The victory of Tudor (Strategic) in Saturday’s Chester Manifold Stakes at Flemington has owner and breeder James O’Brien dreaming of a career as a stallion for the four-year-old entire.
“He obviously needs to step up again on that performance before we can think about going to stud, but he’s a lovely horse with great conformation and a great temperament so I’d love him to have that opportunity,” said O’Brien, who, as well as running the family owned Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm, is also president Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria.
Having previously placed at Group 2 level, Tudor took Saturday’s 1400 metre listed race after an enterprising front-running ride from veteran jockey Darren Gauci.
“We took the blinkers off him on Saturday and he really relaxed and found the line well. The original plan had been to drop him back to 1200 metres but Darren said maybe we should try stepping him up in distance – that would certainly give us some more options,” added O’Brien.
Cranbourne trainer Doug Harrison certainly has a few things in mind for the stallion.
“I might back him up in the (Group 2) Australia Day Stakes at Moonee Valley next weekend before we make a decision about the Goodwood,” Harrison said after the gelding’s front-running victory at Flemington.
Tudor (4h Strategic – Skidoodle by Encosta de Lago) is a homebred for Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm after being withdrawn from the Magic Millions Adelaide and National Yearling Sales in 2013.
His dam was a Yarra Glen winner for Lauriston’s O’Brien family and they sold her Helmet colt for $170,000 at last year’s Magic Millions Foal Sale.
Skidoodle has a Denman colt on the ground and is in foal to Darley Victoria’s first season sire and champion three-year-old Brazen Beau.
Skidoodle is also the dam of the Ciaron Maher trained two-year-old, Emphatically, who finished third in last year’s Listed Merson Cooper Stakes and will be aimed at feature juvenile races in coming months.
Tudor’s stakes win was not the only highlight for the O’Briens on Saturday. A few minutes later Alcobro (Bianconi) stepped out at Morphettville over 1200 metres and, like Tudor, made every post a winning one.
Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm progeny have been on a sustained run of success recently, with eight horses carrying the LTF brand winning in the past two weeks.
While the farm consigns at most of the major yearling sales, their biggest draft this year will go to the Inglis Premier Sale at Melbourne’s Oaklands Junction. Among their nine lots catalogued is a half brother to Alcobro by Coolmore stallion So You Think (lot 391).
“Our business is structured around selling at the Melbourne Sale and we’re excited about the horses we’re taking this year,” said O’Brien.
“We’ve been selling there for about six years and have found it a strong sale, we even managed to top the averages back in 2013. All of our horses are Vobis nominated and I believe that’s very important at that sale.”
Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm is currently home to 29 mares owned by the O’Briens and is situated at Corinella, about 120 kms south east of Melbourne on Western Port Bay.
The Corinella nursery averaged $170,000 for its 5 yearlings at the Gold Coast Magic Millions last week and there are another 9 lots catalogued for the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale