For recently appointed TBV board member Kayley Johnston, the co-owner of Rushton Park broodmare farm based in Dhurringile in Victoria she is thrilled to share her love of the industry with her breeding community and is passionate about making an impact in ensuring that the Victorian industry continues to grow and prosper.

Originally from Western Australia, Kayley and her husband David had a small hobby farm to start with, with David training privately for a close group of owners.

“I introduced David to horses, as I have an equestrian background. I even taught him to ride and while I had designs on him to hopefully be interested in eventing or show jumping, he caught the racing bug and ended up heading off to trackwork instead. He then got his owners – trainers licence, and slowly the equestrian horses were replaced with racehorses.”

As their horse business grew, and they outgrew their modest 15-acre property, they struck Perth’s massive mining boom.

“Land became harder and harder to find to lease, and more expensive to purchase so we looked to Victoria as an option as I already had family in Melbourne. We came over and did some research, and when we found a good-sized block in the thoroughbred breeding region, we decided to give it a go. We have since purchased the neighbouring property, to give us a total land size of 300 acres, which is perfect for our current operation,” Kayley said.

Established in 2000, Rushton Park was named after their original property in Western Australia, which was located on Rushton Road – “David thought it would be bad luck to change it, so the name came with us all the way over the Nullarbor.”

“Being in the thoroughbred triangle was important as we wanted to have access to the best vets and services, and now with the number of walk-on mares we manage, we are also in the perfect position to easily travel to the main thoroughbred stallions and studs.”

“We have a lovely mix of country, and our land has soft rolling slopes to allow drainage, while the flats down the back of the property are perfect for the mares and foals to always access green, lush pick,” Kayley said.

“The entire property has been developed from scratch. The infrastructure includes stables, day yards, walker, a round yard for lunging, tack box, vet room and crush so we can efficiently and effectively manage our horse numbers.”

Now Rushton Park specialises in equal parts trading horses and foaling. They have been busy this season with permanent clients and their own private mares, while the trading side encompasses all of Rushton Park’s bloodstock sales, yearling and weanling preparation, as well as mare and mixed bloodstock sales.

“We have had some great results of late with two of the top 10 lots sold at the recent Magic Millions breeze-ups were graduates of ours. A Shooting to Win x Iberian Miss colt sold by Nolan Racing to Waterford Bloodstock for $230,000 was pin-hooked by us as a weanling and sold through our Adelaide Magic Millions draft,” Kayley said.

While Rushton Park’s yearling sales highlights include selling a lovely Foxwedge filly out of their mare Bardego, a half to Volpe Veloce and Delago Bolt for $300,000 at Premier in 2017, and in 2018 they topped the sale with the outstanding Fastnet Rock filly out of Group 3 winner Lady Melksham (Artie Schiller). Bred by Ian and Vicki Bell through their Campolina operation, it was beautifully prepared and presented to catch the eye of the global Godolphin operation.

“A recent graduate, Mr Money Bags won the Silver Bowl final at Flemington who we raised on farm and sold through our 2016 Magic Millions Adelaide draft. He looks set to tackle some black type races in the future for Griffiths Racing and Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock.”

With hardly time to catch a breath after the busy foaling season, the family-run operation they are now turning their attention to the upcoming sales, with their Magic Millions draft now in full swing.

“We will be taking nine yearlings to the Gold Coast, fifteen to Melbourne Premier and six over to Adelaide, so it’s all go around here,” Kayley said.

“Our five-year-old, Patrick is mad keen to lend a hand and although still a little young to put on the books, he is eager to be around the thoroughbreds. You have to keep an eye on him, as he’s into everything, but at the moment he is loving being involved.”

“There are exciting times ahead for the local industry, with great investment, and brilliant support for the VOBIS scheme. We are certainly big supporters of Team Victoria and Rushton Park is proudly flying the flag down south.”

Media Release from Thoroughbred Breeders Australia

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Basil Nolan Jr of Raheen Stud.

TBA chief executive Tom Reilly said everybody who knew Basil would be mourning his loss.

“On behalf of the directors and staff of TBA we extend our deepest sympathies to the Nolan family.

