Talented race mare Girl Sunday, a graduate of Mill Park Stud, must have offended the racing gods if her luck in barrier draws is any indication.
Girl Sunday is entered for tomorrow's $150,000 Civic Stakes, a listed race over 1350 metres at Rosehill, but has come up with barrier 12 out of 13.
Last week she was scratched from Doomben after drawing wide and her last two race starts have been from barriers 10 and 15.
In spite of her wide draws, Girl Sunday has raced extremely well this preparation and has been fourth and fifth at her latest outings.
"She is going along nicely this time in, but once again the wide draw is going to be her greatest challenge to overcome," said trainer Gerald Ryan.
"I'm happy enough with how she is going and on her Sydney form last preparation then is capable of winning this race. It doesn't seem to be a hot tempo race so hopefully she can get over from the wide draw and either lead or sit outside the leader.
"Her form at Rosehill is great and over the 1350 metres on the track she's had three starts for two wins and a third so this looks a great opportunity for her to earn black type," said Gerald Ryan.
Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan said success in these listed races were vitally important for fillies and mares.
"Girl Sunday is a daughter of a champion stallion in Encosta De Lago and her third dam Furama Nights was a Group 3 winner so there's a nice pedigree page behind her. As a multiple Sydney winner, she will have great residual value if she can add some black type performances to the CV.
"The good thing about tomorrow's races is that there isn't a lot of pace so apprentice James Innes should be able to work over from that wide draw.
"Even though there's no apprentice allowance in this race we were happy to keep James on board because he has ridden her well and he is riding in fantastic form," said Grant Morgan.
Mill Park graduates Red Raider and Beluga Blue both saluted at Morphettville on Saturday providing a winning double for their dam Choice of Colours.
Prepared by Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas, stakes-winning Lookin at Lucky (USA) mare Beluga Blue was favourite for the 1550 metre Benchmark 90 event and coasted home an easy winner making up for her unlucky last start fourth in the Group III SAJC RA Lee Stakes.
Beluga Blue has won five of 22 starts earning over $270,000 in prizemoney.
Consigned for sale by Mill Park at the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale, Beluga Blue made $100,000 to the bid of Leon Macdonald and runs for a syndicate of owners that includes Mill Park Stud.
Earlier in the day her two year-old half-brother Red Raider scored by a head over 1300 metres at his third start.
By dual Derby winner Rebel Raider, Red Raider is also trained by Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas.
By Redoute’s Choice from the family of current season Group I winner Montoya’s Secret, Choice of Colours has produced four winners from four to race and is due to foal to More Than Ready (USA) this spring.
Cherry ripe at his third run back from a spell at Morphettville on Saturday was handy four year-old Galaxy Gazer, a $38,000 Magic Millions Adelaide purchase from the Mill Park draft.
Trained by Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas, Galaxy Gazer scored a half-length win over 1250 metres taking his overall record to five wins and five placings from 22 starts with prizemoney topping $95,000.
Bred by Harry Perks, Galaxy Gazer is by Astronomer Royal (USA) and is the first winner for Galileo (IRE) mare Livia, who comes from the family of stakes-winners Chattanooga, Tindal and Real Stolle.
Livia has a yearling colt by Rebel Raider, a weanling colt by Declaration of War (USA) and was covered last year by Hallowed Crown.
Co-trainer Leon Macdonald is hoping to put the disappointment of Waging War (Rebel Raider) being scratched at the barriers before the South Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2500m) behind him when the three-year-old lines up in today’s Port Adelaide Cup (Listed, 2500m).
Waging War, who has won his past three starts including the SAJC Chairman’s Stakes (Gr 3, 2030m) on 29 April, is one of the leading contenders for Macdonald and his training partner Andrew Gluyas at Morphettville today.
The co-trainers will also saddle Royal Rumble (New Approach) in the R A Lee Stakes (Gr 3, 1600m), who has also won his past three starts, Pretty Punk (Rebel Raider) in the SA Fillies Classic (Gr 3, 2500m) and Gogo Grace (New Approach) in the Proud Miss Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m).
Macdonald told ANZ Bloodstock News yesterday that the long delay prior to the South Australian Derby led to Waging War playing up and scratched at the barriers.
“He was scratched at the barriers after standing in there for nearly ten minutes. He just had a bit of blood in his mouth and the vet wouldn’t let him run,” Macdonald said.
“This race wasn’t on the agenda for him but seeing him the past week and we want to see if he will run a trip. I am fairly sure he will and he is going to get better as he gets older.
“Next spring who knows where he will end up. He might take the next step and he has already taken a step from a couple of country wins to a Group Three race.”
To be ridden by regular jockey Clare Lindop from barrier 12, Waging War is likely to settle back in the field early from the wide draw.
Macdonald said Waging War, who is by his former Victoria Derby (Gr 1, 2500m) winner Rebel Raider (Reset), had always shown talent.
“He’s shown us a bit and we took him to the country (at Strathalbyn on 5 April) to win a mile race and then he went to Murray Bridge (over 2206 metres) against olders to see if he would stay because he is by Rebel Raider out of a Galileo mare,” he said.
