Author: Ben Triandafillou

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…

HORSE RACING MATT Laurie’s promising three-year-old Five Star Decanter continued his unbeaten record on Sunday 28 March with a strong win at Sale. Bringing up his second win over 1200m, the gelded son of Roc De Cambes came from the rear of the field to reel in his rivals in the final stages of the race to win by half-of-a-head. The Patrick Payne-trained Mccain finished in second with the race-favourite Phillip Stokes-trained Keep On Bopping finishing a length away in third. Mornington-based trainer Matt Laurie was glad to see his promising stayer settle better in his race. “We’ve kept him…

HORSE RACING WESTERN Australian jockey William Pike demonstrated his prowess in the saddle on Mornington Cup day on Saturday 20 March claiming four of the nine races on the card. Coming off the back of a dominant victory in the Group One William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night, William ‘The Wizard’ Pike continued on his winning ways at Mornington to win both of the feature races, the Listed Mornington Cup and Listed Hareeba Stakes, among others. Celebrating his birthday on the same day, Pike kicked off the winning run aboard the Andrew Noblet-trained Ginger Jones to lead…

HORSE RACING JOHN McArdle brought up his second two-year-old Stakes winner over consecutive Saturday’s as La Rocque shot clear to comprehensively win the $160,000 Group Three TBV Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Flemington. Ridden by Jamie Mott, La Rocque sat up on the speed before pulling away from her opposition in the final 100m to win by 1.5-lengths over the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Flying Evelyn. The victory kept the Kuroshio-sired filly’s unbeaten record intact having won twice from as many starts. Her stablemate Tycoon Humma scored an impressive victory in the Listed Very Special Kids Plate (1000m) seven days…

HORSE RACING JOHN McArdle’s promising filly Tycoon Humma has kept her unbeaten record intact with an impressive win at Flemington on Saturday 27 February. The half-sister to McArdle’s Group Three winning sprinter Humma Humma showed a fine turn of foot to win the Listed Very Special Kids Plate at her second start. Mornington-based trainer John McArdle hinted at sending the exciting two-year-old out to the paddock after beginning her career in perfect style. “She’s a nice filly. She’ll probably be looking for the paddock now. She over-raced a bit today and Jamie (Mott) did a great job and just switched…

HORSE RACING IT was a day to remember for Mornington-based trainer Matt Laurie and the Pinecliff, Mt Eliza-based partnership of Anthony and Sam Freedman as they rose to the fore in two of the three Group One features at Caulfield on Saturday 20 February. Bypassing a winnable Group Three Zeditave Stakes (1200m) on the same day, Matt Laurie masterfully pulled the right string by running his up-and-coming three-year-old colt Portland Sky in the Group One Oakleigh Plate (1100m). Utilising his natural speed and his allocated light-weight of 50kg, apprentice jockey Teodore Nugent shot clear aboard Portland Sky half way down…

HORSE RACING SHANE Nichols’ gutsy galloper Streets of Avalon has dug deep to bring up his second Group One victory in Saturday’s C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield. Having claimed the Group One Futurity Stakes over the same track and trip a year ago, Streets of Avalon once again fought hard to fend off the challenges and land a half-length victory over the Chris Waller-trained Imaging in Saturday’s feature race. There was a roar on course as jockey Zac Spain saluted aboard the gelding to ride his first Group One winner and bring up Mornington-based trainer Shane Nichols’ third Group…

HORSE RACING MATT Laurie’s promising sprinter Portland Sky has made amends for his unsuccessful trip to Queensland with an all-the-way victory in the $160,000 Group Three Manfred Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday. Having finished at the back of the field in the Group Three Vo Rogue Stakes (1400m) at his only run in Queensland in January, Portland Sky bounced back into form at Caulfield to land a three-quarters of a length victory. The three-year-old son of Deep Field held off the challenges of some talented gallopers with the Caulfield Guineas runners-up Aysar and last year’s Blue Diamond Stakes winner…

HORSE RACING MORNINGTON-based trainer Matt Laurie had a week to remember after saddling up four winners and a second placing from five runners last week. Laurie kicked off the week with a winner at Mornington on Tuesday 15 December as American Saint broke through to win her maiden at start number five. He then followed up the success with a winning double at Yarra Valley on Friday as Yulong Island and Jenni Express also removed their maiden tags in comfortable fashion. Heading to The Valley on Friday night, the resuming Malicorne brought up the stables fourth straight winner with a…

