What a reason to pop open a bottle of good bubbly! Your broodmare gets two city winners on a Saturday!

That was the scenario last weekend for Congupna breeder Andrew McDonald and his Redoute’s Choice mare Dom Perion.

At 12.30pm on Saturday, the Darren Weir trained 3YO colt Extra Brut (Domesday) won over 1600 metres at Caulfield while, two hours later, 4YO mare Fill The Flute (Statue of Liberty) scored over the 1100 metre trip at Morphettville.

Extra Brut and his large group of owners after winning at Caulfield (Brett Holburt-Racing Photos)

It was just a third career run for the Domesday colt which has included a win at Sandown over Black Caviar’s son Prince of Caviar. And there is likely much more to come with Weir placing Extra Brut on a Group 1 Victoria Derby path.

The Jamie Edwards trained mare Fill the Flute recorded her third win on Saturday from just seven starts.

Breeder McDonald was obviously thrilled with the two results and reflected on the journey of the two horses through the sales ring.

He had bought Dom Perion for $6,000 at the 2015 Inglis Great Southern Sale while trainer Edwards bought Fill The Flute as a weanling at the same sale for $7,000).

“(Extra Brut) was a lovely foal. We did consider selling him as a yearling but were advised to sell him as a weanling for commercial reasons. That worked very well as Stonehouse sold him for $52,0000 at the Great Southern Sale (in 2016),” breeder Andrew McDonald said.

He was purchased by Grange Thoroughbreds’ Gary Mudgway, a breeder and pin-hooker known for his shrewd eye.

Mudgway would send him to Sydney for the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale where was sold for a tidy $100,000 to the bid of Brad Spicer of Spicer Thoroughbreds. Spicer then syndicated him to a large group of owners (many of whom were at the track on Saturday…and made it known!).

McDonald, meanwhile, has been focusing on his small band of six mares, based at his Congupna property, ten minutes north of Shepparton.

“We will be looking at breeding three mares this year including Dom Perion who is expecting to foal to Domesday any day. I have just come home from work today to check, as she is a couple of days over and looks like she may go any minute now,” McDonald indicated.

“She has had a bit of bad luck the last two seasons, getting into foal fine and making it to 45 days, but then a couple of months later she slips, which has been disappointing.

“She is booked into (Swettenham stallion) Toronado this season which is exciting. Dom Perion has plenty of bling and matched with the bling on Toronado we are hoping to get a little standout, especially the way he throws such a great type.”

And while all of that is happening on the farm, Andrew will no doubt be keeping a close check on feature 3YO race results over coming weeks with Extra Brut expected to line up in the Group 2 Caulfield Classic over 2000 metres before a possible Derby fling.

“For the large group of owners, I’m sure there will be plenty of champagne flowing over the spring, and I will toast to my mare Dom Perion for making it possible,” McDonald said.

Boom Written Tycoon colt Written By didn’t disappoint his fans when he returned to the track with a successful start to his spring campaign over 1000 metres at Caulfield on Saturday

The Victorian sired Blue Diamond Stakes winner, Australia’s highest rated 2YO colt last season, had not raced since running third in the Golden Slipper Stakes in March.

Woodside Park’s James Price believes Written By is looking like good, if not better than last season appearing to be a stronger and more mature three-year-old.

“More often than not, champion two-year-olds return to the racetrack a three-year-olds and don’t hit their previous highs. But Written By’s winning return on Saturday showed he is on the way to achieving Group 1 success as a three-year-old,” Price said.

“If he manages to (win a Group 1 this spring), it will put him in elite company, the best of his generation and possibly the best for several years.”

Trainer Grahame Begg has given the colt a longer-than-normal winter break, but the long break or the significant weight penalty of 3.5kg above all of his rivals, did not stop him.

“We decided to let him rejuvenate himself. Over the years so many people have made the mistake of bringing them back too early trying to chase those early riches in the spring,” Begg said.

“I have noticed a big change in the horse since the autumn. He’s gone from a boy to a man, and mentally his manners were impeccable today at the races. We saddled him up, and he never turned a hair.

“We could have upped the ante as far as distance rages go and chased races like the Golden Rose and the Caulfield Guineas, but, we think he is a pure sprinter and as he is so brilliant, we will focus on the Blue Sapphire as a led into the Coolmore. He will then return for the big Group 1 autumn sprints,” Begg said.

Written By’s sire Written Tycoon has also started his spring with a similar brilliance with a ‘who’s who’ of elite performed and producing mares visiting the Champion Victorian stallion in the breeding barn at Tylden.

Written Tycoon, dual Victorian Champion Sire, at Woodside Park Stud

“Written Tycoon has begun his season in exceptional style. At the age of 16 years old, his first two weeks of early scans have seen him with a fertility percentage of 86%. That’s a phenomenal statistic for any stallion at the end of the season let alone midway through September,” Price said.

Just a few of the high-profile mares visiting Written Tycoon this season include:

  • Listed winning $600,000 maiden mare Hell Or Highwater (bought at the 2018 mare sales by Woodside Park Stud and Sheriff Iskander)
  • Ineffable, a half-sister to Capitalist, owned by SF Bloodstock
  • Limestone, a maiden Group three winning mare, owned by Hesket Bloodstock
  • Ocean Embers, the dual Group 3 winning mare
  • Sheidel, Robert Crabtree’s brilliant Group 1 Oakleigh Plate winner.
  • Sia, a $1.1m yearling, and beautifully bred sister to stakes winners Lake Geneva and Ennis Hill and daughter of Hips Don’t Lie.
  • Gilgai Farm’s incredible producer, Soorena, the dam of Group 1 winner The Quarterback and Group 2 winner Philippi and two $1.4 million yearling colts

It follows one of the greatest lists of broodmares to visit a Victorian sire last season when Group 1 winners Bel Mer, Headway, Makybe Diva and Pasadena Girl were all covered by Written Tycoon along with star Group 1 producers such as Gold Anthem and Scandinavia.

Meanwhile, some of the Written Tycoon foals that have already hit the ground this season include progeny of black-type winners Curtana, Girl Gone Rockin’, Gregers, Kulgrinda, Miss Promiscuity, Rockolicious, Spinning Jenny and Zamzam.

Victorian breeder and pedigree buff Ralph Zito had quite the thrill on Saturday when the three-year-old Mystic Journey, a filly he helped breed, backed up her Tasmanian dominance with a black-type victory in Melbourne.

Devonport based trainer Adam Trinder brought the filly over hoping she would measure up to the best of Victoria’s 3YO fillies in the Listed John Moloney Stakes at Caulfield.

“This was her toughest test to date…and we are over the moon with her run and how strong she was over the 1400 metres. She has more than proven that she is Melbourne level and can compete here in the spring,” Zito said.

Mystic Journey had the pedigree and demeanour to get over the ground but had shown precociousness early in her career at short distances, having won three of her four starts in Tasmania, and setting an 1100 metre track record at Launceston at her second start.

She had won the Listed Elwick Stakes over 1100 metres at Hobart before suffering her only defeat when beaten less than a length in the Gold Sovereign Stakes at Launceston.

“We weren’t expecting Mystic Journey to be a two-year-old, to be honest, but she just kept getting the job done, and easily too. She was named champion Tasmanian two-year-old, which was a great accolade to receive,” Zito said.

“Trinder has always held her in really high regard and although we are not sure where she will go next, we may even look at a late entry for the Guineas.”

“I remember Adam (Trinder) coming up to me at the (Magic Millions Tasmania) sale and just being speechless that he got Mystic Journey for only $11,000. He loved her and couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.”

“He was aware of the strength of the pedigree, and Wayne Roser, her owner, has since bought her three-quarter sister at a subsequent sale that he has called Mystical Pursuit.

“He also bid on the full sister that was eventually knocked down to Ross Wilkinson for $55,000 (at this year’s Magic Millions Tasmania Sale). I was happy to keep her, but when Ross said that she was to be trained by Nigel Blackiston, the deal was done as Nigel actually trained White Gold in her short track career,” Zito said.

Zito, wife Peta and friends Joe and Rhonda Cichello and John and Diane Button have half a dozen mares in their broodmare band, based at Romsey’s Springmount farm, and they are all headed to Victorian based stallions this season.

