Horse Racing

Saturday racing in review

Comprehensive review of racing around the country on Saturday, June 8. 

Star Performer

Victorem (Eagle Farm R4)

The win of the day belonged to the Jenny Graham-trained Victorem ($ 4.40), who stormed home from the rear of the field to claim the Listed Hinkler Handicap by 1.25L. The Port Macquarie-trained galloper had been aimed at the Stradbroke, but after finishing midfield in the Kingsford-Smith Cup, he failed to gain a start in the feature event. The disappointment of missing a Stradbroke start was certainly erased on Saturday however with the 4YO delivering a stunning sprint over the final furlong. It was also a top steer from Ben Looker, who weaved his way up the straight aboard the motoring gelding. Victorem is likely to have one more start for the winter carnival (the Healy Stakes on June 22 or the Glasshouse on June 29) before the attention turns to the spring, in particular the $ 1.3 million The Kosciuszko. 

Front Bar Fodder

EAGLE FARM

Godolphin and KMac combine for another G1
The G1 Stradbroke Handicap went the way of Godolphin with Trekking delivering a dominant performance in the feature. The 4YO son of Street Cry hit the lead at the 200m and broke clear over the final furlong, easily accounting for Tyzone by 1.75L with the rejuvenated Endless Drama in 3rd. The win provided Kerrin McEvoy with his third G1 for the season in the royal blue silks, having partnered Cross Counter for Charles Appleby in the Melbourne Cup and Avilius for James Cummings in the Ranvet Stakes. Trekking’s win also made it a big day for the Cummings family, with James’ father Anthony winning the JJ Atkins earlier in the day. 

“If you want to talk about preparing a horse for a race look at what Dad did in planning Prince Fawaz’s win in the (G1) JJ Atkins earlier today,” James Cummings said.

“You can bet that when Dad won a Group One you will find Bart probably had one on the same day.”

Trekking was one of four runners in the Stradbroke for Cummings, with Viridine finishing 6th, Encryption 10th while Home Of The Brave’s struggles continued, failing to beat a runner home after settling outside the lead. The Bostonian, who was aiming to become the first horse to complete the winter carnival G1 sprinting treble, finished back in 11th. Jockey Michael Cahill said the Kiwi lost his footing when the gates opened which saw him settle further back than expected and was also tightened for room at stages in the straight. 

Prince’s owners light up Eagle Farm
How easy is the horse ownership game? That’s what some of Prince Fawaz’s owners must be thinking after the Anthony Cummings-trained colt landed the G1 JJ Atkins. In the ownership is 20 mates, many of whom are first-time owners. Their celebrations when Prince Fawaz broke his maiden at Randwick got plenty of attention on social media, but the scenes of jubilation a fortnight back were trumped on Saturday, with the bunch of best mates going coco bananas at Eagle Farm. 

Prince Fawaz, who is named in honour of a close friend of the group who passed away, was sent around as the $ 4.20 second favourite behind Accession. The Fastnet Rock colt relished the step back up to a mile, coming from the second half of the field to run home over the top of Kubrick. Reloaded finished third while Shadow Hero caught the eye, charging from last to grab fourth. Accession, who was made to work early to sit outside the lead, weakened over the final furlong to finish back in 6th. 

Mr Quickie wins dramatic Derby
The Phillip Stokes-trained Mr Quickie was one of the better goes on the Eagle Farm card, firming from $ 5.50 to $ 2.80 at the jump, and he didn’t let his backers down. Mr Quickie hit the lead at the 200m and despite wobbling about over the concluding stages, still held a margin of 0.75L over Vow And Declare on the line. Connections of the runner-up threw in a protest and while the Danny O’Brien-trained galloper was momentarily hampered, the interference wasn’t enough to overturn the result given the margin. The Derby win continued John Allen’s hot season, bringing up his fifth G1 victory of the season. 

The race was marred however by a fall early in the straight. Lord Arthur was brought down approaching the 300m sending Corey Brown crashing to the turf. Brown was conscious following the fall but has been taken to hospital, while Lord Arthur had to be euthanised after sustaining a major fracture to the near hind leg. With Brown in hospital, stewards have adjourned an inquiry into the incident after taking evidence from Tommy Berry (Nobu), Tim Clark (Stars Of Carrum) and Matthew McGillivray (Grand Bouquet). 

