Maygrove made light work of his topweight of 60kgs to record a strong win in the $50,000 Listed Jakkalberry Classic at Rotorua.

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained gelding got his New Zealand Cup campaign back on track after the grey had missed two races due to rain-affected tracks recently.

Ridden for the first time by Michael Coleman, Maygrove settled midfield, as Admiral and I’llav Bubbles set the pace. Maygrove moved forward to the leaders close the turn then strode clear of the opposition to win by a length and a quarter. Gentil Tonton (S.Spratt) finished strongly for second, with six lengths to Flyinby (A.Schwerin) in third.

Maygrove’s winning time was 2:10.35 for the 1950 metres on a Heavy10 track.

“He’s a very good horse. He’s been consistent all the way through, especially on left-handed tracks. I wasn’t too worried about the conditions. I looked back at his win in the Awapuni Gold Cup on a heavy track and he won well that day, so I was quite confident today – even with the 60 kilos,” winning rider Michael Coleman said.

“He travelled really nicely, and got through the ground well. He possibly got there a bit too soon, but you don’t want to lose any of your momentum in this sort of going,” Coleman added.

Maygrove now shares $8 favouritism with the in-form Chris Wood trained galloper Pacorus for the next month’s Group 3 New Zealand Cup. Gentil Tonton is at $14.

“He won well today, it was pretty easy in the end with his big weight. We’ll probably only get one more race into him before the Cup – it will probably be in the Metropolitan (2500m), then the New Zealand Cup (3200m) a week later,” co-trainer Murray Baker said.

The six-year-old has now had 36 starts for seven wins – including three stakes races. Along with Saturday’s win, was last year’s Wellington Cup (Group 2) the Awapuni Gold Cup (Group 2), and with 10 placings has earned over $340,000 in prize-money for owners Lib Petagna and P W O’Rourke.

Bruce Perry purchased Maygrove for $110,000 from Haunui Farm’s draft at the 2012 Karaka Select Yearling Sale where the son of Authorized was offered on behalf of the Laurel Oak Lady Zhivago Syndicate.

Sir Bacchus captured his fifth career win when resuming in a 1200-metre benchmark 85 handicap last month at Rosehill.

The flashy grey will start in an identical race this Saturday, only this time he will be asked to shoulder 61.5kg as opposed to 59.5kg.

A 2kg rise at the top end of the weights is of some concern to rider Hugh Bowman but Sydney’s leading jockey has no doubt in the horse’s ability.

“He has got a bit of weight,” Bowman said.

“But I think he’s a horse that can carry a weight against this sort of grade. He’s obviously a horse that needs things to go his way but he’s pretty handy.”

Having carried a minimum of 57kg at eight of his nine career starts (56kg on debut), Sir Bacchus could be entitled to some weight relief in the coming weeks.

“I’m sure he’ll make it to stakes company but I just don’t know where he’ll fit in,” Bowman said.

“He might be a horse that could be better in a really good race with no weight than sort of going through that Listed/Group III stage.

“I just think he might be a horse that could pop up in an Epsom or possibly one of those Group I handicaps in Melbourne and he’d get in really low.

“I think he would be more suited by that than carrying bigger weights in Listed/Group III company.”

Early punters baulked at Sir Bacchus’ opening quote of $2.20 which has since eased to a top price of $2.50 with Sportsbet. The undefeated Bullrush, trained by Hawkes Racing, is shaping as Sir Bacchus’ biggest danger, quoted a $3.60 second favourite.

Tom Walter, Racenet

Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club today announced that as of 1 October 2016 the minimum prizemoney for Saturday metropolitan races will increase to $100,000 per race.

“This increase headlines several prizemoney initiatives totaling almost $53 million annually which has been announced this year, capping off a surge in NSW prizemoney over four years,” said Racing NSW Chairman, Mr John Messara AM.

“Today’s announcement is a further step towards achieving a vital component of Racing NSW’s Strategic Plan, intended to financially stimulate the NSW Thoroughbred Racing Industry.

“In 2012, total NSW prizemoney was $118.9 million. Following today’s announcement, I’m delighted to advise that annual prizemoney in NSW will be more than $204 million, an increase of $85 million over that time.

“These increases are entirely sustainable and are fully-funded from the proceeds of the sale of digital media rights, Race Fields legislation fees and parity,” Mr Messara added.

Increases to prizemoney are highlighted as follows:

* Metropolitan Saturday minimum prizemoney increasing to $100,000 per race or almost 18% on 1 October 2016 from $85,000 per race.

* Provincial minimum prizemoney increasing to $30,000 per race or 36% on 1 October 2016 from $22,000 per race in June 2016.

* Country TAB minimum prizemoney increased to $20,000 per race or 33% on 1 July 2016 from $15,000 per race in June 2016.

