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19 Jan 2018Smart Patch - Race Images
Smart Patch

Race Images

A pair of talented Wexford Stables performers, one proven and the other potentially heading for higher honours, may be heading offshore.

Group victor Sweet Leader and the impressive debutant winner Smart Patch are both owned in Hong Kong, the likely destination for their future racing.“At this stage, Sweet Leader is heading up there,” said Andrew Scott, who trains in partnership with Lance O’Sullivan whose brother Paul will take over the next stage of the four-year-old’s career.“If he performs like we know he can in Hong Kong then it’s good for Paul, for us and for the owner.”

Sweet Leader has won three of his seven starts, including last season’s Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa.This term, he finished sixth when resuming and then gave an excellent account of himself when fifth in the Gr.1 Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day. The son of O’Reilly was caught in the worst part of a track that had been downgraded to a Slow 8.“His run was full of merit,” Scott said. “He drew one and the advantage was clearly closer to the outside rail.”

Smart Patch is raced by Yeung Kin-Man and he was one of three winners at Matamata last week for the Hong Kong-based billionaire following early successes with Jewel Of Patch and Wisdom Patch.Yeung is the founder and chairman of Biel Crystal Manufactory, which makes glass covers for smartphones, tablets and watches and supplies, among others, Apple and Samsung. The company has more than 120,000 employees.

Smart Patch created a lasting impression on debut when he overcame a tardy start to win by a widening five lengths over 1100m.“He had been working like he was going to perform very well and his trials had also been encouraging,” Scott said.“His last 600m was pretty fast and the manner in which he quickened was really very good. There’s a possibility he may go straight to Hong Kong now.” – NZ Racing Desk 
14 Jan 2018Strapping juvenile Wisdom Patch has earned himself an outing in black type company.

The son of Snitzel produced a dominant front-running performance to win Thursday’s Baker Racing 1100m at Matamata with next month’s Listed Reid & Harrison Slipper (1200m) now a target.

“It was quite a good effort today after he did as much work as he did early and he really kicked well,” said Andrew Scott, who trains the two-year-old with Lance O’Sullivan.“He’s a lovely, big colt. He’s 16.3 hands so it’s all in front of him.”

Wisdom Patch was ridden aggressively early by Jake Bayliss to lead and they kicked clear 200m from home to score comfortable from Imelda Mary.
Memorable day for Apprentice-
14 Jan 2018
Taiki Yanagida  - Trish Dunell
Taiki Yanagida

Trish Dunel

Taiki Yanagida posted his first New Zealand winner at Matamata on Friday when he guided stable runner Jewel Of Patch to victory.The 24-year-old, who is apprenticed to Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott, combined with the stable runner for a memorable victory in the Ohukia Lodge 1400m.“It was a good ride from Taiki,” Scott said. “He let the horse finds its feet and rode patiently.“He’s a hard-working young fellow and hopefully this is the start of a long and successful career.”Originally from Matsudo in Japan, Yanagida has been with the stable for nearly a year.
Home grounding to serve exciting 3YO well
15 Dec 2017

Aero De Paris will continue to learn his trade in New Zealand ahead of a possible overseas career.

The Hong Kong-owned three-year-old is highly-rated by trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott, but is still very much a work in progress.

Aero De Paris Photo: Race Images

“He’s obviously got good ability and we just have to educate him along the way, we’ve always liked the horse a lot,” O’Sullivan said.

And it was easy to see why after Aero De Paris created a huge impression at Hastings on Thursday when he overcame a torrid run to break his maiden over 1400m under stable apprentice Sam Weatherley.

From an outside gate they were forced to race three off the fence without cover and, despite running wider on the home turn, the Tavistock gelding flattened out impressively in the run home.

“It was a very good performance,” O’Sullivan said. “I’m certainly not blaming Sam, but you don’t see many horses do what he did. With the trip he got he was entitled to drop right out.”

Aero De Paris was a $200,000 Karaka purchase out of Cambria Park’s 2016 draft for owner Daniel Yeung Ngai. He raced the multiple Group One-winning New Zealand-bred sprinter Aerovelocity out of the Hong Kong stable of O’Sullivan’s brother Paul.

