Proisir puts rivals to the sword

Gai Waterhouse’s stunning spring three-year-old armoury now appears even more imposing than it did before the Newcastle Carnival after Proisir scored a dominant win in today’s $175,000 Group 3 Spring Stakes.

The son of Choisir added his name to the star-studded honour roll when he streaked home by 5-3/4 lengths in the 1600-metre event.

The colt is now bound for the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on 6 October before heading south to join stablemates Pierro – who is favourite for the Caulfield Guineas and Cox Plate – and Kabayan in Melbourne.

“This is always a great race and a great indicator of good horses and he just toyed with his rivals today, just toyed with them, and he won like the short-priced favourite he was,” Waterhouse said.

“He goes to the Spring Champion and then we’ll take him down to Melbourne. He’s just so exciting.”

A soft run in front allowed Proisir, the $1.30 favourite, to dominate his rivals late in the Spring Stakes.

He scored from Trophies ($101), who staved off a late charge from $7 second elect Proverb, who had trouble obtaining a clear run for much of the straight but wouldn’t have threatened Proisir.

Winning jockey Nash Rawiller always felt confident but was still taken with the performance.

“He really took the next step today with flying colours,” Rawiller said. “We’ve just let him keep happy at home and we haven’t really tightened the screws yet. He’s a really promising horse.”

Proisir’s performance had an impact on markets on the Spring features. He is now the $8 second favourite for the BECK Caulfield Guineas on 13 October and a $15 chance for the 27 October Sportingbet Cox Plate, for which he is also nominated.


Black Caviar shines again

Unbeaten mare Black Caviar has maintained her official status as the nation’s best equine with a back-to-back sweep of the 2012 Australian Racehorse of the Year Awards.

She was tonight named both the Sky Racing World Australian Racehorse of the Year and Inglis

Bloodstock Champion Sprinter for the second year running at a national awards ceremony presented by Sky Racing World, Tabcorp and Staging Connections at Peninsula, Docklands in Melbourne.

Black Caviar, who stretched her unbeaten streak to 22 in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot in June, won all nine starts during the 2011-12 racing season including six at Group 1 level.

In a remarkable season, the five-year-old Peter Moody-trained mare also secured back-to-back wins in Australia’s two legs of the Global Sprint Challenge, the Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) and Coolmore Lightning Stakes (1000m), as well as stretching her dominance to 1400m in the Orr Stakes at Caulfield.

With votes lodged on a 3-2-1 basis by 86 members of the racing media and senior racing administrators nationwide, Black Caviar secured 257 of a maximum 258 votes in the Racehorse of the Year Award to comfortably defeat More Joyous (70), Atlantic Jewel (65), Pierro and Manighar (33 apiece).

The mares’ dominance also helped Moody secure a second consecutive win in the Champion Group 1 Trainer Award, leading all-comers with 10 elite level victories on Australian soil.

It was the third-consecutive year that a Moody-trained mare has been named Australian Racehorse of the Year, after the recently ill-fated Typhoon Tracy was honoured in 2010, and the sixth time in eight years that a mare has claimed racing’s highest honour.

“It’s been a great thrill and we’ve had a marvellous time throughout the year and we owe it all to Black Caviar” part-owner Pam Hawkes said.

“The Lightning win was so breathtaking that I don’t think I took a breath for the entire fifty-five seconds of the race”.

The night was also one to remember for premier Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse with stable stars More Joyous and Pierro dominating their respective award categories.

More Joyous was a runaway winner of the Monjon Australia Champion Middle Distance Award, while Pierro collected 256 of a maximum 258 votes to land the Eliza Park Champion Two-Year-Old title.

More Joyous, who amassed 221 votes to account for Black Caviar’s stablemate Manighar (141), won five feature races during the season, including the middle distance Group 1 treble of the Queen of the Turf, Doncaster Mile and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Pierro remained unbeaten throughout his juvenile season, collecting Sydney’s coveted Triple Crown, headlined by his win in the $3.5 million Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill in April.

With six Group 1 wins between the Waterhouse pair it was no surprise that their regular partner Nash Rawiller tonight collected the Champion Group 1 Jockey Award with a nation-high 11 wins.

And it was another unbeaten galloper who took the honours in the night’s most closely contested

category, the New Zealand Bloodstock Champion Three-Year-Old Filly Award.

The Mark Kavanagh-trained Atlantic Jewel, who was successful in seven starts including two at Group 1 level, amassed 234 votes compared to Victorian rival Mosheen’s tally of 186.

