Daily News Wrap

6 min read

McEvoy yet to decide filly’s plans

Tony McEvoy will see how Sunlight (Zoustar) comes through her trial outing on Friday before committing the filly to a start in the G1 TAB Classic at Morphettville.

In a 1000 metre heat at Gawler, she finished a long neck behind stablemate Cool Passion (Not A Single Doubt) who may also run in the race, registered as the Robert Sangster S.

"It was pretty good," McEvoy said. "She was just having a maintenance bit of work and she cruised around quite nicely. I was pretty pleased with her.

"If she comes out of this well, she will go to the TAB Classic. “I said to the ownership group we'll just trial her and then we'll see how she comes out of it and make a decision early next week."


Derby hope in action

The well-related Brilliant Mind (So You Think {NZ}) has been set for the G1 Queensland Derby and will take another step toward the feature in Saturday’s G3 Gunsynd Classic.

He is a three-quarter brother to the G1 Queensland Oaks winner Youngstar (High Chaparral {Ire}) and trainer Gary Moore said his charge had improved with time.

"He has taken a while to get there but he is starting to show us what he can do.

"Brilliant Mind might have trouble beating a horse like Gem Song at set weights over 1600 metres at this stage, but he is well and I am looking forward to Saturday."

Freedman happy

Santa Ana Lane (Lope De Vega {Ire}) has drawn the outside barrier of 10 for G1 Chairman's Sprint Prize in Hong Kong.

The Anthony Freedman-trained gelding is one of the leading contenders for Sunday's feature with Australia's other representative Viddora (I Am Invincible) to start from barrier seven.

Viddora is still being monitored after she was found to be lame in a hind leg earlier this week, but all is well with Santa Ana Lane with assistant trainer Sam Freedman happy with the preparation and the draw.

"Better 10 than one," assistant trainer Sam Freedman told the HK Jockey Club. "It'll let him get into a nice rhythm and space to breathe. The draw doesn't really matter given his racing style and the relatively small field."

Liam’s Map Colt Sparks OBS Action

Bloodstock agent Jacob West, acting on behalf of Robert and Lawana Low, made the day’s highest bid when going to $1.2 million to acquire lot 898 at OBS April in Ocala, Florida. The colt is from the first crop of Grade I winner Liam’s Map (USA).

“I don’t use the term loosely, but he was a freak,” West said. “I loved him from the second I saw him. He has the right pedigree and I am lucky to have clients that trust me. I hope the Lows come up with a good name for him because he is the man," added West.

Watch: Lot 898 sell for 1.2 million at the OBS April Sale

Phoenix Thoroughbreds had been keeping a relatively low profile through the first two days of OBS April, but they made their presence known on Thursday, purchasing a $750,000 daughter of Into Mischief (lot 787).

“I feel like I have good taste, just expensive,” Phoenix’s Tom Ludt said with a laugh. “She is beautiful. She’s smooth, she’s balanced, everything you want and you have to pay for them right now."

Track the key

Trainer Barry Lockwood is looking forward to getting Fiery Heights (Hidden Dragon) on a better surface in the G2 TAB Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm.

Fiery Heights was far from disgraced in Sydney where he ran fifth in both the G3 Maurice McCarten S. and G3 Star Kingdom S.

"He handles soft tracks, but they were something else and were genuine very heavy surfaces," Lockwood said. "He led in both races, but eventually got bogged down and fought on well.

"I would expect him to be much better suited on a much better track at Eagle Farm."

Queensland beckons

Queensland is on the radar of Iconoclasm (Toorak Toff), a new addition to Danny O’Brien’s stable who will resume the VOBIS Gold Sprint at Caulfield.

"He's coming off a good break. He finished up in Perth at the end of the spring and then he had a nice spell at Rosemont Stud and we got him at the start of this preparation,” he said.

"He will be hitting the line hard. It's just whether or not he can get over the top of a couple of quick ones in front of him."

Winner of seven of his 15 starts, Iconoclasm was formerly with disqualified trainer Darren Weir.

"We're hoping that he might end up in Queensland. We'll get a look at him on Saturday and see where he's going."

Oaks on programme

Group 2 winning filly Pinmedown (NZ) (Pins) will be back in action at Te Rapa on Saturday ahead of a tilt at the G1 Queensland Oaks.

“We were originally going to go to Sydney, but the way that the weather was and the prospect of bumping into Verry Elleegant, we opted to give it a miss and save her for Brisbane,” co-trainer Pam Gerard said.

Pinmedown will use the G2 The Roses at Doomben on May 18 as a launching pad to the Queensland Oaks.

The stable will also be represented at Te Rapa by She's A Thief (NZ) (Showcasing {GB}) in the G3 Inglis Sales Cambridge Breeders’ S. She is also bound for Queensland in search of black type.


Pitman savouring HK

New Zealand trainer Michael Pitman is enjoying the build-up to racing at Sha Tin on Sunday as his class sprinter Enzo’s Lad (Testa Rossa) gets set to contest the G1 the Chairman’s Sprint Prize.

Pitman, who prepares the dual Group 1 winner with son Matthew, was happy to answer questions when attending a media briefing prior to the all-important barrier draw for Sunday where his charge drew favourably in gate two.

“He’s got a good temperament and I couldn’t be happier,” Pitman said. “Up here it is phenomenal what the Hong Kong Jockey Club do for horses, they get so well treated.

“His blood was perfect after two days of travelling. He’s a dude, he’s pretty laidback for a sprinter, he doesn’t get worked up, he’s push-button.”

South Island Sale

All yearlings sold at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Sale in Christchurch on Monday will be eligible to be nominated for the lucrative Karaka Million Series.

It comprises of two NZ$1 million races, the Karaka Million 2YO and the Karaka Million 3YO Classic, in addition to the $100,000 CollinsonForex Karaka Cup, which they can contest for the duration of their careers.

Recent graduates of the sale include Shadows Cast (NZ) (Per Incanto {USA}), winner of the G1 Thorndon Mile.

The sale will be held at the Canterbury Agricultural Park and with 61 yearlings catalogued, selling will begin at 11am.