Jan 15 2018

    Over the past 18 months Murwillumbah trainer Matt Dunn has been rising through the training ranks and now he believes he has the horse to take him to the group 1 level in Care To Think.

    The So You Think four-year-old made light work of the wide draw to race away with the Magic Millions Cup, leaving Dunn with a decision about which carnival to target.

    “That is my biggest win and he is the best horse I have had. We have known that for a while,” Dunn said.

    “We could go to Sydney or Melbourne but the best option might be up here.”

    Jeff Lloyd decided to be positive from the gates on Care To Think and sat three-wide but quickly had his rivals covered when he scored by 1-1/4 lengths from Arbeitsam with Snippets Land the same margin away in third.
    Sport Newsletter

    “Jeff said he wanted to be positive and when he got caught three-wide, I wasn’t worried because he was close enough,” Dunn said.

    “He will probably have a break now and might be a Stradbroke horse in the winter.”

    Care To Think was pre-trained by Washpool Lodge.

    Story from Chris Roots, Sydney Morning Herald

    Dec 19 2017

      Neil Duncan wasn’t at Doomben on Saturday to watch his gutsy 6YO, Pinch River, go around in the Listed Hogs Breath Cafe Australia Bribie Handicap over 1050m.

      That said, Duncan wasn’t exactly in a ‘horse free’ zone.

      According to long-time associate and bloodstock consultant, Wayne Purchase, Duncan was in the Snowy River region, chasing brumbies … right around the time Pinch River was notching up his eighth career victory and $363,100 in stakes.

      “Neil is based on NSW’s South Coast at Bega and regularly heads out to the Snowy River to get some brumbies to break in,” Purchase reveals. “Loves it out there and takes the kids with him. He probably wouldn’t have found out Pinch River had won until Sunday afternoon.”

      Bred by Millennium Thoroughbreds, Pinch River is one of eight stakes winners for the Darley based Group One winner, Denman, and was sold by Musk Creek Farm for $85,000 at the 2013 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

      (Pinch River had earlier been sold by Edinglassie Stud for $46,000 at the 2012 Inglis Australian Weanling Sale).

      “Neil usually buys one or two a year and Pinch River was bought on his behalf by (bloodstock agent) Paul Willetts,” Purchase explains. “Neil and I have been friends for over 20 years … I’m a mechanical engineer with a background in the food industry and we met when I was building an abattoir for him in Queensland.

      “We both had an interest in horses and Neil was keen to get into ownership. I like doing all the Tesio matings and search through the catalogues, while Paul does the inspecting.

      “Neil has around 12 on the books at the moment … he races most of them in Queensland, but if they drop off in form, he brings them back down his way and races them around Bega.

      “Pinch River is probably his best horse to date, and really, that horse could have been anything.”

      The ‘anything’ is a reference to Pinch River’s fragile hooves which have limited the 6YO’s outings to just 20 starts.

      Capturing four of seven outings at two – including the 2014 Listed Dalrello Stakes – Pinch River was then off the scene until an autumn 3YO and has raced sparingly since.

      Indeed, from April 2016, Pinch River has raced on just four occasions for three wins.

      “He (Pinch River) has had plenty of troubles with his feet and I’m really proud of what the horse did in the Bribie,” trainer, Rob Heathcote, points out.

      “He has only done some slow work and some swimming … I kid you not, he hasn’t had a track gallop for a month.

      “This is the first time I’ve done that with one of my horses and he ran in the Bribie on sheer ability – once he got to the front, they couldn’t catch him.

      “I’m not game to give him much work on the track because I know there is only so many miles in each of his hooves.”

      Pinch River is the second last foal of Catbird mare, Avenue Girl, a multiple winner who ultimately produced two winners and hails from the family of Detroit, Carnegie et al.

      All things being equal, Pinch River will likely target the $1 million Magic Millions Sprint at the Gold Coast on 13 January.

      No word yet on whether the owner will be watching Pinch River or in the Snowy River, but there is bound to be plenty from the horse’s fan base who are hoping those hooves strike firelight one more time.

      Pinch River spends has recently spent his time spell and pre-training at Washpool Lodge and we could not be more excited for his trainer Robert Heathcote and his connections.

