will see the ten-year-old afforded better opportunities. “He has shown that with the right mare he can produce a good horse," Guest said, pointing to his own success with home-bred Ana Royale, winner of the Gr3 SA Fillies Classic and two times Gr1-placed in the Australasian Oaks at Morphettville and the Queensland Derby at Doomben. Winner of one of Victoria's premier stallion making races, Anacheeva has his name on the Caulfield Guineas honour roll alongside the likes of Starspangledbanner, Lonhro, Show A Heart, Redoute's Choice, Grosvenor, Sovereign Red, Luskin Star, Vain, Ajax and Heroic. He is one of 88 stakes-winners sired by the outstanding Danzig stallion Anabaa. "Anacheeva is a nice addition to complement our existing stallion roster as he brings the bloodlines of Anabaa and hails from a superior family," said Riverbank Farm principal Dr Caroline Duddy, adding that "at a reduced service fee of $,3300 he provides great value for the owner breeder."

Noms Announced for NSW Racing's Night of Champions

Friday, 27th July 2018

The New South Wales Racehorse Owners Association (NSWROA) has announced the nominations for its annual 'Racing's Night Of Champions' awards ceremony to be held in the Royal Randwick Ballroom of the Australian Turf Club in Sydney on 16 August. The nominees are:

  • NSW 2YO of the Year - Estijaab, Oohood, Seabrook
  • NSW 3YO of the Year - Ace High, Alizee, Trapeze Artist
  • NSW Sprinter of the Year - In Her Time, Redzel, Trapeze Artist
  • NSW Miler of the Year - Comin' Through, Happy Clapper, Winx
  • NSW Middle Distance Horse of the Year - Gailo Chop, Happy Clapper, Winx
  • NSW Stayer of the Year - Almandin, Foundry, Sir Charles Road, Who Shot Thebarman
  • NSW Queen of the Autumn - Hiyaam, Prompt Response, Unforgotten
  • NSW Country Champion Horse of the Year - Aylmerton, Care To Think, Eckstein, The Monstar, Victorem
  • NSW Provincial Champion Horse of the Year - Dark Dream, El Dorado Dreaming, In Her Time, Le Romain, Single Gaze.

Other awards to be presented on the night include the BOBS Horse of the Year, the Sydney Strapper of the Year, the NSW Racing Writers' Personality of the Year, the T J Smith Award, the George Moore Award, the Theo Green Award, the Bart Cummings Medal and of course, the NSW Champion Horse of the Year. The awards night will again be televised "live" on Sky Thoroughbred Central on the Foxtel platform, and also internationally by NSWROA's exclusive media partner Sky Racing, with highlights of the night also being shown across all Sky Racing channels.

ATC Announces 2018/19 Race Dates

Friday, 27th July 2018

Australian Turf Club has released race dates for the 2018/19 season, with 114 metropolitan fixtures to be held across four Sydney metropolitan racecourses and supporting provincial venues. The highly-anticipated Sydney spring starts on Saturday 18 August 2018 with the recently upgraded Group 1 Winx Stakes, and continues to the Melbourne Cup Day Race Meeting at Royal Randwick on Tuesday 6 November 2018. The pinnacle of the carnival will be the world's richest turf race, The Everest, to be run for a new record $13 million in prize money on Saturday 13 October at Royal Randwick. Feature racing in autumn begins with Inglis Classic Race Day at Warwick Farm on Saturday 9 February 2019, and concludes with Gr1 All Aged Stakes Day at Royal Randwick on Saturday 21 April 2019. The inaugural Inglis Millennium will be run for $2 million prize money and provides another highlight on the Golden Slipper pathway. Australia's biggest day of Group 1 racing is Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday 23 March, 2019, while the $4 million Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes is the showpiece event of The Championships held across two world-class race meetings at Royal Randwick on Saturday 6 and Saturday 13 April, 2019. Click here to view race date fixtures.