“The industry down here (in Victoria) is so positive at the moment, we have wonderful facilities, our pastures are great, and all our stallions are on the improve. Unless you have a specific pedigree match, I think you would be crazy to send you mares anywhere else,” Zito said.

“White Gold (dam of Mystic Journey) is due to foal down to Sun Stud’s Fighting Sun any day, and both White Gold and her sister, Oh So Gold will be covered by Fighting Sun this season.”

“My other mares are heading to Darley Northwood sires, Frosted and Street Boss, while our Rory’s Jester mare Canicula has a date with Swettenham’s Highland Reel. We loved what he brought from a genetics point of view.

“Meanwhile Canicula, who has produced the VRC Listed winner, Spectrolite (Stratum) is ready foal to Zoustar. Her 2016 filly called Shih Tzou, also by Zoustar, is currently in training with Mick Kent and we are looking forward to her making her track debut.”

In modern times, Australian sires Beneteau and Northern Meteor have delivered a bittersweet gift to their studs. Their progeny have taken off either just before or just after they have tragically died early in their stud careers.

It seems the former Three Bridges based stallion Unencumbered is now doing much the same.

Former Three Bridges stallion Unencumbered helping to promote VOBIS Sires

In March, the stallion succumbed to post-surgery complications. And since then, his progeny have been going gangbusters!

And just to emphasise the point, his daughter Courseshewill won the first 2YO race of the Australian racing season last Sunday at Toowoomba.

The Liam Birchley trained filly won dominantly at Toowoomba, charging home from off the pace to win the 1000 metre dash. Birchley indicated he would now consider targeting the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January with the filly – a race her sire won in 2014.

Bred by Three Bridges, she is the third winner from stakes-winning Anabaa (USA) mare Corsaire, a half-sister to stakes-winner Debonairly. Corsaire has already foaled a full brother to the winning filly this season.

Three Bridges’ Peter Liston fondly remembers the lovely filly, who they sold at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling sale to Liam Birchley.

“Courseshewill was born a beautiful foal, but due to cutting her leg she had to stay confined for a long time, so the others got a bit ahead of her, but she was just a gorgeous filly that deserved to make $170,000 through the ring. She was the most expensive yearling ever sired by Unencumbered.”

The ill-fated stallion didn’t get this first winner until April this year when Expedius won at Echuca…and he would go on to record two more winners last season.

But his progeny have stepped up to another level over the past seven weeks. He has now had 13 individual winners across Australia (from a mere 22 runners) plus a winner in Singapore.

He has had more winners this season than Zoustar and Spirit of Boom combined! And only Snitzel, Pierro and Smart Missile have had more 3YO winners this season.

“Unfortunately, he is no longer with us, but Unencumbered still has a big yearling crop to sell and there is another crop just hitting the ground now,” Peter Liston said.

“He served more than 120 mares in each of his last two seasons, so he has good numbers coming through and the class of mare improved as well, so there is no doubt he will get his fair share of quality gallopers.

“We are heading up to the Magic Millions sale this January with a good draft which includes a lovely Unencumbered colt out of the Group 1 winning mare Recurring and another lovely colt out of Voltdanze, the dam of the Group 2 winner Sedanzer. They are sure to be popular.”

Liston hopes the success will continue for the deceased sire’s progeny and breeders that used him will be rewarded.

“Thank you to the breeders who supported him…there is plenty of positive to come. As he was most popular in his third season, his burgeoning success is going to be good news for breeders that had faith in him as a stallion.”

In the middle of peak-foaling period, Moorookyle Park’s Nioka Wozny had cause for a mini-celebration on Sunday when the stud’s sire Rockaroundtheclock (Fastnet Rock) registered his first winner.

A very excited group of owners, lead by Wimmera equine dentist Martin McKinnis, cheered home the John Rowe trained gelding Rocktheblock at Penola with Wozny just as thrilled for connections.

Ridden a treat by Christine Puls, the four-year-old gelding travelled well in the lead, and had the field chasing before the turn. Straightening one length clear, Rocktheblock held easily to the line with a bit left in hand over the 1300 metre trip.

“I am just so happy for the owners and Martin in particular who is just over the moon. He has kept me up to date with his journey since he purchased him as a foal, so I really felt involved in this win,” Nioka Wozny said.

“I foaled him down here at Moorookyle Park, for my long-standing clients, TGN Racing from South Australia. They sold the mare Eminent Danger to Martin when he was only a foal.”

“Martin adores the horse, he just loves him, and he would send me a text and a photo every couple of weeks. I saw him with his first halter, when he had his feet trimmed and when he was broken in, and I even went to Ballarat to see him race,” Nioka said.

“Hopefully now he has got his maiden out of the way and is feeling good, he may continue his winning ways and step up to 1600 metres going forward.”

Rocktheblock’s Moorookyle Park based sire Rockaroundtheclock was genuinely unraced due to injury, but retained as a stallion due to his highly sort after bloodlines.

“He is an impressive son of Fastnet Rock that also remarkably represents the immediate maternal family of Giant’s Causeway. You won’t find another stallion offering that combination – it’s incredible genetics for the right mare,” Wozny said.

The sire has had just the six to race thus far including Sunday’s winner and three others who have recorded placings.

“A couple of his progeny are in the Corstens stables, a filly by Sweet Hussy, and her younger brother who we hope will show some promise. Although he has not covered big numbers during his stud career, he still offers valuable bloodlines.,” Wozny said.

“He is looking forward to his mares this season, and we welcome any outside mares to either walk on, or to reside in the best of care throughout the season” Wozny said.

Moorookyle caters for horses in all stages of their lives, from foaling down, to spelling, to breeding, and inspections and visits to the farm are always warmly welcomed.

“We care for every horse as if they are our own, we groom our broodmares and give so much time to the foals in their early months. All horses on the farm receive individual care ensuring optimum development. Our love of the horse gives our owners peace of mind.”

Moorookyle Park, at Smeaton just north of Ballarat, stands Rockaroundtheclock along with Jayemzed, Ustinov and Cecconi. Contact Nioka Wozny on 0427 456 385 or visit www.moorookylepark.com.au for more information.

It is still a fair distance from the racetrack to the breeding barn, but speedy entire, Holy Blade, took a huge stride in the right direction by capturing Saturday’s Listed WH Wylie Handicap over 1100 metres at Morphettville.

A 4YO by boom sire I Am Invincible, Holy Blade is raced by Zhang Yuesheng’s Yulong Investments, which means a place on Nagambie’s Yulong Park inaugural stallion roster in 2019 is a distinct possibility.

Holy Blade has won six – two on end – and placed in three but this was his first success in black type company.

Aside from the I Am Invincible factor (also sire of emerging stallions Brazen Beau, Super One, Overshare, Kobayashi and former stable mate, Hellbent), Holy Blade is out of the 2YO stakes winner, Amphritite and hails from the family of 2017 Group One All Aged Stakes winner Tivaci.

Purchased for $180,000 at the 2016 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale, Holy Blade is a “cracking type” according to Yulong Investments’ Chief Operating Officer, Sam Fairgray.

“We are in the process of building of a ten-stable stallion barn with two serving sheds at our Nagambie (formerly Limerick Lane) property and will be aiming to stand some higher end stallions from next year,” Fairgray explains.

“Whether Holy Blade eventually joins them is in the lap of the gods, but we’re going to take it race by race and he’s certainly a lovely type of horse. He’s always had plenty of ability and is hitting peak form at just the right time, so there’s a lot of options in the spring for him.

And if he does make it to those stallion barns, Holy Blade could have some star stable mates if comments by leviathan racehorse owner Rupert Legh are anything to go by.

After Grunt won the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington earlier this month, Legh indicated he and star 3YO Brutal were the subject of stallion inquiries.

“Yulong Investments have approached me about the pair becoming foundation stallions at a property they have purchased in Victoria, so that will be something I will consider very seriously,” Legh told Racing.com.

Meanwhile, Fairgray added that Yulong has 55 2YOs on the books after a massive buying spree at the 2018 yearling sales, along with half a dozen juvenile home-breds.

