Three metropolitan winners in three states from three homebreds were the excellent numbers produced by Sun Stud on Saturday.
And to cap off a good weekend for the stud, a horse it bought as a yearling – which raced in Australia as Solo Sun but is now named Solo Heart won at Singapore on Sunday.
The weekend’s racing was also significant for Swettenham Stud stallion Toronado which had three-year-old gelding Shelby Cobra win on MacKinnon Stakes Day at Flemington. The three-year-old gelding won the Listed Springtime Stakes (1400) and now has two wins from three starts.
Another Toronado, Affair To Remember also won on Stakes Day, taking out the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) for Ballarat trainer Dan O’Sullivan.
Rosemont Stud’s Anthony Mithen and Nigel Austin also had another big weekend when Sneaky Five, a Fastnet Rock filly they purchased at Melbourne Premier this year, backed up from winning the Inglis Banner on debut at The Valley to win the rich Golden Gift Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday. The two year-old, a $305,000 purchase, has now won $883,000 from her two wins.
And for Sun Stud, two of Saturday’s winners – Power Scheme (Fiorente) and Gulf of Suez (the late Fighting Sun) were by Sun Stud stallions.
The other city winner, Fortress Command, is by the late Sebring, a stallion which the stud had a share in.
Four-year-old Power Scheme’s win over 1600m at Flemington on MacKinnon Stakes Day shot the gelding’s prizemoney just short of $500,000.
Fighting Sun two-year-old gelding Gulf of Suez made a winning debut over 1000m at Morphettville.
Fortress Command won at Rosehill over 1500m to give the four-year-old gelding his fourth win.
Sun Stud’s operations manager David Grant said it was nice to have three winners in different states.
“The two-year-old is a similar to a Fighting Sun gelding, Flinders River, which we had last year, and was a little bit light on pedigree and wasn’t perfectly conformed and didn’t really make a sale when he was a yearling,” he said.
“We were forced to race him and he ended up being our first two-year-old winner of last season. This guy has followed suit and was a lesser rated Fighting Sun who was gelded and passed in at the Adelaide Sale and we just sent him to Adrian Corboy who breaks in a few for myself and I was really happy with the job he’d done and this one got allocated to Ciaron Maher who Adrian breaks in for as well.”
Grant said both Power Scheme and his full brother Hawkshot, who now races in Hong Kong as Beauty Legacy, were two horses that liked the wide open spaces of Flemington.
“Being a stakes winning two-year-old, which we weren’t expecting from Fiorente, Power Scheme has now gone on and is really consistent. He won at Caulfield the start before and has had a really good prep and hopefully it is not finished yet.”
Grant said Fortress Command was a horse that Gerald Ryan always had a good opinion of and after a few setbacks was eventually gelded.
He said he was a horse that had found his form again and would go through his grades to see how far he could go.
Grant said Fortress Command’s dam Prairie Star was one of Sun Stud’s really good broodmares. She has got a Snitzel colt at foot and has been served this season by Exceed and Excel.
“We rate her in our top two or three mares,” he said.
“And the same with Rosa Perlato, the dam of Power Scheme. She is in the Hunter Valley at the moment and has had a Fiorente filly, a full sister to Power Scheme and Hawkshot. The mare is visiting Snitzel this year and is obviously being bred up a bit now that she has had two good horses and full sibling at foot.”
Sun Stud race about 60 horses and about half of the current team are two-year-olds.
Grant said Sun Stud’s aim was to produce future stallions from its stock of colts, but if they were not showing Stakes potential, they get their chance to continue racing as geldings.
Sun Stud will either then send some of the geldings to Desmond Koh or Lee Freedman in Singapore or they are sold online.
“We like to see the horses go onto win as people will come back and keep buying from us,” Grant said of the digital sales.
“They aren’t horses that haven’t got a future or have issues.”
Grant said Sun Stud wanted to develop their own stallions either with yearlings they bred or bought.
He said Fighting Sun (Northern Meteor x Irish Darling) was a perfect example as he was one of the first horse’s Sun Stud raced and definitely the first good one but his career was cut short by injury. He raced twice for two wins, including his last start victory in the Listed Canonbury Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill.
Grant said while Fighting Sun died in June from colic, the victory of Gulf of Suez was good for everyone Sun Stud.
Swettenham Stud’s Adam Sangster said it was good to see the highly sought after Toronado produce the goods at Flemington with Shelby Cobra and Affair To Remember.
“It was a big result,” Sangster said. “Shelby Cobra was a pin hook. Makybe Stud bred it and Maluka sold it as a yearling.
“The mother is actually online now with a full sister to Shelby Cobra on her. Arguably she should be unbeaten as she had the unluckiest she’ll ever see in her first run at Moonee Valley when she finished fourth.”
Sangster said the stud was happy to see Toronado get a Group 2 win with Affair To Remember.
“Just as Affair To Remember crossed the post, the dam St Trinians was in the covering shed and fingers crossed it will be a positive.”
Sangster said Affair To Remember was now an extremely valuable mare.
Affair To Remember was bred by South Australian David Peacock and trainer Dan O’Sullivan said big offers had already been rejected for the mare.
Depending on how the four-year-old recovers from last Saturday’s race, she’ll be set for the Ballarat Cup on Saturday, November 21.