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GRAND WINNER FOR QUEENSLAND
DERBY WAS FIVEANDAHALFSTAR DAY
Former Queensland based sire Hotel Grand claimed the first G1 Victorian Derby for the Sunshine State in over 50 years at Flemington on Saturday.
Hotel Grand gelding Fiveandahalfstar defied running down to win Australia’s oldest classic by over a length from Super Cool (Fastnet Rock) and $101 outsider Rawnaq (Redoute’s Choice).
Hotel Grand (Grand Lodge) was a G1 winner of the AJC Spring Champion Stakes and Randwick Guineas before retiring to Racetree in 2007. He died from a colic attack at the Innisplain based stud in February.
The last Queensland based stallion to sire a Victorian Derby winner was Lyndhurst Stud champion Smokey Eyes. Arguably Queensland’s best-ever stallion, he sired New Statesman to win the 1961 Victoria Derby for jockey Geoff Lane and trainer Brian Courtney.
Fiveandahalfstar (3g Hotel Grand – Cryptic Miss by Snippets) is a homebred for Anthony Cummings and he also prepared the winner’s sire and dam.
“I put him through the 2011 Inglis Classic yearling sale but there wasn’t much interest,” Cummings recalled. “I bid $20,000 and took him back home.”
Fiveandahalfstar was syndicated among a stable partnership that includes Julia Ritchie and Hal Dyball and he has now earned over $1 million.
“He’s got a bold running style, much like his old man,” Cummings claimed. “We probably never saw the best of Hotel Grand. He was one of the best that I’ve trained and it’s nice to get one of his youngsters to come here and do the job.”
It was the fourth Victoria Derby winning ride by Damien Oliver following Redding (1992), Amalfi (2001) and Elvstroem (2003). Amalfi was bred in New Zealand but had Queensland connections through trainer Peter Moody and owners Ron and Judy Wanless.
- Karl Patterson
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE COUNTRY
Queensland sire Over, had a brilliant winner in Sydney with Too Hi Tak taking out Race 4 on the Rosehill program, the AMWU Handicap for 3yos & up over 1800m.
While back on home turf all our major Studs again had good representation.
Theever-consistent Sequalo opened the Eagle Farm card for Queensland with a Missy Longstocking taking out the 2yo Fillies Handicap over 1000m.
Jet Spur’s 4yo gelding Biggles (pictured) returned to form with a win in the Little Fish Swim School Quality 1400m.
And Dream & Ignite saluted for Monashee Mountain in the Fillies and Mares Class 6 over 1200m.
HIT SALE CONCERNS
The National Horses in Training Sale (HIT Sale) at the end of October was a reasonable sale.
It wasn’t dominated by overseas buyers and it was good to see a great buying bench from NSW and Queensland and the best we have seen from Western Australia for a few years.
The disappointing aspect of the sale was the low clearance rate of just 69% (down from 73% last year).
I think it can be attributed to two factors; partly due to the struggling economy at the moment, but mainly as a result of the Unreserved Patinack Sale that was dumped on the back of the HIT Sale.
I am very disappointed that Magic Millions did that. When vendors for the HIT nominated, we thought it was a stand-alone sale.
Many people purchase yearlings or weanlings to specifically aim for this sale. As soon as the Patinack Sale was announced I expressed my concerns about the affects it would have on the HIT to both Vin Cox and Gerry Harvey.
I was worried that buyers would forego possible purchases in the HIT sale in the hope of getting a much cheaper horse from the Patinack catalogue. Well, we have seen the result in black and white – 69% clearance isn’t good.
I hope Magic Millions considers this for future sales and they do not make the same mistake again. I am concerned they may dump further Patinack Reduction Sales on the back of the January or March sales next year. I really hope this doesn’t occur.
The sales need to be about quality not quantity for them to be a success. We pay good money for nominations, we should be able to nominate confident that we are in a stand-alone sale, capped at 400-450 lots and that Magic Millions is operating in the best interests of clients who are their bread and butter, and will be here long after Patinack is gone.
NEW GOVERNANCE FOR QLD RACING
Thoroughbred Breeders Queensland Association President, Basil Nolan has praised Racing Minister, Steve Dickson and the LNP for their new governance for the Queensland Racing Industry.
“The changes announced yesterday are excellent and much-needed,” said Mr Nolan.
“This shows the Government has the interests of our industry at heart.”
Under the changes an All-Codes Board will oversee three industry specific control bodies – for thoroughbred, greyhound and harness racing. Each Board will be made up of three duly elected members with the Chairman of each Board to be a representative of the All-Codes Board, alongside an additional two ACB members.
Members will only be able to serve a maximum of two three year terms in an effort to protect against the sort of empire building that unashamedly took place under the old regime.
“The fact that this new structure will be decided by the industry stakeholders themselves is a great incentive to get it right,” said Mr Nolan
A Racing Disciplinary Board and a Racing Integrity Commissioner will also be appointed, to maintain the highest levels of accountability and transparent process.
“The previous Government ignored the racing industry which resulted in severe abuse of power and mismanagement,” said Mr Nolan.
“It’s good to know that Mr Dickson will not allow history to repeat itself and our new Boards will be forced to be accountable or the LNP will step in if the need arises. This could only be a good thing.”
Finally, in the future bookmakers will be able to conduct business both at the racecourse, off-course at approved premises, and over the internet – a vital change that levels the field and allows them to compete with their interstate counterparts and corporate bookmakers.
“This is good news for Queensland bookmakers and will hopefully keep the money here and generate more revenue that can then be injected back into our industry,” said Mr Nolan.
“It is clear that from the changes that have been made that Mr Dickson has listened to industry representatives.
“I am confident that with these implementations our industry should be able to move forward.”
Mr Nolan is urging stakeholders to attend the information sessions that will be held around the State over the coming weeks to detail the changes.
YOU’RE INVITED
Gallopers Bistro, on the corner of Lancaster and Nudgee Roads, Hamilton, Brisbane is the venue for morning tea and a chat for those who love history and have an interest in thoroughbred racing and breeding.
A team is being assembled by the Thoroughbred Racing History Association to assist with the retrieval, restoration and preservation of the historic racing collection, which has been recognised by experts as the finest in Australia. The project is led by Queensland’s foremost historian David Gibson.
All that is needed is a desire to preserve our racing heritage through “hands-on” involvement on a variety of fronts. Many skills are required, and whilst the work is not strenuous, it needs commitment.
There are hundreds of old books and documents to be dusted off, taken across to the new Doomben Library and Archives and catalogued, and the Eagle Farm Old Tote Racing Museum is set for a face-life with the re-arranging of pictures and artefacts for a more comprehensive display.
You might like to train as a Racing Museum Guide, work as a researcher or compiler of information. All this is possible in the exciting plans for the historic precinct, which encompasses so many of the breeding and racing areas of Queensland.
The date for the morning tea is Tuesday November 13. The time is 10.15am for a 10.30am start. Morning tea will be followed by a guided tour of Eagle Farm racecourse and Old Tote Racing Museum, commencing at 12 noon.
Admission is free, but bookings are essential for catering purposes.
Please phone David Gibson: 07 3300 3172 or email heritage@brc.com.au