Above: The Ardex Digital Breeding Toolkit on mobile
In an era of tech start-ups and digital disruption, Ardex has been delivering technological solutions to the racing and breeding industry for well over 20 years, utilising what it says is its greatest asset, its relationships.

Innovation has been in Ardex’s DNA, right from when founders Scott Miers and Bruce Baker met while studying Computing Science at university and combined their passions for technology and racing to create a software solution for breeders and trainers to manage their financials.

But what has parlayed that early inspiration into the successful company Ardex Technology is today, according to its Business Development Manager, Suzie Stephen, has been the relationships it has built, which have further fostered that spirit of innovation into a new era under the ownership of Inglis.

“We have built on the principals which Scott and Bruce worked very hard on, which was talking to the clients to see what they need and building that for them,” she said.

“It’s custom-built software for the racing industry. It is not an out of the box product. It’s been years in the making to deliver something for the racing industry and tailored for that industry and that’s very important.

“It’s been years in the making to deliver something for the racing industry and tailored for that industry and that’s very important. ” – Suzie Stephen

“I always say, our products are built by clients for our clients. What’s at the core of our model is feedback-based development and projects are based around what our clients want.”

Ardex now offers a suite of products, customisable both for the size and purpose of the client, be they a breeder, trainer, farrier, dentist, vet, agistment farm, race club or auctioneer.

It offers subscription-based solutions for a wide range of requirements, including communications, financial management and reporting, racing management, stallion and broodmare management, documentation control and process management.

Above: The Ardex Breeding Menu available on the Digital Breeding Toolkit

Ardex’s greatest asset though, is its client base, which includes some of the biggest names in the thoroughbred industry in Australia and New Zealand, while continuing to expand its services internationally.

Local people, global approach

The entire business, including a technology and development team, is based out of Sydney, something which Stephen says has ensured that Ardex has been able to retain its connection with its client base.

“It’s really great having people in house. I work in the same office as the developers. We have that relationship whereby we are working on projects together; it is really collaborative. Client requests come in and we are all trying to brainstorm what to build and how to build it,” she said.

“It’s a really great environment for that. It means when things need to get done, they get done, which is good.”

The collaborative influence also flows on to Ardex’s relationships with its clients, with an absolute focus on identifying and resolving problems for them. It is that approach which Stephen says has ensured the company has remained innovative over its 22 years of existence.

A key Toolkit for breeders

That approach was the genesis for the latest innovation from Ardex, the Digital Breeding Toolkit, which was launched this week, and is available for Ardex Premier users.

Its aim is to help streamline the breeding process for users and it will give increased visibility of all elements from scheduled coverings to following a mare’s pregnancy scans. It includes a digital covering book that can help plan and schedule coverings, a pregnancy scan tracker, Docu-sign integration for electronic contracts as well as other features, with the aim of replacing manual processes with mobile technologies.

Above: Entry procedure on the Ardex Digital Breeding Toolkit

It’s really important to us that what we’re building not only meets our clients’ needs, but is almost ahead of them. We want to be on the forefront of what our clients may need,” Stephen said.

“The Digital Breeding Toolkit is exactly that. It shows them what can be done with breeding technology. It’s about those constant conversations with our clients, and then us setting the agenda for ourselves year on year that we are going to be improving on what we have developed. We can confidently say that the technology we are offering is cutting edge. It’s innovative, and most importantly it’s serving their needs.”

“It’s really important to us that what we’re building not only meets our clients’ needs, but is almost ahead of them. We want to be on the forefront of what our clients may need.” – Suzie Stephen

The Digital Breeding Toolkit is the result of not just the innovation coming from within Ardex, but the realisation of the potential of the relationship it holds with its clients.

“At the end of the breeding season, we caught up with our breeders and asked them what it was that they wanted to get out of the Ardex software and Ardex program and that’s how the Digital Breeding Toolkit evolved,” Stephen said.

“We worked really closely with a number of our clients, especially Coolmore Stud in Australia and Waikato Stud in New Zealand, to discuss what manual and time-consuming processes we could alleviate with the use of technology. We sat down with those clients and worked through what the major pain-points were. It’s a good place to start with any development project.

“We worked very closely with them ongoing, going back and forth with demo builds and test builds and people trialling and testing, and we’ve worked over that six-month period to put out a product we were really happy with.”

Above: Ardex worked closely with Coolmore Stud throughout the development of the product

The key achievement of the Digital Breeding Toolkit, according to Stephen, has been to implement a digital covering book, which not only makes documentation a lot more straightforward, but also allows greater understanding and collaboration across major breeding operations.

“You have the option to share that information more easily within the team. It’s not a book locked away in an office somewhere. Your staff can view that and generate reports more easily as well,” she said.

“With all of these things, the bottom line is to save time. We always want to achieve that for clients. As we know, the breeding season is one of the most hectic and busy times of the year, so for us it is really important for our clients to take back that time.”

Above: The covering book menu on Ardex Digital Breeding Toolkit

Accessibility a key plank of future strategy

There are a variety of product development ideas in the future roadmap for Ardex, but key to its strategy is further development of its web-based product, Ardex Essentials, to provide greater flexibility and usability for current and future clients.

“That’s a shift towards the more accessible and compact version of the Ardex Premier program, in our new product Ardex Essentials. It’s all the core features in a web-based system. That’s the direction we want to take that product,” Stephen said.

“It needs to be accessible, easy to use and we want the subscription to be affordable for the various sizes.” – Suzie Stephen

“It needs to be accessible, easy to use and we want the subscription to be affordable for the various sizes. Everything from an agistment farm with 20 mares to a larger operation, or from the smallest trainer to the big stables and everything from pre-training to breaking.

“Technology should be for everyone and everyone should be able to benefit from that and that is something that we would really like to achieve moving forward.”

And at the heart of that is the people, be they within the Ardex team or part of the client base, which drive that innovation.

“The thing I really value about this industry is that it is an industry of people. The people in this industry are so fantastic. We just want to work with those people to help them and help their businesses,” Stephen said.

“That’s where the passion comes from. It’s about giving people back their time and making things easier.”

Article courtesy of Bren O’Brien TDN

Above: Lot 223. Toronado – Settecento colt. Picture: Inglis

An excellent pinhook result from Jazcom Thoroughbreds proved the highlight of the 2020 Inglis Scone Yearling Sale, which followed the Easter Round 2 sale.

At A Glance

>> The clearance rate was 81 per cent, only slightly down from 90 per cent at the same sale last year

>> Hawkes Racing struck to secure the top two lots , with the $180,000 top lot a record for the Sale

>> The sale gross of $2.26 million was only slightly down on the total of $2.685 million last year

>> The sale average was $17,652, up from $15,797 in 2019

>>The median was $10,000, a slight fall from $12,000 in 2019

Pinhook pays off

The top lot was Lot 223, a colt by Toronado (Ire) out of Settacento (Nadeem), the half-sister to Listed winner and Group 1-placegetter Citirecruit (Citidancer {Ire}) from the family of champion filly Savana City (New Regent {Can}).

Hawkes Racing paid $180,000 for the colt, from Jazcom Thoroughbreds, who purchased him as a weanling from last year’s Great Southern Sale for just $10,000.

“I’d made it quite clear to people close to us that I thought he could top the sale, I thought he’d bring $60,000 but wouldn’t be surprised if he bought $100,000 so to get that great result, it really pays off for what Meagan and I do with the pinhooking investment,’’ Jazcom’s Colin Branthwaite said.

“He’s a quality horse, he’s got a lot of presence, an aura and demeanour that good judges like.’’

He was the clear top lot, with the next highest price the $70,000 Hawkes Racing paid for Lot 220, an Exosphere colt, offered by Waylon J Stud.

He is out of Save A Penny (Exceed And Excel), making him a half-brother to stakes-placed Excess Funds (Rubick) and the winner Cobra (Poet’s Voice {GB}).

Above: Lot 220 – Exosphere x Save A Penny (colt)

Hawkes Racing ended the top buyer for the Scone sale, spending $325,000 across three lots.

The top filly of the sale was Lot 278, a Nicconi filly out of Chaste (Lonhro), offered by Middlebrook Valley Lodge and sold for $65,000 to John Thompson Racing.

Chaste, a half-sister to stakes-placed pair Epic (Stratum) and Mighty Maverick (Snitzel) is a granddaughter of G1 Newmarket H. winner Ruffles (Zeditave) and has already produced the winners Desirable Miss (Snippetson), Ibini (Commands) and Purest (Stratum).

Above: Lot 278 – Nicconi x Chaste (filly)

Vinery Stud had two lots sell for $60,000, Lot 217, a filly by All Too Hard who was purchased by Belhannah Stud, and Lot 292, a colt by Vancouver which went to Wattle Bloodstock.

Vinery’s seven sales for a total of $236,900 was enough to put it second on the vendors’ list, behind Jazcom, which sold eight yearlings for a total of $332,000.

