Mitch Beer

TDN AusNZ: Where are you from and what is your earliest racing memory?

Mitch Beer: I grew up in Geelong and Melbourne, Dad was a trainer when I was a kid so I remember trying to get out of stable work from a very early age.

TDN AusNZ: Which is your favourite racehorse of all time? Why?

MB: So You Think (NZ), I was working as a stable hand at Flemington and would spend all morning looking out for him, I was too young to see the glory days of Bart Cummings and I guess So You Think was like one of Bart’s that I had only heard stories about.

TDN AusNZ: Do you have a favourite day on a racecourse? Why?

MB: I live for a country cup carnival, the Melbourne spring is always a special time but nothing can top seeing a whole country town shut down and go to the races, for me that’s what racing is about.

TDN AusNZ: Could you tell us how you got into this industry, about your job now and what you love most about it?

MB: I didn’t have much of a choice, to be honest, Dad trained and rode although I was never really too interested until I was about 16. I didn’t ever really think I would be a trainer, and I certainly wasn’t going to be a jockey!

Training is a real roller coaster but being able to share a day with people that they will never forget is a pretty awesome job, sometimes it’s easy to take that for granted but you drive away from a country meeting having won a low-grade maiden with a horse that someone has bred and they’ve just watched win, it’s a day they never forget and we are lucky to be a part of it.

Above: Mitch Beer with Logan River

TDN AusNZ: Who do you believe to be a value sire for the upcoming breeding season? Why?

MB: I am a massive Ocean Park (NZ) fan, he has had a huge last 12 months here in Australia and at $20,000 (plus GST) represents plenty of value, they sell well commercially and also have a solid appeal to the Asian market, while still being an affordable option for owner/breeders.

TDN AusNZ: Is there a stallion that you consider to be under the radar?, and why?

MB: Smart Missile and Starspangledbanner are two stallions I would just love to have a barn full of, they don’t stop throwing winners and are the type of stallions that for a country stable give us a good chance of having a city class horse without having to spend an absolute fortune at the sales.

TDN AusNZ: Which stallion, ever, do you think was the best type?

MB: I was lucky enough to see Zabeel (NZ) a few years before he passed, and even in his ripe old age he was just something to be admired.

TDN AusNZ: Which first-season sire do you believe is most exciting?

MB: I purchased a breeding right in Strasbourg, he is a mirror image of his old man, I thought he was terrific value, with the support of Rosemont and China Horse Club he is a massive chance in Victoria.

TDN AusNZ: What was your favourite weanling, yearling or mare purchase this year?

MB: The Extreme Choice x Camena colt I purchased at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale this year for $100,000.

He hasn’t stopped impressing me since he arrived, I have quite high hopes for him early next year.

Watch: The Extreme Choice x Camena colt Mitch purchased from the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale

TDN AusNZ: Who do you think is a rising star within the industry? (Person not horse).

MB: Matt Dunn, I admire his transition from the country to now be a Sydney metropolitan trainer, it won’t be long until he is a leading one.

TDN AusNZ: What positive change would you like to see in the industry?

MB: I would love to see some kind of apprenticeship for training, it’s a long road from starting as a stable hand to becoming a trainer and a lot of good young kids are lost along the way.

TDN AusNZ: If you weren’t in this industry what would you do?

MB: I’m not sure what I would do work-wise, but hopefully something to make enough to own a few horses so I could call my trainers every day and give them a hard time!

Article courtesy of TDN

 Above: Kaspersky during his racing career
European group 2 winning miler Kaspersky to stand his first season at stud at Ryland Thoroughbreds, Victoria.
“Handsome horse who has a big engine and great manners, willing worker which i admire in any horse goes a long way to winning” Trainer Lindsey Smith
Former Jane Chappel- Hyam trained Kaspersky, 12 time winning son of unbeaten Group 1 Classic winning miler ‘Footstepsinthesand’, stays in Australia after a life threatening injury cut short his racing career here in Oz.
Kaspersky’s maiden win in Italy was certainly an encouraging stepping stone towards his first Listed Victory 2 starts later over 1600.
Soon this eye catching miler notched up his first Group 3, following a Group 2 win before heading to Germany and quickly added yet again another Group 2 to his credentials.
Back to Italy, Kaspersky contested his first Group 1 over a mile in the Vittorio Di Cap running an exciting 3rd.
Stepping out at Royal Ascot UK in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes saw Kaspersky run a gallant 5th behind Haunui Farms, Ribchester.
2nd in the Group 2 Summer Mile at Royal Ascot was one of his last runs in Europe before heading to Australia where his career unfortunately was cut short.
Kaspersky’s damsire Grand lodge has produced Australian champions and Cult Followings in Shogun Lodge, Freemason, Hotel Grand and European Grandera.
Broodmare sire of group 1 Golden Rose winner, Toorak Toff.
“Will be sending our own mares to him at stud” Lindsey Smith”
Standing at Ryland Thoroughbreds in Lethbridge, Victoria.
Contact Luke 0477176892 or Bec 0407846261 to discuss your 2020 service.
At Only $5,500.

Above: Needs Further

Toughness and a will to win are often highlighted in neck and neck struggles down racetrack straights. On Wednesday at Sandown in Race 3 two horses singled out for such a duel settling first and second after the jump and maintaining those spots to the finish of the $50,000 Ladbrokes Switch Hcp over 1300m.

Fresh up from a spell it was Raise ‘Em Up a son of Needs Further who jumped straight to the front, led, stacked them up and then kicked 450m from home. The only challenger as they toughed it out was the even money favourite, another 4YO Shotmaker a son of Shooting To Win. They quickly put a gap on the others including Early Morning Rise (Fastnet Rock) whose challenge was short lived.

Racehorses often show trainer’s glimpses of talent, but need to mature to really cement this into their form. Young up and coming trainer Matthew Brown bought the son of Needs Further for $40,000 at the Tasmanian Magic Millions Sales and promptly tipped stable clients and family into the horse.

Raise ‘Em Up raced twice as a 2YO debuting over 1400m before tackling the VRC Byerley Hcp 1800m for 3YO’s. He then ran three times placed at 1600, 1750, and 2049m before he was tried in the 2200m Listed Geelong Derby Trial. Matthew knew he had the talent, but patience was required.  He returned in the autumn for a placing first up at Kilmore over 1450m before taking out his maiden over 1600m.

So plaudits must go to Matthew for a top training effort. Raise ‘Em Up’s win at Sandown was the shortest race he has contested, his tactical speed allowed him to jump and lead then his fitness/stamina allowed him to fight them all off at his first start in 5 months.

Raise ‘Em Up’s sire Needs Further is an interesting case study when breeders try and compare stallions. He has been relocated from Tasmania to Aquis farm Victoria this season in an attempt to access better mares. He stands for an advertised fee of $13,750 incl GST payable on live foal.

His results from his initial seasons in Tasmania are outstanding. Mystic Journey 19 starts 11 wins and $3,747,600 in stakes is just one clue in the puzzle.

4.3% Stakeswinners to Runners is another important clue. At time of writing he compares favourably with other stallions like All Too Hard 4.4%, Shooting To Win 1.8%, Fiorente 3.3%, Rubick 2.2% plus Toronado and Akeed Mofeed 0.9% and 2.1% respectively as seen in the table below.

Article courtesy of Breednet

Above: Don’t Doubt Dory ridden by Carleen Hefel wins the Ladbrokes Cash In Handicap at Ladbrokes Park Lakeside Racecourse (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

TWICE knocked back in the same year at yearling sales in Adelaide and Melbourne after failing to meet his reserve, first-time thoroughbred breeder Jacqui van Bree likes to refer to Don’t Doubt Dory as the horse no-one wanted.

Now with a mid-week Sandown victory as one of his four wins from five starts – he finished third in his other race which he probably should have won – there is a suddenly interest in the son of Sun Stud stallion, Fiorente.

Horse breaker Julien Welsh, who is the next door neighbour at Pakenham South to van Bree and her husband, Mick McNaughton, finished up training Don’t Doubt Dory after an unusual chain of events.

After Jacqui bred the now four year-old from mare – Doubt No More (Not A Single Doubt), bought for $5000, she decided to sell him but he fell short of the reserve twice.

Jacqui had no idea Fiorente had won a Melbourne Cup and picked out the stallion from a stud book she was flicking through because he looked good in one of the photographs.

Welsh, who had helped prep the yearling, suggested they go in partnership and along with his wife Mel, the neighbours have a fifty percent share in the horse which showed he is perhaps capable of a big race victory after winning first-up over 1400m on a heavy nine at Sandown last week.

Defying the pattern of racing that day, the gelding, who has been ridden by Welsh’s apprentice Carleen Hefel in all five starts, came from virtually last in the seven horse field to grab victory by the narrowest of margins on the line.

It was an eye-catching victory and it caught the attention of the ever vigilant wealthy owners in Hong Kong who quickly shot in an offer in the $500,000 range.

Welsh, who has been in the racing game for 30 years and operates Booralite Park, admits if he was the sole owner, he’d sell the horse.

“If he was my horse and someone offered me $500,000, I’d throw the float in as well,” he quipped.

While quick to facilitate a sale, Welsh earns the bulk of his money from breaking and pre-training for some of the industry’s biggest trainers but he also trains a few and admits one of Don’t Doubt Dory’s potential don’t come along to people like him very often.

“Hong Kong have been on the phone but we are not going to sell him, ‘’ Welsh said.

“He is a horse we can have some fun with and I’m happy to keep him rather than see him sold.

