Daily News Wrap

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Toronado's Showdown five

Swettenham Stud's Toronado (Ire) has five 2-year-olds nominated for The Showdown (1200m), the new $1 million race to be run at Caulfield on Saturday.

The race is only open to 2-year-old progeny of Victorian-based stallions nominated for the VOBIS Sires Race Series and Toronado has five of his first crop in the 32 entries for the race.


They include Prince of Sussex, who is considered among the leading chances for the race having won impressively on debut for trainer Matt Laurie in the VOBIS Gold Rush (1000m) on Bendigo’s Golden Mile Race Day last month.

Starspangledbanner has four horses nominated, while Written Tycoon has two, including the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Hightail, who ran third in January's Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast.

Zoustar also has two horses including Sisstar, the full sister to triple Group 1 winning sprinter Sunlight, while Darley's Brazen Beau also has two.

Doomben delay won't cramp Zoustyle

The abandonment of Tuesday's trials at Doomben will not alter the plans of star 3-year-old Zoustyle (Zoustar).

The unbeaten Zoustyle was set to trial on Tuesday but will now likely have a jumpout later in the week after Brisbane's wet weather forced the Brisbane Racing Club to call off the scheduled trials.

But the Tony Gollan trained gelding, currently one of the favourites for the G1 Stradbroke, will still likely resume in Saturday week's G3 Gold Coast Guineas.

Doomben course manager Jim Roberts confirmed that the club wanted to schedule jumpouts later this week and he was confident there would be no ongoing issues headed into the peak winter period.


Viddora progressing well towards Sprint

Assistant trainer Paddy Bell is happy with the progress of star mare Viddora (I Am Invincible) ahead of her shot at this Sunday's G1 Chairman's Sprint Prize at Sha Tin.

The 6-year-old two-time Group 1 winner stepped up her work on Monday and six days out, and Bell, who is overseeing preparations for Lloyd Kennewell, is pleased with what he is seeing.

“She's fine, (she) just stretched her legs on the all-weather this (Monday) morning,” Bell told the Hong Kong Jockey Club. “She's been here a while now and really has settled in. All is well."

“She'll have a gallop on the turf tomorrow with Joe (Bowditch) aboard.”


Patience pays for Card Players

Having waited two years between victories, trainer Mark Lewis is hopeful he has found the key to The Card Players (Excellent Art {GB}).

The Card Players hadn’t won since Easter Monday 2017, but led all the way in the Clanbrooke Racing BM64 Hcp over 1300m at Sandown to break a drought and add his fifth win from 25 starts,

“He won Easter Monday two years ago, but we’ve had a lot of issues with him,” Lewis said. “He’s had respiratory problems and we’ve just been trying to work him out, but it seems like he’s back right on track now.”

The addition of blinkers was key to the return to form for the 6-year-old, and Lewis is hopeful of stepping him through his classes.

“I‘ve been waiting a long time to put the blinkers on him,” Lewis said. "I’m tipping we’ll have to look for a 70 somewhere in the coming weeks. But I’m even thinking about taking him to Adelaide end of May, where there’s a nice race for him.”

Latta eyes Te Rapa black-type

Lisa Latta will attack this weekend's stakes racing at Te Rapa with numbers, with Lincoln Falls (Dundeel {NZ}) and China Star (NZ) (Chinese Dragon {USA}) set to contest Group racing on Saturday,

Lincoln Falls has had a let-up since his failure in the G1 New Zealand Derby and fronts-up in the G3 Inglis Sales Cambridge Breeders’ S. looking for his first stakes success.

“We tipped him out for a few days after the Derby and had him gelded while he was out. He could be a little wayward in his races and I think the gelding will help with that," she said.

“He will go up to Te Rapa for the Breeders’ Stakes for his first run back.”

Eight-year-old China Star tackles the G2 Travis S. a race she was runner-up in last year.

Meanwhile, Latta confirmed that last start G1 Auckland Cup runner-up Five To Midnight (NZ) (Domesday) was headed to Australian trainer Patrick Payne.

Lisa Latta

Bell rings twice at Rotorua

John Bell celebrated a double at Rotorua on Easter Monday, including a victory from imported galloper Yorkshire Dales (Ire) (Vale Of York {Ire}) which he hopes is a sign of better things ahead.

Yorkshire Dales was having his first run since finishing fifth in the G1 Rich Hill Mile at Ellerslie in January and returned in style with a narrow win in an open handicap.

Bell is keen to pick and choose his races with the 7-year-old this campaign and help add to his record of six wins from 16 starts.

“He’s a happy horse who is going very very well and you will see a lot more of him,” Bell said. “We’re going to look after him and pick our races one at a time. He looks like he has come through it quite well and is very fit.”

Helena Baby (NZ) (Guillotine (NZ) had got the day off to a positive start for Bell when breaking his maiden in a 1400m race.

“He’s a nice horse who is going to go right through the grades,” Bell said.