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Monthly Archives: July 2018

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A new chapter at famed Ealing Park

Euroa’s Ealing Park has changed hands recently with new owners Rebecca and Simon Lurati seeking to repeat the renowned farm’s success.

Ealing Park was established by Geoff and Mary Johnson in 1983 with their son Tim (a former President of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria) and wife Lisa taking over in 2000 and has been a breeding ground for many a good horse.

“We value the reputation that Ealing Park has within the thoroughbred community, so we wanted to keep the name and write another chapter in its proud history,” Rebecca Lurati said.

The Luratis has have over 25 years of breeding and showing experience with horses including foaling down hundreds of mares. They previously owned a 500-acre property at nearby Tamleugh that was the home of Dallu Welsh Mountain Pony Stud.

At the new Ealing Park the Luratis will be partnering with specialist equine vet Stacey McGregor of Seven Creeks Equine and well-known breeding farrier Shaun Gray helping give resident horses the best of care.

Historically, Ealing Park can count many a Group 1 star among its ranks. This autumn’s Coolmore Classic winner Daysee Doom grew up at Ealing Park as did Titanic Jack and Grand Journey while Cox Plate heroine Pinker Pinker and Faint Perfume were both foaled down at the farm.

Ealing Park raised Daysee Doom wins the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (pic-Steve Hart)

Melbourne Cup winner Kingston Rule stood at stud at Ealing Park and is now buried in the front yard alongside 1966 English Derby winner Charlottown (who stood at the farm in the 1970s when it was known as Summerhill Stud).

Rebecca Lurati said this history was a key lure for her and her husband in buying the farm.

“I remember driving past Ealing Park twelve years ago and completely fell in love with it. Being only around the corner from where my mum was buried, it was always a dream to buy it, and it’s even been a running joke in the family that any extra money goes towards the Ealing Park ‘fund’.

“We wish to continue to run this property as a thoroughbred broodmare farm with plans to extend to spelling and yearling preparation in the near future and, once the weather warms up, we look forward to welcoming prospective clients to visit.”

Having been a major player in Victoria breeding, the Johnsons wound back the operation in recent years and the Luratis are aware that there is a lot of work ahead of them.

“The property has been professionally set up, but we will be busy putting back some polish on the stunning property,” Rebecca said.

With pasture maintenance already underway, they are looking forward to their first thoroughbred mares arriving at the property for the season ahead.

“We will only look to foal around twenty mares this year, giving them the best of care while we continue to concentrate on improving and renovating the 200-acre property.”

Interestingly, Rebecca’s welsh ponies have already played a vital role in the thoroughbred industry.

“My welsh pony stud has a strong connection to the industry having supplied teasers to a number of leading Victorian thoroughbred studs including Blue Gum Farm, and they will be the most brilliant nannies for the thoroughbred weanlings,” she said.

In the future, they will also look to provide safe spelling for racehorses while Rebecca will draw on her extensive showing background of preparing horses for the show ring, to prepare yearlings for the sales ring.

“I would love to get into yearling preparation, as it complements the immaculate attention to detail that I learnt showing, and every little bit helps to attract the right buyers attention.”

The Luratis are offering introductory rates for their debut season. Contact Rebecca on 0427 736 662 or visit www.ealingpark.com.au for more information.

Ownership success for Victorian breeders

Makybe owned Unfair Dismissal wins the Listed Oaklands Plate (Atkins Photography)

A pair of Victorian breeders tasted city racetrack success with two highly promising two-year-old colts over the weekend.

Tony Santic’s famed Makybe operation along with Todd and Sue Lichti both enjoyed a win as owners of Morphettville winner Unfair Dismissal and Flemington winner Visao respectively.

And it is not surprising considering breeders estimated fully or partly own more than 60 per cent of all racehorses in Australia.

With the famous silks of Makybe Diva’s red, white and blue on full display at Morphettville on Saturday, the highly promising Unfair Dismissal (All Too Hard), zoomed away with the Listed Oaklands Plate over 1400 metres.

With three wins and two placings from seven outings, Unfair Dismissal gained black type and trainer Tony McEvoy predicts a promising future for the promising two-year-old.

“He was a dominant winner…he’s got a terrific action…big, strong fellow. His pedigree suggests the further we get him out, the better he should be.”

Unfair Dismissal was bought by Santic at the 2017 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale for $120,000. He is from Exceed And Excel mare Up And Up, a daughter of Queensland stakes winner Altrista and a granddaughter of Group 1 winner Alynda,

“It was great to see those colours salute again on Saturday,” Makybe farm manager, Joe Murray pointed out.

“Since the ‘big girl’, Makybe has also raced Group 1 winning sprinter Headway and, in more recent times, the stakes horse Il Cavallo. The farm has also bred stakes winners, (Group 1 winning Hong Kong sprinter) Mr Stunning, (Group 1 Thousand Guineas winner) Amicus and (stakes winner) Debonairly.

Tony Santic’s Makybe operation currently has 14 horses in work (along with full or part-ownership in 10 yearlings), while a further 35 to 40 mares reside at his 500-acre property near Geelong in Victoria. Among those mares is, of course, Makybe Diva.

“She (Makybe Diva) has a rising 2YO filly by Brazen Beau that has been retained by Makybe and is just about due to enter a leading stable, while Makybe Diva is currently in foal to Written Tycoon,” Murray said.

On quite a different 2YO path is Visao, a horse Todd and Sue Lichti bought into following trainer Maher buying him for a mere $50,000 at last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

The Todd & Sue Lichti part-owned Visao wins the Byerley Handicap at Flem…

On Saturday, Visao won the 1800 metre Byerley Handicap, a race designed to foster the staying-bred juvenile and providing the winner ballot free exemption into the Victoria Derby.

The Lichtis, who run a wine distribution business in Melbourne, “breed a few and race a few” but have enjoyed quite a deal of success in recent years despite the relatively small numbers.

They have bred Group 2 Challenge Stakes winner, Villa Verde (subsequently purchased for $1.1 million as a broodmare), this season’s Group 2 winner Pure Elation (in conjunction with Swettenham Stud) multiple city winner Wise Hero and last month’s 6-length Moonee Valley winner Miss Leonidas.

A former professional basketballer in both the NBA (North America) and NBL (Australia), Todd Lichti grew up in California and was enticed to come to Australia by good mate, school friend and Australian representative Andrew Vlahov.

It was during his time with the Perth Wildcats that Lichti met his future wife, Sue, and after a relatively brief stint back in America, the pair decided they wanted to raise their children in Australia and shifted down under in the early 2000s.

“I had no real interest in horses before moving to Australia, but it’s hard to avoid it here … especially in Melbourne,” Lichti says with a laugh.

“You go out for a coffee and either someone you’ve met or a friend of a friend has a racehorse and after a while you begin to wonder what you’re missing out on!”

