News In Brief
Innes gets Classic booking
Leith Innes has been confirmed as the rider for Chance To Dance in the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hawke’s Bay on Saturday week.
The Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained gelding won the Listed Haunui Farm Karaka Classic (1600m) at Pukekohe Park in the hands of Opie Bosson, who will partner stablemate Gingernuts in the Hastings feature.
The Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) winner is an even money favourite to win the Livamol while Chance To Dance shares the second line of betting at $7 with Mime and Volkstok’n’barrell.
Phelan on road to recovery
Leading jumps jockey Shaun Phelan has returned home to recuperate following a nasty fall at Wanganui last week.
“He broke a rib that pierced his lung and they drained that and plated his collar bone, it was a clean break,” his father Craig said.
Phelan, who last month won the Grand National Steeplechase (5600m) on Upper Cut, suffered his injuries when he fell from Joking in an open steeplechase.
Mertens impressed by Wyndspelle
Leading Victorian apprentice Beau Mertens has tipped a bright future over ground for the New Zealand Group Two winner Wyndspelle.
He rode the son of Iffraaj on Saturday at Caulfield where the four-year-old finished runner-up over 1400m in his second appearance for Cranbourne trainer Mick Kent.
“I trialled him when he first arrived at Mick’s stable from New Zealand and he gave me a really good feel when he finished just behind Yankee Rose at Cranbourne,” Mertens said.
“I said to Mick he’s going to be a nice stayer and he agreed. We’re still riding him to get back and finish off and he ran really well on Saturday.
“I thought the way he hit the line was quite impressive and he’s got a lot of upside to him.”
Wyndspelle won two races, including the Gr.2 Waikato Guineas (2000m), and placed in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) from the Ruakaka stable of Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs.
Kiwi-bred for Spring Champion
Sully did enough in his Sydney debut to earn a crack at a Group One prize.
The New Zealand-bred son of Reliable Man finished fourth in the Gr.3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m), an effort that has confirmed a tilt at the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday week.
“His work to the line was good, but we’d have been happier if he’d run into third,” co-trainer Trent Busuttin said. “It was a good guide to where he is at, Sangster ran eighth in the race and two starts later he won the VRC Derby, so we can go forward on that path.”
Maher stable options ruled out
Ciaron Maher's assistant and brother will not be able to take over the Victorian trainer's stables during his six-month suspension.
Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey says Maher's assistant David Eustace and brother Declan's current trainers' licences do not allow them to run a large team of horses.
Bailey said moving an outside trainer into Maher's stables is another option, but they cannot simply be a figurehead.
Maher was on Monday suspended for six months and fined $A75,000 after pleading guilty to conduct prejudicial to racing.
He did not know about convicted conman Peter Foster's involvement in the ownership of five horses in his stable, including the New Zealand-bred Group One winner Azkadellia, but accepts he should have known.