Daily News Wrap

9 min read

Another star Frankel filly for Lees

Frankely Awesome (Frankel {GB}) made it two wins from as many starts to join the growing list of Kris Lees fillies looking towards major spring targets.

The long-striding filly sat back in a 1600m Class 2 at Scone, unleashing a strong finishing burst to make it two-from two with a 1.6 length win.

A home bred from Cressfield, Frankely Awesome is the first foal of Street Cry mare Street Secret, who was a black-type winner and is related to the family of Galileo (Ire) and Sea The Stars among many, many others stakeswinners on the pedigree page.

She could be headed towards the G1 VRC Oaks in November on her strong start to her career and she is currently on the third line of betting for the fillies' feature.

Lees' other star Frankel filly, Miss Fabulass, is the current Oaks favourite but it is not known if she will continue on to Melbourne after she contests the G1 Flight S. at Randwick next week.

Lees also has the G1 Thousand Guineas favourite in Smart Melody (Smart Missile), while Reginae (All Too Hard {Aus}) is favoured to win a Listed race at Caulfield on Saturday.

Street Secret was subsequently sold by Cressfield in foal to Snitzel to Paul Moroney for Sir Owen Glenn's Go Bloodstock for $680,000, producing a filly last season.

An earlier colt by Snitzel was passed in for $250,000 at the 2018 Premier Sale.

Express performance from colt

A return to stakes racing is imminent for the smart colt Qiji Express, who comprehensively accounted for the older horses at Taupo on Friday.

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained son of Shamexpress (NZ) (O’Reilly {NZ}) has now won twice from his seven appearances.

“We thought he’d be hard to beat with the blinkers on,” stable representative Jason Smith said. “He enjoyed having something to chase down. At his last two starts he’s been left in front.”

Qiji Express was giving the leader a decent start at the top of the straight, but he flattened out impressively to win in style.

Runner-up in last season’s Listed Castletown S., he was fourth in his seasonal debut in the Listed El Roca – Sir Colin Meads Trophy at Hastings and a return trip is now a likely path.

“A race like the Hawke’s Bay Guineas you’d think would be on his radar, but we’ve got a few smart 3-year-olds so Murray and Andrew will decide.”

Qiji Express is out of a half-sister to the dual Group 1 winner Gee I Jane (NZ) (Jahafil {GB}) and to Miss Jessie Jay (NZ) (Spectacularphantom {USA}), mother of another two-time Group 1 winner in Katie Lee (NZ) (Pins).

He was bought out of Lyndhurst Farm’s draft at Karaka for $27,500.

Qiji Express as a yearling

Brutal heads towards Coolmore

Pre-post favourite for the G1 Caulfield Guineas, Brutal (NZ) (O'Reilly {NZ}), is likely to miss the 3-year-old feature on October 13 and head toward the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington instead.

Brutal is unbeaten in three starts for Team Hawkes and in his first step up to 1400m, the colt narrowly won the Listed Exford Plate at Flemington at his most recent start.

But co-owner Rupert Legh has indicated that Brutal is more likely to be given a break into his next run at Flemington on November 3.

“(Co-trainer) John (Hawkes) has sent him out to freshen him up. He’ll get on the water walker, then come back to the stable next week and at that point I think John will make the decision whether it’s a Coolmore or (Caulfield) Guineas path," Legh told RSN.

“Personally I think we’re heading more down the Coolmore path."

“Maybe that’s his finale for this particular prep and then he can have a good spell and then go to the autumn, where I’m sure he will be a much better horse."


Torcedor Cup hopes on line

A decision whether highly rated European stayer Torcedor (Ire) (Fastnet Rock) heads to the Melbourne Cup will depend on how he performs in his first start for Andreas Wohler in Germany on Sunday.

Torcedor contests the G1 Preis Von Europa at Cologne, and Jamie Lovett, whose Australian Bloodstock bought into the 7-year-old, said it was a crucial guide to his prospects of coming to Australia this spring.

"He missed a bit of work when he changed stables so we're just looking forward to him running this weekend," Lovett told Racing.com.

"We were going to bring him (to Melbourne) in the first shipment but it would have interrupted his prep again having to move him so soon so we elected to leave him there (Germany).

"He's (Wohler) pleased with him but he said that with such a big horse, he's trying to get a handle on how much to do with him. This race will give Andreas a real indication as to his fitness levels."

Richards sounds Belle’s chances

Jamie Richards is leaning toward Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) as the better of the stable’s two chances in Saturday’s G1 Windsor Park Plate at Hastings.

