*Edited story by Greg Tobin

It’s somewhat fitting that Saturday’s Listed TAB Lightning Stakes winner, Assertive Approach, is out of a mare called Arrival.

After all, it was an ‘arrival’ of sorts for Mr Pan Sutong’s Goldin Farms which bred and raced, Assertive Approach – the first stakes winner for Dubawi’s Hong Kong Cup winner, Akeed Mofeed.

And yes, the Hong Kong based, Mr Pan, also raced AND stood – for the first five seasons at least – the highly promising Akeed Mofeed.

It’s been an interesting few years for Goldin which purchased, in 2013, what is arguably the most famous thoroughbred real estate in South Australia: Lindsay Park Stud.

No-one can put a number on just how many stakes winners have come off that property over the decades, but since Goldin took up the reins, the graduates include last year’s Group One Thousand Guineas winner, Amphitrite – somewhat fittingly trained by Lindsay Park Racing.

However, Assertive Approach would become the initial black type winner to race in Mr Pan’s white and gold, as Goldin Farm’s bloodstock manager, Brett Campbell, proudly points out.

“He (Assertive Approach) is a very exciting horse,” Campbell enthused. “That was three wins from three starts on Saturday and while we were quietly confident he’d go well in the Lightning, it’s always a relief to get that stakes win under your belt.

“We’ve been unlucky with a couple of Akeed Mofeeds who have gone very close, but Assertive Approach is clearly a very promising horse and, fingers crossed, is gearing up for a successful spring.”

Trained by Team Hawkes, Assertive Approach had his first start at Bendigo in February, winning by a head, but resumed at Sandown in late June with a resounding four length win over 1000m. Although facing tougher company on Saturday, Assertive Approach again led throughout, fighting back strongly despite the late attention from Behemoth, who was last seen in May when finishing a head second behind Despatch in the Group One Goodwood Handicap.

“I have always been confident in Akeed Mofeed as a sire and this win, along with the recent performances of his other progeny, should encourage breeders to support him this spring,” a delighted Pan Sutong said after watching the race in Hong Kong.

Very much an on-pacer like her stakes winning 3-year-old, Arrival was a multiple winning daughter of Choisir who finished second in the Listed Pewsey Vale (over the same journey as the Lightning). Arrival is also a three quarter sister to multiple Melbourne Group winner Tuscan Sling, while other close relations include 4-time Perth stakes winner, Lite’N In My Veins and 2018 Ballarat Cup winner, Kiwia.

Not surprisingly, Arrival will be heading back to Akeed Mofeed this spring, but will have to venture further afield for the privilege as Victoria’s Swettenham Stud will stand the stallion in 2019.

“We couldn’t have been any happier to secure Akeed Mofeed earlier this year…well, as it turns out we could after Assertive Approach’s win on Saturday,” Swettenham Stud’s Sales & Nominations Manager, Sam Matthews points out.

“In those first few seasons Akeed Mofeed got reasonable numbers, but was basically utilised as a ‘private’ stallion. Yet, after his first crop came out and started winning races and made good money in the ring (Akeed Mofeed’s yearlings have sold up to $200,000), he covered 98 mares last spring.

“Mr Pan is sending 33 of his mares to Swettenham this spring and the interest in Akeed Mofeed has been incredible. He’ll certainly cover his biggest book in 2019 and a good many of those already booked are group winners or dams of group winners.

“Encouragingly, despite the stallion’s success at sales, nearly half of the broodmare owners are breeding to race.”

Akeed Mofeed stands at Swettenham Stud in 2019 for a fee of $16,500.

*Excerpts from Greg Tobin and TDN

Proudly boasting over $1.3 million dollars in prizemoney, Saturday’s Bletchingly Stakes Day at Caulfield featured the running of the final three races of the VOBIS Gold Premier race series for the 2018/19 season.

The day hosted the following VOBIS Gold races, which each having a minimum of $180,000 of prizemoney and bonuses up for grabs; the VOBIS Gold Ingot, the VOBIS Gold Stayers and the VOBIS Gold Reef.

The VOBIS Gold Ingot was taken out by the Ellerton Zahra Racing trained Parmie. With Dean Yendall aboard, the filly came with a sustained finish and showed determination to hold off the challenge of Igniting (Starspangledbanner), who initially looked like he was going to open his winning account.

Parmie was coming off her maiden midweek success at Ladbrokes Park – Hillside and further improvement is expected from her after a break and justified the connection’s decision to stay closer to home with her, rather than tackle a stakes race in Adelaide last week.

Parmie is raced by her breeders and long-time supporters of the stable David and Jenny Moodie, under their Hesket Bloodstock banner.

“David and Jenny have been great supporters of mine,” said co-trainer Mathew Ellerton. “This filly has tested everyone’s patience, but she’s turned into a racehorse now.”

Jessica Moodie could barely contain her excitement, as she screamed Parmie across the finishing line to win the VOBIS Gold Ingot.

“This is a very special win for me today,” said Jessica. “Parmie is the first foal out of my favourite race mare Spirits Dance. I’ve watched her grow up and was pretty much there with her from the day she was born. Winning a VOBIS Gold race like this makes it even more special, I am still in shock.”

The Ciaron Maher/David Eustace trained Sopressa was considered a strong chance to farewell racing on top in the 2400 metre VOBIS Gold Stayers.

Sopressa hadn’t made a visit to the winners’ enclosure since May 2018, when capturing the Group One Schweppes Oaks over 2000m at Morphettville. However, despite a less than memorable spring and autumn, there was plenty of wind in the sails coming home this time in.

With the job now done, Sopressa will now head to the breeding barn, and whilst she might not be the highest profile mare heading there this spring, she has meant so many things to many.

To Danny Molloy, who purchased the filly for $70,000 at the 2015 Inglis Great Southern Sale in Melbourne, to breeders Ken Dean and Cathy Webb, to Bucklee Farm who sold Sopressa and to Oaks pilot, Harry Coffey, a popular jockey who has spent his life battling cystic fibrosis. For each of them, Oaks success was a Group One first.

Webb and Dean had to learn the art of patience too. The pair, at one stage, owned 25 mares and stood five stallions – under the Victorian Stallion Partnership banner – but their Group One winner was a long time in the making.

“We’d been in the breeding industry for over 30 years, but she was our first winner at the elite level,” Webb reveals. “We had bought Hidden Strings in foal, and also got a Written Tycoon filly and Warhorse colt out of the mare before selling her on. It might have taken a while, but trust me, it’s never too late to get your first Group One winner!”

Meanwhile, Leanne Smith, who owns Bucklee Farm – a boutique 70 acre property at Greta West in Victoria – prepped Sopressa for the Great Southern, recalls that the filly looked a lot like her mum, Hidden Strings.

“We won’t be forgetting her (Sopressa) in a hurry, but I’ve still got my fingers crossed that we get a second Group One winner with Cliff’s Edge who we sold for $60,000 at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale and resumed with a very good third in the (Group Three) Bletchingly on Saturday.”

The final VOBIS race on the card, the $180,000 VOBIS Gold Reef, was claimed by jockey Damien Oliver onboard Benitoite. Trained at the track by Clinton McDonald, the filly was bred by Swettenham Stud’s Adam Sangster and is by Americain, who now stands at Daisy Hill. She has now had 6 starts for 4 wins, making her $90,000 purchase price at the 2017 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale a great value-for-money purchase.

The VOBIS Gold Premier race series comprised of 18 races with $4.45 million dollars in prizemoney and bonuses for the 2018/19 season, however the series will see an increase to $4.65 million dollars for the 2019/20 season. Horses must be first nominated to Super VOBIS and then upgraded to VOBIS Gold, to be able to be part of the series. The aim of VOBIS is to ensure a sustainable and viable Victorian Breeding industry by providing further riches and rewards to prizemoney already on offer in Victoria, to those who breed, buy or race a Victorian-bred horse. 

The VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series is proudly supported by Victorian Breeders, Racing Victoria and the Victorian State Government.

Charmein Bukovec – TBV Executive Officer commented, “It is great to have strong support behind our Victorian Breeders in the form of the VOBIS Gold Premier race series. No matter who you speak with; trainers, breeders, owners, they will tell you that they are always on the hunt for a VOBIS horse at the sales. This series helps drive the demand for our horses.” 

“We also had the inaugural running of The Showdown at Caulfield in April this year and with the Matt Laurie trained Prince Of Sussex taking out the coveted crown, this shone a light on the exceptional quality of stallions and the strength of our incentive scheme which we have in Victoria.” 

James O’Brien – TBV President commented, “I am delighted with how the VOBIS program continues to go from strength to strength. It confirms the confidence the market has in our horses and showcases the very best of what we have to offer here in Victoria.” 

“There has continued to be new investment into the industry with new farms deciding to call Victoria home. With the quality, talent and rewards on offer – there is no better time to Buy, Own and Race a Victorian bred thoroughbred.”

Connections of Sopressa after winning the Danny Barrett VOBIS Gold Stayers at Caulfield on Saturday. (Racing Photos)

*Story by Greg Tobin, Aushorse

Next time you’re wondering if industry professionals are dispassionate about the horses they train, ride or breed, it will be well worth taking a look at the post-race interview of Lindsey Smith celebrating Scales of Justice’s victory in Saturday’s Group Three The Big Screen Company Bletchingly Stakes over 1200 metres at Caulfield.

Without wishing to age Smith prematurely, it’s hardly the Perth/Warrnambool trainer’s first time on the black type merry-go-round, having saddled up the winners of eight Group Ones: among them Old Comrade and Old Money way back in 2000.

Still, it was an emotion charged Smith who faced the cameras after the Bletchingly, revealing that it’s been a long road back for Scales of Justice who won the Group One Railway Stakes in December 2016, but had been out of the winners’ enclosure since mid-2017 after capturing the Group Three Strickland Stakes at Belmont.

However, Smith’s 6-year-old flyer was firing on all cylinders at Caulfield, sitting just off the pace until turning for home before scooting away in the final stages to score with over three lengths to spare.

“I didn’t think he was going to race again,” Smith points out, referring to a number of injuries Scales of Justice has sustained in the past year. “I’ve nursed him and spoiled him, but he showed on Saturday that it worth all the effort.

“He’s a wonderful horse…got the best eye and best character of any I’ve ever dealt with. It’s easy to get emotional…they are like your children.”

One of the most highly regarded trainers in Western Australia and renowned for his eastern ‘raids’ (Old Comrade won three Group Ones in Perth before capturing the 2002 Australian Cup, while Plastered won the 2004 Victoria Derby), Smith took over 40 boxes at Victoria’s Warrnambool racecourse in May.

Since the satellite operation commenced, Smith has had 13 starters for six winners, including a Listed Winter Championship victory via Reykjavik in early July.

With the backing of his biggest owner, Chris Wells (also part-owner of Scales of Justice) and major syndicators such as Brad Spicer Thoroughbreds, it’s not surprising that the ‘bool stable is filling fast.

As for Scales of Justice, the Bletchingly brings his tally to 10 wins and 11 placings from 24 starts for $1,540,450 in stakes, with his trainer currently formulating some ambitious spring plans.

“If he’s back to his best, then he’s a (Group One) Toorak Handicap (12 October) horse or he’ll go home for the (Group One $1 million) Railway Stakes (23 November),” Smith reveals.

More immediately, a Group One Memsie Stakes tilt on 31 August isn’t ruled out, nor would a slot in October’s $14 million The Everest, for that matter.

A son of Not A Single Doubt, Scales of Justice is a half-brother to three winners – including Listed Warrnambool Cup runnerup, Cruyfforme – and is from the Umatilla mare, Beymatilla, a close relation to Flemington Group winner, King Hoaks.

Purchased out of a paddock but never making it to the track, Beymatilla was the first horse Victorians Gerard and Kathy Hammond ever bred from and, understandably, have maintained a close interest in Scales of Justice’s progress.

The mare was eventually given to Richard Kerry and Jarrod Byers at Millford Thoroughbreds, who put Scales of Justice through the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale on the Hammonds behalf: with the colt eventually being sold to Boomer Bloodstock’s Craig Rounsfell.

Sadly, Beymatilla died three months short of foaling after getting in foal to Magnus in 2015.

“We thought Scales of Justice would make around $80,000 to $100,000 in the ring. He was a slow maturing horse, but had grown out really well at the farm and was always a nice type,” Jarrod Byers recalls.

“Turns out though that both Craig (Rounsefell) and Robbie Laing were very interested in him and he eventually sold for $180,000.

“It was great for Gerard and Kathy … they breed from three or four mares every year and have been long-time clients.

“There’s a lot of swings and roundabouts in this industry. They sold a Written Tycoon colt for just $5,000 at the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale which was then pinhooked as a ready to run horse for $90,000 before going on to win over HK$5 million in Hong Kong as New Asia Sunrise.

“So, it’s great to see when they get a result like they did in Melbourne and, for that matter, the entire Scales of Justice team.”

On a crisp winter’s evening last Sunday, the team at Yulong Investments welcomed what is believed to be this Victorian breeding season’s first thoroughbred foal.

The gorgeous bay filly is out of the unraced but well-bred mare Descent (Street Cry). Both mum and baby are doing very well.

Descent is one of Yulong’s 154 Australian-based mares. They also have 14 based in Ireland and 12 in New Zealand. This new filly is Decent’s second foal and she also has a weanling colt and will be served by Yulong’s foundation sire, Group One winning miler Grunt, this season.

“We are very happy with the support Grunt is receiving and he will cover a good book of mares this upcoming season,” said Yulong’s Chief Operating Officer Sam Fairgray.

As well as a busy breeding barn, Yulong are enjoying recent success on the racetrack. The homebred Green Rules won on debut at Bendigo on Sunday, with another 8 two-year-old winners on the books. The consistent filly Maozi has only finished outside the top 3 once from her 7 starts, while the Patrick Payne-trained Killarney Kid notched up win number 17 in the Kevin Lafferty Hurdle at Warrnambool earlier this month.

“We’ve recently had three stakes winning two-year-old fillies,” said Sam. “It’s exciting for their broodmare prospects going forward.”

Whilst Yulong are not hosting an official open day this season, they welcome visitors to the property to inspect Grunt and their impressive facilities. Please contact the property to make an appointment.

TBV’s Executive Officer Charmein Bukovec is also excited by the arrival of the Yulong foal and the start of the foaling season.

“It was a lovely Monday morning surprise to see Yulong’s announcement of the arrival of the season’s first foal,” said Charmein.

“The breeding season is truly upon us and I wish all of our breeders the best of luck with the coming season and can’t wait to see all the foals as they arrive.”

With the foaling season upon us, TBV will also be again holding the annual Foal Gallery and Photo Competition.

Open to all TBV Members, you’re encouraged to show off Victoria’s newest members of the thoroughbred industry. The winning photo will be selected based on originality and all-round cuteness. Photos can be submitted from the 12th of August.

*Story by Breednet

Sun Stud’s perennial champ, Bel Esprit has again notched up 100 individual winners for the season with promising 3YO, Ashrad, leading throughout to notch up his maiden win at Wangaratta last Sunday 21 July.

Although he has gained global attention as the sire of racing immortal, Black Caviar, it’s worth noting that Bel Esprit has sired 682 winners in 11 countries – at a strike rate of 68%! – with over $68 million in progeny earnings. Indeed, his $5.65 million in earnings this season again place him among Australia’s Top 20 active sires.

