Above: Fiorente

Sun Stud’s Fiorente (IRE) featured in the winner’s list at Canterbury on Wednesday as the sire of eye-catching three year-old colt Black Duke.

A big athletic colt stamped with his sire’s good looks, the Richard Litt trained Black Duke atoned for a luckless debut fifth at Canberra earlier this month to score a stylish win in the 1200m maiden.

Held up for a run in the straight, Black Duke was full of running and when angled into clear ground accelerated hard to the line for Tom Sherry to post a long neck win.
“He’s always shown a lot of promise and I’m just glad he could prove it today,” said Richard Litt.

“We sent him to Canberra thinking it would be an easy win for him and everything went wrong.”

Litt has no immediate plans for Black Duke, but given his pedigree, Classic aspirations this season would be well within his scope.
Retained to race, Black Duke is the first foal of Empress Eleven a placed War Pass (USA) mare from Group II winner Ascorbic, who comes from the prolific Black Type Lemon Ice family that produced last year’s Group I VRC Victoria Derby winner Warning.

Black Duke’s Melbourne Cup winning sire Fiorente, has proven a great success at stud leaving five stakes-winners  headed by Group II winners Hawkshot and Stars of Carrum and stands at Sun Stud this spring at a fee of $17,600.

Footnote: Fiorente later made it a winning double when Don’t Doubt Dory scored at Sandown.

Article courtesy of Breednet

Above: Inglis Ready to Run Sale 20 October 2020 at Riverside Stables, Sydney

A highly diversified catalogue featuring progeny of Australia and New Zealand’s leading stallions prepared by expert developers of young racing talent has been finalised for the 2020 Inglis Ready2Race Sale.

In total, 226 2YOs have been catalogued for the sale at Riverside on Tuesday October 20, following a thorough build up which includes breeze ups in three states and two countries.

An outstanding group of horse people will be preparing juveniles for the sale including the likes of Blake Ryan, Rick Worthington, Damian Lane, Jean Dubois, Will Forrester, Matt Vella, Michael Hickmott, Mel O’Gorman, Tal and Shaun Nolen, Frankie Stockdale, Dean Harvey, Hinnerk Hueppe and others.

The catalogue – the strongest ever assembled for an Australian 2YO Sale – features youngsters by the likes of Fastnet Rock, Sebring, Not A Single Doubt, Pierro, Zoustar, Written Tycoon, Deep Field, Vancouver, Lonhro, Nicconi, Dundeel, Hinchinbrook, Brazen Beau, Choisir, Ocean Park and All Too Hard to name just a few, as well as two colts by champion US sire Into Mischief and a filly by top-class French sire Siyouni.

First season stallions such as Capitalist, American Pharoah, Shalaa, Extreme Choice, Flying Artie, Frosted, Astern, Sooboog, Star Turn, Maurice, Divine Prophet and Tivaci etc are also represented.

The Inglis Ready2Race Sale has in recent years achieved the highest winners-to-runners ratio of any sale of its kind in Australasia.

Not only did this year’s G1 Doncaster Mile winner Nettoyer come through the Inglis Ready2Race Sale, since 2014 over 375 individual winners have emerged from the sale.

It has also been a significant boon for the Hong Kong market, with a stronger winners-to-runners ratio and greater average earnings per runner than any other Australian 2YO Sale in the same period.

The 2020 sale is scheduled to be a physical auction at Riverside Stables on Tuesday October 20.

Breeze ups will take place in NSW, VIC, QLD and New Zealand through mid-September, while an alternate breeze-up day is scheduled for Warwick Farm on the Friday prior to the auction.

High-quality video of each breeze will be available on the Inglis website within days of the gallops.

Inglis General Manager of Bloodstock Sales and Marketing Sebastian Hutch described the catalogue as “simply outstanding’’.

“The catalogue has unprecedented strength to it this year, particularly in terms of the people preparing the horses – it’s an awesome group of horse people and they know what it is to develop top-class horses because they are doing it regularly,’’ Hutch said.

“This is a market that is a legitimate source of Group One racehorses domestically and internationally and as confidence in the market has grown, so has the level of investment, which is reflected in the quality of horses on offer.

“The level of promotion of the sale will be second to none and we will be going to great lengths to facilitate engagement by buyers in the sale, irrespective of where in the world they are located.”

To view the 2020 Inglis Ready2Race catalogue, CLICK HERE.

Above: Hydro Star winning at Sandown (Image: Racing Photos)
The early spring glow of having a promising racehorse in Hydro Star (Headwater), combined with some strong results at the recent weanling sales is helping Victorian-based Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm move through one of the most challenging periods in its history.

James O’Brien and his mother Tanith are determined to continue the good work of long-time Lauriston Farm principal Kevin O’Brien, who passed away in May, and ensure the farm at Corinella, south-east of Melbourne, is able to negotiate its way through the complicated COVID-19 period.

A significant boost to spirits in uncertain times has been the emergence of yet another star racehorse in the distinctive green and orange colours of Lauriston Farm. The John McArdle-trained 3-year-old Hydro Star takes on stakes company for the first time on Saturday in the G3 Vain S. at Caulfield.

A $15,000 yearling purchase through the Inglis Classic Sale from the draft of Holbrook Thoroughbreds, the O’Briens had initially intended to send the colt through the Inglis Ready 2 Race Sale last October, but such was his talent, that he forced them to change their minds.

“I was really impressed with the horse. He was a nice walker, had nice conformation, and we just liked him, plus he was cheaper than we expected,” James O’Brien told TDN AusNZ.

Above: Hydro Star as a yearling

“He was broken in, we pre-trained him and set him for the Ready 2 Race. What we tend to do, is we pair them up, as opposed to running them individually. Those young ones like to be with another horse.

“We took them to Pakenham just to give them the experience on the float and at the racecourse and we paired him up with a horse and he beat him quite impressively.

“That would have been September last year, so we had an inkling then that we had a good horse.”

James and Kevin, along with Warren Diggles were impressed by what the Headwater colt was able to do, but wanted to see the 2-year-old colt again to check their assessment of him.

“We breezed him up at Cranbourne and he ran the fastest time prior to lunchtime when they rolled the track. Once again, we put him with our fastest horse and he beat him again. We then decided that he’d pulled up so well, we’d take him to a trial,” he said.

“We put him with our fastest horse and he beat him again. We then decided that he’d pulled up so well, we’d take him to a trial.” – James O’Brien

“We had done that the previous year with a horse called Wellington, which we ended up selling to Hong Kong. He’s now a rising star over there, having won three races.

“John McArdle and Jamie Mott had told us not to sell Wellington, because he was such a good horse. But we did sell him. With that in mind, we gave them this horse, and they came back and said he might be better than Wellington, please don’t sell him!

“Dad, myself and Warren were talking and thinking that he was a bit special, we decided to keep him, with a mind that we might get an offer from Hong Kong. But he kept impressing us every step he took.”

A Star on the rise

Early 2-year-old promise is one thing, but it was clear to everyone involved with him that this colt had something special about him.

“The way John McArdle talks about this horse, I have never had a feeling on a young horse like him before,” O’Brien said.

Unfortunately, Kevin O’Brien never got to see Hydro Star reach the track, but he did have a significant impact on him which has added an extra degree of poignancy as Hydro Star embarks on his racing career.

“Dad named the horse, it was the last horse he named before passing,” James said.

Hydro Star debuted at Sandown last month, and while both O’Brien and McArdle admitted some pre-race nerves, he lived up to favouritism, winning by 2l over 1000 metres, after charging home from midfield.

“In the end, he is still green and when he got to the horses in front, he switched off a bit and Jamie got his mind back on the job,” he said.

“Jamie Mott has been great with the horse and we will need a crowbar to get him off him. He knows the horse and he knows what he has got and he knows that he is still new and that’s why it is good to have Jamie on him.”

Hydro Star returned to Lauriston for a short let-up between runs, spending some time on the beach and creating his own little buzz around the place. O’Brien said the excitement around him is almost palpable.

“It’s special, I just wish Dad was here to enjoy it with us. Hopefully he does take us on ride. It’s a bit emotional,” he said.

“It’d be great if he could step up. We all think he is going to be a better autumn horse than a spring horse. He is just going to keep maturing and we will see how far he goes in the spring.”

Foals give Lauriston a lift

Hydro Star’s emergence comes off the back of some very positive results for Lauriston at the Inglis Australian Weanling Sale last month, which included the sale topper, a Not A Single Doubt filly, who sold for $280,000 to Suman Hedge Bloodstock and Grant Bloodstock.

“We normally sell yearlings, but this year we decided to send all our foals to sale as weanlings. We were pencilled in for the Great Southern Sale, but because of everything that has happened, we took the earlier option to send them to Sydney,” he said.

“We were pleased to sell the top lot there, all 10 of them sold and we topped the averages, so the Victorians did alright in Sydney!”

Above: Not A Single Doubt x Rhodamine (filly)

O’Brien admits that in a time of such market uncertainty, there is a lot of decisions that need to be made on the fly, and sometimes, you are just hoping you pull the right rein and make the right call.

“A lot of the decisions you make are the wrong ones, but on this particular occasion, we pulled the right one by opting to sell in Sydney rather than sell online,” he said.

