It was a triumph of a different type for prominent Victorian breeders, the Moodie family, when Sword of Light took out the Group 3 Blue Diamond Fillies Preview at Caulfield on Australia Day.

The Ellerton-Zahra trained Sword Of Light won by 1.25 lengths from the Ciaron Maher-trained, Lauriston Thoroughbreds’ bred Emphatically.

While the speedy Hesket Bloodstock bred filly is obviously packed full of talent, she is certainly no looker according to her breeder.

“She has the worst legs you will ever see on a horse,” Jenny Moodie said.

“The sales representatives who saw her as a yearling said ‘I guess you will be keeping her’.

“But she is a little filly with a big heart and obviously a lot of ability. I guess you never a judge a book by its cover,” Jenny said.

Sword of Light has a magnificent pedigree page being out of Joyeuse, the sibling to four stakes winners including Group 1 winner Flamberge, recent stakes winner Durendal, Curtana and Sunburnt Land.

Their dam Razor Blade, herself a stakes winner, is now enjoying a deserved retirement. Sword of Light’s dam Joyeuse has a yearling and foal both by Exceed and Excel and was covered by Woodside Park’s Written Tycoon last year.

For breeding buffs she is line-bred to Allegretta through her sire New Approach (he is a son of Galileo, who is out of Urban Sea, who is in turn out of Allegretta) and through her dam’s sire King’s Best who is a son of Allegretta.

Sword of Light is not currently paid up for the $1.5 million Blue Diamond Stakes, but there will certainly now be some serious consideration given to paying a late nomination fee.

Co-trainer Mat Ellerton said Sword Of Light will improve off Tuesday’s performance.

“She’s a cantankerous little thing, her mother (Joyeuse) was much the same. We trained her,” said Ellerton.

“She’s got her quirks like we saw on New Year’s Day (she was a late scratching at the barriers). I think she gave them a few anxious moments in the gates, but she’s got an engine.”

Apart from the first two placegetters, there was an eye catching run from Miss Nymeria, a Robbie Griffiths trained debutant. She was bred by Makybe and is a daughter of Stryker who will certainly benefit enormously from the experience.

In the colts’ Listed Blue Diamond Preview, Victorian bred two-year-olds came 2nd and 3rd behind Godolphin’s Cohesion.

Robbie Griffiths’ Capanello (bred by Eliza Park International) was runner up, while Peter Moody trained El Venetian flashed home for third. He is a son of promising first crop Victorian sire Moshe (standing at Eliza Park International).

Phoenix Broodmare Farm graduate Crown Lawyer continued his rise up the ranks with another on-pace victory in Perth on Saturday.

Crown Lawyer (3g Not A Single Doubt — Sirenese by Belong to Me) has won three of his last four starts at Belmont since resuming from a spell.  Stable apprentice Chris Parnham settled him outside the leader and then skipped away in the straight for another comfortable victory over 1400 metres.

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Trainer Neville Parnham reckons he would be unbeaten this time in but for being blocked on the fence second-up.  “I told Chris to let him roll along and then swing and sprint off the home turn.  He let down like a nice horse and proved you can’t knock good form.

“I think he can develop into Listed level horse so we will look at races like the Bunbury Stakes and Hannans Hcp next year.”

Phoenix Broodmare Farm owner Damian Gleeson sold him (as agent) to Parnham for $80,000 at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.  The lightly-raced gelding has more than doubled that in earnings for his owner Santo Guagliardo.

Gleeson’s 2012 Melbourne Premier draft included the Gai Waterhouse trained filly Exceleine (Exceed And Excel) who won at Hawkesbury & Warwick Farm earlier this season.

He also prepped an Alamosa — Nikey Davone colt that was purchased by Inglis (as agent) for $40,000.  Named Jubilee Road, he was trained by Luke Oliver and won a Tatura trial by five lengths in February.

Subsequently sent offshore, he has been renamed Lean Journey and will debut for trainer Denis Yip when racing resumes in Hong Kong.

Phoenix Broodmare Farm topped this year’s Melbourne Premier I with a Northern Meteor colt that changed hands for $450,000.  The Euroa nursery also topped Premier II with a Myboycharlie half-sister to Group 1 winner Peggy Jean that made $110,000.

