Afleet Esprit is heading for a lucrative spring following her last-to-first victory in the LR Cap D’Antibes Stakes (1100m) at Flemington.

The Bel Esprit filly became the 21st stakes winner for the Champion Eliza Park International sire and trainer David Hayes will set her for the G1 Thousand Guineas next month.

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Photo by Quentin Lang

“She’s shown plenty of quality at home and I was thrilled to see her produce it at the races with that burst of acceleration,” Hayes said.  “It was a good quality field of fillies and she will head to the Thousand Guineas via the Prelude.”

Afleet Esprit (3f Bel Esprit – Bonded by Danewin) broke away from the field in tandem with Lumosty and she firmed to $18 for the Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11.

She had won a Geelong maiden in June and then did just enough to defeat Godolphin filly Avanti at Moonee Valley last month.  “We gave them a good start today but she finished powerfully,” jockey Damien Oliver said.  “We can work out if she is going to get to a mile after the Prelude.”

Afleet Esprit is the first winner for Bonded who won four races for the Shannon family and she also finished midfield in the 2007 Thousand Guineas won by Serious Speed.

Vinery catalogued Afleet Esprit for the 2013 Gold Coast Magic Millions as agent for Torquay based breeder Alan Green but she was withdrawn before the sale.

Victorian-bred world champion Black Caviar has foaled a filly by Darley sire Exceed And Excel.

Managing owner Neil Werrett was there for the birth in the Hunter Valley and said it all went smoothly.  “She did it all very naturally with very little assistance,” Werrett said.  “The filly is outstanding with two small white socks and a bit of white across the head.

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Photo by Georgina Lomax

“Black Caviar took to the foal straightaway and then the first thing she wanted to do afterwards was eat.”

The undefeated mare was retired last year after an unbeaten 25 start career including 15 at Group 1 level.

Black Caviar’s first foal will almost certainly be retained to race instead of going through the yearling sales.  Werrett said an announcement regarding her next mate would be made shortly.

This is the time of the year when breakers are in the spotlight after educating our latest crop of new-season two year-olds.

Wangaratta based horseman Chris Ledger is one of the best in the business and he has gone out on a limb with the first juvenile races less than a month away.

“The Equiano – Hidden Energy colt is one of the best I’ve ever broken in,” Ledger claimed this week.  “I look after a lot of the young ones going to Mick Price and there’s been none better – including Lankan Rupee!”

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The colt broke the record for a first-season sire at the 2014 Melbourne Premier yearling sale when commanding $420,000.  He was purchased by Malaysian based owner Vincent Tan and has been named Kerauno which is the Ancient Greek word for lightning.

“Kerauno is a magnificent mover,” Ledger continued.  “He was a bit hot early on but settled down once we got him down to the track.  He bowls along super and has a beautiful temperament.

“He went down to Caulfield and Mick put him through the gates and then sent him out for a break.  I’m as keen as anybody to see him race.”

Swettenham Stud owner Adam Sangster stands Equiano at his Nagambie nursery and there were 76 live foals from his first southern crop.  They will begin racing on the back of a promising start by his English bred juveniles – there have been 12 individual winners in Europe so far this year.

Kerauno (2c Equiano – Hidden Energy by Dehere) is the second foal of a mare who was Group 1 placed in the SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes.  His price-tag helped Equiano average $105,200 at the Melbourne Premier 1 Sale.

Mornington trainer Pat Carey weighed in with $100,000 for the Equiano – Anna Dana filly at Oaklands Junction and has already tagged her an exciting prospect.

“This is a filly of real quality,” Carey claimed.  “She’s well developed, nicely balanced with a good stride and her breeding suggests she could be a two-year old.”

The filly’s pedigree has continued to improve since she changed hands.  Her Kaphero half-brothers – Our Kapow and Our Kaboom – both broke through following the Melbourne Premier.  Anna Dana (USA) was stakes placed in Kentucky and second dam Mount Helena (Danzig) is a half-sister to champion sire Street Cry.

Adelaide trainer Lloyd Kennewell is flying with brilliant three year-old Get The Nod and he has a strong team of babies in work at Morphettville.

