Daily News Wrap

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Wellfield Lodge for sale

Palmerston North thoroughbred nursery Wellfield Lodge is set to be offered to the market for the first time in two decades.

Wellfield Lodge has undergone a change in direction in recent years, moving away from standing stallions, and farm manager Peter Didham ramping up his training operation.

Farm director Bill Gleeson said the decision has now been made to sell the farm and disperse the majority of its bloodstock.

“Wellfield Lodge was under Peter Didham and myself. We got to a stage in our life where we wanted to downsize a bit and Peter wanted to go training,” Gleeson told loveracing.co.nz.

“We have done a development at the farm, there are sections for sale, and we just want to downsize now.

“When we first bought the farm, we bought four or five different blocks. Over the last four years we have progressively sold down some smaller blocks and that leaves us with the two main blocks, which can be sold as one block.

“We are also going to do a dispersal (of the bloodstock) which will be done over two or three sales on Gavelhouse.

“Peter Gillespie, who is one of our main clients that we own bloodstock with, has had a change of circumstances with his health so we are dispersing a lot of that stock.”

Wellfield Lodge has stood three sires in recent years – Alamosa (NZ), Road To Rock and Vespa (NZ).

Alamosa was a big part of Wellfield Lodge’s major highlights, carrying the farm’s colours to Group 1 glory on four occasions, with his homebred daughter Kirramosa (NZ) doing the same in the G1 VRC Oaks in 2013.

Group 2 winner out of retirement

Grahame Begg will welcome Passive Aggressive (Fastnet Rock) back to his Cranbourne stables after the 5-year-old mare was brought out of retirement.

The Group 2 winner was retired after finishing unplaced in the G1 Robert Sangster S. She was served by the Champion Sire I Am Invincible but failed to get in foal.

“Passive Aggressive has just gone back into training at Leneva (Park),” Begg told RSN927.

Passive Aggressive | Image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

“She went to I Am Invincible and failed to get in foal, she had a couple of covers and it was decided it was getting too late in the season and she’s gone back in training for the autumn.

“We are looking at the Lightning or the Challenge S., would be a couple of races very suited to her. We’ve got to get her back and make sure she’s fine and ticking over.”

Positive signs for Thousand Guineas Day

Early indications indicate the move of the G1 Thousand Guineas has been successful and could see further “innovation” of the November racing calendar.

This year, Racing Victoria (RV) moved the race from a Wednesday in October to a standalone Saturday in 2023 in a bid to boost turnover and crowds. The G1 Sir Rupert Clarke S. was also moved to the new Thousand Guineas Day to boost the program.

Wagering was up around 15 per cent in 2023, compared with the corresponding Saturday in 2022 at Cranbourne, according to RV.

A crowd of 7621 people were on course too, a figure RV were happy with despite public transport disruptions.

“There was scepticism about moving the Thousand Guineas, but we knew the race could thrive stepping into the spotlight on a Saturday in November compared to a Wednesday in October and it has done that,” RV’s general manager of racing Matthew Welsh told Racing.com.

“Saturday delivered a stellar contest. Joliestar looks destined for big things, Kimochi tied in the G1 Flight Stakes form, Skybird lost no admirers in suffering her first defeat, while Couer Volante proved she’s a top-line prospect in the Thousand Guineas Prelude. In 12 months’ time I am confident we will reflect on the race as a very strong edition.”

Ayrton bound for Perth

The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trainer Ayrton (NZ) (Iffraaj {GB}) will head to Perth, with the $1.5 million G3 Damien Oliver Gold Rush on December 16 his likely target race.

Ayrton finished sixth, 3.35l behind the winner, in Saturday’s G1 Sir Rupert Clarke S. at Caulfield.

Ayrton (NZ) | Image courtesy of Racing Photos

“We thought he was going well, but you still want to see a good performance because it’s a long way to go to Perth,” Rob Norton from Roll The Dice Racing, which races Ayrton, told Racing And Sports.

“He’s pulled up well from Saturday. If he ran well and he pulled up well he was always going to go.”

Golden Crusader ready for first-up run

The quarantine buddy of Melbourne Cup runner Lastotchka (Fr) (Myboycharlie {Ire}) could line up in Saturday’s Listed Cranbourne Cup.

Golden Crusader (Fr) (Golden Horn {GB}), who is trained by Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr, has been entered for the $500,000 race, as well as the $100,000 Wodonga Cup on Friday.

“We’ll have a look at the nominations, but it wouldn’t worry me if we did run him at Cranbourne because he’s a had a beautiful preparation at Werribee,” Price told Racing And Sports.

Golden Crusader (Fr) | Image courtesy of Racing Photos

“He was the quarantine buddy for Lastotchka, so every day he had good use of the course proper down there at Werribee.