Epsom plans for Kolding

Chris Waller has earmarked the G1 Epsom Handicap as a likely spring target after the 3YO gelding took out the G2 Queensland Guineas. The win was the fourth on the trot for the son of Ocean Park, beginning with a win in BM70 grade on the Kensington track in April. The streak has come after undergoing the ultimate gear change. 

“It’s been the making of this horse. He’s four from four since he’s been gelded,” Waller said.

“Gelding them changes their attitude markedly. They forget about what’s going on in terms of fillies and they concentrate on their racing.”

Baccarat Baby for David Vandyke finished runner-up, half-a-length behind Kolding, with the luckless Pohutukawa (see Saturday Slaughter) in third. The disappointment in the race was Ringerdingding. Avdulla tracked Pohutukawa into the straight, but the Waller-trained colt was left flat-footed when the sprint went on, finishing back in 13th. 

Stayer in the groove for Lees
Damien Oliver notched up his third G2 Brisbane Cup win, executing a brilliant ride aboard Sixties Groove. The Kris Lees-trained galloper proved too strong at the end of 2400m, defeating Grey Lion by 0.75L with stablemate Big Duke in third. There was a scare however post-race, with the gelding pulling up short, although Oliver believed it wasn’t anything too serious. 

“He pulled up a little bit sore. I don’t think it’s anything too drastic but it was just precautionary that I got off him,” Oliver said.

“The last few strides before I pulled him up he put in a couple of short ones. Maybe he’s stood on himself or it might be a shoe and there’s nothing too serious but we’ll know more when he cools down.”

The win was Sixties Groove’s first for Lees, having formerly been with Darren Weir. Lees picked out the Brisbane Cup as the main target at the start of the campaign and the 6YO put the writing on the wall with placings in the Doomben Cup and PJ O’Shea Stakes prior to Saturday’s win., 

Plague Stone flops in Daybreak Lover
It was ugly all around for the favourite in the first. The Godolphin gelding was a significant drifter late in betting, going from $ 2.20 out to $ 3.20, before racing three-wide without cover. The white flag went up early in the straight, with Plague Stone fading to finish 8th. James McDonald gave Signore Fox a peach of a ride, tracking Plague Stone in the run before sprinting away from the field at the 100m to score by 2L. 

JMac gets an early double
Invincibella’s narrow win in the G2 Dane Ripper Stakes made it two-from-two to start the day for James McDonald. The Chris Waller-trained mare tagged the back of leader Prompt Response in the run and McDonald was able to switch off heels at the 300m. He had to throw everything at Invincibella over the concluding stages to hold Platinum Angel at bay. Favourite Outback Barbie ($ 2.90) lacked sizzle, beating just the one runner home (see Get in the Sea).

FLEMINGTON

Hat-trick hero
The David Brideoake-trained Kings Brook ($ 2.35) headed to Flemington in search of a hat-trick and the well supported favourite managed to secure just that with a nail-biting 0.2L win over Mrs O’Malley in the BM84 Trevor Clarke Handicap (1400m). The result looked unlikely at the 200m mark but Andrew Mallyon kept at her and she kept finding to get the job done for punters.

Played Jade πŸ‘
Jade Darose had a day to remember at HQ after preparing AND partnering Parwan Prince ($ 12) to a gutsy win in the All Victorian Sprint Series Handicap (1000m). Three horses dominated the market but it was the lesser-fancied Parwan Prince that proved too strong, clinging on grimly to hold a 0.1L margin over the fast-finishing Miss Norway, with another roughie, Gibbon, claiming 3rd. Darose hadn’t ridden a winner in her last 58 attempts – nor had she ever saluted at Flemington – but she landed the one that mattered today to become the first dual-licence holder to win a race at Flemington. Incidentally, Darose hadn’t saddled up a winner since Parwan Prince last scored in August 2018 but she only has the two horses in work and what she’s done with this bloke is nothing short of exceptional with four wins from his last six starts.

SA raider
SA sprinter Gytrash ($ 5.50) came, saw and conquered at Flemington with a gritty performance to take out the Ken Cox Handicap (1000m) at his first effort up the Flemington straight. Apprentice Fred Kersley was responsible for piloting the Gordon Richards-trained gelding and after settling him midfield he got to work on him at the 200m and the horse kept finding to edge past Halvorsen by 0.1L, with race favourite Leiter back in 3rd. The 3YO son of Lope de Vega has now won 5 of 12 and may well have a stakes win within him going forward.

