Above: Lot 434 Danerich x Idolwise (filly)

Danerich will be dominating most of the draft for Rangal Park Stud at this year’s Melbourne Gold Sale. There will be ten yearlings in the Rangal Park’s consignment with seven of these being by Danerich. This is no surprise as Danerich is one of four stallions standing at Rangal Park in Eurora, alongside Boomtime, Soul Patch and Cliff’s Edge.

‘They are very nice types and have been pleased how they have come along. It is now for the eyes of the buyer.’ Remarked Eric Buttler from Rangal Park.

There is a Danerich by Firestorm Baby that has caught Eric’s attention, ‘I believe the Firestorm Baby filly (Lot 393) will catch people’s eye as she is striking to look at. I think she should hold herself up pretty well. She will hold residual value.’ Lot 185 is another highlight, the Danerich filly by Stage Doll by a Stakes winning mare. However, it is the Danerich filly x Idolwise (Lot 438) that has really impressed Eric in her preparation. She is the first foal by the Artie Schiller mare, Idolwise. Two colts from Royal Sonata and Homeland Sheila will catch buyers eyes.

Eric is confident that all of the Danerich’s that he is offering should sell well next week. ‘The Danerich’s are good solid horses provided you don’t push them too early. If you can persevere and give them time you can reap the rewards later on.’ A prime example of this is Flow Meter who is a ten-year-old gelding by Danerich. He has had 137 starts and 15 wins including a Stakes places and is still racing in South Australia.

Danerich has nine stakes winners to his name including Ritch Itch on Turnbull Stakes day last year. Although Danerich himself was lightly raced during his racing career his speed on the track was stand-out with wins including Group 3 McNeil Stakes, the Listed Mitchell McKenzie Stakes and he was placed second in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes and third to Apache Cat and God’s Own in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude.

Danerich has produced winners from 900m to 3200m and since his stud career in 2007 has proved he is a consistence performer. ‘Danerich is the most under-rated stallion in Australia and seriously updates his mares. He is a very fertile stallion and hasn’t been punished with excessive books. His rewards are quite remarkable for what mares he has had.’

To view the full draft click here

Above: Lot 348 Manhattan Rain x Dance of Choice (Colt)

It’s been a long wait but Stonehouse Thoroughbreds’ Ryan Arnel is looking forward to when six of his yearlings go under the hammer at the July 16 Inglis Gold Sale at Oaklands.

The Eddington-based farm is offering four colts and two fillies.

Of the four colts, Arnel says there are definitely a couple which would be ideal purchases for traders.

“The Manhattan Rain (Dance of Choice) and the Starspangledbanner (Highleigh) are two very nice horses,” Arnel said.

“I think the Manhattan Rain and the Dissident (Roman Sandals) are two good trading options.

“This sale tends to be one of those where a lot of the trading type of guys are looking for something to trial up or go into. The Manhattan Rain colt is both Super VOBIS and VOBIS Sires nominated.”

Arnel said he really liked the Manhattan Rain’s dam, Dance of Choice which is by Stratum. This is her first foal.

“I know she didn’t have a huge race career herself but she is very well related and the pedigree matches very nicely and I am really keen on that match and where it actually goes,” he said.

Arnel said there had already been plenty of interest in the grey Starspangledbanner colt  which is out of a So You Think mare, Highleigh, a half-sister to gelding Danleigh (Mujahid/Graceful Lily)) which won nine Group races, including four at the highest level and $2.5 million in prize money.

“It’s a very well-known family,” he said.

“We would be expecting this boy to be in the mould of a mile-plus horse.”

He said he had fielded a lot of inquiries about the colt which gives him confidence he’ll be in a demand and a good seller.

A Cable Bay (Miss Eddy) colt, which Arnel describes as a good type, completes the male side of the yearlings being sold by Stonehouse.

The two fillies on offer from Stonehouse are by Palentino (Finishing School) and Press Statement (Dubai Fortress) – both also good types, according to Arnel.

Arnel reveals a lot of people might think there are some C grade yearlings in the Gold Sale, but he said they have some good types that will go under the hammer.

“Quite a few of ours we would have been pushed into Melbourne Premier and they would have found a spot in that sale, but it was simply because of the numbers that we weren’t able to prepare them for Melbourne Premier,” he said.

“The numbers were just too great to prepare them.

“We had to drop down to the Gold Sale.”

Arnel agreed Palentino’s first crop of yearlings had achieved some healthy sale results.

“They have been represented quite well and this filly is quite a nice type and he (Palentino) is a nice type himself and has thrown some very nice horses,” Arnel said.

“We have had a couple come through the system at Melbourne Premier, as well as post sales and spelling and what not.

“We are really happy with the types and they seem to be very smart horses, that’s for sure.”

Stonehouse’s Cable Bay (Miss Eddy) colt is sure to attract plenty of interest with buyers. His yearlings are the oldest of the shuttle stallion’s progeny in Australia, but he has been well represented at UK racetracks.

“They are looking like early types so it wouldn’t surprise if they showed a bit early on,” Arnel said.

Asked whether he thought they would still get Melbourne Premier type of prices, Arnel said: “We would love to for sure. But we are very realistic and I own a lot of these myself.

“I am very much about meeting the market and we understand there are tough times at the moment. What we might have once thought were 30 or 40 grand horses, we understand they might be more down to 10 or 20 grand.

“We are going to go there and we are going to meet the market. They will be there and we’ll let the market dictate their price.

“Hopefully the buyers aren’t too shy and speaking to other Victorian breeders and vendors, there are going to be some nice horses here and people really want this sale to be live because of the simple fact that they have got some nice types of horses.

“There will be some great buying opportunities for some good types.”

