Star gallopers acknowledged


TAR Scone mare Ortensia and Gosford’s powerhouse sprinter Hay List have won prestigious NSW awards.

The pair were among the list of winners at the NSW Racehorse Owners Association’s Racing’s Night Of Champions awards at Rosehill last night.

Paul Messara’s mare Ortensia was named country horse of the year for her group1 form around the world.

Hay List from the John McNair stable at Somersby was named provincial horse of the year for the second year on a row.

■ Gosford Racecourse manager Steve Scollard has been recruited to help out at Newcastle Jockey Club’s Broadmeadow course.

Acting NJC course manager Lee Murrell, who took over when David Patrick retired, has been on sick leave and this week accepted a redundancy package.

Management have planned a meeting for Monday afternoon to discuss matters with racing manager John Curtis as their restructuring at management level continues.

‘‘Lee has decided to accept a redundancy package,’’ NJC chairman Geoff Barnett said yesterday.

‘‘We have asked Steve Scollard for a hand until we have a new course manager appointed. The applications for that position close tomorrow [today].

‘‘The new Pro-Ride training track should be finished by the end of the month.’’

■ Newcastle syndicators Australian Bloodstock could be set to make a huge windfall by selling two of their stars.

The locally based company are in negotiations for the sale of their German Oaks winner Salomina.

The company, which is headed by Jamie Lovett and Luke Murrell, may also sell highly promising Broadmeadow galloper Beaufort Gyre to Singapore.

‘‘We are aiming Salomina at the Arc [Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France], but the way the interest is in her since her group1 win we might be out of her before the big race,’’ Lovett said.

‘‘The win in the German Oaks has made her one of the most sought-after horses in Europe.

‘‘It may be a case of not that we want to sell her, but really we just have to take the big money on offer.’’

Beaufort Gyre, which won his last start at Broadmeadow by 12 lengths for Kris Lees, was due to start at Eagle Farm tomorrow.

‘‘We have scratched up north as we are just waiting on confirming that he will go to Singapore,’’ Lovett said.

‘‘He is a highly promising type but our business plan has been to turn over horses if an offer is favourable, and the money in Singapore is good.’’

Beaufort Gyre was picked out by Murrell at a Gold Coast sale after the horse was unloaded by Darley.

‘‘Luke liked him and we picked him up for $30,000,’’ Lovett said. ‘‘His win at Newcastle showed his true talent, and if the deal to Singapore did fall through then we would quite happily keep racing him.’’

Lovett said the company’s group1 winner Mawingo had ‘‘thrilled’’ with a trial effort in Victoria this week.

‘‘He will resume on September 8 in the Makybe Diva and then onto the Underwood on September 22.’’

■ Gosford Race Club chairman Michael Cusick and chief executive James Heddo paid a visit to Racing NSW on Wednesday to again discuss their master plan which involves work valued at between $7.5million and $10million dollars.

‘‘The meeting was planned but it also gave us a chance to reconfirm our commitment to the strategic working party which has just been formed to discuss racing on the Central Coast,’’ Heddo said.

‘‘Our master plan does involve a lot of money, but we are one of the few clubs that can commit a large amount of money to such a plan.

‘‘The plan includes lengthening the straight, drainage, cambering of the course, irrigation, infield car park and the joining of the grandstands.’’

As stated in Stable Talk on Monday, John Singleton has been enlisted by Racing NSW to head a task force to look into options for racing on the Central Coast, including the possible merger of Gosford and Wyong clubs and the building of a super course.

‘‘We will speak to John before the end of the month and then we will know more about what the working party are looking at here on the coast,’’ Heddo said.

■ Brilliant Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman made just his second trip to Cessnock racecourse on Tuesday to ride in seven trials.

The only other time he had been to Cessnock was when he took out the 2003 Jungle Juice Cup on Kid Millions.

He won the first trial on Ichihara for Wyong trainer Allan Denham and was also successful on Clayian for Brett Partelle. Bowman was also second on Uate in an open trial for Kris Lees.

■ Newcastle trainer Paul Perry was given little option but to start his flyer Social Rank first-up in black type company at Rosehill tomorrow.

Social Rank will run in the $100,000 listed Starlight Quality over 1100m chasing his fifth win from his past six starts.

‘‘He is right up to the mark in benchmark races now and there are not too many other options for a horse like him,’’ Perry said. ‘‘He trialled well and is looking great, but this is a hard task.

‘‘If it was 1000metres I would have said he would have had a better chance than the 1100m. But he has his chance to see if can measure up in this grade.

‘‘Of course if he did go well I suppose I do have in the back of my mind that the way to go would be to take him south for the spring. A sprint race at Moonee Valley might be his go.’’

■ Kris Lees is hoping the switch from apprentices to a senior rider will do the trick for Urgent Bells at Rosehill tomorrow.

At her past two runs she has been placed with claiming riders Sam Clipperton and Alysha Collett in the saddle.

Top jockey Hugh Bowman takes over in the Mounties Group Handicap, an $85,000 benchmark75 race over 1100m.

‘‘She is ultra consistent and hopefully Hughie [Bowman] might get her clear running which she hasn’t had at vital stages lately,’’ Lees said.

‘‘All I am hoping is that she just does not get bad luck in the run which backmarkers can do. It is a competitive race, but with the right run she is a definite chance.’’

■ Top Newcastle jockey Andrew Gibbons landed his first winner in Brisbane on Wednesday when he scored on Newborn in a handicap over 1000m at Eagle Farm.

Newborn collected $28,800 in first prizemoney and was a $7.50 chance for the race.

‘‘I rode a couple of winners in Queensland when I was an apprentice in places like Kilcoy but that was way back in 1996,’’ Gibbons said.

‘‘I have had a few rides in races like the Brisbane Cup but that was my first win in town up there and it was a thrill.

‘‘The mare is owned by Les Tinkler and trained by Wayne Wilkes and I have been riding her in her races.

‘‘Wayne said he was taking her to Brisbane and I said I was keen to stick with her. They stuck solid with me and she did a good job to carry 59kilos to win.

‘‘She showed she is right up to winning in a similar race up there again.’’

Gibbons has been in great form and started the new season with five wins in two weeks.

The Wilkes-Gibbons combination will be out for more success on Sunday when they combine with Nevzlin in the $60,000 Tare Cup over 2000m.

■ Promising Newcastle galloper A Bridge Too Far bled when a short-priced favourite and suffered heart arrhythmia at Gosford yesterday.

The Kris Lees horse is out for three months.

Darren Smith’s smart sprinter California Storm returned to top form leading all the way over 1000m.

She has failed recently but those runs were on heavy tracks, and she is obviously a dry-track performer.

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