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Coolangatta’s Royal Ascot trip in doubt

Coolangatta’s (Written Tycoon) appearance at Royal Ascot could be in doubt after the filly disappointed her trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace in a jump-out at Flemington yesterday. The dual Group 1 winner, who was the 4-1 favourite for the King’s Stand Stakes (Gr 1, 5f) on June 20, completed a 900-metre hit-out at the Melbourne circuit in which she finished third, trailing stablemate Field Of Flutes (Deep Field) and fellow King’s Stand Stakes hopeful Cannonball (Capitalist). “I expected her to be a little sharper, Ben [Allen, jockey] said she jumped and travelled well, gave him a good feel but when he asked her to pick up he said he thought she was a little plain,” Maher told “We will assess everything with her and the trial and make sure everything is spot on. When you are going halfway across the world to a big assignment, we will have to make sure everything is right, as you do anyway, but as I said, I expected a little bit more as well.”


Freedman happy with Artorius’s ‘blow out’

Artorius (Flying Artie), who is set to contest the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes (Gr 1, 6f) at Royal Ascot, finished fifth in the same Flemington jump-out that featured Coolangatta and Cannonball, with co-trainer Sam Freedman pleased with how the four-year-old is progressing. “He was at his top a little bit today. Got a little bit lost out there,” Freedman, who trains in partnership with his father Anthony, told “He closed it off well. He was just getting into his work on the line. He is in good shape, had the blow out he needed. He will come on for this and be ready to go.” Artorius, who overcame a slow start before rallying late to dead-heat for third in last year’s edition of the Ascot Group 1, was ridden by James McDonald in yesterday’s hit-out. “He flew out [the gates], which is really pleasing, they have done a marvellous job to get him to jump because he was standing flat footed missing it a length or two,” McDonald told “He was good, his action was brilliant, he has pulled up really well in the wind and it was a strong-run heat today. It was a bit of a searching gallop for him, but he is pretty laid back about things, he only goes about things in his usual Artorius fashion and he finished off and closed off well late in the piece. He looks great, he feels great, he looks fit, he will pop himself on the plane and all the work is basically done, so we know he loves the straight six [furlongs] at Ascot, a very stiff six which is very different to a 900-metre trial.”


Cannonball impresses Prebble

Brett Prebble believes Cannonball should be considered a leading contender for next month’s King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, after the colt impressed in a jump-out at Flemington yesterday. The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Cannonball, who is a best-priced 16-1 chance for the opening-day sprint, was partnered by Prebble to finish second in the 900-metre heat, defeating both Coolangatta and Artorius. “We went there and did what we wanted to do, it was a nice fitness trial for him and he is going the right way,” the rider told “He is very well in himself, he was a bit cantankerous in the barriers and wanted to get out early, he jumped good and didn’t run through the bridle, he just sat alongside Coolangatta there and it was really a lovely trial from him without getting him to his top gear or getting to his top effort. He was there for fitness reasons, that was his main piece of work before he goes over, his action is great and he has pulled up clean in the wind. If he travels well he should perform well.”


Tattersall’s Tiara on radar of Foxy Frida

Andrew Noblet could target Foxy Frida (Foxwedge) at the Tattersall’s Tiara (Gr 1, 1400m) after her assignment in the Magic Millions National Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday. The five-year-old mare has been in good form recently, winning the Gold Bracelet (1400m) at Bendigo on April 1, before claiming the RA Lee Stakes (Gr 3, 1600m) at Morphettville when last seen on May 20. “If she ran well there, we could look at leaving her there, freshening her up and having a shot at the Tatt’s Tiara at the end of June. It will depend on how she pulls up,” the trainer told “She was very good at her last start and the ratings reflect that she’s gotten better with every start this campaign. She was beaten by a pretty decent horse in Caste the start before. In herself she’s never been better.”


