When the Ontrack Racing Hong Kong International tour touches down in December there’ll be one new trainer in town and one champion trainer firmly ensconced for years to come.
The Ontrack Tour takes in the International meeting in December and the Licensing Committee of the Hong Kong Jockey Club has granted a trainer’s licence to champion jockey Douglas Whyte for the 2019/2020 season.
With an unmatched record of 13 successive titles as Hong Kong champion jockey, more than 1800 local winners and success in almost all of the Club’s Group 1 races Whyte is one of the titans of Hong Kong’s world-class racing and is now set to open an exciting new chapter of his career.
Whyte’s final day of riding will be at the race meeting at Sha Tin on 10 February. He will then spend several months augmenting his skills by spending time with leading trainers around the world before returning to Hong Kong to establish his stable for the commencement of the new season.
The Licensing Committee also granted a trainer’s licence to Australian John Size for the 2019/2020 season and determined that he would remain eligible to continue to be licensed until the 2023/2024 racing season.
The Licensing Committee’s policy that elite-level trainers may be granted a licence beyond the age of 65 has been invoked in Size’s case.
Ontrack Tours Managing Director Grant Morgan said John Size’s reign as Hong Kong’s champion trainer is likely to continue for years to come.
“John Size is the benchmark for excellence in Hong Kong as he’s been the champion trainer in 10 of the 17 seasons he has been based there.
“Now he has teamed up with champion jockey Joao Moreira and it’s hard to imagine a more lethal combination in any jurisdiction around the world.
“Last Sunday they teamed up to win five races on the card , including the Group One sprint, and it’s not hard to see them repeating that sort of form on a regular basis.
“Ontrack has a special association with Joao Moreira as he’s unbeaten in four rides on our horses. He won three on Brazen Beau, including two Group Ones, and also won a Group Three on our great mare Savanna Amour.
“The Ontrack Racing party in Hong Kong has been fortunate to catch up with Joao on previous visits and look forward to renewing the friendship in 2019.
“It’s always a special time in Hong Kong around the International meeting and we have already had plenty of inquiries about our 2019 tour,” said Grant Morgan.
“Douglas Whyte is an extraordinary talent and it will be interesting to visit in December and observe him moving from highly successful jockey to highly successful trainer.
“This is only the second time in recent history that the Licensing Committee has issued a trainer’s licence to a current jockey, the first time being the licensing of champion jockey Tony Cruz for the 1996/1997 racing season.”
Emerging stallion Brazen Beau is shaping as champion first season sire and the role of Godolphin’s former Australian boss Henry Plumptre in his stallion career continues to be a significant factor.
Brazen Beau is looming as the next big thing in Australian breeding and Saturday’s sensational win by his son Accession now sees the horse with two leading hopes for the Golden Slipper in the autumn.
Ontrack Thoroughbreds bought and syndicated Brazen Beau and Managing Director Grant Morgan paid credit to Henry Plumptre for his role in Brazen Beau’s stud career.
“When the time came to negotiate with studs over Brazen Beau as a stallion, Henry Plumptre was heading Godolphin’s Australian operation and he was a big fan of the horse and all the negotiations were done with Henry.
“Henry was always bullish about Brazen Beau and he explained it was because the colt reminded him so much of former champion stallion Bletchingly.
“Henry was working at Widden Stud when Bletchingly was at the height of his powers and he couldn’t believe how much Beau reminded him of Bletchingly.
“Given that Bletchingly left the champions Kingston Town and Emancipation and another 59 group winners it was a fantastic recommendation,” said Grant Morgan.
“The negotiations between Godolphin and Ontrack went fantastically, thanks in the main to Henry’s skills and knowledge of the breeding industry.
“That sort of skill was also displayed when Henry was asked to select yearlings for Star Thoroughbreds at the 2018 Inglis Easter Sale.
“He selected Accession at the sale and his $300,000 prize is now looking good value as the colt has won over $370,000 and is looking a major contender for the $2 million Inglis Millennium in two weeks and the $3.5 million Golden Slipper.
“Ontrack bought four Brazen Beau yearlings at earlier sales in 2018 so I didn’t go to the Easter Sale so Henry might have been pushed a bit harder for Accession had I been there because the colt’s resemblance to Brazen Beau is uncanny.
“He does everything like Beau used to, even the way he half pie hesitates when being loaded in the barrier stalls is just like Brazen Beau.
“With Tassort and Accession heading the betting charts for the Golden Slipper and a host of promising youngsters waiting in the wings it looks like Brazen Beau will prove hard to beat in the race for champion first season sire,” said Grant Morgan.
Late bloomer Senrima Tide is starting to repay connections for their patience with an impressive win at Sandown.
A son of New Zealand-based stallion Ocean Park, Senrima Tide did not start racing until he was nearly four and in five starts, he has won twice and placed two times.
“I bought him from the 2016 Sydney Easter Sale and he was always the sort of horse who would require plenty of time,” said Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“We gave him to Caulfield trainer Mick Price because of his fantastic record with these late maturing Kiwi-bred staying horses and he’s done a terrific job with this horse.
“He made his debut in July last year and after two placed runs he cleared maidens in September before we tipped him out for a spell.
“The key to making these horses is being patient. The only way for them to develop their potential is to give them time to grow and mature and being easy on them as they learn the racing game.
“Ocean Park didn’t race at two, won three times at three but as a four-year-old he really exploded with five wins, including Group Ones with the Cox Plate, Underwood Stakes and Caufield Stakes.
