Above: Impending standing at Darley’s Northwood Park, Victoria

With the first crop by Darley’s Impending about to become yearlings, expectations are high from breeders on how the market will assess his progeny, 15 of which are catalogued to go under the hammer at July’s weanling sales.

As a multiple Group 1-winning son of champion sire Lonhro and Group 1-winner Mnemosyne (Encosta De Lago), Impending always had all the credentials to be a top-level commercial stallion and Darley’s decision to stand him at Northwood Park in Victoria has paid dividends.

He served 186 mares in his first season, while his 175 services last year made him the third most popular stallion in the state. Many breeders returned their mares for a second season off the back of foal quality.

Impending has certainly been given every chance to succeed, with 17 per cent of that first book of mares either stakes winners or stakes producers, highlighted by multiple Group 1-winner Jameka (Myboycharlie {Ire}).

That colt, bred by a partnership headed by Jameka’s owner Colin McKenna, has been making an impression at Gilgai Farm, having been foaled at Cressfield. As the first foal of a triple Group 1-winner, he is certain to be keenly followed.

Above: Impending x Jameka (Colt)

“He’s nice, he’s rated by both sales companies as the best foal on this farm,” Gilgai Farm Manager Kelly Skillecorn said.

“He came to us just before Christmas and since then he’s been uncomplicated.

“He’s very much in the mould of his mum as a yearling, and her brother that was here last year.”

Another star mating for Impending in that first season was with the dam of a mare he shared a terrific racetrack rivalry with.

Impending’s victory in the 2017 G1 Stradbroke H. came over In Her Time (Time Thief), and he would be mated with her dam, Hell It’s Hot (Zeditave), who not only produced the dual Group 1 winner, but is the half-sister to the dam of The Everest winner Yes Yes Yes.

The Impending x Hell It’s Hot colt is now at Kanangra, under the eye of principal Fred Moses, who is very happy with his progress, despite a slight setback recently.

Above: Impending x Hell It’s Hot (Colt)

“He’s a very nice looking colt. I’m quietly excited about him. In this game, you can never be assured but he’s certainly developing in all the right ways,” Moses said.

“He had a little bit of an issue, but he seems to have got over that. We had him x-rayed and given time, he looks to be improving all the time.”

“He’s a very nice looking colt. I’m quietly excited about him.” – Fred Moses

What has struck Moses about the Impending colt, is his cool demeanour, something which he believes will help him fulfil his potential going forward.

“He’s a very good natured horse. He’s very easy to handle. Godolphin were out here maybe a month ago and they took some shots and video of him. There were horses galloping all around him and he didn’t even worry about them. He’s got a lovely temperament,” he said.

While the sire has made a mark, Moses said Hell It’s Hot has also had her say in the foal, much as she has with her other produce.

“The dam generally throws to herself quite strongly and they have all been very good types.”

Moses said a decision hasn’t been made on whether the colt will go through the sales ring, with the desire to retain him as a stallion prospect, given his physical characteristics and burgeoning pedigree, growing.

Moses sent Hell It’s Hot back to Victoria to Impending last year, but due to no fault of the stallion, she failed to get in foal, and was eventually remated with a cover to Pariah.

Quality makes its mark

Cornerstone Stud in South Australia was one of those to support Impending in his first season and the result of that support is two first crop foals, including a filly by multiple stakes-winner Lovemelikearock (Fastnet Rock).

Above: Lovemelikearock when racing

She may be the eighth foal from the mare, but she has left an impression on Cornerstone Stud Bloodstock Manager Sam Pritchard-Gordon

“One of our better foals on the farm is out of a mare called Lovemelikerock, who is a Group winning Fastnet Rock mare. She probably hasn’t lived up to expectations up until now, but this is the best foal that she has thrown. She’s a bit of a belter,” he said.

“This is the best foal that she has thrown. She’s a bit of a belter.” – Sam Pritchard-Gordon

Both of the foals at Cornerstone have similar colouring to their sire and are following displaying similar physical development.

“They are certainly looking well and there is a bit of similarity. Both of ours are bay. They have size and substance and good bone. They are correct and good moving horses,” he said.

“Off the back of that, we have booked mares back to him in the belief that he will be well received at the yearling sales.”

Filly making quick progress

Mornington Peninsula-based Merricks Station opted to take breeding rights in the Darley stallion from the outset. Its early faith has been rewarded by a filly out of Listed winner Military Reign(Universal Ruler), which while she didn’t arrive until late in the season, has not wasted time in her development.

“The Impending filly is an absolute cracker. She’s a bit of a late foal, but she is just as strong and forward as my other foals. I’m really, really pleased with her,” Merricks Station Farm Manager, Dee Gess-Jones, said.

“The Impending filly is an absolute cracker. She’s a bit of a late foal, but she is just as strong and forward as my other foals. I’m really, really pleased with her.” – Dee Gess-Jones

“For a November foal, she is well and truly forward and a real running type.”

The colouring of her sire has not come through to the Military Reign filly, but there are a couple of other characteristics which Gess-Jones does see.

“She’s a chestnut, so she’s different in that regard, but having seen other Impendings, they do seem to have that really strong hindquarter, like he did. This one is like her Mum as well. It’s hard to say she’s the image of her dad, when she is a baldy faced chestnut filly!”

So impressed are Gess-Jones and Merricks Station owner Ben Cooper with the filly, they will retain her to race.

“It would be interesting to see her go through the sales, but we are just so impressed with her, That’s what we want, is nice fillies like her that are well bred and she ticks all those boxes,” she said.

Breeders backing first crop

Damian Gleeson has a couple of Impending’s first-crop fillies on his Phoenix Broodmare Farm, including one out of Stratum mare Melaleuca, who is set to go through the Magic Millions Gold Coast National Weanling Sale next month.

Catalogued as Lot 869, she is out of a half-sister to Group 3-winner Rialya (Kempinsky).

The other filly is out of the Fastnet Rock mare Blume, the half-sister to Listed winner Fullazz(Redoute’s Choice), who is the dam of Group 1-winner D’Argento.

It shouldn’t surprise with that influence on her dam’s side that the Impending filly is grey, but Gleeson said she carried a few hallmarks of her sire as well.

“The Blume filly is a lovely type of foal, good strong sort of a filly,” he said.

“She throws to the dam a bit, because she is a good big strong mare and she has the grey markings and colouring of the mare, but he’s a good type of stallion himself and he looks to be throwing good types.”

“He’s a good type of stallion himself and he looks to be throwing good types.” – Damian Gleeson

Gleeson said that Victorian breeders had been returning good reports on the first crop of the stallion.

“They have got considerable scope to grow into nice yearlings,” he said. “He was a good horse himself, a dual Group 1 winner and he’s an emerging horse, and so he is ticking a lot of boxes for a lot of breeders given what they have seen from his first crop.”

Ready to make a sales impact

That positive first impact, combined with eligibility of his progeny for the rich VOBIS bonuses on offer in Victoria, should create considerable demand for his progeny at next year’s yearling sales, according to Pritchard-Gordon.

“I think there’s no doubt about that. He’s a Victorian stallion, and the VOBIS scheme is always well received. I feel that he is one of the better stallions on offer in Victoria,” he said.

Gess-Jones said that Merricks Station has no reason not to continue supporting Impending going forward, and she feels he represents a great opportunity for breeders in the state.

“We’ve got two in foal to Impending this year and have another two booked that we will take this year. We really like him and we are a breeding rights holder in the horse. We really wanted to back Victorian horses and we are really happy to have done that with him,” she said.

“It’s nice to get those commercial horses down here and we want to look after them and keep them.”

Article courtesy of Bren O’Brien TDN

Above: Fighting Sun

FIGHTING SUN, a Champion Victorian First Season Sire, has died at Sun Stud following an attack of colic.

An unbeaten 2YO with Gai Waterhouse and one-time favourite for the Golden Slipper, FIGHTING SUN retired to Sun Stud in 2014 and has gone on to cover 730 mares.

Represented this season by stakes horse and recent Flemington winner, Roccabascerana (a winner on debut at two by 7 lengths), FIGHTING SUN’s 2YOs include Entrapped, Celestial Sol, Flinders River and the McEvoy trained, Toyz on Fire.

By the speed source, Northern Meteor, FIGHTING SUN been hugely popular with broodmare owners and, in particular, the Sun Stud team which is devastated at the loss.

“From the first day he arrived on the farm as a 2YO – after being robbed of his chance at winning a Golden Slipper – it was hard not to have a soft spot for the horse … he was just so good to handle,” Sun Stud’s Operations Manager, David Grant, points out. “He was the ‘go to’ stallion for the new and less experienced stallion staff, to help build their confidence. Fighting Sun had such a kind nature and was always easy to serve mares with.

“It’s been 17 years since we lost a stallion on the property, so we are all in shock and are extremely saddened by his passing.

“One thing is for sure, the stallion barn will not be the same without him!”
Sun Stud’s Stallion Manager, Amir Khan, shares the sentiments of all at Sun Stud:

“Talk about a gentle giant … he was the most loved stallion in the barn, a real gentleman and I can tell you he will be sorely missed.”

With his largest crop of 2YOs to commence racing in 2020/21 and some outstanding yearlings to be offered next year, FIGHTING SUN’s legacy is bound to continue in years to come.

Yulong is launching a two-pronged attack as it approaches the latest round of sales.

After supporting some online sales, Yulong is looking forward to some ‘live’ action with their horses to go under the hammer in round two of the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale at Sydney’s Riverside Stables on July 5.

And they will follow up four days later at the relocated Great Southern Yearling Sale, also at Riverside Stables, when they will offer 14 weanlings.

Yulong’s Sam Fairgray said the stud would again offer a high quality of horses at both sales.

As an added bonus caused by the cancellation of live auctions, all of Yulong’s yearlings, except one, have the advantage of being broken in and ready to go to trainers in a bid to speed up the process.

Fairgray said the 14 yearlings on offer on July 5 were withdrawn out of the main Easter sale because the COVID-19 which prevented anyone from being able to inspect them.

“We are offering them now and we sent them all to be broken in and only Lot 34 (Zoustar/River Drift colt) has not been fully broken,” Fairgray said.

“We have got some really nice horses there and probably the pick of then is Lot 85, a I Am Invincible colt out of Gypsy Diamond.

“He is just a smashing looking horse with a great temperament and is a great mover, so he’ll be very popular at the sale.

“We have got three fillies by Frankel and two colts and all of them are nice horses. Lot 6, a Frankel/Lake Hamana filly, is very forward and big and strong for a Frankel, you’d think she may come a fraction earlier.”

Fairgray said Lot 90, the Frankel/Hersigh filly, didn’t look initially to be an early type but really impressed the breaker who mentioned she was a lot more forward than anticipated.

He said a Pierro filly out of Redoute’s Choice mare, Albaicin, would hopefully be another success story of the cross.

“That cross has been fantastic and is something like 28 per cent stakes performers to runners with that Pierro out Redoute’s Choice mares,” Fairgray said.

“Frankel is running at something like 27 per cent of stakes horses to runners.”

Fairgray said Yulong’s whole yearling draft was by proven stallions out of really good broodmare sires, such as Shamardal, Zabeel, Savabeel, Dubawi and Hussonet.

Yulong said there was a good mix of desirable sires in the draft of weanlings being offered in the Great Southern Sale.

He said Lot 665 was a nice Sebring foal, the first out of So Foxy (Foxwedge/Apparel), while Lot 673, a Zoustar colt out of Starlike, was also a good type.

Fairgray said Lot 569 was a big, strong filly by Rich Enuff, out of Madam Delponte, which was sure to have her admirers, along with a Toronado filly which is out of a Fastnet Rock, mare Wujimu.

He said Yulong had 130 weanlings on the farm and it was decided to sell some weanlings and take others through to the yearling stage.

Fairgray said he was confident buyers would find some quality racehorses from both of Yulong’s weanling and yearlings drafts.

Sam said with the weanling sale being live, it was a huge advantage for buyers to have the horses in front of them but concedes the online auctions, which featured videos of the horses had gone well.

Chase Award (NZ) ridden by John Allen wins the Global Turf Class 1 Handicap at Sportsbet-Ballarat Racecourse. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Kyneton trainer George Osborne can’t exactly remember what he paid for the colt by Shamus Award, of out Miss Bernardini.

Osborne bought the horse in an online auction for one of his major owners, Alex Babauskis, but also took out a little slice of the ownership.

The now four year-old, named Chase Award (NZ), bought up his second win in a class 1 at Ballarat on Sunday, but Osborne believes there are better races ahead for the gelding which has also had one second and two thirds from his seven starts.”

“I race him with Alex,” Osborne said.

“I know this sounds stupid but I can’t remember exactly what I paid for him but it was pretty cheap – $9,000 or $8,000 – something like that.”

Osborne said that when he bought Chase Award as a colt he was surprised at the condition he arrived in but as he turned out he admitted it was just probably “him.”

“I think they just thought he was immature and he certainly appeared that way on type but he is fine,” he said.

“I haven’t had that many Shamus Award’s but I have taken on board what happens and see a few around the places when I go to the races all the time and they are not dissimilar.”

Osborne got Chase Award from an online auction as a late two-year-old that had already been broken in.

He said the intriguing part of what got him interested in the colt was that his dam Miss Bernardini was obviously highly thought of by Chase Award’s breeders – Sean Buckley’s Ultra Thoroughbred Racing.

“They thought enough of the mare to send her to New Zealand to Savabeel and I thought, hang on, what’s going on here, he said.

“They must have thought a fair bit of the mare to do that and I thought it sounded all right.”

At the time Buckley’s farm in New South Wales was under severe drought which eventually led to moving his broodmares and other horses to his Victorian property. A second property was also acquired at Kilmore.

“I think a lot of those horses were moved to Kilmore and they were inundated with horses. I think they just had to get rid of whatever they could online,” Osborne said.

“So it was a combination of those things.”

Osborne said they had purchased Chase Award before Shamus Award’s Mr Quickie started to establish himself as a serious horse, winning four races in succession and then going on to win the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm in May of last year.

“That really ignited Shamus Award,” he said.

Osborne said he mainly concentrates on the sales, rather than breeding, to buy the secondary yearlings.

“But I do have a couple of owners who breed quite heavily,” he said.

“The other one I have by Shamus Award was bought as a weanling and we let her our grow out at Glenfern Park and sent her to James Wardeiner (Ballarat) to break in. He has been breaking horses in for me for a long time, and he put it up with some of the best ones we have had over the years.”

Osborne said if the forensic pencil was put over Chase Award’s runs, he said he’d gone home with an excuse at every race this preparation before his win on the synthetic at Ballarat on Sunday.

“He tries his little heart out,” Osborne said.

“His record is improving all the time. He hasn’t had much luck this preparation but got it at Ballart in a limited field and got the right ride and that made up for a little bit of it.”

“I actually have another one is only a yearling which I bought as a weanling and I love him and he is already showing promise as a young horse and he should be OK.

“The breed themselves are bread and butter and they just turn up and win races every day. They are good horses.

“Little Chase Award will mope around and come race day, and even trial day, he just really lifts his game and gives everything.

“He doesn’t do much on the track at home and doesn’t have to but now that I know where he is at, I don’t really need to see it any way.

“But I have had a few over the years that have been pretty handy horses and they save it all for race day and don’t give you much indication around the place.

“He is a very hard horse to read around the stables whether all is well with him because he mopes around and he doesn’t spell very well. We spelled him during his win at Echuca and this preparation and he certainly didn’t put any condition on and probably ran around too much.”

He said when it comes to buying it’s a case of groundhog days as he and his team go through every catalogue and the first preference is on type, followed by good breeding and then it’s a help if  the hype or popular stallions are at a cheaper price as the easiest ones to attract owners.

“It’s as combination of the three, but at the end of the day type wins every time for us because we purchase at the bottom level price wise,” Osborne said.

“VOBIS is absolutely great and all those things gets ticked off and every year we spend two months on the road going everywhere from Perth to Tasmania to Adelaide and that’s what we do to pick up eight or nine or ten and it’s been a successful way to do it for a long time.”

Osborne said he has 60 horses in work at his Kyneton stables and a few at the pre-trainers and normally has about 100 on the books.

After moving from Queensland to Kyneton about 12 years ago, Osborne said it was the best move he’d ever made he gave a glowing endorsement of Victorian racing.

The Cox Plate winning Shamus Award (Snitzel/Sunset Express) now stands at Rosemont Stud.

Above: Atomic standing at Claremont Thoroughbreds

Bargain priced stallion Atomic continues to give his supporters plenty of bang for their buck.

Standing at just $2,200 at Greg Daffy’s Western District property -Claremont Thoroughbreds – Atomic produced another winner on the weekend when Muntham Missile made it two wins in succession with a victory at Bordertown after winning at Mount Gambier.

It was the mare’s fifth win from 17 starts.

The Daffy trained Chortomic ran fourth, beaten just 1.5 lengths, over 1600m at Caulfield on Saturday.

Daffy said Atomic’s progeny were performing well.

“He also had a couple of runners in Adelaide and they were first-up from a spell and they look like they are back for a good prep,” he said.

“I am really, really pleased with them. There is another little mare of mine, Bombshell Belle (trained by Symon Wilde at Warrnambool) and she has won three from seven now.

“We haven’t jacked up Atomic’s price or done anything silly and he is still at the $2000, plus GST and he should get plenty of mares again.”

Atomic (Commands/Fluffy Duck) covered 23 mares last season and Daffy admits he would have liked more. He served 27 the previous year and his most productive year was in his second season in 2013 when he covered 59 mares.

“Last year wasn’t too bad but I think this year he’ll go even better,” Daffy said.

“There are a couple of good ones around. There is a horse called The Last Napoleon and he raced at Flemington the other week and he went pretty well.

“He is starting to get those few more city runners now and I think that’s going to make the big difference to him.”

Atomic was trained to victory by Lee Freedman in the Listed Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) on debut at Sandown in February 2011. Unfortunately, he broke down at his next start in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes won by Sepoy.

A $205,000 purchase at the 20910 Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Daffy paid $5,500 for Atomic at the 2012 Great Southern Bloodstock Sale.

Asked whether he thought some people might dismiss Atomic because of his modest service fee, Daffy said: “Possibly, but at the end of the day we have had a clientele of owner/breeders and they have sort of supported us early with the other old horses we had, Musee D’Orsay and Green Perfume.

“The reason we had this affiliation with them was because they could breed a cheap horse. I have always said they need to be able to breed them cheaper than they can go to the weanling sales and buy them.

“The weanling sales have really dictated to the owner/breeder and with our stallions we have had to make sure that it is still affordable or otherwise people would just pull up stumps and go to the weanling sales and buy a cheap weanling won’t they?”

