The Daily Wrap

7 min read

Guineas likely target

Smart Melody (Smart Missile) is likely to run in the G1 One Thousand Guineas.

Newcastle trainer Kris Lees will discuss all options with the unbeaten filly’s connections before setting the classic plan in stone.

She will, however, require a new rider as Brenton Avdulla has been booked to partner stablemate Graff (Star Witness) in the $13 million TAB Everest in Sydney on the same day.

Smart Melody won Sunday's Thousand Guineas Prelude at Caulfield at her first attempt over 1400 metres to stretch her winning sequence to five.

“I'll be discussing it with the connections, but highly likely she'll go on to the Thousand Guineas I would think," Lees told Sky Sports Radio on Monday.

“I think if she's ever going to run a mile it would be against her own age and sex. That was always the plan we've had for her and at this stage I don't see any reason to change.”

While Lees said there is a question mark over Smart Melody running a strong 1600 metres, he has taken confidence from her Prelude performance.

Clouds over Everest contenders

Racing New South Wales are monitoring $13 million TAB Everest contenders Invincible Star (I Am Invincible Spirit) and English (Encosta de Lago)

Racing New South Wales Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Toby Koenig inspected the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained pair on Monday.

Invincible Star beat only one runner home in Saturday’s G2 Premiere S., and Dr Koening said that, in his opinion, Invincible Star was grade 3/5 lame.

Stewards have interviewed Bott, who said the mare had not been treated by stable vet Dr Leanne Begg, who is due to inspect the 4-year-old on Tuesday.

Bott has been requested by Racing NSW to provide treatment records and to confer about the treatment plan with Dr Koenig, who will then assess Invincible Star later this week as to her suitability to race in the Everest.

English finished last of four in a trial before Monday's race meeting at Randwick with Dr Koenig and fellow vet James Mizzi finding the mare to be grade 1/5 lame in her near fore leg.

Bott told stewards Invincible Star was scheduled to be examined by Tulloch Lodge stable vet Leanne Begg on Tuesday.

English will be examined by Racing NSW veterinarians later this week and will need a clearance before she races again.

Derby hope Botti presses his claims

Botti (NZ) (Jakkalberry {IRE}) successfully launched his campaign to add another G1 VRC Derby to his family roll of honour when he was successful at Geelong on Monday.

The highly-regarded Kiwi needed to pump up[ his earnings and he did just that with a late finish earning him the $13,000 winner’s cheque in the IGA Liquor BM64 H.

Botti is trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman and he settled midfield on the fence with rider Damian Lane having to stay patient until a gap appeared in the straight.

He was into the clear 300 metres from home and charged to the post for a short half-head victory.

“We needed to get some money to make the better fields,” Baker said. “It was a good performance against the older horses and he hit the line well.”

Lane was impressed with Botti, who has the pedigree to suggest he’ll be even better over more ground.

“He didn’t step that great and we got shuffled back,” he said. “When he got clear he really hit the line.

“It was just a matter of getting out in time. He’s got a good attitude and settles and he’ll get further.”

A NZ$100,000 Karaka yearling, Botti is a half-brother to the 2010 G1 VRC Derby winner Lion Tamer (NZ) (Storming Home {GB}), who also won a G1 Underwood S.

Botti's fourth dam is the G1 Tancred S., and G1 Auckland Cup winner Blue Denim (NZ) (A’Chara {IRE}) .

Rain to boost confidence

Chris Gibbs is on weather watch ahead of a two-pronged attack on the Gr.1 Livamol Classic at Hastings on Saturday.

Gibbs and his Ruakaka training partner, Michelle Bradley, have Danzdanzdance (NZ) (Mastercraftsman {IRE}) and Hello It’s Me (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}) set for the feature.

He is confident both Danzdanzdance, a Group 1 placegetter, and Hello It’s Me, a Group 2 winner, are ready to acquit themselves well, but would like to see some easing of the ground for both charges.

“A little bit of rain would help both horses,” Gibbs said. ”They’re very well and I’m not worried about their lack of recent racing going into it.

“It’s been a roll of the dice with Hello It’s Me to see if she would make the field and she’s in at this stage and only quite a few late entries could stop her getting a start.

“Danzdanzdance has been set for this race. That’s why we didn’t bother with any of the other two legs (Tarzino Trophy and Windsor Park Plate). This has been her target.”


The 4-year-old daughter has had just the one lead-up race and that was a winning one on her home track on September 1 over 1400m.

“She’s a real good worker and I’m very happy with her,” Gibbs said. “There’s not much of her and we’re just taking it one step at a time.”

Danzdanzdance has won twice from eight starts and finished third in the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby.

Hello It’s Me resumed at Ruakaka last month and won over 1200 metres before a last-start fifth behind Danzdanzdance.

“It’ll be a month between races for her, but she can handle it,” Gibbs said. “She had five weeks between runs when she won the Royal Stakes.”

Winx headlines Turnbull line-up

Thirteen horses have been nominated to oppose champion mare Winx (Street Cry {IRE}) in the G1 Turnbull S., at Flemington.

Saturday's feature will be her run before she takes aim at an unprecedented fourth G1 Cox Plate win at Moonee Valley later in the month.

Winx won last year's Turnbull in a canter and will be chasing her 28th consecutive victory.

Trainer Chris Waller has also nominated Group 1 winners Egg Tart (Sebring), Unforgotten (Fastnet Rock) and Youngstar (High Chaparral {IRE}) for the Turnbull to be run under set weights plus penalties conditions.

G1 Caulfield Cup favourite King's Will Dream (IRE) (Casamento {IRE}) is entered, as are the Mick Price stablemates Grunt (NZ) (O’Reilly {NZ}) and Mighty Boss (Not A Single Doubt).

Cambridge stayer Jon Snow (NZ) (Iffraaj {GB}) will represent Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman stable with nominations left open until Tuesday morning.

Hasabro all out of luck

Hasabro (NZ) (Savabeel) has made a luckless start to his quest for a place in the G1 Victoria Derby.

The Stephen McKee-trained colt made his Australian debut at Geelong on Monday and was sent out favourite over 1755 metres.

However, Hasabro was hemmed in for much of the way down the straight and when Damian Lane got him into the clear he dashed home for second to Regal Hawk.

“He was super, he should have trotted in and he’ll be hard to beat next time,” rider Damian Lane said.

Hasabro was a $220,000 Karaka purchase out of Waikato Stud’s premier draft for syndicators Go Racing.

He is a brother and stablemate to last season’s G1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas winner Hasahalo, who was a NZ$110,000 buy in 2016, also for Albert Bosma’s operation.