Rosemont aims to produce a nice product

Rosemont Stud’s operations manager Gerard Jones says the success of the stud at the recent Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria awards is a reflection of the need to produce what he describes as a nice product.

Jones believes that all studs want a “nice product’’ that will hopefully go on to be a successful racehorse.

Rosemont was recognised for its high level of excellence by dominating the TBV 2018/2019 breeder’s awards which culminated in the stud winning:

VOBIS Nominator of the Year


VOBIS Horse of the Year (Iconoclasm)

Breednet Champion Victorian Breeder

Jones accepted the awards, presented at the Inglis’ Oakland Junction complex, on behalf of the Gnarwarre-based stud’s principal Anthony Mithen who could not attend as he was hosting his son, Paddy’s wedding.

“It was good to be rewarded for all our hard work,” Jones said.

The stud amassed $793,000 in VOBIS earnings from its Super VOBIS nominated horses which Jones said was a nice amount of money to go back into the kitty which would be used to nominate more horses for VOBIS this year.

“You target the races that are VOBIS, especially when you have a horse like Iconoclasm that has won the VOBIS Gold Star two years in a row at the Valley,” Jones said.

Gerard Jones and Hannah Brewis of Rosemont Stud

“It is certainly good money. You can pick up an extra cheque for $30,000 in VOBIS in a maiden and it’s good coin.

“Some of those races offer an extra $80,000 VOBIS for a maiden winner and that’s why I think the trainers are targeting races for Victorian owned and raced horses. You can see it on the updates where the trainers says we can race on a Wednesday or we can go to a Thursday Kyneton meeting and race for double the money. You know which way to go.”

Rosemont Stud races or has shares in more than 100 horses and claimed the VOBIS owner of the year award by winning more than $329,000 in VOBIS money.

Iconoclasm, bred and part-owned by Rosemont Stud, won the Listed Weekend Hussler Stakes in October last year and then at his next start scored in the VOBIS Gold Star at The Valley.

Under new trainer Danny O’Brien, the son of Toorak Toff won first-up in the VOBIS Gold Sprint at Caulfield on Victorian Owners and Breeders Race Day in April this year and then in October scored back-to-back victories in the $150,00 VOBIS Gold Star at The Valley.

Iconoclasm won $262,000 in VOBIS money for the entire’s owners.

With Toorak Toff standing at Rosemont – he has since been relocated to Tasmania – Jones said the plan was always to keep the nicest of the multiple Group 1 winner’s progeny and Iconoclasm was a standout.

“You always hear it on the TV that he is the best presented in the yard,” Jones said.

“Jayne (Ivil) always has him as the pick of the yard because he is the most beautiful looking horse, conformation wise and has a great temperament. So he was always the one we picked out to race and he is out of good mare called Gold Lottey and she might have even been Encosta De Lago’s first ever winner. She was a good old mare for us.”

With five year-old Iconoclasm destined to be an in demand stallion when his racing days end, there’s no shortage of quality sires to join on Rosemont’s roster with Nostradamus, Shamus Award, Starcraft and Starspangledbanner.

Jones said Shamus Award has been magnificent for the stud  and has been well supported at his first season at Rosemont for a fee of $11,000         .

“I can only see his service fee going up and he has been well supported by Victorian breeders,” he said.

“Hopefully in a couple of years when his service fee has gone up, the breeders that have got in on the low service are laughing when they go to the sales which would be nice.”

“We were lucky that we had Mr Quickie, by Shamus Award, in our stable and came out and won a Group 1 (Queensland Derby) after we knew Shamus was coming here so it helps. We are really excited about him in the autumn and he’s going back into pre-training at Mark Young’s this week.”

Former top Caulfield trainer Peter Moody, who is Rosemont’s racing manager, is also a part owner of Mr Quickie which is trained at Pakenham by Phillip Stokes.

Rosemont stud bred and owned Mr Quickie, which they sold but bought back into when Mithen’s brother-in-law, Nigel Austin who created the Cotton On retail empire, had a dream that the horse won the Cox Plate.

Iconoclasm ridden by John Allen wins the VOBIS Gold Star at Moonee Valley (Ross Holburt/Racing Photos)

Austin, who runs the Rosemont business with Mithen, insisted that they buy back as many shares as they could in Mr Quickie who has just ticked past the $1 million mark in prizemoney for his long list of owners.

The Cox Plate dream is still alive for Austin and when the four year-old gelding  aims in 2020 to repeat the feats of his sire that won the great race in 2013.

Rosemont stallion Starcraft is one of the leading sires in the rich Hong Kong racing industry which Jones says is strongly demonstrated as soon as they offer one of his colts for sale as the Asians line up and take a keen interest.

“He has been a very good old stallion for us and is covering 100 mares again this year and for a 19 year-old stallion, Victorian breeders have supported him again,” Jones said.

“Mainly all of support for our stallions is from Victorian breeders but I suppose if Shamus kicks, we’ll get more interest but it’s pretty much all Victorian.”

“With Shamus it will be pretty hard not to put up his service fee but we will see how the autumn goes and how Mr Quickie goes. At $11,000 he is sort of getting to that 170 to 180 mares this year when we were sort of thinking about 120.”

“It’s a huge number and he is just incredibly fertile which is a plus for him.”

Another Rosemont stallion, Starspangledbanner served 100 mares this season and was booked to leave Melbourne on Monday for his stud duties back in Ireland. Jones said the support for the Victorian stallion, which stands for $22,000, had come from many astute breeders, including Rick Jamieson, Woodside Park and Sally Watkins, who had sent one or two mares to him this season.

“He is probably doing better in Ireland than he is here,” Jones said.

“He had a Group 1 winning two year-old in Ireland this year. He served 120 over there last time.”

The stallion is owned by Coolmore, but Mithen has a small share in him.

Nostradamus is serving about 70 mares for his fourth year but hasn’t had a runner yet.

“We are certainly hearing enough good things about them,” Jones said.

“We have got a nice two year-old, Brooklyn Heat (Nostradamus) – that jumped out during the week with Jason Warren. She is a half-sister to our really good filly Brooklyn Hustle (Starspangledbanner). So she is one to follow and we are really excited about her, but is probably a prep away.

“And apparently Scotty Cameron has got a nice one which is good for a young trainer.”

Jones admits that Rosemont Stud is also taking its “good product’’ attitude to its other farms – pre-training at Lara and spelling at Ceres which has record numbers as it attracts new clients.

It’s little wonder that Rosemont finished the TBV ward’s night with the coveted Breednet Champion Victorian Breeder.