Americain had his first three-year-old winner in Australia last week when “Oaks quality” filly, Queen Consort, won dominantly at Ipswich for Toowoomba trainer John Zielke.

A great way to welcome her sire Americain back onto Aussie soil, the promising galloper easily broke her maiden over 1680 metres.

“I bought this filly down in Melbourne…to specifically target the Queensland Oaks. This filly will run two miles, and there is no doubt she will get the Oaks distance. She’s by Melbourne Cup winner Americain, and she seems like she’ll stay all day,” Zielke said

“This is only her second start, so there is still plenty of improvement to come. She can travel a bit up and down, but she stretched out today and really used herself correctly when she hit the line.”

Although now trained a long way from Americain’s Victorian base, the promising galloper started life at the Nagambie nursery.

Bred by Rob Harding, a loyal, long term client of the farm, she was prepped at Limerick Lane by Swettenham’s nominations and marketing guru, Rachel Ritchie, for the 2016 Inglis Premier Sale.

“She was always going to grow into a tall, rangy filly, a lovely staying type. I knew she would run well,” Ritchie said.

Breeder Rob Harding was very pleased to see one of his homebreds win, and especially an Americain.

“I just got a call from Adam (Sangster) who was thrilled to pieces too. As we are a shareholder in Americain and have nominations, it’s great to get an early win at this time of year.”

Queen Consort is from Harding’s well-bred Flying Spur mare Princess Isabella, who hails from the black type family of Group 1 winners Shogun Lodge, Referral and Singing the Blues.

Still waiting for their first foal to arrive this season, Harding has around 14 mares in his high-quality broodmare band due this season.

“We are bringing some mares back from the Hunter, and I would like to send them to Adam, as I like the way he conducts his business, very professional. He follows each and every runner, foal and mare like they are his own, he is so passionate,” Harding said.

“I have a lovely Toronado filly who has just turned one, from my class mare, Kellys Ocean Jewel (Dansili). She is a half to New Bay, who placed third in the 2015 Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, beating Treve and I am looking forward to seeing her grow up and race.”

Queen Consort was sold from Swettenham Stud’s 2016 draft at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale for $36,000 to trainer John Zielke on behalf of the current owners Dovedeen Syndicate, managed by Evan Hartley.

Ipswich winner Queen Consort at Swettenham Stud as an Inglis Premier Sale yearling

The filly is the second Australian winner for Americain, who stands at Swettenham Stud this spring at a competitive fee of $11,000 (Inc gst). The sire has had numerous winners in the Northern Hemisphere including the United States, France and Canada.

All potential breeders are warmly invited to come and see a full parade of the Swettenham stallions, including Americain at their upcoming Open Days, at 11am on Sunday 20th August and 10.30am on Sunday 3rd September.

For more information and to RSVP your attendance, please call Swettenham Stud on 5794 2044 or email

Blue Gum Farm is looking forward to a busy season ahead, both in the breeding shed and on the track with an impressive group of gallopers targeting major spring races.

And new stallion Manhattan Rain is certainly the leader of that pack.

Manhattan Rain’s two current Group 1 winners She Will Reign and Whisky Baron both have major Group 1 targets on their schedules in coming months. A handful of other stakes winners and performers by the sire are also are set to be Spring contenders.

Blue Gum Farm’s Philip Campbell is enthusiastic as he gives an insight into the exciting race campaigns planned for Manhattan Rain’s progeny.

She Will Reign, the champion two-year-old Golden Slipper winner, is the flagbearer for her sire with the $10 million Everest locked in.

“By all reports, she is going fine in the early part of her preparation and will be set to run first up in Moir at the Valley before taking her place in the Everest,” Campbell said.

Another promising galloper is the Waterhouse and Bott trained 3YO Runaway. Coming off the back of a strong win in Sydney last Wednesday, the colt looks to be strengthening and improving with each start.

Bred by Victoria’s Rosemont Stud, he is a sibling to two Group 1 Oaks winners and will attempt to win the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes this Spring for Rosemont’s Anthony Mithen and co-owners.

“It is great that Mitho bred the horse and that he is still involved in the ownership. He (Runaway) has a very interesting pedigree, being a half to two Oaks fillies by Redoute’s Choice and Manhattan Rain has a strong connection there being a half brother to Redoute’s Choice himself,” Campbell said.

Tango Rain although having been off the scene for a long time, showed that he is back on track for the Spring.

“I thought his run the other day was very good for his first start in ten months. He is in a terrific stable with Gerald Ryan, who will be no doubt be keeping him on the straight and narrow. He was a talented racehorse in his previous campaign and Gerald will pick the right races. I believe that there are real expectations around him, being a Group level sprinter.”

Manhattan Rain’s son Indian Thunder (outside) wins the Queen Adelaide Stakes at Morphettville (Photo- Twitter @racingbase)

(3YO) Indian Thunder did a really nice job in his first preparation. He was actually undefeated, but lost the first one on protest. He then claimed a Stakes win in Adelaide second-up. He has just started his spring campaign in the DK Weir stable, and I can’t see why he won’t measure up going forward into the spring months,” Campbell said.

Whisky Baron is Manhattan Rain’s best international performer having won the South African answer to our Cox Plate in the Group 1 Sun Metropolitan earlier this year.

The class galloper has now travelled over to the UK for trainer Brett Crawford in preparation for a campaign targeted towards a Group 1 goal in Hong Kong in December

“Whenever the South Africans travel internationally with their best horses they have done extremely well and the people who have Whisky Baron are certainly no mugs,” Campbell said.

“It is very exciting to have an international Group 1 winner by our stallion that is going to be highly competitive on the world stage. We will be eagerly following his upcoming campaign with great interest.”

As well as the aforementioned Group 1 winners, Manhattan Rain is also the sire of Group 2 winners Wild Rain, Scarlet Rain and Moonovermanhattan.

With only four crops of racing age, Manhattan Rain’s progeny have earned more than $10.2 million in prize money, with 10 individual stakes winners and an impressive winner to runner percentage of 56%. Being only 11 years old, he unquestionably has a big future ahead of him.

