Daily News Wrap

6 min read

Focus on Karaka

Respected broadcaster Caroline Searcy will preview the upcoming New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale series on Tuesday night.

Produced by SearcyMedia for Sky Thoroughbred Central (Foxtel Ch 528) and streamed live on racingnsw.com.au, it will go to air at 8pm AEDST.

The one-hour preview showcases some of the best-bred yearlings in Australasia raised in New Zealand’s champion-producing pastures and set to become the next generation of racetrack champions.

Featuring the best of New Zealand bloodlines and also by some of Australia’s champion stallions, the programme features eight farms’ prized offerings for Karaka 2019 - Waikato Stud, Cambridge Stud, Pencarrow Stud, Windsor Park Stud, Curraghmore, Highden Park, Little Avondale and The Oaks Stud.

Yearlings by top New Zealand sires Savabeel, Tavistock (NZ), Pins, Per Incanto (USA), Ocean Park (NZ), Darci Brahma (NZ) and Sacred Falls (NZ) plus first season stallions Mongolian Khan , Contributer (IRE) and Night Of Thunder (IRE).

Australian sires represented include star stallions Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel, Fastnet Rock, I Am Invincible, Pierro, Not A Single Doubt, Zoustar, So You Think (NZ) and new boys Vancouver and Deep Field and also by European champion Frankel (GB).

View the latest crop of yearlings from bloodlines that have seen Karaka-sold thoroughbreds dominate Australasia’s and Asia’s classic and middle-distance Group 1 races from Group 1 winners such as Seachange (NZ) (Cape Cross {IRE}), Banchee (NZ) (Oratorio {IRE}), Costume (NZ) (Savabeel), Rollout The Carpet (Holy Roman Emperor {IRE}), Artistic (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}), Griante (Good Journey {USA}) and Katie Lee (NZ) (Pins).

The sale also features relations to Group 1 stars Werther (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}), Lonhro (Octagonal {NZ}), Daffodil (NZ) (No Excuse Needed {GB}), Yankee Rose (All American), Ethereal (NZ) (Rhythm {USA}) and many more.

Baster backing Group 1 hope

Stephen Baster will make the trip across the Tasman to ride True Excelsior (NZ) (Exceed And Excel) in this Saturday’s G1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph at Trentham.

The Leon and Troy Corstens-trained mare, who is raced by Rosemont Stud, arrived in New Zealand early on Sunday morning.

Baster has ridden True Excelsior in eight of her past nine starts and was happy to continue his association with the sprinter. She was third in the G3 Standish H. at Flemington at her most recent start to confirm the tilt at the Telegraph.

True Excelsior winning at Moonee Valley

True Excelsior has won two of her 19 starts and has another eight placings while her only attempt at Group 1 level was a fourth in the Sangster S. for fillies and mares in Adelaide last May.

“It's definitely a bit left-field, but she's going well and I think both her runs back have been super,” Baster said. “I think she deserves her chance.

“I ran fourth on her in the Group 1 in Adelaide and she had a hard run that day. She drew wide and I was four-wide the whole way so I thought she did a really good job.

“Obviously you like to support people who support you. Rosemont have been really good to me so I'm happy to go over there and try to get a Group 1 on the mare.”

Baster won the G3 Geelong Cup on Runaway (Manhattan Rain) for Rosemont during last year's Victorian spring carnival.

Kah reportedly on move

The South Australian racing industry has received another blow with champion jockey Jamie Kah reportedly leaving for Melbourne.

The Advertiser reported the 23-year-old will freelance in Victoria and follows recent announcements of Lloyd Kennewell closing his Morphettville stable and also the departure of trainer John Hyam and apprentice Kayla Crowther, who is joining Philip Stokes at Pakenham.

Jamie Kah (left)

The moves are in response to the State Government’s decision to cut prize money funding.

Kah currently leads the Adelaide premiership with 37 winners from Raquel Clark (23) and Todd Pannell (19).

Irishman making comeback

It may only be a maiden race at a minor midweek meeting, but it’s a big deal for Paul Gallagher who is making his riding comeback at Rotorua on Wednesday.

Gallagher has been booked to ride the promising Tough Kid (NZ) (Super Easy) for Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie in the Mills Reef Winery 1100.

He is a new name for New Zealand racing fans, but the 32-year-old has international experience on his side, albeit best known for his deeds as a jumps jockey.

The Irishman has had bigger assignments as a rider, having enjoyed success in England, Ireland and Australia and he has also ridden in the famous Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree. But he has been out of the race day saddle for two and a-half years since competing in Victoria and South Australia.

“I don’t think I’ve been as excited to be riding in a race,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher was enticed to come to New Zealand by his brother, Fergus, who has been working for Cambridge trainer Tony Pike for two and a-half years.

“Tony gave me a job, too, and I’ve been here since the end of September. He told me that if I got my weight down he’d give me opportunities,” he said.

Gallagher began his career as a jockey in Ireland with the legendary Dessie Hughes then shifted to England and teamed up successfully with Howard Johnson.

His most successful season was 2010-11 season with 26 winners when attached to the Johnson stable.

“I rode over 120 winners in England and three or four in Ireland,” he said.

Gallagher shifted to Australia in 2012 and his main success came in 2015 when taking the Grand National Steeples at Morphettville on the Eric Musgrove-trained Urban Explorer (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}) and the Grand National Hurdles at Warrnambool on King Of Dudes (GB) (Dansili {GB}) for Aaron Purcell.

Heat forces time changes

Officials in Victoria and New South Wales have made changes to race meetings due to the forecast for extreme heat.

Racing Victoria has brought forward race times for this week's Yarra Valley and Kyneton meetings in a bid to avoid the hottest part of the days.

The Corowa meeting across the border in NSW has been moved from Tuesday, when 45 degrees is forecast, to Thursday.

Tuesday's Yarra Valley meeting will start an hour earlier with the first race at 11.20am and the final race on the program at 3pm.

RV said temperatures were expected to reach 39 degrees in the area while on Wednesday temperatures are expected to get up to 41.

The Kyneton meeting on Wednesday has been scheduled to start at 11am with the final race at 2.30pm, but RV will continue to monitor the forecast and make a final decision on Tuesday whether the meeting goes ahead.

Victoria also has a twilight city meeting on Wednesday, with the opening race at Sandown scheduled to jump at 4pm and the last at 7.30pm.

Gunnedah in north eastern NSW will go ahead on Tuesday with the expected temperature 40 degrees and the Level Two heat policy in place.