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Covid-19 and Racing

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    • Sunday's top tips from the SCMP analystsView the full article
    • There were emotional scenes in the early parts of the Saturday session at Arqana when Without Words (Mendelssohn), who Mick Murphy and Sarah O'Connell of Longways Stables failed to sell at the breeze-up here in May, was knocked down to Justin Casse on behalf of Joseph O'Brien for €450,000.  Without Words carried O'Connell's colours to victory on her second start for trainer Francois Rohaut at Toulouse. There was a kaleidoscope of significance to the win and subsequent sale with Murphy revealing afterwards that his wife had recently been diagnosed with cancer and is due to undergo chemotherapy next week.  He said, “We've had a good year but there have been ups and downs. Sarah is sick at the moment. She was diagnosed with cancer and starts her chemotherapy on Tuesday. She will be okay but she has a tough few months ahead of her.” https://twitter.com/sazoconnell/status/1733460040399360359 It has been another successful year for Longways Stables on the track, highlighted by the Listed-winning and Group 2-placed graduate Flora Of Bermuda (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), and Saturday's result in the ring clearly meant a great deal. Murphy continued, “We breezed her here in May. We liked her a lot and felt we weren't getting what we deserved so we bought her back at €175,000.  “I bought her in America for $85,000 and thought that she was always going to be worth that because of her pedigree alone. We liked her, took a chance to race her, and Francous did a great job with her. He thinks she is a stakes filly. Sarah didn't want to sell her.” Without Words is a half-sister Combatant (Scat Daddy), a Grade I winner for John Sadler, and Long Lashes (Rock Hard Ten), a Group 3 winner for Saeed Bin Suroor. She was consigned by La Motteraye on behalf of O'Connell and Murphy. The post Emotional Scenes At Arqana As Without Words Lifts Longways Stables’ Spirits appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions. View the full article
    • New Zealand-bred juvenile Beau Dazzler was thrown in at the deep end for Saturday’s A$200,000 Listed Eureka Stud Phelan Ready Stakes (1000m) at Eagle Farm, and he rose to the occasion with a bold black-type win. The Ardrossan colt was making only the second start of his career on Saturday, having debuted with a second placing in a 1000m race at Toowoomba on November 25. After settling at the back among a field of only four, Beau Dazzler and jockey Robbie Dolan came across heels in the straight and set out after the front-running Mishani Explorer and Butwedid. Beau Dazzler began to move through his gears and lengthen stride, and despite racing greenly and having his head to the side, he finished over the top of the leading pair to win impressively by half a length. “I don’t think you’ll find a horse that will try to get himself beaten as much as he did then,” said Maddysen Sears, who trains in partnership with her father Tony. “He’s very green. We never expected him to race this early to be honest. He’s surprised us, but I think he’s got a bright future when he starts thinking about being a racehorse.” Beau Dazzler was offered by Mapperley Stud in Book 2 of Karaka 2023, where he was bought for $85,000 by Paul Moroney Bloodstock, Catheryne Bruggeman and Sears Racing. The Phelan Ready Stakes is often used as a stepping stone towards the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast a month later, but this year’s edition has the potential to be a springboard to a very different race for sales graduates. Beau Dazzler is eligible for the TAB Karaka Millions 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 27, and the talented colt’s trainers have indicated that they are open to the possibility of making the trans-Tasman trip. Beau Dazzler’s earnings of A$120,150 put him clearly at the top of the order of entry for the $1 million feature. Beau Dazzler became the first Australian stakes winner for promising Waikato Stud stallion Ardrossan, who has also been represented by Codigo, Loch Katrine and Saltcoats in New Zealand. Bred by the Dewar Partnership, Beau Dazzler is out of the Pentire mare Pwerfect, who comes from the family of northern hemisphere Group One stars such as Fame And Glory and Legatissimo. View the full article
    • Emerging stayer Captain Envious took his career to a new level with a runaway victory in the Listed Ballarat Cup (2000m), leading home a Kiwi-bred quinella in Saturday’s A$500,000 feature. With a highly impressive win over Young Werther, Captain Envious collected the first black-type success of a 16-start career that has now produced five wins, six placings and A$523,350 in stakes. The five-year-old son of Savabeel had been something of a perennial placegetter through this spring. He won the Murtoa Cup (2050m) on October 7, but then had to settle for third in the Horsham Cup (2100m), second in the Listed John Letts Cup (1800m) and a last-start third in the A$500,000 Victorian Country Cups Final (2000m) at Caulfield. Trainer Paul Preusker was working towards his main target of the Ballarat Cup throughout that itinerary, and Captain Envious got the job done in style on Saturday. Ridden by expat Kiwi jockey Mick Dee, Captain Envious settled in third-last behind a strong pace through the early part of the race. Dee moved off the fence rounding the home turn, and Captain Envious changed gears and stormed home down the centre of the track. He hit the lead with 150m remaining and powered clear, opening up a winning margin of two and a half lengths. “He was super,” Dee said. “It’s heavy ground today, but he quickened up like it was a good track. He ploughed through those conditions and was running away from them at the line. It even took a bit to pull him up afterwards, so it was a super effort today. “He didn’t jump the cleanest, so we ended up