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Monthly Archives: October 2014

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Bringing Black-Type To Northern Lodge

Bring Something has notched another feature win for Northern Lodge this season with a tenacious victory in the LR Bendigo Cup (2400m).

He was bred and sold off the NMIT campus for $30,000 at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale.  Wednesday’s result improved his career statistics to 4 wins in 15 starts and $361,000 in prizemoney.

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Bring Something. Photo by Racing Victoria. 

Bring Something (Sebring) had opened his black-type account in the LR Galilee Series Final at Caulfield in April.  “He will now go to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the last day of the cup carnival,” trainer Ken Keys said.  “A win will help qualify him for the 2015 Melbourne Cup – we’ve got an exciting horse to look forward to next year.”

The Bendigo Cup winner is owned by Laurie Owens who has been a staunch stable client since Keys began training at Carrum Downs in the 1980s.

Keys is quietly confident he can win a Group 1 with Rich Enuff in the Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington this Saturday and Northern Lodge has a Group 1 project of its own with Angelic Light in the Darley Classic on Saturday week.

Angelic Light (Holy Roman Emperor) was also bred and sold by Northern Lodge for $30,000 at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier and she defeated Horse of the Year Lankan Rupee in the G2 McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley last month.

Northern Lodge offers dedicated training courses for the Victorian racing and breeding industries and it was back in the spotlight last Sunday when promising filly Sebrella won the GBG Inglis Trophy (1400m) at Sale.

Sebrella (Sebring) banked $110,000 for her connections which included a $50,000 pay-out from Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold.  She was a bargain $15,000 buy from Northern Lodge at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier.

Manager Matt Clayton and his students will start prepping the Northern Lodge draft for the 2015 Melbourne Premier next month and among their yearlings this season is a Wanted half-brother to Bring Something and a Sebring sister to Sebrella.

Victorian Stallions Firing For Flemington

Victorian stallions Starspangledbanner and Turffontein head Australia’s first and second-season premierships going into the Melbourne Cup carnival at Flemington.

Starspangledbanner (Rosemont Stud) hit the ground running when his first southern starter Of The Brave blitzed the LR Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on October 11.  Trainer Mark Riley labelled the colt as potentially the best horse he’s ever prepared before looking at a likely programme for the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes in February.

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Fawkner. Image from Racing Victoria

In Europe, Starspangledbanner has been represented by 9 individual first-crop winners from just 17 starters led by The Wow Signal (G1 Prix Morny) and Anthem Alexander (G2 Queen Mary Stakes).

It’s early days for our freshmen, however, it’s encouraging that Victorian based sires Strategic Maneuver (Bullarook Park) and Stryker (Three Bridges) are next on the first-season table.

Turffontein (Blue Gum Farm) has taken over at the top of the second-season table thanks to his outstanding fillies Fontein Ruby and Fontiton.

Fontein Ruby is coming off victories in the G2 Edward Manifold (1600m) and G3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) and she can complete a feature hat-trick in the G2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington this Saturday.

Trainer Robert Smerdon will then make a decision whether to back up in the G1 VRC Oaks (2500m) on Thursday week.

Her stablemate Fontiton thrashed a field of first starters by six lengths in the $250,000 Inglis Banner (1000m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.  The Turffontein filly has propelled her sire to the top of the Australian 2YO premiership and he will cement that lead if she wins the G3 Maribyrnong Plate on the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival.

Victorian stallions are also embedded in the Australian Top 20 sires’ list with Reset (15), Bel Esprit (16) and Written Tycoon (18).

Reset (Darley Victoria) had Fawkner finish a courageous second in the G1 Cox Plate on Saturday.  His grand-final is the $6 million Melbourne Cup and owner Lloyd Williams reports the grey has pulled up perfectly after his gutsy performance at Moonee Valley.

Bel Esprit (Eliza Park International) continues to pump out winner after winner – there have been 40 so far this season – and among them has been Lindsay Park filly Afleet Espirit with victories in the G2 Tranquil Star Stakes and LR Cap D’antibes Stakes.

Written Tycoon (Woodside Park) is riding a winning wave with top colt Rich Enuff who is ticking over nicely for the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington this Saturday.  The Ken Keys trained colt won the LR McKenzie Stakes, G2 Danehill Stakes and G3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude before a brave second in the G1 Caulfield Guineas.

Earlier this month, the local industry received more good news when Woodside Park signed Rich Enuff to a deal that will see him stand at stud in Victoria.

