Untapped gelding on Guineas path after resounding Bendigo victory
Marwood will be given his shot at Spring Racing Carnival riches after an effortless win today at Bendigo.
The Mike Moroney-trained talent made it two wins from as many starts when he walked home in the $30,000 BRB Electrical Showcase 0-64 Handicap (1400m).
The well-bred gelding, who is by O’Reilly out of Group 1-winning mare Pernod, walked home by four lengths, which followed a 4-3/4-length debut win at Seymour.
Moroney’s foreman, Matt Hoysted, said the ease of those two wins permitted stepping him up in grade.
“Because he was so impressively, we’ll go three weeks now into the Guineas Prelude and give him his chance and see how he can step up there,” he said.
A good showing in that $1750,000 event, over 1400m at Caulfield on 29 September, would earn him a crack at the $1 million BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) 13 days later.
Nick Hall, who has been aboard Marwood at both starts, is convinced the galloper will measure up.
“His first start was a maiden on a heavy track, but I think this seals it and proves that he’s the real deal today,” he said.
“He’s going to be definitely up there and I think he’s going to be competitive this Spring for sure.”
Marwood is one of two Bendigo winners who are heading towards the Guineas with David Hayes harbouring Group 1 aspirations with Kiwi recruit Surging Wave, who was an emphatic winner of the $17,500 Bendigo Magazine Maiden Plate (1400m) at his first start for the stable.
Surging Wave’s win, at $16, was the first leg of a winning double for Hayes and stable jockey Chad Schofield, who backed up to score with Maraatib.
The four-year-old mare, who had finished second at half of his previous 16 starts, including last year’s Group 2 Wakeful Stakes, strolled home by 5.5 lengths.
Full results of all races from Bendigo are available here
- Brad Bishop, Racing Victoria
Chelmsford Stakes effort has Waller confident about Caulfield Cup with Beaten Up
Chris Waller won yesterday’s 1600m weight-for-age features in Melbourne and Sydney, but it wasn’t only Foreteller and Hawkspur that brought a smile to the face of Sydney’s premier trainer.
Beaten Up’s effort to run second to Hawkspur in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes at Randwick bolstered Waller’s confidence in the import looking ahead to Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival.
The champion trainer considers the six-year-old on track for the $2.5 million BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m), at Caulfield on 19 October.
“All I need is for him to settle on Caulfield Cup Day and I think he can win the race,” Waller said on RSN’s Correct Weight this morning. “I think he’s a very exceptional horse over that 2400-metre distance.
“He beat a horse called Al Kazeem by three lengths from memory about 18 months ago and that horse has gone on to be one of the superstars up there.
“We’ve just got to get him to switch off. If he can, I think he can be the real deal for a race like that and I’m not even counting out the Cox Plate with him.”
Waller was particularly happy with the Beaten Up settled after being forced to take up an uncustomary position in front.
The Beat Hollow gelding was no match for stablemate Hawkspur, who burst through late and charged away for 3-1/4-length win, but fought tenaciously to hold off the remainder of the field.
“He didn’t reef and tear when he got in front, I thought it was a controlled pace, so that was a bonus,” Waller said.
“Beaten Up of six months ago would have charged off and led by three or four lengths and finished midfield or even worse, so I thought it was a big step for him.”
Beaten Up is a $21 chance in TAB’s Caulfield Cup market, which is headed by Super Cool at $9 with Hawkspur the $10 second elect.
Waller also has ATC Oaks winner Royal Descent ($13) and Makybe Diva Stakes winner Foreteller ($21) prominent in Caulfield Cup betting.
Waller is yet to commit to the next start for any of his Caulfield Cup contingent, with the exception of Foreteller, who will contest the 1800m Underwood Stakes on 21 September, but the Group 1 Turnbulll Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on 5 October is the probable final lead-up for many of them.
- Brad Bishop, Racing Victoria
Commanding Jewel returns to the winner’s list
A week after Atlantic Jewel completed a fairytale return in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes, her younger three-quarter-sister made a winning return of her own at Flemington.
Commanding Jewel made a triumphant return to the winner’s list, almost 11 months after her previous victory, in the $220,000 Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes.
It was the daughter of Commands’ first win since her Group 1 Thousand Guineas success and confirmed she was over the injuries that caused her to miss the Melbourne Festival of Racing.
Commanding Jewel proved criticised in some quarters after her first-up sixth in the Carlyon Stakes at Moonee Valley on 24 August was unjustified with her strong win.
Corstens was thrilled to see her break through and will now set his sights on Group 1 glory.
“I think, after this, we might head towards to the Toorak (Handicap) or something like that,” Corstens said. “We’ll see how we got from there.”
Commanding Jewel ($9) was the beneficiary from a sweet Ben Melham ride to get home comfortably in the Let’s Elope.
The performance was more decisive than the half-length margin over Catkins ($10) indicated, with A Time For Julia ($8) the same distance back third.
