Media are invited to Bendigo Jockey Club this Friday morning, 1 August, as Victorian Premier and Minister for Racing, The Hon. Dr Denis Napthine, celebrates the birthday of all thoroughbred horses.

As part of the event, Dr Napthine will make a significant announcement for the local community about the facilities available for owners at the Bendigo Jockey Club.

He will also make an announcement about Victoria’s two lucrative owners’ and breeders’ incentive schemes, Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold, as the 2014-15 racing season commences.

Media will hear from Racing Victoria (RV) Chief Executive, Bernard Saundry, about the significance of Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold and the state of the local thoroughbred racing industry.

There will be unique vision opportunities including an appearance by a VOBIS-eligible racehorse which will be presented a special birthday cake by the Premier together with students from White Hills Primary School.

The announcements come on August 1 which is the day set aside to celebrate the birthday of all thoroughbred horses in the southern hemisphere.

Filming, photo and interview opportunities available

WHAT: Horses’ birthday celebration together with owners’ facilities and VOBIS announcements

WHERE: Bendigo Jockey Club, Silks Room

WHEN: 10.15am, Friday, 1 August, 2014

Premier and Minister for Racing, The Hon. Dr Denis Napthine
Racing Victoria Chief Executive Bernard Saundry
Country Racing Victoria Director Neil McRae
Bendigo Jockey Club Chairman Brendan Drechsler
Bendigo Jockey Club Chief Executive Ian Hart
School children from White Hills Primary School
VOBIS-eligible racehorse
Local owners and breeders

Media Contact: Natasha Wade – Racing Victoria Communications Officer M: 0419 994 807 P: (03) 9258 4312

The last booking left to boom sire Starspangledbanner in 2014 will go up for auction at Inglis’ August Thoroughbred Sale at Oaklands Junction on Friday, August 22.

Inglis will auction 6 stallion nominations at this sale, they have been catalogued as Lots 79 to 84 and the proceeds will help support the Victorian breeding industry through Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria.

Rosemont Stud owner Anthony Mithen is looking forward to the Inglis auction following this Tweet:

‘’@Rosemont: The ONLY chance to get into STARSPANGLEDBANNER 2014 is to buy the nom up 4 grabs at Melb August sale #bookedout @vicbreeders’’

Lot 82 Starspangledbanner stands at Rosemont and he has hit the ground running at stud with Royal Ascot stakes winners The Wow Signal and Anthem Alexander among 6 winners from an initial northern crop of just 33 foals.

Starspangledbanner will shuttle to back to Ireland next year.

The following five stallion nominations have also been generously donated by their owners to TBV;

Lot 79 EQUIANO – Swettenham Stud

Dual Group 1 winner of the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot who is among Europe’s leading first-season sires this year. His initial southern yearlings starred at the 2014 Inglis Premier with a record breaking colt that sold for $420,000.

Lot 80 FIORENTE – Eliza Park International

German-bred winner of the G1 Melbourne Cup and G1 Australian Cup who also claimed the G2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at weight-for-age over 1600m. Son of champion sire Monsun – one of the world’s most successful stallions with 17% stakes winners to runners strike-rate.

Lot 81 HELMET – Darley Victoria

Group 1 winner of the ATC Sires Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes at two before returning at three to land the G1 Caulfield Guineas. By champion sire Exceed And Excel with his first yearlings available at the 2015 Melbourne Premier.

Lot 83 UNENCUMBERED – Three Bridges Thoroughbreds

Precocious Testa Rossa colt standing his first season at stud in 2014. Won five early-season juvenile races culminating in a brilliant victory as a pronounced favourite in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic.

Lot 84 WRITTEN TYCOON – Woodside Park Stud

Australia’s Champion first-season sire in 2010-11 and now firmly established as one of the best stallions in Victoria. Prolific sire of winners for earnings over $3.17 million in 2013-14.

Stallions set to stand their first season at stud in Victoria will be paraded at 10:00am include Fighting Sun, Fiorente, Marwingo, Polanski, Unencumbered, Unusual Suspect and War.

