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An Extra reason to pop the champagne for Derby Breeder

The Andrew McDonald bred Extra Brut wins the VRC Derby (Racing Photos)

For Congupna breeder Andrew McDonald and his Redoute’s Choice mare Dom Perion they were both celebrating not only the win of her son Extra Brut in the Derby but also the good news that another precious little bundle is on the way.

Connections of Extra Brut celebrate their Derby win (Racing Photos)

Focusing on his small band of mares, based at his Congupna property, ten minutes north of Shepparton, McDonald will be breeding three mares this year including Extra Brut’s dam Dom Perion.

“It’s incredible now that she is a Group 1 producing mare and a Derby producer at that and while the owners were all celebrating with a champagne, I also had reason to celebrate with Dom Perion foaling a Domesday colt this season and testing 15 days positive to Swettenham Stud’s stallion Toronado which is exciting. We will be all eagerly awaiting that precious arrival next spring.”

McDonald was thrilled for the large and diverse group of owners involved in Extra Brut, especially to see such enthusiasm in the mounting yard after the win.

“It’s a dream to win a race on Derby day, let alone the Derby and I give thanks to my mare, I can’t quite believe I am such a big and important part of making that possible.”

Extra Brut was offered as a weanling at the Inglis Great Southern Sale where he would be purchased by Gary Mudgway for $52,500, who then put the colt through the 2017 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale and was knocked down to Brad Spicer Thoroughbreds for $100,000.

Spicer has purchased Group 1 winners Starspangledbanner, Awesome Rock, Commanding Jewel, Zabeelionaire and a host of black type stars over the years, but you sense the Extra Brut syndicate is something really special.

“There are about 30 in the group, although it seemed like a whole lot more in the Flemington mounting yard on Saturday!” Spicer recalls. “The great thing about this syndicate is that many are first time owners, family and good mates too.

“When I saw Extra Brut for the first time at the sales, he just had so much presence about him and was a brilliant walker. Being a bit leggy and I knew he’d probably take some time, but he looked a likely Derby horse.”

“He was the equal most expensive Domesday sold that year but people like David Hayes and Darren Weir were the underbidders and Darren’s crew came up to me straight after and said they’d be keen to train the horse.”

After giving Darren Weir his first Derby success, it doesn’t stop there with extra Brut now accepting and backing up in the McKinnon this Saturday. And if he snares another win, let’s hope Flemington has put in an order for few additional cases of Extra Brut champagne!

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