Daily News Wrap

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Classique debut sets tongues wagging

Les Bridge may have unearthed a future star in Classique Legend (Not A Single Doubt), who won his debut in impressive fashion at Kensington on Wednesday.

Ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, Classique Legend powered away impressively to win the maiden by 2.5l, impressing his trainer greatly.

“He’s got the action,” Bridge said. He’s got the action of a good horse."

“He’s a lovely horse and if everything goes right for him, he’s got a real nice future. He’s a beautiful horse. He doesn’t really know what he’s doing yet either.”

Hong Kong based owner Boniface Ho's racing manager Carmel Size. who paid $400,000 for Classique Legend at the 2017 Classic Sale, indicated the gelding would remain in Australia for now.

Bieg backs fresh Free Of Debt

Trainer Chris Bieg is not concerned that a big gap between runs will be to the detriment of his colt Free Of Debt (Unencumbered) in Saturday's G1 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond S. at Caulfield.

Free Of Debt hasn't raced since winning down the straight at Flemington on January 19, but Adelaide-based trainer Bieg has used the extra time for further education.

“I know that five weeks between runs is unorthodox going into a Blue Diamond but there was a similar-sized space between his first and second runs – having five weeks between runs has also given us time to iron out some of his little antics,” Bieg told Racenet.

“He won by a length at Flemington last month but I really feel that if he had gone straight over the concluding stages he probably wins by three or four lengths. I put it down to a little bit of greenness and having his first look at the Flemington straight."

“He will be nice and fresh for the Blue Diamond and I couldn’t be happier with him.”

Free of Debt will race in the Aquis Farm colours, with the burgeoning operation buying into the colt since his last run.

Royal Ascot trip unlikely for Sun

Arrowfield chairman John Messara believes the biggest obstacle to The Autumn Sun (Redoute's Choice) campaigning overseas is the colt's enormous stud value.

The triple Group 1 winner has been recently inoculated with a view to a Royal Ascot trip, but Messara, who is the colt's managing owner, confirmed to Sky Racing's The Road To The Championships that the biggest roadblock to travel was his prospective value as a stallion.

"I'm not certain this is the horse we can do it with because he is potentially so valuable," Messara said.

The Autumn Sun

"We have had to pay a huge amount to buy into him, I'd be worried about the dangers, not of getting beaten so much, but of sickness, travel sickness that sort of thing happening."

"He is our replacement for the great Redoute's Choice, who is a rising 22-year-old this year - I've got to protect him (The Autumn Sun) in any way that I can."

"Having said that, if he goes through and is very dominant, it is attractive to carry on a bit."

The Autumn Sun has nine rivals in his return to racing on Saturday on the G2 Hobartville S.

McEvoy: Manuel can repeat success

Tony McEvoy maintains the faith that Manuel (Commands) can back up his form from his last start upset win in the G1 CF Orr S. when he contests the G1 Yulong Futurity S. at Caulfield on Saturday.

Speaking to RSN, McEvoy said the improving 5-year-old was well-placed to recreate his giant-killing efforts of two weeks' ago in Saturday's $500,000 feature.

“He was second up in the Orr. He went into the Australia Stakes (first-up) without a trial after a freshen-up and he has got better going into this race at his third run back," he said.

“He’s always been a horse who has shown us that talent. He hadn’t had many chances at Group One level and we were pretty proud of what he did. He fought hard."

“He’s in great order and we’re looking forward to Saturday.”


Shadows Cast set for Otaki test

A month between runs should be perfect for in-form miler Shadows Cast (Per Incanto {USA}) heading into Saturday’s G1 Haunui Farm WFA Group One Classic (1600m) at Otaki according to trainer Mark Oulaghan.

Oulaghan has kept Shadows Cast fresh since his win in the G1 Thorndon Mile last start and thinks that is the key to him producing his best on Saturday.

“He came through the win well and he has had a reasonably light time afterwards,” Oulaghan said. “He handled it all okay and seems pretty well at the moment.”

Shadows Cast

“I am comfortable with the gap between runs. He has done that in the past and been okay and just taking a line through that, I don’t think he is far off the mark.”

Shadows Cast has drawn well in barrier five and is likely to be ridden forward once more.

“Over a mile, if he can cruise along quite handy, he seems to be quite happy and I think from barrier five he will be just off them,” Oulaghan said.

“There are some decent horses in the race, there is no doubt about that."