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Monthly Archives: June 2016

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Group One Son of Shamardal for Victoria

Ballarat’s Dr Kim McKellar and his wife Liz are delighted to announce Crackerjack King will be standing at Wyndholm Park Stud in 2016 for public use after standing by private arrangement in 2015.

A strapping grey horse, Crackerjack King will be the only Group One winning son of Champion Stallion Shamardal available to Australasian breeders this season.

Crackerjack King had a brilliant career; he was a listed winner as a two-year-old he trained on to be a classic winner at three, a Group One winner at four and mix it with some of the best around in England, the USA and Australia as an open age horse.

Trained by Stefano Botti in Italy, Crackerjack King established his Derby claims as a late two-year-old when claiming the listed Premio Campbello by three and a quarter lengths.

Lining up in the Group Two Derby Crackerjack King faced a ‘crack field’ including the eventual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner of the same season, Danedream. He won the race by two lengths, leaving the star filly four and a half lengths behind despite her weight advantage.

It was as a four-year-old the horse was purchased with legitimate claims on achieving a Cox Plate victory. He duly gave his new owners Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock a Group One victory in the Premio Presidente Della Repubblica defeating Group One horses Asfare, Waldpark and Quiza Quiza Quiza.

In 2014 under the tutelage of David Hayes and with the Cox Plate still in mind Crackerjack King was Group 1 placed in the Underwood Stakes. Unfortunately injury in the Caulfield Stakes curtailed a Cox Plate attempt.

His sire Shamardal is arguably the greatest dual hemisphere stallions of his generation of sires. He has been responsible for seventeen individual Group One winners in seven countries including the formerly highest rated horse in the world Able Friend.

Shamardal is also proving himself a sire of sire through the deeds of his son Lope de Vega who is a Champion First Season Sire and has continued to impress as his horses have aged.

Crackerjack King’s dam, Claba di San Jore was voted towards the pointy end of the top fifty great modern day broodmares by the Racing Post in 2014. Her produce record is outstanding, she has produced five individual stakes winners including Group One winners Jakkalberry, Awelmarduk and of course Crackerjack King.

Importantly for the Australian market Crackerjack King is free of Danehill blood and with Mr Prospector, Sadlers Wells and Storm Cat no closer than his third generation the vast majority of the Australian broodmare population are suitable for this horse.

Chris Blomeley of CB Bloodstock who brokered the deal said of the horse…

“He truly was an elite international ten furlong horse. He is a big strapping grey with plenty of quality and has a near unmatchable pedigree.”

Kim McKellar noted

“We are hugely excited to be standing the horse, entire sons of Shamardal are rare and we know the blood works! We believe he is will suit Victorian breeders tapping into the ever expanding Super VOBIS scheme.”

Crackerjack King will be available to view by appointment as of next week. Contact Kim on 0418 508 212 or Chris on 0449 091 529 for further enquiries or to make arrangements to see the horse.

Crackerjack King will be standing at $6000 + GST on 45 day positive, free return terms.

Great Southern Sale continues Victorian industry growth

The sale topper Mihalic, bred & trained by the Alderson family

Outside at Oaklands Junction last week the weather was certainly cold, but the market was pretty hot inside the sales auditorium.

There was not an indicator, across all sessions of the sale, that didn’t head in the right direction for breeders and vendors.

Over 310 foals, 190 broodmares and 150 racehorses generated more than $13.25 million over four sessions at a clearance rate of 85%.

In terms of averages, the Platinum Weanling session was up 36% from last year, the General Weanling session increased by almost 22% and the Broodmare session was up by a healthy 17.3%. Full details in tables below.

Inglis Great Southern Sale: Platinum Weanlings

20152016Change
Sold206225
Clearance0.830.85
Gross$4,818,750$7,159,500$2,340,750
Highest$300,000$210,000
Average$23,392$31,8200.36
Median$10,000$18,0000.8

Inglis Great Southern Sale: General Weanlings

20152016Change
Sold7995
Clearance0.880.9
Gross$544,450$798,200$253,750
Highest$47,500$62,000
Average$6,892$8,4020.219
Median$4,000$4,5000.125

Inglis Great Southern Sale: Broodmares

20152016Change
Sold197191
Clearance0.770.76
Gross$2,291,200$2,605,700$314,500
Highest$160,000$110,000
Average$11,630$13,6420.173
Median$4,250$5,8000.365

Inglis Great Southern Sale: Racing stock

20152016Change
Sold121155
Clearance0.90.96
Gross$871,700$2,597,600$1,725,900
Highest$105,000$310,000
Average$7,204$16,7591.326
Median$3,000$5,0000.667

The sale strength continued right through to the end on Wednesday when Mihalic – the last lot of the supplementary catalogue – topped proceedings at $310,000 from Supreme Thoroughbreds.

Mihalic (Lot 905) is a three year-old Hard Spun filly bred by the Alderson family who also raced her with success. She who won the Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes at two before adding more black-type this season.  Her family is on the move as evidenced by her yearling half-brother (by Reward For Effort) selling for $380,000 at the 2016 Inglis Premier Sale to China Horse Club.

There was great demand for Contract Racing’s draft of 17 lots with a sale aggregate for the Macedon Ranges operator of $640,500.  They included Crystal Lily’s close relation Crystal Wind ($135,000) and Triscay’s in-form grand-daughter Iamhere ($110,000).  Both were purchased by Damon Gabbedy’s Belmont Bloodstock.

“It’s safe to say this sale has truly come of age,” Inglis Victorian bloodstock manager Simon Vivian said.  “It was so pleasing to see every session record big increases in aggregate.”

“The support we have received from our vendors has been rewarded with outstanding competition from buyers, leading to a most successful and enjoyable sale.”

All three Inglis breeding stock sales at Oaklands Junction this year (Premier, VOBIS Gold and Great Southern) have recorded positive increases. There has been an additional $15.1 million in turnover, much of which is going back to Victorian breeders.

UPDATE: National Breeding Industry Issues

Below is an update on a number of issues and projects that Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) has been involved with recently.

TBV is working closely with TBA on these matters. We appreciate the work of TBA President Basil Nolan and CEO Tom Reilly.

 

Industry Update

Research & Development Levy

On Monday Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce announced his government would, if re-elected, support the granting of a matched R&D Levy for the breeding industry.

This comes after TBA set out how about $400,000 would be raised by breeders to be matched dollar for dollar by government.

Initially this proposal was rejected by the federal government, though I’m pleased to say TBA was able to build support from across sides of politics to get the decision reviewed, resulting in Mr Joyce’s announcement. Given Labor also supports the Levy it seems certain it will go ahead.

There will now be a minimum of about $800,000 in funding for our industry guaranteed each year for an initial three years, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a fantastic result.

Among the areas likely to be the focus of research are the prevention and management of exotic and indigenous diseases, improving the conception rates of mares and stallions and efforts to reduce foetal loss caused by contagious diseases.

