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Thelburg repays owners patience

Thelburg has finally struck a purple patch of form, coming from behind to win at Bendigo a fortnight ago, and then leading all the way to win from a wide gate, taking out the Recycal Handicap over 1400 metres at Caulfield on Saturday.

The chestnut gelding, by Written Tycoon, has overcome a few problems in the past, but was right on putting two wins together; proving time and patience can be a great solution in a racehorse.

His trainer, John Sadler, has been patient with the gelding, it was never going to be easy, he has worked wonders with the horse, it is a credit to the skills of a successful trainer.

Thelburg had always promised a lot, except he was a bit short on the delivery date; however, he had them off the bit at all stages of the race of Saturday, and was never going to be beaten.

That city win was surely a great relief for Sadler and owner Alan Harvey; it gets the monkey off their back, with the entire family on hand to welcome the horse’s return to scale.

The gelding has been a work in progress for his owner –breeder Alan Harvey, whose patience was being stretched to the limits.

Thelburg has proved a slow maturing horse, he has taken time for the penny to drop, he will now go for a well deserved break and come back a much stronger horse as a five year old.

He still has time on his side, there is a lot racing left, he has had just the 14 starts for five wins, that was his first win in the city and it surely won’t be his last.

His grand dam, Gossip Maid by Snippets, was a more than handy mare, when mated with Danehill Dancer she produced a filly.

The resulted foal was kicked in the head by another horse and never raced, she was named Show’em Bonne.

She was finally mated with Written Tycoon when the service fee was $3,000, he has since been advertised at $80,000, the highest service fee ever for a Victorian based sire.  

Alan Harvey, a former chairman of the Werribee Racing Club, certainly put in the hard yards for the race club, he ran a hotel with the aid of his family, plus a farm, also he was on hand each day supervising the building of the new grandstand.

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Thelburg winning at Caulfield 


Barney Boy keeps Sun Stud shining

Barney Boy, the first crop son of Excelebration, bred by emerging global force, Sun Stud, is among the main contenders for the 2000 Guineas, to be run at Newmarket in the U K.

Hong Kong owned, Australian based, Sun Stud sprang to international prominence last year as the owner of Noble Defence, a prominent winner of the Prix Jean – Luc Lagardere, and a big purchasing power at sales in both hemispheres.

The run of success has continued into 2017, as the breeder of the impressive winner of the Greenham Stakes, now a leading fancy for the 2000 Guineas.

Sun Stud purchased Eliza Park International in 2013, and at the end of the year it purchased Alina ,an unplaced daughter of Galileo, and Group 3 winner, Cheyenne Star, for $65,000 at the Tattersalls December Breeding Stock Sale

Barney Roy is a first crop son of Excelebration and is the mare’s first foal, he was sold as a foal at Tattersalls for 30,000 guineas, and resold to Peter and Ross Doyle for 70,000 pounds sterling, as a yearling at Doncaster.

“It was exciting to see his return to racing,” said Sun Stud’s bloodstock advisor David O’Callaghan, He showed on his first start that he was above average, you hope they will come again at three, and he couldn’t have been more impressive. It looks as though the mile will be perfect for him in the Guineas.”

Saturday’s success means that a cross Channel Guineas double looks a real possibility for the stud, with National Defense, who finished second to the impressive Al Wukair on his reappearance, due to contest the French equivalent in mid – May.

“Criquette was delighted with his run first time out, “said O’Callaghan, of the son of Invincible Spirit, a 280,000 pounds Arqana yearling purchase by the stud.

“He’s taken plenty of benefit from the race and will appreciate stepping up to the mile, he has developed into a lovely horse and we’re looking forward to the French 2,000 Guineas.”

Sun Stud has retained the two year old Dark Angel, a half sister to Barney Roy, named Wisdom Mind, and in training at Chantilly with Criquette Head-Maarek.

“Wisdom Mind is in work at the moment and is going along nicely, “said O’Callaghan, “Criquette is very happy with her progress and feels she will more than likely be a back end two year old, but next month will tell us more.”

O’Callaghan said that Alina had not been covered this year and that a decision would be made on who she will be visiting ultimately, she does have a yearling filly by Kodiac, and a very good looking colt foal, Free Eagle, at foot.  

Sun Stud is also the owner of the dam of another blue chip northern hemisphere three year old, having bought Inventive, a daughter of Dixie Union, who is the dam of last year’s wide margin Del Mar Futurity winner Klimt, for $80,000 at Keeneland.

Inventive produced a filly by Tapit to southern hemisphere time last year, and returned to Kentucky this year to be mated with Medaglia D’Oro to northern hemisphere time, and is safely in foal.

Sun Stud is enjoying success at home as well as away too, with exciting young stallions as Magnus, he is proving a consistent sire, plus Fighting Sun and Fiorente, each will have progeny racing in the new season, and Palentino, a triple Group success, who will cover his first book of mares come September.

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Barney Roy Guineas aspirant 


Training partnership split

Where there is smoke there is usually fire, but the flames are yet to appear.

A lot of speculation of a split between Godolphin and John O’Shea, the principal players are saying nothing, they are playing their cards close to their chest and until such time as one or the other shows their hand it is still speculation.

Until now that is how it should be treated, possibly more will come out of this rumour, or scoop, however, the flames are yet to appear.

On the assumption there is truth in the split between both parties that still remains speculation until a positive announcement is made from either party.

If it all comes to fruition, and John O’Shea is ultimately replaced, the one that is chosen for the position will have to step into king sized boots.

Bookmakers have already framed a market with James Cummings $1.80 favourite, he has only been training for such a short time it is hard to see him filling the position, he has the name but does it fit the profile at this stage, there are no guarantees, it is all based on performance.

