Danehill’s impressive legacy

Danehill’s impressive legacy


Phillip Bate analyses news from the Queensland racing scene.


‘ROUND and round the Danehill Group 1 merry-go-round goes. What will stop it, nobody knows?’

Certainly not weight of numbers, judging by the ability of his sire sons and grandsons to keep generating Group 1 winners.

His latest grandson to join the ranks is Queensland-bred and now Queensland-based sire Wanted whose 3YO gelded son Leicester won the Group 1 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville in Adelaide on Saturday, May 12. Winner of the Group 1 VRC Newmarket, Wanted in turn is a son of Danehill’s champion Group 1 winner and sire son Fastnet Rock.

Leicester gave Victorian trainer Darren Weir a hat-trick in the Group I SAJC Derby as he has won it for the previous two years with Howard Be Thy Name and Volatile Mix. Leicester now has four wins and two placings from nine starts for his owners who include bloodstock agent Paul Willetts, who bought him for a bargain $10,000 from the Yarraman Park draft at the Inglis Australian Weanling Sale in 2015.

Willetts has also had the last laugh after receiving good-natured ribbing from some of his associates when Leicester opened his account with a maiden win over 1400m at Terang, Victoria in January. "I guess when people saw he had won his maiden at Terang they didn't place much stock in that result but when you look at the form out of the race it makes for impressive reading. He beat Sopressa (also trained by Weir) that day who won the Oaks at Morphettville a week ago and Exceltara who won at Caulfield in a strong race on Saturday. I would say that is pretty handy form for a Terang maiden now," he said.

Leicester is the first foal of Defy the Odds (GB), a placed half-sister by Galileo to Index Linked whose three black type wins include Group 3 Tattersall’s  Cup at Eagle Farm. Defy the Odds has since produced consecutive fillies for Yarraman Park by I Am Invincible that  sold for $170,000 in 2017 and $300,000 in 2018 – both at the Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale.

Leicester is the third stakes-winner for Fastnet Rock's Group 1 winning son Wanted, about to stand his second season at Clear Mountain Fairview after being sold and relocated from Victoria. Bred at Highgrove Stud, Westbrook, Wanted was a precocious juvenile, recording black type honours in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes. He went on to really stamp himself as a serious racehorse again as a 3YO competing in 10 races – eight at Group 1 level. In addition to winning the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) he also finished runner-up in further three Group 1 races that season and only finished out of the top four placings on one occasion.

Barcaldine apprentice has 13 wins

WINNER: Barcaldine apprentice Alisha McDonell rides 4YO gelding Silver Fox trained by Todd Austin  to success in a 1200m QTIS Maiden Plate at Barcaldine on Saturday, May 5. Picture: Supplied by Racing Queensland.

WINNER: Barcaldine apprentice Alisha McDonell rides 4YO gelding Silver Fox trained by Todd Austin to success in a 1200m QTIS Maiden Plate at Barcaldine on Saturday, May 5. Picture: Supplied by Racing Queensland.

HER first two rides were wins. Now the tally stands at 13 wins and five placings from just 19 rides. That’s the amazing strike rate that 18-year-old Barcaldine apprentice Alisha McDonell has accomplished at just four country race meetings in central and northern Queensland.

Apprenticed to Barcaldine trainer Todd Austin, Alisha began her riding career at Longreach on April 28 in spectacular fashion by winning with her first two rides and then rode a further winner to score a treble. A week later, she then had a winning treble on Barcaldine’s new turf track.

Back-to-back trebles which allowed her to out-ride her 4kg claim are just so ‘ho-hum’! The best was still to come. Last weekend, Alisha  more than doubled that tally by winning four of the five races at Longreach on Saturday, May 12 and then travelled 640km north to Charters Towers to ride a winning treble the following day, Sunday 13, for Mackay trainer John Manzelmann.

The one race she didn’t win at Longreach was the 1100m Battle of the Bush qualifying sprint. That went to Kakakenny – a 6YO gelding by Murtajill from the Red Ransom (USA) mare Ransom Claim trained by Ilfracombe-based Rodney Little.

Kakakenny began his racing career in northern NSW where he won two races at Coffs Harbour. He then moved to southern Queensland where he won a race at Goondiwindi before ending up in central-western Queensland where he’s won further races at Emerald, Blackall, Corfield and now Longreach.