Meanwhile, 2019 stakes winners such as Tactical Advantage and Belwazi are just two of Bel Esprit’s 52 stakes horses, which also include Group One winners Bel Mer and Bel Sprinter.

With consistency being the key, Bel Esprit has produced – on average – 130 winners a year world-wide for the past 10 seasons and is rapidly gaining currency as a broodmare sire too, particularly in light of the 2019 deeds of Hong Kong Horse of the Year, Beauty Generation, Group One winner Costa Viva and 15 other stakes horses.

At the time of publication, Bel Esprit has credited an additional 7 winners over the past 7 days to his name.

Still hugely popular with breeders, Bel Esprit covered 95 mares last season and stands at Sun Stud in 2019 at a fee of $11,000 with no payment until live foal.

The son of a policeman with a keen interest in music, a career working with horses wasn’t necessarily the definite career path for Scott Williamson. Growing up on the edge of the famed Epsom Downs racecourse, south of London, horses were just part of everyday life but music was his first passion. Playing the double base in the National Children’s Orchestra, Scott travelled and performed throughout the UK.

As the godson of trainer Philip Mitchell, who trained at Epsom’s Downs House, the Derby Festival was naturally a big event in the Williamson household with Scott attending his first Epsom Derby as a baby when he was mere weeks old. Scott’s father had shares in some racehorses and it wasn’t long before Scott developed a keen interest in racing and the double base got packed away. Keen to watch track work any morning he could, Scott would spend his free time getting into the thick of things at the racing stables. During this time Philip trained a horse called Running Stag. The horse ran in the Dubai World Cup and won in France and America which helped broaden Scott’s racing interests to international territory.

Following the same path of his two older brothers Grant and Craig, after school Scott enrolled at Writtle Agricultural College in Essex, UK to study Equine Studies. Graduation saw Scott travel to the USA to work for studs such as Lanes End and Coolmore USA. Ever eager to increase his knowledge, Scott worked for a company called Equix. Working with the Lexington-based company, Scott learned how to measure horse biomechanics using motion analysis and digital measuring, recommending breeding matches and sale prospects for clients.

“Travelling and seeing how everyone does things differently has allowed me to form my own opinions on what I think works best,” reflects Scott. “Technology can be great but you still need to develop your horsemanship skills and own eye for looking at horses.”

At Writtle College, Scott’s older brother Craig chose to study Horticulture over Equine Studies and has gone on to become one of the world’s top track managers and currently holds the position of Estates Manager at Epsom Downs and Sandown Park in the UK. Scott’s other brother Grant has been a big influence on shaping how Scott’s career has developed. When Scott was in America, Grant told him of a job opportunity as Assistant Yearling Manager at Widden Stud, where he was working at the time. Scott followed his advice and moved to Australia and spent over 2 and a half years in the Widden Valley. Grant currently works for Fasig-Tipton in America as a bloodstock consultant, having previously managed Studs throughout America and has been a great source of support with a wealth of bloodline and breeding knowledge, which he willingly imparts to Scott.

As well as the experience gained when working at Widden Stud, Scott also met his future wife Bec at the property. An opportunity to become Farm Manager meant a move to Twin Palms Stud, also in the Hunter Valley. Ever the keen student, each new role brought Scott new learning opportunities. Ever the supportive wife, and a talented horsewoman herself, Bec has been able to move jobs with Scott as his career developed.

When Yulong Investments commenced a breeding operation in Victoria, Scott become their first manager, setting up their farm near Koo Wee Rup. Scott was involved in the first purchases for their breeding venture and was heavily involved in the initial set up, putting his previous farm management experience to use as paddocks needed fencing and the property needed to be transformed to be fit for the purpose.

“It was a very exciting time to be involved with Yulong and I enjoyed working for Mr Yuesheng Zhang as he is so passionate about horses,” Scott said of his time at Yulong Park.

When Yulong acquired further stud farms in Nagambie, the 170 acre Yulong Park property was redeveloped into a state-of-the-art facility for spelling racehorses.

“As well as spelling the racehorses, we also helped rehabilitate them. I got to look after Killarney Kid during his time there and he was such a great horse to work with. All the staff loved him so we were delighted when he went on to win some features over the hurdles.”

The desire for working back in the breeding industry was too great, so when a job as Farm Manger at Musk Creek Farm came up, Scott applied and was successful. “I had originally thought about moving down to the Mornington Peninsula about 8 years ago when the job was available back then but I decided to stay in the Hunter Valley at the time. It’s funny how things work out and I’ve ended up down here now anyway.” Scott said.

Owner David Kobritz leaves the day to day running of Musk Creek Farm in Scott’s very capable hands. While this comes with great responsibility, knowing that an employer has such confidence in his abilities has shown the years of hard study of all aspects of the breeding industry are beginning to reap their rewards. Having bought some new broodmares in the past few years, Scott is confident that the next 2 to 3 years will see some big advances at the Flinders based farm.

Scott has settled into his role as Farm Manager and is enjoying life on the Mornington Peninsula with Bec, who runs the administrative side of the farm.

“During the busy times, you can go weeks without even leaving the farm gate so when I do have some time off I enjoy going to the races and socialising on the Peninsula.”

One of the challenges Scott has encountered from his years working in the breeding industry is the fact that you never know when luck is going to come into play.

“There are so many things that have to fall in to place when it comes to breeding. Hard work and a sound knowledge to base decisions on certainly help too.”

Scott, owner of Mockery, celebrates after she won at Flemington on 2nd March 2019 (Racing Photos).

Musk Creek Farm have been breeding horses to race in recent years. By having these horses on the farm from an early age, Scott feels it is an advantage when they go racing.

“Being around theses horses on a daily basis, I get to know their temperament and can then use this to advise whether I think a horse will be an early 2yo for example. I also will have an idea what type of trainer might suit a particular horse,” explained Scott, a self-confessed racing-nerd.

One thing Scott would like to see change in the industry is the number of young people coming through who want to work in the breeding industry.

“It’s long hours, unsociable at times and young people today just don’t want to work in that kind of a job.”

With 4 staff on the farm, Scott is conscious of the long hours and commitment involved from his staff. He feels that something needs to be done to help attract more people into the industry by making people aware that there are career pathways available and ensuring staff are paid a decent wage as a reward for their dedication.

“When you do the mating plans, then watch these horses be born, then watching them development and go on to win on the track – there isn’t a better feeling for me. That’s where I get the enjoyment from my job.”

A lot of attention was brought to Musk Creek Farm with the pin hooking of multiple Group 1 winner Pierro. While it was a great achievement, Scott feels that this doesn’t reflect accurately what’s going on at Musk Creek Farm.

“Aside from pin hooking, we are putting great effort into our breeding programme, improving the quality of our mares and ensuring that we are taking quality potential racehorses to yearling sales. We are looking to the future with our broodmare band and ensuring we have quality stock coming through.”

So it seems that the Orchestra’s loss has ultimately been Musk Creek Farm’s gain, as Scott puts his skills and knowledge gained from working in varying roles in the thoroughbred breeding industry throughout the world, together with his firm understanding of the racing industry to good use at the Flinders farm.

The advice that Scott would give someone trying to get involved in the breeding industry is “Always try and learn. I would highly recommend for young people to travel. Before you decide to settle down – travel. Go to England. Go to America. Get as much experience as you can but then form your own ideas. There are always interesting ways of doing things and always interesting things to learn if you are willing to learn them.”

*News from Inglis

Entries for the 2020 Inglis Select Yearling Sales Series are closing soon, with Australia’s leading thoroughbred auctioneer confident of again enjoying a successful sales season with its breeders and vendors.

Inglis will again conduct five select yearling sales – Classic, Premier, Easter, Gold and Scone – in 2020 at Riverside Stables, Oaklands Junction and White Park.

The Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale will comprise of a two-day Premier Session, supplemented by a further two days of the newly formed Showcase Session from March 1-4 while the Melbourne Gold Yearling Sale will expand to the two days of April 19 and 20.

Both Melbourne sales will be held at the magnificently renovated Oaklands Junction precinct.

“We are thrilled with how the Oaklands renovations were received by our clients this year and we look forward to building on that in 2020,’’ Inglis’ Victorian Bloodstock Manager Simon Vivian said.

“The Premier Yearling Sale was a great success again in 2019 with another increase in average – the 10th year of the past 11 years we have achieved that – the atmosphere and spirited bidding at Oaklands was fantastic and with the support of the Victorian breeders especially, as well as many interstate breeders, we believe 2020 will be even bigger and better.’’

More than 2000 yearlings were sold through the Inglis Select Yearling Sales Series in 2019 at a market-leading clearance rate of 85%, market-leading average ($114,000) and market-leading gross ($230,000,000).

Inglis also sold the most yearlings in 2019 for $1 million or more, with 19 of the 30 yearlings to sell for seven figures in Australia doing so through Inglis, as well as the only two yearlings to sell for $2 million or more.

Inglis graduates continue to dominate on the track, with 20 individual G1 winners for the 2018/19 season.

Since the start of 2018, Inglis has produced 88% more G1-winning graduates than any other Australian auction house, while 83% of Australian G1-winning 2YOs in that same period that have been offered at auction have been offered through Inglis.

“The success of graduates of Inglis auctions, particularly at G1 level, is very significant and we will be doing our utmost to promote to the buying bench that their chances of buying a G1 winner are dramatically increased by doing business with Inglis,” General Manager of Bloodstock Sales Sebastian Hutch said.

“We are determined to offer our vendors an outstanding service throughout the process and our sales structure for 2020 is a reflection not just of the consideration we have given as a team to where we can improve, but more importantly of the feedback we have received from both vendors and buyers.

“We want to work with each and every one of our vendors to help them to achieve optimum results across the board, starting with identifying appropriate sales targets for the 2020 Yearling Sales Series.

“It is a most important time of the year and while work for the 2020 Series began quite some time ago, our bloodstock team is excited about getting out and about to discuss options with vendors over the coming weeks and months.

“We are committed to offering an outstanding level of service to our patrons, both vendors and buyers.

“Having canvassed feedback throughout the sales season, we have made slight changes that we feel present our clients with an optimal sales structure for 2020.

“There is an absolute commitment amongst our Bloodstock team to working hard for our vendors to achieve outstanding results for our clients.

“Inglis auctions have produced 29 Group 1-winning graduates since the start of 2018, almost double that of the next best Australasian auction house. We are very grateful for the support that has resulted in this success and feel that it affords us the perfect platform to attract buyers from across Australia and right around the world to our sales in 2020.’’

To enter your yearlings for the 2020 Inglis Select Yearling Sales Series, download an entry form at inglis.com.au or contact a member of the Inglis bloodstock team in Melbourne on 03 9333 1422 or Sydney on 02 9399 7999.

Entries close this coming Friday, August 2.

Margaret Taylor sadly passed away last Wednesday, only hours after her beloved stallion Angelo Minny succumbed to colic on Tuesday evening at her farm in Garfield, Victoria.

A pharmacist by training, Margaret ran the chemist shop in Garfield alongside husband Edward for many years. When they retired from this venture, they purchased their Garfield property where they began standing stallions and began a small breeding operation. Margaret called the farm Susiman Farm, a mixture of the names of her 3 children Susan, Simon and Ian.

Strong willed and not afraid to speak her mind, Margaret was always hands-on when it came to maintaining her 80-acre property. At 85 years of age, Margaret could still be found slashing weeds and harrowing paddocks aboard her tractor. Ailing health in recent years, meant that operations were scaled back but with assistance, she still provided agistment and foaling down services to outside clients as well as standing Angelo Minny, her final stallion.

The French bred Angelo Minny originally raced with success in Europe and was brought to Australia in 2008 by Peter Maher who was seeking Melbourne Cup glory. A winner over 1400 metres as a two-year-old and 2400 metres as a three-year-old, an injury curtailed the initial Melbourne Cup campaign of the son of the great Red Randsom.

Following a final campaign, the colt raced in Brisbane before retiring to Stud in Victoria.

Margaret’s love for Angelo Minny meant he had a home with her no matter what he achieved at stud. Margaret matched Angelo Minny to her own broodmare band and a few local mares.

One of his progenies to race with success was the Miranda Cox trained five-year-old mare, Rebecca who won at Stony Creek in February of this year, much to Margaret’s delight as a part owner.

One of Margaret’s more successful stallions was Rare Pearl (FR) who bred many wet track specialists and was well supported by local Cranbourne trainers. A very clever lady, Margaret enjoyed studying racing pedigrees and even as her body began to fail her in later years, with her alert mind she thoroughly enjoyed discussing breeding lines and mating plans.

Margaret will be sadly missed by her family and friends. A funeral service will take place at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, 1215 Bunyip River Rd, Iona on Tuesday 6th August 2019 commencing at 11:00 am.

*News from Victoria Racing Club

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) will introduce two new opportunities for young horses to race down the famous Flemington straight this spring.

Flemington will now host the first two-year-old race of the season on Spring Classics Preview Day held on Wednesday 25 September 2019. The new 900 metre sprint for two-year-olds will have the option to be divided into two divisions, potentially based on gender, if the number of acceptances allows.

This new race is intended to give the juveniles valuable raceday experience on Flemington’s course proper on a relatively low-pressure day, with the aim that many of the entrants in this race will progress to take their place in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes on Turnbull Stakes Day and potentially either the Group 3 Ottawa Stakes on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day or the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate on Kennedy Oaks Day.

The Club has also adjusted the distance of the Listed Poseidon Stakes on Turnbull Stakes Day, Saturday 5 October 2019, to 1100m. Previously held over 1400m, this adjustment will allow the Poseidon Stakes to serve as a valuable lead in race for the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes on AAMI Victoria Derby Day.

“Australia is recognised for the strength of its sprinters with many of the world’s sprinting highlights taking place over the straight six course at Flemington, and we believe that these changes will help to provide a good grounding for the sprinting stars of the future,” said VRC Executive General Manager Racing Leigh Jordon.

“The new two-year old race on Spring Classics Preview Day will offer an important opportunity for younger horses as part of their preparation for racing later in the spring,” Mr Jordon said.

“This is an exciting opportunity for horses early in the season to showcase their Sires and their ability,” said Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria Executive Officer, Charmein Bukovec.

“Racing Victoria and the Victoria Racing Club are supporting Victorian breeders by giving their horses an early opportunity to stamp their mark ahead of the season to come.”

One of the distinguishing features of Flemington’s famous racecourse, the straight six hosts Group 1 highlights including the VRC Sprint Classic, Black Caviar Lightning, and Seppelt Wines Newmarket Handicap.

*By Tara Madgwick, Breednet

Sun Stud celebrated a big win in Sunday’s $1 million Group 1 Singapore Derby (1800m) with a surprise victory for Sepoy gelding Sun Marshal trained by Lee Freedman.

The Sun Stud colours of wealthy Macau owner Cheng Ting Kong of Sun Bloodstock Racing Stable are regularly seen winning big Australian races with horses such as Palentino in the 2016 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes and more recently Thronum in the 2018 Group 2 Australia Stakes, but this was their first major win in Singapore.

Sun Marshal scored a neck win for Joe Azzpopardi taking his overall record to five wins from 16 starts.

“This is my 12thDerby, it just feels like another Derby, to be honest, but I don’t think the other Derbies were worth a million,” said an elated Lee Freedman.

“I’m so rapt Mr Clint (runner-up) finished second-best.”