      Copy: Aushorse, Image: Trackside Photograpghy

      Dec 17 2017

        It was congratulations all round for Jim Roberts on 30 years in the class 6 plate over 1200m with the spoils and congratulations going to connections of four-year-old bay gelding Care To Think (So You Think), with the runner scoring from an awkward barrier.

        After travelling four deep throughout trip, the So You Think gelding straightened many lengths behind the race leader, and when asked the question by Jeff Lloyd leveled up against the track bias to cruise past Pepperano and Trubia, to score in a race time of 109.54, with the last 600m in 34.10 landing the prize 2.3 lengths.

        Care To Think was picked up by Neil Jenkinson and the team at the National Yearling Sale from Abergate Farm for around $16,000, and has now notched up 3 wins in a row.

        The four-year-old has spent time at Washpool Lodge over the last few months in pre-training ahead of his first up victory.

        Apr 18 2017

          The first Griffin race of the Hong Kong season was won by the lone Australian, and lone two-year-old, in Sebring’s Amusing City.

          The race had just six starters, four Irish bred three-year-olds, a Japanese bred three-year-old and Amusing City, with the weight advantage for two year-olds and some obvious improvement from his trials proving enough.

          Looking something of an unfinished product in those trials, the John Moore trained youngster showed good gate speed at his first race to lead and despite being headed inside the final furlong by Lucky Master fought admirably to come again and win narrowly.

          The Sebring gelding, ridden by Sam Clipperton and sporting blinkers on debut, held off the Richard Gibson-trained Lucky Master (129lb) by a short-head in a time of 57.17s.

          “That’s a good result, he was just the fittest of the bunch looking at them walking around the paddock, and he was getting the pull in the weights – he’s never missed a day’s work,” Moore said.

          “He’s one for next season, definitely – he’d be a miler,” he continued. “He’s immature, of course, and you could see he just tried to throw the towel in just past mid-race; he was reluctant, his tongue’s all over; he had the blinkers on because he can be a little bit funny in the mornings but he’s beaten the three-year-olds, so there is a future for him.”

          Amusing City Yearling

          Initially offered in the Fig Tree Thoroughbreds draft at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale where he made $130,000 to the bid of Les Kelly, Amusing City was re-offered at the Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YOs In Training Sale in Washpool Lodge’s draft (pictured above), selling to Beamish Bloodstock for $200,000.

          He is the third foal, second to race and second winner for Anabaa mare Amusements, a half-sister to former smart sprinter and Magic Millions winner Karuta Queen.

          Main Image: Hong Kong Jockey Club

          Jan 2 2017

            It is with great pleasure that we announce that the services of Tony Churchill have been secured by Washpool Lodge.

            Tony is an outstanding horse breaker who worked at Washpool Lodge for four years before taking on the breaking in for Sun Stud (Eliza Park), where he has worked for the past two in Victoria.

            With over 25 years experience in the industry, Tony started his breaking in while working in Western Australia, having also worked with Warwick Farm-based trainer Rick Worthington at Danric Lodge.

            While working with the various well-respected horseman Tony was able to gain valuable experience which allowed him to further his skill base and knowledge of horse breaking within the racing industry.

            With extensive travel throughout Australia breaking horses and building on his knowledge of horses in general, Tony has also spent a lot of time breaking in on cattle stations in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland, with two seasons also spent breaking in in Japan.

            With his recent stint with Sun Stud (Eliza Park) in Victoria, Tony broke in many eventual winners and stakes winners including Extreme Choice, Ready for Victory, Claro El Banco, Prince of Brooklyn, Heptagon, China Dream, Barthelona, Dead or Alive, Sun Flash, Tulsa, Otherwise Okay, Strike Force, Sun Thunder, Loyalty Man, Asia Spirit, Oxbow, Desert Tycoon and Burnstone- just to name a few!

            As a strong lightweight rider, Tony is passionate about the racing industry and believes that a good start is essential for every horse – and my coupling that with Washpool Lodge’s extensive client base, we are very excited about the future working relationship.

            For further information or any questions, please click here to Contact Us.

            Jan 1 2017

              Most Important has collected a $500,000 Summer Crown bonus after a gutsy Eagle Farm win on Saturday.

              Most Important, ridden by Robbie Fradd, completed a clean sweep of the Summer Crown series with a hard fought long head win over Ninth Legion in the Buffering Handicap (1300m).