“A mate of Dad’s came over the other day and said to me that maybe Dad’s gone to that thoroughbred part of heaven and is looking down on us, and you’d like to think that’s true.”

Victoria soldiers on

As President of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria, O’Brien has seen close-up the effort that has gone in to get racing going in the state, despite the recent COVID-19 outbreak, which prompted a Level 4 shutdown of the state.

“It’s been fantastic that racing has continued. Our Racing Minister, Martin Pakula, has done a wonderful job. He communicates regularly with Racing Victoria and as the President of the Breeders’ Association, I have been part of regular meetings and to have kept racing going is all credit to RV and Martin Pakula,” he said.

“The whole industry participants, what they have done to keep us as an industry vibrant, is absolutely magnificent.”

“The whole industry participants, what they have done to keep us as an industry vibrant, is absolutely magnificent.” – James O’Brien

However, he does believe the most challenging time for those in the breeding industry is coming up in the next few months.

“It’s a very difficult period for the breeding industry now, and while it’s important that we are recognised as an essential business and are able to move our horses and get them bred, the opportunity to sell them becomes much harder if you can’t have people on the farm to sell them to,” he said.

“This is the time of year where foals are starting to arrive and mares need to be covered and service fees need to be paid. The cash flow implications of those service fees is hard-hitting on those farms who aren’t able to get results in the sales ring.”

Article courtesy of Bren O’Brien TDN

Above: Pippie at Caulfield

Group 1-winning mare Pippie (Written Tycoon) is set to be targetted first-up at the G1 Moir S. this spring, with her build up to that assignment beginning with a jump-out at Mornington on Wednesday.

The Chris and John Meagher-trained mare is a specialist first-up in races and it was under those circumstances that she was able to cause somewhat of an upset and win the G1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield in February.

Damian Lane took his first ride aboard the 5-year-old in the Mornington jump-out and she certainly gave him a good sense of her speed, bounding clear from the barriers in the 900 metre hitout, before being given an easy time, and allowing stakes-winning mare Humma Humma (Denman) to finish over the top of them late.

Chris Meagher was happy with how Pippie handled her first assignment of the spring and says she is very much on track for where he wants her to be, with her first-up run still over six weeks away.

“That’s her and that’s one of her traits, she can be quick out of the machine. She seemed to be two in front after about 50 metres,” he told TDN AusNZ.

“I was a little bit hesitant about jumping her out today given the rain we had during the morning, but it was either that or next week, where it’s supposed to rain more.

“I asked Damian, who was having his first ride on her, to bounce her out and sit on her and just not move. I didn’t want her to have a gut-buster first-up and he did exactly that and came back extremely pleased with how she went.”

“I didn’t want her to have a gut-buster first-up and he [Damian Lane] did exactly that and came back extremely pleased with how she went.” – Chris Meagher

Meagher said given her profile as a supreme fresh performer, Pippie can be a little bit of a tricky horse to manage.

“We are probably a little bit in front of where we want her. But you’d rather be in front than behind. We are not racing until the third week of September, which is the Moir. It’s nice to get this jump-out out of the way, and we can ease her into the next one, which will most likely be on the second of September,” he said.

“You do have to watch her weight a little bit. That’s why we looked to trial this far out from her first-up run. It’s difficult in some regards, because any other normal horse, you would give them one run and then they are peaking second or third-up, but she peaks at her first run. She’s extra special first-up, and then you have to back completely off her.”

Above: Chris Meagher (right)

With that in mind, all of the spring eggs are in the Moir basket, with the G3 Begonia Belle S. during the Flemington carnival, the other race possibly on the agenda.

“If she runs in September, we will back right off, and we haven’t pencilled in a second-up run, but I’d love to win a race at Flemington with her. Derby day would suit her,” he said.

“We will probably freshen up or spell again and target winning the Oakleigh Plate again.

“She’s not your typical horse where you can give her three or four runs per preparation, because she puts so much into her first-up runs.”

Pippie is the clear star of the Meagher stable, but the stable was pleased with the performance of her half-sister Boom Express (Spirit Of Boom), in winning a Doomben trial on Tuesday.

“She’s a really nice filly, but will be more Magic Millions targeted,” Meagher said.

Boom Express has been placed in two of her three runs to date and as an early 4-year-old, has not been overraced to this point.

Their dam, Coupe Express (Ne Coupez Pas {USA}) who is based at Eureka Stud, also has a 2-year-old filly by Defcon and is in foal to Spirit Of Boom again.

With bases at Caulfield, and Eagle Farm, the Meagher stable is one which has been impacted by the COVID-19 border shutdowns, which have prevented Chris heading to Brisbane for the past couple of months.

“It’s very difficult. I’d hate to have 50 in each barn. We’ve only got 15 in each and it’s manageable but it’s hugely frustrating when you can’t be there. Normally, I am there every fortnight. I’ll just see how it pans out over the next three or four months, whether we continue up there or not,” he said.

Article courtesy of Bren O’Brien TDN

Above: Classy Joe wins the TAB Handicap at Morphettville (Atkins Photography)

There are a lot of reasons why we breed racehorses … the hardest part is finding out what rhymes.

Take, for instance, the John Hickmott bred/trained/part-owned, Classy Joe, winner of Saturday’s TAB Handicap over 2006m at Morphettville.

After a major setback as a 3YO, the now 6YO is really starting to hit his straps, winning three of his last four and not finishing out of the money at his last seven outings.

Thing is, Classy Joe only really starts to get warm over 2000m or greater and here comes the (non) rhyming part. Classy Joe is by the speed source Danerich, a multiple stakes winner by Danehill, who has gone on to produce Group winning sprinters such as, Rich Charm, Richie’s Vibe and Lord of the Sky. Indeed, six of the seven stakes winners courtesy of the Rangal Park based stallion have earned their black type from 1000m to 1200m.

One of those stakes winners was the Hickmott trained, Classy Chloe (7 wins to 1300m, including the Listed Durbridge Stakes), another is the Group Two placed, Classy Jack (11 wins to 1200m), while yet another of his ‘flyers’ – Classy Jaybee – was a city winner last month for Hickmott and has since been sold to Hong Kong.

“I’ve trained all four of the Danerichs out of the Brocco mare, Capital Growth,” Hickmott explains. “She’s produced six winners of 38 races and the three that looked like Danerich were very fast, but Classy Joe has thrown more to the dam and is much more similar to Capital Growth’s first foal, the High Yield galloper, Southern Fortune, who won seven races for the stable from 1950m to 2400m.”

Not that we ever got to see Capital Growth race.

Bred by Melbourne based dentist, Chris Gliddon, Capital Growth is a half sister to multiple Group winner and Group One placed 2YO, Hey Pronto, but was untried at the track and then failed to capture the imagination of buyers when her initial foals made it to the sales ring.

“Capital Growth’s first five yearlings, including Classy Chloe, never even attracted a single bid,” Gliddon reveals. “John (Hickmott) approached me after the first foal, Southern Fortune had been passed in and he went on to win seven races for him.

“Trainers like to stick with families they know and when Classy Chloe was passed in, John approached me again and this time I kept a share.”

Shortly after that though, Gliddon would also sell Capital Growth to Hickmott and she would go on to produce Classy Jack, Classy Joe, Classy Jaybee and an unraced 3YO, Classy Kenny – all by Danerich – but the mare died in 2019.

Fortunes have changed for Gliddon, however, who secured Classy Chloe for breeding purposes when her racing days were done and dusted.

A breeder for the last 40 years with highlights including 5-time stakes winner, Begone and the aforementioned, Richie’s Vibe, Gliddon sold Classy Chloe’s third foal – a near black colt by Brazen Beau – to Godolphin for $625,000 at the 2019 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

“I wanted to sell the Brazen Beau colt in Melbourne but he was rejected and I thought ‘here we go again’,” Gliddon recalls. “Magic Millions said they’d take him and he ended up making very good money on the Gold Coast.

“The colt is called, Conceited, and he won at Flemington on debut last December before finishing third behind Away Game in the ($2 million) Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January. His spring campaign will begin very soon and I hold high hopes for him.

“Classy Chloe’s Pride of Dubai filly made $150,000 at the Melbourne Premier this year, she’s got a Pride of Dubai filly heading to the sales in 2021 and she’ll be covered by Dundeel this spring.”

Hickmott, meanwhile, is hoping Classy Joe can add to his impressive tally of six wins and six placings from 28 starts for $120,525 in stakes: some of which may well have been spent on something to settle the nerves on Saturday night.

In a fighting finish at Morphettville, Classy Joe edged ahead of Andrea Mantegna when it counted, but then had to withstand a protest levelled against the winning jockey, Jeffrey Maund, for excessive whip use. Maund would subsequently be suspended for four meetings, but much to the delight of Team Hickmott, the actual protest was dismissed.

With around 30 in work, Hickmott has been a trainer for 40 years and is father to dual Melbourne Cup winning trainer, Rob (Almandin, Green Moon) and fellow Murray Bridge trainer, Michael. John’s eldest son, Ken, passed away in 2017.

“My father was a greyhound trainer and I left school at 14 to work as a drover,” Hickmott points out. “I’ve always loved being around horses – any animals for that matter – and started out with a stable at Wangaratta.