The full result of the Let’s Elope Stakes is available here
- Brad Bishop, Racing Victoria
Caulfield trainer Colin Scott’s hopes of a Group 1 victory this spring were boosted with the impressive first-up win of stable star Speediness in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Speediness showed his win in May’s Listed Scone Cup (1600m) was no fluke, coming from well back to defeat a crack field of sprinters in the $150,000 event.
Scott said Speediness had thrived in the stable since returning from Scone and would derive further benefit from today’s win.
While entered for the Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley, Scott said the six-year-old’s immediate target was the $400,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on 29 September.
Later Spring Racing Carnival options include the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield and the Group 2 Schweppes Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley.
“The horse has actually improved significantly, even just in his track work, from Scone to this preparation,” Scott said.
“He was ready to win first-up but there is definitely still a lot of improvement to come in him.
“He’s still very wintery in the coat so this run will definitely improve him.
“He goes to the Sir Rupert Clarke (Stakes) and then into the Toorak (Handicap) and most likely to the Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day.”
Ridden by Craig Williams, Speediness ($20) defeated straight-track specialist Temple Of Boom ($12) by one length, with Darley sprinter Albrecht ($8) a further nose away in third.
Gary Portelli’s highly touted sprinter Rebel Dane ($2.50 fav) looked the winner inside the final furlong before holding fourth for Glen Boss.
Click here for the full results from the Bobbie Lewis Quality.
- James Tzaferis, Racing Victoria
Gelding makes it Group 1 win number two with upset victory
Foreteller announced himself a Spring Racing Carnival major player with an upset Group 1 victory today at Flemington.
The Chris Waller-trained import nosed out raging Emirates Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance de Lune in the $350,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
The victory came as a surprise to punters, who sent the seven-year-old around at $15, but was no surprise to those associated with Sydney’s premier stable.
“His first up run (when eight, beaten 3.6 lengths in the Warwick Stakes) was super and when he came down on Wednesday night everyone in Sydney said he was just flying up there. They were really bullish about him,” Waller’s Melbourne stable manager Justin Hales said.
Foreteller, a son of Dansili, unleashed a big finish to get home by a half-head from Puissance de Lune.
Craig Newitt settled towards the rear aboard the gelding but was able to hitch a ride on the back of Puissance de Lune ($2.35 fav) rounding the home bend before peeling to the outside of the grey and wearing him down in the straight.
The first two home dominated the race, finishing 1-3/4 lengths in advance of crowd favourite Moudre ($91), who finished third for the second year in a row.
“There was only one horse I wanted to be following and I was probably surprised he was back with us,” Newitt said.
“Chris just stressed, ‘don’t move on him until the latest possible moment’ and, to the grey horse’s (Puissance de Lune) credit he kept finding, but my bloke was just too strong.
“It was a good win, he had to reel off some good time and really tough it out. Whatever he runs in now he’s just going to be so competitive.”
Outside the placegetters, Let’s Make Adeal – the granddaughter of Let’s Elope ran a huge race for fourth – just in advance of Ethiopia, while Manighar (sixth) and Mourayan (seventh) also turned in promising runs.
Boom import Sea Moon, the heavily backed $4 second favourite, scrambled upon jumping from the barriers, causing him to miss the start by several lengths and he beat just two runners home.
Hales said Foreteller had most likely booked his spot on a BMW Caulfield Cup path with today’s win with the $400,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on 21 September the probable next target.
The full result of the Makybe Diva Stakes, plus the other events on the Flemington card, are available here
- Brad Bishop, Racing Victoria
Scobie Breasley medallist scores upset feature win
Michael Rodd’s dream start to spring continued when he teamed with Charlie Boy to win today’s $220,000 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.
Just six days after winning his maiden Scobie Breasley Medal, which came just over 24 hours after partnering Atlantic Jewel to an unforgettable comeback win in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes, he drove the Gerald Ryan-trained colt to an upset win in the Group 2 event.
The gun jockey, who has won a Melbourne Cup and Cox Plate, is still not game to pinch himself.
“That (Scobie win) was very special and it’s been a great week,” he said. “I’ve floated right the way through.”
Rodd got the best out of Charlie Boy, who has long been touted one of the best of his generation but had not won since his debut success and hadn’t placed since his third in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes at his second start in a race.
He raced throughout the juvenile Group 1s of the Sydney autumn, finishing eighth in the Golden Slipper, sixth in the Sires’ Produce Stakes and seventh in the Champagne Stakes.
“He’s obviously got a lot of ability because they gave him a Golden Slipper campaign last time , so Gerald just said to me today, ‘make sure you switch off, get back and relaxed and that’s how it panned out,” Rodd said.
Charlie Boy ($21) provided Ryan with his second straight Danehill Stakes, following last year’s success with Snitzerland, when he powered home along the inside to get home by three-quarters-of-a-length from Kiss A Rose ($16), who stormed home down the outside, with Éclair Big Bang ($18) a head back third.