“We have some lovely youngsters coming through, that’s for sure,” Fairgray enthused.

“In fact, there is an I Am Invincible filly, Catch Me, who is with the Snowdens and is likely to race in Saturday’s (Group 3) Gimcrack Stakes at Randwick.

“There is also a nice colt that we bred by Sepoy out of (multiple Group winner) Neena Rock who is called Yulong Rockstar and is with Ciaron Maher. He definitely looks like he’ll have a start before Christmas too.

“Mr Zhang is very passionate about his horse interests … he got a terrific thrill out of Holy Blade’s win on Saturday but was also happy to see Killarney Kid win over 3300m at Coleraine on Sunday. Killarney Kid is a 9YO and the Coleraine win took his earnings to a tick over $500,000.

“Hopefully we end up having a lot more weekends like that over the next couple of months.”

Yulong Investments is one of the major players in mainland China’s thoroughbred industry with Mr Zhang staging regular race meetings in Shanxi province and owns the racetrack, plus a vast stabling complex.

(A large contingent of Australians, including representatives from Aushorse, recently visited Shanxi province to attend a conference, a sale and race meeting hosted by Mr Zhang).

Initially purchasing a number of a horses and a 170-acre complex at Koo Wee Rup, south east of Melbourne, four years ago, Yulong has certainly ramped up its involvement, buying Limerick Lane (450 acres) and Hillside Thoroughbreds (250 acres) at Nagambie earlier this year.

The Koo Wee Rup property will be utilised primarily for Yulong’s spellers, while the Nagambie farms will represent the company’s breeding arm.

An owner of a slot in the $13 million Everest, Yulong was also quick off the mark in securing Redzel for this year’s edition of the race at Royal Randwick. He is currently the tab.com.au second favourite for the big race ($6.00).

“Stakes winners, the Everest, new farms and a lot of emerging 2YOs … it certainly is an exciting time,” Fairgray points out.

Group 1 winning and producing stallion Good Journey has moved to Victoria…where one of his biggest fans will allow him to gently retire.

The Group 1 winning son of Nureyev has come over the border from Cornerstone Stud and will now call trainer-breeder David Brideoake’s Roycevale property at Violet Town his home.

Brideoake has certainly been on a ‘good journey’ with the stallion. He was the sire of the Mornington trainer’s first Group 1 winner in Grand Journey; and he was also the sire of Brideoake’s homebred Group 1 winning mare Griante.

David Brideoake with Group 1 winning homebred Griante

“Good Journey has played a major part in my success as a trainer, and it’s nice that I can thank him and bring him home to happily live out his days. He is basically retired from stud duties, but he has been a lovely stallion,” Brideoake said.

“He will now only cover my private broodmares, while enjoying his retirement well-cared for and well-loved.”

The regally bred Good Journey came to Australia having won the Group 1 Woodbine Mile, another three Group 2 races and was also placed in the Group 1 Breeders Cup Mile.

He is out of the multiple Group 1 winning mare Chimes of Freedom while his second dam Aviance is also a Group 1 winner. Good Journey’s half-brother is Champion USA Sprinter, the triple Group 1 winner Aldebaran.

Good Journey began his Australian stud career Tim and Lisa Johnston’s Ealing Park near Euroa where he stood for four seasons.

In 2007, he began shuttling between California’s Magali Farms and Australia and, in 2008, Good Journey switched to South Australia’s Lindsay Park Stud (now Cornerstone Stud).

Brideoake’s relationship with Good Journey started when he bought a filly out of the 2006 Inglis Autumn Yearling Sale from the Ealing Park draft. Later named Grand Journey, she was an exceptional galloper that gave the trainer his first victory at the elite level.

“I sent Grand Journey over to Western Australia for a very successful campaign in Perth, where she won five races in a row including the Group 3 Western Australian Oaks and then backed up a week later and she won the Group 1 WATC Derby.”

“After that, I remained loyal to Good Journey as a stallion and have sent a mare or two over to Sam Hayes’ at Cornerstone each and every year. A couple of years later I was lucky to breed another Group 1 winner, my bonny mare Griante (winner of the 2016 ATC Galaxy).”

“Having now reached the grand age of 22, when the decision was made to no longer stand him as a commercial sire, I was delighted to offer to give Good Journey his final home at Roycevale, on my property at Violet Town.”

“He is good to handle and beautifully bred, and personally as a sire, he has recorded exceptional figures on the board.”

Grand Journey is the sire of 464 progeny to race, of which 311 are winners, giving him an strong strike rate of 67.0% winners to runners. His progeny have earnings of more than $31 million and they include 15 stakes winners and 11 stakes placegetters.

“Good Journey’s stakes winners to runners percentage was around 5%, which puts him in the top league of stallions, and when you think of the mares he covered, not all being top shelf, and from limited numbers, he really punched well above his weight throughout his career to produce high-level quality horses,” Brideoake said.

His leading progeny in the southern hemisphere have included three time Group 1 winner Happy Trails, the aforementioned Griante and Grand Journey, dual Group 2 winner and Group 1 performer Sound Journey, the black type winning grand campaigner Crafty Cruiser, dual listed-winner Lord Aspen and South African black-type winner Sensible Lover.

And no doubt more winners and black-type performers are still to come. In the past week alone, progeny of Good Journey have won in both Australia and back in the United States (he finished shuttling in 2014).

Brideoake said while Good Journey will largely be retired, he will still serve a few of the farm’s own mares this breeding season.

“I have always liked the Nureyev line and have bought a few nice mares specifically to go to him. I’m hoping to get some fillies, so his bloodlines can continue on,” Brideoake said.

“I think it’s a lovely story that he has ended up with me, so that I can provide in the twilight of his career a few good opportunities, while he sees out his days happily on the farm.”

The prospect of winning the inaugural $1 million Showdown with a VOBIS Sires horse at Caulfield in April next year has helped drive an increased number of nominations to VOBIS Gold this year.

1214 foals born in 2016 were nominated to VOBIS Gold…and, of those, 840 are VOBIS Sires eligible and thus now have an entry in The Showdown (as well as the $500,000 VOBIS Sires 3YO race in April 2020).

All of these horses are also eligible for each season’s VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series which this year is worth $4.45 million across 18 races.

The lucrative prize from The Showdown has lured in a large number of interstate-owned and trained horses including trainers such as Gai Waterhouse, Chris Waller, Team Snowden and John O’Shea.

Prominent interstate owners such as Winx’s part-owner Debbie Kepitis, China Horse Club, Star Thoroughbreds, Francis & Christine Cook, James Harron Bloodstock and Triple Crown Syndications have also got entries.

“The interstate involvement in the VOBIS program through VOBIS Sires is fantastic. It demonstrates that interstate high profile trainers and owners have been buying Victorian sired and bred horses,” Patrick Clancy, Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria’s Executive Officer said.

“When TBV put forward the idea of VOBIS Sires and The Showdown to Racing Victoria back in 2015, it was exactly this sort of interstate interest in Victorian stallions and our breeding industry that we were seeking.”

But they will be up against the best Victorian trainers can offer. VOBIS earning record holder Darren Weir has 31 VOBIS Sires horses under his own name (with many more likely in his stable nominated by owners).

Flemington and Angaston trainer Tony McEvoy is also prolific with 26 nomination including multiple horses by popular sires Brazen Beau, Written Tycoon, Fighting Sun and Zoustar.

Progeny of 46 individual Victorian sires are among the 839 entrants for the Showdown.

Woodside Park’s multiple Champion Written Tycoon has 80 entrants, Swettenham first crop sire Toronado has 53 entrants while the likes of Fighting Sun, Magnus, Reward for Effort, Street Boss and Brazen Beau all have 30 or more nominated 2YOs.

Three Victorian sires Primus, Rock Face and Warrior’s Reward each have a single entrant. Interestingly, the single 2YO for Primus is a colt out of She’s A Knockout, making him a brother to VOBIS pin-up boy Burning Front.

