A new program for Victorian breeders to support local equestrian shows will see thousands of extra dollars in prizemoney on offer for those competing on Off The Track thoroughbreds.

Thoroughbred Breeders (TBV), Racing Victoria’s Off The Track (OTT) Program and the Victorian Agricultural Shows (VAS) Ltd are delighted to announce a new partnership that will see individual Victorian breeders contributing an additional prize for the winner of the OTT Thoroughbred class in the VAS Show Series across Victoria.

Under the new sponsorship arrangement, winners of the OTT Thoroughbred class at shows that have been sponsored by a local breeder will now receive, in addition to the OTT prizes on offer, an extra $150 plus a fantastic, customised horse rug, courtesy of TBV members.

This joint initiative, which was the brain-child of TBV, reflects the commitment to the welfare of the thoroughbred held by Victorian breeders and the desire to promote greater take-up of horses that have retired from racing.

TBV President, James O’Brien, was thrilled by the announcement and noted that it is an excellent opportunity for Victorian breeders.

“This is a wonderful chance for TBV members to ensure the longevity and demand for their thoroughbreds,” O’Brien said.

“As a breeder, it is immensely satisfying to see your thoroughbred engaged in other pursuits outside of racing. That is what this initiative sets out to reinforce and doing so allows the Victorian breeding community to pay homage to equine welfare.”

“The cooperation we have received from OTT and VAS of this partnership is incredibly heartening. They have embraced the Victorian breeding community and we are tremendously grateful.”

Racing Victoria’s Executive General Manager of Integrity Services, Jamie Stier, reinforced RV’s commitment to equine welfare.

“Thoroughbreds are the centrepieces of our industry, and Racing Victoria is committed to ensuring that they’re afforded appropriate care and attention before, during and after their careers on the racetrack,” Stier said.

“As such, we are thrilled to have TBV and, more widely, Victorian breeders on board to enhance the OTT Thoroughbred classes and the VAS Show Series as a whole.”

VAS Ltd Chairperson, Jenny Daffy, is delighted with the newly formed partnership with the thoroughbred breeders, which will further enhance the already successful Off The Track series that is held at the Victorian Agricultural Shows.

“The support is wonderful and the additional prize money and rug at Show level I am sure will be well sought after by the competitors,” Daffy said.

The Victorian show season runs from August 2018 until March 2019, with the State Finals to be staged in early January next year.

A sponsorship expression of interest process in the 98 shows held annually around Victoria has been sent to TBV breeder members.

Victorian breeders who would like to sponsor a local show should contact TBV on (03) 9258 4233 or tbvmedia@racingvictoria.net.au.

A full list of sponsored shows will be released in advance of the 2018/2019 show season.

Euroa based breeder Ken King has announced that his Group 1 winning stallion Bon Aurum has been retired from racing with a stud career now beckoning.

“It was time to call it a day. He still had the will to win, but his niggling issues probably stopped us seeing the very best of him,” Ken King said.

The five-year-old had 15 career starts for five victories, showing precociousness as a two-year-old winner, going on to claim two stakes wins as a three-year-old, one at Flemington and the other being the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude.

The son of Bon Hoffa then won the time honoured Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes over 1400 metres as a four-year-old. His earnings were just shy of $600,000.

“He can now enjoy his days in the breeding barn, passing on his strength and talent to his progeny. Even his trainer, Ciaron Maher rated Bon Aurum as one of the toughest horses he has trained, able to push through the pain barrier,” King said.

“He was one of the best 1400 metre horses in the country. He raced consistently against the top horses and beat them and, typical of the Bon Hoffas, he would have only got better with age.”

Those horses he ran and beat included the likes of Tivaci, Tashbeeh, Ulmann, Spieth, Voodoo Lad, Fast ‘N’ Rocking and Jungle Edge.

The Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes win saw Bon Aurum emulate his sire Bon Hoffa who won the same race back in 2007, but King believes the son was a superior racehorse.

“I believe Bon Aurum surpassed his father both in performance and quality as a type. He won at two, whereas Bon Hoffa (only) won as a late three-year-old, and Bon Aurum raced at the elite level at three and four, whereas his sire was five (when winning the Group 1),” King said.

“This will really help Bon Aurum’s commercially attractiveness to broodmare owners who want to see their horses competitive earlier. He will throw progressive and precocious types, coupled with resilience and tenacity.

“We are looking for a home for Bon Aurum and we would love him to stand in Victoria. I would support him with my broodmare band that reside at my Euroa farm, Parador Park. We also want to take advantage of VOBIS Sires and the many other VOBIS incentives that are available (in Victoria).”

“Although the (other) owners would love to hang onto him, they are not breeders, so it makes better business sense to place him at a stud that can help him succeed commercially as a stallion. He needs numbers to make his mark as a producer of tough, fast and affordable horses.

“We are in discussions with a number of studs, but we are still open to offers on his future arrangements. Having had both him and his sire race in our colours, we are very proud of their achievements both on and off the track and if we can find a Victorian home for Bon Aurum at stud, they will certainly be seeing a lot of my mares!”

“Trainer Troy Corstens is a heavy-weight in search of a belt.”
“Syndicator Brad Spicer stings like a bee.”
“David Hayes could have been the Cinderella man.”
“And trainer Simon Zahra is more cocky than Rocky.”

“These contenders have come out swinging for The Showdown, a title promoters of Victorian racing are taking literally.”

Such were the words used by prominent sports commentator, Neil Kearney, to describe TBV’s impactful video series promoting the inaugural $1 million VOBIS Sires Showdown.

The series is a call to arms that reflects an overwhelming desire to be part of and compete in the $1 million contest, and it has evidently made its mark.

Driven by the vision of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria, the campaign was brought to life by Digital Media Creations proprietor Tim Patterson, and features a number of significant trainers and syndicators vying to win the landmark two-year-old sprint in April next year.

The gravity of the message was a timely reminder of the necessity to acquire a VOBIS Sires eligible yearling; it is after all the 2016 born foals that are the first fully qualified crop to compete in the richly rewarding race series.

Throughout the 2018 sales, these videos did in fact give yearling purchasers the impetus and incentive to go the extra distance to land their potential Showdown contender.

“It was a real bonus. It made me bid over $200,000. If it didn’t have those bonuses, I would not have paid that much,” – trainer David Hayes after buying a Magnus colt at Inglis Premier.

In the words of Kearney, “bringing the antics of the noble art to the sport of kings,” truly made an impression and sparked a bout of friendly fire in the sales ring.

The catchy and punchy nature of the promotional videos also sparked the interest of Kearney and the team at Channel 7, who turned them into a feature piece that aired during their coverage of the Victorian Owners & Breeders Race Day at Caulfield on 21 April earlier this year and then widely across social media.

The coverage boldly proclaims, “As a promotion for The Showdown, we love the raging bull.”

