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Brazen Beau Colt Sets New Inglis Classic Record

Brazen Beau at Darley

An emotional Tim Nolan of Murrulla Stud struggled to find the right words to describe just what it meant to be the new record holder of a Classic yearling.

Lot 609 – a Brazen Beau x Pouter colt from Murrulla – today became the highest-priced horse ever sold at an Inglis Classic Sale, which this year is in its 50th edition.

The yearling (pictured) sold to Bruce Perry Bloodstock for $550,000, eclipsing the old record of $480,000, which was set last year.

Murrulla sold Brazen Beau at the Classic Sale in 2013 and bought Pouter for clients Warwick and Anne Doughty, in foal to him at the final Australian Broodmare and Weanling Sale at Newmarket in 2017.

“For a little farm like Murrulla, to hold a record with a company like Inglis with such history and who have sold so many horses at this sale over so many years, I couldn’t believe it to be perfectly honest,” Nolan said.

“This is a massive day for our farm.

“Credit to all the team back home who work so hard with Celie and I. We don’t have a lot of numbers and there’s a lot of bigger farms that this happens to regularly but for a little farm like us, I don’t know, it’s hard to explain to be honest how big this is.”

Perry was thrilled to be taking the colt home.

“I thought he was the pick of the colts. We loved him,” Perry said.

“He is by a sire that looks like he is doing a really good job and I thought he was a stunning individual. I also love (the broodmare sire) Dubawi.

“If he can run, he has some great bloodlines.”

Brazrn Beau was the leading Classic sire by average

Brazrn Beau was the leading Classic sire by averageOn a day where four of the overall top five lots were sold, it was Darley stallion Brazen Beau who found himself siring the top two lots and ending the sale as leading sire by average ($247,857).

The second-top buy of the day was lot 666, a Brazen Beau x Rose of Hallowell colt offered by Aquis Farm, which Laceby Lodge secured for $480,000.

Aquis sold 12 of their 14 offerings in Book 1, leaving Chief Executive Shane McGrath delighted.

“It was a heck of a sale for the team,” McGrath said.

“We bought the mare for $200,000 in foal to Brazen Beau and sold him for $480,000. It goes to show you it doesn’t matter where you are in the world or at which sale, good horses always get well found and sell well.”

Brazen Beau now holds the record of siring the top three Classic lots ever sold, something Godolphin Australia’s Managing Director Vin Cox is proud of.

“It’s a fantastic record and those who bought them last year are reaping the rewards with the likes of Stakes performers Accession and First Dawn, as well as Pretty Brazen,” Cox said.

“Securing the highest-priced yearling record is just a fantastic result for Tim and Celie Nolan, $550,000 at any sale is a lot of money and a wonderful result here at Classic.”

Article courtesy of Breednet

Magnus Princess becomes a Queen

Princess of Queens ridden by Dwayne Dunn wins the Bellmaine Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse on February 09, 2019 in Caulfield, Australia. (George Salpigtidis/Racing Photos)

Referred to as ‘tough and tenacious’ by her trainer Mick Price, the daughter of Magnus, Princess Of Queens has now added a Group win to her hot run of form.

Having won a Listed race at Morphettville in December, and a gallant fourth behind the high-class Whispering Brook in a Group 2 at Moonee Valley in January, the iron mare claimed her own Group win in the Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes at Caulfield.

Princess Of Queens continues to thrive despite making her 11th start of the preparation, and Price credits the rejuvenation of the 5-year-old mare to her regular trips to the beach.

“It’s good for these older horses, I think they get a bit sick of blokes like me trying to train them, so just leave them alone, keep them happy, go to the beach, a few gallops and turn up on race day,” Price said.

“She’s a tough Magnus filly who we’ve had since she was a baby. She’s always been one of those low-profile horses in the stable but bit by bit she’s got the job done.

Phil Marshall from Sun Stud couldn’t agree more with her trainer.

“Mick Price summed it up well, Magnus just keeps producing tough and tenacious horses that can run to a high level.

“Magnus is a proven Group 1 producing sire and Princess Of Queens is one of his 17 stakes-winners. This season already he has clocked up 64 individual winners and over $3.2 million  in progeny earnings, and he produces the goods year in year out for breeders and owners alike.”

“He does it in the ring and on the track. Magnus had 1-in-3 yearlings sell for $100,000 plus at the sales last year, and he regularly posts 100 plus winners during a racing season.”

The Marks-family homebred advances her record to 7 wins, 2 seconds and 4 thirds from 25 starts with earnings of $441,240.

She is the second stakes-winner for the Zabeel mare Tristabeel whose six runners to reach the track have all been winners including the Group 3 winner Duke Of Brunswick and the talented Melbourne winner Prince Of Brooklyn, both full brothers.

Tristabeel’s dam Consult (Bletchingly) is a daughter of the champion racemare Research, the Australian Horse of the Year & Champion three-year-old. With victories in the AJC Derby, AJC Oaks, VRC Oaks and AJC Flight Stakes. Magnus’ popularity with breeders saw him cover 159 mares during the 2018 breeding season, at a value fee of $19,800, while his stock will no doubt be high up on inspection lists for buyers throughout the yearling sale circuit.

Connections of Princess of Queens after winning the Bellmaine Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse on February 09, 2019 in Caulfield, Australia. (John Donegan/Racing Photos)

Breeders are watching Fiorente like a Hawk!

Hawkshot ridden by Mark Zahra wins the Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse on February 09, 2019 in Caulfield, Australia. (George Salpigtidis/Racing Photos)

Fiorente’s exciting youngster, Hawkshot made a demolition job of the Group 2 Autumn Stakes over 1400 metres at Caulfield, to score with nearly four lengths to spare.

A debut winner as a two-year-old, Hawkshot always had an enormous amount of ability, and putting his tendency to over race behind him, he blitzed his opposition to take his brilliant record to eight starts, for three wins, and three seconds.

“He went straight to the front, relaxed beautifully and was never going to lose. He’ll head to the Australian Guineas now and the 1600 metres will be no issue,” said Mark Zahra.

