As if having Blue Diamond winning Catchy and Oakleigh Plate winning Sheidel in your Spring racing stable isn’t enough, Victoria breeders Rob and Sylvie Crabtree now have another star horse in the making.

A colt with enormous talent, the Crabtree bred Gold Standard (Sebring) lived up to his promise on Saturday winning the Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes at Rosehill.

Trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Gold Standard quickened impressively and powered clear to win the 1500 metre contest putting him among the favourites for the $1 million Group 1 ATC Golden Rose.

A win in the Golden Rose would be the first ever victory for a Victorian bred horse in the Group 1 race.

“This is a very, very exciting horse, he will go to the Golden Rose, and he is the horse to beat. He is a special colt, so versatile and in 12 months’ time he could be a Cox Plate horse.’’ Waterhouse declared after the race.

Rob Crabtree, who recently relocated his renowned Dorrington Park operation to Wood Nook Farm at Nagambie, is looking forward to a busy season on the farm.

“Dorrington Park is going very well, we have seven foals on the ground so far, and the grass is so lush, it’s knee high long, and it looks like Kentucky at the moment,” Crabtree said.

“We sold Coniston Gem in foal to Sepoy, but I still have her Zoffany filly. She is an absolutely beautiful yearling, just outstanding and she will head to the yearling sales.

“We also have kept her other daughter and the half-sister to Gold Standard, Magnagem, who is in foal to Choisir and will go to Dissident this year, who is by Sebring, in order to get a close relation to Gold Standard.”

Gold Standard was purchased by Gai Waterhouse and partners for $160,000 at the 2015 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale through the Eliza Park draft. The Crabtrees, astutely, kept a share in the youngster and that decision is now paying off.

Gold Standard as a yearling, part of Eliza Park’s 2015 Inglis Premier Sale draft

He has recorded two wins and two seconds from just the four starts for $185,000 in prize money.

Gold Standard is the best performed of three winners from Crabtree’s brilliant dual Group 3 winning mare Coniston Gem, who won nine races, including three stakes races in Melbourne.

She is a half-sister to eleven-time winner Classic Secret, from the family of Rapid Man and Solar Princess.

Meanwhile, the Crabtrees are excited about the Spring preparations of the top-class Hayes trained gallopers Catchy and Sheidel.

Catchy, who ran second first-up in the Group 3 Quezette Stakes at Caulfield last month will run in the Danehill Stakes at Flemington this Saturday before making her way to the Caulfield or Thousands Guineas in October.

Sheidel will go straight to the Group 1 Moir at Moonee Valley later this month.

While both star females still have a lot more racing in front of them, a home at the new Dorrington Park on the banks of the Goulburn River is assured.

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) is thrilled to announce that the Avenel Equine Hospital has come on board as its newest major sponsor.

The sponsorship will provide further opportunity for TBV to promote Victorian bred racehorses and contribute to an even stronger local breeding industry.

Avenel Equine Hospital is a full-service equine hospital located in the heart of Victoria’s thoroughbred breeding region.

“TBV is delighted to have the Avenel Equine Hospital as our newest major sponsor,” TBV President James O’Brien said.

“They are no doubt one of the leading equine veterinary clinics in Australia providing much valued services to Victorian breeders.”

The team at Avenel Equine Hospital (AEH) is made up of dedicated equine veterinarians, Dr Katie Wilcox, Dr David Leck and Dr Wendy Hartburn.

AEH provides critical services to many Victorian thoroughbred breeders while also caring for horses of all other breeds from foals right through to retirees.

“We understand the “business” of thoroughbreds, but we also understand the dreams and passion that bring people to racing and breeding,” Avenel Director, Dr Katie Wilcox explained.

“Our reputation for dedicated expert care is based on understanding our clients and what their horses mean to them.”

“It starts with a personal relationship between our team and our clients and is built on our commitment to research and continuing education for the care of their horse.”

AEH provide veterinary services specifically tailored to the thoroughbred industry including

  • Daily on-farm reproductive management
  • On-farm field services
  • Foal conformation assessment
  • Survey and sales radiography
  • Elective surgery
  • Hospital and intensive care
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Dentistry
  • Freeze-branding
  • Pharmacy

AEH is part of the Scone Equine Group (SEG), Australia’s largest provider of expert equine veterinary services.

“TBV would particularly like to thank Dr Cameron Collins, the Managing Director of Scone Equine Group, for his work on securing this important sponsorship of TBV,” James O’Brien said.

You can find out more information about the Avenel Equine Hospital and its services at its website: or phone them on 03 5796 2468.

AEH joins principal sponsor Tabcorp and major sponsors Goldners, IRT and Newmarket Grandwest as supporters of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria.

Progressive Victorian farm Rosemont has pulled off another employment coup with the signing of Woodside Stud manager Gerrard Jones to the team.

