By Ray Hickson
At Royal Randwick
Spring Options Aplenty For Deprive
Could Deprive emerge as a contender for one of the new spring sprint features in Sydney?
The talented four-year-old was having just his ninth start when he gave them a start and a beating in the Listed June Stakes (1100m), his turn of foot on display again as he ran 34.14 for his last 600m (Punter's Intelligence), about two lengths faster than the next best.
Godolphin’s Darren Beadman is certain there are bigger things in store for Deprive in the spring and surely races like the Group 3 $500,000 Sydney Stakes (1200m) on Everest Day and the new $1m Redzel Stakes (1300m) and $1m The Hunter (1300m) would be on the radar.
“Come spring time with that turn of foot he could pick off a nice race,’’ Beadman said.
“One thing with James (Cummings) is he doesn’t throw them in the deep end too early.’’
Beadman was full of praise for jockey Rachel King who, as she did two weeks earlier, had to weave through the field from a tricky spot but she did it confidently.
“We said to keep him in a good rhythm, good balance and keep the momentum going. She’s riding in stellar form,’’ he said.
King, who brought up a Godolphin double having won on Gongs earlier, expressed her affection for Deprive during the week and was again high in her praise. And she’s adamant he’s much better on a drier track.
“Pure class has got him through. I copped a few big clods coming back ag him but he has something about him and he was that much better,’’ King said.
“It wasn’t as bad as last time, it was only a wall of four horses and not ten.’’
Meanwhile trainer Jason Deamer was rapt with the effort of runner-up Bon Amis and he could head straight to next month’s Listed $160,000 Ramornie Handicap (1200m) at Grafton.
It was the gelding’s first attempt at stakes level, as it was the winner’s, and away from the disappointment of having to settle for second he said he has plenty to work with for the campaign.
“He usually likes a bit of a gap between races, if he won we were going to go to the Ramornie and we still might,’’ Deamer said.
“Obviously the winner is pretty smart and he was just a better horse on the day.’’
Magical Highway Win For Milligan Family
Taree trainer Bob Milligan can't talk but he still keeps his foreman son Glen accountable when it comes to training the horses and while he wasn't at Randwick on Saturday he's certain to have been cheering in his own way as Malea Magic posted their first TAB Highway (1100m) win.
It's been well documented the trials the 77-year-old trainer has endured but Glen says he rarely misses watching the races and is very involved in their stable's business.
Through the dark sunglasses Glen said his father has been keen to take home a Highway after several failed attempts and was just rapt with the result.
"Hopefully it gives him a kick along because it's been a rough 12 months,'' Milligan said.
"We've had a few goes and they haven't been good enough but she has plenty of ability and that helps.''
Sam Weatherley brought the filly with a well timed run in the centre of the track and the win now has Milligan considering targeting Grafton next month.
"First-up she always runs a bottler. Where we go now I don't know because if we were beaten we were coming back in a fortnight,'' he said.
"If she improves a bit more we might end up at the Grafton carnival, and maybe even the Ramornie.''
Clenton's Comeback Complete
Less than 40 minutes after lamenting what might have been on the luckless Roman Wolf, apprentice Samantha Clenton achieved a milestone as she drove Itz Lily to victory in the Bradley Photographers Handicap (1800m).
It was Clenton's first Saturday city winner since she returned from two years on the sidelines after a spinal injury in 2016 and time off to have son Isaac and made even more special as it was for her boss Kris Lees.
"I've been itching to get that Saturday winner off my back, it's good to get it done especially on one of the boss's horses,'' she said.
"About the furlong it was in my mind that the leader (statuesquesly) was going to kick back with tghe Waterhouse finish on her but she dug deep.''
Shortly after Roman Wolf's fourth placing behind Catwalk in the Winter Racing Handicap (1000m) trainer Gary Portelli joked he didn't get a chance to comment as he approached Clenton as she asserted the two-year-old should have won.
She said aside from the colt being squeezed out at the start it was early in the straight where she felt he was most unlucky.
"I was on the inside of the winner and just as I came back to improve to the outside of its heels it shifted out. It was one of those things, I was already committed so I had to stick to the run,'' she said.
Punter's Intelligence sectional data shows Roman Wolf clocked the fastest last 200m of the race, 11.61 and the second fastest final 600m of 34.42 so his effort has more merit that it will read on paper.
First Spring Steps For Time To Reign
Silver Slipper winner Time To Reign was out on the Warwick Farm track for the first time since the end of March on Saturday morning as trainer Gary Portelli eyes a couple of early spring targets.
The colt ran fifth in the Golden Slipper and Portelli reports he's stacked on 30kg, according to the scales, though he's finding that extra weight isn't easy to spot.
"It's like your kids growing up in front of you, you don't really realise until you see the photos. He's put on 30kg from Slipper day to now and I can't see it, but it's there,'' he said.
"He's not fatter or bulked up but he's developed somewhere.''
Time To Reign worked 800m and breezed home in about 13 seconds with Portelli suggesting it was perfect work for the early stages of his preparation.
He's earmarked the Listed Rosebud (1100m) at Rosehill on August 10 as the first-up run then on to the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) on August 31 before a major goal is set.
"He ran a tremendous race in the Slipper on a wet track so we'd be looking forward to getting him on a rain affected track in the spring,'' he said.
Newnham Eyes Doncaster Ticket With Quackerjack
There is no shortage of targets in the spring for a tough miler like Quackerjack and trainer Mark Newnham says his first thought is to target a free ticket into the Doncaster Mile through the Villiers Stakes in December.
The rising four-year-old is unlikely to be aimed at the $7.5m Golden Eagle (1500m) but Newnham said the spring has plenty to offer him.
“A lot of those (topliners) will knock them selves out in the spring, and I think that is where he might sit,’’ Newnham said.
“We’ll give him a couple more runs in the winter then into the summer.’’
Of course the winner of the Villiers earns exemption into the $3m Doncaster Mile during The Championships of 2020.
Quackerjack’s win in the TLE Alexandra Handicap (1600m) wrapped up a frustrating day for Newnham. He was forced to scratch Scarlet Dream from the Queensland Derby after a mishap on race morning and the morning fog caused flight delays so he wound up at Randwick instead of Eagle Farm.
Just as trainer Anthony Cummings did as he watched Prince Fawaz win the Group 1 JJ Atkins from Randwick.
Newnham said Quackerjack is now a genuine racehorse since the owners made the decision to geld him and the proof is in his form.
“He’s been a really good consistent horse for us, he’s a great advertisement for gelding,’’ he said.
“I think Josh (Parr) really rated him well but he needed to, he carried plenty of weight on heavy ground.’’