“Basil was one of the industry’s true gentleman. Not only was he a great horseman but, more importantly, he was a warm and generous man who always seemed to have a smile on his face.

“He was also a devoted father of four and it was always a highlight to have a chat to Basil and his children when Raheen had a draft to sell.

“I’m sure anyone who had dealings with Basil will be grieving his loss and that the whole breeding and racing community will be thinking of the Nolan family at this difficult time.”

Blue Gum Farm’s Phillip Campbell was thrilled to see Runaway step out at Flemington in the time-honoured Melbourne Cup proudly flying the flag for their stallion, Manhattan Rain and the Victorian breeding industry.

“It’s just incredible to think he is the only runner in the Cup by an Australian stallion and we are so proud that he’s ours and Victorian bred!”

“Manhattan Rain has quite amazingly sired a Golden Slipper winner and twelve other Group or stakes winners and here he is with runner in the Cup – it would have been a dream come true. It was a great effort by Gai and Stevie Baster and we are so proud to have been involved,” Campbell said.

“When you draw comparisons to Manhattan Rain’s sire, Encosta da Lago was able to get the precocious and brilliant sprinters, but he also got plenty of gallopers that were able to get out over classic distances and win. While Manhattan Rain’s half-brother, Redoute’s Choice is exactly the same, so it is no great surprise that he possesses this versatility over a wide variety of distances.”

And although most of the team were watching from the farm with the breeding season still in full swing, all have been in awe of just how well Manhattan Rain has performed in the covering shed.

“The season has been a breeze for him, as he puts no pressure on himself. He is just the most magnificently fertile stallion and a complete professional.”

“The agents and managers of walk in farms have been paying us some great compliments. Christoph Jentsch from Heartford Thoroughbreds has sent three mares to Manhattan Rain and all three are positive on just one cover. And it’s great to hear Bassinghall’s Tas Riley so confident that the mares are going to get in foal “thanks to his great libido.”

“He is just no-fuss, deadly fertile and is working through his substantial books very well. There are a number of influential breeders who have returned their mares this year, and as some mares are now struggling to get in foal to other matings, his book continues to grow as the season continues,” Campbell said.

“With the wonderful Encosta Connection, and what he has been able to achieve on the track since he came down to us at the start of 2017, it is just wonderful to be associated with him. The Encosta legacy continues.”

“When you see so many breeders rushing off to unproven first season sires with substantial service fees, without knowing if they can get a runner or not, Manhattan Rain is brilliant value at $17,500. He is tried and true, still a young horse and doing a marvellous job,” Campbell said.

“Even trusted and respected Bloodstock judges like Damon Gabbedy commented that “he is the most underrated, best value, proven stallion in Australia. He has shown his versatility by siring a Golden Slipper winner and a St Leger winner in the same crop.”

“He has had four stakes winners in the 2017/18 season, of which three were new, a stakes wining two-year-old in each crop so far, he had an undefeated Group 2 winning two-year-old going into the slipper in his third crop, and he won the slipper in his fourth crop. Being now the sire of 13 stakes winners, and with progeny earnings over $15 million – they are just amazing stats!”

After six years on the board of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria, Cathy Hains, has resigned from her position.

The owner of Burnewang North said that she has enjoyed the challenge of being part of such an energetic and committed group of individuals, from different areas of the industry and would like to commend everyone involved.

Filling the position is Kayley Johnson, the co-owner of Rushton Park. Rushton Park is a broodmare farm based in Dhurringile in Victoria.

The change comes at a time when the Victorian industry is experiencing enormous international investment, huge popularity of new sires and great success of Victorian bred horses on the racetrack.

TBV President James O’Brien, said that Cathy would be a loss for the organisation and thanked Cathy for all her hard work and dedication while on the TBV board, and wished her success for the future.

The committee also thanked Cathy for her time and hard work, while on the TBV board.

Originally from WA, Kayley and her husband David set up Rushton Park in 2000, when they sought to secure a property in the ‘Thoroughbred triangle’ of Victoria. After venturing over from WA, they slowly started off with a few mares and then after success on the track, this then grew quite rapidly. Now, Rushton Park boasts over 300 acres and 100 horses on the property.