For further information please contact Ashleigh on 0439 328 310 or at

Retired Stakes winner Super Impressive one of three Off the Track thoroughbreds on show as Victoria Police open its Mounted Branch to the public

Few could dispute his courage on the racetrack but the post-racing deeds of former Lee Freedman-trained galloper Super Impressive have given new meaning to the term bravery.

The 18-year-old son of Zabeel is one of three Off the Track thoroughbreds currently serving a vital role in Victoria Police’s Mounted Branch, which will open its doors to the public as part of this weekend’s Open House Melbourne initiative.

It’s a career the multiple Stakes winner has excelled in since his retirement from racing in 2005 and Acting Sergeant of the South Melbourne Mounted Branch, Rachael Dunkinson, said he and the other thoroughbred members were valued members of the force.

“We currently have three ex-racehorses that are still performing operational duties,” Sergeant Dunkinson said.

“They have all kept their racing names; we’ve got Haripil, Noble Duty and probably the best known would be Super Impressive.

“The Thoroughbreds we currently have working are brave and sensible. They are very calm and not flighty.”

Super Impressive lived up to his name on the racetrack with his 50-start career for Hall of Fame horseman Freedman netting 11 wins and just shy of $800,000 in prizemoney for connections.

A dual winner of the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on Nerw Year’s Day, Super Impressive was also Group 1-placed in the 2003 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and the 2002 Railway Stakes (1200m), the latter in his native New Zealand.

His gentle temperament around the stable and on raceday was a hallmark of his racing days and a trait that made him, as well as 20-year-old veteran Haripil and ex-Anthony Cummings-trained Noble Duty, perfectly suited to a career on the beat.

Horses are required to meet a number of basic benchmarks before being considered for active duty, most notably being over 16.1hh, having a calm temperament and a good, sound conformation.

The trainability of thoroughbreds is another trait valued by Dunkinson who said other breeds, including Warmbloods, Strandardbreds and Clydesdale crosses, were also represented in the team of horses that range from six to 20 years of age.

Regardless of their history, Dunkinson said all horses complete an intensive trial period to assess their suitability to the role and their behaviour in different environments before being officially inducted into the force where they continue their education and development.

“Our training is extensive, and ongoing and even horses that have been here for 10 years are still constantly training to keep their skills and obedience at an optimum level,” Sergeant Dunkinson said.

“Horses undergo assessments at different levels of their training before they become an official troop horse and each phase is structured by performance rather than time.

“Each horse improves at a different rate and the training program here is followed diligently to create safe, happy and relaxed horses that do an exceptional job in any environment.”

While they are a common feature at major sporting and community events around Melbourne, members of the Mounted Branch are active on a daily basis to assist Victoria Police’s efforts to deliver a safe state.

“A general day will see the horses rostered to attend a deployment – whether that is public order management duties at a demonstration or a planned patrol in an area where we have been requested by local police,” Sergeant Dunkinson said.

“We also assist at searches, major sporting fixtures and community events.

“Most often, riders work with one horse at a time but this is not a strict rule as rostering, training sessions and deployment can often require changes.”

South Melbourne’s Dodds Street Mounted Branch will open its doors to the public between 10am and 4pm today and tomorrow as part of Open House Melbourne and racing fans will have the opportunity to meet Super Impressive, Haripil and Noble Duty.

Click here to watch a feature video on the Victoria Police Mounted Branch.
More information on the Open Days are available here.

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Glenelg Park has struck at Group 1 level for the first time with Harry’s Son in South Africa.  The Euroa-based nursery sold him for $60,000 at the 2013 Gold Coast Magic Millions.

Harry’s Son (2c Haradasun – Dash On Ruby by Anabaa) captured the G1 Premiers Champion Stakes (1600m) at Greyville on Saturday.  He had won on debut at Scottsville in January and followed up with Group 1 placings in the Golden Horseshoe and Gold Medallion.

“He has been unlucky,” trainer Paul Lafferty commented.  “But I think this proves he’s the best two year-old in the country.”

Glenelg Park’s first juvenile winner of this season was Moonlight Hussler (Hussonet) in the LR Debutant Stakes at Caulfield.  He cost David Hayes $42,500 at the 2013 Adelaide Magic Millions.

