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Daily News | 18th January 2018
Major Karaka Million Upgrade For Second DecadeThursday, 18th January 2018Through its first decade the Karaka Million has established itself as one of the biggest events on New Zealand's racing calendar. Now, as it moves into its second decade, the twilight spectacular at Auckland's Ellerslie Racecourse is going to a whole new level. Tied in with a revamp of New Zealand Bloodstock's National Yearling Sales Series, which kicks off at Karaka the following day, the six-race Karaka Million Twilight programme has been given a massive upgrade. It has been moved forward by one day to Saturday (this year January 27), and it is no longer the only million-dollar race on the card. The former Karaka 3YO Mile has been renamed the Karaka Million 3YO Classic, and its stake has quadrupled from $250,000 last year to $1 million in 2018. Adding further lustre to New Zealand's richest raceday, the other four races are now all black-type events – the $100,000 Group 2 Westbury Classic (1400m), the $200,000 Group 3 Windsor Park Stud City of Auckland Cup (2400m), the $70,000 Group 3 Brighthill Farm Concorde Handicap (1200m) and the $70,000 Group 3 Mongolian Khan Trophy (1200m). To read the full story of the Karaka Million meeting's past stars (and their purchase details), plus a preview of some of this year's high profile contenders, click here.
Countdown To Classic Heightens HypeThursday, 18th January 2018With the Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale now complete, one of the major sales on the doorstep of the Australasian bloodstock world is the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale from February 10-13. The sale will christen the dynamic new $140 million Riverside Stables precinct in Sydney’s south west with a quality catalogue of 800 horses. The sale will also include access to the luxurious The William Inglis Hotel, a boutique establishment tailor-made for buyers and guests. The Classic Sale is the fastest-growing sale in the southern hemisphere and last year provided the Gr1 Golden Slipper quinella.
Classic Catalogue Breaks Inglis Yearling RecordThursday, 18th January 2018The opening of the new Inglis Riverside Stables for the Classic Sale will see the highest number of yearlings ever catalogued in the history of Inglis. 800 horses are set to parade by 109 individual stallions, including Snitzel, I Am Invincible, Exceed and Excel, Fastnet Rock, Written Tycoon, Choisir, Not a Single Doubt, Pierro, Savabeel and Sebring. 21 First Season Sires will also be represented, including Deep Field, Dissident, Olympic Glory, Adelaide and Brazen Beau. The expansive catalogue includes relations to 63 stakes winners, with Gr1 VRC Derby winner Ace High and Champion Sprinter Brazen Beau an indication of the class. A plethora of 60 stakes winning mares will also have their progeny up for sale, led by Platelet, Heavenly Glow, Fill The Page, Irish Darling and Hidden Kisses. Commenting on the quality of the catalogue, Inglis’ National Bloodstock Director Jonathan D’Arcy enthused, “This is a sale for everyone. We will have yearlings from $10,000 through to $500,000. When you think that a total of $130,000 could have bought you Group 1 winners She Will Reign, Extreme Choice and Yankee Rose in the past three years, it speaks volumes for the quality of yearlings being offered at every price level.” Click here to view catalogue.
Classic Yearling Sale graduate She Will Reign (image: Steve Hart)
Black-Type Double Header At GosfordThursday, 18th January 2018At Gosford, north of Sydney, the Central Coast-based race club hosts two feature races this afternoon – the Listed Audi Alto Central Coast Gosford Guineas (1200m) and Listed Gosford Gold Cup (2100m). On paper, Victorian filly Bella Martini (owned by Dorrington Farm and racing in the same silks as last year's Gr1 Blue Diamond winner Catchy) appears the likely winner of the Guineas off the back of two dominant wins at Moonee Valley and Caulfield. Both Island Missile and Epidemic are expected to provide stiff competition. One race later, the Gosford Cup looks like a mine field for punters. While there are no less than 6 runners quoted between $3.50 to $7.50 for the event, 9YO warhorse Destiny's Kiss (at $12) finished third in this race last year and is racing in good form. He is unlikely to find this much harder than Randwick's recent Tatts Cup where he ran into the placings with the same 61kg weight. With red hot Corey Brown as his pilot Destiny's Kiss should be running on at the business end.
Thursday 4:25pm: Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) GosfordThursday, 18th January 2018
Thursday 5:05pm: Listed Gosford Gold Cup (2100m) GosfordThursday, 18th January 2018
Bravo Tango To Resume SaturdayThursday, 18th January 2018Exciting Melbourne 3YO Bravo Tango (Congrats-Pas de Deux, by Sadler's Wells) will kick off his Classic campaign in Saturday's $250,000 Inglis Dash (1100m) at Flemington. Trained by Mitchell Freedman, Bravo Tango has hitherto won 2 of his 3 starts with his only loss being an unlucky second to Snitzepeg in the Listed Poseidon Stakes (1400m) in the spring. Freedman has some big targets in mind for the colt, including the Gr1 Australian Guineas in Melbourne. "He's either on an Australian Guineas or a Randwick Guineas path should he keep stepping up to the mark," Freedman told ANZ Bloodstock News. "This is the race we picked out to kick off in. It's been a race with a little less depth in previous years than this year but it was part of his program." He added: "He appears to have probably come back in as good a shape if not better through natural maturity...It's always been pretty well known to us that he had a lot of ability."
Bonneval Straight to SydneyThursday, 18th January 2018Reigning New Zealand Horse of the Year Bonneval will race exclusively in Australia in the autumn, reports NZ Racing Desk. "She had a good break after the Melbourne spring, it didn't end as well as we would have liked but the hard racing on hard tracks got to her a bit," said Andrew Forsman, who trains in partnership with Murray Baker. "Hopefully the tracks in Sydney will be more forgiving, they usually are." A winner of the New Zealand & Australian Oaks as a 3YO, Bonneval (Makfi-Imposingly, by Zabeel) returned at four to win the Gr1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and the Gr2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) in Melbourne last spring. She was last seen finishing a well beaten 14th in the Caulfield Cup on 21 October.