Jones joined Rosemont this month after a ten-year stint as the Stud Manager of Woodside Park overseeing the rise and rise of Written Tycoon and the unique shuttle arrangement for young gun stallion Zoustar and was instrumental in taking Woodside to the next level over the past few years.

In something of an industry surprise, Jones has joined the crack team at Rosemont to spearhead what looks to be a very exciting time for the farm.

“I’ve always admired Rosemont’s get up and go from afar and the timing was right for me to join the Geelong-based farm. It is a very progressive operation with exciting things happening at all levels which left me not needing to wonder whether to accept the operations manager position,” Jones said this week.

With three stallions – Starcraft, Nostradamus and Toorak Toff – and the 150-strong farm-owned broodmare band, 3500 acres of spelling and breeding farms as well as a big team of racehorses, it’s been hard not to notice the emergence of Rosemont as one of Australia’s next big things in the racing and breeding game.

Owned by Anthony Mithen and Nigel Austin, the farm also has ownership in over 100 horses in work and operates a 60-strong pre-training facility in Lara, Geelong headed up by trainer Mark Young.

Last racing season, the farm produced three 3YO classic Group 1 winners in Montoya’s Secret, Ruthven and Hey Doc … a feat not matched by any other farm in Australia.

“The attraction to work with people like Mark as well as our racing manager Peter Moody was big. And having met the department heads and team at the farms, it’s fair to say Rosemont is a true leader in terms of quality staff and business practices. I’m rapt to be part of the team,” Jones added.

Having grown up in Wagga Wagga, Jones studied a Diploma of Horse Breeding at the Wangaratta TAFE before joining Yallambee Stud and quickly establishing himself as assistant stud manager.

He was then lured to Woodside as stud manager and now assumes an overall operations managership for Rosemont which will incorporate all aspects of the business.

“I must say, we are all really lucky to work for a farm that is literally 15 minutes away from a town like Geelong with half a million population and all that the Bellarine region offers. Not only is it a great place to work but it’s a fantastic spot to live.”

Rosemont’s Anthony Mithen couldn’t be happier to have secured Jones.
“Gezza is such a great fit for us. Extraordinary industry knowledge, dedicated and just a top bloke. He’s fitted in super and we are really looking forward to keeping the momentum rolling with Gezza driving the team,” Mithen said.

With the spring carnival almost upon us, the big trainers and top gallopers are hitting the headlines.

But a little-known racehorse, by a lesser-known stallion, for a trainer with only one horse in work, certainly made his own headlines on Saturday amongst his circle of loyal supporters.

Affectionately called Kev, Cooter Cha Cha flew the flag for small breeder Rochelle Thompson with a well-deserved victory in the first at Kilmore for Bendigo trainer Daryn Drust.

Rochelle, a passionate devotee of the racing industry with a keen interest in breeding, loudly cheered home her first homebred winner.

Rochelle has been horse-mad from the time she was a young girl, but it was her brother that really sparked her fascination with thoroughbred pedigrees, when he gave her a volume of the Australian Stud Book that Rochelle happily poured over for hours on end.

“Other young girls would have pictures of pop stars and movie stars on their walls whereas I had photos of Phar Lap and Gunsynd – they were my idols,” Rochelle said.

Sired by Delightful Choice who stands at Ray Jones’ Meadow Farm at Bayles, Cooter Cha Cha is out of the unraced Sir Tristram line mare, Calvary Lady.

Rochelle is based at Shelbourne, just south-west of Bendigo, on 80 acres and keeps a small band of five mares. It was a fateful meeting with Kristen Manning that then developed Rochelle’s knowledge to help her cleverly breed a couple each year.

“She is my mentor. She taught me about line breeding and how to find a top value mating each year using pedigree’s to get the best match,” Rochelle said.

“It is through Kristen that I lease Calvary Lady, Kev’s dam. Delightful Choice is a beautifully bred stallion, with one of the best female lines you would find, but being unraced, he is an attractive and affordable option.”

After nine patient starts, Kev he is now at a distance that suits his staying abilities.

“Kev is very lucky to have found Daryn Drust, as he wouldn’t have survived at a large stable. He fights fire with fire, so Daryn had to put his thinking cap on and stay one step ahead of him,” Thompson said.

If he put as much energy into his racing as he does fighting everyone, he’s going to be a very promising stayer. He likes a soft to heavy track, so we will put him away until the autumn and then find a race in the city.”

With two foals due this season, Rochelle is looking forward to another by Delightful Choice, who will be a three-quarter to Cooter Cha Cha, and the other is by Darnik Park stallion, Jayemzed.

Meanwhile, Ray Jones will cover about twenty mares with his stallion Delightful Choice this season and already a breeder has rung up after Saturday’s win and booked in another two.