Kayley, who has been involved with horses all her life, has welcomed the opportunity to be appointed to the Board of TBV and has said that she is quite excited to take on the role.

“This industry is something I am passionate about, so for me to get a chance to participate in that and have some impact, I think it is good for everyone going forward” Johnson said.

TBV President, James O’Brien was excited to have Kayley accept the appointment to the Board and is excited to have such a passionate individual join and cannot wait to see what the future holds.

For Congupna breeder Andrew McDonald and his Redoute’s Choice mare Dom Perion they were both celebrating not only the win of her son Extra Brut in the Derby but also the good news that another precious little bundle is on the way.

Connections of Extra Brut celebrate their Derby win (Racing Photos)

Focusing on his small band of mares, based at his Congupna property, ten minutes north of Shepparton, McDonald will be breeding three mares this year including Extra Brut’s dam Dom Perion.

“It’s incredible now that she is a Group 1 producing mare and a Derby producer at that and while the owners were all celebrating with a champagne, I also had reason to celebrate with Dom Perion foaling a Domesday colt this season and testing 15 days positive to Swettenham Stud’s stallion Toronado which is exciting. We will be all eagerly awaiting that precious arrival next spring.”

McDonald was thrilled for the large and diverse group of owners involved in Extra Brut, especially to see such enthusiasm in the mounting yard after the win.

“It’s a dream to win a race on Derby day, let alone the Derby and I give thanks to my mare, I can’t quite believe I am such a big and important part of making that possible.”

Extra Brut was offered as a weanling at the Inglis Great Southern Sale where he would be purchased by Gary Mudgway for $52,500, who then put the colt through the 2017 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale and was knocked down to Brad Spicer Thoroughbreds for $100,000.

Spicer has purchased Group 1 winners Starspangledbanner, Awesome Rock, Commanding Jewel, Zabeelionaire and a host of black type stars over the years, but you sense the Extra Brut syndicate is something really special.

“There are about 30 in the group, although it seemed like a whole lot more in the Flemington mounting yard on Saturday!” Spicer recalls. “The great thing about this syndicate is that many are first time owners, family and good mates too.

“When I saw Extra Brut for the first time at the sales, he just had so much presence about him and was a brilliant walker. Being a bit leggy and I knew he’d probably take some time, but he looked a likely Derby horse.”

“He was the equal most expensive Domesday sold that year but people like David Hayes and Darren Weir were the underbidders and Darren’s crew came up to me straight after and said they’d be keen to train the horse.”

After giving Darren Weir his first Derby success, it doesn’t stop there with extra Brut now accepting and backing up in the McKinnon this Saturday. And if he snares another win, let’s hope Flemington has put in an order for few additional cases of Extra Brut champagne!

Boutique breeder and successful racehorse owner Jeffrey Dimery of Macedon’s Uluru Stud was thrilled when on one of racings biggest days, his homebred filly Divine Quality blitzed the field in the Group 3 Furphy Sprint down the Flemington straight.

Guided by her regular jockey, Beau Mertens she lived up to her name with a dazzling performance to come from last to win, going away by three and a-quarter lengths to deliver the perfect finish to a day at headquarters for her trainer Robbie Griffiths.

As Dimery unfortunately, dispersed the majority of his outstanding breeding stock at the Magic Millions National Broodmare and Weanling Sale, the highly promising Divine Quality, was sold as a yearling and now races for another successful Victorian breeder in Princeton Stud’s Craig and Kathleen Pearce, located on the Mornington Peninsula.

A daughter of Darley’s stallion Sepoy, who stands at Victoria’s Northwood Park, Divine Quality’s win was particularly exciting for Dimery being one of the first horses he had ever bred, out of one of the first horses he ever raced in Nun Faster.

“I was just delighted, a real thrill to see a horse win like that we have bred, especially as Nun Faster was the first broodmare for Uluru Stud,” Dimery said. “This filly’s family was the first real investment I made into the thoroughbred industry.”

