Results over the past week in the sales ring and on the race track have once again demonstrated the strength of Northwood Farm to the global Darley operation.
Situated just north of Seymour ain the famed Goulburn Valley, Northwood has been in the hands of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum’s international breeding business since 2006.
On Saturday, the Victorian farm chalked up yet another stakes win with Godolphin’s Allergic saluting in the Listed McKell Cup at Royal Randwick.
He follows in the footsteps of many other Darley stakes winning graduates coming through the farm including the likes of Sepoy and Long John.
But it is the future the Darley team is looking to at Northwood rather than reflecting heavily on past success.
The Magic Millions National Weanling Sale was a solid indicator of that future with the Northwood based superstar colt turned sire, Brazen Beau, delivering some explosive results.
Brazen Beau’s weanling progeny lead – by quite some way – the First Season Sires table by average prices. His foals were snapped up at an average of $201,250. The next best was Dissident with an average of $103,700.
A major buyer was Victorian newcomer Hilldene which bought a Brazen Beau colt for $270,000 on Day 1 of the sale and followed up on Day 2 buying another colt for $300,000. Their home over coming months will be a mere ten minutes down the road from Northwood at Hilldene’s property west of Seymour.
Henry Plumptre, Darley Australia’s Managing Director, said Northwood Farm was a very significant component of the Darley operation.
“Northwood is considered a signature property for our business,” Plumptre said.
“We have invested a lot of resources in Northwood and Sheikh Mohammed doesn’t do that unless he has great regard for the investment.
“You can measure how important we think our Victorian property is by the calibre of stallions we are standing there including Brazen Beau and (newcomer) Frosted.
“Brazen Beau has been throwing bloody good types. With good judges buying his foals, I am also confident they will have incredible temperaments like their sire and his father (I Am Invincible).
“And Frosted, a son of Tapit, is a stallion whose pedigree may have more familiarity in the Hunter Valley but our view was he needs to be standalone as a feature sire at Northwood.
New Darley Northwood sire Frosted (USA)
“We are very confident he will get off the ground with a good book of mares.”
Plumptre said Brazen Beau, Frosted, another new sire in Holler and the other five stallions standing at Northwood will play a key part in the ongoing success of the Godolphin Australia racing operation in coming years.
“The next five years are very exciting when you look at the stallions standing at Northwood and the quality young horse the farm produces.”
Godolphin’s Northwood bred Allergic wins the Listed McKell Cup at Randwick (pic-ATC twitter)
Something old, something new is the theme of a new operator in the Victorian breeding industry.
Well known and respected bloodstock agent Peter Ford has joined Hilldene, a new Seymour based farm owned by Nicholas Wakim.
And at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale, they made clear their intentions. A further major investment in quality broodmares by them is expected this week on the Gold Coast
Hilldene and Ford were amongst the sale’s leading buyers at the weanling sale having purchased seven lots for $1,180,000 at an average of $168,571, including two quality foal sons of Darley’s freshman sire Brazen Beau.
They bought the Brazen Beau colt from mare Calvados (Medaglia d’Oro), a half-sister to the dual Listed winner Barbed (Canny Lad) for $270,000 on Day 1. They followed this up with the purchase of the Flute of Bubbly (Encosta de Lago) colt, a half brother to stakes winning juvenile Shigeru Sendan, for $300,000.
“This was our first opening statement in the industry and being based in Victoria, we believe it is important to support the Victorian breeding industry,” Ford said.
“We love the stallion and the yearling met the ‘Hilldene Matrix’ – everything from pedigree to conformation. We’re very happy with our purchases and think the two Brazen Beau colts are particularly high quality,” Wakim added.
“We have a very strict selection criteria called the ‘Hilldene Matrix’ which takes into account confirmation, type and breeding which we use in determining our purchases at the sales.”
The boutique nursery will prepare a top quality team of yearlings headed to the Gold Coast next January and to the Inglis Premier and Easter sales.
But before that, Ford and Wakim, will be bidding in a significant fashion at this week’s Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.
“We expect to be making some major investments at the broodmare sale,” Wakim said.
Both the weanlings and broodmare purchases will be shipped down to the 180 acres of rolling pastures at Hilldene, just west of Seymour.
Wakim, a life-long racing fan, is the founder of Phoenix Water, a global leader in the reclamation of untreatable wastewaters.
He has shares in fourteen racehorses currently in work, but he admits his real passion is thoroughbred breeding.
“Our strategy is to develop a premium nursery and breeding farm, and although weanlings are not our target long term, the quality we have bought indicates the standard we expect,” Wakim said.
“Our key plan is mares, we have designs on well bred mares, with the strategy long term to develop a 15-20 premier broodmare band on the farm at Hilldene, and although many say boutique and up market, we really mean it and our actions speak louder than words,” Wakim said.
Hilldene’s Magic Millions National Weanling Sale purchases
Berkeley Park Stud Blandford NSW (As Agent)
She's Sirius (AUS)
Kitchwin Hills Scone NSW (As Agent)
Shooting to Win
Segenhoe Stud Australia Pty Ltd Scone NSW (As Agent)
https://www.tbv.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Hilldenes-Peter-Ford-Hamish-Chugg-Nicholas-Wakim-with-the-Brazen-Beau-x-Calvados-colt-bought-for-270000.jpg475800HCreatehttp://www.tbv.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/TBV_Logo.jpgHCreate2017-05-30 11:14:572017-05-30 11:14:57New Victorian player Hilldene makes a Magic statement
A triple Group 1 winning gelding and Moonee Valley legend is relishing his new career at one of Victoria’s premier breeding farms.
Enjoying the sun on his back and the lush pastures of Woodside Park Stud, popular galloper Bomber Bill (Air De France) is now relishing his post racing career as a nanny, supervising the next generation of gallopers.
He was initially retired to Living Legends at Oaklands Junction, the home of former champions, but the evergreen gelding was not ready for the quiet life and was thus loaned out for assistant duties in the breeding sector.
An important job, Bomber keeps the youngsters relaxed and secure with his presence in the group. Having only just been separated from their mothers, the weanling foals have each other for company and Bomber Bill as a calming career making the process less stressful.
While Bomber is keeping the weanlings in line, we can reminisce on his magnificent racing career that saw the warhorse remembered as the sprinter who gave everything whatever the weight, distance, company or weather.
Beginning his career in Perth, he won his first seven races straight for local trainer Hec McLaren, including the Group 1 Karrakatta Plate. Clearly a class above the Western Australian sprinters, owner Vic Schlesniak (Jnr) decided to send the gifted three-year-old east.