“If you were in desperate times, it would be a good influx into the bank account but I probably won’t see another one like him. I have got a couple here that I have bred and hopefully they’ll be all right but who knows.”

Welsh said he just wanted to take Don’t Doubt Dory through his grades and was impressed with the Sandown victory which he rated as a better than average win because of the way he did it.

Beaten for speed early, Welsh said Hefel didn’t panic and was rewarded with her first city victory on the heavy nine.

“He hadn’t been to the city before and the pace is different and they go quicker,” Welsh said.

“They went helter skelter for 300m and then they stopped so it was a sit and sprint race. In the end and in saying that with coming off them, he did a huge job.”

After winning his second race, a class one over 1600m at Pakenham, Welsh entered the gelding in the open rated Stoney Creek Cup (2100m) in March which he won before being spelled and then resumed last week over 1400m.

Welsh said he had never had a horse which such a quick recovery rate. While he’ll probably target a 1700m race at Flemington in a couple of weeks, he believes the four year-old will have no problems getting out to 2400m.

And while he said dreams are free, he’ll nominate Don’t Doubt Dory for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

“We’ll keep lifting the bar and if he makes it, he makes it and if he doesn’t, he doesn’t,” Welsh said.

“We’ll just see where he takes us.”

Next door neighbour Jacqui, who operates Danyiera Park Performance Stud, that specialises in training, weanling preparation and thoroughbred agistment, said it was exciting for a horse that no one wanted to be turning out “half handy.”

She said they didn’t expect anything but had finished up with something.

“I am trying not to get too excited,” Jacqui said.

Jacqui got Don’t Doubt Dory’s sprinting dam  – Doubt No More – from local trainer Gareth Andrews who trained her to one victory over 1000m

“I thought we’d have a bit of a dabble in this racehorse breeding and I had no idea of racehorses and thoroughbred breeding,” she said.

“I literally went through the book and thought he (Fiorente) looked pretty and I’ll go with him. I rang Sun Stud and said would that be an okay cross for her.

“I remember Hugh Cathels (vet) came out to take a scan of the mare and he said are you breeding yourself a Melbourne Cup horse. I went, oh and he said you seriously don’t know that the sire won the Melbourne Cup and I went, no.

“He shook his head at me and said you’re unreal and that was pretty much the start of it.”

Jacqui believes the lack of her interest in Don’t Doubt Dory demanding a big price was because she’d put a stayer over a sprinting mare and the result was a small foal but a nice enough type.

After failing to sell twice, Welsh suggested to Jacqui to let him mature for six months and then perhaps prepare him for a ready to run sale.

“I said to Julien do you want to keep him and race him with us and he said no, just get rid of him,” Jacqui said.

“We prepped him and he had is first trial and Jules said he is not a bad horse and he said he’ll win a race but I don’t know where but somewhere.

“A long story short but Jules went half owner in him and we decided to keep him and he has won four out of five and a third. He has got a bit of attitude about him.”

Jacqui said that regardless of whether or not Don’t Doubt Dory continued onto a path of glory, he’d have a home for life on their property.

The gelding is the first thoroughbred she’s bred.

A full brother to Don’t Doubt Dory, which they bred last year, died of colic but the dam has a filly on the ground by Free Eagle (IRE) which will go through to a yearling sale next year. And the dam is in foal to Tosen Stardom (JPN) and has a booking with Fiorente this season.

Jacqui has been involved with horses since she was about 10 years-old, mainly in show jumping and has bred warmblood horses for show jumping and performance.

She completed her horse business management diploma at Marcus Oldham College in 1998.

And as for selling Don’t Doubt Dory, she said the price would have to be more than the prizemoney offered by the big cups because she wouldn’t be happy watching him win for another owner.

“I’d hate to be watching it on tv and saying that could have been me with that horse,” she said.

“So no, he won’t be sold – as crazy as I am to be thinking that and with the whispers we could pay off her debt but we’ll stay poor and enjoy the horse.”

Jacqui said Don’t Doubt Dory had already paid his way and owes them nothing.

Above: Excelling wins the Sng G2 Merlion Trophy – image Singapore Turf Club

Blue Gum Farm’s Manhattan Rain added a new stakes-winner to his tally on Sunday when progressive sprinter Excelling took out the Merlion Trophy Sng G2 for Australian Hall of Fame trainer Lee Freedman.

Sent out as a longshot, Excelling scored a half length win in the feature sprint vindicating the faith of his trainer.

A $50,000 NZB Ready to Run purchase for Pride Racing from the Riversley Park draft, Excelling started his career in Sydney with Joe Pride and won races at Gosford and Kembla before joining the Lee Freedman stable in Singapore.

“I would like to pay tribute to Constance Cheng. I bought that horse for her but she decided not to take him, and that’s when I found other owners for him,” said Freedman.

“I’d also like to thank Shane Baertschiger. He’s the one who told me I’d be mad not to run Excelling in the Merlion Trophy, thanks Shane!

“He had the winkers on to focus him up, but I didn’t know if they would work.”

A half-brother to stakes-placed Miracle the Second, Excelling is the best of six winners from Princess Ruhie, a daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus (USA).

Princess Ruhi has unraced two and three year-olds by Crackerjack King (IRE) and was covered by Rebel Raider last year.

Excelling is the 14th stakes-winner for Manhattan Rain, who stands at a fee of $13,200.

Article courtesy of Breednet

Above: Image courtesy of Three Bridges Thoroughbreds

The Liston family’s Three Bridges Thoroughbreds operation has hit a new high already this year and with careful planning and expert assistance is looking to build on its success with astute mating plans in 2020 for its broodmare band.

Three Bridges has settled on an impressive selection of proven stallions with a sprinkling of exciting freshman sires in the mix to ensure a strong future supply of top-quality athletic racehorses.

The Victorian nursery has also comfortably moved with the times and was buoyed by a bumper result this month when it sold the top colt in the Great Southern Sale, which formed part of the Inglis Digital August (Early) Online Auction.

Three Bridges offered the son of Exceed And Excel and Vicennalia (USA) (More Than Ready {USA}), who realised an online weanling record of $170,000 when he was knocked down to Arlington Park Racing’s Brett Bradley.

“If you want anything in the world you can buy it online, so why should horses be any different. But it’s not a new concept for Three Bridges, I would say we’ve sold $3 million through Inglis’ online platform, going back to classified days,’’ Three Bridges’ General Manager Toby Liston said.

Above: Exceed And Excel x Vicennalia (colt)

Vicennalia is currently in foal to Dundeel (NZ) and has been booked for a return visit to the Arrowfield Stud stallion by the Three Bridges mating team.

“We are always trying to produce the best racehorses long-term and what sells the best for the benefit of the business.

“We are always trying to produce the best racehorses long-term and what sells the best for the benefit of the business.” – Toby Liston

“We look for trends and we’ve got a great team on the ground. They have different opinions and views and we all work in together to produce the best bloodstock we can.”

As with all major farms, upgrading the broodmare band is an ongoing exercise.

“Quality lasts and top mares are our targets. We have a fantastic group of loyal clients and we’re always trying to improve, if you’re not upgrading you can quickly get left behind,” Liston said.

Another major result for Three Bridges this year was the sale of an I Am Invincible colt at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale for $700,000 to the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Above: I Am Invincible x Solar Moon (GB) (colt)

“We’ve got a full brother this year and the mare is going back to I Am Invincible again,” Liston said.

The mare in question is Solar Moon (GB) (Pivotal {GB}), who was a dual winner in France and is a half-sister to the two-time Group 3 winner and multiple Group 1 winner Dee Ex Bee (GB) (Farhh {GB}). They are out of a sister to the four-time top-flight winner and sire Dubai Millennium (GB).

“It’s great to get up in the morning because those types of mares can change your life. They are the ones you really want to be involved in,” Liston said.

“It’s great to get up in the morning because those types of mares can change your life. They are the ones you really want to be involved in.” – Toby Liston

A recent addition to the Three Bridges broodmare line-up is Viviette (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), sourced at the Inglis Chairman’s Sale for $150,000.

She is out of a half-sister to the Group 1 winner and sire Cape Cross (Ire) and the family of another successful sire in Iffraaj (GB).

“She’s a young mare with an international pedigree and she’s foaled a colt to Trapeze Artist. Last year we didn’t send a mare to Trapeze Artist and we’ve bought three mares in foal to him,” Liston said.

“Just because we didn’t send mares in the first season, there are always good opportunities to go into the market and buy.

“Viviette is going to Deep Field and that’s a good mating. We’ve never bred to Deep Field, but he’s proven now and going extremely well.”

Hailing Microphone

Three Bridges has also increased its future options with a lifetime breeding right in new Darley stallion Microphone.

“We bought a lifetime breeding right in him and he was a champion 2-year-old colt and we wouldn’t normally be able to afford to get in partnership with those sorts of horses, but this is a relationship that started with Impending and a lifetime breeding right,” Liston said.

“We will look to do that in the future, possibly with Bivouac next year. It gives us a position in the stallion and hopefully they hit it off and you don’t have to pay service fees in the future. It’s something we’re keen on and a good way to reduce service fees long-term.”

Three Bridges will rely heavily on proven, commercial stallions this year, but is also supporting younger blood.

“We’re trying to get a balance and read what we think will be popular. We don’t normally take punts, but we did with Toronado for example and he’s very popular so it looks like we got that one right,” Liston said.

“The positive is that the Victorian market remains strong and we’ve got clients going to Omaha Beach at Spendthrift and Yulong is investing, which is fantastic and then there’s obviously Darley as well. We’re sending several high-quality mares to Blue Point.

