The Group 1 three year old features of the Spring, the Caulfield and Thousand Guineas, are now just 26 days away.
A host of Victorian breeders, stallion farms, trainers and owners maintain that hope of glory in these prestigious races that help define the stars of the Spring.
Last year’s Caulfield Guineas featured three Victorian bred/sired runners (Lizard Island, Ready for Victory, & Bon Aurum) while the Thousand Guineas also contained three (Jameka, Take Pride & Super Cash).
Interestingly, three of the past seven Caulfield Guineas winners have been Victorian bred (Long John, All Too Hard & Starspangledbanner) while three of the past eight Thousand Guineas winners were bred by Victorians (Amicus, Yosei & Gallica).
TBV’s Patrick Clancy has examined the entries for each of the Group 1 Guineas races and picked out of a few of the outstanding and/or interesting Victorian bred or sired horses.
It is certainly not a comprehensive list – it may well leave out the eventual winner! And there may be horses on these lists that have already had their plans altered with other races in the Spring Racing Carnival or beyond now their target.
Good luck over coming weeks to all of the Victorian breds and their breeders as they seek their place in these feature Group 1 races!
You need to click ‘Next’ at the bottom of each table to view all previewed entrants.
Spendthrift's Garry Cuddy talks with Miranda Park's Gary O'Meara
Victoria will have a strong presence at the Yulong Breeders’ Cup in China this Saturday, September 3rd.
The meeting will be conducted under the auspices of Yulong Farm owner Zhang Yuesheng and there will a race sponsored by champion trainer Darren Weir.
Mr Zhang has invested heavily in the Victorian breeding industry through the development of a breeding and spelling farm of significance at Bayles near Pakenham and purchase of high quality racing and breeding stock.
Victorian breeder Gary O’Meara, who operates Miranda Park at Hesket, will also attend as an interpreter and to represent his own clients at the meeting south-west of Beijing in Shanxi Province.
O’Meara is in the unique position of being a born-and-bred horseman and being fluent in Mandarin.
“I guess it’s an eclectic use of tasks,” he indicated.
“My uncles were bush trainers around Wagga and we’ve been based in the Macedon Ranges for 40 years. And I have taught Chinese for many years.”
O’Meara has already interpreted for Mr Zhang in Australia and China.
“It’s all about translating ideas – not words. The formal meaning of Chinese words do not necessarily translate correctly into English,” he explained.
“There can be misunderstandings all the time if you’re not careful. We were discussing a training track with an uphill climb recently and the Chinese thought we were talking about the incline on a walking machine.
“Mr Zhang has invested heavily in Victoria and Darren was keen to get involved when I mentioned the Breeders’ Cup meeting in China.”
O’Meara is also a keen supporter of Spendthrift Farm and its stallions Warrior’s Reward, Jimmy Creed and Hampton Court since they set-up shop at nearby Romsey.
“We have 60 mares, either our own or clients, and 40 will be covered at Spendthrift this season,” he said. “Their ‘Breed Secure’ program is attractive for breeders because it protects our investment.”
Gary and his wife Helen farm on 200 acres at Miranda Park and he is also on the committee of the Kyneton Racing Club.
“We had stallions back in the 1980s like English Group 1 colt Warmington. He was initially based with Lee Freedman’s father Tony in NSW but nowadays we’re solely a broodmare farm.”
O’Meara and Weir will fly out for the Yulong Breeders’ Cup on Thursday.
“It’s very important for Victoria to get in on the ground-floor in China. They are sparing no expense developing their racing and breeding industries,” O’Meara said.
And having O’Meara’s knowledge of Mandarin will give Victoria the inside run building those relationships in China.
Defcon breeder Kevan Wacey (right) with fellow owners Donna & Rob Love after Defcon's win (Racing Photos)
Yarra Glen based breeder and TBV member, Kevan Wacey, was reasonably confident his Choisir colt would sell well at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
“I thought he’d make around $150,000, but I’ve been around this game for a while now and you know not to get your hopes up too much,” Wacey recalls.
“But then once inspections got under way, no-one could get over the amount of times he was in and out of his box. I think the final tally was around 184 inspections which is a phenomenal number for Melbourne.
“Anyway, he ended up making $340,000 – more than twice the reserve – so, when the buyer, James Harron, came up to me later and asked if I’d like to keep a share, I quickly said yes.
“There were a lot of very good judges on that colt and I thought there could only be upside by keeping a leg.”
Wacey thought right.
On Saturday, the colt – Defcon – produced a barnstorming finish to capture the Group Three HDF McNeil Stakes at Caulfield, which ties in nicely with his victory in the Group Three Canberra Black Opal in March and takes his earnings, somewhat fittingly, past the original asking price.
Second on debut in the Listed Canonbury Stakes at Rosehill in January and then second to Astern (winner of Saturday’s Group Two Run To The Rose) in the Group Two Silver Slipper, Defcon followed his last-to-first win in the Black Opal with an unplaced effort in the Group One Golden Slipper before being tipped out for a spell.
The McNeil was Defcon’s first run in five months, but it didn’t take him long to shake off the rust.
“(Trainer) Peter Snowden told me he’d be tickled pink if Defcon ran in the first four on Saturday and was a good each way chance. So for him to win like that it’s very encouraging,” Wacey adds.
“He’s now likely to head to the Group Two Danehill Stakes at Flemington in a fortnight (10 September) and possibly the (Group One) Manikato later in the spring.”
Wacey also raced Defcon’s dam, Nuclear Force, under his Gleneagles Stud banner, with the Encosta de Lago mare winning six and some $150,000 in stakes before retiring to stud in 2011.
“I really liked Choisir and thought the cross with Encosta de Lago would work well,” Wacey explains. “Since Nuclear Force was retired, Japonisme came out and won the Coolmore, Frespanol won a stakes race and Proisir and his full brother Divine Prophet are both Group winners … all are by Choisir out of Encosta mares. I think I read somewhere that the cross has produced 63% winners to runners.
“Unfortunately the first foal from Nuclear Force died, but then she came up with Defcon.
