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Strong Turnbull hand for Maher and Eustace

Explosive Jack (Jakkalberry), Sir Dragonet (Camelot) and Persan (Pierro) may all line up in the Turnbull Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) at Flemington on Saturday for training partners Ciaron Maher and David Eustace. While the first two named were always heading for this contest, the latter was only considered after easily winning his jumpout at Ballarat last week. “We weren’t sure if Persan was forward enough to run in that race and run again before potentially running in the Caulfield Cup,” Eustace said. “We were thinking of going straight into the Caulfield Cup, but he might now run in the Turnbull.” A winner of The Bart Cummings (Gr 3, 2500m) before coming fifth in the Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) last season, Persan made a good return since being gelded when he ran third behind stablemate Floating Artist (Nathaniel) at Flemington on September 11. “It was a really good return with topweight, and the gelding looks like it has settled him down a touch,” Eustace said. “He took a bit of managing as a colt. Some of them take the gelding well and he seems to have handled it very well, so we feel he can improve again.” On Sir Dragonet and Explosive Jack, Eustace added: “We’re happy with where they are at, and they can have a quiet week leading into the race.”


Incentivise visits Caulfield

The Peter Moody-trained Incentivise (Shamus Award) headed to another Victoria track yesterday morning when he galloped at Caulfield for the first time. The five-year-old also galloped at Moonee Valley last week as his trainer bids to prepare him for the Turnbull Stakes, a race in which he is currently the $2.50 favourite. Brett Prebble was aboard the gelding who worked with his stablemate Shepard (Sea The Moon) and clocked a 58.6 second time for the final 800 metres. “He just poked around and had a look around,” Prebble told “He was nice and comfortable out there and felt like a bit of a dude. He is very fit and well, he was a bit jazzy there this morning, swagging his tail around, but he wasn’t there to be tested just to familiarise himself. Looking forward to stepping him out in distance and the bit of rain around, that won’t hinder his chances either.” 


Cummings date for Guillaume

Naturalism Stakes (Gr 3, 2000m) sixth Port Guillaume (Le Havre) looks set to line up in The Bart Cummings on Saturday in what will be his third racecourse start for Lindsay Park. Formerly trained in France by Jean-Claude Rouget, the five-year-old won four of his six starts in Europe including the Prix Hocquart (Gr 2, 2500m) before being purchased by Edmond Lee and stationed with training partnership Ben and JD Hayes. “First-up was typical of those horses he didn’t really handle The Valley and it was a sit sprint. He was fantastic from last at Caulfield and ran some of the best sectionals late,” Ben Hayes told The gelding is currently sat in 43rd spot for the Melbourne Cup and a similar spot for the Caulfield Cup (Gr 1, 2400m), but Hayes outlined that he had no set target for the son of Le Havre (Noverre). “I wouldn’t say this is a target race, but it’s a great race to run in for really good prizemoney and obviously a ticket available,” he said.

Secret Blaze and Entente receive penalties

After taking the honours in Group 3 contests last weekend, Secret Blaze (Sizzling) and Entente (Dundeel) have been re-handicapped for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups. A winner of the JRA Cup (Gr 3, 2040m), the Tony and Calvin McEvoy-trained Secret Blaze has been penalised an extra kilogram for both races by Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter, while the five-year-old Entente, who does not have an entry for the Melbourne feature, has also been allotted an extra kilogram for the Caulfield race. The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained gelding won the Queen’s Cup (Gr 3, 2400m) at Rosehill last weekend and there is every chance that he may be turned out for the third consecutive week to take on this Saturday’s Metropolitan Handicap (Gr 1, 2400m) at Randwick. Second acceptances for the Melbourne Cup are to be taken at 12pm today with an updated order of entry to be released later this afternoon. 


Maher gets first glimpse of Gold Trip

Co-trainer Ciaron Maher finally got to see his newly acquired Gold Trip (Outstrip) for the first time in the flesh when the four-year-old French-bred arrived at the Werribee International Horse Centre yesterday morning. The Cox Plate (Gr 1, 2040m) hopeful gave Maher a similar feel to when last year’s Moonee Valley feature race winner Sir Dragonet arrived at quarantine just 12 months ago. “They are different sorts of horses but they carry the same sort of quality form across Europe and he’s a quality horse, so we’re en route,” Maher told “He’ll have an easy week to get over the travel and allow him to adjust. He’ll do some light work and we’ll increase that the following week. Most horses that are well travelled like him are pretty adaptable with most things and he’s a very relaxed horse and he knows what his job is.” Fourth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr 1, 2400m) last season, the son of Outstrip (Exceed And Excel) has been recently purchased by Australian Bloodstock and will remain in the yard after the spring. 