“I moved to Murray Bridge in 1990 and been fortunate to have a few good ones along the way like Pay Keys (2003 Group Two Sandown Guineas), Frenzel Rhomb (4-time stakes winner and over $500,000 in stakes) and an old favourite of mine called Dusty Springs who won 26 races.

“We’ve bred most of the horses we race, but bought a few at the sales this year for Rob’s operation in Victoria. I’ve had over 500 winners and the stable won in excess of $1 million in stakes last year.”

Past successes aside, Hickmott clearly has a soft spot for his most recent ‘Classy’ winner.

“He (Classy Joe) is just a good honest horse,” Hickmott adds. “He was a rig and had to have quite invasive surgery to correct the problem as a 3YO. That put him off the scene for over 12 months, but in the 22 runs since he’s been back, he’s finished in the top four on 15 occasions.

“He’s just turned six, but is sound as a bell and I wouldn’t be surprised if you still see him racing as a 10YO.”

Article courtesy of Aushorse

Above: Nostradamus stands at Rosemont Stud

Just three runners opposed boom filly Clairvoyance in the Long Leaf At Rangeview Stud (1200m) at Belmont on Saturday but they included two honest performers in Keep Your Feet and Watch Me Dance and Clairvoyance put them to the sword.

The bold-striding daughter of Nostradamus kept her record at a perfect three for three when leading all the way under Chris Parnham.

The consistent Keep Your Feet (Bradbury’s Luck) trailed home some five and a quarter lengths astern in second while last season’s Group III WA Sires’ Produce stakes winner and Group II Karrakatta Plate runner-up Watch Me Dance (I’m All The Talk) was a further one and a quarter lengths back in third at her seasonal debut.

Clairvoyance kick-started her career over 1000m at Belmont on July 11 and despite racing greenly won by three-quarters of a length.

She showed she had taken plenty of benefit from that experience three weeks later over the same course and distance with a 5-length romp over Panzdown who was coming off a win at Belmont at his debut.

A homebred for Impressive Racing, the Darren McAuliffe-trained filly is the fifth foal and third winner out of the well-performed Perugino mare Dance On Air.

Campaigned by David Moodie’s Contract Racing, Dance On Air won six races in Melbourne where she seemed to have an affinity with Caulfield, which was the scene for half of her wins.

Clairvoyance is flying the flag for Rosemont Stud’s Nostradamus. The Medaglia d’Oro (USA) half-brother to Star Witness stands for a fee of $5,500 this season.

Article Courtesy of Breednet

Above: Bella Nipotina wins the Group Three Probuild Quezette Stakes at Caulfield (Racing Photos)

You would be hard pressed to find any owner who would be happy to have their horse known as “Australia’s best maiden”.

Not really something you want to be the best at. Yet, up until Saturday’s Group Three Beck Probuild Quezette Stakes over 1100m at Caulfield, that maiden tag best fit the 3YO filly, Bella Nipotina, and, while there could be some debate over ‘best’, you certainly couldn’t argue with the title of the ‘richest’.

First sighted last October when fourth in the Listed Debutant Stakes at Caulfield, Bella Nipotina had landed two large paydays when second in the Inglis 2YO at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day ($92,000) and then second in February’s Inglis Millennium ($380,000) at Warwick Farm.

By the time the Lindsay Park trained, Bella Nipotina lined up for the Quezette, the Pride of Dubai filly had banked a massive $550,975 in stakes … not bad for a ‘non-winner’ who cost just $80,000 at the 2019 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

And now, courtesy of her go to whoa performance in the Quezette, Bella Nipotina has raced on eight occasions for the solitary win, three seconds and $654,725 prizemoney – never finishing further astern than fourth.

The spring appears equally promising too with Lindsay Park’s Ben Hayes suggesting that the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes and Listed Cap D’Antibes Stakes in September could be next on the agenda for Bella Nipotina.

All music to the ears of breeder and part-owner, Michael Christian, who has had quite the ‘journey’ with his latest stakes winner.

“It started when we loaded her onto the truck to go to commence her yearling preparation,” Christian explains. “She loaded well, but then thrashed around in the truck and, in doing so, suffered some significant lacerations.

“Thankfully, she didn’t suffer any structural injuries, but it certainly compromised her yearling preparation. The team at Rosemont did a fantastic job to present her as well as they did but there is only so much you can do in 10 weeks.

“Maybe her injuries had something to do with the fact she only made $80,000 despite being from a well related family and by the first crop of Street Cry’s (Group One) Blue Diamond winner, Pride of Dubai.

“Lindsay Park and Andy Williams bought her and I approached David Hayes after the sale and asked if my brother, Brad, and I could be involved in the ownership. Certainly glad we did!”

A premiership player with Collingwood in 1990 and now the Match Review Officer (MRO) for the AFL, Christian fits just about every criteria for a racing tragic.

“I was a stockbroker in the mid 90s and a colleague introduced me to horse ownership. It started with taking 2.5% shares of horses trained by Lee Freedman,” Christian recalls. “In 1997 I hosted a corporate stockbroking lunch with Gai Waterhouse which was the start of a wonderful relationship racing horses such as Phoenix Park, who started favourite in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (finishing sixth), ran fourth in the (Group One) Golden Slipper and then went on to win the (2002 Group Two – now Group One) TJ Smith Stakes.”

Having developed a passion for racing and moreover the horse, Christian enrolled as a mature age student in a Diploma of Horse Breeding at the NMIT in 2003. From there it was onwards and upwards with Christian purchasing a 36 acre horse property in Whittlesea in 2007 on the recommendation of good friend, Peter Morgan.

Since then, Christian has bred 5-time stakes winner, Eloping (trained by Morgan), multiple Group winner and Group One runnerup, Fuhryk, Group Two winner, Unpretentious, Group Two winner Hallowell Belle, Group Three winner, Fuddle Dee Duddle and dual 2YO stakes winner, Of The Brave. He has also raced Group One winner, Slavonic, Group Two winner Oasis Bloom and stakes winners Amah Rock, True Blonde, Alibarber and Dynamic Tycoon.

Christian – together with his wife Siobhan, brother Brad and sister-in-law Pauline – purchased a 240 acre farm at Longwood East (formerly part of Vinery Stud) nearly two years ago.

Longwood Thoroughbred Farm is situated between Avenel and Euroa, in Victoria’s thoroughbred breeding heartland and Christian explains: “The farm provides a full breeding service to clients with a dedicated 24/7 foal watch team, racehorse agistment (35 individual spelling paddocks with shelter boxes) and weanling and yearling preparation.

“We have some wonderful facilities including a 32 box stable complex called the Eloping Barn and 14 box stable named after Fuhryk, and our team is headed up by manager, Lelaina Vennemeyer.”

Despite the wide-ranging success from the breeding shed and on the track, Christian clearly has a soft spot for Bella Nipotina.

“Bella Nipotina’s granddam, Bella Inez, was the first mare at our original property, so anything from that family will always be very special to us. She (Bella Inez) did a lot to put us on the map … we bought her as a yearling with Peter Morgan and although she only raced once, her first foal – by Starcraft – was called Hallowell Belle who won a (Group Two) Gilgai and (Listed) Darby Munro, but was also 4-times Group One placed, including a second to Sepoy in the Blue Diamond.”

“The second foal, Fuddle Dee Duddle, won the Group Three, WA Champion Fillies Stakes, while her third foal, Arctic Dream was also winner.

“The fourth foal was Bella Nipotina’s dam, Bella Orfana, but she was only four weeks old when Bella Inez – in foal to Fastnet Rock – died in the Hunter Valley from a colic attack. That’s why she was named ‘Bella Orfana’, which is Italian for beautiful orphan and Bella Nipotina is Italian for beautiful granddaughter.

“I had no intention of selling Bella Orfana as she was the last filly out of the mare, but (2019 Melbourne Cup winning trainer) Danny O’Brien came to the farm and was keen to train her and took a 25% share.

“Bella Orfana showed enormous promise, but just couldn’t finish off her races because of some heart problems and was retired. Her first foal is Bella Nipotina, the second is a filly by Capitalist, she’s in foal to Trapeze Artist and will head back to Pride of Dubai this spring.”

Christian will often retain shares in yearlings he sells if asked by trainers – “I believe in what we produce and I’m very happy to stay involved” – but did wonder for a while if Bella Nipotina would get the ‘monkey’ off her back.

“I was beginning to worry if she’d win after being beaten by short margins in a few races, but she was very impressive on Saturday and hopefully we’ll have a lot more fun with her,” a relieved Christian adds. “She was actually going to kick off her campaign in a maiden at Geelong on Friday but trialed so well the decision was made to go to the Quezette instead.

“Ironically, she would have struggled to get a start in the maiden at Geelong because of the number of first starters that contested the race.”

HOOFNOTE: Christian breeds under the Saconi Thoroughbreds banner, which is a tribute to his children: Sasha and Saskia, Coco and Nicky.

“Unfortunately for my youngest, Max, he came along after I’d set it all up, but as long as the horses keep winning, I’m sure he doesn’t mind too much!”

Above: Lot 703 Exceed and Excel x Vicennalia (USA)

An Exceed And Excel colt from American mare Vicennalia (More Than Ready) has tonight realised a record price for an online weanling auction of $170,000.