Read the TBA’s press release on the announcement.

 

Racing Australia Issue

The board of Racing Australia (RA) met just over a week ago at which their proposal to bring breeders under the Rules of Racing was discussed again. TBA president Basil Nolan was told afterwards that RA are seeking a further meeting with TBA on this issue. To understand TBA’s position on this proposal please read a letter from Basil on this subject.

However we are also seeking your input on this attempted take over of breeding by the Racing authorities. We have commissioned an online survey that we believe will provide valuable insight into this issue and will help TBA represent breeders. Please complete the survey – which should take no more than a couple of minutes.

complete the survey

 

Equine Herpes Virus Vaccine

As many of you have no doubt been aware (and concerned about) there has been a shortage of Duvaxyn EHV1,4 in Australia in the past year. TBA is pleased to announce that the first batch of the vaccine is likely to arrive in August this year, a full 12 months shorter than we were initially told was likely.

The vaccine is now in the final stages of being approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and its manufacturer, Zoetis, is confident the global demand will be met within the coming months.

TBA has worked very hard putting pressure on the Department of Agriculture, the APVMA and Zoetis so that this vaccine is available as quickly as possible. Hopefully there will be no hold ups with production and you will have access to the vaccine shortly.

 

On all of these topics we will endeavour to keep you informed when we have news to update you with.

Tom Reilly, Chief Executive
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia

Magnus brings up the magical 100!

Great Shot wins the Listed Belmont Guineas

Sun Stud sire Magnus sired his 12th stakes winner in Perth on Saturday and, for an encore, cracked 100 individual winners this season on Sunday.

In modern times, the only Victorian sires to reach the century mark have been Encosta, De Lago, Bel Esprit and Written Tycoon.

Meanwhile in Western Australia, Magnus miler Great Shot lived right up to his potential with a 4 length victory in the Listed Belmont Guineas (1600m).

It was the fifth win in seven starts for the Rhys Radford trained 3yo gelding.

“He won by 3 lengths here a fortnight ago and was even better today,” the rookie trainer said.  “We removed the blinkers and that’s made a difference.  He’s more relaxed and free flowing now.”

The trainer, who has now spelled the gelding, has mentioned this year’s Group 1 Railway Stakes in Perth as a future target for Great Shot.

Radford prepares the gelding for Frank and May Edwards who bought him at the 2014 Perth Magic Millions for $31,000.  He’s a three-quarter brother to Caulfield’s Listed Perri Cutten Classic winner Gawne (Flying Spur) and has earned $246,550.

Magromeus is another Magnus 3yo and she brought up a century of winners for the Sun Stud stallion at Coleraine.  The Terry & Karina O’Sullivan trained filly was successful when stretching out to 1300m for the first time.

Magromeus was bred by Brent Grayling at Supreme Thoroughbreds and is from the Snippets mare La Bella Zaccola.

Along with 100 winners for the season, Magnus progeny have recorded 10 stakes wins in Australia (including Group 1 winner Malaguerra) and earnings of more than $5.6 million placing him in the top 12 of active, Australian based sires.

Magnus reaches 100

With the increased success, Sun Stud has raised the service fee for Magnus (Flying Spur) in 2016 to $19,800 (inc gst).

Jack’s the lad for Equiano

Medicine Jack (No5)

Equiano (Fr) colt Medicine Jack has Group 1 assignments in sight following his victory in the Group 2 Railway Stakes (1200m) in Ireland on Saturday.

Trained by Ger Lyons, he had won Navan maiden by 4 lengths last month and improved again to defeat Peace Envoy by a half-length at the Curragh.  The runner-up hit the front but Medicine Jack found plenty to go away down the middle of the track.

Peace Envoy (Power) started a 7/4 favourite and provided a strong form-line out of Royal Ascot.  The Coolmore Stud colt had finished fourth in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes before returning home with Aidan O’Brien.

“He did what we thought he could do,” Lyons said.  “That’s not being cocky, we like him but you never know when you have Ballydoyle to deal with.

“This one is still only half a horse and we were worried he was still not mature.  But the Railway is as important to me as winning a Coventry at Royal Ascot.  They are both Group 2.”

Medicine Jack (2c Equiano – Agony Aunt by Formidable) has Group 1 nominations at the Curragh for the Phoenix Stakes (Aug 7) & National Stakes (Sept 11).

Lyons also prepared Equiano sprinter Blood Money to a feature win at Fairyhouse earlier this month.  He was Group 3 placed in the Curragh 2YO Stakes last year and is bound for more black-type this summer.

Equiano (Fr) has now sired 9 stakes winners and the latest comes hot on the heels of The Tin Man.  He finished fourth against older horses in the Group 1 British Champions Sprint at Ascot last October and resumed this term to win the Listed Leisure Stakes at Windsor.

The Tin Man is as short as 10/1 for the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday, July 9.

Equiano shuttles to Swettenham Stud and there have been 27 winners of 35 races from his two southern crops this season.

Consistent sprinter Devils Pinch helped him maintain a Top 10 spot on the Australian second-season premiership with a first-up victory at Sale last Sunday.  He has won 3 times in 6 starts for trainer Colin Little.

Hong Kong flyer Dancing Flames is another Victorian bred son of Equiano.  The Danny Shum trained speed-machine clocked 56.51s winning a Sha Tin Griffin (1000m) and he reproduced that turn of foot with a sizzling 55.72s victory down the straight course last Sunday.

Equiano stands for a $13,750 (inc gst) fee at Swettenham Stud.

Jayemzed returns home

Jayemzed - Darnik Park

A Victorian bred and owned stallion who has called Tasmania home for the past six years has returned home.

Jayemzed (Lion Cavern- Te Akau) will stand at Betty Connell’s Darnik Park property near Maldon.

Owned by the Zito family, Jayemzed had a promising racing career while trained at Mornington by Barry Howe. He recorded five wins and a black type placing but unfortunately was struck down by injury.

“He has been a pampered houseguest of David and Trish Cochrane standing at Bowthorpe Stud  at Longford, Tasmania where he has covered a only handful of mares each year,” Ralph Zito said.

From his first six horses to race so far there have 3 winners from 7 starters with  many placings.   This includes the Shane Fliedner trained Bee Jay Zed and the Mick Kent trained Leodoro who are both multiple winners in Victoria.

3yo filly Princess Celestia, also trained by Mick Kent made an encouraging debut recently with a fast finishing fourth at Pakenham.

“Due to his success to date, and as a result of interest shown particularly by some owner/breeders in regional Victoria, it has been decided to return him to his home state for the broader opportunities which may arise,” Ralph said.

“In addition to his winning strike rate, another notable factor so far is his capacity to transmit his own appearance, correct confirmation, long athletic stride and docile temperament to his progeny including his two Victorian winners pictured as weanlings with their respective dams Winner’s Choice and White Gold.