“This year I sold an Excelebration filly out of the mare to Dynamic Syndications for $100,000 and she’ll be off to Gai Waterhouse.
“Last year Nuclear Force produced a cracking Wanted filly and is now in foal to Foxwedge, but has been booked back to Choisir for this spring.”
A long-time owner and a breeder “for around 25 years”, Wacey has 10 broodmares on his 130 acre property in Victoria’s Yarra Valley.
“I was always happy to potter along but decided to change the style of the business in recent years and have made a concerted effort to upgrade my broodmares and, hence, send around half of them to the Hunter Valley each year,” Wacey adds.
“(Group Two winner) Toast of the Coast will be covered by Dissident, Avionics (eight wins and over $420,000) is heading back to Pierro, while (multiple stakes placed) Nadeem Lass is heading to Criterion this spring – another Black Opal winner!
“It’s actually been a very big year or two for the farm with our home-bred Wordsmith (Group Three winner at Flemington) now the leading sire in Tasmania.
It was actually quite an extraordinary run of days for Gleneagles Stud bred horses. Two wins bookended the Saturday win of Defcon.
At Geelong on Friday, the Moloney trained Cool (Bel Esprit) won at Geelong while on Sunday at Port Augusta, the seven year old Magnusificient won to make it two wins in a row for the Magnus entire.
Group 1 winning son of Commands, Holler, will join the Darley Victoria roster starting in 2017.
It is further evidence of Godolphin and its owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s determination to make the Northwood farm one of the premier stallion operations in Australia. In recent years, star gallopers Helmet and Brazen Beau have also been retired to the farm.
The new sire announcement was made by Darley Australia’s managing director Henry Plumptre at the stud’s annual stallion parade at Northwood on Sunday.
But before his retirement, the Godophin operation will be aiming for further Group 1 glory on the track with the multiple stakes winning Holler.
The stallion’s first target is the Group 1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley in October.
He earned a trip to Royal Ascot earlier this year after winning the Group 2 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley and Group 1 Canterbury Stakes. He was also bloused out of the Group 1 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley, beaten a nose by Flamberge.
“He’s come out of Royal Ascot well and had a good break,” trainer John O’Shea said. “He benefited from that race up the straight and learned a lot.
“We’re getting him ready for the big sprints in the spring and the race that springs to mind is the Manikato. He loves the Valley and has run some big races there.”
Holler is a homebred for Sheikh Mohammed and he became the 10th Group 1 winner by Commands with a brilliant display of sustained speed in the Canterbury Stakes in March.
Commands, who died in July 2014, has several sire sons at stud including the popular Epaulette (Darley NSW) and Skilled (Darley Victoria).
“He is your quintessential Australian horse and has strong Australian pedigree. He is a big, tough galloping horse and raced at 550kg,” O’Shea said.
Holler is the best of three winners overall from five foals out of Shouts (Strategic) who is a half-sister to triple Group 1 winning sprinter Yell (Anabaa). His second-dam Vocalised (Bluebird) is a stakes winning half-sister to Group 1 winner Anthems (Palace Music).
Further news coming out of the Darley stallion parade was that Godolphin’s triple Group 1 winning filly, Guelph, will call Northwood home in coming months. With a Lonhro foal on its way, she will be covered by Darley’s highly successful classics sire Reset (Zabeel) in the Spring.
Renowned Victorian breeder Rob Crabtree left a significant mark on the Macau Racehorse Owner’s Association raceday at Taipa on Sunday.
One of the winners, Florence Elite, was bred by Crabtree’s Dorrington Farm operation while the feature race winner, The Alfonso, is by his Sun Stud based sire Magnus.
The Peter Moody bred The Alfonso returned to the track following a successful throat operation with and duly took out the Macau Racehorse Owner’s Association Cup over 1400 metres on Sunday.
The Magnus gelding has now earned more than $800,000 including close to $200,000 during his Australian racing career with Chris Waller.
The Alfonso is one of the highest rated horses in Macau and is on the rise. Interestingly, on Sunday he beat home the territory’s highest rated horses Wonder Mossman (after being ten lengths behind at the turn).
He has won at Group 1 level in Macau and last year ran a narrow second at his debut outing in Hong Kong in a Group 3 race.
“That was a great win he even surprised me a bit with the ease of it all,” his trainer Joe Lau said following Sunday’s win.
“It’s good he has come back so well after the operation and we have plenty to look forward to with him.”
Lau is now keen to race The Alfonso in Hong Kong again
“He proved that he can mix it with their best horses that day in a race that was a bit short for him.
Meanwhile, veteran galloper Florence Elite brought up his seventh career victory on Sunday. The son of Darley sire Reset was bred by Rob Crabtree and sold through the Fulmen Park draft at the 2009 Inglis Premier Yearling sale for $50,000 to Aquanita Racing.
Out of the Plush mare Political Asylum, Florence Elite is a sibling to dual Group 1 winner Landsighting and also to multiple stakes winner Danzylum.
Back home in Victoria, no doubt Rob Crabtree will be looking forward to some strong results during the Spring Racing Carnival with horses such as Miss Promiscuity and Sheidel.
Unfortunately, another bred by Dorrington Farm, the talented three year old filly Sebrikka, is out injured for the Spring after a very promising first up effort behind Leotie at Caulfield on Saturday.
Twin Creeks Thoroughbreds owners Nick and Kate Taylor have bred a New Zealand based rising star named Oh Romeo.
The Kiwi sprinter won by more than 8 lengths on debut at Ashburton last month and handled a step up in grade with ease when posting a 9 length success at the same venue on Friday.
Oh Romeo is by former Woodside Park stallion Foreplay. The Benalla-based Taylors sold him through Erinvale Thoroughbreds for $15,000 at the 2013 Inglis Great Southern Foal Sale. His dam The Baroness (Viscount) is a half-sister to Group 3 winner A Country Girl.
It is expected Oh Romeo will be sold, sooner rather than later, to Hong Kong.
“He’s the best horse I’ve ridden since I was a boy on Courier Bay,” jockey Terry Moseley said referring to the Group 1-winning sprinter-miler of the late 1980s.