“I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I would rather keep everything in Victoria if possible, but the majority of the proven stallions are in the Hunter Valley, so we have to go there.

“I would rather send the dry mares and leave the foals at home, it doesn’t always work that way but it would in the ideal world.”

Wide stallion range

Three Bridges will also be sending mares to New South Wales to be covered by Exceed And Excel, Pierro, All Too Hard, Pride Of Dubai, Epaulette, Shalaa (Ire), Hellbent and Exceedance.

In Victoria, Toronado (Ire), Highland Reel (Ire), Puissance De Lune (Ire), Street Boss (USA), Brazen Beau, Impending, Ringerdingding, Alabama Express, and Grunt (NZ) will be among those utilised.

Liston said the robust breeding and racing industries in Australia boded well for the future, even in uncertain world-wide times.

“The whole economy is really positive and it’s amazing how strong our industry is. We’re in a very lucky position as breeders that we can still conduct business and prizemoney has allowed the industry to keep going in tough times.

“There’s a lot of foreign investment in Australia and we have a world class product and clearly people want to be involved.

“We are always trying to get better with everything we do and the results are coming through. We are a family operation. We have to be sharp and do things to the best of our ability and we’re all very passionate here about doing that.”

Article courtesy of Paul Vettise TDN

Above: Divine Diosa was bred and sold as a yearling by Yulong.

As time goes on we are going to see a lot more of the Yulong brand carried by winners in Victoria and beyond with Divine Diosa doing the job at Sandown on Wednesday for the Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra stable.

Bred and sold by Yulong, Divine Diosa was purchased by Ellerton Zahra Racing Pty Ltd from their draft for $90,000 at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale and broke the ice when saluting in the 1400m fillies maiden.

The daughter of Teofilo (IRE) was placed at two of three previous starts at Echuca and Bendigo and showed the benefit of that experience and race fitness to win by a length under Jamie Kah.

“She’s a work in progress and I think next year she’ll be a cracking filly for us,” said Simon Zahra.

Divine Diosa is bred to appreciate a trip as her career unfolds as she is the second winner for La Siroque, a winning half-sister by Zabeel to Group III winner Crafty Irna from Group I winner Zirna.

Sadly for Yulong, La Siroque died last year and Divine Diosa is her final foal.

Article courtesy of Breednet

Tydeus ridden by Michael Rodd wins the Brian Duggin Maiden Plate at Warrnambool Racecourse. (Alice Miles/Racing Photos)

In racing and breeding some things don’t start the way they’re planned but nevertheless turn out all right in the end.

Tydeus, a three year-old colt bred by Nicole Agent of Three Fillies Lodge at Monomeith, near Koo Wee Rup, didn’t have the traditional start to life.

His mother, Elsedina, died shortly after the colt’s birth and he was rejected by a foster thoroughbred mare but before a Highland pony mare adopted him.

Purchased by Brad Spicer Thoroughbreds for $50,000 at the 2019 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, the son of Written Tycoon made his debut at Warrnambool last week for Lindsey Smith.

Starting the $1.95 favourite, Tydeus cruised to a 3.5 length victory on the heavy 10.

Nicole explained that after buying a nomination for Written Tycoon on an online auction, she had planned to send a mare she’d just bought – Flying Hostess – to the stallion.

“Within a month she had a freak accident and hurt her foot,” Nicole said.

“She was in hospital and she was getting better, but then started having problems.

“When Inglis were putting nominations to Written Tycoon online I bought one, thinking it was going to her (Flying Hostess) but then the mare was having troubles

“So I thought I need to buy another mare so I bought Elsedina (Encosta De Lago/Kapcher) for the Written Tycoon nomination.”

Nicole said there was a lot heartache involved with the problems Flying Hostess had encountered and then Elsedina, a big mare, developed laminitis throughout the pregnancy.

Elsedina was taken to an equine hospital more than a month before she was to foal and then went a month overdue.

“We kept her going until the foal was born and then we tried him on a maiden mare Woodside Park had sent us, but she didn’t know what to do and it didn’t work,” she said.

Nicole said a lady, who had had a good relationship with the equine hospital, had a Highland pony that had lost her foal.

She said they tried the Written Tycoon colt on the pony and she took to him like he was her own.

“So it was a beautiful story that he was put to this Highland pony,” Nicole said.

“We used to say that she had this big udder like a dairy cow and this little fellow was soon almost her size.

“Because Elsedina was in the hospital so long, everyone got to know her and then this little fellow was born and there was a bit of interest because of the Highland pony.

“He became quite a little personality.”

Being raised by what Nicole described as pretty much a bullet proof pony, the colt didn’t learn the fiery temperament of his Encosta De Lago mother.

“So he was lovely and docile and was like an old man at one year-old,” she said.

“That’s how he probably learnt to walk like a Highland pony which didn’t do him well in the sale yards, but he was beautiful and strong and had a great hip on him and I used to love watching him move around.”

Nicole said it was sad and heartbreaking when they had to let Elsedina go after the Highland pony adopted the foal.

“She was a good mum when she was around,” she said.

“Because she was in hospital for so long, we had plenty of grass and every day I’d pick a couple of buckets of grass and I’d take in for her.”

Nicole said that she was going through a divorce at the same time and although she would have liked to have kept the colt, she just had to sell him.

After paying $60,000 for the service fee, Nicole said there certainly wasn’t any money in it for her.

She was happy that he went out and won at his first start.

Tydeus was put through the Inglis sale by Jarrod Byers of Millford Thoroughbreds and he said it was a great story with a happy ending.

“He just came to us for the Melbourne yearling preparation and completed eight weeks with us,” he said.

“He was sold to Brad Spicer for $50,000 and looking back at it now it looks a pretty astute purchase for a Written Tycoon.

“At the time he probably lacked a bit of size and scope for the market place but funnily enough when Brad purchased the horse he thought he had a lot of improvement growing wise to do.

“But I can remember him having a lovely temperament and had a beautiful way about him.”

Byers said that Tydeus looks like he has come up a lot physically, so it was well spotted by Spicer.

Nicole sent Flying Hostess to the in demand stallion Toronado and the mating produced a black colt now named Want To Doo which was sold for $70,000 at the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Trained by Logan McGill, the now three year-old gelding is unraced but won his only trial at Cranbourne in March.

“He has been nominated for the Caulfield Guineas so I am hoping he goes okay,” Nicole said.

“I only breed about three or four each year.

“Flying Hostess’ second foal is a lovely Vancouver colt and he was passed in (at this year’s Melbourne Premier on a $90,000 reserve) so I kept him. I have a better vision of where I was heading and I have kept him and will race him.  He has been broken in and the breaker said he is a spectacular mover. He rang Coolmore and is sending a mare there based on my colt, so I am very happy with that.”

Nicole also has yearlings by Highland Reel, So You Think and Toronado.

Flying Hostess is due to foal to Akeed Mofeed and another of Nicole’s mares, Cedar Grange (Redwood/Merci Grand), which won five races for her is ready to foal to Cable Bay.

“We are trying to stay local now with the stallions,” she said.

“My mare Nothin’ On Me (Not A Single Doubt/Tanqueray) is in foal to Toronado and based on her first foal (So You Think) I hope she has a beautiful Toronado.”

Nicole offers specialised agistment at her farm and is expanding their facilities to also focus on rehabilitation for horses.

Above: Reckless during his racing career

Victoria has long been known to produce history makers. History and proven performers go hand in hand. One well known story encompasses just that.

It’s fifty years on Thursday since the start of one of racing’s greatest stories which captivated the hearts of racegoers and ordinary Australians.

The great Reckless was born on September 3, 1970, and would join the Epsom stables of the legendary Tommy Woodcock who guided the entire through an enthralling career.

Bred by Victoria’s Joan Walker, who continues to race progeny from the Reckless female line, the horse captured the affection and imagination of racegoers who were inspired by Woodcock’s feats as Phar Lap’s strapper and later trainer.

Reckless was winless in his first 33 starts, but in 1977 won the Sydney Cup, Adelaide Cup and Brisbane Cup and ran second to the Bart Cummings trained Gold and Black in the Melbourne Cup as he attempted to claim a clean sweep of the historic Australian cups. Pat Trotter rode in all cups and recalls that Woodcock treated him like a son.

The then 72 year-old Woodcock, known as a gentleman, had reignited the love of a nation through Reckless which he had first generated through his bond and feats with Phar Lap.

Incredibly, he was giving rides to young children near the stabling area at Flemington before Australia’s greatest race in 1977.

Some say Reckless had the same kind gentle nature as his trainer.

Reckless was sired by English import Better Boy which stood at Rangeview Park, Carrum Downs, after he was retired from the track by Dave Whiteside who shipped the stallion to Australia.

Joan Walker, who races the winner of this year’s Listed Chester Manifold Stakes – Amadeus – says her family have been breeding from the same female line since 1930. And Amadeus is part of that family.

“Reckless was an amazing story, he really was,” Joan said.

“He was the result of absolute determination on my part because my dad was absolutely years and years ahead of his time with breeding and he understood genetics long before computers.

“If you asked him anything about a good horse, he would give you a six pedigree which would roll straight off his tongue. Unfortunately he did not leave me that memory.”

Joan’s father, Doctor Graham Godfrey, bred Reckless’ dam Impulsive (Landau/Spitfire).

Joan and her mother Jean were given Impulsive as a present to celebrate their birthdays, both in March, and the filly went on to break a 32-year-old record at Caulfield at her first start.

“Dad only saw her race once – he dropped dead when he was 52.” he said.

“He was away at the war and you know that program M*A*S*H, that’s what he did, he operated for umpteen hours on the front line in New Guinea.

