Top Derby chance
Victorian trainer Peter Moody may have his mind on the world stage with Black Caviar but a 3-year-old named Brambles has him in strong contention to claim next month's Queensland Derby. Brambles ($5) grabbed victory by a half head over Toowoomba bolter Margins ($61) in Saturday's group three Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben. Central Districts filly Poste Restante ($7) finished a short head away third. The Queensland Derby (2400m) will be run at Eagle Farm on June 9. Kiwi trainer Howard Mathews is eagerly looking forward to the Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 2 after Poste Restante's eye-catcher for the minor placing.
Sea Siren showed she was on the way to becoming another glamour girl of Australian racing when she wrote her name in the history books in the group one BTC Cup at Doomben on Saturday. Defying a betting drift from $5.50 to $7.50, Sea Siren became the first filly to win the 1200m feature since the race turned weight-for-age in 1991. Her time of 1:08.10s eclipsed Lord Essex's previous mark of 1:08.39. Trained by John O'Shea, Sea Siren produced a powerful finish to down veteran sprinter Scenic Blast ($21) by 1 lengths with Beaded ($6.50) a gallant third, only a nose away.
Punters left smarting
It was always going to be difficult finding a couple of winners at Arawa Park on Saturday with big fields and the slow track.The task of finding six was going to be extra tough and with two outsiders winning the first two legs of the Pick6 a jackpot was always on the cards, particularly with another roughie, Oak Park, winning the second-to-last leg. The Pick6: Fastnfree (11), Alfonze (4), Fromelles (11), Happyto Keepa (14), Oak Park (16) and Smartly (12) was not struck, so $400,000 jackpots to Te Rapa next Saturday.
Qld Oaks on radar
Peter Snowden has the Queensland Oaks in sight for Euryale after the filly stepped up with victory at Rosehill on Saturday. The 3-year-old won the Zac Homes Handicap (1800m) by 3 lengths over the Chris Waller-trained Lucripetous ($3.40) with favourite Tribal Rock ($2.40) a neck away third. Snowden's Sydney foreman Brad Widdup said Euryale ($7) had been showing mixed form but her performance at Rosehill would have impressed Snowden enough to earn a trip to Queensland. Euryale is likely to have another start before the Oaks, possibly in a 2000m race in Sydney in a fortnight.
McInerney in control
The nation's leading greyhound trainer John McInerney continues to rewrite the trainer's record book for this season. When Nippa Mary was successful at the Addington Raceway last Thursday, the stakemoney she won eased him past the stakes record of $1,018,651 that Lisa Ahern's kennels set last season. McInerney begins this afternoon's Palmerston North meeting with stake earnings of $1,032,868 beside his name. He had already shattered the record for number of winners trained in a season, from his 612 last season to the rapidly advancing tally of 641.
Price looks to spring
Trainer Mick Price is looking to the spring with smart sprinter Stratcombe after he made it back-to-back 1100m wins on his home track at Caulfield. The Stratum 4-year-old rose 2kg on his previous win on April 21 to 56kg for Saturday's Manfred Phillips Handicap but it made little difference. Craig Newitt had Stratcombe ($2.30 fav) settled second off race leader Fab Fevola and he sprinted clear in the straight to score by 1 lengths from It's Crunch Time ($10) with Shock Value ($12) 1 lengths away third. "He's becoming a nice horse," Price said.
Sydney jockey Jim Cassidy's BTC Cup win on Sea Siren was soured when he was suspended for careless riding at Doomben on Saturday. Cassidy was found guilty of allowing Full Metal Jacket to shift in approaching the 600m and inconvenience Ausworld and Telesto Warrior in the Channel Seven Benchmark 90 Handicap (1600m). Cassidy was suspended for five meetings to begin immediately and conclude after next Saturday, allowing him to return to partner Sea Siren in the Doomben 10,000 on May 26. Cassidy originally had six mounts at Doomben next Saturday but was not booked for the Doomben Cup (2000m).