Oh Romeo is raced by the Wigley family’s Inglewood Stud and it is likely he will continue his career overseas, with the impressive victory sure to see him meet the rating requirement for Hong Kong.
“There were a few nerves before the race today and it’s a relief to see him do it,” Gus Wigley said.
“He’s an exceptional horse and there’s been three or four agents ring since the race.
“We bought him as a foal in Melbourne with the idea of taking him to the Karaka yearling sales but he had an x-ray issue so we brought him home. He’s as clean as a whistle now.
“We thought we had him sold to Singapore after he won his first trial but then the money didn’t arrive,” Wigley said.
“I have to go all the way back to (Group 1 Stradbroke Hcp winner) Canterbury Belle to find a one better. She was a superstar.”
Oh Romeo’s imminent sale to Hong Kong has spotlighted his 13 year-old dam The Baroness. She foaled Princess Posh (Canford Cliffs) after Oh Romeo and the filly was placed first-up in a 2YO Newcastle Maiden in June for Kris Lees.
The Baroness hasn’t been bred since foaling Princess Posh and she is for sale. For further details, call Kate Taylor on 0419 382 204.
Warrior's Reward at the inaugural Spendthrift stallion parade
Warrior’s Reward (USA) took the eye during the Spendthrift Farm parades on the weekend and he already has 100 mares confirmed this year.
That’s a major mark-up from his first southern book and reflects the significant expansion of Spendthrift’s operations after its first 12 months in Victoria.
“Apart from our Victorian clients, Warrior’s Reward will also be covering mares from NSW, South Australia and Tasmania,” Spendthrift’s Australian general manager Garry Cuddy said. “He impressed everyone at our open days. He’s a big, good-looking horse and his strike-rate in the USA is 64% with four crops racing.”
Shares in Warrior’s Reward have traded as high as $94,500 in the USA and he stands for $11,000 (inc gst) fee in Victoria.
Warrior’s Reward was the first Group 1 winner by super-sire Medaglia d’Oro when he claimed the 2010 Carter Hcp in New York. He was Group 2 placed in the Jim Dandy at Saratoga and Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park.
Cuddy also explained Spendthrift’s ‘Breed Secure’ program that is proving increasingly popular with broodmare owners and busy is the byword with the farm’s sales team of Josh Rix and Mark Szczepanowski.
Hampton Court (Redoute’s Choice) and Jimmy Creed (Distorted Humor) fill out the Spendthrift roster at Romsey and its racing division is also making inroads with recent winners Spirit And Fire (Canterbury) and Into Orbit (Pakenham).
Into Orbit turned a 1100m maiden into a procession last Tuesday bolting in by more than 4 lengths on debut from front-running filly La Bandita. “Spendthrift has another very nice horse on its hands,” jockey Dwayne Dunn said back in the enclosure. “He steadied out of the gates but when I gave him a bang he overdid it and raced up outside the leader.
“He switched off and relaxed before I asked him for an effort in the straight. He lowered down, stuck his head out and really found the line. There’s better races in store for this horse!”
Into Orbit (Northern Meteor) is trained by Team Hawkes and cost $350,000 at the 2015 Inglis Easter yearling sale. His dam Rockin Babe (Rock of Gibraltar) is a half-sister to leading Queensland stallion Hidden Dragon.
Spirit And Fire (More Than Ready) is also with Team Hawkes and both colts are part of an exciting crop of promising three year-olds for Spendthrift. “They’re a big operation and have some good ones coming through,” Dunn added. “I rode another one of their winners Ameristralia at Bendigo last week.”
Into Orbit holds entries for the all the spring features. “He’s just been doing it under his own steam until now and that win will give him more confidence going forward. He’s a sensational looking individual and is well above Saturday class!”
For more information about Spendthrift’s Breed Secure program and its stallions, please contact Garry Cuddy (0410 451 595), Josh Rix (0499 880 855), Mark Szczepanowski (0499 444 052) or visit www.spendthrift.com.au
With big crops of foals (now racehorses) scattered across Australia and parts of Asia, new Ridgeview Park sire Onemorenomore was certain to have winning weekends like the last.
At Doomben on Saturday free-running Bentles returned to his best form while, in Singapore, a Sun Bloodstock owned galloper, Sun Dance, saluted.
The Tony Gollan trained Bentles was racing second-up since a spell and dictated terms in front to score by two lengths in the Mt Franklin Hcp (1600m). He was a $55,000 buy for Australian Thoroughbreds manager Jamie Bourke and has since earned $130,000 from 5 wins in 16 starts.
“This time last year he won two races really impressively but got a virus that really knocked him around,” Gollan said. “He came back and won a race, but he just wasn’t the same horse, so I decided to give him a really good spell to let him fully recover.
Bentles (5g Onemorenomore – Lady Gracious by Redoute’s Choice) is a half-brother to Listed VRC Gibson Carmichael Stakes winner Affable (Husson) and his dam is a half-sister to Blue Gum Farm sire Turffontein.
“He just goes about his business with no fuss and delivers 100%,” Gollan added.
“We were setting him for Magic Millions Trophy in January before the virus. I’m pretty confident he will get out to 2000m and be a nice middle distance horse.”
The Ridgeview Park resident sire got another Singapore winner on Sunday when Sun Dance was successful at Kranji over 1600m. Owned by Sun Bloodstock’s Cheng Ting Kong, he was always in the gun spot before responding with a stinging run under visiting jockey Wong Chin Chuen.
“He travelled well with no pressure and no-one disturbed him,” Wong said. “He had plenty of galloping room and won a nice race in the end.”
Onemorenomore has a great strike-rate in Singapore and his winners up there include black-type sprinters Excellent One (2nd Group 3 Juvenile Championship) and Genius (2nd Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe).
To finish off the weekend was the win of Onemorenomore gelding So Happy at Macau on Sunday. The K.S Wong trained five year old brought up his 4th career win.
Onemorenomore (Red Ransom) was a Group 1 winner of the AJC Champagne Stakes at Randwick and will begin serving his first Victorian mares later this week at a $5,500 (inc gst) fee.
