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THE STRADBROKE HANDICAP WINNER IS BANNED FROM RACING IN VICTORIA

By Graham Potter | Wednesday, June 29, 2022

A Racing Victoria media release has confirmed that Racing Victoria has banned horses in which Allan Endresz has a majority share from racing in Victoria.

This order includes the 2022 Stradbroke winner Alligator Blood, who was being lined up for several feature races during the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

As reported by Racing.com, the release, in part, reads:

‘During the course of their inquiries, the stewards established two areas of concern. Firstly, that Mr Endresz is currently an undischarged bankrupt, and secondly, the Stewards have been unable to ascertain nor identify all of the beneficiaries associated with Mr Endresz and his racing syndicates.

‘In light of the above concerns, Mr Endresz was invited to participate in a show cause hearing where he was provided with an opportunity to demonstrate why he ought to be allowed to continue racing horses in Victoria.

‘Taking into account all the information and materials provided during the show cause hearing, the Stewards have determined that Mr Endresz has not complied with the following Australian Rules of Racing:

‘AR36A(2)(c) which states that a person is not permitted to hold an ownership or lease interest in a horse if the person is an undischarged bankrupt or is taking advantage of the laws in force for the time being relating to bankruptcy; and

‘AR36B which states that an ownership or lease interest in a horse is not permitted to be held in a trust where the persons having an interest in the horse, beneficial or otherwise, are not readily and accurately identifiable.'

THE STRADBROKE HANDICAP WINNER IS BANNED FROM RACING IN VICTORIA

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Sometimes you have to adjust your sights to hit your target.

But that can sometimes be easier said than done when the nature of the change can be construed by others as a step backwards … and so you might have to be brave to do what is best for you.

Robbie Fradd has been brave in that respect and he is currently reaping the rewards for making that sight adjustment as he is now blowing the target out of the water time after time with renewed, enthusiastic aplomb.

Seventeen winners in his last fifty starts is the statistical record of Fradd’s success story in the last month alone. Rides aplenty and with the winners flowing rubber-stamp the value of a decision that Fradd made last November.

Speaking at that time, Fradd said, “It is really hard to get rides in Brisbane at the moment. It doesn’t help that they race a lot at Eagle Farm now because the noms there generally are small. You get maybe eight runners and half of the rides are filled by apprentices because trainers want to claim.

“I decided that, whenever I can’t get decent rides there, I’ll go down to the coast or wherever I have to. I don’t mind. It doesn’t worry me.”

And the results that Fradd has been putting on the board since then, and continues to put on the board nine months later, confirm, in no uncertain terms, that his decision is paying off big time.

FRADD REAPING THE REWARDS OF A BRAVE DECISION

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The best thing you can do when you fall off a horse is get back on it again.

Ok, that might be a variation on a saying, but the principle essentially remains true. It’s all about putting the incident behind you and allaying any fears that might linger as a result of the fall.

Well, Michael Cahill didn’t have that opportunity after coming off the Jan Pritchard trained chestnut gelding Why We Drink at the Sunshine Coast back on December 3 last year … not because of any failing on his part, but because the injury he suffered did not allow him to do so.

Cahill went down on that day when Why We Drink clipped heels, and he came away from the incident with a stable fracture of the C4 vertebra and a fractured left shoulder blade.

Fast forward a full seven months to Saturday at Doomben where Cahill, who had completed his lengthy rehabilitation, was ready to have his first race ride back after his long layoff.

With the huge number of horses in training and Cahill’s randomly selected comeback date, what do you think the odds would have been on the chances that the first horse waiting for Cahill to be given a leg-up onto on his first race-day back would be the self-same Why We Drink.

But, by some incredible quirk of fate, it was!

WELCOME BACK MICHAEL CAHILL

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Kyle Wilson-Taylor will be crowned the Brisbane Apprentice Jockeys’ Premiership winner for the 2021/22 season.

That statement has got to have a nice ring to it for the young rider who can now officially claim that distinction following a tremendous, head-to-head battle over recent months with colleague and friend Jaden Lloyd, who will not be back for the remainder of the season after picking up a suspension and then electing to take an extended break from race-riding.

Wilson-Taylor’s journey along the way has mostly been well documented, but, as it can now be viewed from a position of acknowledged achievement, it is well worth revisiting here.

In real terms, given all of the wrong turns he could have taken, it can now be read as an inspirational story in its own right. Read more ,,,

WILSON-TAYLOR: BECOMING A CHAMPION APPRENTICE JOCKEY. AN INSPIRATIONAL STORY IN ITS OWN RIGHT

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With a month to go in the 2021/22 racing season, there is still plenty to play for in the Queensland Trainer and Jockey Premierships … even for those who have their particular Premiership already all wrapped up.

Tony Gollan is one of those. A runaway leader in the Brisbane Trainer’s Premiership, Gollan (on 84 winners) is sixteen winners off making it a third successive season with a century of Metropolitan winners. Given the limited number of meetings available, that target might be a bridge too far this season, but you can rest assured Gollan will not give up that chase until it becomes a mathematical impossible task.

Ryan Wiggins, similarly, looks home and hosed in his defence of the Provincial Jockey’s Premiership with 85 winners. His target would be to better the total of 92.5 winners … his best return … which he put on the scoreboard when winning the Provincial Jockey’s Premiership last season.

Stuart Kendrick has also all but locked Provincial Trainers' Premiership away. His 62 winners puts him twelve winners clear in this particular race … which is just 3.5 winners short of his best return of 65,5 winners, which occurred in the 2017/18 season when. Ironically, Kendrick had to settle for second place in this Premiership. He should better that. Read more ...

QUEENSLAND TRAINER AND JOCKEY PREMIERSHIPS - WITH A MONTH TO GO THERE IS STILL A LOT TO PLAY FOR


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Tatts Tiara winner Startantes has booked her placed in this year’s edition of the $2 million The Invitation, a race in which she participated last year in its inaugural running.

