STAKES WINNING mare SECRET TRAIL fetched a superb result at the Magic Millions Broodmare Sale when selling in foal to Newgate Farm’s Russian Revolution for $700,000, as Widden Stud purchased the daughter of Denman.
A winner of the Listed Bright Shadow Stakes at Doomben on her penultimate start on the track, Secret Trail earned over $500,000 in prize money after her $135,000 yearling purchase, in a glittering career that included a second placed finish at the Magic Millions in 2018.
She will now follow in the footsteps of fellow Triple Crown Stakes winning mares to head to Widden Stud, including Group 1 winner Peggy Jean who sold for $1 million in 2016, and Group 2 winner Flying Snitzel.
A great result for her owners and one that caps an excellent journey in racehorse ownership for the group! Congratulations to all and thanks goes to Yarraman Park for preparing our mares in such excellent order.
THE new $7.5 million Golden Eagle is on the radar of Triple Crown’s Military Zone after a stunning victory in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Sydney Racing’s newest feature event was announced in December last year as a 1500m race for the four-year-olds, and will act as the final act in the three part trilogy that includes the Golden Slipper for two-year-olds and Golden Rose for three-year-olds.
Military Zone, the leading Australian progeny of boom sire Epaulette, secured his third win at Stakes level when powering home at the Brisbane track to defeat Baccarat Baby by a length. The $140,000 purchase from the Inglis Premier Sale has now earned $463,530 for his owners, who duly celebrated in style.
The three-year-old was a nomination for the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap in a fortnight’s time, however the decision was taken to prepare him for a spring preparation and a potential berth in the lucrative Golden Eagle at Rosehill Gardens.
“It’s a good dilemma to be in with the horse and we’d had our eye on the Stradbroke for a little while,” said Triple Crown’s Chris Ward to the Weekend Big Sports Breakfast team.
“But we don’t want to over do things with him at this stage. He’s not the finished product at the moment and it’s a case of either going one more or pulling up stumps, and at this moment in time I think we’re best off pulling up stumps. I think there’s a lot in store for him in the future.
“We’ve had a very high opinion of him from for a long time. He’s been one of those who has showed nice ability from day one and keeps progressing.
“Certainly a race like the Golden Eagle is in the back of the mind. There’s a nice $7.5 million carrot there as a 4Yo race over 1500m which could be right up his alley.”
Photo: Darren Winningham
EPAULETTE continues his momentum as the land’s most exciting young sire as he claimed yet another 2YO Group win to his name as She Shao Fly sprouted wings to win the Group 2 Sires’ Produce at Morphetville on Saturday.
Already with a Champion 2YO to his name, Epaulette has the same number of first-crop Group winners as Zoustar, making him one of the most successful first-season sires in Australian history.
His progeny include multiple Group 1 winner SOQRAT, as well as Triple Crown’s dual Stakes winner MILITARY ZONE who takes on Group 1 features in Brisbane next month.
With just limited shares available in our Epaulette filly who is a half-sister to a 2YO Stakes placegetter, now is the perfect time to join the Triple Crown & Epaulette winning team as we race this filly towards the Golden Slipper!
EPAULETTE ex SLEIGHT OF HAND Filly
• By EPAULETTE – the sire of CHAMPION 2YO SOQRAT, and with more Group winners than any other Australian first-season sire in history!
• The same sire as our outstanding two-time Stakes winner MILITARY ZONE & recent Randwick winner CHARRETERA!
• Both the breeder and Three Bridges Farm who reared her have bought back into the horse – a great vote of confidence in the filly!!
• A 2YO STAKES WINNING FAMILY!!
• Half sister to the multiple winning & Stakes placed 2YO RAMPAGE – Our filly is a massive upgrade in stallion!!
• Out of a daughter of Leading 2YO Free Handicap Filly & multiple Group-winning juvenile LODORE MAGIC!
• Out of a half-sister to the dam of 2YO Group 2 winner MS FUNOVITS
• EPAULETTE is a sire off to a flyer with Champion 2YO and Group 1 winner, SOQRAT, Australian stakes winners MERYL, KHULASSA & SHE’S SHAO FLY, February 2019 black type winners COSSETOT and ROCK DOVE and, of course, Triple Crown’s Gosford Guineas & Hawkesbury Guineas hero, MILITARY ZONE
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MISSILE MANTRA took her record to two wins from two starts when claiming a Listed success on Saturday at Caulfield as the 2YO filly romped away with the Redoute’s Choice Stakes.
The Peter & Paul Snowden-trained filly was selected & purchased for just $30,000 by Chris & Michael Ward’s Triple Crown Syndications at the Magic Millions Sale in 2018, and in just two starts she’s broken through the $100,000 mark in prizemoney and added valuable 2YO Black type to her pedigree.