Bomber Bill in his previous career of racing
Arriving at Caulfield, he was trained by Aquanita trio, John Sadler, Russell Cameron and finally Robert Smerdon over his racing career.
“An old marvel, a class sprinter, horses like him don’t walk into your yard every day – it’s more like once in a lifetime,” Sadler said.
“What a great kind old horse he was, we had some fun with him, and if he had been blessed with sound feet, one wonders how far he would have gone. He loved his racing, and he loved to compete,” Cameron said.
“He was a real racehorse, you’d love to have a few of them, that win a couple of hundred thousand each year. He could lead with taxingly big weights, or sit on the outside and grind them into the ground. He would be the only horse in history to have had three different trainers without leaving his stable,” Smerdon said.
A three-time Group 1 winner, including the Australia Stakes, Goodwood Handicap and Karrakatta Plate, he also won at Group 2 level twice, and an amazing seven times at Group 3 level.
After 98 starts, Bomber Bill retired at 11 years young, having filled the top three placings 34 times with 23 outright wins over nine racing seasons. He amassed an incredible $1.89 million in prize money. Bomber Bill won in four states and competed internationally in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint and the Group 3 Golden Shaheen in Dubai.
In his last career win, Bomber Bill finally secured the Group 3 Rubiton Stakes. Running last at his first attempt six years earlier, third in 2001, second in 2002, and at ten years-of-age Bomber Bill lined up for the fourth time at his 87th race start for a hard earned victory.
A crowd favourite on track, horses with a constitution similar to Bomber Bill’s may belong to a bygone era. A tough, unswerving and reliable warrior, he always gave his all.
Let’s hope Bomber is whispering into the ears of the next generation of future gallopers, and they take note, as they have much to learn from one of Australia’s most loved (and still loved) thoroughbreds.
https://www.tbv.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Bomber-Bill-at-Woodside-Park.jpeg600900HCreatehttp://www.tbv.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/TBV_Logo.jpgHCreate2017-05-30 11:12:142017-05-30 15:19:55A new career for warhorse Bomber Bill
Three Bridges Thoroughbreds is delighted to announce the appointment of Jackie Noonan as Business Manager.
Jackie has been a key team member at Racing Victoria in recent years heading up the all-important VOBIS unit.
“Jackie is a talented, enthusiastic and dynamic individual and has a vast knowledge of the industry and its many participants. I believe she will be a huge asset to the Three Bridges team,’ said proprietor Peter Liston.
“Jackie’s appointment is part of our commitment to quality and the quest to keep improving our organisation and I look forward to the business continuing to strengthen and thrive with Jackie on board,’ he added.
Noonan has an extensive business and marketing background in racing, sport and local government and leaves her executive post with Racing Victoria to join Three Bridges.
“I am excited to join the Three Bridges team and become part of a business which is already respected as a leader in the thoroughbred world,” Jackie said.
“The Three Bridges brand has been dynamic in promoting the Victorian racing and breeding industry,” Noonan said.
TBV Executive Officer Patrick Clancy said while Jackie had been a key contributor to the Victorian breeding industry through VOBIS.
“RV’s loss is certainly Three Bridges’ gain,” Clancy said.
“There have been many improvements to VOBIS while Jackie has been at Racing Victoria including the establishment of VOBIS Gold and VOBIS Sires.
“Her vigour and commitment has been a large part in ensuring these programs got off the ground.”
Barnawartha thoroughbred breeders Tony and Kellie Smeaton have welcomed home farm-bred star, Gun Pit (Dubawi), back to their farm thanks to his billionaire Hong Kong owner Cheng Chung Wah.
Being so fond of his champion, and after having a great ride from Dubai to Japan with the Hong Kong trained galloper, he wanted to ensure he had a fitting retirement.
Day-old Gun Pit and dam Magic Tori at Grange Thoroughbreds with Gary Mudgway
Chung Wah contacted the Smeatons and offered Gun Pit the chance to come home.
“In a heartbeat, we said yes,” Tony Smeaton said.
The Hong Kong owner covered all expenses and flew the racing superstar home to retire happily in the lush green paddocks where he was born.
The gelding won close to AU$1.5 million in prize money abroad before sustaining a career-ending injury at the start of this year.
Gun Pit won seven races on the trot on Sha Tin’s all-weather track for trainer Caspar Fownes before heading over to Dubai seeking international glory, running a gallant second in the 2016 Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge over 2000 metres.
Gun Pit racing at Hong Kong on his favoured dirt surface
This performance earned him an invitation to start in the richest race in the world, the US$10 million Dubai World Cup.
The Dubawi colt sold through the Eliza Park draft at the 2012 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale for $65,000 to Mark Treweek of Lyndhurst Farm in New Zealand, who on sold him to Hong Kong through the NZB Ready to Run Sale.
Gun Pit showed a bit of spunk as a youngster, and his natural speed caught the eye of Michael Stedman, buying him for on behalf of Hong Kong owner Cheng Chung Wah.
“They knew then he was going to be good, but he didn’t have a name, so the owners thought, ‘Well he looks like Brad Pitt and goes like a gun’ – hence Gun Pit,” Smeaton said proudly.
With plans to take Gun Pit back to Meydan for the 2017 Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge, after his brave runner-up performance the year before, Fownes felt that a bone chip was causing too much discomfort to race on.
“It is sad, because he was such an exciting horse on a true dirt surface, and he never got the chance (internationally) to show us what he could really do. He had a lot of heart, and he was a lovely horse with a beautiful temperament, we will certainly miss him around the stable,” Fownes said.
“His left front fetlock joint just gave him too much trouble, so we made the decision to get the bone chip removed, and send him home to retire.”
Smeaton had always seen something special in Gun Pit, commenting that he was “outstanding from day dot” and is thrilled to have him home to stay.
“He can run in the paddocks with his old buddy Freddy, a laid-back welsh pony just like he did as a yearling.”
A worldwide traveller, Gun Pit will now happily stay in Barnawartha for the rest of his days.
https://www.tbv.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Hong-Kong-star-Gun-Pit-is-back-home-to-retire-at-Barnawartha-with-breeder-Tony-Smeaton-Mark-Jesser-Border-Mail.jpg487800HCreatehttp://www.tbv.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/TBV_Logo.jpgHCreate2017-05-30 11:07:252017-05-30 11:07:25Hong Kong star returns to his Barnawartha ‘home’
Not many people could point out Lurg on a map of Victoria.
