The much anticipated 2022 Victorian Stallion parades begin this week with Rosemont hosting on Friday, August 12.

Kicking off at 11am, register via amy@rosemontstud.com.au to see SHAMUS AWARD, HANSEATIC, STRASBOURG & the new and exciting EXTREME WARRIOR.

Yulong hosts the second stallion parade in Victoria on Sunday, August 14 at 10.30am, with the likes of GRUNT, TAGALOA and of course one of Australia’s champion stallions, WRITTEN TYCOON, all on show.

Register via rsvp@yulonginvest.com.au to attend.

On Friday, August 19, Widden hosts the first parade of the day (invite only) before Darley parade BRAZEN BEAU, FROSTED, KERMADEC & many more at 1.30pm.

Register via https://bit.ly/3zzdB8i to attend.

On Saturday, August 20, Cornwall Park will display their five exciting stallions across two sessions (11am & 4pm), which include DANERICH, INFERENCE & Melbourne Cup runner-up JOHANNES VERMEER.

Register via https://bit.ly/3vLC8pB to attend.

To conclude the week, Swettenham Stud kick off  Sunday, August 21 proceedings at 11.00am, displaying the likes of I AM IMMORTAL, exciting new import WOODED and of course one of Australia’s stars in TORONADO.

Register via Sam@swettenham.com.au.

To finish off the day, Leneva Park will host an open house parade straight after the conclusion of Swettenham’s, parading their two boys ROYAL MEETING & FIERCE IMPACT.

Make sure you get along to as many of these parades as you can to see some of the best horse flesh in Victoria and across Australia.

Connections of Chartres after winning the The VOBIS Sires Guineas at Caulfield Racecourse on April 23, 2022 in Caulfield, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

Wednesday’s Geelong program sees the first three VOBIS Sires Boost progeny of the 2022/23 season race for $30,000 in VOBIS Sires Boost Vouchers.

The DMB Contracting 3YO Fillies Maiden Plate (Race 3) is not only worth the initial $37,500 in prize money, but also carries $12,000 in Super VOBIS bonuses, $20,000 in VOBIS Gold bonuses along with $30,000 in VOBIS Sires Boost vouchers, making the race to the value of $99,500 for those eligible horses.

Brazen Lady (Brazen Beau), Miss Sassy (Written Tycoon) & Miss Subtly (Rich Enuff) are all VOBIS Sires progeny who are VOBIS Gold nominated, therefore eligible to claim the VOBIS Sires Boost vouchers, all of which is given to the winning owners.

Brazen Lady, by Darley Victoria’s Brazen Beau is on debut for trainer Matthew Ellerton, bred by Contract Racing. With some strong jumpout form behind her, she will give her owners a great sight.

Miss Sassy is by one of Australia’s Champion Sires, Written Tycoon, who has had two career starts, last seen running fifth behind stakes winner Cannonball. Trained by Lindsay Park, she can’t be discounted.

Miss Subtly, by Woodside Park’s Rich Enuff was beaten by a very good one on debut at Sale and will be greatly improved from the outing, bred and raced by OTI Racing. Currently the $4 second market elect, this could be a perfect start for Rich Enuff in the VOBIS Sires Boost program.

This is the beginning of a very exciting time in Victoria that will see more reward for owners supporting the VOBIS scheme and more investment into Victorian breeding & sales.

Connections of Kings Consort after winning the The Showdown at Caulfield Racecourse on April 23, 2022 in Caulfield, Australia. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

The inaugural VOBIS Sires Boost vouchers will be up for grabs on August 2, with a total of $60,000 in vouchers available to be won across the two VOBIS Gold races at the Warrnambool meeting.

The 3YO 1200m Super Vobis Maiden and 3100m BM78 Highweight are the two races on the card with $30,000 in Vobis Sires Boost vouchers attached to them.

Available on all 250+ VOBIS Gold race across Victoria each year, all VOBIS Sires progeny who are VOBIS Gold nominated will be eligible to win $30,000 in vouchers in addition to the prize money and bonuses on offer, which will be given to the winning owners.

Given that the oldest VOBIS Sires horse is rising six, VOBIS Gold races are on offer to two-year-olds, all the way up to three-year-old & up staying events – the VOBIS program has never been more valuable and enticing to the Victorian market.

This VOBIS scheme now adds up to triple the initial value on offer in races from country to metropolitan racetracks, ensuring Victorian owners, trainers and jockeys are rewarded for supporting this phenomenal racing & breeding state.

Warrnambool CEO Tom O’Connor is elated to be hosting the first two VOBIS Gold races carrying the additional $30,000 in VOBIS Sires Boost vouchers.

“Warrnambool is a strong racing ownership jurisdiction with great support from all of our local trainers,” O’Connor said.

“Hosting the first two races carrying VOBIS Sires Boost vouchers is great for our Warrnambool program and of course the owners with horses running in these races.

“This is a great initiative, anything that sees the encouragement of investing in Victorian racing and breeding is exciting for the state.”

With $7.5 millions in VOBIS Sires Boost vouchers up for grabs, it is essential to give yourself and all owners the chance to reap some amazing rewards.

Make sure that you are checking to see if your horse is VOBIS Gold eligible through this link, and check this link to see if their stallion is VOBIS Sires nominated.

Click here to see the upcoming VOBIS Gold races, commencing August 2.

Giga Kick ridden by Matthew Cartwright wins the Trevor Clarke Handicap at Flemington Racecourse on July 16, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

It was perhaps an exercise in futility when Rodney Douglas received another phone call from Hong Kong interests wanting to purchase Giga Kick (Scissor Kick x Rekindled Applause) after the two-year-old added a classy Flemington victory to his 4.3 length win at Sale on debut in February.

With two wins from two starts, the offers were sure to come in from the tough Hong Kong jurisdiction which has added more prize money to make it even more attractive for their wealthy owners to raid Australia’s emerging talent.

But with Giga Kick’s owner being rich lister Jonathan Munz, the money factor for selling a horse like the two-year-old gelding is never a consideration.

Douglas, who is Munz’s racing manager for Pinecliff, said the most recent off that came in for the youngster was $800,000.

Munz is probably more interested in talking about the horse’s sectional times, rather than what he is worth to a Hong Kong buyer.

“He ran good sectional times and it was pretty impressive its first start and we were just hoping he could do it again,” Douglas said.

“So it did it again so it’s onwards and up now.”

Giga Kick was a big spruik early in the week but drifted in the market but still started the $3.20 favourite, but Douglas explained the reason for it.

“The thing that ran second to it in the trial at Cranbourne of Beggs probably trialled as good as it but got the crap beat out of it at Geelong on the Friday.

“And I don’t think he trialled as good on the real heavy track at Cranbourne leading into it.

“I would say that’s where the drift came from.”

Douglas said Giga Kick would now head to the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on August 13 where the gelding will be ridden by Craig Williams who was booked for the ride last Sunday.

“And we’ll see where he sits there as a spring horse or wherever,” he said.

“It looks like he is going in the right direction but you’ll soon get a guide when you get to that race.

“But he has got the run under his belt and that’s why we planned to get him in early so fitness wise he might have an edge on them.”

But Douglas isn’t quite sure about the adulation being heaped on the horse.

“I have got no illusions about him being a star,” he said.

“Everyone else has, I haven’t. I think he has is just a nice horse, but I would have sold him.”

Obviously not needing the money, Munz just “sneezed” at the $800,000.

While he might, according to Douglas, “sniff” at a million, he still wouldn’t sell the horse.

“It’s a bit of game to him and the more that is offered, the more he thinks it’s funny,” Douglas said.

And Douglas isn’t a stranger to cashing in a good horse to Hong Kong.

He bought Noor Elaine Farm’s IIovethiscity colt Barocha for $12,000 at the 2018 VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale and gave it to his nephew Clayton Douglas to train.

After winning on debut by five lengths and then backing it up at his next start by 2.5 lengths, Douglas sold Barocha to Hong Kong for $1.15m. He now races as Beauty Fit and has since won another three races, plus two seconds and two thirds.

“Clayton nearly cried, but his uncle wasn’t keeping him, I can assure you of that,” Douglas said.

“I know what can happen to them.”

Douglas said Munz probably had close to 100 broodmares which would give them 80 yearlings and 70 weanlings.

“We sold a few at Easter for $1.4m and things like that,” he said.

“He buys and sells. It’s just like playing Monopoly with him.

“He decides what he wants to keep and sell.”

And while Clayton Douglas might have lost Barocha to Hong Kong, he is having great success with Giga Kick.

The TAB has rated Giga Kick a $15 chance in October’s Coolmore Stud Stakes.

The Victorian Alliance, headed by Rosemont Stud, has Doull (Snitzel x Bulbula) as the early $5 favourite in the Coolmore.

Doull was a $1.2m purchase at the 2021 Australian Easter Yearling Sale and is part of the Alliance’s multi-million splurge on buying colts in the hope of unearthing a valuable stallion.

De Gaulle sired an impressive debut winner at Moe.

Quilly Park’s Richard Anderson has plenty of faith in the unraced stallion De Gaulle (Exceed and Excel x Response) which he bought in partnership with Broker Park Stud’s John Pratt to stand at Bombora Downs.

After covering only nine mares in a heavily Covid-impacted 2021, Anderson said the interest in the stallion continues to gather momentum and he is confident De Gaulle will serve his biggest book of mares this year.

With just eight of his progeny to so far hit the track, the stallion bought up his third winner when filly Rosa’s Revenge won on debut for Pakenham trainer Rachael Cunningham over 1114m at Moe on Saturday at odds of $11.

Anderson said the phone had already started ringing with breeders making inquiries about the stallion which won two trials for Randwick trainers Peter and Paul Snowden before breaking down with a tendon injury which forced his retirement before getting to the races where the Golden Slipper was targeted.

Anderson said it was fantastic for the stallion to get another winner to go with his three placegetters.

“It was fantastic for Rachael Cunningham and my partner John Pratt and it was a great result for them, with the horse leading the whole way,” he said.

“Being its first start it was entitled to be run down but it was strong enough and sustained its run, so they obviously had it fit enough.

“It was a good result for the stallion.”

Anderson said he’d had three phone calls on Monday morning from breeders making enquiries and already has a number of bookings.

“And at this stage he might have his best year based on forecasts,” he said.

“Getting results on the track speaks for itself and if we didn’t do that obviously no one would ring.”

Anderson said it was hoped that De Gaulle would be represented at Cranbourne on Thursday with three runners – Madame Du Gast, Bonjour De Gaulle and Chase De Ace.

The trio, who will only start if the track is not too heavy, are all trained at Cranbourne by Trevor Rogers who is a huge supporter of the stallion.

Chase de Ace (Pride Phet) was bred by Pratt, while Madame Du Gast and Bonjour De Gaulle were both bred by Anderson.

While Chase de Ace and Bonjour De Gaulle are both making their debuts, Madame Du Gast was De Gaulle’s first winner when she won on debut at Flemington in January over 1000m.

“People who have previously booked mares to the stallion have come back to him and said they are interested in going again which is great and there are a couple of new clients in there which is also great,” Anderson said.

“If we can get Madame Du Gast to go through her grades and if we can get Bonjour De Gaulle to win first up and Chase De Ace to win first up, then it would be five from 10.

“Craig Williams is going to ride Madame Du Gast and Bonjour De Gaulle on Thursday which is great but we won’t run if it’s a heavy track.”

De Gaulle, which served 23 mares in his first season in 2017, had his biggest book in 2019 with 39.

Anderson said he’ll be sending between 18 to 20 of his 21 mares to the stallion.

“Everything was bought to go to him,” Anderson said.

“And we thought what we might do is send all of our band to him because if we are right with our planning and our strategy then there will be some for sale coming up either in the weanling sales or we might do three in one packages just to put them into people’s hands.

“The full sister to Madame Du Gast was sold to Symon Wilde for $115,000 at Melbourne Premier. It was outrageous and we had four or five people bidding on it.

“We are getting there slowly but surely. We sold a couple to Mick Bell at the VOBIS Gold Sale which was great for him and they were well educated and he is happy with them.