“Manhattan Rain’s results on the track now just keep coming. In his third and fourth crops, he had Slipper chances, with the filly winning this year. Having produced his Slipper winner a great deal earlier than Lonhro, or Written Tycoon, there is a huge amount of upside on this stallion,” Campbell said.

“We have strong breeders with strong mares on board with us now for the breeding season this year and we are looking forward to watching things unfold in the coming months on the racetrack.”

Manhattan Rain will stand at $19,750 alongside the extremely tough and genuine multiple Group One winning sprinter Turffontein, More Than Ready’s son, War and the Group 1 performer, Glass Harmonium.

For more information, please contact Blue Gum Farm on 03 5795 3331 or visit

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce issued a media release last week regarding the new Thoroughbred Breeding Industry levy which will start this breeding season.

Thoroughbred horse levy at the starting gates

Thoroughbred horse breeders and the whole industry will soon have greater certainty about investment in priority long-term research and development, with a new research and development levy to begin on 1 September.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the government was delivering on its $1.2 million election commitment to support the industry’s request to establish a levy, which will fund research to develop better disease control, stronger foals and horse welfare measures.

“Stallion owners will pay a levy of $10 per mare covered per season and mare owners will pay a levy of $10 per mare returned per season,” Minister Joyce said.

“The government will match industry’s own contributions up to $400,000 per year, with the levy thus expected to generate a total of $2.4 million for R&D over three years.

“The R&D levy is aimed at maintaining a strong, productive and profitable thoroughbred horse industry.

“The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) will manage the levy funds collected by industry, and work with industry to develop a research and development plan.”

Mr Joyce said the levy was an important development for Australia, home to the second largest thoroughbred breeding industry in the world, after the United States, with 660 stud farms supplying thoroughbred horses to both domestic and overseas markets.

“The industry employs 65,000 people, particularly in rural and regional areas and is worth $5 billion per annum to the Australian economy, so there’s no room for horsing around with industry risks.

“The levy will fund projects for the benefit of the whole industry, such as those focused on reducing injury, the incidence and impact of diseases and parasites and improved foal development and breeding outcomes.

“It could also be used to fund research to improve the safety of industry participants and the welfare of horses; and enhance the environmental sustainability of the industry.”

As announced by RIRDC, the industry advisory group for the thoroughbred levy has been set up and met for the first time on 28-29 June 2017. Their first piece of work is developing the 5-year plan for how the thoroughbred R&D funds should be spent.

The advisory panel comprises:

  • Professor Nigel Perkins from the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland (CHAIR)
  • Jacqueline Stewart, (Keeper of the Australian Stud Book)
  • Dr Catherine Chicken (consultant to the Scone Equine Hospital on pathology and infectious disease)
  • Judith Medd (Racing and Wagering Western Australia Industry Veterinarian)
  • Derek Field (Widden Stud General Manager)
  • Tas Rielley (owner/operator of Basinghall Broodmare Farm).

Fast Facts:

  • The peak industry body for Australia’s thoroughbred breeding industry, Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, represents 3,780 individual breeders and industry participants.
  • In the 2015-16 season, 19 406 mares were covered to produce 12,701 live foals.
  • Stallion owners will pay a levy of $10 per mare covered per season. Mare owners will pay a levy of $10 per mare returned per season.

Balf’s Choice won another race on Saturday. That was his fourth in a row at Morphettville too.

The 5YO son of Written Tycoon had raced on 16 occasions prior to this campaign for just the two wins and a bunch of placings, but appears to have found another gear this time around, much to the delight of trainer, Ryan Balfour and breeder/part owner, Grant Kinter.

Such has been the rise and rise of Balf’s Choice that he is now likely to target the Listed Penny Edition Stakes (1400m) at Morphettville on 2 September (over the same journey that he won by nearly four lengths in mid July) before following up with the Listed Balaklava Cup (1600m) 11 days later.

Breeder Kinter, who owns a scaffolding construction company to pay the horse feed bills, is quick to pay tribute to Balfour and the trainer’s late father, David, for his association with Balf’s Choice and, in particular, the galloper’s mum, Not Jude’s Choice.

“I’ve been good mates with Ryan for a long time and his father, David, rang me one day and said that if I was looking for a mare, there was one going through the 2012 Inglis Great Southern sale that I might be interested in,” Kinter explains.

“David rang them at Inglis’s and got them to purchase it on his behalf and she was knocked down for $8,000 … in foal to Written Tycoon.

“Turns out she was carrying Balf’s Choice, so I’ve ended up with a very cheap Written Tycoon.”

(At the time, Written Tycoon’s advertised fee was $11,000, which has increased to $88,000 in 2017).

Kinter sold Balf’s Choice as a yearling for $20,000 at the 2014 Adelaide Magic Millions, but wisely retained a 30% share for he and his wife, particularly given that his home-bred has currently won $162,080 with the promise of much more to come.

“A lot of the shareholders in the horse knew David Balfour pretty well and sadly he passed away in between me getting the mare and before the horse was named. So, we all decided to go with Balf’s Choice, because in so many ways it was.”

Kinter sent Not Jude’s Choice back to Written Tycoon the following year (producing an unraced filly called Arani), got an Americain colt in 2014, a Dalakhani filly the next spring and a Stryker colt the year after that.

Given a year off in 2016, Not Jude’s Choice is about to be covered by Three Bridges Stud resident, Unencumbered, this spring.

“The amazing thing about Not Jude’s Choice is that all her colts are huge, while the fillies are only small. That was part of the problem with Balf’s Choice – a big, gangly type that was slow to mature,” Kinter adds.

“Ryan said to me during the last prep that we’d see the best of Balf’s Choice this time around and he’s been spot on.

“The Americain colt is a big boy too, so hopefully he’ll follow the same path. Balf’s Choice’s half-brother, St Gabriel won seven in town and he was a late maturer as well. I’ve just got my fingers crossed that Not Jude’s Choice produces another colt from Unencumbered!”

If Balf’s Choice continues his run in the Penny Edition and Balaklava Cup, Kinter says he will continue to follow the same ritual after each success: “VB was David Balfour’s beer of choice so I crack open a stubby after each win in honour of a great bloke and a very good judge.