Trainers Mat Ellerton and Simon Zahra are in two minds whether to back up Pillar Of Creation in the LR $150,000 Winter Championship Final (1200m) at Flemington next weekend.

The God’s Own gelding completed a running double in the Sheen Group Hcp (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.  The Contract Racing homebred was coming off a Moonee Valley victory a fortnight ago.

“He went up in the weights pretty quickly after his last win but got the job done,” Zahra said.  “He hasn’t put in a bad run this preparation but is a better horse with his runs spaced.”

Pillar Of Creation (4g God’s Own — Cosmic Dust by Hurricane Sky) was stakes placed as a juvenile at Flemington and won a heat of the Slickpix Silver Bowl Series at Swan Hill as a three year-old.

Connections had jockey Damian Lane to thank for a cool ride on Saturday.  He pushed out of a pocket on the home turn and then reeled in front-runner First Course.

“He likes the sting out of the ground at this time of the year and his rating will go through the roof now,” Zahra said.  “He’s not the easiest horse to ride but we will probably have to claim with an apprentice in future.”

Contract Racing’s David and Jenny Moodie won races at Caulfield and Sandown with his second-dam Prodigious Girl (Aspect) in 1988-89 when Steve Richards was their trainer.  Besides the dam of Pillar Of Creation, she also foaled the Melbourne stakes winners Blazing Aspect and Slipstream.

God’s Own (Redoute’s Choice) will stand for a $5,500 (inc gst) service fee this year at Greta West Stud.

Lord Of The Sky gave a career-best performance to win G3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) by more than four lengths at Caulfield on Saturday.

The Robbie Laing trained speed-machine led them up and then lengthened in the straight to post his first black-type victory.  He is the fifth stakes winner for Rangal Park Stud stallion Danerich.

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Lord Of The Sky (3c Danerich — Princess Abassi by Abassi) had opened his account in a juvenile event on Monash Stakes day last year.  He will head to the G3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) on July 26 before connections decide on a possible start in the G1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 31.

“He was dominant today,” Laing said.  “He just left them for dead.”  The Cranbourne conditioner turned down a half-million dollar offer from Hong Kong last year and a Group 1 win will make the colt an attractive proposition as a stallion.

Lord Of The Sky is the only foal to race from Flemington winner Princess Abassi who retired to stud in 2005.  “It’s always a big ask when you go up to the better grades but he gave me a really good kick,” jockey Dwayne Dunn declared.  “He stamped his authority on them today and I think he’s the real deal.”

Danerich (Danehill) is based at Rangal Park in Euroa and will stand for an $8,800 (inc gst) service fee this year.

Unbeaten filly Novel Dancer has a number of options when she returns to training as a three year-old.

The daughter of Woodside Park sire Written Tycoon looks an exciting prospect after scoring another on-pace victory in the Melbourne Truck Centre Hcp (1200m) at Mornington on Wednesday.

The Shea Eden trained filly had bolted in by six lengths on debut at Echuca on May 4.

Novel Dancer (2f Written Tycoon — Strata Title by Strategic) earned $57,300 in prizemoney and VOBIS Gold incentives for those two provincial victories and she’s also Magic Millions qualified.

“We will wait until the dust settles before deciding whether she has another run or is spelled,” Eden said at Mornington.  “She’s an exciting filly and I haven’t got anything that can keep up with her at home.

“She wandered about in front today and still has a lot to learn but that will come as she matures.  We will bring her back for the spring carnival and she’s also eligible for the Magic Millions 3YO Trophy in January.”

Eden bought Novel Dancer for $50,000 from Rosemont Stud at the 2013 Gold Coast Magic Millions.  He went back and bought her half-sister by Stryker for $40,000 at the VOBIS Gold yearling sale last month.

Their dam Strata Title won at Moonee Valley and was stakes placed at Flemington and Sandown when trained by Danny O’Brien.  It’s the family of G1 Victorian Oaks winner Rom’s Stiletto.

Written Tycoon (7) leads Domesday (5) for the Victorian 2YO sires’ premiership in the wins category this season.  Woodside Park has kept his service fee unchanged at $13,750 (inc gst) this year.