The colt, lot 703, was offered by Three Bridges Thoroughbreds as agent in the Great Southern Sale, which formed part of the Inglis Digital August (Early) Online Auction.

He sold to Wagga Wagga-based breeder Brett Bradley of Arlington Park Racing.

He was one of many highlights of the auction, which grossed $3m and achieved a 70% clearance rate.

“I was just having a look through the catalogue and came across this colt and really the main attraction was his sire Exceed And Excel, I’ve always wanted to send one of my mares to Exceed And Excel and it’s never worked out for one reason or another,” Bradley said.

“This colt was the best weanling in the sale so I knew we had to be strong and I didn’t really look at anything else – the photos, videos and reports were very helpful, in fact even at a live sale I find any parade videos to be advantageous, it’s like going back for your second and third looks.

“It’s a fast, American pedigree – and it was good to see the dam’s half sister Speaktomeofsummer win her second Stakes race a few weeks ago – but for me it was all about Exceed And Excel.

“I haven’t 100% decided yet on the future plans for the colt, I’ll get him to Kitchwin Hills first and have a good look at him, then discuss options with Mick Malone.”

Bradley – a Director of the Murrumbidgee Turf Club for almost a decade – moved to Australia from the United States 24 years ago and became interested in horses through his wife and friends.

“I honestly just really love horses, it’s evolved to an interest in breeding and I have a small band of broodmares at Kitchwin Hills – while the name Arlington Park Racing comes from the town Arlington in Texas where I once lived,’’ Bradley said.

“I’m a fan of the Inglis Digital format, I have used it before and people are definitely getting more used to trading online, it’s like working from home how people are adapting – I’m happy with the process and the result.’’

A thrilled Toby Liston of Three Bridges said the colt had presented as a fantastic opportunity for savvy buyers and the result was “terrific” in the current market.

“We feel we got the right money for this colt, he’s by Exceed And Excel and there’s only 49 of them – 26 of which are colts – and if you look at the stats, six colts have raced on this cross for three Stakes horses including Bivouac, that’s a 50% stakes horses to runners,” Liston said.

“We also sold a Toronado x Our Spirits Bay (Stravinsky) filly for $40,000 to a gentleman for the Dubai Racing Club and purchased lot 698, a Sebring colt from the Burnewang North draft for $30,000 through Paul Willetts, which we plan to send to Inglis Premier in 2021.

“Credit to the Inglis team for all the work they’ve done in what has been an ever-changing landscape, especially here in Victoria.”

Liston said while the situation had been challenging for everyone, it had probably pushed technology – and attitudes towards it – five years forward.

“If you want anything in the world you can buy it online, so why should horses be any different? But it’s not a new concept for Three Bridges, I would say we’ve sold $3 million through Inglis’ online platform, going back to Bloodstock.com.au classifieds,’’ Liston said.

“[Inglis Digital Business Manager] Nick Melmeth has been incredible to deal with over the years and now this platform has this massive wide reach.

“It’s a valuable part of our business because it bridges this disconnect between racing and breeding, it’s the best place to meet new clients and we’ve learned that providing every detail possible and decent photos and videos, builds your reputation as a vendor and maximises return.

“My wife Jana and I are the next generation at Three Bridges and if you don’t adapt and learn, you’re quickly left behind.”

The Vicennalia colt is one of 64 horses to sell for $100,000 or more on the Inglis Digital platform since 2018, while the August (Early) Sale is the 7th consecutive to gross $2m or more.

Burnewang North Pastoral sold two colts for $90,000, a Sebring from Midnight Fantasy (Commands) bought by Hirsch Racing and a Caravaggio x National Velvet (Commands) to Ciaron Maher Racing.

Maher also snapped up another colt in their draft, a Dundeel youngster ex Blendwell (Hard Spun) for $70,000, no doubt noting the success in recent years of graduates of the sale like Gytrash, Sopressa and Extra Brut.

A number of quality lots are still available through the Inglis Make An Offer service.

CLICK HERE for the Great Southern Sale or contact a member of the Inglis Bloodstock team.

CLICK HERE for the full Inglis Digital catalogue or call 1300 711 683.

Entries are now open for the August (Late) Online Sale and close at midnight on Wednesday, August 19.

The sale is scheduled to run from August 21-26.

CLICK HERE to enter a horse.

Stradari ridden by Jye McNeil wins the Connect Tel 4YO+ Maiden Plate at Geelong Racecourse . (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

A gelding bred by leading form analyst Dean Lester was on its way to Hong Kong before the COVID-19 pandemic struck leaving horses due to head overseas stranded in Australia.

Despite the disappointment of having the lucrative sale scuttled, Lester wasn’t faced with many options other than to race the now four year-old with his mother, Sandra Borschmann and his partner Leanne Korgvee.

The son of Strategic Maneuver made his debut at Geelong last Friday over 1250m and scored a narrow victory to collect a hefty cheque. With the first prize money and Super VOBIS Gold bonus, Lester’s pain of not getting the Hong Kong money was eased a little with Stradari collecting $33,250 from his first race.

“I sold him to Hong Kong but when COVID hit they walked away from the deal,” Lester said.

“He had an extended break and put on a bit of weight and got to the races as a four-year-old. He won a Super VOBIS Gold maiden and it was quite good that he did that.”

And while Lester admitted Stradari was Hong Kong bound for a good quid, he says the horse is here now and hopefully can develop into a handy little money-spinner and be a good fun horse.

The first foal Lester bred out of the Stradari’s dam – Ladari (Ladoni GB) was by Americain and while he won two races, he was extremely dour and had a bit of wind problem.

“We have had that family for nearly 30 years and the fastest one I bred was out of a mare that went back to Court Marshall and Half Hennessy,” Lester said.

“Half Hennessy was a Derby winner but he bred the fastest horse I have had in that family. I thought I would try and get one that is fast and out of that Court Marshall line.”

Lester said it came down to sending the mare to either Bel Esprit, which was a $33,000 service at the time, but the veteran is standing at $7700 this season, or Strategic Maneuver for $2000.

He said his mother negotiated the service with Malcolm Boyd who recently sold his Bullarook Park Stud.

“The mare might finally go to Bel Esprit this season for $7700,” Lester said.

Lester said his mother trained the mare Ladari which was the last horse she trained.

The mare won five races from 28 starts and ran places at Sandown after finishing a narrow second to Bashful Girl who won the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes a few starts later.

“She was a handy mare and she was an even later starter. While she was a beautiful mare, she wasn’t very athletic and we just kept poking around with her and then she sort of really put it together,” Lester said

“The grandmother (of Stradari) was the reason why we kept the pedigree because she was the best horse we ever had, a mare called Spiritdari.”

Lester said Spiritdari (Toy Pindarri/Royal Rosi) only won four races but at her last start she won at Caulfield and after the race Greg Childs said he’d like to ride her in the Let’s Elope in a couple of weeks after declaring she’d be hard to beat.

“He said just check her as she felt the ground a bit today as it was really hard at Caulfield,” Lester said.

“She had a spiral fracture in the front cannon bone so she never raced again and not long after the Let’s Elope she was already in foal.

Lester said they first bought into the family in 1987.

“We’ve kept it going for a long time,” he said.

Ladari has only had two foals, Freedom’s Light (Americain) and Stradari and was not served in 2016-17-18.

Lester said Freedom’s Light had ability but was a bit “touchy” in the wind and he wanted to make sure that Stradari didn’t have the same problem before he sent her back to the breeding barn.

“He is very sound and I’m happy to go with her again, even though she is an older mare (18 years-old),” he said.

“She hasn’t be overly taxed, that’s for sure.”

Lester said Stradari ran the fastest time of the maidens at Geelong and Cranbourne trainer Kevin Corstens, who is having his first preparation with the gelding, believes he could be a 1400m and 1600m horse.

But with the original plan of selling him to Hong Kong, the gelding had been restricted to 800m trials and is benefiting from the beach work given to him by Corstens.

With Bullarook Park Stud now sold as Malcolm Boyd goes into retirement, the stud’s stallions have all found homes.

Boyd put Strategic Maneuver up for auction and he fetched $13,000 and is off to Taree to continue his stud career.

Boyd is still singing the praises of the stallion by Royal Academy who served only one mare last year.

“Strategic Maneuver has had one, two, three, four winners since Friday and one, two, three seconds and two thirds,” Boyd said.

“You have to look after him, he is 15 now, as he is a special needs horse but he is one of the nicest animals I have ever been associated with. He was an absolute gentleman.”

Asked why he only served one mare last season, Boyd said: “That’s all he attracted and he didn’t get her in foal after having two cracks at her.

“He has proven that he is uncommercial so why would you want to send a mare, but he still gets winners.

“And who knows he might get a lot of mares this year because he has had winners over the past few weeks.”

Boyd said he had another call from an interested stud in the Hunter Valley.

“I thought Jimmy, that’s what we call him, is going to make some money and he made $13,000 and I had a reserve of $1500 on him,” he said.”

“Poor old Jimmy never got the best mares, but he has kept me going.

“Tempt Me Not, his best mare is a Group 3 winner, and she has a full sister, Dazzling Charm (out of Ganda) and she going really well.”



Another of the stallions Boyd stood, Last Typhoon has returned to his owner Neville Murdoch at Larneuk Stud, while Lucas Cranach has relocated to Leneva Park.