Arnel said any live auction would always be preferable over the digital format.

He said when he buys horses, including weanlings, it was a case of trusting your own eye more than anything.

“You do want to see them at the end of the day and you are willing to go that little bit extra if you have seen them,” Arnel said.

To view the entire draft click here






Above: Lot 18 Warhorse (NZ) x Late Watch (filly)

The long wait for the Melbourne Gold Yearling sale has added some extra maturity, plus some winter coats, to the Bombora Downs draft of six.

Four of the yearlings are by two of the Bittern farm’s resident stallions – Warhorse (NZ) and Jungle Ruler.

Bombora Downs owner Christoph Bruechert said he was happy with the draft in what has been a tough period for a lot of breeders.

He said the delay in the sale had allowed the horses to develop and would provide the successful bidders with something to go on with immediately.

“It’s been good for those immature types particularly. A couple of extra months has made a big difference,” Bruechert said.

“I have got some particularly nice horses physically. If they like them on paper, they will love them once they’ve seen them.”

Bruechert did not hold back when asked to nominate a yearling in his draft that stood out.

“The one out of Late Watch (by Warhorse), Lot 18 just looks like a rocket to me,” he said.

“She is a stunning individual with a great body, a massive top end and she’ll go quick.”

“Lot 294 the Jungle Ruler/Bella Coureuse colt is a well put together package too.”

“The Jungle Ruler/Skewiff colt, Lot 174 is a pretty nice horse as well; great walker plus has a nice page.

“The Late Watch is probably the pick. She hasn’t got a bad page either and is just a really nice horse.”

Bruechert said that Lot 442, a filly by Trust in a Gust out of Inablitz (Testa Rossa) is developing into a genuinely nice horse. She is still a bit of a “baby” but has come on quickly while in work.

A chestnut colt by Jimmy Creed (Distorted Humor), and out of Away With Words (Dylan Thomas/Moll Flanders), is also being offered by Bombora Downs. This is Away With Words’ second foal and her first, a filly, is by Warhorse.

“I don’t know how the Jimmy Creed’s will sell, but this is a very nice horse. He is good, strong, athletic and covers a lot of ground. There would not be anyone who would disagree, with some people falling in love with him one they see him in the flesh,” Bruechert said.

Bruechert is still hopeful that his stallion, Group 1 winner Warhorse (General Nediym/Rathlin Island), will make it as a stallion.

“He has had 18 runners for two winners at this point, which is a little disappointing, but I think it is a lot better than it looks as many of the runners have had only 2 or 3 starts. I’ve got a couple in work myself, one with Doug Harrison and he sent me some information this morning saying he really likes the horse.”

“Warhorse is at the crossroads for sure and I can keep talking the horse up but at some point, they have to do it on the track.”

Bruechert said he recently bought out the other owners of Warhorse, on the strength of the feedback he was receiving about the stallion’s progeny. He believes Warhorse is a bit of a sleeper with the best coming just around the corner.

On another note, Bruechert is getting quietly excited about one of Bombora Downs’ other stallions, Dandino, which had one yearling entered for the sale, but was withdrawn.

“The reports on Dandino progeny are really, really good and I am hearing some really positive stuff. He had his first starter the other day for Cindy Alderson (Tarantello) and the filly came home extremely well in very tough conditions at Bendigo.’’

Bruechert said Jungle Ruler has had 30 runners for nine winners. Of those, three are city winners with another three placing in the city, including Jungle Jane at Sandown last Wednesday. Again, many of the runners have had just a handful of starts.

“He is really doing a good job given the number of horses in work,” he said.

“It’s not an easy process.”

Bruechert said it was obviously always difficult for stallions that do not receive big books.

To view the entire draft click here 






Above: Team at Ultra- Yearling Manager Emily Taylor is the second from the right.

Like every Victorian, Ultra Thoroughbred Racing in Kilmore have been eagerly awaiting Inglis Gold sale.

Their yearling supervisor Emily Taylor has put countless hours and time into ensuring this draft is, as her manager Anthony Swords describes the yearlings, ‘as the best draft of yearlings which Ultra and Golden Grove have produced, so far.’

Presenting a draft of 12 for the Inglis Gold sale, the majority of the draft except for two are the progeny of Rosemont sire Shamus Award, who Ultra have the majority ownership share of.

While Anthony does acknowledge that the yearlings could have been presented for other sales, the operation has decided to give the Victorian market the first opportunity to purchase these sons and daughters of Shamus Award.

“We have been waiting to sell these yearlings since April. While we could have sent them to other sales, we couldn’t have predicted what COVID was going to do but we wanted to give the Victorian bench the first bite of the cherry,” Anthony Swords – General Manager of Ultra Thoroughbred Racing commented.

“We have had five withdrawals however this is due to four being sold prior to the sale and we decided to retain a filly as she has great bloodlines,” Anthony said.

The four which were purchased were two by Lindsay Park Racing (Lot 382 & 446) and another two by Troy Corstens (Lot 105 & 248) and the final lot, 329, being retained by Ultra, who will be raced by the team.

Shamus Award moved from the Hunter Valley to Victoria’s Rosemont Stud for the 2019 breeding season.

With seven stakes winners to date, his progeny includes horses such as Mr Quickie, Etana, Soul Patch and Flying Award.

While these yearlings catalogued for the Inglis Gold sale were conceived while the stallion stood in the Hunter, the mares were moved to Victoria either in foal or with their foal at foot.

“I think the move from the Hunter Valley down to Victoria due to the drought has done wonders for the horses. They have grown out well and had access to green pastures, which has allowed them to be strong and good boned. This has been integral in their development,” Anthony commented.