Nicconi was the leading sire on both aggregate and averages (more than 3 sales), with three sold for a total of $120,000.

“The Scone Sale was particularly pleasing, the sale held up very well setting a new record price for a top lot,” Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster said.

Article courtesy of Bren O’Brien TDN

Above: Michael and Siobhan after Eloping won the Blue Sapphire Stakes

It would be fair to say that the owner of Victoria’s Longwood Thoroughbred Farm, Michael Christian, did not have the most conventional entry into the world of breeding. A Chartered Accountant and an AFL premiership player with Collingwood, Michael had invested in some small shares in horses with colleagues during his stockbroking days in the mid 1990’s. In keeping with his interest in racing he purchased “A Lunch With Gai Waterhouse” at a charity auction with the thought that it would be something his clients would enjoy.

‘We had twenty of our best clients to lunch on the Wednesday before the 1997 Melbourne Cup. Gai was fashionably late but when she did arrive she had an aura about her that captivated the entire room. She entertained us through a great lunch and as I was escorting her to the lift, Gai enquired if I had any horses running? I quickly replied ‘I have a share in a two-year-old running next week on Cup day’, and as the lift doors closed I managed to spit out the horse was called True Blonde not thinking that she had even heard me.’

True Blonde duly saluted on Melbourne Cup Day and after arriving to work the following day, Michael was surprised to find a fax (remember those) on his desk from Gai congratulating him on True Blondes win. He hadn’t thought she’d even heard the horses name! Gai also invited Michael to visit her Tulloch Lodge stables if he was ever in Sydney which he did the following January. Before he knew it, he was attending yearling sales with Gai and investing in horses with her.

The first horse Michael purchased with Gai was Phoenix Park, who started favourite in the Magic Millions, ran 4th in the Golden Slipper and went on to win the T J Smith Stakes – the first time Gai won the race named in honour of her father. ‘I absolutely loved racing and was spending three days a week in Sydney with my broking job so would go and visit Gai and see my horses whilst enjoying lunch at Tulloch Lodge.’

Following Michael’s departure from the stockbroking world, he embarked on a media career working with Channel 10 and Triple M commentating on AFL football and hosting breakfast radio on RSN, Melbourne’s racing station. He continued his racing involvement in Melbourne with trainer, Peter Morgan after being introduced by a friend. The pair formed a strong bond and Michael credits Morgan with not only fueling his passion for horses but teaching him about the thoroughbred. 

So much so that Michael enrolled and completed (as the only mature aged student) a Diploma in Horse Breeding at the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE in the early 2000’s. The Diploma included several out placements (including with Christoph Bruechert at Bombora Downs) where Michael gained some valuable practical experience and knowledge. The course and experience gained just deepened his passion and interest for thoroughbreds. ‘The course and experience gained was incredible and it made me more determined to increase my involvement in the thoroughbred industry.’ 

It was almost a natural progression that in 2007, Michael purchased a forty-acre property in Whittlesea next to Morgan’s training property, Talwood Park. Starting with one mare he gradually built a niche broodmare band which he personally cared for and managed. With only a handful of broodmares he has enjoyed success breeding stakes winners, Hallowell Belle, Fuddle Dee Duddle, Eloping, Unpretentious, Of The Brave and Fuhryk.

Michael and his wife Siobhan predictably out grew their small Whittlesea property and in December 2018, together with Michael’s brother Brad and his wife Pauline, purchased the property which is now known as Longwood Thoroughbred Farm in Longwood East. The property was formerly Roselands, part of the Vinery Stud operation in Victoria’s thoroughbred breeding heartland.

Above: A view of the paddocks at Longwood Thoroughbred Farm

‘Growing up I never really had any close association with horses. My interest started with the excitement of racing but developed quickly into something a lot deeper. I still enjoy racing but now my real passion is the thoroughbred itself. With my first property in Whittlesea it was just me working with the horses with my friend Bill Birch helping out. I find it so rewarding. There is no better feeling than personally raising a foal, seeing it develop into a yearling and then watching it race to stakes glory. My favourite time is just standing in a paddock with a group of weanlings and just admiring and hanging out with them. It is all about the horse now.’

On his Whittlesea property, due to his media commitments, Michael outsourced the foaling down of his mares and yearling sales preparation was outsourced to his friend and former breakfast radio colleague, Anthony Mithen from Rosemont Stud. Now with his new property, Longwood Thoroughbred Farm, he not only foals down his own mares and prepares his yearlings for sale but offers a full range of breeding and agistment services to clients including a dedicated 24/7 foal watch team. ‘Initially the intention was to be a hobby breeder but my love of the thoroughbred industry means my hobby and passion has turned into a business which is a dream come true”.

In such a short time Longwood Thoroughbred Farm has built a reputation for excellent service. Michael credits his wonderful staff for creating an immediate impression on the Victorian breeding landscape. ‘We have been very lucky that we have been able to assemble a great team at LTF including recently appointed Farm Manager, Lelaina Vennemeyer who is doing an amazing job”.

Above: The Longwood Thoroughbred team with Lot 402, I Am Invincible x Runaway Jesse Colt at the Inglis Premier yearling sales

Michael and his family have been involved with some wonderful racehorses. When asked who his favourite was he nominated, Eloping. Michael bred and raced Eloping who was trained by Peter Morgan. She won five stakes races including two as a 2YO and won $1.23 million in prize money. ‘She was born on Siobhan’s birthday and to watch her grow from a foal and develop into a multiple stakes winner was so exciting and rewarding. We had so much fun travelling to watch her race”.

When asked what advice he would give to anyone looking at starting out in the industry Michael responded by saying, ‘Don’t take any shortcuts. If you try and take shortcuts in this industry, you will get caught out. You need to have good, passionate people, great facilities, invest in quality mares and send them to highly commercial stallions. If you do that, you’ll have a lot of fun and hopefully enjoy some success along the journey.”

Above: Cousin Ivan wins the Listed Aquanita Stakes at Belmont Park, Western Australia

There’s a lot of history surrounding the coastal city of Albany.

Once famous for its whaling, Albany is the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia and sits some 400 kilometres from Perth.

In 1914 it was the last port of call for troops heading off to fight in World War 1.

On Saturday at Belmont Park, it was Albany’s own – the 3YO chestnut, Cousin Ivan – who managed to land a whale by capturing the Listed Aquanita Stakes over 2000m: showing plenty of fight along the way.

Firming from $20 to $14, Cousin Ivan wasn’t expected to trouble the hot favourite, Uncle Dick, but after hitting the front with 200m to go, the Fiorente chestnut refused to cave … much to the delight of breeder, Grant Gibbs, and an understandably emotional trainer, Holly Taylor.

This was not only the first stakes winner for Taylor – who turned 30 last week – but her first city winner to boot.

“I took out my trainers’ licence two years ago and currently have eight in work at Forrestdale (30 minutes drive from Belmont Park),” Taylor points out. “Cousin Ivan won at Belmont on debut – at the end of May – but that was actually classed as a provincial meeting after being transferred from Northam due to coronavirus.

“That was Cousin Ivan’s fourth run on Saturday and to win a black type with him is just a huge thrill. Amazing.”

Although Cousin Ivan only ‘officially’ joined the stable at the start of his current prep, both Taylor and the Fiorente galloper have a history.

“Cousin Ivan was bred by Grant Gibbs and his partner, Annette Crump and they’re based at Albany,” Taylor explains. “I spent a bit of time down there when the horse was having his early education and then they contacted me about taking the horse for a short prep last year.

“He went back to Albany and I thought that was that, but then they phoned me in May about taking Cousin Ivan on full-time. It couldn’t have worked out better!”

While the journey has barely started for Taylor, the road for Gibbs – conversely – has been fairly lengthy: ever since he started out as an apprentice jockey in New Zealand, “the day after I turned 14”.

“I was a jockey in New Zealand for around eight years before shifting to WA in my early 20s,” Gibbs reveals. “I rode quite a few winners in the bush and also won the 1988 Bunbury Cup on Muromoon, who ran third in the Perth Cup too.

“I gave riding away at 43 due to arthritis, which resulted in a double hip replacement, but I still manage to ride trackwork.

“My wife is a licenced trainer but we’ve scaled right back and these days we only race what we breed.”

Gibbs’s actual journey getting to Cousin Ivan has had some winds and turns too.

“I was sitting in a pub one day back in the 1990s and chatting to a bloke who asked me if I remembered a horse called Spring Moss, who was a Group winner of 13 races in New Zealand,” Gibbs recalls. “Long story short, he said he had the full sister (Miss Trapani) and I could buy her for $500.

“Miss Trapani produced Waxed Lyrical for me, who didn’t race due to a bowed tendon, but Waxed Lyrical’s second foal was Chong Nonsi, who won six of her first nine starts. Chong Nonsi’s first runner is Cousin Ivan.

“You’ve got to be patient in this game.”