Boyd, who has had problems with his mobility in recent times, departs Bullarook in two weeks for a house in Nagambie and a well-deserved quieter life.







Above: Bless Her ridden by Jye McNeil wins the Neds Bet Back Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse on  (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Cranbourne trainer Shea Eden admits he was less than impressed when he first saw a Street Boss filly his mate Troy Wilson had bought for $40,000 at the 2018 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

He admits it was more than likely that he wouldn’t have bought her if asked.

It didn’t take long before Eden realised that the filly, out of Blessit (Commands) had plenty of ability, but what surprised him most was how long it took for her to break her maiden status.

Named Bless Her, the four year-old was placed three times in her first four runs and then after a 24 week spell, she won her maiden at Sale and returned to the same track for a victory in a class one over 1212m.

After a six week let up Bless Her returned for a victory at Sandown, followed by a win at Caulfield and last Saturday to complete her fifth win in succession over 1100m at Caulfield.

Eden said the mare would now chase black type at her next race in the Cockram Stakes.

“It’s exciting,” he said.

Eden said he would adopt a similar path as he did with his top sprinting mare Ocean Embers who won the 2016 Group 3 Cockram Stakes after winning the same lead up Caulfield race as Bless Her.

He hopes Bless Her can emulate what Ocean Embers did.

“A mate of ours who co owns the horse with us and his wife bought the filly at the sales,” he said.

“He got me to have a look at her after he’d bought her and I canned her because she was too small.

“He is four feet tall himself and I said he only bought the filly because he could see over her back.  As it turned out, with Troy’s wife Madeline and my wife, Miranda, we went into a partnership to race her.”

While Eden said he probably would not have bought Bless Her at the sales, he admits she has matured and got better with age.

He said they were only disappointed early on because they thought she would have knocked off her maiden in her first preparation.

“She was a filly that took a bit of time, physically and mentally to mature but she was probably three or three and a half before we really saw her ability.” he said.

“She has taken a while but the patience has paid off.”

Eden said while Wilson is keen on the Street Boss’ progeny, Bless Her is the first one by the sire, which stands at Darley’s Northwood Park in Victoria, he has had in his stables.

“He had a budget and picked her up for $40,000.” he said.

“We have a bit of a joke and laugh about it now.”

Eden has just added another Street Boss – Marco Spada – to the stable after his wife purchased a gelding by the sire on the tried racehorse market.

“She and Madeline race this one as well and he is a three year-old gelding,” he said.

“He just looks like he needs time.”

Bless Her was bred by well-known Victorian breeders Jim and June Anderson.

“She’s a good little filly, isn’t she,” Anderson said.

“She was small when I sold her and still is.

“But she has also shown some promise and was placed three times from her first four starts so she has always shown a bit of ability.”

Anderson said he’d always liked Street Boss and sent a few mares to him, along with Blessit.

Blessit’s first foal, Blazing Tycoon (Written Tycoon), has won two races and had four minor placings from 11 starts.

Anderson has an unraced three year-old colt, Tax Free Prophet, out of the mare by Rosemont stallion, Nostradamus.

“And we had a Dundeel colt out of the mare which we sold as a yearling this year (for $120,000),” he said.

“She also has Foxwedge weanling colt,”

Anderson said they’d breed about 10 or twelve foals from their mares this season.

He said he always felt happy for the owners who purchased his horses and win races as they are the ones paying for the training fees.

Above: North Pacific (James McDonald) trained by John, Michael & Wayne Hawkes wins the Up & Coming Stakes (Group 3) at Randwick  – photo by Martin King/Sportpix copyright

Victorian cattle farmer and businessman David Gillies has seen the highs and lows of breeding horses and offers no better example than two mares he sent to Darley’s Victorian stallion Brazen Beau in the same season.

The Brazen Beau colt from his mare Hipster Girl sold for $9000 at auction, while the other one from Up In Lights pushed the record books when he went for $800,000 to top the 2019 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Gillies had been told by the experts to expect some descent money for the Up In Lights colt, but was warned about getting too excited with the other one who was sold in New South Wales.

The large sums paid for the Up In Lights colt – North Pacific – by Orbis Bloodstock has been justified with an effortless victory in Sydney’s Group 3 Up and Coming Stakes last Saturday. The three-year-old colt, trained by Team Hawkes, is favourite for the Golden Rose after Saturday’s 5.3 length demolition of his rivals. He also holds a nomination for the Caulfield Guineas and Cox Plate.

Gillies said he had been following North Pacific’s career closely and says he is living up to all the hype he generated as a yearling with two wins and a third from his three starts.

“I was very surprised with the price I got for him,” Gillies said.

“As he was growing out and getting closer to the sales, everyone who had looked at him said you might get $200,000 or $250,000 or possibly $400,000.

“On the day of the sale he had been pulled out and inspected so much, they said you might get $500,000 for him. It exceeded our expectations but two people liked him on the day and both put their hands up.”

Orbis Bloodstock’s Paul King said after the sale he still had plenty of ammunition left when the colt was knocked down to him for $800,000.

“It would have been nice to have known how much more ammunition he had,’’ Gillies laughed.

“Paul said in his interview that he liked him and wasn’t going home without him.”

Gillies said he was certainly happy the colt was winning and heading for bigger things.

North Pacific was the fourth foal Gillies had bred from Up In Lights (O’Reilly/Love The Limelight). The first was Run To Paradise (Star Witness), followed by King Manuka (Not A Single Doubt) and then Shine the Way (Reset).

While Shine The Way is an unraced four year-old, the now retired Run To Paradise had one second from five starts, while King Manuka finished his career with a third from his two starts.

Bhima Thoroughbreds at Scone, (Gillies’ agent), sold a colt from Up In Lights by Maurice (JPN) at the 2019 Gold Coast National Weanling Sale for $24,000. The Colt then sold for $100,000 to Robert Roulston at this year’s Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale offered by Three Bridges.

Gillies said the two that he had bred and raced from the unraced mare, whose family includes four-time Group 1 winner Metal Bender and Group 1 Goodwood Handicap winner Keeper, were what he described as very ordinary.

“You can look at pedigrees all day long but I think on this particular occasion it came down to type more than anything else,” he said.

“There was a bit of hype about Brazen Beau at the same time, but he was sold on type alone.

“He seems to be a natural, I guess,”

After failing to get into foal to Dundeel and Brazen Beau (last service was in December, 2019), Gillies unexpectedly sold Up In Lights earlier this year.

“I was going to persevere with her, but an agent rang up and said we’d like to buy her.  I explained she wasn’t for sale, but they came back and made a fair offer,” he said.

“I don’t know who bought her, I just made the assessment that in the previous two years I couldn’t get her in foal and I threw a lot of money at vets trying to get her into foal.

“So they can roll the dice with her and wish them they very best. It’s a bit of a gamble buying a mare that couldn’t get into foal for two years considering what we did to try to get her there.”

Gillies said the mare wasn’t sold on the hype of North Pacific, but he hopes the buyers have success.

After breeding for the past seven years, Gillies said he had up to five broodmares but says North Pacific has obviously been the highlight.

Although he farms Angus beef, he has never had horses on his Glenburn property and prefers to agist them out.

Gillies love for horses was sparked when his first job after school was an apprentice jockey, for a fleeting moment, which he says some people might find hard to believe.

He has raced horses with Cranbourne trainer Ken Keys more than 20 years ago and then got busy with work and stopped racing but has recently got back into the industry.

“So I thought I’d have a crack at breeding and bought half a dozen mares and rolled the dice with them,” Gillies said.

“Hipster Girl ran fourth for me in the Oaks. I have never really had any good success on the track, but I keep plodding along. I’ve got half a dozen horses mixed between Grahame Begg and Anthony Freeman.

“I enjoy racing and breeding and I thought instead of buying yearlings I would breed a few.”

“I’m down to only two broodmares now.”

Gillies said he toyed with the idea of keeping his Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible/Sansadee) colt but concedes $800,000 was a lot of money.

There is also the possibility with the guidance of Team Hawkes, that North Pacific could be a stallion prospect.

He became Brazen Beau’s ninth Stakes winner.

Above: No Effort with Jockey Dwayne Dunn after winning at Caulfield

Reward For Effort enjoyed a typically successful weekend of siring winners, with four of his progeny saluting. Headed by No Effort in the first event at Caulfield, the brave on-pace performance credited trainer Gavin Bedggood with his first Saturday Metro win.

Upsetting hot favourite Sovereign Award, the win would do wonders for former trainer Allan Cooper who has suffered ill health of late.

“Allan Cooper been a bit unwell and I hope he’s been able to watch that today and get a good buzz out of it,” Bedggood said.

Jockey Dwayne Dunn too was keen to pay tribute to Cooper. “He hasn’t been well at all as well documented. I think he’s well enough today to watch her go around she they’ll be at home watching and a big thanks for their efforts”.

Bred by Monomeith Stud out of Hold The Lion (Lion Cavern) who will re-visit Victoria’s Champion Sire of Winners, Reward For Effort in 2020.

Over the weekend, Reward For Effort also sired Port Augusta Winner Panagiota as well as two Chatswood Inglis Premier graduates: Cranbourne winner, Zizi La Fille in the Greg Peters colours and Tatura winner, Regal Effort for Domain Thoroughbreds/Boomer Bloodstock.

