Sutton Grange’s Brent Stanley enjoyed a fruitful week, with wins to Haski and Shaq taking his season tally to 19 winners.
The Cloud 9 operation got the winning run underway at Ararat last Thursday when Haski ($5.50) made it two wins from five starts for Stanley since his arrival from the Darren Weir stable late last year. The earlier win came at Kilmore on January 8.
Under a positive ride from apprentice Lewis German, the son of Magnus held off the challenge of the Brian Gentle-trained Destiny’s Revenge.
At Bendigo the following day, Shaq ($13) followed up his third placing in the Hanging Rock Cup with a win over 1600 metres.
Having scored at Echuca on December 31, the son of Savabeel — like Haski — has two wins from his past three runs.
Shaq made the trip to Bendigo worthwhile for apprentice Jordan Turner, who made the trip from Ballarat for that one mount.
Cash from Dash
There was a strong Goldfields link to lot 76 of the Inglis Classic yearling sale, a Brazen Beau colt who fetched $480,000 last Saturday night in Sydney.
The colt was the first foal from Written Dash, who won three races for Bendigo trainer Danny Curran, highlighted by the Group 3 Typhoon Tracy Stakes at The Valley in 2015 at odds of $101.
The flashy black colt was purchased by Hong Kong-based Orbis Bloodstock from Tyreel Stud of Agnes Banks (NSW).
Farewell to a matriarch
Joe and Daira Vella of Wingrove Park were saddened this week by the loss of their foundation broodmare Dual Spark.
The 18-year-old daughter of Spartacus won four races, three at metropolitan level, and was Group 3-placed as a two-year-old.
Trained by Robert Smerdon and later Brian Mayfield-Smith, she was the first horse the Vellas bred and raced.
Dual Spark’s success extended into the breeding barn, where she produced seven runners.
Collectively to date, her progeny have won 16 races and more than $500,000 in prizemoney.
El Spark and Sparks Burn were stakes-placed while Sparks Fly was a winner of the Morphettville Guineas. Sparks Alight won two races in town.
She has unraced horses by Denman, Kuroshio and Wanted on the ground.
The Vellas have bred with three of her daughters and will continue to race her remaining progeny.
The Bendigo Jockey Club honoured the late local jockey Colin Browell with an annual memorial race at Bendigo last Thursday.
Colin, son of local trainer Allen, died of leukaemia in 2005.
Members of his family were on course last week to present the race trophy to connections of winner Tubbs Gift, trained by David O’Prey and ridden by Lachlan King.
Friend John Keating described Browell on Racing.com as a genuine and helpful mentor to riders.
All go at the ’Go
The action is back at Bendigo on Saturday for the popular Marong Cup card.
The afternoon is hosted by the Marong Racing Club and helps raise money (more than $40,000 last year) for local Catholic primary schools.
As a result it’s a family friendly crowd, with plenty of kids activities.
This year’s event will also have a Chinese New Year flavour, with a dragon and dancers roaming the course plus a 200-metre Chinese-themed children’s relay.
The feature event is the $25,000 Phil Palma Bendigo Ford Marong Cup (2200m), last year taken out by the Lindsay Park-trained Honey Steel’s Gold.
Gates will open at 11am with general admission tickets $15.