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Fiorente is off the mark!

Fiorente's son Hawkshot on the way to victory at Ballarat (Pat Scala-Racing Photos)

Multiple Group 1 winning stallion Fiorente added the title of ‘winning sire’ to his résumé at Ballarat on Tuesday.

The Darren Weir trained two-year-old debutant Hawkshot scored in what appeared to be a high quality juvenile race (with $32,000 in VOBIS bonuses up for grabs).

It was fitting the youngster saluted in the distinctive yellow and red colours of Sun Stud as it is the the Romsey based breeding operation which has invested in the stallion and bred Hawkshot himself.

Hawkshot was the first winner for Fiorente from just the three starters so far in Australia. The Michelle Payne trained Templar was third on debut at Caulfield in late December.

Weir was effusive in his praise for Hawkshot who he thinks will be significantly better over a mile and perhaps longer.

“He’s got three-year-old written all over him…I think he’s got a bright future ahead of him,” Weir said post-race.

Sun Stud sire Fiorente (Ire)

The Ballarat master was equally full of praise for the juvenile’s sire.

“I’ve got three or four of the Fiorentes and they’ve all been the same from a training point of view where they’re great late in their work.

“I’m really happy to have a few of them in the stable…the stallion is, from my point of view, doing the job.”

Hawkshot is the first foal to race out of the Encosta De Lago mare Rosa Perlato. Her grand-dam is the Group 1 Coolmore Classic winning mare Shindig. Shindig is the dam of former Eliza Park Group 1 winning sire Shinzig as well as the Listed winning stallion Strada.

Rosa Perlato has a yearling colt by Fiorente, a weanling filly by Sun Stud’s Ready For Victory and was bred to new stallion Palentino last season.

Fiorente on his way to Melbourne Cup glory

Fiorente, a winner of both the Melbourne Cup and Australian Cup under the stewardship of Gai Waterhouse, is an Irish-bred son of Monsun. After being retired to the Sun Stud stallion barns, he served 186 mares in his first season and has continued to cover strong books of mares ever since.

Yearlings by Fiorente sold up to $100,000 at both the recent Inglis Premier Sale and Magic Millions Adelaide Sale.

Hollylodge Sister’ debuts with style

Debutant Sister Sledge (blue bridle) a narrow third in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes

Passionate and committed Victorian breeder Christine Mills had one of the biggest thrills of her thoroughbred industry career when debutant Sister Sledge ran a slashing third in the Group 2 Reisling Stakes over the weekend.

In a very fast run race Sister Sledge, ridden by Glyn Schofield, sat perfectly outside the leader and travelled into the run easily finishing third with her nose on the tail of the winner.

While Christine and the Hollylodge team at Avenel have their fingers desperately crossed that she may sneak into the Golden Slipper field, it seems Group 1 juvenile targets in weeks following may be more likely for the Anthony and Edward Cummings trained filly.

Whatever the filly’s racing fortunes are over coming weeks and months, Christine clearly has a fondness for the filly going by her strong memories of her upbringing.

“In May 2013, I was at the Inglis Great Southern Sale looking at broodmares for a client,” Christine said.

“Amongst the multitude of mares, I inspected a couple of mares presented by Makybe and suggested that the mare named Unblemished would be a good buy. She had already had a couple of foals and was now in foal to the new stallion Stryker.”

However, the client did not consider the mare as having potential, so Christine watched the sale alone.

When Unblemished came into the ring, she was most surprised to see the mare go around for next to nothing, and although she did not plan to make a purchase herself, she couldn’t help but put in a winning bid for a modest $3,500.

Unblemished’s subsequent foal by Stryker, a colt eventually named Cyclone Stryker, was sold to a South Australian trainer and won two two-year-old races. Following foals, Frisky Cruiser (seven wins) and Metier (winner of the VOBIS Gold Eureka at Ballarat) also had a degree of talent.

This next foal was lovely, leggy bay Uncle Mo filly born.

“She was the perfect girl, doing everything right as she grew up,” Christine said.

Unblemished with Sister Sledge as a foal at Hollylodge Thoroughbreds in Avenel

The weanling filly was entered in the 2016 Inglis Great Southern Sale.

“I was happy to take her home and race if she did not get the reserve, but she was run off her feet with inspections and exhausted by the time of the sale,” Christine said.

Sister Sledge as a weanling at Hollylodge

She caused a minor bidding war between two big names and was eventually knocked down at $48,000 to Coolmore.

Chris kept track of the filly through her son Daniel and waited for the filly to be named and make her debut.

That debut of course for the filly, now named Sister Sledge, was on Saturday at Randwick in the Reisling Stakes.

Christine says the Hollylodge team was on edge as the race got closer.

Daniel was in Adelaide with the yearling draft at the Magic Millions sale while Christine and Peter were visiting their race fillies on the Mornington Peninsula (but made sure they stopped at a TAB to watch the race).