Daffy said the key to Atomic getting perhaps the support he deserved was to have more city runners and runners.

He said that’s what people want to see in a stallion.

“He is getting a few of those now and I think he has had five or six city runners in the past week and a half,” Daffy said.

“That makes a lot of difference.

“I had one, Costa Bomb,  which finished second up the straight at Flemington and won at Sandown and she was perhaps a little bit unlucky that she did not go on to nearly listed grade.

“But she had a few things go wrong, if we can get that type of horse to come through, we should be all right.”

Costa Bomb was Atomic’s first winner.

Daffy said they had also purchased five year-old Royal Symphony (Domesday/Naturalist), a dual listed winner who had his last run in November. He will stand at $4,500, plus GST.

“He was just a horse that became available and I had the Danehill horse, Musee D’Orsay and then the Commands horse and so obviously more Danehill again, so we were really looking for something good, away from the Danehill.

“As I said a lot of our clients had been down that path and we needed the next one and when Royal Symphony became available it became pretty obvious on pedigree, plus his race record was just exceptional.

“It was a pretty easy fit-up.”

He said with the two stallions, he expects it to be a busy spring.

Daffy, who paid $42,500 for Royal Symphony at the Inglis Digital Sale in January, expects his newest stallion to get plenty of support.

“He’ll be really heavily supported and he is a well-known horse and he is going to be popular,” he said.

“Both stallions should be able to complement each other really well and one is a little bit cheaper than the other and one with the race record and one has the score on the board so to speak.

“So hopefully it works out.”

Daffy said he had mares by his stallions that he was looking to send out last season but found it difficult to find what he was after.

He said they had about 200 horses on their 520 hectare property at Balmoral, about 80 kilometres south-west of Horsham.

Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm’s James O’Brien admits that when it comes to selling their horses, things will be done much differently this year.

O’Brien said that Lauriston will be going “all in”. The farm’s entire 2019 draft will go under the hammer as weanlings in the supplementary catalogue at the 2020 Australian Weanling Sale at Inglis’ Sydney Riverside Stables on Thursday, July 9.

With the recent passing of Lauriston’s founder, Kevin O’Brien who was a popular breeder, owner and former Melbourne Racing Club committeeman, O’Brien said it was now a time of consolidation and restructuring to see where that takes them.

The Lauriston draft is outstanding and one that O’Brien’s late father would have been extremely proud of during these tough times with COVID-19.

O’Brien said the strategy this year might surprise some people.

“We will offer our full draft as weanlings,” O’Brien said

“So we are all in – it’s our entire 2019 foal crop.

“We regularly attend the yearling sales, but this year we are presenting our 10 foals as weanlings into this sale.

“It is a little bit of a consolidation phase for us, but the horses themselves are really, really nice. – They are quality horses.”

Asked whether they would get yearling type prices for their weanlings, O’Brien said: “Being weanlings, I doubt it but I want to think we would.

“I think everyone is entitled to make money and the opportunity exists for someone to buy a weanling here and get a bit more at a yearling sale and good on them.

“I think the whole idea of selling weanlings is to leave a bit in the pie for someone else. They have to carry them for another nine months and that’s part of the deal.’’

When asked about his draft, O’Brien said he really liked the Spirit of Boom colt, out of Paramount. He is a half-brother to Epitum (Snitzel) who was bought by Hong Kong interests after winning three races – including the Group 3 Red Anchor Stakes at Moonee Valley – from seven starts.

“The Merchant Navy/Suite Annie is a standout as well and is a big chestnut,’’ O’Brien said.

“He is well conformed and nice and strong. Suite Annie (Hotel Grand/Action Annie) is a half-sister to Buffering (Mossman/Action Annie) who won a billion Group 1s (and more than $7 million in prize money). I am really rapt to be presenting him.”

Lauriston will also offer a filly by Not A Single Doubt out of Success Express mare Rhodamine which makes her a full sister to Legend of Condor who competed at black type level and won three races and $317,000 in prize money.

O’Brien said the filly also looks like a strong, early going type like her brother.

He said the farm’s Impending/Swiftly Red colt is from Impending’s first crop. The colt is a striking black type.

O’Brien is happy to be offering two fillies by So You Think (NZ) from mares, Write Cheek and Lake Mountain.

“The So You Think fillies seem to go really well and I think we have drawn a good card there as well,” he said.

“Write Cheek is out of a Written Tycoon mare. Her filly has been cheeky all her life and has got a bit of spunk and personality about her.

“Lake Mountain had Lake District Girl (Not A Single Doubt) which was third in the Blue Diamond lead-up, only to lose the place on protest to Seabrook, so she missed the black type. It would have made her page look a lot different – She was third over the line in a Group 2 but she hampered Seabrook to get there.”

Although Lauriston is offering a mature older draft of weanlings, their Frosted colt was born a little bit later – October 28 – than the others but is still an outstanding type.

“I think Frosted was a great get for Victoria and I can’t wait to see them hit the track,” O’Brien said.

“And the first foal out of Odelia (Exceed and Excel/Rapidement) is out of a super family and Deep Field is doing everything right.”

O’Brien said he was so proud of the draft commenting, “They all foaled at the farm and are eligible for VOBIS”.

Above: Danzero won the 1994 Golden Slipper

Rosemont’s flags will be lowered to half-mast and a fitting tribute will stand at the front of the office entrance to honour Danehill’s first ever stakes winner, Danzero, who passed away peacefully on the weekend at the Geelong farm. He was 28.

Danzero holds a special place in the history of the thoroughbred being the first stakes-winner and first G1 winner sired by the late great Danehill and then went on to a successful stud career himself.

A resident of Rosemont since his purchase from Arrowfield in 2011, he covered three seasons before fertility issues saw him retired from duties. But Rosemont principal Anthony Mithen says the striking stallion will hold a special place in the hearts of those at Rosemont.

“He was the first stallion to stand at Rosemont and was in fact the only stallion to stand at our original farm at Ceres.” Mithen said.

“He helped set in motion the stallion business for us and ultimately the purchase of Rosemont Gnarwarre from Tony Santic which is now home to our five-strong stallion roster.”

Danzero was a Golden Slipper hero in 1994 for the Freedman Brothers after being sold to a syndicate at the Magic Millions sale in 1993 by Arrowfield Stud.

“There is no doubt he is one of the finest stallions we have produced.” Arrowfield’s John Messara said when he relocated to Rosemont.

“He was bred by us, sold by us, bought back by us and was Danehill’s first Group One winner.”

Danzero’s six G1 winners are headed by Dance Hero who won 4xG1s – 3 at 2 – including the Golden Slipper giving Danzero the rare mantle of winning Australia’s greatest 2yo race and siring a winner of the world’s richest 2yo event as well.

“It is fair to say he changed the course of what we do at Rosemont. We had an itch to scratch and try the stallion game and he got us off the mark. While his fertility let him down, the horse didn’t disappoint us,” Mithen said.

“It was an honour to have him on the farm and he was revered by all that got to lean over his fence and give him a pat. He helped teach us the stallion game and was a true gentleman.”

Mithen was comforted by the fact that it appeared he went quickly at some time early Sunday morning, enjoying the domain of the paddock named in his honour.

“He has been in the best health for the nine years he’s been with us. He refused to be boxed at night. We built him his own expensive box before he arrived, only to learn he hated being cooped up and just wanted to spend his days and nights outside – rugged and roaming! I think he spent only three nights in that box ever!”

“Our longest serving employee Suzanne Mowat who has looked after him for the best part of a decade found him Sunday morning, resting peacefully. He will now be buried just outside his paddock. May he rest easy.”

Danzero sired 1042 runners for 669 individual winners, 68 stakes horses, 40 stakes winners including G1 winners Dance Hero, Niconero, Fairway, Danglissa, Danni Martine and Jymcarew. He is also the dam sire of 31 stakes winners and 5 G1 winners headed by emerging stallion Exosphere.

For more information contact Anthony Mithen on 0413 486767

Above: Queen Sweeper winning at Doomben

A narrow fifth, when beaten less than a length the start prior at Listed level, Kendrick Racing’s 2yo Rich Enuff filly Queen Sweeper highlighted her potential with an impressive win at Doomben to become the sixth individual winner so far this season for her sire.

Winning trainer Stuart Kendrick echoed the sentiments of many trainers who have progeny by Rich Enuff in their stable.

“She’s still a bit of a big kid but getting a win as a two-year-old is great for all involved and we’re pretty confident she’ll really flourish as a three-year-old.”
A narrow third at his only start at 2, it was at 3 that Rich Enuff really came into his own.

Rich Enuff recorded three consecutive Group and Listed victories at 3, stopping the clock at 1:08.13 – the fastest any 3YO colt has ever run over the famed Flemington ‘straight six’ this century, when winning the G2 Danehill Stakes, a race won in the past by G1 producing sires Sepoy and Fastnet Rock as well as the undefeated, World Champion Black Caviar.

Equalling the juvenile mark set by his Champion Victorian Sire Written Tycoon with six first crop winners, Rich Enuff could pass that figure in the coming days with a selection of runners nominated, including his Listed placed daughter Plutocrat as well as last Saturday’s winner Queen Sweeper both nominated for this Saturday’s upcoming Listed Tattersall’s Club Stakes at Eagle Farm.

