It has been a long time since a Victorian bred horse won the world’s greatest staying handicap, the Melbourne Cup. Far too long.

In fact, it is 43 years since Gala Supreme saluted at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.

Today, the mighty Caulfield Cup winning mare Jameka, bred at Nagambie’s hallowed Gilgai Farm may end that extraordinary long run of outs.

43 Years Ago

Gala Supreme was bred by Pat Curtain, a horse ‘barber’, who owned Huntly Lodge on the western outskirts of Sunbury.

On the day after the Cup of 1973, The Age headline exclaimed “Cup winner was lucky to be born”.

The ‘lucky’ part was a reference to him being a test mating between his dam Smoke Fairy and his sire Gala Crest. Gala Crest was a quality stayer who pulled up lame in a race in 1968 and subsequently spelled.

During that spelling period (he did race again) Mr Curtain decided to “test the horse’s capabilities as a stallion” reported renowned racing scribe Tony Bourke in The Age on November 7, 1973 (below).

Cup Winner Lucky to be Born The AGe Wed Nov 7 1973

Of course, from that mating was born Gala Supreme in 1969.

He would be the sire’s only major winner of note during a stud career that was uncommercial and only mildly re-energised following his son’s Melbourne Cup win.

Huntly Lodge too, would not enjoy much success beyond Gala Supreme. In fact, just two years later, Pat Curtain’s lease of the property ended.

In 1986, it was re-opened by Tony Cavanagh as Huntly Lodge. Then in 1989 it was purchased by trainer John Meagher who still uses it today (although it has been sold recently for future residential development).


Jameka, bred at Rick Jamieson’s Gilgai Farm – also the nursery of Black Caviar – won the Caulfield Cup in convincing fashion and is current second favourite for the big race.

“It’s just a dream, a dream you think would never come true,” says Jamieson.

There have been a few media personalities indicate that Jameka doesn’t have a stayers’ pedigree behind her to win the big race, but Rick bristles at such views.

“I think there are some naive ways of looking at pedigrees (and discounting Jameka),” he says.

“I’ve got my own way of dissecting a pedigree and that starts every time by looking at the mares and regarding all stallions evenly (no matter their commerciality, reputation or price).”

Jameka as a foal with her dam Mine Game (Katrina Partridge Photography)

Jameka as a foal with her dam Mine Game (Katrina Partridge Photography)

Mine Game, the dam of Jameka was a yearling buy for Rick.

Much like one of Rick’s other star broodmares, Helsinge (dam of Black Caviar and All Too Hard), she was a very talented filly but injury issues curtailed her racing career.

“Mine Game was a really good filly and had the potential to run in Oaks races.”

Victoria’s ‘staying future’

Rick was mildly surprised at the fact that Jameka could be the first Victorian bred cup winner in 43 years and is forlorn about the breeding of stayers in Australia.

“I’m a bit angry about the lack of Australian bred stayers in such a big race.”

It is certainly true to say though that there is great promise in the Victorian breeding industry when it comes to the future production of quality staying types.

It is not just token efforts though. Stallion farms and breeders are putting their money where it matters.

Highly commercial Victorian studs are taking on staying type stallions and have attracted big numbers of broodmares from Victorian breeders as well as interstate.

Swettenham Stud’s Americain and Sun Stud’s Fiorente have attracted an average in excess of 130 mares a year. This gives them every opportunity to succeed as commercial stallions as their progeny hit the track.

Jameka and Nick Hall win the Caulfield Cup (Racing Photos)

Jameka and Nick Hall win the Caulfield Cup (Racing Photos)

But the Victorian staying story extends well beyond those two Melbourne Cup winners.

Derby winning son of Reset, Rebel Raider (standing at Wyndholm Park, Ballarat), already has progeny succeeding at stakes level and his biggest and best crops are still to come.

Then you have relatively new sires Dandino (Bombora Downs, Bittern), Lucas Cranach (Bullarook Park, Avenel), Polanski (Ducks Crossing, Tyabb) and Puissance De Lune (Swettenham Stud, Nagambie) who will give every opportunity for staying minded breeders.

And, of course, Victoria is home to proven sires Reset (Darley, Northwood) and Desert King (Lauriston Park, Euroa), both of whom have sired multiple Group 1 winners over staying distances such as Makybe Diva, Fawkner and Set Square.

The financial incentives are also plentiful. To start with, prizemoney has increased in many of the staying features leading up to the Melbourne Cup.

Secondly, Racing Victoria is increasingly using the successful VOBIS (Victorian Owners & Breeders Incentive Scheme) scheme to sufficiently rewards staying types and older horses.

In addition, sales company Inglis has, in recent years, added the Blue Riband section to its Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale – and prices for lots in this section are attracting premium prices.

“Breeders know they have to be patient if they want a quality staying type. But the rewards, particularly in Victoria, are very significant” said TBV PResident Jame’s O’Brien.

Likely, there will never be another 43 year wait for Victoria to breed the winners of the world’s richest handicap over two miles.

Flying Artie and Le Romain joined a growing list of Victorian bred or sired winners this Spring Racing Carnival.

Last year just one Victorian bred horse won a Group 1 during the carnival while this year five have already saluted at the highest level. Jameka (in the Melbourne Cup) and The Quarterback (Darley Classic) are good chances of extending this run of Group 1 success.

Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Flying Artie (by Artie Schiller) was bred in Victoria by John Shannon and is out of the Rubiton stakes winning mare Flying Ruby.

Flying Ruby has also produced six-time winner Belflyer (Bel Esprit) and two-time winner Belsapphire (Bel Esprit).