The highlight from Glenelg this year was a $190,000 Denman – Qualia yearling filly that has been exported to Japan.  She was sold to the Big Red Farm at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

Harry’s Son is the first Group 1 winner by former Coolmore Stud sire Haradasun who was transferred to Grangewilliam Stud in New Zealand earlier this year.  His dam Dash On Ruby won 6 races in Brisbane and her Rock Of Gibraltar 2yo Rock Of Arts won the Emperors Palace Ready to Run Cup at Turffontein last season.

Glenelg Park is a family owned business operated by Danny and Sarina Swain and is set on 220 acres among the Balmattum Hills near Euroa.

Swettenham stallions swept the pool of prizemoney and bonuses when Anfitriona defeated The Terricks in the VOBIS Gold Heath (1800m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Anfitriona (3f Host – Rambling River by Rubiton) overcame a wide run without cover to score a strong win in a race that was worth $180,000.  “That’s what it’s all about with a filly like this,” trainer Peter Moody said.  “It’s tremendous money and the only way they can earn more is winning black type.”

The Host filly held off a late challenge from the Robbie Griffiths-trained The Terricks (Kaphero).  And there’s a Swettenham connection through third placegetter Word of Mouth – his dam has a 2yo colt by Kaphero and a yearling filly by Equiano.

“Her form’s been good and she won well two starts back,” Moody explained.  “The other day at Sandown, she got hit with three or four big clods of dirt and was entitled to not want to hit the line.”

Anfitriona is from a half-sister to stakes winning sprinter Kulgrinda and was bred by David Moodie, Nick Psaltis & Adam Sangster.  Hancock Bloodstock bought her for $90,000 out of the Swettenham Stud draft at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

A Gosford maiden for Gerald Ryan last December, she was transferred to Moody’s stable to take advantage of VOBIS races earlier this year.

Swettenham Stud will stand Host (Chi) for an $8,800 (inc gst) service fee in 2014.

Street Boss filly Thiamandi stepped up in trip to record a dominant two length victory over Commands mare Gig in the G3 Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.

Thiamandi (3f Street Boss – Country Class by Woodborough) had never been tried over 1200m in her 16 starts to date and jockey Michael Rodd was mindful she needed a cosy run to run the distance right out.

“She was travelling sweetly behind them and she hadn’t done any work,” Rodd said.  “I didn’t think she was going to come out and win a Group 3 but she just had that soft run and that good acceleration.”

Thiamandi is the first Australian stakes winner, and the ninth overall, by Darley sire Street Boss (Street Cry).  Adelaide trainer Lloyd Kennewell had the option of a stakes race at Morphettville with her before deciding to go for the $150,000 on offer at Caulfield.

The winner was bred and sold by Tim Johnson’s Ealing Park at Oaklands.  Her NZ bred dam Country Classwho was stakes placed twice for Mike Moroney and she has a rising 2yo filly by Darley Victoria sire Reset.

Set to return to Darley Victoria in the next week, Street Boss has been represented by G1 winners Danza and Capo Bastone in the USA and will stand the forthcoming breeding season at Northwood Park in Victoria at a fee of $11,000 (inc gst).

It’s been a huge 24 hours for Eliza Park International’s glamour stallion, Wanted.

First War Point got the money at Geelong on Friday, while Winesearch got all the gold labels at Morphettville on Saturday.

Interestingly, both were first up after having previously had just the one outing:  War Point racing greenly in the Listed St Albans Stakes in March, while Winesearch’s layoff was even longer – his debut at Morphettville in January not without its moments.

Trained by Mick Price and handled superbly by Craig Newitt, War Point jumped from the widest gate and after claiming the lead in the straight, held on like granny’s tooth for a gutsy win.

Purchased for $220,000 at the Inglis Melbourne Premier from the draft of breeder, Kornong Stud Farm, War Point is out of the Secret Savings mare, Dushanbe, who has now produced Singapore Group winner Holy Empire and Fastnet Rock’s 4-time winner, Cape Clear, plus a full brother to War Point in October last year.

Unlike War Point, Winesearch had the rails barrier but appeared to dwell when they let them go.  He was momentarily held up for a run turning for home, but once clear, they weren’t going to catch her.

Winesearch is the out of the stakes winning Last Tycoon mare, Vestey, also dam of another stakes winner in Rutherford Eagle.

