A horse nicknamed ‘Elmo’ due to his fondness of a good tickle has made the dreams of a small-time breeder who has a big-time passion for the industry.

I Am Someone has quickly graduated from a Horsham maiden straight into winning at Morphettville on SA Derby Day much to the excitement of his Melbourne-based breeder Brad Scott.

The three-year-old son of Ridgeview Park sire Onemorenomore gave Brad, his co-owners and Horsham trainer Paul Preusker a big thrill on Saturday particularly considering the path the gelding had taken to get there.

In career spanning just four races, the gelding has been the runner-up in his first two starts followed by the maiden win at his home track and now the city win.

“It is incredible really, Elmo’s last start was a win at Horsham and now, here we are winning in Adelaide on one of their biggest days!” Brad said.

“I can’t thank everyone enough that has been part of the journey.”

And some journey it has been since he arrived at Avenel farm Shadow Hill Thoroughbreds as a weanling.

Brad credits Shadow Hill’s Kim Alderton with growing confidence in the young horse and ensuring he was ready for a racing career.

“Kim did a massive job for us. When he arrived at the farm as a late weanling, Elmo really needed some extra TLC,” Brad explained.

“He was very nervy and required constant handling to develop his trust. Kim did a fabulous job, she taught him his manners and gave him the grounding to be a successful racehorse.”

He says Horsham trainer Paul Preusker has also done a brilliant job particularly in being patient as he broke in the tricky galloper.

“I wanted a country trainer for Elmo’s (older) half-brother Aldo’s Gold and after being introduced to Paul through a mutual friend, we have become great mates,” Brad said.

“I really trust Paul as he is a phenomenal horseman. He just took Elmo back to basics, getting him out trail riding, enjoying being under saddle and learning to relax before he hit the track. He cleverly developed his confidence to succeed.”

“I have been fortunate to meet some great people through horses, those who love the animal and want the best for them. Whitey, Elmo’s strapper was thrilled for me, as was his jockey Declan Bates and I made sure I shouted the stable a drink to say thanks.”

The thoroughbred bug bit Scott through his father who was a successful breeder having bred the New Zealand Group 3 winning (and Group 1 placed) mare High Grove (Sir Tristram).

“I’m involved thanks to dad, and he is so happy for me to see my nine-year-plan come to fruition. He made me aware that’s it’s a tough game, and that there are financial sacrifices.”

With the breeding season edging closer, Brad now has the task carefully selecting a stallion partner for Elmo’s dam Vanity Sky (Mossman).

“I read and learn about breeding and pedigrees for over an hour a day, I just love it,” Brad said.

“I purchased Elmo’s dam over in WA when I was based there for work through John Chalmers Bloodstock, and when I returned to Victoria, I had to bring her home with me.

“She is a beautiful broodmare and has become a great producer, having now foaled two brilliant Stryker colts that I can’t fault on type. She is now in foal to Wyndholm Park’s Rebel Raider, and although I haven’t decided where she will go this year, I am keen on the High Chaparral cross.”

Meanwhile I Am Someone has – not unexpectedly – received attention from Hong Kong buyers after his impressive win.

“It’s a hard decision to make, but I have to stay realistic and consider the options. You don’t get a horse as good as this every day. He is the best horse I have had and the best in Paul’s stable so it would be terribly hard to let him go.”

If Horsham is not swapped for Honkers, then Brad expects I Am Someone will line up in city class sprint races over coming weeks with the longer-term view of a crack at spring carnival features.

And, if all works out, then everyone will certainly know that the tickle-friendly horse Is Someone!

Sun Stud’s highly promising young Northern Meteor sire Fighting Sun added a sixth winner to his tally on Tuesday with a bold front running win at Sale for Fighting Harada.

Sent out a short priced favourite following a good fourth in the Listed MRC Redoute’s Choice Stakes last month, the Mick Price trained Fighting Harada bounded straight to the front and kept going to win the 1419 metre maiden by two lengths.

He was cheered home not only by a sizeable group of owners at Sale on Tuesday but also by Hong Kong Jockey Club journalist Andrew Hawkins who owns a share in the youngster.

Connections received the welcome winner’s cheque…and also took home a double VOBIS (Super VOBIS + VOBIS Gold) bonus of almost $23,000!

From four starts, Fighting Harada has never finished worse than fourth and is clearly on an upswing.

Bred and retained to race by Peter Creighton’s United Syndications. Fighting Harada is the fourth winner from four foals to race from winning More Than Ready (UA) mare Ready Made Family, who was also raced by United Syndications.

Fighting Harada is her last foal as she was retired in 2016.

Sun Stud sire Fighting Sun

Fighting Sun has made an encouraging start to his stud career with six winners (one in NZ) on the board highlighted by stakes-winner Chess Star and stakes-placed Platinum Mam’selle.

The Sun Stud sire is the leading Victorian First Season Sire this season while also having one of the best winning strike rates among first season sires Australia-wide.

He stands at a fee of $15,400 at Sun Stud this spring.

Excerpts from Breednet.

They say good things come in threes.

And that was certainly the case for the Liston family and their team at Eddington’s Three Bridges farm.

Firstly, the farm-grown filly Sopressa took out the Australasian Oaks at Morphettville. Scone Cup breeding success followed last Friday with Sedanzer victorious (see separate story). And then, on Saturday, another Three Bridges farm product Leicester won the South Australian Derby.

Leicester wins the SA Derby (Atkins Photography)

Both classic winners were pin-hooked weanlings which clients placed at the farm and let them grow out to become mature racehorses. Only Leicester raced as a two-year-old and that was in the last month of his juvenile season.