Flying Artie is the third foal of the stakes-winning Rubiton  mare Flying Ruby whose dam Parkhill’s Flyer (Brigand) is a half-sister to the Australian Horse Of The Year, Better Loosen Up.
Her 2yo Helmet colt, passed in at the 2016 Inglis Easter Sale for $350,000, has been named Give. She then has a yearling filly by Pierro which will be offered at next year’s Inglis Easter Sale by Goodwood Farm.

Meanwhile under-rated gelding Le Romain (Hard Spun) broght up his second Group 1 win in taking out the Group 1 Cantala Stakes.

The Kris Lees trained four-year-old was bred by Mark & Anthony Carusi at Greta West Stud in North East Victoria.

Stud principal, Laurie McCarthy said the Carusi brothers kept four or five mares at Greta West including Le Romain’s dam Mignard.

“They previously kept the mares at Tony Hill’s Springhill Park down the road but moved them here when he retired,” Laurie said.

“Le Romain was foaled down and raised here at Greta West. His dam Mignard has a yearling filly and a foal colt both by Darley’s Kuroshio.

“I believe the Kuroshio yearling is being prepped by Tim Nolan at Murrulla Stud for the Magic Millions Gold Coast sale.

“She has ‘two year old’ written all over her and looks very much like an Exceed and Excel (sire of Kuroshio). She should sell well at Magic Millions.”

Laurie said the Carusi brothers really love their horses and have been great clients for the farm.

“They are very good to get along with and they have been very loyal since bringing their mares here.”

Helmet sired his first Group 1 winner with Godolphin homebred Thunder Snow scoring in France on Sunday.

Thunder Snow climaxed a tremendous year for Helmet’s first northern crop when he scored an outstanding 5 length victory in the Group 1 Criterium International (1400m) at Saint-Cloud.

Helmet (Exceed And Excel) shuttles from Darley Victoria and has sired 16 individual winners in Europe this term from his base at Dalham Hall in England. By earnings, he is the leading first season sire in Ireland and occupies top five positions in the United Kingdom and France for freshman sires.

The only Australian bred sire to achieve these first season heights in the Northern Hemisphere in the modern era has been Exceed and Excel, the sire of Helmet.

Thunder Snow won his maiden at Leicester in May and had been runner-up in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood and Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. Bounding clear at Saint-Cloud for Christophe Soumillon, the Saeed bin Suroor-trained colt won in a canter from South Seas (Lope de Vega) and Promise To Be True (Galileo).

“He will spend the winter in Newmarket or Dubai and the English 2000 Guineas is an obvious target next year,” spokesman Hugh Anderson said.

“Christophe said he was calm and super relaxed and will be even better over a mile and further next year.”

Thunder Snow’s dam Eastern Joy (Dubai Destination) is a half-sister to Group 1 French Oaks winner West Wind and she has already foaled Ihtimal (Group 2 May Hill Stakes), First Victory (Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes) and Always Smile (Listed Hambleton Stakes).

Helmet has also sired in Australia the very talented Archives, a dual black-type winner who was entered for last Saturday’s Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes, but was scratched on race morning due to a hoof injury. He has debutant Woman in Red racing (currently an emergency) in the Group 3 Ottawa Stakes at Flemington on Cup Day.

Helmet stands at Northwood Park at a fee of $16,500 (inc gst).

Nagambie-based Hillside Thoroughbreds sold a bargain when a Monaco Consul filly was knocked down for $50,000 at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale last year.

Named Tiamo Grace by a Darren Weir syndicate, she has gone from winning a Donald maiden in late August to winning the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.

“This is a progressive filly and is still improving,” stable manager Jeremy Rogers said.

While there was consideration to starting her in the VRC Oaks on Thursday, the stable has opted to keep her aside and no doubt aim for Group 1 glory in the Autumn.

Tiamo Grace wins the Group 2 Mumm Wakeful Stakes (Brett Holburt-Racing Photos)

Tiamo Grace wins the Group 2 Mumm Wakeful Stakes (Brett Holburt-Racing Photos)

The Wakeful winner’s French-bred dam Sicile (Anabaa) is a half-sister to Common World (Group 3 Gladness Stakes) and Speciale (Listed Prix Yacowlef). Her Medaglia d’Oro colt was purchased by Sun Bloodstock for $280,000 at the Melbourne Premier in March and he has been named Zhang Fei.

Hillside owners Peter and Areti Arvanitis have built up a sensational strike-rate this year. The current crop of three-year-olds are the first generation of horses fully bred off the farm at Nagambie.

Homebred filly Areti (Street Sense) won on debut as a two-year-old at Moonee Valley in February.

Perth star filly Whispering Brook (Hinchinbrook) was sold for $45,000 as a foal by Hillside at the 2014 Magic Millions National Sale and she has earned over $705,000 for owners Alan & Birgitt McAlister. She won the Group 2 Karrakatta Plate and was placed in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield earlier this month.

Other recent three-year-old winners bred by Hillside include Lindsay Park’s October Tutu and Robbei Griffith’s Classic Diva. Older Hillside bred horses to salute in recent months Equinette, Single Note and Secret Blend.

In addition, Hillside has bred and/or sold Hong Kong winners Multimax and House Of Fun (Starcraft), both of who were sold through the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.The Hong Kong pair have since earned the equivalent of AU$783,460.

TBV major sponsor Goldners Horse Transport has been working closely with researchers from the University of Sydney to better understand the impacts of horse transport management practices on horse health and welfare.

The resulting study, ‘A Survey on Transport Management Practices Associated with Injuries and Health Problems in Horses’ has been published in Plos One, the world’s largest open access scientific journal.

Access the full study

The study is the brainchild of veterinarian Barbara Padalino, who is completing her PhD at the University of Sydney on the topic of horse transport and its impact on horse health and welfare.

Barbara says, “It is really important that equine industry members are educated on transportation risk factors and best practices. When transport is managed properly, the incidence of transport-related disease is lower. I am going to present the results of the survey and describe best practices of transportation at Equitana at the Melbourne Showgrounds on November 17 – 20.”