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BREAKING NEWS: Anacheeva To Stand At Riverbank Farm

Friday, 27th July 2018

Following the recent announcement that Winx's half-brother Boulder City would be calling Victoria’s Riverbank Farm home, Caulfield Guineas winner Anacheeva will also stand at the Benalla property this spring. Despite his excellent racing and pedigree credentials, Anacheeva has never served large books of mares but owner Geoff Guest maintains the faith and is hopeful that a new home will see the ten-year-old afforded better opportunities. “He has shown that with the right mare he can produce a good horse," Guest said, pointing to his own success with home-bred Ana Royale, winner of the Gr3 SA Fillies Classic and two times Gr1-placed in the Australasian Oaks at Morphettville and the Queensland Derby at Doomben. Winner of one of Victoria's premier stallion making races, Anacheeva has his name on the Caulfield Guineas honour roll alongside the likes of Starspangledbanner, Lonhro, Show A Heart, Redoute's Choice, Grosvenor, Sovereign Red, Luskin Star, Vain, Ajax and Heroic. He is one of 88 stakes-winners sired by the outstanding Danzig stallion Anabaa. "Anacheeva is a nice addition to complement our existing stallion roster as he brings the bloodlines of Anabaa and hails from a superior family," said Riverbank Farm principal Dr Caroline Duddy, adding that "at a reduced service fee of $,3300 he provides great value for the owner breeder."

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Caulfield Guineas hero Anacheeva (pic: Mark Gatt)

Winx To Trial Monday

Friday, 20th July 2018

The world's best racehorse, Winx, will make the first public appearance of her spring preparation when she trials at Rosehill on Monday. The Chris Waller-trained superstar mare will contest a star-studded open trial over 900 metres that will also feature Gr1 winners Chautauqua, D'Argento, Unforgotten, Kementari, Ace High and She Will Reign. The trial will be the first heat of the morning and is scheduled for 8:15am. Winx, who recorded her 18th Group 1 victory and equalled Black Caviar's record of 25 consecutive wins when strolling to a commanding win in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes in April, is being aimed at an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate victory in the spring. She is likely to kick off her historic campaign in the eponymous Group 1 Winx Stakes (previously Warwick Stakes) at Royal Randwick on 18 August.

Missile First-Up for Kementari

Thursday, 19th July 2018

Godolphin trainer James Cummings has confirmed that star colt Kementari will make his seasonal reappearance in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on 4 August. The 3YO Lonhro colt proved himself to be one of the best milers in Australia when winning the Group 1 Randwick Guineas(1600m) and finishing third behind Winx in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) in the autumn. "Kementari has looked impressive in preparation for his first-up run in the Group 2 Missile Stakes over 1200 metres," Cummings told ANZ Bloodstock News. "His first Group 1 aim is the Memsie Stakes [Gr1] at Caulfield." Cummings added: "There are a number of options for him this spring and we will see how he progresses through to the Memsie." The $500,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) will be run at Caulfield on 2 September.

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Kementari (image: Steve Hart)

Pierata Excites Hickman

Wednesday, 4th July 2018

Emerging star Pierata (Pierro-November Flight, by Flying Spur) will make his first public appearance this preparation when he barrier trials over 800 metres at Warwick Farm on Friday, reports racing.com. Trainer Greg Hickman has confirmed plans to run the Magic Millions Guineas winner against Winx in the eponymously named Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on 18 August, before hopefully securing a slot in the $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on 14 October. The 3YO, who was last seen finishing runner-up to Kementari in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas on 10 March, will launch his spring campaign in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on 4 August. "He's a very good horse this horse. Hopefully everyone gets to see what I know he can do," said Hickman. "All the early signs are good. We've had a few slot holders knocking on the door but I've just got to make sure he's right because I don't want to be wasting their money." Hickman said he is bringing Pierata along slowly after he had six weeks in the paddock. "He came back from his spell in good shape and he'll run first-up in the Missile Stakes, which is only a month away," said Hickman. "It depends on what he does in the Missile, as to what we do with him. It was supposed to be the Missile and the Winx and then have a look at The Everest."

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Pierata (image: Steve Hart)

Royal Symphony Progressing Well

Friday, 29th June 2018

Trainer Tony McEvoy has provided an update on the progress of high-class colt Royal Symphony who continues to recover from injury. The dual stakes winner suffered a leg injury during last year's Group 1 Cox Plate in which the son of Aquis Farm stallion Domesday finished a gallant fourth behind superstar Winx. "He strained a suspensory ligament. It wasn't a severe one. There are degrees of seriousness and his was on the better side, but because he is the pin-up horse of my stable I really needed to make sure that I did everything possible to get him sound as we can," McEvoy told Sky Sports Radio. "This is an injury that horses do recover completely from, provided that they heal well and you give them the time. He's doing a lot of trotting and swimming at the moment and the latest scan, which was done a few days ago, was absolutely fantastic. The horse is progressing really well." McEvoy said Royal Symphony should be back in time for the autumn.