Victorian based breeders Tony and Deslee Santic have bred another black-type winner from the family of their Melbourne Cup legend Makybe Diva.

La Amistad (4m Redoute’s Choice — Tugela by Irish River) joined the honour-roll with a dominant victory in the LR McKell Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

A homebred for the Gnarwarre based couple, La Amistad is a three-quarter-sister to Makybe Diva and a full-sister to G2 STC Shannon Stakes winner Musket.  She is also a half-sister to G3 MVRC Tesio Stakes winner Valkyrie Diva.

La Amistad also credited champion sire Redoute’s Choice with his 115th stakes winner.  She was retained by her breeders after failing to reach a $750,000 reserve at the 2011 Inglis Easter yearling sale.  They race her in partnership with Greg Ingham and Michael Sullivan.

Trained by Team Hawkes, La Amistad broke her maiden at Bendigo in October and will now spell after winning 5 of 10 starts this season.

“She could be a Melbourne Cup horse but that’s a dream at this stage,” John Hawkes said.  “She is not Makybe Diva but she is going to make her own way.  It is a good win for the owners because they have been patient and that takes you a long way.

“She will be better in the spring and even better next autumn.  She is a lovely mare to deal with but we won’t be getting too carried away just yet.”

The Santics have a yearling full sister to Makybe Diva by Bombora Downs sire Desert King and the mare is back in foal to Vinery freshman All Too Hard.

Equiano (Fr) struck again when Lightning Stride landed the High Sheriffs Stakes (1000m) at Leicester’s evening meeting last week.

Lightning Stride (2c Equiano — Fame Is The Spur by Motivator) is the second winner for the Swettenham Stud shuttler following Moving Melody at Newcastle on April 29.

The Brian Meehan trained colt began like a bullet when facing the starter for the second time and he powered up the hill to record a taking victory over Town Crier.  The runner-up is a son of Equiano’s sire Acclamation.

“He need the experience at Newmarket earlier this month,” Meehan said.  “That was a good maiden at the Guineas meeting and we anticipated an improved effort.”

Lightning Stride races in the same colours as Dunaden for  Qatar Bloodstock’s Sheikh Fahad al Thani.  He had been moving along nicely at Meehan’s Manton Estate stables and should be even more effective over 1200 metres according to his trainer.

The historic Manton Estate in Wiltshire is owned by Swettenham’s Sangster family and Meehan has been based there since 2006.

Lightning Stride was bred and sold by Newsells Park for 82,000 euros (AUD 118,360) at last year’s Goffs Orby yearling sale.  His dam Fame is the Spur has a yearling filly by Equiano.

Equiano’s first southern yearlings averaged $105,200 at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale in March but his fee will remain unchanged at $16,500 (inc gst) this year.

Rosemont Stud shuttler Starspangledbanner sired his first winner in England on Saturday.

Moonraker (2c Starspangledbanner — Licence To Thrill by Wolfhound) moved him off the mark in the Play The Tote Today Maiden (1000m) at Ascot.  He challenged the leaders at the 400m pole and was ridden right out by prevail by a neck and a head on debut.

The Mick Channon-trained colt is raced Christopher Wright and Emily Asprey and, in winning, maintained his dam’s perfect record at stud.  Licence To Thrill now has 9 to the races for 9 winners!

Starspangledbanner (Choisir) was a champion sprinter in both hemispheres, however, he experienced fertility problems after retiring to Coolmore Stud in 2011.

Put back into work with Aidan O’Brien, he failed to recapture form and was re-routed to Rosemont Stud having been foaled and raised at the Gnarwarre property when it was part of the Makybe complex.

While Starspangledbanner lacked numbers on the ground from his dual books at Coolmore Stud, those that were catalogued for the yearling sales made good money.

In England, they fetched a high of 110,000 guineas (AUD 207,775) in 2013 and, in Australia, they averaged $127,500 at the 2014 Gold Coast Magic Millions.

Rosemont owner Anthony Mithen took a calculated gamble to give Starspangledbanner a realistic, if restricted, future at stud.  “Our vet has put so much time into this project,” Mithen said.  “It’s been a massive effort by everyone here at Rosemont and it was pleasing to see his fertility improve in 2013.”

