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Americain to shuttle

Plans are near completion for Americain to shuttle as a sire between the United States and Australia.

He is likely to stand at Calumet Farm in Kentucky, the stud founded by Warren Wright back in the early thirties, and the birth place of Citation, the first horse to break the elusive million dollar barrier as a racehorse.

No decision has been reached where he will be located in Australia; two studs in Victoria have shown interest and another in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales.

At least Americain will be given an opportunity at Calumet, the former home of Bull Lea, sire of the Kentucky Derby winners, Iron Liege and Hill Gail.

Bull Lea was America’s premier sire five times and among the top 10 sires for 12 consecutive years, a record that was eclipsed  in later years by the great Bold Ruler.

Kyneton a picture   

Good weather, great track, excellent facilities, big crowd, they were the ingredients of a successful Kyneton Cup meeting.

 Taking into account the volume of racing at this time of the year, the attendance of 5500 figure was on par with last year.

Kyneton has always remained a popular racecourse for a variety of reasons, it has a certain English charm about it and the course is encircled by magnificent century old oaks and elms.

It is a picture postcard scene - one that has won the club the reputation as the most picturesque racecourse in Victoria.

Kyneton has come along since that first race meeting back in 1857, on the site known as Racecourse paddock.

Racing returns to the popular Kyneton venue on Friday November 23, with the Christmas Party Race Day, Thursday December 13.

Ward in Perth

Arthur Ward, among the prominent jockeys of the fifties, recently turned 92; he is living in Perth since returning from Hong Kong where he trained successfully for several years after retiring from riding.

He was riding in the era of George Moore, Neville Sellwood, Athol Mulley, Jack Thompson and Ray Selkrig, all top riders; Sydney was well off for good jockeys in that era.

Ward rode Rising Fast to win the Caulfield Cup in 1954; it was a pick up ride an hour before the race when his original mount, Engraver, was an oncourse scratching.

Bill Williamson, who was to have ridden Rising Fast in the Cup, was severely injured in a fall from Impeller in the One Thousand Guineas, hence Ward was the replacement rider.

Two years later he won the Caulfield Cup again on Redcraze, creating a weight carrying record of 9 stone 13 ( 63kg).

Edgar Britt nearing a century

Edgar Britt, who rode with much success in India and England, born in 1913, is determined to reach the century; he is a resident in a Sydney nursing home.

Britt was apprenticed to Mick Polson, trainer of Winooka fame, the team were taken to America for a series of eight match races on the west coast and Pimlico in Maryland.

With his success limited in Australia, and the depression beginning to bite, Britt ventured off  to India where the racing was lucrative, particularly if you were retained by one of the wealthy Indian Princes.

The rich Maharajas loved their racing, if a jockey was not rewarded with currency he certainly was with precious stones, such as diamonds and rubies, that always retained their value..

Britt later moved onto England where he was retained by Captain Ceil Boyd –Rochfort, the Queen’s trainer at Freemason’s Lodge Newmarket.

Boyd-Rochford was a highly skilled trainer, he met with much success on the English turf ,and quite a character, while trainers drove motor cars around Newmarket , the Captain preferred his push bike.



An emotional win by Tandy

There was a touch of emotion attached to the win of Tandy, in the Zipping Classic at Sandown, particularly for Lloyd Williams and his family, as Zipping and Tandy raced in the same colours.

Lloyd has put a fortune into racing, having raced hundreds of horses, and like so many successful owners there will always be a favourite, on Saturday it was fitting to see Zipping remembered, he won the Classic four times in succession.

The old horse paraded before leading the runners out of the mounting yard, he attracted more attention that any runner in the field, he was well received with a round of applause.

Full marks to the Melbourne Racing Club, it was an excellent promotion, other clubs should follow the example, racing is still about horses, but most times they are sadly neglected.

The winner Tandy was always back able, whereas his stable mate, Mourayan, the short priced favourite, appeared to be trotting coming to the turn, but failed to run on.

