Above: Easy as you like General Beau looks a natural (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

A good deal of joy for the sponsors of Wednesday’s Darley Spring Preview (900m) at Flemington with Contract Racing’s homebred Brazen Beau colt General Beau looking the consummate professional in capturing the first-two-year-old race of the season.

Ridden by Jamie Kah for trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra, General Beau eased across the face of the field from his outside barrier to sit on the outside of the Written Tycoon colt Finance Tycoon and that pair would fight the race out.

General Beau took control of the race at the 200 metres and won untouched by two and a quarter lengths.

Darley’s Northwood Park showpiece would take plenty of positives from the fighting third of the Godolphin homebred filly The Globe.

After racing greenly when obliged to race three wide without cover, the first southern hemisphere runner for the top-class Frosted (USA) stuck to her guns in the closing stages to finish three-quarters of a length behind Finance Tycoon.

Mathew Ellerton indicated the Listed Maribyrnong Trial would be the immediate target for the son of Brazen Beau.

“That’s the fastest we’ve asked him to go, he got there pretty quick and has been a natural all the way through,” Ellerton said.

“We might look at Saturday week. I imagine he will go home and eat up. He’s adept at the straight now so he will have two looks at it.

“He’s a strong little horse He is one of those that came in a bit rough at the start of his prep. It took ten days to knock the edge off him and he has improved ever since.”

Bred and raced by David and Jenny Moodie and Nick and Gayle Psaltis, General Beau is the second winner from three to race out of the lightly raced Lonhro mare Phosphorescence who is a half-sister to stakes-placed Double Jeopardy (Exceed and Excel) out of the top-class Nediym’s Glow (General Nediym) whose four wins included the Group III Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes and Group III Blue Diamond Prelude..

Phosphorescence has a yearling filly by Nicconi and a colt foal by Shamus Award.

Above: Lady of Harrods won the 2012 MRC Thousand Guineas Prelude at Caulfield.

Spendthrift Farm did not get much of a return for the $400,000 shelled out for dual Group III winner Lady Of Harrods at the 2016 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale when selling her son Omaha City for just $5,500 at Keeneland September last year, but there may be better days ahead after the 2yo colt powered to victory in Saturday’s Listed Hollywood Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Owned and trained by Mohamed Jehaludi Omaha City (Temple City) had been placed in four of his previous five starts on the track before breaking his maiden in the 5 furlong scamper on turf, defeating Big Daddy Dave (Khozan) by one and a quarter lengths with Hall Rich Legacy (Field Commission) three-quarters of a length back in third.

Lady Of Harrods came from the second of three crops left in Australia by Dubawi (USA).

Purchased by Russell Cameron for $80,000 at the 2011 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, she went on to bank over $277,000 highlighted by wins in the Group III MRC Thousand Guineas Prelude and Group III HDF McNeil Stakes.

She was bought by Segenhoe Stud, on behalf of Fairway Thoroughbreds, at the 2014 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale and was back in the same ring two years later when purchased by Spendthrift for $400,000 when a carrying a colt by Snitzel.

The daughter of Dubawi was exported to the US alongside the stakes-placed Fastnet Rock mare Ameristralia, Listed Morphettville Guineas winner Forever Discreet (Bernardini), stakes placed Rosehill winner Cana (Fastnet Rock) and Krupt’s sister Prairy Kat (Flying Spur).

Ameristralia was featured in Breednet recently when her Into Mischief colt made the equal third highest price of day three of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale when knocked down for $400,000.

Article courtesy of Breednet

Above: Fiorente standing at Sun Stud

Victoria’s Champion Second Season Sire FIORENTE has covered in excess of 300 mares over the past two seasons, including the dams of both CELESTINE and CETSHWAYO – two hugely impressive winners at Flemington on Wednesday.

Three-year-old filly CELESTINE stretched her unbeaten record to three with a blistering 1000m win, while three-year-old gelding CETSHWAYO’s swooping 1800m victory, at just his second race start, saw him firm dramatically in betting for the Group 1 VRC Derby.

“It’s exciting to see what’s coming through for Fiorente. Having covered the dams of these two progressive three-year-old’s is a prime example of what we have to look forward to in the seasons ahead,” Sun Stud’s Nominations Manager, Phil Marshall, points out.

“With 5 stakes winners and over $6.5m in progeny earnings from his first two crops alone, the stallion has proven himself to be a real asset to the Victorian breeding industry.”

Interestingly, FIORENTE’s stakes winners have done the job over a variety of distances – 1400m (3YO Group 2), 1600m (2YO Listed), 2000m (3YO Listed), 2040m (3YO Group 2) & 2500m (3YO Group 3) – which was a hallmark of Fiorente himself, given his brilliant acceleration which enabled him perform at Group 1 level over 1400m, on his way to Group 1 glory at 2000m in the Australian Cup and 3200m in the iconic Melbourne Cup.

FIORENTE’s runners have fired out of the blocks for the new racing season too, with the stallion posting 10 winners for the month of August, including Don’t Doubt Dory, who holds both Caulfield and Melbourne Cup nominations.

A quick glance at FIORENTE’s covers reveal stakes winners, renowned producers and well related mares aplenty for the son of Monsun, among them Rosa Perlato (dam of Hawkshot), Always Discreet (half to Maybe Discreet), Vanity Sky (dam of I Am Someone), She’s Archie (Melbourne Cup runner-up), Shabtis (dam of Take Pride), Pirate’s Sirene (dam of Jerilderie Letter), Our Sea Goddess (daughter of Seachange), Madam Gangster (multiple Group winner), Lacey Underall (Adelaide Cup winner), L’Inquistor (dam of Moor Gait), Detox (half to Alcopop), Desert Lashes (Stakes winner), Gibraltar Storm (dam of Reykjavik) etc.

“The quantity and quality of mares covered over the last couple of seasons is going to hold this stallion in really good stead for the future,” Marshall adds.

FIORENTE stands for an advertised service fee of $17,600 inc GST at Sun Stud in Kerrie, Victoria.

News from Sun Stud

Above: Overshare standing at Spendthrift Australia

While the arrival of spring reminds us of years past when it was possible to enjoy being among the hustle and bustle of the Spring Racing Carnival’s unbridled, ahem, social gatherings, season 2020 is shaping up to look considerably different.

But all is not lost. In fact, a local good news story has emerged that might just have us all riding high.

Garry Cuddy, General Manager, Spendthrift Australia, a leading Thoroughbred stud farm located in the Macedon Ranges’ scenic Kerrie Valley, has very generously offered to donate a nomination to their young, exciting stallion Overshare to the shire’s only community-owned, not-for-profit aged care facility, RM Begg Kyneton Aged Care Inc.

At first glance, the odds of a horse stud fundraising for an aged-care organisation might seem, well, long. But, as Cuddy, who was recently appointed to the Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria Board, explained, “Covid doesn’t discriminate and has meant that the annual stallion parades have had to go on-line. Traditional open days here at the farm usually attract large numbers of visitors, which translate into bookings for our stallions for breeding services. This season will have its challenges and we know that a lot of other people are doing it tough, especially in the aged-care sector. So, this is a way we can help make a difference in our local community.”

A stakes-winning son of super-sire I Am Invincible, the farm’s stallion Overshare began his stud career in 2018 and his first crop of yearlings will hit sale rings during the 2020-21 season. Overshare is an extremely good-looking stallion who throws stunning foals. “At an $11,000 service fee, Overshare is an ideal alternative for breeders whose budgets can’t quite stretch to I Am Invincible’s $209,000 fee,” Cuddy said. “The aim of our fundraiser is to ‘share’ a nomination to Overshare with RM Begg.”

The equine industry forms a large part of Macedon Ranges local economy from breeding and training to many support industries and services such as vets and farriers as well as manufacturers of horse-related products and feed. RM Begg spokesperson Sarah Collier welcomed the generous support of Spendthrift Australia and invited mare owners to submit their offers for this wonderful stallion and get behind this amazing and generous gesture. “We hope the bidding whips up some real excitement among breeders and we’d love to see a photo finish!” Ms Collier quipped.


Overshare will stand at Spendthrift Australia for a service fee of $11,000 incl. GST.

You can view Overshare on Spendthrift Australia’s virtual stallion parade on their website: www.spendthrift.com.au/stallions/overshare/

Bids to buy the donated stallion nomination to Overshare for this stud season can be made via Bloodstock Auctions: www.bloodstockauction.com.au

Bids open Thursday 1 October 2020 and close Tuesday 6 October 2020.