HORSE RACING MORNINGTON-based trainers David and Coral Feek have continued their successful raid on Sydney racing with their gutsy gelding I Am Vinnie. Bringing up his third victory at Randwick and remaining unbeaten in New South Wales, I Am Vinnie proved too good for his opposition to win the $125,000 Fujitsu General Handicap (1400m) by a length on Saturday 12 December. Despite being pocketed with 300m to run, jockey Jake Noonan navigated a clear passage aboard the gelding to overhaul his rivals and skip away to score a one length victory over the Kris Lees-trained Juventus. Co-trainer David Feek said…

HORSE RACING MATT Laurie’s progressive mare Sayumi has broken her maiden tag in comfortable fashion with a win first-up at The Valley on Friday 4 December. The four-year-old daughter of Sebring had placed in three of her four starts before being sidelined for eight months with a slight strain to her suspensory. Returning first-up and winning with her ears pricked by half-of-a-length in town, Mornington-based trainer Matt Laurie believes the layoff has made a “world of difference” for the promising mare. “She’s really thickened up into a lovely style of mare now,” Laurie said after Sayumi’s maiden victory. “I thought…

HORSE RACING CHAMPION Mornington-based racehorse trainer Jim Marconi passed away last Monday 23 November aged 87. Leaving behind a remarkable legacy, Marconi swiftly moved from a late-blooming picnic trainer in his mid-40s in 1978 to becoming a multiple Group One winning professional owner/trainer over the next two decades with the feats of Cossack Prince, Rancho Ruler and King Marauding to name a few. But, it wasn’t just racing that Marconi succeeded at. Despite setbacks throughout his life, he always found a way to turn it into an opportunity. Before immigrating to Australia in his mid-20s, Marconi found a way to…

HORSE RACING THE New Zealander’s Brett Scott and Michael Walker have combined to take out the $500,000 Listed Ballarat Cup with the inform stayer Irish Flame on Saturday 21 November. Notching up a hattrick of wins in his first prep with Mornington-based trainer Brett Scott, Irish Flame was forced to sit wide for the entirety of the 2000m trip but still proved too tough for his rivals to land a narrow neck victory over the Dan O’Sullivan-trained and race favourite, Affair To Remember. Irish Flame, who had won races at Flemington and Moonee Valley at his past two starts with…

HORSE RACING JEROME Hunter’s talented sprinter Our Luca has broken his two-year winless drought with a commanding victory at The Valley on Friday 13 November. The Graebar Park-owned gelding had been winless since he clocked up three straight victories at The Valley at the end of 2018, but finally returned to somewhere near his best in the 1200m contest under the hands of Mornington-based apprentice jockey Campbell Rawiller. Bringing up a winning double on the night for Rawiller, Our Luca ran his rivals off their legs by setting up a strong tempo up front before gaining a winning break turning…

HORSE RACING AFTER suffering setback after setback, Mornington-based apprentice jockey Celine Gaudray has managed to not only ride her first winner, but notch up a winning double at Traralgon on Saturday 31 October. Having fractured her back and knee in a race fall at her fourth race ride in July, Gaudray is still as confident as ever after breaking through to ride her first winner for her boss Pat Carey. Making the most of her four-kilo claim, Gaudray led all the way aboard Pat Carey’s Tippitywichit to win her first ever race by just under two lengths at her 25th…

HORSE RACING DAVID Brideoake’s Group One winning mare Princess Jenni spoiled the internationals Melbourne Cup party to win the $400,000 Group Three Bendigo Cup last Wednesday. Despite having been winless for over a year, Princess Jenni took control of the race at the top of the straight before fending off the challenge of the Lloyd Williams-owned import, Pondus, who was having his final crack at gaining a Melbourne Cup start, to win by a head-margin. The Archie Alexander-trained Haky finished a further two lengths away in third. Stepping up to the 2400m trip for the first time in her career,…

HORSE RACING MORNINGTON-based trainer Matt Laurie has struck Group class success with promising colt Portland Sky at The Valley on Saturday 24 October. The three-year-old son of Deep Field, who broke his maiden status on the Ballarat Synthetic track just two months ago, has quickly risen through the grades to win the $200,000 Group Three Red Anchor Stakes (1200m). Ridden by jockey Ben Melham, the exciting prospect made every post a winner at his fourth career start to win by three-quarters of a length over the Lindsay Park-trained Bella Nipotina, with the Godolphin-owned Valaquenta finishing a further length away in…

