Author: Ben Triandafillou

HORSE RACING MORNINGTON-based jockey Will Gordon claimed the biggest win of his career in Sunday’s Jericho Cup (4600m) at Warrnambool but was quick to modestly deflect any of the credit. Gordon sat on the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained stayer Wil John for the first time in Australia’s longest flat race and perfectly timed his ride to win the contest by a length. Despite the well-executed winning ride, Gordon immediately stated that “its not about me today”. “It’s about the horse, the team and the legacy of the race,” he said post-race. “It’s just an honour to win the Jericho…

HORSE RACING MATT Laurie has produced yet another winner from the offspring of talented broodmare Glowing Tribute. Having already found success with 10-time winner Master Reset (by Reset) and four-time winner La Bella Costa (by Von Costa de Hero), Laurie saddled up their half-brother That Contageous (by Lonhro) at Mornington last Thursday 18 November. After finishing behind Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Artorius on debut, the strapping son of Lonhro made a winning return to the racetrack after spending almost 10 months off the scene. That Contageous, who stands at approximately 17.3hh and required a barrier extension to compete,…

HORSE RACING MATT Laurie looks to have another talented son of Toronado in his stable. The three-year-old gelding Chartres looked to be struggling in the very heavy conditions at Cranbourne on Saturday 13 November but clicked into gear in the straight to race away and win the three-year-old contest by over three lengths. Mornington-based trainer Matt Laurie said there were worrying signs early with jockey Michael Dee having to urge the gelding along at the rear of the field. “It didn’t look that promising early but he just kept building into it and he was fantastic in the end,” Laurie…

HORSE RACING NOT even an outrageous storm earlier in the week could keep the Balnarring Picnic races from going ahead on Saturday 6 November. Just over 2,500 people attended the clubs first meeting back after lockdown but it couldn’t have gone ahead without the help of more than a dozen people who came to the clubs aid to fix the numerous storm damages days prior. Multiple trees had fallen down around the country track with two breaking through the bar. The shade sail in the betting ring which was only put up the week before had to be repaired and…

HORSE RACING FAMILY, friends and avid racegoers flocked to Mornington racecourse for the first time in 18 months with over 2,000 people attending Sunday’s Peninsula Cup meeting. It was a sign of things returning to normal with COVID restrictions easing and the weather holding up perfectly for one of the club’s biggest meetings. The roar of the crowd was back in full swing and was electric as the final favourite for the day, Confrontational, saluted in the last for local Mornington trainers Jason Warren and Dean Krongold. This year’s Peninsula Cup saw the easing race-favourite Imperial Lad run a game…

HORSE RACING TONY Noonan may not have trained the winner but he got just as much satisfaction out of seeing Tutukaka take out the Listed Geelong Classic on Wednesday 20 October. Tutukaka, who is trained by Noonan’s good friend Tony Pike in New Zealand, has been based at his Mornington stables for the last two months as he prepares for a tilt at the $2million Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m). After having two runs at Flemington, Tutukaka swooped home from the rear of the field to win the Geelong Classic (2200m) by just under a length and was seemingly getting…

HORSE RACING SHANE Nichols says he couldn’t have Streets of Avalon going any better heading into the Group One Manikato Stakes (1200m) on Friday night. Looking to land his third Group One victory, Streets of Avalon has been off the scene since finishing a length away in the Group Two Feehan Stakes in early September. Mornington-based trainer Shane Nichols said there just hasn’t been a suitable race for the gelding until now. “We could’ve gone to the Moonga Stakes (1400m) but the track was going to be rain affected and that wasn’t ideal for us,” he said. “He’s always gone…

HORSE RACING MATT Laurie’s Group 1 winning colt Portland Sky has been retired and will head to Widden Stud next year. Laurie, who announced the news on Thursday 7 October, said he felt the now best-performed son of Deep Field wasn’t going to be able to perform at his very best moving forward. “His body just wasn’t going to allow him to showcase what he’s actually capable of, so we had to make the call,” he said. “We got to see a good glimpse of what he can do and if you got one like him every year or two…

