Daily News Wrap

7 min read

Scratching may have a silver lining

Missing a run in Sydney, could provide trainer David Brideoake and Princess Jenni (NZ) (High Chaparral {Ire}) with a Group 1 reward in Adelaide.

Princess Jenni came from the back of the field under a hefty weight to win Saturday's Jack Elliott H. at Caulfield.

Brideoake is now aiming the filly at the G1 Australasian Oaks at Morphettville on May 4 after being forced to miss the G1 Australian Oaks at Randwick on April 13.

Princess Jenni was scratched from the G3 Adrian Knox S. on April 6 after Racing NSW stewards had suspicions the filly had received illegal race day treatment.

"They scratched her because they suspected there had been a pre-race treatment so we'll have to deal with that in due course," Brideoake said. "It cost me a run on the day and a run in the Australian Oaks, but at the end of the day sometimes it works the right way and she'll now go to Adelaide.”

Douglas’ memorable day

Versatile jockey Clayton Douglas has posted his biggest win on the flat after partnering the Shane Nichols-trained Streets Of Avalon (Magnus) to victory in the G3 Victoria H. at Caulfield.

A former picnic rider, Douglas entered the professional ranks as a jumps jockey and his notable wins include last year's Grand Annual Steeplechase at Warrnambool, but in the last couple of years he has made the transition to also riding regularly on the flat.

"This is my first Group winner. I've had a couple of placings before so it's good to get the monkey off the back," Douglas said.

"It's massive. I've been working really hard and I've been wanting this to happen for a while.

"I can't thank the owners and Shane enough. I've worked for Shane for a long time now and for him to give me this opportunity, and for me to get the job done is a bit of a proud moment."

O’Brien has Derby plans

Trainer Danny O’Brien has the G1 South Australian Derby in mind for Grinzinger Star (NZ) (Reliable Man {GB}), who has shown he is on target for a shot at the feature with a second-straight win at Caulfield.

Grinzinger Star was unplaced when tried over 2500 metres in the G1 Victoria Derby in his first racing preparation last spring.

While question marks remain whether he will be effective at that distance, O'Brien is looking to give the gelding his chance at Morphettville on May 11.

Grinzinger Star produced a strong display to win Saturday's Bill Collins H. over 2000 metres against older horses.

“He will run again in a fortnight at Flemington over 2000 metres and then he will potentially back up into the South Australian Derby a week later," O'Brien said. "He's a very robust horse and the seven-day back-up would be perfect going to a mile and a-half after that.”

First US winner for American Pharoah

Wesley Ward's Maven (USA) (American Pharoah {USA}) became the first winner for the 2015 Triple Crown winner in the United States and second overall in the Friday opener at Aqueduct.

The favourite broke sharply and was gunned to the front by rider Dylan Davis. Challenged by 21-1 longshot Lebda (USA) (Raison D’Etat {USA}) at the top of the straight, Maven kept finding more to graduate by three-quarters of a length. American Pharoah was represented by ‘TDN Rising Star’ Monarch of Egypt (USA) at Naas in Ireland last weekend.

American Pharoah will stand at Coolmore Australia this season for $66,000 (inc. GST).

Plague Stone back in business

One-time G1 Golden Slipper S. hope Plague Stone (Lonhro) has come good in Queensland with victory in the Listed Mick Dittman Plate at Doomben.

Godolphin stable representative Nacim Dilmi said Plague Stone would return to Sydney and then come back north for the Gold Coast Guineas in a fortnight.

"We have always known he had the ability and this is his chance to show it. It was a strong win and he is on the right track," Dilmi said.

Winning jockey Larry Cassidy said the win had been even better than it looked.

"He didn't want to co-operate in the barriers and then he was a bit slow to go, so I was further back than I wanted," he said. "But that was one of the heaviest tracks I have ever ridden on, so his effort really was very good."

Satisfying result for Lees

Kris Lees’ satellite stable at the Gold Coast celebrated its biggest win since established by the Newcastle trainer last year when Hallelujah Boy (Jpn) (Tosen Phantom {Jpn}) coasted away with the Listed Aquis Tails S. at Doomben.

He made the running and easily drew clear to account for Fit For Purpose (Show A Heart).

"I would love to win a race like the Wayne Wilson Memorial Mile next month, but really he would need a wet track to be competitive with some of the better horses," stable representative Mel Eggleston said. “He loves wet tracks and he was the only pace in the race."

Hallelujah Boy is one of many Australian Bloodstock horses trained by Lees.

Pre-mature end at Doomben

Stewards abandoned the final two races at the Doomben meeting due to visibility risks after heavy rain.

Following race seven, the Mick Dittman Plate, senior jockeys Jeff Lloyd and Matt MCGillivray went to stewards and raised concerns about the track.

"We spoke with all 10 jockeys who rode in the Dittman Plate and four said they would ride on but would go with the majority," Lloyd said. "The problem is the kick back and some jockey can't see."

After hearing submissions from jockeys, stewards ruled the last two races should be abandoned.

Lasix ban proposed

A coalition of leading thoroughbred North American racing associations and organisations are committed to phasing out the use of the medication Furosemide (Lasix) beginning in 2020 and eliminating the use of Lasix in stakes races held at their racetracks beginning in 2021.

Coalition racetracks to have signed on to this initiative includes all tracks owned or operated by Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and The Stronach Group as well as Del Mar, Keeneland, Lone Star Park and Remington Park, Los Alamitos Racecourse (Thoroughbred), Oaklawn Park and Tampa Bay Downs.

Taken together these tracks represent 86 per cent of the stakes races assigned Graded or Listed status in the United States in 2018.

Under the new program, beginning on January 1, 2020, 2-year olds will not be allowed to be treated with Lasix within 24 hours of a race. Beginning in 2021, the same rule will extend to all horses participating in any stakes race at coalition tracks. Accordingly, in 2021 the races comprising the Triple Crown would all be run under the new rules regarding race day medication.

Breeders’ Cup Limited, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association (TOBA) and the American Graded Stakes Committee of TOBA, and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association have also joined the coalition in support of this new policy.

Group 3 on radar

Stephen Marsh is tempted to set Santa Catarina (NZ) (Savabeel) on a quick back-up mission to double her black type tally.

“We might give her an easy week and run her in the Cambridge Breeders’ S. next Saturday,” the Cambridge trainer.

“She’s a Listed winner so it would be nice for her to be a Group 3 winner as well.”

Santa Catarina beat the older horses two runs back and at Ellerslie on Saturday she was never headed in claiming the Marks Ewen 1400m for 3-year-olds.

“She got a nice lead and kicked really strongly at the top of the straight,” Marsh said. “She’s a smart filly.”