Daily News | 27th June 2017
Classic Winners Building Nicely for Spring
Tuesday, 27th June 2017The Gr1 Memsie Stakes in Melbourne on 2 September is the likely spring starting point for classic winning stable-mates Jon Snow and Bonneval, reports AAP. The 3YOs stamped themselves as horses to watch when winning the Australian Derby and Australian Oaks respectively in Sydney during the autumn. Co-trainer Andrew Forsman, who prepares the duo in partnership with Murray Baker, said Jon Snow and Bonneval had been in work since the beginning of June and would have their training load increased in the next couple of weeks. "They are both stronger but obviously you'd expect that going from three to four-year-old," Forsman said. "We couldn't be happier at this stage but there's still a lot of water to go under the bridge.” He added: "We'll probably look at giving them a trial here in early August and then get them over to Melbourne in the middle of August." Forsman said the Caulfield Cup was the primary target for both horses. The stable won the race with Mongolian Khan in 2015. "Obviously they are both Caulfield Cup candidates, so that would be the target at this stage unless one of them puts their hand up and says they are good enough to take on Winx (in the Cox Plate)," Forsman said. "Only a select few can take that step up and we were lucky that Mongolian Khan was good enough to do it…we're pretty confident these two have the class to do that.”
Bonneval winning the Australian Oaks (image: Steve Hart)
Mahuta Retired to Stud
Tuesday, 27th June 2017Multiple Group winner Mahuta (Flying Spur-Vahine, by Zabeel) has been retired to stand at Lynward Park Stud in Western Australia, reports racing.com. Trained by Darren Weir for Roll The Dice Racing, Mahuta won 6 of his 16 starts, including the Gr2 Autumn Stakes, Gr2 Sandown Guineas, Gr3 Carbine Club Stakes, and 3YO Guineas, for over $1.75 million in earnings. He was also Gr1 placed in the Memsie Stakes behind Black Heart Bart last spring. By Arrowfield's former Australian Champion Sire Flying Spur (Danehill), Mahuta is out of a three-quarter sister to Isolda (Sir Tristram), winner of the 1995 Gr1 Champagne Stakes in Sydney.
Mahuta (image: Mark Gatt)
Royal Symphony Caulfield Guineas Favourite
Tuesday, 27th June 2017Boom colt Royal Symphony has claimed the top spot in betting for the $1 million Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) to be run at Caulfield racecourse on 14 October. Online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au reacted to Royal Symphony's explosive 3.75 length win in Saturday's $100,000 Gippsland Region Handicap (1400m) at Flemington by installing him as the $9.00 favourite for the stallion-making spring feature. "Royal Symphony is a late bloomer and was a very impressive winner at Flemington last Saturday. That was only his second start, but he looks as though he will be a force in the Caulfield Guineas and other major three-year-old races next season,'' said sportsbet.com.au's Will Byrne. The Tony McEvoy-trained colt's record now reads 2 wins from 2 starts with a combined winning margin of more than 7 lengths. "That was something special," McEvoy said. "He could go all the way. I would go so far as to say that Hey Doc couldn't do that at that stage and he won the Guineas [Gr1 Australian Guineas]." Royal Symphony (Domesday-Naturalist, by Palace Music), who hails from the family of three-time Gr1 winner Naturalism, was bred at Wingrove Park in Victoria. "We are very proud to have bred and handled such a quality colt," Wingrove Park CEO Joseph Vella said. "He was a standout from an early age and had the bloodlines to match."
Bull Point Sibling Set for Debut
Tuesday, 27th June 2017Valuable and well-connected colt Siege Of Quebec will make his eagerly awaited debut in a 2YO maiden handicap (1250m) at Newcastle today. Purchased for $1.2 million by a syndicate comprising Tom Magnier, Gai Waterhouse, Nordic Racing & Breeding, and Julian Blaxland at the 2016 Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Newgate Farm, Siege Of Quebec is by Fastnet Rock out of Rose Of Cimmaron (Bite The Bullet) making him a full-brother to smart Gr3 MRC Manfred Stakes winner Bull Point. Rose Of Cimmaron, herself, is a full-sister to Gr3 winner and prolific producer Mica's Pride, dam of multiple Gr1 winning stallion Criterion, Gr2 winner Varenna Miss, Gr3 Eskimo Prince Stakes winner Comin' Through, and Listed winner Silently. Trained by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott and sporting the navy silks of Coolmore, Siege Of Quebec is the pre-post $3.20 favourite with Tab off the back of three trial victories.
