The two former champions of the turf have the closest of ties to the Makybe operation. Relatives and offspring of the star duo continue to feature in the 2021 mating plans of the Gnarwarre farm.

Makybe Diva was raced by Santic, and following a glittering career that netted an unprecedented three G1 Melbourne Cup victories and success in the G1 Cox Plate she returned home for a breeding career.

Six of her eight foals that raced were winners and after producing a filly in 2019 to More Than Ready (USA), which has been retained, she was retired and remains in good health at Makybe.

“Pre-COVID we had the hope of putting her back in the public eye, she looks as good as she ever did and still a big, powerful mare,” Stud Manager Joe Murray said.

More Than Ready (USA) | Standing at WinStar Farm

“There was no reason physically to retire her (Makybe Diva), but Tony wanted to get her back out at Flemington and let people get up close and personal with her.

“There was no reason physically to retire her (Makybe Diva), but Tony wanted to get her back out at Flemington and let people get up close and personal with her.” – Joe Murray

“That obviously went pot when COVID hit. Last year, we did get her to Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day when there was nobody there which was a bit sad, but we did retire her for that purpose and we will keep trying to get her to the public.

“Once this is all behind us, we will hopefully be able to get her back to the races a bit more, ideally at Flemington which is her second home. She’s rugged up at the moment and running around with the other mares and when you get the rug off her she looks really good.”

Makybe Diva’s half-sister Valkyrie Diva (Jade Robbery {USA}) won the G3 Tesio S. and is a prized current member of the broodmare band as the dam of stakes winners Wonder KidJolly Banner (HK) (Lonhro), Wales (Redoute’s Choice) and C’Est Beau La Vie (Bernardini {USA}).

“She’s empty and is getting on in years, but her Zoustar yearling is an absolute cracker and has everything we wanted when we picked that mating,” Murray said.

“We’re going to keep her in Victoria and she will go to Toronado. She has nothing left to prove as a broodmare and Toronado is doing very well and is a versatile stallion. She can throw precocious horses and that mating matches up very well.”

It’s a done deal

La Dolce Diva (Fusaichi Pegasus {USA}) is a daughter of Makybe Diva and has left a stakes performer in Touch Of Mink (Not A Single Doubt). She produced a colt last year by Dundeel (NZ) and is in foal to Royal Meeting (Ire).

“Her Dundeel yearling is a cracker and the main reason she is going back to Dundeel. Some of early foals were big and a smaller mating suits her,” Murray said.

Last Bling is a winning daughter of Valkyrie Diva by Starspangledbanner and her maiden serve last year was to Toronado (Ire).

“We didn’t get to see the best of her as she always felt her knees a bit. She’s a beautiful-looking mare and she’s booked to Deep Field.” Murray said.

“We are looking at the speed there and we bred Quantum Mechanic who is by Deep Field and was third in the Group 1 (Queen of the Turf S.) so we’ve done well breeding to him.”

Star graduate

Starspangledbanner was sold by Makybe at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale for $120,000 and went on to domestic as well as international fame and fortune with Group 1 wins in the Oakleigh Plate, the Caulfield Guineas, the Royal Ascot Golden Jubilee S. and the July Cup.

“He was born at the farm and Tony kept a share in him when he won the Guineas. The farm sold out when Coolmore bought into him,” Murray said.

Joe Murray | Photo courtesy of Makybe Farm

His dam Gold Anthem (Made Of Gold {USA}) has had 12 foals to race and 11 have been successful and includes the mother of the G1 Thousand Guineas winner Amicus (Fastnet Rock).

“Gold Anthem has left a legacy for the farm but is not in foal at the moment, it’s the first time she’s missed in 16 years. She is a phenomenal mare and she still looks amazing,” Murray said. “We’re going to give her one go with Frosted, what he’s doing down her and in America is very exciting.

“Gold Anthem has left a legacy for the farm but is not in foal at the moment, it’s the first time she’s missed in 16 years.” – Joe Murray

“I went to see him at Darley before the lockdown and he looks like he will put in the size and scope, so we will give her every chance.”

Away from Makybe-developed families is Summer Surf (Big Brown {USA}), a $250,000 Inglis Chairman’s Sale purchase last year for Santic. She is a half-sister to the G1 Golden Slipper S. winner and sire Farnan.

“She was in foal to Brave Smash and we got a beautiful filly out of her. Farnan looks like he will get well looked after with broodmares this year so we are going to try and develop the family more ourselves,” Murray said.

“She’s in foal to The Autumn Sun and is going back to him. We would all have liked to see The Autumn Sun race on, but he didn’t have to prove anything else.

“It’s a beautiful mating on pedigree with Redoute’s Choice coming in and the Not A Single Doubt cross, so hopefully it works for us.”

Regal union planned

Star Of Sydney (Starcraft {NZ}) is an unraced half-sister to the G1 AJC Sires’ Produce S. winner and sire Invader, and to the G2 HKJC Jockey Club Sprint winner Not Listenin’tome (Dylan Thomas {Ire}). She will visit newcomer King’s Legacy.

“We haven’t been able to get up to see him due to the lockdown, but the reports we’ve heard on the first-season sires, that as a type, he was the pick for most people,” Murray said.

“Star Of Sydney has a fantastic pedigree, and her Fastnet Rock we sold at Magic Millions this year (for $650,000) to Aquis was an absolute belter. We have an American Pharoah this year and we had one throw at him last year, but it was a late cover and she missed.”

Lot 828 – Fastnet Rock x Star Of Sydney (colt) sold for $650,000 to Tony Fung Investments and Phoenix Thoroughbreds

Two other notable matings locked in are Cailin Miss (Domesday), who is in foal to Headwater, and Faith In Hand (Fastnet Rock), who will both visit I Am Invincible.

A previous visit to the Yarraman Park Stud stallion for Cailin Miss produced the G3 Kevin Hayes S. winner La Mexicana while Faith In Hand is a sister to Amicus and from Starspangledbanner’s family.

“If La Mexicana can win a Group 1, we’re laughing, so it was a no-brainer that Cailin Miss went back to Vinnie,” Murray said.

La Mexicana with Jamie Kah aboard

“Faith In Hand has a Vinnie filly that we will be sending to the sales and one of the nicest fillies we’ve had on the farm, so we had to go back.

“We sold her Sebring filly for $280,000 at Magic Millions, and I would have to have kept her. The mare does everything right and she’s currently in foal to American Pharoah.”

Makybe Diva’s matings are a joint effort between Santic, Murray and the Belmont Bloodstock Agency’s Damon Gabbedy.

“My input is with regards to the physical and if I can, I will view the stallions, Damon has an extensive knowledge of the bloodlines and Tony does a bit of everything,” Murray said.

Belmont Bloodstock Agency’s Damon Gabbedy (right) at yearling inspections

Article Courtesy of TDN Australia

Spendthrift Australia recently welcomed back a pair of their Kentucky-based team -G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic hero Vino Rosso (USA) and multiple Grade 1 winner and G1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile runner-up Omaha Beach (USA)- to its Victoria nursery, about 60 kilometres from Central Melbourne.


They retired as two of the hottest stud prospects in North America in 2020 and were supported with according quality. Each is to be represented by their first young produce to go under the hammer during breeding stock sales in the upcoming American autumn.

Vino Rosso the talk of the town

By the influential Curlin (USA) and out of a mare by the late Street Cry (Ire), Vino Rosso was bred at Kentucky’s Glennwood Farm by John D. Gunther and cost owner Mike Repole’s Repole Stable and Vinnie Viola’s St. Elias Stable US$410,000 (AU$564,688) as a yearling at the 2016 Keeneland September Sale.

Though bred to excel over a route of ground, the Todd Pletcher-trained chestnut was a debut winner over seven furlongs (1400 metres) and stamped his ticket to the US Classics with a victory in the G2 Wood Memorial S. in April of his 3-year-old season.

He showed further improvement as an older horse, winning the G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita and the Breeders’ Cup.

Though he was a later-maturing sort, breeders are reporting that his first-crop foals are shaping as anything but that.

“I have a really nice mare that I bred back to Vino Rosso in May, because every single Vino Rosso we have is stunning,” said Carrie Brogden, who breeds under the banner of Machmer Hall with her Australian-born husband Craig.

“Vino himself was a lovely horse, but I have been stunned with what I’ve seen and I think a lot of people feel the same way.”

“Vino (Rosso) himself was a lovely horse, but I have been stunned with what I’ve seen and I think a lot of people feel the same way.” – Carrie Brogden

She added: “They have bone, they have size, they have substance and they have a big, old kachunga–a big old butt. They look a lot faster than I would have expected for a horse that was a Classic-type distance horse. They look very correct and he’s really stamping them.

“I can’t think of any of them that we have that aren’t chestnut and really good-looking. Every single foal we have by him is a better physical than the mare they’re out of. He’s throwing sprinter-type bodies with stretch, and a lot of times, that gets you the miler-type that can get a distance as well.”

Carrie Brogden | Image courtesy of Fasig-Tipton Photo

Martha Jane Mulholland breeds out of Mulholland Springs in Kentucky and has also been taken by Vino Rosso’s first batch of horses.

“These foals look very early and I think you have to look individually at a horse,” she said. “They look quick and they look early. (Vino Rosso) ran a Classic distance, but it looks to me like he’s getting foals that will be able to sprint and go a distance when they get older.

“I am seeing a lot of size and scope and body and in a weanling, those are important,” Mulholland commented.

Vino Rosso (USA) | Standing at Spendthrift Australia

“They’ve got a lot of leg, a lot of air under them and they’re good-sized. They have the appropriate amount of length – they’re not too short-coupled and they’re not too long. Significant muscling, particularly in the hind quarters, which should make them quick and I like the way the neck sets into the shoulder and they’re very correct, solid horses.

“I also think they are very attractive-headed, which, commercially, a pretty foal always sells well. They are very nice foals, nice big eyes, good shoulder, good, scopey horses and very well-balanced.

“In a baby, if they’re correct and have good size and scope and a nice head, that bodes very well for a successful sales year. And the balance and muscling bodes well for success on the racetrack.”

Vino Rosso is one of 14 top-level winners for Hill ‘N’ Dale’s Curlin (USA), a number that also includes this Shadwell Stables’ G1 Kentucky Oaks winner Malathaat (USA), who recently added the prestigious G1 Alabama S. to her growing resume. According to Jody Huckabay, who operates Elm Tree Farm alongside his wife Michelle, Vino Rosso has every opportunity to follow in his sire’s considerable hoofprints.

“To me, he is throwing a lot of Curlin into them,” Huckabay said. “They’re very correct and very good movers and I’ve just been probably as impressed with him as any freshman sire that I’ve seen here this year, at our farm in particular. I am very high on them. We are putting two in the November sale, a colt and filly.

“They’re (Vino Rosso) very correct and very good movers and I’ve just been probably as impressed with him as any freshman sire that I’ve seen here this year.” – Jody Huckabay

“In my opinion, they look like they could be early. Short backs, good hips on them. I think the commercial people are going to snap them up. I think the 2-year-old (resellers) that fuel our market here are really going to like him.

“I’m just very keen on him, at least based upon the ones we have. They look like they’re going to be early enough, but that’s not all they’re going to be. I think they are also going to get better with time. But he’s going to have some early runners, if they look anything like ours.”