Ciaron Maher’s Racing Manager, David Eustace, revealed that Visao would now be tipped out for a short break before being set on his Derby path.

“We can dare to dream,” Eustace points out.

That’s a dream that will certainly give the Lichtis plenty to talk about over coffee over coming months!

Thanks to IRT, the boys are back in town!

Shuttle stallions arrive on the weekend at IRT's First Point Animal Services facility at Tullamarine

You know the breeding season is just around the corner when the big boys fly in!

IRT this week proudly and safely flew in the first wave of Victoria’s shuttle stallions into Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport. Once the final wave arrives next week, a total of nine sires will have been flown in for Victorian stud farms.

The new arrivals undertake a compulsory period of two weeks quarantine at the Australian Government’s Mickleham quarantine facility, before heading out to their respective studs for the season.

Amongst the precious equine cargo destined arriving over the past weekend was Swettenham Stud sires Americain (from the USA) and Toronado (from France) Woodside Park Stud bound Cable Bay (from the UK) and Spendthrift Australia’s Jimmy Creed and Warriors Reward (from the USA)

This weekend, new Swettenham shuttle sire Highland Reel will be flown in by Coolmore directly out of Shannon Airport in Ireland.

Following that, Darley Northwood based stallions, Frosted and Street Boss from America and Brazen Beau from the UK, will fly in via ‘Godolphin-air’.

A loyal sponsor of TBV, IRT Managing Director Chris Burke is proud of the role IRT plays in strengthening Victoria’s breeding industry.

“We are a vital element to the success of the leading studs in Victoria as we give them the ability to shuttle stallions for breeding between the two hemispheres safely and efficiently,” Burke said.

“We pride ourselves that every stallion arrives in fine health and condition after a long journey ready for a successful breeding season.

“The shuttle stallions have given Australia wonderful bloodlines, pedigrees and gene pools that would otherwise be geographically unavailable, and in turn that makes us a destination for international buyers to purchase yearlings and mares,” Burke said.

Some of those thoroughbreds destined for international shores, are the export this weekend of 20 yearlings to South Africa.

“Farms can produce top-class thoroughbreds that are in demand with the world-wide buying bench, be it Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Europe, the US or in this case South Africa,” Burke said.

“We are the perfect market for South Africa, as their racing calendar and breeding season is the same time as Australia. They can buy beautifully bred yearlings to race competitively locally, as they are all southern hemisphere time bred to leading international stallions.

“Therefore we assist our local breeders by giving overseas purchasers the confidence that they can buy a yearling at an Australian sale and through a professional company, fly their horse back to their final destination in good hands.”

Cain bred horse is more than able

Churchill Lodge bred Al Passem wins at Flemington (Ross Holburt-Racing Photos)

Churchill Lodge bred Al Passem has now got his sights firmly on spring features with a dominant winning display over 1600 metres at Flemington on Saturday.

Churchill Lodge’s Tim Cain was thrilled to see how easily the Ken Keys trained three-year-old handled the 1600 metre trip, even suggesting that he could stretch further.

“It was great to see him win like that at Flemington, as it’s always a bit of an unknown what they do from two to three. He looks like he has improved; you couldn’t fault him,” Cain said.

Al Passem is now a city winner as a two and three-year-old with total prizemoney $235,900 after being sold for $55,000 through the Swettenham Stud draft at the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale.

Although Keys is known to keep his cards close to his chest, thoughts are that the impressive black galloper may now have a little freshen up, before finding a nice race to suit during the spring.

“He looks like he may have options aplenty, but that will be Ken’s call and it is exciting to have a horse heading that way. He is clever enough to find something to suit,” Cain said.

Churchill Lodge is a boutique farm of 80 acres near Portarlington on the Bellarine Peninsula owned by the Cain family. The family has enjoyed great success as breeders or owners with horses such as Group 1 winners Dash For Cash and Shinzig, Group 2 winner Fontiton and family favourite Snort (a Listed winner).

“We foal down a handful of mares each year, sell a few through the sales and grow out our own young stock to race. They happily graze on lush paddocks while enjoying the magnificent bay views,” said Tim who manages the property for the family.

Foaled down by Tim, Al Passem is out of the three-time winning Rubiton mare Ruby Bre. She is a half-sister to the stakes-placed Marie Madeleine and is from the family of Group 3 winner Scarlet Crown and Group 1 Oakleigh Plate winner Scarlet Bisque.

“Ruby Bre has a Turffontein two-year-old with (trainer) Jamie Edwards called Pantera Nera. He had his debut at Geelong and looks promising. He just wants to stay all day, has a great action, and is a really nice type of horse. He will step up straight to a mile and being a rising three year old with a great attitude, we may even head to the spring with high hopes and dreams,” Cain said.

“I have to give my dad, Michael, the credit for the name, as he spent a lot of time on Google to find it. Pantera Nera, meaning ‘black panther’ in Italian, came about as Ruby Bre is a stunning mare herself, jet black and moves like a panther and she replicates that in all her foals.”

“She also has a beautiful Fiorente filly, that is just outstanding. We will definitely retain her to race and breed, and she will head off to the breakers shortly.”

Ruby Bre had a year off last season and will stay in Victoria to be covered this spring.

“We have a few options on the table, but the Swettenham stallions are definitely at the top of the list. Having a long standing relationship with Adam Sangster as a close friend and through Dash For Cash, we will certainly have a good chat about Highland Reel and Toronado and find the right match for the mare.”

“With Ruby Bre being a Rubiton mare, she needs some Danehill blood, which is seen in Highland Reel’s dam line. Circles of Gold was one of the most outstanding mares and offers an exception gene pool and it’s just a case of unlocking it. Hats off to Adam to deliver a brilliant stallion prospect at an affordable level.”

Note: It was quite the weekend for Swettenham Stud sales graduates. Along with Al Passem, Gitan (2015 Inglis Premier) won at Randwick, Unlimited Ability (2016 Inglis VOBIS Gold) saluted at Moe and Zelamore (2015 Inglis Premier) was too strong at Geelong.

Homebred ‘pet’ Mannertone jumps to victory

Anne McGrath's homebred Mannertone & Braidon Small jump to victory at Bendigo (Pat Scala-Racing Photos)

The success of Victorian bred horses over the jumps continued at Bendigo’s feature Mosstrooper Day on Sunday with Mannertone (Manner Hill) scoring for his trainer and breeder Anne McGrath.

Based at the family home of Orford (between Warrnambool and Hamilton), Anne McGrath and her much-loved jumper Mannertone epitomise the toughness of Western District breeding and racing.

She saddled up her home-bred nine-year-old jumper to win the Benchmark 120 Steeplechase over 3600m at Bendigo, his eighth win over the sticks and ninth in total. His prizemoney has leapt to $316,000 following Sunday’s win.

