After being named the Leading Small Breeder for the 2020/21 season at last week’s Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria awards, Ivan Holloway is looking forward to more success with his local band of four broodmares.
Holloway and his wife Martina, who operate Holloway Equine, won the Kentucky Equine Research and Barastoc Leading Victorian Small Breeder on the back of Hong Kong Galloper Excellent Proposal which they bred.
Although unplaced at last Sunday’s Group 1 Hong Mile, the five-year-old galloper has won seven races and $2.5 million in prize money. He is a winner of the Hong Kong Classic Mile.
Holloway said it was an honour and thrill to be presented with the award, which made things a little more worthwhile to be recognised in the category of breeders with fewer than five broodmares.
He is hoping to breed another quality galloper.
His Group 2 winning mare Mamzelle Tess is in foal to So You Think and his Listed placed, Sophia’s Choice, is also in foal to the same stallion.
Named after his daughter Sophia, the five-year-old mare was bought by Holloway for $240,000 at the 2018 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
A winner of three races, she was retired to stud after having a final start at Mornington in January for Robert Kingston who has since retired as a trainer.
Fastnet Rock mare Fading Shades is in foal to Toronado and Forgotten Dreams is in foal to another Swettenham Stud stallion, I Am Immortal which Holloway has a stallion share in.
“I like their breeding and also liked them as racehorses as well,” he said.
“They are going really well.”
Holloway said he didn’t experience a great time with his broodmares last season, but does have a Merchant Navy from Forgotten Dreams and another couple he has bred in Ireland.
“It’s the only one I have on the ground this year, but I have an Exceed and Excel and a Zoustar yearling that are hopefully going to hit the boat sometime in March that I have bred overseas,” he said.
“They are just getting broken in now.
“I bought a horse over here about six or seven years ago, a horse called Zilbiyr out of a Dalakhani mare, and she won a few races, and then I bought the mother and I have bred three foals to her now. The first two have been winners and I have a Holy Roman Emperor on the ground and a Highland Reel filly.
“The dam was Zaziyra.”
Unfortunately Zaziyra died after giving birth to the Highland Reel filly in Ireland.
“I hope to keep the family going with the filly,” he said.
Irish-born Holloway, who heads a global infrastructure company, bought a mare in foal to Fastnet Rock at the recent Goffs Sale and she’ll most likely also head to Australia.
While Holloway had hoped to get a foal out of Mamzelle Tess last season after paying $110,000 for the Group 2 winner as a broodmare, he put her back into racing after she didn’t get into foal to Merchant Navy.
She failed to be placed in her five comeback runs, which convinced Holloway the nine-year-old mare was ready for the breeding barn again.
He had ambitiously hoped to get enough public support for the daughter of O’Lonhro to make the All-Star Mile field, but she failed to get enough votes.
Holloway had mixed success with Excellent Proposal’s dam, Pivotal (GB) mare Procrastination (GB) which cost him $180,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions Broodmare Sale.
He said the mare, which was in foal to Exceed and Excel when he bought her with what was to become Excellent Proposal, won two races in France and was stakes placed and more interesting was out of Rubiton mare Dilly Dally which won two Group 2 races over 1200m in Australia.
Holloway sold the Exceed and Excel colt at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for $200,000 to Bill Mitchell who bought him for a Hong Kong client.
Unfortunately the dam died after the second foal by Vancouver – the second bred by Holloway – was retained by the breeder and is now trained by Matt Laurie at Mornington.
Now a four-year-old, the horse is named Potato Pete as Holloway explained he names the horses after his children. Sophia’s Choice is named after one of his daughters.
Holloway laughed when he explained that Potato Pete is his son’s nickname.
Now a four-year-old, Potato Pete has been unplaced in his three starts, but will return to racing as a gelding.
Holloway said he likes to breed to race and also has shares in a couple of horses, including with Adam Sangster.
“The feeling you get with a winner for yourself, it’s the same feeling when you breed one and see it win,” he said.
“It’s good when you have actually bred one and it goes to the racecourse and wins.”
Holloway said he would need to turn over a couple of the horses and he’ll probably sell one of the mares in foal at the Inglis Digital Sale and another one would head to the sales.
“But if anything is a filly, I’ll probably keep it and the colts I’ll probably sell.
“I like the fillies as they can hold their value if they are breeding propositions.”
Holloway admits that racing has been a lifetime obsession and love which started when he went to the races in Ireland as a child and was then attracted to the gambling side of the industry.
He then owned and raced a couple before buying a couple of broodmares in Ireland.
After being based in Australia for eight years, Holloway’s love for racing and breeding continues to grow.
He likes to bring out at least one horse a year from Ireland in the hope they’ll make in on the track or the breeding barn.

Woodside Park Stud sire Foxwedge (woodside Park)

Foxwedge led the way with an abundance of Victorian stallions providing winners throughout Australia on the weekend.

It’s been an extremely good month for Woodside Park’s Foxwedge (Fastnet Rock x Forest Native) which produced the first two winners at Bairnsdale on Sunday.

Four-year-old Lottie’s The Boss, out of Second Draw, won the opening race for Cranbourne trainer Mick Kent and scored over the 2200m trip.

And Foxwedge showed his versatility in the next race when the Peter Moody trained Foxicon won on debut over the 1000m sprint distance.
Both horses started as the favourites, the Victorian bred Foxicon also picked up a Super VOBIS nominator’s bonus of $3,600 and an owner’s bonus of $8,400 to go with the first prize of $13,750 for winning the three-year-old maiden.

Foxicon is out of the unraced mare Think Icon (So You Think x Think Money).
The winners have flowed steadily for Foxwedge in December which started off on the first of the month when Sagacious won at the Sunshine Coast.
And then on the third of the month, Yourjokingme Right also won at the Sunshine Coast, while Silver Road finished second at Devonport.
The winners and placegetters kept coming on Saturday when Defiant Dancer won on Pakenham Cup Day, while Foxy Rose finished second at Toowoomba; Miss Isolation won at Albury and Baledon was second and Bella Violet also ran second at Newcastle.
Foxwedge produced his 23 Stakes winner when New Zealander Raposa Rapida (Bardego) won the Legacy Lodge Stakes (1200m) at Te Aroha last month.
The stallion has also had 27 Stakes placed horses.
Woodside Park’s Mark Dodemaide said Foxwedge, along with the stud’s two other stallions Rich Enuff (Written Tycoon x Hotnuff) and Tosen Stardom (Deep Impact x Admire), had again been well supported this season and would continue to cover mares until Christmas.
“Foxwedge had the two winners on Sunday, and then there is Andrew Noblet’s horse Foxy Frida which I think is the sort of horse that can win a Listed race somewhere around the joint,” Dodemaide said.
“The way she ran in the Ballarat Cup (she finished fifth beaten just 1.2 lengths) and the way she hit the line at the end of 2000m, you wouldn’t rule her out of those good mare races,” he said.
“And that Defiant Dancer (now with six wins) won a decent race (1200m) over the weekend.
“The thing I think about Foxwedge was that when he went to yearling sale for his breeders, he was the third top-priced ($925,000) colt at Easter, so he got them a quid.
“He went to the races for the trainer (John O’Shea) and wins a Group 1 and beats Haylist and Buffering and gets beaten a whisker in the Coolmore.”
Dodemaide said the success of Foxwedge has continued at stud with his 50 Stakes results.
He said when Foxwedge first arrived at Woodside from Newgate in January of 2019 the stallion had produced 11 stakes winners, but had produced another 12 since being in Victoria.
Foxwedge served 163 mares in his first season at Newgate and 68 in his last season there, and covered 67 in his first season at Woodside Park, followed by 116 last year.
“He’ll do more than 100 again this year,” Dodemaide said.
“For a stallion his age, 13-years-old, he has had 23 Stakes winners and five Group 1 winners.
“He is good value at $10,000 and is a good VOBIS horse.”
Foxwedge has produced Group 1 winners in Great Britain, New Zealand and South Africa where the mare Run Fox Run was rated as the country’s best sprinter.
Dodemaide said Run Fox Run was nearly the Black Caviar of South Africa after winning five times of over 1000m, once at 1100m and twice at 1200m from her 11 starts. The mare, retired earlier this year, won her first five starts by an aggregate of nearly 12 lengths.
“You wonder what she would have been like if she’d stayed in Australia,” he said.
Dodemaide said Rich Enuff and Tosen Stardom both had good books as well.
He said Rich Enuff, with bookings also around the 100 mark, was producing plenty of winners but was a bit unfortunate that four-year-old Orbiysn got injured after being unbeaten in his four starts in Queensland for David Vandyke.
“And Tosen Stardom is going to be around the 100 mark as well,” he said.
“For him, he has only had the one starter and is now in his fourth season and being around the 100 is largely on the back of the positive feel of trainers telling owners about him.
“I thought it he was going to be tougher this year but to be around those numbers in his fourth season I think is pretty good.”
Tosen Stardom’s oldest progeny are two-year-olds, and the first to race was the Jack Laing trained colt, Belgian Black (Hill Street Blues), which was unplaced on debut over 1000m on a heavy track at Cranbourne’s Cup meeting last month.
Dodemaide said he wouldn’t expect to see the Tosen Stardoms on the track until March or April.
“We have three good stallions and Foxwedge just keeps doing it,” he said.
“They are all competitively priced and even Rich Enuff, the thing with him is that he is still the highest-rated son of Written Tycoon and he is a beautiful looking horse.”
There was plenty of success for Victorian stallions and locally bred horses around the country on the weekend, kicking off with Luna Cat’s victory in the opening race at The Valley on Friday night.
The Victorian bred filly is by Swettenham Stud’s Puissance de Lune and is out of Gauze which has produced two other fillies – Pouvoir De Soie and Gaze Grise – by the same stallion and they’re also winners.
The Hayes racing team paid $30,000 for Luna Cat at the 2020 Adelaide Yearling Sale.
Four-year-old Danerich mare Aminatu continued with her good form, winning the 955m dash at The Valley at big odds of $41.
Trained by Trevor Rogers at Cranbourne, the mare beat only one runner home at her previous run when starting as the $2.15 favourite. The stewards reported that she blundered at the start, became unbalanced and also lost a plate during the 1000m race at Terang.
Danerich is part of the stallion roster at Cornwall Park Stud.
Toorak Toff, which now stands in Tasmania after a stint at Rosemont Stud, repaid his former place of employment by providing the winner of the benchmark 64 (1528m) Stay Gold at The Valley.
The five-year-old mare, out of Gold Lottey, is raced by Rosemont Stud and Fern Vale Farm and trained by Danny O’Brien at Flemington.
The aptly named Winsum did exactly that for father and daughter training team Ken and Kasey Keys at Pakenham’s Cup meeting.
With three wins and a second and a third from eight starts, Ken paid $14,000 at the 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast National Yearling Sale for the son of Wandjina that now stands at Larneuk Stud, near Euroa.
Out of Vernier (Zizou x Chatelaine), the four-year-old gelding is raced by the Keys family and has won all three races at 1000m.
And Swettenham Stud’s new stallion, Rubick, had another winner when El Buena took out the last race (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday. Mr Mosaic, also by Rubick, won earlier in the day at 1100m.
No week would be complete without Swettenham’s Toronado producing some winners. He had two – Gorgonado and the promising Airclash – at Mornington last Friday. The stallion also had a winner, Annika, in Adelaide on Saturday, while Lady Tornado won at Pinjarra.

Looks Like Elvis ridden by Brett Prebble wins the VOBIS Gold Bullion at Sportsbet Pakenham on December 04, 2021 in Pakenham, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

The lightning raid of Sydney gelding Looks Like Elvis at the Pakenham Cup meeting netted the seven-year-old’s owners a big payday.