Trainer Dreaming of Cup

Friday, 29th June 2018

Queensland Derby winner Dark Dream will be aimed at the $5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in the spring, reports racing.com. Trainer Kerry Parker is unsure at this stage where the 3YO will launch his spring campaign, but says there is one horse he is keen to avoid. "He will go anywhere Winx isn't," said Parker. "I just don't want him getting beaten up by her. He doesn't need that so we might look to go through the back door towards the Caulfield Cup rather than the traditional weight-for-age path." Parker is expecting Dark Dream to take another developmental leap in the spring. "He was a baby when we sent him to Queensland and he certainly matured while up there. That will hold him in good stead come the spring when he goes to Melbourne," he said. "I don't think he'll have a long prep in the spring. He'll commence with residual fitness courtesy of a long prep that ended in the winter." Dark Dream (All American-Buchanan Girl, by Lion Hunter) is rated a $26 chance with TAB for the Caulfield Cup.

Happy Clapper Chasing Everest Slot

Tuesday, 26th June 2018

Trainer Pat Webster has indicated that top class galloper Happy Clapper may race exclusively in Melbourne during the spring if fails to secure a slot in $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on 13 October. Webster said he is leaving any negotiations with Everest slot-holders to owner Michael Thomas. There are currently seven slots still available with five of the 12 spots already locked in. "I told him [Thomas] unless he has anything definite not to worry me. We talk regularly but he hasn't mentioned it so I presume nothing is in concrete," Webster told racingnsw.com.au. "They talk about this horse and that horse and you have the sixth best horse in the world nobody is even talking about." Webster added: "If he doesn't get a slot we'll go to Melbourne. Webster said if Happy Clapper does gain a start in The Everest, he would prepare the horse so he goes into the world's richest turf race nice and fresh. "He's started to do a bit of pacework. Even if he got a run in the Everest he'd have a trial, he might have two, then an ease up and another two trials." Happy Clapper, who is about three weeks away from his first trial, enjoyed a stellar autumn campaign in which he claimed two Group 1 victories in the Canterbury Stakes & Doncaster Handicap, as well as Group 1 placings in the George Ryder Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Stakes - both behind superstar mare Winx.

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Happy Clapper (image: Steve Hart)

Royal Symphony To Miss Spring

Friday, 15th June 2018

High class Melbourne colt Royal Symphony has been ruled out of the spring carnival and won't be seen until the autumn, reports racenet. Trainer Tony McEvoy has revealed that the dual stakes winner is currently undergoing stem cell therapy to treat a suspensory ligament injury which was likely sustained during last year's Group 1 Cox Plate. The son of Aquis Farm stallion Domesday showed he wasn't far off Australia's best gallopers when running a gallant fourth behind superstar Winx in Australia's premier weight-for-age contest. "He tore a suspensory ligament and because it has taken a while to heal we are not going to worry about the spring. Royal Symphony is a slow healer and it is not progressing as quickly as we would have liked," said McEvoy. "We saw the problem in the next bit of work he did after the Cox Plate but the chances are he may have done it in the Cox Plate." McEvoy added: "We have tried some stem cell stuff and he's been doing a lot of rehab on a treadmill and a lot of swimming and a few other things. His last scan was promising but spring will be too soon for him and he won't be seen until the autumn."

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Kementari Tracking Well for Spring

Thursday, 14th June 2018

Godolphin trainer James Cummings has provided an update on the spring preparation of star colt Kementari. The 3YO Lonhro colt proved himself to be one of the best milers in Australia when winning the Group 1 Randwick Guineas(1600m) and finishing third behind Winx in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) in the autumn. "He's filled out beautifully and looks to have matured nicely into his preparation. He's a beautiful looking horse, Cummings told Sky Racing. "We will get a little more serious with him in the next month and look to see him resume in early August."

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Kementari (image: Steve Hart)

Leaner She Will Reign Gearing Up for Spring

Wednesday, 13th June 2018

Trainer Gary Portelli is hoping that former star filly She Will Reign (Manhattan Rain-Courgette, by Charge Forward) can stretch her brilliance out over further distances in the Spring. Portelli says the Group 1 Golden Slipper & Group 1 Moir Stakes winner has matured physically during her break, which he feels will aid her when she races beyond six furlongs for the very first time. The rising 4YO is expected to launch her Spring campaign in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on 5 August, before a possible tilt at the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on 19 August. "She's a good horse first-up and we'll have her ready for the Missile and whether we go to the Winx over 1400m in a fortnight or stick to keeping her fresh we're not sure," Portelli told racingnsw.com.au. "She's changed shape again. She's a longer, leaner and taller looking horse than before. She's longer through the barrel, leaner through the flank and has a different type of muscle tone. The way she races she's lost that crazy speed she had as a young horse." Portelli added: "If a horse's shape changes you have to think something else has to change. We have to listen to her, I'm hoping she's telling us she wants further and not that she's slowed down."

