A reminder that the Super VOBIS nomination deadline for 2018-born foals has been extended to Friday, 31 July 2020.

 Due to the impacts of COVID-19, TBV have worked with Racing Victoria to extend the deadline from 30 April 2020 to 31 July 2020.

Whilst racing and training is currently permitted to continue in Victoria under strict biosecurity protocols, Racing Victoria appreciate that the pandemic has already placed considerable economic pressure on many owners and breeders.

Thus, to ease the immediate burden in this period of uncertainty Racing Victoria have elected to extend this year’s nomination period for Super VOBIS.

This new date also takes into account the recent postponement of the Inglis Melbourne Gold Sale to 12 and 13 July 2020 and the Inglis Great Southern Sale to 14 and 15 July 2020.

Racing Victoria want to thank you for your ongoing support of Victorian racing and trust that it will continue with the Super VOBIS program which seeks to reward those who breed and race in Victoria.

TBV are grateful for the extension to the Super VOBIS deadline which has been provided by Racing Victoria and if you have any questions about VOBIS, you can get in touch with a member of the Racing Victoria team on (03) 9258 4258.


Due to COVID-19, IRT flights have been heavily restricted due to the inability of the in-flight animal attendants to move around the world.

The grounding was concerning as it meant that horses could not be exported to major international racing destinations such as Hong Kong, horses could not be imported to Australia to run in races and had the potential for shuttle stallions to not be able to come to Australian shores ahead of the breeding season.

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV), Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA), Racing Victoria (RV) have worked with both the State and Federal Governments to facilitate the safe movement of in-flight animal attendants.

“It is pleasing to see that progress is occurring despite the current situation we are in with COVID-19. I am grateful to everyone involved and especially the Government for assisting to find safe and sensible solutions for our highly specialised flying horseman, especially ahead of a busy season.” Lachlan Ford – IRT Director – Operations.

Everyone involved are grateful for the support of both the Victorian Racing Minister, the Hon. Martin Pakula and the support of the Federal Government with this matter.

IRT have long been supporters of the racing and breeding industries both locally in Victoria and nationally. We are very pleased to see that the restrictions have been overturned ahead of the breeding season.

You can find out more about IRT here.

Dual G2 winner Cliff's Edge has been retired Dual Group 2 winner Cliff’s Edge (Canford Cliffs) has been retired and is bound for stallion duties next season.

The 5-year-old entire was targeting an elusive Group 1 victory this campaign however has been retired following a setback this preparation.

Purchased by respected bloodstock agent John Foote at the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, Cliff’s Edge has the overall record of eight wins and six seconds from 30 starts with prizemoney of $1,181,860.

As a 3-year-old, Cliff’s Edge claimed the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at the Valley defeating Levendi, as well as the Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) and Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m).

The following year Cliff’s Edge returned to the Valley to claim the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) beating Prized Icon and last Spring he split Group 1 winners Mystic Journey and Hartnell in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m).

Cliff’s Edge, Canford Cliffs (Tagula) highest money earner, is out of the Snaadee mare Simulation, who also had eight victories. Simulation’s unraced dam Wodgina (USA) (Verbatim) is a half-sister to the grand racemare All Along a 7-time Group I winner including the 1983 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Managing Owner Pam Wilson said the time had come to find a home for Cliff’s Edge at stud.

“We want to find the best home we possibly can for him,” Mrs. Wilson said.

“Cliff’s Edge presents an excellent stallion opportunity. He was very talented and had all the attributes you love in a horse; toughness, consistency and importantly speed.

“He was precocious enough to win at 2, running the fastest time for his age at Sandown over the last ten years. His 3-year-old season was thrilling and at times dominant and pleasingly he backed it up and consistently mixed it with the best of the best at Group 1 level as a 4 and 5-year-old,” Wilson added.

Cliff’s Edge beat home 28 individual Group 1 winners including Hartnell, Black Heart Bart, Levendi, Dreamforce, Best of Days, Fierce Impact, Ace High, Jungle Cat, Gailo Chop and It’s Somewhat.

For further information or to explore stallion opportunities for Cliff’s Edge please contact either Pam Wilson on 04 08 125 488 or Ross Holburt (Breeder & Owner) on 0412 337 748.

Article courtesy of Breednet

Veteran sprinter Mr Stunning turned back the clock to secure a third career G1, while Southern Legend – the foundation ‘Legend’ horse for Mr Boniface Ho – dethroned the champion Beauty Generation as Inglis graduates dominated the big races on Champions Day at Sha Tin.

Mr StunningMr Stunning

For 7YO Mr Stunning (Exceed And Excel) it was a dominant win in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize against Hong Kong’s best sprinters, to add to his G1 successes in the 2017 and 2018 Hong Kong International Sprint.

The win took his career earnings to $12.3m.

Mark and Shelley Treweek of Lyndhurst Farm identified Mr Stunning (pictured) as a weanling at the 2013 Great Southern Sale, where they purchased him for $110,000 from Makybe, who also bred the horse.

“I just liked him as a type, he wasn’t an overly big horse but he was a very good-walking colt,’’ Mark Treweek said.

“Being by Exceed And Excel was a big thing back then even, making him commercially attractive as well.

“Mr Stunning has been a great horse for a lot of people over the years and it’s been fantastic to have been involved in that journey and watching from afar.’’

Mr Stunning’s win came before Southern Legend scored a stirring victory over Beauty Generation in the G1 Champions Mile following a stride-for-stride battle down the long Sha Tin straight.

Southern LegendSouthern Legend

It was a first Group 1 win and fourth Stakes success – in three different countries – for Southern Legend (Not A Single Doubt), who Carmel Size purchased in conjunction with her father Neville Begg – on behalf of owner Boniface Ho – for $280,000 at Inglis Easter from the horse’s breeder Corumbene Stud.

“We had him here in Australia with Les [Bridge] at the start and won four races with him before he went to Hong Kong, he always had that ability,’’ Size said.

“I remember going to Easter with a budget of $300,000 and buying one horse for Hong Kong, and that’s a lot easier said than done.

“He was the first ‘Legend’ horse we ever bought. Mr Ho wanted to have the word ‘Southern’ in all of his horse names so this horse, being the first, became Southern Legend.’’

Southern Legend has now won over $7.6m.

Mr Stunning and Southern Legend were two of five Inglis graduates to win on HK’s big day today, with Fantastic Show (Premier Yearling Sale and Ready2Race Sale), Lakeshore Eagle (Premier Yearling Sale) and True Legend (Easter Yearling Sale) also enjoying success.

The buoyant night in HK capped off a big weekend of Stakes success for Inglis graduates.

In Sydney on Saturday talented colt Dawn Passage (Dawn Approach) made a one-act affair of the G3 Hawkesbury Guineas, scoring the easiest of wins in the 3YO feature at Rosehill.

It was a second Stakes win from his past six starts since finishing third in the inaugural $2m Inglis Millennium.

Bred by the Toorak Thoroughbred Breeding Trust, Dawn Passage is a $150,000 Premier Yearling Sale purchase for Blue Sky Bloodstock and his trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, from Mill Park Stud.

And Sweet Scandal (Sepoy) led in an Inglis graduates’ trifecta when winning the G3 Hawkesbury Crown.

It was a seventh career win for the 5YO mare, who defeated In Her Time – who was having her final race start and will be offered for sale at next month’s Chairman’s Sale – and Dyslexic.

Trained by Chris Waller, the Lockyer Thoroughbreds-bred Sweet Scandal is a $230,000 Easter Yearling Sale buy for Laurel Oak Bloodstock from Widden Stud.

At Flemington, the Pierro 3YO Sacramento gave trainers Waterhouse and Bott a state-to-state feature within 20 minutes when he won the Listed VRC St Leger soon after Dawn Passage’s Hawkesbury Guineas success.

Bred by Robert Crabtree, Sacramento – now a winner of 3 of his 12 starts – is a $160,000 Premier Yearling Sale buy for Paul Moroney Bloodstock, from Supreme Thoroughbreds.

And at Morphettville Dalasan (Dalakhani) made it back-to-back Stakes wins with a comfortable victory in the G3 Chairman’s Stakes and he may look to add a Group 1 to his resume in the South Australian Derby in a few weeks.

The win took Dalasan’s career earnings past the $2m mark, a spectacular feat for the talented 3YO.

Dalasan’s trainers Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas purchased the horse for $80,000 at the Premier Yearling Sale, where he was offered by Mill Park Stud.

Inglis Release

The Fred Express wins at Mornington (Racing Photos)

If The Fred Express was to ever feature in an equine medical journal, he’d certainly fill quite a few pages.

The six year-old’s impressive victory in a maiden at Mornington last week was a testament to the vets’ expertise who treated him, a credit to Charlotte Littlefield who trains the gelding and a glowing endorsement of Mother Nature’s healing powers.

While many others would have given up on The Fred Express from the day he was born, Charlotte and her husband, Julian Hay, who bred the horse, were determined to give him a chance. Not once, but several times.

Charlotte, who is an emerging trainer, bred the horse from their good broodmare Offshore Sham (Shamardal).

“When he came out he was all contracted and was virtually a dummy foal and everything was wrong with him,” Charlotte said.

“He couldn’t stand up properly and his back legs were all folded and bent and contracted. We had to have them poulticed and then a cast had to be put on one of the hind legs just so he could stand.

“He was the second foal from the mare and the first foal was Shampers who was a former Mick Price trained horse that we had with him at the start and then she won a race for us and we sold her.”

Charlotte said they soon came to the realisation that they had to do more veterinary work on the foal. His ligaments in his front legs required surgery to allow him to walk properly.

And then after six months he was still extremely lame from behind and x-rays revealed he had OCD (osteochondritis dissecans) which were removed from his stifles to allow him to walk.

“The poor horse for the first six months spent most of his time at Goulburn Equine Clinic and Sally Watkins at Willaroon Thoroughbreds did most of the early work which are very grateful for,” Charlotte said.

“He is by Not A Single Doubt and we would have sold him if he was a saleable product but he wasn’t and as he is owned by the family. We really didn’t want to spend a lots of money on him as he even wasn’t going to be a pleasure horse.”

Charlotte said when the horse then came to her they just started “playing around” with him, broke him in and as they were then living at Balnarring, he went to the beach a lot.

And despite all his setbacks, Charlotte said he was a naughty horse and recalls the first time she got on him after being assured by her husband that he was a kid’s pony because he was so quiet.

She got on him and five seconds later was speared into the ground as the horse galloped off.

“He had a bit of character from day one and I had to be a bit wary of him as he was always quite naughty the first ride back and has got quite a buck in him,” she said.

They continued to preserve and got him into training and Charlotte said he was standing up to the work fairly well in his second or third preparation but always had a lot fluid in the hind leg that had been contracted.

Still to get to race day, Ben Melham trialled him at Cranbourne and where he ran 44 seconds on the artificial surface. A pleased Melham said he definitely wanted to ride him at his debut.

The big day finally came, but with Ben Allen in the saddle. The Fed Express started $3.20 favourite at that first start at Geelong but got his leg caught up in the barrier and then in the run got boxed in and never saw daylight.

“He just looked a bit ordinary and went to his next race at Sale (with Melham) and never had any clear running again and was a certainty beaten and it was terrible to watch – he didn’t even have a puff,” Charlotte said.

“And then we thought we’d race him on the Pakenham synthetic which had just opened and took him there for a gallop and he broke down and that was the end of him.”

A scan showed he had broken down in a deep digital flexor tendon in a hind leg which was revealed a 90 per cent tear and the high suspensory ligament in the corresponding front leg was also damaged.

He was four of five lame which promoted the vet to give a blunt diagnosis that he wouldn’t bother with The Fred Express as a racehorse any more.

“We thought we’d do the right thing by the horse and sent him to the treadmill to do some rehab where he trotted for a month to get the injury to heal better and then we got some special surgical shoes put on and some casts moulded for his front feet,” Charlotte said.

“We did everything we could for him for two months, but it eventuated to nothing so then we put him in the paddock and after six months I thought we’d give him another go.

The Fred Express as a foal

“At that stage we owned him all ourselves and we trotted him off the pony down the road for three weeks and he went lame again.

“And I thought we are done.”

Charlotte said there was really nothing they could with him so he was virtually a companion horse who was getting extremely fat, just like the broodmares he was in sharing a paddock with.

She said fast forward two and half years and she saw him gallop across the paddock with the broodmares.

After his paddock gallop, Charlotte checked his legs and they were free of any swelling or heat. She kept an eye on him in the paddock for the next couple of weeks and decided she would bring him back into work when there was a vacancy for him in the stables.

“Everyone said I was mad but I said no we will try it one last time,” Charlotte said.

“And thankfully we did because this is the prep where we gave him that last go.”

There was a 135 week space from his last race at Sale on July 20, 2017, before his comeback trial on February 4 this year.

He then had three runs with little luck from wide barriers before winning by 2.3 lengths over 1200m at Mornington on April 20.

Charlotte said she always planned to retire The Fred Express if he ever won a race.

The plan has changed a little bit and he’ll race on – and who can blame Charlotte for that change of mind after he won so well and pulled up great.

“He is a real character and just loves life this horse and  is one of the cutest characters you’ll find in a stable,” she said.

“It’s just so rewarding to have this horse win a race for us, it’s just the best.”

Charlotte said when there was no hope, the secret was to give The Fred Express time.

“We did try everything with him, but in the end it was time,” she said proudly.

Tickle My (Racingandsports.com)

Victorian bred Snitz is aiming for four victories in succession after the gelding completed a hat-trick of wins at Randwick.

The five year-old gelding was bred by Victorian breeder Ken Breese and sold for $75,000 through agent Bashinghall Farm, Nagambie, at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale.

By Snitzel, the now five year-old gelding is out of Breese’s multiple Group winning mare Tickle My (Purugino).

Trained at Murwillumbah by Nathan Dunn, the horse was bought by one of his clients at a breeze up sale on the Gold Coast.

“I think it was for $100,000 to $110,000 – it wasn’t huge money,” Dunn said.

“He is going well and will have his next race on Saturday week in the Takover Target which has been transferred from Gosford to Rosehill.”

The gelding has already won prize money of $434,275.

Tickle My, which was trained at Cranbourne by Bruce Purcell, is now 23 years-old but was retired last November after having a colt by Alpine Eagle.

Breese said his old mare deserved her retirement after having her first foal, by Belong To Me (USA), in 2004.

“But she looks like a 14 year-old,” Breese said.

“We kept going back to a stallion each year and we were going to retire her last year but we decided to go around again and we did.

“But we pulled the plug this year.”

Breese said it was always a difficult decision to stop breeding from a mare when they looked well and were throwing reasonable foals and getting a few winners.

“You just tend to keep going,” he said.

As well as the recent colt by Alpine Eagle, Breese also has two fillies out of Tickle My – a two year-old and a yearling – by in demand Swettenham Stud stallion, Toronado (IRE).

The two year-old is with Mornington trainer John McArdle.

“She is a lovely, big strapping filly and John is very happy with her,” Breese said.

“She is only a two year-old and is a big lump of a thing so I’d be surprised if she races before she is closer to three but she will tell us what she wants to do.”

Breese is a huge wrap for Toronado who he believes is still a sleeper.

“I think he is going to jump out of the ground at some stage,” he said.

“The full sister to the one that John McArdle has is still over in Tassie and she’ll come over probably at the end of June in the depths of winter to be broken in.”

Breese said he has quite often had stallions with Armidale Stud in Tasmania and it dates back more than 30 years ago to Weasel Clause.

“We stood Weasel Clause over there and then we shared Ladoni with them and then we shared Savoire Vivre, so we have had stallions with them on a partnership basis for a while but we are out of the stallion side of it now,” Breese said.

Breese said it was always satisfying to a see a horse he’d breed perform for the buyers, but not everything goes to plan at times.

After selling what was to become Snitz, Breese also sold a Smart Missile filly out of his mare Take All of Me which was by Jeune (GB) and out of Tickle My.

Named I’ll Have A Bit, the filly went onto to win the 2018 Euclase Stakes at Morphettville at the odds of $151 for John McArdle.

“And we had another one by Not A Single Doubt and from memory I think that went to Singapore.” Breese said.

Breese said he had scaled his breeding back and now has only had five broodmares.

He said they used to do a lot of breeding at their farm at Nyora which they ran as full stud for 25 years.

“It’s just the residual of the mares that we have got and if they win a race or two than I’m inclined to keep breeding, so we sell a few and the ones we don’t sell, we are usually race ourselves.” Breese said.

“We send some to Tasmania and others to Tas Rielley (Basinghall Farm).

“I still love the breeding side of it and as I said if we still race a few if they don’t make it to the sales or if they have a little issue.

“Well keep going for as long as we can churn out some winners and get some prices four our progeny.”

Breese said he’d had some good results from sales this year, including $140,000 for the full sister to I’ll Have A Bit (Smart Missile/Take All Of Me).

He said they were only small time now and needed some other visible means of support being hobby breeders.

“If you rely just on the income of the horses, you will go broke very quickly, or we would any way,” he laughed.

“I am a civil engineer by profession so I have had a civil engineering practice for 30 years and that has been very kind to us.”

When Breese looks back at the horses he’s breed, there’s perhaps just one that he regrets he didn’t bring home from the sales.

He was in New Zealand when three of his yearlings went through the ring and had sold the first two for reasonable prices.

“I was happy to keep the last one but I was in New Zealand I just missed out on saying to Tas (Rielley) don’t let that one go or put a bigger price on her and I guess that’s one that would have been nice to have hung onto because she would have been pretty valuable in the future as a broodmare as well.”

