Daily News Wrap

6 min read

Tough filly back in action

Loving Gaby (I Am Invincible) will front up at Group 1 level again at Randwick on Saturday.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained filly runs in the Champagne S. and will be the only youngster to have contested all three legs of Sydney's juvenile triple crown.

Loving Gaby

"She's a big, strong girl and she handles racing," co-trainer David Eustace said.

"We only went one run into the (Blue) Diamond then we came up to Sydney and hopefully that pays dividends.

"She is tough and while she still needs to learn exactly how to race, she's a filly with a good constitution. She's favourite and on form should be, so hopefully she gets the job done.”

Melbourne goals for Avantage

Avantage (Fastnet Rock) is being sent for a spell following two good performances in Sydney and will likely be sent back across the Tasman in spring.

The Jamie Richards-trained filly won the G3 Birthday Card S. at Rosehill in her first run back from a break and stuck on well for third in the G2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint last weekend at Randwick.


“We gave serious consideration to backing her up in Sydney on Saturday,” Richards said.

“We also thought about taking her to Brisbane, but ultimately we have decided to bring her home and give her a good break and get her ready for Melbourne in the spring. We do think she can be competitive in those mares’ races in Melbourne and she looks pretty promising to us.”

Avantage has won seven of her nine starts to date, including the G1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce S. and the Karaka Million.

Blinkers on for All Aged

Le Romain (Hard Spun {USA}) will race in blinkers in a bid to go one better in the G1 All Aged S. at Randwick.

The 6-year-old has finished runner-up in the last two editions of the race.

Trainer Kris Lees said Le Romain is going just as well as he has in past seasons and hopes the addition of head gear can give the horse a winning attitude to match.

Le Romain

"He's worn winkers a few times and I thought a bit of a change, with a view to dropping him back in distance, might just be something to stimulate him a bit," Lees said.

"He had a few days at the beach and went on the water walker for a couple of days, then he had a gallop Tuesday morning in the blinkers and pleased me. He rarely runs a bad race so I expect him to be thereabouts again."

Set for Brisbane Cup

New Zealand-bred galloper Order Again (NZ) (Iffraaj {GB}) will aim to add another black type victory to his tally when he contests the Listed Tails S. at Doomben on Saturday.

The 5-year-old gelding is coming off an impressive win over 1500 metres at Eagle Farm and has been marked as an early $3.60 favourite for the race by TAB bookmakers.

Trainer Brian Smith plans to use Saturday’s contest as a stepping stone to the G2 Brisbane Cup for Order Again, with the $300,000 contest set to be run at the same venue on June 8.

"I would love to win a third Brisbane Cup and I think he is up to it,” Smith said.

Cassidy has high hopes

Larry Cassidy will be hoping to continue his good strike rate with the powerful Godolphin stable with Plague Stone (Lonhro) at Doomben.

Plague Stone will be Godolphin's first runner of the winter carnival when he contests Saturday's Listed Mick Dittman Plate.

He has had two trials to prepare for the winter, winning the latest at Rosehill two weeks ago.

Cassidy has two wins, including the Listed Nudgee Quality on Manicure (Exceed And Excel), from three rides for Godolphin this season.

Queensland focus

Brent Stanley is keen to head to the Queensland winter carnival with his G3 Easter Cup contender Red Alto (High Chaparral {Ire}).

The Stanley-trained stayer steps up to 2000 metres for the first time this campaign at Caulfield on Saturday after closing strongly for third in the Golden Mile at Bendigo.

Red Alto in the Bendigo Cup

"It was a super run," Stanley said. "He got back and hit the line sensationally. In another 100 yards he probably would have won, so I was more than happy with his performance.

"If he gets the right run in the race he could easily win. He's just not 100 per cent at his peak yet. There's probably a few races in Queensland for him that I've earmarked.

"Queensland is his main goal. He likes soft tracks as well so we'll head up there with him."

Extension for Currie

Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie has been granted an extension of a stay, which will allow him to continue training through Easter.

Currie gave phone evidence on Thursday from Bali where he is at a wedding, during a hearing in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

He was suspended in February when stewards charged him with seven offences which were the result of text messages discovered on his phone.

Currie sought an internal review and was granted a stay pending the result of that review. The internal reviewer found against Currie and he went back to QCAT to get a further extension of the stay.

Currie faces 42 allegations in total and has also been training on a separate stay but Thursday's hearing only involved the seven charges from February.

Some other charges are set down to be heard or finalised next week. Currie has not been found guilty on any of the 42 allegations to date.

Meech on injured list

Leading Victorian jockey Linda Meech will be side-lined for about a month after suffering a fractured collarbone in a race fall at Geelong.

Linda Meech aboard Plucky Belle

Meech was dislodged from La Lova (Street Boss {USA}) soon after the start of the last race on Wednesday when the mare knuckled when she came out of the barrier.

Scans confirmed the collarbone fracture, but the injury will not require surgery.

Meech is leading the Victoria statewide premiership by 28 wins this season on 114 winners while she sits third on the national standings.

Shamardal's Skardu Takes The Craven

Skardu (GB)'s (Shamardal {USA}) entered his Newmarket Guineas trial with just a course win to his name but emerged from Wednesday’s G3 bet365 Craven S. with his reputation significantly enhanced.

“I think Skardu is a miler and no more, because most Shamardals don’t stay and his dam was quite fast. I don’t know what the form is like, but I was pleased with him–he relaxed well and showed a nice turn of foot. He surprised me first time out, but he’s getting better and he was very calm today. He doesn’t do a lot at home," said winning trainer William Haggas.

"He showed a blistering turn of foot and he wandered around in front, so he’s still learning and will come on for that. All the right signs are there," added jockey James Doyle.