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Daily News | 27th July 2017
Chautauqua Better Than EverThursday, 27th July 2017Co-trainer Michael Hawkes has declared star sprinter Chautauqua in career best shape as he continues preparations for a spring campaign aimed at The Everest in October, reports racingnsw.com.au. "Physically, he is better. It's more the maturity side that is starting to kick in. Hopefully he has another year or two of racing at the top level being so lightly raced," Hawkes told Sky Sports Radio. "He looks great and spelled very, very well. It's amazing to think he could get better but he just spelled so well." Hawkes continued: "He is full of life, bouncing around and is like a two-year-old again so with a good spell like he has had, hopefully it will stand him in good stead for The Everest." Hawkes, who prepares the mighty grey with his father John and brother Wayne, said no decision had yet been made about a likely starting point. "He has had a few nice gallops and looks fantastic. We're in no rush and still haven't decided whether we start - here or in Melbourne. But from there he'll head towards the Premiere [Gr2 Premiere Stakes on 30 September] and then into The Everest," he said. The Everest, which will become the world's richest turf race, will be run for the first time at Royal Randwick on 14 October.
Chautauqua (image: Steve Hart)
Hayes Provides Update On Black Caviar DaughterThursday, 27th July 2017Rising 3YO Oscietra, the first foal of world champion sprinter Black Caviar, has pleased trainer David Hayes with an impressive jump-out at Geelong yesterday. "I thought I would trial here first down here. For two reasons, one to have a little bit of peace and quiet, and also to give her a look at Geelong because I may kick her off in a maiden on the all-weather there. The tracks get very wet in August," Hayes told Sky Sports Radio yesterday. "She had an easy half-mile trial. It was actually a 1000 metre trial but she was only trialling 800 metres. She won the trial but was eased down for the last 200 metres, because she was a couple lengths clear at the 800m and cruising." Hayes said the high-profile filly would have another jump-out at Flemington in the next couple of weeks before he decides on a suitable first-up assignment. However, he pointed out it was important not to over-hype the filly because of her pedigree. "She was never going to be a big imposing type. She doesn't have the strength of the likes of Catchy, Formality and Tulip – mind you they are built like men. She is a very feminine little filly but I am sure she is going to win races in the spring, and I'm equally as confident that she has black-type ability." Hayes added: "People keep asking, 'does she compare to her mother', but the answer is, no-one does. Her mother was, in my opinion, the best ever, so it's hard to think that her daughter would be the second-best ever." Oscietra (Exceed And Excel), who is named after one of the world's most prized and expensive types of caviar, has had one start for the Lindsay Park yard of David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig when finishing third over 1000m at Flemington on New Year's Day.
The incomparable Black Caviar (image: Steve Hart)
Moore Happy With TakedownThursday, 27th July 2017Trainer Gary Moore has provided an update on the progress of classy sprinter Takedown (Stratum-Apamea, by Zafonic) who is back in work after spelling at Washpool Lodge in Queensland, reports ANZ Bloodstock News. The Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes winner disappointed when finishing seventh in the Gr1 Doomben 10,000 in May, but Moore said the 4YO had returned from a break in good order. “He looks fantastic now. He has been wintering up at Washpool Lodge. He’s been on the water walker and treadmill so we’ve been able to build up his top-line which he lost with the length of quarantine between Hong Kong and Australia,” Moore said. “He’ll have his first trial on 18 August and then he will back up again on 31 August. We will then go to The Shorts [Gr2 The Shorts on 17 September] and the Premiere Stakes [Gr2 on 30 September] at Randwick, then after that you never know what might happen…He could go to The Everest.”
