This week promises to showcase the juvenile stocks of Darby Racing, with a trio of potential autumn carnival horses secured by the syndicator set at three different racecourses headed by Magic MIllions 2YO Classic (RL, 1200m) favourite Every Rose (Choisir).
The Gimcrack Stakes (Gr 3, 1000m) winner, who is trained by Mark Newnham, will contest Thursday’s Wyong Magic MIllions 2YO Classic (RL, 1100m) while two colts are set to run at Randwick and Kembla Grange respectively.
Scott Darby revealed yesterday that the Newnham-trained Codebreaker (Exceed And Excel) would kick off his racing career in a twoyear-old maiden at Kembla Grange while recent Ready2Race purchase Already Blessed (Better Than Ready) will start in the $500,000 Inglis Nursery (RL, 1000m).
Every Rose, the early season pin-up for Darby Racing, heads to Thursday’s $200,000 Wyong race after winning a 735-metre Randwick barrier trial on November 26.
“She did a good job in her first prep. It is pretty hard for all those horses, but with a short let-up, she has got good residual fitness,” Darby told ANZ Bloodstock News. “She didn’t have a long time out - only a few weeks - and although she will improve, she is in very good order. Her gallops have been very strong and her trial was excellent.”
The Wyong race is likely to be her only start before the Magic Millions on January 11, with the B J McLachlan Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) at Eagle Farm on January 28 pencilled in as a back-up option if the filly shows that she needs another hit out.
“Mark’s intention was to go straight from that run into the grand final, depending on how she comes out of that run, as we also want to keep plenty up the sleeve for the Slipper as well,” he said.
Rachel King will ride Every Rose on Thursday as regular jockey Josh Parr saved from the task of making the 54.5 kilograms, but he will be back on board for the Magic Millions.
Newnham and Darby Racing also have Codebreaker nominated for the lucrative Gold Coast race, but it is likely that the highly rated colt will be given a break after his Kembla Grange assignment.
He won a Randwick barrier trial on November 12 before finishing runner-up to Brash Sammy (Statue Of Liberty) over 1038 metres at the same track two weeks later.
“He is a Magic Millions horse as well, but we are trying to hold him together. He is quite strong going and Mark’s trying to teach him to settle,” Darby said.
“While the Millions hasn’t been 100 per cent ruled out, I know for a fact that Mark’s more earmarked him for this run, then give him a let-up and bring him back for the lead-ups for the Slipper.
“He is a really nice colt in the making, but maybe the hustle and bustle of a Millions wouldn’t be ideal for him.”
While Every Rose was a $160,000 purchase from Tyreel Stud and Codebreaker was a $360,000 Magic Millions graduate from the Newhaven Park draft, a new addition to the syndicator’s team, Already Blessed, could also provide a return on Saturday, The Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm-consigned Already Blessed, was bought by Darby for $140,000 at the Inglis Ready2Race Sale in October and he could provide an immediate return for his new owners.
Malkovich (Choisir) already contested the $1 million Golden Gift (1100m) for Darby Racing after being bought out of the same two-yearold sale only weeks earlier.
King rode the Gary Portelli-trained Already Blessed to win a Hawkesbury barrier trial over 800 metres on December 5, an effort which convinced her to declare him ‘top class’.
“He has come a long way in a very short period of time. You show him things once and he picks it up,” Darby said.
“Malkovich was up and going and we just had to have a throw at the stumps (in the Golden Gift) whereas this bloke had been in the paddock and on the walker between his breeze-up and the sale, so he was right to go straight into training.
“He missed it by four or five and in his next barrier practice he was jumping in front.
“It will be a tough ask, but we would like to give him this run and then start aiming him towards the Slipper.”
Already Blessed came onto Darby’s radar after an impressive 10.37 second breeze-up at Cranbourne in September but admitted on first inspections the horse was not the physical type he was expecting.
“He was an interesting one because of all the breeze-ups, he was the one we singled out. We loved him and we thought he would be pretty expensive based on his breeze-up, not so much his pedigree,” he said.
“He has a beautiful action and he really let down in good time, but when we saw him at the sale he wasn’t overly big and not as athletic as what we had hoped for.
“He was a powerhouse little sprinter, but we just kept going back to the breeze-up and he has got a big action and breeze-ups bigger than what he shows in his walk out and we went with that.
“Fingers crossed, he looks a promising horse in the making,”
With some luck - and you need plenty of it in racing - Every Rose, Codebreaker and Already Blessed could all clash in the autumn and potentially in the Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m).