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Littlefield wins raceday lunch for foal photo

Charlotte Littlefield's winning Nostradamus x Bergerac Rose filly with young friend Maeve Kelly

The inaugural TBV Instagram Foal Photo Competition has been run and won for 2017.

And the ‘Most liked’ award has gone to an inquisitive Nostradamus filly owned by Cranbourne breeder and trainer Charlotte Littlefield.

Littlefield and Mornington’s Caitrin Kelly who co-submitted the photo win a raceday lunch package in the Chairman’s Club at Flemington generously donated by

The photo is of Charlotte’s Nostradamus x Bergerac Rose filly, who is inquisitively playing with Caitrin’s daughter Maeve.

The filly was conceived on Melbourne Cup day and was bred by Charlotte Littlefield and Julian Hay at their Cranbourne property.

“The photo is of our beautiful filly Blinx who is from my first winner as a trainer, Bergerac Rose,” Littlefield said.

“This is her first foal and our first that we foaled down ourselves.

“Maeve is her little friend. Maeve adores the horses and ice cream…this will be Maeve’s first share in a racehorse!”

Littlefield kicked off her professional trainer career with Bergerac Rose and now has about 12 to14 in work, including some in pre-training and being broken in.

Born and raised in the UK, Littlefield was an established event rider who represented her country as part of the British Young Rider Team in Poland 2003.

Her love of thoroughbred racing started at a young age when she would attend the Goodwood races with her parents, before taking a job riding trackwork for a point-to-point and national hunt yard in Somerset.

Littlefield moved to Australia 11 years ago, where she has continued to compete in eventing, along with pursuing her passion in flat racing.

Wanting to put her eventing knowledge and racing experience into practice, Littlefield feels that she can come in with a different angle to training thoroughbreds.

“My eventing background has been very handy, as once they’re taught to track work we can incorporate some dressage and jumping into their routine. We believe that if they can do a preliminary level dressage test and a preliminary horse trials, then they are ready to race.”

Although Bergerac Rose will be having a year off this year from breeding, she will be heading back to the breeding barn early next year, along with Charlotte’s other mare Offshore Sham.

Offshore Sham has a Helmet colt at next year’s Inglis Premier Yearling Sale as Lot 766.

The full set of entries can be found at the TBV Instagram Foal Photo Competition.

Mitchelton wine for Yarran’s ‘thirsty foal’ photo

Yarran Thoroughbreds' winning Nostradamus x Magic Pulse filly

Yarran’s Rachel Doherty will be enjoying a nice glass of local Mitchelton wine this festive season after her entry was awarded a prize in the TBV Instagram Foal Photo competition.

Yarran’s beautiful little Nostradamus filly was captured being a little cheeky and not at all impressed by being disturbed trying to get a drink from mum! For the lovely photo, Rachel and her husband John get to enjoy a case of wine kindly donated by Mitchelton Wines.

The winning photo is of Rachel and John’s own mare, Magic Pulse and her filly. They bought Magic Pulse at this year’s Inglis Great Southern Sale in foal to Rosemont Stud’s First Crop Sire.

Rachel was born into thoroughbreds with not only her parents, but also her grandfather, working at Fairdale Stud near Palmerston North in New Zealand.

“I grew up learning everything at Fairdale Stud– I was the third generation to work there from my family,” Rachel said.

Through her breeding industry work Rachel met John, who similarly had a strong background in the industry particularly at Coolmore Stud in Ireland.

“We then travelled and worked everywhere together, including a season in China when we took over the first eleven thoroughbred broodmares to China in the 90’s.

After stints in Japan and New Zealand, they landed at Darley’s Northwood property.

“Grace (their child) was four when we moved to Northwood, where we worked for the next eight years.

“We still had our own small property for our mares, and a handful of clients, and in May we moved down the road to Yarran Thoroughbreds.”

Having taken over management of Yarran mid-year, the upcoming yearling sales will be their first for the farm.

They are taking a draft of eleven yearlings to the Inglis Premier Sale with an array of sires. Their Lot 619 Kuroshio filly received a nice upgrade during the recent Spring Racing Carnival.

Her dam, Summer Wine, is a half-sister to Group 2 Caulfield Sprint winner Snitty Kitty – a horse trainer Henry Dwyer is targeting towards February’s Oakleigh Plate.

The full set of entries can be found at the TBV Instagram Foal Photo Competition.

Sear & Shave savour city success

Kasi Farasi ridden by Jake Noonan wins at Caulfield (Brett Holburt-Racing Photos)

The tough city win of Kasi Farasi at Caulfield on Saturday was a long time coming for loyal owners and breeders Andrew Sear and Daryl Shave.

“It was just terrific, as it’s our first city winner my partner Daryl and I have bred together.” Sear said.

The Mick Price trained three-year-old, a talented son of Reward for Effort, secured his second victory in just three starts.

For Sear in particular, the breeding bug bit quite some time ago.

Andrew and his family are based in picturesque Harkaway, surrounded by their equestrian horses, while their thoroughbred mares reside at Chatswood Stud.

“I have had solid breeding interests for over 35 years. I have had horses since I was 12 years, and owned my first racehorse when I was 19.

“My wife and I, who I met when only 16 years old, being sweethearts, have lived and breathed horses ever since.”

“We also breed Percherons (a draft horse breed)…and Warmbloods for eventing, but over the years there have been numerous racehorses that we have bred or bought.

“You really appreciate the win, especially as some don’t even make it to the track.

“With our racehorses, we basically throw away the keys and pick the good trainers like Mick Price, and John Ledger for their early education, and rely on their professionalism to produce best results possible.”

Although thoroughbreds have brought limited success for Andrew – at least until Saturday – , he has certainly enjoyed the ride.

“Daryl and I headed over to the 2011 Karaka sales to target the High Chaparral fillies as future broodmares,” Sear said.

“We worked pretty hard, but managed to purchase Disturbingthepeace for $40,000 from the Premier Yearling Sale. Unfortunately, her racing career was limited, so we sent her to the breeding barn.”

Disturbingthepeace is out of the Bluebird mare, Magpies, from the family of Canny Lad, Canny Lass, Rothesay, Cool Trent and Rich Dreams.

“She matched up beautifully with Reward For Effort, having such solid bloodlines, and we fortunately have a half-sister two-year-old (by Anacheeva), and a yearling full-brother and a full-sister at foot.

The Reward for Effort juggernaut meanwhile continues apace. Tuff Bickie won at Cranbourne on Saturday night while Nice Fandango saluted at Sha Tin on Sunday.

The Chatswood Stud sire now sits among the top twenty sires in Australia by number of winners.

Kasi Farasi has now happily headed to the paddock. Co-owner Daryl spoke to Mick Price on Monday morning and he couldn’t be happier with the colt.

“It’s onwards and upwards! The aim for him now is to head for the Australian Guineas. He is a promising prospect, he has pulled up well and is already in the paddock this morning,” Shave said.

And the meaning behind the name?

“Daryl’s family and my family travelled to Africa together, and after learning a little bit Swahili while we were over there, we thought of giving him a Swahili name. Kasi Farasi translates to “Speed horse”, which was just perfect,” Sear said.

Farewell to Burnewang North’s matriarch – Rose Of Portland

Burnewang North's matriarch Rose of Portland

Burnewang North said farewell to a dear old friend, when the farm matriarch Rose of Portland was laid to rest recently.

From one of Australia’s best black type families the daughter of Seattle Slew was out of a multiple Group 1 winner and was the half-sister to a Melbourne Cup winner.