“It’s good to have the support of the ownership group in Senrima Tide to adopt a patient approach and hopefully we are on the road to unearthing a very nice staying horse.
“He’s only in his second racing preparation so we are confident that there’s still a lot of strengthening and developing to come with Senrima Tide,” said Grant Morgan.
Trainer Mick Price was confident of a bold showing at Sandown with Senrima Tide and the horse delivered with a half length win over favourite Cincinnati Red.
“He had no luck from an inside draw at his first run this prep and had worked well after that run and I was confident he would handle the step up to 1600 metres.
“First time racing on the Sandown track can be tricky but he had a good run and went to the front shortly after straightening and did a good job to hold on.
“He is like most of the New Zealand-bred horses I have had over the years in that he’s slow maturing, but I like the horse and feel he has the potential to make the grade over a trip if we continue to look after him and be patient,” said Mick Price.
Congratulations to our owners: Ontrack Thoroughbreds No 1 (Syndicate), Steve Mauger, Paul Galvin, Dr David Worthley, Brett Waters, B H G C Racing Syndicate, Ever Reliable Syndicate, Mark Ostermeyer, Sandy Tranter, Robert Wheatley, Simon Dorrat, Tom Wyld, Mark Walker, Lynne Smith and John Brown.
Brazen Beau’s made a flying start to his stud career and today’s Rosehill trials threw up another likely type by the champion sprinter.
The winner of two Group One sprints at Flemington, Brazen Beau has his first Australian runners on track this season and he’s made a sensational start with two Sydney Saturday winners and five placegetters from a handful of runners.
At Rosehill this morning trainer Gerald Ryan lined up Colada in a 900 metres heat for two-year-olds and the colt turned in a smart performance to win by a length and a half.
Bred and raced by Sun Stud, Colada is yet to race but is from a very strong US family.
His dam Clearly Foxy won three times, including a two-year-old race, and was placed in the Group One Hollywood Park American Oaks.
Ontrack Thoroughbreds bought Brazen Beau from the first crop of champion sire I Am Invincible for $70,000 and syndicated the horse before his sensational racing career and sale to breeding giant Godolphin.
“Brazen Beau is off to a magic start at stud and talking with a range of trainers at the Magic Millions Sale there were plenty who had a nice youngster by Brazen Beau waiting in the wings.
“Tassort is favourite for the Golden Slipper for James Cummings while Accession won the $500,000 Inglis Nursery and both colts look like ending their two-year-old season amongst the best of their age group.
“Ontrack bought four Brazen Beau yearlings last year and we are extremely happy with their progress and at last week’s Magic Millions Sale we bought another three.
“They are all nice horses and look the right types to add to Beau’s magnificent start to his stallion career,” said Grant Morgan.
Ontrack Thoroughbreds Grant Morgan didn’t buy an I Am Invincible yearling in 2018 but the one he had his heart set on buying looks like being a bit special.
Grant Morgan was under bidder on the I Am Invincible-Devoirs filly at the 2018 Magic Millions Sale but the filly went to the bid of South Australian trainer Lloyd Kennewell for $250,000.
“The filly was a lovely yearling but went over my budget, but it looks like she’s got ability to match her looks as she made her debut at Flemington on New Year’s Day and racing as Jedastar made a winning debut for the Kennewell stable,” said Grant Morgan.
“It’s not easy to watch a horse you were keen on turn out to be pretty promising after you’ve missed them at the sales, but you can take some comfort from the fact that your judgement was okay.
“Ontrack bought the first I Am Invincible yearling sold at the 2013 Inglis Classic Sale for $70,000 and that colt turned out to be our champion sprinter Brazen Beau, a dual Group One winner and now making the grade as a stallion.
“We’ve bought I Am Invincible yearlings each year since Beau, but last year they were so popular that the nice ones were really out of reach.
“Jedastar was offered by Yarraman Park at the Magic Millions and a couple of years back I was also amongst the beaten brigade chasing a nice I Am Invincible filly from Yarraman who turned out to be Invincible Star, a major winner for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
“I will be looking at all the I Am Invincible yearlings at the Magic Millions Sale on the Gold Coast and hopefully we can add to the great run Ontrack has enjoyed with stallions by the great sire.
“It has been interesting to see how his son Brazen Beau is faring at stud and last year we bought four yearlings by Beau and they are all nice horses who are going along very well,” said Grant Morgan.
Watch the Magic Millions Sales ring footage of Jedastar being sold with Ontrack Thoroughbreds the under bidder:
Smart sprinter Dream Master scored at Doomben after overcoming some significant obstacles on the way to another victory.
The son of Dream Ahead followed up an emphatic Gold Coast win when leading all the way at Doomben in smart time, but the day wasn’t without drama.
Dream Master has a dislike of rain affected footing and the Doomben track on race morning was posted as a soft 7.
Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan admitted to having some concerns about running on rain affected footing.
“He failed badly last preparation on wet ground and when the track was put up as a soft 7 I had some reservations, but trainer Toby Edmonds was pretty confident that the track would be upgraded significantly as the day went on and that was spot on.
“With the track improving, we then had the drama of booked rider Ryan Maloney falling from a horse in an earlier race and being taken to hospital.
“Fortunately we were able to get Ronnie Stewart to step in and he did the job perfectly. Ontrack’s had plenty of success with Ronnie and he got the job done.