The 2019 edition of the same race day is now just over nine months away. It will see the $1 million Showdown staged for the first time, and such pieces like those produced by Channel 7 set a tone of anticipation for the day well in advance.

The “Victorian rumble” and “house of stoush” is set to return in its second round, and is expected to hit screens in late July in what will be another “knockout promotion” for the VOBIS Sires program.

Watch the full Channel 7 video on the TBV YouTube page.

A win at Flemington on Saturday put to bed any notion the Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm bred Silentz couldn’t race against the big boys.

After putting together three dominant wins for trainer Darren Weir, the up-and-coming Silentz (Snitzel) had finished down the track as favourite in the Swan Hill Cup earlier this month.

But the Flemington rebound in the David Bourke Provincial Plate over 1600 metres demonstrated it was the soggy track which beat him at Swan Hill rather than any lack of quality.

Silentz was part of quite some draft that Lauriston took to the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in 2015.

The draft of four youngsters assembled by Lauriston’s James O’Brien didn’t necessarily create sales-ring fireworks, but they have punched well above their weight in terms of racetrack success.

Out of that draft, a young filly by Star Witness would go on to be named Global Glamour and win the Group 1 Thousands Guineas and Flight Stakes among other successes. Meanwhile, a Snitzel filly, The Seductress, would grow into precocious juvenile winning at Caulfield at two for trainer Jason Warren

O’Brien said just like Global Glamour, Silentz was bought for just $65,000 at Magic Millions.

“He was a real bargain due to a small issue on his x-rays. It was a shame so many people missed out, and it goes to show that the vets can sometimes be a bit too tough, failing horses that may have manageable issues,” O’Brien said.

“He was a stand out colt; a strong, striking chestnut and we are now seeing him hit his straps winning four of his last five starts.”

“I am wrapped to see him running so well and thrilled for the connections, and I think he will now step up to the next level.

“The best form of marketing for a thoroughbred breeder is racetrack success, and Silentz has delivered again.

“We raced his dam Inthemix ourselves, we prepared him and sold him through our draft and what a draft that was, with the super mare Global Glamour and him there together.”

“I think the price of both ($65,000) shows that Lauriston are genuine vendors that are there to sell. We don’t make millions of dollars, and we sell good horses that deliver returns on the track.”

Trainer Darren Weir was thrilled that “he is showing that he is a really good horse for a great group of owners, and with ten starts for five wins, he is running so honestly.”

Silentz’s dam Inthemix, by Easy Rocking, is a full sister to the talented five-time stakes winner Pepperwood.

“We actually targeted an Oaks with Inthemix, and we thought enough of her to become part of our broodmare band,” O’Brien said.

More recently though, Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm is heading in a new direction, from breeding to race, to focusing purely on breeding for the commercial sales market.

“Breeding is my passion, and we are selling everything now. We offer the very best we have on farm to the commercial market, and we wish the purchasers every success.”

It was probably fitting that a horse named after a fine drop of red, Grande Rosso, should capture a race like the Listed GH Mumm Stakes over 1615m at Doomben.

The win of the son of Woodside Park sire Written Tycoon was a return to winning form for a horse who had not won since capturing the Listed Chester Manifold (1200m) and Listed Barton Stakes (1400m) in rapid succession in January last year.

The win represented the eight individual stakes winner for his Victorian champion sire this season and took his progeny earnings well past $9 million with the magical $10 million almost within reach.

“Peter and Paul (Snowden) have done a terrific job with the horse in the three runs since he shifted to their stables earlier this year,” his owner-breeder Bob Manwaring pointed out.

“They took the blinkers off Grande Rosso and that really seemed to settle him, while the ‘mile’ also appears to be ideal for the horse these days. I don’t think he’s a short courser anymore and wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up turning into a galloper that wins over longer distances.

The Mumm Stakes win took Grande Rosso’s tally to nine wins, three at stakes level, and seven placings from 36 starts for $555,860, who was purchased at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale for $220,000.

At the time, it would be the equal highest price paid for a Written Tycoon yearling that year.

Woodside’s James Price reflected on how far Written Tycoon has come with progeny selling up to $1 million in 2017 and his fee in 2018 deservedly increasing to $110,000.

“The Magic Millions Broodmare Sale (earlier this month) was another wonderful indication of Written Tycoon’s commerciality, with mares selling in-foal to him averaging $470,000,” Price said.

“And when Written By is (likely) given the Champion 2YO Colt title, it will mean that Written Tycoon will join Redoute’s Choice in elite company, as the only other active stallion that has sired two Champion 2YO colts.”

Written Tycoon’s latest stakes winner Grande Rosso is the first foal of the Rory’s Jester mare Jestemma, who was bred at Rick Jamieson’s Gilgai Farm. She a half-sister to Listed winner Spinning Jenny and the stakes-placed Philda, a 12-time winner of over $433,000.

Jestemma is also a half sister to Soorena, the dam of Group 1 Newmarket winner The Quarterback and the multiple Group 2 winner and Group 1 Australian Derby runner-up Philippi.

Tragically, Jestemma died when producing a sister to his stakes star last spring.

“She is by Written Tycoon, and a cracking type and will likely be sold at next year’s Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale,” breeder Manwaring adds.

“It was sad to lose Jestemma, but I kept her first filly foal, Full Twist, who is in foal to, you guessed it, Written Tycoon.”

Excerpts from Aushorse.

There wouldn’t be a racing season go by without the formidable breeding partnership of the Devitt and Gordon families and elite training establishment Lindsay Park producing a highly promising two-year-old.

And if it hasn’t already happened this season, then it did on Saturday at Flemington with their homebred juvenile Good ‘n’ Fast scoring setting himself up nicely for black-type targets.

After a second on debut at Flemington two weeks ago over 1100m, he stepped up to 1400m in the Gippsland Region Handicap and saluted the judge.

The promising two-year-old is a half-brother to multiple Group 1 placegetter Fast ‘n’ Rocking, from the breeding partnership’s wonderful producer, the Hennessy mare, For The Good Times.

Co-trainer Tom Dabernig indicated the Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m) at Flemington in two weeks loomed as possible next start for Good ‘n’ Fast.

“We’ve always had a nice opinion of him,” Dabernig said.

“Today you can still see that he’s very green and took a while to hit top gear, but once he did he won quite comfortably. I think when the penny fully drops he’ll develop into quite a decent horse.”

The Devitt/Gordon partnership started with Peter Devitt and his close friend and business partner Les Gordon. While Les sadly passed away in 2012, his sons Russell and Craig maintain the breeding and racing interest.

As both breeders and owners, the partnership has enjoyed much success. It started with King’s High winning the Victoria Derby in 1988 and then the Australian Guineas. That was followed with the likes of five-time Group 1 winner Niconero and two-time Group 1 winner Nicconi – both out of their blue-hen broodmare Nicola Lass.

Other stakes winners in recent seasons have included Hear The Chant and Wait For No One.