“I said to Daniel that this horse can race for as much here as a three-year-old, the opportunities are better,” Lance O’Sullivan said.

“If he’s good enough for the Hong Kong Derby, which is what he was purchased for, there are far more chances here to get his rating up.”

From the family of the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner Prince Of Penzance, Aero De Paris holds a nomination for the Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) and is currently a $35 chance.

“Everybody with a three-year-old that looks like they can stay has that as a target and so do we,” O’Sullivan said. “He’s got all the ability, we just need to harness it.

“We’d like to give him another run around Ellerslie and the Karaka Million 3YO Classic is a race on the radar.” – NZ Racing Desk.

12 Dec 2017

Jake Bayliss’ impact on New Zealand racing went to another level at Ellerslie.

The Victorian arrived last month to principally ride for Michael Moroney and Pam Gerrard and their fellow Matamata trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott and the winners have subsequently flowed.

Bayliss was successful aboard the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) favourite Volpe Veloce in the Ray White NZ (1200m) on Saturday and he then broke through at black type level aboard Spring Heat in the Gr.3 Hynds Holdings Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m).

“This means the world to me, it doesn’t matter whether it’s in Australia or New Zealand - it’s a Group Three race,” he said.

Trained by O’Sullivan and Scott, Spring Heat bridged the gap from a last-start maiden win at Hawke’s Bay to trounce a smart field of three-year-olds.

The daughter of More Than Ready settled three back on the rail and once Bayliss angled her into the clear she quickly put paid to her opposition.

“I had to bide my time and she’s still very green, but when I gave her one around her backside she really knuckled down,” he said.

Spring Heat hit top gear 250m from home and bolted clear to beat Xbox, who did well after missing the start, and the pacemaker The Great Southern. Warm favourite Prom Queen raced outside the leader and boxed on fairly for fourth.

“I’ll talk to Lance and he’ll map out a plan, but the Eight Carat is probably the logical race,” Scott said.

“She got a bit lost turning for home and got to the middle of the track and really quickened. It’s really encouraging for the rest of the summer and the autumn.

“Jake’s got a wonderful work ethic and he deserves everything he gets.” – NZ Racing Desk.

Charles Road on Right Path-
07 Dec 2017 Loftier goals await one of last season’s better three-year-olds following a return to form at Pukekohe.  Charles Road bounced back to his best with a comprehensive defeat of a competitive Rating 85 line-up over 1600m on Wednesday to confirm plans to a future return to black type racing.

 “It’s really encouraging going into the summer months and some of the better mile races,” said Andrew Scott, who trains the gelding with Lance O’Sullivan. “Lance picked out this race some time ago and it’s good for the horse’s confidence, hopefully onwards and upwards now.”

 Charles Road won the Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) last term off the back of a solid run for sixth in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m). However, he failed to come up in the spring which Scott attributed to the weather and Charles Road’s age. “There were wet tracks and it’s not easy at that stage against the older horses,” he said.
Princess Rihanna Finds her Winning Groove-
07 Dec 2017

Quality three-year-old filly Princess Rihanna finally found her way back to the winner’s enclosure when she demolished a handy field of older horses in the rating 75 Dunstan Feeds 1500 Championship Qualifier (1400m) at Ellerslie.

 Successful on debut as a two-year-old, the Showcasing filly had failed to greet the judge in six subsequent appearances before Saturday’s contest. Those statistics fail to tell the whole story however, as the Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott trained runner had competed with distinction in rich company throughout her two-year-old campaign including running fourth in both the Listed Karaka Million (1200m) and the Gr. 1 Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes (1400m).

 A fresh-up third in the Gr. 3 Hawkes Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) was followed by an indifferent run for seventh in the Listed Partners Life Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) before she contested Saturday’s event.

Plagued by a tendency to begin slowly in her races, Princess Rihanna turned that form on its head as she bounced brilliantly from a midfield barrier to dispute the early speed before taking a sit in behind the leaders for rider Sam Weatherley. Weatherley took the initiative rounding the home bend as he dashed the filly to a clear lead from where she comfortably held her rivals at bay to win by a length and a quarter at the line.