Brogden believes Vino Rosso will be a ‘buzz’ horse once mixed sales season kicks off in a few months’ time.

“You have this chatter across the farms in Kentucky -‘who do you like? who do you like?’ and invariably, I keep hearing that ‘I love my Vino.’ Obviously, Curlin is becoming such an influential stallion in the United States and I think (Vino Rosso) would do so well with the speedier, shorter-coupled mares in Australia.

“Curlin’s reputation continues to move forward, his flag is flying higher. He’s doing things he really shouldn’t be doing, and from what I see with the Vinos, it won’t shock me if that’s what you see there, too. And he has a beautiful female family. I am very excited for his foals.”

Omaha Beach, the Danzig connection

Danzig-line stallions need little introduction to the Australian market, but in the form of Omaha Beach, breeders also have access to a female family with abundant class and racetrack success.

A son of US$3.2 million (AU$4.4 million) Keeneland September yearling Charming (USA) (Seeking The Gold {USA}), Omaha Beach is a half-brother to Champion US 2-Year-Old filly Take Charge Brandi (USA) (Giant’s Causeway {USA}) and was himself bought in for US$625,000 (AU$860,804) at Keeneland in 2017. Treble Grade 1-winning second dam Take Charge Lady (USA), a daughter of successful dual-hemisphere stallion Dehere (USA), produced Champion 3-Year-Old colt Will Take Charge (USA) (Unbridled’s Song {USA}), Grade 1-winning sire Take Charge Indy (USA) (A.P. Indy {USA}) and multiple stakes winner As Time Goes By (USA) (American Pharoah {USA}).

Trained by Richard Mandella for the late Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms, Omaha Beach placed in three tries on the turf, but became a different animal once switched to the dirt, with victories in the G2 Rebel S. and G1 Arkansas Derby establishing him as the Kentucky Derby favourite. Forced to miss that engagement, he later returned to win a pair of Grade 1s over sprint trips either side of his runner-up effort in the Dirt Mile.

Omaha Beach’s first foals have impressed this group of breeders.

“I feel certain he will pass on his ability to his progeny,” said Mulholland. “This horse is producing the best foals that these good mares have ever had.

“With the size of his fee, he was sent some very nice mares, but these are nonetheless the nicest foals that these mares have ever had. Lots of quality, lots of class, good balance and size.

“The only other horse I felt this way about is (US Horse of the Year and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner) Gun Runner. I just don’t say that about a lot of stallions and I am going to go to (Omaha Beach) in his third year. I feel very strongly about that horse.”

“I feel certain he (Omaha Beach) will pass on his ability to his progeny. This horse is producing the best foals that these good mares have ever had.” – Martha Jane Mulholland

Added Huckabay: “I only have one Omaha Beach-unfortunately. I did breed a couple more mares to him, but they didn’t get pregnant. The one we have belongs to my son, very nice filly. She’s also going in November. (Spendthrift’s) Mark Toothaker came out and he thought she was a very good representation of what the sire can throw.”

Omaha Beach (USA) | Standing at Spendthrift

Huckabay reports that the filly, produced by the stakes-winning Star Super (USA) (Super Saver {USA}), has a date in the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

“We were original shareholders in War Front as well, and this filly to me looks like a lot of the good War Fronts,” he commented. “She’s got good leg, plenty of muscle. She’s a good mover and she ties together extremely well. She’s out of a pretty nice mare, we’re really pleased with her.

“She looks like a rocketship, no joke. She looks like just pure speed. Mark really thought she was one of the better ones he’d seen.”

The highly positive feedback from a handful of prominent breeders suggest that not only do prospective buyers on this side of the world have something very much to look forward to, but so, too, does the Australian industry when the first foals are offered to the market.

Article Courtesy of TDN Australia

Glentree Thoroughbreds, in Victorian horse country southwest of Geelong, is owned by business tycoon Bruce Wilson (of Reece Group fame). Speaking to TDN AusNZ earlier this year, Wilson said his interest in racing was spurred by the success of his first horse, the Colin Hayes galloper Franklin Drive (Ire).

“He ran second to Special in the 1988 Newmarket,” Wilson said. “Like everybody else, your first horse seems to be your best horse.”

All things considered, it was a humble statement by Wilson because, since then, he has put together one of the finest collections of private broodmares for his Glentree Thoroughbreds property.

This spring, the farm will be breeding 20 broodmares, all owned by Wilson, with an additional two mares booked at Juddmonte Farms to Southern Hemisphere time. The whole process is overseen by Stud Manager Luke Simpson, who has been at Glentree for eight years.

“Give or take, 20 is about our broodmare number each year, and they all belong to the boss,” Simpson said. “We’re a private breeding operation, and we’re in a pretty fortunate position where Bruce wants to keep everything under his own name and banner. It’s a testament to his passion and strong commitment to the industry.”

Glentree Thoroughbreds | Image courtesy of Glentree Thoroughbreds

Currently, many of the mares are boarded at Vinery Stud to foal down and visit their respective stallions around the Hunter Valley this spring. Thereafter, they’ll head south to Glentree.

“We keep any mares that are going to be bred down here on the farm, and all the mares that are being bred in the Hunter are currently based at Vinery,” Simpson said. “They’ll be bred and serviced up there, and once they’ve been tested positive in foal they’ll make their way back down to us.”

At this stage, the breeding season is looking pretty straightforward for Glentree. Most bookings are finalised and heading in the right direction, as with previous seasons.

“We’re trying to breed that elite racehorse, so that’s always in the front of our mind at this time of year.” – Luke Simpson

“We’re trying to breed that elite racehorse, so that’s always in the front of our mind at this time of year,” Simpson said. “Getting the physical match right that also has a bit of commercial appeal, this is the pattern we try to follow.”

Southern time

Glentree’s spring run-sheet includes two important mares currently in Europe, both booked to Juddmonte stallions on Southern Hemisphere time. The first is Four Leaf Clover (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) booked to Kingman (GB), and the other is Zoetic (GB) (Kodiac {GB}) booked to Frankel (GB).

“Four Leaf Clover is a mare we bought up there last year,” Simpson said. “She has a huge black-type family. She’s a half-sister to four stakes winners, and the cross with Galileo mares going to Kingman is something we’ve identified as popping through with favourable results, so we’re keen to replicate that and bring her down in foal.”

Glentree purchased Four Leaf Clover at last year’s Tattersalls December Mare Sale, paying 290,000 gns (AU$578,550) for her via Badgers Bloodstock. She is among a number of Galileo (Ire) mares snapped up by Glentree in the past few years.

Watch: Four Leaf Clover (Ire) parade

“We’ve been targeting them for the last two or three years, trying to infiltrate that Galileo blood through broodmares to bring down here,” Simpson said. “He’s just got the most unbelievable record as a broodmare sire, so we think the more of that blood we’ve got, the better, either through mares by him or mares having some form of Galileo blood in them.”

It’s an exciting exercise these days in a competitive market.

“It is a strong market for any mares by Galileo now, it’s very recognised,” Simpson said. “But we’ve dissected the ones we think will specifically work down here and targeted those.”

“It is a strong market for any mares by Galileo now, it’s very recognised. But we’ve dissected the ones we think will specifically work down here and targeted those.” – Luke Simpson

Alongside Four Leaf Clover, 3-year-old filly Zoetic will head to Juddmonte this Australian spring. Trained at Newmarket by James Ferguson, she has the consistent lifetime record of seven starts for two wins and four placings, including a victory in the Listed St Hugh’s Fillies’ S. at Newbury last year.

“She is a filly that Grant and Tom Pritchard-Gordon, of Badgers Bloodstock, identified as a yearling,” Simpson said. “She’s a stakes winner over five furlongs last season, and she’s had one start back as a 3-year-old where she was third in a stakes race. She’ll be running in a Group 3 at Deauville this Sunday, and will be covered by Frankel to Southern Hemisphere time.”

Glentree’s third mare in Europe is Nette Rousse (Ger) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}), who is in foal to Le Havre (Ire) on Northern Hemisphere time and will eventually head home to Australia on a Southern Hemisphere covering next year.

Blueblood bookings

In Australia, Glentree’s remaining 20 mares are booked to 14 individual stallions across seven farms. Among them is Ruby Falls (Flying Spur), one of five broodmares heading to Arrowfield Stud.

Ruby Falls is a daughter of Aspen Falls (USA) (Hennessy {USA}) and, as such, is a half-sister to the G1 Thousand Guineas winner Irish Lights (Fastnet Rock). She is booked to Dundeel (NZ).

“This is a really nice mating,” Simpson said. “It creates a good outcross with her being by Flying Spur going to Dundeel. Off the back of her yearling that sold really well this year, it made sense to go back and replicate that breeding again, knowing the quality of the yearling this year that was also by Dundeel.”

“This is a really nice mating. It creates a good outcross with her (Irish Lights) being by Flying Spur going to Dundeel.” – Luke Simpson

That yearling was Samaritan, who sold for $550,000 to John O’Shea and Suman Hedge Bloodstock (FBAA) at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale.

“Ruby Falls comes from a great family… Irish Lights, Omei Sword and a stakes winner last season, Lipizzaner in Europe,” Simpson said. “It’s quite an international pedigree, so the Dundeel mating this year made a lot of sense.”

Samaritan as a yearling | Image courtesy of Inglis

Coupled with Ruby Falls among the best of Glentree’s mares this spring is Asscher (NZ) (Stravinsky {USA}) and Madame Lily (More Than Ready {USA}). Both of these are booked to Pierro at Coolmore and count among the finest blood in the modern Stud Book.

Asscher is a daughter of stakes winner Our Marquise (NZ) (Gold And Ivory {USA}), who was a daughter of the peerless Eight Carat (GB) (Pieces Of Eight {Ire}). Madame Lily, meanwhile, is a daughter of multiple stakes winner Bollinger (Dehere {USA}), who herself has produced stakes winners on two continents.

“Asscher has been a very special mare for the farm,” Simpson said. “She’s only had two yearlings go through the sale ring, but one made $1.2 million and the filly by Snitzel this year made $560,000. We decided to breed her to Pierro because we knew this family works well with the Zabeel sirelines, and replicating that breeds to Eight Carat, which we also see in Verry Elleegant.”

Asscher’s $1.2 million yearling was Dresden Green (Snitzel) in 2018, sold at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale to Gai Waterhouse and Julian Blaxland’s Blue Sky Bloodstock with Kerri Radcliffe. This year at the same Sale, another of the mare’s Snitzel offspring made $560,000, sold from the Bhima draft to a consortium of Scone Bloodstock, Waterhouse, Bott and Bruce Slade’s Kestrel Thoroughbreds.

Madame Lily, meanwhile, had a Snitzel colt sell at this year’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale for $300,000, subsequently bought by Aramco Racing and named All Black. He is at Caulfield with Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr.

“These two mares are from great families,” Simpson said. “The Eight Carat family, there might not be a better family in the Stud Book than that. And Madame Lily is out of a Group 1 winner from a Golden Slipper winner, and she’s a bit of a rare case in that she’s a complete outcross. There is no strain of Danehill in that mating with Pierro at all.”

Madame Lily is lightly bred to date. She’s had only two foals, her first being by All Too Hard in 2018 and her second being All Black. She is currently in foal to Fastnet Rock and due shortly.