All of these success have been with Lindsay Park…at first with Colin Hayes and now with David and Ben and Ton Daberning.

The partnership maintains a shareholding in the now Widden Stud based Nicconi (who incidentally is the sire of another Flemington winner on the weekend in the budding star Nature Strip).

‘Pinhooking’ can be a dangerous trap for young players, with the thoroughbred industry littered with tales of many coming undone by purchasing a weanling, only to put him or her through a sales ring six to 12 months on and be left with a four-legged eating machine that they have to race themselves.

That’s not the case however with the Garry Frazer trained, Spright, winner of Saturday’s Group Three UBET WJ Healy Stakes winner over 1200m at Doomben.

Now a four-year-old mare, Spright hails from Hinchinbrook’s second crop offered by Holbrook Thoroughbreds at the 2014 Inglis Sydney Weanling & Bloodstock Sale, was knocked down to Victorian Gary Mudgway for $12,000.

Mudgway explains the purchase of Spright: “I told (Yarraman Park’s) Harry Mitchell ‘I’m a deadset mug to think lightning is going to strike twice’, by hoping that Hinchinbrook would get off to a similar start to that of I Am Invincible.

“By that time, I Am Invincible was all the rage … buyers couldn’t get enough of them. I said to Harry there was no way there would be as much hype around his other stallion. “Still, I’d had a number of good results with I Am Invincible progeny by that stage and $12,000 for a Hinchinbrook was hardly make or break.

“The thing was though, the (Hinchinbrook) filly was a very nice type from day dot. She just went from strength to strength and even though I struggled to get her into the Melbourne Premier – she ended up in P2 (the sale’s second catalogue) – I knew she’d make a good return on investment.

“I told them at Inglis she would make around $50,000-$60,000 and they laughed at me, but by the time she got into the ring, they came at us from all angles. “In the end, we all got blown away when she was knocked down for $100,000.”

Sure, an 8x plus return in the space of 10 months is great in anyone’s language, but it just keeps on getting better as Spright has now won $637,925 from her 21 starts: five wins – four at stakes level including the Group Three Star Kingdom and Group Three Red Roses – along with six placings.

Encouragingly, there could end up being a lot more in the kitty as a confident Frazer said the mare is now likely to be sent for a spell before returning in time for the Melbourne spring carnival.

As for the ‘pin hooker’, Mudgway is on something of a sabbatical from the ebbs and flows of buying and selling, “doing a lot of four-wheel driving and enjoying watching my horses race, including the second best maiden in Australia in Aristocratic Miss”.

Mudgway purchased the multiple stakes placed 2YO, Aristocratic Miss, for $25,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale and kept a share in the Foxwedge filly when sold to Tony McEvoy for $65,000 at the 2017 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale. He also owns or part owns Filbert Way, Going Gaga (a $5,500 yearling purchase and Lieder, both winners in Adelaide.

“I love travelling around the Northern Territory and Lieder is our Darwin Cup horse. He nearly won it last year (finishing third) and is favourite this time around. So you’ll know where to find me in August!”

Courtesy of Aushorse.

Swettenham Stud has launched a new initiative, called “Foalshare – Wholeshare” for the upcoming stud season providing new opportunities for broodmare owners.

Swettenham explains that when a breeder uses their stallions Trust In A Gust, Rebel Dane, Puissance De Lune or Americain during the 2018 stud season, they will enter into a foalshare agreement with the breeder.

When the foal is born, the breeder is given 14 days to decide whether they would like to exercise their buyout clause and pay the service fee, giving them 100% ownership of the foal or continue to press on with the foalshare agreement.

If the breeder decides not to buy out, there is no service fee payable and they grow out the foal at the location of their choice and sell at public auction as a weanling where the breeder and Swettenham split the net proceeds from the sale 50/50. Swettenham also shares the sales company commission and sales entry fee evenly.

Swettenham’s Nominations and Sales Manager, Sam Matthews explains, “the reason why we created the Foalshare/Wholeshare initiative was to eliminate risk and give flexibility and power back to the breeder. There is no offer like this available anywhere else in the world where people can decide after the foal is born.”

“They can have a good look at the foal, and if it ticks all the boxes, they can buy us out. However, if for any reason they want to sell the progeny, we will back it right through to the weanling stage.”

“We have identified the weanling stage as the time to sell due to current positive market trends. It enables the buying bench to see the progeny of our young, up and coming stallions, so they have the best opportunity to succeed in multiple yards and stables,” Matthews said.

Swettenham has backed this great deal with their four quality young stallions; Trust In A Gust, Rebel Dane, Puissance De Lune and Americain.

“We have inspected most of the Trust In A Gust weanlings and love the type he consistently produces. They look to be early runners, and he throws size and strength into each and every foal,” Matthews continued.

“Americain’s winners are coming through on the track, he has sired his first stakes winner along with multiple stakes placings, and he is leading Victoria’s second season sire table by both earnings and winners.

“Puissance De Lune has been extremely well received, and it is a great sign that the breeders who sold his yearlings have booked back in, while we are looking forward to our dual Group 1 sprinter, Rebel Dane, passing his speed, quality and tenacity to his first foals this season.

“At Swettenham, the breeder is our top priority. The Foalshare/Wholeshare initiative allows them to make an informed choice, as the end product is in front of their eyes prior to them choosing their path.”

For more information on the Foalshare – Wholeshare offer, contact Sam Matthews on 0487 851 572.

Rosemont Stud, Woodside Park and Written Tycoon were among the leaders of the Inglis Great Southern Sale select weanling session over the past three days.

And Victorian farms sold each of the ten highest priced weanlings with no less than eight farms represented in that group. Rosemont, Woodside Park, Glenelg Park, Willaroon, Two Bays Farm, Ponderosa, Erinvale and Hillside all featured.

The sale, however, was dominated by progeny of commercial stallions with buyers less keen on sires seen to be outside of that sphere.

Off the back of a significantly increased catalogue, the select weanling session aggregate was up by $252,000, however average prices decreased by 18.2% to $24,532 while the median decreased from 15,000 to 12,000.

Rosemont Stud’s Lot 97 Fastnet Rock x Benalmadena (FR) colt was the sale topper going for $300,000 to the bid of Kia Ora Stud and Bhima Thoroughbreds.

“He had a great work and disposition, he has a beautiful head and I am really excited to be able to sell him,” Kia Ora Stud manager Alex Kingston

“He is a beautiful, well-balanced mature colt that obviously went through a nice preparation at Rosemont.”


