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News In Brief

21 April 2017, 3:33 p.m.

Vela colt moves into Guineas contention

The Sir Peter Vela-owned Eminent has staked an impressive claim for Group One honours in the English 2000 Guineas in a fortnight’s time.

The son of Frankel boosted his classic prospects overnight when he won the Gr.3 Craven Plate at Newmarket to remain unbeaten after two appearances.

Trained by Martyn Meade, Eminent was making his first start since his first-up win in September.

“I've always liked him,” champion jockey Jim Crowley said. “When he won his maiden here last year he was very impressive.

“He's a high-class horse and there'll be no problems with him getting further. He'll improve again for the run and hopefully he keeps going forward.”

Eminent is now the shortest-priced English-trained colt for the Guineas at 8-1.


NZ-owned stayer ready for second Cup tilt

The Chance To Dance team believe their recent acquisition is in good touch for take two of the $A2million Gr.1 Sydney Cup at Randwick on Saturday.

“He seems bright and happy enough and we haven’t done much with him, he’s fit enough,” said Jamie Richards, who trains the son of Teofilo with Stephen Autridge.

“He had a nice gallop on Tuesday morning and Christian Reith came in and rode him and he’ll be on him on Saturday.”


Change to top colt’s Australian programme

An abandoned domestic meeting prompted New Zealand Group One winner Heroic Valour’s early arrival in Australia.

“He’s going to run in the Gold Coast Guineas on May 6 and he was going to have a gallop between races at Taupo, but when they were called off we decided to get him over here,” said co-trainer Jamie Richards from Sydney.

“He’s going to have a trial at Hawkesbury on Monday and then head up to Brisbane on Wednesday with Shocking Luck.

“We were looking at the Doomben 10,000 as his main aim, but they’ve changed the programming and that’s now on a week after the Gold Coast Guineas.

“As long as he’s going up to expectations, he’ll run in the Group One on May 27.”

The race in question is the Darley Kingsford Smith Cup over 1300 metres, formerly known as the BTC Cup.

The Gr.1 Queensland Derby on June 10 is the main aim of Heroic Valour’s travelling partner Shocking Luck.

“He’ll kick off at Ipswich on May 1 and then on to the Rough Habit Plate and the Grand Prix,” Richards said.


Lowry has faith in Tommy

Eight-year-old gelding Tommy Tucker is the South Island’s highest-rated galloper and will be out to snare his first Group victory in Saturday’s Gr.3 Coca-Cola Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m) at Riccarton.

The Brian and Shane Anderton-trained veteran has been a model of consistency and has notched four Listed victories among his 14 career wins, including an easy last start win in the Christchuch Casino Easter Cup under top weight of 60 kilos.

“My only real concern was the track last start,” regular rider Jacob Lowry said.  “I thought he was much better than the rest of the field and obviously, he proved it.

“Unfortunately in the South Island you get penalised for consistency and he is rated 104.

“I think the weight-for-age conditions on Saturday will suit this horse down to the ground and I don’t see the step up to 2000m being a problem.”