Sprinter 'clocks' up third international Group 1

Sprinter 'clocks' up third international Group 1

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Phillip Bate analyses news from the Queensland racing scene.

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QUEENSLAND'S racing industry has three big reasons to be very satisfied with Beat The Clock winning his third Group 1 race in Hong Kong this year with victory in the 1200m Hong Kong Sprint at Hong Kong on Sunday.

The reasons are:

  • Beat the Clock has been trained throughout his 23-race career in Hong Kong by John Size - an inductee in both the Australian and Queensland Racing Halls of Fame.
  • Beat The Clock is a 6YO gelding by Hinchinbrook from Flion Fenena - a winning daughter of outstanding Queensland-bred racehorse and sire Lion Hunter - bred at Gainsborough Lodge, Toowoomba, and currently residing at Eureka Stud, Cambooya.
  • Beat The Clock's yearling half-sister by Group 1 BTC Cup winner Your Song is catalogued for sale by Eureka Stud at next month's 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale.

Foaled in NSW, Beat The Clock was offered at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne yearling sale where he was pin-hooked by New Zealand-based Prima Park Bloodstock for $70,000 and then resold to Hong Kong for NZ$200,000 at the 2015 New Zealand 2YO Ready to Run sale.

In a remarkable feat, the first six horses across the line were Inglis graduates - Beat The Clock, Hot King Prawn, Aethero, Mr Stunning, Full Of Beauty and Wishful Thinker - coming through a wide range of Inglis sales including Premier, Easter, Classic, Great Southern and the Australian Weanling Sale.

Given to multiple Hong Kong premiership trainer John Size, Beat The Clock has never missed a place in 23 starts with nine wins and 14 places. More importantly, he has won three times at Group 1 level this year. Also, for the second time in the past three years, Size provided the quinella. This year it was Beat The Clock with fellow Australian-bred sprinter Hot King Prawn (G5 Denman/De Chorus) second - two years ago it was Mr Stunning (G Exceed And Excel/With Fervour) and DB Pin (NZ) (G Darci Brama/Pins 'N'Needles). In fact, the same horses ran the quinella last year with Beat The Clock running third however Mr Stunning had been transferred to Frankie Lor.

Hong Kong Group 1 winner Beat The Clock has a half-sister catalogued at next month's Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale. The filly by Smart Missile from Flion Fenena will be offered by Eureka Sud, Cambooya.

Hong Kong Group 1 winner Beat The Clock has a half-sister catalogued at next month's Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale. The filly by Smart Missile from Flion Fenena will be offered by Eureka Sud, Cambooya.

Beat The Clock is from Queensland-bred mare Flion Fenena - a Group 3 placed and twice winning daughter of outstanding sire Lion Hunter whose daughters have produced such Group 1 winners as Beat The Clock, Chautauqua, Dark Dream and Star Witness.

Having spent most of her breeding career in NSW, Flion Fenena returned to Queensland last year when she was bought in foal to Your Song for $120,000 by Harry McAlpine Bloodstock. The resultant foal was a filly now catalogued for sale at next month's Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale. The intention was to mate the mare again to Hinchinbrook and then be mated the following year to Eureka's champion stallion Spirit Of Boom.

However Hinchinbrook died in July 2018 shortly after the broodmare sale so she was mated to another Fastnet Rock sire Smart Missile. Eureka then decided to re-offer Flion Fenena in foal to Smart Missile at this year's Magic Millions broodmare sale but passed her in at $140,000. She subsequently produced another filly foal in October this year and has now tested in foal to Spirit Of Boom who sired his ninth stakes winner when 4YO mare Frangipani Moon - bred by David and Heather Pascoe, Plaintree Farm, Oakey - won the Listed Just Now Quality (1350m) for Fillies and Mares at Doomben on Saturday.

Spurcraft dominates Bribie Handicap

Exciting sprinter Spurcraft ridden by Les Tilley scores a dominant three lengths win in the Listed Bribie Handicap at Doomben last Saturday, December 7. Picture: Racing Queensland

Exciting sprinter Spurcraft ridden by Les Tilley scores a dominant three lengths win in the Listed Bribie Handicap at Doomben last Saturday, December 7. Picture: Racing Queensland

A TRIUMPHANT return after throat surgery resulted in Darling Downs sprinter Spurcraft winning his first black-type win - the Listed 1050m Bribie Handicap - by a dominant three lengths at Doomben on Saturday.

One of the state's fastest sprinters, Spurcraft hadn't raced since finishing second on a heavy track behind Toowoomba sprinter Tycoon Ace in the Bat Out Of Hell (900m) at the Gold Coast on May 4. The 6YO gelding subsequently underwent a tie-back operation to correct a breathing problem which has plagued him throughout his career. Despite this handicap Spurcraft has never missed a place in his 14-start career which has produced nine wins and five placings with prize money of more than $296,000. His first black type win also atones for his only other attempt at elite level when he was run-down narrowly in the Listed Chief De Beers Quality Handicap at Doomben in May last year.