Kennewell paid $120,000 for the Equiano – Subtle Breeze colt at the Gold Coast Magic Millions and reports the youngster is going along as good as gold.  “He’s got a lovely attitude and is a terrific mover.  He’s been in and out of work a couple of times and could very well be an early-comer.”

The colt’s older half-brother Trust In A Gust earned 2013-14 Super VOBIS Horse of the Year honours and his managing part-owner Dennis Speechley is also in the Equiano colt.

“He’s VOBIS qualified, too,” Kennewell said.  “I’m sure we will be crossing the border for those bonuses in the future.”

And in Sydney, champion trainer Chris Waller has just brought his Equiano – Mesh youngster back into work.  The colt is owned by Bob Ingham’s daughter Debbie Kepitis and also cost $120,000 at the Gold Coast Magic Millions.

He’s from a half-sister to the dam of last year’s G1 Caulfield Guineas winner Long John.  It’s a successful Woodlands Stud family and the colt is sure to carry on the Ingham tradition of excellence.

Equiano’s service fee has remained at $15,000 (plus gst) this year

A total of 7 Victorian events are among 14 races upgraded by the Australian Pattern Committee for 2014-15.

Upgraded to Group 2 level
Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m)  Caulfield
Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m)  Flemington

Upgraded to Group 3 level
Blue Diamond Fillies Preview  (1000m)  Caulfield
Ethereal Stakes (2000m)  Caulfield
Bendigo Cup  (2400m)  Bendigo

Upgraded to Listed level
Blue Sapphire (1200m) Caulfield
Atlantic Jewel Stakes (1200m)  Moonee Valley

All upgrades will take effect from January 1, 2015 except for the Blue Sapphire which will take effect immediately.

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Progressive filly Lola Beaux completed a weekend double for Swettenham Stud shuttler Equiano at Dundalk on Sunday.

The Jessica Harrington-trained filly defeated odds-on favourite General Marshall after a battle that started a full 400 metres from the finish in the Dundalk Stadium Maiden (1400m).  “I’m delighted to get that out of the way,” Harrington said after the second-up win.  “She’s very straight-forward and stuck at it very well.”

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Lola Beaux (2f Equiano – Polly Perkins by Pivotal) 

Lola Beaux (2f Equiano – Polly Perkins by Pivotal) will now be set for the G3 C L Weld Stakes (1400m) at the Curragh.  “She really got mugged first-up at Tipperary last month,” Harrington explained.  “She was in front for too long but this time she had something to run with.”

The winner was a 24,000 euros (AUD 34,770) buy for Ladbrokes PR spokeswoman Hayley O’Connor at the 2013 Goffs Orby yearling sale.  Her dam Polly Perkins was a Listed winner of the 2004 National Stakes and Dragon Stakes at Sandown.

Equally Fast logged the first-leg of Equiano’s weekend double in the Bilston Bathrooms Maiden (1000m) at Wolverhampton on Saturday.  He raced on the paced and was ridden out to score by three –quarters of a length.

Equally Fast (2f Equiano – Fabulously Fast by Deputy Minister) is trained by William Muir and was sold by Newsells Park Stud for 52,000 euros (AUD 77,035) at the 2013 Arqana yearling sale.

Newsells Park shuttles Equiano to Swettenham Stud and the Wiltshire nursery bred a younger sister to Equally Fast in 2013.

Last week was a busy week for foals at Bombora Downs and among them was the first of the eagerly awaited Jungle Ruler (Lion Hunter-Calista, by Zeditave) foals.

Jungle Ruler’s first foal was a beautiful grey filly from the Reset mare Reincur who was born in the wee hours of Monday, 25 August.

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“Given that Reincur was a maiden I’d have to say I’m delighted with the foal she has produced,” said Bombora’s Christoph Bruechert. “The filly is bigger than I was expecting, strong bodied, grey like her father and she’s showing signs of having inherited his very determined nature.”

Jungle Ruler was a crowd favourite whose bold, front-running racing style helped him build a career record of 20 wins and 24 placings, including the Gr3 Moonga Stakes & Gr3 Sandown Stakes, for over $800,000 prize-money. Jungle Ruler retired to stud last year and was well supported by breeders seeking a tough, sound stallion with a solid pedigree at an affordable price. By Danehill’s prolific stakes-producing son Lion Hunter, Jungle Ruler’s third dam is Gr1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) winner Lacovia, dam of Gr1 sprinter and sire Tobougg.