“People who have foals by the stallion are all coming back, and he is getting better mares each year,” Jones said.

“I sold one to Colin Rees for only $700, called Automatic Choice. He won a stakes race at Flemington and was sold to Hong Kong for $700,000.

“Delightful Son won six races and earned over $100,000 in prize money and the Here’s De Hussy’s 2015 colt is headed off to (Darren) Weir.”

Delightful Choice will be standing for $2500 this season at Meadow Farm, negotiable for well-bred mares. For more information contact Ray on 0417 235 753.

It all started in the Caulfield off-course stables of George Nichols at 96 Eskdale Road.

A group of young lads helped muck out the stable and strap for George.

Five decades later, under the breeding banner of ‘Eskdale Lodge’ the boys – Gary Cranny, Dennis Nicol, Paul Hopgood and Chris Nichols – have produced some handy racehorses not least Saturday’s Moonee Valley winner Magnapal (Magnus).

Magnapal as a yearling in Yallambee Stud’s Inglis Premier Sale draft of 2011

It was Magnapal’s eighth career win in a racing career which has also included victories in the Group 3 MRC Naturalism Stakes and the Listed MRC Heatherlie Stakes.

He is out of the quality Kenny’ Best Pal mare, a city winner at Sandown before injury and retirement.

Magnapal was Luxapal’s sixth foal to be delivered at Romsey’s Yallambee Stud, run by Rick and Christie Woodard.

“We remember the mare Luxapal and her progeny well, as we had her the whole time, from when she first came off the track. She was a big tough mare, and threw very tough horses,” Rick said.

Gary Cranny says his schoolboy friend Chris Nichols was up in Wangaratta in the mid-1990s and was teaching equine courses at the local TAFE.

“We encouraged Chris to get back into racing and take out a few boxes at Wangaratta. He then bought Luxapal as a yearling for $8,000 and trained her for the group.

“She had a bit of ability over ground, but unfortunately did a tendon before she could achieve what she was likely capable of achieving.

“While she never threw yearlings that were attractive in the ring, she has produced some really tough and talented horses.”

Red For Lou (dam of Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Le Chef) and Miss Elvee have both been stakes placed, while Testalux and Tia Dalma have both recorded multiple victories.

“We’re thrilled about Magnapal’s performance. We had retired Luxapal as a broodmare before Magnapal won the Naturalism Stakes but, she was still healthy so we gave her one more season in the breeding barn.

“Quite excitingly, this last foal out of the mare is a full sister to Magnapal being by Magnus. She will be at the Inglis Premier Sale next year.

“We’ve also got a Hard Spun three-year-old half sister which we have retained to race.

Luxapal has now been retired for good and acts as a nanny at Romsey’s Glenfern Park.

“We were always Yallambee people but when it closed we spread most of our mares between Supreme Thoroughbreds and Glenfern Park,” Cranny said.

Meanwhile, Magnapal is set for more black-type wins with a Cranbourne Cup or Naturalism Stakes in mind for his new trainer Daniel Bowman.

He was originally trained by Stawell’s Terry O’Sullivan who bought him through the Yallambee Stud draft at the 2011 Inglis Premier Sale for $70,000.

“We remember Terry really liked him, and he always bought a couple of nice yearlings from us each year,” Rick Woodard said.

“They bred a couple and raced a couple, and I remember Christie told them to race this one, as it was a very nice foal. I bet they wish they did now.”

Magnapal was from the first crop of Sun Stud’s Magnus to race, along with the Group 1 winning Perth mare Magnifisio.

Magnus stands at Sun Stud for a $22,000 service fee this season.

World class multiple European stakes winner, Illustrious Blue, will be standing at Sonia O’Gorman’s Glen Eden farm near Kilmore for the 2017 breeding season.

While the sire had his very first winner just weeks ago, he was left without a stud following the closure of Jindera Park north of Albury.

An incredibly versatile racehorse, he won five races at three, all on prominent English tracks and ranging from 1400m to 1800m.

His two biggest successes of his career were at historic Goodwood, in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup over 3200m and the Group 3 Glorious Stakes over 2400m. He also won the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes at Royal Ascot and was a first-up winner over 1777m in Dubai.

Towards the end of his racing career, Illustrious Blue campaigned in Australia, competing in five Group 1 races and was a top ten finisher in Americain’s 2010 Melbourne Cup.

“He is a correct and very well-balanced stallion that will suit petite mares,” O’Gorman said.

“he actually reminds me of Bletchingly. Although not a sprinting type, he will pass on his amazing versatility. His temperament is just brilliant, and is lovely to handle and do anything with.”

A son of Dansili, Illustrious Blue was proven to be tough and durable having raced until eight, recording ten wins, ten seconds and seven thirds, earning $883,084 in prize money.