As well as the first prize of $96,250, the Victorian-bred gelding picked up an owner’s bonus of $23,000 and a nominator’s bonus of $7,000 for winning the VOBIS Gold Bullion (1400m) which was restricted to VOBIS Gold qualified horses.

Bred by Doug McLennan and Mark Casey, Looks Like Elvis was sold through Rosemont Stud’s draft at the 2019 Inglis Classic Yearling Summer Book.

The gelding was purchased for $110,000 by Eagle Farm trainer Bryan Dais, on behalf of stable clients, but has been under the care of Warwick Farm trainer Jarrod Austin since August, 2020.

Now with nine wins, 12 seconds and six thirds for $858,560 in stakes, it was Austin’s first win with the son of the Group 1 winning All American which was part-owned by Clinton Casey, a former Richmond president and brother of Mark Casey.

Austin said the big VOBIS money was the lure behind targeting the race which they finally got to after a couple of setbacks with planned lead-up races that never eventuated.

“It’s a funny story, but we originally had him set to run in The Gong (a $1 million dollar race) and then two weeks later he was going to come down and run in the VOBIS race,” Austin said.

“But he didn’t end up getting a run in The Gong and got balloted out and was the first emergency, so it changed all our plans and then we decided to run him the following week at Rosehill in The Festival Stakes and then when the heavy 10 came up we changed plans again.

“So we headed off to Melbourne. It was always on the radar but we couldn’t get a run anywhere. It looked like a nice race for him on paper, and the main thing was getting back onto a dry surface and it was such a long time since he’d been on one, but he showed what he could.”

It’s not the first time the owners of Looks Like Elvis have targeted a VOBIS race. The gelding ran third in the VOBIS Gold Star (1500m) at The Valley in 2019 and followed his two previous unplaced runs in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m).

Austin said the owners were always keeping their eyes on the VOBIS races.

“The VOBIS seems like a really good system and there is great prize money,” he said.

“It works well. You are getting an advantage by racing against restricted horses in that sense because they have to be in that scheme.

“It’s a big bonus to be in the scheme.”

Austin said he was lucky to get hold of Looks Like Elvis and a few others when owner Jim Critchley relocated to Sydney and took his horses with him.

And the Looks Like Elvis name has certainly given the horse a bit of a cult following and guarantees he attracts attention where ever he races.

After last Saturday’s 2.8 length victory over Winning Partner, Austin said Looks Like Elvis would probably return to Melbourne on New Year’s Day to have a crack at the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.

“He has won a lot of money, and all of it is without winning a black-type event, and he has run numerous placings in Group and Listed races without breaking through,” he said.

“It’s a lot of prize money for a horse that hasn’t won black type so he has been a real good money-spinner.”

Austin Looks Like Elvis is in great form and has been happy with all four of his runs this preparation which includes a narrow second in the Group 3 Bill Richie Stakes at Rosehill and third in the Listed Ladies Day Stakes at Hawkesbury.

And winning jockey Brett Prebble couldn’t have been happier with the win and didn’t miss Rosemont Stud’s Anthony Mithen in his postrace interview after he was replaced by Jamie Kah on Way To Go Paula which finished fourth after starting as the second favourite at $4.40.

Prebble, who had ridden Way To Go Paula to second place at the mare’s previous start said: “That was enjoyable – when you get the a— off one and then you go and beat ‘em it’s a nice feeling.

 “He’s a lovely horse that’s been running in some pretty good 

races against good horses. He hasn’t been on a Good (3) for a long time and he loved it. When I let him go, he really showed a good turn of foot and just put them away.

“I watched all his replays, and he wants to please, but he’s been drawing bad barriers and had to go back, and in all fairness, he’s been running against good horses.” 

Mithen said they foaled down Looks Like Elvis at Rosemont as the mare Savalook (Savabeel x Look At Moiye) had a booking with the stud’s Starcraft. 

“We sold him at the classic sale,” he said.

“He was VOBIS because of us and then knocked off Way To Go Paula which was our big hope and I sacked Brett Prebble from Way To Go Paula which he was non-too pleased about and picked up the ride on Looks Like Elvis.

“He let me know all about it in the postrace interview. I text him and said fair call and hats off to you and Brett and he came back with a thumbs up.

“All is fair in love, war and racing, I suppose.”

Mithen said Looks Like Elvis, which had won its first race in two years with the Pakenham win, was a good representation of what they can breed down the Surf Coast way, although all the credit goes to McLennan and Casey.

And for breeder Doug McLennan it was a good result as they still have Savalook which has been a good producer for their stud.

Savalook’s first foal – American Diva – a full sister to Looks Like Elvis, was retained by McLennan and Casey who sent the mare, a winner of eight races, to stud last year and she has since produced a filly by Crackerjack King (IRE) and is in foal to Darley’s new stallion Ghaiyyath (Dubawi x Nightime).

Savalook, who is also in foal to Darley’s Ghaiyyath, was covered by All American four times, but missed one, year while a filly died in an accident before making it to the track.

The mare’s mating at Rosemont with Starcraft produced Ammoudi Bay which is still racing and has also won eight races, while the next foal, also by Starcraft, was sold to Hong Kong and races as Bond A Star but is yet to be placed from 10 starts.

The mare has two fillies by Crackerjack King, a colt by Sepoy and a filly by Artie Schiller.

 “The three-year-old Crackerjack King filly (Let’savalook) is in work and there is a four-year-old mare (Avenue Of Heaven) in work with John Smerdon on the Gold Coast and she hasn’t raced yet either but is ready to race,” he said.

 “We sold two at the sales, including Ammoudi Bay and Symon Wilde trained it and the full brother (Bond A Star) went to Hong Kong.

 “Robert Smerdon bought Ammoudi Bay ($80,000) but when he got rubbed out the horse went to Symon Wilde.”

 The colt by Sepoy was bought by the owners of Looks Like Elvis.

And McLennan said the filly by Artie Schiller is what he describes as “a bit of class.”

 “I have also got a Frosted yearling filly out of (Group 2 winner) Antarctic Miss and I have a Street Boss yearling filly out of My Unicorn and the three of them are absolutely outstanding,” he said.

 “Even though the other two are by sires a little bit higher up the tree, the Artie Schiller is an absolute standout, and anyone who comes to the property asks ‘who is that.’

“Savalook missed to Artie Schiller last year.”

McLennan, who he says he is the best of mates with Casey, operates their 40 acre farm and usually breed from eight broodmares a year.

And while he said they’d often go interstate for stallions, he learnt that for all the costs they were better off to going to a good Victorian stallion.

“I normally to go a few stallions at Godolphin (Darley) and I think I’ve got three Frosted colts and a Frosted filly on the property and I’ve got a couple Street Bosses and this year one mare is in foal to Frosted, two are in foal to Ghaiyyath and a couple to Artie Schiller,” McLennan said.

“I still don’t know why people don’t rate Artie Schiller. You look at the results every week and he has two or three winners in town.

 “I think I’ve got two mares in foal to him again this year.”

 McLennan said Savalook was a New Zealand mare that they paid $60,000 for but she never made it to the races after shattering a shoulder.

 “She went up to Ballarat Veterinary Clinic and had it all put back together again, and I can remember taking the staples out, and I think there were 75 staples,” he said.

 “And that’s the reason she never raced.”

 And as for businessman Casey, he leaves all the horse business to McLennan.

 “I know is that they have four legs and that’s about it,” Casey quipped.

 “Doug does all the breeding and is my partner in the horse breeding.”

Racing Photos

A major review into racehorse welfare has called for the development of national welfare standards that would protect thoroughbreds at all stages of their lives.

The report, The Most Important Participant: A Framework for Thoroughbred Welfare, was written by a panel of four experts, chaired by former Victorian premier and veterinarian Dr Denis Napthine AO, and followed an extensive public consultation with industry and community groups.

Among the review’s other key findings was the need for the racing and breeding industry to take a national approach to welfare, to ensure thoroughbreds receive a consistent level of care in all States and Territories.

The independent review – which was commissioned and funded by industry participants – has already received the backing of key stakeholder groups, including the national bodies representing breeders, trainers and jockeys.

There are 46 recommendations in the comprehensive report, with some for governments to implement while others are the responsibility of the thoroughbred industry. The review calls for:

Responsibility: The thoroughbred industry should take all reasonable steps to ensure its horses have a good life, including after racing, and a humane death.

National Standards: Governments should develop, with the support of industry, national standards for all horses (not just thoroughbreds). This would mandate minimum care for horses at all stages of life, including for thoroughbreds after they exit racing and breeding. Areas covered by these standards would include end of life and transportation. Other species such as cattle and sheep have enforceable welfare standards, but these do not yet exist for horses

Industry Standards: The industry should develop its own national welfare standards for all thoroughbreds. These would set a higher bar than the recommended standards for all horses (see above) and would make clear to all participants, as well as the public, the minimum acceptable levels of care for thoroughbreds in the industry. Additionally, the industry should develop quality assurance (QA) schemes to drive best practice.

Traceability: Governments should create a national traceability register for all horses, which identifies each horse individually, as well as its location and owner. This would allow the thoroughbred industry to know where its horses are in retirement. Without such a register the expert panel said it was almost impossible to have an effective whole-of-life welfare regime.

Transition: The industry needs to invest more in developing programs to help thoroughbreds find new careers after retirement, to extend the positive opportunities that are already being created. Moving thoroughbreds into good homes or a purposeful second career is vital to ensure the long term welfare of these horses. More investment also needs to be put towards stimulating demand for thoroughbreds.

Safety Net: The industry should establish a national thoroughbred safety net to support horses at risk of a poor welfare outcome after leaving racing and breeding. Such a safety net would allow the industry to help those horses over which it no longer has jurisdiction. The report points to successful overseas programs to demonstrate what can be achieved..

A National Body: The report proposes a national body with the sole task of improving welfare, which would help coordinate policy, run programs to stimulate demand for thoroughbreds, run QA schemes, and communicate to the public about welfare. This organisation – with a proposed name of Thoroughbred Welfare Australia – would be supported by the industry and would not be a regulatory body or have enforcement powers.

The panel received more than 180 submissions from a wide range of people and organisations, including industry participants, racing authorities and welfare groups. More than 50 consultation meetings were also held as the panel conducted its work.

As well as Dr Napthine, other members of the group included Dr Bidda Jones AM, head of science at RSPCA Australia; Dr Ken Jacobs, former president of Equine Veterinarians Australia and Jack Lake, an expert in agricultural policy, and special advisor in this area to three Prime Ministers.

Dr Napthine said: “A key finding is the need to develop a framework so that there are standards to ensure thoroughbreds are well cared for from birth right through to their death.

He added: “There is also a need for a more consistent national approach and this could be achieved by establishing a body with the sole focus of driving better welfare across every state and territory.”

Research commissioned as part of the review demonstrated that more Australians were opposed to racing and breeding than those who were supportive, with welfare the dominant concern.

Dr Jones said: “It was clear from our consultations there is strong backing from owners, trainers and breeders for the reforms required to ensure thoroughbreds have a good life, from birth to death. Now we need racing authorities to support these recommendations.”

Quotes from supporters:

Hugh Bowman, leading jockey: “I am grateful to the authors of the report and work they have done. It is now up to all of us in the industry to take these recommendations and implement them.”

Ciaron Maher, champion trainer: “There is nothing in this report that people in our industry should be frightened of. The panel have given us a plan, now it’s important we are working together to make it happen.”