Key findings of the study are that:

  • Experience and training seems to play an important role in reducing the impact of transport on horse health, with researchers pointing to both horse handling and driving experience with horses on board as key factors.
  • Heat stroke was associated with restriction of access to hay and water prior to transport.
  • Traumatic injury risk was generally increased by use of tranquilizers and also with use of protective equipment such as leg protections and head bumper guards.
  • Two horse trailers pose a higher risk of injury than horse trucks or gooseneck trailers, with forward facing being the least preferred orientation in transit.
  • Longer journeys experienced a higher incidence of transport pneumonia, and racing horses were also more susceptible, potentially because of their breeding or the combined effects of transport and strenuous exercise.
  • Pre-transport health checks to ensure fitness for travel were strongly recommended.
  • Laminitis risk was substantially increased where post transport management such as rehydration and walking were not employed.

Goldners Horse Transport is Australia’s premier horse transport company, having been established in Adelaide in 1945 by James Gustav Goldner and his with Ethelene.

Goldners is proud to support this research into how to minimise the impacts of transport on horse health and looks forward to further work with Ms. Padalino and her team into other important considerations in management of horse transport.

Goldners Chairman Charles Jennings states, “Horse health and welfare has been one of the hallmarks of the Goldners business for 71 years and we look forward to further researching how to improve the standard of horse transport in Australia.”

Goldners came on board as a major sponsor of TBV earlier this year.

Blue Gum Farm stallion Turffontein unearthed a couple of impressive types over the past week including Mornington winner Fontein Lad on Sunday.

Trained by Greg Eurell, he won by five lengths when getting up to 2000 metres for the first time in the Secure Corp Plate.

Connections banked $21,000 in prizemoney and VOBIS bonuses after paying $42,000 for him at the 2015 Inglis Classic yearling sale.

“He’s a black-booker,” jockey Luke Nolen declared after returning to scale.

“We were caught three-wide the whole trip and didn’t have any cover from half-way.  Then he beat off the other main chances and dashed away.

“It took me a long time to pull him up.  He could have gone another lap and won’t have any problems getting out to 2400m.”

Turffontein sired him from NZ-bred Mehter (Align) who won a Randwick juvenile for Clarry Connors.  The mare has also foaled multiple city winner Better Not Blue by former Blue Gum stallion Churchill Downs.

Last Wednesday, Double Superlative broke his maiden status for Turffontein over 1350m at Doomben clocking a class-record 1.19.09s.  He’s a younger half-brother to Listed Chief De Beers Quality winner Cape Kidnappers.

“That will boost his confidence. He’s a nice type of horse and we will head to a Saturday race now,” trainer Kelly Schweida said after the two-length victory. “

Over the weekend, there was Blue Gum Farm success all around Australia and overseas.

On Sunday, Blue Gum bred and Paul Murray trained 5yo Chief in Command (Churchill Downs) secured a win in the Goulburn Anniversary Cup. It comes after he won the Mollymook Cup two weeks earlier. Being out of Personal Ensign, the gelding is a sibling to Group 2 winning mare Fontiton (Turffontein).

Blue Gum’s shuttler Canford Cliffs (Ire) weighed in with more black-type on Saturday courtesy of Princess Asta in Italy.  The German filly had won a stakes race in Munich last month and she ran on strongly in the closing stages to beat Dream Mover (Dream Ahead) in the Group 3 Premio Chiusura (1400m) in Milan.

Cliffs of Dover wins Listed race at Wetherby

Cliffs of Dover wins Listed race at Wetherby

Canford Cliffs’ 3yo son Cliffs of Dover demonstrated his skill over the jumps with a Listed win at Wetherby in a hurdle race. It was his fifth win in six starts over the jumps and he will now be set for the Triumph Hurdle during the Cheltenham Festival by his trainer Paul Nicholls.

And Blue Gum legend Rubiton wasn’t forgotten when the Melbourne Cup carnival kicked off at Flemington.  His stakes winning mare Flying Ruby foaled Group 1 Coolmore Stud stakes winner Flying Artie.

Racing fans will be given the opportunity to experience the thrilling world of ownership with the launch of Stable Mates last week at South Melbourne’s Emerald Hotel.

The Australian-first program provides aspiring owners with the opportunity to attend race meetings and spend time with trainers and syndicators to experience the passion and excitement ownership brings.

Leading trainers from around the country have pledged their support to the initiative, including: Gai Waterhouse, David Hayes, Mick Price, Darren Weir, Anthony Cummings, Kris Lees, Tony McEvoy, Stuart Kendrick, Simon Miller and Tony Gollan.

The program is part of a new brand called Racing Connections, being launched by Aushorse. The initiative includes a dedicated website aimed at educating and empowering would-be owners, with a focus on providing accurate information and encouraging people to seek good advice and set realistic goals before investing in a horse.

Racing Connections comes off the back of the most extensive ownership survey ever undertaken in Australia. Nearly 1800 people responded to the questionnaire, with almost half of them keen racing fans who had never owned before.

Despite being regular race-goers with a positive view on ownership and what it involved, fans felt that there were huge entry barriers to ownership. Only one in 10 of those surveyed knew where to start when buying a horse.

Furthermore, they said that there were few places to go to get unbiased information on ownership and that unless they knew someone in the industry whom they trusted, they wouldn’t get involved.

Speaking at the official launch, Aushorse chief executive, Tom Reilly, said the survey had provided valuable insight into why racing fans were reluctant to take the next step and become owners.

“These people are deeply engaged in racing but feel they lack the knowledge and confidence to become owners,” explained Mr Reilly.