Murphy’s Melbourne Cup dream

Hasta La War (Declaration Of War) has his trainer Sue Murphy dreaming of a Melbourne Cup bid after his win on Saturday. The four-year-old will now have his attention turned to Saturday’s The Bart Cummings as he looks to bag consecutive weekend wins. “Our dream now is try and get him to the Lexus Melbourne Cup,” said Murphy. “We have nominated him for the Bart Cummings this Saturday but he may not get into the field. If we miss a run on Saturday we will just have to reassess and work out a different plan but as we know there are plenty of other options like a Moonee Valley Cup or Geelong Cup. As far a jockey is concerned Linda Meech is on standby this week and I would be happy to think we could possibly lock her in for the spring.” 


Brown excited about talented son of Turn Me Loose

Turn Me Loose (Iffraaj) colt Prix De Turn pleased his trainer Matthew Brown when he was a solid second on his return at Sandown on Saturday. Sent off as an unfancied $41 chance, the gelding managed to beat all bar Extreme Flight (Extreme Choice) in the 1400-metre contest, leaving Cranbourne-based Brown in good spirits. “We knew he was pretty talented, but you’ve still got to get there and see them do it at the track,” Brown told SEN. “He still did a few things wrong but he was game in defeat and we certainly left the racecourse pretty happy.” Prix De Turn holds a nomination for the Melbourne Cup but faces an uphill task to be accepted, with his seasonal debut coming later than expected due to a minor setback. “We’ve just got to cross our fingers now and hope he can get a run, that’s the problem. But he’s definitely good enough to be pretty competitive because he’s got a fair bit of improvement there,” Brown added. “Wherever he goes next, he’s going to have improved a hell of a lot with his day out and hopefully he can go one better.”

Spring off for Remarque
The Hawkes training partnership have announced that their three-year-old Remarque (Snitzel) will miss the remainder of this spring campaign. Confirming yesterday to Racing NSW stewards, the Hawkes team said that the colt will undergo surgery after an endoscopic examination revealed that he had an upper respiratory abnormality that would require an operation to sort. The news comes after Remarque was a disappointing 12th of 13 runners in Saturday’s Golden Rose (Gr 1, 1400m) behind In The Congo (Snitzel) when stepped up to the 1400-metre trip.


Art Cadeau on course for Kosciuszko

Art Cadeau (Artie Schiller) had his first public trial at Hawkesbury yesterday morning as he continues his preparation towards The Kosciuszko (1200m). Ridden by Tommy Berry, the five-year-old finished just two and a half lengths off Group 3 scorer Trumbull (Darci Brahma) while beating home the likes of Aim (Star Witness) and Roheryn (Lonhro) over the 1000-metre trip. Berry is also set to ride the son of Artie Schiller (El Prado) in the upcoming $1.3 million feature contest, with Terry Robinson telling SEN Track that the gelding is well on track to producing a good effort first-up. “I could not be happier with him, he jumped like he normally does,” the trainer said. “It was a very good trial, a good quality heat. He was really happy with him, Tommy, he thought he felt better than last prep which is nice to hear.” Art Cadeau is yet to finish outside of the first two in his 11 starts to date but will face his toughest task yet on October 16, with Robinson adding he is likely to have another trial before that date. “He’ll probably have one good hit out again,” he said. The gelding will run for slot holder Shoalhaven Heads.

Victorem withdrawn
Racing NSW stewards were yesterday advised that the Jenny Graham-trained Victorem (I Am Invincible) has sustained a fracture in his pelvis after he was examined by the Randwick Equine Centre, meaning that he will now miss this year’s The Kosciuszko. Last year’s Victory Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) winner had recently won a trial at Gosford Park. 


Marine One impresses at Swan Hill

After competing in stakes races on all four of his starts to date for Lloyd Kennewell, Marine One (Capitalist) made light work of a maiden at Swan Hill yesterday on his first start for Ciaron Maher and David Eustace. A $500,000 purchase for Kennewell Racing and Group 1 Bloodstock from the Newgate Farm draft at the Magic Millions in 2020, the son of champion sire Capitalist (Written Tycoon) showed good speed throughout the 975-metre contest to win by two and three quarter lengths from In Her Stride (Stratum Star) with Riddlero (Bon Hoffa) a further three and a half lengths back in third. The first foal of the Listed-winning mare Golconda (Snitzel), Newgate Farm sold his full brother, named Canonball, for $975,000 to James Harron Bloodstock while Golconda produced a filly this spring by Written Tycoon (Iglesia).

