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Daily News | 21st January 2020

  • NEW Pulmonary Disease Forces Not A Single Doubt Retirement

    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    Arrowfield announced today that leading sire Not A Single Doubt is under veterinary care following a diagnosis of pulmonary disease, which has shown no improvement despite treatment. Arrowfield’s Chairman John Messara explained, “He suffers respiratory compromise at rest and even short periods of hand walking exacerbate this. Our Head Vet has advised that Not A Single Doubt is incapable of performing his breeding duties and accordingly he has been retired from active service.” Messara added, “Not A Single Doubt is a wonderful story for Arrowfield and for many breeders, owners, buyers and trainers, rising from the bottom of our roster to become one of Australia’s most popular and successful stallions. We are immensely grateful to him, and he will be loved and cared for at Arrowfield for the rest of his life.” A first-crop son of Champion Sire Redoute’s Choice, Not A Single Doubt was bred at Arrowfield from Singles Bar, a daughter of Rory’s Jester and the celebrated matron Easy Date. Not A Single Doubt is currently the sire of 69 Group & Listed winners from 1000 to 2600 metres, including 25 juvenile stakes-winners and 11 individual Gr1 winners headed by Extreme Choice, Kenedna, Miracles Of Life, Scales of Justice, Secret Agenda, Single Gaze & Samadoubt. He was the Leading Australian-based Sire on worldwide prizemoney in 2015/16, has been a top 10 sire of 2YOs since 2011, and is currently third on the Australian 2019/20 2YO Sires’ Premiership.

    Not A Single Doubt

    Not A Single Doubt with stallion manager Joe Hickey (pic: Bronwen Healy)
  • NEW First Light Bush Fire Fundraiser at The Valley

    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    In partnership with Moonee Valley Racing Cub, regular philanthropists First Light Racing are hosting a fundraising function and silent auction at The Valley on Friday night, with proceeds donated to support those impacted by the devastating bushfires. “The bushfires are terrible and everyone thinks, ‘what can I do to chip in?’,” Kilkenny told racing.com. “I didn’t know whether to donate cash or get involved in an event. We have a strong data base of people and I thought why not reach out to our First Light Family and see who was keen to be involved.” He said that connections had been extremely generous with donations for the auction, which includes a number of priceless items such as a one-on-one trail ride with Melbourne Cup wining jockey Michelle Payne, a private trackwork morning with Gai Waterhouse and the silks of 2019 Cox Plate Lys Gracieux signed by trainer Yoshita Yohagi and jockey Damian Lane. The event is expected to raise between $50- and $100,000 for the bushfire appeal.
  • NEW Second Nature For Strip in Barrier Trial

    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    Gifted Australian sprinter Nature Strip (Nicconi) won a 900m trial at Warwick Farm in effortless fashion on Tuesday morning. Trained by Chris Waller, the 5YO gelding was kept on a tight rein by James McDonald, according to AAP, finishing in front of White Moss and a fast-cling Yes Yes Yes. Nature Strip is coming off a nice little spell following his last start victory in the Gr1 VRC Sprint at Flemington in early November. The 1200m race brought up a hat-trick of Gr1 sprints – all at different distances – in 2019 for the son of Widden stallion Nicconi. The other two were the AJ Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley and The Galaxy S. (1100m) at Rosehill. Like stablemate Yes Yes Yes, Nature Strip’s 2020 agenda includes a planned trip to Royal Ascot. His first race start will be in the Gr1 Lightning Stakes (1000m), won last year by In Her Time, at Flemington in mid-February.

    Nature Strip

    Nature Strip (pic: Mark Gatt)
  • NEW American Pharoah Grandsire Dies

    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    Champion US stallion Empire Maker (Unbridled-Toussaud, by El Gran Senor) has passed away at Gainesway Farm in Kentucky. The sire of 12 Grade 1 winners and grandsire of Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh succumbed, aged 20, to a rare disease that affected his immune system. “He was the epitome of class and quality,” said Antony Beck, CEO of Gainesway. “I have never been involved with a stallion that possessed a better disposition. His impact on the breed has been significant, particularly producing very sound stock. He will be missed by all of us at Gainesway.” Trained by Bobby Frankel, Empire Maker’s sparkling career preceded that of a champion sire, winning three Gr1s as a 3YO - the Belmont Stakes, Florida Derby and the Wood Memorial - and finishing runner-up in the Kentucky Derby in the same season. horseracingnation.com recounted a stallion career that began at Juddmonte, then a stint in Japan prior to returning to the US at Gainesway in partnership with Don Alberto Stable. Among Empire Maker’s star progeny were champion Royal Delta, Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, classic-placed Bodemeister and Pioneerof the Nile (sire of American Pharoah). He also had an important influence as a broodmare sire, and was represented at 2019’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale by a $2 million filly out of Lady Pewitt.
  • Research Professor Says Inbreeding a Time Bomb

