Kyneton trainer Charles Cassar has had success with the last horse he bred, the aptly named Final Ovation.
By Moshe and out of Vallarna (Royal Academy), Cassar said he has tended to breed with mares he has trained and that have been successful on the track.
Vallarna won five races for Cassar before he moved from Geelong to a 40 acre property at Kyneton 10 years ago.
While he enjoyed the breeding side of the industry, Cassar decided that the five year-old Final Ovation could possibly be his last fling in breeding.
Rather than breeding any, he continues to support the local breeding industry where he sources his horses from.
After 19 starts, and being rated a 100-1 chance at her previous two runs, the chestnut mare broke through for her maiden victory at Donald on Saturday over 1200m at 12-1.
The mare had been placed four times before scoring the victory.
“She is the last foal we bred,” Cassar said.
Moshe, a full brother to champion mare Black Caviar, was sent overseas last season after his books of mares dropped away.
But Cassar was never disappointed with what Moshe produced from his mares.
“We bred a few by Moshe and he left a strong animal,” he said.
“We had never really bred until we moved to the current property and we decided to breed from some race mares that we had a bit of success with.
“Final Ovation’s mother was a really nice Royal Academy mare who won six races and was quite a prolific winner and a nicely put together mare which we bred a few out of her.
“We also bred from a few other mares we had at the time.”
Cassar said that as a boutique racing stable they found it wasn’t economical to do it that way, but was better to buy them from other breeders.
“Unfortunately we could buy the type of horses we were breeding for less than we could breed them for,” he said.
“We still buy horses. Last year we bought six yearlings.”
Cassar said when he went into breeding sentimentally and with mares he’d had a bit of luck with as race mares.
“But I probably would have had more success from a breeding point of view if I’d gone out and bought commercial broodmares and you could have sold one every second foal,” he said.
“The other thing is if I go the sales and buy a yearling for $20,000 I can sell a 10 per cent share for $2000 and I’m not making anything out of it.
“But if you had bred one and you add the figures up, all of sudden you are taking five or ten thousand off the horse before you fill it and that money has to come from somewhere.
“We have bred a lot of horses that have won races, but nothing that has really gone on with it.”
Cassar has 12 horses in work at the moment and that will soon increase to 15 or 16.
His property is only 10 minutes from the Kyneton track.
As for Final Ovation, Cassar would like to think there is another win or two in the mare who he said has taken every bit of her five years to develop.
And it could be a case of never saying never for Cassar.
“The mare that won the other day, Final Ovation, if you could do things with the way we did it with her, you’d be happy to breed again,” he said.
“The ownership was there before we sent out the mare so they bred her with us and we have racing people in her.
“The cost is shared and they took great enjoyment in seeing her win, even though both those owners, Bernie Cooney and the Hogg family, have got better horses than her.
“But because they bred her, it gives a more sentimental feeling.
Cassar said it would be much more affordable to have owners who want to breed, rather than having a horse and then trying to fill the horses with owners.