The yearling, which was to race at I’ll Have A Bit, was sold to McArdle’s Redgum Racing for $48,000.

I’ll Have A Bit was retired from racing last May with prize money of $686,385 and was sent to the breeding barn where she was served last September by Justify (USA).

But Breese had been lucky with Tickle My which he bred but couldn’t get a buyer because there was no interest in her as she was a bit off-set in the knees.

She finished with $786,175 in prize money to make it all worthwhile.

Dark Alley ridden by Craig Williams wins the McGrath Real Estate BM70 Handicap at Geelong Racecourse on April 26, 2020 (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

Veteran stud master Malcolm Boyd echoes what are a lot in racing say about breeders, trainers and owners lacking patience when it comes to producing a genuine, local stayer.

Boyd stands German import Lucas Cranach at his Bullarook Park Stud at Avenal and has slowly watched interest in the stallion dwindle.

Lucas Cranach, trained by Anthony Freedman at Flemington, ran a narrow third in the 2011 Melbourne Cup and then bowed out of racing after a victory at his next start in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield in February 2012.

He started his stud duties in 2013 with 103 mares, followed it up with 96 the next season and then the third year blues struck with only 55 mares. The stallion produced something of a comeback with 87 mares in 2016 and then dropped back to 51, then 32 and last year served only 14 mares.

His stud fee has always been advertised at $5500 and his fertility hovers around 90 per cent.

Boyd admits Lucas Cranach (Mamool/Lots Of Love), who was retired because of injury, hasn’t had the quality of mares that could have made him as a stallion and says lack of patience is the other big factor in why interest in him has diminished.

He is yet to produce a stakes winner and Boyd is unsure if he did whether it would generate any more interest in his stallion, but he hopes it could put him on the map.

And he believes the best chance of Lucas Cranach producing that elusive stakes winner is Dark Alley which resumed over 2418m at Geelong last Sunday after finishing fourth in the Adelaide Cup (3200m) seven weeks ago.

Ridden by Craig Williams and trained at Horsham by Paul Preusker, the four year-old came from last to cruise to a comfortable 2.5 length victory and will now be set for the Listed The Andrew Ramsden  (2800m) at Flemington on May 16.

The winner of the race gets a golden ticket into the Melbourne Cup.

Dark Alley was bred by one of Boyd’s long term clients, John Fiteni, who races the gelding with his partner Kathy Stewart. They also race last year’s Group 2 Adelaide Cup winner, Surprise Baby which won the Group 3 Bart Cummings (2500m) in the lead-up to the Melbourne Cup where the five year-old finished fifth, but beaten less than a length.

And Surprise Baby finished second in last year’s The Andrew Ramsden by a short half head.

Boyd said Lucas Cranach’s progeny had enjoyed a lot of recent success on the track, kicked off by Michelle Payne’s Jukila which won at Stawell.  Mylex won at Moe on Anzac Day, while Danluca won at the same meeting. All are five year-olds from his first crop. The Cartoonist, another five year-old, won at Canterbury and four year-old Diamond Luke won at Kilmore in recent days.

The 73 year-old said the Lucas Cranach progeny were now getting a bit of age about them and starting to mature and were aimed at their right distance.

“You are dreaming if you think you are going to get a two year-old out of him,” Boyd said.

“It’s nice to get a winner or two out of him. They need 1600m-plus up to two miles.

“We definitely haven’t got enough patient people.  About 90 per cent of horses don’t reach their potential because of lack of patience and bad management, but that’s the way the industry is and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Boyd said if he was training any by Lucas Cranach he wouldn’t be kicking off their racing careers until they were four year-olds or late three year-olds.

He said last year was the stallion’s worst one for serving mares.

“They just say it takes too long and they just don’t want to breed one (stayer),” Boyd said.

“He has got to get a stakes winner before they take notice and that’s the way the game is and I’ve been in it a long time. I know it happens and I don’t make any excuses about it.

“You probably need that stakes winner from the first couple of crops. There would be more interest in him if he could get a stakes winner or two now, but it wouldn’t save his career.

“You have got to get the good mares that go to those other yuppie stallions.”

Boyd’s 300 acre property is on the market and he isn’t sure what lies ahead for Lucas Cranach, but says he deserves to keep serving mares.

And he said he’d been quite happy with what Lucas Cranach had been able to achieve, especially by getting 200 mares in his first two seasons.

“It’s not that he didn’t get the mares but it was the quality of the mares and unfortunately he isn’t going to command them,” Boyd said.

“It’s sad because he can get horses that can gallop over a distances but unless you can get that stakes winner it makes it difficult.

“But Dark Alley might go on and become a stakes winner as he shows a lot of potential.”

Boyd also stands Last Typhoon which is by Street Cry and was the only foal produced by five time Group 1 winning mare Typhoon Tracy who died in 2012.

Despite a modest race record, Boyd said Last Typhoon could be “anything” and his oldest progeny are yearlings. He said there was no better breed stallion standing in Victoria and there was nothing to say he couldn’t throw a good horse.

“It’s pretty tough game and if it was easy, everyone would be doing it,” he said.

“I’ve seen a lot come and go.”

Boyd, who has been in the breeding industry for more than 30 years, started at Camperdown in the Western District before relocating to Avenal about 19 years ago.

And while Boyd is hoping for Lucas Cranach of being capable of salvaging some glory, Dark Alley’s owner John Fiteni could be faced with the happy prospect of having two starters in the Melbourne Cup as he also owns Surprise Baby which he bought for $5000 on an online auction in New Zealand.

Fiteni, who is the construction industry, has been breeding horses at Bullarook Park Stud for nearly 18 years and now uses X Factor Pedigrees and another pedigree expert  for his matings which are rated with potential mares

“Everything I do now is rated,” he said.

“That’s how I do my breeding and that’s how I pick my horses before I buy any. We have a ratings system that we use now.”

Under his ratings, he paid $10,000 for an Animal Kingdom/Bianca filly – Minola – which has won her last two starts for Preusker.

Fiteni is perhaps a little lucky to still have Dark Alley which he bred from his mare Bleverdeen (Blevic) at Bullarook Park Stud.

“I took him to the Adelaide Magic Millions Sale and they only offered me $40,000 for him and I said no and I think the bloke’s words were that I had rocks in my head,” Fetini said.

“It takes a long time from a yearling and what he is today.

“Paul has got his sister (Dark Lever) in work at the moment and she’ll go back out to the paddock and then come back in again. Paul likes her and she is bit bigger than Dark Alley.”

Fiteni said he doesn’t get too carried away about the possibility of having two Melbourne Cup runners as a lot can go wrong.

While many breeders want an early runner, Fiteni admits he has probably get 10 or 12 by Lucas Cranach in the paddock but says he is not an easy stallion to breed from and must be sent to the right mare.

It’s just going to take time,” he said.

“But if you don’t get the matching right then you are wasting your time.

“You would think more people in Victoria would be going to Lucas. It’s like all stallions, if they don’t start off good and get winners, they all disappear off the face of the earth.

“You would think the little breeder would go to him and be patient and wait.”

Fiteni said a half-brother to Dark Alley – Peaky Blinders which was by Bullarook stallion Strategic Maneuver – had won four races from 14 starts and was shaping up to be a good horse but sadly passed away of colic.

Fiteni has about 20 broodmares and says he also has a fair bit of success with buying horses from New Zealand without spending a lot of money.

Fiteni, who has a plumbing business, and also looks after the manufacturing for a company called Atco Structures and Logistics, is based in Queensland but is currently working in Western Australia.

He bought Dark Alley’s dam, Bleverdeen, which is a full sister to 2006 Herbert Power Stakes winner, Shewan.

AgriFutures Australia and Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) have commissioned a research project ‘Improving the detection of parasitic infections and control strategies in horses’ to The University of Melbourne. It is anticipated that the results of this survey, together with those from other studies in the project, will help us to develop guidelines for strategic and effective control of worms in Australian Thoroughbred horses.

One of the objectives of this project is to assess the existing worm control practices used by Thoroughbred horse breeder/farm managers. The study requires one person on the farm (usually the operator or manager who looks after worm management) to complete an online questionnaire.

You can access the questionnaire by clicking here:

Your cooperation in completing this survey is invaluable and the TBA and the researchers will be very grateful for your time. It will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete this survey, so please help us to understand how are you controlling worms in horses on your farm? This online survey will close on the 31st May 2020.

One lucky participant will receive a 4-night accommodation voucher in the Williams Inglis Hotel, Warwick  Farm during the 2021 Easter Sale, so please include your mobile number at the end of the survey.

This will be an anonymous survey but if you would like to know more at any stage, please feel free to contact Ghazanfar Abbas, PhD Student by phone (03) 9731 2060 or email (ghazanfar.abbas@student.unimelb.edu.au) or Abdul Jabbar, Associate Professor in Veterinary Parasitology by phone (03) 9731 2022 or email (jabbara@unimelb.edu.au).