The Vinnie influence

Glentree Thoroughbreds has Dee Nine Elle (Duporth), a half-sister to The Everest-winning colt and now Coolmore stallion Yes Yes Yes, booked to I Am Invincible at Yarraman Park.

Dee Nine Elle was purchased by Glentree and Badgers Bloodstock at the 2019 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale for $720,000 from the draft of Kitchwin Hills. She was in foal to Merchant Navy and has since visited Snitzel twice, dropping a colt (now a yearling) and is due to the stallion in early October.

Dee Nine Elle when sold through Magic Millions in 2019

“This is an extremely current family,” Simpson said. “It’s a very fast family too with a lot of black type, including the good race mare In Her Time. We decided to send her to I Am Invincible because we had a look, and Vinnie over granddaughters of Red Ransom, which Dee Nine Elle is, has produced a few handy stakes horses, including La Mexicana. We think this is a line that is going to pay dividends down the track.”

The mare’s Merchant Navy colt made $400,000 at this year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and is in work with Tony Gollan, who bought him in partnership with Black Soil Bloodstock and John Foote.

“The Snitzel yearling is in the paddock now and he’s a beautifully muscled colt,” Simpson said. “We’re just weighing up our options now with him, but we’re very pleased with the way he has progressed and grown out.”

Merchant Navy x Dee Nine Elle (colt)

Dee Nine Elle will head to I Am Invincible with farm-mate Orchidia (Ire) (Bated Breath {GB}), another important and imported mare for Glentree Thoroughbreds. She was picked up by Badgers Bloodstock on behalf of the farm at the Goffs Orby Sale in 2017, a €120,000 (AU$194,767) purchase.

Orchidia is due to foal to I Am Invincible shortly before heading back to the stallion.

“She has a really big page, and it’s actually blossomed even more recently,” Simpson said. “She’s a half-sister to a Group 1 winner who has left a Group winner, and she’s also a half-sister to a mare called Helleborine who is the dam of Calyx.”

Orchidia is from the Quest For Fame (GB) mare New Orchid (USA), so is a half-sister to African Rose (GB) (Observatory {USA}), a winner of the G1 Haydock Sprint Cup, and Helleborine (GB), the dam of Calyx (GB). The pedigree has had a notable presence in Australia since last year, with Coolmore shuttling Calyx to the Hunter Valley.

Additionally, it keeps emerging in Europe.

Needleleaf (GB), a half-sister to Orchidia by Observatory (USA), is the dam of recent European Group 2 winner Native Trail, and the same mare had a Kingman filly sell at the recent Arqana August Yearling Sale for €900,000 (AU$1.46 million) to Godolphin.

Of the rest

Of the remaining mares for Glentree, there are almost too many good ones to isolate.

The farm has Ain’tnofallenstar (Starcraft {NZ}) booked to Ole Kirk at Vinery, one of two mares headed to that debut sire this spring. Ain’tnofallenstar has already produced the two-time stakes winner Ain’tnodeeldun (Dundeel {NZ}), while she herself was a dual stakes winner in South Australia in 2011.

“Ole Kirk is a stallion we very much believe in, and we wanted to support him with a quality mare like her,” Simpson said. “We found a bit of a nick there with Written Tycoon working well over Nureyev mares, which she has, to produce good-quality horses like Pippie, who was very fast.”

Additionally, Glentree has Daldena (Ire) (Anabaa {USA}) booked to Darley shuttler Blue Point (Ire) this season, with Daldena faring from the famous ‘D’ family of HRH The Aga Khan. She was picked up for the farm by Badgers Bloodstock at the 2019 Arqana December Breeding Stock Sale for €230,000 (AU$373,303).

Daldena (Ire) when purchased through Arqana

“We’ve identified through her direct female line that Shamardal, or sons of Shamardal, have crossed very well with that female line,” Simpson said. “So Blue Point stood out for us to chase that. He was a very fast horse and there’s no reason to think he won’t suit mares down here.”

Lastly, the broodmare Cheering (USA) (War Front {USA}) will also head to Darley, this time to Exceed And Excel at Kelvinside. She was imported last year in foal with a Frankel filly, after which Glentree purchased her via Badgers Bloodstock at last year’s Inglis Chairman’s Sale for $250,000.

“She’s by War Front from a Galileo mare, so there’s that influence again for us,” Simpson said. “It’s a lovely pedigree that goes back to Derby winners like Pour Moi, and we thought we’d chase a bit more speed with Exceed And Excel.”

Booked To
2021 Foal
2020 Foal
2019 Foal
Notable Progeny Or Results
Four Leaf Clover (Galileo) Kingman A half-sister to Group 1 winner Flag Of Honour, Group 3 winner Air Chief Marshal and Listed winner Slip Dance.
Zoetic (Kodiac) Frankel Listed winner, from the family of multiple Group 1 winner Zarkava.
Nette Rousse (Mastercraftsman) Le Havre (NH covering) A half-sister to the dual Group 1 winner Pakistan Star.
Ruby Falls (Flying Spur) Dundeel Dundeel (filly) Samaritan (unraced), Dundeel (colt) The dam of two winners and the half-sister to Group 1 winner Irish Lights, Group 2 winner Omei Sword and Listed winner Lippizzaner.
Asscher (Stravinsky) Pierro Lonhro Snitzel (filly) A daughter of the Group 1 winner Marquise, a half-sister to the Group 1 winner Shower Of Roses and the dam of $1.2 million yearling Dresden Green sold in 2018.
Madame Lily (More Than Ready) Pierro Fastnet Rock All Black (unraced), Snitzel (colt) A daughter of the Group 1 winner Bollinger and a half-sister to two Group 2 winners.
Dee Nine Elle (Duporth) I Am Invincible Snitzel Snitzel (colt) Merchant Navy (colt) A five-time winner and half-sister to Yes Yes Yes.
Orchidia (Bated Breath) I Am Invincible I Am Invincible A half-sister to the Group 1 winner African Rose and Helleborine, the dam of Calyx.
Ain’tnofallenstar (Starcraft) Ole Kirk Dundeel Dundeel (colt) Redoute’s Choice (colt) A Listed winner and the dam of two-time stakes winner Ain’tnodeeldun.
Daldena (Anabaa) Blue Point So You Think Written Tycoon (filly) A half-sister to the Group 1 winner Dolniya.
Cheering (War Front) Exceed And Excel Pierro Frankel (filly) Siyouni (filly) A daughter of the Listed winner Kissed who is a sister to the Group 3 winner Dawn Patrol and half-sister to the Group 1 winner Pour Moi.

Table: Some of Glentree Thoroughbreds’ matings for 2021

Article Courtesy of TDN Australia.

Sebastian The Fox ridden by Jarrod Fry wins the The Haymarket 3YO Maiden Plate at Sportsbet-Ballarat Synthetic Racecourse on August 24, 2021 in Ballarat, Australia. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Sebastian The Fox has only raced three times, and while it’s obviously too early in the three-year-old’s career to make any wild predictions, the VRC Derby has been mentioned in despatches.

After being unplaced on debut over 1000m in July on the Ballarat synthetic, the son of Woodside Park’s Foxwedge was a fast-finishing third at his next start at the same track when he tackled a 1200m maiden.

He was a $31 chance at his first two starts, but when he returned to the same track 28 days later for his third outing, he raced handier over the 1400m distance and scored at odds of $4.80 with Jarrod Fry in the saddle.

Sebastian The Fox was bred by Glenelg Park at Euroa in partnership with Scott Cameron and the late Wayne Harrison.

He was sold for $26,000 at the Inglis Great Southern Sale in 2019.

Glenelg Park’s Danny Swain said the gelding, out of High Chaparral mare High Above, looks like he is a good honest horse.

“The mare has always thrown good sorts, so you are just hopeful that it translates onto the track,” he said.

“She was quite a nice mare who was good to us, and we on-sold her.

Being a High Chaparral mare, most of the progeny are going to take a little bit of time and aren’t going to be two-year-olds.

“It’s nice to see them do a little bit.”

Swain said Foxwedge (Fastnet Rock x Forest Native) was a great stallion who can get a decent horse, has plenty of winners and can throw a good type.

He said they sent a few mares to Foxwedge the same year as High Above in an attempt to diversify the stallions.

Swain said for several years that he was buying mares to breed from in partnership with Cameron and Harrison.

“But when Wayne passed away, we sort of pulled back on that,” he said.

“Scotty and I still have one mare together.

“We all got up to six or seven mares, but as I said we pulled back on it when Wayne passed away.”

Swain said that Glenelg Park will have about 45 foals this season and will walk out about 70 to 80 mares.

Sebastian The Fox, which is trained at Ballarat by Shay Keating, has some interesting owners in the syndicate, including the two men -Mark Dodemaide and Michael Rea – who originally bought the horse as a weanling.

Dodemaide, as the sales and nominations manager at Eddie’s Hirsch’s recently acquired Woodside Park Stud, has first-hand knowledge of Foxwedge as one of three resident stallions at the stud.

Hirsch bought Foxwedge in 2019 with the assistance of Dodemaide when he worked for Inglis.

Dodemaide said that with Sebastian The Fox being out of a High Chaparral mare High Above, which in turn was out of Zabeel mare World Event, maybe suggesting there was a little bit of blood that might help the gelding get over a bid of ground.

World Event is out of Tropical Affair (Danehill), which produced Prized Icon (More Than Ready) that won two Group 1 races – the ATC Champagne Stakes (1600m) and the 2016 VRC Derby (2500m).

“With Sebastian The Fox, it’s so far so good,” Dodemaide said.

“He is a nice horse who looks like he is on the improve a bit.”

Dodemaide can see the irony in telling breeders how good Foxwedge is as a sire when he has one of his sons that he explains to breeders he bought, races, and it looks like he goes all right.

It’s a great combination, and like many of Foxwedge’s good progeny, Sebastian The Fox is bred on the Sadler’s Wells (USA) line.

Dodemaide says he loved Sebastian The Fox on type but points out that prolific stakes winner Volpe Veloce (Foxwedge x Bardego) is out of Barathea mare, also by Sadler’s Wells (USA).

Another of Foxwedge’s Group 1 winners, Foxplay, is out of an El Prado (Sadler’s Wells x Lady Capulet) mare Butters (Our Fair Lady).

“So it’s that cross that seems to work with Foxwedge,” Dodemaide said.

“I loved him on type, and I was there with Michael Rea, and he bought a colt, and he needed a mate, and I just said I’ll buy him (Sebastian The Fox), and I’ll kind of break him up (with owners).

“Michael stayed in him, and there are few interesting people in him.”

North Melbourne premiership player Peter “Crackers” Keenan’s daughter Stephanie and daughter in law Gillian are part owners, along with several others, including Arthur Inglis, former jockey John Didham and former rower Peter Antonie who is an Olympic and Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist and world champion.

Rea bred Turn It Around (Hard Spun x Devon Dancer which won the Group 3 MRC Eclipse Stakes (1800m) in 2016.

Dodemaide said Rea had bred some decent horses along the way, which had made good money at a couple of Australia Easter Yearling Sales.

“He had a bit of luck with New Approach and sold one at the Australian Easter Yearling Sale for $230,000 and sold another New Approach for $400,000,” he said.