Dansili sired horses to have raced successfully in Australia have included Foreteller (ATC Ranvet, MRC Underwood, VRC Makybe Diva), Grand Marshall (ATC Sydney Cup, MVRC Moonee Valley Cup) and Dandino (VRC Queen’s Cup and second in the Caulfield Cup).

From the small number of Illustrious Blue progeny to have begun their racing careers, Darren Weir’s Navy Blue became his first winner, with promising progeny also in the stables of Cranbourne trainer Robbie Laing and Caulfield’s Luke Oliver.

“As he has only covered limited numbers of mares in his first few seasons, its tough for him to be commercial, but with his racetrack performance and pedigree, he is a beautifully bred Danehill line stallion option for the owner that is looking to race,” O’Gorman said.

“For breeders, their patience will be rewarded, as Illustrious Blue will produce both quality middle distance and staying horses and let’s hope that along with his owner’s support, he will cover some new mares this season to give him the opportunity a horse of his credentials deserves,” Carboni said.

Illustrious Blue will stand for $2,750 inc GST alongside Glen Eden’s other new stallion Scintillo. For more information about either, contact Sonia on 0407 811 411 or visit

Victorian breeders have benefited from both sides of the auctioneer’s rostrum when it comes to Mick Price’s talented three-year-old Masculino (Smart Missile).

Melbourne based lawyer Grant Ahearn along with partners Roger Donazzan, Peter Inge, Michael Donovan and Henrik Lassen bred the youngster.

And after Mick Price’s chief lieutenant Luke Wilkinson bought him as a yearling at Magic Millions, Seymour based breeders Frank and Karen Butler are now part-owners…and they are thrilled about that!

He has now won three from just the four starts. He is a city winner after Saturday’s Moonee Valley success. And he has banked no less than $57,400 in VOBIS bonuses for total prizemoney of a touch more than $151,000!

Ahearn raced his granddam, Special Harmony, a super-talented, triple Group 1 winning filly.

She has produced triple stakes winning Little Surfer Girl among other good horses.

But it was an unraced daughter of Special Harmony in Special Melody (Encosta De Lago) that bore Masculino back in 2014.

“Special Melody was the third foal of Special Harmony but unfortunately she had a paddock accident when young and smashed her nose on a fence. We put her into work with the Freedmans, but she had breathing issues and was retired unraced as a three-year-old,” Ahearn said.

“Her first foal, Stylish Assassin (Exceed and Excel) went to Mick Price who had big wraps on him, but he just had the wrong temperament and couldn’t reach his level.

“We then sold her second foal, Masculino at Magic Millions. He was a very big horse.

“The astute Luke Wilkinson saw something others didn’t. All credit to Luke after he ended up paying $120,000 for him.”

Frank Butler says Mick or Luke give him or Karen a ring every so often when they have found a nice horse and they did so after buying the Special Missile colt on the Gold Coast.

“We liked him physically and he had a really nice walk,” said Frank of his first look at the youngster.

“We are really happy with the way he’s turned out. He just has a terrific temperament.

Frank says the wins have been fantastic while the extra VOBIS dollars have been very welcome.

“It’s a wonderful scheme,” Frank says of VOBIS.

Frank and Karen have six mares back home at their Seymour breeding farm.

“We’ve got some nice looking two and three year olds  with trainers such as Mick Price and Kylie Vella.

“And then we have foals by stallions such as Toronado or our own stallion Zupaone.”

After an outstanding Autumn campaign which resulted in three consecutive city wins, trainer Brad Graham now has eyes set on an ambitious Spring campaign with the promising Western Australian galloper Tonkatuff.

“I have been delighted at the improvement that his bloke continues to make,” said Graham.

“He’s such a big, strong and athletic horse that it was obvious that he only needed time to mature to fulfill his potential.”

After a short break, Tonkatuff is now back in work and Graham is raising the bar for this exciting son of Therock (Fastnet Rock).

“We are looking at some pretty good races for him and will target the $100,000 Listed Hannans Handicap at Kalgoorlie in September and the $100,000 Listed Northam Cup in October,” Graham said.

“Who knows, if he can get through those races and continue to make natural improvement, we may also roll the dice and have a crack at the Group 1 $1 million Railway Stakes.”

It all bodes well for Bombora Downs based sire Therock, a son of Fastnet Rock.

Both Graham and owner/breeder Brad Cooper have become big fans of Therock.

Bombora Downs sire Therock

“I really like the breed,” Cooper said.

“I have seen the stallion and he is one of the best-looking stallions that you could ever wish to see.

“He is clearly stamping his progeny and they all seem to be big, strong and athletic types – just like him,” he said.

Cooper set about finding another horse by Therock and recently purchased a 2YO filly out of a Western Australian mare, Xaartos. The mare is a half-sister to stakes-winner All Friared Up.