“It was terrible.”

Joan’s father was given severance pay when he returned from the war and he told his wife and daughter that he would put the money straight back into starting his practice again.

“Mum said no you will not, you will do something entirely for yourself because you have had this awful experience,” Joan said.

“So he went up to the family of horses that were all roaming around up near Yarra Glen and decided he would choose one of them to keep which he did and I went with him.

“He could only afford one, but of course I nagged and nagged and the one I liked, he decided to keep as well. But the one he liked and kept was a filly called Spitfire which was by Hostile, out of Androva, who he raced and she won the (1950) Oakleigh Plate.”

Joan said her father, contrary to popular opinion did not make a lot of money as a doctor and wanted to send Spitfire to the expensive stallion Landau which was previously owned by Queen Elizabeth.

“It just happened that the Queen who owned Landau sold him to the breeder Ted Underwood,” Joan said.

“She liked Ted and met him when she came here and I think it may have been one of the first horse’s ever that the Queen sold from the Royal Stud.

“Landau came to Victoria and at that time my father was head of the Thoroughbred Breeders. He was very excited about it but as he’d just returned from the war he could not afford the service fee.”

Joan said her father had sent Spitfire to be served by a cheaper priced stallion but Underwood phoned to inform him that Spitfire had been served by Landau.

She said Underwood refused to accept anything for the service fee so her parents presented him with a beautiful painting.

“As time went by and March came around, dad said to my mother and I that the birthday present comes in August and we thought what the goodness is he going to give us,” Joan said.

“In the first week of August this beautiful black foal was born and that was our birthday present and he named her Impulsive. He saw her race once in the spring at Caulfield when she broke the record and then he died on the 10th of January.”

Joan’s decision to send Impulsive to Better Boy was based on her father’s breeding belief that the bloodline of Hyperion was the best thing that ever came to Australia.

She said initially they could only afford to send mares to more economically priced first season sires.

Joan, a cardiac technician at The Alfred, opened a savings account from the cash wages she received each week and put away a pound or so from each pay until she had enough to send Impulsive to Better Boy.

Although it took years, she recalls the service fee to Better Boy was huge at three thousand pounds and it was part of her 10 year plan.

“When I had saved enough I said to my mum we are sending Impulsive to Better Boy because of his breeding,” Joan said.

“Mum said we can’t because we haven’t got any money but I said it’s all right because I have got it. I said I have saved it, I have paid for the service fee so we are in.”

The end result of the Better Boy and Impulsive mating was Reckless.

“It was a great, great bloodline because of my dad,” Joan said.

“I have still got that bloodline till this day and I am lucky to have had Amadeus because of it.”

Despite taking so long to win a race, Joan said that she never lost faith in Reckless, which was later to stand at stud, after seeing him gallop the first time.

With the season upon us, it begs the question, will you heed the call and choose a VOBIS sire?

You can answer the call by heading to

Above: Fiorente

Sun Stud’s Fiorente (IRE) featured in the winner’s list at Canterbury on Wednesday as the sire of eye-catching three year-old colt Black Duke.

A big athletic colt stamped with his sire’s good looks, the Richard Litt trained Black Duke atoned for a luckless debut fifth at Canberra earlier this month to score a stylish win in the 1200m maiden.

Held up for a run in the straight, Black Duke was full of running and when angled into clear ground accelerated hard to the line for Tom Sherry to post a long neck win.
“He’s always shown a lot of promise and I’m just glad he could prove it today,” said Richard Litt.

“We sent him to Canberra thinking it would be an easy win for him and everything went wrong.”

Litt has no immediate plans for Black Duke, but given his pedigree, Classic aspirations this season would be well within his scope.
Retained to race, Black Duke is the first foal of Empress Eleven a placed War Pass (USA) mare from Group II winner Ascorbic, who comes from the prolific Black Type Lemon Ice family that produced last year’s Group I VRC Victoria Derby winner Warning.

Black Duke’s Melbourne Cup winning sire Fiorente, has proven a great success at stud leaving five stakes-winners  headed by Group II winners Hawkshot and Stars of Carrum and stands at Sun Stud this spring at a fee of $17,600.

Footnote: Fiorente later made it a winning double when Don’t Doubt Dory scored at Sandown.

Article courtesy of Breednet

Above: Inglis Ready to Run Sale 20 October 2020 at Riverside Stables, Sydney

A highly diversified catalogue featuring progeny of Australia and New Zealand’s leading stallions prepared by expert developers of young racing talent has been finalised for the 2020 Inglis Ready2Race Sale.

In total, 226 2YOs have been catalogued for the sale at Riverside on Tuesday October 20, following a thorough build up which includes breeze ups in three states and two countries.

An outstanding group of horse people will be preparing juveniles for the sale including the likes of Blake Ryan, Rick Worthington, Damian Lane, Jean Dubois, Will Forrester, Matt Vella, Michael Hickmott, Mel O’Gorman, Tal and Shaun Nolen, Frankie Stockdale, Dean Harvey, Hinnerk Hueppe and others.

The catalogue – the strongest ever assembled for an Australian 2YO Sale – features youngsters by the likes of Fastnet Rock, Sebring, Not A Single Doubt, Pierro, Zoustar, Written Tycoon, Deep Field, Vancouver, Lonhro, Nicconi, Dundeel, Hinchinbrook, Brazen Beau, Choisir, Ocean Park and All Too Hard to name just a few, as well as two colts by champion US sire Into Mischief and a filly by top-class French sire Siyouni.

First season stallions such as Capitalist, American Pharoah, Shalaa, Extreme Choice, Flying Artie, Frosted, Astern, Sooboog, Star Turn, Maurice, Divine Prophet and Tivaci etc are also represented.

The Inglis Ready2Race Sale has in recent years achieved the highest winners-to-runners ratio of any sale of its kind in Australasia.

Not only did this year’s G1 Doncaster Mile winner Nettoyer come through the Inglis Ready2Race Sale, since 2014 over 375 individual winners have emerged from the sale.

It has also been a significant boon for the Hong Kong market, with a stronger winners-to-runners ratio and greater average earnings per runner than any other Australian 2YO Sale in the same period.

The 2020 sale is scheduled to be a physical auction at Riverside Stables on Tuesday October 20.

Breeze ups will take place in NSW, VIC, QLD and New Zealand through mid-September, while an alternate breeze-up day is scheduled for Warwick Farm on the Friday prior to the auction.

High-quality video of each breeze will be available on the Inglis website within days of the gallops.

Inglis General Manager of Bloodstock Sales and Marketing Sebastian Hutch described the catalogue as “simply outstanding’’.

“The catalogue has unprecedented strength to it this year, particularly in terms of the people preparing the horses – it’s an awesome group of horse people and they know what it is to develop top-class horses because they are doing it regularly,’’ Hutch said.

“This is a market that is a legitimate source of Group One racehorses domestically and internationally and as confidence in the market has grown, so has the level of investment, which is reflected in the quality of horses on offer.

“The level of promotion of the sale will be second to none and we will be going to great lengths to facilitate engagement by buyers in the sale, irrespective of where in the world they are located.”

To view the 2020 Inglis Ready2Race catalogue, CLICK HERE.

Above: Hydro Star winning at Sandown (Image: Racing Photos)
The early spring glow of having a promising racehorse in Hydro Star (Headwater), combined with some strong results at the recent weanling sales is helping Victorian-based Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm move through one of the most challenging periods in its history.

James O’Brien and his mother Tanith are determined to continue the good work of long-time Lauriston Farm principal Kevin O’Brien, who passed away in May, and ensure the farm at Corinella, south-east of Melbourne, is able to negotiate its way through the complicated COVID-19 period.

A significant boost to spirits in uncertain times has been the emergence of yet another star racehorse in the distinctive green and orange colours of Lauriston Farm. The John McArdle-trained 3-year-old Hydro Star takes on stakes company for the first time on Saturday in the G3 Vain S. at Caulfield.

A $15,000 yearling purchase through the Inglis Classic Sale from the draft of Holbrook Thoroughbreds, the O’Briens had initially intended to send the colt through the Inglis Ready 2 Race Sale last October, but such was his talent, that he forced them to change their minds.

“I was really impressed with the horse. He was a nice walker, had nice conformation, and we just liked him, plus he was cheaper than we expected,” James O’Brien told TDN AusNZ.

Above: Hydro Star as a yearling

“He was broken in, we pre-trained him and set him for the Ready 2 Race. What we tend to do, is we pair them up, as opposed to running them individually. Those young ones like to be with another horse.

“We took them to Pakenham just to give them the experience on the float and at the racecourse and we paired him up with a horse and he beat him quite impressively.

“That would have been September last year, so we had an inkling then that we had a good horse.”

James and Kevin, along with Warren Diggles were impressed by what the Headwater colt was able to do, but wanted to see the 2-year-old colt again to check their assessment of him.

“We breezed him up at Cranbourne and he ran the fastest time prior to lunchtime when they rolled the track. Once again, we put him with our fastest horse and he beat him again. We then decided that he’d pulled up so well, we’d take him to a trial,” he said.

“We put him with our fastest horse and he beat him again. We then decided that he’d pulled up so well, we’d take him to a trial.” – James O’Brien

“We had done that the previous year with a horse called Wellington, which we ended up selling to Hong Kong. He’s now a rising star over there, having won three races.

“John McArdle and Jamie Mott had told us not to sell Wellington, because he was such a good horse. But we did sell him. With that in mind, we gave them this horse, and they came back and said he might be better than Wellington, please don’t sell him!