Sopressa (So You Think) was bought for $70,000 by Ballarat’s Danny and Dianne Molloy of Dowling Park at the Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale from the Bucklee Farm draft…having been bred by long time Victorian breeders Cathy Webb and Ken Dean.

Leicester (Wanted) meanwhile was bred at Yarraman Park and bought by bloodstock agent Paul Willetts together with West Australian businessman Gary Johnson for a mere $10,000 at the Inglis Australian Weanling Sale.

In both cases the buyers were loyal clients of Three Bridges, so the youngsters were shipped over to Eddington and left to grow out.

Three Bridges’ Toby Liston said patience was critical with both star horses.

“We gave them both plenty of time to naturally grow into racehorses. Neither had a yearling preparation and, interestingly enough. Leicester stepped onto the track only as a late two-year-old while Sopressa made her debut last spring as a three-year-old.”

Liston is now thrilled that the results prove that all the hard work and effort are paying off in Group 1 rewards particularly for their owners.

“(Leicester co-owner) Gary Johnson is our biggest client and supporter of the farm. He believes and trusts in us and has confidence that our systems work.

“Gary started with a fifty percent share in one horse with us and now he has roughly 60 with us!

“He has been pretty lucky too, having had eight horses with Spicer Thoroughbreds for eight winners. That includes Queensland Derby bound Lucky For All and the Caulfield Cup favourite Kings Will Dream. But to his credit he makes his own luck as he gets good people to look after his horses.”

The similarities between the two classic winners is astonishing. While both grew up at Three Bridges, they were both broken in by neighbour Bruce O’Dell and both sent to the Darren Weir stables.

“It’s a good local story for the area as (trainer) Weiry bought his nearby Baringhup farm from us and the breaker Bruce O’Dell is just over the road,” Liston explained.

Just to confirm their parallel equine careers, the two horses raced against each other earlier this year in a Terang maiden.

In that race, Leicester prevailed with Sopressa runner-up. Saturday’s Caulfield winner Exceltara was third stamping the extraordinary quality coming out of a seemingly innocuous western Victoria country maiden.

Leicester beats Sopressa in Terang on 31st January (Reg Ryan-Racing Photos)

“The winning post is our greatest advertisement, as that is how you are judged by the industry,” Liston said.

“You need to keep getting winners and now we have now raised the SA Oaks and SA Derby winners…it’s been a huge couple of weeks!” Liston exclaimed.

Breeding notes:

Sopressa is a daughter of So You Think and is one of five winners for the multiple Group 2 winning Weasel Clause mare Hidden Strings. She was purchased by breeders Webb and Dean in foal to So You Think at the 2014 Inglis Sydney Weanling and Bloodstock Sale for $70,000. They recently sold a Warhorse yearling colt out of the mare for $65,000 at the Inglis VOBIS Gold Sale.

Leicester is the first foal of Galileo mare Defy the Odds (GB), a placed half-sister by Galileo to Group 3 winner Index Linked. The highly progressive gelding claimed the Group 3 SAJC Chairman’s Stakes before his Derby win. His overall record now reads four wins and two placings from nine starts earning $535,000 in prize money. He is the third stakes-winner for former Sun Stud sire Wanted who now stands in Queensland.

After just four seasons of preparing horses for the Australian yearling sales circuit, Kilmore-based Maluka Thoroughbreds have already developed an enviable record.

Three-year-old Snitzel colt Perast was their latest sales graduate to taste black-type success winning the Listed Queensland Day Stakes at Doomben on Saturday. It adds to his Caulfield Guineas Prelude win last spring.

Perast as a yearling at Maluka Thoroughbreds

Operated by Luke and Mags Anderson, Maluka can now point to a small cavalry of top horses coming through their paddocks headlined by recent Group 1 Champagne Stakes winner Seabrook.

“We prepped Maribyrnong Plate winner Power Trip in our first year, Perast from our second and Group 1 Champagne winner Seabrook from our third year,” said Luke.

They can also count handy three-year-old William Thomas (Nicconi) as a 2016 sales graduate. The John Price trained galloper has been impressive winning twice in Melbourne in recent weeks and black-type is no doubt around the corner.

“It would be a great result for Maluka if Perast now heads to the Stradbroke Handicap next month,” Luke said.

Maluka’s main specialty is sales preparation with both Luke and Mags having learnt from their renowned masters at Sir Patrick Hogan’s Cambridge Stud and Graeme Rogerson’s Dormello Stud in New Zealand.

“Our main philosophy is that we want to ensure the horses have relaxed disposition within their routine and environment. We try to develop them mentally and physically happy by keeping the preparation as stress-free as possible,” Luke said.

“We get them out into the paddocks during the day and let them settle into mobs. This gives them a chance to run and then have a break to sleep and recover. This natural development helps keep them sound of mind and body so they are set up to manage their next challenge.”

“Our hands-on management gives the young equine athletes the best possible chance to maximise their potential, and we are looking forward to seeing that potential succeed on the track.”

Anderson expects the race track performances of their farm graduates will only improve in the future as the quality of their drafts has been enhanced.

“This year’s (Inglis) Premier Sale draft was our biggest and best and we are on track to continue to offer big drafts of that quality consistently to the Australian buying bench on behalf of our clients,” he said.

The quality they offered at the Premier Sale meant they moved into the top five vendors…along with well-established farms such as Blue Gum, Woodside, Gilgai and Supreme Thoroughbreds.

While they have developed a strong client base during their relatively short time in Victoria, Maluka also has an enviable list of clients from over the ditch including Cambridge Stud and Waikato Stud.

