The Maldon based McKnight family has a decades long involvement in Victoria’s breeding sector and that history was represented by Moonee Valley winner Tiffany’s Lass on Saturday.
The gutsy front-running daughter of Artie Schiller took out the Woodside Park Stud Handicap over 2500 metres. It was her second city win (along with two seconds) in her past four starts.
Her Kilmore trainer Danny Laws was ecstatic after the win, “To win a race at the Valley on a Saturday, it’s what you dream of,” he exclaimed post-race.
She has now amassed earnings of $234,000 with much more likely to come for the hardy staying mare
Brian and Judy McKnight, together with son Ashley welcomed the young filly on Derby Day eve back in 2013.
“We acquired the dam of Tiffany’s Lass, Tiffany’s Best as a four-year-old to race. She was originally trained by family friend, the late Ray Lawson, and although she showed ability, she had become sour with city life,” Ashley recalled.
“She hated being boxed and was quite difficult to handle, so we nurtured her into a better frame of mind. She developed into a lovely big mare and won five races for us, including the Avoca Cup, the Comic Court Handicap at Flemington and a gallant second in the Bagot (Handicap at Flemington).
“Towards the end of her career, she was even nominated for the Melbourne Cup. She was such a dominant stayer, with a great racing style, rolling along out in front, and her ability to break their hearts was her greatest asset.
“Now a wonderful producer, a sister (to Tiffany’s Lass) Tiffany’s Belle (Bel Esprit), is Danny Laws’ other galloper in work…we have retained her Hard Spun, (named) Another Tiff, who we have high hopes for. She will be coming back in to work soon. They all look more like their mum.”
Ashley indicated that Tiffany’s Best’s breeding days be coming to an end with a Trust In a Gust foal due in coming weeks likely to be her last.
“We will wait and see how she recovers before we make any decisions. She has been such a good mare to us, that we now want to be good to her,” he said.
It was a red-letter Saturday for Stockwell Thoroughbreds sire Artie Schiller with Tiffany’s Lass along with Perth based Reykjavik making it a city winning double for the second Saturday in a row for the sire.
Also on Saturday, Artie Schiller’s daughter Nipperkin ran into the placings at Morphettville while Majestic Pride was second in a black-type race in the USA.
“He has had very few runners, so to get consecutive metropolitan doubles is a fair achievement. We thank the McKnights for their continued support of Artie Schiller, and hope that we can help breed them another as good as Tiffany’s Lass,” Stockwell’s Mike Becker said.
“As a proven stallion in Victoria, for the price we are standing him for, he is certainly under the odds, and he is getting the support as a result. These consistent city winners are a timely reminder to breeders what great value he is.”
Ashley McKnight has always been impressed with Artie Schiller as a stallion.
“He throws good types, and prolific stakes winners, and now that he is back in Victoria, we will continue to support him with a mare this year too.”
“Mike has done a great thing for Victorian breeders by dropping his service fee to an affordable figure, so those that breed to race can access him. He will throw you a super racehorse, or if the family goes the right way, he is still commercial enough for the ring if you choose to sell.”
Oh, and what next for Tiffany’s Lass? Quote trainer Danny Laws…
“Now the restricted races are finished, maybe spring is an option. I will nominate her for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups; you have to dream.”
Perhaps she can just slightly outdo her dam and make that wonderful race on the first Tuesday in November!