“And fingers crossed he can get some results with them, too.”

The plan for Anderson is to sell some of De Gaulle’s progeny at the sales so people can “play” with them, understand them and watch them grow.

He said they are great-looking animals that are affable to humans and are so willing to learn.

And he said while you can’t race a page, you can race a type.

“They are doing the work and the stallion must be throwing something over and we are not getting the high-end mares but we have got the average mares but we are getting results with them,” Anderson said.

“And what would happen if we got some blueblood mares to him?

“We just need something to jump out over the spring and we’ll be right and he’ll be on his way.’’

Quilly Park paid $32,500 for the mare Trajection (Smart Missile x Pauline De Lago) at last week’s Inglis digital sale.

A winner of eight races, the five-year-old mare’s granddam is champion mare and three-time Group 1 winner Burst (Marauding x Sudden).

Anderson said the mare was another one bought specifically for De Gaulle.

He recently privately purchased mare Balmodena (Good Journey x Balsamico) to go the stallion. Her last foal, by Brazen Beau, sold for $165,000, at this year’s Melbourne Premier.

Balsamico also produced the filly Dosh Dash (Dash For Cash), the dam of Group 3 winner Written Dash (Written Tycoon) which is the dam of Osamu (Exceed and Excel) that won at Eagle Farm last Saturday to increase the four-year-old gelding’s prize money to $334,230.

“What we have tried to do is buy mares that suit him and try to get the public involved and we might see mares in foal to him and we might sell mares with a foal at foot and we might get to weanling sales or we might keep some and put them in the sales in coming years,” he said.

“I have got nine foaling down to him this year.

“And John Pratt is supporting the stallion with mares, but not in large numbers.”

And Pratt agrees that Rosa’s Revenge was good for the stallion.

He said the three-year-old filly is the most recent foal out of Centashani, but she’ll return to De Gaulle this season.

Two of the foals produced by the broodmare are both stayers. Nordic Pride (Zoffany) won four races from 2025m to 3000m, while Aurora Rose (Northern Meteor) won four races from 2200m to 2500m.

Nordic Pride is still racing and won at Sandown over 3000m earlier this year. Aurora Rose was retired in 2019.

“She is not in foal at the moment and I just wanted to how these ones went,” Pratt said.

“He has got a few coming on, that’s for sure.”

Pratt said it was always hard to get mares to an unraced stallion.

“He is an exceptional prospect, that’s for sure,” he said.

“He is by Exceed and Excel, out of a Group 1 winner (Response) and she has produced a Group 1 Golden Slipper winner (Estijaab).”

Pratt said he spoke to Peter Snowden about the stallion at the races and he told him he loved De Gaulle.

“He said he was a Group horse every day of the week and what level Group we don’t know,” he said.

“He was shattered when he did his tendon. Newgate thought that much of him that they thought he deserved a chance at stud rather than geld him and go through a tendon rehab.”

Pratt admitted it was a hard sell for unraced stallions – but results on the track mean everything.

Skyphios ridden by Harry Coffey wins the Byerley Handicap at Flemington Racecourse on July 16, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

Ballarat farmer Glenn Rogers comes from a long line of horse trainers but admits he was missing from the game for 20 years before deciding to get involved again a few years ago.

Although he’d dabbled with breeding when he bought a mare in foal which didn’t amount to much, he was keen to buy another broodmare based on pedigree and type and put it to a stallion that he thought would suit the bloodlines.

And he’s had instant success with his first crack at picking out a mare and a stallion to support his breeding theories when his two-year-old gelding Skyphios won the Byerley Handicap (1800m) at Flemington on Saturday.
The $150,000 race provided the winner with a golden ticket into the Victoria Derby or VRC Oaks.

Trained by Rogers’ cousin Rob Blacker at Mornington, the two-year-old son of Widden Stud stallion Fiorente broke his maiden in fine fashion at his fourth start when he came from last to win by nearly a length from $2.15 favourite Quang Tri.

Rogers picked up Skypious’ dam Spleasure (New Approach x Isla Canela) straight off the track for $11,500 at the 2018 Great Southern Sale. She had raced 13 times for three wins and two seconds.

“I had bought a couple of mares earlier and think I sent them out five times and never go a foal,” he said.

“So I thought I’d buy a younger one and she was in the supplementary catalogue and Robert (Blacker) told me not to spend more than ten grand, but I bought her anyway.

“I like the inbreeding of the female and when I saw her in the catalogue I bought her for Fiorente and that’s where I went straight away.”

The now eight-year-old Spleasure, a chestnut, is described by Rogers as looking like an Appaloosa.

“She had bad rash at the sale,” he said.

“She never had white dots over her before she had the rash. But when she had the rash all those white dots started coming over her.

“She has got a Justify filly on her and people just thought the white dots were from the rash but the filly has a few white dots coming through her.”
Rogers said he suspected the white dots are a result of genetics as there are white markings through her breeding.

His theory about the white markings illustrates his meticulous research into pedigrees, not just in horses but sheep and cattle.

After having Skyphios, Spleasure missed the following season to Fiorente and is again in foal to Justify (Scat Daddy x Stage Magic).

Rogers plans to send the mare back to Fiorente this season.

“I reckon this one is the best I’ve seen by Fiorente,” he said.

“He has always been a nice type and I foaled him down at home.

“I’d been out of the game for 20 years and it was the first mating I’ve planned and bred one myself. I’ve bought other mares that have been in foal but that was the first time where I’ve bought the mare to go to a particular stallion and got a foal on the ground.

“I bred him to win the Caulfield Cup, but I know he is a mile and a half horse.”

Rogers has five broodmares and says while he’d like a few more, he acknowledges how expensive they’ve become in recent years.

He sold two of his yearlings at Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale this year through his farm’s draft, Arrandale Stud at Ballarat.

He sold a Ribchester colt out of La Breviere for $80,000 but a So You Think colt out of Treasure the Cross was passed in for $80,000.

“I couldn’t get one hundred grand for him and I thought he was a $250,000 horse, but I still own him and I reckon he’ll be a similar sort of horse (to Skyphios) next year,” Rogers said.

“His grandmother is Kasora (Darshaan x Kozana) and I have done a three-by-three cross to Kasora. Most of the families I like, and everyone says I’ll go broke doing it and they’re probably right, are European Oaks sort of fillies.

“They aren’t worth anything here but would be worth a lot if they were in Europe.”

Rogers originally farmed a 3,000-acre property at Pura Pura, between Ararat and Ballarat, but sold up a couple of years ago and moved to his 700-acre property which is located about 3kms from Ballarat Racecourse.

“I am more a sheep and cattle farmer,” he said.

“I had 3,000 acres at Pura and Pura and sheep and cattle and was contracting and the whole lot and doing it all myself was probably too much.”

Rogers has bred champion ewes, sheep and bulls and says while he can sell 200 cheap for $400 each to make $80,000, he says it’s good money but not life-changing but said it was his next dream to breed a horse to win a $1m race.

“I am getting ambitious I guess, but you have to be in it to win it,” he said.

In the lead-up to last Saturday’s race, Skyphios was unplaced in the Listed Taj Rossi Final (1600m) at Flemington and it was the first time that Rogers had been at headquarters since Savrocca (Caledonian Planet x Our Dream) won the Group 2 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2500m) in 2000.

Savrocca, a winner of 17 races including the Listed Geelong Cup (2400m), was trained by Rogers’ father Jeff at Ararat and predominately raced by the family.

Rogers admits that while the Derby looms is the target, he is ambitious and says don’t be surprised if the gelding is paid up for some other big races.

He said while nothing went right in the Taj Rossi, everything went right in the Byerley Handicap with jockey Harry Coffey.

Aged 40 and with three girls aged five, three and nine months, Rogers said he didn’t want to wait until he was 50 to have a serious crack at racing and breeding.

“People said Arrandale was the best farm in Ballarat through the 1960s, 70s and 80s and it was set up as horse property but has been run as a cattle farm for the last 30 years,” he said.

“I am beside the airport and the owner who had it didn’t really want to sell it to a developer and I think he saw a little bit of me in him and that I was going to set it back up as a horse farm.

“The guy was 90 and we bought it at the start of Covid two years ago.
“This is about family to me and I didn’t want to get to 50 and be wondering what might have happened.

“I am again setting it up as a horse property and half thinking about putting in a track and things like. The barriers are there and the stables are there, as well round yards but it’s been used as cattle farm for 30 years and the fences are barb wire and I’m re-fencing it.”

Rogers says he spends an hour or two every night studying pedigrees, mostly European ones, and has since he was a teenager.

He gives the impression that he is just getting going in the game.

Rogers’ grandfather Jimmy Rogers was a soldier/settler who was also a trainer but stood stallions at stud, including Brandy Crusta which was out of a mare he bought, Apricot Brandy.

And Blacker agrees that there will be a few discussions with his cousin on where best to race the horse at his next campaign, although the Derby is the target.

Blacker’s father Harry Blacker was also a long-time horse trainer.

“My mother and Glenn’s mother are sisters,” he said.

“And my father and Jeffrey (Rogers) were mates.”

Blacker said Skyphios was a nice staying type and believes the Derby is an ideal race because he’ll run out the 2500m.

“I like Fiorente and I bought a filly by him, a little, light thing but she ran third at her first at Stoney Creek over 2100m and had a couple of little problems after that,” he said.

“I’ve got a two-year-old by him now, but it’s a different type to the one of Glenns.”

Blacker’s broodmare Alma Doepel (My Patriarch) – the dam of the Fiorente colt – is out of an Oregon mare, Insatiabelle.

“I bought a filly out of an Oregon mare years ago and was trying to win the South Australian Oaks with her but got her going too early and had a joint issue and we had to put her out but she finished winning a 2100m maiden,” he said.

“But because of her ability, I chased up her younger sister and finished up by buying out of a paddock in New Zealand she finished up being called Reggie (Germano x Crackastar) and I won four from 11 with her.”

The mare then finished with Peter Moody and won the Listed Bagot Handicap and the Group 3 Brisbane Turf Club Premier’s Cup.

After retiring with more than $700,000 in the bank, Reggie retired to the breeding barn where she produced Group 1 ATC Coolmore Classic winner, Heavens Above (Street Cry).

Blacker said he breeds from a couple of broodmares and like Rogers, is very keen on pedigrees and says he couldn’t afford to buy the horses he breeds if they went through the sales.

“The reason I breed because as a trainer it is a big heads-up if you know the family and what works and what doesn’t work,” he said.

“If you mate them the right way, they will run the trip but it’s a matter of what speed.”

Blacker also plans to send another mare Royal Seal (Arena x Courtly Bride), which he owns in partnership with a friend, to Fiorente this season.

He is hoping that the luck with Fiorente stays in the family.

Reuber ridden by Matthew Cartwright wins the Neds No Place Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse on July 09, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

The Alderson family has never had a shortage of well-performed homebreds.

Cindy Alderson is the Cranbourne-based trainer in the family, and her mother Lynne is credited with breeding many top horses over the years.

And while Lynne’s husband Colin trained grand galloper Sky Heights to four Group 1 victories, she is yet to reach the ultimate level with one of he own homebreds.

Another horse bred by Lynne, Reuber (Dissident x Fortress Madonna) scored his second metropolitan victory at Caulfield on Saturday when the four-year-old won at 2000m.

He has been a horse that has surprised Cindy who originally didn’t believe the gelding was much good until the blinkers were applied.

Now with four wins, five seconds and three thirds and $327,945 in the bank, Alderson’s opinion of Reuber has
obviously changed.

“His biggest attribute is that he is really genuine, he handles all sorts of conditions and he is sound and he is healthy,” she said.

“He is sort of the perfect racehorse but is a little on the small side.

“But he has come back this preparation a little bit more furnished and has had luck this time around whereas last time he didn’t have luck go his way all the time.”

Alderson said the family were cutting back on their broodmare band and only had about six left on their Bayles farm and no longer have Reuber’s dam Fortress Madonna (Dylan Thomas x Madonna) which won two races for Alderson when she trained in partnership with her now-retired father, Colin.