Tom Reilly, CEO, Thoroughbred Breeders Australia: “Everybody involved in racing and breeding knows there’s been a huge amount of work done in welfare, but this report shows the areas where we need to improve. If we implemented the recommendations we would have a proper framework where our horses are protected from birth right through to death.”

Andrew Nicholl, CEO Australian Trainers’ Association: “It was important this review was conducted by people independent of the industry and the panel have given us a plan we must follow.”

Neil Wilson, Chairman Victoria Racing Club: “The committee of the VRC support the report’s recommendations and looks forward to broader engagement from other industry bodies to achieve the outcomes proposed.”

About the industry:

• The industry supports 80,000 full time jobs nationally.
• About $1 billion is raised from the industry in taxes annually.
• More than 100,000 Australians own a share in a racehorse

For more information see FAQs here. Contact: Tom Reilly 0423146334 or

Rebel Dane stands at Glen Eden Stud.

Glen Eden Stud has recently expanded and now boasts an increased 180 acres of premium horse country just outside the township of Kilmore.

“It’s perfect land for horses”, says Glen Eden founder Sonia O’Gorman when asked of the stud’s new expansion. 

“Big paddocks with copious feed and shade, which is essential for summer. 

Glen Eden stud began as a racehorse spelling property. The team has a deep affection for its mares”. 

“It’s a huge part of our business model,” says Rory O’Brien, a new partner in the business with Sonia.

When speaking about the expansion, Rory adds that it’s not just for mares “we intend on having more than just broodmares and are proud to welcome spellers too. We’d love to develop a strong relationship with some racing stables.” 

“There’s room, and the mares are glowing,” Rory says. “we’d like to increase the number of permanent and part-time residents on the farm by about 40-50”, he adds. 

Rory and Sonia also would like to take a moment to add thanks to all their clients and fellow thoroughbred businesses that continue to work with the stud. 

“We are all in this together, there are challenges every day, and we just want to wish everyone the best.”

For agistment enquires, please call Rory on 0478 796 770 or email

Cantina ridden by Jarrod Fry wins the Happy Bucks Day Brocky Fillies and Mares Mdn Plte at Yarra Valley Racecourse on November 27, 2021 in Yarra Glen, Australia. (Ross Holburt/Racing Photos)

Cantina has been added to the list of successful homebreds for racing’s well known McGrath family after the three year-old filly broke her maiden status at Yarra Glen on Saturday.
Brian McGrath is the trainer in the family and has 20 horses in work at Cranbourne. His father is former UK race broadcaster and identity Jim McGrath, while Brian’s uncle, Joe McGrath, works for the VRC and plays a huge role in the promotional travels throughout Australia of the Melbourne Cup.
And it shouldn’t be forgotten that Brian’s grandfather, also of the identical name, was a leading rails bookmaker in Australia.
It’s no surprise the English born Brian finished up in the racing industry as a trainer, while his father dabbles in breeding a few thoroughbreds, and his uncle offers support through a syndicate of friends who race D’Jumbuck and Only Human in partnership.
Both horses were bred by Jim McGrath and are out of Carousing which he also bred and raced.
D’Jumbuck, by Rosemont Stud stallion Starspangledbanner, has won two races, both at Sandown last year.
Only Human, by Animal Kingdom, is a three-year-old gelding that has raced twice for a third and then a fourth at Sandown last week.
“Joe supports the stable, and he has a group of guys in his syndicate and they are in the ownership of a few of them which is great,” Brian said.
“He knows his breeding, but it’s my dad who is doing the breeding, but Joe is there supporting it and he knows his stuff and is just a great guy to go into bat for you.”
McGrath said his father, who is still based in the UK and has been unable to visit Australia for two years because of COVID, has a handful of mares in Victoria which he is extremely keen to breed from them.
“He has done a good job,” he said.
“Cantina is out of Red Margarita (Dalakhani x Red Bartsia) who he bought in England as a yearling at Tattersalls and was trained by David Elsworth.
“She was only fair, and then he bought her over to Australia and bred from her here.”
Red Margarita’s first two foals were by New Approach (IRE). Carousing made it to the races once, while Beauvilliers had one official trial but was unraced.
The mare’s third foal – Larrikin – was by Poet’s Voice and the eight-year-old has so far won nine races, including a city victory, from 58 starts. The gelding is raced by Jim McGrath.
Larrikin gave McGrath his first winner when the gelding won a two-year-old maiden at Geelong in July, 2016 at odds of $101.
Red Margarita also produced Inkslinger (Akeed Mofeed) and Bush Christmas (Poet’s Voice) and both are winners and still racing. Inkslinger, now with five wins, scored at Wodonga last Friday over 1100m.
After having Cantina, Red Margarita missed to Akeed Mofeed but has a colt and filly by Palentino.
“It’s been a good family to us,” McGrath said.
“You could say it is the family’s family.”
McGrath said his father had liked the cross with Palentino and hopes Cantina might be able to stretch out over a bit further as she matures.
Palentino (Teofilo x Palatine Hill) won two Group 1 races – the Australian Guineas (1600m) and the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m). He was retired as a four-year-old.
The production line of horses continues for Brian, with D’Jumbuck’s dam, Carousing, having a filly by Akeed Mofeed.
And McGrath is hoping thatumanHman Cantina, bred by Jim, in partnership with Noorilim Park Thoroughbreds, will continue to progress through the ranks.
“I thought it was a really good win,” McGrath said of Saturday’s victory.
“She did a good job and is still very green and very new. Jarrod Fry sort of said in fairness to her she showed a good turn of foot when she got clear.
“The others on the outside had that momentum on her and she repelled them and showed a good attitude.
“And we have been really pleased with her. She has got a good attitude and does really well and ate up after that run on Saturday and has got a good constitution.”
McGrath said Cantina is the first horse he has had in the stable by Widden Stud stallion, Palentino.
“We have bred back to him with a couple of mares,” he said.
“And we liked Palentino. He was a good a racehorse.”
McGrath said it was a case of being realistic with service fees which he says are pretty high at the moment.
“The freshmen sires are unproven, and their prices are so high as well,” he said.
“It’s expensive.”
McGrath said that Palentino’s sire Teofilo had shown with his multiple Group winning son Humidor that the progeny get better with time and age.
“I think the Palentinos are going to need that bit of time being by Teofilo,” he said.
McGrath said his father also had another broodmare, New Zealand Belle of Pentire (Pentire x Libra Belle). Another of them is Red Ransom mare Dianthus (Slightly Pink) that produced Try Pink (New Approach) which won three races for Brian.
Try Pink was retired in August and has now gone to stud.
“Hopefully it’s a family that’s going to keep developing, but it’s all about a bit of luck really, isn’t it?, he said.
And while McGrath said breeding is a long process, he said it’s all worthwhile when they win.
And while Jim hopes to get back to Australia in January, Joe said the racing identity was still very much in touch with what goes on here.
“He has certainly raced a few over there, but his breeding set-up is here, and he has provided a very good base for Brian to commence his career,” Joe said.
“Compared to a football coach, Brian needs new recruits and the ones that have come through his gate he has done a great job with.”
McGrath started with just two horses in the stable.

Enthaar after winning the Premier Signs Doveton Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse on November 27, 2021 in Caulfield, Australia. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Not that he needs any publicity, but Written Tycoon gave another subtle reminder of his greatness as a sire when the Ciaron Maher and David Eustice trained Enthaar returned to form with victory in the Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The three-year-old filly smashed her rivals on debut in the Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) at Randwick last year and followed up with another Group 3 win in the Chairman’s Stakes at Caulfield, but was unplaced when starting favourite at her next start in the Group 1 Blue Diamond (1200m).
After a 36 week spell, the filly resumed with a third over 1000m at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day but returned to her winning best over the sprint journey at Caulfield to take her record to three wins and a third from five starts.
Asked about the Oakleigh Plate as a target, Maher said in his postrace interview “Possibly. I’d love it if it was 1000 metres but that handicap level as a three-year-old might suit her. And she was quite tractable today. We might be going in the right direction.”
Yulong’s chief operating officer Sam Fairgray said it was great to see Enthaar back in form and winning another Stakes race.
“She was obviously a very promising early two-year-old, winning the Gimcrack and one of the lead-ups to the Blue Diamond and then I think she probably lost her way a little bit,” he said.
“Ciaron has done a fantastic job to get her to relax and get her back winning again.”
Asked if the 19-year-old Written Tycoon needs any more promotion after returning to Victoria after one season in New South Wales before being purchased by Yulong, Fairgray said:
“He just keeps on doing it himself.
“I mean he had that filly and he had the horse, Stageman, that ran second in the Group 1 (Winterbottom Stakes) on Saturday as well. “He is just such a consistent stallion who keeps on getting winners at all distances, all sexes, all ages. He is such a durable stallion.”
After serving 199 mares in New South Wales last year at a service fee of $77,000, the stallion’s fee was raised significantly to $165,000 on his return to Victoria to stand at Yulong.
“He has had a great season and has done really well in the serving barn,” Fairgray said.”
“He will have about 160 mares which is great, so he has been really popular.
“His fertility has been fantastic. He has always had really good fertility and has continued to hold that up which is really good for a horse of his age that he is so fertile.”
Yulong has sent more than 50 of their own mares to Written Tycoon and among them is some real quality.
Support has also come from breeders in Victoria, New South Wales and New Zealand and Fairgray said it was arguably the best book of mares the stallion has ever covered and that comes of the back of his one season in NSW where he also served some top-flight broodmares.
“The quality of crops he has got coming through I think year on year it just seems to get stronger and stronger as people start to take notice of what a great stallion he is,” Fairgray said.
“What he achieved with the low quality mares and that’s how he sort of developed his reputation and now he has got better quality he can certainly go to another level and with his sons at stud now he is really a sort of sire of sires with Capitalist and so forth.”
Fairgray said that Yulong would most likely retain a couple of Written Tycoon’s colts in the hope of producing a well credentialed performer which would hopefully join the Yulong stallion roster.
“But we will assess it at the time,” he said.
A multi-million dollar purchase by Yulong owner Yuesheng Zhang, Written Tycoon’s big service fee and the demand for his progeny when they are offered by the stud will recuperate the massive outlay on the stallion.
“It was a tricky decision to make, but Mr Zhang was very confident in doing it and what it would do for Yulong and it’s fantastic,” Fairgray said.
“It’s worked out well and it’s great.”
Fairgray said the purchase of Written Tycoon was based on several factors, including the fact he served 199 mares in 2020 and his fertility was extremely good – 88.9 per cent – and he was a healthy stallion.
“Stallions can keep breeding until they are 22, 23 and 24,” he said.
“Obviously, there are risks involved with it, and you just try and eliminate your problems, sort of thing, and then you just look at it and say he is still fertile, he is still fit and healthy, and he has got a great book of foals coming through.
“There were lots of positives to say that if you do it, you could actually finish up doing pretty well out of it because with a lot of our young mares as well going to a proven stallion like him you are giving them a great opportunity of producing a Stakes horse in the first couple of foals.”
Top Yulong mares served by Written Tycoon include prolific Group 1 winner Melody Belle (NZ) and Group winner Graceful Greysful Glamour who are both in foal to the stallion.
The Broken Shore, the dam of three-time Group 1 winner Shoals, already has a Written Tycoon colt at foot, is back in foal to the stallion. Victorian bred stallion Ole Kirk’s dam Naturale has also been served by Written Tycoon. And Extremely, the dam of Extreme Choice, is also in foal to the stallion.
“And that’s just a few of them,” Fairgray said.
“We have just managed him through the season and have just made sure he wasn’t overly taxed, and we are getting into December, and he is going to have an easy time in December because he has done so well through September, October and November.”
Fairgray said that they try to limit Written Tycoon to covering a maximum of three mares a day and he’d serve between 15 to 18 mares a week.
He said they had been extremely pleased with the support Yulong’s other five stallions had received from breeders,
Young first season sires Tagaloa and Lucky Vega had been well supported.
“Tagaloa had just over 145 mares booked to him and Lucky Vega about 130, so we are really pleased for those two young horses and Yulong Prince, who is probably a different level of horse, has still got to get an okay number of mares too.
“We have just been lucky that they have been well received in their first year at stud.
“And we are really happy with Alabama Express’ foals that we have got on the ground and they are his first crop. He is certainly stamping his foals and we are thrilled with what he is leaving.”
Fairgray said Grunt had his first yearlings headed to the Magic Millions next year and expects them to be well received.
He said while Yulong was keen to add another stallion to their roster, it was a case of finding the right one to benefit the stud and the breeding industry.
And Fairgray said it was an exciting time to be involved in the breeding industry and definitely agrees this is the best selection of high class stallions Victoria has offered for years.

