Oxford Tycoon delivers on the potential he has shown

Oxford Tycoon lived up to the expectations of trainer Kim Waugh with an impressive five length win in the MATCHMASTER – I.P.D – HANECO 2YO C&G MAIDEN PLATE over 1100 metres.

The Written Tycoon colt was third in a Listed race on debut last preparation, before finishing a close fifth, in the Group 2 Skyline. The stable had expected a good first up performance on the back of a strong trial win at Newcastle on July 12.

Despite being caught three wide, jockey Blake Shinn kept a cool head, taking Oxford Tycoon to the front in straight, drawing away in the final stages.

Long-time stable foreman, Terry Bellew, a co-owner of colt, said Waugh had realised early the horse had potential.

“I can’t thank Kim enough for getting me into him,” an excited Bellew said. “Even when he was a yearling and we were in the middle putting him through the barriers, Kim said I think this might be one of the real good horses that Miss Monashee throws.

“He did it pretty easy today. He’s got a bit of class about him and this was just a stepping stone to get a nice win under his belt.

“The way Blake rode him, even though he was three wide, he was happy to be there and he knew he had a good horse under him.”

Shinn said Oxford Tycoon was going to be a “lovely horse.”

“He was always travelling well even though we were wide. I knew he was fit so I just kept him there and he got the job done. “He should get a lot of confidence out of this win. Taking these steps is better than throwing him into the deep end.”

Oxford Tycoon ($1.35fav) is co-owned by long-time stable client Jim Yee, who also bred the colt.

A large number of his family, including some who had flown in from Hong Kong, were on hand to cheer him home.

He beat the Cummings trained Hemsted ($17), with Rectitude ($5.50) from the Gerald Ryan stable, a close third.


It was a dramatic victory for Jeff Englebrecht’s Miss Faith, with the trainer and connections having to survive a nervous 20 minute wait while stewards examined footage from the start.

The Dreamscape mare looked to have recorded back to back wins to take out the CLIPSAL BY SCHNEIDER BENCHMARK 69 HANDICAP, coming from the rear of the field to record a narrow win over the 1100m.

But stewards were concerned she may have lunged at the gates and broken through just before the starter released the field. After a subsequent enquiry, where evidence was taken from starter, it was determined there was no issue with the start and the placings held.

“It would have been a rotten way to lose,” a relieved Englebrecht said.

“It was another good run by the mare. She is enjoying a real purple patch of form at the moment.

“This was her eighth start this time in but it’s not worrying her. If she pulls up well we will push on.”

Englebrecht said he would look for a mid-race metropolitan race, believing the mare had earned her right to a city start.

Miss Faith ($4.80), who was coming off a win at Newcastle on July 10, settled at the rear of the field for most of the race, storming down the outside late to overhaul the $1.70 favourite Katgully Red.

The winning ride by Jean Van Overmeire, earned him the Wyong Apprentices premiership, with five wins for the season.

Godolphin runner Penalty ($4.10) was a half length behind in third.


Blake Shinn brought up a winning treble on the Gerald Ryan trained Clifton County ($4.80) taking out the 1350m OMNI – REPELEC CLASS 1 HANDICAP in a close finish.

It was another cool ride by Shinn, bringing the Bernadini gelding to the outside in the straight and flashing home to win by a half neck. It was a pick up ride for Shinn after James Innes Jnr was late arriving at the track.

Ryan was complimentary of the ride and Clifton County.

“It was the right race for him today. The only reservation I had going into it was that he’d had the eight runs and might have been at the end of his tether,” Ryan said.

“Blake gave him a great ride. With the speed on up the front and he found the line at the right time.”

Ryan said Clifton County had good form on the Wyong track, with a win and two placings from five starts.

“This is one of my favourite tracks and I’ve had a fair bit of luck here,” he said. “The surface is always good and horses never pull up sore.”

Clifton County beat Spring Creek Star ($2.90) trained by Jarrod Austin, with Damien Lane’s Oakfield Missile ($2.80) a neck behind in third.


A strong, front running ride by Blake Shinn secured victory for Bobbio in the 1350m BRILLIANT LTG – PRYSMIAN MAIDEN, kicking off a winning day for the jockey.

