RQ revises designated racing regions

RQ revises designated racing regions

Sport
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Phillip Bate analyses news from the Queensland racing scene.

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RACING Queensland has made further revisions to its designated racing regions effective from Monday, May 18.

With the approval of Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young, RQ has consolidated its Thoroughbred and greyhound regions, while harness racing will continue to be held at three clubs.

Having previously consolidated Metro North and Metro South West to form the existing 'Metropolitan Region' for the Thoroughbred code, RQ has amalgamated it with South East Regional to form a new 'Greater SEQ Region'.

At the same time, the present Central Coast and North Coast regions will also be consolidated into the 'Central and North Coast Region', while the Greater Western Region will remain untouched.

The existing protocols limiting participants to their designated location outside of raceday, including trials, trackwork and jump outs, remain in place, while horse movement outside of RQ's regions may only occur as previously advised with some minor revisions to arrival times.

Additional raceday protocols will be implemented to accommodate the changes including:

  • Allocation of raceday stalls which group horses from former regions to minimise interaction between participants and to observe required social distancing protocols; and
  • Allocation of jockey areas to group participants from former regions into distinct on-course sections.

RQ COO Adam Wallish said RQ's multi-staged approach to its biosecurity protocols continued to be guided by the latest government and health advice. "Over recent weeks, we have been able to make small but significant steps to our designated racing regions. With the Queensland government recently announcing its staged approach to easing restrictions, RQ has endeavoured to align our timelines with those of the government. A further review is expected to take place ahead of Queensland successfully advancing to Stage 2 of the government's roadmap," he said.

With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, it's interesting to compare racing statistics 12 months apart. Last year in a six-day period from Tuesday May 8 to Sunday May 14 there were 118 races held at 17 venues throughout Queensland. In the corresponding six day time slot from Tuesday May 12 to Sunday May 17 this year there have been 93 races at 10 venues with 1070 acceptances including emergencies.

Love You Lucy atones for training mishap

Veteran Toowoomba trainer Barry Squair with bandaged wrist and jockey Mark du Plessis display their trophies after 4YO mare Love You Lucy won the Gold Coast Silk Stocking. Squair injured his wrist when Love You Lucy dumped him at trackwork at Toowoomba recently. Picture: Racing Queensland

Veteran Toowoomba trainer Barry Squair with bandaged wrist and jockey Mark du Plessis display their trophies after 4YO mare Love You Lucy won the Gold Coast Silk Stocking. Squair injured his wrist when Love You Lucy dumped him at trackwork at Toowoomba recently. Picture: Racing Queensland

THERE was little love around when 4YO mare Love You Lucy dumped veteran trainer Barry Squair during recent trackwork at Toowoomba on May 5. However the smart sprinter atoned in the best way possible by winning the Listed Silk Stocking for fillies and mares at the Gold Coast on Saturday to give Squair his first black type win in his 25-year training career.

A former Toowoomba premiership winning jockey who had a close association with legendary trainer Jim Atkins, Squair began his riding career 63 years ago at the age of 16 at Townsville and rode around 1000 winners including many country cups before turning to training at Toowoomba where he still rode trackwork.

But no more! ANZ Racing webnews reports Squair arrived in the Gold Coast winners' circle with his left hand strapped after a trackwork incident involving his mare. "Lucy dumped me and I dislocated my shoulder and cut my wrist. That is it for me as a trackwork rider. My wife has put her foot down," Squair said.

Love You Lucy is now the fourth individual stakes winner for recent Queensland returnee Love Conquers All (Mossman) who will stand the 2020 season at the Frappell family's Clear Mountain-Fairview Stud, Greenmount at a $5500 service fee (including GST).

With eight wins and six placings from 18 starts, Love You Lucy has been a constant money earner with $252,950 prize money for her owners/breeders Leo and Maryann Goggins who paid just $3000 for her dam - the twice-winning Giant's Causeway (Ire) mare Whitechapel who in turn is from the Group 2 Flying Spur mare Spurn.

Love You Lucy has a two-year-old half-sister, the unraced Bonnie Boru (Holy Roman Emperor), while Whitechapel slipped when returning to Holy Roman Emperor (Danehill) this season.

Wisdom Of Water seeks Group 1 win

Eureka-bred 2YO colt Wisdom Of Water ridden by Robbie Fraad races clear to record a 2.8 lengths win in the Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial for 2YOs at the Gold Coast. Picture: Racing Queensland

Eureka-bred 2YO colt Wisdom Of Water ridden by Robbie Fraad races clear to record a 2.8 lengths win in the Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial for 2YOs at the Gold Coast. Picture: Racing Queensland

GOLD Coast co-trainer Toby Edmonds reckons his Headwater 2YO colt Wisdom Of Water is right up to Group 1 company after winning the Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

With three wins from five starts plus a fourth in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast, Wisdom Of Water will now be aimed for the 1400m Group 1 JJ Atkins at Eagle Farm on June 6.