International Invitations for Cox Plate

Friday, 8th June 2018

The Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) has issued its first round of invitations to thirteen of the world's best weight-for-age horses to compete in the 2018 Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on 27 October. Invitees for the 98th running of the Cox Plate, which recently had its prize money increased to $5 million, include horses from five separate jurisdictions and ten of the world's leading racing stables. However, the thirteen hand-picked equine stars will face an imposing task trying to stop the world's best racehorse, Winx, from creating history when she bids for an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate win in the Spring. "With the recent $2 million prize money injection to our great race for the first time since 2002, we are confident we can entice horses on the world stage to compete at The Valley in what is now the richest Group 1 turf race at 2000 metres in the world," said Michael Browell, Moonee Valley Racing Club CEO. "Working with the MVRC Committee and Paul Bloodworth and the team at Racing Victoria, we have identified what we believe to be the best Weight-for-Age horses and we hope they are keen to take on Winx and create a brilliant spectacle." The thirteen invitees are:

  1. CRACKSMAN (UK) John Gosden
  2. BENBATL (UAE) Saeed bin Suroor
  3. ALMOND EYE (JPN) Sakae Kunieda
  4. RECOLETOS (FR) Carlos Laffon-Parias
  5. MOZU ASCOT (JPN) Yoshito Yahagi
  6. POET'S WORD (UK) Sir Michael Stoute
  7. LANCASTER BOMBER (IRE) Aidan O'Brien
  8. YOSHIDA (USA) William Mott
  9. THUNDER SNOW (UAE) Saeed bin Suroor
  10. EPOCA D'ORO (JPN) Hideaki Fujiwara
  11. SAXON WARRIOR (IRE) Aidan O'Brien
  12. MENDELSSOHN (IRE) Aidan O'Brien
  13. PERSIAN KNIGHT (JPN) Yasutoshi Ikee

Winx Return Imminent

Wednesday, 6th June 2018

Winx, the world's best racehorse, has begun pre-training and is set to return to the stable of trainer Chris Waller in about four weeks, reports AAP. The superstar mare, who recorded her 18th Group 1 victory and equalled Black Caviar's record of 25 consecutive wins when strolling to a commanding win in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes in April, is being aimed at an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate victory in the Spring. She is likely to kick off her historic campaign in the eponymous Group 1 Winx Stakes (previously Warwick Stakes) at Royal Randwick on 18 August. "It will come around faster than you think," Waller said.

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Winx (image: Steve Hart)

Pierata Chasing Everest Slot

Tuesday, 5th June 2018

Exciting colt Pierata (Pierro-November Flight, by Flying Spur) is expected to launch his spring campaign in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on 4 August. The 3YO, who was last seen finishing runner-up to Kementari in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas on 10 March, will then run in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) two weeks later in the hope of catching the eye of Everest slot holders. The $13 million The Everest (1200m) - the world's richest turf race - will be run at Royal Randwick on 14 October. "If he runs well in his first two runs they'll be chasing us (for a slot) and if he doesn't we'll go the another way," trainer Greg Hickman told Racing NSW. "He'll have the same preparation as when we went to the Gold Coast. Two trials and he'll be ready to go first-up." Hickman added: "I don't know how good he is and which way to go. I can do anything I want with him if I want to but it's all about making him into a stallion."

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Pierata (image: Steve Hart)

Youngstar Wins Gr1 Queensland Oaks

Monday, 28th May 2018

At Doomben racecourse in Brisbane, Coolmore's deceased dual Derby-winning shuttler & 6-time Gr1 victor High Chaparral (Sadler's Wells-Kasora, by Dashaan) celebrated an elite race success when 3YO Australian-bred filly Youngstar (High Chaparral-Starspangled, by Danehill) overcame a wide run and showed great spirit to fight back and win the $500,000 Gr1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) for 3YO fillies, defeating stable-mate Another Dollar & Sheezdashing. Trainer Chris Waller praised Youngstar's fighting qualities after she endured a tough run in the race. "She's gone from a perfect spot one off the fence then shunted three and four wide," he told Sky Racing. "They took off very early and she needed all of her qualities to come back on the line." Waller said Youngstar may now bid for dual Classic honours in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Doomben on 9 June. "It's a good idea having it two weeks apart. One week for fillies is a bit hard. We weren't tempted to back Winx up but it's something to think about," he said. Youngstar, who hails from the family of English, Irish & Yorkshire Oaks heroine User Friendly, improved her record to 4 wins (including the Gr2 Magic Millions The Roses) and 1 placing from 7 starts for $478,562 in earnings. She was purchased by Anton Koolman Bloodstock for $200,000 at the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Young-based nursery Bowness Stud.