 Co-trainer Andrew Scott admitted that things hadn’t quite gone to plan during the race. “Funnily enough we had talked about riding her back a bit seeing it was her first go against the older horses,” he said. “To his credit Sam took the initiative once she jumped so well and decided to put her in the fight early on which has worked out for us. “She showed a really nice turn of foot when he asked her to go which augurs well for what she has coming up.”

Plans before Saturday’s event had been to have the filly contest the Gr. 3 Lawnmaster Eulogy Stakes (1550m) at Awapuni on 16 December however Scott was keen to see how his charge came through the race before confirming that assignment. “Lance and I had talked about the Eulogy for her, but we will just have to wait and see how she pulls up before we make that commitment,” he said. “We will have a chat later in the week but her performance on Saturday does provide plenty of food for thought about how she might cope over a little more distance in her races.

“We’ve mainly thought she was a sprinting type, being quite a nuggety individual, but the way she relaxes does give you confidence she could get over further. "If they are going to do that sometimes it is when they are up against their own sex and age so there are plenty of opportunities coming up for her over the summer"- NZ Racing Desk  

Speedy colt makes early deposit-
07 Dec 2017

A hot start to Nirvana In Fire’s career has the precocious youngster on target for a crack at the country’s richest prize.

 The colt carried his trial form over to race day with a tidy front-running performance to bank the $6250 winning purse of Wednesday’s New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Pearl Series Race (1100m) at Pukekohe. Nirvana In Fire is eligible for next month’s Karaka Million (1200m) and will have another chance to secure a berth in the race with past years indicating around $10,000 in stakes earnings to be the entry level.

“We’ve got a few dollars and we’ll have to look for some more pretty quickly,” said part-owner Andrew Scott, who trains the chestnut with Lance O’Sullivan. “He needs to get familiar with Ellerslie so we’ll pick out one of the races at the carnival there for him.”

Nirvana In Fire won the start under rider Michael McNab to lead and, despite cornering a little awkwardly, he comfortably held another debutante in Scorch at bay in the run to the post. “He was a bit green turning for home, but it was encouraging the way he got away and he’s certainly going the right way.”

Nirvana In Fire had showed good improvement from his first trial, where he ran third at Te Awamutu, to his second last month at Cambridge where he also beat Scorch. “He got caught wide there and had to do it quite tough to get outside the leader,” Scott said. “He had an excuse to have run third or fourth, but he hit the line really well,” Scott said. “He’s built to run early and everything is indicating that he’s a fast-running type.”

Nirvana In Fire’s pedigree backs up that opinion as he is a son of Showcasing from the family of the Gr.1 Railway Handicap (1200m) winner Alynda. – NZ Racing Desk.

Autumn Wild ready for much-anticipated debut-
23 Nov 2017

There's no pressure on high-priced and beautifully-bred Snitzel filly Autumn Wild when she makes her debut in Saturday's Listed Ashford Lodge Stakes (1100m) at Pukekohe, says Matamata trainer Lance O'Sullivan.

O'Sullivan's Wexford Stables went to $750,000 to snare Autumn Wild at this year's Australian Easter Yearling Sale in Sydney, bought in partnership with Hermitage Thoroughbreds and Andrew Williams Bloodstock.

Lance O'Sullivan Photo: Trish Dunell Photography

Hermitage Thoroughbreds have enjoyed Group One success with O'Sullivan and his co-trainer Andrew Scott in the past 14 months through Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) winner Willie Cazals and Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) winner Summer Passage.

An impressive winner of her two trials at Te Awamutu then Cambridge, Autumn Wild is out of Regimental Gal, whose wins included the Gr.1 Lightning Stakes (1000m), Gr.1 Australia Stakes (1200m) and the Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m).

"She'll probably start one of the favourites and she has trialled really well but there's no expectation on her to win," O'Sullivan said.

"We bought her at the Sydney Easter sales for the same owners as Summer Passage and we'll build her up slowly. She'll take plenty of improvement out of this race. There will be a lot of upside with her with the outing but this is not her grand final.

