Pressure off Bowman’s Mother
Daniel Bowman isn’t under the same pressure as he was going into last year’s Regal Roller Stakes (Listed, 1200m) with his stable star Begood Toya Mother (Myboycharlie). Last year, Bowman said the stakes were high as the gelding needed to win the Listed sprint to boost his rating high enough to get into the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m). History shows Begood Toya Mother ticked both boxes, winning the two races to catapult Bowman into the spotlight. Bowman is hoping to win both races again this spring but pointed out that Begood Toya Mother is not as forward in fitness as he was last year. “This is a kick-off point and there’s definitely improvement to come but we’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Bowman said. “He’s coming off a good spell though, compared to last year where he had been in work the whole time.” Bowman is pleased with how the six-year-old has returned to racing. “He’s had a couple of trials. He’s more relaxed and hopefully that’s a sign that he’ll get a mile this time in,” the trainer added.
Smart Image out to remain unbeaten
Smart Image (Smart Missile) will undergo his toughest test when he steps up to black-type company for the first time in today’s Up And Coming Stakes (Gr 3, 1300m) at Randwick. The now three-year-old has been winning through the winter to earn his place in today’s Group 3 race as co-trainers Peter and Paul Snowden look to get a better gauge on his ability. He is the second pick in early betting behind the Hawkes Racing-trained colt North Pacific (Brazen Beau), who Peter Snowden concedes is the benchmark. “No doubt. He is lightly-raced but from the couple of starts he has had he looks well above average,” Snowden said of North Pacific. “For me, he is the yardstick there. He is definitely the one to beat and if we can finish close to him I’ll be happy.” Snowden might have a healthy respect for his runner’s rival but he is not conceding defeat. “He’s a nice horse. He is two from two now and you don’t do that unless you’ve got some ability,” Snowden said. “This is his biggest test by far but I’m happy with him and he will give a good account of himself.”
Rondinella to step out for O’Shea
Group 1 performer Rondinella (Ocean Park) will make her raceday debut for John O’Shea when she lines up in today’s Spring Preview Handicap (1400m) at Randwick. The six-year-old mare has finished unplaced in trials over 1040 metres and 850 metres since switching to O’Shea from Roger James and Robert Wellwood, but her new trainer is pleased by what he has seen so far.
“She has trialled well and she is going well, so I expect her to race well on Saturday,” O’Shea said. “But her campaign is not based on Saturday’s run, it’s about what is going to happen in a couple of months’ time. It’s about getting started on Saturday and having a positive outing.” Rondinella has drawn barrier 17 for today’s race and O’Shea said she will be taken back by jockey Sam Clipperton to find some early cover. “She will go back and get cover and it might not be that big of a disadvantage at that stage of the day to be wide anyway,” he added.
‘All Saints’ Eye a talented mare’
Earlier in the day stablemate All Saints’ Eve (Sacred Falls) will have her first start of the campaign when she contests the Everest Carnival On Sale Handicap (1400m). She has won two of her six starts to date and O’Shea expects her to add to that tally at short notice. “All Saints’ Eve is a talented mare evidenced by her record. She looks to be well placed and has got a bright future,” he said. “We expect a pretty forward showing on Saturday.”
Class rise a query for Super Contender
The bookmakers may have priced Super Contender (Kodiac) in the ‘good thing’ category at Eagle Farm today, but connections are keeping a lid on expectations. A winner of two of his three starts at the Gold Coast in his first racing campaign, Super Contender is an early $1.85 favourite to win the Welcome Back To Your Track Handicap (1400m). The five-year-old was a dominant winner of a Gold Coast class 1 handicap over 1300 metres on August 1 and drops from 60 kilograms to 54 kilograms today. “He was really good last start but I guess there’s got to be a question mark over what he’s been beating,” Super Contender’s trainer Chris Waller’s Gold Coast stable manager Paul Shailer said. “He’s got an awkward barrier that he’s got to contend with at seven furlongs, which is also a question mark. The horse is going well but there’s certainly a couple of negatives against him.”
Dunn hints at full-time Sydney move
Murwillumbah trainer Matt Dunn, whose Impasse (Sepoy) will be striving for his first open company win when he lines up at Eagle Farm today, is hoping to make a full-time move to Sydney. “I’ve currently got 15 in work at Rosehill in Sydney but I might have to move from there if something more permanent pops up at another track,” Dunn told Racingqueensland.com. “The plan is to have the majority of our better horses in Sydney with the rest at Murwillumbah so they can race in the Northern Rivers and Brisbane. I’ll spend most of my time between both places but eventually I’ll probably move to Sydney full-time.”
McAuliffe foresees Clairvoyance improvement
Darren McAuliffe is predicting Clairvoyance (Nostradamus) will put in a dominant performance when she tries to stretch her unbeaten run to three when lining up at Belmont today. The three-year-old filly will face just four rivals in the second race on the card as she reappears off the back of two exciting efforts. “A lot of trainers have been asking when she’s going to the paddock and where she was starting next, so I’m not surprised it’s a small field,” McAuliffe told Racing.com. “It’s a great opportunity for us to see her over 1200 metres and we go against a quality filly in Watch Me Dance, which deserves full respect from what she did last prep.”