The victory showed he was in for a good campaign with the $1 million BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m), to be run on12 October, the major aim.
“It was pretty arrogant in the end,” Rodd said. “He got to the front and wanted to roll around a bit and he’s going to be better when he gets over a bit further.
“He’s got the quality there, that (the Guineas) is what he’s down here for obviously, and Gerald can time them right.
“It looks like he’s put his hand up at the right time and he’ll be peaking come Guineas time I bet.”
The full result of the Danehill Stakes is available here
- Brad Bishop, Racing Victoria
Flemington double spells exciting spring for jockey Chris Symons
A winning double may have been the highlight on paper for popular jockey Chris Symons at Flemington but the success could have greater repercussions for his spring aspirations.
Symons piloted returning Saab Hasan stayer Shoreham to victory in the Listed Sofitel (1400m) after winning the opening event, the Domain 1100, on improving John McArdle-trained filly Miracle To Me.
It was the win of untapped four-year-old Shoreham, a horse nominated for both the BMW Caulfield Cup and Emirates Melbourne Cup, that had both Symons and Hasan bullish about what the future could hold.
A thrilled Hasan admitted Shoreham’s trackwork during the week had give him confidence that he could be competitive against horses better suited to the seven furlongs.
A winner of the Listed Galilee Series Final (2500m) prior to a third placing in the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m), the young trainer also praised Symons for sticking with Shoreham for his spring preparation.
“We were very confident coming into the race and on Tuesday morning his work was sensational,” Hasan said.
“If Bart Cummings was training him I think he would’ve been about 8-1 today.”
“Full credit to Chris because everyone bagged him after the South Australian Derby but to his credit he is around every Friday putting up his hand to help.”
Shoreham was allocated 50kg when BMW Caulfield Cup weights were released on Wednesday and Hasan said he had spoken to Racing Victoria’s General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, about his rating.
Victory in the Group 3 D’Urban Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on 21 September or Group 2 Sportingbet Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) would improve Shoreham’s chances of a Cup start and Hasan said all options would be looked at.
“I was nominated for the Fred Hoysted Medal and I sat down next to Greg Carpenter and chewed his ear off all night and I kept saying to Greg that I wanted to get his rating up because he is a genuine chance,” Hasan said.
“His aim is the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup and I’ve got a plan (to get there).
“Don’t underestimate this horse because he’s a little better than what people think.”
After beginning well from barrier 11, Symons elected to go forward aboard the former Team Williams galloper and found cover off a hot tempo set by Niblick (James McDonald).
Approaching the turn, Symons was able to improve his position on Shoreham ($18) after peeling off the back of third placegetter Garud ($19) before overcoming TAB favourite Dany The Fox inside the final 50 metres.
“I didn’t panic and we took the chance to try and slot in and I was hoping to land behind Dany The Fox but it wasn’t the case,” Symons said.
“He just got into a nice rhythm rounding the turn and he kept improving and probably at the 400m mark I knew he was going to be hard to beat.
“Dany The Fox kept finding but to this bloke’s credit, he’s done a fantastic job.
Symons could have also found himself a leading Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) mount after partnering Miracle To Me to a win over classy fillies Bulbula, Metastasio and Casquets.
Click here to read more about Miracle To Me’s win in the Domain 1100.
Click here to view the full results from the entire Flemington card.
- James Tzaferis, Racing Victoria
McArdle ends frustrating run with Flemington victory
Buoyed by having snapped a frustrating run of minor placings, John McArdle is eyeing one of the Spring Racing Carnival features with Miracle to Me following her win today at Flemington.
The daughter of Bel Esprit made it two city wins in a row when she followed a Sportingbet Park (Sandown) win on 28 July with a strong win in the $80,000 Domain 1100 (1100m).
The victory was McArdle’s second of the season, but the Mornington horseman has also had seven placegetters and he was glad to see the $26 chance get the money in a close finish.
“I’ve had 15 runners and six of them have run second, so I was getting sick of that,” McArdle said.
“I thought I was going to run second again, and we would have been happy enough with that, but it’s nice to win.”
Miracle to Me’s strength at the finish was a highlight of the win, the third of her six-start career. Bulbula ($11) looked to have her measure at the 100m, but Miracle to Me attacked the line to get home by a head.
McArdle said it was an encouraging performance given Miracle to Me will be better over further with the $500,000 Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on 16 October the race he has his eyes on.
“I thought today might be a little bit short for her, but her work during the week was good , and we just wanted to se her hit the line. She did that, so we’ll have a crack at something better now,” he said.
“She’ll go to the Guineas Prelude in a couple of weeks’ time and we’ll decide from there what we do, but I’d say the Thousand Guineas is the aim at this stage.”