“Racing Connections will create a trusted source of information and provide support for would-be owners, so that they feel confident investing in the industry for the first time. We also want to help build connections between would-be owners and trainers and syndicators through Stable Mates.”

People can register for Stable Mates at, where they will be asked to complete a short questionnaire aimed at identifying their expectations and preferences regarding ownership.
Aushorse will then work alongside trainers and syndicators to identify suitable opportunities for participants to attend the races and experience the world of ownership.

Topics covered by the Racing Connections website include different types of ownership, costs, rewards, bloodstock sales, health and wellbeing, and the welfare and retirement of racehorses.
There is also a section dedicated to racing which provides handy information for novice racegoers, including how to read a race book and tips for enjoying a day at the races.

Comments From Trainers

Gai Waterhouse

“Aushorse has initiated the most exciting scheme to bring new people into the industry who can enjoy owning racehorses and experience the ride of a lifetime. It’s so important that racing keeps reaching out and attracting new people. The team at Gai Waterhouse racing are happy to be involved in this project.”

Darren Weir

“As a sport we have to keep reaching out to new people and it’s owners who pay the bills and help put on the show. I think the Stable Mates program is a good one and I look forward to being part of this initiative.”

Tony Gollan

“Racing is a great sport and the more people that can share in the experience the better. There are a lot of people out there that want to get involved in the sport but don’t know how to get started. Anything we can do to make it easier for people to get involved in the industry is a great initiative. Investing in a horse can be daunting – it’s easy looking at it from the inside but not so easy when you are looking at it from the outside.”

Simon Miller

“For people who have never been involved in owning a racehorse, it can be a very nerve racking experience. They are usually fearful of not having enough knowledge or looking stupid, but there are no silly questions in racing and no questions a trainer can’t help with. People are intimidated, they don’t know that they can pick up the phone and call a trainer and they don’t know how much it is going to cost them.”

Kris Lees

“Ownership can appear to be a bit of a maze, like anything that is unfamiliar to us. This program will help breakdown some of those barriers and educate people on how to go about owning a horse, which can be one of the most thrilling experiences of their lives.”

About Aushorse

Aushorse is the official marketing body of the Australian Thoroughbred industry, proudly promoting Australian breeding and racing both internationally and domestically.
It is an independent, not-for-profit company committed to providing impartial advice and assistance.
For more information contact chief executive Tom Reilly on 0423 146 334

Ownership Survey

During the Spring Carnival of 2015 Aushorse completed the most extensive survey on racehorse ownership undertaken in  Australia.

Some 1756 people completed the survey, with the average respondent taking 16 minutes to fill in the questions. These people were among the 10,000 racing fans that had entered the Aushorse Own A Champion competition that autumn, which saw us give away a share in Royal Descent when she ran in the 2015 Doncaster Handicap.

Almost half (44 per cent) of the respondents had never been owners, with current owners comprising 32 per cent and lapsed owners 24 per cent of those that completed the questionnaire.

The first foals by Spendthrift Australia’s Group 1 winning stallions Hampton Court, Jimmy Creed (USA) and Warrior’s Reward (USA) are earning high marks for their exceptional quality.

“They’re receiving high praise, and deservedly so,” Spendthrift’s general manager Garry Cuddy said.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the results and the support from around the country.”

Victorian breeder Gary O’Meara of Miranda Park is enthusiastic about the eye-catching foals on the ground by all three of Spendthrift’s stallions.

“My clients and I have been big supporters of Spendthrift,” O’Meara said.

“We have a lovely filly by Hampton Court out of Just Push On that is very strong through the shoulder and correct with great bone and a good body.

“The Jimmy Creed foals are very athletic and have inherited their sire’s great looks and quality, and the Warrior’s Reward out of Southern Tip has definitely been stamped.  He is exactly like his sire in the head, and he is very correct with good leg.”

Spendthrift’s Redoute’s Choice colt Swear gave a great sight leading Saturday’s Group 1 Victoria Derby field into the straight before finishing a meritorious fifth at Flemington.

“We had a nice run, but got flushed out early. It was a good effort,” jockey Tommy Berry said.

In Sydney on Saturday, Spendthrift’s Fastnet Rock mare Cana won at Rosehill and hours later Spendthrift’s Kentucky-bred Fastnet Rock filly Cover Song won the Group 3 Autumn Miss Stakes at Santa Anita.

Service fees for Spendthrift Australia stallions are:  Hampton Court ($8,800 inc gst), Jimmy Creed ($8,800 inc gst) and Warrior’s Reward ($11,000 inc gst).  For more information, please contact Garry Cuddy (0410 451 595), Josh Rix (0499 880 855), Mark Szczepanowski (0499 444 052).

He was a star on the track and is now set to take the auction ring by storm.

Swettenham’s Al Shaqab shuttle sire Toronado (Ire) has 41 lots catalogued for the Tattersalls Foal Sale, the most of any first crop sire this year.

The Newmarket sale has a catalogue with 2,395 yearlings, foals and breeding stock catalogued from November 21 to December 1.

Toronado dominates the Foal Sale commencing on November 23.  The Swettenham Stud shuttler covered 152 mares in his initial northern book at the English National Stud and there will be as many foals again from his first crop conceived at Nagambie last season.

Swettenham and Toronado received another Group 1 update when Prized Icon won the Victoria Derby on Saturday.  His half-sister Circus Polka (Stravinsky) foaled a Toronado colt at Nagambie in August.