Bonneval (image: Mark Gatt)
Volpe Veloce Chasing HistoryThursday, 18th January 2018Richly talented Kiwi mare Volpe Veloce (Foxwedge-Bardego, by Barathea) will be in elite company if she can win Saturday's Gr1 Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham, reports NZ Racing Desk. A winner of the Gr1 Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year's Day, Volpe Veloce will become just the fourth horse in the past 40 years to complete the Railway Stakes & Telegraph double in the same season if she can land Saturday's $250,000 sprint feature. It has not been done since Bawalaksana won both races in 1999, with Loader (1996) and Mr Tiz (1989/90) the only others to claim the double. The Graham Richardson & Gavin Parker-trained 4YO will carry an extra 2kg as a result of her Railway win but opened as a $4 favourite for the Telegraph in final field betting, with Kawi second favourite at $6.20.
Werther Sister to Fly Stable FlagThursday, 18th January 2018Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman will be relying on the raw talent of a well-related filly to defend the stable's title in Saturday's Gr3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) at Trentham, reports NZ Racing Desk. The champion Cambridge trainers won the 3YO fillies feature 12 months ago with Nicoletta while their subsequent multiple Group One winner Bonneval finished third. "We had a strong hand last year and this year it will be up to Milseain, a full-sister to Werther," Forsman said. "She won her first start at Hastings and while it was a maiden race she did it all well." By Tavistock out of the Zabeel mare Bagalollies, Milseain was a $300,000 purchase at the 2016 NZ Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Highden Park. Apart from Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther, Milseain is also a full-sister to Gr3 Auckland Cup winner Gobstopper. Milseain looked a very smart filly indeed when bounding clear over the concluding stages to score an easy debut win in the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Maiden Stakes (1400m) on New Year's Day. "The race turned a bit ugly and wasn't run how we thought so for a green filly to overcome all that at her first start was very impressive and she's got the pedigree to match," Forsman said. "She lacks a bit of ring craft, but hopefully she can do it." Highden Park will offer a full-sister to Werther and Milseain (Lot 48) during Book 1 of the upcoming NZ Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale.
Fairgray Farewells WoodsideThursday, 18th January 2018Woodside Park Stud has announced that Sam Fairgray will be resigning from his position as General Manager Operations to take up a position at Yulong Park Stud. Woodside Park Stud principal Mark Rowsthorn said: "I'd like to thank Sam for his efforts over the past 6 months and wish him well in his future endeavours. In his short time at the farm he has imparted a lot of knowledge to our people and his experience has been a real asset to our organisation." Fairgray commented: "I am sad to be leaving Woodside Park Stud but the opportunity to join a global organisation like Yulong and manage its Australian breeding and racing operations was too good to pass up." He added: "I believe Woodside Park Stud is Victoria's number one stud operations and one of the leading operators in the country...Sam will transition out of the business over the coming months and Woodside will provide further information on a replacement in due course."
Newcomers Added to Stud & Stable Staff AwardsThursday, 18th January 2018A new and highly rewarding category has been added to the 2018 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards, in their fourth year of honouring and acknowledging participants across Australia's thoroughbred industry. The 'Newcomer Award' will highlight outstanding stud and stable staff members who have been in the industry for a maximum of three years. It aims to draw special attention to nominees who have shown a willingness to improve, to advance their skills and display special enthusiasm and motivation. The Awards, conducted by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Racing Australia, are offered in the categories of Dedication to Racing, Dedication to Breeding, Leadership, Horsemanship, Thoroughbred Care and Welfare, Administration and Ancillary Services and, for the first time, the Newcomer category. There is also an overall Thoroughbred Excellence prize. Diana Cooper, Godolphin's global charities advisor said: "The Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards are a powerful example of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed's commitment to, and passion for thoroughbred horse racing and breeding worldwide, and we are excited to sponsor the 2018 Awards once again in Australia." She added: "To reward excellence in all areas of the racing and breeding industry, particularly amongst those who aren't necessarily in the front line, is something Godolphin sees as an important component of what we do on a global scale." Nominations are open until midnight (AEST) Monday 19 February, 2018 and can be made by anyone within the racing and breeding industry.
Lady Eli Retired From RacingThursday, 18th January 2018Champion US mare Lady Eli has officially been retired from racing and will visit War Front in her first year at stud, reports Blood Horse. "We have been wrestling with the very difficult decision of whether to race or retire Lady Eli since we scratched her from the Keeneland November sale days after she was injured in the Filly & Mare Turf," her owners Sol Kumin and Jay Hanley said in a joint press statement. "As her stewards we - with Chad's guidance at every turn - have tried to shepherd Lady Eli through her racing career with the utmost respect, compassion, and love for her as a living being first, and secondarily as a racehorse. It is in this spirit that we have ultimately chosen to retire Lady Eli from racing and allow her to gracefully - and safely - begin her career as a broodmare." Bred in Kentucky by Runnymede Farm and Catesby Clay and trained by Chad Brown, Lady Eli (Divine Park-Sacre Coeur, by Saint Ballado) retires with the outstanding record of 10 wins from 14 starts for US$2.95 million in prize money. Her record - which includes 5 Group 1 victories in the Diana Stakes, Gamely Stakes, Flower Bowl Stakes, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf & Belmont Oaks - is all the more remarkable given she suffered a potentially career-ending bout of laminitis in July, 2015. Lady Eli is an Eclipse Award finalist for 2017 champion turf female.