Inglis Great Southern Sale select weanlings – Top 10

97ColtRosemont Stud, GnarwarreFastnet RockBenalmadena (FR)Kia-ora/Bhima, NSW$300,000
125ColtWoodside Park Stud, TyldenZoustarCanyonville (NZ)Waterford Bloodstock$225,000
244ColtGlenelg Park, EuroaWritten TycoonHigh AboveSheamus Mills Bloodstock/Palya/Saconi, Vic$175,000
460ColtWoodside Park Stud, TyldenWritten TycoonSimply the Best (NZ)Paul Willetts Bloodstock/Three Bridges, Vic$170,000
341FillyGlenelg Park, EuroaWritten TycoonMiss ChardRandwick Bloodstock/Suman Hedge/Milburn Creek, NSW$155,000
108ColtWillaroon Thoroughbreds, LurgDeep FieldBlueridge Cat (USA)Prima Park Bloodstock/Waterford Bloodstock, NZ$140,000
194ColtTwo Bays Farm, FlindersTeofilo (IRE)Emma PrincessTony Vasil, Vic$135,000
32ColtPonderosa Park, NathaliaVancouverVery CherryPrincess Park/ Sheamus Mills Bloodstock, Vic$125,000
132ColtErinvale Thoroughbreds, BuckleyStar WitnessCentafaithFernrigg Farm, NSW$110,000
158FillyHillside Thoroughbreds, NagambieWritten TycoonCorporate (USA)Rhys Smith , Vic$110,000


Woodside Park’s Champion Victorian stallion Written Tycoon topped the sire’s list (3 or more sold), with his 10 lots selling at an average price of $93,150.

Woodside’s Written Tycoon colt bought by Three Bridges for $170,000

Glenelg Park’s Danny Swain sold a colt ($175,000 and filly ($155,000) by Written Tycoon and was naturally thrilled with those results.

“Written Tycoon is the best stallion in Victoria and to be Victorian breeders selling at a Victorian sale and having results like this is very rewarding,” Swain said.

“The two horses were in high demand in their inspections and that certainly carried through to the sale ring.

Sheamus Mills bought the lot 244 Written Tycoon colt from Glenelg Park on behalf of Palya Bloodstock and Saconi Thoroughbreds.

“(Written Tycoon) is starting to make a name as a potential sire of sires and when you start making your name in that field your expectations as a yearling purchaser go up and you need to start paying more for them,” he said

Meanwhile Woodside Park Stud was awarded leading vendor for the select sale selling all 18 of its offerings for an aggregate of $948,500.

Woodside’s General Manager Commercial James Price said the sales results for the farm were very pleasing and equally satisfying was the performance of the stud’s headline sire Written Tycoon.

“It’s great to be the leading commercial stud in Victoria,” Price Said.

“It’s equally satisfying to see the progeny of Written Tycoon in high demand not only Australia wide but also internationally.”

Inglis’ Victorian Bloodstock Manager Simon Viivan said he was pleased with the outcome of the weanling session, but an increased catalogue this year resulted in a lower average.

“There was good trade right through and I was really pleased. As we’ve endured in a couple of sales this year, clearance rates were tricky initially but with natural adjustment of buyers and sellers we ended up with a clearance rate in excess of 80 per cent,” Vivian said.

“(The average) was drop off, but we also knew that we put a lot of horses into the sale who were probably going to struggle to make a select yearling sale next year.

“Vendors were smart enough to think maybe they are better off trading them now rather than trying to get through to a sale next year. It was a much broader sale than we have had previously.”

With the inaugural running of the $1 million Showdown just around the corner, it’s little wonder the opening of VOBIS Sires has already attracted a record number of stallion nomination, 61 in fact.

And, perhaps most interesting is the quality of first season sires signed up to VOBIS’ newest benefits program.

No less than nine newcomers have been signed up. They are Boulder City, Gold Standard, Highland Reel, Impending, Inference, National Defense, Overshare, Thronum and Tosen Stardom.

That means all their progeny can have a shot at the $1 million Showdown, the $500,000 VOBIS Sires race for 3YOs and for their share of $24 million in VOBIS bonuses and prizemoney on offer every racing season.

Here is the low-down on each of the newbies on the VOBIS Sires list for 2018:

New Riverbank Farm stallion Boulder City

The latest addition to the Riverbank Farm roster is Boulder City. He is a half-brother to the exceptional mare Winx, who is set to stake her bid to claim an unprecedented fourth successive Cox Plate later this year.

Boulder City retires to Riverbank unraced but perfectly sound. The son of Snitzel will stand at a fee of just $5,500, and with the opportunity to access such highly sought-after bloodlines, he is almost a certainty to be a hit with local and interstate breeders alike.

“The decision to retire Boulder City to stud before commencing his racing career was a very difficult one,” said stud co-principal Russell Osborne.

“He has had a number of minor issues that were becoming harder to manage, and the owners decided to meet the market demand and offer him at stud,” Osborne explained.

New Spendthrift Australia sire Gold Standard

Gold Standard makes his stud debut at Spendthrift Australia, where he will stand for an introductory fee of $7,700.

Bred by Dorrington Farm’s Rob Crabtree, Gold Standard is a Group 2 winning son of Sebring who claimed the Stan Fox Stakes in dominant fashion as a three-year-old. On the track he showed tactical speed and versatility, defeating subsequent Group 1 winners Ace High and Trapeze Artist on multiple occasions.

“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 Spendthrift General Manager, Garry Cuddy.

New Swettenahm Stud sire Highland Reel

Globally performed superstar Highland Reel joins the stallion roster at Nagambie’s Swettenham Stud.

Highland Reel is the highest earning European horse trained in history, who scored at the elite level on seven individual occasions. He is a son of the pre-eminent Galileo with an impeccable racetrack record and is set to stand at a competitive fee of $16,500.

“Swettenham Stud has always prided itself on assembling an elite stallion roster that enables Victorian breeders access to the best colonial bred pedigrees and international bloodlines, and Highland Reel is another brilliant example of this,” enthused Swettenham Stud’s Adam Sangster.

Impending wins the Kingsford Smith Cup

Impending was the first three-year-old in a decade to win the Group 1 Stradbroke and the beautifully bred stallion will assume his position on the Darley Northwood stallion roster following his retirement from the racetrack.

“Impending is a great athlete and a great physical specimen. If his progeny inherit his looks and walk, yearling buyers are going to be all over them,” said Darley’s General Manager in Victoria, Andy Makiv.

New Chatswood Stud sire Inference

Meanwhile, Chatswood Stud recently announced that freshman sire Inference will stand at their Seymour-based operation for a fee of $8,800.

“Chatswood has launched the stud careers of Flying Spur, Danzero, Invincible Spirit and more recently Reward For Effort. Inference will also be provided the same opportunity,” explained Chatswood Stud proprietor, Greg Willis.

New Sun Stud sire National Defense wins the Group 1 Jean-Luc Lagardere (photo-Scoop Dyga)

A Champion two-year-old in Europe, National Defense shuttles from the Irish National Stud to Victoria’s Sun Stud for the first time in 2018.