At 25 years young she was a wonderful producer and enjoyed her final years of retirement happily grazing on the lush green pastures of the Rochester stud.

“She was the queen of the place right up until the very end,” Burnewang North’s Tanya Edwards said.

“She still liked to kick up her heels and enjoyed a buck and a wiggle in the fields. She would still tow us around the place, like she was going off to the track

“Being well loved by all on the farm, it was a very sad day. She was a wonderful nanny in her final years to all the fillies…hopefully she has passed on her wisdom to them all.”

‘VALE Rosie. It is with much sadness that we lay to rest our beautiful matriarch Rose of Portland (aged 25) but do so knowing she has lived a wonderful life. Go well Rosie Girl’ – Cathy Hains

“The response to the tweet was amazing, Even her track riders that rode her as a two-year-old made comments,” Edwards said.

“(Segenhoe’s) Peter O’Brien made a lovely comment also…she had made him some serious money that had got him home to Ireland a couple of times in the 90’s. It was just gorgeous, to see how much she meant to so many people

Group 3 winning Rose of Portland (USA) is a direct descendant from Cathy’s father’s breeding empire established at the famed Kingston Park in Merricks. David Hains bred and raced more than 35 individual Group 1 winners.

Her final foal, Vikings Reward (Reward For Effort) was the tenth living foal for the Group 3 winning dam and won at Morphettville in December last year. All up, she produced eight horses to race for seven winners.

Rose of Portland (USA) was one of the best-bred mares in the Australian Stud Book coming from a long line of Kingston Park bred superstars, both on the track and in the breeding barn.

The family includes her dam, Rose of Kingston (Claude), a triple Group 1 winner of the VRC Oaks, AJC Derby and Champagne Stakes and later a Group 1 producing mare, through the deeds of Melbourne Cup winner Kingston Rule.  By Secretariat, Kingston Rule later sired Kensington Palace, the VRC Wakeful Stakes (G2) and Oaks winner.

Her second dam was the dual Group 1 producing Kingston Rose who was also the dam of triple Group 1 winner Spirit of Kingston (Bletchingly).

Rose of Portland won to Group 3 level in the VRC Hardy Brothers Classic carrying the family’s famous yellow and red silks at Flemington.

“We retained her Von Costa De Hero mare Rochie Rosie to keep a link with the family,” Edwards said.

“Rochie Rosie was owned by a group of locals hence the Rochester reference. She was actually the first winner for the syndicate, and you would have thought she had won the Melbourne Cup with the excitement from the owners.

“Rochie Rosie has a very special Toronado filly foal at foot, who, like all the Toronados, has a little bit of class about her, with very pretty markings.

“She has some big shoes to fill, but we will give her every opportunity.”

Winning foals score TAB vouchers

Lauriston Park's Rock Hero colt (left) & Miranda Park's Trust In A Gust colt (right)
Tom from Miranda Park with their Trust In a Gust foal & a $100 TAB voucher

A couple of stunning photos of Victorian bred foals have been awarded $100 TAB vouchers as part of the TBV Instagram Foal Gallery Competition.

The vouchers, kindly donated by TBV’s principal sponsor Tabcorp, will no doubt be put to good use over the summer by the winners: Euroa’s Lauriston Park and Hesket’s Miranda Park.

The two entries were judged the two best quality photos by Racing Photos Head of Photography John Donegan.

Miranda Park’s Gary O’Meara entered a picture taken by Jarrod Testro of its Trust In A Gust x Esprits Choice colt.

Trust In A Gust x Esprits Choice colt

Meanwhile, Kathie Bakker scored Lauriston Park’s prize for the very cute picture of its Rock Hero x Paleste colt.

Rock Hero x Paleste colt

The full set of entries visit the TBV Instagram Foal Photo Competition.

Equine industry introduction program run in Macedon Ranges

Scenes from the recent 5 day Equine Introduction Course in the Macedon Ranges

A five-day program run recently in the Macedon Ranges gave an insight into the breeding and racing sector for future industry employees.

Kyneton Community & Learning Centre in partnership with Racing Victoria, the Racing Industry Skills Centre and the Macedon Ranges Shire Council hosted the new equine studies course.

The course provided new entrants to the racing industry with introductory training in topics around occupational health and safety, horse behaviour, breeding, the rules of racing, employer/employee rights and responsibilities, dentistry, farrier, and future career pathways.

The students were hosted by Woodside Park Stud, Neil Dyer Racing and the Kyneton & Hanging Rock Racing Club among others.

Head trainer for the course, Lisa Coffey, drew on a wealth of knowledge about the industry and provided a structured, practical approach which was well received by participants.

Glenda Fisher, the Learning Centre’s education coordinator, was thrilled with the enthusiasm and commitment the students showed during the entire course.

“The students were always on time and were keen to absorb as much information as possible,” Glenda said.

“Lisa Coffey is wonderful with the students, very approachable and inclusive. She is a valuable tool to ensure the success of the course, due to her high skill level and making the course so enjoyable for all.”

Daphne Wildenberg, currently on a working holiday from Holland, found the course invaluable to furthering her equine industry career pursuits.

“We don’t have as many opportunities to work with racehorses in Holland so it was great to see all the different areas you can gain employment in,” Daphne said.

“I would like to continue to work with horses back home, drawing on the experience and knowledge I have learned here in Australia. I am hoping to work on a stud, at the sales or in stables while I continue to travel throughout Australia.”.

Glenda said another student, currently studying vet nursing, used the course to learn specific information about horses and racing industry.

“As they don’t specialise on horses during her veterinary nursing course, she was keen to learn as much as she could. At Woodside Park Stud, the reproductive vet demonstrated ultrasound techniques for breeding, which was just brilliant. The students were engrossed,” Glenda said.

“Now we have completed the first course as a trial, we know what it would cost to run, and based on the demand and positive feedback, we believe it would be financially viable. To fit in with the Kyneton races, we would ideally hold the next course in March/April and again in December.”

Anyone seeking more information about next year’s five-day course should contact Glenda at the Learning Centre on (03) 5422 3433.

Those seeking to undertake further equine industry studies can contact the Racing Industry Skills Centre – based at Bendigo – on 03 5449 3590

Master’s son seeks Magics money

Master of Design's son Senor Gaudi winning at Morphettville

Adelaide trained Senor Gaudi, a son of Greta West Stud’s Master of Design, can complete a winning week for his sire in Thursday’s $100,000 Magic Millions 3yo & 4yo Stakes (1200 metres) at Wyong.

His trainer Lloyd Kennewell sent Senor Gaudi across the border to Ballarat last month for a brave third in the $100,000 Magic Millions Classic (1100m).

It was his first time on a heavy track and he was far from disgraced when beaten less than a length by the Makybe bred, Waterhouse/Bott trained Debonairly.

Senor Gaudi’s dam Tis Isat (Lujain) is a half-sister to 2012 Adelaide Cup winner Rialya. The four-year-old has never been out of the placings in his four-start career which has included two wins.

Kennewell kicked off an interstate treble for Greta West sire Master Of Design with Swiss Design winning at Morphettville on Friday, Creativity scoring at Caulfield on Saturday and then Storm Master saluting at Hawkesbury on Sunday.

Swiss Design is heading for higher grades following a first-up victory.

Creativity signed off the calendar year with her narrow victory at Caulfield.  The consistent mare has won three races and hasn’t been out of a place in 2017.