Having been issued with an early invitation by Racing New South Wales after her Group 1 win at Eagle Farm on Saturday … trainer Robert Heathcote and Startantes’s connections now have the freedom to plan Startantes’s racing schedule to fit the purpose for the 1400m event which will be contested on October 22 at Randwick.

The race is exclusively for fillies and mares and is to be run under set weight conditions.

Startantes is the first runner to receive an invitation to start in the race and it is clearly a well merited invitation. Read more ...

STARTANTES WILL HEAD TO THE $2 MILLION THE INVITATION AT RANDWICK IN OCTOBER

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Which rider, having only her second day of race riding, came out as a 4kg claimer for five rides and brought back five winners?

Sounds like a racing trivia quiz question?

Well, it might well be in the future … which will make it just another reason to remember the name of Emily Lang, who landed that magnificent five-timer at the Warwick meeting on Sunday.

At Nanango, the day before, on her first day of race riding, Lang was quick to put her name on the scoreboard taking only three rides to put that all important first race win on her resume. She also got two thirds and a fourth place from her six rides at Nanango (that was a full book of rides) … all of which would have provided a boost to her confidence.

Then it was on to Warwick for another five rides … which made it eleven riding engagements in her first two meetings.

That, it itself, was a notable achievement for a 4kg claimer who was only just starting out … but Lang wasn’t about to leave it at that. Read more ...

WHAT A WEEKEND! EMILY LANG BLASTS HER WAY ONTO THE RIDING SCENE

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Headline races are just that … they grab most of the attention … but for the majority of people who don’t get to race in the elite Group 1 company, where it is all glitter and glory, the headline act is a title that can be redefined to fit a purpose and for all of the Battle Of The Bush Final contenders at Eagle Farm on Saturday, this was their headline race.

Sixteen qualifiers made it through to the 2022 Battle Of The Bush Grand Finale with the trainers arriving at Eagle Farm coming from the length and breadth of the state.

Trainers travelled to Eagle Farm from Mackay, St George, Barcaldine Ilfracombe, Toowoomba, Cunnamulla, Nome, Emerald, Roma, Gympie and Taroom … underlining the rich range of representation that the race concept offered to the country racing scene during all of the outlying qualifying races and, of course, when it basked in the beautiful winter sunshine that the weather turned on at Eagle Farm for Grand Final day.

For trainer Olivia Cairns and jockey Justin Stanley, it was to prove a triumphant day as they combined their respective expertise to help bring Ammoudi Bay home by a one length margin from the Pat Webster trained V J Day. Read more ...

AMMOUDI BAY WINS THE BATTLE OF THE BUSH

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If you said that Pat Duff knows the racing industry like the back of his hand, you would be selling the man short. It is more than that.

When you ask the highly respected, veteran trainer his opinion on a subject, his knowledge and wisdom shines through. He never seeks the limelight, but don’t be fooled by his quietly spoken manner.

When he speaks, he can be more hard-hitting than those who like to make a lot of noise, because what he says is directly to the point and can seldom be argued against.

He doesn’t shirk any issue. He doesn’t take sides. He is just the epitome of a straight-shooter. Read more

THE SORRY PLIGHT OF THE SMALL TRAINER

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Queensland trainers made a statement of their own when stopping the invasion from the southern trainers in its tracks in both the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (won by the Desleigh Forster trained Apache Chase) and the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (won by the David Vandyke trained Gypsy Goddess).

The message was clear to the marauders from the south … ‘we will not lie down lightly.’ The attitude in that message has been backed by performance as can be seen by the current Group 1 score over the Queensland Winter Carnival which stands at Visitors 3, Queensland 2.

Two more Group 1 races will be decided on Saturday … the Stradbroke Handicap and the J J Atkins.Read more ...

QUEENSLANDER!! WILL THAT BE THE CRY AFTER THE RUNNING OF THE $1.5 MILLION STRADBROKE?

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Jim Byrne and Apache Chase will take up the Stradbroke Handicap challenge for a second successive year on June11 … and Byrne can have a relatively relaxed lead-in to the race this time around after having to survive a gruelling weight loss program last year to secure the ride.

Apache Chase was allocated 49.5kg on that occasion, but connections were happy for Byrne to ride 1kg over and he duly reached that goal, underlining his commitment to stay on the gelding who he has now ridden in all of Apache Chase’s last fourteen starts, going back to March 2021.

This year Apache Chase will carry 55.5kg in the Stradbroke.

Apache Chase’s victory in last Saturday’s Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup was the highlight of an already illustrious career as Apache Chase gave trainer Desleigh Forster her success at the elite level. Jim Byrne had been there before, but it was no less a special occasion for man who has been a top rider in Brisbane for decades. Read more ...

THE BYRNE, FORSTER AND APACHE CHASE CONNECTION

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Leith Innes rubber stamped his exit from race riding in the best possible way … on top, winning a Group 1 with a ride that was lauded by all who saw it.

That ride came aboard the Roger James and Robert Wellwood-trained Pinarello in the Queensland Derby on Saturday and, even before the dust had settled on that notable achievement, Innes announced his retirement with immediate effect adding the line that he would not be changing his mind.

“It was a pretty huge day and just good to go out on a good note,” Innes told the New Zealand Racing Desk. “I had been thinking about it all for a while now and, as far as I am concerned, it was one hundred percent the right thing to do.

“I am very comfortable with the decision I have made and thankful that during my career I got to ride some amazing horses for some very good trainers and have the success that I did achieve.”Read more ...

LEITH INNES BOWS OUT WITH A GROUP 1 WIN
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The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Huetor, conqueror of the mighty Zaaki in the Group 1 Doomben Cup, has been marked up as the early favourite at $2.70 for the $1.5 million Q22 to be run at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke day, June 11.