Home-bred by the Rogers family - comprising Noel and Sue Rogers, their son Andrew and his wife Ebony - at their Pittsworth property, Spurcraft is the eighth stakes winner for the Flying Spur sire Jet Spur who originally stood at Glenlogan Park and is now based at Corella Stud, Cambooya.

With a stallion share in Jet Spur, the Rogers acquired a lightly raced Starcraft (NZ) mare Carnivale Queen for breeding purposes. However her first foal - a colt - only lived 10 minutes so Glenlogan Park manager Steve Morley provided a free return with Spurcraft the resultant foal.

When it came time for breaking-in, Spurcraft was sent to nearby Corella Stud at Cambooya which offers pre-training and training services. Subsequently, Corella has now acquired his sire Jet Spur for stud duties hoping to add to his progeny earnings of more than $23 million.

Coincidently, stud principal Charlotte White is also deputy principal at nearby Clifton High School. White was then entrusted with his training and gained an immediate result when he won a maiden on debut as a 4YO gelding at Toowoomba by 6.3 lengths in late November, 2017. As a home-bred, Jet Spur is not eligible for the Magic Millions but can qualify by winning the Listed Falvelon Quality at Eagle Farm on December 21 which carries a Magic Millions wild card.

Texas Cup meeting attracts 2000 racing fans

THOUSANDS of horseracing fans descended on the Queensland/NSW border town of Texas on Saturday for the running of the Texas Cup - one of Queensland's oldest races.

Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe joined the racegoers and congratulated the Texas Jockey Club on a stellar event, which has been run since the early 1900s. "The town is alive with people who have come from all over, filling up the accommodation, spilling into the camping area at the sports complex and giving this drought-stricken area a real economic shot in the arm. Race days like this are part of the social fabric of life on the land and it's why the Palaszczuk government has backed country racing because it is the lifeblood of rural and regional Queensland," he said.

"I am delighted that the Texas racecourse is benefiting from the $70.4 million Country Racing Program, with a $20,000 grant to refurbish the barrier stalls and new padding installed for the running of this year's Texas Cup. Round two of this terrific program to boost regional race clubs is now open for applications," he said.

Mr Hinchliffe said racing in the Darling Downs/Maranoa region generated almost $58 million to the state's economy. "It sustains more than 470 jobs and approximately 3400 participants who invest their time, skills and passion that underpins horse and greyhound racing in the state. Across the state, the racing industry contributes $1.5 billion to the Queensland economy and sustains 11,570 FTE jobs, with 43 per cent of this economic value directly benefiting regional economies."

He said the Queensland government and the racing industry were also united on improving equine welfare. "Stakeholders recently attended two racehorse retirement and rehoming forums while Racing Queensland will implement a 1pc levy on prize money that will deliver $1.5 million for animal welfare," he said.

Nine wins for Scrabble

Versatile galloper Scrabble has won races from Townsville to Texas. Having won the Texas Cup last Saturday, December 7, his previous win (pictured) was at Townsville on July 25 when ridden by Ashley Butler. Picture: Mike Mills

Versatile galloper Scrabble has won races from Townsville to Texas. Having won the Texas Cup last Saturday, December 7, his previous win (pictured) was at Townsville on July 25 when ridden by Ashley Butler. Picture: Mike Mills

VETERAN galloper Scrabble has now won nine races from Townsville in north Queensland in July this year to 1156km south to Texas on the Queensland/NSW border with victory in this year's 1200m Texas Cup.

The 7YO grey gelding was having his first start for Toowoomba trainer Matt Kropp having earlier won five races at Caloundra for Stuart Kendrick plus three at Townsville and Rockhampton when transferred to Rockhampton trainer Adrian Coombe for this year's central and north Queensland winter carnivals. All up, he now has nine wins and 15 placings from 47 starts in Australia and New Zealand.

Bred in New Zealand, Scrabble is by AJC Australian Derby winner Nom Du Jeu and is one of three winners produced from the Exceed And Excel mare Tibuchina.

Oaklands stud celebrates big international wins

QUEENSLAND'S Oaklands Stud - home of deceased champion sire Lion Hunter - has been celebrating a pair of recent international feature race winners by their resident sire Power.

In Singapore the quality performer Mr Clint - prepared by Australian Hall of Fame trainer Lee Freedman - won the prestigious Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2000m) at Kranji while in Macau the feature Group 2 Autumn Trophy (1600m) was captured by Power's son Fasuba. It was the second feature win for the MC Tam trained Fasuba after he won the Group 2 Summer Trophy (1350m) in late June.

An exceptional son of Oasis Dream, Power was a multiple Group 1 winner of the National Stakes and the Irish Two Thousand Guineas, both run at Ireland's famed Curragh racecourse. Leading first season sire in New Zealand in 2016/17, Power is already the sire of 128 winners in Europe, Asia and New Zealand including stakes winners Gift Of Power, La Force, Peace Envoy, Pleaseletmewin, Power O'Hata, Biz Power, Fasuba, Cristal Fizz, Respin, Castilian and Mr Clint. His 128 individual winners have won more than 316 races and have progeny earnings of over $10.5 million.

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