Daily News Wrap

8 min read

Winning Tom eyes Melbourne

Having finally brought an end to his famous losing streak, Tom Melbourne (Ire) (Dylan Thomas {Ire}) will now set his sights on the $5 million All-Star Mile.

The 8-year-old, winless in his previous 30 starts in a spell lasting nearly three years, romped to a 2.5l win in the Listed Carrington S. at Randwick.

Stable representative Charlie Duckworth said the win was a reward for persistence, and the Flemington feature on March 16 is firmly on his radar.

“It’s huge. He’s finally done it and it proves he does have a willingness to win,” Duckworth said. “More times than not it’s just been poor luck.

“But hopefully he got some confidence out of today and can be voted in for the All-Star Mile and get a shot at it."

Ardrossan back to brilliant best

No expense was spared in an international search to get the valuable 4-year-old Ardossan (Redoute’s Choice) back to full health.

An unbeaten stakes winner as a 2-year-old in New Zealand for Stephen Marsh, he was subsequently transferred to Mick Price at Caulfield but returned home after three below-par runs.

“He’s so well bred and he had mishaps in Australia and had heart problems,” part-owner Mark Chittick, of Waikato Stud said.

“Chris Williams our vet has done a wonderful job. He’s an outstanding young man and left no stone unturned and went worldwide to get the right treatment.

“He’s a horse with a massive amount of ability and he came here against a great field.

“We’ll aim now for a Group 1 and if he does that we’ll go back to Australia with him at his best.”

Ardrossan jumped well from a wide gate to sit outside the leader and when rider Michael McNab asked for an effort he coasted clear.

“He could go to Te Rapa for the Group 1 (BCD Group Sprint), he’s a really high-class horse,” Marsh said.

“I’m rapt to get him back from Australia and appreciate the chance to have another go with him. He travelled beautifully all the way and he’s still untapped.”

Louis rolls back the years

The colours made famous by the multiple Group 1 winner and former New Zealand Horse of the Year Jimmy Choux (NZ) (Thorn Park) were to the fore in the G3 Mongolian Khan Trophy.

He was trained by John Bary for Richard and Liz Wood and the Hastings-based horseman also prepares King Louis (NZ) (Equiano {FR}) for the couple.

“That was excellent, just like the old days with Jimmy Choux,” Bary said. “I’m thrilled for the owners and the horse.”

A change of tactics with King Louis paid off handsomely with rider Jason Waddell dropping the customary on-pace runner to the back of the field.

“We tried something different and rode him cold,” Waddell said.

“He got a bit aggressive 600 metres out and then I picked the path and he hit the line really hard.”

Bary has no immediate plans in place for the 3-year-old, who has won twice from a dozen starts.

“We’ll let the dust settle and then sit down and have a chat with Richard and Liz,” he said.

Cup hope in fine fettle

Five To Midnight (NZ) (Domesday) was narrowly beaten in last season’s G1 Auckland Cup and he’s on target to go one better in the autumn.

The Awapuni stayer was gallant under his topweight of 60kg in the Collinsonforex Karaka Cup and left the runner-up and favourite Mongolian Marshal (NZ) (High Chaparral {IRE}) with no excuses.

“He drew well and got a cosy trip,” trainer Lisa Latta said. “Johnathan (Parkes) got him off the rail and going at the right time.

“He’ll have a few days in the paddock, he thrives on that, and then it’s the Avondale and Auckland Cups.”

Mongolian Marshal was given a beautiful ride by James McDonald and he had every chance, but was unable to stave off Five To Midnight.

The winner was bought out of The Oaks Stud’s draft at Karaka for NZ$165,000 and is owned by Kevin Pratt’s Kamada Racing.

Five To Midnight is out of Fastnet Lady (Fastnet Rock) and his half-sister by Roc De Cambes (NZ) (Red Ransom {USA}) will be offered as Lot 721 during the Book 2 session of New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale.

First foal arrives

The first foal of shuttle stallion National Defense (GB) (Invincible Spirit {IRE}) has been welcomed at the Irish National Stud.