The full result of the Domain 1100 is available here
- Brad Bishop, Racing Victoria
Trainer David Hayes is confident that classy filly Gregers will be right in the finish when she steps-up to Group 2 level in the Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Gregers has been flawless this preparation, winning the Aquanas Foods Handicap (1000m) by four and half lengths before recording another comfortable victory in the Mitchelton Wines Plate (1200m) at Moonee Valley a fortnight ago, but will face a much stronger field this weekend.
Hayes believes that Gregers is up to the challenge against a number of the leading colts heading to the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and is expecting her to enjoy her first attempt down the famous Flemington straight.
“Last start she was placed softly and she did the right thing,” Hayes told Racing Ahead on RSN.
“This is a step up in class and it will tell us where we are going with her.
“Everybody in the race thinks they can be in the Guineas so that tells you the depth of the race.
“She strikes me as a horse that will be suited by the straight.
“I would say that whatever beats her wins the race, she will be right there.”
Gregers won from the front in the Mitchleton Wines Plate but was ridden just off the pace in the Aquanas Foods Handicap and Hayes plans on leaving it up to champion apprentice Chad Schofield where he positions the three-year-old in the run this weekend.
“We will leave that to Chad but she is never far from the pace,” Hayes said.
“She has won leading and she has won sitting off the pace.
“She is a push button sort of horse and she isn’t likely to get cluttered up coming out of that barrier.
“That would be the biggest risk – if she gets cluttered up on the inside.”
Gregers will become just the seventh filly to win the Danehill Stakes if she is victorious tomorrow, joining Tan Tat De Lago (2007), equine superstar Black Caviar (2009) and Snitzerland (2012) who have won the race in recent years.
Trainer Kerry Parker’s tough staying mare Aliyana Tilde takes her first steps towards a Caulfield Cup start when she resumes in the Group 2 $175,000 Tattersall’s Club Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The Group 1 $2.65m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 19 is on the agenda for Aliyana Tilde if she can regain her good Autumn form.
The five year old mare scored at Group 3 level in the $125,000 TAB Eponia Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill on March 30 on her way to running third, beaten less than a length by Mourayan in the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 27.
Baker had originally planned to kick off Aliyana Tilde in the Group 2 $175,000 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on August 24, but decided to wait the extra two weeks for the 1600m Chelmsford Stakes.
“The 1400m of the Warwick Stakes was always going to be sharp with Rain Affair in it and she’d just be chasing all the way, so a couple of extra weeks and get her ready for a mile I thought was a better option for her,” Parker told the Sportsman.
Aliyana Tilde had a quiet Spring last year and Parker put that down to a tough Autumn campaign previous which saw her run second to Streama in the 2012 Group 1 $550,000 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.
“She was still probably a little flat from the preparation before and rather than bust her, I just decided to throw her back in the paddock and let her mature up,” Parker said.
“She’s had a pretty tough Oaks run and being a filly who was only tiny that was probably the best thing I could have done for her because she ended up developing really good through her break.”
Aliyana Tilde will be looking for more ground later in the Spring so she is naturally at long odds on Saturday and has been posted a $61 chance coming up against last start Warwick Stakes winner Veyron ($4.20 favourite) and Chris Waller’s three top fancies Bayrir ($4.60) and Beaten Up and Hawkspur, both marked at $5.
Waller will saddle up six runners in the Chelmsford Stakes, his other runners being Metal Bender ($10), Kelinni ($31) and Moriarty ($61).
In early Caulfield Cup markets Aliyana Tilde has been posted a $51 chance with the Mark Kavanagh trained Super Cool heading the betting at $10 just ahead of Gai Waterhouse’s import Fiorente.
The Mark Kavanagh trained Super Cool continues to attract heavy support at Sportingbet to win the 2013 Caulfield Cup.
Super Cool has shortened significantly from $16 into $9 favouritism at Sportingbet since the four-year-old gelding ran an impressive third behind stablemate Atlantic Jewel in last Saturday’s Group 1 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield.
“There’s been a constant stream of cash for Super Cool since Saturday including two significant four-figure wagers,” Sportingbet Australia spokesman Andrew Brown said.
“Punters have backed him from $16 into $12 into $10 and now into $9 and they still appear happy to take that price,” Brown said.
Super Cool was a $26 chance with Sportingbet in early August.
The David Vandyke trained Prince Cheri has also attracted solid support, firming from $21 into $16 at Sportingbet.
“One smart punter put $1,000 at $41 on Prince Cheri before his most recent win in Sydney,” Brown said.
Jet Away is a $13 second favourite with Sportingbet ahead of Beaten Up at $14 and Fiorente at $15.00.
2013 Caulfield Cup (all in betting)
Sportingbet Australia market
For Sportingbet’s full Caulfield Cup market visit http://www.sportingbet.com.au/#Feature/FeatureRace/5032465
The all-important weights for the world’s richest 2400-metre handicap, the $2.5 million BMW Caulfield Cup on 19 October, were released today by Racing Victoria (RV) with great interest in the handicap allotted firming favourite Super Cool.
