Promising fillies Hold The Press and Red Star opened up another off-shore front for Press Statement’s first crop in New Zealand this week.
Press Statement’s Hong Kong expats were in the news this week as they progress towards a ground-breaking griffin season in 2021. And his South African filly Kitty Cat Chat is being set for a Group 1 campaign after a space job on debut at Durbanville last month.
Hold The Press turned the spotlight across the Tasman with a dominant debut at Otaki on Thursday. She jumped straight to the front and swished her tail to a three and a half length victory in the Aquashield Roofing Maiden (1100m).
“She’s pulled up well and we will wait until after the weekend before making any plans,” co-trainer Johno Benner said. “She’s a speedy filly – she’s got gears – and will improve again in the autumn.”
Hold The Press is owned by Aspen Bloodstock’s Graeme Causer and was initially with trainer Terry Rae at Riccarton before transferring north to Benner and his partner Hollie Wynyard at Otaki.
Her dam Asset Rain (Encosta De Lago) is a three-quarter sister to Emirates Stakes Gr.1 winner Titanic Jack and she foaled a Headwater filly at Baramul Stud last month.
Hold The Press saluted a day after Graeme Rogerson unveiled Red Star at Tauranga. She flashed home to be beaten less than a length over 1200m and ‘Rogie’ reported he was pleased with the way she powered into second spot after a slow getaway.
Red Star didn’t figure on debut on a Heavy 10 at Woodville last month and stewards reported she was hampered and lost ground shortly after the start on Wednesday. “She’s going to make a nice horse,” he said. “She will be better for the experience and wants it further. We will give her a week to get over the run and then look for a maiden. I think there could be some black print further down the track.”
Another Gerry Harvey-bred filly, Red Star is the first foal of Burning Red (Testa Rossa) who is a half-sister to Barbaricus (MVRC Bill Stutt Stakes Gr.2). Rogerson kept a share in a partnership with Dr Siro Fuatai and Craig Leishman.
The focus on Press Statement switches back to Australia this Saturday at Caulfield and Randwick. Incredulous Dream will appreciate the drop back from black-type and stretching out a furlong second-up in the QMS Media Plate (1400m) at Caulfield.
Trainer Dan O’Sullivan rolls the dice with El Santo over 2000m in the Neds Classic Gr.3 on a star-studded Caulfield Cup card. It’s a traditional Victoria Derby lead-up formerly known as a the Norman Robinson Stakes.
At Randwick, Press Statement filly Newsreader has a Stakes assignment in the Reginald Allen Quality LR. She returned from a winter spell last month and was placed at Warwick Farm and Randwick for Champion Thoroughbreds and trainer John O’Shea.
Kelly Schweida and He’s The News can finish a busy Saturday with a winning flourish in the Attwood Marshall Hcp (1200m) at the Gold Coast. A Vinery-bred Press Statement, he’s a half-brother to Schweida’s former stable star Better Than Ready.
He’s The News jumps from the inside gate and will be hard to run down on the back of a sizzling victory a fortnight ago. “I love this colt,” Schweida declared after the first-up result. “I thought he would be back in the ruck but he put lengths on them. He’s untapped.”
Press Statement has Lot 143, a colt from Texas Spur (Flying Spur), catalogued for the Inglis Ready 2 Race Sale at Riverside Stakes on Tuesday. He is being offered by Blake Ryan Racing (as agent) after pin-hooking for $60,000 at the Perth Magic Millions Yearling Sale in February.
Vinery stands Press Statement for a $13,750 (inc GST) service fee, payable on a live foal. For further information, please contact Adam White (0414 800 918) or Harry Roach (0401 970 006).