Moore planning Plate Attack

The John Moore-trained Military Attack, arguably the most improved horse on the world racing stage, overnight scored a commanding win in the $3 million Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) and may now be bound for the Moonee Valley Racing Club’s showpiece, the Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m).

“The Cox Plate would be a nice race for him now,” said Moore after breaking his International racing duck with the gelding who posted his fourth consecutive win on a night which belonged to Hong Kong with Lucky Nine having earlier won the KrisFlyer and Moore also claiming second in the Cup with Dan Excel.

“He’ll have a break now and I’ll be seriously looking at the Cox Plate. I know the Moonee Valley Racing Club has sent all the details to (owner) Steven Lo and I’ll have a good talk to Steven about it. This is a serious horse now, he’s kept progressing and we probably have to keep raising the bar.

“It will be a challenge to do both – to take on the Cox Plate and also the Hong Kong (International) Cup in December but it might be manageable. The horse has shown now that he thrives on travel and he’s good fresh so we can train him that way,” he said.

Moore said he was delighted to have the international monkey off his back after a number of major race seconds when abroad, including with Zaidan in last year’s Singapore Cup. “It’s great to have that out of the way and my next target is to win a Group 1 race in Australia,” he said.

Military Attack won the 2000 metres feature by 3.25 lengths from his stablemate Dan Excel and ran near course record time in a performance which jockey Zac Purton described as “phenomenal”. The victory followed his success in the APQEII Cup on 28 April.

“I expected him to go close but of course I was surprised that he was able to blow them away like that,” said Purton.

Last year’s Doomben Cup winner Mawingo returned to something like his best form, at his first run for local trainer Michael Freedman, when he finished a head behind Dan Excel in third place.

The Australian Bloodstock-owned German import, formerly trained out of Victoria by Freedman’s brother Anthony, was closing late and could well have grabbed second in a few more strides.

“He’s run one hell of a race. He did have a dream run and couldn’t match the winner but he was just pipped for second. He ran very well,” said jockey Hugh Bowman.

“I’ve only ridden him a couple of times and that was by far his best run under me and probably his best since last year’s Doomben Cup.”

The 2011 Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux finished eighth and found the trip “too short” according to jockey Gerald Mosse, after having competed at 3200 metres in Japan at his previous run.

Story by Steve Moran


Sprinter denied in Singapore

Hong Kong’s Lucky Nine denied Australia’s Bel Sprinter in tonight’s $1 million Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint (1200m) in Singapore and in the process a major sprint rivalry may well have begun which could continue throughout 2013.

Lucky Nine provided trainer Caspar Fownes with a second win in the Singapore spring feature, having won in 2010 with former Australian galloper Green Birdie, and the trainer immediately declared that he was “ten to one on” to campaign a horse in Australia and that Lucky Nine could well be the one to blaze that trail.

“I am ten to one to get there at some stage. It’s something I’m very keen to do. The Aussies are so passionate about their racing and I want to be part of it one of these days. Obviously we’ll look at the Melbourne spring program among the many options for the horse,” he said.

The Melbourne option is obviously the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m), a leg of the Global Sprint Challenge, with Lucky Nine now eligible for the VRC $600,000 bonus which would mean a $1.2 million first prize should he win. The Sprinters Stakes in Japan is also a possibility as is Royal Ascot but Fownes said a UK trip was only a “maybe” at this stage.

And, aside from all those possibilities, the Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint (1200m) in his own backyard in December is probably the race definitely locked in all being well and that could well see a rematch with Jason Warren’s Bel Sprinter.

“I’ll look forward to seeing him again if December, if not sooner,” Warren said, referring to Lucky Nine after Bel Sprinter charged late to be beaten a margin of three lengths which was not a true reflection of the margin between the two horses.

Warren hadn’t met Fownes but introduced himself immediately after the race and was among the first to congratulate the winning trainer. Fownes returned the goodwill gesture by labelling Bel Sprinter a “gun”.

While Lucky Nine enjoyed the run of the race, Bel Sprinter had to come from the tail and overcome a severe bump on the home turn.

“He copped one hell of a bump on the home turn,” said jockey Hugh Bowman, “It may not have been the difference between winning and losing but he should have been closer.

“He’s run a terrifically good race. He struggled to get into a rhythm early but he eventually got balanced, at least before the prat on the turn and he did produce a finishing burst.”

Warren said he was happy rather than disappointed. “He’s run so well you have to be happy. I’ve been around racing too long to dwell on running second. He was on his wrong leg for the first 400 metres. He’s come from those two runs in Sydney and gone back to going left handed. That might have thrown him early.

“It got a bit rough for him on the corner but he hit the line enormous. He’s done a super job. He’s done Australia proud. He’s still learning this horse. He’s had 15 starts and done something wrong in just about every one of them but he’ll come on from this experience and I think we’re in for a good spring,” Warren said.

The winner was, of course, ridden by Hong Kong based Australian Brett Prebble who’d previously won the race on Sacred Kingdom in 2009.

“My confidence grew from six to ten when the horse began well,” Prebble said, “he had his mind on the job and ran right up to his very best which is very bloody good especially when you consider all the issues he has.”

Fownes said the win was “satisfying” and a great relief. “You can’t imagine the pressure I felt leading into this race with the horse’s internal issues, his feet problem and just for good measure we discovered a chip in a fetlock joint when we x-rayed him recently. Who knows how good his record would be but for all his little problems,” Fownes said.