“I purchased the filly from Victoria and when she arrived and got of the float at my property, I couldn’t have been happier. The similarities between her and ‘Tonka’ are quite incredible,” he said.

“I’m now looking at sending another mare to Victoria to be covered by Therock.”

Therock (Fastnet Rock – Bumps) was an expensive weanling from the first crop of Fastnet Rock. Trained by leading Sydney trainer Gerald Ryan, Therock impressively won two Sydney 3YO races and was ruling favourite for the Group 1 New Zealand Guineas.

Regrettably, the horse pulled up sore from his impressive Rosehill victory (where he defeated multiple subsequent Group winners) and was eventually retired to stud.

Therock was lured to stand his first season in Western Australia however was moved to Bombora Downs on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria in the following year.

From limited opportunities, Therock continues to produce winners around the country with Mercury Rocks winning impressively at the recent Bendigo meeting and Miss Harley Quinn winning over the weekend in Western Australia.

It is clearly evident that Fastnet Rock is creating his own sire dynasty similar to that of his own sire, Danehill. Hinchinbrook, Foxwedge, Rothesay, Smart Missile and Stryker have all enjoyed success and sired numerous stakes winners.

Whilst Therock may not have won a stakes race, there was no questioning of his ability and superior physical appearance. It seems just a matter of time when Therock will also be producing multiple stakes winners.

Therock is again standing at Bombora Downs for the 2017 season. His stallion fee is just $3,500 + gst.

To book your mare or for information contact Christoph Bruechert on 0419 534 961 or email

There is a definite taste of spring in the air at Chris and Kathie Bakker’s Lauriston Park at Euroa with the second crop of resident stallion Rock Hero starting to arrive.

And they are looking just as good as his first, with Chris impressed by their size, quality and scope.

Yearling’s from Rock Hero’s first crop of foals

“He is such a lovely, big, strong horse and it is great to see him stamping his progeny with his own class and style,” he said.

“I am so pleased with how his first foals are maturing, they are very correct and athletic with great temperaments. I look at them in the paddocks and think that there is not one who I would say is not a chance of being a race horse.”

Meanwhile Bakker is always very happy with how Rock Hero himself is faring, at seven letting down into a “magnificent stallion.”

Trained by David Payne, Rock Hero was a talented racehorse with an impressive turn of foot.

He displayed blistering speed to win the Listed Dulcify Quality, overcoming a slow start to claim the 1600 metre contest in easy fashion.

And he was highly regarded by the stable who compared him favourably with his then stablemate Criterion.

“There was a time,” Payne said, “that I thought Rock Hero might be as good as if not a bit better than Criterion.”

“He had such a big stride…he would take one to their two,” he added.

Rock Hero is bred on the same Fastnet Rock/Galileo cross as Group One winners Intricately, Rivet, Qualify, Zhukova and Magicool; a cross that boasts an outstanding 17.7% stakes winners to runners strike rate.

Rock Hero has spring foals due by a nice range of mares including daughters of Encosta de Lago, Redoute’s Choice, Zabeel, Canny Lad, Commands, Desert King, Mossman, Tale Of The Cat, Choisir, Nicconi, Volksraad, So You Think, Hussonet, Testa Rossa and Danehill Dancer.

Standing alongside Rock Hero at picturesque Lauriston is Desert King who is still in fine fettle aged 24.

“You would not guess his age looking at him,” Bakker said, noting that Desert King is enjoying life and that he and Rock Hero are the best of mates.

The sire of champions in both hemispheres including the great Makybe Diva, Desert King has been represented by 27 stakes winners including six Group One winners.

He stands at a private fee and will cover a select book of mares this season with Bakker happy to take enquires from the proven stallion’s many fans.

For further information on the stallions contact Lauriston Park’s Chris and Kathie Bakker on 0427 903 353 or LP Stallion’s Julie Nairn on 0402 901 910. or

Star racehorse turned Blue Gum based sire Elvstroem is living the life in France now, but could his best ever progeny have just been discovered?

With offers to buy believed to be in excess of $1.2 million, the old saying of “money talks” is certainly saying three -year-old Lina’s Hero is the real deal!

A man who could perhaps know the sire and his progeny better than anyone, Tony Vasil, is in charge of the unbeaten gelding.

Vasil of course trained Elvstroem (as well as the dam, the Statue of Liberty mare Cloanthy) and he races Lina’s Hero with breeder Peter Kopke.

Kopke retained Lina’s Hero and has others associated with his Albert Park bar, Lina’s (that’s where the name comes from) in the ownership of the horse. Legendary jockey Brent Thomson is amongst the group.

Lina’s Hero was a very good debut winner at Sale on August 17th and then produced another impressive effort to score over 1300m at Sandown last week.

“He’s definitely got black type ability,” was jockey Ryan Maloney’s post-race assessment.