The passing of Reward For Effort last week was felt through many sectors of the industry and for Hollylodge Thoroughbreds’ Daniel Nevill, the stallion played a special part in the development of his farm.

Nevill said it was perhaps fitting on the day Reward For Effort passed away due to complications from surgery on an ongoing deep-seated foot abscess that the stallion’s son, Scores of Fun, won his sixth race in Hong Kong.

Scores of Fun, which was named Hottie Lamottie in Australia, had one official trial in Victoria for Patrick Payne before being sold unraced to Hong Kong and then won on debut.

The now five-year-old, bred and born at Hollylodge Thoroughbreds at Avenel, won at Happy Valley last week to take his career earnings to $1.2 million.

And the long list of other Reward For Effort progeny that were either bred by Hollylodge Thoroughbreds or sold through their drafts at various sales include Layel, Sanbuck, Spin The Reward, Swinging George, Benoni, Destiny’s Republic and Inebriating.

Another Reward For Effort graduate, a colt out of Fudge Delight, was sold by Hollylodge at this year’s Melbourne Premier for $30,000 to Yargi Racing.

The colt, which ran the third-fastest time at the recent Magic Millions Gold Coast two-year-olds in training sale, was then sold for $150,000.

Hollylodge sold Scores of Fun for $15,000 as a weanling and then was purchased for $100,000 by Hong Kong’s Price Bloodstock at the 2018 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

“He has done well in Hong Kong,” Nevill said.

“He had a couple of x-ray issues and we probably made a mistake, but his half-sister by Trust In A Gust has gone to Tasmania and is down with Cameron Thompson.

“And if she wins a few races, she’ll just join the broodmare band. She is owned by a client of mine who actually raced Reward For Effort.

“They are from WA and the mare obviously resides with me.”

Nevill said the Reward For Efforts they’d bred or sold through their drafts had been good to them, but none had won a Stakes race.

“Layel was a city winner, Sanbuck was city placed, Spin The Reward was bred and retained and is a city winner and Destiny’s Republic won three in a row last prep,” he said.

“And for our clients, Reward For Effort has been good for them.”

Nevill said things had been tough for the stallion over the past months and it was distressing for a lot of people when the horse passed away last week.

“It was a sad time for everyone,” he said.

And he posted on Facebook: “RIP Big horse you have been a good stallion to our small farm!!”

But on a brighter note for Nevill, Hollylodge will offer 14 yearlings at Melbourne Premier next year, four or for five at Adelaide and 15 for Magic Millions on the Gold Coast.

He said they have bred from about 40 mares this year.

“I have got five mares of my own, and the rest are for clients. I’m only a little ten grand breeder,” Nevill said.

“That’s my service fee limit, and if they make forty at the sales, I think I have kicked a goal and if they make one hundred, then I’ve certainly kicked a goal.

“I have got a share in I Am Immortal and I bought a share in Dirty Work this year and I have sent a mare to Omaha Beach and I have a mare which just went in foal Kermadec.

“I only support Victorian stallions.”

Nevill said he liked I Am Immortal (Swettenham Stud) and praised Spendthrift, home of Dirty Work, for the work they are doing with their stallions.

Eric Butler of Rangal Park Stud

A 50 cent TAB punting mother was the inspiration behind Eric Buttler’s passion for racehorses which lead to him buying a stud, Napier Park, at Euroa more than 30 years ago.

The 81-year-old Buttler passed away on Melbourne Cup Day after succumbing to cancer.

With no previous background in the horse industry, Buttler’s daughter Michelle Rix said her father’s love of the equine pursuits and breeding began with his mother’s modest bets.

“My grandmother, who nickname was Tottie, loved a punt and used to put 50 cents on the horses and would love to bet,” Michelle said.

“And when she passed away, she left dad a little bit of money and he put every cent towards getting a horse and started off with a little horse called Tot’s Pride that was trained by a local trainer here in Kilmore.

“And that’s sort of how he started.”

After being beaten on debut by 10 lengths, Tot’s Pride (True Statement x Starthos) came out at out at her next start at Bendigo and demolished the rivals by eight lengths at odds of $26. She won another race but ran second eight times and had one third.

After that big win, the racing bug bit even deeper for Buttler whose passion for breeding intensified which lead him to buying the 530 acre Rangal Park Stud 31 years ago.

At was at a time when the recession was hitting business of all types extremely hard, with many being force to close their doors rather than attempting to ride out the financial firestorm.

“Rangal Park Stud was actually called Napier Park Stud back in those days and basically went into liquidation and dad went in there and happened to takeover a lot of the broodmares and foals when he purchased the stud,” Michelle said.

“From there he just started the business up.”

For a man without that equine background, Buttler read a lot, researched a lot and put a lot of time of time and effort into becoming an expert in all facets of the industry.

“He did a lot of that reading and researching to make sure he knew what he was talking about,” Michelle said.

“There was a lot of research.

“He just loved it.”

Michelle said her father had grown up in the “poor part” of Toorak, and the family home has been at Kilmore for around 40 years. Buttler’s wife, Marlene, of still lives in that home.

A steel fabricator by trade, Buttler established two businesses which he operated at the same time.

His two sons, Charlie-Albert and Brett, took over the fabrication business – Buttler Engineering at Campbellfield – about 10 years ago, while Michelle helped her father run the stud for the past couple of years.

Buttler built the factory himself in Campbellfield and then extended it when his business began to grow before buying the block next door and building another factory to lease.

“I think life is all about those little chances and opportunities that came his way,” Michelle said.

“One of the stories at his funeral was when a company went broke and they had a big overhead crane which was a big part of what he needed to set his business up.

“The crane was worth $70,000 and he got it for $15,000 and that was the kick start to the business which he needed because he needed that crane to lift the big steel beams and move things around.

“It was being in the right place at the right time. He went to the auction and he thought there would be hundreds of people and there were two people there and no one was interested in the crane so he got for $12,000 – and he has still got the receipt.”

When asked if horses or the engineering business was his passion, Michelle said it was anything that he could put his hands on because he was always a busy man.

“He had a property up at Allambie and he’d pull out tree ferns and cut up black wood and plant pine plantations and whatever he was throwing himself into, he was just a man that had a lot of go.

“Whenever there was a hard working opportunity to come his way, he’d work hard and make it his passion. He had lots of passion.”

Michelle said her father had experienced the ups and downs of horseracing, like most in the game.

But he had bred and then raced horses in many big races, including the Melbourne Cup and Blue Diamond Previews. He also bred and sold yearlings that went onto win at the ultimate Group 1 level.

He bred and raced Lady Elsie (Rainbows For Life x Princess Kingston) which was a Listed winner that raced in the 1999 Melbourne Cup.

And he also bred and raced racing Northeast Sheila (Keltrice x Jovan) who won the first two-year-old race of the 1998 season by seven lengths and then won the Blue Diamond Preview.

Keltrice was a special horse for Buttler who he raced partnership.

The entire won the Group 1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington and he later stood at Rangal Park.

Other stallions to stand at Rangal Park Stud included Palace Music (USA), sire of 12-time American Group 1 winner Cigar, Naturalism and more recently Cliff’s Edge, Danerich, Boom Time and Soul Patch.

Michelle said her father loved the breeding side of the industry probably more than the racing side of it and was always keen to get the right mix of mare and stallion.

Buttler was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma 10 years ago and doctors didn’t think he would be able to fight it off but he did and went into remission. Then about three years ago he was diagnosed with a slow moving cancer that would cause immune system issues and was told he would was never walk again.

“He didn’t like to be told what to do and got himself walking,” Michelle said.

“He got the boys to weld him up some handrails and he blew everyone’s mind that he could get himself walking on a walking frame again.

“He was going really well and then on top of the cancer, a new cancer formed, probably three weeks prior to him passing and it was a brain cancer which was really aggressive.”

Buttler was forced to sell Rangal Park Stud during the middle of last year and a dispersal sale for his stock was held this year, while his stallions found new studs.

The success of Eric’s horse pursuits, wouldn’t have been possible without his loyal Stud managers, Graham Burley who worked for Napier Park and then worked for Eric for around 15 years and then Tim Jackson took over as Manager for the next 16 years. They both lived on the property with their families.

Buttler joined Kilmore Racing Club and was elected to the club’s board and later became chairman and was recognised for his service with life membership.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Marlene and their four children Charlie-Albert, Keillianne, Brett and Michelle.

Eric was a doting grandfather to his seven grandchildren, Jade, Josh, Matthew, Christopher, Larissa, Declan & Blake.

Buttler was farewelled by his family privately at Kilmore Trackside on Monday, November 15.

Swettenham Stud principal Adam Sangster with Mshawish

Swettenham Stud at Nagambie had what can only be described as a good weekend of racing that started on Friday night at The Valley when Toronado produced back-to-back winners.
It continued in a bigger way the following day in Perth when the stallion’s daughter Treasured Star won the Group 2 Western Australian Guineas (1600m) at Ascot.

The three-year-old filly was bred and raced by prominent WA breeder Bob Peters.
Swettenham’s new stallion Rubick also had success when The Guru won at Kembla Grange and followed the five-year-old’s win at Randwick to give the gelding a record of five wins, seven seconds and three thirds from 29 starts.