She won the G1 Tarzino Trophy at her last appearance with barn mate Our Abbadean (NZ) (Looking At Lucky {USA}) finishing in third spot.

"She (Melody Belle) has got a good barrier and everything has gone how we've wanted with her. She's really matured this year. She's eating better and handling the racing better,” Richards said.

“We had Gingernuts win this race last year after he was a bit stiff not to run closer in the Tarzino and he's a special horse to the stable, but Melody Belle is right up there with the best of them and she would be a very popular winner with us.”

Melody Belle will be spelled after Saturday's race with summer sprint targets of the G1 Sistema Railway, the G1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph and the G1 BCD Group Sprint.

While Richards believes Our Abbadean will be better suited in the G.1 Livamol Classic at Hastings on October 6, he is expecting another bold run this weekend.

“She's another good chance. It was such a big run first-up which means she could be flatter second-up, but the three weeks between races is ideal and she's trained on well,” he said.

“She just needs it genuinely run to get her best chance. She'll be at her best distance in the Livamol Classic.”

Smart 3YO bolts in at Taupo

The covers came off Bolt From The Blue (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {IRE}) at Taupo on Friday and the 3-year-old didn’t disappoint.

Unbeaten in two trial appearances, he was quickly into stride to lead and surged clear in the straight under rider Vinnie Colgan to win the NZ Jumps Jockeys Maiden with authority.

“He held the rail from the good draw and kicked on the corner, he was quite impressive,” trainer Tony Pike said. “I don’t know how far we get distance-wise, but he’s a very progressive horse.”

A NZ$50,000 Karaka yearling out of Windsor Park Stud’s draft, Bolt From The Blue is a son of Miss Ottey (Flying Spur) from the family of the G1 Golden Slipper winners Merlene (Danehill {USA}) and Capitallist (Written Tycoon).

Caulfield trainer Mick Price purchased Bolt From The Blue’s half-brother by Shamexpress (NZ) (O’Reilly) at Karaka earlier this year for $60,000.

Last hurrah for Miss Gunpowder

Time has been called on Miss Gunpowder (Pendragon {NZ}) with the talented mare likely to have just one more opportunity to add to her racing record. The second stage of the multiple stakes winner’s career now beckons.

The 6-year-old will step out in Saturday’s G1 Sir Rupert Clarke S., at Caulfield before heading for the breeding paddock. “This is probably her last run, she’ll be going to Snitzel this season,” said Mark Pilkington.

He enjoys a close and successful association with Darren Thomas’ Seymour Bloodstock, part-owners of the mare, and a Group 1 credit would be a fitting end. “That would be nice, fingers crossed,” Pilkington said.

Trained by David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, Miss Gunpowder resumed earlier this month with a fourth placing in the G2 Let’s Elope S., at Flemington. “It was a good, even run but not quite good enough on the day,” Pilkington said.

Miss Gunpowder was initially purchased for $60,000 at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale by Phillip Stokes. She won four races from his Morphettville stable, including the G2 Thousand Guineas Prelude at Caulfield.

“We bought her at the end of her 3-year-old season and raced her with Coolmore,” Pilkington said. “When she was offered at the Magic Millions Sale last year she was bought (for $700,000) by Neil Werrett and Steve McCann, who are involved with Vinery, and the three of us race now.”

Also the winner of the Listed Hinkler H., Miss Gunpowder is a multiple Group place-getter and is out of the imported mare Forever Rafter (USA) (Delineator {USA}) who is a half-sister to the G1 Tatt’s Winter S., and G2 Fillies’ Oaks Classic winner Absolute Glam (Snowland).

Miss Gunpowder winning the Group 2 Thousand Guineas Prelude at Caulfield

Half-sisters in stakes action

Meanwhile, Miss Gunpowder’s stablemate Fuhryk (Star Witness) and her progressive half-sister Reginae (All Too Hard) will also be chasing stakes success on Saturday.

The former will need to turn her form around sharply, but is more than capable as victories in the G3 Kevin Hayes S., the G3 Proud Miss S., and a runner-up finish in the G1 Winterbottom S., attest to.

She was a $60,000 purchase at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale in 2015 and two years later at the same auction Reginae was knocked down for $500,000.

Out of the multiple winner and stakes performer Fuhrnatic (Langfuhr {CAN}), Reginae is in the right form for her black type debut in the Listed Aquis Jim Moloney S., For Pinchapoo. The Kris Lees-trained filly is unbeaten in two runs this season.

Fuhryk as a yearling