Below is the latest update from Thoroughbred Breeders Australia on the important issue of breeders and the Rules of Racing.
The season is upon us and many of you are beginning to lodge your mare returns with the Australian Stud Book. By now, we hope you are aware of the new rules introduced by Racing Australia.
In order to submit your mare returns, you must agree to be bound by the rules of racing whether you agree with them or not, or whether you intend to race the foal or not.
We know that the overwhelming majority of you are opposed to these new rules and do not want the breeding industry to be controlled by racing administrators, who do not represent breeders and are not accountable to breeders.
We are calling on you to stand up for our industry and protect its future by saying ‘no’ to Racing Australia.
When submitting your letter to the Stud Book, ensure you email a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can use your signature in our master submission of protest that we are currently putting together. Alternatively, sign a blank piece of paper and email it through.
If you have previously supplied your signature for TBA correspondence, please contact Cecelia at email@example.com and give your permission for it to be used again in our master submission.
As you will be aware, the Rules of Racing have been amended to now include the breeding industry. These changes came into being on the 1st of August and apply to breeders upon submitting mare returns.
Below is the latest update in relation to this important issue from Basil Nolan, President of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia.
A huge number of breeders have contacted Thoroughbred Breeders Australia to register their opposition to the attempt by Racing Australia to bring breeders under the rules of racing.
More than 1,200 breeders have completed our online survey on this issue and the overwhelming majority – more than three-quarters – believe racing’s takeover of breeding will damage our industry.
If you haven’t already filled out the survey please do so HERE.
I said in my last message on this subject that we are awaiting legal advice regarding the introduction of these new rules of racing and that remains the case. I also said in that message that breeders should feel comfortable deferring lodging their mare returns until we obtain legal advice.
However, with the foaling season well and truly under way, we feel it is right to assist breeders in stating their opposition more formally, while also enabling them to lodge their mare returns (especially without giving the stud book money for late fees).
TBA has drafted a letter with its lawyers which allows breeders to state that they have agreed to the new rules of the Australian Stud Book (including agreeing to be bound by the rules of racing) because they had no choice.
The letter also clearly states the new rules are “unfair and invalid” and reserves all legal rights to challenge those rules.
If you are going to lodge a mare return and want to protect your legal rights we urge you to provide us with a copy of your signature which we will attach to a larger letter of protest (in the same form as the letter attached).
If you have already provided your signature for previous TBA correspondence please confirm you are happy for it to be used in this letter.
You can provide us your signature by simply signing a blank piece of paper and scanning it and sending to firstname.lastname@example.org (please remember to print your name as well).
If you would also like to send in a letter individually, please use the copy attached to this email and send it to the keeper of the stud book at: email@example.com (if you do this please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org).
We will continue to keep you updated on this issue in the coming days and weeks.
Bengal Cat wins the IRT VOBIS Gold Reef at Caulfield (John Donegan)
Another year of racing has passed by and it has been a lucrative one for Victorian breeders and their horses signed up to VOBIS.
More than $20 million was on offer through Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold including the 15 races of the $2.8 million VOBIS Gold Premier race series. In 2016/2017 racing season this will grow once more with the inclusion of the $300,000 VOBIS Sires race for two-year-olds.
TBV has compiled tables outlining the winners of the most VOBIS bonuses and VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series prizemoney throughout the season.
If you are a Victorian breeder, or an interstate breeder using Victorian sires, it is critical you sign your horses up to Super VOBIS (as yearlings) and VOBIS Gold (as early 2yos). For 2014 foals, VOBIS Gold nominations close on Wednesday 31 August. More information at: owner.racing.com or phone 1300 139 401
Leading Horse of the Season
TOTAL VOBIS $ WON
Mr Eddie Hirsch
Hayes & Dabernig
Miss Valley Road
Mr Adam Sangster & Mr Stuart Pickworth
If Not Now When
Musk Creek Farm
Mrs Lynne Alderson
She's a Knockout
Mr Justin Lovatt
Bengal Cat, bred by Eddie Hirsch and his family, was a standout Victorian bred performer. The three-year-old trained by John Sadler was the winner of the $280,000 VOBIS Gold Reef at Caulfield on Owners and Breeders Day. The talented filly was also Group 2 placed at Moonee Valley in October.
Runner-up was Valliano, a speedy 2yo filly by Swettenham Stud sire Equiano. The Lindsay Park galloper amassed more than $350,000 in her debut season which included wins in the $280,000 VOBIS Gold Ingot and the $250,000 Inglis Premier at Caulfield.
Leading Trainer of the Season
TOTAL VOBIS $ WON BY HORSES THEY TRAINED
David Hayes & Tom Dabering
Matt Ellerton & Simon Zahra
It was a hot competition among Victoria’s two leading trainers for the most VOBIS dollars earned. Ballarat and Warrnambool based Darren Weir eventually topped the $1 million mark and took the title. This level of VOBIS earnings is a record. Weir’s major VOBIS earners included Burning Front (by Primus) and Gimlet (bred by Contract Racing) who both won legs of the VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series.
The Hayes/Dabernig partnership also had some superior Victorian bred performers lead by Valliano (by Equiano) and quality mare Miss Promiscuity (by Magnus) who is a homebred for Rob Crabtree.
With much smaller numbers in their stable, the Ellerton/Zahra training partnership did well to get third position. Through deliberate buying of Victorian bred, Super VOBIS nominated youngsters and targeting them at VOBIS races, they racked up more than $570,000 in earnings. This represented an extraordinary 14% of their total prizemoney earnings for the season.
Leading Breeder of the Season
TOTAL VOBIS $ WON BY HORSES THEY BRED
Mr Rob Crabtree
Mr Eddie Hirsch
Mr Adam Sangster
Horses bred at Darley’s Northwood farm performed successfully in VOBIS races throughout the season. Dissolute (by New Approach), winner of the VOBIS Gold Elvstroem Classic at Swan Hill in June was one of the better VOBIS earners while Unbreakable (by Hard Spun) also raked in some good VOBIS dollars.
