With the influx of European bred stayers along with the hardy New Zealand bred types dominating Australian jumps racing of late, it hasn’t been easy for the locally bred types.
But the tables were turned significantly on Saturday at Sandown with two Victorian bred winners of the feature jumps races, the Australian Hurdle and Australian Steeplechase.
And both, the gelding Self Sense and the mare Don’t be Shy, look like they have extremely bright futures in their relatively new racing careers.
Australian Hurdle winner Self Sense (Street Sense) is a homebred for Mornington based trainer David Brideoake (notably, also a former member of the Australian show jumping team).
After winning the 2003 jumps premiership, Brideoake has focused on flat racing, but Self Sense has rekindled his love affair with “the sticks”.
“Self Sense is an iconic horse. The way he used to improve on the flat after a few schooling sessions over jumps was incredible, so we just continued using that tool, and now he has the ability to race competitively on the flat and over jumps,” Brideoake said.
Self Sense has collected close to $1 million in earnings having won eleven races including the Listed Ipswich and Kilmore Cups as well as last month’s $280,000 VOBIS Gold Heath. Brideoake says he still has the Brisbane Cup on the radar for his versatile galloper.
He is out of Brideoake’s reliable producer, Be My Person Personal Flag) who has foaled two stakes winners including Self Sense and Shylight, the Group 3 SAJC Auraria Stakes winner. The mare passed away in 2015, but left a 2015 foal now named Publican’s Choice, a son of Reset that is yet to race.
Meanwhile, Australian Steeplechase winner Don’t Be Shy is a product of Swan Hill’s North Star Park Thoroughbreds run by the Pinney family.
The Pinneys purchased her dam Celtic Courage in foal to Bradbury’s Luck for $16,000 at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale back in 2011.
Foaled down by Brian and Judy McKnight at Maldon’s Oakford Thoroughbred Farm, Deryn Pinney remembers Don’t be Shy as quite a big filly, leggy and rangy.
Don’t Be Shy was sold By North Star Park through the 2013 Inglis VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale for $22,0000 to her now trainer John Salanitri.
“Salanitri bought her hoping for an Oaks filly as her mum ran in an Oaks, but she turned out to be able to stay all day, so Salanitri schooled her over the jumps to see if he could pep her up,” Pinney said.
“It turned out she showed real talent and natural scope (over the jumps), so that’s the direction he headed in.”
Apart from the dominant style of Don’t Be Shy’s win on Saturday, it was even more meritorious considering it was her very first race over the big sticks.
“We retained a share in her as she’s a lovely looking mare, quite a character and has now developed a cult following. She just loves jumping and being in work and when you put her in the paddock she hangs out at the gate waiting to come back in,” Pinney said.
North Star Park will offer a weanling colt out of the feature race winner’s dam Celtic Courage at the Inglis Great Southern Sale. He is by Darley’s Night Of Thunder (Dubawi) and looks “more like a sprinter-miler” according to Pinney. Full details can be found at inglis.com.au.
“Celtic Courage is currently in foal to Magnus and this season we are thinking of heading to Darley’s Northwood Park for a date with Holler,” said Pinney.