“If his mental capacity holds up I’d say the perfect race would be the Caulfield Guineas if he’s headed in that direction.”

Vasil, Kopke and the other owners have been super patient with Lina’s Hero.

“He’s an Elvstroem and that’s what everyone should be with them, patient,” Vasil said.

“He could have gone to the races early but he’s immature mentally so we’ll just take our time.”

Lina’s Hero was raised at Elvstroem’s former home Blue Gum Farm at Euroa.

She had a filly by Elvstroem in 2016 – one of his last Australian crop – and is now in foal to young Blue Gum Farm sire War.

Meanwhile Elvstroem has recently completed his second Northern Hemisphere season at Haras du Petit Tellier, about 200 kilometres west of Paris.

Elvstroem at Haras du Petit Tellier

Antoinette Tamagni-Bodmer from the stud said Elvstroem covered around 80 mares this past breeding season at a service fee of €7000 (AU$10,400).

“His first foals in Europe are outstanding, a lot of bones and really stamped by him. He covered high class mares and had a lot of support of our best mares, said Antoinette.

It was a repeat performance for two stars of the local breeding industry at the Victorian Racing industry awards held at Docklands on Sunday evening.

Nagambie’s Gilgai Farm took out the Victorian Breeder of the Year title while Woodside Park sire Written Tycoon was crowned Victorian Sire of the Year.

Both won the same awards last year. It was the fifth such breeding title for Rick Jamieson’s famed Gilgai Farm.

Thirty-five graduates of Gilgai’s pastures raced in Australia throughout the year for total earnings of $4,439,030.

The outstanding performer of these Gilgai bred horses was Caulfield Cup winner Jameka with Group 1 wins in the Caulfield Cup and BMW in Sydney.

Gilgai Farm bred Jameka wins the Group 1 BMW at Rosehill

The Quarterback (Group 2 Gilgai Stakes) and Supido (Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes) also recorded black type wins.

Meanwhile, Lucky Bubbles became Gilgai Farm’s fifth bred Group 1 winner taking out Hong Kong’s Chairman’s Sprint race.

Rounding out Gilgai Farm’s brilliant year, their I Am Invincible x Soorena colt secured a record Victorian sales price of $1.4 million at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale.

Written Tycoon’s second Champion Victorian Sire title was thanks to his progeny earning $7,793,810 across Australian race tracks in racing season 2016/2017.

Written Tycoon, dual Victorian Champion Sire, at Woodside Park Stud

This past season his progeny captured a thirteen stakes races including:

  • Tycoon Tara who won the Group 1 Tatts Tiara at Doomben
  • Group 2 Rubiton Stakes victor Super Cash; and
  • the speedy Bjorn Baker trained Group 3 winner Winning Rupert

While kicking off his career in the stallion barn relatively modestly back in 2007 at Eliza Park, he is now one of the few active sires in Australia to have a yearling sold for $1 million in the auction ring. In fact, no other Victorian based sire in history has achieved this milestone mark.

The record breaking Victorian sire is now considered one of the nation’s most desired stallions among broodmare owners, sales houses and trainers.

The decision by Mark Rowsthorn and his team at Woodside Park Stud to secure Written Tycoon and bring him back to Victoria in 2013 is certainly paying big dividends.

Victorian first crop sires played a strong role in the breeze-ups for the 2017 Inglis Ready2Race Sale held at a wet and windy Cranbourne racecourse on Monday.

Eighty-two juveniles were turned out for breeze-ups with a Kuroshio colt securing the fastest time for his owner, the Mornington trainer Shane Nichols.

The Cranbourne track was rated a genuine Soft 7.

Nichols bought the Kuroshio-Love the Moment colt at the Tasmanian Magic Millions Yearling Sale for $45,000.

“He was the nicest colt out of the Tasmanian sale. I bought him specifically to go to this Ready 2 Race sale after having previous success with breeze-up sales,” Nichols said.

“He is a magnificent looking horse with a lovely deep girth.

“He actually breezed up on his own at Cranbourne without the advantage of another horse running alongside him…and he had plenty up his sleeve.”

Also amongst the top fastest times at Cranbourne were sons of Victorian first crop sires Zoustar, Fighting Sun, War and Fiorente.

The Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm draft was particularly strong, with seven of their lots being in the fastest ten times of the day including a Zoustar colt and a Fighting Sun colt.

