Back on Wednesday, September 11 at Bendigo many would have black-booked two three-year-olds by Puissance de Lune (IRL) and trained by Mitchell Freedman.

They were the maiden colt Southern Moon who would come out a fortnight later and finish second in the Victoria Derby Trial at Flemington and the filly Moonlight Maid.

Now Moonlight Maid had already earned the honour of being the first winner for her sire when cruising home by two and a quarter length when making her career debut at Geelong back in June. She backed that up with a fast-finishing fourth in the Listed Taj Rossi Final at Flemington three weeks later.

Moonlight Maid parading after winning the Edward Manifold

She had been off the scene for nine weeks when a luckless fourth at Bendigo, which proved the perfect pipe opener for her barnstorming performance in Saturday’s Group II Edward Manifold Stakes at Flemington.

Carrying the familiar colours of Gerry Ryan, Moonlight Maid came from last, swept around all 15 of her opponents under Ben Melham to win a touch cosily by three-quarters of a length from the Charm Spirit (IRL) filly Fascino with the Reliable Man (GB) filly Miami Bound the same distance back in third. (images Grant Courtney ).

It was the first stakes-winner for her 30-year-old trainer who is a friend of who recently landed his first Group 1 when Begood Toya Mother won the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield.

“We sat down at one time and said if we can’t train a stakes winner in 10 years, we should give it away, so we’re happy to tick that off,” Freedman said.

“It has taken a lot of hard work to get her to switch off. We targeted the Manifold, I’m not sure if she will get to the (Victoria) Oaks but she really blossomed first up to second up,” Mitchell Freedman said.

“She was ring rusty at Bendigo but she has come on so much but I was spewing when she drew barrier 19.

“They was plenty of heat on and Benny (Melham) got rode the perfect race to get her to the outside.

“She’s right on track, she’s a Group II winner out of a horse I’ve had a lot of thrills with, I’ve looked after the mother and the father as a foreman (for Darren Weir) and it’s great to be able to train the progeny of them.”

Bred by Gerry Ryan’s Limerick Lane Thoroughbreds, Moonlight Maid is the second foal and second winner out of the Listed SAJC Dequetteville Stakes winner Manhattan Maid (Choisir).

Swettenham Stud sire Puissance de Lune

Manhattan Maid missed for the next two seasons after Moonlight Maid and was covered by Hellbent last spring.

A son of the top-class Shamardal (USA), Puissance de Lune (IRL) was an outstanding performer who was at his best in the spring in 2012 winning the Listed Bendigo Cup (by 8L), Group III Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington (by 5L) and the Group II Blamey Stakes and was edged out in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes.

He is a three-quarter brother Zabeel Prince who recently won the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan at Longchamp.

Puissance de Lune (IRE) stands at Swettenham Stud in 2019 at a fee of $8,800.


Article Courtesy of Breednet


TBV Hoofnote: Since this article was written Southern Moon won his maiden race at Donald on the 8th of October 2019. Trained by Mitch Freedman and the colt is sired by Puissance De Lune and is a homebred for Victorian breeder and Racing Victoria director, Mike Hirst.

Broodmare owners employ various criteria when it comes to stallion selection.

Pedigree is a biggie. So are looks.

However, it’s often ‘performance’ that plays the biggest role.

Let’s face it, ‘To the manor born’ isn’t worth a jot if you can’t run out of sight on a dark night.

That’s why breeders would be well advised to YouTube CLUSTER’s victory in the Group Two Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill.

But before we get into the run itself, keep in mind that the Theo Marks is hardly run of the mill: Winx won in 2015, More Joyous five years earlier and, just this month, leading Everest contender, Arcadia Queen, made the race her own.

Still, none of them quite won the Theo Marks like Cluster. Caught at the tail of the field as they turned for home, Cluster produced a ‘Chautauqua-like’ finish to defeat Bull Point (now standing at $7,700) and $1 million earner, Ninth Legion, in a thriller.

Saddled up by Peter Snowden – Redzel anyone? – the veteran trainer had nothing but praise for Cluster:

“he has a massive amount of acceleration and the effort was huge. He’s really stamped himself as a horse with true ability”.

Cluster would only have two more outings – both at Group One – before retiring with three wins and three placings from 12 starts, but it’s worth noting that eight of those outings were at Group level.

Cluster would also run second to multiple Group winner Va Pensiero in the Group Three San Domenico and third to Group One Caulfield Guineas runnerup, Divine Calling, and Cox Plate winner, Shamus Award in the Group Two Stutt Stakes.

The thing is though, Cluster is much more than performance and athleticism. He really is to the manor born: Cluster’s sire, Fastnet Rock needs little introduction with a 70% winners to runners strike rate, multiple Champion Sires’ titles, 178 million progeny earnings and 148 stakes winners.

Importantly, not only does Fastnet Rock remain a top 5 Australian Sire, his sire sons include Smart Missile, the late Hinchinbrook, Foxwedge, Rothesay and Your Song – all in the current top 40.

A full brother to Group placed Miss Que and half to the multiple stakes placed Inkling, Cluster is from the Flemington stakes winner and Group Two placed, Tarcoola Diamond, who is, in turn, from a daughter of Group One winning 2YO, I Like Diamonds.

Cluster (right) with jockey Tim Clarke aboard winning the Theo Marks (Herald Sun)











With many of the Fastnet Rock progeny training on, there is already plenty of excitement around the first crop of Cluster with last season’s 2YOs including the stakes placed winner, Gee Gees Darl, multiple winner Galaxy and, now the promising 3YO, Tocatchacod.

Clearly one of the best value stallions on the Victorian stallion roster, Cluster stands at Larneuk Stud at a fee of only $6,600 and, for further information, phone Nev Murdoch on 0418 105 706.

In the space of 24 hours last week I managed to experience an abbreviated version of a race horse’s full life cycle.

It kicked off when Adam Sangster, Principal of Swettenham Stud, was kind enough to give me, the three female Richos and fellow racing writer Danny Power and his wife Glynis a tour of his stunning property at Nagambie, 90 minutes north of Melbourne.

Sangster has an office just down the hallway from Winning Post headquarters. He offered an invitation a few years back to “come up to the farm” and I finally took him up on it.

