Sunday, June 30, 2013


If you’re thinking of where you should send your mare this spring, there are 4.3 good reasons why you should book her into Shinzig.
That’s the margin Lil Mer won by at Hastings in New Zealand on Saturday and, based on that effort, there will be plenty more wins in store.
This is a very good filly. Hastings was her fourth outing and she had a pair of seconds leading into the race, so Lil Mer is definitely on the way up.
It would be somewhat fitting if Lil Mer rises rapidly through her classes in the Shaky Isles: Shinzig (below) campaigned extensively in NZ with a number of Group One placings before returning across the Tasman to take out the Group One CF Orr Stakes and eventually retiring to Eliza Park.
Lil Mer, along with the stakes winner, Psychic Mick, both hail from Shinzig’s first crop.
Lil Mer is out of out of the Festival Hall mare, Indeed, a half sister to Kiwi stakes winner Ascot Isle and closely related to New Zealand Group One winner Little Jamie.

Bred in Australia and leased to Stephen Seketa (St Elmo Racing), Lil Mer is named – in part – after the breeder’s granddaughter, Lily.


Statue of Liberty is back to doing what he does best – producing winners.
Off the scene for a couple of seasons, Statue’s ‘return’ crop of 2YOs are humming along steadily with the likes of black typer, Octane Flyer, Baker Boy, Ile Aux Cygnes, Liberty, New York Rain and Spirits Dance all saluting in recent months.
And, on Saturday, Miss Steele joined the pack with a resounding win at Moonee Valley.
TVN’s Adrian Dunn takes up the tale:
Talented filly Miss Steele made amends for her luckless debut run with her win in the Sportingbet Handicap today at Moonee Valley, but trainer Mick Kent has no doubt the filly should be undefeated.
Kent blames himself for Miss Steele’s first start loss at Flemington in mid May when he instructed Glen Boss to ride the filly with a sit and she raced too keenly.
He said if he had told Boss to let her bowl then he thought she would have proved too strong.
“She just got crowded up and he (Boss) had to go for her very early,” Kent said.
“She is a pretty nice filly, I have a lot of time for her.”
Kent said he waited for Saturday’s race as it carried $30,000 in VOBIS bonus, which netted connections $78,000.
He said he would continue to race Miss Steele, a daughter of Statue of Liberty, in similar VOBIS races for the rest of the season.
Miss Steele, a drifter from $2.80 to $3.20, accelerated through a narrow opening at the 200 metres to win softly by one length from Magnaro, $4.40, with a half length to the heavily supported Romancingthestone, which was backed from $3.30 to $2.90 favourite.
Jockey Luke Nolen said he could have moved three deep with about 600 metres to travel, but said he elected to track Romancingthestone, which had speared to the front.
Nolen said the filly needed an “ounce of luck”, but when the opening appeared in the straight she quickly took it.
“All in all, I thought the win was quite sound,” Nolen said.
“She feels a novice, but I think she has nice improvement in her.”
Miss Steele is out of the Shagny mare, Shu’ Shu’ Lara and is raced by her breeders: the Zitos, Cichellos and Buttons.


When the Bel Esprit 4YO, Cahier, stepped out for the first time – in a Mornington maiden on 10 June – he led for most of the journey, only to fade into sixth on a heavy track.
This time around though, the David Hayes speedster showed no signs of weakening – quite the opposite in fact. By the time he hit the wire over 1200m at Geelong on Friday, Cahier had five lengths to spare and is clearly a horse with considerable promise. David Hayes certainly thinks so and don’t be surprised if the bay heads to town for his next assignment.
Bred and raced by Brian and Heather Walker, Cahier is out of the Nine Carat mare, Helen’s Fortune.

Bel Esprit

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Co-owner, Gary Lechte, and leading trainer, David Hayes (below), would have been entitled to dine out on Friday night following the impressive win of first starter, Gourmet Night, over 1300m at Geelong.
A flashy 2YO chestnut by first season sire, Astronomer Royal, Gourmet Night battled on gamely over the final stages to prevail by a half length.
Bred by SF Bloodstock, Gourmet Night is out of the winning Alannan mare, Swirly Dream, a half sister to Group One winner Padstow.
The youngster will certainly improve with the run and now joins European siblings such as stakes winner Table Ronde and stakes placed Sir Patrick Moore as stand outs for Astronomer Royal.
A classic winning son of Danzig, Astronomer Royal has been hugely popular with buyers and will stand the coming season at just $7,700.


There was a LOT to like about Holding The Baby’s victory in the Southern Cross Austereo Plate over 1550m at Morphettville on Wednesday.
The Shinzig 3YO was gone for all money by the time they turned for home but grew another leg in the straight to score by close enough to two lengths to record his initial win.
Bred by Kirkliston Stud and out of the multiple winning Encosta de Lago mare, Croquet, Holding The Baby was snapped up by Michael Duffield at the 2011 Adelaide Magic Millions and is trained across the road by leading South Australian mentor Daniel Clarken (below).

Duffield and Clarken are also responsible for Shinzig’s best 3YO to date: the 4-time city winner and Caulfield stakes winner Psychic Mick.