* Country Sky 2 minimum prizemoney increasing to $10,000 per race or 25% on 1 October 2016 from $8,000 per race.

* Addition of an eighth race to 20 selected midweek and night ATC race meetings from 1 October 2016, injecting a further $800,000 in prizemoney.

* Inclusion of an $80,000 feature race on ATC night meetings from 1 October 2016, injecting a further additional $320,000 in prizemoney.

* Group 2 race prizemoney increasing to a minimum of $200,000 per race or 14% on 1 October 2016 from $175,000.

* Group 3 race prizemoney increasing to a minimum of $150,000 per race or 20% on 1 October 2016 from $125,000.

* Listed Race prizemoney increasing to a minimum of $125,000 per race or 25% on 1 October 2016 from $100,000.

* Inclusion of a $150,000 feature race on selected metropolitan meetings.

* BOBS bonuses of $20,000 to be added to two and three year old Listed races from 1 October 2016.

* Country and Provincial Championships qualifying heats to be run for $150,000.

* A fortnightly $40,000 provincial maiden race on selected meetings from 1 October 2016.

* Thirty $40,000 country restricted maiden races on selected Showcase meetings from 1 October 2016.

Australian Turf Club Chief Executive Officer, Darren Pearce said the depth and breadth of today’s announcements for Sydney racing were among the most significant in the Club’s history.

“The ATC is fully funding more than $4 million to increase all metropolitan Saturday races to $100,000, setting the new benchmark in Australian Racing,” Mr Pearce said.

“All Stakes races will benefit from newly increased minimum prizemoney levels, and new feature races will be added to Night Racing fixtures and the Melbourne Cup Race Day at Royal Randwick.

“These prizemoney increases are just one part of the ATC’s focus and long-term strategy to grow a stronger and sustainable future for Sydney racing for decades to come.

“The ATC will continue to help fund investment into racetracks, training infrastructure and our spectator facilities, for the benefit of everyone in racing. It’s time to make Sydney racing the strongest and most competitive racing in the world.”

News from Racing NSW & ATC Joint Media Release

The equal highest earning BOBS winner for the past season, consistent Sebring four year-old Sir Bacchus returned from his winter spell with a late surging victory at Rosehill on Saturday.

Given a beautiful ride by Hugh Bowman, the Chris Waller trained grey was able to overhaul the leaders and win the 1200 meter Benchmark 85 event by half a length under 59.5 kg.

“It was a well-timed ride by Hugh Bowman to say the least and the horse looks like he’s come back stronger,” Waller said.

“We’ll take him through the grades now – probably another Saturday race next start and then we might look for something better.”

A $130,000 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale purchase for Laurel Oak Bloodstock from the draft of Widden Stud, Sir Bacchus (pictured Steve Hart) has won five of nine starts earning over $300,000 in prizemoney.

Sir Bacchus Morphin Into Reliable Man

He was bred by David O’Keefe’s Lockyer Thoroughbreds and is the first foal of his stakes-winning Encosta de Lago mare Bacchanal Woman.

Bacchanal Woman was on-sold last year at the Inglis Broodmare Sale where she was snapped up by Goldin Farms for $340,000 and has since produced a Sepoy filly for her new owners.

News from Breednet

Gary Portelli knows he is saddling up the best horse in the Missile Stakes but admits he is clueless about tactics.

The field for Saturday’s Group Two 1200m-sprint has been reduced to five with the scratchings of Golden Slipper winner Capitalist and Group One-placed Generalife because of the heavy track.

The Portelli-trained Rebel Dane is the new favourite but like his four opponents, is a horse who usually gets back in his races.

“There might be five across the track all looking at each other,” Portelli said.

“I’ll leave it up to Tommy Berry to figure it out.

“He’s the maestro and he’ll know what to do.

“It will be a battle of tactics and the best horse doesn’t always win.

“Most days the horses he’s up against would finish behind him but I respect the others and it will all come down to the way the race is run.

“He may be able to take up a spot but there’s not much I can do. It’s up to Tommy.”

The winner of the 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, Rebel Dane has not won another Group One race since then but has racked up several placings including a second on a heavy track to Lankan Rupee in the 2014 TJ Smith Stakes.

Rebel Dane firmed to $1.75 with the TAB on Friday with Big Money second choice at $2.90.

Godolphin trainer John O’Shea has scratched all four stable runners from the Randwick meeting with the track a heavy 10 on Friday afternoon.

But track manager Nevesh Ramdhani has no concerns about the meeting going ahead with the weather clearing and a fine day forecast for the first Saturday metropolitan program of the new season.

“The track is obviously very heavy but is not at all bottomless, so given the amount of rain at this time of year it is coping as well as can be expected,” Ramdhani said

News: Caryl Williamson

Rival trainer Gary Portelli concedes only the “Golden Slipper curse” can beat Capitalist in Saturday’s Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick.

