Above: Foxwedge standing at Woodside Park

Woodside Park Stud’s Foxwedge was well represented in Newmarket during the closing race of the day when his Balgair (GB) romped home in the Close Brothers Invoice Finance Amateur Jockeys’ Cambridgeshire.

Racing near the rear in the 1800 metre race, Balgair smoothly went to the lead with 200 metres left to run. It took no time at all for the 6-year-old gelding to build his margin, winning by 6l.

Conceived during the second of Foxwedge’s three shuttling seasons to England, Balgair hails from the extended family of New Zealand Group 1 winner Julinsky Prince (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}) and G1 Australasian Oaks third Fanciful Bella (Bellotto {USA}).

Article courtesy of TDN

Above: Tofane (NZ) (yellow cap)

Having had his confidence in his star sprinting mare Tofane (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}) vindicated with the security of Yulong’s slot in The Everest, trainer Mike Moroney says it is full speed ahead to Australia’s richest race for the 5-year-old mare who he says is only just reaching her peak.

While she doesn’t enjoy the profile of some of her likely rivals in The Everest, as a winner of the G1 All Aged S. in the autumn, Tofane was always in a strong position to garner interest from slotholders.

The past two winners of the All Aged, Trapeze Artist and Pierata, have both competed with credit in The Everest the following spring, with the former finishing second in 2018 and Pierata fifth last year.

With three slotholders expressing an interest in Tofane, Moroney received the assurance he needed to target her at the $15 million race on October 17.

“We always thought given a few others had retired, with what we saw in the autumn, she was going to be up to it,” he told TDN AusNZ.

“The fact is that she has won right-handed and handled all sorts of ground and she had good form in the TJ Smith and was a bit luckless in the Newmarket. We were pretty confident she was the right type of mare.”

“The fact is that she has won right-handed and handled all sorts of ground.” – Mike Moroney

The connections, headed by Rupert Legh, intended to give her one run this time in before receiving final submissions of interests from slotholders. Her close-up third in the G2 Bobbie Lewis Quality convinced everyone that she was on track for the spring.

“We have always had that interest in her and it was always a matter of getting through that first start, to make sure she was back on track,” Moroney said.

“That was a good effort, probably as good as she has gone first-up. Once we knew she was on track, we were confident enough to say we were going to fire ahead. We had three people interested and we gave a bit of a deadline yesterday, and we ended up looking at all the alternatives and decided to run with Yulong.”

The ownership group and Moroney have already got a relationship with Yulong through the deal struck to stand G1 CF Orr S. winner Alabama Express at Yulong’s Victorian operation this year.

Yulong has been a slotholder since The Everest was first run in 2017, and in 2018 tasted success in that role with Redzel‘s (Snitzel) second victory in the race. Redzel was its runner again last year when eighth. Moroney said he was impressed with the rigour Yulong had brought to the selection process.

“They approached us a while back and they have done all the due diligence on the sectional times etc. They had her right up there. I think one of the things they did mention was her durability. She can race right-handed and she can travel. Every time she had been up against these better sprinters, her sectional times have been terrific,” he said.

The fact that the race is likely to be run at a strong tempo with the likes of Nature Strip (Nicconi) and Rothfire (Rothesay) already confirmed as starters, was also appealing, as was the possibility of a rain affected track.

“They just saw that it will be run at a true speed, and if we do happen to get the rain, as has been the norm of late, she is the type of mare who could run over the top of them,” he said.

“It’s good to see there is a bit of confidence around her, outside of our own confidence in her.”

Slotholder Runner
Inglis Gytrash
Bon Ho Classique Legend
TAB Nature Strip
Yulong Tofane
MiEverest Rothfire
Godolphin
Aquis
Max Whitby
James Harron
The Star
Chris Waller Racing
Coolmore

Table: Slotholder’s runners at present

Tofane shapes up better than ever

From Moroney’s perspective, Tofane is in better shape than she has ever been at any previous point of her career.

“She has really matured now and that’s the first time I can say that about her. With all the travelling and racing we have done, we are going to get her to her peak this season. This should be her best year and she has certainly got stronger,” he said.

“With all the travelling and racing we have done, we are going to get her to her peak this season.” – Mike Moroney

“She was mentally pretty fragile in her early days, but the travelling and all that has really helped her. She has always been one of those jobs that required time, physically and mentally.”

Moroney will travel to Sydney to oversee her campaign along with a staff member. The logistics and time required to organise that will likely mean her final lead-up run will be in the G2 Gilgai S. at Flemington on October 3, two weeks before The Everest.

A decision on a jockey for Tofane will be made in the next week or so.

Spring opportunities beckon for Harlech

She won’t be the only Moroney-trained runner in Sydney this spring, with Harlech (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}) set to target the $7.5 million Golden Eagle at Rosehill on October 31.

The 4-year-old is on the precipice of having his first Australian start in Saturday’s G1 Sir Rupert Clarke S. at Caulfield, where he is first emergency.

James Cummings has indicated Roheryn (Lonhro) will likely run in the G3 Bill Ritchie H. at Randwick, meaning Harlech will gain a start in the Caulfield feature.

“It would be great if we could get in. We really want to use this to make an assessment on the Golden Eagle. We are pretty keen to get to Sydney for that. This race would work in well. It would be nice to see how he competes against these Group 1 horses,” Moroney said.

Above: Harlech

A Group 2 winner back in New Zealand when trained by Moroney and Pam Gerard, Harlech boasts two Group 1 placings in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas behind Catalyst (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}) and the G1 Levin Classic behind Travelling Light (NZ) (El Roca).

“He certainly looked a good horse on his day in New Zealand and had excuses in his last run there. He had bone chips in his front fetlock joint, which we have since had removed. He seems a different horse now that that has happened,” Moroney said.

“We couldn’t be happier with his work on the track and at the jump-outs and we are interested to see what he can do raceday.”

Stablemate Buffalo River (USA) (Noble Mission {GB}) was balloted out of the Rupert Clarke S. and will resume in a 1400 metre race at Caulfield next week with a view towards the G1 Toorak H. and the G1 Cantala S.

Chapada on Cups path

Moroney has multiple Group 1-placed stayer Chapada (Bullet Train {GB}) resuming in the G3 MRC Foundation Cup (2000 metres) on Saturday after a short freshen up from an early winter campaign.

“We only gave him a week in the paddock and we did a bit of dressage for a while. A bit of a mental change for him. He’ll take good improvement out of it, but in saying that, he’s really a mile-and-a-half horse,” Moroney said.

“We feel that this is going to be his best campaign. A bit like Tofane, he’s finally got strong and worked it out. He needs to improve by two or 3l to be up with those better stayers. But there is a chance he can, so we’ll just see how far we get with him.”

Above: Chapada

In-form mare She’s A Thief (NZ) (Showcasing {GB}) tackles the G3 How Now S. on Saturday looking for her first stakes win at what will be her ninth run of the campaign.

“She’s been out doing dressage as well. It’s a bit of a change of scenery as we are deep into her preparation but she is really good. She will run really well,” he said.

“The more I look into the race, the more I like her. She’s a mare who is well-weighted and she makes her own luck and that’s big help at Caulfield.”

Article courtesy of Bren O’Brien TDN

Above: He’s on fire – Shamus Award (Mark Smith)

It may have been lost in the plethora of stakes races on Saturday however the results of Shamus Award should be noted as he had four winners, two seconds and a third from eight starters on the day.

They include a pair of hugely impressive winners at Randwick with the 4yo mare It’s Me and the 4yo gelding Academy.

It’s Me looks to be a huge untapped talent.

The Brett Cavanough-trained mare kept her record at a perfect three for three when she was catapulted to favouritism for the $1.3 million Kosciuszko with a breathtaking performance in a three-length romp under Jason Collett in the TAB Highway Handicap (1000m) on Saturday.

“I love her temperament. I was watching her walk around the yard before the start in the birdcage and she was the most relaxed runner, I thought,” Collett told AAP.

“She feels so easy doing it against these types of horses but she does give you the feel of a classy filly.

“She has only had three starts and the Kosciuszko is the level she should be heading for.”

It was a spectacular day for Grand Syndicates who had purchased the daughter of Shamus Award for $65,000 out of the Kitchwin Hills draft at the 2018 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

Later in the day, Grand Syndicated celebrated a Group 1 win in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) with their $6,000 superstar Behemoth (All Too Hard).

It’s You is another good example of why it pays not to ignore the progeny of older mares.

She is the tenth live foal of the stakes-placed Celtic Swing (GB) mare It’s You who has been a fabulous producer with her seven winners including the Listed ARC Great Nothern Guineas Prelude Yourein (Reset) and the stakes-placed Snitzel gelding Off The Rails.

The Mark Newnham-trained Academy came out of the same Inglis Classic sale as it’s Me.

The son of Shamus Award backed up his last start win at Rosehill with another fighting performance at Randwick.

He has now won over $250,000 from his five wins and three placings from 14 starts, a handy return on the $150,00 outlaid by Darby Racing / De Burgh Equine for the Tyreel Stud consigned colt.

