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8th Jun: Race Snippets
Published: 08 Jun 2017 - - Author: NZ Racing Desk

Gingernuts’ Ellerslie efforts rewarded

The Ellerslie deeds of the outstanding three-year-old Gingernuts were acknowledged at the Ellerslie Awards ceremony held during their Queen’s Birthday meeting.

“He won the Outstanding Performance of the Year for his win in the Avondale Guineas and also won Ellerslie Horse of the Year, which is voted on by club officials and selected media,” Auckland Racing Club executive general manager Craig Baker said.

“The Outstanding Performance award was a club members and public vote, via social media, and it’s fair to say that he won pretty easily.”

In the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas, the Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained Gingernuts came from last after missing the start by five lengths.

HK beckons Sacred Elixir

Group One winner Sacred Elixir has entered quarantine for Hong Kong.

“He’s going with a view to running in the Derby there and that was always the plan,” Cambridge trainer Tony Pike said. “Depending how he goes, he’ll stay or he could come back here.”

Sacred Elixir was successful in the Gr.1 J.J. Atkins at Eagle Farm 12 months ago for Pike and the following spring he won the Gr.3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude and the Gr.2 Vase at Moonee Valley before he finished runner-up in the Gr.1 VRC Derby.

On his return home, the son of Pour Moi had a further three starts culminating in his fifth placing in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby.

Coast trial for Derby fancy

Queensland Derby favourite Volatile Mix rounded off his preparation for Saturday’s classic with a trial outing at the Sunshine Coast.

The New Zealand-bred son of Pentire finished fourth in his 1270m heat on Tuesday without being asked for an effort.

Trained by Darren Weir, Volatile Mix won the Gr.1 South Australian Derby two runs back before he finished the closest of seconds in the Gr.3 Grand Prix Stakes at Eagle Farm.

Weir will also be represented in the Derby by the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas runner-up Mongolian Wolf, who won the Gr.3 Frank Packer Plate in his Australian debut.

Ferguson parts ways with Godolphin

In a shock announcement, Godolphin chief executive and racing manager John Ferguson has resigned after reports of a breakdown in his relationship with head trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

Ferguson, who was among the buyers at this year’s NZ Bloodstock National Yearling Sale series at Karaka, has been a long-time adviser to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

“Given the recent articles in the media, it was clear my position with Godolphin was untenable,” he said.

Bin Suroor, who has trained for Sheik Mohammed for 22 years, revealed in the Racing Post story that his relationship with Ferguson had deteriorated to virtually nil communication between the pair in the three years since the resignation of Simon Crisford as Godolphin racing manager.

Joe Osborne, managing director of Godolphin in Ireland, will replace Ferguson as interim chief executive of Sheik Mohammed’s global racing operations in Dubai, Britain, Ireland, USA, Australia and Japan.

Group One winner retired

Group One-winning New Zealand-bred short course performer Famous Seamus has been retired.

Trained by Noel Mayfield-Smith, the son of Elusive City won 12 races with his career highlight his defeat of Spirit Of Boom and Buffering in the BTC Cup of 2014.

Famous Seamus, who also placed in the Gr.1 Manikato Stakes, won his last race when successful in the Listed Ladies Day Cup at Hawkesbury last spring.

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