The Darley racing operation has enjoyed tremendous success throughout the Autumn season but they aren’t expected to feature quite as heavily during the Brisbane Carnival.
While they do have some representation it’s nowhere near the calibre of talent which saw them claim an abundance of feature races in Sydney including the two-year-old triple crown.
Regardless of their smaller presence on the track, the action behind the scenes is probably more hectic than ever.
Their top stars are all at different stages during their spell with some of them already coming back into work.
Arguably their greatest horse Sepoy is one of those horses to return to the training paddock after spelling for just four weeks.
He had his first run back this week and Darley racing manager Trevor Lobb dismisses any talk of the spell being too short.
“Peter spaced everything out as we went along with him, we generally roll them around every four weeks,” Lobb said.
“He looks really well, he spells well…he’s the ultimate of horses to do anything with.
“He’s bulked up and matured a fair bit.”
At the moment his main objective in the spring will be the Group 1 Coolmore Classic down in Melbourne but all his training will be done at Warwick Farm.
He will likely start his campaign in Sydney before moving down to Melbourne.
“It depends on exactly where he is at what time and what races are programmed at that moment,” Lobb said.
The other member of the triple crown team, Helmet, is still enjoying his spell as expected after working deeper into the carnival.
“He’s had two weeks at Kelvinside, another two weeks and he’ll come back down and head towards the Guineas, ” Lobb said.
Despite some great wins for his stable, Helmet still as a long way to go before he settles in as a racehorse.
“I don’t know if we’ve actually tapped him yet, the penny hasn’t dropped,” he said.
“He’s a lovely horse and we looks very much towards the future.”
Helmet was plagued by a series of incidents throughout the Autumn involving barrier mishaps and spectacular and dangerous deviations down the home straight.
Lobb isn’t too concerned though saying he was unlucky on a few occasions and he’ll mature as a three-year-old.
“He’s just more playful than anything else, the same thing happened in a trial up here but in his next he performed beautifully right up until the Champagne (Stakes),” he said.
Next on the Darley list is Retrieve, although he won’t be around for too much longer.
After a series of consistent performances this year Retrieve has run his last race in Australia.
“He’s in quarantine at Kelvinside and then he will go down to Melbourne and leave to England.,” Lobb said.
“He’s transferring to Godolphin at the end of the month at Newmarket.
“He’ll run towards the end of the season there, one or two runs and then on to Dubai.
Lobb is in no doubt that Retrieve has the talent to become a success internationally.
“He’s the ideal horse for Europe, he can get a mile up to a mile and a half,” he said.
“He’s the only one (to go) at the moment, possibly others after the Spring Carnival.”
Lobb isn’t too phased at losing one of his top performers, instead seeing it as an endorsement on Australian racing.
“That’s the way racing is and that’s the way racing has developed, Australia has been so successful to date that that’s the way it will continue,” he said.
Lobb also spoke about a few of his other runners looking for success in Melbourne during the spring.
Glissade didn’t have a spectacular Autumn but she did show a glimpse of her potential.
“She’s certainly been out showing us the ability was there, she just wasn’t mature enough at those first starts,” he said.
Raspberries was one of the most worked horses run by Darley but also one of the toughest.
“It’s unusual for one of our horses to keep backing up for us, out for four weeks at the moment so she’ll be starting up again next week,” he said.
The other horses mentioned by Lobb include Anise, which has nearly completed her spell and will be back in work next Monday as well as Aerobatics which still has a couple of weeks to go.
Finally the much hyped Parables is already back in work, she finished spelling last week as she heads towards the spring.