Tyreel had purchased his dam Couredge (Show a Heart) for $190,000 at the 2016 Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale when carrying Academy.

It looked an even better decision when Couredge’s Choisir filly Every Rose came out and won the 2019 Group III Gimcrack Stakes, sporting the same set of Darby Racing silks as Academy.

Shamus Award may have been something of a slow burn but he is looking more and more to be another inspired addition to the Rosemont Farm roster.

Article courtesy of Breednet

A panel looking into thoroughbred welfare headed by former Victorian Premier Dr Denis Napthine has been “very pleased” by the number of suggestions it has received.

More than 160 submissions have been made to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Welfare Working Group (TAWWG) by prominent trainers, owners, breeders, race clubs as well as welfare groups, veterinarians, equine re-trainers, researchers and the general public. Racing Australia and each of the principal racing authorities have also made submissions.

“The working group has been very impressed and pleased with the standard and the sheer number of submissions that have been lodged,” said Dr Napthine. “It is clear that there is a real appetite from both within and outside the thoroughbred industry to look at how welfare can be improved.”

The TAWWG was established in February this year by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, the Australian Trainers’ Association, the Australian Jockeys’ Association, and with the support of other leading industry stakeholders.

In early June the TAWWG released an Issues Paper canvassing key horse welfare topics and publicly called for submissions from anybody who had an opinion on improving the wellbeing of thoroughbred horses, especially those exiting the racing and breeding industry.

Dr Napthine added: “I can assure everyone who made a submission that they are all being read by the panel and will be given consideration as we go through our work.

“There have been lots of suggestions, ideas and insights in the more than thousand pages of documents we have received. I’ve been particularly pleased with the range of viewpoints that have been put forward and many different voices heard.

“We are now engaged in meetings with some of those who wrote to us, and with other key local and international stakeholders and experts, to further explore the many issues, ideas, suggestions and considerations as we begin to shape our report and its recommendations.”

The TAWWG has so far held more than 20 consultative meetings and has scheduled many more in September and October.

It is expected the group will publish their final report and recommendations in late spring of this year.

The four person panel is made up of Dr Napthine, who also served as Victoria’s racing minister and is a qualified veterinarian; Dr Ken Jacobs, a former director of the Australian Veterinary Association; Dr Bidda Jones, Chief Science and Strategy Officer for RSPCA Australia; and Jack Lake, a senior agriculture advisor on policy in the governments of Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and Kevn Rudd.

For more information call:

Dr Denis Napthine: 0407 234 366
Tom Reilly, chief executive of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia: 0423 146 334

thoroughbredwelfareinitiative.org.au

(Racing Photos)

At today’s Board meeting, Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) made some significant Board changes.

Board members Adam Sangster and Adam Tims have decided to pass the baton on to the next generation.

After 15 years of service on the TBV Board, Adam Sangster, the principal of one of Victoria’s most prestigious farms, Swettenham Stud, has enjoyed the time he has spent helping shape Victoria’s Thoroughbred breeding industry.

Adam was an integral part of the Board and in his time as a committee member, was passionate about being able to assist breeders to ensure Victoria continued to go from strength to strength.

James O’Brien – TBV President commented, “Adam has given over a decade of invaluable service to the Victorian breeding industry. He is enthusiastic, driven and passionate about the industry. While it will be sad to see him step back from the TBV Board, I know that he will continue to work to make sure that the Victorian industry continues to advance. I will also continue to seek his sage advice on a diverse range of matters.”

Additionally, after 12 years of service to TBV, Adam Tims will continue to serve the industry on a national capacity as the Treasurer of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Aushorse.

James O’Brien – TBV President commented, “Adam has given so much of his time which has extended to over a decade of tenure. I have enjoyed working with Adam in various capacities. His professionalism, communication and sound advice will be sadly missed. He would consistently deliver above and beyond our expectations. I cannot thank him enough for his service.”

Garry Cuddy – General Manager of Spendthrift Australia has been elected to the Board of TBV to fill the vacancy left by Adam Sangster.

Garry is the manager of one of the most exciting up and coming farms in Victoria. Garry has had a lifelong association with the industry.

Out of high school he secured a position as assistant to Vin Cox – current Managing Director of Darley Australia. Garry acquired extensive experience at Bloodstock.com.au before accepting the role as General Manager of Spendthrift Australia, six years ago.

Garry is excited about the opportunity to be elected to the TBV Board commenting, “I am excited to be accepting the position on the TBV Board. I am passionate about the next generation of people coming through the industry and hope to assist in building upon the current momentum we have here in Victoria.”

Jason Brown – Manager of Stable Financial has been elected to the Board of TBV to fill the vacancy left by Adam Tims.

Jason who has worked at Stable Financial as a Manager for over 9 years, has a keen interest in horse racing and breeding. Jason graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in accounting and sports management. He has since completed his CPA and has over 14 years of experience in the accounting industry.

James O’Brien – TBV President commented, “I look forward to welcoming Garry and Jason to the TBV Board and their contributions. Both individuals bring a strong, diverse skill set that will complement the existing expertise on the Board. I have no doubt that they will continue to ensure that Victoria’s breeding will go from strength to strength in the years to come. It is always great to have young enthusiastic professionals join the TBV Board.”

Image courtesy of Barastoc
Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria is thrilled to announce that Kentucky Equine Research (KER) in conjunction with Barastoc horse feeds have partnered with Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) as a valued sponsor.

KER and Barastoc are both well respected within the industry. Kentucky Equine Research, the world leaders in equine nutrition, is an international equine nutrition, research, and consultation company serving horse owners and the feed industry.

Kentucky Equine Research serves as a consultant to thoroughbred breeders and farms around the world. Kentucky Equine Research brings owners and breeders the latest research and nutrition recommendations in a comprehensive consultation program tailored to individual needs. KER nutritionists also work with mill owners and managers in six continents to formulate top-quality feeds that complement typical local forages. These feeds contain KER micronutrient premixes to ensure that, when fed with appropriate forage and according to label directions, they will provide a diet balanced to KER’s specifications.

In July of this year, Dr Peter Huntington of KER was a key note speaker at TBV’s ‘Pre-season breeding seminar’, where he spoke about broodmare nutrition. The seminar was a great opportunity to provide educational segments ahead of the breeding season.

KER’s Ashley Copping notes “Kentucky Equine Research’s goals are to advance the industry’s knowledge of equine nutrition and exercise physiology, apply that knowledge to produce healthier, more athletic horses, and support the nutritional care of all horses throughout their life – research separates the innovator from the imitator. KER was started in Kentucky, the heartland of America’s thoroughbred industry.” 

For 50 years, Barastoc has worked side by side with horse owners to develop and deliver balanced diets that will support horses in achieving their genetic potential, underpinned by their tagline, Horses come first.

As leaders in animal nutrition Barastoc invest in innovation and people and provides a tailored, specialised approach to equine nutrition, which targets the individual needs and the unique requirements of each equine operation. Barastoc feeds are backed by their nutrition partner, KER ensuring each foal gets the best possible start in life, yearlings reach their full potential and mares are cared for and ready for their next cycle.

Barastoc pride themselves on looking after the wellbeing of all horses throughout Australia, in order to promote and support the livelihood of the breeding sector is a tremendous opportunity.

“The opportunity to partner with TBV helps us to highlight the impact and influence nutrition has in the development and performance of all horses. It also helps us to highlight how much passion Barastoc puts into the research and development which underpins our health solutions,” – Alex McCall of Barastoc commented.

Their specialised equine nutrition team brings vast experience in equine nutrition, breeding and training, in addition to commercial business management.

The sponsorship will provide further opportunity for KER, Barastoc and TBV to provide educational segments which will assist breeders and showcase their wide range of products, services and knowledge.

“I am delighted to enter into this sponsorship arrangement with Kentucky Equine Research and Barastoc. They are well regarded in the industry and have been very supportive of TBV for quite some time now. I have no doubt through this partnership we will continue to build upon the seminar we offered in July, through articles, videos and webinars,” Charmein Bukovec – Executive Officer of TBV commented.

To celebrate the partnership, KER and Barastoc will also be sponsoring TBV’s annual foal gallery by providing three $100 vouchers for three winners for the best photo submitted sired by a Victorian sire category.

To find out more about KER, click here. To find out more about Barastoc, click here.

Spring without a doubt is the favourite time for most in our industry. Warmer weather, longer days and most importantly foals arriving!

For the last few years, TBV have conducted a foal gallery to capture all the cuteness of Spring!

For this year’s foal gallery, you can now begin to enter your submissions by email to tbvmedia@racingvictoria.net.au and be sure to share them on your own social media accounts and tag our social media accounts. Entries will be taken up until 27 November 2020.

This year we will be looking for photos for the following categories:

  • A Super VOBIS Nomination to the value of $1980, for the “Most Liked” photo across the TBV Social media pages (Facebook, Instagram & Twitter) courtesy of Racing Victoria.
  • Three Kentucky Equine/ Barastoc vouchers worth $100 each for the three best photos of foals sired by Victorian sires, courtesy of KER/Barastoc.
  • Two TAB betting vouchers worth $100 each awarded to the two most unique photos, courtesy of TAB.