Star Filly Excites TrainerThursday, 27th July 2017Trainer Shane Nichols has confirmed that top-flight filly I Am A Star (I Am Invincible-Star Band, by Dixieland Band) will trial at Cranbourne on 7 August before licking off her spring campaign. Last year's Gr1 Myer Classic winner will resume in either the Gr3 Aurie's Star (1200m) at Flemington on 12 August, or the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield a week later, with the Gr1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on 2 September an early target. "She looks enormous, probably the best she has. She looks that good I can't wait to get her racing again," Nichols told racenet. "As she's already a Group One winner we'll be aiming high with her in the spring. Certainly a race like the Memsie at Caulfield and the other weight-for-age races at a mile." He added: "Depending on how she is coping with those then we'll see if she can stretch out over a bit further."
Brave Song Another Smart Winner for Your SongThursday, 27th July 2017Juvenile colt Brave Song stamped himself as a young horse with a promising future when running out an impressive winner of the Ascot Restaurant Handicap (1200m) at Canterbury yesterday. Trained by Peter & Paul Snowden on behalf of Triple Crown Syndications, Brave Song made amends for an unlucky and narrow debut defeat when scoring an emphatic 3 length win over Sparky Lad (Smart Missile) and Puppet Master (Foxwedge) in the 2YO maiden. Speaking post-race, Paul Snowden told Sky Racing: "He did everything wrong on debut and probably should have won. He really impressed us with the way he trained on from that, so it's pleasing to see him win today." He added: "He's been a very slow maturer and he's still learning what it's all about but the ability is definitely there." By Widden Stud's Gr1-winning stallion Your Song (Fastnet Rock-Zembu, by Fuji Kiseki), Brave Song is out of the Dr Fong (US) mare Brave Choice, a daughter of Queensland Derby and Queensland Oaks winner Bravery. This is the family of Gr2 Magic Night Stakes winner Media, Gr2 Wakeful Stakes winner Timbourina, Listed Redelva Classic winner Cardinal Virtue, and dual stakes winner Valourina. Your Song continues to impress with his progeny and is currently the leading Australian first season sire by winners. From just one crop of racing age, he has already produced 11 winners from 32 runners, including three stakes performers. Your Song's best performer to date has been 2YO filly Split Lip, winner of the Listed Dequetteville Stakes at Morphettville in April. He has also been represented by stakes-placed juveniles Memento (Gr3 Magic Night Stakes) and Peristrophe (Listed TTC Gold Sovereign Stakes).
Canterbury to Open for Spring Track GallopsThursday, 27th July 2017Trainers will be able to use the Canterbury Park course proper for Tuesday morning track gallops on selected days ahead of feature Saturday race meetings as horses begin their Sydney spring carnival campaigns. The Canterbury Park course proper will be available from 6am on Tuesday 1 August for horses nominated for the Saturday 5 August (Missile Stakes raceday), and Tuesday 22 August for horses nominated for the meeting on Saturday 26 August (San Domenico Stakes raceday). The two morning gallop sessions are during weeks where Canterbury Park is not scheduled to host a Wednesday meeting. Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager of Racing James Heddo said the initiative was designed to maximise the utility value of Sydney's racing and training assets. "We have a fantastic facility at Canterbury Park and believe offering the course proper wherever possible for trackwork in the lead up to Spring will assist an even better preparation for all horses,'' Mr Heddo said.
Milestone Looms for MertensThursday, 27th July 2017Victorian apprentice Beau Mertens will get the chance to claim a special career milestone when he legs aboard favourite Supido in Saturday's Gr3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield, reports racing.com. Mertens, who will ride Supido for his master Mick Kent, has three Listed wins to his name, but is yet to boot home a winner at Group level. Supido (Sebring-Lady Succeed, by Brian's Time), who posted his maiden stakes victory in the Gr3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield two weeks ago, is currently the $3.20 fixed odds favourite with Tab ahead of Lankan Rupee ($6.50) and Robert Smerdon's progressive sprinter Ability ($7).