Story from Aushorse

Melbourne Polytechnic’s Diploma of Horse Breeding (Stud Management) has been restarted this year, helping to provide a skilled workforce for the Victorian breeding industry.

Head of the Equine Studies Program, Lou Nunn from Melbourne Polytechnic’s department of Agriculture and Animal Studies is passionate about education, having years of experience at Melbourne University’s Glenormiston Campus.

“The industry is crying out for well-educated people to employ on studs and farms throughout Victoria,” Nunn said.

“With Marcus Oldham being a financial barrier for many and the brilliant Godolphin Flying Start, a numbers barrier, there are not enough education courses available to prospective employees wanting to work in the local thoroughbred industry.

“We are thrilled that the course has been restarted this year, as it allows young people to acquire the skills, knowledge and hands on experience to gain quality employment as an equine industry professional.”

Learning all facets of horse breeding, students gain an extensive education in mare mating procedures, raising young horses, foaling down mares, developing and implementing breeding strategies, nutritional needs of breeding horses, coordination of pastures, property and infrastructure and how to manage the reproductive outcomes of stallions and mares.

Hands-on practical training is provided at their Northern Lodge Training Centre, a state-of-the-art equine specific teaching facility, coupled with Victorian stud and broodmare farms.

“We have built strong and valuable relationships with Woodside Park Stud, Swettenham Stud and Supreme Thoroughbreds as well as with Macedon Ranges Equine Vets who specialise in reproduction,” Nunn said.

“Students are given the opportunity to do their work placements at these four operations, taught by industry leaders to enable positive education outcomes. They provide a safe learning environment and take the students seriously.”

Equestrian Australia Level Three General Coach Catherine Davies, an extremely knowledgeable and respected horsewoman, teaches the Horse Breeding diploma.

“It’s wonderful having such a youthful, enthusiastic and knowledgeable equestrian in this position to teach young people. She can relate to the students and ensures that, with her teaching qualification, she can achieve the best result from each and every participant,” Nunn said.

Other specialised lecturers that educate the students on specific course modules include Heather Wilson from LaTrobe University’s Agriculture Division who teaches pasture management; Kate Kirk who lectures Equine Nutrition and Equine Veterinarian; and Olivia Greenwood who specialises in horse reproduction.

“This Diploma is setting people up for a management role in the horse industry. Through the quality of our teachers, industry supporters and standard of delivery, we have lifted the whole course to a new level,” Nunn said.

“The entire thoroughbred industry will open up for our graduates, and along with studs and farms, they will be qualified to work in a range of occupations in the wider horse industry, including racing stables, licensing bodies, transport, media, publishing and bloodstock.”

In association with LaTrobe University, successful completion of this course can lead onto a Bachelor Degree in Agriculture & Technology, with an Equine stream.

Melbourne Polytechnic also offer Racing Certificate 2 & 3 (Stablehand) and Racing Certificate 3 (Track Rider) with all practical skills developed at their Northern Lodge Training Centre at Eden Park.

For more information on the courses offered, contact Lou Nunn, Head of Program Equine Studies at Melbourne Polytechnic on 03 9269 1169 or visit their website

Woodside Park Stud has welcomed Rich Enuff’s first foal, a healthy filly from the beautifully bred Redoute’s Choice mare, Balsamico.

An example of the quality mares Woodside Park Stud has supported the young son of Written Tycoon with, Balsamico is the dam of well-performed galloper Masthead, making the new bundle of joy on the ground a three-quarter sister.

Masthead can proudly lay claim to be Written Tycoon’s first Group 1 performer, impressively winning a touch under a million dollars.

Following a remarkable career in Singapore where he placed in the Group 2 Kranji Sprint, Masthead consistently competed in listed and group level racing including runner up in the Group 2QTC Magic Millions Cup on his return to Australia.

Balsamico, a winner herself over 1200m is a three-quarter sister to Fullazz and is a half sister to Admirelle, the dam of Group 1 winner Sizzling. She is from the family of Group 3 winner Written Dash (Written Tycoon) and the Listed winners Laudemio, Loving Cup and Vintage Dance.

Based at Glenlogan Park in Queensland for his first season, Rich Enuff covered 125 mares with excellent fertility.

Being Written Tycoon’s fastest, highest rated and best-looking son, he was well supported by breeders with a large book of fast city winning fillies and quality broodmares.

Rich Enuff was the most dominant sprinter in Australia during his three-year-old spring campaign winning three consecutive stakes races before he finished a gallant runner-up to Shooting To Win in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas.

His ability combined with his stunning physical attributes is a surefire formula to produce magnificent looking offspring, and we are excited to see more of the first generation of Rich Enuff’s foals arriving this spring.

Rich Enuff will stand for the 2017 breeding season at a competitive fee of $13,750 Inc. GST.

The Robert Smerdon trained Ability and his sire Reward for Effort have given TBV plenty of content to report on when it comes to Victorian breeding success during the winter.

And both were in no mood to finish that trend when the five-year-old gelding took out the rescheduled Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes at Sandown on Sunday.

Ability, showed he is well worthy of his moniker, by swooping from last to first and winning by a neck from former Australian champion Lankan Rupee.

Ability has now won four on end: a reversal of fortunes which has largely been put down to a decision to geld the 5YO son of Reward For Effort.

Raced by the family of the late and very popular, Phil Sly, Ability’s Bletchingly Stakes was the biggest win of his career which now reads seven wins and four placing from 16 starts for $368,250 in prizemoney.

Peter Moody became a household name for his prowess as a trainer, but takes a bow on this occasion as Ability’s breeder, sending his Dubai Destination mare Paeroa to the Chatswood Stud based Reward For Effort back in 2011.

A half-sister to the Group Two Matriarch Stakes winner, Well Rounded, Paeroa’s only foal to race at this stage is Ability, who was sold to Matchem Racing, from the Yallambee Stud draft, for $150,000 at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Christie Woodard, who ran Yallambee Stud (now Spendthrift Australia) with husband Rick, for over 30 years, well remembers Ability and is not surprised as to his continued rise.

