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Record-breaking Group win by Mikki Isle filly

Mikki Isle’s first-crop 2YO daughter Meikei Yell did it all at Hanshin on Saturday: she kept her unbeaten status with her third win, added her second Group 3 victory and set a new juvenile track record.

Meikei Yell won her debut in August before taking out the Grade 3 Kokura Nisai Stakes (1200m) on 6 September. She has now added the ~A$730,000 Grade 3 Hanshin Fantasy Stakes (1400m) in the blazingly fast time of 1:20.1. (She is No. 10 in the replay with the jockey wearing an orange cap and green & white colours.)

Another Northern Farm-bred daughter of Mikki Isle, Shirley Poppy, scored a 3.5 length win over 1600 metres at Hanshin’s Sunday meeting.

Mikki Isle now has 7 first-crop 2YO winners in Japan and posted his first Australian winner when Arrowfield graduate Oriental Princess won her Sunshine Coast debut on 25 October.

Champion Sprinter/Miler Mikki Isle during his racing career

The second crop of Australian yearlings by Mikki Isle, who was Japan’s 2016 Champion Sprinter-Miler, will be offered for sale in 2021.

Arrowfield Stud

All of the above will have the owners of Triple Crown’s Mikki Isle filly Mishka Magic excited at the prospect of having her return to pre-training in the coming weeks!

Stakes races on the agenda after another Kermanding win

It was a Cup Day to remember for the owners of KERMANDING as he stamped himself as an exciting prospect for the autumn with a second victory on the bounce at Royal Randwick yesterday.

The son of Kermadec handled the step up in class with aplomb, travelling beautifully and relishing the extra 200m to score comfortably by three quarters of a length – a win made all the more impressive given that it came on a heavy track just 10 days after his emphatic 4.5 length success at Kembla Grange.

Kermanding and Jason Collett on their way to victory at Royal Randwick: Credit – Ashlea Brennan

Kermanding broke well from the barriers but, conscious of it being his first try at the distance on a heavy track, Jason Collett elected to bring him back and settle at the rear of the field.

He travelled strongly throughout and took closer order passing the 600m, before swooping round the outside as the field turned for home.

Kermanding gave a good kick in the straight and found himself in front at the 300m mark, with Jason Collett just having to keep him up to his work in the closing stages to record a comfortable success.

A $90,000 Inglis Classic sale purchase by Chris & Michael Ward, Kermanding will now head for a short break, with Peter & Paul Snowden considering a Guineas campaign in the autumn.

“Stepping up to 1800m on a heavy track, he did a good job today and we should be proud of him,” Peter Snowden said.

“He relaxed really well and found the line strongly at the end. He’s had a good preparation; we’ve learnt plenty about him and tipping him out now gives him a great opportunity to come back in time for the Autumn Carnival.

“He might be a Guineas horse. We’ll afford him the chance to get to that level if he’s good enough.

“If he’s not quite there, then there are some prestigious races at the Brisbane Carnival for him.

“We’ll take one step at a time, he’s a nice horse going forward and I look forward to seeing what he does next prep.”

It’s always special to have a winner on Melbourne Cup day and congratulations to all his owners, plenty of whom were on course to celebrate his latest win!

Kermanding’s owners all smiles following his second successive win: Credit – Bradley Photos

Triple Crown Syndications., Mr N J Hutchison, Mr W H Grunert, Mr M J Ure, Mr P English, SHUDDERDOWN RACING, EST B L Williams, Silent Achievers, Mr S Bowen, Mrs K S Pelle, Mr S M Mcgregor, Mr I C Williams, Mr D Grasso, F S Racing, Mr A J Prince, Mr T G Owen, Walfam No 2, Mr T J Henderson

Blues spearheads Red team on Cup Day

The first Tuesday in November is always a special day for our great sport and the Triple Crown team are preparing to field four runners across three meetings on one of the biggest days in the racing calendar.

All eyes will be on Flemington at 3pm for the race that stops the nation, and hopefully we can get the day off to a flyer with HARLEM BLUES returning to the track in Race 3 on the Melbourne Cup card.

The son of Your Song made giant strides last preparation and is bidding to continue his upward trajectory in the Schweppervescence Plate (1000m), with leading jockey Mark Zahra taking over the reins for the first time.

Harlem Blues in winning action: Credit – Racing Photos

Tomorrow will be his first try down the straight in what is a big step up in class, but Harlem Blues deserves a shot at this level having run out an impressive winner of his most recent outing at Ballarat.

Similar comments apply to KERMANDING, who steps up in grade for the 1800m 3YO Handicap (1800m) at Randwick tomorrow (Race 1) following an emphatic maiden victory at Kembla last month.

Kermanding crosses the line in splendid isolation: Credit – Bradley Photos

While the forecast heavy track is an unknown, the son of Kermadec didn’t look to be stopping over the mile that day, so the extra 200m of tomorrow’s contest should suit with the blinkers on again.

Kermanding formed the first part of a Triple Crown double at Kembla last month and RANGES, the second part of that double, returns to the scene of his victory tomorrow for Race 7 on the card.