RQ Appoints Leading Racing EducatorThursday, 27th July 2017Racing Queensland (RQ) has appointed one of Australia's most experienced racing industry educators and jockey welfare administrators to lead its education department into a new era of racing industry training in Queensland. RQ CEO Dr Eliot Forbes has announced that Maurice Logue has agreed to take the important leadership position as Manager of Education and Jockey Welfare as of mid-August, 2017. "Maurice has a well-deserved reputation in a wide range of roles in the racing industry starting out as an apprentice jockey before a successful career as a jockey with more than 750 wins over his riding career," Dr Forbes said. "In his roles Maurice has demonstrated excellence at building relationships across industry groups and delivering educational strategies to enhance the outcomes for all participants." Mr Logue has been the GM of Workplace Development, Education, Employment, Industry Welfare and Safety for Racing NSW since 2006 as well as performing as a manager for the Championships Canterbury Park Quarantine Centre since 2012.
Top Kiwi Mare To Decide Own FateThursday, 27th July 2017The future of top Kiwi sprinter Perfect Fit will be decided after her first two appearances of the new season, reports NZ Racing Desk. "She had her first run along yesterday morning [Tuesday] and she'll go to the Te Teko trials next Tuesday," said Mark Chitty of Haunui Farm, who bred the Elusive City mare and remains in the ownership. "All going well, she'll run in the Foxbridge Plate [Gr2] and then the Tarzino Trophy [Gr1]. What happens after that will be determined by her performances." By Elusive City out of the three-time Gr1-winning mare Fayreform, Perfect Fit's biggest win to date was in last year's Gr1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa. She was also placed in the Gr1 Railway and the Gr1 Telegraph in January.
Cool Catomine Wins Prince Of Wales StakesThursday, 27th July 2017Cool Catomine claimed the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown with a 2.5 length win in the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes (for 3YOs foaled in Canada) at Fort Erie racetrack on Tuesday evening. Trained by co-owner John Ross, Cool Catomine defeated State Of Honor to improve his record to 2 wins from 5 starts. "I'd seen this horse at the sale…a beautifully bred horse. And when I saw him I said, 'That's a race horse.' And so far it's paid off," Ross told the Toronto Sun. "It was a great investment….So here we are winning the second leg of the Triple Crown. We're kind of overwhelmed, I'm trying to catch my breath." Ross said he will consider running Cool Catomine in the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Breeders' Stakes on 20 August. "We'll see how he comes out of it and we'll go from there," he said.
Highland Reel Definite King George RunnerThursday, 27th July 2017Aidan O’Brien is adamant that Highland Reel will take his place in Saturday’s Gr1 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, despite the multiple top-flight winner being a noticeable drifter in the market, reports Racing Post. The money continues to flow for John Gosden’s dual Oaks winner Enable, with some questioning Highland Reel’s record on soft going; he has never won on ground rated softer than good. "All is well with Highland Reel and Idaho," said O’Brien, indicating that Highland Reel’s younger brother, last-start Hardwicke Stakes winner Idaho, would also be running. "The better the ground, the more it will suit both of them. But whereas they wouldn't want really testing ground – very few of our horses do – we think they'll be quite adaptable if it is a bit on the easy side.” O’Brien admitted that Enable would be a worthy adversary come race time. "The King George is always a very good race and that will again be the case on Saturday,” he said. "Enable has been very impressive winning the Oaks and the Irish Oaks. She's obviously a very high-class filly." Rain is predicted for Ascot on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Enable Given Green LightThursday, 27th July 2017Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Enable’s owner Khalid Abdullah, said overnight that it is the stable’s intention to run the dual Classic winner in Saturday’s Gr1 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, reports Racing Post. It will be the first time that the English & Irish Oaks winner has raced against older horses. "John Gosden is pleased with Enable this morning and she's an intended runner at Ascot,” Grimthorpe said. Gosden knows what type of filly it takes to win a King George, with champion filly Taghrooda taking out the race for the Newmarket handler in 2014. Enable has firmed into as short as 6-5 with some bookmakers, while previous favourite Highland Reel has drifted from 5-2 to 5-1 on account of concerns about the anticipated soft ground.