Daily News Wrap

8 min read

Tracks holding up well

Sydney’s racecourses are continuing to cope and race exceptionally well despite record rainfall across the city, as Rosehill Gardens and Canterbury Park prepare for another double-header of racing this Friday and Saturday.

The G3 Festival S., the Listed Starlight S. and Listed ATC Cup are three features at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday.

Despite almost 60mm of rain in recent days, the Rosehill Gardens course proper was just into the Heavy 8 range on Thursday morning, with at least one upgrade expected ahead of Saturday.

The third KIA Friday Night Racing meeting of the season at Canterbury Park has capacity fields in six of the eight races, and a total of 112 acceptances.

Canterbury Park received 77mm of rain in 48 hours over Wednesday and Thursday, but is also just into the Heavy 8 range.

“The track has drained very well and with some sunshine through Thursday and Friday we would expect good improvement and an upgrade,” Racecourse Manager Greg Carmody said.

Trainers cop lengthy bans

Terry O'Sullivan and his daughter Karina have been disqualified until the end of December, 2019.

On Thursday, the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board found the Stawell trainers not guilty of administering cobalt to affect performance, but were handed guilty verdicts on other charges and banned for more than a year.

Trainer Terry O'Sullivan

They were in relation to elevated cobalt readings returned by Darragh (NZ) (No Excuse Needed (GB) at Ballarat on November 21, 2015 and at Sandown on August 24 the following year, and by Gold A Plenty (New Approach {IRE}) at Sandown on August 7, 2016.

All readings were of at least 1200 micrograms per litre of urine, more than six times the permitted cobalt threshold level at the time, and they were found guilty of administering the prohibited substance.

No Nay Never filly heads business

A daughter of Coolmore stallion No Nay Never (USA) (Scat Daddy {USA}) realised 80,000 guineas to head trade on the opening day of the Tattersalls December Foal Sale..

She was purchased by United States-based agent Justin Casse and was consigned by Voute Sales on behalf of breeders Killashee House Limited.

The youngster is out of the Duke Of Marmalade (IRE) mare Velvet Ribbon and hails from the family of 14-time Group 1 winner Goldikova (IRE) (Anabaa {USA}).

Lot 403 No Nay Never x Velvet Ribbon

“She has been bought to race," Casse said. "I think I have bought four by the sire, but this is the first who won't be for resale.

“Obviously, No Nay Never has done well, but he also appeals to the United States market because of the Scat Daddy factor.

“It is a little way back, but this filly is from one of the best fillies' families there has been – that of the champion Goldikova.

“If it suits racehorse owners to be a little patient, buying a foal is a good way in and this filly is cheaper than sending a mare to the sire now.”

A total of 154 lots sold for an aggregate of 1,614,850 guineas at an average of 10,486 guineas and a median of 6,000 guineas.

New role at Newgate

Newgate Farm has added a new member to its sales team with former Bloodstock and Sales Administrator Mary O’Neill joining the nominations department.

“Mary is so deserving of this opportunity as she is an integral part of our team,” General Manager Bruce Slade said.

“Through her previous administration role she has built terrific relationships with our clients at Newgate and, importantly, she has gained their respect.”

“This new position will give Mary scope to add further value to our supporters over time.”

Mary O'Neill

Directors re-elected to Board

Australian Turf Club Directors Julia Ritchie and Phil Morley were on Thursday re-elected to the Club’s Board at the annual general meeting at Rosehill Gardens.

Members voted at the AGM and by proxy to fill two of four Club-appointed positions on the seven-person Board.

Ms Ritchie, who remains the Club’s Vice-Chair and has been an ATC Director since February 2015, and Mr Morley, a Director since May 2016, were both elected to serve four-year terms.

“I congratulate Julia and Phil on their re-election, and the Board looks forward to continuing to make ATC and Sydney racing among the best of any thoroughbred racing club in the world,” Club Chairman Mathew McGrath said.

“I’d also like to thank the three other candidates Paul Bagnall, Brett Baker and Charlie Henry for offering themselves for election.”

ATC Director and former Chairman Laurie Macri was awarded Life Membership of ATC at themeeting.

Age group contest preferred

Boomsara (Spirit Of Boom) will run against his own age group rather than in open company at Doomben on Saturday.

That decision will see the 3-year-old clash with the highly-rated Zoustyle (Zoustar).

Boomsara accepted for the G3 George Moore S. as well as the Winning Rupert Plate, both over 1200 metres.

“After weighing things up the 3-year-old race was the best all-round choice,” trainer Chris Munce said.

“We will have to meet Zoustyle again at some stage and it might as well be Saturday.”

Boomsara enjoyed a lucrative 2-year-old preparation and won a $250,000 QTIS race at the Gold Coast and finished third in the G2 BRC Sires' Produce S.

He finished fourth behind Zoustyle over 1050 metres when resuming at Doomben two weeks ago.

“He had a bad barrier first-up and got too far back before running on strongly,” Munce said.

“He should be closer in the run on Saturday and we know he will be tough at the finish.

"Boomsara is working up to the Magic Millions Guineas in January and the 1400 metres of that race will suit him.”

Star can shine again

The connections of Invincible Star (I Am Invincible) have had a frustrating spring with the mare, but that could end on Saturday.

She is presented with an opportunity to return to form in the Starlight S. at Rosehill on Saturday.

Invincible Star was forced to bypass The Everest due to lameness and was then fifth in the G1 Manikato S. before an unplaced run in the G1 VRC Sprint.

Invincible Star

“She's coming off a disappointing run down the straight, but her run before that in a Group 1 was excellent,” co-trainer Adrian Bott said.

“She was tightened for room over the concluding stages and it probably cost her a place.

“Her form has been around some of the best sprinters in Australia prior to Saturday's race, so it's a significant drop in grade for her.”

Annie Okay shoots for stakes success

Promising filly Annie Okay (NZ) (Battle Paint {USA}) will chase her first stakes win at Ellerslie on Saturday.

Trainers Shaun and Emma Clotworthy will step her out in Saturday’s Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial off the back of her third placing in the G3 Soliloquy S. behind subsequent G1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas winner Media Sensation (I Am Invncible).

“She's always shown reasonable ability and taken the right steps forward on race day," Clotworthy said.

“I've been rapt with both her races so far. She won her maiden well and then stepped up for her stakes placing last start. She's performed admirably and the form looks good out of it too.

“We gave her a good break between races and she's done well. She's an easy horse around the stable.

“She's got to deal with a bit of an awkward draw on Saturday, but she's been hitting the line well so we'll probably ride her back.

“Shaun McKay got off her last time and said a mile would be up her alley so the extra distance should suit her too.”

Filly impresses first time out

Trainers Moira and Kieran Murdock look to have a smart filly on their hands following the debut victory at Avondale of Petrabella (Pierro).

She settled near the pace and proved too good in the straight in the hands of rider Leith Innes, retained jockey for owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay, who bred the 3-year-old.

Petrabella had trialled on three occasions, finishing unplaced in her first two trials prior to a solid second.

“Her first trial up at Ruakaka was actually very impressive,” Moira Murdoch said. “She missed the jump by a mile.

“Her next two trials were on rain-affected ground and we just thought she needed a firm track.

“She had a lovely draw and a lovely trip. She’s got a great temperament and I’d say she is quite talented.”