Daily News Wrap

5 min read

Native Soldier, Ljungberg won't head to Coast

Native Soldier (Sepoy) is out of next Saturday's Magic Millions 3YO Guineas at the Gold Coast.

TrainerDarren Weir confirmed scans on Saturday morning found the 3-year-old had not recovered from his win the Listed Christmas S. on Boxing Day.

“We scanned him again this morning and he’s got a little bit of ligament damage there in his near fore fetlock,” Weir said. “He’s alright but the scans aren’t that good."

“He pulled up sore after that last race so it’s definitely happened in the race. He’ll have a nice break now and we’ll get him back for the spring.”

Native Soldier

The colt had been favourite for the $2m Guineas, with Outback Barbie (Spirit of Boom) assuming that honour now.

Impressive Kensington winner Ljungberg (I Am Invincible) will also miss the race, with trainer Ron Quinton electing to keep him to easier races.

“I didn’t think he would do that today, but he won’t be going (to the Magic Millions). We’ve got a nice horse and we want to look after him,” Quinton said.

“A good mate of mine old Dave Lamond once said you can run out of the horse before you run out of the race.”

Sampson strong at Awapuni

Veteran Sampson (NZ) (Dubai Destination {Ire}) powered home to claim the Listed Gallagher Marton Cup (2200m) at Awapuni on Saturday.

The 9-year-old, previously a winner of the G2 Awapuni Gold Cup and the G3 Trentham S. got through behind the leaders and charged over the top of China Star (NZ) (Chinese Dragon {USA}) and Jacksstar (NZ) (Zed {NZ}).

Sampson winning the Listed Gallagher Marton Cup

"It’s amazing, he won well,” trainer Howie Matthews said. “His work this week has been fantastic. He’s been up a long time, but he just keeps giving and giving."

“I take my hat off to Johnathan as he looked like he was panicking swinging for home, but that little gap came, and it shows you when your luck is there, you get the run and you’re home."

Sampson was second in the G3 NZ Campus for Innovation & Sport Wellington Cup last year and Matthews is hoping he can shape up in that race again.

“He’s an old boy but he’ll keep going,” he said. “As long as he wants to get up and go, I’ll be there for him.”

Millions targets for winning pair

Gold Coast winners Skate To Paris (Bradbury's Luck) and Evolo (All Too Hard) will back-up into races on Magic Millions day in seven days' time.

Skate To Paris notched her first win in over two years in the Aquis Chinese Jockey Club Hcp, charging late under Ron Stewart to record her second win in just 16 starts for Chris Munce.

Munce confirmed post-race that the 4-year-old would back up next week in the $1 million fillies and mares' race.

"She's only won the one race (before today), but she's been placed in a lot of Group and Stakes races. She cost $10,000 and has now won over $200,000 and will line up in The QTIS Fillies and Mares next week." Munce said.

Evolo claimed his third win from 10 starts in the Race With Aquis BM80 and trainer Toby Edmonds will set him for the $1 million Magic Millions Trophy over the same distance next Saturday.

“He needed to win today to get his rating up for The Magic Millions Trophy next week which should get him in now, " Edmonds said post-race.

Easy on Target

A shot at stakes company awaits in-form sprinter Easy Eddie (Super Easy {NZ}) after he made it back-to-back wins at Kensington on Saturday.

Easy Eddie justified his short quote with a 1.8l win in the Autumn Carnival On Sale Sprint over 1150m and trainer Joe Pride wants him to step up to the Listed Takeover Target S. at Gosford on January 17.

"He will go to Gosford," Pride said. "I think it is the right race for him to step up. Robbie (Dolan) will keep the ride."

"He has done everything right on him."

Dolan rode a double on the day, later getting home in a narrow finish aboard the Chris Waller-trained Gresham (Sebring) in the Kensington Hcp.

The 22-year-old Irishman now has 11 metropolitan winners this season.

Dwyer's debut double

Henry Dwyer celebrated a first home-track double with the wins of Tropezina (Epaulette) and Bold Missile (Smart Missile) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Dwyer has had plenty of success as a trainer, including the 2014 G1 Queensland Derby win with Sonntag (Teofilo {Ire}) and the 2016 G1 Robert Sangster Classic with Precious Gem (Econsul), but had never won two races on his home track before.

“I’ve had a few doubles but never before at Caulfield, it’s the first time I’ve had two winners here,” Dwyer said.

Tropezina led all the way in the opening race over 1000m, having won her maiden at Mornington just before Christmas and Dwyer hopes with further chance to grow might become a useful horse over a longer distance.

"Hopefully she can improve physically and that might allow us to stretch her out to 1400m, which could open a few more doors for her going through the grades,” he said.

Bold Missile caused a major upset when fresh, charging late over the 1200m to win the third race.

"To be honest he has been a very frustrating and difficult horse to train, I don’t think I’ve trained a more difficult horse to be honest, I was starting to doubt myself and everyone else was starting to doubt me with him," he said.

“I’ve always said he has terrific ability, but he needs everything to go right, he is a very fickle horse with a bad attitude and he needs everything his own away."

“Today out the back with a good one to cart him in to the race with a nice soft jockey like Mark, not pushing or pulling him, he just flowed in to the race nicely and that is what he needs.”