The daughter of Smart Missile stepped markedly up in grade after landing her Maiden win just two and a half weeks prior, but she dominated a field of talented juveniles, surging clear to win by an increasing margin on the line.
Jockey Beau Mertens, who again partnered the filly after success at Ballarat, settled her in the final third of the field for the 1200m trip and peeled off wide entering the straight, with the filly letting down superbly to justify late market support.
Mertens was impressed with the effort and said the filly will only improve from here.
“She’s a very nice horse,” Mertens said. “It’s only early days with her now. Today, she did a lot more right than she did at Ballarat in travelling-wise and going a bit straighter.
“She’s a filly going places. I really like her.
“She’s only going to improve on herself and next prep, she’s going to be a lovely, lovely horse.”
In what was a five-pronged Stakes attack on the weekend, Triple Crown mounts picked up more black type at the Scone Carnival as Brave Song and Military Zone both thundered home in the straight but were denied victory as they ran second in their respective Listed events at the Hunter track.
Both now head north as they continue their preparations at the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
THIS would make a catchy headline: “Triple Crown’s grand slam”.
The odds of it happening are nearly 900/1 but don’t count against it at the Scone stand-alone meeting on Saturday.
Michael and Chris Ward’s Triple Crown Syndications’ very familiar racing colours of red with white logo will be omnipresent at Scone with four big-race chances, all trained by Peter and Paul Snowden.
They begin the meeting with Military Zone, the $2.60 TAB Fixed Odds favourite for the $300,000 Inglis 3YO Guineas (1400m).
Military Zone is joined by Brave Song, a $5.50 chance in the Listed $140,000 Luskin Star Stakes (1300m), Moss Trip is the $5.50 equal favourite in the Group 3 $180,000 Arrowfield Dark Jewel Classic (1400m) and Dothraki is rated at $10 for the Listed $140,000 Coolmore Ortensia Stakes (1100m).
Remarkably, the quartet of classy Triple Crown sprinters were inexpensive yearling purchases who have made spectacular returns on their initial investments.
Military Zone came with a $120,000 price tag but from just eight starts the three-year-old has won over $320,000 in prizemoney with the promise of more to come.
Moss Trip cost only $32,000 as a yearling and already she has earned more than $475,000, and Brave Song was bought for just $67,500 and he has amassed $373,000 in prizemoney.
Dothraki is a great advertisement for Triple Crown.
The rising nine-year-old was purchased for just $45,000 as a yearling.
He’s won more than $1.63 million and is still racing at a very high level.
“Better to get them (yearlings) cheaper, it’s the only way I can sleep at night,’’ Michael Ward said.
“We have a process where we look at yearlings genetically and we usually end up with a fairly long short-list of horses we believe have the capacity to race at the elite level.
“Then at the sales complex we individually look at those horses we have identified and try to find the best athletes we can.
“Chris and I do all our selections but we work in very well with Peter and Paul.
“We have a different skill set to them but it is a very complementary skill set. We work well as a team.
“Over time we have refined things but it is a process that works for us.’’
Triple Crown makes racehorse ownership affordable and the success of the syndication business since it was formed 15 years ago is impossible to ignore.
The brothers, whose parents had shares in racehorse ownership — including dual Group 1 winner and 2005 Cox Plate runner-up Lotteria — have also introduced many thousands of first-time owners into the sport over the years. Triple Crown currently has more than 800 individual owners in the 65 race horses it has either in training or in the spelling paddock.
“You don’t need to own a large percentage of a horse to have 100 per cent of the fun,’’ Ward said.
“It’s just about involvement and having an enjoyable experience.
“Hopefully, the people we get into our syndicates will hang around the industry as long as we do.’’
The Scone Race Club should be rolling out the red carpet for the Ward brothers on Saturday as they will be directly responsible for boosting the attendance with their four runners bringing many syndicate members trackside for the stand-alone meeting.
So, does Ward believe a “Triple Crown grand slam” is possible at Scone on Saturday?
He is hoping Military Zone can set the tone by winning the Inglis Guineas in the Scone opener and complete a unique treble by complementing his wins in the Gosford Guineas and Hawkesbury Guineas this season.
“Military Zone is showing a fair bit of promise,’’ Ward said. “Peter and Paul have always had a good opinion of the horse and they have been very patient with him.
“They have placed him beautifully so far, he is going to Scone third-up and should be ready to peak.
“His win in the Hawkesbury Guineas last start was very good.
“To hold off a very nice horse like Trope was no mean feat. Military Zone does look well placed in the Scone Guineas and hopefully he can continue to improve.’’
Brave Song comes out of the Hall Mark Stakes where he was a fast-finishing second to Trekking with Redouble third.