The reigning Australian Cup champion, whose odds were trimmed following a slashing first-up third in the Group 1 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last Saturday, has been allotted 55kg.
Charged with breaking premier trainer Mark Kavanagh’s hoodoo in the Caulfield Cup, Super Cool carries the right profile into the race with four-year-olds successful in 12 of the past 20 editions, but his weight represents a genuine challenge.
Only four horses have carried more than 54.5kg to victory in the Caulfield Cup in the past 20 years, that being Dunaden (58kg, 2012), Viewed (57kg, 2009), Northerly (58kg, 2002) and Sky Heights (56.5kg) who holds the modern day four-year-old record.
In releasing the weights, Racing Victoria (RV) Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said that Super Cool had joined elite company when winning the Australian Cup and that this was a determining factor in the weight assigned.
“Super Cool was the first three-year-old since Saintly to win the Australian Cup and is one of only three to do so. Saintly was allotted 55.5kg in the Caulfield Cup as a four-year-old, but did not run, instead winning the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup,” Carpenter explained.
Reigning Emirates Melbourne Cup champion Green Moon has been allocated topweight of 58kg in this year’s Caulfield Cup, with his Robert Hickmott-trained and Lloyd Williams-owned stablemate Sea Moon, who makes his Australian debut Saturday at Flemington, on 57kg.
“Only five Melbourne Cup winners have gone on to win the Caulfield Cup in 135 years, but two of those have been in recent times in Dunaden and Viewed who have a similar weight profile to Green Moon should he take up the challenge,” Carpenter said.
“Sea Moon required considerable thought as the highest weighted non-Group 1 winner, but he was an impressive winner of the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot in June 2012 over Dunaden and Red Cadeaux and has been placed in an English St Leger,” he added.
Joining Sea Moon on 57kg is this season’s Dubai World Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux, with Peter Moody’s 2012 Australian Cup winner Manighar allotted 56.5kg – the same weight he carried into fourth place in the 2011 Caulfield Cup.
Melbourne Cup runner-up Fiorente, who is prepared by 2010 Caulfield Cup-winning trainer Gai Waterhouse, has been given 55.5kg as too has four-time Group 1 winner Metal Bender who is on the comeback trail after a 16 month layoff.
Other notable entries and their weights are;
First acceptances for the Caulfield Cup will be taken at 12 noon on Tuesday, 10 September.
- Racing Victoria
2013 BMW Caulfield Cup weights to be released by Racing Victoria via live webcast at racingnetwork.com.au
Racing Victoria (RV), in conjunction with the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC), will tomorrow unveil weights for nominees in the world’s richest 2400m handicap, the $2.65 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m), at a 9.30am media conference at Racing Victoria.
In a first for the Victorian racing industry, the weights will be released live via webcast on industry website www.racingnetwork.com.au and fans will be encouraged to interact via Twitter using the hashtag #CaulfieldCup.
The media conference will feature new MRC Chief Executive Officer, Brodie Arnhold, and RV’s Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, who will outline the weights assigned to the feature nominees in the 136th Cup, to be run on Saturday, 19 October.
“Racing Victoria is excited to be partnering with the Melbourne Racing Club to promote this year’s Spring Racing Carnival and to be releasing the 2013 BMW Caulfield Cup weights via a live webcast,” Carpenter said.
“It’s a new and innovative method for releasing weights and we welcome all to follow the live reveal at www.racingnetwork.com.au, while engaging in the announcement on Twitter using the hashtag #CaulfieldCup.
“The BMW Caulfield Cup is one of the jewels of Victoria’s famous Spring Racing Carnival and the allocation of weights will have a significant bearing on who will gain a start and which horses will be the most popular with punters.”
- Racing Victoria
Hats off to Mark Kavanagh for one of the best training performances in recent memory to bring super-mare Atlantic Jewel back from a 70-week long lay-off to claim the first Group 1 of the spring, the New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes
Unfortunately for TheShark.com.au Member’s Sweepstakes participants, Atlantic Jewel is headed towards the Cox Plate and not the BMW Caulfield Cup, but luckily there were a few BMW Caulfield Cup bound runners behind her in the Memsie that we can follow closely over the next 6-weeks as the BMW Caulfield Cup Carnival nears.
Atlantic Jewel’s stablemate Super Cool (Allen Scash) was an eye-catcher pre-race but probably for the wrong reasons as he paraded round the mounting yard with a bigger tummy than a country footy league full-forward first-up from a big Christmas break. Appearances aside though, he was fantastic over the final 400m of the race and ran home in the 6th fastest last 200m of the meeting. He’s headed towards the BMW Caulfield Cup and will be a force to be reckoned with in the lead up to that race.
Reigning Melbourne Cup hero Green Moon (Lorraine Nicholls) was also impressive late in the race after drifting back to an awkward position early in the race; could we see him do a Dunaden and head to the BMW Caulfield Cup this year after snagging the big one at Flemington? On Saturday’s performance it is certainly a path that owner Lloyd Williams will no doubt give careful consideration to.