Donations can also be made directly to RM Begg via their website: www.raymbegg.org.au/donate


More information contact: Danielle White, drdanni1@bigpond.com | m. 0408 797 438

Above: Lucas Cranach (Ger)

Sad news from Leneva Park in Victoria with the loss of proven stallion and Melbourne Cup place-getter Lucas Cranach (Ger) due to a freak paddock accident.

A Group II winner by Mamool, Lucas Cranach was the sire of 43 winners of nearly $3million in prizemoney including Dark Alley, Get Stuck In, Advance Warning, Stealthy Lucas and Arty Lucas.

Article courtesy of Breednet

Above: All too easy for Swats That (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

A luckless second in the Cap D’Antibes Stakes at Flemington on her seasonal debut on September 13, the Leon and Troy Corstens-trained Swats That overcame a tough run to ring up her first stakes win in Friday night’s Group III Piper-Heidsieck Scarborough Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.

Ridden by John Allen the 3yo daughter of Shamus Award was obliged to race three deep without cover from her outside barrier. She took control of the race at the home turn to defeat the fast-finishing Highly Discreet (Street Boss) by with the favourite Dirty Thoughts (So You Think).

Try Corstens said the Coolmore Stud Stakes is her goal this preparation.

“She was three-wide and had no peace whatsoever and was very, very strong,” Troy Corstens said.

“It’s nice to see her do that because we have all put in a lot of work and we always thought she was pretty good.

A homebred for Adam Gay, Swats That is a sister to 2-time winner My Sweet Fish, Swats out of the unraced Bel Esprit mare Is It A Mosquito whose dam Yes I Will (USA) (Danzig) is a daughter of the great racemare Let’s Elope.

A daughter of Nassipour (USA), Let’s Elope won 11 races including the Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup double in 1991.

It A Mosquito has a 2yo filly by Shamus Award and a yearling filly by Trust In A Gust.

Purchased by Glenrae Stud for $5,500 at the 2018 Inglis Great Southern Sale, It A Mosquito recently foaled to Jimmy Creed (USA) before being covered by Shamus award again.

Dual Group 1 winner Shamus Award is having a golden run and Swats That takes the stakes-winners total  for the Rosemont Stud stallion to eight.

Article courtesy of Breednet

All videos from horses that have breezed ahead of the Inglis Ready2Race Sale are now available online following another successful day of action at Taupo in New Zealand on Monday.

In total, 47 juveniles breezed across the Tasman, with a pair of Ohukia Lodge 2YOs leading the way.

Lot 59, a Capitalist x Mothwing colt and lot 95, a Deep Field x Riddling colt, clocked the day’s equal fastest time of 10.19secs (both pictured).

They were closely followed by lot 162, a Deep Field x Wind Shift colt from Regal Farm in a time of 10.30secs and a duo from Riverrock Farm – lot 4, an Ocean Park x Fast Quickstep colt and a Rageese x Marzeri colt (lot 47) – who both recorded the impressive time of 10.31secs.

Ohukia’s Jamie Beatson – who in total will offer 19 horses at the sale, described the two fastest colts as “exceptional’’.

“I’m thrilled with how they went,’’ Beatson said.

“And the timing couldn’t be better with the stallions; Deep Field is flying and Capitalist was well featured at the Australian 2YO trials on Monday.

“Ohukia is presenting four Savabeels in the draft among others as well and the Savabeel x Dreamer colt (lot 219) is one of the best-looking horses I’ve ever prepared. He breezed up in 10.45secs and is already popular with prospective buyers.’’

Of his Deep Field x Wind Shift colt, Regal Farm’s Shane Crawford said: “He flew, he’s a beautiful horse and Deep Field had another exciting winner in Hong Kong on Sunday. I’m extremely happy with how the draft went and it’s all systems go for the sale on October 20.’’

Mark Forbes of Kiltannon Stables, who breezed 10 horses, added: “I’ve been preparing drafts for the Inglis Ready2Race Sale for four years now and this isn’t just the best group of horses I’ve personally prepared, but collectively it’s the best group I’ve ever seen heading to a 2YO sale.”

Inglis Bloodstock Consultant and New Zealand representative Brett Gilding couldn’t be more pleased with how the breeze up process went at Taupo.

“It’s really a pleasure to be working with these New Zealand-based preparers – they are consummate professionals and the standard of horse that they are presenting for the sale is exceptionally high, so we’re all very excited about the sale,’’ Gilding said.

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 the sale has produced almost 400 individual winners with an average earnings figure per runner of over $91,000.

It has also been a significant boon for the Hong Kong market, producing 30 individual winners of 70 races in the territory since 2018, 38% more wins than graduates of the next best Australian breeze-up sale.

“Some of the breeze up times have been extraordinary, these horses have been specifically purchased as yearlings to target this sale and with the outstanding quality of consignors involved this year as well, I strongly encourage any owner, trainer or agent to pay very close attention to the sale,” Inglis Bloodstock Consultant Harry Bailey, who oversaw the compilation of the catalogue for this year’s sale, said.

“The volume of information available for buyers in advance of this sale will be unprecedented.

“For those who can’t manage physical inspections, all the breeze up videos are now on the Inglis website, as well as images of each horse and all the information one needs to make an informed decision surrounding a prospective purchase.’’

To view the catalogue and all breeze up videos, CLICK HERE.

Attention now heads to Riverside Stables for the sale itself, which will take place from 10am on Tuesday October 20.

Inspections begin on Friday October 16, the same day an alternate breeze up session is scheduled for any vendor that wishes to re-breeze their 2YOs for any reason.

The annual Veuve Clicquot Champagne Brunch will again take place in the lead-up to the sale, at Riverside at 11am on Sunday October 18, where a selection of catalogued lots will be paraded for prospective buyers as part of a preview of the sale.

Above: An Inglis Premier triumph as Ole Kirk edges North Pacific in the Golden Rose (Steve Hart)

It might have been in so called enemy territory, but two Victorian bred colts stamped themselves as stallions in waiting when they  finished first and second for Team Hawkes in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

The winner Ole Kirk and runner-up North Pacific were the two sale toppers at last year’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Ole Kirk (Written Tycoon/Naturale) and North Pacific (Brazen Beau/Up In Lights) fought out the finish of the stallion-making Golden Rose, with Ole Kirk just a head in front of his stablemate.

The pair is set to again clash in the Group 1 $2 million Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10.

Ole Kirk is now worth an estimated $25 million-plus as a stallion prospect, with North Pacific certainly in the same price bracket.

And there are already offers from prominent studs wanting to secure a piece of the impeccably bred Ole Kirk whose dam Naturale is an unraced sister to the champion mare Black Caviar (Bel Esprit/Helsinge) and a half-sister to All Too Hard (Casino Prince).

Ole Kirk was purchased for $675,000 by Mark Player’s International Thoroughbred Solutions, on behalf of Neil Werrett, when he was offered by Rick Jamieson’s Gilgai Farm which also bred the colt.

While Werrett is the majority owner of Ole Kirk, Jamieson remained in the ownership along with a group of others.

North Pacific was knocked down for $800,000 to Orbis Bloodstock at the 2019 Inglis Premier sale.

Flemington-based Wayne Hawkes said it doesn’t get any better for Inglis to have the two top priced yearlings sold at Melbourne Premier finishing first and second in the big race.

“It’s good for Victoria to have the quinella and it is good for consumer confidence when the top priced yearlings come good,” Hawkes said.

“It’s good when the top priced horses can fight out the biggest three-year-old race in Sydney.

“They were both expensive yearlings so it was good to get a return for the owners.”

Hawkes said both Ole Kirk and North Pacific had great pedigrees and were cracking athletes which was the reason they demanded big prices at the sale.

As far as types go, Hawkes said they were totally different.

“There is nothing the same about both of them and they are just chalk and cheese, those two,” Hawkes said.

“There is nothing remotely the same about both of them and they wouldn’t be in the same mould with anything, to be honest, and they are just so far away in the spectrum that it’s not funny.

“But it takes all types.”

Gilgai’s Kelly Skillecorn said Ole Kirk was always a nice horse.

“He is not a big strong horse or the obvious horse,” Skillecorn said.

“He is a nice enough horse and a good moving horse with a pretty head.”

Skillecorn said that without any Danehill in him, Ole Kirk would be highly sought after by studs and breeders.

“There are not many Danehill free sons of his quality and pedigree to go to stud, if there ever has been,” Skillecorn said.