The son of Invincible Spirit claimed his maiden by six lengths and followed up this impressive win with another maiden victory, but this time in a Group 1 contest, capturing the Prix Lagadere. His service fee has been set at $11,000.

“National Defense was a brilliant two-year-old and is sure to catch the attention of local broodmare owners keen to tap into the Invincible Spirit connection,” said Mark Lindsay, Sun Stud’s Senior Sales & Nominations Manager.

New Spendthrift Australia sire Overshare

Overshare is set to join Gold Standard on the Spendthrift Australia stallion roster for the 2018 breeding season at a fee of $15,400.

A son of leading sire I Am Invincible, Overshare was an impressive winner of the Group 3 Zedative Stakes as a two-year-old, a race won by the likes of Not A Single Doubt, Hurricane Sky, Denman and Pins. This was followed by victory in the Listed McKenzie Stakes at three, a race won by successful Victorian stallions Bel Esprit and Danerich.

“We cannot wait to get him to the farm for breeders to see because we feel that he ticks all the boxes. He is by a Champion Sire, he’s a multiple stakes winning sprinter, and he definitely looks the part,” explains Garry Cuddy.

Sun Stud’s Thronum wins the Group 2 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley (Alice Laidlaw-Racing Photos)

Thronum will accompany fellow newcomer, National Defense, to take his place on the Sun Stud stallion roster. Retiring with five wins and four placings under his belt from 14 starts, Thronum is set to stand at a fee of $17,600.

The speedy entire led all the way when taking the Group 2 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley earlier this year, holding off late challenges from subsequent Group 1 winner Brave Smash, Stellar Collision and Mr Sneaky.

“His race record speaks for itself, and he has a real stallion’s pedigree too: apart from being a son of Snitzel, his family is jam packed with black type talent and he is closely related to outstanding sires Shamardal and Street Cry,” said Mark Lindsay.

New Woodside Park stallion Tosen Stardom winning the Group 1 Emirates Stakes

Rounding out the list of Victoria’s freshmen sires signed up to VOBIS Sires is Tosen Stardom who takes up stud duties at Woodside Park Stud for an introductory fee of $19,250.

With only three Deep Impact sire sons available to breeders outside of Japan, Tosen Stardom brings unique value to Victorian mares as an international outcross free from Danzig blood. His feats on the racetrack in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap and the Group 1 Emirates Stakes further add to this appeal.

“As a package, he has the immense presence mare owners desire to produce commercially attractive and successful progeny,” said Woodside’s General Manager Commercial, James Price.

To view the full list of Victorian stallions nominated of VOBIS Sires in 2018, visit the 2018 nominations listing at the dedicated VOBIS Sires website.

For those stallion owners who have not yet nominated, it’s not too late! Nominations are open until 31 August. Contact Racing Victoria at vobis@racingvictoria.net.au or phone (03) 9258 4694 to request a nomination form. Nomination is the cost of an advertised service fee with discounts for stallions serving less than 50 mares in the season.

Full information about VOBIS Sires and The Showdown for breeders, buyers, owners and stallion owners can be found at www.vobissires.com.au

A Victorian homebred filly may well be the next sprinting star if her dominant win at Moonee Valley on Saturday was any measure.

Victorian owner/breeders Todd and Sue Lichti, along with Bendigo trainer Shaun Dwyer have lofty plans in mind for Miss Leonidas (I Am Invincible) after her explosive win over 1000 metres.

Todd & Sue Lichti & Connections of Miss Leonidas after winning at Moonee Valley (Brett Holburt-Racing Photos)

Having required patience and time to mature and hone her raceday manners for her real talent to shine, Todd Lichti believes that they may now be finally getting on top of things and she is now showing others the supreme talent Dwyer sees of her at home.

“She can be an overly aware filly and a little bit sensitive, but Shaun has started to win the battle to get her to relax in her races. But we are getting there, she may still be a work in progress, but she has come so far this prep alone,” Lichti said.

The three-year-old’s victory was quite exceptional, racing away to a six-length win, with plans now on the table to look at gaining some black type in her spring campaign. However the big target at this stage is the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes at Flemington in the autumn, a race Dwyer won in 2004 with Regimental Gal.

For now, Miss Leonidas has earned a good spell, heading to Fulmen Park to make use of their water walker, before a good six weeks break in the paddock.

The Lichtis bought Miss Leonidas’ dam Happy Play in foal to I Am Invincible in 2014 for a mere $10,000. The dam was originally bred by David Kobritz’s Musk Creek Farm operation.

“The sire was still at his entry-level service fee so, in hindsight, it was an astute purchase as we rightly thought he was a stallion on the up,” Lichti said.

“With Happy Play being a half-brother to the Group 1 (AJC Metropolitan) winner Newport, we hoped there was a chance she might throw a really nice galloper.”

After a few seasons of bad luck with Happy Play, she is now currently in foal to Three Bridges’ now deceased sire Unencumbered. Lichti has indicated that having already had 13 foals, Happy Play will probably not go to stud this year.

“Shaun has done a terrific job handling Miss Leonidas, and we have become good friends now over the years. He has shown a lot of patience to bring the best out of her, and even though he has always had a tremendous opinion, it has been his proper management that has progressed us this far,” Lichti said.

“We are certainly enjoying and appreciate the ride, as so many things can go wrong. To find a horse like her is special and there are exciting times ahead. Now we just have to wait and see how she comes back and cross our fingers.”

Todd and Sue have a small group of four broodmares based in Nagambie and a couple more residing in New Zealand.

“We have a very nice Fiorente weanling colt on the ground from an Octagonal mare, and a Rip Van Winkle yearling colt that we have given time to mature. We only had one foal last year unfortunately with a couple of things not going to plan, but we will try again this year,” Todd said.

“Our New Zealand mares will go to Redwood who we hold shares in, with our local mares looking at Street Boss, possibly Sepoy or Fiorente, or even Toronado, who is an exciting type. We like to keep them close by.”

Their greatest breeding success to date is Villa Verde – another situation where Todd Lichti cleverly bought her dam in foal for a similar amount of money.

“We sold Villa Verde as a yearling at the Inglis Premier sale to Shaun Dwyer, which is how we met. She won her first two races at two, both listed at Flemington and Caulfield, before being runner-up in the Group 2 Reisling,” Lichti said.

“She went on to win the Group 2 Challenge Stakes and placed in the Group 1 Galaxy, selling for $1.1 million as a broodmare on retirement.”

The Lichtis were also in a partnership with Hillside’s Peter Arvanitis and Swettenham’s Adam Sangster which bred Group 2 Percy Sykes Stakes winning 2YO filly Pure Elation. In the Snowden stables, the very talented grey filly is being aimed at the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes this coming spring.

Wise Hero (Kaphero) is another that can be attributed to the Lichti breeding operation. The John Price trained 4YO has won at each of the Melbourne metropolitan tracks for earnings of more than $330,000 with still much of his career in front of him having only had 11 starts.