But a devoted Victorian breeding operator is sure playing her part in helping put the farming district on the map.
And a winner at Sandown on Saturday demonstrated the quality that could be bred by Sally Watkins at Lurg’s Willaroon Thoroughbreds.
Willaroon bred three year-old filly Soho Ruby (Northern Meteor) was too strong, leading all the way down the straight to give young trainer Levi Kavanagh a thrill with his second metropolitan win at Sandown.
Watkins bought the mare Red Rapture mare in foal with Soho Ruby from Vinery, in the year Northern Meteor died.
“They were flying at the time and I was just very lucky,” she said.
Being a difficult breeder for the next couple of years, Watkins has kept Red Rapture close to home.
The mare has now got a lovely Zoustar filly on the ground, who is a three-quarter-sister to Soho Ruby and similar, if not better in type. She is now in foal to Rosemont based sire Nostradamus, a stallion Watkins has a share in – a reflection of the commitment Watkins has to the Victorian breeding industry.
“If we don’t support the people who are bringing stallions here, there is no way we are going to get them, so if I get offered a share in a decent horse standing here, I try to take it,” she said.
“Red Rapture is a really lovely mare and as Red Ransom mares click well with the Medaglia D’Oro line, that made my decision to send her to Nostradamus.”
Soho Ruby was sold for $190,000 at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale through Segenhoe Stud and was purchased by Levi’s father and leading trainer Mark Kavanagh.
Watkins’ Willaroon is located, as mentioned at Lurg, about half an hour’s drive east of Benalla.
Horses enjoy the large paddocks set across calming, rolling, green hills and the best possible care and attention with a hands-on approach by Sally and her team and first class facilities.
Running young thoroughbreds in groups in the undulating paddocks provides these future gallopers with significant exercise while in a relaxing environment.
Willaroon was originally set up to cater for horses enjoying a break in-between racing preparations, but they now run also have a broodmare band of thirty mares on the farm.
About half of these are commercial mares owned by Willaroon or in partnership with Willaroon clients with the remaining mares are owned by breeder-owners who are retaining their progeny to race.
Willaroon had their debut draft of yearlings at Premier this year, with ten youngsters prepped on the farm.
“We will we will continue to support Melbourne Premier with the bulk of our yearlings, with a couple of Brazen Beaus going to the Magic Millions due to the support given to first season sires at that sale,” Watkins said.
“I was pleased to see Hilldene and Peter Ford buy the Brazen Beau x Flute of Bubbly weanling for $300,000 as I bought Shigeru Sendan, a half-sister at the Chairman’s Sale in Sydney.
“I paid $300,000 for her, a stakes winning Denman mare, and she has a beautiful Written Tycoon weanling colt on her. It has made her a cheap buy, as I got two for one!”
With the energy and commitment of Watkins, her staff and most of all the quality of her horses, there is a good chance we will all get to know Lurg a lot better!
There was a lot to take away from the two day, 540 lot strong Gold Coast Magic Millions National Weanling Sale last week.
A Fastnet Rock filly for $525,000. A Snitzel colt for $460,000. Ten lots for $250,000 plus. Solid average. Strong international interest, including some big buys for Dubai and USA.
So, in the general scheme of things, the $110,000 for a Street Boss colt from Pink Champagne didn’t raise too many bubbles (sorry, can’t help it!) when sold near the end of Friday’s final session.
It made a huge difference for Victorian breeder, Mick Maroulis, though. The Kyneton based Maroulis who, by his own confession, is a battler who breeds a few here, sells a few there.
The eternal optimist, Maroulis sees the trough as half full but has had his share of ups and more than a few downs since first deciding as a kid that he’d like to get more involved in the horse caper.
“My old man used to take me to the races when I was little and it just grew from there,” the now 63 year old, Maroulis points out. “I always knew that one day I’d race some horses of my own and maybe run a small farm.”
A handy footy player, Maroulis played lower grades for AFL team, Essendon, in the early 1970s while working in a bank, then for the department of health and in the tax office, before taking up a role in the youth training centre at Kyneton in central Victoria.
For the last two decades though Maroulis has established his 60 acre farm between Kyneton and Malmsbury which he runs with his wife, Lou.
“We only have around seven mares and send out three or four every year to bred to,” Maroulis reveals.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to breed some good horses off the farm over the years.
“There was Fiveoclockshadow, who won stakes races in Melbourne and Brisbane and Irazu, who only get beaten a neck in the Sydney Cup, but probably the worst thing that ever happened to me was the first horse I ever bred, Zaparri, ended up winning a Group One. Point of no return after that … I was hooked,” Maroulis adds with a laugh.
“I raced (Carnegie mare) Pink Champagne in partnership and she only had the one start before I ended up getting her for breeding purposes.
“Her first foal, Wild Dynamite, won three in New Zealand and Hong Kong, but I only got $8,500 for him as a weanling.
“The next foal was O’Malley, who is by Street Boss and a full brother to the weanling I sold last week. He’s been a terrific sprinter for Enver Jusufovic, winning five from 14 and stakes placed, but the poor bugger has so many nuts and bolts in his knee after he fractured it, that he has to be kept to soft tracks.
“Pink Champagne’s next foal, by Written Tycoon, made only $3,000 in the ring and the next one, a Super Saver, went through for $2,500 … no wonder they called him Cheap Champagne!
“Anyway, when this Street Boss made $110,000 last Friday I was over the moon. The guys at Sun Stud, who sold the horse for me, said he was run off his feet with the number of inspections, but you don’t like to get your hopes up too much.
“When he made the six figures I was pretty much speechless, which some people will tell you is a feat in itself. You don’t do this for the money, but when you get days like that, it makes all those early mornings, feed runs and vet visits worthwhile.”
The show moves on at the Gold Coast sales complex of Magic Millions and, over the next four days, 1,000 plus mares will go through the ring, to be followed by another three sessions of yearlings and racehorses.
There will be countless other good luck stories that will unfold between now and 8 June, but for Mick Maroulis his two minutes in the sun will last a lifetime.
May has been a great month for Moorookyle Park’s consistent Sharkbite, the regally bred son of Redoute’s Choice, represented by seven winners including two smart metropolitan gallopers.
Having his first run since last spring, the Gregory McFarlane trained Clear The Beach was impressive saluting at Rosehill on May 20. Showing good pace to dispute the early lead, he took a sit before taking over at the 300 metre mark and getting clear.