Like all commercial operations, the sales calendar ticks by quickly with just a bit of time to reflect on past success.

Next up for the Andersons and Maluka Thoroughbreds is a select weanling draft at the upcoming Great Southern Sale at Oaklands in June…and they are crossing their fingers a Stradbroke Handicap is added to their sales CV just before that!

A mare bred at Victoria’s Three Bridges Thoroughbreds came up trumps for connections in this year’s edition of the Listed Scone Cup held last Friday.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Sedanzer (Sebring) marked the Scone Cup as her seventh win (from just 16 starts) and may now get a chance at Group 1 glory in the Tatt’s Tiara next month at Doomben.

Trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Sedanzer was three-wide most of the mile-long race, but once she straightened up sprinted away to score by a long neck from last year’s winner Duca Valentinois.

Three Bridges’ Toby Liston has always been confident in the ability of Sedanzer and is optimistic about her future.

“I think she is a Group 1 quality horse, and so does Gai and Adrian, so she will deservedly be Brisbane bound and head to the Tatts Tiara over a mile,” Liston said.

Sedanzer was a $125,000 purchase at the 2015 Magic Millions Yearling Sale by owners Blueblood Thoroughbreds from Three Bridges’ draft.

Three Bridges bred Sedanzer as a yearling

Bred by Three Bridges in partnership with Richard Pegum, Sedanzer is a half-sister to stakes-placed So Detached (One Cool Cat) and is one of three winners from Danzero mare Voltdanze, a three-quarter sister to Group 1 winner Dealer Principal.

Voltdanze has a weanling colt by the Listons’ deceased stallion Unencumbered, and she will more than likely head back to Sebring this season in the hope of repeating what has turned out to be a successful mating.

Tosen Stardom’s arrival by Goldners truck at Woodside Park Stud could not have been timed better.

The recent Group 1 success of Deep Impact’s progeny around the globe has demonstrated the quality of the breed and certainly gained the attention of local mare owners and bloodstock agents.

This past week, Deep Impact has clocked up his 35th Group 1 winner with Jour Polaire dominant in the Victoria Mile in Japan on Sunday. He had already added two more Group 1 winners last week with Keiai Nautique triumphant in the Group 1 Tokyo Mile Cup and Saxon Warrior in the Group 1 Two Thousand Guineas at Newmarket in the UK.

Woodside’s Tosen Stardom is one of just three Deep Impact’s sons available to breeders outside of Japan, so his blue-blooded pedigree will undeniably land him at the top of astute breeders’ mating lists.

“Deep Impact is renowned internationally and he has already achieved an impressive strike rate in Australia. From six runners, half of them are Group 1 winners or performers with Tosen Stardom being the greatest,” Woodside’s James Price said.

“Let’s hope Group 1 Tancred Stakes runner-up Ambitious. who is heading towards the Doomben Cup this weekend, can add another Group 1 win to that list.”

Tosen Stardom triumphed in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap and the Group 1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington, while his consistency at the top level saw him runner-up in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes, the Group 1 Futurity Stakes and in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes.

Price says equally important to his elite racetrack record is Tosen Stardom’s physical presence, which complements the traditional Australian-bred broodmare.

“As a package he has the immense presence mare owners desire to produce commercially attractive and successful progeny,” Price said.

Tosen Stardom this week jointed his Woodside stallion barn mates Written Tycoon and Rich Enuff while Cable Bay will shuttle back from the UK in July.

Tosen Stardom stands for a service fee of $19,250 inc. GST. For more information, please contact James Price on 0409 806 595 or visit www.woodsideparkstud.com.au

“There will never be another Highland Reel, there couldn’t be – who could match the exploits of the colt who won seven Group or Grade 1 races on three different continents?” – David Carr, Racing Post, 10 May 2018

However, it seems Idaho, the little brother of the new Swettenham Stud shuttle sire is determined to take his international frequent flyer mantle following an impressive Group 3 win.

Five-year-old Idaho won the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes over 2700 metres at Chester showing he’s on track for a big season and giving a hint as to where his career might lead next.

His legendary trainer Aidan O’Brien commented following the three-and-a-half-length win.

“Ryan (Moore) has said he’d stay further, though, so that opens up even more options. He said he’d have no problem going further, so I suppose he could develop into a Cup horse,” O’Brien said.

Idaho already has a reputable international CV having run in five different countries, been placed in both the Epsom and Irish Derbies, won the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot and taken his place in the Arc de Triomphe and Japan Cup.

The Coronation Cup and King George are firmly on the radar for Idaho in the foreseeable future, but there is no doubt O’Brien would consider a Melbourne campaign considering his recent propensity to target the race.

Idaho has achieved significantly more in European form terms than Johannes Vermeer (Galileo), who O’Brien trained to finish third in the Caulfield Cup prior to running second in the Melbourne Cup last year.

One of three winners from Group 1 placed Australian-bred Danehill mare Hveger, Idaho has won four races and placed seven times from 18 starts.

His full-brother Highland Reel won ten races, seven of them at Group 1 level and will stand at Swettenham Stud this season at an introductory fee of $16,500.

They may have wound back their breeding operations, but Cathy Webb and Ken Dean can now say they have bred a Group 1 winner.

Under the banner of the Victorian Stallion Partnership, Webb and Dean bred Saturday’s Australasian Oaks winner Sopressa (So You Think).

“Ken (Dean) and I have been involved in the breeding industry for over 30 years, but it was our first Group One winner,” Cathy Webb explained.