Highlights of foals by Toronado catalogued for the Tattersalls Foal Sale include:

  • Lot 496 – Filly x My Broken Drum (Slickly)
    Dam was exported to England last year after foaling (Aus) winners Forbidden Kisses (Bel Esprit) and Flying Shadow (Dane Shadow).
  • Lot 555 – Colt x Inner Sea (Henrythenavigator)
    Pedigree received a significant update on October 16 when his dam’s half-brother Erupt (Dubawi) claimed the Group 1 Canadian International at Woodbine.  The Niarchos Family homebred had won last year’s Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp.
  • Lot 556 – Filly x Rainbow’s Edge (Rainbow Quest)
    Half-sister to Peacock (Paco Boy) who carried The Queen’s silks to victory in last year’s Listed Fairway Stakes at Newmarket.
  • Lot 777 – Colt x Crown (Royal Applause)
    Half-brother to Ed Dunlop’s leading 2yo colt Global Applause (Mayson), a Listed National Stakes winner at Sandown in May from Al Shaqab’s Group 2 winner Mehmas.
  • Lot 816 – Filly x Unquenchable (Kingmambo)
    Half-sister to Havana Cooler (Ire), dual-hemisphere stakes winner of the Doncaster Prelude and Group 3 Royal Parma Stakes.
  • Lot 879 Colt x Lily Link (Rail Link)
    From a half-sister to Group 1 Northern Dancer Stakes winner Redwood (High Chaparral) who stood at Westbury Stud in NZ.
  • Lot 1242 – Filly x Key Light (Acclamation)
    Half-sister to Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes winner Beacon (Paco Boy).  Second-dam Luna won Group 1 Phoenix 2YO Stakes at Leopardstown.

Several mares in foal to Toronado have been catalogued at the world-renowned Tattersalls Breeding Stock Sale starting on November 28.

Conquete (Kyllachy) is first to parade as Lot 1380 from a final cover on April 25.  She is a daughter of Longchamp stakes winner Chesnut Bird (Storm Bird) from the family of Group 1 Melbourne Cup winner At Talaq.

In a tremendously fitting coincidence, the first ever Australian bred son or daughter of Melbourne Cup winning stallion Americain is set to line-up on the first Tuesday in November.

Geegee Blackprince, trained by Stuart Gandy has been entered for the ‘2yo Debutante’ over 900 metres at Hobart on Melbourne Cup Day. He will be taking on seven other debutants.

Swettenham Stud sire Americain, of course, became the first ever French horse to win the world’s richest two mile handicap at Flemington in 2010.

While a handful of Northern Hemisphere bred 2yo sons and daughters of Americain have raced in the United States over recent months (including a winner), Geegee Blackprince will be the first Southern Hemisphere bred progeny to race.

The good news is Gandy rates this well-related colt.

“He is a stunner, a supermodel even,” says Gandy referring to the young colt’s dark appearance and statuesque frame in the form of his sire.

“He is an almost black horse with a big, broad head. He is very correct horse in everything he does and has been a pleasure to educate.”

The good-looking colt finished a close-up third in his first official trial at Elwick Racecourse on September 13 saving his best for the latter part of the 800 metre trial.

“I haven’t pushed him too much. Obviously he will be a nicer horse down the line and better over 1200 metres and longer,” said Gandy.

“We will give him the run on Tuesday for educational purposes, send him for a break and then aim him at the feature two-year-old races during the Tasmanian Summer Carnival.

Geegee Blackprince (out of the Grand Lodge mare La Quita) is from currently one of Tasmania’s best families. He is a sibling to Tassie superstar Geegees Blackflash, a six time stakes winner and $1 million earner as well as Geegees Goldengirl a dual stakes winner.

Paul and Elizabeth Geard are the breeders and owners of the highly successful Geegees horses in Tasmania and have taken to Americain as a sire.

Not only have they bred their best mare, La Quita, to Americain, they have also bred a number of others from their broodmare band to the Swettenham Stud sire.

The Geards further demonstrated their strong liking for Americain buying a chestnut colt out of Zadiamond (NZ) for $60,000 at the recent Inglis Ready to Race Sale in Sydney.

Americain parading at Swettenham Stud, Nagambie

Americain parading at Swettenham Stud, Nagambie

A total of 116 foals came out of the stallion’s first-southern hemisphere crop with this generation selling up to $130,000 at the yearling sales earlier this year.

Many have already been named and there is a distinctly ‘American’ feel to these names including Windy City, Oklahoma Days, Confederate Miss, American Sunday and Alabama Blue.

Last week, Queen Consort, was the second by the sire to officially trial in Australia when lining up at Sunshine Coast for trainer John Zielke. Bought out of the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, she was bred in Victoria by Rob Harding and is out of the Flying Spur mare Princess Isabella.

Americain sired his first Kentucky-bred winner when Folk Magic won by three lengths on debut in July.

Rosemary Inglis and Christine Mills, two highly valued members of the Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) Committee, have announced their decision to stand down from the committee.

TBV President James O’Brien said both Rosemary and Christine had both been dedicated contributors to the TBV Committee.

“Between them, Rosemary and Christine have provided many decades of valuable service to the Victorian breeding industry. I thank them for their contributions and wish them all the best in the future,” James said.

“The two resignations provide an opportunity for any TBV member to nominate for the committee. I encourage anyone interested to put up their hand.”

The TBV AGM is being held at the Seymour Racecourse on Saturday, 19th November starting at 11.30am with the Victorian Breeders Awards to follow. Full details at bottom of this post.

Rosemary Inglis has been TBV’s longest serving committee member having been elected to the committee in January 1991. She was awarded a TBV life membership at last year’s Annual General Meeting.

Rosemary and her late husband Dr Bert Inglis, a veterinarian, developed and ran Benalla Park Stud in North East Victoria. They stood several stallions including Star Pyramul as well as Hartbalm – a Group 1 Oakleigh Plate winner who sired a Group 1 Galaxy winner.

In 1980, Rosemary played a key role in the formation of the North East Breeders Association and served as secretary for the next 15 years. During this period of service, the North East grew into the premier breeding ground in the state.

In addition, Rosemary has been TBV’s representative on the Victorian Horse Council and Thoroughbred Breeders Australia.

Rosemary is a long serving member of the VRC, the Benalla Racing Club and a foundation Gold member of the Wakeful Club.

Christine Mills has served on the TBV Committee for seven years in the committed and passionate way she approaches all challenges. She and her family own and manage Hollylodge Thoroughbreds based at Avenel, Victoria.

Christine originally established Hollylodge at Kyneton in 1998 and started with one give-away mare. She has built the business from scratch breeding her first ever racehorse from her foundation mare who went on to became a city winner.


Since then she has bred many more winning racehorses from her own broodmare band and has stood stallions at Hollylodge. In most recent times, Hollylodge bred winners have included talented youngsters Want To Rock and Zupa Hero.

Christine is also well known across the industry for her development and co-ordination of a valuable orphan foal/foster mare service.

TBV AGM Notice 2016

TBV Invite

TBV Invite

Nagambie based Gilgai Farm is having an astonishing Spring Racing Carnival which by Tuesday afternoon might also include a Melbourne Cup win.

Jameka and The Quarterback are the Gilgai Farm standard bearers at the very highest level, but there are more than two strings to the Gilgai bow.

At Hong Kong on the weekend, the Gilgai-bred sprinter Lucky Bubbles scored a first-up victory the Group 2 Premier Bowl (1200m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.  The Sebring gelding was last seen finishing second to Chautauqua in the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) in May.

He’s still underdone so I was happy to just let him relax with 131 pounds (59kg). He always had them covered and put them away a long way out,” jockey Brett Prebble explained.

“I wanted to make sure he had the softest run on Sunday and he did have plenty left,” Prebble added.  “He was impressive and I’m very happy.  Bring on December!”

Gilgai owner Rick Jamieson had bought into the family when paying $150,000 for Bubble Below (Hussonet) as a yearling.  She won a Kyneton 3yo maiden on debut and followed up with a stakes placing at Flemington before foaling Lucky Bubbles first-up at stud.

Offered by Three Bridges at the 2013 Inglis Premier Sale, as agent for Gilgai Farm, Lucky Bubbles made $90,000.

“Lucky Bubbles wasn’t a big horse by any stretch, but he had a lot of character. He was eventually bought by Ricky Yiu who said he really liked the (then) colt’s attitude, said Three Bridges’ Toby Liston.

“He only made $90,000, but I’m sure there are a few people now regretting that they didn’t keep bidding.”

The Premier Bowl win increased Lucky Bubbles’ earnings to HK $12.8 million or nearly AU$2.2 million.

His major assignment later this year is the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) on December 11 where he will line up as a favourite.

The dam of Lucky Bubbles was sold by Gilgai Farm at auction in 2013 to Musk Creek Farm. The Flinders breeder last year sold her Stratum yearling for $400,000 to Winx’s owner Debbie Kepitis and partners at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. She is being covered by Sebring this season to produce a full sibling to Lucky Bubbles.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival week potentially could deliver the biggest smile on Rick Jamieson’s face since another Gilgai product, Black Caviar was burning up the tracks.

Gilgai-bred mare Jameka (Myboycharlie) is a $6.00 second-favourite for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup.  The only mares to complete the cups’ double in the modern-era have been Let’s Elope (1991) and Ethereal (2001).

And then on Saturday week, Gilgai-bred sprinter The Quarterback (Street Boss) will face another straight-six test in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington.  He won the Newmarket Hcp in March and put the writing on the wall when motoring home in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday evening. He is currently $5.50 equal favourite with

Gilgai Farm has certainly grabbed the headlines this Spring as a breeder of quality stakes winners, but Victorian owner-breeders Valda Klaric and Ivan Cajkusic are also tasting a fair degree of success.

On Saturday’s WS Cox Plate card, the couple saw their mare Kaniana salute in the Group 3 Merlin Garage Door Openers Stakes. It came after a classy runner up in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes behind Don’t Doubt Mamma in September.

Damian Lane rides Kaniana to Group 3 win at Moonee Valley (Sarah Ebbett-Racing Photos)

Damian Lane rides Kaniana to Group 3 win at Moonee Valley (Sarah Ebbett-Racing Photos)

Kaniana’s great form follows the recent win of another homebred, French Emotion, in the Group 2 Blazer Stakes at Flemington.

Trainer Darren Weir was delighted by Kaniana’s win in which she overpowered Rocket Commander late to score by three-quarters of a length.

“That is job done with her because it makes her a valuable broodmare for the owners,” trainer Weir said.

After Kaniana’s win, a shot at the prestigious Group 1 Myer Classic on Derby Day was suggested for both mares.

“We can back her up next week and have a throw at the stumps provided she pulls up all right,” Weir said.

Cajkusic agreed, “she deserves her place in that race now and we will have French Emotion there as well, it has been a good spring.”

“They are two of the best mares we have bred and to have them in a group 1 together is exciting.”

All of Valda and Ivan’s racehorses are raised at Nagambie’s Millford Thoroughbreds.

Note: French Emotion has been nominated for the Group 1 Myer Classic on Derby Day while Kaniana has not been nominated and will be saved for later targets.

Young Darley sire Helmet had the best week of his burgeoning stud career with three winners and a runner up in the space of four days last week.

Those victories including a Group 3 win in the Red Anchor Stakes at Moonee Valley by the very promising three-year-old colt Archives.

Henry Plumptre & the Gololphin team following Archives' Group 3 win (Mike Keating-Racing Photos)

Henry Plumptre & the Gololphin team following Archives’ Group 3 win (Mike Keating-Racing Photos)

Archives looked beaten when headed approaching the home turn on Saturday, but the big-striding colt fought back to score by a nose from Crafted (Starcraft).