Posting 1.23.47 for the journey, he stopped the clock a full second quicker than Manuel in winning the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes 40 minutes later.

“That was an electrifying win. He dictated, kicked away on the corner and he couldn’t have been more impressive,” said winning co-trainer, Ben Hayes.

A first crop son of Melbourne Cup and Australian Cup winner, Fiorente, proudly racing in the distinctive yellow and red silks, Hawkshot was bred by the Cheng family owned, Sun Bloodstock, which also stands the stallion at its Victorian based Sun Stud.

In a massive weekend for Fiorente, Lunar Flare smashed her rivals by six lengths over 1600 metres at The Valley on Friday night and became an early favourite for the Group 1 AJC Oaks. While Group 2 Vase winner and Group 1 VRC Derby placed Stars Of Carrum will line-up in the Group 1 Australian Guineas alongside Hawkshot. On top of that, Gee Gee Fiorente won by nearly four lengths at Hobart on Sunday.

“Fiorente is off to a super start,” Sun Stud’s Sales & Nominations Manager, Phil Marshall enthused. “Hawkshot’s full brother is also with Lindsay Park Racing called Power Scheme and is being aimed at the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce.”

“We always considered Fiorente to be the ‘fast stayer’ because he was Group 1 placed at 1400 metres, but realistically he will always be remembered for his Melbourne Cup victory and breeders decided to embrace that.”

“After covering 186 mares in his first season, he was back up to 169 mares last spring on the back of how well his first crop was doing.”

Hawkshot is the second named foal out of the Encosta de Lago mare, Rosa Perlato, a granddaughter of the Group 1 winner, Shindig, the dam of CF Orr Stakes winner, Shinzig, and multiple stakes winner Strada.

She is in foal to a brilliant sprinting son of Snitzel in Thronum, and her yearling filly by exciting freshman sire Ready For Victory (Lot 724) will be offered by Sun Stud at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. 

Sun Stud sire, Fiorente

Stockwell’s Victorian legacy continues at Premier

George Smith & Mike Becker at Stockwell Thoroughbreds

Diggers Rest’s Stockwell Thoroughbreds is excited to offer a large draft of 14 yearlings at the Inglis Premier sale that represents a diverse selection of stallions and bloodlines from a group of loyal clients and long-term supporters.

“It is wonderful to see yearlings being sold under the Stockwell banner again and to add another chapter to Stockwell’s proud Victorian thoroughbred history.” Stockwell’s Mike Becker said.

“With foals having been our cornerstone for years, having sold the majority of their homebreds as weanlings, it is great to present a quality team of yearlings through the ring.”

“As long as you present well-bred horses, supported by clean x-rays and scopes, that are in good order and can walk out and present themselves, you are in the game with a chance,” Becker said.

Stockwell have five yearlings catalogued in Book 1 and nine in Book 2, with three yearlings by their proven resident stallion, Artie Schiller, represented by two colts on behalf of Emirates, and a filly bred by Australian Bloodstock.

“We are hopeful that the two colts and the filly we are offering will get due respect from the buying bench at the sale, as they are all nice strong types, typical of their sire.”

“We have taken quite a liking to the filly and progressed very well throughout the preparation. She does everything right but is quick to give you a nip if you’re a bit slow with her feed. She is just like her dad, and she can give you a bit of attitude when she wants to,” Becker said.

“All three should get a fair hearing, and while buyers will make their own assessments, I am confident that they will all sell well in the ring.”

Off the back of the success of Flying Artie, Artie Schiller was very well supported with some strong female pedigrees in the breeding barn to produce his 2019 yearling crop.

That has been reflected in the strong sale results this year, both on the Coast and in Sydney at the recent Inglis Classic sale, averaging over $70,000 off a modest service fee, while Gai Waterhouse bought the colt out of Silent Cash for $250,000 at last year’s Magic Millions.

“He is always up there in sires average, and that reflects two things, one, that he leaves a good type and secondly, that trainers are very happy to take a punt on a nice-looking Artie Schiller. They don’t sneeze at looking at an Artie,” Becker said.

“We are fortunate the market has held up so well, as some buyers can often get blindsided by the new stallions. But you have to realise that good bloodstock agents are clever and diligent in their assessments – they take the time to look at every horse. That is why they never miss the good types, from a proven sire like Artie.”

Another yearling that Becker would like to highlight out of the draft is the Rubick colt out of Scarlet Magnolia bred by long-term client Susan Zeitz.

“I have been greatly impressed by how this colt has improved in leaps and bounds throughout the preparation. He has thrived, he stands over a good amount of ground, walks out well and will be there to be sold.”

“For a colt that came to hand late in the prep, he will continue to develop going forward and become a very smart looking colt. He has a lot going for him; Rubick has had a great start at stud, he is from the exceptional family of Black Caviar, and his Magnus dam showed tremendous speed. I hope buyers look at him through fair eyes.”

Additionally, Becker is pleased with the two Reward For Effort yearlings who have travelled down from Queensland breeders.

“They have arrived in excellent order and not missed a beat. Both are strong, early types, very forward in their preparation and with chilled out temperaments, and they have settled in beautifully.”

With an active band of 20 mares under the Stockwell name, Becker is looking forward to foaling down a mix of foals next season.

“We bought a couple of well-bred mares in foal this year and with Artie still performing and the Rock Sturdy progeny impressive on the ground, we may look at few more yearlings heading to the sales in the future.”

“Rock Sturdy gets a brilliant type, just outstanding foals. With the success of Fastnet Rock as the sire of sires, we are growing bullish about this horse. He has the race record, and the pedigree, so coupled with the types he is leaving, we would be thinking he is a real smoky, just waiting for someone to ignite.”

“We hope that a few good trainers take notice and take a punt on them. We need to get them out there and into good stables. We saw that with Artie, as they were placed with top trainers, as he was rewarded with instant success – and away, he went.”

Stockwell Thoroughbreds will be ready to parade their Premier draft at Oaklands morning of Wednesday the 27th February. For more information, please call Mike Becker on 0412 538 155 or Brodie Becker on 0437 788 434.

Stockwell sire Artie Schiller

Bombora Downs arrives at Premier big time!

