Sign up to the TDN daily edition

Enter your details below to subscribe to the TDN Australia & NZ daily edition.

The Daily Wrap

7 min read

Yucatan gets the nod

Aidan O'Brien's travelling foreman TJ Comerford is leaning toward Yucatan {IRE} (Galileo {IRE}) as their best G1 Melbourne Cup chance.

The stable will have three runners heading in the Cup with The Cliffsofmoher (IRE) (Galileo {IRE}) and Rostropovich (IRE) (Frankel {GB}).

Yucatan and The Cliffsofmoher are part-owned by Lloyd and Nick Williams and galloped together on the course proper at Werribee on Tuesday while Rostropovich was restricted to lighter duties after running in the G1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

“They did a strong piece of work, the work was good and the track was riding lovey,” Comerford said. “If you asked me to ride one, I'd be riding Yucatan Ire.”

Yucatan won the G2 Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield and has continued to improve.

“He gets down for a roll and when he gets up he's bouncing and at leaving time he does it again,” Comerford said.

“He saw out the mile and-a-half well and he was ridden very positively as well. If you ride a race on him for two miles he should stay it.”

Yucatan working at Werribee

The Cliffsofmoher has bounced out of his G1 Caulfield Cup placing well and Comerford said the stayer is showing improvement by the day.

Rostropovich has also recovered well from his fifth placing behind Winx and Comerford said he would appreciate the step up in distance.

“He wants a mile and a-half plus so his next start he's stepping out over two miles with less weight on his back. That will be a big difference to him.”

Chapada could be another bargain

Chapada (Bullet Train {GB}) could provide trainer Michael Moroney with a second G1 VRC Derby success with a horse bought toward the bottom end of the market.

“If he does win it, it will be our second Derby winner that we’ve bought cheaply,” Moroney said. “Not quite as cheap as Second Coming, but not much in it.

“We bought Second Coming for $27,000 at the South Island Sale, and this fellow for $32,500 at the Classic Yearling Sale in Sydney.

“He (Chapada) is a really nice staying horse and he’s got a touch of speed and class about him too. He’s handled the lead up after a minor setback, where some wouldn’t have, but he did.

“He’s kept improving and we expect big improvement between his second to Thinkin’ Big a fortnight ago at Caulfield, and this Saturday.

“We had to rush him a bit to get to Wangaratta, the day he won by five lengths, but since then it’s all flowed quite well and he’s just kept improving.”

Moroney said the riding engagement of James McDonald came about after he sold some shares in the horse.

“It came about because I owned a fair share of him and sold down to clients, and they were keen to have James on.”

Redzel stretches his legs

Champion sprinter Redzel (Snitzel) put in an appearance at the Randwick trials on Tuesday morning ahead of a trip to Melbourne.

Kerrin McEvoy took him straight to the front and he held off Chess Star (Fighting Sun) by three-quarters of a length in an 850 metre heat.

Pierata (Pierro), who is likely to take Redzel on in the G1 VRC Sprint on Saturday week as a late entry, made ground to finish third after coming out of the gates last.

Redzel is the TAB's $4.50 favourite to defend the his title over the straight 1200 metre course at Flemington ahead of Pierata at $6 and Kementari (Lonhro) at $8 alongside Santa Ana Lane (Lope De Vega {IRE})..

His wins in the inaugural Everest and the Sprint last season, earned Redzel the title of Sprinter of the Year.

Lady Aurelia To Sell At Fasig-Tipton

Two-time Royal Ascot winner Lady Aurelia (USA) (Scat Daddy {USA}) will sell as lot 200 at Fasig-Tipton on Sunday evening.

"It has been a fantastic dream come through," said part-owner Peter Leidel. "I will have memories for a lifetime. She will make someone very, very happy, I know that."

Added Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning: “Lady Aurelia is a truly special offering based upon her accomplishments around the world, highlighted by two wins at Royal Ascot. She has the potential to become a broodmare of historic proportions.”

Multiple Cup runners

Chris Waller could have up to five runners in the G1 Melbourne Cup.

“We'll have Finche, Youngstar and hopefully Who Shot Thebarman,” Waller said.

“It looks like he (Who Shot Thebarman) has come through the Moonee Valley Cup well at this stage from last Saturday and if the owners agree to run him.

“Then on Saturday in the Lexus, obviously it's a back-door entry for getting a horse into the race like Brimham Rocks, who's got some good form lines.

“And we've got Patrick Erin going to the Bendigo Cup on Wednesday so I'm sure the race is going to change considerably over the next four or five days and hopefully we've got a few runners there.”

Chris Waller's feature chances on Derby day at Flemington on Saturday include two leading contenders - Zousain (Zoustar) and Lean Mean Machine (Zoustar) - in the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes.

Filly still on upward plane

Gifted 3-year-old filly Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed {NZ}) will head to Flemington on Saturday for the Gr.2 Wakeful S., in preparation for next week’s G1 VRC Oaks.

The New Zealand-bred and part-owned filly has impressed in her two starts in Australia and trainer Darren Weir believes the G3 Ethereal Stakes winner will benefit from her next outing.

Verry Ellegant winning at Caulfield

“We were toying with the idea of backing her up at Moonee Valley last weekend, but we think just giving her an extra week will suit.

“From our point of view we think she needs to run because it will be hard for her to over-race like she did in her previous start and then to be able to run out a strong 2500 metres.

“We would be galloping her over 2000m on Saturday morning in preparation for the Oaks anyway, so she can run and then go back to Warrnambool and have a quiet week.”

Retirement for Julius

Well-performed sprinter Julius (NZ) (Swiss Ace) has succumbed to injury and won’t race again.

“He wasn’t ever lame, but wasn’t quite right so we had his leg scanned and he’s got a hole in his tendon,” trainer John Bell said.

Julius had fashioned the tidy record of six wins and seven placings from his 13 starts with victories in the G3 Darley Plate and the G3 Concorde H., on the 7-year-old’s CV.

“We could have put him out for 12 months, but he would be eight then and we’d have had to get him back and it would take three to six months to get him going again.

“They’re never the same so I talked to the owners and the decision’s been made to retire him.”

The strapping Julius finished third in the G3 Sweynesse S., at his final appearance under regular rider Jason Waddell.

He missed the start at Rotorua and only went under a nose and a long head,” Bell said. “Jason said he didn’t feel quite as explosive as he could have been, he did it all on heart.