About Richard L’Estrange BVSc(hons) MANZCVS:

Richard L’Estrange is a 1987 graduate of the University of Queensland Veterinary School. He spent 22 years in veterinary practice before joining Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis) in 2010 as a technical services veterinarian. He is a Member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in the field of Veterinary Pharmacology. Richard has a strong interest in equine vaccine-preventable diseases and parasitology and has been the technical lead since 2012 for all of Zoetis’ equine products in Australia. Zoetis is the only company providing equine vaccines to the Australian market, and the only provider of a moxidectin wormer to Australian horse owners.

In my 12 years as a veterinarian with Zoetis, my goal has been to help you keep your animals healthy.  When producing Thoroughbreds, Zoetis plays a critical role.

If your goal is to produce top-quality race horses, it is imperative that you invest in preventative health at every step of the way, as every sickness, every parasite can have a negative effect (however tiny) on the future performance of the horse.

In the coming months, I will talk about diseases and parasites that can affect your horses. I will offer you ways to prevent these diseases – they may be vaccination protocols, new worming protocols, or biosecurity steps that you can take.  I hope that there will be something for everyone in these articles – and I would love to hear from you as well – feel free to shoot me an email at Richard.Lestrange@zoetis.com with any questions – we can talk about them in a general nature here, and I will also get back to you with advice for the particular circumstance you find yourself in.

Zoetis provide all the vaccines that are used in horses in Australia, and produce Equest® Plus Tape, Australia’s leading wormer, so many of you will already be familiar with our products, but they need to be used optimally, so the following resource might help.

Creating a vaccination calendar for a farm of horses can be very complex.  You consider all of the different ages and stages of the horses on your farm and try to cater for each of them, as well as minimise handling costs and stress by batching treatments as much as possible.

To help you with this, we have created a farm management calendar which breaks down the information into what you should do each month, with each group of horses.


You can download the farm management tool, by right clicking and selecting ‘save picture.’

The annual cycle starts in August – we assumed that you will all be lucky enough to have early foals, and that all your mares go into foal again with no trouble!  So, you can see that August foals start their first vaccinations at about 3 months of age, in November, and they are given Equivac® 2 in 1 and Equivac® S to protect them against tetanus and strangles and also Duvaxyn® EHV to help protect them from Equine Herpes Virus (EHV).  For foals that are born later, you would also start them at 3 months of age, for example October foals would start in January.

Our August foals get weaned at the end of the year – so you can see in the calendar that we jump down a line into the weanling row, and we commence their initial vaccinations for Salmonella and for Hendra virus, and we also bring them into the annual cycle of strategic worming, with a faecal egg count in March.

The weaners / yearlings get 6-month boosters for strangles, salmonella, herpes viruses and Hendra virus throughout winter and then as it warms up they come in for sales prep.  You would know that often when you bring the yearlings in, you end up with a barn of snotty horses – this may be due to EHV, which causes respiratory illness in young horses and often occurs in stressful situations (sales prep, training etc) so we recommend that all yearlings have an EHV booster just prior to, or as they start prep, to minimise this risk.

Pregnant mares are vaccinated according to their gestational stage.  The planner assumes that the mare foaled in August, and became pregnant again in September / October.

The aim of vaccinating mares is to minimise the risk of abortion, and also to ensure that they have a high level of protection to pass onto their foals via the colostrum.  Mare vaccinations start in month 5 of gestation, with the first of 3 doses of EHV to prevent abortion.  We also encourage farms to vaccinate for hendra virus around this time, as it provides optimal protection over the winter, and also ensures your mares are ready to walk onto farms with any vaccination requirements fulfilled when the time comes.  It is also a great idea to give the 6-month strangles booster early in the year, as you should give a 2 in 1 booster to protect against both tetanus and strangles just prior to foaling. As strangles requires 6-monthly boosters,  a dose is due in about January.  Mares are also vaccinated for rotavirus and salmonella to protect their foals from the serious diarrhoeal diseases that these infections can cause.

Over the coming months, I will give you more detail on the diseases that I have mentioned and how you can minimize your risk and protect your investment via practicing good prevention and biosecurity on your farms.

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) welcome the announcement by Racing Victoria today of the new VOBIS Gold Comet on All Star Mile Day with the inaugural running in 2022.

The VOBIS Gold Comet is a new addition to the lucrative VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series, which is now worth more than $5.2 million in prizemoney and bonuses across 19 races this season.

The VOBIS Gold Comet a 1000 metre race for sprinters aged three years and older and offers $200,000 in prizemoney and an additional $30,000 in VOBIS bonuses, further enhances the offering to support VOBIS Gold horses.

The new race, which is exclusively for VOBIS Gold-nominated horses, will complement the $200,000 VOBIS Gold Reef (1600m), which was won earlier this year by the Shane Fliedner-trained Air Defence and returns to The All-Star Mile Raceday program in 2022.

Racing Victoria (RV)’s Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said: “The VOBIS program, with the outstanding support of TBV, is going from strength to strength so we are delighted to unveil the new VOBIS Gold Comet and I look forward to seeing some exciting sprinters explode down the famous Flemington straight, which celebrates its 150th year of operation in 2022.

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) President – James O’Brien, said: “I welcome the announcement today from Racing Victoria of the addition of the VOBIS Gold Comet to the VOBIS Gold Premier race series.”

“The support of the Victorian breeding industry from Racing Victoria and the Victorian State Government has always been strong. They continue to show their support, and this is again demonstrated with the new addition of the VOBIS Gold Comet, right on the back of the additional $7.5 million in increased bonuses for the VOBIS Sires program.”

“The Victorian breeding industry has never been better. With an outstanding roster of stallions and continued new investment, Victoria truly is the place to breed a horse. Victoria is the home of the current Australian reigning sire, Written Tycoon and the home of the sire of the world’s fastest sprinter, Nicconi.”