The Annabel Neasham trained Zaaki, who won the Q22 last year, is not in this year’s line-up, but Neasham is still tracking possible back-to-back wins for the stable in the race as she has the five-year-old gelding Hopeful (who won the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup at Rosehill in his last start) on the second line of betting at $4.50.

The John O’Shea trained Maximal, who finished an eye-catching second to Huetor in the Doomben Cup, is the only other runner quoted under the $8 mark for the Q22 at $4.80 … with the betting indicating a three-horse race at this stage.

While Zaaki’s demise in the Doomben Cup provided a bonanza result for bookmakers, in reality, it equally defied logic to call the Huetor result - a Group 1 winner trained by Team Snowden and ridden by Kerrin McEvoy - a boilover! Read more ...

HUETOR - A HORSE GOING PLACES

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Tommy Berry will take over the reins of the Robert Heathcote trained Rothfire in the $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on June 11.

Jimmy Orman, who is leading the Brisbane Jockey’s Premiership, has ridden the son of Rothesay in all three starts this preparation, but the 54.5kg allocated to Rothfire, which Orman would struggle to make, meant that Heathcote had to search for another rider.

The search had been on a while, with Heathcote exercising patience, before Berry landed the role.Read more ...

BERRY WILL RIDE ROTHFIRE IN THE STRADBROKE

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“Thank God!"

That was James McDonald’s response when it was put to him that Zaaki will have firmer footing to race on at Eagle Farm on Saturday in the Doomben Cup than he would have had if the (now postponed) meeting had gone ahead on the heavy surface at Doomben last week.

“This track (Eagle Farm) will suit him perfectly,” said McDonald, talking to Sky Racing after Zaaki’s track gallop at Eagle Farm on Tuesday.

“Annabel (Neasham) has brought him here three times now. He is very familiar with it, and it was great to get him back on it today. It is obviously a nice, safe surface and he had an extremely good morning.

“I was very with happy with him. He wasn’t out to do a hell of a lot. He just cruised through his paces over 1000m … came home in 24.5 or 25.

“He felt terrific, and he has pulled up extremely well, so he is ticking along beautifully.”

Trainer Annabel Neasham was equally rapt with the change of venue. Read more ...

ANNABEL NEASHAM AND JAMES MCDONALD COULDN'T BE HAPPIER WITH THE DOOMBEN CUP FAVOURITE
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Alligator Blood is due to make his much-awaited debut for the Waterhouse and Bott stable in the Group 3 BRC Sprint over 1300m at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

It has been anything but an easy road for the son of All Too Hard since he won the Group 1 Australian Guineas all the way back in February 2020.

Up until that stage, under the astute care of trainer David Vandyke, Alligator Blood had virtually carried all before him winning nine of his first ten starts (with one of those victories later taken off him via disqualification) and only being beaten by a nose in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas.

But all would not stay well in the Alligator Blood camp.Read more ...

ALLIGATOR BLOOD BACK IN BIG RACE ACTION. HAS HE STILL GOT THE APPETITE FOR IT?
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“Any win by any margin would be fine by me.”

That was trainer Anabel Neasham’s summing up of the hopes and expectations for her superstar Zaaki’s mission at Doomben on Saturday where the high quality seven-year-old will step out to defend his Group 1 Doomben 10 000 crown.

Zaaki’s spectacular, runaway seven length win in the race last year came on the back of his win in the Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast … and Zaaki already has the Hollindale double safely in the bank after her triumph there earlier this month.

Should he again complete the Hollindale / Doomben Cup double this year Zaaki will earn a $200 000 bonus which, added to the prize-money of the two races, would give his connections a cool $1.1 million in stake earnings in just fifteen days. That would have Zaaki closing in on $8million in overall earnings.

Who says you can’t make money owning racehorses?Read more ...

THE DOOMBEN CUP: IS ZAAKI UNSTOPPABLE?

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Prince Of Boom, who was one of the Robert Heathcote runners sensationally scratched (by order of the stewards) from the Mick Dittman Plate on April 23, will be looking to right the ship of the Heathcote stable, which has endured a really rough passage recently, when he tackles the Gold Coast Guineas on Saturday.

The drama of Mick Dittman Plate day … the disappointment of Rothfire’s unplaced run in the Victory Stakes (for whatever reason) a week later … and the frustration of the on-going stewards inquiry into the events of April 23 (Heathcote fronted the stewards on Tuesday, but the inquiry was adjourned until a date yet to be announced) … have all combined to make this a pretty downcast period for the stable … and, for the moment at least, Prince Of Boom represents that flicker of light at the end of the tunnel that can turn into beacon of change for the stable’s fortunes.

Certainly, Prince Of Boom has the credentials to do just that. Read more

PRINCE OF BOOM READY TO RIGHT THE SHIP

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It could turn out to be a big eight days for trainer Desleigh Forster.

The first leg of a well-orchestrated, targeted attack on a Saturday to Saturday feature race double is already safely tucked away in the bank followed Exo Lady’s end to end with in Listed Dalrello Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday … and later the week the Forster stable star, Apache Chase, will look the complete the deal when he runs in The Archer, the big $440 000 feature race at Rockhampton.

The fact that Exo Lady jumped at a starting of $14 compared to the Steady Ready’’s rock-solid price at the top of the boards of $2.20 in the Dalrello … was weighed more in favour of the great expectation surrounding Steady Ready than the exposed ability of Exo Lady. $14 turned out to be silly odds. Read More

FORSTER COULD BE ON A ROLL

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The Tony and Maddysen Sears trained two-year-old colt Steady Ready, who finished second in the Listed Dalrello Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday, will now be sent for a spell.

The very smart son of Better Than Ready was a beaten favourite at $2.20 in the Dalrello, but he lost no supporters with a very game run to finish within a quarter of a length of the very well performed and more experienced Exo Lady ($14), who got the jump on the field at the break and then produced a sustained run to the line to keep Steady Ready at bay. Read more

STEADY READY OFF FOR A SPELL

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Jonker, who put a Group 1 exclamation mark on his race record when he won the Manikato back in October 2021, has been retired.

