RACING NEWS BRIEFS
Monday, 16 December 2013: Fiorente; Tommy Berry; William Pike; Blake Shinn; Gai Waterhouse; Commanding Jewel; Better Than Ready; Mark Zahra; Riding Records
FIORENTE PLEASES BERRY
It was business as usual for Tommy Berry at Randwick on Monday morning when he rode Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente as he prepares for his appeal against a one month suspension imposed by Hong Kong Jockey Club stewards.
Berry's chances of a third Magic Millions Classic win hinge on the outcome of his appeal to be heard via a teleconference on Wednesday.
Berry is fighting the severity of a ban covering 10 Hong Kong meetings for not riding one of his mounts to the line at the international meeting at Sha Tin on December 8.
He began the suspension on Sunday. If his suspension fails he won't be free to resume riding until January 16, five days after the Magic Millions Classic in where his mount will be boom filly Echo Gal.
Fiorente, just back from the spell that followed his Melbourne Cup win on November 5, delighted Berry with his condition.
“It was great to give him a spin around the track. He has come back in great order,” Berry reported.
PIKE DEFERS SUSPENSION
Top Perth jockey William Pike has chosen to ride at Saturday’s Cox Stakes meeting at Ascot before starting a 16-day suspension that will rule him out of the $500,000 Perth Cup on January 1.
Pike was suspended after riding a winning double at Ascot last Saturday and chose to defer the start of the ban for seven days rather start it immediately.
If Pike had chosen to start the suspension on Sunday he would have been back in time to ride in the Perth Cup on January 1.
Pike’s rides on Saturday include Elite Belle in the $250,000 CB Cox Stakes for trainer Grant Williams.
Williams will also be running Moonlight Bay (Chris Parnham) in the Cox Stakes where Rohan (Glen Smith) will be putting his place as Perth Cup favourite on the line against the Kingstown Classic quinella of Itsahymn (Stephen Parnham) and Luckygray (Shaun O’Donnell).
Trainer Vaughn Sigley says Rohan has thrived since his close third in the Kingston Town Classic (1800m) and wil be favoured by the step up to 2100m in the Cox Stakes.
Rohan won the 2012 WA Derby before a suspensory injury sidelined him for 16 months.
SHINN LIKES HER STYLE
The classy youngsters Unencumbered and Sheer Style wil head the field for Thursday’s $200,000 Magic Millions Wyong Classic.
The entries list includes youngsters trained by Mick Price, Peter Moody, Gai Waterhouse, Matt Dunn, Chris Waller and Gerald Ryan.
Blake Shinn will be the new rider for the Garry Frazer-trained Sheer Style, taking over from Jason Collett on the last start Ballarat Clockwise Classic winner.
Shinn made a special trip to Hawkesbury to ride Sheer Style for the first time on Saturday morning and came away impressed by the filly’s ability.
“Crikey, that was a pleasure. She’s good,” were Shinn’s tweeted impressions of the filly after the workout.
Mick Price has nominated Geramayo for the Wyong Magic Millions while his top youngster Nordic Empire will be heading to the Gold Coast via a start at Canterbury on December 28.
Meanwhile Mark Kavanagh has ruled out a Magic Millions Classic trip for Chivalry after his odds on defeat on debut at Flemington last Saturday at the hands of Gold Coast-bound I Am The General.
Kavanagh said Chivalry is not experienced enough to travel and will have his next start in three weeks in Melbourne.
STRONG WATERHOUSE TEAM
Gai Waterhouse is building her forces for the Magic Millions carnival at the Gold Coast.
Her boom filly Echo Gal left for Queensland on Sunday and will be running in the McLachlan Stakes at Doomben on December 28 as her lead up to the $2 million Magic Millions Classic on January 11. Chris Munce will take the mount at Doomben.
It’s the same path Waterhouse took in 2012 with Dreifontein when she won the McLachlan Stakes before claiming the MM Classic on protest from her stablemate No Looking Back.
Waterhouse will be sending other Gold Coast contenders to Wyong on Thursday with Spirit Of Joy to run in the $200,000 MM Wyong 2YO Classic and Mr Jackman and Sweet Idea entered for the $100,000 MM Wyong 3YO Stakes.
Waterhouse also has Dreifontein set for a return to the Gold Coast on January 11 along with Whittington after he won a trial at Randwick on Monday.
JEWEL IN THE CLEAR
Atlantic Jewel’s younger sister Commanding Jewel has been cleared by vets to begin working towards an autumn return to racing.
The 2012 Thousand Guineas winner was sidelined after she won the Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington in September.
Trainer Leon Corstens said vets had given the four-year-old the all clear to resume rehab walking, raising his hopes that she wil make a return to racing in Sydney in the late autumn.
READY FOR PLATE BID
Gun Brisbane sprinter Better Than Ready has had a three weeks spell since his last start win in the Listed Keith Noud Handicap and is back in work with trainer Kelly Schweida.
Schweida could not afford to give Better Than ready a longer break with the G1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield in February on the agenda.
ZAHRA LOSES APPEAL
Mark Zahra lost his appeal on Monday against the decision and severity of a 16 meeting careless riding suspension. He wil sit out Christmas and return to riding on December 29.
Meanwhile Luke Nolen is taking a three weeks break from riding and will resume in the second week of January. Speculation persists about his association with the Peter Moody stable.
A SPECIAL CLUB
There are 16 jockeys worldwide recognized as having ridden more than 6000 winners but only three have ridden in more than 46,000 races.
Veteran US jockey Perry Ouzts became the third to reach that milestone on December 13 when he rode in his 46,000th race to trail only Russell Baze and Laffit Pincay Jr. for the most number of mounts on record.
"It's kind of like travelling almost twice around the world on horseback," Ouzts said at Gulfstream Park.
"There's only one person I know of who loves to ride as much as I do, and that's Russell Baze.”
Ouzts rode his 6000th winner in 2012. He rode his first wiuner in 1973 and his career total stands at 6184 wins.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001 and is 11th on the all-time win list.
Australia’s leading jockey by wins Robert Thompson is less than 50 wins away from his 4000th career winner.