Saturday Summary: Munhamek crowned Winter Champion at Flemington

9 min read
Despite the Sunshine Coast meeting being abandoned due to deteriorating weather conditions, there was still much action to savour from Flemington and Randwick. Rising 9-year-old Munhamek(GB) (Dark Angel {Ire}) is in exceptional form, securing his third consecutive win, while Right To Party (Zoustar) was sensational in clinching her first stakes race.

Cover image courtesy of Racing Photos

Race-Day Recap

Munhamek (Dark Angel) has been in work for over 16 months, but has continued to thrive and win three races consecutively, the latest coming on Saturday in the Listed Winter Championship Series Final at Flemington.

Zoustar sired his 57th stakes winner when the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Right To Party impressively took out the Listed AR Creswick S. at Flemington.

Tamerlane (Golden Horn {GB}) found his best form to secure a second stakes victory in the Listed Winter S. at Randwick, providing a fourth winner on Saturday for rising young star Zac Lloyd.

Clear Thinking (Dubawi), a daughter of the Group 1 winner Sweet Idea, took her unbeaten run to three with a visually stunning effort at Randwick in Race 4.

It’sourtime (Time For War) found his best form with the addition of blinkers in the Listed Santa Ana Lane Final at Flemington.

Craig (Territories) was sent out as the hot favourite in the Silver Bowl Series Final, but it was the Michael Moroney-trained Justadeel (Dundeel) who earned bragging rights.

Cindy Falls (Sacred Falls) got the better of an in-form Brazen Lady (Brazen Beau) in the $150,000 Leilani Series Final at Flemington.

Iron horse wins three on the trot

You’d love to own a horse like Munhamek (GB) (Dark Angel {Ire}), the Nick Ryan-trained rising 9-year-old has been in truly sensational form, winning his last three starts. Munhamek lined up for start 62 on Saturday and won for the 13th time.

With Jamie Mott in the saddle, the son of Dark Angel (Ire) set a weight-carrying record (60.5kg) in the Listed Winter Championship Series Final at Flemington. Despite the impost, Munhamek was dominant, beating Lounge Bar Rubi (Rubick) and Green Fly (GB) (Frankel {GB}).

In awe of Munhamek, Ryan told 7HorseRacing, “I was a bit worried mid-race, he didn’t really have any favours and they were rolling along. However, speaking to Jamie (Mott) post-race he said he had a lap full of horse.

“There’s no doubt the horse has gone to another level. He’s in rare air, and is absolutely thriving. When they are like this, you’ve just got to take the opportunity and keep running them. We will give him a little freshen but not too much and look at the G2 PB Lawrence S., like we did with Sircconi.”

“I was a bit worried mid-race, he didn’t really have any favours and they were rolling along. However, speaking to Jamie (Mott) post-race he said he had a lap full of horse.” - Nick Ryan

Munhamek has won over $1.7 million, and the Listed Winter Championship Final is his third career stakes victory, having also won the G3 Gold Rush and the Listed Spear Chief H. He is the best performed runner from the Dansili (GB) mare Cadenza (Fr).

Party swoops

Consistent mare Right To Party broke through for a well-deserved stakes success in the Listed AR Creswick S. at Flemington down the straight. The grey daughter of Zoustar, ridden by Jye McNeil made her own luck and bustled her way into the clear before letting down with an electric turn of foot.

Placing behind the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Right To Party, was Prinzerro (Pierro) and Fleetwood (Encryption).

Bred by G S A Bloodstock, the mare is the 57th stakes winner for Widden Stud’s Zoustar. Right To Party is from the unraced Dehere (USA) mare De Groove, who is also the dam of the Group 3 winner Big Party (Exceed And Excel) and the Group 3-fourth Top Me Up, also by Exceed And Excel.

De Groove’s latest foal, a 2-year-old named Youthful Groove by the now-retired Champion Sire Exceed And Excel, is unraced and sold for $260,000 to Upper Bloodstock at last year’s Inglis Premier Yearling Sale.

Right To Party has won three races, and was placed in the G3 Proud Miss S. and the Listed Twilight Glow S. She also finished fourth in the Listed William Crockett S.

Tamerlane bounces back

Arguably underwhelming in his first two runs back, Tamerlane (Golden Horn {GB}) bounced back in a big way. Ridden by Zac Lloyd, who rode a four-timer, the son of Golden Horn (GB) got the better of the in-form Iknowastar (Star Witness) in the Listed Winter S. at Randwick. Finishing third after not finding the clearest traffic was Joseph Pride’s King Of The Castle (NZ) (Castledale {Ire}).

Godolphin’s Head Trainer James Cummings told 7HorseRacing, “Great effort by Tamerlane. The team have worked hard to get him back into form this preparation. He hasn’t looked great on paper but we had a strong feeling he was going a lot better than his two runs back had suggested.

“I thought the run week was the one he really needed to bring him. Zac really made the leader work early and Tamerlane was up and about early ready for a big effort.

“We brought him over to the track a little later this morning. We were tempted to pull him out but we were pleased to see the track upgrade.”

“Great effort by Tamerlane. The team have worked hard to get him back into form this preparation.” - James Cummings

Tamerlane is the best runner from the Shamardal (USA) mare Wordcraft (GB), who won twice in Europe and is a daughter of the Champion 2-Year-Old Forensics (Flying Spur). The Winter S. is the 10th career success and second stakes victory for the son of Golden Horn (GB).

