12 April 2024

Friday Wrap Up - The Championships Day 2

We are in the midst of one of the great weeks of racing. The sport has never been in the public spotlight more. It seems as if last week’s Championships meeting was the quietest event of the week. Highlights of the meeting included Bon Ho’s Legend Racing winning the Doncaster Hcp with Celestial Legend, Les Bridge’s 2nd Doncaster success coming 39 years after his first.

Woppit Bloodstock also started the week strongly securing the Australian Derby with Riff Rocket, only the first horse to complete the famous Derby double. The T.J. Smith was a major upset as Chain Of Lightning secured victory. Plus it was the girls again in the 2YO Group 1s as Manaal defeated the boys in the Sires Produce.

Diamondiferous is one trial away from racing

Stayer’s Pack Continues To Progress With Jiffy

The CMR Stayer’s Pack continues to progress gradually as a third member of the pack prepares for racing debut.

Fresh off improved runs by Ahab and Joffrey last week at Kyneton on Wednesday, the team have decided Jiffy is also ready to progress to the racetrack.

From a data perspective, his recovery figures post-work showed improvement and are reflective of increased fitness levels. With the benefit of four jumpouts under his belt, and with improving data, the team at Ballarat are confident he is now ready to head to the races for his debut.

With that in mind, the team have collated some race options for him, which include races at Ballarat on Tuesday and Caulfield’s Heath track next Wednesday.


Diamondiferous also had her 3rd jump out of the preparation at Avoca alongside Jiffy. She was very comfortable to the 200m mark before she made some mistakes late. The team will add headgear and adjust her training regime, with another trial planned before her debut.


Until Valhalla Second Up Next Wednesday

Until Valhalla has been nominated early for a Benchmark 72 handicap at Canterbury next Wednesday. Owners of the fillies pack would be aware that the team had originally identified the following week’s Kensington Benchmark 72 as the ideal option. However, with consistent improvement from her last run, the team are happy to nominate and then will reassess based on the quality of the field that is assembled.

Until Valhalla’s 2nd up run will be pivotal to her campaign as it will determine the direction of her key 3rd and 4th runs. With these runs both scheduled to be in May there are a variety of Listed and Group 3 options for her across the Eastern Seaboard and the team at BTX is very excited to watch her upcoming runs as she takes over from fellow pack runner Yes Lulu.

Josh’s Saturday Preview

What a week it has been. The record-breaking Inglis Easter Yearling Sales, the drama of the first day of the nearly washed-out championships and the retiring of some of Australia’s most expensive bloodstock.



It was a privilege to be in the complex on Monday when Lot 391 Pierro x Winx went through the ring just after 2 pm. The three-minute sale that felt like it lasted no longer than 30 seconds was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and something unexplainable to be a part of. Members of the BTX team were lucky enough to be at the complex on Monday as the $10M filly was bought out by racing royalties Debbie Kepitis and her family’s Woppit Bloodstock. Only 48 hours early the daughter of Bob Ingham and her family had won the Australian Derby with Riff Rocket, and now they are the owners of Winx’s only live foal. Strong competition by outspoken American owner John Stewart caused great theatre at Riverside.

Dundeel Dominated The Championships

2 Stallions Stand Up On Championships Day 1

Arrowfield’s Dundeel and Newgate’s Tassort have both stamped their authority as two of the rising stallions of Australia’s Breeding Rankings.

Dundeel, the Arrowfield-owned son of High Chapparal whose decorated career concluded 10 years ago on Saturday when he won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes had both first-place getter Celestial Legend and third-place getter Militarize in the Doncaster Hcp. Renowned wet trackers, the sons of Dundeel were split by Godolphin-trained Pericles and took Dundeel’s Group 1 tally as a sire to 8 individual Group 1 winners. The rise of Dundeel has been predicted by the team at Arrowfield since 2020 with the sire now forcing his way into the elite Australian sire’s list alongside barn mate Snitzel.

The honour of Champion First Season Sire is always hotly contested and this year was expected to be battled out by Yulong’s Pierata, Darley’s Too Darn Hot and Blue Point and Vinery’s Exceedance. However, after yet another filly won a 2YO Group 1 race on the weekend, little-known sire Tassort rose to the top of the list. The previously Godolphin-owned and trained blueblood only raced twice and had his career cut short by injury before being purchased by Emirates Park and Newgate to stand him at Henry Field’s Hunter Valley just 1km from the stud he was bred to stand it.

It was Emirates Park who was essential in landing the stallion at Newgate and that confidence has been paid back in spades as his best daughter Manaal won the Gimcrack in October before flashing home in the Golden Slipper and then storming over the top in the dying strides to defeat Traffic Warden in the Sires Produce Stakes. A fantastic result for a stallion who stands for just $11,000, a fee that is sure to rise next season and could see him put on the same trajectory of the likes of I Am Invincible.

Key Retirees Of The Week

We have reached the time of the year when the retirees come thick and fast. With high-quality breeding and stallion prospects retired in preparation for May’s Broodmare Sales or for August’s upcoming Stallion Parades. On Wednesday this week, Godolphin announced that their latest Newmarket Handicap winner Cylinder will retire to Victoria’s Northwood Park, joining fellow Newmarket Hcp winner Brazen Beau as the sole son of Exceed and Excel on their Victorian roster. Speculation awaits as to what his fee will be, with the expectation for him to be placed somewhere in the $20,000-$40,000 service fee range.

The major retiree of the week is the incumbent Australian Horse Of The Year Imperatriz. The daughter of I Am Invincible is just the 3rd Group 1 winning daughter of the Champion Sire to head through the sales ring with the first two averaging $1.15M when heading through the ring in 2020.

Te Akau Racing Boss David Ellis confirmed the mare would be put up for auction as a breeding prospect only, however it is undecided which sale she will go through. Te Akau has sold two high-profile mares in the past 3 years. 14-time Group 1 winner Melody Belle sold to Yulong for $2.6M, and her stablemate Avantage sold to Coolmore for $4M. Should Imperatriz enter the ring in 2024 it is expected she would sell somewhere in the region of $3-5M. Imperatriz’s mother Berimbau sold for $1.8M to Yulong in foal to I Am Invincible at the Ingis Chairman’s Sale last year.



FormCast coming Saturday

Ciaron Maher Racing’s FormCast will be available tomorrow morning. Click the button below tomorrow to find it.

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