“It’s terrific that Sopressa managed to win a Group One and good for the farm as well, but even more special given that Harry rode the winner. He’s a fine young lad and part of a lovely family. Great to see.”

It was the 29th win at racing’s elite level for the filly’s trainer Darren Weir – which includes a Melbourne Cup – but the normally laid-back trainer was clearly relishing this one given it was also a first Group 1 win for loyal jockey Harry Coffey.

Indeed, Harry Coffey’s first winner was aboard one of Weir’s gallopers, but this was to be the first Group One winner for the 22-year-old hoop.

That in itself is hardly unique, but given that Coffey suffers from cystic fibrosis, it was one ‘helluva’ mountain to climb.

The Oaks was Sopressa’s third win from ten career the most recent being her 4.3 length victory in the Group 3 Auraria Stakes over 1800 metres at Morphettville on 21 April.

Sopressa is one of five winners for the multiple Group 2 winning Weasel Clause mare Hidden Strings, who was purchased in foal to So You Think at the 2014 Inglis Sydney Weanling and Bloodstock Sale for just $70,000.

The lucky buyers were Webb and Ken and they decided to sell the subsequent offspring – now named Sopressa – as a weanling, through the Bucklee Farm draft at the 2015 Inglis Great Southern Sale for $70,000.

Since then, Cathy and Ken have scaled back their operation. Having once stood five stallions in Victoria and bred up to 25 mares, they now have a very modest involvement.

“These days I’ve only got a share in Warhorse, a Group 1 winning 2YO by General Nediym, who stands at Bombora Downs, but it’s never too late to get your first Group 1 winner!” Dean said.

“(Sopressa’s dam) Hidden Strings was later sold, but we also bred a colt by Warhorse out of her which was sold through the Bucklee Farm draft for $60,000 at last month’s Inglis VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale … the day after Sopressa won the Auraria (Stakes).”

Bucklee Farm’s Leeanne Smith remembers Sopressa as a youngster when being prepared for the weanling sale.

Sopressa as a weanling at Three Bridges Thoroughbreds

“Sopressa was quite a forward foal, nicely balanced and well developed … she looked quite a bit like her mum,” Smith recalls.

She was bought for $70,000 by Ballarat’s Danny and Dianne Molloy who then parked the filly at Eddington’s Three Bridges Thoroughbreds to grow into a racehorse and debut last Spring as a three-year-old.

Leicester beates Sopressa in a 3YO Maiden Plate at Terang on 31st January (Reg Ryan-Racing Photos)

Interestingly, both Sopressa and this Saturday’s South Australian Derby favourite Leicester (Wanted) were pin-hooked and then both raised at Three Bridges before entering racing stables. Earlier in this preparation, both raced in a January 31st maiden at Terang with Leicester winning by a couple of lengths to second-placed Sopressa.

Highly successful stallion Artie Schiller is returning to stand in Victoria at Stockwell Thoroughbreds at Diggers Rest.

Stockwell have brought together a syndicate to purchase Artie Schiller to return him to the State where he has made his name as a quality and consistent sire.

He has stood the past two seasons at Aquis Stud in New South Wales where he has received quality books of mares.

Director of Stockwell Brodie Becker said it was a great day for his farm to be able to purchase a stallion who had been so closely linked to the property and the Victorian breeding industry.

“We have been with Artie since he first came to stud in this country and have obviously followed his rise more than most.”

“It was a sad day when the commercial pressures of his success saw him move to NSW, but the reality is that he has been given a great chance in those two seasons to continue his outstanding strike rate.”

Artie Schiller was first brought to Australia in 2007 by Stockwell’s parent company Independent Stallions Victoria and quickly established himself as a quality sire off the back of moderate-sized mare books in his first three seasons.

He was second only to Written Tycoon as Victoria’s Leading First Season Sire in 2011, but with a top crop of three-year olds, took out the title of Australia’s Leading Second Season sire in 2012. This was an outstanding achievement considering his limited numbers compared to stallions with far larger numbers and quality of mares.

He has continued to churn out high quality performers in both the northern and southern hemispheres since. Shuttling back to his native USA each year until this year, he has built up an imposing record of more than $50 million in progeny earnings and amassed an impressive 39 stakes-winners among his 571 winners to date from 827 runners.

His Australian resume is headed by the Group 1 winners Laser Hawk and Flying Artie who demonstrate the versatility of their sire. The former is an outstanding classic winning three-year-old while the other was among the best two-year-olds in the country before claiming the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at three.

His other Australian stakes winners include Good Standing, I Love It, Daytona Grey, Vain Queen, Lady Melksham, Secret Liaison, Dornier and the current promising staying mare Wheal Leisure. He has also left three Group One winners in the US, including the current star Bowie’s Hero.

Overall, Artie Schiller has left a very high 69% winners to runners and almost 5% stakes winners to starters.

“Artie’s yearlings have always been strongly received in the market by trainers and again this year have sold to better than $200,000,” said Brodie Becker.

“We look forward very much to seeing him back and getting support in his home State.”

The sale of Artie Schiller to Stockwell Thoroughbreds from Emirates Park Stud and Winstar Farm in the US was brokered by Mathew Becker of Group 1 Bloodstock.

Artie Schiller will stand at $13,200 (inc GST)

A Fighting Sun filly with a seemingly very bright future lit up Day 1 of the annual Wagga Cup Carnival last week.

The Graham Murray trained Miss Scorcher won the Inglis 2YO Handicap on Thursday and collected a $50,000 Inglis bonus as part of the win.