Quite possibly the best advertisement for the 2018 Inglis Great Southern Sale – which started on Sunday at Oaklands Junction – was the gritty victory by Widgee Turf in Saturday’s Catanach’s Jewellers Plate at Moonee Valley.

The Patrick Payne trained, Little Plains Stud bred 4YO took his record to nine wins and five placings from only 19 starts and, while the flashy chestnut has been a model of consistency throughout, his tally over the last seven months has been sensational.

Widgee Turf as a weanling at Wangaratta’s Little Plains Stud

Having his first run for the season last December, Widgee Turf won at Sandown, Moonee Valley, Caulfield, Moonee Valley again, ran third at Wangaratta, won the Group 3 Victoria Handicap at Caulfield, finished second in the VOBIS Gold Mile at Caulfield, was seventh at Randwick in May and, now, notches up win #3 at the Valley.

Even more impressively, Widgee Turf has been carrying big weights for most of his career and lugged 59 kilos around Moonee Valley on Saturday – giving five kilos to each of the place-getters.

Ironically, Payne was hoping to run Widgee Turf in last week’s Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben, but the sprinter was only weighted on 51 kilos for the $1.5 million race and thus was balloted out.

Widgee Turf’s owners, Gordon and Marlene McIntosh, are hardly complaining though.

The latest victory took their gallant galloper’s prizemoney tally to $721,850 which, in anyone’s language is a pretty good return on a weanling purchase price of a mere $4,500.

That’s right … $4,500! In 2014, on something of a whim, the McIntoshs decided to venture south from Widgee in Queensland – yes, it’s how the horse got his name – to attend the Great Southern Sale.

The McIntoshs have farmed the Widgee district (some 30 minutes west of Gympie) for five generations and are hardly what you would call ‘big owners’.

“Marlene and I are semi-retired and had a few picnic horses we raced early on,” McIntosh explains.

“In more recent times we also had shares in several racehorses trained in Victoria, but nothing much of note.”

While wandering around the Oaklands Junction complex four years ago, a weanling colt by Turffontein, on offer from Barb Ivill’s Little Plains Stud, caught McIntosh’s eye.

“He was really bright and alert and I liked the Turffonteins,” McIntosh reveals.

“What really got my attention though was the way he walked … really stepping out.

“The handler could hardly keep up with him and he was a colt on a mission. No-one seemed to want him when he got into the ring, so I put my hand up.”

The McIntoshs placed the horse with Patrick Payne and one day the trainer called to suggest they venture to Swan Hill in Victoria for Widgee Turf’s first run. He duly won and beat subsequent Group 2 winner, Tiamo Grace, in the process.

“Took us a few days to drive home, but it’s always amazing how much shorter the trip is after you’ve won,” McIntosh adds.

“We’ve been down to watch him run quite a few times since and it doesn’t get much better than this.

“He’s been the most successful horse – wins-wise – in Melbourne this season and always gives his best. This is our only horse and it’s just the two of us in him, but the wonderful thing about this industry is that it brings together people from all walks of life.

“You would think that a breeder who had to let one go for just $4,500 would be dirty, but the first one of the phone to congratulate us on Saturday was Barb Ivill.

“She’s in her late 80s and was so happy for us. It was difficult to hear her over the crowd in the mounting yard, but she told me that she’s sending Greyhound (Widgee Turf’s dam) back to Turffontein this spring.”

A daughter of Kala Dancer and the first to produce a stakes winner in four generations, Greyhound hasn’t been covered since Widgee Turf was foaled in 2013.

Turffontein, meanwhile, stands at Victoria’s Blue Gum Farm at a fee of $8,000 and has produced 84 winners (four stakes winners) of 233 races … a figure that’s likely to grow if Payne has his way.

“Widgee Turf is next likely to run on 7 July at Flemington in the Listed Sprint Final, but Patrick said very early on that Widgee Turf will get even better as a 5YO,” McIntosh points out.

That $4,500 is looking better by the minute.

The Sun Stud sired I’m A Rippa won the Listed Eye Liner Stakes in courageous fashion at Ipswich on Saturday giving Love Conquers All his first (but likely not last) million dollar earner.

The Tony Gollan trained gelding has now banked a lucrative Magic Millions raceday win a Group 3 victory last month and now the feature Ipswich sprint.

I’m A Rippa has built a cult following in Queensland owing to his lead-from-the-front style, and the talented galloper has delivered again on the big stage for his supporters.

“This bloke has won $1 million on sheer guts. He’s just a tough little bloke who never gives in,” Gollan said

Gollan purchased the son of Love Conquers All for $55,000 at the 2015 Magic Million Gold Coast March Yearling Sale.

Obviously impressed with the talent of I’m A Rippa, Gollan also bought his yearling full brother for $80,000 at this year’s January sale.

I’m A Rippa joins multiple Group 2 winner Savanna Amour as recent stakes winners for the Sun Stud stallion who has relocated to Victoria this year for the stud.

Savannah Amour is hoping to bring up a first Group 1 win for the sire when she competes in Saturday’s Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara over 1350 metres at Doomben.

“Love Conquers All is doing a remarkable job considering his initials crops contained just 58 and 59 live foals (with the next two crops having in excess of 110 foals),” Sun Stud’s Adam Henry said.

“He has 76% winners to runners and 9% stakes winners to runners from his first crop.

“While only Exceed and Excel, I Am Invincible, Written Tycoon and Snitzel have a better winning percentage for 3YOs this season.”

A Champion Australian First Season Sire by winners, and Champion Queensland Second Season Sire, the continued success of Love Conquers All is excellent news for Victorian breeders, standing at a fee of only $8,800 inc GST in 2018.

Victorian product Santa Ana Lane has definitely put up a good show to claim the title of best sprinter in Australia after winning the Stradbroke Handicap on Saturday, his third major title this racing season.

And it’s a champion claim his owners, the William Street Syndicate, as well as Rosemont Stud’s Anthony Mithen most certainly will sign up to.

Santa Ana Lane was bought as a six-week-old foal at foot to his dam Fast Fleet by Melbourne barrister Dyson Hore-Lacy for $60,000 at the Patinack Farm Reduction Sale in 2012.

Santa Ana Lane & dam Fast Fleet at the 2012 Patinack Farm Reduction Sale

Hore-Lacy placed him in the care of Rosemont, west of Geelong, where he grew up before being presented at the 2014 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale.

Santa Ana Lane as a yearling

He made what now seems like a modest $80,000 in the ring but had plenty going for him according to Mithen.

“I remember him well…he was such an uncomplicated type of horse,” Mithen pointed out.

“He’s a Lope de Vega and was just the kind of athlete you could recommend to anyone. Trouble free and very correct.

“He looked as if he’d go on with it and that’s certainly proven to be the case. I reckon they’ll have a tough go trying to pick the best sprinter from this season and I’m firmly in the Santa Ana Lane camp!”