“Michael bought an Astern colt at the Great Southern Sale, so we bought this one, so at least he had a mate for him. He sold the Astern cot last year at the Inglis ready to run, and it ended up going to Macau.”

Dodemaide said they were aware that Sebastian The Fox’s dam High Above had produced two previous foals. Mission Smart (Smart Missile) was sold to Hong Kong unraced, while the next foal races as Michigan (Written Tycoon).

Michigan was sold by Glenelg Park as a weanling to Sheamus Mills Bloodstock for $175,000 and then bought by Paul Moroney Bloodstock as a yearling for $280,000. Trained by Michael Moroney at Flemington, Michigan has had five starts for two wins and two seconds.

“For us, he was a good sort and was a Foxwedge that was bred that Sadler’s Wells way, and there are couple Group 1 winners and a few more stakes winners bred the same way,’’ Dodemaide said.

“Levi Kavanagh’s Foxwedge filly (Wild Vixen) is bred the same way with Sadler’s Wells.”

Volpe Veloce, which did the bulk of her racing in New Zealand, was sold to Sheamus Mills for $1.9 million at this year’s Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale.

“I don’t think Foxplay has been sold, but those Foxwedge fillies make a lot of money,” Dodemaide.

Dodemaide said that since Hirsh bought Foxwedge, the stallion had produced another 11 stakes winners.

“On race day, he does a really good job, and he always has winners,” he said.

“This season, he’ll have a big book and will be around 100 mares. And this will be his third season in Victoria.

“With the Foxwedges, if the mare side of the pedigree has a bit of staying blood, they will get over ground.”

Dodemaide said he wasn’t sure whether Sebastian The Fox would develop into a Derby horse, but at this stage, he’ll run in a 1500m race for three-year-olds at The Valley on Saturday.

He said if he performs well at The Valley, the horse will continue on.

“You just keep taking the next step,” Dodemaide said.

“He might have had enough, but to me, he looks like he’ll run a mile at least, and he’ll probably be ridden a little bit quieter on Saturday and just see how he goes.”

And as for the 10-year-old High Above, which won two races, she made $25,000 at the 2020 May online sale and is now due to foal, her first since Sebastian The Fox, to multiple Group winner Pierata.

Beau Mertens returns to the mounting yard on No Effort after winning the Tile Importer Heatherlie Stakes, at Caulfield Racecourse on August 28, 2021 in Caulfield, Australia.(Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

It might have taken No Effort an agonising 17 starts to break her maiden status. Still, the mare has certainly made up for lost time which culminated with victory in the listed Heatherlie Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Already with four metropolitan wins, the Heatherlie victory was the mare’s first at stakes level and has certainly added plenty more value to the seven-year-old as a broodmare.

A run in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) is the mare’s next target at Caulfield on September 18.

No Effort, the daughter of Chatswood Stud stallion Reward For Effort, also holds a nomination for the Caulfield Cup and victory in the Naturalism provides a ballot free exception into the big race.

The quirky mare that races in the distinctive Leopard print colours was bred by the late Melissa Buys with her partner Ross Hennessy who owns the famed Monomeith Stud Farm at Monomeith near Cranbourne.

Hennessy said No Effort was nearly a four-year-old before she was broken in because no one could catch her, but there was until Cranbourne trainer, farrier and all-around horseman Allan Cooper caught her.

Cooper broke the mare in, and while she won her maiden at her 17th start, it sparked a rush of five consecutive races, including a win at Caulfield and then the prestigious Pinker Pinker (2025m) at Cranbourne.

After being diagnosed with cancer, Cooper suggested to Hennessy and co-owner Graham Kemp in July last year that they hand the mare over to former jumps jockey Gavin Bedggood, also a Cranbourne trainer.

Bedggood has now also won five races with the front-running mare, which has had ten wins, four seconds and eight thirds from 44 starts for prizemoney of $688,955.

No Effort went into the Caulfield race at odds of $21, despite finishing winning two and having three minor placings at her previous sixth starts.

Hennessy said Bedggood was doing a great job with the mare that is given two or three weeks off after each run and then is just ready to race again.

“Someone said to me that when mares are racing well, you just keep racing them,” Hennessy said.

“I don’t bet, but they obviously underestimated her.

“Gavin said to me early that all the horses will be back starting off their preps, and they won’t be race fit, but she will be race fit.

He kept that to himself, which is good.”

Hennessy said Bedggood and his partner Karen Flaherty don’t run a big stable but put plenty of time and effort into their horses for good results.

He said Bedggood rode for him many years ago.

“He knows his stuff,” he said.

“He used to be a jumps jockey and did a lot of flatwork as well and used to ride for Steven Theodore when he first started and is in South Australia now.”

Hennessy still has No Effort’s dam Hold The Lion (Lion Cavern x Rich Cargo), which he raced with Melissah Buys, who organised the breeding of the mare, which won five races for Cranbourne trainer Ray Cleaver.

Melissah, who passed away in September of 2018, also bred No Effort, but she never saw the mare race or the distinctive colours she registered.

“Melissah did all the matings on the farm,” Hennessy said.

No Effort is only the second foal produced by Hold The Lion, which was not served from 2014 to 2018 and then failed to get into foal to Reward For Effort (twice), Puissance De Lune and Palentino. Her first foal by Sharkbite died shortly after birth, and No Effort was born three years later.

Hennessy said the studs had been contacting him about sending Hold The Lion to them, but he would consult Ballarto Lodge’s Ian Pankhurst, at Pakenham South, before making a decision on a sire.

“I have had a lot of them on the phone,” he said.

“Melissah bred her, not me, and she did all the matings.”

Hennessy said that Bedggood told him that they’d live the dream with the Caulfield Cup nomination.

“I said okay, and you have to live the dream, and we’ll see what happens,” he said.

“If she wins another race and gets in, that’s fine, but she has never won over 2400m, and we don’t know about that.”

Hennessy said it was all about No Effort getting home from each race in one piece, and the moment she doesn’t want to continue, she’ll be retired.

But right now, he said the mare had shown she wants to race.

He said original trainer Allan Cooper sent him a text after the race to say he was “tickled pink’’ with the win.

Bedggood, whose current place strike rate this season is more than 50 per cent, had one thing to say after the win.

“How good was that? ‘’ he said.

“I said to Beau (Mertens) that she probably went a little too slow in front the other day.

“Getting a nice rolling tempo the whole way, build it up from a long way out, try and pinch a break on some of these horses who might not be ready to go today, where she is. If you get run down late, then that’s my problem.”

Bedggood said the stakes win was great for the horse and the owners.

“She had four metropolitan wins before today, and to get a stakes win next to her name, the owners are breeders, so she’ll stay with them forever now.”

While Bedggood said the Naturalism looms as No Effort’s next target, they’ll let the dust settle and see how she is after last Saturday’s race, but they’ll keep pushing forward.

“Any rain is a bonus with her, but we didn’t get that today,” he said.

“Obviously, these horses are going to get fitter, but she makes her own luck on speed.”

Winning jockey Beau Mertens said the plan was to get to the

front like she usually does.

“Once we got there, she travelled really well. I was quite happy

getting to the 600 (metres) and put the foot down a little bit, and she kicked away from them,” Mertens said.

Mertens admitted he could hear the challengers coming.

“I could hear Ollie (Damien Oliver) screaming at his (horse),” he said.

“It’s a pretty distinctive scream that, and I knew they were getting close.

“But she’s done a great job to hold them off.”

No Effort held off the opposition by just under a length.

Scorpz courtesy of Platinum Thoroughbreds

This impressive junior sire, SCORPZ, is a son of NZ champion sire CHARM SPIRIT. CHARM SPIRIT is also the sire of SANSOM, who recently won the Group 3 Bletchingly at Caulfield .

For those of you not familiar with Scorpz as an athlete, he led quite the illustrious career in NZ.

Starting out his winning streak in NZ he quicly went back to back in black type races and went on to win the Group 3 Wellington Stakes with style, making it 3 wins in a row in New Zealand’s best company.

He continued on his preparation to get a close 2nd in the Group 2 Avondale Guineas after a tough run, and a fast-finishing 3rd in the Group 1 NZ Derby.

Scorpz was imported to Australia for his next campaign in preparation for the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes but in his lead up race the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas sustained a career ending injury.

Whilst devastating to his ownership group, Australia is lucky to add another stallion to its ranks with the pedigree depth of SCORPZ.

Scorpz showed amazing ability on the track and his forced retirement from racing is not from lack of ability. A true Group 1 type of horse, with the ability and class to run back-to-back in black type races. A tough character and flawless conformation.

His dam FORBETTERFORWORSE combines some of the world’s best in her pedigree, with her sire being one of the most elite broodmare sires in DUBAWI.

Combine such a rich dam line pedigree with one of the world’s strongest sire lines currently in invincible spirit and you get a fabulous specimen like Scorpz!

CHARM SPIRIT has started finding form of late on Australian shores, with SANSOM being his latest group winner.

As a celebration of SANSOMS win in the Group 3 Bletchingly stakes, Platinum Thoroughbreds Victoria are offering all mares sired by FASTNET ROCK a FREE nomination in 2021 to SCORPZ.

Platinum Thoroughbreds also have excellent incentives for metropolitan winning mares, and mares who have produced metro winners and black type winners.

For more information on how to take advantage of Platinum Thoroughbreds incentives visit or call Rene Hoefchen on 0417 573 661.

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria has been working closely with the Victorian State Government and Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) regarding protocols for interstate travel for mare coverings.

As TBA mentioned previously, commercial carriers are well set up to move mares across borders and will be able to navigate any of the protocols that are in place.

However, for those of you wishing to move mares with farm-owned trucks or vehicles, you will be required to have the right permits and there will be a number of protocols you or your employees will have to follow.

It should be said that, since last year’s breeding season, state governments have tightened up the rules for movement between states. This is largely due to the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

It is important that any breeder moving mares across state borders follow the protocols and requirements of their permits closely. Any outbreak of the virus that was linked to the movement of mares would jeopardise the allowances that governments have made for our industry.

Essentially, breeders have been given an allowance to use the freight permit system for travel into Victoria, Queensland and NSW. However, to qualify for this exemption, farms need to use a vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Mass of 4.5 tonnes or greater. Nearly all trucks commonly used by breeders would meet this restriction, though many floats are unlikely to do so.

TBA strongly suggests breeders only use their own truck or, if using a float, have evidence that it has a Gross Vehicle Mass of 4.5 tonnes.
In terms of travel interstate, it is recommended that farms utilise the following resources when travelling mares interstate:

1. Apply for a permit

  •  You must ensure you have read the requirements and have received an approved Victorian Government Specified worker permit, which you can access here. The Specified worker permit is required to enter or to leave Victoria.
  • You must ensure you have applied for the relevant interstate permit, which you can find links to below. This is required if you are coming to Victoria to have your mare covered (you will require a permit to return to your state of residence), or if you are a Victorian resident, to return home after your mare cover.
  • Interstate permit links:
  • New South Wales
  • Victoria
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Australian Capital Territory 
  • Western Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Northern Territory

2. Review and adhere to the following guidelines

  • Review the TBA industry guidelines, prior to travel, which you can access here.