Chouxting the lights out
Chouxting The Mob was another galloper searching for a hat-trick of wins and he didn’t let his admirers down – not least his FIFO connections from Perth. After settling second-last on the paint, a patient Beau Mertens started working him through his gears upon straightening and the horse did the rest, letting down strongly to race away from his rivals and score by 2.5L from race favourite Last Week, with Observational close-up in third. The 5YO son of Jimmy Choux has been up since January and has come a hell of a long way in that time, going from an 8L 5th placing in a BM58 to scoring an emphatic win in an open handicap at headquarters. It’s been a remarkable resurgence for a horse that has screws through his hind leg after sustaining a fracture in trackwork. What level he reaches remains to be seen but trainer Simon Morrish couldn’t have been much more effusive in his praise for the horse and there’s no reason why he can’t continue to improve.

Just what the Doctor ordered
Six races in and the ledger was leaning favourably towards the bagmen – not withstanding Kings Brook – but odds-on favourite Dr Drill ($ 1.80) landed a big blow for punters when he toyed with his rivals to score an effortless 2.75L win in the Rod Johnson Handicap (1800m). The Maher & Eustace-trained galloper had been knocking on the door in his three previous runs this prep but this race looked tailor made for him and it turned out to be a sit and steer job for Jye McNeil who got a soft lead and duly kicked clear of his rivals. It was a timely shot in the arm for punters and the horse certainly has more wins in store for him.

Blaze of glory
Blazejowski has always shown a bit of promise but he has come back a lengths-better horse this time in. The Greg Eurell-trained grey headed into the Henry Bolte Handicap (1400m) off the back of two encouraging wins but he still got under punters’ guards after being sent out around at $ 12. But that’s unlikely to happen next time around with the son of Dash For Cash brazenly beating off his rivals to score by 0.5L from the fast-finishing Federal with Holbein a further 2L back in 3rd. That makes it three from three this prep and it appears as though the penny has well and truly dropped with this likeable grey.

RANDWICK

Deprive makes it four straight
Exciting Godolphin sprinter Deprive backed up his stellar first-up win a fortnight back with another impressive performance, this time on a heavy track in the Listed June Stakes. As was the case last start, Rachel King delivered a cool ride after being in a tricky position entering the straight, taking a gap back towards the inside at the 150m to finish over the top of Bon Amis. Having won his final two starts last preparation, Saturday’s victory extended his streak to four and made it six wins from nine starts overall.

Punters go home happy
It was a strip-out for bookies to end the card, with the heavily supported Quackerjack getting the job done in the last. The Mark Newnham gelding, who was backed from $ 3.40 earlier in the week into $ 1.95, led throughout the mile race, holding a margin of 0.8L over Monsieur Sisu on the line. 

Kiwi trainer right to be optimistic about sprinter
A decision by NZ trainer Brendon Hawtin to bring Simply Optimistic ($ 10) to Sydney for his first-up run paid dividends, with the 4YO relishing the wet conditions to claim the TAB.com.au Handicap by 0.8L over favourite Southern Lad. Jockey Josh Parr believes there is improvement to come for Simply Optimistic. 

“He’s a lovely horse,” Parr said.

“There’s loads of improvement to come, both fitness-wise and mentally.”

MORPHETTVILLE

Purple patch
Richard and Chantelle Jolly couldn’t have Regalo di Gaetano ($ 4.60) going any better. The 3YO son of Supreme Class failed to show a lot in his first prep but he’s come back as the ultimate professional, taking out the Dominant Handicap (1300m) by the narrowest of margins to make it four wins from five starts this time in. After settling him towards the rear of the field, Caitlin Jones was in desperate need of an out early in the straight but when the gap came she drove her mount through to score a determined win over Secretly Discreet and Blow Torch in what was a driving three-way finish.

Cashed up
It seems like Cashed ($ 34) has been racing for an eternity but the Ryan Balfour-trained gelding is only a 7YO and he showed he still has plenty left to give with an upset win first-up in the Hughes Limousines Handicap (1000m). Simon Price let the son of Krupt settle out the back and he relished a healthy tempo to come from the rear of the field with a sustained run to claim Tequila Time in the shadows of the post.

