With the first Victorian foals having already hit the ground this season, Avenel’s Ellora Stud is awaiting its first arrivals as it prepares for a busy spring.

Established in 2016 by Matthew and Claire Brown, Ellora Stud is a boutique thoroughbred operation near Avenel based on 80 acres.

The partnership is ideal to run such a farm with Matt being an experienced stud manager while Claire is a skilled equine veterinarian.

“We aim to provide a first class, professional service by working with our clients to achieve their dreams,” Matt said.

Matthew has over twenty years of experience working in the thoroughbred breeding industry in New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and France. Work in Australia has included roles at Kitchwin Hills and Rosemont Stud.

Claire is a senior equine veterinarian and partner at the Seymour Equine Clinic, with 18 years of experience. She is specifically interested in thoroughbred reproductive work and stud medicine.

She was born in the UK and graduated at the Royal Veterinary College in London, before working at the Irish National Stud and then moving across the world to take up a position at Scone’s Satur Veterinary Clinic.

The highly experienced couple bring their individual skill sets to the farm to ensure every thoroughbred resident receives the best of care.

The Browns pride themselves on achieving excellent pregnancy rates amongst resident mares. With Claire on site mares can be vetted very early or late on in the day to achieve the optimal time for covering.

The farm was bought as mostly a blank canvas for the Browns to develop as a breeding property.

“All our foaling yards have diamond mesh fencing to ensure the safety of clients’ mares and newborn foals, with individual stables to provide additional shelter or exercise restriction as required,” Matt said.

“There are also a number of smaller grass runs, which are ideal for gradually increasing the exercise for young foals as they grow.

“The horses are all around us and the foaling yards less than fifty metres away from the house. We do all the night watch ourselves.”

With half a dozen of their own broodmares and several clients’ mares, Ellora Park will foal a band of around 15 mares this coming season.

“We have a strong Victorian emphasis and try to support local farms and stallions. Our mares are heading to Sun Stud’s Palentino and Bel Esprit, along with supporting the Spendthrift Australia stallions,” Matt explained.

“We prepare our own weanlings for sale and endeavour to always improve our mares, who are mostly sourced in foal from the Great Southern Sale and other breeding sales.”

“We had some great results selling under our own banner (at June’s Inglis Great Southern Sale), including a Nostradamus weanling that made $50,000. I buy mares in foal to first season sires, or proven stallions, and try to find some value in a competitive market.”

For more information on Ellora Stud, contact Matt Brown on 0400 113 268 or visit www.ellorastud.com.au

For a stallion never supported by big numbers, Larneuk Stud’s O’Lonhro continues to do the job. At Cranbourne on Thursday the sire was represented by a particularly impressive debut winner in two-year-old O’Tauto who saluting at nice odds.

Taking on the odds-on pick Rock Tycoon, the Greg Eurell trained colt looked to have the job ahead of him following a tardy start, sitting wide most of the trip and then looking to be under pressure at the 600 metre mark.

But responding to the urgings of Damien Thornton, O’Tauto began a run around the field from behind the turn and once balanced into the straight he began to charge at the favourite – putting his nose out right where it counts.

“He is a horse we have liked all the way through,” trainer Eurell said post-race.

“The ability is there but he is big, raw and green and he still needs more experience; racing will bring him on I am sure.”

Greg Eurell has enjoyed good success with the O’Lonhro breed, describing the record-breaking Chelmsford Stakes winner as “a very underrated stallion.”

“I really like the O’Lonhros. They always give us a great run for our money; he really is a stallion who deserves to get more mares.”

Larneuk Stud’s Neville Murdoch, proud breeder and owner of O’Tauto, could not agree more.

“We just don’t understand why O’Lonhro so often gets overlooked. He ticks a lot of boxes – his progeny are sound, tough, consistent performers who do not take long to come to hand and who just keep improving as they mature.”

For further information on O’Lonhro, who stands alongside Cluster, Honorius and Wolf Cry at the Gooram based Larneuk Stud, contact Neville Murdoch on 0418 105 706 or visit www.larneuk.com

Spring is well and truly in the air at Riverbank Farm where Russell Osborne and Dr Caroline Duddy have done such a good job building up a loyal client base that they have been able to add two new stallions to the roster.

On the back of the recent announcement that Winx’s half-brother Boulder City would be calling the Benalla property home is the exciting news that Caulfield Guineas winner Anacheeva will also stand at Riverbank this spring.

