Melbourne Cup on radar for Junior
Kiwi import Daqiansweet Junior will go for a break before preparing for the spring after a stellar campaign for Pakenham trainer Phillip Stokes that concluded with a game third placing in Saturday’s Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
The four-year-old son of Sweet Orange was purchased by OTI Racing out of the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman stable for whom he was a multiple winner and Group Three placed in New Zealand.
Transferred to Stokes mid last year, Daqiansweet Junior has come a long way since finishing fifth in a BenchMark 64 at Moe in his first start from his new quarters.
The gelding has gone on to win five of his nine starts for Stokes and proved he can stay two miles when winning the Gr.2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) last month.
Despite being trapped deep on Saturday, Daqiansweet Junior was one of the few horses on the card to make ground when finishing into third in the Sydney Cup won by pacemaker Knights Order.
“He’s done us proud and he just keeps improving and ran really well on Saturday,” Stokes said.
“He runs the trip, there's no problems there, and he can go in any conditions.
“We’ll take him home now. We’re going to have a lot of fun with him over the spring and who knows, let's dream towards the Melbourne Cup (Gr.1, 3200m).”
Named after a Chinese actor, Daqiansweet Junior has won A$617,142 in prizemoney and looks a stayer of the future.
Group Two performer Familia has been retired.
The Lance Noble-trained mare finished her career on a high when winning her final race at Avondale earlier this month.
The victory was her fourth in 24 raceday appearances, adding to her eight placings, including the Gr.2 Westbury Classic (1400m), Gr.3 Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) and Listed Hallmark Stud Handicap (1200m).
Noble said she had done a good job for breeder-owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay of Cambridge Stud, and would now head to the broodmare paddock ready for an early service in the spring.
“We have retired Familia. She did a great job. She had been in work a long time and that race at Avondale was a nice win,” Noble said.
“There wasn’t a lot left for her and she was going to be bred next season anyway, so we thought why not retire her on a winning note?
“She has retired fit and healthy and I am looking forward to seeing some of her foals come through the stable.”
While her spring mating has yet to be decided, Noble said Cambridge Stud stallion Almanzor would be a good choice.
“She isn’t very big and he puts a bit of size into his progeny,” Noble said.
Running Glory Joao Moreira’s 100th win for the season
Accelerating a push for a fifth jockeys’ championship, Joao Moreira surged to a century of winners in a Hong Kong season for the seventh time with a double at Sha Tin on Sunday when exciting New Zealand bred Running Glory swept home in the Class 3 Sha Lo Wan Handicap (1800m) for trainer John Size.
“It’s nice to hit that mark – fantastic,” Moreira said.
Moreira was especially delighted to reach his latest century aboard Running Glory.
“He’s such a genuine horse. He tries so hard so, honestly, it’s not a surprise that he won today,” he said.
“He had a beautiful run through the race and he needed just a little bit of luck on him. I’m just a lucky boy to be steering him.”
Running Glory was purchased by Patrick Payne for $70,000 from Wentwood Grange’s 2019 Book 1 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales draft and won a trial at Tatura prior to his export to Hong Kong, where he has won four of seven starts.
Running Glory was bred by the Hawkins family of Wentwood Grange under their Llanhennock Trust banner.
The Hawkins also bred and sold his multiple Group One winning sire Kermadec, with Running Glory out of the stakes-placed Dubawi mare Hannah Mary.