Daily News Wrap

6 min read

Winx farewell a sell-out

Royal Randwick has today sold out of all general admission tickets for this Saturday’s farewell run by Australia’s newest sporting icon, the world’s best horse Winx.

The Championships Day 2, Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day, will set a modern day Royal Randwick record crowd in excess of 42,000 people.

All corporate hospitality this Saturday has been sold out for several weeks and the last of available general admission tickets were sold this morning.

The Australian Turf Club has created extra general admission spaces for this Saturday including the TAB Betting Barn on the Leger Lawn, along with extra capacity across ATC Members Reserves.

Winx’s final run in the Group 1 $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes will also be watched off course by tens of millions of viewers around the world.

Classique on song for Sprint

Managing owner Carmel Size says all is ready for Classique Legend's (Not a Single Doubt) shot at the Group 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint on Saturday.

Size, who oversees the Australian thoroughbred interests of Hong Kong-based owner Boniface Ho, paid $1.05m for another Not A Single Doubt colt at the Easter Sale on Wednesday, but with one eye on Saturday's task.

Classique Legend

"He had a searching gallop yesterday morning and I was delighted to walk into his box this morning and find there wasn't a crumb left in his feed bin," she said.

"He pulled up well from it. He's a very clean-winded horse. It’s a big ask for a horse in his first preparation and we certainly wouldn't have thrown him in the deep end if we dint think he wasn't up to it."

"He's just such a beautiful relaxed and clean-winded horse. Whether it has come too quickly for him, we'll find out on Saturday."

"Mr Ho only comes once a year, so I just want him to have some luck on the weekend."

Classique Legend is a leading chance for the $1m race, having won two of his three starts to date.

Shinn set for Brisbane stint

Leading jockey Blake Shinn will base himself in Brisbane during the upcoming winter carnival.

Shinn, a 21-time Group 1 winning jockey, including aboard Trapeze Artist (Snitzel) in the recent Canterbury S. has confirmed that he will based in Queensland for two months to focus on getting the best rides.

Blake Shinn winning the G1 Canterbury S. aboard Trapeze Artist

“I will be basing myself in Brisbane for this year’s winter carnival, commencing on 27th of April on Victory Stakes meeting, right through until Tatt's Tiara day on 22nd June,” Shinn said.

“I plan on riding trackwork regularly in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and riding at Saturday and Wednesday meetings and the odd provincial meeting when required."

“I will continue the strategy I have used since my return from a neck injury, comprising hard physical work, weight maintenance and focusing on the big group races."

“The warmer Queensland climate throughout the winter, and the change of scenery will help to keep me mentally stimulated and fresh.”

Shinn has ridden 26 winners this season having missed five months after suffering a serious neck injury in a barrier trial fall in August.

Appleby an ace

Sydney Cup favourite Dubhe (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) has the Charlie Appleby factor on his side when he takes aim at the G1 Sydney Cup on Saturday.

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy took to the track at Canterbury on Wednesday morning for his first turn on the Godolphin 4-year-old, who is prepared by the Melbourne Cup-winning Appleby.

"He just looks very genuine, I think he stays really well and he's got a turn of foot so that can take you a long way in a Sydney Cup," McEvoy said following the gallop.

"He's in with a nice weight on his back (52.5kg), I was pretty pleased with the barrier and I think the Charlie Appleby factor comes into play as well.

"Charlie's really pinpointed what's required in travelling horses and what's required in terms of which horses to bring out here, it gives you confidence when you're riding."

Faith in Chenier

The Anthony Freedman stable remains upbeat about the future of Chenier (Medaglia D’Oro {USA}) despite his defeat as a long odds-on favourite at Sandown.

Chenier was sent out a $1.24 chance in Wednesday's Clanbrooke Racing H. on the strength of an impressive debut win at Sandown, but had his colours lowered by Lady Lupino (Sebring).

Sam Freedman, assistant trainer to his father Anthony, said he will go home disappointed in defeat, but not in the Godolphin-owned colt.

"He'll still be a good horse," Freedman said. "It's funny these midweek races when they go slow in front on a softish track, it's not easy to catch them.

"He still ran really well. He's come from a long way back to finish second. If you don't look at his market price you would say he's run a very nice race."

King has final say

Paul King is expecting early returns from the Written Tycoon colt he purchased out of Mill Park Stud’s consignment.

Buying on behalf of Orbis, King signed for Lot 308 for $750,000 and believed it was money well spent.

"On Tuesday it was crazy, we bought three and had to pay heavily for them,” he said. “It’s come back a fair bit and we loved the colt."

“We’re happy to have secured him and he looks like he’s going to be an early runner.”

The colt is out of the Redoute’s Choice mare The Good Wife, who is a half-sister to the four-time Group 1 winner Divine Madonna (Hurricane Sky).

“We’ve loved him all the way through and are very happy to secure him,” King said. “Obviously, Written Tycoon’s been a great stallion over the years and this colt’s not too heavy and he’s got a great attitude."

“He’ll go up to Queensland and Michael Costa will be training him.”

Brutal boost for Hennessys

Gary and Jenny Hennessy are hoping to capitalise on the Group 1 Doncaster Mile success of Brutal (NZ) (O'Reilly {NZ)), having purchased the rising star's dam Alberton Princess (Golan {Ire}) and her three-quarter-sister Lady Alberton (Golan {Ire)} three years ago.

Both mares came to the Hennessys from original owners Anne Storey and Ruth Kerr-Taylor at the 2016 NZB Broodmare Sale, with the intention of sending them to Ocean Park (NZ).

“It’s a great old family, it’s the same family as Hi Jinx. It’s a brilliant result and we have a lot to look forward to with these two lovely mares," Gary Hennessy, who prepared Ocean Park for five Group 1 victories, said.

“Both mares produced colts to Ocean Park and we put the half-brother to Brutal through the sales but he wasn’t quite correct."

“We have decided to leave him as a colt and he just needs to grow out and mature, we will race him ourselves. "

“The colt out of Lady Alberton didn’t reach his reserve, we have gelded him and we have nearly finished breaking him in. He is quite precocious and there is a good chance he will make a two-year-old.”

Alberton Princess is currently in foal to Darley's Ribchester (Ire) having missed to Ocean Park the previous year, while Lady Alberton has an Ocean Park filly.