15 March 2024

Friday Wrap Up 15/3 - Jon Bon Wins as Yes Lulu Shoots for Stakes Win

Week 6 of the festival of Group 1s. This week it’s all about the girls.
The Coolmore Classic kicks off the Rosehill carnival, while the All Star Mile is the centrepiece of Melbourne, where Mr Brightside aims to become the first horse to go back to back in the race.
Plus we take a look at the performances of Jon Bon and Reasonable as the carnival continues.

Jon Bon

Jon Bon To Melbourne After Resurgent Victory

Charismatic gelding Jon Bon, surged late on Saturday to score for rising Waterhouse and Bott jockey Louis Beuzelin in a Benchmark 64 contest at Randwick on the weekend.

The 1800m $42,000 contest is a stepping stone used to graduate to stakes level and the team has now identified the $500,000 Group 2 Ā Alister Clark Stakes over 2040 metres at Moonee Valley as his next assignment. This gives the team the opportunity to test Jon Bon’s credentials, whilst also allowing him 2 weeks between runs should he continue along a Derby path.

The team has accepted the horse for the Australian Derby in the penultimate round of acceptances meaning he will have every chance to progress to the Group 1 target should he perform well in Melbourne.


Winning Hawkesbury jockey Beuzelin was pleasantly surprised with the improvement of Jon Bon from his previous Newcastle run stating post-race, “He was a bit more nervous with the heat, so I made an effort to keep him calm and he jumped perfectly… I gradually picked up from the 600m mark, he was more focused when they came to him. He was looking and waiting at the straight, but he was too strong.”

The evident competitiveness of the horse, a trait familiar in a number of Waterhouse and Bott gallopers was something trainer Adrian Bott was happy to see.

Bott was on track at Randwick on Saturday but commented at the end of the day’s racing “Great to see the continual improvement, hit that usual flat spot about the 600 but he rallied and picked himself up and was very strong.”


Jon Bon has been given a quiet few days at Randwick, and he will travel to Melbourne today, to be trained from the team’s Flemington base for his next assignment.


Congratulations to all owners on his most recent win!

Yes Lulu

Fillies Pack Back In Stakes Grade

A win on Saturday in the $150,000 Listed Redoute’s Choice Stakes at Caulfield provides three opportunities for Yes Lulu.

Opportunity one is the chance to become the first Black Type winner for BTX Racing.

Opportunity two is the chance to become the first stakes winner for Coolmore-based stallion and Everest winner Yes Yes Yes, securing a place on any broodmare band in the country.

The third, very exciting opportunity is that a win in the race would give the team the opportunity to head to either the Group 1 Golden Slipper or to the Group 2 $1M Percy Sykes Stakes.

First to the task at hand. Yes Lulu, following her debut second at Sandown has drawn Barrier 4 for the 1100m contest where she will take on highly touted galloper Bold Bastille. To help with the task the CMR team have secured the services of the country’s most in-form rider, Jamie Kah. The team are confident the speedy filly has the ability to run a place, yet the realistic chance of toppling the likes of Bold Bastille remains to be seen.

Reasonable’s Run Purely A Problem Solver

The Ciaron Maher trained half-sister to Fiesta faded on the weekend after being on pace for a 1300m maiden, the second run of her autumn campaign. The daughter of Justify started as a $2.20 favourite, and was given every chance by Louise Day. The post-race analysis of the race showed that the filly doesn’t appreciate racing on pace and is better ridden cold. Day also stated that a rise in trip would give the well-bred 3YO every chance of knocking off her maiden. The team have acknowledged that going forward does not help the filly as it takes away her turn of foot and that she will be ridden more conservatively at her next start.

Whilst still early in her autumn campaign, her next run will be highly decisive as to the level the filly gets to in the next 2 months and while the team have confidence she still holds the ability to progress to stakes level, she needs to prove it at her next start.

The team will give her time between runs and have a much better idea of how to ride the horse tactically when faced with her 3rd assignment for the campaign.

This result means Reasonable is unlikely to race at Group 1 level this Autumn, but can still target listed and Group 3 contests in April, should she bounce back as is expected.