The three yearlings which Anthony believes will command good money for when the bidding starts online are lot 209 a King Cugat x Testthebudget colt, lot 341 a Shamus Award x Culminate (NZ) colt and lot 349 a Shamus Award x Dane Julia (SAF) colt.

“The King Cugat x Testthebudget colt, may do just that! He is a big strong athletic colt who has a big strong shoulder and a powerful hind quarter. He is out of a Testa Rossa mare and a black type, listed and group winning family. He’s also the full brother to Budget King,” Anthony commented.

“The Shamus Award x Culminate colt is a ready to run 2-year-old sprinter type. He has a strong shoulder and hind quarter, good length of rein and strong presence in the stable. He is out of a multiple group 1 winning mare over 1200 to 1600m and a family of group and listed race winners. He is definitely one for trainers to keep their eye on,” Anthony said.

“Finally, the Shamus Award x Dane Julia colt is another that you can’t go past. He is smart colt with a nice head, good girth and length of rein, forward moving and well grown. He would definitely be a 2-year-old runner. Dam Dane Julia is a mare by Caesour with 9 wins including international group 1, 2, 3 and listed races between 1400 metres and 1800 metres,” Anthony said.

“Ultra are committed to supporting Shamus 100% of the way and this draft represents his best to date. We will continue to produce the best for the market and no doubt this will translate to success on the track,” Anthony said.

Ultra Thoroughbred Racing are welcoming buyers to come and inspect the draft at their Kilmore based property. To arrange an inspection, you can contact Anthony on 0428 876 876.

To view their draft, click here.

Hoofnote: While the draft are not nominated for Super VOBIS, Ultra Thoroughbred Racing would be more than happy to provide the necessary documents for the yearlings to quality for Category C of the Super VOBIS program.

Above: The Ardex Digital Breeding Toolkit on mobile
In an era of tech start-ups and digital disruption, Ardex has been delivering technological solutions to the racing and breeding industry for well over 20 years, utilising what it says is its greatest asset, its relationships.

Innovation has been in Ardex’s DNA, right from when founders Scott Miers and Bruce Baker met while studying Computing Science at university and combined their passions for technology and racing to create a software solution for breeders and trainers to manage their financials.

But what has parlayed that early inspiration into the successful company Ardex Technology is today, according to its Business Development Manager, Suzie Stephen, has been the relationships it has built, which have further fostered that spirit of innovation into a new era under the ownership of Inglis.

“We have built on the principals which Scott and Bruce worked very hard on, which was talking to the clients to see what they need and building that for them,” she said.

“It’s custom-built software for the racing industry. It is not an out of the box product. It’s been years in the making to deliver something for the racing industry and tailored for that industry and that’s very important.

“It’s been years in the making to deliver something for the racing industry and tailored for that industry and that’s very important. ” – Suzie Stephen

“I always say, our products are built by clients for our clients. What’s at the core of our model is feedback-based development and projects are based around what our clients want.”

Ardex now offers a suite of products, customisable both for the size and purpose of the client, be they a breeder, trainer, farrier, dentist, vet, agistment farm, race club or auctioneer.

It offers subscription-based solutions for a wide range of requirements, including communications, financial management and reporting, racing management, stallion and broodmare management, documentation control and process management.

Above: The Ardex Breeding Menu available on the Digital Breeding Toolkit

Ardex’s greatest asset though, is its client base, which includes some of the biggest names in the thoroughbred industry in Australia and New Zealand, while continuing to expand its services internationally.

Local people, global approach

The entire business, including a technology and development team, is based out of Sydney, something which Stephen says has ensured that Ardex has been able to retain its connection with its client base.

“It’s really great having people in house. I work in the same office as the developers. We have that relationship whereby we are working on projects together; it is really collaborative. Client requests come in and we are all trying to brainstorm what to build and how to build it,” she said.

“It’s a really great environment for that. It means when things need to get done, they get done, which is good.”

The collaborative influence also flows on to Ardex’s relationships with its clients, with an absolute focus on identifying and resolving problems for them. It is that approach which Stephen says has ensured the company has remained innovative over its 22 years of existence.

A key Toolkit for breeders

That approach was the genesis for the latest innovation from Ardex, the Digital Breeding Toolkit, which was launched this week, and is available for Ardex Premier users.

Its aim is to help streamline the breeding process for users and it will give increased visibility of all elements from scheduled coverings to following a mare’s pregnancy scans. It includes a digital covering book that can help plan and schedule coverings, a pregnancy scan tracker, Docu-sign integration for electronic contracts as well as other features, with the aim of replacing manual processes with mobile technologies.

Above: Entry procedure on the Ardex Digital Breeding Toolkit

It’s really important to us that what we’re building not only meets our clients’ needs, but is almost ahead of them. We want to be on the forefront of what our clients may need,” Stephen said.

“The Digital Breeding Toolkit is exactly that. It shows them what can be done with breeding technology. It’s about those constant conversations with our clients, and then us setting the agenda for ourselves year on year that we are going to be improving on what we have developed. We can confidently say that the technology we are offering is cutting edge. It’s innovative, and most importantly it’s serving their needs.”

“It’s really important to us that what we’re building not only meets our clients’ needs, but is almost ahead of them. We want to be on the forefront of what our clients may need.” – Suzie Stephen

The Digital Breeding Toolkit is the result of not just the innovation coming from within Ardex, but the realisation of the potential of the relationship it holds with its clients.

“At the end of the breeding season, we caught up with our breeders and asked them what it was that they wanted to get out of the Ardex software and Ardex program and that’s how the Digital Breeding Toolkit evolved,” Stephen said.

“We worked really closely with a number of our clients, especially Coolmore Stud in Australia and Waikato Stud in New Zealand, to discuss what manual and time-consuming processes we could alleviate with the use of technology. We sat down with those clients and worked through what the major pain-points were. It’s a good place to start with any development project.