Tony McEvoy clearly has a lot of options with Winesearch who was bred by Vintage Bloodstock and also races in its colours.  And if you’re wondering about the name, Vintage Bloodstock is owned by Robert Hill-Smith, one of Australia’s pre-eminent wine makers.  Looks like he’s made another good one too!

Wanted (Fastnet Rock) won a Newmarket Hcp into a headwind at Flemington and Eliza Park International will stand him for $33,000 in 2014.

Equiano (Fr) was in the frame again with his precocious filly Somedaysrdiamonds at Lingfield’s evening meeting on Thursday.

Somedaysrdiamonds (2f Equiano – Good Health by Magic Ring) jumped straight into the bridle for Liam Jones and made every yard to defeat Lyfka (Kheleyf) and Loumarin (Bushranger) in the All New 32RedSport Nursery (1000m).

Loumarin started favourite after a last-start win over Somedaysrdiamonds but the Equiano filly reversed that result in the return bout.  “It was a nice run at Yarmouth last time,” trainer Stan Moore said.  “We have been very pleased with her.”

The Lambourn based filly (pictured as a yearling) is raced by Moore and Vic March.  She sold as a yearling for 14,000gns at the 2013 Tattersalls October Sale after her three-quarter brother Your Pal Tal (Dark Angel) won at Dundalk.

Equiano upgraded her pedigree – the last black-type in the family was Champion English 2YO Filly Airwave in 2002.

The Swettenham Stud shuttler is riding high with 6 winners on the GB first-season sires’ table.  He will stand for $16,500 (inc gst) this year on the back of some outstanding figures at the Inglis Melbourne Premier in March.

Equiano topped the first-season leader-board at Oaklands Junction with 15 yearlings averaging $105,200.  Top price was the $420,000 colt from Hidden Energy that was the highest price ever paid for a yearling by a freshman sire in Victoria.

“Equiano was already popular but Melbourne Premier has sparked an even higher level of interest in him,” Swettenham Stud owner Adam Sangster declared.  “Now he’s getting among the winners early in his first northern crop and there’s more on the way.”

Sangster said his English base Newsells Park is receiving positive reports from trainers ready to take the wraps off their Equiano youngsters in the second half of the flat season.

“He’s an exciting stallion for us with his first Super VOBIS two year-olds not far away,” Sangster said.  “We are always available to speak about mating plans and to discuss what deals are available to breeders.”

For further information contact:  Adam Sangster  (0418 543 633) or Chris Belli  (0417 514 552).

Inglis has catalogued 195 lots for the Melbourne August Sale on Friday, August 22.

Direct Charge (3c Charge Forward – Lady Of Choice by Redoute’s Choice) has been catalogued as a stallion prospect.  He was trained by Robbie Laing to win the G3 Maribyrnong Plate and he was also placed in the Inglis Classic at Rosehill.

Queensland Derby winner Sonntag was snapped up as tried horse from Darley at last year’s August Sale and they are set to offer another quality 23 lots at Oaklands.

Henry Dwyer picked out Sonntag from Darley’s draft for $58,000.  The three-year-old delivered the young trainer his first Group 1 victory only 10 months later when winning the $500,000 Queensland Derby.

“It is going to be another big August Sale with a first season stallion parade followed by the sale of broodmares, stallion nominations, yearlings and racing stock,” Inglis Director Peter Heagney said.  “All horse enthusiasts are welcome to Oaklands next month.”

Darley have 23 race fillies, colts and geldings to be sold as Lots 144 to 166.  They include Group 3 winner Proverb, stakes placed filly Sakitto and many other well performed, lightly raced or young unraced prospects.

Supplementary entries close Friday, August 15.

Former Larneuk Stud stallion Bramshaw has relocated to Bionic Lodge in Tasmania.

Bramshaw (Encosta de Lago) is an unraced half-brother to leading sires Commands and Danewin.  His oldest progeny are four year-olds and the first winner arrived in April 2012 when Shawly Coco claimed the Yellowglen 2YO Dash in Alice Springs.

In a deal brokered by Gavelhouse, Bramshaw will now stand at the Quarell family’s Bionic Lodge in Longford for a $2,200 (inc gst) fee.