Jungle Ruler is also a direct descendant of Buckpasser mare Hopespringseternal, who is best known as the mother of outstanding stallion Miswaki (sire of Galileo’s dam Urban Sea).

Bel Esprit received a blast from the past when Esprit Lad won the Moree Town Plate on Sunday.

The 10 year-old gelding is from Bel Esprit’s first crop and he flew late to pounce on the leaders while clocking a slick 56.32s for 1000 metres.

Esprit Lad (10g Bel Esprit – Lady Marple by Geiger Counter) is part-owned and trained by Richard Jackson at Walgett and has won 12 races for over $180,000 in prizemoney since breaking his maiden way back in February 2008.

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Bel Esprit

He was bred by Rod Menzies and is from a half sister to Group 1 winning sprinter Marstic.  The Melbourne businessman has also bred Bel Esprit winners like Le Bel Away (Tasmanian 1000 Guineas).

Bel Esprit has already opened up a substantial lead on the 2014-15 Victorian sires’ premiership with earnings of $621,690 since August 1.  Written Tycoon is next best on $378,750.

The Eliza Park International champion has won 7 Victorian premierships in a row and is bearing down on the record of 9 titles held jointly by legendary stallions Better Boy and Helios.

Angelic Light spoiled the party for champion sprinter Lankan Rupee in the G2 McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday but the win sparked celebrations among the students at Northern Lodge.

The Eden Park campus is located 40km north of Melbourne and provides dedicated training courses for the Victorian racing and breeding industries.

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Angelic Light (5m Holy Roman Emperor – Flashed) 

Angelic Light (5m Holy Roman Emperor – Flashed) was bred and sold by Northern Lodge for $30,000 at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale and she has now earned over $442,000.

“You can’t expect to beat the best sprinter in the world, so to see her win is very exciting,” trainer Robbie Griffiths said.  “She had a tendon strain and the owners had to decide whether to go to stud or race on.  They’ve been very patient and it’s been a real team effort to get her back.”

The mare enjoyed a nice trail third on the fence behind the speed set up by Eloping and Lankan Rupee at Moonee Valley and then hooked off their backs to find the line in determined style.

Angelic Light will likely take on Lankan Rupee again in the Group 1 Moir Stakes back at Moonee Valley on September 26.”

Angelic Light kept the black-type flowing for her family following a Listed victory in the Crockett Stakes at Moonee Valley in October 2012.  Her dam Flashed won the LR VRC Ottawa Stakes at Flemington in 2001 and her second-dam Bright Light (El Moxie) won the Ottawa in 1995.

She is raced by a large syndicate that includes Andrew Dunemann whose Boom Syndicate also has shares Group 1 sprinters Temple of Boom and Spirit Of Boom.

Northern Lodge also bred and sold the final foal from Flashed for $90,000 at the 2013 Melbourne Premier.  She is a 3yo filly Sebring filly named See Me Flash who won on debut at Sale in February.

Hawkspur has joined an elite group of modern-day gallopers with successive victories in the G2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m).

The son of Chatswood Stud stallion Purrealist nosed out class mare Royal Descent in a pulsating finish to the historic weight-for-age event at Randwick on Saturday.

Hawkspur is only the fourth horse to double up the Chelmsford since 1970 following Kingston Town (1980-81), Stargazer (1990-91) and Lonhro (2002-03).

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Hawkspur (5g Purrealist – Mollyhawk by Catbird) 

The Chris Waller trained gelding is better known as a backmarker but jockey Jim Cassidy elected to lead in the heavy conditions.  “I thought it would be hard to them a start,” he said.  “The mare definitely headed me but he just kept finding – I knew he would.”

Hawkspur (5g Purrealist – Mollyhawk by Catbird) emerged as a quality stayer winning the G3 Rough Habit, G3 Grand Prix and G1 Queensland Derby at the 2013 Brisbane winter carnival.  He flew from last to claim last year’s Chelmsford Stakes but had been unable to build on that success during the spring and autumn carnivals.

Waller prepared the first six to finish on Saturday – a record-breaking performance in an Australian Group event.  The champion trainer said Hawkspur will run in the G1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 20 prior to the G1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4.