Jayemzed's winners Bee Jay Zed and Leodoro as weanlings
Jayemzed’s winners Bee Jay Zed and Leodoro as weanlings

“He has settled in well to his new home under the care of experienced horsewoman and successful local owner Betty Connell at her Darnik Park property nearby to historic Maldon.”

Jayemzed will be standing in the 2016 season at $3300 ( incl gst).

Dual-hemisphere winners by Helmet

Taamol

Darley Victoria freshman Helmet is firing on several fronts with his two year-olds this month.

His winning run continued in England on Saturday with Taamol at Newmarket.  Making his debut for renowned owner Sheikh Hamdan and Sir Michael Stoute, the colt drifted to the far rail in the final furlong but still had more than a length to spare at the post.

Taamol (2c Helmet – Supreme Seductress by Montjeu) is from a half-sister Cheshire Oaks winner Menhoubah and cost 140,000gns at the 2015 Tattersalls October yearling sale.

Helmet has now sired 7 juvenile winners in Europe including stakes-placed Boater, impressive debut scorers Chupalla and Thunder Snow, who ran so well in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and the multiple winners Orewa and Kreb’s Cycle.

His Victorian-bred colt Archives started the dual-hemisphere winning run this time last month in the Listed Hampden Stakes (1200m) at Doomben.

Archives (2c Helmet – Preserve by Canny Lad) is a three -quarter brother to Group 3 winning sprinter Safeguard (Exceed And Excel).

He’s a big horse and will keep improving,” Darley’s Australian general manager Henry Plumptre said.  “I think you will see a very good horse in the spring.”

Trainer John O’Shea welcomed Archives back from a short break on the weekend and indicated his targets will be the Group 2 Danehill Stakes and Group 1 Coolmore Stakes at Flemington.

In Singapore on Sunday, Helmet youngster Cai Poh Wang was given a tough assignment in the Inglis Ready 2 Race Stakes (1200m) but ran above expectations on debut.  There’s an early win ahead on the strength of his third in the 5th leg of the Golden Horseshoe Series.

Another Helmet ready to debut is Sheikh Mohammed’s homebred Fanfaron in Race 4 at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.  He was placed in a Rosehill trial on June 10 and is the first foal from a Lonhro daughter of Group 3 VRC The Vanity winner Pure Joy.

Helmet (Exceed And Excel) won the Group 1 Champagne Stakes at two and returned for a front-running victory in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas.  He will stand the coming breeding season at Northwood Park in Seymour at a fee of $16,500 (inc gst).

Second Winner for Toorak Toff

The Rosemont Stud bred Toorak Rose scores at Moe (John Donegan-Racing Photos)

Multiple Group One winner and first season sire Toorak Toff posted his second winner from just nine starters when Toorak Rose beat the older horses at Moe in her first ever race start.

The daughter of stakes placed Strategic mare Plans was an $80,000 Inglis Melbourne Premier purchase by Caulfield trainer Clint McDonald.

Good enough to be nominated for the Group 1 Champagne Stakes, a patient approach from McDonald brought dividends today.

“I really like the Toorak Toff stock. I’ve got a few in the stable and they are going to make lovely three year olds,” McDonald said.

His other very promising 2yo filly Pop is also by Toorak Toff and was good enough to take her place in the G1 Champagne Stakes during the ATC Championships, running a bold fifth. She is Toorak Toff’s other winner to date.

“We are really excited by the six months ahead for this stallion,” said Rosemont’s Anthony Mithen.

“Every trainer that has one has been very keen for them to get to their 3yo season given they are showing a propensity to get a mile and maybe beyond.”

Rosemont announced earlier this month that the son of Show a Heart will stand for $8800 in season 2016.

Miss lands gamble for Tycoon

Written Tycoon filly Miss Kindilan wins at Eagle Farm (orange silks)

The stallion book is full this year, but the winners continue apace for Woodside’s Written Tycoon.

His latest city winning juvenile was Miss Kindilan at Eagle Farm on Saturday in the Singapore Airlines 2yo Fillies Plate (1200m).

Bookmakers who underestimated were burned when the Written Tycoon filly landed a plunge. Some corporates bet as much as $51 on Wednesday and she was no better than $8.50 when the field jumped

Trainer Barry Lockwood said Miss Kindilan was coming off a nightmare first-up outing at the Gold Coast.

“Everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” he said.

“We put blinkers on and took the tongue tie off and it seemed to do the trick in her work through the week.

Miss Kindilan is the 10th individual juvenile winner by Woodside Park’s champion sire in Australia this season.  He has also sired Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Luna Rossa in New Zealand.

Written Tycoon’s Aussie contingent have won a total of 19 races for earnings of $4,196,931 putting him well and truly at the No.1 rank in the Australian 2yo Sires Premiership.

As an historical guide, only super star sires Redoute’s Choice, Exceed and Excel and More Than Ready have ever had their progeny collect more than $4 million in 2yo seasonal earnings.

Woodside Park auctioned the fifth and final on-line nomination to Written Tycoon through bloodstock.com.au last week and it was purchased by Iranian-based agent Hamid Nikoumanesh for $53,500.  The other successful bidders over the past five weekswere Neil Jenkinson ($56,500), Nicole Ernest ($60,000), Michael Hadley ($60,500) and Angela Haynes ($59,500).

Retirement on hold for Real Love

Desert King

Desert King’s Group 2 winner Real Love will race on next season instead of retiring to stud.

The rising six year-old mare will spell in Queensland and return to training with Darren Weir for a spring campaign.  She raced at least once every month from October until June this season and was last seen finishing fourth in the G2 Brisbane Cup a fortnight ago.

“She’s been in work for almost a year and is one tough mare,” owner Bob Peters said.

“She pulled up well after the Brisbane Cup and is doing so well, we have decided to push on.”

Real Love won last year’s Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) and commenced this season with a Group 3 victory in the Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) at Ascot before transferring to Victoria.

Desert King (Ire) stands at Euroa-based Lauriston Park and is best known as the sire of Melbourne Cup legend Makybe Diva and Group 1 weight-for-age star Desert War.

Apart from Real Love, his feature winners this season include stablemate Rainbow Storm (Hamilton Cup), Desert Jeuney (Moe Cup) and Desert Glow (Broome Cup).

Desert King’s latest winner was the Adam O’Neill trained Desert Samurai at Echuca yesterday. The 4yo was bred by Monterey Stud and has recorded a placing in 10 of his 16 stars.

In addition, Desert King gelding Escargot Fabuleux broke through during the Swan Hill Carnival on June 11.  Working up to 2100 metres at his fourth start, he was always prominent and stayed on strongly to score by a head for Mornington trainer Trent Pennuto.

Escargot Fabuleux is a homebred for Stefan Seketa of St Elmo Racing and is the only named foal from Iblits (Strategic).