"It races like a long 1100m at Pukekohe. If we hadn't drawn seven and had that wide barrier to contend with, we might have started at Te Rapa on Sunday."

Matamata-based Australian jockey Jake Bayliss takes the ride at Pukekohe in a two-year-old feature that features just the solitary race winner, the impressive five-length Otaki victor Pinot Grey.

Bayliss has been booked to ride She's A Thief in the Wentwood Grange Juvenile (1000m) at Te Rapa on Sunday, though that horse remains in the Pukekohe field.

She’s A Thief won her Cambridge trial impressively the same day as Autumn Wild and in a time similar to her and another Matamata-trained debutante, Bit Lippy. - NZ Racing Desk

18 Nov 2017
Sweet Leader (outer) claims the Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) - Trish Dunell Photography

His career has been a successful if stop-start one to date, but there is no denying his ability when he is at peak fitness.

The son of O’Reilly underwent wind operations either side of his impressive win in the Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) in April at his last appearance, the third success of his five-start career.

“He’s coming up really well and he’s looking good,” said Andrew Scott, who trains in partnership with Lance O’Sullivan. “We might kick him off in the Counties Bowl on November 25.”

Meanwhile, another lightly-tried Group winner has been freshened with Charles Road recently returning to Wexford Stables.

Last season’s Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m) winner failed to race up to expectations in three starts as a four-year-old.

“He didn’t come up as well as we had hoped in the spring and we found last year that his form got better when the weather warmed up,” Scott said.

“He’s had a couple of weeks off and he came back into the stable this week.”

Scott and O’Sullivan will have two runners at Te Awamutu on Wednesday and both rate as each-way prospects.

Rainbow Song finished a tidy sixth when resuming at Taupo over 1200m and he will contest the Cooper Naylor 1400m.

“He’s certainly improved in his coat and general appearance,” Scott said. “He’s a capable horse and Opie (Bosson) got off him at Taupo and said he’s going well and to step him up a little bit in distance.”

Mr Selfridge was a first-up fifth on the same day and he will strip a fitter horse for the Cal Isuzu 1400m.

“He’s also improved and again, getting up to 1400m will help him,” Scott said. – NZ Racing Desk.

18 Nov 2017
Sleeping Beauty - Trish Dunell

Sleeping Beauty has taken her unbeaten record for the season to the spelling paddock.

The five-year-old was untested when she successfully resumed at Te Awamutu in September before she romped home by six lengths at Ellerslie and ended her campaign with another runaway victory at Matamata.

The Sir Peter Vela-owned Sleeping Beauty now owns the tidy record of five wins and three placings from 10 starts to put her on the verge of black type company when she returns from a break.

“We decided to give her a spell now, she raced right through the winter as well so she’s done a really good job,” said Andrew Scott, who trains the daughter of Rip Van Winkle with Lance O’Sullivan.

“She wasn’t performing in training up to her usual high standards so she deserves a break.

“Sir Peter said she had done extremely well, she’s won her last four starts, and we all decided not to go to the well too often with her.

“It’s a good time for her to go to the paddock with the weather, hopefully, on the turn.”

Stablemate Vanilla Moon is another Rip Van Winkle mare who is winning her way toward higher honours.

“She’s fashioning a really good record as well,” Scott said. “Her performances have been encouraging and we think she can get through to black type level.”

Vanilla Moon has won four times from nine appearances, including two successes at Pukekohe Park and Taupo from her last three starts. – NZ Racing Desk.

18 Nov 2017
Sam Weatherley celebrates his 100th career winner on Kolonel Kev  - Race Images South

Sam Weatherley brought up his century of career wins on Wednesday aboard the former North Island galloper Kolonel Kev at Riccarton.

The champion apprentice claimed the Bidfood Butchery Premier (1400m) on Kolonel Kev, who was having his first start for local trainer Terri Rae after transferring from Lisa Latta’s Awapuni stable.

“I’m rapt, the horse gave me a great ride. He really brought his A-game,” Weatherley said. “It was a big goal to get 100 wins and I just want to keep riding more winners.”