Caulfield trainer Mick Price declared Cailin Miss a classic filly of the future after the LR Oaklands Plate (1600m) at Morphettville on Saturday.

Cailin Miss (2f Domesday — Partygoer by Mossman) came from last at the half-mile to win by more than two lengths from fancied colts Royal Standing (Stratum) and Light Up Manhattan (Manhattan Rain).

Bred and sold by Corinella based Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm, she was racing for only the second time after being soundly beaten at Bendigo on March 27.  “She will stay all day,” Price said.  “I’m sending her out now to be set for the Victorian Oaks.”

The Oaklands Plate is steeped in history and has been the launching pad for Group 1 winners going as far back as Comic Court (1947) who went on to win a Melbourne Cup.  Goglio (1958) sired Victorian Oaks winner Goliette while Pago Pago (1963) also won a Golden Slipper and Out Of Danger (1975) a Blue Diamond.

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In more recent editions, Tully Thunder (2001) added a SAJC Australasian Oaks, Hydrometer (2002) was beaten a nose by Helenus in a Victorian Derby and Romneya (2008) won a Moonee Valley Classic.

Price bought Cailin Miss for $32,000 at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale and cut her out to a syndicate comprising Richard Betts, Jose Blanco, Leona Blanco, Joseph & Maureen Bounader, Stephen Boyce, Arthur Darivas, Nigel Grigg, Colin Phillips and Jez Smith.

“Winning second-up over a mile as a two-year-old tells you something about her,” Price continued.  “She’s a big, rangy filly with a beautiful set of lungs.”

Cailin Miss is by Darley Victoria sire Domesday whose first-crop filly Divorces won the G3 Thousand Guineas Prelude at Caulfield.

Lauriston Thoroughbreds owners Kevin and Tanith O’Brien raced her dam Partygoer to wins at Doomben (2) and Toowoomba (2).  The mare is from the extended family of Victorian Derby winner Brewery Boy.

Mount Gambier trainer Michael O’Leary bought Partygoer’s yearling colt by Bianconi from the O’Briens for $26,000 at the Adelaide Magic Millions in March.

Written Up has been a VOBIS Gold godsend for Written Tycoon and Bendigo owner-breeder Chris Morey.

The consistent sprinter-miler won the Silvan Ridge Futurity Inglis Bonus (1400m) at the Warrnambool carnival this week and it boosted his bank balance to more than $350,000.

Written Up (3g Written Tycoon — Octangle by Octagonal) is raced by Morey in partnership with Terry Hurford, Fred Hyslop and trainer George Osborrne.  “We targeted the VOBIS Gold series,” Osborne said.  “They’re very hard to win and he’s doing a terrific job.  We couldn’t be happier.”

A son of Woodside Park stallion Written Tycoon, he held a two length advantage at the furlong and kept kicking to win by a short head from local long-shot French Hussler.

Written Up won the LR Bendigo Guineas (1600m) in March and he had also earned VOBIS Gold cheques in the Elvstroem Classic at Swan Hill, Gold Carat at Caulfield, Gold Eldorado at Wangaratta and Gold Reef at Flemington before the trip to Warrnambool.

“He did so well after Flemington, we decided to have a crack at Warrnambool,” Osborne added.   “He’s all heart!”

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Regular rider Jamie Mott said Written Up deserved to break through.  “I really liked him the first time I rode him.  And there’s so much more improvement to come -  he’s a very exciting horse.”

Winning sire Written Tycoon has been represented by 59 individual winners of 89 races in Australia this season.  His yearlings sold to $125,000 at the Melbourne Premier Sale in March topped by Woodside Park’s colt from Troposphere (Stratum).

The mare is a half-sister to G1 Golden Slipper winner Prowl and Tony McEvoy outlasted Team Hawkes to sign off on the colt at Oaklands.

Millionaire filly Belle Couture will never match the exploits of her older half-sister but the road ahead will still be paved in black-type.

Belle Couture (3f Redoute’s Choice — Helsinge by Desert Sun) started a short-priced favourite at Caulfield on Easter Monday after being nailed a nose on debut at Bendigo in December.