Having been foaled, raised and trained all his life at McGrath’s Orford farm, Mannertone has become a family pet of sorts.

He won his maiden on the flat at Mount Gambier in May 2013. Almost two years later, he would get his second win which was over the hurdles at Bendigo. Since then he has become a mainstay of western Victoria jumps racing affectionately known as ‘Jaffa’ by connections (and racecaller Rick McIntosh).

Amazingly, his 89 start career includes 20 fourth places!

“He has been a cunning old horse, dumping a jockey, shying at the barriers – he has a decent bag of tricks up his sleeve. In the early days I even had to shoe him myself, by putting him in the round yard and tying up a leg,” McGrath said.

“But despite all that, he is a handy jumper, a tough bugger, and a favourite around the place. He has mellowed with maturity. I have been very proud of how he has been going, and although he is not a champion, he is wiser with age and always there to annoy them.”

Mannertone is a son of Manner Hill from the Scenic mare Hampton, Manner Hill was the foundation stallion at Lancefield’s former Cherokee Rose Stud and is a Group winning son of champion mare Mannerism.

“I stuck my neck out to buy his mother for $15,000, and she showed enough promise that I had her entered for the Oaks, but disappointingly she did a sesamoid in training and went to stud early,” McGrath said.

“After foaling a couple of slow ones after Mannertone, we went back to Manner Hill with Hampton, and his (four-year-old) brother Hammer‘n’Tone is shaping up very nicely. In his last prep he had real style. He may have a better natural jump than Mannertone, so fingers crossed.”

As a breeder and owner, McGrath tasted success at the highest level when Tears I Cry won the 2007 Emirates Stakes at the odds of 100-1.

Emirates Stakes winner Tears I Cry with owner-breeder Anne McGrath and trainer Ciaron Maher

“I had lost my mare that was due to go to Lacryma Cristi, so dad lent me a mare to use – and as luck would have it, we foaled Tears I Cry,” McGrath said.

“As a young horse, his legs were everywhere, so initially I thought he may not make it as a racehorse, better off showjumping, but when he first came into work he started to show ability very early.”

After scoring success with trainer Ciaron Maher (his first Group 1 win), he would return to McGrath’s stables before retirement which included life as a clerk of the course horse at Warrnambool.

Sadly, ‘Skeeta’ as he was known around the stables, passed away earlier this year.

“We only lost him three months ago and he is sorely missed,” McGrath said.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2012, McGrath underwent chemotherapy and operations, crediting her positive attitude to her family and her horses.

“I found the horses kept my feet on the ground and so did my family after I was diagnosed. I used to get out there and ride both Mannertone and Tears I Cry through the bush after treatment as a release.”

“They both helped me through it, horses have a way of doing that.”

Mannertone’s jumps win comes off the back of other Victorian bred jumpers scoring this season including Self Sense (breeder David Brideoake), Kothu Rotti (Earl Eddings) and Don’t Be Shy (North Star Park) among others.

No shuttle for Sun Stud’s National Defense

Sun Stud stallion National Defense wins the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Edmund Whitaker)

Sun Stud has announced that Group 1 winning two-year-old National Defense will not be coming to Australia this spring.

Unfortunately, the Champion colt by Invincible Spirit has been injured and is to remain at the Irish National Stud where he covered his initial book of mares earlier this year.

“It’s a real blow coming this close to the start of the season,” Sun Stud’s Managing Director, Danielle Cheng, points out.

“Thankfully, it’s not a career threatening injury, but National Defense’s health is paramount to us and the decision was made by leading vets in both Ireland and Australia to not take the chance of flying him at this stage.

“Not surprisingly, National Defense has been popular with Australian broodmare owners and every effort will be made to accommodate those breeders who have already booked for this spring.”

Demonstrating the industry’s nature of swings and roundabouts, Sun Stud may benefit from an announcement by Darley this week that they will keep shuttle sire Teofilo back home in England this spring.

This decision will give Teofilo fans cause for thinking about where to send their broodmares now and sons of Teofilo will come directly to mind.

Teofilo’s best performed sire son in Australia is Sun Stud’s flashy chestnut Palentino, a winner of the Group 1 Australian Guineas and Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes.

Palentino stands at Sun Stud at a fee of $17,600 with his first foals arriving this spring.

For further information about all Sun Stud stallions, phone 03 5428 5168 or visit www.sunstud.com.au

A farewell to Strategic

Darley sire Strategic

The much-loved Group 1 winning sprinter and successful Victorian sire Strategic has succumbed to the infirmities of old age at Godolphin’s Woodlands Stud, where he was born almost 26 years ago.

“He was a wonderful old boy, he had a great nature, and was a real gentleman in the breeding shed,” Darley’s Victorian General Manager Andy Makiv said.

A homebred product of the Ingham family’s Woodlands Stud, the John Hawkes trained Strategic was one of the best racehorses of his generation.

Bursting onto the racing scene in the cerise silks with five consecutive wins as a two-year-old, among them the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes and the Group 3 Skyline Stakes. He would go on to also win the Group 1 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley.

The son of Zeditave began stud duties in the spring of 1996. In 2008, Darley purchased Woodlands including Strategic and his stallion barn mates. In 2009, Strategic was relocated to Darley’s Northwood Park near Seymour.

Throughout his eighteen years at stud, he covered on average more than 100 mares per season, an extraordinary recognition of his popularity with breeders.

He was the sire of more than 640 individual winners, including 29 stakes winners, three Australian Group 1 winners Platelet, Meurice and Mistegic while Strategic News was victorious at the top level in South Africa.

Strategic’s most recent stakes winners are Coronation Shallon and Tudor who were both sired out of Victoria’s Northwood. His final Victorian crop are now two-year-olds.

Strategic has also made a name for himself as a broodmare sire with his daughters producing high-class gallopers such as Holler, Le Romain and Griante.

“He had tremendous speed, precocity, and being a tough colonial bred sprinter he brings that Australian speed influence through his daughters,” Makiv said.

“We are thrilled to stand Holler at Northwood, who is out of a Strategic mare, to continue his great influence in both Victorian, Australian and international breeding,” Makiv said.

After retiring from stud duties in 2014, Strategic enjoyed his retirement at his birthplace – Woodlands in the Hunter Valley – alongside his old racetrack rival and stable mate Octagonal.

Strategic and Octagonal at Woodlands in October 2015

“He has had a wonderful life, and that’s what it is all about, for these Group 1 winning horses to go to stud and produce Group 1 winning horses, and then for them to live out their retirement on a beautiful farm,” Makiv said.

Yulong scores big recruits

Yulong's new acqusition Foxplay (Ross Holburt-Racing Photos)

Nagambie based breeder Yulong has made a Group 1 addition to its broodmare band as well as a signed on a couple of star new employees as it works toward opening a stallion operation in 2019.