Interestingly, Belmont Park’s two stakes races on Saturday – both over 2000m – were won by Victorian based stallions: Cousin Ivan becomes the fifth stakes winner for Sun Stud’s Fiorente, while the exciting, unbeaten 3YO filly, Chantrea took her tally to five from five in the Belmont Oaks and is by Swettenham Stud’s Puissance de Lune.

Although winner of the Australian Cup and Group One placed over 1400m, Fiorente is best remembered as winner of the Melbourne Cup, while Puissance de Lune would win eight from 1400m to 2600m, including the Group Three Queen Elizabeth, and was regarded one of the best stayers of his generation.

“You’ll note with both Cousin Ivan and Chantrea that they weren’t pushed early and it’s paying dividends now,” Gibbs adds. “Cousin Ivan is getting tipped out for a few months and we’ll bring him back for the Cups circuit in the south west … he could be our retirement fund.

“All things being equal I’d like to give him a shot of winning the Perth Cup as a 5YO … who knows, I might just win a Perth Cup yet!”

HOOFNOTE: Cousin Ivan is not only the toast of Albany but has something of a fan base in Walpole, some 120 kilometres west.

“My partner in the horse is Darren White and he named him after his actual cousin, Ivan, who is local hairdresser in Walpole and something of a legend around town,” Gibbs reveals. “We’re sticking with the theme though because Cousin Ivan’s full brother – an unraced 2YO – has the stable name, Boris.”

Article courtesy of Aushorse

Above: Art Major as a yearling

It’s not all doom and gloom.

Stockwell Thoroughbreds’ Mike Becker can see plenty of advantages coming out of the delayed Melbourne Gold Yearling Sale.

Originally scheduled for mid-April, it is now set for auction via Inglis’ online digital platform.

The delay, caused by the COVID-19 crisis, has allowed plenty of yearlings to mature and take the next step in their development, according to Becker.

“It’s interesting and to the point where I would like to say to Inglis that maybe we should be having this sale at this same time every year,” Becker said.

“And that’s for a couple of reasons. These horses are ready to go to the breakers and are twice the horses they were back in April. And a lot of the punters who bought yearlings at the earlier sales are ready to come back into the market.

“They have had a bit more time to try to syndicate some of those horses and to sell shares and can reload and re-evaluate whether they can come back into the market.”

Becker said the yearlings would obviously be a bit woollier but are now different horses.

“A couple of these colts we’ve got you wouldn’t know they were the same horses that would have been hard to sell in April but will now be very saleable,’’ he said.

“They just have developed and thickened and grown because the Victorian horses as a rule don’t grow much before March. You go to the Gold Coast and you see whopping big yearlings and you come home and you think what have I done wrong, but by March you are starting to catch up.

“But by now they have certainly caught up.”

Becker said there was a good mixture of yearlings in their draft of 14.

He said a big Rich Enuff filly, out of Honey Pie, would have been difficult to sell in April when the sire was yet to record a winner.

“She was tall and narrow and has since developed and now Rich Enuff has had six or seven winners, so it gives some perspective as it has helped the pedigree,” Becker said.

“I think out nicest colt is the Super One colt and he has kicked on and the sire has since had six or seven winners too. And the mare (Arazi Belle) has a colt (Art Major) by Artie Schiller come out and has been placed in three of his first four starts and looks to be a pretty promising and she needed that bit of upgrade.

“And this colt has got a nostril on him like no young horse I’ve seen. He won’t lack for air this boy.”

Becker says some good things can happen with time as he has seen with his Rubick colt.

“The Rubick colt was going to be too small and would have been dodged back in April but he has thickened up and he has grown into a lovely little colt,” he said.

Becker said it was still going to be a buyer’s market and everyone had to meet that market.

“You can’t be looking at them doubling their service fee or reserve,” he said.

“But you look at our Puissance de Lune colt. He went to Adelaide (was passed in) and was very immature but he came out of the paddock. He is still a time job but is taller and he has got a bum on him.

“He is still going to need time but that’s what his pedigree page says he is going to do any way.”

Becker said that with stock market crash, half the people got on a plane and left Adelaide, although he said the market at the top end held up all right.

He said the sale got very picky, but they knew the colt would continue to improve but still needs another 12 or 18 months.

“It’s been a tough time for everyone and we had a dozen foals to go but we pulled those and we just have to sell these yearlings to make room for our foals,” he said.

“The difference in these colts has been, as I said, amazing and this extra time has given them the chance to have pedigree updates and improve physically and have more development.

“Hopefully some of these trainers who have bought yearlings earlier have had a bit of a chance to pass those on and now restock.

“It will be a buyer’s market, I’m sure. There will be great value.”

Becker said they had three or four yearlings to sell and the balance were their clients.

“A number of our clients have yearlings and are going to be hit with service fees, for live foal service fees from last year, in the next couple of months and they need to get some money back and just need to meet the market to continue to trade,” Becker said.

And Becker said they had a bit of luck with a Casino Prince filly, out of Scarletta, which won on debut at Albury last week.

Although he said he knows Casino Princes aren’t the flavour of the month, they had kept a share in a two year-old filly which is trained by Mitch Beer at Albury.

The filly, Sunrise Ruby, ran against the older horses and Becker said she bolted in.

And with her full brother part of the Stockwell draft, Beer didn’t want to risk the colt going to the Gold Sale and rang the next day after the filly’s win to buy him.

“He was probably going to try to come down and buy him anyway because he has an opinion of the filly, but he said he just had to grab the colt to syndicate,” Becker said.

“It helped the lady out who had the colt because she is up for several service fees.”

Becker said from what they breed, they could not afford to race the colts but with the fillies they will try to lease them if they like the family and hopefully get them back as a broodmare.

He said the Rubick colt, out of Indy Rock, wasn’t big, but big enough and still had growing to do.

Becker said his Bobby’s Kitten colt out of Soft Dollar, was another one that had gone to the Adelaide Yearling Sale (also passed in) but was tiny but has benefited with an extra few months to develop and lengthen.

“And Bobby’s Kitten (served 42 mares in his one Australian season in 2017) never came back because he couldn’t get the mares,” he said.

“He has come up with a couple of pretty promising two year-olds in England this year from his first crop. He was a Breeders’ Cup winner of some note and was no slouch. And the Kitten’s Joy line just keeps nailing them.”

It might be a bit of cliché but with horses by several top stallions, Becker believes Stockwell Thoroughbreds at Diggers Rest has something for everyone.









Above: Chantrea winning the Listed Belmont Oaks

It proved to be a successful day at Belmont for Victorian-based stallions for shortly after Fiorente’s Cousin Ivan claimed the Listed Aquanita Stakes, it was the turn of the Puissance de Lune (IRL) filly Chantrea to run her unbeaten sequence to five in the Listed Belmont Oaks (2000m).

With nominal favourite Kay Cee scratched, this proved easy work for the Lindsay Smith-trained filly.

With Willie Pike in the saddle the daughter of Puissance de Lune (IRL) defeated the highly consistent Cambist (Gingerbread Man) by a length with the Not A Single Doubt filly Heaven’s Gift losing her unbeaten record, a half-head back in third.

A homebred for part-owner Professor John Yovich, Chantrea carried the same colours as Lady Astar who won the Belmont Oaks in 1990.

“This is an extreme thrill because a couple of my very best friends, Katrina Felstead and her husband Barry, are in the horse,” Yovich said.

“We planned the win many years ago when we put the mare to Puissance de Lune (IRL) to win the Oaks and the target was the Belmont Oaks before she had her first start.

“The Shamardal cross with Danzig line mares is the best in the world

The final foal of her pensioned dam, Chantrea is the eleventh foal and ninth winner from ten to race out of the 4-time winning Danzig Connection mare Mosse, a half-sister to the Group II VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner and wonderful broodmare De Lago Mist the dam of stakes winners Instinction, Into The Mist and Shrouded in Mist.

Chantrea is the second stakes-winner for Swettenham Stud’s  Puissance de Lune (IRL) who despite limited opportunities early in his career has made breeders sit up and take notice.

After covering just 40 mares in 2018, the son of Shamardal was swamped with 154 mares last spring, earning a rise in fee to $19,800 in 2020.

Article courtesy of Breednet


Above: Lot 131 Inglis weanling sale Merchant Navy / Bodhi Blue colt

The upcoming sale season will be like no other for vendors in Victoria. Unable to be in Sydney for Inglis weanling sale or a live auction for the Gold yearling sale is proving to be challenging for all with an interest in these sales. John Kenneally from Erinvale Thoroughbreds has four weanlings going through the sale in Sydney and a further eight yearlings in the Gold Sale at Oaklands Junction later this month.

John has been very pleased with all the yearlings going through the Gold Sale and in particular ‘a Pride of Dubai colt x Promptness (USA). Pride of Dubai is having a great first season with 10 winners and is likely to be the leading first season sire. The colt has good size and scope. We have broken him in and gelded him and he has done really well. He is a just lovely horse.’.