              The win earned Most Important a spot in the millionaire’s club after earlier winning the Group 3 George Moore Stakes at Eagle Farm and Listed Lough Neagh Stakes at Doomben.

              His prizemoney now stands at almost $570,000 with seven wins from 24 starts plus the $500,000 bonus.

              most-important-dec-31-darren-winningham-11

              Trainer Tony Gollan admitted he was just going along for the ride with Most Important who has blossomed this campaign after being gelded.

              “I was a bit worried with his big weight but I knew the tempo would suit him,” Gollan said.

              “It’s a great reward for the animal and we’re just going along for the ride.

              “It was close at the finish but I never doubted he’d put his head down.”

              Most Important is nominated for the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) and Magic Millions Sprint (1200m) at the Gold Coast on Janaury 14.

              “I’ll talk to Robbie and the owners first before deciding which of the two races to run in,” Gollan said.

              Most Important is owned by Linda Huddy who with her husband Graham raced many good horses including Shoot Out (AJC Derby) and Preferment (Victoria Derby).

              By Glenn Davis, Racing Queensland

              Dec 24 2016

                Gangly mare Bocage is the cheapest horse in trainer Robert Heathcote’s stable but she was hailed like a champion after winning on Wednesday.

                Bocage ($7), who cost only $7000, won a Class 1 (1600m) but Heathcote let out an audible sigh of relief after the victory.

                Heathcote started the season in a blaze of glory having 40 winners in the first three months but Bocage was only his second winner in his past 60 runners.

                Heathcote said his slump had coincided with earthworks starting beside his Eagle Farm racecourse stables.

                “It came to a head when I scratched a couple of my horses from the Sunshine Coast last week when I was worried they hadn’t got enough rest because of the works,” Heathcote said.

                “But the workers have gone for the Christmas holidays and I have already seen a change in my horses.”

                “It has been a real learning experience. I originally thought the horses would get used to the noise. But that was never the case and if they were humans they would be suffering from noise-induced anxiety.”

                “The Brisbane Race Club knows I am upset about it but there isn’t much they can do.”

                Heathcote said Bocage had been a work in progress and had taken a while to learn what racing was all about.

                “She cost me very little for a Show A Heart mare. But she has won two races now and more importantly I think she has signalled my horses are on the up,” Heathcote said.

                Dec 17 2016

                  Talented sprinter Most Important is just one win away from a $500,000 Summer Crown bonus after claiming the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes at Doomben on Saturday.

                  The Tony Gollan-trained sprinter followed up his last start win in the Group 3 George Moore Stakes with an emphatic 1-1/4 length win over Too Good To Refuse.

                  Miss Cover Girl finished third, a further six lengths away.

                  An elated Gollan has two options to win the Summer Crown bonus in either the Buffering Handicap (1300m) at Eagle Farm on December 31 or the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast on January 14.

                  Most Important clocked another sizzling time of 1 min 17.16 seconds which was only 0.07 seconds outside Natural Destiny’s course record set 10 years ago.

                  “He’s a really good horse and the track and speed played in his favour today as they’ve been running good times all day,” Gollan said.

                  “We gelded him during his spell which has made the difference with him and he’s repaid us in spades.

                  “He’s always been a tricky horse to train.”

                  Most Important is owned by Linda Huddy who with her husband Graham raced many good horses including Shoot Out (AJC Derby) and Preferment (Victoria Derby).

                  Winning rider Robbie Fradd has played major role behind the scenes teaching Most Important to settle in his races.

                  “My only concern was whether he’d settle,” Fradd said.

                  “He’s more mature now and he’s a lot more manageable.

                  “He switches off beautifully and he’s got a great will to win now.

                  “If horses come to him he just finds another length.”

                  News from Queensland Racing

                  Dec 5 2016

                    Star Melbourne based jockey Damian Lane notched the biggest win of his career when he partnered quality galloper Stratum Star to a thrilling win in the $1 million Group One Kingston Town Classic (1800m).

                    A proven Group One winner in Melbourne, Stratum Star sent his earnings soaring past $1.6 million when he flew home to nail Scales of Justice right on the post.

                    The win was the first at the elite level in Perth for champion Ballarat based trainer Darren Weir.

