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Bianconi updates for Adelaide Magic Millions


Ridgeview Park can expect further updates for its yearling brother to Scherzoso in the lead-up to the Adelaide Magic Millions.

Scherzoso (3g Bianconi – Cafe Del Mar by Encosta de Lago) was a very impressive winner at Morphettville last week and there’s more in store before his brother is offered for sale on March 11.

Trainer Tony McEvoy unveiled Scherzoso back in June and he produced a strong, sustained run to score over 1200 metres at Gawler.  “He’s going to be a good horse,” jockey Dom Tourneur predicted after the debut win.  “When I asked for an effort, he accelerated and picked up the leaders easily.  But then he got lost and waited for the others until I gave him a reminder.”

Scherzoso is owned by OTI Racing and he was a luckless second over 1600m on December 13 before going one better over 1800m on Boxing Day.  Another older brother Sunset Cafe won four races for OTI including a New Year’s Eve event at Moonee Valley in 2010.

Ridgeview Park stands Bianconi and his brother to Scherzoso has been catalogued as Lot 298.  Studmaster Phil Sloane sells the colt as agent among a consignment of 12 yearlings entered for the Adelaide Magic Millions.

Jahan back from wilderness for Wilde


Jahan has returned from a career-threatening injury to win the Penshurst Cup (2000m) for trainer Bill Wilde.

The Keep The Faith gelding won the Boxing Day feature by four lengths after spending more than a year on the sidelines.  “They don’t normally come back from that sort of fetlock injury but he appears to be better than ever,” Wilde said.  “We will probably send him down to town now.”

Jahan (5g Keep The Faith – Miss Mayfair by Kingston Rule) is a homebred for Donald & Michael Niall and is from a three-quarter sister to G1 Victorian Oaks winner Kensington Palace.

The born-again stayer had won at Ararat and Stawell before making it 5 wins from 18 starts on Friday.  “I had the perfect run and the fast pace suited my horse,” jockey Eddie Creighton said.  “It was his first try over 2000 metres but that never presented a problem – Jahan was very strong at the end of the race and has got a bright future.  I reckon he will go through the classes.”

Keep The Faith has sired the winners of $1.34 million this season with Trust In A Gust his chief earner following Group 1 victories in the Sir Rupert Clark Stakes and Toorak Hcp.

The Greta West Stud resident has been credited with 38 individual winners and sits fourth on the Victorian table behind Bel Esprit (63), Written Tycoon (47) and Magnus (46).

Solar Flair shines for Equiano


Equiano colt Solar Flair got off the mark at the second time of asking in the British Stallion Studs Stakes (1400m) at Lingfield on Sunday.

He sat handily in behind the leaders and quickened up nicely to score by a length from China Club (Shamardal).  “It was a good performance,” trainer William Knight said.  “He had been training very well earlier in the year but picked up an injury in the summer.  He has shown a really professional attitude as well as plenty of ability.”

Solar Flair was knocked down for 25,000gns (AUD 40,425) at the 2012 Tattersalls Foal Sale.  He is the second winner from two to race out of Air Biscuit (Galileo).  She is a half-sister to French Group 3 winner Ziria and her only other foal to race has been Sheikh Mohammed’s Irish winner Warbird (Royal Applause).

Equiano shuttles to Swettenham Stud and there have been 16 individual winners from his initial crop in Europe this year.  His latest winner is based at Knight’s historic Angmering Park estate which covers 6,750 acres in West Sussex.

The late Lady Herries sent out a host of winners from Angmering Park including Sheriff’s Star (1989 Coronation Cup) and Celtic Swing (1995 French Derby).  She also trained Taufan’s Melody to a controversial victory in the 1998 Caulfield Cup.

Celtic Swing shuttled to Collingrove Stud in Nagambie before the property was rebranded Swettenham Stud by Adam Sangster in 2005.

Pin-hooking double by Three Bridges

EVERY FAITH: Photo / Vin Lowe

Three Bridges Thoroughbreds was seen to advantage in the pin-hooking department with winners at Moonee Valley and Sha Tin over the weekend.

EVERY FAITH showed she’s in for a lucrative summer preparation after a convincing victory in the Quest Moonee Valley Hcp (1600m) on Saturday.

With in-form hoop Nick Hall replacing G Boss in the saddle, she angled off the fence and stormed home to score by a conservative two lengths.  “It was an excellent effort considering she had a tough Autumn campaign,” trainer Robert Smerdon said.  “She has a huge future this time in with her best range up to 2000 metres.”