Santa Ana Lane’s $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap score was his third at Group 1 level this season and he also became the first horse in history to win the Goodwood/Stradbroke double.

The Anthony Freedman trained five-year-old is now the winner of $2,228,711 in prizemoney with seven wins and six placings from 27 outings.

Showing promise early with wins at his first two starts, Santa Ana Lane won the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes in his fourth career start, but it would be over 14 months before his next victory in the Wagga Town Plate.

His third major title has capped been a memorable twelve months or so for Rosemont Stud which had either bred, raised and/or sold four Group 1 winners in 2017.

And that trend has pretty much continued in 2018 through ‘graduates’ such as Santa Ana Lane, Group 1 horses Runaway, Rimraam, Prairie Fire and True Excelsior, plus Iconoclasm, Fish River (Group winner in South Africa), Thrillster and Krone.

And on Saturday, they had another homebred runner the 3YO filly Remember The Name win at Flemington. Coincidentally, like Santa Ana Lane, the filly is also by Lope De Vega.

Sales results were also strong, Rosemont set a new benchmark for the highest priced yearling sold at the VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale and had a Spirit of Boom colt sell for a sale-high $300,000 in Adelaide.

Meanwhile the triple Group 1 winner’s dam was sold earlier this month at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. In foal to Darley’s son of Tapit, Frosted, she was picked up for $200,000 by Aquis Farm.

With $130,000 on offer, the VOBIS Gold Elvstroem Classic was the richest race of the three-day Swan Hill Carnival and Warrnambool trainer Matthew Williams took home the lion’s share with a homebred filly of his.

The road trip north with family and horses to Swan Hill was indeed worth the journey when homebred two-year-old filly Don’t Doubt Maeve got through the heavy to score over 1300 metres.

Coming off a home-track defeat in last month’s $100,000 VOBIS Gold Strike after leading all the way, the progressive daughter of Not A Single Doubt compensated in spades with the whole family involved in the celebrations (pictured above).

“It’s certainly good to win a feature race like this and it’s even better when my wife owns a leg and half of her. She’s (the filly) only a little thing, there is not a lot of her, but she is so tough,” Williams said.

Williams said Don’t Doubt Maeve’s $76,000 prize (prize money and VOBIS bonus) for first place will be put to good use; funding a family business that will continue to support thoroughbred racing and breeding into the future.

“My word, it was a good day, and I’m looking forward to a nice pay cheque coming in the mail, especially with the VOBIS bonus on top.”

“Don’t Doubt Maeve has been in work for six months and had four starts this preparation (for two wins), but if she continues to improve there may be more VOBIS riches to be found this winter.”

Williams was particularly proud of the win as the filly is out of Banri Maeve, an eight-time winning mare by Magic Albert that he trained himself. Williams also trains her three-year-old filly Maeve In Manhattan (Manhattan Rain).

Interestingly, Banri Maeve took 18 starts to break her maiden so the talented daughter Don’t Doubt Maeve has certainly showed up mum having already won twice in her four starts.

Banri Maeve currently has a Headway weanling and is in foal to Blue Gum Farm sire Manhattan Rain.

Williams has half a dozen broodmares with most of them supporting local stallions this coming season to take advantage of VOBIS eligibility including the new VOBIS Sires race series.

“We are looking at Brazen Beau, and I bought a lovely Toronado filly from Swettenham at the sales this year, as they have also impressed me,” Williams indicated.

“We are fortunate we have our own spelling property which is economical as, even though we are only breeding a few, once the weanlings grow and the foals arrive the numbers can multiply quickly.

“Ideally, we like to retain to race the progeny ourselves, but we have made a couple of commercial decisions recently.

“A mare I breed with Darren Dance, Tonza Rossa, we sold her Shamus Award filly at the recent (Inglis) Premier sale and we will sell her Written Tycoon next year.”

Godolphin has shown its support for the VOBIS Sires initiative having nominated all their Victorian-based Darley stallions for the 2018 season.

That gives all of their progeny a shot at the $1 million Showdown, a race exclusively for two-year-olds by VOBIS Sires nominated stallions. All progeny of these stallions can also access the $24 million on offer through VOBIS bonuses and VOBIS prizemoney each and every year.

Leading first-season sire Brazen Beau and Lonhro’s dual Group 1 winner Impending head the list of eligible Darley stallions nominated this year.

Darley’s General Manager in Victoria, Andy Makiv, said, “This is a terrific initiative by Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria and Racing Victoria and presents great opportunities for Victorian broodmare owners, racehorse owners and trainers.”

“We are proud to support this program with all our Victorian stallions for the fourth straight year.”

“Racehorse owners, breeders and trainers have been targeting the yearling sales with the aim of having a runner in the inaugural running of the two-year-old race next year.”

“We send a significant portion of our own broodmare band to our Victorian-based stallions with this scheme in mind. There is little doubt it has had a big impact on the Victorian thoroughbred breeding and racing industries.”

The progeny of all VOBIS Sires’-nominated stallions will be eligible to compete in two exclusive races run annually on the Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday, held at Caulfield Racecourse:

  • The Showdown, a $1 million two-year-old race over 1,200 metres to be run for the first time in April 2019; and
  • $500,000 three-year-old race over 1,600 metres to be run for the first time in April 2020.

Darley Northwood sires Brazen Beau, Street Boss, Reset and Kuroshio were nominated for the inaugural year of VOBIS Sires in 2015. This means that all their 2016 foals are eligible (if nominated to Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold) to race in the very first edition of the $1 million Showdown next April.

Darley stallions nominated for VOBIS Sires in 2018 are Brazen Beau, Frosted, Street Boss, Impending, Reset, Holler, Sepoy and Kuroshio.

What a result it was for Yarran Thoroughbreds on the Gold Coast selling the mare Heatherly on behalf of Barrie and Midge Griffiths for $1.6 million!

The Group 2 wining mare, in foal to Written Tycoon, attracted the fifth highest price at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale selling to New Zealand’s Sir Owen Glenn.

Yarran’s Rachel Doherty said it was an honour to take the Group 2 winner to such a prestigious sale on behalf of owners Barrie and Midge Griffiths.

‘‘We knew she would be one of the sale’s banner lots, and she deserved the seven-figures. He temperament was unbelievable and she walked around the complex like she owned it. You just couldn’t fault her, and everyone loved her but unfortunately she was out of a lot of peoples price range,” Rachel said.

But celebrations for Rachel and husband John, manager at Yarran, had to be tempered with preparations for next week’s Inglis Great Southern Sale well underway back home at the Northwood farm.

They have a draft of thirteen horses for the sale which includes six quality weanlings bred by Yarran as well as clients (and seven mares).

“We have a lovely Sepoy colt (lot 33) out of a Pentire mare which is a nice connection with Sepoy being born and reared next door to Yarran at Darley, and returning to stud there this season,” Rachel said.