“We have cut back a bit on the mares as mum and dad are getting a bit older,” she said.

“It’s a bit hard to manage them all and whatever but girls at the farm do a good job.”

At one stage the Aldersons were breeding from 18 broodmares that they had on their farm.

“I hope we have kept the right ones because mum does have a habit of getting rid of the ones that win through,” Alderson laughed.

Lynne bred Reuber in partnership with John Heenan who had a small share in the five-time Group 1 winning Dissident (Sebring x Diana’s Secret). Since buying Fortress Madonna, Heenan has Reuber’s full brother Mamool in work with Grahame Begg and also has the mare’s Iconic Girl (Fighting Sun) with the trainer, and has also bred a full sister to Reuber.

Fortress Madonna has also a weanling filly by Toronado.

Alderson said her mother didn’t think that Fortress Madonna would be that effective but the three-year-old Mamool has had eight starts for a win and two thirds.

“Her foals look quite promising, but you can’t have them all,” she said.

“My mum has got a great record of breeding great winners but also moving them on when they’re ready to go.”

Among the top horses bred by Lynne Alderson include Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes winner Toy Carousel (Toy Pindari x Irma); Group 2
Blamey Stakes winner Walk On Air (Eire x Ride The Wind); Group 2 Autumn Stakes winner Brom Brom and Group 2 Moonee Valley Classic winner My Poppette (Snippetson x Brompton’s Choice). Geelong Classic winner The Tiger (Catbird x Tio Belle) was Lynne’s first homebred Derby runner.

“She has bred quite a few stakes winners but hasn’t had the big one yet,” Alderson said.

“And she has also bred quite a few good earners like Reuber.

“VOBIS has been so good but I think it’s going to get harder in Victoria because people are aware of how good the VOBIS system is and we pretty well had it much to ourselves for a little while.”

Jigsaw (Manhattan Rain x Demandz) has won four races and along with his older four-year-old sister Queen Adele (Adelaide), a winner of two races, is also Alderson family bred.

“As I said, she hasn’t cracked it for a big Group 1 winner but she is going all right,” Alderson said.

“There is a lot of luck involved in breeding.”

Alderson will now target the $175,000 VOBIS Gold Stayers race for Reuber art Caulfield on July 23, but admits the gelding doesn’t quite get 2400m.

“But he deserves to get a crack at it this time and he might be a bit stronger,” she said.

The Aldersons have also sold yearlings at Melbourne Premier over the years, as well as selling some of their well-performed stock to Hong Kong.

It was also a good day at Caulfield for the man who trained Dissident to his Group 1 glories.

Peter Moody bred and owns two-year-old filly Cotel (Charge Forward x Cotillard) which won on debut, picking up the first prize of $71,000 and VOBIS bonuses of $21,000.

He paid credit to Maluka Thoroughbreds’ Luke and Mags Anderson who raised the filly

“It’s the reason I came back training, I breed 10 or 12 of them, I sell a few. The fillies I tend to keep if I want to breed from them. I let her mother (Cotillard) go,” Moody said in his post-race interview.

“They’re (the Andersons) lovely people and raised this filly, I gave them the mother because once I got this filly I was happy to give the dam away, you don’t want too many of them the same.”

Moody has a yearling filly by Rosemont Stud stallion Shamus Award out of Cotillard (Flying Spur x Chateau D’Yquem) which had two trials for the trainer but never made it to the races.

Not Usual Glorious ridden by Logan McNeil returns to the mounting yard after winning the Neds Same Race Multi Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse on July 09, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

South Australian trainer Travis Doudle is likely to target some more of Victoria’s country cups after Not Usual Glorious, the son of Widden Stud stallion Fiorente, carried out a successful raid at Caulfield on Saturday with victory over 1700m.

The five-year-old gelding went into the Melbourne metropolitan race after winning the Apsley Cup (2000m) at Casterton last month when he scored by three lengths.

His margin at Caulfield was significantly shorter when he won by half a neck from $3.20 favourite Lyrical Lad, but the first prize money was a lot more at Caulfield with $71,500 compared to $27,500 at Casterton.

Not Usual Glorious had a different start to his racing career. He was bred by Willaroon Thoroughbreds Sally Watkins, out of her mare Temper Tantrum, and was sold for $32,000 at the 2018 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Feng Bloodstock originally bought the yearling and sent it to New Zealand where he raced for trainer Shane Crawford who got three wins from nine starts with the gelding which was then placed on the market and purchased by Doudle for $65,000.

A last-start winner in New Zealand over 2000m, Not Usual Glorious then won his next three in Adelaide for Doudle.
Doudle had originally hoped that Not Usual Glorious would stretch to 3200m like his Melbourne Cup-winning sire, but now concedes he is best suited to trips up to 2000m.

“I am just going to let the dust settle on the weekend and there are a couple of races coming up for him in about three weeks back in Victoria,” he said.

“There are a couple of races at Moonee Valley that look okay and he might go back over and have a crack.

“We might freshen him into some country cups as well and he has already won a country cup with the Apsley Cup and I think those sort of races suit him for sure.”

Doudle said at this stage he couldn’t see the gelding going much past 2000m and would stick to races ranging from 1600m to 2000m.

He said there were plenty of country cups in his distance range.

“There was $70,000 to the winner on Saturday and it’s really good,” Doudle said.

“If these tracks stay wet for a little while, we’ll have a bit more fun with him and hopefully right into the spring.”

Doudle, who has 25 in work at Morphettville, said Not Usual Glorious was the only one by Fiorente in his stable and he was a lovely horse that was easy to train and a pleasure to have.

Not Usual Glorious’ dam, Temper Tantrum (Hold That Tiger x Disco Bickie) was later sold in foal to Brazen Beau for $95,000.

Darley Victoria’s American shuttle stallion Frosted (Tapit x Fast Cookie) produced another winner when Kooled, out of Dawned (One Cool Cat x Our Dawn Run), won his first city race (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

The gelding, now with third trainer Ben Brisbourne, started with Team Hawkes who thought so highly of the then colt that he raced in the Group 2 Sires’ Produce last year (1400m) at Flemington where he started the $4.60 favourite but finished ninth.

He won at his next as the $1.90 favourite in a 1200m Gosford maiden. Team Hawkes gave him one more run but he was unplaced at Sandown.

After two poor trials for Wyong trainer Kristen Buchanan, Kooled was gelded and then had an easy victory in a Benalla maiden as the $3.60 favourite.

Brisbourne said he became the third trainer when it was decided that Kooled raced better with the Melbourne way of going.

“He is a lovely horse,” he said.

“He has been in and around that mark all prep really and on the softer ground he seems to excel and can really quicken up off it which is nice.”

Brisbourne said Kooled is the first horse by Frosted he has trained.

“I wouldn’t mind a few more if they can win a city race like that,” he said.

He said the fact Kooled had already had three trainers was no fault of the horse.

“The Hawkes thought enough of him to race him in a Sires’ Produce and then he was moved to a smaller trainer for a bit of one-on-one time,” he said.

“He just didn’t like the Sydney way of going so Kristen Buchanan sent him down to me just to have a jump out and see if he trained better that way around.

“He won that jump out nicely and then he went and won a class two a Benalla a week after that and then she said to the owners that she thinks the horse prefers to be in Victoria and there was no point in travelling him down every couple of weeks and you might as well leave him with Ben as he seems happy there.

“I am very grateful for her putting my name forward to the owners.

“He stayed with me and she got given another horse to replace him. Everyone was happy.”

Kooled was bred by Rob and Pam Crosby who also race the three-year-old. They also have a Frosted colt out of their winning mare Enjoy Elsie (Sepoy x Dawned).

And Brisbourne is “absolutely confident” that there are some more wins to come from his Frosted gelding.

“We will be back at Caulfield in two weeks for a 1200m similar race and see where he ends up,” he said.

“He is a nice horse and he has got his quirks but the girls here manage him very well and he goes good on soft ground and will probably get out in a trip a little bit more or we’ll try him anyway.”

Darley Victoria’s head of sales Andy Makiv said it had been a good weekend for Frosted with the talented Frigid (Fuchsia) also winning at Belmont for Perth’s leading owner/breeder Bob Peters.

He said Kooled certainly has the talent and it was great to see him win in a deep race on the weekend.

“I think the stallion can certainly impart a bit of talent onto them and in the end, he had a pretty good weekend,” Makiv said.

Godolphin filly Cloudy (Applegate) ran a narrow third at Caulfield for James Cummings.

“He had a Saturday double and nearly got three with Cloudy,” Makiv said.

Makiv said Frosted hit the road running with a spicy first crop with a bunch of horses led by Ingratiating and Cloudy .

“Things went a little bit quiet after that and he has got very good numbers coming through and he has got great Godolphin support coming through so we are pretty confident that he is a stallion that will burst out of the lull and do the job,’’ he said.

“He has got good Saturday class horses to back up those stakes horses with Kooled and Ice Pick Nick.

“I think there is a bit of depth about him and he can impart a bit of talent. Those second and third crops can be a bit smaller for those shuttle stallions like him but he has got some very big crops coming after that.”

Makiv said Frosted received good support not only from Godolphin, but from some of Australia’s best breeders.

Frosted served 103 mares in his first season at Darley and that dropped to 80 and then climbed to 105 in his third season.

He served 131 in 2020 and last year had his biggest book – 134.

Finance Tycoon ridden by Damian Lane wins the Neds Zeditave Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse on February 26, 2022 in Caulfield, Australia. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

While Glen Eden Stud welcomed recently retired colt Finance Tycoon to their stallion roster, it was a case of a farewell for long-time Victorian stallion Master of Design which will depart Eden Park Stud for Tasmania.

The Group 1 winning Master of Design (Redoute’s Choice x Urge To Merge) started his stud career with Swettenham Stud in 2012 and was later leased to Greta West Stud.

Swettenham Stud and a syndicate of individual owners sold Master Of Design to airline captain Gary Liu who purchased Joe and Daira Vella’s Wingrove Park Stud and renamed it Eden Park Stud where the stallion stood.

Liu revealed he liked Master Design, which sired his Group 3 winning gelding Greyworm, so much that he bought the stallion three years ago.

A change of circumstances and a low number of mares – he served 18 last year at a fee of $3300 – has led Liu to move the stallion to Tasmania where he believes the horse will get more opportunities.

“He has gone to Tasmania because at the moment we don’t have the manpower and resources to stand him here so we have moved him down to Tasmania,” Liu said.

With two recent Melbourne city winners, Liu said the stallion had been going well for a “bread and butter” stallion.

“It’s so hard in Victoria where it is very competitive with all the stallions,” he said.

“He can get 20 to 30 a year and it’s quite hard to get more mares to him when there are so many good stallions.

“I don’t think there is another Redoute’s stallion in Tasmania and with him being three grand or even below you could get quite a few people interested there with breeders.

“Hopefully he’ll get a few more mares to him.”

Liu said he still had some progeny by Master of Design and would probably support him with a couple of mares this season, but had sold some of his broodmares to smaller breeders.

The addition of the Group 3-winning Finance Tycoon (Written Tycoon x Darook) to the Glen Eden Stud roster now gives the farm a total of four new stallions.

The rising four-year-old will stand alongside Yulong Prince (which formerly stood at Yulong), Trust In A Gust (formerly Swettenham) and Palentino (formerly Widden Victoria). Giant’s Steps remains on the roster of the stud which is located just out of Kilmore.

After losing the talented Rebel Dane, Glen Eden has been on the hunt for more fresh talent and eagerly sought Finance Tycoon to join their other new stallions.

Rory O’Brien, who bought into Glen Eden and has 50 per cent equity with stud founder and owner Sonia O’Gorman, worked hard to secure Finance Tycoon which won the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at his second start, then won the $1m The Showdown (1200m) in 2021 for trainers Tom Dabernig and Ben Hayes.

The colt was then transferred to Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Danny O’Brien where he won the Group 3 Zedative Stakes (1200m) and then had the last of his 10 starts in March. His record stood at four wins, a second and a third for $961,000 in prizemoney.