“It’s never ideal when these things happen but Ronnie is a talented horseman and he handled the job without a care. It was unfortunate for Ryan and we wish him all the best and a speedy recovery from some nasty injuries,” said Grant Morgan.
A $60,000 buy by Ontrack from the Inglis Classic Sale, Dream Master has how won five races and placed five times from only 17 starts for earnings of $92,940.
Trainer Toby Edmonds said once the track upgrade came he was confident of another big race from Dream Master.
“He was dominant at the Gold Coast and there aren’t many horses with better gate speed so it made sense to ride him positively again.
“The horse was pressured early so it was a great effort to stave off a wall of chasers in the run home.
“We will give him an easy time and then sort out another race in the next few weeks, but he’s a very genuine horse and holds his form once he gets fit.”
Congratulations to our owners: Ontrack Thoroughbred No 1 Syndicate, Mark Walker, Lang Brothers Racing, Mark Snowden, Dave Moretti, Mark Ostermeyer, Gordon Campbell, Leah Gavranich, Luke Covey, B and L Racing, Louise Mancinelli, Wayne and Paddi Muller, Alan Satchell, Beau River Racing, Greg Bowers, Stefan Marinkovic, Lisa Saxton, Ken Stocks, Ryan Lawlor.
Champion sprinter Brazen Beau started his racing career in style and he’s launched his stallion role in the same vein.
Ontrack Thoroughbreds’ Grant Morgan bought Brazen Beau for $70,000 from the first crop of I Am Invincible and the colt won first time to the races in spectacular style and went on to win two Group One sprints before being sold to the breeding giant Darley in a multi-million dollar deal.
Brazen Beau’s first runners are on the track this season and the results have been mighty impressive.
The horse has had eight runners for two city winners in Accession and Tassort, a stakes placed filly in First Dawn and city placed Crystal Beau.
“Beau has certainly got off to a flying start and Accession’s win last Saturday in the $500,000 Inglis Nursery at Randwick was a hugely impressive effort,” said Grant Morgan.
“The colt’s appearance and racing style reminded me a great deal of Brazen Beau and I would suggest he was not entirely comfortable on the soft ground at Randwick, so look to him improving when he gets to a firm surface.
“Tassort’s win on debut was equally impressive and you would have to say Brazen Beau has the two leading colts heading towards the Golden Slipper.
“Ontrack purchased four Brazen Beau yearlings at last summer’s yearling sales and all of them are shaping up nicely.
“They all share Brazen Beau’s fantastic temperament and I’m looking forward to them stepping out on the track later in the season,” said Grant Morgan.
Talented sprinter Impregnable worked his way through to open class with a career best win at Doomben.
The tough son of I Am Invincible has won seven of 23 career starts but his Class 6 win at Doomben came in a very strong field that was probably the toughest opposition he’s ever faced.
Ridden by promising young apprentice Jackson Murphy, Impregnable had a perfect run behind the speed and then fought off all the challenges after bullocking to the lead over the final 200 metres.
“It was a really tough win and it was in keeping with all his recent form,” said Ontrack Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“This preparation has seen him a fit and happy horse and all his runs have shown that he’s come back in great order.
“That Doomben field was as strong as Class 6 races get in Brisbane and he was pretty impressive.
“It’s an achievement by any horse to win its way to open handicap and the way Impregnable won at Doomben in such a strong plate race suggests he will more than hold his own in open handicaps.
“The Doomben race leads perfectly into an open 1200 metres race at the Gold Coast on January 5,” said Grant Morgan.
A $40,000 purchase out of the Inglis Classic Sale by Grant Morgan, Impregnable has now earned $212,155 for his owners thanks to 7 wins and 11 minor placings.
Trainer Toby Edmonds was confident of a big run by Impregnable after the horse drew barrier one.
“He was only just beaten at Doomben after starting from the outside gate and when he finally drew an inside barrier, we were confident of a big run.
“The conditions of the race meant he carried topweight so we were keen to put young Jackson Murphy on and claim two kilograms. I think that claim proved to be the difference between winning and running second.
“He’s been much happier horse this preparation and I’m pretty sure that’s due to a different training regime. We swim him each day before he works and we try things such as interval training and treadmill work to mix things up.
“He’s a gross horse who takes plenty of getting fit, but once fit he always puts in and he races well late into a preparation,” said Toby Edmonds.
Congratulations to our owners in Impregnable: Ontrack Thoroughbreds No 1 syndicate, Steve Mauger, Matthew Maguire, Sansom Hue, Brett Grogan, David Worthley, Ken Stocks, Wayne McCubbin, Jenny Edington, Ryan Lawlor, Peter Condon, Lisa Saxton, Dan Paton, Ricky Kim, Garry Batchelder, Philomena Syndicate (Manager Di McDonald).
Ontrack’s New Zealand Horse and Wine Tour ended this week and the trip over the ditch proved an eye opener for everyone on the tour.
The six day tour takes in some of the best scenery and thoroughbred studs that New Zealand has to offer.
Ontrack’s Grant Morgan is used to watch tour members bedazzled by what New Zealand puts on show, but this year it was his turn to be amazed.
“This year was the first time in 13 years we went to the famous Cambridge Stud without Sir Patrick Hogan in charge.
“To be honest we were not sure what to expect, but the experience was truly jaw dropping.
“Our very good friend Henry Plumptre is now managing Cambridge Stud and, as always, Henry was a fantastic host but the new owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay proved to be amazing hosts.
