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Busy Seasons In Ireland

Coolmore’ dominance in the National Hunt stallion market is illustrated in the recently published journal by Weatherbys Return of Mares, their roster accounted for the six busiest sires, in Britian and Ireland, in the past covering season.

The jumps squad, belonging to the lads, spread between the Grange and Castle Hyde studs, in County Cork and Beaches Stud in County Waterford, had almost accounted for five of the six most active sires in 2016, and remarkable nine of the top ten in 2015.

In the strongest demand all of this year, as was the case 12 months earlier when he returned to his native Ireland, having commenced his stud career In France, was the Irish Derby hero, Soldier Of Fortune.

He actually increased and managed his already prodigious book size at Beeches Stud in the space of a year, from 304 to 352 in 2017.

For the second year in succession Grange Stud’s resident sire, Getaway had to bow his head    to Soldier Of Fortune in terms of popularity.

The son of Monsun, whose young crops yielded five point to pointers (steeplechasers), fetched six figure prices at a boutique sale in the 2016-17 jumps season, received 284 mares.

Beeches Stud’s resident sire, Mahler, another son Galileo, is in third position on the table of busiest sires, with his son, Sutton Place, a three time graded winner over hurdles, doing most to encourage the breeders who sent him 262 mares.

Westener and Champs Elysees, sons of Danehill, who stands at Castle Hyde, covered books 250 and 248 mares in 2017, with Walk In The Park, the Grange Stud source of the exceptional Douvan, rounding out the top six for Coolmore, with 228 appointments in the breeding shed.

Breeders evidently could not get enough of Frankel, after his first crop of two year olds ran breeders sent him 195 mares, the greatest patronage of any British based sire this season.

Frankel 4321web.jpg Custom



Merson Cooper had a Proud History

For what has been a highly successful spring carnival racing goes to Sandown on Saturday, to wind up proceedings of the 2017 Spring Carnival.

Sandown is among the best race tracks in Australia, a big spacious course it affords every horse a chance with its long run in, it is no place for squibs.

Among the feature races for the juveniles is the Merson Cooper Stakes, formerly run at Caulfield, among the leading two year old races in Victoria at one stage, until 1970 when the brilliant filly, Dual Choice, proved a popular winner.

Once the Blue Diamond Stakes appeared on the scene the Merson Cooper was scraped, it was not included in the programming for three years, from 1971 until 1974.  

The racing bible, (Millers Guide), records the first running of the Merson Cooper Stakes in 1946, won by Chaperone.


Gai Succeeds In Oaks

Gai Waterhouse has finally the Oaks, one of the few races that have escaped her in- a brilliant career.

The Oaks has often fallen away, but that was not the case this year, with three last start winners, in a field of twelve, made for a very competitive race.

Pinot had to win it the hard way, taking the field up to the tear away leader, Rimraam, mid race, and fought off all challengers up the long Flemington straight, to win so impressively.

She has now put three wins together from six starts and would be a logical favourite for the Oaks at Royal Randwick in the Autumn.

Of course no mention of her sire, Pierro, the only Golden Slipper winner ever to sire a classic winner out of his first crop of foals to race.

Pinot 163 Jack GAI Mobile

Gai wins her first Oaks


Flemington 4----11---- 17

The Carbine Club Stakes 1600m Time 1.35.35, there was plenty of excitement in the Gelagotis camp after the win of Levendi, with trainer Peter Gelagotis commenting, “the colt by Pierro had no luck at Caulfield in the Guineas last time out, and I thought is was going to happen again here today, I think with time he will get out to at least 2000 metres, and possibly a mile and a half.”

His dam, Lipari, was placed in the Morphettville Guineas and the grand dam, Tully Thunder, won the Australasian Oaks besides three other races, there is upside in the family and scope to go forward.”

“We nearly had bad luck again, except the horse worked his way out of what could have been an awkward position, he overcame that and finished the race off well.”

“We are in no hurry, there is no schedule to be met, he is a good horse and he is going to be given every chance.”

“The Sandown Guineas is an option, but again we will assess that if he has two weeks in the paddock, and he will be a stronger version going into the autumn.”

  G H Mumm Wakeful Stakes 2000m Time 2.03.99 trainer, John Sargeant, comments were straight forward after the win of Luvaluva, “I’ll leave it to Blake, he is firing well at present, he rode her well in the Wakeful.”

Luvaluva may be coming right at the right time, she has had the five starts for one single win at Goulburn, her record is hardly impressive, however, her win at Flemington couldn’t be dismissed, it was a great preliminary for the Oaks.