Shinn took the two-year-old Snitzel colt to an early lead, rating him well in the running before pulling away on straightening for a convincing win.

Trainer John Thompson said the addition of blinkers and race experience had been the telling factors.

“He took the race by the scruff of the neck today and won well,” he said. “He’s a horse that’s still learning. The blinkers going on today was a good gear change and they seemed to switch him on.”

Thompson said the experience of Shinn had also been a telling factor in the colt breaking through for his maiden win at his third start.

“Blake switched him on out of the gates and I think he’s a horse that if he was challenged he would have won by even more today. “We came here for his confidence. He’s still an immature horse and hopefully the win today will give him more confidence and he will go on with it.”

Bobbio, who started $1.85 favourite, was purchased for $200,000 by Thompson at the 2017 Gold Coast yearling sales.

The breeder, former NSW Police Minister Paul Whelan, retained a share in the syndicate.

Bobbio beat the Noel Mayfield-Smith trained Sun And Heir ($5) by a length, with Erudition ($2.60) from the Godolphin stable, a short head behind in third.


An impressive debut by the Mark Newnham trained Gentle Persuasion, who overcame a wide draw to take out the 1100m L&C/PAK – OMEGA – LEVEY AGENCIES 2YO FILLIES MAIDEN PLATE by almost two lengths.

A fast early tempo aided jockey Josh Parr in settling the filly in a nice position mid-field.

Newnham said he was always confident when things panned out well in the early stages of the race.

“Josh gave her a lovely ride. There was plenty of pace in the race which we thought there might be. We were hoping if they all strung out like that we would find a position,” he said.

“I was confident that she was good enough to win the race but it was just a matter of where she’d end up from the barrier. She could have been four deep with no cover and that would of made it very hard.

“Once she got into that spot she was going to be hard to hold out. It was just a matter of where she got to from the draw.

“Josh gave her a perfect ride and that helps.”

Newnham said the filly, owned by Goree, had shown ability from day one.

“She’s trialled well every time she goes to the trials and she’s had a couple of hiccups that have stopped getting her to the races but it hasn’t halted her ability that’s for sure.

“I will find a suitable race in town for her now but that was fantastic today.”

Gentle Persuasion ($11), beat the Hawkes trained $2.80 favourite I’m So Sweet, with Don’t Doubt Pfeiffer ($9.50) from the Pfeiffer stable, a close third.


A good training performance by Hawkesbury based Scott Singleton to quinella the CABAC – PSA – GERARD LTG PROV & CTRY MAIDEN HANDICAP over 1200m.

Snatcha ($4), ridden by Christian Reith, held off a challenge by stable mate Mosht Up ($9) with Jess Taylor in the saddle, to record a narrow win.

Singleton said it was great to get first and second.

“I came here today expecting them both to race well and they did,” he said.

“I didn’t expect Snatcha to be as wide as he was, so it was a good, tough win.

“He really fought on in the straight and that’s encouraging.

“It’s only his third start and I’m sure he will take plenty out of it.”

Singleton said he didn’t expect Mosht Up would be far away from a win.

“The way she got home today was really encouraging.

“While she didn’t get the money I don’t think she’s far off.”

In a close, three-way finish, the Tracey Bartley trained Mud Wasp ($12) was third, a neck behind the winner.


Back to back wins for Andrew MacDonald’s in-form filly Happy Mo ($2.80), taking out the 1000m LEGRAND AUSTRALIA CLASS 2 HANDICAP.

The Uncle Mo filly normally leads but a slow start from the barriers left jockey Jeff Penza one off the leader.

The filly settled well before Penza took her to the front early in the straight, managing to fight off challengers and score a half-length win.

MacDonald had planned to spell the filly after her Wyong win on July 14 but said she had been “jumping out of her skin” so he decided to send her around again.

“I thought I’d give her one more start and I’m glad I did now,” he said.

“She tries every time and with this race it was just too good an opportunity not to give her one more start.

“To go out on this is a real buzz. She had to work hard today and she dug really deep. She’s a terrific little filly.”

Penza said it was a good win but he had been concerned when she missed the kick.

“The horse in front was going very fast. There was no way we were going to cross it but it gave her something to follow,” he said.

“She was too good for them in the end and I was very happy with her.”