Fastest Cranbourne breeze-up times

LotGenderVendorSireDamBreeze-up time
135ColtMJI Thoroughbreds, StrathdaleKuroshioLove the Moment11.19
72ColtLaceby Lodge Stud, LacebyFoxwedgeCelebrity Appeal11.2
136ColtLauriston Farm, CorinellaEpauletteLoving New (BRZ)11.23
121ColtLauriston Farm, CorinellaZoustarJessica Rose11.24
118GeldingLauriston Farm, CorinellaPluck (USA)Italics11.25
56ColtLauriston Farm, CorinellaFighting SunAusvall11.28
137ColtGippsland T'breds, TrafalgarBel EspritLucera11.28
150ColtLauriston Farm, CorinellaArtie Schiller (USA)Naseej11.29
18Gelding Lauriston Farm, CorinellaZoffany (IRE)Skelda Voe11.3
44ColtLauriston Farm, CorinellaYour SongWhite Diamonds11.35
86ColtUppergumtree Farm, LangwarrinWarCrevasse11.39

Inglis’ Victorian Bloodstock Manager Simon Vivian said “The day was professionally conducted and incident free. There were a few breaks for track maintenance to ensure a consistent surface, but it was all conducted efficiently”

“The times were very balanced, which is well done. Everybody was very happy with the way it went.

“Cranbourne did a very good job with the track. Overall the horses were presented very well by our vendors and the riders that breezed the horses did a fabulous job given their workload and the weather conditions,” Vivian said.

View the full list of the times from the breeze ups today.

A further 71 two-year-olds will breeze up at either Canterbury on Friday September 9 or the alternate breeze up session back at Cranbourne on Monday October 2.

All horses that breezed up will be offered at the 2017 Inglis Ready2Race Sale at the Oaklands Melbourne complex on Wednesday October 4.

There were a lot of people cheering for Melissa Ryan’s home bred galloper Got The Moves at Bendigo last Friday.

After a very tough decision to strip him of his first win, the racing community was certainly delighted to see the big son of Redente get up again.

Russell Osborne and Caroline Duddy, who stand Redente at their Riverbank Farm near Benalla, were also part of the cheer squad for the Team Corstens trained galloper.

“We were also so disappointed to see the first win taken off him, he just showed his greenness in the straight, but we are thrilled that now he has the runs on the board and look forward to following him in the future,” Caroline said.

Owned and bred by Melissa Ryan, one of the Corstens yard’s longest serving staff members, the gelding didn’t make his debut until he was four in February this year. Last week’s winning performance was just his second start.

It has been a long journey for Melissa to get her much-loved galloper to the races. It all started by a fateful reunion with an old mate from the track.

“I worked for Pat Carey many years ago when I first started riding work and used to ride and look after his mum, Kia Puru, when she was a three-year-old.

“I was down at the Inglis sales looking at a horse for a friend and spotted her there. I had to put in a bid, and as nobody else was interested in her so, for $400, I gave her a second chance and sent her to Riverbank Farm to go their stallion, Redente,” Mel said.

“I had another mare that had visited (another Riverbank stallion) Hillman, and I thought that Redente was a good match for her breeding. He is beautifully bred, and I have had a lot to do with the Osbornes, so I thought I’d have a throw at the stumps.”

“Although Kia Puru’s breeding wasn’t commercial, being by Blues Traveller out of a Bellissimo mare, of her five foals, all have raced, four of them are winners and the other placed.

“They are all quite big, as she was a big mare herself, so I wasn’t surprised when Adrian from Riverbank rang me to say, ‘Your mare’s foaled and although I haven’t been up to see him yet, he must be a colt, as he is huge!’”

Got The Moves was sent to Adrian Corboy in Wangaratta to be broken in, but as Melissa had a busy work load with the Corstens stable, there was no hurry to get him to the track.

“He’s 17.2hh, so I have made sure he is very well established and has done plenty of base work, but not a lot of galloping or trials.

“I pop him over logs and do trot poles, ride down the road and do some dressage on my arena to help with his balance. It teaches his brain to settle, relax and take it easy. He needs to learn that he doesn’t have to go everywhere at three-quarter pace.”

Jockey Stephen Baster’s post-race interview summed up the feeling that many friends, family and associations of Melissa shared.

“This is such a well-deserved thrill for Mel to win with the horse she has owned and bred and such a lot to do with. I don’t think I have ever had so much pressure on me to win a maiden,” he said.

Redente is now the sire of 58 progeny to race, with 35 winners, a winning ratio of almost 60.0% off very modest broodmare matings.

The sire has a superb black type pedigree being out of the Group 1 winning Centaine mare, Stella Cadente.

Off the back of some very solid city winning results, he served a career high book of 103 mares in 2016 giving him and those that breed to him greater opportunities in the future.

“Like Mel, we want to make the dream of breeding and owning a winning racehorse a reality through affordable top-quality stallions and competitive agistment rates,” said Caroline Duddy.

For more information on Redente and Riverbank’s other stallions and agistment services, contact Caroline on 0401 364 188.

The breeders of superstar cult horse Apache Cat added another feather to their bow when a Purrealist colt won the Inglis China-Australia Cup held at the Yulong Racecourse on Saturday in Shanxi, China.