All information collected in the survey will remain confidential as per Australian privacy laws.

Looking forward to seeing many responses from TBA members.


Above: Alinghi winning the 2004 G1 Thousand Guineas

A thumb through the history books of Blue Gum Farm and it’s hard not to be impressed.

Way back in 1963, a filly by the name of Serene Image ensured that Graham and Margaret Campbell caught the racing bug. Three years after purchasing the filly, the pair established their first base in Victoria, a small farm at East Doncaster on the outskirts of Melbourne.

Numerous champion stallions stood at their new property at Euroa in the decades following, including Noalcoholic, Rubiton and Encosta De Lago.

Phil Campbell purchased the farm in 2003 from his parents alongside his wife Patti, the same year that Blue Gum sold four-time Group 1 winner Alinghi at Oaklands Junction.

“Alinghi was a very, very special one,” Phil said.

“She was such a lovely filly from day one, she had such a great temperament.”

The mighty Elvstreoem then took the Blue Gum team on a great ride, they syndicated a 50% interest in the son of Danehill and he delivered with victories in the 2005 C.F. Orr Stakes and Dubai Duty Free Stakes, before retiring him to stud duties.

The team pulled of a similar coup in syndicating multiple Group 1 winning sprinter Turffontein in 2010 and the stallion remains a backbone of their breeding operation to this day.

Standing for just $6,600 in 2020, Turffontein is well represented across Saturday’s Victorian Owners & Breeders Race Day at Caulfield, including two of his progeny who are set to fly the flag in the rich $855,000 The Showdown (1200m) for two-year-olds.

Khoekhoe was knocked down for $50,000 at the 2019 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, while Cornucopia was sold for just $8,000 to long-time client Robbie Griffiths.

“It only goes to show that these horses don’t know how much they cost, “ Phil said.

“We have a rich history of selling yearlings to Robbie.”

John Sadler’s Sartorial Splendour is another on the program on Saturday hoping to continue the success of the many horses that have graduated through the Blue Gum Farm sales process.

The Brazen Beau colt is one of forty-four individual winners who have taken out sixty-four races since August, with sixteen of those winning multiple races this season. He is also one of five individual Stakes winners within that group, which have won a total of six Stakes races.

“Obviously you’ve got to have winners coming off the farm,” Phil said.

“You’ve got to be selling winners and you’ve got to be selling a product that trainers feel comfortable with.”

While the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is a cause for concern for breeders, Phil signalled out industry leaders for praise for their work in ensuring that racing continues during this challenging period.

“Whoever was responsible for putting those measures in place should receive a pat on the back,” Phil said.

“I think that it’s been a great positive for everyone’s state of mind.”

While disappointed that he can’t be there on-course, Phil is proud to continue to support the local industry through the sponsorship of the Blue Gum Farm VOBIS Gold Distaff (1400m) at Victorian Owners & Breeders Race Day at Caulfield today.

Article courtesy of Melbourne Racing Club

Harness racing trainer and driver Grant Campbell has dedicated his life to horses. His wife, Kerryn Manning, is a Harness Racing Hall Of Fame member, Cadeceus Club Living Legend and the world’s most winning reinswoman.

Having left school ‘too early’ and committed decades to the trotting caper, the daily grind was beginning to take its toll. Grant briefly considered employment away from horses, but for someone with his skillset and passion, that was never really an option.

Grant instead sought work with International horse transport company IRT.

“I was looking for something a bit new, so I decided to ring up IRT and pester them for a while,” Grant laughs.

Grant initially worked at the quarantine centre at Newmarket in the UK, working with horses before they travelled. Then, in 2012, he was asked to board a flight from Newmarket to Australia and perform the role of travelling groom, a job which he has completed on and off for the past eight years.

“Our role as grooms is that pretty much, we turn up for the loading of the horses, we load them into their boxes and then onto the plane. That’s probably the most dangerous part,” Grant said.

“We’re checking on them every time we take off and land. During the flight we’re making sure that they have food water and any treatments that they might need. We want them to stay relaxed and healthy.”

IRT has taken Grant all over the world, ensuring many long-haul shifts in the process. He estimates that he has completed nearly 200 flights, which he maintains is a small figure compared to others who have likely chalked up 1000’s.

“I enjoy it, but it is challenging,” Grant said.

“You get through the flight ok, but some of the American flights can be somewhere between 30-36 hours.

“You never seem to switch off, you’re always listening out. You hit turbulence or something and you’re always thinking about the horses and need to check on them.”

While Grant’s an unabashed Harness Racing man, he does feel privileged to have been able to care for so many champion thoroughbreds and legendary stallions while still preparing standardbreds alongside his wife.

The mighty Redoute’s Choice understandably rates high on his list, while Grant’s latest flight into Sydney included international raiders Young Rascal and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Addeybb.

“I’m a horse lover and to be around these champion horses is a real thrill,” Grant said.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has grounded IRT flights to a halt for the time-being, Grant has no doubt about the company’s importance to not just the Thoroughbred and Harness Racing industries, but to the many people who choose to fly their beloved equestrian, show and even pleasure horses all over the world with IRT.

Article courtesy of Melbourne Racing Club

Breeding season ensures a hectic schedule for many throughout the thoroughbred industry, including the team of vets at Avenel Equine Hospital.

Dr Katie Wilcox has worked with Avenel for the past five years, at the height of breeding season she will inspect 60 mares every day, visiting three farms in the heart of Victoria’s Thoroughbred breeding region.

With the covering season officially commencing in September 1 each year, Katie explains that there is always an appetite from breeders to have their mares covered right away.

“It sort of gets underway toward the end of August, we’re inspecting mares around two weeks before [September 1],” Katie said.

“We are making sure that the mares are cycling, trying to get them to cycle.

“Some breeders are trying to book their mares in right on September 1.”

As the season progresses, booking mares with particular stallions, who cover up to 4 or 5 mares per day, while they are at their most fertile, can be a delicate balancing act.

“Obviously it is [busy] with the stallion farms,” Katie said.

“Sometimes you have 5 or 6 farms calling up for the one cover spot.”

Breeding vets will then complete countless visits out to farms to ensure the good health of both mares and foals during pregnancy and then birth.

The 24/7 nature of the job may not sound appealing to some, but for those who have worked with horses their whole lives, it’s simply a side consequence of following their passion.

“I usually work 15-hour days during the season, 7 days a week,” Katie said.

“That includes some all-nighters.”

While the covering season officially commences September 1 each year, mares will begin to foal down from August 1 each year. Mares generally tend to foal down in the depths of the night, which means that farms are required to have staff on as ‘night watch’ attendants.

The Covid-19 pandemic has altered the landscape of the breeding industry. Just recently, Inglis’ famous Australian Easter Yearling Sale was completed as a virtual online auction, a surreal experience given the thousands who usually descend on the Warwick Farm precinct each year.

Katie hopes that Victoria will be able to overcome similar challenges.

“I would hope that we can get our Victorian sales done in July,” Katie said.

“Ours are still commercial farms and are part of the business, so they still have to go through their usual processes.”

In the meantime, it is business as usual for the team at Avenel, who will be busy continuing to ensure the good health of our next batch of equine stars.

Article courtesy of Melbourne Racing Club

Woodside Park Stud will present 10 high-quality yearlings to be sold online via the upcoming Inglis Digital Sale on April 24th – 29th.

Details of each lot will be released this Friday and will include yearlings by Victoria’s Champion Stallion Written Tycoon, his highest rated son and promising first season sire Rich Enuff as well as Champion European First Season Sire Cable Bay, whose first Australian yearlings have been very well received. 

With these yearlings originally set to be sold at the Inglis Melbourne Gold Yearling Sale, the postponement of the sale saw Woodside Park Stud make the strategic decision to complete their preparation and use the digital platform to offer them for sale, rather than spell them and begin their sale preparation again in a month or two.

In uncertain times, we felt that by offering all lots as unreserved, it would continue to aid our clients. “By selling unreserved, we hope to assist our clients to continue to grow their businesses beyond COVID-19,” stated Woodside Park Stud CEO, James Price.

The Inglis Digital Platform has developed at a rapid pace as a result of the restrictions in place due to COVID-19 and the recent Inglis Easter Yearling Sale demonstrated vendors and buyers can achieve successful results.

“It is going to be difficult to change an age old tradition of presenting yearlings at a complex for potential buyers, but via exceptional videography, not seen before on a digital yearling sale platform, we believe we can achieve a successful result,”  said Price.

The standard vision will be available but included in each two-minute video will be footage of the horse working in a sand roll, trotting and cantering, giving buyers an exceptional degree of insight. All lots will also have a scoping certificate available on the sale page for everybody to view.

