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Horsing Around 6/7-19/7

Our weekly dive into things you may have missed. We bring you a quick recap on the different things to happen in and around racing both at home and abroad in the past weeks.

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Melbourne Racing: Sweet Thomas After Flemington Cup 1849 Win

Sydney trainer Matthew Smith has decided to take up the challenge of inching closer to a Melbourne Cup start sending Sweet Thomas to Melbourne.

A ban is in place for horses having raced in Victoria entering NSW, but that has not deterred Smith who is prepared to leave Sweet Thomas in Melbourne following Saturday's race.

Sweet Thomas runs in the Flemington Cup 1849, a race that has been staged just once previously, not at Flemington, but in paddocks surrounding the Flemington Inn, just up the road from the now famous course 171 years ago.

The Victoria Racing Club revived the Flemington Cup 1849 (2800m) and will run it on the same program as the Byerley Handicap, which offers the winner of the 1800m two-year-old race a start in either the Derby or Oaks at Flemington later in the year.

Smith trains Sweet Thomas at Warwick Farm, a track which on Wednesday had a meeting called-off because of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the local area.

"We're allowed out but not allowed back in though," Smith said.

"We're trying to keep his rating ticking up and if we can he might sneak into the Melbourne Cup this year with a light weight.

"We only got a couple of points for winning the other day so I thought if we could win another one he would get a few more points and that may get us to where we need to have him.

"It's not an easy race but it's the only race around for him, however it might not be far enough."

Smith said Sweet Thomas left his stable on Wednesday for overnight travel to Ciaron Maher and David Eustace's stable at Caulfield.

It is following the race that Smith is undecided on what to do with the stayer, a last start winner of the Stayer's Cup (3200m) at Rosehill on June 27.

"He's due to have some sort of freshen up," Smith said.

"He might go down the beach, but we'll work something out for him until it breaks up and we can get him back to the stable."

Despite the spike in COVID-19 cases in the area taking in the Warwick Farm racecourse, Smith said biosecurity was strict in his stable.

"Our stance is if they're not feeling well, we tell them to ring in, tell them to go to their doctor to get tested and don't come in until the results are known," Smith said.

Source: AAP

Doing the Hokey Cokey: Horse withdrawn and reinstated at the Curragh

There is to be a full process review at the Curragh in Ireland as Galway Trainer Shayne Ryder had runner A Few Bob Short declared a non runner before being reinstated to race on Friday night. 

The confusion seemed to appear when Ryder appeared on course 2 hours prior to racing as protocol states however arriving through a secondary gate rather than the main gate meaning he bypassed general health and security checks. 

With the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board believing the horse had not arrived in time to be fit to run they declared A Few Bob Short a non runner only to discover that the horse was already in the parade ring. 

Upon discovering the error the IHRB reinstated the horse to the race however it wasn’t to much avail as the Horse finished the race 15 of 16 on the day. 


Aussie Pride: Nature Strip Confirmed Worlds Best Sprinter

Chris Waller trained Nature Strip has been confirmed as the worlds best sprinter after the most recent round of Longines world ratings were confirmed. 

The Gelding was given a rating of 124 and rank joint 3rd overall in the world behind recent Japanese owned Almond Eye and British stars Stradavarius and Ghaiyyath. 

Nature Strip finished 2019 with a rating of 122, four points behind last year’s top sprinter, the recent King’s Stand Stakes winner Battaash. The latest rankings evaluated performances between Jan 1st  and July 5th. Nature Strip received a 124 rating for his two-length win over Santa Ana Lane and Redzel in the Group 1 TJ Smith at Randwick in April.

The Waller runner won out over fellow sprinters Bivouac trained by Godolphins James Cummings and Hong Kong runner Hot King Prawn trained by John Size. 


One To Watch: UK Government Outlines plans to see fans return to the track.

The Pomes and their fearless leader Boris Johnson announced Friday morning that they have outlined a plan for racing fans to get back trackside by the 1st October. 

Having been harder hit by the current pandemic UK racing was halted completely between March and June with Racing and wider sporting events given the green light to continue from June 1st. 

The starting process for easing restrictions actually starts on August 1st with Goodwood being allowed to host 5,000 patrons at their final day of their Glorious Goodwood festival. 

It will be worth keeping a close eye on how they lift there restriction on patrons attending courses with Social Distancing and protective measures likely to be mirrored globally if proven successful. 

QLD Achievements: Tony Gollan Breaks Winners Record

Trainer Tony Gollan set a state record for winners in a season on Saturday with his runner Solar Star winning the Gai Waterhouse Classic at Ipswich. 

The listed event took his tally to 152-½ wins for the season overtaking the previous record set by Ben Currie in the 2017/18 season. 

It’s been a stellar year for Gollan who only last month chalked up a similar landmark in achieving 100 metro wins in QLD. 

