Real Love’s victory in the Listed WA St Leger (2100m) was like a breath of fresh air for Lauriston Park studmaster Chris Bakker.

A relieved Bakker watched the Desert King mare win in Perth after fighting the ferocious Creighton’s Creek bushfire that threatened his property this week.

Resident sire Desert King was the first horse moved as the blaze raged and Bakker is proud of the way the stallion, and all the other horses, coped with the crisis.  “They didn’t cause any problems at all despite the fire and the constant hum of helicopters,” he said.  “Fortunately, it was mainly the outer paddocks and fencing that suffered although the fire got within five metres of the house.

“Desert King is enjoying his new paddock next to a kid’s pony.  He has a new best friend!”

There is no doubting that Desert King is a gutsy horse and he throws that admirable trait on to his progeny – as displayed by Real Love who found the line in determined fashion on Saturday.

Now a firm favourite for the G2 Perth Cup on January 1, Real Love was one of four stakes winners at Ascot for owner-breeder Bob Peters.  He chose Desert King as mate for his mare Flaming Heart in a deliberate attempt to breed a high-class stayer.

Real Love has won 4 of her 12 starts and was coming off a feature victory in the Queen’s Cup.  She had been placed in both the WA Oaks and WA Derby earlier this year.

“A stallion of Desert King’s quality is going to keep getting winners,” Bakker said.  “It doesn’t surprise me to see a horse of Real Love’s talent emerge.”

Bakker also took time out to thank Darley Victoria for its help offering feed to Lauriston Park and Larneuk Stud.  “We are sincerely grateful for their generosity and thoughtfulness towards us smaller breeders at such a difficult time.”

Desert King’s record of 27 stakes winners makes him one of the most successful horses at stud in Victoria.  For further information on Desert King contact Julie Nairn (0402 901 910) or Chris Bakker (0427 903 353).

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