While horses such as Dissolute and Unbreakable have remained in the Godolphin system, it was one which has moved out which was the highest Darley bred VOBIS earner. Adirondack, now trained by Shawn Mathrick, took out the $280,000 VOBIS Gold Heath at Caulfield, an open age race giving the 5yo a go at the riches.
One of Victoria’s premier breeders, Contract Racing (run by the Moodie family) was once again among the leading VOBIS earners. Gimlet and Rough Justice (by Wanted) were two of their highest earners.
Leading Sire of the Season
TOTAL VOBIS $ WON BY PROGENY
Emirates Park Victoria
Reward for Effort
Off the back of success by If Not Now When (bred by Musk Creek Farm) in the $280,000 VOBIS Gold Rush at Bendigo, Artie Schiller lead the VOBIS sires for the past racing season. The previously Diggers Rest based sire also had Rocky Boomboa (bred by Willowvale Thoroughbreds) earn good dollars in taking out the $150,000 VOBIS Gold Carat at Moonee Valley. Sadly, Artie Schiller has left Victoria this season and will stand in NSW.
Darley Victoria’s Street Boss and Sun Stud’s Magnus demonstrated their quality taking 2nd and 3rd respectively. For Street Boss, bonny mare Scarlett Billows (bred by Fred Borg) was a high earner while Magnus’ daughter Miss Promiscuity won lucrative VOBIS dollars particularly in the VOBIS Gold Sprint in which she beat Group 1 winner The Quarterback.
Notably, Chatswood Stud’s Reward for Effort came in fourth position, a significant achievement considering he only has two crops of racing age. He had 36 individual winners across Australia throughout the season, many of which won Super VOBIS and/or VOBIS Gold bonuses at Victorian racetracks. In fact almost one-fifth of the sire’s entire progeny earnings were from Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold bonuses. There is no doubt he will be among the contenders for next year’s leading VOBIS sire title.
Woodside Park's Mark Rowsthorn accepts the Champion 2YO Sire award from TBA CEO Tom Reilly (Katrina Partridge)
The prestigious National Breeding Awards were handed out at the a presentation held in conjunction with Darley’s annual stallion parade in the Hunter Valley last Saturday.
Reflecting the growth in quality of Victoria’s breeding sector, two of the five awards went the way of Victorians.
The new-look event, hosted by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA), was compered by popular industry personality Caroline Searcy.
Responsible for siring the outstanding juvenile galloper Capitalist, Woodside Park Stud’s Written Tycoon won the Champion Sire of 2YOs for the first time.
Producing three individual two-year old stakes winners for the 2015-16 season and with two-year-old progeny earnings of over $4 million, this is the second championship title for Written Tycoon.
He had previously taken out the Champion Australia First Season Sire in season 2010-2011.
TBA and Aushorse Chief Executive Tom Reilly presented the award to Woodside Park’s Mark Rowsthorn.
The Aushorse Marketing Breeder of the Australian-bred Exported Racehorse, went to John and Margaret Thompson, breeders of multiple Group winner Rangipo, a son of Three Bridges sire Stryker.
Presented by TBA Vice President, Derek Field, to Peter Liston from Three Bridges Thoroughbreds, award-winner Rangipo recorded wins at Group level on four separate occasions throughout the season.
These wins were highlighted by his thrilling victory in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby back in March. The win was his seventh success of his three-year-old campaign, which also featured wins in the Group 2 Great Northern, Waikato and Avondale Guineas.
Rangipo is by Three Bridges’ resident stallion Stryker (AUS), out of the New Zealand-bred mare Holloway Castle (NZ). Holloway Castle resides at Three Bridges and Peter Liston was delighted to accept the award on behalf of the Thompsons.
Rangipo is now being aimed at Group One races in Melbourne during the Spring Racing Carnival by his trainer Tony Pike including the re-positioned Longines Mile on Derby Day.
Last start Caulfield placegetter Palace Tycoon has topped the 2016 Inglis August Thoroughbred Sale in Melbourne today selling for $90,000 from the draft of David and Jenny Moodie’s Contract Racing.
Palace Tycoon (by Testa Rossa) was one of 174 lots sold at Friday’s auction, where $2,015,000 was traded across the breeding and racing stock offered.
The sale was preceeded a parade of six Victorian first season sires; Dandino, Late Charge, Nostradamus, Ready For Victory, Rock Sturdy and Trust In A Gust (pictures below).
It was actually the second time Trust in a Gust has graced the sale ring at Oaklands, as the dual Group 1 winner was sold by Swettenham Stud to champion trainer Darren Weir for $45,000 at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale back in 2012.
Contract Racing sold three of the top four lots with Medaglia D’Oro mare Miss Cooper selling for $72,500 while Encosta de Lago mare Elsedine was purchased by Three Fillies Lodge, Victoria for $65,000.
Robert Roulston Bloodstock bought Lonhro mare Wingstack for $70,000 from Jonathan Munz’s GSA Bloodstock.
Well related five-year-old mare Star Hunter topped the broodmare section when sold by Victorian based Baree Pastoral Company for $57,000 to China Horse Club. Out of Group 2 winning Flying Spur mare Ponton Flyer, Star Hunter is a half-sister to stakes winners Black Vanquish and Minnesota Shark.
Lucas Cranach & trainer Lee Freedman (AAP Image-David Crosling)
“The Lucas Cranach two year olds are lovely athletic horses just like their sire,” says Hall of Fame trainer Lee Freedman.
As the trainer of this immensely talented racehorse, now Victorian based sire, Freedman knows what he is talking about.
“Lucas was a very talented horse that we didn’t see the best of, but hopefully his sons and daughters realise that potential, especially the ones in my care,” he said.
And a similar view of the Bullarook Park sire’s progeny is held by other trainers.
Memories of his time as foreman for the great Bart Cummings and a belief that a horse often passes its best characteristics onto its progeny has led Bendigo trainer Shaun Dwyer to support young stallion Lucas Cranach.
Dwyer was so taken with Lucas Cranach during his brief Australian racing career that he followed the horse closely in its retirement to stud at Avenel base Bullarook Park.
