Racing news for Saturday, February 13, 2019

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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Estalita rallies to release maiden tag

Four-year-old chestnut filly Estalita rallied in deep stretch to My Son Bates and in doing so released the maiden tag in a nine furlong and 25 yards event at Caymanas Park on Saturday last (February16).

Jockey Shane Ellis broke Estalita on top at the off and led the field ahead of My Son Bates (Phillip Parchment), Cody's Dream (Reyan Lewis) and Lambana (Christopher Mamdeen) going around the clubhouse turn.

Estalita was joined by My Son Bates down the backstretch and both horses began to draw clear of the field. With three-eighths of a mile to go, My Son Bates took over in an attempt to steal the march but Estalita stuck to the task and refused to give up.

Turning for home on the inside rails, Ellis then shuffled up his mount and the chestnut filly rallied to beat My Son Bates by four lengths. Lambana was third and Mia Amour (Hakeem Pottinger) fourth. The final time recorded was 2:04.4.

JamalJames comes good in Optional Claiming

Running true to racing form, the Fitzroy Glispie-bred, owned and trained JamalJames easily brushed aside rivals by two-and-a-half lengths in an Optional Claiming ($450,000-$400,000) spread event down the five straight (1,000m) course.

Ridden by apprentice Reyan Lewis, JamalJames broke running with the field and was disputing the early dash while tacking across to the outside.

Coming across the dummy rails, JamalJames hit another gear and began to draw away from rivals to win well over Forest Rose (Phillip Parchment) and Papa Albert (Samantha Fletcher) in a time of 1:01.1.

As was to be expected JamalJames was claimed from the race.

No problems for Bullet Raj down the straight

Bullet Raj, a six-year-old chestnut horse, continues to be very effective among $180,000 claimers, especially down the five-straight course and further proof came on Saturday last when he scored yet another win over the distance.

It was the Blue Pepsi Lodge offspring's seventh career win from 24 starts coming down the five straight and 11th overall from 40 outings.

Running from the number 11 post with apprentice Kiaman McGregor in his back, Bullet Raj showed good speed in the first half of the race before drawing away in the final furlong but then had to withstand the late surge from Jason's Gold (Dane Nelson) to win by half-a-length.

Ictus (Carlos Blake Jr) also came from far behind to get third place with Princess Statistic (Tevin Foster) fourth. The winning time was 1:02.1.

A golden opportunity taken

Golden Destiny, trained by Errol Waugh, benefited from the services of Dane Nelson to earn her second career win after romping home in a Restricted Allowance event over five furlongs (1,000m) on the round course on Saturday.

Known for speed, Golden Destiny raced in second place behind another speedster Formal Gladiator (Gordon Gregory) at the off. The two was then hooked up in a fierce battle running the half mile turn, with the young apprentice (Gregory) seemingly unable to keep up proceedings. Then Golden Destiny took control of the race in deep stretch, with the bustling Nelson giving a rapid change of hold, Golden Destiny was in no mood of giving up her gallop as she did in previous races and powered home to score by 1 lengths over Formal Gladiator and Parajet (Javaniel Patterson). The final time for the event was 1:00.2.

Eight horses claimed on Saturday

Eight horses were claimed on the 10-race programme at Caymanas Park on Saturday.

JamalJames was claimed from Fitzroy Glispie by Steven Todd for owner Randall Shaw, while Stanislaus was claimed from Lawrence Freemantle by Gregory Forsyth for owner Deleta Brewster from the third race. Both claims in the third race were made for $450,000.

In the seventh race on a $180,000 claiming tag, Welsh Soutar claimed Nuclear Commander for owner Clive McLean from Fernando Geddes; Everal Francis claimed Kunama for owner Texas Crew from Conroy Tulloch; Paul Hylton claimed Batidor De Mundo for owner Baldwin Williams from Patrick Chang; Borris McIntosh claimed Tough Cookie for owner Kevin Williams from Lawrence Freemantle; Gary Crawford claimed Bullet Raj for himself from Leroy Tomlinson and Michael Francis claimed Jason Gold for owner Rampage from Lorne Kirlew.

Record-breaking mare Winx wins 30th straight race

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) - Superstar mare Winx easily won her 30th consecutive race on Saturday last as she began what is expected to be a farewell autumn campaign before drawing a close on her incredible career.

The Chris Waller-trained champion galloper was odds on favourite at the 1,400m Apollo Stakes at Sydney's Royal Randwick Racecourse and she didn't disappoint in her first outing of the year.

With long-time jockey Hugh Bowman in the saddle, the seven-year-old bided her time before taking the lead with 200m to go and effortlessly romped to victory by two lengths ahead of Happy Clapper and Egg Tart.

“She was in pure control from the 600m mark,” said Bowman after Winx won the race for a third time.

“As the race unfolded, we settled into a lovely rhythm. It was a pretty comfortable race for me and for Winx.”

It extended the world's top-rated turf horse's win streak to 30, stretching back almost four years.

She smashed legendary sprinter Black Caviar's Australian win record last August when making it 26 in a row and subsequently cemented her place in horse racing history by winning a record fourth Cox Plate in Melbourne.

It made her the only horse to claim Australia's most prestigious weight-for-age race four times.

But the clock is inevitably ticking for Winx, the 2018 Horse of the Year alongside England's Cracksman.

This is widely expected to be her last season, with the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in April tipped as her likely swansong.

“It's a massive relief. It's quite unbelievable,” said an emotional Waller after seeing his horse win yet again.

“She can't tell us when she's had enough and we made the decision to push on further (with an autumn season) for the better of racing.”

Australian horse trainer faces 'serious' animal welfare charges

BRISBANE, Australia (AFP) - Australian trainer Ben Currie has been charged with seven “serious animal welfare breaches”, including the alleged use of electronic devices to shock horses into running faster.

The Queensland-based Currie is also accused of unauthorised shockwave treatments and failure to report bleeding horses to stewards.

It comes barely a week after Melbourne Cup-winning Australian trainer Darren Weir was banned for four years from racing in Victoria state for possessing similar electronic devices, known as “jiggers”.

Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner, Ross Barnett said in a statement late Friday that an investigation into Currie Racing began in April last year.

Currie, one of the state's leading trainers, already faces 28 alleged rule breaches stemming from the probe and four alleged illegal substance breaches.

“The very serious nature of the animal welfare allegations that have surfaced as a result of this investigation have left us with no choice but to act now in the interests of the Queensland racing industry,” said Barnett.

Currie, who has so far made no comment, will face a steward's inquiry on Monday to determine whether he should be suspended from training horses in Queensland.

Weir, who trained 2015 Cup winner Prince of Penzance, did not contest three charges of possessing the Taser-like “jiggers”.

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