Bred by Gilgai Farm owner Rick Jamieson, just like her older half-sister Black Caviar, she was spotting the leaders a half-dozen lengths in the straight before accelerating to a convincing victory over Knockout Johnny (King Of Prussia) and Barkly Boy (Strategic).

“We’ve all been very patient with her,” trainer Danny O’Brien said.  “She’s a big girl and is improving all the time.  Now we can press on and raise the bar.

“She’s obviously very valuable and we will build a platform for some black type further down the track.  She has it all in front of her.”

Belle Couture cost $2.60 million at the 2012 Inglis Easter yearling sale and is the fourth winner from Helsinge following Black Caviar, All Too Hard and Moshe.

Her 2yo brother was euthanased amid unsavoury headlines late last year.  Helsinge has a yearling filly by Bel Esprit and she foaled a Casino Prince filly in October.  Jamieson decided not to breed from the mare this season.

God’s Own became the second Victorian based sire — following Bel Esprit — to sire the winners of 100 races in Australia this season.

The Greta West stallion scored his century when the Robbie Griffiths trained gelding Va Hala won the Bariki Organics Maiden (1608m) at Ararat last Monday.

Va Hala (3g God’s Own — Va Tutto by Carnegie) was sent out favourite after a game fourth at Mornington when caught on the worse section of the course.

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He jumped well for Dean Holland and shot clear in the final stages for a soft win.

“He’s only had the five starts so far and still has a bit to learn,” Holland said.  “There’s a lot of improvement to come— he’s a nice horse on the up.”

Bred by Princeton Thoroughbreds, Va Hala descends from G1 VRC Oaks winner Richfield Lady.

God’s Own continued his winning run with a total of 7 winners in as many days last week.  Following Va Hala, he sired Devout Diamond (Kilmore), Sacred Journey (Hawkesbury), Isaiah (Bendigo), Red Almighty (Pt Macquarie), Resurrect (Newcastle) and Maglia Rosa (Hobart).

Promising God’s Own filly Brook Road is due to return after a short break following a winning double at Randwick earlier this year.  Trained by Bart and James Cummings, she has been nominated for the G2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Randwick this Saturday.

Group 1 sprinter Wanted sired his first winner when the aptly named Rough Justice saluted at Terang on Sunday.

Rough Justice (2g Wanted — Hard Rider by Maroof) had enough pace to settle in a forward position on debut in the Terang Co-Op Maiden Plate (1000m).  When clicked up by Damian Lane in the straight, he overhauled front-runner Dyletta and then forged clear to score by over a length.

The winner is a homebred for Contract Racing’s David and Jenny Moodie & Nick and Gayle Psaltis.  He is a half-brother to the stakes winners Utah Saints (God’s Own) and Big Chill (Artie Schiller).

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Their NZ bred dam Hard Rider was purchased off the track by Mornington breeder David Kobritz in 2002 and she changed hands again for $45,000 after foaling Utah Saints in 2007.

Wanted (Fastnet Rock) was a Group 1 winner of the VRC Newmarket Handicap at Flemington and he stood for a $33,000 (inc gst) service fee at Eliza Park International last year.

Hailing from the first crop of Danehill’s champion stallion Fastnet Rock, Wanted was his sire’s most expensive yearling when making $800,000 at the 2008 Inglis Easter Sale.  He ran Group 1 placings in the VRC Patinack Farm Stakes, VRC Lightning Stakes and MVRC William Reid Stakes before securing a stud career in the Newmarket.

Darley will be double-handed in the G1 Kentucky Derby with its Victorian based stallions Street Boss and Hard Spun.

Street Boss colt Danza won the G1 Arkansas Derby (1800m) by four lengths on Saturday and trainer Todd Pletcher was confident of a forward display despite the long price.  “We also had the option of starting in the Blue Grass at Keeneland but took a shot here,” Pletcher explained.  “This was on dirt and that was the tie-breaker.

“I liked the way he was training and he was fresh with just one other start this year at Gulfstream Park.  But I don’t ever remember winning a Grade 1 at 40-1.”