“We worked very closely with them ongoing, going back and forth with demo builds and test builds and people trialling and testing, and we’ve worked over that six-month period to put out a product we were really happy with.”

Above: Ardex worked closely with Coolmore Stud throughout the development of the product

The key achievement of the Digital Breeding Toolkit, according to Stephen, has been to implement a digital covering book, which not only makes documentation a lot more straightforward, but also allows greater understanding and collaboration across major breeding operations.

“You have the option to share that information more easily within the team. It’s not a book locked away in an office somewhere. Your staff can view that and generate reports more easily as well,” she said.

“With all of these things, the bottom line is to save time. We always want to achieve that for clients. As we know, the breeding season is one of the most hectic and busy times of the year, so for us it is really important for our clients to take back that time.”

Above: The covering book menu on Ardex Digital Breeding Toolkit

Accessibility a key plank of future strategy

There are a variety of product development ideas in the future roadmap for Ardex, but key to its strategy is further development of its web-based product, Ardex Essentials, to provide greater flexibility and usability for current and future clients.

“That’s a shift towards the more accessible and compact version of the Ardex Premier program, in our new product Ardex Essentials. It’s all the core features in a web-based system. That’s the direction we want to take that product,” Stephen said.

“It needs to be accessible, easy to use and we want the subscription to be affordable for the various sizes.” – Suzie Stephen

“It needs to be accessible, easy to use and we want the subscription to be affordable for the various sizes. Everything from an agistment farm with 20 mares to a larger operation, or from the smallest trainer to the big stables and everything from pre-training to breaking.

“Technology should be for everyone and everyone should be able to benefit from that and that is something that we would really like to achieve moving forward.”

And at the heart of that is the people, be they within the Ardex team or part of the client base, which drive that innovation.

“The thing I really value about this industry is that it is an industry of people. The people in this industry are so fantastic. We just want to work with those people to help them and help their businesses,” Stephen said.

“That’s where the passion comes from. It’s about giving people back their time and making things easier.”

Article courtesy of Bren O’Brien TDN

Above: Lot 223. Toronado – Settecento colt. Picture: Inglis

An excellent pinhook result from Jazcom Thoroughbreds proved the highlight of the 2020 Inglis Scone Yearling Sale, which followed the Easter Round 2 sale.

At A Glance

>> The clearance rate was 81 per cent, only slightly down from 90 per cent at the same sale last year

>> Hawkes Racing struck to secure the top two lots , with the $180,000 top lot a record for the Sale

>> The sale gross of $2.26 million was only slightly down on the total of $2.685 million last year

>> The sale average was $17,652, up from $15,797 in 2019

>>The median was $10,000, a slight fall from $12,000 in 2019

Pinhook pays off

The top lot was Lot 223, a colt by Toronado (Ire) out of Settacento (Nadeem), the half-sister to Listed winner and Group 1-placegetter Citirecruit (Citidancer {Ire}) from the family of champion filly Savana City (New Regent {Can}).

Hawkes Racing paid $180,000 for the colt, from Jazcom Thoroughbreds, who purchased him as a weanling from last year’s Great Southern Sale for just $10,000.

“I’d made it quite clear to people close to us that I thought he could top the sale, I thought he’d bring $60,000 but wouldn’t be surprised if he bought $100,000 so to get that great result, it really pays off for what Meagan and I do with the pinhooking investment,’’ Jazcom’s Colin Branthwaite said.

“He’s a quality horse, he’s got a lot of presence, an aura and demeanour that good judges like.’’

He was the clear top lot, with the next highest price the $70,000 Hawkes Racing paid for Lot 220, an Exosphere colt, offered by Waylon J Stud.

He is out of Save A Penny (Exceed And Excel), making him a half-brother to stakes-placed Excess Funds (Rubick) and the winner Cobra (Poet’s Voice {GB}).

Above: Lot 220 – Exosphere x Save A Penny (colt)

Hawkes Racing ended the top buyer for the Scone sale, spending $325,000 across three lots.

The top filly of the sale was Lot 278, a Nicconi filly out of Chaste (Lonhro), offered by Middlebrook Valley Lodge and sold for $65,000 to John Thompson Racing.

Chaste, a half-sister to stakes-placed pair Epic (Stratum) and Mighty Maverick (Snitzel) is a granddaughter of G1 Newmarket H. winner Ruffles (Zeditave) and has already produced the winners Desirable Miss (Snippetson), Ibini (Commands) and Purest (Stratum).

Above: Lot 278 – Nicconi x Chaste (filly)

Vinery Stud had two lots sell for $60,000, Lot 217, a filly by All Too Hard who was purchased by Belhannah Stud, and Lot 292, a colt by Vancouver which went to Wattle Bloodstock.

Vinery’s seven sales for a total of $236,900 was enough to put it second on the vendors’ list, behind Jazcom, which sold eight yearlings for a total of $332,000.

Nicconi was the leading sire on both aggregate and averages (more than 3 sales), with three sold for a total of $120,000.

“The Scone Sale was particularly pleasing, the sale held up very well setting a new record price for a top lot,” Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster said.

Article courtesy of Bren O’Brien TDN

Above: Michael and Siobhan after Eloping won the Blue Sapphire Stakes

It would be fair to say that the owner of Victoria’s Longwood Thoroughbred Farm, Michael Christian, did not have the most conventional entry into the world of breeding. A Chartered Accountant and an AFL premiership player with Collingwood, Michael had invested in some small shares in horses with colleagues during his stockbroking days in the mid 1990’s. In keeping with his interest in racing he purchased “A Lunch With Gai Waterhouse” at a charity auction with the thought that it would be something his clients would enjoy.