The trio clash again in the Luskin Star Stakes.
Ward said Brave Song’s first-up effort at Randwick didn’t surprise connections as the sprinter had been trialling so impressively.
“We feel he has returned better than ever,’’ Ward said.
“He’s a very progressive horse, improving with time and he’s showing that with the way he has come back.
“All the reports from the stable are the horse is going particularly well so he should be hard to beat in what looks a very competitive race.’’
Moss Trip and Dothraki are Scone stand-alone “veterans” — both racing well at this meeting previously.
The talented Moss Trip was outstanding winning the Inglis 3YO Guineas last year but she hasn’t won in four subsequent starts leading into the Dark Jewel Classic.
She ran an encouraging first-up fourth in the Millie Fox Stakes but after her failure in the Coolmore Classic the Snowdens decided to freshen the mare for Scone.
“We were chasing our tail to some degree to get Moss Trip up and ready for the Coolmore because she had throat surgery in the off season,’’ Ward said.
“But Peter and Paul have freshened her up since and they are very happy with her.
“Hopefully this is a start of a bit of a run through the rest of her campaign and Scone was good for us last time she raced there.’’
Dothraki is contesting his third Ortensia Stakes on Saturday after finishing eighth to That’s A Good Idea in 2015 and third to Quatronic two years ago.
But the resilient chestnut is back at Scone again as a rising nine-year-old and, arguably, racing as well as ever.
Dothraki won the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality earlier this season, has been placed in the Expressway Stakes, Southern Cross Stakes and Magic Millions Sprint, and ran a close fourth to Sunlight in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes two starts back.
“He’s been an absolutely incredible horse,’’ Ward said.
“As a two-year-old, he ran in the (2013) Golden Slipper and he’s the only horse from that Slipper still racing today.
“He’s been sound every day of his life except when he hurt his hamstring in that Golden Slipper.
“When you see horses like Winx and Redzel that are blessed with ability is one thing, but to have complete soundness and longevity is fairly unique.
“Dothraki is not in their class but he is still racing at a very high level after 56 starts.
“This season has won a Group 2 and just missed in the William Reid at Group 1 level.
“He is a marvel and he has raced well at Scone before.”
EXCITING 3YO filly Reelem In Ruby did exactly that and reeled the whole field in at Warwick Farm, taking the 3YO BenchMark 66 Handicap over 1300m in impressive fashion by an eased down length and a half.
Dropping back to last on a day when front-running had been the winning ticket, Reelem In Ruby faced a daunting task as Tommy Berry swung the $1.45 favourite four wide round the bend, yet she showed her class in abundance, quickly reeling in the chasing pack before overcoming the runaway leader Plenty in the final 50m.
The daughter of Pierro takes her record to an eyecatching two wins and three placings, as her prizemoney earnings of over $95,370 surpassed her $90,000 purchase fee at just her fifth career start.
Co-trainer Paul Snowden was delighted with how she applied herself.
“She’s a really nice filly who sticks her neck out and tries for you,” said Snowden. “The writing was on the wall from her last start but that was a really big effort. She’s returned in solid fashion and backed it up with a nice win today.
“We didn’t want to go that far back today but obviously there was a bit of a tearaway there and we had to get behind one and come around three wide so she’s made a good sustained run again and it was a very bold effort having to come from all the way back again today but we got the tempo there and we got the win.”
Jockey Tommy Berry was very keen on the filly’s ability after the race.
“She had no speed the other day but it was on for this run which has probably made the difference,” said Berry. “She’s a funny sort of a filly and you’ve got to get her to switch off like we did today.
“I ended up with nothing taking me into the race and I couldn’t be too patient and just had to get her rolling and she was very good today.
“She’s definitely Saturday grade and I think borderline Stakes level at this moment”
MILITARY ZONE became Triple Crown’s latest Group-race winner when battling hard in the closing stages to claim the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas on Saturday.
With the win Military Zone becomes the most successful progeny of his sire Epaulette in Australia, as he adds a second Stakes win to his blossoming record which now reads four wins from eight starts and over $320,000 in prizemoney.
The three-year-old was a $140,000 purchase from the Melbourne Premier Sale, and is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting three-year-olds on the circuit after this track-record success on Hawkesbury’s feature raceday.
Able to settle much closer to the speed in this second-up run, Military Zone travelled comfortably behind the speed under regular jock James McDonald, and when angled out for his run in the straight he performed a storming finish, getting the better of the closing Trope to win by a head, with the pair drawing clear of the rest of the field.
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Co-trainer Peter Snowden was delighted with his charge’s effort.
“A great result for the horse and that’s a big win,” said Snowden. “I was confident he’d run well but he’s measured up to some very good horses here.