The stallion struck Dwyer as the sort of horse that could rejuvenate the Australian-bred stayer, athletic, strong, and armed with an explosive turn of foot.
“I just love the horse (Lucas Cranach). You could see the turn of foot, it was phenomenal. He was extremely talented, who knows what he would have been if he didn’t get injured,” Dwyer said.
“I followed him and when his weanlings started to appear I went and bought a colt and a filly that I thought were the best types.”
The Lucas Cranach progeny were the sort of young staying stock that his former boss Bart Cummings would have been happy to bring home, and Dwyer was only too happy to take the punt and apply some of those Cummings methods in the preparation of the two young horses.
“I’ve prepared them like Classic horses, given them plenty of time,” he said.
“They have grown into absolutely beautiful horses, just outstanding types. Lovely temperament, big strong young horses, and they keep coming on. I’m giving them time but boy I can’t wait to get them going when they are ready.”
Fellow Bendigo based trainer Rod Symons has taken a similar approach with his Lucas Cranach stock, and when comparing notes on the breed with his fellow trainer Dwyer noted “you would not see a nicer horse (than Rod’s), the three of them are just outstanding.”
It’s horses like Lucas Cranach that give Dwyer confidence and hope that the future of the Australian-bred stayer is bright, and that’s saying something given Dwyer’s New Zealand roots.
“With these good middle distance stayers like Lucas Cranach, Fiorente, Americain at stud now we have a real chance to breed high class stayers in Australia again,” he said.
With the cost of importing European stayers now prohibitive for all but the exceedingly wealthy, it is a far more economical proposition to support the high class imported stayers already at stud in Victoria when planning to win the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
ENERGETIC CLASS returns to scale with Leonardo Salles at Sha Tin
High Point Lodge stallion Globetrotter (USA) has been flying on the competitive Asian circuit in recent months with promising winners in Hong Kong and Macau.
Energetic Class was in consistent form during the latest Hong Kong season, winning two races at Sha Tin. He charged home in March and then finished off strongly to win the Audemars Piguet Millenary Hcp (1600m) in April.
Energetic Class is out of the Danehill Dancer mare Atomic Dancer who was in foal to Globetrotter when sold by the sire’s owner Damian White. She was then exported to New Zealand before the foal made its way to Hong Kong.
In his first win, the Michael Chang trained galloper got up to defeat Molly’s Jade Star (Joao Moreira) in the last stride.
“I looked over at Joao and he said ‘you got me’ after the post,” visiting Macau jockey Leonardo Salles explained. “Joao is my idol and my good friend but I was so happy to beat him.”
In Macau, lightly raced Chok King is a most promising four-year-old who has really looked the goods winning three in a row from May to July. He was sold offshore on the back of a smart Warwick Farm trial victory last year.
Chok King is out of the Deadly Storm mare Sweet Ascent who was sold by Damian White to Queensland breeder Ken Bullen in foal to Globetrotter.
A particularly good-looking stallion who is faring well despite limited opportunities, Globetrotter is a Group 3 winning son of Street Cry and the Seattle Slew mare Cool Slew.
Damian White is offering special deals to Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria members this spring, an $1,100 (inc gst) nomination for any mare who has produced a winner in Asia.
“Globetrotter’s progeny are tough and sound like he was,” White said.
“They have an intelligence that enables them to adapt to stable life which makes them perfect candidates for racing in Asia.
“I have had several agents representing Macau owners ring me looking for two and three-year-old colts by Globetrotter and whilst I have some lovely yearlings for next year’s sales, I have not been able to fill their orders!”
Connections of Sweet Sherry celebrate following her Moonee Valley win (Ross Holburt-Racing Photos)
For a stride or two in the straight, Sweet Sherry looked like causing the biggest boilover in Golden Slipper history at Rosehill in April.
Sent out at $151, the Victorian visitor kicked clear at the furlong despite having led into a headwind with no cover. She was overhauled in the final stages by Capitalist and co. but was brave to the line in seventh spot.
Fast-forward five months and Sweet Sherry is back in contention for a Group 1 after a brilliant first-up victory in the Cleanaway Plate (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
“It’s scary the amount of improvement in this filly,” co-trainer Troy Corstens said. “She’s got a stack of ability and is still coming through in the coat.”
The immediate problem for connections is whether to stay in Melbourne to focus on the Group 1 Thousand Guineas or detour to Sydney for the Group 1 Golden Rose. Troy and his father Leon will sit down with owner Steve Gillard this week to weigh up their options.
“The Golden Slipper proved she can handle Sydney but we don’t want to jeopardise her Melbourne program having a shot at the stumps in the Golden Rose,” Corstens said.
UPDATE Tweet from trainer Troy Corstens:
Heavyweight jockey Steven Arnold gave Sweet Sherry the run of the race first-up and he will stick like glue to the Bel Esprit filly.
“She settled perfectly and relaxed when they dropped the tempo,” he said on Saturday. “When the leader rolled off the fence approaching the home turn, she took the run without any worries.
“We got to the front too early but I had to take the gap when it appeared. I’ve been doing a lot of work with this filly and she’s all quality.”
Previously with trainer Brent Stanley, she jumped the blocks as an early-season juvenile winning the Maribyrnong Trial (1000m) at Flemington last October. Gillard decided against keeping her in work after the trip to Sydney and that paid off when she put on 60kg during an extended break.
Sweet Sherry was bred by Steve Lester and raised at Swettenham Stud. She is a half-sister Arinosa who won to Group 2 level in the Premiere Stakes and Sapphire Stakes at Randwick. Another older sibling, Onerous (by Dash for Cash) was a talented multiple city winner for Team Hawkes.
At this year’s Premier Yearling Sale, Swettenham sold a yearling sibling to Chris Waller for $150,000. The Dash for Cash colt was bought for the Puglisi family, the owners of Arinosa.
Swettenham’s Adam Sangster sold Sweet Sherry (as agent) for $260,000 at last year’s Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale and she’s already paid her way with Super VOBIS bonuses thrown in.
