Victorian breeders will be treated to a lavish buffet of new sires in the 2016 breeding season.
Not only is the quality high amongst this new generation of sires, but across this group is great diversity in pedigree, price and race track success.
If you are interested in talking to studs about these sires, please visit to the IRT Victorian Stallion Roster, which contains contact details.
Dandino – Bombora Downs
Bombora Downs has secured for the 2016 breeding season the internationally performed racehorse Dandino.
Dandino proved himself as one of the best 2400m horses of his time travelling to five different countries and running to an international rating of 115.
His highlight win came in the time honoured open age challenge, the Group Two Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket on Guineas Day, but it was in the Group One Caulfield Cup that Dandino exposed his brilliant turn of foot to Australian racing fans.
Having drawn a wide barrier, jockey Craig Williams had no other choice but to settle back in the field. Whilst the winner took advantage of a split in the field, Dandino went around the outside hitting the line at astonishing speed.
“Dandino had a great attitude and was one of the few horses that I have ridden that was able to accelerate from middle distance through to staying distances at the highest level,” Craig Williams said.
After a year off due to injury, he finished just a length away from winning the Group One VRC Turnbull Stakes followed by a dominating win in Group 3 VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“Dandino has a terrific temperament and the turn of foot he showed was fantastic, something you rarely see in a horse with his stamina,” Darren Weir said.
Dandino is a son of one of the world’s great sires in Dansili. Dansili himself is responsible for nineteen Group One winners. He is an emerging sire of sires through the deeds of Zoffany who was the Champion First Season Sire across the UK/Ireland in 2015.
“We feel the need to give breeders access to staying blood and felt from the moment we saw him Dandino is the right horse.” Christoph Breuchert, stud master at Bombora Downs, said.
Late Charge – Riverbank Farm
Not surprisingly Group One winning and producing sprinter Hard Spun has many fans amongst Victorian breeders, the former Darley shuttler proving a reliable source of winners.
And so it is time for a son of Hard Spun to stand in Victoria and Benalla’s Riverbank Farm have come to the fore with the talented Late Charge to make his debut at the Benalla stud this spring.
Described by Riverbank’s Russell Osborne as “a lovely athletic type with the attributes of his sire,” Late Charge has settled in well to the up-and-coming stallion farm.
“He has a fantastic temperament, he is super to handle and extremely well mannered,” Osborne enthused.
Late Charge made his debut at two at Echuca, winning by a very comfortable four and three quarter lengths.
A step up in class to a 1400 metre event at Flemington proved no difficulty for the youngster, with a winning margin of two and a half lengths the result.
He continued his good form as a three year old winning again at Flemington and Caulfield, securing a stakes placing and eventually winning the Listed Tontonan Stakes from a wide gate and covering extra ground.
“He did super well,” said his trainer Wendy Kelly whilst jockey Vlad Duric was also impressed, noting that “his class shone through.”
Retiring to stud as the winner of four of 13 starts and over $250,000 in stakes, Late Charge is described by Wendy Kelly as a horse who “had that little bit of something special, the x-factor that good horses need to have.”
Night of Thunder – Darley Northwood
Victorian breeders finally get the chance to access a son of one of the world’s very best sires in Dubawi.
Group 1 winning miler Night Of Thunder will take up stud duties at Darley Northwood this coming breeding season.
The son of Dubawi defeated one of the strongest fields in living memory for the 2014 English 2000 Guineas (1600 metres) when triumphing over subsequent classic winners Australia, The Grey Gatsby and Kingston Hill as well as top performers Kingman and Charm Spirit.
He went on to add a brilliant victory in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes last year. These top level wins followed an unbeaten two-year-old season.
Unsurprisingly, he was one of the most popular first season sires in the United Kingdom and Ireland during the 2016 Northern Hemisphere season covering more than 140 mares.
John Ferguson, bloodstock advisor to Sheikh Mohammed, said: “Night Of Thunder ticks every box as a potential stallion.”
“He was a horse with a marvellous attitude and temperament, and some of his work at home was exceptional. His race record speaks for itself. He was absolutely brilliant.”
“Being by Dubawi out of a Galileo mare, he has plenty going for him in his new role as a stallion. He is perfect for the job.”
Nostradamus – Rosemont Stud
Rosemont Stud has welcomed blue-blooded Nostradamus to their stallion barn.
The very handsome stallion is a sibling to Star Witness being out of the top quality producing (Group 3 winner) Leone Chiara.
It took a couple of attempts, but stud proprietor Anthony Mithen eventually secured the entire and he has some of Victoria’s very best breeders involved.
