Queensland's Own Welcome to the best coverage of racing in Queensland Queensland's Best
Horse Racing Only
www.horseracingonly.com.au Horse Racing Only logo
Home Racing Queensland National International Blogs Photo Gallery Links Contact Us


By Jack Petley | Saturday, September 4, 2021

A little time back champion NZ born trainer Chris Waller rated Australia racing the best in the world. I must say I certainly agree with him. Stakes have gone through the roof this past two of three years, innovative races added to programmes ie $15 million The Everest, the $7.5m Golden Eagle, and $1m races galore these days at the Melbourne Cup carnival.

And top stakes bring out the stars. Two weeks back Verry Elleegant and Mo'unga were two of the stars on stage, last week Masked Crusader and a host of smart three-year-olds and today more stars including the best sprinter in the world, Nature Strip, boom stayer Zaaki and likely rising stars like Atishu, Elephant, Wild Ruler, Lions Roar, Generation … and many more.

And it is only the first week in September!

UK bred Zaaki returns in the Tramway at odds of $2.30 with ace James McDonald up and promising much ahead including the WS Cox Plate. Trainer Annabelle Neasham says that he is not at his peak, but remember that first up run in the Doncaster … just out of the money when few knew of him. Main rivals today … NZ bred Lions Roar, who said John O'Shea is "bigger and stronger" and Dreamforce, the mount of Nash Rawiller who is back riding after recovering from a fractured foot at a Hawkesbury meeting.

McDonald, in super form already this season, teams with Nature Strip in the Concorde as he builds to the $15 million The Everest and looking at the field his only rivals to me are Wild Ruler, who is out to gain a slot in the Everest for Team Snowden, and Trekking. Judged by that trial last week the Waller sprinter is ready for the spring, He is one smart sprinter.

Cascadian rates highly in the Chelmsford although do not leave out the Bjorn Baker mare She's Ideel. The Kiwi is having a great run of luck and that third when resuming last time was a pointer to a solid season.

The Savabeel mare Atishu made a highly successful winning debut for the Waller yard recently and what I liked about the win was that she race much handier than she had ever done in NZ when with Stevie Marsh. And when into the clear she produced that dynamic finish. She meets a strong field in the last of the day, but she is four from four. A big win here and she may step up further in races like the Caulfield Cup or even the Cox Plate.

So far, the Team Browne galloper Elephant has looked so above the average, but this will be his sternest test taking on a very strong field in the Feehan … but if he is going to be a Cups horse of the future then he needs to stand up here which I feel he will. He has some tough, hardened rivals including Superstorm, now with Danny O'Brien, Sierra Sue, the NZ bred mare with the Busuttin-Young yard and that top stayer from the Baker-Forsman yard, The Chosen One, placed in both Cups last spring, and on the Cups trail again for the Cambridge trainers. He will certainly need this run but I'm told he is forward and watch for him closing late.

Team Freedman have two smart fillies in the Atlantic Jewel, Argentia and Zousarella with the first very firm in the market at $ 3.70 while the other filly, raced by Cambridge Stud, sits at $7.50 .May not be as much as that between them as I was so impressed with that debut win by Zouzarella.

Kiwi Jamie Richard has his former Oaks winner Kahma Lass on hand for the Chatauqua, but she is not wanted in the market at $31 with the best chances I can see here, Bella Nippotina and the Team Hawkes sprinter Wild Planet. Former Kiwi Justacanta runs today for Patrick Payne but is a longshot at $34.

Two other handy bets for me at the Valley, NZ bred Mr Brightside for Team Hayes in Race 2 and Generation in Race 3 and watching the Kiwi Bifrost who made a very successful debut for Team Browne two weeks back and the son of Turn Me Loose does look above average.

James McDonald was in fine form yet again when successful on the John Thompson trained Smart Missile mare More Prophets in the Listed Mona Lisa Stakes at the Wyong meeting yesterday. The mare just held out the Bjorn Baker trained Bring the Ransom.

Also at Wyong, Hugh Bowman was successful for Randwick trainer John O'Shea in the Wyong Cup on the European import Berdibek, winner the time before for the injured Brentoin Avdulla of the Listed Rowley Mile at the Hakesbury meeting. The stayer, now, said O'Shea, would head towards the Newcastle Cup.

In NZ it is Foxbridge Plate day with the Te Akau mare Avantage favourite and a hot favourite at $1.85 for the big race with Daniele Johnson on board at $1.85 ahead of $2.70 Tavi Mac and then the rest of the field at long odds headed by $19 Marscapone (likely to be in Melbourne this spring). Tavi Mac's trainer, Allan Sharrock said his stable star has been "working ever so well" and is ready for a big effort against the Te Akau mare. "He is going super," said the top Kiwi trainer. "He has cleaned up so well in the past week."

Johnson also rides the favourite for Te Akau in the Breeders Stakes, Imperatriz at a lowly $1.60, then $6 I Wish I Win, Doubtful Sound, $12 Millefori.

Some news headlines … Top South Australian jockey Jess Eaton has been outed for six weeks on a running and handling charge after her ride on Old Time Rock at Morphettville in mid August.

In Canberra, two jockeys, Billy Owen and apprentice Teaghan Martin, along with four stable-hands have been suspended for three months for breaching Covid rules at an illegal gathering when the ATC was firmly in the grip of Covid 19. They have been outed until November 30. I gather they will also be looking at fines over the breaches.

More articles

Annabel Neasham and James McDonald ... you have got to think that more high-fives and more hugs are on their way
Annabel Neasham and James McDonald ... you have got to think that more high-fives and more hugs are on their way
Photos: Graham Potter
Photos: Graham Potter
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best