Nun Faster showed exceptional talent early in her career for her trainer Danny O’Brien, who was a half-sister to the triple New Zealand Group 1 winner King’s Chapel (NZ), who also ran second in the Group 1 George Main Stakes. Divine Quality is a half-sister to Melbourne stakes winner Vatican.

“She was a very talented mare showing great ability. She won her first start impressively, ran in the Danehill Stakes at her third start, but unfortunately developed a leg infection and had to be retired,” Dimery said.

“We even thought we might have lost her a couple of times, so to see her talent be passed down to her daughter and see her win on Derby Day was a huge thrill.”

He was over the moon for Robbie Griffiths and the Pearce’s who purchased Divine Quality for $185,000 at the 2015 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale through Woodside Park Stud’s draft.

“We had looked at quite a few Sepoys and they were out of our price range, but we saw her at the 2015 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale and were fortunate to pick her up for $185,000,” Pearce reveals.

“I thought she’d end up more of a three-year-old and likely to run over a mile, but she’s better suited to the shorter courses. She did show a lot of talent early, but Robbie has been very patient with her and knew that she was a black type quality filly.”

Additionally, Dimery has a nice connection with the current owners Craig and Kath Pearce of Princeton Stud, with the Pearce’s being the lucky new owners of his original mare Nun Faster.

“We were thrilled to pick up Divine Quality’s mum, Nun Faster for $180,000 at last year’s Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale,” Pearce reveals.

“Divine Quality had won two of her three starts by the time we got Nun Faster, and she recently produced a Written Tycoon filly and will be covered by Real Impact this spring.”

Princeton Stud, a 55-acre property at Moorooduc in Victoria, commenced operations in 2007 and currently plays host to twelve mares, while the Pearce’s also have ten racehorses in work carrying their distinctive racing colours of hot pink and white crossed sashes.

“We’ve had a handful of stakes winners in recent years with The Quarterback being the best of them so far, but I’ve always felt that Divine Quality is Group 1 quality and hopefully she’ll prove it in the next twelve months,” Pearce adds.

“We’d targeted the Furphy Sprint and it all came together on the day. No firm plans have been set but we’ll likely keep her fresh and maybe run in the Group 3 Standish at Flemington in On New Year’s Day and the group 1 Robert Sangster next May.”

“As for the breeding side, we’ve got a dozen babies on the ground and there will be about eight yearlings heading to sales in 2019,” Pearce reveals.

While Dimery still has a strong link to the family, and will continue enjoying the ride.

“I still have the Divine Quality’s brother that I am racing with my family called Sham Balls, as it was a bit of a shambles trying to decide on a name! By Pierro, he is currently in training with Danny O’Brien and is showing promise but being the biggest horse in the stable there is no rush with him.”

“I am also now building back up by broodmare band, as I repurchased my Group 2 winner through the sales ring, called Summer Sham and she is now foal to Star Witness along with my dual Group 1 winner Shamrocker’s three-quarter sister Shampion.”

“I keep some of my horses with breakers Ray and Sandra Matthews, along with my spellers at Danny O’Brien’s property at Barwon Heads who I also raced the Group 1 winner Shamexpress with and Da Little Engine. We had great fun with him, and now his little sister appropriately called De Little Sister looks like she has some upside too,” Dimery said.

“And although, I only have two active mares, I will look at retaining any well-preformed and well-bred fillies I am currently racing to build up and grow my broodmare band, while selling the colts commercially through the yearling sales. So, it’s onward and upwards.”

Two-and-a-half years since their business was at a crossroads, Briarwood Farm’s Lisa and Gavin McMaster were proud to have a Group 1 performer in the Empire Rose Stakes on Derby Day.

Briarwood was primarily an agistment and spelling operator based at Cora Lynn on the south-eastern skirts of Melbourne, but when their biggest client Peter Moody decided to quit training, it was a significant shock to the prosperous operation.

“We spelled for Moody for 13 years, since he came down from Queensland. We had a fantastic relationship with him and it was a bolt out of the blue when he rang me up one Saturday morning and said I’m walking away,” Lisa McMaster said.

