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Extra Brut leads the Victorian Derby charge

Extra Brut wins the Group 3 UCI Stakes (Racing Photos)

The Victorian bred prospects for this year’s Victoria Derby have certainly strengthened after Extra Brut’s thrilling win in the Listed UCI Stakes at Flemington.

He now joins a stellar group of southern state contenders including Ilovethiscity colt Savoie, Victorian bred Muswellbrook, Fiorente’s Alessandro and Masterprint’s Louie the Legend.

Bred by Congupna’s Andrew McDonald, Extra Brut was having just his fourth career start having run second on debut at Geelong in August before peeling off successive victories at Sandown and Caulfield.

A large group of owners syndicated by Brad Spicer loudly welcomed the popular galloper home in a come from behind win over 1800 metres.

The colt is now heading to the Group 3 Caulfield Classic over 2000 metres before a tilt at the $2 million Victoria Derby on 3 November.

Originally offered by Stonehouse Thoroughbreds as a weanling at the 2016 Inglis Great Southern Sale where he was snapped up by Gary Mudgway for $52,000.

Ryan Arnel from Stonehouse remembers him well as a weanling and noted that he certainly wasn’t one that snuck under the radar at the sales.

“He was certainly a nice enough horse and I really liked him myself. I said to (breeder) Andrew that if he didn’t make over $50,000 I would have bought him,” Arnel said.

“He was a very popular horse and plenty of good buyers liked him, but being by Domesday, they couldn’t really put a value on him. In the end, ‘Mudge’ was willing to go that little bit more. He bought based on type, disregarded the stallion, and purchased the horse on his own merit.”

Breeder Andrew McDonald has had a strong relationship with Stonehouse Thoroughbreds since it was established five years ago.

“Andrew even had a horse in my first ever draft…I had two for Qatar Bloodstock and one for Andrew.” Arnel remembered.

“He is a great guy, a true Aussie battler, and while nothing is ever easy for the small breeders, he chips away and he just loves it. He will do everything to make sure his horses are right, well cared for and prepared properly.

“I was with him when he bought the mare Dom Perion. As much as I liked her I was worried about her hit-and-miss breeding history as, for a small breeder, you don’t want them slipping, when you are only breeding one or two a year. Although that has happened, he has still done well and the mare is definitely on the up,” Arnel said.

Extra Brut was taken by Mudgway to the 2017 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale and knocked down to Brad Spicer for $100,000.

“When I saw Extra Brut for the first time at the sales, he just had so much presence about him and was a really good walker; a bit leggy and I knew he’d probably take some time and was more likely a Derby horse,” Spicer said.

“He was the equal most expensive Domesday sold that year, but people like David Hayes and Darren Weir were the under bidders and, in fact, Darren’s crew came up to me straight after and said they’d be keen to train the horse.”

Extra Brut is out of the four-time winning Redoute’s Choice mare Dom Perion, who is also the dam of the Jamie Edwards trained mare Fill The Flute (who won at Moonee Valley last Friday).

One of just six mares at McDonald’s Springfield Park at Congupna north of Shepparton, Dom Perion slipped in successive years after foaling down Extra Brut, but last month produced a full brother, much to the delight of McDonald.

Arnel, of course, can’t wait to help McDonald with this colt and the future progeny of Dom Perion.

“Dom Perion is going to Toronado this spring and we look forward to taking Extra Brut’s full brother to a Victorian sale for Andrew under the Stonehouse Thoroughbreds draft,” he said.

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