Looking Ahead - January 21

3 min read

Looking Ahead puts the spotlight on runners of interest across Australia and New Zealand. Whether they are a particularly well-bred or high-priced runner having their first or second start, a promising galloper returning to the track or a horse which has trialled particularly well, we’ll aim to give you something to follow.

Today, we have found three horses we believe to be worth following at Taree in the form of an imported 3-year-old, a daughter of a former quality race mare on debut and a sparingly-raced filly who has made a bright start to her career.

Taree XXXX Gold Maiden $22,000 1000 metres 2.25pm

Merge (IRE) (Dandy Man {IRE}) comes here with an interesting background as a 110,000 pound graduate of the Goffs Doncaster Premier Yearling Sale. Raced by Orbis Bloodstock, his family has already made its mark in this part of the world as his dam’s half-brother is the two-time Australian black type winner Exoteric (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB}). Their mother is the Oasis Dream (GB) mare Interlacing (GB). The G2 Royal Ascot Windsor Forest S, winner Lolly For Dolly (IRE) (Oratorio {IRE}) also features on the pedigree page.

Trainer Kim Waugh gave Merge one outing last season and finished fourth before he was put aside to mature. Since his return he has placed in a couple of trials and in a modest line-up he looks a decent each way proposition.

Taree MVRC Race Sunday 10 Feb $22,000 1250 metres 3.35pm

Itz Lily (Snitzel) is a daughter of the former smart race mare Empress Lily (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}), who was a one race winner and placed in the G1 VRC Oaks and at Group 2 level in the Edward Manifold S. and Kewney S. She is a daughter of the three-time Group 1 winner and former New Zealand Horse of the Year Tycoon Lil (NZ) (Last Tycoon {IRE}). A handy producer, she is the dam of the Listed Adelaide Guineas winner and G1 Schweppes Oaks runner-up Estee (Redoute’s Choice).

This filly is in the care of Kris Lees and she finished second in a trial during the winter before a break and has since had a couple more trial outings, winning one at Gosford last month. She has drawn ideally and will be ridden by the vastly experienced Robert Thompson.

Itz Lily as a yearling

Taree Coopernook Hotel H $22,000 1600 metres 4.55pm

The Jenny Graham-trained Eurogem (Eurozone) was a deserved last-start winner after finishing in the money in all of her previous starts. The filly takes on the older horses here, but she has far less convictions than her opposition and has a tidy pedigree to back her claims.

She is out Empire Express, an unraced daughter of the outstanding broodmare sire Royal Academy (USA) and she is a half-sister to the G2 Sunline S. winner Beautiful Gem (Peintre Celebre {USA}), whose three foals have all won and include the Singapore black type winner The Omega Man (Northern Meteor). Eurogem’s grand-dam is the G3 Black Opal S. winner and G1 Golden Slipper runner-up Just Blooming (Yeats {USA}).

Eurogem as a yearling