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The Daily Wrap

5 min read

Winx in top order for Saturday

The Winx (Street Cry {IRE}) fan club was out in force at Moonee Valley on Tuesday morning to see the champion mare stretch her legs ahead of Saturday’s G1 Cox Plate.

With Hugh Bowman keeping her under a tight rein, she worked over 1000 metres and finished off her closing 400 metres 24.39s.

“Hugh just let her use herself around the bend, making sure everything was right,” trainer Chris Waller said.

“Just as you would with a race-car before a big race, making sure everything is in order.”

Waller said only two things could deny Winx a fourth consecutive Cox Plate.

“That's bad luck or a champion. The next champion could be there waiting in the wings and be ready to pounce.

“So long as there's not too many traffic problems because in most sports you need the bounce of the ball to go your way.

“Fortunately her class gets her out of most situations, but you can't take it for granted.”

Winx will jump from barrier six in an eight-horse line-up, the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Benbatl (GB) (Dubawi {IRE}) in gate three.

Last year's runner-up Humidor (NZ) (Teofilo {IRE}) has drawn seven and the Aidan O'Brien-trained Rostropovich (IRE) (Frankel {GB}) came up with eight.

Cumani to retire

Legendary trainer Luca Cumani is to retire later this year after more than four decades at Bedford House Stables in Newmarket.

“I wouldn’t say it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, but I’ve come to realise the time is right,” he said.

“I’ve been very lucky and privileged to have won big races all around the world and I no longer have the material to do so.

“I’ve been to Churchill Downs and Melbourne, and now we’re having more runners at Wolverhampton and Chelmsford and it’s not quite the same.”

Cumani has won numerous prestige races, including the G1 Epsom Derby with Kahyasi (IRE) (Ile de Bourbon) and High Rise (IRE) (High Estate {IRE}).

Born and raised in Italy, served as Sir Henry Cecil’s assistant trainer in his early days and his first runner in his own right was a winner – Three Legs (GB) (Petingo {GB}) in the G3 Duke of York S., and ridden by Frankie Dettori’s father Gianfranco.

Cumani’s son Matt is an established trainer at Ballarat and daughter Francesca is a prominent racing broadcaster.

Luca Cumani

No Cup for Kiwi stayer

The well-performed Jon Snow (NZ) (Iffraaj {GB}) is out of G1 Melbourne Cup reckoning.

Trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman canned plans for Flemington after the 5-year-old tailed the field home in the G1 Caulfield Cup.

“He got caught three and four wide and you can’t win from there, even with a turbo jet,” Baker said.

“We’ll bring him home and freshen him for the weight-for-age race at Wellington in December.”

The G1 Rydges Wellington Captain Cook S., is the target race in question.

Charm Spirit running hot

Shuttle stallion Charm Spirit (IRE) (Invincible Spirit {IRE}) has enjoyed further success across Europe.

His tally of first-crop 2-year-old winners is now 23 and three behind division leader No Nay Never (USA) (Scat Daddy {USA}) (who leads on 26 after a winner in America) by individual winners.

First to hit the board was impressive Longchamp debutant Shendam, who was a dominant winner over 1800 metres in the colours of his breeder The Aga Khan.

Then followed consistent performer Napanook, who won a juvenile event over 1200 metres in England.

On Sunday in Ireland, Charm Spirit’s smart daughter Chicago May continued her seasonal progress when she was again successful over 1200 metres at Naas

On the same day in Madrid, another daughter Belavia proved too strong for her opposition on debut with a comprehensive victory over 1500 metres.

Triple Group One winning miler Charm Spirit shuttles to Windsor Park Stud, Cambridge, where the highest-earning son of Invincible Spirit is serving his fourth consecutive season.

Charm Spirit

Summer targets for Embellish

Group 1 Embellish (NZ) (Savabeel) is being aimed toward the summer carnival at Ellerslie.

“He could start off in an open 1300 metre race at Tauranga on November 3 and could be a chance for a race like the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie (January 1),” Jamie Riuchards said.

A brother to the Group 1 winner Diademe and closely related to two-time Group 1 winner Sacred Star (Flying Spur) .

Embellish is raced by the Te Akau 2016 Breeding Syndicate along with Cambridge Stud principals Brendan and Jo Lindsay.

The 4-year-old, who won last season’s G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas, is back in work following a good break after he finished eighth in the G1 Australian Guineas in the autumn.

He recently won an open trial at Te Awamutu - “he looks to be back on track,” Jamie Richards said. “He’s taken a bit of time this year, but Opie (Bosson) was pleased with his trial.”

Guineas odds slashed

A Sydney-trained 3-year-old is a major mover in the G1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas market.

The Chris Waller-prepared Orcein (Snitzel) has come in from a 100 to one chance to NZ$18 for next month’s Classic at Riccarton.

Fourth in last season’s G3 Magic Millions McLachlan, the chestnut has won one of his nine starts and finished runner-up at Randwick last time out.

A A$360,000 Gold Coast yearling, Orcein is a half-brother to the black type performer Anchor Bid (High Chaparral {IRE}). They are out of the Zabeel (NZ) mare Zapurple (NZ) who won the G3 South Australia Fillies’ Classic.