The Waugh trained $2.20 favourite Mighty Marmalade dead heated with Miss Casier ($20) from the Mitch Newman stable.


A decision by Jason Coyle to start his veteran galloper Exicted Prince at Wyong paid off with the eight-year-old taking out the 1600m ELECTRA – SHARKRACK BENCHMARK 67 HANDICAP.

The gelding had been a dual acceptor at Monday’s Goulburn meeting, with Coyle deciding the three kilo pull in the weights at Wyong suited him better.

Excited Prince ($21) upset some of the more fancied runners to score a neck win over Muse ($41) trained by Noel Mayfield-Smith, with the Kris Lees $1.90 favourite Moondancer third.

“It was a good decision in the end,” he said.

“He’s an old horse and that sort of weight can make a difference.

“Kathy (O’Hara) did a great job on him today. She got a good cart into the race off the favourite and was able to go on from there.

“I have been looking for soft tracks for him but there haven’t been many options of late but he handled the track well here today.

“I’ll keep him going and look for a similar race in a few weeks.”

It was the fifth career win for the Excites gelding from 59 starts.


Beach training working for Andrew MacDonald

Andrew MacDonald is chasing back to back wins at Wyong on Tuesday with Happy Mo and Our Lady Violet.

McDonald, based at Medowie on the outskirts of Newcastle, considers advice received from Australia’s leading trainer Darren Weir has helped with his recent success.

Weir set up a temporary base at Williamtown during the Autumn carnival and worked his horses at nearby Birubi Beach, where MacDonald also prepares his small team.

“When Darren Weir was up here I spoke to his foreman a lot about how they work them,” MacDonald said.

“He trains plenty of his horses on the beach so I was interested to know what they did.

“Now I try and use a bit of what they do and it seems to be working.

“They still go to their track for their gallops but slow work they go down to the beach, which a lot easier rather than getting all worked up and on the steel.

“They get a nice walk in the water after it as well.”

The proof has been in the pudding for MacDonald with Happy Mo and Lady Violent enjoying successful preparations, and both possible of notching up wins come Tuesday.

They are both last start winners, with Happy Mo saluting at Wyong on July 14 and Our Lady Violet a convincing winner at Newcastle on July 10.

MacDonald had planned to spell Happy Mo following her win but had a change of heart when the three-year-old filly pulled up better than ever. “I decided to give her another start,” he said.

“It looks like an ideal race and it’s come around at the right time. “She’s pulled up a treat, holding her weight and eating and looks fantastic.”

Jeff Penza retains the ride on Uncle Mo in the 1000m Class 2.

MacDonald said it had been a long preparation for the filly, who had some tough runs early on.

“I thought the last win would have taxed her but she’s come through this race probably better than any of the others. I’m really happy with her. “She had to dig deep the other day and cost herself because she was on the wrong leg coming around the corner.

“She’s still pretty green so I’m going to put the lugging bit on her just to make sure she hugs the rail.

“I think she’s got plenty of upside and she’s still learning. Fingers crossed she could go on to win some nice races.”

MacDonald broke in Happy Mo and after a short stint with another trainer she was returned to him and has gone on to record two wins and three placings from six starts. “I was happy to take her on because I knew she was a lovely filly and I wanted to give her a go. It’s it worked out well to date.”

His other runner Lady Violent starts in the 1350m Class 1, also with Penza in the saddle. “She’s pulled up a treat as well.

“It’s a bit of an acid test to see if she’s up to the grade, if she’s a provincial or a country horse but she just keeps improving.

“Jeff eased her on the line at Newcastle and felt there was a bit more left in her. It’s just a matter of whether she can back it up and rub shoulders with a better quality of horse down there.”

MacDonald said the mare had six starts with another trainer before coming to his stable.

“I spelled her after her second trial in February because she had a problem with her leg and it was touch and go if she was worth carrying on with. “Since she’s come back she hasn’t missed a beat and every race she’s improved.“

The five-year-old will be shooting for her second win, having recorded a victory and two seconds since joining the MacDonald stable.



RACE 1 – 12.20pm: BRILLIANT LTG – PRYSMIAN MAIDEN PLATE (1350m): 1 SUN AND HEIR, 2 Erudition, 3 Whitsunday, 4 Seeingisbelieving.