So much so that his trainer, who had set the lightly raced four-year-old for the Provincial Championships, may now set his sights on something even better.
“You never know, we might aim for a bit higher than that,” he said, adding that he rates the gelding “a solid Saturday class horse at least.”
It is a similar story for the Robbie Laing trained Jaws Of Steel was back to his best with a gutsy win at Sandown on May 10.
Jaws of Steel (Sharkbite) winning at Sandown in May (John Donegan-Racing Photos)
He is a horse who showed plenty of ability at two having run fourth in stakes company at debut before a dominant victory in the $100,000 Mornington Sires.
From there he headed to Sydney to contest the Group One Champagne Stakes – finishing seventh, described by Laing as “an absolute good thing beaten” having almost fallen.
This courage he again showed at Sandown, railing gamely and holding off strong late challenges in determined fashion. And he was all the more impressive taking into account that he was a very sick horse last spring – “he just wouldn’t eat for weeks,” Laing recalled, “it was very worrying.”
Other Sharkbites showing good ability include Save Me Ned (winner of two of his first five for the Michael O’Leary stable) and recent easy South Australian maiden winner Flip de Glore.
“Sharkbite’s progeny just take that little bit of time, but once in form they are tough, honest performers rewarding their owners with consistent form,” said Moorookyle Park’s Nioka Wozny.
A particularly handsome dark brown near black stallion, Sharkbite was a versatile galloper able to impressively win both of his juvenile starts before proving competitive with Melbourne’s best three-year-olds (second to Haradasun in the Vain Stakes) and going on to win at Listed level over 1700 metres
One of the great Redoute’s Choice’s 147 stakes winners, Sharkbite hails from an outstanding international family.
He is a brother to the multiple stakes winning Scissor Kick (now at stud) and he has as his grandam a half-sister to the famed matriarch Hasili She is dam of the big race winners Intercontinental, Cacique, Heat Haze, Champs Elysees and Banks Hill – as well as the champion stallion Dansili.
For further information on Sharkbite and Moorookyle ‘s services contact Nioka Wozny on 0427 456 385 or visit online at: www.moorookylepark.com.au
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Studmaster Mike Becker of Stockwell Thoroughbreds is ready to introduce another top value stallion to Victorian owner breeders, as the beautifully bred Mulaazem (Dubai Destination) returns home.
Mulaazem was bred and raced by Emirates Park who stood him in his first season at Diggers Rest before heading to the Hunter Valley last year.
However with recent industry developments and management changes, the opportunity for Becker to put his hand up was too tempting, and thus arranged to bring Mulaazem back to the Victorian breeding industry.
Although he didn’t cover big numbers of mares, Becker always liked Mulaazem, being a magnificent looking horse and seeing the quality of the stock he was leaving.
“Although I thought they would be early goers and were very well developed, thankfully the trainers have been patient and given them the time to develop mentally, to perform their best as three year olds. He is going to come up with some very nice horses, sooner rather than later,” Becker said.
“He will be a good value option for people wanting to breed a nice horse for not a lot of money, because of the quality types he is leaving. At the Adelaide yearling sales this year, his yearlings were purchased for $75,000 and $42,500.”
“Mulaazem physically is twice the individual that Sepoy (his half brother) is, he is bigger, stronger and better boned.
“He has in his favour that there is not an impossible level of expectation on his progeny, so he will have the opportunity to be given a fair chance by the breeding community.”
“Emirates have invested in him very strongly with quality mares in his previous seasons, as have we. We currently have nine weanlings, because we loved what we saw, and we were happy to punt with some of our better mares. Time will be our judge.”
Becker has always been a staunch supporter of breed to own clients and has consistently offered quality stallions at an affordable price.
“We want to look after the owner breeders, they are the glue that holds the industry together and that’s been the basis of their business for the last 20 years, so we couldn’t be happier to get this horse back here.”
Mulaazem displayed immense promise during his seven-race career, winning in metropolitan Melbourne by 10 lengths as a 2-year-old before training on for a Group 2 victory in the MRC Autumn Stakes during his autumn 3-year-old campaign.
His trainer Peter Moody spoke in glowing terms in reference to Mulaazem, “he’s a high-quality colt, a half-brother to a champion and he’s now a Group 2 winner with a hell of a pedigree, so there’s certainly a good future ahead of him.”
Mulaazem is from the Danehill mare Watchful, also the dam of Sepoy who won both the Group 1MRC Blue Diamond and Group 1 ATC Golden Slipper.
Standing alongside Mulaazem is Rock Sturdy (Fastnet Rock), a beautiful, true gentleman of a horse ready to make have a big second season at stud.
“He is beautiful looking horse and I think for the owner-breeders market he is just a dream to look at. He had a lot of ability, he has got stallion strength in his pedigree, and given half a chance he will certainly get his winners.”
The former Stockwell Stud, re-established by Becker, a life member of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria and former President, along with his son Brodie, of Independent Stallions secured a long-term lease arrangement with Emirates Park on the historic property at Diggers Rest.
“We have 800 acres and can offer professional walk out services with our experienced senior veterinarian Ian Douglas and central location to the Geelong, Euroa, Nagambie and Macedon Ranges studs. We have terrific facilities for foaling, sales preparation, and large paddocks for good development of young horses,” Becker said.
Stockwell Thoroughbreds will stand Mulaazem for $4,400 (GST inc) and Rock Sturdy for $7,700 (GST inc) at Diggers Rest this season.
For more information & enquiries, broodmare owners should contact Mike Becker on 0412 538 155 or Brodie Becker on 0437 788 434.
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) is pleased to announce it will contribute $200,000 to fund research and development for the breeding industry.
The money will be placed into a newly created thoroughbred R&D levy scheme and will be matched by the federal government when spent. By making the substantial donation, TBA will enable research projects to begin early in the coming financial year.
“This contribution will have an immediate impact as it means research can begin on issues that breeders know are important. The way the levy is collected, if we were to wait on the mandatory contributions it is unlikely we’d be able to start projects until 2018,” said TBA president Basil Nolan.
Under the new levy, which was included in the recent federal budget and will be in place in the new financial year, breeders will pay $10 per mare and $10 per stallion return. This will raise about $400,000 per year that will be put in the fund for R&D, with the federal government then matching every industry dollar.
It is expected with voluntary contributions, such as the money from TBA, some $1 million could be available to spent each year on research that benefits the thoroughbred breeding industry.