Filly impresses at trials -
10 Nov 2017

Well-bred youngster Autumn Wild further emphasised she has inherited her share of the family ability with a dashing trial win at Cambridge on Wednesday.

The Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained filly buried her two-year-old rivals over 800m with a commanding front-running performance to score by a wide margin under rider Michael Coleman.

Lance O’Sullivan Photo: Trish Dunell Photography

“We haven’t done a lot with her, but she’s showing very good natural ability,” O’Sullivan said.

“We’ll look around for a nice race for her somewhere within the next month.”

Autumn Wild, who also won at last month’s Te Awamutu trials, is a daughter of Snitzel and the two-time Group One winner Regimental Gal. She was a A$750,000 Sydney purchase for Eugene Chuang under his Hermitage Thoroughbreds banner.

The Hong Kong-based owner also races the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) winner Summer Passage.

“He’s prepared to go out and spend a fair bit of money and he’s got some really nice horses,” O’Sullivan said.

Jake Bayliss also donned the Hermitage silks aboard Autumn Flash, another by Snitzel, and they came from the back of a small field in fine style to win the opening 630m juvenile heat. He is a half-brother to the stakes-winning Sassy ‘N’ Smart and was a A$600,000 yearling.

O’Sullivan and Scott showed they weren’t short of two-year-old talent with an unnamed son of Showcasing winding up late to win his 800m heat in the hands of Michael McNab. The colt was a $90,000 Karaka purchase and is a direct descendant of the Gr.1 Railway Handicap (1200m) winner Alynda. – NZ Racing Desk.

Sam Weatherley to attend UAE conference -
02 Nov 2017

Leading New Zealand apprentice Sam Weatherley will further his racing education in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, next week.

Weatherley, who will be accompanied by NZTR riding mentor Noel Harris, will attend the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) Training and Education Conference.

Weatherley will leave Auckland on Tuesday night, after riding at Ellerslie that day, and return on November 13.

The 18-year-old, who is apprenticed to Matamata trainer Lance O’Sullivan, was New Zealand’s leading apprentice last term, with 67 wins, and finished in the top 10 on the jockeys’ premiership.

He has also made a strong start to the new season. He is in second place on the national premiership and recorded the second black-type win of his career when successful on Grazia in the listed Christchurch Casino Spring Classic at Riccarton Park last weekend.

Weatherley will not have a race ride in Abu Dhabi but will participate in the jockey workshops, which will focus on video replay analysis, techniques for interacting with media and use of social media platforms. Expert advice will be provided by leading riding coaches from around the world.

The riders will also attend a race meeting at the Abu Dhabi Sports and Equestrian Club, with the racing programme including the World Apprentice Championship Final.

Weatherley had been invited to ride in a heat of the Sheikha Fatima World Apprentice Championship in Algiers last month but was unable to travel when his Algerian visa did not arrive in time.

Both Harris and Weatherley will participate in the Abu Dhabi conference and other topics on the agenda include healthier riders, career planning for jockeys and the IFHRA mentorship programmes.

Sleeping Beauty leads all the way for fourth straight win -
16 Oct 2017

Sam Weatherly extended his unbeaten record on Sleeping Beauty to four from four at Matamata today.

Sam Weatherly extended his unbeaten record on Sleeping Beauty to four from four at Matamata today.

Sleeping Beauty continued her impressive progress through the grades today with a fourth consecutive victory, winning her eagerly anticipated clash with Deals In Heels at Matamata with a convincing front-running performance.

The two highly rated mares came into today’s $30,000 Russell & Yvonne Green Memorial 1200 with a combined record of eight wins from 14 starts, and neither had tasted defeat since June.

Last season’s champion apprentice Sam Weatherley had his fourth ride on Sleeping Beauty this afternoon and maintained his perfect record on the Rip Van Winkle mare, guiding her to a fourth win.

Weatherley sent Sleeping Beauty straight to the head of the small but classy field, then slowed things up and gave her an easy time in front. Sleeping Beauty had plenty left in the tank as she rounded the home turn, and she kicked away stylishly to win by two and a half lengths.

