Miracle Blue Diamond result

It’s pronounced Stee-arka-vitch. Let’s get that straight, because it was the name on everyone’s lips after a fairytale result to today’s Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes.

‘Veteran’ Adelaide apprentice jockey Lauren Stojakovic and Miracles of Life provided the result sentimentalists wanted to see when they combined for a brilliant win in the $1 million Group 1 event.

Stojakovic, 29, had openly conceded to battling nerves, first before the Blue Diamond Preview – which Miracles of Life won effortlessly on 26 January – and in the month between runs, over her involvement in the Miracles of Life story.

But she justified trainer Daniel Clarken and owner Teeley Assets Ltd’s decision to stick with her over many big name hoops who were keen to assume the ride and was thrilled to celebrate victory with the filly who she calls Barbie.

“In the gates, I said to ‘Barbie’ that the gates were about to open and there was about a minute between us being good or great and after the line I told her she was just brilliant,” Stojakovic, who returned to scale with tears streaming down her face, said.

“I didn’t realise how good it could feel to cross the line (first) in a Group 1.”

The inside barrier that many thought would be a disadvantage proved an asset when Stojakovic produced a measured ride.

Although they jumped well, Stojakovic did not feel pressured to boot up and was happy to sit three horses back along the fence. She got one off at the 600m, edged three wide at the 400m and held Miracles of Life together until the 250m after which she quickly put the race beyond doubt.

Clarken said it was an outstanding ride and saved some praise for Miracles of Life, who has now won all four starts and became the third Blue Diamond winner in a row to maintain an unbeaten, following on from Sepoy and Samaready.

“That ride was 10 out of 10,” Clarken said. “Lauren knows the horse, she knows what she’s got and she used it to her advantage.

“It was sensational on behalf of horse and rider. We’ve just won the Blue Diamond!”

Miracles of Life, who started the $3.20 favourite, scored by 1.5 lengths from the David Hayes-trained Fast N Rocking ($26), who finished a half-head in advance of Godiva Rock ($17).

The Peter Snowden-trained Guelph, the $3.50 second elect, went back from her wide barrier and was never a factor, finishing ninth, more than six lengths from the winner.

Story by Brad Bishop

Courtesy www.racingvictoria.net.au

All Too Hard fantastic in Futurity

All Too Hard strengthened his already vice-like grip on next week’s Australian Guineas with a scintillating win in today’s Cathay Pacific Futurity Stakes at Caulfield.

The superstar colt, who was recently purchased by breeding giant Vinery Stud, made it two 1400-metre weight-for-age Group 1 wins in as many starts this campaign when he defeated Glass Harmonium and King Mufhasa in the $500,000 event.

It followed victory in the C.F. Orr Stakes on 9 February and was precisely what Wayne Hawkes, who co-trains All Too Hard with his father John and brother Michael, wanted to see a week out from his Melbourne Festival of Racing goal.

“It was a bit more fun today because we got the monkey off the back with the new owners last start, so it was quite enjoyable.

“It’s all right to be cocky when you know you’ve got the best horse but they can still get beaten and you like them to win.

“The Guineas looks the obvious option and he’ll be 99 percent of running but obviously we’re going to wait and see how he licks the bin and how he is in the next 48 hours.”

The son of Casino Prince and glamour broodmare Helsinge stepped into rarefied territory with the win, which took his record in Victoria to five wins from six starts with the only defeat a Cox Plate second placing.

It is the 16thtime the Orr-Futurity double has been completed, but he is the first horse since Hall of Famer Manikato – who did the double three times – to do it the year after winning the Caulfield Guineas.

“I wouldn’t put him in Manikato’s class just yet, but he’s working on it,” Hawkes said.

All Too Hard’s Futurity win was even more impressive than his soft Orr Stakes success. After jumping the best he has in his career, jockey Dwayne Dunn restrained the $1.90 favourite to find a position fifth one off the fence before letting him edge into the race rounding the home turn.

He accelerated impressively when asked by Dunn at the 300m and quickly put the race beyond doubt before careering away to score by 3-1/4 lengths.

Glass Harmonium ($18), who was also on his best behaviour at the start, poked home along the fence to grab second placing, a head in advance of last year’s winner’s King Mufhasa ($5.50).

Green Moon ($6), who was having his first start since winning last year’s Melbourne Cup, proved his Australian Cup campaign is firmly on track with a fine fourth placing.

Jockey Dwayne Dunn said he deliberately asked a bit of the horse he described as potentially the best he had ridden before he had won the first of his three Group 1s with the Guineas in mind next week.

“I wanted to open him up a little bit because he’s got to come back next week, if that is the plan, so he has a big mission ahead of him,” he said. “We wanted to see what’s there and we don’t want to be left with any stone unturned come the final.

“I put a label on him early and said he was one of the best I’ve ridden. I’ve been waiting 20 years to find something like this and it’s finally coming to fruition.”

All Too Hard’s win completed a winning treble for Dunn, who started the day with victory aboard the Dean Howard-trained Grand Emperor in the Premier Signs Plate and later scored aboard Foreteller in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes.