Warhorse (NZ) at Bombora Downs

Bombora Downs’ Christoph Bruechert is excited to be presenting their most significant draft of yearlings from their Bitten property at the Inglis Premier Sale with a selection of 17 horses, showcasing four yearlings in Book 1, and 13 yearlings in Book 2.

“Overall the draft has been assembled from many of my loyal clients, and we have had the horses throughout the preparation. Before this year, Bombora’s largest draft was five or six horses but now having 17 horses is a great compliment. We do a solid job of presenting our stock, and that is reflected in the number of horses we are offering at Premier.”

“All of the Bombora Downs yearlings are individually hand walked and lunged with rollers, which educates them to arrive at the sale as well-behaved and refined horses. They are set up to handle the pressures of the breaking and racing environments.”

“We prepare every yearling to their individual best, so they can reach their prime in the ring and on the track. Being mentally prepared, they can arrive at the complex in the morning and are ready to parade. They handle the environment and treat it as just like another day at work.”

Looking at the draft, Bruechert identifies the strengths across his solid group of yearlings.

“The Jungle Ruler out of Bombora Bias (Lot 561) is a very, very nice horse, and the other Jungle Ruler (Lot 647) out of Jivochka is also a great representation of his sire. Jivochka is a lovely mare, and everything she has produced so far has been a standout.”

“It’s very pleasing to see that Inglis has supported Jungle Ruler with two in the sale. They are both excellent examples of the Victorian stallion, and Inglis has given them a chance to get into a decent sale; just as they did last year with Warhorse.”

“Now that Jungle Ruler has had a winner, and with city class horses amongst his runners, there is some expectation that he will kick goals, as he consistently produces strong, durable types.”

“I have the Jungle Ruler sired Tiger in the Woods in training with Cindy Alderson. Currently spelling to let him mature, she feels like he will get over ground, and that he has enough speed to warrant the patience.”

While Bruechert is also pleased with both Toronado’s, commenting “that they are correct types that will both present very well, with outstanding temperaments.”

“The Rivington Pike (Lot 723) is a compact, strong package that is still hindquarter high, indicating that he has plenty of growth to come.”

While other quality types that may fly under the radar include the Turffontein, out of Rub Doubt (Lot 728).

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he flew on the track, and the strong and well-developed Reward for Effort out of Sharna Cabarna (Lot 744) will need a bit of time but will be worth the wait.”

“The Bullet Train x Jessepic (Lot 646) is a big strong horse and a tremendous physical type, while the Smart Missile x Ryvnine (Lot 731) is also a well-grown yearling, very balanced, that moves with a lovely smooth action.

Rounding out the team, his Warhorse (NZ) x Tiger Belle colt (Lot 777) is undoubtedly one of Bruechert’s favourites.

“I really like this horse and is a typical Warhorse type – very athletic. He is progressing well through the preparation, and he will come up and be spot on for the sale.”

“Everything I am hear about the Warhorse progeny is positive. They all want to run through the bridle, and they are as keen as mustard; they want to be racehorses.”

“As much as every stud owner is enthusiastic about their stallion, I do feel that Warhorse will make an impact. With good numbers each season and decent mares, he will have a crack, and the trainers rate them.”

The handful that went through the ring last year sold well, with a Premier Warhorse yearling making $97,500, while another of his colts destined for the Ready to Run sale later this year, is a half-brother to the Group 1 winner Sopressa.

Pakenham based Jason Bridgeman who trained Warhorse himself, has three in his stable, and is very excited about the future.

“One will aim for the two-year-old VOBIS race, but he is confident all three will be winners. They may be green, but the talent is visible, and time will tell.”

For prospective buyers interested in inspecting the draft before the sales, Bombora Downs yearlings will be paraded on farm on Tuesday 19th February 10.45 am. Inglis is arranging a bus from Mornington Racecourse to take people around the various Mornington Peninsula vendors, so please contact Inglis for further details and bookings.

At the Oaklands complex, Bruechert welcomes inspections from lunchtime on Wednesday 27th February.

Merricks Station to debut with a Premier draft

Ben Cooper at Merricks Station on the Mornington Peninsula

Focusing on the Melbourne market, Ben & Lizzie Cooper’s Merricks Station will be proud to debut a high-quality draft of six Book 1 yearlings under their banner at Inglis Premier later this month.

Prepared by their farm manager, Dearne Gess-Jones, who has a keen eye for detail, she is excited to offer the inaugural draft for the Mornington Peninsula property.

“Merricks Station is a purpose-built equine property that allows yearlings to thrive during their preparation and sale education.”

“With fully renovated pastures, clever paddock layout, and a practical yearling stable complex, the horses can enjoy turn out daily, while the 10-horse covered walker and centre round yard are well positioned to run the preparation efficiently and safely.”

“The farm has great functionality, so we are free to spend more time on hand walking, grooming and the individual education of our yearlings.”

Gess-Jones takes us through her stand out draft, who are either home-bred or hand-selected by Group 1 Bloodstock’s Mat Becker, Ben Cooper and herself.

“Being a Victorian farm that is proud to represent the Victorian breeding and racing industry, we wanted to support the Inglis Premier sale and feature at Melbourne.”

Two of the six yearlings were foaled and raised on farm; the More Than Ready out of Miss Mooney Mooney and the Kermadec out of Hangin’ Tough, while the others were carefully selected from the Magic Millions weanling sale and the Inglis Great Southern Sale. 

“We all have input into the selections. Mat does the hard yards, looking at every horse and every page. He considers pedigrees, current families and commercial matings to compile a shortlist. But we all need to agree on the final bid,” Gess-Jones said.

“It’s a real balancing act, as we all have our own opinions. I am very particular on how much we spend based on what I can achieve in a preparation. For me, I like to see good skin, a bright eye, a big engine and a strong hind end. It is also important that there is current activity in the pedigree – buyers want to see runners on the track. We knew we would have a couple of updates coming through, which is a real asset moving forward.”