A further 7 of Reward For Effort’s progeny were also placed over the weekend.
At this early stage of the season, Reward For Effort is a top 10 Australian sire for prizemoney and winners, standing at a fee of $11,000 inc GST.

Dear Breeder,

Off the back of some questions from farms regarding walking-on mares during the breeding season, TBA has developed a set of protocols to assist breeders as they plan for the coming months.

These guidelines are recommendations only and given the rapidly changing situation these may need to be revised in light of future developments. It is also important to follow any directions given by public health officials.
COVID-19 Walk-On Guidelines:

  1. All paperwork should be completed beforehand and sent electronically where possible.
  2. Stallion farms should keep a record of all people visiting their farm and walking on mares (this can be done electronically or via a paper record).
  3. Those walking on mares should limit their contact with stallion farm staff.
  4. Hand sanitiser should be provided and used by any visitor.
  5. Stallion farms may ask those coming with a walk on mare to remain in the vehicle and have their staff unload and handle the mare. In which case, all handles on the truck should be sanitised.
  6. Alternatively, farms may ask those coming with mares to unload the mare and put her in a stable or walk in yard and remove the head collar.
  7. Where possible farms should set aside a toilet for the use of farm visitors.

Further to our email on Tuesday, the NSW Government has now officially listed the movement of mares as exempt from current border restrictions. Click on the link below to read more:

NSW Border Restrictions – What You Can And Can’t Do

However, in addition to your border entry permit, the Government has advised that you will also need a COVID Safety Plan. You can download a simple template from the link below:

NSW Government COVID Safety Plan – Agriculture

Finally, I have also included the COVID Industry Guidelines that we produced earlier in the year. Although the situation has evolved significantly over the past few months, there is still plenty of relevant information in the document and we hope it provides a handy refresher on how best to keep you and your staff healthy and safe during the busy period of the breeding season. For the guidelines click here.

Article courtesy of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia

Above: Grabowski finishing seventh at Warrnambool

There was more than a passing interest in a Street Boss gelding that made his debut for the Ciaron Maher/David Eustace training partnership over 1400m at Warrnambool last week.

Named Grabowski, the six year-old gelding finished a creditable seventh on the heavy eight at his first outing.

One of the gelding’s part owners, Ciaron Maher’s father, John, was as excited as anyone with the horse’s debut and what he may develop into.

The interest was generated because of the horse’s dam – Alstomeria – which produced champion jumpers Al Garhood and Regina Coeli.

Grabowski, bred by John and Ciaron Maher, is the last foal out of Alstomeria (Petoski/Cathedra) who died about a year ago.

Peter bought and raced Al Garhood, who is by Zabeel, to back-to-back Grand Annual victories in 2010 and not to be out done, his half-sister Regina Coeli (Pure Theatre), won the Grand Annual in 2015 and again in 2017 in what was to be her farewell race. Al Garhood’s Brierly Steeplechase victories in 2008/09 and a second in the 2009 Grand Annual were also big money races which pushed his and Regina Coeli’s combined prizemoney to nearly $1 million.

And John Maher was also a part owner of the champion mare Regina Coeli, while Al Garhood was just the second horse his son trained.

“We have been lucky after starting off in a modest way a few years ago,” John Maher said.

“And we sort of hit the jackpot.”

Maher said Alstomeria is buried alongside Al Garhood at the Warrnambool property of Colin and Janice McKenna who are also part-owners of Grabowski.

“He died before her after being bitten by a bloody snake,” he said.

“He jumped thousands of jumps, Grand Annuals and everything else and never fell, and then died by a bloody snake in the paddock.”

After purchasing Al Garhood, Maher was told that Alstomeria was up for sale in a broodmare auction in Sydney and he became even more interested when informed she was in foal.

“She was 16 years-old and was in foal to Pure Theatre at the time so I sent Ian McLeod, a vet from Hamilton, to go up and have a look at her,” Maher said.

“And like they say in the classics, the rest is history.

“Regina Coeli was the foal.

“I paid $3200 for Alstomeria.”

Maher also bred Just Junior, by Green Perfume, out of Alstomeria and he won two races, including a 3000m race at Moonee Valley.

Alstomeria had problems in the breeding barn after producing Green Perfume in 2009 and a colt she had to Hard Spun who died after birth in 2010. She missed the following year to Crystal Finale but the following year in 2012 had a colt to that stallion which never made it to the racetrack.

Grabowski is Alstomeria’s first – and last – foal since Just Junior.

Maher said seven time Group 1 winner Might And Power’s dam, Benediction, is from a sister, Cathedra, to Alstomeria.

“And or course Might And Power was by Zabeel and so was Al Garhood,” Maher said.

“Al Garhood was bred for a Cox Plate but he never made it  and after a few races no-one wanted him and I bought him for $12,000.”

And if you’re wondering how Maher came up with the name of Grabowski he explains that Alstomeria was by Petoski which is by Niniski which was sired by Nijinsky 11.

He Googled Petoski and the first thing that came up was a character on the famous 1981 film, Cannonball Run.

“Sergeant Petoski was played by Norman Grabowski and I thought the Cannonball Run, Bert Reynolds and we all know them so you can’t get much better than that if you’re talking racing.”

Maher said he was happy with Grabowski’s first up run and hopefully the patience they’ve had with the horse will be repaid.

“He ran the best first-up race of any of them, Al Gahood and Regina Coeli or any of them,” he said.

“The first time we raced Regina, Ciaron told me that he thought we’d need three laps and he was right.”

Maher said the plan was to get Grabowski to another race, while the ultimate dream would be to emulate the feats of his half-brother and sister by winning two Grand Annuals.

“But you can’t be too greedy,” he laughed.

“At this stage, I just hope he wins a race and he is a nice horse, but it’s taken him five years to come good and he showed a turn of foot in the race the other day.”

Maher has had plenty of luck in recent weeks with horses he races. The stable sent Enigman (Myboycharlie/Miranda), also part owned by Maher, up to Darwin to trainer Gary Clarke and the seven year-old gelding won the Palmerston Sprint on Darwin Cup day at $41.

And last week Incas (Kuroshio/Zalga) won at Ballarat for John Maher and the team.

Above: Kissee Mee ridden by Jarrod Fry wins the Ladbrokes Switch 0 – 58 Handicap at Moe Racecourse  (Leonie Gribc/Racing Photos)

For 76 year-old trainer Hanna Powell, there was nothing like the thrill of winning two races on consecutive days with horses she has bred.

Hanna, who trains at Kilmore, saddled-up Kissee Mee to victory at Moe on Saturday and then the promising Just Jake won his second successive race at Bendigo on Sunday.

And Hanna, who migrated from Germany to Australia in 1954, has been training and breeding horses for 20 years.  With the exception of Eyes Are Bay, all her horses have been homebred.

She admits she has never had as much success as she’s experienced in the past few months.

Just Jake, who is by Victorian stallion Reward For Effort, has won three races since June. Eyes Are Bay won at Moe in July and another one she bred and trains, Kiss Me If You Can ran second at Echuca in July and was third at Ballarat last Thursday. Eyes Are Bay finished fourth at Moe on the same day when Kissee Mee won.

Hanna says she only has one broadmare left on her and husband Ian’s Broadford property, the dam of Just Jake – Heavenly Dawn (God’s Own/Shanghai Dawn).

“These mares are looked after very well, they are like Queens and they are rugged in winter and fed twice a day.” she said.

“It’s just sometimes hard to let them go, but I was able to let two go to a chap in Benalla.

“Kissee Mee’s mum (Ellakeira) has gone and Hurry (Viscount/Depeche), who is quite well bred, has gone.”

Hanna said that with the success of Just Jake, she is thinking of sending Heavenly Dawn back to Reward For Effort at Chatswood Stud.

“If he goes onto greater things, maybe I should breed another Reward For Effort and then sell it down the line,” she said.

“I am 77 this year and I have three two year-olds waiting to be broken in. I think with the horses I have now and with the two year-olds, it will just about see me out without breeding any more.

“Unless I find a really nice home for Just Jake’s mum, I may decide to put her in foal to Reward For Effort.”

With a race record of three wins, three seconds and two thirds from 13 starts, Hanna is hoping Just Jake can be a city winner which would make another Reward For Effort foal from the mare an attractive proposition.

Hanna said the odd horse out in her stables, Eyes Are Bay (Bullet Train/Miss Percival), was purchased at the sales as a weanling and has now won four races and eight minor placings.

“The rest I have all bred, probably a good dozen,” she said.

Hanna said that she got into racing and breeding when her daughter, Michelle, was big in eventing but wanted to become more independent.

“And I thought goodness, what do I do now. I actually learnt my racing game many years ago from Ned Courtney and Cliff Fahler who used to break in horses near Ned Courtney’s in Essendon,” she said.

“And from the eventing, we always seemed to have the fittest horses so when our daughter decided she wanted to go off on her own I decided to start back in racing.

“So we bought a property up at Broadford.

“Even as a child in Germany through-out wartime and post wartime if there was a horse going along I was always drawn to it. I think it was just something in my blood.”