“Dad, myself and Warren were talking and thinking that he was a bit special, we decided to keep him, with a mind that we might get an offer from Hong Kong. But he kept impressing us every step he took.”

A Star on the rise

Early 2-year-old promise is one thing, but it was clear to everyone involved with him that this colt had something special about him.

“The way John McArdle talks about this horse, I have never had a feeling on a young horse like him before,” O’Brien said.

Unfortunately, Kevin O’Brien never got to see Hydro Star reach the track, but he did have a significant impact on him which has added an extra degree of poignancy as Hydro Star embarks on his racing career.

“Dad named the horse, it was the last horse he named before passing,” James said.

Hydro Star debuted at Sandown last month, and while both O’Brien and McArdle admitted some pre-race nerves, he lived up to favouritism, winning by 2l over 1000 metres, after charging home from midfield.

“In the end, he is still green and when he got to the horses in front, he switched off a bit and Jamie got his mind back on the job,” he said.

“Jamie Mott has been great with the horse and we will need a crowbar to get him off him. He knows the horse and he knows what he has got and he knows that he is still new and that’s why it is good to have Jamie on him.”

Hydro Star returned to Lauriston for a short let-up between runs, spending some time on the beach and creating his own little buzz around the place. O’Brien said the excitement around him is almost palpable.

“It’s special, I just wish Dad was here to enjoy it with us. Hopefully he does take us on ride. It’s a bit emotional,” he said.

“It’d be great if he could step up. We all think he is going to be a better autumn horse than a spring horse. He is just going to keep maturing and we will see how far he goes in the spring.”

Foals give Lauriston a lift

Hydro Star’s emergence comes off the back of some very positive results for Lauriston at the Inglis Australian Weanling Sale last month, which included the sale topper, a Not A Single Doubt filly, who sold for $280,000 to Suman Hedge Bloodstock and Grant Bloodstock.

“We normally sell yearlings, but this year we decided to send all our foals to sale as weanlings. We were pencilled in for the Great Southern Sale, but because of everything that has happened, we took the earlier option to send them to Sydney,” he said.

“We were pleased to sell the top lot there, all 10 of them sold and we topped the averages, so the Victorians did alright in Sydney!”

Above: Not A Single Doubt x Rhodamine (filly)

O’Brien admits that in a time of such market uncertainty, there is a lot of decisions that need to be made on the fly, and sometimes, you are just hoping you pull the right rein and make the right call.

“A lot of the decisions you make are the wrong ones, but on this particular occasion, we pulled the right one by opting to sell in Sydney rather than sell online,” he said.

“A mate of Dad’s came over the other day and said to me that maybe Dad’s gone to that thoroughbred part of heaven and is looking down on us, and you’d like to think that’s true.”

Victoria soldiers on

As President of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria, O’Brien has seen close-up the effort that has gone in to get racing going in the state, despite the recent COVID-19 outbreak, which prompted a Level 4 shutdown of the state.

“It’s been fantastic that racing has continued. Our Racing Minister, Martin Pakula, has done a wonderful job. He communicates regularly with Racing Victoria and as the President of the Breeders’ Association, I have been part of regular meetings and to have kept racing going is all credit to RV and Martin Pakula,” he said.

“The whole industry participants, what they have done to keep us as an industry vibrant, is absolutely magnificent.”

“The whole industry participants, what they have done to keep us as an industry vibrant, is absolutely magnificent.” – James O’Brien

However, he does believe the most challenging time for those in the breeding industry is coming up in the next few months.

“It’s a very difficult period for the breeding industry now, and while it’s important that we are recognised as an essential business and are able to move our horses and get them bred, the opportunity to sell them becomes much harder if you can’t have people on the farm to sell them to,” he said.

“This is the time of year where foals are starting to arrive and mares need to be covered and service fees need to be paid. The cash flow implications of those service fees is hard-hitting on those farms who aren’t able to get results in the sales ring.”

Article courtesy of Bren O’Brien TDN

Above: Pippie at Caulfield

Group 1-winning mare Pippie (Written Tycoon) is set to be targetted first-up at the G1 Moir S. this spring, with her build up to that assignment beginning with a jump-out at Mornington on Wednesday.

The Chris and John Meagher-trained mare is a specialist first-up in races and it was under those circumstances that she was able to cause somewhat of an upset and win the G1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield in February.

Damian Lane took his first ride aboard the 5-year-old in the Mornington jump-out and she certainly gave him a good sense of her speed, bounding clear from the barriers in the 900 metre hitout, before being given an easy time, and allowing stakes-winning mare Humma Humma (Denman) to finish over the top of them late.

Chris Meagher was happy with how Pippie handled her first assignment of the spring and says she is very much on track for where he wants her to be, with her first-up run still over six weeks away.

“That’s her and that’s one of her traits, she can be quick out of the machine. She seemed to be two in front after about 50 metres,” he told TDN AusNZ.

“I was a little bit hesitant about jumping her out today given the rain we had during the morning, but it was either that or next week, where it’s supposed to rain more.

“I asked Damian, who was having his first ride on her, to bounce her out and sit on her and just not move. I didn’t want her to have a gut-buster first-up and he did exactly that and came back extremely pleased with how she went.”

“I didn’t want her to have a gut-buster first-up and he [Damian Lane] did exactly that and came back extremely pleased with how she went.” – Chris Meagher

Meagher said given her profile as a supreme fresh performer, Pippie can be a little bit of a tricky horse to manage.

“We are probably a little bit in front of where we want her. But you’d rather be in front than behind. We are not racing until the third week of September, which is the Moir. It’s nice to get this jump-out out of the way, and we can ease her into the next one, which will most likely be on the second of September,” he said.

“You do have to watch her weight a little bit. That’s why we looked to trial this far out from her first-up run. It’s difficult in some regards, because any other normal horse, you would give them one run and then they are peaking second or third-up, but she peaks at her first run. She’s extra special first-up, and then you have to back completely off her.”

Above: Chris Meagher (right)

With that in mind, all of the spring eggs are in the Moir basket, with the G3 Begonia Belle S. during the Flemington carnival, the other race possibly on the agenda.

“If she runs in September, we will back right off, and we haven’t pencilled in a second-up run, but I’d love to win a race at Flemington with her. Derby day would suit her,” he said.

“We will probably freshen up or spell again and target winning the Oakleigh Plate again.

“She’s not your typical horse where you can give her three or four runs per preparation, because she puts so much into her first-up runs.”

Pippie is the clear star of the Meagher stable, but the stable was pleased with the performance of her half-sister Boom Express (Spirit Of Boom), in winning a Doomben trial on Tuesday.

“She’s a really nice filly, but will be more Magic Millions targeted,” Meagher said.

Boom Express has been placed in two of her three runs to date and as an early 4-year-old, has not been overraced to this point.

Their dam, Coupe Express (Ne Coupez Pas {USA}) who is based at Eureka Stud, also has a 2-year-old filly by Defcon and is in foal to Spirit Of Boom again.

With bases at Caulfield, and Eagle Farm, the Meagher stable is one which has been impacted by the COVID-19 border shutdowns, which have prevented Chris heading to Brisbane for the past couple of months.

“It’s very difficult. I’d hate to have 50 in each barn. We’ve only got 15 in each and it’s manageable but it’s hugely frustrating when you can’t be there. Normally, I am there every fortnight. I’ll just see how it pans out over the next three or four months, whether we continue up there or not,” he said.

Article courtesy of Bren O’Brien TDN

Above: Classy Joe wins the TAB Handicap at Morphettville (Atkins Photography)

There are a lot of reasons why we breed racehorses … the hardest part is finding out what rhymes.

Take, for instance, the John Hickmott bred/trained/part-owned, Classy Joe, winner of Saturday’s TAB Handicap over 2006m at Morphettville.

After a major setback as a 3YO, the now 6YO is really starting to hit his straps, winning three of his last four and not finishing out of the money at his last seven outings.

Thing is, Classy Joe only really starts to get warm over 2000m or greater and here comes the (non) rhyming part. Classy Joe is by the speed source Danerich, a multiple stakes winner by Danehill, who has gone on to produce Group winning sprinters such as, Rich Charm, Richie’s Vibe and Lord of the Sky. Indeed, six of the seven stakes winners courtesy of the Rangal Park based stallion have earned their black type from 1000m to 1200m.

One of those stakes winners was the Hickmott trained, Classy Chloe (7 wins to 1300m, including the Listed Durbridge Stakes), another is the Group Two placed, Classy Jack (11 wins to 1200m), while yet another of his ‘flyers’ – Classy Jaybee – was a city winner last month for Hickmott and has since been sold to Hong Kong.

“I’ve trained all four of the Danerichs out of the Brocco mare, Capital Growth,” Hickmott explains. “She’s produced six winners of 38 races and the three that looked like Danerich were very fast, but Classy Joe has thrown more to the dam and is much more similar to Capital Growth’s first foal, the High Yield galloper, Southern Fortune, who won seven races for the stable from 1950m to 2400m.”

Not that we ever got to see Capital Growth race.

Bred by Melbourne based dentist, Chris Gliddon, Capital Growth is a half sister to multiple Group winner and Group One placed 2YO, Hey Pronto, but was untried at the track and then failed to capture the imagination of buyers when her initial foals made it to the sales ring.

“Capital Growth’s first five yearlings, including Classy Chloe, never even attracted a single bid,” Gliddon reveals. “John (Hickmott) approached me after the first foal, Southern Fortune had been passed in and he went on to win seven races for him.

“Trainers like to stick with families they know and when Classy Chloe was passed in, John approached me again and this time I kept a share.”