Ranges powers to victory at Kembla Grange

He is set to face off with fellow Triple Crown horse BIG BAD BRUCE, who gets his preparation underway over 1200m having improved hand over fist under the tutelage of the Joe Pride stable.

Both runners would ideally prefer a sounder surface, but both have drawn well and have the form in the book required to be competitive in a race of this nature.

There is definitely something special about having a runner on Cup Day and best of luck to all connections of tomorrow’s runners!

Extreme Choice enjoys winning double on landmark weekend

Exciting young stallion Extreme Choice sired a winning double on Saturday to register his first winners on both sides of the Tasman.

The Newgate Farm-based stallion wasted no time in siring his first winner in New Zealand, with the heavily backed Palamos scoring impressively at Te Rapa by a comfortable two lengths.

Shortly after Palamos saluted it was the turn of Tiger of Malay, who made a winning debut at Randwick in the ATC Kirkham Plate (1000m).

Ridden by Jason Collett for Richard and Michael Freedman, Tiger Of Malay finished determinedly from midfield to defeat Snitzel filly Snerda by a half-length.

A dual Group 1 winner by Not a Single Doubt, Extreme Choice has made an exciting start to his stud career with two winners and the stakes-place-getter Extreme Warrior from his first five starters – a beginning made all the more impressive by the fact he had just 48 foals in his first crop.

One of those 48 is Triple Crown filly Choix De La Mer, who recently returned to Peter & Paul Snowden’s Randwick stables following a short break.

Mikki Isle off the mark in Australia

Japanese stallion Mikki Isle sired his first Australian winner on Saturday when Oriental Princess produced a dominant display in the QTIS 2YO Maiden Plate over 1000 metres at the Sunshine Coast.

Quick to jump from barrier 6, the Gillian Heinrich-trained filly took an early lead and proved too strong to the line, running away with a 1.8 length victory.

Oriental Princess had shown plenty of promise at the trials prior to Saturday’s debut and looks to have a bright future ahead of her.

The same can be said of her sire Mikki Isle, who got off the mark down under with just his second Australian runner.

The son of the late Deep Impact made an excellent start to life at stud in his native Japan earlier this year, with his debut crop spearheaded by impressive Group 3 scorer Meikei Yell.

Triple Crown’s Mikki Isle filly Mishka Magic will return to pre-training in the coming weeks after pleasing Peter & Paul Snowden during her most recent preparation.

Mishka Magic as a yearling

Mikki Isle shuttled to Arrowfield Stud in 2017, 2018 and 2019, but due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic the stallion did not return to Australia for the 2020 southern hemisphere breeding season.

Kermanding and Ranges in double delight at Kembla

KERMANDING and RANGES made it two winners from as many runners at Kembla Grange on Saturday to cap a memorable afternoon for the Triple Crown team.

The adverse weather conditions may have resembled an afternoon in the height of monsoon season, but KERMANDING’s enthusiastic group of owners were left singing in the rain after the son of Kermadec gapped his rivals in the 1600m Maiden Plate.

Tackling the mile for the first time with blinkers added to his gear, Kermanding was caught four-wide in the early stages with Jeff Penza electing to bring him back in search of some cover.

Having been last at the half-way point, Kermanding made smooth progress on the approach to the turn and found himself disputing the lead as the field straightened up for home.

Never giving his owners a moments worry from thereon in, the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained colt was in a different league to his opposition and sprinted clear up the straight to record an emphatic 4.5L victory.

“He ran very good sectionals for the last 600m (33.57s) and was very dominant late,” said a delighted Peter Snowden.

“What he did in the last 200m is very encouraging, he pulled right away which is very pleasing to see for us going forward.”

KERMANDING comes home in splendid isolation: Credit – Bradley Photos

A step up in class now lies ahead for the Inglis Classic Sale purchase, with the 3YO Graduation Handicap at Randwick on Melbourne Cup day earmarked as a possible next port of call.

“Seeing how dominant he was at the end of the mile on Saturday, I’m keen to push him out a little further to 1800m, and if he happened to run well in a race like that you’d be thinking about getting him out to those better class races in the autumn over a bit of ground,” Peter Snowden added.

“It was very encouraging what he did yesterday, to do what he did in the time he did suggests he is above average.”

The rain continued to fall throughout the afternoon but that wasn’t enough to prevent RANGES from notching a richly deserved success in the lucky last, bringing up a double on the day for the team.

Having been denied by a nostril last-start and placing on his previous four outings, Ranges got his just desserts in typically tenacious fashion, battling all the way to the line to score by three quarters of a length.

Positioned up on the speed by Alysha Collett, who enjoyed a double of her own on the day, Ranges travelled strongly throughout and responded generously to his jockey’s urgings in the straight, much to the delight of co-trainer Peter Snowden.

“All those seconds and thirds seem worthwhile when you see him win like he did on Saturday,” he quipped.

“That was a great result and against adversity I thought – the rain came and the track got to a heavy. He was in on the fence which is the worst barrier you can get when it’s so wet, but the leader took him out to the middle of the track which is where he needed to be.