To ensure you don’t miss any of the cuteness make sure you are following TBV on our social media accounts on Instagram (@vic_breeders), Twitter (@vicbreeders) or our Facebook page (@ThoroughbredBreedersVictoria).

You can view the terms and conditions of the foal gallery by clicking here.

Succeed Indeed ridden by Lachlan King wins the IVE > Print Handicap at Ladbrokes Park Hillside Racecourse. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

An astute purchase by Flemington trainer Troy Corstens at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale is giving Swettenham Stud stallion Akeed Mofeed a boost early in the breeding season.

Corstens, in consultation with Doctor Adam Gay, paid $45,000 for the filly out of Lucky Morna (Ferocity) which races as Succeed Indeed.

The three-year-old filly got black type in her debut in the Group 3 Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Flemington in March this year when she finished third, and then after a 26 week break resumed with a second at Sandown last month.

She returned to Sandown last week over 1600m in a benchmark 70 where she scored a 1.5 length victory to break her maiden status at her third start.

Succeed Indeed is raced by Gay, a cardiologist, his family and a large group of friends.

Gay also races Swats That, which was a fast finishing second in the G.H. Mumm Cap D’Antibes Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Along with friend and colleague Glen Baker, who is a cardiac technologist, Gay began scanning the hearts of horses to scientifically analyse their results.

Baker, who is also in the ownership of Swats That, which was bred by Gay, still routinely scans the hearts of yearlings for clients before sales.

Corstens, who trains in partnership with his father, Leon, said Succeed Indeed was a nice filly who had a massive opinion of from the start.

He said he was impressed with her sire, Akeed Mofeed, who he says is doing a good job at Swettenham Stud.

“He produces good tough horses,” Corstens said.

“I bought the filly on type. Her pedigree was okay.

“We scanned her heart and it rated very well and it was just another tick in the box that’s for sure.

“Hopefully she can get to the level where we think she can.’’

DNA testing had shown that Succeed Indeed was “an out and out stayer”, according to Corstens.

“On genetics she is a CT – an out and out stayer,” he said.

“What we will do is we will run her in the Edward Manifold and then we will just see where she takes us from there.

“She has got a really good turn of foot and the ability to switch off which is a fantastic attribute to have in a stayer.”

Succeed Indeed holds a nomination for the Thousands Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 10 where she is $26 in the early markets.

And the chestnut filly is being kept safe in the VRC Kennedy Oaks where some bookies have her at $15.

Already with a Stakes placing, her value as a future broodmare has far surpassed what is now a modest purchase price.

Gay and his team are also looking forward to the performances of Swats That (Shamus Award/Is It A Mosquito).

Corstens said the filly ran an enormous race at headquarters in what was the third start of her career which began with a victory in the VOBIS Gold Rush (1000m) and cheque of $158,500.

“She’ll run in the Scarborough Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley (September 25) and then I’ll give her one more and then into the Coolmore, I reckon,” he said.

“She is a really good filly, very talented.”

At her second start, before going for a spell, Swats That was unplaced in the Group 2 Percy Sykes after struggling to handle the heavy eight track at Randwick.

Corstens said it was rewarding to have three-year-olds horses like Swats That and Succeed Indeed.

Swettenham Stud’s Adam Sangster said it was pleasing to see the performance of Succeed Indeed which has now had three starts for a win and two thirds.

“She has firmed up for the Oaks so we’ll see what happens, but it’s an interesting watch,” Sangster said.

“Akeed Mofeed had a few colts at that sale which were popular and there were a few fillies which we all liked, but he was having a bit more success with the colts at the time.

“But it looks like he was one of those stallions that can produce colts and fillies.”

Three-year-old filly A Box Of Tricks (out of  Pandoro De Lago) gave his sire Akeed  Mofeed (Dubawi/Wonder Why) another winner last week when the three-year-old won at Wanganui, New Zealand.

Sangster said it was pleasing to see Akeed Mofeed have a couple of city winners from two horses that had targeted bigger races.

“It just shows how diverse he can throw them,” he said. “A Hong Kong Derby (2000m) winner himself, his progeny can get over any sort of trip.”

Sangster there were still bookings available for Akeed Mofeed , who served his biggest book of mares last year with 134,  but every win at this time of the year shows what sort of horses he can produce.

“A few of them have gone to Hong Kong which makes it a little bit tougher for him here, but he has finally got a couple of bigger crops coming through which always helps if you are sending a mare this year, you are on the back of his two biggest crops.

“It’s a good time to be going to him.”

Akeed Mofeed, also a winner of the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup, kicked off the year with a two year-old Stakes winner, Jyoti which was trained by father-son team, Tony and Calvin McEvoy.

His progeny averaged $100,000 at the major sales in 2020.

And Sangster said statistics reveal Akeed Mofeed’s figures are better than Zoustar and Dundeel (same season) for stakes performers to winners.

Akeed Mofeed stood his first season at Swettenham in 2014.

His book of 98 mares in 2018 was his second biggest.

Above: The pre-training facilities at Leneva Park

Progressive Victorian thoroughbred enterprise Leneva Park is moving forward this spring with a new phase in their development following the arrival of proven stallion Lucas Cranach (Ger) and the acquisition of three quality mares to add to their burgeoning breeding program.

Formerly known as Rockmount, Leneva Park was purchased in early 2019 by Luke Vandersluys and his family, who were originally a farming family from Wodonga.

Luke saw the opportunity to provide a premium pre-training service in the heart of Victorian thoroughbred country and the potential to showcase the talents of his sister Sarah Beaumont, who competed to a national standard in Equestrian, taught extensively in Australia and overseas in equine schools and polo stables, and her partner Joel Walton, a former champion country apprentice in NSW.

Sarah and Joel head up the pre-training and agistment arm of the business which counts major stables Mick Price and Mick Kent Jr, Mike Moroney, Lindsey Smith, Nigel Blackiston and John Moloney as valued clients.

“It has been a fantastic 12 months and we’re so proud of what we are achieving and of the quality that the farm is producing, our clients are happy and are getting results on the track and that makes us happy. You get a real thrill watching a horse that we have pre-trained or prepared go and win a race, it’s a great feeling to play a role in that success,” said Sarah Beaumont.

“The farm is a real family affair, I’ve worked with horses for as long as I can remember and the same goes for Joel.

“Mum (Judy Vandersluys) and Luke both have an active role in the business too and I think that’s what sets us apart. We’ve got a great team here and we treat every horse on the property as if it was our own.”

Luke also recruited Jenny Saunders, a very well respected yearling and weanling manager, who worked previously as yearling manager at Eliza Park and Princess Park, to oversee the development of weanling and yearling sale preparation.

Above: Leneva Park provides idyllic surrounds for spelling and sales preparation

“Luke is very keen to make an impact selling quality drafts at the yearling and ready to run sales and bringing Jenny on board was a big part of that,” Beaumont revealed.

“We’ve been slowly adding some real quality broodmares to the farm and they will get every chance to produce the sort of foals that will take us to the major yearling sales.”

In July, Leneva Park purchased three young broodmares Ingrid (USA) (Gemologist), Shoepeg (Bernardini (USA) and Cashla Bay (Fastnet Rock) from the MM National Broodmare Sale to grow the quality of their broodmare band.

The trio are in foal to high profile sires Russian Revolution, Brazen Beau and American Pharoah, so there is much to look forward to this spring!

The decision to take on Lucas Cranach was prompted by the sale of nearby Bullarook Park and the retirement of stud master Malcolm Boyd, who had previously stood the Melbourne Cup placed Group II winner.

Above: Lucas Cranach stands at a fee of $5,500

“I really believe that there is an opportunity for Lucas Cranach to service the breed to race market that wants a middle distance horse,” Beaumont pointed out.

“Not everyone can go to Europe and buy a good stayer, but they can breed one with Lucas. He was such a good racehorse himself and he has proven that he can leave good racehorses as well. I think he’s one of the best value stallions in Victoria to be honest, he’s such an athletic horse and he’s very fertile.

“Smart breeders like John Fiteni (Surprise Baby) and Linda Huddy have bred the right mares to the stallion and have had really good success. I don’t think that anyone who sends a mare to Lucas this year will be disappointed.”

Standing at a fee of just $5,500 inc GST, Lucas Cranach has proven to be a great source of winners including wide-margin metropolitan winners like Dark Alley, Get Stuck In, Advance Warning, Stealthy Lucas and Arty Lucas.

Levena Park will offer two key promotions for Lucas Cranach in 2020 as follows:

1/“Lucas Lotto”- Broodmare owners have the chance to access Lucas Cranach at 50% of his advertised service fee. Book a mare to Lucas Cranach, nominate whether you want a colt or a filly, and pay 50% of the advertised fee on 45-day PPT.

If the resultant foal is the preferred outcome, the balance is due on live foal, if the foal is not the outcome they were seeking, there’s no more to pay!

