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Dissident dominant in Memsie Stakes win

August 31, 2014
Dissident won a Group One during his three-year-old season and trainer Peter Moody took great delight as he watched the quality galloper return and dominate a classy field to claim another in the Memsie Stakes on Saturday.

Stepping out for his first start as a four-year-old after having his campaign diverted from Sydney last week, Dissident sprinted clear of a quality weight-for-age field to win by 2-1/4 lengths at Caulfield.

"He's mixed it with the best of his age at three. Everyone has had a doubt on that but he's taken on the good older weight-for-age horses today and he's dead-set put them to the sword," Moody said.

"He's a top-quality colt and he deserves his place in any weight-for-age field in the country on the back of that performance."

Last season's Randwick Guineas winner, Dissident was sent out as the lesser fancied of the two Moody-trained runners. Track specialist Moment Of Change was second favourite at $5 while the resuming Dissident was at $12.

Jockey Ben Melham tracked the speed set by Sweet Idea and Moment Of Change before producing the son of Sebring in clear running from the top of the straight.

He quickly sprinted to the front and easily held Sweet Idea ($8) with a half-neck and Puissance De Lune ($8) at third.

Star New Zealand mare Silent Achiever closed nicely at fourth, while favourite Boban was trapped three wide before finishing fifth.

Moment Of Change weakened out and finished last.

The Group One Makybe Diva Stakes is next on the agenda for Dissident, but Moody hasn't properly entertained a Cox Plate start .

"I have strong doubts on his 2000-metre ability, I really do," Moody said.

"He is super at a mile, I reckon."

Melham hopes he can retain the ride on Dissident, having partnered him to a Group One win at his first ride on the entire.

"He's got improvement in him and he's a really good galloper," Melham said.

Brad Rawiller believes Puissance De Lune is on track for the Makybe Diva Stakes, while Roger James was delighted with the first-up run of Silent Achiever.

"I know it will improve her immensely," James said.

Meanwhile, Damien Oliver will miss next week's Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes as part of an eight-meeting suspension for causing interference on Commanding Jewel in the WW Cockram Stakes.

Glyn Schofield was also banned for eight meetings for his ride on Amicus, the Sydney filly who lost the first race on protest.

Brisbane Group Ones could be at Doomben

August 31, 2014
Brisbane officials admit they may have to run their major winter carnival races at Doomben next year with work yet to begin on the Eagle Farm renovation.

The Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) would be reduced by 50 metres if the race was on the smaller Doomben circuit while the Queensland Oaks and Derby would be run over 2200 metres instead of 2400.

Eagle Farm closed on August 20 for a $22 million upgrade which was expected to be finished in April or May.

However, work is unlikely to begin until at least the end of September.

Brisbane Racing Club chairman Neville Bell confirmed the head engineer for the project had been appointed but the contract for the company to begin the work had still to be finalised.

"That is very close and should be done very soon. Work will begin shortly after that is done," Bell said.

"I admit we might have to make a call as early as December about whether our Group One races can be run at Eagle Farm in late May-June.

"The BRC is committed to getting Eagle Farm back to its glory days and that will mean giving it every chance for the grass to take."

He said there would be nothing worse than to rush the job and the club was prepared for a switch to Doomben.

"It is nothing unusual for the Group One races in the south to be run at different tracks," he said.

"For example the Epsom has been run at Warwick Farm and in Melbourne it has happened on many occasions."

Bell said once private hospitality suites at Doomben had been refurbished the track was more than capable of holding extra feature race meetings.

"In the end if the Stradbroke is run at Doomben the world won't end," he said.

"We will still look back on it as a great feature race in 20 years time."

Stewards throw the book at Schofield

August 17, 2014
Star jockey Chad Schofield has claimed he is being victimised after stewards banned him for one month on two careless riding offences out of the same race at Caulfield.

Schofield, whose spring rides include Group One winner Go Indy Go, says he will appeal the ban which rules him out until September 19.

Chief steward Terry Bailey gave the Cox Plate-winning rider a dressing down when handing out the suspension for shifting in on You're So Good between the 900m and 900m of the Australian Defence Force Handicap.

Bailey said the young jockey's actions showed no respect for his fellow riders.

Schofield was also banned for 14 meetings for careless riding near the winning post but that will be served at the same time as his first suspension.

Bailey was critical of Schofield's evidence in which the former champion apprentice said he was "used" by fellow rider Daniel Moor who he said kicked up inside him on Bloomingdale Miss after being a slowly away.

"It's high range and it went on too long," Bailey told Schofield.

"We're tired of it. Everyone is tired of it.

"And there was a similar lack of respect in your evidence in here."

Schofield, who has had several careless riding suspensions in his short career, told stewards he felt victimised.

"And that's the reason, you can't see it," Bailey said.

Schofield told Bailey he felt it was "unfair" to say he didn't show respect to his fellow jockeys when crossing early in the race.

"I do have respect for them," Schofield said.

Schofield admitted he should have allowed You're So Good to stride further before coming across but told stewards he didn't believe there was interference.

Schofield won four Group One races last season and has only just returned from two months out with a neck injury.

Precedence to start bid for third Cup

August 17, 2014
Veteran stayer Precedence will have a jump-out on Friday before he begins a campaign aimed at winning his third Moonee Valley Gold Cup.