Woodside Park Stud has left no stone unturned to give buyers certainty in the product they’re bidding on from the comfort of their own home or office.

The greatest confidence that can be provided to buyers is through the highest level of transparency, so we urge and encourage anyone interested in our yearlings to contact the team.

Matty Upton 0438 046 066

James Price 0409 806 595

Woodside Park Stud are committed to providing our clients with outstanding service and quality bloodstock, and we believe Inglis’ online platform gives us the opportunity to continue to do this.

Contact Inglis finance to arrange your credit for this sale.

Good luck and Happy bidding!

Khoekhoe ridden by Fred W Kersley wins the The Showdown at Caulfield Racecourse. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

A chance encounter about five years ago, was the beginning of the story of Khoekhoe (pronounced qwey-qwey) winning the coveted Showdown crown on Saturday.

Susan Keating of Liverpool Farm and Daniel Nevill of Hollylodge Thoroughbreds could never have imagined that their encounter would lead to the win on Saturday.

Susan is the owner of Liverpool Farm in Strathbogie, where she has a broodmare band of about 10 mares. Daniel is the owner of Hollylodge Thoroughbreds in Avenel. In 2016, Susan had a colt by Casino Prince out of Thundarosa, who was being sold through the Hollylodge Thoroughbreds draft. The colt was knocked down for $40,000 to Lindsay Park Racing and the rest as they say is history.

Ever since then, Daniel and Susan have had a strong working relationship. Daniel will foal down her mares, wean them and prep them for her prior to sales.

Not only is Susan a staunch Victorian breeder but she also holds down a full-time position in the army.

Getting up in the early hours of the morning, she feeds and tends to her horses before she goes off to work. But for Susan who adores the industry and her horses, admits that she can get a little ‘too attached to her mares’, even though she knows she shouldn’t.

Susan has had previous success with the Blue Gum Farm sire Turrfontein and bred stakes winning mare, Lyuba. Lyuba won the Group 3 VRC Skip Sprint and is out of dam Dancing with Amy.

When asked about Khoekhoe, Susan says that he was a lovely foal and was nicknamed ‘Jimmy’. Susan said that she is a big fan of Turffontein and it was a ‘no brainer’ to send the dam Walvis Bay to him.

While Susan doesn’t want to have to part ways with her beloved horses, she is realistic that you can’t keep them all and this ended up with Khoekhoe headed to the 2019 Inglis Premier sale as part of Hollylodge’s draft, where he was knocked down for $50,000 to Matt Cumani.

Cumani was impressed with Khoekhoe from the moment he laid eyes on the colt but is quick to credit Tom Reilly (Aushorse CEO) with ‘finding’ him.

“He (Khoekhoe) wasn’t actually on my list, but I’ve been great mates with Tom for a long time and he suggested I take a look at the ‘Turffontein colt’” Cumani reveals. “Khoekhoe has a fantastic walk on him and is beautifully athletic. That’s the most important thing I look for at the sales.  If they look athletic and walk like an athlete, then surely there’s more of a chance they will be athletic.”

At Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday, the second ever edition of The Showdown was decided in the final strides of the race, with Khoekhoe securing his portion of $913,500 prize for his connections.

From barrier seven, Khoekhoe jumped straight on the bit and settled into the race midfield. Travelling comfortably the entire journey, his jockey apprentice Fred Kersley, sat patiently waiting for a gap to appear. With 100 metres to go, it looked as if race leader River Night (Night of Thunder (IRE)) would take the honours, but Fred and Khoekhoe stormed home to claim victory by a head, with Galactic Fury (Street Boss (USA)) three and a half lengths behind in third.

“You dream of a horse like this!” said Matt Cumani after the race.

“We were a little worried after Echuca,” he continued. “But to see him do that today was just unbelievable. I can’t thank everyone enough – the team, the group of owners we’ve got in this horse and Fred as well. He’s a fantastic rider and really pulled it together today. What a horse, he’s a very exciting type!”

Matt had two runners in the race exclusive for the two-year-old progeny of VOBIS Sires’ nominated stallions – stablemate Coup De Tonnerre finished ninth – and at times, the trainer didn’t know where to look.

“I thought Fred was just brilliant on him,” said Matt. “He never really panicked and was just waiting for the gap and when it came, it opened perfectly for him and the horse did the rest. A fantastic result!”

While Matt Cumani was delighted at Caulfield, Daniel and his partner Dr Katie Wilcox were over the moon with the result.

Daniel said that to see Khoekhoe win on the second running of the Showdown on Saturday, was a moment that keeps you going.

“I didn’t think that we would see Khoekhoe win the Showdown. He was a lovely horse, but I just thought of him as a three-year-old 1400 metre type of horse.” Daniel said with a smile.

“I only breed to Victorian stallions and having a race series (VOBIS Sires) like this that only Victorian stallions can race in, showcases Victorian quality. How great is it to see a horse sired by Turffontein take out The Showdown, we need to support our local industry and our local farms,” Daniel remarked.

“Hollylodge is about breeding a sound race horse to make the track, it is how I have structured my business.”

Khoekhoe is the seventh winner from as many foals out of mare Walvis Bay (Cape Cross). Named after a port town on the western coast of Namibia, the mare was a $19,000 purchase at the 2009 Inglis Australian Easter Broodmare Sale.

Standing at Euroa’s Blue Gum Farm, Turffontein is enjoying a very good season, led by triple-Listed Stakes winner Mandela Affect, dual Group 3 winner Bold Thruster and crowd favourite Widgee Turf, and has over 55% winners to runners. A terrific sprinter miler, Turffontein counts the Group 1 MRC Sir Rupert Clark Stakes and Group 1 MVRC William Reid Stakes amongst his five victories. The chestnut stallion was also Group 1 placed on another three occasions.

Saturday’s result makes it the second win from the colt’s three starts, with Fred partnering the horse at all three occasions. After finishing ninth on debut at Ballarat on 23rd February, he won at Echuca earlier this month before becoming the second-ever winner of The Showdown. The future for Khoekhoe – whose name is one of the languages spoken in the South African country from which his dam draws her name – looks bright!

Greyworm ridden by Tommy Berry wins the Group Three TAB Hall Mark Stakes at Royal Randwick (Steve Hart Photographics)

In a genuine display of sprinting prowess, Greyworm put the sword to a number of vaunted rivals in Saturday’s Group Three TAB Hall Mark Stakes over 1200m at Royal Randwick.

It was only the second tilt at black type level for the lightly raced 5YO, who had finished a little over a length off the pace when fourth in last month’s Group Three Maurice McCarten Stakes.

However, this time Greyworm wasn’t taking any prisoners and led throughout to score comfortably and leave four Group One winners in his slipstream.

Not surprisingly, the win was cheered on from afar by some very happy part-owners in Gary Lui and Hannah Martin of Eden Park Stud who, for obvious reasons, couldn’t be on course. That said, given time demands on the couple, it’s a toss up whether they could have made it to Sydney anyway!

“We purchased Eden Park Stud two years ago and it’s been pretty busy from the get go,” Hannah Martin explains. “We’ve got 45 broodmares on farm and will be foaling down 37 this spring.

“Eden Park has a few private spellers too, including Chautauqua who is getting ready for the next stage of his career – this time as a show horse.

“Gary and I have shares in about 15 gallopers here in Australia and race a further 15 in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore with friends and clients. Quite a few of the horses that we foal down on farm will ultimately race overseas too.”

Based in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges, Eden Park was formerly owned by Joe and Daira Vella, under the Wingrove Park banner, and the Vellas also own a share in Greyworm.

With eight wins and four placings from 14 starts and $486,350 in stakes, Greyworm was purchased for just $110,000 at the 2018 Inglis Digital January Monthly Sale. Although unraced at the time, Greyworm had three official barrier trial successes for Kris Lees, making him quite the bargain … particularly when the then 3YO won two of his first three starts for his new owners, along with a half length third at Caulfield.

“It was around the time we bought Eden Park and like most of us in this industry, I always keep my eye out for any catalogues – digital or otherwise,” Martin reveals. “I was surprised to get him at that price … he’d won all his trials and passed the vet checks. He’s just a been a terrific racehorse and really capped it all off on Saturday.”

Greyworm’s success was a ‘hall mark’ of another kind for Martin too after a lifetime involvement with horses.

“I grew up with them and started riding trackwork for Gerald Ryan in Sydney,” Martin points out. “I moved around a bit and eventually ended up riding work in Hong Kong where I met Gary, but at one stage I was apprenticed to Bart and James Cummings and James had three in the race for Godolphin on Saturday: the favourite Deprive (a multiple Group winner), along with Trekking (Stradbroke winner) and Kementari (Randwick Guineas) who finished second and third.”

The thoroughbred industry has long held a fascination for Lui too, but after growing up in New Zealand, he chose to steer aeroplanes instead of horses: splitting his time between flights and farm work.

