Daily News Wrap

6 min read

Chautauqua future no clearer after trial

The racing future of five-time Group 1-winning sprinter Chautauqua (Encosta De Lago {Aus}) remains in the balance after he missed the start by 10 lengths at a specially-convened trial at Rosehill, before charging home for second.

The trial was supposed to be a last chance for Chautauqua to prove he could jump from the barriers and possibly prolong his racing career, and while he didn't jump cleanly, his barnstorming finish created more questions than answers.

“We did say if the horse refused to jump that would be it, but he hasn’t refused to jump,” chief steward Marc Van Gestel said post-race. “Obviously in our mind it wasn’t a satisfactory trial."

“Whether or not it leaves the door open or not is something for us to consider.”

The trial was won by Chris Waller's promising 3-year-old Zousain {Zoustar {Aus}), while Dixie Blossoms (Street Sense {USA}) was third. G1 Golden Rose favourite The Autumn Sun (Redoute's Choice {Aus}) was beaten less than length in fourth.

Epsom goals for winning pair

The G1 Epsom H. is firmly on the radar for the winners of the final two races at Rosehill on Saturday, Don't Give A Damn (Bon Hoffa {Aus}) and Paret (Harbour Watch {Ire}).

Don’t Give A Damn made it six wins from nine starts when he held off Trekking (Street Cry {Ire}) to win a BM91 Hcp, and trainer Danny Williams is seriously entertaining a shot at the $1 million handicap on September 29 at Randwick.

Williams will bring the 5-year-old back to Rosehill in two weeks and make a call from there.

Paret was also impressive in winning his benchmark race after encountering trouble down the straight.

Trainer Chris Waller thinks the 4-year-old is ideally suited to the Epsom but will need to plot his path to avoid his other Epsom-bound gallopers Kaonic and D'Argento.

Oliver suspended but keeps Vega Magic ride

Damien Oliver received an eight-meeting suspension for his winning ride on Merriest (Denman {Aus}) at Moonee Valley but will able to retain the ride on Vega Magic (Lope De Vega {Ire}) in the G1 Memsie S. next Saturday.

Oliver was found guilty of careless riding in that he caused interference to Jamie Mott on Ashlor.

But the start of the ban has been deferred until after the Caulfield meeting next week, meaning he will miss the feature Moonee Valley meeting on September 8, but gets to stay on Vega Magic in the first Victorian G1 of the season.

Derby aims for Weir winner

Darren Weir is eyeing the G1 Victoria Derby for impressive Morphettville winner Approach Discreet (Dawn Approach {Ire}).

Having his third start, Approach Discreet destroyed a small field by 8.5l in the Bm70 Hcp (1500m) and made it immediately clear that bigger things are in store for him.

His next step will be up to Listed company in the Morphettville Guineas on September 8 with lostier goal in mind later int eh campaign.

"There's talk from the boss that loosely speaking he's got aims to end up in a VRC Derby later in the year, so he's headed in the right direction," Weir's assistant trainer Jarrod McLean said.

Approach Discreet was a $360,000 buy at the 2017 Easter Yearling Sale. His dam Very Discreet (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) is from a very successful South Australian family and was a multiple stakes winner, who has two other siblings with black type to their names. His grand-dam and great granddam were also stakeswinners.

His younger full brother sold for $450,000 to Godolphin at this year's Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

Triple delight for Payne

Michelle Payne played three roles faultlessly at Moonee Valley on Saturday when Sweet Rockette (Fastnet Rock) produced the steeliest of performances to open her winning account.

The G1 Melbourne Cup-winning jockey is the selector, trainer and rider of the filly, who overcame a wide run to wear down the previously unbeaten Multaja (Medaglia D’Oro {USA}) to triumph in the MSC Signs Plate.

“She was the first horse I bought and she’s raced by a female syndicate,” Payne said. “The outside barrier was the last thing we wanted, but she’s all class.”

The 3-year-old was forced to race wide throughout and dug deep under pressure to lower the colours of the raging favourite.

Sweet Rockette was a $185,000 purchase from the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and is a daughter of the Group 3 winner Sweet Sanette (SAF) (Jallad {USA}).

Group 1 winner displays versatility

Jumping is in the blood of the former international Group 1 winner Gallante (IRE) (Montjeu {IRE}) and he put it to good effect at the first time of asking at Te Aroha on Saturday.

He comfortably won a novice hurdle event to post his first victory since he won the G1 Sydney Cup in 2016 for Lloyd Williams. Earlier this year, he was one of five horses trainer Graeme Rogerson purchased off the leviathan Victorian owner.

The Group 1 winner of the Grand Prix de Paris in 2014 when prepared by Andre Fabre, Gallante posted one minor placing from his first seven New Zealand flat appearances before embarking on his new career.

“He’s still a big green and new, but he’s won $2 million so he should be able to win a maiden hurdle,” successful jockey Aaron Kuru said.

They bided their time in second spot before taking control 1000 metres from home and led over the last two flights for a comfortable win. Gallante’s brother Plinth is a multiple winner over fences in Ireland.

Breeders cash in

Small-time breeders Grant and Joanne Kingsford hit the jackpot at New Plymouth on Saturday when their progressive mare Back In A Flash (NZ) (Ekraar {USA}) claimed the richest special conditions race in the country.

The four-year-old settled back in the field before circling runners across the top and she held a sustained finish to win the $101,000 Platinum Homes Taranaki Challenge.

“She was being niggled at 600 metres out, but she picked up the bridle and delivered down the outside,” co-trainer Gavin Opie said. “It’s good for the owners – they only breeds one a year.”

The winner of three of her four starts, she is the fourth foal of Dahling (NZ) (Generous {IRE}), who is from the family of the G1 Caulfield Cup winner (Mr) Lomondy (NZ) (Noble Bijou {USA}).

Back In A Flash is a half-sister to the multiple winners Dahls Delight (NZ) (Any Suggestion) and It’s A Kinda Magic (NZ) (Tiger Prawn).