Desert King is available for a $6,600 (inc gst) service fee in 2016.

Inaugural VOBIS Sires list released

Racing Victoria (RV) and Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) have today released the list of nominated stallions for the inaugural year of the $1.5 million VOBIS Sires scheme.

More than 75% of all coverings in Victoria last year were undertaken by the 53 VOBIS Sires nominated stallions. These 2016-born foals will be eligible to compete in the following exclusive races on the annual Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday:

  • $1 million two-year-old race over 1200 metres to be run for the first time in April 2019; and
  • $500,000 three-year-old race over 1600 metres to be run for the first time in April 2020.

Launched during the 2015 breeding season, VOBIS Sires is an enhancement to Victoria’s respected owner and breeder incentive scheme, VOBIS, and aims to encourage support of Victorian-based stallions and provide those that do invest in their progeny with the opportunity for lucrative racetrack returns.

In the countdown to the inaugural VOBIS Sires race in 2019, the conditions of two feature races on the Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday will transition to being restricted to VOBIS Gold nominated horses sired by Victorian stallions (those classified as ‘Category A’ VOBIS). The two races are:

  • $300,000 1200m race for Victorian sired two-year-olds in 2017 and 2018 (formerly the VOBIS Gold Ingot); and
  • $300,000 1600m race for Victorian sired three-year-olds in 2018 and 2019 (formerly the VOBIS Gold Reef).

RV Chief Executive, Bernard Saundry, said he was pleased with the strong level of support afforded by Victorian stallion owners who are provided with an opportunity to further showcase their progeny via VOBIS Sires.

“The number of nominated stallions for the inaugural year of VOBIS Sires is very pleasing and I want to acknowledge Victoria’s stallion owners for their role in ensuring that our breeding industry remains strong, viable and competitive,” Mr Saundry said.

“Those seeking to purchase or race the 2016 born progeny of these 53 Victorian stallions have a further incentive to do so with eligibility for two VOBIS Sires races offering a collective $1.5 million and we expect to see that reflected in the sales ring over the next two years.

“The Victorian breeding industry continues to grow in stature both nationally and abroad and the introduction of VOBIS Sires further cements Victoria as the state to breed, buy, own and race a thoroughbred.”

TBV President, James O’Brien, said that VOBIS Sires provides breeders with the opportunity to promote the outstanding quality of Victorian-bred horses.

“VOBIS Sires is a fantastic addition to the VOBIS program in Victoria which is now delivering millions of dollars to breeders and racehorse owners,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It is great to see a large number of Victorian stallions signed up to VOBIS sires giving broodmare owners and future buyers a shot at lucrative two and three-year-old races starting in the 2018-19 season.

“Stallion owners invest significantly in Victorian’s breeding sector. Their contribution to VOBIS Sires is much appreciated.

“TBV looks forward to the initial running of the Victorian sired restricted race in April next year when the very best of locally sired two-year-olds will fight it out for a rich $300,000 in bonuses and prizemoney.”

Funding for VOBIS Sires is jointly provided by RV and Victoria’s stallion owners who pay an annual entry fee based on the number of mares served and the stallion’s advertised fee.

Stallion owners will shortly be sent a VOBIS Sires nomination form for the 2016 breeding season to ensure the progeny of this year’s coverings will be eligible for the exclusive races in 2020 and 2021.

Upon receipt of nominations for year two, RV intends to publish a list of those stallions nominated for the 2016 breeding season on or before the commencement of the season on 1 September 2016.

Full details of VOBIS Sires are on the Racing Victoria website.

VOBIS Sires logo white background

The 2016-born foals of the following Victorian stallions will be eligible for the inaugural VOBIS Sires:

Stallion2015 Stud/Nominator
AmericainSwettenham Stud
AnacheevaChatswood Stud
ApologiaJubilee Stud
Astronomer RoyalRiverbank Farm
Brazen BeauDarley
Can the ManSpendthrift Australia
Canford CliffsBlue Gum Farm
ClusterLarneuk Stud
DanesisBrooker Park
DomesdayDarley
EquianoSwettenham Stud
Feeling HighSonogan, Geoffrey
Fighting SunSun Stud
FiorenteeSun Stud
Glass HarmoniumBlue Gum Farm
GlobetrotterHigh Point Lodge
Hampton CourtSpendthrift Australia
HelmetDarley
Jimmy CreedSpendthrift Australia
Jungle RulerBombora Downs
Khyber PassDenise Wallace
KuroshioDarley
LawyerOritah Park
Lucas CranachBullarook Park Stud
MagnusSun Stud
Master of DesignSwettenham Stud
MosheSun Stud
Oamaru ForceNoor Elaine Farm
Puissance De LuneSwettenham Stud
RedenteRiverbank
ResetDarley
Reward for EffortChatswood Stud
Rock FaceJubilee Stud
Rock HeroLauriston Park
SkilledDarley
Sound JourneyDr. Alanna.Kirley
SquamosaSun Stud
StarcraftRosemont Stud
Starspangled BannerRosemont Stud
Statue of LibertySun Stud
Street BossDarley
StrykerThree Bridges Thoroughbreds
Toorak ToffRosemont Stud
ToronadoSwettenham Stud
TurffonteinBlue Gum Farm
UnencumberedThree Bridges Thoroughbreds
Von Costa De HeroRiverbank
WantedSun Stud
WarBlue Gum Farm
WarhorseBombora Downs
Warriors RewardSpendthrift Australia
Written TycoonWoodside Park Stud
ZoustarWoodside Park Stud

The results are in…Victoria’s Best Ever Weanling Sale!

Stonehouse Thoroughbreds' Fiorente weanling sold for $160,000

314 weanlings have been sold across the first two days of the 2016 Inglis Great Southern Sale with increases across the board.

The average price of the 222 weanlings sold in the Platinum Session has finished at $32,140, up 37% on last year’s record figure of $23,392 while the all-important median indicator was up an astonishing 80% to $18,000.

For the General Session of weanlings, the average increased by 12.5% to $8,567 and the median also moved up by 24%.

Flinders’ Two Bays Farm was the leading Victorian vendor (3 or more lots sold in Platinum session) with 9 lots sold for an average for $63,833 while Euroa’s Maluka Thoroughbreds also performed well with 9 lots sold for an average $54,111.

The Platinum session was headed by Erinvale Thoroughbred’s Lot 792 colt by Pierro from Call Me Pretty that sold for $210,000 to the partnership of Victoria’s own Ampulla Lodge and Ascot Farm from New Zealand.

As a buyer, Ampulla Lodge also topped Day 1 of the Platinum session securing a $170,000 Written Tycoon colt from Woodside Park.

13 weanlings were sold for over $100,000 at this year’s Great Southern Sale, a considerable jump from just four lots last year.

