Pinecliff juvenile remains undefeated in Caulfield ransack

6 min read

Written by Jessica Owers

As the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale rolled through Day 2, down at Caulfield it was business as usual on Wednesday with a midweek meeting. First off the blocks was a 1200-metre race for the 2-year-olds and, in a five-horse field, it was the Pinecliff Racing filly No Diggity (Sebring) that got the better of them all.

No Diggity is trained at Mornington by Anthony and Sam Freedman, and she was backing up in this race after a debut win at Geelong on Boxing Day. The filly is now undefeated in two starts, and she made a proverbial mess of them on Wednesday.

Anthony and Sam Freedman | Image courtesy of Bronwen Healy

Ridden by Craig Newitt, No Diggity jumped from barrier two to contest the lead as slow pace through the first 150 metres. Thereafter, she was a narrow leader on the rails from Concentric (I Am Invincible) on her outside and Toronto Terrier (Toronado {Ire}) widest of all.

They chugged along in that order until entering the turn for home, wherein No Diggity came to life and exploded away, opening up a gap for the final 200 metres.

The filly was untouched by the field and she eased right down inside the last 100 metres of the race, cruising to the line under a soft ride.

No Diggity after winning the Vale Rick Hore-Lacy H. at Caulfield

The final margins were 2.25l to Toronto Terrier and 2.35l to third-placed New York Scandal (Manhattan Rain). The race was ticked off in 1:11.78 on Caulfield’s Good 4.

Sydney bound

Representing the Pinecliff ownership of Jonathan Munz, Rod ‘Rocket’ Douglas was trackside to witness the filly’s second win.

“She was pretty easy, wasn’t she?” he said. “She had to take good improvement from her first-up win though, so you’d expect her to do that.”

Douglas said the small field, the tempo and No Diggity’s record all played a hand in her Wednesday effort.

“They cantered early and it played to the horse in front,” he said. “She’s had race experience where a few of those other horses were a bit new. She might be a filly going places.”

Douglas confirmed that No Diggity would likely take a rest after her two winning races and then return for a possible tilt at Sydney in the autumn.

“She’ll have a breather I think and then Anthony will head her towards the end of Sydney for some of those 1400 metre and mile races,” Douglas said. “That’s what she looks like she’s going to do.”

“She’ll (No Diggity) have a breather I think and then Anthony (Freedman) will head her towards the end of Sydney for some of those 1400 metre and mile races.” - Rod Douglas

Out of the saddle, jockey Craig Newitt said he had high opinions of No Diggity after the pair teamed up on Boxing Day for that initial win.

“I thought she won well that day without visually looking impressive,” the jockey said. “The time was there to match it and today, with the winkers going on, she jumped and travelled a lot more kindly up front underneath me. Albeit it was only a small field, I think she’s got better things in store.”

Win some, lose some

Pinecliff Racing got hold of No Diggity at the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. She was Lot 683, a filly from the very last crop of the late sire Sebring.

No Diggity was the fourth foal from the Elusive Quality (USA) mare Rare Ruby, and this is an interesting family.

Rare Ruby is the granddaughter of the broodmare Ruby (Seventh Hussar {Fr}), who was the dam of no less than the brilliant sire Rubiton. Ruby also foaled the stakes winners Euclase (Century), a full brother to Rubiton, and Rory’s Power.

Rare Ruby | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

Rare Ruby herself was bred by the Hutchins family of Element Hill. She is a half-sister to the Australian Champion 2-Year-Old Meurice (Strategic), and she had four foals at Element Hill, the last of which was No Diggity.

Josh Hutchins, the general manager at the Queensland-based Element Hill, remembers the filly well.

“It’s always nice to breed a very good horse,” he said. “Obviously the flagbearer for the farm at the moment is Golden Sixty, but No Diggity is now two-for-two as a 2-year-old and she’s looking like a really smart horse.”

“Obviously the flagbearer for the farm at the moment is Golden Sixty, but No Diggity is now two-for-two as a 2-year-old and she’s looking like a really smart horse.” - Josh Hutchins

Like much of the bloodstock industry right now, Hutchins is on the Gold Coast this week. He had a word with the filly’s trainers on-complex and he said the Freedmans are in good spirits about No Diggity.

“They have a very good opinion of her,” Hutchins said. “They seem to think she’ll get over some ground as well, so all systems go for her.”

Hutchins said the filly was a very fine yearling at this Sale last year.

“She was a lovely, strong and scopey filly at the Sale,” he said. “She really didn’t put a foot wrong. She was hugely popular and had 16 x-ray hits, so we put $150,000 on her thinking she would make $300,000 or $400,000, and luckily for Dean Hawthorne she just stopped at $150,000 and that was that.”

No Diggity as a yearling | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

In hindsight, it was disappointing for the Element Hill team, and it proved very good buying for Pinecliff Racing.

“I’m not really sure what happened but these things do occur,” Hutchins said. “You come to a sale and you present a horse, and sometimes they just stop for no obvious reason. All you can do is let the market decide.”

No Diggity was one of Hutchins’ favourites, despite her making far less than he anticipated. He remembers her as a pleasure to bring to the Sale and always very easy to do anything with. On that fact, he is not surprised she has won two on the trot so early.

Josh Hutchins

He expressed a little bit of regret that the farm, in 2020, sold Rare Ruby at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale for just $50,000 to the Vieira Group (of Trapeze Artist fame). Since then, Rare Ruby has produced a colt by Trapeze Artist and she revisited the Widden stallion this spring.

“We got four foals out of her, and after those she hadn’t yet proved fruitful as a broodmare,” Hutchins said. “So we sold her and of course then out comes Putontheredlight, who was stakes-placed, and the Helmet gelding has won a few races. And No Diggity has come along now.

“It’s always the way but we’re happy for Bert Vieira. These things happen in breeding and you win some, you lose some.”

No Diggity
Caulfield Races
Element Hill
Josh Hutchins