O’Brien said the Finance Tycoon was set to arrive at the stud early this week.

“We are pretty stoked and it’s a fairly sizeable sort of opportunity to seize,” he said.

“He is the son of a legend and back to the third dam there is quite a bit of stallion power and if you look at her direct descendants it even goes down to Flying Spur.

“If you go deep, you are continually surprised and not disappointed.”

O’Brien said Finance Tycoon’s fee had been set at $13,200 which he believes is a perfect fit for a first-season stallion of his quality.

“He is a big horse, 16.2 and is powerful and good looking and is a speed horse who is precocious, winning the pre-Christmas two-year-old race in the Maribyrnong Plate,” he said.

“He ticks all the boxes, doesn’t he?”

Although he finished fourth in the Blue Diamond, beaten 2.7 lengths, O’Brien said that what he loved about that race was it was won by Artorius, Ingratiating was second and Anamoe third.

O’Brien described the race as top of the class.

“We have already had a great response,” he said.

“And we have got a roster that poses a few options.

“Trust In A Gust is getting winner after winner and had Chicago Storm win again on Saturday (at Gawler). He had three winners in two days (also Ransom Trust in Hobart on Sunday and I Am Winkles on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday).

“And Yulong Prince is a second season sire who is by a sire who I am increasingly bullish about – Gimmethegreenlight who did an extraordinary job over there in South Africa and he is an Australian bred horse.”

After serving big books of mares in his first four seasons, Palentino dropped to 18 last year but O’Brien is excited with how many foals the stallion has on the ground.

He said they are waiting for that special one to emerge and are confident with the big numbers that represent the stallion. His biggest book of mares was 155 in his second season followed by 145 and 146 and then 18 in 2021.

O’Brien said he was happy to secure new stallions for the stud.
And he also respects former Chile and Hong Kong galloper Giant’s Steps who he believes can throw a talented horse even though he has only so far served 50 mares in four seasons.

He said Giant’s Steps could have been handled better earlier in his post-race career which would have given him a better chance to make it commercially, but he’s heard whispers that a few of the stallion’s progeny in local stables that are going very nicely.

As far as numbers go, O’Brien said that even though it’s late they’re hoping to attract 100-plus mares to Finance Tycoon for this season.
“I will do anything and everything to get people’s business and make it enticing for them to join us,” he said.

“It’s about securing my future in the industry and the stud’s future in the industry and setting things in place for a great foundation for stronger days in the future.

“I won’t be backward in coming forward speaking about our stallions to anyone. We’ll do everything we can.

“It’s super competitive.”

O’Brien talks about Victoria and the wider economic situation and predicts it will be interesting times for the bottom of the market and believes the much talked about steep increases in interest rates by the end of the year will impact people’s wallets.

He said it was interesting times outside of the horse industry and would have a flow-on effect to impact the participants.

When it comes to reaching a service fee for their stallions, O’Brien said they had to make it appealing by offering value and quality.

“The essence of a good product is value and quality and it doesn’t matter what you are selling,” he said.

And with a horse like Finance Tycoon, O’Brien said he was a stallion that he believes is a fully commercial entity.

He said if the stallion wasn’t, he would have pursued him heavily.

“I think that people would be wise to invest in him early and take on the LBRs (life breeding rights) and they will be available,” O’Brien said.

“And reap the rewards in the future because the depth of work that my friends and partners out there who have been so supportive to me to help to find the right horse will hopefully pay off.

“There is just more than just wanting a son of Written Tycoon and a Group performer or anything like that and I generally think he can upgrade mares based on what I see and what I have been advised.

“Because there are people out there much smarter than I who suggest that.”

O’Brien has been a partner in Glen Eden Stud since last year and says he is nine months into being a stud master and is going for it “hell for leather.”

He hopes that people who know them will give their support and understand what a big deal it is for such a small farm to perhaps accomplish the jump across the divide from a breed-to-race stud to commercial.

“We have got nothing but respect for those who work in the industry and participate at any level but my call is to get to a higher level if possible,” O’Brien.

With a background in sales and a self-confessed entrepreneurial spirit, O’Brien is driven by the passion to succeed in the horse industry.

He used to practice calling races as a five or six-year-old because he was fascinated with horses and as a kid admits his all-time horse crush was Super Impose and admitted he cried when he was beaten Shaftesbury Avenue.

“I came into the horse industry professionally for the first time with the onset of the pandemic and started working with Danny O’Brien (no relation),” O’Brien said.

“I still do boxes a few times a week for Danny at this point of time, just from 6am to 9am just for one to have a bit of a walkabout and it’s also good to stay connected to the horses.

“I like being up close to the animals and it’s something that will never leave me.”

O’Brien said Finance Tycoon will let down into a beautiful stallion but will need a bit of time.

The colt had his last race when he was unplaced in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) in March and had just been ticking along until a final decision was made to retire him to stud.

“He hopefully will have a good run around in the paddock and get some of that good food in him and he can have a nice pick of the grass and he doesn’t have to worry about anyone getting onto his back probably ever again,” O’Brien said.

He said they are at the stud to assist all breeders this season.

The Board of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) is delighted to announce the appointment of Kellie Cook to the position of Executive Officer beginning 1 August 2022.

Kellie was previously the General Manager of Racing & Breeding Services at Racing Australia, beginning in 2016, responsible for the range of products and services offered to industry participants and stakeholders across Australia.

Prior to working at Racing Australia, Kellie was the Australian representative for a London based Bloodstock company from January 2013 to June 2016. Kellie has also been a senior lecturer at Melbourne Polytechnic (formally NMIT) where she taught all racing courses, from Certificate II in Racing (Stablehand) through to Certificate IV in Racing (Racehorse Trainer), coming from the real grassroots of racing.

TBV President, James O’Brien, said: “Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria is ecstatic to have Kellie Cook taking on the role as Executive Officer,”

“Along with a wealth of knowledge across breeding and racing, Kellie brings strong leadership skills to this role and will promote the interests of our Victorian breeders.

“Passionate about education in the industry, this is something that we strive to promote now and into the future as we aim to shape the future of breeding.

“Kellie will work with our Media & Marketing Officer Justin Darcy and together, I hold great confidence that the interests of our stakeholders will continue to be met and that Victoria will continue to push as the premier breeding state in Australia.”

Kellie said: ““I am honoured and excited to have been selected to lead Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria in the next phase of its growth”.

“I am looking forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders leading into a new, dynamic era for the Victorian Thoroughbred Breeding Industry”.

“My focus will not only be on ensuring the long-term sustainability of the industry but seeing it develop further and thrive.”

“I am very excited about the opportunity and are looking forward to getting started in August.”

Charmein Bukovec announced her resignation as TBV Executive Officer in April this year and we wish her the best of luck in her new role at ANZ Bloodstock.

Megamea ridden by Daniel Stackhouse wins the TCL Leilani Series Final at Flemington Racecourse on July 02, 2022 in Flemington, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

Megamea, a $5,000 weanling purchase from Swettenham Stud’s 2017 Great Southern Sale draft, will now aim for some black type after an emotional victory for the mare’s former trainer Udyta Clarke at Flemington on Saturday.

Clarke handed over the training of the daughter of Eden Park stallion Master Design which produced his second city winner in seven days after Designer Chef won at Caulfield last week.

After being lucky to survive a stroke in 2020 when she was found unconscious in a paddock on her property, Clarke faced a long battle from bleeding on the brain and transferred the training of the horse which she races in partnership with Don Allan to fellow Cranbourne trainer Luke Oliver.

Already with two wins under Clarke’s care, Megamea has raced seven times for Oliver for three city victories.

Clarke is no stranger to winning races at Flemington. She trained and part-owned Rich Charm (Danerich x Charmly) which won the Group 2 Linlithgow Stakes (1200m) at Flemington during the 2017 Melbourne Carnival.

Rich Charm won nine races, including three at Flemington, and banked $922,270.

Clarke, who is unsure whether she’ll renew her trainer’s licence, is full of praise for Oliver’s training performance with the mare which is in career-best form.

“She was very impressive,” Clarke said.

“She has gone to the paddock now.”

Clarke picked out the filly in the sale catalogue and was even more impressed with the inspection at the sales.

But she wasn’t expecting to pick up the filly for $5000.

“I never thought we’d get her for that price,” she said.

“And now she has been so good with the new trainer and he looks after her really, really well.

“It’s been a big effort for him to have her in the stable.”

Clarke said getting some black type for the mare would make her an even more attractive breeding prospect.

“At the moment we’ll keep on racing her for a while,” she said.

“She is too good for the breeding barn at the moment.”

And for Oliver it was a big thrill to win at Flemington but said it was even more special to get the win for Clarke.

He said there’s no reason why the rising six-year-old mare can’t win a few more races.

“We are going to give her a little break and then bring her back but she is still improving,” Oliver said.

“There’s no reason why she can’t keep on winning.

“She is up to a quarter of a million and it looks like there is still plenty more to come and it was probably the best run of her career on Saturday.

“Sometimes those mares take a bit of time but when they find form, they tend to hold it and keep improving.”

Oliver said they are likely to target a Listed mare’s race on Melbourne Cup Day and would love to get her to a race like that.

He said they’d like to give her every chance to get some black type.

“And because she is a Victorian bred horse there are a lot of those VOBIS races and she is paid up for VOBIS Gold as well and there are races for her next autumn as well for just VOBIS horses and you’d think she’d be pretty competitive in those sorts of races,” Oliver said.

“The plan for the spring would be to try to get some black type but there are plenty of other races as well that would be suitable for her as well.
“And from the new season, there is the VOBIS Gold bonus where you can win a bonus towards a service fee.”

Oliver said Swettenham Stud’s Adam Sangster, who bred Megamea, is in constant contact with Clarke every time the mare races.

He said he was sure when the time was right that Clarke would eventually like to send the mare back to Swettenham Stud to a stallion like Puissance De Lune.

Oliver said there was at least another season of racing left in the mare which had been so well looked after and was so sound when she joined his stable.

“She just had a good grounding of going to country meetings and learning her craft and all that sort of stuff,” he said.

“So she has got plenty of racing left in her and I hope she has got lots more wins in store.

“When I first got her, I felt a bit of pressure only because I wanted the best for Mrs Clarke and to win at Flemington with that horse was special as everyone remembers when Rich Charm won the Linlithgow and how emotional she was.

“And with everything she has been through with her illness, to win a race for her at Flemington was a real highlight.”

Swettenham Stud originally stood the Group 1 winning Master of Design (Redoute’s Choice x Urge To Merge) but when the stallion wasn’t commercially viable he was leased to Greta West Stud for several years before more recently being sold to airline pilot Gary Liu who stood the stallion at his Eden Park Stud.

Swettenham’s Sam Matthews said Sangster loved the family of Megamea’s dam, Haumea (Encosta De Lago x Quiz Queen).

“And we raced her half-sister by Trust In A Gust in Queensland,” he said.

“She has got a great pedigree and with what happened to Udyta, it was great that Luke Oliver was able to do his thing and take over.

“And the mare has been a star and is probably in the twilight of her racing career but she just keeps putting in.”

Swettenham sold Haumea, in foal to Toronado, to New Zealand interests in 2018.

Matthews said Sangster had bred five foals out of the mare but hadn’t managed to get any black type.

Haumea raced 14 times for six seconds and three-thirds. She finished fourth, beaten less than a length in the Listed 2010 Tasmanian Oaks (2100m).

Senor Toba is flying the flag for Toronado in Hong Kong. (IMG: Hong Kong Racing)

Toronado’s Senor Toba is now rated among the top 25 horses in Hong Kong.

Beaten a half-head in the Group 1 Queensland Derby for trainer Chris Waller, the four-year was immediately transferred to Hong Kong trainer Caspar Fownes but it was 26 weeks before the gelding trialled.

The son of the in-demand Swettenham Stud stallion won at his third Hong Kong start and later ran fourth in the Listed Hong Kong Derby (2000m) in March and after a 42-day freshen-up, lived up to his $1.60 favouritism to score a two-length victory in the Group 3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup (2400m) on May 1 at Sha Tin.

