A desperate, last-stride lunge earned Flit a G1 victory in Saturday’s Thousand Guineas at Caulfield and a possible start in Australia’s most prestigious race, the $5 million G1 WS Cox Plate.

And to wrap up a landmark day for Godolphin, the talented sprinter Trekking won the G2 Schillaci Stakes and a place in the country’s richest race, the $14 million The Everest.

Flit is the only filly among the remaining entrants in the Cox Plate, run at Moonee Valley on Saturday, 26 October, in which she would carry only 47.5kg under the weight-for-age conditions.

“We’ve got that decision to make,” Cummings said.

“We can let the dust settle on today, we have to enjoy the win in a target race.”

Flit had only one, shared success to her name before today’s race, but had shown herself to be one of the better fillies among Godolphin’s vintage two-year-old crop of last season.

As well as her dead-heat win in the G3 Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes at Flemington in March, she had a pair of G2 second placings to her credit.

Her only blemish was a ninth placing in her lead-up to the Thousand Guineas, but both Cummings and winning rider Hugh Bowman said she should have won that race with something in hand.

“There’s not much doubt she should have won here two weeks ago,” Bowman said.

“She showed today what she would have done in that race.”

Flit again seemed to be in difficulties when midfield in a slowly run race, but she surged through the leading pack in the final 100m to beat Missile Mantra by a nose.

“She’s a quality filly and it wasn’t a real test today,” Bowman said.

“It was just a sprint home, so I don’t think we saw the best of her. I think if it was a genuinely run event she would have won more comfortably.”

For Trekking, timing was everything as he arrived with an overpowering finish to win the Schillaci by a long neck to claim the last place in the field for the Everest, run at Randwick on Saturday, 19 October.

The success also left Cummings and his team on 99 Stakes wins since he took over as head Australian trainer in July 2017.

While Godolphin will have Alizee in The Everest in its own slot, Trekking, as the winner of the Schillaci, is entitled to the slot owned by the Melbourne Racing Club.

“We ran in this race with The Everest in mind, but we won’t make a decision straight away,” Cummings said.

Trekking ridden by Kerrin McEvoy wins the Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield (Racing Photos)

“I want to see how the horse pulls up, but it will come down to more than that.”

“It will be discussed by the team before anything is finalised.”

The 12-horse field for The Everest is made up by horses who run in slots purchased by various entities and valued at $600,000 each.

 

Article courtesy of Godolphin

Ellora Stud may well be in its infancy but Matt Brown, owner of Ellora Stud has over twenty years’ experience in the industry including a number of stints overseas.  “I’ve always been interested in racing and what made racehorses tick and for me that was the breeding part of the industry. I loved reading sales books and studying the pedigrees.”

Following Matt leaving school and unsure what to do next, travelling overseas and working with horses seemed to be a good option.

“I fell into the horses and enrolled onto the Irish National Stud course and worked on a number of studs in France and Ireland.”

For Matt to have the opportunity to be working on the practical side of breeding and being out with the mares and foals seemed like an opportunity not to be missed.

Matt and Claire are certainly not newcomers to the breeding industry in Victoria as have spent a number of years at Rosemont Stud and prior to that worked in the Hunter Valley. Matt’s first job was on a stud in New Zealand at Windsor Park Stud,

“It gave me the best grounding for the industry. It is a very practical place and it really taught me a lot, probably the most of any place I have worked.”

Ellora stud has been in operation for over two years and is going from strength to strength ‘we always bred our own horses; my wife is partner at a vet practise in Seymour and we needed somewhere to have our own horses. The next logical step was to open the doors to clients.

Ellora Stud Farm Property

Matt has taken on much of his experience that he gained overseas and put it into practise on the stud. “I have had a lot of experience around the world and can handle many different situations that arise. As my wife is a stud vet we can offer a full service.” It can give a huge amount of security to clients knowing that an experienced vet is always on call should it be required. Ellora work hard to deliver the best possible service for clients and the passion for this is evident when talking to Matt.

It is evident that Ellora Stud is a huge team effort with Matt and Claire and they have some high hopes for the future.  “I want to breed really nice horses, that is always what I have wanted to do and race a few of those and hopefully be successful.”

Clare Brown at Ellora Stud with one of the farms thoroughbreds

Matt has worked with many successful mares in his career and many that have gone on to sell for impressive sums. I expect it won’t be long until he is doing the same for his own broodmares.

“In my time on other farms I have looked after many horses that have gone on to be very very good horses.” As a new farm it is not yet clear how successful many of the mares may well be, however, Matt is confident he has a small but good group of horses already.

Ellora Stud has been set up using much of the implementation that Matt has seen first-hand whilst working overseas.

“I’ve taken a lot of ideas from where I have worked around the world. I have laid the stud out in such a way that I believe is the most efficient way to benefit clients.”

Based near Avenel in North-East Victoria, the farm has very good pastures for breeding and is well located to other farms in the area. There are a number of different sized paddocks in order to cater for the needs of their clients.

The advice that Matt would give to someone wanting to start in the industry is “be wanting to take on advice that is given and deal with as many people as possible in order to put yourself out there. If you care about what you do and you are a good operator then you will get on well.”

Ensure the Super VOBIS logo is added to your yearling’s pedigree page by submitting your nomination to Racing Victoria prior to the catalogue deadline associated with the relevant sale.

The first closing date is for the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. Yearlings being sent to this sale must ensure their nomination is submitted no later than Friday, 25 October 2019.

Racing Victoria must receive your completed nomination form by this date for the Super VOBIS logo to be applied to your horse’s pedigree page. Racing Victoria cannot guarantee the logo will make the catalogue once the advertised catalogue deadline has passed.