Danza (3c Street Boss — Champagne Royale by French Deputy) was bred in Kentucky and cost Eclipse Thoroughbreds $105,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September Sale.  He won at Belmont Park on debut in July and was then Group 1 placed in the Saratoga Special in August at his only other start as a juvenile.

Street Boss (USA) is a Group 1 winning son of Street Cry and his first Group 1 winner arrived at last year’s Saratoga meet when Capo Bastone claimed the King’s Bishop Stakes.

His first Australian runners are three year-olds and there have been just 8 individual winners so far this season.  The best of them has been The Quarterback who was G3 placed at Caulfield and Flemington in February.

Street Boss stood at Darley’s Northwood Lodge base in Seymour for an $11,000 (inc gst) service fee last year.

Danza booked his ticket to the Kentucky Derby a week after Hard Spun colt Wicked Strong won the G1 Wood Memorial (1800m) at Aqueduct.

Wicked Strong (3c Hard Spun — Moyne Abbey by Charismatic) cost $375,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale and he will stay in New York before flying to Kentucky a week before the Run for the Roses on May 3.

Hard Spun (Danzig) was runner-up to Street Sense in the 2007 Kentucky Derby and he stood at Northwood Park for a $16,500 (inc gst) fee last year.

He sired a second Group 1 winner in as many weeks on Saturday when grey mare Hard Not To Like was successful in the Jenny Wiley Stakes (1700m) at Keeneland.

Musk Creek Farm owner David Kobritz has facilitated the future of another colt with stakes winning potential for Coolmore Stud.

The Mornington based breeder pin-hooked Pierro for $115,000 as a foal and then on-sold him for $230,000 as a yearling. The Lonhro colt swept the Sydney 2YO Triple Crown in 2012 and was syndicated to stand his first season at Coolmore for a $77,000 service fee last year.

Kobritz was the catalyst for another class act when Vero Beach scored a 7 length victory in the NMIT Maiden Plate (1100m) at Kyneton on Wednesday. He led under a hold and then accelerated when asked to extend by jockey Steve Baster.

Vero Beach (3c Fastnet Rock — Bellevue Lady by Zabeel) made top price of $500,000 on account of Musk Creek (as agent) at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale. That was a huge mark-up on his pin-hook price of $145,000 as a foal at the 2011 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale.

The Super VOBIS qualified colt hadn’t been seen since finishing fourth on debut in the LR St Albans Stakes at Moonee Valley twelve months ago. “You like them to win like that and I hope he can go right on with it,” trainer Mark Kavanagh said. “The owners have been very patient and I think they will be rewarded.”

Vero Beach (pictured at the yearling sale) races for a syndicate headed by Coolmore’s Susan Magnier and is bred on the same Fastnet Rock — Zabeel cross as Kavanagh’s champion filly Atlantic Jewel.

It is with deepest sadness that Rockmount Stud owners Geoff Guest and Jill Kewish announce the passing of their friend and manager Damian Murphy.

Damian was renowned for his fine horsemanship which started when he was a child growing up on a stud farm in Ireland. He worked at Coolmore in Ireland for many years before gaining a reputation for himself while shuttling racehorses between the hemispheres.

Damian was with Vinery Australia when its Euroa pre-training facility was purchased and named Rockmount. The professional operation of Rockmount under Damian’s expertise was famous and trainers and owners respected his judgement of racehorses and trusted in his care for their well-being.

Damian’s passing will leave a hole in the racing industry and his loss is mourned by his family, staff, and friends. We request that family and staff be allowed privacy. Notice regarding Damian’s funeral will be announced within the next few days.

Another red-letter day for off the track thoroughbreds at the Royal Melbourne Horse Show.

The Australia Day long weekend saw another feature event on the Victorian show horse calendar, the 2014 RASV Royal Melbourne Horse Show, and with it came more success to retired racehorses.

A record number of retired racehorses lined up across the four days of the event and the results, particularly on Friday where thoroughbreds were celebrated as the feature breed, reflected the continuing dominance of off the track horses in the show ring.

Racing Victoria sponsored multiple thoroughbred classes on Friday with the signature Off The Track ring, only open to retired racehorses, taken out by Estambul gelding Hot Five.

The seven-year-old failed to fill a placing in eight starts on the track for Canberra trainer Jules De Smet but is proving a rising talent in the show ring after only a short retraining period.

