Morning Briefing

Australia Latest

Twin Hills releases service fees

Twin Hills Stud have released their service fees for 2020, headineed by the popular son of Fastnet Rock (Danehill), Smart Missile. “We are very conscious that we are living and operating in extraordinary circumstances at the moment. However, we are also conscious that our industry runs in an annual cycle. The decision of which stallion a mare is bred to is an important one, whether you are breeding for the racetrack or also for the sale ring,” said Twin Hills’ Olly Tait. Smart Missile will stand for $22,000 (inc GST), former Darley resident Hallowed Crown (Street Sense) will start at his new home for $11,000 (inc GST), Denman (Lonhro) for $8,000 (inc GST) and Odyssey Moon (Snitzel) for $6,600 (inc GST). 


Tasmanian racing shut down for four weeks

Tasmania has shut down racing as part of the state government’s latest response to the coronavirus pandemic. Premier Peter Gutwein said greyhound and horse racing would stop, effective immediately, for the next month. A statement on the Tasmanian Racing Authority’s website says Tasracing would work closely with the Minister for Racing on the details of a support package. Tasracing chief executive Paul Eriksson said details would be released as soon as they were finalised. “Many industry participants will be eligible for assistance measures already announced by the Tasmanian Government and the Commonwealth over recent weeks, both to businesses and individuals,” Eriksson said in the statement.


Brunton fears for family, staff

With the announcement of the suspension of racing in Tasmania, leading trainer Scott Brunton, who has 75 horses in work and employs 15 staff, said he has fears for his family and staff. “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Brunton told “How do I feed my kids? They said in a statement that you’re able to keep your staff going and do the essentials just to be able to continue on. How do they expect me to pay wages? The money will run out, it will dry out. It does, that’s the way it is. How can I charge people (to train) whose horses can’t race? And the problem is these people (my staff) have families too.”


Dismissal aiming for Sires upset

Dismissal (Not A Single Doubt) is at big odds for the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) tomorrow but Gary Portelli believes his two-year-old is not out of the elite-level contest. “They often get the market right but she hasn’t been stopping and plodding home in her races,” Portelli said. “She’s been finding the line in all her races and she has been drawing bad barriers. The only time she has drawn well this preparation she ran third in the Sweet Embrace. I think if she gets every chance she’ll be there. I think she’s well over the odds. And I think if she comes through the run well I might consider backing her up into the Fernhill. Or if she happened to run a real big race the Champagne Stakes is there two weeks later.”


Pedigree adds weight to Baker’s Derby hope

Murray Baker, who trains in partnership with Andrew Forsman, believes the pedigree of his Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) contender Quick Thinker (So You Think) can take him a long way in tomorrow’s classic race. “We’re very happy with him,” Baker said. “He has got to get the trip and whether he has got the class against those better three-year-olds is a bit of a question, but he certainly deserves his place in the field.  He comes from the family of a Derby winner and an Oaks winner, so that gives me a bit more confidence. The 2400 metres at Randwick is pretty testing, but he is fit enough and a rain-affected track won’t worry him.” 1999 VRC Derby (Gr 1, 2500m) winner Blackfriars (Danehill) and 2003 South Australian Oaks winner (Gr 1, 2500m) Larrocha (Danehill) both feature in the pedigree of Quick Thinker.


Pike keeps eye on Sydney charges from afar

Tony Pike might be on level four alert in New Zealand due to the coronavirus pandemic but he will still have a three-pronged attack on the Sydney autumn with a trio of his stable stars in the care of his Australian colleagues. “Not An Option is with Richard Freedman at Rosehill,” Pike said. “He was based beside us when we were over there. Sherwood Forest is with Bjorn Baker and The Bostonian is with John O’Shea. They are spread far and wide unfortunately, but it is what it is. They have all been really good. We have been talking most evenings, we have a chat about what we are going to do the following day with them. They have been sending over videos and text messages after the horses have worked. It is a bit of an unusual situation, but they have been great, very helpful and have kept us well informed the whole way through.”


Group 3 aim for Kiwi Elisa Carolina 

Former Kiwi filly Elisa Carolina (Makfi) will be aiming to take victory in the Adrian Knox Stakes (Gr 3, 2000m) following a handy win at Wyong. Elisa Carolina joined Newcastle trainer Kris Lees after Stephen Marsh’s team were required to return to New Zealand upon the implementation of strict Covid-19 restrictions. “She’s a tough filly,” Lees said. “Stephen left her over here in great order. I only got her on the Wednesday before the race, so I can’t take much credit. She’s Stephen’s horse. It was good to get a win with her. It is a big jump in grade this weekend but it is not the strongest Adrian Knox and she deserves her opportunity. I’d say we’d be rolling forward and will put her in place. From what I have seen of her, she probably lacks a turn of foot, but being a daughter of Makfi she will probably handle a rain affected track if the forecast rain eventuates.” 