HORSE RACING MATT Jenkins is keen to take the next step in his training career and join forces with established trainer David Brideoake before the year’s end. Jenkins, who has worked as the assistant trainer to Brideoake for the past year, is aiming to lodge his trainers license by November before taking on the co-training role at the Mornington-based stable. The 28-year-old said he’s looking forward to commencing his next chapter in racing and overseeing the stable that currently has 44 horses in work. “David’s given me a great opportunity and I’m looking to repay him by bringing everything I…

HORSE RACING CLIFF Brown is looking forward to heading into the $15million The Everest (1200m) as the “unknown” factor. The now Mornington-based trainer secured one of the 12 highly sort after slots in Australia’s richest race with his up-and-coming sprinter The Inferno last Saturday morning. After finishing second in the Group One Moir Stakes (1000m) on the Friday night, Brown’s headline horse was picked up by slot-holder James Harron Bloodstock to compete in the rich sprint. “He’s probably the x-factor horse and the least exposed heading into the race,” Cliff Brown said. The former Singapore star came to Australia with…

HORSE RACING SHANE Nichols is adamant there’s another good race in his star galloper Streets Of Avalon. The ever-consistent gelding finished just off the placegetters in the Group Two Feehan Stakes last start when out to the mile but returns to his favourite track and trip this Saturday at Caulfield. The seven-year-old, who has claimed both of his Group One wins over 1400m at the track, will line up in the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) for the third time. Nichols said the gelding is going super and just needs to draw a good barrier to be in…

HORSE RACING MORNINGTON-based trainer Cliff Brown is back training winners in Australia. The 15-time Group 1 winning trainer in Singapore returned to Victoria in May and broke through for his first winner back with Veterok at Pakenham on Friday 27 August. Just a week later and Brown has claimed the Group 2 McEwen Stakes with his Group 1 winning Singapore sprinter, The Inferno (formerly known as Inferno). After racing keenly and trapped wide first-up at Caulfield to finish midfield, The Inferno quickly shot back into form in the 1000m sprint at The Valley to win by a comfortable one-length margin…

HORSE RACING DAVID and Coral Feek continued their successful run of late with their handy mare Belsielle claiming another city win on Saturday 21 August. The Feek partnership utilised a freshen up for the speedy ‘pocket rocket’ to find her best at The Valley and bring up the stables third winner from their last six runners. Coming off a four-week break, Belsielle sat at the hind-quarters of the leader and race-favourite Malicorne before taking over on the bend. She dug deep in the last 100m to hold off the swoopers Love Sensation and Don’ttelltheboss to win by half-of-a-length. Mornington-based co-trainer…

HORSE RACING SHANE Nichols could have another promising mare to target the Group Two Stocks Stakes with this Spring. The progressive four-year-old So You Assume handled another rise in grade at Caulfield on Saturday 14 August to land an all-the-way victory in a benchmark 84 contest. The daughter of So You Think has come a long way in a short space of time having begun her preparation in a three-year-old benchmark 64 at the end of May. Now with three city wins from her last four starts, Mornington-based trainer Shane Nichols is contemplating raising the bar to Group class. “We’ve…

HORSE RACING STREETS of Avalon is right on track for his Spring targets after running a gallant second in the Group Three Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday. The tough six-year-old gelding sat outside the leader in the day’s feature sprint and was one of the first horses to come off the bridle turning for home. Showing plenty of determination, Streets of Avalon didn’t give in under the pressure and fought off several challenges in the straight. But, a late dive from the Phillip Stokes-trained Sansom proved costly as the four-year-old gelding got his head down right on the…

HORSE RACING DAVID Brideoake will be looking to land back-to-back Group Three successes with his newly acquired sprinter Red Can Man on Saturday. The former Western Australian sprinter has had two runs under the Mornington-based trainers care, with his most recent resulting in a gusty long-neck victory in the Group Three Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield. He’ll be looking to continue his successful run at the track on Saturday when he lines up in the Group Three Bletchingly Stakes (1200m). Looking to take substantial improvement from his first-up run when finishing beyond midfield at Flemington, Brideoake believes the…

