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Magic Millions March Yearling Sale catalogue released

Magic Millions has announced a catalogue of 385 yearlings for their March Gold Coast Sale, a line-up dominated by Lyndhurst Stud’s booming stallion Better Than Ready (More Than Ready). 

The stallion, who sired last month’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic (RL, 1200m) winner Skirt The Law, has 44 entrants for the sale, which will be held on March 20 and 21. 

A total of 80 individual stallions will be represented, with strong line-ups from Aquis first season sire Dubious (Not A Single Doubt) (22 lots), Eureka Stud’s Encryption (Lonhro) (31) and barnmate Spirit Of Boom (Sequalo) (22). Other stallions with progeny on offer include Widden Stud’s first season sire Zousain (Zoustar) (three lots), Vinery Stud’s Star Turn (Star Witness) (three) and Newgate’s champion firstseason sire Russian Revolution (Snitzel) (one). 

Recent graduates from the sale include Spirit Of Boom Classic (Gr 2, 1200m) and Gold Coast Guineas (Gr 3, 1200m) winner Prince Of Boom (Spirit Of Boom), and Apache Chase (Better Than Ready), winner of the Kingsford-Smith Cup (Gr 1, 1300m) last season. 

Known as the ‘QTIS sale’, all lots have been paid up for the first round of QTIS and fully paid up yearlings will have the chance to contest the $500,000 QTIS 2YO Jewel (1200m) as well as the $500,000 QTIS 3YO Jewel (1200m). 

“The Gold Coast March Yearling Sale has a wonderful record of producing highclass gallopers over many years,” said Magic Millions managing director Barry Bowditch. 

“Whether it’s a globetrotting sprinting superstar like Buffering, a champion sire like Spirit of Boom or a Group 1 star like Apache Chase – it’s the success of graduates that makes it one of the most popular in the country.

“The 2022 sale graduates are already proving their worth on the track – with last year’s sale topper, The Instructor, unbeaten to date and looking one of the big chances in the Blue Diamond Stakes.”

 

Dual stakes winner in-foal to Farnan offered on Inglis Digital

The two-time Listed winner Listenlindalisten (Court Vision) is currently being offered in-foal to Kia Ora Stud’s Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) winner Farnan (Not A Single Doubt), via the Inglis Digital February (Early) Online Sale. Catalogued as Lot 246, the daughter of Court Vision (Gulch) was purchased by Sheamus Mills Bloodstock and Longwood Thoroughbreds Farm for $130,000 out of the Willow Park Stud draft at the 2020 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. She is out of the unraced Sun King (Charismatic) mare Queen Ofthe Dawn, making her a full sister to the Grade 2 and Grade 3-placed winner Timeskip. Bidding sat at $35,000 as of 2am (AEDT) this morning, with the bidding set to end at 4:05pm (AEDT).

 

I’m Thunderstruck and Jacquinot gallop at Sandown

Group 1-winning pair I’m Thunderstruck (Shocking) and Jacquinot (Rubick) took in a gallop at Sandown yesterday as they prepared ahead of their reappearance in Saturday’s C F Orr Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m). Both horses worked separately, with Damian Lane riding Jacquinot and Jamie Kah on I’m Thunderstruck, and co-trainer Mick Price was pleased with their work. “I’m Thunderstruck had a little target to look at, which was fine,” Price, who trains in partnership with Michael Kent Jnr, said. “Jacquinot is fit, and it was an opportunity to come out here on this beautiful surface. He had a good gallop, a good day out. It was the same for I’m Thunderstruck. He went as straight as a gun barrel. That’s a gallop, not race day pressure, but both horses were pretty good. Jacquinot is hard fit. I’m Thunderstruck, if he gets up to the end of the race late and peaks a bit, I’ll cop it sweet. He’s got his four runs, starting here on Saturday. He trialled really well at Geelong and he’s going well, had a beautiful prep, but hard, race fitness, I lean towards Jacquinot.”

