Daily News Wrap

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Better than Ready's fee more than triples

Lyndhurst Stud has confirmed that boom first-year stallion Better Than Ready will stand for $33,000 (inc GST) next season, up from the $9900 he stood for in his first four seasons.

Better Than Ready's progeny have made a spectacular start to their career, with 14 separate winners and two stakes-winners in his first 2-year-old crop.

He covered 236 mares last season, but his book for 2019 will be capped at 160 mares plus returns, limiting the number of outside bookings that will be available.

Better Than Ready

"Demand is strong already with many southern studs planning to send mares. Breeders around the country are recognising Better Than Ready's dominance. With yearlings selling up to $170,000 this year from average quality mares, his new fee should be great value for the higher quality mares he will no doubt receive this year," Lyndhurst's Jeff Kruger said.

His yearlings have been extremely well received at the sales this season and Yarramalong's Richard Foster, a significant shareholder in the stallion, said the third crop will also make a significant impression.

"Better Than Ready's third crop weanlings are up another level and even more outstanding. This stallion is destined to fill a most important niche in Australia's breeding industry," he said.

Brazen Beau, Cable Bay off the mark in Europe

Darley's Brazen Beau has had his first northern hemisphere winner, with Proper Beau (GB) scoring on debut in a 2-year-old race at Musselburgh.

Brazen Beau stands at Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket and Proper Beau was his first runner of his first crop from the northern hemisphere. The colt scored by a neck from Alminoor (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) in the five furlong race for trainer Bryan Smart.

"I was over the moon with that," Smart said afterwards. "Proper Beau always showed us a bit at home and I'd have been gutted if he wasn't in the first three. He hit the front and idled but came a long way clear with the second. I want to mind him. His next run will be in a conditions race and that'll tell us how good he is, and whether we have a Royal Ascot horse," said Smart.

Proper Beau is out of Olivia Grace (GB) (Pivotal {GB}).

Woodside Park's Cable Bay (Ire) also got his first winner when Electric Ladyland (Ire) won at Lingfield.

The Archie Watson-trained filly proved too slick over the five furlongs on the all-weather track to score by two lengths.

Cable Bay stands at Highclere Stud and has shuttled to Australia the past two seasons, standing at Woodside. His first southern hemisphere foals hit the ground last spring.

Randwick track at mercy of weather

Randwick racecourse manager Nevesh Ramdhani says the rating of the Randwick track on the first day of The Championships is in lap of the gods, with the Sydney weather to determine a rating anywhere from a Soft 5 to a heavy 8.

Speaking to Racenet, Ramdhani said the amount of rain to fall in the three days leading up to the meeting will be the major factor.

“We got two mms of rain in the past 24 hours and that kept it as a soft (7) this morning,” Ramdhani said. “It’s a lovely day today so it would be improving but we’ll see what tomorrow brings."

“Thursday afternoon into Saturday morning is the highest chance of the rain. It’s not a lot of rain they are expecting but it puts back to where we started from."

“I’m thinking the best-case scenario is a soft (6) into a five early in the day but depending on how much rain we get tomorrow, I’m thinking a soft (7) or a heavy (8).”

BRC on hunt for new CEO

Brisbane Racing Club CEO David Whimpey has confirmed that he will relinquish the role in the coming months.

Whimpey, who will finish officially on June 30, has held the job since 2014.

Whimpey's time at the top has been marked by major challenges for the BRC, namely the delayed redevelopment of the Eagle Farm track.

The BRC will embark on a national search for Whimpey's replacement.

Currie gains another stay

Embattled Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie has received another stay of proceedings, with the hearing into charges against him likely to resume in the middle of April.

A stay hearing will be heard from April 16-18 after Currie's legal team successfully secured an adjournment to further digest affidavit material received from the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission on Tuesday.

Ben Currie

The material includes witness statements from Ray Murrihy, a former chief steward in Brisbane and Sydney as well as Toowoomba trainer Michael Nolan, jockeys Skye Bogenhuber, Ron Goltz, Nozi Tomizawa and Beau Appo and Currie's employees Nathan Evans, Jayden Simms, and Dale Groves.

The new stay means Currie will be able to race horses at Toowoomba's Weetwood Handicap meeting on Saturday, where he has 24 horses entered to race.

Riddell backs up on either side of Tasman

New Zealand jockey Jonathan Riddell will warm-up for his ride on Platinum Invador (NZ) (Redwood {GB}) in Saturday's G1 Harrolds Australian Derby with a stakes race at Awapuni on Friday.

Riddell will ride Artiste (NZ) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) for Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman in the G3 Property Brokers Arohanui Hospice Manawatu Breeders’ S, and then board a plane to Sydney.

Jonathan Riddell

Riddell hasn't ridden in Australia for two and half years and his last victory was in the G3 Fred Best Classic at Doomben aboard Platinum Kingdom (Magnus) in 2013 for the same connections, headed by Neville McAlister

“They said we are just going to switch him off like Chris (Johnson) rode him in the (NZ) Derby,” Riddell said of Platinum Invador, who ran eighth in last week's G2 Tulloch S.

“The other day he got the dream run but it may not have been ideal for the horse, I don’t know. He did run poorly and there is no buttering it up."

“For me, I am quite excited to go, so I’m not going to take in last week’s run and I will just trust that he is the horse that ran in the Derby and Avondale Guineas. They were two big runs.”

Supera ready for another Group 1 test

Co-trainer Ken Kelso believes his mare Supera (NZ) (Savabeel) is spot on for her second tilt at Group 1 racing in Saturday's Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ S.

Kelso, who trains with his wife Bev as well as Mark Donoghue, said the 4-year-old was undone by the soft track when well-beaten in seventh in the G1 WFA Group One Classic (1600m) at Otaki in February.


But she has bounced back well and is ready for her test on what should be a much better Te Aroha track.

“She’s very good, I’m happy with her,” Kelso said. “She worked up very well on Tuesday and had an exhibition gallop at Matamata with Our Abbadean last Wednesday. They worked nicely. I’m very happy going into the race."

“She won the Anniversary very nicely and showed a good turn of foot,” Kelso said. “She has got a lot of ability and this is her biggest test.”

“It should be a nice track and hopefully she will be competitive.”