Erinvale Thorougbred have three fillies going to the Gold Sale including a Rubick filly out of Blonde Humor (USA) who unfortunately had to be withdrawn from this year’s Melbourne Premier Sale due to a slight injury. ‘She is lovely scopy filly that we have also broken in. The filly is looking great ahead of the sale.’

John is sending four weanlings to Sydney on Sunday and explains the difficult situation being unable to attend the sale. ‘It is a difficult situation sending horses to a sale that you are unable to attend.’ The highlight of the weanlings that Erinvale Thoroughbreds are offering is the Merchant Navy colt x Body Blue (pictured above). ‘He is a lovely colt, a good size, scope and strength with a very good action. Merchant Navy is a first season horse that I like very much and was such a fantastic racehorse. The best son of Fastnet Rock to go to stud in my opinion and a big chance of making a successful stallion.’

After a successful Gold Coast weanling sale, Erinvale were the leading vendor on average with six foals amassing $950,000 at an average of $150,000 and although the market will be reduced due to travel restriction he is hopeful of his draft. ‘There four nice weanlings all by decent stallions including Pride of Dubai, Vancouver and another first season horse by Invader who is a beautiful filly. We specialise in selling good quality foals.’

‘We are able to offer the horses in a live auction which is very beneficial for selling young horses. Although it has been difficult to inspect weanlings for many of the major buyers who are from out of state so haven’t had the exposure, but a live auction is very positive.’

Above: Plutocrat winning the Listed Thoroughbred Stakes at Eagle Farm

As the first winner for her sire, followed by becoming the first stakes performer, it was only fitting that Anderson Racing’s Plutocrat took the honour of becoming Rich Enuff’s very first stakes winner with a gutsy effort in Saturday’s Listed Thoroughbred Club Stakes over 1400m at Eagle Farm.

A narrow second in the Listed Bill Carter Stakes (1100m) two starts back behind September Run and finishing ahead of Gotta Kiss, who went on to finish second in the G1 JJ Atkins at her next start, Plutocrat has been screaming out for a decent barrier, and aided by the inside gate on Saturday, the promising filly produced the goods.

“The expectation was that they were going to be back-end 2-year-olds into early 3-year-olds and that’s exactly what we are seeing. We are seeing horses with great scope,” stated Woodside Park Stud’s CEO James Price to TDN Aus/NZ.

“To hit his first stakes winner at the back-end of his 2-year-old season, something that his own sire Written Tycoon couldn’t do, is quite an achievement.

“And if we look at that, and the fact he has had six individual winners, it’s terrific and we are really happy for him to finish his first crop 2-year-old season like that and head into the spring with some momentum.”

Successful at G2 and G3 level as well as a narrow runner up in the G1 Caulfield Guineas, the fastest 3YO colt over the famed Flemington ‘straight six’ this century is standing this season at extremely affordable fee of $8,800 (inc. GST), and as the only active Victorian first-season sire to record a stakes winner this season, he is sure to prove extremely popular with breeders once again.

Inglis Melbourne Gold Sale to be held online

As a result of the official border closure between NSW and Victoria, it is no longer possible for Inglis to host the Melbourne Gold Sale as a live auction.

As a consequence, the sale will be conducted using the Inglis Digital platform, but with the benefit of using Oaklands for inspections in the lead up to the sale.

The border closure, travel restrictions, limited resources and bio-security risk make it impossible to conduct either a live or virtual auction.

A digital sale with the benefit of centralised inspections is the best option under the circumstances.

The Melbourne Gold Sale will have its own section as part of the Inglis Digital July (Early) Online Auction.

Bidding will open this coming Friday (July 10) and closing out next Thursday (July 16) from 10am.

The intention remains to facilitate inspections at Oaklands in the lead-up to the sale.

Inspections of Gold yearlings will be held next Monday July 13, Tuesday July 14 and Wednesday July 15.

All vendors, stud staff, vets and prospective buyers will be required to pre-register to attend Oaklands next week, as part of Inglis’ COVID-Safe plan.

To register, CLICK HERE.

Quality photos and videos of yearlings will be available at inglisdigital.com closer to sale day.

Inglis Digital has a database of more than 5500 registered buyers from both Australia and all around the world, ensuring Gold yearlings will be seen by a maximum number of potential buyers.

Yearlings sold through Inglis Digital in 2020 have grossed almost $2m to an extensive range of both domestic and international purchasers.

At yesterday’s Easter Round 2 and Scone Yearling Sales, both held as live auctions, almost 20% of lots sold were purchased by buyers through our online bidding platform.

Gold yearlings are eligible for the $6m Inglis Race Series, as are all yearlings offered on the Inglis Digital platform.


Nestled in the heart of Victoria’s prime thoroughbred country is Platinum Thoroughbreds Victoria, a relative new player in the thoroughbred game having been established in 2018… but there is much experience behind the name with the farm’s Sarah Pfeiffer and Rene Hoefchen both boasting long time equine involvement.

“I started out breeding, training and competing quarter horses but always had a love of thoroughbreds,” Rene Hoefchen said, “and working for a while at Godolphin intensified my passion for them!”

“And Sarah is a vet nurse who competed with quarter and paint horses, also working at Mohawk Lodge.. and her grandfather and great grandfather both trained thoroughbreds.”

Specialising in young horse growth and development along with spelling and broodmare management, Platinum Thoroughbreds Victoria this spring welcomes to the Hilldene (just 5km out of Seymour) farm its foundation stallion… the well credentialled and exciting Scorpz.

A member of the Invincible Spirit line which has been faring so well in this part of the world, Scorpz is a son of the triple Group One winner Charm Spirit who has made such a great start to his stud career – his southern and northern hemisphere debut crops producing six stakes winners including the New Zealand bred Group winners Aretha, Fascino, Likikoi and Scorpz.

Doing his best work late at his debut at two, the Stephen Marsh trained Scorpz was given time to mature and really came into his own at three – in November last year racing away to an easy three length victory at Te Aroha.

17 days later stepping up to Group Three class, Scorpz travelled well in the 1600m Wellington Stakes, coming off heels turning and was soon in the lead. From there he was a sitting shot and Shenanigans did put his nose in front only for Scorpz to fight back, showing plenty of heart!

“We hit the front too soon to be honest but sometimes things are out of your hands,” Jockey Jason Waddell reported, adding that “it was a long 350m!”

Waddell described Scorpz as “a big strong colt who does not know he is a colt,” whilst Marsh was delighted by the win… “gee he’s a lovely colt,” he enthused.

Despite doing it tough from a wide gate at his next outing, Scorpz was again in winning form with a similar performance – getting to the front, strongly challenged late and digging deep to take out the Listed Salver at Ellerslie.

There was method to Waddell’s ride, the jockey telling the media that he let another horse “go past me on purpose… so he could fight back.”

Marsh was again proud – “he was very tough to the line… he covered all that ground and still kicked, it was a top effort.”

Not having a great deal of luck in two runs heading to the Gr.1 NZ Derby, Scorpz was third back to the mile in a Te Aroha handicap (held up at the 300m) and second despite being forced wide in the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas won by the talented Dragon Leap.

Sadly he found further trouble in the Derby, crowded early before again being forced wide, his effort to run third a particularly gallant one.

From there Scorpz headed to Australia with the Gr.1 Australian Derby an exciting target. The Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas looked a nice lead-up but it was in that race that all went wrong – Scorpz copping a check as he left the gates, one severe enough to cause serious injury.

And so instead of lining up in the spring’s features in 2020, Scorpz will be serving his first book of mares, and Hoefchen is delighted to be standing a horse of such heart and courage -“the more he was challenged in his races, the harder he kicked on,” he said, adding that “he is going to be an asset for Victoria.”

“He was the perfect colt to train,” Stephen Marsh noted.

“He had a kind nature yet was as tough as tungsten on the track. What he did as an immature three-year-old was due to his class and guts alone and I believe that he would have furnished into a true Caulfield Cup quality horse.”

The first son of Charm Spirit to stud in Australia, Scorpz has the pedigree to succeed here – Charm Spirit being by Invincible Spirit (also sire of I Am Invincible) from the family of Encosta de Lago and Flying Spur – whilst his dam Forbetterforworse is by Dubawi, the triple Group One winner who sired 22 southern hemisphere bred stakes winners (six of those at Group One level) despite standing only three years in the Hunter Valley.

Dubawi is of course a world wide sensation, the sire of 183 stakes winners with progeny earnings in excess of $223 million. And he is already making his mark as a broodmare sire with 22 stakes winners including the Group One gallopers Dream Castle and Blair House.

Forbetterforworse (who paid a return visit to Charm Spirit last spring) is out of the stakes winning Hennessy mare For The Good Times, also dam of the dual Group Three winning sprinter Fast ‘N’ Rocking and the Listed winner Good ‘N’ Fast.

This is a strong Australian family that has been producing tough and sound stakes winners for generations, its members including the Group One gallopers Shiva’s Revenge and Just Now and the Group winners Close Your Eyes, Bernalla, Tellson, Scenic Warrior, World Fortune, Champagne Boom, Heaven’s Riches and Charmview.