Yulong’s Mr Zhang Yuesheng & team at last year’s Magic Millions Broodmare Sale (Magic Millions)

Late last week, it was announced that Star Thoroughbreds had sold Group 1 winning mare Foxplay (Foxwedge) to the fast-growing Yulong.

Yulong has also recruited the highly experienced Brian Gorman as its stud manager while Jamee Ryder, formerly of Musk Creek Farm, will manage yearling operations.

Musk Creek’s Jamee Ryder has moved to Yulong at Nagambie (Katrina Partridge photography)

Yulong Chief Operating Officer Sam Fairgray said the international racing and breeding operation was thrilled with the acquisition of Foxplay to join what is becoming one of Australia’s premier broodmare bands.

“We are continuing to build the quality of Yulong’s broodmare band. Foxplay being a Group 1 winner and high-class race filly, is a wonderful addition. It’s those stakes winning mares that tend to produce the high-quality racehorses we all aspire to breed,” Fairgray said.

Foxplay took all before her as a three-year-old, winning the Group 2 Furious Stakes and Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes in the spring then the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes, and the Group 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes against the older mares in the autumn.

Returning to racing in the spring of 2017, Foxplay almost achieved ‘the impossible’ by nearly holding out the great Winx in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes at Randwick.

The acquisition matches recent comments by Yulong owner Mr Zhang Yuesheng, “I would like to build a nice band of commercial mares that can be bred to some of the leading stallions in Australia and in turn, to offer their top-quality progeny to the market.”

In addition to Foxplay, other Yulong mares include:

  • Group 2 winner Gypsy Diamond
  • Extremely, the dam of Blue Diamond winner Extreme Choice
  • Dual Group winning mare Gregers
  • Veruschka (in foal to Frankel)
  • NZ Group 1 winner Soriano.
  • Dual Group winner Neena Rock
  • Group winner Mamwaazel

Yulong has a broad target of growing its broodmare band to 120 and, as part of this growth, recently purchased Nagambie’s Hillside property. The 210 acre farm will help accommodate the expanded bloodstock operations and complement the 450-acre Limerick Lane property as well as the 170 acre farm at Bayles primarily used for spelling of racehorses.

Hillside will also be host to Yulong’s future stallion operations.

“We are currently in the process of designing a stallion complex and we will be looking at standing a couple of stallions in 2019. Through top quality mares like Foxplay, our broodmare band will support these stallions from the start,” Fairgray said.

Although Fairgray is remaining quiet about the stallions they have in mind, there is no doubt that the resources behind Yulong give it the ability to mix it with the established stallion farms.

It is part of Mr Zhang’s desire to keep top Victorian-based mares in Victoria.

“A large number of mares are sent by Victorian breeders to the Hunter Valley each year to be bred, however, I would like to work towards offering Victorian broodmare owners the opportunity to send their mares to commercial stallions in their home state,” Mr Zhang said recently.

Sam Fairgray said the Nagambie farms were moving ahead full steam as the new breeding season approaches.

“We have been working on our properties, improving the pastures and we now have a strong structure in place,” he said.

“Brian Gorman (formerly with Bellerive and Swettenham) will come on board as our Stud Manager, and Jamee Ryder will take over the management of our yearlings.

“Jamee is a young talent in the industry, having spent time at Musk Creek and gaining further recent experience abroad.”

Gilgai, Maher and a talented filly (again)

Gilgai Farm bred The Closer ridden by Linda Meech wins at Geelong (Reg Ryan-Racing Photos)

Could this be the new lethal combination?

Breeder Gilgai Farm, trainer Ciaron Maher and a filly on offer at the Inglis Premier Yearling sale?

It worked at the 2014 version of the sale with the Caulfield based trainer buying Jameka off Gilgai. She has gone on to win three Group 1 races and $4.8 million (so far).

Gilgai Farm bred Jameka wins the Caulfield Cup (Racing Photos)

Now Maher has another filly bred at the famed Nagambie farm that also appears to have immense talent and may, like Jameka, be given a shot at the VRC Oaks in November.

Gilgai bred The Closer (Dundeel) was ultra-impressive in winning on debut in a two-year-old fillies race over 1350 metres at Geelong last week.

With Maher in hospital with a broken leg following a fall off Jameka last week, Assistant Trainer David Eustace was at Geelong to watch the filly and commented post-race that “she was a filly that Ciaron really liked.”

“He has been very patient with her. She was going really well last prep but it was decided to give her a break and it’s all coming to fruition now,” Eustace said.

“She’s got a big action and she’s very athletic, but she still has plenty of furnishing to do so we are hopeful she will get over a bit of ground and up in class.”

Following in the footsteps of Jameka, The Closer was purchased by Maher and stable client Wes Ballantine for $70,000 out of the Gilgai Farm draft at the 2017 Premier Yearling Sale.

Ballantine and his family own and operate the new breeding operation Thompson’s Creek farm near Modewarre, just past Geelong.

Maher’s Client Relations and Bloodstock Manager Brian McGuire remembers taking the time during pre-sale inspections at Gilgai to get to know the filly.

“She took our eye when we visited the farm early in her preparation, and we were impressed with how she continued to develop and grow,” McGuire said.

The Closer is the second living foal of the Sandown winning Elusive Quality (USA) mare Miss Evasive, a daughter of the brilliant Group 1 VRC Oaks and Group 1 VATC Thousand Guineas winner Magical Miss (Danehill).

“We loved her female family and it’s a good rule of thumb, that daughters of very good race mares are good producers. She represented enormous value at that price, especially as she was a clean as a whistle and Gilgai are renowned breeders of successful racehorses,” McGuire said.

“Ciaron will be patient and reap the rewards, as being from an Oaks winning family, she will also head down the Oaks trial.”

Gilgai Farm manager Kelly Skillecorn was thrilled that his self-proclaimed “bargain” of the sale has ended up in the right hands.

“She did all the right things during her prep, and she caught the eye of the best trainer possible. At least if she didn’t make the money we had hoped, she landed in the best possible stable to fulfil her potential on the track,” Skillecorn said.

“We did expect to get more than that for her, coming from such a beautifully preformed female family.

“Interestingly we also offered (at the 2017 Premier Sale) her close relation, now called Yulong Meteor, who incredibly only made $50,000 in the ring She was by Medaglia d’Oro, out of the stakes placed mare Joie, and Maher is now training her as well.

“Both look to be stakes winning quality fillies, possibly worth an few hundred each, and he has them in the stable for $120,000 combined. We just gave them away.”

“At least when they get knocked down to him (Maher), you know they are not going to get a better chance anywhere. He made Jameka, he made (the dam) Mine Game, and he will make these two sisters, and our mares will still get the pedigree updates that that deserve.”

Springmount is Aiming at a Smart season ahead

Victorian bred Aim Smart wins with style at Ruakaka (The Informant)

The team at Romsey’s Springmount were cheering on a winner ‘over the ditch’ on the weekend with the farm-bred 3YO Aim Smart scoring in style at Ruakaka.