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Stallion Contact Information

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Anthony Mithen
(Starspangledbanner, Rosemont Stud) 0413 486 767

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Malcolm Boyd
(Strategic Maneuver, Bullarook Park Stud) 0407 342 291

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Toby Liston
(Stryker, Threebridges Thoroughbreds) 0407 181 466

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Philip Campbell
(Turffontein, Blue Gum Farm)
0418 556 771

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Matt Tillett
(Reset, Darley Victoria)
0423 074 249

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Mark Lindsay
(Bel Esprit, Eliza Park International) 0416 334 338

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Murray Tillett
(Written Tycoon, Woodside Park Stud) 0419 985 921

Sale Windfall For Sebrella

Progressive filly Sebrella was too good for the boys in a competitive finish to the GBG Inglis Trophy (1400m) at Sale on Sunday.

The winner’s connections hit the jackpot with a $110,000 cheque that included $60,000 prizemoney, a $30,000 Super VOBIS incentive and a $20,000 VOBIS Gold windfall.  She is raced by a large syndicate managed by Nagambie based Princess Park Thoroughbreds.

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Sebrella. Image from Inglis website. 

Sebrella (2f Sebring – Caramella by Strategic) angled off the heels of the leaders and showed a good turn to foot in a race that saw less than a length between the first four home.  The Ellerton-Zahra trained filly was easy to back at $9 despite coming off an impressive first-up victory Echuca on October 7.

“She has always shown plenty of ability but has just taken some time,” co-trainer Simon Zahra said.  “We only paid $15,000 for her so she’s done her job.  There’s plenty of upside and she just might be a filly for the South Australian Oaks.”

Winning jockey Katelyn Mallyon was also positive about the future.  “She really had to pick up when I needed the run and then when she got out she hit the line great.  It was a tough win and there’s still plenty of improvement to come.  When she learns to relax, she’s going to make a beautiful stayer next prep.”

Sebrella was bred and sold by Northern Lodge Stud at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale.  She is from a daughter Bob Scarborough’s speedy mare Pepite d’or who was a Listed winner of the 1995 Moomba Plate at Flemington.

Princess Park secured her yearling sister just minutes before the Echuca win earlier this month.  She’s very much in the mould of Sebrella, a leggy athletic type and a lovely walking filly.

Turffontein Flyer At Moonee Valley

Turffontein filly Fontiton jumped brilliantly from an inside gate and then blitzed her rivals by six lengths in the RL Inglis Banner (1000m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

The time was a slick 58.29 seconds for the $250,000 event for new season two year-olds nominated for the Inglis Race Series.

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Fontiton. Image from Racing Victoria. 

“That really was awesome,” trainer Robert Smerdon said.  “She was in work just to get some early education and development but handled it so well we continued on and we’ve ended up at the races without ever expecting her to be an early two-year-old type.

“She’s got good height and scope about her for a filly and we expect her to stretch out to hopefully 1600 metres.  Maybe this time next year she will be a Thousand Guineas filly.”

Fontiton (2f Turffontein – Personal Ensign by Rubiton) is owned by Matchem Racing manager Matthew Cain, Inglis Bloodstock consultant James Price and Vasko Ognenovski who won a 10% share through a Herald Sun newspaper promotion.

The winner was purchased for $110,000 from the draft of Blue Gum Farm at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale.  Her dam Personal Ensign was a Listed winner of the 2006 Northwood Plume Stakes at Caulfield and she’s bred on the same Turffontein / Rubiton cross as Smerdon’s top three-year-old filly Fontein Ruby.

Turffontein (Johannesburg) leads the Australian second-season premiership and he has Fontein Ruby lining up in the G2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and G1 VRC Oaks Stakes (2500m) at Flemington next week.

Blue Gum Farm stands Turffontein for a $7,700 (inc gst) fee.

Makybe Farewells Tugela

Makybe owners Tony and Deslee Santic have farewelled their champion broodmare Tugela.

The 20 year-old dam of Makybe Diva died on Friday after foaling a filly by All Too Hard.  “Rest in peace our beautiful mare,” Santic posted on Twitter.  “You will be in our hearts forever.  Thank you for the lifetime memories.”

Tugela (USA) was bred in Kentucky and was purchased for 60,000 guineas by Santic at the 1998 Tattersall’s Sale at Newmarket in foal to Desert King.

The Riverman mare and that foal – a filly destined to become a Melbourne Cup legend – were exported to Australia in September 1999.

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TUGELA
Makybe mare with her 2012 filly foal by Desert King

Tugela is the dam of four individual stakes winners.  Besides Makybe Diva, who won 15 races and over $14.50 million, they are Musket (Redoute’s Choice), Valkyrie Diva (Jade Robbery) and La Amistad (Redoute’s Choice).

Trained by Team Hawkes, La Amistad was runner-up in the LR Tattersalls Cup at Randwick last Saturday and the five year-old mare is still in the running for a start in the Melbourne Cup.

Tugela is also the dam of four year-old gelding Rodway (Street Cry), a recent winner at Bairnsdale, and an unnamed two year-old filly by Desert King.

Moodies Making A Difference In Victoria

Contract Racing’s David and Jenny Moodie did Victorian breeders a huge favour when the industry first rolled out VOBIS.