Below are the number of VOBIS Gold/VOBIS SIres nominations for all VOBIS SIres nominated stallions from 2015:

Sire2015 nominating stud*Progeny nominated
AmericainSwettenham Stud15
AnacheevaChatswood Stud (now Riverbank Farm)10
Brazen BeauDarley Northwood47
Can The ManSpendthrift Australia3
Canford CliffsBlue Gum Farm30
ClusterLarneuk Stud10
DomesdayDarley Northwood (now interstate)7
EquianoSwettenham Stud9
Fighting SunSun Stud43
FiorenteSun Stud24
Glass HarmoniumBlue Gum Farm7
Hampton CourtSpendthrift Australia7
HelmetDarley Northwood32
Jimmy CreedSpendthrift Australia5
Jungle RulerBombora Downs4
KuroshioDarley Northwood20
Lucas CranachBullarook Park Stud9
MagnusSun Stud38
Master of DesignSwettenham Stud (now Greta West Stud)10
MosheSun Stud9
Oamaru ForceNoor Elaine Farm3
PrimusLiverpool Farm (now moved)1
Puissance de LuneSwettenham Stud24
RedenteRiverbank Farm7
ResetDarley Northwood29
Reward for EffortChatswood Stud47
Rock FaceJubilee Stud1
Rock HeroLauriston Park12
SkilledDarley Northwood (now Riverbank Farm)11
SquamosaSun Stud8
StarcraftRosemont Stud7
StarspangledbannerRosemont Stud (now interstate)30
Statue Of LibertySun Stud7
Street BossDarley Northwood30
StrykerThree Bridges (now interstate)10
Toorak ToffRosemont Stud (now interstate)11
ToronadoSwettenham Stud53
TurffonteinBlue Gum Farm24
UnencumberedThree Bridges25
Von Costa de HeroDarley Northwood (now Riverbank Farm)4
WantedSun Stud (now interstate)2
WarBlue Gum Farm5
WarhorseBombora Downs8
Warrior's RewardSpendthrift Australia1
Written TycoonWoodside Park Stud80
ZoustarWoodside Park Stud (now interstate)60

* Please note some stallions have moved studs, been retired or died since 2015.

A unique tour of Victoria’s horse racing breeding operations was run over the weekend with a couple of busloads of people joining the journey.

Harness Breeders Victoria (HBV) and Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) jointly organised the tour for their respective members through north central Victoria. It included visits to Nagambie’s famed Swettenham Stud and the world-leading Alabar Stud at Koyuga.

HBV president, Terry Lewis, said overall the stud tour was a great success that was made possible by the “very informative and gracious hosts”.

While it was a chilly start, the sun was shining, and all the guests were warmed up with some impressive bloodstock at their first destination, the world-class Swettenham Stud on the Goulburn River.

Tour guests enjoyed seeing the bloodstock and surrounds of Swettenham Stud

Treated to a line-up of spectacular thoroughbred bloodstock headlined by new boy Highland Reel, Melbourne Cup winning Americain and the handsome Toronado, visitors were impressed by the quality and presentation of the bloodstock and the Nagambie property.

Swettenham Stud principal Adam Sangster (and member of the TBV committee) was thrilled to host the touring group, especially those from the standardbred sector.

“It is really important for our two breeding industries to work together and takes lessons from each other,” Sangster said.

“It was great to welcome the big group of breeders and show off our line-up of stallions.”

Following Swettenham, guests were greeted with a welcome drink and two-course lunch at Le Penelope’s restaurant at Kirwan’s Bridge Estate, enjoying a delicious lunch showcasing the region’s best seasonal produce.

Tour guests enjoyed lunch at Kirwans Bridge Estate

The tour then headed north to Alabar Farms, the premier standardbred stud in the Southern Hemisphere. The tour group came up close and personal to super sires and racetrack stars such as Art Major, Always B Miki and Vincent as well as learn about the semen transport process used in Australia.

Alabar Stud near Echuca hosted tour guests

“It was great to see such beautiful stallions being treated with such respect and care at both locations. I thought it was a great day and I learnt a lot, especially in relations to AI and covering of mares. The partnership between TBV and HBV was great to see,” Terry Lewis said.

“As a committee, we felt this was a terrific initiative and aimed to achieve several things at once – a learning opportunity for breeders in both codes to see how their counterparts operate, possibly giving them a few ideas and a bit of inspiration for how they run their own breeding business.”

“While socially, it was great to compare challenges and share successful strategies, as breeding is a tough caper and learning new ideas and perspectives can be helpful.”

“Of course, the opportunity to view world-class bloodstock of any breed is a fantastic thing and Alabar and Swettenham went over and above to give all our guests an unforgettable experience, with stallions at both farms presented in top order.”

TBV pays a special thanks to HBV Executive Officer Desiree Pettit-Keating for her organisation of the tour.

Singapore’s Victorian bred excitement machine Bold Thruster scored yet another resounding win over the weekend posting his third thrashing of the field in the same number of starts.

The Patrick Payne bred, black three-year-old son of Blue Gum Farm’s Turffontein appears to be a star of the future providing multiple headlines for his sire.

Blue Gum Farm’s Phillip Campbell has become even more impressed with the Singapore galloper at each of his start and is thoroughly enjoying watching him give his rivals a galloping lesson.

“He certainly looks a little bit exciting, and he is a beautiful looking horse, being jet black and very strong,” Campbell said.

“He is now three from three and is running very good times. He won easily by over three lengths, and by over four in his start before, and he thrashed them by ten lengths in his first start this preparation. He is a lovely free-running horse, who just cruises along and wins impressively each time.”

South African Jockey Barend Vorster, who has sat atop past Kranji champions such as Rocket Man, Ato and Why Be, summed it up best when he said Bold Thruster was the complete package after dismounting, “He’s got everything: Speed, acceleration and stamina!”

While his trainer Shane Baertschiger has been cautious with the early career of his charger, the result over the weekend seemingly gave him no choice but to test Bold Thurster in black-type company.

The Singapore Group 3 Garden City Trophy on October 21 has been pencilled in for Bold Thruster, but his long-term target is the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge (which incorporates three Group races from March to May).

“Bold Thruster is not just another winner in Singapore, he is being talked up as a possible future star and the horse is building a picket fence which is fantastic,” Blue Gum’s Campbell said.

“As for (his sire) Turffontein, (his son) Widgee Turf is still racing at the elite level and has been nominated for the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield this Saturday.”

Bred by Patrick Payne (who also trains Widgee Turf), Bold Thruster is from the winning Elusive City mare Aelia Capitolina. His second and third dams, Snaabelle and Inchedony, were both smart race mares winning to listed level.

Bold Thruster was sold for $82,000 to Singapore interests through Leeanne Smith’s Bucklee Farm draft at the 2017 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale.

Campbell said another Turffontein to look out for was the Gilgai Farm bred and Clinton McDonald trained 2YO colt Sir Menaduke who recently won a Caulfield jumpout.
“He blitzed his rivals, and there are hopes that he will go to the Debutant Stakes on Caulfield Guineas Day and then to the Inglis race on Cox Plate day,” Campbell said.

“Turfy is a such a fun horse to be associated with, as he always gets horses that are performing, and although they may not be all Group 1 winners, they all punch above their weight.”

The combination of Sun Stud, trainer Gerald Ryan and jockey Brett Prebble were the dominant force at the official two-year-old barrier trials held at Randwick earlier this week.

The breeder, trainer and jockey were responsible for three trial winners – all homebred colts for Sun Stud – which were King’s Champ (Deep Field), Fortress Command (Sebring) and Covert Ops (I Am Invincible). They had a further two runners-up.

The promise shown by all three colts bodes well for Sun Stud who have an objective of developing well-bred colts that can win black-type races and eventually take up residence in the breeding barns at their Victorian stud.

With that goal in mind, the Breeders Plate held at Randwick on September 29 is a major target for at least one of the classy colts with further juvenile races in the Spring also options.

“I have had a couple of nice babies for them in the past couple of years but these look, as a group, the best I have had,” Ryan said.

“I’m lucky that the six horses I had trial here today are owned by Sun Stud, so we can sit down and work out where we go and hopefully win three or four races instead of one.”

Here is a short run-down of the three trial winners:

King’s Champ

King’s Champ is by Deep Field and is out of the triple Group 1-winning mare Yosei and was passed in for $200,000 by Sun Stud at the 2018 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale.