“A while ago not a lot of people pin-hooked fillies, but now people are buying fillies with their residual value in mind. The Written Tycoon x Royal Lineup (Lot 423) filly is a great example of this, as she was brilliant value, had a great physique, deep liver chestnut in colour and a good page from one of the best commercial stallions.”

“Our flashy Zoustar colt out of Armanjena (Lot 53) is very typical of his sire, with the same head and ears of Zoustar. He is well put together and has plenty of presence about him, being almost flaxen with three white socks. He thrives on his work, great to deal with and he has flourished during his preparation. His half-brother Aurman Zou, who is with Chris Waller is looking for a nice race to win. The mare has produced five to run, for four winners, so you can race this colt with confidence.”

“The Kermadec x Hangin’ Tough (Lot 210) colt is a brilliant first foal. He is big strong, incredibly athletic with a super attitude. You wouldn’t get a nicer type, and he has a lovely presence. He is just beautiful, and he has handled his prep exceptionally well.”

“The Deep Field x Khamsa (Lot 244) is a very forward, early horse. Strong and fast, being out of a winning Stratum mare, he looks like he will jump out of the ground at two and go like the clappers.  He is a tough bugger too, you can throw the work at him and he takes it happily.”

“Our home bred More Than Ready x Miss Mooney Mooney (Lot 320) is from the exceptional family of Better Than Ready. A real two-year-old type, he is neat, correct with a great temperament. Showing growth throughout the preparation, deservedly he will have his share of admirers.”

Finally, the So You Think x Princess Anna (Lot 384) colt is an intelligent well-grown yearling that is beautifully balanced. He is just structurally sound, agile and cleverly places all four feet. Since the catalogue, So Si Bon has had a good win on the page and he is great to handle, with a good work ethic, easy on the lead and soft in the hand.

Merricks Station will parade yearlings on farm by appointment or will be ready to parade the morning of Wednesday 27th February at the Oaklands complex. For more information, please contact Dearne Gess-Jones on 0419 216 926.

Dearne Gess-Jones of Merricks Station

Let the Showdown begin!

The $1 million 2-year-old race to be run at Caulfield was named after the stallion, Showdown

Showdown’s impact on Victorian breeding was profound and he deserves the honour of having the VOBIS Sires $1 million race named after him, writes DANNY POWER.

Studmaster George Smith remembers the day he first laid eyes on Showdown. The chestnut stallion stepped off a float at Stockwell Stud where Smith was the stud manager. It was the winter of 1966 and the English horse was everything he expected.

“He was built like an Australian sprinter, a Star Kingdom type. His only fault was he was a little splayed in front, and most of his stock were. It didn’t stop him or them from running.”

Smith wasn’t involved in the purchase of Showdown, it was another, more famous Smith—champion Sydney trainer TJ (Tommy) Smith—who travelled to England with Stockwell Stud’s owner, Melbourne businessman Ken Cox, to inspect the brilliant sprinter-miler.

“Tommy was the one that convinced Cox to buy him, he was very keen on the horse.”

Cox wanted an English stallion with speed to suit the developing speed-oriented Australian market after he’d offloaded the staying stallion Arctic Explorer (GB) to New Zealand, albeit before his most famous son, the champion Tobin Bronze, had hit the tracks in 1965.

“Arctic Explorer only got only 11 mares (in season 1964), so when the New Zealanders made an approach to buy him, naturally we sold him,” George Smith, 84, said.

Smith laughs at the thought that had Tobin Bronze arrived a year earlier, Cox might not have sold him and been looking for a replacement stallion.

Showdown came on the market despite having a race career that should have seen him snapped up by an English stud farm. However, his sire Infatuation (GB) (by Nearco), despite winning the 1953 Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes (2YOs, 1400m), was a flop at stud and sold off to Japan.

Showdown, trained by Fred Winter snr, like his sire was up and running early, winning four of his five starts at two in 1963, including the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes (1200m) and the Group 2 Coventry Stakes (1200m), at Royal Ascot. Timeform gave him a rating of 133.

At three, Showdown struggled to recapture his juvenile form, but he hit back at four to win the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes (1600m) at Royal Ascot, which earned him the title of England’s leading miler of 1965.

Cox offered $80,000 (more than $1 million in today’s dollars) for Showdown, which was rejected, and he left for home disappointed and without a horse.

Three months later, with the help of the British Bloodstock Agency and Bill Stutt, from Melbourne’s Wright Stephenson & Co, the deal was done and stallion was syndicated with Cox taking 10 of the 40 shares.

Not everyone was as happy as George Smith when Showdown arrived in Australia. Leading breeder Harry McNamara, from Werribee, didn’t like him at all, and got a refund on his share. Ironically, it was McNamara who bred and sold Showdown’s greatest offspring, the flying filly Dual Choice, who was from the stallion’s first crop.

Noted bloodstock journalist Jennifer Churchill visited Stockwell Stud, at Diggers Rest, in the early spring of 1967, around the time his first foals were being born. This is her description of Showdown, in a story in the November issue of Turf Monthly:

“Showdown is a small, well-muscled stallion with a lot of quality about him. He has been likened to Star Kingdom, but frankly the only resemblance I could see were his colour, his excellent shoulders and long body.”

Although Churchill might have found flaw in the physical comparisons between Showdown and Star Kingdom, when the stallion’s first crop stepped out in the early 1969 spring, the results were just as astonishing as in 1954 when the first Star Kingdoms dominated the early 2YO races.

In early October, the first juvenile race of the season in Melbourne was the Maribyrnong Trial (900m) at Flemington—Showdown’s gelding Prodromus (out of Forego) won the C&G division while his daughter Dual Choice (out of Unit) trounced her rivals in the fillies’ division.

A week later, Dual Choice brilliantly won the Debutante Stakes (800m) at Caulfield and she returned in the autumn to win the Merson Cooper Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield, which at the time was Victoria’s premier race for 2 year-olds.

Dual Choice was to prove the best sprinting filly Australia had seen for years. At three, she won the Group 2 Freeway Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley, the Group 2 Ascot Vale Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington, and then outgunned the colts in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m, Caulfield) before capping off a massive campaign by winning the Group 1 Craven A Stakes (1200m), against all comers, at Flemington on the first day of the Melbourne Cup carnival.