Farnan wins Kenso trial
Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) winner Farnan (Not A Single Doubt) signalled he was on target for a lucrative spring with an impressive win over Slipper placegetter Mamaragan (Wandjina). Stepping out for his first trial of the season at Randwick yesterday, the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained colt and current Golden Rose Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) favourite made the running and was strong to the line. The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Prague (Redoute’s Choice) responded to the addition of blinkers to upstage the older horses in the second heat. Jockey James McDonald gave Prague his seal of approval and predicted there was good improvement to come from the Group 1 placegetter. “He did everything pretty well. He attacked the line well and he pulled up well too, albeit still a little bit hairy in the coat but he will come to (hand) pretty quickly,” McDonald told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
Mamaragan pleases Thompson
Mamaragan’s trainer John Thompson was delighted with the effort of his charge after he beat all bar Farnan in yesterday’s trial. “It was great,” Thompson told Sky Thoroughbred Central. “He was following probably the best two-year-old colt in the land, who looks to have come back great as a three-year-old. We are very pleased to see our colt improve from first trial to second trial and that trial will top him off nice to go to the races now.” The San Domenico Stakes (Gr 3, 1100m) on August 29 is earmarked as the likely starting point for the Group 2 winner.
Racing Victoria monitoring allegations made against Phoenix founder
Racing Victoria has confirmed it is in discussions with its international counterparts regarding the operations of Phoenix Thoroughbreds and the allegations of money laundering against its founder Amer Abdulaziz Salman. Racing Victoria said that it was “aware of allegations” and would be “continuing to follow the associated legal proceedings in the USA”, where last year Abdulaziz was alleged in court to be a key money launderer for fake cryptocurrency scam OneCoin. Abdulaziz denies the allegations. Racing Victoria said: “It is not our position to comment on matters that may or may not be the subject of investigation by Racing Victoria. What we are prepared to say with respect to this matter is that we remain in contact with international jurisdictions regarding the allegations and are continuing to follow the associated legal proceedings in the USA. We note the most appropriate forum for consideration of the allegations raised in media reports is the legal system. Should any information come to light via legal proceedings or other means that warrants any action being taken within our jurisdiction then we will consider it at the time.”
Stablehand banned over Covid breach
A part-time stablehand employed by Mike Moroney has been suspended for a breach of racing’s Covid-19 protocols. Victor Suarez Garcia failed to report to Moroney that he had been in contact with someone who had tested positive to coronavirus. After a stewards’ inquiry, Suarez Garcia, who does not attend race meetings as part of his duties, was charged and pleaded guilty to breaking rule AR 232, failing to observe processes and directions. The stewards suspended Suarez Garcia from working in a racing stable from July 20 (the point at which he was officially stood down) until midnight on September 30. In accordance with government directives, Suarez Garcia undertook and completed the minimum mandatory period of isolation. He was twice tested for Covid-19 and returned negative results on both occasions.
Gow-Whyte outed over cobalt administration
South Australian trainer Jenny Gow-Whyte has been suspended until the end of the year after being found guilty of a cobalt charge by the Victorian Racing Tribunal. Gow-Whyte pleaded guilty to breaking rule AR 245, the administration of prohibited substance in a sample taken from horse before/after running in race, following Soul Fire’s (Churchill Downs) high reading for cobalt prior to finishing third in a race at Geelong in August, 2018. The pre-race swab returned a reading of 3500, well above the permitted threshold of 100 micrograms per litre of urine. Gow-Whyte told the tribunal she had been using a product called Beachport Minerals, which was recommended to her by a friend. The product is essentially made out of seaweed, which Gow-Whyte said appealed to her as she favours natural products. She said the last dose of Beachport Minerals was given to Soul Fire at least two days before the race. The trainer said she was guilty of presentation in not researching the product as thoroughly as she normally would. She emphasised she had no intention of trying to cheat. Judge John Bowman accepted Gow-Whyte’s explanation. She was suspended until 11:59pm on December 31, 2020.
Coffs Harbour trainers fined
Brett Dodson and fellow Coffs Harbour trainer Brett Bellamy were yesterday issued fines totalling more than $16,000 after pleading guilty to a number of charges surrounding the tubing of the Dodson-trained Blevio (More Than Ready) in May. Dodson was fined $13,900 by Racing NSW stewards after pleading guilty to tubing and injecting Belvio prior to her scratching from a race at Coffs Harbour on May 22, while Bellamy, who also pleaded guilty, was given a fine of $3,000.
Two Vic country cups cancelled
Country cup meetings at Gunbower and Manangatang have been cancelled and the Mildura Racing Club has been forced to transfer two upcoming meetings as part of Racing Victoria’s latest changes to the spring program. As part of the Covid-enforced announcements made yesterday, RV also ruled that jockeys will only be allowed to ride at one meeting per day for the time being.