Darren Beadman would no doubt be a likely candidate for some consideration, he was been working under O’Shea for the last few years, whether he is ready to fill the driver’s seat is another question, there are two stables to consider, with 60 horses stabled at Flemington under David Charles, with his assistant Alan Johns, and twice as many horses at Anges Banks Hawkesbury, it is the biggest training operation ever seen in the southern hemisphere.

There is a big decision to be made if there is to be a replacement and it cannot be taken lightly.

During the 2016-17 season John O’Shea has trained 166 winners, including four Group 1s, and prizemoney of $15.4 million.

Hawkesbury Stand’s Alone

Hawkesbury did stand alone, and did it very well, a record meeting good fields, 9 races, prize money of $1,185,000, and with only one race less than $100,000.

Melbourne Racing Club’s race program also had nine races, well below Hawkesbury with $840,000.

Victoria is falling behind with the Saturday stand alone race fixtures, the prize money is well below what it should be, with owners having to foot the bill for additional floating for horses etc. but racing for less prizemoney, something is out of kilter somewhere.

Snitzel heads sires list

Snitzel is heading the sire’s list by just the barest margin; however, he is still expected to finish on top of the premiership table.

Currently Snitzel is on $12,629,996, with Street Cry, who died two years ago, on $12,620,470, the margin being just $9,526.

Snitzel would be expected to win as he has more runners on hand and Street Cry’s major contributor, Winx, is off the racing scene until the spring.

The nearest threat to the top two, if any, would be Fastnet Rock, however, that is most unlikely as he is still two and a half million behind.

Written Tycoon is the only Victorian based sire in the top 12, he is holding 10th position, he is being hotly pressed by Redoute’s Choice, and Encosta de Lago is not far away.

New South Wales sires have dominated the breeding industry since Century won the title in 1978-79, his oldest progeny being three year olds at that time, whilst his sire, Better Boy, won the title four times, and was runner up three times, and third once.


High-tect goggles turn heads

While former New Zealand – trained galloper Werther is the punters elect to win Sunday’s HKS20 million Group 1 Audermars Piquet Queen Elizabeth 11 Cup over 2000 metres, it is the Japanese raider, Neorealism, that is turning heads during track work at Sha Tin.

The last start winner of the Group 2 Nakayama has looked well in cantering work, attracting more than the usual attention as track rider, Shinjiro Kaneko’s, goggles were adorned with what appeared to be a camera like device.

In fact it was more than just a camera, but also a monitor, manufactured by Horsecall Japan, it is sold as an aid to training, it displays heart rate and speed, Adam Harrigan, consultant and interpreter for trainer Noriyuki Hori explained.

The monitor which the rider can see, displays the horse’s heart rate and track work times for each 200 metres split, it’s new Japanese technology and Hori is not the only trainer to use it, he has certainly been among the first, said Harrigan.

Its valuable obviously for the rider to know exactly how fast the horse is travelling, and to have an indicator of how much the horse is exerting himself, and of course Hori is able to download and evaluate the data at home in Japan.

The heart rate data is recorded via pads inserted in the girth strap, while the camera attachment is fitted with GPS and the data is displayed in a small monitor attached to the rider’s eyewear.

“I can see the data as I am riding the horse, this equipment is now used with all the horses in the Hori stable, “said Kaneko.

Similar technology was used with the champion Japanese horse, Orfevre, who was runner up in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2012 and 2013.

Harrigan said, “the device is becoming an important training tool, in a sense it’s an extension of measuring lactates and heart rates via horses working on treadmills, which has been commonplace for some time, this is just more sophisticated and allows the trainer to tailor work specifically to individual horses, based on the heart rate data,” he added.


Former lightweight jockey dies

Former lightweight jockey, Joe Gilmore, passed away early last week, aged 95 years.

Joe was a good rider and a great character, he was born in Newport, at 14 he commenced his apprenticeship with Bass King at Flemington.

He was a man riding at a boy’s weight 46.5ks (7 stone 5lbs), he never had to waste, he was getting plenty of rides. However there were no big slings about, money was pretty short.

After winning the Toorak Handicap twice on Saxony, and riding her into third place behind Rimfire and Dark Marne, in the Melbourne Cup.

He got talking to Harold Jones who was taking a break from a riding stint in India, telling Joe to give it some thought, it was worth a try.

Jones was a handy rider here yet was still battling to survive, in India he was on clover; Joe decided to give it a try.

It was an embarrassment to take the money and the various gifts jockeys received, such as new motor cars, these were common for riding the winner of a major race, jockeys were living on the fat of the land provided they retained their riding weight, they had never seen it so good.

Joe went to India with the express purpose to ride winners, firstly and secondly, and if he proved a success it could be very lucrative.

The Indian Princes enjoyed their racing, money was only a secondary consideration, they enjoyed competing against each other.

The principal courses were in Bombay and Delhi, the facilities at both were beyond description, competition between the Indian Princes was huge, with the major racecourses in Bombay and Delhi very popular.

During racings off season in England, between November and March, a number of English jockeys including, Charlie Smirke, Doug Smith, our own Edgar Britt, and Jim Munro, rode extensively in India.

Joe didn’t ride much after he came back from India; he had a very nice home on Langs Road Ascot Vale, and built a number of flats within walking distance of his home.

He enjoyed the fights, he became a regular at Festival Hall on Friday nights, sitting ringside at a time when boxing was very popular in Melbourne town.

When he retired he never stepped on a racecourse again, even though Flemington was only 200 metres at best down the road.

He lived quietly with his wife Doreen; he received a lot of pleasure from his immaculate garden, where a weed was never to be found.

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Scobie playing photographer alongside of Len Lott, Jack Purtell, Bill Williamson and Joe Gilmour, peeking around the corner, Garnie Bougoure. 


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