 

Catalogue dates:

Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale (Book 1 & 2): 25 October 2019

Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale: 7 November 2019 

Magic Millions Tasmanian Yearling Sale: 8 November 2019

Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale: 12 November 2019

Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale: 15 November 2019

Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale (Book 3): 22 November 2019

Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale: 9 December 2019

 

Please note: If you are planning on nominating a category C yearling, please ensure your nomination is submitted a week prior to the advertised catalogue deadlines to allow sufficient time for processing.

Winx may not have been the star attraction at this year’s Turnbull Stakes, but Rich Itch certainly brought excitement to Flemington for Rangal Park Stud. Rich Itch is out of the speedy Danerich who is standing at Rangal Park Stud this season.

‘Rich Itch has won over 1200m prior to the Turnbull Stakes Day and the trainer was extremely confident he was going to win. He has been saying for some time that he is black type horse and he proved that at Flemington.’ We wait in anticipation to see what the next target for this impressive horse.

“Danerich is probably one of the most underestimated stallions in Australia. He has had winners from 900m to 3200m both fillies and colts. He is a good bread and butter stallion”remarked Eric Buttler from Rangal Park.

Danerich is a very fertile stallion and combined with the impressive results on the track, is very attractive for breeders. Danerich produces progressive horses as many are not seen on the track before their three-year old year however, they are bred very tough and continue racing for many years. A statistic of 64% winners to runners is not one to ignore and one that many stallions will never reach.

Danerich’s popularity in Victoria has been on an upward scale and I imagine it will be a matter of time for this to spread to the rest of Australia.

Rich Itch is not the only exciting Danerich bred horse that is winning on the track. Flow Meter has been consistently winning in South Australia. ‘Flow Meter has proved himself as an iron horse at ten years of age, 118 starts and total prizemoney of $526,660. He backs up week after week at Morphettville and is always in the money.’ There is no stopping this gelding who is a multiple stakes winner over 1200m to 2500m. This horse is another example of the varied distance Danerich progeny perform over.

Alongside Danerich standing at Rangal Park Stud is Boomtime, the Group 1 and multiple placed Stakes winner. ‘Boomtime has a sprinters pedigree but has been a Group 1 winner over 2500m.’ with the attractive pursuit to breed speed to him after all Boom Time is by Flying Spur and a Snippets Mare.

Rangal Park sire Danerich.

From a popular family, Boomtime’s pedigree is linked to the famous Australian Icon, Black Caviar, All Too Hard, and closely related to Magnus. ‘His first two mares are in foal which is very pleasing.’ Although Rangal Park are still waiting on many of the results for Boomtime, it has been a very positive start to the season for Boomtime.

Rangal Park is set in very attractive surrounds ‘we have beautiful soil and it is a matter of the weather warming up. We haven’t had to be in situation where we need to manipulate the mares. We have a variety of sizes of paddocks, so it is easy to put your mares in foals and have nice paddocks for them to mature.’ The North-East of Victoria where Rangal Park is located is an ideal climate for breeding and has produced an array of champion stallions.

 

For more information, Eric Buttler 0427 200 763

The vagaries of thoroughbred racehorse breeding never fail to fascinate.

How on occasions a 1000m specialist can produce a Cup aspirant, how a known mudlark can throw a confirmed firm tracker, how a perfect specimen can sire a poorly conformed speedster.

How Woodside Park Stud’s handsome but plain bay Tosen Stardom can sire foals with bling.

And not just some bling… plenty of it!

Of course the answers are always in the genes and we don’t have to delve too far into Tosen Stardom’s pedigree to see just which horse is making his presence felt in his descendants.

A horse whose influence was so great that an entire country’s racing fortunes were built on his success.

Shadai Stallion Station’s Northern Taste.

Like his legendary sire Northern Dancer, Northern Taste was bred at Windfields Farm. Nobody would’ve missed him as he frolicked around those paddocks in preparation for his racing future; he was a horse who well and truly caught the eye.

At the 1972 Saratoga Yearling Sale purchased by the Yoshida family, Northern Taste headed the John Cunnington Jr stables in France. Quickly finding form, he won both of his juvenile starts at Group 3 level – at three a Listed winner and not disgraced in the 2000 Guineas won by Nonoalco and the Epsom Derby won by Snow Knight.

Coming back in distance later that year he won the Gr.1 Prix de la Foret over 1400m at Longchamp; an important victory but it is not just for that elite level success that he is remembered.

But rather his truly remarkable success at stud.

A baldy faced Tosen Stardom foal from Balmodena

Ten times Japan’s Champion Sire in an 11 year period, he proved to be that country’s first great stallion, the horse who Teruya Yoshida was quoted as saying “bought all of the stallions and broodmares that we have.”

Whilst not an enduring influence in regards to male line, his daughters produced over a hundred stakes winners and Northern Taste still looms large in the pedigrees of many a Japanese star.

Which brings us back to Tosen Stardom, the Gr.1 Toorak Handicap and Gr.1 Mackinnon Stakes winner who inherited the bay coat of his famed sire Deep Impact but who has Northern Taste genes lurking.

The genes of a horse whose face stood out in a crowd. The talented, kind hearted, robust, durable (he lived till 33) chestnut whose blaze covered most of his face – almost obscuring one eye… a horse whose socks on two legs completed the picture of flashiness.

Tosen Stardom is out of the End Sweep mare Admire Kirameki, in turn daughter of the Northern Taste mare Every Whisper. The great horse is three generations back but each day the team at Woodside are getting reports of little Northern Tastes popping up across the state.

“With Tosen Stardom being a plain bay with no markings breeders have been a bit surprised by the amount of bling on his foals,”said Woodside Park’s General Manager James Price, “and we are intrigued to find out where it is coming from.”

“For the markings and chestnut colouring to stem back to the influential Northern Taste is incredibly exciting and everyone is delighted in the way in which his progeny are standing out from the crowd… and they are standing out on type as well, inheriting their sire’s strength, style and presence.”

We can’t wait to see them in the sales ring and on the track… we are going to be seeing those baldy faces in the winners circle in no time!”