Starting her career with a stakes-placing at Flemington last year, Creativity has ample residual value for owners Barrie and Midge Griffiths who bought her for $160,0000 at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Storm Master scored an on-pace victory local trainer Mitch Kearney on Sunday.  He transferred to Hawkesbury after winning a Werribee maiden for Andrew Noblet in May.

“He’s so honest and tries his guts out every time,” Kearney said.

Storm Master is the final foal from South African Group 1 winner Gathering Storm who was owned by Rodney Rae of the Thoroughbred Racing Bureau.

Rae also bred Master Of Design’s NZ stakes-performer Creative Genius.  He was runner-up in the Twilight Cup at Ellerslie last Wednesday and is being set for the Dunstan Feeds Championship Final back at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.

Master Of Design (Redoute’s Choice) is just completing his first season at Greta West Stud.

$480 broodmare buy has new Group 1 winning sibling!

Nash Rawiller & the Makybe bred Mr Stunning after winning the Hong Kong International Spint (pic-Kenneth Chan)

Tatura’s Kasey Tozer paid special attention yesterday to the Hong Kong International Races.

And it was a joyous occasion for Kasey.

Her happiness had nothing to do with a winning bet, owning a horse in one of the races or even knowing any of the connections.

She had something better than all of that…a half sister to the winner of the Group 1 Hong Kong International Sprint, the Victorian bred Mr Stunning.

More bizarrely, Kasey had bought that half sister, named Go The Cats, for just $480!
Mr Stunning (Exceed and Excel), bred by Tony Santic’s famed Makybe operation at Gnarwarre, collected his maiden Group 1 victory on Sunday and maintained his position as the highest rated racehorse in Hong Kong.

Mr Stunning is the fifth winner from the Dayjur mare, With Fervour, a daughter of 3-time North American Group 1 winner, Fran’s Valentine, and half sister to the 5-time Group 1 winner, With Anticipation.  Makybe sold him as a weanling for $110,000 at the 2013 Inglis Great Southern Sale.

He has now won 10 of his 16 outings, with a further three placings, and HK$27 million (approx. AU$4.6 million) in stakes.

But how did Kasey end up with a mare with such a pedigree?

“I was looking for a mare to breed to my cob stallion…I breed Show Hunters,” Kasey said.

“I saw Go The Cats advertised at the Echuca horse sales in 2015. She looked like a good type. I put in a phone bid for $480 and got her,” Kasey said.

(Go The Cats was sold by Makybe to trainer Rick Hore-Lacy for $65,000 via the 2011 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale. Despite showing talent, she was unplaced in 5 starts.)

Kasey’s winning bid of course was made before Mr Stunning had started his career in Hong Kong.

He had been pinhooked the NZB Premier Sale in 2015, won a trial at Avondale in the heavy and was then exported to Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, his dam had been sold by Makybe for $6,000 at the 2013 Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale to Mickleham’s Dr Lesa Oldcastle. With Fervour unfortunately passed away the following year, leaving just one more foal – an as yet unraced 3YO filly by Mossman.

Mr Stunning debuted in early 2016 winning three of his first four starts. It was then that Kasey started to get phone calls enquiring about her Echuca mare purchase, Go The Cats. But Kasey relented.

“She was perfect for what I wanted and I wasn’t going to sell her,” said Kasey

Eventually the aforementioned Dr Oldcastle, found Kasey. Having a interest in the family, Lesa had been looking for some time for Go The Cats.

Kasey decided the lure of breeding with Go the Cats was too big now and entered a foal share arrangement with Dr Oldcastle.

In 2016, Go The Cats was covered by Exceed and Excel’s son Helmet. Foaled in early November, the filly is now a three-quarter relation to a Group 1 winner!

Kasey Tozer’s mare Go The Cats with her Helmet filly at a few days old

“She’s a beautiful type. We’re really happy with her,” said Kasey.

The big question is what they are going to do with their new arrival in the future.

Like her dam, the foal will be in high demand off the back of Mr Stunning’s success.

But Kasey is in no rush to make a decision.

For now she is happy to have a healthy foal and take in the ‘Stunning’ performances of the foal’s half-brother.

Breeders and horses recognised at 2017 Victorian Breeders Awards

Tony Krushka (left), breeder of Tabcorp Champion Victorian Bred Racehorse Tycoon Tara, & friends. (Brett Holburt-Racing Photos)

The Victorian Breeders Awards were held on Friday night at an atmospheric Moonee Valley with a series of stars recognised for their efforts in 2016/2017.

While Nagambie’s Gilgai Farm took home a swag of awards, a number of lesser profile breeders and their horses were also put up in lights.

Port Fairy’s Tony Krushka received the Champion Victorian Racehorse and Champion Victorian Bred Sprinter for the multiple stakes winning efforts of his homebred mare Tycoon Tara.

The breeders of Group 1 Railway Stakes winner Scales of Justice, Gerard and Kathy Hammond, were recognised with the Basinghall Farm sponsored Victorian Small Breeder Award.

Meanwhile Gilgai Farm and Woodside Park’s Written Tycoon took out their respective Champion Breeder and Champion Sire for the second year in a row.

TBV is very grateful to the eleven sponsors of the 2017 Victorian Breeders Awards. We strongly encourage TBV members to use their products and services.



  • This is the second year in a row Gilgai has won this award.
  • The successful group of thoroughbreds bred at Gilgai Farm in the 2016/2017 racing season included Caulfield Cup winner Jameka, Group 2 winner The Quarterback and Group 3 winner Supido.
  • Gilgai also bred Lucky Bubbles who won the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize in Hong Kong.
Avenel Equine Hospital’s Katie Wilcox presents the Champion Victoria Breeder Award to Gilgai Farm’s Kelly Skillecorn (Brett Holburt-Racing Photos)


  • In the 2016/17 racing year the progeny of Written Tycoon earned almost $7.8 million.
  • Written Tycoon had 6 stakes winners in total including Group 1 Tatts Tiara winner Tycoon Tara
  • He is the reigning IRT Champion Victorian Sire and receives this award for the second time.
  • He made Victorian history at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale when a colt by him sold for a Victorian-sired record of $1million.
TBV President James O’Brien presents the IRT Champion Victorian Sire award to Woodside Park’s Matt Tillett (Brett Holburt-Racing Photos)


  • The Hammonds bred six individual horses that ran during the past racing season with the best of them being the Group 1 Railway Stakes winner Scales Of Justice
  • Gerard and Kathy Hammond breed from three or four mares every year and have been long-time clients of Nagambie’s Milford Thoroughbreds.


  • Mine Game’s progeny were led by the exceptional mare Jameka who claimed two Group 1 wins among other successes.
  • Her son Nikitas claimed a win at the end of the season at Caulfield over 1400 metres while the Salanitri trained gelding Logovardi also contributed to Mine Game’s progeny earnings.


  • Bred by Tony Krushka, he raced the Peter & Paul Snowden trained six-year-old mare with close family and friends.
  • The now retired Tycoon Tara achieved Group 1 success in the Tatts Tiara after four previous wins in Stakes races.


  • She claimed three Group victories during the first half of the season with her Group 1 pinnacle coming late in the season during the Brisbane Carnival claiming the Group 1 Tatts Tiara.
  • The daughter of Written Tycoon was retired to the breeding barn this season visiting her sire’s barn-mate Zoustar.


  • He was bred at Avenel’s Milford Thoroughbreds by Gerard & Kathy Hammond, and sold through their draft at the 2014 Premier Sale.
  • This past season he won the Group 3 RJ Peters Stakes, before taking out the Group 1 Railway Stakes a week later followed by two Group 3 wins later in the season.


