Sign up to the TDN daily edition

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

Daily News Wrap

7 min read

Blue debut impresses

Godolphin unveiled another impressive 2-year-old debutant with Tenley (Medaglia D'Oro {USA)) charging late to win the Twilight's Return To Randwick Plate at Kensington.

Ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, Tenley looked unlikely to win at the 200m mark, but having saved ground along the rail, she unleashed a late sprint to nab Blazing Miss (Sizzling) in the final stride with Single Blonde (Not A Single Doubt) third.

McEvoy felt that the filly would need to improve to be competitive at stakes level this campaign but said she has a bright future.

Out of Fratianne, she is from the family of champion mare Skating, making her a close relative to Murtajill and Bradbury's Luck as well as Coolmore stallion Vancouver.

She is James Cummings' second 2-year-old winner of the season after Kiamichi (Sidestep) won at Rosehill earlier this month.

Walker backs Comin' HK challenge

Comin' Through (Fastnet Rock) will be the sole Australian-trained representative at the Hong Kong International day, with the 5-year-old among 13 entries for the Longines Hong Kong Mile.

The Sir Owen Glenn-owned Comin' Through was a winner of the G2 Tramway S earlier in the spring but failed to greet the judge again and was last seen when 11th in the G1 Cantela S. during the Flemington carnival.

Comin Through

Jockey Michael Walker will take the ride for Chris Waller and is confident that the half-brother to Criterion (NZ) (Sebring) can measure up to international Group 1 class.

"I think a horse of his calibre and ability is worthy and when he turns up he's right there with them," Walker said,

"When he's on song he beats the best milers going around."

"I think going to Hong Kong with a horse like him is perfect because he needs a change in scenery and I think it will give him a new lease of life.

"People might look at his form and think 'does it warrant'? But his last run at Flemington [in the Group 1 Kennedy Mile], he would have been right in the finish if he didn't get knocked over."

"He's a fit horse, but with the travel coming up he wouldn't have done much which is great because he's better on the fresh side."

Walker will also ride Melbourne Cup placegetter (A) Prince of Arran (Shirocco {Ger}) in the Longines Hong Kong Vase.

812 paid up for Blue Diamond

A total of 812 horses, including a remarkable 101 from the stables of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig have paid up as first acceptors for the G1 Blue Diamond S. in February.

Early-season winners from the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stables, Unite And Conquer (Hinchinbrook), Espaaniyah (I Am Invincible) and Vinicunca (I Am Invincible) are among 27 from that stable to be included, while there are 65 from Tony McEvoy, 54 from Peter and Paul Snowden and 51 each from Mick Price and Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.

Vinicunca is a paid up first acceptor for the Blue Diamond

The Snowdens opted to pay the $5500 late entry fee for Victory Vein S. winner Anaheed (Fastnet Rock) while the unraced Zoustar filly My Blue Wings, who is in the care of Chris Meagher, was also a late entry.

The Blue Diamond, Victoria's richest 2-year-old race, will be run on February 23, with the Previews (January 26) and Preludes (February 9) run in the lead-up.

Wesley eyes double-double

Tasmanian star I'm Wesley (I Am Invincible) will be aimed at a rare double-double having returned to the track with his third stakes win in the Listed Newmarket Handicap at Launceston on Wednesday night.

Having become the seventh horse to win back-to-back Newmarkets in the 113-year history of the race, I'm Wesley will now be set for the Listed Conquering S. at the same track early next month, a race he also won in 2017.

Trainer Glenn Stevenson was delighted with I'm Wesley's return to the track off a seven-week break since he finished fourth in a Listed 1400m event at Flemington in early October.

“I’ve taken him along gradually since he came back from Melbourne and what we saw was only a glimpse of what’s to come," Stevenson said.

“It was a great ride tonight from Brendon (McCoull) because he made the decision to lead and make the others work behind him but that’s why he’s won 14 premierships.”

The one-time $4000 weanling purchase becomes Yarraman Park's I Am Invincible's 15th individual stakeswinner for the season to date.

Black-type then Group 1s for Bavella

Group 1 targets are firmly in the sights of Bavella (Snitzel) after she elevates to stakes company in Saturday's Listed Splice Construction Stakes at Pukekohe.

Trainer Lance Noble is already eyeing the autumn 2-year-old features for the filly, who is bred and raced by Cambridge Stud owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay.

"Already we are thinking of the autumn and the Group One races for her but we've got to prove we are good enough," he said.

"But she hasn't done anything wrong and we're happy to give her the chance."

She won easily on debut at Ellerslie last month and Noble said she would take improvement from that into Saturday's assignment at Pukekohe.

"It was a good strong win because she showed early speed and then was able to quicken in running. She's trained on well since," Noble said.

"We've tried to space her races but there's not a lot around for two-year-olds anyway. After she won, this was the obvious race to target leading into Christmas racing."

Bavella is out of the Zabeel mare Zonza, a Group 3 winner in Australia.

Kingman Filly Tops Goffs

Seville-based agent Francisco Bernal of Outsider Bloodstock signed for a Kingman (GB) filly at €350,000 to top Day 3 at the Goffs November Foal Sale.

Bernal stated that his Spanish client is prominent in the world of sport-horse breeding and is launching a fledgling venture into the Thoroughbred world.

“The Kingman filly was a queen. I’m thrilled for her breeder Paddy Burns. My team has done a wonderful job all week in difficult weather,” added consignor Jacqueline Norris.

Lot 600 Kingman (GB) x Splashdown (GB)

Shadwell’s Muhaarar (GB) was one of the most successful freshman sires at last year’s foal sales and a member of his second crop (lot 730) became the most expensive colt foal sold at Goffs this year when eliciting a final bid of €320,000 from Stephen Collins, representing Shadwell’s Irish operation at Derrinstown Stud.

“He has the looks, the walk and the pedigree,” said Collins. “Obviously we have a lot of stock by the sire at Shadwell and next year is a really big year for him but we’re really excited.”

A Galileo (Ire) three-quarter sister to the 2016 Derby winner Harzand (Ire) (Sea The Stars {GB}) (lot 709) was bought by Hugo Merry at €300,000.

"It was just a notion, really, but I’ve bought her for myself, Jane [Allison] and a friend of ours,” said Merry. “How often are you able to buy into a pedigree like this? Galileo is a very good broodmare sire and the mare does it every time.”

The Galileo half-brother to Zoustar (lot 637) was listed as not sold at €850,000.

Lot 637, the half-brother to Zoustar by Galileo

“It has been as hard as ever to buy the good ones but there were more falling through the cracks than in recent years,” was the assessment of Goffs group chief executive Henry Beeby.

“So the good ones have sold very, very well with several extremely happy breeders, especially throughout today, and we are grateful to them all for their ongoing support as it is they who make the sale such a success each year along with the huge group of buyers that descended on Kildare Paddocks from Saturday morning."