HORSE RACING THE Jason Warren and Dean Krongold partnership has immediately struck winning form with new stable acquisition Ruby Skye on Sunday 18 October. Formerly in the hands of Sylvia Thompson, the seven-year-old mare has thrived in her new surroundings at Denistoun Park to win her way into the $500,000 Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series on Kennedy Oaks day (November 5). With her last win coming up eight months ago, Ruby Skye shot straight back to somewhere near her best to take out Heat Five of the Country Series first-up for her new stable at Kilmore. Weaving a passage from…

HORSE RACING PINECLIFF, Mount Eliza-based trainers Anthony and Sam Freedman remain adamant on bypassing the VRC Derby with promising colt Ain’tnodeeldun despite claiming the Listed Hill Smith Stakes (1800m) at Morphettville on Saturday. Co-trainer Anthony Freedman believes the $2million VRC Derby (2500m) on Saturday 31 October will come up too soon for the improving Dundeel three-year-old. “He still has some maturing to do so I don’t want to give him a gut buster in the Derby,” Anthony Freedman said on the Freedman Racing website. “I think he will be a better horse in the autumn so we will give him…

HORSE RACING MATT Laurie’s Bendigo Guineas winner, Riddle Me That, returned to his best on Saturday 3 October to take out the $175,000 Listed Paris Lane Stakes (1400m) at Flemington. After throwing in an ‘out of the ordinary’ run at Caulfield at his prior start, it had left Mornington-based trainer Matt Laurie questioning whether there was anything wrong with his ever-consistent four-year-old gelding. “We were very happy with the horse going into his last run but he just went terrible,” Laurie said. “He pulled up poorly, but we couldn’t find anything wrong with him so we pressed on. We threw…

HORSE RACING CHRIS and John Meagher’s speedy mare, Pippie, ran her rivals off their legs to take out the Group One Moir Stakes and pick up her second Group One success on Friday 25 September at The Valley. The five-year-old daughter of Written Tycoon extended her flawless first-up record to four wins by making every post a winner in the feature $1million sprint. Replicating her first-up win in the Group One Oakleigh Plate last preparation, Pippie again utilised her blistering early speed and controlled the race before holding on to land a 0.8-length victory over Godolphin’s Trekking and the Will…

HORSE RACING MORNINGTON-based trainer Dean Binaisse broke through for an elusive Group-class victory on Saturday 19 September with his ever-consistent mare, Felicia. Having previously placed six times at black-type level, Binaisse finally broke through with his four-year-old daughter of Unencumbered, as she convincingly put away a handy field in the $160,000 Group Three How Now Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield. Ridden by Craig Williams, Felicia sat up on the speed before finding plenty in the straight to kick clear for a comfortable two-length victory ahead of the Mitchell Freedman-trained Broadwayandfourth and the Chris Waller-trained Fiesta. The win brought up Williams’ third…

HORSE RACING MORNINGTON-based trainer Rachael Frost landed her first black-type race at Flemington on Saturday 12 September with her inform gelding, Travimyfriend. The eight-year-old son of Tavistock had relished the wet tracks of late to pick up a win and second placing at Caulfield in his three prior runs, but demonstrated on Saturday that he’s not just a mudlark. With the rain setting in later than expected at Flemington, Travimyfriend did what he had never done before and saluted on a good surface for the first time in his career. Ridden by Dean Yendall, the gelding sat at the rear…

HORSE RACING THE 100 per cent strike rate continues for Mornington-based trainer Clayton Douglas as his sole runner to date, Barocha, brought up his second straight victory at Geelong on Sunday 6 September. Coming off a five-length maiden romp at Sale last month, Barocha once again demonstrated that he’s a serious city class talent by scoring a two-and-a-half length victory in benchmark 64 grade. The four-year-old gelding by Ilovethiscity settled three-wide with cover at the rear of the field before steaming straight past his rivals in the straight and landing a comfortable win under the guidance of jockey, and Douglas’…

HORSE RACING MORNINGTON-based trainer David Brideoake has unveiled another promising ‘Jen’ at Sale on Sunday 30 August with Peskijen breaking through for a convincing win on debut. Brideoake, who claimed Group One glory with Princess Jenni last year and landed a dominant debut victory with Jenni’s Rainbow earlier this month, added Peskijen to the list of handy fillies he has in work. Peskijen backed up her promising jumpouts with a decisive three-quarters-of-a-length victory in the second race at Sale. Despite sitting three-wide the entire trip, the three-year-old daughter of Sacred Falls still proved too good for the Tony and Calvin…