Swansong for Winx
Chris Waller's champion mare Winx will be ready to trial later this month ahead of an autumn campaign aimed at the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. "We are very happy with the way she looks, the way she is moving and most importantly her attitude," the expatriate Kiwi trainer said. "She will resume in the Apollo Stakes [on February 11], second-up run will be the Chipping Norton a fortnight later and then three weeks to the George Ryder and then three weeks to the Queen Elizabeth."
Ringo ready to star
Group one performer Ringo will go into the Thorndon (1600m), on January 21, without another lead-up run, says Awapuni trainer Mike Breslin. Ringo finished sixth in the Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni last start, running home well in a race won by leader, Miss Appleton. "He's on track to run in the Thorndon. He had time off after Awapuni last start, but he races well fresh so I'm not worried about the five weeks between races for him," Breslin said. "He's run really well in good races and deserves to win a big one."
Mister Impatience's latest performance has satisfied his connections ahead of the defence at Trentham of his Wallaceville Estate Wellington Cup crown. The Michael Moroney and Pam Gerard-trained stayer was unplaced on New Year's Day in the City of Auckland Cup, but the race wasn't run to suit the gelding. "We were really happy with him," Ballymore Stables racing manager Nick Fairweather said. "He had to go back from the wide draw and they didn't go overly hard. Sam Spratt was pleased with him."
Seeking Trentham fame
Handy 3-year-old Hall Of Fame is thriving ahead of a group one test at Trentham. He pleasantly surprised his connections when he beat his age group opposition when resuming at Ellerslie on Boxing Day. "We thought he would have needed the run," said Jamie Richards, who prepares the son of Savabeel with Stephen Autridge. "He's pulled up really well and taken a lot of improvement." Hall Of Fame, who has won four of his eight starts, is the $4 second favourite for the Levin Classic on January 14 behind the $3.50 chance Volpe Veloce.
Handy filly Sista Act will sport blinkers for the first time as she chases a place in the Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic. Sista Act is a long way out of the final field for the A$2 million Classic on January 14 but a win in the 1100m race for 2-year-olds at the Gold Coast today would get her into the field. Trainer Liam Birchley was considering taking the filly to Wyong for the Magic Millions race on December 22 won by Madeenaty. "The trip down and the heat made it not the best option. I have elected to put blinkers on her and run her on Saturday," Birchley said. "My filly is fit and provided the track isn't too heavy she will get her chance."
Hoping to earn stripes
Capable filly Dontpokethetiger will return to stakes company when she makes her next appearance. "She'll run in the Gore Guineas and hopefully the next two in the series after that," Riccarton trainer Peter Rudkin said. Her first mission is on January 21 followed by the Dunedin Guineas on February 4 and the Southland Guineas a fortnight later. Dontpokethetiger showed she was up to black type company last season with placings in the Wakefield Challenge Stakes, the Wellesley Stakes and the Welcome Stakes. She made a successful 3-year-old debut at Motukarara in October and two unplaced runs followed before she finished an improved third at Timaru.
Mark this one down
Waikato horseman John Morell may not have to wait too long for his next black type winner. He recently retired his group one hero Ryan Mark and at Ruakaka yesterday he produced the debutante Florence Jean for a sizzling victory in the Cambridge Stud Stallions' 2YO. Florence Jean sat outside the leader to the turn and when rider Alysha Collett asked the filly for an effort she responded in style to scoot clear and she had 4 lengths on the local hope Bits And Pieces at the post. "She's quite professional and it was nice to get off to a winning start," Morell said. While Florence Jean is eligible for the Karaka Million, Morell isn't tempted by the $1 million purse of the feature. "That was never the plan and she's been a bit shin sore on and off. If everything goes to plan we might go to the fillies' race at Matamata."
Big win in pipeline
Damian Lane will be free to ride at the Gold Coast's rich Magic Millions raceday despite incurring a careless riding ban at Werribee. Lane was suspended for seven meetings on Thursday and will begin the ban after racing at Caulfield today and will return the following Saturday at the feature Gold Coast meeting. He is booked to ride the Gerald Ryan-trained Pipeline in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas. Victorian apprentice Mitchell Aitken, meanwhile, is set to spend 25 meetings on the sidelines as a result of three careless riding charges in four days. Agencies