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The Daily Wrap

6 min read

Sword of Osman wins at Te Rapa

Sword Of Osman (NZ) (Savabeel) took out the G2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa with a bold front-running performance and is now headed to the G1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas.

Unplaced in two runs in his 3-year-old campaign, the G1 winning 2-year-old returned to form, aided by a great ride by Opie Bosson.

He held out Qiji Express (NZ) (Shamexpress {NZ}) by a nose on the line with Madison County (NZ) (Pins) third.

Trainer Jamie Richards was delighted to see Sword of Osman return to his best.

“He took a while to come out of the winter but we haven’t been able to fault him at home," he said.

“It mapped like he might get it soft enough (in front) but that’s probably up to his peak in terms of distance. It was a lovely ride by Opie, who rides him in all his gallops. He is such an important part of our team so I’m really thrilled for him.”

Richards confirmed Sword Of Osman will now to Riccarton for the Group 1 feature on November 10.

Withhold aiming for Cup through Geelong

Withhold (GB) will be looking to win Wednesday's G3 Geelong Cup to get a penalty to get him into the G1 Melbourne Cup.

The Roger Charlton-trained galloper has been near the top of Melbourne Cup markets since his win in the Northumberland Plate at Newbury in July.

However, he is currently 33rd in the order of entry with just 53kg, 6.5kg under the benchmark weight.

He is one of several horses looking to get a penalty to ensure his passage into the Flemington feature through the Geelong Cup. Kerrin McEvoy will take the ride.

Training to cease at Caulfield

A major redevelopment at Caulfield will see the introduction of a second track and possibly night racing, but training at the suburban Melbourne venue will cease at the end of 2023.

The Melbourne Racing Club have signed a lease which secures Caulfield’s racing future for the next 65 years, but the 22 trainers who currently operate out of Caulfield would be forced to relocate within five years.

The 'no-training' clause was part of the new lease agreement with greater amenity required for public space according to the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Trust and the State Government.

“We are happy to have secured the future of racing at the historic site at Caulfield and look forward to facilitating a greater volume of racing through a second track, and the potential of night racing, for our members, industry participants and the racing public,” MRC chairman Peter Le Grand said.

“At the same time we are conscious of the great impact the relocation will have on our trainers, some of whom have resided at Caulfield for generations."

“Training has been an integral part of the Racecourse and Club for many years and the Club is committed to ensuring that the transition for the trainers over the next five years is as smooth as possible, and that the training facilities here at Caulfield will be maintained to their best standard until the final relocation is complete."

Pakenham and Cranbourne would receive upgrades as part of the deal.

Espinola headed towards Karaka Million

Recent Bendigo 2-year-old winner for Lindsay Park, Espinola (Bel Esprit) will be set for the Karaka Million 2YO at Ellerslie in January.

Aquis Park own a share of the colt and Aquis CEO Shane McGrath revealed he and Lindsay Park co-trainer David Hayes had pencilled in a trip to New Zealand for Espinola, who they bought for $100,000 at this year's Karaka sales.

"We bought him in New Zealand, he was very good in his first start. He ran fifth in the Maribyrnong Trial and then won at Bendigo," McGrath said.

"Speaking to David, we’ll give him a couple of weeks, head him for Sydney with an ultimate aim of heading towards the Karaka Millions."

Espinola (Bel Esprit x Isabelino)

Aquis had already tasted 2-year-old success when the colt Dubious (Not A Single Doubt) won the Breeders' Plate last month. McGrath revealed that Aquis would unveil several more talented juveniles in the next couple of weeks.

"We've got a nice 2-year old having his first start at Moonee Valley on Saturday in the Inglis Banner, called Chicago Bull (Exceed and Excel) with Peter and Manny Gelagotis. He looks to be headed in the right direction and we’ve got a trial winner called Cardiff (Snitzel), with Gerald Ryan, who won on Tuesday,"

No penalty for Cup winner

Caulfield Cup winner Best Solution (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) has escaped penalty for the G1 Melbourne Cup.

Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter said the recent Melbourne Cup record of Caulfield Cup winners was a factor in his decision.

“Over the last 40 years, 63 horses have contested the Melbourne Cup carrying 57kg or more, with only Makybe Diva (58kg) able to win,” Carpenter said.

“Given the depth of quality in this year’s race and the fact that every additional 0.5kg of weight represents approximately one length over 3200m, I have elected not to increase Best Solution’s allocated weight of 57.5kg."

“Of the last 10 Caulfield Cup winners to contest the Melbourne Cup 17 days later, only three have been able to finish in the top 10, with Fawkner in 2013 producing the best result when sixth to Fiorente."

“Best Solution came to Australia with a strongly established performance profile having won his last three runs in some of Europe’s premier 2400m Group races."

“He was all out in the finish on Saturday holding off Homesman and he now faces an enormous challenge in the Melbourne Cup, going to a track and distance he has not encountered before in one of the strongest renewals of the Melbourne Cup in its 158-year history.”

Magic Condor eye black type

Magic Condor (Magic Albert) will head to the G3 Partners Life Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie on Saturday with plenty of confidence from Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie.

"She's going to run in the Soliloquy and she's going to be competitive,” Ritchie said.

“From what I'm reading through the press, Melt's not certain to run and with Xpression campaigning in the South Island, all of a sudden it looks like a race that's within the range of these types of fillies.”

Magic Condor won at Ruakaka earlier this month and Ritchie feels she can continue to improve of that success.

“She really has come on from that first-up win,” Ritchie said.

“She's in that group of horses that when they come out of maidens you just don't know how good they are or aren't, there's only one way to find out and that’s to throw them in."

“She still holds a nom for the One Thousand Guineas but she'd want to be highly competitive in the Soliloquy to justify a trip. We'll leave her in there till after Saturday and make a call from there. I believe she's up to black-type, whether she needs more practice or not I guess that's the question."