Bombora Downs excited as Warhorse sires first winner
The wait is over for Bombora Downs after their stallion Warhorse produced his first winner when Toots is Tops won at Ballina during the Melbourne Cup Carnival for trainer Stephen Lee.
The three year-old filly is a homebred for Greg and Amanda Nash of Alfred Lodge.
Ridden by former Victorian jockey Jake Bayliss, Toots is Tops won by and 2.5 lengths in the 1300m maiden after finishing third at her previous start.
Greg Nash was thrilled with the victory and the fact his filly, which has had three starts, put Warhorse on the board as a winning sire.
“A modest start, yes, but she won with authority despite doing all the hard work from a wide barrier and still being green,” Nash said.
“She still has a lot of to do. Lots of upside. And we have the full younger sister in the paddock at home.”
The win came as a relief for Bombora Downs’ Christoph Bruechert, but he admits he would have liked the stallion to have sired his first winner at the start of the breeding season, rather than at the end of it.
Still, he is confident that the son of General Nediym will continue to produce winners and generate more interest.
“I have been hearing very good things about his stock for the last 12 months and I have been getting a little bit frustrated waiting for it to happen but I believe he has some good horses out there which we haven’t seen yet,’’ Bruechert said.
“I think he has had eight starters now and most of them have been running mid-field, but most of them have only had one start a piece so they are just learning their trade. It was nice to see that horse win and although it wasn’t a big race, it won very comfortably and in very green style, so it’s probably got another four lengths in improvement.”
Bruechert believes Warhorse has had enough good mares to give him some sort of opportunity which is reinforced by the opinion of the stallion’s original trainer, New Zealander Jason Bridgman who has three of the progeny in work at his Pakenham stables and predicts they will all win races. Bridgman relocated to Australia four years ago.
Under Bridgman, Warhorse was a champion two year-old which won the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie at his third start and then two runs later scored in the 2012 Group 1 Diamond Stakes. He was voted champion two year-old of the 2011/12 season by New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing.
He performed at Group level from two to five years-old and earned a reputation as an outstanding sprinter who is suited to Victoria’s Super VOBIS scheme.
Bruechert said while Warhorse was an outstanding two year-old, he believes his progeny need a bit of maturing but not so much physically, but mentally.
“His oldest are three year-olds so the next 18 months will make or break the horse but one serious horse in there would set us up for another season, but I have heard enough good stuff from various sources to suggest that his winners to runners will be quite solid,” he said.
“And if he gets a couple of stakes winners in there, we will be doing all right.”
“We had some commercial breeders go to him in the first season and the natural thing for them is to hold on and wait and see what he does. His top price yearling was just shy of $100,000 in his first year which is pretty good where his service fee is at. He had a couple at $75,000 and $60,000 and there were probably only a dozen yearlings sold.”
Bruechert said that at just a bit over 15.3 hands, Warhorse is not big but produces nice looking, consistent stock.
“Time will tell now but most off the support he is getting now is from people who have got Warhorses already and liked them, so that says something and we’ll wait and see what he does over the next 18 months,’’ he said.
“You are always going to hear positive stuff about your horse but I’m hearing better than positive stuff but like everyone, it’s only talk until they do it but I put all my mares to him last year on the strength of what I’ve been hearing about the babies.”
Bruechert admits he was at first reluctant to add another stallion to his roster but after Ken Dean and Cathy Webb “found’’ Warhorse, they needed someone else to come in with them and also somewhere to stand him.
“You tend to get offered the types of horses that you have already got, but here was a precocious Group 1 winning champion of his year and I thought it’s probably the most marketable horse I’ll ever get my hands on,’’he said.
“But I was a bit surprised how hard we had to work to get mares to him. I see lesser qualified horses on some of the bigger farms demanding more money and getting mares to them. There is probably a certain amount of people that think he is at Bombora so he can’t be that good sort of thing.”
Bruechert says Warhorse has a genuine pedigree that he believes should be explored and utilised.
“He is a colonial bred horse that has been proven time and time again and his father and grandfather (Nediym) were all precocious sprinters and given the same opportunity, we expect him to do something similar.”
He says Warhorse is the best credentialed son of General Nediym at stud.