Morning Briefing

International Latest

Four for Midnight Lute

Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms mainstay Midnight Lute (Real Quiet) registered his fourth individual Grade 1 winner on Monday when Keeper Ofthe Stars (4 m ex Sociable by Run Away And Hide) caused a minor upset in the Gamely Stakes (Gr 1, 9f) on the Santa Anita turf. Settling handy, Keeper Ofthestars sprinted strongly upon straightening and raced clear for a length and a quarter success over late-rallying Bodhicitta (Showcasing) with Mucho Unusual (Mucho Macho Man) a further nose away in third. Keeper Ofthestars was first sold to Zayat Stables as a weanling for US$60,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, before being pinhooked for US$180,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale the following year, being purchased by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds. Midnight Lute stood for US$15,000 at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms in Kentucky this year.


Raging Bull takes Shoemaker Mile

Raging Bull (5 c Dark Angel – Rosa Bonheur by Mr. Greeley), winless since the 2018 Hollywood Derby (Gr 1, 9f) 2but not missing the top four in five Grade 1 starts since, finally returned to the winners’ circle on Monday with an emphatic win in the Shoemaker Mile (Gr 1, 1m) at Santa Anita. Owner Peter Brant has become known for bringing horses across from France and campaigning them stateside with trainer Chad Brown; among his best-known horses are Sistercharlie (Myboycharlie) and Dunbar Road (Quality Road) in the US, as well as Sottsass (Siyouni) in France. Raging Bull, though, looks capable of joining that group with his two and a quarter length victory over Next Shares (Archarcharch) and Without Parole (Frankel), suggesting that further big-race victories are in store.


Former Australian just denied in Monrovia

Team Valor’s Grade 3-winning mare Oleksandra (Animal Kingdom) just missed out on adding the Monrovia Stakes (Gr 2, 5.5f) to her record when she went down by a half-length to Brazilian import Jolie Olimpica (Drosselmeyer) in the fillies’ feature at Santa Anita. Oleksandra, who was placed in three maidens in Australia in 2017 when trained by Bjorn Baker, has won six of her 11 American starts with a further three placings. She won the Franklin County Stakes (Gr 3, 5.5f) at Keeneland in October and was set to step out in the Al Quoz Sprint (Gr 1, 1200m) at Meydan before the Dubai World Cup meeting was cancelled. Jolie Olimpica, the track record holder over the Santa Anita five and a half furlongs, has won two of her three starts in the US, having won the Grande Premio Jockey Club de Brasileiro (Gr 1, 1600m) at Gavea in Brazil. 


Osarus to conduct first Covid-era online auction in Europe

The first European thoroughbred sale to be held since the Covid-19 pandemic was declared takes place tonight with the Osarus Breeze Up Sale in France. Like sales that have been conducted in Australia in recent weeks, it will be run exclusively online; it is the first test for the new coronavirus-enforced digital era in Europe, where online sales have previously been shunned. Among those to be sold are a Scissor Kick (Redoute’s Choice) filly, with the Arrowfield stallion now permanently based at Haras d’Etreham in France, as well as a filly by Waldpark (Dubawi), who raced in Australia during the 2013-14 season. 


369 entries for first UK meeting back

Connections have greeted the planned return of British racing at Newcastle on Monday with huge enthusiasm as 369 horses have been entered for the fixture. The entry is around twice as large as would be expected for a meeting at Newcastle at this time of year. The behind-closed-doors meeting will be the first to take place in Britain since March 17, when the sport was closed down due to the Covid-19 crisis. The BHA has said all races following the resumption will require final fields to be declared three days before meetings take place “until further notice”, which means the final fields for Newcastle will be published on Friday.