A stallion that doesn’t demand a mint

Recently new to Victoria, stallion Mint Lane (USA) provided the winner of the Wodonga Cup for local trainer Craig Widdison when Willi Willi saluted for the first time since winning the Listed Albury Cup in March last year.

Mint Lane was relocated at the start of September from Willow Grove Stud in South Australia to Glen Eden Stud at Moranding, between Kilmore and Broadford.

Sonia O’Gorman, who has operated Glen Eden with her husband Bernie for the past 20 years, says Mint Lane is going okay for a stallion that doesn’t get many mares and certainly no top liners.

“I have only had him this season but  looking at his past history, he doesn’t serve a hell of a lot of mares and they certainly aren’t black types but I think he upgrades them and does pretty well,” she said.

“He has got a 60.4 percent strike rate for winners to runners. It’s huge and is great for the owner breeder. He is not producing the big black types stakes winners  but he doesn’t get the big black type mares.”

“But for what he gets, he is going really well.”

Mint Lane served around 15 mares since arriving in Victoria when the breeding season had already started and as Sonia explains, his late arrival didn’t allow the time to promote and advertise the stallion.

Ralph Satchell at Willow Grove Stud decided to sell Mint Lane which was bought by another South Australian who wanted to stand the stallion in Victoria.

“The gentleman in South Australia rang me and asked if we’d like to stand Mint Lane and that’s how it all  came about,” Sonia explained.

“It will take a while for people to know he is here but it’s funny because since he (Willi Willi) won the other day, I have had a couple of more inquiries, so people are saying, oh Mint Lane and they look him up.’’

Sonia described Mint Lane as big and laid back and doesn’t get worked up over anything.

Despite his solid frame, he only eats about a quarter of what the other Glen Eden Stud stallions eat but he is twice as fat.

“He is a big horse – he is very, very big.” Sonia said.

Glen Eden sire Mint Lane (Glen Eden)

“They can be big and look like a Clydesdale, but he doesn’t look like that at all. He is quite athletic and when you look at him from  distance you don’t realise how big he is because he is all in proportion but when you walk up and stand beside him, he is really a huge dude.”

“He is leggy and throws quite leggy types.”

Sonia said the numbers Mint Lane had served weren’t huge – 10 in 2018, 26 in 2017, 12 in 2016 and 14 in 2015.

She said to have such a good strike rate from his small books of mares shows that he is doing well from his limited opportunities and quality of mares.

He stands for a fee of $3300 which Sonia says is attractive for the breeder wanting a bread and butter horse.

Mint Lane stands alongside Rebel Dane and a stallion who Sonia says she loves, Giant’s Steps which has been the stud’s most popular horse this season.

Giant’s Steps is by famed stallion Giants Causeway and has just stood his first season at Glen Eden.

“He is the only Giants Causeway standing in Australia now,” Sonia said.

“Giants Causeway’s sons are just producing phenomenal amounts of stakes winners and black type winners.”

“We are hoping that he has got a really good chance and he is lovely horse.’’

Giant’s Steps had his first season in Australia last year and now has foals on the ground.

He stands for $5500.

Sonia explains that Rebel Dane had a bit of glitch this season with a blockage which wasn’t initially detected and obviously stopped him from getting mares in foal until the problem was diagnosed and treated.

“Of course you don’t find that out until later in the season but it is all fixed and he is getting them in foal now, but obviously he lost a lot of mares through that and I’m honest and told people take their mares elsewhere,” she said.

“But he won’t have a huge book this year but he is going well as far as what he has done.”

Rebel Dane stands for $6600.

While the O’Gorman family has had Glen Eden Stud for 20 years, Sonia says they have only been a “proper” stallion stud for a couple of years.

The stud continues to also operate as a well-established broodmare and agistment farm.