Hanna’s recent run of success has helped her repay prizemoney of $23,000 to Racing Victoria after Kissee Mee was disqualified from two races the Primus mare won – Kilmore on November 2, 2018 and Kyneton on December 6, 2018 – when she tested positive to prohibited substance.

It was revealed that the illegal substance was o-desmethylvenlafaxine (a metabolite of venlafaxine, an anti-depressant).

While Hanna pleaded guilty, Victoria Racing Tribunal chairman, Judge John Bowman, said there was no argument that Kissee Mee’s contact with the prohibited substance came as a result of eating grass in the area of a septic tank and where there was a sewerage overflow.

It was revealed that Hanna’s husband had regularly taken anti-depressant medication which was contained in the banned substance.

The board ruled that Hanna was extremely unlucky, describing her as a model trainer with a “blameless” record but rules that unfortunately strict, if no absolute, liability applies.

While a conviction was recorded, Judge Bowman said it was a rare case for the stewards and Hanna and her representative, Andrew Nicholl (ATA boss) to agree on an appropriate penalty which was a conviction, but no other penalty was imposed.

As the owner of Kissee Mee, Hanna had to repay the $23,000 in prizemoney but the tribunal said that because of the pressures of the spring carnival, there was a longer than usual wait for the analysis of the urine.

Hanna said she wouldn’t have raced Kissee Mee in the second race if there hadn’t been a delay in analysing the first urine sample.

“I still owed $14,000 which was due in September and 50 per cent of my prize money was being deducted and it would be cleared by now,” she said.

“Some of the joy has been taken out of it.’’

Hanna said the drug was contained in her husband’s urine which went through the sewerage system.

Despite that setback, Hanna said it was great to be back training winners.

“The lucky thing I think of why I am doing well is that I breed these horses and I don’t have owners, although I put a couple of friends in Kiss Me If You Can. I don’t have any paying owners so I think the secret is that I don’t have any pressure put on me and I can focus on the horses,” she said

“I am not saying I am great but I think we all get a turn from the racing Gods and they shine brightly on us at different stage.”

Hanna says she thinks it’s her turn right now.

Above: Jittery Jack ridden by Liam Riordan wins the Rubaroc Handicap at Flemington Racecourse on  (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

The timing could be perfect for Kerang trainer John Matheson and his two owners Sandra Peacock and her partner Keith Pertzel who raced Flemington winner Jittery Jack.

Jittery Jack upset punters on Saturday when the seven year-old gelding by Desert King won the last at headquarters, starting at $18.

Frustrated with the inability to get track riders, long-time trainer Matheson said he will retire from training when Jittery Jack has his last race, whenever that is.

Matheson said he is the last oncourse trainer at Kerang and has to rely on his “young” track rider to work the only horse he has in his stables. He says his young track work rider is in fact former jumps jockey and trainer Wayne “Tiger” Neville who is 68 years-old.

Sandra Peacock bred Jittery Jack from a mare – Little Honeypot (Clay Hero) – trained by Matheson, which she also raced.

While saying never say never, Sandra admits that Jittery Jack, who has won five races, plus five seconds and one third, would probably be the last horse she’ll breed.

“I would say I’ve been breeding horses since the early 1990s and we’ve had a bit of success. This horses older brother, Blazing Gilbert, won 10 races for us but this one would be our most success home breed,” Sandra said.

“We have the siblings of the horse and we have raced most of those with another winning three races for us.”

Little Honeypot’s dam Zumbido (Demus/Brumble Bee) produced  Buzz Kerang (Dieu D’Or) which was bred by Sandra and won three races and was crowned Swan Hill horse of the year.

“We also had Desert Buzz (Desert King/Zumbido) but unfortunately he had a lot of issues and only won one but we still had a lot of fun with him.”

And she also bred and raced Brief Buzz (Brief Truce/Zumbido) which started his career with Matheson but was later sold to Alice Springs where the gelding added another four race victories to the two he’d won in Victoria.

Sandra said they had obviously had a lot of ups and downs but it had been a “pretty good ride.”

She said Jittery Jacks’ dam, Little Honeypot, was purchased as a weanling and was trained by Matheson to one victory at Mildura but later had bone chips removed in her knees and although she returned to racing it wasn’t a successful comeback.

She bred Little Honeypot to Wild Harmony (USA) which produced Blazing Gilbert, a winner of 10 races for Sandra and her partner.

“He was pretty handy so we thought we’d send her to stud again to Desert King but unfortunately we lost his filly, Kerang Inferno, at her second race start at Swan Hill,” Sandra said.

“And this one is the only other foal we’ve managed to get out of her since. It’s the end of the line.”

Sandra said the plan was that Jittery Jack’s full sister, Kerang Inferno, was going to be her next broodmare but that ended in sad circumstances when she broke a leg at Swan Hill.

“So this is probably the last one, but you never say never but this will probably be our last runner,” she said.

“We might get a little share in another one, but this will probably the last homebred for sure”

Sandra said they purchased Little Honeypot’s dam Zumbido when she came on the market as they realised her daughter had some ability.

“We went to the broodmare sale at Oaklands and picked her up in foal and bought her home and that’s why we raced Little Honeypot’s siblings as well,” she said.

“She was in foal to Dieu D’Or and that’s when she produced Buzz Kerang.”

Sandra explains why she sent Little Honeypot to Victorian stallion Desert King (Danehill/Sabaah) who officially retired from stud duties in January of 2018.

“He was a very good race horse over a mile (1600m),” she said.

“I read a book once that said to go for a miler because you never know what you’re going to get. If you go for a sprinter they might end up running 600m and that’s the end of the track.

“But if you go for a miler you might get something that sprints or something that stays. And he was a Group 1 winner so we really couldn’t go past him.”

Sandra said he was a reasonably priced service fee.

And she hopes that Jittery Jack will keep them all at the racetrack for a little bit longer to add to his prize money of $128,935.

“I was thinking this afternoon of the level of satisfaction which is amazing,” Sandra said.

“We have bred him and had him all the way through and to achieve what he has is pretty amazing.”

Sandra admits to having a nice collect on the gelding for her partner Keith who had $50 each way on the gelding. Originally, Sandra had got odds of 60-1 but with some scratchings, Sandra said his original return of $3000 on his win bet “dwindled” down to $2300.

“But he wasn’t sooking,” she said.

And as for Jittery Jack, Matheson said there is another 1400m race for the gelding at Sandown in a couple of weeks,

Although he hasn’t raced beyond last Saturday’s Flemington distance of 1410m, Matheson is confident the gelding won’t have any problems stepping up to 1600m during this preparation.

“The win was good for the battlers,” Matheson joked.

“There’s a nice race at Sandown in a couple of weeks but it just depends on the rating he gets. The biggest problem is that Sandown is fair trip for us and Flemington is three hours for us.”

Matheson said he was frustrated at not being able to get track riders.

“So this is our last horse, I am retiring and they (Sandra and Keith) are retiring with me,” he said.

“This horse is only a seven year-old so it might be in a couple of years. You can’t get track work riders up here and I’m the only trainer on the course now.”

But until that retirement comes, there is still some unfinished business for Jittery Jack’s owners and trainer.

Above: Fender and Jack Cavanough (Muswellbrook Turf Club)

It’s fairly safe to say that Ann McHardy is pretty excited about the prospects of Fender, the 4YO flyer she bred and now races with partner, John Tyrell and close mates, David and Sharon Ceglar.

And why wouldn’t she be. On Saturday at Rosehill Gardens, Fender won the TAB Handicap over 1200m, making it four wins from as many starts, and the Toronado gelding is now a leading contender for the $1.3 million The Kosciuszko at Royal
Randwick on 17 October.

Impressively, the resuming Fender – last sighted winning at Randwick in April – didn’t have it all his own way and fought back strongly when challenged over the closing stages. He’s a fighter alright.

While it took Fender a tick over one minute and 12 seconds on the Heavy9 to gallop into Kosciuszko calculations, the journey has taken 13 years for McHardy, who purchased Fender’s granddam, Dance on the Wind – with an Arena filly at foot – for
$23,000 at the 2007 Inglis Broodmare Sale.

“I’ve lived on a 200 acre property at Albury for the past 30 years, but my professional background has been in the health industry,” McHardy explains. “It was my late husband, Roger, who had the real interest in horses, but when he passed away in
2006, I decided it was time to study up on breeding myself.

“We had a few mares at the time that were going nowhere so they were sold and I asked my son-in-law’s father, John O’Kane, to buy a mare for me at the Sydney sale. That’s when we got Dance of the Wind and we named her Arena filly, Ceccanti. David and Sharon (Ceglar) had been a tremendous support to me when Roger died and they got involved with the ownership of Ceccanti as well.”

Ceccanti would go on to win six races for McHardy and co., five of them with Fender’s trainer, Brett Cavanough.

Based at Scone since 2017, Cavanough was a leading trainer at Albury for many years and recalls the first time McHardy visited his stables.

“Ann was very thorough and asked a lot of questions and was probably a bit shocked when I told her ‘there’s two things I hate … wasting my time and slow fillies!’,”

Cavanough points out with a laugh. “Ceccanti was neither slow, nor a waste of time, winning quite a few races and finishing third in the Gundagai Cup.

“She certainly deserved her chance at stud.”

