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.
Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds didn’t train a winner at Ipswich last Friday but he was a winner at the Ontrack Thoroughbreds Golf Shootout at the Emerald Lakes Course at Carrara.
The second Ontrack shootout attracted 12 participants and Toby Edmonds teamed with stable and Ontrack client Ian Mathieson and the pair proved too strong for the opposition.
After handicaps they shot 30.8 to land the $500 Ontrack vouchers ahead of Ontrack client Dr Denis O’Brien and his son David.
Ironically Denis O’Brien did taste success on the track on Friday when So You Wish, which he races in partnership with trainer Bevan Laming won the opening event at Ipswich.
Saturday is another chapter in Ontrack Thoroughbreds’ favourite story – the life and times of Brazen Beau.
AT Flemington on Saturday the first of Brazen Beau’s progeny heads to the races and fittingly it is a Godolphin-owned colt named Mercury.
Ontrack’s Grant Morgan purchased Brazen Beau for $70,000 and after a stellar racing career which saw him the best sprinting colt of his year with two Group One wins at Flemington he was sold to Godolphin and stands at Kelvinside Stud in Victoria and Dalham Hall in the UK.
“Brazen Beau has been am amazing story for so many people, not the least his 33 owners who enjoyed the ride of their lives, culminating in a wonderful trip to Royal Ascot where Beau was the unluckiest of seconds in the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes after drawing the extreme outside.
“The story continues for the ownership group as they watched with interest his first foals arrive and then the first to be sold at leading auctions around Australasia and now finally we await Beau’s first runner to step on to the track.
“It’s so fitting that it is Flemington, the track where Brazen Beau captured his Group Ones – first the Coolmore and then the Newmarket, beating the best sprinters in the world at the time Chautauqua, Lankan Rupee and Terravista.
“And it is great the Beau’s first runner will run in Sheik Mohammed’s famous all blue colours.
“His first runner is an all Godolphin product being a son of the Lonhro mare Jerezana, a talented performer for Sheik Mohammed and a black type winner who included the Listed Ramornie Handicap at Grafton amongst her five wins.
“One thing is for certain, being part of the highly organised Godolphin operation Mercury is sure to be well prepared and we await his debut on Saturday with a great deal of excitement and optimism,” said Grant Morgan.
It’s a special day today for Ontrack Thoroughbreds as our super horse Brazen Beau turns seven.
Purchased out of the Inglis Classic Sale for $70,000 by Ontrack’s Grant Morgan, Brazen Beau was the champion sprinting colt of his year winning two Group Ones at three, the Coolmore Stakes and the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington.
Later he went to Royal Ascot finishing a luckless second in the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes after drawing the extreme outside barrier.
“He was a special horse for so many reasons,” said Ontrack Thoroughbreds Grant Morgan.
“Beau was the horse that put champion stallion I Am Invincible on the road to fame and fortune and he changed the lives of so many people.
“In 12 lifetime starts he won five times and was second on four occasions winning $1.6 million before being sold to the breeding giant Godolphin in a multi-million dollar deal.
“Now the excitement continues as we await the first of Beau’s foals to hit the racetracks of Australia this season.
“It’s exciting to watch this very special horse write another chapter in what’s been an amazing story.
“Happy birthday Beau.”
Ontrack Thoroughbreds’ prayers and thoughts are with the Vieira family after a horrific road crash which has left Gai Vieira with critical injuries.
Bert and Gai Vieira have been Ontrack Racing tour regulars and were with us on last year’s tour to Royal Ascot.
Gai is in a critical condition in Sydney’s St George Hospital and Ontrack Managing Director Grant Morgan expressed shock at news of her crash.
“It was a tremendous shock to everyone at Ontrack when we heard the news that Gai had been involved in what has turned out to be a horrific road crash.
“All our best wishes and prayers go out to Gai and Bert and all their family as Gai fights to recover from what are sadly very serious injuries.
“Bert and Gai are always fantastic company on our tours and they were very popular members of last year’s Royal Ascot trip.
“We are all hoping for a speedy recovery so that Gai can be back with her family and enjoying success at Sydney’s racetracks in the not too distant future.
