Peter Tonkes

Helenus Takes Australian Guineas

Caulfield Guineas Day was headlined by the Sunline-Lonhro contest which followed 45 minutes later, but the 122nd running of the $1 million (Australian funds) Guineas (Aust-I) also produced a grand contest, and one in which the runner-up also deserved to share the victory dais.

Lonhro Defeats Sunline in Cox Plate Prep

Caulfield Guineas Day was D-Day for Sunline. The scheduled grand final for the grand dame of Australian racing was an attempt to win a third W.S. Cox Plate (Aust-I) 14 days later, but a less than stellar performance would see her fabulous career ended early, if that can be a said of a mare still galloping about professionally at seven.

Defier Bests Sunline in George Main Stakes

The George Main Stakes (Aust-I) was a contest pitting an ageing queen against young and ambitious princes. That the one by Dehere was long ago gelded and has just turned five seemed to make little difference, except the odd bit of hand-wringing by breeders sorry to see such an obvious opportunity slip by.

Northerly Defends Underwood Stakes Title

Northerly became the first horse in 40 years to successfully defend an Underwood Stakes (Aust-I) at Caulfield on Sept. 22. And after his head defeat of Magical Miss, handler Fred Kersley hinted that the 6 year-old grandson of Nijinsky II might eschew a defense of the W.S. Cox Plate (Aust-I) on Oct. 26.

Cummings Has Decision After Magical Miss Wins

Magical Miss left trainer Bart Cummings with a dilemma after her wonderful weight-for-age debut success at Caulfield on Aug. 31. Ridden by Steven Arnold, last season's 1,000 Guineas and Victoria Oaks (both  (Aust-I) heroine swamped a slick Memsie field in the stretch to win the $177,000 (Australian funds) and 1,410 meters event by almost a length.

Supremo Colt Wins in Australia

Supremo, the Gone West son now at Blue Ridge Farm gained his biggest [southern] success on Aug. 31 when his second crop son, Sportsman, landed the Peter Pan Stakes (Aust-II) at Sydney's Rosehill oval. Australia's Peter Pan, contested over 1,500 meters by spring 3-year-olds is named for the Australian champion who won two Melbourne Cups.

Sunline A Perfect 10 in New Zealand

Sunline made it 10 for 10 in her homeland in returning with a win in the Mudgway Stakes (NZ-II) at New Zealand's Hawkes Bay on Aug. 24. The champion distaffer had to scrap some with pacemaker Tit For Taat in the stretch before recording her 32nd win from 45 starts. She won by three-quarters of a length.

Sunline NZ Horse of the Year for Fourth Year in a Row

Sunline again exhausted all of the usual superlatives in collecting her fourth straight New Zealand Horse of the Year award. Voting numbers are not generally disclosed at awards in this part of the world, but from a panel of 42 judges made up of media and racing club administrators 26 of 41 ballots (63%) placed Sunline No. 1 and Ethereal No. 2, the other plumping for a tie.

End Sweep Dies in Japan

Champion sire End Sweep was euthanized July 12 at the Shadai Horse Clinic in Japan. The decision of the joint owners representing Australia's Arrowfield Stud and Shadai Stallion Station was made after they were informed by the clinic's head, Dr. Masaaki Tagami, that the 11 year-old horse had "gone down" and could not regain his feet.

Danzig Trifecta in Australia

The 126th Queensland Derby (Aust-I) on June 8 will be remembered for its Danzig trifecta, provided by County Tyrone and the fillies Galroof and Miss Bussell. The winner was in effect rectifying things for Danewin, the first-crop Danehill son a close second in the more important Australian and Victoria Derbys.

Show a Heart Goes Out Winner in Australia

Of the many horses selected to advance the breed, few make the transition in careers with the cheers of adulation still ringing in their ears. Signing-off your track career with a grand flourish is elusive, but 4-year-old Show a Heart managed it in the $1 million (Australian funds) Stradbroke Handicap (Aust-1) on June 10.

Thunder Gulch Filly Upset Down Under

Tully Thunder failed to parlay her Australasian Oaks victory (Aust-I) into success in the longer South Australian Oaks (Aust-I) at Morphettville on May 18. In the end, the Thunder Gulch filly was outstayed by She's Archie in the $250,000 (Australian funds) contest.

Red Ransom Filly Tops Australia Sale

Vinery Australia consigned the sale-topping bay filly by Red Ransom at the annual Australian select weanling sale in Sydney on May 3. From champion South African filly Tracy's Element was purchased at $300,000 (Australian funds) by Gerry Harvey, a leading electrical goods retailer and co-Magic Millions principal. Harvey also owns Baramul Stud.

Another Thunder Bolt in Australasian Oaks

Thunder was more than an accompaniment as lightning struck twice in the same place when Tully Thunder won the Australasian Oaks (Aust-I) in Adelaide on May 4. Ridden flawlessly by Damien Oliver, the Thunder Gulch daughter won the 2,000 meters classic by three-quarters of a length from She's Archie.

Top-Priced Colt Returned After Aussie Sale

The return of the top-priced colt from Australia's major yearling sale caused some consternation in the wake of a tremendously successful auction. However, the use of X-rays also reflects a significant advance for the Australian and New Zealand branch of the Thoroughbred industry.

Godolphin Wins First Australian Race

Godolphin won its first Australian race at Flemington on Nov. 10 as Hatha Anna narrowly defeated the local stayers in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Aust-II) over 2,500 meters. The initial success came after Godolphin had for the second time supplied the runner-up in the Melbourne Cup (Aust-I) when Give the Slip was run down by Ethereal.

Magical Miss Wins Victoria Oaks

Living legend Bart Cummings won his eighth Victoria Oaks (Aust-I) when the Danehill filly Magical Miss strolled home a 4 1/2-length winner in the 141st edition at Flemington. Zabeel filly Manang nosed out Lil Lo Lill (by Umatilla) for second. The 2:34.7 time equalled the 28-year race record.

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