Mount Pleasant wins the Group Two South African Nursery at Turffontein, South Africa (JC Photographics)

The success of Australian-bred gallopers in South Africa has been monumental in recent times, courtesy of luminaries such as Horse of the Year, Oh Susanna, Group One star, Whisky Baron and Shadwell Stud’s Champion 2YO, Soqrat (who finished second in Saturday night’s Group One Champions Challenge at Turffontein).

However, the real interest at Turffontein on Saturday – certainly from an Australian perspective – was the showdown between locally sourced 2YOs, Mount Pleasant and Najem Suhail, who both came into the Group Two South African Nursery over 1160m on the back of winning debuts.

Ultimately it would be Mount Pleasant who held sway over the very wayward Najem Suhail, with both being trained out of the all-powerful Mike de Kock yard.

Aside from their obvious proximity, stable and track-wise, both Mount Pleasant and Najem Suhail were bred in Victoria and both were sold at the 2019 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

However, there’s even more of a special connection for the ever prolific Makybe Racing and Breeding which not only bred the winner, but also bred the sire of the runnerup!

Mount Pleasant is by Vancouver, from the Fastnet Rock mare, Life In A Metro, while Najem Suhail is a son of Starspangledbanner, who was a star in every sense of the word, winning a Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and Oakleigh Plate (1100m) in Australia before heading to England where he made it four Group Ones after adding victories in the Golden Jubilee and July Cup.

Notably, Starspangledbanner – the sire of 12 stakes winners including Millisle, The Wow Signal and Home of the Brave – stands at Rosemont Stud, just down the road from Makybe’s boutique property at Gnarwarre.

Owned by Tony Santic, Makybe is of course best remembered for the deeds of Makybe Diva, the 3-time Melbourne Cup winner they bred and raced, Makybe Diva, while Najem Suhail’s breeder, Gilgai Farm, has carved its own corner of history as the source of racing immortal Black Caviar.

Yet, while Makybe’s domestic legacy is already assured via Makybe Diva, Starspangledbanner and the likes of Group One winner, Amicus, the farm has really made its presence felt on a global scale this season.

A recent inductee to Living Legends, the Makybe bred and sold Mr Stunning was Champion Griffin in Hong Kong, a world ranked sprinter throughout 2017 and 2018 before capping his marvelous career with a victory in April’s Chairman’s Sprint Prize at Sha Tin – his third Group One success in a career which yielded HK$61 million (A$11.5 million). Not bad for a horse sold for just $110,000 at 2013 Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale.

Then, just over a week ago, Makybe’s Lonhro 8YO, Jolly Banner – from a half sister to Makybe Diva – won the Group Three Premier Cup at Sha Tin and has banked A$2.7 million from his eight career successes.

“We’re pretty excited … that’s a Group One, Group Two and Group Three in the last three months,” Makybe’s Joe Murray enthused. “The way Mount Pleasant won in South Africa showed he clearly has considerable promise.

“I wasn’t surprised when Mount Pleasant ended up with Mike de Kock as he’d already trained the All Too Hard half brother, Belton Road.”

Offered through the Two Bays Farm draft, Mount Pleasant was knocked down to Form Bloodstock for $90,000.

Mount Pleasant hails from the first crop of Coolmore Australia’s, Vancouver, and while the colt is his first winner in South Africa, he’s also the initial stakes winner for the Medaglia d’Oro stallion who won the 2015 Golden Slipper.

Mount Pleasant, meanwhile, is from Life In A Metro, a winning half sister to Group One Oaks’ winners Abbey Marie and Absolutely, along with multiple stakes winner, Runaway.

Life In A Metro has had four to race for four winners, including last month’s stakes placed, Quantum Mechanic.

“Sadly, Life In A Metro died last year from a colic attack,” Murray reveals. “We sold her Snitzel colt for $170,000 at the Gold Coast in January and her colt by Sebring will likely head toward next year’s Melbourne Premier.”

Selling between 15 to 20 yearlings annually, Makybe has around 35 ‘active’ mares on farm with a number of ‘retirees’ to keep them company.

Among the latter group is Makybe Diva, who produced her final foal – her 10th – last November.

“The filly is by More Than Ready and it’s likely Makybe will retain her,” Murray explains. “She (Makybe Diva) is rising 22 and while she looks like a million bucks, she tends to put everything into her foals and it’s just too hard on her, so we decided to pull up stumps.

“Makybe Diva has a smart filly with Colin Little called Sublime Diva, while we sold the Written Tycoon yearling for $500,000 at the Gold Coast in January. We kept a share in the Written Tycoon … she’s probably Makybe Diva’s best yearling and really has that X factor about her.”

Murray also marvels at another of the mares owned by Santic.

“Gold Anthem is the mum of Starspangledbanner and she’s currently in foal to The Autumn Sun … this will be her 17th foal in a row!,” Murray adds. “We’ll be keeping her Snitzel filly from last spring, her Written Tycoon filly was sold to Sun Bloodstock for $400,000 at Easter in April and her Not a Single Doubt 2YO, The Waterman, is unraced but due to trial this Friday.

“He (The Waterman) has had a couple of setbacks but is with Tony and Calvin McEvoy and they have a huge opinion of him.”

It appears as if Makybe’s season still has some way to run.

Article courtesy of Aushorse

Above: Scorpz now standing at Platinum Thoroughbreds in Victoria

Nestled in the heart of Victoria’s prime thoroughbred country is Platinum Thoroughbreds Victoria, a relative new player in the thoroughbred game having been established in 2018… but there is much experience behind the name with the farm’s Sarah Pfeiffer and Rene Hoefchen both boasting long time equine involvement.

“I started out breeding, training and competing quarter horses but always had a love of thoroughbreds,” Rene Hoefchen said, “and working for a while at Godolphin intensified my passion for them!”

“And Sarah is a vet nurse who competed with quarter and paint horses, also working at Mohawk Lodge.. and her grandfather and great grandfather both trained thoroughbreds.”

Specialising in young horse growth and development along with spelling and broodmare management, Platinum Thoroughbreds Victoria this spring welcomes to the Hilldene (just 5km out of Seymour) farm its foundation stallion… the well credentialled and exciting Scorpz.

A member of the Invincible Spirit line which has been faring so well in this part of the world, Scorpz is a son of the triple Group One winner Charm Spirit who has made such a great start to his stud career – his southern and northern hemisphere debut crops producing six stakes winners including the New Zealand bred Group winners Aretha, Fascino, Likikoi and Scorpz.

Doing his best work late at his debut at two, the Stephen Marsh trained Scorpz was given time to mature and really came into his own at three – in November last year racing away to an easy three length victory at Te Aroha.

17 days later stepping up to Group Three class, Scorpz travelled well in the 1600m Wellington Stakes, coming off heels turning and was soon in the lead. From there he was a sitting shot and Shenanigans did put his nose in front only for Scorpz to fight back, showing plenty of heart!

“We hit the front too soon to be honest but sometimes things are out of your hands,” Jockey Jason Waddell reported, adding that “it was a long 350m!”

Waddell described Scorpz as “a big strong colt who does not know he is a colt,” whilst Marsh was delighted by the win… “gee he’s a lovely colt,” he enthused.

Above: Scorpz during his racing career

Despite doing it tough from a wide gate at his next outing, Scorpz was again in winning form with a similar performance – getting to the front, strongly challenged late and digging deep to take out the Listed Salver at Ellerslie.

There was method to Waddell’s ride, the jockey telling the media that he let another horse “go past me on purpose… so he could fight back.”

Marsh was again proud – “he was very tough to the line… he covered all that ground and still kicked, it was a top effort.”

Not having a great deal of luck in two runs heading to the Gr.1 NZ Derby, Scorpz was third back to the mile in a Te Aroha handicap (held up at the 300m) and second despite being forced wide in the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas won by the talented Dragon Leap.

Sadly he found further trouble in the Derby, crowded early before again being forced wide, his effort to run third a particularly gallant one.

From there Scorpz headed to Australia with the Gr.1 Australian Derby an exciting target. The Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas looked a nice lead-up but it was in that race that all went wrong – Scorpz copping a check as he left the gates, one severe enough to cause serious injury.

And so instead of lining up in the spring’s features in 2020, Scorpz will be serving his first book of mares, and Hoefchen is delighted to be standing a horse of such heart and courage -“the more he was challenged in his races, the harder he kicked on,” he said, adding that “he is going to be an asset for Victoria.”

“He was the perfect colt to train,” Stephen Marsh noted.

“He had a kind nature yet was as tough as tungsten on the track. What he did as an immature three-year-old was due to his class and guts alone and I believe that he would have furnished into a true Caulfield Cup quality horse.”

The first son of Charm Spirit to stud in Australia, Scorpz has the pedigree to succeed here – Charm Spirit being by Invincible Spirit (also sire of I Am Invincible) from the family of Encosta de Lago and Flying Spur – whilst his dam Forbetterforworse is by Dubawi, the triple Group One winner who sired 22 southern hemisphere bred stakes winners (six of those at Group One level) despite standing only three years in the Hunter Valley.

Dubawi is of course a world wide sensation, the sire of 183 stakes winners with progeny earnings in excess of $223 million. And he is already making his mark as a broodmare sire with 22 stakes winners including the Group One gallopers Dream Castle and Blair House.

Forbetterforworse (who paid a return visit to Charm Spirit last spring) is out of the stakes winning Hennessy mare For The Good Times, also dam of the dual Group Three winning sprinter Fast ‘N’ Rocking and the Listed winner Good ‘N’ Fast.