Sangster also consigned another big, strong Bel Esprit filly (as agent) at the 2008 Premier Sale and she went on to fame and fortune with Peter Moody.
Sound familiar? If not, you’ve been sipping too much Sherry.
Spendthrift Farm Australia won with their mare Ameristralia at Bendigo Sunday week ago and they raised the bar again when Spirit And Fire flaunted his class at Canterbury on Wednesday.
The Team Hawkes trained, superbly bred colt always looked the winner on debut after firming into a $1.70 TAB favourite for the 3YO Maiden over 1100 metres.
“He jumped straight to the front and Tommy (Berry) didn’t want to give up the lead when they tackled him down the back straight,” Michael Hawkes said. “He had a lap full on horse on the corner and then dug deep in the straight.”
Spirit And Fire is a son of More Than Ready and Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes winner Amelia’s Dream (Redoute’s Choice). A $700,000 buy at the 2015 Inglis Easter yearling sale, there is no doubt the American owned operation see the colt as a potential stallion prospect should he continue to progress in higher class races.
He has been given time to mature and it’s hoped that will pay off in spades this spring.
“This colt is still learning and Spendthrift have been very patient after entrusting us with such nice colts like this one,” Hawkes added.
“It’s midnight in Kentucky but I’m sure (Spendthrift owner) Mr Hughes watched the race over there.
“We haven’t been in a rush with Spirit And Fire and there’s plenty of improvement to come. Thanks also to Garry Cuddy and Spendthrift’s Australian team. They do a great job and we will be seeing lots more winners in their colours.”
Spendthrift Farm hosts its stallion parade comprising Hampton Court, Jimmy Creed (USA) and Warrior’s Reward (USA) on Saturday, August 27 at Romsey in Victoria. A separate parade is being held on the Friday before at 3pm.
Jimmy Creed is a Group 1 winning son of champion sire Distorted Humour and his first USA bred yearlings include a $60,000 filly from last month’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Sale and a $60,000 colt at this week’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale.
Spendthrift Farm’s stallion parade coincides with the appearance of its star colt Tom’s Ready in the Group 1 King’s Bishop Stakes at Saratoga. The More Than Ready colt was purchased by B Wayne Hughes as a shuttle prospect after a last-start victory in the Group 2 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park.
For more information about the Spendthrift Farm stallion parade, the Breed Secure program, or about any of Spendthrift Australia’s stallions or programs, please contact Garry Cuddy at 0410 451 595, Josh Rix at 0499 880 855, or Mark Szczepanowski at 0499 444 052, or visit www.spendthrift.com.au
Larneuk Stud’s Nev Murdoch outlaid $15,000 for a maiden mare at Friday’s Inglis August Thoroughbred Sale and minutes got it back when his homebred The Big Oh won at Corowa.
The Big Oh is by Larneuk sire O’Lonhro and he followed up 24 hours after Big Phil won at Sale. Then just 48 hours later O’Lonh Star won at Devonport. They’ve come hot on the heels of the Cindy Alderson-trained O’Lonera who completed a hat-trick at Caulfield on August 13.
“He’s a great horse and has a really good temperament,” Alderson said after the middle-leg in the VOBIS Gold Stayers (2400m) on July 30. It was worth $112,500 in VOBIS Gold prizemoney and Super VOBIS bonuses to the winner’s connections.
Murdoch can expect more calls to O’Lonhro at a $5,500 (inc gst) fee after he kept the winners ticking over with O’Lonh Star at Devonport on Sunday.
“The horse has always shown ability and he impressed me at the trials,” trainer John Keys said after the front-running victory over 1150m. “He went shin-sore twice earlier this year but has been great this time in.”
Murdoch bought former NSW trained mare She’s A Mod (Dane Shadow) at Oaklands and she will join the Euroa stud which has a current line-up of O’Lonhro (Lonhro), Cluster (Fastnet Rock) and Ilovethiscity (Magic Albert).
Bombora Downs has secured for the 2016 breeding season the internationally performed racehorse Dandino.
Dandino proved himself as one of the best 2400m horses of his time travelling to five different countries and running to an international rating of 115.
His highlight win came in the time honoured open age challenge, the Group Two Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket on Guineas Day, but it was in the Group One Caulfield Cup that Dandino exposed his brilliant turn of foot to Australian racing fans.
Having drawn a wide barrier, jockey Craig Williams had no other choice but to settle back in the field. Whilst the winner took advantage of a split in the field, Dandino went around the outside hitting the line at astonishing speed.
“Dandino had a great attitude and was one of the few horses that I have ridden that was able to accelerate from middle distance through to staying distances at the highest level,” Craig Williams said.
After a year off due to injury, he finished just a length away from winning the Group One VRC Turnbull Stakes followed by a dominating win in Group 3 VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“Dandino has a terrific temperament and the turn of foot he showed was fantastic, something you rarely see in a horse with his stamina,” Darren Weir said.
Dandino is a son of one of the world’s great sires in Dansili. Dansili himself is responsible for nineteen Group One winners. He is an emerging sire of sires through the deeds of Zoffany who was the Champion First Season Sire across the UK/Ireland in 2015.
“We feel the need to give breeders access to staying blood and felt from the moment we saw him Dandino is the right horse.” Christoph Breuchert, stud master at Bombora Downs, said.
Not surprisingly Group One winning and producing sprinter Hard Spun has many fans amongst Victorian breeders, the former Darley shuttler proving a reliable source of winners.
And so it is time for a son of Hard Spun to stand in Victoria and Benalla’s Riverbank Farm have come to the fore with the talented Late Charge to make his debut at the Benalla stud this spring.
Described by Riverbank’s Russell Osborne as “a lovely athletic type with the attributes of his sire,” Late Charge has settled in well to the up-and-coming stallion farm.
“He has a fantastic temperament, he is super to handle and extremely well mannered,” Osborne enthused.
Late Charge made his debut at two at Echuca, winning by a very comfortable four and three quarter lengths.
A step up in class to a 1400 metre event at Flemington proved no difficulty for the youngster, with a winning margin of two and a half lengths the result.