“Gai is a very fit woman and I’m sure that will help her in her battle against what are obviously extremely serious injuries,” said Grant Morgan.
There was a fantastic turnout for Ontrack Racing’s Tour Information Day at the Gold Coast Turf Club.
Ontrack hosted 60 guests in the Winner’s Circle at the Gold Coast meeting and Managing Director Grant Morgan said it was a fantastic day.
“We decided to offer existing and new clients the opportunity to learn more about our various racing tours and the response was excellent.
“There were guests from as far afield as Canberra, Melbourne and northern New South Wales with the majority of those attending new to the Ontrack team.
“We’ve been running tours to the Hunter Valley, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Royal Ascot for well over a decade and the race day was the perfect opportunity to explain our tours and answer any questions from racing enthusiasts wanting to take part on one of our trips.
“We have again had a fantastic response to our tours this year with Hong Kong fully booked and only a few spots on the other trips so it was timely to have a great turnout last Saturday,” said Grant Morgan.
Ontrack Thoroughbreds look to have unearthed a promising stayer in Senrima Tide after he quit maidens in style at Wangaratta.
The lightly tried son of Ocean Park is prepared at Caufield by Mick Price and was having only his third race start at Wangaratta after placings at both his previous runs.
Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan predicted a bright future for Senrima Tide, especially once he stretches out in distance.
“I bought him at the 2016 Inglis Easter Sale in Sydney where he was offered as part of successful New Zealand stud Blandford Lodge’s draft. He was always going to take plenty of time so that’s why he didn’t have a race start until a couple of weeks before turning four.
“Mick has always labelled him as a typically slow maturing Kiwi galloper and has handled him accordingly.
“Stayers are made and the more time and patience you can give a young horse the greater your chance of being rewarded down the track.
“Ocean Park was a five times Group One winner and it’s worth noting that when he won his Cox Plate in 2012 he beat All Too Hard and Pierro and all three have gone on to carve out successful careers at stud.
“Ocean Park stands alongside champion stallion Savabeel at Waikato Stud and at this stage of his career he has left more individual winners than Savabeel from less runners and the same number of black type performers.
“I’m confident Ocean Park will go from strength to strength as his representatives get older and the quality of mares being sent to him rises. IF you look at this summer’s round of yearling sales you see his progeny averaged $86,358 and nine sold for more than $150,000,” said Grant Morgan.
Successful rider Jake Noonan was having his first ride on Senrima Tide and was suitably impressed.
“The plan was to be a bit positive but he has developed a bit of a habit of getting back. It worked out okay as he found a nice spot and when they went along at a nice gallop he was able to settle and finish off nicely.
“I had plenty of horse under me turning for home and he’s a real momentum horse and once he got rolling he finished off strongly.
“Being a son of Ocean Park means he’s going to run 2000 metres on his ear. He’s got a great attitude, he settles perfectly and he’s got a great set of lungs and he actually came through that run as if he’d just been out for a trot and canter.
“I have got no doubt that he’s going to get out in trip and Mick trained the quinella with two good horses who are worth following,” said Jake Noonan.
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.
Exciting colt Tavisan announced his arrival as a serious spring player with a game second in the listed McKenzie Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
The Ontrack Thoroughbreds managed colt has now had two Australian outings for Caufield conditioner Mick Price for an easy Cranbourne win and a close second to boom colt Brutal in Saturday’s $120,000 race.
“Tavisan showed plenty of natural ability when broken in by young New Zealand trainer Jacob McKay and that persuaded us to race him at two over there,” said Ontrack’s Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“Things such as soft tracks and wide draws didn’t help him over there but he showed his true ability when being beaten out of the placings in the last couple of strides in a Group Three at Matamata.
“He developed with a nice break over there and he’s furnished into a lovely colt, and it was great to see him step up to Saturday city company in Melbourne and perform so well.
“Being a son of Tavistock, the expectation is that he might get over a trip but he has always been a precocious type and he has tremendous early speed.
“It was that early speed that we used at Moonee Valley to get across and settle on the pace. He was pressured for much of the race by another horse and it was only the last bit that Brutal was able to get over the top of him,” said Grant Morgan.