If you’re eligible for a Specified Worker (Low Workplace Interaction) Permit and you’ve been in a red or extreme risk zone (such as NSW) at any time after the red zone or extreme risk zone commencement time in the last 14 days, you must:

If a Victorian resident travelling for work outside Victoria:

  • quarantine at your accommodation when not working or while travelling for work
  • get tested for COVID-19 at least once every 3 days during the time the permit is valid
  • only leave your vehicle or the accommodation where you are quarantining when working to undertake the work that makes you eligible for the specified worker permit (e.g. driving and unloading), and to:
    • access toilet and bathroom facilities
    • pay for fuel
    • purchase essential items
    • purchase takeaway food and drink
    • depart Victoria from an airport, seaport or railway station
  • must not carry any other person as a passenger in the driver’s cabin of a vehicle while travelling for work outside of Victoria, other than for the purpose of providing specified work in an occupation included in the Specified Worker (Low Workplace Interaction) List
  • minimise contact with others when not travelling for work outside of Victoria
  • wear a mask indoors and outdoors whilst travelling for work outside of Victoria

If you are a non-Victorian resident in Victoria (i.e. Coming from a NSW farm for a cover in Vic)

  • quarantine at accommodation when not working
  • get tested for COVID-19 at least once every 3 days during the time the permit is valid
  • you must not carry any other person as a passenger in the driver’s cabin of a vehicle, other than for the purpose of providing specified work in an occupation included in the Specified Worker (Low Workplace Interaction) List
  • only leave isolation to undertake the work that makes you eligible for the specified worker permit (e.g. driving and unloading), and to
    • access toilet and bathroom facilities
    • pay for fuel
    • purchase essential items
    • purchase takeaway food and drink
    • depart Victoria from an airport, seaport or railway station
  • minimise contact with others when inside Victoria
  • wear a mask indoors and outdoors unless an exception applies
  • only remain in Victoria for the period of time necessary to provide the work.

Other conditions apply. These will be clearly listed on your permit and as part of your application. To get a permit, you must declare that you accept these conditions.

3. Carry the following documentation when travelling: 

  • A Freight and Transport COVID safe plan must be completed and carried with you at all times. You can access the template created by TBA here.
  • A COVID Safe plan for farms, you can access the template created by TBA here.
  • As per TBV’s last update for Victorian breeders, ensure you have completed and are carrying your authorised worker permit when moving around Victoria. You can access the permit by clicking here.
  • A letter from your employer or, if a sole trader, a note highlighting that you are conducting essential agricultural work and you are an employee of the business you are representing.
  • Communication from the stallion farm confirming the reason the mare is being travelled.
  • Drivers/staff should also carry their driver’s license as proof of identity and residence.
  • Permit holders are also encouraged to have a worker-specific quarantine plan demonstrating how they will minimise interactions with the community on their return to Victoria.

Finally, it is important to continue checking the Victorian COVID exposure site list, with a number of new exposure sites in metropolitan and regional areas of Victoria. The COVID exposure site list can be found by clicking here. You can find our last COVID update by clicking here.

I would like to wish everyone a safe and prosperous season and as always, should you have any questions, you can get in touch with me at or on 0459 510 506.

Kind Regards,


Charmein Bukovec

Executive Officer

In light of the Victorian Government’s announcement that the current lockdown will be extended across the entire state from 1pm today (Saturday, 21 August), Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) wishes to provide the following updates:

Authorised workers
The Victorian State Government has deemed employees within the breeding industry as authorised workers, consistent with the arrangements that were in place last year.

To view the full list of who the Victorian Government constitutes is an authorised worker, click here.


The Premier has advised that the authorised worker permit will be reintroduced for those who will need to continue their work while the lockdown is in place.

Permits will be required to leave the house for authorised work, consistent with the arrangements that were in place last year.

Authorised workers will be required to carry permits when working and when travelling for work. The permits need to be certified by an employer before midnight on Monday 23 August. A link to the permits can be accessed via the Victorian Government website by clicking here.

Exposure Sites

It is important to continue checking the Victorian COVID exposure site list, with a number of new exposure sites in metropolitan and regional areas of Victoria. The COVID exposure site list can be found by clicking here.

Should you have any questions, you can get in touch with Charmein Bukovec at or on 0459 510 506.

Hughes passed away on Wednesday at his residence on the farm in Kentucky surrounded by his family. He was 87 years old.

He was renowned as a visionary entrepreneur who grew from humble beginnings to build a self-storage empire, through Public Storage, before turning his attention to thoroughbreds. Hughes purchased Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky in 2004 and transformed it into a leading commercial breeding operation with son-in-law Eric Gustavson as president and General Manager Ned Toffey.

The farm gradually returned to prominence, then soared in the past decade with the breakout of superstar sire Into Mischief (USA). Spendthrift campaigned multiple champions including Beholder (USA) (Henny Hughes {USA}) and Authentic (USA).

In 2020, Hughes celebrated Authentic’s G1 Kentucky Derby and G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic, before the son of Into Mischief retired to stand at Spendthrift. He threw his support behind MyRacehorse, allowing thousands of micro-owners to share in Authentic’s success.

In 2014, Hughes took his thoroughbred stallion operation international, purchasing the former Yallambee Park Stud in Victoria to establish Spendthrift Australia under the guidance of General Manager Garry Cuddy.

Garry Cuddy

Speaking to TDN AusNZ, Cuddy said he was forever grateful for the opportunity afforded to him by Hughes, when he was appointed to that role.

“From a personal perspective, he took a very big punt on me and backed me as a young man. He gave me a wonderful opportunity,” Cuddy said.

“I hope that the development of the farm and brand in Australia over the first seven years was something he was proud of.

“I hope that the development of the farm and brand in Australia over the first seven years was something he was proud of.” – Garry Cuddy

“The team here are very flat today hearing the news, as Mr Hughes was a man we all looked up to and greatly admired. The culture and values of Spendthrift were optimised by Mr Hughes, who very much led by example from the top.

“There’s a fire in the belly for us to fulfil the dream for Mr Hughes and get the results that he desired. We want to continue and honour his legacy, along with his family.”

The late B. Wayne Hughes

Cuddy met Hughes in 2014, after he was flown to Kentucky for a job interview for the new Australian operation. He said he was immediately struck by a man of passion and conviction.

“I got a phone call and they said, ‘we’d like to interview you for a job’. Two days later I was in Kentucky, meeting Mr Hughes and Ned Toffey, and we drove around the farm,” he said.

“Anyone who has met Mr Hughes will know his infectious attitude and character. He’s a person that grabbed your attention as soon as he spoke. You could really feel that what he said, he meant.”

“Anyone who has met Mr Hughes will know his infectious attitude and character. He’s a person that really grabbed you as soon as he spoke.” – Garry Cuddy

That approach was something that struck Cuddy as a key tenet to the culture that had elevated Spendthrift into one of the American thoroughbred industry’s great success stories of the 21st century.

“One thing that is particularly wonderful for Spendthrift, is the powerful brand he has created in both hemispheres. You know we fight the good fight for everybody, big or small, be they the richest client or breeders with only one mare. All over the world, you are treated the same way. That’s the way he wanted it and that’s the way it will continue on into the future,” he said.

An Australian ambition

Hughes’ affinity for Australia came through his previous business dealings in the country and Cuddy said from that perspective, it made sense for him to expand his thoroughbred interests in Australia.

“He loved the country and the racing excited him. At the end of the day, he was a businessman, and he knew that fast American shuttle stallions could work,” Cuddy said.

“He had around 30 stallions on the roster in Kentucky at the time that he purchased the Australian arm. There have been opportunities for some of those horses to make their way down here. We’ve learned a lot in those first few years and now stand Omaha Beach and Vino Rosso down here, two incredibly exciting prospects in both hemispheres who fit the profile of American stallions that work. It’s exciting to think of the stallions we will have the opportunity to stand into the future.”

As well as investing in stallions and broodmares, Spendthrift has also been a major supporter of the Australian yearling market, spending over $30 million either in its own name or in partnership since 2016. Among those purchases have been SwearDirty Work and Overshare, who are now on Spendthrift Australia’s roster.

There have also been considerable resources put into the Australian base at Romsey, north of Melbourne.

“We are still only a young farm and still in the redevelopment stage really. We have been here for seven years. We started out with the approach that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and we weren’t going to rush things,” Cuddy said.

“Now we are at the point where the farm is almost exactly where we want it. We have got our broodmare band up to the capacity our farm can hold. We’ve got a very exciting stallion roster, so with a bit of luck, there’s plenty of excitement in the future for us.

“It will all be done the Mr Hughes’ way, with the breeder considered first, that’s for sure.”

Spendthrift Australia

An American story

Born Bradley Wayne Hughes on September 28, 1933, in the small town of Gotebo, Oklahoma, he was known by his middle name since childhood. The son of a sharecropper who fled Oklahoma’s Dust Bowl and resettled in California shortly after he was born, Hughes grew up poor in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles. Winning a scholarship to the University of Southern California, he graduated with a degree in business in 1957.

Climbing the professional ladder in real estate, Hughes had recently opened his own firm when business associate Kenneth Volk Jnr brought him an idea in 1972 for buying and renting out private self-storage locations in major cities.

Hughes and Volk pooled US$50,000 (AU$69,507) together and founded Public Storage, which became an immense success and established Hughes’ business empire. The company has grown to a US$40 billion (AU$55.6 billion) valuation and was the foundation for Hughes to expand into other successful real estate ventures.

Introduced to horse racing by his father as a young boy, Hughes was involved in the sport for decades as an adult before making his big splash with the purchase of Spendthrift in 2004. The historic farm, which once stood Triple Crown winners Seattle Slew (USA) and Affirmed (USA), fell into bankruptcy when the thoroughbred market crashed in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was sold at a foreclosure auction in 1993.

“Introduced to horse racing by his father as a young boy, Hughes was involved in the sport for decades as an adult before making his big splash with the purchase of Spendthrift in 2004.”

He purchased Spendthrift in 2004 and traded in his residence in California for a life on the farm in Lexington. Hughes quickly began restoring the historic brand and its land, renovating almost all the farm’s signature structures and returning Spendthrift to a viable commercial breeding operation.

A gradual build back to success for Spendthrift gathered considerable pace thanks to Into Mischief, while the on-track success of Beholder and Authentic added another chapter to Hughes’ story.

Monomoy Girl (USA) | Image courtesy of Fasig-Tipton

Spendthrift dominated last year’s Fasig-Tipton November Night of the Stars, buying dual Champion Monomoy Girl (USA) (Tapizar {USA}) for US$9.5 million (AU$13.2 million) as one of several multi-million dollar purchases to pair with Into Mischief and the rest of the farm’s ever-growing stallion roster.

Following Beholder’s 8.5l victory in the 2015 G1 Pacific Classic, Hughes said: “I’ve had a few good horses in the past, but she is the first horse that makes me feel lucky to be the owner. I’ve never had that feeling before. I think it’s called pride.”

Said Hughes after being honoured as the 2020 Galbreath Award winner by the University of Louisville: “Thoroughbred horse racing has been a tremendous passion of mine ever since my father took me to the races as a young boy. It’s something he and I got to share together, and I’ve been fortunate to be able to make it a large part of my life and share it with so many that are dear to me.