This is a strong Australian family that has been producing tough and sound stakes winners for generations, its members including the Group One gallopers Shiva’s Revenge and Just Now and the Group winners Close Your Eyes, Bernalla, Tellson, Scenic Warrior, World Fortune, Champagne Boom, Heaven’s Riches and Charmview.

Due to make his debut at an affordable $5,500, Scorpz is perfectly placed at Platinum Thoroughbreds Victoria where Rene Hoefchen and Sarah Pfeiffer will work hard to ensure his success, also keen to expand on the spelling and broodmare services sides of their business – noting that they are in such close proximity to some of the best stud farms in Victoria.

For further information contact Platinum Thoroughbreds Victoria

on 0417 573 661

or info@platinumthoroughbredsvictoria.com

or visit us online at:https://www.platinumthoroughbredsvictoria.com/

Above: A view of Cornwall Park

Just 50km or so up the Calder Freeway from Melbourne stands an historic property that has enjoyed more than one heyday, once as Gnotuk Park as part of a large pastoral estate, later as a local centre for innovation in agricultural machinery.

A large homestead, still standing with a heritage overlay due to its attractive Federation style, was built in the late 1890s and since then the farm has benefitted from a variety of uses; during and after WWII as a holiday spot for those looking to get away from the big smoke and later the following century as base for the popular annual Djerriwarrh Festival.

But to those in the horse racing world, it is best known as Cornwall Park.

Owned and operated by the Trescowthick family, Cornwall Park was home to a number of popular stallions (at a later time under the banner of the Independent Stallion Station) but its paddocks had been mostly empty in the years before the farm’s sale in early 2017.

Fast forward to late May 2020 and Ballarat trainer Pat Cannon happens to pay a visit, that evening tweeting… “Cornwall Park is virtually empty… a great old stud still in excellent order, would be a great opportunity for a new breeder.”

Spying that tweet was Arrowfield Stud’s Stephen Irwin, friend to Peter Boyle and Lisa Gordon, a Hunter Valley based couple with a long history of involvement in the thoroughbred breeding industry. They had been on the lookout for a while for the perfect farm though it was not until their successful photography business (LMG Photography) took a Covid hit that they stepped up their search.

“Our work stopped like a freight train,” Lisa said, “which forced our hand a bit. But we had both been keen to come back into thoroughbreds… it is an addiction after all!”

Above: Peter Boyle and Lisa Gordon

Reading Cannon’s tweet on a Friday evening, the couple sprung into action – driving to Victoria the following day, viewing the farm on the Saturday, signing the dotted (lease) line on the Tuesday – and moving in the following weekend!

“It was a whirlwind,” Lisa joked, adding that an instant rapport with Cornwall Park’s current owners Alex and Nicole McIntyre helped to speed things up.

“They are the loveliest people we could ever hope to meet,” Lisa said. “They had tried different things for the farm from glamping to agistment and realised what would be most perfect is for someone to restore Cornwall Park to its former glory, for it to once again become a successful thoroughbred stud… enter us!”

And so in the three hectic weeks since their move to Victoria, Peter and Lisa have been “cleaning, gardening and mowing” and are “ready to fill the paddocks with beautiful thoroughbreds again!”

“It is great to see Pete able to utilize his 25 years working at studs,” Lisa said, noting that he brings to Cornwall “a wealth of experience following long term associations with such famed thoroughbred nurseries as Segenhoe Stud, Byerley Stud, Baerami Thoroughbreds and Emirates Park Stud.”

Lisa also boasts an impressive equine resume having competed in a variety of disciplines from a young age, devoting years to her passion of horse photography.

“I am going to juggle photography and Cornwall Park,” she said, already delighted with the response from breeders – “we have had so many people say how happy they are to see us here… and we are really keep to make our mark!”

And already a stallion has been found to launch Peter and Lisa’s reincarnation of Cornwall Park with Redoute’s Choice’s Gr.1 Spring Champion Stakes winning son Hampton Court arriving late last week, immediately settling in.

Above: Hampton Court who has recently arrived at Cornwall Park

“He is such a gentleman, just so easy to work with,” Peter said of the striking bay who has sired 19 runners from his first 35 runners in Australia, America, Canada, Malaysia and South America.

A $500,000 Easter graduate trained by Gai Waterhouse, Hampton Court won the Listed Dulcify Stakes and the Gr.1 Spring Champion Stakes (defeating First Seal) before starting favourite but ending up in the wrong part of the track in the Gr.1 VRC Derby.

A son of the imported stakes winner Roses ‘N’ Wine from the family of superstar mare Makybe Diva, Hampton Court is still in the early stages of his stud career with his first local crop being only three.

“He will stand at a very reasonable $2,500,” Peter said, keen to support local breeders.

“Hopefully he can attract some nice mares whose owners are willing to give him a try for a small outlay,” he said, also hoping to attract business to the “new” farm… “we are looking forward to creating and building our piece of thoroughbred history here in the coming years.”

Meanwhile Lisa is keen to expand on her equine photography business, available for stud shoots whilst also happy to open Cornwall Park to visitors – its large and well equipped auditorium suitable for functions, horse sales and conferences.

Above: The auditorium at Cornwall Park

Visit us at www.cornwallpark.com.au or get in touch:

Peter: 0427 459 795 peter@cornwallpark.com.au

Lisa: 0439 000 671 lisa@cornwallpark.com.au

Inglis remains committed to conducting live Great Southern and Melbourne Gold yearling sales in Victoria next month despite the state government being forced into reneging on a planned relaxation of coronavirus regulations after a sudden spike in Covid-19 cases in the past week.

Sebastian Hutch, Inglis’ general manager of bloodstock sales and marketing, yesterday moved to allay fears that the proposed Oaklands Junction auctions were in doubt due to Premier Daniel Andrews’ stern action at the weekend to clamp down on the movement of people, particularly in Melbourne.

Inglis’ Victorian sales complex is located to the north west of the city in Hume City Council, one of six local government areas identified by authorities as a Covid-19 hotspot.

Inglis has been engaging with Hume City Council to ensure its Oaklands Junction sales proceed where there are 226 weanlings catalogued for the July 12 Great Southern Sale and another 454 yearlings entered in the Melbourne Gold auction.

The yearling sale had already been pushed back from April because of the Australia-wide lockdown caused by the pandemic.

Since the coronavirus crisis began, Inglis has conducted the Australian Easter Yearling Sale and Chairman’s Sale as virtual auctions, while the industry has also embraced online technology to continue to trade bloodstock, but Hutch was mindful of the importance of an on-the-ground market taking place, starting with the company’s four July sales in quick succession.

“Inglis has made a huge investment in technology, which has been valuable in what has been a difficult period, but naturally there’s a huge appetite for live sales to resume and we’re very much on track for that to be the case in July,” Hutch told ANZ Bloodstock News.

“We’ve got Covid safe plans that we’ve discussed with relevant authorities for the sales in NSW and Victoria and we want the sales to go ahead as we recognise their importance to the market.

“We’re conscious of our responsibilities for people’s safety as well, but certainly in terms of discussions we’ve had with relevant authorities we’re very much capable of satisfying their requirements.

“As long as patrons respect the guidelines that are put in place at the complexes, we’re very confident that the sales will be straight forward.”

The Riverside Stables-scheduled Australian Easter Yearling Sale Round 2, the Scone Yearling Sale (July 5) and the Australian Weanling Sale (July 8) were confirmed as live auctions in May and that still remains the case, but the increase in the coronavirus infection rate through community transmission in Victoria heightened vendors’ concerns about the prospect of the Melbourne sales not being able to go ahead.

Victorian vendor Paul Kelly of Ponderosa Park says buyers would not be prepared to speculate on higher-end weanlings if they could be inspected and believes it is imperative that a live auction takes place.

If the sale was postponed or cancelled, it would put an enormous financial strain on Kelly and his wife Sue’s business.

“We’d really struggle if we had to hold onto them all as yearlings because our whole program revolves around selling them as weanlings,” Kelly said.

“There’s service fees to be paid, we have to breed again this year and we probably can’t hold that many horses on the farm.

“We have 27 going to Great Southern including some Gold yearlings who were supposed to (be sold in April).

“Everyone knows what it costs to feed just one horse, let alone if you’re holding an extra 27 or 28.”

Kelly plans to offer 19 weanlings by sires including Deep Field (Northern Meteor), More Than Ready (Southern Halo), Capitalist (Written Tycoon), Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock) and Toronado (High Chaparral) with select sale pedigrees.

He said: “Our business model gives buyers the confidence that we are sending our very best.”

Mane Lodge’s Neil Osborne also has eight weanlings catalogued for the Great Southern Sale, including a Headwater (Exceed And Excel) half-sister to the Group 3-placed Lone Eagle (Zoffany), and admitted the uncertainty surrounding the overall market and the Melbourne auction was far from ideal.

Osborne, who also trains and operates an agistment property at Sutton north of Canberra, had specifically targeted Great Southern in a bid to decrease his numbers to a manageable level before next year’s yearling sales.

“Looking at the results, I thought the Great Southern was an exceptional weanling sale and the buying bench was a lot broader down there than in Sydney,” Osborne said.

There has been a suggestion that the Great Southern and Melbourne Gold sales could be moved to Inglis’ Sydney complex to alleviate coronavirus concerns, a move that would be supported by Osborne and Kelly, but Hutch last night said Oaklands Junction remained the likely venue.

“At this stage, there’s no plan to relocate any sales from Victoria to NSW,” he said.