“I know my boss (Rick Jamieson) isn’t in any hurry to retire him and realises that it’s a family that just gets better and better and you’d hope he’d go again next year.”

Skillecorn said there was no doubt Ole Kirk was the real deal with a great pedigree.

“He is not a big horse so he’ll suit all of those Fastnet Rock, big strong things,” he said.

“We are all looking forward to how he is going to go in the Guineas (1600m at Caulfield on October 10). It would be nice to have a couple of Group 1s on the resume before Christmas.”

Ole Kirk’s dam Naturale is back in foal to Written Tycoon which Skillecorn said was an even bigger result after the colt’s Golden Rose win.

Werrett, who was trackside at Rosehill on Saturday, obviously has an affiliation with the family after racing Black Caviar.

“As soon as I saw the page and I remembered Rick [Jamieson] had told me about this sister to Black Caviar way back, and how unfortunate it couldn’t race,’’ Werrett told Inglis.

“So when it was coming up in Melbourne, I asked the Hawkes’ if they had looked at it and they said it was on their list to buy. I said I want to buy it.

“I have put my sister, Colin Madden and Brett from work into him and Rick stayed in. That makes it more special.

“The breeding and the whole thing that has gone into this race, I can’t believe we have won it.’’

For winning co-trainer Michael Hawkes, finishing first and second

with the two colts was “as good as it gets’’.

“Dad and Wayne saw the colts at the sale, I wasn’t there. It’s a team

effort, I was home here with the horses and they did that particular sale,’’ Hawkes said.

“To go one two with the two highest-priced colts from the Inglis

Melbourne Sale, it means a lot because you know what, it backs your

judgement that when you’re buying these horses, you’re in the right

frame of mind to say this is what we need to do to get the best result. It’s phenomenal.”

Some bookies have installed Ole Kirk as the $5 favourite for the

Caulfield Guineas, while North Pacific has firmed into $9.

Above: Puissance de Lune standing at Swettenham Stud

Swettenham engage digital booking platform Breedr to manage stallion’s roster.

Swettenham Stud today announced that demand for Puissance De Lune has forced them to declare the book for the striking son of Shamardal, now full for this season.

In an industry first, to ensure breeders are given the best opportunity to capitalise on any last-minute mare cancellations, Swettenham Stud will utilise Breedr, a new digital end-to-end booking platform, to instantly notify interested breeders of an available slot.

Swettenham Stud Principal Adam Sangster stated “We have been overwhelmed by the demand for PDL but given what we are seeing from the likes of undefeated, dual stakes winner CHANTREA and Edward Manifold winner MOONLIGHT MAID are doing, we are not surprised. We acknowledge that during the season there are inevitably last-minute cancellations, so to ensure we give breeders the best opportunity to fill a slot at the 11th hour, we needed to streamline the existing booking process.

“Breedr’s new technology will allow us to digitise and automate the whole booking process. This creates a level playing field for all breeders and minimises missed revenue to our shareholders in the stallion. We are confident the concept will be well received and believe the online booking model is a great innovative way to complement our more traditional sales methods.”

Tom Seymour, Founder of Breedr commented. “We are delighted to align ourselves with such a progressive and innovative brand like Swettenham Stud. Breedr’s charter is to help the entire breeding ecosystem, providing free access to digital solutions that make their enterprises more efficient and commercially sustainable.

“This latest initiative (with PDL), is a perfect example of the type of win-win scenarios we are striving for. By providing a waitlist of mares, Studs can now move immediately to fill slots and minimise the opportunity cost of an empty slot. Studs can tap into Breedr’s eSignature contract feature, reducing the entire booking process down to just a couple of minutes. On the other hand, Breeders now have far greater agility on where to send their mares. We applaud Adam for embracing the innovation and are confident this streamlined approach will appeal to more studs as the season progresses.”

To sweeten the deal, Swettenham Stud will reward those who engage in the concept by offering any last minute booking to PDL at $18,700 incl GST, a saving of $1,100.

To register your interest in this PDL offer, please follow the following steps or click hereto watch a 60sec tutorial.

  1. Go to www.breedr.horse
  2. Register (new users) or Login (existing users) as a Breeder/Mare Owner *new users will receive a verification email that needs to be acknowledged (pls check Junk inbox if not immediately received)
  3. Once logged in, Click ‘Add Mare’ and create a mare profile. *allow the auto mare search system to recognise your mare and pre-populate her details.
  4. Within the mare profile, click Yes to ‘Accept Invitations’ field
  5. Click the ‘Book’ tab and within the ‘Stallion Search’ function, enter Puissance De Lune in the ‘Preferred Stallion(s)’ field
  6. Click on ‘Apply for Nomination’ for Puissance De Lunethis completes the process and Swettenham will now have your mare waitlisted for any cancellations.

For further information on any of Swettenham Stud stallions, please don’t hesitate to contact Adam Sangster or Sam Matthews at Swettenham Stud. If anyone requires technical support using Breedr, please contact Tom Seymour on +61 (0) 414 896988 or email support@breedr.horse.

Above: Bel Esprit standing at Sun Stud

It’s something of an understatement to suggest that BEL ESPRIT has been a star from the get go.

Winner of his first five starts, including the Group 1 Blue Diamond, Bel Esprit would go on to capture the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 before retiring to Sun Stud (then Eliza Park).

From only his 3rd crop, Bel Esprit achieved everlasting fame through racing immortal, Black Caviar, while an unprecedented eight Victorian Sires’ premierships, an Australian title and 720 winners later, he’s still producing headliners such as Kisukano, winner of six  from nine, $698,100 in stakes and the only horse to defeat Rothfire (by 2 lengths) as a 2YO.

However, BEL ESPRIT is now well and truly into the next stage as a leading Broodmare Sire, courtesy of Saturday’s brilliant Group 1 Golden Rose winner, Ole Kirk.

On Friday night at Moonee Valley, Swats That became his 25th stakes horse as a Broodmare Sire by taking out the Group 3 Champagne Stakes.

And let’s not forget the big daddy of them all, Beauty Generation.

Hong Kong Horse of the Year, Beauty Generation has won 20 races – including 8 Group 1s – and is the highest money earner ever in Hong Kong. Now under the guidance of David Hayes, Beauty Generation returned to racing on Sunday with a brave second behind Golden Sixty in the Group 3 Celebration Cup at Sha Tin and appears on target to retain his title as the world’s best miler.

Much, much closer to home though is how well MAGNUS over BEL ESPRIT mares go: already there have been 17 winners from 22 runners, with 5 of them stakes horses … among them the exciting 3YO stakes winner FRONT PAGE.

The Geoff Duryea trained chestnut has won four from seven  (including 2 seconds) and is due to appear in the $1.3 million The Kosciuszko at Royal Randwick in 3 weeks with James Macdonald booked for the ride.

So, if you have a BEL ESPRIT mare …

Bel Esprit stands this season at Sun Stud at a fee of just $7,700, while barnmate, MAGNUS will cover another full book at $15,400. No payment on any Sun Stud stallion until live foal.

For further information, phone Phil Marshall at Sun Stud on 0407 853 782.

Article courtesy of Breednet

Above: Pippie winning the Moir Stakes (Natasha Morello/Racing Photos)

The dam of dual Group 1 winning mare Pippie is on her way to New South Wales to be served by Victorian stallion Written Tycoon.

Pippie, bred by Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm at Corinella, won the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate earlier this year and last Friday picked up another race at the highest level with victory in the Moir Stakes.

The five-year-old mare has now surpassed $1 million in prize money.

The flying mare’s dam, Coupe Express, was also bred by Lauriston’s O’Brien family.

And as James O’Brien has previously outlined, the female family of Pippie goes back along way at Lauriston.

“We had the great grandam, Zofagal, who went to Success Express and got Gal Express who went to Ne Coupez Par and got Coupe Express,” O’Brien explained after Pippie’s Oakleigh Plate win.

“We raced Gal Express and Coupe Express and then sent Coupe Express to Written Tycoon.

“We did a mating plan and sold Coupe Express in foal with Pippie to Eureka Stud and they foaled her down and the rest is history.”

Amazing as it might seem now with the benefit of hindsight,

Eureka Stud’s Scott McAlpine paid $26,000 for Express Coupe in foal to Written Tycoon at the Inglis August Mixed Sale in 2015 and then trainer John Meagher bought Pippie for $60,000 at the Inglis 2017 Classic Yearling Sale at Newmarket.