“This little horse has always shown us the ability, being out of Group 1-winning mare Yosei. He’s not a mad running horse, like you saw today, he settled and finished off good,” said trainer Gerald Ryan.

Sun Stud homebred colt King’s Champ

Covert Ops

Covert Ops was the biggest winner in terms of margin of the 14 trials held at Randwick, winning the final heat by an impressive eight lengths. He is the first foal from the Group 3 winning mare Fine Bubbles

“(Sun Stud) said he was too small to put in the sales. I would say he has small man syndrome because he doesn’t know small he is and he has a crack,” Gerald Ryan said.

“Where we go with him, we will sit back and see. It could be Saturday week (for the Breeders’ Plate) or Saturday fortnight (for the Victory Vein Plate).”

Fortress Command

Like Cover Ops, Fortress Command was not put through a yearling sales ring by Sun Stud. He is out of the stakes-placed mare Prairie Star and is a half-brother to Group 3 placed filly Leotie. Prairie Star is a sibling of stakes winner Marianne.

“I think Fortress Command is one of the best of them, but he will go to the paddock for a break,” Ryan said after his trial win.

Sun Stud homebred colt Fortress Command wins his Randwick trial

Victorian breeding note

A fascinating (and perhaps unlikely) 2YO trial winner at Randwick was the Marc Quinn (Port Macquarie) trained filly Sylvia’s Memory. She is out of the very last crop of deceased sire Bianconi who stood in Victoria at Swettenham Stud for 14 years and then his last two years at Ridgeview Park.

She won the trial by one and a half lengths over juveniles by the likes of I Am Invincible, Spirit of Boom and Written Tycoon. Interestingly, she is a half-sister to 3YO Nashian, a filly who last December became the first ever winner for low-profile Glen Eden Stud sire Scintillo.

Written by Paul Vettise for TDN AusNZ

Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm have a focus on the 2-year-old market, becoming trans-Tasman vendors this year.

Lauriston have been particularly successful at the Inglis Ready 2 Race Sale and will be selling at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale at Karaka this year.

“We’ve had terrific success at the (Ingils) Ready 2 Race and over the last two years on gross turnover we’ve topped the Sale, probably through quantity as much as anything else,” James O’Brien said.

“We’ve got wonderful facilities here and this year we’ve changed our business model.

“We have strategically chosen quality horses as yearlings with the intent of selling them as 2-year-olds. We’ve deliberately selected them in the past and we’ve done well and want to expand on that.

“With all that in mind, we’re spreading the risk and we’re going to dip our toe into the water in New Zealand, it’s a proven Sale and the Kiwis do it so well.”

Lauriston will have four juveniles go through the ring at Karaka next month under the banner of Janine Dunlop’s Phoenix Park.

“Janine does a fantastic job and she can’t do enough for us, she’s really accommodating,” O’Brien said.

First into the ring will be Lot 89, a son of Fastnet Rock (Danehill {USA}) and Lady Of Spain (Encosta de Lago) with the dam a half-sister to the G3 Ethereal S., winner Dawnie Perfect (Big Brown {USA}) and will be followed by Lot 112, who is by Wandjina (Snitzel). He is out of the Giant’s Causeway (IRE) mare Lovetorn, a half-sister to the G3 Newcastle Spring S., winner Lovemelikearock (Fastnet Rock).

Lot 135 is a colt by All Too Hard (Casino Prince) and Mihiri (More Than Ready {USA}), who was Group placed and is from the family of The Everest contender US Navy Flag (IRE) (Galileo {IRE}). The final member of the Lauriston quartet is Lot 392, who is by Not A Single Doubt (Redoute’s Choice) out of Candy Stripes (Commands), a winner and stakes placed.

Lauriston’s Lot 12 Not a Single Doubt colt ran the fastest time at the Inglis Ready 2 Race breeze-ups at Cranbourne

“They are a pretty even bunch and they’re doing very well,” O’Brien said. “We’ve got four tracks here and we can also gallop them on the beach. They enjoy that and then wade through the water, which they like.

“We feel they are all very well-educated and we don’t push them. They’ve only got to breeze up over 200 metres.”

Lauriston will be offering a 10-strong draft at the Ready 2 Race Sale at Riverside Stables on October 15.

“It’s a smaller draft than usual, but there is a focus on quality,” O’Brien said.

Among the consignment are colts by two by All Too Hard (Casino Prince), More Than Ready (Southern Halo {USA}), Mossman (Success Express {USA}), Not A Single Doubt (Redoute’s Choice), Rubick, Spirit Of Boom (Sequalo), Wandjina (Snitzel) and Zoustar (Northern Meteor) and a filly by Hinchinbrook (Fastnet Rock).

Update: The Lauriston draft for the Inglis Ready 2 Race Sale breezed up at Cranbourne last Friday. The eight youngsters performed smartly with the Lot 12 Not A Single Doubt colt (10.31 secs) and the Lot 30 Mossman colt (10.39 secs) running the fastest and firth fastest times of the day respectively.

Lauriston boasts excellent facilities

Lauriston is located near Corinella, 120km south-east of Melbourne and encompasses two properties. The original holding of 229 acres is a dedicated pre-training and educational facility catering for horses of all ages from weanlings to retirement.

“We’ve got two grass tracks and two sand, a swimming pool and a walker,” O’Brien said. “When it was set up years ago we had a private trainer and then leased it out, but now we’re expanding our own business.”

The adjacent second property of 138 acres has been developed to accommodate up to 35 broodmares and their progeny. This facility boasts custom built foaling stables, day yards, a veterinary room, paddocks of varying sizes and a centrally located staff accommodation.

“We’ve got 25 broodmares at the moment and we’ve had a bit of success, breeding Global Glamour,” O’Brien said.

By Star Witness (Starcraft {NZ}), the G1 Thousand Guineas and Flight S., winner is out of Lauriston resident Spectacula (Testa Rossa). “Spectacula is going to Fastnet Rock this year,” O’Brien said.Global Glamour, pictured here winning the Group 1 Flight Stakes is a graduate of Lauriston Farm

The flashy black Toronado colt by Enzed Girl in the Swettenham Stud draft turned heads at the Inglis Premier sale earlier this year. Now named True Serendipity, he again turned more heads with an impressive debut in a two-year old trial over 800 metres at Cranbourne earlier this week.

Bred by loyal and long-term clients Lyn Armanasco and John Dickson, he was sold at the Premier Sale to Yulong Investments for $160,000 and sent to the stables of Matt Cumani at Ballarat.

Cumani was delighted how the colt handled the busy environment at Cranbourne and indicated he is an prospect for feature juvenile races during the spring carnival.

“I thought that he trialled extremely well, and I was happy with his whole approach to the day; he was nice and relaxed, and I don’t think he could have gone much better,” Cumani said.

“We will let him take improvement from that gallop and give him three weeks to mature further before his next jump out. I suspect he will be a precocious type that we will look at targeting the Inglis races with.”

Cumani said that True Serendipity was well equipped with all the ingredients required to handle the pressure of juvenile racing.

“He is flashy and strong, with a great stride on him and fortunately blessed with a super attitude. He behaved beautifully at Cranbourne, he didn’t put a foot wrong and was a great advertisement for his sire.”

Swettenham Stud’s Sam Matthews said the farm was not surprised at the talent the Toronado colt was showing.

“He has had an incredible temperament since the day he was born, which is consistent with the Toronado progeny. He was a striking yearling with his four white socks and was a crowd favourite at Premier, so much so that Racing.com ran a very successful story on him,” Matthews said.

Yulong’s Racing Manager Sam Pritchard–Gordon commented that Mr Zhang was very pleased to have secured the standout colt and is looking forward to an exciting spring ahead.

“Mr Zhang likes the Toronados as a breed very much, and he was particularly fond of this colt,” Pritchard-Gordon said.

“Yulong is passionate about the Victorian thoroughbred industry, and being Victorian bred, that gives Mr Zhang the confidence to bid knowing that he can take full advantage of the lucrative Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold incentives

“I think Matt is doing a brilliant job and has him very well educated. It’s exciting, as he has the Inglis races ahead of him this season and could be a VOBIS Sires horse next preparation (the inaugural $1 million Showdown race for VOBIS Sires horses is in April at Caulfield).”