RACE 2 – 1pm: CLIPSAL BY SCHNEIDER BENCHMARK 69 HANDICAP (1100m): 1 KATGULLY RED, 2 Miss Faith, 3 Penalty, 4 Mr Bonjove.

RACE 3 – 1.35pm: MATCHMASTER – I.P.D. – HANECO 2YO C&G MAIDEN PLATE (1100m): 1 RECTITUDE, 2 Greenskeeper, 3 Oxford Tycoon, 4 Britzel.

RACE 4 – 2.10pm: OMNI – REPELEC CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1350m): 1 OUR LADY VIOLENT, 2 Clifton County, 3 Oakfield Missile, 4 Orokonui.

RACE 5 – 2.50pm: L&C/PAK – OMEGA – LEVEY AGENCIES 2YO FILLIES MAIDEN PLATE (1100m): 1 BANDOL, 2 Ballistica, 3 Smart Promise, 4 Don’t Doubt Arthur.

RACE 6 – 3.25pm: 1 MORE CHILLI, 2 Manhattan Gambler, 3 Magnifica, 4 Stunned.

RACE 7 – 4.05pm: 1 HAPPY MO, 2 Mightly Marmalade, 3 Big Legged Woman, 4 Missed Out.

RACE 8 – 4.40pm: ELECTRA – SHARKRACK BENCHMARK 67 HANDICAP (1600m): 1 MOONDANCER, 2 Excited Prince, 3 Flagpoles, 4 Jarrett.





Racing NSW $24m prize money increases to drive participation

Racing NSW has consulted widely on its new Strategic Plan and given careful consideration to the matters raised by industry participants. Accordingly, the integral objectives of the plan are defraying the costs of owners, enabling trainers to improve their cash flow and business viability as well as providing a stimulus for improving field sizes, especially for metropolitan and provincial racing.

As a major step in meeting these objectives, Racing NSW Chairman Mr Russell Balding AO, today announced a broad range of prize money increases to take effect from 1 September 2018, with prize money to increase by more than $24 million annually.

“We are delighted to be able to deliver these significant increases in prize money across all three sectors coinciding with the start of the spring” said Mr Balding.

From September minimum prize money for Saturday metropolitan races will increase by $25,000 to $125,000 per race, which headlines the increases summarised in the tables below.

Race Type Current


Minimum Prize money from

1 September 2018



Metropolitan Saturdays $100,000 $125,000 25.0%
Metropolitan Midweek $40,000 $50,000 25.0%
Metropolitan Public Holiday $50,000 $60,000 20.0%
TAB Highways $60,000 $75,000 25.0%
Provincial $30,000 $35,000 16.7%
Country TAB $20,000 $22,000 10.0%


Race Type Current



Prize money from

1 September 2018

Group 3 Races $150,000 $160,000
Listed Races $125,000 $140,000

The majority of the increase in prize money will be on horses finishing fourth to tenth in races bolstering returns to connections of the horses not finishing in the top three. In order to improve the cash flow for trainers, in a first for NSW racing, part of the increased prize money paid for horses finishing in these positions will be paid by Racing NSW directly to the trainer, with these amounts to be credited as a prepayment to the owner’s accounts (please see attachment). This will provide a $13.1 million improvement to trainers’ cash flows.

In addition, trainers themselves will receive an additional $2.4 million a year in trainer’s commissions.

With the prize money paid down to tenth position, jockeys will also collectively receive a widespread increase in their prize money percentages of $1.2 million annually. For example, a jockey whose horse finishes tenth in a Saturday metropolitan race receives an extra $75 in addition to the $200 ride fee, an increase of almost 38% on that fee.

 Also included is the increase in prize money to two of The Championship races namely the Percy Sykes Stakes and the Arrowfield 3 Year Old Sprint which have an additional $400,000 added to take them to $1 million per race. This means that the 10 Championship races now carry a minimum of $1 million per race.

 “On behalf of the Board of Racing NSW, I would like to again thank the NSW Government for embracing wagering tax parity as we progress towards placing racing in NSW on a level playing field with Victoria wagering tax.

