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By Jack Petley | Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Top Victorian jockey Brad Rawiller will ride through the summer in Perth and he kicks off this weekend with several top mounts including Gallo Chop in the Gr1 Railway Stakes. The top galloper was at the carnival last summer and went close in the Kingston Town Classic to Kay Cee.

Chris Waller has entered four for the $1m The Gong at Kembla Grange this weekend … Olmedo, Savacool, Reloaded and Mister Sea Wolf, who won the race last year and who evidently has been working in fine style to make it back to back wins.

The Godolphin yard has also made a strong entry in The Gong … Best of Days, Ranier, Asiago and Cascadian while John Thompson, who won the $1m The Hunter with Sweet Deal last weekend, has Purple Sector as his runner for the big Kembla event. The galloper has been in fine form with wins recently at Randwick and Flemington. Rachael King will ride and I see that Hugh Bowman will ride Olmedo for Waller and James McDonald rides Mister Sea Wolf.

Good news for NSW owners, the ban has been lifted on them attending stables or licensed premises to visit and inspect their horses, subject, of course, to protocols which includes trainers to keep a register of visitors, temperature checking and for owners to sanitise when entering stables. I see that an audit will be undertaken of trainers' facilities and trainers found not to have complied with these conditions may be subject to a penalty.

The $15 million Everest winner Classique Legend is making excellent progress towards the rich $HK22m Hong Kong Sprint next month at Sha Tin. The grey is still in quarantine, but he is able to get through work and he was given his first try at speed at Sha Tin yesterday and evidently pleased trainer Casper Fownes no end. Classique Legend is a half-brother to Tyreel Stud bred Aethero and they are now stabled together.

Meantime, in other news out of Sha Tin, Joao Moreira is now well clear of Zac Purton and Karis Teetan in the Premiership and Purton will sit out a two-day suspension. Moreira has been riding for Fownes lately and they have combined with 12 winners while I note that Purton hasn't ridden for the top trainer since late in September.

Here is one top young galloper not going to Hong Kong, the son of Dundeel, Ain'tnodeeldun. Massive offers have been made in the past week or so, but the owners have said no. The young galloper has won three of his last four runs for the Freedman yard and he looked ever so much above average with that win on Melbourne Cup day at Flemington.

Aussie David Hayes has added a further smart galloper from his homeland to his Hong Kong stable with the announcement that cracking Command 'n' Conquer has been purchased from trainer-owner Steve Tregea and is already in quarantine ahead of his trip to Hong Kong. The smart galloper heads off with the excellent record of five wins from seven starts.

Top Zoustar galloper Top Knight is under consideration for the Hong Kong International races but he will run in the $1m Singapore Cup beforehand, said trainer Michael Clements, with the already winner of the Singapore Derby and the QE 11 Cup still likely to head to Sha Tin. Clements said he had entered the star galloper for Hong Kong Cup but has been informed that his galloper is a reserve for the Hong Kong Mile. Vlad Duric rides the top galloper at Kranji and he will also make the trip to Hong Kong if Top Knight gets the nod from HK officials. "I understand that Hong Kong officials are waiting for conformation from overseas horses for the big races," said Clements." At this stage it is 50/50 whether we go or not."

Feel sorry for race clubs in Europe and Britain. It has just been announced that 500 betting shops are to close in Scotland when 11 councils have been placed in Level 4 lockdown to combat the rising Covid 19 virus numbers.

I see that Tarnawa, the Breeders’ Cup Turf winner for Irish trainer Dermott Weld, will stay in training for the next season. Weld said the filly had improved with every campaign and he said he hoped that would continue for the next year with his sights already set on the next Arc in France.

The win in the NZ Cup by tough stayer Dragon Leap certainly brought a change of luck for his trainer, Chris Gibbs of Ruakaka. Covid restrictions had an impact on all parts of the racing industry but felt more than anyone else by Gibbs. A level 3 lockdown in Auckland in late winter meant that no horses could travel through the City, thus Ruakaka meetings were called off and Northland trainers could not go through to Waikato meetings. "That absolutely crucified us," Gibbs told the NZ Racing Desk. He said that his NZ Cup winner had come through his tough win in good order and he is now setting his sights on the Wellington Cup and then the Auckland Cup. That latest win will guarantee the stayer a start in both events. "It means we can put a plan in place," said Gibbs, son of that high-class jockey and trainer Jim Gibbs.

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