Council plans lodged by Racing Queensland
The overdue addition of night racing to the Gold Coast has taken a step closer with an application to install 10 new lighting structures to illuminate the Bundall track.
The Courier Mail reports that Racing Queensland has recently lodged a development approval to with the Gold Coast City Council to install new lighting infrastructure.
The proposal is to erect ten 45 metre lighting structures.
The track currently has lighting for trackwork which is carried out 6 out of 7 days. The new lighting would rationalise the current lighting poles from a total of 16 to 10.
The Bundall track neighbours housing on the Crombie Ave side of the course. The development will incorporate acoustic fencing, barriers and landscaping to minimise the impact on local residents.
The Gold Coast Turf Club has been in operation with the Bundall equine precinct since 1946, long before many of the nearby houses or units were erected.
The Queensland State Government had previously allocated $28m in funding to upgrade the Bundall track in 2018.
Night racing would be a massive boost for the Gold Coast racing industry which incorporates the $10m Magic Millions Raceday, held each January.
Images: Gold Coast Bulletin
Kalashnikov scores impressive 2yo trial win
Newgate Farm stallion Capitalist is favoured to take the first season title honours in what shapes as a highly competitive year for the freshmen sires.
Ladbrokes opened Capitalist at $2.50 favourite last month.
The Kensington two year-old trial results this week have bolstered his backers confidence thanks to an impressive victory by sharp looking colt Kalashnikov.
A $600,000 Magic Millions Yearling, Kalashnikov carries the same colours as his Golden Slipper winning sire. The James Harron led ownership group will be hopeful of emulating Capitalist with this Peter and Paul Snowden prepared colt.
Kalashnikov was bred by Segenhoe Stud, who also retain an interest in this stunning colt.
A second foal by the Flying Spur mare Rough Ride, Kalashnikov is from a strong black type female page which features multiple Group 1 winner Eagle Way.
A moderately performed racehorse, Rough Ride recorded wins at Goulburn and Wyong in the Segenhoe colours for Peter Robl, before being retired to stud after just 5 starts.
Rough Ride has a yearling filly by Shalaa.
Capitalist has around 160 two year-olds to run for him this season. He has numbers, quality and precocity on his side. His yearlings looked to be compact precocious sprinting types, generally in the same shape and size as their father.
Newgate barnmate Flying Artie shares the second line of betting at 5.50 with Coolmore Stud’s American Pharoah.
Star Turn is next in the market at 8.50 ahead of Sooboog and Maurice at 11.00.
100 stakes winners for Kiwi super sire
Champion Kiwi stallion Savabeel notched up 100 stakes winners last month and is already chipping away at his second century.
The Chris Waller-trained Savacool providing the multiple champion sire’s 100th individual stakes winner when winning the Listed Rowley Mile at Hawkesbury.
And Savabeel didn’t take long to notch up Black Type win 101 with the promising Mo’unga racing away with the Listed Dulcify Quality (1500m) at Rosehill last Saturday. On the same day Savabeel’s son The Chosen One signalled a great Melbourne spring campaign by winning first-up from a 22 weeks’ spell over 1700 metres.
Mo’unga (named after All Black Richie Mo’unga) brought up a winning hat-trick following victories over 1400m at Gold Coast in June then Newcastle last month, and he’s now being set for the Group Three Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill on September 26 before the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 10.
Savabeel rules the roost at New Zealand’s leading thoroughbred stud, Waikato Stud on the outskirts of Matamata where he stands for $100,000.
The Cox Plate winning son of Zabeel is in his 16th season at Waikato and he’s been champion New Zealand stallion for the last 13 years.
Waikato Stud is operated by father and son partnership of Garry and Mark Chittick and they acknowledge the significant role played by Savabeel in elevating Waikato Stud to top ranking as the leading vendor at Karaka for six straight years.
Savabeel’s exemplary record of achievement extends to a consistent 70 per cent winners to runners ratio and 10.8 per cent stakes winners to runners ratio – both stats achieved in the 2018/19 season.
Despite Savabeel’s outstanding success, Mark Chittick concedes that the horse’s stud career hasn’t always been plain sailing.
“Obviously, we are all extremely proud of what he has achieved. It’s never been a secret that he was the first NZ$10 million syndicated horse to come to New Zealand,” Chittick said.
“The support we had in purchasing him and getting him syndicated was incredible and all the way through. We’ve all had a great ride with him and continue to do so.