They were ecstatic with the performance, with Christine shaking with excitement trying to take a call from Daniel in Adelaide.

It had been a long road to buy Unblemished, breeder Sister Sledge and wait for her to get to the races, but the Group 2 placing on debut was tremendous reward.

Interestingly, the filly’s granddam was a Rubiton mare called White Mist – a Group 2 placed mare – something Sister Sledge has now achieved and is sure to better in coming months.

From a sale purchase of only $3,500 for the dam Unblemished and taking a chance on Uncle Mo, Chris and Peter have now certainly improved the pedigree of the dam for future breeding.

Everything achieved by the filly now is just a bonus for the hardworking team.

Victorian bred Redzel takes up the challenge

Eliza Park bred Redzel & Kerrin McEvoy win the Group 2 Challenge Stakes

Elia Park bred sprinting star Redzel scorched the turf to lower the 1000 metre track record in the $500,000 Group 2 Challenge Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

It was the first time the gelding had raced in Sydney since winning the inaugural $10 million Everest last October. He has now taken his career earnings past $8 million.

Tracking the ferocious speed set by the freewheeling Super Too, the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Redzel came clear in the final stages to defeat the field by one and a quarter lengths.

“I have never doubted his ability and he always gets the job done,” co-trainer Paul Snowden said.

“He will head to the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes and will get there in top shape.”

“I’d love to have about 10 of him. Actually, I won’t be greedy, five would do. He’s so quiet, so relaxed, so tough, so fast, he handles it wet, he handles it dry. He ticks every box.

“He’s now the finished product and it’s been great to be a part of him evolving into the perfect racehorse. When you talk bombproof horses, Sepoy’s the only horse I think I could compare with him.”

Redzel advances his record to 12 wins, 5 seconds and 1 third from 23 starts with earnings of $8,221,750.

Bred by Eliza Park’s Lee Fleming, Redzel is the tenth living foal and second stakes-winner, after the Group 3 winner Danerich, for the former top-class Rubiton mare Millrich.

Winner of the Group 3 Sweet Embrace Stakes, Millrich was placed in the Group 1 Golden Slipper, Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes, Group 2 Magic Night Stakes and Group 2 San Domenico Stakes.

A sister to the dam of the talented El Roca (Fastnet Rock) Millrich unfortunately had to be euthanased with laminitis three weeks after foaling Redzel at Eliza Park’s Northwood property in Nagambie.

Former Eliza Park Stud Manager Kim Alderton, who now runs her own operation, Shadow Hill Thoroughbreds at Avenel, remembers Millrich and the “robust” Redzel fondly.

“She was a super mare, and I was fortunate to have the pleasure to care for her and her offspring over my eighteen years at Eliza Park,” Alderton said.

“He was foaled by Christie Murphy, (now) our foaling manager here at Shadow Hill, so we are both closely connected.”

“He was such a burly foal. Some orphans are shy to go for a drink and difficult to foster, but he was just so pushy. Straight in there for some milk. He muscled his way onto his foster mare, Regal Arena, who could be difficult, but he didn’t give her a choice.”

“He was always a good size foal, despite a tough start, and the way he was with the mare, meant he was a forward foal.”

And that attitude has certainly carried him in good stead as he continues his incredible racing career.

A Bella week for Dorrington Park

Dorrington Farm homebred Bella Martini wins the TAB Kewney Stakes at Flemington (John Donegan-Racing Photos)

It was a big week for Robert Crabtree and his Dorrington Park operation with strong results at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale followed by a Group 2 victory in the VRC Kewney Stakes for his homebred filly Bella Martini.

Prepared by Team Hawkes, the daughter of Stratum undertook her first effort at 1400 metres with aplomb. Enjoying a good ride from Dwayne Dunn from gate one, she was still full of running when she hit the line to win by a comfortable three-quarters of a length.

“It’s so exciting to win this with a homebred. I think she’ll go to the paddock now, she’s done a magnificent job,” said a delighted Robert Crabtree.

“She’s one of four stakes-winners out of this mare and we have her yearling filly going to the Inglis Easter Sale (in April).”

That broodmare Silverbeat is herself a homebred of Crabtree’s while he can also lay claim to arranging her Group 1 winning sire Distant Music to shuttle out to Australia and stand at Yallambee Stud.

Apart from Bella Martini, Silverbeat has now produced Group 2 winner Upbeat (Strategic) along with Listed winners Volcanic Ash (Magnus) and Alpha Beat (Magnus)

Bella Martini’s win was certainly a further filip for her half sister, a filly by Snitzel that is headed to the Inglis Easter Sale as part of the Segenhoe Stud draft (Lot 359

Segenhoe’s Peter O’Brien couldn’t be happier with the filly and is thrilled to present the outstanding yearling on behalf of Dorrington Park.

“The filly arrived at the farm from Robert’s (Nagambie farm) around 6 weeks ago, and as soon as she stepped off the truck she was as good a filly as you would ever wish to see,” O’Brien said.