Initially, the Moodies didn’t pay up for the Scheme but that changed when they did the math.  “I can remember Jim Marconi topping the bonus list a couple of times before we got involved,” Jenny recalled.  “I realised not being eligible was costing us money.”

VOBIS was spared a baptism of fire – Jenny reckons they sent out so many winners in its early days, it would have just about sent the Scheme broke!

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David & Jenny Moodie with Peter Moody. Photo:  Martin King / Sportpix

Contract Racing began dominating VOBIS nominator and owner awards and remains a strong supporter of the Scheme.  In fact, no other Melbourne owner – breeder has been as consistently successful since the 1980s to the present day.

Hurricane Sky (Star Watch) was one of the nation’s top colts at that time winning a Blue Diamond and an All-Aged Stakes in Sydney carrying their lime colours with purple and gold braces.

Blazing Sword (Marscay) won two stakes races at Flemington and retired to stand at the family’s Craigielea Stud.  He sired their mare Arctic Scent to a Group 1 triumph in the 1996 Caulfield Cup.

The Moodies reached the pinnacle for any owner when homebred filly Crystal Lily won the 2011 Golden Slipper Stakes.  She was a from ‘Crystal’ family that has been delivering stakes winners for generations.

Fresh from being named 2013-14 Victorian Breeders of the Year, David and Jenny are once again returning the favour overtime.  David is a Director of Racing Victoria Ltd, Director of the Tricode Board of Vic Racing Pty Ltd and sits on the Australian Pattern Committee.  He has previously held executive positions with TBV, TROA and the Victorian black-type committee.

Jenny has just joined the TBV committee and she is president of the Victorian Wakeful Club which hosts the Lady of Racing every year as well as providing sponsorship and scholarships to the industry.

The Moodies also support local stallions whenever possible.  “We have about 60 mares and they’re split 50-50 between Victoria and NSW.  We don’t like sending them up to the Hunter Valley but, commercially, there’s no alternative.”

Their first stallions stood at Craigielea Stud at Kilmore before a transfer to Shirley Park in Woodend led to a permanent move to Yungaburra Stud at Newham not far from Mt Macedon.

Amyntor (Sir Gaylord) was based with Blazing Sword at Kilmore.  He was bred in France and was originally exported to New Zealand when the sireline took off with Sir Tristram.

He transferred to Victoria after getting Group 1 gallopers Mannerism (Caulfield Cup) and King Pheonix (Toorak Hcp).

Later on, British-bred Raami (Be My Guest) sired the Contract Racing Group 1 winners Black Bean (The Galaxy), Paint (Blue Diamond) and Ramyah (South Australian Oaks).

Other Contract-backed stallions to meet with various degrees of success were Distorted Humor (Forty Niner), Made Of Gold (Green Forest) and Esperero (Forty Niner).

“We also reared Redoute’s Choice,” Jenny recalled.  “Iris O’Farrell had just started working for Mr Yaseen and she asked David to recommend a stallion for their maiden mare Shantha’s Choice.

“She was a younger half-sister to Hurricane Sky and, at that stage, Danehill had sired the last two Golden Slipper winners.  David told Iris that Danehill was red-hot and Redoute’s Choice was the result.

“I can still see him as a yearling in a muddy paddock at Shirley Park.  We were forced out of there when the freeway went through to Kyneton.”

Fast-forward to 2014 and the Moodies live in Carlton North with their three daughters – Kate, Victoria and Jessica – who are all keen racegoers.

The girls stood in at the presentation for Hard Stride after the LR Regal Roller Stakes in August while their parents attended the Arqana yearling sale.

The rest of the spring carnival is looking good with stable star Solicit and promising filly River Delta.

Solicit will appreciate the return to Flemington having already won the G2 Kewney and G3 Vanity there earlier this year.  The Moodies race her with Nick and Gayle Psaltis who were also in the Crystal Lily partnership.

River Delta claimed the LR Black Pearl Classic at Geelong on Wednesday.  She is from a Contract Racing family going back to G1 Oakleigh Plate winner River Dove.

Jenny is also looking forward to getting down to business with TBV.  “We need more sire-power to combat the Hunter Valley.  I want to help make a difference and we are targeting a European 2YO stallion to stand in Victoria next year.”

First TAB winner by Captain Gerrard

Wyndholm Park stallion Captain Gerrard (Ire) sired his first Australian TAB winner at Ballarat on Thursday.

The Robert Smerdon trained filly Killara Miss took charge turning for home and defied running down in the Footscraylife Maiden Plate (1200m).  “She was coming off seconds at Echuca and Ararat,” Smerdon said.  “The blinkers went on and turned around those narrow losses.”