Plans for Tavisan are yet to be set in stone, with trainer Mick Price having two options – the Group One Caufield Guineas over 1600 metres on October 13 or the Group One Coolmore Stakes over 1200 metres at Flemington on November 3.
“It’s a nice dilemma to have, but at some stage we have to make a call and set him on the right path for whatever race we decide will be his grand final.
“Being a son of Tavistock would lead you to believe the longer distance of the Caulfield Guineas is going to be the right race, but he is such a brilliant horse with a great action that it’s not hard to see him racing really well down the straight at Flemington over 1200.
“He is very closely related to the good sprinter Reilly Lincoln which has been placed in New Zealand’s major Group One sprints as well as the good sprinter Super Impressive so he might be best suited over a shorter trip,” said Grant Morgan.
Trainer Mick Price said Tavisan had come through his McKenzie Stakes run in great order and he would push on with a spring campaign.
“His Moonee Valley run was excellent and he confirmed what he has shown us at home. He’s a trouble-free colt and he’s a good winded horse who is sound and has a great attitude.
“He pulled up in fantastic order and he can now go to Flemington on September 15 when there are two races for him – the 1200 metres Danehill Stakes or the 1400 metres Exford Plate. He will be nominated for both and we will make a decision closer to race day.
“I like the horse a lot and think he has a bright future so we will give him every chance to get to Group One level this spring,” said Mick Price.
High class mare Savanna Amour is back in action on a preparation that may culminate in a Group One race in West Australia.
Savanna Amour went to the spelling paddock after a gritty fourth in the Group One Tatts Tiara at Doomben on June 23.
Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan said Savanna Amour was back in work with Meagher Racing at Eagle Farm.
“She came back into the stable in great order and has quickened up in training this week and will be ready for a jump out in a couple of weeks.
"She will then head to Melbourne and have her first run in the Schillaci Stakes on October 13," Morgan said.
"The Linlithgow Stks (1200m) on Derby Day at Flemington looks ideal and then she will head to Perth for the (Group One) Winterbottom Stakes (December 1)."
Morgan said the Winterbottom looked a perfect race for Savanna Amour and there was a strong form line suggesting she would be more than competitive.
"Viddora beat Fuhryk in last year's Winterbottom and we have a win over Fuhryk to our credit. I would expect the same type of field in the Winterbottom as last year which gives us confidence," Morgan said.
Morgan added that the likelihood of a firm track in Western Australia was also part of the appeal in the West.
"She races best on firm tracks. Doomben was very shifty after a heavy workload in the Winter and she didn't really let go in the Tatt's Tiara but still ran super at her Group 1 debut."
Before she heads south to Chris Meagher’s Mornington stable for the Melbourne spring carnival Savanna Amour will be a leading candidate for the Queensland Horse Of The Year Award on September 16.
“Savanna Amour must be a serious contender for Queensland Horse of the Year following a big 12 months during the 2017/18 season. She won the Group Three Cockram Stakes, Group Three How Now Stakes and Listed Hinkler Stakes and was fourth in a Group One,” said Grant Morgan.
The inaugural Ontrack Thoroughbreds golf shootout proved to be a tough competition with a handful of strokes covering the field.
The shootout was held at the Emerald Lakes Course at Carrara and it is going to be a monthly affair for Ontrack.
Managing Director Grant Morgan said last Friday’s opening contest proved to be an outstanding success.
“We had 10 teams of two players line up and there was some keen competition for the $500 Ontrack vouchers for the winning team members.
“At the end there were only six points from first to last, so it was a pretty keenly contested affair. Clint Vidler and his partner Tim Baz were the winners and hopefully they’re back next month to defend their title.
“The idea was to provide a bit of fun for Ontrack clients and newcomers and the nine hole Ambrose format is a perfect way to wrap up the working week.
“We even had a couple of young guys drive three hours from Kingaroy to take part so it obviously struck a chord with golfers and racing fans.
“The next Ontrack Shootout will be held at Emerald Lakes on Friday September 7 so if you would like a hit organise a team and check out the Ontrack website on www.getontrack.com.au.