The Adam Sangster who wanders around our building is immaculately dressed and groomed. On our arrival at Swettenham we were greeted by a far less formal version, pedalling through the grounds on a pushbike.


Just after we arrived I noticed a car with a float attached make its way down the driveway.

While Adam gave a brief overview of the property, the vehicle pulled up alongside a very big shed and a mare and her foal were led from it.

We followed soon after.

Our mid-morning arrival coincided with one of Swettenham’s leading stallions, Toronado, being called on to do his stuff.

Adam explained the process.

“This mare (from the float) has come from a farm just outside Shepparton (30 minutes away). The owner phones Jason Robinson (Operations Manager) and says my mare is ready. Jason will look at his schedule and say, right, Toronado is free at 11 o’clock and they lock in that time.

“The owner of the mare has already decided they want to go to Toronado and they work closely with our team so that when the mare is in season and ready to go we can fit them in.

“People come from all over the country with their mares. They all work very closely with the farm so we can get them a slot when the mare is ready.

“Our stallions cover four times a day. They start at six in the morning, back up at 11am, then four in the afternoon and finally nine o’clock at night,”Adam explained.

Prior to my visit Adam had said we could watch a cover but warned it may be a little confronting for my teenage daughters. Given some of the stuff they watch on Netflix the looming intimacy didn’t bother me, but having read a story on the great sire Sir Tristram’s deeds many years back, I was concerned about the potential violence we may witness. Legend has it that Sir Tristram had severely maimed a few handlers, and killed another!

A few of Sir Tristram’s partners (mares) had also copped bumps and bruises along the way.

So, I was a little wary when Toronado was getting ready to do the deed.

As we all looked on, Adam returned to his role of tour leader.

“As you can see the mare has a wrap around her tail which will be pulled aside when the stallion gets up. It is to make sure he doesn’t obstruct her and hurt his …” Adam paused momentarily,  remembering the audience he had, and added “… wonka.”

“It’s all very clinical. The mare has a teaser pony who tests her to make sure she is wanting to be covered.”

“If the mare doesn’t want to, she can kick out. We don’t want her lashing out at the expensive stallion, so the poor old teaser gets that gig,”he said.

Our small group fell silent as we continued watching from a safe distance of around 25 metres.

With the pony having performed his background checks, Toronado came in to do his job.

After a few nibbles of the mare’s rump he was up and in. The latter part coming with the help of a human hand.

After reading stories of staff having to wear chest guards, leg protectors and full cover helmets when Sir Tristram was doing his stuff, it was a little surprising to see the Swettenham staff of three with only a helmet as protection.

“It depends a lot on the stallion and a lot on the experience of the staff,” Adam replied when I queried the lack of safety gear. “They all wear helmets. Someone new to the job might wear a vest.”

The deed is all over within 30 seconds. Toronado, with his 11am booking completed, heads back to his barn.

“He (Toronado) will have a wash down and physical check to make sure everything is all right, then head off into the paddock and have a cigar,” explained Adam.

No such post-cover luxuries for the mare. She was out of the barn and back in the float almost immediately.

The prospective dam would only have been at Swettenham for around 30 minutes all up.


After a visit to a stallion it takes 15 days to find out if the mare is pregnant.

If not successful first time they will return for another dalliance.

Each mare comes into season five times so there are a few chances.

Swettenham under the care of long time vet Dr John Hurley have an on-farm fertility rate of 93%.

The gestation period for a horse is 11 months.

When running a stud it is all about commerciality so they want the foals to arrive early in the season, preferably in late August or September.


Given we had arrived in late September we were able to witness another step in the life of a racehorse.

As around 90% of mares have their foal at night, the stats ensured we didn’t see one being born, but we were able to enjoy the sight of some youngsters taking their first steps.

Adam invited us to “come and walk amongst the foals” and he led us into one of the pens before returning to tour leader mode.

“This is an Akeed Mofeed-Golden Chapter foal who was born on September 15. All these foals would have been born between the 10th and 20th.

Akeed Mofeed x Golden Chapter foal

“There is a Highland Reel filly and a Toronado colt … they would all be around two weeks old.

“Horses are herd animals so all the ones that are born within a week or so of each other we group with their dams in the same paddock.”

This was my first close encounter with such a young foal. They are quite a sight. At barely a fortnight old their legs are almost as long as their mother’s legs.

It was all very cute but Adam pointed out nature can be cruel.

“That mare there, Noetic — she lost her foal, then a day later we lost a mare as she was giving birth. The foal survived and we immediately fostered her to the broodmare (Noetic). They usually take to each other pretty quickly.

“Foaling is such a challenging thing. You do as much as you can to try and help the foal but it’s nature … they don’t always make it.”

Helping Nature …

After wandering among the foals we head off to another shed. This time we see a dam and her foal in a steel pen.

The foal is being tended to by three people. They are looking at its feet and legs.

Dan Leach, Swettenham’s farrier of 10 years, came out to explain what he was doing.

“We start to look at them at two weeks of age. All these foals have about a dozen growth plates from the foot up to the knee. We work from the foot up and can  manipulate the legs for the first three or four months of their life.

“The industry has got a lot more critical. To get to a sale these days, you can’t take something with a crooked leg.

“We can correct faults and make them easier to sell.

“If the foot wants to toe in a little bit, I can lower the inside and turn the foot out so it is more ‘correct’.

“If that doesn’t work we can open the skin up, scrape the growth plate to help the way they develop.

“If more work is required we can put a screw in it,” he explained.

The ticks and crosses in getting a foal on the path to a sale and the races is quite extraordinary, really.


Each sales season we hear about the lofty prices young horses are sold for. It may sound like a licence to print money to breed horses but Adam explains there is a lot of financial risk involved.

“When I get a new stallion, the first 15 covers are usually to my own mares in that initial year. I don’t get paid on those until their foals sell.”

“I also have to breed to them in the second and third years. If the market doesn’t like those horses first time around, then I’ve got two years backed up of foals for an unwanted market.

“Happiness is a positive cash flow. You hope you get a Toronado, one on the way up, but you can’t overstretch yourself.”

Almost on cue, we ended up next to an impressive black stallion peering at us over the fence.