Previously trained by Sydney’s premier trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott when known as Han Xin, Sun Marshal had in six local starts stamped himself as a dependable middle-distance performer with two wins (1600m and 2000m) and three placings for Freedman.

In Australia where he raced nine times, spread across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane for two wins (1600m and 2000m), Sun Marshal was labelled as an honest staying type who quickly earned a shot at ‘black type’ races in that genre, albeit without winning. He did finish second in the Group 3 Grand Prix (2200m) at Doomben last year, and interestingly, his last Australian run was an eighth in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2200m) in June 2018, just under five lengths off the winner Dark Dream.

“I thought his form was solid when he came to me. He ran second in the (Group 3) Grand Prix (2200m at Doomben in 2018), and ran very well first-up,” said Freedman.

“He improved after I gave him a month’s break. He was very fit, but I didn’t know how he would handle the ground today.

“But I have to say a lot of the horses’ chances were ruined by the ground, and some of them improved on it.

“I’ve always had a lot of time for Joe (Azzopardi) and I told him this horse would be his Derby horse. He’s done all the work on him.

“I’m glad for Mr Cheng, and I know Gai would be happy for me, too.”

Sun Marshal was a $200,000 Magic Millions purchase for Sun Bloodstock. He is the best of four winners from Mysterious Light, a half-sister by Fantastic Light (USA) to stakes-placed Emotional Circus and Twirl from the family of champion sire Fastnet Rock.

He is the 13th stakes-winner for Darley’s Golden Slipper winner Sepoy, who stands at Darley Victoria this spring at a fee of $11,000.

*By Paul Vetisse, TDN AusNZ

Lindsay Park can sit back and make a Group 1 plan with certainty following a commanding performance from Huntly Castle (Sebring) at Flemington on Saturday that has handed him a golden ticket for a classic start on Melbourne’s premier course in the spring.

The David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained 2-year-old produced an encouraging effort to waltz away with the Byerley Handicap over 1800 metres and one that has guaranteed him a spot in the Group 1 VRC Derby.

The stable was in a bullish mood before the race and the colt didn’t let them down, enjoying a fine ride from jockey Jye McNeil and when the pressure went on Huntly Castle responded in regal fashion.

“He looked really well and it was a very good effort to beat the older horses at Bendigo,” Ben Hayes said. “All his work at home had suggested he had trained on well.”

“He’s needed a bit of time to mature and he should be a good Derby chance for us.”

Hayes was appreciative of the opportunity to test Huntly Castle over more ground at this stage of his career.

“It’s fantastic that they’re putting on these longer races. It gives us trainers the opportunity to develop our stayers and he’s a good example.

“We’ve just got to wrap him in cotton wool now and get him through to the Derby. It takes that pressure off and he really looks like a horse that will run out that distance.”

Huntly Castle wasn’t brilliantly out of the gates and he settled behind the leading pack on the fence and was into the clear soon after straightening.

“We’re really happy and it was a great ride by Jye,” Hayes said. “He slightly missed the kick and got further back than we were expecting, but Jye didn’t panic and had the horse in a good rhythm. He was patient and it was a really good effort.”

Hayes is unsure about Huntly Castle’s immediate programme, but there is a chance he could again run over the same trip next time out.

“We’ll take him home and take the foot off the accelerator,” he said. “We’ll have him on the water walker and keep him ticking over and happy.

“There’s another 1800 metre Derby trial coming up so we could target that.”

Huntly Castle was too good for the filly Marndarra (Foxwedge) with Presently (Hinchinbrook) taking third with the pacemaker Echo Lad (Squamosa) finishing fourth.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the barrier boys, they don’t really get the recognition they deserve,” McNeil said. “He was a bit fractious and was a little bit slowly.

“Thankfully, we were still able to get into a good position and he switched off into a lovely rhythm and it was quite easy in the end.”

Huntly Castle travelled easily and McNeil said he was full of running at the top of the straight.

“My confidence really grew at the bend when I knew I was going to get plenty of space to wind up. He’s a horse that takes a little bit of riding initially and the further the better for him.

“He gave me a really nice feel. The Derby is a long wait and I hope I can stay on him.”

A half-brother to his winning stablemate Friday Funday (Nicconi), Huntly Castle is a son of Friday Hussy (Hussonet {USA}) and she won five races up to 2050 metres.

Her dam Free Friday (Helissio {Fr}) is a sister to the dam of multiple Group 1 winner and former champion 3-year-old colt Weekend Hussler (Hussonet {USA}) and the Listed Nitschke Stakes winner and Group 1 Australian Guineas runner-up Peaceful State (Animal Kingdom {USA}). It’s also the family of the Group 1 William Reid Stakes and Group 1 Toorak Handicap winner Lucky Hussler (Husson {Arg}), the Group 3 Tasmanian Derby winner Phantom Thief (Jade Robbery {USA}) and his half-brother Saturday Fever (Groom Dancer {USA}), who won the Group 3 Manion Cup.

*By Paul Vetisse, TDN AusNZ

Smart colt Excellent Proposal (Exceed And Excel) continued his development at Randwick on Saturday where he managed a rise in class with aplomb and also showed he had more than one string to his bow with a stylish come from behind victory.

A pre-race plan to make the running was dashed at barrier rise, but it didn’t matter and the chestnut finished powerfully under rider Brenton Avdulla to claim top honours in the Australian Turf Club Handicap and draw serious attention to his 3-year-old season.

“He’s a promising colt and is very raw. He got himself a bit worked up before the race and did a bit wrong,” said Michael Freedman, who trains with brother Richard. “But you can’t do much more than two for two and he’s got a good future.

“We discussed before the race that there didn’t look to be a lot of pace in the race and thought we might end up in front.

“Brenton’s a great rider though and when he didn’t begin as well as we would have liked he took a trail. I guess that’s good for his education and showed he can take a sit and finish off like he did.”

Excellent Proposal settled midfield and when Avdulla cut loose on him in the straight he lengthened stride quickly and finished at a rate of knots.

“Dealing with all trainers and owners they expect you to do one thing and when the gates open it’s completely different,” Avdulla said.

“Michael said to me maybe take the lead and control the race, but he took a backward step and put me worse than midfield.

“I had to sum the situation and ended up getting a nice trail three wide with cover off a soft speed. I was able to ride my race and I knew one thing, when I got stuck into him he’d keep responding which he’s done in every trial.

“To his credit he knuckled down late it was quite soft the last couple of strides. I’m sure when he goes further he’ll get better too.”

The first winner in Australia for Victorian breeders Holloway Equine P/L, Excellent Proposal was purchased out of Fernrigg Farm’s draft at last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for $200,000 and is out of Procrastination (GB) (Pivotal {GB}).

The dam won twice in France and placed at Listed level and she is a daughter of Dilly Dally (Rubiton), who was twice successful at Group 2 level in the TJ Smith Stakes and the Champagne Stakes and was placed in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes.

It’s notably the family of the multiple Group 1 winner Redzel (Snitzel), winner of both editions of the Everest and Australia’s champion sprinter of 2017-18.

Freedman said they would take a few days before deciding on their next move with Excellent Proposal.

“We’ll see how he pulls up and we might give him a bit of a let-up and give him a crack at some better races in the spring.

“As I said, he’s still a bit raw and still maturing. He might be one better placed in the autumn, we’ll just wait and see.”

Mitch Brown has swapped fairways for paddocks in a new bloodstock role for Swettenham Stud and the former professional golfer and thoroughbred addict believes he’s made the transition at the perfect time.

32-year-old Mitch Brown carved out a successful golf career in Australasia and Asia, but the nomadic life was far from ideal with a young family. He is now delighted to be part of the team at Adam Sangster’s Victorian nursery.