When representatives of Magic Millions turned up at Rosemont earlier this week for yearling inspections ahead of the 2019 yearling sales series, the first question they asked on arriving was “how many Starcrafts are you showing us?”

Of course, the determination by sales companies to get quality Starcraft stock into their sales is not a surprise.

His yearlings at this year’s sales averaged over $115,000, headed by a colt from the Bowness Stud draft that made a whopping $340,000 at the Sydney Classic sale.

Off an advertised service fee of $9,900 in 2015, that $115,000 average represented a remarkable return on investment for breeders. It placed him sixth on the list of Sires By Return on Service Fee for 2018 according to BloodstockData’s 2018 Annual Review of Australian Yearling Sales.

StallionAverage2015 FeeMultiplier*
1I Am Invincible $438,351$55,000 5.84
2Spirit of Boom$150,285$11,0004.85
3Written Tycoon$182,018$19,8004.57
4Not A Single Doubt$232,086$33,000 4.38
5Snitzel $470,747$88,0004.36
6Starcraft $116,800$9,9003.91

*Return on service fee + costs.

Interestingly, while the fees for the top five stallions have all at least doubled, the cost of Starcraft – already the cheapest stallion on the list – has actually fallen, with his 2018 fee currently set at $8,800.

But the story gets better for breeders. In 2018, Rosemont is repeating its innovative 2017 “Toss The Boss” deal, under which breeders get to choose the sex of their foal. If the breeder doesn’t get what they picked, then the breeder doesn’t have to pay the service fee.

With foaling having started for the season last month, Rosemont is receiving steady streams of phone calls from happy breeders advising of their latest Starcraft foal – for free.

Eliza Grantham from South Australia’s Springfield Farm was one such breeder.

“We heard about the ‘Toss the Boss’ promotion last season and being fans of Starcraft anyway, we sent two mares. One has foaled already and happily for us it was a colt which meant we didn’t have to pay,” said Grantham.

“He is a ripper of a colt, very active and looks like he will be a real runner. We are thinking of racing him but since he’s a colt, he’s a good sales prospect too given the demand for him from Hong Kong.

“I guess we’ll just wait and see how he grows out. I still can’t believe we have bred him for free.”

The point about Hong Kong is one not lost on astute breeders. From limited runners, Starcraft finished last season in the Top 10 on the Hong Kong sires list last year for the second successive year.

Like the sales companies, the deep bench of agents trading horses to Hong Kong are also now well aware of the standing that Starcraft has in that jurisdiction.

On the flip-side, breeders who got what they wanted from Starcraft and thus have to pay the service fee don’t seem to be too upset. Victorian breeder Karen Sinclair took a punt on a filly and her mare foaled a colt, for which she will now pay the $8,800 fee.

“I couldn’t be happier. I would much rather pay a low fee for a colt that looks as good as this one that will be in demand wherever he goes.

“I can sell him as a weanling, keep him through to yearling or even breeze him up. Demand for his colts is obviously strong, underpinned by Hong Kong, and the fee is low compared to what he might make. So I reckon this is even better than a free filly!”

For information about Starcraft or to book a mare, call Ted at Rosemont Stud on 0429 933 955.

The Group Two Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (formerly the JF Feehan Stakes) has, in the past, been a major stepping stone toward WS Cox Plate success.

But this year’s winner, the Barbara Marshman bred 9YO Magic Consol looks unlikely to take up the offer of automatic entry into the famed Moonee Valley race.

“It would be lovely to have a runner in the Cox Plate but I reckon we owe this horse,” the Horsham based Preusker points out. “He gives you everything he’s got when you take him out and best to keep him in a spot where he’s best at.”

Magic Consol wins the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (Natasha Morello-Racing Photos)

“He goes very well fresh and will probably go straight into the Crystal Mile (on Cox Plate Day) from here.

His overall record now stands at 13 wins and 14 placings from 58 starts for $724,265 in stakes. The Dato Tan Chin Nam was Magic Consol’s biggest win to date, but the son of Consolidator also captured the Listed VRC Winter Championship Final at Flemington in July.

The gusty Magic Consol is rapidly becoming a crowd favourite and they were definitely a happy band of owners at the Valley on Saturday, with his Hamilton-based breeder and original trainer, Barbara Marshman, right in the thick of it.

“Magic Consol was actually the last winner I trained, winning a maiden at Horsham (in October 2013) before handing him over to Paul,” Marshman explains.

“Paul’s done a tremendous job with the horse and never wanted to rush him.

“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. He was always incredibly quick though and has been worth the effort.”

Marshman trained for over 40 years before retiring in 2013…1976 George Ryder winner Superior Air is among her racing highlights, but she believes Magic Consol is definitely “up there with them”.

“I’ve scaled right back and only race a couple and breed a couple these days including a half-sister to Magic Consol,” Marshman said.

“The great thing is that Magic Consol is doing a pretty good job of paying for all of them!

“I trained Magic Consol’s half-brother Snapparazi who won a race at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day, so if it would be a fantastic ‘big day double’ if Magic Consol can win the Crystal Mile.”

Magic Consol is by the former Darley stallion, Consolidator, a son of Street Cry who won the USA Breeders’ Futurity Stakes and stood at Darley’s Northwood property for just the two seasons, 2006 and 2008. In fact, along with Reset and Street Cry, he was a foundation sire at the property Darley had acquired from Barrie and Midge Griffiths in 2006.

Although he has sired eight stakes winners in North America and Europe, Magic Consol is Consolidator’s sole black type winner down under.

Interestingly, Magic Consol, 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…and, slightly fittingly, new Darley Northwood sire Impending.

The Rosemont Stud part owned and reared filly Thrillster (Starspangledbanner) is giving her breeders and connections quite the ride, with her win in the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes at The Valley on Saturday being the latest instalment of the journey.

The win certainly places her among the best three-year-old fillies with a tilt at both the Golden Rose and Thousand Guineas a genuine consideration.

Thrillster wins the Atlantic Jewel Stakes

Anthony Mithen and the Rosemont Stud team have certainly got the thrills out of this filly. Apart from her recent important win, she has won the $280,000 VOBIS Gold Rush at Bendigo, the $310,000 VOBIS Sires 2YO race at Caulfield as well as two other black-type placings

“We are wrapped to be involved with this filly and are so happy to share the ride with Richard (Boyd) and Christine (Shaw) who bred her. It’s great when our loyal clients become our racing partners, and we build great friendships out of the experience,” Mithen said.

Owned by a large and passionate group of racing devotees, Thrillster was bred by Rosemont clients Richard and Christine. Unfortunately, on the first attempt at breeding to Starspangledbanner, their mare Heart of Thrills, lost her colt due to complications after birth.

However, showing the resilience of so many in this industry, Richard and Christine picked themselves up and went again, and the resultant super talented filly, Thrillster was born.

For commercial reasons, as traders and big cattle business owners, Richard asked Rosemont’s Anthony Mithen and bloodstock agent Dean Harvey to keep a lookout for a quick trade on the filly, with Mithen deciding to buy her outright.

“She grew out to become a lovely, uncomplicated athletic yearling, so when she was purchased at Melbourne’s Inglis Premier Yearling sale by Troy (Corstens), I was very happy to keep a leg,” Mithen said.

Corstens also kept a share in Thrillster, as did breeders Richard and Christine…they would also be joined by a group who purchased a donated share at a Brainwave charity auction. Meanwhile, Rosemont increased its ownership when a quarter was still available after she was broken in.

For all owners, that $60,000 purchase price pales into insignificance now compared to the filly’s current career earnings of $430,000 (let alone her future broodmare value).

Team Corstens is now considering a tilt at the Group 1 Golden Rose in Sydney in a fortnight before tackling the Group 1 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield, a track she’s already excelled at winning the VOBIS Gold Sires race as well as being placed in the Group 3 Quezette Stakes.

“We have been involved with Rosemont and Anthony and Nigel for a number of years now and they have been exceptional to deal with. We are just so excited that we all get to go to the races and enjoy the ride with a great group of people,” breeder and part-owner Richard Boyd said.