Top 10 weanling lots sold by Victorian vendors

LotSexVictorian vendorSireDamBuyerLocationPrice
792ColtErinvale ThoroughbredsPierroCall Me Pretty (USA)Ampulla Lodge/Ascot FarmVic/NZ$210,000
85ColtWoodside Park StudWritten TycoonPeppieAmpulla Lodge/Ascot FarmVic/NZ$170,000
252ColtStonehouse ThoroughbredsFiorente (IRE)FiammarosaPrima Park/Waterford B'stockNZ$160,000
794ColtTwo Bays FarmEpauletteLoading ZonePaul Willetts NZ$140,000
163ColtTwo Bays FarmDundeel (NZ)WhitesailsLyndhurst FarmNZ$130,000
288FillyShadwell FarmHinchinbrookIsolaInglis As AgentNSW$125,000
158ColtSwettenham StudAkeed Mofeed (GB)Video StarT CliftNSW$120,000
222FillyMaluka ThoroughbredsTavistock (NZ)Clear Blue (NZ)Heritage BloodstockVIC$115,000
137ColtSupreme ThoroughbredsPierroSweetness 'n Light (NZ)Moody Racing VIC$105,000
102FillyMerrivale FarmHinchinbrookRiverina (USA)Inglis As AgentVIC$100,000
30ColtWoodside Park StudHigh Chaparral (IRE)LustreBotty's BloodstockVIC$90,000

“There is no doubt that this was the best collection of weanlings ever offered for sale in Victoria,” said Inglis Victorian Bloodstock Manager Simon Vivian.

“We have been privileged to catalogue a fantastic draft of youngsters and this led to unprecedented interest from buyers. The old line of ‘if you build it, they will come’ was evident from inspections early in the week.

“This Great Southern Weanling Sale was built on quality individuals with good pedigrees being professionally presented by our vendors. The buyers came and were obviously pleased with the product on offer,” said Vivian, who added that this sale “continues to develop”.

Demand for weanlings by Victorian first season sires was strong with a colt by Sun Stud’s Fiorente being the best priced foal by a freshman sire at the Great Southern Sale

The Fiorente colt from Fiammarosa (Danehill) was offered by Stonehouse Thoroughbreds of Eddington and sold for $160,000 to NZ buyers Prima Park & Waterford Bloodstock. The colt is from a sister to Shinzig and Strada.

Fiorente had Group 1 victories in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) and Australian Cup (2000m) as well as a Group 2 in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m). He was the busiest first-season sire in Australia in 2014 covering 186 mares and will stand for a $17,600 (inc gst) service fee at Sun Stud this year.

Other Victorian first season sires with progeny sold during the two sessions included Unencumbered (up to $87,500), Fighting Sun (up to $57,500) as well as Niconoise and Kuroshio.

The final lot of the Platinum Session also created plenty of buzz in the sale ring with Two Bays Farm selling the colt by Epaulette from Loading Zone (Lot 794) for $140,000 to Paul Willetts.

“Fantastic sale, the strongest weanling sale of the year in our opinion. Nice weanlings are nice yearlings and no doubt some shrewd purchases were made and certainly some pin hooks will make a killing come yearling sales time,” said Toby Liston of Three Bridges Thoroughbreds.

Three Bridges has been delighted by the response to their exciting young stallion Unencumbered.

“It’s always great when the market believes in your stallion, so it’s fair to say that we went to bed last night very pleased with the response from all buyers from all corners of Australia. He is leaving correct, sound and tough looking horses, just like Unencumbered himself so there are some exciting times ahead.”

Complete vendor, buyer and sire statistics for Days One and Two of the Great Southern Sale can be viewed online here: 2016 Great Southern Sale

Day Three starts at 10:00am tomorrow, with a big day of Broodmares, Supplementary Broodmares, Stallions and Stallion Shares.

The sale finishes on Wednesday 22 June with Yearlings, Unbroken Stock and Racehorses.

Ampulla Lodge targets Written Tycoon

Woodside's Written Tycoon - Peppie colt

Written Tycoon was back in the spotlight at Oaklands Junction on Sunday when his weanling colt from Peppie (Danehill) sold to Victorian pin-hookers Ampulla Lodge in partnership with Ascot Farm for $170,000.

The Woodside Park stallion was coming off another successful weekend with two more juvenile winners – I Remember You & Tyzone – in Queensland.  They increased his lead at the top of the Australian 2YO sires’ premiership to 9 winners of 18 races and $4.13 million in prizemoney.

Written Tycoon also sired G1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Luna Rossa in April.

Ampulla Lodge owners Steve and Ceri Jostlear made a $500,000 pin-hook profit with an Exceed And Excel colt from last year’s Great Southern Sale and they were delighted to secure the Day 1 leader from Woodside Park.

“We think he’s the best colt here this year. He’s a good walker with a great head and eye,” Ceri Jostlear stated.

The colt’s dam Peppie has already foaled Group 2 MVRC Crystal Mile winner Sea Battle and second-dam Pepite d’Or is a stakes winning sister to Group 1 sprinter Gold Ace.

“He kept developing while being prepared for the sale and we kept increasing his reserve,” Woodside Park’s Matt Tillett said.

“We’re delighted that Ampulla and Ascot Farm purchased him.  They are very good judges and arguably the best pin-hookers around.  It’s a fantastic result for everyone.”

Written Tycoon is booked out at $49,500 (inc gst) this year and the five nominations being auctioned on-line by Woodside Park through bloodstock.com.au have made well above his advertised fee.

NSW based breeder Angela Haynes bought the fourth nomination fee auctioned for $59,500 on Friday.  She follows Queensland agent Neil Jenkinson ($56,500), Victoria’s Nicole Ernest ($60,000) and Balance Thoroughbreds Michael Hadley ($60,500).

The remaining nomination being auctioned online closes this Friday, 24 June at 7pm.  This offering is available to all breeders, however bidding can only be done by registered users of the “Everyday Auction” platform.

For more information, please contact Nick Melmeth on 0422 987 638 or (02) 9399 7999 or nick.melmeth@bloodstock.com.au

New breeding funding committed to by Coalition Government

Gai Waterhouse with Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) and Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) today welcomed the announcement by Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce that, if re-elected, a Coalition Government will deliver Research and Development Levy funding to the thoroughbred breeding industry.

The Levy would see the Department of Agriculture match funds raised by the thoroughbred breeding industry in a ‘dollar for dollar scheme’ for research projects that will be spent safeguarding and improving equine health and production.

It is expected about $400,000 will be raised each year by a small levy on stallion and mare owners, with the government agreeing to match that sum for an initial three years if re-elected, meaning $800,000 will be available annually to fund research.

Such ‘dollar-for-dollar’ levy schemes are common in Australian agriculture sector including cotton, poultry, horticulture, beef and grains.

“We are grateful to Mr Joyce for committing to matched funding available for research. This scheme will give our industry real certainty that we will have government support into the future for vital projects in areas like bio-security and disease control,” said Mr Nolan.

