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Daily News | 22nd November 2017
NZB Ready To Run Sale Commences TodayWednesday, 22nd November 2017NZ Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale of Two-Year-Olds commences today at Karaka. With 437 well-trained two-year-olds catalogued, the Sale promises to be an action-packed two days with selling starting at 11am each day. X-rays and veterinary certificates have been lodged with the Repository and are available to view on site at Karaka or via remote access for online viewing by registered vets. The Sale boasts an impressive record of 110 stakes wins over the past five seasons, including 12 individual Group 1 winners who collectively won 19 Group 1 features over the past five seasons alone. Three of those Group 1 victories came during the 2016-17 season with star representative and dual Group 1 winner Gingernuts triumphing on both sides of the Tasman and stable-mate Hall of Fame scoring a Group 1 feature. Further afield, Singapore winners last season were headed by 3YO Sprint and 3YO Classic winner Countofmontecristo, along with Patron’s Bowl and Stewards’ Cup winner Alibi. The statistics have been bolstered further this season with Gingernuts’ victory in the Gr1 Windsor Park Plate, the Gr2 Wakeful Stakes by Luvaluva, and the Garden City Trophy and Jumbo Jet Trophy by Faaltless and Countofmontecristo. A live webcast of the Sale will be available to view on the NZB website from 11am on each day of selling. Click hereto view the catalogue and breeze-up videos online.
Gr1 Railway Stakes Field & BarriersWednesday, 22nd November 2017The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the 131st running of the $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot racecourse in Perth this Saturday. Defending champion and local star Scales Of Justice is currently the $5.50 TAB favourite for the race, ahead of 5-time Gr1 winner Black Heart Bart at $6 and Gr1 performer Tom Melbourne at $7. The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Supply And Demand is the only other runner under double figure odds at $8. The final field is:
- BLACK HEART BART – 59kg (8)
- SCALES OF JUSTICE - 57.5 kg (13)
- TOM MELBOURNE – 55kg (1)
- SUPPLY AND DEMAND - 54.5kg (19)
- ULMANN - 54.5kg (5)
- GREAT SHOT – 53.5kg (11)
- SILVERSTREAM - 53.5kg (20)
- ALL OUR ROADS – 53kg (18)
- COSMIC STORM – 53kg (16)
- DISPOSITION – 53kg (10)
- GATTING – 53kg (3)
- MATERIAL MAN – 53kg (12)
- OBSERVATIONAL – 53kg (6)
- POUNAMU – 53kg (14)
- SOVEREIGN NATION – 53kg (15)
- VARIATION – 53kg (4)
- TRADESMAN – 53kg (1st emergency) (9)
- ROYAL STAR – 53kg (2nd emergency) (17)
- BOLLYWOOD BLITZ – 53kg (3rd emergency) (2)
- TONKATUFF – 53kg (4th emergency) (7)
Variation Gains Railway StartWednesday, 22nd November 2017Talented 4YO Variation has been elevated into Saturday's Gr1 Railway Stakes field at the expense of Tradesman, reports the West Australian. Chief handicapper Ian Malpass used his discretionary powers to ensure the multiple stakes winner gained the 16th and final spot in the $1 million feature, a move which relegated Tradesman to first emergency. Malpass said he based his decision on the fact that the last time the two horses met, Variation finished second and Tradesman seventh behind Pounamu in the Gr3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) on 4 November. "They raced against each other in the Asian Beau and Variation beat Tradesman home comfortably," Malpass said. "I felt that performance was good enough to give Variation the final spot in the field." Variation's trainer Stephen Miller was understandably delighted. "We're very happy," he said. "He came through Saturday's run pretty good. He'll go to the beach for the rest of the week."
RV to Investigate Williams CommentsWednesday, 22nd November 2017Victorian racing authorities will conduct an investigation into the operational structure at Macedon Lodge following comments by owner Lloyd Williams that indicated he is the head trainer, reports AAP. Williams, who celebrated his sixth Melbourne Cup victory with Irish stayer Rekindling two weeks ago, made a statement in an interview with Sky Sports Radio that he was "chairman of the board, chief executive and head trainer". The comments have surprised Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson given that Robert Hickmott, not Williams, is the registered trainer of his horses. "We were surprised by his comments suggesting he is the head trainer. He is not registered as a trainer," Thompson told racing.com. "We had previously had conversations with Lloyd and visited his facilities to understand the relationship of the trainers on site there and his relationship with them and certainly in the past we'd been satisfied that it was more an executive chairman-type relationship rather than a head trainer-type role." However, Thompson added that "based on those comments…I think it is appropriate that we explore that again." Thompson said Racing Victoria's integrity department will look into the matter.