Shortly after that though, Gliddon would also sell Capital Growth to Hickmott and she would go on to produce Classy Jack, Classy Joe, Classy Jaybee and an unraced 3YO, Classy Kenny – all by Danerich – but the mare died in 2019.

Fortunes have changed for Gliddon, however, who secured Classy Chloe for breeding purposes when her racing days were done and dusted.

A breeder for the last 40 years with highlights including 5-time stakes winner, Begone and the aforementioned, Richie’s Vibe, Gliddon sold Classy Chloe’s third foal – a near black colt by Brazen Beau – to Godolphin for $625,000 at the 2019 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

“I wanted to sell the Brazen Beau colt in Melbourne but he was rejected and I thought ‘here we go again’,” Gliddon recalls. “Magic Millions said they’d take him and he ended up making very good money on the Gold Coast.

“The colt is called, Conceited, and he won at Flemington on debut last December before finishing third behind Away Game in the ($2 million) Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January. His spring campaign will begin very soon and I hold high hopes for him.

“Classy Chloe’s Pride of Dubai filly made $150,000 at the Melbourne Premier this year, she’s got a Pride of Dubai filly heading to the sales in 2021 and she’ll be covered by Dundeel this spring.”

Hickmott, meanwhile, is hoping Classy Joe can add to his impressive tally of six wins and six placings from 28 starts for $120,525 in stakes: some of which may well have been spent on something to settle the nerves on Saturday night.

In a fighting finish at Morphettville, Classy Joe edged ahead of Andrea Mantegna when it counted, but then had to withstand a protest levelled against the winning jockey, Jeffrey Maund, for excessive whip use. Maund would subsequently be suspended for four meetings, but much to the delight of Team Hickmott, the actual protest was dismissed.

With around 30 in work, Hickmott has been a trainer for 40 years and is father to dual Melbourne Cup winning trainer, Rob (Almandin, Green Moon) and fellow Murray Bridge trainer, Michael. John’s eldest son, Ken, passed away in 2017.

“My father was a greyhound trainer and I left school at 14 to work as a drover,” Hickmott points out. “I’ve always loved being around horses – any animals for that matter – and started out with a stable at Wangaratta.

“I moved to Murray Bridge in 1990 and been fortunate to have a few good ones along the way like Pay Keys (2003 Group Two Sandown Guineas), Frenzel Rhomb (4-time stakes winner and over $500,000 in stakes) and an old favourite of mine called Dusty Springs who won 26 races.

“We’ve bred most of the horses we race, but bought a few at the sales this year for Rob’s operation in Victoria. I’ve had over 500 winners and the stable won in excess of $1 million in stakes last year.”

Past successes aside, Hickmott clearly has a soft spot for his most recent ‘Classy’ winner.

“He (Classy Joe) is just a good honest horse,” Hickmott adds. “He was a rig and had to have quite invasive surgery to correct the problem as a 3YO. That put him off the scene for over 12 months, but in the 22 runs since he’s been back, he’s finished in the top four on 15 occasions.

“He’s just turned six, but is sound as a bell and I wouldn’t be surprised if you still see him racing as a 10YO.”

Article courtesy of Aushorse

Above: Nostradamus stands at Rosemont Stud

Just three runners opposed boom filly Clairvoyance in the Long Leaf At Rangeview Stud (1200m) at Belmont on Saturday but they included two honest performers in Keep Your Feet and Watch Me Dance and Clairvoyance put them to the sword.

The bold-striding daughter of Nostradamus kept her record at a perfect three for three when leading all the way under Chris Parnham.

The consistent Keep Your Feet (Bradbury’s Luck) trailed home some five and a quarter lengths astern in second while last season’s Group III WA Sires’ Produce stakes winner and Group II Karrakatta Plate runner-up Watch Me Dance (I’m All The Talk) was a further one and a quarter lengths back in third at her seasonal debut.

Clairvoyance kick-started her career over 1000m at Belmont on July 11 and despite racing greenly won by three-quarters of a length.

She showed she had taken plenty of benefit from that experience three weeks later over the same course and distance with a 5-length romp over Panzdown who was coming off a win at Belmont at his debut.

A homebred for Impressive Racing, the Darren McAuliffe-trained filly is the fifth foal and third winner out of the well-performed Perugino mare Dance On Air.

Campaigned by David Moodie’s Contract Racing, Dance On Air won six races in Melbourne where she seemed to have an affinity with Caulfield, which was the scene for half of her wins.

Clairvoyance is flying the flag for Rosemont Stud’s Nostradamus. The Medaglia d’Oro (USA) half-brother to Star Witness stands for a fee of $5,500 this season.

Article Courtesy of Breednet

Above: Bella Nipotina wins the Group Three Probuild Quezette Stakes at Caulfield (Racing Photos)

You would be hard pressed to find any owner who would be happy to have their horse known as “Australia’s best maiden”.

Not really something you want to be the best at. Yet, up until Saturday’s Group Three Beck Probuild Quezette Stakes over 1100m at Caulfield, that maiden tag best fit the 3YO filly, Bella Nipotina, and, while there could be some debate over ‘best’, you certainly couldn’t argue with the title of the ‘richest’.

First sighted last October when fourth in the Listed Debutant Stakes at Caulfield, Bella Nipotina had landed two large paydays when second in the Inglis 2YO at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day ($92,000) and then second in February’s Inglis Millennium ($380,000) at Warwick Farm.

By the time the Lindsay Park trained, Bella Nipotina lined up for the Quezette, the Pride of Dubai filly had banked a massive $550,975 in stakes … not bad for a ‘non-winner’ who cost just $80,000 at the 2019 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

And now, courtesy of her go to whoa performance in the Quezette, Bella Nipotina has raced on eight occasions for the solitary win, three seconds and $654,725 prizemoney – never finishing further astern than fourth.

The spring appears equally promising too with Lindsay Park’s Ben Hayes suggesting that the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes and Listed Cap D’Antibes Stakes in September could be next on the agenda for Bella Nipotina.

All music to the ears of breeder and part-owner, Michael Christian, who has had quite the ‘journey’ with his latest stakes winner.

“It started when we loaded her onto the truck to go to commence her yearling preparation,” Christian explains. “She loaded well, but then thrashed around in the truck and, in doing so, suffered some significant lacerations.

“Thankfully, she didn’t suffer any structural injuries, but it certainly compromised her yearling preparation. The team at Rosemont did a fantastic job to present her as well as they did but there is only so much you can do in 10 weeks.

“Maybe her injuries had something to do with the fact she only made $80,000 despite being from a well related family and by the first crop of Street Cry’s (Group One) Blue Diamond winner, Pride of Dubai.

“Lindsay Park and Andy Williams bought her and I approached David Hayes after the sale and asked if my brother, Brad, and I could be involved in the ownership. Certainly glad we did!”

A premiership player with Collingwood in 1990 and now the Match Review Officer (MRO) for the AFL, Christian fits just about every criteria for a racing tragic.

“I was a stockbroker in the mid 90s and a colleague introduced me to horse ownership. It started with taking 2.5% shares of horses trained by Lee Freedman,” Christian recalls. “In 1997 I hosted a corporate stockbroking lunch with Gai Waterhouse which was the start of a wonderful relationship racing horses such as Phoenix Park, who started favourite in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (finishing sixth), ran fourth in the (Group One) Golden Slipper and then went on to win the (2002 Group Two – now Group One) TJ Smith Stakes.”

Having developed a passion for racing and moreover the horse, Christian enrolled as a mature age student in a Diploma of Horse Breeding at the NMIT in 2003. From there it was onwards and upwards with Christian purchasing a 36 acre horse property in Whittlesea in 2007 on the recommendation of good friend, Peter Morgan.

Since then, Christian has bred 5-time stakes winner, Eloping (trained by Morgan), multiple Group winner and Group One runnerup, Fuhryk, Group Two winner, Unpretentious, Group Two winner Hallowell Belle, Group Three winner, Fuddle Dee Duddle and dual 2YO stakes winner, Of The Brave. He has also raced Group One winner, Slavonic, Group Two winner Oasis Bloom and stakes winners Amah Rock, True Blonde, Alibarber and Dynamic Tycoon.

Christian – together with his wife Siobhan, brother Brad and sister-in-law Pauline – purchased a 240 acre farm at Longwood East (formerly part of Vinery Stud) nearly two years ago.

Longwood Thoroughbred Farm is situated between Avenel and Euroa, in Victoria’s thoroughbred breeding heartland and Christian explains: “The farm provides a full breeding service to clients with a dedicated 24/7 foal watch team, racehorse agistment (35 individual spelling paddocks with shelter boxes) and weanling and yearling preparation.

“We have some wonderful facilities including a 32 box stable complex called the Eloping Barn and 14 box stable named after Fuhryk, and our team is headed up by manager, Lelaina Vennemeyer.”

Despite the wide-ranging success from the breeding shed and on the track, Christian clearly has a soft spot for Bella Nipotina.

“Bella Nipotina’s granddam, Bella Inez, was the first mare at our original property, so anything from that family will always be very special to us. She (Bella Inez) did a lot to put us on the map … we bought her as a yearling with Peter Morgan and although she only raced once, her first foal – by Starcraft – was called Hallowell Belle who won a (Group Two) Gilgai and (Listed) Darby Munro, but was also 4-times Group One placed, including a second to Sepoy in the Blue Diamond.”

“The second foal, Fuddle Dee Duddle, won the Group Three, WA Champion Fillies Stakes, while her third foal, Arctic Dream was also winner.