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Captain Gerard

Killara Miss (3f Captain Gerrard – So Racey by Racer’s Edge) is managed by Rodney Rae who has shuttled her sire to Australia for the last five years.  The filly is from a daughter of French stakes winner So Snob (Kenmare).

Captain Gerrard (Oasis Dream) sired his first southern hemisphere winner when Youllnevawalkalone scored in South Australia’s mid-north at Jamestown on October 4.

The Wyndholm Park resident was a Group 3 winning sprinter at Ascot and Newmarket and he stood at Lindsay Park in 2010 before moving southern bases to Kim McKellar’s property at Miners Rest in Ballarat.

Shuttling from Mickley Stud in Shropshire, he enjoyed a sensational start at stud with 13 first crop winners of 22 races in England last year.

Captain Gerrard has averaged books of 60 mares in Australia at an $8,800 (inc gst) service fee.

A Super Time To Nominate For VOBIS

Owners and breeders of 2013-born foals now have the opportunity to ensure their yearlings are eligible for the riches of Victoria’s Super VOBIS incentive scheme, with Super VOBIS nominations now open.

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In opening nominations for 2013-born foals, Racing Victoria (RV) has also announced an extension of the late nomination closing date for the lucrative owners and breeders incentive scheme, meaning owners now have until Monday, 31 August, 2015 to ensure their horse is nominated*.

RV Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said the change to the scheme closing date was one of a number of recent enhancements to Victoria’s VOBIS programs.

“The decision to extend the closing date for late nominations from June 30 to August 31 is designed to make things even easier for owners wanting to be part of the incentive scheme,” Carpenter said.

“The change of date will allow nominators additional time to make the one-off Super VOBIS nomination fee and will also avoid a clash with the busy end of financial year period.

“Despite this extension in the late nomination closing date, we are encouraging as many owners as possible to nominate their yearlings before Monday, 2 February, 2015 to avoid any additional fees.”

Carpenter said RV was expecting a strong uptake of nominations again this year, particularly as owners become more aware of the benefits of Super VOBIS and its partner scheme, VOBIS Gold.

“The potential rewards of these schemes has been brought to the attention of many owners via the recent success of nominated horses on the metropolitan stage, including the deeds of talented four-year-old Trust In A Gust,” Carpenter said.

“The son of Keep The Faith was a $45,000 purchase and has now won 10 of his 17 starts – with his VOBIS bonuses totalling $456,450,” he added.

“Racing Victoria, in partnership with Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria and the Victorian Coalition Government, continue to make a concerted effort to ensure Victoria is the most attractive place to breed, buy, own and race horses and the ongoing enhancement of the VOBIS incentive schemes continues to be a priority.”

An enticing $12.5 million in Super VOBIS bonuses has been programmed for the 2014-15 racing season which brings the total rewards on offer across the VOBIS schemes to a record $19.4 million.

Horses must be first nominated for Super VOBIS, which carries bonuses from $9000 to $30,000 on two, three and four-year-old races, to be eligible for entry into the VOBIS Gold scheme.

For more information about Super VOBIS or VOBIS Gold, or to download a Super VOBIS nomination form for a 2013-born foal, visit owner.racing/vobis.

*Late Nominations incur additional fees.

Article by Racing Victoria.

 

2014 Manikato Stakes & Cox Plate Barrier Draws

The final fields and barriers draws have been declared for the 2014 Manikato Stakes and Cox Plate this weekend.

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2014 Manikato Stakes – Field and barrier draw

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2014 Cox Plate – The final field and barrier draw

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Coolmore & Darley Woodlands Studs Win Battle

TWO of the state’s most important horse studs have won a David-and-Goliath battle against a giant coal mine being built on their doorsteps.

State planning commissioners have ruled against Anglo American’s Drayton South project, saving the Hunter Valley studs from a death sentence, The Daily Telegraph can reveal. The Planning Assessment Commission found the open-cut mine was “not in the public interest” and failed to provide a “sufficient buffer” to protect the Coolmore and Darley Woodlands studs.

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Tom Magnier, the owner of Coolmore Australia stud, with weanlings of champion stallion Fastnet Rock / Picture: Bob Barker

“The economic benefits of the project do not outweigh the risk of losing Coolmore and Darley and the potential demise of the equine industry in the area with flow-on impacts on the viticultural and tourism industries,’’ the independent PAC determination said.

Coolmore Australia boss Tom Magnier said last night the decision was a “massive relief”.

“It has been a long, hard struggle for us and also we recognise it has been a very stressful and personally difficult time for Anglo American’s employees at Drayton,’’ he said.

The decision ends a bitter three-year battle, which has divided the Hunter, turning miners against horse breeders.

Under the Drayton South plan, 97 million tonnes of coal would have been mined over the next 20 years from a massive pit located within 500 metres of the studs’ fence lines.

Coolmore and Darley feared they would be forced to abandon their multi-million-dollar operations at Jerrys Plains, where they have helped establish the Hunter as one of only three centres of equine excellence in the world.

