LUCCIOLA Belle became the Mid-North Coast Racing Association’s representative in the Newhaven Park Country Championships Final, after a thrilling finish in the Port Macquarie qualifier recently.
Lucciola Belle ($10) nudged out Texas Storm ($60), with local favourite and last year’s The Kosciuszko placegetter, Awesome Pluck, finishing in third place.
A five-year-old mare by Vinery Stud’s reliable sire Casino Prince, Lucciola Belle gives Taree conditioner Wayne Wilkes his first Country Championship Finals starter, an event scheduled on the first day of Randwick’s The Championships extravaganza of racing on April 6.
While not having a Country Championships qualifying runner, Port Macquarie trainer Marc Quinn had an impressive winner, when hot favourite Gumshoe won the Schweppes Country Class Two Plate.
A first crop son of Widden Stud’s handsome Snitzel stallion Shamus Award, Gumshoe has already repaid his $27,000 Inglis Scone Yearling Sale purchase price with prizemoney from two wins to his owners.
Awesome Pluck’s defeat may see the gelded son of Vinery Stud’s shuttler Pluck, being a likely starter in the Country Championships Wildcard qualifier at Muswellbrook on March 24.
Albury conditioner Donna Scott scored her biggest payday on Saturday, when her mare Bennelong Dancer won the $150,000 Southern District’s Country Championship Qualifier on her home track.
By the Greta West Stud (Victoria) based Master Of Design, Bennelong Dancer defeated Wayne Carroll’s Lady Mironton (by Al Maher) and Forever Newyork for third.
A winner of five races by Manhattan Rain, Forever Newyork is prepared by Gary Colvin at Wagga Wagga who had two runners in the event.
His other runner was three-time winner Tully Toff (by Toorak Toff).
Scone trainer Cameron Crockett is likely to have a representative in the Central District Racing Association’s qualifying race at Mudgee on Sunday. Racing will be the afternoon’s feature, but the Mudgee Race Club has also organised fashions on the field competition and a band after the last, similar to the Goulburn and District Racing Club, with the South-East Racing Association’s qualifying event on the previous day.
Meanwhile, Wyong trainer Kim Waugh gained two “tickets” in the Provincial Championships Final at Randwick, when her two entrants Safado and Spring Charlie finished first and second at the Hawkesbury qualifying race on Sunday. By Lonhro, Safado has had three wins from five starts.
Winner of five races, Spring Charlie will have a large country cheer squad as the Myboycharlie galloper was bred and raced by a number of Dubbo district enthusiasts including Colleen and Peter Dwyer and Peter Whealy.
I Am Invincible features in Perth
Teamed with Pearce Racing, leading Perth bloodstock agent John Chalmers saw value in an I Am Invincible colt when paying top price of $260,000 at the Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale recently.
A half-brother to three black type horses, the colt was one of two I Am Invincible youngsters offered in the 310 strong catalogue.
While Arrowfield Stud champion stallion Snitzel is $6 million ahead in Australia’s leading sires list for earnings this season, I Am Invincible continues to vie for the top spot. Yarraman Park's I Am Invincible leads Snitzel for wins and winners this season, and is on his tail for the leading Australian sire of two-year-olds by earnings.
While there are numerous Snitzel sons at stud, there is a younger bunch of I Am Invincible sons now at stud, including Brazen Beau (represented with two-year-olds), Super One (now yearlings), and the younger Hellbent, Overshare and Kobayashi.
I Am Invincible will have 10 representatives at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale (March 3-6), one at the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale (March 12-13) and 31 listed at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale in April.
Promising first crop of juveniles racing this season by Western Australian sire Safeguard, must have influenced some buyers. One of the stallion's fillies topped Perth's Book Two session, bringing $60,000. By Exceed And Excel, Safeguard has had two winners and a placegetter in Perth this season, including $200,000 earner Miss West Coast.