“He is an exquisite type that, in a period of just a few months since his race track retirement, has let down into a magnificent specimen,” Mithen said.
“He’s had his good looks working for him since he was sold as a $500,000 Easter yearling.”
By one of Australia’s white-hot sires, Medaglia d’Oro, Nostradamus won at Flemington as a juvenile and then went on to secure Group races at both three and four years old.
He raced amongst the best company, beating the likes of Group 1 winners Delectation, Wandjina, Stratum Star, Earthquake, Almalad, Bel Sprinter, Hallowed Crown, Malaguerra, The Quarterback, Super One and Flamberge.
Mithen, one of Victoria’s most enterprising stud operators, has secured support for Nostradamus from many of the state’s best breeders. These include Musk Creek Farm, Glentree, Princeton Thoroughbred Stud, Dorrington Farm, Saconi Thoroughbreds, Two Bays Farm, Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm, Hollylodge Thoroughbreds and Oakford Thoroughbreds among others.
This type of high class support bodes very well for Nostradamus and his commercial prospects.
Ready for Victory – Sun Stud
This coming breeding season, More Than Ready’s stakes winner Ready For Victory has been added to Sun Stud’s Victorian roster.
It is yet another quality addition to the Kerrie farm’s stallion line-up which has signed on Moshe, Fiorente and Squamosa in recent years.
“Ready For Victory was an explosive two-year-old who won a stakes race on debut – so well, in fact, (trainer) Mick Price suggested we put him straight into the Golden Slipper,” Sun Stud’s managing director Danielle Cheng said.
“He ran fourth (in the Slipper), but was very unlucky and Nick Hall believes the colt’s inexperience cost him the race.”
Racing on at three, he several times placed in top class group races including the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas but Price reckons racing fans never got to see the best of him.
“Sure, he was a terrific two-year-old and should have won the Slipper but he was always going to…mature into a versatile three and four year-old,” his trained Mick Price said.
“Unfortunately, he suffered an injury in the Caulfield Guineas and we just couldn’t get him right after that. I just hope he throws them with the same type and temperament because I will be lining up to get them.”
Rock Sturdy – Stockwell Thoroughbreds
Mike Becker wasn’t going to stand a stallion so soon after launching Stockwell Thoroughbreds, but he couldn’t let the chance slip when offered the Group 2 winning son of Fastnet Rock, Rock Sturdy.
“I guess old habits are hard to break,” Becker, a life member of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria and former President, conceded.
“But I found it impossible to pass up the opportunity when Gooree Stud asked me to stand him in Victoria.”
Rock Sturdy (Fastnet Rock – Tzu Hsi by Quest For Fame) was trained by Joe Pride and in his first prep won a Canterbury maiden on the way to a Group 3 placing in the Carbine Club Stakes.
In the following Spring Rock Sturdy scored on a Heavy 8 at Randwick over 1400m and then ran Group 1 winner Manawanui to a head in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Hcp. That was the prelude to a career-best victory a week later in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes over 1500m.
A serious suspensory injury put on hold his Group 1 campaign for that season, but he courageously returned to the track last year and finished third to Turn Me Loose in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington.
“That showed me what he was capable of at his best. He had a winning attitude and just found a way to get the job done,” Pride said.
Trust in a Gust – Swettenham Stud
A dual Group One winner in the Melbourne spring who raced out of Victoria’s most successful stable, Trust in a Gust has been retired to Swettenham Stud
It genuinely is a full circle for the hardy stallion having been foaled down at the Nagambie farm in 2010 (and sired by former resident son of Sunday Silence, Keep the Faith).
Trained by Darren Weir, Trust In A Gust became a poster boy for Melbourne’s spring when he first captured the Group 1 Rupert Clarke Stakes over 1400m and then the time-honoured Toorak Handicap over 1600m.
The Rupert Clarke, in particular, figures prominently as a ‘stallion maker’ with Encosta de Lago, Testa Rossa and Exceed And Excel all taking out the race – one which tests both speed and strength.
“I loved this horse’s courage: in a tight finish he was the one you wanted to be on. He’s sound, tough, the perfect sort of horse trainers are always looking for” his former trainer Darren Weir has commented.
It was in his three year-old season that he became the poster boy for VOBIS racing winning the VOBIS Gold Eureka, VOBIS Gold Star and the VOBIS Gold Carat at Caulfield.
Notably, he was also second in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Rush in his racing debut (as a two year old).
He is the most successful son of the popular Keep The Faith, a renowned source of precocious types. What’s more, his dam Subtle Breeze – by world champion sire, Storm Cat – is a three quarter relation to European Horse of the Year, Balanchine.