Saturday Spotlight

Saturday Spotlight

New Mandate (Eagle Farm, Race 7, #2)

TRAINER: Chris Waller

RACE: Tattersall’s Mile (Listed, 1600m)

This lightly raced six-year-old import still has plenty of spring left in his legs and finds the perfect field to kick start his winter campaign.

It’s been an interesting career for this son of the Dubawi (Dubai Millennium) stallion New Bay who hit the track running as a youngster.

As a two-year-old he strung three consecutive wins together including the Flying Scotsman Stakes (Listed, 7f) at Doncaster and the Royal Lodge Stakes (Gr 2, 1m) at Newmarket.

These performances earmarked him as a potential star of U.K. racing and even earned him a trip over to America to compete in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (Gr 1, 1m).

While that didn’t end up being fruitful, he bounced back as an early three-year-old to win the Paradise Stakes (Listed, 1m) at Ascot in impressive fashion.

It was at this point however, it all turned. He was well-beaten in the Lockinge Stakes (Gr 1, 1m), Wolferton Stakes (Listed, 1m 2f) and Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (Gr 2, 1m 4f), with it later being revealed he had contracted a virus.

A year off the scene was too much for connections and he was immediately put in the ring.

Australia welcomed him with open arms and so did leading trainer Chris Waller who has always held him in high regard.

He repaid that trust as a five-year-old taking out the Hawkesbury Gold Cup (Gr 3, 1600m) and the Ladies Day Cup (Listed, 1500m) to nudge his career earnings well over $500,000.

Now more mature and well acquainted with life in Australia, New Mandate tackles Listed company at Eagle Farm and finds a suitable field to showcase his best.

He is partnered up once again with James McDonald which has previously been a winning combination and he looks the clear value in the race.

New Mandate is the only winner from two to race for the Authorized (Montjeu) mare Mishhar.

Mishhar is a half-sister to Group 2-placed Puggy (Mark Of Esteem) the dam of Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French 1,000 Guineas) (Gr 1, 1600m) and Prix de Diane (French Oaks) (Gr 1, 2400m) winner Avenir Certain, in turn the dam of the Japanese Grade 2 winner Des Ailes (Deep Impact).


Heinous (Eagle Farm, Race 2 #5)

TRAINER: Jason Warren

RACE: Tattersall’s Stakes (Listed, 1400m)

This is shaping as one of the races of the day and this Jason Warren filly has shown raw talent at her six career starts.

Bred by Gooree Park Stud, Heinous was a $60,000 purchase for her trainer from the Newgate Farm draft at the 2023 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Clearly Warren is still working her out but he has already identified what makes her click into gear.

“She can get a bit lost around the tighter circuits, a big track is ideal for her to balance up and finish off,” the filly’s trainer said. 

As a result, a trip to Eagle Farm was always on the cards. Her debut effort at the circuit was full of merit, closing off well on a day where leaders dominated the races.

With time to recover the Eagle Farm circuit should play much fairer bringing her right into calculations.

The booking of Blake Shinn adds confidence and she appears to handle all ground conditions without concerns.

From the soft draw of barrier two she will be able to land a lovely trailing position and can be put into the race at the right time.

A big performance is on the cards and it is no surprise to see early support come from her.

Heinous is the second winner for the Exceed And Excel (Danehill) mare Nais Ko, who is a half-sister to Gooree Stud’s BTC Cup (Gr 1, 1300m) winner Your Song (Fastnet Rock).


Franz Josef (Rosehill, Race 10 #1)

TRAINER: Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou

RACE: Benchmark 78, 1800m

While all punters see is a potential Group runner moving through the grades, this gelding has tested the patience of his trainers.

He has been a real handle for Ryan and Alexiou admitting that his track work and appetite are inconsistent.

“One day, he works well; the next day, he won’t. He trials well one day, and the next trial is no good,” said Ryan. 

And this is exactly why he is the horse everyone should fear.

For him to be this good (5:4-1-0) and still have so much improvement to come, we could be looking at a potential middle distance star.

He rises here to 1800 metres for the first time and this should pose no concern.

Bred by G S A Bloodstock, Franz Josef is the second winner from as many to race for the unraced Galileo (Sadler’s Wells) mare Embroidered Silk, a half-sister to Group 1 winner Willie Cazals (Aussie Rules).

Adding in his sire Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice) to the mix, he should eventually get over 2000 metres plus.

Carrying the tartan colours of Ron and Judy Wanless, Franz Josef was a $190,000 purchase for Tasman Bloodstock from the Bhima Thoroughbreds draft at the 2022 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

If he can add another win to the picket fence this weekend, we could be looking at one of the stars of the spring.

See more of Luke Hovhanesian at 

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