Daily News Wrap

4 min read

Bowman to take break

Champion jockey Hugh Bowman has stood down from his rides at the Gold Coast on Saturday and plans to take an extended break from the sport. Bowman was booked for four rides at the Gold Coast meeting including Shillelagh (Savabeel) in the G2 $500,000 Hollindale Stakes.

Pierata to race on

Pierata (Pierro) has gone from stud prospect to a runner in The Everest after Aquis will run Pierata in its slot in the third renewal of The Everest in October.

Aquis Farm announced Pierata’s retirement after purchasing a controlling interest in the stallion following last month’s G1 All-Aged Stakes but stud plans have been shelved. Trainer Greg Hickman told Racing NSW Aquis already has a large roster of stallions, which meant they could afford to delay Pierata’s stud debut until 2020.

“I know in my heart he hasn’t had a taxing preparation this time in and we have a very talented horse,’’ Hickman said. “They (Aquis) don’t need to have another stallion into their system and they want to run him in The Everest and send him to stud in 2020/21."


Draw no concern

Trainer Robbie Griffiths doesn’t believe a wide gate will affect the chances of Divine Quality (Sepoy) in Saturday’s G1 TAB Classic at Morphettville.

"I don't think the draw will affect Divine Quality so much because she likes to race back and have one crack at them anyway, so I think she will be okay,” he said.

"She worked really well on Tuesday morning and she is good fresh."

Divine Quality

Owner doubles up

The colours of prominent owner Richard Pegum were again to the fore in the Listed Alan Harris McDonald Wagga Wagga Gold Cup when Abdon (GB) (Cacique {Ire}) triumphed in the hands of Tommy Berry.

Twelve months ago, Pegum celebrated with the Chris Waller-prepared Life Less Ordinary (Ire) (Thewayyouare {USA}) whose stablemate successfully defended the title with a strong staying performance.

Abdon settled at the back of the field and was willing when asked to improve 800 metres from home. He came wide into the straight and proved too strong in the closing 300 metres for the fourth win of his career.

Brothers join forces

Sydney-based brothers Michael and Richard Freedman are to form a new training partnership.

Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club has sanctioned their application to operate out of their current Randwick and Rosehill stables.

Michael Freedman formerly trained with Ed O’Rourke, who was offered but declined a position in the new venture.

Pace the key

Trainer Liam Birchley hopes there is genuine pace in the G2 Hollindale S. so he can get an accurate assessment where Fit For Purpose (Show A Heart) is headed this winter.

Birchley is keen to run the 5-year-old in the G1 Doomben Cup on May 18, but needs some assurance he is up to the task.

"His last three runs in Listed company have been a win and two thirds, " Birchley said. "So he is obviously a black-type horse but the question is whether he is a Group horse at weight-for-age."

Course specialist

Boomsara (Spirit Of Boom) will be out to add the G3 Brandons Gold Coast Guineas to his smart record on the course.

The Chris Munce-trained 3-year-old has shown an affinity for the Gold Coast and won his first race there last season and then added the Aquis 2YO Jewel and the Magic Millions Guineas at the course.


Vale Elusive City

Elusive City (USA) has passed at Haras d’Etreham in France after suffering a heart attack. He was 19.

Four of his five Group 1 winners – Xanadu (NZ), Famous Seamus (NZ), Vespa (NZ) and Perfect Fit (NZ) – were produced during his Southern Hemisphere shuttle runs to Haunui Farm. His other top-flight winner was Elusive Wave (Ire), successful in the French 1000 Guineas.

Staying series

A new series of staying races for 3-year-olds is set to begin at Flemington with Grinzinger Star (NZ) (Reliable Man {GB}) the favourite to take out the Zipping H., the opening leg of The Mahogany Challenge.

The series incorporates two heats at Flemington, two at Caulfield and two at Sandown over the next two months, from distances between 2000m and 2400m, with the final a $150,000 race over 2500 metres at Flemington on July 6.

Currie guilty

Trainer Ben Currie is facing a possible disqualification after being found guilty on two counts of bringing racing into disrepute.

Ben Currie

Stewards found him guilty of engaging in an improper action following an investigation into text messages relating to the intention to use an electronic apparatus, known as a jigger, capable of affecting the performance of two horses.

Currie has been asked to make submissions on the penalty which will be heard next week.