 

Article courtesy of Kristen Manning

Linda Huddy had good reason to believe her multiple Group producing mare Pentamerous had come to the end of her foaling days.

Without a foal since 2013 and with plenty of misses and tears along the way, Linda’s hopes of the mare experiencing a trouble-free pregnancy and having another colt or filly were quickly fading.

After producing Shoot Out, which Linda and her husband Graham purchased at the 2008 Magic Millions yearling sales for $15,000, there was always plenty of motivation to get the Pentire mare Pentamerous in foal.

Shoot Out running at Warwick Farm with jokey hugh Bowman aboard

Shoot Out, who was a first yearling colt by champion middle distance performer High Chaparral, won five Group 1s, and amassed $3.2 million in prizemoney. He wasn’t the only success story from the mare whose progeny include Group 3 winners Cassandara Shadow and I’m A Princess who up until this year was the last foal produced by Pentamerous.

Linda admits she had to be convinced to keep trying with the now 19 year-old mare who defied the odds to produce a stunning colt by Swettenham Stud’s son of High Chaparral sire  Toronado, on the second day of Spring.

“He is the most personality-plus foal that you’ve seen, he is all over you and there is no backward step.  He is a beautiful colt.” a delighted Linda said of the three quarter brother to Shoot Out.

Shoot Out was Pentamerous’ second foal and the mare was later purchased by Linda and Graham when she came on the market. Her first foal – Cassandara Shadow (by Johannesburg  (USA) – went on to win the 2009 W.A. Oaks at Ascot.

Linda explains that getting a foal on the ground took a lot of work from several people and started with Melissa Copelin, stud manager at Torryburn Stud, recommending an operation suggested by  veterinarian Paddy Todhunter at Newcastle Equine Centre who performed a uterus-lift procedure through keyhole surgery which would hopefully give the mare a 50/50 chance of carrying a foal to term.

Pentamerous missed to I Am Invincible in 2015 and was then given the following year away from the breeding barn before arriving  in Victoria to Sally Watkins at Willaroon Thoroughbreds, at Lurg, near Benalla. Under the guidance of local veterinary Caroline Duddy, who specialises in problem mares, she was served by German import Lucas Cranach who the Huddy’s had raced, including victory in his final start in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield on 2012.

Unfortunately, after several months the mare slipped the Lucas Cranach foal and while Linda thought it was time to retire the mare, she was told by Sally and her vet Caroline Duddy that it wasn’t Pentamerous’ fault but more a case of Mother Nature stepping in.

“Caroline Duddy loves problem mares and was quite adamant that we would get her into foal again,” Linda said.

“We went to Toronado last year and with just one cover we’ve got a beautiful colt. I came down to see the foal and I’d never seen Toronado before but I was blown away. I just thought he was a fantastic stallion and I’m not surprised he is going well.”

Pentamerous, who is still under the care of Sally Watkins and Dr Duddy, returned to Toronado on the eve of the AFL Grand Final.

“I know Linda would dearly love another filly out of her,” Sally  said.

“Linda is breeding out of two fillies from Pentamerous and already one (Silver Tiara) has thrown a stakes winner.

“Caroline was always confident we’d get the mare in foal. The mare is an absolute queen, the most beautiful, beautiful mare who is loved by everyone on the farm.

“Shoot Out (who died in 2017) was Linda’s favourite horse and she has nicknamed his ¾ brother by Toronado, Diego.

“We were lucky to have such a good looking fertile son of High Chaparral so close to us and Swettenham Stud was able to give us whatever time we needed.

Swettenham Stud sire, Toronado

“Linda sent the mare down to us a couple of years before she got into foal (to Lucas Cranach) so Caroline could start on her very early. Caroline is absolutely brilliant with what she does and loves a challenge.”

Following the death of High Chaparral in Ireland in 2014, Linda sent Pentamerous to high profile stallions Exceed and Excel, Redoute’s Choice and I Am Invincible – but she missed each time – and then lost the Lucas Cranach foal.

And with Pentamerous hopefully celebrating her 20th birthday with another Toronado foal in 2020, it won’t be long after that before she heads home to the Huddy’s Peachester Lodge on the Sunshine Coast to enjoy a life of luxury.

 

 

Article courtesy of Daryl Timms.

Back on Wednesday, September 11 at Bendigo many would have black-booked two three-year-olds by Puissance de Lune (IRL) and trained by Mitchell Freedman.

They were the maiden colt Southern Moon who would come out a fortnight later and finish second in the Victoria Derby Trial at Flemington and the filly Moonlight Maid.

Now Moonlight Maid had already earned the honour of being the first winner for her sire when cruising home by two and a quarter length when making her career debut at Geelong back in June. She backed that up with a fast-finishing fourth in the Listed Taj Rossi Final at Flemington three weeks later.

Moonlight Maid parading after winning the Edward Manifold

She had been off the scene for nine weeks when a luckless fourth at Bendigo, which proved the perfect pipe opener for her barnstorming performance in Saturday’s Group II Edward Manifold Stakes at Flemington.

Carrying the familiar colours of Gerry Ryan, Moonlight Maid came from last, swept around all 15 of her opponents under Ben Melham to win a touch cosily by three-quarters of a length from the Charm Spirit (IRL) filly Fascino with the Reliable Man (GB) filly Miami Bound the same distance back in third. (images Grant Courtney ).

It was the first stakes-winner for her 30-year-old trainer who is a friend of who recently landed his first Group 1 when Begood Toya Mother won the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield.

“We sat down at one time and said if we can’t train a stakes winner in 10 years, we should give it away, so we’re happy to tick that off,” Freedman said.

“It has taken a lot of hard work to get her to switch off. We targeted the Manifold, I’m not sure if she will get to the (Victoria) Oaks but she really blossomed first up to second up,” Mitchell Freedman said.