Portelli, who saddles up Group 1 winner Rebel Dane in the $175,000 feature, made the big admission on Thursday despite 24 hours of torrential rain in Sydney, which surely favours his charge.

Rebel Dane is an old fashioned mudder, with three wins and two seconds in 10 tries on wet ground.

Added to that is the fact the sprinter goes like a rocket when resuming, with four wins and three placings from eight first-up appearances.

“At the weights, I just don’t think we can beat Capitalist,” Portelli said.

“We have to hope the Golden Slipper curse works on him.”

The so called “curse” has many derivatives.

If Capitalist salutes on Saturday then he’ll be just the third Golden Slipper winner over the past decade to have won first-up in the spring.

And unless you count Dance Hero, who was three days away from turning four when he won the Missile Stakes in 2005, no three-year-old has won the race in recent history — even champion galloper Lonhro had to settle for third in 2001.

Despite speculation that Capitalist might not run on Saturday, co-trainer Paul Snowden is suggesting the colt is ideally suited at his first crack in slogging conditions.

“He gets 7kg off every horse in the race bar one,” Snowden said.

If you’re going to test a horse out in unknown conditions like these then having that kind of weight pull is surely the most ideal time.

“Yes, we’re unsure if he will cope but what options do you have — wait until next week for the San Domenico Stakes?”

Therein lies a problem as well — both historically speaking and in terms of avoiding a gut buster first-up.

Only two Slipper winners have won the San Domenico — Sir Dapper (1983) and Tierce (1991).

“Plus he’d get 60kg and what happens if the track is heavy again? Then you’re running first-up on a bog with 60kg on your back,” he said.

“If he can handle the heavy then this week’s race is definitely the better option but even if he doesn’t handle it, you could argue he’s better running this week than next with the big weight and less time to recover.”

Rebel Dane resumed on a heavy track at The Championships two years ago and finished second to Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).

“Same track and distance as this but two years ago he had a bit more acceleration,” Portelli said.

“But at least we’ve worked that out — if you watch his recent trial, he was niggled along a bit but Tommy Berry jumped off saying he kept picking up through the line.

“When he won first-up last spring, I told Brenton (jockey Brenton Avdulla) that he had to get rolling coming into the corner.

“Then first-up last time in when third in the Australia Stakes we got the tactics wrong. We tried to ride him closer to the speed and it’s just not his go.

“Basically, nowadays he takes a furlong to wind up. I’d say on Saturday we’ll be behind Capitalist in the run but we’ll be getting going around the corner.

“He’s nice and fit and ready to rumble. Win, lose or draw, Capitalist will know he’s had a run. He’s only ever raced two-year-olds, never a battle-hardened, tough, genuine weight-for-age galloper like Rebel Dane.”

Portelli has noticed a change in the son of California Dane, who turned seven on Monday.

“His times at trackwork and everything are the same but he’s 20kg heavier than he’s ever been at the same stage of his preparation,” he said.

“It’s a good thing because he’s always been a bit light and it’s been a struggle to go deep into a prep — I don’t think we will have that problem this time in.

“Hopefully being a bit fatter doesn’t compromise his first-up record.”

News: Nic Ashman, Daily Telegraph

Image: Simon Bullard

Rebel Dane is fighting fit ahead of his early season campaign with trainer Gary Portelli’s main worry the presence of Capitalist in the Missile Stakes.

Trainer Gary Portelli has Rebel Dane ready to go to the races but admits his early season targets will not be easy.

New jockey Tommy Berry gave Rebel Dane a work-out between races at Rosehill on Saturday to get him ready for his first-up assignment in the Missile Stakes. Saturday’s group 2 sprint will also feature the return of Golden Slipper winner Capitalist and it doesn’t get any easier after that.

RebelDane-20150919-2775

Rebel Dane getting up on the outside to defeat Ball Of Muscle in the Group 2 The Shorts when first-up in September.

“He takes on Capitalist in his first start and then gets to take on Winx in the Warwick Stakes,” Portelli said. “There really aren’t any other races for him early in the season, so that’s the way it is.

“He takes on Capitalist in his first start and then gets to take on Winx in the Warwick Stakes,” Portelli said. “There really aren’t any other races for him early in the season, so that’s the way it is.

“He’s at 505 kilos which is the heaviest I’ve ever had him at the start of a preparation and is in great physical condition. I don’t think he could be any better.”

Rebel Dane covered the last 600m of Saturday’s 1000m gallop in a slick 33.07 seconds.

The winner of the 2013 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, Rebel Dane is likely to go to Melbourne again this spring, with the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth also an option.

The entire has won almost $1.7 million highlighted by the Group 1 race since the Rupert Clarke.

News from Portelli Racing website