“She is just stunning, a beautiful clean mover. A typical Snitzel in regard to strength, substance and a big girth, with the perfect daisy cutter action.

“In my humble opinion, it will be very hard to find a better filly than her at Inglis Easter. She is a absolute queen of a filly and she will undoubtedly sell very well.”

Quality Tarcoola on Easter hunt

Tarcoola Stud bred Costa Viva wins the Group 1 NZ 1000 Guineas

Mornington Peninsula’s Tarcoola Stud often takes just small drafts interstate to Australia’s premium yearling sales, but what it lacks in numbers it makes up for with quality.

That certainly is the case with their draft of two for this year’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sale at the new Warwick Farm complex.

Tarcoola’s Ken and Denise Williams will be offering two high-class yearlings, both of which are genuine, homegrown products.

They are Lot 167, a colt by So You Think from Danehill Dancer mare Hold Me Closer and Lot 430 a Fastnet Rock colt from the Bel Esprit mare Vivacious Spirit.

Both dams were bred, raced and have been retained by the Tarcoola operation.

Ken Williams says the yearlings are examples of the good management of the mares throughout their lives and of their love of pedigrees.

He says both youngsters were bred utilising a broodmare DNA analysis method used by Tarcooola. This involves blood sampling to facilitate the optimal stallion choice through UK’s The Thoroughbred Genetics Co.

“The So You Think colt is a lovely big colt. He is very correct, very athletic and is the spitting image of his father. He will get the buyers’ attention…he will be the perfect classic – miler prospect,” Ken said.

“The mare, Hold Me Closer, a dual city winner has a lovely So You Think filly on the ground that is just as good quality.”

Hold Me Closer is a half-sister to Listed winner How Funny and the dam of Jester’s Girl. They are from the family of Assimilate who took out the Listed Canberra Guineas on the weekend. The colt is her first foal.

Lot 430 is the bay colt by Fastnet Rock from the Group 3 winning Vivacious Spirit who represents one of Tarcoola’s greatest successes having also produced Costa Viva, a winner of the Group 1 NZ One Thousand Guineas.

Ken remembers the mare’s racing days fondly, referring to her as being ‘freakishly fast”.

“We probably never saw the best of her as she had delicate legs, but Mick Price managed her brilliantly. When she let go, she was an unbelievably quick mare, and the times she ran were just outstanding,” Ken said.

She was placed twice at Group 2 level and earned over $250,000 in prize money. She is three-quarter sister to Listed winner Audacious Spirit, and a half-sister to stakes placed  Jacques Le Naif.

Also among Vivacious Spirit’s produce is the winning Hong Kong galloper Red Horse, the city winning Staviva and the stakes placed Tarcoola Spirit.

“She is a beautiful mare and being lightly raced, it is no surprise to me that she has been a wonderful producer so far. The theory is that she was a Group 1 quality galloper, so she has now put all that talent into her first foal and produced a Group 1 winning filly,” Ken said.

“Her bay colt by Fastnet Rock is a well put together compact yearling. A very athletic, sprinting type, he just oozes power, in the same style as Merchant Navy.”

Based on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, Tarcoola Stud covers 250 acres of ideal thoroughbred-rearing land. The mild climate and reliable rainfall make this region perfect for foaling down, growing young horses, spelling racehorses and preparing yearlings.

Heywood’s hero in Singapore

The Heywood bred Augustano wins at Kranji Racecourse, Singapore (TNP photo-Salwa Suandi)

Heywood thoroughbred breeder Russell Troeth seems happy with his lot at his sheep farm in the Western District of Victoria.

Breeding a few foals a year…selling the odd one, keeping the rest to race…he enjoys the hobby of examining pedigrees and watching the young horses develop.

And one he bred has certainly developed extremely well and is among the better young horses in Singapore.

Augustano, a son of Hard Spun bred by Russell at the Heywood farm, racked up his fourth win in the past six starts on Sunday.

Augustano as a yearling at Oakford prior to the 2016 VOBIS Gold Sale

“I always thought he was a nice colt…maybe I’ve sold the wrong one!…but if you breed a few you’ve got to sell something,” said Troeth.

“When you own the mare and relations, you don’t really mind that they go well.”

The win on Sunday gave the three-year-old gelding’s legendary trainer Lee Freedman food for thought about chasing the riches of Singapore’s Three-Year-Old Challenge.

That three-legged series, through March and May, incorporates the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m), the Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1400m) and the Group 1 Singapore Guineas (1600m).

“He was impressive at his last win, but it was not the plan to lead today as I wanted him to come back for us since he was getting back in trip,” Freedman said.

“Still, it was a very good effort from him, as I’ve learned here that it’s a big ask for those three-year-olds to go to Class 3 level and win.”

Jockey Glen Boss is also a fan of the Victorian bred youngster.

“He is a good-looking individual. He wants to please all the time,” Boss said post-race.