Every Faith (4m Not A Single Doubt – Zephyria by Zabeel) was a $28,000 buy at the 2011 Magic Millions Foal Sale.  Three Bridges on-sold her for $130,000 at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier.

DIAMOND MASTER improved at his third run in Hong Kong when coasting clear in the Pak Tam Chung Hcp (1000m) on Sunday.  Three Bridges bought him for $51,000 at the 2012 Inglis Select Foal Sale and his value increased to $130,000 when knocked down to trainer Ricky Yiu at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier.

Diamond Master (3g Not A Single Doubt – Sandy Desert by Line In The Sand) had shown plenty at the trials even before he raced but was wayward in defeat at both starts down the straight course when well fancied.

“I suggested the cheek pieces to make him focus more,” jockey Neil Callan said.  “He laid in when I went for him last time and the gear change was more to get him going straight than anything because he’s a big, backward horse at this stage.

“Ricky and I thought there could be a few going fast and we didn’t want him in a duel,” Callan added.  “I thought we would trail him up and try to give him a bit of confidence.”

Three Bridges sold 9 yearlings for $1.7 million at the 2014 Gold Coast Magic Millions and there are another 9 to go under the hammer starting on January 7.

One of the standouts is Lot 626, a Snitzel colt from Song of the Sun (Desert Sun).  His dam is a stakes-placed three-quarter sister to Helsinge, the dam of Black Caviar and All Too Hard.

“I would say this is as good or better than our draft in 2014,” Three Bridges Toby Liston said.  “Have a look at the Snitzel colt’s pedigree and imagine what he could be worth if he performs up to his looks and pedigree!”

San Nicasio showcases Woodside Park


Magic Millions is just around the corner and recent results have again showcased Woodside Park Stud’s ability to sell quality runners.

On Saturday, Woodside Park graduates Stoker and San Nicasio both showed above-average ability at Moonee Valley.

Stoker, a $125,000 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale purchase from the Woodside Park draft (as agent), ran a gallant second to Headwater in the Cactus Imaging Plate (1000m).

The Written Tycoon 2yo showed he has a big future ahead when defeating all bar the boom colt and will now be set for stakes company in the autumn.

Champion trainer Peter Moody then produced progressive galloper San Nicasio to win the Chandler Macleod Hcp (1200m).  He was sold by Woodside Park for $215,000 at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale and is by Hard Spun and Snippets mare Munchie.

Woodside Park owner Mark Rowsthorn kept a small share in the galloper.  “He’s is still a couple of preparations from peaking,” stable rep Stephanie Little declared.  “He’s likely to go through the grades this preparation.”

Woodside Park stud manager Gerard Jones said the Tylden nursery has a half-dozen yearlings heading to the Magic Millions.  “They’re by sires such as Northern Meteor, Sepoy and Helmet.  We topped last year’s Sydney Ready-to-Run Sale and also topped the averages at Melbourne Premier this year.”

Winning wrap for Written Tycoon


Written Tycoon sprinter Music Magnate has finished the year on a winning note for his sire at Canterbury.

The Bjorn Baker trained gelding also wrapped up his first campaign in the Hyland Race Colours Hcp (1200m) on Saturday.  He ran second on debut at Newcastle in November before doubling up at Warwick Farm and Canterbury this month.

“He’s been a work in progress and has taken a little bit of time,” Baker said.  “I will put him out now and we’re going see a much better horse at the autumn carnival.”

Music Magnate (3g Written Tycoon – Concert Girl by Danehill Dancer) arrived with a well-timed sprint under Hugh Bowman to score by a short-head over Inz’n’out.  “I was always very confident,” Bowman admitted.  “He’s a nice horse and will measure up to better races on bigger tracks.”

A $45,000 buy at the 2013 NZ Karaka Select Sale, he is from a half-sister to Marrok (G2 NZ Wellington Guineas) and Appeal Process (G3 SAf Egoli Sprint).

Written Tycoon is climbing the individual winners ladder with 47 from 128 starters this season.  He’s second on the Victorian premiership behind Bel Esprit (63 winners from 216 starters).

His latest maiden winner Bizarre bolted in by 4 lengths at Stony Creek on Saturday.  He led from the outset and was never in danger for former WA trainer Johnny Price.

Bizarre (3g Written Tycoon – Canhill by Dangerous) is bred on the same cross as Music Mandate and is from a half-sister to Perth stakes winner Western Zip.  It’s the family of Golden Slipper winner Pago Pago who was repatriated from North America to sire 21 stakes winners at Heytesbury Stud in Western Australia.