Jonker will stand at Aquis Farm, taking with him the distinction of being the first son of Queensland’s champion sire Spirit of Boom to retire to stud.

As an early two-year-old, Jonker was one of the coming stars of his generation. He won his first two starts by a combined margin of seven lengths before starting as a strong fancy in the 2018 Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic … a race in which he suffered extreme and frightening interference soon after the start and was never seen in the race again.Read more

JONKER RETIRES TO STUD. WILL STAND AT AQUIS FARM

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Tony Sears, who trains in partnership with his daughter Maddysen, has a pretty casual demeanour around the track … whether he is producing a young runner like the unbeaten Steady Ready, who is of those lighting up the two-year-old scene in Brisbane, or the likes of the seven-year-old Baanone, who comfortably took care of his opposition at any old price at Doomben on Saturday.

The Sears camp is based in Toowoomba, a precinct which gained a lot of attention in the last two seasons when the big buyers came for the emerging Toowoomba stars Incentivise and Hinged who went on to race with distinction in Group 1 company down south for their respective new stables.

No surprise then that when Steady Ready won a trial by just over thirteen lengths he was already a focus of some attention, and his 5.75 length romp when winning in heavy going on debut back on March 26 at Doomben certainly only enhanced the glare of the spotlight. Read more ...

THANKS, BUT NO THANKS! STAR 2YO IS NOT FOR SALE

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Punters to a large degree were left in awe of Nash Rawiller on Saturday after his audacious move to bring the $41 chance Think It Over right across to the outside rail on straightening paid big dividends in more ways than one.

The plan was premeditated and seemingly brilliantly executed when Think It Over stormed home at a great rate of knots to snare Zaaki, who was racing in the centre of the track, in the final strides to claim the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes in scintillating fashion.

It was epic theatre.

But … the fact that Rawiller had breached the whip rule (while Jamie Kah on Zaaki had not) brought another argument into play … an argument which Rawiller lost badly in the steward’s room afterwards where he was fined $40 000 and suspended for two weeks.

But Think It Over kept the race win. Read more ...

SHOULD SERIAL WHIP USE OFFENDERS FACE THE ULTIMATE PENALTY?

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Trainer Todd Austin made it back-to-back wins in the Birdsville Cup when the hot favourite Echo Point trounced his opposition in the famed outback feature race by a whopping 4.25 length margin.

The event did not take place in 2020 because of Covid-19. Austin won the Cup with French Hussler in 2019) … but the club is playing catch-up this year with two Birdsville Cup meetings to take place in 2022, the one just completed and the other filling in its normal slot in September, where Austin will now be in line for up to a $15 000 bonus should be win both Cups this year. Read more ...

TODD AUSTIN, BROOKE RICHARDSON TAKE OUT THE BIRDSVILLE CUP

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The best thing beaten you will ever see.’ That was the race caller’s comment after Go Wandji had just missed reeling in the frontrunner Siesta Key at Doomben on Saturday.

The Tom Dougall trained gelding arguably produced the run of the day when coming from more than ten lengths off Siesta Key when turning into the home straight. The four-year-old son of Wandjina built steady momentum down the straight, to the point where he was absolutely flying in the finish and he would have erased the half-length deficit to Siesta Key in another stride and a half. Read more ...

GO WANDJI BEATEN, BUT WHAT A RUN!

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When Regal Edition crossed the line 1.80 lengths ahead of his nearest rival on Sunday April 3 at the Sunshine Coast it was trainer Kelly Schweida’s sixth winner from his last twelve starters dating back to March 26.

The nine-day blitz included a metropolitan double at Doomben on March 26, a same day double over two venues (Eagle Farm and the Gold Coast) a week later on April 2 … as well as further provincial wins at Ipswich and the Sunshine Coast.

It really was a tremendous effort by the Eagle fFarm based trainer … not least in his race selection in terms of placing his runners. Read more

KELLY SCHWEIDA'S STABLE VERY MUCH ON SONG

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What on earth is going on at Racing Australia?

Described as the peak National Administration body for the thoroughbred racing industry in Australia, Racing Australia is stuck in an impasse which is putting their profile in negative territory and currently doing nobody any good at all.

John Messara has quit his position as Chairman of Racing Australia less than a year after stepping into the role … just two days after Myles Foreman, the CEO of Racing Australia, also handed in his notice.

It had been hoped that Messara would be the man to pour cold water on the on-going tug of war between Racing New South Wales and Racing Victoria, who have constantly seemed to be pulling in different directions in recent years … but brokering even a small show of unity between the two major parties in the industry looks to have been beyond him. Read more ...

WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON AT RACING AUSTRALIA?

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The Steven O’Dea / Matt Hoysted trained filly She’sgottheboom continues to carry all before her with her unbeaten run reaching new heights at the Gold Coast last Saturday when she powered home in brilliant fashion to win the $500 000 Aquis Jewel Two-Year-Old feature race.

It was the daughter of Spirit Of Boom’s third straight win in a career which only kicked off on February 16 this year, making it an exceptional last thirty-two days for both the stable and the ecstatic ownership group.

Breeder Tamara Rickert, who is part of that ownership group, has played an integral part in the decision-making process which has brought She’sgottheboom to this point in time. Read more ...

THE BACK STORY TO A RISING STAR

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You’ll have to go a long way to find the level of precision pointed focus that trainer Michael Costa brings to all aspects of his brand. While absolute perfection is never entirely attainable, by constantly pinpointing the path in that direction and priming his team to embrace his philosophy and standards, Costa has built a highly successful racing stable on the Gold Coast in a relatively short space of time since relocating from Sydney in 2016. Now, Costa is on the move again … a very much upward move … which will see him take on the privileged challenge of becoming the personal trainer to Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid al Maktoum in Dubai. HRO’s Graham Potter spoke to Costa about these exciting new developments in the life of the young trainer. Read more ...