“I told Lee he’s an impressive sort, but he’ll become more impressive when the class gets better. He has an amazing turn of speed which I think will be better utilised if we put him away in a race.”

Troeth has been in the breeding side of things for about ten years, albeit he grew up in a family which has bred and worked horses of one kind or another for a number of generations.

In terms of stallions, he has sent mares to the likes of Camelot, Toronado and Fighting Sun while he now has two mares in foal to Darley Victoria’s new shuttle sire Frosted.

But he can’t forget the former Darley Northwood sire of Augustano. Hard Spun no longer shuttles to Australia but has left the likes of multiple Group 1 winner Le Romain alongside Group 2 winners Text’n’Hurley, Gatting, Tarquin and San Nicasio. He also sired South African Group 1 winner Ertijaal from his Victorian base.

“Hard Spun, value for money-wise, was one of the better of the sires you could send a mare to,” Troeth said.

Troeth sends his mares to Maldon’s Oakford Farm, operated by the renowned McKnight family, for foaling down.

“He’s (Brian McKnight) very good at handling foals and going on further with them,” Troeth said.

And like Augustano, the yearlings are also prepared by the McKnights if they are heading to the sale.

The then yearling Hard Spun colt was taken to Oaklands Junction for the 2016 VOBIS Gold Sale where he sold for $60,000 to trainer Kane Harris. Harris then prepared him for the Inglis Ready to Race Sale later that year where a Thai buyer bought him for $110,000 to race in Singapore.

Augustano has now in excess of $187,000 for his connections and will no doubt be racking up quite a bit more if his recent talent on show is anything to go by.

New appointment at Woodside Park Stud

New Woodside Park Stud appointment James Price

Woodside Park Stud announced this week that it has secured former Inglis Senior Bloodstock Consultant, James Price, as its new General Manager Commercial.

James has had a long career of over ten years at Inglis, most recently as as their Senior Bloodstock Consultant in Victoria.

James will be responsible for the management of Woodside’s bloodstock, stallion nominations and marketing and communications. He will formally commence his role at Woodside on Monday 19th March.

Woodside’s Mark Rowsthorn commented, “James’ appointment is great for the farm, his experience and relationships with breeders and key industry participants both locally and overseas will be of great value to the business and the Woodside team.”

Woodside has also advised that Mark Rowsthorn will be taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer and will be responsible for the day to day operations of the business and its strategic direction.

“I am extremely passionate about this business and am keen to take Woodside to greater heights over the coming years,” Rowsthorn said.

“The outlook for the business is extremely strong and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve over the coming years,” Rowsthorn said.

Pinhook goes Boom in Adelaide!

Mr Zhang & the Yu Long Team with the Rosemont Stud offered Sprit of Boom colt

A Spirit of Boom colt pinhooked by Victoria’s Crown Park and prepared by Rosemont Stud for this week’s Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale made a sale topping $300,000.

Having been purchased by Crown Park at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale for a mere $10,000, he went on to make the highest price at the Adelaide sale since 2006. He was bought by Victorian based Chinese operation Yu Long Investments.

The Rosemont Stud offered Spirit of Boom pinhook at Magic Millions Adelaide makes $300,000

Consigned by Rosemont Stud as Lot 127, he is the fourth live foal out of the Listed-winning mare Moulin Lady (Reset), whose two foals to race are both winners.

Moulin Lady is a half-sister to the European Listed winner and Group Two-placed Bannock (Bertolini) and Sydney metropolitan winner Raheights (Rahy), the dam of P J Bell Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) winner Diddums (Snitzel) and Listed-placed Brettan (Commands).

Rosemont Stud’s Anthony Mithen said expectations were high for the colt after a faultless sales preparation.

“We presented the horse on behalf of Crown Park, who trade a lot of bloodstock, so it was a great result for them. It is a dream, isn’t it, to turn $10,000 into $300,000 in the space of ten months,” Mithen told ANZ Bloodstock News.

“He looked absolutely amazing in the ring, so he is a credit to all the staff who have worked so hard. At the whiff of a cool change they are putting rugs on the horses in the middle of the night and all that hard work pays off when you get a result like this.

“It is terrific for the farm and terrific for the pinhooking team who have got the cash.”

Mithen said the purchase by Yu Long Investments’ Mr Yuesheng Zhang, was very welcome and one of many strong investments the relatively new operation had made in the industry.

“They are big players in the industry and fellow Victorians and it is nice to see Victorian farms going forward.”

Magic Adelaide sale for Princess Park

Princess Park's Nicconi colt fetched the second highest price at the Adelaide Sale (pic-Magic Millions)

With growth in average prices of nearly 10%, the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale has been hailed a success, but one Victorian vendor has perhaps more to cheer about than the rest.

Nagambie’s Princes Park made their ‘draft debut’ at the sale and achieved phenomenal results. It sold every one of its 12 consigned lots for an average price of $74,833. It’s sale aggregate was only second to Gerry Harvey’s Baramul Stud which had almost twice as many horses at the auction.

