Europeans Melbourne bound with Newmarket quarantine approved

Racing Victoria (RV) is pleased to advise that the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) has today approved the pre-export quarantine arrangements at Newmarket, United Kingdom, thus paving the way for European horses to compete during Victoria’s 2011 Spring Racing Carnival.

“We are delighted that AQIS has given approval for quarantine at Newmarket which will ensure that European trainers can continue their preparations for this year’s Spring Racing Carnival safe in the knowledge that the required quarantine facilities exist,” RV Chief Executive, Rob Hines, said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank AQIS for their efforts in reaching this positive outcome, together with officials at IRT and Side Hill who were also instrumental.

“We are continuing our positive discussions with AQIS around pre-export quarantine facilities at Ballydyole in Ireland and remain confident of reaching a resolution that would allow Coolmore-owned horses such as So You Think to return to Australia via that facility should his owners so desire.”

The first list of international contenders for the Spring Racing Carnival will be known next Tuesday, 2 August when nominations close for the BMW Caulfield Cup and Tatts Cox Plate.

Nominations for the Emirates Melbourne Cup close a month later on Thursday, 1 September, where additional international contenders will emerge.

MODULE HAS A SPRING IN HIS STEP

Module will be freshened with the Spring Carnival in mind after he extended his unbeaten run for new connections at Flemington Saturday.

The son of Reset relished the step to 2000 metres as he pulled clear of the well back second favourite Conquering Journey late to win easily.

Formerly raced by the Williams family, Module was purchased by Melbourne based agent Cameron Cooke on behalf of the Gelagotis family for $70,000 at January’s Magic Millions Racehorse Sale at the Gold Coast.

A winner in Adelaide at his first run for the Peter Gelagotis stable in mid-June, Module has won his next two events now at Flemington.

“I said after the last start that I thought there was a bit left,” a delighted Manny Gelagotis reported.

“He had a beautiful run and it was a great ride.”

“He’s a horse who makes his own luck. He’s holding himself together well and he’s delivering the promise he’s always shown.”

“As I said last start, I don’t think we’ve really improved him – in the sense that he’s doing something that he hasn’t done before.”

“We’re getting more runs out of him,” Gelagotis added. “We’re looking after him. He’s got a few little nigglies – but he’s a very happy horse – he’s letting go and he’s got some class.”

“We’ll wait and see how he pulls up. We might give him a little freshen up for a fortnight and then look at something nicer for him.”

Gelagotis said Module would be nominated for the feature Cup races during the carnival.

“We’re not sure where he’ll end up – but he’s shown us he will stay and he will be given his chance in some races, down in the weights.”

Winning rider Damien Oliver said the gelding shaped up as a genuine “listed or Group Three horse” of the future.

Module is by Zabeel’s unbeaten sire son Reset and from the Sydney stakes winning Brocco mare Hiss Helterskelter.

Her dam in turn is from a Brisbane winning daughter of the group winning juvenile Farfalla.

RV welcomes announcement of new Wagering Licensee

Racing Victoria Chief Executive, Rob Hines, has issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement of the new Wagering and Betting Licensee from August 2012.

“Racing Victoria welcomes the Victorian Coalition Government’s decision to award the new Wagering and Betting Licence to Tabcorp Wagering (Vic) Pty Ltd and the Government’s continuing commitment to delivering a ‘no less favourable’ outcome for the Victorian Racing Industry,” Hines said.

“We look forward to holding discussions with Tabcorp over the coming weeks to finalise the terms of the new joint venture arrangements.

“As the negotiations will be subject to a commercial in confidence process, we are unable to make any further comment at this stage.”

The new 12-year licence, which commences in August 2012, allows the licensee to conduct pari-mutuel and fixed odds betting, operate the only off-course retail network in Victoria, establish and operate a Betting Exchange in Victoria to support account based betting and conduct approved simulated racing events.

As part of the licence terms, Tabcorp will make an up-front premium payment to the Coalition Government of $410 million.

“This is an outstanding result and will achieve the quinella of excellent value for money for this asset and a fair deal for the racing industry,” Minister for Gaming Michael O’Brien said.

“As the successful licensee, Tabcorp will be responsible for delivering the entertainment, jobs and social benefits that Victorians expect of the wagering industry.”

Mr O’Brien said Tabcorp was chosen following extensive evaluation of two very strong bids and had clearly demonstrated the required expertise.

Minister for Racing Denis Napthine said today’s announcement would further secure the financial future of Victoria’s racing industry by delivering increased revenue in real terms above current arrangements.

“The Victorian racing industry and Tabcorp will work together for the future of the industry,” Dr Napthine said.

“Tabcorp has made a binding offer to the racing industry that is no less favourable than the current arrangements and the two parties will commence negotiations immediately to finalise the terms of their joint venture arrangements.