At his next and most recent start 21 days later, also at Sha Tin, Senor Toba finished third in the Group 1 Charter Cup (2400m).

Senor Toba, which had won the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick and was then third in the Group 3 Rough Habit Stakes (2000m) at Doomben before running second in the Queensland Derby, is equal 24th on the Hong Kong ratings but is expected to quickly climb up the list of the country’s best horses.

Swettenham Stud’s general manager of operations and nominations Sam Matthews said Toronado’s progeny continued to be in high demand in Hong Kong.

He said Senor Toba, out of Bahamas, was purchased for $180,000 at the 2019 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale by Hermitage Thoroughbreds.
“David Peacock and Mill Park bred him and it was always the plan to get him to Hong Kong,” he said.

“He was going to Hong Kong regardless of where he finished in the Queensland Derby.

“And he could be one of the many stars up there for Toronado and I’d say there would be bigger and better things to come for him.”

Matthews said the locals like Senor Toba and Toronado in Hong Kong and he believes Lucky Express, which won the inaugural $1 million Showdown (1200m) as Prince of Sussex at Caulfield, looms as the stallion’s next Stakes winner in the tough racing jurisdiction.

Prince of Sussex was sold to Hong Kong for $1.75m after his big win for Mornington trainer Matt Laurie in 2019.

“I would say Lucky Express is knocking on the door as his next Stakes winner in Hong Kong,” Matthews said.

“There are a few more up there as well and it was good to see Senor Toba get that Stakes win, and even without that Stakes win, Toronado is still incredibly commercial up there and very much sought after because of the temperament of his progeny.

“They certainly want them up there.”

Matthews said the majority of Toronados in Hong Kong are from his Australian matings, but there is a small number, including the talented grey Toronado Phantom, which was bred in Europe.

“But I would say 90 per cent would be Australian Toronados,” he said.
“They have a lot of Australian and New Zealand bred progeny that go there, but the vast majority would be Aussie. There might be one more up there which was a French-bred horse that went to Hong Kong but there is not a huge number of them.”

Matthews said that with Senor Toba it was always the plan to get the gelding going in Australia with a few starts before moving him to Hong Kong.

“It’s a shame because I think he should have won the Queensland Derby and I was there that day,” he said.

“He was just beaten narrowly by a good horse (Kukeracha) but he probably should have won it.”

Matthews believes Senor Toba will be Toronado’s No. 1 horse in Hong Kong for a while.

“I think there about 20 horses by Toronado up there now,” he said.

With an increase of his service fee from $49,500 to $88,000 for this breeding season, there is no shortage of breeders keen to send a mare to the son of High Chaparral.

Toronado served 172 mares last season.

“He is pretty much full for this season,” Matthews said.

“The quality of mare is better than last year and better than the year before, so he continues to get better and better mares to him.

“We have been strict on his book again and just making sure that we are only taking mares that we know that are going to get a commercial return for the people who are spending the eighty grand.

“It’s also people who have supported him before and are sending their best mares. I think he has got 11 Group winners booked to him and quite a few Group 1 producers and Group 2 winners and those sorts of blue hen mares they have coming to him.

“Obviously for $80,000 you have to be selective with the quality of mare you send and interestingly there are still quite a few breed to race people who just want to breed a nice horse and race it.

“And the larger commercial people are in there as well.”

Matthews said the demand for Swettenham Stud’s other stallions – Rubick, Puissance De Lune, I Am Immortal, Highland Reel and newcomer Wooded – was good.

“With horses like Rubick and Puissance De Lune, people need to have faith that they have these big books of quality mares coming through,” he said.

“It is the third season for I Am Immortal and he has already got more mares booked than he had last year (97) and they are all ticking along well but I think people are very bit cautious that they are going to go to something to make sure they get a commercial return.”

Matthews said the stud was always able to offer advice on which of their stallions was best suited to a particular broodmare and pedigree.

Sirius Suspect ridden by Ethan Brown wins the Furphy Santa Ana Lane Sprint Series Final at Flemington Racecourse on July 02, 2022 in Flemington, Australia. (George Sal/Racing Photos)

As Sirius Suspect closes in on the magical $1m mark in prize money, the rising eight-year-old continues to be a great money-spinner for the owners who bred the gelding in conjunction with Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock’s Darren Dance.

After winning his first black-type race with victory in the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day 2021, Sirius Suspect went 13 starts before adding another win to his 38-start career.

But he did it in style, winning last Saturday’s Listed Santa Ana Lane Sprint Series Final (1200m) at Flemington by a length.

As Dance points out, the Saab Hasan-trained gelding has been thereabouts in recent runs and was entitled to the $4 equal favouritism going into the $160,000 race.

“He has been racing well without a lot of luck and has been consistent this preparation,” Dance said.

“He deserved to win one.

“It’s remarkable for a rising eight-year-old to be as sound as he is and as genuine as he is and he is just a lovely animal to have and he thrives on work and thrives on racing.”

Dance said that since going to Hasan’s farm at Tabilk, between Seymour and Nagambie, Sirius Suspect had appreciated the change of lifestyle from being boxed at Flemington to being trained out of a paddock.

He believes it has been the making of the horse because it was always a struggle to keep weight on at Flemington.

“It was just a struggle to get four or five runs into him,” Dance said.
“But being trained on the farm out of a paddock, the horse seems to just thrive and he is just racing so well and even his run in the (Golden)Topaz (he finished third in the Swan Hill race before the Flemington win) was good.

“He has been thereabouts and ran third in that race at Sale on Good Friday and then he backed-up a week later at Caulfield and probably didn’t back-up.

“And he has sort of been all around it and it’s just good for the horse to win one. It’s good for the owners and everyone just loves the horse and we have raced him for five years and he is going as good as ever.”

Dance said they would probably give the horse a break of a couple of weeks and then map out a program that would look at some spring races.

He said Sirius Suspect was a Listed level horse and maybe a Group 3 performer at best.

But the horse likes Flemington where Dance says there are a lot of 1200m races during the spring where his targets will be mapped out in conjunction with Hasan and respected form analyst Peter Ellis.

Dance became involved with Sirius Suspects’ dam Sirius Miss (Galileo x Miss Peridot) through some of his clients who raced the mare which was retired because of foot problems.

They asked Dance after her retirement if he would be interested in getting involved with them and breeding a foal out of her to race.

Sirius Miss was trained at Caulfield by Colin Little and she raced nine times for a win and a second.

Little always said the mare had plenty of ability but was never sound enough to show it on the track consistently.

Dance, who as well as operating his syndication company Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, also breeds from his stud and agistment property, Manningtree Park at Beremboke.

He said it was an easy fix when he was approached to become involved in breeding from the mare and says among the long list of Sirius Suspects’ owners; about half of them are involved in the breeding part of it.

Sirius Miss has been a good producer. Her first foal in the Dance and partners venture produced You Can’t Be (Nadeem) that won eight races.

Sirius Witness (Star Witness) won five races, then came Sirius Suspect (Wanted), followed by two-time winner Sirius Deal (Dundeel) and Let’s Get Sirius (Dundeel) which was retired after five unplaced runs.

The last foal out of Sirius Miss is an unraced two-year-old filly, Sirius Statement (Press Statement) which was also bred by Dance and his partners. Also trained by Hasan, the filly trialled at Cranbourne on Monday.

“She is the last one out of the mare,” Dance said.

“Unfortunately we lost her when she was in foal to Toronado.

“She went to Dundeel twice and they were no good and here she is with a Wanted (Fastnet Rock x Fragmentation, winning nearly $750,000. Who would have thought?

“The cross just works with Fastnet Rock and that’s why we went to Press Statement to get Sirius Statement.”

Dance said that with Sirius Statement being a half to a Stakes winner, the owners would be keen to expand the family and breed from her once her racing days are over if she can win in town.

He said it was planned to give the filly a soft trial at Cranbourne.
“It’s hard to get a trial anywhere because the tracks are so soft,” Dance said.

“It’s put us behind but there is no hurry and she is rising three but she has had a prep and we know can she can gallop and we’ll just take our time and get her fit and find a race for her later in the year.”

Dance has 40 broodmares on his property and said they’d had a terrific year at the sales.

“It’s not often you take 16 to the yearling sale and sell them all,” he said.

“It’s just been one of those freak years and I doubt it will be the same next year, but it’s just been a great year for selling and we have resisted buying too many.

“The prices were well overs and right through the board. I think we ended up about 30 per cent over the budget for the year and we got 100 per cent clearance.

“I think it was just one of those years where everything sold and there was a big demand and the way the economy is going I don’t think that will be the case next year.

“But I think if you are breeding at the top end, there’s where you need to be and I think that’s unaffected. The middle and the bottom end are going to be pretty tough.”

Dance said breeding horses from nice mares and good stallions always seem to sell well.

Despite the successes of this year, Dance said they had plenty of horses and the time had come to attempt to consolidate to reduce the syndicate numbers as it can get out of hand.

‘’We have got some nice fillies coming through and I think at our peak we were having 500 starters a year,” he said.

“We’d like to pull in back to a couple of hundred and just have some class horses and just let it unfold.

“We have got Sirius Statement, Literary Magnate (Written Tycoon x Family Crest) that was the first filly home against the boys at Flemington in the last race.

“We have Steinem (Frankel x Thai Noon) and Detonator Jack (Jakkalberry x Red Delicious) with Ciaron Maher and we have got a couple of Camelots in work with Ciaron, so we have got a few spread around.”

Dance also has a couple with Phillip Stokes, including Tobaysure (Cable Bay x Black Velveteen) which he believes will play a part in the spring.
“We have plenty in work but I think that as you get older you want to consolidate a bit and make it simple,” he said.

“I still think there are 100 horses on the farm here. There are all sorts out there.

“And we are only four weeks away from foaling.”

Dance still has broodmares overseas.

He has four mares in Ireland, two in foal to Frankel in the UK, including Steinem’s dam, Thai Noon, and one in Japan.

“Most of those will be home by Christmas hopefully with a foal at foot and in foal,” Dance said.

“And we’ll just see how all of that plays out.

“We have mares in foal to Frankel, Camelot and we have got the mare in Japan who is going to one of those sons of Deep Impact. The new trend seems to be Japan and apart from Frankel we probably need to focus more on Japan going forward because I think that’s where the future is.

“We’ll look to be doing more in Japan just given what’s happening here with Maurice and the fact that Japan racing is dominating pretty much the world now with their stallions.

“If we are going to be doing internationals, obviously Frankel is the champion of the minute and we’d got two mares in foal to him, but going forward we’ll closely look at Japan.”

Dance said they normally buy the mares overseas, put them in foal and let them foal down overseas and put them back into foal and bring them to Australia.

He said the cost of moving them around is so expensive but if you can bring a pregnant mare and foal home, there are two offspring to divide the cost by.

Dance said it would be a mixture of retaining some of the progeny from the overseas servings and selling others.

“Thai Noon, the mother Group 3 winning Steinem who is Group 2 placed and we are going to try to win a Group 1 during spring, I know that mare is carrying a filly to Frankel,” he said.

“I would say we’d be retaining it to race and we’ll just see then.

“The other mare that is in foal to Frankel, we only just bought her last year so we’ll see what sort of foal she has and just see how the market is tracking.

“If we think the foal is worth more than we can win, then we’ll sell it but if we get a filly and want to race it and add it to the broodmare band, well we’ll do that too because you can’t buy Frankel mares easily.”

Michelle Payne paid $500,000 for the Dance-bred Serlik – a full brother to the mare Steinem at the 2020 Easter Yearling Sale for star striker Sardar Azmoun – also known as the Iranian Messi.

The colt is unraced but has won his one public trial and since had a successful wind operation.

Starspangledbanner ridden by Danny Nikolic wins Race 7 at Caulfield Racecourse on October 10, 2009 in Caulfield, Australia. (Racing Photos)

Rosemont Stud is confident Victorian bred and born stallion Starspangledbanner will return from Ireland for another season in 2023 after being given a year off from shuttling back to Australia.