Additionally, Princess Park sold two of the top five highest priced lots.

Princess Park’s Adam Palmer said a decision to target the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale with their inaugural draft as a vendor had paid off.

“This is our first draft and we considered splitting them between Melbourne and Adelaide, but after some deliberation we thought we were better off being a bigger fish in a smaller pond, so we went that way,” Palmer told ANZ Bloodstock News

Yu Long Investments bought the second highest-priced lot sold, a colt by Nicconi for $210,000. The colt was purchased from the Lincoln Farm draft at the Magic Millions Gold Coast National Weanling Sale for $60,000 by Sheamus Mills Bloodstock.

Princess Park also sold a colt by Street Boss for $150,000 on Day 1 of the sale to a Hong Kong buyer.  The Lot 56 colt was purchased at the Inglis Great Southern Sale for $38,000 from the Blue Gum Farm draft. Sheamus Mills Bloodstock was also the winning bidder on the weanling.

“I think we can make our mark by buying the right horses. We do a bit of breeding, but I don’t mind the pinhooking,” Palmer said.

“We have a tremendous bunch of owners who we race horses with and we put it to them in April last year about putting together a (pinhooking) syndicate.

“They were very supportive and it was great to be able to get the results that we did.”

He also praised the input of yearling manager Jenny Saunders and Fintan Butler for their assistance in preparing the yearlings at Princess Park Thoroughbred Farm.

Premier Sale done and dusted for 2018!

There was action aplenty at Oaklands Junction this week with the Inglis Premier Sale

A decade of price growth in the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale came to an end this year despite some excellent results for a series of breeders.

The average prices in Book 1 were the second highest on record for the Premier sale with the sale topper being a Fastnet Rock filly bred by Campolina’s Ian and Vicki Bell and offered by Rushton Park. She was bought by Godolphin Australia for $500,000.

“She was a beautiful filly. We sold her full sister last year, but this filly had a little bit more scope, length and more leg…we were hoping for around $400,000, so to get $500,000 is a great result,” said Rushton’s Kayley Johnson.

470Rushton ParkFastnet RockLady MelkshamFillyGodolphin$500,000
528Mill Park Stud, SASnitzelMiss With AttitudeColtDarren Weir/John Foote$450,000
300Supreme T'breds (for Dorrington)RubickCharm's HonourColtGerald Ryan$420,000
63Supreme T'breds (for Dorrington)PierroScandivaColtJames Harron$400,000
137Blue Gum FarmFastnet RockBird of Fire (NZ)ColtPaul Moroney$400,000
265Blue Gum Farm, EuroaSepoyBeauty WorldFillyBelmont Bloodstock Agency Pty Ltd (FBAA)$400,000
488Esker Lodge AustraliaFastnet RockLonhspressoFillyRobbie Griffiths/CB Bloodstock$400,000
550Rosemont Stud (for Saconi)I Am InvincibleOasis BloomFillyCloud 9 Thoroughbreds$400,000
552Yarraman Park Stud, NSWI Am InvincibleOceanfastColtBlue Sky Bloodstock$400,000
271Bowness Stud, NSWZoustarBionic GirlColtSpicer T'breds/Noorilim Park$360,000

Across Book 1 of the sale, vendors experienced average price decreases of 2.6% compared to 2017.

The leading Victorian sire by average prices was Woodside Park based Zoustar who had 29 lots sell for an average $167,414 and a high of $360,000.

Darley Northwood’s Brazen Beau was the leading Victorian first season sire with 17 lots selling for an average $114,706 across Book 1.

Leading vendor for Book 1 (by aggregate) was Woodside Park Stud followed by Supreme Thoroughbreds and Blue Gum Farm.

Premier Book 120172018change

Prices were down 9.0% across Book 2 while the clearance rate was down to a concerning 76.3% (from 83.5% in 2017)

The highest priced lot in Book 2 was the Zoustar x Belle Of The City colt offered by Maluka Thoroughbreds for Hesket Bloodstock.

The colt was snapped up by Team Hawkes.

“The first day we saw him we liked him…We thought he was good value,’’ co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said.

Premier Book 220172018change

Rushton Park rings a Bell with sale topper

The Rushton Park offered 2018 Premier sale topper, the Fastnet Rock x Lady Melksham filly

Rushton Park’s David and Kayley Johnston were very happy vendors after Godolphin bought their sale-topping Fastnet Rock filly at this week’s Inglis Premier Sale.

The filly, out of Group 3 winner Lady Melksham (Artie Schiller) was bred by Ian and Vicki Bell through their Campolina operation based at Sutherlands Creek near Geelong.

Catalogued as Lot 470, Godolphin Australia went to $500,000 for the filly giving Rushton their highest ever yearling sale result.