And Swettenham Stud principal Adam agreed it was a good weekend for his stud’s stallions.
“It really was,” he said.
“It was good to see the hard work of people coming to fruition.
“The Toronado win in Perth was so good. Mr Peters can certainly recognise good bloodlines, and I am very pleased to see that he has seen Toronado’s abilities and he is sending some lovely mares to Toronado.”
Sangster said Peters is sending more mares to Toronado on the back of what he and his team recognised as the ability of Treasured Star.
He said breeders in Perth, as well as Peters, had been good supporters of Toronado and all Swettenham Stud stallions.
He said WA bloodstock agent John Chalmers does a good job for Peters, while Sangster’s “right-hand man” Sam Matthews had the advantage of being from Western Australia knows a lot of the “influential gentleman and ladies” in the racing and breeding industry.
“It’s good that Sam knows these people personally,” Sangster said.
“Toronado is doing a really good job and he has got 40 yearlings in a pool that will be split between the Magic Millions, the Classic and Premier.
“So as a team we will be out there promoting them because we don’t consign yearlings any more ourselves. We have clients and friends who have progeny of all our stallions.
“Nearly 30 Toronado colts and geldings have gone onto Hong Kong as well, so the massive pool that has gone there as well will reap dividends in the years to come because those buyers will be very focused on the yearling market so it can only be a good thing.”
Toronado’s two winners in consecutive races at The Valley on Friday night were both at big odds.
La Spezia (Lerichi) won over 1600m at odds of $15, while Glove Are Off (Kid Gloves) won at 1200m at odds of $21.
Trained by Jamie Edwards, La Spezia has now won three races and had two minor placings from seven starts, while Kym Hann’s Gloves Are Off has won two races and had three minor placings from eight starts.
“Jamie and Kym and have always been very keen supporters of Swettenham,” Sangster said.
“It’s great all round for everyone.”
And at Sha Tin on Sunday, former galloper Victorian galloper Captain Spud, which now races as Captain Win in Hong Kong, provided Toronado with another winner over 1400m.
The Victorian bred gelding was exported to Hong Kong in June after winning three consecutive races, two at Sale and the other at Caulfield.
Sangster said breeding horses was a “slow burn”, and a lot of stallions don’t work and some don’t get commercial success, but people who had followed Toronado had achieved success.
He said the owners of Toronado – Al Shaqab Racing – had been very good in respecting the loyal Swettenham clients.
“They are very good to deal with,” he said.
After covering his biggest book of mares last year -210 – since he first shuttled from France to Swettenham Stud in 2015, Sangster said the stallion would serve few mares this year.
He said while Toronado’s fertility was good, it was a case of looking after the stallion which saw his service fee increase from $27,500 to $49,500 this season.
“It’s been a bit of a queer year in so much with the mares cycling because of the weather patterns which have been a bit indifferent,” he said.
“Biologically you can’t control that and the mares have held onto their pregnancies for quite some time and have gone overdue.
“We have foaled down a significant amount of mares, not just for ourselves but for bigger operations around the Nagambie region, and we have certainly seen a bit of a trait where mares are going over time and also just cycling as well.
“The reproduction cycling with the weather pattern will work its way out in the end and I certainly give full credit to all the Victorian breeders who come to Swettenham and all the other farms.”
Rubick (Encosta De Lago x Sliding Cube) is standing his first season at Swettenham Stud after serving 104 mares last year, 262 in 2019 and 263 in 2018.
“This time next year he will be very strong, and in two years he will be even stronger because he has got some vast books coming through, Sangster said.
“We saw it with So You Think, Shamus Award and Pierro where they have quietish years one year and then with the numbers coming through they sort of start paddling pretty quickly once again.
“So anybody who has gone to Rubick this year will do particularly well in a few years when it comes to selling commercially.”
Asked whether he’d been happy with the support they’d received for Rubick’s first season at Swettenham, Sangster said: “I would say that he has been tougher than what we expected.
“But myself this year I have sent a good percentage of my mares to him knowing the numbers coming through.”
Sangster also had success at Saturday’s Ballarat Cup meeting when three-year-old filly Decent Raine (Dissident x Royal Raine) picked up $96,250 after winning the VOBIS Gold Eureka Stockade (1400m). There was also a VOBIS Gold owner’s bonus of $23,000.
The filly, trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, was purchased for Sangster for $40,000 by bloodstock agent John Foote at the 2020 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
“She was lovely, she was great,” Sangster said.
“That was a John Foote purchase. Ciaron and Dave have done a real good job.
“We have been buying a few fillies recently, and we lease them out and give everyone a chance to be involved and they don’t have to put the capital up. I do that.”
“She wasn’t expensive, and that’s the beauty of using someone like John Foote.
“I buy the fillies, put the capital in myself and then lease them out to friends.
“If we lease them out to Flying Start Syndications, they have their emblem on the front and the Swettenham colours on the back.
“A lot of these syndicators we put their logos on top of the Sangster/ Swettenham colours.”
And Sangster said full credit goes to Rosemont Stud and trainer Peter Moody for breeding Decent Raine which won two races and $209,525 in stakes.



Duchess Of Dorset after winning the Ritchies IGA Mares BM78 at Sportsbet-Ballarat Racecourse on November 20, 2021 in Ballarat, Australia. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Exciting mare Duchess of Dorset overcame a near fatal attack of colic to loom as a genuine Group contender for well-known Warrnambool racing administrator and identity Marg Lucas.
Trained by Symon Wilde, the mare didn’t start her racing career until March this year as a four-year-old but has made up for a delayed start to racing with four wins and a second from six starts.
The now five-year-old scored an impressive victory at last Saturday’s Ballarat Cup meeting in a benchmark 79 for mares four-years and up.
She lived up to her pre-race hype when she started as the $1.95 favourite and won by 2.8 lengths.
The mare’s only “blemish” was when she finished fourth at her second start, coming off her debut win at Stawell, on a heavy Warrnambool track.
Lucas bred Duchess of Dorset after sending her broodmare Commands Gold (Commands x Gold Tycoon) to Canford Cliffs (IRE) when the stallion stood at Blue Gum Farm.
But the mare nearly didn’t make it to the track.
“She got colic early on in her career when she was being pre-trained and that was the reason why she only started racing recently,” Lucas said.
“She got through the colic operation which was a bit of a process in the middle of 2019 and when I eventually got her home I thought what do I do with her now.
“I was paralysed with fear, but they did a fabulous job up at Symon Wilde’s satellite stable at Ballarat. It was probably lucky that they were able to walk her down to the vet clinic and I got a phone call in the middle of the night from a vet, Travis Smyth who was a surgeon at the clinic, asking what we were going to do.”
Lucas said that her initial thoughts was to put the filly down, but she rang her daughter, Phoebe Farrel, who she describes as the horse person of her four children, and she insisted that they attempt to save the horse.
After a successful operation, the filly was then sent to Laura Dixon’s rehabilitation property at Ballarat.
“It was a long process but it all turned out very well,” Lucas said.
But Lucas said that in the long months of Duchess of Dorset’s layoff the filly wasn’t developing her bones through work which left her a casualty of shin soreness.
“When we started to get her back into work, I got over being paralysed with fear over whether I race her or not because she is nicely bred and I thought I could breed from her without racing her.
“But I have a few mares I breed from and she was sitting in the paddock and I thought I’d give her a burl and she went into Symon’s and we got her to the track she did have shin soreness but she won her first race and then had another run on heavy track which didn’t entirely suit her.”
Lucas said the colic operation and shin soreness combined to give Duchess of Dorset a late start to her career.
“You learn something,” she said.
“I have been around horses all my life.
“But she has just turned out to be a lovely horse and if she was a person you would want her to be your best friend. You get those horses that are saying what do you want me to do next and she sort of races a bit like that.”
And Lucas finds it interesting that five-year progeny by Canford Cliffs are starting to pop up and be successful.
It wasn’t a hard choice for her to send Commands Gold to Canford Cliffs when he served his biggest book – 136 – at Blue Gum in 2015. As well as Duchess of Dorset, that crop included the talented Wicklow Town and Paul’s Regret.
“When he came upon the thoroughbred booklet, I loved the look of him and his pedigree and away we went,” Lucas said.
“All these things are good luck aren’t they?”
After serving only 30 mares in 2016, the Coolmore owned stallion didn’t have enough support to shuttle back to Australia.
Commands Gold started her racing career with David Hayes and had her first three starts in South Australia and then raced in Victoria before transferring to Charlie Goggin in Tasmania. The mare, which won six races and had eight minor placings from 36 starts, finished her career at Geelong with Nicholas Roe.
Lucas paid $9000 for the mare at the 2011 Inglis August Thoroughbred Sale.
She bred a Domesday colt – Bill The Conqueror – a winner of three races out of the mare, followed by Duchess of Dorset. The mare died in 2019, a year after producing a colt by Fiorente.
“The mare got travel sickness and died very quickly, and so for this little possum (Duchess of Dorset) we are just astounded with what we have achieved,” she said.
“We are very grateful for it, but she deserves it as well.
“I had been looking for a Commands mare for some time because I thought they were good. With her pedigree, she could run and I was hoping for something to happen.
“Her younger brother is by Fiorente and has just gone into work.”
Lucas has pushed for prizemoney for maiden winners to be increased in country races to a level of $45,000 as she believes there should be a bigger financial reward for that first win to compensate the high costs of breeding and just getting a horse to the races.
She was disappointed to be told by racing chiefs that her plan would cost $10 million, only to see a few weeks later three new pop races announced that would cost that amount.
“I have been breeding horses, and my mother bred horses before me and my father before me, it doesn’t make any sense not to be supporting that end of it,” she said.
“I won three races in a year and pocketed $36,000, but if I went and home and said I’ve won three races and have got $75,000 in the kit, I’d been feeling a lot better about myself and reinvesting.”
Lucas, who was on the Warrnambool Racing Club committee for 21 years and served as chairman from 2000 to 2009, has six active broodmares and several younger ones that have yet to be sent to stud.
One of her mares is the former Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott trained Diamonds and Rust (Medaglia x Gabbidon), a Sydney city winner which Lucas bought online for $27,000 and planned to send to stud this year.
Instead she gave the five-year-old mare to Wilde to train and he had success with her, winning at Geelong earlier this month.
The mares race under Lucas’ family syndicate -Looks Great Racing. She adopted the name from the horse – Looks Great – her brother James Nicol raced to 14 victories, including city wins and Group placings.
A former trainer, Lucas was one of the first females to be licensed in the 1960s and bred Looks Great (Nisku) from the mare Mirontina which she trained.
“I have had a few good horses and they have all been homebreds and mare called Russian Bond (Special Bond x Borodina) which I raced was very handy,” Lucas said.
She also breeds Welsh Mountain ponies and the family also have Poll Hereford cattle on their 400 acre farm, north of Warrnambool. Her daughter Phoebe Farrel runs a bigger, adjoining farm.
And Wilde described Duchess of Dorset’s win as “pretty painless.”
“I said this morning and even post-race, she’s such a reliable horse.” he said in his postrace interview.

“She’s bombproof in everything she does.

“She conserves her energy travelling up here and is a lovely quiet horse. She’s got good gate speed, settles well and she’s just a really good racehorse.

“I think she’s stakes quality. Her run at Flemington and probably highlighted that. A listed race or a Group 3 mare’s race is definitely not beyond her.

“And the way she races, putting herself in great positions, she’ll get her chance. It might be over in Adelaide, I’m not sure, but she’s definitely stakes quality.

“This horse had colic surgery which is why she hasn’t done a lot of racing and thankfully she did get that done because she’s got a really nice mare on her hands.”

Wilde described Lucas as a great racing person from the local area and said he was so pleased that she’s got a nice horse.

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) are pleased to announce that in 2022, they will once again partner with the Victorian Agricultural Shows (VAS) to offer Victorian breeders the opportunity to support their local agricultural shows.

The 2022 season will bring more opportunities for supporters to sponsor one of the following classes at their preferred show:

  • Led Open
  • Led Show Hunter
  • Ridden Open and
  • Ridden Show Hunter


Under the sponsorship arrangement, winners of the OTT Thoroughbred class at shows which have been sponsored by a local breeder will now receive, in addition to the OTT prizes on offer, an extra $150 plus a fantastic, customised horse rug, courtesy of TBV members.

Show Name Date
Balnarring 26th January
Beaufort 30th January
Yarra Glen 5th February
Croydon 6th February
Kyabram 12th February
Tyrendarra 12th February
Korumburra 20th February
Rochester 26th February
Foster 26th February
Euroa 5th & 6th March
Colac 5th & 6th March
Orbost 7th March
Wakool 12th March
Tallangatta 12th March
Bellarine 13th March
Berwick 14th March
Cohuna 19th March
Natimuk 26th March
Benalla 26th March
Yarrawonga 27th March
Bunyip 27th March


TBV Executive Officer commented, “after two interruptions due to COVID, we will be able to continue this partnership with VAS and the local shows. Our Members are great supporters of this initiative and it is one way in which we can give back to those who support OTT horses.”