In addition to the VOBIS Gold Comet on All Star Mile day, Racing Victoria have also announced The Mystic Journey, in honour of galloper Mystic Journey.

The Mystic Journey is one of eight races on The All-Star Mile undercard, with the new VOBIS Gold Comet (1000m) for sprinters aged three years and older set to make its debut and two $200,000 quality handicaps – renamed The Regal Power (2000m) and The Mugatoo (1600m) – also featuring on the raceday.

Racing Victoria (RV)’s Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said: “The All-Star Mile is more than just a horse race and given that Mystic Journey cost only $11,000 and went on to win over $4 million in prizemoney throughout her career, her fairy-tale story perfectly encapsulates The All-Star ethos and so it is only fitting that we name a race in Betty’s honour.

“The inaugural running of The Mystic Journey is set to be one of the many highlights on The All-Star Mile Raceday at Flemington next March and, whilst the fourth running of the world’s richest mile will be the showpiece event, we are very pleased with the spread of races on the support card.

“We are now less than three months out from The All-Star Mile and the sense of excitement is already starting to grow, so today’s announcement will only add an extra element to the build-up.”

To read the full press release from Racing Victoria, click here.

With excerpts from Racing Victoria’s original press release.

Just Stellar ridden by Teodore Nugent wins the Opus Group Handicap at Moonee Valley Racecourse on December 17, 2021 in Moonee Ponds, Australia. (George Sal/Racing Photos)

Wangaratta trainer Chris Davis reckons the trade of a Jack Russell pup for a two-year-old filly that had seriously dangerous manners has been the swap of the century.

The horse in question, now the nine-year-old Just Stellar, notched up her 14th win at start number 106 at The Valley last Friday night.

With a handful of city winners, the mare has become Riverbank Farm stallion Redente’s highest money earner with stakes of $354,782.

Just Stellar kicked off her career at The Valley in September of 2016 with a 12 length second last, and leading into her victory on Friday night, she finished last on the same track earlier this month.

Davis, who has been licensed since 1993, said he received a phone call from Riverbank Farm’s Russell Osborne who told him that he had a two-year-old filly that he wanted picked up.

“He said there was nothing wrong with her but they couldn’t get into the box with her and the breakers refused to take her anymore,” he said.

“She is fairly well jet black and looks like a panther and then looks like a lion when she attacks you.

“Russell didn’t want his daughters hurt.”

Davis said he collected the filly and took her to Benalla breaker and horseman Peter Moffat who had her for four weeks and finished breaking her in.

The filly returned to Davis’ Violet Town farm where her preparation was completed.

“You had to be wary, but she was rideable and steerable as Peter Moffat is a magnificent breaker and gives horses a great mouth,” he said.

“We have our own 2000m track at home and trained her there for a few months and she was ridden on a daily basis and was an unbelievably safe horse when you put a rider on.

“She wasn’t dangerous to handle but would just get out of my room. What we worked out with her was that she was protecting all the other horses in the stables alongside her, so we’d take them all away so she was left last and then she would walk up to us because there was no one left to protect.”

It soon became apparent that the wayward filly had plenty of talent when she started winning trials against open class horses.

Davis explained that Osborne’s wife, veterinarian Dr Caroline Duddy, was at his farm to pregnancy test a couple of mares and she noticed a couple of Jack Russell pups and said her husband would love one of them.

“And I was only too happy to give her a puppy for Just Stellar,” he said.

“And that puppy cost Russell $350,000.

Davis said Just Stellar was extremely sound and tough and also raced in Sydney and he throws her in the deep end when they feel it is right to take her to town.

As well as her 14 wins, Just Stellar has 12 seconds and 14 thirds. Jockey Teo Nugent has ridden the mare to six victories.

Davis spells and breeds horses at his 300 acre farm at Violet Town but now trains a team of 22 on course at Wangaratta.

Davis went fulltime training seven years ago.

Davis had hoped to have a crack at The All Star Mile but concedes that while a nine-year-old mare with more than 100 starts would attract plenty of public votes, she wouldn’t have a high enough rating to qualify for the race.

She’ll be aimed for another city race in the coming weeks.

Davis, who has seven children, likes to support Riverbank farm stallions with his broodmares.

Villianaire, by Redente and out of Dubian Gold, has won three races and ran a second at Flemington at the start of the year for Davis who also bred the gelding.

“We have bred a couple by Redente as we like to support Russell and Caroline as they are friends and been good to us,” Davis said.

“I believe that Redente is the most underrated stallion in Victoria.

“Because he was unraced, he didn’t get the superstar mares, but I believe he is not utilised enough by leading breeders.”

Just Stellar’s full sister She’s Just Rosie, also bred by Riverbank Farm, won three races and has an unraced gelding  – by another Riverbank Farm stallion, Boulder City (Snitzel x Vegas Showgirl) –  which was bred by Davis’s daughter Dimity.

“We have bred another Redente filly, a full sister to Benefique (Springfield Lass), and have another Redente gelding we bred. They are both in paddock having a spell and will come in during the next couple of weeks,” Davis said.

“We have got mares here that still need to go the breeding barn now in December and we don’t mind being late because we bred for ourselves. We home breed here and I love supporting Redente and have got three mares to bred and I have got a Boulder City and I have got two mares I’d love to send back to Redente again.

“There is no rush for us to breed as it’s a long process.”

Davis said he also receives support from Dr Nigel and Meredith Berry of Illowra Stud and John Richards from Goldacres.

And Riverbank’s Caroline Duddy said that while they bred Just Stellar, she was extremely difficult to handle on the ground.

“We got her broken in and she came back from the breakers and they didn’t have the highest opinion of her,” she said.

“We were considering our options but weren’t going to proceed with her and we swapped her for two Jack Russell pups with Chris Davis.