Kitaya was second throughout the race and held that position to the finish, while Deals In Heels ran on from second-last to take third.

“She’s flying, this horse,” Weatherley said. “She just keeps stepping up and stepping up. There’s definitely a black-type race in her.

“She came back to me really nicely in front today and got some nice easy sectionals. She just keeps winning, and that’s all she can do.”

Sleeping Beauty is trained by Weatherley’s employers, local stable Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott, for owner-breeder Sir Peter Vela. The five-year-old has now had 10 starts for five wins and three seconds, earning $58,750 in prize-money.

“Sam rated her very well in front today and she got away with a couple of cheap sectionals,” O’Sullivan said.

“Her work on Tuesday morning was very, very good and she’s certainly gone to the next level. Her record is pretty good, she’s hardly ever been out of the first two, and I think she’s still got a wee way to go.

“We’re hoping to have a go at some black-type at some point – we’ll just have a look and see if we can find a suitable race, and discuss it with Garry (Cossey, Pencarrow racing manager) and take it from there.”

The 1200 metres were run in 1:13.24 on a rapidly improving Slow8 track that is bordering on an upgrade.

Focus back on Coolmore for Kiwi colt -
12 Oct 2017

A horror gate has delayed Summer Passage’s quest for an Australian Group One title.

Connections were dealt a blow when the Matamata-trained colt was allotted the outside gate for Saturday’s Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and following due diligence they have decided to bypass the $A2 million feature.

Summer Passage Photo: Trish Dunell Photography

“It’s just too hard from out there in a race like that,” said Lance O’Sullivan, who prepares the son of Snitzel with Andrew Scott.

“I spoke with his owner and he’s obviously disappointed, but understood how tough it would be so we’re going back to our original plan.”

Raced by the Hong Kong-based Eugene Chuang under his Hermitage Thoroughbreds banner, Summer Passage will now run in the Gr.3 Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield next Wednesday as a lead in to the Gr.1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 4.

“He’s got a good record over the shorter distances so we don’t think it’s a problem and Hugh Bowman will be riding him in the Blue Sapphire,” O’Sullivan said.

“I’ve spoken with Andrew, who’s over there, and the horse is really well. He’s kicking his heels up and feeling fantastic.”

Summer Passage ran eighth in the Gr.2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) in his three-year-old debut before a last-start second in the Gr.3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).

The colt won last season’s Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) and was runner-up in the Gr.1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m). – NZ Racing Desk.

Weatherley off to Algeria
11 Oct 2017

Weatherley off to Algeria

Last season’s leading apprentice jockey Sam Weatherley will be flying out to Algeria after his rides at Matamata on Saturday to compete in the HH. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak World apprentice championship.

The Matamata rider, apprenticed to Lance O’Sullivan, will be the first New Zealand jockey to compete in the series after New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) was welcomed into the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA).

Sam Weatherley Photo: Trish Dunell Photography

“In February, New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing was accepted as a member of IFHRA, which is run out of Abu Dhabi by the Sheik Mansoor Racing Festival,” NZTR Education and Training Consultant Chris Watson said.

“There are 50 countries in IFHRA, including the British Racing School, Racing Ireland, the South African Jockey Academy and Racing Victoria. By becoming a member, New Zealand was eligible to be invited into the World Series.

“They have 10 races across the world and this is the first one we (New Zealand) have been invited to.”

It will be a hit and run mission for Weatherley, who will compete in just the one race in the North African country.

“I’ll ride at the races at Matamata on Saturday and fly out to Algeria on Saturday night,” Weatherley said. “We get in on Sunday their time and race on Monday. We’ll then fly back to New Zealand on Tuesday.”

Weatherley will be accompanied by national riding mentor Noel Harris.

“It’s good to have Noel come over with me,” he said. “It’s a long way over there, so it’s good to have someone to go with.

“It will be a great experience and I am looking forward to it. It will be good to ride against some of the best apprentices from around the world.”

