Daily News Wrap

7 min read

Maid's autumn over

G1 Spring Champion S. winner Maid Of Heaven (Smart Missile) has been ruled out of the autumn carnival.

Trainer Mark Newnham advised Racing NSW stewards on Monday that the filly has a 'veterinary issue' and won’t fulfil her spot in a trial at Warwick Farm on Tuesday.

She was being aimed at several feature staying races in the autumn, but Newnham has advised she will be not competing in any of them.

Newnham still has a strong hand in terms of staying fillies this autumn with G1 Flight S. placegetter Nakeeta Jane (So You Think {NZ}) and G1 VRC Oaks runner-up Greysful Glamour (Stratum) both on a path to the G1 ATC Oaks.

Maid of Heaven

Smart 4YO sold to Australian interests

Novara Park owner Luigi Muollo has confirmed that following significant interest from a number of major racing participants in Australia, Campobasso (NZ) (Roc De Cambes {NZ}) has been acquired by Michael Hickmott Bloodstock and Honeycomb Stud to do his future racing in Australia.

“The fact is that he is still so raw and does a lot wrong and still wins, the upside to him is significant,” new trainer Hickmott said.

“He is exciting and it’s good that he is going to get an opportunity to race for some great prize money as we look to target the Grand Handicap Mile Series at Flemington in March followed by either a Sydney Autumn or Brisbane Winter campaign.”

Campobasso won two of his seven starts, including a last-start success at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, and the 4-year-old placed five times from Stephen Ralph’s stable.

Honeycomb Stud owner Adrian Whittingham is delighted that the original ownership would remain involved and be able to continue to enjoy the ride.

‘We are part of the ownership group that acquired Verry Elleegant as she made her move from New Zealand to Australia,” he said.

“She had won two races in New Zealand and also been placed in the other. Now she has a Group 3 win, an unlucky Group 2 placing and was once the favourite for the G1 VRC Oaks.

“Campobasso is a different proposition to her, however a number of aspects are very similar.”

Safeguard secured in WA

Safeguard will stand permanently at Mogumber Park in WA after prominent thoroughbred owner Santo Guagliardo purchased a 50% share in the stallion.

Safeguard had his first crop of 2-year-olds at the track this season and has produced two winners, Specialism and Miss West Coast and currently sits fourth on the Australian first-season sires table.

“I am thrilled to be able to expand my breeding interest by obtaining a share in Safeguard, who will continue to stand at Mogumber Park alongside my other stallion Rommel," Guagliardo said.

"Safeguard has made a serious start to his stud career and the future is all before him. I was impressed by his first crop and currently have one with Neville Parnham and another in Victoria with Lloyd Kennewell. Feedback on both horses so far has been very promising”.


Mogumber Park principal Colin Brown was delighted that Safeguard will remain in WA at his stud, having previously stood at Oakland Park. His debut yearlings sold for up to $145,000. Safeguard will be represented by 17 yearlings in the Magic Millions Perth Sale in February.

“There has been a lot of interstate interest in Safeguard and we didn’t want to lose him to a leading stud on the East Coast. This outcome is certainly a real win-win-win as Oakland Park will continue to support the horse through lifetime nominations and he gets to stay in WA plus we have a breeder (Santo) expanding his interests within the state."

“Stallions that produce early 2-year olds are highly sought after and the early signs at the races and trials show that Safeguard is doing just that. He was a pre-Christmas winning 2-year-old himself and his sire Exceed And Excel has always been one of Australia’s most precocious stallions." Brown added.

Pike team in tip-top order

Tony Pike is pleased he took advantage of Monday morning’s gallops session at Ellerslie to further educate the unbeaten Whiskey Neat (Denman) in preparation for Saturday’s Karaka Million.

The Cambridge trainer took five of his possible six runners at the meeting to work in company and said he couldn’t be happier with their hit-outs, particularly his unbeaten 2-year-old Whiskey Neat and Karaka Million 3YO Classic hope Surely Sacred (NZ) (Rock ‘n’ Pop).

“The track was perfect after they put a bit of water on it overnight and they all went well,’’ Pike said.

Pike also galloped the multiple stakes winner Indecision (NZ) (Per Incanto {USA}), as well as Ever Loyal (Sebring) and Cyber Attack (NZ) (Shamexpress {NZ}).

Whiskey Neat

Whiskey Neat was ridden by race day jockey Leith Innes and worked with Indecision (Michael McNab). The pair were timed to run their final 600 metres in 36.26.

“They went evens from the 1000 and quickened from the 400,’’ Pike said.

‘’Whiskey Neat dropped in behind Indecision and Leith hooked him out at the top of the straight and he finished it off well.

‘’Indecision is flying at the moment and was a good horse to work with.”

Whiskey Neat cruised home by 10 and a quarter lengths on debut at Otaki on November 30 and he again led throughout when winning the G3 Eclipse S. at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day, though he did run about in the home straight.

‘’In his gallop he cornered well and did everything right,’’ Pike said.

‘’He’s a bit more experienced now and I don’t think it will be a problem on Saturday.

“He’s got a high cruising speed and a big action on him and when he won his first start he was just a class above them than in the Eclipse, we just took luck out of the equation and went to the front.

‘’It will be our intention to lead if we get a good draw, but if something wants to take him on then Leith can take a sit with him. Leith can work it out.’’

Croc bite sidelines Symons

Victorian jockey Chris Symons has been bitten by a saltwater crocodile and will be out of the saddle indefinitely.

Symons, a winner of feature races such as the G2 Adelaide Cup and the G2 Herbert Power Hcp, runs a farm of about 150 animals near Mornington in Victoria, which includes a crocodile named Crikey.

He was bitten on Sunday when moving Crikey to a public display enclosure while preparing to host patrons on the day.

“Due to bacteria they carry I had minor surgery," he said.

“They are amazing animals that should always be treated with the upmost respect, human error on my behalf was the cause."

“Crikey is the most intelligent creature and my lesson has been learnt.”

Land of Plenty to resume at the Valley

Darren Weir will kick off an All-Star Mile campaign for Group 1 winner Land of Plenty (Stratum) in Friday's G2 Australia S.

Land of Plenty had a jumpout at Camperdown on Monday morning and Weir told Racing.com that he was happy with how the 5-year-old had progressed from his successful spring campaign.

Land of Plenty

"He’s going to kick-off on Friday night and he looks great in his trial this morning," Weir said.

"He spent a bit of time up at the farm and he’s been back at the beach for about two and a half weeks - he seems really well in himself."

"He’ll run Friday night and then head on to the 1400-metre Group 1s (CF Orr S. and Futurity S.) and then hopefully into the big one (The All-Star Mile)."

Weir will also send All-Star Mile aspirant Fifty Stars (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) to G2 Australia S. but expects he'll benefit from the run.