Author: Ben Triandafillou

HORSE RACING AFTER having more than a year off the scene, Dean Binaisse’s smart mare Felicia has her eyes set on some more black type races this winter. The Group 3 winner who thrives on rain affected tracks has sprints such as the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) and the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on her radar in July. Binaisse said the mare just hadn’t had a decent spell for some time after having to undergo rehabilitation for her knees. “The owners and I decided to give her a really good spell,” the Mornington-based trainer…

HORSE RACING CLIFF Brown certainly hasn’t lost his knack for getting South Australian Derby runners ready. The Mornington-based trainer saddled up his first runner in the race in over 20 years with the improving talent Yaphet taking his place in the three-year-old staying contest on Saturday 14 May at Morphettville. Brown has had remarkable success in the Derby having saddled up three winners within five years with Cheviot (1996), Markham (1997) and Blue Murder (2000) saluting during the late 90’s, and once again Brown was right around the mark with his newest talent. After winning third-up at Sale over 1600m…

HORSE RACING MORNINGTON-based jockey Ethan Brown is now a Group One winning rider. The 23-year-old who grew up in Alice Springs combined with the powerhouse stable of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace to win the Group One Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) aboard Snapdancer at Morphettville on Saturday. Brown, who had ridden in eight prior Group 1 races, was coming to grips with landing every jockey’s dream. “I’m still spinning a bit, I can’t really believe it but to get my first Group One here especially for Ciaron and Brad Spicer (owner) it’s just amazing,” Ethan Brown said post-race. “I moved…

HORSE RACING AFTER four years out of the saddle, former trainer, now returned jockey Adam McCabe has claimed his first winner back. McCabe, who returned to race riding in February this year, combined with Mornington-based trainer Paul Rocke to win comfortably aboard State Of Class at Moe last Monday 25 April. The 31-year-old jock who shares his riding duties between Mornington and Cranbourne trainers was thrilled to knock off his first winner back. “You can start to overthink it when you’re running around the mark and getting placings on the lower grade horses,” McCabe said. “It’s good to get the…

HORSE RACING MATT Laurie has once again found success at the rich VOBIS raceday at Caulfield. Laurie, who took out the $950,000 VOBIS Showdown with Prince of Sussex three years ago, combined again with the same ownership group to win the $500,000 VOBIS Sires Guineas with Chartres on Saturday. Also by rising Victorian stallion Toronado, Chartres was given a perfect ride by jockey Ethan Brown to swoop around the field and continue to kick in the straight to win by just under a length. The Mornington-based trainer was pleased to see their plan pay off. “This was the priority. In…

HORSE RACING CLIFF Brown’s promising three-year-old Yaphet has started to deliver on the stable’s high hopes with a narrow but decisive win at Sale on Friday 15 April. Mornington-based trainer Cliff Brown has always thought the gelded son of Blackfriars would make a “nice horse” and his victory on Friday over another highly-spruiked galloper So You See re-assured that belief. The pair were neck-and-neck all the way down the straight but it was Yaphet who managed to get his nose down at the post to win the $100,000 benchmark 64 contest. There was a staggering six-length margin back to the…

HORSE RACING PICNIC legend Debbie Waymouth is set to have her first ride back at Balnarring on Saturday. The determined 66-year-old jock has gradually increased her workload after suffering a serious fall at Woolamai in January. Waymouth, showing her trademark toughness, makes her return after recovering from nine broken ribs, a fractured sternum, collapsed lung, a hematothrorax (blood on her chest) as well as having had surgery to insert plates into her cheekbone and jaw following the fall. Despite initial doubt about whether she’d return to riding, Waymouth has continued to exceed everyone’s expectations. She returned to riding trackwork last…

HORSE RACING Head-to-head: Two of Mornington’s best sprinters The Inferno and Brooklyn Hustle are likely to meet each other in the $500,000 The Country Discovery at Sale on April 15. Pictures: Supplied CLIFF Brown’s The Inferno and Jason Warren and Dean Krongold’s Brooklyn Hustle will likely head to Sale on Friday 15 April. The two stable stars for the Mornington-based trainers are set to contest the inaugural running of The Country Discovery (1100m), an open handicap race, worth $500,000. Brown, who had The Inferno ready to go for the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) on March 25, was forced…

HORSE RACING IN a rarity for the Mornington races, it was looking as though no Mornington-based trainer would get a win at the feature Mornington Cup meeting on Saturday 26 March until the local Tony Noonan stable struck glory in the last. Despite jumping as a $20 outsider in the field, the consistent It’s Tornado Storm flew the flag for the locals swooping around the field to win comfortably by two lengths. In front of a crowd of 5,000, trainer Tony Noonan was ecstatic to get the result on Cup day with his son, Jake Noonan, also riding the winner.…

HORSE RACING IT was a weekend to remember for the connections of dual-Group 1 winner Streets of Avalon and his full-sister Orlando Grove. The Shane Nichols-trained gelding was brave to place third in the world’s richest mile race, the $5million All-Star Mile, at Flemington on Saturday before his promising full-sister, also trained by Nichols, made a winning return at Yarra Valley on the Sunday. It took two highly talented gallopers in Zaaki and I’m Thunderstruck to beat the tough seven-year-old who picked up $360,000 in prize money for placing third, beaten just over two lengths. Mornington-based trainer Shane Nichols was…

HORSE RACING JEROME Hunter has trained the biggest winner of his career as Barb Raider dug deep to narrowly win the $300,000 Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday. Hunter, who has been the private trainer for owners Graeme and Barbara Gathercole since 2012, has had stakes success with Warrior Of Fire (2015 Hobart Guineas) and Belwazi (2019 Kensington Stakes) in the last decade but his three-year-old fillies feats have continued to go to another level. Barb Raider, who placed third in last year’s Group 1 Thousand Guineas, has returned unbeaten this preparation for Hunter having also won…