“She was ring rusty at Bendigo but she has come on so much but I was spewing when she drew barrier 19.

“They was plenty of heat on and Benny (Melham) got rode the perfect race to get her to the outside.

“She’s right on track, she’s a Group II winner out of a horse I’ve had a lot of thrills with, I’ve looked after the mother and the father as a foreman (for Darren Weir) and it’s great to be able to train the progeny of them.”

Bred by Gerry Ryan’s Limerick Lane Thoroughbreds, Moonlight Maid is the second foal and second winner out of the Listed SAJC Dequetteville Stakes winner Manhattan Maid (Choisir).

Swettenham Stud sire Puissance de Lune

Manhattan Maid missed for the next two seasons after Moonlight Maid and was covered by Hellbent last spring.

A son of the top-class Shamardal (USA), Puissance de Lune (IRL) was an outstanding performer who was at his best in the spring in 2012 winning the Listed Bendigo Cup (by 8L), Group III Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington (by 5L) and the Group II Blamey Stakes and was edged out in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes.

He is a three-quarter brother Zabeel Prince who recently won the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp.

Puissance de Lune (IRE) stands at Swettenham Stud in 2019 at a fee of $8,800.

 

Article Courtesy of Breednet

 

TBV Hoofnote: Since this article was written Southern Moon won his maiden race at Donald on the 8th of October 2019. Trained by Mitch Freedman and the colt is sired by Puissance De Lune and is a homebred for Victorian breeder and Racing Victoria director, Mike Hirst.

Broodmare owners employ various criteria when it comes to stallion selection.

Pedigree is a biggie. So are looks.

However, it’s often ‘performance’ that plays the biggest role.

Let’s face it, ‘To the manor born’ isn’t worth a jot if you can’t run out of sight on a dark night.

That’s why breeders would be well advised to YouTube CLUSTER’s victory in the Group Two Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill.

But before we get into the run itself, keep in mind that the Theo Marks is hardly run of the mill: Winx won in 2015, More Joyous five years earlier and, just this month, leading Everest contender, Arcadia Queen, made the race her own.

Still, none of them quite won the Theo Marks like Cluster. Caught at the tail of the field as they turned for home, Cluster produced a ‘Chautauqua-like’ finish to defeat Bull Point (now standing at $7,700) and $1 million earner, Ninth Legion, in a thriller.

Saddled up by Peter Snowden – Redzel anyone? – the veteran trainer had nothing but praise for Cluster:

“he has a massive amount of acceleration and the effort was huge. He’s really stamped himself as a horse with true ability”.

Cluster would only have two more outings – both at Group One – before retiring with three wins and three placings from 12 starts, but it’s worth noting that eight of those outings were at Group level.

Cluster would also run second to multiple Group winner Va Pensiero in the Group Three San Domenico and third to Group One Caulfield Guineas runnerup, Divine Calling, and Cox Plate winner, Shamus Award in the Group Two Stutt Stakes.

The thing is though, Cluster is much more than performance and athleticism. He really is to the manor born: Cluster’s sire, Fastnet Rock needs little introduction with a 70% winners to runners strike rate, multiple Champion Sires’ titles, 178 million progeny earnings and 148 stakes winners.

Importantly, not only does Fastnet Rock remain a top 5 Australian Sire, his sire sons include Smart Missile, the late Hinchinbrook, Foxwedge, Rothesay and Your Song – all in the current top 40.

A full brother to Group placed Miss Que and half to the multiple stakes placed Inkling, Cluster is from the Flemington stakes winner and Group Two placed, Tarcoola Diamond, who is, in turn, from a daughter of Group One winning 2YO, I Like Diamonds.

Cluster (right) with jockey Tim Clarke aboard winning the Theo Marks (Herald Sun)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With many of the Fastnet Rock progeny training on, there is already plenty of excitement around the first crop of Cluster with last season’s 2YOs including the stakes placed winner, Gee Gees Darl, multiple winner Galaxy and, now the promising 3YO, Tocatchacod.

Clearly one of the best value stallions on the Victorian stallion roster, Cluster stands at Larneuk Stud at a fee of only $6,600 and, for further information, phone Nev Murdoch on 0418 105 706.

In the space of 24 hours last week I managed to experience an abbreviated version of a race horse’s full life cycle.

It kicked off when Adam Sangster, Principal of Swettenham Stud, was kind enough to give me, the three female Richos and fellow racing writer Danny Power and his wife Glynis a tour of his stunning property at Nagambie, 90 minutes north of Melbourne.

Sangster has an office just down the hallway from Winning Post headquarters. He offered an invitation a few years back to “come up to the farm” and I finally took him up on it.

The Adam Sangster who wanders around our building is immaculately dressed and groomed. On our arrival at Swettenham we were greeted by a far less formal version, pedalling through the grounds on a pushbike.

STRAIGHT TO BUSINESS

Just after we arrived I noticed a car with a float attached make its way down the driveway.

While Adam gave a brief overview of the property, the vehicle pulled up alongside a very big shed and a mare and her foal were led from it.

We followed soon after.

Our mid-morning arrival coincided with one of Swettenham’s leading stallions, Toronado, being called on to do his stuff.

Adam explained the process.

“This mare (from the float) has come from a farm just outside Shepparton (30 minutes away). The owner phones Jason Robinson (Operations Manager) and says my mare is ready. Jason will look at his schedule and say, right, Toronado is free at 11 o’clock and they lock in that time.

“The owner of the mare has already decided they want to go to Toronado and they work closely with our team so that when the mare is in season and ready to go we can fit them in.

“People come from all over the country with their mares. They all work very closely with the farm so we can get them a slot when the mare is ready.

“Our stallions cover four times a day. They start at six in the morning, back up at 11am, then four in the afternoon and finally nine o’clock at night,”Adam explained.

