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The Daily Wrap

8 min read

Derby next for Home Ground

A hard-fought win by Home Ground (High Chaparral {Ire}) in the Listed Roderick Insurance Brokers Geelong Classic has booked his spot for the G1 Victoria Derby.

The John Sargent-trained Home Ground was coming off a last start eighth in the Group 1 Spring Champion S. and aided by a clever ride from Ben Melham got the bob on the line to beat Farooq (Frankel), with Grinzinger Star (NZ) Reliable Man {GB}) two lengths further away in third.

Sargent said Home Ground was much more suited on top of the ground and he was able to show his superior staying qualities over the final 200m of the 2200m race.

"We thought it'd be good idea to bring him to a nice staying dry track like this and get a soft run that'd help," he said. "He's shown today he'll stay."

Sargent admits his horse is not a high-class stayer, but in the right circumstances he is confident he can contend in a race like the Derby.

"He's not class stayer, he's a grinding stayer, but you get them there fit on the day and he gets a good run like he did today, they can be thereabouts."

Home Ground was a $420,000 buy at the 2017 Easter Sale out of the multiple city winning mare First Look, who is a half-sister to Danehill Smile (Danehill Dancer).

Gelding does trick for Adana

Million-dollar yearling Adana (Snitzel) broke through for his much-awaited first win at his first start since being gelded at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.

Adana was a $1.1 million dollar buy for Chris Waller and Guy Mulcaster at the 2017 Magic Millions, but despite finishing second on debut, had failed to live up to expectations in five subsequent starts.

After his last start third early last month, it was decided to geld the 3-year-old and he finally looks a racehorse, after charging home from last to win the 2019 Membership Open Now Plate over 1300m.

"It's not easy to tell the owners of a million-dollar colt that he needs to be gelded, but we've turned him around well," Waller's stable representative Charlie Duckworth said.

"There is still a little bit of improvement mentally to come. He's still a little bit of a boy. The next six months will be very interesting for him."

Jockey Tommy Berry rode Adana for the first time on Wednesday and said the horse gave him a nice feel with plenty of room to improve.

"Once he got out, he hit the line strongly. He got a bit lost when he got there. He's still got a bit to learn, but at least he's got a bit of upside now," he said.

Adana as a yearling

Rubira no certainty for Oaks

A decision on whether Rubira (Lope De Vega {Ire}) contest the G1 Kennedy Oaks will be made in the coming days by her trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.

Rubira finished fifth in the G3 Ethereal Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday and Forsman admitted they were a little disappointed with her.

“She was just fair the other day, so we’ll give it a week or so and see whether we press onto the Oaks or bring her home," he said.

“The Oaks will fall away a little bit and she’ll tell us in a week how she is feeling heading into it. I can’t fault her, she’s probably just a touch weak at this stage.”

One horse who won’t be there will be Seabrook (NZ) (Hinchinbrook), who is headed to the G1 Myer Classic according to trainer Mick Price.

"Seabrook worked super at Caulfield on Tuesday morning and she will run in the Myer with Dean Yendall to ride, who has won the last two," he said.

“I thought the Myer would be safer for her and three-year-old fillies have won the last two Myer Classics, so crossed fingers on that one.”

Expensive Galileo Filly Is A Rising Star

Chablis (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) earned ‘TDN Rising Star’ status in her Gowran Park, Ireland unveiling on Tuesday for Aidan O'Brien.

“I had a good draw [in gate three] and over seven furlongs here it’s a huge help,” explained winning rider Wayne Lordan. “I was able to travel around well and when I got out she picked up and went to the line in good style. She’s a well-bred filly, she’s a filly that will stay and it was a nice performance.”

The bay is the latest of nine foals and the seventh winner from as many runners produced by G1 Prix Saint-Alary heroine Vadawina (Ire) (Unfuwain {USA}), and she is a full-sister to G3 Tyros S. victor and G1 Racing Post Trophy third The Pentagon (Ire).

American agent Justin Casse signed the 1.55million gns ticket at last year's Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. The filly is owned by Susan Magnier and John C Oxley.

Emily Margaret eyes more black type

The Kevin and Pam Hughes-trained Emily Margaret (Pins) is ready to bounce back off an unlucky last start third when the filly contests the Listed Zacinto Stakes at Riccarton on Saturday.

The winner of the Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) two starts back, she finished third in the Guineas Trial (1400m) at Riccarton last time out.

“The pace went on and then it came off and she was trapped on the fence and it took her a while to relax,” Kevin Hughes said. “They came home in 35 and she went through the line well, but she got held up and was put out of her rhythm."

“She seems to be fine, she hasn’t taken a step backwards, she just carries on with her work and we are looking forward to giving her a stretch over that extra bit of distance.”

“I can’t be disappointed with the way she is going, she galloped really well this week and I couldn’t really be any happier with her.”

All going well, she heads to the G1 Gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas ate her next start.

Queensland meetings called off after strike

Meetings at Doomben, Gold Coast, Toowoomba and Townsville will not proceed on Saturday after participants made good on their strike threat.

All four TAB meetings have been called off due to insufficient entries after a co-ordinated action by trainers, jockeys, owners and breeders to protest how the proceeds from a new Point of Consumption Tax will be distributed.

"Racing Queensland confirms, in accordance with its minimum race fields policy, that race meetings scheduled for Brisbane Racing Club (Doomben), Gold Coast Turf Club, Toowoomba Turf Club and Townsville Turf Club on Saturday 27 October, 2018 have been abandoned," a Racing Queensland statement said.

"The policy states races that do not attract 16 nominations at the advertised closing time for nominations may have their nomination deadlines extended. If at the extended nomination deadline, a race has less than five nominations it may be deleted."

American Pharoah On Top At Fasig

A pair of colts by American Pharoah (USA) topped Day 2 at Fasig-Tipton October. Justin Zayat made the day’s highest bid when going to $310,000 to acquire lot 580. Bloodstock agent Alistair Roden, bidding on behalf of an undisclosed client, paid $300,000 to acquire another colt (lot 383) by the Triple Crown winner.

“He fits our program,” said Zayat. “We are looking to get good-looking, well-bred colts and he was one of them.”

A total of 256 yearlings grossed $9,068,000 for an average of $35,422 and a median of $15,000. Through two sessions of the four-day auction, 479 head have sold for $16,585,000. The average of $34,624 is up 8.6% from the first two sessions of 2017 and the median of $15,000 surged 36.4% from a year ago.

Bolton/Radcliffe Active At Arqana

A Siyouni (Fr) half-sister (lot 77) to Group 3 winner Evasive’s First (Fr) led all comers through the first select session at Arqana October. Agent Kerri Radcliffe signed on the dotted line for George Bolton at €360,000, and the filly will remain in Europe to be trained.

"This horse is exactly the type that we buy—muscular, fast-looking, big girth, lots of potential in her. I’d have rather spent €250,000 than €360,000 but other people were here. The goal is to give her the chance to be what she can be," commented Bolton.

The first session gradually hit its stride to finish only slightly down on the figures set last year. The clearance rate picked up to end just a point down at 78% after 165 of the 211 yearlings offered found a buyer. Collectively they brought a first-day tally of €10,951,000, down by 14% on last year’s opening day, with a median of €50,000 (down from €57,000) and average of €66,370, representing a drop of 10%.