“She was a beautiful filly. We sold her full sister last year and this filly had a little bit more scope, length and more leg so we thought that she would exceed last year’s mark.  We were hoping for around $400,000, so to get $500,000 is a great result,” Kayley Johnson said.

“It was great to have Godolphin here bidding at Premier, as when we are selling horses of that quality, we need all the support we can get in the ring.”

“The Bells have been good clients for the last three years and we have built up a strong relationship.

“They have sent us some of their really good mares and we do some of their mare foaling down, as well as their yearling preparation. He has subsequently sold the mare, but they kept this filly as they held her in high regards.

“We were thrilled to get this filly from them and get such a good result.”

The filly was the second foal out of the Group 3 winning mare Lady Melksham (Artie Schiller), who is a half-sister to the stakes-placed gelding Poised To Win (More Than Ready).

The filly’s third dam is the 11-time winner Goblet (Loving Jim) whose biggest success was in the  Group 2 SAJC Queen Of The South Stakes (1600m).

Godolphin outlasted underbidder Victorian trainer Brent Stanley to buy the filly and add to the diversification of their racing and breeding stock since re-entering the yearling market in 2018.

“One of the things we are trying to source this year is a bit of diversity in top-class racing prospects and hopefully be able to do it on the racetrack and, ultimately, join our broodmare program,” Godolphin racing and bloodstock manager Jason Walsh said.

“We thought she was a filly who was capable of doing both those things. We haven’t bought many (yearlings In Australia) for a long time but she looks to be a very sharp, strong filly with a great attitude and from a farm who has been a great supporter of ours.”

Woodside’s winning week at Premier

Woodside Park's Zoustar x Tie Me Up filly sold to Robert Andersen for $320,000

The leading vendor by aggregate title at the Inglis Premier Sale changed hands for the fourth time in four years with Woodside Park Stud taking out top ranking for 2018.

Woodside Park Stud were confident going into the sale that they had a strong draft which could compete among the best and their goal was achieved at Oaklands Junction with total sales of $4.15 million across Boook 1 which was $500,000 in front of Supreme Thoroughbreds.

It wasn’t the only sales table they topped, with their two outstanding stallions, Zoustar and Written Tycoon numbering one-two as the leading sires by aggregate. All of these yearlings are eligible to race in the inaugural $1 million Showdown 2YO race in 2019.

Woodside’s Matt Tillett was full of praise for the stud’s team and thrilled that all the hard work and effort that has been put into the horses back at the farm has paid dividends.

‘It’s almost a couple of years from when these matings are decided, from conception to the sales ring. It’s a long process, but we can now reap the rewards. It’s a brilliant result and it’s great for the Woodside brand,” Tillett said.

‘Our draft was nearly twice as big as last year, and our inspections were through the roof. The most popular lots were doing over 150 parades a day.

‘We had over 40 buyers on farm before the sale to inspect the draft, which took the pressure off when we arrived at the complex. We will focus more on those in future years, as we continue to present big, strong drafts at Inglis Premier.”

With 32 lots sold, Written Tycoon averaged almost $140,000 off an $18,000 service fee (in 2015) which was a fantastic result for all the breeders and vendors that supported him in the past.

It was also a brilliant sale for Northern Meteor’s brilliant son, Zoustar, the current leading first season sire in Australia by earnings. He was the leading sire by aggregate with a lot average of over $167,000 across 29 lots sold.

“His (Zoustar’s) number one fan, Tony McEvoy was bidding very strongly on the stallion’s progeny, buying the cream of our draft. We know the success Tony is having with Sunlight, currently the leading Golden Slipper Stakes contender.

“He likes the breed, the type and is backing that with his bidding. He has been by far the strongest active trainer, and he bought three of our top five lots for the sale.”

“Other leading trainers and top syndicators were also jumping on board the Zoustars, including Gai Waterhouse, which is a nice endorsement, and Lloyd Kennewell, who was strong on the nicest fillies in the sale.”

Next year Woodside Park Stud expects to back even bigger and better, ready to defend the title of Leading Vendor by Aggregate.

Toronado delivers a Premier result

Gilgai Farm's Toronado x She's Got Gears colt sells at the Premier Sale for $340,000

There has been much talk about Swettenham Stud shuttle sire Toronado since he landed at Nagambie in 2015…and the talk turned to dollars at this week’s Inglis Premier Yearling sale.

With an average of just under $104,000 across 26 lots sold, the progeny of Toronado lived up to the hype in the sales ring. This equated to a very healthy five times the stallion’s service fee.

A standout lot from the moment he was sighted at Nagambie’s Gilgai Farm, the She’s Got Gears colt sold for $340,000 on Day 1 of the sale to Team Hawkes and Cameron Cooke Bloodstock.


You can watch the sale of Gilgai Farm’s impressive Toronado colt here.


A simlarly impressive colt sold by Millford Thoroughbreds was the Gem of Gems yearling (making him a half brother to Group 1 winner Precious Gem) which went to a Hong Kong buyer for $200,000.