TBA is in the process of selecting the board that will oversee the spending of the funds and there will be a strong representation of breeders to ensure the money goes towards projects that return real benefits to the breeding industry.
Tom Reilly, the chief executive of TBA, said: “Research into disease control, fertility and many other valuable areas is crucial to the long term health of our industry.
“The board had discussed previously funding projects but, as we made progress with establishing a government matched levy, it made sense to hold off so that the money TBA contributed to research was effectively doubled.
“I’d like to thank Racing Australia for their support as it is through the Australian Stud Book that the levy will be collected and they have been working hard to ensure this is possible from a technology front.”
Such levy schemes are common in agriculture with many areas of primary production; such as cotton, beef and grains, all receiving dollar for dollar funding from the government in this way.
Among the areas likely to be the focus of research are the prevention and management of exotic and indigenous diseases, improving the conception rates of mares and stallions and efforts to reduce foetal loss caused by contagious diseases.
Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, said the levy will produce a huge return for breeders.
“This levy will provide industry with greater certainty about available funding in future years and enable forward-year planning to deliver priority R&D for the benefit of the whole industry,” he said.
“The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences estimates a $12 return for industry from every $1 invested, which is good for industry, and good for those at the farm gate.”
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Geoff Guest and his wife Jill Kewish had good reasons – lots of good reasons actually – to be cheering home Ana Royale in Saturday’s Group 3 SA Fillies Classic over 2500m at Morphettville.
Aside from being the principal of leading pre-training facility, Rockmount based at Longwood, Guest pays the bills for Ana Royale … he raced the filly’s sire, Anacheeva … and he raced the mother, Sacha Royale too.
“It was a great run on Saturday, she came from a long way back and had to race wide, but ended up winning pretty easily with Mark Zahra easing her right down on the line,” Guest enthused.
“Fantastic result. She’s certainly been knocking on the door at recent runs.”
That she has.
With two wins and five placings from 11 outings (and $221,620 in stakes), Ana Royale’s previous run was in the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks at Morphettville two weeks ago over 2000 metres, where she finished a brilliant third.
“I’m not so sure about the field on Saturday, but the run in the Oaks was outstanding and I reckon you’ll find the form out of that race is first class,” trainer Stuart Webb points out.
“Egg Tart and Kenedna (first and second in the Oaks) are both very good fillies, as the latter proved on Saturday by winning the (Group Two) Roses at Doomben.
“We actually tossed up about keeping Ana Royale in Adelaide or taking her to Brisbane for the Roses and it worked out well in that regard, but the Queensland Oaks has always her target and it’s now full speed ahead for Brisbane.”
Ana Royale hails from the first crop of Group 1 Caulfield Guineas winner, Anacheeva, who stands at Victoria’s Chatswood Stud for a fee of $6,600 (GST incl) in 2017.
“Rockmount raced Anacheeva and remains the major shareholder in the stallion,” Guest explains.
“He’s only had relatively few runners at this stage but he’s got some promising youngsters coming through – gallopers like Segovia, Nacho Libre and Scappare.
“We’ve only got a handful of mares ourselves, but they’re good quality and we’ve supported Anacheeva from the outset and, consequently, he has a couple of good ones waiting in the wings.
“Ana Royale is his first stakes winner but if she wins the Queensland Oaks I’m sure a lot more breeders will start taking notice.”
One of those quality mares Guest referred to is Ana Royale’s dam, Sacha Royale, who was raced by Rockmount to three wins – two in town – and broke a class record.
“She was a very good mare but could have had a bit more luck go her way … she was in a four way photo at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day and finished fourth,” Guest laughs.
“Very good family too … her granddam is (Group 2 winner) Twiglet and so Sacha Royale is closely related to Fairy King Prawn, Easy Rocking, Cosmic Endeavour and co.
“We normally race the fillies and sell the colts – well, usually – but we’ve retained Ana Royale’s half brother, Baccarat, who is an unraced 2YO.”
Spread over 200 acres in Victoria’s Strathbogie Ranges, Rockmount’s services include pre-training, spelling and rehabilitation.
“Rockmount was purchased in 2005 and features an 1100 metre rubber based training track, 45 boxes in the main barn and a water walker,” Guest adds.
“We do a lot of pre-training and rehab work for trainers like Stuart (Webb), Robert Smerdon and Henry Dwyer and provide a number of specialist services.
“We’ve got around 80 horses on farm at the moment and the business is going along nicely, but it would be nice to add ‘Group One breeder’ to the CV as well!”
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Swettenham Stud’s Americain is now officially up and running after he had his first Australian bred winner with Geegee Blackprince in the Tasmanian Sires’ Produce Stakes over 1400 metres at Launceston.
In the image of his sire, the dark, statuesque colt with a flowing forelock is had plenty of ground to make up coming into the home straight. He made it look easy though as he flew home winning relatively easily by more than two lengths.
While Americain’s first Northern Hemisphere crop of foals have already saluted in the United States of America and France, this was his first winner bred in the Southern Hemisphere.
Trained by Stuart Gandy, Geegee Blackprince is one of only nine Americain-sired horses to race so far in Australia.
Gandy describes the colt as a “superstar in the making.”
“You couldn’t get a better type. He’s a big, strong colt, beautiful nature, and the nicest moving thoroughbred I’ve ever broken in. He is well bred, and just a pleasure to work with, and we always knew when he got out to a trip he would show his best,” Gandy said.
Bred by one of Tasmania’s premier breeders Paul and Elizabeth Geard at their Geegees Horse Stud, he is from one of Tasmania’s best families, and is the ninth foal of the farm’s star broodmare La Quita (Grand Lodge).
La Quita is also the dame of Tasmanian legend Geegees Blackflash who reaped $1.2 million in prize money and also Listed Tasmania Oaks Geegees Goldengirl.
Along with their own stallions, Wordsmith and Clangalang, the Geards have taken to Americain as a sire, with the decision to breed their best mare, La Quita, paying off.
“Geegee Blackprince was just the best looking colt foal, just outstanding,” Paul Geard said.
“I’ve had him all along, we foaled him, broke him in and now he’s off and racing, it’s great to see him grow and develop. Each time he has gone to the races he has progressed, and the soft going suited him, he raced like it wasn’t there.”
The Geards’ liking for Americain extended to them buying a colt at the Inglis Ready2Race Sale last year. The 2YO has been appropriately named Gee Gees Americane and is nominated for a race on Sunday at Hobart.