‘We had twenty of our best clients to lunch on the Wednesday before the 1997 Melbourne Cup. Gai was fashionably late but when she did arrive she had an aura about her that captivated the entire room. She entertained us through a great lunch and as I was escorting her to the lift, Gai enquired if I had any horses running? I quickly replied ‘I have a share in a two-year-old running next week on Cup day’, and as the lift doors closed I managed to spit out the horse was called True Blonde not thinking that she had even heard me.’

True Blonde duly saluted on Melbourne Cup Day and after arriving to work the following day, Michael was surprised to find a fax (remember those) on his desk from Gai congratulating him on True Blondes win. He hadn’t thought she’d even heard the horses name! Gai also invited Michael to visit her Tulloch Lodge stables if he was ever in Sydney which he did the following January. Before he knew it, he was attending yearling sales with Gai and investing in horses with her.

The first horse Michael purchased with Gai was Phoenix Park, who started favourite in the Magic Millions, ran 4th in the Golden Slipper and went on to win the T J Smith Stakes – the first time Gai won the race named in honour of her father. ‘I absolutely loved racing and was spending three days a week in Sydney with my broking job so would go and visit Gai and see my horses whilst enjoying lunch at Tulloch Lodge.’

Following Michael’s departure from the stockbroking world, he embarked on a media career working with Channel 10 and Triple M commentating on AFL football and hosting breakfast radio on RSN, Melbourne’s racing station. He continued his racing involvement in Melbourne with trainer, Peter Morgan after being introduced by a friend. The pair formed a strong bond and Michael credits Morgan with not only fueling his passion for horses but teaching him about the thoroughbred. 

So much so that Michael enrolled and completed (as the only mature aged student) a Diploma in Horse Breeding at the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE in the early 2000’s. The Diploma included several out placements (including with Christoph Bruechert at Bombora Downs) where Michael gained some valuable practical experience and knowledge. The course and experience gained just deepened his passion and interest for thoroughbreds. ‘The course and experience gained was incredible and it made me more determined to increase my involvement in the thoroughbred industry.’ 

It was almost a natural progression that in 2007, Michael purchased a forty-acre property in Whittlesea next to Morgan’s training property, Talwood Park. Starting with one mare he gradually built a niche broodmare band which he personally cared for and managed. With only a handful of broodmares he has enjoyed success breeding stakes winners, Hallowell Belle, Fuddle Dee Duddle, Eloping, Unpretentious, Of The Brave and Fuhryk.

Michael and his wife Siobhan predictably out grew their small Whittlesea property and in December 2018, together with Michael’s brother Brad and his wife Pauline, purchased the property which is now known as Longwood Thoroughbred Farm in Longwood East. The property was formerly Roselands, part of the Vinery Stud operation in Victoria’s thoroughbred breeding heartland.

Above: A view of the paddocks at Longwood Thoroughbred Farm

‘Growing up I never really had any close association with horses. My interest started with the excitement of racing but developed quickly into something a lot deeper. I still enjoy racing but now my real passion is the thoroughbred itself. With my first property in Whittlesea it was just me working with the horses with my friend Bill Birch helping out. I find it so rewarding. There is no better feeling than personally raising a foal, seeing it develop into a yearling and then watching it race to stakes glory. My favourite time is just standing in a paddock with a group of weanlings and just admiring and hanging out with them. It is all about the horse now.’

On his Whittlesea property, due to his media commitments, Michael outsourced the foaling down of his mares and yearling sales preparation was outsourced to his friend and former breakfast radio colleague, Anthony Mithen from Rosemont Stud. Now with his new property, Longwood Thoroughbred Farm, he not only foals down his own mares and prepares his yearlings for sale but offers a full range of breeding and agistment services to clients including a dedicated 24/7 foal watch team. ‘Initially the intention was to be a hobby breeder but my love of the thoroughbred industry means my hobby and passion has turned into a business which is a dream come true”.

In such a short time Longwood Thoroughbred Farm has built a reputation for excellent service. Michael credits his wonderful staff for creating an immediate impression on the Victorian breeding landscape. ‘We have been very lucky that we have been able to assemble a great team at LTF including recently appointed Farm Manager, Lelaina Vennemeyer who is doing an amazing job”.

Above: The Longwood Thoroughbred team with Lot 402, I Am Invincible x Runaway Jesse Colt at the Inglis Premier yearling sales

Michael and his family have been involved with some wonderful racehorses. When asked who his favourite was he nominated, Eloping. Michael bred and raced Eloping who was trained by Peter Morgan. She won five stakes races including two as a 2YO and won $1.23 million in prize money. ‘She was born on Siobhan’s birthday and to watch her grow from a foal and develop into a multiple stakes winner was so exciting and rewarding. We had so much fun travelling to watch her race”.

When asked what advice he would give to anyone looking at starting out in the industry Michael responded by saying, ‘Don’t take any shortcuts. If you try and take shortcuts in this industry, you will get caught out. You need to have good, passionate people, great facilities, invest in quality mares and send them to highly commercial stallions. If you do that, you’ll have a lot of fun and hopefully enjoy some success along the journey.”

Above: Cousin Ivan wins the Listed Aquanita Stakes at Belmont Park, Western Australia

There’s a lot of history surrounding the coastal city of Albany.

Once famous for its whaling, Albany is the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia and sits some 400 kilometres from Perth.

In 1914 it was the last port of call for troops heading off to fight in World War 1.

On Saturday at Belmont Park, it was Albany’s own – the 3YO chestnut, Cousin Ivan – who managed to land a whale by capturing the Listed Aquanita Stakes over 2000m: showing plenty of fight along the way.