While that was happening, Showdown’s stocks were boosted even further when two sons trained by Tommy Smith, Silver Sharpe and Royal Show, emerged as the best of their age as Classic-contending 3 year-olds in the 1970 spring.

Royal Show (out of Melbourne Cup winner Wodalla’s half-sister Joelma) was the better of the two—he had finished second behind Baguette in the Golden Slipper—although Silver Sharpe (out of Snowline) won the AJC Derby and Victoria Derby double. Royal Show beat the older horses at weight-for-age in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm before winning the Group 1 Canterbury Guineas (1900m, Canterbury) and Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m, Rosehill), but Silver Sharpe had his measure beyond 2000 metres.

Showdown’s stud career was on a stellar rise. His fee jumped to $4000, and by 1978, after his star youngsters Tontonan (a brother to Prodromus) and Toy Show—both owned or part-owned by Cox—won the Golden Slipper in 1973 and 1975 respectively, Showdown’s fee skyrocketed to a Victorian record $12,000 in 1978 – the equivalent of about $60,000 in today’s dollars. He died in 1985 having sired 46 Stakes winners from a stud career during which 60 mares was a full book.

It’s fitting that the $1 million Showdown (1200m)—to be run in April this year for 2 year-olds under the rich VOBIS Sires’ scheme for the progeny of nominated Victorian stallions—will honour a horse that can lay claim to be Victoria’s greatest stallion.

Let the Showdown begin.

For more information on The Showdown, visit

Greta West’s Autumn prospects, ticking along nicely!

Free Of Debt ridden by Jake Toeroek wins the VRC Member Duane Rogers Plate at Flemington Racecourse on January 19, 2019 in Flemington, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

Trainer Greg Eurell labelled Clarice Cliffs a stakes prospect following her record-breaking victory at Pakenham last Thursday.

The Greta West Stud-bred mare accelerated to a six-length victory in the Nine Mile Fresh Handicap over 1200 metres and clocked 1.10.60s which lowered the old track-record held by Second Marriage.

“I was confident she would win but I didn’t expect anything like that!” Eurell claimed. 

“She’s unassuming at home but it’s a different story at the races.  I think she can keep progressing and develop into a black-type mare.”

Clarice Cliffs (Canford Cliffs) won on debut at Sale earlier this season for Hancox Bloodstock and has returned from a spring spell with front-running exhibitions at Geelong and Pakenham.

“She was underdone at Geelong but was still very impressive,” winning jockey Nikita Beriman recalled. 

“I nursed her until the corner tonight and waited for as long as I could in the straight.  Then I gave her a flick and away she went.”

“There’s plenty of upside with this one.  She’s a lovely natured mare and can burn the candle at both ends.  She makes my job very easy.”

Clarice Cliffs was bred by Greta West studmaster Laurie McCarthy and is the first foal from No Vanity (Keep The Faith).  Her second is the Gerald Maloney trained 3 year-old Solomon (Street Boss) who won a Cranbourne trial last week.  He has been nominated to race first-up at Warrnambool this Thursday.

No Vanity has a 2 year-old filly named No Puzzle (Canford Cliffs), a yearling filly by Stryker, a colt on the ground by Toronado and she’s back in foal to Magnus.

There’s more black-type on the horizon for Greta West starting with Le Romain who has been nominated to take on Winx again in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes at Randwick this Saturday.  He was reared at Greta West and has already been a Group 1 runner-up to the champion mare twice in Sydney.

Greta West-bred 2 year-old colt Free Of Debt will target the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield on February 23 and Yulong January is being set for the Group 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington on March 2.

Yulong January is a 3 year-old son of Greta West sire King Of Prussia and is ready to resume after a midfield finish in that Cranbourne trial won by Solomon. 

“He’s ticking along nicely,” co-trainer Ciaron Maher reported. 

“He was fairly impressive last prep but that didn’t surprise us because he had been working very well. There’s still a bit of improvement and he’s continued to furnish since that first campaign.”

Yulong January ridden by Linda Meech wins the TAC Be Races Ready BM64 Handicap at Swan Hill Racecourse on September 14, 2018 in Swan Hill, Australia. (Brendan McCarthy/Racing Photos)

Article courtesy of Karl Patterson

Toronado’s powerful debut winner

Powertrain as a yearling

Swettenham’s popular stallion Toronado attained his first winner in Australia when the two-year-old Powertrain had a stylish debut win over 1100 metres at Scone Racing Club.

Saluting in the iconic Arrowfield colours and prepared by local trainer, Paul Messara, Powertrain was given the perfect ride by in-form jockey Ash Morgan for owners Arrowfield Stud, Redbank Pastoral, and Alan Jones’ Belford Productions.

Powertrain returns after his win at Scone

Racing over 1100 metres, Powertrain jumped well and travelled under his own steam to take the lead, but for Swettenham Stud’s Adam Sangster, he was most thrilled to see him emulate the style of racing made famous by his sire.

“It was great to see that when he was headed in the straight, he fought back and won. That shows the same tenacity as Toronado. He loved to take on the competition and fight.”

“Toronado has been knocking on the door, and it’s a real thrill to get his first winner on the board. Congratulations to Arrowfield and Paul Messara.”

Sangster has followed Powertrain’s progress closely since a foal, with the promising galloper now coming into his own.

“We went up to the Hunter to inspect the horse on farm at Arrowfield early on. We have always been pleased with him.”

“He was one of the first Toronado’s to go through the ring at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast sale.  Arrowfield had an excellent opinion of him, and they were not going to give him away. Paul was quite bullish that if he did not make the reserve, they would race him themselves.”

“At that stage, people had not been greatly exposed to Toronado’s yearlings, so he flew under the radar. He was a lovely forward type and an excellent representation of his sire.”

“Although initially, Messara thought he might have needed a bit more time with his High Chaparral bloodlines, after his first two trials, he looked to be quite progressive. As we know, Toronado was precocious himself, and won at Group 2 level as a two-year-old.”

Messara will now look to push on and aim for some stake’s races in the Autumn for Powertrain, provided he has come through the race well.

