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Daily News Wrap

8 min read

Passing of the great Sinndar

A former champion galloper with his own slice of international racing history has died.

The Aga Khan Studs have announced the passing at the age of 21 of Sinndar (IRE) (Grand Lodge {USA}), the only horse to have won the G1 English Derby, the G1 Irish Derby and the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as a 3-year-old.

A winner of seven of his eight starts, Sinndar was ridden in all of his races by Johnny Murtagh.

“No horse can get by him. He's got speed, he's got staying ability and a great heart,” he said after their Arc victory. “He's the best horse, a true champion.”

Sinndar was trained by John Oxx, who said his performances would stand the test of time.

“He was a worthy winner of the Arc in the year 2000. He's set a standard there that will be hard enough for others to match and I'm sure that when we get to the year 2099 they will still write about this horse. He's been a great horse.”

The Aga Khan homebred left his mark at stud with Group 1 winners including Rosanara (FR), Shareta (IRE) and Shawanda (IRE), as well as Youmzain (IRE), who was runner-up in the Arc for three consecutive years.

His legacy also lives on through his daughters, who have already produced two Classic winners in Flotilla (FR) and Trading Leather (IRE).

Sinndar had been retired at Haras d’Ouilly at the end of the 2017 breeding season and his last crop of foals was born this year.

Tasmanian catalogue released

The catalogue for the 2019 Magic Millions Tasmanian Yearling Sale in February has been released with 149 lots to be auctioned.

The sale, to be held at the Inveresk Showgrounds at Launceston on Monday February 25, sees 68 individual sires represented, including 11 first-season stallions.

Armidale Stud's Needs Further, who has burst to prominence after the recent stakes-winning heroics of one of the graduates of this sale, Mystic Journey, has 19 lots, while Grenville Stud's Mawingo (Ger) is represented by 12 lots.

There are also lots by Better Than Ready, Dissident, Dundeel, Hinchinbrook, Hallowed Crown, Magnus, Nicconi and Star Witness.

As well as Mystic Journey, who won the G2 Aquis farm Fillies Classic on Cox Plate day, recent graduates of the sale include G1 winner Palentino (Palatine Hill) as well as The Cleaner (Savoire Vivre) and Hot Dipped (Written Tycoon).

Leiter breaks Hughes drought

Lieter (Wanted) looks set for a bright future after a 4.75l maiden win at Bendigo on debut.

The Tommy Hughes Jnr trained gelding overcame a slightly slow start to rally through, take the lead and surge clear in the straight upsetting well-backed favourite Bam's On Fire (Universal Ruler) by a big margin.

A homebred for Glenn Whittenbury from Barree Pastoral, Lieter is out of the stakes-placed mare Miss Octopussy (Lonhro) and gave Hughes his first winner since June.

"He's been a tricky little thing, but he has come here today and behaved like a real racehorse. He's gone out there and done everything professional and I don't think he could have been any more impressive," Hughes said.

"We’ve had a dry spell, we haven't had many runners, but you keep at it and one always pops up."

Jockey Patrick Moloney, who rode his first stakes winner in the Barree Pastoral colours on the Hughes-trained Chill Party (Nicconi) in 2015, wasn't surprised by the dominant performance from Lieter.

"Obviously he's well-bred and Tommy has done a good job handling him. I've been just hanging out for him to get to the races," Moloney said.

"His trials have been really good and he had a bit up his sleeve at the trials and had a bit up his sleeve on them today."

John Gosden/Anthony Stroud Lead Way At Tatts

An Oasis Dream (GB) colt (lot 89) topped the Tattersalls December Yearling Sale, with the hammer falling in favour of John Gosden at 260,000gns.

Anthony Stroud, who signed for the colt on Gosden’s behalf, said, “This is a very nice horse and has been produced well. John is very keen on his full-brother [Azano (GB)] and this colt will go to him.”

Jono Mills of Rabbah Bloodstock was active throughout Monday's session, signing for four lots for 271,000gns. At the head of this quartet was lot 58, a filly by champion first-season sire No Nay Never (USA), bought for 98,000gns.

Singapore calling

War Affair (NZ) (O’Reilly {NZ}) is returning to the scene of past glories.