Like Black Caviar, the recently retired Sepoy was recognised for a second year running. Last year’s Champion Two-Year-Old was tonight crowned the Michelton Champion Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding.

The full list of award winners, including the voting breakdown for each category, is as follows;

Sky Racing World Australian Racehorse of the Year – BLACK CAVIAR

Black Caviar (257 votes), More Joyous (70), Atlantic Jewel (65), Pierro (33), Manighar (33),

Mosheen (17), Dunaden (16), Hay List (9), Ortensia (7), Sepoy (3), Brungle Cry (2), Black And

Bent (2), Americain (1), King Mufhasa (1)

Eliza Park Champion Two-Year-Old – PIERRO

Pierro (256), Samaready (154), All Too Hard (47), Sizzling (32), Snitzerland (21), Driefontein (4),

No Looking Back (2)

New Zealand Bloodstock Champion Three-Year-Old Filly – ATLANTIC JEWEL

Atlantic Jewel (234), Mosheen (186), Streama (52), Sea Siren (35), Invest (4), Pear Tart (3), Pop

Culture (1), Quintessential (1)

Mitchelton Champion Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding – SEPOY

Sepoy (225), Helmet (88), Foxwedge (84), Manawanui (61), Ethiopia (25), Brambles (21),

Sangster (6), Laser Hawk (5), Zabeelionaire (1)

Inglis Bloodstock Champion Sprinter – BLACK CAVIAR

Black Caviar (258), Hay List (131), Ortensia (33), Sepoy (30), Atlantic Jewel (27), Buffering (13),

Foxwedge (8), Sea Siren (7), Rain Affair (5), Mid Summer Music (3), Temple Of Boom (1)

Monjon Australia Champion Middle Distance Award – MORE JOYOUS

More Joyous (221), Manighar (141), Atlantic Jewel (48), Mosheen (47), Pinker Pinker (35), King

Mufhasa (11), Secret Admirer (5), Luckygray (3), Shoot Out (2), Streama (2), Metal Bender (1)

New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing Champion Stayer – DUNADEN

Dunaden (228), Manighar (117), Americain (65), Southern Speed (62), Mosheen (25), Niwot (10),

Drunken Sailor (3), Ethiopia (3), Lights Of Heaven (2), Brambles (1)

Staging Connections Champion Jumper – BASHBOY

Bashboy (115), Black And Bent (64), Awakening Dream (29), Brungle Cry (28), Megapixel (22),

Tobouggie Nights (8), Gotta Take Care (6), Dubhdara (1), Fareer (1), Kirribilli Gold (1), Zaman (1)

Stable Connect Champion Sire – Fastnet Rock

Champion Group 1 Trainer Award – Peter Moody

Champion Group 1 Jockey Award – Nash Rawiller


Voting for the equine awards is based on performances anywhere in Australia during the racing season (1 August – 31 July) and on international performances by Australian-trained horses.

An Australian-trained horse is defined as a horse trained by a trainer licensed in Australia and who has a permanent training base in any state or territory of Australia. Under the conditions, Black Caviar and Ortensia have been judged on both their Australian and international performances during the 2011-12 racing season only.

The Champion Sprinter Award is based only on performances of horses in races of up to and including 1400 metres. The Champion Middle Distance Award is based only on performances of horses in races between 1401 metres and 2199 metres. The Champion Stayer Award is based only on performances of horses in races of 2200 metres and longer.

The Champion Jumper Award takes into account performances between 1 March 2012 and 25 August 2012 only. Victorian and South Australian racing media and senior administrators were exclusively invited to vote on this award. A total of 46 lodged their votes.

The Group 1 trainer and jockey awards take into account performances on Australian tracks only during the 2011-12 racing season (1 August – 31 July).

Darley / Snowden Quinella Golden Rose

Epaulette beats stablemate Albrecht to win first Group 1 of the season

Darley continued its great start to the season with Epaulette narrowly edging out stablemate Albrecht in the $1 million Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens.

With stable jockey Kerrin McKevoy electing to partner Albrecht, Tommy Berry gained the mount on Epaulette, a half-brother to last year’s Caulfield Guineas winner Helmet.

“When the draw came out I thought, oh s**t!” Peter Snowden said.

“They actually both did a lot wrong but god the last furlong was enormous, I can’t describe how good it was”.