“Being out of a Not A Single Doubt mare, he is probably bred to go to 1200 to 1400 metres, potentially even a mile, rather than stick to pure 1100 metre contests. He is the perfect late two-year-old, 1400 metres horse,” Sangster said.

Powertrain’s dam, Push and Shove was purchased by Arrowfield as a yearling and was sent to Swettenham in her first year at stud. She is a half-sister to Group 1 performer and listed winner Raceway, out of the Flying Spur mare, Claws.

“Arrowfield are good supporters of Swettenham, and it is great that John Messara is supporting Victorian studs and stallions. He has a huge amount of faith in Toronado himself,” Sangster said.

“We wish Arrowfield good luck with the half-brother to Powertrain, the yearling colt by Dundeel that they will offer as lot 620 at the Inglis Classic Sale, proudly representing the successful High Chaparral bloodlines.”

While as his name translates, if the chassis is the skeleton of a car, the powertrain is the musculature system. The powertrain encompasses every component that converts the engine’s power into movement. 

Perfectly named, he certainly had the bigger engine and the most horsepower on the line!

Ampulla’s success to continue at Premier

Lot 551 Charm Spirit x Enchanted Melody colt

Bunyip-based Ampulla Lodge has been having excellent success of late from their graduate yearlings with a city double on the weekend, and a brilliant result on the Coast at the Magic Millions. Now they are looking to continue the great run at the Inglis Premier sale later in the month.

Specialising in pin hooking weanlings, all selected by Ampulla Lodge’s Steve and Ceri Jostlear, their yearlings are reared to perfection at their farm in West Gippsland and proudly offered at the top sales across the country.

Still happy to be celebrating the 7th best pin hook from the Magic Millions this January amongst a competitive group of 110 yearlings, the Jostlear’s were thrilled to see the colt turn the heads of the right buyers. 

“It was a good day at the office, as we purchased the Charm Spirit x Enchanted Melody colt for $55,000 and sold him for $250,000.  He looked like an early runner, perfectly suited to the market,” Steve said.

“John Foote told me he was typical of the type he had seen in Ireland and England, so we will be keen to keep an eye on him in the future. Good luck to Paul Beamish, Matthew Ng & connections – we hope he’s as good as Seasons Bloom!”

The performance of Ampulla Lodge graduates on the track is no doubt one reason for the farm’s sales success.

With two city winners in two days for Ampulla, their pin hook graduates include Ingeegoodbe’s solid win at Eagle Farm for Robert Heathcote. With eight wins, he has now amassed over $300,00 in prize money, while the son of Canford Cliffs, Chalk was an impressive winner at Canterbury bringing up a tally of three wins & over $150,000. 

Ingeegoobe a graduate of Ampulla Lodge (

“It’s very satisfying to get these results. Looking at our graduates from 2009 and 2010 we had 100% winners to runners, 2011 we had 84%, 2012 – 82%, 2013 – 91% and in 2014 our graduates included the Hong Kong Group 1 winner Seasons Bloom, Ingeegoodbe, Pretty Bohemia, a two-time winner in Hong Kong and Rezak who has won over $200,000. In that year the nine horses we sold, have collected an incredible $4,391,000 in prize money.”

“We believe our results are owed to our strict selection process of weanlings, advice from our pedigree expert and our dedicated staff we have on farm and at the sales.”

“It’s great when our return buyers come back, and they trust our horses. One of our loyal buyers, had a friend looking to buy a yearling on the Coast, and he quickly said, “go to Ampulla and buy anyone you want.” It’s great when they have that kind of confidence and faith in us as vendors,” Steve said.

Looking at the eight-strong draft heading off to Premier later this month, Steve had highlighted some of their Victorian-sired standout colts.

“We are thrilled with both of our Magnus colts (Lot 75 and 338) as he is an ultra-consistent sire that always get winners. They prove to be extremely popular with trainers as they are just ready-made racehorses.”

“Both of these colts are correct, with good bone, nice, neat types and clean x-rays. Their temperaments are spot on, they don’t make mistakes, and we are confident that they will break in and handle the pressures of racing well. They eat, they drink, and they are no fuss.”

“One way you can pick the easy horses, is that the staff are always happy to lead them – they are the favourites in the barn,” Steve said.

“Our Fighting Sun (Lot 501) is a tall and elegant colt, with good bone and strength but so light on his feet. Out of Toorak Show, the half-sister to Toorak Toff, his half-brother, Umberto has won over $200,000 on the track. You would never pick him as a late foal, as he is well grown and has progressed nicely throughout the preparation.”

“We sold a Fighting Sun yearling last year to Tony McEvoy that we bought for $12,000 and sold for $120,000. He was a beautiful colt, so much so, we stayed in the ownership.  Called The Pugilist, Tony has commented that he is very pleased with him so far.”

“Our Written Tycoon colt (Lot 231) is a typical smaller type, very similar to Written By, so we also nicknamed him Nugget. He is a well put together and easy-going colt, that shouldn’t be underestimated.”

“We also don’t want to forget our Trust in a Gust (Lot 669) colt who was picked out as one of our nicest yearlings. He is a big, strong, well-built colt and his family has current updates with his half-brother Master Of The Turf now recording two wins.” 

“Although the Dundeel (Lot 334) and the Written Tycoon colts both made Easter, I wanted to stay in Melbourne and support the Premier sale. This is our biggest draft we have offered from Ampulla at Oaklands, and we are excited to say, probably our best.”

Robbie hearts Magnus

Magnicity wins at The Valley (Racing Photos)

Late last year Robbie Griffiths claimed that all 16 horses he had trained by Magnus had all won – and now he can add the pint-sized chestnut filly Magnicity, after she broke her maiden over 1000 metres at Moonee Valley.

Making her first start in 12 weeks after last racing at Caulfield in the Listed Inglis Debutant Stakes and Flemington in the Group 3 Ottawa Stakes in her first preparation, Magnicity was able to handle the pressure well before the home turn and the hard riding by Jye McNeil. 