“Brendan and Jo are in the middle of a mind boggling programme to reinvigorate Cambridge Stud
“They were able to find time in a busy schedule to host our party and their graciousness and sheer passion for the industry had everyone on the tour amazed.
“They also extended an invitation to visit a racing stable they have established at Karaka south of Auckland and that visit was simply breath takings.
“Brendan and Jo have turned a greenfield site into an absolutely incredible setup and with their private trainer Lance Noble they look poised to have a major impact on the racing and breeding industry in New Zealand and Australia.
“To be honest, heading to New Zealand we were wondering what the future looked like with the changing of the guard at Cambridge Stud.
“After spending time with Jo and Brendan and their team there’s no doubt that Cambridge Stud couldn’t be in better hands,” said Grant Morgan.
Ontrack’s smart sprinter Dream Master added to his record with an emphatic win at the Gold Coast.
Trained by Toby Edmonds on the Gold Coast track, Dream Master has now won four times and been placed three times from only 16 life time starts.
“He’s been a horse who has taken time to reach maturity both physically and mentally, but he’s developed into a really nice horse and there wasn’t a nicer horse in the pre-race parades at the Gold Coast.
“The horse raced right up to his pre-race appearance and, in spite of drawing very wide, he jumped quickly crossed over to lead easily and was totally dominant.
“Dream Master is a horse who races best when allowed to roll along in front and he is very, very genuine.
“This preparation should provide him with the opportunity to work through the grades and he looks capable of winning a nice Saturday race in the city,” said Grant Morgan.
Purchased by Grant Morgan from Emirate Parks draft at the 2015 Inglis Classic Sale for $60,000, Dream Master is by Dream Ahead from the Exceed and Excel mare Excellent Lady. The purchase proved astute because not long after the sale, Excellent Lady’s first foal started racing and named Petits Filou, she went on to win her first four races, including the Group 3 Quezette Stakes at Flemington.
“She ended up winning five of her 10 starts and then sold at the Magic Millions Broodmare Sale for $1.15 million,” said Grant Morgan.
Trainer Toby Edmonds reported Dream Master came through his Gold Coast win in good order and is now enjoying a few days at the trainer’s Guanaba farm.
“We will let him unwind for a few days on the farm and he will return to the stable next Monday.
“He is a very nice horse and he has come back to racing this preparation in terrific order. He’s developed and grown but more importantly he is mentally matured and we see a good future for him.
The horse did buck in his first start this preparation, but we are pretty sure that was a result of the horse being struck under the flank by the stirrup of a rival jockey and he hasn’t shown any signs of misbehaving since.
“In fact, he has one of the nicest temperaments of the horses in our stable and tends to be a really laid back and cruisy horse,” said Toby Edmonds.
Congratulations to our owners: Ontrack Thoroughbred No 1 Syndicate, Lang Brothers Racing, Mark Snowden, Dave Moretti, Mark Ostermeyer, Gordon Campbell, Leah Gavranich, Luke Covey, B and L Racing, Louise Mancinelli, Wayne and Paddi Muller, Alan Satchell, Beau River Racing, Greg Bowers, Stefan Marinkovic, Lisa Saxton, Ken Stocks, Ryan Lawlor.
Cymbalism has been dominant at her Queensland debut scoring an impressive all the way win at Ipswich.
A five year-old mare by Denman, Cymbalism is prepared by Chris Meagher who operates dual state stables in Queensland and Victoria.
Sent north in search of a metropolitan win, Cymbalism quickly repaid the faith of her ownership group thanks to a confident ride by the talented light weight rider Ronnie Stewart.
“Chris and his team have done a wonderful job with this mare. Previously she had difficulty holding condition and tended to lighten off very quickly,” said Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grand Morgan.
“She is much stronger now, holding condition and has enjoyed the switch to Queensland.”
Morgan highlighted the advantages Meagher Racing’s Eagle Farm and Mornington stables.
“It’s a tremendous asset to have the two state operation. It gives us the chance to switch horses between the two states to maximise their potential,” said Morgan.
Originally prepared by Chris Waller, has now had 6 starts for Chris Meagher recording 2 wins and 2 placings.
Cymbalism was a $130,000 yearling purchase by Grant Morgan at the 2015 Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
Congratulations to our owners Mark Walker, Andrew Dean, Beau River Racing (M Shaw), C Burdon, C Connor, D Frew, Mrs M Frew, M Ostermeyer, R Pawley, Mrs J Pawley, A Tranter, Wbc Racing (N Wood), Lang Brothers Racing #4 (S Lang), R Lawlor, A Connor (Mrs C Connor), D & R (D Ewbank) & Ms L J Saxton
Hong Kong’s big international race day just got a lot more interesting with champion jockey Joao Moreira back in action and doing what he does best – winning races.
Joao is back riding permanently in Hong Kong after failing a written examination he needed to pass in order to obtain a licence to ride fulltime in Japan.
With Ontrack Racing Tours annual tour to the big Hong Kong International Race Day at Sha Tin only three weeks away, Joao Moreira signalled his readiness for the day when kicking home a hattrick of winners at Sha Tin last Sunday.
One of those three winners was Hot King Prawn who took his record to nine wins from only 10 career starts. From a Hong Kong Sprint perspective, Hot King Prawn led from go to whoa, while Mr Stunning, winner of the Group One Sprint last year, was gallant in defeat. They look the leading two local hopes.
