QUEST COMPLETE AS TORIO STARS IN GUINEAS

Bargain buy Torio’s Quest was labelled a definite Group One horse following his emphatic win in the $1 million Gold Coast Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) today.

Trainer Brett Partelle was bullish pre-race about the chances of his exciting gelding and his charge didn’t let him down as he came with a barnstorming run in the straight to win.

“It’s terrific,” Partelle said. “Things really went to plan.”

“I put the binoculars down at the 1000 (metre mark) and thought gee you’re going to have to be a good horse.”

“He’s a very good horse and there’s no doubt he’s a Group One horse,” Partelle added.

“The world is at his feet.”

“We’ve won three Millions in a year and I don’t think any other trainer has done that. So I’m pretty chuffed about that.”

“My staff, my lovely lady at home and my boy and all my family back at home – they will be doing cartwheels.”

Torio’s Quest is raced by the Vieira family – they earlier cheered home the David Pfeiffer trained Gai’s Choice in the feature Magic Millions Fillies & Mares Handicap.

“They’ve done very well and I’m sure they’ll enjoy a nice dinner tonight and probably a nice bottle of red,” Partelle said.

Today’s Guineas winner came into the race in sparkling form following his exciting win in the recent $100,000 Magic Millions Wyong 3YO Stakes.

Partelle also won last year’s Magic Millions Cup with subsequent group winner Walking or Dancing.

With Hugh Bowman aboard, Torio’s Quest cruised home to beat local galloper Startsmeup (Danzero) by a length.

Running third, a further three parts of a length back, was the Craig Williams mount and race favourite Top Drop (Snitzel)

Torio’s Quest, by the Irish bred Group One winner Oratorio, has won four of his five lifetime starts and earned a staggering $685,150.

He’s turning out to the be the most incredible money spinner for his connections considering he cost just $15,000 at the 2009 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale at Morphettville.

Torio’s Quest is one of three winners, from three to race, for the unraced Quest for Fame mare Quest for Pleasure.

She in turn is a daughter of the Group One Victoria Oaks winner Sandy’s Pleasure.

The 2011 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale will be held at the Morphettville Sales Complex on March 15 and 16.

Aussie Stars Rated World’s Best In 2010 Rankings

Australian racing’s superstars Black Caviar and So You Think have achieved worldwide acclaim following the release of the 2010 World Thoroughbred Rankings (WTR) by the International Federation of Horse Authorities in London on Tuesday night.

Unbeaten Victorian speedster Black Caviar has been officially rated the Champion Sprinter of the World, while So You Think has been rated Equal Champion Intermediate (Middle Distance) Turf Performer of the World alongside Irish star Rip Van Winkle.

In a unique circumstance, So You Think has also been rated the Champion Stayer of the World for his third placing in the Emirates Melbourne Cup in which he carried 56kg as a four-year-old, conceding weight to race winner Americain in the world’s premier staying race.

The 2010 World Thoroughbred Rankings take into account all performances throughout the world, irrespective of where individual horses raced or were trained, during the calendar year.

To merit inclusion in the rankings, a horse must have been rated at 115 or above in the period under review.

Of the 329 to make the rankings in 2010, 43 were Australian-trained, whilst a further 10 Australian-bred horses raced abroad with great distinction.

In a landmark year for Australian racing, the Peter Moody-trained Black Caviar and Bart Cummings-trained So You Think both achieved record ratings.

Greg Carpenter, Chairman of the ANZ Classifications Committee and Australia’s representative on the WTR Committee, said the rankings gave cause for celebration.

“The 2010 World Thoroughbred Rankings are a wonderful advertisement for the quality of Australia’s racing and breeding industries,” Carpenter said.

“The respect for Australian racing on the world stage can only prosper through the achievements of horses like Black Caviar and So You Think.

“To have the Champion Sprinter, Intermediate and Stayer of the World is an outstanding result and what’s most pleasing is that their record performances came here in Australia during the Spring Racing Carnival, not whilst competing overseas.

“There was fruitful discussion at the World Rankings Conference in Hong Kong about Black Caviar, So You Think and also Hay List and I was pleased to be able to articulate the merits of their performances to the other delegates.”

SO YOU THINK

Dual Tatts Cox Plate winner So You Think was afforded an official rating of 126 making him the highest rated Australian horse since the World Thoroughbred Rankings began in 2002.

The previous Australian record rating of 124 was held jointly by Northerly (2002) and Makybe Diva (2005), with El Segundo (2007) next best on 123.

So You Think achieved his rating of 126 on two occasions in October with runaway weight-for-age victories in the Group 1 Yalumba Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield and the Group 1 Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.

A four-time Group 1 winner in 2010 from just six starts, So You Think will continue his racing career in Europe this year after the four-year-old stallion was purchased by Irish breeding conglomerate Coolmore following his Melbourne Cup placing.