“Another stand out is a lovely Nostradamus filly…she will be well recognised amongst breeders having been a winner of the 2017 TBV Instagram foal photo competition (pictured).

Yarran Thoroughbreds – Nostradamus x Magic Pulse filly

“As well (in the draft) is a nice big strong War filly, who is the fourth foal out of a Shamardal mare that has already produced two winners on the track, including a talented two-year-old by Reward For Effort.”

Yarran Thoroughbreds, a 600-acre property on the banks of the Goulburn River fronting the famed Northwood Road, is owned by Griffiths’ son-in-law Andy Hine. Hine is looking to increase the farm’s profile on the breeding and sales scene.

‘‘Andy wants to grow and expand the business and bring Yarran to an elite level, and we have purchased the property next door to increased our land holding to around 1000 acres moving forward,” Rachel Doherty said.

“This will allow us to expand our resident broodmare band to around forty mares and commercially target the sales on the Gold Coast and Easter in the future. With Sheamus Mills as bloodstock advisor, we are focusing on high-quality pedigrees.

“While Andy is concentrating on selling his bloodstock through the sales, his passion is also growing to race, so there may be a select few yearlings retained to make an impression for Yarran on the track as well.”

Sun Stud has announced that highly respected industry professional, Robyn Wise, will join its nominations team.

Robyn has considerable experience in all facets of the thoroughbred industry, having worked in management positions for leading farms both domestically and internationally, as well as running a successful business of her own.

“We’re delighted to have someone with Robyn’s experience, integrity and reputation on board with Sun Stud,” said Mark Lindsay, Senior Sales and Nominations Manger.

Robyn’s role will see her out on the road visiting mare owners and broodmare farms throughout Victoria and interstate.

“I am really excited about this position. The variances of the breeding game present plenty of opportunities and I will be looking to assist breeders where I can,” said Wise.

Robyn and the team at Sun Stud have a busy few months ahead with an eleven-strong roster including new sires National Defense and Thronum.

Robyn is taking up her new role immediately and can be contacted on 0419 174 632 or rwise@sunstud.com.au

It may be just early winter but already breeders of the thoroughbred are thinking of the spring, making their plans, thinking about which stallion is going to be the perfect mate for their mares.

And Neville Murdoch is hoping they give serious thought to the four well credentialled stallions who call Larneuk Stud, Euroa their home.

Murdoch says Wolf Cry, Cluster, O’Lonhro and Honorius are four stallions ideally suited to the VOBIS market, priced to suit every breeder’s budget.

The stud’s stalwart O’Lonhro is, says Murdoch, “vastly underrated,” serving only small books of mares in recent years but continuing to do the job – proving a reliable source of sound, tough winners who just keep improving as they mature.

A record-breaking Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes winning son of the mighty Lonhro from the family of I Am Invincible, O’Lonhro is the sire of the classy black type performers Mamzelle Tess and O’Lonera. He has also been represented by recent smart winners Big Reel, Blue Valour, St Paul’s Bay, A Good Yarn, The Mood I’m In, Mr Bellagio and the ATC Country Championship placegetter O’So Hazy.

O’Lonhro stands the 2018 season at $5,500 (incl gst).

The newest boy at Larneuk is the exciting Street Cry stallion Wolf Cry whose first foals are due this spring – and Murdoch is confident that the imposing entire will pass on his own “strength and good looks.”

A $320,000 Magic Millions yearling purchased by James Bester, the Group 2 placed Wolf Cry won Australia’s richest maiden on Magic Millions Day and he has plenty of pedigree behind him being out of the Group 3 placed Redoute’s Choice mare Starfish, daughter of high class sprinting mare Stella Cadente from the family of Group One winners Filante, Bint Marscay, Bollinger, Benicio and Kenny’s Best Pal.

Wolf Cry’s fee remains at $4,400 (incl gst).

Already proven in his ability to sire eye-catching progeny is Fastnet Rock’s Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes winning son Cluster who is being prepared for his fourth season at stud.

His first crop of yearlings were extremely well received, at the Gold Coast a filly fetched $72,000 and a colt $50,000 whilst in Tasmania a $45,000 filly was also popular.

Standing at $6,600 (incl gst), he is a good-looking horse who has the strength of his sire and the class of Last Tycoon – that outstanding broodmare sire influence being the sire of Cluster’s fast stakes winning dam Tarcoola Diamond.

Making up the Larneuk roster is Group 3 Craven Plate winner Honorius, a two time Group 1 placed son of Holy Roman Emperor (who has been doing a good job around the world with his 72 stakes winners, eleven of whom are Group One winners).

A half-brother to South African Group 1 star Igugu, the descendant of the champion Petite Etoile from the ever flourishing Mumtaz Mahal family served his first book last spring and will again stand at $5,500 (incl gst).

For further information on Larneuk’s roster contact Neville Murdoch on 0418 105 706 or visit www.larneuk.com

Next week’s Inglis Great Southern Sale will see the first crop of foals of VOBIS pin-up boy Trust In A Gust on the market.

And there are expectations the six weanlings on offer via the Swettenham, Merton Creek, Bombora Downs, Ellora and Hollylodge drafts will be sought-after products.

Swettenham Stud’s Sam Matthews says the team at the farm believes the Trust In A Gust weanlings are some of the most impressive weanlings as a collective ever seen with good size and strength.

“They are well-grown, early types and Swettenham will be backing his progeny very heavily in all aspects moving forward,” Matthews said.

“As a dual Group 1 winning sprinting sire, from 1200 to 1600 metres, his types have consistently followed along the same speed-lines.”

Remembered fondly as a consistent top class galloper for Darren Weir and owners, Trust In A Gust took out the Group 1 Rupert Clarke Stakes and the time-honoured Toorak Handicap.

In his three-year-old season, he became the poster boy for VOBIS racing winning the VOBIS Gold Eureka, VOBIS Gold Star and the VOBIS Gold Carat at Caulfield. Notably, he was also second in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Rush in his racing debut (as a two-year-old).

“He was loved in Victoria by the racing public, and being bred, foaled and sold by Swettenham, before returning to the north-east nursery at stud, there is a natural affinity towards him and his future success.”

“The Trust In A Gust weanlings are powerfully built, early types like their sire, and we expect they will be very popular at the yearling sales next year,” Matthews said.

“(Darren) Weir loved his toughness over the sprinting distances and has already indicated he will be backing him and is looking forward to having a “few in the barn.”

“You can identify the Trust In A Gust weanlings immediately in a paddock or group, as a being in the mould of himself, they distinguish themselves as the standout in a group.”

The full Swettenham Stud weanling draft will be available to parade from Thursday at the Oaklands Junction sales complex.

Trust In A Gust will stand in 2018 for a fee of $6,000 plus GST. Contact Sam Matthews on 0487 851 572 for more information or to book a mare.