The stallion was exported back to Ireland last December to stand another season at Coolmore where his service fee this year has risen to 35,000 euros (AUD$53,000).

Starspangledbanner stood for $16,500 at Rosemont last season where he served 70 mares. He covered his biggest book of Australian mares – 116 – in his first season at Rosemont in 2011 at a fee of $44,000.

Rosemont Stud’s general manager of bloodstock Ryan McEvoy said the son of Choisir had been shuttling backwards and forwards for several years and was having a super year in Europe where his service fee had skyrocketed.

“He has had a big couple of seasons up there and this season is probably his biggest to date there,” McEvoy said.

“Coolmore who effectively manages the horse and own the majority of him just felt he needed that breather for the season so that was probably fair enough.

“He is one of those, I suppose, reverse shuttle stallions that has been an effective stallion in both hemispheres.

“He is one of those rare and unique horses that was a champion sprinter in Australia and has been a super successful stallion in the northern hemisphere.”

McEvoy said Starspangledbanner, bred by Tony Santic of Makybe Diva fame out of his mare Gold Anthem (Made Of Gold x National Song), had a tough start to his stud career with some early fertility challenges which resulted in just 31 live foals from his season at stud.

He said it had been perhaps a challenge for breeders to now understand that had overcome those fertility issues and since gone beyond them.

“He has overcome those challenges and is quite an effective stallion in the barn and is exhibiting a high level of fertility now which is great,” McEvoy said.

“Unfortunately those challenges have sort of stayed with him and those breeders probably still need some work to educate them that the horse has turned the corner and as I said is an effective stallion from a fertility point of view.”

The now 15-year-old stallion served 72 mares in 2020 at a fertility rate of 73.4 per cent.

McEvoy said there were some management techniques with Starspangledbanner which had to be implemented to produce the best results.

“Those techniques have seemingly worked with him and he is not a horse that probably wants to get hammered and he is one stallion whose fertility is at its best when his covers are spaced and he is not faced with three, four or five mares a day,” he said.

“There are just little quirks. He is a stallion that likes to be sort of outside and doesn’t like to be cooped up in his box with his rug on. All those little sorts of things that you pick up on that you tend to correlate and form a pattern of what is working for him and what’s not.”

While it would have been satisfying to get a bigger book in the 100 range last season, McEvoy said the stallion still served some nice mares and it was pleasing to see his weanlings sell well.

The Irish bred State Of Rest has been a champion for Starspangledbanner, winning last year’s Group 1 Cox Plate for the Kilkenny-based Joseph O’Brien who had more Group 1 success when the four-year-old gelding won the GB Prince of Wales’s Stakes during the recent Royal Ascot carnival.

The famed English carnival was where Starspangledbanner gained his international reputation by winning the Group Ascot Golden Jubilee Stakes in 2010. A couple of weeks later he won the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket for Aiden O’Brien, the father of Joseph O’Brien.

Starspangledbanner was an exceptional galloper for Flemington trainer Leon Corstens who trained the gelding to victory in two Group 1 races – the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) – before the gelding was sold as a stallion to campaign for O’Brien.

And while the horse’s two Group 1 victories in England were both at 1207m, Corstens said that after training Starspangledbanner to the ultimate level at 1600m, he believes the horse could have won a Cox Plate if the race had been targeted.

It’s a thought that isn’t lost on McEvoy.

“Well he won the Guineas so dominantly,” he said.

“And of course So You Think finished behind him in that Guineas and he did go on and win a Cox Plate.

“It’s interesting because he is the sort of horse that would have skipped around Moonee Valley probably on speed. We saw a horse like Shamus Award do that as a three-year-old after coming out of the Guineas (he finished third).

“Three-year-olds that perform that well in the Caulfield Guineas tend to really show up in the Cox Plate. Also to spring to mind are Pierro and All Too Hard.

“I’ve got no doubt that he would have given them a sight.”

While Starspangledbanner has worked well with European mares, his statistics in Australia are strong and come off the back of not having big numbers like other stallions.

And McEvoy said not having big books of mares probably put him on the back foot, but the stallion still had what he says are some real proper horses in Australia at all distances.

He points to the Rosemont Stud bred and raced Brooklyn Hustle (Joint Aspiration) who is a Group 2 and 3 winner headed to the breeding barn this season after finishing 12th in last Saturday’s Group 1 Tatts Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm.

It was the 15th Group 1 contested by the five-year-old mare that fell just $160,000 short of $1m in prizemoney.

And Prime Star is a winner of the Inglis Millennium (1100m) which carried a first prize of $1.93m.

Godolphin’s Home Of The Brave won Group and Listed races in Europe before transferring to the stable’s Australian operations where he won two Group races.

“He can clearly get a high-class horse,” McEvoy said.

“The pleasing thing is that he is cementing himself as a proper stallion in the Hong Kong jurisdiction as well. That California Spangle looks like a real star and was second in the Derby and I think he is going to train on and be one of the real elite horses in Hong Kong for the next 12 months.”

And there’s plenty of interest in unraced two-year-old filly Starspangledancer (Karalli) who recently won an 800m Hawkesbury trial by 12 lengths for local trainer Blake Ryan.

The Rosemont bred filly was sold through the stud’s exclusive online sale for $5000 as a weanling and was then passed in on a $20,000 reserve at the 2020 Adelaide Yearling Sale before being sold.

McEvoy said Starspangledbanner had the unique ability to produce a star horse and he hopes to have the stallion back at Rosemont.

“We’ll get through this season and I suppose it’s about determining where he would fit commercially and how well his stock are selling and probably we are afforded the time to have a look at his stock and how they perform,” he said.

“But certainly from our point of view, we’d love to have him back. He is still a relatively young stallion that hasn’t been overworked and we feel like is coming into his prime.

“He is a horse that certainly has a special place in our heart and means a lot and we’d love to think he’d come back.”

McEvoy said they were looking forward to another big breeding season with their stallions headed by Shamus Award (Snitzel x Sunset Express)
“The rise and rise of Shamus, it was we call it,” he said.

“It’s been phenomenal the past 18 months and if you look at that time in isolation he has had five Group 1 winners. Four new Group 1 winners headlined by Incentivise, the highest rated horse in Australia.

“Duais is a super star filly that won the Queensland Oaks and was dominate with her two Group 1 wins this autumn and then it was backed up by the likes of El Patroness who was a dominate winner of the (Australian) Oaks.

“When they win Group 1s they seem to do it in pretty eye-catching fashion.”

McEvoy said Shamus Award was something of a freak as a stallion and one they believe can climb to the top of the Australian stallion ranks where he currently sits at number five and is the youngest at age 11.

Hanseatic (Street Boss x Itameri) was retired to stud last season when he served 195 mares and will cover another full book of mares this season at Rosemont.

The recently retired three-year-old Extreme Warrior (Extreme Choice x Heart Of Thrills) was retired after the Group 1 Goodwood Handicap in May.

“He is probably by the most commercial stallion in the country,” he said.
“What I like about him was that he exhibited Group 1 ability and horses like I Am Invincible, Written Tycoon and Not A Single Doubt displayed that too. You don’t necessarily have to retire with a Group 1 on your CV provided you exhibited that ability and he certainly did that.

“He was a Group 3 and listed winner and had great ratings from the experts. He is a good-looking horse with a great pedigree.”

McEvoy said another of Rosemont’s stallions, Strasbourg (I Am Invincible x Danish Spy), was a handsome horse and that’s why he sold for $750,000 as an Australian Easter Yearling.

He said they were buoyed to see other sons of I Am Invincible at stud, Hellbent and Overshare, in the top ten first-season stallion ranks.

Strasbourg served 109 mares in each of his first two seasons at stud.
McEvoy said it was exciting to see a gun stallion being supported by three up-and-comers.

Yulong continues to expand its ever-growing band of impressive broodmares with the purchase of 13-year-old Baggy Green for $1.7m from a New Zealand dispersal sale last week.

Baggy Green (Galileo x Starspangled) is the dam of four-time Group 1 winner of the New Zealand bred Tofane (Ocean Park) which Yulong purchased for $3.1m from last month’s Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale on the Gold Coast.

Trained by Michael Moroney at Flemington, Tofane won eight races and banked $3.6m in prizemoney.

The six-year-old mare finished second, beaten a length, in her last race – the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in April.

The Australian-bred Baggy Green, a 1600m maiden at Goulburn during her 11-race career, was purchased by Yulong’s Written Tycoon Syndicate which has bought several other mares including Melody Belle ($2.6m) and Greysful Glamour ($1.5m).

Baggy Green, exported to New Zealand on December 16 2018, is in foal to Tofane’s sire, Ocean Park, and was part of the dispersal sale of Valachi Downs’ broodmares and the latest step in the exit from the market of the Kevin and Jo Hickman-owned Matamata stud.

Baggy Green has also produced the Sydney Group 3 winner No Compromise and Benaud, who finished second in the Australian Derby at Randwick to Hitotsu.

The mare, a half-sister to Group 1 winners Youngstar (High Chaparral) and Funstar (Adelaide), has produced five named foals for four winners and has a rising two-year-old sister to Tofane.

Yulong homebred Hungry Heart (Frankel x Harlech) has also been retired from the track and will be covered by the stud’s champion stallion Written Tycoon this breeding season.

The four-year-old mare was Yulong’s first Australian Group 1 winner when she claimed the Vinery Stakes (2000m) which also won her the crown of Australia’s Champion Three-Year-Old Filly in 2021.

Hungry Heart claimed another Group 1, winning the ATC Australian Oaks (2400m), and also won two Group 2s – the Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) and the Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m).

Yulong Investments chief operating officer Sam Fairgray said the purchase of Baggy Green, along with Tofane, was just to add some more nice mares to the broodmare band.

He said Hungry Heart was back at Yulong’s stud and would be ready to be served by Written Tycoon.

“We are yet to decide what we’ll do with Baggy Green,” Fairgray said.

“She can go to any stallion and that’s one of the good things with her.
“We’ll make a decision in the next couple of weeks.”

Fairgray said Yulong had now expanded its broodmare band to 360 and they’d continue to add to it as nice mares continued to come onto the market.

“It’s all about trying to get nice mares to support the stallions,” he said.
Fairgray said that all the Yulong mares would most likely go to the stud’s own stallions – Written Tycoon, Tagaloa, Lucky Vega, Alabama Express and Grunt.

As well as purchasing Tofane, Yulong’s Written Tycoon Syndicate also paid a sale-topping $4m for Away Game Away (Snitzel x Elusive Wonder) at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.

Yulong was crowned the leading buyer at the sale, acquiring 63 mares for an aggregate of $29.275m.

Thron Bone ridden by Will Price wins the Neds Punters Toolbox Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse on June 25, 2022 in Caulfield, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

Widden Victoria’s young stallion Thronum (Snitzel x Helena’s Secret) produced his first winner when the Jerome Hunter-trained Thron Bone scored impressively at Caulfield on Saturday.

Out of Thronum’s first crop, it was the third race start for the two-year-old gelding which was a $200,000 purchase for Graeme Gathercole who owns Rich River Meat Exports Pty Ltd and Graebar Park.

Hunter, based at Mornington, is long-time breeder Gathercole’s private trainer.

Thron Bone made his debut in January when he finished fourth in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview for colts and geldings (1000m) and was then sent for a spell before resuming with a third at Sandown, also over 1000m, on June 11.

Hunter admitted he was surprised that the gelding started at odds of $21 when he scored his win against a good field of youngsters in heat seven of the 2022 Next Generation Sprinter series which carried a VOBIS nominator’s bonus of $7,000 and an owner’s bonus of $23,000.

The trainer is now weighing up whether to back-up Thron Bone in Saturday’s final of the series at Flemington, over 1200m, which also carries VOBIS bonuses and the first prize of $82,500.

A victory would shoot Thron Bone past his purchase price at just his fourth start.

Hunter said he wasn’t surprised by the victory.

“It’s funny because he has shown ability and first up at Sandown he ran an enormous race and got too far back and ran the fastest 400m of the day,” he said.