  • Gilgai Farm bred Jameka’s wins in the 2016/17 racing season included the Caulfield Cup and the BMW Stakes in Sydney.
  • She was trained by Ciaron Maher,


  • The Darren Weir trained Limestone, a daughter of Helmet was a brilliant two-year-old, winning down the Flemington straight at only her second start, before backing up and winning the Group 3 Blue Diamond Preview for fillies.


  • The Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm bred Global Glamour, trained by the partnership of Waterhouse and Bott, had outstanding wins in the 2016/17 racing season including the Group 1 Thousand Guineas and the Group 1 Flight Stakes.
  • Global Glamour is a graduate of the 2015 Magic Millions Yearling Sale where she was brought by James Bester for a large and international group of racing ladies.


  • Bred by Gilgai Farm, he was sold by Gilgai for $90,000 through the Three Bridges draft at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
  • Since then he has matured into one of Hong Kong’s very best horses claiming his maiden Group 1 victory in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize over 1200 metres


  • In the 2016/17 racing year, Squamosa’s winners included Tasmanian two-year-old Derasa and New Zealand stakes winner Kiwi Ida
  • Squamosa is a son of Not A Single Doubt who was unbeaten at two and won the Group 3 Run to the Rose as a three year old.


  • Progeny of Helmet earned in excess of $1.6 million in the 2016/17 racing year.
  • Among his winners were Group 3 2YO winner Limestone and Group 3 Moonee Valley winner Archives.


The VOBIS awards are based on earnings of Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold bonuses as well as prizemoney earned in VOBIS Gold Premier Races.


  • Hesket Bloodstock bred horses earned $577,000 in VOBIS bonuses and prizemoney in season 2016/2017.
  • Hesket Bloodstock is a partnership of Ashley Hardwick with Jenny & David Moodie with their operation stationed in the Macedon Ranges.
  • Some of their best performed VOBIS earners this past season included Sword of Light, River Jewel and Limestone.


  • Darren Weir smashed the records for VOBIS earnings with his horses winning in excess of $1.7 million in VOBIS bonuses and VOBIS prizemoney – a record.
  • He was dominant in the VOBIS Gold Premier Races with horses such as Burning Front, Kiwia, Ken’s Dream and Shamport.


  • The Justin Lovatt homebred son of Primus, Burning Front, became the all-time leading earner of VOBIS dollars this past racing season surpassing Trust In A Gust
  • He has now earned $515,000 in VOBIS dollars as part of his total prizemoney of $1.3 million.
  • His major VOBIS wins in the past season included the VOBIS Gold Star, VOBIS Gold Eldorado and VOBIS Gold Mile


  • Justine is the breeder and managing owner of the iconic front running, crowd loving, VOBIS poster boy, Burning Front trained by Darren Weir.

Inglis Premier Yearling sale showcases Victoria’s best

Reproduced from ANZ Bloodstock News

Inglis believes a renewed focus on horse conformation has led to its strongest Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale catalogue ever presented, a 770-lot offering it says will appeal to domestic owners and trainers and a growing international market.

The thoroughbred auction house last week released the makeup of its 2018 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, to be held at Oaklands Junction from 4 to 7 March, a catalogue of horses that features progeny by 120 different stallions, including the top 15 leading living sires on the Australian general sires’ table.

Victorian-based stallions Written Tycoon (49 lots), Toronado (44), Zoustar (39), Reward For Effort (25), Brazen Beau (21) and Street Boss (21) lead the way in terms of progeny represented.

The Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale catalogue also features siblings to 88 stakes winners, including Group One winners Mongolian Khan (Holy Roman Emperor), Santa Ana Lane (Lope De Vega), Alinghi (Encosta De Lago), Le Romain (Hard Spun) and Extreme Choice (Not A Single Doubt),

Siblings to VRC Oaks (Gr 1, 2500m) winner Kirramosa (Alamosa) and fellow Group One winners Rock Kingdom (Rock Of Gibraltar), May’s Dream (New Approach), Politeness (Street Sense), Faint Perfume (Shamardal) and Ortensia (Testa Rossa) will also be offered at Oaklands Junction.

Inglis Victorian bloodstock manager Simon Vivian said the company had focused on quality of conformation when determining which yearlings would be selected for book one of the sale.

Some of the Victorian prepared, bred or consigned highlights lots include:

  • Lot 95 – Bucklee Farm – Danerich half-brother to Cliff’s Edge
  • Lot 202 – Blue Gum Farm – Brazen Beau half-sister to Vinland
  • Lot 224 – Three Bridges Thoroughbreds – Deep Field half-brother to Faint Perfume
  • Lot 226 – Erinvale Thoroughbreds – So You Think half-sister to Ortensia
  • Lot 268 – Sun Stud – Lonhro half-brother to Politeness
  • Lot 284 – Rosemont Stud – Smart Missile half-sister to Ocean Embers
  • Lot 298 – Grenville Stud – Brazen Beau half-sister to Mongolian Khan and Young Centaur
  • Lot 311 – Supreme Thoroughbreds (for Dorrington Park) – Zoffany half-sister to Gold Standard
  • Lot 378 – Yulong Park – Not a Single Doubt sister to Extreme Choice
  • Lot 398 – Supreme Thoroughbreds (for Dorrington Park) – Magnus half-brother to Fuhryk
  • Lot 402 – Millford Thoroughbreds – Toronado half-brother to Precious Gem
  • Lot 509 – Phoenix Broodmare Farm – Kuroshio half-brother to Le Romain
  • Lot 691 – Hollylodge Thoroughbreds – Toorak Toff half-sister to Santa Ana Lane

In 2017, the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale reached a new benchmark with its first yearling sold for more than $1,000,000, as an I Am Invincible half-brother to Newmarket Handicap (Gr 1, 1200m) winner The Quarterback (Street Boss) was sold to Ciaron Maher Racing for $1,400,000 from the Gilgai Farm draft.

“We are really pleased with the way the catalogue has come together. We very heavily emphasised conformation and I am very proud of the collection of horses that are going to go through from a conformation viewpoint because nowadays that is such a vital aspect for the sale of any yearling,” Vivian told ANZ Bloodstock News.

“In some cases, I would have to say that we have sacrificed pedigree for the sake of conformation because the principle frontline buyer is the racehorse trainer – they want to have confidence in an athletic animal and that is what we have focused on.

“On a pre-sale inspection, this is the highest average physical score we have ever had for a Premier sale and that will be on display in March next year.”

“We are going to have a lot of yearlings by stallions who are going to suit our domestic buyers and our international buyers.”

Victorian First Crop sires represented at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale

First Crop SireStands atLots
Brazen BeauDarley Northwood20
ClusterLarneuk Stud4
Hampton CourtSpendthrift Australia3
Jimmy Creed (USA)Spendthrift Australia1
Puissance de Lune (IRE)Swettenham Stud6
The Wow Signal (IRE)Swettenham Stud5
Toronado (IRE)Swettenham Stud43
Warhorse (NZ)Bombora Downs3

Vivian said vendors had supported the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale in numbers and quality for the 2018 edition on the back of a successful 2017 edition, which saw eight yearlings sell for $400,000 or more.

“I think we have been very well served by the Victorian sires who are eligible for the Super VOBIS scheme to contribute to the sale,” he said.

“In the 770 lots, 541 are from Victoria, so over 70 per cent of the catalogue, so some of the bigger vendors from Victoria who are breeding a national product are selling those yearlings in Victoria.

“They have confidence in the market and in Inglis to be able to put together a very broad buying bench.”