“We were devastated, because we had 30 of his spellers at our place. But I guess when you are given lemons, you have just got to make lemonade.”

The resultant soul-searching saw Lisa and Gavin put much more of their energy into breeding and racing, something they had done as a hobby before that point.

“I thought what we love doing is breeding and racing and I thought well, if we have to go in a different direction, that’s what we’ll have to do,” she said. We’ve built up our broodmare band, which we will continue to do.”

A few months before the Moody bombshell, one of their broodmares, Sadiya (Encosta De Lago), had foaled a Bel Esprit filly. With their new strategy for breeding and racing in their mind, they decided to keep her rather than send her through the yearling sales.

On Saturday, that filly, now a four-year-old mare named Temple of Bel (Bel Esprit) contested the Group Empire Rose Stakes for trainer Tony McEvoy with a promising run, and finishing off in her usual way, strong to the line.

Temple Of Bel has been a special horse for Lisa McMaster in more ways than one. She is the fourth generation her family has bred and raced, including the granddam, Lisa’s Game (Umatilla), who gave them one of their greatest thrills in racing when narrowly beaten in the 1998 Group 1 Caulfield Cup.

“My father, Don Marshall, bought Lisa’s Game’s dam, Barbie’s Game. Then we raced Sadiya, the mother and now Temple Of Bel, so we’ve got quite a few from the family,” she said.

The McMasters sold Temple of Bel’s older sister by Artie Schiller, the now stakes-placed Wheal Leisure, for $22,000 as a yearling and also sold her younger half-sister by Fiorente, Sadente, for $50,000.

“It just so happens that we kept Temple Of Bel. You can’t keep them all, as they do accumulate pretty quickly, so we sold the others and kept her,” McMaster said.

Having started her career with Henry Dwyer before spending time with Archie Alexander, this is Temple Of Bel’s first full campaign under the guidance of Tony McEvoy and after closing sixth in the Group 2 Blazer Stakes at Flemington, Temple of Bel rushed home for fourth in the Group 3 Ladies’ Day Vase at Caulfield.

“McEvoy was absolutely thrilled with her last two runs and her sectionals,” McMaster said.

“He said, ‘I think we need to aim at the highest level and hope we get into the Empire Rose.”

She was by far the lowest rated horse in the race, and drew the outside barrier, but they were still thrilled to see her get her momentum going and with her huge stride and she rattled off some fantastic sectionals in the finish.

However, Briarwood Farm’s was dealt a blow earlier this year when Sadiya died in a paddock accident. It means that carrying the legacy of Lisa’s Game on the farm will now fall to Temple Of Bel, when she becomes a broodmare.

As well as building their broodmare band up towards their target of twelve, Briarwood are now spelling horses for trainer Grahame Begg and syndicator Shelley Hancox. They are also offering broodmare services for several outside clients.

“We are doing a lot more walk on’s, breeding other people’s horses and looking after their mares. There’s a lot more risk, but if you know what you are doing pedigree wise, you can increase your chances of success,” she said.
Exerts from TDN.

Heagney is a name synonymous with the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry, with Peter Heagney being the voice of Inglis and a wonderful supporter of the breeding industry throughout Victoria.

However, it was his wife Helen who was back in the winner’s circle, with her beloved Off The Track Thoroughbred, Auteuil taking out the event for ex-racehorses under saddle at the recent Lancefield Show.

The gleaming and typey hack, Auteuil, who raced as Gibralatar Melody was bred by Woodside Park Stud in Tylden is a ten-year-old gelding by Rock of Gibraltar out of the Piccolo mare Melody Bay, was luckily spotted by Helen’s sister when out inspecting yearlings.

“My sister liked the look of him, as he was a lovely type. A dark brown, fine-boned thoroughbred that made a lovely shape. When Peter let me know that he was entered in the next Inglis mixed sale, I made a few enquiries about him, and he got the thumbs up temperament wise, but unfortunately, he sold for $8000, which was out of our budget for an equestrian prospect.”

