Like father, like son for sprint star and sire

jgsetjx3x-nicconi-1Nature Strip's brilliant victory in Saturday's G1 Black Caviar Lightning S. a race Nicconi won 11 years ago, served as a reminder of the best virtues of both horses as the reigning Australian Racehorse of the Year continues to enhance the reputation of both himself and his sire.

It had been 17 years since a Lightning S. winner has been sired by another horse that has won the race - in that case Regimental Gal, whose sire was the 1998 winner General Nediym.

The sense of connection between Nicconi and Nature Strip is only strengthened by the fact that among his five top-flight victories, the Chris Waller-trained 6-year-old has now won the same two Group 1 races Nicconi won in his own comparatively short career, the Lightning and The Galaxy.

While the circumstances of their respective Lightning S. victories were quite different, with Nicconi charging down the outside to nab Wanted late in 2010, while Nature Strip held off a late challenge from stablemate September Run (Exceed And Excel) on Saturday, the end result was quite similar, with the former running 57.12s for the 1000 metres and Nature Strip 56.91s.

Widden Stud, which secured Nicconi after his Lightning S. win, has kept a very close eye on Nature Strip as he has evolved into a flagbearer for his stallion and principal Antony Thompson sees the parallels in both racing careers.

"Nature Strip, being a gelding, has raced on, but there are plenty of similarities in the race record. Both horses were able to not only win the Lightning, but also The Galaxy as well. He was a high-class sprinter Nicconi, and a very good-looking horse. I guess, Nature Strip ticks those boxes as well. The difference was that Nicconi was off to stud at the end of his 4-year-old season, unlike Nature Strip who has continued to race on," he told TDN AusNZ.

Pippie set to light up Chairman's Sale

pippieFlying mare Pippie (Written Tycoon), a winner the G1 Oakleigh Plate and G1 Moir S. in 2020, will be one of the star attractions at the 2021 Inglis Chairman’s Sale in May.

Pippie's owners, Heran Racing, are preparing to sell her after her autumn campaign which is targeted towards the G1 Black Caviar Lightning S. at Flemington and the G1 The Galaxy at Rosehill.

As a multiple Group 1-winning mare by one of Australia's hottest stallions and with a pedigree completely free of Danehill (USA), Pippie is set to create a huge buzz when she goes through the sales ring at Riverside Stables on May 7.

The 5-year-old chestnut mare has claimed the scalps of some of Australia's best sprinters in a 13-start career for John and Chris Meagher which has featured six wins.

Her all-the-way victory in last year's Oakleigh Plate announced her a star mare with Bivouac (Exceed And Excel), ranked as the world's equal leading sprinter of 2020, fifth in that race.

She followed that win up with another barrier-to-post success in the Moir S. at Moonee Valley in the spring, beating Group 1 winners Trekking (Street Cry {Ire}) and Bella Vella (Commands).

“She is a spectacular mare who is up there with the fastest racehorses in the world and she is a delight to have around in terms of her relaxed nature and temperament," Managing owner Glenn Heran said.

Newgate buys into Inglis Millennium favourite Profiteer

profiteerNewgate has purchased into top 2-year-old prospect and current $2 million R. Listed Inglis Millennium favourite Profiteer (Capitalist) in a deal with Roll The Dice Racing.

It’s a deal which has echoes of the one Newgate completed to secure now promising stallion and 2016 G1 Blue Diamond S. winner Extreme Choice, with Managing Director Henry Field looking to finalise the list of investors in Profiteer in the coming days.

Profiteer, who is trained by Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr, has had just one start, an impressive debut win at Flemington over 1100 metres in December, but that and a strong trial performance at Rosehill last Wednesday were enough to convince Newgate to invest in a majority share of the Capitalist colt, with a view to his long-term value of a prospective stallion.

"We've bought into the horse on a very similar deal structure to what we did with Extreme Choice. We’ve bought him at base price that is similar to what a high-profile yearling colt would make, with a bonus built in if he goes on and wins a Group 1 race," Field told TDN AusNZ.

"We work closely with (form analyst) Daniel O'Sullivan, and every year I ask him to find a 2-year-old colt that we can buy into prior to the Diamond and the Slipper. We have bid on three or four over the past few years and the only one we got was Extreme Choice.

"Profiteer ran a huge rating of over 100 on debut at Flemington, and it's very rare for a 2-year-old to do that on Daniel's ratings and that put him on our radar."

According to O'Sullivan's ratings, Profiteer ran 100.5 on debut. The only 2-year-old to produce a better rating at Flemington over the 1100 metres in the past five years was subsequent Group 1 winner Microphone, who did it at his third start.

Single-minded approach secures two million-dollar colts

lot-612notasingledoubtausonemorehoneyA desire to secure the best colts from the final crops of Not A Single Doubt has seen Tony Fung Investments and Phoenix Thoroughbreds go to seven figures for two of his sons on the third day of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

The G1 Golden Slipper-winning partnership of Tony Fung Investments and Phoenix Thoroughbreds have doubled down on their faith in Slipper winner Farnan's sire, Not A Single Doubt, going to $1.8 million to secure one colt, Lot 612, and $1 million for Lot 529.

The partnership is clearly the Sale's leading buyer, spending $9.385 million on 13 lots across the first three days, with $5.19 million of that going on six sons of Not A Single Doubt.

It was Phoenix Thoroughbreds' founder Amer Abdulaziz who did the bidding online to secure the day's top lot, who is out of Group 2 winner One More Honey (Onemorenomore), and was offered by Emirates Park.

Shane McGrath, who is co-ordinating the Fung/Phoenix bidding in the Sale, said it was no surprise that both partners were a fan of the now pensioned Arrowfield Stud stallion.

High-class sprinter brings his A-game to land Lightning

nature-stripNature Strip (Nicconi) is a mercurial character and he was in the right mood at Flemington to show off his sparkling sprinting talent to lead home a Chris Waller-trained quinella in the G1 Black Caviar Lightning.

Blessed with abundant ability, Nature Strip can be an enigma at times but at his best he is an outstanding short course performer and he proved that on Saturday with a superb first-up display to defeat a field with 11 Group 1 victories between them.

The 6-year-old was given a sweet ride by the in-form Jamie Kah and added a fifth top-flight title to his record at the expense of his stablemate September Run (Exceed And Excel), who displayed the enthusiasm of youth to get within 0.5l at the post.

Nature Strip was sent out a short-priced favourite in this event 12 months ago and finished a disappointing fourth behind Gytrash (Lope De Vega {Ire}), but that was banished from memory with a powerhouse sprinting display.

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