“Breeding plays a very important role in the rural economy and it’s pleasing to have this acknowledged by Mr Joyce. I have no doubt that the research funded by this levy will help us grow our industry through better health outcomes for horses and it will also safeguard the jobs of the many thousands of people who work with thoroughbreds,” Mr Nolan added.

A proposal put forward TBA was initially rejected by the Federal Government last year, after which the peak body for the breeding industry produced economic modelling that showed granting the levy would improve production and economic activity.

“This is a great result for Victorian breeders,” said TBV President James O’Brien.

“It is critical our sector maintains a healthy level of research to ensure a healthy and productive population of horses. We can’t take these matters for granted.”

“TBA, particularly CEO Tom Reilly, ought to be commended for the hard work they have done in lobbying the government and convincing parliamentarians of all sides of politics of the importance this levy.”

Among the areas likely to be the focus of research are the prevention and management of exotic and indigenous diseases, improving the conception rates of mares and stallions and efforts to reduce foetal loss caused by contagious diseases.

TBA Chief Executive Tom Reilly described how the levy will provide real certainty for funding.

“Getting this levy funded is very important and it means we can look to some ambitious long term projects of benefit to all breeders right across the country. Once put in place these R&D levies have not been repealed so we believe this funding will be ongoing,” he said.

Blue Gum boost at Oaklands

Lot 286 War weanling sold by Bucklee Farm for $60,000 at Great Southern Sale

Philip Campbell has boosted Blue Gum Farm’s foal division with two six-figure buys at the Great Southern Platinum Weanling Sale.

From the other side of the auction rostrum, progeny of the farm’s first crop sire, War, were well received, selling for as much as $60,000.

The colt (pictured), out of Al Maher mare Irradiated, was sold by Greta West’s Bucklee Farm. Other War weanlings were sold to Randwick Bloodstock Agency and Laceby Lodge.

Heritage Bloodstock’s Paul Guy purchased the All Too Hard colt ($120,000) and Tavistock filly ($115,000) on behalf of Campbell and his partners.

“It’s our fourth year together. We’re building year by year and we’re very happy with our buys,” Campbell said.

At the Premier Sale earlier this year, a pinhooked colt (bred in Victoria by Larneuk Stud) was sold by Blue Gum for $700,000

The All Too Hard colt bought by Heritage/Blue Gum at the Great Southern Sale is from Flemington stakes winner Penny Banger (Zedrich).

“He’s a second-crop foal and is big and athletic from a good family,” Campbell added.

“All Too Hard’s first yearlings went to the right homes and the foal could be worth good money next year.”

The Blue Gum purchased Tavistock filly helped kick-start Monday’s morning session when offered by Maluka Thoroughbreds.  She is a NZ bred relation of South African stakes winner Mitraad (Northern Meteor).

Back at the farm, Campbell and his staff are preparing for the upcoming breeding season which will once more involve exciting shuttle sire Canford Cliffs.

Canford Cliffs sired 35 individual two year old winners in Europe last year and now he’s unearthed a classic filly in the progressive Mick Channon-trained Harlequeen.

Seen only once last year when winning a Goodwood maiden in September, she has gone to another level this term finishing second in the Tattersalls Millions at Newmarket and fourth in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes at York. She then ran a blinder finishing third in last month’s Group 1 English Oaks at Epsom.

Channon has nominated Harlequeen for the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on June 26 and the Group 1 Irish Oaks at the Curragh on July 16.

Canford Cliffs had 8 yearlings from his second southern crop average $105,000 at the Inglis Melbourne Premier in March.  He will stand at Blue Gum for a $13,750 (inc gst) fee this year.

I Love a metro winner!

New Noor Elaine Farm sire Ilovethiscity

Larneuk Stud’s exciting young stallion Ilovethiscity was represented by his first metropolitan winner recently, the Gordon Richards trained two-year-old Chapel City winning at Morphettville on debut.

Despite being unwanted in the betting – sent out at a massive price of 80/1 – the chestnut won in the style of a short priced favourite, really charging when asked for his effort by Matthew Poon.

Showing a great will to win, Chapel City pinned his ears back over the final 100m, finding the line in determined fashion with a half a length to spare on his more fancied rivals.
And there is improvement to come with Gordon Richards admitting that “he caught me a little by surprise.”

“I expect to give him another run on July 2 then a break as he is still immature,” he said.

Bred by Margot Noack, Chapel City (who carries a 4 X 3 cross of Kenmare) was sold at the Adelaide Magic Millions for $35,000.

He is the fifth winner for the Peintre Celebre mare Chapent, also dam of the stakes placed Hank’s Nephew.

With only 38 two-year-olds from his debut crop, Ilovethiscity has had to do it the hard way, but he is proving an upgrader with seven of his juveniles making it to the races with two being debutant winners and another two recording promising placings.

The Matt Laurie trained filly Moonlover created a fine impression saluting at Moe on Anzac Day and the form around her has stood up well.

Meanwhile, Moonlover’s stable mate Lilac Wine has caught the eye finishing off strongly for placings at her first two outings whilst the Robbie Griffiths trained Son Of City was also a powerful finisher when third at Ballarat at his most recent outing.

“We are most encouraged by the start Ilovethiscity has made to his stud career,” said Larneuk’s Neville Murdoch.

“He is an especially good looking horse who has been stamping his progeny and considering that he was much better at three than two we are really looking forward to seeing what his sons and daughters do next season.”

A Group 1 winner of the Randwick Guineas, Ilovethiscity hails from one of Australasia’s most prolific families, one that has also produced the outstanding stallions Lonhro and Grosvenor.

Four Ilovethiscity weanlings are catalogued in this week’s Inglis Great Southern Sale including Larneuk’s lot 327, a filly from the family of Australian Cup winner Starstruck, lot 347 a colt from the immediate family of influential stallion Storm Bird and lot 384 a colt whose grandam is a half-sister to Tie The Knot.

Rushton Park also have a nice Ilovethiscity colt, lot 251 bred on a 4 X 3 cross of the great mare Summoned.

For further information on Ilovethiscity who stands alongside O’Lonhro and Cluster at Larneuk Stud, Euroa contact Neville Murdoch on 0418 105 706 or www.larneuk.com and Larneuk Stud Facebook Page.

Sixmorewinners for new Victorian sire

Onemorenomore

Ever since it was announced that Onemorenomore would be shifting to Victoria to stand at Ridgeview Park Stud, the young Red Ransom stallion has been on fire – in the recent weeks represented by six winners including a double on Sunday 12th June.

At Sha Tin, Hong Kong the sire’s son Lucky Girl (yes a gelding with this name!) recorded a particularly gutsy win over 1800m, working hard early to get to the lead from a wide gate.

Challenged a couple of times down the long straight, Lucky Girl just kept fighting with the caller declaring “he’s got a massive stride this horse and it will get him home!”

