• The week’s significant milestones, facts and figures
14 Monomoy Girl
USA: Dual champion racemare Monomoy Girl kicked off her six-year-old campaign with a two-length victory over Our Super Freak in the G3 Bayakoa Stakes at a sloppy Oaklawn Park on Sunday [Feb 28].
The brilliant Brad Cox-trained daughter of Tapizar, who was ridden by regular partner Florent Geroux, has now won 14 of her 16 career starts, among them seven G1s headed by two Breeders’ Cup Distaffs and a Kentucky Oaks.
One of Monomoy Girl’s defeats came via DQ – and the other one was by just a neck on her final start as a two-year-old. Such a near-unblemished record probably explains why Spendthrift went to $9.5m to buy her at Keeneland in November before the surprise decision to keep her in training. She will now be targeted at the $1m Apple Blossom back at Oaklawn on April 17.
92 Jim Johnson
Australia: Jockeys riding at Flemington on Saturday wore black armbands to honour three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Jim Johnson, who died on Thursday [Feb 25]. He was 92.
Having started out in South Australia in 1945, Johnson won four Adelaide jockeys’ titles before moving to Melbourne in the 1960s and winning the metro premiership in 1967.
With more than 2,100 winners to his name, Johnson’s won the Melbourne Cup on Gatum (1963) and twice on Rain Lover (1968-69). He also won two Cox Plates and a Caulfield Cup on the great Tobin Bronze. Also spending three years in Singapore, he retired in 1976 with 36 G1 victories.
GB: Jim Goldie’s former stable stalwart Nanton, a veteran of 108 races during a long and successful career, died last week at the age of 19.
Having started in a two-year-old maiden for original trainer Paul Cole in May 2004, he raced during 12 seasons before bowing out aged 13 in 2015 – six years after his biggest career victory in the Mallard at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting in September 2009.
Versatile and tough, Nanton won 14 races altogether, seven of them after joining Goldie at Uplawmoor in Scotland in 2008, by which time he was already six. Having reached the dizzy heights of Group company, he was second in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket in May 2012. Nanton won more than £310,000 in prize-money.
9 Chris Waller
Australia: Sydney’s top trainer Chris Waller has made the Chipping Norton Stakes his own in the last decade – and not just via four-time winner Winx. In an epic battle where five horses crossed the line separated by less than a length, Verry Elleegant became his ninth winner of the G1 event in the last 11 runnings.
As well as Winx (2016-19), Waller has also won the Rosehill contest with Danleigh (2011), Shoot Out (2012-13) and Boban (2014). Caulfield Cup heroine Verry Elleegant was recording her seventh G1 success in Saturday’s race, her fourth top-level win by a head or less. “She’s just an unassuming girl that fights like a tiger,” Waller said.
GB: The British Horseracing Authority has issued the complete fixture list for 2021, with minimum prize-money levels restored to pre-Covid standards.
A total of 1,468 race meetings (Flat and jumps combined) have been carded – five below the 2020 figure of 1,453. The volume of races in the height of summer has been reduced “to ensure competitive racing and safeguard against possible reductions in horses in training as a result of the pandemic”.
Jockeys will continue to ride at a maximum of one meeting per day, at least in the short term.
2,000 Juan Hernandez
USA: Juan Hernandez became the latest jockey to reach the 2,000-winner milestone in the US aboard the Peter Miller-trained Bedrock in a $25,000 claimer at Santa Anita on Sunday [Feb 28].
Hernandez, 28, originally comes from Veracruz in Mexico. After leading the standings at Golden Gate, he moved south to Santa Anita last June; he stands second to Flavien Prat at the current meet.
1,500 Tyler Gaffalione
USA: Leading rider Tyler Gaffalione rode his 1,500th winner at Gulfstream Park on Wednesday [Feb 24] whe he partnered Awesome Pudding to victory in a 6f maiden claimer. The former Eclipse Award-winning apprentice had a treble on the card.