Larneuk Stud added Mawingo (Ger) to its line-up this year.  The Euroa based property is already home to Ilovethiscity and O’Lonhro.

When a stallion dominates his peers as this one has it’s not luck and it’s not one good horse that has put him at the top of the tree.

Bel Esprit is on track to be crowned Victoria’s leading sire for the seventh year in a row and this season he’s done it with no help from his superstar daughter Black Caviar.

When a sire throws a horse such as Black Caviar it tends to overshadow all else and in the case of Bel Esprit, there are quite literally hundreds of other winners following in her wake.

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Bell Esprit

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Black Caviar 

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Last year Bel Esprit took out the national title for individual winners, equalling the all-time Australian record of 155 winners set by Commands.

That mark has been surpassed by Lonhro this year, but there is every likelihood Bel Esprit will also eclipse his previous personal best as he has 153 winners on the board and a week of the season to run.

A brilliant early maturing two year-old that won the Group I MRC Blue Diamond Stakes before training on at three to win the Group I BRC Doomben 10,000, Bel Esprit was tough, sound and lightning fast, qualities that have been transmitted to his offspring in spades.

By world renowned shuttle sire Royal Academy (USA) from a daughter of Golden Slipper winner Vain, Bel Esprit is completely free of Danzig blood and has proven a great foil for a wide spectrum of mares.

Black Caviar aside, Bel Esprit is the sire of 450 plus winners worldwide with progeny earnings topping $40 million.

His 19 stakes-winners are headed by Group I stars Black Caviar, Bel Sprinter and Bel Mer backed up by a raft of speedy sprinter milers that have raked in vast amounts of lucrative VOBIS bonuses over the years for their delighted owners.

Bel Esprit has had a fee reduction this year at Eliza Park International and will stand at $24,200, but in reality there has probably never been a better time to go to him.

Black Caviar announced herself as a superstar in the spring of 2010 and from that point Bel Esprit covered some outstanding mares including her dam Helsinge, who visited him in 2011.

Black Caviar’s full sister, who turns two on August 1 may well lead the next wave of success for Bel Esprit, who has the quality and numbers that should see him reign as number one in Victoria for many years to come.

Bel Esprit may well become Victoria’s most successful stallion ever if he can knock off the record of former star sires Better Boy (IRE) (Range View Stud) and Helios (GB) (Warlaby Stud), who won nine titles each.

In the sale ring, Bel Esprit consistently offers a good return with five yearlings averaging $110,000 at Magic Millions on the Gold Coast this year, while at Inglis Premier they sold for up to $140,000.

While unproven sires may take the fancy for a season or two before ultimately proving disappointing, Bel Esprit continues to deliver and for the broodmare owner seeking a low risk option at an affordable fee he’s impossible to go past.

Article By Tara Madgwick, Breednet.

Just For Starters kept Foreplay’s winning strike-rate bubbling at just under 70% with a brilliant debut at Caulfield on Wednesday.

Just For Starters (2g Foreplay – Belle De Rouge by Red Ransom) won the Grand Hotel Frankston Hcp (1000m) for trainer Robbie Laing and a large syndicate.  “He had been trialling well,” Laing said.  “Aaron Lynch worked him in a pea-soup fog last week.”

Foreplay’s stands at Woodside Park Stud and he landed a winning double with Believe’n’receive (Doomben) and Long Lasting (Newcastle) last weekend.

Just For Starters is the first to race from Woodside Park’s Kilmore winner Belle De Rouge and she has a rising 2yo colt by Foreplay.  The mare’s second-dam Zedagal (The Judge) won a G3 Blue Diamond Prelude and is a sister to top sires Zeditave and Alannon.

“We got him at the Inglis Premier Sale last year.  He’s a good walker and is bred speed on speed,” Laing recalled.  “I thought he would bring about $20,000 but there were others on him and we had to pay $45,000.

“He’s a lovely colt and was worth it.”

Foreplay (Danehill) will again be available to breeders this season at Woodside Park Stud where he will stand for $6,600 (inc gst).

Dare I Ask appreciated a big drop in the weights and a lazy lead to win the Cove Hotel Hcp (1440m) at Caulfield.