“The first horse I had a share in raced in Hong Kong and he ended up winning four races … by that time I was hooked,” Lui reveals. “I’ve had some good horses along the way including Time For War (a Group Two winner at two and sire of Group Two Silver Slipper winner Time To Reign) and Newhaven Park’s Group One winner, Xtravagant, but Greyworm is very special as he’s tied in so much with Eden Park.

“Full marks to Hawkes Racing – I’ve had horses with them for quite a while and they’ve done a marvellous job with Greyworm.”

Reminiscent of the Remington man, Lui likes Greyworm that much that he has bought the flashy grey’s sire, Master of Design.

“We’ll be standing him at Eden Park this year,” Lui adds. “He hasn’t had a great deal of commercial success but he produces maturing types that are suited to all conditions.

“Aside from Greyworm, he’s also produced a Group One winner in The Mitigator, while the stallion has some good runners in Hong Kong too including Lakeshore Eagle, who has won four races, some A$700,000 in stakes and hails from the same crop as Greyworm.”

Meanwhile, Victorian breeder, Jenn Davis, is a great believer in ‘miracles’ … especially after Greyworm’s Hall Mark success.

Davis purchased Greyworm’s dam, Miracle Magic – again through an Inglis Digital Sale – with the mare carrying a full brother to Greyworm at the time.

Bred by Adam Sangster’s Swettenham Stud, Miracle Magic would win four races and is directly descended from the Sangster family’s Champion Filly, Midnight Fever, winner of the 1987 Group One Blue Diamond Stakes.

Indeed, Miracle Magic would be covered by the then Swettenham based Master of Design for her first four seasons at stud, with Greyworm being her second foal.

“That was a tremendous result on Saturday and a huge boost for Miracle Magic,” Davis enthused. “Anthony Cranston and I only have seven mares at his property near Emerald … Anthony’s a breaker and pre-trainer and so we’ve got about 20 horses on farm. Amazing how quickly the numbers grow!”

At least three of those ‘numbers’ come courtesy of Miracle Magic.

“I purchased Miracle Magic for $13,500 in 2016 through Nick Melmeth, who runs the digital sales for Inglis, and she produced a colt that spring which we called Diesel Design,” Davis adds. “Diesel Design is part-owned by Monica Croston and Gerrard Gilmour who train him at Pakenham. He’s only had a couple of starts but is back in work and showing quite a bit of ability.

“We then had an O’Lonhro colt who has been broken in and due to trial in a couple of months, while Miracle Magic produced a Highland Reel filly last spring and is back in foal to Highland Reel at Swettenham.

“Greyworm’s success has certainly changed the entire dynamic … there’s been quite a bit of interest – especially after Saturday – in purchasing the O’Lonhro colt, while the Highland Reel could turn out to be quite a valuable filly as well.”

A secondary school teacher, Davis is also a keen, albeit now, ex, triathlete.

“As a triathlete you tend to get a bit consumed by it all and I reckon I’ve just swapped one obsession for another! You can get carried away a bit with the love and racing and breeding and next thing you know … horses everywhere!”

Article courtesy of Aushorse

Above: Macleay as a yearling (Image courtesy of Breednet)

While it was a big day for Victorian bred and sired horses at Caulfield on Saturday, the flag was flying proudly for the state at interstate meetings on the weekend.

After celebrating the success of Sun Stud’s stallion Fiorente with filly Florent scoring in the rich VOBIS Sires Guineas, the stud had more success in Sydney when another of its stallions – Ready for Victory – produced his first winner with Macleay at Kembla Grange.

Greyworm gave his sire, Master of Design, his second individual stakes winner with victory at Randwick on Saturday.

It was at the same meeting where Fender, by boom Swettenham Stud stallion Toronado, remained undefeated with three wins from three starts.

And Snitz, bred by Victoria’s Ken Breese, and consigned through the 2016 VOBIS Gold yearling Inglis Sale by Tas Rielley’s Basinghall Farm at Nagambie, won his fourth race in succession. The five-year-old gelding is out of Breese’s dual Group winning mare Tickle My and sold for $75,000.

Trainer Gerald Ryan said the two-year-old gelding Macleay, having its first start, shows plenty of promise for owners, Sun Bloodstock.

Sun Stud’s sales and nominations manager, Phil Marshall, said it had been a good weekend for the stud.

He said it was good to have one of their own horses winning in Sydney and Florent winning a big race at Caulfield.

“It was great Macleay won the maiden on debut for Ready For Victory,” he said.

“He was impressive too. He missed the kick and didn’t win by far but Gerald has got a good opinion of him and wanted to take him there to give him a nice easy win and then take him through the grades.

“But he is a really nice horse going forward and will make a lovely three year-old.”

Marshall admitted that Ready For Victory, who covered 61 mares last season, is at the bottom of Sun Stud’s roster and stood for a service fee of $6600.

“If he can get a few winners on the board it will help him in the long run,” Marshall said.

“It was a great training performance by Tony Noonan to back-up Florent but apparently it was always the plan.”

The Team Hawkes trained Greyworm, by Victorian stallion Master of Design, won the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes at Randwick.

The gelding had won three trials for Kris Lees and then was sold unraced for $110,000 on the Inglis Online Sale in January, 2018.

Airline captain Gary Liu, who purchased Joe and Daira Vella’s Wingrove Park Stud and renamed it Eden Park Stud, was the winning bidder and bought the grey with the intention of testing the Hong Kong market. But he finished racing the gelding which had three starts for Cranbourne trainer Mick Kent, for two wins and a third, before being transferred to the Hawkes camp.

Vella, who downsized to another horse property, is in the ownership of Greyworm.

Liu revealed he liked Master Design, which had stood at Greta West Stud after starting his stallion career with Swettenham Stud, so much that he bought him. He was still owned by Swettenham Stud and a syndicate of individual owners.

Liu said Greyworm had passed the vet check to go Hong Kong, but in the meantime they sent a different horse to Hong Kong.

“So we kept him and decided to race him and see how he goes,” Liu said.

“People always want trial winners in Hong Kong and although they were pretty eye-catching, even though they were at Newcastle, and that’s why we bought him. Another person who was bidding for him, I think it was a syndicate from Perth, bid $100,000 and then I went to $110,000 and that’s where he stopped.

“I think back them it was the highest price for a horse online.

“He wasn’t mature so as a three year-old he mightn’t have been any good to send to Hong Kong. He just needed to mature and then he just got better and better.”

Liu said it took about two years for him to negotiate the deal to buy Master of Design who has been at is property since January.

“We are only hobby breeders but if there are commercial interests, we will try our best to accommodate it,” he said.

“We have got a lot of friends who race and like to breed and if we can get 20 or 30 mares to him this year that will be great.”

Liu said he would keep Master of Design’s fee at around $3000. Master of Design got his first stakes winner last year when The Mitigator won New Zealand’s Group 3 Arc Eagle and then in January he won the Group 1 Thorndon Mile.

Master of Design only served 17 mares last year and Liu admits four or five of them belonged to him.

He has about 80 horses on the farm and about 37 of the broodmares are in foal and he owns most of them.

Eden Park Stud is also standing two other stallions – Glacial Gold (USA) and Diamond Tathagata.

“Glacial Gold is an albino stallion and my wife Hannah basically likes to breed for the colours,” he said.

“They are guaranteed buckskin or palomino horses. That’s her hobby which I support and I breed my horses to race.”







Florent after winning the The VOBIS Sires Guineas at Caulfield Racecourse. (Ross Holburt/Racing Photos)

Jubilant Mornington trainer Tony Noonan has given a glowing endorsement to the Victorian Owners and Breeders Race Day at Caulfield.

Noonan’s three-year-old filly Florent, won the VOBIS Sires Guineas (1600m) starting at $51 and was ridden by his son Jake.

Florent is by Sun Stud’s Melbourne Cup winning stallion Fiorente (IRE).

“You could not highlight it enough for Victorian people, breeders, trainers, owners and jockeys,” remarked Noonan.

“They all get their little snip of the ticket out of it. VOBIS isn’t the sole reason why you buy a horse but it is a good bonus to have with it.”

Noonan pointed out the similarities between the prize money won by the Michael Moroney trained Tofane in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday. Tofane won $280,120 and Florent won $225,000.

The All Aged Stakes had a prize pool of $485,000. The VOBIS Sires Guineas prize pool was $427,500.

“To give Victorian people a chance to race for that sort of money is just outstanding,” Noonan said.

“VOBIS is an outstanding scheme that we are lucky to have and we should be very positive about it.”

Florent showed her strength by winning at Caulfield just three days after racing at Geelong where she finished fifth over 1400m in a benchmark 64 for three year-olds.

Noonan bought the filly, out of Stockpin (Pins), at the March 2018 Gold Coast Magic Millions Sale.

“I was keen about the stallion Fiorente and with help of a mate who is in the horse, Jammie Dillon, he found her in the sale and then we went about doing some homework.