 

Rubiton Stakes for Uncommon James

The Steven O’Dea and Matthew Hoysted-trained Uncommon James (Cable Bay) will get his first taste of the Sandown track on Saturday as he takes in the Rubiton Stakes (Gr 2, 1100m) before the Oakleigh Plate (Gr 1, 1100m) back at the track a fortnight later. Beaten only once in his six career starts, the son of Cable Bay (Invincible Spirit) was an impressive winner of the Regal Roller Stakes (Listed, 1200m) at Caulfield in August and he took in a gallop yesterday to prepare for this weekend’s contest. “I thought it was imperative that we come out here this morning,” Hoysted said. “He’s still a raw horse, only lightly raced, he’s only had the two racing preps so he’s still putting it all together, so we wanted to come out here and give him a look before Saturday. He worked with stablemate Shooting For Gold who is a really good benchmark. He trialled two weeks ago before coming down, but we have been pretty soft on him since, letting him settle in here. He’s settled in well and this was his most serious piece of work since arriving in Melbourne. He had a little blow after the work, so it should bring him right on and I’m happy with his condition leading into Saturday.”

 

Oliver confident with Brave Halo

Three-time Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m)-winning jockey Damien Oliver was impressed with the Sean and Jake Casey-trained Brave Halo (Brave Smash) after having his first sit on the two-year-old colt in a trackwork gallop at Sandown yesterday. Oliver will ride the son of Brave Smash (Tosen Phantom), unbeaten in three outings, when he lines up in Saturday’s Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (Gr 3, 1100m). “He went terrific and I’m really pleased with him,” Oliver told The Races WA. “He went half a mile even and worked home the last 400 metres. He felt great and was really enthusiastic. He’s not a big horse, but nice and sound and clean-winded. He seems to have settled in really well. He can’t do any more than what he has done. I can see why they [the Caseys] were thinking of bringing him over.” Brave Halo is a narrow $3.50 favourite for this weekend’s Blue Diamond Prelude, ahead of the James Cummings-trained Barber (Exceed And Excel) ($3.60) and King’s Gambit (I Am Invincible) ($6.50).

 

Price taken by Diamond filly Charm Stone

Co-trainer Mick Price is confident that his filly Charm Stone (I Am Invincible) can lay down a marker for being the best juvenile filly around when she tackles the Blue Diamond Prelude (F&M) (Gr 2, 1100m) first-up at Sandown on Saturday. The daughter of I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit) was last seen winning the Ottawa Stakes (Gr 3, 1000m) at Flemington on just her second career start in November and Price feels she is one of the best he has trained. “She is one of the best two-year-olds I’ve had I reckon,” Price told Racing.com. “A different horse to those like [Group 1 winners] Flying Artie, Extreme Choice, Samaready. Those were two-year-olds that were running two-year-olds, although Samarerady was a bit relaxed. But this is a beautiful filly. She is very mature looking – if you said she was a three-year-old you wouldn’t argue – but for a Vinnie she has a beautifully relaxed brain on her too. She’s going super. She’s got a good set of lungs and I know [Mark] Zahra is very confident, so she’s a winning chance.”

 

‘Lazy’ Private Eye warming up for Newmarket

Joe Pride has revealed he will be sticking to shorter trips with his Group 1-winning miler Private Eye (Al Maher) after the five-year-old gelding ended last preparation with a runner-up effort in The Everest (1200m) sandwiched between wins in the Gilgai Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) and Nature Strip Stakes (1300m). “It’s sort of been a bit overplayed out in the media this training him as a sprinter idea,” Pride said. “Honestly, there’s been no change with him in the last couple of preps, I don’t train him any differently. He’s not a hard horse to train if you can accept that he’s very lazy, which I’m willing to accept because there’s no prizemoney for trackwork. He’s got older, he’s got stronger, he’s got a lot more tactical speed, races a bit closer to the pace. So, it’s more that I’m placing him as a sprinter, more than training him as a sprinter.” Pride has his sights set on the $1.5 million Newmarket Handicap (Gr 1, 1200m) at Flemington on March 11 for the son of Al Maher (Danehill). “He had his first trial last week. He’ll have a second trial on the 16th, another one on the [27th] at Rosehill and then off to the Newmarket,” Pride said. 