Adam switches to his best salesman mode. “This is Sioux Nation. He is a son of Scat Daddy, a stallion who sadly died after five crops of foals. Remarkably, one in 33 of his progeny is a Group 1 winner, including this one.

“He is a speed horse … has a great hind leg and a great shoulder.

“He got 220 mares in the northern hemisphere. This fella was a Royal Ascot winner. He won the Norfolk Stakes (1000m) at his fifth start, then he won the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes (1200m) at The Curragh.

“He is just speed. If he can’t throw a two-year-old, then I don’t know who can.

“He is standing at $16,000 for his first season here. If he was an Australian horse who had won a 1200m Group 1 at two he’d be $36,000.”



Adam invited us to check out the rest of his property and meet him at his house some 500m away.

We wandered between a couple of stallion paddocks, stopping to take a photo of Puissance De Lune.

Around the back of Sioux Nation’s yard, a washed and refreshed Toronado was being led along the path. His handler suggested we move away from the path, well out of kicking distance just in case the stallion lashed out. We didn’t need to be told twice.

After experiencing all this magnificent horse flesh we found ourselves in the back yard of Sangster’s property.

Suddenly the teenage Richos showed excitement that had been previously stored away. Adam’s puppy Molly charged down to greet us.

The Sangster’s Family puppy Molly

We lost our host during this time, but he emerged some 10 minutes later, looking a little flustered. The reason soon became apparent.

He had stacked his bike into a fence and badly cut his arm. The lesson there …  don’t ride a bike with your phone in one hand and the other on the handle bars.



Having seen the formative steps in the path of a racehorse we returned to something more familiar the following day — a trip to the nearby Benalla Cup meeting.

As is customary for passengers in the Richomobile the trip to the track involved a detour or two.

We passed through Tatura and lo and behold there was an empty racecourse to visit! It was almost 27 years since I had last been there.

The only thing that appeared to have changed was that it was 15 degrees cooler. On that hot December 1992 afternoon I was heading to a 21st birthday party in Yarrawonga.

Google Maps wasn’t around in those days so I didn’t realise that a visit to the Tatura races isn’t actually on the way to Yarrawonga if you are travelling from Melbourne.

After moderate success betting on the locals that 20th century afternoon the time arrived for my best bet of the day at Flemington.

It was the Peter Jolly-trained Feeling. He had won comfortably at Cheltenham at his previous run.

He opened at 7/1 ($8.00). I’d assessed him as about a 2/1 chance so quickly snapped up the good price with an unsuspecting bookie.

I was delighted to then see a huge betting plunge bring his price into $4.50.

Feeling jumped well as expected and settled just off the pace. All was going to plan as they straightened. Nothing behind him looked a chance. It just seemed a matter of time before Feeling would run past the leader.

Sadly, the leader was Lovey and she kept rolling. She set a course record of 1:20.6 for the 1400m! It still stands.



Having witnessed the early stages of a race horse from conception, to walking, to getting their legs in shape, it was time to see them race.

The Benalla meeting gave us a good  example of the varying talent levels of horses.

It kicked off with the maiden gallopers, progressed to the Benchmark 64s before a horse with potential in Hang Man took out the cup.

Almost three decades on, my on-track punting on north-east Victorian courses hadn’t improved. And this time I had to find additional money to place bets for teenage kids as well.

One thing I noticed during my afternoon at Benalla was that racing is alive and well in the area.

Aside from a few fast-food franchises and supermarket chains, nothing was open in town. Everyone was at the track.


Article courtesy of Winning Post

From an early age, Tammy Notman from Northmore Thoroughbreds, had a passion for all things horses. Following Pony Club, Tammy’s Dad bought her a show pony. It was following this that Tammy fell in love with the Thoroughbreds and became involved with the weanlings and yearling preparation.


“Thoroughbreds are all I will ever show or deal with, they are the most magnificent, intelligent and elegant horse. You can get so many types and personalities and they are always a healthy challenge. From Pony Club it progressed to showing Thoroughbred hacks off the track which led me to Royal Shows.” Tammy remarked.


With such a love and passion, it is no surprise that Tammy was always going to work in the equine industry. “I was once offered some advice by lady who said focus your business on what you love to do and what you love to do is horses.”

Tammy with one of her beloved horses


Northmore Thoroughbreds is a husband and wife team and it was during the early years at Novelty Racing where Tammy met her husband Rodney.


A career as a farrier for Rodney first got him involved in the Thoroughbred industry.


“He has been a farrier for a long time. He has shod for some good trainers and racehorses, including Redoute’s Choice’ Rodney’s clients have included John Meagher and Rick Hall Lacey to name a few and still keeping himself busy with the farrier business as well working for Woodside Park and many others in the thoroughbred industry. It was Alan Harvey who has bred racehorses that first got Rodney interested in the preparing of yearlings.” Tammy said.


“Alan has horses he would send off to other people to prepare and one year he gave us a go. Rodney has a good eye for a young horse and I have always only dealt with horses that have been mature and off the track.” She said.


This experience makes the Notman’s the perfect team, as Rodney cares for the weanlings and yearlings and Tammy predominantly cares for the mature horses.

Rodney in action rasping the hoof of a horse


“Our motto is, as much as we want to run our business with small numbers we want to make sure we never become too big. We treat every single yearling as an individual and each horse is on a totally different programme. Rodney is very conscious that during yearling prep every horse is monitored closely daily.” Tammy said


Although the focus over the past few years at Northmore Thoroughbreds, has been yearlings and broodmares, in the downtime that Tammy does find, Tammy can’t resist the opportunity to spend it with an Off The Track horse sired by Zabeel.


Tammy has a great eye especially for the older horses ‘one horse that I showed was called Galveston who was by Zabeel and he was a huge part of what I looked for in a horse.’


“It is only because of that horse that I am keen to get back to showing as a Zabeel-bred it is really my type of horse.”


It is looking likely that we may well see Tammy competing at a Garryowen in the next few years.


The traits that Tammy looks for in a horse is clearly in the right direction following the success they have been having.

“I like a horse that stands over a bit of ground, that has a ‘look at me’ about them, a good head, intelligent eye and really strong through the shoulder.”


Northmore Thoroughbreds have been going from strength to strength and over the past eight years having developed the farm to full capacity. The farm was set up completely by Tammy and Rodney and they have worked hard to ensure it meets their high standards.


