Daily News Wrap

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Champagne aims for Chenier

Anthony Freedman is eyeing next month's G1 Champagne S. with impressive Sandown debut winner Chenier (Medaglia D'Oro {USA}).

The Godolphin colt sat deep in the run but powered away from his rivals to win by 5.5 lengths over the 1300m in what was the easiest of rides for Ben Melham.

Freedman, who saddles up Lyre (Lonhro) in Saturday's G1 Golden Slipper S, said Chenier was still very new to it all and was doing what he was on pure talent.

"He's come along very quickly. He's only had seven weeks' work," he said. "He seems to have great natural ability and great natural fitness."

"This came a bit quick, but it fits in with what is in mind. He'll come back here in two weeks, there is a 1400m race for him and all going well, he may go onto the Champagne in Sydney on April 20."

Chenier is bred to stay being out of Zydeco (Zabeel {NZ}), who won a G1 Wakeful S. and ran second in a G1 VRC Oaks.

Freedman said the colt looked an ideal Derby prospect for next season, regardless of what he does as a 2-year-old.

Eight rivals for Winx

Winx (Street Cry {Ire}) will face off against up to eight rivals in her quest for a 32nd consecutive win in Saturday's G1 George Ryder S. at Rosehill.

The superstar mare has drawn eight in the nine-horse field in what is likely to be her second last race, but just one horse she has met before.

Three of her rivals are stablemates in Ringerdingding (Sebring) and Prompt Response (Beneteau) as well as Egg Tart, who she has beaten three times previously.

Brutal (NZ) (O'Reilly {NZ}) also takes on the champion along with So Si Bon (So You Think {NZ}), Land Of Plenty (Stratum), Dreamforce (Fastnet Rock) and Teleplay (Written Tycoon).

Second time lucky for Dresden Green

$1.2m colt Dresden Green (Snitzel) made amends for his last start defeat on protest with a hard-fought maiden victory over 1200m at Hawkesbury.

Beaten in the stewards' room by Stronger (Not A Single Doubt) at Randwick last time out, Dresden Green, ridden by Tim Clark, prevailed from a battle with fellow Snitzel colt Killin to win by half a length.

"He's above average but he just doesn’t know what he's doing at the moment," Clark said. "The more racing he does the better he is going to be, but that was a good tough win."

Dresden Green as a yearling

Co-trainer Adrian Bott said Dresden Green still had a lot of development left in him, but he would head up to better grade this campaign.

"He's not the finished product yet, but he is certainly going in the right direction," he said. "I think there is a couple of nice races over the Championships which we would like to target him towards, whether it be a Sires or a Champagne."

Dresden Green is out of Asscher (NZ) (Stravinsky {USA}), the half-sister to Group 1 winner Shower of Roses (Zabeel {NZ}) out of Marquise (NZ) (Gold And Ivory {USA}), the sibling of Octagonal, Diamond Lover and Kaapstad.

Later at Hawkesbury, Team Hawkes' emerging filly Amangiri (All Too Hard) confirmed she is headed to the G3 Adrian Knox S. after an easy all-the-way win in a BM60 race over 1600m against the older horses.

Michael Hawkes confirmed that the filly would head to stakes company before taking on the G1 Australian Oaks.

Filly ready to Embrace challenge

Danny O'Brien is confident that in-form filly Embrace Me (NZ) (Shamexpress {NZ}) can make her presence felt in Friday night's G1 Manikato S.

O'Brien has elected to step the filly up to Group 1 company for the first time after an impressive win in the G3 Typhoon Tracy S. last time out.

"Every time she's gone to the races, she's improved and hopefully, she's still on an upward spiral," O'Brien told Racing.com.

"She hasn't raced against anything of Sunlight's calibre yet. She beat a group of fillies last start in a Group 3 that weren't the top-line fillies but ultimately, you only find out by going up in grade."

"The big plus for her was this race is at Moonee Valley. She's a filly that's in great form and she really has an affinity with Moonee Valley. Her last three runs there have been wins over the track and distance."

Embrace Me has won four of her nine starts including three of her past four.

McKee chooses Sunline over Ranvet

An aversion to wet tracks has seen Group 1 winning mare Consensus (NZ) (Postponed {GB}) choose Melbourne over Sydney this weekend.

Trainer Stephen McKee had initially wanted Consensus, a last start third-placegetter in the G1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic at Otaki, to contest the G1 Ranvet S. at Rosehill but a likely rain-affected track has seen him instead send the 7-year-old to Melbourne for race close to his heart, the G2 Sunline S.

“Sydney is just too wet,” McKee said. “We were going for the Ranvet. We ran fourth on a heavy track last year, but I think the track is going to at least be as wet again this year."

“We decided we needed to race somewhere and we found this one in Melbourne, so we are going there instead."

“It’s only for the one race. We will run on Friday night and then we will decide on whether we might head up to Sydney and wait for the tracks to dry up, or we might come home and may wait to go to Brisbane later."

“It probably depends now on how she goes on Friday night.”


Richardson hopes for Veloce bounce

Volpe Veloce (Foxwedge) will be looking to bounce back to winning form in Saturday's G2 Windsor Park Stud Japan NZ International Trophy at Tauranga.

She was a disappointing eighth last time out in the G1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic, but Volpe Veloce's co-trainer Graham Richardson thinks the Group 1 winning mare can perform on a better track this time around.

“She is very well,” Richardson said. “At her last run she was a bit disappointing and it left me questioning myself about how she went."

“The track at Otaki wasn’t right but in saying that it wasn’t right for all of them. She just looked uncomfortable the whole way.

“She never looked happy at any stage in that race. I put her out for a week in the paddock when she got home and then brought her up and hopefully, she will run well on Saturday.”

The plan is then for Volpe Veloce to head to the G1 Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ S. at Te Aroha on April 6.

“All going well it will be on to Te Aroha. It looks an ideal race for her,” Richardson said.