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Daily News Wrap

6 min read

Melbourne focus for Sunlight

Tony McEvoy has ruled out another trip to the Gold Coast for his flying filly Sunlight (Zoustar).

She won the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January and there is the option of a couple of races for the 3-year-old on Millions day in January.

But after the filly's G1 Coolmore Stud S., victory earlier this month, McEvoy has decided to wait for Melbourne's premier sprints in February and March.

Tony McEvoy with Sunlight and strapper, Sarah Rütten

“Sunlight is at my farm in the Barossa and she's having a month off and then I will train her for the Lightning Stakes on February 16,” McEvoy said.

“She's a Group One winner and it just didn't give her much time to get to the Magic Millions so I've decided to abort the Magic Millions, which is a bit sad because she's so good there."

“She can handle the heat, she handles that way of going and she's unbeaten on that track, but now that she's won that Group 1 it just changes her a little bit.

“I'd like to set her for the Lightning and the Newmarket and then think about The Everest.”

Cup target for regally-bred 4YO

Lindsay Park is focussing on the G3 Hobart Cup with the well-bred Earth Angel (Animal Kingdom {USA}).

As a daughter of the four-time Group 1 winner Miss Finland, expectations were high when she commenced her career.

Earth Angel as a foal with her dam, Miss Finland

She won on debut at Ballarat before heading to Sydney where she finished fourth in the Listed Fernhill S., at her only other 2-year-old start. Earth Angel returned earlier this year, racing genuinely without winning but collecting four placings, three at Group level, from seven runs for the preparation.

She has had two runs through the spring, the latest when fourth in a benchmark race during the Flemington carnival and steps up to 2100m at Sandown on Wednesday when she runs in the Araza H.

“We thought she'd be well-placed racing through the summer months,” co-trainer David Hayes said. “Hopefully, that will enable her to pick up a few nice races which will get her rating up."

“After that we can look at possibly mapping out a suitable autumn campaign with her.”

Enable remains in training

The connections of Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) have announced the two-time G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine will remain in training in 2019 with a defense of her Arc title her main goal. The Juddmonte homebred would become the first three-time winner of the Paris-Longchamp showpiece.

“I think Prince Khalid wanted time to reflect on the Arc and Breeders’ Cup and time to enjoy it before he started to think about the following year,” said Prince Khalid Abdullah’s racing manager Lord Teddy Grimthorpe.

"Obviously it was important that she was in good shape when she came back. She checked out really well, so from that point of view it gave us the encouragement to go on.”

Regular rider Frankie Dettori told the Daily Mirror, “It’s made my day. She showed what an incredible filly she is this year–the horse of a lifetime. It’s easy for horses to show their best when everything is going for them, but she had to miss most of the season with injury and to come back and do what she did was very special.”

No Nay Never On Top At Goffs

A colt by No Nay Never (USA) lot 157 topped the opening day of the Goffs November Foal Sale at €125,000. Offered by Kilmore Stud on behalf of breeder Audrey F. Thompson, the April-born colt is out of Celestial Dream (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}), who has a perfect breeding record to date being the dam of five winners from five runners.

“We thought he was the standout colt here today, the stallion has made a fantastic start and this foal has a lot going for him,” said Brendan Morrin, who was accompanied by his brother Ger. “He will be offered for sale as a yearling, probably back here at the Orby Sale.”

Fresh-up tilt at Railway

Te Aroha trainer Peter Lock will take an unconventional path to the G1 Sistema Railway S., with Hiflyer (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}).

“He really thrived during his spell and he’s been back in work about two to three weeks,” he said.

“I’m planning an unorthodox approach to the Railway. He’ll have a jump-out or maybe two at Matamata then go into the Railway fresh-up.

“I know it’s a bit stupid taking on a Group 1 like that, but he’s very good fresh-up and I couldn’t be happier with him. "

“He’s come back bigger and stronger and the trip he had to Australia earlier in the year has made him. He’s matured and the penny has finally dropped.”

A multiple Group 3 winner, Hiflyer was taken to Sydney last June and ran fourth in his two Rosehill starts in the Listed Winter S., and in the Listed Winter Challenge, in which he was ridden by Hugh Bowman.

“Bowman was quite impressed with him,” Lock said. “He told me he gives him a massive feel as a little miler and could possibly get 2000 metres, whether or not it’s in a stakes race over there.

“I’ve tried him over ground once before and I’d like to give him another shot at it, possibly in the autumn.”

Off The Show looking to lift spirits

Off The Show (Show A Heart) will be hoping to give part-owner Rod Patterson a timely boost when he contests a maiden at Launceston on Wednesday.

Patterson, a prominent Tasmanian businessman, was seriously injured when caught up in the recent Bourke St terror attack in Melbourne, where he was stabbed and received a 10cm long and 4cm deep gash in his neck., which severed an artery,

Lucky to survive the November 9 attack, Patterson only recently returned home to Launceston and told local radio station LA FM that he is still recuperating from the physical and psychological impacts.

He owns Off The Show, a two-start maiden who was a recent six-length Hobart trial winner, with several of his close friends.

Spotlight on Victorian breeding industry

A new concept has been launched to support the Victorian breeding industry.

TR Equine Solutions and the Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) have thrown their weight behind an initiative to make The Valley known as 'The Breeders’ Track'.

As part of the move, the official breeder named in the race book will receive two members’ passes, available at the race day office. MVRC will be holding the first Victorian Breeders' Race Day on Saturday, December 1.

Breeders will be recognised on course in a special hospitality event to be held in MVRC’s JR’s Bar. Tickets will be open to all breeding participants, employees, friends and families.

MVRC have provided the opportunity for naming rights of up to five races to be owned by breeders on the day. Those looking for more information are asked to contact Tracey Robertson at TR Equine Solutions or Chris Goodwin at Moonee Valley Racing Club.