Increases in wagering tax parity receipts with the further phase-in of parity from July 2018 and strong race fields fees revenue has enabled the Board of Racing NSW to deliver these prize money increases which are geared to boost participation in thoroughbred racing throughout NSW.” Mr Balding added.

Following these increases in prize money NSW will now be paying $260 million annually in prize money and bonuses, which is the highest of any State in Australia.

In addition to the increase in prize money announced today, Racing NSW’s new Strategic Plan will also focus on significant investment in our tracks and training facilities and on our integrity operations.

“NSW not only stages the world’s richest race on turf in The Everest – races for $13 million this October, but is underpinned by outstanding levels of minimum prize money across all sectors” said Racing NSW Chief Executive Mr Peter V’landys AM.

“Prizemoney in NSW has increased by more than $130 million annually across a seven-year period. The success of thoroughbred racing in NSW over this time is due in no small part due to the thousands of hard-working industry participants and the many thousands of owners that continue to subsidise the industry.  These prize money increases importantly focus on benefitting a wider spread of participant groups” Mr V’landys concluded.

The following table highlights the magnitude of the prize money increases:

Race Type At June 2012 Present September 2018 % Increase to September 2018
Metropolitan Saturdays $70,000 $100,000 $125,000 78.6%
Metropolitan Midweek $27,000 $40,000 $50,000 85.2%
Metropolitan Public Holiday $40,000 $50,000 $60,000 50.0%
TAB Highways N/a $60,000 $75,000 Added
Provincial $16,000 $30,000 $35,000 118.8%
Country TAB $10,000 $20,000 $22,000 120.0%
Country Showcase (were TAB) $10,000 $30,000 $30,000 200.0%
Sky 2 $6,000 $10,000 $10,000 66.7%
Non-TAB $3,500 $6,000 $6,000 71.4%


Finish Position Existing


Prizemoney From 1 September 2018 Total Increase Benefit to Owners Paid to Trainers Accounts as Pre-payment of Owners Account Additional

10% Trainers Prizemoney Percentage

Total Additional

Cash Flow to Trainers


5% Jockeys Percentage



Strappers Percentage

1 $16,630 $16,740 $110 $92 $0 $11 $11 $6 $2
2 $5,790 $6,000 $210 $175 $0 $21 $21 $11 $3
3 $2,920 $3,200 $280 $234 $0 $28 $28 $14 $4
4 $1,380 $1,980 $600 $501 $500 $60 $560 $30 $9
5 $680 $1,280 $600 $501 $500 $60 $560 $30 $9
6 $400 $1,100 $700 $585 $500 $70 $570 $35 $11
7 $400 $1,000 $600 $501 $500 $60 $560 $30 $9
8 $400 $1,000 $600 $501 $500 $60 $560 $30 $9
9 $400 $1,000 $600 $501 $500 $60 $560 $30 $9
10 $400 $1,000 $600 $501 $500 $60 $560 $30 $9
* Welf.2% $600 $700 $100
Total $30,000 $35,000 $5,000 $4,092 $3,500 $490 $3,990 $245 $74

For horses placed 4th to 10th inclusive, $500 will be paid to the trainer’s Stakes Account, which in turn is to be credited against the amount charged by the trainer to the owner(s) of that horse. The total cash flow benefit to trainers is both the $500 prepaid to the trainer and the increase in their respective prize money percentages.




Cosimo “in the blue” wins for Drew

Cosimo "in the blue" wins for Drew 1

Cosimo "in the blue" wins for Drew 2    Cosimo "in the blue" wins for Drew 3

Warwick Farm based Laurie Wray was concerned her colt Cosimo ($3.50) wouldn’t make his Wyong race after a traffic accident held them up enroute to the course.

Normally a two-hour trip, the drive took Wray over three hours and she arrived at the track with minutes to spare.

The drama was forgotten after the two-year-old put on an impressive display to take out the 1100m DREW CHIVAS MEMORIAL MAIDEN by two and a half lengths.

“We nearly didn’t make it and I was very worried,” Wray said. “I was phoning the stewards and luckily we made it. He ran super today.”

Cosimo was having his first run for Wray, having previously been trained by the Peter and Paul Snowden.

She said she thought the race would be ideal, after he was narrowly beaten at his last start at Wyong on June 26.