“It was a good effort because she came here off a soft trial and we chased a strong speed,” McNeil said. “I thought she toughed it out well to the line. Physically she might be stronger, but she is still small, but it’s her strong-mind and very good-nature that is the key for her.”

The daughter of Magnus was purchased by Griffiths Racing / CB Bloodstock for $70,000 from the Edinburgh Park draft at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale after Edinburgh Park pin hooked her for $40,000 at the 2017 Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale.

A three-quarter sister to Listed ATC James Carr Stakes winner Missy Cummings (Magnus), Magnicity is the third foal and first winner out of the four-time winning Exceed And Excel mare, A City Girl who is a daughter of the triple Listed stakes-winner Lady Knockout.

One of Victoria’s most popular stallions, Group 1 Galaxy Stakes winner Magnus covered 159 mares at Sun Stud last spring at a fee of $19,800. The sire of 17 stakes winners, and closely related to Black Caviar, he was bred and raced by Rob Crabtree who is also the breeder and owner of Missy Cummings.

Griffiths has had a long association with Magnus and is the stallion’s most ‘successful’ trainer.

“I’ve had 19 runners by Magnus and 18 of them have won!” Griffiths reveals. “I trained one of his early stakes winners in Prettyhappyaboutit, along with horses like Roman Fizz and Scandimania.

“We’ve also bred to him several times and, as a matter of fact, our home-bred, Halvorsen, won the VOBIS Gold Carat at Moonee Valley 10 days ago and backed up on Saturday with a good second in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes at Caulfield.”

“Hopefully with that kind of strike rate, Rob will eventually send me another one of his Magnus’s to train!” Griffiths adds with a laugh.

Magnus progeny in the upcoming sales include 11 lots at MM Perth Yearling Sale, 3 lots at MM Tasmanian Yearling Sale, 26 lots at Inglis Premier Yearling Sale and 17 lots at MM Adelaide Yearling Sale.

A Cluster of winners for Larneuk

Larneuk Stud sire Cluster

Two runners, two winners, and black type – the perfect start for Larneuk Stud’s exciting young stallion Cluster.

Gee Gees Darl having impressed saluting at her Hobart debut last November, has not put a hoof wrong in her three subsequent outings. With a game runner-up in the Listed Elwick Stakes, she now has a consistent record of four starts for a win and three seconds.

While Cluster’s Galaxy was able to quickly find form in Canberra, when at just his second outing he raced away to an easy victory over 1000 metres for trainer/part owner and breeder Wendy Roche.

Having had a torrid run at his Rosehill debut, things went better for him this time, with the handsome bay sitting off a hot pace and charging to the line.

The ease of Galaxy’s victory came as no surprise to Roche who has always had a big opinion of the youngster.

“He got broken in late but did a breeze up sale preparation and ran 10.54 seconds at only his second ever gallop. We ran him in a hot field in town at his first start, but he got pushed wide the whole way.”

“With the blinkers off at his second start, I thought he was a good chance. We were happy to let him settle off the pace, so that he could learn how to hit the line, which he did.”

Now off to the paddock with improvement to come, Galaxy is one of a cluster of runners for the great value Larneuk stallion, who also has the Bryan & Daniel Guy trained Bunched on the up after an impressive two length trial victory at the Gold Coast.

Larneuk Stud’s Neville Murdoch has bred a few of his own Clusters’ who also show plenty of promise, and he admits to being excited.

“It is not easy to compete with the big studs, and the young stallions represented by large books, so it is great to see Cluster going head to head with them. He is already in the top ten first season sires.”

“From day one we have been impressed by the strength and presence of his foals, and we are sure that they are only to get better as they mature,” Murdoch said.

Darley’s Victorious Victorian Sires

Darley sire Sepoy

Victorian-based Darley stallions are having a brilliant run of late with two classy black type winners over the weekend flying the flag for their sires, Sepoy and Helmet.

The brilliance of Godolphin filly Alizee was seen to full effect in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes as she overpowered a classy field of sprinters at Rosehill.

Alizee wins the Expressway Stakes (Racenet)

Already the best of the progeny of her sire Sepoy, Alizee raced up to the form that has earned her two Group 1 victories to score a spectacular win over the Group 1 winner Le Romain, who is by former Victorian-based Darley stallion, Hard Spun.

Sepoy’s 11th Stakes winner, Alizee was given an easy time early in the 1200 metre race, before gathering in the leaders under her own steam and cruised to the lead with 100 metres to run.

Against an impressive group of top-class gallopers, she was almost arrogant in her victory against the $5.5 million earner Hartnell, $5.2 million earner Trapeze Artist, $3.9 million earner Le Romain and the $1.6 million earner Dothraki.

The win was the second in her two starts since returning from a break and earned her favouritism for next month’s $5 million All-Star Mile at Flemington.

Alizee is a member of a family that is becoming one of the more elite in Australia, her dam Essaouira having produced five winners from her only five to race, including the Group 1-winning Darley stallion Astern and the highly promising two-year-old by Victorian-based stallion Brazen Beau, Tassort. After breaking his maiden with a dominant display in the Golden Gift at Rosehill, he is now the Golden Slipper favourite.

“She’s a serious animal and at weight-for-age to perform like that is a great thrill,” winning trainer James Cummings said.

“To see her go past horses like Trapeze Artist and Le Romain with that sort of comfort was extremely impressive. She’s had a faultless campaign. We had her up and rolling nice and early in her prep.  If all is good, we will progress forward with our plan to run her in the Group 1 Futurity next start.”

Sepoy will be represented by 8 lots at Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, 4 lots at Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, 2 lots at MM Adelaide Yearling Sale and 1 lot at Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

While the son of Helmet, Godolphin’s promising three-year-old colt Tin Hat earned a maiden stakes win in the Group 3 Manfred Stakes over 1200 metres at Caulfield.

Tin Hat wins at Caulfield (Racing Photos)

It was the third consecutive win for the James Cummings-trained colt who led at every call under Damian Lane to defeat the son of Magnus, Halvorsen by one and a quarter length with Poised To Strike (Akeed Mofeed) a half-head back in third.  

Godolphin’s Melbourne stable representative Kate Grimwade said they seem to have hit on a winning formula with Tin Hat.