It was the second Hong Kong success for the Gerry Harvey bred four-year-old who has shown himself to be a horse of considerable talent, finishing a close up sixth in the Hong Kong Derby won by Werther.

And he defeated some smart types on Sunday, behind him being the Australian Group winners Savvy Nature and Philippi and the New Zealand Listed winner Midnite Promise.

Meanwhile at Kalgoorlie the lightly raced I’m Gunna was an easy maiden winner at only her third start having finished in the placings at her first two.

And on Tuesday One More Tequila recorded her fourth success when claiming a 1350m event at Cessnock.

Also new to Ridgeview this spring is Al Samer whose progeny have been in good form too – on Hawkesbury on Sunday 12th June his in-form son Another Larga winning his second race from his last three starts, looking good leading throughout.

His full brother Choice Larga won at Wagga Wagga last week whilst Issawi has been in flying form in Tasmania winning four of his last five starts for the Scott Brunton stable.

Al Samer looks to have a nice filly in the making in the shape of two-year-old Peeking Duck who was impressive easily winning a Cranbourne maiden in mid-May – following on from a solid showing in Gr.3 company at debut last spring.

“Both Onemorenomore and Al Samer are proven stallions consistently providing winners,” said Ridgeview Park’s Phil Sloane.

“We have been most encouraged by the response to both stallions and look forward to a busy spring.”

For further information on Onemorenomore and Al Samer who stand alongside Best Choice, Golden Snake and Scintillo at Ridgeview Park Stud contact Phil Sloane (0488 525 063) or: www.ridgeviewpark.com.au and the Ridgeview Park Facebook Page.

Nostradamus’ future is bright

New Rosemont Stud sire Nostradamus

Rosemont Stud has welcomed Nostradamus to their stallion barn after retiring him following his gutsy effort in the Group 1 Goodwood Handicap.

Rosemont proprietor Anthony Mithen said he has arrived from trainer Philip Stokes’ stables in fine order and will be a magnificent addition to Victoria’s stallion ranks.

“As you can see by the photo of him taken just after his arrival, he is an exquisite type that has already begun to let down into a magnificent specimen,” Mithen said.

“He’s had his good looks working for him since he was sold as a $500,000 Easter yearling.

“He raced amongst the best company, beating the likes of Group 1 winners Delectation, Wandjina, Stratum Star, Earthquake, Almalad, Bel Sprinter, Hallowed Crown, Malaguerra, The Quarterback, Super One and Flamberge during a career that saw him win Group races at 3 and 4.”

“With a pedigree that suggests he is the best stallion to retire to stud anywhere in Australia this year, he stands at an extremely attractive introductory fee of just $8,800.

“The best son of Medaglia d’Oro’s first Australian crop, he ranks second in performance overall by the sire in this country behind the Golden Slipper-winning Vancouver. Good luck if you can afford the $66,000 advertised fee for that bloke!

“An exceptional type, with a stand-out stallion’s pedigree (half-brother to Blue Diamond/Coolmore hero Star Witness) with race performance to match, I urge you to consider Nostradamus when deciding where to send your mare this season.”

Feel free to give Anthony a call on 0413 486767 or email office@rosemontstud.com.au to obtain more information.

Inspection of Nostradamus is encouraged and can be done so at the farm at 250 Volum Rd, Gnarwarre, Geelong.

UPDATE: Racing Australia v the Breeding Industry

A message from Basil Nolan, the President of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia

Last Friday the board of Racing Australia met to discuss a proposal relating to the breeding industry, which is causing considerable angst and confusion. The outcome of that discussion is not yet known.

While there may be some involved in racing who will be perplexed at this level of concern, there are many breeders furious that Racing Australia would seek to pursue a policy that gives them unchecked power over breeding. The decision to pursue such a divisive policy at a time when both the number of breeders (down 38 per cent from 2010 to 2015) and foals being born (down 24 per cent) has dropped significantly in the past five years will also confuse many in the thoroughbred world.

The Proposal

To understand Thoroughbred Breeders Australia’s (TBA) position it is worth first considering what Racing Australia are proposing:

Under their suggested new policy breeders would have to agree to be bound by the Rules of Racing when registering ‘mare returns’, the forms which are submitted to the Australian Stud Book (ASB) after a thoroughbred foal is born.

This is a significant shift from the current process whereby the rules of racing only cover the owners of a thoroughbred when it is registered as a racehorse.

For those who are not familiar with the ASB, it is best described as the Births, Death and Marriages of the thoroughbred world; a database in which all Australian thoroughbreds are recorded in order to be registered to race or for their progeny to race in the future. It has provided the regulatory framework for the breeding industry for more than a century.

Racing Australia is also proposing that the full ownership interests in each foal are submitted to the Stud Book at this early stage, a recommendation that would increase transparency and a proposal that has been fully supported by the breeding industry since it was first mooted more than 12 months ago.

Why the concern about the Rules of Racing?

Firstly, if adopted this measure would give organisations established for running racing – Racing Australia as well as the ‘Principal Racing Authorities’, such as Racing Victoria and Racing NSW – complete control over breeding, what is essentially a primary industry.

Any new regulation that would affect breeding would simply be added to the Rules of Racing by administrators and every owner of a broodmare, foal or stallion would be forced to comply or face the possibility of not being able to register their horses with the Stud Book.

Given there is no meaningful representation being offered for breeders on the bodies that would decide what new rules are created or implemented this situation is unacceptable to the vast majority of breeders.

It’s worth remembering that organisations such as Racing NSW or Racing Queensland have been established, and their directors appointed, with regard to the task of running racing, not breeding. While there may be some breeders on these boards now, there is no guarantee this will be the case in future and, what’s more, these people are required by their duty as a director to act in the best interests of their racing board and this may not be aligned with the interests of the breeding industry.

Requests that breeders be given meaningful representation in discussions around any further rules – TBA suggested a panel of three highly regarded breeders, two to be chosen by Racing Australia, be formed to review all future rules relating to breeding – have been emphatically rejected.

Those that may believe breeding is some minor adjunct to racing should understand it is a significant industry in its own right: there are more than 10,000 people directly employed (and many more indirectly) in an industry which generates billions of dollars of economic activity each year; from expenditure on feed, fencing, stallion nominations, not to mention the sums that horses are sold for.

Consider if this was another primary industry facing an attempt to regulate it by a user down the supply chain; for example if Coles or Woolworths said they wanted to regulate dairy farmers because most milk in Australia is sold through their stores. What would the reaction of those farmers be?

Breeding is an important industry that requires a voice in its future, not a proposal to see it governed by an unaccountable group of racing administrators. This lack of representation could easily lead to the introduction of rules that are damaging to the breeding industry.

Animal Welfare and Integrity

One of the most disappointing aspects of this debate is the suggestion, put forward by some directors of Racing Australia, that if you don’t support their proposal you are against animal welfare or transparency.