“It’s going to be an exciting few weeks whatever Troy decides. I would be happy if she stays close to home as she loves Caulfield. We can even get excited and have a crack at the big VOBIS money when she comes back for the Autumn,” Boyd said.

“Either way, it’s going to be a thrilling spring for all involved, as it looks like her best is still to come.”

Usually the winner of the first race at Wodonga on a Monday may not have the media in a scramble, but for small-time, dedicated breeder Susan Zeitz the victory was certainly equivalent in her eyes to a Group 1 triumph.

The Bel Esprit filly, having her third start for recently relocated Albury trainer Mitch Beer, looked like she was having a simple track gallop, coming away with a five-length lead down the straight over the 1200 metre distance.

“When the caller said that you could put the cue away, I was still worried something may happen. The family has shown incredible talent, but through bad luck and heartbreak they have not been able to reach their potential. However, as soon as she crossed the line, I shed a tear, as it has been a long journey,” Zeitz said.

Beautifully bred, the filly is actually a 5/8 relation to Black Caviar, being out of the Distant Music (USA) mare, Scarletta, who’s dam Danavia, is a daughter of the grand matriarch, Scandinavia. Bred by Dorrington Farm’s Rob Crabtree, Scarletta was a $25,000 purchase at the 2010 August Inglis Thoroughbred sale.

“I loved her, and I loved her page, with Black Caviar, Magnus and Wilander proudly displayed in bold. I remember being at the Valley with dear friend and fellow breeder Ruth Frenzel to see Black Caviar win and we both decided then and there that we wanted one like her. This mare is as close as I can get!” Zeitz said.

“When she was knocked down to me, I had to call Ruth and put her on her Inglis tab and then, as her farm was at capacity, I had to called Brent Grayling at Supreme to see if he could take her home. He was less than impressed, as he was the underbidder!”

While Monday’s win brought great joy to Zeitz, it’s fair to say she and Scarletta have been through some tough times.

Scarletta’s first foal Esprit Joy died of a snakebite while spelling. Her second foal, Scarlet Magnolia, slashed a tendon in pre-training and her next foal was stillborn. Scarletta then missed to Helmet.

“It wasn’t a great start, but resilience is a wonderful thing. We went again, this time to Bel Esprit, and Rarer Than Rubies was born healthy and very aptly named,” Zeitz said.

“It can be harrowing being a breeder, and we promised this filly to Mitch (Beer) at birth to train. Mitch is doing a brilliant job, and he has a share himself, so he is probably spending a fair bit on cotton wool at the moment!”

Zeitz’s mares permanently reside at Digger Rest based Stockwell Thoroughbreds run by Mike and Brodie Becker.

“Mike has a share in Rarer Than Rubies too, so we are all finally enjoying some success, and you wouldn’t want your mares cared for by anyone else, they run a wonderful operation,” Zeitz said.

Scarletta currently has a Zoffany colt headed to the breeze up sales in Sydney next month, who Zeitz sold at the Inglis VOBIS Gold Yearling sale earlier this year for $48,000.

“Let’s hope he can find a good home and is given the opportunity to improve the family,” she said.

Currently heavily in foal to Casino Prince, Scarletta has another Casino Prince on the ground, with both being three quarter relations to All Too Hard. Zeitz is still yet to decide on this season’s suitor.

“She is producing such big foals now. The last one was 76kg and this one will be equally as big. She is healthy but I am like an expectant father, so we will see how she comes through the foaling before we decide; she may have the year off,” Zeitz explained.

And while spring racing is on the cards for Rarer than Rubies, including perhaps attracting some black-type for the pedigree, Zeitz is in no rush.

“We have waited so long to enjoy one of Scarletta’s foals racing, so we will make the most of it. She will be much better in the autumn, and hopefully she has a few seasons on the track ahead of her. We certainly won’t be rushing her off to be a broodmare!”

Let’s just call it the ‘Chautauqua’ win in China…the old Chautauqua we mean. The victory of the Ruth Frenzel bred Ji Di in the inaugural Inglis Cup at the 2.8-million RMB ($400,000) Yulong raceday in China, was stunning to say the very least.

A 3YO son of the Stockwell Thoroughbreds’ Artie Schiller, Ji Di was a long way from the leading pack turning for home in the 1200m scamper, but sprouted wings over the closing stages to win spectacularly. Watch the race here:

It was certainly a great advertisement for the Victorian breeding industry in what is a rapidly emerging industry. Runner-up to Ji Di was the Chatswood Stud raised Eagles Cleaved Sky, a son of Purrealist who is regarded as one of the better racehorses in China having won many races including the rich Inglis China-Australia Cup last year.

(Eagles Cleaved Sky was actually offered for sale at the Yulong based auction the day before the race but failed to reach his reserve at 1.8-million RMB or AU$270,000.)

The impact of Victorian bred horses is no coincidence. This input has been largely a result of the efforts of passionate breeder/owner/administrator, Mr Zhang Yuesheng of Yulong Investments.

Mr Zhang has not only been a prolific buyer at Melbourne yearling sales but he has also headquartered his breeding operation in Victoria with farms now at Nagambie (having bought Limerick Lane and Hillside Thoroughbreds) and Bayles.

(Yulong Park is expected to stand major commercial stallions in Victoria from early as next year.)

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria President James O’Brien and Swettenham Stud’s Adam Sangster both travelled to China for the Yulong sale and raceday and were both amazed at the quality infrastructure and bloodstock.

“I had heard about Mr Zhang’s expansion plans and growth, so it was wonderful to see his China-based complex with my own eyes. It strongly endorses his positive investment and development in the Victorian breeding industry,” Sangster pointed out.

“It’s evident that Mr Zhang is passionate about his horses. It’s fantastic for both countries as his enthusiasm will only encourage more Chinese owners to become involved in horses.”

Inglis’ Andrew Munce with Yulong’s Mr Zhang Yuesheng, Sam Pritchard-Gordon, Sam Fairgray & connections

Meanwhile, the victory of Ji Di was welcome news to Victorian breeder Ruth Frenzel whose Valleyview operation at Clarkefield, near the Macedon Ranges, has produced a host of winners in the past couple of decades: but maybe none as exciting.

Frenzel, a former treasurer of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria, watched a replay of the race on YouTube and was still marveling at the finish days later.

“That was an amazing win … he really came from the clouds didn’t he?,” Frenzel enthused.

“He (Ji Di) was originally passed in as a weanling, but I then got Supreme Thoroughbreds to put him through the second session of the (2017 Inglis) Melbourne Premier (Yearling Sale) where he was knocked down to Yulong for $20,000. Turned out to be a real bargain for them.”

Ji Di pictured as a yearling for the 2017 Inglis Premier Sale

Ji Di’s dam – the Royal Academy mare, Light Rose – is shaping to be a bargain for Frenzel too, despite various breeding problems in recent seasons.

“She (Light Rose) is out of a stakes-placed mare, while both the second and third dams are stakes winners. I actually managed to buy her – in foal to Bon Hoffa – for $1,200 off bloodstock.com.au,” Frenzel explained.

“The resultant foal, Helluva Hoffa won six races, while her next foal was a Magnus that was sold to Caulfield trainer, Matt Lindsay. They named her Magnesium Rose and she won at two, and then twice at Caulfield in January and July this year.

“She is Matt’s first winner and, even better still, all of the people in the mare are first time owners as well.

“Ji Di followed, but then the wheels fell off a bit for Light Rose as she slipped, then produced a cracking Warrior’s Reward colt that had to be put down.

“Light Rose missed last spring, but my trusty vet informs me that it’s all systems go again, and she was covered by Magnus on the weekend.”

Written by Bren O’Brien for www.tdnausnz.com.au

The first signs of B. Wayne Hughes’ increased interest in the Australian thoroughbred scene came when he turned up at the 2014 Easter Yearling Sales and brought three yearlings under the Spendthrift brand. Twelve months later, he had bought an entire farm – the old Yallambee Stud at Romsey outside of Melbourne – setting up Spendthrift Australia and installing local bloodstock expert Garry Cuddy to head up the operation.