Rekindling winning the Melbourne Cup (image: Mark Gatt)
Winx Decision Soon: TigheWednesday, 22nd November 2017Winx's part-owner Peter Tighe says a decision regarding the champion mare's immediate future will be made "sooner rather than later", reports racenet. Following her historic Cox Plate victory, in which 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, talk immediately turned to whether Winx would embark on an international campaign. Her connections, including trainer Chris Waller, have previously confirmed that a European campaign is definitely being considered, including a trip to Royal Ascot. But Tighe says the appeal of an unprecedented fourth Cox Plate is hard to ignore. "We would love to race her in Australia, the three owners are of the same sort of mind, but it is a huge temptation to take the world on – we know she is good enough," Tighe told Sky Sports Radio. "We will have to make a call sooner rather than later as to what we are going to do." He added: "We can't confirm or deny whether we are going overseas or whether or not, because truly a decision has not been made anyway."
Winx winning an historic third Cox Plate (image: Mark Gatt)
Boom Time Acclimatising Well in JapanWednesday, 22nd November 2017Australian stayer Boom Time has settled in well to his new environment since arriving in Japan last week for Sunday's 37th Gr1 Japan Cup (2400m) at Tokyo racecourse. The Caulfield Cup winner has been stabled at the Quarantine Stable at the Japan Racing Association (JRA) Horseracing School in Shiroi, Chiba Prefecture, outside Tokyo. "His condition has been very good since he came to Japan and everyday he's getting better, he's back to his old self now," Lindsay Park's travelling foreman Gary Fennessy told the Japan Racing Association (JRA). "He's used to travelling long distance and the two-hour ride from the quarantine centre was no problem for him – he does that pretty easy in Melbourne too." Fennessy added: "He'll do some strong work on the turf course tomorrow." Boom Time (Flying Spur-Bit of a Ride, by Snippets) will attempt to give co-trainer David Hayes his second Japan Cup success after the win of Better Loosen Up in 1990.
Gr1 Plans Confirmed for VillermontWednesday, 22nd November 2017Trainer Aaron Purcell says that boom colt Villermont is likely to launch his autumn campaign in the Gr2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on 10 February, reports racing.com. The blue blooded Villermont (All Too Hard-Bollinger, by Dehere) confirmed Group 1 plans next season when storming home for a brilliant last-to-first win in last Saturday's Gr2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) in Melbourne. His early season target is likely to be the $750,000 Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on 3 March, before heading to Sydney for the $600,000 Gr1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on 24 March. "He's gone for a spell now and we'll target the autumn with him. He'll head to the Autumn Stakes in February then off to the Guineas in March," Purcell said. "We always thought he'd be a better horse next time in, so we didn't want to overburden him this time in." Purcell added: "He's a horse that's probably going to be at his best around about 2000 metres and he likes a bit of give in the ground, so I would imagine after the Guineas he'll head to Sydney for the Rosehill Guineas over 2000. A race like that will definitely suit him." Bred and part-owned by Vinery Stud, Villermont is the last foal of the beautifully bred Gr1 Coolmore Classic winner Bollinger (Dehere-Bint Marscay) who died last year. This makes Villermont a direct descendant of influential broodmare Eau D'Etoile (Sir Tristram), ancestress also of Golden Slipper winner Bint Marscay, outstanding dual Gr1-winning miler Filante, Australian Guineas winner Kenny's Best Pal, Victoria Derby winner Benicio, and Gr1 Australia Stakes winner Stella Cadente.
Rich Hill Farewell PentireWednesday, 22nd November 2017The New Zealand breeding industry has lost one of its most versatile stallions with Rich Hill Stud reporting the death on Monday of Pentire. He was 25. A dual Gr1 winner of the Irish Champion Stakes & King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the UK-bred Pentire (Be My Guest-Gull Nook, by Mill Reef) was the Walton farm's foundation sire and subsequently made his mark from his base near Matamata at the elite level throughout Australasia and further afield. "He was 25, but I thought he was going to live forever - he was still serving and so healthy and well," studmaster John Thompson said. "We noticed after lunch on Monday he looked a bit uncomfortable and I got a bad feeling about it, in 20 years we'd only had the vet to him twice. We got him to the clinic and he went into surgery and when they opened him up they found a tumour that the intestine had wrapped around." Thompson continued: "They removed the growth and the intestine hadn't been compromised. They got him into recovery, but sadly he didn't wake up." Pentire has hitherto sired 16 individual Gr1 winners, headed by 10-time Gr1 winner and two-time New Zealand Horse of the Year Mufhasa. His other top progeny include 4-time Gr1 winner Xcellent, NZ 2,000 Guineas winner Xtravagant, Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance, and fellow Gr1 winners Zarita, Rangirangdoo, Pantani, Art Success, Chenille, Penny Gem, Pentane, Recurring, Markus Maximus, Say No More, Volatile Mix and Ferlax. "It just won't be the same around here without him, but his legacy will live on and Pentire is always going to be seen as a strength in any pedigree," Thompson added. "He's had four Group One winners in the last two seasons and I'm certain there are more to come." Pentire was buried at Rich Hill on Tuesday.