Supreme Thoroughbreds celebrating ten years

Supreme Thoroughbreds' Brent Grayling at the Inglis Oaklands Junction sales complex

Reproduced from ANZ Bloodstock News

This leading vendor at the 2017 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale was the Romsey-based Supreme Thoroughbreds, who will again present a strong draft in 2018 with 30 yearlings catalogued in book one.

Overall, the 2018 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale catalogue has 541 lots offered by Victorian-based vendors, who make up 70 per cent of the catalogue.

Supreme Thoroughbreds celebrated ten years of operation this year and co-owner Brent Grayling was delighted with the farm’s development in that time to become this year’s leading Inglis Premier Yearling Sale vendor.

“I always look at them and think they look like babies but I said the same thing this year and we ended up having two yearlings make $500,000, so we definitely have some quality stock,” Grayling told ANZ Bloodstock News.

“Overall, I would say we a stronger draft than this year and we won’t have any Premier two horses next year.”

The Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale catalogue has 505 Super VOBIS-nominated yearlings.

Grayling said the majority of Supreme Thoroughbreds’ draft was Super VOBIS eligible, a scheme he believes is the best in Australia, which ensures the yearlings were eligible for the inaugural restricted $1,000,000 Showdown race for two-year-olds to be run at Caulfield in 2019.

“Personally, I think it is essential. I think it is the best scheme out there,” he said. “I get trainers who come down and look and only want to inspect the VOBIS horses.”

The Inglis Premier Yearling Sale also features progeny by 26 freshman VOBIS Sires including popular Victorians Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible), Puissance De Lune (Shamardal), and Toronado (High Chaparral).

This year, Supreme Thoroughbreds will present a draft that includes a half-sister to the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Gold Standard (Sebring), a lightly raced three-year-old who won this year’s Stan Fox Stakes (Gr 2, 1500m) at Rosehill.

Offered by Supreme Thoroughbreds on behalf of breeder Robert Crabtree’s Dorrington Farm as Lot 311, the Zoffany filly is out of Group Three-winning mare Coniston Gem (Greig).

Another Supreme – Dorrington Park standout, is Lot 63, a Pierro colt out of Group One-placed Magic Night Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) winner Scandiva (Fastnet Rock).

Scandiva is a half-sister to Group One-winning sprinter and Group One-producing stallion Magnus (Flying Spur), Group Two winner Wilander (Exceed And Excel) and the Listed winner Arctic Flight (Flying Spur) and the unraced Helsinge (Desert Sun), the dam of champion mare Black Caviar (Bel Esprit).

Among the Supreme Thoroughbreds draft is Lot 398, a Magnus half-brother to the Lindsay Park-trained Group Three winner and Winterbottom Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) runner-up Fuhryk (Star Witness).

At this year’s sale, Supreme Thoroughbreds sold her half-sister by All Too Hard (Casino Prince) for $500,000 to Little Kwok Hing Hung and Bahen Bloodstock, one of 28 horses they sold for an aggregate of $3,572,500 at an average of $127,589 including selling a second yearling for $500,000, a Written Tycoon colt purchased by the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

“It is our tenth year of business and this year we were the leading vendor in Victoria,” he said.

“If you said when we established the business that we would be the leading vendor at the Melbourne sale I would have thought you were dreaming.

“We have put our money where our mouth is. If someone wants us to buy a mare we aren’t prepared to go in ourselves and that is how we started our business: syndicating mares.

“We have got to the position where we can buy bigger percentages in those mares and the clients have stuck by us because they know it is also our money at stake.”

Lady Horseowner’s Valley win proves good things come in small packages

Lauriston Park bred Lady Horseowner (inside) gets the better of Al Naifa at Moonee Valley (Ross Holburt-Racing Photos)

Bred by Paul and Carol King, loyal clients of Chris and Kathie Bakker’s Lauriston Park, Lady Horseowner showed that size (or price) doesn’t matter in a tough fighting win at Moonee Valley under lights.

Utilising her early speed to take up a forward position, the Greg Eurell trained 2YO debutant Lady Horseowner (Equiano) was challenged by favourite Al Naifa, but fought back hard in the final stages.

Lauriston Park’s Chris Bakker was thrilled to see her get up and believes there are big things ahead for the petite filly.

“She is a little toughie, and it’s not the size of the dog in the fight it’s the size of the fight in the dog. That just sums her up perfectly,” Bakker said.

“Paul and Carol were pretty much my first clients. They have three or four quality broodmares on our farm at Creightons Creek, near Euroa and some nice young horses that are shaping up well.

“They race a few including Raindrops on Roses, and Dusty Jack, both graduates of Lauriston Park, so they are enjoying a nice little ride at the moment.”

“We knew she had ability and the right constitution and temperament to handle racing young. We set her up and broke her in early, so she could make the most of her natural advantage, with her compact build.”

If you had gone to find this little pocket rocket filly at the yearling sales earlier this year, you would have been disappointed. That is unlike Al Naifa who she beat on Friday night. That filly was a $1.8 million yearling at this year’s Inglis Easter being a half-sister to Group 1 winner English.

“We couldn’t even get her in a sale, she was a little plain filly that no one thought anything of so you can’t help but get great satisfaction when you get that result on the track against such a high priced yearling.

“This result goes to show that if you treat them right and manage them correctly, little horses can get up and beat the expensive well-bred yearlings…that’s the dream, and it’s good for the industry.”

Lady Horseowner, is out of the Fastnet Rock mare Kid Gloves. She now has a couple of lovely Toronado fillies on the ground – a yearling and a foal. She wasn’t covered this season with her breeders giving her a year off.

“The Toronado yearling may go to the (Inglis) VOBIS Gold Sale, but Paul loves to race, so unless there is very good money on offer, he will probably keep her, especially if Lady Horseowner continues to win,” Bakker said.

Lady Horseowner will have a little spell now, and be aimed at the Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude on her way to a possible Blue Diamond start.

And the name Lady Horseowner?

Good friends of Paul and Carol used to call and instead of asking how Carol was, they would say, “How’s Lady Horseowner?”

With Paul’s sense of humor, he sent the name in without telling anyone and the rest is history.

A winning VOBIS Gold homecoming for TBV Life Member

Joan Walker (3rd from left) and Roland Walker (5th from left) after Amadeus won the VOBIS Gold Bullion at Pakenham (Brett Holburt-Racing Photos)

‘Born at Pakenham, win at Pakenham’ could well now be the motto of TBV life member and proud Victorian breeder Joan Walker.

Joan and her son, Roland were overjoyed to see their talented racehorse Amadeus (Amadeus Wolf) overcome injury to take out the $150,000 VOBIS Gold Bullion at Pakenham’s Park on Saturday.

Walker family bred Amadeus wins the $150,000 VOBIS Gold Bullion at Pakenham (Brett Holburt-Racing Photos)

Trained by Mick Kent, the five-year-old galloper will now be set for other lucrative races in the $3.57 million VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series.

Joan, who was born at Pakenham, has had a long and illustrious association with thoroughbreds, not least champions such as Oakleigh Plate winner Spitfire (Hostile) and the much-loved stayer Reckless.

The two stars are from the same family. Spitfire is the dam of Merson Cooper Stakes winner Impulsive (Landau) who in turn is the dam of Reckless.

Today, the remarkable female line that started with Spitfire all those years ago is still performing well for Joan and her family, with Amadeus, a great, great grandson of the mare being the latest quality galloper.