“Pete (Moody) had a few mares on farm and Paeroa was a very tough gal and had produced a very nice foal in Ability. ‘Moods’ made the decision to send her to Reward For Effort and clearly pulled the right rein there.”

Now managing the YuLong Investments property at Bayles in West Gippsland, Woodard adds that Ability was destined to be popular at the Inglis Premier.

“He (Ability) came together well as a foal and then all the way through his yearling prep and I guess that showed in the price he brought. He really had the right nature from day one and, as it turns out, he was worth every penny.”

After Ability, Paeroa produced a Sebring filly (an unraced 3YO colt with Henry Dwyer called April Sun In Cuba) but was later sold at the 2016 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale to Hancox Bloodstock, on behalf of the Esplin family, for $70,000.

Paeroa was in foal to Helmet and produced a three quarter brother to Ability last September and is now in foal to Reset.

In terms of the Helmet three brother to Ability, Hamish Esplin revealed that the colt would be offered at a major 2018 sale, adding:

“I saw him the other day and he is in much the same mould as Ability: a big, strong colt and I said to Peter (Moody) that I would sell it back to him for $200,000 … he didn’t find that funny at all!”

Meanwhile, Chatswood’s Reward For Effort was basking in the success of a record breaking racing season. He produced no less than 77 individual winners in season 2016/2017, more than any other Third Season Sire.

His progeny earnings, which included five stakes successes, were just a tick over $3.7 million, a Victorian Third Season Sire record.

Reward For Effort stands this season at Chatswood Stud for a fee of $16,500.

With a service fee of just US$5,000, Spendthrift shuttle sire Jimmy Creed was not expected to be one of the superior first crop sires going into the North American racing season.

But the Group 1 winning son of Distorted Humor is not just keeping pace with his higher profile peers, he is in a fight for the leading freshman sire of 2017. He sits just $44,000 in progeny earnings behind the leader.

A Group 2 win by his 2YO daughter Spectator over the weekend highlighted the success of the young sire who has recently returned to Spendthrift’s base at Romsey in Victoria.

Jimmy Creed now has four stakes performers in his first crop, more than any other North American Freshman sire this season. His first runners includes seven winners from seventeen runners.

Spectator was dominant in taking out the Group 2 Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar on Saturday winning by five lengths in the 1300 metre race.

“This race has been on the radar from the get-go and we just let her mature and she sure did. She’s just a bunch of raw talent and she’s getting better and better.” said the filly’s winning trainer Phil D’Amato.

Jimmy Creed was a Group 1 winner over 1300 metres in North America. He comes from a stunning family with his dam Hookedonthefeelin being both a Group 1 winner and a dual Group 1 producer.

Spendthrift Australia General Manager Garry Cuddy said Jimmy Creed’s results in North America had pricked the interest of local breeders.

“Off the back of these results we’ve had quite a few phone calls. We even have someone book in five mares over the weekend to Jimmy Creed.

“We are very happy with where he’s at. He arrived at the farm on Saturday in great order and shook off the cobwebs after a month in quarantine.”

Jimmy Creed stands at a fee of $7,700 (GST incl) this season at Spendthrift Australia.

Written Tycoon is like a fine wine as he continues to improve year after year.

Held in the highest regards amongst the most astute thoroughbred judges, by the finest sommeliers, he would be comparable to a Grange.

Having taken out Champion First Season Sire of Australia in 2010/11, he has now been recognised for the second season in a row with the title of Champion Victorian Sire.

Written Tycoon had a break-out season in 2015/2016 with three of his progeny winning Group 1 races not least Golden Slipper winner Capitalist. He was also crowned Champion Australian 2YO Sire.

This past season he proved the previous season wasn’t a fluke. The progeny of the Woodside based sire earned $7.79 million across Australia. This included six individual stakes winners, 139 individual winners and, of course, Group 1 Tatts Tiara winner Tycoon Tara.

Added to that was his overseas success particularly in Hong Kong where he had seven individual winners and progeny earnings of HK$13 million (AU$2.09 million).

A son of Last Tycoon’s Iglesia and out of a Kenmare mare, an element of Written Tycoon’s success must be credited to providing breeders with an outcross that suits the majority of pedigrees.

With the Australian broodmare band being saturated with Danehill blood, he has achieved success from a diverse range of dam lines, not being restricted to suiting a particular nick.

In his early stud career Written Tycoon was well supported with mare numbers but not necessarily quality. Nevertheless he continually upgraded his mares, and by producing outstanding types with each crop of foals, he started to gain admirable attention.

All up, Written Tycoon has had 443 progeny hit the race track for 324 winners, a phenomenal 73.0% winners to runners ratio. Total progeny earnings are now more than $38 million including the big prizes of 19 stakes winners.

This year, Written Tycoon went to a new level writing Victorian sire records in the sales ring.

In January, his Magic Millions Gold Coast yearlings averaged $307,500, an astonishing 22 times his service fee.

Then at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, he became the first Victorian based sire to have a $1 million yearling at any sale in Australia. With his Easter yearlings averaging $610,000, he returned a staggering 44.8 times his service fee.

These exceptional sales results give mare owners the confidence that they have made the right choice financially to breed with Written Tycoon to achieve success in the sales ring and on the racetrack.

With tremendous fertility and libido, Written Tycoon in recent seasons has covered large books of some of the best pedigreed and performed young mares in the country, reversing the trend and triggering commercial breeders in the Hunter Valley to send mares south.

In modern times it is unprecedented for such a successful sire – on both the race track and in the sales ring – to stand (and remain) in Victoria.

But Woodside Park Stud is passionately Victorian owned by Mark Rowsthorn and he is determined that their champion sire remains right here in the southern state.

The sire’s 2017 service fee is $88,000, by far the highest ever demanded of a Victorian based sire. But with the accolades he and his progeny have already achieved, it is hard to argue this is not the right figure.

The famous Flemington straight saw a true staying battle late Saturday afternoon when Eureka Street fought on bravely to win for his breeder-owner, this year’s Lady Of Racing award winner Barbara Saunders and her husband, Barry.

Speaking post-race, Barbara was thrilled to see her homebred take out a well-deserved win, by putting himself in front and having to dig deep and work hard to the line.