Written Tycoon stands at Woodside Park and has 8 yearlings catalogued for the Gold Coast Magic Millions commencing on January 7.  First through the ring is Lot 88, a colt from Automatic Slim who is related to G1 Qld Winter Stakes winner Nova Star.

Nova Star is by Iglesia, the sire of Written Tycoon, and her Australian bred daughter Acrostar (Danehill Dancer) holds a nomination for the G1 Paddock Stakes in South Africa on January 10.

Support limits damage at Larneuk Stud


Larneuk Stud’s Neville Murdoch was looking forward to a relatively quiet few weeks leading up to Christmas – the final foal having arrived and the stallions content after a busy spring.

Murdoch was ready to sit back and relax but that was before his Euroa property was threatened by last week’s raging bush fires.

“We were watching the smoke up over the hills – it must have been 14km away – then all of a sudden it was on our doorstep,” he recalled.  “There were embers everywhere, it was a frightening experience.”

Moving his stallions Mawingo, Ilovethiscity and O’Lonhro into barns with sprinklers fitted and the broodmares to his other property up the road, Murdoch began to fight the fire – extremely grateful for the help of people from Euroa, Avenel and Benalla.

“At one stage, there were 30 trucks lined up along Killeens Hill Road,” he said.  “The horses were all absolutely amazing and, apart from the fences, there was no infrastructure damage.

“There have been so many offers of help with feed and the placement of horses – we consider ourselves very lucky and have been blessed by that support.”

Hoofnote:  Lauriston Park also received similar assistance when it was under threat last week.  In further news, owner Chris Bakker reports Hall of Fame mare Let’s Elope is none the worse for the ordeal.

Now aged 27, Let’s Elope (Nassipour) has been in retirement at the Creighton’s Creek property since foaling Seymour winner Karata in 2008.

Kuroshio shuttles to England


Darley Victorian stallion Kuroshio will shuttle to Overbury Stud in Gloucestershire following his initial southern book at Northwood Park.

Kuroshio (Exceed And Excel) covered over 100 mares at a $8,800 (inc gst) fee before flying out to England.  A Darley homebred, he won the G3 Blue Diamond Prelude at two and G2 McEwen Stakes at three.

Exceed And Excel got him from American-bred Gone West mare Arctic Drift.  They also combined to produce Believe’n’succeed who won a division of the 2008 Blue Diamond Prelude.

Overbury Stud has been breeding winners in the Vale of Evesham since the 1940s.  Its greatest advertisement has been 1975 English Horse of the Year Grundy who won the Dewhurst Stakes, English Derby and the King George in course record time at Ascot.

Sheikh Mohammed has entrusted Overbury with stallions since the turn of the new millennium.  Champion stayer Kayf Tara retired there in 2001 and he was joined by Bertolini in 2002.

More recent arrivals from the Dubai ruler have been Champion Miler Proclamation (King’s Best) and Arc de Triomphe hero Sagamix (Linamix).

Kuroshio will join fellow first-season sire Dunaden at Overbury in 2015.

“I’m thrilled Darley has entrusted Kuroshio to Overbury and I’m really looking forward to showing him off to breeders in the coming weeks,” stud manager Simon Sweeting said.  “He’s got the looks you would expect of an outstanding speed horse and his sire Exceed And Excel is one of the most coveted commercial stallions in Europe.

Harlem Globetrotter wins at Wangaratta


Bendigo trainer Brad Cole was brimming with confidence on the way to Wangaratta with exciting Globetrotter gelding Harlem Star on Saturday.

“I was super confident and just couldn’t see how he could get beaten,” Cole said.  “He had trialled brilliantly against older horses – they couldn’t get near him.  We’ve always known he can really gallop.”

Harlem Star (3g Globetrotter – Angels Star by King Of Kings) made his debut in the Nathan Vincent Fencing Plate (1000m).  The dashing chestnut showed great natural pace to get to the front from an outside barrier and, despite being pressured by others, was always travelling sweetly for a soft three length victory.

“He’s a big, beautiful, strong horse with a great temperament,” Cole said.  “He will have a quiet week or two and then we will look at bringing him to Melbourne.”

Harlem Star is a half-brother to the winners Precinct (Arena) and Fregosi (Over).  His second dam A Star Is Born (Ahonoora) is a half-sister to stakes winners Encores, Irradiate and Sir Laurence.