The 8-year-old has had his two most recent runs for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh and finished seventh on an unsuitable slow track in the G2 Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa and fourth in the G3 Red Badge Spring Sprint at Hastings last month.

War Affair

“I thought he went a top race at Hastings,” Marsh said. “He had 61 kilos and Te Akau Shark had only 53 kilos.

“I was looking forward to giving him a crack at some of the other big races, but his owner has decided he wants him back in Singapore.

“He’s just waiting around for the next available flight, but that won’t be for a while.

“It’s a shame to see him go. I’d have loved to have a crack at a few good ones with him.”

War Affair will be returning to the Singapore stable of Marsh’s father, Bruce, who took over his training after he finished second in the 2015 Singapore Derby. He prepared him to win two races including the Listed Saas Fee S.

Club has strong 3YO hand

The powerful China Horse Club are well-served by their New Zealand-bred and based 3-year-olds.

They are spearheaded by the G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner Madison County (NZ) (Pins) and two other fillies have emerged as potential black type contenders.

Recent winner Queen Of Diamonds (NZ) (Savabeel) and Van Irving (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {IRE}), a last-start second, are considered black type performers in waiting.

“It was nice to get the win out of the way and great to see her win like that,” Club bloodstock and general manager Michael Wallace said of Queen Of Diamonds.

“She showed she’s stakes quality and she’ll get the rating points to get in the better races now.

“The Eulogy S. is likely to be her next target. We’ll see how she goes there, then we’ll pick a path.

“She’s got a bit of brilliance the way she finished it off on Sunday, but she should get a good mile and maybe 10 furlongs.”

Van Irving finished strongly for second in her seasonal debut at Te Rapa.

“She’s got a bit of quality and she could go for races like the Eight Carat at Ellerslie and the New Zealand Oaks later on,” Wallace said.

Meanwhile, Madison County is taking it easy before returning to the stable of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.

“He’s having a bit of a break at Lyndhurst Farm and will be back to have a look at the Levin Classic,” Wallace said.

“He’ll then go for the Karaka three-year-old race. That’s the plans in the short term and we’ll then figure out whether he goes to Sydney in the autumn.”

Top mare stars at trials

Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) is likely to resume in the G1 Sistema Railway at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.

The mare won all three of her starts this season in the Gr.2 Foxbridge Plate, the G1 Tarzino Trophy and the G1 Windsor Park Plate.

She returned to work after a break and coasted to a 1000 metre trial success at Matamata on Tuesday.

Melody Belle

“She had a couple of weeks in the paddock after Hastings and has come back looking a picture,” trainer Jamie Richards said.

“She really freshened up nicely so it was good to see her trial so well. Opie said she felt good and did everything perfectly.

“She didn’t lose much with her time in the paddock, so I don’t think she will need a race before the Railway.

“We will give her another trial at Te Aroha on December 11 to get her ready and then straight into the race.

Group 1 galloper Jon Snow (NZ) (Iffraaj {GB}) also pleased when successful in his 1200 metre trial.

“It was a good win,” co-trainer Andrew Forsman said. “We will see how he comes through it and decide if we give him a run here or back off him and prepare him for the autumn.”

Promising start for well-bred colt

A well-related colt ran up to his pedigree in his first public appearance with a comfortable trial win at Matamata on Tuesday.

Trained by Jamie Richards and given a soft ride by Opie Bosson, Laurentium (NZ) (Sacred Falls {NZ}) was quickly into stride to lead and went to the line untouched to take out his 800 metre heat.

He is a half-brother to the unbeaten Team Hawke’s trained 3-year-old Brutal (NZ) (O’Reilly {NZ}),who was a debut winner at Caulfield before he won the Listed McKenzie S. during the winter. He returned in the spring to claim the Listed Antler Luggage Plate before a spell.

Laurentium was bought out of Phoenix Park’s draft at Karaka earlier this year by Te Akau’s David Ellis for NZ$170,000.

He is out of Alberton Princess (NZ) (Golan {IRE}), who was purchased at the 2016 National Broodmare Sale for NZ$75,000 by Gary Hennessy.

The Matamata horseman was the trainer and part-owner of the G1 Cox Plate winner Ocean Park (NZ) (Thorn Park), whose son out of Alberton Princess will be offered as Lot 555 through Seaton Park’s draft during the Book 1 Sale at Karaka in 2019.