He also holds nominations for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

Hawkspur is a homebred for David Puglisi and his wife Lynley.  His dam Mollyhawk has a 2yo Purrealist colt named Devil Hawk.

Purrealist (Tale of the Cat) stands at Chatswood Stud for a $5,500 (inc gst) fee.

A record attendance at Eliza Park International’s Open Day at Kerrie should provide its stallions with an ideal springboard for the 2014 breeding season.

Some 500 Victorians (and quite a few interstaters for that matter) had their first opportunity to inspect both Fiorente and Fighting Sun since they retired from the track, while other crowd favourites included 7-time Victorian champ, Bel Esprit, Wanted, Magnus, Statue of Liberty and Black Caviar’s brother, Moshe.  And having the lightning quick, Squamosa, as first cab off the rank proved to be a popular move too.

“It was certainly the biggest turnout we’ve seen at Eliza,” EPI’s Sales & Nominations Manager, Mark Lindsay, pointed out.  “The stallions all looked in terrific order – Bel Esprit is incredibly popular – but naturally enough it was Fiorente and Fighting Sun that many were there to see.

“I had to announce that Fighting Sun was fully booked, but quite a few people signed up on the spot for next year.

“Fiorente is heading that way too: everyone has seen him on TV of course and from a distance at the track but when you get up close and personal, it’s a whole new ball game.  He is such a good looking horse.

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FIGHTING SUN
Photo / Sharon Chapman

“But it wasn’t all just about stallion parades: the food was great, we recycled quite a few bottles and the Expo went off a treat with marquees set up for a whole range of suppliers including pedigree analysis, taxation, gear, veterinary, nutrition, syndication, insurance, stabling, clothing, wines … there was even a jewellery stand!”

Fiorente’s first cover earlier this week was the Sadler’s Wells mare, Marie Rose, from the Group 2 winner Langoustine and closely related to Royal Academy and Storm Cat.

Fighting Sun’s initial mission – gladly accepted – was the Bel Esprit gal, Champagne Flute, a close relation to 3-time Group 1 winner Maldivian.

Americain’s first Kentucky crop received a Group 1 boost during the Saratoga summer meet that finished on Monday.

The value of his foal from California Sunset sky-rocketed when its older half-brother V. E. Day won the G1 Travers Stakes (2000m) by a nose from stablemate Wicked Strong.

The Travers is North America’s premier classic outside the Triple Crown and it was a steep rise in grade for V. E. Day who was coming off a Listed victory in the Curlin Stakes at the Spa on July 25.

V. E. Day (3c English Channel – California Sunset by Deputy Minister) is raced by 85 year-old breeder Magalen Bryant who owns Locust Hill Farm in Virginia.  She is better known for her top-class steeplechasers.

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California Sunset was bred in 2001 and is an unraced half-sister to Hollywood Park stakes winner Don’t Read My Lips (Turkoman).  She had already foaled minor winners by Afleet Alex, English Channel, Aldebaran and Cape Town.

Americain has just returned to Swettenham Stud from Calumet Farm in Kentucky where he stands alongside V.E. Day’s sire English Channel.  Calumet owner Brad Kelley sold the Travers winner for $135,000 at the 2013 Ocala March 2YO Sale.

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens said V.E. Day and Wicked Strong could clash again in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont on September 27.

Americain (Dynaformer) began covering his second southern book at Swettenham this week at a $13,750 (inc gst) fee.

Trust In A Gust is giving his owners the ride of a lifetime and the journey is only just starting for the large syndicate.

The Darren Weir trained sprinter was named 2013-14 Super VOBIS Horse of the Year and now his connections are planning a spring carnival campaign that includes a Group 1 at Caulfield later this month.

Ballarat-based owner David Speechley and his son Paul are part of the syndicate that has already shared over a half-million dollars with Trust In A Gust courtesy of VOBIS Gold and its mother scheme Super VOBIS.

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VOBIS girls flank winning connections at Moonee Valley; (L-R) Ben West, David Stott, Dennis Napthine, Darren Weir, David, Trisha, Paul & Angela Speechley

Victorian Liberal Premier Dr Denis Napthine is also Minister for Racing and he recently announced funding of up to $19 million in prizemoney and bonuses for the Schemes in 2014-15.  The ongoing support by Dr Napthine’s Government will benefit all sections of the industry before flowing through to the wider Victorian economy.

