CHAMPION racehorse Winx provided the greatest racing farewell in Australian racing history when she scored a record breaking win the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
In winning at her final start, Winx became the highest stakes earning racehorse in the history of world racing - more than $26 million. She also retires with a 33 consecutive group race sequence and a world record 25 Group 1 victories - beating 83 individual Group 1 winners along the way. In a fitting finale, Winx retires the winner of 37 races - the same as Phar Lap.
It was also appropriate Winx's third Queen Elizabeth Stakes win would provide her champion trainer Chris Waller with his 100th win at racing's elite level.
Racecaller Darren Flindell summed the momentous occasion up perfectly with his call over the concluding stages. "Today we farewell an Australian icon - the greatest of all time!" he called.
A $230,000 Gold Coast Yearling Sale buy in 2013 for Magic Bloodstock from the Coolmore Stud draft, Winx was sold on behalf of her breeder, Fairway Thoroughbreds - the property of John and Deb Camilleri. She is the second foal of the stakes winning Al Akbar mare Vegas Showgirl - a winner of seven races, including two at two. Vegas Showgirl was bought for $455,000 as a broodmare prospect from Dormello Stud at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.
While her racing days are over connections and fans have plenty more to look forward to. Winx will now embark on the next stage of her career - motherhood. Owners Peter Tighe, Richard Treweeke and Debbie Kepitis are yet to discuss possible suitors for Winx in what would be her first season at stud this September.
Aquis pulls plug on Queensland racing
IN a major no-confidence vote for Queensland Racing ahead of its pending Winter Racing Carnival, Aquis Farm has announced it will stop racing horses in Queensland immediately amid concerns over the integrity of the sport in the state.
Notwithstanding the powerful, growing, armoury of racehorses at its disposal, Aquis has a significant presence in Queensland via its stud farm and as the naming rights principal of the Gold Coast racecourse.
A statement was released late last Thursday by Aquis Group CEO Shane McGrath: "Following a meeting of the board of directors of the Aquis Farm Group in Sydney today at the conclusion of the Easter Sale, the decision has been taken that where Aquis Farm is the managing owner of a horse it owns wholly or partially, it will not race that horse in Queensland until a number of integrity issues concerning Queensland racing are fully resolved to ensure a level playing field for all participants."
"As a consequence, Aquis Farm will be directing the scratching of all its runners nominated for Queensland races effective immediately. Where Aquis Farm is a part-owner of a horse and are unable to control whether it races or not, due to it not being the managing owner, the board of directors has determined that Aquis Farm will donate the share of any prizemoney generated by said horse to a nominated charity," he added.
Owned by the Hong Kong-based Fung family, Aquis's decision stems from the ongoing, extensively drawn out, inquiry surrounding trainer Ben Currie who is facing myriad serious charges but continues to train under a stay of proceedings.
Integrity issues swept under rug
LNP racing spokesman John-Paul Langbroek said the Aquis decision was a tell-tale sign that the industry had well and truly lost confidence in the Labor government.
"Labor has continued to sweep integrity issues under the rug, and as a result, we're seeing a major breeder and sponsor walk away from an industry that is crippled by mismanagement. This is unprecedented in Australian racing. The racing industry, which contributes $1.2 billion to our economy, is on its knees. I have spoken time and time again in Parliament about issues with the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC), but all we have heard from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe is radio silence," he said.
Mr Langbroek called on the Labor government to get its head out of the sand and fix the issue. "All we've seen from this Labor government is a see-no, hear-no, do-no approach, and it's driving racing participants like Aquis out of Queensland. Annastacia Palaszczuk has to step in to stop Queensland Racing from being the pariah of Australian racing.
"Racing in Queensland is struggling to compete with states likes Victoria and New South Wales which have a significantly lower Point of Consumption Tax, better deals when it comes to prizemoney, and a system which takes integrity seriously. The LNP will continue to fight to bring confidence back into the racing in industry in Queensland," he said.
Capricornia win to Toowoomba filly
JUSTIN Stanley had only ridden for Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie once before victory in the Capricornia Yearling Sale 2YO Classic with Good Humour on Saturday.
The Rockhampton Jockey Club website reports the 2YO filly was a late pick-up ride for the jockey. He had originally been booked to ride Tom Button's Pound For Pound who didn't make the race due to soundness issues in the week leading up to the juvenile feature.