Joan’s son Roland is involved in the family’s thoroughbred breeding and takes a keen interest in both pedigrees and performances.

Amadeus’s dam, Jaywalk (Dangerous), has an unraced 3YO Skilled filly and a yearling filly by Reward for Effort. Jaywalk is now back in foal to Reward For Effort this season.

“Although her yearling filly was accepted into Premier next year, I quietly convinced mother to retain her,” Roland said.

“She is not getting any younger and with the Reward For Efforts racing so well, we will keep her and enjoy racing her ourselves, before breeding in the future.

“Amadeus is similar in character to Reckless, being so gentle and kind. Reckless was famous for loving kids and giving pony rides in the stalls before he raced. He never flinched, kicked or bit, but on the track he was there to race.

Roland credits Amadeus’s return to the track from injury to Mick Kent’s boundless time, effort and skill.

“A lot of people train horses, but there are very few all-round horsemen. Mick Kent is one of them. He also has a brilliant ability to impart that knowledge and educate the people around him,” Roland said.

And Amadeus is now certainly looking fit and strong, whose career has been limited to thirteen starts as a result of a severed tendon after being badly galloped on.

“We had a bit of a throw at the stumps. He looked badly handicapped in the race, but the VOBIS Gold money was so attractive. To come back from injury and beat those horses at the weights was a good effort,” Kent said.

Fastnet Rock doppelganger wins on debut

The Gilgai Farm bred 2YO High Ratio wins at Bendigo (Brendan McCarthy-Racing Photos)

Another month, another talented Gilgai Farm bred racehorse appears on the radar it seems.

The Gilgai bred 2YO High Ratio (Fastnet Rock) claimed an impressive debut win at Bendigo for trainer Mick Price and now has the biggest juvenile races of the season as possible targets.

Gilgai Farm Manager, Kelly Skillecorn remembers High Ratio clearly as a foal, describing him as an exact replica of his father, Fastnet Rock.

High Ratio at Gilgai Farm in preparation for the 2017 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale

Having run Yarraman Park in his days prior to his Gilgai appointment, Skillecorn was involved with breaking-in Fastnet Rock as a youngster.

“He is the spit out of his father’s eye, identical to Fastnet Rock at the same age. If they went to the same sale and you put them side by side, you would think that they were twins,” Skillecorn said.

“As a foal he (Fastnet Rock) was big, he was plain, and he was ugly, but it proves you don’t need to be pretty to be a multiple Group 1 winner and a Champion sire.”

In a strong form race, High Ratio powered to the line to win the 1100 metre maiden by a length and a quarter with ears pricked, ahead of the fancied Hayes horse Fundamentalist.

“He did it easily and is a very nice horse, he’ll go on with it for sure, and he’s got such a good temperament.” said jockey Michael Dee.

High Ratio has now headed to the paddock to have a bit of downtime, before Price aims to give him a run in February before the Blue Diamond. If the results look promising at that top level, he will then head onwards and upwards to the Golden Slipper.

High Ratio was a $340,000 Inglis Premier purchase for his trainer from the Gilgai Farm draft.

“There were only two people on him at the sale, Luke Wilkinson, and Tony McEvoy, who are probably the best two judges of two-year-olds in the state,” Skillecorn said

“Luke always loved him, even coming to the farm and seeing him in the paddock as a foal.”

High Ratio is a three-quarter sister to stakes-placed Outlaw Kate and is the first winner for stakes-winning Invincible Spirit (IRE) mare She’s Got Gears.

“She is a gorgeous mare, and was a very handy racehorse, beating Crystal Lily at her first start,” Skillecorn.

Gilgai Farm will be presenting a draft of 21 yearlings at next year’s Inglis Premier Sale, including the Toronado half-brother of High Ratio as Lot 83.

“The Toronado is a different grade again, he is beautiful, just unbelievable looking,” Skillecorn said.

“He’s a big chance, a real pin-up boy. The buyers will give him plenty of attention, and no doubt he will be highly sought after.”

Inglis to offer Bloodstock Intern role in 2018

An excellent opportunity to gain an understanding of the workings of Australia’s number one thoroughbred auctioneer company has become available with an Inglis Bloodstock Internship.

The successful applicant’s time will be predominantly spent within the bloodstock division, while being exposed to the company’s marketing, insurance, digital and leasing divisions.

This unique opportunity will allow the successful applicant the chance to build a succinct knowledge and thorough understanding of an auctioneer/bloodstock agency.

Based primarily in Melbourne, the successful applicant will spend time with industry leaders, gaining an intimate understanding of pedigree and conformation evaluation which forms an integral part of the selection process for yearlings entered in the company’s annual yearling sale series.

The successful applicant will be given the opportunity for interstate travel between the Melbourne and Sydney offices and throughout Australian’s primary breeding regions.

Applications should be emailed to James Price ( no later than Wednesday December 20, 2017 and should include a current CV along with a cover letter explaining why you feel you are a worthy candidate for this internship.

The internship will run for 12 months, with interviews conducted mid-January 2018, with the commencement of the Internship set for early to mid-February.

New $1 million ‘The Showdown’ race to launch in 2019

Racing Victoria (RV), in association with Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV), has started the countdown to ‘The Showdown’ – a landmark $1 million race to be staged at Caulfield Racecourse in April 2019.

The 1200m event, to be run exclusively for the two-year-old progeny of VOBIS Sires’ nominated stallions, has been named in honour of Victoria’s champion Australian stallion of the 1970s – ‘Showdown’.

Showdown stood at Stockwell Stud at Diggers Rest between 1966 and 1983 where he sired 46 stakes winners (13 at Group 1 level) including Golden Slipper, Blue Diamond, Oaks and Derby winners. He retired from stud duties in 1983 and died at Stockwell Stud in 1985 (where he is buried).

The $1 million The Showdown will become a permanent fixture on the Victorian racing calendar, and will help pave the way for further expansion of the VOBIS Sires program when the $500,000 three-year-old VOBIS Sires (1600m) race commences in 2020.

These two races, in addition to the lucrative VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series already on offer, will by 2020 be worth at least $4.45 million a season. The whole VOBIS program, inclusive of bonuses and prizemoney, will offer more than $20 million.

In making today’s announcement of ‘The Showdown’, RV Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said the new name would create some excitement within the Victorian racing community and build a sense of anticipation leading into the first ever $1 million The Showdown.

“Making this announcement today helps to reinforce the message of the VOBIS Sires program, and will aid in educating owners and trainers about buying VOBIS Sires progeny now, so that they are eligible to compete for the first ever $1 million VOBIS Sires Showdown race in 2019,” Carpenter said.

“The Showdown is the evolution of forward thinking and planning by Racing Victoria and TBV to reward owners and support the breeders who have put the time and energy into investing in Victorian racing.”

“The name itself also has significant historical links to Victorian breeding, with Showdown being a champion Australian stallion who stood at Stockwell Stud and who produced very classy two-year-old progeny.


Trainers Troy Corstens from Malua Racing [left] and Henry Dwyer spa at the launch of the Showdown at North Melbourne Gym on December 05, 2017 in North Melbourne, Australia. (John Donegan/Racing Photos)
“Perhaps we will see a similar record to that of Showdown’s set by some of the 54 VOBIS Sires-nominated stallions, whose progeny will be able to compete in the first running of The Showdown.”

All eligible horses aiming to compete in the $1 million The Showdown must be nominated to both Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold, and must be the progeny of a VOBIS Sires-nominated stallion.