“It is such a long straight to watch, but he was bred to stay, and he could have maintained that pace for another 1000 metres,” Saunders said.

In winning the $120,000 race, Eureka Street also took home an additional $35,000 in VOBIS bonuses as he was nominated by Barbara and Barry to VOBIS Gold.

Eureka Street wins at Flemington in the Saunders’ black & pink spots colours (Ross Holburt-Racing Photos)

Trained by Robert Smerdon, Eureka Street will now have a short break of two to three weeks, before he steps up to 2400m and be targeted toward some nice staying races during the Spring Carnival.

“We bred and raced his mum Rathsallagh, an O’Reilly mare, who was very brave running second in the Queensland Oaks, and she was a sister to Paddy O’Reilly who won the Easter Cup at Caulfield and the Albury Cup,” said Barbara.

“We were hoping a Street Cry out of her would be fantastic, and he is, just a beautiful animal, bred to race 2000 metres and beyond.

“He was going to be set for the Derby, but unfortunately an injury at three required a long spell, so we decided to geld him to stop him getting too heavy. If he had the opportunity to race at three, he may have been a real stallion prospect, but on the plus side, we now get to keep him and race him ourselves, which is just sensational.”

“With the pedigree to run over more distance, Eureka Street is one of eight horses currently in work with Robert Smerdon, including last week’s winner Every Faith in the first race at Caulfield. We will see Every Faith at her last start at Caulfield in early September, before heading to the breeding barn this season for a date with Medaglia D’Oro.

“We also have a couple of young ones coming through, and a lovely three year old by Reward For Effort called Belle Prix, which off the back of Ability, Robert (Smerdon) is very keen on.”

The Saunders have half a dozen breeding mares all based at Kim and Liz McKellar’s Ballarat stud Wyndholm Park.

As loyal supporters of the Victorian breeding industry, they have two mares heading to Manhattan Rain this season, two to Magnus and another going to Wyndholm Park’s own stallion Rebel Raider.

They are also eagerly awaiting some exciting new arrivals on the ground with two foals due from Helmet and a Street Boss from their mare, Sienna Sunrise.

Barbara has been involved in horses throughout her life starting early days at pony club in Western Australia. Having ridden ex-racehorses in equestrian events, including dressage and eventing, she also rode trackwork with her sister of a morning. They had to start in the dark, as girls were not allowed to ride racehorses in training.

Eventually, Barbara headed to the sales and bought two thoroughbreds for herself.

“I found that these horses were actually winning real money, whereas I was only winning ribbons (in eventing). The prize money paid the feed bills. Originally I was going to pre-train them and give them to a trainer to race, but I was encouraged to train them myself, so I applied for a trainers licence.”

Although coming up against the ‘boys club’ mentality, Barbara passed the requirements set by the strict stewards of the day and became the first woman to be granted a trainers licence in Western Australia.

“I was set a complicated and technical two hour written test and an one hour interview. I passed, so they had to grant me my licence. After that, none of the aspiring male trainers could pass the same exam, so it was reduced in difficulty considerably!

“I was committed to training and love the thrill, but after meeting my future husband Barry and relocating to Victoria, I gave up my licence. I have always kept my interest in racehorses, but now enjoy the ride as a breeder and owner. It’s a wonderful addiction to have!”

Sun Stud’s exciting young stallion, Squamosa has taken out the title of Victoria’s Champion First Season Sire for the 2016/17 racing season.

An explosive racehorse himself, Squamosa was unbeaten at two, with a win in the Group 3 Run to the Rose Handicap and was a gallant Group 1 runner up in the STC Golden Rose.

Hitting the ground running with only 11 progeny to race, Squamosa’s first two runners were both stakes placed winners, the fillies Derasa and Kiwi Ida. A further five runners have been placed in their careers to date.

Being the only son at stud in Victoria of boom stallion Not a Single Doubt (who stands for a service fee of $88,000), Squamosa has been a popular option for local breeders to tap into his highly sort after pedigree.

Sun Stud’s David Grant is not surprised that the exciting stallion is achieving great first up results on the track and generating large numbers of mares in the covering shed.

Squamosa covered a career high 121 mares in 2016, giving him every opportunity for his progeny to succeed on the racetrack in the future.

Becoming more popular each year, Sun Stud has recently boosted their level of shareholding in the promising stallion, following on from some keen interest from a number of Hunter Valley farms.

“When we were made aware of the attention Squamosa was generating up north, me moved quickly to increase our ownership, ensuring that he stays in Victoria to support local breeders and the Victorian breeding industry,” Grant said.

Squamosa stands in at Sun Stud Victoria for an competitive fee of $6600 (GST incl) no doubt making him an attractive choice for broodmare owners again this season.

‘Colourful racing identity’ is not usually a euphemism you’d like to be loaded with, but taken literally, Victorian breeder Chrissie Ashmore fits the bill.

On Saturday, Ashmore’s home-bred, Shogun Sun, raced into Group One Golden Rose contention following an impressive victory in the Sprint over 1200m at Royal Randwick, against an impressive lineup of 3YOs.

Ashmore, with husband Gary, bred the Written Tycoon youngster at their Gisborne South property from the Belong To Me mare, Lady Somers.

The Ashmores, particularly the colourful Chrissie, were – for a number of years – popular fixtures at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale with their purple inspired marquee (not to mention well stocked fridge) with which to promote their stallion, King de Lago.

It was from that same venue the Ashmores purchased, among others, the mare Lady Somers for their breeding program.

Lady Somers has produced four to race for three winners and she is currently under John Kenneally’s care at Erinvale in the Western District and in foal to Melbourne Cup/Australian Cup winner, Fiorente.

“She’s always produced correct, athletic foals and full marks go to Chrissie from her judging days,” says Gary Ashmore, a leading event production manager.

“She bases her decisions purely on type when determining which stallion the mare will go to and it looks like she pulled the right rein with Written Tycoon who has been going gangbusters for the last few seasons.

“He (Shogun Sun) was an excellent foal. Very nice. Dean Harvey of Baystone Farm saw the potential and negotiated well to pinhook him to the 2016 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale where he was sold to Kelly Schweida for $80,000.