Group 1 QLD Oaks: History & Preview

Friday, 25th May 2018

If the market is any guide, Saturday's $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Doomben is shaping as a three-horse contest. The favourite for the 2018 edition of the race is the Chris Waller-trained Youngstar. The daughter of High Chaparral has shown a plenty of raw ability to date, culminating in her impressive last-start victory in the traditional Oaks lead-up, the Group 2 The Roses (2000m) on 12 May. TAB currently have Youngstar (barrier 4) listed as the $2.80 favourite, ahead of stable-mate Another Dollar (barrier 2) at $5, and last season's Thousand Guineas winner Aloisia (barrier 7) at $7. All other runners are at double figure odds. The exciting Youngster looks to be open to more improvement than her rivals and is likely to prove too strong once again. First run in 1951, the 3YO fillies Classic has been won by some champion fillies and broodmares including celebrated blue hen Denise's Joy (1976), Surround (1977), Lowan Star (1980), November Rain (1981), Bravery (1988), Triscay (1991), Slight Chance (1993), Giovana (2000), Ethereal (2001), and of course the world's best racehorse, Winx (2015).

Group 1 QLD Oaks Field & Barriers

Thursday, 24th May 2018

The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Doomben on Saturday. First run in 1951, the 3YO fillies Classic has been won by some champion fillies and broodmares including celebrated blue hen Denise's Joy (1976), Surround (1977), Lowan Star (1980), November Rain (1981), Bravery (1988), Triscay (1991), Slight Chance (1993), Giovana (2000), Ethereal (2001), and of course the world's best racehorse, Winx (2015). The favourite for the 2018 edition of the race is the Chris Waller-trained Youngstar. The daughter of High Chaparral has shown a high degree of potential to date, culminating in her impressive last-start victory in the traditional Oaks lead-up, the Group 2 The Roses (2000m) on 12 May. TAB currently have Youngstar (barrier 4) listed as the $2.70 favourite, ahead of stable-mate Another Dollar (barrier 2) at $5.50, and last season's Thousand Guineas winner Aloisia (barrier 7) at $7. All other runners are at double figure odds.

Injury Sidelines Chocante

Thursday, 24th May 2018

Talented Kiwi stayer Chocante has been sent to the paddock due to injury, reports NZ racing Desk. "He bowed a tendon in Brisbane, unfortunately, and he's back here now spelling," said trainer Stephen Marsh. The injury was discovered after Chocante's unplaced effort in the Listed Tails Stakes (1600m) at Doomben last month. "It leaves a hole losing two of your top-rated horses – Thee Auld Floozie has retired and now Chocante has gone amiss," added Marsh. Chocante (Shocking) has a Gr3 Counties Cup (2100m) to his credit and last season claimed top honours in the Gr2 Brisbane Cup (2200m). He also embarked on a successful Australian campaign in the spring where he was placed behind champion mare Winx in the Gr2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and Foundry in the Gr1 The Metropolitan (2400m) in Sydney.

Winx Brother Retires to Stud

Monday, 21st May 2018

Boulder City, an unraced 3YO brother to the world's best racehorse Winx, has been retired to stand at Russell and Caroline Osborne's Riverbank Farm in Victoria. The of Snitzel and Vegas Showgirl was in training with Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott but recurring issues precipitated his early retirement to stud. Boulder City was not surprisingly a highly valuable colt with Waterhouse and Julian Blaxland going to $2.3 million to purchase him at the 2016 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Segenhoe Stud (as agent). "The decision to retire Boulder City to stud before commencing his racing career was a very difficult one," said Russell Osborne. "He has had a number of minor issues that were becoming harder to manage and after the devastating loss of his full brother the owners decided to meet the market demand and offer him at stud." Osborne added: "Everyone involved would dearly loved to have seen him get to the race track and have the opportunity to emulate his big sister - however we believe offering his superior bloodlines to the breeding industry is a great thing for breeders." Boulder City will stand at a fee of $5,500 this spring.

2018 Agistment & Spelling