A total of 54 stallions were nominated to the VOBIS Sires program during 2015, meaning all their 2016 born progeny – provided they are VOBIS Gold and Super VOBIS nominated – will be eligible to compete for the inaugural race in 2019.

The first crop of yearlings to be prepared for the inaugural race will appear at the upcoming 2018 sales, and will be identified by VOBIS Sires logos in the sales catalogues, barn signage and hip stickers.

TBV President, James O’Brien, said: “VOBIS Sires is a further evolution of Victoria’s VOBIS program which supports the State’s critical breeding industry.”

“Victoria’s stallion owners have been great supporters of this scheme with their nomination fees going into the prizemoney of the $1 million Showdown.

“Victoria already has some fantastic sires, but VOBIS Sires and the $1 million Showdown will help take the quality of the stallion roster in this state to a new level.”

Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) General Manager – Racing, Jake Norton, said the club was thrilled to host the first annual running of The Showdown at Caulfield Racecourse on the fifth annual Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday.

“It has been a privilege for the MRC to host the Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday since its inception, and we’re proud to have contributed to its success and growth,” Norton said.

“To think that success now extends to a million dollar race in The Showdown is remarkable, and testament to Racing Victoria’s investment in the day and its commitment to the state’s owners and breeders.

“We look very much forward to setting the stage once again for the 2018 race day, and the inaugural showdown in 2019.”

Like father, like son for Beggs

Written By storms through the rain to win on debut at Sandown (Ross Holburt-Racing Photos)

Just like Grahame Begg followed his father Neville in becoming a highly successful Group 1 trainer, a Written Tycoon colt is following a similar pattern.

Grahame trained the Champion sire – now standing at Woodside Park – to a Group 2 win. Now he has an immensely talented son on his hands in the form of Saturday’s Sandown juvenile winner Written By.

And just to tie all of the narrative together, the youngster was bred by none other than Neville Begg!

Written By’s trainer Graham Begg & breeder Neville Begg

Written By was on debut at Sandown when he claimed the $100,000 two-year-old contest, which also carried a lucrative $35,000 in winning VOBIS bonuses for the Beggs.

In the same colours Written Tycoon wore in his victories, the two-year-old found his footing in the heavy going, switched on and hit the line strongly, demonstrating the well above-average natural ability.

“My dad bought the mare from of the Scone Yearling sale for only $2000, and we raced her. He is very quirky with his pedigrees, so he must have been up to something,” Grahame said.

“Before we retired her to breed, she ended up being a multiple city-placed mare, and every foal she has produced that has gone to the races has been a winner.

“His half-brother Il Divo is a very handy galloper running in stakes races between 1800 metres and 2200 metres over the spring, and this colt is more forward at two than him.”

Trainer Begg had aspirations of running Written By during the recent Spring Carnival, however a need to iron out some early barrier antics put paid to those early goals.

“He’s a naturally gifted horse, but very high spirited. He’s got a few little quirks with him, so we just needed to get his attitude right and perfect his barrier skills,” Begg said.

Although tempted to head to Sydney for the $500,000 Inglis Nursery race in two weeks, Begg has decided to finish the preparation on a high note.

“He has been in work since the middle of July, so he has done a brilliant job of getting through to December.  Luckily he is a terrific little doer and full marks to him.”

“We have popped him in the paddock now, and will focus on his education and getting him right to contest some nice two-year-old races in the autumn,” he said.

After Written By’s sire Written Tycoon made his impressive winning debut at Randwick in 2005, he went on to win the Group 2 Todman Stakes before stakes placings as a three-year-old in the San Domenico Stakes and the Canterbury Classic.

“He was a great horse Written Tycoon, and was probably one of the most natural horses I’ve ever trained as far as ability goes,” Begg said.

“This colt (Written By) is a typical roll-forward sort of horse, a natural athlete. He has got good gate speed, and he wants to be a racehorse.”

A half-brother to three winners, Written By was consigned to the 2017 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale by Basinghall Farm where he was passed in.

Out of the winning Tobougg mare Yau Chin, he stems from the family of Kaoru Star mare No Finer, a sister to the top-class racehorses Marceau, Zasu and Joy Love and the dam of four stakes winners including the Group 1 Australian Guineas and top-class sire Pins and the Group II Shannon Stakes winner Nips.

“Unfortunately we lost the (current) Written Tycoon yearling, through a paddock accident only a couple of months ago. Dad had just gone up to see him. He was a cracking little horse too. Dad was just devastated. It makes this win by Written By even more special now.”

“The mare has a lovely Fiorente colt and will stay in NSW to breed this year, but next year I would be thinking she will be coming back to Victoria and going to Written Tycoon!,” Begg said.

Blue Gum bred star Guineas bound

Blue Gum bred Vinland after winning the Spicer Thoroughbreds Handicap at Sandown (Ross Holburt-Racing Photos)

Euroa’s Blue Gum Farm must have been thrilled coming away from the 2016 Premier sale with an enormous aggregate of $4.7 million.

But since then the exciting ride has continued as their sale graduates perform with honours on race tracks around Australia (and in Hong Kong).

On Saturday at Sandown, another Blue Gum bred star, the Tony McEvoy trained Vinland, put his ‘hand’ up for future Group 1 success.

In winning with a large degree of arrogance over a mile, the Sebring colt showed he was a major contender for the time-honoured Australian Guineas in a few months time.

In demonstrating his city racing credentials, he joins other Blue Gum 2016 draftees such as stakes winners Ducimus and Jukebox and the city-winner Pure Emotion.

“It was a lovely draft of horses, and it’s pleasing the flow of high-quality racehorses coming out of that draft, and competing with distinction on the track,” Blue Gum stud master Philip Campbell said.

Campbell remembers Vinland fondly, being a “stand-out physical specimen”.

“From the time he was born he was always above average. He was an easy colt to prep, he developed nicely and was very popular during the sale, as seen in the money he made.”

Blue Gum Farm graduate Vinland at the 2016 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale

A $340,000 yearling sold to McEvoy Racing, as trainer, he had unwavering faith in the talented colt.

“He trialled super, but things didn’t go his way the last couple of starts. Tony’s patience is now starting to be rewarded,” Campbell said.

“It is disappointing that the Sandown Guineas weren’t this weekend, with Vinland having an extra two weeks fitness up his sleeve, but he has now displayed his true ability and it’s very exciting for everyone going forward.”

“As McEvoy knows exactly what it takes to win the Australian Guineas, having won this year with the very talented Hey Doc, so it’s a real compliment that he thinks that Vinland is of the standard of Hey Doc.

“His dam, the Group 2 placed Viking Turf Belle mare throws a beautiful type of foal. She has come home from the Hunter this season, and we are only a couple of days off an early positive to Golden Slipper winning sire, Manhattan Rain. We have our fingers crossed,” Campbell said.

With such success, no doubt trainers and bloodstock agents will be very keen to see what Blue Gum has to offer at the Premier Sale in March next year.

“I am excited about another extremely promising group for Premier,” Campbell said.

”We are offering a total of 30 yearlings from both proven stallions and well-credentialed first season sires.

“We have three very nice Brazen Beaus that have impressed us, the half to Vinland, a very nice colt out of the Reset mare Cornelia Marie and a half-brother to Fontiton out of Personal Ensign.

“We put so much effort into the horses that we take to the sales. Being our main sale of the year, we only offer the best and we aim to be towards the top of the vendors’ table.

Campbell says the quality Blue Gum offering is not confined to the Premier Sale.

“Although, we have other well-bred yearlings that were accepted on pedigree, they are not ready physically, so we will hold onto them, and offer them at the VOBIS Gold Sale.”