“He’s done plenty of work and he has had a beautiful rider on him every day, Tahlee Atkinson, so I think we’ll have a look at the race and work it out.”

The 6-year-old has won four races since being exported from Europe.

Australia’s richest maiden series to return

Racing Victoria confirmed on Monday morning the rich Sportsbet Future Star Series will again be held at Pakenham with the first heats to be conducted in early January.

The maiden series totals $1.2 million in prizemoney, with 12 heats valued at $75,000. The heats held over 1200 and 1400 metres qualify the winners for a $300,000 final to be held on Pakenham Cup night on Thursday, February 29

The inaugural series saw the Ben, Will and JD Hayes-trained Marble Arch (NZ) (Per Incanto {USA}) win.

“Last year’s series also saw Thursday night turnover across all meetings increase by 16 per cent year-on-year against a backdrop of decline. Punters warmly embraced the format,” Racing Victoria executive general manager for Racing Matt Welsh said.

“So much time and investment goes into getting a horse to the track. This series is a highly sought-after opportunity for owners to score a lucrative first win with their horse, whilst creating a focal point of Thursday night racing and a narrative for fans and punters to follow throughout.”

Scorse update

Racing New South Wales provided an update on injured apprentice Lachlan Scorse on Monday. The young rider sustained a fall in October at Taree, which saw him in a coma before waking and moved to the high dependency ward. Scorse has been given clearance to leave the high dependency ward and has started to walk on his own and is waiting on a bed to be transferred to a rehabilitation hospital. Racing New South Wales noted Scorse is improving every day.

Vale Invincible Caviar

On Monday it was confirmed that the promising Invincible Caviar (I Am Invincible) had passed away suddenly. The 5-year-old mare was the fifth foal from the incredible Black Caviar (Bel Esprit) and like her dam was trained by Peter Moody, who was recently joined by Katherine Coleman in partnership. Moody was quoted as saying that Invincible Caviar was most reminiscent of her dam in looks and personality. She won four of her eight career starts.

Invincible Caviar | Image courtesy of The Image Is Everything

Gold Coast back on track

Group 1-winning jockey Ryan Maloney has given a glowing endorsement towards the new grass track at the Gold Coast. Maloney was in action on Monday morning competing in the first set of barrier trials held on the new course.

“It’s a totally different track, the old one was loose and tired, this one feels unreal. They weren’t taking anything off the top at all,” Maloney told Punters.com.

“The horses got around it well, the camber is part of that. The short-term pain will be worth the long-term gain from it all.

“It’s perfect, if they had to race on it tomorrow, there would be no drama. A lot of new tracks aren’t consolidated 100 per cent, but there was no kick back here, it rode perfectly and was smooth. It is probably the best surface I have ridden on because it is so new and feels so good.”

The Gold Coast venue will hold its return meeting on Saturday, December 9.

Tuvalu topweight in Railway

The Lindsey Smith-trained Tuvalu (Kermadec {NZ}) has been asked to carry the top weight of 58kg in Saturday’s G1 Railway S. at Ascot. The Group 1 winner will be partnered by Jamie Kah.

Other eastern states visitors include Roots (Press Statement), who has 54kg, and Forgot You (NZ) (Savabeel), who will shoulder 53kg.

Colin Webster’s Trix Of The Trade (Trade Fair {GB}) will need to carry 54kg - one more than last year - if he is to go back-to-back.

Champion jockey William Pike will ride Alsephina (Star Turn), who has 53kg.

Prevailed breaks through

Coolmore Stud sire sensation Justify (USA) was represented by his 21st southern hemisphere crop winner Prevailed broke his maiden at Kyneton. The Mark and Levi Kavanagh-trained 3-year-old colt defeated Blue Chip Girl, a daughter of the fellow Triple Crown winner and Coolmore sire American Pharoah (USA).

Prevailed is from the Empire Maker (USA) mare Prevalent (USA), who is related to the G1 Prince Of Wales’s S. victor Lord North (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}).

The colt was a $140,000 purchase by Kavanagh Racing from the draft of Twin Hills Stud at the 2022 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

Eighth winner for Real Steel

The former Arrowfield Stud shuttler Real Steel (Jpn) sired his eighth individual Southern hemisphere winner on Monday. Continuing a superb week for the Paul Messara and Leah Gavranich stable was Ferro Vero, ridden by Braith Nock, the gelding won from Master Miyagi (Brave Smash {Jpn}) and Canny Prospect (Outreach) at Scone.

Ferro Vero is from the Not A Single Doubt mare Push And Shove and is from the family of the Listed Canonbury S. and fourth-placed G1 Sires’ Produce S. winner Raceway (More Than Ready {USA}).

Daily News Wrap