February 15

CATCH UP on earlier Autumn Galleries here >   http://lisagrimm.zenfolio.com/f617665224

Apollo Stakes Day Gallery online soon. Check back !

Sydney's favourite grey mare CATKINS (below) resumes in the Millie Fox Stakes this Saturday at Rosehill. She is going for the back to back double in that race ! We all would dearly love her to get that elusive Group 1 that she so deserves - with trainer Chris Waller aiming for that in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes .

Apollo Stakes winner WINX will have her next up assignment in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick. She will have top shelf competition, always a terrific Group 1 field.

Godolphins CALLIOPE will head back to Sydney after missing a place in the Blue Diamond Prelude for fillies. She is the Gimcrack Stakes winner from the Spring and her next target will be the Reisling Stakes on March 5. In the boys division her stablemate COHESION was unplaced but will focus on 1000m races.

Always tough decisions when you are James McDonald and you have to start choosing your Godolphin rides, especially carnival time. He has elected to stick with my big boy XO - Exosphere in the Lightning Stakes. The other good ride was ASTERN at Rosehill this Saturday in the Silver Slipper. He's an highly acclaimed colt within the John O'Shea camp for Golden Slipper glory.

The Peter and Paul Snowden camp will be without a runner in the Blue Diamond but will have two very good colts in the Golden Slipper mix, CAPITALIST (photo below) and DEFCON. The latter will run likely in the Silver Slipper this weekend while Capitalist will have a trial on Friday or the following Monday.

Did we all see the exciting XTRAVAGANT's win in the Group 1 in New Zealand. He gave them a lesson and is now bound for Australia to run in the Group 1 Australian Guineas. Then hopefully Sydney bound.


February 8

JAPAN are coming again to the Championships. This year Tosen Stardom who I photographed at quarantine (pictured) will return to Sydney alongside newcomers Isla Bonita, Logotype, and Tosen Reve. Yasutoshi Ikee, trainer of Tosen Stardom, also prepares Tosen Reve. Both gallopers are by Japan’s all-conquering sire Deep Impact.

Tosen Stardom finished second in the Group I Ranvet Stakes (2000m) before a fifth in the Group I Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) during his last visit to Australia.

Saturday Wrap - The features of the day were the Group 2 Breeders Classic for the girls which was won by the Waller trained and Magic Millions purchased AMICUS (inside below). 

It appeared at the time she was overlooked pre race and I said to my colleague, this girl has won a Group 1 and should be winning if she's right, rest is history ! The Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes was won by Arrowfield's SPILL THE BEANS. A nice looking colt by Snitzel x Miss Dodwell.

The hype horse of the day was the Kiwi HASSELHOOF (below).  6 from 6 wins in NZ and vying for 7 in his Aussie racetrack debut. Unfortunately the winning streak was broken on an unsuitable track for him. I hope we can see his best and all is not lost with the son of Tavistock aiming for the Parramatta Cup in two weeks.

One horse who I was looking forward to seeing was PRIDE OF DUBAI (below) make his racetrack return. I went out to the stalls to see him, he looked so well, strong and masculine. Even his entourage of Coolmore connections were out with their iphones taking a few snaps of their horse.

It wasn't to be with lameness resulting in his lack lustre finish in the Eskimo Prince Stakes. I agree with trainer Peter Snowden that we have been robbed of seeing the best he had to offer. That's racing. I was hoping for a couple more Group 1's to his resume but now the focus is him being the sire of potential Group 1 winners ! He will stand at Coolmore Stud.

Inglis Classic Sale Day 2

I spent the day at Newmarket yesterday photographing the babies go through the sales ring. Records were broken at Inglis for the classic sale with averages up over 30%. The highest priced lot to date was the I AM INVINCIBLE colt x Quirina (below) who sold for $410k to Wexford Stables NZ and will be trained by Mike Maroney.

The headturner at the sale was the unusually marked WRITTEN TYCOON x Sunday Shoes colt (below). He was bought by Lindsay Park Racing. The images of him have done the full circle of social media !!