“We sold the mare in foal at an Inglis sale in Melbourne,” O’Brien said.

“We didn’t get much for her and Written Tycoon wasn’t a super star

back then but obviously her results have reinforced the quality of the stallion.

“Written Tycoon was just starting to kick then and I thought people

might want a Written Tycoon, which they did and Eureka Stud were

astute enough to buy her.”

Written Tycoon’s service fee in 2014 was $12,500 and increased to

$19,800 in 2015 and after standing at $110,000 at Woodside Park

last year, his fee this year has been reduced to $77,000.

McAlpine said this week Coupe Express had a three-week-old Spirit Of Boom colt, and a Defcon filly out of her was sold in January, while she also has four-year-old mare by Spirit of Boom named Boom Express which is also under the care of Pippie’s father/son trainers, John and Chris Meagher.

“And she is departing here on Wednesday for Written Tycoon to get a cover,” McAlpine said.

“It’s very exciting and we were hoping Pippie would continue her successful run so we booked Written Tycoon way back.

“She doesn’t have a yearling to sell in 2021 as she missed and didn’t have a foal in 2019.

“We decided to go back to Written Tycoon so at this stage I think we have pulled the right rein.”

McAlpine said Coupe Express had only produced one colt, born three weeks ago, and is by Spirit of Boom which stands at his Eureka Stud in Queensland.

“James O’Brien probably regrets his decision to sell the mare, but don’t worry we all do it,’’ he said.

“At the moment we haven’t retained anything from the mare but it would be one of those situations you’d tackle when you see what you get. If we get a Written Tycoon filly out of her and Pippie wins another Group 1, maybe we’d keep it for ourselves.

“But our business is to rear them and sell them and if you are going to get good money, we have to keep operating and that’s our income,” he said.

McAlpine is sending mares to Victorian stallions this year, including Impending at Darley and Highland Reel and Toronado at Swettenham Stud.

And jockey Damian Lane, who had his first ride on Pippie in the Moir Stakes, said he’d never been on a horse that had shown so much early speed.

“Just how clean she is from the stalls that first 200m, and just how easily she does it,” Lane said.

“I thought I was done for to be honest but lucky enough she is tough,

gritted her teeth, and got the job done.”

 And Chis Meagher has never been shy about his thoughts on Pippie’s ability.

 “I’ve said it before, maybe a touch arrogant but, I don’t care what I run her in, I know that she is going to run enormous,” he said after the race.

“Tonight she was just on point, done everything right, couldn’t be happier, the track suited us – just over the moon.

“She’s a dead set 10-year-old gelding at home but as soon as she bounces out of the machines she’s a completely different animal. To win a race of this calibre is just a huge honour and I’m rapt for everyone involved.”



Above: A Woodside yearling gets ready to enter the Inglis Newmarket sales ring

Winning is the driving force behind many equine endeavors. Some horse enthusiasts breed, raise, train, and compete their own horses, but many prefer to shortcut the vagarious nature of the breeding business by purchasing a horse that is “made” or possesses the potential to be everything the buyer could want. Public auctions often provide the best opportunity for these horsemen to locate the right horse for their purpose. For the consignors, the fall of the auctioneer’s hammer can signal the difference between economic viability and the death of a dream. The dream begins in the breeding shed. The old adage “breed the best to the best and hope for the best” certainly holds true for the highest priced sale horses. The pedigree page is often the first introduction a buyer has to an individual horse. Sales agencies pride themselves on consigning horses with the most sterling of bloodlines as the catalogs’ headliners.

Thoroughbred sales companies have defined specific ways to indicate exemplary performance. Bold-faced type (called “black type”) and capital letters are used to indicate the quality of races won by the horses in the pedigree. Once the catalog has been mailed and the horses and buyers have arrived at the sale, the ticket to a higher price is appearance. According to Mark Taylor of Taylor Made Sales Agency, “It is the complete picture – conformation, fitness, and finish – that ultimately sells the horse.” The Taylor Made Sales Agency sold its first consignment in 1978 and since then has established an impressive record. In the last twelve years, it has sold more sales-topping Thoroughbreds at public auction than any other sales agency in the world. Mark, one of four brothers who together own and operate the sales agency, a stallion station, and a boarding operation, is the head of the public sales division. He has devised guidelines for the preparation of the horses the sales agency will handle that cover the range from weanlings and yearlings to broodmares.

Each type of horse has specific requirements, and each individual within a group may have special needs on top of those. Mr. Taylor believes weanlings are the most challenging to prepare for the sales ring. As Thoroughbred sales weanlings are often sold in November, there is a limited amount of time to prepare them for their debut. Mr. Taylor explained, “After weaning, young horses go through a gawky stage that can alter their appearance dramatically. Sometimes the foal we assessed in July looks considerably different as a weanling in September. For those born early enough in the year to be weaned in September, there is time for them to mature out of that awkward stage. The horses that are most difficult are the ones born late in the spring. We have had good success weaning those young horses quite late. Sometimes their weaning is completed at the sale. We don’t wean them as abruptly as we do the earlier foals, so many of them avoid going through that awkward stage.”

Even with the most careful guidance, some weanlings seem to grow in fits and starts. One of Taylor Made’s sales standouts, Unbridled’s Song, was just such a one. Today the horse is known for his stunning wins in the 1995 Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Stakes, the 1996 Florida Derby, and the Wood Memorial. This winner of $1.3 million was an equine version of the ugly duckling that grew into a swan. Mr. Taylor stated, “He was a gangly weanling. He grew into a better-looking yearling and has just continued to look better every day of his life.”

Mr. Taylor feels that sales preparation for young horses has changed considerably over the past two decades. He said, “We used to be pretty aggressive with our young horses. We fed them to grow quickly, and we worked them to build muscle. Today, we are more conservative. Our goal is to raise well-grown foals that are marketable as weanlings or yearlings that become sound, quality racehorses.”

At Taylor Made two of the most important components of producing healthy, attractive young horses for the sales ring are a vigorous deworming schedule and a carefully designed nutrition program. Like many sales companies, it employs an equine nutritionist to supervise each aspect of the farm’s program from the forage to the grains and supplements. “We look at every individual and design a program to accommodate that horse’s specific needs. Some horses grow more quickly than others do, some get fat on air, while others need considerably more food to grow well. Our goal is to have the horses at a good weight for their body structure and to avoid any problems like physitis or osteochondritis dissecans (OCD),” Mr. Taylor said.

Feeding young horses for sales preparation has always involved providing a balanced nutritional program. The recent trend to send yearlings to the sale ring in a more fit and athletic condition differs from the past when it was common to see yearlings that looked heavier. As a result, many nutrition programs have been designed to produce a more athletic individual. Kentucky Equine Research, Inc, (KER), an international equine nutrition and exercise physiology firm, was at the forefront of developing sound nutritional programs for growing young horses a decade ago when, together with Farmers Feed Mill, a feed manufacturing firm in Lexington, Kentucky, it developed a sales preparation ration known as Hallway Prep 14.

Jim FitzGerald’s Knockgriffin Farm relies upon Prep 14 to provide the nutritional background for all its young sale horses. Mr. FitzGerald stated, “This is a wonderful feed. The horses find it palatable. They have no digestive problems with it, and it provides everything they need to grow well. We have not had problems with physitis, and the horses develop a great muscle tone. I used to have to practice a bit of witchcraft to mix a little of this and a bit of that to come up with a good blend of everything, but with Prep 14 I can use just one product.”

As part of the FitzGerald/Keogh Agency, a sales agency that has sold over $21 million worth of horses including the top two yearlings in the second session of the Keeneland January Sale this year, Mr. FitzGerald also prizes the outward appearance his young horses carry with them into the ring. He said, “Prep 14 provides my horses with a lovely hair coat. No matter how much grooming you may do, if the horses are not fed correctly, you cannot get a good shine from their coat.”

Recent studies done by KER may further change the way rations for young horses are developed. Research presented at the 2001 American Association of Equine Practitioners conference indicated that there may be a connection between glycemic response and the incidence of OCD.

KER researchers used a glycemic response test patented by Dr. Sarah Ralston at Rutgers University to study the predisposition of Thoroughbred foals to develop OCD lesions. Six farms in central Kentucky cooperated with the effort, and the growth patterns of over 200 weanlings were charted for the year.

Surgery to correct OCD problems was performed on 25of the weanlings involved in the study. All 25 had above average levels of insulin and glucose as well as heavier body weights and higher condition scores than many of their peers.