Globetrotter is a horse with strong stallion credentials.   He’s one of 86 stakes winners by Street Cry and was also Group 1 placed before being imported to Victoria by Damian White.

“He’s had four to the track for two very smart winners and a placegetter,” White revealed.  “Every trainer of a Globetrotter I talk to says they are very nice horses to work with, quick learners with natural jump-and-run ability.”

His first Australian winner Giramondo saluted at Geelong last month.  For further information on Globetrotter, who stands at a fee of $4,400 (inc gst), contact Damian White on 0418 477 090.

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria End Of Year Review

Thoroughbred Breeders’ Victoria has made numerous advances during 2014 including a drive that’s doubled its financial membership.

President James O’Brien reflected on a series of improvements for the local breeding industry this week.  “The most important in the last twelve months has been the significant upgrades to VOBIS.  It’s the most lucrative incentive in Australia and having a horse like Trust In A Gust progress through VOBIS Gold to a Group 1 victory has been a real plus for the Scheme.

“Our relationship with Racing Victoria is stronger than ever with regular meetings to improve and further develop VOBIS,” O’Brien said.  “And we’re looking forward to working with the new Racing Minister Martin Pakula.”

TBV also leads the other States with an innovative and up-to-the-minute website and a newsletter that’s reaching a bigger audience week by week.

The website receives an average of 2,500 visits every month and its social media followers on FaceBook and Twitter have more than doubled this year.

TBV has also attracted major sponsors like IRT, CEPA Farm Supplies, Mitchelton Wines, Slickpix and Condo’s Horse Transport.

“The TBV committee works very hard on a voluntary basis and many of them are breeders who have invested in new stallions for the State,” O’Brien added.  “The Melbourne Premier yearling sale in March will have 8 first-season sires that are based in Victoria.”

Among the newcomers are Anacheeva (Chatswood), Canford Cliffs (Blue Gum), Helmet (Darley), Ilovethiscity (Larneuk), Moshe (Eliza Park International), Master Of Design (Swettenham), Skilled (Darley) and Toorak Toff (Rosemont).

And in a further boost, Victoria will host the last two winners of the stallion-making Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes in 2015 – Brazen Beau (Darley) and Zoustar (Woodside Park).

The last Coolmore Stakes winner to stand in Victoria was Encosta de Lago.

“The outlook for Victoria’s breeding industry has never been better,” O’Brien promised.  “But TBV needs everyone on board and I would encourage all non-members to sign up in the New Year.

Tax Office Decision A Boost For Breeders

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Aushorse Marketing have won a significant and timely victory, convincing the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to reverse a ruling that threatened to undermine the international market in locally-bred horses.

The decision follows intense lobbying of state and federal governments and comes as the local industry gears up for next month’s Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

Until August 2013, horses purchased for export did not attract GST so long as they shipped out within a year, during which time they could be broken-in and receive basic education, such as barrier trials.

But in an unanticipated decision, the ATO ruled last year that to break a horse in and to trial it was to alter its status or “use” it.  Such a change of status made its owner liable for GST.

This ruling was made despite many South East Asian countries requiring horses to be broken-in and barrier trialled before their arrival.

With 11.5% of all yearlings sold in 2014 being purchased for export, this decision threatened to undermine the overseas buyers bench at the upcoming yearling sales.

The ruling was also likely to damage the businesses of the many farms and studs across Australia that provide agistment and break-in those yearlings purchased for export.

“Clearly, if foreign buyers decided to stay away from our sales, this would have had a major impact on turnover at Australia’s domestic auctions, particularly for yearlings,” said TBA and Aushorse Chief Executive Tom Reilly who led the approach to government that has resulted in the GST being removed.

“With less active bidders, results across all lots would likely have been dragged down. Such a downturn would have led to workers being laid off by stud farms as revenues fall, but many farms and rural businesses would have been hit doubly hard.  This is a huge win for the local industry leading into the yearling sales, which should be popular with buyers from overseas again.”

Reilly and his team from Aushorse/TBA worked with the state governments of Victoria, Queensland and NSW before making their compelling case in Canberra.

After a review of the issue which began at the end of November, the ATO last week informed Aushorse and Thoroughbred Breeders Australia that it would reverse its ruling on GST.  This means that overseas buyers can have their horses broken-in and barrier trialled without being liable for GST.

“I would like to thank the team in Barnaby Joyce’s office, Senator John Williams, Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon, former Victorian Premier Dr Denis Napthine, Queensland Racing Minister Steve Dickson and Troy Grant, Racing Minister in NSW, for their support,” he said.

