MICK SHARKIE wraps up a massive day of Australian racing with Group racing in Melbourne and Sydney generating plenty of headlines. 


Raw emotion following a Group 1 win is usually saved for Chris Waller, but jockey Daniel “Buckets” Moor was a blubbering mess after landing his first Australian Group 1 on Sierra Sue in the Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield – and on his birthday too if you don’t mind!

Moor now joins an exclusive club as a Group 1 winner with his own GIF…

“It’s been a life’s work,” said Moor.

“You watch people win good races and they get emotional and you think bloody hell they’re friggin softies but it sort of hit me there and I just wanted a minute with her.”

It was a decent day for the ownership group too, Ozzie Kheir and Brae Sokolski landing their third Group 1 in two weeks after Incentivise won the Makybe Diva and Verry Elleegant won the George Main – Sierra Sue didn’t have the profile of either horse when she was plucked from New Zealand.

“I bought her off a trial…she won by a space and I had to get her. We didn’t know she’d end up a Group 1 winner but she is now. She’s worth a lot of money and she’ll be a great broodmare for us one day,” said Kheir.


Different week, same result as James McDonald continues to rack up weight for age races in Sydney, this time on his old love Verry Elleegant who reminded Zaaki-ites who the best horse in Australia really is.

There might be argument around whether we can label Verry Elleegant a champion, but there’s no argument about J-Mac’s skill in the saddle – this ride was something to behold, with Riodini tiring and a narrow gap opening along the rails.  McDonald went for it and his mare didn’t let him down.

“She was quite grumpy today…quite cantankerous and wanted to get on with it. When I looked up at the 500m and Riodini had shot clear I thought, sheezuz, it’s going to take a mighty horse to run her down… she pulls out all stops this horse,” said McDonald.

That’s nine Group 1 wins for Verry Elleegant now – including a Caulfield Cup, an Oaks and a Ranvet Stakes – not a bad CV if you ask me.

“She’s a very good horse it’s as simple as that,” said trainer Chris Waller.

“It’s an honour to train a horse like this – if she doesn’t win Group 1s she runs second in them, she handles all track conditions and that’s a rare quality.”

How good is this Cox Plate going to be? The Valley might have the race of the year on its hands.


It was billed as a mini-Everest and the Group 2 Shorts didn’t disappoint with a high-speed tooth and nail battle going the way of Eduardo.

Punters used to call him a “giant killer”, surely now he’s a giant in his own right? That’s the second time he’s run down Nature Strip and that achievement sits nicely alongside his Group 1 Galaxy and maybe soon, an Everest.

“He’s a streetfighter…he just hangs so tough and that’s what Nature Strip hates about him,” said trainer Joe Pride.

“Nature Strip is going to have nightmares about this horse.”

Eduardo runs for The Star and Arrowfield in the Everest and is now a $6 second pick with Sportsbet as the super sprint race starts to open up.


GROWL (Ballarat R1) should be winning but is a short quote but at better odds in the last race is STARDEN LASS (Ballarat R8) who should be winning.