A son of Vinery's first season sire Headwater, Wisdom Of Water is raced by Chinese-based Golden East Horse owner Zhiqiang An and Aquis Farm which bought a half-share in the colt three days before the Ken Russell. Bred at Eureka Stud, Cambooya, Wisdom Of Water is from the Royal Academy (USA) mare Regal Tier - a half-sister to Stakes performers Tierquillo and Eminence Grise and cost $70,000 at the 2019 Gold Coast Magic Millions. Regal Tier foaled another Headwater colt at Eureka Stud last August.

Pennino prominent in Chief De Beers

Four-year-old mare Pennino ridden by Matt McGilivray scored her second black type win with victory in the Listed Chief De Beers Handicap at the Sunshine Coast. Picture: Racing Queensland

Four-year-old mare Pennino ridden by Matt McGilivray scored her second black type win with victory in the Listed Chief De Beers Handicap at the Sunshine Coast. Picture: Racing Queensland

QTIS Horse of the Year as a 2YO two seasons ago; Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas winner as a 3YO last season; now a Listed winner as a 4YO - that's the impressive record of 4YO mare Pennino who won the Listed Chief De Beers Handicap (1000m) at the Sunshine Coast's Cobould Park on Saturday.

By winning her second black type race, she has surpassed her older brother Balboa Rocks who won the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup at Corbould Park in January last year. The siblings are among the 12 stakes winners for Wattle Brae Stud's veteran Group 1 winning sprinter Easy Rocking. Both are from the winning Clang mare Alpha Girl and are bred and raced by the same connections - Darryl Dunk, partner Susan Buckley and Bryce Lloyd.

Having also bred and successfully raced Alpha Girl to win two races, connections decided to keep her and send her to stud. The first couple didn't do too much but she then had successive stakes winners (Balboa Rocks and Pennino). Sadly, her 2017 filly had to be put down after birth. She now has a weanling filly by Easy Rocking but was not served in 2019.

The names of both black type winners are associated with the successful Rocky film series. Balboa Rocks is almost a mirror image of film hero Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) while Pennino is named after Adrian Pennino (Talia Shire) - the girlfriend then wife of Rocky Balboa.

Easy Rocking and the deceased Clang have been stalwart sires for the Queensland breeding industry. Recent statistics show Easy Rocking has sired at least 326 winners and has progeny earnings of more than $17.6 million while daughters of Clang have produced more than 130 winners with progeny earnings reaching almost $7 million.

Trained by Sunshine Coast-based Darryl Hansen - who also trains Balboa Rocks - Pennino has now raced 26 times for six wins and six placings while her prize money tally of $564,950 includes $110,700 in QTIS bonuses. In addition to two black type wins her placings include second in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate and third in the Listed Gold Edition Plate - both at Doomben. Balboa Rocks was also a recent winner at Rockhampton in March boosting his race record to 10 wins and nine placings from 40 starts to earn $397,850.

Gold Coast Guineas winner is Queensland-bred

Sydney trained Hightail (red colours) ridden by Ryan Moloney narrowly wins the Gold Coast Guineas from Brisbane trained The Odyssey (blue colours) ridden by Stephanie Thornton. Second prize money was sufficient to lift The Odyssey past the $1 million prize money mark. Picture: Racing Queensland

Sydney trained Hightail (red colours) ridden by Ryan Moloney narrowly wins the Gold Coast Guineas from Brisbane trained The Odyssey (blue colours) ridden by Stephanie Thornton. Second prize money was sufficient to lift The Odyssey past the $1 million prize money mark. Picture: Racing Queensland

THE Australian Stud Book states Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas winner Hightail was bred at Woodside Park Stud in Victoria. But a study of the 3YO gelding's pedigree shows both his sire Written Tycoon and dam La Paris were bred in Queensland.

Now a major sire in Australia, Written Tycoon was bred at Daandine Stud, Goomburra while La Paris is a daughter of Falvelon bred at Glenlogan Park, Innisplain. Although unraced, La Paris is a half-sister to Listed winner Ringa Ringa Rosie who also placed second in Brisbane's Group 1 TJ Smith Classic for 2YOs (now JJ Atkins).

Trained by Peter and Paul Snowden in Sydney, Hightail now has five wins and five placings from 14 starts. A $520,000 purchase at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale, Hightail has an affinity with the Gold Coast with a Group 3 win, third in last year's Magic Millions 2YO Classic and fourth in this year's Magic Millions 3YO Guineas.

Hightail won the Guineas narrowly from another Queensland-bred horse The Odyssey while last year's Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Exhilarates was third.

