Daily News Wrap

9 min read

Slipper placegetters head Sires’ lineup

A field of ten runners has been declared for the G1 Sires’ Produce S., the second leg of the Sydney 2-year-old Triple Crown.

Of the ten, six ran in the G1 Golden Slipper, including the first four home; Lady Of Camelot (Written Tycoon), Coleman (Pierata), Storm Boy (Justify {USA}) and Traffic Warden (Street Boss {USA}).

Both TJ Smith stars draw well

Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) has drawn barrier six for the G1 TJ Smith on Saturday, while I Wish I Win (NZ) (Savabeel) has drawn barrier four.

Outsider Magic Time (Hellbent) has drawn barrier one, and the prospect of rain makes trainer Grahame Begg smile.

“She obviously won the 3-year-old fillies race on Doncaster Day last year and the track was very wet, so that doesn't seem to worry her. And the one gate, it doesn't matter what sort of track it is, it's the quickest way home. I imagine they'll be using plenty of the track, no worries,” Begg told Racing.com

Wet track no bother for Lady Laguna

Trainer Annabel Neasham isn’t bothered by the forecast wet weather this week for 4-year-old mare Lady Laguna (Overshare) in the G1 Doncaster Mile.

“The nice thing with her is I’ll go to bed on Friday night not worrying whether it’s a heavy 10 or a good 3,” Neasham told racingnsw.com.au.

Lady Laguna | Image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

“She's drawn in the middle which on a rain affected track is going to be perfect. She’s probably the toughest horse I’ve got in the stable, she’s one you can race in three states across a campaign and she’s very fit. She’s probably going to be the fittest horse in the field.”

Lady Laguna ran second in the G1 George Ryder S. last start and won the G1 Canterbury S. in her previous start. She has seven wins and 12 placings from 25 starts with earnings over $2.1million, and is the only stakes winner for her young sire to date.

Schiller sweats for Doncaster ride

Jockey Tyler Schiller is pulling all the tricks to get down to 49kg for Saturday’s G1 Doncaster Mile aboard 3-year-old colt Celestial Legend (Dundeel {NZ}).

“I haven’t ridden 49kg since probably my first couple of rides in my apprenticeship so to get down to that weight wasn’t something I was expecting I could do,” Schiller told racingnsw.com.au.

“I had a think about it, and looked at the market, and thought he’s Group 1 winner who hasn’t been penalised for winning the Guineas and he’s a pretty live chance in it.”

Celestial Legend hasn’t raced since he won the G1 Randwick Guineas in early March but has had a barrier trial to help his fitness. Winner of three of his seven starts with earnings over $950,000, Celestial Legend was purchased by Legend Racing and Avenue Bloodstock from Arrowfield Stud at the 2022 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale for $220,000.

Outside draws for favoured runners

Exciting galloper Another Wil (Street Boss {USA}) has drawn 21 for the field of 20 plus four emergencies in the G1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick on Saturday.

Another Wil | Image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

In the G1 Australian Derby, the G1 VRC Derby winner Riff Rocket (American Pharoah {USA}) has drawn out wide with barrier 10 in the field of 14, while Wymark (NZ) (Savabeel) has drawn the widest gate. His connections paid the $44,000 late fee to get him into the field.

Hellbent juvenile wins on debut

2-year-old filly Irrefutably (Hellbent) won on debut at Geelong on Tuesday for trainers Anthony and Sam Freeman.

Irrefutably was purchased by Dream Thoroughbreds, Bluegrass Bloodstock (FBAA) and Anthony Freedman at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale for $130,000. Sold by Yarraman Park Stud, she is a full sister to group placed winning 3-year-old Divine Glory.

Ned’s Gully on trial for Winter Carnival

Toowoomba trainer Paul Wallace has been wondering if his 5-year-old gelding Ned’s Gully (Bel Esprit) can step up into the Queensland Winter Carnival races and will use Wednesday’s Open Handicap over 1200 metres at Doomben as part of a plan.

“If he can race every fortnight for the next month or so, that’ll be his go,” Wallace told Racingqueensland.com.au. “Otherwise, we might just come back for the latter part of the winter or maybe just target some of the lesser winter races in Brisbane.”

A last start city winner, Ned’s Gully has won seven of his 20 starts with earnings over $240,000.

Final spots on offer at Newcastle

The last three spots in the $1million Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championships Final still up for grabs, a strong field will have their chances in Wednesday's 1400 metre Wildcard at Newcastle.

Locally-trained Willinga Freefall (NZ) (Sacred Falls {NZ}) is the $4 TAB favourite ahead of $4.40 for Terra Mater (Wandjina) and Sam Kavanagh's Kayobi (Maurice {Jpn}) who is resuming from a spell and punters have at $4.80.

Ladbrokes lock in Super Smink for Quokka

Ladbrokes have locked in 3-year-old filly Super Smink (Super One) for their slot in The Quokka at Ascot on April 20. “Very excited to have secured Super Smink as our runner in The Quokka,” Ladbrokes' Tom Hackett posted on X.