“Obviously, we have the capacity to do that if it is absolutely necessary, but nothing’s happened in the past few days that means we would need to do that.”

July shapes as a busy period for breeding industry participants with back-to-back auctions in Sydney and Melbourne before the postponed Magic Millions Gold Coast National Sale takes place later in the month as a live auction.

“The challenge of the schedule, as it now exists, is that there’s a lot of horses being sold in a relatively short space of time. We’ve tried to configure the sales so that it evolves in a smooth fashion,” Hutch said.

“There’s a lot of horses and people are going to have to be very diligent and very professional in how they get through them in regards to the sales in NSW and Victoria, or both.

“But it’s going to present positive challenges for people because there’s the potential for value to be found and those people who do their work will find a bargain.

“Similarly, vendors who present their horses to a high standard, are well prepared and are prepared to be as open and transparent as possible for those buyers who aren’t in a position to attend the sale, they will hopefully get rewarded.”

Meanwhile, people planning on attending the Easter Round 2 and Scone Yearling Sale at Riverside Stables in Sydney on July 5 and the Australian Weanling Sale three days later must pre-register.

Similar protocols will be in force for the Great Southern weanling and Melbourne Gold sales.

Related links

Registration for Inglis Easter Round 2 and Australian Weanling Sale attendance


By Tim Rowe and article courtesy of ANZ Bloodstock News

Front Page ridden by Lewis German wins the A.R. Creswick Stakes at Flemington Racecourse on June 20, 2020 in Flemington, Australia. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

Perhaps it was veteran Corowa trainer Geoff Duryea’s natural instincts that told him to do what he’d never done before – breed from a mare he’d trained.

Duryea trained Stacey Lee (Bel Esprit/Curio Jade) to five wins from 20 starts, and the mare’s three minor placings including two thirds in Melbourne.

When the time came to retire Stacey Lee from the track, Duryea said the current owners weren’t interested in breeding from her so he suggested to his two sons, Paul and Marc and daughter, Beth, that they buy the mare with some of their friends to breed from.

Duryea said his family and friends didn’t pay “very much” for the mare but it’s been a wise investment that resulted in her second born, Front Page, generating big news last Saturday with a dazzling victory in the A.R Creswick Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.

The phone has been ringing at Duryea’s home with some fairly significant offers from Hong Kong where big dollars are easily handed over for a class horse.

Duryea, who says he is only the trainer and has no financial interest in the three year-old gelding, said a decision would be made on Tuesday whether an offer was accepted.

“I have told these people who have been ringing me that it will either be yeah or nay on Tuesday,” he said.

“I have put it out to the syndicate and I am just waiting for what the majority say and it’s up to them.”

But Duryea, who said all the 13 owners will have a vote, says the horse would then obviously need to pass a stringent veterinary examination if the offer was accepted.

Sun Stud, which stands Front Page’s sire – Magnus – is hoping the owners will reject any offer for the gelding which joins outstanding sprinters Nature Strip (2018) and Gytrash (2019) to win the Creswick Stakes and then go onto Group 1 glory.

Sun Stud sire Magnus

Sun Stud’s Adam Henry said he was hoping the son of Magnus could emulate the Group 1 feats of Nature Strip and Gytrash in Australia which would give the sire more prominence in the local market.

“Front Page has now won four out of six and looks untapped and it’s exciting to have him coming through because you just don’t know what level he will get to,” Henry said.

“The Creswick is usually a good form race with Nature Strip and Gytrash being the last two winners and Front Page’s time was much quicker than those two.”

Henry said Magnus was having another fantastic year and was always in the top 20 active stallions and has produced Group 1 winners in four of the past five seasons.

Front Page ridden by Lewis German wins the A.R. Creswick Stakes at Flemington Racecourse on June 20, 2020 in Flemington, Australia. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

“He is just tremendous value for what you are going to get,” Henry said.

“His winners to runners is 70 per cent and he can get you a top liner as well. He has had 10 stakes performers this season, including Group 1 winners Streets of Avalon, Group 2 winner Kemalpasa and Group 3 winner Halvorsen. It’s pretty impressive stuff.

“He gets winners every week and can get you a top liner as well.”

Henry said Magnus’ advertised service fee is $15,400 and with Written Tycoon’s departure, he is the best performed Victorian stallion on the table at the moment.

He said Magnus would again cover 100-plus mares in this season he concedes will be COVID affected but was the safest bet for people who like proven horses.

Henry expects there to be a fairly even spread of demand for Sun Stud’s stallions with National Defense, which served 159 mares last year, and again in strong demand in his second season. And he says Fiorente continues to get the job done and new boy on the block, Palentino, is again in demand with his yearlings selling so well and his first runners will hit the track later in the year.

Unfortunately, Front Page’s dam, Stacey Lee, won’t be returning to Magnus this year, but she could be heading back to him in 2021.

The Duryea’s sent Stacey Lee to Vancouver last season but when she failed to get into foal, she was served by Rubick, who she is now in foal to, on December 17 last year.

Duryea said she would obviously have a late foal so it was decided not to have her served this year.

Front Page’s older full sister, News Girl, is Group 3 placed and has won three races at Caulfield with her latest victory over 1100m in May.

The four year-old is also trained by Duryea and raced by his three children and a group of friends.

The family has also breed a filly – Page Three – out of Stacey Lee by Stryker – and has weanling filly out of the mare by Dundeel (NZ).

Duryea, a former jockey who rode Red Hope in the 1973 Melbourne Cup, said Magnus was obviously high on the list of stallions for Stacey Lee.

“I don’t know whether it’s good judgement or whatever, it’s a good cross of Vain in both pedigrees and would you believe but both News Girl and her brother Front Page are chestnuts,” he said.

“The Stryker is brown and the Dundeel is brown. It’s interesting.”

Duryea said he always believed that Bel Esprit, who also stands at Sun Stud, produces better females than males.

Sun Stud sire Bel Esprit.

He said the owners who raced Stacey Lee told him didn’t want to breed from her, he advised his children and a few of their mates that he thought they were mad if they didn’t buy her.

“She hurt her knees when she was a young horse but she still had a good turn of foot,” Duryea said.

“So they thought what have they got to lose and the rest is history.”

Duryea said that while Stacey Lee was placed in town, she could almost break 10 seconds for a 200m sectional.

“Say from the 600m to 400m – that type of thing,” he said.

“That’s what I said to family and friends, it’s bloody hard to do. If you can get a horse to rattle that off, they can run and when she won the Queen of the South at the Wagga Cup Carnival, Willy Pearson rode her and I told him she would run him 10 seconds for 200m or maybe even break it.

“He was sitting in behind them and went whoosh and won by three lengths and he said, oh Geoff I only let her run ten and a half so I still had a bit up my sleeve. We just laughed.”

Duryea said he’d trained a lot of good mares but just had the inkling that Stacey Lee could be a special broodmare because of that quick sectional she could produce.

Amazingly Front Page could have been relegated to the classified section as he struggled to put it together during his early development, but Duryea always knew he could gallop.

“He just couldn’t get the penny to drop to know that when the stalls opened you are supposed to get out and get running,” Duryea laughed.

“The first time he trialled he got beaten 10 lengths and they told me I had to trial him again because he wasn’t competitive. It sounds stupid but I preserved and preserved with him and the penny dropped and he hasn’t looked back.”

Duryea said Front Page had now gone for a spell – and there are plenty of people hoping the horse that kicked off his career in Albury will remain in Australia and not bob up next at Sha Tin.

Hoofnote: At the time of writing this article, connections had not yet made a decision regarding the offer from Hong Kong. As of the morning of the 23rd of June 2020, connections have knocked back the offer from Hong Kong and Front Page will race on in Australia.

Wendy Smith has been crowned the Thoroughbred Excellence Award winner in the Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards 2020.

At a virtual ceremony, the yearling manager at Victorian stud Blue Gum Farm, was praised for her unlimited determination, thorough reliability and unsurpassed knowledge and skill.

Smith took the top award of the evening, together with the Horsemanship category of the SSSA, staged by Thoroughbred Breeders’ Australia and Racing Australia and supported worldwide by Godolphin.

She is one of seven winners of the awards, which recognise the vital, but often behind-the-scenes work in one of the country’s largest industries.

A veterinary nurse and all-round horsewoman, Smith has overseen the post-natal care of the farm’s foals for the past eight years. During that time Blue Gum has become one of Victoria’s most successful consignors of yearlings to Australian sales.

“I would never have thought I would be in line for anything like this,” Smith said. “I really believe I was born to work with horses. I am shocked and I’m so grateful to Blue Gum’s owners Phil and Patti Campbell for nominating me.

“I really believe I was born to work with horses. I am shocked and I’m so grateful to Blue Gum’s owners Phil and Patti Campbell for nominating me.” – Wendy Smith

“There are so many people who work in the background who never get recognition. These awards offer something to all of them.”

As winner of the Horsemanship category, Smith receives a cash prize of $10,000, a trophy with a further $3000 to share among workplace colleagues. She receives an additional $5000 as the Thoroughbred Excellence award winner.

The winners in all seven categories of the SSSA were announced in an online ceremony streamed around the world on Wednesday night, with six categories carrying a cash prize of $10,000 and a trophy, while the top Newcomer received $5000.

The Dedication to Breeding section, sponsored by Magic Millions, went to Chris Cooper who has been at Godolphin’s Woodlands Stud in the Hunter Valley for most of the past 25 years.