HORSE RACING AFTER four seasons in the Victorian training ranks, the Mornington-based partnership of David and Coral Feek have broken through to win their first Saturday metropolitan race in Melbourne. Taking the leap from Moe to Caulfield, their three-year-old filly Belsielle dug deep to reel in the race-favourite Sugartown and win by a long-neck margin over the Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained Zesty Belle. The Feek partnership have had remarkable success in recent times of travelling horses to Sydney and winning at their Saturday metropolitan meetings (three wins from three runners) but were thrilled to finally land one “on home…

HORSE RACING SHANE Nichols is hoping to reach the $2 million mark with his star galloper Streets of Avalon this Spring. The dual Group One winner has won $1.83 million in prize money and currently holds the honour of being the highest prizemoney earner from Mornington (exclusive of Pinecliff, Mt Eliza). He heads the likes of Cedarbeg ($1.51mil), Self Sense ($1.49mil), Hollow Bullet ($1.46mil), Ethiopia ($1.26mil) and Pippie ($1.24mil). Despite verging on entering his seven-year-old season Mornington-based trainer Shane Nichols believes the gelded son of Magnus is going as well as ever. “I’m probably happier with him going into this…

HORSE RACING DEAN Krongold has no doubts over Brooklyn Hustle running a strong 1400m in the Group One Tattersall’s Tiara on Saturday 26 June. The inform mare has won her last two starts in the G3 Proud Miss Stakes (1200m) and G2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1300m) impressively and takes the step up to the seven furlongs for the first time in her career. Krongold, who trains in partnership with Jason Warren, said it’s always been their intentions to get the mare over more ground. “We’ve always thought the more she steps out the better she’ll be provided she settles off…

HORSE RACING MATT Laurie’s promising colt Ranveer showed his class with a gutsy win first-up in the heavy conditions at Sandown on Saturday. The Winning Rupert-sired two-year-old had just the one run in the Spring last year where he ran second to the one-time Golden Slipper favourite Profiteer at Flemington before he was sent for a spell. Returning after seven-months off the scene, Mornington-based trainer Matt Laurie queried whether the heavy conditions would take too much of a toll on his colt first-up. “I was a bit worried,” Laurie said post-race. “I felt that we probably hadn’t done enough for…

HORSE RACING MORNINGTON-based trainer Robert Kingston has saddled up his last runner after a decade of competing in the Victorian ranks. Kingston, who claimed his first winner with On Tour in 2011, sent out his two-year-old filly Class Action as his final runner at Wangaratta on Thursday 3 June. Class Action finished at the rear of the field but Kingston can go out on a high after his perennial bridesmaid Art Major broke through for a well-deserved maiden victory at Cranbourne on the Friday night prior. “He’s missed a few times so when he won it really made my mind…

HORSE RACING DAVID Bridoake’s consistent gelding Strategic Phil picked up a “bonus” win at Caulfield on Saturday as he gears up for the $125,000 Swan Hill Cup in a fortnight. Breaking a one-year drought, Strategic Phil relished the solid tempo at Caulfield to win the $125,000 BM84 by one-length over the Chris Waller-trained Relucent. Strategic Phil’s performance (1:35.00) on the firm track (Good 3) was just over half-of-a-second outside the track record which was set by Field Of Omagh (1:34.28) in 2006. Adding further credit to the run, his time was the seventh fastest over the Caulfield mile in the…

HORSE RACING APPRENTICE jockey Lachlan Neindorf has landed his first winner at Flemington in sensational fashion aboard $126-pop Romancer on Saturday 22 May. The Mornington-based apprentice took the Grahame Begg-trained gelding back towards the rear of the field in the 1200m straight race before unleashing his run along the inside. He put a winning break on the field and held on to score by one-length over the fast-finishing Amy and Ash Yargi-trained I’m Telling Ya. The win also provided Neindorf with his second Stakes success. “He was super. That’s my first one [at Flemington] but I’ll take it in a…

