Daily News Wrap

7 min read

Vale Trevor McKee

The New Zealand and Australian thoroughbred industries are mourning the death of Trevor McKee, the trainer of the great Sunline (NZ) (Desert Sun {GB}), at age 81.

McKee trained the champion mare with his son Stephen, guiding her to back-to-back G1 Cox Plate victories in 1999 and 2000.

He retired in 2006, handing control over the Stephen, who remains one of New Zealand's leading trainers.

McKee had a stroke last year and had been struggling with ill health ever since.

Watch: A tribute to Trevor McKee

As a trainer, he also tasted success with Solveig (NZ), Royal Tiara (NZ), Flying Luskin, Moonshine (NZ) and Super Fiesta (NZ).

But it was Sunline which was his horse of a lifetime. She retired in 2002 with 32 wins from 48 starts and an amazing 13 Group 1 victories across Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

She won at the top level from 1200m up to the 2040m of the Cox Plate, a race she also ran a second and a fourth in.

McKee is survived by wife Noeleen and children Suzanne, Stephen and Donna.

Probabeel ready to fire

Star Kiwi filly Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) is poised to strike in Saturday's G1 Inglis Sires according to her trainers Jamie Richards.

Richards said Probabeel had come on well from her recent sixth in the G3 Magic Night S. and was ready to show her best over the 1400m at Randwick on Saturday.

Probabeel winning the Karaka Million

“She’s had three weeks into the Sires’ which we think suits her and she looked a picture this morning,” he said.

“She got through the heavy10 at Rosehill okay, but we certainly think she’s better on top of the ground and hopefully if we miss a few showers here today the track is still going to be reasonable."

“I guess the main thing is, it’s a fresh track, it hasn’t been raced on in a little while and we’re looking forward to seeing her on a slightly better surface.”

“She’s handled the travel well, she’s got a great attitude and we’re pleased with how she worked on Tuesday and Thursday."

“It’s a very good field, there’s a lot of (Golden) Slipper form in the race, so we’re under no illusions as to how difficult the task is in front of us tomorrow.”

Redzel right for TJ

Co-trainer Paul Snowden believes Redzel (Snitzel) is ready to bounce back and show his best in Saturday's G1 TJ Smith S.

Redzel was without luck when beaten into eighth in the G1 Galaxy last start but back to his favourite track, the Randwick 1200m, where he has won two Everests, he is ready to fire.

The two-time Everest winner, Redzel

"He certainly lost a little gloss when finishing well back behind Nature Strip, but I’d caution anyone about giving up on the horse as he’s ready for battle and we are very much looking forward to tomorrow’s race," Snowden wrote in his column on Racenet.

"You’ve got to forget he even went around at Rosehill as the circumstances were totally against him, being knocked out of the race at a vital stage and being forced onto the back foot with a big weight."

"He’s back to weight-for-age this time and that’s where he performs best, plus he also gets to Randwick where he has a great affinity with the track winning eight from 14 starts including the two editions of The Everest, both on wet tracks."

Fiscal success at Awapuni

Fiscal Fantasy (Skilled) has charged home to claim her maiden stakes success in the G3 Property Brokers Arohanui Hospice Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes at Awapuni.

After settling towards the back of the field, Fiscal Fantasy flew late to claim Monrecour (NZ) (Zacinto {GB}), with Lubaya (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {Ire}) a length and a half back in third.

Fiscal Fantasy winning the G3 Property Brokers Arohanui Hospice Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes

Trainer Frank Ritchie was delighted to see Fiscal Fantasy claim her first black-type win at start number 18.

“When we got the wide draw I thought ‘not again’, because she has been beaten by wide draws so many times. As the day went on it didn’t look quite so bad,” he said.

“She is a real sweetheart. She has got a heart much bigger than herself, because she’s tiny. She never gives it away.”

Fiscal Fantasy will likely head to the G2 Travis Stakes at Te Rapa later this month.

Logic points to Hartnell edge

Trainer James Cummings' logic tells him that Hartnell (GB) (Authorized) is his best chance in Saturday's G1 The Star Doncaster Mile, but he has far from abandoned hope with his star mare Alizee (Sepoy).

Both Hartnell and Alizee sit near the top of markets for the famous mile race, and Cummings told Racenet that on their last run, where Hartnell beat Alizee home in the All-Star Mile, it was hard to tip against the 8-year-old.

Hartnell winning the G1 Epsom Handicap

“How does she beat Hartnell? She’s going to have to fight on because she’s worse off at the weights from the All-Star Mile,” Cummings said.

“Hartnell’s Randwick mile record is not to be questioned but her (Alizee's) Randwick 1600m form has never had anyone getting off questioning her at a mile."

"She’s looking like having two high pressure targets this week and next week. That tells you she’s thrived since her last run.”

Hugh Bowman has switched off Alizee to ride Hartnell with Blake Shinn now riding the mare.

Berry counting on Madison

Tommy Berry takes the ride on Madison County (Pins) in Saturday's G1 Harrolds Australian Derby and is determined to atone after what he admits was a poor ride when the 3-year-old was beaten last start.

Madison County finished second to Angel Of Truth (Animal Kingdom {USA}) in the G2 Tulloch S, but the jockey is confident he can go one better over the 2400m of Saturday's race.

Madison County

“I thought he should have won last time and blame myself for getting him beaten as I just chose the wrong part of the track to make a challenge in," Berry said.

“It was very cut up and if I had been a little more patient and gone to the inside, I think he would have won the race.”

But the soft track doesn't concern Berry, who believes the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained Madison County has the class to win the race.

“He worked on a soft track at Warwick Farm on Tuesday and it was just the sort of gallop you want to see heading into a Group One race,” Berry said.

“I think it was certainly a lot better underfoot and that suited him, so I’m not that worried if we do get it worse than that on Saturday."

Quadara outed for six months

Seymour trainer Michael Quadara has been suspended for six months after being found guilty of riding a horse towards an oncoming horse and rider last December.

The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board issued the penalty after finding the charge, under AR 228 (b) proven.

AR 228 (b) states: "A person must not engage in misconduct, improper conduct or unseemly behaviour."

The RAD Board found that on December 1 last year, while riding on the sand track, he rode his mount towards another horse (Deck Of Cards) ridden by Don Dwyer, forcing Dwyer to take evasive action.