Of the other Hong Kong hopes for the big day, Hong Kong’s champion horse Beauty Generation smashed a long standing track record when winning at Sha Tin on Sunday in the Group Two Jockey Club Mile.
With the scorching 1:32.64 time breaking the 10-year-old record held by Good Ba Ba, Beauty Generation firmly placed his stake for the Longines Hong Kong International Mile in the ground – he is clearly the horse to beat.
Trainer John Moore said the performance would put his horse on the map globally, forcing people to stand up and take notice.
“From a trainer’s point of view, you worry about if he can make two runs, but he proved himself that he is a champion, he did make two runs and for that reason people not only around Hong Kong but around the world are going to stand up and say there is a very good miler in Hong Kong,” he said.
Mornington mare Savanna Amour will remain in work into the summer as trainer Chris Meagher looks to capitalise on her improving form at the end of the spring.
The daughter of Love Conquers All closed impressively from the back of the field to finish third in Saturday’s Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1300m) in what was the best of her four spring runs to date.
While the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) had initially been flagged as an aim for the six-year-old, Meagher confirmed she would remain in Victoria to instead target the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day.
“It was the best she’d looked all campaign and she ran right up to it,” Meagher said.
“We won’t spell her, she’ll have seven to 10 days on the water walker here at Fulmen Park to freshen up and then we’ll bring her back into the stable and have a look at some nice races over the summer.
“The Standish Handicap down the straight at Flemington looks a good option for her and then maybe something like the Australia Stakes in January.”
First Among Equals, who was runner-up to Cool Passion in the Kevin Heffernan Stakes, is also expected to remain in work for feature summer sprints like the Christmas Stakes and Standish Handicap.
My Dream Lover handled a distance rise with aplomb when scoring an all the way win at Ballina.
The good looking son of Excelebration stretched out to 1600 metres for the first time in his career in a Class 1 and Maidens Plate and proved too strong, winning by nearly a length after leading from the jump.
Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan predicted a good future for My Dream Lover if he continues to stretch out in distance.
“The Ballina win came at his fifth start since we brought him up from Victoria and he’s now had two wins, two fourths and a fifth placing.
“The horse won first-up in Queensland over 1300 metres, which is a difficult thing for a lot of horses to achieve and to add a second win in his first preparation up here is also very encouraging.
“We bought him out of the Widden Stud draft at the Inglis Classic Sale for $130,000 because he’s by Excelebration out of a half-sister to Melbourne Cup winner Shocking.
“Excelebration was Europe’s champion miler but this horse gives every indication that with a bit more maturity he will stretch out to beyond 1600 metres.
“That opens up plenty of opportunities for a young horse if he can cope with 2000 metres and beyond, so we will be patient with him and give him the time to mature and strengthen and next preparation we’ll see whether he’s a stayer,” said Grant Morgan.
Trainer Toby Edmonds was impressed with My Dream Lover’s effort to lead all the way at Ballina, even though he was surprised to see the horse making the pace.
“I thought he would race near the speed but I must admit to being a little bit surprised when he found the front.
“However rider Luke Rolls showed good initiative to keep going when nothing was keen to lead and rolling along in front at a steady tempo out of trouble proved the winning of the race.
“The horse has done a good job since coming north and though he’s only had five races, he has been in work a while and we will just assess him over the next few days before making a decision on whether to give him a break or continue on.
“He’s a nice horse with a good attitude and with a bit more time he could develop into a handy horse because he gives every indication of getting out to 2000 metres at least,” said Toby Edmonds.
Congratulations to our winning owners: Ontrack Miss Coolum Syndicate, Barbara and John Gilbert, Mark Ostermeyer, Garry Shanahan, Greg Bowers, Dr David Worthley, Leigh Matthews, Mick and Denise Power, Pennypacker Syndicate, Dan McHugh, Mark Snowden, Mick Hackett, L V Racing Syndicate.
Ontrack’s tough sprinter Impregnable is building an impressive strike rate at the Grafton track with his Jacaranda Cup win taking his track record to three starts for three wins.
Impregnable, aided by a perfect ride by stable jockey Ryan Maloney, scored an emphatic Jacaranda Cup win over topweight Lucky Meteor winning by more than two lengths.
A son of champion stallion I Am Invincible, Impregnable began his career with Caulfield trainer Mick Price and was placed in five of his first six races.
“Mick advised us that the horse would be better placed in Queensland and we transferred him to Toby Edmonds on the Gold Coast and he won his first two races for Toby on the Grafton track,” said Ontrack Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“He won five races in that first preparation from eight starts but he had a few issues at the end of that campaign and when he came back into work for his second preparation, he was not the same horse so we spelled him after four races and gave him a nice break.
“This time in he has been a much happier horse but being that extra year older he has taken a couple of starts to get close to fitness.
“Last time out at Doomben he was a very good sixth and that was the first time Ryan Maloney had ridden him and that experience proved invaluable.
“He’s a quirky horse sometimes and Ryan learnt that he doesn’t appreciate being restrained at the start.
“At Grafton he left the horse alone at the jump and when another rival crossed over quickly Impregnable enjoyed a dream run tracking the speed. Once he peeled out at the top of the straight the horse dashed to the lead and quickly put the race in safe keeping,” said Grant Morgan.
Trainer Toby Edmonds was pleased with the horse and went into the race confident the sprinter was close to his best.
“His run at Doomben was a nice effort and his work leading into Grafton had been very good. He’s not the easiest horse to ride and when that grey horse rushed over from outside him to lead, the race panned out perfectly.
