Daily News Wrap

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Waller (still) happy with Winx

Trainer Chris Waller is delighted with Winx (Street Cry {Ire}) two days out from her next assignment in the G1 Colgate Optic White Stakes at Randwick.

The champion mare is shooting for her 20th group 1 win and her 27th consecutive success in the race and the man in charge of her couldn’t be happier with how she has progressed since her first-up win in the G1 Winx S. a month ago.

"It's pretty straightforward [to train her], but it's four weeks to worry about things," Waller said.

"I'm happy with everything and how it's gone. Two weeks ago, we took her to Randwick for a jump-out - gets the adrenaline pumping, gets her on the horse truck, gets her used to the crowd, so that was an important part."

"Since then, her regular maintenance has gone to plan."

Winx galloped with her stablemate Unforgotten (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) on Thursday in her final serious hit-out for her tilt at a third straight win in the race previously known at the George Main S.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Waller will prepare former Andre Fabre galloper Finche (GB) (Frankel {GB}) for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

Lees confident on new pair

Trainer Kris Lees is confident that the two new Group 1 additions to his stable won’t be impacted by the sudden change in environments.

El Dorado Dreaming (Ilovethiscity {Aus}) and In Her Time (Time Thief {Aus}) have both been moved to Lees' stable after Ben Smith was placed on an interim suspension following raids on his stable earlier this week.

G1 Sires Produce winner El Dorado Dreaming resumes in Saturday's G2 Tear Rose at Randwick, while In Her Time makes her comeback in the G2 Premiere S on September 29 ahead of her run in The TAB Everest two weeks later.

While Lees said the circumstances behind the late change of stables weren't ideal, he believes there won’t be an adverse impact.

"Ben's stables are right next to mine, so the horses move literally 20 metres. Cameron Swan, who rides for me, rides both of them in their work early before he starts with us, so the horses won’t sense much of a change," Lees told RSN.

"It has made the transition smoother than it might have been with other stables."

In Her Time will have an exhibition gallop on Friday at Newcastle before a trial next Wednesday and then on to her racetrack return.

In Her Time will have an exhibition gallop at Newcastle for new trainer, Kris Lees on Friday

Bumper fields for 2yo trials

Monday's trials at Randwick have attracted 92 2-year-olds while there are 31 entries for the 2yo trials at Cranbourne.

The Gimcrack S and Breeders’ Plate are just two weeks away this Saturday and 14 heats over 850m 2YO heats have been programmed on the Kensington track.

Invincible Vision (I Am Invincible {Aus}, a half-brother to G1 Golden Slipper S winner Mossfun trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, is among those nominated along with a half-brother to Russian Revolution called Autocratic (Wandjina {Aus}) and Satin Socks (Medaglio d'Oro {USA}), a half-sister to last year’s Gimrack S winner Satin Slipper.

Victoria's first official 2YO trials for the season feature four trials over the 800m at Cranbourne.

Peter and Paul Snowden have 21 2yos in action across both venues.

Columb to be remembered

Nick Columb's life will be celebrated at a special service at Flemington racecourse on Friday September 21.

Columb, a legendary figure in thoroughbred circles, passed away last month having suffered a stroke while on holiday in Spain.

A long-serving chairman of the Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners Association, Columb owned such champion racehorses Tristarc, Courtza and Imposera. He also worked extensively as a bloodstock consultant.

A Memorial Service will be held a in the Committee Room, Flemington Racecourse, 448 Epsom Road, Melbourne, on Friday 21 September 2018, at 11:00 am, with guests asked to wear colourful clothing to celebrate his life.

Nash Rawiller returns home

Suspended jockey Nash Rawiller has returned home after Hong Kong authorities opted not to charge him over a race tips scandal which saw him outed for 15 months.

Rawiller was detained in April after being disqualified for accepting money or gifts in return for race tips.

While he was subsequently released, his passport was taken from him while the Independent Commission Against Corruption investigated the case.

But that investigation has concluded without charges and Rawiller has been handed back his passport, allowing the 43-year-old to return home.

He is disqualified from riding worldwide until July 25, 2019.

Williams laments local Cup demise

Leading-owner Nick Williams has laid the blame for a lack of locally-produced horses in the feature spring handicaps at the feet of the local industry.

Twenty-five years after Vintage Crop became the first internationally trained runner to win the Melbourne Cup, there are expected to be record numbers of raiders for this year's race.

The first 12 horses home in last year's race were bred in the northern Hemisphere.

Williams' father Lloyd, a six-time Melbourne Cup winning owner, has won the past two editions of the world's richest handicap with European-bred gallopers Rekindling (GB} (High Chaparral}) and Almandin (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}).

Almandin is one of many international raiders to win The Melbourne Cup

"I certainly don’t believe that the VRC or Racing Victoria should be limiting international participation of the Melbourne Cup because we are simply not good enough at what we do," Nick Williams told RSN.

“The facts are we’re no good at breeding stayers and the fact is people like us have to import them."

Williams said the impact of champion sire Zabeel (NZ), who sired three Cup winners, had papered over the lack of focus on breeding stayers in Australia and New Zealand.

He called for a 'readjustment’ in local breeding, training and race programming to re-invigorate the local staying ranks.

Power sprinter ready to fire

A bigger and stronger version of the black type winner Gift Of Power (NZ) (Power {GB}) will be unveiled at Awapuni on Saturday.

She was talented enough to win eight of her 14 starts as a 2 and 3-year-old up to Group 2 level, so Rogerson has every reason to aim high with the now furnished mare.

“She's a year older and a bigger, stronger mare now,” said Rogerson, who with his wife Debbie and granddaughter Bailey.

“She's going very well. She trialled very well at Taupo and while she's better left-handed, she had a quiet trial at Te Teko before that and pleased us. She'll run well this weekend. We're happy with her.

“She should be very competitive. We'll just play it by ear what she does from here. It would be nice to get a Group 1 win with her and she's unbeaten at Trentham.”

Gift Of Power hails from the Diamond Lover (Sticks And Stones) branch of the Eight Carat (GB) (Pieces Of Eight {IRE}) family of star gallopers Octagonal (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}), Tristalove (NZ) (Sir Tristram {IRE}) and Mouawad (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}).