Dedicated servant

The Dedication to Racing winner Mick Hurry was nominated for the award, sponsored by the Australian Turf Club, by his sister Suzie and is an employee of the Victoria Racing Club.

In the Leadership category, the winner – Godolphin’s Simon Johnson – spoke for every entrant in the SSSA, saying “you do it because you love it.” The assistant stud manager at Woodlands Stud regards leadership as an obligation.

“We are obliged to give everyone who comes into the industry and who shows a willingness to learn the opportunity to advance themselves,” Johnson said.

Thoroughbred Care and Welfare is an area that is vital to the industry and one to which Godolphin is committed, as is the 2020 winner, Liz Andriske. With her husband Gary, Andriske has funded and built a comprehensive complex in western Victoria where she provides a temporary home for her horses until new owners are found.

Sarah Moran’s success in the Administration and Ancillary category, sponsored by the Melbourne Racing Club Foundation, came after a testing year in which she went above and beyond her role as personal assistant to Victorian trainer Robbie Griffiths after he was diagnosed with a brain aneurism.

Newcomer Award winner Kelly Colledge confronted similar circumstances soon after she joined Grafton trainer Brenden Mackay and she responded in similar style when Mackay was found to have a brain tumour and it was left to his brand-new employee to keep his business running.

Greg Nichols, Chairman of Racing Australia, and Tom Reilly, Chief Executive Officer of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, said: “A record 168 nominations were received from the widest-ever range of training establishments, studs and other organisations that support and maintain an industry that is one of Australia’s largest.”

“The hard work and commitment of staff is the cornerstone of our industry. Without that, Australia would not be regarded as a global leader in thoroughbred racing and breeding.”

Vin Cox, Managing Director of Godolphin Australia said: “These Awards honour the behind-the-scenes stars of our industry and bring deserved recognition and reward to the people who make an extraordinary commitment to our horses and this sport.”

Article courtesy of TDN

Above: Mares and foals in springtime (Sharon Lee Chapman)

With the establishment of a Thoroughbred Aftercare Welfare Working Group (TAWWG) – along with the release, earlier this month, of an issues paper – submissions have highlighted the concern for regulating post-race/breeding careers.

“We’ve been encouraged by the response from those within and outside of the industry and expect quite a few more will be sent before submissions close on 24 July,” Thoroughbred Breeders Australia CEO, Tom Reilly, reveals.

Drawing upon considerable expertise and allowing for the diverse nature of the industry, the TAWWG panel is headed by former Victorian Premier, Minister for Racing and veterinary surgeon, Dr Denis Napthine, but he and his team will also consult regularly with a steering group which includes Reilly; Champion trainer Chris Waller; Victoria Racing Club board member, Neil Werrett; Vin Cox, Managing Director of Godolphin Australia; John Kelly, owner of Newhaven Park Stud; Martin Talty, CEO of the Australian Jockeys’ Association; and Andrew Nicholl, CEO of the Australian Trainers’ Association.

Like everyone on the panel and the steering group, Nicholl is driven about a successful outcome for thoroughbred welfare.

The Australian Trainers’ Association is the peak national body for the thoroughbred training industry, representing the interests of some 3200 trainers throughout the nation, and for the past five years, and Nicholl is a ‘self confessed’ addict when it comes to racing.

“You meet so many genuine people in racing, real people with a passion for what they do. And of course, the thoroughbred is such a magnificent animal,” Nicholl enthused. “We don’t believe our role is to limit this conversation to trainers only. Equine welfare affects everything we do … fail to properly manage this area, and the results can be disastrous for everyone, not just trainers.

“So, we see our role more broadly, one supporting the whole industry with the design, management and promotion of welfare and welfare practices.”

Nicholl also believes one of the greatest problems the industry faces is public perception.

“What we do well across industry is simply not well understood by the public,” Nicholl believes. “On the contrary, any failing is invariably heavily publicized … the Meramist expose on the 7.30 Report last year being a startling example. The reality is that this has lead to the industry being harshly judged.

“We need to find ways to better engage with the public, and arm them with the facts, and only then will we be able to improve public perception.”

One way for better managing the welfare of our horse population, post-racing career, is through a national traceability scheme, Nicholl claims.

“I consider ‘traceability’ to be at the core of managing welfare outcomes. It’s a simple mechanism for defining ownership – and of course, ensuring one’s accountability with that ownership,” Nicholl adds.

“Racing Australia and the Federal Government have been discussing the merit of this system for some time now. The conversation to date has been encouraging, but we need to advance that conversation to agreed actions … sooner rather than later.”

Another major issue concerning Nicholl is the inconsistency of welfare spend and activity between the state racing jurisdictions. This often varies dependent upon size and financial capability, and of course, objective.

“For example, $8.25m million is currently directed towards thoroughbred welfare activities in Victoria, versus $200,000 in Tasmania,” Nicholl explains. “The formation of TAWWG will hopefully help drive industry to change outcomes for everyone.

“I’m excited by this project: the terms of reference and the formation of the independent panel which has some fantastic people on it … just take a look at their experience.

“This is without doubt, the most far reaching welfare review ever proposed for the industry. It also has broad support from so many leading industry stakeholders, and corporate support. “I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

And now it’s time to have your say: visit thoroughbredwelfareintiative.org.au and either email your submission to secretariat@thoroughbredwelfareinitiative.org.au or post to TAWWG, PO Box 149, Canterbury, NSW 2193 prior to 24 July.

Article courtesy of Aushorse

Above: LIBERTY BEACH, red and white silks. Photo: Ascot Media

To finish third to one of the world’s best sprinters in a globally renowned Gr.1 sprint at Royal Ascot – we’ll take that!

What an enormous run by 3yo Cable Bay filly Liberty Beach to finish just over two lengths from multiple G1 winner Battaash in Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, leaving the likes of G1 winner Glass Slippers as part of the beaten brigade.

With a further three days of the Royal Ascot carnival still be to be run, tonight will see Cable Bay colt Ropey Guest start in the G3 Jersey Stakes while the multiple winning, G3 placed Separate contests the Sandringham Handicap.

Electric Ladyland, Cable Bay’s first every runner and winner, who recorded a two-year-old course-record time in that win, has been nominated for tomrrow’s Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap.

Australia Has Much To Look Forward Too

With the continued international success of the progeny of Cable Bay, the news locally is just as promising from the numerous trainers who have a first-crop runner in their yard.

On the breeding front, a quality book of mares has already been assembled for the young son of Invincible Spirit with Gilgai Farm penciling in some class mares including Sweetest Melody, the dam of G2 Thousand Guineas Prelude winner Smart Melody, Miss Evasive, a winning daughter of dual G1 winner Magical Miss, Le Ciel, an All Too Hard daughter of the dual G1 winner Sacred Choice as well as Good Oh who hails from the family of Holy Roman Emperor, Flying Spur and Encosta de Lago.

Article courtesy of Woodside Park

Above: Last Typhoon who will be standing at Larneuk Stud this season

Blue-blooded Street Cry (IRE) stallion Last Typhoon is moving to Larneuk Stud this season following the decision of Bullarook Park’s Malcolm and Jan Boyd to retire this year.

The only foal from ill-fated Australian Horse of the Year Typhoon Tracy, Last Typhoon was a two time winner on the track, but his real appeal lies in his pedigree.

By world renowned, proven sire of sires Street Cry, best known here in Australia for giving us world champion Winx, Last Typhoon has a female family bristling with Black Type that includes current season Group I VRC Australian Guineas winner Alligator Blood.

The oldest progeny for Last Typhoon are yearlings and his fee this year is set at $4,400.

He will stand at Larneuk Stud alongside O’Lonhro, Cluster and Wolf Cry.

Article courtesy of Breednet

Above: Gunsablazin’ ridden by Christine Puls wins the Apiam Animal Health Maiden Plate at Bendigo Racecourse. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

Robyn Shakespeare admits to shedding a tear when Gunsablazin’ scored an unexpected maiden victory at Bendigo on Sunday.

Gunsablazin’ is one of three horses sired by Hurdy Gurdy Man who died of a colic attack on New Year’s Day, 2017.

Robyn and her late husband Ed, who died six years ago, bred Hurdy Gurdy Man (Street Cry/Abalone), a Victorian Horse of the Year and winner of the Group 3 Hobart Cup (2200m) in 2013.

Robyn bred and races Hurdy Gurdy Man filly, Robyn’s Folly, and has a small share in Gunsablazin’, while the third foal by Hurdy Gurdy Man died shortly after birth.

Robyn is thankful she was talked into taking a small share in Gunsablazin’ by Ballarat trainer Brittany Goodwin who bred the gelding and races her with family and friends, including Robyn.

After some battling performances early in his career, Gunsablazin’, which is out of  Honourable Miss, showed some improved form leading into his eighth start when he won over 1600m at odds of $31.

Robyn’s Folly, who is trained at Warrnambool by Daniel Bowman, had run third at her first start and followed it up with some close finishes at his next two starts before being disappointing in her past two runs.

And Robyn’s Folly, which was named after Robyn, is also only a three year-old and Bowman remains confident the filly has a win in her.

The filly was bred by Robyn and her late husband and is out of their mare Shiny and New (Foreplay/Shag’s Sister) which won six races.

Robyn said she was so glad Brittany talked her into taking a small share in Gunsablazin’.

“Ed died six years ago and I have struggled with my life since then. I was planning on getting out of the horses as they are so expensive, but Brittany really wanted me to take a share and I relented,” she said.