Meanwhile Sunday’s winning colt will now head to the Geegees farm just north of Hobart for a well earned spell said his trainer.
“He will have a couple of months off before he gets ready for the Guineas and Derby down here, and if he lives up to what he is showing, he will be really hard to beat in the features,” Gandy said.
Americain’s stallion career kicked off in style last July in the Northern Hemisphere when his first runner to the track, the filly Folk Magic, won impressively at Woodbine, while the stayer’s former strapper, Stephanie Nigge, prepared another of his progeny, Americain Woman, to win impressively in France in April.
Americain, who shuttles between Victoria’s Swettenham Stud and Kentucky’s Calumet Farm, commands a competitive service fee of $11,000 (GST incl) this season.
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The only foal of a superstar mare will stand in Victoria this coming season at Avenel’s Bullarook Park Stud.
The new addition to Bullarook’s stallion roster is Last Typhoon, the first and only foal of Australian Champion Racehorse and six-time Group 1 winner Typhoon Tracy.
Last Typhoon as a foal at Vinery Stud
The son of Street Cry was her only progeny due to the very sad death of the mare while giving birth.
Last Typhoon’s pedigree page with black-type being one of the premier families in the Australian Stud Book.
Last Typhoon as a yearling
His grand-dam is the blue-hen Tracy’s Element whose close descendants, apart from Typhoon Tracy, include stakes winning horses Red Element, Cantonese and Shaft along with a host of other black-type performers.
This is also the family of star broodmare Urge to Merge, the dam of Group 1 winners Master of Design and Suntagonal.
Bullarook studmaster Malcolm Boyd said it was an honour to stand a stallion with such an exceptional pedigree as that of Last Typhoon.
“He has a tremendous disposition, looks a treat and will slot in nicely into the stallion barns here at Avenel,” Boyd said.
“The amazing race track performances of his dam Typhoon Tracy demonstrate what a great family this is. And the black type wins are prolific throughout the pedigree.
“Added to that, he is a son of Street Cry, a champion sire in Australia and a proven sire of sires in Australia with the likes of Street Boss and Street Sense.
“I am confident all these elements will help produce quality progeny that are tough and versatile on the racetrack getting good results for owners.”
Last Typhoon will stand for $4,400 (GST incl) in his first season at Bullarook, standing alongside Lucas Cranach ($5,500) and Strategic Maneuver ($6,600).
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In a land as vast as Australia, there is hardly a breeder, owner or trainer that doesn’t rely on a horse transport company to move there valued and loved equine creatures.
But there remain uncertainties about the impact of long haul transport on thoroughbreds.
Recent difficulties in transporting horses from Victoria to Brisbane have highlighted the need to better understand these effects on performance and welfare.
The good news is that industry and research experts have teamed up to answer some of these questions.
One of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria’s major supporters, Goldners Horse Transport, has formed a partnership with Charles Sturt University (CSU) undertaking a study into the effects on horse health and welfare during transportation.
Recently, Caroline Searcy profiled this important research on her program Sky Racing program Bred to Win.
Handling more than 27,000 horse movements on the road each year around Australia, Goldners is determined to have as much information at hand when it comes to the welfare of its equine passengers.
A critical part of this research was undertaken last month when a long haul transport trial occurred on the roads of New South Wales’ Riverina region and Victoria’s Goulburn Valley.
Goldners Chairman Charles Jennings who attended the trial said Goldners was proud of the vital research that was being undertaken by CSU and its experts.
Goldners Craig Horgan and Charles Jennings at the Wagga Wagga base of the transport trial
“We want to understand more of what happens to the horses during transport, and it is only by doing detailed research with an excellent organisation like Charles Sturt University that we can really get out heads around the important issues involved here, and how we can train our drivers to improve the performance on road,” Jennings said.
“Not only do we care about equine health and welfare, but it is essential that we give our clients every advantage we can in this competitive game.
“They are valuable racing and breeding horses, and they need every advantage when they get to the track to make they are healthy and ready to compete.”
The first transport trial involved transporting a group of horses over two eleven and a half hour journeys, with a full rest day in between. The route started at Wagga Wagga and travelled through Albury, Shepparton, Narrandera and Temora.
Goldners provided one of its state-of-the-art twelve horse trucks for the experiment as well as one of its most experienced truck drivers, familiar with horse behaviour and highly skilled in horse handling.
The study group of horses was split into three groups based on feed: horses that were fasted before the journey; horses that were fed early and then able to graze; and horses that were fed immediately prior to departure.
The CSU researchers measured ventilation levels, gas build up inside the transport bays and signs of stress by examining any development of gastric ulcers in the horses among other indicators.
“Inside the truck, it is vitally important that there was good ventilation for the horses so wind speed was monitored and gas levels were checked, ensuring that CO2 did not build up and ammonia levels were recorded from the horse’s urine,” said CSU researcher, Barbara Padalino.
Padalino was also very positive that knowledge and education can go a long way to improving horse health conditions during passage.
“It is very important that drivers can recognise particular types of behaviour and certain traits in horses when they start to get fatigued or distressed. They can then address the situation quickly and proficiently, arranging suitable treatment, such as a gastric scope or fluids, that would be the goal.”
Craig Horgan, Goldners General Manager, also emphasised how critical the drivers are to ensure safe horse movement.
“It’s vitally important that all our drivers are excellent horse handlers, while being able to competently operate a heavy vehicle with livestock in the back,” Horgan said.
“There are special considerations to take into account when travelling with valuable livestock, so we ensure all of our drivers are well-balanced people, selected on a very strict criteria.”
CSU researcher, Sharanne Raidal, an Associate Professor in Equine Medicine was very interested in the preliminary findings.
“Looking at the stomach scopes of the horses that had completed the experimental journey, there was a range of findings.
“Some horses already had low to mild gastric ulceration before getting onto the truck, that did not deteriorate during the trip, while others that had no gastric ulceration, have finished the journey off the truck with ulcers present,” Raidal said.
“Horses that had been fasted before travel have shown increased signs of ulceration, with more severe and more extensive lesions, as compared to horses that were going onto the truck with feed already in their stomach,”
“Overall horses with feed in their stomach were able to reduce acid build up, protecting the lining of their stomach by creating a gastric buffer to ulcers. Therefore from our results, the group that ate in the morning and were allowed to graze fared better during the journey, indicating moderation is best,” Raidal said.
Goldners’ Charles Jennings said he and the team at Goldners were looking forward to further participation and support of the trial over coming months.
