Val Mondo eyes Melbourne Cup
AARON Purcell’s former northern hemisphere galloper Val Mondo will make his Australian debut in an $80,000 open handicap over 1600 metres at Caulfield on Saturday with a path to the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup (3200 metres) on November 6.
Val Mondo has delighted the Warrnambool trainer since he entered his stables at the end of May. “I could not fault the horse,” Purcell said. “He’s a nice type of galloper. I don’t expect him to do much on Saturday but we had to kick off his spring campaign somewhere.
“He’s qualified to run in this year’s Melbourne Cup. We’ve entered him for the Caulfield Cup. We’ll look at a few races over the next few weeks which may see him run in the Caulfield Cup but our main is the Melbourne Cup. He looks an ideal Melbourne Cup horse. He’s very relaxed in his work. I don’t think he’ll have any problems with running out two miles.”
Val Mondo was formerly trained by high-profile English jumps trainer Venetia Williams for seven months after he was successful in the 2010 German St Leger over 2800 metres. Williams, who trained Ginolad in England for Purcell after he won the 2008 Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase, has been keeping an eye out for northern hemisphere horses for Purcell to train in Australia for the last couple of years.
“Everything Venetia had told us about the horse was right,” Purcell said. “Val Mondo is sound and has no hang-ups. He’s a very athletic type of horse. He runs well on the flat but he’s also a very good jumper, which is a bonus. We’re really excited how this horse can run over the next few months.”
Meanwhile, Purcell is looking at expanding his training base . He has started discussions with the Warrnambool Racing Club regarding the possibility of adding another eight to 10 boxes to the 15 boxes which are already in his on-course stables.
“The talks are in the early stages but I know I’ve got to include more boxes as we want to manage everything from our stables,” he said. “We do all our pre-training here but we are getting more horses around us. We don’t want to let the stable get too big because it takes away from the individual contact with each horse that we have in the stable.”
Big year for Beriman
BOOM apprentice jockey Jackie Beriman will become one of the hottest properties in Australian racing within the next 12 months, according to Warrnambool Racing Club chief executive John Green. Green made his comments on the back of Beriman’s success since she began riding in October last year. She scored the biggest win in her short career in Darwin on August 4 in the $130,000 Palmerston Sprint .
The talented Warrnambool-based youngster has ridden 66 winners from just over 300 race rides. “It’s incredible what Jackie has achieved in such a short time,” Green said. “I don’t think there would have been any first-year apprentice jockey that would have had such a good strike rate as Jackie.
“Full credit for her success must go back to Jackie, her master Jarrod McLean and her family, especially sister Nikita.”
The popular CEO said Beriman would be ready to take the next step in her career in 2013. “Jackie has still got a lot to learn,” Green said. It was a great move by Jarrod and her family to let her find her feet riding in the country. She’s still learning her skills. She’s riding out her country claim very quickly. It would have not achieved much to send her to Melbourne in the spring to ride against the best jockeys .
“The decision to hold her back for country races at this stage will have long-term benefits for Jackie. She will be claiming three kilograms in Melbourne next winter and will keep on winning races. I’m sure everyone in Australian racing will realise next year what a talent she is for the sport.”
Green said everyone in the local racing community was delighted with the success Beriman had achieved in just over nine months.
Sponsors the winner
MORE than 150 people packed into the Matilda Room at the Warrnambool racecourse on Friday night for the annual sponsors’ night, hosted by Warrnambool Racing Club. The major winner was Southern Financial Group, which won naming rights for a race on the Wednesday of Warrnambool’s May Racing Carnival.
Other winners were Bowman Financial Service Group, the Warrnambool Football Netball Club and Pearsons Nursery. Club sponsorship manager Brad Pole said the night was a great way for local businesses to mingle.
“All the business people share a love for horse racing,” he said. The racing club hosts its annual members’ draw at today’s race meeting.
Subzero still a strong favourite
SCHOOLCHILDREN from Camperdown, Mortlake and Terang got the chance to see 1992 Melbourne Cup winner Subzero last week as part of a program by Racing Victoria to take racing to the public. Subzero’s owner Graeme Salisbury said the sight of the grey gelding had given great joy to schoolchildren and elderly people at Sunnyside Aged Hostel.
“It never ceases to amaze me how everyone loves Subzero,” Salisbury said. “When the idea started of taking Subbie to the schools began 10 years ago we went to 10 schools in a year. That number is now 120 schools a year plus elderly facilities.”
WHO TO FOLLOW
DARYL DODSON: One of the most under-rated trainers in the state. Dodson only has a small team of horses in work but they are always competitive . He ventured to Adelaide on Saturday and was successful with Montjeu Madame at good odds. Follow his runners.
SYSMO: Super run to finish fifth in the Aurie’s Star Handicap over 1200 metres at Flemington on Saturday. He is being aimed at some of the big races over the spring and should be competitive.
EXCLUDED: Heavily backed at Flemington on Saturday when he resumed in a 1000-metre race. He ran on well over the concluding stages to run fifth. Put Excluded in your little black book.
VLAD DURIC: Showed his riding talent when he booted home a winning double at Flemington on Saturday. Duric kick-started his career riding winners as an apprentice across the Western District. He may be a jockey to follow over the spring.