“It wasn’t a very strong race, but he won pretty well by three lengths and went on to win the Chairman’s Stakes at his next start.
“There were a few hard luck stories in that race, but he went to the front before the turn and won, so I don’t think there were too many excuses (for his rivals).”
Waging War is rated a $10 chance with CrownBet behind the $2 favourite, the Darren Weir-trained High Church (High Chaparral), who won the Warrnambool Cup (Listed, 2350m) last start, and the Tony McEvoy-trained Time To Test (Testa Rossa) ($4.40)
Meanwhile, Macdonald said Royal Rumble ($9) deserved his chance in the R A Lee Stakes after winning his past three starts at Morphettville.
A four-year-old gelding, Royal Rumble takes on the Weir-trained Burning Front (Primus), who is the $2 favourite after winning the VOBIS Gold Mile (1600m) at Caulfield on 22 April, Victoria Handicap (Gr 3, 1400m) winner Hooked (Casino Prince) ($3.40) and last start Caulfield winner Rhythm To Spare (Pins) ($5.50).
“He has won his last three and is obviously going very well, but it is a good class race and while he is not badly in on the weight scale, neither is Burning Front,” the Morphettville-based trainer said.
“He is always a chance as he is a very honest horse. From barrier seven he’ll go back as he always goes back.”
Hill Smith Stakes (Listed, 1800m) winner Pretty Punk has raced below Macdonald’s expectations this campaign, but the trainer is hopeful the step up to 2500 metres will see the three-year-old in contention in the SA Fillies Classic.
As well as her Listed victory, Pretty Punk also ran third in the Geelong Classic (Listed, 2200m) last October and was fourth in the Laelia Stakes (Listed, 1600m) at Morphettville on 8 April, a race won by the Weir-trained Kenedna (Not A Single Doubt) three starts ago.
On Wednesday, Pretty Punk drew barrier 18 in the field of 16 plus three emergencies, with the the Robbie Griffiths-trained So Distinct (So You Think) having already been scratched from the Group Three race.
“She hasn’t had a lot of luck in her races this time in. Once again she has no luck where she is drawn. It would be fair to say she has been a bit disappointing this preparation,” he said.
“She ran third in a Geelong Classic over 2200 metres and then ran fifth in the Wakeful over 2000 metres, so I think she will run the trip. Her worst run was in the Australiasian Oaks, but that was a hot race and I don’t think this race is of that quality.”
In the last race Macdonald and Gluyas have Gogo Grace in the Proud Miss Stakes for fillies and mares and will be ridden by Lindop from barrier 15 with three scratchings already confirmed yesterday.
Gogo Grace won a Benchmark 70 over 1100 metres against her own sex at Morphettville first up on 4 March and came from last to run fifth over 1050 metres last Saturday at the Adelaide racecourse.
Macdonald said the three-year-old appeared outclassed but connections were hoping to add value to her as a broodmare with a strong stakes race performance.
“It is a very strong race I thought and from her wide barrier she will have her work cut out,” he said.
“We are just trying to get a bit of black type with her. Her first up win was solid and her last start was pretty good as she came from three lengths last on the home turn to finish it off well (to run fifth) over 1050 metres.”
Horses raised and or sold by Mill Park were in hot form over the weekend with stylish victories for Booker and Royal Rumble, while stakes placings went the way of It’s a Myth, Reldas and classy two year-old Naafer, who was second in the Group I SA Nursery in South Africa.
A $230,000 Inglis Premier purchase, two year-old Written Tycoon filly Booker (pictured below) as an impressive debut winner at Flemington, while Harry Perks homebred Royal Rumble (New Approach (IRE) posted his third successive win for Leon MacDonald and Andrew Gluyas taking his earnings past $454,000.
Seasoned sprinter Reldas (Testa Rossa) was second in the Group III SAJC DJ McKay Stakes for the Robert Smerdon stable. An $82,000 Inglis Premier purchase for Cameron Cooke Bloodstock from the Mill Park draft, six year-old Reldas has won over $411,000 in prizemoney.
Two year-old filly It’s a Myth (Sepoy) gained Black Type with a close second in the Listed SAJC Queen Adelaide Stakes and with three seconds from four starts, the Phillip Stokes trained filly is well overdue for a win!
A $90,000 Magic Millions purchase from the Mill Park draft for her trainer, she runs for Mill Park, who co-bred her and Mills Breeding. She is the first foal of The Good Wife, a Redoute’s Choice half-sister to four-time Group I winner and $2million earner Divine Madonna.
Expensive Lonhro colt Naafer (pictured below)made his mark when winning on debut at Vaal in South Africa last month for the powerful Mike de Kock stable.
He followed up with a gallant second in the Group I SA Nursery at Turffontein on Saturday chasing home his stablemate Mustaaqeem.
Naafer was a $560,000 Inglis Easter purchase for Shadwell from the Mill Park draft and is the second winner for stakes-winning Exceed and Excel mare Very Discreet.
Bred by well-known South Australian breeder David Peacock, he comes from the famed ‘Discreet’ family that has produced numerous Black Type winners including the Group I winner Maybe Discreet.