Story by Steve Moran


Blackiston builds Spring arsenal

If the win of unbeaten three-year-old Desert Wizard at Flemington yesterday is anything to go by, trainer Nigel Blackiston has a lot to look forward to this spring and beyond.

Desert Wizard made it two wins from as many career starts in the $80,000 K.A. Morrison Handicap (1600m) yesterday and confirmed himself among Blackiston’s imposing arsenal of gallopers heading towards the Melbourne spring.

Bred out of the same family as Group 1 winners Headturner and Anacheeva , Blackiston is hoping the son of Golan can measure up to something better than yesterday’s off-season three-year-old race.

However the trainer was quick to point out that while Desert Wizard was likely to tackle black-type races during the spring, it would be next year’s Melbourne Festival of Racing and the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival when fans would see the best of the untapped gelding.

“We have (got a lot to look forward to) but possibly not this coming spring, I think maybe more the autumn and then the following spring is where we will see the best of him,” Blackiston admitted on RSN.

“I will try to sit down and map a little program, maybe two or three runs this spring and then we can have a really good go in the autumn.”

The trainer also gave an update on the progress of exciting filly You’re So Good, who returns to his stables in the coming week.

Placed behind Ferlax in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) in March, You’re So Good claimed a deserved Stakes success last preparation when winning the Listed Alexandra Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.

Blackiston said You’re So Good could potentially target the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) during the spring, with the trainer suggesting his filly was best at a mile.

“She will return to the stables this week and she looks fantastic,” Blackiston said.

“She spent six weeks in the paddock, she’s grown, she’s got stronger and she is a very exciting filly.”

“She’s Group 1 placed and hopefully we can take it further and get a Group 1 win under her belt.”

Story by James Tzaferis


Motivado Group Win Leads Tattersalls Four-Timer in Australia


The David Hayes-trained MOTIVADO was one of a remarkable four winners for Tattersalls horses in training graduates across three states in Australia today. Having only his second start for the Lindsay Park stable, the son of MOTIVATOR won the Group 3 Queen’s Cup at Morphettville, having been purchased at last year’s Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale for 200,000 guineas by Charlie Egerton on behalf of his owners. His victory, which netted his owners $73,000 means he has met the first ballot qualifying clauses for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

 Motivado Selling at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale
                                     Motivado Selling at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale
Trainer Chris Waller has mined the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale over the past five years, enjoying success with the likes of MY KINGDOM OF FIFE and FORETELLER and he can look forward to further success following a double with ‘imports’ at Rosehill today. MORIARTY, who was purchased by Waller for 90,000 guineas at the 2011 Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale won his sixth Australian start when winning the Listed Lord Mayors Cup, taking his Australian earnings past $430,000 as he targets the Group 2 Brisbane Cup.A race earlier his stablemate INDEX LINKED had everyone writing his name in their black-books after a sublime 3 ¾ length victory. Bought by Mick Flanigan’s Townley Hall Bloodstock for 26,000 guineas from last year’s Tattersalls July Sale, the son of DANSILI has won his last three starts in Melbourne and Sydney and $93,000.

The fourth of the winning quartet was the Sam Kavanagh trained MIDSUMMER SUN who won the Peter Street Handicap at Caulfield, earning a crack at the Group 2 Brisbane Cup in the process. MIDSUMMER SUN was the first purchase by Kavanagh on his maiden visit to the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale in 2012 at 70,000 guineas.

The Tattersalls July Sale takes place from July 10 – 12 whilst the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale is scheduled for October 28 – 31.

Puissance de Lune heads Melbourne Cup market

Boom import Puissance de Lune holds the distinction of heading the earliest Emirates Melbourne Cup market ever released by the TAB, which was unveiled today.

The Darren Weir-trained grey was installed the $8 favourite.

The son of Shamardal was a dominant winner of the Bendigo Cup and Queen Elizabeth Stakes last spring and was a dead heat winner of the Blamey Stakes at his only run of the Melbourne Festival of Racing.

“He has a devastating turn of foot and on what he did last spring will be popular with our punters,” TAB’s Glenn Munsie said.

“Punters now know a lot of the runners in the top of the market, which will stimulate interest.”

Another import, the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente, runner-up to Green Moon in last year’s Melbourne Cup, is the $13 second elect with Luca Cumani’s Mount Athos, fifth in last year’s race, occupying the $15 third line.

Mount Athos’ Cup campaign gets serious tonight when he resumes in the Ormond Stakes at Chester.

Sea Moon ($17), Reliable Man ($21) and Michelangelo ($21) round out a strong contingent of imported or overseas gallopers who dominate the top few lines of betting.

The exception is star Kiwi colt It’s A Dundeel, who recently completed the Sydney 3YO Triple Crown, and is the highest-rated Australasian-trained runner at $15.

Royal Descent, the 10-length winner of the ATC Australian Oaks, is the only other contender bred in Australia or New Zealand under $41, the price available about Super Cool, Fiveandahalfstar, Ethiopia, Dear Demi and Norzita, among others.

Green Moon is a $26 chance to go back-to-back, while 2011 winner Dunaden and the horse he nosed out in that epic renewal, Red Cadeaux, are both at $41.

The full Emirates Melbourne Cup market is available here and the TAB will refund bets on any runner not nominated for the race.