“Shortly after visiting Canberra the ATO informed us they were conducting a review of their decision and we worked with a team there to make sure they had all the information they needed to understand the ramifications of levying this tax.”

During last season 362 yearlings (180 Inglis, 182 Magic Millions) were sold for almost $38 million to overseas buyers who intended to export them.

Figures from all sales show the average price of a yearling for export was $105,000, around 16% greater than the overall average.

The ATO’s latest decision also helps establish a level playing field between Australia and New Zealand where horses that are exported are exempt from their 15% GST.

The ATO has made its new ruling retrospective, meaning all horses bought at the 2014 yearling sales with be GST free if exported within a year.

Fighting Fire With Fire At Lauriston Park

Real Love’s victory in the Listed WA St Leger (2100m) was like a breath of fresh air for Lauriston Park studmaster Chris Bakker.

A relieved Bakker watched the Desert King mare win in Perth after fighting the ferocious Creighton’s Creek bushfire that threatened his property this week.

Resident sire Desert King was the first horse moved as the blaze raged and Bakker is proud of the way the stallion, and all the other horses, coped with the crisis.  “They didn’t cause any problems at all despite the fire and the constant hum of helicopters,” he said.  “Fortunately, it was mainly the outer paddocks and fencing that suffered although the fire got within five metres of the house.

“Desert King is enjoying his new paddock next to a kid’s pony.  He has a new best friend!”

There is no doubting that Desert King is a gutsy horse and he throws that admirable trait on to his progeny – as displayed by Real Love who found the line in determined fashion on Saturday.

Now a firm favourite for the G2 Perth Cup on January 1, Real Love was one of four stakes winners at Ascot for owner-breeder Bob Peters.  He chose Desert King as mate for his mare Flaming Heart in a deliberate attempt to breed a high-class stayer.

Real Love has won 4 of her 12 starts and was coming off a feature victory in the Queen’s Cup.  She had been placed in both the WA Oaks and WA Derby earlier this year.

“A stallion of Desert King’s quality is going to keep getting winners,” Bakker said.  “It doesn’t surprise me to see a horse of Real Love’s talent emerge.”

Bakker also took time out to thank Darley Victoria for its help offering feed to Lauriston Park and Larneuk Stud.  “We are sincerely grateful for their generosity and thoughtfulness towards us smaller breeders at such a difficult time.”

Desert King’s record of 27 stakes winners makes him one of the most successful horses at stud in Victoria.  For further information on Desert King contact Julie Nairn (0402 901 910) or Chris Bakker (0427 903 353).

Tycoon Star Takes Trophy

Written Tycoon sired his 16th individual winner in the last month when Grand Tycoon scored a first-up victory in the Winzenberg Trophy 1100m) in Hobart on Friday.

It completed a city double for Woodside Park’s in-form stallion after Trinket Lady’s victory earlier in the day at Morphettville.

Grand Tycoon (4g Written Tycoon – Scottattitude by Grand Royale) had been sidelined since knee surgery to remove bone chips following a Launceston victory in February.  “That shows what a great horse he is because he’s still a bit burly,” trainer Barry Campbell said.  “I’ve had a lot of very good horses in my time and Grand Tycoon will always be one of my favourites because he tries so hard every time he goes around.

“Craig Newitt rode him to win in Launceston one time and told me the horse was actually grunting as he was trying so hard to win.”

Grand Tycoon has won 11 races in 15 starts for owners Charlie and Wendy Langmaid.  He was named Champion Tasmanian 2YO in 2013 after Listed victories in the Elwick Stakes, Gold Sovereign Stakes and Alfa Crystal Bowl.

Campbell will set him for more black-type in the LR Tattersalls Stakes (1200m) in Launceston on January 21.

Trinket Lady (3f Written Tycoon – Szarlira by Jeune) had continued the winning run for her sire and trainer Phillip Stokes in the Jim’s Cleaning Plate (1100m) in Adelaide on Friday.  She was racing second-up after an initial winter campaign and appears to have plenty of upside for owners Tony Freebairn and Bill Rigg.

Second dam Bellendella Dream won the LR Tasmanian Oaks and her half-sister Sovereign Lady won the G2 SAJC West End Stakes.  They are from Lady Nozama (Jungle Boy) who hails from one of WA’s most successful families.