“We travelled fairly wide but he kept his rhythm up…He definitely had to do it the tough way to keep them at bay,” winning jockey James McDonald said.

It was the second stakes victory for Archives who won the Listed Hampden Stakes (1200m) at Doomben in May before heading for a winter spell.  He was runner-up in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes when resuming in September prior to an unplaced effort in the Group 3 Guineas Prelude last month.

Bred by Darley, he is the penultimate foal of Group 1 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Preserve (Canny Lad) and is a three-quarter brother to Group 3 winner Safeguard (Exceed And Excel) who is currently covering his first book at Mogumber Park in Western Australia.

Preserve died in December 2014 and her final foal is a 2yo colt named Connoisseur (Exceed And Excel).

Other wins for Helmet progeny last week were recorded by the Archie Alexander trained filly Spanner Head at Stawell and the Tasmanian based filly Jansz at Launceston. Godolphin homebred Exclamation may be the next winner after a very promising second at Mornington last week.

Helmet filly Spanner Head wins at Stawell (Reg Ryan-Racing Photos)

Helmet filly Spanner Head wins at Stawell (Reg Ryan-Racing Photos)

Helmet (Exceed And Excel) stands at Northwood Park at a fee of $16,500 (inc gst).  He was a Group 1 winner of the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes at two and earned a better Timeform rating than Fastnet Rock, Starspangledbanner and So You Think at three after an outstanding victory in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas.

A homebred for Sheikh Mohammed, he shuttles from Darley Victoria to Kildangan Stud in Ireland.  There have been 16 European winners to date including the stakes performers Thunder Snow, Eqtiraan, Mur Hiba and Boater. Across the United Kingdom and Ireland, he is now a phenomenal second in the first season sires premiership (by progeny earnings). This places him in front of Frankel, Foxwedge and Sepoy among others.

Keep The Faith sired the first domestic juvenile winner of the season sired by a Victorian-based stallion with Spiritual Girl saluting at Morphettville on Saturday.

Spiritual Girl (2f Keep The Faith – Royal Jama by Royal Academy) jumped straight to the front in the Parkview Hotel Plate (1000m) and did best after a drawn-out duel with Lindsay Park colt Mulk (Sepoy).

Keep The Faith (Sunday Silence) stands at Greta West Stud and his filly will return to Victoria after a spell.

“I’m sending her to the paddock this week and we will be looking for some VOBIS Gold races next prep,” trainer Will Clarken said following her sparkling debut.

“It’s a wonderful scheme and gives us a chance to win some serious money.”

Greta West studmaster Laurie McCarthy bred and sold Spiritual Girl through the Little Plains draft at this year’s Inglis VOBIS Gold yearling sale.

“I was actually looking to pin-hook a colt for the 2YO Sales but she walked past and looked so relaxed,” Clarken recalled.

“The Keep The Faiths can be a bit hot but she’s never been a problem.

“Harry (Coffey) jumped off on Saturday and said she didn’t pull at all when the colt took her on.  And when he gave her a whack, she lengthened like a nice horse.”

Spiritual Girl is the fifth winner for Greta West mare Royal Jama who was a Seymour winner for Contract Racing.  She had already foaled Keep The Faith’s Adelaide winners Unfaithfully and Fear The Faith plus Brisbane winner Martha’s Vineyard who is by former Blue Gum sire King Charlemagne.

Royal Jama has a God’s Own colt on the ground at Greta West and she will be bred back to Keep The Faith this week.

Keep The Faith stands for a $3,300 (inc gst) fee and his Greta West associate God’s Own completed a double for the Stud when Mio Dio won later in the day at Morphettville.

Rebel Raider filly Pretty Punk will not run in the Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) despite an impressive placing against the colts in the Listed Geelong Classic last week.

Speaking at Moonee Valley on Friday evening, trainer Leon Macdonald revealed the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) will be her spring grand-final at Flemington this Saturday.

“I thought we could win on the turn at Geelong but she only paddled for the last furlong,” Macdonald said.

“I think 2000 metres is as far as she wants at this stage.”

Owner Harry Perks would have been required to lodge a $55,000 late-entry fee for the VRC Oaks.

“The Wakeful is a much better fit for the filly. She will come back all the better for that decision in the autumn,” Macdonald added.

Pretty Punk registered the first black-type win for Wyndholm Park sire Rebel Raider when she was successful in the Listed Hill Smith Stakes (1800m) in Adelaide last month.  Perks bought her dam Reliability for $35,000 from Katsumi Yoshida at the 2008 Inglis Great Southern Sale at Oaklands.

Reliability is by Japanese sire Kurofune from a three-quarter sister to Irish-bred Listed Bendigo Cup winner Forlona (Nashwan).

Rebel Raider (Reset) won the VRC Derby (2500m) the Group 1 SA Derby and three other stakes races for Perks and Macdonald during his racing career. Unknown to many is that he won a Group 3 sprint race, the Spring Stakes over 1200m at Morphettville.

He stands for a $5,500 (inc gst) fee at Wyndholm Park in Ballarat.

Swettenham Stud graduates could record a fourth Group 2 Sandown Guineas win since the turn of the century with class filly Sweet Sherry.

She will target the Sandown feature after flying home to win the Listed Crockett Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

Sweet Sherry (3f Bel Esprit – Amoroso by Revoque) was reared and sold by Swettenham Stud for $260,000 at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale as agent for breeder Steve Lester.

She has returned $325,000 in prizemoney and VOBIS bonuses since winning the Listed Maribyrnong Plate at Flemington 12 months ago.

“We were all set for the (Group 1) Thousand Guineas but she got sick and I thought we would have to tip her out,” co-trainer Troy Corstens said.

“It usually takes them a few weeks to recover, but she got over it pretty quickly.”

