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The Daily Wrap

7 min read

Murphy ready to tackle Winx

Oisin Murphy believes Benbatl (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) can measure up to the class of Winx (Street Cry {Ire}) in the G1 Cox Plate.

The star Irish jockey, who spent considerable time in Australia earlier in his career, will take the ride on Benbatl in his next assignment after Pat Cosgrave rode him to win last Saturday's G1 Ladbrokes S.

Murphy is relishing the chance to ride in Australia's leading weight-for-age race on a horse he has tasted success on in England and in Dubai.

"He's a very good horse to me, I had my first ever Royal Ascot winner on him, he's had a great 2018. He won a very good Dubai Turf by 4.5 lengths," Murphy told Racing.com.

"He's an outstanding horse. I think Winx deserves all the respect she gets - it's an unbelievable achievement to go 28 races unbeaten, that is some training performance by Chris Waller - but, my God, he's got the ammunition."

"I know she'll be extremely hard to beat, but he's got an outstanding chance of running a big race."

Murphy will also take the ride on another Saeed Bin Suroor horse, Prize Money (GB) (Authorized {Ire}), in the G1 Melbourne Cup should the import make the final field.

Murphy was initially down to ride Count Octave (GB) (Frankel {GB}) in the Cup, but the Chris Waller-trained stayer has been ruled out through injury.

Dam Of Catholic Boy To Sell At Fasig

Fred Hertrich, Chairman of the Breeders' Cup. will sell Song of Bernadette (USA), the dam of Catholic Boy (USA) (More Than Ready {USA}), at Fasig-Tipton November.

Catholic Boy has won the G1 Belmont Derby Invitational S. on turf, and the G1 Travers S. on dirt this season.

"With the commercial breeding operation that we have, we don't keep mares of that value," explained Hertrich. "We've retained a couple of daughters and we are going to breed them as well as we possibly can."

Stayer in good order for Coongy

Sir Charles Road (Myboycharlie {IRE}) is loving life in Melbourne and ready for a strong showing in the G3 Ladbrokes Coongy H., on Saturday.

“We're happy with him. He's bright in himself and he's settled in well. He's really enjoying the place,” co-trainer Lance O'Sullivan said. “If he runs up to his best, he's going to be very competitive.”

Sir Charles Road will be coming off a last-start fourth in the G3 Foundation S., at Caulfield behind Night’s Watch (NZ) (Redwood {GB}).

“It was his first run in three weeks and he had travelled to Melbourne so we were really happy with it. We did have a bit of an issue afterwards, with a spike in temperature, but that was only for a short time.

A final call on a start in the G1 Melbourne Cup will rest with owner David Archer.

“He's not too far away from getting a start and with the natural attrition between now and then, there's every chance he'd make the field,” O'Sullivan said.

“He's proven he can run two miles and there’s the attraction for everyone of having a runner in the big race. We've seen a few of those Europeans stepping out lately and it's a bit scary, but I don't think we'd pass up the opportunity to have a runner.”

Sir Charles Road is currently 32nd in order of entry into the Melbourne Cup.

Pace key to Cup for Dunn

Dwayne Dunn believes a solid pace will suit his G1 Stella Artois Caulfield Cup mount Duretto (GB) (Manduro {GER}).

“It's more of a testing 2400 metres now than the usual sprint to the first corner, back up and then get going again,” he said.

“Now the race has changed a bit over the years as we've got more of those European stayers that keep galloping.”

Trained by Andrew Balding, Duretto has won six times, including the G3 St Simon S., up to the Cup distance of 2400 metres.

He sealed his trip to Australia at his most recent appearance with victory in the Listed Chester S., early last month.

The chestnut is a son of Landinium (ITY) (Lando {GER}), who was a multiple stakes winner and Group placegetter.

It is the family of the G1 Premio Presidente della Repubblica winner Hollywood Dream (GER) (Master Willie {GB}).

Vin De Dance on way home

Vin De Dance (NZ) (Roc de Cambes {NZ}) is out of G1 Melbourne Cup contention and will return home to New Zealand after a below par performance in last Sunday’s Listed Cranbourne Cup..

“He didn’t run up to expectations last week,” co-trainer Murray Baker said.

“He’s a good stayer, but there is just something there that we can’t pick up at the moment so we will send him home to New Zealand and give him a spell.

Meanwhile, stablemate Peaceful (NZ) (Savabeel) was found to be heavily in season after an unplaced run in the G1 Thousand Guineas.

She is likely to run in Listed Jim Beam Black S., at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day.

Blood outs at Woodville

A high-class European pedigree was to the fore on Thursday at Woodville where Window Shopping (NZ) (Wanted) broke his maiden at his second appearance.

Bred and raced by Sir Peter Vela and trained by Glenn Old, the 4-year-old was unplaced on debut at Taupo where he got carted back through the field by a tiring runner.

Rider Shaun McKay made no mistake this time and had Window Shopping into the clear at the right time and the gelding finished resolutely to open his account.

He is a son of Shopping Spree (IRE) (Sadler’s Wells {USA}), who is out of a sister to the G1 Prix d’Ispahan and G1 Laurel International S., winner Zoman (USA) (Affirmed {USA}) and the family of the G3 Gordon S., winner and Group 1 placegetter Yellowstone (IRE) (Rock Of Gibraltar {IRE})..

Changes as Bukovec joins TBV

Patrick Clancy is finishing up as Executive Officer at Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria, with Charmein Bukovec taking over the role.

Clancy has been with TBV for three and a half years and the organisation's president James O'Brien praised his contribution.

"Patrick has completely changed the organisation since his appointment in 2015 giving it a national profile and massively increasing its engagement with breeders, sales companies, racing regulators, governments and sponsors," he said.

"During Patrick's time, our social media exposure has increased 30-fold over the past three years, our sponsorship revenue has almost tripled and membership has grown significantly. And our weekly e-newsletter is now one of the best regular breeding publications in Australia."

Bukovec has been working with Racing Victoria in the VOBIS scheme and has already commenced in the role.

"We are rapt to have Charmein on board and she is already going full-steam ahead," O'Brien said.

"In the short time she has been in the office, she has already covered the Inglis Ready2Race sale, started preparations for our annual Victorian Breeders Awards night (6th December at Flemington) and met with RV officials to discuss enhancements of VOBIS."

"Charmein has a strong love of thoroughbreds, being an enthusiastic rider and owner of a Victorian bred racehorse."

Charmein Bukovec

Moe victory for Weir, Williams

Darren Weir claimed his first Moe Optical Cup and Craig Williams his second when import Sixties Groove (Ire) (Sixties Icon {GB}) lived up to favouritism in the 2050m feature thanks to a brilliant ride.

Weir, who has won most of the other major country cups in Victoria, can now add Moe to his resume, with one of his other runners in the race, Snitzepeg (Snitzel), finishing second while Noumea (Ire) (Cape Cross {Ire}) was third.

Williams, whose second win in the race came 20 years after his first aboard Nick's Verdict (Niccolo Polo {USA}), did everything right on the lightly raced 6-year-old, getting him across to the fence from barrier nine and tracking Snitzepeg in the run.

While Ben Allen scouted wide on Snitzepeg, Williams, crept through along the inside and was able to hit the front shortly after straightening. Snitzepeg closed the gap to 0.75l on the line but never looked like getting to his stablemate in time.

Sixties Groove will likely graduate to stakes company next over the Flemington carnival.