“It’s really exciting and a very strong stallion roster this year. It’s probably the best for a long, long time and I’m extremely fortunate to be part of it all,” Brown said.

The Swettenham line-up features the Group 1 winners Akeed Mofeed (GB), Highland Reel (Ire), Sioux Nation (USA), Toronado (Ire), Trust In A Gust and the Group 2 winner and multiple Group 1 placegetter Puissance De Lune (Ire).

”I’ve found that I’m managing clients that I’ve got and a lot of them are just coming to us,” Brown said.

“With Sioux Nation we’ve got the Scat Daddy side of things covered and they’re winning everything at the moment and Highland Reel’s by Galileo. He won seven Group 1s and his race track record is probably superior to any stallion out there at the moment and his sire line and dam is unbelievable.

“The beauty of the roster Adam has put together is that it doesn’t matter what mare you’ve got, she’ll match to at least one of the stallions here.”

Brown grew up in Sydney and when his sporting attention turned to golf it also fuelled his interest and love of the thoroughbred game.

“Dad was my greatest influence and I was very sporty when I was young,” he said. “I was playing football and cricket and he encouraged me to hone my focus and concentrate on golf.

“He wasn’t the greatest golfer himself, but he loved the sport. Having a love and passion for a sport is the most important thing and that’s how I feel about racing.

“When I was younger I was a member of the Bankstown Golf Club and it’s not too far from Warwick Farm so a lot of the racing people played there and I became friends with a lot of them.

“I played professional golf for 10 years and travelled throughout Australasia and Asia. I won the New Zealand PGA in 2010 and was quite successful, but no superstar.

“I did very well, but I pulled it back a bit. With two young kids it’s hard to travel so it was the right time to get into another role.”

“I was hardly ever at home and I was always studying the form and I was very much into the breeding side of things, that really interested me. I found I was studying it all the time and with social media it was easy to see what was going on.”

Brown has dabbled in pinhooking and breeding with a few friends in more recent times.

“We pooled our money and the mother of one of our mates owned a lot of mares that were racing and she didn’t want to go down the breeding path,” he said.

“So we got a few of her mares and I’m doing the pedigrees and we’ll obviously be using the Swettenham stallions.”

A family connection to a high-profile racing identity and an introduction to a bloodstock agent has also furthered Brown’s bloodstock experience.

“My father-in-law is best mates with Rupert Legh and he’s been very good to me and helped to promote me. He’s really pushed me along a lot,” Brown said.

“A good friend of mine knew Brad Spicer really well and I phoned him and asked if I could meet him and tag along at the sale with him,” Brown said.

“Brad said yes, absolutely, so he took me and showed me the ropes and introduced me to people. It’s been great, Brad and Rupert have been extremely helpful and influential.”

Brown is now continuing his progression at Swettenham and is taking every opportunity to further his experience under Sangster and Sales and Nominations Manager Sam Matthews.

“It’s a real honour. Adam knows all about horseflesh and you can learn more in one day beside Adam than you would in a year with most,” he said. “It’s a pleasure to be able to work with such a strong and respected Victorian stud and an exciting and emerging stallion roster. I’m very lucky.”

*Story from TDN AusNZ

Growing up in the Mallee town of Japarit, Todd Martin was introduced to horses at an early age by his Grandparents who were the local Publicans and involved in racing horses as well as greyhounds with local trainers. Initially being involved in racehorse ownership, Todd raced horses with James Riley and Luke Oliver at Caulfield and was part of the ownership group of Luke’s first two winners.

In 1999, Todd and his wife Madeleine purchased a 60-acre property in Willowmavin, located between Lancefield and Kilmore. The farm was named Hopetoun Lodge, in a nod to his family’s Japarit pub, the Hopetoun House Hotel. Whilst holding down a senior executive position with a large public company in the chemical and explosives industry, Todd spent his weekends and holidays slowly developing his property. With a strong love of horses, getting involved in the breeding industry seemed like a natural progression.

One of the first mares Todd bred from was Lustre, whom he purchased from Darley. Working full time in the corporate world which required regular international travel, Todd has been fortunate to have his wife who is a local school teacher in Lancefield, and 16 year old son Tom, to help with the day to day running of the farm in his absence. Todd also has an 18-year-old daughter who is a very talented ballet and contemporary dancer. Ever the keen student, over the years Todd has been studying bloodlines with great interest as well as seeking guidance and improving his knowledge from fellow industry participants, David and Kayley Johnson of Rushton Park.

Last February Todd helped to oversee the sale of the company he was working for. Swapping corporate life for a Driza-Bone, Todd now plans to concentrate on developing his breeding interests further. He currently has 5 broodmares at Hopetoun Lodge, a number for now he is happy with no plans to take in any outside horses.

‘I would rather focus on quality over quantity.” He added, noting that with the farm consisting of 60 acres, he is keen not to over utilise the land.

In 2010, Todd purchased a broodmare Lustre who was in foal to Ad Valorem for $6,500 at the Inglis March Sale that year and continued to breed from her over subsequent seasons. Progeny include Golden Lustre (Written Tycoon) who was bought as a yearling in 2016 for $60,000 to race with Philip Stokes and that same year her weanling Arizona Ranch (High Chaparral) fetched $90,000. In 2018 Sweeping the Board (Toronado) was purchased at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale by Yulong Investments for $95,000. Earlier this year when Lustre passed away aged 19, Todd bought back her daughter Golden Lustre for $50,000 at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. Currently still in training, she will return to Hopetoun for the upcoming breeding season.

Todd has been fortunate to have the support of many people along the way as he has increased his knowledge of the breeding industry, including David Burke of DeBurca Farm and the team at Supreme Thoroughbreds. Todd foals down most of the mares at home and other mares go to Rushton Park.

“A challenge I have found since becoming more involved in the breeding industry is the accessibility to certain stallions,” said Todd.

“The high service fees that some stallions command can make it difficult for smaller breeders to be commercially successful.”

When it comes to purchasing horses, Adam Sangster, Jason Robinson and Sam Matthews of Swettenham Stud have provided guidance, with Sam also bidding on Todd’s behalf on sales day. One of Todd’s latest additions to Hopetoun Lodge is the former Chris Waller trained mare We Betcha. Purchased for $100,000 and by Encosta de Lago, the mare showed great talent on the track and more recently as a broodmare producing able progeny. With recent winners on the track, the mare also has a yearling by Starspangledbanner.

To date, Hopetoun Lodge have bred and sold 24 horses of which 19 are of racing age. 15 of these horses have gone on to win 43 races, with 5 of these at City level. The current model at Hopetoun Lodge is to sell their young stock through the ring and retain a small share.

“Advice I would give to anyone who wants to get involved in the breeding industry like I have, is that reconnaissance is essential before making decisions. Engage as much knowledge as you can with the network that is accessible to you rather than making a decision and then realising it is a mistake.”

Todd recently purchased this Brazen Beau weanling filly.

Rosemont Stud will throw open the gates to its impressive Gnarwarre Stud in Geelong on Saturday, August 10 for an 11am sharp parade of their high quality stallion draft for 2019.

Starspangledbanner is expected to have settled in by then and be the star attraction along with new arrival Shamus Award. Evergreen StarCraft and exciting young sire Nostradamus will round out the parade.

Starspangledbanner returns after a couple of seasons standing in Australia back at his major owner Coolmore in the Hunter Valley and will be a sight for sore eyes for Rosemont’s Anthony Mithen.

“We can’t wait to have him back at the farm. He is almost fully booked so it will be great to show the breeders that are supporting him what a lovely horse he is. He has had a good season in Ireland and has arrived into quarantine in Melbourne and he is expected to come through the gates in the first week of August,” Mithen said.

