Daily News Wrap

6 min read

Everest opportunity

Inglis is calling for expressions of interest from connections of potential runners to fill its slot in this year’s $14 million The Everest.

It was one of the 12 original slot holders for the world’s richest race on turf and has taken up the option of again extending its contract for a further year, ensuring it remains a slot holder until at least the 2021 edition of the race.

Priority will be given to Inglis graduates that have paid up for an Inglis Race Series, past or present.

Santa Ana Lane was the Inglis slot holder for 2018

Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster is excited about again being involved in what is Australia’s most lucrative race day.

“The Everest has been a sensation from the outset and continues to grow and it’s something Inglis is thrilled to be involved with,’’ Webster said. “We feel we had the right horse last year in Santa Ana Lane, an $80,000 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale graduate, but the late heavy rain put an end to his chances.

“We saw in the TJ Smith Stakes on the weekend that Santa is still up there in the upper echelon of sprinters in the country, but there are a lot of quality candidates for this year’s Everest from Australia and around the world.”

Another rare chance

Everest slot holder GPI Racing is also selling its slot for this year’s edition of the world’s richest turf race, opening up a rare opportunity for an individual or corporation to join in the journey.

The successful bidder will be determined by the vendor (GPI Racing) at the end of the expressions of interest period, on the basis of the highest offer at that time.

Expressions of interest close on Tuesday, April 30 at 5pm.

Filly needs a dry track

Connections of Aristia (Lonhro) are hoping for improved track conditions when she bids to complete the Group 1 double of the VRC Oaks and the Australian Oaks.

Aristia after her G1 VRC Oaks win

She has finished third in all three starts so far this autumn in her build-up for Saturday’s classic at Randwick.

The Chris Waller-trained Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed {NZ}) is the $2 favourite for the Oaks while Aristia is on the third line of betting at $7.

"I think she is going better than in the spring, but we are not getting the track that we probably need," Zahra said. "And obviously Verry Elleegant is going better. She's flying.

"Verry Elleegant might just love the wet and come back on the dry and be exactly the same, or she might just love the wet and then we can show our turn of foot on drier ground.

"So we're hoping for a drier track on Saturday and if we get that, I think she will be competitive.”

McEvoy to test Group 1 hope

Kerrin McEvoy will make a rare appearance at a Melbourne midweek meeting to ride Godolphin colt Chenier (Medaglia D’Oro {USA}) with a view to an upcoming Group 1 feature.

The Anthony Freedman-trained Chenier was a runaway winner on debut Sandown last month.

He is scheduled to have his next start at Sandown on Wednesday with the G1 Champagne S. in Sydney 10 days away on his programme.

"He runs on Wednesday over 1400 metres and Kerrin McEvoy is coming down from Sydney to ride him with a view to riding him in the Champagne," Freedman's racing manager Brad Taylor said.

"He has taken really good improvement out of that debut win, so he should run really well. We are certainly looking forward to taking him back to the races.

Petagna juggernaut continues

After enjoying a successful day at Te Aroha with Group 1 winner Nicoletta (NZ) (Savabeel) and promising 3-year-old Santa Catarina (NZ) (Savabeel), owner Lib Petagna enjoyed further success at Pukekohe with debutante winner Ramazzotti (NZ) (Per Incanto {USA}).

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained 2-year-old showed speed to take control of the race and never gave her rivals a look in as she cruised home to score by a length and a-half in the hands of rider Matt Cameron.

“Gate speed and professionalism, that was the key,” Forsman said. “She had a bit of trial experience before Christmas, had a break and then trialled up really well leading into this.

“We will have to have a look at some black-type and I think she will get through tracks a bit slower than this which will be a big assist over the next couple of months.”

Travis Stakes next

A bold plan to land a Group 1 win came up a neck short for talented mare Supera (NZ) (Savabeel) when she finished a gallant runner-up in the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’S. at Te Aroha.

Trainers Ken and Bev Kelso and Mark Donoghue had set the 4-year-old for the race after she finished midfield in the G1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic at Otaki in February.

Supera

After enjoying a perfect run three-back on the fence throughout, Supera produced a resolute home straight burst for second.

“She went a top race, but just couldn’t quite get to that other mare,” Ken Kelso said. “She tends to go her best races on the fresh side, so we set her for this race after Otaki where she didn’t get the rub of the green on a surface that was too wet for her.”

Kelso said Supera had pulled up well and would now be set for the G2 Travis S. at Te Rapa on April 27.

Forsman hits milestone

Andrew Forsman has celebrated a notable milestone with a century New Zealand stakes winners.

The mark was hit when Nicoletta (NZ) (Savabeel) claimed the New Zealand Breeders S. at Te Aroha.

The victory was also the 20th New Zealand stakes win for her trainers Murray Baker and Forsman this season, equalling their record set in 2017-2018. It also marked the 100th New Zealand stakes winner for Forsman, who is in his seventh season with Baker.

Andrew Forsman

While Forsman, who is in his seventh season with Baker, said it wasn’t something he was focussed on leading into the race, he was feeling a healthy sense of achievement afterwards.

“Someone had told me during the week that the next stakes win would make it one hundred for Murray and I training together, so I was aware of it,” Forsman said

“To tell the truth I don’t tend to focus on that sort of thing as my days are full on enough with the business, but I was feeling pretty good about it all afterwards.”