Without A Fight ready to step up to Q22

Sam Freedman said he does not regret sending Without A Fight (Teofilo) to the easier option of the Lord Mayor’s Cup (Gr 3, 1800m) at Eagle Farm last Saturday, a race the import duly won at a canter, with suggestions the six-year-old would have been competitive in the Doomben Cup (Gr 1, 2000m). The gelding will now progress to the Q22 (Gr 2, 2200m) at Eagle Farm on June 10, with his trainers eyeing Group 1 goals in the spring. “He wasn’t ready [for the Doomben Cup], he was probably just ready for Saturday, but he’s got a good set of lungs on him, so he quickened down really well,” Freedman, who trains in partnership with his father Anthony, said. “It would have been interesting if he did line up, he might have been right there in the finish, but I think we will have plenty of time with him. He’s still lightly raced for an older horse so we’ve got plenty of time to get him back to that Group 1 level. I know his owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid would love to get him back to the Melbourne Cup. He probably got the ground not to suit last year [to finish 13th], when he actually travelled up like he was going to run a real race. So, possibly the Melbourne Cup, possibly the Caulfield Cup, those sort of targets, but I wouldn’t rule out maybe a Cox Plate or a Mackinnon [Champions Stakes], something like that.”


Solidify ready for rematch

Promising two-year-old Solidify (Redwood) has emerged unscathed from the interference that counted him out of the finish of last Saturday’s BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr 2, 1400m), finishing in ninth, but co-trainer Graeme Rogerson is looking forward to redemption in the JJ Atkins Plate (Gr 1, 1600m) on Saturday week. “I think he is the making of something really special, he’ll give them a fright in the mile and then that will be it for the season,” Rogerson, who trains in partnership with his wife Debbie, said. “It could have been a lot worse, I’ve been in racing long enough to know you get your disappointments. We’ll live to fight another day. He came out of the race ok and just had no luck, he got flattened and Ryan [Elliot, rider] thought he was going really well turning for home and said if he got the run he would have been right in it. It was still a good effort from the horse to pick himself up in the last 50 metres to get going again to the line.”

Startrade out to cause another upset

Startrade (Trade Fair) scored a shock victory in last Saturday’s Hyperion Stakes (Gr 3, 1600m) at Belmont and his trainer Dan Morton is looking for the six-year-old to progress when he takes on the Strickland Stakes (Gr 3, 2000m) on June 10 at Belmont. “He’s a proper racehorse, isn’t he,” Morton told The Races WA. “They didn’t show him much respect on Saturday. He ran third in the Railway Stakes. I don’t know why he goes under the radar. He can stretch out in trip [to 2000 metres]. We stretched him out this time last year in a ratings race and he seemingly didn’t get it. But in that race they went really hard and handlebars down. Normally in our staying races they don’t go too hard and they didn’t do that. They were flat out from the get-go and made it too hard for him.”


Tuvalu to return in Bletchingly

Lindsey Smith will target the Bletchingly Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) at Caulfield on July 22 as a return date for his Toorak Handicap (Gr 1, 1600m) winner Tuvalu (Kermadec), despite the gelding holding an entry for the Stradbroke Handicap (Gr 1, 1400m). “We might tinker with him a little bit and go in the Bletchingly,” the trainer told “Speaking to the owners, maybe we should try riding him quiet instead of always doing the bullocking work. I don’t think I gave him long enough off after the Winter Championship and kept pushing the button and we ran out of petrol.” 