Miss Scorcher was a brilliant front running winner at Kembla on the 7th of April and showed a similar turn of foot from the gates at Wagga when sent out a short-priced favourite.

The speedy two-year-old won by three lengths first-up at Kembla Grange over 1000 metres in 56.58 seconds and she went even better second-up at Wagga on Thursday where she bolted in by four lengths over 1200 metres.

“This filly has a future,” said her jockey, Jeff Penza post race.

Murray has is expected to line-up the filly in this Saturday’s Listed Woodlands Stakes at Scone.

Miss Scorcher was a $78,000 purchase by Murray Livestock/DJI Bloodstock at the 2017 Melbourne Premier Sale from the draft of Bucklee Farm, Greta West.

Bred by Sun Stud client Peter Stone, the filly is one of three winners from Special Mention, a mare by Exceed and Excel whose third dam is former champion sprinting filly Special.

Queensland’s Eureka Stud will offer a full brother to Miss Scorcher at the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale as Lot 2036.

Sun Stud advises that the mare has been booked back to Fighting Sun in 2018.

Fighting Sun

Meanwhile the excitement about first crop sire Fighting Sun continues to grow. The unbeaten stakes winning son of Northern Meteor has already sired the stakes winning colt Chess Star as well as the Group 3 placed filly Platinum Mam’selle.

Fighting Sun stands at Sun Stud for an advertised service fee of $15,400 inc GST, with live foal payment terms.

It was just a few weeks ago that the horse fondly known as “The Iron Horse” Giant’s Causeway passed away aged 21 at Ashford Stud, Kentucky.

A remarkable galloper who was never out of the first two in 13 starts – winning nine races including five consecutive Group One races over a memorable 11-week period – Giant’s Causeway continued on his great work at stud.

Represented by 179 stakes winners including 32 Group 1 winners, Giant’s Causeway was a stallion who made his mark around the world with his progeny successful at stakes level in 18 different countries… including Australia and New Zealand.

And now one of his best, a horse who like his sire really knew how to find the line, is relocating to Victoria… the Champion 3YO Colt Of Chile Giant’s Step due to stand at Ridgeview Park Stud, Muskerry East.

Kicking off his career in New Zealand where his debut crop are just yearlings, the dual Group 1 winning Giant’s Steps with his winning form over a variety of distances between 1200 metres and 2400 metres is a good fit for Victoria.

“We are excited to have been given this opportunity to stand a commercial stallion,” said Ridgeview’s Phil and Fiona Sloane.

“He arrived from New Zealand on Thursday and is always settling in nicely.”

“What really appeals to us is that not only is he by a phenomenal stallion in Giant’s Causeway, but that he was the Champion 3YO turf colt in Chile, competing in six Group One races and winning or placing in five of them!”

“And he was very versatile and looks the perfect cross for Danehill/Danzig line mares.”

And what a family he hails from, his dam Hamsaat Hi Haat – a half-sister to the French dual stakes winner Cristobal – being a granddaughter of the wonderful mare Sacahuista.

One of the best mares of her generation, Sacahuista did not race outside of Group company, winning six of her 21 starts, three of which were Group One races including the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Well and truly making her mark at stud, Sacahuista produced two successful stallions, the Group One galloper Ekraar (sire of four Group One winners) and the stakes placed Hussonet… outstanding sire of 97 stakes winners.

Meanwhile his famed sire Giant’s Causeway (who boasts an outstanding 9.7% stakes winner to runner ratio) has proven his worth as a sire of sires with six of his sons already siring Group 1 winners including the four-time Group 1 winner Shamardal whose 19 Group 1 winners including emerging Hong Kong star Pakistan Star.

The first Group 1 winning son of Giant’s Causeway to stand at stud in Victoria, Giant’s Steps will stand at $5500 (incl gst) for the 2018 season.

For further details contact Ridgeview on 0488 525 063 or visit ridgeviewpark.com.au

It’s probably fair to say that very few had a bit of I’ll Have A Bit in Saturday’s Group 2 Euclase Stakes over 1200 metres at Morphettville.

The Ken and Jenny Breese bred 3YO was sent out a $151 pick for the race and it doesn’t appear too many bookies were out searching for a second mortgage after the race.

However, based on I’ll Have A Bit’s rocket-like finish against such a top-quality field, it’s questionable as to whether those odds will ever be offered about her again.

The John McArdle trained I’ll Have A Bit, admittedly, had been winless since scoring convincingly in the Group 3 National Stakes over the same journey on 20 May last year, when beating subsequent Group 2 winner, Booker (Written Tycoon).

However, she did finish a three-quarter length second in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Classic last spring and, second up on 21 April, ran a solid fifth in the Listed Redelva Stakes.

I’ll Have A Bit (Smart Missile) is from a multiple city winning daughter of Group 2 Sunline Stakes winner, Tickle My. Both broodmares are still in active breeding for Ken and Jenny Breese.

One of three Breese homebreds offered through the Basinghall Farm draft at the 2016 Inglis VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale, I’ll Have A Bit was eventually knocked down to McArdle’s Redgum Racing for $48,000.

In one of those twists of fate, Breese would have been quite content to keep I’ll Have A Bit to race for himself, but was overseas at the time and, through a miscommunication, ended up selling the filly.

“C’est la vie. It would have been nice to race another Group winner, but good luck to John (McArdle) who also purchased the Foxwedge half-brother in Tasmania,” Ken Breese pointed out.

Ken Breese, who first got involved in thoroughbreds in the 1980s and raced Flemington stakes winner Rich Habit, has scaled back his broodmare band to around eight mares, with many of those resident at Nagambie’s Basinghall Farm.

