News In Brief

Racing Desk
20 September 2017

Turnbull timing ideal for wonder mare

Chris Waller believes the champion mare Winx will be best served by making her next appearance in the Gr.1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 7.

“It will provide her with three weeks between runs from the George Main to the Turnbull and another three weeks into the Cox Plate for her fifth run of the campaign,” he said.

“While this is her intended path, if she was not to run in the Turnbull it would be my intention to run in the Craven Plate on October 14 at Royal Randwick before heading to Melbourne in preparation for the Cox Plate.

“It is my intention to remove the ear muffs from her race day gear for her next start as Hugh (Bowman) and I don’t feel they are required.”

Waller said a European campaign for Winx remained in the mix for next year.

“Obviously this is a long-term plan and my team and I would much prefer to focus on the current campaign as we head toward such an important time of the Australian racing season.”


Road trip beckons Taurus

A trip north is being considered for the hardy central districts sprinter-miler Taurus.

“There’s a race for him at Te Rapa at a Friday meeting next month so he might go up there and have one more when he comes back before a break,” Wanganui co-trainer Evan Rayner said.

A black type winner and multiple stakes placegetter, Taurus was successful at New Plymouth two runs back before he finished runner-up on his home track behind the well-performed Scapolo.


Colt scores for notable owners

A high-profile Australasian ownership group have enjoyed success with a promising New Zealand-bred three-year-old prospect.

Higher honours now await Rellson who, at his second appearance, was an impressive winner at Wangaratta on Tuesday over 1400m.

The son of O’Reilly, a $580,000 Ready to Run Sale purchase, travelled easily and when rider Luke Nolen asked him for an effort on the turn he bolted clear to score a hollow victory.

“He’s a colt with loads of scope,” said David Eustace, assistant trainer to Ciaron Maher. “He will get further, he might even stay a mile-and-a-half. There’s a lot of ability there.”

Rellson is raced by a syndicate that includes breeders Mark and Garry Chittick (Waikato Stud), Lib Petagna (JML Bloodstock), Dato Yap Kim San (Raffles Racing), Max Whitby and Neil Werrett.


Longshot delivers surprise homecoming win

Descendant celebrated his return to New Zealand with a hollow first-up victory at Te Rapa on Wednesday.

The lightly-raced son of O’Reilly was at odds of 20-1 and also surprised his trainer Todd Mitchell with an easy front-running win in the Te Kauwhata Tavern Bar & Restaurant 1200.

“He trialled as a two-year-old for Stephen Marsh and the owners sent him to Hong Kong,” Mitchell said.

“He had one start there and was sent home and I’ve had the horse for about six months. He had one trial at Te Teko, but it was a bit wet for him and while he has been working nicely that was very surprising.”


Hannam injured in India

New Zealand jockey Robert Hannam has suffered a broken ankle following an incident at the starting gates in India over the weekend.

Hannam has been riding in India for trainer Vittal Reddy since early July and has ridden 17 winners to date.

The 50-year-old Group One-winning rider requires surgery on a broken fibula, but no decision has been made as yet regarding a return to New Zealand.

Impressive debut win for Naantali

The Ciaron Maher-trained Naantali has defied a tough run to score in maiden company at Cranbourne on Wednesday and looks destined for better things.

The three-year-old daughter of Rip Van Winkle was no closer than four-wide throughout yet continued to find on debut over 1200m.

“I probably couldn’t have had a worse run in the race, but today she’s just won on class,” rider Michael Dee said. 

“She’s still very new and got a lot of learning to do. I think she’s got a lot of ability.”

Out of the Zabeel mare Zaloot, Naantali was a $180,000 purchase by Maher from Windsor Park Stud’s draft at the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale.

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