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Secret Liaison delivers

Secret Liaison, who has been absent from the winner’s circle for longer than expected, put her best foot forward, on Saturday, to defeat Koe in the Printhouse Handicap.

Her form had been a bit ordinary of late and there may have been some excuses, a freshen up has been the answer, she has returned to the stable much brighter and eager to race.

There are no plans for her; she will take races as they come along, similar to her Moonee Valley win would be ideal.

Her win was better than it looked; she had a lot of ground to make up in the latter stages of the race and didn’t look a real threat until halfway down the straight.

Koe, whose racing has been confined to country tracks, where she was won four times, turned in a nice run; she was looking all over a winner until Secret Liaison appeared on the scene.

Champagne Ruby continues to show promise, she was running on nicely, a lightly raced mare, she was not far away, over the Flemington carnival, when finishing fourth to Kasane.

Greg Eurell is sure to place her to advantage, there are suitable races about, we may not have long to wait.

Printhouse Hcp Secret Liaison D Lane GAZ 8780 Custom 2

Secret Liaison riden by Damian Lane



Blue Diamond Entries

First declaration were taken earlier this week for the 2013 Patinack Blue Diamond Stakes, with 506 entries for the $1million two year old race to be decided on Saturday 23 February 2013.

David Hayes leads with the highest number of entries, 47,Mick Price is next with 40, followed by Aquanita Racing and Peter Moody, each have 25entries.

Among the sires Fastnet Rock has the most entries 47, followed by More Than Ready and Sebring with 28 each, while Northern Meteor 24.

The Victorian based sires with multiple entries are Bel Esprit 18, Statue Of Liberty 11 and Magnus 7.

Second declarations will close at noon on 8th of January, when payment of $440 will be required.

The series commences on Australia Day with the Previews followed by the Preludes on February 9, and the climax, the $1 million Patinack Blue Diamond Stakes Group 1, on Saturday February 23.



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.

Zipping Classic Tanby N Hall GAZ 1322 Custom

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



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