“I’ll Have A Bit’s dam Take All Of Me has a lovely Toronado weanling and was sent back to Smart Missile last spring,” Breese aded

It’s no strange scene to have a Hesket Bloodstock juvenile salute in the lime, purple and gold colours on Victorian racetracks.

But more recently it has been a youngster bred by Hesket who is tearing up the turf at Sha Tin in Hong Kong.

The John Moore trained two-year-old Styling City (Starspangledbanner) has the perfect record with two wins from two career starts…and both wins have been dominant in style.

On debut last month, he won by a mere seven lengths and on Sunday over 1,000 metree he was challenged up until the final furlong when he dashed away to win the Cheung Cup by 2.5 lengths.

“He has got a pretty decent sort of future,” his legendary trainer Moore said post-race adding that he expects to test him amongst older horses in Class 3 company next run.

Styling City is the second winner from the Contract Racing homebred, stakes-winning mare mare Secret Liaison (Artie Schiller).

Styling City was offered by Hesket Bloodstock through the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale last year where he was snapped up by his trainer for $300,000.

Styling City at the 2017 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale

That price tag made him the most expensive yearling sold in 2017 by former Rosemont Stud sire Starspangledbanner.

Note: Also winning on the Sha Tin race card on Sunday was four-year-old All You Need. The son of Rangal Park sire Danerich was bred at Bayles by the Alderson family before being sold to Hong Kong following a two-year-old trial win (was unraced in Australia).

In case you were wondering, the state of belief or behaviour that is different to most and a little chaotic is the state of iconoclasm – and the horse with the same name might just be that after showing rare talent his past two starts to win at Victoria’s headquarters.

The handsome Rosemont stud bred son of Toorak Toff is showing talent better than most and the Darren Weir charge looks to have earned his spot for a trip to Queensland with the Group 2 Queensland Guineas the obvious target.

“He’s a belter of a sort and tough as teak. The Toff has had a great month or so and had three winners on Saturday across the country. He’s really coming into his own the older they get,” said Iconoclasm’s managing owner and Rosemont principal Anthony Mithen.

Home to Toorak Toff, as well as in form Starcraft and young stallion Nostradamus, Rosemont has enjoyed a tremendous month on the track apart from the very talented Iconoclasm The stud colours won the rich VOBIS Sires 2YO race with homebred Thrillster as well as the VRC St Leger with homebred Runaway.

“It’s been a great few weeks, but I have to say I’m tremendously proud of Iconoclasm,” Mithen said.

“We don’t keep too many colts, but we just loved him as a sort and wanted to race a few of these Toffs ourselves. It looks as though our judgement could be right. Weiry has said for a while he’s a Group horse.”

“We are going to stand Toorak Toff privately this year and understand the commercial market needs a few Iconoclasms to make a stallion work, but we definitely think he has plenty to offer for the breed-to-race crew.

“We’ll be racing more going forward for sure. They win races and look to be tough. We will be tailoring deals to suit budgets for price sensitive breeders.”

Mithen said he had received plenty of interest from Hong Kong for Iconoclasm but no offer has tempted a sale yet.

“A bit like Starcraft who is doing a super job in Hong Kong, Toorak Toff has had two winners from just three starters and looks to be building a profile up there.”

For more details on Rosemont’s stallion roster, call the team on (03) 5220 6501

The team at Rosemont ought to go to the newsagent and buy a lotto ticket! As, in recent times, it seems they can’t lose a thing.

Rosemont filly Thrillster (Starspangledbanner) has won the $280,000 VOBIS Gold Rush at Bendigo and then the $310,000 VOBIS Sires 2YO race at Caulfield.

Iconoclasm, a Rosemont homebred by their resident sire Toorak Toff, won the Auckland Racing Club Trophy at Flemington.

On Sunday, there was a classy three-year-old by Rosemont sire Starcraft win in Hobart by the name of Silent Bid. And the Rosemont bred The Hun brought up trainer Tony McEvoy’s 100th winner for the season when saluting at Geelong.

Plus, of course, the Rosemont bred Spirit of Boom colt made a record price at the recent Inglis VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale.

But, arguably, the very best win for the Rosemont Stud team was that of their homebred colt Runaway in the $200,000 Listed VRC St Leger on ANZAC Day at Flemington.

The colt, trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott is superbly related being a half-relation to Group 1 Oaks winners Absolutely and Abbey Marie,

The son of Blue Gum Farm sire Manhattan Rain lead from start to finish in a dominant front-running display over 2800 metres for three-year-olds.

Rosemont Stud operations manager Gerard Jones was delighted that the Geelong-based operation and their homebred horses were getting the results.

“It has certainly been a big week for Rosemont,” Jones said.

“Anthony (Mithen) was saying he (Runaway) just needed to get over more ground, so after the Geelong win, the St Leger popped up on the radar and he suggested to Gai that the distance will suit.

“Kudos to Mitho, as now we will head onto a Derby.”

Following the race Waterhouse indicated Runaway will chase a Group 1 win in either the South Australian Derby or freshen up for the Queensland Derby at Doomben in June.

Runaway was purchased by Gai Waterhouse Racing and Blue Sky Bloodstock’s Julian Blaxland for $150,000 out of the Rosemont Stud draft the 2016 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. Rosemont bought straight back into a share of the horse.

Runaway is the seventh winner from as many foals out of the Catrail mare Catshaan, who Rosemont purchased for $160,000 at the Teeley Assets dispersal in 2014 when she was carrying the St Leger winner.