As part of the world series, Weatherley has also been invited to Abu Dhabi next month, however he will need to win his race in Algeria in order to qualify for the World Series final.

“He will still be invited to Abu Dhabi no matter what,” Watson said. “But if he wins in Algeria he will ride in the final in Abu Dhabi in November.

“They will also have workshops for apprentice jockeys and the top riding instructors from around the world will be conducting workshops.” – NZ Racing Desk.

Summer Passage confirmed for Caulfield Guineas - The Informant (Dennis Ryan)
03 Oct 2017


Second place by Summer Passage in the Guineas Prelude at Caulfield yesterday was enough to convince connections to go ahead with plans to run in the A$2 million Caulfield Guineas on Saturday week.

The Lance O’Sullivan/Andrew Scott-trained three-year-old set the pace in the 1400-metre race before going down by a length to fellow Snitzel colt Perast, who had tracked him in the run. Lonhro colt Kementari finished third after racing in that position throughout.

“It was very much an on-pace sort of race and we were well pleased with how he went,” O’Sullivan told “That was just his second start this prep and the winner was having his fifth run for the season.

“He still had some improvement in him and he had a bit of a blow afterwards, so it should set him up nicely for the Guineas.

“Our option was to freshen him for the Coolmore Stakes over 1200metres at Flemington, but his rider Mark Zahra said if he managed a strong 1400 metres around Caulfield, he’ll be right for the step up to 1600 metres.”

Meanwhile current domestic stable star Sleeping Beauty, who completed a hat-trick with an easy win over 1200 metres at Ellerslie on Saturday, is likely to run next on her home track on Saturday week.

The Rip Van Winkle four-year-old had made impressive progress in the past two months, beginning with midweek wins at Matamata and Te Awamutu before the step up Rating 75 feature level on the weekend.

“I think she’s got it in her to win at black-type level,” O’Sullivan said, “but the only options in the near future are weight-for-age.

“She handles wet ground well but she showed good form on ground with just the jar out of it in the autumn, so we’ll let her keep working her way through the grades and see where it takes her.

“There’s a Rating 85 sprint here on Matamata Cup day, which looks pretty much ideal at this stage.”

Sleeping Beauty strolls home at Ellerslie -
03 Oct 2017

Promising mare Sleeping Beauty enhanced her burgeoning reputation when she strolled to victory at Ellerslie.

The Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott trained five-year-old completed a hat-trick of victories as she registered her fourth win from just nine starts in the Swiss Belsuites 1200.

Sleeping Beauty Photo: Kirstin Ledington
(Trish Dunell Photography)

Sent out a warm favourite against her six rating 75 rivals, the Rip Van Winkle mare never looked in danger of defeat as she assumed control early in the run home after stalking the speed set by the free-going Rich Billie Marsh. Rider Sam Weatherley shot the mare clear as she dominated the chasing pack in the run home, easing down in the last 100 metres to register a comfortable six length victory on the testing Heavy 11 rated surface.

“She is in a purple patch of form and couldn’t have gone any better,” Weatherley reported after the race.

“She just loves these wet tracks and keeps improving every time.”

Weatherley was also of the opinion that the mare wouldn’t be out of place in better company as her campaign continues.

“I do think there are bigger and better things to come with her,” he said.

“I think she has a decent chance of getting some black type, maybe in a race like the weight-for-age 1200 metre race at Rotorua if she could make the field.

“She is just flying.”

Weatherley was referring to the Gr. 3 Lion Red Plate that will be run at Arawa Park on 21 October as the feature event on the day. – NZ Racing Desk 

Colt booked for Prelude -
20 Sep 2017

Summer Passage will make his next Australian appearance in the Gr.3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on October 1.

“After that we will make the decision as to whether he goes to the Caulfield Guineas or the Coolmore,” said Lance O’Sullivan, who trains the Group One winner with Andrew Scott.

Summer Passage finished a close eighth in Saturday’s Gr.2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.

“The run was a lot better than it looked,” O’Sullivan said. “He was a bit lost down the straight and Mark Zahra had to take a hold of him when that other horse fell.

“He’s come through the race very well and he will improve with it.”

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