Prior to my visit Adam had said we could watch a cover but warned it may be a little confronting for my teenage daughters. Given some of the stuff they watch on Netflix the looming intimacy didn’t bother me, but having read a story on the great sire Sir Tristram’s deeds many years back, I was concerned about the potential violence we may witness. Legend has it that Sir Tristram had severely maimed a few handlers, and killed another!

A few of Sir Tristram’s partners (mares) had also copped bumps and bruises along the way.

So, I was a little wary when Toronado was getting ready to do the deed.

As we all looked on, Adam returned to his role of tour leader.

“As you can see the mare has a wrap around her tail which will be pulled aside when the stallion gets up. It is to make sure he doesn’t obstruct her and hurt his …” Adam paused momentarily,  remembering the audience he had, and added “… wonka.”

“It’s all very clinical. The mare has a teaser pony who tests her to make sure she is wanting to be covered.”

“If the mare doesn’t want to, she can kick out. We don’t want her lashing out at the expensive stallion, so the poor old teaser gets that gig,”he said.

Our small group fell silent as we continued watching from a safe distance of around 25 metres.

With the pony having performed his background checks, Toronado came in to do his job.

After a few nibbles of the mare’s rump he was up and in. The latter part coming with the help of a human hand.

After reading stories of staff having to wear chest guards, leg protectors and full cover helmets when Sir Tristram was doing his stuff, it was a little surprising to see the Swettenham staff of three with only a helmet as protection.

“It depends a lot on the stallion and a lot on the experience of the staff,” Adam replied when I queried the lack of safety gear. “They all wear helmets. Someone new to the job might wear a vest.”

The deed is all over within 30 seconds. Toronado, with his 11am booking completed, heads back to his barn.

“He (Toronado) will have a wash down and physical check to make sure everything is all right, then head off into the paddock and have a cigar,” explained Adam.

No such post-cover luxuries for the mare. She was out of the barn and back in the float almost immediately.

The prospective dam would only have been at Swettenham for around 30 minutes all up.

The SHORT WAIT …

After a visit to a stallion it takes 15 days to find out if the mare is pregnant.

If not successful first time they will return for another dalliance.

Each mare comes into season five times so there are a few chances.

Swettenham under the care of long time vet Dr John Hurley have an on-farm fertility rate of 93%.

The gestation period for a horse is 11 months.

When running a stud it is all about commerciality so they want the foals to arrive early in the season, preferably in late August or September.

EARLY DAYS

Given we had arrived in late September we were able to witness another step in the life of a racehorse.

As around 90% of mares have their foal at night, the stats ensured we didn’t see one being born, but we were able to enjoy the sight of some youngsters taking their first steps.

Adam invited us to “come and walk amongst the foals” and he led us into one of the pens before returning to tour leader mode.

“This is an Akeed Mofeed-Golden Chapter foal who was born on September 15. All these foals would have been born between the 10th and 20th.

Akeed Mofeed x Golden Chapter foal

“There is a Highland Reel filly and a Toronado colt … they would all be around two weeks old.

“Horses are herd animals so all the ones that are born within a week or so of each other we group with their dams in the same paddock.”

This was my first close encounter with such a young foal. They are quite a sight. At barely a fortnight old their legs are almost as long as their mother’s legs.

It was all very cute but Adam pointed out nature can be cruel.

“That mare there, Noetic — she lost her foal, then a day later we lost a mare as she was giving birth. The foal survived and we immediately fostered her to the broodmare (Noetic). They usually take to each other pretty quickly.

“Foaling is such a challenging thing. You do as much as you can to try and help the foal but it’s nature … they don’t always make it.”

Helping Nature …

After wandering among the foals we head off to another shed. This time we see a dam and her foal in a steel pen.

The foal is being tended to by three people. They are looking at its feet and legs.

Dan Leach, Swettenham’s farrier of 10 years, came out to explain what he was doing.

“We start to look at them at two weeks of age. All these foals have about a dozen growth plates from the foot up to the knee. We work from the foot up and can  manipulate the legs for the first three or four months of their life.

“The industry has got a lot more critical. To get to a sale these days, you can’t take something with a crooked leg.

“We can correct faults and make them easier to sell.

“If the foot wants to toe in a little bit, I can lower the inside and turn the foot out so it is more ‘correct’.

“If that doesn’t work we can open the skin up, scrape the growth plate to help the way they develop.

“If more work is required we can put a screw in it,” he explained.

The ticks and crosses in getting a foal on the path to a sale and the races is quite extraordinary, really.

RISKY BUSINESS

Each sales season we hear about the lofty prices young horses are sold for. It may sound like a licence to print money to breed horses but Adam explains there is a lot of financial risk involved.

“When I get a new stallion, the first 15 covers are usually to my own mares in that initial year. I don’t get paid on those until their foals sell.”

“I also have to breed to them in the second and third years. If the market doesn’t like those horses first time around, then I’ve got two years backed up of foals for an unwanted market.

“Happiness is a positive cash flow. You hope you get a Toronado, one on the way up, but you can’t overstretch yourself.”

Almost on cue, we ended up next to an impressive black stallion peering at us over the fence.

Adam switches to his best salesman mode. “This is Sioux Nation. He is a son of Scat Daddy, a stallion who sadly died after five crops of foals. Remarkably, one in 33 of his progeny is a Group 1 winner, including this one.

“He is a speed horse … has a great hind leg and a great shoulder.

“He got 220 mares in the northern hemisphere. This fella was a Royal Ascot winner. He won the Norfolk Stakes (1000m) at his fifth start, then he won the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes (1200m) at The Curragh.

“He is just speed. If he can’t throw a two-year-old, then I don’t know who can.

“He is standing at $16,000 for his first season here. If he was an Australian horse who had won a 1200m Group 1 at two he’d be $36,000.”

 

CHANGE OF PACE

Adam invited us to check out the rest of his property and meet him at his house some 500m away.

We wandered between a couple of stallion paddocks, stopping to take a photo of Puissance De Lune.