“We set the farm up to perfection in our eyes in terms of fencing and paddocks. We have now realised it is going to be far too small for what we want to do.” Tammy remarked.


Their yearling methods have been so successful they are now setting up a stand-alone yearling farm near Murchison near Nagambie. The new farm may include some homebred’s aswell.


“There are three of us who have joined together and called ourselves ‘The Golden Girls’. They have joined me in buying Moet Rose (a filly we bred) back so we have put her in foal and hopefully buy another couple of mares this year. It’s the start of a new adventure. Moet Rose who won at Bendigo, Ballarat and Sandown. This is our first dabble into homebreds.”


And when asked about the advice Tammy would give to someone wanting to become involved with our industry, she said, “Stick to what you believe in and your gut instinct. Never doubt yourself and don’t doubt your ability, always stick to what you think it right.”

In late April, a group of proud Australian China Jockey Club (ACJC) “parents” paid a visit to their first baby at Musk Creek Farm.

A special breeding exercise made possible by the generous support of Adam Sangster of Swettenham Stud, the Zabeel mare Gallata, was loaned to the ACJC, free of charge, so that 20 ACJC members could experience and enjoy the taste of being a breeder.

Founded by Teresa Poon and Derek Lo, the ACJC is a social club for Asians, with the focus on Chinese who are living predominately in Victoria, and open to Asians of other states in Australia.

Amongst the Chinese in Australia, Teresa is one of the few leading authorities in horse racing. She is one of the only few Chinese who is actively involved in the industry at multiple levels for a considerable time, and has enviable records of successes in the industry. Teresa has intimate knowledge of how the industry works and what the Asian community wants in lifestyle.

Derek is a successful lawyer and entrepreneur in his own right and has an established track record in servicing Chinese business people. Keeping a high profile in the Chinese media and community, he has been involved in organising hundreds of events from charity dinners to major events with 80,000 people. He has previously sat on the board of an ASX listed company, and is currently the legal advisor for more than 30 non-profit organisations. He also serves as the Honourable President of the Lions of Sino Innovation Melbourne Inc.

The ACJC are not syndicators, but rather aim to create a force in the industry and be a passionate advocate of their interest. Members are provided with quality services and by encouraging active participation in all their racing activities, not only does ACJC lead the Asian community to the sport, they also provide the community a means to assimilate into the Australian society and a platform to “give back” to the community. The Club plans to provide some of its surplus funds to charities working for the community and for the welfare of horses, particularly after they retired, to ensure their horses are well looked after.

ACJC members decided that they wanted to breed a stayer, so Gallata was sent to the great Melbourne Cup winning stallion, Americain. This mating resulting in a very nice filly, who is now a rising 2-year old. The playful filly looks well balanced and is surely destined to be a racer and do her parents proud when she hits the racetrack.

Daisy Hill sire Americain

With such high hopes set for the filly, the training team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig of Lindsay Park have been selected as her trainers. She has also been named “AeeCee Dolce”, which is Australian Chinese plus Dolce, a girl’s name of Italian origin meaning sweet.

It is reasonable to suggest that the ACJC has what it takes to connect and engage the Asian community for the betterment of this great sport in horse racing and we look forward to following the filly’s journey!

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) is thrilled to announce that as of October 2019, Breednet have partnered with Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria as a valued sponsor.

The sponsorship will provide further opportunity for TBV to promote Victorian-bred racehorses and for Breednet to showcase the in-depth information, data and information they pride themselves on.

Breednet is a unique 24-hour news website and Australasia’s foremost source of news, stallion data and bespoke breeding information. The ‘immediacy’ of news and information is Breednet’s hallmark.

Editorial, race results, sales information and stallion statistics are updated daily providing the most comprehensive reference of breeding information available.

“I am delighted to enter into this sponsorship arrangement with Breednet. They have been supporters of TBV for some time now and I personally find their data to be extremely useful in my role.” Executive Officer, Charmein Bukovec commented.

Breednet has an unmatched audience with over 688,000 users across Australasia, USA and Europe in the past 12 months.

“In the past 12 months, we have seen our users continue to grow across three continents and we plan to continue to expand, grow and increase our product offering.” said editor Tara Madgwick.

As part of Breednet’s sponsorship with TBV, Breednet will post regular information and updates about the various services and data Breednet provides to the breeding industry.

To find out more information about Breednet, head to

An encounter at Heytesbury Stud in Perth, over 16 years ago is responsible for Heartford Thoroughbreds, a boutique broodmare farm located in Romsey.

Candice and Christoph were working for Heytesbury Stud, when they first met and the rest as they say is history.

Christoph and Candice bonded over their love of animals and after a year, Christoph relocated to Victoria to be with Candice.

Their travels saw them go to America and then onto Ireland for six months before coming back to Australia to work at Eliza Park to start their dream they had held close to their hearts.

Candice was their foaling manager and Christoph worked for Eliza Park for three seasons before heading up the stallion division.

With twelve seasons at Heartford under their belt, Christoph and Candice Jentsch could not have imagined that their encounter would have led to a successful business on their dream farm, two beautiful daughters, a staffy named Esther, five chickens and a cat to boot.

Christoph was originally born in Germany, where a love of animals saw him become a sheep farmer before a transition in his career led to work on one of the oldest trotting farms just out of Hamburg, Germany. The farm had both trotting horses and Thoroughbreds and as time progressed Christoph found himself more involved in the breeding side of the farm.

Christoph enjoyed it so much, his career saw him head to Ireland where he worked for Castlehyde for six years. Castlehyde gave Christoph endless opportunities and one of these opportunities was to come to Australia. He then spent one season in New Zealand before coming back to Australia and meeting his now-wife, Candice.

“One day I passed the farm and was meant to tell Candice and had forgotten. Candice had been on the internet and had found a beautiful farm but sadly it was off the market. We decided to call the agent and he said, I can show you a few farms and he started driving in that direction and stopped directly in front of the farm we both picked out.” Christoph said with a smile on his face.

The farm was quickly snapped up by the pair and Heartford Thoroughbreds was born. The farm is a picturesque farm set on 40 acres but with access to 80. Christoph and Candice pride themselves on being a boutique broodmare farm which foals down between 25- 30 foals a season.

Heartford Thoroughbreds are a boutique farm located in Romsey

“We have had loyal clients that have been with us since the beginning, it is a real honour.” Christoph remarked.

With many horses that they are very proud of that have come been bred and foaled at their farm, when Christoph was asked which one held a special place in his heart, without a second thought, ‘Show a Star’ was the horse which as Christoph says has ‘brought us so much joy and fun’.

The gelding who is now retired at Heartford Thoroughbreds, where he was bred, born and raised. He was trained by Bjorn Baker and Matt Cumani and won eight of his 32 starts. He was the first foal Christoph and Candice bred and owned.

The Jentsch family with Show a Star with Matt Cumani after winning Race 5, the Peter Jackson Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse on May 14, 2015 in Caulfield, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)


When asked what advice Christoph would give to someone wanting to get involved in the industry, Christoph shared these words:

“If you are willing to go down this path, try to see as much as you can and that’s the great thing with our industry, so many doors can open. You have the opportunities and you can travel from one sale to another, while it may be exhausting it is incredible. You can see places, you never would have thought of before.”

A new addition to Woodside Park in Victoria this spring, Foxwedge showed his class over a big weekend of racing producing Group performers at three successive meetings starting last Friday night at Moonee Valley where up and coming three year-old filly Villami ran a terrific race at her first outing away from Sydney.

Fourth and second to gun filly Libertini in the Group II ATC Silver Shadow Stakes and Group II ATC Furious Stakes at her first two runs back from a spell, the Gerald Ryan trained Villami was beaten less than a length when third to Loving Gaby in the Group III MVRC Scarborough Stakes.

Already a winner of nearly $200,000 in prizemoney, Villami drew wide in the Scarborough, but still made her presence felt and can doubtless win a Black Type race in Melbourne this spring.

On Saturday at Rosehill, the Hawkes Racing trained Foxwedge mare Dyslexic ran another super race to finish third to Mizzy and Champagne Cuddles in the $400,000 Group II ATC Golden Pendant Stakes.

Five year-old Dyslexic is improving with each preparation and this was her third Graded placing in addition to three fourth placings in Graded races.

Although she hasn’t won a stakes race yet, it’s hard not to think Dyslexic can address that shortcoming on her CV this season.

Woodside Park Stud sire Foxwedge (woodside Park)

Rounding out the big weekend for Foxwedge was lightly raced filly Barbie’s Fox, who jumped out of the ground to run third to Acting and Southbank in the Group II MRC Guineas Prelude at her first attempt in a Black Type race.

Trained by Louise Bonella, Barbie’s Fox has never finished further back than fifth in five starts and looks a lovely filly going forward.

Foxwedge has started the new season in hot form with a new stakes-winner in Foxy Housewife and these three talented gallopers above – Villami, Dyslexic and Barbie’s Fox – all showing the promise of stakes wins to come.

A Group I winning son of Fastnet Rock, Foxwedge is well priced this spring at $16,500.


Article Courtesy of Breednet

Broodmare owners employ various criteria when it comes to stallion selection.

Pedigree is a biggie. So are looks.

However, it’s often ‘performance’ that plays the biggest role.

Let’s face it, ‘To the manor born’ isn’t worth a jot if you can’t run out of sight on a dark night.

That’s why breeders would be well advised to YouTube CLUSTER’s victory in the Group Two Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill.

But before we get into the run itself, keep in mind that the Theo Marks is hardly run of the mill: Winx won in 2015, More Joyous five years earlier and, just this month, leading Everest contender, Arcadia Queen, made the race her own.

Still, none of them quite won the Theo Marks like Cluster. Caught at the tail of the field as they turned for home, Cluster produced a ‘Chautauqua-like’ finish to defeat Bull Point (now standing at $7,700) and $1 million earner, Ninth Legion, in a thriller.

Saddled up by Peter Snowden – Redzel anyone? – the veteran trainer had nothing but praise for Cluster:

“he has a massive amount of acceleration and the effort was huge. He’s really stamped himself as a horse with true ability”.

Cluster would only have two more outings – both at Group One – before retiring with three wins and three placings from 12 starts, but it’s worth noting that eight of those outings were at Group level.

Cluster would also run second to multiple Group winner Va Pensiero in the Group Three San Domenico and third to Group One Caulfield Guineas runnerup, Divine Calling, and Cox Plate winner, Shamus Award in the Group Two Stutt Stakes.

The thing is though, Cluster is much more than performance and athleticism. He really is to the manor born: Cluster’s sire, Fastnet Rock needs little introduction with a 70% winners to runners strike rate, multiple Champion Sires’ titles, 178 million progeny earnings and 148 stakes winners.

Importantly, not only does Fastnet Rock remain a top 5 Australian Sire, his sire sons include Smart Missile, the late Hinchinbrook, Foxwedge, Rothesay and Your Song – all in the current top 40.

A full brother to Group placed Miss Que and half to the multiple stakes placed Inkling, Cluster is from the Flemington stakes winner and Group Two placed, Tarcoola Diamond, who is, in turn, from a daughter of Group One winning 2YO, I Like Diamonds.

Cluster (right) with jockey Tim Clarke aboard winning the Theo Marks (Herald Sun)











With many of the Fastnet Rock progeny training on, there is already plenty of excitement around the first crop of Cluster with last season’s 2YOs including the stakes placed winner, Gee Gees Darl, multiple winner Galaxy and, now the promising 3YO, Tocatchacod.

Clearly one of the best value stallions on the Victorian stallion roster, Cluster stands at Larneuk Stud at a fee of only $6,600 and, for further information, phone Nev Murdoch on 0418 105 706.


Starspangledbanner who is standing at Rosemont Stud this Spring, added a new Group 1 winner to his name. Over the weekend, Millisle the speedy two-year-old filly won the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket, UK. The filly displayed an impressive turn of foot as she rose to victory winning by more than a length.

“It was a stunning win. He now has two Group 1 winning two-year-olds and he continues to bat well above his average in terms of percentages. The sky is the limit now that he is back to full fertility and is able to produce sizeable racing crop.”stated Anthony Mithen of Rosemont Stud.

Millisle is trained by Jessica Harrington and the filly has been very consistent with three wins and two seconds from five starts.