Due to make his debut at an affordable $5,500, Scorpz is perfectly placed at Platinum Thoroughbreds VIctoria where Rene Hoefchen and Sarah Pfeiffer will work hard to ensure his success, also keen to expand on the spelling and broodmare services sides of their business – noting that they are in such close proximity to some of the best stud farms in Victoria.

For further information contact Platinum Thoroughbreds Victoria on 0417 573 661 or info@platinumthoroughbredsvictoria.com or visit us online at: https://www.platinumthoroughbredsvictoria.com/


Above: Ilovemyself winning the Listed Festival Stakes (1000m) at Flemington

Greg Eurell’s spring stocks have taken a hit following news that emerging colt Ilovemyself has been sold to Hong Kong interests.

The son of Ilovethiscity burst onto the scene with a debut win in the Listed Festival Stakes (1000m) at Flemington in February before encountering a wet track when a beaten favourite in the Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) in Sydney.

A disappointed Eurell confirmed the sale on Tuesday and said the pain was compounded by his belief that the rising three-year-old could have stamped himself as a Group 1 star during the spring.

“It’s very disappointing because I thought he was a really promising horse,” Eurell said.

“When he first won at Flemington we had a lot of interest in him but Neville (Murdoch, owner) deflected most of that.

“After Sydney he went to the paddock and we had no interest in him at all but then he came back into work and for whatever reason, it just started to generate again.

“Understandably, the offer was too good to refuse.

“He’d been back in work for six and seven weeks and he was going terrific.

“He’d grown and developed and he was just an outstanding-looking individual.”

It is understood the galloper will join the stable of Casper Fownes when he arrives in Hong Kong.

Eurell is hoping another of his Ilovethiscity two-year-olds, unbeaten gelding Ilovethegame, can ease the pain somewhat when he tackles the $110,000 2YO Sprint Series Final at Flemington (1200m) on Saturday.

While he admitted the youngster wasn’t quite at the same level as his former stablemate, Eurell is optimistic Ilovethegame can win on Saturday.

“I’m really happy with his horse, he came out of his first start fantastic and he certainly derived a lot of benefit from it,” he said.

“He’s just generally a really nice horse this bloke.

“I’m sure on Saturday that he’ll run well but I think he might have some big shoes to fill.”

Article courtesy of Racing.com

Above: Impending standing at Darley’s Northwood Park, Victoria

With the first crop by Darley’s Impending about to become yearlings, expectations are high from breeders on how the market will assess his progeny, 15 of which are catalogued to go under the hammer at July’s weanling sales.

As a multiple Group 1-winning son of champion sire Lonhro and Group 1-winner Mnemosyne (Encosta De Lago), Impending always had all the credentials to be a top-level commercial stallion and Darley’s decision to stand him at Northwood Park in Victoria has paid dividends.

He served 186 mares in his first season, while his 175 services last year made him the third most popular stallion in the state. Many breeders returned their mares for a second season off the back of foal quality.

Impending has certainly been given every chance to succeed, with 17 per cent of that first book of mares either stakes winners or stakes producers, highlighted by multiple Group 1-winner Jameka (Myboycharlie {Ire}).

That colt, bred by a partnership headed by Jameka’s owner Colin McKenna, has been making an impression at Gilgai Farm, having been foaled at Cressfield. As the first foal of a triple Group 1-winner, he is certain to be keenly followed.

Above: Impending x Jameka (Colt)

“He’s nice, he’s rated by both sales companies as the best foal on this farm,” Gilgai Farm Manager Kelly Skillecorn said.

“He came to us just before Christmas and since then he’s been uncomplicated.

“He’s very much in the mould of his mum as a yearling, and her brother that was here last year.”

Another star mating for Impending in that first season was with the dam of a mare he shared a terrific racetrack rivalry with.

Impending’s victory in the 2017 G1 Stradbroke H. came over In Her Time (Time Thief), and he would be mated with her dam, Hell It’s Hot (Zeditave), who not only produced the dual Group 1 winner, but is the half-sister to the dam of The Everest winner Yes Yes Yes.

The Impending x Hell It’s Hot colt is now at Kanangra, under the eye of principal Fred Moses, who is very happy with his progress, despite a slight setback recently.

Above: Impending x Hell It’s Hot (Colt)

“He’s a very nice looking colt. I’m quietly excited about him. In this game, you can never be assured but he’s certainly developing in all the right ways,” Moses said.

“He had a little bit of an issue, but he seems to have got over that. We had him x-rayed and given time, he looks to be improving all the time.”

“He’s a very nice looking colt. I’m quietly excited about him.” – Fred Moses

What has struck Moses about the Impending colt, is his cool demeanour, something which he believes will help him fulfil his potential going forward.

“He’s a very good natured horse. He’s very easy to handle. Godolphin were out here maybe a month ago and they took some shots and video of him. There were horses galloping all around him and he didn’t even worry about them. He’s got a lovely temperament,” he said.

While the sire has made a mark, Moses said Hell It’s Hot has also had her say in the foal, much as she has with her other produce.

“The dam generally throws to herself quite strongly and they have all been very good types.”

Moses said a decision hasn’t been made on whether the colt will go through the sales ring, with the desire to retain him as a stallion prospect, given his physical characteristics and burgeoning pedigree, growing.

Moses sent Hell It’s Hot back to Victoria to Impending last year, but due to no fault of the stallion, she failed to get in foal, and was eventually remated with a cover to Pariah.

Quality makes its mark

Cornerstone Stud in South Australia was one of those to support Impending in his first season and the result of that support is two first crop foals, including a filly by multiple stakes-winner Lovemelikearock (Fastnet Rock).

Above: Lovemelikearock when racing

She may be the eighth foal from the mare, but she has left an impression on Cornerstone Stud Bloodstock Manager Sam Pritchard-Gordon

“One of our better foals on the farm is out of a mare called Lovemelikerock, who is a Group winning Fastnet Rock mare. She probably hasn’t lived up to expectations up until now, but this is the best foal that she has thrown. She’s a bit of a belter,” he said.

“This is the best foal that she has thrown. She’s a bit of a belter.” – Sam Pritchard-Gordon

Both of the foals at Cornerstone have similar colouring to their sire and are following displaying similar physical development.

“They are certainly looking well and there is a bit of similarity. Both of ours are bay. They have size and substance and good bone. They are correct and good moving horses,” he said.

“Off the back of that, we have booked mares back to him in the belief that he will be well received at the yearling sales.”

Filly making quick progress

Mornington Peninsula-based Merricks Station opted to take breeding rights in the Darley stallion from the outset. Its early faith has been rewarded by a filly out of Listed winner Military Reign(Universal Ruler), which while she didn’t arrive until late in the season, has not wasted time in her development.

“The Impending filly is an absolute cracker. She’s a bit of a late foal, but she is just as strong and forward as my other foals. I’m really, really pleased with her,” Merricks Station Farm Manager, Dee Gess-Jones, said.

“The Impending filly is an absolute cracker. She’s a bit of a late foal, but she is just as strong and forward as my other foals. I’m really, really pleased with her.” – Dee Gess-Jones

“For a November foal, she is well and truly forward and a real running type.”

The colouring of her sire has not come through to the Military Reign filly, but there are a couple of other characteristics which Gess-Jones does see.

“She’s a chestnut, so she’s different in that regard, but having seen other Impendings, they do seem to have that really strong hindquarter, like he did. This one is like her Mum as well. It’s hard to say she’s the image of her dad, when she is a baldy faced chestnut filly!”

So impressed are Gess-Jones and Merricks Station owner Ben Cooper with the filly, they will retain her to race.

“It would be interesting to see her go through the sales, but we are just so impressed with her, That’s what we want, is nice fillies like her that are well bred and she ticks all those boxes,” she said.

Breeders backing first crop

Damian Gleeson has a couple of Impending’s first-crop fillies on his Phoenix Broodmare Farm, including one out of Stratum mare Melaleuca, who is set to go through the Magic Millions Gold Coast National Weanling Sale next month.

Catalogued as Lot 869, she is out of a half-sister to Group 3-winner Rialya (Kempinsky).

The other filly is out of the Fastnet Rock mare Blume, the half-sister to Listed winner Fullazz(Redoute’s Choice), who is the dam of Group 1-winner D’Argento.

It shouldn’t surprise with that influence on her dam’s side that the Impending filly is grey, but Gleeson said she carried a few hallmarks of her sire as well.

“The Blume filly is a lovely type of foal, good strong sort of a filly,” he said.

“She throws to the dam a bit, because she is a good big strong mare and she has the grey markings and colouring of the mare, but he’s a good type of stallion himself and he looks to be throwing good types.”

“He’s a good type of stallion himself and he looks to be throwing good types.” – Damian Gleeson

Gleeson said that Victorian breeders had been returning good reports on the first crop of the stallion.