“The fourth foal was Bella Nipotina’s dam, Bella Orfana, but she was only four weeks old when Bella Inez – in foal to Fastnet Rock – died in the Hunter Valley from a colic attack. That’s why she was named ‘Bella Orfana’, which is Italian for beautiful orphan and Bella Nipotina is Italian for beautiful granddaughter.

“I had no intention of selling Bella Orfana as she was the last filly out of the mare, but (2019 Melbourne Cup winning trainer) Danny O’Brien came to the farm and was keen to train her and took a 25% share.

“Bella Orfana showed enormous promise, but just couldn’t finish off her races because of some heart problems and was retired. Her first foal is Bella Nipotina, the second is a filly by Capitalist, she’s in foal to Trapeze Artist and will head back to Pride of Dubai this spring.”

Christian will often retain shares in yearlings he sells if asked by trainers – “I believe in what we produce and I’m very happy to stay involved” – but did wonder for a while if Bella Nipotina would get the ‘monkey’ off her back.

“I was beginning to worry if she’d win after being beaten by short margins in a few races, but she was very impressive on Saturday and hopefully we’ll have a lot more fun with her,” a relieved Christian adds. “She was actually going to kick off her campaign in a maiden at Geelong on Friday but trialed so well the decision was made to go to the Quezette instead.

“Ironically, she would have struggled to get a start in the maiden at Geelong because of the number of first starters that contested the race.”

HOOFNOTE: Christian breeds under the Saconi Thoroughbreds banner, which is a tribute to his children: Sasha and Saskia, Coco and Nicky.

“Unfortunately for my youngest, Max, he came along after I’d set it all up, but as long as the horses keep winning, I’m sure he doesn’t mind too much!”

Above: Lot 703 Exceed and Excel x Vicennalia (USA)

An Exceed And Excel colt from American mare Vicennalia (More Than Ready) has tonight realised a record price for an online weanling auction of $170,000.

The colt, lot 703, was offered by Three Bridges Thoroughbreds as agent in the Great Southern Sale, which formed part of the Inglis Digital August (Early) Online Auction.

He sold to Wagga Wagga-based breeder Brett Bradley of Arlington Park Racing.

He was one of many highlights of the auction, which grossed $3m and achieved a 70% clearance rate.

“I was just having a look through the catalogue and came across this colt and really the main attraction was his sire Exceed And Excel, I’ve always wanted to send one of my mares to Exceed And Excel and it’s never worked out for one reason or another,” Bradley said.

“This colt was the best weanling in the sale so I knew we had to be strong and I didn’t really look at anything else – the photos, videos and reports were very helpful, in fact even at a live sale I find any parade videos to be advantageous, it’s like going back for your second and third looks.

“It’s a fast, American pedigree – and it was good to see the dam’s half sister Speaktomeofsummer win her second Stakes race a few weeks ago – but for me it was all about Exceed And Excel.

“I haven’t 100% decided yet on the future plans for the colt, I’ll get him to Kitchwin Hills first and have a good look at him, then discuss options with Mick Malone.”

Bradley – a Director of the Murrumbidgee Turf Club for almost a decade – moved to Australia from the United States 24 years ago and became interested in horses through his wife and friends.

“I honestly just really love horses, it’s evolved to an interest in breeding and I have a small band of broodmares at Kitchwin Hills – while the name Arlington Park Racing comes from the town Arlington in Texas where I once lived,’’ Bradley said.

“I’m a fan of the Inglis Digital format, I have used it before and people are definitely getting more used to trading online, it’s like working from home how people are adapting – I’m happy with the process and the result.’’

A thrilled Toby Liston of Three Bridges said the colt had presented as a fantastic opportunity for savvy buyers and the result was “terrific” in the current market.

“We feel we got the right money for this colt, he’s by Exceed And Excel and there’s only 49 of them – 26 of which are colts – and if you look at the stats, six colts have raced on this cross for three Stakes horses including Bivouac, that’s a 50% stakes horses to runners,” Liston said.

“We also sold a Toronado x Our Spirits Bay (Stravinsky) filly for $40,000 to a gentleman for the Dubai Racing Club and purchased lot 698, a Sebring colt from the Burnewang North draft for $30,000 through Paul Willetts, which we plan to send to Inglis Premier in 2021.

“Credit to the Inglis team for all the work they’ve done in what has been an ever-changing landscape, especially here in Victoria.”

Liston said while the situation had been challenging for everyone, it had probably pushed technology – and attitudes towards it – five years forward.

“If you want anything in the world you can buy it online, so why should horses be any different? But it’s not a new concept for Three Bridges, I would say we’ve sold $3 million through Inglis’ online platform, going back to classifieds,’’ Liston said.

“[Inglis Digital Business Manager] Nick Melmeth has been incredible to deal with over the years and now this platform has this massive wide reach.

“It’s a valuable part of our business because it bridges this disconnect between racing and breeding, it’s the best place to meet new clients and we’ve learned that providing every detail possible and decent photos and videos, builds your reputation as a vendor and maximises return.

“My wife Jana and I are the next generation at Three Bridges and if you don’t adapt and learn, you’re quickly left behind.”

The Vicennalia colt is one of 64 horses to sell for $100,000 or more on the Inglis Digital platform since 2018, while the August (Early) Sale is the 7th consecutive to gross $2m or more.

Burnewang North Pastoral sold two colts for $90,000, a Sebring from Midnight Fantasy (Commands) bought by Hirsch Racing and a Caravaggio x National Velvet (Commands) to Ciaron Maher Racing.

Maher also snapped up another colt in their draft, a Dundeel youngster ex Blendwell (Hard Spun) for $70,000, no doubt noting the success in recent years of graduates of the sale like Gytrash, Sopressa and Extra Brut.

A number of quality lots are still available through the Inglis Make An Offer service.

CLICK HERE for the Great Southern Sale or contact a member of the Inglis Bloodstock team.

CLICK HERE for the full Inglis Digital catalogue or call 1300 711 683.

Entries are now open for the August (Late) Online Sale and close at midnight on Wednesday, August 19.

The sale is scheduled to run from August 21-26.

CLICK HERE to enter a horse.

Stradari ridden by Jye McNeil wins the Connect Tel 4YO+ Maiden Plate at Geelong Racecourse . (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

A gelding bred by leading form analyst Dean Lester was on its way to Hong Kong before the COVID-19 pandemic struck leaving horses due to head overseas stranded in Australia.

Despite the disappointment of having the lucrative sale scuttled, Lester wasn’t faced with many options other than to race the now four year-old with his mother, Sandra Borschmann and his partner Leanne Korgvee.

The son of Strategic Maneuver made his debut at Geelong last Friday over 1250m and scored a narrow victory to collect a hefty cheque. With the first prize money and Super VOBIS Gold bonus, Lester’s pain of not getting the Hong Kong money was eased a little with Stradari collecting $33,250 from his first race.

“I sold him to Hong Kong but when COVID hit they walked away from the deal,” Lester said.

“He had an extended break and put on a bit of weight and got to the races as a four-year-old. He won a Super VOBIS Gold maiden and it was quite good that he did that.”

And while Lester admitted Stradari was Hong Kong bound for a good quid, he says the horse is here now and hopefully can develop into a handy little money-spinner and be a good fun horse.

The first foal Lester bred out of the Stradari’s dam – Ladari (Ladoni GB) was by Americain and while he won two races, he was extremely dour and had a bit of wind problem.

“We have had that family for nearly 30 years and the fastest one I bred was out of a mare that went back to Court Marshall and Half Hennessy,” Lester said.

“Half Hennessy was a Derby winner but he bred the fastest horse I have had in that family. I thought I would try and get one that is fast and out of that Court Marshall line.”

Lester said it came down to sending the mare to either Bel Esprit, which was a $33,000 service at the time, but the veteran is standing at $7700 this season, or Strategic Maneuver for $2000.

He said his mother negotiated the service with Malcolm Boyd who recently sold his Bullarook Park Stud.

“The mare might finally go to Bel Esprit this season for $7700,” Lester said.

Lester said his mother trained the mare Ladari which was the last horse she trained.

The mare won five races from 28 starts and ran places at Sandown after finishing a narrow second to Bashful Girl who won the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes a few starts later.

“She was a handy mare and she was an even later starter. While she was a beautiful mare, she wasn’t very athletic and we just kept poking around with her and then she sort of really put it together,” Lester said

“The grandmother (of Stradari) was the reason why we kept the pedigree because she was the best horse we ever had, a mare called Spiritdari.”

Lester said Spiritdari (Toy Pindarri/Royal Rosi) only won four races but at her last start she won at Caulfield and after the race Greg Childs said he’d like to ride her in the Let’s Elope in a couple of weeks after declaring she’d be hard to beat.

“He said just check her as she felt the ground a bit today as it was really hard at Caulfield,” Lester said.

“She had a spiral fracture in the front cannon bone so she never raced again and not long after the Let’s Elope she was already in foal.

Lester said they first bought into the family in 1987.

“We’ve kept it going for a long time,” he said.

Ladari has only had two foals, Freedom’s Light (Americain) and Stradari and was not served in 2016-17-18.

Lester said Freedom’s Light had ability but was a bit “touchy” in the wind and he wanted to make sure that Stradari didn’t have the same problem before he sent her back to the breeding barn.

“He is very sound and I’m happy to go with her again, even though she is an older mare (18 years-old),” he said.

“She hasn’t be overly taxed, that’s for sure.”

Lester said Stradari ran the fastest time of the maidens at Geelong and Cranbourne trainer Kevin Corstens, who is having his first preparation with the gelding, believes he could be a 1400m and 1600m horse.

