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Honour for Messara

John Messara’s life-time contributions to the thoroughbred industry were acknowledged at a ceremony in Sydney on Thursday evening.

The Arrowfield Stud principal received the 2019 Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit ahead of the G1 Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

John Messara receiving the 2019 Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit (Image courtesy of Longines)

“I’m very grateful to receive the Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit because it is presented by my international peers,” Messara said.

“Much of my work over the past four decades has focussed on elevating Australian racing and breeding and communicating our success around the world.

“I acknowledge especially the unflinching support of my wife Kris and our four children, all of my team, past and present, at Arrowfield, the boards and executives of Racing New South Wales and Racing Australia and two excellent Ministers for Racing, the Honourable George Souris AM and the Honourable Troy Grant.

“I’ve also been blessed by an incomparable dynasty of champion stallions that has shaped my career and the entire Australian thoroughbred industry over the past 30 years. Danehill, Redoute’s Choice and now Snitzel – thank you.”

Dry track query

The Chris Waller-trained Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed {NZ}) is an overwhelming favourite for the G1 Heineken 3 Australian Oaks, but rival trainer Mark Newnham is hoping he can bring about her defeat.

"She hasn't won on a dry track so I'm hoping that's the chink in her armour," Newnham said.

"If she's as good on dry ground as she is on wet ground then we probably should be worried."

Verry Elleegant returning to scale after winning the G1 Vinery Stud S.

Newnham's Oaks contingent has been whittled down to just Scarlet Dream (Sebring).

He opted to bypass the race with G1 Surround Stakes winner Nakeeta Jane (High Chaparral {Ire}) in favour of the shorter G2 Coolmore Legacy Stakes (1600m) and did not press on to the race with his G1 VRC Oaks runner-up Greysful Glamour (Stratum).

Oliver in awe

The remarkable qualities of Winx (Street Cry {Ire}) have not been lost on another of racing's high achievers who will be watching from the jockeys' room when the mare runs for the last time at Randwick.

Ten-time Victorian premiership winner Damien Oliver will sit out Saturday's G1 Queen Elizabeth S. when the mighty mare makes her farewell performance.

"She's an absolute champion. There's no other way to describe her," Oliver said.

"She's been unbeatable over her last 32 starts and a lot like Black Caviar she dominates her races and scares her rivals away.

"She appears to give her jockey great confidence to overcome whatever is presented to her in a race.

"There's been times where she's missed the start and been in an awkward position and has been able to overcome it and then there's other times where she's been totally dominant."

Kenedna in top form

Kenedna (Not A Single Doubt) will make her Sydney debut in the Group 1 Coolmore Legacy S. at Randwick off the back of a bold third in the G2 Sunline S.

"It was a massive run last start and she worked great at Caulfield on Tuesday morning," Eustace said.

"She is in as good an order as we can get the horse.

"We haven't had her a long time, but I think she's going to hit peak form third-up.

"She's just got the ideal gate for her. We don't need to be in any rush, but she's not going to get too far back from barrier eight. So fingers crossed."


Happy with second

Happy Clapper (Teofilo {Ire}) has finished runner-up to Winx (Street Cry {Ire}) five times and his trainer Pat Webster will be happy with more of the same in the G1 Queen Elizabeth S.

"She's a freak," he said. "But I'd like to think the Clapper can run second. I'm hoping for top four at least and he has always done his best to be competitive.

"It hasn't paid off as far as beating her and I've put the white flag up. I surrender.

"Second is what I'm hoping for."

Happy Clapper winning the G1 Doncaster

Gibbs daring to dream

Ruakaka trainers Chris Gibbs and Michelle Bradley are daring to dream that they can cause a massive upset at Randwick on Saturday when they take on the world’s best racehorse, Winx (Street Cry {Ire}), in her last raceday appearance.

They will line-up Group 1 winning mare Danzdanzdance (NZ) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) in the star-studded G1 Queen Elizabeth S. and believe their mare will perform well after her recent third-placing in the G1 Ranvet S.


“We were pleased with her run in the Ranvet, we think there is a few things that we can improve on,” Gibbs said. “She got back a little bit further than what we would have liked and ended up in the worst part of the track.

“When she over-raced, that made it a little bit harder. I was quite pleased that she sprinted as well as she did to finish third and there was a nice gap between her and fourth.

Vale Dick Bothwell

New Zealand thoroughbred racing has lost one if its true gentlemen with the passing of Dick Bothwell. He was 72.

He trained from his Stratford base for more than 40 years before handing the reins over to his son Chris in August 2017.

Dick Bothwell

The outstanding filly Summer Haze (NZ) (Princely Note {GB}) and Silver Chalice (NZ) (St Hilarion {USA}) were two of his finest representatives. The former won the G1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce S and finished second in the G1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) and the latter won the G1 Thorndon Mile.

“I’d have loved to have taken Summer Haze to Australia for some of the two-year-old races because I think she would have been really competitive,” Bothwell once said.

Bothwell had an affinity with fillies as two other top performers he trained were Group winners Love To Dance (NZ) (Citidancer {Ire}) and Moralee (NZ) (Desert Sun {GB}). Both horses were part-owned by Auckland-based Leigh McKenzie.

“I knew him for a long time and never heard a bad word said about him,” McKenzie said.