Freebairn stood champion sire Jungle Boy at Haddow Stud in the Chittering Valley and he was a Champion Sunspeed sire against stallions the calibre of Haulpak, Beau Sovereign and Zvornik.

Bill Rigg has raced numerous feature winners going back to the 1970s but none within cooee of his Cox Plate champion Dulcify.

Written Tycoon has just completed another full book at Woodside Park and he has 8 yearlings catalogued for the Gold Coast Magic Millions starting on January 7.

Reward For Effort Breakthrough At Seymour

Chatswood Stud freshman Reward for Effort broke through with his first winner at Seymour on Thursday.

Talented filly Take Pride sat midfield in the Goulburn Murray Credit Union Maiden (1000m) before putting more than two lengths on runner-up Dynamic Day (Domesday).  Prepared locally by Murray Johnson, she was appearing in public for the first time and started at $23.

Take Pride (2f Reward For Effort – Shabtis by Elusive Quality) cost owner Peter Murray $94,000 from Eldon Park at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier.  She is from a half-sister to the dam of Mummify.

Murray also races Moonee Valley winner Family Pride (NZ) with Johnson.

Reward For Effort (Exceed and Excel) was a Group 1 winner of the Blue Diamond Stakes before retiring to Chatswood Stud where he stands for an $11,000 (inc gst) service fee.

Take Pride is one of several Reward For Effort youngsters nominated for the Blue Diamond on February 28.  It will be run a day before the start of the Melbourne Premier which has 29 yearlings catalogued from Reward For Effort’s second crop.

Hong Kong Winner For Hayes

Hong Kong Captain gave trainer David Hayes and his staff something to celebrate with a first-up victory at Mornington on Wednesday.

A son of Swettenham Stud sire Host (Chi), he won the Peninsula Home Hospice Maiden (1200m) while Lindsay Park was surrounded by bushfires.  “The mountains around the property were ablaze and when the winds shifted we retreated and just let the horses run free,” Hayes reported from Euroa.  “Our fire plan worked and there were no injuries.  We were very lucky.”

Hayes has high hopes for Hong Kong Captain and will set him for the G3 Manfred Stakes (1300m) at Sandown and G3 C S Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in the New Year.  All going well, he will then head north for the G1 Randwick Guineas and G1 Rosehill Guineas in March.

Hong Kong Captain (3g Host – Unlimited Passage by Giant’s Causeway) won by a length eased down on debut.  “He did everything right and I think he’s going to make a really nice stayer,” jockey Michael Walker said.  “I can’t see why he won’t be able to run 2400 metres – all he needs is to mature a bit more.”

An $85,000 graduate of the Swettenham Stud draft at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier, he is part-owned by Hong Kong trainer David Hall and former St Kilda footballers Stewart Loewe and Danny Frawley.

Hong Kong Captain hails from a Swettenham family going back several generations to Group 1 winning filly Pure Of Heart.  An Irish-bred daughter of Godswalk, she won the 1982 George Ryder Stakes for Robert Sangster.

Swettenham has catalogued his Equiano half-sister as Lot 770 for the Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale in March.  Their dam Unlimited Passage died a few days after foaling an Equiano colt in October.

More Gems For Statue Of Liberty

Eliza Park International stallion Statue Of Liberty has two more black-type prospects on the boil while Hong Kong buyers vie for his exciting sprinter Liberty’s Gem.

Perth trainer Simon Miller is hoping Liberty’s Gem stays put after wins in the LR Placid Ark Stakes and G3 Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic.  “The owners have already knocked back a couple of offers,” Miller explained.  “Now the agents are saying name your price!

“He’s won 3 times in 4 starts and is still a work in progress.  I think he’s good enough to go interstate for the autumn.”

Liberty’s Gem (3g Statue Of Liberty – All That Sparkles by Rubiton) was an $80,000 buy at the 2013 Inglis Classic yearling sale.  He’s from a half-sister to Golden Pedigree (LR Queen of Adelaide Stakes) and the dam of The Verminator (G1 Metropolitan).

Tasmanian filly Viva La Verve is another three year-old building up for better races this season.  She made it 3 wins from 5 starts in the Juicy Isle Hcp (1200m) in Launceston last time out.

“I am very pleased with the win although I didn’t expect her to be ridden that close to the front,” trainer Adam Trinder said.  “I’m waiting to test her beyond 1600 metres.”