But with the original plan of selling him to Hong Kong, the gelding had been restricted to 800m trials and is benefiting from the beach work given to him by Corstens.

With Bullarook Park Stud now sold as Malcolm Boyd goes into retirement, the stud’s stallions have all found homes.

Boyd put Strategic Maneuver up for auction and he fetched $13,000 and is off to Taree to continue his stud career.

Boyd is still singing the praises of the stallion by Royal Academy who served only one mare last year.

“Strategic Maneuver has had one, two, three, four winners since Friday and one, two, three seconds and two thirds,” Boyd said.

“You have to look after him, he is 15 now, as he is a special needs horse but he is one of the nicest animals I have ever been associated with. He was an absolute gentleman.”

Asked why he only served one mare last season, Boyd said: “That’s all he attracted and he didn’t get her in foal after having two cracks at her.

“He has proven that he is uncommercial so why would you want to send a mare, but he still gets winners.

“And who knows he might get a lot of mares this year because he has had winners over the past few weeks.”

Boyd said he had another call from an interested stud in the Hunter Valley.

“I thought Jimmy, that’s what we call him, is going to make some money and he made $13,000 and I had a reserve of $1500 on him,” he said.”

“Poor old Jimmy never got the best mares, but he has kept me going.

“Tempt Me Not, his best mare is a Group 3 winner, and she has a full sister, Dazzling Charm (out of Ganda) and she going really well.”



Another of the stallions Boyd stood, Last Typhoon has returned to his owner Neville Murdoch at Larneuk Stud, while Lucas Cranach has relocated to Leneva Park.

Boyd, who has had problems with his mobility in recent times, departs Bullarook in two weeks for a house in Nagambie and a well-deserved quieter life.







Above: Bless Her ridden by Jye McNeil wins the Neds Bet Back Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse on  (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Cranbourne trainer Shea Eden admits he was less than impressed when he first saw a Street Boss filly his mate Troy Wilson had bought for $40,000 at the 2018 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

He admits it was more than likely that he wouldn’t have bought her if asked.

It didn’t take long before Eden realised that the filly, out of Blessit (Commands) had plenty of ability, but what surprised him most was how long it took for her to break her maiden status.

Named Bless Her, the four year-old was placed three times in her first four runs and then after a 24 week spell, she won her maiden at Sale and returned to the same track for a victory in a class one over 1212m.

After a six week let up Bless Her returned for a victory at Sandown, followed by a win at Caulfield and last Saturday to complete her fifth win in succession over 1100m at Caulfield.

Eden said the mare would now chase black type at her next race in the Cockram Stakes.

“It’s exciting,” he said.

Eden said he would adopt a similar path as he did with his top sprinting mare Ocean Embers who won the 2016 Group 3 Cockram Stakes after winning the same lead up Caulfield race as Bless Her.

He hopes Bless Her can emulate what Ocean Embers did.

“A mate of ours who co owns the horse with us and his wife bought the filly at the sales,” he said.

“He got me to have a look at her after he’d bought her and I canned her because she was too small.

“He is four feet tall himself and I said he only bought the filly because he could see over her back.  As it turned out, with Troy’s wife Madeline and my wife, Miranda, we went into a partnership to race her.”

While Eden said he probably would not have bought Bless Her at the sales, he admits she has matured and got better with age.

He said they were only disappointed early on because they thought she would have knocked off her maiden in her first preparation.

“She was a filly that took a bit of time, physically and mentally to mature but she was probably three or three and a half before we really saw her ability.” he said.

“She has taken a while but the patience has paid off.”

Eden said while Wilson is keen on the Street Boss’ progeny, Bless Her is the first one by the sire, which stands at Darley’s Northwood Park in Victoria, he has had in his stables.

“He had a budget and picked her up for $40,000.” he said.

“We have a bit of a joke and laugh about it now.”

Eden has just added another Street Boss – Marco Spada – to the stable after his wife purchased a gelding by the sire on the tried racehorse market.

“She and Madeline race this one as well and he is a three year-old gelding,” he said.

“He just looks like he needs time.”

Bless Her was bred by well-known Victorian breeders Jim and June Anderson.

“She’s a good little filly, isn’t she,” Anderson said.

“She was small when I sold her and still is.

“But she has also shown some promise and was placed three times from her first four starts so she has always shown a bit of ability.”

Anderson said he’d always liked Street Boss and sent a few mares to him, along with Blessit.

Blessit’s first foal, Blazing Tycoon (Written Tycoon), has won two races and had four minor placings from 11 starts.

Anderson has an unraced three year-old colt, Tax Free Prophet, out of the mare by Rosemont stallion, Nostradamus.

“And we had a Dundeel colt out of the mare which we sold as a yearling this year (for $120,000),” he said.

“She also has Foxwedge weanling colt,”

Anderson said they’d breed about 10 or twelve foals from their mares this season.

He said he always felt happy for the owners who purchased his horses and win races as they are the ones paying for the training fees.

Above: North Pacific (James McDonald) trained by John, Michael & Wayne Hawkes wins the Up & Coming Stakes (Group 3) at Randwick  – photo by Martin King/Sportpix copyright

Victorian cattle farmer and businessman David Gillies has seen the highs and lows of breeding horses and offers no better example than two mares he sent to Darley’s Victorian stallion Brazen Beau in the same season.

The Brazen Beau colt from his mare Hipster Girl sold for $9000 at auction, while the other one from Up In Lights pushed the record books when he went for $800,000 to top the 2019 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Gillies had been told by the experts to expect some descent money for the Up In Lights colt, but was warned about getting too excited with the other one who was sold in New South Wales.

The large sums paid for the Up In Lights colt – North Pacific – by Orbis Bloodstock has been justified with an effortless victory in Sydney’s Group 3 Up and Coming Stakes last Saturday. The three-year-old colt, trained by Team Hawkes, is favourite for the Golden Rose after Saturday’s 5.3 length demolition of his rivals. He also holds a nomination for the Caulfield Guineas and Cox Plate.

Gillies said he had been following North Pacific’s career closely and says he is living up to all the hype he generated as a yearling with two wins and a third from his three starts.

“I was very surprised with the price I got for him,” Gillies said.

“As he was growing out and getting closer to the sales, everyone who had looked at him said you might get $200,000 or $250,000 or possibly $400,000.

“On the day of the sale he had been pulled out and inspected so much, they said you might get $500,000 for him. It exceeded our expectations but two people liked him on the day and both put their hands up.”

Orbis Bloodstock’s Paul King said after the sale he still had plenty of ammunition left when the colt was knocked down to him for $800,000.

“It would have been nice to have known how much more ammunition he had,’’ Gillies laughed.

“Paul said in his interview that he liked him and wasn’t going home without him.”

Gillies said he was certainly happy the colt was winning and heading for bigger things.

North Pacific was the fourth foal Gillies had bred from Up In Lights (O’Reilly/Love The Limelight). The first was Run To Paradise (Star Witness), followed by King Manuka (Not A Single Doubt) and then Shine the Way (Reset).

While Shine The Way is an unraced four year-old, the now retired Run To Paradise had one second from five starts, while King Manuka finished his career with a third from his two starts.

Bhima Thoroughbreds at Scone, (Gillies’ agent), sold a colt from Up In Lights by Maurice (JPN) at the 2019 Gold Coast National Weanling Sale for $24,000. The Colt then sold for $100,000 to Robert Roulston at this year’s Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale offered by Three Bridges.

Gillies said the two that he had bred and raced from the unraced mare, whose family includes four-time Group 1 winner Metal Bender and Group 1 Goodwood Handicap winner Keeper, were what he described as very ordinary.

“You can look at pedigrees all day long but I think on this particular occasion it came down to type more than anything else,” he said.

“There was a bit of hype about Brazen Beau at the same time, but he was sold on type alone.

“He seems to be a natural, I guess,”

After failing to get into foal to Dundeel and Brazen Beau (last service was in December, 2019), Gillies unexpectedly sold Up In Lights earlier this year.

“I was going to persevere with her, but an agent rang up and said we’d like to buy her.  I explained she wasn’t for sale, but they came back and made a fair offer,” he said.

“I don’t know who bought her, I just made the assessment that in the previous two years I couldn’t get her in foal and I threw a lot of money at vets trying to get her into foal.

“So they can roll the dice with her and wish them they very best. It’s a bit of a gamble buying a mare that couldn’t get into foal for two years considering what we did to try to get her there.”

Gillies said the mare wasn’t sold on the hype of North Pacific, but he hopes the buyers have success.

After breeding for the past seven years, Gillies said he had up to five broodmares but says North Pacific has obviously been the highlight.

Although he farms Angus beef, he has never had horses on his Glenburn property and prefers to agist them out.

Gillies love for horses was sparked when his first job after school was an apprentice jockey, for a fleeting moment, which he says some people might find hard to believe.

He has raced horses with Cranbourne trainer Ken Keys more than 20 years ago and then got busy with work and stopped racing but has recently got back into the industry.

“So I thought I’d have a crack at breeding and bought half a dozen mares and rolled the dice with them,” Gillies said.

“Hipster Girl ran fourth for me in the Oaks. I have never really had any good success on the track, but I keep plodding along. I’ve got half a dozen horses mixed between Grahame Begg and Anthony Freeman.

“I enjoy racing and breeding and I thought instead of buying yearlings I would breed a few.”

“I’m down to only two broodmares now.”

Gillies said he toyed with the idea of keeping his Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible/Sansadee) colt but concedes $800,000 was a lot of money.

There is also the possibility with the guidance of Team Hawkes, that North Pacific could be a stallion prospect.

He became Brazen Beau’s ninth Stakes winner.