Swettenham Stud’s Sales and Nomination Manager Sam Matthews was thrilled with the overall quality of the  Toronado yearlings represented throughout the complex.

“As I inspected every one of his yearlings on the complex, I was excited to see that the standard across the board was so high and that Toronado’s physical presence had been passed on in each of the yearlings entered,” Matthews said.

“His multiplier was the highest of any of the Victorian first season sires entered, making the choice to breed to Toronado, a great financial decision.”

Victorian trainer Robbie Griffiths took home the lovely Pontington filly for $185,000 while Lyn Armanasco’s flashy Enzed Girl colt was snapped up by Yulong Investments for $160,000.

Moorookyle Park’s Nioka Wozny was thrilled with her homebred Toronado x Current Affair colt finding a good home with Luke Oliver Racing for $90,000.

“I loved Toronado from the moment I saw him and I loved this colt from the moment he was born and he didn’t disappoint in the ring. He is extremely balanced, with an attractive head. Just a really great looking colt, so typical of the High Chaparral’s,” Nioka said.

“It’s great to see that he will have every opportunity with Luke. I look forward to following his success on the track.”

Current Affair has a Tornado weanling that Nioka is just as happy with and is looking forward to bringing her to the Premier Sale next year.

“I’m very excited about his full sister…Toronado has been a great match with my mare. Being a speed Fusaichi Pegasus mare that won five from 1000 to 1300 metres, with a good turn of foot, it’s the perfect match.”

“I’m Toronado’s number one and I have sent another mare that is a half to Scales of Justice to him as well.”


VOBIS Gold success for ‘orphan’ Prince

Glenrowan Prince stands proud after winning the $100,000 VOBIS Gold Eldorado (David Thorpe-Racing Photos)

The VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series moved to Wangaratta last weekend and it paid huge dividends to Bendigo trainer Kym Hann following the win of Glenrowan Prince.

The 6YO son of Bushranger, bred by Max and Judi Clarke, took out the $100,000 VOBIS Gold Eldorado on the Wangaratta Cup racecard with a front running ride and defeated odds-on favourite Widgee Turf.

Hann, who missed the trip to Wangaratta and instead headed to Melbourne for the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, admitted he had not been overly confident of victory.

“I was confident he would run a place, but the way the track was playing I wasn’t overly confident he could win,” Hann said.

“Not only did he pick up the $38,500 first prize cheque, but also a $7000 VOBIS breeders bonus and $23,000 owners bonus, which takes his overall winnings to just shy of $300,000,” Hann said.

The win was Glenrowan Prince’s eighth in 32 starts, which have included seven minor placings.

Breeder Max Clarke has previously said the foal, who was orphaned at two-months old, was highly resilient and was a bit of a surprise when born.

“We send our mares away to foal down under expert care, but (his dam) Blue Magic didn’t want to wait. I went down to feed in the morning and realised there were too many legs in the paddock,” Clarke said.

Unfortunately when he was only two and a half months old the Clarkes lost his dam, Blue Magic to a snakebite.

“We looked at hand rearing him or being fostered, but the little guy was on hard feed the next day and since then, he has never looked back.”

Hann bought Glenrowan Prince from the 2013 Inglis Premier Sale as a yearling for only $35,000 from the Eliza Park draft.

“He wasn’t a very big horse, but he was a neat little running horse, and being from a first season sire, I didn’t think a lot of people would have been on it.

“He raced as a two year old, and I actually had him heading to the Blue Diamond, but he never passed his first ticket and had to re-trial. He ran close seconds at his first two starts as a two-year-old, and he then ran (midfield) in the Group 2 Sires (at Flemington).”

Hann has shown plenty of patience with the six-year-old gelding, which underwent surgery to remove a chip in his fetlock following his breakthrough city win.

“He has now had three joint operations, up at Bendigo Equine with Michael and Sarah, who I am great friends with and they look after him for me.”

The young trainer hopes Glenrowan Prince can carry plenty of momentum into Sunday’s Echuca Cup and hopefully chase more VOBIS Gold bonuses.

“If he runs up to (last) Sunday’s form he is going to be hard to beat,” Hann said.



National award for IRT’s First Point Animal Services

Dr Amy Little and IRT Managing Director Chris Burke with FPAS' national biosecurity award

First Point Animal Services has been named the winner of the Australian Biosecurity Industry Award, judged by and recognised by the Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud.

First Point Animal Services, an initiative of IRT Australia Directors, Chris Burke, Lachlan Ford and Quentin Wallace, was established in response to the growing demand for world class facilities for horses moving through Melbourne Airport. The facility opened for business in July 2017. IRT is a key sponsor of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria.

The awards recognise individuals, groups and organisations that are supporting and improving Australia’s biosecurity systems.

Those doing their bit to protect Australia’s $59 Billion agricultural industries, Australia’s unique environment and public health were hailed at this year’s Australian Biosecurity Awards ceremony.

