Daily News Wrap

10 min read

More joy for Baker at Gosford

Bjorn Baker's big week rolled on with the Warwick Farm trainer adding the Listed Gosford Gold Cup to his dual $1m successes on the Gold Coast last Saturday.

Tough stayer Sir Plush (NZ) (Pins) got the job done for Baker and Glyn Schofield at Gosford, edging out Chris Waller's Japanese import Satono Rasen (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}).

The 6-year-old had never won beyond 1400m but showed his staying credentials in the 2100m test to claim the first stakes success of his 36-start career.

“He was a little bit unfortunate not to win the other day, but he showed a lot of fight and gave me the indication that stepping up in trip wouldn’t be a bad idea so well done to Bjorn and Jack (Bruce – assistant trainer) for deciding to put him in this race,” Schofield told Sky Racing.

“I got a lovely run and the speed was on. I just wanted to put him to sleep to make sure he would run the trip and when the pressure came on at about the 600m, I didn’t want to go at that stage."

“I wanted to bide my time on a horse having his first go at the trip and he did it well.”

Earlier another consistent campaigner, Tactical Advantage (Bel Esprit) was also rewarded with his first black type win for Kris Lees and Brenton Avdulla in the Listed Takeover Target S.

The 5-year-old charged late to nab Easy Eddie (Super Easy {NZ}) right on the line.

"It’s really good to win a stakes race with this horse. A good bunch of people bought into the horse and they’re having a great day,” Lees, who briefly trained the horse when it was owned by Gooree Stud earlier in its career, said,

“It set up really well for him but these types of tracks, when they’re fast, leaders keep running and he’s a really good horse the second horse – he took a bit of running down but Brenton (Avdulla – rider) timed the run to perfection."

“He’s been ultra-consistent for us. We’ll probably give him a break now because he’s done a really good job.”

Rawiller ramps up comeback

Injured jockey Brad Rawiller has made a significant step towards a comeback with the removal of a neck brace in the past few days,

Rawiler, who suffered serious injuries in a fall at Cranbourne on October 21, has had the neck brace on for nearly four months.

"I guess if you’ve got a broken neck you’ve got to go through the process and tick all the boxes to make sure you make a full recovery,” he said.

Confined to the couch for much of his recovery time, Rawiller has recently returned to the swimming pool to begin serious rehab.

He will now undergo intense physiotherapy to build up his strength with a view to returning to trackwork in the coming months.

“It’s now up to my physio to build my strength up,” he said.

I would hope it would be weeks; sooner rather than later. At the same time, you’ve just got to go on the side of caution I guess.”

Wide barrier won't rattle Waddell

Another wide barrier in a Group 1 won't rattle the confidence of Melody Belle's (Commands) jockey Jason Waddell ahead of Saturday's JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham.

Melody Belle drew barrier 13 when she was third the G1 Sistema Railway at Ellerslie last start when ridden by Shafiq Rosof, having travelled deep throughout.

Waddell now assumes the ride on the top-class mare and has a similar headache after she came up with barrier 18 for Saturday's feature.

"Before the barrier draw, I thought she was the closest to a sure thing I'd ever ridden in a Group 1. It was a sit-and-steer job before barrier draws came out. The draw doesn't make things easy, but it will make it more satisfying if she can win," Waddell said.

"She's one of the most genuine mares racing in New Zealand probably since Seachange. I'm really looking forward to riding her."

Waddell has a few plans up his sleeve of how to ride the short-priced favourite depending on how the race evolves.

"I can't control the barrier draws but I can control how I prepare going into the race and how I prepare to give her the best chance of winning," he said.

"I'll have three or four ideas but I won't put anything in place really until I see how the track is playing. If it's playing like it did last Saturday or like it did on Telegraph day last year, it's going to be near impossible to come down the outside and win."

"But if they can get out to the middle of the track and they're winning from there, I just need to get her comfortable in running and in a position where she's able to sprint over the top of them."

"I can't see myself being closer than four off the fence but hopefully something else is four deep and can give me a track into it."

Dubious combo eyes Millennium riches

Having come up just short in the year's first rich juvenile feature, Ciaron Maher, David Eustace and Aquis are hoping Igniting (Starspangledbanner) can lead them to the riches of the Inglis Millennium.

Dubious (Not A Single Doubt) was second in last weekend's Magic Millions 2YO Classic, a case of so near but so far for the trainers and connections, but hopes are high for Igniting who contests the Countdown to Golden Sipper Sprint at Rosehill on Saturday.

