What You Missed - By Ray Hickson
No Sweat For Newtown
Even in summer it’s a bad sign when a horse is dripping with sweat in the parade, isn’t it?
That’s at least the usual punter theory anyway but Highway winner Newtown Bluebag is an the exception to the rule or myth, depending on your point of view.
Co-trainer Emma Longmire revealed after Newtown Bluebag’s Highway win that is more of a concern if he doesn’t sweat up.
“He was 10 times worse at Warwick Farm,’’ Longmire said.
“I think it is just a bit of nervous energy, he’s pretty content at trackwork. Every time he comes to the races I think he knows he’s on the job.’’
The win proved to be a real energy boost for jockey Blaike McDougall who was feeling the effects of committing to riding at 51kg for the day.
The 23-year-old’s work paid off with victory on Tip Top and Dreamforce who both carried 51kg to victory completing his treble.
1133 Days Later
Every horse has their day and Saturday, much to the delight of his connections, was Voilier’s day.
The five-year-old was a winner on debut at Rosehill back on December 6, 2014, at Rosehill and his owners and trainer Gary Nickson endured a winless 1133 days before his number finally went into the frame in the #theraces Handicap (1400m).
“It’s a long time coming but he’s got the monkey off his back,’’ Nickson, who trains 15 horses, said.
“It means a lot for the owners. We’re only a small stable and we don’t get many good ones.’’
Voilier followed his debut win with a second in the Group 2 Silver Slipper in 2015 behind Headwater and also that year was runner-up in the Listed Rosebud and Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes.
With that long overdue win, Voilier has amassed over $363,000 in prizemoney.
Jay Ford brought the gelding with a sustained run from back in the field to round up Samadoubt, who was being hailed the winner, with Eusebio a close third.
“He took on a good lot of two-year-olds and it was just bad luck for him,’’ Nickson said.
“We’ve turned his whole racing pattern around, we’re holding him up and letting his finish off and he’s just grown a leg.’’
For the first time in 1133 days, Voilier is a winner! pic.twitter.com/CNvbe8uwuJ
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) January 13, 2018
Double Just Out Of Reach
Aaron Bullock probably would have preferred to have the chance to ride Jonker in the Magic Millions, despite the carnage on the Gold Coast, but he was stoked to finally have his first city winner as he guided Sugar Bella to victory at Randwick.
And it could so easily have been a double as the good looking four-year-old Reach For Heaven was trapped wide and was a narrowly beaten favourite earlier in the day.
Bullock warned not to drop off the gelding despite his defeat in the Book Summer Hosptitality Today Handicap (1200m) at Randwick.
He was a victim of circumstance as he was trapped wide and with a slow pace Bullock was forced to track deep before being crossed on the corner which required him to pull wider.
He hit the front about 200m out and was still in front passing the 100m before race fitness and a 7kg weight pull swung in Tip Top’s favour.
“They began quickly and went quick for the first 100m then they stacked up and it got him trucking,’’ Bullock said.
“On the corner he gave a good kick, he was first-up and the winner at 51kg. Probably the last 20m told.
“He’s a sprinter and he’s only going to improve, it was 1200m first-up and if it was 1100m we get there.”
Trial Looming For Frolic
Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign headlines the Warwick Farm trials on Monday when she has her first public hitout ahead of the autumn.
But what about the runner-up Frolic - the only horse to down the Slipper winner at two.
Her trainer Edward O’Rourke said Frolic is coming along very well for her long-awaited return and will have the first of two trials on January 22.
“Everything is perfect with her at the moment, I’ve pleased with the way she has progressed,’’ O’Rourke said.
Frolic missed the spring as she required a knee operation, she spent some time in the stable in September undergoing rehabilitation before going out again.
“It seems to have worked. She’ll trial again on February 5 and will be first-up in the Light Fingers (on February 17),’’ he said.
The Winx Show Premieres Soon
While on trials, January 22 is also the day we’ll have our first look at champion Winx since her historic third straight Cox Plate win.
Trainer Chris Waller was back in Sydney on Saturday morning from the Gold Coast to oversee the wonder mare’s work and left suitably pleased with the six-year-old’s condition.
“She’ll have two more gallops and then trial in nine days’ time,’’ he said on radio on Saturday.
Winx’s winning streak currently sits at 22, three short of Black Caviar’s unbeaten run, and she’s scheduled to resume in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 17.
She’s won the past two renewals of the weight-for-age race, as well as the past two Chipping Norton and George Ryder Stakes.
Waller is still keeping his options open on an international trip but gave a strong indication she’ll be in Sydney to headline The Championships and chase successive Queen Elizabeth Stakes.