“We are here to find out the science behind the theory. We look forward to getting the research data back, and seeing what it means for the future of Goldners Horse Transport in Australia,” Jennings said.
“It is vital for Goldners that (we) do everything possible to reduce the stress horses feel during travel.
“When horses are comfortable and relaxed, we prevent the chance of disease, reduce the impact on reproduction, lactation and fertility and have no negative impact on the horse’s performance on arrival at their destination.”
You can watch the full Bred to Win article on the link below:
TBV would like to thank Sky Racing and Bred to Win’s Caroline Searcy for providing content for this article.
Study funding credits: Goldners Horse Transport along with their research partners, Virbac Veterinary Products, Austvet Endoscopy and World Horse Welfare.
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Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria have welcomed the recent commitment by Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce to supporting research in the thoroughbred breeding industry.
Mr Joyce, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, was speaking at an announcement to confirm the approval of government funds for an industry-led research and development levy.
“The breeding and racing industry is something that is very important to regional Australia and to me personally,” Joyce said at Tamworth racecourse last week.
“The breeders made it very clear to me that this levy was something they needed and I went in to bat for it in Cabinet. There was some opposition but I’m glad I was able to deliver on it.”
Under the levy, which was included in this month’s Federal Budget and which will be in place in the new financial year, breeders will pay $10 per mare covered and stallion owners will pay $10 per stallion return.
These funds will be put in a fund for research and development with the Federal Government matching every industry dollar.
It is expected this could lead to some $1 million being spent each year on research that benefits the thoroughbred breeding industry.
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia chief executive Tom Reilly said having the government commit funds in the budget was the culmination of years of lobbying efforts.
“Getting the government to commit to this important levy was something the TBA board made clear was a priority when I joined the organisation,” said Mr Reilly.
“We are in the process of selecting the board which will oversee the spending of the funds and there will be a strong presence of breeders to ensure the money goes towards projects that return real benefits to the breeding industry.”
Such levy schemes are common in the Australian primary producing sector with industries such as cotton, dairy, horticulture, beef and grains, all receiving dollar for dollar funding from the government in this way.
Among the thoroughbred breeding areas likely to be the focus of research are the prevention and management of exotic and indigenous diseases, improving the conception rates of mares and stallions and efforts to reduce foetal loss caused by contagious diseases.
Mr Joyce added: “This levy will provide the industry with greater certainty about available funding in future years and enable forward-year planning to deliver priority R&D for the benefit of the whole industry.”
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Riverbank’s Farm Russell Osborne and Dr Caroline Duddy are pleased to announce the addition of two young stallions to their roster for the spring of 2017.
The up-and-coming Group 1 winner Skilled and the regally bred first season stallion Wayed Zain join the popular Redente (who served a terrific book of 103 mares last year) and Encosta de Lago’s VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes winning son Von Costa de Hero at the Benalla stud.
“We were not really on the hunt for two new stallions…but the opportunity came to stand Skilled and Wayed Zain and we are delighted to get them,” Duddy said.
Riverbank Farm’s new sire Wayed Zain
One of the best two-year-olds of his year, Godolphin Racing’s Skilled performed consistently throughout a demanding juvenile campaign – racing six times, recording three victories.
As a 2YO, Skilled progressed through the classes to win the Listed Baillieu Stakes and the Group 1 Champagne Stakes. He was also just been beaten in the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes – splitting Yosei and Hinchinbrook – for second place.
At three, Skilled was placed in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas, the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude and a number of other black type races in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Retiring to stud as the winner of over $580,000 in stakes, Skilled has called Darley Victoria’s base his home for the last few years. From there he has sired 12 smart winners from his first crop who are just three.
Just some of his talented runners thus far have been the Morphettville dual winner So Skilled, fellow South Australian Cayman Dayze, the Tasmanian Little Elsa, the Matt Laurie trained Lady Skills and Godolphin’s Pecans.
Meanwhile Leishman and Undetected are showing good promise for the Mitchell Freedman stable whilst Skilled Hunter and Tradies Tea break are impressive last start winners with plenty more to offer. And then there is the Hong Kong based Empire Star who created a big impression flying home from a long way back to run second at his Happy Valley debut in mid-March.
Skilled is a son of the late Commands who, with his 72 stakes winners (including 11 Group One winners) and 70.3% winners-to-runners strike rate, has been one of the country’s most reliable stallions.
Skilled is a son of the wonderful mare Dextrous, Sandown Guineas winning dam of the Group Two winners Sidestep and Ambidexter from a prolific black type family that produced one Australia’s best ever mares, the champion Emancipation.
“Ever since we decided to stand Skilled we have been getting all these phone calls from breeders telling us how much they like him,” Duddy said.
“So many people have a Skilled youngster who they really like and with that in mind we are confident that the best is ahead for him.”
Due to serve his first book this spring, Wayed Zain boasts a pedigree to impress.
Not only is he by Sadler’s Wells’ seven times Group One winning son High Chaparral whose son So You Think is making such a great start to his stud career – but he is from a family that has produced two of the best stallions to have stood in Victoria.
For Wayed Zain is out of the Al Maher mare Zyoon, the only filly produced by the city winning Star Way mare Shoal Creek.
She, of course, made her contribution to racing and breeding by producing the Group 1 winner Encosta de Lago – champion sire of 112 stakes winners including 27 Group 1 winners.
Shoal Creek’s dam Rolls – who is proving herself an excellent line-breeding subject – also made her mark at stud with her wonderful son Flying Spur.
The winner of two (both at metropolitan level in Sydney) of his five starts, Wayed Zain is bred on the highly successful High Chaparral/Danehill cross – one that has produced big race winners Inference, Tivaci, Free Eagle, Charmont, Fenway and Pondarosa Miss.
“He is such a beautiful big horse,” Duddy enthused, adding that Wayed Zain possesses a great temperament with plenty of presence.
Wayed Zain makes his stud debut at a fee of $2,200 whilst Skilled stands for $3,300.
Von Costa de Hero – whose first crop are running at a 60% winning strike rate – remains at $2,200 whilst the popular Redente (who last Wednesday was represented by impressive maiden winner Reddour) will stand at $3850.
All service fees are inclusive of GST and include the reproductive vet costs – a real bonus!
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What a remarkable achievement by Burning Front to amass $1.26 million in stakes without ever contesting a Group 1 race let alone winning one!
A look at the history books suggests that there has never been an Australian flat horse win so much without lining up for a crack at Group 1 race or Magic Millions prize money… making Burning Front a very special horse indeed.