“There are few thrills greater than what horse racing can provide, and it is our responsibility to do a better job of improving this great sport so that future generations can enjoy it as much as I have.”

Mandella pays tribute

Richard Mandella, who trained Beholder and her half-brother Into Mischief, reflected on the impact Hughes had made.

“It’s a very, very sad day for me personally, and for racing in general,” he said. “He was such a stand-up guy, trying to make the world better, and a lot of fun.”

Mandella, who said he had known Hughes for 25 years, described him as a bastion of old-school horsemanship.

“He was like those old owners who used to come to the track and see the horses train and have breakfast and talk about them–the old-school type.”

Asked what memory of Hughes stands out above all others, Mandella sidestepped a carnival of indelible moments with the likes of Beholder. “She had so many days you could pick–the last race she ran in at the Breeders’ Cup. The Pacific Classic just took your breath away,” he said.

“But if I had one day to pick, it’s when I asked him for a favour for my son,” Mandella said, reluctant to elaborate in detail. “My son had some health problems, and Mr Hughes did something that nobody else could do.”

“But if I had one day to pick, it’s when I asked him for a favour for my son. My son had some health problems, and Mr Hughes did something that nobody else could do.” – Richard Mandella

Hughes devoted a considerable portion of his wealth to philanthropy, almost always anonymously and without fanfare.

He gave a staggering US$400 million (AU$556 million) to his beloved University of Southern California and committed over US$100 million (AU$139 million) more to paediatric cancer research after his 8-year-old son Parker died of leukemia in 1998. During the wildfires that killed and displaced horses in California in 2017, Hughes gave US$50,000 (AU$69,500) to relief efforts and flew in veterinary supplies and volunteers from Kentucky on a private plane. He also donated toward the rehabilitation of wildlife after the devastating Australian bush fires in 2019.

In addition to his philanthropy, Hughes will be remembered as one of the great, consistently innovative business minds of the last 50 years and a true rags-to-riches story who found his way to success in nearly everything he tried. His investment in and expert management of Spendthrift has risen the farm from the ashes and restored its legacy while disrupting the industry by continually implementing new ideas on both the breeding and racing sides.

Hughes was preceded in death by his father William Lawrence, his mother Blanche, and his son Parker. He is survived by his wife Patricia, his son Wayne Jnr (Molly); his daughter Tamara, wife of Spendthrift’s Eric Gustavson; his grandchildren Kylie Barraza (Pat), Skylar Hughes, Grant and Greer Gustavson; his sister Sue Caldwell and family, Frank, Bill, Allen; and a host of beloved cousins and friends.

Social media tributes

Article courtesy of TDN
The Avenel Team caring for a horse


It is an exciting time for Avenel Equine Hospital as they outline the expanded Medicine, Surgical and Laboratory Services that will be on offer for the 2021 breeding season.

Medicine Service

Our veterinary and nursing staff numbers have increased to enable us to offer a 24/7 medicine service for the intensive care neonates and older horses, ensuring the level of intensive care needed for the success of looking after high-risk patients. Our veterinary team managing the medicine service will be Dr Alex Hendren, Dr Shaunna McTernan and Dr Cristina Rosales. Alex has been working in a senior veterinarian role at AEH for the last 3.5 years and has been instrumental in developing the foal ICU service. Shaunna has recently joined the team from Goulburn Valley Hospital and is a Member of the ANZCVS in Equine Medicine and Cristina is a Fellow of the ANZCVS in Equine Medicine and joins us in the capacity of Consulting Specialist Internal Medicine.

The Avenel Team taking care of a foal

Surgery Service

The surgical service has exciting developments with the construction of a separate barn to house elective surgical cases. The barn is positioned remotely to our medicine cases separating emergency and elective caseloads ensuring appropriate biosecurity. Registered Specialist in Equine Surgery, Dr Liz Walmsley from the University of Melbourne joins the team and will be assisted by regular visits from Specialist Equine Surgeon Dr Angus Adkins & Equine Surgeon Dr David Railton from Scone Equine Hospital. Liz is a highly experienced and well-regarded surgeon and lameness veterinarian. All elective and most emergency cases will be accepted this season. Our expanding team of 10 veterinarians, will be supported by a team of 6 veterinary nurses and 2 stable staff, led by our highly experienced Hospital Coordinator/Head Nurse – Lauren Thurgood.

Avenel Equine Hospital has also received council approval to build a new surgical facility. This will be a stand-alone building, including multiple recovery rooms and separate surgery suites for clean, contaminated and standing procedures.  We are finalising the design before commencing construction in early 2022. This will allow us to offer an expanded service. The design and development process of the new surgery is being led by Dr Angus Adkins. Angus commented ‘Avenel Equine Hospital has continued to grow with the support of Victorian farms and we are expanding our facilities and services in response to this. It is an exciting time for our business and the Thoroughbred breeding industry in Victoria.’

Angus Adkins in theatre

Laboratory Service

Our new purpose-built laboratory is now fully operational and available for outside referrals for the 2021 stud season. We welcome Michele Aldous and Emily Wagon to the Avenel Equine Hospital team in their capacity of Laboratory Technical Officers.

AEH Director Dr Katie Wilcox says ‘We are very excited to announce these added services and be in a position to offer the additional laboratory service for both our clients and referring vets. We have responded to this need, understanding the importance of being able to provide accurate and fast, same day results. We look forward to the coming breeding season where our experienced and professional team will continue to provide dedicated expert care to all our clients.’

For further information:

P: 03 5796 2468 |

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Al Maher picture courtesy of Stockwell Thoroughbreds

Evergreen sire AL MAHER gave a timely reminder of his strengths with a three-state Metropolitan treble on Saturday, which included a brilliant Group Three win at Randwick.

Private Eye’s win in the Show County Quality at Randwick took that gelding’s record to seven wins and a second from just 10 starts and his earnings close to $600,000. It was his first start since taking out the Gr 2 Queensland Guineas in May.

His win came just ahead of the Bob Peters owned and bred Devoted Star taking out the Crown Perth Hcp at Belmont Park (1400m) and progressing her record to four wins and five placings in her 17 start career Peters has been a long term supporter of AL Maher and bred and raced his Australian Champion 3YO filly Delicacy.

The day ended nicely for the stallion with Danny O’Brien’s veteran Viral winning over 1500m at Moonee Valley under Craig Williams. It was Viral’s 

seventh a win and along with 8 placings in his 30 start career, progressed his earning to almost $400,000.

AL MAHER has been a consistent sire throughout his career, with four Group one winners among his 32 stakes -winners, giving him a 5% stakes winner ratio. His 65% winners to runners have amassed over $53 million.

His weekend results show he is a great value stallion, standing at STOCKWELL THOROUGHBREDS, Diggers Rest for $8,800 (inc GST)

Big Apple ridden by Jamie Mott returns to the mounting yard after winning the Winsec Savings & Loans 3YO Maiden Plate at Wangaratta Racecourse on August 21, 2021 in Wangaratta, Australia. (David Thorpe/Racing Photos)

With a second at his first start and then victory at Wangaratta last Saturday, a decision not to sell a Manhattan Rain colt out of Antique (Metal Storm x Bonny Guest) could prove to be a good decision by Two Bays owner Ross Ferris.
The then colt was offered at the 2019 Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale, but Ferris told his Stud Manager Rob Carlile to bring the horse home if he didn’t make an $80,000 reserve.
The horse reached $60,000, and the decision was made before the sale that Two Bays would race the son of Manhattan Rain if no one was prepared to part with the asking price.
The nicely named Big Apple, trained at Mornington by Matt Laurie, ran second on debut at Echuca over 1100m earlier this month, but scored by two lengths in the three-year-old maiden (1170m) at Wangaratta.
Two Bays paid $45,000 for the now 22-year-old Antique at the 2015 Australian Broodmare and Weanling Sale after she was offered by famed Western Australian breeder and owner Bob Peters.
Carlile said they are desperate to get a filly out of Antique who under Peter’s ownership had produced eight successive fillies – and a not a single colt. Five of the fillies were by Redoute’s Choice, one was by Anabaa and the other two were by Snitzel.
Two Bays first mating with Antique was to Redoute’s Choice but the filly she produced died shortly after birth.
Since then the mare has produced a colt (Arcadia Power) by Pride of Dubai; then came Big Apple, followed by a Toronado colt.
Now ready to foal to Manhattan Rain, Carlile said they are desperately hoping for a filly that they can race and then breed from.
But in the meantime, they couldn’t be happy with the now gelded Big Apple.
“He broke through and broke through well,” Carlile said.
“We were very, very happy.
‘’It was always the plan if he didn’t make his $80,000 reserve that we were going to race him. We liked him a lot and that was the deal with the reserve.”
“We never reoffered him as a yearling. We brought him home, took our time and broke him in.
“Sam White came back an offered just under reserve, but we were never going to let him go as he was too nice a horse and that was the plan from the start, can’t get $80 we bring him home.”
Carlile said Manhattan Rain could certainly get a good horse and they took the mare to him because of the cross Antique had with Redoute’s Choice.
“Redoute’s is no longer, and we were thinking is it the Redoute’s factor or the Canny Lad factor of the crossing with the mare, maybe it was Shantha’s Choice?” he said.
“We have been trying to get a filly out of the mare ever since.”
Carlile said Antique was due to foal to Manhattan Rain in three weeks and they had not done any testing to reveal whether they would get their long-awaited filly.
“It will be a surprise, and we are hoping for a filly, but you’d never know,” he said.
“The mare’s Toronado colt is also with Matt Laurie and has just been broken in, and he’ll race for Rob Cummings who bought him as a weanling (for $60,000).
“He is different style of horse, but is still very big and athletic, just a bit more raw then Big Apple”
Carlile said the weanling was sold on an Inglis online sale during COVID-19 and they didn’t think about keeping the colt.
“All we want out of the mare is a filly,” he said.
“If we get a filly she won’t even see a sale ring.”
“She has been a bit of an old marvel, best looking mare on the farm” he said.
“The thing is Bob Peters raced her and did most of the nurturing of the family, and he has still got most of her daughters. They are getting bred to Pierro and all those sorts of stallions and so it short it bodes well for us.”
Antique’s foal Arcadia (Redoute’s Choice) produced Arcadia Queen (Pierro), winner of six stakes races, including the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic, Caulfield Stakes and Mackinnon Stakes for prizemoney of $3.9 m.
Carlile said Antique had been pencilled in to go stud to this year, but it all depended on how she handles her latest foaling.
“She won’t be forced and she’ll let us now and if she pulls up okay and lets us now she can do another one, we’ll look at it, first thing first is her health” he said.
“She will have a home for life here, whether it’s in foal or retired as a nanny.”
Carlile said that Antique had been earmarked to go to Darley stallion Impending, if everything goes to plan.
He said Two Bays already has three goals on the ground so far this breeding season and had another 13 to go – six of those are for clients.
The soon to be born foals are by leading stallions, including Brazen Beau and Snitzel.
Carlile said one of the foals on the ground is by Spendthrift Australia’s stallion Omaha Beach, out of Edge Away (Hinchinbrook x Devoirs) and “ I couldn’t be happier with the foal, has a great head, shoulder and hip, much like himself.”
Edge Away is a half-sister to Jedastar (I Am Invincible) who sold for $1 million, in foal to Zoustar, at this year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale.
And Phil Campbell, who stands the Group 1 winning Manhattan Rain at his Blue Gum Farm, said the stallion covered 112 mares in the first year he stood at the Euroa property in 2017.
He got down to 80 the following season and around 60 for the past two seasons and Campbell suspects the stallion will stay around that number this season.
Campbell said while Big Apple won well, it would have been nice if another son of Manhattan Rain – three-year-old Jigsaw – had hung on in the Listed McKenzie Stakes at The Valley.
The Cindy Alderson trained colt just got nailed on the line by He’s Xceptional after leading in the $161,000 race over 1200m.
He said hopefully for Two Bays, Big Apple could go on.
“He is a big strong horse,” Campbell said.
He said it was going to be another big season at Blue Gum.
Manhattan Rain stands alongside Turffontein and Campbell said there was no doubt that both stallions could produce a decent horse.
“They have both been around for a little while and what you see is what you get, but absolutely they have got the capacity to throw a good one,” he said.
“It’s great to see horses like Jigsaw and hopefully something like Big Apple can take steps forward.