 

She’s Extreme out of autumn carnival

Trainer Anthony Cummings has notified Racing NSW stewards that his dual Group 1 winner She’s Extreme (Extreme Choice) will not participate in this year’s Autumn Racing Carnival after the three-year-old filly sustained an injury to her off-fore tendon. The daughter of Extreme Choice (Not A Single Doubt) was last seen running out a length winner of the Kennedy Oaks (Gr 1, 2500m) at Flemington on November 3.

 

Maher pair set for Black Caviar Lightning Stakes

Co-trainer Ciaron Maher left Monday’s Cranbourne trials a happy man after watching his Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (Gr 1, 1000m)-bound pair Coolangatta (Written Tycoon) and Bella Nipotina (Pride Of Dubai) produce solid trial wins ahead of Saturday week’s feature. In the space of 15 minutes, Coolangatta cruised to the line two lengths ahead of The Everest winner Giga Kick (Scissor Kick) and Golden Eagle (1500m) victor I Wish I Win (Savabeel) in a time of 46.08 seconds, before Bella Nipotina went one better in 45.28 seconds for her heat. “Rapt with [Coolangatta],” Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, told Racing.com. “She’s furnished, strengthened and looks fantastic, Jamie [Kah] obviously knows her well. She trialled well a fortnight ago and trialled super today. [Kah] let her do a little bit more today and I was very happy, so she’ll head to the Lightning. She’s got plenty of options, but the 1000 metres she has a good record at and she look quite forward.” Maher was also complimentary about Manikato Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) winner Bella Nipotina. “Her first trial, she didn’t really do much,” he said. “Blake Shinn rode her and he said she felt a little awkward out of the gates, so he wasn’t overly hard on her. Again, she is another horse that appreciates a bit of give in the track. Craig [Williams] was very happy. She jumped, travelled and let down well and that will bring her right up to the mark. The Lightning might be an option for her or maybe the Oakleigh Plate. In the Oakleigh Plate, she is going to have to carry a bit of weight, so we’ll keep an eye on both races.”

 

Kah full of confidence in Coolangatta

After riding her to a trial win at Cranbourne on Monday, champion jockey Jamie Kah could barely hold back her excitement ahead of Coolangatta’s return in Saturday week’s Black Caviar Lightning Stakes. “Coolangatta was really impressive,” Kah told Racing.com. “She’s a horse that I didn’t think had much more developing or changing to do, but she’s come back a bigger, more solid and furnished filly. I’m really excited about her preparation. I know it’s going to be a pretty tough first-up target but I think she’s come back lengths better so I’m really looking forward to where she’s going to go this preparation.”

 

Williams and O’Brien to have The Championships players

Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien could have up to five horses competing in the upcoming Sydney Autumn Carnival, with seven-time Melbourne Cup-winning owner Lloyd Williams to have both Cleveland (Camelot) and Temple Of Artemis (Galileo), potentially being joined by stablemates Baron Samedi (Harbour Watch), Raise You (Lope De Vega) and Statement (Lawman). The Williams-owned pair are set to be aimed at the $2 million Sydney Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) on April 8, with Cleveland potentially taking in the Tancred Stakes (Gr 1, 2400m) on the way. “Cleveland will either run in the Tancred ahead of the Sydney Cup, or straight into the Sydney Cup. We’ll play that by ear,” Nick Williams told Racing.com. “By all reports he’s in terrific form at home, his two runs for us have been nothing but outstanding. His last run for us at the Curragh, the Irish Cesarewitch, we gave the winner Waterville plenty of weight [eight kilograms]. Whilst if he were to run in the Tancred, he’d be out of the weights, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he was to run well.” Temple Of Artemis will use either the Manion Cup (Gr 3, 2400m) or the Chairman’s Quality (Gr 2, 2600m) as starting points having not yet secured his place in the Sydney Cup field. “He was a very immature three-year-old and we gelded him late last year,” Williams said. “Joseph tells me he’s taken several steps forward, he’s a work in progress. He is rated 96 over in Ireland, it will take a bit of work to get him into the Sydney Cup, but you never know. He’s an exciting stayer for the future and he’s a half-brother to [Ascot] Gold Cup runner-up Kingfisher.”

