On a Caulfield day when the races were literally blown away, you could have almost missed a terrific Victorian breeding result.
Breeders and brothers Eddie and Carlo Deluise and good family friend Joe Panzera certainly got a thrill on Saturday when their homebred Saint Valorem (Ad Valorem) saluted the winning post.
The four-year-old gelding, trained by Pakenham based Cameron Templeton, was bred on their 86 acre Tallarook property, near Seymour.
“I’ve always rated Saint Valorem even though he’s only little, but he’s got a big ticker, and he tries hard. He showed his impressive turn of foot to come from last to first to win, he just flew down the outside,” said Templeton after the race.
Loyal breeders of the Victorian industry, the Deluises, Panzera, friends and family certainly deserved the win and enjoyed every minute only knowing too well the emotional roller coaster that breeding horses can bring.
Originally based in Malmsbury, the farm’s future foalings were shattered two years in a row as a result of every mare aborting due to a caterpillar found on their farm.
“It took two years before we found the culprit, we lost all the pregnancies, it was just devastating,” Eddie Deluise said.
Trading as the ‘Australian Thoroughbred Farm’ (ATF) they relocated, in the wake of the tragedy, to the Tallarook property six years ago. They currently breed around a dozen mares a year.
“Brett Howard from Randwick Bloodstock has been such a great help, a good friend and top advisor. We have been breeding with him for about 12 years, we met him at Coolmore and we wouldn’t still be breeding today without him.”
“He does all our matings and we are looking forward to the arrival of our foals including two from Three Bridges stallion, Unencumbered as my brother has a lifetime breeding right.
“A couple of mares will head back to Unencumbered this year…while two other mares match well to Woodside Park’s Cable Bay and another to Rich Enuff.”
Eddie purchased his first racehorse back in 1983, and since then has always owned a few before getting more involved in the breeding side of horses.
“It can be tough but there is nothing better than seeing one of your homebreds get up…Saturday was very special for everyone involved. My brother (Carlo) was unfortunately in America, but he got up to watch the win.”
ATF sells yearlings are prepared for the sales by Avenel’s Millford Thoroughbreds and have achieved some top results.
“Darren (Weir) bought a couple of our yearlings, and we now have a horse with him. He purchased the Your Song yearling filly out of Saint Valorem’s dam, Santenay for $100,000 with John Foote at this year’s Premier Sale. We can’t wait to see her hit the track,” Eddie said.
Perhaps thankfully, Saint Valorem was not put through the sales with Templeton picking him of the paddock.
“As soon as I laid eyes on him I knew he was something special and wanted to train him, Joe and Eddie stayed in the horse and then syndicated him among their friends and we also got some friends in,” Templeton said.
Refusing an offer of $400,000 from Hong Kong for the lightly raced four-year-old gelding last year, the Deluise brothers and co breeder Panzera are excited about the future and hope for many more successful days at the track.
Among other successful graduates of Tallarook’s ATF are Hong Kong winner Home Run, the Luke Oliver trained Princess Arrow and the city winning mare Northern Saint. Meanwhile Starcraft Prince is a multiple winner in South Africa having recently won at Turffontein.