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Daily News Wrap

8 min read

Partnership to end

The training partnership of Anthony and Edward Cummings will be dissolved in the New Year.

As from January 16, the father and son team will amicably go their separate ways.

“I wish Edward the best of lucks and fully support his decision to train independently,” Anthony Cummings said.

“He has been a keen student of the industry for many years , has showed himself to be a fine horseman and is undoubtedly up to the standard.”

They have trained in partnership at Randwick at Leilani Lodge since 2009.

“I have the upmost respect for my father and all he has taught me and opportunities his guidance and trust have afforded me these past nine years,” Edward said.

“I began my career as a strapper , working up to the position of foreman and to be able to say we have co-trained at the highest level makes me very happy.”

Heart’s Cry mare takes the QEII Cup

Lys Gracieux (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry {Jpn}) pounced inside the final 50 metres and earned her first Group 1 tally in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Kyoto on Sunday.

The Carrot Farm runner was sent off as the third choice after being placed at the top level four times earlier in her career. The pacesetting Crocosmia (Jpn) (Stay Gold {Jpn}) clung stubbornly to second a neck behind, while last year’s winner, Mozu Katchan (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}) was three lengths back in third.

“Today was her day,” said Moreira, who was winning the first Group 1 of his short-term license and had just marked his 100th JRA winner earlier on the card.

“We were in a good position, two off the fence, and she had plenty left in the tank after angling out at the last turn. Under pressure, she responded very well and I had every confidence from the 300-meter point that we were going to win. She’s a real champion.”

Investigation opened

Racing Victoria’s head of integrity, Jamie Stier, has revealed a systematic investigation into the alarming equine death and injury rate at Werribee is underway.

“It won’t take a week, but we are very mindful of the need to get to the bottom of it relatively quickly,” Stier said. “It’s impossible to ignore. To do that would be wholly inappropriate.”

Stier told RSN Racing and Sport that The Cliffsofmoher’s (IRE) (Galileo {IRE}) autopsy report would be available in the next week or so as would clinical records of the 42 international horses who were housed at Werribee this spring.

The Cliffsofmoher fatality in the G1 Melbourne Cup followed a fatal injury incurred by Hamada (GB) (Cape Cross {IRE}) at Werribee at the start of spring and injuries to Emotionless (IRE) (Shamardal {USA}), Red Verdon (USA) (Lemon Drop Kid {USA}), Duretto (GB) (Manduro {GER}) and The Pentagon (IRE) (Galileo {IRE}).

The Cliffsofmoher, who fractured a shoulder, was the sixth international in eight years to perish during or after the Melbourne Cup.

It is understood that trainers and staff of the horses based at Werribee for the spring would be consulted on and off the record regarding the suitability of Werribee as a venue.

Stier said the large number of internationals this spring “was noteworthy.”

“There was a huge spike in numbers this year which in no way is a deflection from the attrition rate but it’s certainly a factor when injuries increase because there are simply more horses.”

Sprinters ready for Perth

Viddora (I Am Invincible) and Malaguerra (Magnus) are both off to Perth for the G1 Wiunterbottom S., following trial wins at Cranbourne on Monday morning.

The former will be defending her title while Malaguerra finished fifth in the 2016 edition.

A first-up winner of the G1 Moir S., Viddora was beaten by a heavy track when off the pace in The Everest last time out.

Trainer Lloyd Kennewell said Viddora had been kept ticking over in preparation for the trip.

“She came here for a nice little trial and I was really happy before her flight on Sunday. Once she arrives in Perth she's got 13 days there before the race.

“She's a horse that loves travelling and seems to thrive in the warmer weather. She can have one nice gallop while she's there and that should have her right.”

Malaguerra hasn’t raced since he finished down the track in the G1 Manikato S.

“We were mindful that he didn't get a genuine run the other night and didn't gain the fitness we wanted out of that race,” trainer Peter Gelagotis said.

