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Daily News Wrap

7 min read

Guineas contender impresses

The Paul Perry-trained Ragged Rascal (Denman) has boosted his prospects of a trip to Melbourne for a crack at the G1 Caulfield Guineas with victory on his seasonal debut.

“Paul has always had an opinion of him and thought he would go well because he has had four barrier trials,” Perry's foreman Mick Rowland said.

“He was in the Champagne Stakes because Paul has always thought 1600 metres would be his best distance. He was disappointing there, but it was the end of his campaign.

“Paul has Melbourne in mind and hopefully he can get to the Caulfield Guineas.”

Ragged Rascal resumed in dramatic style at Randwick where he came from the tail of the field to win the Listed Schweppes Heritage S., and dent a few reputations in the process.

“He trialled really well before and I was keen to see how he measured up,” rider Jay Ford said.

“The speed was good and he let down really well. I think he appreciates being ridden a bit quieter. It was a great performance so onward and upward.”

Cup contender claims St Leger

Aidan O’Brien has won the G1 English St Leger with Kew Gardens (IRE) (Galileo {IRE}) at the expense of the previously undefeated Lah Ti Dar (GB) (Dubawi {IRE}).

It gave the champion trainer his sixth victory in the world’s oldest classic.

Having made a spectacular return at York last month after an enforced summer absence, Lah Ti Dar was earlier last week given the green light to take on her male counterparts and was sent out the market leader.

However, Kew Gardens had had other ideas and he breezed on by to score by two lengths.

“We couldn't be happier with him,” O'Brien said. “We thought he was a horse that would stay well and we thought the distance (2900m) would suit him.”

Kew Gardens is on the third line of the TAB's G1 Melbourne Cup market at $17 and is now as short as 12-1 with some British bookmakers for the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Cup hopes for Jammeh

Imported stayer Jammeh (IRE) (Iffraaj {GB}) is on a path toward tackling the cream of Australasian and international distance specialists.

He has won both of his starts over 2500 metres and co-trainer David Hayes is aiming high with the six-year-old.

“We’ll head toward the Bart Cummings to try and secure a Melbourne Cup spot and then we can dream,” he said. “He’s a pretty progressive horse.”

Jammeh has won two of his last three starts with a below par performance at Caulfield in between times that was tempo-related, Hayes said.

“He got back in a slowly run race and was pulling. The trick with him is to get him relaxed.”

Violate more focussed

Surgery will be the key to Violate (Sebring) making further progress through the spring, according to trainer Brent Stanley.

“Now he’s a gelding he’s more of a racehorse,” he said. “He’s got his mind on the job and he’s got good ability.”

A multiple Group placegetter as a younger horse, Violate opened his current campaign in the best possible fashion at Flemington where he returned from a three-month break to win the Listed The Sofitel.

“He ran through the line really well,” Stanley said. “There’s plenty of country Cups for him. I think a mile to 2000 metres suits him and we might be back here during the Cup carnival.”

Eagle Farm progressing

Queensland racing officials are hoping to trial the new Eagle Farm surface before the end of the year.

Eagle Farm was closed in May last year for remedial work after originally being shut for two years for renovations in 2014.

Brisbane Racing Club and Racing Queensland staff recently took about a dozen trainers on an inspection of the track.

The secretary of the Queensland branch of the Australian Trainers Association, Cameron Partington, said the trainers were generally positive about the track.

Former Flemington track manager Mick Goodie has been helping with the Eagle Farm track and was on hand to answer questions.

“The front straight has been down a lot longer and has about 80 millimetres of grass depth,” Partington said.

“The section from crossing and around the back straight is much newer and only has about 40 millimetres grass depth."

It is hoped a horse can gallop on it toward December with a trial after that all being well.

“There is no set date for racing return. This will be dependent on how quickly the newer part of the track catches up to the condition of the front straight,” Partington said.

Roaring Lion takes Irish Champion

Roaring Lion (USA) (Kitten's Joy {USA}) defeated Saxon Warrior (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) in a thrilling renewal of the G1 QIPCO Irish Champion S. at Leopardstown.

“It’s very special to win our own race and it didn’t disappoint in terms of quality,” said Sheikh Fahad Al Thani. “They are two great 3-year-olds who have been taking each other on since last year. He’s trained by a master trainer in John Gosden and has been brought up slowly. He’ll probably go for the Champion S. at Ascot next.”

Laurens defeats Alpha Centauri in Matron

Underestimated despite being a Classic winner in the line-up for Saturday’s G1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron S., John Dance’s Laurens (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) defeated Alpha Centauri (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) in a pulsating race at Leopardstown.

I Can Fly prevails for Fastnet

I Can Fly (GB) (Fastnet Rock) got a clear passage through Saturday’s G2 Clipper Logistics Boomerang S. at Leopardstown, to provide Ryan Moore with another Group success.

“She did it very nicely and quickened up very well," said Aidan O'Brien. "All those fillies’ races are there for her and she’ll probably stay a bit further than a mile. She got home well today and it was a good, solid pace."

Group 2 winner for Dawn Approach

Shadwell's Madhmoon (Ire) (Dawn Approach {Ire}) added his name to the casting for the 2019 Classics when dominating Saturday's G2 KPMG Champions Juvenile S. at Leopardstown.

"I was a bit worried about the ground here, as I thought it was a bit quick but the decision was made and it was the right one," trainer Kevin Prendergast said. "I don't know what the opposition was like, but he couldn't do more than win well."

Dawn Approach stands at Darley's Kelvinside for $19,250.

Uncle Mo colt tops Keeneland

A colt by Uncle Mo (USA) topped the opening day of Keeneland's Book 2 and became the auction’s 27th seven-figure sale when bringing a final bid of US$1 million from the partnership of China Horse Club and WinStar.

“He’s just gorgeous,” said the China Horse Club’s Mick Flanagan after signing the ticket. “He’s an athletic colt by a fabulous stallion in Uncle Mo. There is a lot of good blood on the page, there is Giant’s Causeway (USA), there is Street Cry (Ire), Machiavellian (USA), there is even a bit of Arch (USA) on there. So he’s got a mix of all of those good stallions. He’s got the physique. His dam was very good and she could run a bit, too. We’re very happy to get the colt.”

In all, 284 yearlings sold on Saturday for US$51,059,700. The average was US$179,788 and the median was US$140,000. With only 82 of 366 horses through the ring failing to meet their reserves, the buy-back rate was 22.4%.