Morning Briefing

Australia Latest

First for Territories

Darley shuttler Territories (Invincible Spirit) sired his first southern hemisphere-bred winner when Finsceal (2 g ex Rosalita by Danehill Dancer) scored at the Sunshine Coast yesterday. Trained by Tom Button, Finsceal ($18) won the Canadian Club QTIS 2YO Handicap (1200m) on debut by a nose over Hinged (Worthy Cause) ($3 favourite) while Miss Pierro (Pierro) ($4.40) was three lengths away in third. Finsceal was bought by Gerald O’Toole for $110,000 from the Symphony Lodge draft at last year’s Magic Millions 2YOs in Training Sale at the Gold Coast after he was initially purchased for the same price from Oaklands Stud at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. Territories will return to Darley’s Kelvinside property in NSW this year at a fee of $11,000 (inc GST).


Tiara under consideration for Tofane

Mike Moroney wants to monitor the condition of Stradbroke Handicap (Gr 1, 1400m) winner Tofane (Ocean Park) before confirming a start in the Tattersall‘s Tiara (Gr 1, 1400m) on Saturday week. The Melbourne trainer, however, said the preparation of stablemate Hang Man (Windsor Knot) had come to an end after finishing well back in the Q22 (Gr 2, 2200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday. “I spoke to Lily (Miller, traveling stable representative) this morning and she’s pulled up really well,” Moroney told RSN yesterday. “Hang Man didn’t, he’s still very scratchy and sore so some are handling that track and some aren’t but she’s pulled up really well so far. We’ll swim her for a couple of days before we hop on her back and start to think about making a decision. She’s up there, it’s a Group 1 race and she’s flying so my first thoughts are that if she stays in really good form then we probably will run.”


Spring plans outlined for star Ocean Park mare

Tofane is now expected to race on next season, rather than be sold privately to go to stud, and Mike Moroney has indicated that the Empire Rose Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby day looms as a target. After her Stradbroke victory, part-owner Rupert Legh had suggested the Cox Plate (Gr 1, 2040m) as a possible aim. “It’s now my job to make sure that we make the right decision,” Moroney said. “If we can win another million or so and then sell her on at the end of it then the job has been done. There are some nice races for her in the spring, the mile mares race at Flemington (Empire Rose Stakes) is one. If we go down that track then we’d probably miss the Cox Plate and those sort of races but if we have a go at 2000 metres then it might be in the autumn in the big race up in Sydney (Queen Elizabeth Stakes). There’s a lot to think about but we’re in a good position.”


Savatiano also heading to Tiara

Godolphin homebred Savatiano (Street Cry) will be given her chance to chalk up a second Group 1 win this campaign in the Tattersalls Tiara on Saturday week. The James Cummings-trained six-year-old has been kept on ice since finishing midfield behind Vega One (Lope De Vega) in the Kingsford-Smith Cup (Gr 1, 1300m) at Eagle Farm last month. “We’re not quite done with the preparation of Savatiano yet. She is quite likely to run in the Tatt’s Tiara in a couple of weeks,” Cummings said. Savatiano won the Canterbury Stakes (Gr 1, 1300m) in Sydney earlier this preparation, her first victory at the highest level.


Anamoe back in work

James Cummings has confirmed the Golden Rose Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) as a likely short-term target for exciting colt Anamoe (Street Boss), who is expected to be among Godolphin’s major flagbearers in the spring. An unlucky second to Stay Inside (Extreme Choice) from an outside gate in the Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m), Anamoe created a big impression when he atoned with an emphatic victory in the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m). “He is back in light training and we’re keeping him nice and warm,” Cummings said. “I think we will be running him first-up in September. He is a last-start winner of the Sires’ Produce and he’s got a very exciting amount of acceleration. He’s got plenty of energy left from his two-year-old campaign and we’re well and truly looking forward to seeing what he can produce as a classic three-year-old.” 


Kent fears for Sandown’s future

One of Sandown racetrack’s most vocal supporters Mick Kent fears for its long-term viability with its main meeting shifting to Caulfield. In its place Sandown has picked up the Underwood Stakes (Gr 1, 1800m) on the Sunday after the AFL Grand Final, but with an underwhelming support card. The Zipping Classic meeting has been transferred from the Saturday after Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) week to the end of November and will now sit between the Ballarat and Pakenham Cups. Also on Zipping Classic Day is the Sandown Cup (Listed, 3200m) and Sandown Guineas (Gr 2, 1600m). Kent, who had a winning double at Sandown on Saturday, fears what the Melbourne Racing Club has in store for the track and the long-term future of the Zipping Classic. “I can understand what they’re trying to do, but it’s just blatant that the MRC want to get rid of this place,” Kent said. “It’s a superior track, it’s the best racetrack in Australia, probably. Caulfield is not the racetrack that this place is and it will change the dynamics of the race, but I suspect that they’ll run out of horses. Something will be cannibalised. It’ll either be the Pakenham Cup, Ballarat Cup or the Sandown races.” 