Shamus Award’s arrival into the Victorian breeding ranks rates as a major coup. With major owner Sean Buckley keen to have the son of Snitzel closer to his base in Victoria, Rosemont negotiated the deal to relocate the now Group 1 sire to their Geelong base.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for Victorian breeders. The way he is going I can assure breeders he will not stay at his current fee ($11,000) in the seasons to come. In fact, there was a discussion about raising his fee this year, but we felt we needed to honour the bookings that we had already taken at $11,000. He will cover a limited book and there are very few spots left. I would think that when breeders see him parade, he will be chockablock,” he said.

“We are very grateful for Sean Buckley and Viv Oldfield’s support with the horse and hope their trust will be well-placed here in Victoria. He is low flying with quality horses popping up in town all over the country. His winners to runners ratio is off the charts and of course he is now the Group 1 sire of Mr Quickie, our Queensland Derby hero. He’s a lot of horse for just $11,000.”

Evergreen stallion Starcraft will once again stand under the “Toss The Boss” conditions where breeders can choose whether they want a colt or filly. If they get what they want, they pay the reasonable service fee of $8800. If they don’t get the foal they wanted (colt or filly) they pay no fee.

“We think this will be the last year we offer this structure, so I would encourage breeders to get involved. We want to look after Starcraft, so this will most likely be the last year of the deal.”

There is much excitement surrounding the first runners in the new season for Nostradamus with some street corner stable whispers suggesting they will run early. Dealing down on the $8800 might see some Rosemont clients right in the box seat if the scuttlebutt turns to reality.

“I know Philip Stokes has a very high opinion of one of the fillies we have given him. She is out of an Octagonal mare and if there had been races for yearlings, she might have already had a couple of starts. It’s really exciting for all of us.

The stallion parade is open to all, but RSVPs for catering purposes are essential. Contact the Rosemont office on 03. 5220 6501 or simply email office@rosemontstud.com.au if you plan on attending.

The parade will be followed by a BBQ lunch with the races on the big screen.

It was an interesting and no doubt rare result at UK’s Doncaster races last Thursday, when Victorian stallions sired the trifecta in the second race on the card.

The 2 year-old 1200 metre Steelphalt EBF Maiden Stakes was won by the William Haggas-trained St Ives, who is by Woodside Park’s shuttle stallion Cable Bay.

Finishing a short head behind the race favourite was first starter Mr Jones And Me. Trained by Tom Dascombe, the colt is by Darley Northwood sire Brazen Beau.

Also on debut and securing third place after stumbling during the race, the Kevin Ryan trained Soaring Star (IRE) is a colt by Rosemont Stud’s Starspangledbanner.

All three shuttle stallions are making their marks on the international breeding stage. Currently a leading European First Season Sire, Cable Bay continues to get wins on the board, with 3 Stakes horses and 12 individual winners to his name to date. 

The Australian progeny of Brazen Beau have proved extremely popular, with yearlings selling for up to $1,150,000 this year. With 6 Australian winners this season, including three stakes-placed runners, Brazen Beau also sired his first Northern Hemisphere stakes-winner in early June with Avengers Queen.

A regular shuttler, the resurgent stud career of Starspangledbanner is building momentum in the Northern Hemisphere. At stud, his numbers continue to be extraordinary off relatively low foal numbers, including a stakes winners to runners percentage of an impressive 8.5% (as at April). Connections are excited to welcome Starspangledbanner back to Victoria and Rosemont Stud this season.

Cable Bay stands at Woodside Park Stud in 2019 for a fee of $13,200.

Brazen Beau stands at Darley Northwood in 2019 for a fee of $49,500.

Starspangledbanner stands at Rosemont Stud in 2019 for a fee of $22,000.

North-east Victoria’s Riverbank Farm is having their best run ever, with a flood of winners in the past 6 weeks from their resident stallions, led by Skilled, Anacheeva and Redente.

With more than 14 winners recorded at national racetracks such as Flemington, Cranbourne, Bairnsdale, Scone and Fannie Bay, the winners roll includes Hurry Home Harry, Crimson Ace, Come On Carl, Engadine, Eagle Point and the homebred Beautiful Bee.

Amassing just short of $1 million in stakes during a 12-start career, Anacheeva has his name on the Caulfield Guineas honour roll alongside the likes of Starspangledbanner, Redoute’s Choice, Vain and Heroic.

Also the winner of the Gr.3 Guineas Prelude and the Listed Mitchell McKenzie Stakes, Anacheeva was a versatile galloper who showed up early winning a Sale 1200m maiden by three lengths at debut.

One of 88 stakes winners sire by the Danzig stallion Anabaa, Anacheeva showed good and adaptable form from 1200m to 2400m. His progeny have secured 37 win this season from 22 runners including recent winners Framework, Sterling Acheeva and Sleek Acheeva. 

In April this year, Fiscal Fantasy became Group winner number two for Skilled, when she won impressively in the Group 3 Manwatu Breeders Stakes at Awapuni, New Zealand.

By the late sire Commands, Skilled’s dam line is a strong as his sire line with his dam being the Group 2 Sandown Guineas winner Dextrous who is excelling at stud with six of her seven foals to race being winners including the dual Group 2 winner Sidestep and the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes winning Ambidexter.

Skilled’s family is one that has been producing high quality racehorses for generations and includes Many Hands, Proverb and one of the greats of the Australian turf, Emancipation.

Redente is as well-bred as they come, being a son of the late super stallion Redoute’s Choice. His dam is Group One Australia Stakes winner Stella Cadente, who has produced multiple stakes performers. The family also includes Eau d’Etoile, Bint Marscay and Filante.

Just over a two hour drive from Melbourne, the family-run Riverbank Farm is situated opposite Benalla racecourse and was established around 30 years ago by Adrian and Dorothy Osborne. As well as affordable agistment, Riverbank caters for every stage from foaling, breeding, weaning and spelling to the racetrack.

Upon retiring in September 2014, Adrian and Dot handed the reins to their son, horse trainer Russell.

Together with his wife Caroline, an equine vet and current TBV Board Member, they have established their own broodmare band and have a number of their own home-bred horses which are trained and raced by Russell.

Their vision is for all clients to experience the thrill of breeding and owning a winning racehorse through offering top quality stallions at affordable prices.

The latest arrival to Riverbank, Bon Aurum will stand this breeding season alongside other resident stallions Boulder City, Redente, Skilled, Wayed Zain, Von Costa De Hero and Anacheeva.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Riverbank Farm in Victoria’s north-east.

Spendthrift Farm’s Jimmy Creed (USA) has only had three runners from eight named foals from his first Australian crop of 16 live foals, but the son of Distorted Humor made it two from three following an impressive career debut by Knock Knock at Bendigo on Sunday.

Ridden by Dean Holland for trainer Paul Preusker, Knock Knock was well back in the early stages before being gifted a ground-saving passage along the rail to confront Godolphin’s odds-on favourite Deference (Exceed And Excel) in the final 200 metres.

After a short, sharp battle, Knock Knock drew a half-length clear with Just Jake (Reward For Effort) two and a quarter length back in third.

“For me, I still don’t think he handles it (the heavy track), said Paul. “But I’m glad we held off with him for a bit because I think he is up for something a little bit better and he will improve with time.”

Purchased for $60,000 out of the Ambergate Farm draft at the 2018 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale, Knock Knock is the third winner from five to race out of the winning More Than Ready (USA) mare Shameless whose granddam Rubrani (Rubiton) is a sister to Group 3 Sweet Embrace Stakes winner Millrich, the dam of dual Group 1 winner, dual The Everest winner and $15.5 million earner Redzel as well as the Group 3 winner and accomplished stallion Danerich.

Jimmy Creed returns to Australia this season with an exceptional winners to runners rate of 70.42% from his first three American crops, with 100 of his 142 runners (as of July 8) visiting the winner’s circle. This strike rate gives him more than 10% more winners to runners at the same stage of his career than Medaglia d’Oro (58.19%), Street Cry (52.63%) and Spinning World (59.23%).