‘As soon as Millisle hit the rising ground she lengthened her stride’ remarked Jessica Harrington.

Following his move to Victoria, Anthony confirmed the stallion has been very well received and of course the success on the track aides this popularity.

“We do limit his book as we want to give everyone the chance to get their mare in foal. I restricted him to one hundred mares and we got really good results with his fertility. In Ireland they have ramped things up over the last couple of seasons, so they obviously have a bit of confidence in him.” explained Anthony.

Following Starspangledbanners’ European season, to date one hundred mares have been scanned in foal this year which is impressive statistic. Following the weekend success there has been increased interest in Starspangledbanner and Anthony is looking at adding to the book of mares to accommodate this.

“People wait for those results and make sure that the Stallions are still heading on an upward scale. There is no doubt that his upward curve is going to go vertical.”

On Saturday, Brooklyn Hustle will be stepping out at Flemington over 1100m. This three-year-old filly is one of Starspangledbanners’ most exciting spring contenders.

“She threw herself in the spotlight after the win at Moonee Valley as it was fairly explosive. There is anticipation about her return this Saturday, and the one horse that a few people are waiting on. Brooklyn Hustle is exciting for us as we still own her and bred her, and I think she is very much Stakes class.”

Brooklyn Hustle wins at The Valley (Racing Photos)












There are a number of Starspangledbanner’s progeny that will look to add Stakes winnings to their repertoire over the next month of Spring racing.

Currently standing at 85% fertility rate, his performance in the breeding shed are corresponding to the success on the racetrack.

“Breeders are reluctant with horses that have had fertility issues as naturally without a pregnancy you haven’t got a product. However, adding to his popularity is the confidence that the market now has. He is back to full fertility and a normal operating stallion that gets mares in foal at a similar rate to I am Invincble or Snitzel and the very best stallions around. There is no concern that you are going to end up with an empty mare at the end of the season.”

Starspangledbanner stands at Rosemont Stud at a fee of $22,000.

Thompson Creek Thoroughbreds had a busy Thursday last week with five foals born on the property in one day. The new nursery was busy from dusk to dawn with three high quality fillies and two colts entering the world.

And while it was a particularly busy day, it continues a stellar start to the breeding ranks for Victoria’s newest broodmare farm with more than 50 broodmares booked for this breeding season.

Thompson Creek’s property, Glentree South at Modewarre, just outside of Geelong, is a hive of activity.

Sully Ballyntine with a mare and its foal on the the Thompson Creek Thoroughbreds property

“It has been an extraordinary response from breeders to our broodmare service announcement in June. We thought a local, family operation may appeal and we are so glad that it has,” said Thompson Creek’s, Sally Ballantine.

With almost 20 foals born on the property so far this season, owners are seeing the high service levels of the new operation.

“We are so delighted with the quality of broodmare our clients have entrusted to us. So far on the farm we have had foals by leading sires such as Dundeel, Impending, Dissident, Fiorente and many more,”said Sally.

“We are really focussed on our clients receiving up-to date communications on each stage of the journey, and this includes photo and video updates. We provide competitive pricing and services such as stud transfers, for instance, on a fixed price basis. As breeders, we know avoiding hidden surprises is important.”

“We have mares heading to all leading Victorian studs and have managed Hunter Valley covers for some of our mares.”

Not content with their successful start, Sally was keen to point out further capacity on the property, “This is the start we wanted to make but it is only a start. We are confident in the quality of the farm, our team and processes in place.”

“We continue to have capacity and welcome all breeders who are still deciding where to place their mares for the current season and beyond. They will be in good hands with Thompson Creek.”

Sally can be contacted on 0438-642-004 or for more information you can visit

I Am Eloquent wins at Caulfield on Saturday with jockey Stephen Baster aboard (Racing Photos)

I Am Eloquent has won an impressive three out of her six starts having galloped to victory on Saturday. The progressive filly took out the Listed MRC Jim Moloney Stakes at Caulfield in heavy conditions. It was a tough ask for the filly taking on a black type race over 1400 metres, but winning by half a length showed that she is more than capable and has gained her entry into the Group 1 MRC Thousand Guineas next month.

The filly was bred by Two Bays Farm and was purchased at the 2018 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sales for $220,000 by First Light Racing. She is the third foal of Choice Words, a Stakes winner and a Group Two placed mare out of Choisir. Two Bays Farm obviously had strong opinions for this filly after deciding to keep a share alongside First Light Racing.

I Am Eloquent and connections after winning the listed MRC Jim Moloney Stakes at Caulfield (Racing Photos)

“We get the thrill of racing alongside First Light Racing and Busuttin Racing,” stated Rob Carlile the manager of Two Bays Farm.

Two Bays Farm is currently having a run of form which has included Stakes winner Military Zone, 2019 Group 1 runner up Kubrick and Stakes winner Easy Eddie who was also Group 1 placed earlier this year. If all goes to plan they may well have a colt and filly in the Guineas in a few weeks’ time.

Two Bays is a small family run farm and credit is given to all past and present who have been involved in the operation.

“Jo, my wife is huge part of the team and actually foaled the filly down. The filly has always loved the wet as she was born in those conditions. We are a small team but everyone helps out,” according to Rob.

Rob from Two Bays has always kept high opinions of this filly, so perhaps there is no surprise that the filly is having the success we are seeing on the track.

“She always had a bit of class about her, a gorgeous head and the most amazing nature. We always called her ‘Darling’ as that is just what she was. She never had any nastiness and was just a quality filly ever since the day she was born.”

First Light Racing purchases 20-30 yearlings annually and were immediately impressed with I Am Eloquent on inspection. They have had previous success from a Two Bays Farm purchase which was another factor in deciding to purchase the filly.

It looks like an exciting Spring for Two Bays Farm and we look forward to seeing I am Eloquent back on the track!

Spendthrift sire Jimmy Creed (Sprendthrift)

Spendthrift Australia’s shuttle sire Jimmy Creed (USA) has had a steady stream of winners since his first crop stepped onto the racetrack, with the son of champion sire Distorted Humor now boasting 75% winners to runners.

His impressive figures were only strengthened over the weekend as nine Stakes winners quickly jumped to 11 Stakes winners in one day.