They are critical players in NSW’s $2.4 billion thoroughbred industry, generating 40 per cent of the $300 million raised from stallion service fees across Australia each year.

The PAC, chaired by Garry Payne, has ruled Anglo American had not demonstrated it would not adversely impact the health of the studs’ thoroughbreds.

“The (miner’s) approach of monitoring the responses of thoroughbred horses to the mine’s operation to address uncertainty is not acceptable because once the damage to the operations of the studs occur, it is irreversible,’’ the PAC report, to be released today, says.

Some of the greatest champions of the past 20 years — including names such as Melbourne Cup winners Makybe Diva and Shocking, Flying Spur, Exceed and Excel and Fastnet Rock — owe their pedigrees to Coolmore and Darley.

Planning minister Pru Goward said last night she was “satisfied the PAC has considered all the issues and exercised its duty as the independent decision-maker”.

Anglo American had said the mine would employ 500 workers and generate $35 million in annual royalties for NSW. But an economist’s report commissioned by the studs claimed the miner had based its calculations on “unjustified and unrealistic” world coal prices.

A previous PAC also ruled against the mine plan.

Mr Magnier, who was told of the decision by The Daily Telegraph, said: “We can have greater confidence in our future and the future of the NSW racehorse breeding industry.

“This is not about who won and who lost — if it is the case that the second PAC has agreed with the first, it would mean all the independent experts who have reviewed the situation concur this was simply the wrong mine, in the wrong place.”

Article by  John Lehmann The Daily Telegraph

Another Starspangledbanner Winner

Siresensation Starspangledbanner added a new winner to his tally in the UK overnight when Ocean Sheridan saluted at Pontefract.

Never further back than fourth in six previous runs, the Michael Dodds trained colt broke through at last with a head win over six furlongs.

Ocean Sheridan is the second winner for Tiger Hill mare Endless Night, a German bred sibling to four stakes-winners headed by Group II winners Eagle Rise and Eye of the Tiger.

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Ocean Sheridan is the ninth Northern Hemisphere winner for Starspangledbanner from 21 runners, while in Australia he has had one runner, which is two year-old colt Of the Brave, a stakes-winner at Caulfield on debut.

Starspangledbanner is serving 50 mares at Rosemont Stud this spring and will return to Coolmore Ireland for the 2015 breeding season.

Article by Tara Madgwick Breednet

Woodside Park Signs Rich Enuff

Woodside Park Stud has purchased a 25% share in star colt Rich Enuff.

Woodside Park principal Mark Rowsthorn and general manager Murray Tillett signed off on the deal after the colt passed a vet exam on Tuesday morning.

Rich Enuff (3c Written Tycoon – Hotnuff by Spartacus) is a homebred for Louise Keys, wife of Cranbourne trainer Ken Keys.  She will retain a 50% share and long-time stable client Colin Johnstone holds the remaining 25%.

Tillett said Rich Enuff will contest the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 1.  “It’s the same race we won with Zoustar last year shortly after we bought a significant share in him,” Tillett said.  “We hope to replicate that with Rich Enuff.

“We are in discussions with a couple of Hunter Valley farms with the potential for Rich Enuff to stand alternatively in NSW and Victoria.”

Zoustar, who is currently serving his first book at Widden Stud in the Hunter Valley, will cover his second season in 2015 at Woodside Park’s Tylden base north-west of Melbourne.

Rich Enuff is a son of Woodside Park’s emerging young sire Written Tycoon (Iglesia) and Tillett said the farm has had its eye on Rich Enuff for some time.  “Obviously, because he is a son of Written Tycoon, but also because he is a magnificent physical specimen and the image of his sire, and he is a very fast horse.

“His Danehill Stakes and Guineas Prelude wins were outstanding and his second in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas was both brilliant and brave – it was probably the best run in the race.”

The plan is to keep Rich Enuff in training with Keys until the end of his four year-old campaign in 2016.  “We believe Rich Enuff is on the rise – he’s had only five starts – and he has the capacity to develop into one of the best sprinter-milers we have seen for some time.

“And he’s in very good hands to achieve that aim.”

Ken Keys is excited about the future prospects for Rich Enuff.  “After weeks of fielding offers for the colt, I’m thrilled that we have been able to secure a deal with a Victorian stud that keeps him racing on in our stable for at least another 18 months.

“Mark runs a very professional outfit and I look forward to our association with him and I hope we can justify his faith in us and the horse.”

Rich Enuff was a fast-finishing third on debut in a Moonee Valley juvenile in March before resuming this season for scintillating wins in the LR McKenzie Stakes (1200m) G2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) and G3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).

He clocked 68.13s in the Danehill which is faster than recent Danehill Stakes winners Sepoy and Black Caviar.