“He has worked so well at home. His work last Tuesday morning was enormous, so we came here full of confidence.

“This is probably the easiest race he’s come across to be fair to the horse, he’s been in much harder races than this.

“We will get him home and see how he settles down and go from there.”

Wray said Cosimo, who was purchased as yearling for $260,000, had been on his best behaviour since joining the stable.

The colt had previously been under a steward’s warning for his racing manners.

“Since I’ve had him he’s been an absolute gentleman. We took the blinkers off him and I thought Koby Jennings has got great hands, he wouldn’t get into a fight with him and he did so well today.”

Cosimo beat the Lees trained Londinium ($5), with Coltrane ($8.50), from the Waller stable, a close third.



Another convincing win by the Andrew McDonald trained filly Happy Mo ($5), who held out some of the more fancied runners to bring up her second career victory from just seven starts.

The win over 1000m in the RYAN’S METAL ROOFING CLASS 1, secured a double for Jeff Penza.

Happy Mo pinged the gates and was taken to the front by Penza, maintaining the lead throughout.

She fought on strongly in the straight to record a half length win over Crimson Ticket ($4.30), trained by Jim and Greg Lee, with the Lees trained Progression ($13), a length and three quarters behind in third.

McDonald was full of praise for the filly and the rider.

“She did really well today and we are very happy,” he said.

“She is ultra consistent and you can’t ask for much more than that.

“She finished third at Muswellbrook last start but it’s a tough track this time of year so she was probably unlucky there but she saved it for today.”

McDonald said he left the riding tactics up to Penza.

“I left it up to Jeff. He knows what he’s doing and he got the job done for us today.”

Owner Gary Hamilton described Happy Mo as a “good, honest filly” and said McDonald was doing a great job with her.

“Two wins, two seconds, a third and fourth from just six starts is great,” he said.



A breakthrough win for the John O’Shea trained China Gale in the 1350m K2 CONCRETE CONSTRUCTIONS MAIDEN PLATE.

The Pierro gelding, who was a $450,000 yearling purchase, was resuming from a spell and coming off two trials at Gosford and Wyong.

He had previously been unplaced in five starts.

Punters had plenty of faith in the three-year-old gelding who started $2.35 favourite.

Jeff Penza took the sit just behind the leaders in the small field, before sprinting through on the rails around 200m from home and scoring a convincing length victory.

Stable representative Lyle Chandler said it was good to get a win for owners, Domeland, who were new clients to the stable.

“It is good to get a win for them and see this horse break through,” Chandler said.

“He went well today and I think John will just take him through his classes now and see how he goes.

“He is bred to get over more ground and should improve off this win.”

Penza described it as a “very good win.”

China Gale beat the fast finishing Waiheke ($3.30) from the Waller stable, with the Gerald Ryan trained Elementae ($2.80), just over a length behind in third.



An upset of sorts in the 2100mCURE BRAIN CANCER – DIPG AWARENESS MAIDEN with the Waller trained Schoolmates ($12.00) outstaying his stablemate and favourite Night Breaker ($2.35).

The winner, a $310,000 purchase by Redoute’s Choice, had only been placed once in seven starts and was coming off a last at Gosford on July 3 over 1900m.

Foreman Steve Page said despite the last couple of runs they had expected Schoolmates to race well at his first attempt over the 2100m.

He was complimentary of the ride by Lee Magorrian.

“I wasn’t really that surprised,” Page said.

“I thought he just needed a strong ride and he got that today.

“He got himself into a nice position and once he got to the front he just kept battling on.

“I thought he fought on well through the last 100m considering the way he was going on the turn. He was being scrubbed along a bit and I thought he finished well.”

Paige said Night Breaker had battled on gamely for second.

The Rodney Bailey trained Lohan Princess ($51) was two lengths behind the winner in third.



A good ride by Grant Buckley secured victory for the Waterhouse/Bott trained Fearless Girl ($7), breaking through for her first win in the JUST CONVEYORS 2YO MAIDEN HANDICAP over 1200m.

The win was the first leg in a winning double for the stable, with Falcon Island tasting success in the Benchmark 67.

Buckley had planned to lead on the Fearless Girl but a slow start and quick early tempo resulted in a change of tactics, with Fearless Girl settling mid-field.