“VOBIS is a great initiative and it makes racing a good horse with family and friends even more rewarding,” Paul Speechley said.  “We got a chance to thank Denis Napthine for all those amazing bonuses at Moonee Valley earlier this year.”

The Trust In A Gust syndicate spent some of that VOBIS money on another horse named Symphonix and he won at Bendigo and Donald before finishing second in the VOBIS Gold Classic at Swan Hill in June.

That flow on effect fuels the thoroughbred cycle right through to grass-roots racing people and, in turn, their local communities.

The Trust In A Gust members are also scattered throughout the State as far apart as Ballarat, Warrnambool, Gippsland and Melbourne.

Paul’s father David has bred and raced lots of horses over the years.  “I have been in a couple of them with Dad and have followed all of his horses passionately,” he said.  “But it was a fluke that my mates and I from St. Patrick’s College and a few other friends got involved with Trust In A Gust.

“We didn’t know Dad already had a share in him.  My best mate David Stott manages KTF Racing and he was told to buy into the Keep the Faith – Subtle Breeze yearling at the Melbourne Premier Sale.

“David rang Dad and asked his opinion and was told; ‘You better jump aboard because I’ve just purchased 20% in him!’.

Trust In A Gust (4h Keep The Faith – Subtle Breeze by Storm Cat) started last season winning Super VOBIS races at Echuca and Stawell in September.  He kept targeting bonuses in the VOBIS Gold Eureka Stockade at Ballarat and VOBIS Gold Carat at Caulfield before completing a hat-trick in the Chandler Macleod Stakes at Moonee Valley in January.

He was also runner-up in the VOBIS Gold Eldorado at Wangaratta in March and VOBIS Gold Reef at Flemington in April.

“Darren has a special rapport with his horses and he knows exactly where and when to place them,” Paul added.  “Trust In A Gust has won 7 times in 13 starts and that’s a great platform going into the spring carnival.”

Weir will nominate him for the LR Drummond Golf Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley this Saturday and, all going well, he will then be set for the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Sunday, September 28.

None of the Speechley horses have been good enough to win at that level.  Among David Speechley’s best has been Chord (Distant Music) who won at Sandown & Moonee Valley as well as last year’s Colac Cup.

Paul has had some fun with his mates with Excuse My French (French Deputy) who won the 2009 Jack Maher Classic at Wodonga and the following year’s Hobart and Tasmanian Guineas double.

“Dad is also in Trust In A Gust’s younger half-brother by Adam Sangster’s new Swettenham Stud sire Equiano.  He’s with Lloyd Kennewell over in Adelaide and cost $120,000 at the Magic Millions in January.

“Dad actually tried to buy him off Adam as a weanling after Trust In A Gust had shown so much ability early on.”

The asking price for the Equiano colt is a substantial mark-up on the $45,000 Trust In A Gust cost at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale.  He was bred and sold by Swettenham Stud and his dam is a three-quarter sister to Balanchine (Storm Bird) who won the 1994 Irish Derby and English Oaks.

“We’re probably getting ahead of ourselves looking at the Rupert Clarke Stakes,” Paul admitted.  “But that’s what racing is all about…dreaming of a Group 1 in the big league.

“A Group 1 will be that much sweeter after banking those VOBIS cheques along the way” he explained.  “Win, lose or draw, it’s a magic feeling and all the owners are keen to keep reinvesting the bonuses into more horses.”

Second season stallions traditionally come right under the microscope at this time of the year, when their first crops turn three.

One such stallion, namely Blue Gum Farm’s Turffontein, is really starting to make his presence felt. With his first crop black type performers Fontein Ruby and Turfane already showing they are 3yo’s to watch, the exciting dual Group 1 winning stallion has produced another three first time winners in the last week!

It started last Tuesday at Geelong when a courageous Day Two Miss came from well back to score impressively for the all conquering Darren Weir stable. Placed at her only other two racetrack appearances, the $25,000 yearling purchase looks to be a value buy with an exciting future ahead. Interesting to note that after purchasing three first crop Turffontein’s, Darren Weir purchased another two second crop members this year!