“He looks the best he's ever looked. He's the soundest he's ever been and his trials and his work has been outstanding.

“He's been pretty luckless since he won the Australia Stakes so hopefully that can turn around with a better barrier draw and a little luck in running.

“I think we've had enough experience with these top-end horses to know how he's going. He's been lightly raced and has plenty to give.”

Savvy plans for mare

Michael Pitman may be laid up in hospital, but it hasn’t stopped him making plans for his stable star Savvy Coup (NZ) (Savabeel).

The Riccarton trainer fulfilled a dream when he got to Moonee Valley to watch Savvy Coup contest the G1 Cox Plate, even though the dual Group 1 winner tailed home the seven finishers behind champion Winx.

He was planning to be in Melbourne again for Savvy Coup’s Australian finale in the G2 Matriarch S., at Flemington on Saturday, but was instead back in Christchurch Hospital after complications arose from his bowel operation last month.

Pitman, who trains in partnership with his son Matthew, watched the televised coverage of the Matriarch Stakes, in which Savvy Coup settled back and beat only two home.

Savvy Coup

“She didn’t fire at all,” he said. “She pulled up good and she’s coming home on Thursday.

“She will have 10 days to a fortnight out spelling then we’ll get her back and set her for the Thorndon Mile at Trentham. She can then go to Auckland for some of those good races later on.”

Meanwhile, Pitman is looking forward to the return of Montoya Star (NZ) (High Chaparral {IRE}) in the G3 Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders’ S., at Riccarton on Wednesday.

Montoya Star finished runner-up last year and subsequently won the G3 Cuddle S., at Trentham, and finished a close fourth in the G2 Westbury Classic at Ellerslie.

“She is coming up really well, her work has been great,” Pitman said. “The only worry is she hasn’t had a trial and hasn’t raced for a while.”

Sydney on Shark’s radar

Te Akau Shark (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {IRE}) could provide NRL legend Paul Gallen with a brief focus away from his hefty league schedule with Cronulla Sharks next autumn if he lives up to expectations at Riccarton on Wednesday.

Gallen, the veteran back-rower who is set to undergo his record-breaking 19th consecutive season with Cronulla Sharks, is a part-owner of Te Akau Shark, who will start an odds-on favourite in the G2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile.

Gallen has watched on from Sydney as Te Akau Shark has won four of his five starts, with his only defeat being when fourth in last year’s G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas.

“I believe he is coming over to see him run at Riccarton,” trainer Jamie Richards said.

“Te Akau Shark will be going over there for the Sydney autumn carnival if he does well on Wednesday.

“He’ll have a break after this one then we’ll set him for Sydney. He’s a pretty exciting horse and I’d like to think he’ll be competitive at Group 1 level over there.”

Te Akau Shark pictured as a yearling

Gallen, the former New South Wales State Of Origin captain, was brought into Te Akau Shark by his friend, Steve Mace, a Cronulla Shark’s sponsor who has a 35 percent interest in the horse.

The chestnut was purchased out of Lyndhurst Farm’s Ready to Run Sale draft at Karaka for NZ$230,000 by Te Akau principal David Ellis.

Easy summer for Deploy

Multiple Group winner Deploy (Fastnet Rock) will be given a short summer campaign.

The Gerald Ryan-trained sprinter was missing through the autumn and the spring following surgery to remove bone chips.

“He'll trial at Rosehill next Monday and we plan to give him two races and then we will see what we do after that,” Ryan said.

Stable star Trapeze Artist (Snitzel) is due back in the stable this week to start preparing for his autumn campaign.

Meanwhile, the veteran Red Excitement (Excites) will run in Saturday's November Topaz at Rosehill off the back of a last-start win earlier this month.

Ryan said the 9-year-old will decide his own racing future.

“If his two work-outs since his win are anything to go by, he still enjoys it and he loves being in the stable.

“The moment he shows he's had enough he will be retired, but we'll keep him going until then.”