Daily News Wrap

5 min read

Sydney campaign for top Kiwi filly

Head Te Akau trainer Jamie Richards has confirmed Karaka Million winner Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) will make her next appearance in the G3 Magic Night S.

Her principal target will be the G1 Sires' Produce Stakes over 1400 metres three weeks’ later on April 6.

Richards said the filly's owners, Cambridge Stud principals Brendan and Jo Lindsay, are keeping their options open on a start in the G1 Golden Slipper at Rosehill on March 23.

"She had ten days in the paddock after the Karaka Million and really thrived. She has come back looking a picture so we're really excited to be able to confirm where she will be going next.

"At this stage the Golden Slipper is still a possibility, but Brendan just wants to keep his options open around that one."

Probabeel returning to scale after her Karaka Million win

Another Group 1 beckons

Fresh from his upset win on Manuel (Commands) in the CF Orr S, jockey Luke Currie will chase his next Group 1 win aboard star filly Sunlight (Zoustar) in the Lightning S. at Flemington.

Currie guided the Tony McEvoy-trained Manuel to an all-the-way win in the Caulfield feature, the fourth time he has combined with McEvoy for victory at racing's elite level.

Next Saturday, the successful jockey and trainer combination will be out to add to the tally when Sunlight makes her return in the weight-for-age Lightning.

It will be the 3-year-old filly's first start since Currie rode her to victory in the G1 Coolmore Stud S. at Flemington in November, which took her record to eight wins from 12 starts.

Sunlight signalled she was on target for her return when she cruised to victory in a recent Werribee jump-out over 800 metres.

Luke Currie aboard Manuel

G1 winner ready to go

Having won a feature race at Caulfield with one new stable acquisition, the Lindsay Park operation is looking to repeat the performance a week later at Flemington.

Hawkshot (Fiorente {Ire}) won Saturday's G2 Autumn S. at Caulfield at his first start for Lindsay Park after being transferred from the disqualified Darren Weir last week.

Another former Weir-trained horse, G1 Thousand Guineas winner Amphitrite (Sebring), will make her debut for David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig in the G3 Vanity.

Amphitrite has already made an impression on her new trainers after easily winning a jump-out at Flemington on Friday.

"She seems straightforward and I thought her trial was excellent," Dabernig said. "She will run in The Vanity with Craig Williams to ride.

Browne’s future uncertain

Multiple Group 1 winning Queensland jockey Damian Browne has been overwhelmed with the support he has received during a health scare which threatens to end his career.

Browne will make no decision on his riding future until after he has exhausted all avenues for a recovery from a perforated bowel which has morphed into major spin-off problems.

"I am only a fifty-fifty chance of riding again,” he said. “Whether that means I am an even money chance to retire or whether it means I am an even money chance to ride again is on your interpretation.

"But I want to have the full treatment, surgery etcetera and get well again before making a decision. I don't want to do anything rash.

"If I was to take everything that people have suggested I would rattle. I really appreciate it but I have to be sensible.”

Boom times

Top Queensland stallion Spirit Of Boom has received another boost ahead of the March Magic Millions Sale with the win of Boomtown Lass at Doomben.

Her victory highlighted how much the value of Spirit Of Boom's stock has risen in the past 18 months.

In 2017, Boomtown Lass was passed in for $22,500 at the Magic Million National Sale and was later syndicated privately. The following year her full brother was bought for $150,000 at the National Weanling sale.

The colt then went back through the Magic Millions Yearling Sale this year where he fetched $300,000.

Spirit of Boom, who stands at Eureka Stud on the Darling Downs, will have 30 lots at the Magic Millions March Sale.

He and another young sire, Better Than Ready, are expected to dominate the sale on March 16.

Brennan happy with Derby hope

Cambridge trainer Lauren Brennan has confirmed that her promising 3-year-old Sword In Stone (NZ) (Redwood {GB}) is on a path to the G1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby.

He confirmed plans with a fighting performance for third in Saturday’s G2 Waikato Guineas.

Having just his third race day start, Sword In Stone was forced to take up an unfamiliar role outside the pacemaker and fought on strongly.

“We really wanted to do the chasing on Saturday, but he was a victim of circumstances really,” Brennan said.

“We will push on to the Derby now with Michael (Rodd) indicating he wants to come back and ride him which is a really good endorsement.”

EI tests negative

The British Horseracing Authority has said no new positive cases of equine influenza have been detected among more than 700 samples so far processed.

All race meetings have been cancelled until Wednesday after six cases of EI were confirmed on Friday at the stables of trainer Donald McCain.

The equine flu is the same strain that shut down racing in Australia in 2007 when up to 10,000 horses were affected by the North American strain known as Florida Clade 1 during the six-month outbreak.

“The Animal Health Trust has informed the BHA that it has received approximately 2100 nasal swabs and tested and reported on 720,” the BHA said.

“So far, other than the six at the yard of Donald McCain already identified, there have been no further positive samples returned.”

The BHA announced the cancellation of three meetings last Thursday because of the flu outbreak, and then swiftly imposed a six-day shutdown of the sport until Wednesday at the earliest.