Around the back of Sioux Nation’s yard, a washed and refreshed Toronado was being led along the path. His handler suggested we move away from the path, well out of kicking distance just in case the stallion lashed out. We didn’t need to be told twice.

After experiencing all this magnificent horse flesh we found ourselves in the back yard of Sangster’s property.

Suddenly the teenage Richos showed excitement that had been previously stored away. Adam’s puppy Molly charged down to greet us.

The Sangster’s Family puppy Molly

We lost our host during this time, but he emerged some 10 minutes later, looking a little flustered. The reason soon became apparent.

He had stacked his bike into a fence and badly cut his arm. The lesson there …  don’t ride a bike with your phone in one hand and the other on the handle bars.

 

A BAD MEMORY …

Having seen the formative steps in the path of a racehorse we returned to something more familiar the following day — a trip to the nearby Benalla Cup meeting.

As is customary for passengers in the Richomobile the trip to the track involved a detour or two.

We passed through Tatura and lo and behold there was an empty racecourse to visit! It was almost 27 years since I had last been there.

The only thing that appeared to have changed was that it was 15 degrees cooler. On that hot December 1992 afternoon I was heading to a 21st birthday party in Yarrawonga.

Google Maps wasn’t around in those days so I didn’t realise that a visit to the Tatura races isn’t actually on the way to Yarrawonga if you are travelling from Melbourne.

After moderate success betting on the locals that 20th century afternoon the time arrived for my best bet of the day at Flemington.

It was the Peter Jolly-trained Feeling. He had won comfortably at Cheltenham at his previous run.

He opened at 7/1 ($8.00). I’d assessed him as about a 2/1 chance so quickly snapped up the good price with an unsuspecting bookie.

I was delighted to then see a huge betting plunge bring his price into $4.50.

Feeling jumped well as expected and settled just off the pace. All was going to plan as they straightened. Nothing behind him looked a chance. It just seemed a matter of time before Feeling would run past the leader.

Sadly, the leader was Lovey and she kept rolling. She set a course record of 1:20.6 for the 1400m! It still stands.

 

CUP DAY

Having witnessed the early stages of a race horse from conception, to walking, to getting their legs in shape, it was time to see them race.

The Benalla meeting gave us a good  example of the varying talent levels of horses.

It kicked off with the maiden gallopers, progressed to the Benchmark 64s before a horse with potential in Hang Man took out the cup.

Almost three decades on, my on-track punting on north-east Victorian courses hadn’t improved. And this time I had to find additional money to place bets for teenage kids as well.

One thing I noticed during my afternoon at Benalla was that racing is alive and well in the area.

Aside from a few fast-food franchises and supermarket chains, nothing was open in town. Everyone was at the track.

 

Article courtesy of Winning Post

From an early age, Tammy Notman from Northmore Thoroughbreds, had a passion for all things horses. Following Pony Club, Tammy’s Dad bought her a show pony. It was following this that Tammy fell in love with the Thoroughbreds and became involved with the weanlings and yearling preparation.

 

“Thoroughbreds are all I will ever show or deal with, they are the most magnificent, intelligent and elegant horse. You can get so many types and personalities and they are always a healthy challenge. From Pony Club it progressed to showing Thoroughbred hacks off the track which led me to Royal Shows.” Tammy remarked.

 

With such a love and passion, it is no surprise that Tammy was always going to work in the equine industry. “I was once offered some advice by lady who said focus your business on what you love to do and what you love to do is horses.”

Tammy with one of her beloved horses

 

Northmore Thoroughbreds is a husband and wife team and it was during the early years at Novelty Racing where Tammy met her husband Rodney.

 

A career as a farrier for Rodney first got him involved in the Thoroughbred industry.

 

“He has been a farrier for a long time. He has shod for some good trainers and racehorses, including Redoute’s Choice’ Rodney’s clients have included John Meagher and Rick Hall Lacey to name a few and still keeping himself busy with the farrier business as well working for Woodside Park and many others in the thoroughbred industry. It was Alan Harvey who has bred racehorses that first got Rodney interested in the preparing of yearlings.” Tammy said.

 

“Alan has horses he would send off to other people to prepare and one year he gave us a go. Rodney has a good eye for a young horse and I have always only dealt with horses that have been mature and off the track.” She said.

 

This experience makes the Notman’s the perfect team, as Rodney cares for the weanlings and yearlings and Tammy predominantly cares for the mature horses.

Rodney in action rasping the hoof of a horse

 

“Our motto is, as much as we want to run our business with small numbers we want to make sure we never become too big. We treat every single yearling as an individual and each horse is on a totally different programme. Rodney is very conscious that during yearling prep every horse is monitored closely daily.” Tammy said

 

Although the focus over the past few years at Northmore Thoroughbreds, has been yearlings and broodmares, in the downtime that Tammy does find, Tammy can’t resist the opportunity to spend it with an Off The Track horse sired by Zabeel.

 

Tammy has a great eye especially for the older horses ‘one horse that I showed was called Galveston who was by Zabeel and he was a huge part of what I looked for in a horse.’

 

“It is only because of that horse that I am keen to get back to showing as a Zabeel-bred it is really my type of horse.”

 

It is looking likely that we may well see Tammy competing at a Garryowen in the next few years.

 

The traits that Tammy looks for in a horse is clearly in the right direction following the success they have been having.

“I like a horse that stands over a bit of ground, that has a ‘look at me’ about them, a good head, intelligent eye and really strong through the shoulder.”

 

Northmore Thoroughbreds have been going from strength to strength and over the past eight years having developed the farm to full capacity. The farm was set up completely by Tammy and Rodney and they have worked hard to ensure it meets their high standards.

 

“We set the farm up to perfection in our eyes in terms of fencing and paddocks. We have now realised it is going to be far too small for what we want to do.” Tammy remarked.