Minister Littleproud, said recipients included representatives from the banana, horse and food and beverage industries.

“Everyone has a role to play when it comes to biosecurity, but these individuals and businesses have knocked it out of the park,” he said.

First Point Animal Services received an Industry Award for their work with the department on a purpose-built facility to allow boots, clothing and stalls to be disinfected, reducing the risk of diseases such as influenza.

“With the hundreds of horses imported into this country each year First Point Animal Services has shown they’re not horsing around when it comes to biosecurity,” Minister Littleproud said.

In receipt of the award, First Point Animal Services Managing Director, Chris Burke commented “

Recognising the introduction of First Point of Entry standards in the new Biosecurity Legislation and the construction of the Post Entry Quarantine Facility at Mickleham, we had to create a safer, modern facility for the transit of animals on and off Melbourne Airport.

Key to the establishment of the facility was to present a clear vision which with the co-operation of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and Melbourne Airport has resulted in a safer environment for humans and animals as they transit through the airport, while reducing the risk of a disease incursion.

Visit or the First Point Animal Services Facebook Page.

Group 1 Bloodstock makes its way in Victoria

Group 1 Bloodstock's Mat Becker

Born and breed into the industry, Mat Becker of Group 1 Bloodstock is an aspiring young agent with a wealth of thoroughbred experience, gained both locally and abroad.

Having grown up as the son of one of Victoria’s most renowned stud masters in TBV Life Member Mike Becker, Matt was raised at Toolern Vale’s Independent Stallion Station.

“I was never far from my dad’s side on the farm, at the track and around the sales, before I went out and gained experience on my own. Travelling abroad helps you learn about the differences and the similarities there are in the horse industry worldwide,” Mat said.

“I was fortunate to travel over to the Aga Khan’s operation in Ireland to complete a stud season. It is an incredible operation between France and Ireland, seeing the horses working on the Curragh, and being in the main stallion barn.

“It was a brilliant time to be there as Daylami has just retired to stud and they had the champion three-year-old Sinndar, who won the Epsom, the Irish Derby and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.”

Initially wanting to be a trainer, Mat gathered valuable experience with Pat Carey, and with David Hall at Flemington, but the most valuable influence was trainer John Hawkes.

“Undoubtedly my dad, Mike Becker has been has been my greatest long-term supporter, but the person I admire most in the racing industry is John Hawkes. The period I spent with him at Inghams, and then the twelve months when he went out on his own was my greatest leaning curve.

“By just by being around him, you could see his genius at work, and although he handled huge numbers, his memory and intimate knowledge of every horse in his stable was what set him apart. That’s why he is a Hall of Fame trainer.”

“The Inghams’ system was world class, with Trevor Lobb at the helm in the breeding side and John at the helm on the racing side. They were the pinnacle, and as a young guy, that experience still really benefits me now as an agent.

“I saw thousands of horses come through, in all shapes and sizes, and one thing I learnt was to identify the athlete in the horse. I can be forgiving of conformation, but the one common denominator that they all had was athleticism.”

Mat’s Group 1 Bloodstock business has now been operating for three years offering clients a well rounded and educated opinion to maximise the success of their bloodstock purchases.

“Building up a bloodstock company takes time, as it a results driven game. You need to get the winners on the board, but I have been fortunate that a couple of clients have shown me good faith early on,” Mat said.

“Ben Cooper from Merricks Station has backed me to buy his yearlings and mares, and we have had good success straight away. My other good client has been Ross Ferris at Two Bays Farm, who has been a phenomenal support.”

Mat now attends all the major breeding and yearling sales in Australia and, after going to the Tatts breeding stock sale this year, he also aspires to buy in Europe or America.

“Tatts really opened my eyes and I would love to get back there and look at buying in Europe or head over to Kentucky in America.

“There is no hard and fast rule to buying bloodstock abroad and it is good to bring new blood into our gene pool, but we need to be mindful that they are the right physical type to suit our style of racing.”

“My father’s best stallion was from the Northern Dancer sire line, Artie Schiller, and now he has left the state, Toronado would be a great example of that line, being a son of High Chaparral.”

“Toronado profiles with close similarities to him, being more of a miler. He has the ability to throw good bone, good muscle, and early maturing horses that will run at two, but will want to get to a mile and peak at three.”



“I believe as a young agent that there is no better place to be than Victoria, because of what TBV, and people like Adam Sangster do to push the VOBIS scheme. The Showdown has gained good traction amongst the trainers, and they are genuinely backing the concept by going to the sales and looking for a runner.”

“We have a unique situation in Victoria with some passionate breeders with world-class farms, world-class broodmares, that support Victorian stallions.”

Among Mat’s purchases at the Inglis Premier Sale this week was a Zoustar x Prettyhappyaboutit colt for Adelaide trainer Lloyd Kennewell for $220,000 out the Woodside Park draft.