Firming from $20 to $14, Cousin Ivan wasn’t expected to trouble the hot favourite, Uncle Dick, but after hitting the front with 200m to go, the Fiorente chestnut refused to cave … much to the delight of breeder, Grant Gibbs, and an understandably emotional trainer, Holly Taylor.

This was not only the first stakes winner for Taylor – who turned 30 last week – but her first city winner to boot.

“I took out my trainers’ licence two years ago and currently have eight in work at Forrestdale (30 minutes drive from Belmont Park),” Taylor points out. “Cousin Ivan won at Belmont on debut – at the end of May – but that was actually classed as a provincial meeting after being transferred from Northam due to coronavirus.

“That was Cousin Ivan’s fourth run on Saturday and to win a black type with him is just a huge thrill. Amazing.”

Although Cousin Ivan only ‘officially’ joined the stable at the start of his current prep, both Taylor and the Fiorente galloper have a history.

“Cousin Ivan was bred by Grant Gibbs and his partner, Annette Crump and they’re based at Albany,” Taylor explains. “I spent a bit of time down there when the horse was having his early education and then they contacted me about taking the horse for a short prep last year.

“He went back to Albany and I thought that was that, but then they phoned me in May about taking Cousin Ivan on full-time. It couldn’t have worked out better!”

While the journey has barely started for Taylor, the road for Gibbs – conversely – has been fairly lengthy: ever since he started out as an apprentice jockey in New Zealand, “the day after I turned 14”.

“I was a jockey in New Zealand for around eight years before shifting to WA in my early 20s,” Gibbs reveals. “I rode quite a few winners in the bush and also won the 1988 Bunbury Cup on Muromoon, who ran third in the Perth Cup too.

“I gave riding away at 43 due to arthritis, which resulted in a double hip replacement, but I still manage to ride trackwork.

“My wife is a licenced trainer but we’ve scaled right back and these days we only race what we breed.”

Gibbs’s actual journey getting to Cousin Ivan has had some winds and turns too.

“I was sitting in a pub one day back in the 1990s and chatting to a bloke who asked me if I remembered a horse called Spring Moss, who was a Group winner of 13 races in New Zealand,” Gibbs recalls. “Long story short, he said he had the full sister (Miss Trapani) and I could buy her for $500.

“Miss Trapani produced Waxed Lyrical for me, who didn’t race due to a bowed tendon, but Waxed Lyrical’s second foal was Chong Nonsi, who won six of her first nine starts. Chong Nonsi’s first runner is Cousin Ivan.

“You’ve got to be patient in this game.”

Interestingly, Belmont Park’s two stakes races on Saturday – both over 2000m – were won by Victorian based stallions: Cousin Ivan becomes the fifth stakes winner for Sun Stud’s Fiorente, while the exciting, unbeaten 3YO filly, Chantrea took her tally to five from five in the Belmont Oaks and is by Swettenham Stud’s Puissance de Lune.

Although winner of the Australian Cup and Group One placed over 1400m, Fiorente is best remembered as winner of the Melbourne Cup, while Puissance de Lune would win eight from 1400m to 2600m, including the Group Three Queen Elizabeth, and was regarded one of the best stayers of his generation.

“You’ll note with both Cousin Ivan and Chantrea that they weren’t pushed early and it’s paying dividends now,” Gibbs adds. “Cousin Ivan is getting tipped out for a few months and we’ll bring him back for the Cups circuit in the south west … he could be our retirement fund.

“All things being equal I’d like to give him a shot of winning the Perth Cup as a 5YO … who knows, I might just win a Perth Cup yet!”

HOOFNOTE: Cousin Ivan is not only the toast of Albany but has something of a fan base in Walpole, some 120 kilometres west.

“My partner in the horse is Darren White and he named him after his actual cousin, Ivan, who is local hairdresser in Walpole and something of a legend around town,” Gibbs reveals. “We’re sticking with the theme though because Cousin Ivan’s full brother – an unraced 2YO – has the stable name, Boris.”

Article courtesy of Aushorse

Above: Lot 435 Rich Enuff x Honey Pie (filly)

It’s not all doom and gloom.

Stockwell Thoroughbreds’ Mike Becker can see plenty of advantages coming out of the delayed Melbourne Gold Yearling Sale.

Originally scheduled for mid-April, it is now set for auction via Inglis’ online digital platform.

The delay, caused by the COVID-19 crisis, has allowed plenty of yearlings to mature and take the next step in their development, according to Becker.

“It’s interesting and to the point where I would like to say to Inglis that maybe we should be having this sale at this same time every year,” Becker said.

“And that’s for a couple of reasons. These horses are ready to go to the breakers and are twice the horses they were back in April. And a lot of the punters who bought yearlings at the earlier sales are ready to come back into the market.

“They have had a bit more time to try to syndicate some of those horses and to sell shares and can reload and re-evaluate whether they can come back into the market.”

Becker said the yearlings would obviously be a bit woollier but are now different horses.

“A couple of these colts we’ve got you wouldn’t know they were the same horses that would have been hard to sell in April but will now be very saleable,’’ he said.

“They just have developed and thickened and grown because the Victorian horses as a rule don’t grow much before March. You go to the Gold Coast and you see whopping big yearlings and you come home and you think what have I done wrong, but by March you are starting to catch up.

“But by now they have certainly caught up.”

Becker said there was a good mixture of yearlings in their draft of 14.

He said a big Rich Enuff filly, out of Honey Pie, would have been difficult to sell in April when the sire was yet to record a winner.

“She was tall and narrow and has since developed and now Rich Enuff has had six or seven winners, so it gives some perspective as it has helped the pedigree,” Becker said.