Further north-west at Mount Isa, former Victorian galloper Galea Warrior booked a ticket for the Battle of the Bush final having won the 1100m qualifying sprint on Saturday, May 12. The 4YO gelding by Helmet from the Favorite Trick (USA) mare Meru Hill is trained locally by trainer Robert Burow. Since arriving at Mount Isa after winning a solitary maiden at Donald in Victoria, Galea Warrior has started eight times for two wins and six frustrating seconds.  

Man Around Town bound for Brisbane

NORTH Queensland sprinter Man Around Town has qualified for the lucrative Battle of the Bush Series final to be held in Brisbane on June 23.

Trained by Cairns-based Trevor Rowe, 6YO gelding Man Around Town qualified by winning the 1100m Battle of the Bush sprint at Gordonvale in far north Queensland on Saturday, May 12.

A consistent sprinter with nine wins from Townsville to Cooktown, Man Around Town has inherited speed from both sides of his pedigree which features Group 3 Cameron Handicap winner Raheeb as his sire and international Group 1 winner Choisir as his dam-sire.  By Royal Academy, Raheeb is a son of the dual stakes winning, Group 1 placed (second to speedster Mookta in the Newmarket Handicap) Marauding mare Gatana. In addition to Raheeb, Gatana is also dam of Blue Diamond Prelude winner Piccadilly Circus – in turn the dam of two times Champion Sire Fastnet Rock.

Retiring to stud as the winner of four races and more than $350,000 in stakes, Raheeb kicked off his breeding career at the now defunct Patinack Farm (where Man Around Town was bred). He then moved to Wattle Brae Stud, Nobby, before relocating to Victoria for the 2017 season.

Raheeb’s winning progeny are certainly far-flung. In addition to Man Around Town winning in far north Queensland, the same day Rahdane won his fifth race at Warwick near the Queensland/NSW border while Raheeba has won five races in South Australia.    

Another feature race on the five race Gordonvale program was the 1800m FNQ Up and Coming Stayers Benchmark 65 handicap won by Super Mario, a 6YO New Zealand-bred gelding by Zabeel from the Towkay mare Parole trained by Cairns-based Fred Wieland.

Superstar Jameka supplemented to National Broodmare Sale

JAMEKA, one of Australia's most brilliant racemares, will go under the hammer at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale.

The triple Group 1 winner will join a star studded line-up of fillies and mares after connections decided to nominate her to the supplementary catalogue.

Consigned by Ciaron Maher Racing, Jameka won feature group races each season she has raced - at two, three and four. Possessing an electric turn of foot in her races, Jameka proved to be one of the country's most talented racehorses with earnings of more than $4.8 million with wins in the Victoria Oaks, Caulfield Cup and The BMW at racing's elite level.

"Jameka is an absolute queen and Magic Millions thanks Ciaron Maher and his team for giving us the opportunity to offer their prized mare to a global audience," Magic Millions' Managing Director Barry Bowditch said.

The 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale will be held from May 29 to June 1 and will boast a catalogue of more than  1000 lots. Entries for the supplementary close on May 10.

National Yearling Catalogue now online

THE quality packed catalogue for the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast National Yearling Sale being held from June 5 to 7 is now online at www.magicmillions.om.au

With 528 lots, the auction will boast progeny by a record 131 individual stallions including 24 exciting first season sires.

The National Yearling Sale has established itself as a top performing sale with graduates having won races including the Golden Slipper, Victoria Derby, KrisFlyer International Sprint, Kelt Capital Stakes, Oakleigh Plate, Australian Oaks, Dubai Golden Shaheen, Queensland Oaks and Rosehill Guineas.

Buyers will race for more with a National Yearling sale purchase as almost all of the catalogued lots eligible to be paid up for the $11 million Magic Millions Race Series. In a further boost the majority of yearlings catalogued are eligible for rich state based bonus schemes. They include:

  • BOBS Eligible: 334 lots.
  • QTIS 1st Payment: 89 lots.
  • Super VOBIS Nominated: 36 lots.

Book One of the sale will be held on June 5 and 6 with Book Two on June 7, followed on the final day by the National Racehorse Sale. The catalogue is now available for download via the Equineline iPad app and can also be viewed online.

All catalogues – weanlings, yearlings and broodmares – for the 2018 Gold Coast National Sale, aside from the Racehorse Sale, are available to view on the Magic Millions website.


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