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New Zealand

McQueen a Royal H K Prospect

Jim Collett doesn’t have any doubts that McQueen will make it in Hong Kong.

Under the Matamata trainer’s guidance this season, the son of Alamosa performed with credit against the leading New Zealand three year olds.

“He’s going to Hong Kong where he is owned, at the end of the month,” Collett said “He did well in his first racing preparation here”.

“He’s a serious horse, but he was immature, he is going to be at his best as a four and five year old.”    

McQueen, who will be joining David Ferraris’ stable, has won two of his six starts and has also weighed in at Group2 level behind the top colt Mongolian Khan, in the Waikato and Avondale Guineas.

Collett prepared the horse for the Dynasty Racing operation for the Hong Kong based businessman, Andrew Hong.

“I’ve got four or five others for him,” he said “The association came through a friend of mine, (bloodstock agent) Paul Beamish, during the time I was riding in Singapore”

Also heading to Hong Kong is McQueen’s stablemate, Fortune Road, who ran second on debut at TeRapa before he broke his maiden at Rotorua in March.

Meantime Collett has been pleased with the lead up work of the juvenile, Vicar’s Daughter, ahead of Saturday’s Tavistock Syndicate Owners two year old of 1000 metres at Ruakaka .

By Sakhee’s Secret, out of The Beckett, the Kevin Hickman bred and owned filly, hasn’t raced since she finished fourth at New Plymouth in January.

“It was an educational run she went okay,” Collett said, ”the form out of that race hasn’t been too bad and I’m pretty happy with her”.

“She’s not a wet tracker, she has pace and her Mum won a half mile two year old race at Avondale.” NZ Racing Desk.

McQueen a7836s CustomMcQueen  ( pic Trish Dunell)


Top mare ready to sign off in style

Diademe, is in the right shape to give her new connections an early return on their investment when she steps out on race day for the final time this weekend.

The valuable daughter of Savabeel will attempt to double her Group1 tally when she runs in Saturday’s $A500, 000 Tattersall’s Club Tiara, on the Gold Coast.

Diademe’s career highlight came at Te Aropha in April, with a victory in the New Zealand Thoroughbred Stakes under the guidance of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, for owner Scott Richardson.

She then finished a respectable eighth, from the outside gate, in the Group1 Queen of the Turf Stakes at Randwick, for the Cambridge trainers, before joining the Warwick Farm stable of Baker’s son Bjorn.

Diademe ran sixth in the Group 3 Dark Jewel Classic during the Scone Cup carnival, she was then offered for sale by the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast where she was purchased for $740,000 by Coolmore, and the China Horse Club.

There remains a Kiwi connection with the six year old mare, as Cambridge bloodstock agent, Michael Wallace, signed the sale chit as the China Horse Club’s racing and bloodstock manager.

Diademe signalled her readiness for her swansong with a 1000 metre trial placing at Randwick earlier this month.

“She’s going well and was very unlucky at Scone last time out,” Baker said.

“She is in good order and will have a track to suit her with a little bit of cut in it,” he added.

This will be her last race; she’ll go to Coolmore directly afterwards, she deservedly broke through at the highest level in the Breeder’s Stakes after a placing the previous year.

Her seven career wins also feature successes in the Group 2 Cal Isuzu Stakes and the Group 3 Westbury Classic. –NZ Racing Desk.      


Group1 friendship strikes again

Tony Muollo is quick to pay credit to his great kiwi mate and trainer, Chris Waller, for his racing success.

“I’ve had a bit of luck as an owner and breeder, and been fortunate to get involved with some good families, and a lot of that is down to Chris,” the Sydney based businessman said.

Originally from Wellington, Muollo’s latest star is the unbeaten Hinchingbrook colt, Press Statement, who accounted for the field that opposed him in the Group 1, J J Atkins Stakes at Doomben last Saturday.  

“That’s three Group Ones wev’e had together in the last five years,” he said.

Hawkspur bred and ­part – owned by Muollo, won the Queensland Derby two years ago, while Press Statement’s half brother, Pressday, opened his account in 2010 when he claimed the TJ Smith Classic (now the Atkins)

“Chris gave me a big leg up when he picked Pressday as a Group horse early in the picture, after he had his first trial, that influenced me to buy the mare, Kaaptive Express ,“Muollo said, “I picked her up at a very reasonable price. “  

She currently has a weanling filly by Street Cry, and is in foal again to Hinchinbrook, while Press Statement’s half sister by Librettist, is in foal to his brother’s Lyigi, stallion Jakalberry.

“Chris and I go back to his days at Foxton,’’ Muollo said “I had a horse with Paddy Busuttin before Chris took over, so I’m one of his original owners and have seen him go pretty much from nothing to Sydney’s leading trainer.

“I got the racing bug from my dad, (Tony) senior), he had two very good horses in the early nineties, Kingston Bay and Lord Revenir.

“I came over to Australia 10 years ago with the family business; we’re seafood wholesalers and run fishing boats.”

Press Statement JJ Atkins Ross Stevenson CustomPress Statement     (Ross Stevenson pic.)

Muollo, who had an ownership interest in the multiple Group1 winner Dundeel, and Waller looks set to add to their Group1 tally in the spring with Press Statement. N Z Racing Desk


Caulfield Guineas likely for Dal Cielo

Group 1 Diamond Stakes winner, Dal Cielo, is back in work, with the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas as his main aim for the spring.

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained, Per Incanto colt, is a leading contender for champion two year old honours for the season, after his four starts for two wins and two placings.

Dal Cielo was also successful at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, before finishing third in the $1 million Karaka Million at the same track, when no closer than three wide at any stage of the race.

After winning the Diamond Stakes he was sent to Sydney to tackle Group 1 ATC Sire’s Produce Stakes, but was injured on a walking machine and returned to New Zealand.

“He has recovered well and at this stage will target the Caulfield Guineas in the spring,” co owner, Bruce Perry, revealed in his newsletter this week.

The colt has arrived back in the Baker-Forsman stable in great order, after a well deserved break at Blandford Lodge.

Perry races Dal Cielo as a part of the Homebush Partnership No 5 Syndicate, which shares ownership with Lib Petagna, a client of Perry’s.

Also revealed was the Petagna co-owned Wellington Cup winner, Maygrove, has returned to the Baker-Forsman stable after a spell at Blandford Lodge, and that the Authorized four year old gelding would be aimed at feature staying races in Melbourne in the spring.

Maygrove could potentially clash with another Petagna owned stayer, Lucia Valentina, the Turnbull Stakes winner of last season, and third in the Caulfield Cup.NZ Racing Desk

Dal Cielo a1526s CustomDal  Cielo        (Trish Dunell pic.)




Gravano Doubtful For Ryder

Peter and Dawn Williams have cooled on the idea of giving Gravano another start this season.

The Byerley Park training duo produced the juvenile to overcome the testing Ellerslie track on Monday, for a debut victory that initially fuelled thoughts of a further appearance in the Listed Ryder Stakes at Otaki in July.

However, the husband and wife team are now thinking more of the longer term prospects with the son of Roc de Cambes.

“He showed a lot of heart and he has come through the race very well, but at this time of the year it can get to the bottom of them,”said Peter Williams.

“We’ll talk to the owners and we’re more likely to put him out and then get him ready for some of the three year old races.”

“If we keep him going through July we’d miss some of the good races later on,” he added.

Gravano is a half - brother to a former barn mate, and last year’s Ryder Stakes winner, Niki Piki Milo, who has joined Robert Smerdon’s Caulfield stable for a Victorian campaign following her Te Rapa success last month.- NZ Racing Desk



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