And no horse has won a Coolmore Stud Stakes over the same course quicker than Rich Enuff ran in the Danehill, including such champions as Vain, Tolerance, Century, Taj Rossi, Surround, Zeditave, Courtza, Encosta De Lago, Alinghi, Northern Meteor and Zoustar.

Rich Enuff has a pedigree that reflects all that is great about Australian sprinters.  His bloodlines include some of Australia’s most influential stallions of the past 30 years, including Vain, Snippets, Marscay, Last Tycoon and Bletchingly.

His sire Written Tycoon won the G2 Todman Stakes while his grandsire Iglesia was a powerhouse sprinter and still holds the Flemington 1200-metre record of 67.16s.

Trainer Hunting More Black-Type With Bel Thor

Bel Thor became the latest stakes winner by God’s Own when he edged out the favourite Our Hand Of Faith in the LR Seymour Cup (1600m) on Sunday.

The Wez Hunter trainer galloper had won the $100,000 Antler Luggage Hcp (2000m) at Flemington during the cup carnival last year he will be given the opportunity to bank more black-type at headquarters in the LR Melbourne Cup Day Plate (1800m) on November 4.

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Bel Thor 

Bel Thor (5g God’s Own – Bellonic by Redding) settled midfield on the fence before visiting jockey Tommy Berry gave him enough rein to overhaul Our Hand Of Faith by a long-neck.  “He presented beautifully and raced accordingly,” Berry said.  “Wez told me to give him a click-up at the half-mile but I had to bring him back because he really grabbed the bit.

“He’s a good horse and it was a great run first-up.  Wez has got some nice for plans for him in the future.”

Bel Thor has now won 4 races for $332,850 in prizemoney.  His dam Bellonic won the 2002 South Australian St Leger but she has been a difficult breeder in recent years missing to Artie Schiller, Equiano and Americain.  She was given a very late cover to Lucas Cranach at Bullarook Park in January.

The Seymour Cup brought up a double for God’s Own – earlier in the day Team Hawkes won Mitchell Shire Maiden Plate (1200m) with God’s In Him who was also racing first-up on Cup day.

God’s Own (Redoute’s Choice) has sired 5 stakes winners and he has sired a total of 23 winners of 30 races for $678,595 in prizemoney this season.  He stands for a $5,500 (inc gst) fee at Greta West Stud.

 

Ruby Blooms For Blue Gum

Fontein Ruby once again showed why she is a force to be reckoned with leading into the G1 VRC Oaks with another courageous winning effort in the G3 Caulfield Classic on Saturday.

After jumping from an outside barrier, Fontein Ruby was allowed to roll forward and settle just off the pace.  She was left in front approaching the home corner when front-runner Merion weakened but kept finding to defeat Lindsay Park colt Firehouse Rock.

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Fontein Ruby

Fontein Ruby will next line up in the G2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday week, November 1.  A start in the G1 VRC Oaks Stakes (2500m) beckons the following Thursday.

Her sire Turffontein is currently leading the Australian second-season premiership with earnings of $688,410.  He heads Hunter Valley stallions Manhattan Rain, Medaglia d’Oro, I Am Invincible and Denman.

Turffontein is standing for $7,700 (inc gst) this season at Blue Gum Farm.  The Euroa stud’s Group 1 stallion Elvstroem also sired a stakes winner on the weekend when Hucklebuck claimed the LR Durbridge Stakes (1200m) in Adelaide.

Hucklebuck will tackle the G3 Yallambee Stud Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on November 1 and, all going well, will back-up in the G1 Emirates Stakes on the last day of the carnival.

Elvstroem (Danehill) is standing for a $4,400 (inc gst) fee.

Reset Double Follows Fawkner

Darley stallion Reset was back in black for a second week running on Saturday.

Reset had sired Fawkner to win the G1 Caulfield Stakes on October 11 and a week later he landed a stakes winning double with Set Square (LR Ethereal Stakes) at Caulfield and Disposition (LR Belgravia Stakes) at Ascot.

Reset’s roll-call now numbers 27 individual stakes winners.  He stands at Darley’s Northwood Park for a fee of $16,500 (inc gst).

Set Square (3f Reset – Dynastar by Zeditave) was coming off a Ballarat maiden victory but the step up in class didn’t faze the filly as she charged through a gap for an impressive two-length victory at Caulfield.

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Set Square 

“She’s a really progressive filly,” trainer Ciaran Maher said.  “Provided she trains on, we will pay the late-entry fee for the Victorian Oaks.”

In Perth, Disposition travelled wide but was good enough to keep his unbeaten record intact at Ascot.  He won the Belgravia eased down after prior wins at Northam and Belmont.

Disposition (3g Reset – Test Case by Testa Rossa) is a homebred for Bob Peters and is from a daughter of his G1 Goodwood Hcp winner Spectrum.  “We’ve raced the family for five generations,” Peters said.  “He’s a nice horse and it will be interesting to see how far he goes – the Fairetha Stakes in three weeks is next.”