“They have got considerable scope to grow into nice yearlings,” he said. “He was a good horse himself, a dual Group 1 winner and he’s an emerging horse, and so he is ticking a lot of boxes for a lot of breeders given what they have seen from his first crop.”

Ready to make a sales impact

That positive first impact, combined with eligibility of his progeny for the rich VOBIS bonuses on offer in Victoria, should create considerable demand for his progeny at next year’s yearling sales, according to Pritchard-Gordon.

“I think there’s no doubt about that. He’s a Victorian stallion, and the VOBIS scheme is always well received. I feel that he is one of the better stallions on offer in Victoria,” he said.

Gess-Jones said that Merricks Station has no reason not to continue supporting Impending going forward, and she feels he represents a great opportunity for breeders in the state.

“We’ve got two in foal to Impending this year and have another two booked that we will take this year. We really like him and we are a breeding rights holder in the horse. We really wanted to back Victorian horses and we are really happy to have done that with him,” she said.

“It’s nice to get those commercial horses down here and we want to look after them and keep them.”

Article courtesy of Bren O’Brien TDN

Above: Fighting Sun

FIGHTING SUN, a Champion Victorian First Season Sire, has died at Sun Stud following an attack of colic.

An unbeaten 2YO with Gai Waterhouse and one-time favourite for the Golden Slipper, FIGHTING SUN retired to Sun Stud in 2014 and has gone on to cover 730 mares.

Represented this season by stakes horse and recent Flemington winner, Roccabascerana (a winner on debut at two by 7 lengths), FIGHTING SUN’s 2YOs include Entrapped, Celestial Sol, Flinders River and the McEvoy trained, Toyz on Fire.

By the speed source, Northern Meteor, FIGHTING SUN been hugely popular with broodmare owners and, in particular, the Sun Stud team which is devastated at the loss.

“From the first day he arrived on the farm as a 2YO – after being robbed of his chance at winning a Golden Slipper – it was hard not to have a soft spot for the horse … he was just so good to handle,” Sun Stud’s Operations Manager, David Grant, points out. “He was the ‘go to’ stallion for the new and less experienced stallion staff, to help build their confidence. Fighting Sun had such a kind nature and was always easy to serve mares with.

“It’s been 17 years since we lost a stallion on the property, so we are all in shock and are extremely saddened by his passing.

“One thing is for sure, the stallion barn will not be the same without him!”
Sun Stud’s Stallion Manager, Amir Khan, shares the sentiments of all at Sun Stud:

“Talk about a gentle giant … he was the most loved stallion in the barn, a real gentleman and I can tell you he will be sorely missed.”

With his largest crop of 2YOs to commence racing in 2020/21 and some outstanding yearlings to be offered next year, FIGHTING SUN’s legacy is bound to continue in years to come.

Yulong is launching a two-pronged attack as it approaches the latest round of sales.

After supporting some online sales, Yulong is looking forward to some ‘live’ action with their horses to go under the hammer in round two of the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale at Sydney’s Riverside Stables on July 5.

And they will follow up four days later at the relocated Great Southern Yearling Sale, also at Riverside Stables, when they will offer 14 weanlings.

Yulong’s Sam Fairgray said the stud would again offer a high quality of horses at both sales.

As an added bonus caused by the cancellation of live auctions, all of Yulong’s yearlings, except one, have the advantage of being broken in and ready to go to trainers in a bid to speed up the process.

Fairgray said the 14 yearlings on offer on July 5 were withdrawn out of the main Easter sale because the COVID-19 which prevented anyone from being able to inspect them.

“We are offering them now and we sent them all to be broken in and only Lot 34 (Zoustar/River Drift colt) has not been fully broken,” Fairgray said.

“We have got some really nice horses there and probably the pick of then is Lot 85, a I Am Invincible colt out of Gypsy Diamond.

“He is just a smashing looking horse with a great temperament and is a great mover, so he’ll be very popular at the sale.

“We have got three fillies by Frankel and two colts and all of them are nice horses. Lot 6, a Frankel/Lake Hamana filly, is very forward and big and strong for a Frankel, you’d think she may come a fraction earlier.”

Fairgray said Lot 90, the Frankel/Hersigh filly, didn’t look initially to be an early type but really impressed the breaker who mentioned she was a lot more forward than anticipated.

He said a Pierro filly out of Redoute’s Choice mare, Albaicin, would hopefully be another success story of the cross.

“That cross has been fantastic and is something like 28 per cent stakes performers to runners with that Pierro out Redoute’s Choice mares,” Fairgray said.

“Frankel is running at something like 27 per cent of stakes horses to runners.”

Fairgray said Yulong’s whole yearling draft was by proven stallions out of really good broodmare sires, such as Shamardal, Zabeel, Savabeel, Dubawi and Hussonet.

Yulong said there was a good mix of desirable sires in the draft of weanlings being offered in the Great Southern Sale.

He said Lot 665 was a nice Sebring foal, the first out of So Foxy (Foxwedge/Apparel), while Lot 673, a Zoustar colt out of Starlike, was also a good type.

Fairgray said Lot 569 was a big, strong filly by Rich Enuff, out of Madam Delponte, which was sure to have her admirers, along with a Toronado filly which is out of a Fastnet Rock, mare Wujimu.

He said Yulong had 130 weanlings on the farm and it was decided to sell some weanlings and take others through to the yearling stage.

Fairgray said he was confident buyers would find some quality racehorses from both of Yulong’s weanling and yearlings drafts.

Sam said with the weanling sale being live, it was a huge advantage for buyers to have the horses in front of them but concedes the online auctions, which featured videos of the horses had gone well.

Chase Award (NZ) ridden by John Allen wins the Global Turf Class 1 Handicap at Sportsbet-Ballarat Racecourse. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Kyneton trainer George Osborne can’t exactly remember what he paid for the colt by Shamus Award, of out Miss Bernardini.

Osborne bought the horse in an online auction for one of his major owners, Alex Babauskis, but also took out a little slice of the ownership.

The now four year-old, named Chase Award (NZ), bought up his second win in a class 1 at Ballarat on Sunday, but Osborne believes there are better races ahead for the gelding which has also had one second and two thirds from his seven starts.”

“I race him with Alex,” Osborne said.

“I know this sounds stupid but I can’t remember exactly what I paid for him but it was pretty cheap – $9,000 or $8,000 – something like that.”

Osborne said that when he bought Chase Award as a colt he was surprised at the condition he arrived in but as he turned out he admitted it was just probably “him.”

“I think they just thought he was immature and he certainly appeared that way on type but he is fine,” he said.

“I haven’t had that many Shamus Award’s but I have taken on board what happens and see a few around the places when I go to the races all the time and they are not dissimilar.”

Osborne got Chase Award from an online auction as a late two-year-old that had already been broken in.

He said the intriguing part of what got him interested in the colt was that his dam Miss Bernardini was obviously highly thought of by Chase Award’s breeders – Sean Buckley’s Ultra Thoroughbred Racing.

“They thought enough of the mare to send her to New Zealand to Savabeel and I thought, hang on, what’s going on here, he said.

“They must have thought a fair bit of the mare to do that and I thought it sounded all right.”

At the time Buckley’s farm in New South Wales was under severe drought which eventually led to moving his broodmares and other horses to his Victorian property. A second property was also acquired at Kilmore.

“I think a lot of those horses were moved to Kilmore and they were inundated with horses. I think they just had to get rid of whatever they could online,” Osborne said.

“So it was a combination of those things.”

Osborne said they had purchased Chase Award before Shamus Award’s Mr Quickie started to establish himself as a serious horse, winning four races in succession and then going on to win the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm in May of last year.

“That really ignited Shamus Award,” he said.

Osborne said he mainly concentrates on the sales, rather than breeding, to buy the secondary yearlings.

“But I do have a couple of owners who breed quite heavily,” he said.

“The other one I have by Shamus Award was bought as a weanling and we let her our grow out at Glenfern Park and sent her to James Wardeiner (Ballarat) to break in. He has been breaking horses in for me for a long time, and he put it up with some of the best ones we have had over the years.”

Osborne said if the forensic pencil was put over Chase Award’s runs, he said he’d gone home with an excuse at every race this preparation before his win on the synthetic at Ballarat on Sunday.

“He tries his little heart out,” Osborne said.

“His record is improving all the time. He hasn’t had much luck this preparation but got it at Ballart in a limited field and got the right ride and that made up for a little bit of it.”

“I actually have another one is only a yearling which I bought as a weanling and I love him and he is already showing promise as a young horse and he should be OK.

“The breed themselves are bread and butter and they just turn up and win races every day. They are good horses.

“Little Chase Award will mope around and come race day, and even trial day, he just really lifts his game and gives everything.

“He doesn’t do much on the track at home and doesn’t have to but now that I know where he is at, I don’t really need to see it any way.

“But I have had a few over the years that have been pretty handy horses and they save it all for race day and don’t give you much indication around the place.