Story by Brad Bishop

Courtesy www.racingvictoria.net.au

Onassis steps up to Oakleigh plate

Barakey’s unbeaten record remains in tact, but it didn’t come in the manner connections had hoped for with the star Western Australian playing no part in a sensational Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate won by Mrs Onassis.

The Jim Taylor-trained gelding, who has won all 11 of his starts, was scratched at the barrier in a race that revived memories of the infamous 2007 Caulfield Cup, when hot favourite Maldivian was withdrawn at the starting stalls.

Second favourite Shamal Wind, who was also unbeaten, sat down in the stalls moments before the starter was set to release the field, which caused a delay that saw Barakey try to burrow under the gates. He was backed out and ruled unfit to start on vet’s advice.

That paved the way for the Gerald Ryan-trained Mrs Onassis to maintain her phenomenal record over 1100 metres.

The five-year-old daughter of General Nediym registered her seventh win from 12 starts over the trip when she overcame a wide draw to claim the Melbourne Racing Club’s premier sprint race.

It was a big thrill for Ryan, who only contemplated an Oakleigh Plate start a fortnight ago and was encouraged to persist with a start by owner Gerry Harvey.

“Two weeks ago when we got that wet weather in Sydney and a couple of her gallops were below par I thought she just might be fit enough to come here,” Ryan said.

“She worked the reverse way at Rosehill last Friday and her work was OK, nothing good, but I spoke to Claire (Bird, Harvey’s racing manager) Sunday morning about not coming and she spoke to Gerry and he said not to give up so easily.

“But she worked that well on Tuesday morning we thought we’d give her a go.”

The $16 chance scored by a length from Facile Tigre ($15), who had trouble obtaining a run early in the straight, while Spirit of Boom ($11), who was ridden for luck and had to search for runs along the inside, got up for third, three quarters of a length away.

Winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy conceded their job was made easier when Barakey came out but said it was an impressive win from Mrs Onassis.

“She’s still a pretty worthy winner,” McEvoy said. “Obviously we got a bit of luck with the Perth horse coming out, but she has got a nice sprint on her. It was a good win.”

Despite today’s victory which took Mrs Onassis to a share of the equal lead in the G1 Sprint Championship, she is now likely to return to Sydney for The Galaxy, which is run over her pet trip, while the Barakey team will try and regroup ahead of the $1 million Lexus Newmarket Handicap.

Story by Brad Bishop

Courtesy www.racingvictoria.net.au

Black Caviar heads Hall Of Fame inductees

Unbeaten champion Black Caviar’s place in the nation’s sporting history has been officially cemented with her induction this evening into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.

The Peter Moody-trained superstar, who claimed her 23rd win last Saturday in the renamed Black Caviar Lightning, joins dual Cox Plate heroine Sunline as the only horses to be inducted whilst still racing.

The six-year-old mare, who conquered the world’s best sprinters at Royal Ascot (UK) last June, joins exalted company including Phar Lap, Carbine, Tulloch, Kingston Town, Manikato and Makybe Diva.

A 13-time Group 1 winner and dual Australian Racehorse of the Year, Black Caviar was one of 10 racing greats welcomed into the Hall of Fame at a gala dinner at Melbourne’s Grand Hyatt.

Joining the Victorian-bred and trained champion in the 2013 induction were three racehorses, three associates, two jockeys and a trainer, thus swelling the Hall of Fame’s membership to 142.

In the highlight of the night, inaugural member Carbine, who carried a record 66kg to victory in the 1890 Melbourne Cup, was bestowed racing’s highest honour when elevated to Legend status alongside Phar Lap, Makybe Diva, Bart Cummings, Arthur ‘Scobie’ Breasley and Tommy Smith.

The equines entering the Hall of Fame with Black Caviar were Australia’s most famous jumper Crisp, 1951 Melbourne Cup winner Delta and Star Kingdom who sired the first five Golden Slipper winners.

‘Hughie’ Cairns, who in 1926 became the first rider to win the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in the one year, and Victoria’s champion apprentice of the late 1950’s, Geoff Lane, were the jockeys inducted.

Bruce McLachlan, a winner of 16 Brisbane training premierships, was the lone trainer inducted, while the three associates were renowned Sydney farrier Albert O’Cass OAM, leading South Australian bloodstock agent and administrator David Coles AM, and the inventor of the totalisator, Sir George Julius.

Horses

Black Caviar – Undefeated after 23 starts and still racing, the Peter Moody-trained mare has Australia’s longest winning streak, having demolished the previous mark of nine wins first set in 1880. Rated the world’s best sprinter, Black Caviar has won Group 1 races in four Australian states and grabbed the hearts of two nations with her win in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot (UK) in June 2012.

Crisp – Bred and raced by Sir Chester Manifold, Crisp is the first jumper to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. A multiple feature race winner in Australia, he is best remembered for his deeds when campaigning in England including his heroic second in the 1973 Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree (UK) when lumping 24 pounds more than winner Red Rum.