Stakes Test for Promising Constantine
Tuesday, 27th June 2017Progressive 3YO Constantine is expected to make his stakes debut in the $125,000 Gr3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) on Saturday, reports A News. Trained by Chris Munce for a high profile syndicate that includes , Werrett Bloodstock & Whitby Bloodstock, Constantine has won 4 of his 5 starts to date, including an impressive last-start 1400m win at the Gold Coast. “It was a strong race for a midweek Class Four but he finished very powerfully and beat them well,” Munce said. “I have always felt he was going to be best at 1600 metres or further.” By Turffontein, Constantine is the first foal to race of the unraced French Deputy mare Courageous Spirit and hails from the family of Gr1 Caulfield Guineas winner Alfa.
Birdsville Races Announce 2017 Program
Tuesday, 27th June 2017Organisers of outback Queensland's richest two-day horse meeting – the Birdsville Races – have announced the full race program for the 2017 event. Now in its 135th year, the 13-race program offers prize money of $200,000, plus a further $12,500 in QTIS (Queensland Thoroughbred Incentive Scheme) bonuses – making it one of the most lucrative and unique outback thoroughbred race experiences in Australia. The iconic green starters' gates, synonymous with the Birdsville Races, will roll out on September 1 & 2 as more than 7,000 racegoers flock to Birdsville for what is billed as the 'Melbourne Cup of the Outback'. A number of race program changes have been this year, with several races moving from class-based handicaps to benchmark races, as well as the introduction of a second 1600m race – the $12,500 Benchmark 55 Handicap on September 1. Traditionally, the 1600m distance has been reserved solely for the $35,000 Birdsville Cup which takes place on Saturday, September 2. Each year, owners, trainers, jockeys and horses make the long haul trek to Birdsville, 10,000 kilometres collectively, from places as far away as Darwin, Tamworth and the Sunshine Coast – as well as surrounding towns and regions via the Simpson Desert Racing Carnival circuit. Click here to view the full program.
Clifford Park to be Ready for Pat O'Shea Plate
Tuesday, 27th June 2017Toowoomba Turf Club will embark on its annual track renovation during September in preparation for feature race day, the Pat O'Shea Plate (formerly the Hopeful Plate). The race, the first 2YO event of the Australasian racing season, will be held on Sunday, 1 October. The track renovation program will be the first major task undertaken by newly-appointed TTC Track Manager, Dave Morrison, according to TTC Chief Executive Officer Blair Odgers. "Racing Queensland's scheduling for the Toowoomba Turf Club in September each year allows us to have our course proper in the very best shape it can be for the Pat O'Shea Plate and the rest of the new racing season," Mr Odgers said. TTC Chairman Kent Woodford said the Pat O'Shea Plate date was changed (from Saturday night, September 31 to Sunday afternoon, October 1) by Racing Queensland after advice that the Eagle Farm track would be unavailable. "It's the same day as the NRL grand final, so we see it as an opportunity not only showcase a feature racing event, but also screen the grand final on the Clifford Park big screen," Mr Woodford said.
Derby Dream Over
Tuesday, 27th June 2017Singapore Derby plans for the New Zealand-bred Debt Collector (Thorn Park-Prompt Payment, by In the Wings) have been aborted, reports NZ Racing Desk. The reigning Singapore Horse of the Year rose to stardom with eight consecutive wins last term, including domestic Gr1 victories in the Singapore Guineas, Kranji Mile and Raffles Cup, before disappointing in his last three appearances since resuming from a spell. "He's just not going well enough," trainer Cliff Brown said. "He will go for a break and we will work out when to bring him back in due course."
Tavago Making Good Progress
Tuesday, 27th June 2017New Zealand-bred galloper Tavago remains on track for the prestigious Cups double in the spring, reports NZ Racing Desk. The injury-plagued son of Tavistock is back in light work with Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young after a suspensory injury halted his autumn campaign. "He's doing a bit of trotting and quiet cantering," Busuttin said. "In a couple of weeks I'll give him a scan just to be safe and if all is well, we'll just progress through to the spring. "Obviously with a horse like him the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups is the target." The 2016 Australian Derby winner put a disappointing spring campaign behind him when recapturing his best form with a dominant win in the Gr3 Sky High Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill in the autumn before once again going amiss.