Despite his excellent racing and pedigree credentials, Anacheeva has never served large books of mares but owner Geoff Guest maintains the faith and is hopeful that a new home will see the ten-year-old afforded better opportunities.

“He has shown that, with the right mare, he can produce a good horse,” Guest said, pointing to his own success with home-bred Ana Royale, winner of the Group 3 SA Fillies Classic and Group 1 placed in the Australasian Oaks at Morphettville and the Queensland Derby at Doomben.

Winner of one of Australia’s premier stallion making races, Anacheeva has his name on the Caulfield Guineas honour roll alongside the likes of Starspangledbanner, Lonhro, Show A Heart, Redoute’s Choice, Grosvenor, Sovereign Red, Luskin Star, Vain, Ajax and Heroic.

Also the winner of the Group 3 Guineas Prelude and the Listed Mitchell McKenzie Stakes, Anacheeva amassed just short of $1 million in stakes.

A versatile galloper, he was a three-length winner at two-years-old over 1200 metres on debut, before finishing right in the thick of things when fourth in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes.

Proving himself to be one of the state’s best three-year-olds with his Caulfield victories, he was also a gutsy third in the AJC Derby won by Shamrocker indicating he could show perform from 1200 metres right through to 2400 metres.

Anacheeva is one of the 88 stakes winners sired by the outstanding Danzig stallion Anabaa, the July Cup winner who is one of the great shuttling success stories with Group 1 winners in both hemispheres – Goldikova, Anabar, Anabaa Blue, Plumania, Amonita, Style Vendome and Rouvres in the north and in the south Yell, Virage de Fortune, Anabandana, Le Drakkar, Imananabaa, Teranaba and Headturner.

The latter, winner of five races including the AJC Derby, is a full brother to Anacheeva; their dam being the wonderful Monroe Magic.

“Everything she throws is fantastic,” Guest enthused, noting that the daughter of the influential Zabeel is also dam of the New Zealand Group One winner O’Marilyn and the Group 2 galloper Kroner.

“Anacheeva is a nice addition to complement our existing stallion roster as he brings the bloodlines of Anabaa and hails from a superior family,” said Dr Duddy.

Riverbank has nominated Anacheeva for VOBIS Sires giving his future progeny access to $24 million in VOBIS bonuses and prizemoney every racing season including the $1 million Showdown race.

Anacheeva will stand for a service fee of $3,300 (incl GST) this season.

For further information contact Russell Osborne on 0423 768 155 or visit www.riverbankfarm.com.au

Glen Eden Stud is excited to announce that proven Redoute’s Choice sire Al Samer will continue his stud career at their Moranding based property this spring.

He will stand at the burgeoning central Victorian stallion operation alongside Group 1 winner Bon Aurum, European stayer Illustrious Blue and Italian Champion Scintillo.

“It is an honour to have Al Samer at Glen Eden Stud, as being a consistent producer of stakes horses, I look forward to giving mare owners the opportunity to again breed to his unique bloodlines in Victoria,” Glen Eden owner Sonia O’Gorman said.

“He can produce stakes-winning two-year-olds that will train on to show their best at three and with handpicked mares he will continue to produce quality racehorses that get the results on the track.

“Since he arrived on the farm he has been on his best behaviour, a very relaxed stallion to have around, and a real gentleman.”

That is a sentiment shared by Al Samer’s former handler Barry Faulds.

Faulds, who was stallion manager at Emirates Park in Diggers Rest when Al Samer stood there, remembers the popular stallion as a true professional in the breeding barn.

“He was always great to handle, walking quietly down to the breeding barn when it was his turn to serve. He had high fertility, he knew his job, and was a straightforward cover,” Faulds said.

“He stamped his progeny in the mould of himself, not too big or heavy, but strong foals, that were nice and correct with good bone. They were lovely neat packages.”

On the track, Al Samer raced in the very best of company throughout his two-year-old season, scoring an impressive victory in the Group 3 Black Opal Stakes over 1200 metres, romping home by three lengths.

At his first start as a three-year-old, he was successful in the Listed Darby Munro Stakes, another strong indicator of his considerable ability.

Raced by His Excellency Nasser Lootah, Al Samer was prematurely retired due to injury after only seven career starts that yielded two wins, one second and three thirds for prize money of $275,000. The only time he finished out of a place was a gallant ninth in the ultra-competitive 2005 Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes.

A son of Champion stallion Redoute’s Choice, he is out of the US-bred mare My Lady’s Key, a direct descendent of Spring Adieu, the grand-dam of the late world champion stallion, Danehill.