“We bought her for $22,000 which looks pretty good now.”

Noonan said the filly was probably in the wrong sale to make big money and she wasn’t big type which would have discouraged some buyers.

“She had a nice pedigree and size doesn’t worry me that much as long as they are strong enough’’ Noonan said.

He said the filly showed enough early ability for him to be confident enough that she would win races.

“She showed her early ability as she was able to race at two when the pedigree wouldn’t have suggested that,” Noonan said.

“She had two runs at the back end of the season and they were just educational type runs and she performed well at both of them.

“She stepped up another grade in her next preparation and has continued to step up this time.”

Noonan admits that during his 35 years as a trainer most of his success has been with horses he has been able to buy.

He said it was always a thrill to have success with horses bought at the right price.

“You usually fill them with people who are passionate about their racing and want to have an a bit of fun,” Noonan said.

“You don’t fill them with gurus because they will tell you that they are too cheap so there must be something wrong with them. It usually makes it a better ride.”

Noonan said it was important to have good owners in a horse and most of those in the ownership of Florent would have been at Mornington in December last year to witness her maiden victory over 1500m after she’d run two seconds.

“They are keen, passionate people about their racing and it’s great to get a result for them,” he said.

“They’re the type of people that in six months when we get the chance to celebrate at a lunch somewhere, those same people’s enthusiasm or excitement won’t have dimmed in that timw. When they get to greet each other and hug each other and watch the replay again, it won’t be any different to what it would have been if they’d been there on the day.”

When Noonan bought Florent at the sales, she was the only horse by Fiorente in the catalogue.

And while Noonan liked Fiorente then, he likes him even more now.

“I have sent a mare to him and I think he is a very good stallion,” Noonan said.

“He probably flies under the radar a bit as hasn’t had the best of mares in his time.  I think you’ll see the best of them when they get to five and probably six. And I think this filly will probably be better when she gets to that age bracket.

“But I think they are a good tough breed.”

Noonan says he’ll probably venture to Adelaide with the filly, but probably won’t target the Oaks (2000m) but a Group 2 for fillies and mares over 1600m on the same day seems more favourable.

“There is a fillies race at Flemington which leads into the Mahogany series so she might have a run at a mile and quarter and that will do her this preparation,” he said.

“Her pedigree suggests she will get that trip and with a bit of racing underneath her I think she will get there.”

Jammie Dillon who found Florent describes himself as a “scourer” of sales catalogues. He owns broodmares and has about 10 horses in work with his ownership varying from 100 per cent, 50 per cent,10 per cent and five per cent.

“Tony has been a friend of the family for a long time and I have the majority of horses with him,” Dillon said.

“Because we are very close, he is the professional and I’m the mug who scours the catalogues and I’ll pick them out and he’ll give the yes, no, maybe, let’s have a look or get rid of that, etc, etc

“What happened with this one was that I found her passed in. I loved the breeding, Fiorente out of a Pins mare from New Zealand. The second dam is by Masterclass (USA) and Tony had Show No Emotion (NZ) by the stallion. Show No Emotion won four Group 2 races for him and Masterclass being by The Minstrel (CAN), by Northern Dancer (CAN) so when you dig down into their page there are guineas winners, derby winners and 2000m handicap winners.”

Dillon said he was always looking for staying horses.

And while he and Noonan weren’t at the sales they knew that fellow Mornington trainer Shane Nichols was and they asked him to have a look at the filly and he reported back that there was absolutely nothing wrong with her but she was tiny.

“So Tony and I had a meeting and said let’s buy her for $22,000,” he said.

“I purchased her and put her into Tony’s syndication bucket and was sold overnight.

“She had been passed in and I said to Magic Millions that I’d like to buy that horse. They wanted $22,000 and we didn’t bid for her live but purchased her after she’d been passed in.

“Because she had VOBIS we just thought it was worth a punt off the back of her breeding.”

Getting Florent to the races hasn’t come without its dramas.

Dillon, who has been around horses all his life, recalls the day she arrived on the truck from Queensland to his Moorooduc property. When the transport driver led her into the paddock and removed her head collar only for the filly to take off and run through a fence.

Luckily she didn’t hurt herself and two weeks later she ran through another fence when she was being rugged for the first time. Again luckily there was no injury.

“I said to my wife, who is a very good carer of thoroughbreds, you know what, this horse will be a star,” he said.

Dillon said Noonan is the master of conditioning horses and a brilliant trainer who perhaps became a little forgotten amongst the new wave of trainers.

Vainstream ridden by Noel Callow wins the Spendthrift Australia VOBIS Gold Sprint at Caulfield Racecourse (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

John Pascoe knew straight away that there was something he really liked about a filly that was about to go under the hammer at the March Inglis Thoroughbred Sale in 2007.

He admits he first spotted Cranbourne trainer Greg Eurell casting his eye over the filly which was by the rarely used Japanese stallion Yasey.

Pascoe, a former jockey who has been a hobby trainer at Moe since taking out his licence in 2003, parted with $6000 for the filly which was out of Occasionally Yours (The Challenge) which had won three races at the picnics.

Named Yasey San, the mare went onto win seven races for Pascoe, including three at Sandown over 1600m, 1700m and 1800m to accumulate nearly $120,000 in prize money.

But her biggest claim to fame came last Saturday at Caulfield when the chestnut mare’s five-year-old son, Vainstream by Bel Esprit caused something of an upset in the VOBIS Gold Sprint (1200m) with a one length victory in the affluent race.

Pascoe and his co-owners walked away with a cheque to take Vainstream’s earnings to $346,200.

While some saw it as an upset with the favourite Pippie finishing a disappointing sixth, it’s certainly not the way Pascoe summed it up. Just two starts earlier, Vainstream finished fifth but fewer than two lengths from Group 1 Oakleigh Plate winner, Pippie. He started at the whopping odds of 200-1 that day.

Then at his next start in the Listed Hareeba Stakes at Mornington last month, he finished less than a length from the winne, Diamond Effort.

Pascoe said his horse had been running some great races recently and he wasn’t surprised with the victory and his $12 starting price.

“It was a great win. He has been running some honest races and deserved to win,” Pascoe remarked.

“I weighed him up with the favourite (Pippie) who ran nearly a record race on a good three to beat him in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and this was 100m further on a soft five.”

Noel Callow won the first two races on Vainstream and his third and last ride on the gelding before last Saturday was when he finished third in the 2018 VOBIS Gold Dash when it was run over 1100m.  Saturday’s victory was the first time Callow had ridden the gelding since September 2018.

“He has been riding in other areas and he is a top rider but it’s just matter of pinning him down to book the rides.” Pascoe said.

Pascoe was always confident that Yasey San would produce a decent horse after having a good race record which included seven wins in her 48 race career which also featured nine placings. She raced up to 2100m but was unplaced over the long trip.

Pascoe said Yasey San’s first foal, Yasey Sun, was also by Bel Esprit and was shaping up to be reasonable horse but had wind issues. After initially starting under the care of Pascoe he has had won four wins to his name but is now under the care of fellow Moe trainer, Russell Cluning.

“Following his operation, he should be still be able to win races around the 58 rating I expect.” he said.

Pascoe also has a filly out of Yasey San, by Ready For Victory, which will be sent to the breakers next week.

“Prior to her, they were all colts, so we will have something to go on with her,” he said.

Yasey San is now in foal to another Sun Stud stallion, Palentino.

When Pascoe bought Yasey San at the 2007 sale, she was one of only two horses in the catalogue sired by Yasey. The other a colt, was sold for $1250 and went onto win two country races as Bigbadbongoman.

Pascoe went to the sales when he saw Greg Eurell looking at a horse.

“I was looking at another horse and Greg was looking at this filly, Yasey San. While she was very slim she was also very athletic looking,” Pascoe said.

“I went and had another look at her and decided I was going to buy her as she looked an athletic type.

“And that’s where it started.”

Yasey is by Sunday Silence (USA) and Pascoe said he was happy with the bloodlines.

The Japanese stallion served only 56 mares which produced 43 foals when he stood in Australia from 2004 to 2007. The stallion was exported to China in 2009.

Pascoe also has a gelding and a colt by Magnus out of Yasey San. The gelding hasn’t shown much from his two starts, but Pascoe is confident of the ability of the unnamed two year-old Magnus colt.

Pascoe said he didn’t have any hesitation in sending Yasey San to Sun Stud’s Bel Esprit who he described as a red-hot horse at the time.

“He was getting an array of winners and had won a Blue Diamond whilst still holding a reasonable service fee. he said.

“It’s like the first one out of the mare by Magnus wasn’t much chop, but the second one by Magnus is showing real potential. I don’t how the system works, like one is a chestnut and one is a bay and they have the same sire.