 

Their yearling methods have been so successful they are now setting up a stand-alone yearling farm near Murchison near Nagambie. The new farm may include some homebred’s aswell.

 

“There are three of us who have joined together and called ourselves ‘The Golden Girls’. They have joined me in buying Moet Rose (a filly we bred) back so we have put her in foal and hopefully buy another couple of mares this year. It’s the start of a new adventure. Moet Rose who won at Bendigo, Ballarat and Sandown. This is our first dabble into homebreds.”

 

And when asked about the advice Tammy would give to someone wanting to become involved with our industry, she said, “Stick to what you believe in and your gut instinct. Never doubt yourself and don’t doubt your ability, always stick to what you think it right.”

In late April, a group of proud Australian China Jockey Club (ACJC) “parents” paid a visit to their first baby at Musk Creek Farm.

A special breeding exercise made possible by the generous support of Adam Sangster of Swettenham Stud, the Zabeel mare Gallata, was loaned to the ACJC, free of charge, so that 20 ACJC members could experience and enjoy the taste of being a breeder.

Founded by Teresa Poon and Derek Lo, the ACJC is a social club for Asians, with the focus on Chinese who are living predominately in Victoria, and open to Asians of other states in Australia.

Amongst the Chinese in Australia, Teresa is one of the few leading authorities in horse racing. She is one of the only few Chinese who is actively involved in the industry at multiple levels for a considerable time, and has enviable records of successes in the industry. Teresa has intimate knowledge of how the industry works and what the Asian community wants in lifestyle.

Derek is a successful lawyer and entrepreneur in his own right and has an established track record in servicing Chinese business people. Keeping a high profile in the Chinese media and community, he has been involved in organising hundreds of events from charity dinners to major events with 80,000 people. He has previously sat on the board of an ASX listed company, and is currently the legal advisor for more than 30 non-profit organisations. He also serves as the Honourable President of the Lions of Sino Innovation Melbourne Inc.

The ACJC are not syndicators, but rather aim to create a force in the industry and be a passionate advocate of their interest. Members are provided with quality services and by encouraging active participation in all their racing activities, not only does ACJC lead the Asian community to the sport, they also provide the community a means to assimilate into the Australian society and a platform to “give back” to the community. The Club plans to provide some of its surplus funds to charities working for the community and for the welfare of horses, particularly after they retired, to ensure their horses are well looked after.

ACJC members decided that they wanted to breed a stayer, so Gallata was sent to the great Melbourne Cup winning stallion, Americain. This mating resulting in a very nice filly, who is now a rising 2-year old. The playful filly looks well balanced and is surely destined to be a racer and do her parents proud when she hits the racetrack.

Daisy Hill sire Americain

With such high hopes set for the filly, the training team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig of Lindsay Park have been selected as her trainers. She has also been named “AeeCee Dolce”, which is Australian Chinese plus Dolce, a girl’s name of Italian origin meaning sweet.

It is reasonable to suggest that the ACJC has what it takes to connect and engage the Asian community for the betterment of this great sport in horse racing and we look forward to following the filly’s journey!

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) is thrilled to announce that as of October 2019, Breednet have partnered with Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria as a valued sponsor.

The sponsorship will provide further opportunity for TBV to promote Victorian-bred racehorses and for Breednet to showcase the in-depth information, data and information they pride themselves on.

Breednet is a unique 24-hour news website and Australasia’s foremost source of news, stallion data and bespoke breeding information. The ‘immediacy’ of news and information is Breednet’s hallmark.

Editorial, race results, sales information and stallion statistics are updated daily providing the most comprehensive reference of breeding information available.

“I am delighted to enter into this sponsorship arrangement with Breednet. They have been supporters of TBV for some time now and I personally find their data to be extremely useful in my role.” Executive Officer, Charmein Bukovec commented.

Breednet has an unmatched audience with over 688,000 users across Australasia, USA and Europe in the past 12 months.

“In the past 12 months, we have seen our users continue to grow across three continents and we plan to continue to expand, grow and increase our product offering.” said editor Tara Madgwick.

As part of Breednet’s sponsorship with TBV, Breednet will post regular information and updates about the various services and data Breednet provides to the breeding industry.

To find out more information about Breednet, head to www.breednet.com.au

An encounter at Heytesbury Stud in Perth, over 16 years ago is responsible for Heartford Thoroughbreds, a boutique broodmare farm located in Romsey.

Candice and Christoph were working for Heytesbury Stud, when they first met and the rest as they say is history.

Christoph and Candice bonded over their love of animals and after a year, Christoph relocated to Victoria to be with Candice.

Their travels saw them go to America and then onto Ireland for six months before coming back to Australia to work at Eliza Park to start their dream they had held close to their hearts.

Candice was their foaling manager and Christoph worked for Eliza Park for three seasons before heading up the stallion division.

With twelve seasons at Heartford under their belt, Christoph and Candice Jentsch could not have imagined that their encounter would have led to a successful business on their dream farm, two beautiful daughters, a staffy named Esther, five chickens and a cat to boot.

Christoph was originally born in Germany, where a love of animals saw him become a sheep farmer before a transition in his career led to work on one of the oldest trotting farms just out of Hamburg, Germany. The farm had both trotting horses and Thoroughbreds and as time progressed Christoph found himself more involved in the breeding side of the farm.

Christoph enjoyed it so much, his career saw him head to Ireland where he worked for Castlehyde for six years. Castlehyde gave Christoph endless opportunities and one of these opportunities was to come to Australia. He then spent one season in New Zealand before coming back to Australia and meeting his now-wife, Candice.

“One day I passed the farm and was meant to tell Candice and had forgotten. Candice had been on the internet and had found a beautiful farm but sadly it was off the market. We decided to call the agent and he said, I can show you a few farms and he started driving in that direction and stopped directly in front of the farm we both picked out.” Christoph said with a smile on his face.