“I think out nicest colt is the Super One colt and he has kicked on and the sire has since had six or seven winners too. And the mare (Arazi Belle) has a colt (Art Major) by Artie Schiller come out and has been placed in three of his first four starts and looks to be a pretty promising and she needed that bit of upgrade.

“And this colt has got a nostril on him like no young horse I’ve seen. He won’t lack for air this boy.”

Becker says some good things can happen with time as he has seen with his Rubick colt.

“The Rubick colt was going to be too small and would have been dodged back in April but he has thickened up and he has grown into a lovely little colt,” he said.

Becker said it was still going to be a buyer’s market and everyone had to meet that market.

“You can’t be looking at them doubling their service fee or reserve,” he said.

“But you look at our Puissance de Lune colt. He went to Adelaide (was passed in) and was very immature but he came out of the paddock. He is still a time job but is taller and he has got a bum on him.

“He is still going to need time but that’s what his pedigree page says he is going to do any way.”

Becker said that with stock market crash, half the people got on a plane and left Adelaide, although he said the market at the top end held up all right.

He said the sale got very picky, but they knew the colt would continue to improve but still needs another 12 or 18 months.

“It’s been a tough time for everyone and we had a dozen foals to go but we pulled those and we just have to sell these yearlings to make room for our foals,” he said.

“The difference in these colts has been, as I said, amazing and this extra time has given them the chance to have pedigree updates and improve physically and have more development.

“Hopefully some of these trainers who have bought yearlings earlier have had a bit of a chance to pass those on and now restock.

“It will be a buyer’s market, I’m sure. There will be great value.”

Becker said they had three or four yearlings to sell and the balance were their clients.

“A number of our clients have yearlings and are going to be hit with service fees, for live foal service fees from last year, in the next couple of months and they need to get some money back and just need to meet the market to continue to trade,” Becker said.

And Becker said they had a bit of luck with a Casino Prince filly, out of Scarletta, which won on debut at Albury last week.

Although he said he knows Casino Princes aren’t the flavour of the month, they had kept a share in a two year-old filly which is trained by Mitch Beer at Albury.

The filly, Sunrise Ruby, ran against the older horses and Becker said she bolted in.

And with her full brother part of the Stockwell draft, Beer didn’t want to risk the colt going to the Gold Sale and rang the next day after the filly’s win to buy him.

“He was probably going to try to come down and buy him anyway because he has an opinion of the filly, but he said he just had to grab the colt to syndicate,” Becker said.

“It helped the lady out who had the colt because she is up for several service fees.”

Becker said from what they breed, they could not afford to race the colts but with the fillies they will try to lease them if they like the family and hopefully get them back as a broodmare.

He said the Rubick colt, out of Indy Rock, wasn’t big, but big enough and still had growing to do.

Becker said his Bobby’s Kitten colt out of Soft Dollar, was another one that had gone to the Adelaide Yearling Sale (also passed in) but was tiny but has benefited with an extra few months to develop and lengthen.

“And Bobby’s Kitten (served 42 mares in his one Australian season in 2017) never came back because he couldn’t get the mares,” he said.

“He has come up with a couple of pretty promising two year-olds in England this year from his first crop. He was a Breeders’ Cup winner of some note and was no slouch. And the Kitten’s Joy line just keeps nailing them.”

It might be a bit of cliché but with horses by several top stallions, Becker believes Stockwell Thoroughbreds at Diggers Rest has something for everyone.

To view the full draft, click here. 







Above: Chantrea winning the Listed Belmont Oaks

It proved to be a successful day at Belmont for Victorian-based stallions for shortly after Fiorente’s Cousin Ivan claimed the Listed Aquanita Stakes, it was the turn of the Puissance de Lune (IRL) filly Chantrea to run her unbeaten sequence to five in the Listed Belmont Oaks (2000m).

With nominal favourite Kay Cee scratched, this proved easy work for the Lindsay Smith-trained filly.

With Willie Pike in the saddle the daughter of Puissance de Lune (IRL) defeated the highly consistent Cambist (Gingerbread Man) by a length with the Not A Single Doubt filly Heaven’s Gift losing her unbeaten record, a half-head back in third.

A homebred for part-owner Professor John Yovich, Chantrea carried the same colours as Lady Astar who won the Belmont Oaks in 1990.

“This is an extreme thrill because a couple of my very best friends, Katrina Felstead and her husband Barry, are in the horse,” Yovich said.

“We planned the win many years ago when we put the mare to Puissance de Lune (IRL) to win the Oaks and the target was the Belmont Oaks before she had her first start.

“The Shamardal cross with Danzig line mares is the best in the world

The final foal of her pensioned dam, Chantrea is the eleventh foal and ninth winner from ten to race out of the 4-time winning Danzig Connection mare Mosse, a half-sister to the Group II VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner and wonderful broodmare De Lago Mist the dam of stakes winners Instinction, Into The Mist and Shrouded in Mist.

Chantrea is the second stakes-winner for Swettenham Stud’s  Puissance de Lune (IRL) who despite limited opportunities early in his career has made breeders sit up and take notice.

After covering just 40 mares in 2018, the son of Shamardal was swamped with 154 mares last spring, earning a rise in fee to $19,800 in 2020.

Article courtesy of Breednet

Lot 109, a Frosted x Promised colt of Erinvale’s draft.

The upcoming sale season will be like no other for vendors in Victoria. Unable to be  a live auction for the Gold yearling sale is proving to be challenging for all with an interest in these sales. John Kenneally from Erinvale Thoroughbreds has eight yearlings in the Gold Sale at Oaklands Junction next week. Included in his draft are five colts and three fillies with three by Crackerjack King (IRE).