Always rated highly, but subject to injury niggles, the China Horse Club owned horse was having his first start for Cambridge trainer Lauren Brennan having previously been placed at Group 2 level as a 2YO.

He was bred at Springmount by the partnership of Ralph and Peta Zito. Joe and Rhonda Cichello and John and Diane Button (who also bred and race smart gelding Leodoro)

China Horse Club bought the Smart Missile gelding for $80,000 at the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the Springmount draft.

Springmount’s Michael Flannery was thrilled to see another farm product succeed particularly for such a prominent buyer.

“He was a nice, straightforward, correct colt, with plenty of bone that I remember could be a bit of a lad,” Flannery said.

“His dam, North Sea, has a very nice weanling filly on the farm by Statue Of Liberty and after having a year off last season, she will head for an early cover this spring.”

While her mate for 2018 hasn’t been decided on yet by breeder Ralph Zito, Flannery’s first thoughts are to look locally.

“Provided that the mating is commercially advantageous, we would prefer to keep the mare in Victoria and support those close to home when possible,” Flannery said.

“It makes good sense, as travel costs are down, stress on the mare and foal is kept to a minimum and they can enjoy Victoria’s lush, green pastures.”

Michael and Anna Flannery purchased the 150-acre Springmount – previously the Monterey Stud – in 2015, and are now entering their fourth breeding season,

Michael has over 40 years experience in the thoroughbred breeding industry, having started his career in his native Ireland. He worked at major studs in Europe before relocating to Australia to manage leading studs in Victoria and Western Australia prior to running his own farm in Harvey, Western Australia for nearly 20 years.

“We will be looking to foal down around 45 mares this season, with the earliest arrival date belonging to the brilliant race mare and Melbourne Cup runner-up, She’s Archie,” Flannery indicated.

Owned and raced by Horsham’s Dunn Family, she is expecting a Fiorente foal this spring

“Meanwhile Ralph Zito is expecting a foal by Darley’s Frosted out of Statue Of Liberty mare Miss Steele, also a Group winner,” Flannery said.

“We are running very close to capacity and looking forward to a busy breeding season ahead. We are fortunate that we have wonderful clients that we have built loyal relationships with over the years. It is lovely to have them, and we appreciate working with good people.”

Written Tycoon writes more history

Written Tycoon at Woodside Park

With ten winners in the past seven days, Woodside Park’s Written Tycoon has his foot to the floor as we race towards the end of the season which will see him sire more winners than he ever has before.

A repeat win of the Victorian Champion Sire title was all but confirmed months ago.

Written Tycoon enjoyed a breakout 12 months in 2015/2016 when his star two year-old Capitalist won the Magic Millions 2YO Classic and Golden Slipper to give the son of Iglesia progeny earnings of $10.1 million and third place on the Australian General Sires List behind Street Cry (IRE) and Not a Single Doubt.

This season, Written Tycoon has another star colt running for him in Group 1 Blue Diamond winner Written By and, while his collective $9.7 million in earnings may not quite surpass his previous best, his 150 winners so far has been a personal best.

The Australian Champion First Season Sire of 2010/2011, Written Tycoon spent his first eight seasons at stud never standing for a fee greater than $13,750 and all of his success to date has been achieved from this modest base.

His first yearlings conceived at a higher fee of $19,800 (in 2015) are rising two year-olds and his two subsequent crops (weanlings and foals due this spring) have been bred at fees of $49,500 and $88,000.

Some of the best mares in the country have visited Written Tycoon in Victoria in the past two years so it will be very interesting to see what effect they have on his burgeoning results.

Just browsing through the mares to have visited the Tylden stallion barn in 2017 you can’t help but be impressed.

Group 1 winning mares and Group 1 producing mares included Bel Mer, Gold Anthem, Headway, Pasadena Girl, Makybe Diva and Scandinavia. Add to that the likes of Group winners Heatherly, Oasis Bloom, Gregers, Karuta Queen, Kulgrinda, Vergara and Miss Promiscuity. And that’s just a start.

More illuminating however is the quality of NSW-based breeders that sent mares to Written Tycoon in 2017.

Renowned breeders such as Newhaven Park, Emirates Park, Edinburgh Park, Strawberry Hill, China Horse Club, Aquis Farm and Gooree Park among many others have sent at least one if not multiple mares south of the Murray.

Such a long list of top quality commercial breeders list has never been seen before in Victoria.

That level of clientele combined with ongoing racetrack and sales ring success of his progeny certainly makes the strong case for Written Tycoon’s fee to rise to $110,000 this spring.

Excerpts from Breednet.

Highland Reel’s brother on the way up

Highland Reel's little brother Cape Of Good Hope wins at Tipperary (Healy Racing Photos)

Just ten days after breaking his maiden at Tipperary, Highland Reel’s brother Cape Of Good Hope (Galileo) was a fighting second in Saturday’s Group 2 Superlative Stakes (7f) at Newmarket.

In doing so, he became the fourth stakes performed horse for Elvstroem’s Group 1 placed sister Hveger (Danehill).

The seven-time Group 1 winner Highland Reel will be a welcome addition to the stallion ranks in Victoria this spring when he takes up residence at Swettenham Stud.

“He ran a lovely race and we couldn’t be happier,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said.

“We were very happy with him and he is progressing lovely. We are going gently with him and you can see that with every run he is getting a bit better.

“I think he is still a baby, so he is progressing. Physically he is strong, but mentally he is still a baby.

“I don’t think a mile will be a problem when that time comes, but we’ve plenty of time for that and we don’t need to go there yet.”

Cape of Good Hope is now expected to be targeted at Group 1 juvenile races before a likely Epsom Derby preparation next year.

Meanwhile, Highland Reel and Cape of Good Hope’s multiple Group winning brother Idaho also has Group 1 goals in mind. He is among the fancies for the Goodwood Cup at the end of the month while also having an entry in September’s Irish St Leger.

Excerpts from Breednet

Burning the ‘Turf!

Turffontein's son Bold Thruster wins with ease in Singapore

There might have been 6000 kilometres between them but it was another successful weekend for the progeny of Turffontein, with Mandela Effect winning at Caulfield and classy two-year-old Bold Thruster annihilating them in Singapore.

Bred by Tasmanian Mandy Gunn and trained by Scott Brunton, Mandela Effect had been one of the Tasmania’s most progressive horses over the past year, winning three times and running four seconds from eight starts before heading to Melbourne.

Local odds assessors gave the three-year-old, which had drawn the outside gate little hope and he started at odds of $21.

Jockey Dean Holland elected to drop him back to the tail of the field and with 600 metres to travel those odds looked conservative.