The farm was quickly snapped up by the pair and Heartford Thoroughbreds was born. The farm is a picturesque farm set on 40 acres but with access to 80. Christoph and Candice pride themselves on being a boutique broodmare farm which foals down between 25- 30 foals a season.

Heartford Thoroughbreds are a boutique farm located in Romsey

“We have had loyal clients that have been with us since the beginning, it is a real honour.” Christoph remarked.

With many horses that they are very proud of that have come been bred and foaled at their farm, when Christoph was asked which one held a special place in his heart, without a second thought, ‘Show a Star’ was the horse which as Christoph says has ‘brought us so much joy and fun’.

The gelding who is now retired at Heartford Thoroughbreds, where he was bred, born and raised. He was trained by Bjorn Baker and Matt Cumani and won eight of his 32 starts. He was the first foal Christoph and Candice bred and owned.

The Jentsch family with Show a Star with Matt Cumani after winning Race 5, the Peter Jackson Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse on May 14, 2015 in Caulfield, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

 

When asked what advice Christoph would give to someone wanting to get involved in the industry, Christoph shared these words:

“If you are willing to go down this path, try to see as much as you can and that’s the great thing with our industry, so many doors can open. You have the opportunities and you can travel from one sale to another, while it may be exhausting it is incredible. You can see places, you never would have thought of before.”

A new addition to Woodside Park in Victoria this spring, Foxwedge showed his class over a big weekend of racing producing Group performers at three successive meetings starting last Friday night at Moonee Valley where up and coming three year-old filly Villami ran a terrific race at her first outing away from Sydney.

Fourth and second to gun filly Libertini in the Group II ATC Silver Shadow Stakes and Group II ATC Furious Stakes at her first two runs back from a spell, the Gerald Ryan trained Villami was beaten less than a length when third to Loving Gaby in the Group III MVRC Scarborough Stakes.

Already a winner of nearly $200,000 in prizemoney, Villami drew wide in the Scarborough, but still made her presence felt and can doubtless win a Black Type race in Melbourne this spring.

On Saturday at Rosehill, the Hawkes Racing trained Foxwedge mare Dyslexic ran another super race to finish third to Mizzy and Champagne Cuddles in the $400,000 Group II ATC Golden Pendant Stakes.

Five year-old Dyslexic is improving with each preparation and this was her third Graded placing in addition to three fourth placings in Graded races.

Although she hasn’t won a stakes race yet, it’s hard not to think Dyslexic can address that shortcoming on her CV this season.

Woodside Park Stud sire Foxwedge (woodside Park)

Rounding out the big weekend for Foxwedge was lightly raced filly Barbie’s Fox, who jumped out of the ground to run third to Acting and Southbank in the Group II MRC Guineas Prelude at her first attempt in a Black Type race.

Trained by Louise Bonella, Barbie’s Fox has never finished further back than fifth in five starts and looks a lovely filly going forward.

Foxwedge has started the new season in hot form with a new stakes-winner in Foxy Housewife and these three talented gallopers above – Villami, Dyslexic and Barbie’s Fox – all showing the promise of stakes wins to come.

A Group I winning son of Fastnet Rock, Foxwedge is well priced this spring at $16,500.

 

Article Courtesy of Breednet

Broodmare owners employ various criteria when it comes to stallion selection.

Pedigree is a biggie. So are looks.

However, it’s often ‘performance’ that plays the biggest role.

Let’s face it, ‘To the manor born’ isn’t worth a jot if you can’t run out of sight on a dark night.

That’s why breeders would be well advised to YouTube CLUSTER’s victory in the Group Two Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill.

But before we get into the run itself, keep in mind that the Theo Marks is hardly run of the mill: Winx won in 2015, More Joyous five years earlier and, just this month, leading Everest contender, Arcadia Queen, made the race her own.

Still, none of them quite won the Theo Marks like Cluster. Caught at the tail of the field as they turned for home, Cluster produced a ‘Chautauqua-like’ finish to defeat Bull Point (now standing at $7,700) and $1 million earner, Ninth Legion, in a thriller.

Saddled up by Peter Snowden – Redzel anyone? – the veteran trainer had nothing but praise for Cluster:

“he has a massive amount of acceleration and the effort was huge. He’s really stamped himself as a horse with true ability”.

Cluster would only have two more outings – both at Group One – before retiring with three wins and three placings from 12 starts, but it’s worth noting that eight of those outings were at Group level.

Cluster would also run second to multiple Group winner Va Pensiero in the Group Three San Domenico and third to Group One Caulfield Guineas runnerup, Divine Calling, and Cox Plate winner, Shamus Award in the Group Two Stutt Stakes.

The thing is though, Cluster is much more than performance and athleticism. He really is to the manor born: Cluster’s sire, Fastnet Rock needs little introduction with a 70% winners to runners strike rate, multiple Champion Sires’ titles, 178 million progeny earnings and 148 stakes winners.

Importantly, not only does Fastnet Rock remain a top 5 Australian Sire, his sire sons include Smart Missile, the late Hinchinbrook, Foxwedge, Rothesay and Your Song – all in the current top 40.

A full brother to Group placed Miss Que and half to the multiple stakes placed Inkling, Cluster is from the Flemington stakes winner and Group Two placed, Tarcoola Diamond, who is, in turn, from a daughter of Group One winning 2YO, I Like Diamonds.

Cluster (right) with jockey Tim Clarke aboard winning the Theo Marks (Herald Sun)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With many of the Fastnet Rock progeny training on, there is already plenty of excitement around the first crop of Cluster with last season’s 2YOs including the stakes placed winner, Gee Gees Darl, multiple winner Galaxy and, now the promising 3YO, Tocatchacod.

Clearly one of the best value stallions on the Victorian stallion roster, Cluster stands at Larneuk Stud at a fee of only $6,600 and, for further information, phone Nev Murdoch on 0418 105 706.