2/ Breed a Stayer– Healthy discounts are available for broodmares that are city performed at 1600m+ or that have previously visited Americain, Fiorente, Dandino or Puissance De Lune.

Mare bookings via Mick Sharkie mick@lenevapark.com.au or Mitch Brown mitch@lenevapark.com.au

Article courtesy of Breednet

Above: Foxwedge standing at Woodside Park

One of the best value proven sires in Victoria this spring, Foxwedge featured overnight with a new stakes-winner in the UK after Foxtrot Lady took out the Group III Sceptre Stakes (7f) at Doncaster.

The Andrew Balding trained five year-old had been  stakes-placed in Listed races four times so was overdue for a Black Type victory and with the help of champion jockey Frankie Dettori was able to score a length and quarter win.

A homebred for Jeff Smith of Littleton Stud, Foxtrot Lady has the overall record of five wins from 28 starts.

She is a half-sister to Group III winner Dancing Star from good producer Strictly Dancing, a Danehill Dancer daughter of Group I winning sprinter Lochangel.

Foxtrot Lady is the 20th stakes-winner for Foxwedge, who stands at Woodside Park in Victoria at a fee of $11,000.

Foxwedge shuttled to the UK for three seasons at the start of his career and four of his 20 stakes-winners are Northern Hemisphere bred including his Group I winner Urban Fox.

Article courtesy of Breednet

Above: Tagaloa. Picture: Racing Photos

Trainers Natalie Young and Trent Busuttin couldn’t be happier with star Tagaloa ahead of Saturday’s Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield.

The Blue Diamond-winning two-year-old was saved from last Saturday’s Danehill Stakes following a tough first-up run in the McNeil Stakes with connections keen to give him extra time between runs.

Tagaloa spent most of his trip in the McNeil three-wide and only narrowly went down in a tight finish, with a bob of the head seeing him into third.

But the stable is confident he has rebounded well from the gut-buster and Young is believes they have found a nice race to add another Group 1 to the colt’s resume.

“Really happy with the way he is. Had a really nice quiet week after the McNeil,” Young said.

“It was a hard run, he did it tough, he was three deep and it was only really a bob of the head. There wasn’t much in it, his stride was coming up when the other heads were going down.

“We gave him a nice quiet week. He had nice gallop (Saturday) morning. (Jockey Michael) Walker came in and galloped him and he’s rapt with how he pulled up.

“He will have another gallop on Tuesday and he should be sorted for the Group 1 Rupert Clarke.”

Tagaloa will carry 54kg in the Rupert Clarke, where he is a $11 chance with Sportsbet. The horse is heading towards the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas where he is currently rated a $11 chance.

“He will get in with 54kg … it would have been nice if it was post-COVID because then it would be 52kg,” Young said of the Rupert Clarke.

“But it’s a nice weight and I know he loves Caulfield so I think that’s the best way to go, targeting that Group 1.”

Meanwhile, Cups-bound stayer Mirage Dancer will run in Saturday’s Group 3 Naturalism Stakes.

The former import made a pleasing return in the Heatherlie Stakes (1700m) and Young said the entire was ready for the step up to 2000m.

“I think he looks better going into this race than first-up. First-up his coat wasn’t quite there, but this time he’s got a bit of gloss,” she said.

“He worked really great (Saturday) too, so he’s definitely flying around on the right track. 2000m will be right up his alley. It will be a nice race.

“(We) thought it was a better path to go, starting off in a Heatherlie with the 1700m first up, rather than the 1400m where they’re always a bit sharp for him. He’s trained on really nicely.”

Article courtesy of Racing.com

Above: Artie Schiller standing at Stockwell Thoroughbreds

In the fittingly named More Than Ready Juvenile S., Artie Schiller (USA) saw his 44-1 shot Barrister Tom (USA) win the 1600 metre race.

Stalking the leaders, Barrister Tom found plenty of luck when a hole opened on the rail and he was able to steal the lead. The 2-year-old gelding had to dig deep to keep the win but in the end was able to win by 0.5l over Pivotal Mission (USA) (Noble Mission {GB}).

“What a nice little horse,” said Tyler Baze. “He’s got a lot of heart. It was nice for them to let me ride the horse. I don’t know what he paid. I know he was about 50-1. I’m just excited. It’s my first win at Kentucky Downs, and I look forward to some more next week.”

From the extended family of top sire Speightstown (USA) and Grade 1 winners Mani Bhavan (USA) (Storm Boot {USA}) and Capezzano (USA) (Bernardini {USA}), Barrister Tom is one of four Northern Hemisphere 2-year-old starters for Artie Schiller so far this year.

Article courtesy of TDN

Above: Haut Brion Her winning the G2 Sheraco S.

After almost a year since she last raced, the Chris Waller-trained Haut Brion Her (Zoustar) picked up where she left off as she took out the G2 Sheraco S. at Rosehill on Saturday, putting herself in the picture for a spot in the $15 million The Everest.

Last seen winning the G2 Blazer S. at Flemington on October 5 last year, she settled in second behind Sweet Deal and as the daughter of Casino Prince began to fade at the 300 metre mark, Haut Brion Her kicked away and went on to win by 0.8l.

Jen Rules (Redoute’s Choice) got out late and sprinted home to finish second while Seasons (Sebring) came home another 0.3l away in third.

“She is a high class sprinting mare with a very high cruising speed,” jockey James McDonald said.

“She is a high class sprinting mare with a very high cruising speed.” – James McDonald

“I think she is very good. She had to do it a tough way today because she didn’t have the best of draws but she overcame that hurdle and she will only improve from here.”

Waller, who took out last year’s Everest with Yes Yes Yes, has his own slot for the $15 million sprint feature but said he will think about ‘where she fits into The Everest picture’ and make a decision of which horse will run for him in the coming weeks.

“We found the right one last year,” he said. “Still a lot to go.

“We saw in the 3-year-old race today there are a lot of things that can change.

“That’s racing so let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Make sure she pulls up well. Have some nice dreams.”

Haut Brion Her is one of four winners from five to race out of Light Finger S. runner-up One In A Million (Redoute’s Choice), who is also responsible for multiple stakes winner Karacatis (Hussonet {USA}) and Listed scorer Shamillion (Shamardal {USA}).

Her second dam is Listed victor Happen (Zeditave), who herself is a sister to Eskimo Prince H. winner Major and a half-sister to the dam of Group 3 scorer Lightinthenite (Galileo {Ire}).

She is one of 14 stakes winners for her Widden Stud-based sire Zoustar, who celebrated a stakes-double on Saturday as Zoutori took out the G2 Bobbie Lewis Quality at Flemington.

Article courtesy of Georgie Dennis TDN

Pretty Brazen ridden by Luke Currie wins the Furphy Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington Racecourse. (Natasha Morello/Racing Photos)

A quick assessment of the figures shows that prominent Queensland breeders Linda and Graham Huddy are already significantly in front with their initial $700,000 purchase for a daughter of Darley Northwood sire Brazen Beau out of Pretty Penny.

Now a four-year-old named Pretty Brazen, the mare took her earnings to $571,775 with the Group 2 victory in the Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Throw in a price tag of around $1 million as a broodmare when her racing career is over and it’s easy to see why the figures keep climbing.

But it’s not a money thing for the Huddy’s who own equine property, Peachester Lodge.

“It was a big thrill to win, but horrible not being there,” Linda said.

“We went and looked at her at the sales and my husband actually did the bidding so he took the blame at the time and the credit now.

“She was a beautiful yearling and the page was always going to be the page. The old mare has done a great job.”

Pretty Brazen’s dam Pretty Penny has produced Group winning Sertorius (Galileo; $1.82 million in prizemoney), Dollar For Dollar (High Chaparral and $621,745) and Rezealient (Sebring and $261,715). Dollar For Dollar and Rezealient are still racing.

Pretty Brazen also won the Group 2 Sandown Guineas (1600m) last November and as Linda points out, it was the first time a filly had won the race for 14 years.

“It was a big thrill and I was there that day,” Linda said.

“I thought she was over the odds on Saturday ($20) but I thought she’d be top four, but those other two fillies, Arcadia Queen and Savatiano, you couldn’t underestimate but we were second up but I thought she’d like Flemington.

“You know racehorses, you can’t be too confident.”

Linda said she understood trainers Tony and Calvin McEvoy were looking at backing up the mare in Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clark Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

Calvin McEvoy was full of praise for the mare.

“She was fantastic, really tough,” he said in his postrace interview.

“She has been training on really well since her first run (seventh in the 1200m Cockram Stakes) and we thought that her first-up run was probably a pass mark. We expected a little bit more.

‘’Now that she got to the 1400, that’s where we really see the best of her. It’s great for Luke (Currie) to get his first winner back.

We’ll look at the Rupert Clark now depending on how she comes through it. It was firmer out there today. It’s a fantastic result for the Huddy’s.”

And Linda said she was always impressed with Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible) as a stallion, especially as she believes he should have won the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee (1207m) at Ascot when he finished second, beaten half a length.

