Daily News Wrap

5 min read

Maximum Security appeal rejected

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has rejected an appeal from the connections of Maximum Security (USA) (New Year's Day {USA}) over the colt's disqualification as the G1 Kentucky Derby winner.

The owners had sought to appeal the decision, but the KRC said there was no avenue to overturn the controversial decision which saw Country House (USA) (Lookin At Lucky {USA}) awarded the race.

Meanwhile owner Gary West has confirmed Maximum Security will not be running in the G1 Preakness Stakes. The second leg of the Triple Crown will be run on May 18 at Pimlico but West said the fast turnaround was not in the horse's favour.

"There is really no need, not having an opportunity to run for the Triple Crown to run a horse back in two weeks," West told reporters.

"The horse will be better off long term with the rest. He ran a really good and a really hard race on Saturday. Really, there are a lot of other Grade One races the rest of the year for three-year-olds."

Ben Smith's mixed pleas

Ben Smith offered mixed pleas as his cobalt case began in front of Racing NSW stewards on Tuesday.

Smith, who had two runners return positives for excessive levels of cobalt, plead guilty for presenting the two horses, Iron Duke (Duke of Marmalade {Ire}) and Elaborate (Excelebration {Ire}) with elevated levels and to refusing to give evidence to stewards.

Trainer Ben Smith

He also plead guilty to one charge of raceday treatment in regards to his runner Anecdote (Lonhro) but not guilty to two other instances of raceday treatment, while he also plead guilty to having eight unregistered, unlabelled or unprescribed products.

He entered several not guilty pleas, including over the two charges of administrating cobalt to Iron Duke and Elaborate.

Two of Smith's staff members failed to front the inquiry.

Quickie's wide Derby draw

The prospects of G1 South Australian Derby favourite Mr Quickie (Shamus Award) have been dealt a blow after he drew barrier 13 for the 2500m race.

Mr Quickie

The Phillip Stokes-trained 3-year-old retains favouritism for the race ahead of last start G3 Chairman's S. winner Declarationofheart (Declaration of War {USA}), who drew barrier four.

The other Anthony Freedman-trained runner, Ridgewood Drive (Sebring) comes from barrier ten alongside Mike Moroney's Chapada (Bullet Train {GB}), who will jump from barrier 11. Qafila (Not A Single Doubt) is the lone filly in the race and has drawn barrier 7.

Melody Belle back in work

Five-time Group 1 winner Melody Belle (Commands) is already back in work for the spring and is eyeing the Hawkes' Bay Triple Crown.

The star mare is already at the Matamata training complex of her trainer Jamie Richards and will be looking to complete the Triple Crown having won the first two legs last year.

Melody Belle

“She got back on the truck at Te Akau Stud on Monday morning and travelled to Matamata,” Fortuna Syndicate manager John Galvin said.

“She will trial a couple of times, probably in late July and then at Te Teko (in August). She will go to the Foxbridge (Gr.2, 1200m) and then on to Hawke’s Bay."

“This year we will do the three legs of the Hawke’s Bay triple crown, we didn’t go to the Livamol with her last year."

“That’s as far as the planning has got at this stage.”

Kings set for miraculous return

Kings Will Dream (Ire) (Casamento {Ire}) is on a path to a remarkable racetrack return and could be aimed at the race where he nearly lost his life last year, the G1 Cox Plate.

Managing owner Brad Spicer confirmed the 5-year-old was making an excellent recovery from the pelvis fracture suffered during last year's Cox Plate.

Kings Will Dream

Having undergone a six-month rehabilitation, he is now in the paddock and will join the Chris Waller stable with major spring goals in mind.

"It's very heartening to see that," Spicer told RSN. "He actually looks better than he has his whole career."

Leonardo eyes Straddie

Leonardo Da Hinchi (Hinchinbrook) begins life with new trainer Mick Price when he steps out at Caulfield on Saturday, with Group 1 goals on the horizon.

Price said the 3-year-old would be headed towards the G1 Stradbroke at Eagle Farm in June having overcome fetlock issues after his last campaign with Darren Weir.

"I think he's a very forward horse," Price told Racing.com. "He trialled last Tuesday here at Caulfield and he went well. His trials have been good and he's been down the beach and goes into the race with a nice prep under his belt."

"Hopefully he'll put in a good one and he can head north for a race like the Stradbroke."

Stockwell, Brisbane Meadows confirm 2019 fees

Victorian-based Stockwell Thoroughbreds has confirmed service fees for its three stallions in 2019.

Artie Schiller (USA) will stand for $8800 (inc GST), the same price as new arrival Al Maher at Mike Becker's Digger's Rest property. Rock Sturdy will stand for $5500 (inc GST).

Brisbane Meadows, on the NSW Southern Tablelands, will stand Pendragon (NZ) for $5500 (inc GST) and Knight Exemplar for $3300 (inc GST).

Al Maher will stand for $8800 (inc GST)

Smith begins new Victorian chapter

Western Australia trainer Lindsey Smith has begun his move to Victoria, relocating with five horses to a new Warrnambool base.

Smith said he felt he was ready for a new stage of his career and providing he receives approval to take over the boxes left vacant by Darren Weir, would look to upscale his operation quickly in the coming months.

He said syndicator Brad Spicer had already offered him up to 10 horses should he get the approval to ramp up his operations later this week.