Viva La Verve (3f Statue Of Liberty – Flamburr by Savoire Vivre) comes from a successful Tasmanian family going back to 1986 Gold Sovereign Stakes winner Amber Cutter.  Trinder will set her for the Thousand Guineas (1600m) on January 21, Strutt Stakes (2100m) on February 9 and Tasmanian Oaks (2100m) on February 22.

Trainer Mick Price unveiled promising debut winner Grand Avalanche to complete a Statue Of Liberty hat-trick at Kyneton last Thursday.

Grand Avalanche (4g Statue Of Liberty – Tiamo Baby by Strategic) won the Goldfields Refrigeration Maiden (1469m) on debut despite tramping three-wide without cover.  He had every right to raise a white flag in the straight but responded to win with something in hand.

Part-owner and breeder Craig McDonald also raced his older half-sister Isabella Snowflake to 4 wins in 6 starts including a Listed victory at Flemington.  Sadly, she suffered a career-ending tendon injury in last year’s G1 The Galaxy at Rosehill.

McDonald sent their dam Tiamo Baby back to Eliza Park International and her 3yo gelding Snowtrooper (Magnus) was placed first-up at Bendigo in June.  The mare has a 2yo filly by Bel Esprit and a yearling colt by Wanted.

Statue Of Liberty commences the 2015 majors with 4 colts catalogued for the Gold Coast Magic Millions in January.  He has 4 fillies entered for the Inglis Sydney Classic in February and another 7 yearlings parading at the Inglis Melbourne Premier in March.

Woodside Park Imports For Zoustar

Woodside Park Stud upgraded its broodmare ranks with several quality acquisitions at the recent Arqana and Tattersalls Sales.

Among the Woodside buys in France was Takenja at 70,000 euros (AUD 105,830).  The German-bred mare was purchased by Damon Gabbedy of Belmont Bloodstock on behalf of Woodside Park owner Mark Rowsthorn.

Takenja (4f Dubawi – Taita by Big Shuffle) won by 8 lengths over 1600m at Hanover last September and also earned black-type when beaten a head in a Listed event in Cologne in May.  She is a half-sister to Tai Chi (High Chaparral), a German juvenile stakes winner who was also Group 1 placed in the 2011 Critérium de Saint-Cloud.

“Dubawi mares with black-type are very valuable and she’s a magnificent type,” Gabbedy said.  “I bought four mares for Woodside and they will all be covered by Zoustar next season.”

The Aga Khan homebred Keena (Fr) was another Arqana purchase at 90,000 euros (AUD 136,070).  She won at Deauville and was placed at Maisons-Laffitte from six starts this year.

Keena (3f Acclamation – Kerasha by Daylami) is a younger half-sister to G3 Prix du Bois winner Keratiya who was exported to Australia in 2011.  She has a yearling filly by Manhattan Rain.

At Tattersalls, Gabbedy bought Fialka for 110,000gns (AUD 222,020) and Dutch Romance for 85,000gns (AUD 170,090).

Fialka (3f Cape Cross – First by Highest Honor) is an unraced half-sister to the stakes winners Perfect Stride (Oasis Dream), Au Revoir (Singspiel) and Law Lord (Diktat).

Dutch Romance (3f Dutch Art – Endless Love by Dubai Destination) won a Salisbury nursery last year and was then beaten a head and a nose when third in the LR Radley Stakes at Newbury.

“There could be an important update to the pedigree next year,” Gabbedy predicted.  “Her brother Dutch Connection is being spoken about as one of the leading hopes for the classics next year.”

Dutch Connection won a Goodwood maiden in August and then stepped straight up to a Group 3 victory in the Acomb Stakes at York.  Sent to the Curragh for the G1 National Stakes, he hit the front at the furlong and fought back for a game third behind Gleneagles (Coolmore) and Toscanini (Godolphin).

Trained by Charles Hills for owner-breeder Susan Roy, Dutch Connection is priced at 25-1 by Ladbrokes for the G1 English 2000 Guineas on May 2.

Zoustar is just finishing his initial book at Widden Stud for a $44,000 (inc gst) service fee and the Group 1 Golden Rose – Coolmore Stud Stakes winner will stand alternate seasons at Woodside Park.

Mark Rowsthorn is lining up his best mares for Australia’s hottest stallion prospect when Zoustar joins the roster next year alongside Written Tycoon.

Americain Transfers To Ireland

Americain (USA) will transfer from Kentucky to Ireland for his next northern book in 2015.

The Melbourne Cup winner retired after the 2012 spring carnival and has shuttled from Calumet Farm to Swettenham Stud for the last two years.

