Doncaster defeat not getting Jay Ford down as he prepares for day two of The Championships

Jay Ford has been around long enough to put last weekend’s near miss in the Doncaster behind him as he tries to go one better in a Group 1 at Randwick on Saturday.

Ford just got pipped on the line in the $3 million race on Icebath when Cascadian grabbed them late and he pushed away to pain pretty quickly knowing he had another big job to do seven days later.

“It’s one of the more prestigious races on the calendar. You’ve got to move on though,” Ford said.

“At the time it was disappointing to get beat by a small margin but that’s racing and you’ve got to move on to the next race.

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After a near miss in last week’s Doncaster Mile, jockey Jay Ford is hoping go one better in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes on Saturday. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“I was so rapt in how she went but in the same breath I was so disappointed. She still ran a great race.”

On Saturday, Ford has the job on Electric Girl in the $500,000 Provincial Championships Final (1400m).

She qualified for the final by running third behind Great News and Barossa Rosa five weeks ago.

Ford wasn’t on her that day but has ridden the four-year-old before and knows her quite well.

“She’s going along really well,” Ford said.

“She obviously ran really well when she qualified at Gosford and had a tick over trial the other day, which I rode her in, and she trialled very well.”

Ford rode her three runs back at Randwick when fifth behind Tailleur in the Group 3 Triscay Stakes when just three lengths behind the winner.

Electric Girl was also been competitive in the Group 3 Tibbie Stakes in the spring so, unlike many of her rivals tomorrow, she’s proven in Stakes company.

“She’s been competitive at a higher level. When I rode her first-up in a Stakes race is was on a soft track which wasn’t quite to her liking but she acquitted herself pretty well,” Ford said.

“I think the key with her is a dry track which is should be.”

John O’Shea is going into the Sydney Cup with a certain level of confidence about his quality mare Rondinella in the Group 1 race with Andrew Adkins aboard….

John O’Shea is going into the Sydney Cup with a certain level of confidence about his quality mare Rondinella in the Group 1 race with Andrew Adkins aboard.

From barrier five, Ford will be positive, hoping $2.60 favourite Great news doesn’t get the best of luck from a wide draw.

“She’s drawn well and it’s a competitive race with a lot of chances but I think she’ll do well,” Ford said.

“It looks like I can get a good run from the gate. There’s a bit of speed out wide and she’s an on-speed runner so I’d like to think she’ll be in a nice spot in the first four of five.

“There’s some quality horse in the race and she’s one of them. It’s all pretty positive with her.”

Unfortunately, Ford’s Group 1 Sydney Cup ride, Shraaoah, was scratch on Thursday, denying the pair the opportunity to win the race for the second time.

Evalina was also taken out of the Sapphire Stakes, which leaves Gundec in the opening race and Missybeel in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf for Ford to partner.

The pair combined to win the Group 3 Aspiration Quality (1600m) two starts ago and she’s won four races over the mile.

“This is a big step up for her and probably her toughest race to date but she’s drawn well in five,” Ford said.

“Two runs back she got on-pace favours and toughed it right out. Hopefully from the draw we’ll be able to put her up on the speed like we did two runs back.

“She’s meeting quality opposition but she’s going really well and she’s entitled to her chance on a Group 1.”


The Golden Slipper washout may have inadvertently provided the race program blueprint for future Sydney autumn carnivals.

Day Two of The Championships at Royal Randwick tomorrow is another outstanding meeting despite being a week later than originally scheduled after the Golden Slipper was postponed for seven days due to heavy rain on March 20.

This resulted in the rest of the carnival being pushed back seven days and there is no doubt this has led to more quality interstate and New Zealand horses getting to Sydney and racing on both days of The Championships.

There is some speculation The Championships might now find a permanent home on the second and third Saturdays in April.

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said before any decisions are made on programming a thorough study will be done on the autumn carnival this year including the impact on betting trends.

“We will conduct a review once the carnival is over, that is something we do every year, and consider whether any changes should be made,” V’landys said. “We keep an open mind on these issues.”

Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys will conduct a complete review of the Autumn Racing Carnival. Photo: Jonathan NgSource:Supplied

Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller was asked at Rosehill trackwork yesterday what his thoughts were on shifting the autumn carnival.

“I’m not qualified enough to know about all of those things,” Waller said.

“But I think The Championships needs to get the best horses racing here, whether they are from all over Australia or around the world.

“For example, we need to have the Australian Cup horses in Sydney, and the sprinters racing here.

“As you saw with Verry Elleegant and Addeybb in the Ranvet Stakes, it is not always about the ‘Grand Final’ either. They can have a clash three weeks out which is great for Sydney racing.”

Waller admitted there is a finite number of genuine equine stars in racing and every endeavour should be made to have those stars racing in the major carnivals.

“That’s the beauty of having one club in Sydney and good administrators at Racing NSW,” Waller said.

“I think is a godsend because there is more flexibility when it comes to programming matters.”


English riding sensation Tom Marquand is hoping to end his latest Sydney riding stint with a win on Addeybb in the Group 1 $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Marquand will be catching a London-bound flight on Sunday after spending nearly two months in Sydney where he has ridden seven winners and endured some frustrating near-misses at Group 1 level with placings in the ATC Australian Derby, Inglis Sires and Ranvet Stakes.

“It hasn’t been quite as successful yet as last year but we have this Saturday to come so hopefully we can round the trip off well,’’ Marquand said.

Jockey Tom Marquand is hoping to end his Australian stint with a Group 1 win at Randwick on Saturday. Photo: Dan Himbrechts/AAP ImageSource:AAP

Marquand has six rides on Day Two of The Championships including All Saints’ Eve in the Group 1 $1 million Queen of the Turf Stakes and Prague in the Group 2 $1 million Arrowfield 3yo Sprint.

The young jockey has enjoyed the relative freedom of Sydney life in recent weeks with realises England is still grappling with the pandemic.

“It’s still very tough back home but they are rolling out the vaccine really quickly,’’ Marquand said.

“Hopefully life will be slowly getting back to normal for my family but it doesn’t really change a lot for me in racing.

“When I’m home I’ll be back racing seven days a week again.’’


Nature Strip, the brilliant winner of the TJ Smith Stakes last Saturday, will remain in training for the Doomben 10,000 next month.

Trainer Chris Waller said there was a reluctance to give Nature Strip too long a spell now as it might impact his preparation for the $15 million The Everest at Royal Randwick next spring.

“All eyes on The Everest now but that race is not until October so it is quite a big gap,’’ Waller said.

“We feel he can still race in Queensland and the Doomben 10,000 (May 15) a lovely race for him.’’

The reigning Horse of the Year, who scored his 16th career win and his sixth at Group 1 level in the TJ Smith Stakes to take his prizemoney to $7.92 million, returned to Waller’s Rosehill stable base yesterday after enjoying a few days in the paddock.

“Nature Strip will have a barrier trial and then go up there early May for the Doomben 10,000,’’ Waller said.

Nature Strip winning his sixth Group 1 and second TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick. Photo: Grant GuySource:The Daily Telegraph

“He can then have a nice break get some warmer Queensland sun on his back before coming back here to prepare for The Everest at probably his third start for the spring.’’

Waller said Nature Strip’s racing manners continue to improve making the dynamic chestnut a more complete sprinter.

“We can now ride a tactical race on him,’’ Waller said.

“We don’t have to go out and break their hearts and his own heart. He can now sit off them and show how good and dominant he really is.’’

Meanwhile, Godolphin sprinter Bivouac has been retired after finishing fifth behind Nature Strip last Saturday.
“Bivouac’s telling us that he’s now ready to head off to stud,’’ trainer James Cummings said.

“Everything that he achieved is the hallmark of an absolute superstar and I think he’s capable of following in the footsteps of Exceed And Excel himself.

“He was his best son on the racetrack and hopefully he will become his best son at stud.”

Originally published asFord not dwelling on Doncaster loss

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