The Daily Wrap

9 min read

Roaring Lion Wins Again

Roaring Lion (USA) (Kitten’s Joy {USA}) claimed yet another Group 1 victory in Ascot's G1 Queen Elizabeth II S.

Having to race without cover throughout, the 2-1 favourite was kept within hailing distance of the leaders by Oisin Murphy and after grinding his way past Century Dream (Ire) (Cape Cross {Ire}) with 150 yards remaining held out from Ballydoyle’s 3-year-old filly I Can Fly (GB) (Fastnet Rock) by a neck.

“His owners are very game and brave to come here, as they had everything to lose and nothing to gain,” trainer John Gosden said. “He’s proven his class and had the guts to get there, as I think he hated every second of running on that ground.

"He found that soft ground too deep, you could tell by his action, but he has a lot of heart and got the job done. He’s got so much bigger and stronger with all the races I’ve thrown at him and he would have won by five if the ground had been good-to-firm.”

“This eclipsed York, without a shadow of a doubt,” added Sheikh Fahad. “In fairness to him, he owes us nothing and has done us proud all year long, winning every race he could have won. The Breeders’ Cup is under consideration, but I’ll talk with my brothers and John. If he does, he might go for the Classic."

Roaring Lion will stand at Tweenhills in 2019.

Cracksman, A Dual Champion

Anthony Oppenheimer’s Cracksman (GB) (Frankel {GB}) dominated the feature G1 Qipco Champion S. at Ascot for a second time.

”He’s shown what he is, a high-class horse–when he’s in the zone, he’s very good and he’s Frankel’s best son,” commented John Gosden after completing a trio of wins in four of the main races on the day.

“That is the old Cracksman back,” said Frankie Dettori. “He felt fantastic. What a horse he is–I love him dearly. Full credit to the owners and John for being patient. They were not tempted to run on firm ground and got the reward today. He did it on his own.

"The blinkers worked and he was concentrating. I kept him away from Rhododendron, the filly, and even in the first bit of the race I knew. It came good for me at the three-furlong pole and I knew we were in business.”

74th Group 1 Winner For Galileo

Magical (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) was an impressive winner of the G1 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares S. for Team Ballydoyle.

Cruising throughout this contest under perfect cover against the rail in contrast to the wide-running Lah Ti Dar (GB), Magical was always going to pick up that rival once the gap opened at the top of the straight but she had to truly see out the mile and a half as the proven stayer Coronet (GB) bore down late.

“We really fancied her for the Oaks, but she had a little setback then and when she ran in the Arc Wayne [Lordan] rode her and loved her,” said Aidan O'Brien.

“She had been working lovely and Ryan was always going to take his time on her and she relaxed lovely. The lads will decide what’s next, but the Breeders’ Cup is a possibility.”

Magical became Galileo's 74th individual Group 1 winner, one more than his illustrious sire, Sadler's Wells (USA).

Coolmore on colt’s radar

A Group 1 option is being considered for the talented Godolphin 3-year-old Ranier (Lonhro).

Trainer James Cummings is looking at all avenues, including a drop back in trip for the Coolmore Stud S.

“He’s probably a blow-out chance in a race like the Coolmore or he could suit the Carbine Club S., really well or he might be one for the Australian Guineas in March,” he said.

“He’s a wonderful colt and a really calm horse.”

Ranier was unluckily beaten into third in the Listed Antler Luggage S., before he shed his maiden tag in Saturday’s Listed Polytrack Gothic S.

He has been ridden in his last two outings by Hugh Bowman.

“I was able to get him into the clear, unlike his last start, and he produced well,” he said.

“I think they've got a decision to make with him and I don't think he'll disappoint whichever way they decide to go.”

Fall ends Cranbourne meeting

Sunday’s Cranbourne meeting was abandoned following a nasty fall in the fourth event.

Jockeys Brian Higgins and Brad Rawiller were transported to the Alfred Hospital after the incident and Victorian Jockeys’ Association confirmed that both riders were conscious.

However, concerns remained about potential internal injuries for Higgins and Rawiller was reportedly concussed and complained of chest pain when assessed on the track.

Racing Victoria steward James Hitchcock said initial reports about the condition of both riders was positive, but after discussions with fellow jockeys the decision was taken to abandon the remainder of the meeting, which was to have featured the Listed Casey Cup.