Precedence won the Group Two Moonee Valley Gold Cup in 2010 and relished the set weights and penalties conditions to claim the event again last year.

The nine-year-old has progressed well in his work at Bart and James Cummings' Flemington base to be fit enough for an unofficial trial.

"He's going well, ticking along and the guys are happy with him," James Cummings said.

"He's on target and one of his main goals will be to defend his Moonee Valley Cup."

Cummings said Precedence would probably resume in a 1400-metre Listed race next month before his likely second-up assignment in the Group Three JRA Cup at his favoured Moonee Valley circuit on September 26.

Precedence won the JRA Cup on his way to winning the Moonee Valley Gold Cup in 2010.

The training partners have entered Precedence in the Caulfield Cup while the son of Zabeel could be among the Melbourne Cup entries when they close on September 2.

Precedence missed a start in the Melbourne Cup last year when he was one position outside the 24-horse field.

The Cummings stable has also announced dual Group One winner Norzita will miss the spring.

The mare suffered a leg injury in training last year after her third in the Show County Quality.

She was back in work at Randwick but James Cummings said on Saturday she would go to the paddock and her owners, including Dato Tan Chin Nam, would make a decision on her future.

The choice will be between the breeding barn and a possible mating with So You Think or a rest and a return in the autumn.

Leigh Wanless enjoying success

July 27, 2014
Owner Leigh Wanless has had dozens of gallopers and pacers over the past four decades but the best could be one of his cheapest buys.

A member of one of Queensland's most famous racing families, Wanless paid just $6000 for Mister Booze, a winner at Doomben on Saturday.

Wanless' father Merv trained champion pacer Lucky Creed who won 24 races in a row including the 1970 Miracle Mile at Harold Park.

A brother, Ron Wanless, is a noted sportsman and racehorse owner with his best galloper the 2001 Victoria Derby winner Amalfi.

Leigh Wanless is regarded among the best harness racing trainer-drivers Queensland has produced but these days mainly concentrates on owning thoroughbreds and also invests in country hotels.

Sunshine Coast trainer Kristie Clark-Peoples was far from surprised by Mister Booze's win but she was stunned by his starting price of $51.

"I don't know why he started that price. He was a Gold Coast winner back in April and he had won a trial in fast time since a break," Clark-Peoples said.

It is unlikely Mister Booze will again start in double figures and Clark-Peoples is convinced she has a future black type winner on her hands.

"When we first worked him I told Leigh we had a very good horse on our hands," he said.

"I even said we might have a Stradbroke horse."

Clark-Peoples has taken up training from her husband Dave Peoples who has taken a job in the central Queensland mines.

"Dave still helps a bit and Leigh has been a supporter as well," Clark-Peoples said.

"Leigh does a lot of the pre training for me and he uses some ideas from harness racing."

Wanless is equally impressed with Clark-Peoples who also trains Raged Within, a winner for him at Ipswich on Friday.

"I have about six horses with her and she does a very good job," he said.

As for how Mister Booze got his name, it is remaining a secret.

However, it is believed to be after a patron at Wanless' Maryborough hotel.

Another Queensland horse sold to Hong Kong

July 27, 2014
Racing Queensland officials will shortly announce prize money increases and it can't come soon enough for trainers with another promising Brisbane horse sold to Hong Kong.

Trainer Tony Gollan confirmed Deano, who would have started among the favourites in Saturday's two-year-old race at Doomben, would do his future racing Hong Kong.

"You can't blame owners that is just the way things are at the moment. It just makes economic sense to sell the horses," Gollan said.

Deano won his only start in an Eagle Farm maiden and was among the leading fancies on Saturday thanks to a top jump-out on Tuesday.

The Street Cry colt was sold for an undisclosed sum but it is believed to be about $300,000.

He would need to win about nine Brisbane races at the current prize money levels to earn that amount on the track.

Deano is at least the 10th Brisbane two or three-year-old sold to Hong Kong interests in the past six months.

RQ has not announced when it will release details of the new prize money distribution but it is likely to be within the next fortnight.

Meanwhile, the Brisbane Race Club has called a meeting for Monday to explain to members about the closure of Eagle Farm for a redevelopment.

BRC Chairman Neville Bell said it would give members a chance raise any questions they had about the $22 million redevelopment which means the premier Brisbane track will be closed from August 20 until April next year.

Breeders will also meet later this week to discuss the new wagering deal following the 30-year exclusive agreement with Tatts Bet which will return millions of dollars to the industry.

Dean Yendall suspended at Flemington

July 13, 2014
Dean Yendall's national jockeys' premiership chances have suffered a major blow with a careless riding suspension at Flemington.

Yendall will miss 10 meetings after pleading guilty to careless riding aboard Profit Share in the Taj Rossi Series Final on Saturday.

Yendall has ridden 143 winners this season.

Greg Ryan leads the nationwide premiership with 149-1/2 wins and is two ahead of Brad Rawiller who rode a double at Flemington.

Yendall is 14 winners behind Rawiller in the Victorian premiership.

The season ends on July 31.

Yendall was outed for shifting out aboard Profit Share at the 500m mark when not clear of Total Control which had to be checked.

His suspension starts on Tuesday and he can return to race riding on July 25.