“She is very challenging for him. She has booted them, bitten them and given them a really hard time, but I think full credit to Chris for persisting with her because she is having an unbelievable run. It’s just incredible what she is doing.”

Duddy said Redente (Redoute’s Choice x Stella Cadente) had again received plenty of support from a lot of local trainers and repeat breeders and would serve a similar number of mares as last year – around 45.

“He has got a lot of loyal supporters around our area,” she said.

“He has had a nice book of mares this year. He has reached that stage where he is very consistent.”

Duddy said they’d been happy with the support of their other stallions, including Prince Of Caviar (Sebring x Black Caviar) and Boulder City.

“A lot of people had come back to Wayed Zain (High Chaparral x Zyoon), so we are sort of waiting for them to come through,” she said.

“We have probably had our biggest year yet on the farm.”

(Racing Photos)

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) are delighted to announce that Zoetis and TBV are entering into a formal partnership.

As the world’s leading animal health company, Zoetis is driven by a singular purpose: to nurture our world and humankind by advancing care for animals. After nearly 70 years innovating ways to predict, prevent, detect, and treat animal illness, Zoetis continues to stand by those raising and caring for animals worldwide – from livestock farmers to veterinarians and pet owners.

In Australia the Victorian breeding industry would be most familiar with Zoetis’ range of equine vaccines, helping protect horses against tetanus, strangles, Hendra virus, equine herpes virus, salmonella, rotavirus and more.

“I am delighted that TBV is partnering with Zoetis. Zoetis are a trusted brand by Victorian breeders and Zoetis will offer even more information to Victorian breeders through relevant updates to our breeders,” commented Charmein Bukovec – Executive Officer of TBV.

“Zoetis is very pleased to be able to partner with Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria. We recognise the importance of the equine breeding industry to the overall animal health industry in Australia, and we hope that we can help provide breeders with relevant, science-backed health information and education through this partnership,” said Lance Williams, Zoetis’ Senior VP for Australia and New Zealand.

To find out more about Zoetis, click here.

Sizzling, sire of London Gal

Phoenix Broodmare Farm owner and operator Damian Gleeson described it as an excellent result when a filly he breed and sold won The Highway Plate at Randwick on Saturday.
Now with three wins and two seconds and three thirds, London Gal was sold as a weanling when Gleeson and his partner Deb Gifford decided to head in a different direction with the horses they were breeding and selling.
“We sold her as a weanling after changing direction a few years ago and she was in the second crop that we sold,” Gleeson said.
“We started selling them as foals and we got to the age where doing yearlings was a bit difficult and with staff and everything.
“It just suits us, it suits our lifestyle, our business and the model we are now working on and that’s the way we have decided to go.
“It’s like everything, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose – it’s part of the game.”
Gleeson said they average around eight weanlings a year and had sent quite a few of their broodmares to Victorian stallions this year.
London Gal (Sizzling) is out of Gleeson’s broodmare Single In London (Not A Single Doubt x Lady London) which is in foal to Yulong stallion Lucky Vega.
“She hasn’t got a foal on her as we didn’t breed from her last year, but hopefully she does the job going forward with being in foal to Lucky Vega,” Gleeson said.
Her most recent foal, a colt by Widden Stud stallion Written By, was sold to Western Australian trainer Luke Fernie for $40,000 at this year’s Magic Millions National Weanling Sale.
The mare’s first foal by Rubick, which now stands at Swettenham Stud, was sold by Phoenix Broodmare Farm for $85,000 at the 2017 Great Southern Sale and pinhooked by Ampulla Lodge which then sold him for $130,000 to Singapore at the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
Gleeson said they have eight broodmares on their farm and will again be sending a bunch of weanlings to the Gold Coast.
“It will be quite a nice draft when we get them all together,” he said.
“We don’t spend a lot on mares and it’s hard to buy good mares these days and we just poke along in the middle of the market and find our space in the industry.”
Gleeson revealed they are in the process of relocating to a smaller farm.

“We have bought a smaller farm up north because we are on over 500 acres here and have sold it and we are scaling back down to about 140 acres and just going to do more of our own stuff and have limited clients.

“It’s a bit of a lifestyle change.”

Gleeson has been on the current farm for 23 years and although originally from the Hunter Valley, he has been in Victoria for more than 35 years.

He said with the real estate prices good at the moment, they decided to make the move.
Gleeson said the breeding industry was a challenging business and they had been a big Victorian walk-in farm for a long time.

He said they’ve had years where they have walked in 160 mares and foaled down more than 100 mares.

“It’s time to let the younger generation have a crack here and move on to other things,” he said.

It didn’t take long for Street Boss colt El Padrino to wipe out the $210,000 he cost at this year’s Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

A $23,400 cheque for finishing second in the Super VOBIS 2YO Plate on debut on Cranbourne Cup Day was followed by $231,600 for winning the $400,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Randwick last Saturday.

A total of $261,000 in his first two starts is big money, and breeder Peter Murray couldn’t be happier for the owners and says he knows a few of them.

The colt, now aimed at the Golden Slipper, was raised at Three Bridges Thoroughbreds which also sold him through their draft to trainer Ciaron Maher.

Murray, who keeps his 13 broodmares at Three Bridges, sold El Padrino’s dam, Misty Rock (Fastnet Rock x Mist) in a digital auction in November 2020.

“I had a Saxon Warrior filly out of her and we sold her as a bit of package and I think Newhaven are selling her at Magic Millions.

“Good luck to them.

“The reason we sold her was that you are trying to add to the top and move from the bottom a little bit.

“He (El Padrino) was a lovely colt and everything like that but we try and probably get mares with a bit better racing performance than what she had.

“I think she only had one win at around 1550m in a provincial race, so that’s the only reason and that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Murray said he tries to keep a share in the good colts he breeds, but sometimes they are already “stitched up”.

“I will probably keep a few more fillies going forward now because buying fillies and broodmares, the prices are quite astronomical,” he said.

