AN exciting month awaits the winners of UBET Queensland Summer Crowns openers at Doomben last Saturday, December 2.
The winning connections of Ardoyne Road (Sizzling Plate), Pretty Fast (Mode Plate), Pierata (Winning Rupert Stakes) and Monsieur Gustave (George Moore Stakes), each need just two more UBET Summer Crowns Series wins to share in $1.6 million in bonuses.
The new $100,000 trainer and jockey bonus looks as though it could come right down to the wire, with points awarded throughout the 15 UBET Summer Crowns Series races. Darryl Hansen and team Snowden lead the $50,000 trainers’ challenge on nine points, while Damian Browne and Corey Brown head the jockeys’ ladder, also with nine points each.
Toowoomba trainer Tony Sears appears to be right in the mix, after he produced exciting 2YO filly Ardoyne Road to win the Sizzling Plate (1050m) in sizzling style. Despite a slow start, the daughter of Top Echelon relished the soft conditions, led throughout and was never in danger of defeat scoring by 3.25 lengths. The Sizzling Plate was the opening leg of the five-race Summer Crown series for two-year-olds. It concludes with the final leg in the $2 million Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 13.
A $70,000 Magic Millions March yearling sale buy, Ardoyne Road is from the winning Hennessy (USA) mare Hennessy Beau which makes her a half-sister to three winners including last season’s QTIS 2YO premiership winner Paradis Imperial. The smart filly, by Sun Stud sire Instinction, led from the first month and couldn’t be chased down, collecting $125,400 in QTIS bonus prizemoney with seven QTIS victories – a significant return on her $9000 yearling price at the 2016 Magic Millions March yearling sale.
Both fillies were offered by Gainsborough Lodge Stud, Toowoomba, Sibling rivalry is already evident with Ardoyne Road banking $100,750 with her debut win including $36,750 in QTIS bonuses.
Iconic Cambridge Stud sold
NEW Zealand’s world-famous Cambridge Stud – home of former outstanding father/son sires Sir Tristram and Zabeel – has been sold.
Breeding and Racing Webnews reports Cambridge Stud principals Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan have confirmed that their iconic thoroughbred nursery has been sold to Auckland couple Brendan and Jo Lindsay, ensuring that the stud farm remains in local hands.
Sir Patrick said: “It is no secret that there has been huge international interest in Cambridge Stud for some time now. Many different parties have made approaches to us, however Justine and I were determined to wait for both the right time and the right people – that was non-negotiable for us. That right time has now come and the right people have arrived. A new chapter begins for Cambridge Stud and is one that we firmly believe was worth waiting for.
“As we pass the ownership baton on, we know that Cambridge Stud could not be in better hands. Everyone knows that Brendan and Jo Lindsay are deeply passionate about both our industry and our country, and Cambridge Stud certainly holds a unique place in both.”
Despite the sale, Sir Patrick will not be retiring any time soon.
“In answer to the undoubted question of my retirement – the answer is a firm NO, that is not on my agenda. We will have our 2018 Karaka draft, the final one under our auspices, to prepare. After that I have plenty of racing and breeding interests to keep me firmly involved in the industry – an industry I will be fully immersed in until the day I die!”
Brendan and Jo Lindsay will assume control of Cambridge Stud in April 2018.
CrownBet drops legal threat
THE proposed $11 billion merger between Tabcorp and Tatts Group is a step closer after CrownBet decided not to pursue legal action against the deal, reports AAP.
In a media statement released last week, Tabcorp said CrownBet, which is majority-owned by James Packer's Crown Resorts, will not be applying for judicial review of the Australian Competition Tribunal's decision last week to approve the merger.
"CrownBet has also agreed not to take any action which would impede the implementation of the transaction," Tabcorp said. Tatts shareholders are scheduled to vote on the merger on December 12.
Bowman is World’s Best Jockey
AUSTRALIA’S Hugh Bowman is officially the Longines World's Best Jockey for 2017.
After leading most of the year, and thanks in part to his remarkable success with Winx, Bowman is the first Australian jockey to win the award, which he secured with his recent victory on Cheval Grand in Japan Cup.
“It has been a highlight season. This has been my most amazing year since I started riding 20 years ago. Obviously my association with Winx has been a highlight. She is the best horse on turf in the world,” Bowman said.
Bowman won 10 of the world’s Top 100 Group or Grade 1 races across three countries. While Winx supplied six wins in the series, he also won Group 1s in Hong Kong on Werther (twice) and Lucky Bubbles.
The scoring process rewards jockeys for finishing in the top three, giving Bowman a total of 142 points on the year. With 124 points, second place went to Ryan Moore, who won the Longines World’s Best Jockey award in both 2014 and 2016. Lanfranco “Frankie” Dettori, who won the award in 2015, was third with 86 points.
Bowman will be recognised at a ceremony held during the gala dinner of the Longines Hong Kong International Races on December 8 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The awarding of the Longines World’s Best Jockey is based upon performances in the 100 highest-rated Group 1 and Grade 1 races as established for the year by the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee. The scoring incorporates races from December 1 of the previous year until November 30 of the current year. Jockeys accrue 12 points for a win, 6 points for placing second, and 4 points for placing third.
This system and the presentation of the Longines World’s Best Jockey Award were both established in 2014 and marked the first time a jockey was quantitatively recognized as the best among his or her global peers.
Winx still world’s best on turf
THE last interim list before the Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings Committee meets in Hong Kong this week to debate the final rankings for 2017, Australian-bred mare Winx remains both the World’ Best Horse on Turf and top rated mare.
The latest rankings from January 1 to November 5 still have USA-based Arrogate on 134 followed by Winx on 132. With his resounding seven length victory in the Group 1 Champion Stakes, Cracksman (GB)  has moved into third place.
In the United States, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships impacted the ratings of a number of horses. Leading the way was Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Gun Runner (USA) , who improved from 127 to 129 with his 2 ¼ length victory over Collected (USA) .
The final year-end rankings for 2017 will be revealed during the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Ceremony in January.