“We had a very successful VOBIS Gold Sale last year, grossing about half a million, which proves that if you have the right horse, you can do very well there.”

“I think that Inglis, TBV and VOBIS are doing a great job, especially in conjunction with the Owners and Breeders Raceday they hold to support the sale. It’s a wonderful endorsement for the VOBIS product and the sale is definitely gaining momentum.”

Breeders Profile: Bucklee Farm

Leanne Smith & the Bucklee Farm team at Inglis' Oaklands Junction sales complex

Greta West’s Bucklee Farm is the product of years of experience, hard work and passion for the industry by its two owners, Leeanne Smith and Peter Buckley.

A boutique broodmare, weanling and yearling farm situated in North East Victoria, the heart of thoroughbred breeding, their horses receive the best of care and management in a beautifully, relaxed environment.

Leanne started in the industry when only young, wandering into the racing stables of “Bonny” Hoysted at the age of 12.

“I was in a single parent family and, with three other brothers, I had to earn the upkeep of my pony. I would muck out boxes before school for the small wage that helped me pay for feed, gear and agistment,” Smith said.

Leanne was soon taken under Bonny’s wing. Known affectionately as the ‘boss’, she learnt all she could from the fabulous horseman.

“All his horses were taught respect. We respected them, and they respected us.”

Leeanne strapped many gallopers over the years, but none came close to the Champion Manikato.

“When he first walked off the float, he wasn’t handsome, but Bon said, here is another of Mal’s (Seccull). As I strapped all his horses, Manikato was mine.

“I was so fortunate to solely look after him as a two-year-old, when he won the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper double. I strapped a true champion.”

Racing got into Leeanne’s blood, and she worked for the “boss” until his passing in 1978, when Bob Hoysted took over the reins.

Seeking a new adventure, Leanne moved out to Euroa to begin working in the breeding industry.

“The north east has been very good to me. When I first arrived I was lucky to learn the ropes with Victoria’s first and only stud mistress at that time, Thelma Harris. She imprinted my horse knowledge, and I am so grateful to her.

“She was a brilliant yearling preparer and, through her farm Lauriston Park, she taught me the basics. From the first day, she changed me from a stable girl to a farm girl, and I haven’t looked back since.

“I have worked for some wonderful people including Barb Ivill from Little Plains Stud. I can see my life has been channeled the way they were. The things they did in their life, I am now doing.”

Leanne continued to train for many years in her own right, winning the one race that meant so much to her, the Bonny Hoysted Apprentices Cup at Pakenham.

“I had strapped a true champion for Bon and I had won his race. I was in tears leaving the grandstand that night.”

It was not long after that Leanne and Peter Buckley bought the farm at Greta West.

“Peter and I had been wonderful friends for many years and together we have formed a great team.

“He is the ever-dependable truck driver for all the walk-outs, drives the tractor and does all the farm maintenance.

“He is an important cog in the wheel, as he gets the mares to the stallions on time. Without him we could not operate as a professional broodmare farm.”

Peter’s association with thoroughbreds came from a long friendship with the late Ollie Cox – a respected horsemen and trainer in the north east of Victoria.

Leanne continued to train, but as the farm, her mares and her clientele grew, it became increasingly difficult to do both, so she made the call to give Bucklee Farm her full and undivided attention.

Situated in the very fertile Greta Valley between Benalla and Wangaratta, the rich soil conditions, excellent rainfall and temperate weather conditions are ideal for growing out strong weanlings and yearlings.

And whatever Bucklee Farm is doing, they are doing it right, as proven by recent winners from the farm including Group 3 winner Cliff’s Edge, the siblings Sunday Escape and Weekend Escape, Leishman, Hay Bale and talented juvenile She’s Our Gift.

Bucklee Farm bred Weekend Escape wins at Pakenham on August 3rd (Ross Holburt-Racing Photos)

And it is no mistake that most of those farm bred winners are progeny of Victorian sires.

“I am a passionate Victorian breeder. There is no need to risk travelling horses interstate when we have such great stallions locally available to give us and our mare owners the right results in the ring and on the track,” Smith said.

She has taken a particular liking to Swettenham Stud stallion Trust In A Gust.

“I remember first seeing Trust at the Inglis First Season’s Sire Stallion parade. He was the most glorious horse, I ran around the sale complex with my mouth open, telling everybody. He just had the wow factor.”

“If he was a man, I would have run off with him; he reminded me of a Bondi Beach lifesaver – masculine, golden and buff!”

The Bucklee Farm team is now turning their attention from foaling to yearling preparation.

More immediately, they will be keeping a look out for farm bred track success this Saturday.

Firstly, the Wilde trained Leishman (Skilled) is aiming for three in at Stawell. But perhaps most excitingly, 2016 Bucklee Farm sales graduate Money Maher (bred by Allan Price) runs in this Saturday’s Group 1 Kingston Town Classic in Perth.

“You get such joy as a breeder, seeing a horse you have bred win and the country winners mean just as much to us as the city winners.” Smith said.

“We invest the same time, effort and care into each and every horse we have brought into this world, and they are all worth a million dollars to us.”

Sun Stud’s UK foal sale buying and selling

Sun Stud bred Kodiac half-sister to Barney Roy in the Tattersalls ring before selling to David Redvers for 400,000gns

By James Thomas, The Racing Post

On a day beset by increasingly heavy snow showers, the second session of the Tattersalls December Foal Sale was topped by a son of Kodiac (Danehill) who went the way of Sun Stud for 210,000 guineas.

It was another day of strong trade, with 216 lots changing hands for turnover of 9,258,500 guineas for a ten per cent year-on-year gain, an average of 42,865 guineas for a seven per cent increase and a median of 33,500 guineas – up from 30,000 guineas.

The session-topping son of Tally-Ho Stud’s record-breaking sire Kodiac was the first foal this week to break the 200,000 guineas barrier, as the Australian-based Sun Stud team saw off Hubert Honore for the Meadowlands Stud- consigned colt, who was catalogued as Lot 646.

He’s really well bred, obviously Kodiac is a high-class stallion and he’s a full-relation to a stakes winner,” said the stud’s bloodstock adviser David O’Callaghan of the brother to Grade Three winner Spirit Of Xian.

“He’s a lovely balanced, attractive colt and will be raced by Sun Bloodstock. It would have been a lot of money for a pinhook, and it was a lot of money to race too, but when you’re buying to race you can afford to spend a little more. If he can run he won’t look expensive.”

The Kodiac colt bought by Sun Bloodstock for 210,000gns from Meadowlands Stud at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale (pic-Laura Green)

Sun Stud have been active as sellers as well as buyers this week, having bred the Kodiac half-sister to Barney Roy (Excelebration) who topped Monday’s December Yearling Sale at 400,000 guineas.

The transaction also provided Meadowlands’ Brian Kennedy, who bred the colt out of the Touch Gold (Deputy Minister) mare Gold Again, with his best ever result at Tattersalls.

“I bought the mare here as a maiden at the December Sale in 2009 for 6,200 guineas, explained Kennedy.

“I liked her because of the Miswaki in her pedigree. Her second covering was by Kodiac and she produced Spirit Of Xian. I like working with Tally-Ho and we have been lucky together. I always sell my stock as foals, then I can concentrate on the mares in the spring.”

Kodiac, who has supplied a staggering 54 two-year-old winners in Europe in 2017, has had seven lots sell this week for an aggregate of 702,000 guineas and an average of 100,285 guineas for foals bred at a covering fee of €45,000.