RANGES powers through the line under Alysha Collett at a rain-soaked Kembla Grange: Credit – Bradley Photos

“It was really good to see him knuckle down the last 100m and really start to power away on wet ground.

“I got a big kick out of that win and I’m sure all our owners did too.”

A big well done to all the team at Snowden Racing on a superb double, with a special mention to the Barn B squad for producing both Kermanding and Ranges in such terrific order.

Congratulations to both sets of owners, plenty of whom were celebrating over the weekend!

On Song and in the Zone for the Sydney Stakes

The Everest will be run without REDZEL for the very first time on Saturday, but the Triple Crown team are excited to have both BRAVE SONG and MILITARY ZONE line up alongside one another in the Group 3 Sydney Stakes on the Randwick card.

Brave Song is competing in the $500,000 contest for the second year in succession, having endured a luckless passage when beaten only four lengths twelve months ago.

“I needed a can opener to get out – I had a fair bit to give with not much room to aim at,” were the words of a frustrated Kerrin McEvoy after that race, and here’s hoping Brave Song enjoys a better run in transit this time round.

Group 2 winner Brave Song

Regan Bayliss, who has previously partnered the Group 2 winner to a pair of placings at stakes level, takes over the reins on Saturday, which will mark exactly two years to the day since Brave Song recorded his first Listed victory in the Caulfield Village Stakes.

The forecast good track should also be to his liking and the same can be said of his stablemate Military Zone, who will step out for the first time this preparation off the back of an eye-catching trial at Randwick last month.

Already a dual Group 3 winner, Military Zone will sport blinkers on raceday for the first time, with Peter & Paul Snowden pleased with how they sharpened him up in his most recent barrier trial.

This time last year Military Zone was gearing up for a tilt at the inaugural $7.5m Golden Eagle and $1m The Gong, the latter of which will again be his target third-up on November 21.

Kerrin McEvoy is booked to ride the son of Epaulette on Saturday.

Missile Mantra primed for Group 3 assignment

Today marks exactly a year since MISSILE MANTRA came agonisingly close to Group 1 glory in the Thousand Guineas, and the daughter of Smart Missile will get the chance to make amends when she returns to Caulfield on Wednesday for a shot at the Group 3 Ladies’ Day Vase.

Twelve months on, the form of that Group 1 placing was given two major boosts at Randwick on Saturday when the winner (Flit) and the sixth-placed horse (Emeralds) took out the Silver Eagle and Group 3 Angst Stakes respectively.

Following her superb last-start third in the Group 2 Lexus Rose Of Kingston Stakes, Missile Mantra looks to have plenty in her favour ahead of Wednesday’s $200,000 contest, with a dry track, suitable barrier and re-application of winkers all pointing towards a peak performance from the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained mare.

Missile Mantra is not the only Triple Crown mare in action on Wednesday, with both MILITARY MAGIC and BALLISTICA lining up at Warwick Farm. The pair face one another in the 1100m Benchmark 72 Handicap on the card and bring similar form lines into the race, having both finished third behind the regally bred Emanate in the same grade at their most recent outing.

Military Magic getting the better of recent metropolitan winner Instant Attraction at Canterbury

In what is shaping up to be an exciting week ahead for the Triple Crown team, MILITARY ZONE and BRAVE SONG remain on course for the Group 3 Sydney Stakes at Randwick on Saturday, where the fourth running of The Everest takes centre stage.

Military Zone will be out to win a third Group 3 in the Sydney Stakes on Everest Day

MISTEED is also among the nominations for the 1400m Handicap on Everest Day, while OCTAGON could feature earlier in the week at Kembla Grange on Thursday.

Let’s hope there is plenty of cause for celebration over the next five days!

First stakes horse for Extreme Choice

Dual Group I winning sprinter Extreme Choice posted his first stakes performer at Caulfield on Saturday when two year-old colt Extreme Warrior finish second to Fake Love in the Listed MRC Debutant Stakes (1000m).

Trained by Mick Price and Mick Kent Jr, Extreme Warrior was anticipated to run well following a recent good barrier trial and ran up to expectation when beating all but I Am Invincible filly Fake Love.

He found the line well from off the pace to finish second beaten a little over a length in a most promising debut.

Extreme Choice is the sire of Triple Crown’s exciting two-year-old filly Choix De La Mer, who is currently in pre-training at Muskoka Farm and will return to the Peter & Paul Snowden’s Randwick stables in the next few weeks.

Flying Artie off the mark with first runner

Newgate’s exciting first-season sire Flying Artie saw his stud career get off to the perfect start on Saturday courtesy of Princess Bojack’s impressive debut victory at Eagle Farm.

The filly showed good gate speed to grab the early lead and controlled the race from thereon in, looking a real professional as she went on to score by three quarters of a length under hands and heels.

Triple Crown’s Chris & Michael Ward purchased a colt and a filly by Flying Artie at the yearling sales in 2020 and both are in training with Peter & Paul Snowden.

Look out for the names Artie’s Dreamtime and Arcucci in the future!