Khan’s Treasure breaks maiden

The Barry Goodwin-trained Khan’s Treasure (Mongolian Khan) broke his maiden yesterday at Swan Hill over the 1600-metre trip. Ridden by Zac Spain, the three-year-old filly was settled just off the leaders before taking it up and going on past her rivals late in the day to win by three quarters of a length from Bella Vinci Dove (Shocking) with Autissiodorum (Burgundy) a further length and a quarter back in third. “He produced her at the right time and she was able to knuckle down late and get the win,” stable foreman Reece Goodwin said. “Now that she has shown she can run a mile, and possibly further, I think that is when she is going to show her best. She is going to take a lot of benefit out of today’s win. She labored halfway down the straight but then drew away.” A half-sister to the Group 3-placed Tinkalicious (Nadeem), Khan’s Treasure was purchased by Mark Pilkington for $70,000 from the Highview Stud draft at the New Zealand Bloodstock Book 2 Yearling Sale in 2020.


Vax passport trial for country cups

Victorian racing minister Martin Pakula has announced that regional race meetings could be included in a select range of businesses and events set to allow crowds of fully vaccinated members of the public. The Sale Cup (Listed, 1600m) and Bendigo Cup (Gr 3, 2400m) could be the first events in the state to take back crowds under a trial held by the Victorian government in order to test vaccine passports. “There has been some discussions behind closed doors of recent times, but it is a great step forward not only for the racing industry, but also for regional communities who rely so heavily on having events,” Country Racing Victoria CEO Scott Whiteman told RSN927 yesterday. “We are very, very excited by the news.” The trial could see up to 1000 members of the doubly vaccinated public allowed into the Sale and Bendigo Cups, set to be run on October 24 and 27 respectively. “That’s still in debate (crowd sizes) with the various officials, and I said we’d want 1000 people there to do this trial, we would need some depth in the numbers and I believe the government does need that as well to prove that these trials can work,” Whiteman said. A third country race track may also join the trial as numbers of double vaccinations improve.


Price leading SA apprentices premiership

After riding four winners at Morphettville on Saturday, apprentice Ben Price now has 16 winners for the season from 92 rides as he sits atop of the statewide premiership, just one in front of fellow apprentice Jason Holder. “It’s a little surreal actually to see my name up there at the moment even though I know it is very early days,” Price said. “However I would like to think I could have a real dip at maybe being there at the pointy end of the season in the Apprentice Premiership battles. I understand it can be a tough game and I only have to think back to June and July where I only rode three winners in total.” Price’s four wins on Saturday came aboard Max Fire (Star Turn), Philonize (Reward For Effort) and Star Of Uma (I Am Invincible) before riding the final leg of the four-timer on Alleboom (Spirit Of Boom). “Saturday will be a day I will always remember and the flood of messages I received, unbelievable,” he said. “I must actually apologise to some of the well-wishers I have yet to get back to but thank you for your support.”


Hennessy cops nine-week ban

Apprentice Ellen Hennessy yesterday became the latest rider to be handed a ban for a breach of Covid rules. Racing NSW stewards conducted an inquiry after Hennessy was alleged to have breached Racing NSW Covid policies and protocols as well as breaching Covid health orders for the region. Evidence was taken from Hennessy and licensed trainer Theresa Bateup. It was alleged that Hennessy had left her residence and Greater Sydney without a reasonable excuse to do so. The apprentice pleaded guilty to the charges brought against her and was given a suspension for nine weeks, reduced from three months due to the guilty plea and other objective circumstances. Hennessy will serve her suspension immediately, with the start date being backdated to September 24 and will run until November 26. 


RV board members reappointed

Victoria’s minister for racing Martin Pakula announced yesterday that Racing Victoria chairman Brian Kruger has been re-appointed to the RV board for a further fouryear term. Also joining him in being re-appointed are directors Ross Lanyon and Sharon McCrohan while Rowen Craigie will step down in his role as a director after his four-year term finishes on September 30 A replacement for Craigie will now be overseen by Pakula in line with the RV constitution.