News In Brief
Big dance a reward for Te Rapa win
A bold run at Te Rapa next Friday could earn Roc De Cambes three-year-old Vin De Dance a shot at the Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m).
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Vin De Dance will tackle the Rating 65 1600m race and a satisfactory effort could see him on a flight to Melbourne.
“He's owned by OTI and he holds a nomination for the Derby,” Baker said.
“It's hard to position a New Zealand three-year-old for the Derby, both in terms of earning qualifying prizemoney and getting them fit on rain-affected tracks at home. That's why we win the Australian Derby, because it's in the autumn and our horses are up and going by then.”
Stewards goal for Ferrando
Black type-winning sprinter Ferrando is being set for November’s New Zealand Cup meeting at Riccarton, weather permitting.
“He’ll be going down for the Stewards, as long as the track’s good,” co-trainer and part-owner Graeme Rogerson said. “He won’t run again on a wet track.”
Ferrando has won four of his 10 starts, including last season’s Gr.3 Mongolian Khan Trophy (1200m) and he also finished fourth in the Gr.2 Wellington Guineas (1400m).
He was all at sea in the slow ground when unplaced in the open sprint at Hawke’s Bay last Saturday.
Young talent impresses
Matamata trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards produced two likely juvenile prospects at this week’s Te Teko trials.
Dublin Rose and Irish Cream, both daughters of O’Reilly, were comfortable winners of their respective 600m heats.
“They’re both nice fillies, neat types with any amount of ability,” Richards said. “One of them could run at Ruakaka next week.”
Purcell set to take the reins
Aaron Purcell is ready to take over the running of Ciaron Maher’s training operation.
Racing Victoria stewards have given an in-principle agreement for the Warrnambool-based horseman to assume duties from next week.
Maher was on Monday suspended for six months and fined $A75,000 by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board over the ownership bona fides of five horses, including Group One-winning mare Azkadellia, that were owned by convicted conman Peter Foster.
Purcell will continue with his Warrnambool base while spending the majority of his time at Caulfield until Maher is free to return to training next April.
Cup remains at Group One level
The Auckland Cup (3200m) will retain its Group One status for at least the next three years.
Its rating has been in danger, but the immediate threat has been lifted as a result of world-wide support to boost the quality of major staying races.
Four races have been upgraded from Listed to Group Three status - the Matamata Slipper (1200m), the Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m), the John Grigg Stakes (1400m) and the Johnstone Handicap (1200m) - and another upgraded to Listed status - the El Roca Trophy (1200m).
The New Zealand Pattern Committee (NZPC) has downgraded the White Robe Lodge Handicap (1600m) from Group Three to Listed status and the Taumarunui Cup (2100m) has lost its Listed status.
First warnings have been issued for 10 Group races, including the New Zealand Cup (3200m), Rich Hill Mile (1600m), Avondale Cup (2400m), Royal Stakes (2000m), Japan Trophy (1600m), Taranaki Cup (1800m) and Wellington Stakes (1600m).
Sofia Rosa served
Group One mare Sofia Rosa has been covered by champion stallion Savabeel.
Connections of the ATC Oaks (2400m) winner will be hoping the move can spark the Makfi five-year-old back to top form.
The Stephen Marsh-trained Sofia Rosa will make her next appearance in Saturday week’s Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings after unplaced runs in the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) and in the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m).