“He likes to get rolling, and he’s got a big stride on him,” Grimwade said. 

“He looks like he’s going keen, but he’s just travelling so well, so there’s no point breaking that stride on him. He’s been such a consistent horse this preparation, but to end up with a Group win was probably beyond our dreams.”

While the win of Tin Hat’s would have also given prominent Victorian trainer and breeder David Brideoake plenty to cheer about, as he purchased Tin Hat’s dam, Syncopated off Darley for just $4,000 through Inglis at the 2016 Inglis Australian Broodmare sale.

She was covered last spring by Brideoake’s resident stallion Good Journey (USA) at his Victorian Violet Town property.

A Sydney winner of two races, Syncopated is a three-quarter-sister to Listed winner Warm Love (Octagonal) who placed third in the Group 1 VRC Lightning Stakes.

Tin Hat becomes the eighth stakes-winner for Helmet (Exceed And Excel) who remained in the northern hemisphere last year after six seasons at Darley’s Victorian base.

Helmet progeny in the upcoming sales include 2 lots at MM Tasmanian Yearling Sale, 2 lots at Inglis Premier Yearling Sale and 2 lots at MM Adelaide Yearling Sale.

A Premier experience at the new Oaklands

The renovated Inglis Oaklands complex (Inglis)

The sales auditorium at the Inglis Oaklands complex has been brilliantly reinvigorated to focus on making all guests, buyers, trainers and vendors feel involved and welcome.

Everyone can now be part of the action and soak up the atmosphere of Victoria’s Premier sale, as the new auditorium design will be conducive to an improved buying and selling experience for all parties.

Inglis’ Bloodstock Manager Simon Vivian is excited about unveiling the complex later in the month and sees the redesign and development as a strong commitment to the Victorian breeding and racing industry.

“The entire sales auditorium has undergone a massive refurbishment and renovation with ringside viewing now based on three levels; two dedicated to ringside dining.”

“What was important to me, was to caterers for all levels of the market, and there will be something for everyone and we want everyone to feel welcome,” Vivian said.

Whilst maintaining theatre style seating at the front of the auditorium, and standing room for spectators at the rear, there will now be 24 tables allocated to major buyers, principle trainers and leading syndicators. They will be offered a table to host clients, buyers, colleges and friends.

“This is a brilliant opportunity for the syndicators and trainers to make new owners and valued clients feel involved. They can have a great experience on sale day and can commit to the horses then and there. They can interact and be a valuable part of the whole buying process.”

The updated entrance will welcome visitors to the complex with a new reception, concierge, business centre and Inglis gift shop, while the wall between the restaurant and the sales ring has been removed allowing diners to view the sale and be part of the atmosphere.

“We had our first sale on the weekend for standardbreds, and it was a great opportunity to see the new complex operating. We could tweak sound, catering and traffic flow and ensure every design aspect ran to the highest standard in readiness for Premier.”

Another addition internally, is a bar inside the auditorium, where visitors can relax and have a beer or a coffee while viewing the action – a perfect place to network and catch up with colleges and friends. 

“We want to bring people back inside. The new design makes better use of the space we had and by being able to include more people and we can create an exciting atmosphere for everyone. We want the auditorium to be full and buzzing,” Vivian said.

The brand-new snack bar will help traffic flow and the grab’n’go fridges eliminate queuing, with the professional barista offering coffee from inside the auditorium and outside through a window for quick service and convenience. 

A large timber deck has been built to look over Barn B, while the Black Caviar bar near the pre-parade ring has been retained as a favourite meeting point on the complex.

“From Inglis’ point of view, we want to prove to everyone, vendors and buyers, how important Melbourne is on the sales calendar and how vital the sale is to us,” Vivian said.

“The Victorian breeders have demonstrated over decades to be outstanding horsemen and sellers of thoroughbreds, and when you look at the results coming out of Melbourne Premier in the past, there has been ample high-quality product offered through the ring.”

“Buyers can to capitalise on the lucrative VOBIS schemes available, and with the excellent support from the Victorian breeding community, as well as from New South Wales and South Australian vendors and we have compiled a top-class catalogue with over 120 stallions represented and 22 first season sires on offer, to widely appeal to the local, national and international market.” 

Racing Victoria launch respectful workplace workshops for racing and breeding industries

Racing Victoria (RV), with the support of the Victorian Government, will deliver 20 Respectful Workplaces training workshops to the thoroughbred industry around Victoria in February 2019.

Fully funded by Racing Victoria and the Government, the workshops are available to all participants in the racing and breeding industries free of charge.

The 60-minute sessions will be available across the state, enabling regional trainers, stable staff, office staff and track personnel, as well as people from the breeding industry, the opportunity to attend the Respectful Workplaces workshops.

The main focus of the workshops will be addressing and preventing anti-social behaviour, such as bullying and harassment, and the roles we can all play in eliminating such behaviours in the workplace.

These sessions also will focus on anti-bullying policies and strategies to improve assertive communication as well as Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and employment rights.

Charmein Bukovec, Executive Officer of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria, has applauded and welcomed the vital initiative.

“I think this is a wonderful opportunity and everyone from the breeding industry should get involved. There is no place for bullying or harassment in a workplace and it is time that we stood up and stamped out such behaviours.”

“It is great to see Racing Victoria and the Government coming together to launch such an initiative, not only for the racing industry but also the breeding industry. I strongly encourage anyone involved in the Victorian breeding industry to take up the offer.”

Trainers, studs, broodmare farms and all thoroughbred operations are encouraged to send their entire team of staff along to develop their knowledge in this area.

Please click here to register your interest.

The complete list of workshop dates and locations are listed below:

Mon 4 Feb10.00amMoe
Tue 5 Feb10.00amWangaratta
Wed 6 Feb10.00amSwan Hill
Thurs 7 Feb10.00amHamilton
Fri 8 Feb10.00amMornington
Mon 11 Feb10.00amBallarat
Tue 12 Feb10.00amCranbourne
Wed 13 Feb10.00amGeelong
Thurs 14 Feb10.00amBendigo
Fri 15 Feb10.00amCaulfield