Swettenham Stud at Nagambie had what can only be described as a good weekend of racing that started on Friday night at The Valley when Toronado produced back-to-back winners.
It continued in a bigger way the following day in Perth when the stallion’s daughter Treasured Star won the Group 2 Western Australian Guineas (1600m) at Ascot.
The three-year-old filly was bred and raced by prominent WA breeder Bob Peters.
Swettenham’s new stallion Rubick also had success when The Guru won at Kembla Grange and followed the five-year-old’s win at Randwick to give the gelding a record of five wins, seven seconds and three thirds from 29 starts.
And Swettenham Stud principal Adam agreed it was a good weekend for his stud’s stallions.
“It really was,” he said.
“It was good to see the hard work of people coming to fruition.
“The Toronado win in Perth was so good. Mr Peters can certainly recognise good bloodlines, and I am very pleased to see that he has seen Toronado’s abilities and he is sending some lovely mares to Toronado.”
Sangster said Peters is sending more mares to Toronado on the back of what he and his team recognised as the ability of Treasured Star.
He said breeders in Perth, as well as Peters, had been good supporters of Toronado and all Swettenham Stud stallions.
He said WA bloodstock agent John Chalmers does a good job for Peters, while Sangster’s “right-hand man” Sam Matthews had the advantage of being from Western Australia knows a lot of the “influential gentleman and ladies” in the racing and breeding industry.
“It’s good that Sam knows these people personally,” Sangster said.
“Toronado is doing a really good job and he has got 40 yearlings in a pool that will be split between the Magic Millions, the Classic and Premier.
“So as a team we will be out there promoting them because we don’t consign yearlings any more ourselves. We have clients and friends who have progeny of all our stallions.
“Nearly 30 Toronado colts and geldings have gone onto Hong Kong as well, so the massive pool that has gone there as well will reap dividends in the years to come because those buyers will be very focused on the yearling market so it can only be a good thing.”
Toronado’s two winners in consecutive races at The Valley on Friday night were both at big odds.
La Spezia (Lerichi) won over 1600m at odds of $15, while Glove Are Off (Kid Gloves) won at 1200m at odds of $21.
Trained by Jamie Edwards, La Spezia has now won three races and had two minor placings from seven starts, while Kym Hann’s Gloves Are Off has won two races and had three minor placings from eight starts.
“Jamie and Kym and have always been very keen supporters of Swettenham,” Sangster said.
“It’s great all round for everyone.”
And at Sha Tin on Sunday, former galloper Victorian galloper Captain Spud, which now races as Captain Win in Hong Kong, provided Toronado with another winner over 1400m.
The Victorian bred gelding was exported to Hong Kong in June after winning three consecutive races, two at Sale and the other at Caulfield.
Sangster said breeding horses was a “slow burn”, and a lot of stallions don’t work and some don’t get commercial success, but people who had followed Toronado had achieved success.
He said the owners of Toronado – Al Shaqab Racing – had been very good in respecting the loyal Swettenham clients.
“They are very good to deal with,” he said.
After covering his biggest book of mares last year -210 – since he first shuttled from France to Swettenham Stud in 2015, Sangster said the stallion would serve few mares this year.
He said while Toronado’s fertility was good, it was a case of looking after the stallion which saw his service fee increase from $27,500 to $49,500 this season.
“It’s been a bit of a queer year in so much with the mares cycling because of the weather patterns which have been a bit indifferent,” he said.
“Biologically you can’t control that and the mares have held onto their pregnancies for quite some time and have gone overdue.
“We have foaled down a significant amount of mares, not just for ourselves but for bigger operations around the Nagambie region, and we have certainly seen a bit of a trait where mares are going over time and also just cycling as well.
“The reproduction cycling with the weather pattern will work its way out in the end and I certainly give full credit to all the Victorian breeders who come to Swettenham and all the other farms.”
Rubick (Encosta De Lago x Sliding Cube) is standing his first season at Swettenham Stud after serving 104 mares last year, 262 in 2019 and 263 in 2018.
“This time next year he will be very strong, and in two years he will be even stronger because he has got some vast books coming through, Sangster said.
“We saw it with So You Think, Shamus Award and Pierro where they have quietish years one year and then with the numbers coming through they sort of start paddling pretty quickly once again.
“So anybody who has gone to Rubick this year will do particularly well in a few years when it comes to selling commercially.”
Asked whether he’d been happy with the support they’d received for Rubick’s first season at Swettenham, Sangster said: “I would say that he has been tougher than what we expected.
“But myself this year I have sent a good percentage of my mares to him knowing the numbers coming through.”
Sangster also had success at Saturday’s Ballarat Cup meeting when three-year-old filly Decent Raine (Dissident x Royal Raine) picked up $96,250 after winning the VOBIS Gold Eureka Stockade (1400m). There was also a VOBIS Gold owner’s bonus of $23,000.
The filly, trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, was purchased for Sangster for $40,000 by bloodstock agent John Foote at the 2020 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
“She was lovely, she was great,” Sangster said.
“That was a John Foote purchase. Ciaron and Dave have done a real good job.
“We have been buying a few fillies recently, and we lease them out and give everyone a chance to be involved and they don’t have to put the capital up. I do that.”
“She wasn’t expensive, and that’s the beauty of using someone like John Foote.
“I buy the fillies, put the capital in myself and then lease them out to friends.
“If we lease them out to Flying Start Syndications, they have their emblem on the front and the Swettenham colours on the back.
“A lot of these syndicators we put their logos on top of the Sangster/ Swettenham colours.”
And Sangster said full credit goes to Rosemont Stud and trainer Peter Moody for breeding Decent Raine which won two races and $209,525 in stakes.