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Turffontein parading at Blue Gum Farm’s 2014 Stallion Parade. 

From Geelong it was over to Singapore on Friday night where Sunday Sun defeated the short priced favorite Super Joy with a determined last furlong that showed great tenacity. Sunday Sun is owned by a partnership that includes Marsh and Guy Shirtliff and Marcus Jooste and is trained by the astute Theo Kieser. Could this be another South African owned and trained fairytale story for an Australian bred, just like Rocket Man and Ato? Sunday Sun was a $65,000 yearling purchase from the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale and is yet another successful product of Blue Gum Farm.

Still in Singapore and following hot on the heels of Sunday Sun’s win was the jaw dropping performance of Golden Tomahawk on Sunday. This 3yo certainly turned heads yesterday with his five and a half length winning romp. An $80,000 purchase from the Inglis Ready2Race Sale last year, and now in the care of the talented horseman Shane Baertschiger, Golden Tomahawk exploded away from his rivals to score an effortless victory on debut.

Breed in North East Victoria by Michael Carlile, Golden Tomahawk is out of Night Sky Dancer, a daughter of the Group winner Celestial Show. Night Sky Dancer has a yearling full brother to Golden Tomahawk and is also carrying another full sibling.

Turffontein’s 2014 service fee is $7,700.

Polanski has been signed to start covering his first book on the Mornington peninsula this month.

The Victoria Derby winner will be based with well-known vet Jacqui McGregor at her Tyabb property which has just been christened Ducks Crossing.

His introductory service fee is $5,500 (inc gst).

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Polanski

Polanski (4h Rakti – Citrium by Citidancer) retires as the winner of 4 races from just 10 starts topped by a Group 1 triumph in the 2013 Victoria Derby (2500m).  He also won the G3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield and LR Super Impose Stakes (1800m) at Flemington.

The Robbie Laing trained colt had started his career with an outstanding victory in a Caulfield two year-old event over 1400m.

Polanski is member of the potent Danzig tribe through his sire Rakti who won five Group 1 events in Italy and England.  His dam Citrium was named Victorian Broodmare of the Year for 2013-14.

“I can remember Polanski from when he first arrived at Robbie’s stable as a yearling,” McGregor recalled.  “He always looked a classic type – big, athletic and balanced with a huge front-end.

“Now he’s 16.3 hands and has a superb temperament.  We’ve done a semen evaluation and there’s no problem with his fertility.

“He’s already received bookings after the first-season stallion parade at Oaklands last week and there’s been plenty of interest from local breeders and trainers down here.

The Mornington Peninsula is re-establishing itself as a premier location for thoroughbreds and is now home to a number of leading breeders including Morning Rise, Musk Creek, Bombora Downs, Flinders Park, Two Bays Farm and Tarcoola Stud.

For further information on Polanski, broodmare owners can contact Jacqui McGregor (0429 057 037) or office manager Sally Airey (0437 866 856).

The Australian Thoroughbred breeding season begins today with the country’s stallions set to generate more than $300 million in income for their services.

In the 2013 breeding season, 637 individual sires across the nation covered some 20,060 mares, with more than 13,500 foals expected to be born this spring (67% of those covered).

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Written Tycoon excited for the breeding season ahead. Photo by Woodside Park. 

Basil Nolan, the chairman of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, said the size of the fees for stallions demonstrates the breeding industry’s importance to the wider economy.  “This is a vitally important industry to Australia, especially in rural areas where these stud farms are based,” he said.

“The hundreds of millions generated in stallion fees is only one part of the economic input; there’s also the thousands of people who work in the breeding industry, the agistment  fees paid by breeders and, of course, the money spent on buying the horses.

“We are very fortunate to have one of the strongest breeding industries in the world, with Australian-bred horses recognised across the globe for their speed and toughness.”

NSW had the most stallions last year (211) as well as the most thoroughbred mares covered (9,644), followed by Victoria (159 – 5,025), Queensland (150 – 2,752), WA (67 – 1,752), SA (28 – 614) and Tasmania (21 – 271).

 

Victorian owner-breeders Ed and Robyn Shakespeare have won the 2013-14 Swettenham Stud Victorian Country Racehorse of the Year award with their classy stayer Hurdy Gurdy Man.

