WARRNAMBOOL trainer Aaron Purcell, who is able to boast an unblemished record with international recruits to his stable, hopes another two imports will add to that impressive tally.
Nine horses Purcell has shipped in from Europe have won for their Australian owners.
The newcomers will have their first campaigns early next year.
Purcell bought Guizot and Column on the advice of English bloodstock agent Anthony Bromley, who has handpicked the Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase-winning trainer’s other imports.
“Anthony has a great eye for selecting a horse,” Purcell said.
“He understands racing in Australia and knows what type of horse we're looking for to race in Victoria.
“Guizot and Column are in quarantine at Newmarket in England and will do their quarantine in Sydney before coming to Warrnambool. They should be here before Christmas.
“We put a lot of time and effort into checking horses form and type with the assistance of Anthony before purchasing them.
“I would say our record speaks for itself in selecting them.”
The quietly spoken trainer said both horses had a lot of racing in front of them.
“Both horses are lightly raced and are young,” Purcell said.
“They come to Australia with great credentials to run here.
“We're confident the owners will have a lot of fun with both horses.”
Purcell's list of imported winners includes Val Mondo, Swacadelic, Initator and St Jean.
FRENCH-BRED galloper Dormello Mo is a new addition to Warrnambool trainer Simon Ryan's stable.
The import, who has won six of his 24 overseas starts, will be set for jumping races at the Oakbank and Warrnambool carnivals.
Ryan said training Dormello Mo was a great opportunity for his small stable.
“I'm very thankful for Sandy McGregor and the other owners for having the confidence in me to train the horse,” the former jumps jockey said.
“I've only got a few horses in work, so to pick up a horse of the calibre of Dormello Mo is a real bonus.
“He's a really nice type of horse. He would be about 16 hands.
“He's got a high overseas rating which will stand him in good stead for jumps races over here.
“The funny thing is I've got to get a barrier ticket for him as he only raced in strand start races overseas.”
Ryan’s brother, Warrnambool Cup-winning trainer Patrick, has taken over training of one-time Melbourne Cup favourite Signoff. The seven-year-old, fourth in the 2014 Melbourne Cup, was formerly trained by Darren Weir and ended up missing this year's cup due to a suspensory injury.
McGregor is also in the ownership of Signoff and I’ll’ava’alf, plus talented imported jumper John Monash. All are in Ryan's stable. Ryan trained Video Star to win the 2008 Warrnambool Cup.
CIARON Maher has entered 26 horses for Victoria's richest two-year-old race, the Blue Diamond, to be run at Caulfield on February 25 next year.
Warrnambool trainers Daniel Bowman, Peter Chow and Symon Wilde have also nominated runners, while Darren Weir's local stable has entries in the classic.
A record 686 horses were entered for the $1.5 million group 1 feature race.
Reigning Blue Diamond-winning trainer Mick Price is this year’s top nominator, with the Caulfield-based trainer accepting with 55 horses. Team Hayes and Dabernig (46), Aquanita Racing (45) and global giant Godolphin (43) are the other leading first acceptors.
The best-represented stallion among the list is Snitzel, who has 47 sons and daughters still in contention for the race. Snitzel was the leading two year-old sire by winners last season with 29, second only to Written Tycoon by earnings.
The 2017 Blue Diamond series begins with the Blue Diamond previews (1000m, group 3 for fillies, listed for colts and geldings) on Australia Day, followed by preludes (1100m, group 2 for fillies, group 3 for colts and geldings) on February 11, with the Blue Diamond Stakes over 1200m on February 25.
All horses originally nominated for next year’s Blue Diamond Stakes will remain eligible for the 2017 group 3 Blue Sapphire Stakes, even if their nomination lapses at the first, second, third or final acceptance stage.
Second declarations close at noon on January 10.
JOCKEYS Jake Noonan and Jason Benbow were outed on careless riding charges at Cranbourne on Friday night.
Noonan’s suspension started at midnight on November 26 and ends on December 2, while Benbow is on the sidelines from November 27 to December 3.
Stewards took into account both charges were in the low range before handing down the penalties.
STAKES-WINNING gelding Zoutenant topped the Inglis Sydney Spring Thoroughbred Sale, selling for $34,000 last week.
Zoutenant, a restricted listed winner, won more than $250,000 in stakemoney from his 15 starts before being sold.
The clearance rate for the sale was a healthy 89 per cent.
Inglis will hold its next sale at Oaklands Junction in Melbourne on December 9, with 95 horses listed.
It's expected another 30 lots will be sold as part of the supplementary section.