“He’s a great colt Epaulette and that mare he’s out of Accessories, she’s a champion. She’s thrown Helmet and Bullbars and with him that’s three great horses”.

After drawing barrier eight in the ten horse field, Berry settled Epaulette at the tail alongside his stable mate before both made their runs down the outside in the home straight.

In a thrilling finish, Epaulette proved a touch too strong for Albrecht on the post with the John O’Shea trained Ashokan a further two and a half lengths away back in third.

As both of his colts are still only lightly raced, Snowden expects bigger things to come for the pair with Epaulette and potentially Albrecht now likely to head to Melbourne for the Group 1 Beck Caulfield Guineas in October.

“I feel there’s a lot more improvement in Epaulette out of today and I’m very proud of the other horse as well” Snowden said.

“He’ll go to Caulfield in two weeks for the Guineas prelude and then on to the Guineas”.

After being sent out the $2.60 favourite, Nechita strode to the front on the turn but couldn’t maintain her run and faded in the straight to finish sixth.


Happy Trails on Cox Plate Trail

Happy Trails secured a start in the Cox Plate with his Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes win

South Australian trainer Paul Beshara found the perfect way to secure his first Moonee Valley victory – with a Group 2 triumph that secured a start in Australia’s weight-for-age championship.

Beshara’s stable star Happy Trails continued his emergence with a breakthrough win against the sport’s elite in the $300,000 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m).

The win secured a ballot exemption in both the $3 million Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) and the $2.5 million BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m), but Beshara has his eyes on one race only.

“He’ll definitely go to the Cox Plate now. That’s your ticket in,” the ecstatic trainer declared.

“This is unbelievable, it’s a dream come true. Everybody wants to be on a happy trail and today we’re on one…..there’ll be a big party tonight.”

Beshara paid tribute to the five-year-old who, despite only registering his fourth win at start 26 today, has continued to show great improvement throughout 2012.

“He’s always been there, always puts 150% in every time he goes out. We owe him more than he owes us and today that’s a great thing,” he said.

Sent out the $5.50 third elect after a terrific last start second to Sincero in the Group 2 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, Happy Trails enjoyed a great run behind the speed for jockey Glen Boss.

He emerged from behind the leaders turning for home and settled down for a fascinating tussle with last year’s Caulfield Cup runner-up Green Moon, the $4 favourite.

With Green Moon set to work on by, Happy Trails kicked on strongly to score in a bobbing finish by a short-half-head with 2011 winner Rekindled Interest ($5) a length-and-a-half back in third.

“He had me cold, but probably died on his run,” Boss said of the runner-up.

The champion jockey knows what it takes to win a Cox Plate and thinks the $1 million Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on 10 November would be a better fit for Happy Trails, but he can understand Beshara’s unwavering desire to saddle up his first Cox Plate starter.

“I’m not sure if he can win the Cox Plate this horse, but he’s obviously doing a lot better this preparation. He’s got good form around some very good horses,” he said.

“I think a race like the Emirates at the end of the Carnival. That looks like a race that he could win, but it does cost you nothing to dream.”

Happy Trails is expected to contest the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington in three weeks time where he’s likely to meet some of his Dato Tan Chin Nam rivals.


Joyous return in Sheraco

Superstar mare More Joyous wins easily first up in Sydney

Glamour mare More Joyous kicked off her Cox Plate campaign in fine style today with an effortless win in the Listed $100,000 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney.

Sent out the red-hot $1.16 favourite, the eight-time Group 1 winner had little trouble overcoming a strong field of fillies and mares racing away to score by just over a length on the line.

In a slowly run affair, jockey Nash Rawiller settled outside the early leader Miss Marx before asking More Joyous for an effort once they entered the home straight.

Given a crack with the whip to really put the issue beyond doubt, the victory proved a pretty soft one on the line with the leader Miss Marx holding on for second and NSW horse of the year Streama battling away into third.

Trainer Gai Waterhouse said More Joyous would now head to the Golden Pendant at Rosehill Gardens in two weeks.

“She’s a superstar, she’s marvelous” Waterhouse said.

“You’ll see her again in the Golden Pendant and then she’ll go to Melbourne”.

The win took More Joyous’ career prize money haul to over $4.3M with her record now reading 20 wins from 27 starts.

“Twenty wins she’s had, not even Strawberry Road won that many” owner John Singleton said.

“It’s just amazing, twenty wins, nineteen of them group wins and it’ll be twenty group wins next week”.