Shows will be allocated to TBV members on a first come, first served basis.


To become a supporter of your local show, send an email to detailing which show you would like to support.


Cranbourne trainer Robbie Griffiths is already talking-up the prospects of his home town Cup winner King Magnus being aimed at next year’s $5 million All Star Mile at Flemington.

Griffiths, who trains in partnership with Mathew de Kock, was thrilled to win the Listed $500,000 Cranbourne Cup (1600m) with a horse that ticked so many boxes for the local racing and breeding industries.

The six-year-old is by Widden Stud stallion Magnus and was bred locally. It was Magnus’ 25th Listed winner.

And for Griffiths, the race was something of an emotional victory after spending almost a lifetime involved in racing at Cranbourne.

“For me the victory was outstanding in so many ways,” he said.

“As a young fellow, mum and dad moved to Cranbourne in 1972 when I was only three.

“I grew up in Cranbourne, did my apprenticeship as jockey there and became a trainer there and you hope that one day you connect yourself into local folklore.

“To win the Cranbourne Cup was outstanding but to do it as the inaugural TAB Cranbourne Cup at 1600m and to do it in my first year in the training partnership with Matthew and to etch yourself in the local history of the Cup all rolled into one was a very, very special day.”

The only blemish in King Magnus’ 10 current race campaign was his first first-up run at Sandown in June when he put in buck-jumping display and finished last of 13, with his official losing margin being recorded at the maximum of 99 lengths.

Griffiths suspects the possibility of a tightened girth on a small saddle may have been responsible for the rodeo-like display, but then a Sandown second and two consecutive wins at Caulfield followed.

The runs leading into the Cranbourne Cup were in higher grade races and full of merit. King Magnus finished fourth, beaten a length in the Listed Sofitel Stakes (1400m), then was beaten less than a length in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes before again going down by less than a length in a blanket finish in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m).

Interesting the Cranbourne Cup was only the third attempt – and his first success – at 1600m.

After the Cantala, Griffiths was extremely confident going into last Saturday’s Cranbourne Cup.

“I just really thought he’d win, I really did,” Griffiths said.

“Mat and I had him really ready for the Cantala and we were really confident of a cheeky run and he delivered. He loomed up and at one point I thought he was going to win us a Group 1 but got beaten in a blanket (finish).

“When you come off a Group 1 race like that you automatically think you are going to be $2.50 or $3 favourite in a country cup but full credit to Neil Bainbridge (Cranbourne Turf Club chief executive) and his team to attract a field of that calibre for the race.

“The fact that we started $10 just shows how open and high quality it was. It was really a top quality event.”

Griffiths said the timing of the Cranbourne Cup was a flow on from the Cantala and the four day Melbourne Cup carnival which allowed horses to continue to advance to other meetings including the Sandown carnival, Perth or Hong Kong.

But King Magnus is heading to the paddock for a spell.

Griffiths is huge wrap for the capabilities of Magnus who he said the stable jokingly refer to the stallion as Triple M – Magnus Means Money.

“They have been brilliant for us and we love them. They have been inexpensive to breed or buy and they have been such great money-spinners for their ownership group,” he said

“We just keep winning with them.

“And they get better with age.”

Griffiths said the stable had raced 26 by Magnus for an amazing25 individual winner.

“I think he has done great job for Victorian breeders because he is affordable and his durable and they go on all ground and the result on Saturday for those owners in a $500,000 race was fantastic,” he said.

While Griffiths said King Magnus would be aimed at similar races during autumn, he said they’ll nominate the gelding for the “fairy tale race” – the All Star Mile where the bulk of the field for the richest 1600m race in the world is decided by a public vote.

“He has come from nowhere to somewhere so he is going to have the romance vote and the fairy tale vote so I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a lot of people backing him,” he said.

“I spoke to Greg Carpenter (Racing Victoria), before he won the Cup actually, about nominating him and we’ll do that and then we’ll have the normal autumn approach as well where we’ll look at the feature handicaps.

“Whether we travel to Sydney, we’ll just see what happens.”

The feats of King Magnus continue to make the racing game exciting and worthwhile for first time breeders and owners Larissa and Peter Joyce who milk cows on their 210 acre dairy farm in the Strzelecki Ranges, past Warragul in West Gippsland.

The husband and wife team were in an ownership group of six that raced King Magnus’ dam Influential Miss (Carnegie x Perilla) which won four races and had seven minor placings for Mornington trainer Pat Carey.

After the mare was retired, four of the owners, including the Joyces, decided to buy her as a breeding prospect. Influential Miss produced Influential Girl (Magnus), followed by King Magnus and then her last foal, the moderately performed Wanted Miss (Wanted).

When King Magnus bought up his first two Caulfield wins in July, his full sister, Influential Girl, also raced by the Joyces and trained by Robbie Griffiths and Mathew de Kock, finished third on the same day.

The six-year-old Influential Girl has raced 26 times for five wins, five seconds and three thirds for nearly $200,000 in prizemoney.

Larissa said one of Influential Miss’ owners was breeder John Pratt and he used the late pedigree expert Diane Neylon to advise on matings and did the breeding for Influential Miss and recommended the stallion Magnus.

Peter Joyce said they had done well from both Influential Girl and King Magnus from the two matings with the stallion.

“Influential Miss was only small and her last win was on Melbourne Cup Day in 2010 when she won (over 1700m) and we thought she would go onto bigger and better things.

“They are not very big horses but they have big hearts and Influential Miss got a bit of weight and ran a few places in handicaps after her last win.”

Larissa said it was great for Griffiths to win his hometown Cup with King Magnus that was originally headed to the paddock after Cantala but pulled up so well that it was decided to have a crack at the Cranbourne race.

“If he hadn’t have recovered well from the Cantala, he wouldn’t have ran,” she said.

The Joyces were recently forced to retire the seven-year-old Influential Girl which last raced in August.

“She had a tendon injury and we had to retire her and we have sent her to Starspangledbanner,” Peter said.

“It wasn’t career ending but it was a 12 month injury and she would have been eight by the time she came back. And you couldn’t guarantee she was going to come back to what she was, so the decision was pretty easy to make.

“We got into Starspangledbanner just before the Cox Plate (won by his son State Of Rest) so it worked out well.”

The Joyces said Griffiths gave them a few ideas on potential stallions and in the end they opted for Rosemont’s Starspangledbanner.

With only three foals, Influential Miss’ last foal was Wanted Miss in 2016 and she failed to get into foal to Palentino at her last attempt in 2020.

The 16-year-old mare is now living a leisurely life, but bigger things lay ahead for her son.








The recent death of legendary show business icon Bert Newton brought back memories of his involvement in the Victorian racing and breeding industry.
Newton, an avid Fitzroy supporter, also had a deep love for horses and raced many over the years.
Former leading race caller and prominent racing identity Bryan Martin fondly recalls the good times he had with Newton who he had a lot of fun with over the years.
The pair first met when they worked for radio station 3DB in the 1980s.
Martin recalls buying a Victorian bred yearling at the Melbourne sales back in the 1980s, it was a filly by Cerreto (IRE) out of Lynne’s Star and raced as Cerlynne.
“Lynne’s Star (Star Affair) was a daughter of Our Lynne and I used to call her and there was Star Kingdom through the family,” Martin said.
“I said to another mate of mine Johnny Hallam who lived up at Beulah and was a trotting bookmaker, let’s buy one and see how we go.
“And Cerretos were going well with Ray Hutchins (Epsom trainer).
“We paid $10,000 for her and Hutchie bought her for us.”
Martin said it became apparent from “day dot” that the filly had ability and finished fourth, beaten half a length on debut over 1100m at Flemington at odds of $21.
The filly then finished second at Moonee Valley in a 1200m race at $5 and then won as the $2.75 favourite at her next start, also over 1200m, on July 20, 1985 at Caulfield.
After a spell, Cerlynne resumed with two unplaced runs before finishing a narrow second in the Melba Handicap (1600m) at Moonee Valley.
“It was over a mile and I had her going for a fortune in the quaddie and she laid off the track on the turn and Ming Princess got up in the inside and beat her by a half neck,” Martyn said.
“We took her to Adelaide for the Australasian Oaks (2000m) and she finished third, beaten by Miss Clipper and another filly in a three-way photo in the Auraria Stakes over 1800m at Cheltenham.
“She then raced in the Australasian Oaks with J. Stoker riding her and Miss Clipper won the race she and ran out of our skin to finish fifth.”
After the Oaks, Martyn said he was contracted by bloodstock agent Tim Stewart who was buying up the Star Kingdom line fillies and mares.
Stewart told Martin that he was buying for a big American breeder.
“He asked me if she was for sale and told him they are all for sale,” Martin said.
“I said she was for sale without chatting to the other owners and he said would $150,000 buy her and I said $150,000 clear and told him to add in his commission and everything else and that $150,000 clear would get her.
“I rang Bert and said remember that filly that cost us $3300 each? He said yeah and I said I can get you $50,000 for her.
“I think he said do we take her by taxi.”
Martin revealed that Hutchins was opposed to the sale and wanted to keep training the filly who he said was a great stayer that would win a Cup for them.
But she was sold and Hutchins pocketed $6000 from the cashed-up owners.
Cerlynne ran a couple of races in America before going to the breeding barn.
Martin described Newton as a great guy and friend who was the best entertainer the country had ever seen.
“And of course when we got the 50K we bought another, a tried horse, but he couldn’t win a maiden,” he said.
“But we put carpet throughout the house and had a holiday in Noosa.”
Martin said Newton raced many horses, including multiple city winner Predominate with Geelong trainer Kath Johnson, 1989 Kilmore Cup winner and Listed race winner Spacecraft which was trained by Geoff Murphy.
“He had a very good two-year-old called Lord Mornington that won the Maribyrnong Plate and was a brilliant galloper,” he said.
“Another one was Colin’s Choice and he had Lady Matthias with Bob Hoysted.”
Many of Newton’s horses raced in his Marist Brothers colours.
Martin said Newton loved the racing game, loved a punt, the characters and the racecourse.
“He just loved racing and he had success,” he said.
“And he had great success with a couple off very smart pacers called Major Lord with Teddy Demmler and a horse called Benjarbee with Ronny Peace.
“He punted huge, huge because he was the biggest earner in Australia at the time.”
Newton’s wife Patti was also part owner in many of the horse’s she raced with her late husband.
Martin said Newton loved the horses as an animal, probably just as much as the public loved the show business icon.


Prince Of Sussex ridden by Michael Dee wins the Showdown at Caulfield (Natasha Morello/Racing Photos)

Champion Australian galloper Prince of Sussex – now racing in Hong Kong as Lucky Express – won his most important race at Sha Tin last Saturday since being sold after winning the $950,000 The Showdown (1200m) at Caulfield for Mornington trainer Matt Laurie.

The now five-year-old gelding won the inaugural running of The Showdown in 2019, picking up a winner’s cheque of $522,500 and giving sire, Swettenham Stud’s Toronado, even greater prominence.

Toronados are highly sought after in Hong Kong, and the offer made for the Victorian bred horse by wealthy owner Larry Chung Chi Kin was too big to refuse.

Prince of Sussex’s victory last Saturday was in the Class 1 Panasonic Cup Handicap (1400m), worth $314,000.

Trainer John Size is considering the prestigious Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin next month as an option for the former Australian galloper who was ridden to victory by Aussie expatriate Zac Purton.