BLACK CAVIAR

Four-year-old mare Black Caviar achieved a rating of 123 when stretching her unbeaten record to eight with a stunning victory in the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington in November.

Her rating was the highest ever by an Australian trained sprinter, eclipsing the 122 rating achieved by both Scenic Blast (2009) and Weekend Hussler (2008) in the two previous years, and led a domination of world sprinting by Australian-bred thoroughbreds in 2010.

Five of the top six sprinters in the world were bred in Australia with Hong Kong-trained Sacred Kingdom (121), Singapore-trained Rocket Man (121), Ireland-trained Starspangledbanner (121) and New South Wales speedster Hay List (120) proving wonderful ambassadors for the Australian breeding industry.

South African star JJ The Jet Plane, who rated 122 in winning December’s Hong Kong International Sprint, was the only sprinter bred outside Australia in the top six.

Former Victorian sprinter Starspangledbanner, a Group 1 sprint winner in both hemispheres during 2010, was afforded the honour of Champion 3YO Sprinter of the World.

Black Caviar, who returned to Peter Moody’s stables this week, will be the headline act during February and March’s lucrative Melbourne Festival of Racing. She is slated to resume in the Group 1 Coolmore Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on 19 February.

WORLD’S BEST PERFORMERS

The top rated horse for 2010 was English sensation Harbinger who achieved a rating of 135 before a fractured cannon bone stalled his meteoric rise and forced his retirement in August.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute and part-owned by Australian interests, Harbinger achieved his rating when beating a star-studded field in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2400m) by 11 lengths at Ascot in July.

Harbinger’s rating of 135 is just one less than that given to champion Irish colt Sea The Stars 12 months prior during his unbeaten three-year-old reign.

USA Breeders Classic (Dirt) winner Blame, the only horse to defeat glamour mare Zenyatta, was next in the rankings on 129, with Epsom Derby and Arc de Triomphe winner Workforce, star French three-year-old Makfi and American star Quality Road on 128.

Japan’s Arc De Triomphe runner-up Nakayama Festa and brilliant English three-year-old Canford Cliffs, a winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas and Sussex Stakes, were rated 127.

Rated alongside So You Think on 126 was the Aidan O’Brien-trained stablemates, Irish Derby winner Cape Blanco and Juddmonte International Stakes winner Rip Van Winkle.

AUSTRALIA’S GREAT RACE

The release of the 2010 World Thoroughbred Rankings served to confirm the Emirates Melbourne Cup’s billing as the world’s premier staying race, whilst franking November’s 150th edition as the best in history.

Taking into account the handicap conditions, four-year-old So You Think was afforded a rating of 122 for his third placing making him Champion Stayer of the World.

Cup winner Americain, who carried less weight than his younger rival, achieved a rating of 121 which was the second highest mark afforded a horse in a race greater than 2700 metres.

Both performances were rated superior to Arctic Cosmos’ (120) win in the English St Leger, Sans Frontieres’ (120) victory in the Irish St Leger, Jaguar Mail’s (118) win in Japan’s Tenno Sho (Spring) and the Ascot Gold Cup win of Rite Of Passage (118).

“The rankings confirm the Emirates Melbourne Cup’s standing as the world’s best staying race, with 2010 the highest rated edition by a considerable margin,” Carpenter said.

“The reason So You Think rated higher than Americain, is because he conceded his older rival 3kg, that being 1.5kg in actual weight plus a four-year-old weight-for-age allowance of 1.5kg, which equates to about 5.5 lengths over 3200 metres,” he explained.

“In finishing only 3.25 lengths from Americain So You Think ran to a higher rating in the Cup, even allowing a discretionary element for the ease of the French horse’s victory.”

Looking ahead to this year, the World Thoroughbred Rankings provide a source of interest with four internationals featured within already on Australian soil in preparation for the 2011 Spring Racing Carnival.

Midas Touch (118) and At First Sight (115) have both been purchased by Lloyd Williams; Glass Harmonium (115) has been acquired by clients of trainer Mike Moroney; whilst UK stayer Tactic (117) has been transferred to David Hayes.

AUSTRALIAN TRAINED

The total number of Australian-trained horses to make the World Thoroughbred Rankings dropped from 50 to 43 in 2010, but Carpenter explained that there’s more to the story.

“Whilst there was a reduction, it is clearly the second highest tally we’ve achieved and there are mitigating factors,” he said.

“The dominance of horses like So You Think and Black Caviar meant the spread of feature winners was less than previous years, plus we saw horses trained outside Australia in Americain, Lion Tamer and Wall Street winning Group 1 races here.