John has been very pleased with all the yearlings going through the Gold Sale and in particular ‘a Pride of Dubai colt x Promptness (USA). Pride of Dubai is having a great first season with 10 winners and is likely to be the leading first season sire. The colt has good size and scope. We have broken him in and gelded him and he has done really well. He is a just lovely horse.’.

Erinvale Thorougbred have three fillies going to the Gold Sale including a Rubick filly out of Blonde Humor (USA) who unfortunately had to be withdrawn from this year’s Melbourne Premier Sale due to a slight injury. ‘She is lovely scopy filly that we have also broken in. The filly is looking great ahead of the sale.’

John explains the difficult situation being unable to attend the sale. ‘It is a difficult situation sending horses to a sale that you are unable to attend.’

To view the full draft click here

Above: Plutocrat winning the Listed Thoroughbred Stakes at Eagle Farm

As the first winner for her sire, followed by becoming the first stakes performer, it was only fitting that Anderson Racing’s Plutocrat took the honour of becoming Rich Enuff’s very first stakes winner with a gutsy effort in Saturday’s Listed Thoroughbred Club Stakes over 1400m at Eagle Farm.

A narrow second in the Listed Bill Carter Stakes (1100m) two starts back behind September Run and finishing ahead of Gotta Kiss, who went on to finish second in the G1 JJ Atkins at her next start, Plutocrat has been screaming out for a decent barrier, and aided by the inside gate on Saturday, the promising filly produced the goods.

“The expectation was that they were going to be back-end 2-year-olds into early 3-year-olds and that’s exactly what we are seeing. We are seeing horses with great scope,” stated Woodside Park Stud’s CEO James Price to TDN Aus/NZ.

“To hit his first stakes winner at the back-end of his 2-year-old season, something that his own sire Written Tycoon couldn’t do, is quite an achievement.

“And if we look at that, and the fact he has had six individual winners, it’s terrific and we are really happy for him to finish his first crop 2-year-old season like that and head into the spring with some momentum.”

Successful at G2 and G3 level as well as a narrow runner up in the G1 Caulfield Guineas, the fastest 3YO colt over the famed Flemington ‘straight six’ this century is standing this season at extremely affordable fee of $8,800 (inc. GST), and as the only active Victorian first-season sire to record a stakes winner this season, he is sure to prove extremely popular with breeders once again.

Inglis Melbourne Gold Sale to be held online

As a result of the official border closure between NSW and Victoria, it is no longer possible for Inglis to host the Melbourne Gold Sale as a live auction.

As a consequence, the sale will be conducted using the Inglis Digital platform, but with the benefit of using Oaklands for inspections in the lead up to the sale.

The border closure, travel restrictions, limited resources and bio-security risk make it impossible to conduct either a live or virtual auction.

A digital sale with the benefit of centralised inspections is the best option under the circumstances.

The Melbourne Gold Sale will have its own section as part of the Inglis Digital July (Early) Online Auction.

Bidding will open this coming Friday (July 10) and closing out next Thursday (July 16) from 10am.

The intention remains to facilitate inspections at Oaklands in the lead-up to the sale.

Inspections of Gold yearlings will be held next Monday July 13, Tuesday July 14 and Wednesday July 15.

All vendors, stud staff, vets and prospective buyers will be required to pre-register to attend Oaklands next week, as part of Inglis’ COVID-Safe plan.

To register, CLICK HERE.

Quality photos and videos of yearlings will be available at inglisdigital.com closer to sale day.

Inglis Digital has a database of more than 5500 registered buyers from both Australia and all around the world, ensuring Gold yearlings will be seen by a maximum number of potential buyers.

Yearlings sold through Inglis Digital in 2020 have grossed almost $2m to an extensive range of both domestic and international purchasers.

At yesterday’s Easter Round 2 and Scone Yearling Sales, both held as live auctions, almost 20% of lots sold were purchased by buyers through our online bidding platform.

Gold yearlings are eligible for the $6m Inglis Race Series, as are all yearlings offered on the Inglis Digital platform.


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.

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: Ilovemyself winning the Listed Festival Stakes (1000m) at Flemington

Greg Eurell’s spring stocks have taken a hit following news that emerging colt Ilovemyself has been sold to Hong Kong interests.

The son of Ilovethiscity burst onto the scene with a debut win in the Listed Festival Stakes (1000m) at Flemington in February before encountering a wet track when a beaten favourite in the Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) in Sydney.

A disappointed Eurell confirmed the sale on Tuesday and said the pain was compounded by his belief that the rising three-year-old could have stamped himself as a Group 1 star during the spring.

“It’s very disappointing because I thought he was a really promising horse,” Eurell said.

“When he first won at Flemington we had a lot of interest in him but Neville (Murdoch, owner) deflected most of that.

“After Sydney he went to the paddock and we had no interest in him at all but then he came back into work and for whatever reason, it just started to generate again.

“Understandably, the offer was too good to refuse.

“He’d been back in work for six and seven weeks and he was going terrific.

“He’d grown and developed and he was just an outstanding-looking individual.”

It is understood the galloper will join the stable of Casper Fownes when he arrives in Hong Kong.

Eurell is hoping another of his Ilovethiscity two-year-olds, unbeaten gelding Ilovethegame, can ease the pain somewhat when he tackles the $110,000 2YO Sprint Series Final at Flemington (1200m) on Saturday.

While he admitted the youngster wasn’t quite at the same level as his former stablemate, Eurell is optimistic Ilovethegame can win on Saturday.

“I’m really happy with his horse, he came out of his first start fantastic and he certainly derived a lot of benefit from it,” he said.

“He’s just generally a really nice horse this bloke.

“I’m sure on Saturday that he’ll run well but I think he might have some big shoes to fill.”

Article courtesy of Racing.com