Pentire's Prince of Penzance winning the 2015 Melbourne Cup (image: Mark Gatt)
Top Sprinter RetiredWednesday, 22nd November 2017Racing.com reports that Gr1-winning sprinter The Quarterback has been retired. Trained by Robbie Griffiths, The Quarterback (Street Boss-Soorena, by Encosta de Lago) won 9 of his 34 starts for $1,518,250 in earnings. The biggest win of his career came in the 2016 Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington where he defeated top-class gallopers Black Heart Bart and Chautauqua. He is expected to embark upon a new career as a show horse.
The Quarterback (image: Mark Gatt)
Guineas Winner to Target Million RaceWednesday, 22nd November 2017Trainer Stephen McKee says last weekend's New Zealand 1,000 Guineas heroine Hasahalo will be aimed at the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie in January, reports NZ Racing Desk. "I was confident she was going well enough and she got a good track to show what she can do," McKee said of Hasahalo's classic triumph. "Very few horses have the acceleration she has." He added: "She'll have a race somewhere over Christmas and then work toward the Karaka Mile." The $1 million Karaka Million 3YO Classic is a new addition to the Karaka Million series.
Gr1 Targets for Son of MaherWednesday, 22nd November 2017Riccarton trainers Michael and Matthew Pitman will aim Son Of Maher at Group 1 features over the upcoming New Zealand summer carnival, reports NZ Racing Desk. The New Zealand Cup carnival kings produced an impressive eight winners during the meeting, among them their highly-regarded 5YOs dead-heat victory with Shadows Cast in the Gr2 Coupland's Bakeries Mile (1600m). "He's a horse that I've made no secret of the fact that I think he's the best horse I've ever trained," Michael Pitman said. "We're going to come up to Trentham for the Captain Cook Stakes [Gr1] and then bring him back home and get him ready for the Thorndon Mile [Gr1]." Son Of Maher (Al Maher-Dance Hit, by Tights) has two stakes victories to his name, the Coupland's Bakeries Mile and the Listed Dunedin Guineas, but also boasts a second to Dukedom in the 2016 Gr1 Levin Classic.
Retirement Beckons WinterWednesday, 22nd November 2017Dual classic winner Winter (Galileo-Laddies Poker Two, by Choisir) is set to be retired and join Coolmore’s exceptional band of broodmares. A 4-time Gr1 winner of the English & Irish 1000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes, and Nassau Stakes, Winter was last seen finishing ninth behind champion filly Enable in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October. The 3YO grey daughter of Galileo won 5 of her 10 starts for nearly £1.1 million in earnings. “I think Winter has done enough to head on to her next career and she'll probably go off to stud for next year. We're looking forward to her foals,” trainer Aidan O’Brien told Racing Post.
Songbird Has Date With ArrogateWednesday, 22nd November 2017Champions Songbird and Arrogate will be mated together in their first seasons at stud, reports Blood Horse. Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm purchased the exceptional Songbird (Medaglia d'Oro-Ivanavinalot, by West Acre) for US$9.5 million at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale earlier this month. She will be remembered as one of the greatest females of the modern era, winning nine Group 1 races and claiming two Eclipse Awards, while Arrogate (Unbridled's Song-Bubbler, by Distorted Humor) retired to owner Prince Khalid's Juddmonte Farms following his unplaced effort behind Gun Runner in the Breeder's Cup Classic. Currently rated the world's best racehorse, Arrogate won 7 of his 10 starts for career earnings of US$17,298,514, making him the richest North American thoroughbred of all time. "We all love Arrogate. We had a choice of a couple of different horses," said Wayne Sweezey, who manages Pope's mares and foals. "Pope loved Arrogate when he was racing. She loved the horse. He fit Songbird genetically." Sweezey said Pope plans to breed Songbird to champion US sire Tapit next year.