Delta – A star of the late 1940’s and early 50’s, the Maurice McCarten-trained Delta was the second horse ever to win the Victoria Derby and Cox Plate in the same year, doing so in 1949. The blueblood later won the 1951 Melbourne Cup, one of 11 victories he posted from 14 starts as a five-year-old.

Star Kingdom – The imported English sprinter made his mark in Australia as a champion sire in the 1950s and 60s including his remarkable record of siring the first five Golden Slipper winners. The first sire to amass progeny earnings of $2 million, Star Kingdom also ranks as the sire of champion sires like Bletchingly and Marscay, and counts Kingston Town amongst his startling list of descendents.

Jockeys

Geoff Lane – A former golden boy of Victorian racing, Lane was champion apprentice five times and claimed the 1959/60 senior Melbourne premiership in the year he completed his indentures. Lane won 76 feature races, including the 1961 Cox Plate aboard Dhaulagiri, and enjoyed a wonderful association with the horse dubbed the ‘King of Caulfield’, Lord, winning 17 races together.

Hugh ‘Hughie’ Cairns – The former New Zealand jockey became one of Australia’s great all-rounders competing with distinction in flat and jumps races at the same time. A winner of two Grand National and Australian Hurdles, Cairns became the first jockey to win the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in the one year in 1926. He was tragically killed in a race fall at Moonee Valley in 1929.

Trainer

Bruce McLachlan – After a stint as a policeman, McLachlan turned his hand to racehorse training and became a dominant force in Queensland preparing a stream of winners over four decades. At the age of 36, McLachlan won his first Brisbane trainers’ premiership and went on to secure a further 15 titles, with his 78 winners during the 1987-88 season establishing a then record.

Associates

Albert O’Cass OAM – From humble beginnings, O’Cass became an icon of Sydney racing as a master farrier and renowned teacher who was influential in establishing a trades course for farriers at TAFE. President of the NSW Master Farriers Association for 25 years, O’Cass tended many great racehorses during his career and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 1999 for his services to the sport.

David Coles AM – A highly regarded leader of the South Australian breeding and racing industries, Coles ran the successful Coles Brothers bloodstock company and was instrumental in fostering international interest in the Australian breeding industry as Bloodstock Manager for Dalgetys. He was for many years a member of the SA Jockey Club Committee and served as its Chairman from 1984 to 1989.

Sir George Julius – An engineer by trade, Julius developed the modern-day totalisator which was launched in New Zealand in March 1913 and used on Sydney Racecourses from 1917 and Melbourne from 1931. The adoption of the Julius totalisator has had a profound effect on the way in which on-course, and off-course, wagering is conducted in Australian racing to this day.

Black Caviar’s special return

Perhaps Peter Moody wasn’t joking. As inconceivable as it sounded, Black Caviar’s trainer had been saying for weeks that the world’s best racehorse has come back better than ever and today she showed why.

The unbeaten megastar produced one of the performances of her unprecedented 23-start career to win the race that is now named in her honour, the $500,000 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning, in front of 27,047 rapturous fans at Flemington.

The six-year-old daughter of Bel Esprit not only became the first horse to win Australia’s only 1000-metre Group 1 three times, she broke a 25-year-old track record when leading home a Moody-trained trifecta.

In defeating stablemates Moment of Change and Golden Archer, Black Caviar stopped the clock at 55.42 seconds, clipping 0.08secs of Special’s previous mark, which had been the second-oldest track record at Australia’s most famous racecourse.

Moody said it was great to see her return as good as ever given career looked over her Diamond Jubilee Stakes win at Royal Ascot last June.

“We were on a hiding to nothing by bringing her back, the job was done and we thought it was over but to come back and do that and run a record…I’m lost for words,” Victoria’s premier trainer said.

“I think it was the first time I’ve been nervous for a long time, I suppose it was the seven-month break, but I’m just so proud of her.”

It was a case of more of the same from Black Caviar once the gates opened for the opening leg of both the G1 Sprint Championship and Global Sprint Challenge. After jumping moderately, she took up a forward position before putting her rivals to the sword at the 350m.

The $1.10 favourite quickly put four lengths on her rivals and was given as easy time of things late by jockey Luke Nolen but cruised home by 2-1/2 lengths from Moment of Change ($21) with Golden Archer ($41) 3-1/4 lengths back third.

Nolen, who has now ridden Black Caviar to 20 of her 23 wins and all but one of her 13 Group 1 victories, said he was surprised with how fast she went.

“She didn’t tow up like she can through the early and middle stages, but she towed me into it nicely and I gave her a squeeze because I didn’t want to get complacent with win 23,” he said.

“Because you’re out on your own and it is a big track when the rail is back to the true and the wind is going about you don’t get a real appreciation of how quick you are going.

“I had a look at the time when I rolled back in and I thought we might have gone a bit quicker than how it felt.”

Moody didn’t reveal post-race where he was likely to head next, but she is likely to be among the second acceptances for the $1 million Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on 9 March when they are taken on Tuesday.

Story by Brad Bishop

Courtesy www.racingvictoria.net.au