However, once Holland asked him to go forward approaching the turn, Mandela Effect showed sharp acceleration to loop the field and despite racing a little greenly in the straight, drew away to win comfortably.

Mandela Effect, which was sold at the 2016 Tasmanian yearling sale for $18,000, is from a winning West Quest half-sister to former smart Tasmanian sprinter Royal Work and is from the family of AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Mighty Manitou.

It was ever so nearly a running double for Turffontein, with the Patrick Payne trained Widgee Turf failing by just a nose to claim another victory over the same track and trip that he won the Group 3 Victoria Hcp earlier in the year.

A win would have made Widgee Turf the most successful horse in Victoria for the season, but he now looks set to finish equal top on six wins. His career earnings are now almost $740,000.

On Sunday in Singapore, trainer Payne enjoyed success as the breeder of the Shane Baertschiger trained Turffontein two-year-old Bold Thruster, which gave his rivals a galloping lesson at just his second race start.

Payne bred Bold Thruster from winning Elusive City mare Aelia Capitolina, which was sold at the recent Great Southern Sale for just $1,200.

Bold Thruster’s second and third dams Snaabelle and Inchedony, were both smart race mares winning to Listed level.

After running fifth at his debut on the Polytrack, Bold Thruster relished getting onto the grass surface at Kranji.

He went straight to the front, never gave his rivals a look in, before drawing right away to win most impressively by 6 1/4 lengths over 1200 metres.

You can watch Bold Thruster’s big Singapore win at turfclub.com.sg.

While trainer Baertschiger enjoyed the win, it was a case of what might have been.

The exciting two-year-old by Turffontein had made his debut in the second leg of the Singapore Golden Horseshoe series in early June, but did not enjoy the kickback on the Polytrack surface.

The fifth placed result wasn’t sufficient to get him into the Aushorse Golden Horseshoe on turf, a Singapore Group 2 race Baertschiger felt the 2YO could have been highly competitive in.

Turffontein will stand the 2018 season at Blue Gum Farm for a fee of $8,800

Tabcorp and Inglis continue partnership

Tabcorp EGM of Wagering Andy Wright & Inglis CEO Mark Webster

Tabcorp, Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria’s principal sponsor, has further demonstrated its dedication to thoroughbred racing and breeding by extending its partnership with Inglis for a further two years.

The renewed agreement between Inglis and Tabcorp’s wagering arm, TAB, takes the formal relationship between the pair to eleven years.

Tabcorp’s Managing Director of Wagering and Media Adam Rytenskild said he was thrilled with the ongoing partnership.

“Tabcorp is the biggest supporter of thoroughbred racing in Australia. Our businesses return $1 billion to the racing industry each year and our partnership with Inglis is yet another demonstration of our commitment to Australian racing,’’ he said.

“We look forward to introducing our punters and partners to the world class Inglis Riverside Stables development and (newly renovated) Oaklands Junction in Melbourne. Our Sky Racing broadcasts and our wagering services will help support Inglis buyers, breeders and trainers.

“Our renewed partnership will also support the Inglis race series and the inaugural $4 million Inglis race day at Warwick Farm in February 2019 – a great prelude to the Golden Slipper Carnival and The Championships.’’

Inglis’ Managing Director Mark Webster described the deal as exciting and reassuring.

“It makes sense. It’s as simple as that,’’ he said.

“We are the market leader in our field and have been for a long time. And TAB is market leader in its field and has been for a long time.

“We have had a fantastic relationship with the TAB team for more than a decade and I’m thrilled we have been able to come to terms to extend that again.”

With Inglis having moved into the new Riverside sales complex in Sydney earlier this year, a major renovation of Melbourne’s Oaklands Junction complex is now in full swing.

The works are expected to be completed for the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale in March.

Big bonus, changes on the way for 2019 Melbourne yearling sales

Inglis' Oaklands Junction sales ring is undergoing a major renovation

With the 2018 yearling sales season in the rear vision mirror, the attention of breeders and sales company Inglis has turned to next year’s sales.

And breeders and buyers alike will see a number of changes and incentives put in place for 2019’s Oaklands Junction yearling sales.

These include a $500,000 Premier Sale bonus associated with the Blue Diamond, major sales complex renovations and a refresh of the April yearling sale.

As part of the Melbourne Premier Sale, Inglis will offer a $500,000 bonus, split equally between the catalogued vendor and supplier, to a graduate that is victorious in the 2020 Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield.

Written By, winner of this year’s Blue Diamond, is a graduate of the Premier Sale, having been offered through Basinghall Farm’s draft in 2017.

On the infrastructure front, Inglis has accelerated major renovation works at Oaklands Junction.

Visitors to the complex during the Great Southern Sale will have experienced the fresh new look of the reception, the first stage of works completed.

Prior to next year’s Premier Yearling Sale, being held from 3-6 March, extensive works will be completed in and around the auction ring as well as throughout the restaurant and other hospitality facilities.

For the Gold Yearling Sale in April (previously VOBIS Gold), Inglis will now open entries for horses not nominated to Super VOBIS while also extending the sale to two days.

This sale will be held on 28-29 April 2019 and will follow the $2.52 million VOBIS Owners and Breeders Day incorporating the inaugural running of the $1 million Showdown for VOBIS Sires eligible 2YOs.

Inglis’ General Manager of Bloodstock Jonathan Darcy said a great deal of work was also focused on encouraging buyers from interstate and overseas to come to Melbourne.

“We are continually working on our relationships with buyers in Australia and abroad to ensure they attend the 2019 Inglis Yearling Sales and target our clients’ valuable bloodstock at Oaklands,” said Darcy.

Entries are now open for the full 2019 Inglis Select Yearling Sales Series and close on Friday August 3.

Entries of 2017 born foals can be made at inglis.com.au/onlineentries.

Bon Aurum to stand at Glen Eden

New Glen Eden sire Bon Aurum wins the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (Reg Ryan-Racing Photos)

Ciaron Maher trained Group 1 winning entire Bon Aurum will become the fifth major winner to start a stallion career in Victoria this season.

Glen Eden Agistment in conjunction with Ken King Thoroughbreds has announced that the four-time stakes winning stallion will be stationed at the growing Kilmore stud.

Bon Aurum won four black-type races including the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude as a 3YO and then the time honoured Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes over 1400 metres as a four-year-old.

He will stand at Glen Eden alongside other resident stallions, Al Samer, Illustrious Blue and Scintillo.

Sonia O’Gorman, manager of Glen Eden, is thrilled to have such a great opportunity.

Having worked for more than twenty in the thoroughbred industry, including at Hunter Valley and Victorian stallion studs, Sonia is progressively building her operation and Bon Aurum’s recruitment is a big milestone.

“He ticks all the boxes to become a great sire. He won as a two-year-old, his wins were from 1200 metres to 1400 metres and he is a Group 1 winner and a four-time stakes winner,” O’Gorman said.