Among active shuttle stallions, Jimmy Creed holds his own with a higher percentage of winners to runners than More Than Ready and Street Boss (USA) at the same stages of their careers. Jimmy Creed ties fellow Victorian stallion Street Boss with the same amount of northern hemisphere stakes winners, graded stakes winners and number of 2-year-old stakes winners at the same point in their careers.

The third leading second crop sire in North America in 2018, Jimmy Creed (USA) will have more than double the number of foals to represent him in the new season and he covered 112 mares in 2017 and 75 last year. With his biggest Australian crops hitting the track in coming seasons, Jimmy Creed looks well on his way to becoming America’s next great shuttle stallion.

Jimmy Creed (USA) returns to Spendthrift Australia in 2019 at a fee of $8,800.

*Story by Mark Smith (Breednet) and Spendthrift Australia.

Growing up in South Africa, Carla Aliphon enjoyed riding ponies and attending pony club but a career in the thoroughbred breeding industry in Australia was far from her mind. Aged 15, she moved with her family to Australia where she finished her high school education. Following this, Carla decided to enrol in the University of Melbourne’s Advanced Diploma of Applied Science (Horse Management) at Glenormiston which set her on the career path to where she is today.

As part of her Diploma’s practical component, Carla worked for renowned horseman Greg Bennett at his property in NSW. Alongside learning skills in breaking and pre-training, Carla also got to care for a future star of the turf Makybe Diva, during her placement. The triple Melbourne Cup winning mare was a 3 year-old at the time and Carla helped with her pre-training and re-education before she went into training with Lee Freedman. The rest as they say is history, and a very successful one at that!

For her second work placement, Carla worked at Eliza Park (now Sun Stud). It was this placement under the guidance and mentorship of Brett Grayling that gave Carla a firm grounding in the care of broodmares and knowledge and techniques for foaling down mares. This insight into the breeding industry, instilled a passion which she still has today.

After graduating from Glenormiston, Carla returned to complete many further breeding seasons at Eliza Park. She also spent breeding seasons working overseas and her international experience has included stints at the renowned Derrinstown Stud in Ireland and at Kentucky-based Pin Oak Stud in America.

Having travelled to Europe and America working with horses, Carla had the travel bug and in 2007 she hung up her lead rope and spent over 3 years working as a tour guide throughout Europe.

“It was a great opportunity where I was being paid to travel and see the wonderful cities and different cultural experiences that Europe has to offer,” says Carla.

Adding another variation to her CV, Carla also spent 2 years working for a heli ski company in Canada.

Now in her second season at Cityview Farm in Gisborne South, Carla is relishing working in a more boutique farm environment.

“Having worked at many big Stud Farms around the world, I am enjoying having a smaller number of horses in my care. I can give more of a personal touch to the horses and learn a bit more about their individual personalities, which is something I thoroughly enjoy.”

Cityview Farm is located on the same land as the famed St John’s Lane Stud, an operation owned by Doug Reid, breeder of the great mare Maybe Mahal, among many others. Under Carla’s watchful eye, the farm specialises in mares and foals, offers agistment and sales preparation, foaling down and weaning, as well as servicing many of the local studs with walk-in mares.

“We are keen to support Victorian Stallions and hope to have a good quality draft of Victorian bred horses heading for the Melbourne Premier Sale.”

Ever keen to learn and increase her knowledge base, Carla built a good professional rapport with reproductive Vet Ian Douglas during her time at Eliza Park and continues to work alongside him at Cityview Farm today.

“When you work in the breeding industry, there is always something new to learn and that is something I enjoy,” said Carla.

When away from the farm, Carla relishes staying fit and active and is a member of the local Macedon Ranges Running Club. A keen painter, Carla also enjoys creating abstract art, drawing animals and nature, and of course painting pictures of horses!

Advice Carla has for anyone wanting to get involved in the breeding industry?

“A passion for horses is essential. There are long hours involved, especially during the breeding season or during Sales times where you have to forego many social commitments, but if you have a passion for horses it is a very rewarding industry to be involved in.”

For more information about Cityview Farm you can contact Carla directly on 0475 999 011 or visit www.cityviewfarm.com.au

*Story by Tara Madgwick, Breednet.

A change of scene can put a new perspective on a sire and the Smart Missile example has been lost on nobody, which is why we’re looking with fresh eyes on this stallion, who packed his bags and departed the Hunter Valley earlier this year.

With record VOBIS bonuses and successful new initiatives such as the $1 million dollar Showdown race for Victorian sired two year-olds, the Victorian stallion ranks have become very competitive and while Written Tycoon ($110,000 fee) stands head and shoulders above the pack followed by young gun Brazen Beau ($49,500), the middle market below that takes some deciphering to find real value.

New to Woodside Park Stud this year, proven sire Foxwedge fits the bill for value as a well proven source of winners and stakes-winners headed by an impressive three Group I winners in Foxplay, Volpe Veloce and Urban Fox.

With his oldest progeny just five year-olds, Foxwedge has produced 41 stakes horses in both hemispheres and this season in Australia has sired 90 winners of nearly $5million in prizemoney.

Those winners this season include classy Group 2 winning mares Noire and Alassio as well as stakes-winner Stella Victoria, while classy Group 3 placed three year-old filly Into the Abyss looms as an almost certain stakes-winner for the season ahead.

Astute trainer Gerald Ryan has always had a huge wrap on two year-old filly Villami, who was the most expensive yearling by Foxwedge sold in 2018 when fetching $425,000 at the Magic Millions.

She won brilliantly on debut at Rosehill in February, before struggling on the heavy ground in the Group 2 ATC Magic Night Stakes and then bounced back to finish a close third in the $1 million Group 2 ATC Percy Sykes Stakes to Anaheed.

Villami is the sort of filly with type, talent and pedigree that could see her go a very long way in the season ahead.

Foxwedge featured in South Africa last weekend when Australian bred Infamous Fox won his second Black Type race and he’s not the only good one in the region for his sire. 

One star Foxwedge filly we may have missed out on in Australia is undefeated Run Fox Run, who has raced up a storm in South Africa this season winning all four of her starts to date including the Listed Olympic Duel Stakes at Kenilworth.

A $420,000 Inglis Easter purchase for South African trainer Brett Crawford, three year-old Run Fox Run is one of the most promising sprinters in South Africa.

A refined, good looking son of Fastnet Rock, Foxwedge was an expensive yearling himself bought for $925,000 at Inglis Easter in 2010.

Good looks, an even temperament and natural ability translated into Group 1 success on the track.

For those who may have forgotten, Foxwedge raced in a great era of truly world class sprinters and was fourth to Black Caviar, Hay List and Buffering in the Group 1 VRC Lightning Stakes, third in the Group 1 VRC Newmarket Handicap to Hay List and Buffering and then defeated that mighty duo when winning the Group 1 MVRC William Reid Stakes at WFA.

Foxwedge has imparted his brilliance and quality to his offspring to carve out a highly successful career at stud that is about to move into a new phase.

Foxwedge was the Champion Second Season Sire in 2016/2017 and as a result covered a strong book of mares that spring meaning he has a terrific crop of 110 weanlings in the pipeline.

Priced at $16,500 this spring, Foxwedge is not only a proven Group 1 sire, but a sire with considerable upside as by the time breeders are selling yearlings bred this year, those weanlings will be three year-olds and it’s not hard to think this stellar crop can deliver further Group 1 success.

“We drove Henry Field mad for six months get Foxwedge,” said new owner Eddie Hirsch.

“He is a proven sire, ideally suited to Victoria and the VOBIS Scheme. I am sending at least half a dozen of my better mares to him.”

Foxwedge stands at Woodside Park Stud, click here for more details.