“I’ve just taken over the ride on him and for a horse off the track he’s just amazing, he’s so quiet and taking it all in his stride,” rider Michelle Tuma Webb said.

“He’s only been going five months and he has probably done more classes this weekend than he has in his whole show career.”

Fairytale mare Pink I Am followed up her breakthrough success at the VAS Saddle Horse Championships earlier this month with a win in her thoroughbred mare class for teenage rider Abby Heffer.

Another mare, 12-year-old High Fashion, took out Champion Ridden Thoroughbred for Syenna Vasilopoilos while Zabeel gelding Ramsay Park Kaarma, a $260,000 Macedon Lodge yearling purchase, won Supreme Champion Led Thoroughbred for Katie Ramsay.

And while he couldn’t claim top honours for Inverleigh rider Fiona McIntyre, dual Group 1-winning gelding Sirmione hinted at a bright future in the show ring with encouraging performances in a number of classes.

McIntyre is now likely to set the former Bart Cummings-trained Australian Cup hero on a campaign that will culminate with a start in one of Australia’s most coveted show competitions, September’s Garryowen during the Royal Melbourne Show.

“I was absolutely thrilled with his performance out there, there was a lot of atmosphere in the arena and he went really well,” McIntyre said.

“I’m getting a lot of compliments and feedback, not only from judges, but anyone that sees him in competition and tells me how well he is looking.

“He’s still got a way to go, I’ve still got to get a lot more topline and weight on him because with the show horses we like big and fat but that will come with time.”

Story compliments of Racing Victoria/Off the Track

Gonski two year-old Duckworth earned a trip to Melbourne on the strength of an impressive victory at Morphettville on Saturday.

Duckworth (2g Gonski — Always Vain by Keltrice) is unbeaten after two starts in Adelaide. He was a first-up winner in October and resumed with another on-pace victory in the Meetings & Events Australia Plate (1000m).

“The Blue Diamond Prelude in a fortnight is an option,” trainer Jon O’Connor said. “Miracles of Life went across last year and we might see how this one lines up against the better youngsters.

“He’s a professional type and does everything right. I’ve got a lot of faith of him. There’s no frills — he’s just a natural racehorse.”

Duckworth failed to make a $10,000 reserve at the 2013 Adelaide Magic Millions. His dam Always Vain is an unraced half-sister to G3 HKJC Sha Tin Vase winner Always Flying (El Moxie).

Gonski (Danehill) is located at Bunyip-based Oxford Park Stud after starting his stud career at Darley. He had won a Rosehill juvenile by four lengths on debut and returned to win the LR Concept Sports Stakes at Flemington as a spring three year-old.

Oxford Park studmaster Michael Howard stands Gonski for a $4,400 (inc gst) service fee.

Friday’s nights victory in the Chandler Macleod VOBIS Gold Star (1500m) was just his second in town but he’s already earned over $400,000. “He had to do some work three wide but he’s tough,” winning jockey Brad Rawiller said. “I just wanted to keep in a rhythm with 60kg on his back.”

Trust In A Gust won the VOBIS Gold Eureka Stockade (1400m) at Ballarat and the VOBIS Gold Carat (1200m) at Caulfield before completing a hat-trick at Moonee Valley. “It’s a great scheme — the prizemoney and bonuses are terrific,” trainer Darren Weir said. “It’s an initiative that gives so much back to owners and that’s what it’s all about.”

The chestnut is also a pin-up for Swettenham and Greta West Studs.

Trust In A Gust (3c Keep The Faith — Subtle Breeze by Storm Cat) was bred and sold by Swettenham owner Adam Sangster for $45,000 at the 2012 Melbourne Premier yearling sale.

Subtle Breeze’s yearling by Equiano made $120,000 at this month’s Gold Coast Magic Millions. The mare’s latest foal is a colt by Master Of Design.

His sire Keep The Faith was initially based at Swettenham and Sangster kept a stake in the son of Sunday Silence when he relocated to Greta West. Studmaster Laurie McCarthy stood him for a $4,400 (inc gst) fee last year.

Trust In A Gust holds a Group 1 nomination for the $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 1.