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Daily News Wrap

5 min read

Coolmore Nominations Charity Auction

To assist with easing the crisis faced by farmers during the current drought in New South Wales, Coolmore Australia donated a nomination to three of its most exciting young stallions – Pierro, So You Think and Rubick. Coolmore would like to thank everyone who participated.

Pierro - $88,000

Winning bidder: Alice Cameron

Underbidders: Paul Whelan, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and Greg Perry

So You Think - $46,200

Winning bidder: Seymour Bloodstock

Underbidders: So You Think – Fairhill Farm, Beau Investments, Linda Huddy

Rubick - $19,800

Winning bidder: Robrick Lodge

Underbidders: Fernrigg Farm, Peter Anastasiou, Damian White

Top mare bound for the Valley

Bonneval (NZ) (Makfi {GB}) will kick off her spring carnival campaign with the defence of her G2 Dato Tan Chin Nam S., title.

Co-trainer Andrew Forsman said the mare, who this week retained her New Zealand’s Horse of the Year crown, would run in the Moonee Valley feature next weekend.

“She’ll be in the Dato all going well and follow the same programme as last year.”

Bonneval (NZ)

Bonneval and stablemate Rubira (Lope de Vega {IRE}) stretched their legs in an exhibition gallop between races at Matamata on Wednesday ahead of their flight to Melbourne on Sunday.

“We were rapt with both of them, it’s a very testing track and we didn’t want to knock them around,” Forsman said.

“Bonneval is naturally sharper, she’s more mature and stronger, and they are both coming up well.”

Rubira made three appearances last season, winning the Listed Champagne S., and will be chasing the Melbourne 3-year-old fillies’ features.

Meanwhile, the well-performed Jon Snow (Iffraaj {GB}) is fit and ready for his return to action in Saturday’s G1 Tarzino Trophy at Hawke’s Bay.

“He’s pretty forward, every bit as much as this time last year when he resumed in the Memsie and wasn’t far away,” Forsman said.

Import ready for action

Hush Writer (JPN) (Rulership {JPN}) will open a new chapter in his racing career when he makes his Australian debut at Moonee Valley on Saturday week.

The entire is trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott and has been lightly-tried with a debut maiden win in France and a subsequent placing in the G2 Prix Hocquart at Chantilly emphasising his quality.

“He's a well-travelled horse. He was born and bred in Japan, where a group of us bought him as a (weanling),” Waterhouse said during Racing Victoria’s Spring Racing Carnival launch.

"We couldn't get a license in Japan to run him there, so we took him to France at my husband's suggestion.

“He took a little while to show himself there. The trainer that had him, Madame (Criquette) Head, had a sickness and she had to retire. She gave him to a young trainer and Francis Graffard ran him three times - he went from a maiden to a Group 2 in three races.

"And then we took him to England to quarantine, to Werribee to quarantine, and now Flemington."

Hush Writer holds a nomination for the G1 Cox Plate.

Family ability coming through

While Grunt (NZ) (O’Reilly {NZ}) is preparing for Melbourne spring carnival bragging rights, his younger brother is progressing well at his Cambridge base.

Yet to be named ahead of his bid to step out of his sibling’s long shadow, the early indications are that the 3-year-old has inherited his fair share of the family ability.

“He’s doing really well and he’ll trial here next week,” trainer Stephen Marsh said. “We really like him and he’s definitely making all the right moves at this stage. I can’t fault him.”

Bred by Trelawney Stud, he is out of the Van Nistelrooy (USA) mare Ruqqaya and was a $100,000 Karaka purchase for Cambridge trainers Ben Foote and Finbarr Leahy, Diamond Lodge principal Jeremey Whale and Sam Beatson’s Riversley Park.

They entered the colt in last year’s Ready to Run Sale, but withdrew him and the emergence of Grunt has made that a potentially wise move.

“We decided to keep him and the way Grunt’s going it’s all looking good,” Whale said.

The Mick Price-trained Grunt, a $220,000 yearling, won last season’s G1 Australian Guineas and he will attempt to double his tally at the top level in Saturday’s G1 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie S., at Caulfield.

Grunt winning the Australian Guineas

Chautauqua wanted in Melbourne

The Moonee Valley Racing Club would dearly love to have Chautauqua (Encosta de Lago) in their major sprints.

Chautauqua winning the 2015 Group 1 Manikato Stakes

Chief executive Michael Browell is open to accepting G1 Moir S., and G1 Manikato S., nominations for Chautauqua, but is unsure how that would be viewed by Racing Victoria stewards after the gelding’s recent barrier antics.

He needs to trial twice to their satisfaction before being allowed to start again.

After six failed attempts since February to jump on terms in his trials, stewards said another poor start in a race day heat at Rosehill last Saturday wasn’t up to scratch.

Chief steward Marc Van Gestel said if Chautauqua doesn't jump in his next trial then Racing NSW stewards would invoke AR50 and reject his nomination to trial or race.

Swettenham 'buys a bale’ for drought-stricken breeders

Faced with the worst drought for decades in NSW, Swettenham Stud and principal Adam Sangster through the 'Buy A Bale’ campaign will generously offer support to the drought-affected farmers, property owners and rural communities.

“The team at Swettenham Stud want to help our long-standing friends and clients in the Hunter Valley and throughout NSW and QLD, during this difficult time. We want to let them know that they are not alone,’ Sangster said.

“We recently visited the Hunter Valley region and we could see that they are in a desperate situation. Through making our farm available to their mares and foals, and by giving back through the 'Buy A Bale’ campaign, we hope we can make a difference.”

Swettenham Stud will be donating three bales of hay per month, per mare, uncapped for as long as the visiting mare from the drought-affected area is residing at the Nagambie nursery.