We’ve always thought her progeny would do well in the right hands and good luck to Kelly and the connections … it would be terrific for them if Shogun Sun wins the Golden Rose and a deserved reward for our favorite mare Lady Somers.”

After two nondescript performances in October and February, Shogun Sun won convincingly at Eagle Farm in March … followed up five days later with a second at Gold Coast … resumed with a second at the Sunshine Coast in mid-July … and now the win at Randwick, taking his earnings to $89,600. Enough for a start in the Golden Rose?

“I had a runner in last year’s Golden Rose (Oink) that would have had around the same money and Shogun Sun will have another run anyway before the Golden Rose (23 September),” Schweida points out.

“If he doesn’t win or run well in the lead up, he won’t be going to the Golden Rose anyway, but he’s definitely worth testing the water with. It’s up another few levels for him but he’s very promising.

“He was a bit gangly as a yearling – and he still hasn’t really grown into himself – but there’s a lot of scope and hopefully he’ll keep improving.”

Ironically, Shogun Sun’s racing colours are navy blue, white and … purple!

Note: Shogun Sun has been one of six winners already for Written Tycoon in the new racing season. Another eye-catcher over the weekend was debutant Wallace Street at Morphettville. Bred by Woodside themselves, the 3YO is trained by Richard Jolly and won by an eased-up 3.3 lengths.

After Eurack’s brilliant second win at Sandown, the racing community is starting to get excited about how good this filly may be.

Eased down on the line, with a clear four-length margin, the dominant victory gave Eurack a chance to show her talent against a city-class field.

And the stunning wins of the unbeaten John Drape bred filly couldn’t come at a better time for her sire, the former Hong Kong sprinter Oneworld.

Now owned by Stefan Seketa, the stallion son of Danehill Dancer has had fertility issues, but is being given a chance by one of Australia’s most experienced stallion farm operators.

Having left only nine live foals on the ground over four seasons, Oneworld is headed to historic Stockwell Thoroughbreds and will be managed by expert stud master Mike Becker.

“Off the back of the very promising filly, Eurack, we thought we would see what we could do. Stefan and I are fairly optimistic that the worst of his problems are behind him and that his fertility will improve,” Becker said.

“He raced until he was six, so he may just have had a post racing blockage, which is not uncommon.

“He has now had a good length of time away from racing, and the chance to genuinely let down. Time will be our judge, and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

Not expected to cover a large book of mares, Becker will focus on fine-tuning One World’s covering times and allow sufficient recovery. With professional management, Becker is confident that he can build Oneworld up to a respectable level of fertility.

“There have been some high-profile stallions who have overcome their breeding issues, giving us hope that things can be repaired. You have to be patient, work through the concerns and get a sound footing.”

Having already taken bookings from outside mares, Becker is conscious of the importance of being open and honest with communication so that the mare owners are completely aware of the challenges.

One World (Danehill Dancer) won $2.26 million in prize money, with a Group 2 victory in the Jockey Club Sprint at Sha Tin, dead-heating with Rocket Man and defeating Sacred Kingdom.

He notably placed in nine stakes races, including dual Group 1s, the Golden Shaheen in Dubai and the Hong Kong International Sprint.

One World is out of the Hurricane Sky dam River Serenade, who produced the high-class sprinter First Command. She is a sister to the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate winner River Dove, the dam of Headwater (Exceed and Excel) and a half-sister to the stakes placed River Crossing, the dam of the high-class sprinter Kulgrinda (Exceed and Excel).

“He is an extremely handsome, beautifully balanced horse and his temperament is extraordinary, he has been a delight to have around the place. We are looking forward to working with him, and it’s going to be an interesting ride,” Becker said.

One World’s service fee is on application. Contact Mike Becker for more information on 0412 538 155.

Bred at Edenhope in far western Victoria. Wins on debut at Devonport on the North-West Coast of Tasmania.

That was the story of Tycoon’s Daughter, a two-year-old (now three) daughter of Moshe, bred by Brenda Scarlett.

Scarlett is based at Edenhope, near the South Australian border and is a true example of a passionate small breeder whose love of horses goes deeper than just their racing ability.

Growing up a sheep grazier’s daughter, the youngest of three children, she never dreamed of ever owning or breeding a racehorse.

In fact a common saying on the land was, ‘There’s always some money in sheep, there’s sometimes money in cattle, but there’s never any-money in horses.’

But Scarlett was not to be deterred. Indulging her love of horses later in life she collected a small number of unfashionably bred mares that she liked to call her ‘guinea pigs’. They were by colonial sires and from colonial sires.

Tycoon’s Daughter’s grand-dam was Scarlett’s first foal that she bred to race, the aptly named flashy chestnut mare by Kenvain was called Flasher.

After her racetrack career she was sent to Malcolm Boyd’s Bullarook Stud in Avenel to be covered by Monde Bleu, producing a filly.

With the foal only four weeks old, Flasher was lost to a recurring bout of colic and the orphan filly was hand reared, until a foster mare was found. With great perseverance from all involved the mare finally accepted the foal as her own.

The foal grew up to be a quality galloper. Named Thrillionaire she went on to win nine races, and was city placed before she headed to Moshe in the Sun Stud breeding barn.

“One day I was looking at Moshe’s pedigree, and it occurred to me I’d be getting a three time cross to Vain. With approval from my breeding buff friend, Murray Kelly, we decided to give it go and follow my instincts,” Scarlett said.

“I hadn’t decided to mate Flasher with Monde Bleu until I read an article that there had been nine horses bred on the Last Tycoon / Kenmare cross for nine winners. So I felt comfortable with digging for gold where gold had been found.”

The subsequent Moshe filly was sold privately to Tasmanian trainer Kaye Milne through the Winning Post, named Tycoon’s Daughter and sent out to win on debut. It was also the first ever winner for Milne as a trainer.

It was a true thrill for Scarlett to see success from three generations of breeding.

“For those who haven’t experienced the satisfaction of firstly breeding a horse and getting it to the racetrack, there are no words to fully describe the incredible rush of blood.” Scarlett said

“But then to breed second and third generations of good horses, that is true happiness and a tonic for the soul!”