Saturday’s victory ensured Disposition will be the pre-post favourite for the G2 WA Guineas on November 22 – Peters won the classic with Chelsea and Old Nick in 1997 / 98.

Reset has more pressing business closer to home next Saturday.  His flag-bearer Fawkner is the $4 favourite for the G1 W S Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.

Dead-Heat Decision To Bel Sprinter

First-up specialist Bel Sprinter returned to his best form when forcing a dead-heat decision in the G2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) on Saturday.

Group 1 winning filly Miracles Of Life looked home at the furlong only to be collared by Bel Sprinter right on the line.  Shamal Wind was a short-head away third.  “It’s great to see the old-boy back,” trainer Jason Warren said.  “He missed a trial and went in slightly underdone but I was still expecting a big run as he flies fresh.”

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Miracles Of Life (rail) Bel Sprinter (centre) & Shamal Wind (outside) 

Bel Sprinter (7g Bel Esprit – Gavroche by Snippets) is heading to the G1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8and G1Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in Perth on November 22.  He has already won at the elite level in the 2013 The Galaxy at Rosehill.

“He’s had barrier problems and throat surgery,” Warren said.  “But the vets at Ballarat clinic have done a great job fixing his breathing problems.”

Eliza Park International champion Bel Esprit sired him from Bairnsdale winner Gavroche.  She was also trained by Warren and is related to 1997 G1 Underwood Stakes winner Always Aloof (Alleged).  Her second Bel Esprit foal Bel Rain won on debut at Geelong in April.

Lyndhurst Farm will offer their half-brother by Hussonet at the NZB Ready to Run Sale (Lot 367) on November 20.

Bel Esprit is standing for a $24,200 (inc gst) service fee at Eliza Park International.

French Classics Beckon Balsamine

Promising filly Balsamine, a close relation of Swettenham Stud bred Group 1 winner Trust In A Gust, opened her account for Sheikh Mohammed in France on Thursday.

Balsamine (2f Street Cry – Balanchine by Storm Bird) won the Prix de Saint Lyphard (1700m) second time out at Pornichet.  She had been placed on debut behind subsequent Group 3 winner Alea Iacta (Invincible Spirit) at Longchamp on September 1.

Her dam Balanchine is a three-quarter sister to Subtle Breeze – the dam of Trust In A Gust.

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Balanchine

Trained by Andre Fabre, Balsamine jumped to the front from an inside draw and straightened for home with a decisive advantage.  The Street Cry filly was kept in cruise control to easily account for Amboseli (Medaglia d’Oro) by three lengths at Pornichet located on the Bay of Biscay.

Swettenham Stud owner Adam Sangster mentioned the importance of Balanchine after Trust In A Gust completed a Group 1 double in the Toorak Hcp at Caulfield last week.

His father Robert Sangster sold Balanchine to Sheikh Mohammed and she went on to give the Dubai ruler his first-ever Group 1 victory in the 1994 English Oaks.

Adam bred Trust In A Gust after buying his dam Subtle Breeze for $140,000 at the Robert Sangster dispersal at Keeneland in 2007.

Balanchine (pictured winning the English Oaks) hasn’t been that successful as a broodmare.  Her best foal has been Gulf News (Woodman) who was Group 2 placed behind champion colt Sulamani in the 2002 Prix Neil at Longchamp.

It’s a long way from the provinces to a classic and Balsamine will be given a chance to bridge that gap in the lead-up to next year’s French 1000 Guineas and French Oaks.

Sheikh Mohammed has never won a French 1000 Guineas but he has won the French Oaks with Indian Skimmer (1987) and West Wind (2007).

West Wind was by Machiavellian – the sire of Street Cry.  And her dam Red Slippers was bred by Robert Sangster.

High Court Denies A.I. Appeal

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia welcomes the High Court’s decision to deny Bruce McHugh leave to appeal the Artificial Insemination (AI) case.

Friday’s ruling brings to an end proceedings which have gone on for more than five years and means Mr McHugh has now exhausted all legal challenges to the rule barring the use of A.I. in horses registered as thoroughbreds.

Had Mr McHugh been successful in getting the ban on A.I. overturned, the Australian breeding industry faced the prospect of being ostracised on the world stage, with the possibility that horses bred domestically would have been barred from competing overseas or being recognised as thoroughbreds in other jurisdictions.

“This is a very important day for Australian breeders and we’re delighted with the court’s ruling,” said Basil Nolan, President of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia.

“Hopefully, we don’t have to go through this again, all it does is cost everybody money.  I can’t believe somebody who has got so much out racing would put the industry to this expense.  Thankfully, we can now move on without this cloud hanging over us.”