“This horse really finished off the race in domineering fashion and his last furlong was very strong.
“Now that we have him back to his best, we will probably pick out a race in town and he looks set for another good campaign,” said Toby Edmonds.
Congratulations to our owners in Impregnable: Ontrack Thoroughbreds No 1 syndicate, Steve Mauger, Matthew Maguire, Sansom Hue, Brett Grogan, David Worthley, Ken Stocks, Wayne McCubbin, Jenny Edington, Ryan Lawlor, Peter Condon, Lisa Saxton, Dan Paton, Ricky Kim, Garry Batchelder, Philomena Syndicate (Manager Di McDonald).
The latest prize money boost for Queensland is good news for Ontrack clients with horses in the Sunshine state.
The Queensland government has boosted prize money for galloping meetings by $18 millions from today and there’s also another $8 million available.
“It’s great news to see stakes rise in Queensland,” said Ontrack’s Grant Morgan.
“The stakes rise has been spread right over the state and that’s good news for our owners in Queensland.
“It’s also encouraging for owners with horses in southern states that might be better suited in Queensland in the future.
“Ontrack has enjoyed plenty of success bringing horses north from Sydney and Melbourne stables in order to maximise returns for owners and it’s great knowing that these horses can head north and race in Brisbane on Saturdays for $75,000.”
Provincial SEQ meetings (Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich) $6.9 million increase.
- Standard race stakes raised from $16,000 to $21,000 (+31.25%)
- Maiden race stakes raised from $15k to $21k (+40%)
- Introduction of prize money for fifth-placed runners and $400 payment for runners placed 6th to 10th.
Provincial Queensland meetings (including Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and
Cairns) $5.4 million increase.
- All races at Toowoomba Turf Club raised from $14,000 to $19,000 (+35.7%)
- Introduction of $19,000 races at weekly Northern Provincial Showcase meetings
- Remaining provincial stakes raised from $14,000 to $16,500 (+17.8%)
- Introduction of prize money for fifth-placed runners and $400 payment for runners placed 6th to 10th.
- Country TAB stakes raised from $12,000 to $14,500 (+20.83%) at Kilcoy, Beaudesert, Warwick, Lockyer (Gatton), Dalby and Roma meetings.
- Key Northern Cups and the Toowoomba Cup raised to $150,000 prize money.
Mid-week Metropolitan meetings $2.4 million increase.
- Standard race stakes raised from $25,000 to $30,000 (+20%)
- Maidens raised from $20,000 to $25,000 (+25%) and $500 payment for runners placed 6th to 10th.
Saturday metropolitan meetings $2.15 million increase.
- Standard race stakes raised from $70,000 to $75,000 (+7.1%)
- All races increased by $5,000 to accommodate introduction of $1000 payment for runners
placed 6th to 10th.
Listed races to carry minimum stakes of $125,000 (+25%)
Meagher Racing had a weekend to remember with an interstate double.
The first win came at the Gold Coast Turf Club on Saturday when Rich Affair ended a frustrating run of placings to score a comprehensive win over 1200 metres in the hands of Nathan Day.
The form continued the following day at the Mornington fixture when Born Bad cleared maidens at his second start in the hands of stable apprentice Jessica Eaton.
“The great thing about having our horses with Meagher Racing is that they can be easily switched between their Eagle Farm and Mornington stables,” said Ontrack’s Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“We’ve got horses with both stables and it was good to see them land an interstate double on the weekend,” said Grant Morgan.
December’s Hong Kong International Meeting has attracted strong entries from leading Australian stables.
A sold out Ontrack Racing tour will take in the Hong Kong Jockey Club International meeting from December 4-10 and there’s likely to be strong Australian representation.
Nominations for the four Group One races at Sha Tin on December 9 include 37 nominations from Australia.
There are 13 countries with entries for the Hong Kong meeting with horses expected from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Great Britain, Ireland, Czechoslovakia, German, America, Singapore and Germany poised to do battle with the leading Hong Kong stables.
“The Hong International meeting is really a melting pot for racing jurisdictions around the world,” said Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“The Hong Kong Jockey Club set out to make their meeting a truly international racing event and there’s no doubt that they have succeeded.
“The strength of the nominations proves that the Hong Kong International meeting is a major magnet for the world’s leading trainers and you see stables such as Andre Fabre from France, Sir Michael Stoute from the UK and Australia’s Chris Waller amongst the entries.
“Hopefully the quarantine regulations which have caused Australian horses to miss Hong Kong will be resolved before this year’s meeting,” said Grant Morgan.
The Australian nominations are:
Hong Kong Cup: COMIN’ THROUGH, D’ARGENTO, DIVINE UNICORN, EGG TART, FINCHE, HOMESMAN RISING RED, SHILLELAGH, SULLY, THE TAJ MAHAL.
Hong Kong Mile: COMIN’ THROUGH, D’ARGENTO, LE ROMAIN, MUSIC MAGNATE, PIERATA, SHILLELAGH.
Hong Kong Sprint: CLEARLY INNOCENT, IN HER TIME, LE ROMAIN, MUSIC MAGNATE, PIERATA, SANTA ANA LANE, TRAPEZE ARTIST, VEGA MAGIC, VIDDORA.
Hong Kong Vase: BRIMHAM ROCKS, COUNT OCTAVE, DIVINE UNICORN, EGG TART, FINCHE, HOMESMAN, LIBRAN, PATRICK ERIN RISING RED SULLY, THE TAJ MAHAL.