NSW to increase purse for blacktype races

Racing NSW has revealed further increases to prize-money for the 2023-2024 season, with yesterday’s announcement pertaining to boosts to blacktype races. Prize-money for the Winx Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m), Chipping Norton Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m), Coolmore Classic (Gr 1, 1500m), ATC Champagne Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) and Concorde Stakes (Gr 3, 1000m) will be increased to $1 million, while minimum prize-money levels for stakes races at all levels will be increased. Group 1 races will be worth at least $750,000 (up from $600,000), with Group 2 races to be worth a minimum of $300,000, Group 3 races $250,000 and Listed races $200,000. Yesterday’s announcement came after Racing NSW last week increased prize-money for metropolitan and provincial meetings. “The minimum prize-money for ‘bread and butter’ races in NSW has increased so significantly that it has started to encroach upon prize-money levels for blacktype races,” said Racing NSW chairman Russell Balding. “Traditional blacktype races are important to the industry as a whole as much of the racing economy benefits from these races. Accordingly, these increases to minimum prize-money for blacktype races recognises the aspirational nature of those races. Feature racing in Sydney and NSW is among the best in the world and these increases will reinforce this position.”


Levendi to stand for $5,500

Magnum Park’s resident stallion Levendi (Pierro) will stand the upcoming breeding season for a fee of $5,500 (inc GST). The winner of the Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2400m), Levendi will stand his third season at stud this year, having produced 25 first-crop foals at a fee of $7,700 (inc GST). “We are ecstatic with Levendi’s first crop foals. They are absolute crackers. Bold, strong, athletic and nice conformation. They are proving to be an intelligent bunch with a love to run. They are everything you could want from a foal and sure to impress,” said Alexis Beadman, owner of Levendi and Tasmanian stud Magnum Park. “With such excellent value for money, this makes Levendi accessible to all local and interstate breeders. Sending a mare to Tassie is as easy as sending a mare to any of the mainland states.”


Kementari retired

Godolphin has retired their popular Group 1 winner Kementari (Lonhro), who will become the latest member of the breeding and racing operation’s Lifetime Care Program. Kementari, who won the Randwick Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) among eight victories in 49 career starts, was initially retired to take up stud duties in 2019 but, having proven to be infertile, he returned to the racetrack in the autumn of 2020. His final race came when finishing midfield in the Goodwood Handicap (Gr 1, 1200m) at Morphettville on May 20. “Kementari is in great order. As always, he presents magnificently and is very healthy, but regardless of that our decision is still to retire him following his recent run in the Goodwood Handicap at Morphettville. He’s a high-class horse who has consistently thrilled us with some remarkable performances in the top races in Australia,” Godolphin Australia racing manager Jason Walsh said. Together with Hartnell (Authorized), Osborne Bulls (Street Cry), Hauraki (Reset), It’s Somewhat (Dynaformer), Avilius (Pivotal), Best of Days (Azamour) and Trekking (Street Cry), Kementari will take his place on the Lifetime Care Program, devised by Godolphin to promote the versatility of the thoroughbred breed in various post-racing endeavours. “The first priority is the horse gets all the care and has a wonderful life, post-racing,” Walsh said. “The flagbearer program promotes the thoroughbred breed, its versatility and life after racing. The thoroughbreds’ versatility has been gaining increased acknowledgment, evidenced by the recent announcement that the breed will be honoured and featured in several Olympic events.” 


Moody and Coleman to make partnership official

Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman are set to make their training partnership official on August 1, on the condition that Coleman passes the required clearances by Racing Victoria. “We haven’t hidden that fact, it’ll be close to that, more sooner rather than later,” Moody told “She’s a hell of a girl and does a great job, we’re fortunate we have a good team, Jeff O’Connor – racing manager – and her and myself, we work well together. We’ve had success beyond our wildest dreams, we didn’t expect to be running second in Premierships or anything like that, we were just happy to keep chipping away and it’s gone better than we could’ve ever thought.”


Man jailed for attacking jockey

Jeriah Mishael Wills, who attacked Ashley Butler in a nightclub hours after the rider won last year’s The Archer (1300m), has been jailed for three years, suspended after serving six months. The attack happened at the Zodiac nightclub at about 2.30am on May 8, 2022. Wils, 23, yesterday pleaded guilty to one count of grievous bodily harm, having left Butler with five fractures in his jaw, which required six teeth to be removed.