He continued his good form as a three year old winning again at Flemington and Caulfield, securing a stakes placing and eventually winning the Listed Tontonan Stakes from a wide gate and covering extra ground.
“He did super well,” said his trainer Wendy Kelly whilst jockey Vlad Duric was also impressed, noting that “his class shone through.”
Retiring to stud as the winner of four of 13 starts and over $250,000 in stakes, Late Charge is described by Wendy Kelly as a horse who “had that little bit of something special, the x-factor that good horses need to have.”
Victorian breeders finally get the chance to access a son of one of the world’s very best sires in Dubawi.
Group 1 winning miler Night Of Thunder will take up stud duties at Darley Northwood this coming breeding season.
The son of Dubawi defeated one of the strongest fields in living memory for the 2014 English 2000 Guineas (1600 metres) when triumphing over subsequent classic winners Australia, The Grey Gatsby and Kingston Hill as well as top performers Kingman and Charm Spirit.
He went on to add a brilliant victory in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes last year. These top level wins followed an unbeaten two-year-old season.
Unsurprisingly, he was one of the most popular first season sires in the United Kingdom and Ireland during the 2016 Northern Hemisphere season covering more than 140 mares.
John Ferguson, bloodstock advisor to Sheikh Mohammed, said: “Night Of Thunder ticks every box as a potential stallion.”
“He was a horse with a marvellous attitude and temperament, and some of his work at home was exceptional. His race record speaks for itself. He was absolutely brilliant.”
“Being by Dubawi out of a Galileo mare, he has plenty going for him in his new role as a stallion. He is perfect for the job.”
Rosemont Stud has welcomed blue-blooded Nostradamus to their stallion barn.
The very handsome stallion is a sibling to Star Witness being out of the top quality producing (Group 3 winner) Leone Chiara.
It took a couple of attempts, but stud proprietor Anthony Mithen eventually secured the entire and he has some of Victoria’s very best breeders involved.
“He is an exquisite type that, in a period of just a few months since his race track retirement, has 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.”
By one of Australia’s white-hot sires, Medaglia d’Oro, Nostradamus won at Flemington as a juvenile and then went on to secure Group races at both three and four years old.
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.
Mithen, one of Victoria’s most enterprising stud operators, has secured support for Nostradamus from many of the state’s best breeders. These include Musk Creek Farm, Glentree, Princeton Thoroughbred Stud, Dorrington Farm, Saconi Thoroughbreds, Two Bays Farm, Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm, Hollylodge Thoroughbreds and Oakford Thoroughbreds among others.
This type of high class support bodes very well for Nostradamus and his commercial prospects.
This coming breeding season, More Than Ready’s stakes winner Ready For Victory has been added to Sun Stud’s Victorian roster.
It is yet another quality addition to the Kerrie farm’s stallion line-up which has signed on Moshe, Fiorente and Squamosa in recent years.
“Ready For Victory was an explosive two-year-old who won a stakes race on debut – so well, in fact, (trainer) Mick Price suggested we put him straight into the Golden Slipper,” Sun Stud’s managing director Danielle Cheng said.
“He ran fourth (in the Slipper), but was very unlucky and Nick Hall believes the colt’s inexperience cost him the race.”
Racing on at three, he several times placed in top class group races including the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas but Price reckons racing fans never got to see the best of him.
“Sure, he was a terrific two-year-old and should have won the Slipper but he was always going to…mature into a versatile three and four year-old,” his trained Mick Price said.
“Unfortunately, he suffered an injury in the Caulfield Guineas and we just couldn’t get him right after that. I just hope he throws them with the same type and temperament because I will be lining up to get them.”
Mike Becker wasn’t going to stand a stallion so soon after launching Stockwell Thoroughbreds, but he couldn’t let the chance slip when offered the Group 2 winning son of Fastnet Rock, Rock Sturdy.
“I guess old habits are hard to break,” Becker, a life member of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria and former President, conceded.
“But I found it impossible to pass up the opportunity when Gooree Stud asked me to stand him in Victoria.”
Rock Sturdy (Fastnet Rock – Tzu Hsi by Quest For Fame) was trained by Joe Pride and in his first prep won a Canterbury maiden on the way to a Group 3 placing in the Carbine Club Stakes.
In the following Spring Rock Sturdy scored on a Heavy 8 at Randwick over 1400m and then ran Group 1 winner Manawanui to a head in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Hcp. That was the prelude to a career-best victory a week later in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes over 1500m.
A serious suspensory injury put on hold his Group 1 campaign for that season, but he courageously returned to the track last year and finished third to Turn Me Loose in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington.
“That showed me what he was capable of at his best. He had a winning attitude and just found a way to get the job done,” Pride said.
A dual Group One winner in the Melbourne spring who raced out of Victoria’s most successful stable, Trust in a Gust has been retired to Swettenham Stud
It genuinely is a full circle for the hardy stallion having been foaled down at the Nagambie farm in 2010 (and sired by former resident son of Sunday Silence, Keep the Faith).
Trained by Darren Weir, Trust In A Gust became a poster boy for Melbourne’s spring when he first captured the Group 1 Rupert Clarke Stakes over 1400m and then the time-honoured Toorak Handicap over 1600m.
The Rupert Clarke, in particular, figures prominently as a ‘stallion maker’ with Encosta de Lago, Testa Rossa and Exceed And Excel all taking out the race – one which tests both speed and strength.
“I loved this horse’s courage: in a tight finish he was the one you wanted to be on. He’s sound, tough, the perfect sort of horse trainers are always looking for” his former trainer Darren Weir has commented.
It was in his three year-old season that he became the poster boy for VOBIS racing winning the VOBIS Gold Eureka, VOBIS Gold Star and the VOBIS Gold Carat at Caulfield.
Notably, he was also second in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Rush in his racing debut (as a two year old).
He is the most successful son of the popular Keep The Faith, a renowned source of precocious types. What’s more, his dam Subtle Breeze – by world champion sire, Storm Cat – is a three quarter relation to European Horse of the Year, Balanchine.