Al Shaqab’s French racing manager Rupert Pritchard-Gordon has announced the departure of the three-year-old Shalaa colt, Welwal, to Australia. The colt will migrate from leading French trainer Jean-Claude Rouget and become a member of Chris Waller’s prolific Sydney string. Earlier in the season, Welwal claimed the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau over 1,600m at Paris Longchamp. His first Australian target is set to be the Golden Eagle, with a prize fund of A$10million, taking place at Rosehill the last weekend of October. Pritchard-Gordon made the following statement on the move: “The Golden Eagle is over 1,500 metres but that should suit him. However, he must take his journey well. We hope he acclimatises well.”
STAR OF INDIA
The Aiden O’Brien-trained listed winner, Star of India, recently changed into Australian hands and will target the Melbourne Cup for Annabel Neasham and new connections. The Galileo colt finished down the field in the English Derby Classic but was an impressive winner on his juvenile debut at Leopardstown. He subsequently followed up this form on his third start by winning a Listed at Chester (UK) over 2,100m. Prior to flying down under, he has moved from O’Brien’s Ballydole stables to Newmarket-based trainer Harry Eustace. Owners have given Eustace the option of running the colt ahead of his Australian transfer if he gets fresh. Eustace has mentioned that if its needed, Star of India is likely to participate in one of the following contests: Winter Hill Stakes Group 3 at Windsor over 2,000m in late August or the Prix du Prince d’Orange at Paris Longchamp in early September over 2,400m.
The feature race at Leopardstown racecourse (Ireland) on Thursday the 4th of August saw two Australian potentials emerge for Joseph O’Brien. The Co. Kilkenny trainer is no stranger to the Australian racing scene, and some of his major success’ include winning the 2017 and 2020 versions of the Melbourne Cup with Rekindling and Twilight Payment respectively. Additionally, he claimed the 2021 edition of the Cox Plate with the Starspangledbanner colt, State of Rest. The Theme Valley-owned Gear up raced in second under Dylan Browne McMonagle for the majority of the 2,400m trip and disputed for the lead 400m out. McMonagle was able to drive the son of Teofilo clear from his challenging stablemate Cleveland who was the resultant runner-up. Joseph O’Brien stated that Gear up executed a “good, tough, performance” and the colt hosts an entry in the Caulfield Cup in mid-spring. The runner-up Cleveland could also be flying down under with his target being the Melbourne Cup. The four-year-old son of Camelot was having his debut in Group company and O’Brien commented “It was a great run. He needed to be placed in a Group race to qualify for the Melbourne Cup, so that was very pleasing.”