KER researchers are continuing to examine the glycemic responses in young horses in an expanded study that includes horses on 16 farms in central Kentucky. A diet designed to produce a low glycemic response has been developed for some of these farms and the horses fed this diet will be compared to those fed a traditional feed. As the results of this study become available, KER President Joe Dr. Pagan predicts that a big change will be made in the way growing horses are fed.

The advantages of good nutrition provided from an early age can certainly be seen in the condition of the horses sold as weanlings and yearlings, but it also provides a sound foundation for the athletic careers for which these horses are destined. Christopher “Kip” Elser of Kirkwood Stables in Camden, South Carolina is an international agent and trainer who travels throughout the United Statesand Europeto market Thoroughbreds.

His specialty is preparing horses for two-year-old in training sales. He looks for a well-balanced horse and then prepares a program designed to capitalize on that individual’s strengths. As with the younger sales horses, nutrition plays a key role. Mr. Elser stated, “Horses need to be groomed from the inside out. A well-conditioned animal cannot be developed without a balanced nutrition program.”

Mr. Elser admits to having been a feed room alchemist who, as he said, “used to travel up and down the shed row with the feed cart, putting a scoop of this and a capful of that into each horse’s daily ration. Finally, a nutritionist told me that my method was guaranteed to do one thing–drive me crazy. I now feed a good, balanced high-protein diet that contains a bit more fat than would normally be fed to a performance horse. Two-year olds need to have that extra fat in their ration to maintain their weight through their increased activity level. I use Equi-Jewel for this. It is a stabilized rice bran product that also helps to maintain the shine in the horse’s coat.”

The increased workload of the two-year-olds Mr. Elser prepares includes some hand walking and ponying. He prefers that his two-year-old charges spend time with a rider on their backs, but likes the idea of the automatic free walkers. “The walkers allow the horses to have a consistent form of exercise. I also like to use aquatreads (underwater treadmills) for rehabilitation and maintenance.” Mr. Elser pointed out the immense value in having knowledgeable horse people working with his animals at all times. “I cannot be everywhere at once. I must rely upon the people who work for me to be observant and dedicated.”

Mr. Taylor concurred. He said, “Taylor Made Farms expects to employ over 125 people during the September Keeneland yearling sales. About one third of that number will be full-time employees and the rest will be people hired just for the sales. We try to bring back as many of the same people every year as possible. They know our routines and what we expect, and they have the experience we need. A good sales associate is one who knows what pertinent information to pass along to us not only about the horses, but about the buyers as well. A good sales team is a valuable part of the overall effort.”

The polished weanlings and yearlings and the athletic two-year-olds that grace the sales rings throughout the world today are slightly different from the horses that went before them. Technology and research have combined to provide consignors and buyers with a slightly different opinion of what constitutes good health.

The shine that graces the coats in today’s sales pavilions begins most often with exemplary nutrition. Muscled bodies have become more appealing, and the horses are the better for it.

Article courtesy of Kentucky Equine Research

Above: Cooter Cha Cha, ridden by John Robertson on his way to victory in the bet365 Racing Refunds BM58 Handicap at Hamilton last Monday. Picture: ALICE MILES/RACING

HUMBLE beginnings often lead to amazing endings.

And while there is still a bit more to play out in the career of the seven-year-old staying gelding Cooter Cha Cha, never have truer words been spoken.

The catchily named stayer, who is trained at Bendigo by Daryn Drust, finds himself in the unique position of chasing three-straight wins, in a race and at a track both still to be determined.

A second win on the trot arrived at Hamilton last Monday over 2200m. It was the gelding’s sixth win in total from 39 starts, for earnings of a tick over $90,000 – a pleasing return for connections.

But whatever prize money the horse might earn pales in significance to the galloper’s sentimental value to his owners, in particular Rochelle Thompson, better known to most as Shelley.

Thompson, who lives at Shelbourne – about 25km from the Bendigo CBD – also bred Cooter Cha Cha, only exacerbating her affinity for the beloved gelding.

His three recent wins at Hamilton and last month at Wangaratta, and before those, six starts earlier at Horsham (all at benchmark 58 level), have come to mean much more to Cooter Cha Cha’s connections.

They have been the perfect pick-me-up at a time when the spirits of many have been dampened after weeks and months in COVID lockdown.

“He’s gotten a lot of us through it,” Thompson said.

“I have family and friends in Melbourne who have a share in him and he’s giving everyone a buzz.

“Of course Melbourne is far worse off than us – they can’t do anything (under lockdown). We’re at least coming out of it.”

Like so many, life in lockdown has been relatively harsh for Thompson.

Until late this week, contact with friends and family for the 62-year-old was limited entirely to online and over the phone during stage three restrictions in regional Victoria.

Her employment with pump manufacturer and service provider Flowserve in Castlemaine has been performed from home.

Regrettably, but understandably, her two greatest loves – trips to the racetrack and her regular attendance at rock and roll dances – have been on hold.

It was the combination of her two passions which led to the horse’s naming.

“We do a dance called Cooter Cha Cha,” she said.

He’s gotten a lot of us through it COVID). I have family and friends in Melbourne who have a share in him and he’s giving everyone a buzz.

Shelley Thompson

Not that she dwells much on the negatives, arguably the biggest blow through COVID was the loss of a foal through an infection.

“I had a beautiful colt by Ready For Victory and the Victorian Equine Centre tried for two weeks to save him, but he didn’t pull through,” Thompson said.

“Sarah (Dr Sarah Jalim) did a fantastic job and we thought he almost made it at one stage, but we lost him.

“It was hugely disappointing, but I guess racing has its ups and downs.”

Horses – and particularly her love of racehorses – have dominated Thompson’s life since she was a child, although just why and how this passion grew has an element of mystery.

“I don’t come from a racing family, I just fell in love with racing,’ she said.

“Unlike other teenagers, I didn’t have posters of pop stars on my walls, I had Gunsynd and Phar Lap.

“As a kid, my brother gave me an Australian stud book, so I used to study pedigrees, so I’ve probably had a love of thoroughbreds and pedigrees probably since I was 10.

“I used to used to watch the Melbourne Cups on television with Galilee, Light Fingers and Red Handed ,and I just fell in love with the scene.”

Her passion eventually saw Thompson start dabbling in breeding horses before later becoming heavily involved in a program aimed at rescuing and rehoming brumbies from the Northern Territory.

About a half-dozen of the thoroughbreds Thompson has bred have made it to the track, with mixed results.

They include Shim Sham, a cousin to Cooter Cha Cha, who had five starts for Drust, and Cooter Cha Cha’s half-brother Blazing Chillie.

Undoubtedly her favourite though has been Cooter Cha Cha, whose father Delightful Choice and mother Cavalry Lady were both unraced, and who has risen from those humble beginnings to claim six race wins, with the potential for a few more.

The fact both parents never saw the racetrack was never a cause for alarm for Thompson.

She pointed to her good friend and pedigree analyst Kristen Manning, who landed a Group 3 success with Quilate, whose parents were similarly unraced, as to what could be achieved in racing.

“I got my original foundation mares off Kristen and one of those mares was Cooter Cha Cha’s mother,” Thompson explained.

As the wins have mounted – more quickly at the front end of his career with three from his last eight starts – Thompson has proudly been there with Cooter Cha Cha every step of the way.

His latest success gave the gelding back-to-back victories for the first time in his career. For Thompson, it offered a chance for reflection on the journey so far.

“He was always a nice looking foal … leggy and very confident,” Thompson said.

Free To Move ridden by Luke Currie wins the Lloyd Williams Plate at Moonee Valley Racecourse. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

It’s probably not the thing that breeders want to hear, but Cranbourne trainer Kasey Keys admits she had a much bigger budget to purchase a yearling at the 2019 VOBIS Gold Yearling sale.

Kasey, who now trains in partnership with her father Ken, was quite keen on an Unencumbered colt, out of Canhill (Dangerous/Canned Music).

She snapped up the colt for $8000, which was offered by Bucklee Farm at Greta West, and luckily for Kasey the under bidder had reached their limit.

Now named Free To Move, the three-year-old gelding has had five starts for two wins, a second and third.

The gelding picked up a $74,250 cheque for his victory at Moonee Valley last Saturday over 1200m.

And there was also an additional Super VOBIS owner’s bonus of $23,000 and a $7,000 nominator’s bonus.

It was significant that the victory was the first metropolitan win for Kasey and Ken since forming their training partnership.