“If you can breed your own, it just depends on whether you have the patience and are happy to have the holding costs.”

As well as his 13 broodmares at Three Bridges, he recently bought two northern hemisphere two-year-old fillies at the last Tattersalls Sale at Newmarket in England.

He hopes they’ll eventually become good broodmares for him.

“One just landed last week and is still in quarantine and the other one will probably get here about mid-January,” Murray said.

“The first one, Mariha is by Muhaarar and out of a mare named Muraaqaba.

“And the other one is called Diablotine and is by Kodie Bear, out of a mare called Fridoline.

“Diablotine is an unbeaten two-year-old and has only had two races. She won her maiden easily and then won a Stakes race in France the next start and then got injured.

“Miriha has only had two starts and ran okay in the first one and then the next start she won a 1400m race at Redcar in 1:23 which is a pretty good time for 1400m.

“And how often can you buy a winning two-year-old off Shadwell?”

Murray is hoping to race Miriha before eventually sending her to stud, and is considering which stallion to mate Diablotine with and the possible list of sires includes Hanseatic, Anamoe and Street Boss.

He said he was trying as much as possible to breed to Victorian stallions and had breeding rights to Hanseatic and Russian Camelot.

“If I can stay with them in Victoria, I will,” he said.

“But you have to look at all the options and then go from there.

“That’s what we did with Misty Rock. Street Boss was a proven stallion but at that stage was only standing for about $23,000 or something like that and it was good value.

“We work a lot on type to type and she was not a very big mare but quite well muscled and all that and similar physically, but albeit smaller, as Street Boss.

“If you have a look El Padrino, he is solid and is bit of a spitting image of his dad in a way – short coupled, very heavily muscled and very strong. An ideal two-year-old.”

Murray said he has already sold a few weanlings this year for some great prices, and would offer a Russian Revolution colt out of Listed winner Pure Pride (Shocking x Mamasan) and an All Too Hard colt out of Tenderly (Stratum x Reilly O’) at the Magic Millions Yearling Sales.

And of his 13 broodmares, 10 produced foals this season.

One of the mares, the Group 2 Edward Manifold winning Moonlight Maid (Puissance De Lune x Manhattan Maid), went straight into foal to Toronado, but after 60 days was negative. It was similar with another two of Murray’s mares, including Pure Pride, which tested positive and then negative.

“It’s been a funny season in Victoria this season,” Murray said.

“Some have stayed in foal, others have gone out of foal and haven’t cycled again.

“They are pretty smart these mares and if they feel it’s not right, the nature side of things come into it.”

This season Murray has sent his broodmares to a variety of stallions, including Toronado, Earthlight, Hellbent, Shalaa, Microphone and Hanseatic.

He rates breeding horses as good fun with good people.

“Working with Toby and Pete at Three Bridges is great,” he said.

“They are fantastic people who do a fantastic job and it’s all about the horse which is what we want.

‘’I work with a really good friend of mine, Brian Messna, on the genetics.”

Murray said he’d keep one or two of the fillies to race and then breed from them but was always looking at mares and foals for next year.

“When you look at the list of stallions I have been to, there are few there that aren’t obviously proven yet but I feel I can buy a nice mare with a proven stallion inside,” he said.

“That’s my plan but we look at it commercially and make decisions each year. Like I was saying, add to the top and take some from the bottom.”

Murray said he enjoys both the racing and breeding, and for a while stopped breeding but really missed the environment of the sales complex and the interaction with the studs and the farms where his mares were kept.

“And in way it’s also quite an active pursuit, even though you are playing with nature and hope everything works out okay, you are really in the lap of the horse gods,” he said.

“It’s good fun doing it.

“And when it works like Saturday you go ‘well, that’s great’ and you’re happy for the owners, happy for the trainer and happy for Three Bridges, Brian Messna and all the people involved.

“Everyone gets a kick out of it.”

Murray said he started sponsoring races at Flemington way back in 1991 when his company Blazer Menswear sponsored the Navy Day Handicap and then sponsored the Edward Manifold Stakes and then took over sponsorship of the Rose Of Kingston Stakes which became the Group 2 Blazer Stakes (1400m).

“And one of the Three Bridges horses, Haut Brion Her, won it three years ago,” he said.

“I was lucky enough to have a share in Porta Rocca which won the Coolmore Classic and Juste Momente which won the Robert Sangster. I have had some good racehorses and ones that showed a lot of talent but didn’t quite get the score on the board.

“It’s been good.”

Three Bridges Thoroughbreds’ Toby Liston said it was pleasing to raise El Padrino and then sell it through their draft for such a good client and friend as Murray.

At the moment, the farm has more than 80 broodmares, and about 30 of those are are owned in partnership with Three Bridges and clients.

With 1600 acres at Eddington in Central Victoria, there is no shortage of space for mares and foals.