Trainer Shawn Mathrick was confident the mare could rebound after encountering problems during her last two starts at Sandown.  “With the claim for Regan (Bayliss), she only had to carry 51kg,” Mathrick said on Wednesday.  “I knew she would smack the line.”

Dare I Ask (7m King Of Prussia – Touchy Subject by Top of the Pack) was a late starter winning her maiden as a five year-old at Mornington.  “These older mares don’t need a lot of work,” Mathrick added.  “I just keep her ticking over at the beach.”

Wangaratta based Ross Schutt bred her from Touchy Subject who won six races for his family including one in town at Sandown.

King Of Prussia (Anabaa) also sired a winner for fellow Wangaratta breeder Alan Price when Justify scored in Adelaide earlier this month.  He has been nominated for a road trip to Sandown in a Benchmark 90 this Sunday.

Greta West Stud will stand King Of Prussia for a $2,200 (inc gst) fee this year.

Sacred Dream returned to her best form with a runaway victory at Echuca on Monday.

The God’s Own mare was always travelling sweetly for first time rider Brad Rawiller.  She loomed up at the turn before racing away to win Heat 6 of the Murray Mallee Stayers Series (2100m) by a soft four lengths.

Sacred Dream (5m God’s Own — Dream The Dream by Encosta de Lago) is trained by Robbie Griffiths for a syndicate comprising Darren Brimacombe, Ben Dougall, Viv Jose, Shane Kircher, John Wakeling & Andrew Wrochna.

“She looked pretty hard to beat on paper,” Rawiller said.  “I just let her switch off and then cuddled her into the straight.  She showed a good turn of foot and blew them away pretty quickly.

“It was a nice progression and there are some nice middle distance and staying races coming up.”

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Sacred Dream is bred to get over ground — her dam Dream The Dream won a G2 South Australian Oaks and second-dam Dream Of The Dance (Islero) won a G2 VRC Wakeful Stakes.

The God’s Own wins graph is on an upward curve with five full crops racing — spiralling from 3 — 31 — 76 — 121 — 143.

Bel Esprit (231) tops the wins chart for Victorian based stallions ahead of God’s Own (143) and Elvstroem (142) with a week remaining in 2013-14.

Greta West Stud stands God’s Own (Redoute’s Choice) for a $5,500 (inc gst) fee.

DANNY POWER finds that James O’Brien not only has a vision for the Victorian breeding industry, he also is full of enthusiasm.

James O’Brien is a passionate man, and it’s his passion for thoroughbred racing and breeding that has elevated him to the position of president of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria.

Under O’Brien’s watch, and thanks to the support of a vibrant committee, Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) has doubled its membership in the past 12 months. A new website, weekly digital newsletter and a full-time executive officer at Racing Victoria–Ashleigh Mitchell–has propelled TBV to an organisation of greater significance; and there’s much to look forward to, according to O’Brien.

“Victoria’s breeding industry, with its strong state government support and backing from Racing Victoria, is the envy of the other states,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien, who, with his father Kevin, owns Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm, a picturesque broodmare, agistment and training farm at Corinella, near Phillip Island, said he got involved with TBV in an effort to improve the Super VOBIS scheme.

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James O’Brien. Photo by Colin Bull.

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“I’d been in Queensland and experienced the QTIS600 scheme and thought we should do something in Victoria. I was at the Magic Millions and complaining to a mate that Victoria should have a similar extension to its Super VOBIS scheme. He said ‘stop your whingeing. Why don’t you do something about it.’

“So I wrote a paper and presented it to the (TBV) board–mine was called VOBIS Plus–and got good feedback.

“It took a couple of years for it to happen, but it was the support of the then Racing Minister, Dr Napthine (now premier of Victoria), that saw VOBIS Gold launched.”

O’Brien is excited by the prospect of VOBIS Gold bonuses being available for four-year-olds next season.

“There is a perception that Super VOBIS is for two- and three-year-olds, but next year four-year-olds will be racing in the VOBIS Gold series races, and it will continue on each year.”

O’Brien is confident that the Inglis VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale will grow in stature.

“The figures weren’t up on last year despite the fact the yearlings were better, but there were reasons. The sale had strong support from Inglis, Racing Victoria and the breeders, but the buyers just weren’t there,” he said.