“As a bonus he is also an impressive looking individual standing at 16.1 hands. He has great presence, scope, strength and correct conformation all attributes to compliment producing good racehorses as well as impressive yearling types for the sales.

Bon Aurum is free of Danehill making him a great option for many mares in Australia.

Trained by Caulfield based Ciaron Maher, Bon Aurum was held in high regard with the stable professing he was an impressive racehorse with a great temperament.

“Bon Aurum was a tough horse with a remarkable will to win! He was trained on from being a two-year-old winner to be a dual stakes winner at three before winning a Group 1 in the spring Carnival of his four-year-old career,” Maher enthused.

“He was an exceptional athlete; a beautiful physical type and I look forward to training his progeny for years to come”

Prolific owner Ken King, who bred Bon Aurum by his stallion Bon Hoffa, rates him better than his sire both on type and track performance.

“Bon Hoffa has been a great stallion for owner-breeders who want to produce a top-class racehorse at a reasonable price and we are confident his Group 1 winning son Bon Aurum can emulate and even better his deeds,” King said.

“We (Euroa’s Parador Park) will certainly be supporting him with our band of broodmares and look forward to sending his progeny to our first-class trainers.”

“With Bon Aurum’s credentials you would expect him to be standing at a much higher price, but the decision was made to stand him at a lower fee giving owners-breeders great value for money.”

In fact, at a service fee of $5,500 (GST incl), Bon Aurum is the only Australian Group 1 winning first season sire in 2018 standing for less than $8,000.

For more information on Bon Aurum or the other Glen Eden stallions, contact Sonia O’Gorman on 0407 811 411 or email glenedenagistment@bigpond.com or visit www.gleneden.com.au.

Championship was good old magic

Magic Consol ridden by Craig Williams wins the VRC-CRV Winter Championship Series Final at Flemington (Pat Scala-Racing Photos)

Age hasn’t condemned the Barbara Marshman homebred Magic Consol: matter of fact, it appears to be working in his favour.

On Saturday at Flemington, rising 9YO Magic Consul finally added a stakes victory to his resume by capturing the $150,000 Listed VRC-CRV Winter Championship Final over 1600m.

It was a mighty win…Magic Consol had to jump from the widest gate, but jockey Craig Williams had the chestnut well poised by the home straight and surged to the lead over the closing stages to win with nearly two lengths to spare.

Magic Consol’s connections might have been waiting a while for that black type (Magic Consol did run second – beaten a head – in last year’s Listed Murray Bridge Cup), but patience has been the key according to trainer, Paul Preusker.

“Full credit to the owners (Peter McFarlane and Barbara Marshman),” Preusker points out.

“When the horse had niggles and problems we left him alone and he didn’t really begin racing until a late spring 3YO.”

In fact, November 2012 was the first time the punting public saw him.

Making his debut over 1100m at Hamilton in Victoria, Magic Consol ran fifth of 11, but despite that inauspicious opening volley, he has gone on to win 12 of his 57 outings, with a further 14 placings and $572,765 in stakes.

Magic Consol’s trainer in the early days was his breeder and part-owner, Barbara Marshman, who had trained out of South Australia’s Naracoorte then Hamilton in south-west Victoria for some 40 years, saddling up over 300 winners including 1976 George Ryder Stakes winner Superior Air.

As it turns out, Magic Consol was Marshman’s last winner, handing the galloper over to Preusker shortly after winning a Horsham maiden in October 2013.

“Paul has done a fantastic job with the horse – never wanted to rush him,” Marshman explains. “Magic Consol was a real handful to begin with. Even after he was gelded you could hardly get a jockey on his back and was always a bit spooky. Incredibly quick though and he’s been worth the effort.”

Magic Consol is by the former Darley stallion, Consolidator – a son of Street Cry who won the USA Breeders’ Futurity Stakes and stood in Australia for just the two seasons, 2006 and 2008, at Darley’s Northwood Park. Although he has sired eight stakes winners in North America and Europe, Magic Consol is his sole black type winner down under.

Magic Consol, meanwhile, is out of the now retired Shalford mare Shally’s Magic – a 6-time winner for McFarlane and Marshman – who hails from the prolific family of Golden Slipper winner Full On Aces, Impending, Drawn and co.

“I always liked Consolidator and also raced a horse by him called It’Sall Aboutharry that won seven and was eventually sold to Rockhampton,” Marshman adds.

“I’ve scaled right back and only race a couple and breed from a couple these days, but Magic Consol is doing a good job of paying for all of them!”

Produced by Aushorse

Niconoise, Victorian breeding’s best kept secret?

Ponderosa Park sire Niconoise

Based on recent trends of winners in Melbourne, Niconoise may be the Victorian stallion roster’s best-kept secret.

You would have to be on another planet not to know about the performances of uber-talented Nicconi gelding Nature Strip.

And then have been quality metro wins in the past fortnight by Nicconi progeny including 2YO Tony Nicconi (at Flemington) and 3YO Legale (at Sandown). You can also add Sydney winner Nicci’s Gold to recent Nicconi winners.

Ponderosa Park sire Niconoise, a son of Redoute’s Choice, offers all of the sire’s pedigree and speed, but without the cost!

Niconoise is the half-brother of Widden Stud’s successful dual Group 1 winning sire Nicconi (Bianconi) as well as the three-quarter brother of multiple Group 1 winning Niconero (Danzero). They are all out of the Devitt and Gordon families’ star broodmare Nicola Lass.

Paul and Sue Kelly of the Nathalia based Ponderosa Park said now was a great opportunity to access the blue-blooded pedigree of Niconoise.

“Mare owners shouldn’t miss out on breeding to a stallion from a proven blue hen mare, by a champion stallion and whose half-brother is currently flying in the breeding barn with Nicconi,” Paul Kelly said.

“This is a brilliant chance for Victorian breeders to tap into this exciting stallion prospect and elite female pedigree for a fraction of the price Nicconi is demanding in the Hunter Valley.”

Niconoise won four city races from 1100 metres to 1800 metres and currently holds the Flemington 1700 metre track record. He ran in the Australian Cup the race after breaking this track record, however he suffered a serious leg injury and was subsequently retired.

Niconoise as a racehorse for the Devitt & Gordon families

Kelly also pointed out the similarity of Niconoise to Nature Strip in type.

“If you see them both in the flesh and in photos they are such similar types, which indicates the strong influence the female line has. That’s what we need to showcase, as that’s where the talent and ability is coming from. She (Nicola’s Lass) has been an incredible producer and will shape the breed in the future,” Paul said.

“Then on top of all this, his sire Redoute’s Choice is a Champion stallion and sire of sires, including current champion Snitzel, giving Niconoise a more commercial pedigree based on current stallion trends.

“He was an incredible talent, and it’s such a shame we didn’t see the best of him on the track. His track record that still stands proves just what a class galloper he was.”

Niconoise is nominated to VOBIS Sires for the 2018 breeding season giving his progeny the chance to race for more than $24 million in VOBIS benefits on offer every year.

Niconoise will send for exceptional value this breeding season at $3,300 (GST incl)

“We are willing to do discounts for multiple and winning mares, and as we want to make breeding to Niconoise affordable with no nasty surprises. We are also offering a package deal for $5000 that includes three months agistment, standard reproductive scanning and horse maintenance (farrier and worming),” Paul said.

Paul and Sue have been breeding thoroughbreds for over 12 years and have a strong background in camp drafting…Paul is also a local farrier.

“We started off pin-hooking and just got bigger and bigger; we now have around 50 or 60 mares currently on the farm. One thing we learnt about thoroughbreds is that you need to work out the game very quickly or you go out the back door,” Paul said.

Contact Paul or Sue Kelly at Ponderosa Park on 0427 761 016 to book in your mare or for more information visit www.ponderosapark.com.au

Victoria’s own Widden Valley in the Gold spotlight

Jake Noonan aboard Widden Valley's son Chas Marlow after winning at Wangaratta (Brett Holburt-Racing Photos)

Widden Valley is more commonly associated with the Hunter Valley when it comes to the Australian thoroughbred breeding industry.

But for at least a short time last week, it was Victoria’s Widden Valley – the sire that is – which was the toast of racing.

Widden Valley’s talented son Chas Marlow broke his maiden emphatically at Wangaratta for Mornington trainer Tony Noonan and scooped up the lion’s share of a $20,000 VOBIS Gold bonus along the way.

However, you would have thought it was a million-dollar-earn based on the excitement generated by Victorian breeder-owner Graeme Ward as well as Widden Valley’s owner Peter Grundy.

“It’s nearly a dream come true,” said Ward after the win which he witnessed on-course.

Noonan was also thrilled to train the winner for his long-term client and making the win even sweeter was that Noonan’s son Jake was onboard. Ward has watched him grow up around the stable throughout his 25-year association with Noonans.

“It was a terrific win and well ridden by Jake, the son of a gun. He’s (Tony) a great bloke and a great trainer, a Group 1 trainer.” Ward said.

Widden Valley was always destined to be a stallion prospect being a son of Anabaa (USA) out of the fantastic Group 1 AJC Australian Oaks-winning mare Rose Archway (Archway). He was bought for $900,000 as a yearling at the Inglis Easter Sale.

Widden Valley (AUS)

Peter Grundy, a forty-year veteran of racing and breeding, who stands Widden Valley at his Little Yarra Lodge in the Yarra Valley, pointed out that Ward was a co-owner of the stallion’s dam.

“Graham had a soft spot for Rosie (Rose Archway), and he always promised he would send a good mare to Widden Valley when he went to stud,” Grundy said.

“Keeping good on that promise, he sent (Snippets mare) Classy Miss and I am so happy to see her son Chas Marlow reap the rewards for him. Hopefully he may send another mare or two in the future.”

Widden Valley had two wins in his racing career over 1350 metres, setting a new class record at Wyong by 1.5 seconds, and breaking a 20-year record. In his last start he ran a gallant third in the $750,00 Inglis 3YO Guineas at Scone in a top quality field.

As his trainer, Chis Waller said he was “a horse with tremendous ability that racegoers never got to see the best of. He had a great attitude but unfortunately couldn’t get over his injury as a youngster.”

“This horse would have won Group races for sure – he had so much natural talent. I had black type races picked out but it just wasn’t to be.” Waller said.

Widden Valley’s progeny statistics are nothing to be sneezed at. He has had 37 named foals for 24 to race resulting in 11 winners that include Uber Ed, He’s Our Woody, Foraoise, Cat’s Alley and Peter Grundy’s homebred Golden Valley.

Contact Peter Grundy at Little Yarra Lodge on 0417 720 468 for more information.

A paddock with a Cityview offered by new farm

A view of the city from new Gisborne South breeding property Cityview Farm

A new broodmare farm has emerged on the Victorian breeding scene, one which has historic origins and is ideally located on the fringe of the Macedon Ranges.

Cityview Farm has opened in Gisborne South and is located on the same land as the famed St John’s Lane Stud, an operation owned by Doug Reid, breeder of the great mare Maybe Mahal among many others.

The new broodmare farm is in a rural and peaceful setting yet is only a stone’s throw from the city.

The quiet life at Cityview Farm

The farm will be managed by South Africa-born Carla Aliphon who has worked on major studs here in Australia and internationally.

After moving to Australia from South Africa, Carla graduated from the University of Melbourne University with an Advanced Diploma of Applied Science (Horse Management) undertaken at Glenormiston.

Carla went on to complete many breeding seasons at Eliza Park (now Sun Stud) at nearby Kerrie. Her international experience has included stints at the renowned Derrinstown Stud in Ireland and in America at Kentucky-based Pin Oak Stud.

Armed with this extensive CV, Carla is now ready to embark on the next stage of her career, taking the helm of the boutique broodmare operation at Gisborne South.

“I am so excited to begin my journey at Cityview Farm. Having worked on large studs, with over 200 mares, here I will be looking after a boutique operation where I can give the broodmare band one hundred per cent of my care and attention,” Carla said.

“I have been given the opportunity to implement well-practiced processes and put my individual stamp on the property, which is a dream.”

Cityview is a mere 25 minutes from the airport or 40 minutes from the heart of the city, while also being in close proximity to Victoria’s main studs including Woodside Park Stud, Sun Stud and Spendthrift Farm. It is also less than 90 minutes from north-east based studs including Chatswood, Darley and Swettenham.

“Our location offers mare owners and clients brilliant access to their horses. They can come up in the morning and see their foals, before having lunch at one of the local wineries in the Macedon Ranges,” Carla said.

“The property is very well appointed, the fencing is state of the art and well maintained, with timber post and rail and Diamond Mesh. The paddocks are double fenced and include a solid shelter and trees for shade.

“It’s a beautifully designed property, with good drainage after heavy rain, slight undulations and hills for bone growth and development for yearlings and, most importantly, well-maintained, clean pastures that fulfil the mares’ and foals’ nutritional needs.”

Cityview expects to foal down around 20 mares this season, with all reproductive work undertaken by the highly experienced veterinarian Ian Douglas.

“I have formed a long and trusted professional relationship with Ian Douglas over my career, beginning with my first season almost 17 years ago and look forward to working together with Ian again at Cityview Farm,” Carla said.

“I am keen to implement processes that ensure the smooth day to day running of Cityview Farm, while giving every mare my dedicated care and attention. It is an honour to have the opportunity to manage such an exciting venture and be a long-term part of its growth and future success.”

For more information, please contact Carla at Cityview Farm directly on 0475 999011 or visit www.cityviewfarm.com.au