Daily News Wrap

6 min read

Waller says spell star colt

Chris Waller has advised the owners of The Autumn Sun (Redoute’s Choice) to spell the multiple Group 1 winning colt.

“The decision was formed on the basis that he is still a young horse who is continuing to grow and develop and while it may not be seen in that light by racing enthusiasts and his growing fan base, it is my job as a trainer to look after these horses,” he said.

“It is not my job to make a decision on when he retires, however it is my job to manage the horse to the best of my ability and I take great pride in what has been achieved so far.

“Providing The Autumn Sun returns for another preparation, and one which I am fully endorsing, I am extremely excited by what he may be able to achieve as a 4-year-old.

“The ownership group are yet to meet regarding his future, however we look forward to doing so both to reflect on what he has achieved and discuss what his future may hold.”

Waller also passed on his condolences on the passing of Redoute’s Choice to all concerned with the champion stallion.

The Autumn Sun

Godolphin pair in good order

Two Charlie Appleby-trained Godolphin horses were at the track at Canterbury on Tuesday after arriving from Dubai in preparation for The Championships.

The G1 Sydney Cup favourite Dubhe (GB) (Dubawi {Ire) and G1 All Aged Stakes hopeful D'Bai (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) stretched their legs with an early morning canter.

Travelling track rider Robbie Fitzpatrick said the two horses have settled in well to the quarantine facilities in Sydney's inner west and will ramp up their work in the coming days in preparation for their upcoming races.

"I think they both come with good chances. Dubhe is obviously running over the staying distance and won quite easily last month at Meydan by four lengths and D'Bai, I think he's one of the best horses I’ve sat on. "

Happy with Doncaster hope

Japanese trainer Tomokazu Takano has shrugged off concerns surrounding the form of Kluger (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) and said the horse was back on track ahead of the upcoming Doncaster Mile.

Takano oversaw Kluger's early morning work on Tuesday when the 7-year-old galloped over 1400 metres at Canterbury.

"He's working well and he's got no issues, so we are hoping he goes well, fingers crossed," Takano said.

Star jockey Tommy Berry has been selected to ride Kluger, who arrived in Sydney from Japan a week ago, settling into the quarantine facility at Canterbury Racecourse.

The horse has five wins and six placings from 19 starts, with his most recent win in 2016 in a Group 2 race at Kyoto.

Smart trial at Doomben

Top three-year-old Ef Troop (Spirit Of Boom) impressed at the Doomben trials on Tuesday.

The Listed Phelan Ready S. winner and G2 Todman S. runner-up was having his first serious test since October and, after being caught wide early, had far too much pace over 840 metres for a handy field of open company horses.

Trainer Tony Gollan said Ef Troop would have another trial before going to the Listed Mick Dittman Plate at Doomben on April 20.

"He did what we wanted and that trial should bring him along nicely," Gollan said.

Filly needs to relax

There will be no over-reaction from trainer Chris Waller to correct the unorthodox racing style of Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed {NZ}) and is looking at the addition of ear muffs for Saturday’s Gr. 1 Vinery Stud S. at Rosehill.

She currently races in a nose roll and, as she showed in winning the G2 Phar Lap S. at her Sydney debut, she carries her head high.

That might be just a quirk of the horse, but Waller is concerned about ensuring the filly settles better with the step up to 2000 metres on Saturday.

“It seems to be effective, I guess you could say Northerly had a different racing style as well,’’ Waller said.

“The more you try to change them, often it can bring you undone, but we will be putting some ear muffs on just to try to get her to relax a bit. That’s the only thing I want to do, get her to switch off a touch.’’

Verry Elleegant carries her head high when she races

Cooksley to train in partnership

Internationally successful jockey Grant Cooksley is the latest addition to the New Zealand training ranks.

Cooksley, 59, has been granted a trainers’ licence and begins a training partnership at Byerley Park with Bruce Wallace, but he will retain his jockey’s licence.

‘’I’ve thought about training for a while now,’’ Cooksley said. ‘’I had a couple of options in Sydney, but it was too early at that stage. I just wanted to concentrate on riding at the time.

“Now this opportunity has come up to train in partnership with Bruce and it’s too good to turn down. If I started on my own I’d have to do it from scratch, but I’ve been given the opportunity to start with an established stable.”

Cooksley and Wallace have combined over the years to win Group 1 races on both sides of the Tasman. That list includes the Auckland Cup, Metropolitan, two JRA Auckland Classics, Futurity S. and the Canterbury Guineas.

Grant Cooksley

Zimmerman joining Tiley

Trainer Karen Zimmerman will take a change in direction in the coming weeks when she takes up the position of stable foreman for Pukekohe trainer Nigel Tiley.

Zimmerman won four Group 1 races in her training career - the Captain Cook S. twice, the Kelt Capital S., and the New Thoroughbred Breeders’ S.

Tiley said he is delighted to have someone of Zimmerman’s experience join the stable.

“She is going to join us in about three weeks,” he said. “We advertised for a foreman/assistant trainer and Karen was very keen to take it on and we would have been stupid if we hadn’t taken her straight away.

“I’ll be able to travel a few more horses and be very comfortable that I have got somebody at home that’s more than capable of doing the job for us.”

Joint initiatives on table

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) and Racing Australia (RA) met recently to discuss how a more collaborative approach might benefit both organisations and industry participants.

Among the issues discussed were the potential for technology sharing opportunities, co-operation around the Rules of Racing, a co-ordinated approach on the development of staying races; and the opportunities for shared services.

“The meeting was a first step in a collaborative approach on issues relating to improving thoroughbred racing across both countries,” NZTR chairman Alan Jackson said.

Racing Australia chair Frances Nelson said Racing Australia welcomed the discussions as a reminder that, even before Phar Lap, New Zealand and Australia shared a passion for racing.

“It makes sense to work together and seize the resultant opportunities to try and ensure an exciting future for New Zealand and Australian racing participants.”