Daily News Wrap

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Deep Impact ceases covering

Champion Japanese stallion Deep Impact (Jpn) (Sunday Silence {USA}) will cease covering for the remainder of the breeding season due to neck issues.

The sire of 39 individual Group One winners stands at Shadai Stallion Station in Japan and the farm said his injury is not life threatening, but he will need time to recover.

As a racehorse, Deep Impact was crowned Horse of the Year in Japan in 2005 and 2006 and recorded two Group 1 victories on the track, including the Japan Cup and Takarazuka Kinen.

He entered stud duties in 2007 and has been the leading sire in Japan for the past seven years.

He has sired three stakes-winners in Australia, Group 1 winners Tosen Stardom (Jpn) and Real Impact (Jpn) and Group 3 winner Fierce Impact (Jpn).

Deep Impact

Vale John McNair

Group 1 winning trainer John McNair has died after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

McNair prepared the star sprinter Hay List (Statue of Liberty {USA}), who won three Group 1s and staged a series of memorable battles with the champion unbeaten mare Black Caviar (Bel Esprit) and won 15 races from 28 starts

He also prepared the grand campaigner Mustard (Vettori {Ire}), who won four stakes races, including the G3 Star Kingdom S as well as WA Group 1 winner High Pak (Haulpak).

McNair, who began his career in Western Australia, retired from training in 2016, shortly after his champion Hay List had to be euthanised.

McNair's wife Sue confirmed McNair had passed away on Tuesday, only four weeks after being diagnosed.

John and Sue McNair

Sunlight saving best for TJ

Triple Group 1 winning filly Sunlight (Zoustar) is in career-best shape heading into Saturday's G1 TJ Smith S. according to trainer Tony McEvoy.

Coming off successes against the older horses in the G1 Newmarket Hcp and G1 William Reid S. at her past two starts, the flying filly is set to take on Australia's best sprinters again on Saturday.

McEvoy told Racenet that Sunlight was at her absolute peak for the race.

Sunlight winning the G1 William Reid S.

“Saturday is her real test,” McEvoy said. “This is the A-graders and if you look at her record I honestly think her form on the Sydney leg is superior."

“I think she’s going better than she’s ever gone and she’s ready for her big test on Saturday. I think she sets up for a personal best performance on Saturday.”

Eurozone on the move

Eurozone (Northern Meteor) will relocate from Newgate Farm to Bellereve Stud near Canberra for the 2019 season.

He has recently enjoyed black type success as the sire of the Listed Darby Munro Quality winner Krone and the unbeaten Listed Bendigo Guineas winner Mystery Love.

"As a team we are very excited to bring a stallion with the profile of Eurozone to the Canberra region," Bellereve Stud’s Chris Burke said.

"After the unfortunate passing of Zariz recently we believe the area is in need of a stallion of this quality.”

Eurozone won four of his 10 starts, including the G2 Stan Fox S. and finished runner-up in the G1 CF Orr S.


Pike true to his word

Tony Pike will be honouring a promise to Golden Slipper-winning jockey Damian Lane at Randwick on Saturday.

“I owe Damian a Derby ride,’’ Pike said. ‘’He rode Sacred Elixir for me in Melbourne a few years ago and won a couple on him, but he didn’t get to ride him in the Victoria Derby as we had Zac Purton booked for that."

“I told him I’d give him a Derby ride one day and he’ll have his chance on Surely Sacred on Saturday. I’m looking forward to it.’’

Pike secured Lane’s services for Surely Sacred (NZ) (Rock ‘N’ Pop) when the 3-year-old made his Australian debut in the G1 Rosehill Guineas, in which he finished fourth.

“He had to make a long-sustained run and the way the track was playing he almost got there too soon,’’ Pike said. ‘’He was off the bridle the last bit and just ground away.”

Damian Lane with James Cummings after his Golden Slipper win

Cup hopes in the balance

Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have two contenders for the G1 Sydney Cup in Zacada (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}) and Vin De Dance (NZ) (Roc De Cambes {NZ}), but the pair will have to perform this weekend to warrant a start in the two-mile feature.

Both horses were disappointing when tailing the field home in the G3 Manion Cup on a heavy track at Rosehill last month.

While disappointed in their runs, their trainers are hoping they will redeem themselves in the G2 Chairman’s Quality at Randwick.

“Vin De Dance got caught three-wide the other day over 2400 metres,” Baker said. “You just can’t do that in that sort of competition."

“Zacada just never got into it, he couldn’t cop the track, which surprised us a bit because he has shown form on wet loose tracks before, but he has just got to take his chance.

Baker said it would be unlikely that his runners would press on to the Sydney Cup if they don’t put in a good showing on Saturday.

Down to the wire

Experienced apprentice Stephanie Lacey will bid to give Queensland a first National Apprentices’ Challenge title in the last heat on Wednesday.

Queensland leads on 18 points, one in front of South Australia and three ahead of Victoria after four heats.

The series was first run in 2008 and since then South Australia have won it five times, Victoria twice, Western Australia twice and New South Wales once.

Lacey, who has ridden 136 career winners, has drawn the Chris Waller trained Andaz (Dash For Cash), one of four horses under $5 for the race at Sandown.