With his established stars Capitalist and Winning Rupert off to stud this spring, Written Tycoon is looking for new talent for the season ahead and produced a likely candidate at Flemington on Saturday in Booker, a $230,000 Inglis Premier purchase from the Mill Park draft.
The two year-old filly opened her account with a stylish victory on debut confirming the high opinion in which she is held by her trainers Matt Ellerton and Simon Zahra.
"She's probably our best two-year-old," said Simon Zahra, after Booker led all the way to take the 1100 metre contest by a length.
"We thought her jumpout last Monday as terrific and we didn't hide the fact we think she's got a fair bit of ability.
"There were a lot of first starters in the race with wraps on them so ours had to go and do it race day."
Booker is the first foal of Flying Spur mare Noondie, a three-quarter sister to stakes-winner Tranqillity and daughter of stakes-winner Creatrix.
"We had her ready to go at Blue Diamond time, rushed her name through and then she went shin sore," Zahra said.
"She's come back extremely well, she's done that off one jumpout so we were a little bit worried about her condition but she's a real professional.
"She came off the bridle a bit early and Andrew (Mallyon) put one around her tail at the 400(metres) and I thought we might be in a bit of trouble but she kicked and did it all on her own so it was a terrific effort."
Zahra said he feels Booker is up to contesting better races next preparation.
"We'll see how she pulls up, there are races in Adelaide but the spring comes around quickly and she'll benefit from a spell so well let the dust settle and go from there," Zahra said.
"It would be nice to get some stakes form into her and I think she'll get over a bit further too, so it's a bit of a juggling act."
A $90,000 Inglis Premier purchase for China Horse Club from the Mill Park draft, well-bred Northern Meteor filly Cappadocia gained valuable Black Type at Morphettville on Saturday when second in the Listed SAJC Nitschke Stakes.
Trained by Phillip Stokes and sporting the familiar red and yellow stars of China Horse Club, Cappadocia improved on a last start win at Balaklava to finish a game second beaten a length in the 1400 metre contest.
Cappadocia is a half-sister to Group I winner Zip Zip Array and Group I placed stakes-winner Zipanese and is one of nine winners from the now retired top producer Eastern Charm, a full sister to the dam of multiple Group I winners Niconero and Nicconi.
With Black Type on her resume and a pedigree free of Danehill blood, Cappadocia is going to be a lovely broodmare prospect for the China Horse Club when her racing days are done.
Three wins on the trot for the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas-trained Waging War, who will be given his chance to emulate his sire Rebel Raider after a strong staying performance in Saturday's Group III SAJC Chairman's Stakes (2030m) at Morphettville.
Trapped three wide, with cover under Clare Lindop, Waging War took control at the point of the turn and defied a host of challengers down the straight to win by three-quarters of a length.
Coming off wins at Strathalbyn and Murray Bridge, Waging War advances his record to four wins and three placings from 11 starts with earnings of $126,900.
Bred by Harry Perks and raised at Mill Park, Waging War will be given his chance to follow in the footsteps of his sire Rebel Raider (pictured below) who won the 2009 Chairman's Stakes before adding the Group I South Australian Derby.
Waging War becomes the second stakes winner for the Victorian Derby hero Rebel Raider after Pretty Punk, who also raced for the Macdonald, Lindop, Perks triumvirate.
Waging War is the first foal of placed Galileo (IRE) mare Fartoo Flashy, a half-sister to stakes-placed Lagerphone out of the talented Success Express mare Speaker.
Fartoo Flashy had a yearling sister to Waging War that was purchased by Clarken Racing for $45,000 out of the Mill Park draft the recent Adelaide Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
After foaling a colt by Master Of Design last year, Fartoo Flashy was bred back to Rebel Raider.
The Morphettville meeting on Saturday produced a winning double for Mill Park graduates Rock Status and Royal Rumble.
Bred and retained to race by Mill Park and Mills Thoroughbred Breeding Partnership, lightly raced five year-old Stratum gelding Rock Status resumed scored his fourth win from seven starts when saluting over 1100 metres.
Trained by David Jolly, Rock Status has won both of his two runs back from a lengthy spell and looks primed for a good campaign.
Rock Status is a half-brother to stakes-winners Reldas and Victory Chant as well as the dam of stakes-winner Guard of Honour.
He is the third winner for Classic Status, a winning Marscay half-sister to Group I winner Serious Speed and to the dam of Group II winner Majestic Music.
Classy New Approach (IRE) four year-old Royal Rumble was a stakes-winner last season at three and is currently racing in top form with further stakes goals ahead
Trained by Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas, Royal Rumble made it back to back wins at Morphettville with a tenacious head win in the 1800 metre open handicap.
He took his overall record to six wins and nine placings from 25 starts with earnings just shy of $400,000.
Bred by Harry Perks and retained to race with partners, Royal Rumble was raised at Mill Park and is one of three winners from Queen’s Kiss, a grand-daughter of stakes-winner Loving Cup.
Queen’s Kiss produced a colt by Rebel Raider last spring and was then covered by Kermadec.