“It will give the filly a lot of confidence as she has not been this way of going before, she will benefit from the experience. “

The Wakeful Stakes is the most reliable guide to any of the classics in the Southern Hemisphere.

Skip Sprint 1100m Time 1.03.29 trainer Darren Weir’s comments are usually forthright concerning Lyuba, “she never runs a bad race, she had a problem with a hind leg, we sorted that one out, she has been racing terrific.”

“The best part of buying these sort of horses, for not a lot of money, you can put in some good mates, if the horses don’t turn out any good, as they usually do, no one gets burnt, you cut your losses quickly.”

 Lexus Stakes 2500m Time 2.35.41

Co trainer Adrian Bott commented, “Cismontane is a pretty fair horse, he is putting it all together, now leading all the way, he has earned his place in the Melbourne Cup now. “

“We have a good horse here, he led all the way and never stopped giving and giving, he is improving with racing.”

“Leading all the way at Flemington is no mean effort, plus he showed a lot of fight in the straight, we are pretty happy with that run.”

“He is improving with each run that was a hard slog today, he has come through it very well, he just keeps on improving along the way, we are taking it one step at a time.”  

 Coolmore Stud Stakes 1200m Time 1.09.10

Stand in trainer, Aaron Purcell, couldn’t wipe the smile off his face after the barn storming performance of Merchant Navy; he has graduated to Group 1 status in winning the Coolmore Stud Classic.

A stud career is already beckoning; he is now certainly sire material after that win, coming from near last at the 800 metres, getting up to score in the last possible stride.

“There is a bloke somewhere in the world with curly hair taking in the Breeders Cup, he has such an opinion of this horse, it is just amazing,” said Aaron Purcell.

Purcell has always been a good trainer and has been trusted as the custodian of the stable in the absence of Cairon Maher

 Myer Classic 1600m Time 1.35.20

Trainer, Anthony Freedman, commented, “The other day we were initially disappointed at Caulfield when Shoals was beaten in the 1000 guineas.”

The winner was a high quality filly, I didn’t want to go four runs in succession in August, I decided three runs on end was enough.”

“We thought she would run well today with that weight advantage, this filly is probably a bit underrated, she is not very big, she never wins by a great margin, saying that, she is not big but tough.”

“I don’t think she will grow much, but she will thicken out, obviously a mile is about as far as she needs”.

She completed a double for her sire, Fastnet Rock, as the previous winner, Merchant Navy, is also by Fastnet Rock, he is among Danehill’s greatest sons.

 AAMI Victoria Derby 2500m Time 2.37.55

Trainer David Payne commented, “we have won it today, it makes up for the defeat of Praecido, by Lion Tamer, in 2010, and Criterion in his year drew badly.,”

“We always thought this was the right one for Ace High’s preparation, he has been fantastic, we have never had one hiccup, we even got the right draw, it has worked terrific.”

“We didn’t run him in between the Champion Stakes and today, you can have one race too many and come undone.”

” You can work them at home, it takes the pressure off, “David Payne is an ex South African training out of Rosehill.

   Kennedy Mile 1600m Time 1.35.01

Trainer Chris Waller comments, “Shillelagh will ultimately go to stud, but not this season as it is too late, we will have her back here again in the autumn.”

“She likes firm tracks, that suited her today, we have a good young team building up for the autumn.”

 Tab Multiplier Stakes 1200m Time 1.08.90

Trainer, Ms Udyta Clarke, was too overcome with emotion to be interviewed, it was a big occasion for a 70 year old lady to saddle up Rich Charm, a $5.5 favourite, and win the last race at Flemington on Derby Day.  

Had there been a float handy travelling to Cranbourne she could have even jumped ship, she was pretty nervous when she saw the horses parading before the race.

She had her concerns of how her horse Rich Charm could possibly win, but the punters didn’t, he was a pronounced favourite at barrier rise.

Udyta Clarke is a remarkable lady, she is great for racing, it can get dull sometimes, she livens it up and her favourite jockey, Patrick Moloney.


Caulfield 21—10—17

Resimax Plate 1400 m Time 1.22.94

Co trainer, Gai Waterhouse, commented re Our Crown Mistress,” she is an improving filly, big and rangy by Star Witness, she was bought by Johnnie and Susie Mackever, through a bloodstock agency in England, she is a very serious filly.”  

“Her next start will be at Flemington, we have taken her to the provincial level where we have won, but we thought this was a winnable race here.”

“We were confident she did have the form on the board, she was ready to take the next step.”