Good Humour (Squamosa/Funny As) beat Craig Smith's Hezhome (Better Than Ready/ The Duchess) by three-quarters of a length with Tony Gollan's Pull Anchor (Husson (ARG)/ Mel's Pocket) third in the $125,000 Capricornia Yearling Sale 2YO Classic. Good Humour is now two from two after winning a Toowoomba maiden in February.
Good Humour was sold for $10,500 by Tullyard, Boodua, at last year's Capricornia Yearling Sale and she collected upwards of $85,000 for the win. A Group 3 winning son of Not A Single Doubt and runner-up in the Group 1 Golden Rose, Squamosa stands at Sun Stud in Victoria while Good Humour's dam Funny As is a winning daughter of Mossman and comes from the same family as former Australian Hose of the Year Typhoon Tracy and Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap winner Danasinga.
Broodmare sold online twice
TOWNSVILLE breeder Perry Hardy bought Funny As online off the track in NSW as a broodmare prospect and selected Victorian-based Squamosa specifically for her first mating so he could get a double-cross of proven sire Success Express.
Squamosa is from the Success Express mare Class Success while Funny As is by the Success Express Group 1 winner Mossman. Having delivered a filly foal at Cameron and Kellie Bond's Kenmore Lodge, Wyreema, Perry Hardy then sent Funny As to Group 2 Queensland Guineas winner Jabali standing at Clear Mountain Fairview Stud, Greenmount so her first foal could be QTIS qualified as a breed-back. With that accomplished, he then sold the in-foal mare online to Victorian-based Diamond Park Breeding and Racing which then on-sold her Jabaili weanling filly at the 2018 Inglis Great Southern weanling sale for $2000.
About the same time, he also sold his weanling filly privately to Kellie Bond who subsequently catalogued her for sale at last year's Capricornia yearling sale along with two other yearlings - all sold through Tullyard as agent. Twelve months later, all three qualified for the Capricornia 2YO Classic with Good Humour winning and Queenofmainstreet (F Love Conquers All/Golden Flute) and Jelviss (C Hvasstan/Big Jet Plane) both unplaced. Having sold Good Humour as a yearling, Kellie decided to keep a share in the filly along with co-owners Donna and Brooke Currie - mother and sister respectively of the filly's trainer Ben Currie.
In addition to sharing the winning cheque of Good Humour at Rockhampton, Kellie and husband Cameron had the satisfaction of preparing Brisbane 2YO winner Devil's Temptation for sale.
Debut winner of the QTIS 2YO colt and geldings handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday, April 13, Devil's Temptation was a $145,000 purchase by Toowoomba trainer Tony Sears at last year's Magic Millions March yearling sale. Bred by Les Baker at Charleville, the 2YO gelding is by veteran sire Falvelon from the Bradbury's Luck mare Bradbury Chocolate who won 11 races for Toowoomba trainer Donald Baker.
(A report of this year's Capricornia yearling sale appears elsewhere in the paper.)
Marway sets track record
THE owners of Marway were daring to dream about a Rockhampton Newmarket after the promising 3YO gelding broke Our Boy Malachi's 1300m track record in winning the Capricornia Yearling Sale 3 and 4YO Championship at Callaghan Park.
The Rockhampton Jockey Club website reports Marway stopped the clock at 1:15.08, breaking the "Rockhampton Rocket" Our Boy Malachi's track record of 1:15.17.
Ironically Our Boy Malachi's Rockhampton trainer John O'Sing also trains Marway but stopped short of making comparisons with his champion who went on to win at Group 2 level in a decorated career that saw him win 19 of his 27 starts and $946,000 in prize money. "The owners want to go to a Newmarket (1300m) but he's got to win a few more races yet before he's Newmarket material. I wouldn't put him in Malachi's class. Malachi would have towed a boat and beat him (Marway)," O'Sing added.
Passed in for $14,000 at the 2017 Capricornia Yearling Sale in Rockhampton, Marway has now won five of his 10 career starts and more than $133,000 in earnings including $47,200 in QTIS bonuses.
The website reports Marway's owners, Greg and Elaine Sturgiss and Paul and Barbara Wagner, would have been pleased they knocked back an offer late last year of $180,000 from Hong Kong for the gelding. Bred by the Sturgiss family, the victory was made more special for the Wagners as Marway is by their resident stallion Hemingway (Ire) from the winning Marechal mare Maredamah.