Daily News Wrap

8 min read

Flemington affinity in Grunt’s favour

Mick Price is banking on the record of Grunt (NZ) (O’Reilly {NZ}) at Flemington to earn him a start in the The All-Star Mile.

The 4-year-old is a dual Group 1 course and distance winner in the Australian Guineas last autumn and the Makybe Diva Stakes in the spring.

“The All-Star Mile is tailor-made for him,” Price said. “His record over a mile at Flemington is outstanding so there was never any doubt that we would be entering him for the race.

“It's difficult to predict how it will play out in the first year, but I'm hopeful he'll win enough votes to get into the race.

“He has the right profile and form lines, so if people are being objective rather than subjective and voting for the horse they think can win the race, then I'd like to think he'd be pretty close to the top of the list.

“Maybe we'll just have to start a campaign that if you vote for Grunt, you can come to the stable and give him a pat.”


Keeping tabs on 2YO

Phillip Stokes has established a Victorian training base at Pakenham, but he will be in Adelaide on Saturday to watch his debutante Done By Me (Bon Hoffa) in action at Morphettville.

Stokes said the 2-year-old had trialled well in preparation for the race where she will only be opposed by five rivals.

“She's nominated for the Blue Diamond so we'll see how she goes,” Stokes said.

“She's trialled very nicely and looks like she's got some upside, but it won't be easy.

“All the big stables like Hayes (Lindsay Park) and (Darren) Weir, they're going over there now which makes it tougher.

“They've got so many horses they've got to split them up so they're heading over to Adelaide as well.”

Vale Champs Elysees

A heart attack has claimed the life of the Group 1 winner and producer Champs Elysees (GB) (Danehill).

The stallion made his mark in this part of the world as the sire of the G1 Australian Cup winner Harlem and the G1 Ascot Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris, who finished runner-up in the G1 Caulfield Cup.

Champs Elysees was out of the broodmare gem Hasili (IRE) (Kahyasi) and was a brother to the Group 1 winners Dansili (GB), Banks Hill (GB), Intercontinental (GB) and Cacique (IRE) and a half-brother to Heat Haze (GB) (Green Desert {USA}), also successful at the top level.

Another sibling Raise The Flag (Sadler’s Wells (USA) stands at White Robe Lodge in New Zealand’s South Island and is the sire of the G3 Newcastle Gold Cup winner Broadside and the G3 Lord Reims S. winner Etah James.

Champs Elysees

Payne still force to be reckoned with

David Payne has taken a quality over quantity approach in recent seasons to his training operation..

Even with fewer horse numbers, he has rarely been without a handy 2-year-old on his books.

And one of the younger members of the team will be his sole runner at Warwick Farm on Saturday when War Baron (Declaration Of War {USA}) lines up for his second start in the Member Get Member Handicap (1200m).

The youngster was third at Canterbury last week after settling at the back of the small field and making late headway.

“His first run he got a bit of stage fright and was very green,” Payne said.

“He's still a baby, but he ran on strongly which was very pleasing.”

War Baron will back up eight days after his first start and will then head to the paddock after Saturday win, lose or draw.

Payne is hoping to use the Warwick Farm race as a litmus test for an autumn carnival campaign aimed at the longer juvenile races.

“That's what we're looking at if he's good enough,” Payne said.

“We'll see how much improvement he makes. Saturday will give us a much better idea.”

Payne also confirmed Group 1 winner Ace High was back in work and would be aimed toward the G1 Australian Cup at Flemington ahead of a Sydney autumn carnival campaign.

Partnership to continue

Skye Bogenhuber's successful association with the former New South Wales galloper Oakfield Monarch (Lope De Vega {IRE}) and they will be aiming for their fourth win in a row in the TAB H.

Trainer Tony Gollan gave Bogenhuber the ride because the gelding races well for her and as a reward for her willingness to travel to ride him.

Bogenhuber has never shirked hard work and it has really paid off since she returned from a stint in NSW.

She has ridden 11 winners in the past month after competing at 10 different tracks in southern Queensland and the NSW Northern Rivers.

Group 1 performer euthanised

Tosen Basil (JPN) (Harbinger {GB}) was put down earlier this week following a paddock accident.

He sustained injuries to both fetlocks and was rushed to the Ballarat Veterinairy Clinic, but couldn’t be saved.

Tosen Basil raced four times during spring and finished a close second in the G1 Underwood S. for trainer Darren Weir.

He subsequently performed below expectations in the G1 Caulfield S. and the G2 Moonee Valley Cup and was sent for a break.

The winner of five races in Japan, his Australian connections had been keen to set him for the G1 Australian Cup in the autumn.

Tosen Basil was the highest-priced of the four Japanese horses brought to Australia by Ozzie Kheir and his racing partners that include his brother Victor as well as Phil Mehrten and John O'Neill.

Kemono (Kinshasa No Kiseki {JPN) has twice placed at stakes level from his four Australian appearances and Danon Roman (JPN) (Deep Impact {JPN}) has placed twice from his four starts.

Admire Robson (JPN) (Deep Impact {JPN}) is a four-time winner who has yet to make his Australian debut.

Tosen Basil

Enable’s half-sister off the mark

A half-sister to the glamour mare Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {IRE}) has shed her maiden tag in England.

The 2-year-old Entitle (GB) (Dansili {GB}) was successful over 1700 metres at Lingfield at her second race day appearance.

Unplaced on debut in June, Entitle is trained by John Gosden who also prepares her dual G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winning sibling.

"She was green and you'd think she'd never had a run going down the back. She was just on the wrong leg the whole way round. I couldn't get her to switch leads,” jockey Robert Havlin told At The Races.

“The second horse came and gave her company. She just needed something to keep her mind on it.

“I was glad he came because it was looking as though she was going to run off the bend. She was on the wrong leg and not handling the bend well.

“I loved her attitude there and she knuckled down when it mattered.”

Sale to retain Everest connection

Following discussions with vendors, buyers and Racing New South Wales, the Inglis Ready2Race Sale will remain aligned with The Everest in 2019.

The 2019 sale will be held at Riverside Stables on Tuesday October 22, three days after the running of the $14million The Everest at Randwick, the third running of the world’s richest turf race.

The 2018 version of the Ready2Race sale - the first time it had been aligned with The Everest - proved a success, ending as the highest averaging 2-year-old sale in Australasia.

Key year-on-year indicators increased with clearance rate, average price ($90,231 up 30 per cent from last year), median price ($65,000, up 30 per cent) and sale gross ($8,211,000, a 45 per cent increase) enjoying significant improvements.

Inglis General Manager of Bloodstock Sales Sebastian Hutch said the decision to again align the 2019 Ready2Race Sale with the running of The Everest was an easy one.

“The company put a lot of time and resources into improving this year’s Ready2Race Sale for our clients and there was significant progress from previous years.

“We are encouraged by results in 2018 and have been buoyed by the enthusiasm for the concept from both vendors and purchasers.

“A key part of the decision to move the sale date was to again coincide with the running of The Everest.

“The eyes of the world’s racing industry are on Sydney that week and it’s something we would love to continue to be involved with moving forward. Our clients like the timing of the sale in that week of October and we believe it serves everybody’s interests well.’’