Scarlett was delighted to be contacted by Sun Stud following the win. Off the win Tycoon’s Daughter, she will be sending Thrillionaire back to Moshe this breeding season.

Thrillionaire also has a lovely yearling filly by Moshe, a weanling by Equiano and is expecting a Onemorenomore foal this season.

Sun Stud’s Moshe had another quality year with his progeny earning more than a million dollars on the track. With 29 individual winners, he was the leading Victorian second season sire by winners.

Moshe stands for a service fee of $7,700 (GST incl) this season at Sun Stud, Kerrie.

A Victorian bred mare which finished last at Warrnambool on debut before scaling the heights to win at Group 1 level has been retired.

Tycoon Tara will be served by Zoustar at Woodside Park Stud in Victoria.

She began her racing in Victoria before shifting to the Peter and Paul Snowden stable midway through last year, rounded out her career when finishing sixth in Saturday’s Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.

The seven-year-old mare is a homebred of Port Fairy’s Tony Krushka and is a daughter of Woodside Park sire Written Tycoon.

The 10-time winner came to the Snowden camp as a multiple Group winner but took the leap to the next level out of their Randwick base – starting 11 times for four wins (all at Group level) including the Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara (1350m) at Doomben.

“You don’t usually see a mare that has her career highlight so late,” Paul Snowden said.

“But it was pleasing for the stable. She did a great job for us and now a stud career beckons.”

And to give all owners out there a glimmer of hope – Tycoon Tara was beaten 24 lengths at Warrnambool when debuting on a heavy 10 track back in August, 2013.

Her career ended with 10 wins from 33 starts and prizemoney of $1,151,970.

Excerpts from Breednet. By Paul Joice.

It has been a very strong start for Victorian sires and their progeny on the race track this season and new Greta West stallion Master of Design is certainly among them.

Chris Waller trained Jaminzah moved Master Of Design off the mark in season 2017/2018 with a whirlwind victory in the Jockey Celebration Day Plate (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Jaminzah was bred and sold by Portland couple Ian and Vicki Bell from their mare Sarchi Lodge (Grand Lodge)

The four-year-old gelding is a graduate of the 2015 VOBIS Gold Sale and has now earned $127,950 including VOBIS Bonuses of $20,500.

Waller informed stewards Jaminzah would be ridden closer on Saturday but those plans went awry when Gold Fields set fast fractions in front.

Baster was more than a dozen lengths off the pace at the halfway point but didn’t panic.  He tracked Andrea Mantegna into the straight and then let the winner down with a brilliant finishing burst.

“You could argue his best form is at a mile so we stayed at 1600m,” Waller explained.

“We stayed with the same jockey (Stephen Baster), too and I thought he would be hard to beat.”

The Bells, who operate under the trading name Campolina, still have the dam Sarchi Lodge. She has a Master Of Design 2yo un-named filly with Ballarat owner David Speechley and a Master Of Design filly who is likely to go to the 2018 VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale at Oaklands.

Master Of Design (Redoute’s Choice) will cover his first book at Greta West Stud this year for a $5,500 (inc gst) service fee.

He sired the winners of 36 races in 2016-17, more than any other Victorian second season sire.

It was a wild and woolly Caulfield on Saturday with the Bletchingly Stakes program eventually abandoned due to high winds, but not before a rising star in Shamport (Shamardal) put his stamp on the $180,000 Join Victorian Breeders VOBIS Gold Ingot over 1400m.

And, if you believe his champion trainer, then this Rosemont Stud (slightly unusually) bred colt is a potential star of the future.

Shamport as a foal at Rosemont Stud in 2014

Stepping out for just the second time after finishing third at Echuca on 10 July, the Darren Weir trained 2YO was all business in the Gold Ingot, cruising to the line with more than two panels to spare.

“This is a really nice horse,” Weir enthused.

“We liked him at Echuca and he ran really well … Johnny (Allen) was very critical of his ride and said he should have taken control of the race earlier and probably would have won.

“The best part about his performance in the Gold Ingot though was that the further they got into the race, the stronger he went to the line and he did it quite easily in the end.

“I think once he gets up further in distance, as his pedigree suggests, then he’s going to be a very handy horse. He’ll go up to the farm for a few weeks on the water walker and then we’ll bring him back for the spring.”

A son of Shamardal from the Red Ransom mare, Port Providence, Shamport was bred by Rosemont Stud and sold through its draft at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, where he was knocked down to bloodstock agent, John Foote, for $320,000.

Rosemont bred Shamport as a yearling at the Inglis Premier Sale in 2016

“John really liked him and (Weir Racing Manager) Jeremy (Rogers) gave him the thumbs up as well,” Weir adds.

“He was purchased on behalf of Hong Kong based owner, Peter Law, and Shamport is the from the first lot of yearlings we bought for Peter, so it was great to see the horse get up and win a good race like this.

“Peter has made a substantial investment in Australia and to our stable … Shamport is one of six 2YOs, while we also have around 10 of his yearlings.

“He’ll eventually take some of the horses to Hong Kong to race, but I’m obviously hoping he’ll keep Shamport here for the spring.”

Shamport’s sire, Shamardal shuttled for five seasons to Australia, leaving Group One winners Delectation, Faint Perfume, Maybe Discreet and Hong Kong Horse of the Year, Able Friend, but hasn’t stood at Darley’s Australian operations since 2010.

Rosemont Stud, however, was able to secure a service to the stallion for its mare, Port Providence, which the farm had purchased for £40,000 at the 2012 UK December Mares Sales.

“We’ve always loved Shamardal and managed to sweet talk our way into a couple of services to the stallion, to southern hemisphere time, for Port Providence and another mare of ours in Grise Leigh,” Rosemont’s Anthony Mithen reveals.

“I think there were only three Southern Hemisphere covers to Shamardal that year and Widden Stud had one of them.

“Rosemont sold Shamport and we retained the filly out of Grise Leigh who is called Energies and is with Gai Waterhouse.

“She (Energies) has shown some ability but we’ve been patient with her and a late spring campaign is likely to be on the agenda, but Shamport could really make his presence felt in some of the Classic spring races, especially based on Saturday’s performance.

