Daily News Wrap

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Villiers target for in-form 4YO

Sky Boy (Pendragon) is on his way to the G2 Villiers S., following further success at Rosehill on Saturday.

The 4-year-old stretched his winning sequence to four with victory in the 2018 Membership H., in the hands of Christian Reith.

“He has always been good from day one but needed to mature physically and mentally,” co-trainer Anthony Cummings said.

“I've got no doubt he can get to the top level and by spring next year be a serious contender for all the big races.

“If he wins the Villiers, then we will work out his path to the Doncaster.”

Reith was sporting the colours of Sky Boy’s late owner Dato Tan Chin Nam, who bred the horse at his Think Big Stud. The gelding is by Pendragon (NZ) out of Zazabelle (NZ), who finished third in the 1999 G1 Melbourne Cup.

Sky Boy winning at Randwick

Weir wins home Cup

Darren Weir had the numbers on his side in his quest to win the Listed Sportsbet Ballarat Cup and it was Kiwia (Reset) who handed him his home town feature.

He settled midfield on the fence and stuck to the fence under John Allen to run down the pacesetter Pilote D’Essai (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}).

“That was some sort of ride,” Weir said. “When the leader kicked I thought he would take a bit of catching so it’s a big thrill.

“Obviously the writing was on the wall last Saturday and with a bit of luck he would have won that race at Sandown.”

Allen was of a similar opinion and said Kiwia should have finished a lot closer there than fifth.

“He was a bit unlucky. I had the choice of a couple in this and I picked the right one.”

Pakenham feature for Khartoum again

The Listed Pakenham Cup is again on the radar of the Pat Carey-prepared Khartoum (Helenus).

The Mornington trainer revealed that plan after his 5-year-old won Saturday’s Champions Estate H., at Ballarat.

A previous fifth at Moonee Valley, Khartoum appreciated the 2300 metre trip and finished best for apprentice Fred Kersley to beat Darren Weir’s The Gatting Ball (Hard Spun {USA}).

“I think the Pakenham Cup is the right race for him,” Carey said.

“He ran second in it last year so why shouldn't we go that way again.”

Bostonian on Group 1 path

Bostonian (NZ) (Jimmy Choux) has opened a Group 1 campaign in the best possible way.

The Tony Pike-trained 4-year-old resumed in the Listed Haunui Farm Counties Bowl and he showed his class with an authoritative display to beat Santa Monica (NZ) (Per Incanto {USA}).

“Tony has the Railway and the Telegraph in mind for him,” owner David Archer said.

Bostonian enjoyed a lucrative campaign at the Queensland winter carnival earlier this year, winning all three of his starts including the G3 Sunshine Coast Guineas.

He is out of a half-sister to Archer’s multiple Group 1 winner and two-time New Zealand Horse of the Year Mufhasa (NZ) (Pentire {GB}).

Cup target in Gundown’s sights

Co-trainer Murray Baker is eyeing a return to black type racing for the promising Gundown (NZ) (High Chaparral {IRE}).

“He’s a staying horse with a bit of quality and we’ll have a look at a race like the Waikato Cup,” he said.

Gundown was placed in the G2 Championship S., and the G3 Manawatu Classic last season and gained a deserved victory in Saturday’s Franklin Roofing Open H., at Pukekohe after finishing runner-up in each of his four previous appearances.

“It was very surprising, I thought he’d need the run,” Baker said. “He’s only a one win horse and we were getting frustrated by a lack of suitable races for him so he had to run.”

3YO remains unbeaten

Progressive 3-year-old Total Excess (Delago Deluxe) has kept his perfect record intact with a stylish victory at Awapuni.

Put aside after a winning debut last season, he sat on the leader’s quarters when resuming on Saturday and strode clear to win the Higgins Concrete/BNZ Partners 1300 untested.

“He’s run very well and we’ll take him along quietly,” trainer Jamie Richards.

“He’s a nice example of the type of horse you can buy at the Ready to Run Sale.”

Total Excess was purchased by Te Akau’s David Ellis out of Regal Farm’s draft 12 months ago for NZ$200,000. He is from the family of the G1 New Zealand S., winner Gaze (NZ) (Cape Cross {IRE}).