Barnstorming Barry Brook mare
Kabini was always considered a live hope in the TAB Handicap (1250m) but punters were firmly in the corner of the Tony McEvoy-trained Illumicon. At the 200m the fav looked well and truly home, but when he started tiptoeing the Barry Brook-trained Kabini began to jump out of the ground and produced a withering final 100m to bridge the 3L gap and put up another 0.6L on Illumicon. The win was even more meritorious given she wore a pre-race kick behind the barriers.

AROUND THE GROUNDS

Purton brings up 1000th HK winner
It’s been a record-smashing season for Zac Purton and the hot hoop registered a significant milestone at Sha Tin on Saturday, bring up his 1000th winner. Purton has been the dominant rider this season, including back-to-back six-timers on a Sunday. 

Cartwright back a winner

It didn’t take Josh Cartwright long to ride his first winner in his comeback to the saddle, getting the Henry Dwyer-trained Florence Jay home at Swan Hill. It was just his third ride since making his return. Cartwright was given an 18-month suspension back in January 2017 for a dangerous ride at Morphettville and turned his hand to training during his ban. 

Near disaster at Swan Hill
Sweetgeorgia Brown got the job done in race three on the card, but the $ 3 favourite caused significant interference in the straight. Ridden by Dean Yendall, Sweetgeorgia Brown laid in badly when the whip was produced, resulting in those on her inside being severely checked. Thankfully no horses or riders were brought down in the incident in what would have been a scary moment, especially for Chelsea MacFarlane down on the rails. Yendall was handed a 16-meeting suspension for carless riding with stewards deeming the incident to be in the high range. Yendall had only just returned to riding after an injury enforced stint on the sidelines.

Punters Pearler

James McDonald aboard Kolding (G2 Qld Guineas)JMac timed his run to perfection aboard $ 2.80F Kolding and in doing so was able to pocket a main rival in Pohutukawa at the 300m. It completed a treble on the Stradbroke card for McDonald. 

Honourable mention goes to Jag Guthmann-Chester who got a win aboard Manaya ($ 2.50F) in unusual fashion at the Gold Coast. A snapped rein saw Guthmann-Chester take off around the bend on Manaya, scouting to the outside. Despite the broken gear, Manaya and Guthmann-Chester strolled to victory by 3L. 


Saturday Slaughter

Blake Shinn aboard Pohutakawa (G2 Qld Guineas) 

Shinn elected to go left when he should’ve gone right at the 300m and was left in a pocket as Kolding made his run down the outside. But the top hoop put his hand up after the race, so credit to him.

“She should have easily won. I made a wrong decision clearly at the 300m, electing to come to the outside of Leonardo Da Hinchi. I should’ve followed the second horse through. If I do that, she wins,” Shinn said. 

You’d rightly feel stiff if you backed Pohutukawa in the Queensland Guineas… #ouch

β€” Andrew Hawkins (@AndrewNJHawkins) June 8, 2019

How far Pohutukawa … I feel for those who took the deep dive.

β€” Wayne Bristow (@Wayne1609) June 8, 2019


Get in the Sea

Outback Barbie (Eagle Farm R2)
There’s no denying the talent of this Tony Gollan-trained filly but she hasn’t won since December and in those six misfires she’s gone around at $ 3.50 $ 2.15, $ 2.25, $ 11, $ 16 and $ 2.90. From the outback to the cool dark depths she goes…

Boom Time (Flemington R6)
The expression ‘boom or bust’ springs to mind with this galloper who sadly is racing like an absolute busted at the moment with his placings this prep reading 8/8, 9/12, 14/14, 10/12 and 10/10. Retirement surely beckons for this once formidable – and regrettably injury-plagued – galloper, but in the meantime a quick dip seems in order.

Illumicon (Morphettville R7)
Fair dinkum … Illumicon should’ve been banished to Bass Strait a long time ago. He really is proving one of the great teases currently in circulation, but surely he’s gonna need to win a race before he arouses any more interest from punters. He’s now gone over 10 months without a win and in that time he’s been sent out at the following quotes: $ 4.80, $ 3.30, $ 2.80, $ 3.70, $ 5, $ 2.80, $ 2 and $ 2.15. Get in. Get in immediately.

The Winners

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