News In Brief
Miss Federer retired
The latest in a long line of knee issues has ended the racing career of multiple stakes winner Miss Federer.
“She’s been retired,” Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston said. “She’s already had two lots of knee surgery, and unfortunately she’s chipped a knee again.”
Carston paid just $10,000 to buy the daughter of Swiss Ace at Karaka 2018. Raced by a syndicate of 17 owners, Miss Federer won five races and $163,035 in stakes.
She captured the Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) and Gr.3 Woburn Farm 2YO Classic (1200m) during her juvenile season, then added the Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) and Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1400m) to be named last season’s New Zealand Bloodstock South Island Filly of the Year.
“For a $10,000 filly, she’s done an absolutely amazing job for us,” Carston said. “She had her question marks from day one, but she came back from her first knee operation and won another two Listed races for us.
“The second operation didn’t turn out to be quite so successful, but it is what it is. We’ll look after her and tidy her up again, and then we’ll more than likely sell her as a broodmare.”
Carston was back in action at Karaka on Thursday, where he purchased a Swiss Ace filly at the NZB Ready To Run Sale for — you guessed it — $10,000.
True Enough heads to spelling paddock
Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have sent Group One winner True Enough out for a spell after two sub-par performances this spring.
The Nom Du Jeu gelding rose to stardom last season with victories in the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2000m), Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) and Gr.3 Spring Sprint (1400m), along with placings in the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m), Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) and New Zealand Stakes (2000m).
However, this season he has finished last in both the Spring Sprint and the Gr.2 Tauranga Stakes (1600m).
“We’ve sent him out for a spell,” Forsman said. “For whatever reason, he just doesn’t seem to have come up in this preparation.
“We can’t really fault him physically at the moment, but it’s been clear in his two races that he just hasn’t come back at the level he’s capable of.
“So we’ll give him a nice break and try again a bit later on. We have no firm plans for him at this stage, we’ll just see how things go with him.”
Ballarat Cup tilt for Irish Flame
Mornington trainer Brett Scott received the news he had been waiting for when he found out his in-form galloper Irish Flame had gained a start in the Listed Ballarat Cup (2000m).
Irish Flame was first emergency but secured a run when Power Scheme was scratched on Friday morning.
The former champion jumps jockey now has two ex-New Zealand gallopers in the race in Our Big Mike and Irish Flame.
Scott is pleased with the outcome as he regards Irish Flame as the best chance of his pair.
"The key to him is that he needs the race to be run at a good tempo and I've got one of the horses in the race, Our Big Mike, along with Inverloch, whose racing style is to go forward so that's taken care of," Scott said.
Scott said Irish Flame had been in great form over the spring and was still learning about racing.
He has won his past two starts at Moonee Valley and Flemington after consecutive seconds at Caulfield but Scott said with some luck he could have won both of those races.
In the first of those second placings, Irish Flame looked home but was run down by Saracen Knight close to the post.
"On that occasion, (jockey) Michael Walker said he wandered around and waited for the others," Scott said.
"He said if Saracen Knight had raced up to him a bit earlier he would have fought back and held him off."
At his next start at Caulfield, Irish Flame gave away too big a start to front runner Vegas Knight.
"After those runs Walker said to place the ear muffs on him and it's made a big difference," Scott said.
"I think he's still learning about racing and getting better all the time."
Irish Flame was trained in New Zealand by Scott's great mate John Wheeler and connections sent him over without any grandiose plans.
"In his seven Australian starts he's won around $215,000 so he's more than paid his way and he's only getting better with racing," Scott said.
Scott said Irish Flame handled firm tracks but needed time to recover from them and was a bit better on tracks with give in them.
With this in mind, the trainer will aim Irish Flame at the Easter carnival with the Sydney Cup his main goal.
He said Our Big Mike's failure in the Kyneton Cup should be forgiven as he was given no peace in the lead.