Daily News Wrap

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Vale Darby McCarthy

Legendary jockey Darby McCarthy has died at the age of 76.

McCarthy was one of 13 children raised in Cunnamulla in western Queensland and rose to be among Australia's top jockeys in the 1960s.

He won numerous Group 1 features in Queensland, including the Stradbroke H., Doomben 10,000 and the Brisbane Cup, and later moved to Sydney where he won the G1 AJC Derby and G1 Epsom H.

He later rode with success in France for several years and was inducted into the Queensland Racing Hall of Fame in 2004. In recent years he had been living at Oakey on the Darling Downs.

McCarthy was a trail-blazer for Aboriginal sporting identities, including Cathy Freeman who spoke of him in her autobiography 'Against All Odds'.

"Darby influenced me and encouraged me to strive for excellence in all that I do and to persevere against all odds and for this I will forever be thankful," she said.

Jockey change

Trainer John McArdle has opted for a more experienced rider to partner Themoonlitegambler (Good Journey {USA}) in Saturday’s G1 South Australian Derby.

Emily Finnegan has been placed aboard the 3-year-old in his last two starts, but Dean Holland has got the call-up at Morphettville.

John McArdle

"Emily's done nothing wrong other than she probably got going a little bit earlier on him than what we wanted," McArdle said.

"He can pull a bit hard and get a bit strong so we've elected to go with the more experienced and a little stronger jockey. "

Barbie ready to go

Outback Barbie (Spirit Of Boom) is in fine fettle for Saturday’s G3 BRC Sprint at Doomben.

"She won a strong trial two weeks ago and she has won three of her five runs first-up," Gollan said.

"The mare has raced against the top shelf her whole career and always does her best.

Outback Barbie

"Outback Barbie deserves a win in a Group 1 race and her only chance this winter is in the Stradbroke."

Outback Barbie, who hasn’t raced since she won the Magic Millions QTIS Open, has won three times at Doomben with two of them over Saturday’s 1200 metre trip.

Hill ‘n’ Dale purchase breeding rights

The breeding rights to undefeated Grade I winner Charlatan (USA) have been purchased by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm, Kentucky according to a press release issued by the farm on Wednesday morning. No price was given in the release for the son of Speightstown (USA).

Bred by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, Charlatan was sold at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for US$700,000 (AU$1,083,000) to a partnership including SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Fred Hertrich, John Fielding and Golconda Stables. Stonestreet stayed in for a piece of the colt.

Charlatan Runs Away With the Arkansas Derby | Image courtesy of Coady

SF’s Tom Ryan said that Hill ‘n’ Dale was a natural and fitting partner.

“We were delighted to do the breeding rights deal with Hill ‘n’ Dale,” said Ryan. “They have launched and managed the careers of several-breed shaping sires. Johnny’s record speaks for itself. Charlatan will be given every chance at stud given their track record of standing and developing elite stallions.”

Group 3 assignment

Promising filly Aguante (NZ) (Reliable Man {GB}) is being set for the G3 South Australian Fillies’ Classic at Morphettville on Saturday week after her impressive win over 2000 metres at Murray Bridge on Wednesday.

She ran away to a comfortable 6l victory in her first start out of Michael Hickmott’s stable and he is excited about her prospects.

“She came in very good condition from Brad Widdup,” Hickmott said. “I was very happy with the condition she came in. I have just ticked her over for three weeks and pressed on from there.

“She is going to head off to the South Australian Fillies Classic, it’s a 2500 metre Group 3 in 10 days’ time. I am really looking forward to that as well.”

Apprentice to appeal

Brisbane jockey Baylee Nothdurft will seek an internal review of a three-month suspension he has received on a handling charge.

Stewards reopened an inquiry on Thursday into Nothdurft's ride on Vega One (Lope De Vega {Ire}) at the Sunshine Coast on April 25.

Baylee Nothdurft

Nothdurft rode Vega One when the gelding finished fourth in an open handicap after coming from last on the home turn.

After the race stewards took evidence about aspects of Nothdurft's ride in the straight and at the home turn before adjourning the inquiry.

After taking further evidence on Thursday, Nothdurft was charged with not taking all reasonable and permissible measures to ensure Vega One finished in the best possible placing. Nothdurft's master Tony Gollan said the apprentice would seek an internal review.

Golden record

Towering Toowoomba gelding Command'n'conquer (Warhead) will put his unbeaten record on the line at the Gold Coast.

Command'n'conquer, who stands well over 17 hands, has won his only three starts at Toowoomba, his home track, and Doomben.

Trainer Steve Tregea has targeted the G3 Gold Coast Guineas on May 16 and the G3 Fred Best Classic at Doomben on May 30 as the gelding's targets.

Command'n'conquer will have his lead up to those races in the Lord Mayor H. at the Gold Coast on Friday.

"The 900 metres isn't ideal but it was the race which appeared most suitable," Tregea said. "The Gold Coast can be a tricky track for horses at their first start there. I want him to have a good look at the track before we head back for the Guineas.”

Five-star Purton

Australian jockey Zac Purton scored a dazzling five-timer at Happy Valley on Wednesday, aiding his tilt at a fourth Hong Kong champion jockey title.

Purton’s run was completed in the final event with victory aboard Dances With Dragon, who won the G1 Levin Classic in New Zealand as Hall Of Fame (NZ) (Savabeel).

Zac Purton

Purton now has a four-win lead in what continues to be a relentless two-way tussle with Joao Moreira for the premiership crown.

“It’s been a bit of a grind, so hopefully I’ve now got a few more like this ahead of me,” Purton said after sealing his first five-win haul of the campaign.

Bright future

Trainer John Sargent is bullish about the 3-year-old prospects of Elizabeel (Power {GB}), but in the meantime is hoping she can post a juvenile win at Randwick on Saturday.

The filly is set for her third start in the Central Coast Mariners H., having finished fifth on debut at Warwick Farm before finishing second at Canterbury.

John Sargent

"She has been knocking on the door in her two runs and she gets in well at the weights with Robbie Dolan to ride her," Sargent said. "I expect a big run from her. As long as she gets away with them and gets a nice clear run she's got a big finish.

"She'll just have this run and might have one more at the most and then I think she'll be a very good 3-year-old. I'd like to get a win with her at two and then as a 3-year-old I think she'll get out to a mile or more."