                    “It was a deliberate plan,” Weir said about aiming at the Kingston Town Classic. “And it’s a plan which we have been able to deliver.”

                    After a narrow second placing in group level at Sandown at his previous run, Stratum Star was sent west and then given two trials to have him primed for today.

                    “I cam and looked at him last week and he looked a bit big underneath,” Weir noted. “I said he needed some strong work, so on Monday he had a good trial.”

                    “Willy Pike rode him (in the trial) and he gave him a good hit out – so thanks to everyone involved,” Weir added.

                    For Bunbury boy Damian Lane, the win in one of his home state’s feature races was “very satisfying.”

                    “It gives you great confidence when a trainer like Darren Weir puts you on,” Lane said. “My good mate Tyson was over here looking after the horse and he gave me a good report and some more confidence.”

                    “He had a lovely run from gate one and he had the last crack at them. It worked out perfect.”

                    Stratum Star completed a massive week at the Perth Summer Carnival with his sire, former Golden Slipper winner and fellow Gold Coast Yearling Sale purchase Stratum.

                    Last Saturday it was another of Stratum’s son, Takedown, who had his trainer Gary Moore dancing when he scored a tremendous win in the Winterbottom Stakes at Group One level.

                    Today’s thrilling photo finish win for Stratum Star was the second at the elite level for the quality five-year-old.

                    The good looking chestnut was purchased for $165,000 at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale by his former trainer, the now retired horseman Rick Hore-Lacy. He was offered for sale by Widden Stud.

                    Hore-Lacy prepared the future star early in his career and he showed locals of ability. Since the transfer to Weir he has developed into a genuine Group One star.

                    As it stands Stratum Star boasts an impressive record of six wins and 15 placings from 33 runs and earnings of over $1.645 million.

                    Washpool Lodge’s connection with the dual Group 1 winner was that he spent time spelling at the property after his Brisbane Winter campaign before then being pre-trained ahead of his spring return.

                    Nov 25 2016

                      Trainer Tony Gollan rates the Recognition Stakes at Eagle Farm on Saturday as one of the most competitive in years and is hopeful of claiming the Listed feature for a second time with Frespanol.

                      Gollan won last year’s Recognition Stakes with Traveston Girl when it was run over 1600 metres.

                      This year’s race has been shortened to 1400 metres and has attracted a highly competitive line-up.

                      “It’s a very strong race this year and very competitive and whoever wins will deserve it,” Gollan said.

                      “Frespanol has had a few runs this time in after having a long time off and looks a great chance.”

                      Frespanol was one of four Gollan-trained horses injured when a float rolled on the Bruce Highway enroute to Caloundra in April.

                      Thankfully, he suffered only minor abrasions but Gollan took no chances and spelled him to concentrate on the summer carnival.

                      Formerly trained by Gai Waterhouse, Frespanol hit form last start with a narrow win over Jopa at the Sunshine Coast on November 16.

                      “It was a good strong win last start and he’s done well since,” Gollan said.

                      Gollan plans to target the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1600m) at Doomben on December 17 before the Listed Bernborough Handicap (1600m) on the same track a fortnight later.

                      “Traveston Girl won both the Recognition Stakes and Brisbane Handicaps last year and that’s the path Frespanol is taking,” he said.

                      Gollan has ruled out aiming Frespanol at the Group 2 Villiers Stakes at Randwick next month but won’t be afraid to send him back south to his newly opened Sydney satellite stable.

                      “His place is here now but if there was a suitable race for him I can easily send him back down to race,” he said.

                      Gollan also has strong claims of taking out the Listed Colin McAlpine Memorial Classic (1200m).

                      The premier trainer will launch a three-pronged attack with Notonyourlife, Sheiswhatsheis and Themis.

                      “Themis is first-up and has a fair way to go and she’ll get back and hopefully run home well,” he said.

                      “Notonyourlife and Sheiswhatsheis have been running themselves into form and both should run well.

                      “But it’s a big field with a lot of chances.”

                      Notonyourlife has won his past two city starts including his latest victory over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm on October 29 while Sheiswhatsheis is backing up after finishing a close fourth to the Matt Dunn-trained Perfect Dare at Eagle Farm last week.

                      Racing Queensland webnews November 25