Zephyron (3 Zabeel – Diamond Like, by Danehill) was the most expensive yearling sold in Australia or New Zealand in 2010 when fetching $2 million and he repaid $6,825 of that when winning his Maiden at Cranbourne on Friday.
Judging by the manner of victory Zephyron will be earning more for his connections as well. Allowed to settle off the speed by Michael Rodd, Zephyron was pulled out wide in the straight and he powered home over the top of older horses to win the $12,000 SRS Motors Cranbourne Maiden (1300m) by 1 1/4 lengths at his first start this preparation.
Trained at Flemington by Mark Kavanagh for John Camilleri’s Fairway Thoroughbreds, Zephyron showed promise in two runs earlier this year in Melbourne and he certainly looks better suited over further distance.
Bred by Sir Patrick and Lady Justine Hogan at their Cambridge Stud, Zephyron has a half-sister by High Chaparral being offered by Cambridge at the NZB Premier Yearling Sale in January, the fourth living foal of Diamond Like, stakes winner of the Lightning Hcp at Trentham and a sister to Gr 1 winner Viking Ruler and Gr 2 winner Kempinsky.
Darley enjoyed a bumper year with its juveniles last season and they have started this season in good style as well with ecent impressive winners Epaulette (Commands) and Friday’s Cranbourne winner Sabie (2 f Exceed And Excel – Rondavel, by Snippets), who sailed home five-lengths clear of her rivals in the $12,000 Star News Group 2yo Maiden Plate (1000m) on her her racetrack debut.
Trained by Anthony Freedman, Sabie was always in control of the race and was untroubled in the straight to clear away from Shivers (Haradasun) with She’s Streetsahead (Street Sense) third in what looks a good class race.
Sabie was one of three winners on Friday for her Exceed And Excel following Ambergris (6 m Amber Shore), winner of the $14,000 Granite Transformations Hcp (1400m) at Canberra and Frankenbeans (3 g Carnegie Hikari) who won the Flair Gourmet Services Maiden (1000m), also at Canberra.
On Tuesday Emila (3 f Hancora) won the $27,000 ATC E-Motions Design Hcp (1000m) ¬†while Reparations (2 c Hold To Ransom) won the $70,000 MRC Patinack Farm Hcp (1400m) at Sandown Park forming some of the seven winners sired by Exceed And Excel since Christmas day.
Ascot racecourse in WA will host the final Australian Group race of 2011 when the 16-strong line-up heads to the starter for Saturday’s Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m).
Perth Racing decided to bring the Perth Cup forward from its usual New Year’s Day slot to keep the feature meeting on a Saturday.
Leading trainer Grant Williams will saddle four runners on behalf of leviathan owner and breeder Bob Peters in the $400,000 feature.
Former Victorian conditioner Simon Miller will have two chances to score his biggest win since crossing the Nullarbor Plain to oversee Aquanita Racing’s foray into WA. Miller will launch an audacious bid to win the Perth Cup with the former Danny O’Brien-trained stayer Lopov (Savabeel – Prickle, by Pins).
A syndicate purchased Lopov after the four-year-old had 22 starts for O’Brien before Miller decided to run the gelding in the Perth Cup fresh from a 60-day break.
Improving stayer Senhor De Gama (Commands – Lithgow, by Dieu D’Or) will also represent the Miller stable in the Perth Cup. The full field for the Perth Cup is below.
||God Has Spoken
||Elva Van Merwyk
||Manila I Scream
||Miss Tipsy Topsy
||Encosta De Lago
||Senhor Da Gama
||Dancin On The Wind
||Shane A Edwards
Former Windsor Park champion Volksraad (Green Desert – Celtic Assembly, by Secretariat) has an outside chance of producing a posthumous 59th individual stakes winner if Charma (Volksraad – Charmaine, by Centaine) secures a start in Monday’s Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie in New Zealand.
A paddock accident cost Volksraad his life earlier this week. The Graeme Sanders-trained Charma is the sire’s only representative in the $NZ200,000 feature sprint.
However, Durham Town (Falkirk – Durham Walk, by Marju) could provide Windsor Park Stud reason to smile if the in-form sprinter manages to win the Railway Stakes.
The Donna Logan-trained speedster has won five of his seven starts, including his success in the Group 2 Concorde Handicap (1200m) over the Railway Stakes course on December 3.
Below is the full field for the Group 1 Railway Stakes at Ellerslie.
||B W Foote
||K I Rae
||One Cool Cat
||S G Crutchley
||K S Kelso
||R D Collett
||R A Frost
Pendragon has made a promising start at stud and he added an impressive new winner to his record when Blazing Dragon (3 f Pendragon – Utah Red, by Red Ransom) came away by 1 1/2 lengths to score in the $16,000 Central Coast Leagues Club Maiden (1600m) at Gosford on Thursday, confirming the promise she had shown at Warwick Farm on her prvious start.
Like her sire, Blazing Dragon is trained by Bart Cummings for Dato Tan Chin Nam and she was ridden yesterday by Corey Brown to defeat Pesaro (3 c Choisir – Zinngana, by Priolo) in good style.
Her pedigree certainly suggests she should be able to gallop, her fifth dam being My Charmer, the dam of the great Seattle Slew.
Dual Gr 3 winner Pendragon (Elnadim – Alacrity, by Grosvenor) stands at Think Big Stud in NSW and is the sire of four runners this season from just 10 runners, headed by the city winner Dark Brown Sugar.
