1 March 2024

Friday Wrap Up 1/3 - The Autumn Begins

Welcome to week 4. The long-awaited Autumn Carnival has officially begun and after last week high’s with the Blue Diamond, Oakleigh Plate and Futurity Stakes in Melbourne as well as the Silver Slipper and Hobartville in Sydney, the racing industry moves to this week. The last days of February mean Inglis Premier Yearling Sales preparation is well underway in Melbourne for the key sale to be undertaken from Sunday to Tuesday.

Whilst on the racing side the focuses are at Flemington and Randwick. With the Australian Guineas the highlight at Melbourne, and the first edition of the newly named Verry Ellegant Stakes, a Group 1 race priorly known as the Chipping Norton that celebrates the career of one of Australia’s Champion racehorses the focus at Sydney. Key supporting acts include the Group 1 Surround Stakes for the 3YO fillies.

As well as the racing world’s attention when boom Justify colt Storm Boy returns to the track in the Group 3 Skyline Stakes in preparation for the Golden Slipper. What a week we are in for.


All 4 Stayers Runners On The Track

Everywhere you turn the Stayer’s Pack is involved. With Jiffy and Diamondiferous both having their maiden jumpouts, Joffrey had his maiden race start yesterday at Ararat and Ahab is preparing to return to the track in the coming weeks following his brilliant debut effort 2 weeks ago.

The pack is a testament to the Ciaron Maher Racing team making an effort to immerse owners in the ownership experience. With all 4 horses included in the pack expected to race often over the next 3 years. The $99 price point means it is the most affordable option on the BTX Racing platform, and for the purists who just own it for the love of the horse, it is the perfect pack.

Over the next month, owners can expect all four horses to be running country Victoria at either their first, second or third starts.


New Ownership Opportunity Next Week

BTX Racing is excited to announce that a new racing ownership opportunity will be dropping late next week. The opportunity includes owning a horse by a champion sire, bred by a highly credentialed farm, sold at the 2024 Magic Millions and being trained by Australia’s leading trainer. Not only that but this horse is also owned by one of Australia’s sporting stars!

Stay Tuned to our socials to make sure you don’t miss out!


Fillies To The Fore

With the Autumn Carnival ramping up two fillies have placed themselves well in the mix to tackle some of Australia’s biggest races, whilst another is also well in the mix for a return to stakes grade as she prepares for a racing comeback.

Coolmore-owned filly Reasonable is at Bong Bong Farm, the idyllic property some of BTX Racing’s lucky customers got to visit last Sunday. The team are being patient with the filly as she tends to take time to develop between runs, with Head NSW Trainer Joh-Gerard Dubord targeting the filly at a couple of potential maiden targets in the second week of March. Following this run the team can run her in the Rosehill Guineas (23rd of March) or the Vinery Stud Stakes (30th March), both to be run at Rosehill over 2000m at Group 1 level.


Yes Lulu has also risen to the grade in the last couple of weeks. Her debut second was an outstanding run and showcased her ability. The team will now decide whether they tackle an easier maiden assignment, or take advantage of her youth and throw her into stakes grade in the Redoute’s Choice Stakes. Both options ideally set up the filly for a Grand Final 3rd run of the preparation in either the $200,000 Thoroughbred Breeders, or a tilt at the Group 2 $1M Percy Sykes Stakes on Queen Elizabeth Day.


Until Valhalla is another who has the ability to return to Stakes Grade this preparation. The 3YO daughter of Snitzel has been working well at Bob’s Farm in Newcastle and having trialled on Wednesday is likely to return to the track in mid-late March with potential targets including the 3YO Arrowfield Sprint as well as a variety of stakes races, with key racing carnivals in Brisbane and Adelaide.

The Ciaron Maher Team won the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes in Adelaide with 3YO Royal Merchant last year. With the 1400m Group 1 Tatts Tiara in Brisbane another potential Grand Final, amongst a plethora of Guineas races throughout the country in April and May, including the Bendigo, Hawkesbury and Winx Guineas all run for prizemoney over $200,000.

Invest In Reasonable From $125

Ashlea Brennan Photography

Kettle Hill Tackles Headquarters

Kettle Hill will return to the track tomorrow at Melbourne’s premier track where he rises to Benchmark 84 Grade in a $130,000 contest. The winner of over $300,000 in his career to date, Kettle Hill has been racing continuously since September where he has secured 2 wins. His most recent, a final stride salute at his last start at Rosehill under the brilliant steering of Dylan Gibbons meant the team had no choice but to keep the striking son of Gleneagles in training.

