By Garrick Knight
A date with Art Major awaits Cambridge mare Juice Brogden after she bowed out of racing at Cambridge on Thursday night.
“She is definitely retired,” her trainer, Nicky Chilcott, confirmed.
“Her owners want to breed to sell commercially so they have chosen Art Major.”
The Group 1-placed daughter of Bettor’s Delight heads to the matron’s paddock with nine wins and just shy of $150,000 in career earnings.
Chilcott says she has every chance to be a top broodmare.
“She was very lightly-raced, is beautiful looking, well-gaited and had terrific manners.
“It doesn’t always work out that way but it’s hard to imagine she won’t leave quality foals.”
While it’s never easy losing your stable star, Chilcott is content knowing she has a strong team to tackle the upcoming season.
“I haven’t got a superstar, but I have got a really handy bunch of horses.
“I do have big raps on Monkey Selfie but you can never get ahead of yourself with trotters.
“There is also a maiden coming through, Nice Vintage, that we call ‘Juice Jnr’; I really like her a lot.”
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Coming away with a win was a real bonus for Bulls trainer Doug Gale with American Me at Cambridge on Thursday night.
“That race and his start the week prior were basically his trials to get him fit for the season,” said the veteran conditioner.
“He was at about the stage that I would ordinarily take him to the trials but, unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury down here at the moment.
“So, I was very happy with how he performed considering where he was at, fitness-wise.
“He blew up over the back after Thursday night, so there is still plenty of improvement in him.”
Gale plans to return to Cambridge on October 3 for the $22,000 Sires Stakes Series heat but before that, a trip to Auckland might be in the offing.
“I’ve been reluctant to go right-handed until now because right from the start he has run out a little bit that way.
“There is no obvious reason for it, so I’m going to make a gear change and give him a right-handed workout at Palmerston North on Friday.
“If I’m happy with the way he steers, the intention will be to race him at Auckland the following Friday.”
American Me, who won also won a race as a juvenile last season, is one of just six horses Gale has in work after a measured scaling down over the winter.
“It’s not too much difference in workload at home; it just means we have a little more time to dedicate to each horse.
“Where we wanted the change was at the races. Taking eight or nine horses to the races without any staff was proving to be very difficult.”