The High Court decision upholds the findings of the Federal Court, that the ban on artificially bred horses is not anti-competitive or a restraint on trade.  There has long been an international agreement to ban racehorses being bred using A.I.

“If we lost this case, Australia would have been a pariah state in world racing, with our horses unable to race internationally or be recognised by breeders overseas,” TBA CEO Tom Reilly said.  “In an increasingly globalised industry this would have been incredibly damaging.

“I’m sure people involved in the sport around the world would have been watching this result closely and it will certainly give people confidence to invest in the Australian breeding industry.”

Mr McHugh has been unsuccessful at every step of his legal challenge, which began in 2009.  Costs have been awarded to the respondents in the case.

In closing, Nolan thanked the Australian Stud Book, Australian Racing Board and their lawyers Esplins who handled the case.

Sentiment Pays Off For Swettenham

Trust In A Gust has pulled up well after a crowd-pleasing victory in the G1 Toorak Handicap and he will be firing on all cylinders for the G2 Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley on Saturday, October 25.

“He was a bit flat the day after the Toorak,” managing part-owner David Speechley revealed.  “That’s understandable because he had to dig deep at the furlong.  But he was back on his game by Monday.”

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Trust In A Gust (4h Keep The Faith – Subtle Breeze by Storm Cat) is a tremendous advertisement for the Victorian industry and, in particular, Swettenham Stud who bred and sold him for $45,000 at the 2012 Melbourne Premier yearling sale.

Speechley went back to the source when Swettenham owner Adam Sangster offered Trust In A Gust’s younger half-brother by Equiano at the Gold Coast Magic Millions earlier this year.

“We knew Trust In A Gust was good back then although we didn’t think he would develop into a Group 1 winner,” Speechley admitted.  “I jumped straight in after Lloyd Kennewell bought the Equiano colt for $120,000.

“Lloyd has him just about ready to go to the races.  The x-rays showed his knees have closed and now we’re just waiting for the rego papers to come back.”

After Equiano, their dam Subtle Breeze foaled a colt by fellow Swettenham sire Master Of Design.  “He was special foal from Day 1,” Sangster said.  “I sent the mare to Coolmore Stud to be covered by Pierro last year and Peter O‘Brien said her colt at foot was an outstanding type.”

The Master Of Design colt will headline Swettenham’s consignment for the Inglis Melbourne Premier in March.  Subtle Breeze foaled a Pierro colt last Tuesday and she will be bred back to Equiano.

Sangster bought Subtle Breeze for $140,000 at the dispersal of his father’s prized bloodstock assets at Keeneland in November 2007.  “She’s big and strong, a typical Storm Cat and is a three-quarter sister to Balanchine,” he said.  “It’s a beautiful pedigree and I also felt a sentimental connection to her.”

Back in 1993, Balanchine won juvenile races at Salisbury and Newbury by a combined 10 lengths before Robert Sangster sold the filly to Godolphin.  “She went on to win the Irish Derby and English Oaks for Sheikh Mohammed,” Sangster explained.  “Balanchine was a pivotal part of Dad’s history and now she’s a part of mine.”

Gold Ahead For A Shunned Yearling

Musk Creek Farm homebred Spur On Gold was a fitting winner of the Wise Choice Plate (1500m) at Mornington last Thursday.

The son of Flying Spur was shunned by prospective buyers on three occasions before Musk Creek owners David Kobritz and Teresa Poon made the wise choice to race the gelding themselves.

Spur On Gold (3g Flying Spur – Witwatersrand by Unfuwain) was a November foal and was still immature when Musk Creek offered him for sale at the 2013 Melbourne Premier.  It didn’t help that he was by an aging sire, from an imported mare with staying bloodlines and he was eventually passed-in for $60,000.

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Spur On Gold. Image by Slickpix. 

Offered again at the Magic Millions National yearling sale three months later, he failed to find a bidder past $21,000.

“He wasn’t attractive to the market and it was obviously a case of not being a precocious type and being a bit plain,” Kobritz recalled.

“Everyone at the farm liked him so it was decided we would try to syndicate him.”

Broken in by Chris Diplock and then gelded, he began growing and developing into a big, strong type and he also moved well.  “Considering his staying pedigree, we thought he would be suited with Pat Carey,” Kobritz explained.  “We didn’t sell a single share within the allocated time, so  he was withdrawn from the market.”

The three-time reject was unplaced over a sprint trip at Sale before rewarding his connections third time out at Mornington last week.  Stepping up to 1500 metres, he circled the field and hit the line strongly to win by over a length with regular track rider Roger Booth aboard.

“A win at our home track is always very enjoyable,” Carey said.  “David and Teresa are also based on the peninsula at Flinders which makes it all the better.

“Musk Creek is a beautiful property set on rolling hills with a view of the sea.  Full credit to farm manager Darren Mackereth and his team.  They care for Spur On Gold when he is spelling and I believe he’s a horse with a good future.”