“Being still a sound racing proposition, he headed over to Murray Bridge in South Australia to be trained by John Peacock, before having two unsuccessful campaigns in Alice Spring where he was aimed at the Guineas.”

“I stayed in touch with John over the next two years, and in the end, when they believed his competitive racing days were over, they contacted me and asked if I would be still interested in the horse. I still hadn’t seen him myself and he arrived in the middle of the night, but as all I had to pay was the $700 to cover the cost of the float trip back to Melbourne, he was well worth it, and I am delighted I did.”

“He has been a lovely horse to re-train and he doesn’t have a dirty bone in his body. Like most thoroughbreds they can be a little nervous, but we have now developed a solid relationship as his confidence has grown and he has learnt to trust me as his rider.”

“I would like to thank Hesket Bloodstock’s David and Jenny Moodie for their kind and generous donation by sponsoring the Off The Track class, a cause they are equally passionate about. It is a wonderful initiative that demonstrates the trainability and versatility the thoroughbred racehorse, while highlighting that they can have a long and prosperous career ahead of them post racing.”

“I am looking forward to getting Gezza, (named after the former manager of Woodside Park Stud, Gerrard Jones) out to a few more shows over summer and just enjoy showing him in a relaxed environment,” citing her highly competitive days are behind her.

“It is wonderful competing in the Royal shows and the Garryowen, but with Auteuil, I am just looking at local shows while promoting the usefulness and beauty of the thoroughbred.”

A showing legend and dressage judge, Helen has a lifetime of competitive experience, having won four Garryowen Trophies, produced three FEI horses, and represented Australia in Pacific League competitions at Prix St. George level.

Helen has had extensive experience in serving Equestrian Australia and is an A Level Dressage Judge and Judge Educator, having judged extensively throughout Australia. She is also a Young Horse Judge Educator and General Judge Educator, having served as Chair of the Dressage Judges’ Education Panel in Victoria for 14 years.

Helen is also instrumental in organising the National Final of the Off The Track series which will be held on Friday 30th November 2018 at Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre.

With an experienced and diverse panel of judges it is sure to be a highly competitive and contested event. The judges include racehorse trainer Tony McEvoy’s wife, Jo McEvoy, UK Judge Jerome Harforth who has an extensive background in showing thoroughbreds in England and highly respected Equestrian Australia’s Team vet, Dr Dennis Goulding.

While the OTT final is only open to qualified combinations, they will also be holding the incredibly popular Fashions on the Field event which will be open to all.

An event where the fashions worn by the handler are equally as important as the turnout of the horse, this in-hand event is rapidly gaining popularity and is a real treat for spectators. Amongst the judges will be VRC Chairman Amanda Elliot, Racing Victoria ambassador Georgia Connelly and the Herald Sun’s Celebrity and Fashion writer Fiona Byrne.

Indeed, a night not to be missed by both racing enthusiasts and equestrian lovers alike.

Written by Rod Nicholson

The identities who litter the Thoroughbred Club’s first 50 years have several common links notably, they love racing, they love horses and they love having fun.

Decorated author and veteran journalist Rod Nicholson brings them to life in the 50th anniversary of the Thoroughbred Club’s commemorative book, Power And Passion of Racing Pals.

The book traces the club’s first half century, seen through the eyes of its amazing cast of movers-and-shakers, comprising owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys, administrators, stewards, media and even priests.

Many are no longer with us giants of the sport such as legendary trainer Bart Cummings and internationally-acclaimed jockeys Scobie Breasley and Roy Higgins, as well as media megastars Bill Collins and Ron Casey among them.

However big names in the sport have permeated the club throughout the decades. Club members have won four Melbourne Cups in the past eight years and shared in 11 Caulfield Cup successes in 50 years.

In fact, Gerry Ryan and Alan Green are looking for their third Melbourne Cup success with reigning favourite Yucatan.

While owning, breeding, training or riding major race winners is part of the picture, the mandate of the club is to promote racing and to have a good time. Gala events are standard.

Nicholson has embraced the membership, interviewing a host of members who candidly tell of their big wins, their embarrassing moments, the fun and frivolity of being part of the club.