The Street Cry gelding won the Hamilton Cup and Murtoa Cup and was also placed in the Ballarat Cup and Werribee Cup last season.  He topped the poll ahead of Diamonds at Noon and Me Hungi.

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Hurdy Gurdy Man

Hurdy Gurdy Man had won the G3 Hobart Cup and Woodend Cup at Warrnambool in 2012-13.  “This horse had few little niggling issues when he was younger,” trainer Darren Weir said.  “But Ed and Robyn have been very patient with him.”

Along with being crowned the Country Racehorse of the Year, the Shakespeares received a commemorative Americain framed head collar (one of only five) courtesy of Swettenham Stud.

Hurdy Gurdy Man’s dam Abalone is a daughter of former Swettenham Stud sire Bluebird.

“There were a number of horses who had outstanding seasons in contention for this year’s award,” Country Racing CEO Scott Whiteman said at the South Wharf Convention Centre.  “It’s a great achievement by everyone involved in Hurdy Gurdy Man and this award is great recognition of their hard work.”

Fresh from been named 2013-14 Leading Victorian Breeders of the Year, David and Jenny Moodie claimed their first Group win of the season with Flamberge on Saturday.

The Contract Racing homebred sprinted to a convincing victory in the G3 The Heath (1100m) at Caulfield.

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Flamberge

Flamberge (5g Exceed and Excel – Razor Blade by Blazing Sword) sat in the sweet seat and then opened the throttle for a third Group 3.  He had won the Standish Hcp at Flemington and Sebring Stakes at Rosehill earlier this year.

“He raises the bar every prep and this could be his best yet,” jockey Vlad Duric said after the first-up victory.  “He really tries hard and is so genuine.”

Flamberge is the third Contract Racing stakes winner from Razor Blade following Sunburnt Land (G2 MRC Caulfield Sprint) and Curtana (Listed VRC Red Roses Stakes).  The mare’s last two foals are an unraced 3yo colt named Durendal (Medaglia D’Oro) and a unnamed 2yo colt by Hard Spun.

The Moodies go way back with the family.  Razor Blade is a daughter of Blazing Sword who won two stakes races at Flemington in days when Contract Racing’s colours were carried by Harry White.

Blazing Sword (Marscay) retired to stand at Craigielea Stud at Kilmore and sired Contract Racing mare Arctic Scent to a Group 1 triumph in the 1996 Caulfield Cup.

Strong trade continued during the second session of the DBS Premier Sales in the UK overnight taking its final figures well ahead of what was a highly successful sale in 2013.

After an encouraging opening day, demand for yearlings was strong from the first lot in the ring on day two and a flourish of six figure prices later in the evening saw the sale average finish at a pleasing £37,111, up 14% on 2013 with the clearance rate at 88%.

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Pictured: Canford Cliffs Filly from Decorative. Source DBS website.

A total of 21 yearlings made £100,000 or more, up from 16 last year with yesterday’s top price of £230,000 for Castletown Quarry Stud’s Starspangledbanner colt the overall sale-topper.

Setting the pace on day two was Manister House Stud’s Canford Cliffs fillyfrom minor winning Danehill Dancer mare Decorative who was knocked down to Tony Nerses for £180,000.

The top priced filly of the sale, she was one of three Canford Cliffs yearlings to make over £100,000, a great result for a young sire that shuttles to Blue Gum Farm in Victoria and will have yearlings at Australian sales in 2015.

Sharing top honours for the second highest priced offering of the day was The Premier Consignment’s Zoffany half-sister to last weekend’s Group I winner The Wow Signal that was bought by Chasemore Farm for £150,000.

A Group I winning son of Dansili that shuttles to Coolmore in Australia, Zoffany also had a colt from Chameleon fetch £120,000 and a filly from Promise of Love fetch £100,000 and he too will have yearlings at Australian sales in 2015.

Article by Breednet.

Blue Gum Farm’s dual Group I winner Turffontein added a new winner to his tally at Geelong on Tuesday when Day Two Miss saluted in good style.

Placed at her only two previous runs, the Darren Weir trained filly was sent out favourite and produced a sensational finishing burst to zoom home from near last and win the 1300 metre maiden by a head.