“It was held on the Anzac Day weekend when there were 10 race meetings, so trainers didn’t have the time to focus on the yearlings, and the early start on the back of a busy few days also was an issue.

“Some of those issues have been addressed for next year. It will be held a week before Anzac Day weekend and I can see interest in the sale growing.

“The Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale continues to improve. It has been the only yearling sale in Australia to have growth each year since the Global Financial Crisis, and a lot of credit must go to the Victorian breeders and vendors.”

O’Brien sees Victoria’s breeding industry going from strength to strength. “A few years ago, I believe the Victorian representation at the Magic Millions (Gold Coast) was around 4 per cent, this year I understand it has increased dramatically. It’s a tribute to the improvement in the quality of the bloodstock in Victoria.

“Victorian farms have topped the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale in three of the past four years.”

While O’Brien is pleased with the way Victoria’s breeding industry is the most progressive in Australia, he’s keen for ideas that will get more people involved in ownership. “It’s an area we must continue to address. I believe there are potential owners wanting to be part of the industry, but we need to encourage them and make it easier for them to participate.”

If passion and enthusiasm provide a ticket to the racing industry, James O’Brien has bucket loads to share.

Source: Inside Breeding, Inside Racing Sires Supplement 2014

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Robbie Laing has announced his Victoria Derby winner Polanski will commence stud duties at Roycevale Stud in Violet Town.

Roycevale Stud, 19km north of Euroa, has been sold by Wayne & Ginny Bellman who were vendors at Inglis Sales during their 10 years on the 72ha property.

Polanski won the LR Super Impose Stakes (1800m) at Flemington and G3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield before a dream result in last year’s G1 Victoria Derby at Flemington.

Laing brought the colt back for the G1 Australia Derby but he broke down first-up in the G1 Futurity Stakes.  “I honestly believe he would have been a star as a four year-old,” Laing said.  “He was tough, strong, genuine — the real deal.”

His sire Rakti — a Danzig line sire through Polish Precedent — died at Chatswood Stud in December 2010.  He won the 2002 Derby Italiano and a further four Group 1 victories in England.

Polanski’s fee will be advertised after Roycevale Stud’s new owners take possession in August.

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Artie Schiller (USA) sired his second feature winner in a month at Woodbine on Sunday when Lafontaine captured the LR Toronto Cup (1800m).

He is also the sire of Canadian star We Miss Artie who won the LR Queen’s Plate Trial on June 15.

Lafontaine stayed on strongly in driving rain to become the 21st individual stakes winner by Artie Schiller.  “I’m very proud of this horse,” trainer Elizabeth Charalambous stated.  “He’s really figured it out now and knows why he’s here and what we’re asking of him.  The talent was always there, he just had to figure it out.”

A Kentucky homebred for Cudney Stables, Lafontaine started the 18-1 outsider in his stakes debut.  “Steve (Bahen) rode him perfectly,” Charalambous said.  “I asked him to sit off the speed, which he did and when things opened up — he exploded.”

Lafontaine’s dam Deli Cat (Bold Ruckus) was purchased by Cudney Stables from Schonberg Farm at the 2002 Canadian Winter Sale.  She is also the dam of 2013 Ellis Park Turf Stakes winner My Perfect Ten (Perfect Soul).

Among Artie Schiller’s 21 stakes winners are local gallopers Laser Hawk, Mezeray Miss, Lady Melksham, Big Chill, Secret Liaison and Moving Money.

Artie Schiller (El Prado) stands for a $22,000 (inc gst) service fee at Emirates Park’s Victorian arm at Digger’s Rest.

Kyneton trainer Neil Dyer is a regular visitor to the Top End and he has notched another Northern Territory Derby (2000m) victory with Royal Request.

Royal Request (3g Bel Esprit — Nassidarra by Nassipour) was runner-up to Gravitational (Astronomer Royal) in the Darwin Guineas a fortnight ago but turned the tables to win by two lengths on Saturday.

Both three year-olds are by sires based at Eliza Park International.  And Dyer’s first NT Derby winner in 2009 was Hawks Bay — a son of former Eliza Park shuttler Black Hawk.

