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Daily News | 23rd January 2018
Winx Trial Delights WallerTuesday, 23rd January 2018Champion mare Winx showed she has returned from a break in top order with an impressive barrier trial performance at Rosehill yesterday. Winx, who contested the opening 900 metre heat of the morning, looked in superb order when cruising to the line under a tight hold by jockey Hugh Bowman to finish sixth, two lengths behind Golden Rose winner Trapeze Artist. Star sprinter Redzel finished alongside Winx in seventh. Trainer Chris Waller said Winx's performance was exactly what he wanted to see at this early stage of her preparation. "I came here looking for exactly that and my first impression is I'm very happy," Waller told racingnsw.com.au. "In the trial Hugh could have ridden her on a piece of cotton. She did everything right. Maybe there is a little more improvement." Regular rider Hugh Bowman said: "I couldn't expect her to be better than what we've seen and for me it's about having her happy and if she's happy the rest will fall into place." He added: "I feel as though she's more comfortable at this stage of her preparation than she was last time. It's special to have her back...I'm looking forward to the next couple of months." Winx (Street Cry-Vegas Showgirl, by Al Akbar) created history in the spring when she joined the legendary Kingston Town as the only horse to win three Cox Plates and surpassed three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva to become the greatest prize money earner in Australian racing history. The 15-time Gr1 winner is expected to have one more trial over 1000m at Rosehill on 5 February before resuming in the Gr2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on 17 February. Click here to watch Winx's trial.
Winx (image: Mark Gatt)
Overseas Campaign Beckons WinxTuesday, 23rd January 2018Trainer Chris Waller says a decision regarding a potential international campaign for Winx will not be made until after she runs in the Gr1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) in Sydney on 24 March, reports racingnsw.com.au. The champion mare's connections have made it clear they are keen to showcase her exceptional talent on the world stage, with the Royal Ascot meeting in June the primary target. "One thing we respect is how hard it is to travel a horse and to get her home," Waller said. "She will be the best guide. We've given it plenty of thought but it will be after her third run this preparation – probably the George Ryder – before we talk about her future." Waller added: "The Ascot picture is simply to satisfy a lot of people that want her on the other side of the world to perform. To show how good she is. But the horse comes first."
Trapeze Artist Wins Star-Studded TrialTuesday, 23rd January 2018Meanwhile, last year's Golden Rose winner Trapeze Artist (Snitzel-Treppes, by Domesday) continued his autumn preparation with a strong barrier trial win at Rosehill yesterday. The 3YO scored by 0.2 length in his 900 metre heat in a time of 54.40 seconds defeating a star-studded field that included Victoria Derby winner Ace High (5th), champion mare Winx (6th), and Australia's best sprinter Redzel (7th). Trainer Gerald Ryan has confirmed the Trapeze Artist will be aimed at the $1 million Gr1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on 10 March. "Trapeze Artist will resume in the Eskimo Prince (1200m) and then go to the Hobartville (1400m) and the Randwick Guineas," Ryan said. Click here to watch Trapeze Artist's trial.
Trapeze Artist (image: Steve Hart)
Payne On a High After TrialTuesday, 23rd January 2018Trainer David Payne said he was more than satisfied with Ace High's barrier trial performance at Rosehill yesterday. Ace High (High Chaparral-Come Sunday, by Redoute's Choice), a winner of the Gr1 Victoria Derby & Gr1 Spring Champion Stakes last spring, finished fifth in yesterday's star-studded 900 metre trial that also featured champion mare Winx (6th), and Australia's best sprinter Redzel (7th). Payne said Ace High was on track to resume in either the Gr3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on 17 February or the Gr2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on 24 February. "I was very pleased with him and he is on track. He is a much stronger horse, but mentally he is still a bit of a baby," Payne told ANZ Bloodstock News. "We will see how he pulls up in the next few days and then we will decide what race he starts in. He could resume in the Hobartville or the 1200 metres race the week before." Ace High's primary autumn targets are the Gr1 Randwick Guineas, Gr1 Rosehill Guineas and Gr1 Australian Derby in Sydney.
Addictive Nature Impresses in TrialTuesday, 23rd January 2018Highly talented 3YO Addictive Nature (Savabeel-Generous Nature, by Carnegie) was another horse to trial impressively at Rosehill yesterday morning. Indeed the Bjorn Baker-trained colt, who is a winner of 2 of his 4 starts including the Ming Dynasty Handicap (1400m) in Sydney last spring, looked a top-liner in the making when scoring an explosive 2.5 length win in his 900 metre heat. Addictive Nature's winning time of 53.20 seconds was actually 1.2 seconds faster than the time clocked by the Group 1 stars in heat one that featured Trapeze Artist (1st), Ace High (5th), champion mare Winx (6th), and Australia's best sprinter Redzel (7th). Click here to watch Addictive Nature's trial.
Golden Slipper 2nd Acceptances Due TodayTuesday, 23rd January 2018Second acceptances for the world's richest juvenile race, the Gr1 Golden Slipper, close at 2pm today. The 62nd running of the $3.5 million Golden Slipper (1200m) will be run at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, 24 March. Click here to view the full list of first acceptances and current list of second acceptances.