If you happen to have drawn either H.D.F. McNeil Stakes winner Fast N Rocking (Graeme Bishop) or runner-up Prince Harada (Daniel Dalton) in the Beck Caulfield Guineas leg of TheShark.com.au Member’s Sweepstakes you would be on pretty good terms with yourself following Saturday’s races as both colts ran outstanding trials. Both are likely to head next to the Golden Rose in Sydney before returning to Caulfield for the Beck Guineas so fingers crossed that they hold their form.
And a cheeky one to keep a close eye on this weekend, the Robert Smerdon trained filly Politeness (Daniel Khoury). She was a brilliant first-up winner of a Sale maiden and is a leading contender for the Schweppes Thousand Guineas.
- Mick Sharkie
Adelaide trainer Daniel Clarken will stick to a sprint campaign during the Melbourne Spring Carnival with Miracles Of Life with the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 2 her main goal.
Miracles Of Life was beaten for the first time in the Group 3 $150,000 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday at her first run back after winning the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 23.
The Not A Single Doubt filly over-raced for Lauren Stojakovic in the early stages and that took its toll at the finish with the her rolling in on top of Prince Harada at the 100m as she got tired and wound up in fourth sport behind the David Hayes trained Fast ‘N’ Rocking.
“It was just unfortunate the horse got rolling on her yesterday. Lauren did nothing wrong,” Clarken told The Advertiser.
“She just wouldn’t settle early and Lauren had no choice but to let her roll along.”
But Clarken wasn’t disappointed with the effort and will push towards a start in the Coolmore Stud Stakes and scrap plans to run in the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 16.
“The Thousand Guineas is out of the question, but there are some nice three-year-old fillies races and sprints coming along,” Clarken said.
“She’s done everything wrong and was still there at the finish. If it had been 1000 metres it would have been a different story.”
“I was far from disappointed in her. I know they lowered her flag yesterday, but I don’t think they will be doing it again.
“It was a massive run.”
Stojakovic, who received a twelve meeting suspension for causing interference at the 100m, will be back riding in plenty of time to partner Miracles Of Life in the Group 3 $150,000 TBV/Gallagher Bassett Champagne Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 27.
Clarken’s visit to Melbourne on the weekend ended on a high with the Adelaide trainer returning home with the Fred Hoysted Medal hanging around his neck.
He topped the votes for the most outstanding training performance of the 2012 – 2013 racing season on Victorian tracks following the wins of Mircales of Life during the Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
Clarken brought his unbeaten filly over from South Australia with little known apprentice Lauren Stojakovic and was able to beat the big name stables in the Listed $120,000 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Preview for Fillies (1000m) at Caulfield on January 26 and followed that up with a dominant win in Blue Diamond Stakes a month later.
History plays a significant role in Mark Kavanagh’s plans for exciting four-year-old Super Cool
Mark Kavanagh has revealed this morning that Australian Cup winner Super Cool will likely be aimed towards the $2.5M BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19.
A fast-finishing third behind his stable mate in yesterday’s Memsie Stakes at Caulfield, Kavanagh said the past record of three-year-old Australian Cup winners has influenced his thinking in regards to the son of Fastnet Rock.
“To me he looks like a Caulfield Cup horse,” Kavanagh told TVN’s Racing Review. “History tells you that the three-year-olds that have actually won an Australian Cup; one has won a Melbourne Cup (Saintly) and the other one probably should have in Dulcify.
“He’s a gross a horse; he still had his winter coat and he looked a bit patchy but I think he’ll take a fair bit of benefit out of yesterday’s run.”
Kavanagh nominated the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield for Super Cool's likely second-up run.
In frightening news for her potential Spring Racing Carnival rivals, Kavanagh also reported that unbeaten superstar Atlantic Jewel is in better condition this morning than before her effortless win in yesterday’s Memsie Stakes.
“She looks a lot tighter and a lot better than she did yesterday morning and she has pulled up well and eaten all of her feed,” he said.
“We’ve always had the big picture in mind with her and we can’t expect to have had her 100% wound up and have her right in October so there was a fair bit of improvement left in her.
“It’s frightening to say that she has only just really matured as a racehorse.”
Kavanagh said Atlantic Jewel would likely head towards the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 14 but didn't rule out that she could contest the Group 2 Stock Stakes (1600m) against her own sex on the same program.
Click here to view the full list of results for the Memsie Stakes or the rest of yesterday’s Caulfield program
- Ben Asgari, Racing Victoria
After a sensational comeback at Caulfield Mick Price will now raise the bar with Samaready
Following her brilliant return to racing at Caulfield yesterday, gun sprinting mare Samaready will now be set for the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on AFL Grand Final Eve (September 27).
An impressive winner of the Group 3 theshark.com.au Stakes after an injury-enforced 12 month layoff, trainer Mick Price said it was an ideal timeframe for the four-year-old to have her second up run in the recently upgraded feature.
