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End of an Exalted era

Ken and Helen Smith, known for their horses with the ‘Exalted’ prefix, are set to offer a complete dispersal of their bloodstock interests via the online sales portal of Bloodstockauction.com from May 26 to 31. 

The Exalted breeding line of the couple’s stock can be traced back to the stallion Exalt (Exceed And Excel), that featured in the breeding of their foundation mare and Auraria Stakes (Gr 3, 1800m) winner Alleged Lady (Delgado).  

She, in turn, went onto to be the dam or granddam of no less than nine stakes-performed ‘Exalteds’, including the 2006 Adelaide Cup (Gr 2, 3200m) winner Exalted Time (Bellotto).

The Exalted family is a prolific source of winners, with four generations producing 58 individual winners from 79 runners (73.4 per cent winners to runners).

“The time has come. Ken is not in the best of health and managing such a significant bloodstock business requires a lot of drive and attention,” Helen Smith said.

Anthony Gafa, proprietor of Bloodstockauction.com, was full of praise for the Smiths, who have worked tirelessly to bring together the 45-lot sale. 

“Bringing together foals, yearlings, mares and unraced stock for a single sale is no mean feat and we are thoroughly grateful to Ken and Helen and their team at Narrung,” Gaffa said. 

In addition to relinquishing the bloodstock, the pair’s historic 351-hectare Narrung Stud property on the shores of Lake Albert has also been listed for sale with Sam Hayes of Toop+Toop Rural.

“Narrung Stud has always known success and whilst it is the end of one chapter it is also the start of another. This is fertile farming land and will continue to deliver,” Hayes said.  

Bidding on the bloodstockauction.com sale will open on Thursday, May 26 and will close on Tuesday, May 31. 

 

Extreme Warrior retires to stud duties

The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained Extreme Warrior (Extreme Choice) has been retired to stud at Rosemont after a disappointing effort when the $4.40 favourite for The Goodwood (Gr 1, 1200m) on Saturday. The colt finished more than 11 lengths behind the winner Lombardo (I Am Invincible) in 18th position and will now head to stud as a Group 3 and Listed-race-winning son of Extreme Choice (Not A Single Doubt). “He’s pulled up ok, Mick (Price) said pre-race he lost the plot a little bit,” co-trainer Michael Kent Jnr told Racing.com. “He’s ready for stud now, he’s a bull and he’ll do a fantastic job. He’s got that Group 1 x-factor ability about him, electric turn of foot, wicked action. Given his good type and pedigree, he’s going to be a very exciting addition to the Victorian stallion ranks.”

 

Hitotsu suffers career-threatening injury

Dual Derby winner and three-time Group 1-winning hero Hitotsu’s (Maurice) career could be on the line after he was ruled out of the spring carnival with a suspensory injury, Ciaron Maher Racing confirmed in a statement yesterday. “The stable regretfully announces that Hitotsu has sustained an injury to his suspensory branch in his near foreleg,” the statement read. “We are currently in discussions with the ownership group regarding his racing future. It’s a devastating blow for his owners, the stable and his legion of fans that will see him miss this year’s spring carnival. He is a talented, tough horse who we believe we have not seen the best of yet, and we are hopeful for a speedy recovery. Successful rehabilitation would see him return to racing in the Autumn of 2023, if it’s decided he will race on. Any decision made on his future will be communicated in due course.” 

 

Ellsberg bids for Group 1 double

The Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou-trained Ellsberg (Spill The Beans) tuned up for the Brisbane winter carnival with a solid jump-out against the Royal Ascot-bound Nature Strip (Nicconi) at Rosehill yesterday. Ryan was pleased with the work that he saw and the son of Spill The Beans (Snitzel) will now line up in Saturday’s Kingsford-Smith Cup (Gr 1, 1300m) at Eagle Farm, with the Stradbroke Handicap (Gr 1, 1400m) his main target just a fortnight later. “He had a jump-out (Tuesday) morning and ran second to Nature Strip,” Ryan said. “He went well. Nash (Rawiller) came out and rode him and he was quite happy with him. He runs in the Kingsford-Smith on Saturday.” The four-year-old won the Liverpool City Cup (Gr 3, 1300m) and finished third behind Cascadian (New Approach) and Tofane (Ocean Park) in the All Aged Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) in a productive autumn carnival campaign. Ellsberg is a $10 chance for the Kingsford-Smith and $21 for the Stradbroke Handicap on June 10.

 

Teranga a doubtful Roses starter

Queensland filly Teranga (Sebring) is an unlikely starter in The Roses (Gr 2, 2100m) at Eagle Farm this weekend, according to trainers Steve O’Dea and Matt Hoysted. The Group 2 contest was set to be run at the Doomben Cup meeting last Saturday, but was postponed to Wednesday after heavy rainfall, before being further postponed for the same reason. A Super Saturday card will now be conducted at Eagle Farm with three Group 1 races, including the Doomben Cup and Kingsford-Smith Cup. “She’s nominated for The Roses but more than likely she will go straight into the Oaks,” Hoysted said. “The Queensland Oaks is a week after The Roses and she’s not really a back-up horse. She’ll have a jump-out on Tuesday (today) and then we’ll see what the week brings.”