More updates to come.


Until Valhalla Ready For Return

Until Valhalla is ready to go to the races. She will be racing on either the 20th of March at Wyong or the 27th of March at Kensington, following her second trial on Tuesday at Warwick Farm.

Regarded by Ciaron Maher as “a bit of a madam” the quirky daughter of Snitzel ran credibly at stakes level at the 3rd start of her first campaign and will be looking to return to stakes racing, as opportunities present in South Australia, Queensland and at the latter stages of the Sydney and Melbourne autumn carnivals.

Josh’s Saturday Preview

The Autumn Carnival never lets the favourites win easily and it makes it so much more fun to watch. Racing can change a lot in a week and have we seen a changing of the guard in Australia’s sprinting ranks. Last weekend saw Cylinder rise from the ashes and deliver a career best performance in the Newmarket, along with him Annabel Neasham’s ever consistent mare Lady Laguna securing victory in the Canterbury Stakes defeating Think About It and Passive Aggressive returned from retirement to defeat Private Eye. Plus to add to the story of beaten favourites, Militarize went down by a whisker to one of Randwick’s great trainers. Celestial Legend securing the Randwick Guineas for the 85 year old Les Bridge.


The All Star Mile merely a formality?

The Lindsay Park trained Mr Brightside appears to have one runner of competition on Saturday in the All Star Mile. A race with much promise yet little delivery, the All Star Mile has brought together a field shallow of the quality it was expected to attract. With a variety of top milers choosing different options the field has been left with a two horse battle of last years victor Mr Brightside and dual Group 1 winner Pride Of Jenni, with Godolphin warhorse Cascadian expected to run a gallant second on his way to a potential Australian Cup defense.

Unfortunately for Mr Brightside, despite the impressive prizemoney on offer, a win on the weekend, therefore securing back to back All Star Miles will not influence his status as a legend of the sport.


Last Chance At The SlipperĀ 

The Pago Pago and Magic Night Stakes offer trainers the final chance to secure starts in the Golden Slipper, whilst viewed as a final chance for horses that haven’t been up to the mark. The recent history of the contests reflect that the late developing 2YOs are up there with the best in the slipper. Since 2012 winners of the Pago Pago include All Too Hard, Written By, Cosmic Force, Prague and in 2023 Slipper winner Shinzo won the race before backing up the week after to secure victory. The Magic Night Stakes has had similar success in producing top quality racehorses, undoubtedly a strong crop of 2YOs, the potential for a filly to emerge from the race is highly probable. Since just 2017, bloodstock the likes of Tulip, Arcaded have emerged. As well as multiple Group 1 winners Sunlight and She’s Extreme, and in 2019, Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi won the race before backing up the following week to defeat Microphone.


Inside Tulloch Lodge’s Quirky Training Tactics

The knowledge and experience in the Waterhouse and Bott team has allowed them to experiment and find new ways to get the best out of their horses. None are more evident than this week when 2023 Australian Derby hero Majorbeel steps out first up in the Pakenham Cup over 2500m. The gelding son of Savabeel who lead the Derby field from post to post last year in a major upset didn’t return to the same form the following Spring and the team decided to change tactics. Majorbeel has since been relocated to Victoria where he has undertaken three prepartory trials for the first up assignment, all of three of which were over the hurdles. A tactic more commonly seen in the UK by the likes of Willie Mullins, training horses to jump over the hurdles is both mentally and physically stimulating and has gotten the best out of a variety of good horses. Interestingly, Majorbeel will be running 24 hours before Melbourne Cup 7th place Absurde runs in the Betmgm County Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Majorbeel is the currently on the fourth lines of betting in the Pakenham Cup market behind rising stayer Dunkel, one time Melbourne Cup favourite Loft and 2023 Melbourne Cup fourth place, Ashrun.

Absurde is currently on the third line of betting for the Cheltenham Gold Cup undercard race which will be run at 1:10am AEST


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1 March 2024

Friday Wrap Up 1/3 - The Autumn Begins