Daily News Wrap

5 min read

Champion jockey retires

Pat Smullen, the nine-time Irish champion jockey, has announced his retirement from race riding. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2018 and has subsequently been undergoing treatment. While his recovery from illness continues to be positive, the 41-year-old has decided, on medical advice, to call time on his career in the saddle.

“I have had a frank discussion with my doctors and I gave them the full details of the way of life of a jockey, and what I’d have to go through to get back to full fitness, to get back to the weight that I need to be, and to compete at the level I want to compete at,” Smullen wrote in his weekly TDN column.

“They advised me that I should not compromise my immune system in any way. So, taking that into account, the right thing for me to do is to call it a day. I’ve been very fortunate through my career to meet some great people and to ride some very good horses. I have a lot of cherished memories of a great career, and I’m very thankful for that.”

Pat Smullen

Ghibellines heads roster

White Robe Lodge has announced a slight fee increase for exciting young sire Ghibellines, who will stand for a fee of $6000 + GST for the forthcoming breeding season.

The Group 2 winning son of Shamardal (USA) has made a promising start to his stud career, with two winners and a stakes performer from just seven runners to date.

Staying influences Raise The Flag (GB) will stand at $6000 + GST and Gallant Guru at $4000 + GST. complete the roster for the Mosgiel nursery.


Country House out of Preakness

The G1 Kentucky Derby winner Country House (USA) (Lookin At Lucky {USA}) has been declared a non-runner in the G1 Preakness S. on May 18th as he appears on the verge of getting sick.

Trainer Bill Mott told Daily Racing Form that while the colt’s appetite remains good and while he does not have any fever, “he’s coughing” and “he’s acting like he’s going to get sick."

Maximum Security (USA) (New Year’s Day {USA}), first home, but placed 17th in the Derby, has already been ruled out of the Preakness by owner Gary West, who is attempting to appeal the Derby disqualification.

J’Adane a beauty

Broodmare gem J’Adane (Danehill {USA}) has come up trumps again for Cambridge Stud principals Brendan and Jo Lindsay.

Avadane (Savabeel) become her fifth winner from as many foals to race when she was successful in the Wills Bloodstock 1200 at Matamata on Wednesday. She is a sister to the Group 3 winner Prince Jabeel (NZ), a three-quarter sister to the Group 3 winner Von Tunzelman (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}) and a half-sister to the Group 3 winner Sherrif (NZ) (High Chaparral {Ire}).

Avadane is trained by Lance Noble, who also won an earlier event for Cambridge Stud with Vera Drake (Fr) (Footstepsinthesand {GB}).

Price hike

The price is likely to have gone up for potential buyers of Asgard Massif (Fastnet Rock) after an all-the-way win at Sandown.

Trainer John Sadler said the 3-year-old is on the market as Singapore-based owner Dr Tan Kai Chah reduces his worldwide thoroughbred numbers.

Asgard Massif is a son of Jolie's Shinju (Jpn) (Jolie’s Halo {USA}) who won the Singapore Triple Crown for Dr Tan in 2009 before travelling to Australia for the G1 Cox Plate. She ran third in the G2 Dato Tan Chin Nam S. before losing form and missing the Moonee Valley feature.

Minister to open sale

In a first for the event, New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Racing Winston Peters will open New Zealand Bloodstock’s May Sale at Karaka on the 17th.

“We are very pleased that Racing Minister Winston Peters will be opening the sale for us,” commented NZB’s Managing Director Andrew Seabrook.

“To have him address participants of the thoroughbred industry after his announcement to revitalise domestic racing is indicative of his support and commitment to racing and breeding in New Zealand.”

Hong Kong beckons

The G1 VRC Derby winner Extra Brut (Domesday) has been sold to Hong Kong interests.

It is understood that Extra Brut will join the stable of Frankie Lor, who is currently second on the Hong Kong premiership behind John Size.

Global Exchange (Dundeel {NZ}) is also bound for Hong Kong with with dual Group 3 winner Thinkin' Big (High Chaparral {Ire}) and G1 Australian Derby placegetter Surely Sacred (NZ) (Rock ‘n’ Pop) also set to continue their careers there.

Extra Brut

Unabashed fan

Trainer John O'Shea is major fan of stand-alone country and provincial Saturday race meetings.

Hawkesbury held a major race day after the Sydney autumn carnival and this week is Scone's turn with seven stakes races across two days.

"I'm a massive fan. It would be nice if we could have some sort of country and provincial programme that incorporates Wagga, Grafton, Scone, those sort of places," O'Shea said.

Not all good news

Racing Queensland will start major remediation work at Ipswich, but it has upset the club by scrapping plans for an upgrade of tie-up stalls at the course.

In a statement RQ said it would seek government approval to access an additional $6 million from the Racing Infrastructure Fund which would take the total Ipswich project cost to $19 million. As a consequence of the increased scope of works and costs, the club was told the planned relocation of the club's tie-up stalls wouldn’t be proceeding.

ITC chairman Wayne Patch is overseas, but in a social media post he called on the state government to honour the commitment for new tie-up stalls which he said were decades past their use by date.