Gr1 Targets for Smart NZ Mare
Tuesday, 27th June 2017John Bary won't hesitate to bypass the early domestic spring features with his stable star Miss Wilson, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Hastings trainer is keen on a first-up tilt at Group One honours in the Tarzino Trophy, with Melbourne pencilled in as Plan B. "The first leg of the series here is attractive if the track is okay for her and if she can get in," Bary said. "If she wasn't going to get a run, I wouldn't think twice about heading straight to Melbourne without a race here." Bary added: "There's plenty of fillies and mares' races at set weights over there for her starting with the Let's Elope [Gr2] and, if she was going well enough, the Myers Stakes [Gr1] would be her main aim." A half-sister by Stratum to Bary's former New Zealand Horse of the Year Jimmy Choux, Miss Wilson made impressive progress during her last preparation with four consecutive wins, culminating in a Gr3 victory in the Cuddle Stakes and a fourth in the Gr1 ' Stakes. "She had two months off after that and she's been back in the stable since June 5," Bary said. "She spelled on the property here and was rugged and fed twice a day. She's cruising around now and she's a happy horse."
Size Breaks HK Record
Tuesday, 27th June 2017Expatriate Australian trainer John Size set a new Hong Kong record for most wins in a season when injury plagued but highly talented sprinter Thewizardofoz landed the Gr3 Premier Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday. Crowned champion Griffin during his 2YO season, the son of Redoute's Choice and champion NZ mare Princess Coup (Encosta de Lago) broke through for an overdue stakes victory when powering home to give Size his 92nd winner for the season, eclipsing the previous mark of 91 set by Tony Cruz in 2004-05. "It has been a season when I had a good group of horses and things came to together for them all at the same time and that allowed quite a few to win multiple races," Size told the South China Morning Post. "That's how these types of records are broken but it isn't something that happens very often that way." Size is hopeful that Sunday's win can be the catalyst for Thewizardofoz to now progress through the grades. "I am happy to be patient if I think it's the best thing for the horse, that's always been what I've done," he said. "…now we might be able to see the best of Thewizardofoz next season."
Gr1 Target for Choisir Son
Tuesday, 27th June 2017The Gr1 Prix Morny at Deauville in August has emerged as a possible target for Royal Ascot winner Rajasinghe, reports Sky Sports. The 2YO Irish-bred son of star Australian sprinter Choisir created quite an impression when finishing strongly to win the Gr2 Coventry Stakes on the opening day of the Royal meeting last week. "The plans are up in the air. We're going to see how he is this week regarding his cantering at home," trainer Richard Spencer said. "We've got the July meeting at Newmarket on our radar. There's obviously Goodwood and we've been talking of going to Deauville for the Prix on August 20.” Spencer said Rajasinghe had thrived since his Royal Ascot triumph. "There's not many will do what he's done. Since he came back, he's ate, slept and put on weight. He's phenomenal. He's come out of the race fantastic," he said.
Arrogate Breezes at Santa Anita
Tuesday, 27th June 2017The world's best racehorse, Arrogate, has continued his preparation for the Gr2 San Diego Handicap with a six-furlong breeze at Santa Anita on Sunday, reports Blood Horse. Arrogate covered the distance in 1:12 2/5, before galloping out to seven furlongs in 1:24 2/5. The champion 4YO will resume in the Gr2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on 22 July, before then heading to the Gr1 TVG Pacific Classic at the same track on 19 August. "He went fast today and was really cruising around," trainer Bob Baffert said. "The San Diego is his next race right now. We'll have to see how he's doing, of course, but he'll definitely be leaving for Del Mar on July 15.” The Juddmonte Farms-owned Arrogate (Unbridled's Song-Bubbler, by Distorted Humor) was last seen in action scoring an exceptional win in the US$10 million Gr1 Dubai World Cup on 26 March. That victory advanced his record to 7 wins from 8 starts for career earnings of US$17,084,600, surpassing California Chrome to become the richest North American thoroughbred of all time.