Group One Winner RetiredTuesday, 23rd January 2018Stolen Dance (Alamosa-Songbird, by Black Minnaloushe) has left the Cambridge stable of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman to begin the next stage of her career, reports NZ Racing Desk. The 6YO New Zealand-bred mare, who is in foal to Tavistock, bowed out in style when claiming her maiden Group success in last Saturday's Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham. "She went off this morning," Baker said. "It was a really satisfying win. She's a valuable broodmare now." Stolen Dance, who hails from the prolific stakes producing family of Gr2 Blamey Stakes & Gr3 Geelong Cup winner The Fuzz, and Gr2 Wellington Guineas & Gr2 Eight Carat Classic winner Kainui Belle, retires with a record of 10 wins (including the Gr2 Cal Isuzu Stakes & Gr3 Eagle Technology Stakes) and 7 placings from 28 starts for NZ$497,825 in earnings.
BCD Sprint Next for KawiTuesday, 23rd January 2018New Plymouth trainer Allan Sharrock says he is more than happy with the runner-up performance of Kawi in last weekend's Gr1 Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham, reports NZ Racing Desk. Savabeel's star son produced a huge performance under jockey Jason Waddell to storm home from the rear of the field to finish a close second behind surprise winner Enzo's Lad. "There were a few detractors, but it was a massive effort," Sharrock said. "I tried to create a bit of history and we came up a neck short. If he had been one pair closer in the running he could have done it, but I'm just so proud of the horse - a huge run." Sharrock added: "He had to come down the slowest part of the track as well, the inside was hot all day." Sharrock said Kawi has breezed through Saturday's effort and his next target is the Gr1 BCD Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa on 10 February. Kawi (Savabeel-Magic Time, by Volksraad), who along with champion Kiwi mare Seachange has seven Group 1 wins on his CV, needs just one more to equal the feat of former two-time New Zealand Horse of the Year Mufhasa who holds the record of eight domestic Group 1 wins.
QLD Option for Kiwi StayerTuesday, 23rd January 2018Group One performed stayer Sacred Master (Mastercraftsman-Trickle, by Storm Creek) is heading back to a familiar environment, reports NZ Racing Desk. The well-performed 6YO is about to return to the Cambridge yard of Tony Pike after a successful stint with champion Australian trainer Chris Waller. "He's been in pre-training for six weeks and is due back here shortly," Pike said. "He won't be ready for the Auckland Cup so we'll look to give him a couple of runs here a bit later and there's a chance he could go to Brisbane for the Queensland carnival." Sacred Master won six races, including the Gr2 Avondale Cup (2400m), and finished third in the 2016 Gr1 Auckland Cup (3200m), before linking up with Waller's stable. During that time he won Gr3 Newcastle Cup (2300m), finished runner-up in the Listed Wyong Cup (2100m), and ran fourth in the Gr1 The Metropolitan (2400m).
Australian Premiership Sires UpdateTuesday, 23rd January 2018After twenty five weeks of the 2017-18 racing season, Arrowfield Stud's incumbent Champion Australian Sire Snitzel retains a very healthy lead at the top of the national sires leader board with progeny earnings of $15.4 million. Occupying second position is Coolmore's ill-fated High Chaparral, who made a major move up the leader board after the wins of Rekindling in the Melbourne Cup and Ace High in the Victoria Derby in the spring. Yarraman Park's high-profile sire I Am Invincible rounds out the top three. According to arion.co.nz, the Top 10 ranked stallions in Australia (as of 22 January) are:
- Snitzel (Redoute's Choice) - $15,483,166
- High Chaparral (Sadler's Wells) - $9,417,029
- I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit) - $7,693,260
- Fastnet Rock (Danehill) - $6,884,331
- Not a Single Doubt (Redoute's Choice) - $6,238,582
- Street Cry (Machiavellian) - $6,040,793
- Sebring (More Than Ready) - $4,861,893
- Pierro (Lonhro) - $4,059,649
- Written Tycoon (Iglesia) - $3,845,577
- Lope de Vega (Shamardal) - $3,799,648
Criquette Head-Maarek Announces RetirementTuesday, 23rd January 2018Top French trainer Criquette Head-Maarek, best known as the trainer of champion mare and dual Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Treve, has announced she is retiring from the sport. Head-Maarek, whose career has spanned 40 years, will saddle up her final runners on 1 February. However, she will not be lost to the sport and plans to spend more time at her family's stud, Haras du Quesnay in Deauville. "It was a tough decision to take, because it is always tough when you decide to change. It is a big change for me. I have been training since 1977, so 41 years," she told Sky Sports. "I've been very lucky to train for some wonderful owners, like the Wertheimer brothers, Juddmonte Farms and Prince Khalid Abdullah, Maktoum Al Maktoum and obviously my dad [Alec Head]," she told Racing Post. "For 40 years I've been lucky to have fantastic horses throughout, and I've enjoyed every minute of it. It was a hard decision to make, but I'm nearly 70 and it's time to stop."
First Foal for California ChromeTuesday, 23rd January 2018The first foal of dual US Horse of the Year California Chrome was born at Calumet Farm in Kentucky on Saturday. Taylor Made Farm, where California Chrome stands, reported that the foal is a colt out of millionaire race mare Pay the Man, a daughter of Bernstein who won 21 stakes races during a decorated racing career. California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit-Love the Chase, by Not for Love) retired in 2017 with a record of 16 wins from 27 starts for US$14,746,218 in prize money, making him the richest North American racehorse in history at the time. Arrogate has since claimed that title. Among California Chrome's wins were 7 at Group One level, including the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes & Dubai World Cup.