Ontrack’s 2019 Royal Ascot will have a different feel with news that Newmarket trainer Luca Cumani is retiring at the end of the current season.
The Ontrack Royal Ascot tour bases itself in Newmarket for week one and has always featured a stable visit to the historic stables Luca and wife Sara have operated for 43 years.
“Luca and Sara have always been fantastic hosts and the stable visit was always a highlight for our tour group,” said Ontrack’s Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“We will speak with Luca and Sara and see if they will still be in the Bedford Lodge stables in June or whether we make alternative arrangements. It’s been an absolute pleasure dealing with the Cumani family,” said Grant Morgan.
“The news of Luca’s retirement cuts one of Flat racing’s few remaining ties to a time when smaller owner-breeders had a fair crack of the whip, and modern-day leviathans like Godolphin and Coolmore were still in their infancy.
“Many outstanding horses passed through Cumani’s hands in the 80s and 90s, including two Derby winners in Kahyasi (1988) and High-Rise (1998), while Barathea took the Irish 2,000 Guineas in 1993 and the Breeders’ Cup Mile a year later.
“A split with the Aga Khan, Kahyasi’s owner, before the 2000 season was a major setback, with Kalanisi, a subsequent Breeders’ Cup winner, among the horses to leave the yard. Falbrav, though, helped Cumani to return to the sport’s top table with five Group One wins and a narrow defeat in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2003.”
Cumani also mentored several leading jockeys, the most notable being Frankie Dettori, who was 14 when he arrived at Bedford Lodge.
“I wouldn’t say it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, but I’ve come to realise the time is right,” Cumani told The Guardian. I’ve been very lucky and privileged to have won big races all around the world and I no longer have the material to do so. I’ve been to Churchill Downs and Melbourne and now we’re having more runners at Wolverhampton and Chelmsford and it’s not quite the same.”
Cumani’s son, Matt, is settled as a trainer in Australia while his daughter, Francesca, is a presenter on ITV Racing. As a result, Bedford Lodge will be sold in the new year, with Cumani and Sara turning their focus to his Fittocks Stud, just outside Newmarket.
Ontrack’s principal Queensland trainer Chris Meagher has been honoured by the Australian Trainers Association with the trainer of the year in Queensland.
Chris was handed the award from his Queensland training peers thanks to the deeds of Ontrack Thoroughbred’s class mare Savanna Amour during last season.
Savanna Amour won 3 stakes races last season across two states. In the Spring, Savanna Amour won the Group 3 Cockram Stakes and the Group 3 Odds Boost Stakes both at Caulfield. She was also a narrow second at Flemington on Derby Day at Group 3 level.
During the Brisbane winter carnival, she collected the Listed Hinkler Handicap at Doomben before finishin a close fourth at her first attempt at Group 1 level in the Tatts Tiara.
Now a five year old mare, Savanna Amour has won more than $639,000 in prizemoney from her 19 starts, with 7 wins and 3 placings.
Savanna Amour was a $100,000 yearling purchase by Grant Morgan from the first crop of Sun Stud’s Love Conquers All.
During her career Savanna Amour has been well managed to split her time between Queensland Victoria, taking advantage of the dual state boutique operation.
Chris is the son of Melbourne Cup winning trainer John Meagher who still plays a key role in the stable.
“Chris has a great team of people around him including father John and brother Paul. Brisbane foreman Andy Kermond has been with the family for many years. Dan Meagher is doing a great job back in Singapore," said Grant Morgan from Ontrack Thoroughbreds.
“We have enjoyed a great strike rate with the stable since they returned from Singapore and we have a number of very nice horses coming through the ranks with Chris and his team.
Meagher operates stables at Eagle Farm and Mornington in Victoria and currently prepares 8 horses for Ontrack split between Queensland and Victoria.
“We relish the opportunity to move horses between the two states. It means we can place our horses to their optimum taking advantage of different class and race structures as well as taking advantage of typical climatic conditions the two states face.”
“Meagher Racing is the only Queensland/Victorian operation of its kind so we feel very fortunate that our horses are getting every opportunity for success,” said Morgan.
Talented mare Savanna Amour is on target for a Flemington appearance on Derby Day.
The Love Conquers All mare is being aimed at the Group 2 Linlithgow Stks (1200m).
Savanna Amour finished 7th in last Saturday’s Group 2 Schillacci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield behind the evergreen sprinter Ball of Muscle.
“I thought it was a pass mark run. She got run off her feat a bit early and got forced back onto the fence,” said Ontrack Thoroughbreds Grant Morgan.
“She was beaten 4.5 Len but was never really comfortable in behind them. She’s probably a mare better ridden off the fence where she can get into a rhythm and onto the back of something to take her into the race.
“We would love to be able to ride her a bit quieter next start with cover and let her run on.
“She has run very well down the straight at her only two attempts and we think she will be suited going back to Handicap from the less suitable Weight For Age at her first two starts this prep.”
Savanna Amour was ridden by stand in jockey Michael Walker, who was warming the saddle for regular rider Ben Melham who was bound to an Everest commitment aboard Santa Anna Lane at Randwick.
Melham will reunite with Savanna Amour at Flemington on Derby day.
Promising New Zealand bred colt Tavisan is off to the spelling paddock after a successful first foray into Australian racing.
Tavisan heads for a spell after setting a break neck tempo in the Caulfield Guineas which was won by boom colt The Autumn Sun.