“But with Pretty Brazen, she had the page and I think she was the dearest,” Linda said.

“There was an under bidder, so someone else actually liked her and I think it was Darley so it gives you a bit of confidence knowing that they went to whatever they went to.”

Darley’s Victorian general manager Andy Makiv it was pleasing to see an expensive filly like Pretty Brazen take the next step and produce on the racetrack.

“She has won over half a million dollars and is a multiple Group 2 winner, so I am delighted for the Huddy’s who are a great client of ours,” Makiv said.

“And we are obviously very pleased for the stallion.”

Makiv said Brazen Beau’s book of mares has been capped at 100 mares for this season and he’s fully booked.

The stallion did not shuttle back to England and has remained in Australia after serving 127 mares last season.

“He has been fully booked since early in the season and he is obviously a promising young stallion so people have recognised that he is probably the gun stallion out of his crop,” Makiv said.

“These proven stallions are very hard to find and he is proven and can get two-year-olds and three-year-olds and looks the go.

“And there are certainly no problems with people wanting to use him, so he a very exciting stallion to have.”

Makiv said Darley was sending 20 of their best mares to nine-year-old Brazen Beau that had shown he could get multiple stakes winners in a season.

And he pointed out that Brazen Beau’s other highly priced yearlings – Ideas Man ($575,000) and Larimer Street ($420,000) were stakes winners, while North Pacific ($800,000) is a Group winner.

“The really exciting thing about the stallion is that he gets good sorts and the expensive ones run which is a wonderful thing,” Makiv said.

“If you can breed a good one, you can get money for it in the ring and if you are prepared to spend money on them there is a chance they’ll run.”

And the Huddy’s will continue to concentrate on buying and breeding fillies with nice pages so they can initially race and then hopefully breed from.

While Pretty Brazen has followed the script perfectly, Linda knows better than most that breeding is a tough game.

“It’s great when they do what she has done and it’s good when they have got the pedigree already,” she said.

Linda said they are sending 25 broodmares to stallions in Australia this breeding season and they will also send mares to New Zealand based stallion, multiple Group 1 winner Preferment which they co-owned and still have a share in.

“There are good reports on them as two-year-olds,” she said.

“We have three fillies by him, two of own and we actually bought one which is a half-sister to The Candy Man (Casino Prince/Melody).

“He is cult hero in Queensland and has beaten us a couple of times so we thought if we get the half-sister, at least when we he beats us we can say: ‘At least we’ve got the half-sister by Preferment.’

“So it’s worked out well.”

Linda will again send a group of her broodmares to Swettenham Stud’s stallions, including Pentamerous which produced nine-time Group winner Shoot Out and Group winners I’m A Princess and Cassandra Shadow – all raced by the Huddy’s.

Pentamerous (Pentire/Johnny Loves Jazz) was purchased by Linda after they bought Shoot Out, which amassed $3.2 million in prizemoney.

Up until last year, I’m A Princess was the last foal produced by Pentamerous but with the expertise of Sally Watkins from Willaroon Thoroughbreds and vet Caroline Duddy, of Riverbank Farm, the mare produced a stunning colt by Toronado last year.

“She is due to foal in about a month to Toronado again,” Linda said.

“The colt is back here, we bought him home and it would be nice to get a nice filly.

“We are sending one of Pentamerous’ daughters (Shoot Fer Love) to Toronado this year. She has a Dundeel filly, (Stick ‘Em Up), which we sold as a yearling) and she raced in the Australian Oaks (finished fifth) but it’s hard to lead in those sorts of races over a mile and half but she might do something as a four-year-old.”

Linda is also sending one of her broodmares to first season stallion I Am Immortal at Swettenham Stud and another to Puissance de Lune.

Pentamerous, which went five years before producing a colt to Toronado, is now 20-years-old and Linda says a decision will have to be made soon about her breeding future.

Linda said they would concentrate on buying fillies then racing them and hopefully breeding from them.

They family occasionally buys a colt, or retains one to race to have a bit of fun.

As a co-owner of Victorian stallion Lucas Cranach, they have bred a couple from him which they race.

One of them, six-year-old gelding Get Stuck In has won eight races and $275,450 in prizemoney for Eagle Farm trainer Tony Gollan.

Above: Authentic winning the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is arguably the biggest and best known race in the world and this year’s running has a special association with Australia.

The race was won by Authentic and ended an estimated 50-year pursuit by American billionaire B. Wayne Hughes who established Spendthrift Australia in Victoria five and a half years ago.

The 86 year-old Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, is one of America’s best known breeding and racing organisations.

Authentic’s upset victory gave Spendthrift’s Australian operation great delight, according to its general manager Garry Cuddy.

“It’s been a pretty good few days, that’s for sure,” Cuddy said.

“We are very, very happy for the result to go our way and for the boss to fulfil his dream, it’s a big thrill to win.”

“It has been said that he has been trying to win the race for 50 years, and he’s had many good chances in the race over that time but never got the win.

“To have our other horse, Thousand Words, scratched in the paddock before they went out onto the track, you could be forgiven for thinking the Kentucky Derby curse had come again.”

“It proved we only needed one runner and it was great.”

Sired by Spendthrift’s American stallion Into Mischief (Harlan’s Holiday/Leslie’s Lady), Cuddy said he wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bob Baffert-trained Authentic join Spendthrift’s Australian roster.

“I would love to see Authentic here but we’d have to wait to let the dust settle and for everything to go to plan, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see a press release in April or May next year to say he is on our roster, that’s for sure.

“He actually ran the sixth fastest Derby in the history of the race and two horses above him are Secretariat and Northern Dancer, so he is in pretty good company.”

And Cuddy is among about 4500 people who paid $USD206 for a micro-share in Authentic through MyRaceHorse.com, he says probably equates to him owning a single hair on the horse’s back.

“I am a shareholder in it along with my mum and some mates, so it has made the win all the sweeter,” he said.

“MyRacehorse is a fantastic concept and it has worked really well in the US. I believe there are about 4500 owners in Authentic, and if you think what that does for racing with an ownership group of that size winning the Derby.”

Cuddy said they had started the breeding season well at Spendthrift and had increased the quality of its stallion roster this year by introducing Spendthrift America shuttle stallions Omaha Beach and Vino Rosso. The pair will stand alongside Gold Standard, Overshare and Swear.

“Both horses have been met with great response so far and we’re limiting each of the horses to 100 mares because they are coming off a very busy northern hemisphere season, but we are confident we will go close to that cap with both of them,” Cuddy said.

“It’s obviously a very good achievement for the farm in uncertain times.”

Cuddy said Vino Rosso served 240 mares in the northern hemisphere season, while Omaha Beach had 220 mares.

“They had good fertility which is obviously crucial,” he said.

Cuddy said the point of difference with Spendthrift, along with Darley, are that they are probably the only two Victorian farms that have other international bases.

He said to be able to bring in horses of the quality of Omaha Beach (War Front/Charming) and Vino Rosso (Curlin/Mythical Bride) was fantastic for Victoria.

“At the end of the day we are bringing in horses that would be competitive in the Hunter Valley,” Cuddy said.

“They are standing here in our backyard which is fantastic for our local industry.

“You can tell by the response we have had to both of these horses that there are mares coming to our farm this year that in previous years would have been going to the Hunter Valley.

“To do that and be able to claw a few mares back, we take that as a win and hopefully we’ll continue to build on that in the years to come.”

Although in its infancy in Australia, Cuddy said Spendthrift had gone from starting with 10 broodmares to 70 last season.

He said the quality of the broodmare band had improved year-to-year.

“I think it’s crucial to build a solid broodmare band. We only support our stallions with our own mares, we don’t send our mares elsewhere and I think that is a key element for people to know that we are supporting our stallions with quality stock.”

Cuddy said Spendthrift had about 20 of their own horses in work with various trainers throughout the eastern states. Spendthrift’s Dirty Work (Written Tycoon/Maidel) ran third to Gytrash and Nature Strip in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

He said Spendthrift had rebuilt its stallion barn which was ready for the start of the 2019 breeding season.

There are 14 boxes and with five stallions currently on the roster, and Cuddy said there is plenty of room to accommodate potential stallions like Dirty Work and Authentic who is sired by Spendthrift stallion, Into Mischief.

“I think these are two horses that are potentially on the roster for next year and who knows what else is to come because we have a few other nice colts in work here in Australia and in America,” Cuddy said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Lot 165 – Starspangledbanner x Dalakania (Ire) (colt)

A colt by Rosemont’s reverse shuttler Starspangledbanner topped proceedings at the opening session of the Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale on Tuesday, knocked down to Richard Ryan for £170,000 (AU$308,837).

Catalogued as Lot 165, the colt was imported over the channel by Anna Sundstrom of Coulonces Sales, who last year consigned a Wootton Bassett (GB) colt now known as Legion Of Honour (GB) that Ryan took home for £280,000 (AU$508,673).

He is trained for Teme Valley 2 by Roger Varian and was a promising second on debut at Haydock in June. The Starspangledbanner colt was purchased in the same interest and will likewise head to Varian.