Ken wasn’t taking any credit for the win, saying it was his daughter who selected the horse and put in place as what he described as the project.

Kasey described Free To Move as a godsend.

“He was only $8000,” she said. “But he was a neat, little package and he just had a beautiful head on him. I just liked him from the moment I saw him and it was good to get him at that price.”

Kasey said he had been so easy to train, pretty much push button.

Kasey said she didn’t mind his pedigree, even though it was an older page.

“If you go to the second dam and further, there was all good form in there and quite a few Group races and those sorts of things,” she said.

“Even though it was an older page, I was then more than happy with him on type as well.

“He was quite sensible for a colt when he was walking around there at the sales and he looked like he was ready to go to the races and he certainly didn’t look like one who was going to take a long time.”

Kasey admits she would have gone a lot higher in the bidding and in her head he was a $20,000 or $30,000 horse.

“I think I was just in the right place at the right time,” she said.

“I definitely would have gone to 20 or 25 thousand. We both (Ken) really liked him so I wasn’t hesitant with it, that’s for sure.

Unencumbered (Testa Rossa/Blizzardly) died in early 2018, and Kasey admits the stable hasn’t had a lot to do with his progeny, but have always taken notice of them.

“I have always liked them if that makes since,” she said.

“Everything I asked him to do, he just did easily and quite naturally and you didn’t have to do it a few times as he pretty much picked it up the first time he galloped or quickened up or went to the barriers.

“It was really easy compared to others that were nearly four to even get to trial stage.”

The only time Free To Move has been out of the placings was on debut when he raced on the Pakenham synthetic track after a meeting was transferred in May.

He finished fourth, beaten two lengths, in the two-year-old maiden and then won his next start 18 days later at Moe.

“When the meeting was transferred to the synthetic I was more excited about getting him to the races, but in hindsight I should have waited for a grass track,” she said.

“He was against some good horses that day and it wasn’t as though it was a terrible field or anything.”

Kasey said she was looking at couple of options for Free To Move, including the Blue Sapphire (1200m) at Caulfield on October 14 or the Australia Stakes (1200m) Cox Plate Day. Both are Group 3 races.

And Kasey said it was good to record the first metropolitan victory with her father and even more pleasing to do it with a horse she’d selected at the sale

“It was definitely pleasing,” she said.

“It was great to have a win at The Valley with a horse that has only had a couple of starts”.

With winnings of $149,220, Free To Move has well and truly paid for himself and it helps that Kasey is also the only owner.

Bucklee Farm’s Leeanne Smith said it was great to watch Free To Move’s victory and she was happy for Kasey.

“I am all for the girls in the industry and the young ones coming up and I’d like to think that I was there doing something, even from afar,” Leeanne said.

Leeanne said she’d always had a soft spot for Unencumbered, who died in early 2018.

“The pedigree read really well and there were crosses and nicks that worked super well and suited the mare and what we would spend on her,” she said.

“The mare has since died – but doesn’t that always happen. Unencumbered is gone and so is the mare. As soon as something dies, something good out of the family pops up.”

The last yearling, out of Canhill, was sold by Leeanne for $4000 at this year’s VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale.

She would have liked Kasey to have bought the yearling by Trust In A Gust.

Leeanne said the filly was about three months old when Canhill died and she was reared by all its aunties in the paddock.

And Leeanne said she can still manage a chuckle after hearing Kasey say in her post race interview at The Valley that she wasn’t going home from the sale without the yearling.

“I wish I had have known that,” she laughed.

“My horses go to the sales and they are for sale and that’s how I’ve operated and it has helped the farm to have a good reputation and that’s what we look for to have a seller’s reputation.”

Leeanne said it was a great Free To Move’s victory was in a VOBIS race.

“God bless VOBIS,” Leeanne said.

“My main reason for screaming at the television on Friday night was that I could see the VOBIS sticker on his bum the day he went into the ring.

“Those are the things you look at when you sell them cheaply when they stay in Victoria.”

Leeanne said she was happy the yearling she sold is still in Victoria, is VOBIS eligible and went to a good stable which are all positive factors to provide the best opportunities for breeders.

Pocketing the $7,000 nominator’s bonus made the win all that more enjoyable.









General Beau ridden by Jamie Kah wins the Darley Spring Preview at Flemington Racecourse on September 23, 2020 in Flemington, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

Darley Northwood had two of their stallion’s progeny step out for the first 2YO race of the season in Australia today. The Darley Spring Preview saw General Beau, a son of Brazen Beau take out the crown.

A homebred of Contract Racing, General Beau took the lead at the 200-metre mark to win the race, with Jamie Kah in the saddle in dominant fashion.

The first runner in Australia for first season sire Frosted, The Globe, stepped out and provided an impressive performance under the guide of champion hoop Damien Oliver.

Grey like her father, the filly settled herself at the 400-metre mark to show an impressive turn of foot to place third behind General Beau and a son of Written Tycoon, Finance Tycoon.

Finance Tycoon, a two-year-old colt by Written Tycoon, who stood at Woodside Park at the time of his conception and trained by Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes came second to General Beau by 2.25 lengths.

Frosted who stands for $22,000 at Darley Northwood has shown that his progeny have serious ability when on the weekend, his fifth and sixth winners in Likeable (USA) and Tkotchke (USA) won at Belmont.

Likeable won by an impressive 8.25 lengths. Frosted covered a book of 103 mares in the 2017 season in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Darley Spring Preview is a concept of the Victoria Racing Club, Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria and Racing Victoria, the race over 900 metres at Flemington is now in its second year.

TBV President – James O’Brien commented, “It’s always an exciting time of the year to see the first two-year-old step out and it is tremendous that the VRC can host the first two-year-old race in Australia.

“It was extremely exciting was that three stallions who stood in Victoria, trifected the race, was just outstanding,” James enthused.

“In its second year, we had a field of ten with one scratching and that trainers are supporting this race. It’s not just this race which is so exciting, the whole day is one which sets the tone for Spring. You’ve got the Derby and the Oaks preludes as well,” James commented.

With the Spring racing carnival knocking at our doors, there is no doubt that Victorian-sired horses will step out on race tracks across Australia and give everyone something to talk about.



Above: Frosted | Standing at Darley, Northwod Park

Darley shuttle sire Frosted (USA) registered his fifth and sixth winners on Saturday when Likable(USA) followed up a win by Tkotchke (USA) at Churchill Downs with his own at Belmont.

Racing over 1200 metres, Tkotchke was close behind the leader for much of the race. The colt showed determination to hold on by a nose after getting the lead late in the stretch to become his sire’s sixth winner.

Less than an hour later, Likeable demolished the field in his victory. A troubled second-last out, Likeable took the lead and never looked back in his Belmont Park maiden. The colt built up his lead at every call to win by an easy 8.25l without ever being called on.

Frosted’s first Southern Hemisphere 2-year-olds hit the track this season with 103 mares visiting the stallion in 2017.

Article courtesy of TDN

Above: Cluster standing at Larneuk Stud

Neville Murdoch admits his phone hasn’t been ringing off the hook in recent weeks, but was happy on Sunday when he took a call from a breeder who booked in five broodmares for stallions at his Larneuk Stud.

The mares will be split between Murdoch’s four stallions – Cluster, O’Lonhro, Last Typhoon and Wolf Cry.

He says Cluster will get two of the mares, while the other stallions will have one each.

A couple of winners in recent days has kept the Cluster name in conversations with breeders looking for a stallion capable of producing winners at an affordable service fee.

Cluster, by Fastnet Rock and out of Tarcoola Diamond (Last Tycoon/Potent) produced Righthere Rightnow for trainer Henry Dwyer at Tatura on the weekend. Bred by Larneuk Stud, it was the four-year-old mare’s second victory from 11 starts.

Caulfield trainer Gemma Rielly has a big opinion of Cluster filly Tarcoola Diva which broke her maiden status at Geelong on Friday at the three-year-old’s fifth start. She ran second at Caulfield as a two-year-old and finished six of 16 at her next start in The Showdown.

Tarcoola Diva was bred by Ken Williams of Tarcoola Stud who races the three-year-old filly with family and friends.

Williams explains that he raced Cluster’s mother Tarcoola Diamond which he had bought as a weanling and she went onto win five races, including the Listed Great Western (1400m) at Flemington.

“I then had a number of foals out of her and because the tax department was after me for not making any money, I decided I’d better sell her to make a profit for the stud that particular year,” he said.

“When I sold her she was in foal to Fastnet Rock and what came out of that was Cluster. She was sold to the Moran family and we say bred him but in the stud book it obviously says the Moran family bred it.

“They only got the mare and the foal right at the end. We did all the matings and I was glad to see that they did go back to Fastnet Rock a bit later and got a stakes placed filly (Miss Que).”

Williams said he had sent a couple of mares to Cluster, a Group 2 winner of the Theo Marks (1400m), because of his association with the horse.

“We DNA mate and we were comfortable with the matings,” he said.

“We have got another (Cluster) filly, Quality Diamond running around and she hasn’t won a race but is a bit like this filly and has shown a lot of ability but can’t get out of her own way.

“But the other filly has been thrown into the deep end a bit.”

Williams said Tarcoola Diva, from Explosive Cross (Bernardini/El Tornedo) which he also bred and raced, was an unbelievable type of horse. He said he’d bred a lot of horses, including Groups 1s, but the filly would be one of the nicest he has ever bred on type.

He bred multiple winner Diamond Jim (Encosta De Lago), A-Spirit (Flying Spur) which went to Hong Kong and Crystal Spur (Flying Spur) from Tarcoola Diamond. Cluster was the fourth foal out of the mare.

“I sold Crystal Spur and she ended up with a Zoustar selling in New Zealand for nearly half a million bucks,” he said.

Williams said Tarcoola Diva would get a chance of earning some black type in the coming weeks.

Tarcoola Diamond was sold for $430,000 at the 2010 Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale.

Murdoch said having a couple of winners would certainly help Cluster and create some discussion with breeders who hadn’t yet decided where they’d be taking their mares this season.

“We’re flying here, don’t worry about that,” he said.

“I am very happy with him and he’s a horse who is getting along nicely so we are not complaining.”

Murdoch admits that COVID-19 and its effect on the economy had created some uncertainty in tough times.

“It’s not brilliant but having said that I had two more bookings made on Saturday and one called through on Sunday morning,” he said.

“And it’s not late. Everyone is thinking it’s late but it’s not. Most horses haven’t even foaled yet so it will keep continuing for us all the way through.

“The one who called on Sunday has got five mares and is talking about coming up. And another guy has booked into O’Lonhro and they are coming along slowly.”

Things were quiet for Murdoch last week but says it took off again over the past few days.

“But we’ll be right,” he said.

“It’s interesting with the way things are with the economy and it’s going to be tough but I think a lot of people are only starting to think about foaling now. Mares are starting to foal down and they are thinking their mare is going to foal in the next three or four weeks.”

Murdoch said the smaller studs and the breeders who supported them were different to the bigger operations.

He said Cluster, which served 64 mares in his first season in 2015 and 34 last year, would hopefully draw attention to himself by producing more winners.

“Tarcoola Diva has a bit of smartness about her and has been quite good,” Murdoch said.

“She has been up among all the good horses having a go.

“She was bred by Tarcoola Stud and they have been pretty happy.

Murdoch said Cluster was a good stallion with a nice pedigree and had a lot going for him.

“He’ll be good and we’ll just keep kicking,” he said.

“This time of the year it helps to a have a couple of winners and he has a few more going around.

“Greg Eurell has a couple of mine by Cluster which will be poking out soon, so we’re going good. He has got some Cluster’s down there and had a couple trials the other day.

“No one is saying they are going to be superstars, but you have to get them rolling first and until you get them to the racetrack you don’t know.

“Greg has got half a dozen of them down there.”

While Murdoch said he thought Cluster’s progeny would be three-year-olds and above, the stallion had two-year-olds running around last year.

“He has had two-year-olds again this year and from his first season he had a stakes placed horse in Tasmania which was a two-year-old.”

Murdoch said while the Clusters could run as two-year-olds, he was unsure of what Eurell would produce from the six he has by the stallion.

He said it was difficult to make an assessment at the moment.

With four stallions on the roster at Larneuk, Murdoch said O’Lonhro and Cluster at this stage have been the best supported.

He said Wolf Cry and Last Typhoon both had two-year-olds on the ground this year and once they started running, people would warm to them.

“Matt Cumani has got a really lovely Last Typhoon over there,” Murdoch said.

“And Ben Brisbourne up at Wangaratta has one that trialled up there last week and it won.

“The Last Typhoon’s are two-year-olds and you never know where they are going to come from, you just don’t know.

“We just get them on the track and let them do the talking.”

While Murdoch said they don’t get the commercial mares lobbing at his Euroa stud, he has bought some nice mares in recent years.

“We have paid 50, 60, and 70 grand for some mares so we are happy,”” he said.

Murdoch said it just takes time to get them all rolling along.








Wise Counsel ridden by Jye McNeil wins the Longboard Accountants for Mirabel Hcp at Caulfield Racecourse (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

The breeding season was over for Toronado before it even began.

After being Victoria’s most popular stallion last year when he served his biggest book of mares – 197 – the demand just kept growing.

Swettenham Stud closed his book months ago and at the same time kept his service fee at $27,500.

The performance of Wise Counsel – the full brother of the brilliant Master Montaro which is now in Hong Kong with David Hayes – at Caulfield last Saturday again emphasised Tornado’s importance to the Victorian breeding industry.

Coming off a fifth in a 1500m Geelong maiden, Wise Counsel stepped up to 1600m in a three-year-old handicap at Caulfield where he raced more handier to score a half-length victory.

Wise Counsel, like Master Montaro, was bred by Swettenham Stud principal Adam Sangster from his broodmare Circus Polka (Stravinsky/Tropical Affair).

He races the colt with a group of owners including famed New Zealander, Sir Patrick Hogan.

And Sangster has plenty to look forward to with the other progeny from Circus Polka. A yearling colt by Toronado will go to the sales in 2021, while a two-year-old full sister will be trained by Lindsey Smith.

Circus Polka is in foal to another Swettenham Stud stallion, Highland Reel, and will go back to Toronado this season.

Sangster said training partners Ciaron Maher and David Eustace had always liked Wise Counsel which has now had three runs for prizemoney of $96,930.

“It’s interesting when you look at his full brother Master Montaro who might get up to 1400m after winning his maiden at 1000m at Pakenham and then winning brilliantly over 1140m at Geelong in a benchmark 70,” he said.

“He went to Hong Kong for big money.”

Sangster said Wise Counsel was only getting warm over 1400m and says it’s amazing how full brothers and sisters can have different speeds and ranges.

“But he’ll go to UCI next over 1800m at Flemington in a fortnight,” he said.

Sangster said Toronado, which shuttled back to France after doing his job at Swettenham last season, had kicked off his latest stint with his ‘exceptionally well’ fertility.

“We probably could have filled his book three times over,” he said.

“We wanted to keep his fee at what it was last year to make sure that he didn’t get out of the price range of the people who used him last year.

“And we have a lot of people from hobby breeders right to the big breeders supporting him so we wanted to make sure to keep him at the same level and we’ll see what he stands at next year and what happens on the track.”

Sangster said he wouldn’t be surprised if there is interest in Wise Counsel from Hong Kong as they love the Toronado horses.

He said Toronado had enough good horses winning city races against good opposition to hopefully claim some big races.

“His book of mares this year quality wise is the best he’s ever had and each year it’s just been getting better and better,” Sangster said.

“Some of the mares he has just covered are the best going around and we are only three weeks into the season and as the yearlings start to come through they are from better mares than his two-year-olds and three-year-olds.”

Sangster said Toronado’s prices at the yearling sales were exceptional and a lot of trainers just can’t get enough of them.

He said Wise Counsel and Master Montaro are very similar in looks and typical of what the son of High Chaparral throws.

Sangster said Wise Counsel would get up to a Victoria Derby trip and is rated a $26 chance to win the October 31 race.

“Obviously Toronado is a world champion miler,” he said.

Sangster said they were limiting Toronado’s daily number of mares versus his overall book to make sure he is looked after before he returns to France.

Speaking after Wise Counsel’s victory, David Eustace said:

“We’ve always had a nice opinion of him. It’s taken a bit of time to get him to the track and get a few runs in him. He had an injury at the back end as a two-year-old. It was a good result.

“We thought the mile would be fine. It was a good race, good maiden (run previous) at Geelong and hopefully he can go onto bigger and better things.

“I’d like to thank the owners – Adam Sangster and Sir Patrick Hogan. A good team back in New Zealand are in this horse and he’s got a nice future.”

