Snitzel’s Daughter Away Game wins the Magic Millions 2YO Classic.

AwayGame-MM-Classic-HomePageChampion sire Snitzel affirmed his status as a big-race stallion when his daughter Away Game raced away with Saturday’s $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic 1200m RL.

A last-start stakeswinner, the Maher & Eustace-trained filly was among several well-qualified runners who started at long odds in a competitive field, but at the business end of the race only Arrowfield graduate Stellar Pauline (by Not A Single Doubt) came within two lengths of her.

Nature Strip again shows his talent on the clock withDarley Sprint Classic victory providing a career-highlight

nature-stripNature Strip (Nicconi) proved himself as the fastest horse in Australia with  his  brilliant  win  in the Darley Sprint Classic (registered as VRC Sprint Classic) (Gr 1, 1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.

“He was airborne, floating across the ground,” jockey James McDonald said later. After featuring in this column on numerous occasions  for  his  efforts  on  the  clock,  Nature Strip showed the benefit of his time in the Chris Waller  stable  this  year  in  providing a career-highlight on Saturday.

Since joining the leading stable in February, Waller and regular rider  McDonald have    attempted to achieve the seemingly impossible in  getting  Nature  Strip to settle and  use  his  brilliant speed in a more effective way. And while he still  went  about  pursuing  his  front-running  role,  McDonald did  manage to get Nature Strip through a reasonably  docile first 200 metres before lifting the tempo to a very quick pace before dashing clear to win by three and a quarter lengths in a time of 1:09.23.

Overseas trip for Nature Strip?

naturestrip-darley-sprintclassicNext year's plans for Nature Strip will be decided shortly but there is a fair chance Australia's fastest horse will get to show himself off overseas.

The Darley Sprint Classic winner is cooling his jets following last Saturday's thrashing of the best available sprinters in the land, as his ownership group prepares to digest 2020 options for what it believes is a once-in-a-lifetime horse.

Despite being the third favourite in some markets, Nature Strip won't be going to next month's Hong Kong Sprint as he hasn't been vaccinated but a decision on where the speedster goes next is, part-owner Rod Lyons says, promises to be a pleasurable task for connections.

Castelvecchio rates with Autumn

castelvecchiocoxplateCastelvecchio has been rated on par with The Autumn Sun for his three-year-old spring deeds, with the colt gaining a 120 world rating in the latest update for his second placing in the Cox Plate.

Castelvecchio's 120 ranking in the Longines World Best Horse Rankings places him equal with The Autumn Sun for his 2018 Caulfield Guineas victory but behind Sepoy (123 in 2011) and So You Think (122 in 2009) for spring three-year-olds over the past decade.

Such world recognition was well received by Castelvecchio's trainer Richard Litt on Friday but the Warwick Farm-based horseman said the colt's climb up the world rankings has not peaked.

He said the Rosehill Guineas and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the autumn were major targets for the Dundeel colt, who he expects to stamp himself a star.

Nature tears a strip off sprint rivals with blistering display

nature strp 3Nature Strip was at his brilliant best in the Darley-sponsored feature with an outstanding front-running display with trainer Chris Waller, jockey James McDonald and connections in exuberant moods.

The 5-year-old left five Group 1 winners gasping in his wake and longer-term thoughts immediately turned to a trip across to the other side of the racing world.

“That was pretty special, 3l in front and going well. It was good to watch that last 100 metres.” Waller said.

“The team are keen to get to Royal Ascot in June and there will be a few races before then.”

    “The team are keen to get to Royal Ascot in June and there will be a few races before then.” – Chris Waller

One obvious Group 1 summer target would be the weight-for-age Lightning S. back over the 1000 metre course at Flemington in February.

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