“The great thing about the event is that the Ambrose format provides an opportunity for good golfers and those who are just hackers.
“It’s a chance to have a couple of hours of fun and then join the Ontrack team for a cold drink and something to eat at the beautiful Emerald Lakes course afterwards,” said Grant Morgan.
The 2019 Ontrack Hunter Valley Horse and Wine Tour will see first-hand the influence the ill-fated USA stallion Scat Daddy continues to have on world thoroughbred breeding.
Ontrack’s annual Hunter Valley tour runs from October 14-18 and as usual the powerhouse Coolmore Stud is one of six of the best studs on the programme.
This year Coolmore will parade two sons of its champion stallion Scat Daddy who died tragically in 2015 but continues to leave stakes winners around the world.
Scat Daddy shuttled to Coolmore’s Australian operation in 2008 and this year his sons No Nay Never and Caravaggio will stand there.
Ontrack Tours Grant Morgan said the influence Scat Daddy has had around the world is amazing.
“Scat Daddy made a solid start to his stud career and was the leading freshman sire of 2011 and third on the general two-year-old list, but it’s fair to say his career has gone to unbelievable levels following his death.
“Scat Daddy broke the North American record for the number of juvenile stakes winners in a season with nine. The previous record of eight had been set by his great-grandsire Storm Cat in 2002.
“At Royal Ascot in 2016, Scat Daddy had two winners from two runners, Caravaggio in the Coventry Stakes and Lady Aurelia in the Queen Mary Stakes and in 2017 at Royal Ascot he had Lady Aurelia win the King’s Stand, Caravaggio the Commonwealth Cup and Sioux Nation the Norfolk Stakes.
“Of course, this year his son Justify won the Triple Crown and it will be great to get to Coolmore and see his sons No Nay Never and Caravaggio.
“No Nay Never has made a great start to his Northern Hemisphere career with 16 first crop winners and is the leading European first season sire by winners and earnings.
“Caravaggio was an unbeaten Group One winner at two and followed that up with a dominant performance in Europe’s premier sprint for three-year-olds, the Group One Commonwealth Cup over 1200m at Royal Ascot.
“With No Nay Never and Caravaggio and Crown Winner American Pharoah returning, it’s clear Coolmore is giving Australian breeders access to three world-class shuttle stallions.
“It’s always a great time to get a first-hand look at such amazing stallions and the Coolmore operation,” said Grant Morgan”
Ontrack Thoroughbreds Eagle Farm stable Meagher Racing has made a flying start to the new season.
The stable saddled up former Victorian galloper New Horizons broke his maiden status in the hands of Tegan Harrison at the Sunshine Coast yesterday.
On Saturday, Divine Dice scored for Chris Meagher when leading all the way at the Gold Coast Turf Club.
Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan said it was good to see Meagher Racing off to a successful start to the new racing season.
“It was good to see Tegan team up with Meagher Racing because she’s riding a lot of work for the stable and has been riding many of the Ontrack horses in the stable.
“She’s a very talented rider and will ride Che Bella Vita for Ontrack and Meagher Racing at the Lismore meeting next week.
“Tegan’s also been doing plenty of work on our Spirit of Boom-Baroque Pearl in his first preparation with the Meagher stable at Eagle Farm and by reports he is going along nicely.
“It’s interesting to see Tegan riding the colt because she was the jockey when his half-sister Basara scored a brilliant first-up win as a two-year-old at Doomben last year.
“She also had a lot to do with Spirit of Boom’s half-brother Temple of Boom and won a Group 2 Victory Stakes on him when he beat his half-brother as well as running second in the Group One Doomben 10,000 behind Spirit of Boom.
New Horizons was a brave winner at the Sunshine Coast in his first Queensland race after stints with Darren Weir, John Thompson and John O’Shea.
He is a son of champion galloper Frankel from the Montjeu mare Miss Keller, a champion turf filly in Canada. She was a 625,000 guineas purchase by Waratah Thoroughbreds' Paul Fudge at the 2011 Tattersalls December Mare Sale.