Daily News Wrap

5 min read

Wet track on Cummings' mind

James Cummings believes a likely heavy track is the biggest concern for Alizee (Sepoy) ahead of Saturday's G2 Jim Beam Emancipation S. at Rosehill.

Alizee, who scored her second Group 1 win in the Futurity S. last month before running third in the All-Star Mile, looks well-placed back against her own sex, but a soft track with the likelihood of more rain is preying on Cummings' mind.

“Alizee is in top order since she ran a gallant third at weight-for-age in the All-Star Mile,” Cummings told Racenet.

“She’s had an easy time, she’s been cuddled between runs."

“The drop back in class to a set weights and penalties race here is in her favour but the track needs to improve rapidly for her to be comfortable.”

Alizee is an odds-on favourite to win her ninth race at her 19th start.

Emperor ready for Group 1 trip

The step up in distance is very much in the favour for Holy Mongolemperor (NZ) (More Than Ready {USA}) in Saturday's G1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce S. at Awapuni according to co-trainer Andrew Forsman.

Forsman and Murray Baker saddle up two runners in the Group 1 feature, with Aretha (NZ) (Charm Spirit {Ire}) also taking her place in the field.

Forsman feels Holy Mongolemperor is ready to show his best at just his third start, up from the 1200m of last start at Trentham, where he ran second.

“I am quite looking forward to seeing how Holy Mongolemperor steps up to the 1400m. It was a really good effort at Trentham. He’s a colt with a lot of ability that seems to be improving all the time,” he said.

On Aretha, a winner of one of her three starts, Forsman has some query on how she’ll perform on a likely hard track and finds it hard to split their pair.

“On a fast track it’s hard to know,” Forsman said. “Aretha has been very good on rain-affected ground. They have both drawn awkwardly."

“She’s got tactical speed, so she can jump and put herself on the pace, whereas he will get back, but I think if he gets a clear run, the colt could come with a big finish. I am pretty happy with where he is at going into it.”

Brisbane not Ascot for Nature Strip

Chris Waller will target G1 Galaxy winner Nature Strip (Nicconi) at Brisbane rather than at Royal Ascot.

Connections of the 4-year-old confirmed on Friday that plans were in place to target the Brisbane winter carnival rather than a shot at the G1 King's Stand S.

The G1 Doomben 10,000 on May 10 will be Nature Strip's first target, with the likelihood he will go towards other sprinting features.

A winner of 10 of his 15 races, Nature Strip, now onto his fifth trainer, became Nicconi's first Group 1 winner when victorious last Saturday.

James happy with Tancred challenger

Co-trainer Roger James can't fault Rondinella (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}) ahead of her tilt at the G1 Kia Tancred S. at Rosehill.

While Avilius (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) holds commanding favouritsm for the race, James, who trains the 4-year-old mare in partnership with Robert Wellwood, is confident in Rondinella's prospects at her first Australian start.

"I'm comfortable she'll get the mile-and-a-half. It's a big step-up but I've always held her in high regard and she's had a lovely preparation," James said. "She's in faultless condition."

Rondinella is coming off a last start third in the G1 NZ S. behind Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) after overcoming some bad luck.

"It's fair to say we didn't get the rub of the green last start," James said. "She featured twice in the stipes' report and by the time she got clear in the straight, the other two were already off and gone. But to her credit, she's stuck to her task well and ran the quickest last 200m of the race."


California whip ban supported

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) is set to implement a ban on the use of the whip during races.

Under a new proposal, the whipping of horses will no longer be permitted at any state-sanctioned track for any circumstances other than 'when necessary to control the horse for the safety of the horse or rider'.

The Board had also proposed to allow for disqualification of horses, whose jockeys struck them with the whip in non-safety instances, but that was defeated which means that while jockeys could be fined or suspended for whip use, the results of races would not be altered.

A final decision on the ban will be made after a 45-day consultation period.

Meanwhile, Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields received unanimous support from the CHRB to implement an in-house rule that will halve the allowable race-day dose of Lasix.

Inquiry into accidental ring in

Rockhampton trainer Julieann Lancaster faces a stewards' investigation and possible suspension after she allowed one of her horses to run in the wrong race.

Authadane (Authorized {Ire}) was supposed to compete in Race 6 at Rockhampton on Thursday, but a mix-up led to Lancaster instead starting 8-year-old gelding Plain 'N' Simple (Casino Prince) in the race.

Plain 'N' Simple ran sixth under Authadane's name but the mix-up wasn't discovered until after correct weight had been declared.

When stewards discovered the problem, Authadane was disqualified and Lancaster was charged and plead guilty under AR 227(a).

Juliann Lancaster (right)

The stewards' enquiry was adjourned with the QRIC to undertake a full investigation of how the mix-up occurred.

"It was actually my fault," Lancaster told Racing.com. "I saddled the wrong horse. They are both bay geldings."

"I just had four consecutive (races) in a row and I had a few things happen at home too and so I was just not thinking and just put the saddle on the wrong horse."