Daily News Wrap

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Cox Plate on Mystic's radar

Mystic Journey (Needs Further) is expected to receive an All-Star Mile invitation on Monday but trainer Adam Trinder is already plotting his spring with target of the G1 Cox Plate.

The filly, a $11,000 yearling buy, became the first horse trained in Tasmania in 133 years to win a Group 1 race when she claimed Saturday's G1 Australian Guineas at Flemington.

Trinder confirmed to RSN on Sunday morning that the All-Star Mile would be the 3-year-old's next target, wildcard forthcoming, and she would then head to the paddock with an eye to taking on Australia's weight-for-age championship in the spring.

"Should she gain an invitation into the All-Star Mile I would suggest at this stage we would head that way and that might do her for the autumn," Trinder said.

"I'm quite mindful that she's quite a well-performed filly that's lightly raced by design, she didn't have a long time off between the spring and the autumn."

"She'll potentially go to the All-Star Mile, that'll do her and then we'll get her back up for the spring and hopefully head towards the Cox Plate with her."

No Bayliss for hat-trick attempt

Redkirk Warrior (GB) (Notnowcato {GB}) will have to contend for a third-straight G1 Newmarket Hcp without Regan Bayliss.

Bayliss rode the Lindsay Park sprinter to victory in the race in 2017 and 2018, but the hat-trick tilt has been ruled out because Hong Kong authorities wouldn't let the young jockey travel back to Australia.

Luke Nolen will ride Redkirk Warrior next Saturday instead, having partnered with the 8-year-old in his unlucky sixth in the G1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 23.

Redkirk Warrior

“Evidently, Regan can’t come out to ride Redkirk Warrior,” David Hayes told Racenet.

“That’s his job, riding in Hong Kong, so it didn’t worry me.”

No horse has won the Newmarket Hcp three years in a row.

Cup success for Silent Warrior

South Australian Silent Warrior (Fastnet Rock) survived a protest to win Sunday’s $100,000 Wangaratta Cup over 2000m.

The Stuart Gower-trained stayer had won of the Stawell Cup in April last year and proved too good at Wangaratta defeating Sin To Win (NZ) (Sir Percy {GB}).

“What a gem of a ride by Zac (Spain), he rode him to instructions, he got out at the right time, he looked like he was struggling then he came again, it was perfect,” Gower said after the race.

“We brought him up and earmarked a couple of these Country Cups, a lot of these boys (owners) live in Echuca and Ballarat, a lot of Victorian boys own him, we said why not try and win some of these Country Cups and this looked a nice one on the agenda, I know it is nine and a half hours to get here but it is well worth the result."

“We have got the Yarra Valley Cup in a couple of weeks, so we might even go home, spend a few days at the beach and try and come back for that, let him pull up after this, I’m sure the boys will have a few sore heads tonight, we will see how things settle in the morning before we make any decisions.”

Williams sets trio for Australian Cup

Lloyd Williams will have three horses in next weekend's G1 Australian Cup at Flemington, with 2017 Melbourne Cup champion Rekindling (GB) (High Chaparral {Ire}) among those to tackle the race first-up.

Rekindling, who hasn't raced since his victory in the 2017 Melbourne Cup, will make his return and will be joined by 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin (Ger) (Monsun) along with The Taj Mahal (Galileo {Ire}).

Nick Williams confirmed it was unlikely Johannes Vermeer (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) would back-up from his fourth in Saturday's Group 2 Blamey S.

Ben Melham will ride Rekindling, Damien Oliver will ride Almandin and The Taj Mahal will be ridden by Brett Prebble.

Godolphin's Avilius (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) is favourite for the Group 1 weight for age race, having won two lead-up races at Caulfield.

Estijaab ready to rumble against Redzel

Co-trainer Michael Hawkes is full of confidence that G1 Golden Slipper winning filly Estijaab (Snitzel) can match it with dual The Everest champion Redzel (Snitzel) in Saturday's G2 Challenge S.

Estijaab has only had one start since her win in the 2-year-old feature last year, running second to Fiesta (I Am Invincible) in the Inglis Sprint at Warwick Farm.

Hawkes feels she has come on since that run and from her trial on Friday is ready to step up against the older horses.

"She's taking on the big boys but you know what, she's worthy of it," Hawkes, who trains the filly in partnership with his father John and brother Wayne, said.

"I'm not worried about them, I'm worried about her."

"She's trialled super and her first run was outstanding. It's just unfortunate it rained on the day and turned the race into a 1200, not an 1100 (metre event)."

Brisbane re-match possible for Kiwis

A return bout between G1 New Zealand Derby winner Crown Prosecutor (Medaglia D'oro {USA}) and runner-up In A Twinkling (Fastnet Rock) seems on the cards in June's G1 Queensland Derby and they could be joined by beaten favourite Surely Sacred (NZ) (Rock 'n' Pop).

The Stephen Marsh-trained 100-to-one shot Crown Prosecutor wore down Jamie Richards' In A Twinkling in a classic battle and both sets of connections have indicated a trip to Brisbane is on the agenda.

“He has been up a fair while, but he is one of those horses that you can’t let up on as he gets above himself," Marsh said of his winner. “We had him peaking for yesterday, but I will talk with the owners and I’m picking we will be on a Brisbane path at this stage."

Richards had to settle for second again with In A Twinkling after finishing runner-up to Surely Sacred in the recent G2 Avondale Guineas, but was also thinking of the Queensland winter carnival with his charge.

“He went a super race and probably just needed a little more cover during the run,” he said. “We’re going to see how he comes through the next couple of days, but if he pulls up well then I definitely think Brisbane is the best option for him. He seemed well enough overnight so once he’s had a couple of easy days in the paddock, we can then decide on a path for him then. "

Tony Pike was forgiving of his horse's effort in a stop-start race and essentially called off a Sydney campaign after what he called "a real gut-buster".

“He just didn’t get any luck and when we wanted to be going forward, he got stuck in a real pickle,” he said. "We had originally intended to push on to Sydney with him, but he has had a real gut-buster so he will need some time off now which will mean that the Queensland Derby looks likely to be his target rather than the Australian Derby.”

Star filly on trial for Sydney

Exciting Kiwi 2-year-old Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) will trial on Tuesday ahead of her Sydney campaign.

The Jamie Richards-trained filly hasn't raced since her comfortable victory in the LR Karaka Million 2YO at Ellerslie in late January and the trainer will be looking to get a guide on his star at a Rotorua trial ahead of a start in the G2 Magic Night Stakes at Rosehill on March 16.

“She’s coming along nicely after a bit of a break, so it will be nice to see where she is at with the trial,” Richards said, with the most likely plan being to target the G1 Sires' Produce on April 6. “She looks a picture and the pressure from the trial run should just clean her up nicely before she gets on the plane for Sydney."


Richards also confirmed his plans for the G1 Sistema Stakes at Ellerslie next Saturday, with L Matamata Slipper quinella Yourdeel (NZ) (Dundeel {NZ}) and Aotea Lad (NZ) (Savabeel) backing up with a start for the unplaced Equinox (NZ) (Exceed And Excel) to depend on track conditions.

"Equinox will only run if there is a firm track," Richards said. “He was a little disappointing at Matamata last time, but we have put that down to the slow track that day as he dipped and dived all over the place and wasn’t comfortable at all.”