“Being by Zabeel, we knew they were going to be at their best and 3-year-olds and onwards and there was certainly a year when he served well under 100 mares. There was also a year around that stage that we didn’t get a lot of support from the sales company.
“Through that period it was really very tricky and his service went from NZ$30,000 to NZ$20,000, but we always had confidence in Savabeel. There were definitely difficult years, tough times, and I’m very proud that he came out of that.
“Interestingly enough, he’s now up 15 2-year-old stakes winners, which is incredible. He leaves a top 2-year-old and horses that train on with stakes winners over sprint distances up to a Group 1 winner over 3200 metres and leaves fillies and colts,” said Mark Chittick.
The Odyssey continues to fly the flag for Better Than Ready
Queensland stallion Better Than Ready continued his meteoric rise when notching up his first million dollar runner.
Better Than Ready’s son The Odyssey achieved millionaire status at Doomben last Saturday when dominating first-up in the $100,000 Quality Handicap.
A $30,000 Magic Millions purchase from Better Than Ready’s first crop, The Odyssey’s win took his earnings to $1,063,825 from 20 lifetime starts for nine wins and five placings.
Standing at Lyndhurst Stud on the Darling Downs, Better Than Ready is a son of super stallion More Than Ready and was a very fast racehorse who broke the Randwick course record when winning the 1200 metres Brian Crowley Stakes (Group 2).
He went to stud in 2015 and during his first four seasons at Lyndhurst he stood for $9,900, but some spectacular results from his first crop to hit the racetracks of Australia resulted in his fee rising to $33,000.
With the spectacular results from his first racing crops, Better Than Ready served 216 mares last spring and he’s now firmly established as a commercial stallion.
The Odyssey was one of Better Than Ready’s 23 individual winners of 38 races in Australia from his first crop and his progeny have trained on in impressive fashion.
Already this season he has had 15 individual winners to take his career tally to 135 starters for 75 individual winners of 151 races.
But when you compare Better Than Ready’s record against super stallions it’s apparent he’s a serious stallion.
In the 2018-2019 season Better Than Ready’s 23 winners of 38 races compares very favourably with I Am Invincible’s 27 winners of 36 races and Snitzel’s 23 winners of 29 races.
It’s not unusual for a young stallion to start his stud career in a blaze of glory and then fade away, but for Better than Ready it’s been more of the same.
And the 2019-2020 season was no different with Better Than Ready third best sire of two-year-old winners with 17 winners from 45 runners. Snitzel headed the table with 60 runners for 28 winners and I Am Invincible was next with 61 starters for 24 winners.
But contrast the fees that these super stallions attract this spring. I Am Invincible’s standing at $209,000 and Snitzel is $165,000 while Better Than Ready commands $33,000.
Brian Lawlor reflects on blistering track gallops in light of the recent lightning work by star Queensland 3yo Rothfire
by Brian Lawlor
Rothfire’s sizzling times recorded during an Eagle Farm exhibition gallop caused social media chaos and took me back decades to a similar occurrence.
The Rothfire gallop made headlines after he clocked 32 seconds for the final 600 metres and fuelled scepticism about how a horse could run this fast when seemingly under no pressure.
Back in 1977 I was a young racing journalist working for The Evening Post in Wellington New Zealand.
That was a time when newspapers ruled the media and we had a team of four in the racing department. I got a late call advising that I would have to head to Trentham early the next morning and cover for an ill colleague when final gallops would take place in readiness for the final day of the prestigious Wellington Cup carnival.
Good Lord won the Wellington Cup that year and he won the Sydney Cup a year later, but it was a star three-year-old who was the centre of attention at track work that morning.
The filly named La Mer was the champion three-year-old of her time and was at prohibitive odds to add the New Zealand Oaks (2400 metres) to an already imposing record and there was huge interest in her final piece of work before the Group One.
La Mer galloped that Thursday morning with regular rider Des Harris in the saddle and worked with a mate over a round of the Trentham track (2400 metres) before being asked to stretch out over the last 600 metres.
As expected, La Mer ran right away from her companion and there didn’t appear anything unusual about the gallop until I checked the times.
Journalists used two stop watches to get sectional times and both my watches showed La Mer had broken 32 seconds for her last 600 metres.
Panic set in as I looked at the time and wondered how I could have stuffed up so badly.