After being named the Leading Small Breeder for the 2020/21 season at last week’s Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria awards, Ivan Holloway is looking forward to more success with his local band of four broodmares.
Holloway and his wife Martina, who operate Holloway Equine, won the Kentucky Equine Research and Barastoc Leading Victorian Small Breeder on the back of Hong Kong Galloper Excellent Proposal which they bred.
Although unplaced at last Sunday’s Group 1 Hong Mile, the five-year-old galloper has won seven races and $2.5 million in prize money. He is a winner of the Hong Kong Classic Mile.
Holloway said it was an honour and thrill to be presented with the award, which made things a little more worthwhile to be recognised in the category of breeders with fewer than five broodmares.
He is hoping to breed another quality galloper.
His Group 2 winning mare Mamzelle Tess is in foal to So You Think and his Listed placed, Sophia’s Choice, is also in foal to the same stallion.
Named after his daughter Sophia, the five-year-old mare was bought by Holloway for $240,000 at the 2018 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
A winner of three races, she was retired to stud after having a final start at Mornington in January for Robert Kingston who has since retired as a trainer.
Fastnet Rock mare Fading Shades is in foal to Toronado and Forgotten Dreams is in foal to another Swettenham Stud stallion, I Am Immortal which Holloway has a stallion share in.
“I like their breeding and also liked them as racehorses as well,” he said.
“They are going really well.”
Holloway said he didn’t experience a great time with his broodmares last season, but does have a Merchant Navy from Forgotten Dreams and another couple he has bred in Ireland.
“It’s the only one I have on the ground this year, but I have an Exceed and Excel and a Zoustar yearling that are hopefully going to hit the boat sometime in March that I have bred overseas,” he said.
“They are just getting broken in now.
“I bought a horse over here about six or seven years ago, a horse called Zilbiyr out of a Dalakhani mare, and she won a few races, and then I bought the mother and I have bred three foals to her now. The first two have been winners and I have a Holy Roman Emperor on the ground and a Highland Reel filly.
“The dam was Zaziyra.”
Unfortunately Zaziyra died after giving birth to the Highland Reel filly in Ireland.
“I hope to keep the family going with the filly,” he said.
Irish-born Holloway, who heads a global infrastructure company, bought a mare in foal to Fastnet Rock at the recent Goffs Sale and she’ll most likely also head to Australia.
While Holloway had hoped to get a foal out of Mamzelle Tess last season after paying $110,000 for the Group 2 winner as a broodmare, he put her back into racing after she didn’t get into foal to Merchant Navy.
She failed to be placed in her five comeback runs, which convinced Holloway the nine-year-old mare was ready for the breeding barn again.
He had ambitiously hoped to get enough public support for the daughter of O’Lonhro to make the All-Star Mile field, but she failed to get enough votes.
Holloway had mixed success with Excellent Proposal’s dam, Pivotal (GB) mare Procrastination (GB) which cost him $180,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions Broodmare Sale.
He said the mare, which was in foal to Exceed and Excel when he bought her with what was to become Excellent Proposal, won two races in France and was stakes placed and more interesting was out of Rubiton mare Dilly Dally which won two Group 2 races over 1200m in Australia.
Holloway sold the Exceed and Excel colt at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for $200,000 to Bill Mitchell who bought him for a Hong Kong client.
Unfortunately the dam died after the second foal by Vancouver – the second bred by Holloway – was retained by the breeder and is now trained by Matt Laurie at Mornington.
Now a four-year-old, the horse is named Potato Pete as Holloway explained he names the horses after his children. Sophia’s Choice is named after one of his daughters.
Holloway laughed when he explained that Potato Pete is his son’s nickname.
Now a four-year-old, Potato Pete has been unplaced in his three starts, but will return to racing as a gelding.
Holloway said he likes to breed to race and also has shares in a couple of horses, including with Adam Sangster.
“The feeling you get with a winner for yourself, it’s the same feeling when you breed one and see it win,” he said.
“It’s good when you have actually bred one and it goes to the racecourse and wins.”
Holloway said he would need to turn over a couple of the horses and he’ll probably sell one of the mares in foal at the Inglis Digital Sale and another one would head to the sales.
“But if anything is a filly, I’ll probably keep it and the colts I’ll probably sell.
“I like the fillies as they can hold their value if they are breeding propositions.”
Holloway admits that racing has been a lifetime obsession and love which started when he went to the races in Ireland as a child and was then attracted to the gambling side of the industry.
He then owned and raced a couple before buying a couple of broodmares in Ireland.
After being based in Australia for eight years, Holloway’s love for racing and breeding continues to grow.
He likes to bring out at least one horse a year from Ireland in the hope they’ll make in on the track or the breeding barn.

Woodside Park Stud sire Foxwedge (woodside Park)

Foxwedge led the way with an abundance of Victorian stallions providing winners throughout Australia on the weekend.

It’s been an extremely good month for Woodside Park’s Foxwedge (Fastnet Rock x Forest Native) which produced the first two winners at Bairnsdale on Sunday.

Four-year-old Lottie’s The Boss, out of Second Draw, won the opening race for Cranbourne trainer Mick Kent and scored over the 2200m trip.

And Foxwedge showed his versatility in the next race when the Peter Moody trained Foxicon won on debut over the 1000m sprint distance.
Both horses started as the favourites, the Victorian bred Foxicon also picked up a Super VOBIS nominator’s bonus of $3,600 and an owner’s bonus of $8,400 to go with the first prize of $13,750 for winning the three-year-old maiden.