HORSE RACING FLASHY mare Brooklyn Hustle has broken through for Stakes class success in Adelaide for training partnership Jason Warren and Dean Krongold on Saturday 15 May. The four-year-old daughter of Starspangledbanner has always promised plenty with her fast-finishing sprints in Group One company but has never quite had the luck go her way to secure the victory. But, the drop back in class to the Group Three Proud Miss Stakes (1200m) on Saturday proved successful as she dashed up the inside rail for jockey Jamie Kah and ran away with the spoils. Despite being slow away from the barriers,…

HORSE RACING MORNINGTON-based trainer Brett Scott landed one of the most memorable wins of the Warrnambool May Carnival having taken out the elusive Galleywood Hurdle (3200m) just five weeks after being released from hospital. Scott was immediately flooded with congratulatory cheers following the tenacious win of his promising jumper The Statesman, ridden by another Mornington-based jockey Will Gordon, in one of the carnival’s feature jumps races on Wednesday 5 May. Scott, a four-time Grand Annual Steeplechase-winning jockey, had overcome life-threatening injuries after being kicked in the head by a horse at his Mornington property just two months earlier. Scott said…

HORSE RACING MATT Laurie has made the tough call to retire his promising sprinter Alfa Oro with injuries cutting his time on the racetrack short. The six-time winner who earnt just shy of $250,000 in prize money did a phenomenal job to even make a return to the racetrack after suffering a spiral fracture in his front leg as an early three-year-old in 2018. Missing his entire three-year-old season and spending more than 20 months on the sidelines, Alfa Oro made an encouraging resumption finishing second at Pakenham in April last year. The now five-year-old son of Bachelor Duke went…

HORSE RACING MORNINGTON-based apprentice jockey Matthew Cartwright combined with his mother and grandmother, Leonie Proctor and Lyn Tolson, to claim metropolitan success at Caulfield on Saturday 24 April. The ever-improving Tolson and Proctor-trained Curran topped off a fruitful five-start campaign with a gutsy victory in the $135,000 Di Beretta Handicap (1200m). Given a patient ride by Cartwright, Curran eventually wore down the tearaway leader Yulong Command in the dying stages of the race to win by a long-neck. Despite having ridden 13 metropolitan winners, Cartwright said Saturday’s victory for his family was the most special win of his career to…

HORSE RACING PREMIERSHIP leading jockey Jamie Kah continued her emphatic record with the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained La Mexicana at Caulfield on Saturday 17 April. Combining for the eighth time in the I Am invincible filly’s career, Kah once again managed to get the best out of La Mexicana to win the $150,000 VOBIS Gold Dash and bring up the filly’s sixth win with Kah onboard. Returning from a seven-week let-up after a failed Sydney trip for the Group One Surround Stakes (1400m), La Mexicana was right back to her best at Caulfield with the VOBIS riches up for grabs.…

HORSE RACING MICHAEL Mehegan’s handy filly Miss Inbetween shot back into the winner’s circle on Monday 5 April with a strong win at Sandown. The three-year-old filly by Fighting Sun relished the drop back in grade after tackling two Group Three contests at her past three starts. Settling towards the rear of the field, Miss Inbetween showed plenty of fight to run down the up-and-coming Sirileo Miss in the closing stages of the 1400m event. Mornington-based trainer Michael Mehegan said it was great to see her back on track for her main targets after being unplaced this preparation. “We spoke…

HORSE RACING ANTHONY and Sam Freedman’s promising filly Agreeable returned to the winner’s stall on Saturday 03 April with a comfortable victory in the Bill Collins Handicap at Caulfield. Having been winless since her debut victory at Geelong in May last year, Agreeable has collected two fourth’s in the Group Three Quezette Stakes and the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes as well as finishing fifth in last year’s Group One Thousand Guineas. Ridden by Jamie Kah, Agreeable hit her customary ‘flat spot’ at the 600m mark before picking up and reeling in her rivals with ease. The three-year-old daughter of Sebring…