Swettenham bred Sandown Guineas winners Moon Dragon (2001) and Cayambe (2005). The Danehill fillies were followed by Schilling (2007), a son of then Swettenham stallion Bianconi.

Sweet Sherry will run in a stakes race at Flemington during the carnival before the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) on November 12.

Sweet Sherry’s black type win adds to the increasingly impressive CV of Swettenham based dam Amoroso.

The filly’s older half-sister Arinosa won multiple stakes races to Group 2 level while her older half-brother Onerous, trained by Team Hawkes holds a nomination for the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes in Perth. They are both by former Swettenham sire Dash For Cash.

Champion trainer Chris Waller bought a Dash for Cash colt out of Amoroso at the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale for $150,000. Now named Andaz, like Arinosa, he is owned by former Port Lincoln fisherman David Puglisi and his family.

Aintree Park, Euroa product Queen Roulette continues to confound Singapore racing punters with yet another win on the island state over the weekend.

In a S$75,000 race over 1200m at Kranji on Sunday, the three-year-old filly won at the long odds of $62 in a field of just six. The follows wins in July and August this year at the odds of $31 and $36 respectively.

The daughter of Aintree Park sire Ruwi has won three of her past five starts and has been unplaced in just two of her nine career starts in Singapore for total earnings of almost S$148,000 (AU$139,000).

Ruwi (GB) stands at Aintree Park south of Euroa but is something of an unknown quantity in his home State.  Not so in South-East Asia where he has sired several winners for leading owner Teng Kian Beng.



Dropping Queen Roulette  right at the back of the small six-horse field, jockey Noel Jugiall rode a patient race, waiting for the last 300m to turn up the heat and storm home for victory at the long odds.

“Queen Roulette made it just in time, but I have to say I was quietly confident she would run well even though she was in a small but quality field,” said Jugiall.

“She’s only a little filly, but she has such a big heart,” said trainer Lindsay Khoo.

Queen Roulette was bred at Aintree Park by Teng Kian Beng who has also raced other Ruwi winners Lady Roulette, Sing Roulette and Above The Horizon in Singapore.

Stallion Ruwi (Unfuwain) won his first four starts in France culminating with an effortless Group 2 victory in the Prix Noailles (2100m) at Longchamp.

Aintree Park studmaster Mark Arrowsmith stands him for a $5,000 (inc gst) service fee alongside Perth stakes winner Phenomenons (Giant’s Causeway). Over seven seasons, Ruwi has produced 72 live foals with winners being found in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia.

Mornington trainer Matt Laurie has Master Reset primed for another productive campaign following the Mitchelton Wines Hcp (1500m) at Moonee Valley.

Friday night’s victory was the start of better things to come for the 5yo son of Darley Victoria sire Reset.

“We got a nice cart into the race behind the leader…The speed was on up front and he made his own luck from there,” winning jockey Luke Currie said.

Laurie trains Master Reset for owner-breeder Wayne Matsinos and it was his first win since last year’s Wodonga Gold Cup (1590m).  Border-based Matsinos bred him from Glowing Tribute (Zeditave) who is related to Group 1 winner Aerosmith (VRC Turnbull Stakes).

Glowing Tribute’s 4yo Electric Tribute (Krupt) won at Kembla for David Pfieffer and at Pakenham for Laurie last season.  The mare’s yearling is a filly by Von Costa De Hero and Matsinos bred her back to Reset last year.

Laurie is looking to fill the gap left by stable star Escado who has been retired.  The Casino Prince gelding was bred at Balnarring by Kineld Thoroughbreds and was Laurie’s first Group 1 winner in the 2013 South Australian Derby.

Hauraki became the 5th Group 1 winner by Reset (Zabeel) earlier this month.  He joined Fawkner, Pinker Pinker, Rebel Raider and Set Square at the elite level in the Epsom Hcp (1600m) at Randwick. A start in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes over 2000m at Flemington is a possible final target for the Reset entire this Spring.

Darley stands Reset for a $16,500 (inc gst) fee at Northwood Park in Seymour.

Victoria is a great place to breed and race a thoroughbred.

This is reflected by an honour roll boasting some of the most iconic names in Australian horse racing history.

Black Caviar, Kingston Town, Wakeful, Gloaming, Fields of Omagh, Apache Cat and Rubiton are just a small selection of Victorian bred champions.

If the past is any guide to the future, then the Victorian thoroughbred breeding industry has a bright future.

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria has released Episode 3 of Victoria to Victory which is focused on the Victorian Bred Heroes of the Past.

Watch the video

In the first half of the 20th century there were Victorian bred stars such as Wakeful and Gloaming, then came Maybe Mahal and Melbourne Cup winner Gala Supreme among many others.

In the 1980s there was Rubiton and one of the all time greats, Kingston Town.

‘The King’, bred by the Hains family at Kingston Park Stud on the Mornington Peninsula, won an unprecedented three Cox Plates and 11 other Group 1 races. He was an inaugural inductee into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.

In the first decade of the 21st century, two much loved horses, Apache Cat and Fields of Omagh, won multiple times at the very highest level.

Apache Cat (sired by Lynden Parks’s Lion Cavern) was raised at Chatswood Stud near Seymour on the banks of the Goulburn River while Fields of Omagh (by Blu Gum’s Rubiton) grew up at Lynden Park on the Mornington Peninsula. Both, fittingly, now reside at Living Legends just outside of Melbourne.

Then along came world champion and unbeaten superstar Black Caviar.

The great mare is  a product of Victoria having been raised at Gilgai Farm near Nagambie. She too is a member of Australia’s Racing Hall of Fame.

The many great horses that have come before a hero such as Black Caviar, and will continue to follow, indicate that Victoria is the place to breed a Thoroughbred.

And, with major international investment in the state and a determination by local breeders to succeed, the Victorian industry is on the cusp of greatness.