a little bit further back than we’d planned. I was going to stay on the fence with the way things have been going in previous races, but that wasn’t going to eventuate for us this time. I ended up peeling him out, and he took off and did the rest.” Preusker was pleased to achieve his long-term spring mission in Saturday’s feature. “I actually don’t know if I’ve had any Ballarat Cup runners before,” he said. “You like to have the right horse for the right job, and it’s only now that I’ve had that for this race. We’ve been targeting him towards this race for a bit now, so it’s a good achievement today. “He’s got a blistering turn of foot and has turned into a really nice horse. Wet or dry ground, it doesn’t matter to him. “We’ll take some time to digest this before making any other plans. I think he’s a horse that will get over a fair bit more ground in time. It’s just a matter of building up some points at the moment, and today was good for that.” Captain Envious races in the colours of his breeders, Ultra Thoroughbred Racing. He is by Savabeel out of the Italian-bred mare My Central, who won seven races including the Gr.3 Balanchine Stakes (1800m) in Dubai. All of the Central Park mare’s four foals to race have been winners, with Captain Envious the first to win at stakes level. My Central is also the granddam of Umgawa, who has won four races and finished second in the Gr.3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) in Melbourne. My Central produced another Savabeel colt in 2020, who was named Captain Electric and is being trained by Emma-Lee and David Browne. View the full article
    • In a race thrown into disarray by a false start, quality four-year-old Desert Lightning stood tall and claimed his first Group One victory in Saturday’s TAB Classic (1600m) at Trentham. The enduring story out of the $400,000 weight-for-age feature will be the auxiliary gates failing to open and the horses with the three widest draws – Faraglioni, Desert Lightning and Aegon – being left behind. Fortunately the remainder of the field all pulled up before the end of the back straight, but when the race was re-run several minutes later, those three horses all finished in the top four. That result indicates that it was clearly an advantage to have avoided the exertion of the aborted first running of the race, but dwelling on that would be doing a disservice to Desert Lightning. He was one of the standout male three-year-olds of last season, winning the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and placing in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m), the Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) and a star-studded running of the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m). The son of Pride Of Dubai has come back strongly as a spring four-year-old, winning first-up at Pukekohe before finishing third on heavy ground at Tauranga. He stepped up on to the big weight-for-age stage on Saturday and showed that he belonged. Rider Vinnie Colgan had to use up some petrol after Desert Lightning eventually left that wide gate, pushing forward to take up a position outside the front-running Town Cryer. Desert Lightning swept past Town Cryer soon after rounding the home turn, and he was all alone in front down the long Trentham straight. Faraglioni, Malt Time and Aegon came at him with powerful late finishes, but Desert Lightning kept finding and held them all out to win by a length. “It was unfortunate that we had the false start, and I imagine some of the other horses have tired legs now,” Colgan said. “But full credit to my horse. We had an awkward gate and I had to use him up early. He got off the nickel a little bit at the 600m and I was a little worried, but then he came back up underneath me again and made me feel a lot better. “He’s a very good horse and was strong right to the line. I think if something else had got to him a bit earlier in the straight, it would have actually helped him. It’s pretty windy today and I was out in front all by myself, and he did start to lug the last little bit. But every time he felt the presence of a horse coming, he lifted again. He’s a very good horse.” Desert Lightning is trained by Peter and Dawn Williams, who saddled Shuka for back-to-back wins in this race in 2013 and 2014. The Byerley Park-based couple bought Desert Lightning for $150,000 from the Little Avondale Stud draft in Book 1 of Karaka 2021. He is raced by the Williams team’s long-time clients, Sarah Green and Ger Beemsterboer’s Barneswood Farm. From 15 starts, Desert Lightning has now recorded four wins and five placings and earned $584,895 in stakes. “That was quite exciting, really,” Peter Williams said. “I was a nervous wreck after the false start, but fortunately he stayed very settled at the barrier. People might say that it was an advantage that he didn’t get away in the false start, but a lot can go wrong when the gates don’t open too – they can hit their heads and things like that. So there are factors for and against. “The owners are here today, so this is a great result. We’ll go home now and play it by ear in terms of the rest of his campaign.” Faraglioni ran second, a nose in front of Malt Time, with Aegon flashing home from last to be close up in fourth. Malt Time’s trainers Shaun and Emma Clotworthy were proud of the seven-year-old’s effort, being the only horse who took part in the first take of the TAB Classic to end up in a top-four position in take two. “We’re really happy,” Emma Clotworthy said. “She seems to just keep getting better with age, and she showed how tough she is today – especially with that false start. “She’s run huge races in a couple of Group Ones over 1600m now, and she was hard to pull up after the line, so maybe we could even look at further. But she’s pulled up well and we’re really happy. I think she’ll go home and have a good break now, and then we’ll regather and go from there.” View the full article
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