“That’s why I took the small share and I am so glad she talked me into it. I’d be devastated if I hadn’t.”

Hurdy Gurdy Man was sold for $20,000 by Robyn as a stallion prospect after he retired and included in the sale was a free service which produced Robyn’s Folly and Gunsablazin’ from his one season when he only served three mares.

Robyn said it was emotional when Gunsablazin’ won.

“I was quite distracted the other day when they were both entered in the same race and were to pair off against each other but circumstances changed and I don’t think either of them ran in that race,’’ she said.

“I didn’t know where my brain was when he won. I wanted to close a chapter because we were both little breeders and Ed was right into matings, pedigrees, stallions and he absolutely loved it and it was his passion.

“I am just so upset that he didn’t see the end result.”

And it’s now up to Robyn’s Folly to add to the story.

Brittany Goodwin said she was also confident in the ability of Gunsablazin’.

“He’s our very first homebred,” Goodwin told Racing.com

“We were lucky enough that our mare (Honourable Miss) fell pregnant to Hurdy Gurdy Man and then he unfortunately passed away a week after we found out that she was pregnant.”

Above: Danerich standing at Rangal Park Stud

After an injury interrupted season, Rangal Park’s veteran stallion Danerich is back to full fitness as he prepares for his 14th year at stud.

Described by Rangal Park’s owner Eric Buttler as vastly underrated, Danerich produced two winners at the weekend – Toosbuy at Bendigo and Evyem at Port Augusta – to give a subtle reminder that he is still producing winners.

The Cranbourne trained pair of Rich Itch and Rich Charm are the 17 year-old stallion’s most recent stakes winners, but Buttler said there were still plenty of good horses to come.

Danerich (Danehill/Millrich) covered only 30 mares last season, but Buttler said the stallion was restricted early because of an injury which placed his future in jeopardy.

“He had a little problem with his back leg last year and we really didn’t know how he was going to perform,” Buttler said.

“It was really putting him over a mare to find out how he was going to perform but when we announced he was serving last year it was all very late.

“He is a very fertile stallion and very much underrated. He upgrades his mares.

“He usually gets 50 to 60 mares every year and I’d expect he’ll get the same this year. They also sell very well and were selling up to $100,000.”

Buttler said one of the tricks with Danerich was not to run his progeny as two year-olds.

He said Murray Bridge trainer John Hickmott has a Danerich gelding – Flow Meter – out of Trice Moss (Keltrice) which he leases from Rangal Park.

“He rang me up one day and said this horse isn’t going to measure up, I’ll send it back,” Buttler said.

“I told him to put it out in the paddock and then give it another go which he did.”

The now 10 year-old Flow Meter has had 134 starts for 15 wins, 20 seconds and 20 thirds for prize money of $600,010.

Buttler said the horse used to race every Saturday in Adelaide.

“It was finishing fourth, third, second and having a win and was in the money every week,” he said.

“He is as sound as a bell and that’s typical of the Danerich’s if you don’t push them too early.”

Buttler said Danerich throws winners from 900m to 3200m and it doesn’t matter if they are colts or fillies.

He said the stallion has also done well in Hong Kong, including Romantic Cash which started his career with Greg Eurell before being sold and then won another three races before injury ended his career.

Buttler said he’d love to get Danerich a book of mares that some of the stallions in the Hunter Valley serve.

“You have a look at Danerich’s Lord of the Sky (out of Princess Abassi), he didn’t have any black type in five generations,” he said.

Lord of the Sky won three Group races and $1.1 million in prize money.

Hickmott has been a big supporter of Danerich and says he has won races with his two year-olds, three year-olds and four year-olds and now a ten year-old.

“Flow Meter didn’t start until he was three and has been a great old horse,” Hickmott said.

“He had a bit of a heart arrhythmia last start and we thought we’d retire him but every time you’d drive the float out past his yard, he’d call out.

“We got the vet to examine him and his heart has gone back into the right rhythm and I had to take him for a 1200m trial on Monday at Gawler and his trial was enormous.

“I think he’ll race on Saturday.”

Hickmott said he had raced a stack of horses by Danerich, including stakes winners Flying Skipper ($138,000), Classy Chloe ($299,240) and Classy Jack ($360,000) and Flow Meter ($600,010).

“He has been a marvellous sire,” Hickmott said.

“I bought Classy Chloe for I think $15,000 and we sold her for $100,000 after she had won $299,000. And we bought her mother (Capital Growth) for about $4,500 and she was carrying Classy Jack and we have gone on from there.”

Hickmott said with Danerich being a half-brother to Redzel (Snitzel) there was no reason why he shouldn’t be a good stallion but he just doesn’t get the opportunities.

He has six mares in foal to Danerich, plus he sent a couple to Boom Time last season.

Rangal Park will stand two new stallions this season, the recently retired Soul Patch (Shamus Award/Good Bless Us) and Cliff’s Edge (Canford Cliffs/Simulation).

Both are Group winners and Buttler said it was important to advertise that both stallions would be standing at Rangal Park.

“It’s unfortunate that this year open days are unlikely,” he said.

“I was looking forward to an open day with the four stallions as we’ve got Boom Time (Flying Spur/Bit Of A Ride) as well.”

Buttler said the stud’s newest acquisition, Cliff’s Edge, was a gutsy performer who won two Group 2 and two Group 3 races and was stakes placed six times.

“He was getting the score on the board,” he said.

“We have a got a little bit of variety at the stud and something to offer the breeders.”

Boom Time, Danerich and Boom Time all stand for $6,600; while Soul Patch’s fee is $8,800.



Above: Tactical winning at Royal Ascot (Photo credit Ascot Racecourse)

The victory of the Queen’s two year-old colt Tactical at Royal Ascot in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes has given returning Australian sire Toronado yet another glowing endorsement.

The shuttle stallion is due back in Victoria in August to commence duties after he was exported from Australia to France last December following another successful season at Victoria’s Swettenham Stud.

His spectacular success with his progeny has made him an in demand stallion in Australia and the victory of Tactical, which was the Queen’s 24th Royal Ascot winner, was great publicity for Swettenham and Toronado.

Unfortunately for breeders, Swettenham Stud principal Adam Sangster has announced that Toronado’s book for the season is full.

After not knocking back any breeder last season, Toronado (IRE) served nearly 200 mares and is expected to cover a similar book of broodmares this year.

Sangster said it was disappointing to close Toronado’s book but it was important to look after the stallion who is consistently getting winners from his Australian progeny.

He has been standing at Swettenham Stud since 2015 and has covered a total of 778 mares.

His progeny are eagerly sought after by the lucrative Hong Kong market.

Sangster said the Queen, who bred Tactical from her mare Make Fast, owned a couple of horses by Toronado.

He said while it was great to see a Toronado win at Royal Ascot for such a high-profile owner, in reality the stallion doesn’t really need a boost at the moment because it won’t alter the fact that his book is closed.

“He has been fully booked for a while now, but it just reinforces his talent,” Sangster said.

“It’s good to have a two-year-old win a stakes race on the biggest day of the year at Royal Ascot. It all definitely helps.”

“A 1000m race up the straight is probably more of what we perceive with the Australian racing style being short course sprinting.”

Sangster said it showed that Toronado, a champion miler, can throw a lot of quality two year-olds that can sprint – and every winner helps his reputation.

Toronado has now sired seven stakes winners in the northern hemisphere across a wide variety of distances which again demonstrates his ability as a sire.

Sangster said his oldest progeny in Australia are three-year-olds and there are a lot of stakes quality horses among them.

“He was the most popular stallion in Victoria last year and will probably be again this year as well,” he said.

“There have been some big offers being touted for quite a few of Toronado’s progeny from here for the Hong Kong market.

“He will have a dozen racing from the northern hemisphere and he’ll have some racing in the southern hemisphere as well.”

Sangster said Toronado, along with Highland Reel which was exported to Ireland in December were scheduled to arrive back at Nagambie in August which is exciting for the stud.

He said Toronado would definitely cover his best quality of broodmares this season including Group winners and others that had produced Group winners.

And the Queen’s racing manager, John Warren, said after the race: “Her Majesty was saying how delighted she was to breed a two-year-old winner. It is obviously a great shame that Her Majesty is a not at Royal Ascot (because of COVID-19) to enjoy the buzz of a winner.

“The last two days she has been able to spend a little bit of time watching the races.

“This was the icing on the cake to have a winner for Her Majesty – it is tremendous.”

Trainer Andrew Balding said Tactical had shaped promisingly when third on debut at Newmarket on June 4 and showed the benefit of that experience with a length and a quarter victory over Yazaman .

“Tactical was showing a fair bit at home before we ran him first time out,” Balding said in his postrace interview

“He ran a nice race and learnt plenty, and James (Doyle) gave him a lovely ride today but we were quite hopeful especially when it looked like the draw was more of a help than a hindrance.

“He was showing plenty early on. He would have been ready to run in April which is very early for one of mine. He has got a great attitude and is very professional.

“We thought Tactical had learnt a lot (on his debut at Newmarket) and would be a bit sharper which proved to be the case. But he still had to get the job done and did it nicely at the end.

“I think he will be better over six furlongs (1200m), and we stuck at five (1000m) because we thought the Coventry Stakes would be a much stronger race, but he will certainly be going six furlongs and looks up to Group class.”

Choir Boy gave The Queen her first Royal Ascot winner in 1953 and this year’s meeting was the first she had missed in her 68-year reign.