“So I was going into that race on Saturday fairly confident because I knew we had the favourite to beat (Ghaanati ran second at $1.80) but what he has been showing, I knew he’d be competitive.

“I just couldn’t believe his odds because if you look at his run at Sandown and while I didn’t expect him to be favourite, I thought he’d be the second or third pick.”

Hunter said he knew Thronum as a racehorse and went to the 2021 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale with the colt picked out in his catalogue.

He said he rated the yearling as a lovely type when he paraded.

“And the price tag showed that,” he said.

“It was more on looks, as the stallion’s service fee wasn’t the most expensive.”

Hunter said he was surprised to learn that Thron Bone was Thronum’s first winner.

He has two horses by Thronum. The other is a filly – Bel Thronum – bred by Gathercole out of his mare Bel Price (Esprit x Kel Price) which was a city-winning mare also trained by Hunter.

Gathercole also bred the granddam Kel Price (Keltrice x High Price) which won three races for him. High Price (At Talaq x Reguri) also won four races for Gathercole.

Hunter said both Thron Bone and Bel Thronum were his first two-year-old runners of the season.

“I got them both up and running as two-year-olds and I was very surprised, but both of them have shown ability,” he said.

“Unfortunately the filly ran on a heavy 10 at Geelong but ran an enormous race to finish third.

“Both of them have shown capabilities of winning races. They are both very sound, strong horses.”

Hunter said Bel Thronum’s dam Bel Price was a handy sprinter.

While Gathercole likes to breed from his band of broodmares, Hunter said they breed more than what they buy.

“But we always go to the sales and might pick up two or three a year but the majority are homebreds,” he said.

“Like I said, he (Thorn Bone) was a lovely type and he was our pick in the catalogue and saying that, I didn’t expect him to go for the price he did.

“We might get our money back when a hell of a lot don’t.

“The average for the sale was about $180,000 so he wasn’t overly expensive.”

The gelding is out of the four-time winner Thorsborne (Hinchinbrook), a sister to Group 2 winner Diamond Tathagata, the dam of dual Listed winner Ancestry (The Brothers War) which has won nine races and $539 490.

Thorsborne’s 2020 colt by Palentino was a $5,000 buy for Hyam Racing and Cameron Cooke Bloodstock at the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale earlier this year.

And her 2021 filly by Fiorente was bought by Gathercole for $8000 at the Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale earlier in June.

It was no option for Hunter not to have Thron Bone gelded as he was getting too heavy.

“We were probably lucky when we gelded him when we did and he isn’t the tallest horse but was getting very chunky,” Hunter said.

“We’ll see how he pulls up and whether we go to the final (on Saturday), it’s no big deal if we don’t and we’ll pick races for him and we’ll see how he goes and there’s always a two-year-old race floating around.

“Whether he is up to black-type standard, we don’t know but I’m sure if he wins easy at his next start, we might start looking at the early three-year-old spring races.”

Hunter said they had already booked in a couple of their mares to Thronum this season based on the two they’ve raced.

Thronum was a $300,000 purchase at the 2015 Australian Easter Yearling Sale offered by Sun Bloodstock.

The colt went on to win the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) and finished second in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m).

He was retired from the track in May of 2018 with five wins and two seconds and two thirds from 14 starts.

Widden inherited Thronum when they took over Sun Stud in Victoria last year.

In Thronum’s first season at stud in 2018, he served 122 mares, at a service fee of $17,600, but struggled with his fertility which was just under 50 per cent.

While his fertility has increased, his numbers have dropped along with his service fee which for the third season in a row is $7,700.

Widden Victoria’s Adam Henry said that will limited numbers to race from a first crop that produced 50 live foals, Thron Bone’s win will give the stallion a boost.

“It was a good win and he put the writing on the wall when it ran fourth in a Stakes race at its first start,” Henry said.

“I think he has got Stakes class.”

Henry said that Thronum is from the family of Street Cry and Shamardal and ticks a lot of boxes on pedigree and performance.

“He has done a pretty good job and I think he has only had half a dozen runners for one winner and three placegetters,” he said.

“I am hearing good things from trainers and they like the ones they have.”

The fertility problems Thronum experienced in his first season were perhaps the result of not immediately handling the transition from the track to the breeding barn, according to Henry.

“But he was much better second season,” he said.

“He is doing the job and while he is not the most fertile stallion on the roster, he is still getting them into foal.”

And while Henry said Thronum’s first season fertility problems didn’t help, it wasn’t a “death sentence” by any means and the stallion was adequate in the breeding barn.

Henry said Thronum was an affordable horse for breeders and his progeny had sold for $50,000 to $60,000 in the yearling market again this season.

He said the stallion was a good breed to race option as well.

“He is a son of Snitzel with a good female line,” Henry said.

“He was a good racehorse that good better. He won two at two and won the first Stakes race for three-year-olds in Sydney in early August and won his Group 2 as an older horse and was Group 1 placed as well.”

Henry said people tend to sit on the fence until they see a new stallion’s progeny run and Thronum had shown enough for people to take a punt on him now.

And Hunter and Gathercole had great success with Barb Raider (Rebel Raider x Graebarb) which had a fantastic campaign that ended with a second, beaten a length, in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks at the start of June

Another homebred for Gathercole, the three-year-old filly was also second in the Group 1 Australasian Oaks, beaten a head, but did win two Group 2s and a Group 3 this campaign.

“It was sensational and we had a great campaign and she had seven starts and only once finished worse than second and that’s when she hit a heavy 10 which she didn’t like,” Hunter said.

“It’s just a pity we didn’t get the Group 1 but there are plenty of Group 1s around as she gets older.

“She is in the paddock up in Queensland and she’ll have a light spring and we’ll aim her for the autumn again and there are a lot of mare’s races.

“We are not fussed with what happens over the spring and we might run in one or two but we’ll aim for the autumn.”

Hunter said the Queensland conditions had been perfect for Barb Raider as she takes a break from an extremely lucrative campaign.

He said he wasn’t in any rush to bring her back to Melbourne’s harsh winter weather.

The mare has raced 13 times for five wins, four seconds and two-thirds. She has banked $899,175.

Oak Bridge ridden by Sheridan Clarke wins the Buloke Plumbing 0 - 58 Handicap at Donald Racecourse on June 18, 2022 in Donald, Australia. (Brendan McCarthy/Racing Photos)

Veteran Maldon trainer Brian McKnight and his son Ash had one of those days at Donald on Saturday that they won’t forget for a long time.

The father and son training team produced the winners of the first three legs of the quadrella.

Unfortunately their runner in the fourth leg and the final race on the program – the $31 long shot Savoie – finished down the track in seventh place but was far from disgraced.

And all four runners were Victorian-bred or sired.

Success came in the opening leg of the quaddie when Oak Bridge (Night Of Thunder x Our Oak) got the money as the $5 equal favourite.

The four-year-old gelding has now raced 14 times for two wins and a second for $48,640.

It was bred by Two Bays Farm at Flinders and sold for $22,000 through Stonehouse Thoroughbreds’ draft as a weanling at the 2018 Great Southern Sale.

A year later it fetched $25,000 at the Inglis Gold Yearling Sale.

In an interesting twist, the horse was passed in for $10,000 because of poor results from x-rays, but it was later discovered the x-rays had been mixed up and belonged to another horse.

He was then put back on the market and met his $25,000 reserve.

Night Of Thunder previously shuttled to Darley’s Northwood Park at Seymour.

The second leg of the quaddie was won by San Marino (Rich Enuff x Hostile Witness) which owner Russell Healy, a friend of Ash McKnight, bought online as a tried horse for $9,000 in April 2021.

It had been a $90,000 purchase for Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien who moved the now four-year-old gelding on after two starts, but the son of Woodside Park stallion Rich Enuff had won his first start at Werribee.

The gelding’s record now stands at two wins, a second and a third and prizemoney of $48,825.

San Marino started the second favourite at $3.90.

Logo Logic, the winner of the third leg of the quaddie, was a homebred for McKnight and is by former Blue Gum Farm stallion Canford Cliffs (IRE).

The five-year-old gelding has had 17 races for three wins and a second and a third for prizemoney of $53,273.

He is out of Barrett’s Mark (Churchill Downs x Go Ruby Go) which was bred by the McKnights in partnership with the late Mark Barrett.

The McKnights and Barrett raced Go Ruby Go (Baryshnikov x Petite Jeunesse), a winner of two races, including one at Sandown.

“Mark, who was in the legal industry, loved breeding and was besotted with and had a lot of parts of horses with Nigel Blackiston,” McKnight said.

“When he died the family gave her (Barrett’s Mark) to us.”

Go Ruby Go broke her maiden at Sandown.

McKnight said it was a familiar story with Logo Logic’s sire Canford Cliffs who didn’t return from Ireland after serving only 30 mares in his final season at stud in Australia in 2016.

“Half the trouble with a lot of these stallions is that it’s all to do with moving onto the next one – it’s going to be a better one, it’s going to be better,” McKnight said.

“Nine out of ten of them aren’t.”

The front-running Logo Logic was the $4.40 favourite and won by four lengths.

And the Victorian-bred Savoie (IIovethiscity x Larissar) finished 4.5 lengths from the winner in the fourth leg. IIovethiscity stands at Noor Elaine Farm at Euroa.

McKnight said it’s a case of trying to win races each time you compete but on reflection, it was a big effort from the stable on Saturday with their locally bred horses.

“When you analyse it and we were talking about it before, there would be a lot of stables that have never trained a treble,” he said.

“And yes, it is a big effort.

“To be truthful it probably really hasn’t sunk in what a feat it has been.”

McKnight said they went to the races with good expectations on the back of performances of their horses in trials.

He said San Marino had two serious jump-outs and won them both, including one at Burrumbeet last Wednesday.

“We were fairly confident with him that he’d run a good race and Logo Logic can do it but we just have to keep him sound and has got the worst front feet of any horse that has probably got a bridle on it,” McKnight said.

“But if we can keep him on some soft tracks, he is not a bad horse.”

The McKnights took eight horses to Donald.

Key of Cee (Starspangledbanner x Highleigh) beat one home, Dashing Rebel (Dissident x Tianjin Rock) was third in the 1620m maiden at $26, Mark’s Line (Nostradamus x Mark’s Matilda) was fifth and Hot Seat (Star Witness x Hot Riff) was sixth to stablemate Logo Logic.

“We thought Mark’s Line ($6.50) could win and has just been screaming for more ground but his problem is that he gets back a bit and when Christine (Puls) got off him, she said Harry Coffey blocked her run and I still think he would have been in it had he got through it and had clear running,” McKnight said.

“That’s what happens with backmarkers and unless you get to the outside, you have to be lucky to get a clear path.

“And it was interesting that the three to win were all on pace horses and if you have got a horse that does that it does take a lot of luck out of the equation.”

McKnight said they continue to support the Victorian stallions and rarely venture out of the state.

He said they’ve always averaged eight to ten broodmares each year.

“I turn 75 this year and my son Ash is not a keen breeding man and he’d rather go through all the sales and find a horse he likes with a bit of pedigree that perhaps other people aren’t that keen on because it’s not in the big bracket,” McKnight said.

“He likes doing it and pinhooks a few foals for us to resell and one thing or another. If we don’t sell our horses then they go into our system.

“A lot of people say to me I don’t know how you do it. They say they don’t know how I run all those mares and foals, wean foals and do yearling preps and train as well and we’ve always got 12 to 15 horses in work.

“And lot of times we’ve got two or three pre-trainers for people who want to go on the water walker and things like that.”
McKnight worked at Trevenson Park Stud (now owned by Darren Weir) for 33 years and started when he was 17-years-old and trained his first horse when he was 21.

He said his boss Ed Barty wouldn’t let him train during the breeding season, so his training was restricted from December to August.

“The best horse I had then was a mare called Storm Song (Dies x Random Harvest) and I won five at Flemington with her and one at the Valley and ran second in the Adelaide Cup and dead-heated with Battle Heights for third in the Moonee Valley Cup,” he said.

The lady who was training Storm Song didn’t have any luck with the mare and gave the horse to McKnight who previously expressed interest in adding it to his team of one.

He later bred from Storm Song when she was retired.

McKnight said he bought the adjoining property to Trevenson Park, an 800 acre farm which the family operate as Oakford Thoroughbred Farm and is set up for broodmares and has an equine pool, walker and 2100m sand track.

“We came here in 1997,” he said.

And he hasn’t given up hope of training another treble – but he knows it’s a big task.

NATURE STRIP (James McDonald) with Chris Waller after The King's Stand Stakes Royal Ascot 14 Jun 2022 - Pic Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.com

Widden Stud owner Antony Thompson described it as a little bit of unfinished business when he was trackside at Royal Ascot to watch Nature Strip reaffirm his title as the world’s best sprinter by taking out the Group 1 King’s Stand (1000m).

Now with a mind-boggling $18.4m in prizemoney, Thompson bought into Nature Strip’s sire Nicconi before the stallion tackled the King’s Stand back in 2010 when he finished an unlucky fourth, beaten 2.6 lengths for trainer David Hayes and jockey Frankie Dettori.

Nicconi (Bianconi x Nicola Lass) had his last race just 24 days later when he beat four runners home, with jockey Damien Oliver, in the Group 1 July Handicap (1207m) at Newmarket.

Just a couple of months after his English assault, Nicconi started what was to become an illustrious stud career when he served a book of 156 mares at Widden Stud in his first season.

Last year he was relocated to Widden’s Victorian stud where he served 188 mares at a service fee of $27,500.

Thompson said he hadn’t been surprised with what Nicconi had been able to achieve as a stallion.

“He was a high-class sprinter himself and ran very well at Ascot and was unlucky,” he said.

“We came away with David Hayes and the Devitt and Gordon families, who raced him, feeling like there was a bit of unfinished business.

“So to come back and see Nature Strip win at Ascot is fantastic and something, I guess, fills a bit of a hole.”

Thompson said the relocation of Nicconi had been a big boost to the Victorian breeding industry.

“A lot has been said about the rise of the Victorian breeding industry and with the stallion power they’ve got and certainly Nicconi is a huge addition, I’d say,” he said.

“He is a horse that statistically has been very solid with his winners to runners and with his yearlings, he is a very commercial horse.

“He has got the world’s best sprinter and he has got a very good filly (Graceful Girl) for Bob Peters that we’ll see back soon, so he is coming into his own.

“He is a very solid stallion and trainers love them. They have great temperaments and I just think they are a horsemen’s horse and those who have Nicconis enjoy them and a lot of them who have bought them and had luck with them are trying to buy another one.”

Thompson attributes Nicconi’s success in the sales ring as a result of his consistency and his ability to produce such a good type.

Rising 17-year-olds, Thompson said the stallion was hitting his straps and starting to fire up.

“With the breeders working out how to mate them and the trainers working out how to train them, they are starting to come out into their own,” he said.

“He works with a pretty good cross-section of mares and when you go through it there is plenty of history and options that work with him.”

Hayes, who now trains in Hong Kong, was a part-owner of Nicconi and trained the entire to two Group 1 victories and rated the horse as the fastest colt to come out of Lindsay Park and the best sprinter he has trained.

And he was always confident Nicconi would become a good stallion after winning the Group 1 Galaxy (1100m) and the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m).

“He was a magnificent looking horse,” Hayes said.

“I was part-owner of the horse and have stayed in him with the Gordon and Devitt families.”

Hayes said that after starting favourite in the King’s Stand, Nicconi blew it at the start when he came out last.

“I think that if he was a gelding, he would have been like a Nature Strip.

He would have been a very, very consistent sprinter and at the top level.

“He was Group 1 but badly needed gelding but went to stud.”

Hayes said they got a good price for Nicconi as a stallion and were able to remain in the ownership.

He said Nature Strip’s timing to beat the best sprinters and win races like The Everest had been amazing and his ability to return every year to win at the same carnival had also been amazing.

“His stake money is incredible,” Hayes said.

Nature Strip (out of Strikeline, by Desert Sun), which has a race record of 38: 21-7-1, has won the last three editions of the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).

And like his sire Nicconi, the seven-year-old is also a winner of the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington in 2021.

The 2010 Lightning Stakes was Nicconi’s last win and he had four more starts later that year – including two in England – before being retired to stud.

Nature Strip didn’t have much luck in this year’s Black Caviar Lightning Stakes and was beaten a short half head by stablemate Home Affairs who faded in this year’s King’s Stand.

Hayes said he doesn’t have any horses by Nicconi in his stable but says there are a few that a winning and doing quite well in other Hong Kong stables.

Nicconi, which served 118 mares last season, has sired 22 Australian stakes winners that have won 52 stakes races.

His service fee has been set at $22,000 this year.

Tuvalu ridden by Jarrod Fry wins the The David Bourke at Flemington Racecourse on June 18, 2022 in Flemington, Australia. (Ross Holburt/Racing Photos)

Merricks Station owner Ben Cooper believes that black-type awaits Tuvalu, a horse he bred from the farm’s broodmare Hangin’ Tough (Exceed and Excel x Ancelin).

Cooper raced Hangin’ Tough with trainers Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra and the now nine-year was no champion on the track and managed a second from seven starts.

Her worth as a broodmare is far more significant.

Four-year-old Tuvalu is out of the first crop of Darley Victoria’s stallion, Kermadec who served his biggest book of mares – 129 – in his opening season in 2016.

The two-time Group 1 winning stallion produced four-time Group 1 winner Montefilia from his first crop and then did again with his second crop when Willowy won the Group 1 VRC Oaks.

Tuvalu is the first foal out of Hangin’ Tough and was followed by Prince Imortall (More Than Ready) which is still a maiden after four starts.

Boomer Bloodstock paid $200,000 for Tuvalu at the 2019 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Hangin’ Tough’s third foal, the unraced Shut It Down (Lonhro) was sold for $460,000 to Mornington trainer Matt Laurie at Melbourne Premier’s 2021 sale.

And at this year’s sale trainer Lloyd Kennewell paid $250,000 for a full sister to Shut It Down.

Cooper said the mare has a colt by Impending and is foal to Capitalist. She has a booking with So You Think for this year’s breeding season.
“Capitalist will suit her because she does throw medium to larger foals,” he said.

“She is a big mare.”

And he has been impressed with the performances of the Lindsey Smith-trained Tuvalu which has never been out of the money in his 10 starts.

His victory at Flemington last Saturday was his sixth to go with his four seconds. And he is just $1,700 short of banking $300,000.

Cooper believes “there is black type written all over him.”

“Lindsey has been going through the gears with him at the moment,” he said.

“There was a bit of commentary about the Winter Championships coming up in a few weeks.”

Cooper said being out of Kermadec’s first crop and selling for $200,000 was a reflection on what good a type he was at the sales.

“Everyone who saw him at Premier that year loved him,” he said.

“He was a standout from an early age as well.

“And he was just a quality-looking horse. He was a balanced horse as soon as he hit the ground.

“Hopefully he can have a good winter rolling into spring as well.”

Cooper said he had spoken to Laurie about the now Lonhro gelding and believes it will be much like Tuvalu and is going to be a three-year-old rather than an early-going horse.

“Lindsey took plenty of time to get Tuvalu to the races,” he said.

Cooper said they had a broodmare band of around 20 and the farm carries up to 90 horses at any one time.

And with upwards of 20 weanlings and yearlings, Merrick Station carries about 30 spellers for trainers, along with the farm’s racing stock.

Smith said Tuvalu has good potential, especially around this time of the year.

“He is going through his grades okay,” he said.

“He is a big immature sort of horse and he lightens off and I keep thinking that each preparation he’ll mature and could keep going to he is eight or nine-years-old if he is going any good.

“If he is racing for a long time it means he is paying his way and he is racing through his grades at the minute.”

Smith said Tuvalu would be back at Flemington for the final of the Listed Winter Championship (1600m) on July 2.

The $200,000 race carries a first prize of $120,000.

Smith believes that Tuvalu will get to Listed company for a start.

“I thought he may have been a tad better but I have reined it in a little bit now I think I may have to a little bit in front of myself when he ran second to I’m Thunderstruck,” he said.

“You are better off to be surprised rather than disappointed.”

Darley’s head of sale Andy Makiv said Tuvalu had always promised to be a Stakes performer and it seemed only a matter of time before he achieved that feat.

He said the gelding would be well and truly in the mix for the Winter Championship final.

“He could be a Toorak Handicap horse in the spring too,” Makiv said.

Makiv said pound for pound Kermadec was probably the best value stallion going around.

“He had a Group 1 winner in his first crop, a Group 1 winner in his second crop. To have two Group 1 winners in the spring of last year with Montefilia winning the Metropolitan and Willowy winning the Oaks and then Montefilia has gone on in the autumn is a good achievement,” he said.
“There are a lot of stallions going around that don’t get two Group 1 winners in a spring that are standing for a lot dearer.

“He is a pretty handy addition to the Victorian roster.”

Makiv said Kermadec was a good stallion who has shown he could get a Group 1 horse and also produces an exceptional type.

“He is very good-looking himself and throws that, so he gets very good-looking stock,” he said.

“You only have to look at Tuvalu in the mounting yard and he is a physical standout. He throws to himself and they win races.”

Makiv described Kermadec’s service fee of $15,000 plus GST as very “palatable.”

As well as his two Group 1 winners, Kermadec also sired Gundec (Sunup) winner of this year’s Bendigo Guineas (1400m).

“Tuvalu is probably heading that way too, so they are good styles of horses,” Makiv said.

NATURE STRIP (James McDonald) wins The King's Stand Stakes Royal Ascot 14 Jun 2022 - Pic Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.com

Nature Strip destroyed a crack field of international gallopers in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot to remind the world that when it comes to breeding sprinters, there’s no place quite like Australia.

The son of Widden Stud’s Nicconi became the fifth Australian horse to win one of the globe’s most prestigious sprint races on the opening day of one of world racing’s most revered meetings.

Nature Strip wowed a huge crowd on a gloriously sunny afternoon with a sustained show of speed down the famous Ascot straight to claim the ninth Group 1 of a glittering career.

Whilst he may not boast a race record as unblemished as that of Black Caviar, the last Australian horse to triumph at Ascot 10 years ago, there is no doubt that the Chris Waller-trained speedster can now be considered amongst the fastest horses the country has ever produced.

With Nicconi now standing at Widden Stud’s farm in Victoria, the victory was also another feather in the cap for the state’s buoyant breeding industry.

Speaking after the race, a characteristically emotional Waller paid tribute to a supreme equine athlete which, had it not been for the mighty mare Winx, would have been considered the horse of his lifetime.

“I don’t know what more I can say about him,” he said.

“This means an awful lot to me and my whole team. We don’t get the opportunity very often to take on the rest of the world, so to bring a horse over here and win is very special. It was breathtaking.

“Nature Strip has been a very good horse for a long time, I guess he is now in the twilight of his career but he has learned what it takes to be an exceptional racehorse. He was tricky in his early career, but he has improved with age and it’s an honour to train a horse like him.

“Australia has a massive breeding and racing industry, and to showcase our breeds to the world is very important. Ratings stack up and he is one of the highest-rated horses in the world, but until you do it on the main stage they’re just numbers really. It will remind everybody how strong Australian racing is.”

Part-owner Steve Hansen, who enjoyed a glittering coaching career for the New Zealand All-Blacks, was equally caught up in the excitement of a moment he ranked amongst the greatest of his life.

“I didn’t think I would get this emotional, but I’m actually quite choked up,” he said.

“It’s difficult to compare it to my rugby career, but this is certainly right up there with the most enjoyable experiences I’ve ever had.

“To do it with such a great group of owners makes it even more special, we’ve had the best time since we got here and even if Nature Strip hadn’t won today, I would still have taken some great memories away. But for him to put on a performance like that, it’s just a dream come true really.

“And for the horse to be trained and ridden by fellow Kiwis, and two champion guys, it just tops everything off.”

Victoria - Thoroughbred Country