Having drawn Barrier 10 in Sydney in what looks to be a highly competitive contest, the team have chosen to travel south and attack the more achievable option.

Kettle Hill has drawn Barrier 5 in the Flemington 2000 with Mark Zahra returning to the saddle. The race pace appears to be drawn to his inside with Milton Park expected to lead and race favourite Aramco drawn next door. The ideal plan on paper would be to drop in 3 pairs back behind the race favourite and pop out in the final stages to have a late crack at them.

Josh’s Saturday Preview

The Autumn Carnival has officially begun and for those who make it to the bottom of the Friday Wrap, I will be writing an overview of the upcoming week’s racing and the potential impacts it could have on the industry.


The Heartwarming Story In Waiting: Following the untimely and devastating death of Champion racemare Verry Ellegant early last week, the Victorian Racing Club and Racing Victoria hastily named the first race of that Saturday’s Caulfield meeting in her honour. It was a touching gesture by both clubs who celebrated the Chris Waller-trained princess. Verry Ellegant famously triumphed in 11 Group 1s including Waller and James McDonald’s first-ever Melbourne Cup in 2021, before being travelled to Europe where she recently passed away giving birth to her first foal by Sea The Stars. In January, over a month before her passing Racing NSW CEO Peter Vlandys announced the renaming of the Group 1 Chipping Norton to be named the Verry Ellegant Stakes, a race she saluted in herself. The added level of poignancy given recent events makes the race all the more special and it would be a brilliant story if Fangirl, the $1.80 favourite saluted for her famous trainer and jockey combination of Waller and McDonald in the $1M feature.


King Ready To Be Crowned: Champion Trainer Ciaron Maher will be preparing for King Colorado to be crowned this weekend, should he salute in the Australian Guineas at Flemington. Maher has already triumphed in the contest with Hitotsu and will be hoping ‘The King’ can join him on the long list of highly credentialed victors. King Colorado ran a flashing second last start in the C.S. Hayes Stakes and looks well in the race. The Chris Waller-trained Riff Rocket, who won the Victoria Derby last spring is the race favourite following his commanding return victory two weeks ago, but Maher will be hoping it is Colorado who adds to his Group 1 tally, with both entires sitting at one Group 1 apiece.

King Colorado’s first Group 1 came over 18 months ago in the J.j Atkins Stakes in Brisbane’s winter carnival over 1600m and the mile specialist will be assured of a chance at stud should he win the race on Saturday.


Return Of The Prince: As a racing enthusiast there is a flutter of anticipation and nervousness as the Australian Racing Industry waits to see if the next star of the turf is as good as we think he is. Storm Boy has emerged victorious in all of his 3 starts, and the ratings and figures produced from such a young horse have been top-class. Already a winner of over $1M, the Waterhouse and Bott-trained son of Justify will have to defeat last-start-winning stablemate Prost as well as highly touted gallopers Odinson, Parkour and Duvana. Storm Boy will be ridden by James McDonald in the contest, with the now Coolmore-owned galloper to jump a $1.20 favourite.

Should he prove victorious in Saturday’s contest on his way to the Group 1 Golden Slipper where he is currently a $3 favourite, he will have to be the first horse since Dance Hero in 2004 to win the Slipper after winning the Skyline.

Dance Hero, also trained by Gai Waterhouse is the only horse to ever win the Magic Millions and then go on to win the Triple Crown, a feat Storm Boy and connections are attempting to replicate.

The Skyline has produced a number of top-class stallions including Snitzel and Choisir. In 2019, Microphone won the race before finishing a close 2nd in the Slipper before winning the Sires Produce and securing champion 2YO honours.


Aussie Tom Back In Town: Tom Marquand has returned for his 4th straight Australian Autumn. The globetrotting star jockey who is married to fellow star jockey Hollie Doyle has previously ridden middle-distance stars Addeybb and Dubai Honour to victory in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, whilst also securing the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes on Addeybb in 2020.

Marquand is likely to rekindle relationships with key Australian trainers including Annabel Neasham, James Cummings and John O’Shea, whilst he will also be available for any runners his UK boss Willie Haggas sends down under.


More articles
23 February 2024

The Pivotal Weaning Stage: Shaping Future Champions in Horse Racing

Discover the critical importance of the weaning process in racehorse. Learn how this delicate stage influences future champions by fostering physical growth, independence, and socialisation. Our insight explores the benefits, challenges, and expert care involved in transitioning our 2023 foals from dependence to readiness for the rigours of racing.