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Daily News | 14th December 2017
Interlocuter Ready for Stakes DebutThursday, 14th December 2017Godolphin trainer James Cummings says progressive galloper Interlocuter (Medaglia d'Oro-Satin Kiss, by Seeking the Gold) faces his biggest test in Saturday's Gr2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick, reports racingnsw.com.au. The 5YO US-bred entire has hitherto shown tremendous promise with 5 wins from 9 starts, including three wins at his past three outings, but steps up to stakes level for the first time in the $250,000 summer feature. Cummings says the Godolphin team have been patient in giving the import time to work through his grades and he's confident it can pay dividends on the weekend. "He's raced through his grades quite rapidly but we haven't been in any rush to drop him in the deep end before now," Cummings said. "Interlocuter is going to have to really get to the next level to be looking good against those horses." Cummings added: "I feel he has had a good prep for the Villiers but it's a really hard race to win and he finds himself in there down in the weights. The horse couldn't be going better in our eyes but it is a big step up to be competitive in a time-honoured Group 2 handicap." Interlocuter is currently the dominant $3 TAB fixed odds favourite for the Villiers, ahead of the Chris Waller-trained import Mister Sea Wolf at $6 and Cabeza De Vaca at $9.
Gingernuts Recovery UpdateThursday, 14th December 2017Te Akau Racing has provided a brief update on the progress of Gingernuts as he continues his recovery from injury. The triple Gr1 winner was successfully operated on after fracturing a near front pastern prior to the running of the Gr1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington in the spring. Te Akau tweeted yesterday that his recovery has not necessarily gone to plan. "GINGERNUTS update - v mixed few days for our boy. Infection likelihood in joint/pastern now slim but new concern with onset of lameness in affected leg. Pain relief increased but he's comfortable & a super patient. We will all keep putting his interests first."
Gingernuts (image: Steve Hart)
Waller Shows Off Well-Bred FillyThursday, 14th December 2017Trainer Chris Waller unveiled one of his leading 2YOs in Brisbane on Tuesday. Sporting the distinctive gold and claret coloured silks of owner Qatar Bloodstock, well-bred 2YO filly Vitesse stepped out in a barrier trial at Doomben and displayed plenty of raw ability when closing strongly to finish runner-up to the Kelly Schweida-trained Speedgun over 840 metres. Waller's Gold Coast stable manager Paul Shailer said Vitesse possessed an abundance of natural ability. "Vitesse has great ability but the filly doesn't know how good she is," Shailer told racenet. "She showed good gate speed and could have led but Michael Cahill eased her out of the speed battle and then she got in behind them and looked a bit new. She worked home nicely under her own steam. Five strides after the post, she was ahead." Shailer said a decision would be made soon as to whether Vitesse would be aimed at the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January or put aside for the Golden Slipper in the autumn. "We will take her back to the trials at Deagon next week and I think you will see a lot of natural improvement there," he said. If connections do decide to target the Magic Millions, options include running Vitesse first-up in a 900m race at the Gold Coast on 23 December or the Gr3 BJ McLachlan Stakes (1200m) a week later at Doomben. Purchased by David Redvers and Guy Mulcaster for $500,000 at this year's Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Arrowfield Stud, Vitesse is by incumbent champion Australian sire Snitzel out of the beautifully bred Irish mare Sananda, a half-sister to Champion 3YO European Filly Sarafina. Click here to watch Vitesse's trial.
Import Joins Lindsay Park StableThursday, 14th December 2017German 2,000 Guineas winner Poetic Dream has joined the Lindsay Park stable at Euroa, reports racing.com. Co-trainer David Hayes purchased the lightly raced son of Poet's Voice for €900,000 at the Arqana Arc Sale in France in September. "The reason we went strong on him [at the auction] is we believe there's a shortage of weight-for-age horses when you take Winx out of the system, and she's probably only got a season left in her," Hayes said. "So it would be nice to have a star on the rise, he's only had five starts so he's only got upside in him." A winner of 2 of his 5 starts, Poetic Dream's hitherto biggest win was in the Gr2 Mehl Mülhens Rennen (German 2,000 Guineas) in May when he stormed home from last on the turn.
3YO From Biscay Bird Family Wins DebutThursday, 14th December 2017Joe Pride believes his has an autumn prospect on his hands following the stylish debut win of the well-related Cyber Intervention at Wyong yesterday. Despite showing signs of greenness, the 3YO produced a good turn of foot to rush home over the top of his rivals to score a narrow but decisive win in the Guardian Partners Maiden Handicap over 1200 metres. Trainer Joe Pride was delighted with the performance and said the gelding would only continue to improve. "He's probably one of the most immature horses in my stable," Pride told Sky Racing. "I thought I'd bring him to the races but I was expecting the unexpected. I knew he had the ability to win but he could easily have done everything wrong and run last so its really good to see him put it together today." Pride added: "He'll go straight to the paddock now. As he gets older he'll only get better. I'm really happy with him and I believe he is a really nice horse going forward." A $55,000 purchase at last year's Inglis Classic Yearling Sale from the draft of Wahha Thoroughbreds, Cyber Intervention is by former champion racehorse So You Think out of Soft Landing (Al Maher-Biscay Bird, by Bluebird), a half-sister to 4-time Gr1 winner Universal Prince and Gr1 Robert Sangster Stakes winner Universal Queen. This is also the family of Victoria Derby winning sire Blevic.
