Highlands racing to return in June
LAST weekend’s eight-race program in Emerald was postponed due to the much-needed wet weather.
Emerald Jockey Club President Mary Bulger said the decision was made for the safety of participants, with the cold, wet weather leaving the club no other option.
The club is currently recruiting for a full-time track curator to fill the void left by Noel Coyne, who knew every blade of grass on the Pioneer Park track, and who retired recently. Nevertheless, racing in the Highlands returns on Wednesday, June 3.
Dan and Rae Fletcher’s Champion mare Sunlight has been retired and the superstar sprinter will be sold as an elite breeding prospect at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale in July.
A triple Group One winner and earner of over $6.5 million, Sunlight has spent the past three racing seasons as one of Australia’s best gallopers, and she retires as the most exciting broodmare prospect of 2020.
The four-year-old daughter of Zoustar was crowned the Champion 3YO Filly of Australia for the 2018-19 racing season having consistently raced in the country’s biggest sprint races.
In her first season she won three features including the $2 million The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic and was placed in the Golden Slipper on a wet track.
At three, she beat the boys in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes before romping away from all-comers in a star studded Group One Newmarket Handicap. She did it again at her next start in the Group One William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley.
In all, Sunlight won 11 races, nine at stakes level, was placed in three other elite Group Ones, and was a neck second in the $7.5 million Golden Eagle at 1500 metres in November.
Dan Fletcher said Sunlight had given him and his family an amazing journey in racing.
“The owners all agreed retirement was the right option for Sunlight,” he said.
“There’s been some tears shed in the past week, but the great thing is she retires sound and healthy.
“She’s been such a warrior and we think she’s earned the right to say when she’s had enough.”
Together with David Redvers (Qatar Racing) and Widden, the Fletchers purchased Sunlight’s dam Solar Charged from the same Magic Millions sale to which Sunlight is headed.
Glenda Bell and her veteran stable star Fastnet Flyer will feature again on the North Queensland cups circuit, which will still be staged over the winter period with the cup series kicking off at Rockhampton.
Bell is undecided if Flyer will line up in the Rockhampton Cup on July 17.
Fastnet Flyer’s main aim will be at Ooralea Racecourse on July 31 for the Mackay Cup.
Bell hopes to have the Oralea Park track specialist tuned up for the occasion.
Bell said Fastnet Flyer would be 10 years old at the end of North Queensland cups carnival and he still has a great zest for racing
“While COVID-19 has impacted on our ability to run a traditional Winter Carnival, I’m just so pleased to be able to line up in this years Mackay Cup which has been a 12 month plan,” she said.
“It’s just a matter of sorting out his lead up races now going forward.”
Clermont apprentice Emma Bell piloted Topline filly Lepreezy to an effortless win at Callaghan Park last week with the Angela Stephens trained filly ($2.25) looking brilliant.
The winning horse will now head to Brisbane over the winter carnival.