 Gai 2 Mobile

Gai Waterhouse

Polytrack Gothic Plate 1400 m Time 1.23.87

Trainer Darren Weir commented re Snitzepeg,” we took him up to Queensland and he was a little disappointing, his Flemington win was a bit of a surprise, we will head to the Carbine Club Stakes and onto the Sandown Guineas, Trust In A Gust and Mahuta, they were similar horses, they came through these types of races.”

“They have to be tough to stand up to the work to get then fit, that’s what Moody used to do and it works.”

“Snitzepeg has been a bit of a surprise, although he did spell well up there, he has made natural improvement, this colt was selected by John Foote along with four others, they have all won city races.”

Darren Weir Mobile

Darren Weir 

 N Z Bloodstock Ethereal Stks. 2000m Time 2.02.71

Co Trainer Gai Waterhouse commented re Pinot, “ ‘I didn’t worry about the barrier as I knew she would go forward, just as I was watching the race when the speed dropped off and she was able to take up a good position and control the race, she looks a natural staying filly.”

“She hasn’t raced for three weeks which I thought was a slight disadvantage, we were discussing even before this race should we run in this before the Wakeful, and then the Oaks.”

“This was the filly we selected for the owners when they came for the Easter Sales, we chose this daughter of Pierro, who won the Golden Slipper Stakes.”

 “She cost $200,000 which was well below the average, then James Bester took a share, she was just a little wippet of a thing, she has since developed into a quality filly, we will now press on to the Oaks.”

“I made my mind up I wanted to win V R C Oaks, I have some nice fillies around me, it would be great to win the Oaks with one on them.”

Ladbrokes Classic Stks. 2000 m Time 2.02.48

Trainer, Darren Weir, comments re Cliff’s Edge “it’s amazing sometimes when you get on a bit of a roll.”

The right horses with the right jockeys, he is now tops to go to Bendigo for the Cup that leads into the four days at Flemington.”

‘Cliff’s Edge, he was ridden a great race by John Allen, nothing bothers him, he rides flat horses and jumpers alike.”

“Allen is about the only jockey around now that mixes flat riding and the jumps, he takes it all in his stride, it was quite common to mix flat riding and over the jumps in a previous era.”

“The horse has a good form line and you can only win, he is a great chance in the Bendigo Cup, the mile and a half will suit him, you need a lot of things to go the right way, you need to draw a good barrier, I’m sure he will be among the favourites in the race.”


Moonga Stakes 1400 m Time 1.23.44

Trainer Darren Weir comments re Ulmann, ‘’he is a good horse, a bit of rain helped and the way the race was run, the winner ran well and second horse, Burning Front, was very

When it was suggested that you had to be on the speed Weir refuted that, “ Ulmann came from well back in the field, that horse was stalking them.”

“He is going to Perth, we will take a few over hopefully, anything can happen, you pick out 10 and finishing up taking 2.”

“Lindsay Smith said we can use his place, which is a huge advantage, with the number of horses we have, you have to chase the Carnivals.”


Harrolds Caulfield Sprint 1000m Time 56.28

Trainer Henry Dwyer comments re Snitty Kitty,” a race record that is all good, every race she runs in she either wins or runs second.”

“She does it without raising a sweat, she is a dynamic mare and keeps on improving, she has been winning restricted races and now won a Group 2 race.”

“That was a Group 2 she went around in today; she pulled up as if she had never been around.”

“She hasn’t put it all together yet, once she does that I think she is going to be a pretty good mare.”

“I would like to see her in the Oakleigh Plate in the Autumn, her real chance to win a Group1.”

“Now that she won so well today, she will get a break, there is no point in going to Flemington for a Listed race.”

Henry Dwyer is well aware he has a very good mare, still improving, he will rest her up and dream about the Group1 Oakleigh Plate in the Autumn, a win would increase her value tenfold.”.

Henry Dwyer Mobile

Henry Dwyer

Caulfield Cup 2400 m Time 2.27.66

Co Trainer David Hayes comments re Boom Time,” we thought he would run well although we had other horses in the race, he was a good place chance, it was just an amazing run, I just saw him getting out, he hit the line strong.”

“It was a run that reminded me of Fraar winning the Caulfield Cup 24 years ago, ridden by Peter Hutchinson.”

“I knew the horse had a bowed tendon all his life and had run a shocker in the Sydney Cup, he was building up and was not very marketable at all, but I didn’t want to see the horse leave the property so I purchased him myself.”

“We are still friends with the former owner, Tim Loxton, he phones regularly, he is sure to ring tonight. “

David Hayes 2 Mobile

David Hayes 




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