“He was a bit wound up when he was being saddled on Saturday and was a bit keen walking around the yard,” said Grant Morgan of Ontrack Thoroughbreds.
“He raced like he was over the top which is reasonable given this was his first Australian preparation and his fifth start this time in.
“Personally I feel he is more a 1200m-1400m horse. He might stretch out to 1600m when he is more mature. In hindsight we asked too much of him in the Caulfield Guineas.
“Tavisan is one of the fastest gate horses I’ve ever had. He is so brilliant away, it’s very hard not to use that speed and let him flow.
“He’s not your typical Tavistock. He’s more speed than stamina. Ironically that was really also the case with Tavistock. Although he was by Montjeu, Tavistock was brilliantly fast over 1200m. He won at Group 1 level over 1400m before stretching out to 1600m later,” said Morgan.
Like Tavisan, the Caulfield Guineas also proved a bridge too far for his father Tavistock. He finished 15th (beaten 20 lengths) behind Whobegotyou in 2008.
Despite the Caulfield Guineas failure, Tavistock went onto to score twice at Group 1 level over 1400m, before stretching out to win over 1600m in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes at Flemington.
Tavisan arrived in Australia in May commencing his first racing preparation under Caulfield trainer Mick Price.
He was an impressive Cranbourne maiden winner on the 26th of July.
Tavisan then graduated to stakes grade running a narrow second at Listed Level in the McKenzie Stakes (1200m) behind undefeated boom colt Brutal.
Stepping up to Group 2 level at his third Australian start, Tavisan was a close up third in the Danehill Stakes (1200m) down the straight at Flemington.
Stepped up beyond 1200m for the first time at his fourth Australian start, Tavisan was runner up at Group 3 level behind Native Soldier over 1400m at his first start at Caulfield in the Guineas Prelude.
Ontrack Thoroughbreds’ classy colt Tavisan is ready for his grand final when he tackles the $2 million Group One Caulfield Guineas.
Tavisan was purchased out of the Karaka Premier Sale by Ontrack’s Grant Morgan in 2017 and since arriving at Mick Price’s Caulfield stable has had four runs for a Cranbourne win and placings in listed or group races at Caulfield, Flemington and Moonee Valley.
“He was a very precocious type when broken in and we actually tackled a couple of group races in New Zealand with him as a two-year-old but things didn’t work out due to wet tracks or bad draws,” said Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“Tavisan made great progress from two to three and he arrived over from New Zealand and hasn’t looked back since joining Mick’s stable.
“His form from a series of bad barrier draws has been excellent and his run for second in the Guineas Prelude two weeks ago was all the evidence we needed to proceed to the grand final.
“The nine barrier is not ideal but he has good early speed and if rider Michael Walker can get over from that gate without expending too much energy I’m confident the colt will run well.
“Tavisan is the first partnership between Ontrack and the Dubai-based Phoenix Bloodstock and it’s great to achieve such good results from our first association,” said Grant Morgan.
Mick Price won the Caulfield Guineas last year with Mighty Boss and he’s confident Tavisan is a genuine chance of repeating the success.
''He should have the run of the race. We were hoping to draw inside four or five and have a conservative cuddle in the run, but it's not to be from that barrier as we will have to make a little bit of use of him,'' Price said.
''Hopefully we are not exposed too much. He is hard fit, he is thriving and I couldn't have him any better but he's got to be good enough on the day. His form lines are good.''
Savanna Amour returns to the scene of multiple group victories when she runs tomorrow in the $500,000 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield.
The Ontrack Thoroughbreds managed mare has run five times at Caulfield for three group race wins and a third. Her wins on course came in the Group Two Angus Armanasco Stakes and the Group Threes Cockram Stakes and How Now Stakes.
“There’s no doubt that she loves the Caulfield track and that’s been an important factor in planning her spring campaign,” said Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“She has good form second up and the 1100 metres on a good track should be a perfect assignment for Savanna Amour.”
Savanna Amour will have a new jockey with Michael Walker replacing Ben Melham, due to riding in the Everest in Sydney.
“It’s not really a major concern having a new rider because she’s a mare who has moved between Queensland and Victoria for much of her career and that’s often necessitated a riding change.
“in fact she has raced 19 times and she’s actually had 10 different riders during her career. She’s had seven wins and five different jockeys have won on her so she’s not a difficult mare to ride and the change to Michael Walker won’t be an issue,” said Grant Morgan.
Next week’s Ontrack Racing tour to the Hunter Valley will have the opportunity to reflect on the loss of outstanding stallion Encosta De Lago who passed away at Coolmore Stud last Friday.
After beginning his stud career in Victoria, Encosta De Lago moved north after being purchased by Coolmore Stud in 2004 and went on to forge a remarkable career.
“Encosta was a true giant of the Australian breeding industry,” said Ontrack’s Grant Morgan.
“He was twice champion stallion in Australia and he’s left 26 individual Group One winners to date.
“His legacy will continue for some time as his sons and grandsons are having a tremendous impact while his daughters have left some of the best gallopers around and so far, Encosta mares have produced 12 Group One winners.
“Coolmore is always a highlight of the Ontrack Hunter Valley tour and Encosta was always a great hit when he was paraded.
“The stud acknowledges Encosta and its other champion stallions in Fastnet Rock and Danehill and participants on this year’s tour will also be able to see Encosta’s son Rubick who is now doing such a great job at Coolmore,” said Grant Morgan.