Bobbing chasing unique double

The Bernie Kelly-trained Bobbing (Beneteau) will be looking to complete a rare double when he lines up in tomorrow’s Country Championships Final (1400m) at Randwick. Twelve months ago, the gelding took out the Provincial Championships Final (1400m) and Kelly’s relocation from Hawkesbury to the Hunter Valley allows Bobbing to compete in the $400,000 final for country-trained horses. “It’s a little bit more sentimental as far as we’re concerned because we bred the horse, we raised the horse, we put a few friends into it. They become part of the family, like a child so to speak,” Kelly said. “He has given us a great ride so far and hopefully he continues to do so.”


Munce keen to continue good form

Chris Munce’s promising juvenile Papaya (Dream Ahead) will miss Tuesday’s Capricornia Classic (1200m) at Rockhampton in favour of the QTIS two-year-old handicap (1350m) at Doomben tomorrow. “Her last-start win was at 1300 metres and I have been keen to step her up in distance,” Munce said. “I have no doubt she will develop into a good 1400 to 1600-metre horse before too long. She has barrier eight which can be tricky but there should be plenty of early pace.”


Gollan to Get Stuck In

After scratching the stakes-performed Silvera (High Chaparral) from tomorrow’s TAB Handicap (1615m) at Doomben, premier Brisbane trainer Tony Gallon will be relying on impressive last start winner Get Stuck In (Lucas Cranach). “Get Stuck In usually gets better with racing each campaign and there doesn’t look to be a lot of pace in the race again,” Gollan said. “He doesn’t have to lead but from barrier two he will be thereabouts. He has won twice over the Doomben 1600 metres so it looks a nice race.”


Wallace takes on Rebel

Queensland’s racing restrictions have had an upside for Group 1-winning trainer John Wallace as he picked up handy juvenile Mishani Rebel (Jet Spur) from Eagle Farm trainer Les Ross. The gelding will have his first start for his new trainer in the Two-Year-Old (900m) at the Gold Coast today. “Basically after looking at likely upcoming programmes Mishani Rebel is better placed around the Gold Coast than Brisbane,” Wallace said. “He isn’t very big but he was in good order when Les sent him here last week. Mishani Rebel has won at the track and distance and we have claimed on him.”


McGillivray on track for Gold Coast

Queensland jockey Matt McGillivray’s decision to ride in the South West Metro region under the state’s new regional model has already paid dividends with the rider set for 10 mounts at the Gold Coast today. McGillivray was expected to choose to ride in the North West Metro region, which would have enabled him to ride at Doomben on Saturday, but instead he will stick to the zone that features the Gold Coast, Ipswich and Toowoomba. Among his mounts is the stakes-performed Manaya (Hinchinbrook) for Michael Costa in the Open Handicap (1200m). “Manaya didn’t have much luck about the 700 metres at her last start and Friday’s race is a sharp drop in class,” Costa said. “Matt knows her and she can be tricky to ride.”


McDonald test rides Danon Premium

Japanese raider Danon Premium (Deep Impact) has been given the seal of approval by James McDonald after the rider partnered him in a Canterbury gallop yesterday morning. Damian Lane was originally set to ride the five-year-old in next weekend’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m), but with Lane heading to Japan last week, McDonald will instead take the reins. “He felt terrific,” McDonald said of the 1200-metre gallop. “He is obviously a horse that oozes a lot of class. He has a lot of presence about him. He feels enormous the way he goes through his paces. He is a very balanced horse and very push button the way he executes his gallops. I couldn’t be more pleased with the way he felt today. It was one of the better pieces of work I have felt for a while.”


Qld jockey disqualified for quarantine breach

Apprentice Zoe White has been banned for six months for refusing a steward’s direction to stand down from riding while she self-quarantined. White, who was the leading rider in central Queensland for several years, has been riding all over the state in recent times. At an inquiry yesterday, it was alleged that she attended trackwork at Rockhampton on Wednesday despite being directed to stand down from riding and to self-quarantine for 14 days. It was also alleged that White rode trackwork and nominated to ride in Central zone, in contravention of the rules requiring her to ride in the same region as her master, Metro South West.


No trials in South Australia

Thoroughbred Racing South Australia yesterday announced that official trials will be cancelled in South Australia from April 10 as part of a raft of new coronavirus protection measures. “Our participants have been very good at adapting to and respecting the new protocols we have put in place,” Redin said. “However, we must remain vigilant and it’s our job as the governing body to continually challenge our own thinking and ensure we are doing everything we can to limit our activities to a bare minimum of participants and reinforce the protocols that govern their activities. We will continue to review our protocols, communicate with our interstate colleagues and work closely with relevant government and health authorities to make sure we can keep racing.”


Benalla meeting now on Wednesday

Heavy rain has forced the postponement of today’s meeting at Benalla. An inspection yesterday morning detected surface water and an early call was made to transfer the meeting to Wednesday with more rain expected today. The program remains the same but nominations have reopened, with entries closing at midday today.