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Day Two Miss

A modest $25,000 Inglis Premier purchase from Session II from the Flinders Park Stud draft, Day Two Miss is the third winner for Porschalaine, a half-sister by Keltrice to Group II winner Jiang.

She is the third winner for Turffontein, who is also the sire of stakes-placed Fontein Ruby and Turfane, who are both entered for the Group I MRC Thousand Guineas and Caulfield Guineas respectively.

Winner of the Group I MRC Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and MVRC William Reid Stakes as an older horse, Turffontein blossomed as an older horse and his progeny may well do likewise.

Turffontein stands at Blue Gum Farm at a fee of $7,700.

Victoria has another exciting crop of first-season sires beginning their stud careers next month and six of them paraded before the Inglis August Sale at Oaklands Junction.

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FIORENTE  (Monsun – Desert Bloom by Pilsudski)
Eliza Park International
Fee:  $17,600 (inc gst).

Victoria’s 2013-14 Horse of the Year following Group 1 victories in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) and Australian Cup (2000m) plus Group 2 wins in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) and Peter Young Stakes (1800m).

Apart from those racing highlights last season, Fiorente (Ger) is a son of champion sire Monsun who is one of the world’s most successful sires with 17% stakes winners-to-runners strike-rate.

FIGHTING SUN  (Northern Meteor – Irish Darling by Ivory’s Irish)
Eliza Park International
Fee: $13,750 (inc gst)

Fighting Sun is the highest rated 2YO colt by ill-fated sire Northern Meteor whose legacy includes Zoustar, Romantic Touch and Eurozone.  He is out of Group 1 winning mare Irish Darling and is assured of tremendous support from EPI owner Sun International.

Gai Waterhouse flagged Fighting Sun as her Golden Slipper horse after a three length victory in the LR Canonbury Stakes but he was sidelined after suffering a suspensory injury.

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POLANSKI (Rakti – Citrium by Citidancer)
Roycevale Stud
Fee:  TBA

Polanski won the LR Super Impose Stakes (1800m) at Flemington and G3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield before a dream result in last year’s G1 Victoria Derby at Flemington.

Part-owner and trainer Robbie Laing brought the colt back for a G1 Australia Derby campaign but he broke down first-up in the G1 Futurity Stakes.

His sire Rakti – a Danzig line sire through Polish Precedent – was a five-time Group 1 winner in Italy and England and his dam Citrium was named Victorian Broodmare of the Year earlier this month.

UNENCUMBERED  (Testa Rossa – Blizzardly by More Than Ready)
Three Bridges Thoroughbreds
Fee: $13,200 (inc gst)

Retired sound and will begin stud duties eight years after his sire Testa Rossa transferred out of Victoria to the Hunter Valley.

Won on debut at Randwick and then added a Group 3 in the B J McLachlan Stakes at Doomben before cruising home in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic on the Gold Coast.

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UNUSUAL SUSPECT (Unusual Heat – Penpont by Crested Wave)
Moorookyle Park
Fee:  $7,700 (inc gst)

Group 1 winner of the Hollywood Park Turf Cup following stakes wins at Santa Anita, Del Mar, Golden Gate Fields and Bay Meadows.

Unusual Suspect is by champion sire Unusual Heat from NZ bred Riccarton winner Penpont who has also foaled G1 Santa Anita Las Virgenes Stakes winner Golden Doc.  After arriving in Australia from Dubai, he won the LR Werribee Cup at his penultimate start before retiring to Moorookyle Park.

WAR (More Than Ready – Deedra by Zabeel)
Blue Gum Farm
Fee: $8,800 (inc gst)

A $500,000 graduate from the 2012 Inglis Easter Sale, War was runner-up in the LR Breeders Plate at Randwick on debut and returned as a three year-old to win the G3 Up and Coming Stakes (1300m) at Warwick Farm.

War joined Snitzel, Fastnet Rock, Exceed and Excel, Testa Rossa and Marscay on the roll-call of Up and Coming Stakes winners and they all developed into top-class sires.

The Blue Gum newcomer is by Champion 2YO Sire More Than Ready whose sire sons include champion stallion Sebring and his second-dam is G1 Queensland Oaks winner Joie Denise.

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All photos by Sharon Chapman at Fast Track Photography.