15 May 2024

Nikolsky Closer and Closer

The highlight of this weekend’s racing is once again spread amongst Adelaide and Brisbane. The breeding season is focused on the weanling and broodmare sales, but everyone at BTX is quietly excited for the first trial back for speedy filly Nikolsky at Gawler.

Nikolsky Finally Returns To The Track

Speedy South Australian filly Nikolsky returned to the trials for the first time in 2024 yesterday. The 3YO daughter of Smart Missile has been close to a race start in her two recent training preparations before showing signs of immaturity, forcing trainers Will Clarken and Nikki O’Shea to be vigilant and patient. The team are now of the opinion that her growing maturity will put her in good stead to not only reach the racetrack this preparation but also perform to a level that she can be competitive in Adelaide’s lucrative 3YO maiden contests. Nikolsky returned to the track in a Gawler maiden trial over 1000m following positive feedback in her last gallop by co-trainer Nikki O’Shea. The team has so much confidence in the progression of that filly that they passed the reigns to rising South Australian jockey and recent Group 1 winner Lachie Neindorf. Unchallenged throughout the trial Nikolsky will likely have one more trial before taking to the racetrack.

Until Valhalla Running On Tuesday At Hawkesbury

Consistent Fillies Pack mare Until Valhalla will likely return to the races at Hawkesbury on Tuesday. The team have dropped her back in grade to enhance her winning strike and continue to build her benchmark rating. Until Valhalla performed credibly on debut before being run ragged into 3rd at start two behind progressive galloper Redbreast who is favourite for the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet on Saturday. The team is yet to recieve confirmation from the CMR team that she will definitely be taking her place, but the race looks like a suitable option at this stage.


Joffrey Backs Up Last Start Improvement

Joffrey has put together back-to-back seconds after another much-improved performance at Geelong. Settling near the back of the field in the 2200m maiden contest, the son of Raise The Flag has been showing continued improvement at every start, with gradual steps up in-distance proving the key to his results.

Beginning his campaign in a less flattering fashion, the CMR team have been patient and chosen the right races for Joffrey who improves at every start. More info to come next week on a horse that just continues to build.


Massive Month For Zoustar

It’s been a very impressive month for the Widden Stud-based stallion Zoustar. The son of Northern Meteor recently had his 2024 fee announced at $275,000 where he is likely to serve an array of stakes-winning mares from fantastic families. Only 2 weeks ago Zoustar notched up his 12th individual Group 1 winner when another talented mare Climbing Star got the Chocolates in the Robert Sangster Stakes. Only a week later it was Widden’s Anthony Thompson who successfully bid $1.15M on Group 1 winning mare Startantes, who he plans to send to the superstar stallion. Such is the demand of his progeny, BTX is thrilled to have the opportunity to race one of his sought-after daughters. The team has presented Zoustar x Spot The Diff a yearling from the esteemed Yulong Farm which was purchased at the 2024 Magic Millions. What an investment that is looking like at the moment.


Josh’s Saturday Preview

Another big week of racing with more Group 1s coming through. The Goodwood at Adelaide is the highlight race this weekend where I am expecting Coolmore-owned Learning To Fly to upset Amelia’s Jewel. Outside of this, there are a number of key races at Brisbane in the lead-up to their Group 1s, and at Gosford’s stand-alone meeting that has been transferred to Newcastle due to wet weather.

Fantastic Week For The Mares At Chairman’s

It was a fantastic night on Thursday when Inglis hosted their annual Chairman’s Sale. The sale is a select 70-90 horse dispersal of some of the most prized racing and breeding prospects in the country. Much like the Easter Yearling Sale, the night brings together fillies and mares with some of the best bloodlines and on-the-track performances in the country. This year the sale grossed over $34M at an average of $622,946. Newgate Farm held the key to some amazing lots and finished the sale as the leading vendor having sold over $9M in bloodstock on the night. The Anthony Cummings trained 2YO and 3Yo Group 1 winning daughter of Extreme Choice, She’s Extreme, the top lot on the night selling for $3.4M. Further Inglis Sales continued today before attention turns to the Gold Coast for their National Broodmare Sale at the end of the month.

Learning To Fly To Break Group 1 Duck

I believe this is the week for Learning To Fly to break her Group 1 maiden. The speedy Coolmore-owned daughter of Justify is a multiple 2 and 3Yo stakes winner and was Golden Slipper favourite before having the rider dislodged mid-race. From there, the filly has been slowly rebuilding but her effort behind Climbing Star in the Robert Sangster when drawing wide and settling back in the field means this weeks Goodwood presents as her best opportunity ever to break her Group 1 duck and potentially set her up for an Everest debut in October.



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Friday Wrap - Like London Buses

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