Daily News Wrap

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Revered journalist farewelled

People from all walks of life have attended the funeral service of journalist and author Les Carlyon at Flemington racecourse.

Hundreds gathered on Tuesday including the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, and Lady Cosgrove, former Prime Minister John Howard and a host of journalists, trainers and racing industry leaders to celebrate the life of Carlyon who died last week, aged 76.

Horse racing was a passion for Carlyon who was a former editor of The Age in Melbourne, editor-in-chief at the Herald and Weekly Times and wrote numerous books, including The Master, about Bart Cummings.

Carlyon was described a journalistic genius by broadcaster Neil Mitchell who said tributes have shown how many lives he touched.

Journalist Andrew Rule described Carlyon as the poet laureate of the track. "Without you Les there'd be no bronze statue of Bart downstairs," he said.

Les Carlyon

Trio ready for Dubai challenge

Australian stables will be represented by three well-performed sprinters in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai on March 30.

Viddora (I Am Invincible) was handed her boarding pass after a pleasing gallop down the straight course at Flemington on Tuesday morning while Brave Smash (Jpn) (Tosen Phantom {Jpn}) will make the trip and a return is now booked for Illustrious Lad (I Am Invincible).

"That's her final piece of work and basically when she gets to Meydan, she'll do a little bit of work on the Tuesday before the Saturday,” Viddora’s trainer Lloyd Kennewell.

Viddora has wins in the G1 Winterbottom S. and the G1 Moir S. on her CV while the Kris Lees-prepared Brave Smash was successful in the G1 Futurity S. and the G1 Manikato S.

Multiple stakes winner Illustrious Lad was a meritorious fifth for trainer Peter Gelagotis in last year’s Al Quoz Sprint behind Jungle Cat (Ire) (Iffraaj {GB}).

Murphy on Slipper hope

British-based Irish jockey Oisin Murphy has been booked to ride the Phoenix Thoroughbreds-owned Loving Gaby (I Am Invincible) in the G1 Golden Slipper S.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained filly finished sixth as equal favourite in last month's G1 Blue Diamond S.

She was entered in Saturday's G2 Magic Night S. at Rosehill, but will instead run in a barrier trial at Randwick on Thursday.

"I ride a lot for Phoenix Thoroughbreds. They have horses in America, Australia and Europe and I rode a Royal Ascot winner for them last year," Murphy said.

Phoenix was established by Dubai-based businessman Amer Abdulaziz and has extensive breeding interests as well as their racing stock.

ATC stalwart to sign off

One of Australian racing’s most successful and respected administrators has announced his retirement from the Australian Turf Club after a 42-year career.

Lindsay Murphy has been serving as General Manager of Racecourses for all of the Australian Turf Club’s four racecourses and will end his lengthy association on July 31.

Since starting work as a junior clerk in the racing office of the Sydney Turf Club in 1977, Mr Murphy has gone on to oversee track care, maintenance and rebuilds of training and course proper surfaces at all of Sydney’s racecourses.

Most recently he played an integral role in the highly successful rebuild and return to racing of the Kensington track.

Lindsay Murphy

Trans-Tasman Group 1 hopes

John Sargent is on target to send one Group 1 prospect across the Tasman from Australia, while he has received a filly from New Zealand for a possible Sydney Group One mission.

The former Kiwi trainer is setting Luvaluva (NZ) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) for next month’s G1 Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ S. at Te Aroha and a newcomer to his Randwick stable is the G1 Australian Oaks hope House Of Cartier (Alamosa).

She is a daughter of the G1 Auckland Cup winner Shez Sinsational (NZ) (Ekraar {USA}) and has had six starts for Pukekohe trainer Nigel Tiley for a win and a second in the G2 Eight Carat Classic.

“She will go to the G3 Kembla Grange Classic on Friday and Brenton Avdulla will ride her,” Sargent said.

“Luvaluva will have a trial in two weeks, either at Gosford or Warwick Farm, then go over for the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes. It should be a good race for her and is a softer option than the Coolmore Classic.”

Sydney on Avantage’s radar

Exciting 3-year-old filly Avantage (Fastnet Rock) is close to a race day return after winning a 1000 metre trial at Avondale on Tuesday.

“I thought she trialled nicely,” trainer Jamie Richards said. “She’s a filly that doesn’t over exert herself unless she really has to.


Richards will see how Avantage pulls up after her outing, but indicated she will likely join stablemate Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) in Sydney for her autumn campaign.

“We will be looking at Sydney, but I’d just like to have a look at her in the next couple of days to see how she’s come through the run before confirming that,” he said.

Avantage hasn’t raced since she won the G3 Gold Trail S. at Hastings in September with a bone scan identifying a muscular issue after the race.