The colt, a $180,000 Classic Sale buy last year, was second on debut, splitting two horses who acquitted themselves well on the Gold Coast in Movie Role (Fastnet Rock) and Hightail (Written Tycoon)

“His form is standing up pretty well. He’s a big raw horse, you can see he had a bit to learn at his first start,’’ Maher told RacingNSW.com.au.

“I’ve never worked him with Dubious, they were on different paths when they were kicking off, but form wise they seem similar."

“We gave him an easy time for a week and he’s had a couple of nice gallops. You’d expect him to improve physically and also with the experience.’’

A win on Saturday would see Maher and Eustace send Igniting to the inaugural $2m Inglis Millennium on February 9.

Darley hails Millions success

Darley's Head of Sales Alastair Pulford has hailed the recently completed Magic Millions Yearling Sale on the Gold Coast as a significant success for its stallions, with vendors returning $10 million in aggregate profit on service fees.

Pulford is currently completing analysis on the sale and said the top line numbers provide strong backing for the performance of Darley's sires at the sale.

"I thought we went extremely well. I'm just doing some analysis of it at the moment and anyone who bred to our stallions overall did well. The service fees that we charged were about $4.7 million for those horses that went through and the gross was between them was $14.7 million," he told TDN AusNZ.

Exceed and Excel led the aggregate sales for Darley with 17 lots sold for a total of $3.9m, while Medaglia d'Oro (USA) topped the sales averages with four yearlings going at an average of $633,750 in what is his penultimate Australian crop.

Exceed And Excel led the aggregate sales for Darley

"Overall the returns were very good. People who supported Brazen Beau, Exceed and Excel, Kermedec (NZ) and Exosphere did very well. Medaglia d'Oro was a highlight but with only a few lots in there," Pulford said.

Darley had two first-season sires represented at the sale with Exosphere selling 15 yearlings in Book 1 at an average of $117,667 and Kermedec selling five at an average of $140,000.

"Kermedec sold exceptionally well. I thought Exosphere sold very well and all the right people bought them so we were delighted with how the first season sires were accepted," he said.

It was also a successful week for Darley's racing arm, Godolphin, who won the $2m Magic Millions Classic with Exhilarates (Snitzel) and bought five yearlings spending just under $3 million.

UK trackwork rider dies after fall

The UK racing community is mourning the death of trackwork rider Natasha Galpin, who died following an accident at Carrutherstown in Scotland.

The 22-year-old worked for Iain Jardine, known to Australians for his horse Nakeeta (GB (Sixties Icon {GB}) contesting the past two Melbourne Cups, and was aboard a horse which collapsed during work.

"It is with great sadness that the team at Iain Jardine Racing wish to report that we suffered a tragic accident on our grass gallops on Tuesday morning which has resulted in the untimely death of a member of our team, Natasha Galpin, 22, as well as the loss of a horse," a statement from Jardine said.

Natasha Galpin

"Sadly, our horse suffered guttural pouch mycosis [a ruptured artery] during work, resulting in the unavoidable and unpredictable accident. He was given all the necessary care and treatment required and the owners were immediately informed."

"Our main priority throughout has been Natasha and the rest of our staff, who are distraught at the loss of a colleague and friend but have been extremely supportive of each other. As a team here, we are doing our best to get through and cope with this devastating situation."

"Natasha was an experienced and valued full-time member of Team IJR. She was an accomplished event rider and ran her own livery yard. She worked alongside her boyfriend Olyn."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Natasha’s parents and sisters at this very sad time, and we hope you will join us in respecting their privacy."

Boom Shark nearing return

Te Akau Shark (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {Ire}) is building towards a return to the track with the G1 Doncaster Mile the main race on his autumn agenda.

The 4-year-old, a winner of five of his six starts, including the G2 Coupland's Bakeries Mile by six lengths at his most recent appearance, holds a nomination for the A$5 million All Star Mile but Te Akau principal David Ellis says the Doncaster is the one he wants to win,

Te Akau Shark

“We are almost certain to have the Doncaster as his main aim this year. We like to win a good handicap race with our horses before we go weight-for-age. Then he might back up in the Queen Elizabeth later on in the carnival.”

“We haven’t made any decisions and we are having a meeting on the 12th of February and after that we would have seen how he has come through the trial and we will firm up on what happens."

“I would say he would have a trial and two races before the Doncaster.”