Wordcraft has a 2-year-old colt by the late Lonhro named Polyglot and a yearling colt by Harry Angel (Ire). She was served by Bivouac last spring.

Blueblood wins from impossible position

The beautifully bred Clear Thinking (GB) (Dubawi {GB}) came from a seemingly impossible position to stretch her unbeaten record to three. The Paul Messara and Leah Gavranich-trained 4-year-old mare had won her two previous starts at Scone, before heading to the city at Randwick.

Ridden by Zac Lloyd, in a must-see replay, the daughter of Dubawi (Ire) showed considerable upside despite things not going her way to defeat Tanglewood (Smart Missile) and Lisztomania (Dream Ahead {USA}) in Race 4.

Co-trainer Messara confirmed the $2 million The Kosciuszko is a long-range plan for Clear Thinking, he told Sky Racing, “Tanglewood is a very good horse and he kept going right to the line so it’s a big effort to show that turn of foot on this type of ground.

“She’s been a complete surprise for us, coming out and doing what she’s done has been a bonus and where she goes from here will be another bonus. With those three wins on the board now she will be a horse that will feature in Kosciuszko discussions.”

Paul Messara | Image courtesy of The Image Is Everything

Bred by Queen Elizabeth II, Clear Thinking carries the colours of part-owner Arrowfield Stud after being purchased as a broodmare prospect before the decision was made to give her a chance on the track.

The 4-year-old mare is the third foal from the star mare Sweet Idea (Snitzel), who won the G1 The Galaxy, the G2 Silver Slipper S. and the G2 Light Fingers S. among her eight victories. She has a filly by Kingman (GB) named King’s Ginger (GB), who has raced once and a colt by Lope De Vega (Ire).

It’sourtime surprises in Santa Ana Lane

Danny O’Brien’s It’sourtime (Time For War) was sent out at double figures odds in Saturday’s Listed Santa Ana Lane Final. It’sourtime hadn’t been in the winner’s circle since taking out the Listed Aurie’s Star H. at Flemington in August last year.

Sporting the blinkers, It’sourtime was a 1.3l winner over Crosshaven (Smart Missile) and Who Dares (Deep Field).

Winning jockey, Damian Lane, told 7HorseRacing, “The blinkers going back on the winning move, it sharpened him back up.”

Lane rode two winners and extended his record in the Victorian Jockeys’ Premiership, asked how important the goal was he said, “It’s been a long-term goal this season. We’re getting close to the winning line, and it’s been very important and pleasing to have another two winners.”

It’sourtime has won six races, including the G3 Aurie’s Star H. and the Listed Straight Six H. The son of Time For War has won over $900,000 and has placed in the G2 Autumn S. and the G3 Bletchingly S.

Damian Lane | Image courtesy of The Image Is Everything

He was passed in for $100,000 at the 2019 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale when offered by Widden Stud. It’sourtime is the best runner from the unraced Zeditave mare Zedoble.

Deel upstages Dawn and Craig

Michael Moroney’s progressive 3-year-old gelding Justadeel (Dundeel {NZ}) defeated a competitive field in the $150,000 Silver Bowl Series Final at Flemington.

Justadeel, partnered by Jye McNeil, was 0.20l winner over Rise At Dawn (NZ) (Almanzor {Fr}) and the hot favourite Craig (GB) (Territories {Ire}), who settled towards the back and made ground late.

Moroney’s co-trainer Glen Thompson told, “Michael has always had a high opinion of him and once he gets out over this trip and longer you’ll see the best of him.

“That was a good solid effort. He obviously had to raise the bar today (Saturday). He’ll get better with time. He's still quite an immature horse.”

Justadeel was passed in for NZ$300,000 at the 2022 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale when offered by Westbury Stud. He is from the dual Group 3 winner Lady Cumquat (Duke Of Marmalade {Ire}), who is a half-sister to the New Zealand Horse of the Year Bonneval (NZ) (Makfi {GB}).

Lady Cumquat’s Maurice (Jpn) colt was sold for $460,000 to Nick Ryan Racing at this year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. She was served by Widden Stud’s Russian Camelot (Ire) last spring.

Cindy downs the Lady

It was a thrilling finish to the $150,000 Leilani Series Final at Flemington between the Lee and Shannon Hope-trained Cindy Falls (NZ) (Sacred Falls {NZ}) and Mathew Ellerton’s Brazen Lady (Brazen Beau).

Brazen Lady had been sent for home, reminiscent of her last-start success at the course but didn’t have enough in reserve to hold off Cindy Falls, ridden by Dean Yendall.

Cindy Falls flew home late to score at Flemington on Saturday | Image courtesy of Bruno Cannatelli

The Leilani Series Final is the fourth and most important victory to date for the 5-year-old mare. Cindy Falls failed to meet her reserve of NZ$10,000 at the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale when presented by Milan Park.

Cindy Falls is the second foal from the unplaced Big Brown (USA) mare Vickezzcristal (NZ), who is a half-sister to the Group 2 victress Aromatic (NZ) (Sacred Falls {NZ}).

Vickezzcristal has a 2-year-old by Super Seth named Miss Seth (NZ). She has raced once and was sold for NZ$20,000 at last year’s New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale.

Following Miss Seth, Vickezzcristal has a yearling filly named Cosmopolitan by Anders and foaled a filly by Super Seth, before visiting Staphanos (Jpn) last spring.