The team at Romsey’s Springmount were cheering on a winner ‘over the ditch’ on the weekend with the farm-bred 3YO Aim Smart scoring in style at Ruakaka.

Always rated highly, but subject to injury niggles, the China Horse Club owned horse was having his first start for Cambridge trainer Lauren Brennan having previously been placed at Group 2 level as a 2YO.

He was bred at Springmount by the partnership of Ralph and Peta Zito. Joe and Rhonda Cichello and John and Diane Button (who also bred and race smart gelding Leodoro)

China Horse Club bought the Smart Missile gelding for $80,000 at the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the Springmount draft.

Springmount’s Michael Flannery was thrilled to see another farm product succeed particularly for such a prominent buyer.

“He was a nice, straightforward, correct colt, with plenty of bone that I remember could be a bit of a lad,” Flannery said.

“His dam, North Sea, has a very nice weanling filly on the farm by Statue Of Liberty and after having a year off last season, she will head for an early cover this spring.”

While her mate for 2018 hasn’t been decided on yet by breeder Ralph Zito, Flannery’s first thoughts are to look locally.

“Provided that the mating is commercially advantageous, we would prefer to keep the mare in Victoria and support those close to home when possible,” Flannery said.

“It makes good sense, as travel costs are down, stress on the mare and foal is kept to a minimum and they can enjoy Victoria’s lush, green pastures.”

Michael and Anna Flannery purchased the 150-acre Springmount – previously the Monterey Stud – in 2015, and are now entering their fourth breeding season,

Michael has over 40 years experience in the thoroughbred breeding industry, having started his career in his native Ireland. He worked at major studs in Europe before relocating to Australia to manage leading studs in Victoria and Western Australia prior to running his own farm in Harvey, Western Australia for nearly 20 years.

“We will be looking to foal down around 45 mares this season, with the earliest arrival date belonging to the brilliant race mare and Melbourne Cup runner-up, She’s Archie,” Flannery indicated.

Owned and raced by Horsham’s Dunn Family, she is expecting a Fiorente foal this spring

“Meanwhile Ralph Zito is expecting a foal by Darley’s Frosted out of Statue Of Liberty mare Miss Steele, also a Group winner,” Flannery said.

“We are running very close to capacity and looking forward to a busy breeding season ahead. We are fortunate that we have wonderful clients that we have built loyal relationships with over the years. It is lovely to have them, and we appreciate working with good people.”

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