“He was the star of the show,” Ryan said of the session-topper. “The best in the sale in our opinion, and in the opinion of the trainer. We also bought a very nice horse here last year from the same vendor, for whom we have high hopes.

“Starspangledbanner gets winners out of all sorts of mares and all sorts of pages, but only very rarely will they have that kind of look at this age – that scope and quality, backed up by a top-class pedigree. It’s a beautiful family.”

Sundstrom was ecstatic that her Doncaster migrations had once again proved so lucrative. This colt was co-bred with Charlotte Hutchinson as the first foal of a Dalakhani (Ire) half-sister to G2 Grand Prix de Deauville winner Ziyad (GB) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}), cheaply culled by the Wertheimer brothers at the Arqana Autumn Sale of 2017.

“Charlotte is my head girl and was leading him up,” said Sundstrom. “She bought the mare out of training, she only cost €16,000. We love Starspangledbanner, we’ve had a lot of luck with him, so he was an obvious choice for Dalakania.

“We love Starspangledbanner, we’ve had a lot of luck with him, so he was an obvious choice for Dalakania.” – Anna Sundstrom

“It’s the most fantastic thing that he’s going to Roger Varian. And a fantastic result in a market like this. It just shows that there are people there for good horses. It’s difficult to know when things are like this, we knew he had a lot of people interested, but I didn’t think he could make this much. It’s incredible.

“Goffs has been very good to us. The results on the track from horses we sold here include Laurens and Nickajack Cave, so it’s easy to come back.”

Earlier in the session, a colt by former Coolmore shuttler Caravaggio (USA) sold to Howson & Houldsworth and Joseph O’Brien for £75,000 (AU$136,252).

Consigned by Limekiln Stud, the colt is out of winning Ravens Pass (USA) mare Vitello (GB), who herself is out of the stakes placed Vitoria (Exceed And Excel).

Above: A son of Churchill (Ire) [pictured] was purchased for £62,000 (AU$112,635) by Jamie Osbourne | Standing at Coolmore

Jamie Osbourne also struck for a son of Coolmore’s Churchill (Ire), taking the colt from the Ballyhane draft home for £62,000 (AU$112,635).

Catalogued as Lot 104, he is out of dual stakes winner Beyond Desire (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), who is also responsible for Listed Lansdown S. winner Queen Of Desire (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}). Further down the page is G2 Zipping Classic winner Beautiful Romance (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) and Coolmore sire Mastercraftsman (GB).

Notably absent from Tuesday’s buying sheet was Shadwell who have been the leading buyers at the Premier Yearling Sale for five years running.

At the 2019 sale alone, Sheikh Hamdan’s buying team signed for 17 yearlings at an aggregate just shy of £2 million (AU$3,637,740) and after a stellar year on the track so far in 2020, their absence has caused some concern for consigners.

Overall the day finished with an average of £36,687 (AU$66,649), down from the average of £49,202 (AU$89,385) at last year’s opening session, while the median sat at £30,000 (AU$54,500) compared to £38,000 (AU$69,034) on Day 1 last year.

The day’s aggregate was down by a third compared to the same session last year, with £6,970,500 (AU$12,663,256) changing hands compared to £10,578,500 (AU$19,217,883) in 2019. The number of six-figure lots was the most notable change in numbers with nine breaking into six figures on Tuesday, topped at £170,000 (AU$308,380), compared to 19 on the first day in 2019 which was topped by a £440,000 (AU$799,345) Kingman (GB) colt.

Article courtesy of TDN

Above: Dundeel x Cardiac 2020 Filly (Image Musk Creek Farm)

Having invested significantly in the quality of its broodmare band over the past few years, Victorian-based Musk Creek Farm is targeting a range of new and proven stallions in 2020 as it looks to frank that investment with strong results in the sales ring in the future.

Owned by David Kobritz, Musk Creek has been under the eye of Farm Manager Scott Williamson for just over three years and together with the guidance of bloodstock agent Craig Rounsefell, they have looked to re-invigorate Kobritz’s 20-strong broodmare band.

Around 12 of the 20 broodmares have arrived since Williamson began with Musk Creek, with a focus on quality and the aim of further building the Mornington Peninsula Farm’s reputation as a breeder and seller of top-class horses.

“Over the last couple of years, we have made a concerted effort in upgrading our broodmare band. We’ve spent a bit of money getting some young mares either carrying their first foals or off the track. We want to be at that top end of the market and have a red-hot crack. We want to produce those high-end yearlings,” Williamson told TDN AusNZ.

“Over the last couple of years, we have made a concerted effort in upgrading our broodmare band.” – Scott Williamson

Key to that success is the planning of matings for those mares, something which Williamson particularly relishes, utilising the experience of Kobritz and Rounsefell to ensure the right match.

“We want to be commercial, but we want to make sure we are breeding the right type. We want to make sure that it not only fits on pedigree, but that type is a strong consideration as well,” he said.

“With young mares, you don’t necessarily know what they might produce, but you know what their pedigree is and we try and identify things they may need. You want to put a stallion to her that might have what she is lacking and visa versa.

“We want to present the right sort of horses at the sales and ones that we think that are going to go on to be racehorses.”

Above: Scott Williamson

Williamson described the broodmare band size of 20 as a perfect sweet spot to ensure all the mares get the support they need to be successful in their breeding careers.

“That’s a comfortable number for us. It’s at a level where we feel we can invest in them and give them the service fees they deserve and need,” he said.

All in the family

One of the strategies Musk Creek has embarked on over the past few years is sourcing its new mares from already proven families.

A prime example is Personalised, a mare by Snitzel out of the stakes winner Personify (Galileo {Ire}), the daughter of blue hen Procrastinate (Jade Hunter {USA}), who Musk Creek and Boomer Bloodstock paid $525,000 for at last year’s Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.

Above: Personalised

“She is a multiple city winning daughter of Personify and her half-sister Personal is ready to help the family out in some big races this spring,” Williamson said.

“She’s from Cressfield, which is a very successful farm. Buying into a family like that, you don’t get many opportunities to do that. We look to buy into a family like that and turn that into a Musk Creek family.”

Personlised is in foal to Dundeel (NZ) and is set to go to Widden Stud’s Zoustar this season.

“We feel a mare with a good bit of strength really suits him. I foaled down Zousain in my previous role, and he was out of a decent-sized, strong mare and I think those mares are the ones that best suit Zoustar. She’s a lovely, good-sized Snitzel mare with plenty of strength. Obviously, she is a very attractive mare and I thought it will be a good mating for her.”

Divine connection makes sense

It was another strong family connection that drove Musk Creek to pay $320,000 for Notre Dame(Exceed And Excel) at the recent Magic Millions Broodmare Sale from Godolphin’s draft.

Two years prior, it had paid $600,000 at the same sale for her half-sister Deipara (Lonhro) and Williamson has been delighted with what she has been able to produce.

Both mares are out of the multiple Group 1 winner Divine Madonna (Hurricane Sky).

Above: Notre Dame

“We know that that family is producing, and we saw it as a good opportunity to get a bit of control of that family and guide that family in the direction we want to go,” he said.

“She’s a cracking type of mare, Notre Dame. She has produced a Street Boss colt already this spring, and she is off to Written Tycoon this year. We are definitely investing in that family.”

Deipara’s now 2-year-old Exceed And Excel filly is in training with Anthony and Sam Freedman and Kobritz and Williamson harbour high hopes for her.

“The second foal out of the mare is an outstanding I Am Invincible filly. Both sales companies have looked at her and are extremely impressed with her,” Williamson said

“Deipara has thrown extremely good types and to an extent that she will go to Snitzel this year. We are pretty happy with what we have seen and we felt that with the quality of foals she has produced, it would be really good to get a Snitzel out of her. Not only does he suit her on type and pedigree, but to have a Snitzel in the draft, you can take that to any sale.”

Mirette shapes up

The other purchase for Musk Creek on the Gold Coast this year was Mirette (Unencumbered), a winner of four starts, including the G3 Auraria S., while she was second in a G1 Schweppes Oaks. She cost $150,000, a price that was very pleasing for Musk Creek.

Above: Mirette

“We are quite excited about Mirette. We thought she would make more money than she did. She was well performed on the track and is a lovely type of mare, good-sized and with a great temperament,” Williamson said.

“Testa Rossa has really started to stand up as a broodmare sire and we feel that Unencumbered has got every chance of doing the same.

“Mirette deserves a good mating, with her looks and also her race ability. She will head off to Blue Point this year and we feel he’s a very exciting horse from a great sireline and a sireline that has been successful in Australia.”

“Mirette deserves a good mating, with her looks and also her race ability. She will head off to Blue Point this year.” – Scott Williamson

Williamson admitted it was unusual to send a maiden mare to a first-season sire, but that Mirette’s profile held up well for such a mating.

Another maiden mare is the imported Ascertain (USA) (Blame {USA}), a three-time winner in the United States, who had just one start in the Musk Creek colours in Australia under trainer Lindsey Smith.