Super Smink | Image courtesy of Western Racepix

“I believe she is the x-factor in the race and goes in with a terrific chance!” Winner of four of her nine starts, Super Smink hasn’t raced since finishing second in the Listed Starstruck Classic in December.

Queensland training program thrives

Racing Queensland and the Australian Industry Trade College are working together to unearth the next generation of workers in the racing industry with an immersive experience which includes practical time working in stables.

“What we’ve found is that they’re kids who love horses primarily and 98% of them will go into the stablehand area, but it does give them an option to do something outside,” RQ Industry Educator Jeff McKay said.

“We’re hoping they’re going to be stablehands primarily, because the industry does need stablehands and from there they’re going to move on to be trackwork riders and maybe even some of them want to be jockeys."

The Certificate II in Racing (Stablehand) includes six weeks work in the classroom, as well as six weeks spread across working with trainers, in the hospitality space and in track maintenance.

Russell Balding honoured with race

Racing NSW announced on Tuesday that the Winners S. will be renamed the Russell Balding AO S. to honour Mr Balding AO’s role in the development of the evolutionary Sydney Everest Carnival.

“It is only befitting to honour Russell’s extraordinary contribution to the NSW Thoroughbred Racing Industry through such recognition via this feature race name,” said Racing NSW Chairman Mrs Saranne Cooke.

The $3million Russell Balding S. will be run at Rosehill over 1300 metres on 2 November 2024.

Correction on Imperatriz story

Yesterday we ran a story about Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) and attributed the quotes to the wrong Walker.

It was jockey Michael Walker who told Racing.com, “If she wins the TJ up there, there's no horse that's going to beat her ever.”

Our sincere apologies to trainer Mark Walker. We regret the error.

Qatari trainer sets up Wathnan base in Newmarket

The Newmarket training ranks will be boosted by the addition of leading Qatari trainer Hamad Al-Jehani, who is to set up with a “small number” of horses owned by Wathnan Racing, the operation of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Al-Jehani, who will continue to train in Qatar over the winter, will be based in the lower yard at Tom Clover's Kremlin House Stables. The deal has been negotiated by Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock, who has been responsible for buying a number of horses for Wathnan Racing in recent seasons, including the Gold Cup hero Courage Mon Ami (GB) (Frankel {GB}), who was one of two Royal Ascot winners for the operation last season.

Now 35, Al-Jehani is a former international show jumper who was a member of the Qatari national team. He has been training since 2013 and notched his first winner in Qatar the following year.

Endlessly back on Derby trail

Connections of dual Group 3 winning 3-year-old colt Endlessly (USA) (Oscar Performance {USA}) were going to avoid the G1 Kentucky Derby since their colt has never raced on dirt, but now that he’s qualified, there’s a rethink happening.

“We're going to go ahead and see what happens here over the next few weeks,” trainer Michael McCarthy told TDN.

Endlessly (USA) | Image courtesy of Benoit

“Are we leaning towards the Derby? The answer is yes. His works on the dirt have been very workmanlike. They've been decent. Decent without being eye-catching. But sometimes, you just have to take a chance and Mr. Amerman feels the same way.”

Endlessly has won five of his six starts, all on turf or synthetic surfaces, and is from the second crop of G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Oscar Performance who has left nine stakes winners to date.

Dubai Honour wins Listed race

Dual Group 1 winner Dubai Honour (Ire) (Pride Of Dubai) won first up this season in the Listed Magnolia S. at Kempton on Monday and will head to Hong Kong. “He’s going to Hong Kong all being well – he’s been invited and we’ve accepted. Providing he’s fit and well he will go over there on April 28 for the QEII Cup, the mile-and-a-quarter race he was third in last year,” trainer William Haggas told Irishracing.com.

“He’s won over £3million (AU$5,797,500) in prize-money now and he’s a thoroughly nice horse who has been great fun, we think the world of him. He’s a kind horse, too.”

The 6-year-old gelding won the G1 Ranvet S. and G1 Queen Elizabeth S. in Sydney’s 2023 The Championships carnival, and now has a record of seven wins from 21 starts and earnings over AU$5million.

Making Dreams aimed at Classics

3-year-old filly Making Dreams (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}) won the G3 Prix Penelope S. at Saint-Cloud on Monday and will now be aimed at the G1 Epsom Oaks. “She's paid for that entry now and so we'll shove her in and, if it came up soft, as it can do at Epsom sometimes, who knows?” trainer Karl Burke told Thoroughbrednews.com.au.

Making Dreams (Ire) | Image courtesy of Spigot Lodge

“We'll get her home and give her a chance to catch her breath but there's every chance she'll go back to France in search of soft ground.”

Making Dreams was having her first start at three. At two she won four of her 10 starts and this was her first stakes win.

Daily News Wrap