The bay filly is also the first foal for Gaita (IRE) (Teofilo {IRE}), who was a winner in France and is a half-sister to the black-type performer Hyper Hyper (GB) (Fastnet Rock).

Their dam Guerande (IRE) (Diesis {GB}) is a half-sister to the G1 Falmouth S. winner Giofra (GB) (Dansili {GB}) and to the stakes winner Big Baz (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) and Gomati (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}).

National Defense won two races, including the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, and was twice placed at Group 3 level from five starts.

He stands the Southern Hemisphere breeding season at Sun Stud in Victoria.

Classic performance from mare

Top quality mare Volpe Veloce (Foxwedge) overcame a troubled run to add the G2 Westbury Classic to her CV.

Despite suffering an interrupted passage, the 2018 G1 Railway S. winner was too good for Sleeping Beauty and posted the 11th win of her 21-start career.

“She always fights so hard and she got a bit further back that we wanted, it was a really gutsy effort,” co-trainer Graham Richardson said.

Her victory was well deserved as it came off the back of a gallant performance to finish fourth in her defence of her Railway title after drawing the outside gate.

“She was great in the Railway and she deserved this,” regular rider Michael Coleman said.

“I didn’t have a lot of room for a while, but her class came through.”

Lightning bolt from Star filly

Lloyd Kennewell could be set to pull a major surprise with the campaign of his 2-year-old Jedastar (I Am Invincible), with the trainer considering a shot at the G1 Lightning S.

The filly would carry a feather weight in the Group 1 sprint down the Flemington straight and having been pleased with her second in the G3 Blue Diamond Preview, Kennewell is keeping his options open.

"She was super. She had to do a little bit of work to get across. I don't know what the early splits were, but they would have been strong, she was very vulnerable at the furlong, and I thought she put it all on the line to battle it out and run a solid second," he said.

"We'll take her home. You’d like to keep her to her own age group as a 2-year-old, but I did have a fleeting thought about the Lightning S. She'd only have 44kg. There is another little option we might explore and have a look at over the next couple of weeks."

High-priced youngster delivers

Expensive yearling Equinox (NZ) (Exceed And Excel) made the perfect start to his career at Trentham.

David Ellis went to NZ$750,000 to secure the Pencarrow Stud-offered youngster at Karaka last year and the colt gave a clear indication on Saturday why the Te Akau boss pursued him.

The Jamie Richards-trained colt sat outside the leader and when asked to lengthen stride he did so in electric fashion to post the easiest of wins in the New World Railway Metro.

“He was quite professional and jumped out and travelled well,” rider Craig Grylls said.

“He showed a good turn of foot and he’s got a bright future, he’s pretty smart.”

Equinox is out of Our Ella Belle (NZ) (Encosta de Lago), who won the G3 Taranaki Cup and finished third in the G1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas.

She is a half-sister to the G2 Queensland Guineas winner Winning Belle (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}), also a G1 Australian Cup runner-up, and she produced the G1 Coolmore Classic winner Plucky Belle (Mossman).

It is also the family Of Fabiani (SAF) (Model Man {SAF}), successful in the G2 Green Point S. and a placegetter in the G1 Kenilworth Queen’s Plate.

Further carnival success

Shared Secrets (NZ) (Nadeem) continued a good Wellington Cup carnival for trainer Mark Oulaghan.

She won the Kamada Park Summer Cup, a week after stablemate Shadows Cast (NZ) (Per Incanto {USA}) won the G1 Thorndon Mile.

“He came through it pretty well and he’ll go to Otaki next for the G1 Haunui WFA Classic,” Oulaghan said.

He has never lost faith in Shared Secrets, who has until more recent times mixed her form, but has now won two of her last starts.

“I’ve always had a bit of confidence in her, although she has disappointed a few times but she needs a truly run race,” Oulaghan said.

Shared Secrets is out of a half-sister to the Listed Kiwifruit Cup winner Marea Alta (NZ) (Montjeu {IRE}). She was part-owned by Oulaghan, who trained her mother Semper Fidelis (NZ) (Grosvenor {NZ}) to win 10 races including the G3 Trentham S.