Eustace said Wise Counsel was probably a horse that warrants going into a Derby Trial and the UCI which would be a nice race for him.

“We think he’ll relish Flemington,” he said.

“He’s obviously a winner here as well and you’ve got the Caulfield Classic, so we’ll put him on that path now and see how he comes through.”

Winning jockey Jye McNeil said Wise Counsel had a bright future and dug deep when challenged.

Asked about the Derby, McNeil said: “He seems to have that X factor in class. He was prepared fantastic and he looked fantastic in the yard.”

Above: SCORES OF FUN winning the Shek Lei Hcp (C4) Picture: HKJC

Victorian bred Scores of Fun kept his unbeaten record intact with a second consecutive victory at Hong Kong on Sunday.

Bred by Hollylodge Thoroughbreds at Avenel, the gelding is by Victorian stallion Reward For Effort and is out of Montana Hilton (Brahms/Hanina).

Hollylodge’s Daniel Nevill said the mare is owned by West Australians Darren Fradd and Jeremey McGrath. Fradd is a co-owner of Reward For Effort (Exceed and Excel/Miss Prospect) which won the Group 1 Blue Diamond (1200m) in 2009.

While the mare has been covered by Reward For Effort six times, she has produced three foals to him but missed to the Chatswood Stud stallion last year.

Nevill said the mare, which also has a filly and colt by Trust in A Gust, has again been served by Reward For Effort this season and is foal to him.

He said the owners of Montana Hilton had decided to the sell the mare in foal to Reward For Effort following confirmation of a 45-day pregnancy positive.

“I think she will be put up for sale after 45 days,” Nevill said.

“She missed last year and has just gone into foal now on Friday.

“The mare is getting on a bit and with everything going on I think they want to downsize a bit.”

Nevill said Fradd and McGrath, lifetime friends, had another mare at Hollylodge which is a bit younger which they’ll concentrate on.

He said there would be a bit of upside for someone who bought Montana Hilton in foal.

“If she drops a colt you are going to cash in straight away and that’s the way it has to be to leave a bit of gravy for someone else,” Nevill said.

Nevill said Fradd and McGrath would concentrate on Gaelic Queen (Murtajill/Our Teneriffe) which is a half-sister to Group 3 winner Vain Queen (Artie Schiller).

Gaelic Queen’s last three foals are by Victorian stallion Artie Schiller.

“At this stage we haven’t decided what we will be doing with her this year,” he said.

“Her last one was a nice filly by Artie Schiller but we haven’t quite made up our mind about a pedigree match-up but it might possibly be Spendthrift’s Vino Rosso (Curlin/Mythical Bride).

“And she has also has a yearling by Artie Schiller that will go to Melbourne Premier. It is outstanding and will be real nice horse for Premier.”

Nevill couldn’t hide his admiration for Reward For Effort which stands for $11,000.

He said the stallion was great value for money and probably bats a bit above his average.

“He throws a lot of winners, good city winners and probably just lacks the mare quality to get him headliners,” Nevill said

“I just think with the price you can get into him for and what he throws you, you get a racehorse and you can get a result in the sale ring.

“He is good for those young mares when you are worried about starting them off with the right stallions and he just throws winners, so he is a bit of a safe bet for young mares just to get them going.”

Nevill admits it was “a disaster” when they sold Scores Of Fun for only $15,000 as a weanling when he was pinhooked and then sold as a yearling for $100,000 to Price Bloodstock.

“It was very lucky for the next people who bought him,” he said.

“He had a few x-ray issues and wasn’t the biggest horse and the couple of Reward For Efforts before him from the mare were very small and we hung on to them to go to the sales.

“He wasn’t the biggest yearling but he was a lovely moving horse and from our information he wasn’t going to make first session at Melbourne. He had an x-ray issue in a stifle and we said we were better moving him on and lo and behold he went up to the Hunter Valley for a couple of months and showed up at P1 (2018 Melbourne Premier).

“It was a disaster but we still bred him and it would have been nice if we’d made the $100,000 out of him at the yearling sales but it wasn’t to be.”

Nevill said he hoped the missed opportunity would give people more confidence to buy from him because they know he’ll be selling if he goes to the sales.

He expects to be offering about 14 yearlings at Melbourne Premier in 2021 and had kept the best types.

Nevill said he had scaled down on the number of broodmares on their farm.

“We have got about 25 dry mares and 20 wet mares on the farm after having 95 last year,” he said.

“I had my first baby a month ago so we decided we’d have a bit of quiet year this year.”

Scores Of Fun was named Hottie Lamottie in Australia and headed to Hong Kong after finishing fourth in a Cranbourne trial, beaten half a length, for trainer Patrick Payne.

When horses exercise, their bodies must release energy stores into the blood to fuel muscles. Complex chemical pathways release enough energy to meet the demands of work as quickly as possible. Energy is commonly supplied by carbohydrates in the form of starch and sugar derived from cereal grains, but the use of alternative energy sources for performance horses is now common across the world.

Energy is stored in the horse in two major forms, glycogen and fatty acids. Glycogen is a sugar that can be released quickly for immediate use, such as when a horse accelerates to full speed from a standstill. Fatty acids are stored in adipose or fat tissue and are released more slowly as a horse achieves its stride and works mainly in the aerobic zone.

The difference in size of these two energy stores is quite immense: the average 500-kg racehorse stores around 75MJ of energy as glycogen compared to a massive 640MJ as fat. The metabolism, or “burning,” of fat requires glycogen, so if glycogen runs short the horse is no longer able to use fat for energy.

Once glycogen stores are depleted, the horse will fatigue. Many trainers are familiar with horses suddenly slowing down after the first half of the race. Because the body can no longer keep up with the energy demands of the muscles, the horse quickly slows its pace. This sudden energy depletion and resulting fatigue can mean the difference between running to a strong finish and suddenly falling to the back of the pack.

During aerobic work of medium to long duration, such as racing, the horse should be predominantly utilizing its stores of fat to power the athletic effort, rather than using up the limited on-board stores of glycogen. This is where alternative energy sources can help, and the most common of those is fat.

With an appropriate adaptation period, horses can switch which energy source they use preferentially during exercise. That is, horses can begin using fat rather than glycogen as the major energy source for muscles. During training and conditioning, horses naturally start to use more fat for energy as they get fitter, but the effect can be maximized by feeding additional fat.

A diet is described as high in fat when a significant proportion of the total calories are provided in the form of fat, usually either vegetable oil or other high-fat supplements such as a stabilized rice bran (such as Equi-Jewel). A ration including 1-2 cups of vegetable oil or 500g to 1kg per day of Equi-Jewel would be described as a high-fat diet.

Horses fed a diet high in fat begin to burn more fat and use less glycogen during work efforts. The metabolic switchover previously mentioned takes about one month of feeding and working the horse continuously, so just adding fat in the days before the race will not give the desired result.

What type of fat is best? There are no definitive answers as to which fat might maximize the glycogen-sparing effect. Canola oil appears to be one of the better vegetable oils, having reasonable omega balance and being readily accepted by most horses. Other vegetable oils such as sunflower or soy oil are also fairly good. Corn oil may not be the best option as research has suggested that corn oil has a poor omega balance. This poor balance can actually raise working heart rates and blood lactate levels, but corn oil is very palatable and may be useful for fussy eaters.

Equi-Jewel stabilized rice bran is research-proven to reduce working heart rates and lactates, when compared to oil. The other advantage of Equi-Jewel is that it is a palatable dry pellet that is readily accepted by horses adverse to oily feeds. Equi-Jewel also contains natural vitamin E and organic selenium to assist with rapid muscle recovery in hard-working horses.

Other high-fat supplements include sunflower seeds and soya bean meal. With these supplements, consideration must be given to their high protein content, as they may provide excessive protein in the diet if used as a fat supplement.

Remember, fat contributes a significant number of calories to the diet, so a reduction in grain may be necessary to avoid a horse becoming too fat. A rule of thumb: 1 cup of oil or 500g or high-fat stabilised rice bran supplement is equivalent in calories to about 1 kg of whole oats, and slightly less of steam-flaked corn or barley.

You will need to feed as least 1 cup per day of oil or 500g per day of a high-fat supplement. Continue daily with high-fat feeds for at least four weeks to get the full benefit of glycogen-sparing.

If you want to maximize your horse’s energy metabolism and want to prevent fatigue during a race, add fat to your horse’s diet. As a bonus you’ll get a nice shiny coat, and maybe even some wins as your horse powers home with energy to spare.