“We sent Yasey San to National Defense (in 2019)  but she missed twice so we went to Palentino and she fell in straight away but it’s going to be a late foal so we might have to miss a year with her due to time frames but we’ll just have to wait and see”

Although Pascoe hasn’t tried Vainstream beyond 1200m, he is confident he could be extended out to 1400m and 1600m.

Pascoe said he trains and races what he breeds and is supported by a loyal group of owners.

“If you get the bloodline right and it all starts happening, you just stick with it,” Pascoe said.

“I think you are bound to get a good horse.”

Pascoe has been involved with horses since he was 15 and rode in the 1960s with some success in city tracks.

“I used to ride track work at Moe for Jimmy Morgan and spent some time in Melbourne before I got too heavy.  I’ve always been involved in the industry’’ he said.

Yasey San was Pascoe’s first winner as a trainer and he admits she continues to fuel his passion for racing through Vainstream and the hope that she’ll produce another good one.

Easter Round Two – the live auction scheduled for July 5 of yearlings originally passed in at Easter One and those targeted specifically at the sale – will also now be open to select supplementary entries.

Supplementary applications will close at 5pm on Thursday April 30th.

Entry fee will be $1500+GST and modified commission terms will apply.

There will be no pass-in commission charged at the sale.

As previously announced, Inglis intends to hold Easter Round Two as a physical sale at Riverside Stables on Sunday July 5, but that will be dependent on any restrictions still in place in respect of COVID-19.

Should it not be possible to conduct the auction as a physical sale, Easter Round Two will be in the format of a virtual auction with online and telephone bidding, the same format as Easter Round One.

“We want to try and give every vendor the optimum opportunity to sell their horses where practicable and given there has been significant interest in adding additional select entries to the sale on July 5th from vendors, it seems an appropriate step to take to facilitate suitable yearlings,’’ Inglis General Manager of Bloodstock Sales and Marketing Sebastian Hutch said.

“There have been many enquiries in relation to all of our upcoming sales – The Chairman’s Sale, The Australian Broodmare Sale, Easter Round Two, The Australian Weanling Sale, The Melbourne Gold Sale, the Great Southern Sale and the Scone Yearling Sale – and every effort is being made to appropriately facilitate the needs of vendors, suppliers and buyers in a pragmatic manner.

“As previously advised, the intention is to re-evaluate the situation at the end of April and consider any further developments that may be necessary at that stage.

“The patience and understanding of all participants is appreciated at this time.’’

To request an entry into Easter Round Two, please contact a member of the Inglis Bloodstock Team or email Wayne Massingham at wayne.massingham@inglis.com.au

Blue Gum Press Release – 2020 Service Fees

On the eve of the Super Vobis Owners and Breeders race day at Caulfield, we at Blue Gum Farm are pleased to announce the service fees for our stallions for the 2020 breeding season.

Manhattan Rain, the sire of 2017 G1 Golden Slipper Stakes winner and Champion Australian 2YO She Will Reign, as well as a host of other Stakes winners, will stand at a fee of $13,200.  “What Manhattan Rain has already achieved is very exciting” said Philip Campbell recently, “but what is around the corner for this stallion is even more exciting to us” he continued. Manhattan Rain relocated to Blue Gum Farm in 2017 and his first Victorian sired crop were in great demand at this year’s Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale. There his progeny sold up to $310,000, averaged exceptionally well and are now in the care of some of this country’s very best trainers. The future looks exciting indeed for Encosta De Lago’s very best son.

The evergreen Turffontein, sire of recent multiple Stakes winners Mandela Effect and Singapore sprint star Bold Thruster, will stand at a fee of $6,600. Turffontein has sired the Group winning millionaires Widgee Turf and Fontein Ruby and the brilliant, multiple Group winning 2YO Fontiton and he continues to produce good solid racehorses in every crop. His two live chances, being Khoekhoe and Cornucopia, in The Vobis Sires Showdown for 2YO’s this weekend is further proof of that.

Owners and Breeders Day at Caulfield Racecourse 2019 (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

Racehorse ownership and breeding is about creating and fulfilling dreams and that will come in spades again this Saturday afternoon with the running of the sixth annual Victorian Owners & Breeders Raceday.

Whilst crowds will not be able to attend Caulfield Racecourse, owners and breeders across the state will be captivated to broadcasts as their much-loved animals compete in one of the seven VOBIS premier races to be decided on the day.

The raceday, which this year offers $2.2 million in prize money and bonuses, serves to celebrate the contribution owners and breeders make to the Victorian racing industry and reward those who breed, buy, own and race locally.

For the second year, the headline race will be The Showdown, a joint collaboration between Racing Victoria (RV), Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) and stud farms across Victoria that showcases Victorian stallions.

The landmark race, which is exclusive to the two-year-old progeny of VOBIS Sires’ nominated stallions, lived true to the motto of fulfilling dreams in its inaugural year when young Mornington trainer Matt Laurie landed the $1 million race with Prince of Sussex and declared “it’s as exciting a day as I’ve ever had”.

Managing owner Paul Dugan and his large band of part-owners were also celebrating, as was breeder Chris Jackson and Swettenham Stud, whose first season Victorian sire Toronado produced The Showdown winner.

TBV Executive Officer, Charmein Bukovec, said, “The Showdown is the evolution of a plan by TBV and RV to reward owners and support the breeders who have invested considerable time, energy and funds into Victorian racing and breeding.

“The Showdown not only promotes the fantastic array of progressive stallions standing in Victoria each year, it helps in educating owners and trainers about the many benefits of buying VOBIS Sires progeny.

“We’re excited this year to expand the VOBIS Sires program with the running of the first VOBIS Sires Guineas for three-year-olds, alongside the second edition of The Showdown, and I wish all breeders, stud farms and owners the best of luck.”

The Showdown of 2020, which will be run as Race 6 at 3.20pm (AET) for prizemoney and bonuses of $905,000, features a full line-up of 16 two-year-olds and four emergencies who have been assembled from 13 stables across three states.

The acceptors represent the progeny of 10 VOBIS Sires being Darley Northwood stallions Brazen Beau (4 acceptors) and Street Boss (4); ex-Darley sires Night of Thunder (3) and Kuroshio (1); Blue Gum Farm’s Turffontein (2); ex-Three Bridges sire, the late Unencumbered (2); Woodside Park’s Written Tycoon (1); Larneuk Stud’s Cluster (1); Sun Stud’s Fighting Sun (1) and Swettenham’s reigning titleholder Toronado who sired the first emergency, Miss Kansas.

The VOBIS Sires Guineas, which is the final event at 5.15pm (AET), offers prizemoney and bonuses of $452,500 with VRC Oaks placegetter Moonlight Maid the favourite for young Ballarat trainer Mitch Freedman.

The 18 Guineas acceptors represent the progeny of 11 VOBIS Sires including Toronado (3), Written Tycoon (3), Brazen Beau (1) and Street Boss (1) who also boast acceptors in The Showdown. The other Guineas’ Sires are Swettenham’s Puissance de Lune (2); Rosemont Stud’s Toorak Toff (2); Daisy Hill’s Americain (1);  Reward For Effort (1); and a trio of stallions from Sun Stud in Fiorente (2), Helmet (1) and Moshe (1).

In addition to The Showdown and VOBIS Sires Guineas, the Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday will host the following five VOBIS Gold premier races:

  • Race 2 – Blue Gum Farm VOBIS Gold Distaff (1400m, F&M, 3YO & Up)
  • Race 3 – Spendthrift Australia VOBIS Gold Sprint (1200m, 3YO & Up)
  • Race 4 – Surewise VOBIS Gold Heath (2000m, 3YO & Up)
  • Race 5 – IRT VOBIS Gold Mile (1600m, 3YO & up)
  • Race 8 – Avenel Equine Hospital VOBIS Gold Dash (1100m, 3YO)

RV Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said, “We’re delighted to see three champions from last year’s raceday back for another shot at VOBIS glory this weekend and it would be tremendous training effort if any of them were to prove triumphant once again.

“Mr Quickie and Twitchy Frank are chasing back-to-back wins in the VOBIS Gold Heath and VOBIS Gold Distaff respectively and are short priced favourites to do so, while Iconoclasm is chasing a unique double stepping up to the VOBIS Gold Mile after winning the VOBIS Gold Sprint last year.

“It’s also tremendous to see a variety of stables and stallions represented in both The Showdown and the VOBIS Sires Guineas and I’m sure that the winners of these rich VOBIS Sires races will be wonderful advertisements for breeding and owning Victorian-sired horses.

“The Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday is a very important day on the calendar and I want to take the opportunity to thank all our owners and breeders not only for their ongoing support of the Victorian racing industry, but for their understanding and cooperation during these unprecedented times in which they are unable to attend the raceday due to strict biosecurity protocols.”

The Victorian Owners and Breeders Raceday will be broadcast live on Racing.com, Channel 7 and SKY Racing, across the airwaves on RSN and streamed live by various wagering operators with the first race of nine races at 12.15pm (AET).