Gummy Bear ridden by Harry Coffey wins the J&P Advanced Plastering 3YO Maiden Plate at Warrnambool Racecourse on August 19, 2021 in Warrnambool, Australia. (Alice Miles/Racing Photos)

Selling a horse that has been unsuccessful in first four starts and then seeing it win first-up for a new trainer and owners can be a bit disheartening for a lot of people.
It wasn’t the case when Jacqui Sushames and her husband Tam Dieu sold their gelding Gummy Bear which won first up last week for local Warrnambool trainer Maddie Raymond.
The three-year-old gelding is by Statue Of Liberty which was retired two years ago.
Jacqui, who is an anaesthetist, and her husband Tam Dieu, who is a plastic surgeon, own Balius Farm at Darnum in Gippsland and have gradually improved their band of broodmares.
When Gummy Bear, who is out of Balius Farm broodmare Cloud Jumper (Street Boss x Luscious Lips), won, no one was happier than the crew at Balius Farm.
What was even more exciting for Jacqui was that Cloud Jumper foaled the same night to Territories (IRE).
“We thought that was very cute,” Jacqui said.
“Gummy Bear was the first foal out of the mare, and we bred on the Storm Cat cross because Cloud Jumper’s brother is Toothless, who is by Old Deuteronomy, and we wanted to breed on a similar line to Toothless.
“Toothless was a winner and stakes placed and relatively handy.”
Jacqui said they raced Gummy Bear – he had his first three starts at Flemington – but decided to sell him.
“It was awesome to see him win,” she said.
“I just hope he can keep running and winning for the new owners as it’s really exciting that he has gone and done something.
“He was pretty nice gelding. The mare has a Puissance De Lune filly which we sold at Melbourne Premier and now we have just got the Territories foal on the ground this week.”
Cloud Jumper only had two starts and Jacqui said the mare was a “little crackers” and found ways of getting into trouble, but it was good for a non-winning mare to produce a winner from her first foal.
While Jacqui concedes that the family doesn’t have a huge pedigree, it is special to them because Cloud Jumper’s dam, Luscious Lips, was their first racehorse.
“It was the first racehorse that Tam and I ever had,” she said.
“Normally obviously as breeders, we like to breed colts, we were so lucky that this one is a filly to keep in the family. Usually, we are saying please be a colt, please be a colt and I didn’t say anything to my husband, but I was hoping it was going to be a filly because I want to keep our special little family going.
“And then when it was a filly, Tam said he was really happy because we still have the family. It was pretty special, and we had two of our children down for the foaling, and it was special as a family event.”
Luscious Lips only won one race and nearly had what Jacquie describes as a near-catastrophic bleed so she was retired to the breeding barn.
Unfortunately she had a paddock accident in 2017 and had to be euthanized.
“She is actually from a nice little Tassie family and there are a couple of nice horses in the family in Tassie, but not Melbourne city level,” she said.
“They are solid Tassie horses.”
A former Tasmanian resident, Jacqui used to compete in dressage and showjumping and gave it away when she went to university and then met her husband who was keen on the racehorses.
“He said he really wanted a racehorse and I said could we not just flush money down the toilet,” Jacqui laughed.
“My family knew Michael Trinder (Tasmanian trainer), and so I told Tam that I knew I wasn’t going to win and he was going to get a racehorse.
“But the deal is that we go to Tassie and get a horse with Michael Trinder. So Adam Trinder came and bought her for us, and Michael Trinder trained her, and subsequently Adam Tinder has trained a couple for us as well.”
Adam Trinder trained Beautiful Buns (Black Minnaloushe x Sweet) to victory in the listed Lamos Stakes (1400m) at Launceston. It was one of four races the mare won for Jacquie and Tam.
Jacqui said that when they moved their horses to Melbourne, there was some criticism of their little family of Tasmanian horses.
“It’s really nice to have one original family and I do have Fabulously Fake (Delzao x Kimbra’s Way), and we have just sold the mare, but we still have her first foal Gingie (Shaft) which is a dual city winner,” she said.
“So we do still have our Tassie family around.
“You have to enjoy it, and I know it’s a lot of money and a business, but there’s got to be some enjoyment in it as well.”
Jacqui admits that there often has to be some tough decisions made with pedigrees, and while she can often see the upside, there are still some confusing outcomes – both good and bad.
“You can go to the sales and get overs and I think I don’t understand how that happened either,” she said.
“We have, I guess, different tastes, different types and different pedigrees that we like.
“I think what is really exciting is that you don’t necessary have to be huge to being doing okay. For us, we just love our ponies. I love the cuddles and the scratches and working with the tricky ones.
“In particular, I really love working with the fillies, which is unusual because most people say they are tricky.”
Jacqui said 16 of the 25 mares on their farm are due to foal this season. They also have about eight outside mares to foal down.
They have a good assortment of stallions that they have put to their mares, including Stormcrusher (Wanted x Virage) which in foal to Lonhro and the mare already has a colt by Pierro.
Two are in foal to Omaha Beach – Skibo Castle (Carnegie x Skating) and Teofilo mare Celtic Cutie which they imported from Ireland. Beautiful Buns is in foal to All Too Hard, and two are in foal to Toronado.
They have also got Zabeel mare Colourful Moments, who is in foal to Blue Point.
Another, Savabeel mare Clementina which they bought at this year’s Chairman’s Sale in foal to Alabama Express.
Jacqui is pleased with the variety and quality of Victorian-based stallions.
“We have so many more options in Victoria, and it’s really lovely that we have got some good stallions down here now,” she said.
“At least we have got good options so we don’t feel as though we have to travel to breed exciting pedigrees. It’s really exciting that the stallion farms are really stepping up and getting some great stallions in the state that we can use.”
Jacqui said they were delighted with the results they achieved at this year’s Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale with a Lonhro filly out of Singled Out (Not A Single Doubt x Orientation) selling for $240,000. Another of their yearling fillies (Vancouver x Socialize) sold for $160,000, while a Flying Artie filly out of On A Limb went for $155,000.
“My highest priced filly was out of a mare (Singled Out) I bought for under $10,000 and Socialize (Iffraaj x High Tea) was under $10,000 as well and she has got Tooradin (Americain) that has run three seconds in town recently,” she said.
“Socialize has been amazing for us as a broodmare. She won one race for us and Tooradin was her first foal and one went to Hong Kong and I believe another one is heading there but I’m not 100 per cent sure.”
Jacqui said Socialise had a beautiful Brazen Beau yearling colt.
She said it was always worthwhile when a mare threw a good foal and each year Socialize produces well conformed horses.

Rory O'Brien of Glen Eden farm

By his own admission, Rory O’Brien is “the world’s second-worst punter” – behind his Dad, Chris – but fortunately he is much more savvy when it comes to business and it is for this reason that he has just become an equal partner in Glen Eden Stud with the farm’s founder, Sonia O’Gorman.

Having toiled away in a variety of sales roles in recent years, at the end of 2020, Rory made the decision to chase his dreams and took up a position in the Barwon Heads stables of Melbourne Cup-winning trainer, Danny O’Brien (who, despite sharing the same surname, is not related).     

Whilst he thoroughly enjoyed the work and in particular the opportunity it afforded him to reconnect with horses, Rory made no secret of the fact that he was keen to harness his entrepreneurial spirit and so when the chance came to join Glen Eden, he grasped it with both hands.

Fast forward a few short months, and Rory is now ready to take the quantum leap and enter into a formal partnership with Sonia, who started from scratch and has gradually built Glen Eden Stud – located just outside Kilmore – into a thriving operation.  

Rory admits his progression from Sales and Marketing Manager to joint partner has been a rapid one, and although he ultimately has grand plans for Glen Eden, he is also acutely aware of the pitfalls of trying to run before you can walk.

“I’ll have 50 per cent equity in the stud, so it’s a new beginning for me, and I’m really excited about the future,” he said.

“I learned a lot about business from my time outside industry, and I’ve started a few side businesses of my own, so I’d like to think I’ve got an entrepreneurial streak. I’ve always been keen to combine that with my passion for the racing and breeding industry, and now feels like the right time and the right place. 

“I’ve got a very good working relationship with Sonia, probably because we have very similar outlooks on life and on business. She’s very progressive and flexible, and she’s worked so hard since she bought the farm back in 2002, and with such solid foundations in place, I’d like to think I can now help grow the business.

“You don’t want to move too quickly; rapid exponential growth can be the biggest killer for small businesses, so we will take it in stages and be patient and smart with how we expand. We’re obviously keen to grow the stallion roster, and although I wouldn’t want to put a cap on potential numbers, we won’t be looking to get up to 10 any time soon.

“We’re actively reaching out to the owners of horses I think could be a good fit for us, it’s often well-received and whilst there are never any promises, having that initial contact and making our case will hopefully lead to further opportunities down the track.”

As well as expanding the farm’s stallion roster (at present Glen Eden has three long-term residents in Barood, Giant’s Steps and Rebel Dane), Rory is also keen to bridge the gap between the racing and breeding industries and the group of people who are fundamental to its viability – namely the punter.

Whilst his lifelong devotion to racing, instilled in him by his father, hasn’t always been beneficial to his bank balance it has at least given Rory an insight into how the industry could and perhaps should place a greater emphasis on the passion and loyalty shown by the average punter, rather than taking it for granted.

“We’re looking to wrap our arms round the racing public more than many other breeding operations,” he said.

“When I was working outside the industry, it became pretty clear to me that there’s a growing void between some of the larger scale breeders and one of the key components that funds the entire industry – the punting dollar.

“So one of our main aims moving forward is to bridge that gap and give the punters the respect and appreciation that they deserve. We want to give racegoers a way to become more involved and engaged with the industry, the plans are still in the fairly early stages, but we’ll be making further announcements in the future.”       

In the more immediate future, Rory acknowledges there is a lot of work to be done as he finds his feet in his new role, but he is more than prepared to put in the hard yards – not least as he views his job as much more of a privilege than a chore, thanks chiefly to the amazing animals he works with on a daily basis.

“We’re not greedy, and although we’re obviously striving for success, we’re all in it in for the love of the horse as much as for the money-making opportunities,” he explained.  

