Daily News Wrap

5 min read

Cobalt shock for Alexander

Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander is under investigation by Racing Victoria stewards after a cobalt positive from one of his horses.

Tom's Knight (Duporth) returned a cobalt level above the allowable threshold when winning on debut at Kilmore in November and Alexander was informed five weeks ago that stewards were conducting an investigation.

Cobalt is a prohibited substance in excess of 100 micrograms per litre, and the two tests taken from Tom's Knight were found to have levels of 141 and 137.

Alexander told RSN.net.au that he was at a complete loss to explain the positive.

"We use nothing that contains cobalt. We don’t even use vitamins,” Alexander said.

“We run an honest stable. We pride ourselves on it. We do not cheat. This has been a devastating thing on top of the strangles incident earlier in the year that we dutifully reported to stewards.”

Alexander said tests were being conducted on feed, water and rubber padding in the 3-year-old's box in a bid to establish where the cobalt positive had come from.

Randwick funeral for John Marshall

A memorial for Melbourne Cup-winning jockey John Marshall will be held on Monday January 7 at Randwick racecourse.

Marshall, 60, succumbed to pancreatic cancer just before Christmas and his contribution to the racing industry was recognised at last Saturday’s Randwick meeting with the running of the Vale John Marshall Handicap.

The Marshall family has invited friends of the champion jockey to attend a funeral service in the Randwick Owners’ Pavilion from 3pm on January 7.

Marshall won the Sydney jockeys' premiership in 1987-88 and rode with success in Hong Kong and Japan. His greatest victory came in 1999, when he rode Rogan Josh (Old Spice) to win the Melbourne Cup for Bart Cummings.

Godolphin wait on All-Star Mile noms

Trainer James Cummings will wait to determine which of Godolphin's horses will be nominated for the $5 million All-Star Mile at Flemington.

While several high-profile stables have announced their entrants for the inaugural running of the race in March, Cummings said there was no rush to determine which of the Blue Army would target the race, with nominations closing on January 15.

‘’All of our milers will need to be discussed as a group,’’ Cummings told Racing Pulse.

‘’While the team takes on board seriously everything that I suggest and the way I would like to take these horses, you’ve got to remember, we are not just a racing stable, we also are a breeding operation."

‘’We’ve got to weigh up everything including horse’s values, stud careers so we’ll sit down and meet about it and once we put forward our crew, you’ll well and truly know where we are heading and all the followers can therefore vote with confidence.’’

Among the possible entrants for Godolphin are Alizee (Sepoy), who returned to with a win at Randwick last Saturday, Kementari (Lonhro), Best of Days (GB) (Azamour {Ire}), Hartnell (GB) (Authorized {Ire}), Osborne Bulls (Street Cry {Ire}) and Ranier (Lonhro).

Fuchu swap can prove a master stroke

Trainer Kim Waugh’s decision to scratch in-form Fuchu (All Too Hard) from Randwick on Saturday may prove a master stroke when he contests a benchmark race at Kensington on Tuesday.

Fuchu was scheduled to contest the race won by seven lengths by Mister Songman (Your Song) on Saturday and Waugh's decision to instead go to the Bowerman's Office Furniture Hcp as he bids for a hat-trick looks the right move.

Jockey Robbie Dolan certainly thinks so after combining with the 4-year-old for Class 2 wins at Newcastle and Wyong in December,

“He’s definitely a horse improving,’’ Dolan told Racing NSW. “He had it tricky the last run at Wyong and still managed to get up and win."

"We had a bad knock as we jumped so I had to go back and just turning the bend I got another one but he still hit the line. I reckon the 1400m will be even better."


Griffin gets the bickies

Gingernuts (NZ) (Iffraaj {GB}) little brother Griffin (Iffraaj {GB}) - named after the Kiwi classic gingernut biscuit manufacturer - saluted for his second victory on Sunday at Taupo.

Griffin was purchased from online auction house gavelhouse.com, secured for $90,000 after being advertised as a 'broken-in yet untried two-year-old'. His pedigree was exposed by that stage, with Gingernuts securing a win and a second as a May two-year-old for Te Akau.

“He (Griffin) injured a hind fetlock and just needed a bit of time. He’s got a lovely team of owners and hopefully he can kick on from here," said trainer Jamie Richards.

Te Akau principal David Ellis continued the praise for the youngster that he found online, “I bought him on gavelhouse.com and Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) syndicated him. He’s had a few issues but it looks like he’s over them now and we could see him winning a few races this campaign."