“The fact he’s beaten some smart horses and has run good time suggests we may well have a handy horse on our hands. He’s got a great motor and that combined with a determination and a will to win sees him possess all the ingredients you need for a good young horse.
“I couldn’t be happier with the horse and he’s got some nice targets going forward, starting with Scone which should suit him very well.”
BRAVE SONG was the eye catcher in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes at Randwick on Saturday as he flew home from last to narrowly be beaten into second by Trekking over the 1200m trip.
This was a third placing at Group 3 level for the leading son of Your Song, who took out a first Stakes win in the Listed Caulfield Village Stakes in the spring. Yet this win announced the four-year-old as a major contender for Carnival features both in New South Wales and the Brisbane Winter.
The only horse to run under 33 seconds for the last 600m at Royal Randwick, Brave Song reeled off some astonishing sectionals to just go down by less than half a length to the Godolphin-owned winner.
Peter Snowden was delighted with the effort. “He ran super on Saturday. His sectionals were exciting to see,” said Snowden. “It’s disappointing he didn’t win for the effort he put in, but first up, off what we’ve seen today, you know he’s in for a good programme.”
Snowden outlined Scone’s lucrative Carnival as the next destination for Brave Song, as he targets the Listed Luskin Star Stakes over 1300m.
“He’s pulled up really well from his run and we’ll now look to place him at Scone for the Luskin Star. Scone should suit him well being a big track. If he runs well there as we certainly know he can there are certainly some nice races in Brisbane for him.”
Prior to Brave Song’s second in the Hall Mark, Emperor’s Way showed that he remains in good form after a luckless last start at Caulfield, by seeing off all but one rival in the Group 3 JRA Plate over 2000m.
It’s been an eventful campaign for the leading son of Roman Emperor, who has been to Melbourne twice and a futile trip to Albury and back for the cancelled Albury Cup, yet he has shown no ill effects of the extended travel, moving into a stop-start race sweetly before having all rivals covered but for the fast finishing Grey Lion.
“It was a good run by the horse on Saturday,” said Snowden. “He’s a very genuine horse. He had a nice run and to his credit he knuckled down and wasn’t beaten far. Hopefully a win is not too far away.”
His next start could well be at Wagga for their Gold Cup meeting on May 3.
“He’s pulled up well from the run and the Gold Cup at Wagga should suit him perfectly. It’s a valuable race and the horse is still in excellent order.”
TRIPLE CROWN will have a three-pronged attack on Group-race glory at Royal Randwick on Saturday as Emperor’s Way, Brave Song and Dothraki are all in contention for feature events.
Brave Song and Dothraki (both pictured below) take each other on in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes, a race won by Redzel in 2017, while Emperor’s Way steps out in the JRA Plate over 2000m, again at Group 3 company.
Brave Song arrives here first up after a delayed start to his preparation due to the wet weather conditions, however the leading son of Your Song has impressed in two trials leading into this, as he looks to add a first Group-race win following his Listed win in the spring in the Caulfield Village Stakes.
Dothraki will be a stern test for the younger pretender, with the $1.6 million earner in fine form ahead of this race which he ran third in 12 months ago. He has to cop a 2kg penalty for his Group 2 win back in the spring at Flemington, but both are in good form in what’s a strong renewal of the Hall Mark Stakes over the 1200m.
Emperor’s Way had no luck at Caulfield as he looked to come with a threatening run in the straight but had each door closed at every turn. It was a run he needed in what’s been an interrupted prep due to the weather, and it puts him spot on for this assignment in the Group 3 JRA Plate over 2000m. He’s run with credit on each occasion so far, and he’s more than capable of featuring here with some solid form behind him.
CHELSEA REIGN did plenty wrong but got what mattered right as she finished with no more than a nose in front in the 2YO Maiden Handicap over 1100m at Hawkesbury on Tuesday, with a juicy $30 price for punters.
The filly by Coolmore’s Rubick travelled keenly in the early stages of the race under Travis Wolfgram, who gave her an excellent ride stalking the speed on the rails. When the gap appeared she ruthlessly exploited it, and although still showing greeness once getting her head in front, she did just enough to hold off the odds-on favourite Single Blonde to win by the narrowest of margins, as raw talent saw her through to victory.
The win is a change of fortunes for the filly, who had nothing go right for her in two starts last preparation, but she opened her account here with a fine win in front of a cheering crowd of elated owners!
“She did a good job and ran up to her potential today,” said Peter Snowden.
“She’s still doing a few things wrong but she fought to get that victory which was good to see. She’s still learning and will take improvement from this run today. There’s more to come from this filly.”
Well done to the Snowden Racing team and Travis Wolfgram, and congratulations to our owners for the excellent win!