HORSE RACING ROB Blacker hopes his Adelaide Cup plans for his promising stayer Tigertiger can come to fruition on Monday 14 March. The lightly raced six-year-old spectacularly rose through the grades over the spring from winning in maiden grade to winning a Stakes race in his first preparation with the Mornington-based trainer. Since claiming the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on New Year’s day, Blacker has had the former New Zealand stayer solely aimed towards the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m). Tigertiger had a freshen up following that Stakes success and has since put in two promising runs at…

HORSE RACING THE Pinecliff training centre in Mount Eliza has provided yet another Blue Diamond winner with Daumier digging deep for the Anthony and Sam Freedman yard to win the feature juvenile race on Saturday 26 February. Hidden away just above the Sunnyside North Beach in Mt Eliza, the Freedman partnership have utilised Pinecliff and its private racetracks as well as their Flemington stables to dominate the two-year-old contest in recent years. The remarkable run has seen four of the last five Group 1 Blue Diamond winners come through the state-of-the-art set-up with the Freedman-trained Hanseatic also finishing a narrow…

HORSE RACING SHANE Nichols’ two-year-old filly Blonde Venture clung on to dead-heat in Sunday’s Magic Millions Tasmania 2YO Classic at Launceston. Despite running unplaced on debut at Pakenham earlier this month, Mornington-based trainer Shane Nichols took the chance with the Capitalist filly and shipped the youngster down south to target the $75,000 juvenile race. Handling the journey with flying colours, Blonde Venture scooted clear in the straight and looked to have the win in her sights before a late dive by the Adam Trinder-trained Jaguar Stone made things interesting. Turning to the photo finish, the final result was declared as…

HORSE RACING WITH just two horses currently racing, Balnarring-based trainer Cheryl Weller had the perfect day out at Colac on Friday, landing a winning double. After her well-bred five-year-old I Shot The Sheriff (Snitzel x Miss Power Bird) broke through for a determined maiden win in race two, Weller kept her cards close to her chest with her second galloper, Contalmaison, jumping as the race-favourite in the fifth event. “It’d be too good to be true,” Cheryl Weller said in a post-race interview following I Shot The Sheriff’s victory. Jockey Jarrod Fry, who had his first ride for Weller aboard…

HORSE RACING SHANE Nichols’ dual Group 1 winner Streets of Avalon won’t defend his Orr Stakes title this Saturday at Caulfield. The highest earning son of Magnus made a sound return when running fifth first-up in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) a fortnight ago, but Mornington-based trainer Shane Nichols said he wasn’t entirely happy with the results of the gelding’s recent blood tests. Nichols said he’s happy to wait a week before making a decision on where to head next. “It was a good return but he didn’t handle the soft track, he needs it fairly firm,” Nichols said.…

HORSE RACING IT was one of the underdogs that claimed this year’s $7,000 Balnarring Cup at the annual Australia Day meeting, but it certainly seemed popular based on the crowd’s jubilant reaction. Almost 4,000 spectators braved the heat to attend the Balnarring Cup meeting which saw Cranbourne-based trainer Mal Watts claim the feature race with her only horse in work, See It All ($13). Watts’ five-year drought without a winner came to an end as Mornington-based jockey Marie-Melodie Pomarede guided the six-year-old gelding to a short head victory. The fortune was certainly on Pomarede’s side as she picked up the…

HORSE RACING MORNINGTON-based jockey Matthew Cartwright will be looking to keep his hot streak rolling after riding a winner at every meeting he attended last week. The 19-year-old apprentice’s week kicked off in perfect fashion on Tuesday 18 January where he went to Moe for just the one ride aboard the Ken and Kasey Keys-trained Poleaxed and duly saluted. Cartwright then notched up a winning double at Sandown the following day aboard Cardigan Queen and Zachaz for Ciaron Maher and David Eustace before landing another winner at Flemington on the Friday. His success culminated in a winning treble at The…

HORSE RACING SHANE Nichols didn’t leave wondering ‘what could’ve been’ after forking out $800,000 to purchase the first foal out of his Group 1 winning mare I Am A Star. Nichols, who trained the mother to 10 victories, including 9 at Group class level, paid up for the Deep Field colt (lot 125) at Tuesday’s opening session of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. The Mornington-based trainer said he expected a large price tag on the bold chestnut colt but was thrilled to see some similar characteristics to his brilliant mare I Am A Star. “He’s a pretty nice…

HORSE RACING SMALL but speedy mare Florescent Star secured Mornington-based trainers Amy and Ash Yargi with their first metropolitan winner for the season. After having a luckless run first-up at Moonee Valley, Florescent Star bounced straight back into the winner’s stall on Saturday when winning at her first look down the Flemington straight (1100m). The gutsy mare sat in behind the speed before gradually building momentum and striking the lead in the final 200m. Despite being short in stature, she showed plenty of fight to hold off the fast-finishing Grahame Begg-trained Vespertine with Anthony and Sam Freedman’s Award Winner finishing…

HORSE RACING Jamie Kah is back in the saddle and quickly claiming feature races again with a comfortable win in the Pakenham Cup (2500m) on Saturday. Last season’s champion rider had been off the scene since August following her three-month ban for breaking COVID protocols but didn’t take long to return to doing what she does best – riding winners. Kah, who often rides trackwork at Mornington, made her race riding return at Mornington on the Friday before heading to The Valley that night. While a win evaded her at both tracks, she quickly bounced back to claim the $300,000…

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…