Outside of the winner the big run of the race was turned in by Exceptionally, as there is nothing left for her now, she will be spelled with the Sydney Cup the best option in the autumn.

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Tandy- ridden by Nick Hall wins Zipping Classic


Eclair Surprise wins again

Inform Eclair Surprise is Singapore bound after his win in the Eclipse Stakes, formerly known as the Consolation Stakes, until the name change in 1940.

Eclair Surprise went into the race with winning form having won at Flemington on Cup Day, he again got a fair way back in running, but to his credit he finished on gamely to score.

The gelding is trained by Phillip Stokes at Morphettville, who seldom comes to Melbourne minus a winner; he has an impressive strike rate.

Dom Tourneur, who lost the ride on Alcopop in the Mackinnon Stakes, has made up for it winning on Éclair Surprise at Flemington and Sandown.

Whilst it may be a little premature to predict he will ride the gelding in Singapore, he has ridden the horse in most of his races, he understands the horse well and a change of riders does not always work, sometimes it is a learning process before a result.

Eclair Surprise is by Blackfriars, winner of the Victoria Derby, he bears quite a strong pedigree yet breeders in Victoria shunned him as if he had the plaque.

Yet there was a welcoming there for him when he arrived in West Australia, where he has never looked back, a regular sire of winners standing at Durham Lodge for $ 16,000.

Eclipse Stakes Eclair Surprise D Tourneur GAZ 1046 Custom

Eclair Surprise wins the Eclipse Stakes



Ibicenco wins staying test

Ibicenco was in his element at Sandown on Saturday over 3200 metres (2 miles), winning the Sportingbet Sandown Cup in what was a genuine staying test.

Surely the penny must have dropped by now, our racing authorities have got to look at Sandown more objectively as the best track in Australia as a staying test.

That was again in evidence on Saturday with the win of Ibicenco the time might have been a bit out on what they ran in the Melbourne Cup but who cares about that, the overall spectacle, plus the terrain, is brilliant.

Reuben Percival drew the outside; it didn’t take Vlad Duric long to set him alight, he led around the first turn and remained there well into the straight until he was seriously challenged.

Ibicenco who had settled well back in the field early, began to take closer order in the middle stages of the race, his rider, Glen Boss, didn’t want to lose sight of the leader.

The winner, formerly trained by Luca Cumani, will remain here under the care of Peter Moody, with the Sydney Cup at Easter high on the intended agenda.

Punters took the lead that Ibicenco was running into form, he opened up at $3.50, drifted slightly thereafter, coming back to start at his opening quote.

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 Ibicenco winning the Sportingbet Sandown Cup


Direct Charge heading for Sydney

Direct Charge has earned himself a berth in the $250,000 Inglis Classic, at Rosehill Gardens in January, after his sound performance winning the Hong Kong Jockey Club Maribyrnong Plate at Flemington.

A race steeped in history has proved a stepping stone for quite a few two year olds that  have gone on to win the Golden Slipper Stakes, the honour role includes Canny Lad, Fine And Dandy, Baguette and Vain.

While Direct Charge had the experience of two previous starts, he was neglected in betting, with punters preferring to put their faith in Crack A Roadie and Citations, starting equal favourites.

The winner, a $105,000 purchase at the Classic Sales, has given his connections a quick return having earned $104,500 in prize money, plus the VOBIS bonus.

Robbie Laing, the trainer of the winning colt, went into the race with a ton of confidence after the Moonee Valley run when he finished fourth, travelling wide for much of the race.

No fault could be laid at Steven Arnold; he was the victim at the Valley on that occasion, it was hard to get across to the rail with horses being kicked up on his inside.

At Flemington the plan was to let him run along, up near the lead, he gave plenty when headed by Shamus Award, there was merit in the win. 

Direct Charge Custom

Direct Charge wins the Maribyrnong Plate


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