Daily News Wrap

5 min read

More Weir joy

Darren Weir's spring of success rolled on to Ararat on Sunday with the in-form jockey John Allen who combined to win the bet365 Ararat Gold Cup with Andrea Mantegna (USA) (Giant's Causeway {USA}).

Allen, coming off a win in the G1 Mackinnon S. on Saturday, gave Andrea Mantegna the perfect ride to give Weir his fourth win in the race by 0.2l from Hipparchus (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB) with stablemate Master Zephyr (GB) (Shirocco {Ger}) third.

The 6-year-old import was sold by Yulong at the 2018 Great Southern Sale to Roll The Dice Racing for $100,000, with the new owners pulling together a big syndicate in a bid to win a country cup.

He is now set to head towards the Listed Ballarat Cup on November 24.

Weir also trained the other feature winner on the day, with Choisborder (Choisir) winning the Programmed China Bowl from Chippenham (Hard Spun {USA}) and King Kohei (Foxwedge).

Choisborder, who was ridden by Harry Coffey, was sold for $34,000 at the same sale as Andrea Mantegna and has won four races since.

Railway path for Bostonian

Tony Pike is plotting a shot at the G1 Railway S. at Ellerslie with classy 4-year-old Bostonian (NZ) (Jimmy Choux {NZ}) after a strong trial performance during the week.

Bostonian, racing as The Bostonian in Australia, won three races in Queensland during the winter, culminating in a win in the G3 Sunshine Coast Guineas.

He was given a trial at Cambridge last Thursday and Pike feels he is on track for his return at Pukekohe in the G3 Counties Cup on November 24.

“He’s come back nicely after his break and I was pleased to see how he did things in his trial,” Pike said. “Vinnie (Colgan) never had him off the bridle and he was strong to the line, so it was a satisfying work-out."

“He’s never been that big, but he has filled out nicely over the winter, so we’re excited about his prospects for the summer.”

Pike is keen to get him towards the Railway S. at Ellerslie on New Year's Day.

“As long as he does things right over the next few days, I think we might kick him off in the Counties Bowl at Pukekohe in a fortnight," he said.

“If he goes well there then the Railway at Ellerslie on New Year’s day is definitely an option.”

Bostonian running at Hawkes Bay

Villiers still in Sky Boy's sights

Sky Boy (Pendragon {NZ}) remains on a path towards the G2 Villiers S. next month after his hard-fought success in the Australian Turf Club Hcp at Rosehill on Saturday.

Co-trainer Anthony Cummings said the 4-year-old would step through an 1800m benchmark race before the Villiers S. on December 15.

Jockey Christian Reith was not concerned that Sky Boy only won narrowly on Saturday and thinks he still has plenty of improvement left despite being five runs into his campaign.

"He did it with ease. It was more him waiting for them than him stopping so once we can get that real spark and drive in him, he's got a lot of upside," said Reith.

"I began too well to not take advantage, Red Knot didn't begin as well as I thought he would and I wasn't going to wait to see what he did so I just took the bull by the horns, took him to the front, got him in a rhythm and kept letting him wind up."

"He responds well to you but he is better with horses around him, it makes him focus more, when he is out by himself he bludges but that's just immaturity and he'll iron those creases out."

Freedman ready to start again

Michael Freedman will meet with Racing NSW Licensing officials this week to secure his trainers' licence having finished up in Hong Kong,

Freedman arrives back in Sydney on Monday having spent the past 15 months away. He notched his 18th winner in Hong Kong when Honest Lady won on Saturday.

“It’s sort of bittersweet really, it is a great way to go out. At least I didn’t go out with a whimper,” he told the South China Morning Post after the victory.

“There was a touch of irony when I was looking at it this morning thinking ‘I’ve got four runners that on paper all have good chances when I probably haven’t had that in 12 months’."

“It’s been a bit of a rocky road, that’s for sure but it is one of those things you chalk up to experience.”

Cup winner heads home

Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}) is Dubai-bound, having left Werribee on Sunday.

The International Horse Centre has been Cross Counter's home for over a month and he heads to Dubai to spell alongside stablemates Blair House, Comicas, Folkswood and Emotionless.

A 2019 campaign hasn't been decided for the Northern Hemisphere 3-year-old, who will be given time to recover from his victorious Cup run.

Meanwhile, a decision on where G1 Mackinnon S. winner Latrobe (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) heads next will be made in the next few days.

A shot at the G1 Japan Cup seems unlikely, but owner Lloyd Williams is keeping the option of a trip to Hong Kong for international day open.

There is also the option that the G1 Irish Derby winner remains in Australia to spell.

TDN Q & A with Adrian Wallace on Justify

In September, Justify left WinStar Farm for a career at Ashford Stud after the undefeated Triple Crown winner was purchased by Coolmore. Two months later, he is on display for breeders and fans alike and has proven to be a popular draw during the Keeneland November Sale. TDN's Kelsey Riley caught up with Adrian Wallace to see how the big chestnut was settling in.