“I think four weeks between runs will be really good for her she can have seven to ten really quiet days and then we can tune her back up again,” Price told RSN’s Correct Weight.
“She’s very athletic and she doesn’t carry much weight but I think you’ll see her get a lot healthier in four week time.
“By the time four weeks comes around you’ll see a much richer, brighter four-year-old mare and she should train-on no problem at all.”
Price said another of his Spring stars, exciting import Pakal, has pulled up OK after enduring a tough run in yesterday’s Listed Slickpix Stakes (1700m) with the five-year-old likely to press on towards the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 21.
“I was grimacing the first 1200 metres knowing how hard the first two were going when we were only a length and a half off them and I think for him to have finished third was an outstanding effort,” he said.
“He’s pulled up OK; he felt the run, these imports are not generally known for their tough constitution.
“Having said that he’s a gelding and he’s really blooming so I’m just going to need to go steady with him leading up to his next start.”
In further news out of yesterday’s Caulfield meeting, Hall of Fame trainer David Hayes has reported that Fast ‘N’ Rocking has pulled up well following his breakthrough win in the McNeil Stakes and will definitely press on to the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in Sydney on September 14.
Hayes said the son of Fastnet Rock was mirroring his father Fastnet Rock who was also a seven start maiden as a two-year-old before breaking through second-up at three.
“I just hope that he runs the Guineas distance better than his father did, he can always be a pretty good sprinter if he doesn’t but I think he’ll be pretty safe up to the mile (1600m),” Hayes said.
“I think he’s a Group 1 horse and really could be one of the top sprinter-milers in the country.
“I think the 1400 metres is his ideal distance at this stage of his career and apart from the million dollars, we also have to think of the potential value add of running in the Golden Rose as I’m sure if he was to win it would really launch him as a stallion prospect.”
Click here to view the full list of results for yesterday’s theshark.com.au Stakes or the rest of the Memsie Stakes Day program from Caulfield
- Ben Asgari, Racing Victoria
With a host of possible Spring Racing Carnival stars kicking off, or continuing, their campaigns on Memsie Stakes Day, BRAD BISHOP and BEN ASGARI assess the runs of those heading towards the features.
MEMSIE STAKES – By Brad Bishop
Simply awesome. The expectation was that she would return a winner – would Mark Kavanagh have even persisted a comeback if he had any doubts – but few could have expected her to win so easily. Has lost nothing. Cox Plate looks hers to lose.
Made good progression from solid Aurie’s Star effort to lead home the chasing brigade. Hard to imagine he’ll turn the tables on Atlantic Jewel, but certain to be competitive in anything he contests.
Outstanding. Mark Kavanagh has made no secret of the fact the Australian Cup winner will take a couple of runs to hit his top, so he would have been ecstatic with his effort to charge home down the outside and only miss out on second by a bob of the head.
It’s A Dundeel
Good return. Settled closer than most expected, probably because of the inside draw, and although ridden along before the turn he had to be checked a couple of times in the straight when on the improve.
Repeated his first-up run of last Spring when fifth, although he did finish 1-3/4 lengths closer this year, being beaten three lengths. Like Ferlax, whether he can turn the tables on Atlantic Jewel is debatable, but looks to be a feature race player again.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up missed the start but tracked into the race nicely rounding the home turn only to run into trouble until 100m from the finish. After that, he hit the line encouragingly. On track.
Don’t be fooled by her 11th placing. Was stopped in her tracks inside the 100m when hitting top gear and should have finished a lot closer. Appears to have come back well.
SLICKPIX STAKES – By Ben Asgari
Showed he was back in fine form with a strong first-up victory despite being unwanted in the betting. Has come back better than ever and is heading towards the Cups via the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 21.
Raced off the speed on the back of the hot tempo and finished hard. Is right on track for the Caulfield Cup and is another who is heading there via the Naturalism. Will be even better when he can dictate from near the lead or if he can strike a wet track.
Had to work early from the wide barrier, which didn’t help in a race of high speed. Still battled on strongly and looks on track to produce another strong performance next start in the Naturalism Stakes.
Finished off his race very strongly to narrowly miss third position. Another who looks on track for his Spring targets and will also likely progress towards the Naturalism Stakes.
Enjoyed a lovely run just forward of midfield and loomed into the race on the corner before weakening late into seventh position, just over five lengths away from the winner. Should strip much fitter for the run and will also be far better suited as he steps up in distance.
McNEIL STAKES – By Brad Bishop
Fast ‘N’ Rocking
Looked every bit the Caulfield Guineas contender with his powerful win. Bit wayward when asked to hit top gear, but oodles of talent and should only be better once he steps out over further.
Beaten for the first time, but lost no admirers. Came with his run at the same time as Fast ‘N’ Rocking – going to the inside of Miracles of Life whereas Fast ‘N’ Rocking went outside – and severe check around 100m out severely hampered momentum. Wouldn’t have beaten the winner but should have finished a whole lot closer.