Adelaide Ace returns to form

Lindsey Smith was pleased to see Adelaide Ace (Savabeel) back in the winner’s stall and taking out a nice race after he scored his first win since February last year when winning the Swan Hill Cup (1600m) yesterday. Warrnambool-based Smith said connections had knocked back an enticing offer for Adelaide Ace following his win in the Autumn Classic (Gr 2, 1800m) at Caulfield last year. Ridden by Dean Yendall and sent off the $2.90 favourite, Adelaide Ace registered a long-neck win from Prince Of Helena (Sidestep) ($4.80) with Zachaz (Coats Choice) ($5.50) one and a quarter lengths away third. “I’m glad he’s able to come back and win a nice race for the owner,” Smith said. “As I said pre-race it has been a little bit worrying. They knocked back a lot of money and then he had to have a wind operation, so the genius (Yendall) had to get him back into form.” Smith said the telling factor in yesterday’s victory was when Yendall switched the whip from his right hand to his left inside the final 150 metres. 


Collett savours five-timer at Newcastle

Expatriate Kiwi jockey Alysha Collett set a new personal record at Newcastle on Saturday when she booted home five winners on the eight-race card. Victory aboard the Brad Widdup-trained Pensera (Pierro) in race two was quickly followed by another for Widdup aboard Queen Bellissimo (Swiss Ace) in race three, before making it three in a row in race four on the James Cummings-trained Honeycreeper (Teofilo). Collett guided home the Kim Waugh-trained Linguee (Panzer Division) in race six and made it five aboard the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Briars Kingdom (Animal Kingdom) in the final event of the day. “It was a really nice day, although I was pretty sure I had ridden five in a day once before,” she said. “I was speaking with mum (Judy) in the evening, and she told me the best I had done before was four, so that made me feel even better. It was really neat to win for Brad and the Snowdens as they have been my biggest supporters since I first got here from Singapore, while I was delighted to get my first wins for Kim and James as well.”


Fawke to return to Qld

Sairyn Fawke has announced he intends to call time on his successful stint in South Australia and return to Queensland. Fawke, who has ridden 35 winners this season, said the lure of friends and family, combined with his new fishing and adventure start-up Yeah The Fishos, had swayed his decision. “I’ve enjoyed my time here and I’ve made some really great connections,” the rider told “It’s been four and a half years and I think it’s time to go back home. Family reasons are definitely part of the decision, a lot of my friends are up there as well and I’ve just started a business up there with a few friends and that’s going really well. I obviously want to continue to focus on my riding up there but I will also be able to work on the business as well.” The 30-year-old has ridden 219 winners in South Australia and Victoria since accepting an opportunity to work for champion trainer Tony McEvoy at the end of 2016.


Lafferty on the mend

Laura Lafferty was hopeful of being able to return to Melbourne last night despite being re-admitted to hospital the previous evening following a fall at Swan Hill on Friday. “I just had excruciating pain, I was on the phone to the doctors and couldn’t sleep,” Lafferty, who has ridden 56 winners this season, told “I am still in Swan Hill, I don’t know if I could have done the car trip home in the pain I was in, so I will get back to Melbourne tonight hopefully and meet my mum there. The pain is in my right shoulder so I’m not sure, maybe there is some ligaments or tears. Also my left knee is quite sore. Hopefully there’s a bit of a turnaround in the next few days or the next week and by then I might have more of an idea when I could be back.”


Meech back among winners

Linda Meech returned to the winner’s stall in style yesterday with victory aboard the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Last Week (Tamayuz) in the Apsley Cup (2000m) at Edenhope. It was the dual Group 1-winning jockey’s first win since April last year, after which she took an extended period of time out of the saddle in the lead up to the birth of her first child Meech returned to race riding last month, with yesterday’s win coming at only her sixth ride back.


Hefel suffers fall at Edenhope

In-form apprentice Carleen Hefel was yesterday taken to hospital following a fall at Edenhope in country Victoria. Hefel rode a double at the Sandown meeting on Saturday which followed her breakthrough city double at Flemington on May 22. The Victorian Jockeys’ Association reported that Hefel was conscious and moving all limbs after the fall, from Pres De Toi (Helmet) in the Apsley Cup, but was complaining about pain in her jaw. The 31-year-old was transported to the local hospital for scans and further observation. 


Wet weather impacts Victoria tracks

Thunderstorms and heavy rain have severely impacted several tracks in Victoria, most notably at Yarra Valley, which is currently underwater. Thoroughbred racing is not due to resume at the track until Cox Plate day on October 23, however harness racing takes place at the venue, with a meeting scheduled for July 5. Also impacted is the nearby Healesville Amateur Racing Club, which races six times a year, and is currently submerged by the floodwaters. “The track went under on Thursday morning,” Club president David Purcell told “We will have to redo carpets in the steward’s room and male jockey room as well. One tree came down through one of our fences, but all in all we have been pretty lucky. We’re on a floodplain and when the water banks from the Yarra we go under, like we did in December as well. At the moment we cannot move machinery to begin the clean-up, but there appears no major damage. It’s probably two or three inches deep.” Cranbourne Turf Club has been without power since Thursday, impacting trackwork which has been taking place later, from first light at 7am through to 11.15am. The racecourse at Traralgon appears to have escaped any major damage. 


Thoroughbreds Are Go returns to screens

Australia’s only national thoroughbred re-homing program, Caroline Searcy’s Thoroughbreds Are Go returns tonight at 7.30pm (AEST) helping racing’s trainers, owners and breeders find good homes for thoroughbreds away from the track. TAG, which airs on Sky Thoroughbred Central’s channel 528 on Foxtel, also encourages the take-up of the athletic and intelligent breed in the general equestrian world, with advice on how best to care for thoroughbreds away from racing stables and studs. Episode one contains stories on Krissy Harris and the Thoroughbred Sport Horse Association which rewards thoroughbred competitors with great prizes at shows around Australia.