 

Prince headed for Queensland winter carnival

The 2019 Andrew Ramsden Stakes (Listed, 2800m) winner Steel Prince (Nathaniel) is set to continue his current preparation outside of Victoria as he is prepared for the Queensland winter carnival. The son of Nathaniel (Galileo) suffered a tendon injury during last year’s Australian Cup (Gr 1, 2000m) but has recovered well and scored a two-length victory over 2600 metres at Flemington on April 25, his fourth start this campaign. “The plan at this stage is for him to head to the Premiers’ Cup on May 28 and from there he could run in the Brisbane Cup, Tattersall’s Cup or Caloundra Cup,” Brad Taylor, stable manager for trainers Anthony and Sam Freedman, told RacingQueensland. “There’s probably not the open class stayers around in Australia at the moment, I think Sydney took a whole lot of them out with their heavy tracks and trainers have had to spell them. We’ve tested him at two miles in two (Melbourne) Cups and he’s run well so you’d expect him to be competitive in the Brisbane Cup.”

 

Connections Dream of Queensland winner

Unbeaten galloper Yes Dream (Dream Ahead) has his connections dreaming of a Brisbane campaign after he scored an impressive success in the $105,000 Northern Jewel Handicap over 1300 metres at Townsville on Friday to take his record to a perfect five wins from five starts. Owner-trainer Michael Lee said he would take a few days to decide the gelding’s future but admitted the winter carnival was on his mind. “I’ll take him home, see how he pulls up and then think about where we’ll head next,” Lee told RacingQueensland. “We might keep him up for the coming winter carnival here and Cairns but we’ve got to be prepared to get heavier weights so it may be worthwhile to look at races down south. He’s such a perfect horse to have him around the stables and he’s quite laid back in everything he does. Lacey Morrison, who rides him, knows him perfectly and the pair have clicked right from the start.”

 

Halvorsen paddock-bound

Last Saturday’s The Goodwood runner-up Halvorsen (Magnus) will not be seen until the spring as he heads to the paddock after twice placing at the top-level this campaign. Co-trainer Robbie Griffiths feels the son of Magnus (Flying Spur) has had a long preparation and the recent soft ground has ruled out any venture north to Queensland. “We thought we were going down the path we are now as a younger horse until he hurt himself in the Oakleigh Plate,” Griffiths told Racing.com. “It’s taken us so long to get him back to that level so we’re not going to bite off more than we can chew. He’s not going to go to Sandown because, with his rating, there’s not many races that suit him. Moonee Valley there’s minimal sprints in the high rating races and at Caulfield it’s hard to come from back in the field, so naturally he’s going to end up at Flemington more often than not. That makes him appear a ‘Flemington specialist’ but he’s actually good on most tracks you take him to. He’s been lightly raced, and we don’t overtax him, so we’re hoping he’s as exuberant and energetic when he comes back.”

 

Larsson headed for the UK

Ballarat-based trainer Dean ‘Whoppa’ Larsson is headed for the United Kingdom to work with Harry Eustace, the brother of trainer David. Larsson spent many years as a jockey and now trains a small team of horses in his role at the yard of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace. “About six months ago I said to Dave Eustace ‘I’ve done too many winters in Ballarat and I wouldn’t mind having a change to a warmer client’,” the 49-year-old told Racing.com. “He came up with the idea of going to England and working with his brother Harry for a while. So we will see how that works out and how he trains, which will be quite different. It’s something I’ve always thought about doing, but I haven’t really had the contacts. But after talking to Dave, I think he’s more excited than me! I think I will be riding, driving the trucks and general stablehand work and following Harry and learning things to bring back to the boys.”

 

Shoulder injury rules Kersley out

Young jockey Fred Kersley managed to ride the closing stages of last Saturday’s The Goodwood despite having dislocated his right shoulder. Kersley rode the Troy Corstens-trained The Astrologist (Zoustar), who went on to finish third in the race, but has subsequently ruled himself out for the next four to five weeks. “It’s quite an unusual injury,” Kersley told Racing.com. “I think it was about the 25-metre mark, when I pulled the whip back through the right and my second strike in the right hand and I felt my shoulder roll over in the socket and I knew something was up. I was in a world of pain, but obviously the adrenaline of being a couple of lengths off the winner in a Group 1, that gets you through it. Certainly, I knew straight away I’d done something wrong. It was more so just once I got back to the jockey’s room the pain really started to take over.” 

 

Whiteley back in the saddle

Gold Coast-based jockey Chris Whiteley will make his return to the saddle this week after four months on the sidelines following a facial injury. Whiteley fractured a cheekbone when he fell in the last race at Mackay on February 15 and feared he may not get to his career-target of 2,000 winners. However, he has been given the all clear to ride again. “It was the best news I’ve heard for a long time,” Whiteley told RacingQueensland. “I”m back riding track work and I’ll be at Rockhampton on Friday. I’ve missed out on a lot of good rides in North Queensland so I’m anxious to get back there with the winter carnival’s coming up. Hopefully there’ll be some rides available in the coming weeks and the trainers haven’t forgotten my phone number.”

 

Southam hoping Broome can prove the key

Jockey Kate Southam will make Broome her base this winter as she chases the sun and plenty of winners in a decision that took little convincing. Southam’s career is currently at a crossroads as she battles with her weight and lack of city opportunities and she is hopeful that a stint in Broome can provide the perfect springboard for her career. “I want to enjoy racing again,” Southam told The Races WA. “I kind of had a negative spin to racing after not reaching personal goals as an apprentice. I want to find the love that I used to have for racing. I felt I wasn’t getting anywhere or achieving what I wanted to. My best friends who are in racing are all in Broome, including Jess (Gray). She has been a huge supporter of mine and is my bestie. I just needed to get away from city racing and find the heart of country racing. I’m freelancing, but will mainly ride for Darryn and working side by side with Jess.”