“It is also important to note that the number of Australian-trained horses to rate 120 or greater continues to grow. We had five horses in this elite category in 2010, up from four the year prior and just two in 2008, which is a most pleasing progression.”

Joining So You Think, Black Caviar and Hay List in the elite category were Cox Plate placegetters Zipping and Whobegotyou who both rated 120.

Total Number of Australian Trained Horses Rated 115+

2010 43

2009 50

2008 36

2007/08 33

2006/07 29

2005/06 16

2004/05 9

For a full list of the 2010 World Thoroughbred Rankings visit http://www.horseracingintfed.com/.

Magic Millions Raceday Contingency Announced

Magic Millions in association with the Gold Coast Turf Club and Racing Queensland have got on the front foot and announced a contingency plan in the event the track for Saturday’s raceday is deemed unsafe to race.

The exclusive $4.3 million raceday would be postponed until Sunday (January 16) if the track was not passed by Racing Queensland stewards.

If the races were pushed back 24 hours, the fifth session of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale scheduled for that day would also move back a day (to Monday, January 17).

“It is important to get on the front foot here and work out a contingency plan in the event the weather is inclement and the races can’t go ahead as planned on Saturday,” Magic Millions Managing Director Stephen Silk said.

“The forecast is for the conditions to improve later in the week and everyone linked with the event is confident the race day will go ahead as scheduled on Saturday.”

“The Gold Coast track is the best wet weather track in the country and its ability to recover from heavy rain is second to none,” Silk added.

The Gold Coast Turf Club, who are hosting the famous race meeting, are looking forward to their raceday this weekend.

“The Magic Millions Raceday is the richest in Queensland and is one of the pinnacles of the Australian racing calendar,” Gold Coast Turf Club Chief Executive Grant Sheather reported.

“Our club has worked hard in the lead up for this year’s raceday and we’re looking forward to another highly successful day on Sautrday – or if the weather is against us, on Sunday.”

The first session of the 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale will commence at 11am (Qld time) on Wednesday.

The barrier draw for the $2 million BMW Magic Millions 2YO Classic will be held at the Boardroom of the Turf Club from 9am sharp that same day. The draw will be broadcast live on Sky Racing World.

Former US Sprinter Set To Debut For Carey

Horses debuting for new stables always garner plenty of interest, but when that runner has been placed in a leg of the Global Sprint Challenge at Royal Ascot there’s added intrigue.

American sprinter Cannonball arrived in Australia 12 months ago with a burgeoning reputation, but he’s failed to recapture his peak international form and now finds himself under new tutelage.

After a four-start Spring campaign in Sydney with Gai Waterhouse that only yielded a Group 3 placing, the six-year-old gelding has found his way into the Mornington stables of Pat Carey.

Still owned by US millionare Ken Ramsey, Cannonball will debut for Carey in the Listed $100,000 L.T.Cleary (Doveton) Stakes (1200m), the feature event on Saturday’s metro card at Caulfield.

“I’m friends with an associate of the Ramseys who recommended the horse come to me if he was returning to Victoria. He’s been with me for about eight or nine weeks now,” Carey explained.

Despite his stellar feats in 2009, Carey has not set any lofty expectations for the 26-start veteran who is yet to blaze a trail on the training track.

“I’m still trying to find my way with the horse,” he explained. “He had a quite jump out at Balnarring, but hasn’t done anything special yet.

“He’s closer to the twilight of his career than the beginning and his form is quite patchy, but hopefully he can reclaim his best for us.

“We’ve taken all his gear off him and Saturday will give us the best guide as to where he’s at.”

Cannonball arrived Down Under to contest the 2010 Global Sprint Challenge after being beaten a head in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June of 2009.

The American-trained sprinter then finished third in the Breeders Cup Sprint in his homeland before being beaten four lengths by Sacred Kingdom in the Hong Kong International Sprint.

He jarred up in his Australian debut in the Lightning Stakes, before failing to make an impression from the rear in a leader-dominated Newmarket Handicap. He was then transferred to Waterhouse’s care.

Cannonball will jump from gate six of 14 upon his return to Melbourne with Steven King carrying 57kg in the 4.10pm (AEST) feature.

Despite dropping in grade, he meets a quality summer sprint field headed by topweight First Command (59kg) who boasts four wins from five appearances at Caulfield.

Other runners of interest include Mark Kavanagh’s promising four-year-old Imperial Command who resumes from a spell and has an impeccable first-up record, talented Sydney visitor Ego’s Dare and Midnight Mustang, who returns to former trainer Luke Oliver.

In other news from the Pat Carey stable, last start Bagot Handicap runner-up Our Serena will be kept “ticking over for the next month” with The Lavazza Long Black, over the same track and distance as the Bagot, pencilled in as a long-term goal on 2011 Emirates Melbourne Cup Day.