MICHAEL COSTA - A MAN ON THE MOVE

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The National Apprentice Race Series moves to Queensland this week where it comes in as race four on the midweek card at Eagle Farm.

Two runners have already been scratched from the Class 3 Plate, which will be contested over 1200m, but the race still maintains a particular point of interest in that two sets of brothers with a rich family history in racing … the Lloyds and the Prices .. are due to go under starters orders. Read more ...

TWO SETS OF BROTHERS SET TO GO HEAD TO HEAD AT EAGLE FARM IN THE NATIONAL APPRENTICE RACE SERIES


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‘It’s La Amigo and Morgan Butler again’ said Race-caller Josh Fleming as the lightly raced Stuart Kendrick trained four-year-old cruised to victory in a BM68 contest at the Sunshine Coast last Sunday to secure his third successive victory and his fourth win from only eight starts.

While the horse and rider combination have been achieving a notable, progressive, pleasing set of results which would have left punters nodding their heads with approval, as always, there is a background story to their success which perhaps epitomises all of the hard work that trainers and jockeys have to put in to earn any success.

Essentially, it is about a horse that is not easy to train or ride ... his trainer describes him as 'quirky' ... and a jockey finding his way back to race riding. Read more ...

MORGAN BUTLER SCORES ONE FOR THE BATTLERS

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Last Saturday at Eagle Farm, the three-year-old filly Gypsy Goddess made it five wins from five starts and she will now head to Sydney in search of Group 1 glory.

Trainer Vandyke offered these views on his rising star.

“I’m delighted with the way Gypsy Goddess came through her race last Saturday,” confirmed Vandyke.

“I think the fact that she had petrol in the tank at the end of the race contributed to her good recovery.

“For me, the performance on Saturday well surpassed expectations. Obviously her first preparation was impressive, but she was taking on a new group of horses on Saturday. Read more ...

TRAINER DAVID VANDYKE TALKS ABOUT HIS RISING STAR, THE UNBEATEN THREE-YEAR-OLD, GYPSY GODDESS

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It has often been said that a racehorse doesn’t know what its starting price is and sometimes it is also just as well that they can walk out, do their trackwork and racing and enjoy stable life without knowing the back-story of their career.

If that scenario did not apply, Alligator Blood’s head would be spinning.

After he abruptly left the David Vandyke stable and underwent surgery for a ‘kissing spine’, Alligator Blood’s future location and assignments have chopped and changed to a dizzying degree for a variety of reasons. Read more ...

NOW IT IS BACK TO QUEENSLAND FOR ALLIGATOR BLOOD

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It was a really scary moment in so many ways when the horse that most racegoers across the country was watching intently on the day, was forced into running rail by the wayward movement of horses to his outside, sending his jockey crashing from the saddle and the horse itself scurrying along in awkward fashion as he tried to maintain his balance and stay on his feet while the plastic rail flapped and flickered around him in a disturbing, rapid ripple effect motion caused by the initial contact.

Miraculously, and I don’t use that word lightly, Sacred Oath did stay on his feet and was able to return after the race none the worse for wear, physically that is. Read more ...

A REALLY SCARY MOMENT, BUT, THANKFULLY, HORSE AND RIDER DID EMERGE RELATIVELY UNSCATHED

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While some of the emerging ‘gun’ apprentices bring a youthful swagger to proceedings along with their bristling and precocious talent, the best of the old-time professionals are still showing them how to do things, setting the standard and giving them something to try to beat … and Jim Byrne stands as the absolute role model of the consummate, high performing, proudly professional jockey.

Byrne current leads the Brisbane Jockey’s Premiership table. With 281 rides, he is the hardest worker on that ladder. With his mounts having banked $3.2 million in prize-money he is the highest earner in terms of stakes won and he also ranks second (behind Ryan Maloney) in both winning and place strike-rates. Read more ...

LIKE OLD MAN RIVER … HE JUST KEEPS ROLLING ALONG

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The Hinged v Startantes thriller that went down to the very last stride in the Group 1 Surround Stakes at Randwick on Saturday was a great result for racing in Queensland.

Yes, Hinged, the short head winner, was another Chris Waller trained Group 1 winner … his one hundred-and-thirty-third to be exact … but it was also a Toowoomba triumph with the daughter of Worthy Cause having been sourced from the Garden City stable of trainer Michael Nolan by a large syndicate who purchased the now three-year-old and took her south to join Waller’s big string of horses.

Nolan had done phenomenally well with Hinged orchestrating a tremendous run of form during her two-year-old career which saw her complete her two-year-old season with a race record of five wins from seven starts … the last three of those victories coming in succession. Read more ...

TWO QUEENSLAND 'STATE OF ORIGIN' HORSES DOING QUEENSLAND PROUD
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Tony Gollan has made the Brisbane Trainer’s Premiership his own ever since he first put his name at the top of the leader-board in the 2013/14 season.

Gollan has won that Premiership every season since then … eight times in all … and now, just halfway through the 2021/22 season, there wouldn’t be anybody betting against him claiming his ninth successive Premiership.

The statistics tell the story.

After six months of the current season Gollan tops the Brisbane Metropolitan Premiership with 53 winners … a full twenty-three winners ahead of the Steven O’Dea / Matt Hoysted training partnership and twenty-four winners ahead of Chris Waller.

Gollan’s 53 winners at the halfway mark of the season is also more than double the amount of wins of any other trainer other than the two closest to him and is more than the combined totals of the last four trainers in the top ten on the current ladder. Read more ...

TONY GOLLAN IS COMPETING ON A DIFFERENT LEVEL

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Bryan Guy has a smile on his face when he talks about his upcoming retirement.