“We were lucky to have bought the mare in foal to Manhattan Rain, which was Runaway, and then Abbey Marie came out (and won the Australasian Oaks),” Rosemont’s Jones enthused.

“Catshaan has an outstanding weanling filly by Fastnet Rock on the ground and we have a yearling filly by Zoustar who Rosemont will retain to race, so it’s all upside for us!”

Rosemont sold Catshaan’s two-year-old Redoute’s Choice colt named Zaahed to Shadwell Stud for $550,000 at the 2017 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale and he was subsequently exported to South Africa.

The Joe Pride trained mare Pecans continued to fly the flag for her sire Skilled with a second stakes win in the Group 3 Godolphin Crown at Hawkesbury on Saturday.

Riverbank Farm’s Caroline Osborne was thrilled with the victory of the former Godolphin mare and daughter of Skilled as she raced clear impressively to win over 1300 metres against a qualify field of mares.

Osborne said both Riverbank and the mare’s trainer Joe Pride had benefited greatly from Godolphin and its stallion division Darley.

“Both Joe and I have certainly done well from them as Pecans is a former Godolphin horse and Skilled was a former Darley stallion at stud,” Osborne said.

“Additionally, the race was sponsored by Godolphin, she beat another Godolphin runner home and even her jockey used to be a stable rider for Godolphin, riding Skilled home in his Group 1 victory. It’s quite incredible how the win is all linked together,” Osborne said.

“Riverbank Farm will certainly be keeping an eye on any other stallion Darley may be looking at a new home for!” Osborne added with a degree of cheeky Irish humour.

“But in all seriousness, it’s fabulous, as it is exactly the time of the year you want to be getting Group winners like that as breeders are starting to seriously think about their mating plans.

“Let’s hope that she can continue her great run as she heads up to Brisbane for the upcoming winter carnival.”

Skilled who was relocated to the Riverbank Farm in 2017 and will begin his second season at the picturesque Benalla property in September.

“He has settled in beautifully and has been a gentleman to handle. His fertility is excellent, so we are very happy with him. We are looking forward to seeing some of our homebred foals arrive this season.”

With Osborne being an experienced equine veterinarian specialising in reproduction, Riverbank is able to provide savings for breeders.

“Riverbank Farm is offering a special this year that all reproductive veterinary work is included in the service fee, which is brilliant for mare owners and helps out with breeding costs enormously. As we want every mare to go into foal, you can be assured that we will do everything possible to safeguard a positive result,” Osborne said.

For more information on Riverbank Farm or its stallions, contact Caroline on 0401 364 188 or Russell on 0423 768 155 or visit www.riverbankfarm.com.au

Spendthrift Australia has announced two new stallions for 2018, as well as service fees for its entire roster.

Bolstering the roster this year will be Overshare, a Group 3 winning son of champion sire I Am Invincible. A winner at two, Overshare won the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes and the Listed McKenzie Stakes (both at 1200m) as a three-year-old.

“We cannot wait to get him to the farm for breeders to see because we feel that he ticks all the boxes,” said Garry Cuddy, General Manager of Spendthrift Australia.

“He’s by a champion sire, he’s a multiple stakes-winning sprinter, and he definitely looks the part.”

From the family of five champions and a $320,000 Inglis Easter yearling, Overshare is being offered on Spendthrift Australia’s Share the Upside program at a fee of $15,400 (GST incl) for a one-time only payment on live foal. He will also stand for $11,000 (GST incl) on live foal terms.

Also retiring to the farm this year is Sebring’s Group 2 winning son Gold Standard.

Gold Standard wins the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes at Rosehill

Bred in Victoria by Dorrington Farm’s Robert Crabtree and acquired by the Waterhouse/Bott stable from the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, Gold Standard placed second to Addictive Nature on debut in his only start at two.

He returned at three to turn the tables and take out the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes at Rosehill in dominating fashion, defeating Group 1 winners Trapeze Artist, Ace High and The Mission. He was also fourth in one of the deepest renewals of the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes in recent memory.

“Sebring is a sire that we have a lot of time for and we are very excited to offer breeders his well-performed son,” said Cuddy.

Gold Standard will be offered on the Share the Upside program for $7,700 (GST incl) for a one-time only payment on live foal. He will also stand for $5,500 (GST incl) for breeders wishing to breed on live foal terms.

Along with the two new stallions, Spendthrift Australia is also returning its four stallions from 2017 in Hampton Court, Jimmy Creed (USA), Swear, and Warrior’s Reward (USA). All four returning stallions will be offered on the farm’s Breed Secure program and on live foal terms.

The following are fees for all Spendthrift Australia’s returning stallions for 2018 (all fees include GST).

“Breed Secure” Fee or Payable On Live Foal

  • Hampton Court – $5,500
  • Jimmy Creed – $8,800
  • Swear – $5,500
  • Warrior’s Reward – $7,700

For more information about Spendthrift Australia, its stallions, or any of the farm’s breeder-friendly programs for 2018, contact the office at 03 5421 5600, Garry Cuddy at 0410 451 595, or Cory Murray 0499 880 855 or stallions@spendthrift.com.au

Having bred emus through to ferrets and pigeons, Victorian Justin Mintoff has always had a love for raising animals.

Now Mintoff has taken on the challenge of establishing and managing a broodmare farm on the banks of Lake Eppalock in central Victoria.

Mintoff bought the property five or six years ago and in the past twelve months made the decision to make it a commercial operation.

“I bought the farm and bought a first mare five days later!” Mintoff said.

