An absolutely amazing day of racing in Australia yesterday, as numerous graded and listed races featured at Randwick and Flemington, with full fields. Honestly, why can American tracks put on more days like these, which are the dreams of both horseplayers and fans alike? Among the highlights:
• Jockey Craig Newitt winning the G1 Australian Guineas on Heart of Dreams, just days before his 24th birthday and funeral for his father. Very touching.
• Trainer Gai Waterhouse’s excellent mare Tuesday Joy toyed with and then easily put away a quality field (featuring, among others, the most recent Melbourne Cup winner) to win the G1 Chipping Norton. Next on her agenda? March 28’s G1 Dubai Duty Free.
• Little filly extraordinaire Romneya (close relation to Friesan Fire) was just nosed out by her stablemate Portillo in the G2 Surround, a race that featured 23 runners.
• 5-year-old mare Hot Danish carried 135 lbs—giving away 16-18 lbs to her 9 rivals who included G1-placed and G2 winning mares—and won going away in the Wiggle Quality. She’s now won 10 of 14 races.
Topping it all, though, was the overall performances put in by the progeny and descendents of Scenic, grandson of Foolish Pleasure. His son Scenic Blast won the G1 Newmarket (6f), and will next travel abroad to challenge the Royal Ascot carnival in June. Through his daughters, Scenic also enjoyed victories by Niconero in the G1 Australian Cup (10f) and Kirvinsky in the listed Security Stakes (5.5f), and a narrow second-place finish by Von Costa de Hero in the G1 Australian Guineas (8f). Combined with son Coniston Bluebird’s victory in the G1 New Zealand Derby earlier in the week, the now-deceased Scenic (2005) is undergoing a renaissance in Australia, having sired champion sprinters and routers, as his son Viewed won the 2-mile Melbourne Cup last November. (Superfecta has an excellent post about the unique situation and drama surrounding Coniston Bluebird's win, as well as comment about Scenic)