 

Hyland ends career with win

Cranbourne-based trainer Chris Hyland has called time on his 26-year career in winning style, watching his final runner Defrosted (Frosted) take an 1100-metre handicap at Kilmore yesterday. Hyland comes from a racing family and he names winning the 2006 Mildura Cup (1400m) with Larson (Distorted Humor) – a horse ridden by his brother Samuel, and the 2022 Warrnambool Cup (Listed, 2350m) with Witchachar Star (Myboycharlie), as highlights in a 256-win career. He remains in the sport as assistant trainer to Grahame Begg. Jack Hill, who rode Defrosted at Kilmore, as well as Hyland’s penultimate runner, Mungo Jerry (Sooboog), who saluted at Kyneton last Saturday, said: “To ride his last two runners in races and both of them be winners I couldn’t be more proud. He is a great bloke, great horseman and whatever he does he is going to make a big difference to.” Hyland has seven horses on sale at this week’s Inglis Digital Auction, including Mungo Jerry and fellow winner Wintilly (Trust In A Gust). Gavin Bedggood will take over the training of Witchachar Star.

 

Further time out for jockey Benbow

Jockey Jason Benbow has said he faces 18 months on the sidelines recuperating from a broken femur suffered in a fall at Murray Bridge in November. Benbow was dislodged from Cararada (Caravaggio) and broke the bone in eight places, in what the 36-year-old hoop said was the most painful injury of his career. “I found out post-surgery, the surgeon was meant to be one of the best in the land and he’s done about a 1,000 of those particular breaks and this would sit in the top six worst he’s ever seen,” he told Racing.com. “It was quite a bizarre incident when it happened, but your body naturally goes into a bit of shock, thankfully the adrenaline and the shock kicked in and (I) didn’t really have a great deal of pain… When they tried to straighten it 15 minutes later, I wasn’t happy at that point!” Benbow’s latest mishap will take the amount of time the Caulfield-based rider has had out due to injury to four-and-a-half years. 

 

Hyeronimus return delayed due to injury

Jockey Adam Hyeronimus was yesterday discharged with a fractured clavicle after being transported to hospital following a fall upon exiting the starting gates in Heat 19 at the Randwick barrier trials on Monday morning.

 

Wangaratta transferred to Wodonga

Racing Victoria (RV) have announced that the meeting scheduled for Wangaratta on Friday, February 17 has been transferred to Wodonga. The Wangaratta Turf Club (WTC) informed RV that a small section of the track has been impacted by a pasture pest. The club’s track team have treated the racing surface and will provide a follow-up treatment within the week which they expect will rectify the issue. Amendments to the card can be found here.

 

Vale Tony Bourke

Legendary racing journalist Tony Bourke has died aged 81. Bourke’s long career in sports writing began in 1955, and notably included 42 years at The Age, including 20 years as chief racing correspondent for the Melbourne paper. He stepped down from The Age in 2008, but continued to be a presence on racetracks, chaperoning foreign journalists for Racing Victoria. Affectionately known as “King” – allegedly for his wagering prowess – Bourke was one of ten lifetime members of the Victorian Racing Media Association. Tributes flooding in included from RV who tweeted that Bourke was, “A gentleman of the turf, ‘The King’ spent 50 years in racing media & was much loved by his colleagues & many friends in the sport, locally and abroadand fellow racing writer Adrian Dunn, who wrote: “Extremely saddened to hear of the passing of The King, aka Tony Bourke, a colleague, mentor and dear, dear friend. There was no more apt moniker – The King lived life & what a life to the max”.