Lucky Express has now had 14 Hong Kong starts for two wins, four seconds and three thirds for overall prizemoney of just more than $2 million after leaving Australia with $661,750 in the bank from his first-up fourth and then two wins from his three starts as a two-year-old.

The gelding had developed a reputation for waywardness under pressure last season, but his victory by a head-on Saturday, was described as “brilliant” and the ride of Purton as “masterful.”

“Barrier one was great and he was able to jump out well. He showed some natural speed today,” Purton said after the race.

“The pace was nice and he just tracked up behind them and he just needed a run at the right time.

 “Luckily there was room on the fence. He sprinted through really quickly like he would win by two or three lengths, but when he got there, as we’ve seen before, he still doesn’t quite know how to put them away and lifted his head up and wanted to drift out.

 “He did enough. Good effort first-up.”

Queensland born Size indicated to Hong Kong Jockey Club media that he would fully analyse Lucky Express’ performance before deciding if he would tackle the Hong Kong Mile on Sunday, December 12 at Sha Tin.

 “I haven’t even seen a replay yet, just let me absorb that and then we’ll make a plan,” he said immediately after the race.

 “It was a good run, he trialled up very nicely and he came back from his long break in very good condition.

 “He showed straight away that he wanted to win a race the first day we trialled him. It’s a tough campaign the four-year-olds do but mostly they come back and they get their rewards as five-year-olds.”

 Size previously won the Panasonic Cup with Electronic Unicorn (2001), Gem Of India (2005), Real Specialist (2012) and Western Express (2017).


Victorian bred Eight Trigrams, by Widden’s Victorian stallion Magnus and out of Demandehere (Dehere x Raise A Ransom), kicked off the Sha Tin meeting by winning the opening race.


The six-year-old gelding, trained by David Hall, started his career in Hong Kong and has had 34 starts for four wins, three seconds and two thirds.


And it was also a solid day for Victorian bred horses and stallions at Cranbourne’s metropolitan status Cup meeting on Saturday.


It followed on from the success of the four day Melbourne Cup carnival.


While Magnus produced the Cranbourne Cup winner with the locally bred King Magnus for training partners Robbie Griffiths and Mathew de Kock, trainer Greg Eurell had more success for Larneuk Stud’s Neville Murdoch when Taut You Could won the opening race on debut – the Super VOBIS two-year-old 1000m maiden.


Murdoch pocketed $71,500 for the first price, plus a Super VOBIS nominator’s bonus of $7000 and an owner’s bonus of $23,000. 


The gelding, a full brother to the city winning O’Tauto, is by O’Lonhro (Lonhro x Taut) which stood at breeder Murdoch’s stud.


“Neville Murdoch from Larneuk Stud had the mare, unfortunately she’s not with us anymore, but everything she did have can run, and this guy has been no exception,” Eurell said in his post-race interview.


“He’s a little bit more precocious than what O’Tauto was, but at this stage, he’s doing everything right and it was the right time to bring him to the races.”


Asked about what impressed him most Eurell said:  “Probably his ability to hang on and tough it out. I said to Damian (Lane) ‘the more you ask, the more he’ll keep giving, that’s the style of horse he’s shown us all the way through.


“I think the 1000m is not necessarily his go, but he’s a good, tough competitor and he got away with it.


“I have no doubt probably 1200m, 1400m, a bit further on later in his career would be a more suitable trip for him.”


Former Swettenham Stud stallion Akeed Mofeed (GB) sired the winner of the second race – the three-year-old Cranbourne Classic (2050m) with chestnut filly The Amazonian (Saramenha). The three year-old is trained by Mick Price and Mick Kent Jnr.


Toronado produced another winner for Matt Laurie when Chartres (The French House) won The Super VOBIS Handicap (1200m) for three-year-olds.


Now with two wins and a third from four starts, the gelding picked up $71,500 for first prize at Cranbourne, plus an owner’s bonus of $23,000 and a nominator’s bonus of $7000.


Warrnambool trainer Peter Chow got the money with a mare he bred by former Blue Gum Farm stallion Canford Cliffs (IRE).


Five-year-old Paul’s Regret is out of Denison Star, a mare that Chow trained to a win and eight minor placings.


Paul’s Regret has been a good money-spinner for Chow and co-owners, mainly his family, with the victory in the $150,000 Rosemont Stud Fillies and Mares Pendant (1400m) giving the mare her fourth win to take her earnings to $425,100.


Chow has bred four foals from Denison Star, with gelding Robbie’s Star (Shinzig) winning 11 races, plus six seconds and eight thirds from 72 starts.


Another of Denison Star’s foals, the gelding Hostar (Host) won 10 races and had 10 minor placings. 


Chow said he bought Denison Star as a yearling, but she was hampered by injuries and some bad luck in some races, but is performing better as a broodmare. 


“She has thrown stayers and she has thrown sprinters,” he said.


“She is very versatile and has thrown winners from stallions that are not fashionable, too.


“We have got an unraced three-year-old in work at the moment by Rebel Raider and have got a two-year-old by Host. She missed a year and has got a Highland Reel filly.


“And she has gone to Shamus Award this year.”


Chow said Paul’s Regret would have a crack at the Group 3 Summoned Stakes for mares in two weeks at Caulfield, which will be her first attempt at 1600m.


The Cranbourne victory also offered a free service for the 2022 breeding season for an approved filly or mare to Rosemont Stud stallion Hanseatic. 


It was an afternoon of celebration on Saturday, as Spendthrift Australia resident sire Overshare recorded his first ever winner from his first runner on track.

The Annabel Neasham-trained Lady Laguna was on debut in the BBHT QTIS Two-Year-Old H. at Eagle Farm, following a fourth-placed trial at Randwick in late October. Ridden by Ryan Maloney, the filly jumped from the outside gate and overcame an awkward position to produce a strong finishing burst, scoring victory by 0.5l.

By super-sire I Am Invincible, Overshare’s own racing career featured three wins, headlined by the G3 Zeditave Stakes and the Listed McKenzie Stakes. He finished second in the G3 Manfred Stakes and was fourth in the Blue Diamond Preview and the Rosebud. Only two of his 12 starts were outside black-type company. He commenced his stud career with us in 2018.

Overshare’s dam, Savannah’s Choice, is a half-sister to Cesario, the Champion Japanese 3YO filly. Cesario is the dam of stakes winners Leontes, Saturnalia and Japan Cup winner Epiphaneia, to whom Champion mare Almond Eye is currently in foal.

A private purchase for OTI Racing, Lady Laguna is out of the three-time race winner and Encosta De Lago mare Catalina De Lago (USA).  She is the dam of three foals, the unraced Orizaba, and a Bolt D’Oro yearling filly. The family also includes G2 Edward Manifold S. winner She Will Be Loved, the Group 2-placed Thorn Dancer and Top Australasian 3YO Filly Lucia Valentina.

We’re looking forward to following the career of Lady Laguna and seeing more of Overshare’s first season progeny hit the racetrack.

Overshare (I Am Invincible x Savannah’s Choice) stands for $11,000 (inc GST) in 2021. He is Breed Secure and VOBIS Sires eligible.

New Sun Stud sire National Defense wins the Group 1 Jean-Luc Lagardere (photo-Scoop Dyga)

Widden Stud stallion National Defense’s already impressive credentials received another massive boost with the victory of Twilight Gleaming (IRE) in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Del Mar.
The two-year daughter of Group 1 winner National Defense (Invincible Spirit x Angel Falls) became the first filly to win the Group 2 Sprint and led all the way to give American trainer Wesley Ward his third win in the 1000m race.
On Saturday, it was also another big day for Widden Stud when Nature Strip demolished his rivals in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m).
Nature Strip’s sire, Nicconi, has transferred to Widden in Victoria at the start of this season.
As well as the joy of seeing Nature Strip notch another Group 1 victory, Widden Stud’s Adam Henry said it was a massive result for National Defense to get a winner with Twilight Gleaming at such a prestigious meeting as the Breeders’ Cup.
“She just showed sensational speed to lead from the barrier to the wire,” he said.
“It’s not easy to do, and they came at her, and she fought really hard. She is a quality filly and was the red hot favourite at Royal Ascot and ran second after just getting run down late.
“She hasn’t been out of the top two in all of her five starts in good company and is a top-flight filly.”
Luck hasn’t always been on National Defense’s side when it comes to serving mares.
The stallion copped an errant kick from a mare in his first season in Ireland, which restricted him to a small book, and his stud duties in Australia – he is now in his third season – suffered a setback at the start of this breeding season when he was again kicked.
Henry said National Defense (GB) produced 29 live foals from his first season in the northern hemisphere, and so far, 15 of that crop had raced for five individual winners, including Twilight Gleaming. Another of his progeny has finished fourth in a Group 2 race, and another was fourth in a listed race.
“To have three black-type performers from a small crop is a pretty fair effort,” Henry said.
National Defense shuttles from to Widden from the Irish National Stud and his oldest northern hemisphere progeny are two-year-olds.
He stood his first season in Victoria in 2019 when he covered 159 mares and served 88 the following season.
National Defense’s first Australian yearlings will be offered for sale next year.
“He missed that first season coming out here after copping that kick in Ireland,” Henry said.
“He is a year behind from where he usually would be, so his oldest here are yearlings, and he has got 81 to represent him, which is nearly three times the opportunity he has had in the northern hemisphere.”

Standing at $9900, Henry said it would be difficult to find a stallion like National Defense, a winner of the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, for under $10,000.
“He’s a good looking horse with an excellent pedigree page and he has been really well received by breeders, that’s for sure,” Henry said.

Henry said Widden would consign National Defense yearlings next year on behalf of Sun Bloodstock.
“Off the back of the brilliant results in the northern hemisphere, we are really excited about the first crop of southern hemisphere yearlings being sold next year,” Henry said.

“Inglis and Magic Millions have both been really positive about his stock during inspections as they are attractive, forward-looking types.”

Henry said Widden would offer a number of National Defense yearlings via both sale companies, including a pair of colts headed for Melbourne Premier that he believes will be highly sought after.

They are out of Group 1 New Zealand Oaks winner Miss Mossman and Group 2 placed Gris Dame, herself a half-sister to dual Group 1 Maco’Reilly. “Both will be a must for inspection cards,” Henry said.

“National Defense has shown up north that he can produce a quick, early running juvenile, and that will really resonate with the Australian buying bench. His two-year-old filly Twilight Gleaming is lightning on four legs.”

After suffering the setback in September, Henry said National Defense was out of action for a considerable time but had resumed his duties.
“He’s back covering now,” he said.
“He had over 90 mares booked to him, but we couldn’t get them covered due to the incident in the covering shed.
“It’s a bit of a setback as he’s been a popular stallion with breeders. His sire line is well sought after with all the success it has had in Australia and National Defense’s dam side is very strong as well.”
Henry said National Defense’s yearlings would do the talking for the stallion at next year’s sales.
“Unfortunately, it hasn’t gone to plan in the breeding shed this season, but he’s over that now and back covering, he said.

“He couldn’t have done too much more factoring in the number of live foals and runners, winners and then black-type performers. It’s pretty impressive reading.”
Henry said Twilight Gleaming was obviously a class filly that had won a serious race worth $1 million and was targeted by trainers from all around the world.
Twilight Gleaming’s dam, the unraced Dansili mare Thames Pageant, has produced three to race and two are winners.
Thames Pageant is a full sister to the gelding Mainstream, which raced in Australia as Invictus Prince.
The now nine-year-old started his career in England with trainer Sir Michael Stoute and was then transferred to Australia, where he raced for Matthew Smith. The gelding’s best effort was running two lengths second to champion mare Winx in the 2018 Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m).