But we already knew that, even before he stuck his head out after a stirring battle with Hooked in Saturday’s Group 3 R.A Lee Stakes at Morphettville.
That was win number 18 for the big bold chestnut, his seventh success from his last eight starts.
He is the biggest ever winner of VOBIS prize money, he is the Darren Weir’s stable’s second most prolific ever winner (behind Gotta Take Care – 20 wins) and no other horse Australia wide has won as many metropolitan races in 2017.
In fact no horse in the country has won as many races as Burning Front has this year and his remarkable run may be far from over with connections considering a trip north for the Queensland winter carnival.
“He is just an incredible horse,” said Burning Front’s understandably proud breeder and owner Justin Lovatt.
“He just keeps giving and the form around him continues to hold up in high class races.”
Hellova Street, Humidor and Tally are just some of the horses to win black type races after finishing behind Burning Front in recent months.
Lovatt is hoping Burning Front will make his Group 1 debut in the not too distant future and he is not sure how his nerves will be, admitting to be a tad on the tense side each time his pride and joy races!
In the meantime he is happy celebrating another win and is also keen to give credit to the Weir stable and to Brad Rawiller who has been aboard Burning Front for eleven of his victories.
“That’s as many races as I won on Weekend Hussler and he was a champion!” Rawiller enthused, adding that Burning Front is “a jockey’s dream.”
“Is he one of my favourite horses? Absolutely!”
Burning Front is a son of the regally bred Flying Spur stallion Primus, a Group 3 winning great grandson of Denise’s Joy.
Apart from Burning Front, Primus has had 13 other winners this season from small crops. Included amongst this group are the multiple winners Kissee Mee and Call Us Primi and the promising 3YO Autonomous.
Currently on the market, Primus is also sire of the Victorian bred Singapore Group One winner Laughing Gravy.
Meanwhile Burning Front’s dam She’s A Knockout (Kingston Rule) has a lovely weanling full brother to Burning Front which has Lovatt excited! She is currently in foal to Chatswood Stud’s Reward for Effort.
For further information on Primus, contact Justin Lovatt on 0416 063 873.
Supreme Thoroughbreds graduate Ten Gun Salute was flying the Aussie flag on the world stage last week, claiming a Group 2 victory at Greyville in South Africa.
Already a stakes-winner, the Duncan Howells trained son of Henrythenavigator (USA) took the 1900 metre feature by a length and a half.
Bred in Victoria by Aquanita chairman Peter Howell, Ten Gun Salute was a bargain purchase for $10,000 from the 2014 Inglis Classic Sale.
Secured by Heritage Bloodstock from the Supreme Thoroughbreds draft (seen in pic below), he caught the eye of good judge and the Inglis agent in South Africa, Paul Guy.
Supreme’s Brent Grayling and long client Peter Howell have partnered many horses through the ring.
“Peter sends us a few each year to take through the sales, and with Ten Gun Salute we just decided to go halves. He was a nice type, just a bit immature and needed some time,” Grayling said.
“It was great for Paul (Guy), as I remember giving him a hard time as being our best under bidder, but he certainly got it right with this one.”
Ten Gun Salute was then offered at the Lanzerac Ready To Run Sale in South Africa in October 2014, where his value increased to R1.15 million (AU$104,585), topping the final session of the sale for Allan Bloodlines on behalf of owners Hein and Hester Kuhn.
The four year old is from the Bluebird mare, Ladyblue Blue who won stakes races at Morphettville and Moonee Valley and she was also Group 1 placed in the 1995 South Australian Oaks.
Ten Gun Salute has now won four of 16 starts including a Group 3 win in the Michael Roberts Handicap over 1800 metres at Grayville.
Ten Gun Salute is a half-brother to ten winners including the Group 3 SAJC Fillies Classic winner Red Typhoon (Hold That Tiger) and the stakes-placed Bella Princess (Flying Spur).
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Melbourne based Ken Breese has always been happy to “sell a few, race a few” since first getting involved in the thoroughbred industry around 30 years ago.
He was happy to sell a few at last year’s Inglis Melbourne VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale, via Tas and Julie Reilley’s Basinghall Farm draft … a Not A Single Doubt, a Snitzel and a Smart Missile.
The Snitzel colt was out of Breese’s home-bred, five-time stakes winner Tickle My, while the other pair were from Tickle My’s daughters.
As it turns out, Breese would have been more than happy to keep the Smart Missile filly, but was overseas at the time and, through a miscommunication, ended up selling all three.
On Saturday in Adelaide, the Smart Missile colt – now named I’ll Have A Bit and racing out of the John McArdle stable – notched up her first stakes victory by claiming the Group Three National Stakes over 1200 metres.
It was an impressive performance by the filly whose previous three outings had resulted in a Flemington fourth, a Geelong second and a fast finishing third at Flemington two weeks earlier.
She has clearly benefited from the lead ups and appears destined for a few more winners’ rugs. If Breese was sorry to see her racing in colours other than his own, he wasn’t showing it.
“C’est la vie. Bruce Purcell usually trains my horses and I know he would have fancied a Group winner, but good luck to John (McArdle) because he clearly has a big opinion of the filly,” Breese pointed out.
“So much so that he purchased the Foxwedge half brother in Tasmania earlier this year.”
I’ll Have A Bit’s dam, Take All Of Me, was a three-time winner for Ken and wife Jenny and is one of seven to race – all winners – from the Perugino mare, Tickle My.
Winner of the 2003 Group 2 Sunline Stakes, Tickle My won all five of her stakes races in Melbourne and, ironically, was only raced by Breese because he couldn’t sell her!
Breese adds that it’s been a while between drinks since he’s had a Group winner but isn’t complaining.
“I raced a mare called Rich Habit (a Flemington stakes winner) in the 1980s and it just grew from there,” Breese explains.
“We bought a farm and had it fully set up until a few years ago, but have since scaled back and I’ve only got around eight mares these days.”
Four of those are up with Tas Rielley at Basinghall, while the rest are with the Whishaws at Armidale Stud in Tasmania.
“As for Take All Of Me, she’s got a weanling filly by Toronado, but based on I’ll Have A Bit’s win on Saturday, she might end up heading to Smart Missile again this spring.”
Although McArdle is keeping his powder dry as to where the filly heads next, the Mornington based trainer was clearly impressed by the National victory.
“I’ll Have A Bit’s always given us a good feel and we’ve got a big opinion of her,” McArdle enthused.
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