Guy, who has been a fixture at the racetrack since his father organised that he granted special permission to ride work at Rosehill as a thirteen-year-old, will end 54 years of formal involvement in the industry when he sends out his last runners at his home base at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

The tired and tested, ‘the time is right’ is a description that can cover a variety of reasons for a decision being made. In Guy’s case doubtless many factors … racing related and otherwise … would have been taken into account but, after considering retirement for some time, the stars outwardly did align when an offer was made to purchase Guy’s property at the Gold Coast. Read more ...

BRYAN GUY HAPPILY HEADING FOR RETIREMENT

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It took just three rides for Tegan Harrison to get back in the winners’ enclosure following her ten month injury enforced layoff from race riding … which was a very swift and welcome outcome after all the time she was forced to sit on the sidelines.

When Harrison was dislodged in a seemingly harmless fall from Mishani Untamed while returning scale after the second race at Eagle Farm on March 10, 2021, there was no immediate indication of the extent of the trouble that Harrison was facing injury-wise.

“It was seemingly just a simple, harmless tumble on the way back to the scales,” said Harrison, taking up the story. “I landed on my feet, so I thought it was literally a harmless tumble … but, unfortunately, I actually suffered a horrible injury out of it and I had to have surgery on my leg.” Read more ...

TEGAN HARRISON - HER LONG AND DIFFICULT ROAD BACK TO RACE-RIDING

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Multiple Premiership winning trainer Tony Gollan likes to tell it as it is. If he is confident about the chances of one of his runners he says so. If he thinks there are obstacles one of his runners might have to overcome, he will tell you what he thinks they are.

Through all of that though, Gollan seldom gets ahead of himself … so when he gives a horse an extra plaudit which raises it above the norm … like saying, ’she is still up there as one of the best horses I have trained’ … it is worth paying attention.

Isotope has long since been given that hefty tick of approval from Gollan and we all saw why when the Deep Field mare made light work of her wide barrier draw before cruising home to a fine victory in the Magic Millions Snippets at the Gold Coast on Saturday. Read more ...

'ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. THIS WAS ONE OF MY MOST SATISFYING WINS' - RYAN MALONEY

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Star filly Coolangatta justified the massive hype on her as the country’s best two-year-old with a brilliant win in the $2 million The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday. Ciaron Maher and David Eustace’s juvenile took her unbeaten record to three, albeit she was forced to dig into reserves not needed in her two prior wins. Read more ...

COOLANGATTA LIVES UP TO ALL OF THE PRE-RACE HYPE. TAKES OUT THE MAGIC MILLIONS 2YO CLASSIC IN STYLE

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I Am Invincible has dominated the sale ring at this week’s Gold Coast Yearling Sale and his son King of Sparta conquered the racetrack on Saturday with a stunning win in the $2 million Gold Coast Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m). Under the urgings of jockey Nash Rawiller, the gelding exploded down the middle of the track to claim the lead inside the final 200m of the race, defeating another fast-finisher Me Me Lagarde by two lengths, with a significant margin to Ciaron Maher and David Eustace’s filly Socialist in third. Read more ...

TEAM SNOWDEN STRIKES AGAIN IN THE MAGIC MILLIONS THREE-YEAR-OLD GUINEAS WITH KING OF SPARTA

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Isotope’s fairytale return from a near-death bout of colic was completed at the Gold Coast on Saturday when the mare destroyed her rivals in the $1 million It’s Live! In Queensland Magic Millions Snippets (1200m). Exactly a year after she nearly fell and dropped jockey Ryan Maloney in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas and several months after returning to work from colic surgery, the four-year-old showed she was back as good as ever with a comfortable win over Tycoonist and Away Game. Read more ...

ISOTOPE CONFIRMS SHE IS VERY MUCH THE REAL DEAL

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Popular gelding Eleven Eleven continued his love affair with the Gold Coast on Saturday, prevailing in one of the closest finishes in Magic Millions history to land the $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m). In edging out Holyfield and Apache Chase in a thrilling four-way photo, the son of Fastnet secured back-to-back wins in the race to follow his success in the 2020 edition of the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas. Read more ...

ELEVEN ELEVEN LANDS BACK TO BACK WINS IN THE MAGIC MILLIONS CUP IN A THRILLER

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Girl power was to the fore at the close of Saturday’s Magic Millions card at the Gold Coast as star trainer Annabel Neasham and Group 1 jockey Rachel King combined to win the $1 million Racing Queensland Magic Millions QTIS (1300m) with Wisdom of Water. The quirky, albeit talented Headwater entire overcame a wide draw courtesy of a brilliant steer from King, who found a gap passing the 200m.The four-year-old sprinted away for a dominant win over on-pacer Boomnova, with Chapter and Verse finishing powerfully into third. Read more ...

WISDOM OF WATER PUTS NEASHAM AND KING ON THE 2022 MAGIC MILLIONS SCOREBOARD

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When jockey Michael Murphy went up high in the saddle and punched the air in an exaggerated, ecstatic salute when winning on the Lindsay Gough trained Dr Why Not at Doomben on Saturday, it clearly signalled that the result had special significance for the rider.

As it turned out that significance branched into three areas … a family connection, a matter of progressive, personal development as well as providing a big tick on the professional front.

MICHAEL MURPHY EARNS A MOMENT TO SAVOUR

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Waller winless!!!

Well, there are two word’s you didn’t think you would see together … and, rest assured, you are not going to see it often, but that indeed was the case on New Year’s day where the undisputed heavyweight champion trainer of Australia sent out a total of fourteen runners in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and failed to land a single knockout blow.

So, Chris Waller is human after-all.

TWO WORDS YOU WON'T SEE TOGETHER TOO OFTEN

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A fall from the ill-fated Gold Watch on New Year’s day at Ellerslie has left Danielle Johnson with two broken bones in her lower right leg.

A runaway winner of the 2020/21 New Zealand Jockey’s Premiership, in which she rode over one hundred and fifty winners with fifteen Black Type victories, Johnson’s ride aboard Gold watch was expected to be a winning one in the Group 2 Rich Hill Mile with the Cliff Goss trained runner, who was lining up his seventh straight victory, starting at the prohibitive odds of $1.90 … but that likely scenario took a tragic twist near the 200m mark in the where Gold Watch ran out of galloping room in-between runners, stumbled and sent Johnson crashing to the turf. Read more ...