    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    Major new research into the subject of inbreeding in the Thoroughbred population has provoked the leading scientist, Professor Emmeline Hill, to deem the issue "akin to global warming." The study, conducted by University College Dublin and equine science company Plusvital, analysed the DNA of over 10,000 Thoroughbreds, and established that there has been a significant rise in inbreeding over the last 45 years, which can be linked to both selective breeding for favourable racing traits, and the influence of popular sire lines (a massive 97% of horses traced to Northern Dancer (see below), 35% of European horses to Sadler's Wells and 55% of Australian horses to Danehill), but warned of the resulting dangers, including compromised fertility and biological fitness of the population - inbreeding to this level will ultimately affect the breed's ability to survive and reproduce. According to the Racing Post, Professor Hill iterated the benefits of the research,  which, if attended to, could ensure the longevity of the breed. "We [the study] have developed DNA-based tools that individual breeders can use to reduce the problem by choosing genetically diverse stallions for their mares. Pedigree is not powerful enough to help any more…Suitable outcrosses will be best identified using genetic data."

  • VRC Takes Twilight Tweaks On Board

    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    Following last Saturday's twilight meeting at Flemington, the Victoria Racing Club's CEO Neil Wilson told RSN 927 that, while proceeding, there will be changes to the format of the concept which has its next scheduled twilight meeting in March. Key to changes is that the first race will be brought forward to a 2pm start from Saturday's 3pm start, meaning that the race meeting would conclude at 7pm, something that industry particpants find far more preferable given family commitments and the wall-to-wall racing the industry is experiencing. Wilson commented, ''We've also learned from feedback around lunch and dinner, and how all that works. We made some adjustments on Saturday, which was positive but, based on the feedback, we've got some work to do with that as well.'' According to racing.com, due to the surfeit of Saturday racing Flemington was unable to claim shorter breaks (30 minutes) between races, which means that  switching all twilight meetings to Sundays or a midweek date would work better.
  • Flemington Twilight Straight Track Event

    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    Notwithstanding mooted changes to Flemington's twilight meeting schedule and concomitant time amendments, the VRC will host its next twilight meeting on Sunday, February 9, boasting what must rate as a world first. The Club's chief executive officer Neil Wilson explained that this will be a race afternoon/evening with a complete difference – every one of the races, run from 4pm to 7pm will be run down Flemington's famous straight, with an added twist of country jockeys versus metropolitan jockeys. Against that backdrop, the report inferred that industry body Racing Victoria has not been as enamoured with the move towards twilight meetings, a suggestion rebutted by Wilson: ''No, definitely not. We've been working pretty collaboratively with Racing Victoria on it.'' That was corroborated on Monday via a press statement from Racing Victoria saying the VRC's twilight agenda had its support for the idea in 2020.

    Straight Six

    Flemington's Straight Six venue (pic: flemington.com.au)
  • Gun Kiwi 3YO Ready to Explode

    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    Next Saturday is the jumping off point for what is potentially the best 3YO to come out of New Zealand in the past decade. Catalyst – by beautifully bred and performed The Oaks stallion Darci Brahma (Danehill-Grand Echezeaux, by Zabeel) – starred in his trial last week when defeating Te Akau Shark at Matamata, and trainer Clayton Chipperfield has entered the Dick Karreman-owned sophomore for the Gr3 Mr Tiz Trophy (1200m) at Ellerslie. Assuming he dominates like expected, it’s all systems go for a major Australian campaign in Melbourne. With Harlech also representing The Oaks Stud’s principal in the Karraka Million 3YO Classic, it could prove to be a big day on the eve of the 2020 NZB National Yearling sales Series where the Cambridge-based vendor will be represented by a small, but highly select draft of 9 yearlings, one of which is a Darci Brahma half-sister to Gr2 Harlech. Another highlight will be a Tavistock colt out of Darci Brahma’s Gr1 New Zealand Oaks winner Artistic.

    Catalyst

    Catalyst (pic: Trish Dunell)
  • Showbeel Enters NZB Filly Series Calucations

    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Showbeel (Savabeel-Showileo, by Galileo) provided an upset for the leaderboard of the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series on Saturday, when she triumphed in the Gr3 New Zealand Bloodstock Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham. According to the New Zealand Bloodstock website, the pair that quinella'd the Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) in November, Loire (Redoute's Choice) and current leader of the board Jennifer Eccles (Rip Van Winkle) were early favourites for the race, but Showbeel proved a dominating force in the straight, finding the lead early in the straight and putting lengths between her and the rest of the field under jockey Opie Bosson. "It was a very good run and she has always shown us this sort of quality," said Forsman. "From a good barrier today and with a good ride, she showed her class. She is a filly on the way up." Forsman divulged that her next targets would be the Gr2 Fillies Classic (2000m) at Te Rapa, before a tilt at the Gr1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 14. The 3yo filly was a $215,000 purchase by Baker Racing at Book 1 of Karaka 2018.
  • Loving Gaby Favoured for Australia Stakes

    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    Friday night's Gr1 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley promises to be a highly competitive affair, however if Loving Gabby turns up in the mood she's capable of displaying, the daughter of I Am Invincible will prove very hard to stop. Unraced since runner-up in November's Gr1 VRC Classic down the straight six at Flemington behind a rampant Nature Strip, Loving Gaby is the all-in favourite at $3.50 on TAB, with Hey Doc challenging for market supremacy at $4.00. Begood Toya Mother is at $4.60, while Microphone – who missed the Kensington Stakes due to the weight he was given – is at $6.00 with WA raider Scales of Justice. Last year's race fell to Perth's Whispering Brook who defeated Fell Swoop and Land of Plenty.