February 4

Top rider Kerrin McEvoy will be aboard STAY WITH ME the daughter of Miss Finland when she resumes and likewise RICH ENUFF.

Some more big names will step out in barrier trials next Monday at Warwick Farm. Derby winner PREFERMENT will be in the same heat as Sydney's favourite girl CATKINS. Heat 2 is a cracker - 

BALL OF MUSCLE Joseph Pride   0      
2 12x202x13x BOUNDING Peter & Paul Snowden   0      
3 x111x5653x CONTRIBUTER (IRE) John O'Shea   0      
4 x110x1114x EXOSPHERE John O'Shea   0      
5 979x54761x FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ) Noel Mayfield-Smith   0      
6 112x21226x FIRST SEAL John P Thompson   0      
7 0x19x87x23 IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA) John O'Shea   0      
8 827x57523x ROCK STURDY Joseph Pride   0      
9 1x330x173x TERRAVISTA Joseph Pride   0      
10 82x249000x WEARY (FR)

SHARDS is a great looking colt which is expected with his sire being MEDAGLIA D'ORO  . He is on the Derby path possibly the Doncaster mile as well. While stablemate TARQUIN is focused on the Derby- both will resume this Saturday in the Eskimo Prince Stakes.

I was really glad to see HEADWATER (pictured) back in the winners stalls after his win in the kensington Stakes at Flemington. He was a much talked about 2 year old with breeding like his, by Exceed and Excel out of the wonderful sprinting mare River Dove. Trained by Hawkes Racing. I love this photo of him with Blake Shinn aboard !  





January 28

Miss Finland's daughter STAY WITH ME will trial at Randwick tomorrow. Her Autumn Prep will be here in Sydney with the filly starting her campaign in the Light Fingers Stakes on February 13. Then followed by Surround Stakes and possibly the Group 1 Coolmore Classic.

Based on consistency and results achieved over a few seasons now, CRITERION would have to be Australia's best galloper. He will be following an identical Autumn path to last year where he will resume in the Canterbury Stakes, George Ryder and the defence of his crown in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

CHAUTAUQUA is still the favourite for the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes with EXOSPHERE closing after his sterling trial this week. With the likes of JAPONISME, DELECTATION, TERRAVISTA and BOBAN nomd it sure to be the race of the Autumn !

I loved how he pinned those ears back and gave his all in his races. DUNADEN (pictured) has sired his first foal, maybe just, we'll see one of his progeny come down under and compete in the Melbourne Cup !

I have just read on Twitter the sad passing of the champion INTERGAZE, rest in peace champ. What thrills and highlights you gave so many people.

January 27

Cox Plate winner WINX headlines Randwick Trials on Friday. She will be in the same heat as her fellow Group 1 stablemates in ROYAL DESCENT, AMICUS and BOBAN. FIRST SEAL will also be in that heat. One of my favourite Godolphin horses HARTNELL (pictured) will be at the trials with his stablemates BOW CREEK, AMBIENCE, SHARDS, MOGADOR, GHISONI and PEARLS.

John O'Shea / James McDonald for Godolphin

There are many eagerly awaiting this fellows return - PRIDE OF DUBAI will resume on February 6 in the Eskimo Prince Stakes.

FRANKEL is off to a great start in the sales ring with his colt selling for $1.21Million AUD at Karaka with Coolmore, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum as well as French and Hong Kong interests involved in the purchase. Good news is he will be trained in Australia, likely from a Sydney stable.

Filly KANGARILLA JOY is famous for being the most expensive filly by LONHRO sold at auction in Australia at Inglis Easter. The hammer fell at $840k. It was great to see she had won her 3rd race on Australia Day and now her trainers the Snowdens would love the filly to get black type next her name as the Autumn unfolds.



January 25

TURFSTARS is back at the races from this Saturday at Rosehill. Looking forward as usual to the exciting racing that lies ahead over the Sydney Autumn. Stay tuned for the wonderful image galleries I bring you of your favourites as they hit the racetracks !