A BROKEN LEG SETBACK FOR DANIELLE JOHNSON

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Golden Sixty stands alone as Hong Kong’s most prolific winner in history after he successfully defended his G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) crown at Sha Tin this afternoon (Sunday, 12 December).

Nailing yet another heart-stopping win under jockey Vincent Ho, Hong Kong’s champion savoured the 19th win of his career to set a new record in town, surpassing the previous mantle of 18 he shared with Silent Witness and Beauty Generation, dating back to when the professional era of Hong Kong racing commenced in 1971.

Smashing a fine field of 10 others from Japan, Ireland and Hong Kong including this year’s G1 Yasuda Kinen winner (Danon Kingly), Golden Sixty enhanced his earnings to a mouth-watering HK$95.453 million with victory, just HK$10.78 million shy of the record mark (in Hong Kong) set by Beauty Generation (HK$106.233 million).

GOLDEN SIXTY REIGNS SUPREME IN HONG KONG

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It is indeed a tribute to Robert Thompson that, although he has won more races than any other jockey in Australia, his elevated standing in the sport has as much to do about the type of person he is than it has to do with his achievements on the track.

Fair to say, they don’t make them like Robert Thompson any more.

Never an attention seeker, Thompson blazed his trail in his own particular way. His ruthless competitiveness on the track was matched by his unwavering nerve, unerring judgement and riding skills of the highest order, all honed over the years into the winning machine that he would become on the way to totalling a record 4447 race winners.

Words like ‘legend’ and ‘role model’ are often misplaced.
Not with Robert Thompson. Read more ...

ROBERT THOMPSON BOWS OUT AS A TRUE CHAMPION BOTH ON AND OFF THE RACETRACK

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There have been a rash of retirements from the jockey ranks in the past week.

Robert Thompson and Glen Boss have called time on their respective riding careers on their own terms, deciding their own future at a time and in a manner convenient to themselves … but Raquel Clark’s announcement today reminds us that all jockeys are not allowed that same privilege.

The fact that Glen Boss and Robert Thompson are retiring at fifty-two and sixty-three years of age respectively, also puts the Clark’s situation in real perspective. She is just twenty-eight years old. Read more ...

CLARK'S RETIREMENT A REMINDER THAT NOT EVERYONE HAS THE PRIVILEGE OF GOING OUT ON THEIR OWN TERMS

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Chris Waller isn’t packing his travel bags just yet … but he does have some exciting plans for doing so next year with the likes of the Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant, The Everest winner Nature strip and the Coolmore Stud winner Home Affairs all in the frame to undertake overseas assignments.

Waller confirmed those plans when he made a featured guest appearance on the UK Racing TV show, Luck on Sunday, but that wasn’t only that revelation that was of interest in a wide-ranging interview in which Australia’s top trainer gave his learned, always well thought out opinion on a number of issues. Read more ...

WALLER ADDRESSES A NUMBER OF TOPICS ON RACING TV

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It was a performance of royal command quality … a four-length demolition job, which beat the opposition into submission in such emphatic terms that there would be no excuse for any beaten runner as the glory trail of a fascinating 2021 edition of the Melbourne Cup victory was written into the record books.

The manner of the victory was exactly what was being touted throughout the weeks leading into the Melbourne Cup, but the race went off script in a most significant way as the winner was not the horse who was predicted to dominate … with Verry Elleegant, instead, emerging in that leading role, brushing aside all others, including the hot favourite Incentivise, to reinforce her superior credentials and rubber-stamp her status as a champion of the turf. Read more ...

THE MELBOURNE CUP: A CELEBRATION OF CHAMPIONS

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Incentivise suffered his first defeat in his last ten starts when going down to Verry Elleegant in the Melbourne Cup, but his courage and ability remains unquestioned after he put in as brave a performance as he has ever done in his career.

The hype around the Peter Moody trained runner going into the race was unparalleled in recent years. Phar Lap’s name even made it into the conversation as Incentivise looked like becoming the shortest priced Melbourne Cup favourite since the great horse in 1930.

Tipsters couldn’t see Incentivise being beaten. Bookmakers paid out on his win prior to the race. Opponents adopted a ‘got a ticket, got a chance’ approach, but all had Incentivise as the horse to beat. It was all but one way traffic.

But, that old adage … ‘there is no such thing as a certainty’ … was waiting in the wings and it duly arrived to derail the Incentivise train. Read more ...

INCENTIVISE – BEATEN BUT UNBOWED

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While everybody and their dog had their opinion on which way the protest in the Cox Plate should have gone, the bottom line is that the only opinion mattered and that belonged to the Racing Victoria Chairman of Stewards Robert Cram and his team of stewards who officiated at the protest hearing.

Cram explains how stewards arrived at their decision

THE COX PLATE PROTEST: EVERYBODY HAS AN OPINION BUT THERE WAS ONLY ONE OPINION THAT MATTERED

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A high intensity, split second decision by jockey John Allen won the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

Allen’s decisive action has been largely lost in the argumentative aftermath of the Cox Plate protest drama, but that doesn’t diminish the telling effect it had on the outcome of the race.

JOHN ALLEN'S HIGH INTENSITY, SPLIT SECOND DECISION THAT SECURED THE COX PLATE VICTORY

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It was marvel to behold!

The way that Incentivise rubber-stamped his brilliance and accentuated his superiority over a high class field in the Caulfield Cup was quite stunning.

Sure, we knew he was a very good horse and, absolutely, the demolition job he did on opposition in lesser class races before twice adding to his winning sequence in a seamless transition to Group 1 company, with outstanding wins in the Makybe Diva and The Turnbull, set him up for it but, while few could see Incentivise being beaten, not everybody was ready for him to demoralise, dismantle and defeat his opposition in the exact manner in which he did. Read more ...