King Jack (USA) (Jimmy Creed {USA}), a 3 1/4-length debut winner at Santa Anita, wore down fellow California invader Landeskog to take out the Group 2 Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx Racing.

“I thought jockey Joel Rosario had him placed perfectly,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. “A very fast time. We thought the seven furlongs would fit this horse very well and it seemed like it did.”

The star three-year-old colt’s record consists of three wins, and a second placing at black-type level, from just four starts.

Soon after Jimmy Creed got his 10th Stakes winner on the board, Meadow Dance (USA) (Jimmy Creed {USA}) scored her fourth win and first at Stakes level in the Listed Weathervane Stakes and Laurel Park.

Like King Jack, Meadow Dance has never finished out of the top three in her seven starts, including a third placing in the Group 1 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland

Jimmy Creed stands for $8,800 inc. GST, this current season he has had two winners for three runners to date in Australia. We expect to see those numbers increase down here with larger crop sizes coming through.



Article Courtesy of Spendthrift

Brodie Becker of Stockwell Thoroughbreds with wife Rowena

Many enter the Thoroughbred industry as a result of family influence and being surrounded by horses from a very young age. This is exactly how Brodie Becker, Owner of Stockwell Thoroughbreds first became involved in the industry.

Brodie was a one year old when the family moved to Victoria where his Dad was offered the manager role at Stockwell Stud. After four years the property was sold to Emirates Park, following this, his Dad started The Independent Stallion Station.

Brodie was heavily involved with working on the farm from a very young age.“I had more days off school than I did at school, so I could be on the farm,” exclaimed Brodie.

Although a couple of years ago, Brodie took a short break from the horses and worked in the mines in Western Australia. It wasn’t long before he was back in Victoria assisting his Dad on the farm, which was going through a difficult time with Equine Influenza.

Emirates Park offered the property back to Brodie and Mike. Brodie took over the business, rebranded and Stockwell Thoroughbreds was born. Although, as to be expected his Dad is instrumental in the running of the business to this day.


“This wouldn’t work without Dad, between Dad and my wife (Rowena) we are a team. It’s a proper family business,”Brodie remarked.


Despite falling into the industry from his Dad’s involvement, there was little doubt that Brodie would have spent much time away from the industry.

The in-depth passion of the breeding industry is very apparent when speaking to Brodie,

“The breeding industry sucks you in, you can’t leave even if you want to. Breeding is tough, but it is all worth it when the foals are being born. All your hard work and decisions pay off when you see the results on the ground. It doesn’t matter if it is the middle of the day or the middle of the night, there is no better feeling than seeing a mare foaling. It’s like a thrill,” remarked Brodie.


A mare with her new born foal on the Stockwell property














Brodie and his father seem like the perfect team for Stockwell Thoroughbreds and both play to each other’s strengths. “Dad really thrives on the foaling. He loves it.”

Brodie enjoys working with the stallions and his Dad on the foaling side. However, it is evident that Brodie has profound passion for all things breeding!

It is clear that Stockwell is going from strength to strength ‘we don’t try and re-invent the wheel. We just let the horses be horses and allow nature to take his course.’ It is a very humble approach to the breeding industry given the advances in technology. “I would almost say that we are very old school, and that is due to Dad. There is a reason that the old school works.”

Following the success that Stockwell Thoroughbreds have been having, the evidence is there for all to see.

There is no doubt that Stockwell Thoroughbreds was always going to be based in Victoria. The family are well known to the Victorian breeding industry and have been for many years.

“I feel there is comradery in Victoria between farms and we are all willing to help each other out. As we were always the underdog we work hard together to try and build Victoria to make it stand out for what it is.”Enthused Brodie

This year has seen some exciting new investment to industry and Stockwell are working hard to ensure proven stallions are standing in Victoria. The future breeding industry in Victoria is looking exciting as it continues to flourish.

Stockwell Thoroughbreds have been proud to have the successful Artie Schiller standing at the farm. “He is by far our favourite, he has been with us from his first season at stud. He wasn’t a hot property horse when he first came out with a pedigree that people didn’t really know. He was supported by some large breeders in Victoria and New South Wales.”

Brodie with Stockwell Thoroughbreds sire Artie Schiller











Brodie’s first racehorse he was involved with was a filly named Mango Daiquiri. This impressive filly won on Caulfield Cup Day, third in The Wakeful on Derby Day at Flemington and fourth in the Oaks. An impressive start to racehorse ownership, ‘that was my first ever racehorse that I had been in properly and I haven’t been in many racehorses since as that is pretty hard to top.

Brodie clearly has a wealth knowledge and when asked about advice he would pass on, he stated,

“Be willing to do the hard yards and try different things. If you are just starting out learn as much as you can and ask as many questions as you can. Try to get to as many sales and open days as possible and take on board what the old school guys have to say. Give your opinion whether it is taken or not at least it is showing that you are interested in what is happening.”





Victoria, The Thoroughbred State, has always been known to lead the charge in all things breeding and racing.

This will be no different when this Wednesday, Flemington will host the first two-year-old race in Australia.


To be held on Spring Classics Preview Day, the Darley Spring Preview boasts a field of eight runners with half the field nominated to Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold.


The race is to be run over 900 metres and will offer $50,000 in prizemoney, along with a Super VOBIS bonus of $15,000 and a VOBIS Gold bonus of $20,000, to eligible horses to be distributed amongst placegetters accordingly.


Lunar Fox bred by Victoria’s Kelly Thoroughbreds, was purchased at the 2019 Inglis VOBIS Gold sale for $40,000 by TKO Racing. The filly is a daughter of Woodside Park’s newest resident sire, Foxwedge and will be ridden by Linda Meech.


Divine Caprice, a homebred of Victoria’s Peter Devitt, will be one to closely follow with the filly coming second in her trial on the 2nd of September. She is trained by Lindsay Park Racing and will be ridden by Luke Nolen.


Zesty Belle bred by Victoria’s Bridsan Bloodstock and trained by Ellerton Zahra Racing and is a graduate of the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling sale and was consigned by Two Bays Farm. Two Bays have recently had a string of successes with their horses and this filly could put the cherry on the cake after their recent win with I Am Eloquent.


