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The Daily Wrap

7 min read

Bumper weekend for I Am Invincible

Yarraman Park's I Am invincible enjoyed a remarkable 24 hours of success with four of his progeny successful in Group races, including Oohood in the G1 Darley Flight S and Viddora in the G1 Charter Keck Cramer Moir S.

After Moonee Valley's Friday night heroics where I Am A Star's eighth stakes success in the G2 The Sporting Globe Stocks S. was followed by a second Group 1 for Viddora, the stallion's progeny enjoyed a day out at Randwick on Saturday.

The Flight saw a quinella for I am Invincible, with Oohood breaking her maiden in the Group 1 for fillies defeating Fiesta, who made it a third straight second in the Darley Princess Series, having won the opening leg, the G2 Silver Shadow S.

Oohood becomes the fifth individual Group 1 winner for her sire.

Earlier Catch Me won the G3 Keeneland Gimcrack S. the first Sydney 2-year-old race of the season in impressive fashion.

Debutant Covert Ops was second in the G3 Breeders' Plate, while I am Invincible has also had winners at Moruya and Bundarra in the past two days.

He currently leads Snitzel on the Australian Sires table.

I Am Invincible

McEvoy keeping Redzel faith

Kerrin McEvoy still believes defending champion Redzel (Snitzel) is spot on for The Tab Everest on October 13 despite being beaten into fifth in the G2 Santos Coffee Premiere S. at Randwick on Saturday.

Redzel, who was four weeks between runs, was beaten home by four of the horses he will face in The Everest after leading up and being run over the top of late.

The run didn't concern McEvoy, however, who is confident trainers Peter and Paul Snowden will have the 6-year-old spot on for the $13 million race.

"He went free for the first furlong. I thought he came back underneath me from the half mile. He was left wanting the last furlong. With that out of his system he is going to be spot on for The Everest,” McEvoy said.

Corey Brown, narrowly beaten into third on In Her Time (Time Thief), was also confident his mare would be spot on for The Everest.

“She was really, really good. Redzel from the hot speed dropped away. Would have been (great) to tow me into the race. She is the winner if that happens. On track,” he said.

Tye Angland said he felt fourth-placed Trapeze Artist (Snitzel) would improve significantly third-up in The Everest.

ATC looking for new Everest runner

Nature Strip (Nicconi) has been withdrawn from The Everest, meaning the ATC will need to find a new candidate for its slot in the $13 million race on October 13.

The 4-year-old knocked up to finish eighth as a short-priced favourite in Friday night's G1 Moir S. at Moonee Valley, and it was immediately apparent that he was likely to head to the paddock.

That was confirmed on Saturday with ATC chairman Matt McGrath confirming that it was looking for a new horse to fill its slot.

Moir S. winner Viddora (I Am invincible) put forward her case for an invite to the world's richest turf race. It is believed trainer Lloyd Kennewell has already had discussions with Max Whitby and Neil Werrett who hold the other remaining slot for the race.

International arrivals delayed after plane mishap

A planeload of 19 horses destined for the Melbourne Spring Carnival have been delayed en route after a mishap prompted a delay in Sharjah.

The horses, who include four from the Aidan O'Brien stable as well as several others destined for local trainers, spent 14 hours on the tarmac in Sharjah as the plane was having urgent repairs to a cracked windscreen.

Their delayed arrival will mean that under Australian quarantine laws they would not be eligible to compete in race on Caufield Guineas Day as they would not have served the 14-day mandatory time at Werribee.

But of more immediate concern will be how the horses have handled the arduous trip.

Godolphin's contingent of seven, including Cox Plate contender Benbatl (GB) (Dubawi {Ire)) and Melbourne Cup-bound Best Solution (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) arrived safely on a separate flight on Saturday.

Dragon fires to boost spirits

There was no more welcome across New Zealand on Saturday than that delivered by Born Dragon (Nicconi).

Sharing in the ownership of the former Hong Kong sprinter is jockey Maija Vance, who is recovering from severe injuries following an horrendous fall at Rotorua earlier this month.

“She’s pretty banged up. Her spinal cord wasn’t severed, just damaged so it can’t get any worse, it can only get better,” said her father Bob, who trains Smart Dragon with wife Jenny. “It’s going to be a long, slow process.”

Smart Dragon did his bit to boost family spirits when he won on debut for them in the westbrook.co.nz.

“He’s a very fast horse, but he didn’t jump well or settle and got away with it,” Vance said.

Smart Dragon won three races in Hong Kong with joint issues resulting in his relocation to New Zealand.

Bit Lippy makes a statement

Bit Lippy (NZ) (Showcasing {GB}) opened his classic season in emphatic style at Avondale where he downed a handy field of 3-year-olds.

He came out of the trail to win The Auckland Alarms 1200m in his first appearance since winning the G3 Phoenix Park 2YO Classic in February.

“After that last race he had a small chip on his knee taken out,” trainer Wayne Hillis said. “Every race he’s had has been a Group race. He’s won one and placed in the others so he’s right up with them all.”

Bit Lippy will make one more appearance before he heads south for the G1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas at Riccarton.

The gelding is the first foal of Ceramic (NZ) (Van Nistelrooy {USA}), who is a half-sister to the multiple winner and Group performer Superalloy (NZ) (Casual Lies {USA}).

Annie more than okay

Annie Okay (NZ) (Battle Paint {USA}) got in off the ballot to make the perfect debut at Avondale on Saturday.

The 3-year-old daughter of Battle Paint (USA) had been a trial winner and connections were expecting a bold showing in the 5 Star Horse Transport Maiden.

“We were pretty confident after we saw the draw. We’ve always had quite an opinion of her,” said Shaun Clotworthy, who trains the filly with his wife Emma.

Annie Okay settled in the trail and then went to the front 200 metres from home to quickly have the race in safe keeping.

“She has showed a lot of promise and she was able to deliver,” rider Danielle Johnson said.

Annie Okay is out of Yankee Wharf (Al Maher), who is from the family of the multiple Group 1 winner Lailani (GB) Unfuwain {USA}).

Grey off to Flemington

The lightly-raced Stratocaster (NZ) (Mastercraftsman {IRE}) has booked his passage to Melbourne.

The 7-year-old won for the fourth time in his 19-career when he romped home in the Powerworx Greys at New Plymouth on Saturday.

“He’ll probably go over for the Subzero at Flemington now,” said David Browne, who trains the gelding with his wife Emma-Lee.

“He’s a really good horse, he’s beaten Turn Me Loose and not many could do that,”

The gelding got the better of the subsequent multiple Group 1 winner when he won the Hawke’s Bay Guineas Prelude in 2014. Injuries have since then restricted his opportunities.

Stratocaster sat in midfield before circling the field near the turn and he strolled home to give jockey Darryl Bradley the easiest of rides.

“He’s a better horse ridden with cover and 1400 metres is probably his best distance.”

All six of Stratocaster’s dam Very Musical (IRE) (Green Tune {USA}) to race have won and the dam is a half-sister to the G1 French 1000 Guineas winner Valentine Waltz (IRE) (Be My Guest {USA}).