Although Ceccanti slipped in her first season, McHardy didn’t hesitate to send the mare to High Chaparral’s Group One Royal Ascot Queen Anne Stakes winner, Toronado, for the second spring.

“I loved Toronado as a racehorse and as soon as Swettenham Stud announced he was coming to Australia, I booked Ceccanti in,” McHardy reveals. “She has since produced a Duporth – called Signore Lucca – but he’s only just turned two and will eventually end up with Brett.

“Brett’s wife, Lauren, and I have become good friends and I often stay with them at Scone when the stallion parades are on. When Fender first came into work Brett would drop the occasional hint that the horse was going OK, but to come out and win
his first four is just a massive thrill.

“I’ve only got the two broodmares, so it’s really encouraging when you can be competitive against the bigger breeders with a horse like Fender.

“Ceccanti is in foal to Headwater but will be heading back to Toronado this spring.”

A former track rider, breaker and shearer, Cavanough commenced training in the late 90s and has been leading NSW country trainer on five occasions. His best runners include Group Two winner, The Monstar, and multiple stakes winners Helideck and Niblick.

Although many are suggesting the rich Kosciuszko appears to be a natural progression for Fender, the canny Cavanough is taking a cautious approach.

“I’m not saying that winning a million dollar race wouldn’t be a great result all round, but you need to keep your breeders’ hat on too,” Cavanough adds. “Black type on Fender’s page would help out Ann’s mare enormously and Fender still has some filling out to do. Don’t be surprised if you see the best of this bloke in stakes races next autumn.”

HOOFNOTE: On Sunday, the Cavanough family was celebrating the 21st birthday of Brett’s son, Jack, who suffered a serious fall at trackwork on 23 July and had to be airlifted to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital.

Allaying the fears of many admirers from the thoroughbred community, Cavanough told Sky Sports Radio listeners that Jack “was laying on the couch giving cheek”.

We wish you a speedy recovery Jack Cavanough.

Article courtesy of Aushorse

Above: Lucas Cranach (Ger) | Standing at Leneva Park Stud in 2020

Fledgling Victorian operation Leneva Park will stand Melbourne Cup placegetter Lucas Cranach (Ger) in the 2020 breeding season.

Lucas Cranach won six of his 12 starts in an injury-shortened career, headed by Group 2 victories in Germany and Australia. He finished third behind Dunaden (Fr) (Nicobar {GB}) and Red Cadeaux (GB) (Cadeaux Genereaux {GB}) in the 2011 Melbourne Cup.

From 2013 to 2019, Lucas Cranach stood at Bullarook Park Stud, and he is the sire of 42 winners from 105 runners to date.

This year he is moving down the road to a new name on the Victorian thoroughbred scene.

“He previously stood at Bullarook Park Stud, which is just five minutes away from us here,” said Leneva Park’s Mick Sharkie. “But now Malcolm Boyd has decided that it’s time to retire.

“I’ve been a shareholder in Lucas Cranach right back to when he first arrived in Australia during his racing career.

“Malcolm came to me and said he was a bit worried. He really wanted him to have a secure future, and he wanted to see him get another chance at stud.

“I’d only recently started working here at Leneva Park, and I went to Luke (Vandersluys) and said, ‘How about I bring in a stallion?’

“I think it’s going to work out really well. He’ll stay at his previous service fee of $5500 (inc GST), which we think is reasonable. He’s doing a good job with around half a dozen city winners, including some by big margins. Get Stuck In has scored some dominant wins up in Queensland over the last few months.

“For people who are breeding to race and could possibly send more than one mare, we’ll certainly be happy to do some deals for multiple mares.

“He’s proven to be a good source of winners so far. There’s been a lot of feedback that as soon as his progeny turn four, they’re just different horses. They might struggle to win as 3-year-olds, or they’re just not quite the complete article, but once they’re four, they just go bang.

“John Fiteni has had some good success with Lucas Cranach horses. He’s experimented with the breed, giving them all the time they need and not pushing them too much early on, and it’s paid off for him.

“If you just treat their 3-year-old season as if it’s a 2-year-old season, his progeny really develop into very tough and durable performers.

“He arrived here at the farm on Wednesday, and he’s just in fantastic condition. He looks great.

He arrived here at the farm on Wednesday, and he’s just in fantastic condition. He looks great.” – Mick Sharkie

“Maybe he might have a resurgence as far as his stud career goes – I’d love to see that happen. He was such a talented racehorse with so much potential that he wasn’t quite able to fulfil.”

It was only last year that Luke Vandersluys bought the existing Rockmount property and established Leneva Park, but the emerging operation has quickly made giant strides.

They have already built a strong pre-training relationship with major stables such as Mick Price, Lindsey Smith, Nigel Blackiston and Brad Spicer, while breeding relationships with Rosemont and Swettenham Stud have seen them purchase stallion shares in Strasbourg and I Am Immortal.

“It’s still a very new business, but already some very strong relationships have been formed,” Sharkie said. “The pre-training part of the business has taken off and is going really well.

“The property has a long history, but we’re only a young farm in terms of this ownership. It’s a new family entering into the Victorian thoroughbred game.

“We really focussed on trying to build a good relationship with Rosemont, which involved buying shares and breeding rights for Strasbourg, and it’s the same for Swettenham with I Am Immortal.

“It’s important to be fostering those relationships. We really want to get established in this business and be here for the long haul.”

Article courtesy of Richard Edmunds TDN

Above: Home Of The Brave finishes strongly in Aurie’s Star (Natasha Morello/Racing Photos)

An imported son of Starspangledbanner, Godolphin’s Home Of The Brave (IRE) broke through the $1 million barrier in earnings with a fighting win in Saturday’s Group III Aurie’s Star Handicap at Flemington.

The third leg of a treble for Damien Oliver, Home Of The Brave sat close to the lead as the field headed down the outside fence down the straight.

The 9yo gelding came clear in the closing stages to defeat Great Again (Viscount) by three-quarter of a length with Game Keeper (Fastnet Rock) a long-neck back in third.

It was a fifth win in the feature for Oliver.

“He’s nine now so obviously he’s not getting any better but he’s holding his form,” Oliver told Racing.com.

“He was well placed today, the reduction in the weights, and he’s got good form down the straight and the soft conditions, too. Everything went perfect today.”

Home Of The Brave (IRE) made his Australian debut in this race two years ago. He finished second that day after which he travelled to Sydney to defeat D’Argento and Trapeze Artist in the Group II Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill.

He went winless in 12 starts since.

(Read a comprehensive review of the Home Of The Brave Story here).

Purchased by Flemington Bloodstock Agency for €80,000 at the 2013 Arqana August Yearling Sale, Home Of The Brave (IRE) raced for a syndicate that included David Moodie and Troy Corstens and proved a terrific money spinner in Europe before being sold to Godolphin.

Above: Starspangledbanner (Mark Smith)

He is the best of three winners out of the Beat Hollow mare Blissful Beat who is a half-sister to a pair of Group III winners in Suggestive (Reprimand) and Rasgbag.

Suggestive, like Home Of The Brave (IRE), won the Group III Criterion Stakes at Newmarket while his brother Rashbag won the Group III Prix de Conde at Longchamp.

Winner of the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas and Group 1 Oakleigh Plate in Australia and the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes and Group 1 July Cup in Europe, Starspangledbanner returned from Ireland to stand at Rosemont Stud in 2020 where he commands a fee of $19,600.

Article courtesy of Breednet

Above: Chatswood Stud

As Chatswood enters a 49th year of operation, I welcome readers to our 2020 stallion brochure. I am very proud of our history, longevity and the champion stallions and racehorses that have called Chatswood home over the years.

I believe our stallion roster represents excellent value in 2020.
Inference commences his third season at Stud in 2020. The $1 Million earning, Group 1 Winning son of So You Think has breeders talking. His first crop certainly inherited their sires’ exceptional looks which resulted in Inference covering over 100 mares in his second season.  They are classy individuals with beautiful temperaments. I think they will make very nice yearlings.

This season has seen Inference enjoy significant pedigree updates. His half-brother Dragon Leap has emerged as a future star, taking out the Auckland Guineas and Avondale Guineas. Meanwhile, his half-sister Montia won on debut as a 2YO at Moonee Valley. Both Montia and Dragon Leap have lofty Spring targets. Visiting Inference in 2020 means the sale of the resultant yearling will coincide with Inference’s first 3YO runners.

Reward For Effort once again provides much needed reliability and consistency for Australian breeders. ‘Reward’ has earned the title of Champion Victorian active sire of winners in 2019/20 with 95 individual winners, taking his career progeny earnings passed $25 Million. He can always produce a strong, honest type, as evidenced by his yearlings selling up to $155k in 2020.

The excitement generated from standing two stallions at differing stages of their careers provides us with the enthusiasm to keep doing what we love. I would like to sincerely thank every single breeder who has supported us over our 49 year history.

Started by my father Alan, we remain as one of the few family owned studs in an industry that has enjoyed the financial windfalls of overseas investment. It will no doubt be a difficult season for our industry but if given the choice, I encourage you to support locally owned studs, where proceeds remain in Australia.

We love showing off our beautiful farm, so I extend a warm welcome for you to visit by appointment on any day. Wishing you all the best for an exciting breeding season,
– Greg Willis.

To view the brochure click here.