*Edited story by Greg Tobin
It’s somewhat fitting that Saturday’s Listed TAB Lightning Stakes winner, Assertive Approach, is out of a mare called Arrival.
After all, it was an ‘arrival’ of sorts for Mr Pan Sutong’s Goldin Farms which bred and raced, Assertive Approach – the first stakes winner for Dubawi’s Hong Kong Cup winner, Akeed Mofeed.
And yes, the Hong Kong based, Mr Pan, also raced AND stood – for the first five seasons at least – the highly promising Akeed Mofeed.
It’s been an interesting few years for Goldin which purchased, in 2013, what is arguably the most famous thoroughbred real estate in South Australia: Lindsay Park Stud.
No-one can put a number on just how many stakes winners have come off that property over the decades, but since Goldin took up the reins, the graduates include last year’s Group One Thousand Guineas winner, Amphitrite – somewhat fittingly trained by Lindsay Park Racing.
However, Assertive Approach would become the initial black type winner to race in Mr Pan’s white and gold, as Goldin Farm’s bloodstock manager, Brett Campbell, proudly points out.
“He (Assertive Approach) is a very exciting horse,” Campbell enthused. “That was three wins from three starts on Saturday and while we were quietly confident he’d go well in the Lightning, it’s always a relief to get that stakes win under your belt.
“We’ve been unlucky with a couple of Akeed Mofeeds who have gone very close, but Assertive Approach is clearly a very promising horse and, fingers crossed, is gearing up for a successful spring.”
Trained by Team Hawkes, Assertive Approach had his first start at Bendigo in February, winning by a head, but resumed at Sandown in late June with a resounding four length win over 1000m. Although facing tougher company on Saturday, Assertive Approach again led throughout, fighting back strongly despite the late attention from Behemoth, who was last seen in May when finishing a head second behind Despatch in the Group One Goodwood Handicap.
“I have always been confident in Akeed Mofeed as a sire and this win, along with the recent performances of his other progeny, should encourage breeders to support him this spring,” a delighted Pan Sutong said after watching the race in Hong Kong.
Very much an on-pacer like her stakes winning 3-year-old, Arrival was a multiple winning daughter of Choisir who finished second in the Listed Pewsey Vale (over the same journey as the Lightning). Arrival is also a three quarter sister to multiple Melbourne Group winner Tuscan Sling, while other close relations include 4-time Perth stakes winner, Lite’N In My Veins and 2018 Ballarat Cup winner, Kiwia.
Not surprisingly, Arrival will be heading back to Akeed Mofeed this spring, but will have to venture further afield for the privilege as Victoria’s Swettenham Stud will stand the stallion in 2019.
“We couldn’t have been any happier to secure Akeed Mofeed earlier this year…well, as it turns out we could after Assertive Approach’s win on Saturday,” Swettenham Stud’s Sales & Nominations Manager, Sam Matthews points out.
“In those first few seasons Akeed Mofeed got reasonable numbers, but was basically utilised as a ‘private’ stallion. Yet, after his first crop came out and started winning races and made good money in the ring (Akeed Mofeed’s yearlings have sold up to $200,000), he covered 98 mares last spring.
“Mr Pan is sending 33 of his mares to Swettenham this spring and the interest in Akeed Mofeed has been incredible. He’ll certainly cover his biggest book in 2019 and a good many of those already booked are group winners or dams of group winners.
“Encouragingly, despite the stallion’s success at sales, nearly half of the broodmare owners are breeding to race.”
Akeed Mofeed stands at Swettenham Stud in 2019 for a fee of $16,500.