THE RISE AND RISE OF INCENTIVISE

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He was earmarked to be Tegan Harrison’s return ride from a long injury-enforced spell on the sidelines but, with her surgeon delaying her comeback date, Harrison had to play a secondary role in Commandeering’s first up run at Ipswich on Friday, October 15 … but that didn’t stop it turning out to be a very special day indeed.

The fact that Commandeering’s form-line showed he had been away from race action for nine-and-a-half months only skimmed the surface of an extraordinary story.

A SPECIAL MOMENT WITH A PROFOUND MESSAGE WE WOULD ALL DO WELL TO HEED

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Alligator Blood winning The Stradbroke (top and bottom)
Alligator Blood winning The Stradbroke (top and bottom)
Robbie Fradd
Robbie Fradd
Michael Cahill
Michael Cahill
Kyle Wilson-Taylor
Kyle Wilson-Taylor
Jimmy Orman
Jimmy Orman
Robert Heathcote ... off to The Invitation with Startantes
Robert Heathcote ... off to The Invitation with Startantes
Ammoudi Bay ... The Battle Of the Bush winner ... with the winning connections pictured below
Ammoudi Bay ... The Battle Of the Bush winner ... with the winning connections pictured below
Pat Duff ... his view on the plight of the small trainer is a telling one
Pat Duff ... his view on the plight of the small trainer is a telling one
Jim Byrne
Jim Byrne
Apache Chase
Apache Chase
Leith Innes
Leith Innes
Pinarello
Pinarello
Kerrin McEvoy
Kerrin McEvoy
Zaaki and James McDonals celebrate their 2021 Doomben Cup win. It was not to be second time around
Zaaki and James McDonals celebrate their 2021 Doomben Cup win. It was not to be second time around
Adrian Bott
Adrian Bott
Prince Of Boom
Prince Of Boom
Steady Ready
Steady Ready
Jonker
Jonker
Nash wawiller
Nash wawiller
Go Wandji
Go Wandji
Kelly Schweida and Mark Du Plessis
Kelly Schweida and Mark Du Plessis
She'sgottheboom
She'sgottheboom
Michael Costa
Michael Costa
Morgan Butler and La Amigo
Morgan Butler and La Amigo
Gypsy Goddess
Gypsy Goddess
Jim Byrne ... setting a high bar
Jim Byrne ... setting a high bar
Hinged... the Surround Stakes winner
Hinged... the Surround Stakes winner
Tony Gollan and Ryan Maloney pictured after Isotope's win on Magic Millions Day
Tony Gollan and Ryan Maloney pictured after Isotope's win on Magic Millions Day
Bryan and Daniel Guy pictured with their Queensland Derby winner Eagle Way.
Bryan and Daniel Guy pictured with their Queensland Derby winner Eagle Way.
Tegan Harrison
Tegan Harrison
JMac after winning his first Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic on Coolangatta
JMac after winning his first Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic on Coolangatta
David Eustace and Ciaron Maher celebrate another Magic Millions Two-Year-old Classic success
David Eustace and Ciaron Maher celebrate another Magic Millions Two-Year-old Classic success
Coolangatta stretches out to victory ... keeping her unbeaten record intact
Coolangatta stretches out to victory ... keeping her unbeaten record intact
A jubilant Nash Rawiller after guiding King Of Sparta to victory in the Magic Millions Three-Year-Old Guineas ... a result which gave the Snowden training team their second successive win in the race
A jubilant Nash Rawiller after guiding King Of Sparta to victory in the Magic Millions Three-Year-Old Guineas ... a result which gave the Snowden training team their second successive win in the race
Tony Gollan and Ryan Maloney after Isotope's outstanding win
Tony Gollan and Ryan Maloney after Isotope's outstanding win
Hugh Bowman shows his pleasure after Eleven Eleven has landed his second successive win in the Magic Millions Cup in an absolute thriller
Hugh Bowman shows his pleasure after Eleven Eleven has landed his second successive win in the Magic Millions Cup in an absolute thriller
Eleven Eleven ... Bowman gets his head in front when it matters most
Eleven Eleven ... Bowman gets his head in front when it matters most
Michael Murphy celebrates an emotional victory aboard Dr Why Not
Michael Murphy celebrates an emotional victory aboard Dr Why Not
Golden Sixty
Golden Sixty
Robert Thompson
Robert Thompson
Approaching the winning post on Verry Elleegant, McDonald briefly looked behind him, just to make sure nothing was coming at him. When he saw daylight the enormity of the moment immediately hit home. In an explosion of emotion McDonald stood upright in the saddle and his left hand went up to cover his eyes, his head tilted skyward.
Approaching the winning post on Verry Elleegant, McDonald briefly looked behind him, just to make sure nothing was coming at him. When he saw daylight the enormity of the moment immediately hit home. In an explosion of emotion McDonald stood upright in the saddle and his left hand went up to cover his eyes, his head tilted skyward.
The return to scale and McDonald’s continued joy … both arms held upright, the fist-pump, the scream of delight … was no less of a pleasure to behold.

It was a celebration of a victory but, as importantly, it was a celebration of three champions … Chris Waller, James McDonald and, certainly not least, Verry Elleegant herself. It was Melbourne Cup theatre at its very best.

Melbourne Cup photos from Racing.com
The return to scale and McDonald’s continued joy … both arms held upright, the fist-pump, the scream of delight … was no less of a pleasure to behold.

It was a celebration of a victory but, as importantly, it was a celebration of three champions … Chris Waller, James McDonald and, certainly not least, Verry Elleegant herself. It was Melbourne Cup theatre at its very best.

Melbourne Cup photos from Racing.com
HRO photographs from Doomben and Eagle Farm race-meetings are now available for sale. NB to non-winning connections only.
Please direct all queries to photos@horseracingonly.com.au
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best