Foxicon is out of the unraced mare Think Icon (So You Think x Think Money).
The winners have flowed steadily for Foxwedge in December which started off on the first of the month when Sagacious won at the Sunshine Coast.
And then on the third of the month, Yourjokingme Right also won at the Sunshine Coast, while Silver Road finished second at Devonport.
The winners and placegetters kept coming on Saturday when Defiant Dancer won on Pakenham Cup Day, while Foxy Rose finished second at Toowoomba; Miss Isolation won at Albury and Baledon was second and Bella Violet also ran second at Newcastle.
Foxwedge produced his 23 Stakes winner when New Zealander Raposa Rapida (Bardego) won the Legacy Lodge Stakes (1200m) at Te Aroha last month.
The stallion has also had 27 Stakes placed horses.
Woodside Park’s Mark Dodemaide said Foxwedge, along with the stud’s two other stallions Rich Enuff (Written Tycoon x Hotnuff) and Tosen Stardom (Deep Impact x Admire), had again been well supported this season and would continue to cover mares until Christmas.
“Foxwedge had the two winners on Sunday, and then there is Andrew Noblet’s horse Foxy Frida which I think is the sort of horse that can win a Listed race somewhere around the joint,” Dodemaide said.
“The way she ran in the Ballarat Cup (she finished fifth beaten just 1.2 lengths) and the way she hit the line at the end of 2000m, you wouldn’t rule her out of those good mare races,” he said.
“And that Defiant Dancer (now with six wins) won a decent race (1200m) over the weekend.
“The thing I think about Foxwedge was that when he went to yearling sale for his breeders, he was the third top-priced ($925,000) colt at Easter, so he got them a quid.
“He went to the races for the trainer (John O’Shea) and wins a Group 1 and beats Haylist and Buffering and gets beaten a whisker in the Coolmore.”
Dodemaide said the success of Foxwedge has continued at stud with his 50 Stakes results.
He said when Foxwedge first arrived at Woodside from Newgate in January of 2019 the stallion had produced 11 stakes winners, but had produced another 12 since being in Victoria.
Foxwedge served 163 mares in his first season at Newgate and 68 in his last season there, and covered 67 in his first season at Woodside Park, followed by 116 last year.
“He’ll do more than 100 again this year,” Dodemaide said.
“For a stallion his age, 13-years-old, he has had 23 Stakes winners and five Group 1 winners.
“He is good value at $10,000 and is a good VOBIS horse.”
Foxwedge has produced Group 1 winners in Great Britain, New Zealand and South Africa where the mare Run Fox Run was rated as the country’s best sprinter.
Dodemaide said Run Fox Run was nearly the Black Caviar of South Africa after winning five times of over 1000m, once at 1100m and twice at 1200m from her 11 starts. The mare, retired earlier this year, won her first five starts by an aggregate of nearly 12 lengths.
“You wonder what she would have been like if she’d stayed in Australia,” he said.
Dodemaide said Rich Enuff and Tosen Stardom both had good books as well.
He said Rich Enuff, with bookings also around the 100 mark, was producing plenty of winners but was a bit unfortunate that four-year-old Orbiysn got injured after being unbeaten in his four starts in Queensland for David Vandyke.
“And Tosen Stardom is going to be around the 100 mark as well,” he said.
“For him, he has only had the one starter and is now in his fourth season and being around the 100 is largely on the back of the positive feel of trainers telling owners about him.
“I thought it he was going to be tougher this year but to be around those numbers in his fourth season I think is pretty good.”
Tosen Stardom’s oldest progeny are two-year-olds, and the first to race was the Jack Laing trained colt, Belgian Black (Hill Street Blues), which was unplaced on debut over 1000m on a heavy track at Cranbourne’s Cup meeting last month.
Dodemaide said he wouldn’t expect to see the Tosen Stardoms on the track until March or April.
“We have three good stallions and Foxwedge just keeps doing it,” he said.
“They are all competitively priced and even Rich Enuff, the thing with him is that he is still the highest-rated son of Written Tycoon and he is a beautiful looking horse.”
There was plenty of success for Victorian stallions and locally bred horses around the country on the weekend, kicking off with Luna Cat’s victory in the opening race at The Valley on Friday night.
The Victorian bred filly is by Swettenham Stud’s Puissance de Lune and is out of Gauze which has produced two other fillies – Pouvoir De Soie and Gaze Grise – by the same stallion and they’re also winners.
The Hayes racing team paid $30,000 for Luna Cat at the 2020 Adelaide Yearling Sale.
Four-year-old Danerich mare Aminatu continued with her good form, winning the 955m dash at The Valley at big odds of $41.
Trained by Trevor Rogers at Cranbourne, the mare beat only one runner home at her previous run when starting as the $2.15 favourite. The stewards reported that she blundered at the start, became unbalanced and also lost a plate during the 1000m race at Terang.
Danerich is part of the stallion roster at Cornwall Park Stud.
Toorak Toff, which now stands in Tasmania after a stint at Rosemont Stud, repaid his former place of employment by providing the winner of the benchmark 64 (1528m) Stay Gold at The Valley.
The five-year-old mare, out of Gold Lottey, is raced by Rosemont Stud and Fern Vale Farm and trained by Danny O’Brien at Flemington.
The aptly named Winsum did exactly that for father and daughter training team Ken and Kasey Keys at Pakenham’s Cup meeting.
With three wins and a second and a third from eight starts, Ken paid $14,000 at the 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast National Yearling Sale for the son of Wandjina that now stands at Larneuk Stud, near Euroa.
Out of Vernier (Zizou x Chatelaine), the four-year-old gelding is raced by the Keys family and has won all three races at 1000m.
And Swettenham Stud’s new stallion, Rubick, had another winner when El Buena took out the last race (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday. Mr Mosaic, also by Rubick, won earlier in the day at 1100m.
No week would be complete without Swettenham’s Toronado producing some winners. He had two – Gorgonado and the promising Airclash – at Mornington last Friday. The stallion also had a winner, Annika, in Adelaide on Saturday, while Lady Tornado won at Pinjarra.

Looks Like Elvis ridden by Brett Prebble wins the Racing.com VOBIS Gold Bullion at Sportsbet Pakenham on December 04, 2021 in Pakenham, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

The lightning raid of Sydney gelding Looks Like Elvis at the Pakenham Cup meeting netted the seven-year-old’s owners a big payday.

As well as the first prize of $96,250, the Victorian-bred gelding picked up an owner’s bonus of $23,000 and a nominator’s bonus of $7,000 for winning the VOBIS Gold Bullion (1400m) which was restricted to VOBIS Gold qualified horses.

Bred by Doug McLennan and Mark Casey, Looks Like Elvis was sold through Rosemont Stud’s draft at the 2019 Inglis Classic Yearling Summer Book.

The gelding was purchased for $110,000 by Eagle Farm trainer Bryan Dais, on behalf of stable clients, but has been under the care of Warwick Farm trainer Jarrod Austin since August, 2020.

Now with nine wins, 12 seconds and six thirds for $858,560 in stakes, it was Austin’s first win with the son of the Group 1 winning All American which was part-owned by Clinton Casey, a former Richmond president and brother of Mark Casey.