The relocation to Ireland won’t affect his residency in Victoria.

“It’s a positive decision for Americain,” Swettenham owner Adam Sangster said this week.  “Calumet’s general manager Eddie Kane told me the first Americain foals are just like their sire and he’s looking forward to racing them.”

Calumet stallion director Ken Wilkins added;  “We are eager to have Americain available to Irish breeders in an effort to give the horse the best possible opportunity to become an important sire.”

Founded in 1924, Calumet is a Kentucky icon with Triple Crown champions Whirlaway and Citation among 11 homebreds elected to the USA Hall of Fame.  It fell victim to mismanagement in the 1990s but, with new ownership, it has signalled a return to a proven Calumet formula from the past by building a powerful stable of homebreds with the aim of creating a stallion roster that’s a 100% product of Calumet breeding and racing.

The Calumet blueprint recently added another classic success when Oxbow won last year’s Group 1 Preakness Stakes and he will fill the vacancy left by Americain.

“It’s purely a change of direction and not a reflection on Americain,” Sangster declared.  “There’s been a groundswell of support for him at Calumet and Swettenham – we’ve had to turn mares away after filling his first two books here.”

VOBIS Gold Boost For Echuca

Next year’s Echuca Cup meeting has been bolstered by the addition of the $70,000 VOBIS Murray River Gold (1400m), a leg of the lucrative VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series.

The feature race for eligible three-year-old and four-year-old horses, run for the first time in March this year as the R.J. Hoysted Memorial VOBIS Gold Eldorado, has been moved from Wangaratta to Echuca as part of last week’s announcement of a $273,000 upgrade to the Wangaratta racetrack in 2015. 
The upgrade, which will see the entire Wangaratta racing surface replaced, is behind the transfer of five meetings between January and April next year, including the popular Cup meeting on 1 March.

More information on the Wangaratta upgrade is available here.

As a result, the VOBIS Murray River Gold (1400m) will become one of the feature races on Echuca’s 8 March Cup Day program, with the name change to reflect the host region.

Open only to VOBIS Gold-nominated horses, the $1.9 million VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series consists of 13 lucrative feature races for two, three and four-year-old horses at metropolitan and regional Victorian racetracks during the 2014/15 season.

Despite its relative infancy, the VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series has proven a popular launching pad for the careers of star gallopers, including Darren Weir’s dual Group 1 winner Trust In A Gust who, in addition to three victories during the 2013/14 series, was runner-up to talented Mick Price-trained gelding Worth A Ransom in this year’s VOBIS Gold Eldorado at Wangaratta.

Meanwhile, at the most recent Country Racing Victoria Club Managers Workshop, Chief Executive Officers from Bendigo Jockey Cub (BJC), Pakenham Racing Club (PRC), Ballarat Turf Club (BTC) and the Warrnambool Racing Club (WRC) were presented with certificates to recognise their continued support of the VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series.

VOBIS Gold Premier Races are highly sought after by Victorian racing clubs and provide significant added interest to race meetings.

Article by Racing Victoria

Mighty Like Strikes For Host

Host galloper Mighty Like is coming into his own at the right time of year according to trainer Mick Price.

Mighty Like defeated stablemate Ringo (NZ) in the Lola’s Gift Hcp (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.  He had won at Ballarat on November 22 at his first run back after a six-month spell.

“He’s raced by owner-breeder Julie Nicholson,” Price said.  “She gives them time and then puts them through Terry Henderson’s farm.  Sometimes we don’t see them until they’re late three-year-olds and then they can go through the grades as older horses.

Mighty Like (5g Host – Mighty Fine by Keltrice) broke his maiden at Echuca in June 2013 and Saturday’s  victory took his record to 7 wins in 14 starts for almost $200,000 in prizemoney.

“It should be a good time of year for Mighty Like although we haven’t got any grand plans,” Price added.  “Eventually, he could work his way into a little bit of black type.”

His dam Mighty Fine (Keltrice) won four races in Melbourne and her earlier foals include the multiple winners Megablitz (Danehill Dancer) and Mightyblitz (Testa Rossa).  She has a 2yo filly by Host and foaled an Americain filly in September.

Host (Chi) stands at Swettenham Stud and he sired two new maiden winner on Sunday with Hostile Owners (Werribee) and Hostoftheplace (Tatura).

Aaron Purcell has another Host in work at Warrnambool with a pleasing strike-rate.  The Ten Bob has won 3 races in 7 starts – the most recent being a first-up victory at Terang last Monday.