    Loving Gaby

    Loving Gaby (pic: Mark Gatt)
  • Drug Sting Delays Singapore Racehorse Imports

    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    In some unprecedented news from South America, six Argentinian-bred racehorses bound for Singapore (being dispatched via Amsterdam to British expat trainer James Peters) have been embroiled in a major international drugs sting when more than 80kgs of cocaine was seized from their intended flight. "You couldn't make it up, it's one of those freak things that is completely out of our control," Peters told the Racing Post on Saturday. "When I was trying to explain to one of the owners they thought I was joking." The horses, who were yet to board the plane and were apparently totally unscathed by the incident, have returned to their farm and will make their way to Singapore later in the month. The heist, which has made front page news the world over, resulted in the arrest of 8 individuals (including 3 crew members) in what is being described as one of the biggest drugs hauls ever found on an aircraft.
  • Yarradale East Coast Sire Import On Song

    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    Ahead of the Perth Magic Millions Sale (Feb 17-18), Yarradale Stud stallion Bradbury's Luck (Redoute's Choice-Skating, by At Talaq) had a fortuitous morning at the Lark Hill trials on Monday with a double in the juvenile heats, with Gracienne (from Newborn by Halo Homewrecker) and Keep Your Feet (from Shan Dian by Rory's Jester) both winning impressively. As noted by Thoroughbred Breeders WA, both juveniles are 2019 Perth Magic Millions graduates, and trained by Robert & Todd Harvey and Simon Miller, respectively. Formerly standing at Glenlogan Park in Queensland, Bradbury's Luck is represented by 3 smartly-bred yearlings from his Yarradale second-crop in the Swan Hill sale; a colt from Petite Belle (Lot 86), a Storm Sense colt (Lot 284) and a Born Princess filly (Lot 316).

    Bradbury's Luck

    Bradbury's Luck (pic: yarradalestud.com.au)
  • One Size Fits Moreira at Sha Tin

    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    The king is dead, long live the king. It’s perhaps a little premature to suggest that Beauty Generation will never sit atop his Hong Kong miler throne again given the tight margin in Sunday’s Gr1 Gr1 Stewards’ Cup, however Waikuku’s maiden Gr1 victory suggests the Irish-bred horse is the new 1600m benchmark around town. The winner was ridden by Joao Moreira for trainer John Size, with the duo turning up two races later to frank the form when Beat The Clock made it back-to-back triumphs in the Gr1 Centenary Sprint Cup. Amazingly for a horse whose official shortest price has been $2.30 during the sequence, it was his fourth Gr1 1200m sprint win in a row, and the seventh major sprint out of the past eight in Hong Kong that has fallen to the Size stable. Meanwhile, the best performance by Beauty Generation in his past four runs seems likely to sway trainer John Moore to roll the dice and send his long-reigning champion to the Dubai World Cup meeting.
  • Leg Up for Aethero Before Dubai Tilt

    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    Omitted from last Sunday’s Gr1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) due to delayed recovery from a virus, boom Australian-bred Hong Kong sprinter Aethero has been left without a lead-in run ahead of his targeted Gr1 Al Quoz Sprint at Dubai’s Meydan track in March. According to scmp.com, trainer John Moore has approached local officials who have agreed to run a 1200m Class One Sprint as the eleventh race on the card. It’s not quite mission accomplished ahead of the plan to join Beauty Generation on the plane to Dubai, as Aethero’s owners are yet to green light the trip. “Hopefully I can convince the owners to go to Dubai now!” Moore enthused. The Gr2-winning, Gr1-placed Sebring half-brother to Classique Legend is yet to finish out of the frame in 7 races, setting a new 1000m track record at Sha Tin which had been held for years by Sacred Kingdom.
  • Alligator Flight Path Revealed After Wednesday

    Tuesday, 21st January 2020
    Cult 3YO gelding Alligator Blood (All Too Hard) might well take the autumn road less travelled than that which is expected of him. According to smh.com.au, the David Vandyke-trained sophomore, who dazzled in the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) is no certainty to run in the All-Star Mile against open even if he gets the public votes required, with a decision likely after the conditioner has a good look at him on Wednesday. Mindful of the myriad opportunities that lie ahead, Vandyke could instead pursue a winter campaign in Queensland where he’ll have home ground advantage, and then look at tackling October’s $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) in Sydney against fellow 4YOs. Stating that the long term future of Alligator Blood is his primary consideration – as a gelding he could race for at least another 5 seasons – Vandyke doesn’t want the voting public to assume his charge is a lock for the richest turf mile race in the world: “We are aware that voting has started for the All-Star Mile and it's good to see him getting support, so we want people to know what we are doing and they will on Wednesday, so they don’t waste a vote."

    Alligator Blood

    Boom 3YO Alligator Blood (pic: Steve Hart)

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