Attracting a full field of 14 runners – all sourced from Inglis sales and including runners by Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel, Exceed And Excel, Medaglia d’Oro and co. – the China-Australia Cup is, at A$200,000, the richest race in mainland China.

Racing was banned in China in 1949, but its ‘return’ has been much anticipated for the past couple of decades … always considered to be something of a sleeping giant.

The winner on Saturday was Striking Eagle, a three-year-old by Purrealist and out of Shaolin Belle (Golden Snake), has now won four in a row and is heralded as the best horse in China.

Inglis Australia-China Cup winner Striking Eagle (Purrealist x Shaolin Belle) as a yearling

He was bred by Paul Radford and Robyn Lawrie at Seymour’s Chatswood Stud and hails from the family of their home bred eight-time Group 1 winner Apache Cat.

Radford remembers the colt fondly, and regretted selling him straight away.

“I chased up his purchaser, Cranbourne trainer John Price to stay in the ownership, but he was already committed to the Ready 2 Race sale.

“After watching his breeze up, and being impressed with how easily he ran a very quick time, I arranged to put my hand up but it wasn’t to be, and he headed to China.

“I thought I would have never heard of him again, but here he is, and I’m not surprised he has done so well.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Shaolin Belle turned out to be as good a broodmare as Tennessee Blaze, Apache Cat’s dam and our foundation mare.”

“We have some nice horses headed to next year’s Premier Sales from this family, including a lovely Turffontein filly which is also out of Shaolin Belle,” Radford said.

Chatswood’s Stud’s, Greg Willis was pleased with the victory and noted that Striking Eagle had to beat some very nicely bred horses to claim the win.

“He was born and raised here on the hills until he headed to the VOBIS Gold sale. His mother Shaolin Belle has been a very good producer. She is due to foal a Reward For Effort and is heading back to him again this year,” Willis said.

Striking Eagle was put in the Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm draft by trainer John Price for 2016’s Inglis Ready 2 Race and sold for $55,000 to the Beijing Racing Stable.

Lauriston’s James O’Brien remembers the attractive colt being one of four horses sold to the Beijing Racing Stable out of the large draft of 27 horses he offered for sale that year.

Inglis’ China representative Jin Tian commented that they were happy with all their purchases from last year, and they will be back again looking to buy, which is great news for the Lauriston draft and the upcoming Inglis sale.

This year Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm presents a further 17 juveniles for the sale being held at Oaklands Junction on the 4th of October. The draft comprises both their own horses that they have educated and broken in and clients’ horses.

Lauriston has a good record of selling Ready 2 Race juveniles to Asia. In 2015, they sold a Bushranger gelding to the Macau Jockey Club. Now named Luen On Star, he has won four of his nine starts and has been stakes placed in Macau.

At Monday’s Cranbourne breeze ups for the Inglis sale, seven of the fastest ten times were recorded by horses in the Lauriston draft.

“Two standouts from our draft include the Zoustar x Jessica Rose colt, who has handled the breaking in process like a professional all the way through…and the Kuroshio x Folichonne colt, who is a quick learner and improving all the time,” O’Brien said.

“In fact, both colts have been so impressive, that we will be sending our own mares to both stallions this year.”

Yulong’s Mr Zhang Yuesheng, a strong supporter of the Victorian breeding industry, is greatly appreciative of the contribution Inglis has made to the development of the thoroughbred industry in China.

“The Inglis China-Australia Cup has been a great draw card for increasing the numbers of Australian-bred horses imported by Chinese owners, and as a result, the quality of horses racing in China has greatly improved,” Mr Zhang Yuesheng said.

A story from the Racing Post, 31 August 2017. By Martin Stevens

The daughter of Starspangledbanner who came all the way from Victoria in Australia to the Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale at Doncaster may have failed to change hands for £29,000 on Wednesday but she may yet show her around-the-world trip was worth it.

The father and son team of Mike and Brodie Becker – who run Stockwell Thoroughbreds at Diggers Rest, north-west of Melbourne, and masterminded the long-range consignment – are open to private offers for the filly but are prepared to show owners and agents just what they have missed out on.

“The result was a bit disappointing but this is the game we’re in,” said Brodie Becker. “So now we move onto plan B.

“We were always prepared that if we didn’t get our reserve we would look to lease her out to a trainer and hope she can go on to win some nice races over there [in Europe].

“If she did that, it would give us the opportunity to put her in foal and bring her home or sell her in foal.”

The filly, bred in Australia to northern hemisphere time, was prepped for the sale and presented by Amy Billinghurst, who has a property with her mother in Cheltenham and is working for a year with Stockwell Thoroughbreds.

She certainly has the pedigree to win races and is entitled to have a touch of class, as both her siblings to have raced have won on multiple occasions, and she is out of a half-sister to Group 2 winner Hasselhoof from the family of New Zealand champion Lord Ted.