A proven producer in the breeding barn, Al Samer has sired four stakes winners, and with 161 winners from 279 progeny to race, he holds an impressive 57% winning strike rate to date.

His four stakes winners include Mr Chard (winner of the Group 3 VRC Carbine Club Stakes) & Le Remas (winner of the Listed MRC John Dillion Stakes) in his first crop. Other black-type winners have been Underestimation (winner of Listed St Albans Stakes and Listed VRC Anzac Day Stakes), along with the Listed Mornington Cup winner Berisha.

Al Samer’s progeny have also included Hong Kong-winners Tour De Force (seven wins and AU$1.4 million in prize money), Keen Tactics, Spicy Sam, Haymaker and Eastern Promise.

Al Samer will stand for $2,200 (GST incl) this season at Glen Eden Stud. For more information, contact Sonia O’Gorman on 0407 811 411 or visit www.gleneden.com.au

Dual Group 1 winning sprinters Exceed And Excel and Response meet…and what better name for the result than De Gaulle?

A strong name for a strong horse with a strong pedigree; perfect!

Unfortunately De Gaulle, who stands at an imposing 16hh, did not – due to early injury – get to show us just what he was made of on the track but the Peter & Paul Snowden trained colt did display plenty of promise at the trials.

At his first Randwick trial racing clear in the fastest time of the day, De Gaulle put 2 1/2 lengths on Diamond Tathagata who just a few weeks later (en route to Group 2 success in the Skyline Stakes) at debut ran second to subsequent Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign.

Meanwhile De Gaulle was taking part in his second trial, this time proving too strong for Banish who would go on to enjoy Group 2 success in the Moonee Valley Classic.

He would have a third hit-out, finishing a close second 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Pariah who two weeks on won the Group 3 Canonbury Stakes on debut, later on adding the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes to his resume.

And so, whilst De Gaulle who’d had the Golden Slipper in sight did not race, his trial form stood up for months afterwards…making his retirement due to tendon injury all that harder to cop for connections.

But his superior bloodlines ensured that he would be given a chance at stud. And that decision was made even before his one year younger half-sister made it to the track.

Such an outstanding type that it took $1.7 million to secure her at last year’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, Estijaab debuted with a stunning four length victory at Randwick in late January. Since then she has raced three times, and winning the Group 2 Reisling Stakes and, of course, the Golden Slipper.

And that’s when the phone starting ringing.

De Gaulle’s owners Richard Anderson and Brooker John Pratt were content to have the exciting young horse serve their own mares from Pratt’s Brooker Park property near Warragul, but Estijaab’s major success meant things would need to change.

And so the decision was made to move De Gaulle from Brooker Park to Bombora Downs on the Mornington Peninsula.

Anderson noted at the time that “we are only set up for 20 to 30 mares so we thought it best to have the horse where he can be more accessible to other mare owners.”

Whilst De Gaulle is a son of Danehill stallion Exceed And Excel, Estijaab is by Danehill’s grandson Snitzel…and their dam Response has also produced the stakes placed city winner Alter Call by Fastnet Rock; proof that this family excels with the ever flourishing Danehill line.

It is still early days for Exceed And Excel (sire of 146 stakes winners with progeny earnings in excess of $150 million) as a sire of sires but already four of his sons have sired stakes winners including Helmet, sire of this year’s Dubai World Cup hero Thunder Snow…as well as leading Victorian sire Reward For Effort.

All studies show that Group 1 mares make great broodmares and dual Group 1 winner Response is an excellent example, each of her first three foals showing above average ability and she has a couple of nice ones to come; two full sisters to Estijaab.

All 22 of the mares served by De Gaulle during his debut season last spring got into foal and Anderson is looking forward to the arrival of these first foals, confident that they will carry a stamp of their exceptionally good looking sire.

“De Gaulle is a magnificent horse,” Anderson enthused, adding that everyone who has had contact with the still maturing three-year-old is taken by his presence.

“He is an absolute gentleman,” he said, recalling the day of a photo shoot when a nearby horse got loose…”De Gaulle did not bat an eyelid.”

“And when the camera started clicking he really started to show off, he knows he is good.”

De Gaulle has been nominated to VOBIS Sires giving all of his progeny a shot at the $24 million in VOBIS on offer each and every racing season in Victoria. This includes the $1 million Showdown for two-year-olds and $500,000 VOBIS Sires race for three-year-olds.

For further details on De Gaulle, who stands at a fee of $5,500 (incl gst), contact Richard Anderson on 0412 560 051 or visit the Bombora Downs website.