Daily News Wrap

6 min read

Weather to have final say

Tony McEvoy has major concerns about the Sydney weather as he plots the next move of his crack filly Sunlight (Zoustar).

He said she will gallop at the Breakfast With The Stars session at Randwick on Tuesday ahead of Saturday’s G1 TJ Smith S., but track conditions have him worried.

"I think we'll accept because it can change so quickly and you have to accept so far out. I'm keen to run her, but I've got to watch the weather.”

McEvoy said there were other options, including the G2 Arrowfield Sprint against her fellow 3-year-olds and he hasn’t ruled out the G1 Ubet S. in Adelaide either.


Kiwi to run in Derby

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Madison County (NZ) (Pins) is a confirmed starter in Saturday’s G1 Australian Derby,

Connections have opted to run him against his own age group over 2400 metres rather than take on the older horses in the G1 Doncaster H.

Madison County finished runner-up at Rosehill in the G2 Tulloch S. under Tommy Berry, who will take the Derby ride.

Madison County

Scone catalogue available

A wide selection of yearlings by commercially proven stallions and first season sires feature in the 204-strong catalogue for the HTBA Scone Select Yearling Sale at White Park on Sunday, May 12.

Progeny of 71 sires including Not A Single Doubt, Dundeel (NZ), Brazen Beau, Sebring, Written Tycoon, Hinchinbrook, So You Think (NZ), More Than Ready (USA), Deep Field, Nicconi, Rubick, Smart Missile, Star Witness, All Too Hard and Tavistock (NZ) are represented, as are first season offerings by the likes of Exosphere, Press Statement, Kermadec, Super One, Scissor Kick, Headwater, Real Impact (Jpn), Bull Point, Outreach and Panzer Division.

The Scone sale has provided a host of racetrack stars in recent years including Group 1 winning sprinter Voodoo Lad (I Am Invincible), Group 2 winning 2-year-olds Time For War (Snitzel) and Look To The Stars (I Am Invincible) as well as stakes winner Rom Baro (Time Thief).

Of the horses catalogued, 91 per cent are BOBS Eligible and sale inspections will begin at White Park from 8.30am on Saturday, May 11. Selling will begin at 10am the following day.

All yearlings offered at the sale are eligible for the $100,000 Scone Inglis Challenge and the $8m Inglis Race Series.

Following Sunday’s action there will be an Inglis Online sale to complement the yearling sale. The Scone Online Thoroughbred Sale, for which entries are now open, and will conclude the following day, Monday May 13.

The online catalogue will cater for mares, weanlings and yearlings. It will be available for viewing from the evening of Monday, May 6 and bidding will begin the following day from 3pm.

The catalogue will be available at www.inglisdigital.com. Entries will be taken until midnight on Tuesday April 30.

Strong Doncaster hand

Chris Waller has won the G1 Doncaster H. six times and he could have up to five runners in next Saturday’s edition at Randwick.

He will run I Am Serious (Choisir), Life Less Ordinary (Ire) (Thewayyouare {Ire}), Shillelagh (NZ) (Savabeel) and Unforgotten (Fastnet Rock) as well as the 3-year-old Ringerdindingding (Sebring), if he can make the final line-up.


Waller won the G3 Doncaster Prelude with Mister Sea Wolf (Ire) (Amadeus Wolf {GB}) at Rosehill, but won’t be backing the seven-year-old up.

The gelding will instead be set for the Queensland winter carnival.

Filly does all proud

Bella Mente (NZ) (El Roca) credited her Westbury Stud-based stallion with a top-flight performer from his first crop when she finished third in the G1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce S. at Awapuni.

“She looked like the winner momentarily, so the excitement levels were right up there,” trainer Shaune Ritchie said.

“She was really kicking strongly at that point, but I looked across and saw the good horse (Yourdeel) coming and I knew we were in trouble then.

“She didn’t give it away at any stage, so to pick up a Group 1 placing at just her fourth start is fantastic for everyone involved in her. She certainly did us proud and I can’t wait to see how good she can be for her 3-year-old campaign.

“She will go out for a good spell now and we will bring her back with the intention of getting her to the 1000 Guineas at Riccarton.”

Westbury stallion El Roca

Happy homecoming

Kingsguard (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {Ire}) made a successful return to his homeland with a gritty victory over 1200 metres at Ellerslie.

The 6-year-old commenced his career in New Zealand as His Majesty for trainer Chris McNab and raced six times for three placings.

Transferred to the Sydney stable of Team Hawkes, the gelding put together a handy record of five wins from 31 starts under his current, including victory in the 2018 G3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup.

He returned to New Zealand shores earlier this year and was placed with new trainer Jamie Richards where he had undergone a slow build-up to his race day return.

“I hadn’t been completely happy with him in the build-up to Saturday, so we weren’t that confident of a win,” Richards said.

“There didn’t look to be a great deal of speed in the race, so I said to Nik (Bakar) to take him to the front and make use of his 3kg claim. He rode him perfectly and it was great to see him kick back so strongly in the closing stages when it looked like he might get swamped.”

Kingsguard (inside)

Star on the rise

Levin-trained galloper Rock On Wood (NZ) (Redwood {GB}) confirmed his status as one of the most promising horses in New Zealand when he came from near last on the home corner to down some talented rivals over 1600 metres at Awapuni.

The Leanne Elliot-prepared 4-year-old had caught the eye during his three-year-old campaign where he won twice and finished a close-up fourth in the G1 Levin Classic.

“He just took a bit of time while he was growing early on, so it took us a while to get to the races,” she said. “He’s a lovely horse to have around, he’s pretty special.

“We’ll just see what comes up next for him and he will definitely improve from this race.”

The victory had extra significance for Elliot as it was son Ryan, who is forging a successful career as an apprentice jockey under the tutelage of the Team Rogerson stable, who was on board to guide the winner home