TWO year old gelding Ef Troop shot to outright favouritism for the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) when he smashed a small field in the Listed Phelan Ready Stakes (1110m) at Doomben on Saturday, December 16.
Sent out favourite after an impressive debut win and a subsequent 20 length trial win at the Gold Coast, Ef Troop led from start to finish and held a massive 5.25 lengths margin over the well fancied southern raider Crockett.
A $70,000 Gold Coast Yearling Sale purchase from Eureka Thoroughbreds for Tony Gollan and John Foote, Ef Troop provided a boost for his full brother who is being prepared by Eureka Stud for the 2018 Gold Coast Yearling Sale. Both are from the winning Exceed And Excel mare Limealicious. Ef Troop made history in winning the first stakes winner for his sire Spirit of Boom – another successful graduate sold through the Gold Coast sales ring.
It was double delight for trainer Tony Gollan and Spirit of Boom when his debuting daughter Outback Barbie won the next race, the Listed Calaway Gal Stakes (1110m). Bought by owners Alan and Jennifer Acton for $210,000 in January this year, Outback Barbie was also bred at Eureka Stud and is the first foal from the General Nediym mare Pure Perrfection whose five wins included the Listed Bribie Handicap at Eagle Farm.
It's been an incredible start to the season for Spirit of Boom with the dual Group 1 winning son of Sequalo racing to a big lead with six winners on the First Season Sires Premiership. Spirit of Boom has 12 yearlings catalogue for January's Gold Coast Yearling Sale, eight for March's Adelaide Yearling Sale and then a further 42 for the hugely popular Gold Coast March Yearling Sale.
The Gollan stable dominated the nine race Doomben program with four winners. Millionaire galloper Most Important (G5 I Am Invincible/Orange Marmalade (NZ) increased his winning tally to eight with victory in the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1350m) and I’m A Rippa (G4 Love Conquers All/Derippa) was successful in a 1350m Class 3 Plate.
MM graduates dominate with 7 stakes wins
BRISBANE trainer Tony Gollan’s winning black type trio – Ef Troop, Outback Barbie and Most Important – at Doomben provided three of seven Magic Millions graduates claiming stakes races in the build up to next month's Magic Millions race day.
Led by an exciting win in the 1600m Group 2 Villiers Stakes by Brisbane-based miler Crack Me Up, the performances of all stakes winners were timely with the majority being aimed at Queensland's richest raceday on January 13.
A 4YO New Zealand-bred gelding by Queensland-bred Group 1 winner Mossman, Crack Me Up was a $60,000 purchase at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale from the draft of Glastonbury Farms. His impressive race record already included the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas, Listed Recognition Stakes, Listed Tattersall's Mile and Listed Dalrello Stakes.
From Magic Millions 2YO Classic runner-up Chuckle (Danehill), the cleverly-named Crack Me Up hails from the extended family of dual Group 1-winning sire Turffontein, VRC Derby winner Hit The Roof, Group 1 Railway Handicap winner Alynda, and Group 3 winning sire Fast 'N' Famous.
More time allowed to get Eagle Farm race ready
BRISBANE’s premier racetrack Eagle Farm has been removed from next year’s Winter Racing Carnival to allow additional time for track remediation.
The decision, announced by Racing Queensland (RQ) and the Brisbane Racing Club (BRC) last Thursday, December 14, was made after extensive consultation with independent racing surface consultants and industry stakeholders.
Eagle Farm hasn’t been raced on since May 27 when problems with its surface saw Oaks Day and Stradbroke Day transferred to Doomben – just 11 months after it was reopened following a two-year $50 million renovation that precluded it from hosting the 2015 winter carnival.
RQ Chief Executive Officer Dr Eliot Forbes said the decision was the right one for all involved in order to provide sufficient time for thorough testing prior to racing and to provide certainty to all stakeholders that the track performs to Group 1 standards into the future, “We are on schedule to begin laying turf in December despite delays associated with adverse weather, challenges sourcing the necessary high-quality materials and securing the availability of contractors to undertake the remediation process.
“All those involved in the project have taken a ‘best practice’ approach to every step of this project in relation to materials and methodology, including extensive testing and quality assurance of materials. The approach has been necessary to provide an enduring solution and to maintain a high performance racing surface for animals and riders,” Dr Forbes said
BRC Chairman Neville Bell said the announcement would assist all stakeholders to plan their campaigns. “The decision to call it now provides certainty for all participants planning carnival campaigns in the first half of next year and to ensure we give the Eagle Farm track every opportunity to perform to the highest of standards which our stakeholders, members, patrons and punters deserve.
“The BRC is part of the Project Control Group for this redevelopment of the Eagle Farm track. At every step, we have said that this track must be rebuilt very carefully to ensure we have an outstanding surface,” Mr Bell said
Author of the report on the Eagle Farm surface, Dale Monteith said he was responsible for recommending the best solution for the track and he took that responsibility seriously. “I have been fully involved in this process and in deciding the best plan for rectification at each stage. I know that the steps undertaken will see Eagle Farm again become one of the best racing surfaces in Australia,” he said
All turf has been removed from Eagle Farm and work on the sub profile has been completed. The new profile for the track is currently undergoing a stringent testing regime to ensure improved stability and necessary filtration rates are met. Further testing will be carried out prior to the course proper being turfed.
New look winter carnival
THE proposed spring return to Eagle Farm will mean a new-look Brisbane Racing Carnival for 2018, featuring four Group 1 race days at Doomben, culminating in the UBET Stradbroke.
The proposed schedule, which will be finalised by Racing Queensland, has three consecutive weekends of racing at Doomben before a fortnight break until UBET Stradbroke Day.
Under the proposed schedule, the Queensland Oaks will be brought forward one week and held alongside the Kingsford Smith Cup at Doomben. The Sunshine Coast Turf Club will then host a quality card – the majority of which will be black type races – one week before the UBET Stradbroke. The BRC and Racing Queensland will make the necessary applications for the ratification of minor changes to host the club’s Group 1 features at Doomben over four meetings.
The Winter Carnival continues to be the nursery for future champions with this year’s Doomben 10,000 winner Redzel returning in the spring to add the TAB Everest and Darley Classic to his record. Prior to that champion mare Winx claimed her first Group 1 victory in the Queensland Oaks when it was held at Doomben over 2200m.
“Doomben has performed with distinction in recent years and the form of Group 1 winners going on from there has been world-class,” said Mr Bell.