Daily News Wrap

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Wonder mare Winx honoured

The owners of champion mare Winx (Street Cry {IRE}) have accepted the prestigious Secretariat Vox Populi award to honour the mare's status as the world's most popular racehorse.

People from more than 60 countries took part in the online poll for the award, the brainchild of Penny Chenery, the owner of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat.

Peter Tighe, Debbie Kepitis and members of Richard Treweeke's family travelled to the United States for the occasion.

“We are honoured to accept the award on behalf of Winx,” Tighe said.

“We have been sitting signing posters for an hour. The club had them made up and gave them to the patrons.

“There were hundreds of people lined up for us to arrive this morning.

“Everyone has thanked us for coming and thanked us for Winx and what she has brought to racing.”

Winx beat this year's Triple Crown winner Justify (USA) (Scat Daddy {USA}) and English-trained dual G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {IRE}) among others to win.

Winx will run in a Rosehill barrier trial on Tuesday morning in the next step to what will be her final racing campaign.

Godolphin stars nominated

James Cummings has the $5 million All-Star Mile at Flemington on the programmes for three members of his powerful stable.

Hartnell (GB) (Authorized {IRE}), Best Of Days (GB) (Azamour {IRE) and Alizee (Sepoy) have been nominated the inaugural running of the race on March 16.

Hartnell winning the Epsom H.

“We think it’s a great concept and like the way it really engages not only with a racing audience, but potentially reaches beyond that and brings in a wider audience not only from Australia but around the world,” Cummings told RSN.

“At weight-for-age and with the first running at Flemington we’re pretty pumped to see how many people might vote for our runners.

“Hartnell is our perennial stable favourite. He’s a proper weight-for-age horse and the winner of the Epsom H. in a course record time.”

Runner-up well-compensated

There was honour and a hefty compensation cheque in defeat for the connections of the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic runner-up Dubious (Not A Single Doubt) with a $350,000 women owners' bonus.

There is $500,000 in bonus payments available on the 2YO Classic for horses owned by all-female syndicates.

Dubious picked up the major portion of $325,000 to take his earnings from the race to $697,000.

Champagne Boom (Spirit Of Boom), who ran sixth, picked up $100,000 while Courseshewill (Unencumbered) earned $50,000 for her eighth and Gala Miss (Noire Than Ready {USA}), who ran 10th, earned $25,000.

Trainer Tony Gollan and jockey Brad Stewart each picked up a $50,000 prize for being the leaders in their field for the summer carnival.

Magical treble beckons

High quality mare Invincibella (I Am Invincible) may get the opportunity to win three Magic Millions Fillies and Mares’ races in a row after scoring in her second at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Trainer Chris Waller made it back-to-back wins in the Magic Millions Trophy earlier in the day with Tumultuous (Fastnet Rock), who he declared would be chasing a third title next year.

While he was nowhere near as adamant about Invincibella, he did concede it was a possibility she would be back next year.

Invincibella was bought by Denise Martin, of Star Thoroughbreds, for $185,000 and her win on Saturday took her prize money to more $2 million.

“Maybe I can convince Denise to have another crack next year rather than go to stud. It is one of the benefits of these types of races that it keeps horses racing longer,” Waller said.

“But what else can I say. She is a class act who had a bit on most of these. Since she won here last time she has raced in many of the good black type races and not been disgraced.”

Waller has again been a highly active buyer at the Magic Millions sales this week after committing to chasing the big money about three years ago.

“I suppose we have been chasing the horses everyone wants, but it is a good sale and this race day is a good incentive to buy,” he said.

“We have a Gold Coast stable which is doing a good job so I will be coming back for a few more.”

Noonan keen on All-Star

Tony Noonan is keen on a start in the $5 million All-Star Mile for his Listed Chester Manifold S. winner Manolo Blahniq (NZ) (Jimmy Choux {NZ}).

A G3 Eclipse S. winner in New Zealand as a 2-year-old, Manolo Blahniq opened his Australian black type account with victory in the Flemington feature.

“All the girls who like shoes, he's the horse to vote for,” Noonan said.

He believes the best is still to come from the 5-year-old after three encouraging performances so far this preparation for a win and two placings.

“He's been going well for a while now,” Noonan said. “He's now getting to the stage where he's a bit stronger and more confident.

“He was a colt for a while and he struggled with that. “We had to alter his race pattern a bit because he used to over-race and wanted to race a lot on nervous energy, but now he's lovely and relaxed and he's a consistent horse.

“He's just in the right place at the right time now.”

Manolo Blahniq was forced to race three wide from an awkward draw and Noonan praised the ride of Dwayne Dunn to get the gelding home by three-quarters of a length over Holbien (Pierro).

3YO ready for another Group test

Sword Of Osman (NZ) (Savabeel) will have the opportunity next time out to add to his black type record.

The 3-year-old has won at Group 1, 2 and 3 levels and will front up in the G3 Mongolian Khan Trophy on January 26.

Sword Of Osman will head there in grand form after carrying 60.5kg to a decisive win in the Auckland Co-Op Taxis 3YO at Ellerslie on Sunday.

Sword Of Osman

“That was a nice hit-out for him and will tighten him up,” trainer Jamie Richards said. “He’s in the zone.

Unplaced in the G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas in his first start over 1600 metres, Sword Of Osman will be kept to sprinting trips in the foreseeable future

“That’s what he’s telling us, but we’re not saying we won’t try him again,” Richards said.

“It was hard to get a line on him at Riccarton on a soft track.”

More work at Eagle Farm

Eagle Farm racetrack has undergone further work in the lead-up to its next race meeting.

The newly renovated surface had its first major test with nine races on December 22 and got glowing reviews after it was closed for much of the past four years due to problems with its redevelopment.

Track staff worked through the Christmas and New Year period to ensure the track would be ready for its next meeting.

Brisbane Racing Club Chairman Neville Bell said things had been going well.

“It has had a haircut. It has been verti-drained and fertilised. An inch of rain this week would be nice but failing that it will be irrigated.”

Eagle Farm will have its first feature day when the annual Girls Day Out is held on February 23.

Apprentice facing lengthy lay-off

A nasty incident at Kumara on Saturday resulted in Wingatui-based apprentice jockey Zubair Bholah suffer serious injuries after his mount clipped heels and fell in the second race.

The Mauritius-born Bholah was having his first ride for the day on his employer Steve Tyler’s horse, Morena Roc (NZ) (Roc de Cambes {NZ}) and got into difficulties when attempting to restrain his mount shortly after the start.

Zubair Bholah

Bholah, who lay unconscious on the track for several minutes, was transported to the Grey Base Hospital in Greymouth before being air-lifted to Christchurch.

He has been diagnosed with three fractures in his neck, a broken collarbone and shoulder along with suffering a severe laceration around his jaw and chin. However, there has been no spinal cord damage.

Tyler was one of the first on the scene and described his feeling of dread as the apprentice lay on the track.

“We were watching the start of the race and when he fell, I just sprinted down to try and get to him,” he said.

“I got there and he was just lying in a terrible position and looked like he was gone.

“I had this dreadful feeling in my stomach, but thankfully he started to come around after a few minutes.”