Twilight Gleaming finished second in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and made amends when she won the Listed Prix de la Vallee dÁuge by a neck at Deauville in France.
The filly has now had three wins and two seconds from five starts.
Bred by Pier House Stud, Twilight Gleaming was purchased for 75 thousand pounds at the 2020 Goffs’ Orby Sale on behalf of Barbara Banke of Stonestreet Stables.
Banke is a racing identity in America and this year was named chair of the Breeders’ Cup board of directors and became the first woman elected.

Damien Oliver and James Cummings with Willowy after winning the Kennedy Oaks at Flemington Racecourse on November 04, 2021 in Flemington, Australia. (George Sal/Racing Photos)

Kermadec’s relocation from New South Wales to Darley’s Northwood Park in Victoria has been perfect timing with the stallion producing the winner of the VRC Oaks – Willowy.
The Godolphin racing team, under trainer James Cummings, produced at least one winner on each of the four days of the Melbourne Cup carnival.
Makiv said the Godolphin stable had a great week.
He said they ran an unlucky second on Derby Day with Alegron (Teofilo x Algria) and were beaten in a photo in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes with Cascadian which then ran second in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes on the final day of the carnival. Colette (Hallowed Crown x Libretto) backed up her victory in the Tristarc Stakes at Caulfield with the victory in the Group 1 Empire Rose, also on Derby Day.
Willowy shot to favouritism for the Oaks with her victory in the Wakeful Stakes on Derby Day.
The Godolphin team finished the carnival with a winner on Stakes Day when Alcyone (Teofilo x Purple) won over 2000m
“So we had winners on all four days so the carnival was fantastic,” Makiv said.
“The spring has been great and goes back to Anamoe winning the Guineas.”
As well as winning the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas, Anamoe (Street Boss x Anamato) finished a controversial second in the Cox Plate to State of Rest.
Veteran jockey Damien Oliver couldn’t have been happier with his resurgence over the carnival and was full of praise for Willowy which had won a 1600m Newcastle maiden before tackling the Wakeful Stakes.
“I thought the second horse had us cold inside the 200. I tried everything. Maybe I took the roaring to another level, but she responded well and I can only take some of the credit,” Oliver said after the Oaks.
“James (Cummings) and the Godolphin team in Melbourne, Reg (Fleming) and all the guys, they have to take the credit too. It was my first sit on her today, I couldn’t ask for any more.”
Cummings said the Oaks win was great for the team first and foremost.
“There is a hell of a lot that goes into producing a horse like Willowy on days like this. It’s a great effort from the guys at Crown Lodge where she first started off,” Cummings said.
“She has just kept improving all the way, enough for us to send her to the Wakeful. We didn’t nominate many for the Oaks, but we had her earmarked as one that could stay.
“It takes a filly with a great temperament and a great constitution to do what she has done in the past week and she has been able to deliver.”
Cummings realises the importance of the win for Kermadec.
“That’s massive for Kermadec who had the favourite in this race last year, in Montefilia, who won the Metropolitan 12 months later,” he said.
“He’s producing these Classic fillies. It sets him apart being able to get a horse like that and we are looking for stallions like that, like anyone.”
Darley Victoria’s Andy Makiv said the entire organisation was delighted with the results of the carnival which culminated in Willowy’s Group 1 Oaks victory.
“We are delighted and it’s been a great week for a number of reasons,” Andy Makiv said.
“Willowy winning the Oaks was a real standout for us.”
Makiv said the swapping of states and stallions barns for Kermadec (Teofilo x Hy Fuji) and Street Boss (Street Cry x Blushing Ogygian) were part of managing Darley’s rosters in NSW and Victoria.
“Standing stallions is a long game,” he said.
Although Kermadec was moved to Victoria, Makiv said it was a horse that they still had faith in him in New South Wales, but was relocated to Victoria with view that the Victorians would have the opportunity to support the stallion on the back of Montefilia’s performances last year.
He said Willowy’s victory in the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes and then winning the Oaks four days later had franked that decision for breeders.
The David Payne-trained Montefilia finished third in last year’s VRC Oaks, but won two Group 1 races in 2020 – the ATC Fight Stakes and the Spring Champion Stakes.
And this year the mare won the Group 1 ATC Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) in October and then finished fourth in the Caulfield Cup.
Mikov said the victory of Willowy said a lot for Kermadec as a stallion and also their operation’s breeding program.
“For a number of reasons it’s a great team effort all the way through from the stallion to the great old broodmare (Dextrous), to the training team, to the stud team,” he said.
“So that was the highlight, a fantastic highlight and everyone in the whole organisation got a buzz out of it.”
Makiv said Dextrous, which died last year, had been a great broodmare.
Her progeny include Group 1 winner Skilled (Commands), Group 2 winner Ambidexter and dual Group 2 winner Sidestep (Exceed and Excel).
Makiv said Willowy, a November 25 foal, is an immature filly that had won the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) and the Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) in a week.
Now with three wins, one second and a third from six starts – plus $822,065 in prize money – Makiv said he’d expect the filly to target similar sorts of races during the autumn.
“But who knows where it leads beyond that, I suppose,” he said.
“Even the Verry Elleegants and the Winxs and those sorts of horses had to start somewhere didn’t they?
“She has got a wonderful pedigree and is a well credentialed filly.”
Makiv said Kermadec (NZ) had received good support in his first season in Victoria this year. He served 67 mares in New South Wales last season, but could double that number when the stud season finishes in Victoria this year.
“He has had two Group 1 winners this spring and I am not sure how many stallions have had two individual Group 1 winners this spring.”
“He is an up and coming horse who can get a classic horse and I’d say he’ll cover around 100 or maybe a few more. And maybe on the back of Willowy, it might head to a bit more.
“He has been well received this year and we are pleased.”
Makiv said Godolphin and Darley was an international business and certainly a national business with two farms in Australia and the stallion rosters had to be balanced.
“To move Street Boss north wasn’t for any other reasons than we had Frosted, Brazen Beau and Blue Point all in a similar price bracket here (in Victoria) and didn’t there (NSW),” he said.
Makiv said the thinking behind moving Kermadec to Victoria was that they also had a few horses in that similar price bracket in NSW.
Standing at $11,000, Kermadec has shown what he can produce for a reasonably priced fee.
“He has shown that he can get a good horse,” Makiv said.
“That horse of Lindsey Smith’s Tuvalu (three wins and two seconds from five stars) I think it is very talented. He was matching motors almost with I’m Thunderstruck through the winter and he has gone onto be one of the class horses of the spring.
“I am looking forward to seeing Tuvalu in the autumn and I think that he is an exciting prospect. Add him to the mix if he goes on and does it and by April/May next year he may be a very hot horse.
“If they pass on a bit of talent, you are half-way there, I think.”
Makiv said Godolphin would support Kermadec with their own broodmares this breeding season.
“You can broadly talk about what numbers you want to do but at the end of the day you want the mating to work and the physical to work, but the mating has to work too.
“We try to breed with a bit of purity and try to breed racehorses at the end of the day which we are lucky to do.
“We are not driven by the commercial sales ring as much, but we are driven by what is best for the mare and hopefully the best is to produce a Willowy.”
Makiv said the numbers for the Darley stallions had been great this season and while second season sires could be difficult, Blue Point (Shamardal x Scarlett Rose) and Too Darn Hot (Dubawi x Dar Re Mi) to their credit both their progeny had outstanding profiles from all reports and what Darley had seen.
He said they’d knocked back as many mares to Blue Point and Too Darn Hot this season as they did last year. Blue Point covered 128 mares last season, compared to Too Darn Hot’s 130. They both stand at $44,000.
“They are just really highly credentialed horses,” Makiv said.
“It’s a privilege to stand them and we are very lucky to have access to them, Bivouac is the same. We just get these elite champions that people want to send their mares to.
“We are in a fortunate situation at the moment on the track, both here and up north, and as a result our rosters are in a really healthy place and our bookings and business is in a healthy place. We are in good shape.”



Image courtesy of Racing and Sports (Steve Hart)

There is nothing like the thrill of long shot winner for any trainer or owner.
And it was exceptionally special for Coffs Harbour trainer Joanne Hardy who trains seven-year-old Toorak Toff gelding Real Time Warrior.
The gelding was bred by Rosemont Stud, which was once the home of the dual Group 1 winning Toorak Toff (Show A Heart x Orong).
After Real Time Warrior won the Country Classic (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday at odds of $150, Hardy couldn’t be happier that she’d bought the horse that no one wanted.
Offered by Rosemont at the Gold Coast Magic Millions National Yearling Sale in 2016, Hardy had marked the then colt in her catalogue as a possible purchase with the plan to sell him at a two-year-old in training sale.
The colt opened at $5000 and Hardy made the only bid – at $6000 -and the chestnut was knocked down to her.
Good buying she thought.
Soon after she offered the colt for sale at the Magic Millions two-year-olds in training.
Hardy put a $20,000 reserve on the horse – but there wasn’t a bid.
“I bought him for $6000 at the June Magic Millions Sale and I bought him to trade through the two-year-old sale,” she said.
“I didn’t get a bid on him in the two-year-old sale. No one wanted him so I bought him home and decided to race him.
“There was not one bid. He was a good type but it was a two-year-old sale with a horse that probably needed distance and was going to be a three-year-old plus.
“I shop at those sorts of sales and you can pick them up for around your $15,000, $20,000, $25,000 and it’s good buying at that.
“There were a lot of Asian buyers at the sales that year and they had $100,000 to spend on something that they wanted to go now and he didn’t fit that bill.”
Hardy said the colt was also a very early lot in the sale, which also didn’t help.
She admits that she was surprised to originally pick-up the colt for $6000.
She had him on her list as a nice type of horse and had him pinned as a stayer who wasn’t going to attract big money.
“He was a good size, good conformation and had good X-rays,” Hardy said.
“He was a nice moving horse who was probably going to get over ground and needed time.
“They opened up the bidding at five grand and couldn’t get a bid, so I thought he was a nice horse for that type of money, so I put my hand up for six and he was knocked down to me.
“I was the only one who bid for him. I was the only one who ever wanted him.”
Hardy said some friends took some small shares in Real Time Warrior and raced the horse with her.
Now with nine wins, two seconds and four thirds from 45 starts, the gelding picked up his biggest pay day on Saturday with a cheque for $61,250 to take his career prize money to $183,170.
“For a $6000 horse who is just shy of $200,000 he is going all right,” Hardy said.
The next assignment for Real Time Warrior is the Taree Cup on November 21 and then the Tuncurry Cup on December 6 when the harder tracks are more suitable.
And with those juicy odds on Saturday, Hardy admits that one of the owners had a $100 win bet on Real Time Warrior at $141.
“He said he went down and had a look the horse before the race and he was nodding his head, so he said the horse was saying yes he was going to win, so he went and had another $50 on him,” Hardy said.
“He’d had a couple of beers and said what was another $50?
“He said it was the most money he’s ever won in his life.”
Hardy, who generally has 12 to 15 horses in work, didn’t think Real Time Warrior was a $150 chance.
“It was really nice and I wish it could happen every week,” she said.
“I was a little bit surprised, but he was the horse in the race with the most starts and wins, and there were other horses in the race that were up and comers.
“His form was more exposed than others and that’s the reason why he probably blew out like he did.
“But he did have a three kilo claim which bought him into the race really well and I think people overlooked that.”
Real Time Warrior is out of Sidereal Time (Nureyev x Traverse City).
Toorak Toff now stands in Tasmania in an arrangement with Rosemont Stud.
Hardy and her partner David Birch operate Clare Park Thoroughbreds, just outside of Coffs Harbour.