Austin said the big VOBIS money was the lure behind targeting the race which they finally got to after a couple of setbacks with planned lead-up races that never eventuated.

“It’s a funny story, but we originally had him set to run in The Gong (a $1 million dollar race) and then two weeks later he was going to come down and run in the VOBIS race,” Austin said.

“But he didn’t end up getting a run in The Gong and got balloted out and was the first emergency, so it changed all our plans and then we decided to run him the following week at Rosehill in The Festival Stakes and then when the heavy 10 came up we changed plans again.

“So we headed off to Melbourne. It was always on the radar but we couldn’t get a run anywhere. It looked like a nice race for him on paper, and the main thing was getting back onto a dry surface and it was such a long time since he’d been on one, but he showed what he could.”

It’s not the first time the owners of Looks Like Elvis have targeted a VOBIS race. The gelding ran third in the VOBIS Gold Star (1500m) at The Valley in 2019 and followed his two previous unplaced runs in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m).

Austin said the owners were always keeping their eyes on the VOBIS races.

“The VOBIS seems like a really good system and there is great prize money,” he said.

“It works well. You are getting an advantage by racing against restricted horses in that sense because they have to be in that scheme.

“It’s a big bonus to be in the scheme.”

Austin said he was lucky to get hold of Looks Like Elvis and a few others when owner Jim Critchley relocated to Sydney and took his horses with him.

And the Looks Like Elvis name has certainly given the horse a bit of a cult following and guarantees he attracts attention where ever he races.

After last Saturday’s 2.8 length victory over Winning Partner, Austin said Looks Like Elvis would probably return to Melbourne on New Year’s Day to have a crack at the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.

“He has won a lot of money, and all of it is without winning a black-type event, and he has run numerous placings in Group and Listed races without breaking through,” he said.

“It’s a lot of prize money for a horse that hasn’t won black type so he has been a real good money-spinner.”

Austin Looks Like Elvis is in great form and has been happy with all four of his runs this preparation which includes a narrow second in the Group 3 Bill Richie Stakes at Rosehill and third in the Listed Ladies Day Stakes at Hawkesbury.

And winning jockey Brett Prebble couldn’t have been happier with the win and didn’t miss Rosemont Stud’s Anthony Mithen in his postrace interview after he was replaced by Jamie Kah on Way To Go Paula which finished fourth after starting as the second favourite at $4.40.

Prebble, who had ridden Way To Go Paula to second place at the mare’s previous start said: “That was enjoyable – when you get the a— off one and then you go and beat ‘em it’s a nice feeling.

 “He’s a lovely horse that’s been running in some pretty good 

races against good horses. He hasn’t been on a Good (3) for a long time and he loved it. When I let him go, he really showed a good turn of foot and just put them away.

“I watched all his replays, and he wants to please, but he’s been drawing bad barriers and had to go back, and in all fairness, he’s been running against good horses.” 

Mithen said they foaled down Looks Like Elvis at Rosemont as the mare Savalook (Savabeel x Look At Moiye) had a booking with the stud’s Starcraft. 

“We sold him at the classic sale,” he said.

“He was VOBIS because of us and then knocked off Way To Go Paula which was our big hope and I sacked Brett Prebble from Way To Go Paula which he was non-too pleased about and picked up the ride on Looks Like Elvis.

“He let me know all about it in the postrace interview. I text him and said fair call and hats off to you and Brett and he came back with a thumbs up.

“All is fair in love, war and racing, I suppose.”

Mithen said Looks Like Elvis, which had won its first race in two years with the Pakenham win, was a good representation of what they can breed down the Surf Coast way, although all the credit goes to McLennan and Casey.

And for breeder Doug McLennan it was a good result as they still have Savalook which has been a good producer for their stud.

Savalook’s first foal – American Diva – a full sister to Looks Like Elvis, was retained by McLennan and Casey who sent the mare, a winner of eight races, to stud last year and she has since produced a filly by Crackerjack King (IRE) and is in foal to Darley’s new stallion Ghaiyyath (Dubawi x Nightime).

Savalook, who is also in foal to Darley’s Ghaiyyath, was covered by All American four times, but missed one, year while a filly died in an accident before making it to the track.

The mare’s mating at Rosemont with Starcraft produced Ammoudi Bay which is still racing and has also won eight races, while the next foal, also by Starcraft, was sold to Hong Kong and races as Bond A Star but is yet to be placed from 10 starts.

The mare has two fillies by Crackerjack King, a colt by Sepoy and a filly by Artie Schiller.

 “The three-year-old Crackerjack King filly (Let’savalook) is in work and there is a four-year-old mare (Avenue Of Heaven) in work with John Smerdon on the Gold Coast and she hasn’t raced yet either but is ready to race,” he said.

 “We sold two at the sales, including Ammoudi Bay and Symon Wilde trained it and the full brother (Bond A Star) went to Hong Kong.

 “Robert Smerdon bought Ammoudi Bay ($80,000) but when he got rubbed out the horse went to Symon Wilde.”

 The colt by Sepoy was bought by the owners of Looks Like Elvis.

And McLennan said the filly by Artie Schiller is what he describes as “a bit of class.”

 “I have also got a Frosted yearling filly out of (Group 2 winner) Antarctic Miss and I have a Street Boss yearling filly out of My Unicorn and the three of them are absolutely outstanding,” he said.

 “Even though the other two are by sires a little bit higher up the tree, the Artie Schiller is an absolute standout, and anyone who comes to the property asks ‘who is that.’

“Savalook missed to Artie Schiller last year.”

McLennan, who he says he is the best of mates with Casey, operates their 40 acre farm and usually breed from eight broodmares a year.

And while he said they’d often go interstate for stallions, he learnt that for all the costs they were better off to going to a good Victorian stallion.