“It’s an unbelievable family and I wouldn’t rule out anything. Port Providence is a half sister to Persian Punch, who won twenty races and was twice placed in the Melbourne Cup. They’ve got a statue dedicated to him at Newmarket racecourse.

“But the family also has a lot of outstanding sprinter/milers too, like the Group One winner Aqlaam: so it’s anyone’s guess as how far Shamport will go.

“Rosemont sold an I Am Invincible half brother to Shamport at this year’s Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale to Gai Waterhouse for $280,000 and we retained a share in him.

“Port Providence’s Sacred Falls weanling, soon to be yearling, is a chance to head to the Gold Coast (Magic Millions) or, given that Shamport sold so well in Melbourne, we might go to the Premier with him.”

Story from Aushorse

A number of Victorian stallion farms are holding stallion parades over coming weeks. Below are details of some of those events.  Please RSVP!

Most other stallion farms will also be more than happy to show off their stallions. Please do not hesitate to contact the farms to organise an inspection. Full contact details in the IRT Victorian Stallion Roster.


Open Day, Stallion Parade & Industry Expo at Kerrie

Friday, 18th August, 12pm – 4pm

RSVP: or phone (03) 5428 5168.


Stallion Parade at Kerrie

Friday 18th & Saturday 19th August – Friday (3pm) and Saturday (noon)

RSVP: or phone (03)  5421 5600


Stallion Parade at Nagambie

Sunday, 20th August at 11.30am (following Woodside Park’s stallion parade)

Sunday, 3rd September at 11.30 am



Stallion Parade at Seymour

Sunday, 20th August at 9am


Fresh off the back of a gruelling Tour De France for his professional cycling team, Gerry Ryan looks to have uncovered another talented endurance type though this one is equine.

His Limerick Lane homebred Kiwia, a son of Reset, landed Saturday’s VOBIS Gold Stayers (2400m) at Caulfield and took home a very nice loot of in excess of $103,000.

Ridden by Damian Lane, Kiwia, the race favourite did it the hard way, moving around the field into the face of the strong wind to accelerate clear 200 metres out and defeat the field of ten Victorian bred stayers.

Trainer Darren Weir said the valuable win was compensation for Kiwia following an unlucky defeat at Caulfield over 2000 metres last time out.

“He was unlucky last start but credit to Jeremy (Rogers) – he picked this race out ages ago and said it was the race we should be having a go at,” Weir said

“It’s a terrific race to win with the prizemoney and the bonuses.”

“He just keeps improving and handled the step up in distance today. His pedigree suggested he’d run it and he relaxed well and was strong through the line,” Weir said.

Gerry Ryan was thrilled with the result particularly knowing he now had a homebred quality stayer in his hands.

“I raced the grand dam Firenza. Kiwia’s dam Single View came out with just one eye so we didn’t race her,” he said.

“Single View is a big mare so we tried to balance her up with Reset…and here we are with a stayer.

“You try and aim to breed a stayer.”

Gerry said the VOBIS Gold Premier Races and their millions in prizemoney were fantastic for the local breeding industry.

“It makes a huge difference as a breeder. I’m racing for $180,000 today. That’s good money.

“It’ll pay the training fees and allow me to breed another one!” said Gerry slightly tongue in cheek.”

Meanwhile Kiwia will be set a mid-term target of the Bendigo Cup in October. Victory would be another ‘home-town’ win for Bendigo-boy Gerry Ryan after Puissance De Lune saluted in 2012.

IRT knows the term “precious cargo” only too well, as the importer of shuttle stallions to Australia every season.

It is a role IRT, having been around for 45 years, has a global reputation for.

This year the Victorian stallion roster includes thirteen sires across five different stallion farms coming from both Europe and North America:

  • Chatswood Stud – Ajaya
  • Darley Northwood – Brazen Beau, Frosted, Helmet, Night of Thunder & Street Boss
  • Spendthrift Australia – Hampton Court, Jimmy Creed & Warrior’s Reward
  • Swettenham Stud – Americain, Mshawish & Toronado
  • Woodside Park Stud – Cable Bay

All shuttle stallions must undertake a set number of weeks quarantine prior to flying to Australia in late July. They are then flown into Tullamarine airport by IRT.

They are then transported a short distance by truck to the Australian Government’s Post Entry Quarantine Facility on Mickleham Road at Donnybrook for a further period of quarantine of two weeks before release in early August.

IRT Managing Director, Chris Burke is proud of the role IRT plays in the health of Victoria’s breeding industry.

“We are a vital element to the success of the leading studs in Australia as we give them the ability to shuttle stallions for breeding between the two hemispheres safely and efficiently.”

“The shuttle stallions as a group are worth more than the plane – you can’t get cargo more valuable than that,” Burke said.

“We pride ourselves that every stallion arrives in fine health and condition after a long journey ready for a successful breeding season.”

“We have given the Northern Hemisphere stallion owners the confidence to send their valuable breeding stock to Australia and to come back home again by a safe and secure method of travel.”

“Having the stallions here in Australia enables local breeders to tap into bloodlines, pedigrees and gene pools that would otherwise be geographically unavailable.”

New for the stallions and other thoroughbreds imported this season is a brand new indoor loading facility. Built by IRT at Tullamarine airport in conjunction with First Point Animal Services, this will significantly improve safety and reduce risk in loading and unloading horses.

Both the trucks and horse airfreight containers are driven into the facility where the horses are unloaded. Being indoors, the horses are less likely to be spooked or upset by bad weather, flashing lights or loud activity on the tarmac.

“The shed has given us a safe loading and unloading area, so anxious or nervous horses are in a controlled environment, and as we saw on the weekend with over 100km winds at the airport, it wasn’t a problem as they were inside out of the conditions, there was no wind, no rain.”

“This investment shows the high level of horse welfare that we are committed to when we move horses.”

Chris says this not only assists shuttle stallions, but also gives further confidence to international buyers that buying and export yearlings and breeding stock from Australia is not a risky option.

That is certainly a big plus for Victorian breeders who are increasingly having the international spotlight shone on them when it comes to breeding of star racehorses.