“Royal Request went enormous from the outside barrier when second in the Guineas,” Dyer said.  “He’s a lovely horse and it’s exciting to see what he’s doing for us this preparation.”

Dyer trains him for a syndicate that includes Rory Crowley, Leanne Evans, Peter Gill, Peter & Ray Greene, Anita Morris, Cameron Newnham, Richard Palmer, David Pettman, Antonio Sanfilippo, Nathan Scotton, Kerry & Patricia Slingsby.

Royal Request is from a half-sister to the dam of Sydney Group winners Fickle Hostess and Zabarra (Zabeel).  Second-dam Vaindarra (Vain) was a Group 2 winner of the a Silver Slipper Stakes.  He was bred and sold for $60,000 by Erinvale Investments at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

He has a rising 2yo half-brother by former Eliza Park stallion Shinzig.

Bel Esprit has dominated Victorian premierships since 2007-08 and he’s on track for another title this season with 152 winners of $5.38 million.  Reset is next best on $4.58 million.

Bel Esprit (Royal Academy) will stand for a $24,200 (inc gst) service fee at Eliza Park International this year.

Blue Gum Farm freshman Red Arrow sired his first winner at Port Augusta on Sunday.

His gelding Tipsy On Red was racing for the fourth time when a narrow winner of the Whyalla Earthworths Hcp (1100m).  He is prepared by Port Augusta-born trainer Leon Macdonald and cost owner Nathan Sanders $15,000 at the 2013 Adelaide Magic Millions.

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Tipsy On Red (2g Red Arrow — Tipsy Piggy by Danewin) is the first foal from a mare who won at Eagle Farm (2) and Doomben (2).  She foaled a Red Arrow filly last August and is expecting to him again off an October cover.

Red Arrow (Red Ransom) commenced racing in Australia where he established himself as a top weight-for-age performer under trainer Anthony Cummings.  Transferred to California, he landed the G3 Los Angeles Hcp at Hollywood Park carving out the 1200m in a slashing 1.08.92s.

Australia’s Red Ransom sireline is spearheaded by Charge Forward and Domesday.  The second charge includes Red Arrow and fellow up-and-coming stallions All American, Red Element, Red Dazzler, Arlington, Duporth and Onemorenomore.

Red Arrow transferred from the Hunter Valley to stand at Blue Gum Farm in 2011.  The move came after Blue Gum bought into the horse with prominent bloodstock agent Denis Roberts and major shareholder Terry Lillis.

He is bred on the proven Red Ransom — Last Tycoon cross responsible for Group 1 champion Typhoon Tracy.  His dam Lady Jakeo was a G1 winner of the MRC Blue Diamond Stakes and MVRC Australia Stakes and his immediate family also boasts Golden Slipper winner Merlene and Magic Millions winner Bold Promise.

Red Arrow will stand for an $8,800 (inc gst) fee this year.

Ustinov colt Amun Ra staked his claim for three year-old spring feature races while winning the Devon Oaks 1100 at Te Rapa on Saturday.

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Amun Ra (NZ) was a fitting winner at the meeting which honoured Cambridge Lodge owner Ada Parnwell who died last month.  He is trained by Lee Somervell and is raced on lease from her estate.

Somervell prepared Fleur De Lune to win last year’s G1 Railway Stakes for Parnwell.  His sons Philip and Kurt are in the syndicate that races Amun Ra along with Cambridge Lodge admin manager Tarissa Mitchell.

“What a day, it’s such a thrill to remember Ada this way,” Somervell said. “I’ve got a lot of time for Amun Ra and he will have a brief let-up now.  I would like to think he’s a genuine prospect for the Guineas.”

Amun Ra (2c Ustinov — Jahan by Al Akbar) is a younger half-brother to Ellerslie stakes winner Civics Rock.  Second-dam Entanglement (Bletchingly) is a half-sister to G1 AJC Champagne Stakes winner I Like Diamonds.

Ustinov is a USA bred son of Seeking The Gold and Australian Hall of Fame mare Let’s Elope.  He was a G2 winner of the AAMI Vase at Moonee Valley and was also runner-up in the G1 Caulfield Guineas and G1 AJC Champagne Stakes.

Moorookyle Park near Ballarat stands Ustinov for a fee of $4,400 (inc gst).