“The farm is central to other breeding operations in Victoria and has secure access to water,” was how Mintoff explained the reason for buying where he did.

And since then he has built a house on the farm, increased his own broodmare band to half a dozen and is now taking on clients’ bloodstock.

He emphasises that his passion is about raising the animals from conception through to their preparation as a weanling or yearling.

“It’s those vital first years that are Ironmere’s specialty. We handle them, grow them out and set them up so they have the right foundations in place to head off on their next adventure.”

Mintoff breeds half a dozen mares of his own at Ironmere and, through networking with local and interstate breeders, Ironmere’s client base has continued to grow with a modest band of around 20 broodmares now residing on the farm.

“Due to the interest and support from these clients, we are now in a position to follow my passion and develop a commercial operation that is financially viable, to support my own growing, young family,” he said.

“We have mares arriving shortly for a busy season ahead and, with two-hundred acres of our own and access to more land, we can continually rotate horses onto fresh and clean pasture.

“Our hay and lucerne are sourced directly from farms that we trust, and we mix our own hard feeds that we have tested for high nutritional content.

This helps to keep the agistment rates down for our clients. There is no sacrifice on the integrity of the service, and they know they are getting a brilliant product, as seen in the condition of their foals and mares.”

Ironmere walked on to all major stud farms in Victoria in 2017 including Swettenham, Darley Northwood, Sun Stud, and Rosemont with mares currently in foal to Frosted, Fiorente, Trust in a Gust, Puissance De Lune, Nostradamus and Kuroshio to name a few.

For more information on Ironmere Broodmare Farm, contact Justin Mintoff on 0477 734 581 or visit www.ironmere.com

A change in sales strategy for one of Victoria’s prime commercial thoroughbred operations will be first seen at the upcoming Magic Millions National Weanling Sale.

Burnewang North is selling all of their weanlings this season which includes an impressive draft of 20 weanlings to be offered on the Gold Coast.

Burnewang North owner Cathy Hains is positive that the new focus her farm is taking will be well received.

“We have successfully participated in the weanling market over the past few years, but what is different with this draft and the draft we will present at the Inglis Great Southern Sale is that we are now selling all our stock as weanlings,” Hains said.

“I think it is the right place for us, but, as they say in business, it is like Russian Roulette. You can be right, you can be wrong, but you can never be certain, so I’m not certain, but I am looking forward to it just the same.

“The pin-hook market is an attractive broadening market, whereas the yearling market at the top-end is becoming more and more expensive, and the middle market, where we sit, is becoming more and more competitive. We need to be on the front foot.

“These young horses are a commercial group from proven sires and with some excellent pedigree updates that will get the right attention from the smart buying bench.

“We will be offering a Rubick half-sister from our Zabeel mare Snow Blitz, whose Zoustar sibling was sold last year for NZ$650,000 as a yearling. That was a huge result for Lansdowne Park’s Dave Duley who pin-hooked the filly.”

The Burnewang weanlings appeal a to broad range of buyers and by some of Australia’s best sires including Pierro, Sebring, Hinchinbrook, So You Think, Vancouver and Dissident as well as Victorian sires Magnus and Written Tycoon.

The full Burnewang North weanling draft at Magic Millions can be found at magicmillions.com.au.

Burnewang North will also offer around ten weanlings at the upcoming Inglis Great Southern Sale to be held in June.

“We have carefully placed our weanlings to go to the sale that is best suited to each individual, as at the end of the day we want to catch the eye of the experienced operators. They may be pin-hookers, trainers or potential owners.

“They can spread themselves a lot further than us, either in New Zealand or interstate, and take a standout yearling into those sales.”

“The most important thing is that each weanling has had the very best start to life at Burnewang North under our valued staff including Aaron Todd and Emma Willoughby.

“Our horses have all has individual care and attention, and have been beautifully prepared and educated. This gives peace of mind to buyers of a Burnewang North weanling, that they have a solid foundation to enable them to go onwards and upwards for their new owners.”

The Victorian breeding industry has been boosted with the announcement that beautifully bred, Group 1 winning Lonhro colt Impending will take up residence this coming season at Darley’s Northwood farm.

But before the talented galloper takes up duties in the breeding barn, he is making the most of his final preparation on the track with the ultimate aim of more Group 1 success.

Already a Group 1 winner of the Stradbroke Handicap last year, the four-year-old updated his impressive resume with a fighting win in the Group 2 Victory Stakes at Doomben on Saturday first up in his final preparation.

Despite being held up inside the 300 metres, jockey Damian Browne was able to find a narrow gap and let the star colt pounce and go past the rest of the field.

Godolphin’s managing director Vin Cox said Impending would aim to contest three Group 1 features over the Brisbane winter carnival: the Doomben 10000, the Kingsford Smith Cup and a shot at defending his Stradbroke Handicap crown.

“He won last year’s Stradbroke and we were always keen to give him a chance at repeating that. As he is off to stud at the end of the winter, more Group 1’s won’t do him any harm,” Cox said.

Impending’s record is now 4 wins, a second and 6 thirds from 15 starts with earnings of $1,824,000. All but his winning debut have been in Group company with his record also including placings in the Group 1 Darley Classic and Group 1 Golden Rose.

Impending is a half-brother to the Group 3 Cameron Handicap winner Forget (Exceed And Excel) and is the fifth foal of the outstanding Encosta de Lago mare Mnemosyne who captured the Group 1 Thousand Guineas and the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes.

At the completion of his final campaign on the track, Impending will become the highest-rated son of Lonhro to stand in Victoria when he takes up stud duties at Northwood Park at a fee of $20,000 plus GST.