Thoroughbred president Cameron Fisher said the club had evolved into one of the most influential and respected promoters of racing in the racing.

“The club can boast an exceptional list of guest speakers who have entertained, educated, provoked or promoted racing. The ilk of Captain Mark Phillips, Ron Walker and Sir Zelman Cohen, innumerable top administrators, comedians including Sir Les Patterson (Barry Humphries), media personalities and sporting stars have shared a wealth of knowledge and life experiences.”

“This book encapsulates the rich history of the club, the vibrancy of the members and the overall love of racing within the ranks _ and will give everyone a lot of laughs,” he said.

The 50th Years of the Thoroughbred Club, Power and Passion of Racing Pals, is available from TBC secretary Roger Jennings at vintage@alphalink.com.au or phone 0419373188.

Blue Gum Farm’s Phillip Campbell and all the team can hardly wait to see the son of Manhattan Rain step out at Flemington in the time-honoured Melbourne Cup proudly flying the flag for their stallion Manhattan rain and the Victorian breeding industry.

“It’s just incredible to think he is the only runner in the Cup by an Australian stallion and we are so proud that he’s ours and Victorian bred!”

“Manhattan Rain has quite amazingly sired a Golden Slipper winner and twelve other Group or stakes winners and here he is with a live chance in the Cup – it would be a dream come true. Let’s hope Gai can weave her magic and Stevie Baster could give him one of those amazing front-running rides and keep him relaxed to have him there in the finish,” Campbell said.

“I don’t think the distance will bea problem as he has already won the St Leger over 2800 metres racing in that style and I think you have to forgive his only 3200 metre start as it was at the end of a very tough and arduous campaign, having already won the St Ledger and a gallant third in the Australian Derby that preparation.”

 

Runaway wins the Geelong Cup (Racing Photos)

 

“When you draw comparisons to his sire, Encosta da Lago was able to get the precocious and brilliant sprinters, but he also got plenty of gallopers that were able to get out over classic distances and win. While Manhattan Rain’s half-brother, Redoute’s Choice is exactly the same, so it is no great surprise that he possesses this versatility over a wide variety of distances.”

And although most of the team will be watching from the farm, as the breeding season is still in full swing, all have been in awe of just how well the Manhattan Rain has performed in the covering shed.

“The season has been a breeze for him, as he puts no pressure on himself. He is just the most magnificently fertile stallion and a complete professional.”

“The agents and managers of walk in farms have been paying us some great compliments. Christoph Jentsch from Heartford Thoroughbreds has sent three mares to Manhattan Rain and all three are positive on just one cover. And it’s great to hear Bassinghall’s Tas Riley so confident that the mares are going to get in foal “thanks to his great libido.”

“He is just no-fuss, deadly fertile and is working through his substantial books very well. There are a number of influential breeders who have returned their mares this year, and as some mares are now struggling to get in foal to other matings, his book continues to grow as the season continues,” Campbell said.

“With the wonderful Encosta Connection, and what he has been able to achieve on the track since he came down to us at the start of 2017, it is just wonderful to be associated with him. The Encosta legacy continues.”

“When you see so many breeders rushing off to unproven first season sires with substantial service fees, without knowing if they can get a runner or not, Manhattan Rain is brilliant value at $17,500. He is tried and true, still a young horse and doing a marvellous job,” Campbell said.

“Even trusted and respected Bloodstock judges like Damon Gabbedy commented that “he is the most underrated, best value, proven stallion in Australia. He has shown his versatility by siring a Golden Slipper winner and a St Leger winner in the same crop.”

“He has had four stakes winners in the 2017/18 season, of which three were new, a stakes wining two-year-old in each crop so far, he had an undefeated Group 2 winning two-year-old going into the slipper in his third crop, and he won the slipper in his fourth crop. Being now the sire of 13 stakes winners, and with progeny earnings over $15 million – they are just amazing stats!”

I want to wish Anthony Mithen, all the owners and the Rosemont team the very best of luck. Having one of our horses in the cup is wonderful for staff morale and everyone at the farm is looking forward to loudly and proudly cheering Runaway on!