It’s an end of era when long-time breeder Eric Buttler offers six yearlings at Melbourne Premier.
Poor health has forced the 81-year-old to sell his Rangal Park Stud at Euroa.
He’ll move out of his 530-acre property, which has been sold to a local cattle breeder, at the end of June.
Buttler has been going to Melbourne Premier for the past 30 years, but says the time has come to look after himself.
Most of his mares will be sold and he’ll offer yearlings and weanlings at sales. Rangal Park also has four stallions, Soul Patch, Danerich, Boom Time and Cliff’s Edge.
Buttler plans to keep a couple of his mares.
“We’ll keep a couple more as boutique than a commercial operation,” he said.
“Rangal Park is in the process of going through its sale.
“I’m going to look after myself and that’s about the size of it. I’ll smell the roses and try and look after myself.
Buttler has been going to Melbourne Premier for 31 years.
“I’ll retain a couple of my broodmares to retain an interest but that’s about the size of it.
“My daughter, Michelle, has got a property at Lancefield so I’ll run them down there, apart from when I’ll send them to the studs to foal down and get in foal again.
“But in the off season my daughter will look after them and she has a nice little property.”
Buttler says he has a Savabeel to sell at the Easter Yearling Sale and some weanlings at the Great Southern Sale.
“And then after that we’ll hide in the corner somewhere,” Buttler said.
“But We are very pleased with the yearlings this year with what we’ve got going down there to Melbourne Premier,” Buttler said.
“We unfortunately had to withdraw the Brazen Beau filly (Lot 159) and didn’t have any other options as horses are horses as you know.”
Buttler is offering three colts by Tosen Stardom (JPN) and said he couldn’t be more pleased.
He said he had a high regard for the stallion.
“And what we’ve seen of him, we couldn’t be more impressed,” Buttler said.
“I haven’t seen any other by Tosen Stardom at any other stud so I sort of can’t compare them, but I am very pleased with them.”
The first Tosen Stardom colt to be offered for sale – Lot 318 – is out of Seven Year Itch (Keltrice x Love to Honour) and has had six foals to race for four winners.
Two of the winners – Ritch Itch (Danerich) and Scratchy Lass – are both Listed winners and were bred by Rangal Park Stud.
Scratchy Lass won 10 races and finished with $364,000 in prize money. Ritch Itch is still racing and the gelding has won three races and $269,395 in prize money.
“Of course the dam has thrown to stakes winners and in my opinion this is the nicest foal she’s thrown,” Buttler said.
And he’s also impressed with Tosen Stardom colt out of Aquada (Flying Spur x Freestyle) – Lot 489.
“Aquada is a very impressive mare and she carries that Flying Spur over a Snippets mare which is highly successful and she has The Astrologist out there running,” he said.
Also bred by Buttler, The Astrologist (Zoustar) has an imposing record of four wins, three seconds and two thirds for prize money of $406,140 from his 13 starts. The four-year-old gelding’s last win was three starts ago when he won the Victorian Gold Bullion at Pakenham in December.
Butler said The Astrologist appeared to be getting better with age and had a big future ahead of him.
The third Tosen Stardom colt – Lot 698 – is out of unraced Savabeel mare, Sav Royal (NZ) and this is our first foal. The second dam, Royal Sonata (Royal Academy) won six races, including the Listed WATC Jungle Dawn Classic (1400m).
Buttler said he liked Tosen Stardom (Deep Impact x Admire Kirameki) as racehorse and sent five mares to him.
“He was a Group 1 winner overseas and then came back her and did the job and from the five mares I sent him, I had five lovely colts and unfortunately I lost one up in the Hunter Valley and it left us with four and I’ve still got one at home which we will probably aim for Hong Kong.
“But I’ve put them in the sale and I believe they’ll be really commercial.”
Buttler said Lot 609, a filly by Magnus out of French Tang (Ne Coupez Pas x Watange Trice) is a racy type and gives him the impression that she’ll “ping pretty quick.”
“Ne Coupez Pas has done an outstanding job for the very few foals he’s had and our course he is the broodmare sire of Pippie.”
Buttler’s final yearling on offer – Lot 667 – is a colt by Irish stallion Ribchester (Iffraaj x Murarah) which stood for two seasons in Australia, 2018 and 2019, before returning to Ireland after serving a total of 116 mares for 62 live foals.
“He stood at Darley and they didn’t bring him back and there are only two by Ribchester in the sale,” he said.
“This colt is a very nice type. It’s a shame the stallion didn’t back, but you can’t change those things.
“You can’t discount any first season sire. You just don’t know where they are going to come from and I Am Invincible is a perfect example of that.”
The Ribchester colt is out of Mastercraftsman mare, Moorish (NZ) whose first foal, a two-year-old filly by Savabeel, is now in training with Mick Price.
The Buttler family will race the filly, Jade’s Mission, with Price who is also in the ownership after taking a “big slice” of her.