Daily News Wrap

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Multiple Group 1 winner on market

Top-class mare Abel Tasman (USA) (Quality Road {USA}) will be offered as a broodmare prospect by Taylor Made Sales Agency at Keeneland’s 2019 January Horses of All Ages Sale.

In the China Horse Club colours, she won six Grade 1 races including the Kentucky Oaks.

“What can I say? Abel Tasman is a rare collector’s item,” said Mark Taylor, Taylor Made’s Vice- President of Marketing and Public Sales Operations.

“She is a future first ballot Hall of Fame inductee. We are privileged to have the opportunity to present her to the best breeders from around the globe.”

Trained by Bob Baffert for China Horse Club and breeder Clearsky Farms, Abel Tasman ranks as one of the finest of her generation with Grade 1 victories as a 2, 3 and 4-year-old from 1400 metres to 1800 metres.

“Abel Tasman provided the China Horse Club with some of its greatest highlights and an introduction to US racing,” said the Club’s bloodstock and racing manager Michael Wallace.

“We were very privileged to race our champion mare with Clearsky Farms. I’ll remember her as extremely talented, brave and very sound. We look forward to someone else now taking on her breeding career.”

Billy Slater named Magic Millions ambassador

Rugby league star Billy Slater will play the role of Ambassador for the 2019 The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival.

The former trackwork jockey who became one of the best rugby league players in the world for Melbourne Storm, Queensland and Australia will feature in all aspects of the iconic carnival in January.

He will play in the Celebrity v Jockeys polo event ahead of the feature game at Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo on January 6, and then ride in the thoroughbred beach run ahead of the barrier draw for Magic Millions Raceday on Tuesday, January 8.

Billy Slater

He will then be a special guest at the Magic Millions Launch Party on Tuesday night before playing a role in the sale with Woodside Park Stud presenting a yearling on behalf of Slater Thoroughbreds.

“I’ve always had two great passions in life - Rugby League and horses - and now that my footy career is over, breeding horses has taken over my drive to succeed,” Slater said.

“I really am so excited to become an Ambassador for The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival and my family can’t wait to go - it’s such a great event."

“I didn’t ride much while playing footy so I’m a bit nervous about getting back in the saddle. I’ve got a strong competitive streak, so I’ll be fitting in a few lessons before playing in the Polo and to prepare for the beach race."

“With our first yearling going through the sales I’ll also be taking a very keen interest in all the auction ring action - keeping an eye on what prices are and working out our own values.”

Winner No.5 for Better than Ready

The first crop of Better Than Ready continue to put the Lyndhurst Park sire in the spotlight, with a fifth winner on Wednesday, Well Prepared.

Well Prepared, trained by Stuart Kendrick, proved too slick for his rivals in the Skyline Restaurant 2-Year-Old H. at the Gold Coast, leading all the way to win by 2.25l under jockey Damian Browne.

Kendrick was delighted with how Well Prepared handled himself after a thunderstorm forced the entire field to retreat from the mounting yard pre-race.

"Obviously it was a bit of a disaster there early with the babies all having to go back in and he got himself a little bit worked up, but he's always shown us plenty on the track so it was good to see him do it on raceday," Kendrick said.

Kendrick said the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January was the goal for Well Prepared this campaign and he'd likely look for a race at Doomben in the next few weeks to ensure he is qualified.

"He did everything right today and he should improve again."

Well Prepared was a $20,000 buy at the Gold Coast March Yearling Sale.

It was a case of two winners in two days for Better Than Ready after Lepreezy won a maiden at Rockhampton on Tuesday.

The Art Of The Bar headed to Millions

The Art Of The Bar (Charge Forward) is headed to the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas after a 6.5l romp at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.

A $150,000 buy for American owner Stuart Grant from the Cressfield draft at the 2017 Magic Millions Sale, The Art Of The Bar took her record to two wins from five starts, having broken her maiden at Kembla Grange earlier this month.

Ridden by Tim Clark on Wednesday, she relished the wet conditions, leading throughout and kicking clear to easily beat Charmed Princess (Casino Prince) and Seles (I Am Invincible)

She is out of Personification (Redoute's Choice) a three-quarter-sister to stakes winners Time Thief and A Time for Julia.

Grant has had considerable success as an owner in his home country, especially with 2018 Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Monomoy Girl (Tapizar).

First Light Racing fined over conflict of interest

Horse racing syndicator First Light Racing and two of its directors, Tim Wilson and Sam Kilkenny, have been fined $5000 each by Racing Victoria after failing to disclose a conflict of interest in Product Disclosure Statements for two of their horses.

Wilson and Kilkenny pleaded guilty to the charges laid under AR 175(gg) in relation to a High Chaparral (Ire) x Danzotto filly and a Charge Forward x Trois Couleurs colt.

RV found that the PDS for the horses being syndicated failed to disclose original purchases and any conflict of interest in regards to the purchase.

Arizona Belle (High Chaparral {Ire)) was originally purchased for $43,000 at the 2015 Gold Coast National Weanling Sale by Paul Willetts as an agent for Star Band, an associated entity of FLR before being bought by FLR for $60,000 from Bell River Thoroughbreds Pty Ltd as agent for Star Band at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Yearling Sale.

Willetts also paid $26,000 at the 2017 Gold Coast National Weanling Sale for the Charge Forward x Trois Couleurs colt and then acquired the colt as a yearling from Widden Stud at the 2018 Gold Coast Yearling Sale for $80,000.

RV claimed the PDS contained no reference to the fact that FLR had previously owned the horses.

Taking into account the guilty pleas, RV elected to drop the more serious charges of AR175A, which relate to conduct prejudicial to the image, or interests, or welfare of racing.

Favourite draws good alley

The odds about Viddora (I Am Invincible) retaining her G1 Winterbottom S. crown tightened after she drew gate five for Saturday’s Perth feature.

She scored from barrier seven 12 months ago and is a warm favourite to make it back-to-back victories.

Enticing Star (Testa Rossa), races in the same interests as the G1 Railway Stakes winner Galaxy Star (Redoute’s Choice), and will start from barrier 13 in the 15-horse field.

She has only been beaten once in nine starts, that coming when she was unplaced in the G2 Group Two Lee Steere S. when reportedly in season.

The best-performed sprinter among the horses who accompanied Viddora to Perth is Malaguerra (Magnus).

He won the G1 VRC Sprint Classic in 2016, but was side-lined for almost a year before finishing down the course in the G1 Manikato S. at Moonee Valley last month.

Trainer Peter Gelagotis will make a gear change with Malaguerra to race in blinkers for the first time.

Leading Kiwi rider on way home

Senior New Zealand riding ranks in the north will be strengthened with the return of Group 1 winning jockey Michael McNab.

McNab, who guided Melody Belle to success in the Manawatu Sires' ProduceS. at Awapuni last year, has been riding in Queensland since June.

While he was sitting inside the top 20 on the Brisbane metropolitan jockeys' premiership, McNab is coming home for family reasons and expects to be in action at the Counties meeting on December 5.

“I've found Brisbane really good and while it hasn't been a raging success, I feel my riding has improved going up against Ryan Maloney, Jeff Lloyd, Jimmy Orman and Jim Byrne, to name but a few,” McNab said.

“I have a goal to win another Group 1 race back home. Hopefully I can establish myself again and I'd love to chase a premiership, maybe next season.

“I'm absolutely fizzing to get back riding at home and can't wait to catch-up with my good mates in the jockeys' room.”