The standout filly to watch however is Cut It Out, trained by John McArdle and is a homebred of Victoria’s Martin family. The filly is sired by Kuroshio and from a Danerich mare, Legcut. Cut It Out impressively won her trial on the 17th of September by 2.25 lengths, sailing past the finish line in 47.75 seconds.


The new two-year-old race was a combined effort from Racing Victoria, the Victorian Racing Club and Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria.


“This is an exciting opportunity for horses early in the season to showcase their Sires and their ability,”said Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria Executive Officer, Charmein Bukovec.

“Racing Victoria and the Victoria Racing Club are supporting Victorian breeders by giving their horses an early opportunity to stamp their mark ahead of the season to come.” Ms Bukovec said.


VRC Executive General Manager Racing Leigh Jordon said, “Australia is recognised for the strength of its sprinters with many of the world’s sprinting highlights taking place over the straight six course at Flemington, and we believe that these changes will help to provide a good grounding for the sprinting stars of the future.”


“The new two-year old race on Spring Classics Preview Day will offer an important opportunity for younger horses as part of their preparation for racing later in the spring,” Mr Jordon said.


Spring Classics Preview Day also will feature two three-year-old races with the Kennedy Oaks Trial, to see final fields click here. The AAMI Victoria Derby Trial to be run later in the day, to see final fields click here.

A curious Blinx as a foal with Maeve Kelly

With the 2019 foals starting to arrive, we took the chance to follow up with our 2017 foal gallery winner Blinx (Nostradamus X Bergerac Rose).

Maeve, the daughter of Eoin and Caitrin Kelly captured this special moment when they were visiting Charlottle Littlefield at her Somerset Lodge property located in Nar Nar Goon.

“Maeve has a had a special connection with this young horse. I trained her mum Bergerac Rose, my first winner as a trainer, the same week that Maeve was born. We didn’t intend for Maeve to be in the original foal picture but she came along with her Mum when we were taking the photos and when Blinx saw Maeve eating an ice-cream, she was naturally curious and wanted to share. The resulting photo was too cute not to enter!” the Nar Nar Goon based trainer said.

Charlotte Littlefield, Meave and Blinx recently

Now a two-year-old, the filly who is known around the stables as Blinx has been broken in by Littlefield and her team at Hayfields Racing. Blinx is currently enjoying a break on their 100-acre Somerset Lodge property, where her three-year-old friend Maeve Kelly visited her last week.

“We are very pleased with how well Blinx has taken to the breaking in process. As my husband Julian Hay and I bred her from a mare we had raced, she really is a part of our family. The plan now is to bring her back into work in a few weeks and hopefully we will have her up and running for an early three-year-old race.” Littlefield quipped.

Bergerac Rose had a year off from breeding last season and the Hayfield Racing team are awaiting the imminent arrival of her next foal by Woodside Park sire, Rich Enuff.

For this year’s foal gallery, you can now begin to enter your submissions by email to and be sure to share them on your own social media accounts and tag our social media accounts. Entries will be taken up until 24 November 2019.

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

  • A Super VOBIS Nomination to the value of $1980, for the “Most Liked” photo across the TBV Social media pages (Facebook, Instagram & Twitter) courtesy of Racing Victoria.
  • A dining package on the 2020 Victorian Owners and Breeders Race day, worth $1,170 awarded to the best photo of a foal by a Victorian sire, which stood in Victoria in the 2018 season, courtesy of Melbourne Racing Club.
  • Two TAB betting vouchers worth $100 each awarded to the two most unique photos, courtesy of TAB.

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

The build up to next month’s Magic Millions 2YOs in Training Sale intensified today with a highly successful breeze-up session held on the Gold Coast.

A colt by Foxwedge ran one of the quickest breezes, stopping the clock in 10.34 seconds.

The two-year-old Foxwedge colt, catalogued as Lot 243, is the first foal of a city performed three quarter sister to million dollar earner Idyllic Prince.

His Kenmore Lodge stablemate, Lot 234, is a daughter of Star Witness and half sister to international group performer Newlands. Her dam Delphi Lodge is a half sister to Golden Slipper winner Vancouver.

Other Victorian sired lots running slick times today were colts by Reward for Effort (Lot 86 in 10.45), Akeed Mofeed (Lot 202 in 10.51) and Brazen Beau (Lot 129 in 10.55).

Foxwedge flyer trialling at the breeze up session on the Gold Coast last week












Some 118 juveniles stepped outon the Gold Coast today and breezed stylishly into a northerly head wind on a sunny morning and early afternoon.

“By the strength of the breeze-ups held over the past week the sale is shaping up perfectly for prospective buyers with a highquality line up on offer,” Magic Millions Managing Director Barry Bowditch said.

“Our vendors are proven sellers of black type performers and are experienced and highly skilled at developing young horses. Rest assured buyers can come to the Gold Coast with confidence of finding their next star,”Bowditch added.

To view the breeze-up times to date and to view the continually uploaded breeze-up videos please click here.

The final breeze session will be held at the Gold Coast Turf Club on Friday 11 October from 9.30am before the sale is held over two days on October 14 (from 5pm) and 15 (from 11am).


Article Courtesy of Magic Millions Release


Rachel Griffiths with the cast at the Ride Like A Girl Premier (John Donegan/Racing Photos)

The highly anticipated film, Ride Like A Girl, featuring the inspirational story of Michelle Payne and her historic Melbourne Cup win, hits cinemas nationally this Thursday 26 September.

The film depicts the moment when Michelle Payne became the first female jockey to win the ‘race that stops a nation’TM when Prince of Penzance was first to cross the line at odds of 100 to 1.

Filming took place at several racecourses across Victoria including Flemington, The Valley, Caulfield, Werribee, Balnarring and the home of the story, Ballarat.

Racing Victoria (RV) is an official partner of the film, which features world-renowned actress Rachel Griffiths will in her directorial debut, as well as well as acclaimed actress Teresa Palmer in the role of Michelle Payne.

Michelle’s brother Stevie, who strapped Prince of Penzance before the race and led him into the winner’s enclosure after it, plays himself in the film.

Director of the movie Ride Like A girl Rachel Griffiths and Michelle Payne with the Melbourne Cup (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)










To view the trailer, click here.

To follow the film on social media:

Contact your local cinema to arrange group booking discounts so that you can enjoy the film with your friends or family.