Solar Star herself was an $11 shot on the day and rose to the occasion beating home Jami Lady in a driving finish. 

Gollan said Solar Star would now head to the Magic Millions National broodmare sales which have been delayed until July 27.

Watch the final stages of the race below: 


A weekend of Milestones: Kris Lees Trains 200th Career Winner

Newcastle trainer was another regional winner this week to hit a racing milestone as he celebrated his 2000th career win at Randwick Kensington on Saturday. 

The milestone was achieved when Lees trained runner “Killin” was the third horse in as many races on Saturday to jump to the front and lead from start to finish. 

Lees, who was not trackside for the performance, said he only became aware he was closing in on the 2000-winner mark during the week.

"I don't get too rapt up in numbers," Lees said.

"It was only really brought to my attention the other day, I'm not really into that. I'm worried about the next 2000."

Melbourne Cup Watch: Joey O’Brien Gets Twilight Payment Firing

Lloyd Williams owned and a runner in last years Melbourne Cup, Twilight Payment put on a demolition job in Ireland overnight by smashing a small field in a Group 2 Race at the Curragh in Ireland. 

Racing on Saturday Local time, Twilight Payment won the race with a lot to spare beating stablemate and fellow Melbourne Cup runner Master of Reality by 8 lengths in the 2800m Curragh Cup.

Aussie punters will remember Twilight Payment as the one time leader of the 2019 version of the race that stops a nation before failing to hold out the late charges and eventually finishing 11th 3.8l of the eventual winner. 

Master of Reality of course probably rings a few more bells after originally finishing second in the race but being demoted to 4th after a chaotic ride by Frankie Dettori. 

Staying Safe: PPE Supplier Sponsors UK Race Course

The Personal Protective Equipment Company providing much of the gear getting horse racing back live in the UK has upped the stakes by going one further and financially investing in racing through sponsoring a meeting at Ayr in the UK. 

Supplier CHB Medical had worked alongside the British Horseracing Association to provide a large portion of the equipment on track workers wear including masks, gloves and steriliser.

Ayr's managing director David Brown said: "We're delighted to welcome CHB Medical as our newest sponsor. It's very fitting one of the world's biggest suppliers of PPE and a company who has played an integral role in the return of racing since lockdown has chosen to support one of our summer race days.

"The company's products are seen on every racecourse and without them we simply couldn’t stage race meetings as we slowly work our way out of lockdown."

Great to see during the pandemic.

Home Broadcast: SKY Racing 2 to become part of the package

Good news for hardcore punters this week as Foxtel has announced that Sky Racing 2 will become part of the baseline sports package from Augusts 1st.

The change means that in the coming months punters and Fox subscribers will now be able to access all Sky racing has to offer meaning Sky 2 will also be available alongside the more traditional Sky Racing 1 and Sky Thoroughbred Central.

All three channels are currently available through the TAB app and Online services however the change will open up access to showcase more of the regional tracks and racing.

The removal of the additional $5 monthly fee currently charged was hailed as a positive step by  Tabcorp Executive General Manager Media & International Darren Pearce who said:

“We are pleased to invest in removing this fee for customers and to be able to provide more of Sky Racing’s unrivalled coverage of Australian and international racing to fans at no additional cost,"

“This is part of our commitment to offering the best coverage of racing possible to drive interest in all codes and support the industry and our TAB wagering business.”

Rich Heritage: 2018 richest yearling set for run in UK

Darain was the richest selling yearling in the world in 2018 when Sheik Fahad paid 3,5 million guineas for the colt. Now 2 years later the brother of UK G1 winner To Darn Hot is set for his first outing on Wednesday in the modest surroundings of a division 2 race behind closed doors at Newbury.

The first public appearance of the pedigree cult is very much likely to be a much quieter affair than when the stands at the Tattersalls October Sales two years ago. On the day Sheik Fahad wanted the best yearling on sale and with brothers Lah Ti Dar and So Mi Dar also Group level winners he knew stock would be high.

Upon purchase, Darian was moved to the John Gosden stable where it was hoped he would run as a juvenile however it took longer than expected for the horse to develop.

Darain faces nine rivals on his belated debut over a mile and a quarter and stable racing manager David Redvers said: "We're very much looking forward to Darain's debut and apparently he has shown a good level of ability at home. Only time will tell if we've been dealt a bad hand or not."

Rick Rolled: $1.16 Shot at Scone finishes off the pace

Race 4 at Scone on Friday seemed like a forgone conclusion to some punters with the red hot favourite Remlaps Gem opening up at $1.20 for the Benchmark 58.

Jumping with Winx like odds at $1.16 for the 1100m race jockey Billy Cray took the favourite to the front and sat just outside the leader leaving nothing to chance. As they turned the corner Cray still had the horse with a strong hold and kicked a length clear of the bend.