“I normally to go a few stallions at Godolphin (Darley) and I think I’ve got three Frosted colts and a Frosted filly on the property and I’ve got a couple Street Bosses and this year one mare is in foal to Frosted, two are in foal to Ghaiyyath and a couple to Artie Schiller,” McLennan said.

“I still don’t know why people don’t rate Artie Schiller. You look at the results every week and he has two or three winners in town.

 “I think I’ve got two mares in foal to him again this year.”

 McLennan said Savalook was a New Zealand mare that they paid $60,000 for but she never made it to the races after shattering a shoulder.

 “She went up to Ballarat Veterinary Clinic and had it all put back together again, and I can remember taking the staples out, and I think there were 75 staples,” he said.

 “And that’s the reason she never raced.”

 And as for businessman Casey, he leaves all the horse business to McLennan.

 “I know is that they have four legs and that’s about it,” Casey quipped.

 “Doug does all the breeding and is my partner in the horse breeding.”

Racing Photos

A major review into racehorse welfare has called for the development of national welfare standards that would protect thoroughbreds at all stages of their lives.

The report, The Most Important Participant: A Framework for Thoroughbred Welfare, was written by a panel of four experts, chaired by former Victorian premier and veterinarian Dr Denis Napthine AO, and followed an extensive public consultation with industry and community groups.

Among the review’s other key findings was the need for the racing and breeding industry to take a national approach to welfare, to ensure thoroughbreds receive a consistent level of care in all States and Territories.

The independent review – which was commissioned and funded by industry participants – has already received the backing of key stakeholder groups, including the national bodies representing breeders, trainers and jockeys.

There are 46 recommendations in the comprehensive report, with some for governments to implement while others are the responsibility of the thoroughbred industry. The review calls for:

Responsibility: The thoroughbred industry should take all reasonable steps to ensure its horses have a good life, including after racing, and a humane death.

National Standards: Governments should develop, with the support of industry, national standards for all horses (not just thoroughbreds). This would mandate minimum care for horses at all stages of life, including for thoroughbreds after they exit racing and breeding. Areas covered by these standards would include end of life and transportation. Other species such as cattle and sheep have enforceable welfare standards, but these do not yet exist for horses

Industry Standards: The industry should develop its own national welfare standards for all thoroughbreds. These would set a higher bar than the recommended standards for all horses (see above) and would make clear to all participants, as well as the public, the minimum acceptable levels of care for thoroughbreds in the industry. Additionally, the industry should develop quality assurance (QA) schemes to drive best practice.

Traceability: Governments should create a national traceability register for all horses, which identifies each horse individually, as well as its location and owner. This would allow the thoroughbred industry to know where its horses are in retirement. Without such a register the expert panel said it was almost impossible to have an effective whole-of-life welfare regime.

Transition: The industry needs to invest more in developing programs to help thoroughbreds find new careers after retirement, to extend the positive opportunities that are already being created. Moving thoroughbreds into good homes or a purposeful second career is vital to ensure the long term welfare of these horses. More investment also needs to be put towards stimulating demand for thoroughbreds.

Safety Net: The industry should establish a national thoroughbred safety net to support horses at risk of a poor welfare outcome after leaving racing and breeding. Such a safety net would allow the industry to help those horses over which it no longer has jurisdiction. The report points to successful overseas programs to demonstrate what can be achieved..

A National Body: The report proposes a national body with the sole task of improving welfare, which would help coordinate policy, run programs to stimulate demand for thoroughbreds, run QA schemes, and communicate to the public about welfare. This organisation – with a proposed name of Thoroughbred Welfare Australia – would be supported by the industry and would not be a regulatory body or have enforcement powers.

The panel received more than 180 submissions from a wide range of people and organisations, including industry participants, racing authorities and welfare groups. More than 50 consultation meetings were also held as the panel conducted its work.

As well as Dr Napthine, other members of the group included Dr Bidda Jones AM, head of science at RSPCA Australia; Dr Ken Jacobs, former president of Equine Veterinarians Australia and Jack Lake, an expert in agricultural policy, and special advisor in this area to three Prime Ministers.

Dr Napthine said: “A key finding is the need to develop a framework so that there are standards to ensure thoroughbreds are well cared for from birth right through to their death.

He added: “There is also a need for a more consistent national approach and this could be achieved by establishing a body with the sole focus of driving better welfare across every state and territory.”

Research commissioned as part of the review demonstrated that more Australians were opposed to racing and breeding than those who were supportive, with welfare the dominant concern.

Dr Jones said: “It was clear from our consultations there is strong backing from owners, trainers and breeders for the reforms required to ensure thoroughbreds have a good life, from birth to death. Now we need racing authorities to support these recommendations.”

Quotes from supporters:

Hugh Bowman, leading jockey: “I am grateful to the authors of the report and work they have done. It is now up to all of us in the industry to take these recommendations and implement them.”

Ciaron Maher, champion trainer: “There is nothing in this report that people in our industry should be frightened of. The panel have given us a plan, now it’s important we are working together to make it happen.”

Tom Reilly, CEO, Thoroughbred Breeders Australia: “Everybody involved in racing and breeding knows there’s been a huge amount of work done in welfare, but this report shows the areas where we need to improve. If we implemented the recommendations we would have a proper framework where our horses are protected from birth right through to death.”

Andrew Nicholl, CEO Australian Trainers’ Association: “It was important this review was conducted by people independent of the industry and the panel have given us a plan we must follow.”

Neil Wilson, Chairman Victoria Racing Club: “The committee of the VRC support the report’s recommendations and looks forward to broader engagement from other industry bodies to achieve the outcomes proposed.”

About the industry:

• The industry supports 80,000 full time jobs nationally.
• About $1 billion is raised from the industry in taxes annually.
• More than 100,000 Australians own a share in a racehorse

For more information see FAQs here. Contact: Tom Reilly 0423146334 or tom@tbaus.com