Better Than Ready fee stays at $33,500

ALTHOUGH outstanding young sire Better Than Ready now has his first million dollar earner The Odyssey, Lyndhurst stud master Jeff Kruger has announced that the service fee for Better Than Ready will remain at $33,000.

"We are still four months from the season's start on September 1 and he has such an outstanding strike rate we will bank on a nice performer or two between now and then," Jeff said.

The nice performers continued last week when Sunshine Coast-based gelding The Sinner won a 3YO Quality handicap at Corbould Park on Friday, May 15 followed by 3YO colt The Odyssey running second in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas on Saturday. Although narrowly beaten, the second prize money of $22,500 was sufficient to boost The Odyssey's prize money, including bonuses, past $1 million.

"With 40 shareholders on double nominations, Lyndhurst standing rights and fee returns, Beer Than Ready has more than 100 mares before a booking is taken. Keeping him at the same fee of $33,000 should ensure he will continue to attract quality mares. Associate sire Rothesay also remains at the same fee of $4950," Jeff said.

Grandview stallion fees reduced

Whittington 3YO gelding Bold Style after winning at Doomben. Picture: Racing Queensland

Whittington 3YO gelding Bold Style after winning at Doomben. Picture: Racing Queensland

GRANDVIEW Stud stallions Whittington and Under The Louvre continue to provide breeders with exceptional value with their 2020 service fees announced recently.

Current second season sire Whittington will stand for $5500 including GST ($6600 in 2019) while Group 1 Stradbroke winner Under The Louvre, whose first crop are yearlings, will stand for $4400 including GST ($5500 in 2019).

Grandview Stud owner Michael Grieve said he reduced the stallion fees for 2020 to provide breeders with greater value in the current economic conditions.

"There has been a tremendous run of winners by Whittington this year reinforcing his second position in the Queensland second season sire table and third position in the Queensland 3YO sire table," said Grieve.

"Under The Louvre enters his fourth season at stud with his first crop producing good results in the sales ring and glowing endorsements from respected international bloodstock agents such as John Foote. His first crop will be given some great opportunities to succeed at leading stables next season including Ciaron Maher, Chris Waller and Bryan and Daniel Guy, so his service fee of $4400 could turn out to be an absolute bargain," he said.

Sun City to Telemon in 2020

New Telemon sire Sun City winning the Group 3 BJ McLachlan Stakes for 2YOs at Doomben in 2019. Picture: Telemon Stud

New Telemon sire Sun City winning the Group 3 BJ McLachlan Stakes for 2YOs at Doomben in 2019. Picture: Telemon Stud

TELEMON Thorougbreds - the birthplace of Zoustar - has secured the champion young sire's most precocious and sharpest son Sun City as an exciting new prospect for Queensland.

Sun City was a $525,000 yearling for Qatar Bloodstock and McEvoy-Mitchell Racing at the 2018 Magic Millions - Zoustar's most expensive colt that whole year.

Runner-up in Melbourne's opening 2YO stakes race of the season in October, the Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes at Flemington, after bungling the start, Sun City followed an identical path to that blazed by another of Zoustar's progeny Sunlight, by winning the Group 3 BJ McLachlan Stakes at Doomben in Brisbane propelling him towards the top of the market for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic. Unfortunately, a leg infection the week leading into the MM Classic ruled him out with trainer Tony McEvoy ruing what could have been. "It was cruel timing really as it also ruined his Golden Slipper chances which was the ultimate aim," McEvoy said.

What was lost to racing through injury may turn out to be Queensland breeding's gain, according to Telemon principal Dan Fletcher. "We feel a certain type of horse suits Queensland and the incentive scheme we have here. They need to be early maturing and fast. Sun City has those qualities. To go with it, he's a genuine head turner with a great temperament. The issue that curtailed his career was not congenital which, for me as a breeder, is important."

Fletcher said Sheikh Fahad's Qatar Bloodstock remain a major shareholder of Sun City. "They didn't 'cut and run' when Sun City hurt himself. They're doubling down and that is a great endorsement in itself," he said.

Sun City has an exceptional pedigree that will capture the attention of astute breeders. He is from a Flying Spur ex Canny Lad mare, two Golden Slipper winning colts and incredible influences as broodmare sires of the likes of Redoute's Choice, I Am Invincible and Sebring.

Sun City completes a circle for Telemon insofar as it is the birthplace of his illustrious sire Zoustar not to mention a launching pad for champion 2YO sires Written Tycoon and Mossman. "Zoustar is an important horse for us personally given we bred and race Sunlight and her siblings with our partners. Zoustar was born and raised in our paddocks and we've always treasured the connection," Fletcher said.

Sun City will stand at $7700 including GST with Telemon offering select breeders equity in the horse via limited shares. In addition, a small number of lifetime breeding rights will be available.

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