“He is a very hard horse to read around the stables whether all is well with him because he mopes around and he doesn’t spell very well. We spelled him during his win at Echuca and this preparation and he certainly didn’t put any condition on and probably ran around too much.”

He said when it comes to buying it’s a case of groundhog days as he and his team go through every catalogue and the first preference is on type, followed by good breeding and then it’s a help if  the hype or popular stallions are at a cheaper price as the easiest ones to attract owners.

“It’s as combination of the three, but at the end of the day type wins every time for us because we purchase at the bottom level price wise,” Osborne said.

“VOBIS is absolutely great and all those things gets ticked off and every year we spend two months on the road going everywhere from Perth to Tasmania to Adelaide and that’s what we do to pick up eight or nine or ten and it’s been a successful way to do it for a long time.”

Osborne said he has 60 horses in work at his Kyneton stables and a few at the pre-trainers and normally has about 100 on the books.

After moving from Queensland to Kyneton about 12 years ago, Osborne said it was the best move he’d ever made he gave a glowing endorsement of Victorian racing.

The Cox Plate winning Shamus Award (Snitzel/Sunset Express) now stands at Rosemont Stud.

Above: Atomic standing at Claremont Thoroughbreds

Bargain priced stallion Atomic continues to give his supporters plenty of bang for their buck.

Standing at just $2,200 at Greg Daffy’s Western District property -Claremont Thoroughbreds – Atomic produced another winner on the weekend when Muntham Missile made it two wins in succession with a victory at Bordertown after winning at Mount Gambier.

It was the mare’s fifth win from 17 starts.

The Daffy trained Chortomic ran fourth, beaten just 1.5 lengths, over 1600m at Caulfield on Saturday.

Daffy said Atomic’s progeny were performing well.

“He also had a couple of runners in Adelaide and they were first-up from a spell and they look like they are back for a good prep,” he said.

“I am really, really pleased with them. There is another little mare of mine, Bombshell Belle (trained by Symon Wilde at Warrnambool) and she has won three from seven now.

“We haven’t jacked up Atomic’s price or done anything silly and he is still at the $2000, plus GST and he should get plenty of mares again.”

Atomic (Commands/Fluffy Duck) covered 23 mares last season and Daffy admits he would have liked more. He served 27 the previous year and his most productive year was in his second season in 2013 when he covered 59 mares.

“Last year wasn’t too bad but I think this year he’ll go even better,” Daffy said.

“There are a couple of good ones around. There is a horse called The Last Napoleon and he raced at Flemington the other week and he went pretty well.

“He is starting to get those few more city runners now and I think that’s going to make the big difference to him.”

Atomic was trained to victory by Lee Freedman in the Listed Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) on debut at Sandown in February 2011. Unfortunately, he broke down at his next start in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes won by Sepoy.

A $205,000 purchase at the 20910 Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Daffy paid $5,500 for Atomic at the 2012 Great Southern Bloodstock Sale.

Asked whether he thought some people might dismiss Atomic because of his modest service fee, Daffy said: “Possibly, but at the end of the day we have had a clientele of owner/breeders and they have sort of supported us early with the other old horses we had, Musee D’Orsay and Green Perfume.

“The reason we had this affiliation with them was because they could breed a cheap horse. I have always said they need to be able to breed them cheaper than they can go to the weanling sales and buy them.

“The weanling sales have really dictated to the owner/breeder and with our stallions we have had to make sure that it is still affordable or otherwise people would just pull up stumps and go to the weanling sales and buy a cheap weanling won’t they?”

Daffy said the key to Atomic getting perhaps the support he deserved was to have more city runners and runners.

He said that’s what people want to see in a stallion.

“He is getting a few of those now and I think he has had five or six city runners in the past week and a half,” Daffy said.

“That makes a lot of difference.

“I had one, Costa Bomb,  which finished second up the straight at Flemington and won at Sandown and she was perhaps a little bit unlucky that she did not go on to nearly listed grade.

“But she had a few things go wrong, if we can get that type of horse to come through, we should be all right.”

Costa Bomb was Atomic’s first winner.

Daffy said they had also purchased five year-old Royal Symphony (Domesday/Naturalist), a dual listed winner who had his last run in November. He will stand at $4,500, plus GST.

“He was just a horse that became available and I had the Danehill horse, Musee D’Orsay and then the Commands horse and so obviously more Danehill again, so we were really looking for something good, away from the Danehill.

“As I said a lot of our clients had been down that path and we needed the next one and when Royal Symphony became available it became pretty obvious on pedigree, plus his race record was just exceptional.

“It was a pretty easy fit-up.”

He said with the two stallions, he expects it to be a busy spring.

Daffy, who paid $42,500 for Royal Symphony at the Inglis Digital Sale in January, expects his newest stallion to get plenty of support.

“He’ll be really heavily supported and he is a well-known horse and he is going to be popular,” he said.

“Both stallions should be able to complement each other really well and one is a little bit cheaper than the other and one with the race record and one has the score on the board so to speak.

“So hopefully it works out.”

Daffy said he had mares by his stallions that he was looking to send out last season but found it difficult to find what he was after.

He said they had about 200 horses on their 520 hectare property at Balmoral, about 80 kilometres south-west of Horsham.

Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm’s James O’Brien admits that when it comes to selling their horses, things will be done much differently this year.

O’Brien said that Lauriston will be going “all in”. The farm’s entire 2019 draft will go under the hammer as weanlings in the supplementary catalogue at the 2020 Australian Weanling Sale at Inglis’ Sydney Riverside Stables on Thursday, July 9.

With the recent passing of Lauriston’s founder, Kevin O’Brien who was a popular breeder, owner and former Melbourne Racing Club committeeman, O’Brien said it was now a time of consolidation and restructuring to see where that takes them.

The Lauriston draft is outstanding and one that O’Brien’s late father would have been extremely proud of during these tough times with COVID-19.

O’Brien said the strategy this year might surprise some people.

“We will offer our full draft as weanlings,” O’Brien said

“So we are all in – it’s our entire 2019 foal crop.

“We regularly attend the yearling sales, but this year we are presenting our 10 foals as weanlings into this sale.

“It is a little bit of a consolidation phase for us, but the horses themselves are really, really nice. – They are quality horses.”

Asked whether they would get yearling type prices for their weanlings, O’Brien said: “Being weanlings, I doubt it but I want to think we would.

“I think everyone is entitled to make money and the opportunity exists for someone to buy a weanling here and get a bit more at a yearling sale and good on them.

“I think the whole idea of selling weanlings is to leave a bit in the pie for someone else. They have to carry them for another nine months and that’s part of the deal.’’

When asked about his draft, O’Brien said he really liked the Spirit of Boom colt, out of Paramount. He is a half-brother to Epitum (Snitzel) who was bought by Hong Kong interests after winning three races – including the Group 3 Red Anchor Stakes at Moonee Valley – from seven starts.

“The Merchant Navy/Suite Annie is a standout as well and is a big chestnut,’’ O’Brien said.

“He is well conformed and nice and strong. Suite Annie (Hotel Grand/Action Annie) is a half-sister to Buffering (Mossman/Action Annie) who won a billion Group 1s (and more than $7 million in prize money). I am really rapt to be presenting him.”

Lauriston will also offer a filly by Not A Single Doubt out of Success Express mare Rhodamine which makes her a full sister to Legend of Condor who competed at black type level and won three races and $317,000 in prize money.

O’Brien said the filly also looks like a strong, early going type like her brother.

He said the farm’s Impending/Swiftly Red colt is from Impending’s first crop. The colt is a striking black type.

O’Brien is happy to be offering two fillies by So You Think (NZ) from mares, Write Cheek and Lake Mountain.

“The So You Think fillies seem to go really well and I think we have drawn a good card there as well,” he said.

“Write Cheek is out of a Written Tycoon mare. Her filly has been cheeky all her life and has got a bit of spunk and personality about her.

“Lake Mountain had Lake District Girl (Not A Single Doubt) which was third in the Blue Diamond lead-up, only to lose the place on protest to Seabrook, so she missed the black type. It would have made her page look a lot different – She was third over the line in a Group 2 but she hampered Seabrook to get there.”

Although Lauriston is offering a mature older draft of weanlings, their Frosted colt was born a little bit later – October 28 – than the others but is still an outstanding type.

“I think Frosted was a great get for Victoria and I can’t wait to see them hit the track,” O’Brien said.

“And the first foal out of Odelia (Exceed and Excel/Rapidement) is out of a super family and Deep Field is doing everything right.”

O’Brien said he was so proud of the draft commenting, “They all foaled at the farm and are eligible for VOBIS”.

Above: Danzero won the 1994 Golden Slipper

Rosemont’s flags will be lowered to half-mast and a fitting tribute will stand at the front of the office entrance to honour Danehill’s first ever stakes winner, Danzero, who passed away peacefully on the weekend at the Geelong farm. He was 28.

Danzero holds a special place in the history of the thoroughbred being the first stakes-winner and first G1 winner sired by the late great Danehill and then went on to a successful stud career himself.