“She had a long layoff and had an injury in the States,” Williamson said. “She got over that and Lindsey was really happy with how she was going. Then everything went wrong with the one run she had.

“She’s up in the Hunter and is off to Deep Field. She’s a beautiful mare and obviously Deep Field is getting plenty of winners. We are pretty excited about her. We think she was very good purchase at US$40,000 (AU$54,979) when Craig managed to find her. The minute he laid eyes on her, he fell in love with her, I know every time I talk to Lindsey, he asks about her.”

Pride for If I Can

The Listed-winning If I Can I Can (NZ) (Iffraaj {GB}), was a $350,000 purchase for Musk Creek back in 2016 and has produced a filly by I Am Invincible who sold for $475,000 in 2018 as well as a colt by Hinchinbrook that fetched $450,000 at this year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

“She’s in foal to American Pharoah at the moment and we plan to send her to Pride Of Dubai,” Williamson said.

“We have been pretty impressed with how he has started out at stud and we are of the opinion that the Pride Of Dubais will only get better at three. It’s the right type of stallion for her, she lacks a bit of height as a mare.”

Cardiac (Encosta De Lago) has already produced the Group 3 winner Declarationofheart (Declaration Of War {USA}) and is a half-sister to the G1 VRC Oaks winner Arapaho Miss (Danehill Dancer {Ire}), who has, in turn, produced a winner of the same race in Miami Bound (NZ) (Reliable Man {GB}). A blood brother to Miami Bound by Reliable Man out of Cardiac sold for $200,000 by Musk Creek earlier this year at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Above: Reliable Man (GB) x Cardiac (colt)

Cardiac recently produced a filly by Dundeel (NZ) and will be heading back to the Arrowfield Stud stallion this year.

“He’s the perfect type for her. She is quite a large mare, so a slightly smaller stallion suits her. Declaration Of Heart was quite a big horse for a first foal and she is the sort of mare you wouldn’t want to send to a big stallion,” Williamson said.

“It’s definitely a family on the up, Arapaho Miss has been doing a great job, It’s another nice family that seems to keep producing, That’s a family we would be looking to keep a filly out of at some point down the track.”

Finding the right fit

Also suited to a stallion with a smaller profile is another of Musk Creek’s mares in stakes-placed Keep De Rose (NZ) (Keeper), and she will revisit Shalaa (Ire), with who she produced a $300,000 colt.

Williamson said the form Shalaa’s first European crop has given it only more reason to send Keep De Rose back to the Arrowfield shuttler having recently produced a Rubick colt.

Imported mare Apologynotaccepted (USA) (Fusaichi Pegasus {USA}), a $500,000 2019 Inglis Chairman’s Sale buy whose Medaglia D’Oro (USA) filly is set to be one of the highlights of Musk Creek’s yearling offering in 2021, is in foal to Written Tycoon and will visit Snitzel later this season.

And Bellissima Miss (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}), the daughter of Group 1 winner Veloce Bella (NZ) (Volksraad {GB}), has foaled a Brazen Beau filly and heads to Coolmore’s Pierro this spring.

Cross-border support

Williamson said he felt securing a spread of stallion options for the broodmare band was a strategy which would pay dividends for Musk Creek going forward.

“We feel that we are giving them all a fair chance. We’ve got a fairly equal split between New South Wales and Victoria,” he said.

“We are supporting Toronado with a couple of mares and we are supporting Fiorente. And we’re pretty excited and impressed with the new horse at Spendthrift.

“We will send one of our mares, Leny’s Here, the daughter of Devil Moon, to Omaha Beach, I was really impressed with Omaha Beach. He’s a horse that pedigree wise, he should work. He looks a cracking type with a lovely walk on him. He’s very good looking with a great head.

“We will also be sending a mare, Imperial Empress, to Brazen Beau.

“I feel there is a revival in the Victorian industry at the moment, and it’s good to see the new players getting involved and there are some exciting new stallions.”

Musk Creek’s 2020 mating plans

Broodmare 2020 2019 2018 2017 Notable Results Or Progeny
Personalised (Snitzel) Zoustar Dundeel (NZ) Spirit Of Boom (colt) Out of the stakes winner Personify, the daughter of blue hen Procrastinate
Notre Dame (Exceed And Excel) Written Tycoon Street Boss (USA) (colt) Out of the multiple Group 1 winner Divine Madonna
Deipara (Lonhro) Snitzel I Am Invincible (filly) Exceed And Excel (filly)
Mirette (Unencumbered) Blue Point (Ire) Group 3 winner, Group 1 placegetter
Ascertain (USA) (Blame {USA}) Deep Field A three-time winner in the United States
If I Can I Can (NZ) (Iffraaj {GB}) Pride Of Dubai American Pharoah (USA) Hinchinbrook (colt)
Cardiac (Encosta De Lago) Dundeel (NZ) Dundeel (NZ) (filly) Reliable Man (GB) (colt) Group 3 producer & a half-sister to the G1 VRC Oaks winner Arapaho Miss
Keep De Rose (NZ) (Keeper) Shalaa (Ire) Rubick (colt) Shalaa (Ire) (colt) Four time winner, Group 2 placed
Apologynotaccepted (USA) (Fusaichi Pegasus {USA}) Snitzel Written Tycoon Medaglia D’Oro (USA) (filly) Group 2 placed
Bellissima Miss (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}) Pierro Brazen Beau (filly) So You Think (NZ) (colt)

Article courtesy of Bren O’Brien TDN

Above: Reward For Effort standing at Chatswood Stud

Reward For Effort gelding Moneymore provided David Hayes with the perfect start to his second training stint in Hong Kong, winning Race 2 in the Season Opener at Sha Tin.

“I’m very excited and especially happy for Keith (Yeung), he’s done a lot of work on the horse and he was very confident going into it and rode the horse perfectly.”

“He lost his balance a little bit upon straightening, he got on the wrong leg as you would say but to Keith’s (Yeung) credit he got him back on the right leg and he was very strong over the last 100 metres,” Hayes said.

The Reward For Effort gelding broke from gate eight to settle worse than midfield before peeling out to register a gritty half-length success. Hayes suggested that the six-year-old could further lift his rating as the season progresses.

Replay

“It’s good to see a horse trial well and then run well, it means they’re putting their form together, so he might be a horse to follow in the next month or so,” Hayes said.

“He works like a horse that if he was home, he would be a midweek city horse in Australia, his trackwork suggests that.

“If he had won a race before I would have been a lot more confident but some horses work well and run like pussycats, so I was pleased to see him show a lot of fight and get the job done,” Hayes said.

Reward For Effort has also enjoyed a strong start to the Australian racing season. His 19 individual winners since August 1 sees Reward lead Victoria for both earnings and winners.

Above: Alabama Express

While the green and white colours have been a fixture in Australian racing for over six years, the Yulong project, spearheaded by the vision of chairman Yuesheng Zhang, is only just starting to take shape, with the ambitious acquisition of bloodstock matched by investment in staff and facilities.

The strategy around stallions has taken big steps in the past 12 months with Grunt, the dual Group 1-winning son of O’Reilly (NZ), standing his first season in Victoria last spring, and two excellent stallion prospects, G1 CF Orr S. winner Alabama Express and G1 Blue Diamond S. winner Tagaloa (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}), secured in a spending spree through February this year.

A son of the legendary Redoute’s Choice, Alabama Express debuts at $27,500 (inc GST) and began his stallion career earlier this week in what was another milestone for Yulong Chief Operating Officer Sam Fairgray and his team.

“He’s taken to it like a natural, he’s going really well. He covered a few mares yesterday and covered one this morning,” Fairgray told TDN AusNZ.

“At the moment he’s got 135 mares, so he’s going along really well. I think he’ll end up covering around the 150 mark.

“He’ll have every opportunity with getting some really nice mares to him. It’s good that Mr Zhang wants to do that and help support them with those nice mares.”

“He’ll have every opportunity with getting some really nice mares to him.” – Sam Fairgray

Tagaloa is also from a hugely desirable sireline, being by Lord Kanaloa (Jpn), who has only had 12 yearlings sell through Australian sales rings in the past three years. Being the only Australian Group 1 winner by the Shadai Stallion Station-based sire, he is an excellent recruit for an international operation such as Yulong.

However, Tagaloa’s time in Yulong’s new stallion barn will have to wait as his trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young plot further racetrack success through this spring. The smart colt returned with a close-up third in the G3 Vain S. at Caulfield last week and is second favourite for the G1 Caulfield Guineas next month.

Above: Tagaloa

Grunts on the ground

The 2020 season is a milestone for Grunt as well, with his first foals arriving in recent weeks, much to the delight of Fairgray, who is seeing exactly what he wants in his progeny.

“He’s thrown his quality into them which is great. Most of them are nice, attractive foals with plenty of size and substance about them. They all have good heads and so forth, and from what we’ve seen so far, you’d be really happy,” he said.

Fairgray feels based on the relatively small sample size so far, there should be no hesitation in breeders returning to Grunt again this year.