Hugging the rails into the straight, the filly hit the lead about 200m from home and was able to hold out the fast finishing Love Seat ($21) to score a half-length win.

The two-year-old All Too Hard filly was bred by Gerry Harvey and sold for $110,000 to the all-female Fearless Girl Syndicate.

Several of the syndicate were on hand to cheer on horse and rider when they returned to scale.

She was having her second race start and resuming from a spell, having been given three trials by the stable.

Tony Steele from the Waterhouse/Bott stable said they were “over the moon” with the result.

“I didn’t expect that so we are very happy. She didn’t jump that well so Grant settled her nicely mid-field. Coming around the turn she balanced up well and was really strong in the straight,” he said.

“We can’t ask for much more than that. It was a great result.”
Steele said Fearless Girl’s three trials had been promising.

“She hadn’t won any of them but she had shown us enough and the jockeys have been happy with how she’s been working the last couple of weeks.

“Gai and Adrian will see how she recovers and find another suitable race for her and I don’t think it will be long before she’s in the city.”

Partners ($5) trained by Scott Singleton was third, a length and a half behind the winner.



A well-rated front running ride by Rory Hutchings secured the second win for the stable with Falcon Island ($1.80) taking out the 1600m CITRUS CLEAN BENCHMARK 67 HANDICAP.

The Harbour Watch three-year-old, raced by Dynamic Syndications, dictated the terms throughout the race, drawing away in the straight to score an effortless eight and a half length win.

Tony Steele said it was hard to believe the ease of the gelding’s win.

“He jumped out superbly and that’s what we wanted and that was the key to his win,” Steele said.

“The shorter straight here really suited him and he was able to get away with a very strong win.

“Rory rated him very well in front. He deserved the win and I think he could be heading back to town now.

“He started off his prep at Randwick and he’s improved and improved and now got another win to his name.”

The Damien Lane trained Spinning Gold ($15) was second, with Don Pellegrino ($17) from the Perry stable, two lengths behind in third.



Catmosphere ($3.30) could be headed for another metropolitan run following his dominant victory in the 1350m KEVIN R SHEATHER CLASS 2 HANDICAP.

There was strong support for the Matthew Smith trained gelding despite his last start failure at Rosehill where he finished last in a field of 10.

Jockey Nick Heywood took him to an early lead, dictating the terms throughout the race before drawing away in the straight for a convincing four length win.

Nathan Davies, representing the Smith stable, said there had been excuses for his last two runs.

“Two starts ago he almost got put over the fence at Kembla and he got taken on at Rosehill last start. They went pretty quick that day and all the leaders stopped,” Davies said.

“It was nice and easy today. He travelled sweet in the run and never looked like getting beat.

“The plan was to go straight to the front and Nick carried the instructions out to a tee.

“He got to the front, kept improving and got the job done.”

Davies said on the strength of the win it was likely Smith would look for a metropolitan race.

“I think he has earned a return to town after that.”

Oakfield General ($11) trained locally by Damien Lane was second, with the Perry trained The Outcast ($21), a length behind in third.



A good win by the Snowden trained favourite Lady I Am ($2) to take out the


Ridden by Chad Lever, the three-year-old I Am Invincible filly was coming off a fourth at Canterbury on July 4.

Stable representative Lindy Wharekura said the dry track had definitely been a telling factor in the three quarter length win.

“Being on top of the ground really helped her today,” she said.

“She was third up and had two runs on soft tracks prior to today.

“We were keen to try her on the better going and got that today.

“Peter and Paul are still working her out and getting her right.

“They consider her to be city class and she will take plenty of confidence out of today’s win.”

Lady I Am beat Gretzky ($8) from the Hawkes stable, with New Zealand import Grand Soleil ($6), having her first start for the Lees stable, third.



Cosimo "in the blue" wins for Drew 4

Kris Lees best ever season can continue at Wyong

A break-out season for Kris Lees looks set to continue at Wyong on Saturday with the stable saddling up eight runners at the club’s Christmas In July race meeting.

Records continue to tumble for Lees, with his current winners tally of 181 for the 2017-2018 season, surpassing his previous best by 20 with two weeks remaining.