Such a crass attempt to take the moral high ground is depressing in the extreme.

Nobody cares more about the welfare and conduct of thoroughbreds than breeders across Australia. Every breeder has a deep love of the animal; those who breed to sell rely on the health and reputation of their horses and farms to succeed commercially while those who breed to race or to simply enjoy a thoroughbred on their property do so for the love of the animal and invest many thousands of dollars before even getting a foal on the ground.

As for tougher regulation, TBA submitted to Racing Australia a proposal for new rules in the areas of animal welfare, transparency and integrity (all areas flagged as motivations for Racing Australia’s changes). The TBA suggestions would have ensured there is oversight for thoroughbreds before they enter racing and during their lifespan in the breeding industry.

We stated that rules relating to breeders should be in the Stud Book, the body which has regulated breeding in this country since 1878, rather than caught up in the Rules of Racing, of which there are currently 101 pages with just one mention of breeders.

We also set out possible penalties applying under the proposed rules as well as proposing the creation of an enforcement mechanism for the Stud Book and a panel to adjudicate on breaches of the rules. It is also worth noting that there are already numerous laws and agencies that deal with animal welfare across the country.

TBA’s proposal would have allowed the Australian industry to state it has the strongest regulation in the world, instead Racing Australia appears determined to bind breeders to a set of rules which are totally irrelevant to our industry. Unfortunately Racing Australia has rejected TBA’s proposal.

And what are the issues Racing Australia is trying to address? At a recent public meeting the chairman of Racing Australia, John Messara, himself a prominent breeder, and his chief executive, Peter McGauran, were asked to cite a single incident of malpractice in breeding. Neither could name one.

The role of Racing Australia

Another aspect of concern for breeders is the role of Racing Australia. In the past two years this body has morphed from the toothless tiger that was the Australian Racing Board to now owning tens of millions of dollars in assets (the Australian Stud Book and RISA, the system that trainers use to enter horses in races).

It also retains its primary function, to make the rules of racing. But is Racing Australia accountable to anybody?

If Racing NSW or Racing Victoria are doing a poor job or make a terrible decision you can visit the relevant racing minister and voice your concerns, with the possibility that this minister could use his or her powers to intervene in the organisation.

With Racing Australia there is nobody to provide oversight of its responsibilities; if it makes a bad rule there is no minister or official to complain to.

Breeders endured a taste of this 18 months ago when Racing Australia mistakenly listed a hormone as an anabolic steroid (after acting without consulting breeders). When a yearling ‘failed’ a steroid test at a sale due to traces of this hormone being detected, TBA urged Peter McGauran to review the rule before the findings became public.

His response was alarming: “It’s nothing to do with me, I only make the rules,” he said. Eventually the rule was amended – but not before the Australian breeding industry had suffered a huge amount of negative publicity.

Another area of concern is the governance structure of Racing Australia. If their proposal were to succeed a situation would exist where one of the largest commercial breeders in Australia, John Messara, chairs Racing Australia, the body which would regulate the breeding industry as well as chairing Racing NSW, which would investigate commercial rivals for any breaches of the rules and then hand out penalties. The potential for conflict of interest, or even the perception of that conflict, would unlikely be acceptable in other industries of similar size and significance to the state’s economy.

This is not a personal attack on Mr Messara, a man who has worked tirelessly on behalf of racing and breeding for many years, but an observation on the situation.

It would not matter whether it was Mr Messara or another major commercial breeder; there is without question a perceived conflict of interest when one of the biggest players in an industry seeks to have regulatory control of that industry, without putting in an adequate framework to manage that perceived conflict.

There are many positions, such as judges, where people acknowledge that there could be a perceived conflict or bias and remove themselves from the situation without any suggestion that they would act inappropriately.

In NSW licensed people (trainers and jockeys) are barred from being board members of Racing NSW. This was done for good reason; how could a trainer be chair of a body that had the power to investigate and punish any rule breaches by a peer? Even if a director acted completely impartially, the perception could and would exist that they acted in a manner favourable to their interests.

Where to from here?

What is so disappointing in this debate is that the middle ground between the two sides is considerable. We both want the same outcomes; an improved regulatory framework for thoroughbreds before they enter racing and increased transparency.

But breeders will not accept a proposal that does not allow their industry a meaningful say in its future. Whether this issue ends in the Supreme Court remains in the hands of Racing Australia.

For more information please contact TBA chief executive Tom Reilly at tom@tbaus.com.

 

Bigger bonuses for Victorian bred horses!

The announcement by Racing Victoria (RV) of increased Super VOBIS bonuses for Victorian bred racehorses is warmly welcomed by Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria.

The increases will see the $9,000 Super VOBIS bonuses (mostly country races) increase to $12,000 while the $10,000 Super VOBIS bonus (mostly mid week metro races) will increase to $15,000.

From next season, Victorian bred, Super VOBIS nominated horses will race for an additional $1.8 million per season.

The increases come following TBV consulting with breeders on how to enhance Super VOBIS. TBV then worked co-operatively with RV to bring about this first increase in Super VOBIS bonuses since 2007.

“This is great news for Victorian breeders and further demonstrates the advantage of breeding, buying and owning a Victorian bred racehorse,” said James O’Brien, President of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria.

“Super VOBIS, in tandem with VOBIS Gold and the new VOBIS Sires, is quite simply the world’s best incentive scheme. It provides enormous returns to breeders, trainers and owners and today’s announcement only increases these benefits.”

The Victorian breeding industry is on the way up. The level of recent domestic and international investment in the sector is proof of that.

  • International investors are buying properties in Victoria to set up breeding establishments or partnering with existing operators
  • Victorian based breeders have never been so prominent as major buyers at the broodmare sales across Australia and New Zealand as they have been in recent weeks in Sydney and on the Gold Coast.
  • The 2015 breeding season saw a significant increase in the numbers of mares visiting Victorian based stallions (while the level of broodmare matings decreased in most other regions of Australia)
  • In the sales ring, similar results are being achieved. Melbourne yearling sales average prices have increased by 66% over the past four years (when VOBIS Gold was established). This converts to an additional $24 million being spent on mostly Victorian bred yearlings.
  • On the track, Victorian bred horses are kicking goals with no less than four Group 1 winners in the past month alone.

“On behalf of the Victorian breeding industry and its thousands of participants, I thank Racing Victoria for its growing commitment to VOBIS.

“I also acknowledge and thank the State Government for the significant contribution it makes to VOBIS Gold and the breeding sector,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The State Government understands the key economic benefits arising from the industry including thousands of jobs in regional Victoria.

“TBV is continuing to work positively with Racing Victoria on several other initiatives to further enhance VOBIS including an online VOBIS nominations system, a new VOBIS marketing plan and measures to support Victorian based sires and their progeny,” he said.