Barrett’s Mark (3 f Churchill Downs – Go Ruby Go, by Baryshnikov) showed with a strong win in the $15,000 Border Inn Fillies & Mares Maiden (1200m) at Echuca on Thursday that she is a filly with promise.
On just her second start, Barrett’s Mark flew the gates and led to the home turn where she dug in for Lisa Cropp and was always holding the challenges in the straight to defeat Fastnet Felicity (3 f Fastnet Rock – Treasury Gardens, by Miswaki) by half a length with Queeneera (3 f Grandera – African Queen, by Lion Hunter) back in third in the time of 1:12.13.
“She’s a promising filly, she still has a lot to learn,” said Lisa Cropp. “When she puts it all together she will be a good filly, she’s doing it on raw ability right now.”
The win makes Barrett’s Mark the 12th winner this season for Blue Gum Farm stallion Churchill Downs (Danehill – Silken Whisper, by Diesis) to put him clear on the Second-season Sire listing in Victoria by winners ahead of Artie Schiller (11) and Written Tycoon (9).
WA operation Rangeview Stud has decided to send its capable sprinter Shock Value (Key Business – Graceton, by Fimiston) to Victoria to test him against the eastern states speedsters.
Rangeview Stud owners Robbie and Jodie Gray sent the nine-time winner to the David Hayes stable to extend his career.
Shock Value’s Perth rating of 102 ensures the six-year-old carries big weights at every start but his former trainer Jim Taylor told The West Australian the sprinter’s problem would compound when minimum weights rise 1kg across Australia on January 1.
“In Melbourne he should get a bit of relief in the scale and drop to a 97 rating,” Taylor said. “He should get in with a lighter weight which he can carry to still be a chance to win.
“He just can’t carry topweight on 58kg and beat those lower-weighted horses.
“It is going to be even harder for a horse like him from next year because the topweight will be 59kg.”
Shock Value has won two stakes races in his 27-start career. The handy sprinter has won the past two editions of the Listed Birthday Stakes (1200m).
Smart Snippetson (Snippets – Snowdrift, by Polish Precedent) filly Leoncita (Snippetson – Lion’s Image, by Lion Hunter) continued to impress with her strong win in Wednesday’s Dowling Forest Equine Handicap (1000m) at Ballarat.
Leoncita won her second start at Cranbourne on July 24 before struggling in stakes class in the Listed Quezette Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield. The three-year-old went straight to the front in her first-up run before strolling away to win by a widening 1-1/4 lengths.
Leoncita is the first foal to race out of Lion’s Image (Lion Hunter – Image Of Success, by Success Express) and cost Burke $14,000 at the 2010 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.
“She’s a very talented filly. I trialled her about two weeks ago and she did the same thing, she jumped and ran,” her jockey Jake Noonan said.
“She’ll improve on that run fitness-wise.”
Meanwhile, another Widden sire, the recently-deceased stalwart Anabaa (Danzig – Balbonella, by Gay Mecene) produced a winner at the metropolitan-standard Kembla Grange meeting when Air Comet (Anabaa – Tzu Hsi, by Quest For Fame) claimed the Southern Educational Services Maiden Plate (1200m).
Windsor Park Stud has confirmed the death of its multiple champion sire Volksraad (GB) in a paddock accident on Tuesday.¬†The son of Green Desert and the Secretariat mare Celtic Assembly ¬†was just a few days short of his 24th birthday.
Volksraad retired to Mapperley Stud in Matamata¬†in 1993 at a fee of just $2,500¬†before transferring to Windsor Park in 1999, two years before winning his first Sire’s premiership. From his first crop he sired 9 stakes winners from 49 foals that included Gr 1 VATC Oakleigh Plate winner Dantelah.
To date Volksraad has sired 58 stakes winners with¬†14 Gr 1 winners that include Sir Slick, winner of 22 races including six at Group One level and 2010 New Zealand Derby winner Military Move.
His feat of winning eight sire premierships between 2001 and 2009 stands as a modern day record, a total only exceeded by the great Foxbridge in the 1940′s.
“We have been fortunate to stand a number of champion stallions at Windsor Park and Volksraad rates among the best,‚Äù Windsor Park Stud proprietor Nelson Schick said on the farm website.¬†”His contribution to Windsor Park and the breeding industries in New Zealand and Australia has been immense and his influence looks set to continue for many years with his daughters now proving such wonderful broodmares at stud.
“We will forever be indebted to Volksraad who was not only a great stallion but a real character and we are thankful for the journey we have enjoyed with him these past 19 years.‚Äù
Patinack Farm has enjoyed Group race success with the offspring of Tale Of The Cat (USA) courtesy of Trusting and Gathering and the manner in which Dassault (3 g Tale Of The Cat ‚Äì Bird Royale, by Bluebird) came from last to first in winning Wednesday‚Äôs $13,000 Racing Retro Maiden (1200m) at Eagle Farm suggests that he will be winning more races.
Dassault had shown trainer John Thompson plenty of natural ability in Sydney but his wayward tendencies led to him being gelded after his first two starts.
On Wednesday Dassault raced without blinkers as well and showed that he can go on to better things with a strong win, rushing home under Timothy Bell to make up several lengths to defeat Hidden Rock and Our Hand Of Faith in a driving finish.
Dassault becomes the sixth winner for his dam, the good Perth racemare Bird Royale, whose 2010 colt by Group 1 winner Casino Prince (Flying Spur) is to be offered at the Magic Millions Sale on the Gold Coast in January.