He has already set a new personal best with 41 metro wins for the season, has smashed his Provincial record by seven and a half wins and with 78 victories, is only three wins short of his best in country NSW.

Lees finished second behind the powerful Waller stable last season for the most winners trained in this State and is on track to emulate that. He attributes his success to continued growth in the stable.

“We’ve had a good season and I’d probably put it down to more horses and better quality horses,” Lees said.

“The volume of horses has increased and that certainly helps.

“We haven’t had as much luck in the big races. We’ve had seven places in Group 1’s and several of them were very close.

“It is rewarding to be bettering our statistics all the time but the expectation is also higher.”

Lees considers Unbridled Power, Progression and Time And Again as among his best chances on Saturday.

Unbridled Power, who lines up in the 1350m Class 2, was narrowly beaten at Wyong last start and Lees is confident she can go one better.

“She just got beat the other day, there wasn’t much in it and she is in good form,” Lees said.

“She handles Wyong well and the one barrier will suit.”

He is also hoping Declaration of War filly Time And Again will go one better in the 1200m 2YO Maiden.

“It was a good run on debut and she wasn’t beaten that far either.

“She has drawn reasonably well in seven and that should suit her.”

Lees saddles up three runners in the 1100m Maiden including Australian Bloodstock gelding Rothman.

The Rothesay two-year-old was strong on debut at Newcastle, finishing third over the 900m and Lees considers the extra distance will suit. “He’s a nice horse. He went alright last start coming off a couple of good trials.

“Londinium in the same race is a nice filly. It will probably suit her over more ground but I still think she should race well here.”

Weigela brings up Lees treble of runners, with the Epaulette gelding first up after three trials.

Lees said it was crunch time for another Australian Bloodstock horse Mr Tindall, one of his two runners in the 1200m Class 2. “He’s been around the money without winning so it’s a bit of a D day for him. He was third at Wyong a couple of starts back so he’s got pretty reasonable form on the track.

“My other runner Grand Soleil is having her first start in Australia.

“She probably needs the outing but should get home okay. She’s owned by Graham Bax, one of the breeders of Lucia Valentia.” The Savabeel mare had 16 starts in New Zealand for a win and seven placings.

Lees is quietly confident about the chances of well-bred filly Progression in the Class 1 over 1000m.

The three-year-old has good form at Wyong, scoring her debut win in October and finishing third in April, both over the 1000m. “She is going good, and races well fresh and likes the track,” Lees said.

“In saying that it’s a pretty competitive looking race but I’m confident she’ll race well.”


RACE 1 – 11.54am: K2 CONCRETE CONSTRUCTIONS MAIDEN PLATE (1350m): 1 CHINA GALE, 2 Waiheke, 3 Elemetae, 4 Miss Demi.

RACE 2 – 12.29pm: CURE BRAIN CANCER -DIPG AWARENESS MAIDEN PLATE (2100m): 1 NIGHT BREAKER, 2 Lake Hayes, 3 Bless Him, 4 Whitney’s Star.

RACE 3 – 1.04pm: JUST CONVEYORS 2YO MAIDEN HANDICAP (1200m): 1 TIME AND AGAIN, 2 Kapajack, 3 Chauvinist, 4 Fearless Girl.

RACE 4 – 1.39pm: KEVIN R SHEATHER CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1350m): 1 UNBRIDLED POWER, 2 Love Shack Baby, 3 Loveletter, 4 Oakfield General.

RACE 5 – 2.14pm: THE DREW CHIVAS MEMORIAL MAIDEN HANDICAP (1100m): 1 WEIGELA, 2 Rothman, 3 Cosimo, 4 Galahad’s Quest.

RACE 6 – 2.54pm: RYAN’S METAL ROOFING CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1000m): 1 TRUMBULL, 2 Couvre Lit, 3 Progression, 4 Bell Serenade.

RACE 7 – 3.34pm: CITRUS CLEAN BENCHMARK 67 HANDICAP (1600m): 1 SOVIET, 2 Billy Can, 3 Falcon Island, 4 Don Pellegrino.

RACE 8 – 4.14pm: CLEAN N CARE CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1200m): 1 LADY I AM, 2 Gretzky, 3 Mr Tindall, 4 Picardy Rose.