Trainer Chris Waller to split star pair. PRESS STATEMENT runs in the Randwick Guineas on March 5 while VANBRUGH will venture to Melbourne for the Australian Guineas, same day.

The Karaka Premier sales in NZ is underway today. Some mighty horses have been purchased here and have proven success at the highest level in our feature Group 1 races. They include KERMADEC, PREFERMENT, PRINCE OF PENZANCE, TARZINO and TURN ME LOOSE of recent times. Want a Doncaster mile winner ? 8 out of the last 9 have come from this sale, extraordinary !

Speaking of Karaka sales the highly anticipated sale of the little white filly from Windsor Park stud High Chaparral x The Opera House sells to Japan for $450k ! Would've loved to have photographed her but not to be in Australia. Who knows, maybe one day we'll see her in our big staying Group 1's !

My 'big boy' Exo aka EXOSPHERE put in a sterling trial this morning. He is first up in the Lightning Stakes - if he handles the straight track he is in the Newmarket. If not, back to Sydney for the Canterbury Stakes and TJ Smith. This was a star studded trial and the likes of Japonisme, Press Statement, Pride of Dubai did well having an easy time. They are all ticking along nicely.

I'm a sucker for good looking horses, some have the 'aura' and presence that sets them apart from the rest - and they know it too ! One fine example is SKILLED (PICTURED above), he's a Group 1 Champagne Stakes winner, and I'm happy to report he sired his first winner in Tasmania. This striking son of Commands is now on the board and may the winners flow for him !


January 21

Sadly the Chris Waller trained Flamingo Star (photo) has passed away. Condolences to all connections.

Superstar WINX has come back a bigger and stronger horse by reports from her trainer. Her first run back will either be the Apollo Stakes on Feb 13 or the Millie Fox for mares on Feb 20. We all can't wait.

I was so proud of this mare's efforts in the Melbourne Cup - out did herself ! GUST OF WIND is on a Sydney Cup campaign. The Apollo Stakes 1400m will be where she will likely resume. We will see her best when she reaches 2000m and she will likely run in the BMW enroute to the Cup.

A second Doncaster Handicap is on the radar for the Chris Waller trained KERMADEC. He will return in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes on March 5.

January 20

Melbourne Cup winner PRINCE OF PENZANCE is back in work at the Darren Weir stables. Is likely to target the RA Lee Stakes in Adelaide on May 21 - all leading towards another Melbourne Cup campaign !

She's an unbeaten filly for trainer David Van Dyke YANKEE ROSE and now she will be set for Sydney's rich triple crown starting first up into the Golden Slipper, then the Sires Produce and Champagne Stakes. She will only have two trials before her Slipper run.

EXOSPHERE (photo) one of my favourite horses will return in a trial next Monday at Warwick Farm. His first up mission is the Group 1 Lightning Stakes down the straight at Flemington. I'm hoping he takes more of a liking to that this time !

OUR BOY MALACHI won the star studded trial yesterday - his first up assignment is the Expressway Stakes.

The American champion AMERICAN PHAROAH has been crowned the Longines Best Racehorse of the world in London. What a champion and fingers crossed we will be graced with his presence at Coolmore Australia this breeding season !

EXOSPHEREEXOSPHERE2015 Golden Rose Champion

January 19th, 2016

Rosehill Trials Results http://www.racingaustralia.horse/FreeFields/Results.aspx?Key=2016Jan19,NSW,Rosehill%20Gardens,Trial

Joe Pride trained Sydney sprinter TERRAVISTA will launch his Autumn Campaign in Melbourne first up in the Lightning Stakes. Will likely have a trial February 8.

Wonderful mare Lucia Valentina has big autumn goals with the George Ryder Stakes and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in her sights.

Patience can be a virtue and John Thompson trainer of FIRST SEAL (pictured) has plenty of it. His star mare will make her long awaited return to racing soon. Lets hope she can come back to the horse she was. The Group II Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 13 will be the likely first-up run for First Seal with races such as the Group I Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), Group I Coolmore Classic (1500m) and Group I Doncaster Mile (1600m) to follow.



John Thompson / Blake Shinn