Things settled down a little when I compared the times with Tony Hilton from The Dominion, who was the only other journalist at the track, and found we had recorded almost identical times for her gallop.
Malcolm Smith, the trainer of La Mer, was a particularly forthright character and when he asked me what time his filly had run it sparked a tirade that left us in doubts that he didn’t believe we had clocked the gallop correctly.
Given his filly was three days from her grand final, running such a time in a track gallop left him open to criticism that she had a gutbuster and true to his nature he didn’t hold back.
“You’re a f…… idiot,” was the most sympathetic part of his response which was delivered in front of some of the nation’s leading trainers and jockeys watching the champion filly’s work.
Tony Hilton and I were starting to think he might be right but rechecked our clocks and the course markers and we were in no doubt that she did indeed run that startling time.
The problem now was whether to report that time - and allow the rest of the country to share Malcolm Smith’s assessment of us - or to fudge the time in our reports.
In the end we took the coward’s way out and added a couple of seconds to the time we reported in newspapers around the country that day.
But the episode took another twist later that morning when over breakfast a wily old trainer named Walter McEwan sidled up to me and informed me La Mer had broken 32 for her final 600 metres.
You see Wally McEwan, an old school trainer who honed his skills in the depression of the 30s, had quietly clocked the gallop out of sight of prying eyes and agreed we were right about the sensational time we recorded.
He simply said: “You were right.”
La Mer came out on Saturday and won the New Zealand Oaks by a huge margin.
She later raced in Melbourne winning the Coongy Handicap over 2000 metres. She won 24 of 34 lifetime starts but sadly, like so many great race mares, she was a flop at stud after being purchased by Irish breeder Captain Tim Rogers who established Airlie Stud in County Kildare and at one time owned farms in the U.S. and New Zealand as well as Ireland.
Tim Rogers started Grangewilliam Stud near Wanganui in New Zealand and the property is best known through the deeds of Melbourne Cup winner Doriemus and being the birthplace of Vegas Showgirl, the dam of Winx. It’s also home to stallion Zed, sire of multiple Group One winning mare Verry Elegant.
While La Mer was a failure at stud, she features in the background of the pedigree of many good horses including Group One winners Nahrain and Benbatl.
Brazen Force shed his maiden tag with an authoritative Kilmore maiden win on Saturday proving he inherits his looks from dad and his stamina from mum.
Trained by Mick Price and Michael Kent Junior at Caulfield, Brazen Beau is a four year old gelded son of Brazen Beau and the Octagonal mare Apocrypha.
“We bought him from the first crop of Brazen Beau to go through the sales ring at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale in 2018,” said Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“He was a black colt much like his dad but he had a fair amount of size and scope as a yearling that suggested he inherited a lot of his mum’s qualities.
“His dam is by Octagonal and his second dam Tributes won the VRC Oaks and was successful up to 2500 metres and the more we did with him the more he told us that he threw to the maternal side.
“He’s had a few issues and has taken time but the stable have always liked the horse and this preparation he’s put things together. The way he ran out what is considered a tough 1600 metres at Kilmore suggests that he is going to get over further ground.
“Experience has shown us that Brazen Beau’s progeny are not speedy squibs and they all seem to be getting better with time and patience and Brazen Force is a perfect example of this.
“He’s only had six starts for Saturday’s win and two minor placings and there’s a lot to suggest that he’s going to be even more effective next time in work and over a middle distance.
“Apocrypha has had eight foals to race and seven winners and her progeny have won up to 2200 metres so there’s plenty of stout blood in Brazen Force’s pedigree and it’s a family of horses that train on and win plenty of races.
“His half-brother Affirmation (Not A Single Doubt) has raced successfully in Hong Kong as Sichuan Dar and won just on a million dollars while a close relation Top Spin (Arena) was Singapore Horse of the Year in 2008 and has won 16 races up to 2000 metres for earnings in excess of $1.8 million.
“Brazen Force is a big, strong gelding who is sound and gives every indication that there’s more in store,” said Grant Morgan.
Congratulations to our owners: Simon Dorrat, Ross Guzzo, Mick Hackett, Mark Kite, Dianne Linnane Stefan Marinkovic, Barry Muller, Damien Pound, Ken Stocks, Ty Wagstaff, Livnthedream Syndicate (Manager Brett Williamson), Marilyn Searles, Robert Corolla, David and Sue Worthley, Leigh Matthews, Ken Gordon, Ricky Kim, Jane and Martin Hellyer, Keating Racing (Manager Shane Keating), Vin Harink, Mark Snowden, Barbara and John Gilbert, Mick Power, Wayne and Paddi Muller, Reg Kim and Scott Anderson.