A resident of Rosemont since his purchase from Arrowfield in 2011, he covered three seasons before fertility issues saw him retired from duties. But Rosemont principal Anthony Mithen says the striking stallion will hold a special place in the hearts of those at Rosemont.

“He was the first stallion to stand at Rosemont and was in fact the only stallion to stand at our original farm at Ceres.” Mithen said.

“He helped set in motion the stallion business for us and ultimately the purchase of Rosemont Gnarwarre from Tony Santic which is now home to our five-strong stallion roster.”

Danzero was a Golden Slipper hero in 1994 for the Freedman Brothers after being sold to a syndicate at the Magic Millions sale in 1993 by Arrowfield Stud.

“There is no doubt he is one of the finest stallions we have produced.” Arrowfield’s John Messara said when he relocated to Rosemont.

“He was bred by us, sold by us, bought back by us and was Danehill’s first Group One winner.”

Danzero’s six G1 winners are headed by Dance Hero who won 4xG1s – 3 at 2 – including the Golden Slipper giving Danzero the rare mantle of winning Australia’s greatest 2yo race and siring a winner of the world’s richest 2yo event as well.

“It is fair to say he changed the course of what we do at Rosemont. We had an itch to scratch and try the stallion game and he got us off the mark. While his fertility let him down, the horse didn’t disappoint us,” Mithen said.

“It was an honour to have him on the farm and he was revered by all that got to lean over his fence and give him a pat. He helped teach us the stallion game and was a true gentleman.”

Mithen was comforted by the fact that it appeared he went quickly at some time early Sunday morning, enjoying the domain of the paddock named in his honour.

“He has been in the best health for the nine years he’s been with us. He refused to be boxed at night. We built him his own expensive box before he arrived, only to learn he hated being cooped up and just wanted to spend his days and nights outside – rugged and roaming! I think he spent only three nights in that box ever!”

“Our longest serving employee Suzanne Mowat who has looked after him for the best part of a decade found him Sunday morning, resting peacefully. He will now be buried just outside his paddock. May he rest easy.”

Danzero sired 1042 runners for 669 individual winners, 68 stakes horses, 40 stakes winners including G1 winners Dance Hero, Niconero, Fairway, Danglissa, Danni Martine and Jymcarew. He is also the dam sire of 31 stakes winners and 5 G1 winners headed by emerging stallion Exosphere.

For more information contact Anthony Mithen on 0413 486767

Above: Queen Sweeper winning at Doomben

A narrow fifth, when beaten less than a length the start prior at Listed level, Kendrick Racing’s 2yo Rich Enuff filly Queen Sweeper highlighted her potential with an impressive win at Doomben to become the sixth individual winner so far this season for her sire.

Winning trainer Stuart Kendrick echoed the sentiments of many trainers who have progeny by Rich Enuff in their stable.

“She’s still a bit of a big kid but getting a win as a two-year-old is great for all involved and we’re pretty confident she’ll really flourish as a three-year-old.”
A narrow third at his only start at 2, it was at 3 that Rich Enuff really came into his own.

Rich Enuff recorded three consecutive Group and Listed victories at 3, stopping the clock at 1:08.13 – the fastest any 3YO colt has ever run over the famed Flemington ‘straight six’ this century, when winning the G2 Danehill Stakes, a race won in the past by G1 producing sires Sepoy and Fastnet Rock as well as the undefeated, World Champion Black Caviar.

Equalling the juvenile mark set by his Champion Victorian Sire Written Tycoon with six first crop winners, Rich Enuff could pass that figure in the coming days with a selection of runners nominated, including his Listed placed daughter Plutocrat as well as last Saturday’s winner Queen Sweeper both nominated for this Saturday’s upcoming Listed Tattersall’s Club Stakes at Eagle Farm.

Mount Pleasant wins the Group Two South African Nursery at Turffontein, South Africa (JC Photographics)

The success of Australian-bred gallopers in South Africa has been monumental in recent times, courtesy of luminaries such as Horse of the Year, Oh Susanna, Group One star, Whisky Baron and Shadwell Stud’s Champion 2YO, Soqrat (who finished second in Saturday night’s Group One Champions Challenge at Turffontein).

However, the real interest at Turffontein on Saturday – certainly from an Australian perspective – was the showdown between locally sourced 2YOs, Mount Pleasant and Najem Suhail, who both came into the Group Two South African Nursery over 1160m on the back of winning debuts.

Ultimately it would be Mount Pleasant who held sway over the very wayward Najem Suhail, with both being trained out of the all-powerful Mike de Kock yard.

Aside from their obvious proximity, stable and track-wise, both Mount Pleasant and Najem Suhail were bred in Victoria and both were sold at the 2019 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

However, there’s even more of a special connection for the ever prolific Makybe Racing and Breeding which not only bred the winner, but also bred the sire of the runnerup!

Mount Pleasant is by Vancouver, from the Fastnet Rock mare, Life In A Metro, while Najem Suhail is a son of Starspangledbanner, who was a star in every sense of the word, winning a Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and Oakleigh Plate (1100m) in Australia before heading to England where he made it four Group Ones after adding victories in the Golden Jubilee and July Cup.

Notably, Starspangledbanner – the sire of 12 stakes winners including Millisle, The Wow Signal and Home of the Brave – stands at Rosemont Stud, just down the road from Makybe’s boutique property at Gnarwarre.

Owned by Tony Santic, Makybe is of course best remembered for the deeds of Makybe Diva, the 3-time Melbourne Cup winner they bred and raced, Makybe Diva, while Najem Suhail’s breeder, Gilgai Farm, has carved its own corner of history as the source of racing immortal Black Caviar.

Yet, while Makybe’s domestic legacy is already assured via Makybe Diva, Starspangledbanner and the likes of Group One winner, Amicus, the farm has really made its presence felt on a global scale this season.

A recent inductee to Living Legends, the Makybe bred and sold Mr Stunning was Champion Griffin in Hong Kong, a world ranked sprinter throughout 2017 and 2018 before capping his marvelous career with a victory in April’s Chairman’s Sprint Prize at Sha Tin – his third Group One success in a career which yielded HK$61 million (A$11.5 million). Not bad for a horse sold for just $110,000 at 2013 Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale.

Then, just over a week ago, Makybe’s Lonhro 8YO, Jolly Banner – from a half sister to Makybe Diva – won the Group Three Premier Cup at Sha Tin and has banked A$2.7 million from his eight career successes.

“We’re pretty excited … that’s a Group One, Group Two and Group Three in the last three months,” Makybe’s Joe Murray enthused. “The way Mount Pleasant won in South Africa showed he clearly has considerable promise.

“I wasn’t surprised when Mount Pleasant ended up with Mike de Kock as he’d already trained the All Too Hard half brother, Belton Road.”

Offered through the Two Bays Farm draft, Mount Pleasant was knocked down to Form Bloodstock for $90,000.

Mount Pleasant hails from the first crop of Coolmore Australia’s, Vancouver, and while the colt is his first winner in South Africa, he’s also the initial stakes winner for the Medaglia d’Oro stallion who won the 2015 Golden Slipper.

Mount Pleasant, meanwhile, is from Life In A Metro, a winning half sister to Group One Oaks’ winners Abbey Marie and Absolutely, along with multiple stakes winner, Runaway.

Life In A Metro has had four to race for four winners, including last month’s stakes placed, Quantum Mechanic.

“Sadly, Life In A Metro died last year from a colic attack,” Murray reveals. “We sold her Snitzel colt for $170,000 at the Gold Coast in January and her colt by Sebring will likely head toward next year’s Melbourne Premier.”

Selling between 15 to 20 yearlings annually, Makybe has around 35 ‘active’ mares on farm with a number of ‘retirees’ to keep them company.

Among the latter group is Makybe Diva, who produced her final foal – her 10th – last November.

“The filly is by More Than Ready and it’s likely Makybe will retain her,” Murray explains. “She (Makybe Diva) is rising 22 and while she looks like a million bucks, she tends to put everything into her foals and it’s just too hard on her, so we decided to pull up stumps.

“Makybe Diva has a smart filly with Colin Little called Sublime Diva, while we sold the Written Tycoon yearling for $500,000 at the Gold Coast in January. We kept a share in the Written Tycoon … she’s probably Makybe Diva’s best yearling and really has that X factor about her.”

Murray also marvels at another of the mares owned by Santic.

“Gold Anthem is the mum of Starspangledbanner and she’s currently in foal to The Autumn Sun … this will be her 17th foal in a row!,” Murray adds. “We’ll be keeping her Snitzel filly from last spring, her Written Tycoon filly was sold to Sun Bloodstock for $400,000 at Easter in April and her Not a Single Doubt 2YO, The Waterman, is unraced but due to trial this Friday.

“He (The Waterman) has had a couple of setbacks but is with Tony and Calvin McEvoy and they have a huge opinion of him.”

It appears as if Makybe’s season still has some way to run.

Article courtesy of Aushorse