“I think going on the types of foals he’s thrown, you’d get mares returning,” he said. “He’s going to be well supported again this year. He’s got around 140 mares, which is good for a second-season stallion. Both of them are going to serve nice books and Grunt’s fertility last year was fantastic.

“Hopefully, Alabama’s can be as good, it just makes the job so much easier.”

Top class broodmares a boost

Looking to support its emerging and future stallions, Yulong has built its broodmare band both through local and international investment in recent years.

With two young stallions to support and another one likely to join next year, it was the leading buyer at both the Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale and Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale in 2020, buying 26 mares or race fillies in total, and spending over $11.2 million.

In uncertain times, Zhang has not wavered in his desire to build his Australian business and give his stallion acquisitions every chance of success.

“If you believe in your stallions, you have to support them,” Fairgray said. “We think they are two very nice horses that will become successful stallions and we are happy to support them.

“If you believe in your stallions, you have to support them.” – Sam Fairgray

“We are getting a nice broodmare band together. Mr Zhang’s aim is to keep building and building the bloodstock portfolio, so he seems to be doing that and there are some really nice mares among the ones we bought and they are in foal to nice stallions as well.”

Million-dollar mares

Chief among that selection is Viddora (I Am Invincible), the winner of both the G1 Moir S. and the G1 Winterbottom S. who was purchased in foal to Lope De Vega (Ire) for $2.55 million at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.

On an overseas cover to Ballyinch Stud’s Lope De Vega, she is due to foal in the next week, after which point a decision will be made on her next destination.

“She’s due around the 10th of this month. At this stage, we will wait and see what she does foaling-wise and then decide where we go from there,” Fairgray said.

Above: Viddora was purchased in foal to Lope De Vega (Ire) for $2.55 million

Being free of Danehill (USA) blood, she has a host of options in Australia, with Fairgray indicating she may be headed north to the Hunter Valley.

“It’s probably more a chance we go external with her but it will depend on what type of foal she has,” he said.

The other seven-figure purchase for Yulong on the Gold Coast was G1 Australian Oaks winner Unforgotten (Fastnet Rock), who cost $2.75 million. She is already in the Hunter Valley for her first season.

“She’s going to go to I Am Invincible. We thought we’d get her in foal and then bring her home. That’s the plan and she’s up in the Hunter now and ready to go, so hopefully, she will get bred in the next week or 10 days,” Fairgray said.

Above: Unforgotten was purchased for $2.75 million

Express plans

While those two mares are both likely to go outside the Yulong stallions, the vast majority of the other purchases will go to either Grunt or Alabama Express.

Another Dollar (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}), the G3 Premier’s Cup winner and G1 Queensland Oaks placegetter who cost Yulong $700,000, will head to Alabama Express in her first year, as will stakes-placed Storytime (NZ) (Savabeel), who cost $575,000 at the Gold Coast and is in foal to I Am Invincible.

The Redoute’s Choice-Zabeel (NZ) cross was also a decisive factor in sending Glitzabeel (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}), the dam of G1 Schweppes Oaks winner Princess Jenni (NZ) (High Chaparral {Ire}), who was purchased for $400,000, to Alabama Express.

The success of the mixture of the bloodlines of Redoute’s Choice and Hussonet (USA), something Fairgray has plenty of experience with from his time at Arrowfield, is the driving force behind the decision to send Listed-winning mare Blue Morpho (Hussonet {USA}), a $450,000 Gold Coast buy, to Alabama Express as well.

Above: Hit’Em Hard winning on debut at Albury

A charitable deed by a Victorian breeder five years ago is being repaid across the border in Albury, New South Wales, in a feel good story for the racing and breeding industry.

Rhys Holleran was a novice breeder when he bought a service fee to Three Bridges stallion Stryker in a charity auction conducted by Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria to raise funds for teenager Joey Lynch who was battling a rare form of cancer.

It’s been five years since the auction but the wait for Holleran has been worth it, with the horse produced from the service fee – Hit’em Hard – winning on debut at Albury last week.

And more importantly Joey has done well in his battle with cancer.

Holleran was in the radio business for 30 years and ran the billion-dollar Southern Cross Media group and facilitated the massive merger with Austereo to form Southern Cross Austereo

Now in the horse industry and absolutely loving it, Holleran recalls how he received an email from TBV outlining the auction and it just happened that he was in the market for a stallion to cover his mare, La Cachette (Choisir).

“We hadn’t finalised anything for the mare and she had one foal to Written Tycoon called Hazel’s Diary and we were looking for something and it was for a good cause,” Holleran recalled.

“It was for Joey Lynch. His dad Michael Lynch works for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“So I thought that was a good idea so I put a bid in and it was successful. The real generous people were the people at Three Bridges where Stryker stood.”

Holleran said his winning bid was around $6000, and while Stryker is now about $3000, he couldn’t care because it went to a good cause.

“Michael Lynch rang and thanked me and the people at Three Bridges were just extraordinary and although I got something out of it, they are the ones who donated it and good on them,” he said.

“It was all worthwhile. Joey Lynch is well now and he is on the board of CanTeen – teenagers with cancer.

“I just think it is a nice story.”

Holleran said that after the foal was born his stable name was “Boxer’’ because he was by Stryker and in keeping with the pugilist theme, he officially races as Hit’em Hard.

He was foaled down at David and Kayley Johnson’s Rushton Park at Dhurringile, near Murchison.

And when he arrived home at Holleran and partner Leanne Hulm’s farm, Hazel Park at Kialla, near Shepparton, there was no Mike Tyson about him.

“He was the friendliest horse when he came off the truck and the whole family, we just love this horse,” Holleran said.

“He is a great horse with a ton of personality.

“He had a little bit of a niggle and we never rush our horses and we only ever run them as three year-olds and we would never run them as two year-olds. Our philosophy is that we’d like to leave them for a bit more time.

“He had a trial at Benalla last year and one at Narrandera not so long ago but he had a few niggles and he was still growing so we tipped him out and took him nice and slow and he made his debut on the racetrack last Thursday.”

The stable weren’t the only ones who thought he’d go all right as he started $1.80 favourite over the 900m scamper on the soft five track at Albury.

Holleran said it was the first horse they had had that had won on debut.

“We had another one, Star Of Tennessee, but she got disqualified (was demoted from first on protest),” he said.

“But she also won at Albury on Thursday so we had a double. She is a horse (Starspangledbanner/Miley) I bought at Inglis.”

Hit’em Hard is a half-brother to Hazel’s Diary which has won three races for Holleran who also bred the mare.

Holleran said it was a real family affair when Hit’em Hard won.

The four year-old gelding is trained at Albury by his sister-in-law Donna Scott who is Leanne Hulm’s sister.

“Blake McDougall rode him and he is our niece’s partner and Donna is my sister-in-law and Leanne and I breed horses and spell horses at our farm” Holleran said.

“It’s a big family thing for us and all the owners in the horses are family too, plus a few other people.

“But what a thrill it was with Hit’em Hard winning and it was the end of a really nice story.”

Holleran said they had a band of broodmares of varying ages on their farm and another 14 racehorses which are trained exclusively by Scott.

They started Hazel Park in 2011 with one broodmare and Holleran said their best horse so far is another one he’s bred, Lord Von Costa (Von Costa De Hero/Cashed Up Lady) which has won two stakes races – the Creswick Stakes (1200m) and the Victorian Sprint Final (1200m) at his last start in July.

“I had a very long career in media and my chairman (Tim Hughes) was a part owner of Von Costa De Hero and as it turns out we have got the best one by him,” Holleran said.

“Tim owned Serenade Rose (multiple Group winner, including Group 1 winner of VRC Oaks and AJC Oaks).”

Holleran said he couldn’t put a head collar on horse seven years ago and described himself as a corporate guy who had previously raced a couple of horses with a few mates.

But he is quick learner and was called upon to strap Lord Von Costa at his last start victory. It’s another part of the business he loves.

He said his partner Leanne was from a family of farmers who had always had been involved in racehorses part-time.

“I started getting involved in it and just fell in love with it and it’s a thing I have been incredibly passionate about,” Holleran said.

“We have had a bit of luck and a few of our horses have done okay and Donna is a super trainer and has got a lot of clients other than our horses. She is in every one of our horses and it’s a family thing.

“Our property is name after their grandmother, Hazel Hulm who died a couple of years ago and was 95 years of age. We have got Hazel Park Racing in Albury with Donna and the farm here, Hazel Park.”

Holleran has a half-brother to Lord Von Costa, a three year-old (Our Last Cash) which will race in the New Year and is described as an exciting prospect. He said the full sister to Lord Von Costa, Lady Von Costa, has a foal to Magnus (The Great Man). And there is also an unraced Moshe gelding, My Boy Mo, out of Hit’em Hard’s dam, La Cachette.

He said Our Last Cash was special to him as the colt was orphaned with the death of Cashed Up Lady.

Holleran said that while it’s a cliché to say racing is dreaming, he has been lucky that a lot of their dreams have come true.