87yo Lillian Brady is the longest serving female Lord Mayor
Ontrack owner Lilliane Brady is a truly special person and now she’s been recognised by the New South Wales Government.
Lilliane Brady is Mayor of Cobar, a mining town 700 kms north west of Sydney, and at 89 and after more than 19 years in the job she’s the longest serving female mayor in the State’s history.
But at Ontrack she’s one of our most loved owners with an interest in the good mare Arctic Shock and unraced So You Think gelding Pascal.
A straight shooter who calls a spade a ……. Shovel when she feels the need, Lillian is a great supporter and really gets a thrill when her horses perform well.
Lilliane’s been a racing fan for a long time and has had interests in horses all around Australia and this week she got a great thrill to be named the winner of the inaugural Minister for Local Government Award.
The Minsters Awards for Women in Local Government recognise achievements in leadership and innovation in both regional and metropolitan categories.
Local government minister Shelley Hancock said as the state’s longest serving female mayor, Mayor Brady was committed to increasing the participation of women in the sector.
The Minister’s award recognises someone who has delivered quality outcomes in helping women in their local community.
Shelley Hancock said Mayor Brady’s achievements in public life over four decades were “too long to list”, but she was “the epitome of passionate community service, determination, commitment and strength of character”.
Lilliane Brady built the region’s first aged care home, established a mayoral fund for cancer support and helped the community through drought during her years in office, Minister Hancock said.
At Ontrack we salute Lilliane’s many achievements and hope that her horses in the all gold can bring further successes in the months ahead.
Kisukano the latest star for evergreen stallion
Bel Esprit is one of Australian breeding’s elder statesmen but his brilliant filly Kisukano shows he remains a potent force.
Kisukano was brilliant winning at Eagle Farm last Saturday taking her record to six wins and two placings from eight starts when sizzling over 1200 metres in 1:08.69s - breaking the mark set by then-five-year-old Isaurian (1:08.76s) in December last year.
The daughter of Bel Esprit and Kiss For Gran comes from the stallion’s 14th crop and at the time home for Bel Esprit was Eliza Park’s Queensland stud at Innisplain.
Bel Esprit stood in Queensland for three seasons before Sun Stud’s lease on the Sunshine State property ended in 2018 and the decision was made to return the stallion to Victoria.
A brilliant racehorse, Bel Esprit was prepared by John Symons at Mt Macedon for a group of mates that just happened to include AFL legend Kevin Sheedy.
The syndicate was being put together by one of Kevin’s great mates from his Essendon days, Brian Donohue. It included the former Federal Minister, Michael Duffy, another Essendon supporter.
When Brian and Michael were just about to finalise the syndicate, Brian said: “I think there’s someone missing, we should ask Kevin Sheedy if he’d like to come in”.
So Kevin got a share, one seventh, of the overall cost of around $13,000. The return on that investment has been enormous for all the investors.
Bel Esprit won two Group Ones – the Blue Diamond and the Doomben 10,000 – but he was second in four Group Ones, including his three-year-old season when he was second in three consecutive Group One, the Manikato, Dubai Cup and the Caulfield Guineas.
At stud he’s been nothing short of spectacular and he’ll never get a better one than his perfect daughter Black Caviar, winner of all her 25 starts.
But Bel Esprit is more than a one trick pony.
Bel Esprit is an eight-time champion Victorian sire, having 100 individual winners annually for seven seasons, Australian champion sire by winners, the sire of more than 700 winners in 11 countries and has a 70 per cent winners to runners and more than $73 million in progeny earnings.
These days he stands for $7,700 in Victoria and last spring served 60 mares.
Go back to 2007 when equine flu hit Victoria, Bel Esprit was one of the few quality stallions in Victoria. Woken up at all hours of the morning, he set a record for most coverings in a season – 266 mares.
But one thing Bel Esprit has continued to do is leave good tough horses who are winners.
He’s sired 1048 runners around the world for 726 winners of 2550 races so he’s produced – on average – 130 winners a year world-wide for the past 10 seasons.
With the new season only a month old the record is only going to get better because he’s already had 10 Australian winners.