Fast forward to 2018, and with all of the required parts in place, the breeding, racing and sales arms, the goal remains the same as it did back in 2015.

“The priority for us is to become that household name, especially down here in Victoria,” Cuddy told TDN AusNZ.

“We are not here to be second best. We want to be the best and however we can get there as quickly as we can, that’s what we are going to do.”

All the pieces in place

With the foundations in place, the coming season is a crucial time for Cuddy and his team at Spendthrift Australia.

The first Australian two-year-olds bred from their foundation stallions, Hampton Court (Aus), Jimmy Creed (USA) and Warrior’s Reward (USA), are ready to hit the track, the first foals from Swear, the Redoute’s Choice colt they bought as a yearling back in 2015, have arrived and another Spendthrift yearling purchase, the multiple Group winner Overshare (I Am Invincible {Aus}), is embarking on his first season at stud.

Both Swear and Overshare were Group 3 winners as 3-year-olds giving them the credentials to stand at Spendthrift as part of a strategy to find one of their own colts each year to go to stud.

“The success on the racetrack is a major achievement,” Cuddy said.

“We are only buying a limited number of yearlings each year for the first few years and we are lucky enough to have had a colt retire to stud from each of the crops.”

“We had Swear, which was the first one. Overshare was the next one and we race a pretty handy one called Irukandji (Dundeel {NZ}) who is just a 3-year-old at the moment,”

Irukandji was a Group 3 winner at two and is currently on a path towards the major spring 3-year-old races.

“We are hopeful that there will be something bigger and better for him in the coming months, or even the autumn,” Cuddy said.

The new boys on the farm

Overshare and Gold Standard (Sebring {Aus}), are the new stallions at Spendthrift this season and Cuddy said both have been received very well by the market.

“When you have a multiple-stakes winning son of I Am Invincible that walks out and is the dead-spit of his old man, it helps,” he said in reference to Overshare.

“He’s got such a lovely front end, such a deep shoulder and big girth on him. He moves so well as well. I’ve said all along, he ticks all the boxes. He’s the horse that we are very excited to have on board.”

Spendthrift Australia has a strong broodmare band to support Overshare, as they did with Swear in his first season last year.

New Spendthrift Australia sire Overshare

Foals to Swear by

The foals from those matings with Swear have been hitting the ground at the farm.

“We sent a lot of our own mares to him. I think half of our ten foals are by Swear and we are really happy with what we’ve seen,” Cuddy said.

“He’s a lovely big good-looking son of Redoute’s Choice and he is stamping his stock well.”

“We’ve got a few more to come but we are quite happy with where we are at so far. We are also getting really good feedback from people who have supported him.”
There are also strong reports on the two-year-olds of Hampton Court, the G1 Spring Champion S winner entering his fourth season at Spendthrift.

“We’ve had a few reports that there are some in the stables now and heading in the right direction,” he said.

Spendthrift sire Swear

“There are a couple coming up in the breeze-up sales (Magic Millions) that are going through the ring on the Gold Coast. So if they are doing enough to be in sales like that, let’s hope there’s a few out there ready to hit the track early.”

Spendthrift Australia’s stallion operations have been supported by incentive programs like Breed Secure and Share the Upside, which have been popular with breeders.

“Breed Secure has been a massive hit since we introduced it in our second year,” Cuddy said,

“Breeders love the way that Mr Hughes is willing to take the hit with the breeder if the hit comes. At the end of the day, he just wants everybody to be successful.”

Spendthrift Australia

Doubling it up at the sales

The biggest crop yet of 2-year-old colts snapped up by Spendthrift at the yearling sales are also ready to make an impact.

“This year we ramped it up and we have double the number of two-year-olds in the stable. We are quite happy with the crop that we’ve got and I guess the more yearlings we buy, the more chances we’ve got of getting that stallion prospect,” Cuddy said.

The multi-faceted strategy has also seen Spendthrift active at the broodmare sales, looking for good matches to support Overshare and Gold Standard.

As always, the Kentucky operation is providing plenty of support, especially when it comes to the strength of Spendthrift’s broodmare band.

“We’ve imported mares from Kentucky in foal to Southern Hemisphere time to Into Mischief (USA) and Malibu Moon (USA.) We traded a few of those mares and we retained a few of those mares to add to our broodmare band,” Cuddy said.

“The positive for us is that Into Mischief is a phenomenal stallion and if we can get a couple of his foals down here to hit the track and get running that opens up plenty of new doors for us for us in the future.”

Support from HQ

And the support doesn’t stop there, Cuddy says Mr Hughes is utterly committed to making the Australian operation a success.

“Having someone like Mr Hughes to learn from is a wonderful thing. He is a man that is always thinking one step ahead of the game.” he said.

“We are well guided by and always in communication with Eric Gustavson (Spendthrift President) and Ned Toffey (General Manager, Spendthrift USA). We are always looking to build on our brand and replicate the success of the American division since Mr Hughes took over Spendthrift in Kentucky.”

In news for the Victorian stallion ranks, Jayemzed (Lion Cavern) will be calling Moorookyle Park home for the 2018 breeding season.

Having stood in Tasmania for six years, Jayemzed relocated to Maldon’s Darnik Park last year. Increasing personal commitments, however, of Darnik’s Betty Connell mean the sire has been moved to Nioka Wozny’s Moorookyle Park at Smeaton, north of Ballarat.

Owned and bred by Ralph Zito and his wife Peta, Jayemzed was a talented galloper with a promising racing career before being struck down by injury.

Trained at Mornington by Barry Howe, he recorded five wins and landed a black type second in the Listed Anniversary Vase over 1400m at Caulfield.

Jayemzed was named after the initials of the Zito’s son Joel Mathew Zito who was tragically killed in a car accident around the hour of his foaling in November 2002.

“We kept him as an entire as he was so special to us, and although he has sentimental value, we would not have considered using him for breeding had it not been for his pedigree,” Ralph Zito said.

“He’s by a grandson of Mr Prospector from a grand-daughter of Northern Dancer and carrying rare female strains of Somethingroyal not to mention Mixed Marriage. He was a class racehorse with perfect conformation.

“I am so thankful to Nioka that we have found another stud where he will receive the best of care and attention (as he did at Darnik Park and Bowthorpe Stud previously).”

“He suits the breed to race market and, with his success to date from so few opportunities, we are hoping that at Moorookyle Park he will tap into a broader broodmare population in regional Victoria.

As a stallion, Jayemzed boasts a high progeny winning strike rate of 60%. He has sired ten horses to race, with six winners among them including Mick Kent’s seven-time winner Leodoro and the four-time winner, Shane Fliedner’s Bee Jay Zed.

“Mick Kent’s Leodoro will be back in work and racing before Christmas, while Gold Phoenix with Royston Carr in Richmond, Tasmania, who won at her second last start, will be even better when she comes back. There are also a couple of babies in Victoria and Tasmania that will be coming into the stables soon to make their racetrack debut,” Zito said.

With the new start at Moorookyle Park, an innovative fee structure, based on racing performance, is being offered to breeders who use for Jayemzed.

“Being committed to good pedigree structure and judicious line breeding are the vital starting point to racing success and as a result of a high winning success rate for selected matings, we offer to defer payment of a service fee (apart from the $400 cover charge) until the progeny of matings which have been approved after a free mating analysis, record their first win. Now that’s a win-win offer!’ Zito said.

“Alternatively, the balance could become payable if the breeder sells the outcome for greater than the service fee or breeders may choose to simply back their own judgement and to pay the balance of a negotiated fee on live foal birth,” Zito said.

Moorookyle Park run by the experienced Nioka Wozny, welcomes Jayemzed to the stallion barns which are already home to Ustinov, Cecconi and Rockaroundtheclock.

“Jayemzed is certainly getting the job done as a stallion, producing more than his share of winners and he is a lovely addition to Moorookyle Park. He has settled in very well…he is very relaxed and easy to handle. He loves his peppermints and plenty of TLC!” Wozny said.

Jayemzed will be standing in the 2018 season at $3,300 or $400 under the new ‘race-performance’ fee structure. Please contact Nioka Wozny for more information on 0427 456 385 or visit www.moorookylepark.com.au