Miracles of Life
Overraced in the middle stages and wasn’t able to gap her rivals like she did as a two-year-old. Weights were against – Fast ‘N’ Rocking met her 2.5kg better for his Blue Diamond defeat – so there was merit to the run but looks like a sprinter more than a Thousand Guineas hope.
- Racing Victoria
Champion mare maintains unbeaten record with comeback success
It was like she’d never been away.
Spring Racing Carnival banner mare Atlantic Jewel today completed her fairytale return with an arrogant win in the $350,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes at Caulfield.
The 1400-metre Group 1 was her first start since winning the All Aged Stakes in April last year, since sidelined with an injury sustained on the eve of last year’s Spring Racing Carnival, and she showed she had not lost of the brilliance that had carried her to victory at her previous seven starts.
It was a huge relief for trainer Mark Kavanagh, who struggled to talk after the race but described the race as “poetry”.
Jockey Michael Rodd found words easier to come by and he couldn’t hide his excitement at seeing her back.
“I, ‘Kav’ and the stable, we know how good she is. The only thing today that was going to beat her was bad luck or a bad ride,” Rodd said.
“It’s a massive effort from Kav and his training team there at Flemington to bring her back from a serious injury, a tendon and not knowing how long she was going to need to have off.
“How many horses win first up over 1400 (metres) after 16 months off? Not many and she could probably go around and do it all again because she’s such an athlete.
“There’s a lot of fun ahead now in the Spring Carnival.”
Atlantic Jewel dominated the Memsie like she has most of the other races she has contested, despite the presence of eight other Group 1 winners and some race-fit winter sprinters in the first running of the race at Group 1 level.
After jumping well, Rodd found himself posted three-wide until the 400m but found a spot one off the fence only to pop out not long after when the runs started to come from the rear.
The daughter of Fastnet Rock, who started the $2.20 favourite, ambled alongside the leaders turning for home and exploded away early in the straight.
The five-year-old was eased down by Rodd late but still had 2-1/4 lengths to spare over runner-up Ferlax ($21). Super Cool ($17), Atlantic Jewel’s stablemate, flashed home to finish just a short-half-head back third.
Atlantic Jewel’s next assignment is likely to be the Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m), run at Moonee Valley, scene of the $3 million Sportingbet Cox Plate – for which she is now the $3 favourite – and Kavanagh had an ominous warning for her rivals.
“She’s got so much improvement in her it’s frightening,” he said.
While Atlantic Jewel took a stranglehold on Cox Plate favouritism with her win, there were plenty of promising runs outside the placegetters by horses targeting the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
It’s A Dundeel (fourth), Fiorente (sixth) and Silent Achiever (11th) all had impeded runs in the straight but hit the line well, while reigning Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon replicated his Memsie performance of last year when fifth.
The full result of the New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes is available here
- Brad Bishop, Racing Victoria
Ibicenco stuns punters to win today’s Slickpix Stakes at Caulfield
Punters may have thought today’s $120,000 Listed Slickpix Stakes (1700m) was going to go the way of an OTI Racing-owned galloper, but they probably got a shock when it was the Peter Moody-trained Ibicenco who finished in front.
Capping a double on the program for Moody, who earlier trained the trifecta in the $80,000 BMW Handicap (1400m), Ibibcenco narrowly defeated Mr O’Ceirin, with the well-backed favourite and fellow OTI charge, Pakal, further back in third.
Likely to now head towards the Cups via the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 21, Moody said Ibicenco has been a different horse this preparation since returning home from the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.
“I said to the owners that this horse is in a great space, we’ve been doing a lot of jumping with him at home and he has just been the happiest horse,” Moody said.
“I said to Brad (Rawiller) just go out there with an open mind and if he runs to how his general well being is then he’ll run a super race.
“There’s no one more pleased than me, I rushed him in the winter but he has come off the back of it terrific and he’s in for a pretty fruitful campaign.
“It was a good effort today so we’ll come back here for the Naturalism Stakes (2000m) in three weeks and then on towards the Cups.”
Settling in a midfield position for jockey Brad Rawiller on the back of a hot tempo, Rawiller elected to stay hard against the rail coming around the home turn.
Surging through a gap between the leaders with 100 metres left to travel, Ibicenco ($51) proved too strong over the final 50 metres defeating Mr O’Ceirin ($12) in a photo finish, with Pakal ($2.30F) a further two lengths away in third position.
Moody said he was similarly pleased with the Australian debut of fellow import Kesampour, who weakened into seventh position beaten just over five lengths.
“Kesampour ran super; he loomed to win and probably ran out of gas,” he said.
The victory capped a double figure odds double for OTI Racing, with Lidari scoring at $12 in the BMW Handicap.
Click here to view the full list of results for the Slickpix Handicap or the rest of today’s Caulfield program
- Ben Asgari, Racing Victoria