“Most importantly both jockeys are conscious and they will be okay in the long run,” Hitchcock said.

Immediate stakes success

Exoteric (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB}) has made an instant impact at black type level.

The Chris Waller-trained stayer stepped up in grade for the first time to land Saturday’s Listed City Tattersalls Club Cup at Randwick.

Off the back of his Port Macquarie Cup success, the 6-year-old came with a well-timed run under Tommy Berry to beat Social Element (NZ) (Savabeel) and the evergreen Destiny’s Kiss (Power Of Destiny).

“He came to the race fit and sound, but he is a quirky horse and Tommy knows him well,” Waller's racing manager Charlie Duckworth said.

“He executed the race perfectly. It was a staying contest and I was surprised when the punters came for him and not our other horse.

“I'm not sure what Chris will do with Exoteric now, maybe another 2400 metre race.”

Exoteric was a three-time winner for Charlie Hills and transferred to Waller’s Sydney operation before racing out of his Gold Coast base for period.

Top innings at Rotorua

Former New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum hit a prize six at Rotorua at the weekend.

His Vermair Racing colours were carried to victory by Jake Bayliss aboard the Team Rogerson-trained Volks Lightning (NZ) (Volksraad {GB}) in the G3 Sweynesse S.

“It was a really good win and the mare goes well for Jake,” Debbie Rogerson said.

“He rode her at the trials and that’s how he got the ride. It was a bit nerve-wracking at the end, but she really deserves a Group race.”

Volks Lightning made the running and, although feeling the pinch in the dying stages, she hung on to score by a nose from Indecision (NZ) (Per Incanto {USA}).

“The plan wasn’t to lead, but she jumped away quickly and put herself there,” Bayliss said.

“She gave a good kick on the turn and she got a bit tired in the last 50 metres, but we got there.”

Purchased at Karaka by McCullum for NZ$60,000 out of Windsor Park Stud’s draft, Volks Lightning has now won five races and finished third in last season’s G1 Railway.

She is from the family of the G2 Zipping Classic winner Au Revoir (IRE) (Singspiel {IRE}).

Perth target for sprinter

Sydney sprinter Ball Of Muscle (Dubawi {IRE}) has been set for the G1 Winterbottom S., in Perth.

Trainer Joseph Pride said the turning track at Ascot would be to the in-form 8-year-old’s liking.

“He's got a real advantage off the bends and you saw that the other day, how well he can accelerate.

“If he can do that at Ascot in a $1 million race it's well worth a go with him.”

Ball Of Muscle has won three of his last four starts, including the G2 Schillaci S., at Caulfield at his most recent appearance.

Pride trained Ball Of Muscle's brother Tiger Tees and Terravista (Captain Rio {GB}) are Group 1 winners and said they were all late maturers.

Stablemate New Tipperary, who won the G3 Newcastle H., two runs back, will also head to Perth for a tilt at the Railway S.

Edmonds’ stable running hot

Queensland trainer Toby Edmonds is having a whale of a time at the Melbourne spring carnival.

He has produced Winter Bride to strike twice at Group 3 level and on Saturday he celebrated further success with another daughter of Not A Single Doubt.

From Within had won her last three starts at home and that habit continued with victory in the Listed Carlton Draught Alinghi S.

“I'm really excited. I'm a bit emotional because it was a big call to bring her down this week and thanks to the guys who let me do it,” Edmonds said.

“She's had a bit of hype on her so to come out of class three grade and win that race, it's a great effort.”

From Within was a $360,000 purchase for Blue Sky Bloodstock at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and is a brother to the Listed St Albans S., winner Cruden Bay.

Otaki abandoned

Sunday’s meeting at Otaki was abandoned due to unsafe track conditions.

Two horses slipping around the 900 metre mark point during the third event and a course inspection followed.

“It is most unfortunate for the club as the track looked to be in perfect condition,” stipendiary steward Neil Goodwin said.

“We have had a series of trials on it along with a couple of horses galloping on race morning with glowing reports.

“The first two races went without anything happening however, after the top had been taken off, there was a series of slip marks at the 900m.

“It does appear there is a hard pan underneath the top of the track and there were some serious slip marks there.

“The stewards inspected it with the trainer’s representative and senior riders and we had no hesitation in saying safety comes first and abandoned the meeting.”

The meeting was the first to be held at the venue since early February after problems identified with the racing surface resulted in extensive drainage work.