Third Leg of NZB Filly Of the Year SeriesThursday, 14th December 2017New Zealand Bloodstock's Filly of the Year Series continues on Saturday with the running of the third leg - the $70,000 Gr3 Eulogy Stakes (1550m) at Awapuni. The current table leader is the classy Karaka graduate Dijon Bleu (Burgundy). The Lisa Latta-trained filly won the first leg, the Gr3 Hawke's Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) before finishing runner-up to Hasahalo (Savabeel) in the Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m). Dijon Bleu sits on 13 points, leading Hasahalo by 1. Other fillies with points to their name are The Lustre (Darci Brahma) with 3.5, Florence Jean (Pins) with 3 and Princess Rihanna (Showcasing) with 1.5. Of those, only Princess Rihanna will line up in Saturday's race. The Eulogy Stakes honour roll includes Filly of the Year title winners Insouciant (2007), Justa Tad (2004) and Savannah Success (1998). The 2017 Eulogy Stakes will be run as Race 7 with a start time of 4.13pm (local time). Click here to view runners' comments.
VIC Campaign for VariationThursday, 14th December 2017Stakes-winning WA galloper Variation will embark on an eastern states campaign in the New Year, reports the West Australian. Trainer Stephen Miller said Variation would be spelled after Saturday's Gr3 AJ Scahill Stakes (1400m) at Ascot to be prepared for a trip to Melbourne. "We'll give him a break and then have a look at races over there," Miller said. "We won't be looking at any of the bigger races." He added: "We'll have a look at what our options are, but the main thing is to get through Saturday and see how he measures up at weight-for-age." Variation (War Chant-Fleeting Angel, by Don't Say Halo) is a four-time stakes winner with his biggest win coming in the Gr2 WA Guineas (1600m) as a 3YO.
Anniversary Return for Cup HopeThursday, 14th December 2017Wait A Sec will be back in action early next month to continue his build-up toward the Gr1 Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie in March, reports NZ Racing Desk. A surprise 30-1 winner of the Gr1 Livamol Classic (2000m) at Hastings in October, Wait A Sec will resume off a short break in the Gr3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham on 13 January. "We're looking to kick him off in the Anniversary at set weights and penalties," said Grant Cullen, who trains the gelding with Guy Lowry. "We'll take it from there and see how the tracks are, he can handle one or two on the firmer ground." Cullen credits Wait A Sec's resurgence in the last couple of seasons with a change in training regime at his Dannevirke property. "We work him at home and around the farm, he's just a very happy horse," he said.
Exhibition Gallop for Zabeel HopeThursday, 14th December 2017Multiple Group 1 winning Kiwi galloper Volkstok'n'barrell (Tavistock-Volkster, by Volksraad) is set to have an exhibition gallop this weekend ahead of next month's Zabeel Classic, reports NZ Racing Desk. "He's packed on the beef so we'll take him to Ellerslie on Sunday, it will do him good to have another look around," co-trainer Chris Gibbs said. A last-start third in the Gr3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m), Volkstok'n'barrell has been set for the Gr1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day. The 6YO finished runner-up to Consensus in the weight-for-age feature last year. Volkstok'n'barrell will be chasing his fifth Group 1 success in the Zabeel following elite wins in the Rosehill Guineas, Maori Stakes, New Zealand Stakes, and Herbie Dyke Stakes.
Volkstok'n'barrell (image: Steve Hart)
2019 English Derby Entries ReleasedThursday, 14th December 2017A total of 338 yearlings have been entered for the 2019 Epsom Derby, reports ANZ Bloodstock News. The powerful Coolmore operation are represented by the most yearlings with 45 nominees, including an unnamed full brother to recently retired multiple Group 1 winner Highland Reel (Galileo-Hveger, by Danehill). 2001 English Derby winner and champion European sire Galileo is the most represented sire with 41 progeny entered. Click here to view full list of entries.
Arqana Sale Breaks RecordsThursday, 14th December 2017The 2017 Arqana December Breeding Stock Sale set new records across the board when the four-day sale concluded on Tuesday. The set of figures posted by the 2017 renewal of the sale were unprecedented. The aggregate broke the €30 million barrier for the first time in the sale’s history, reaching €31,783,000 which represented a 36% increase from 2016. The average price climbed 22% to €45,444 and the clearance rate improved to almost 80%. Looking back over the past five years, the increase is even more striking, showing a 60% rise in the sale’s turnover and 39% for the sale’s average. Arqanan CEO Eric Hoyeau commented on the sale: "Trade has been nothing short of phenomenal over the last four days and most importantly demand was strong at every level of the markets. We didn’t lose momentum as we progressed through the sale, and this is down primarily to the quality of stock brought to the market by our vendors, as well as to the hard work produced by our international representatives with the skilful support of the ARQANA and FRBC teams. Together, we left no stone unturned whether in Japan, America, Australia, Australia, New Zealand, Eastern Europe, Turkey, Northern Africa and of course on both sides of the Channel...the seeds have now been sown for French bloodlines to continue to produce classy winners across the world and in both disciplines."
Tom Ludt Joins Phoenix Thoroughbreds TeamThursday, 14th December 2017Phoenix Thoroughbreds has announced Tom Ludt as head of its US operations. Ludt will be based in America and will lead the Phoenix team in advising on new sourcing opportunities and management of existing bloodstock. Phoenix Thoroughbreds is expanding its operations into stallions, broodmares and is exploring resale opportunities as it continues to develop its international team of advisors. "With Tom's previous leadership roles in running Vinery Stud and Racing for many years, Breeders Cup Chairman, Santa Anita Racetrack and now Chairman of Horseco.com, he brings with him great relationships and experience in the equine market," said CEO of Phoenix Thoroughbreds, Mr Aamer Abdulaziz Salman. "We couldn't be happier to add him to our team. We look forward to building our bloodstock operation and we are pleased that Tom is part of building the Phoenix legacy."