“The Coalition Government is committed to continued growth in the Victorian racing industry so that it remains the number one racing state in Australia and has already commenced work with these parties to enable a smooth transition in 2012.”

As part of the bid evaluation, Tabcorp was required to show it has a business approach consistent with Victoria’s responsible gambling principles.

Both Tabcorp and its agents will be required to comply with the Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct which will be monitored and enforced by the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation.

The Gambling Licences Review project is subject to two levels of probity, with both an independent probity auditor and the Independent Review Panel providing oversight to ensure transparency of the licensing process. The Panel’s report found no impediment to the Minister making the decision.

For information on the Gambling Licences Review process, go to http://www.gamblinglicences.vic.gov.au/.

Information on transition to the new gambling arrangements commencing in 2012 is available from the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation http://www.vcgr.vic.gov.au/.

Three courses of Caviar on Spring Carnival menu

Black Caviar is likely to make three appearances at this year’s Spring Racing Carnival, culminating with the race that shapes as the carnival’s headline act – the $1 million Patinack Farm Classic.

Monday’s Herald Sun unveiled trainer Peter Moody’s 2011/12 program for the unbeaten mare, who on Tuesday returns to his Caulfield stable after three weeks’ pre-training.

It is the same three-race campaign that the daughter of Bel Esprit undertook last spring, beginning with the $200,000 Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) on The Age Caulfield Guineas Day (October 8).

She will then progress to the $300,000 Group 2 Schweppes Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Tatts Cox Plate Day (October 22).

Her final Melbourne appearance for 2011 will be in the 1200m Patinack Farm Classic (November 5) – the race that last year provided her with her maiden Group 1 win.

Black Caviar has since won five more Group 1s – Lightning Stakes, Newmarket Handicap, William Reid Stakes, TJ Smith Stakes and BTC Cup – to take her career record to 13 wins from as many starts and lift her earnings to $3,474,050.

The news that Black Caviar will campaign in Melbourne this spring and not head to Japan for the rich Sprinters Stakes increases the likelihood of a long-awaited showdown with Rocket Man.

The Singapore champion – a winner of 16 of his 20 starts including the Golden Shaheen and KrisFlyer International Sprint this year – is tentatively booked to come with trainer Patrick Shaw to make a final decision after he inspects facilities next month.

The Patinack carries not only a $600,000 winner’s purse, but the potential for $1.2 million in bonuses.

Moody told the Herald Sun that the decision to remain in Melbourne was made with next year in mind, when he plans to tackle the Orr Stakes and Futurity Stakes – both $400,000 Group 1 races over 1400m at Caulfield – with the rising five-year-old.

The ultimate aim is either the King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) or the Golden Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot next June.

“I had a meeting with the owners after Brisbane and they placed Royal next June at the top of their wish list,” he said.

“Everything I’m planning for her in the spring is with the goal of having her right for the Orr and Futurity next year when I’m excited about getting her out to 1400m.”

Other races Moody has in mind for Black Caviar next season are the $500,000 Group 2 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in Perth on November 19, the $200,000 Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 27 and either the George Ryder Stakes or Queen Of The Turf (both $400,000, 1500m) at Rosehill on April 4.

Yendall and Weir make Mildura their own with winning quartet

Dean Yendall and Darren Weir enhanced their reputation as one of Victoria’s most lethal country jockey/trainer combinations at Mildura on Monday.

Yendall, Victoria’s leading jockey, and Weir, the state’s highest-ranked regional trainer, teamed to win half the card.

The duo, who combined to win last month’s Swan Hill Cup with Can Do, put an early stamp on the day with a running double in races two and three, before claiming two of the last three races.

They produced first-starter Binjai ($5) to score a barnstorming win in the Trentham Estate Plate Maiden Plate (1400m), before backing up with $1.90 favourite Pure Fantasy in the Sunraysia Daily Maiden Plate (1000m).

Weir and Yendall had to settle for an eighth placing with Tortured in Race 4, but bounced back two races later with Perian Moon.

The Fusaichi Pegasus four-year-old ($4) was last and under pressure on the home turn in the Sunraysia Daily Handicap (1400m), but unleashed a barnstorming burst to power over the top of his 0-68 rivals.

Schabacle could manage only third in Race 7, but Weir and Yendall were back in the winner’s circle after the last, the Christmas Party Races Friday 19/12 Handicap with Lucidus.

The filly sent punters home happy, scoring a comfortable win as a $2.20 favourite.

The haul enhanced Horsham-based Yendall’s standing at the top of the Victorian Jockeys’ Premiership, with 143.5 wins to his name.

Weir has the unstoppable force that is Peter Moody (169.5 wins) to contend with in the Victorian Trainers’ Premiership, but 111.5 wins for the season have the Ballarat horseman in second place, clear of Mick Price and Lee Freedman.