As some punters would have been rising to their feet to make their way to cash tickets after Remlaps Gem had completed a similar move to win by 2.28l in its maiden debut, the horse began to let down in the straight but was found very one-paced.

Two Ducks Artie was the late swooper coming from last to first to win the race leaving punters bemused at how a $1.16 shot could not only not win but finish outside the placings in 4th.


Something Old, Something New: Hayes and Dabernig training Partnership get first win

Pakenham race one on Friday was one for the record books as the new training partnership of Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig notched there first win for the new era of Lindsay Park racing.

With David Hayes leaving the Lindsay Park set up to head abroad to Hong Kong last month the trainer has had to relinquish his Australian training licence leaving son Ben and Tom Dabernig as the sole training partnership.

Son Ben said the timing was “pure luck” as to when the new partnership would be official as there hadn’t be a clear plan as to when the new partnership would become official.

"That's fantastic, we've got a 100 per cent strike-rate," Hayes told racing.com.

Getting the job done for the team was 2 year old bay filly Stormborn. An impressive win, the horse kicked clear at the 200m mark and worked clear under hands and heels as the $2.15 favourite.


A comeback for the ages: Horse overturns own 4l lead to win

As a punter first and foremost you back a horse to result in a profitable outcome but failing that you want value for money from your run and Hoss Kitten definitely gave punters that and more in the early hours of Thursday.

The daughter of Mucho Mucho Man was second favourite in the betting in race 6 at Delaware Park, Wednesday evening behind the $2.40 favourite Action Absolute Ds.

Getting the win in the strangest of ways, Hoss Kitten took up the running in the final bend of the 1664m race to pull 4l clear. The lead didn’t last for long after losing all momentum on the corner and going from a commanding lead to a 5l deficit in the straight. However when getting back on the straight Hoss Kitten rallied with a huge burst of speed in the final 100m to fight back and overhaul a 9 length swing in running.

A Star Is Born: Enable loses Coral Eclipse Stakes

There was another set back for wonder horse Enable in the UK last week as she finished second behind rising star Ghaiyyath in the Coral Eclipse Stakes at Epsom.

Having her first run back since falling agonisingly short of achieving an unprecedented third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Enable was no match for the front running power of the Charlie Appleby trained runner.

Jockey William Buick took Ghaiyyath to the front in a powerful performance that saw him never relinquish that lead.

“He’s got a high cruising speed and he knows how to use it,” Buick said. “He’s a horse that you go with what he wants to do. He’s not a horse who wants to be controlled, you’re best sitting against him and letting him use his big stride and then go when he’s ready. He’s a joy to ride and he’s a very good horse.

Beating horses with the calibre of Enable and Japan so convincingly it will be interesting to see where Appleby and Godolphin take the 5 year old next.

Aussies Abroad: 3peat In Hong Kong

There were celebrations at Sha Tin on Sunday evening as Australian hoop Zac Purton sealed his 3rd Hong Kong jockeys championship aboard Fast Most Furious.

Purton went into the penultimate race meet of the season leading long time rival Joao Moreira  by 8 and he didn’t have to wait long to finalise the victory with the win in Race 4 to wrap up the championship.

Purton gained his maiden championship in the 13/14 season-ending a long term reign of Douglas Whyte who had won the previous 13 seasons. He since won the 17/18 and 18/19 seasons with a record haul of 168, especially in the previous racing year.

His wins included riding Exultant to a Group One double but also the stand out performance aboard Beauty Generation when winning the Group One The Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup

Melbourne Cup Watch: Rekindling has first start in 12 months

2017 Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling took to the track in over 12 months on the weekend and failed to place under a whopping 72kgs.

Tackling a moderate field at Leopardstown in Ireland Rekindling finished 4 ½ lengths off winner Tandem in 6th after failing to let down in the final straight.

Having his first run out since the 2019 Australian Cup the Joseph O'brien stable was still more than satisfied with the 2/1 favourite.

“You’d have to be delighted with him,” O’Brien’s assistant trainer Brendan Powell told Racing TV.

“I know he was rated a lot higher than them, but he’s had a long time off.

“Hopefully he’s OK tomorrow and in the next few days and we can have a bit of fun with him.”


US Racing: Dr Fauci wins at Keeneland

Most people will recognise the name Dr Anthony Fauci as the exasperated director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, often stood next to President Trump at Covid-19 briefings in the US.

However, now there’s another Dr. Fauci on the block. A young Thoroughbred with a celebrity namesake broke his maiden during the second day of Keeneland’s five-day Summer Meet.

Fauci, a 2-year-old colt trained by Wesley Ward, notched his first career victory during his second career start in the opening race at the Lexington track on Thursday. Tyler Gaffalione steered the heavy favorite to a hard-fought victory in the 5 1/2-furlong, $70,000 turf contest.

Fauci was the 5-2 morning-line favorite but was bet down to 1-1 odds at post time, perhaps due to the cachet carried by his moniker. 

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