“We have three stallions on our books and whilst they’re the lifeblood of the business, none of us view them as a commodity. They’ve each got their own quirks and traits, and they’re always making us laugh – as well as letting us know if we’ve annoyed them!   

“Anyone who works in breeding will tell you that the hours are long, but getting to work with horses makes it all worthwhile. It’s such a competitive market, and I’m under no illusions about the task we face as one of the smaller breeders, so it certainly won’t happen overnight, but we’re all in for the long haul and determined to make it work.”



Zoe Mae ridden by Alexandra Bryan wins the The Midfield Group Maiden Plate at Warrnambool Racecourse on August 19, 2021 in Warrnambool, Australia. (Alice Miles/Racing Photos)

Ray Besanko’s homebred Zoe Mae has rarely been far from the winner and the mare finally put in a winning performance at Warrnambool last week to give Bombora Downs stallion Dandino another winner.

The Cranbourne trainer and his daughter Kasey bred Zoe Mae from a mare the family raced Bluetrice (Lake Coniston x Beltrice).

Bluetrice has produced four foals for the Besanko family and the fifth by Palentino is due soon.

Besanko is unlikely to forget the most recent foal out of the mare, a filly by Puissance De Lune (IRE) which knocked him over at a feed time, putting the veteran trainer in hospital for a couple of days late last week with a hip injury.

Ryboy (Astronomer Royal) was the first foal out of Bluetrice and so far has won has won three races and had eight minor places for Besanko.

After Zoe Mae, the mare had a three year absence from the breeding barn and then produced Oakleigh (Nicconi) which has had one start.

“Zoe Mae has only been out of the money twice,” Besanko said.

“She shows me a lot of ability and goes good.”

As well as training Bluetrice, Besanko also trained her dam, Beltrice (Keltrice x Midnight Success) which won a maiden a Stoney Creek and had four minor placings from 27 starts.

Many trainers like Besanko have started breeding their own horses because of the economics of buying yearlings at the bigger sales.

“I never bred until the last few years,” he said.

“We bred Rock Prophet (Moshe x Stiletto Rock), his brother which is Rockcliff (Canford Cliffs) and we have a half-brother to them which is by Toronado.

“And we have a half-sister by Puissance De Lune.”

Rock Prophet gave Besanko his first Flemington winner for 18 years when the five-year-old gelding won at Flemington in May. Training since 1973, the victory in the Breeders’ Handicap was Besanko’s first at Flemington since Red Inca in January 2013.

After the victory Besanko paid tribute to his daughter Kasey and said he’d probably be finished up with horses if it wasn’t for her as she will eventually take over the business and is the “backbone of the place.”

Besanko sends Kasey to the sales with the intent of buying something she likes to a $150,000 limit.

Unfortunately, a lot of horses she likes were going for $300,000 to $400,000.

“So we had some really nice mares and I said why don’t we go down this track of breeding them,” Besanko said.

“And that’s what we’ve done over the past few years and we’ve five really nice yearlings at home this year and have four mares in foal.

“Actually I got offered a lot of money for the Toronado out of Stiletto Rock which is a half-brother to Rock Prophet. But I said no.”

Besanko reveals he has always said he won’t die the richest man, but he is racing and breeding horses because he likes it and is also doing it for his daughter.

“I’ve always said I’ll be happy if I’ve got enough money to get by,” he said.

“We were offered a quarter of a million for the Toronado colt.

“It would be handy and he mightn’t even win a maiden plate, but if he turns out good, it is good for her (Kasey) so that’s why I’ve done it.”

Shares are sold in the horses that Besanko breeds at the stable’s open day so the service fees and associated costs are recovered.

Besanko said fellow Cranbourne trainer Doug Harrison was also a big rap for multiple Group winning Dandino (Dansili x Generous Diana) and had sent mares to the stallion.

Bombora Downs’ Christoph Bruechert said he had spoken to Besanko and expects him to send Zoe Mae’s dame back to Dandino this season.

“He has got a bit of an opinion of that horse and has had for quite a while,” he said.

“He has taken his time with it and it ran second at his previous start over 1000m and then won at 1200m

“He has got a bit of speed and he’ll get further which is a good combination.”

Bruechert said that he was hearing some positive things about Dandino’s progeny and describes the stallion as doing at least a solid job.

“He didn’t get a lot of mares and had 42 in his first year and I’m not sure what he’ll get to the track from his first crop but he all he needs is one serious horse.” Bruechert said.

“He has got some horses that have the potential to be serious horses, but he needs one of those to really step out and people will take notice and we’ll pick up another 30 bookings.”

Bruechert said Dandino was beautifully bred and it’s more of a female family.

A good aspect of Dandino is that Bruechert said the stallion can get winners at all distances which he says the Danehill line tends to achieve.

“He himself ran as a two-year-old and was placed at his second start and then got better as he got older,” he said.

“They are sensible young horses and he is a pretty laid back sort of a stallion as he was as a racehorse.

“His babies educate really easy, don’t get flustered and at this stage all the trainers who I have spoken to really love the horses and that makes the job a bit easier.”

Bruechert said a couple of his other stallions, including War Horse, had some tremendous things spoken about their ability.

Although Dandino’s two Group wins in England were at 2400m and his Group 3 victory in the VRC Queen’s Cup was at 2600m, Bruechert said the stallion wasn’t built like a stayer.

“He is quite short in the back and is extremely powerfully and is a solid boned type of animal which is where he got his ability to quicken from,” Bruechert said.

“He didn’t have to wind up like a lot of stayers do but if a gap opened he could take it and certainly that horse the other day showed some speed and a couple of others have done the same thing.

“I think they’ll have a lot fun with him.”

And Bruechert said he realises Dandino he is a bit stouter than what people chase in the Australian breeding scene, but the stallion was a world class horse that had 19 of his 21 placings at Group or listed level.

He also said Doug Harrison was probably instrumental in him getting the horse.

Craig Williams, who is Doug Harrison’s nephew, rode Dandino to second in the 2015 Caulfield Cup.

“Craig told him he had not been on a stayer that could sprint like Dandino could, so Doug was really keen for me to get him and he has put mares to him every year,” Bruechert said.

“And we’ll just see how he goes with his ones.”

Bruechert said there were enough of Dandino’s progeny in decent stables to give the horse a shot, but stallions need numbers which he admits is against his sire

But he says Dandino was doing an excellent job with what he has produced.




Image: Nationwide Super

As part of the 2020/2021 Federal Budget announced in October last year, a number of super reforms were proposed under the ‘Your Future Your Super’ package, and the legislation was passed in June.

One of the key measures is called ‘account stapling’ and has been included in the package with a slightly delayed start date of 1st November 2021 (it was originally proposed to start on 1 July 2021).  Refer to this ATO website here.

While the 1st November start date provides a little more time for super funds and employers to prepare for the implementation, we are keen to support you through this process and reduce the potential administrative burden with a new Super form we are currently drafting that you will be able to use during the onboarding process with new starters and remove the account stapling requirements.

What does account stapling mean?

Under this measure, an employee’s super account will be ‘stapled’ to them as they change jobs. New super accounts will no longer be automatically created in your chosen default super plan for your new employee if they don’t choose a fund.

There will be an obligation on you as an employer to identify your new employee’s existing super fund and make your employer super contributions to that fund – unless the employee nominates another fund.

The process for undertaking this check for any existing fund your new employee may have is still being finalised, but we recently received the attached pack from the ATO with some draft details. The longer-term aim is for payroll and accounting systems to integrate the checking process.

Note, if the new employee doesn’t have an existing fund or doesn’t choose a fund, your chosen default fund arrangements will apply.

Next steps – We’re here to help

If you need any more information about the changes or help to understand your super obligations, simply get in touch.

We’ll be back in touch in the coming month with a Super form template you can adapt for your business with proposed content.

To view the information pack, click here.

To view the Employee Super checklist, click here.

Spendthrift Australia is welcoming regional guests to their Macedon Ranges property, through daily Open Houses.

Following on from recent government advice regarding Victoria’s current COVID-19 state-wide situation, Spendthrift was forced to make the difficult decision to cancel their planned live Stallion Parades scheduled for this coming weekend.

“It was a difficult and unfortunate decision to make, and we held off for as long as we could to see what would happen,” said Spendthrift’s General Manager, Garry Cuddy.

“We were really looking forward to showcasing our roster to visitors and catching up with clients. However, being so close to the season it is our priority to limit the risks and spread of the virus and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff and clients alike.”

The Spendthrift Open House will run daily between 2.00pm and 4.00pm, and bookings are essential.

“At this point in time we are only welcoming guests from regional Victoria, and those that may be here on relevant work permits, which is in line with Victoria’s current health orders,” said Cuddy.

“We look forward to welcoming our metropolitan and interstate-based clients once the restrictions have been eased in those areas.”

Spendthrift’s stallion roster this season is an impressive one and features six sons of Champion sires – Gold Standard (Sebring), Overshare (I Am Invincible), Swear (Redoute’s Choice), US shuttlers Omaha Beach (War Front {USA}) and Vino Rosso (Curlin {USA}), as well as newcomer Dirty Work (Written Tycoon).

The two American stallions, Vino Rosso and Omaha Beach, have returned to Victoria for their second seasons and have settled back into the farm nicely following their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

“Vino Rosso and Omaha Beach are two of the most popular young sires in the US in the last 18 months, so to have such esteemed stallions here is very exciting and humbling,” said Cuddy.

A virtual stallion parade will also be shared in the coming weeks.

For all bookings and queries, please contact the office on 03 5421 5600 or our Nominations team Josh Rix on 0411 116 648 or Ziva Mullins on 0435 743 222.

Spendthrift Australia looks forward to welcoming you to the farm soon.

Bella Nipotina ridden by Josh Richards returns to the mounting yard after winning the Mark Mazzaglia Handicap at Caulfield Racecourse on August 14, 2021 in Caulfield, Australia. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

The Michael Christian bred Bella Nipotina has had a habit of producing some super performances in big races, just as she did when she won her first race in style, a two-length win in last year’s Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield.
Christian and his co-owners virtually had to wait a year to the day before Bella Nipotina won her second race – a four year and up mare’s handicap (1100m) at Caulfield last Saturday which coincidently was on Quezette Stakes day.
The mare’s two wins have netted the owners a total of $168,250 and deduct that from her total prize money of $955,075 and it’s easy to calculate that she has earned $786,825 from her minor placings. Her biggest payday came when she won $380,000 for her half neck second to Prime Star in the $2.033 million Inglis Millennium at Warwick Farm in February of last year.
Bella Nipotina went into last Saturday’s race on a seven week let up after being beaten less than half a length in her first-up race for new trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace in the Group 3 W. J. Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm.
“Nearly all her starts have been in stakes races but Ciaron and Dave decided to drop her back a grade. We were hoping she would run well, and she did, so we’ll look at stepping her back up to stakes level,” Christian said.
“She has already won her Group 3 so we’d love to snare a Group 2 with her and maybe even have a crack at a Group 1 and try and sneak a place which will enhance her value.”
Christian who with his wife, Siobhan Miller and brother Brad own and operate, Longwood Thoroughbred Farm at Longwood East, sold Bella Nipotina to trainer David Hayes’ Lindsay Park for $80,000 through Rosemont Stud’s draft at the 2019 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
He and his brother Brad retained 50 per cent of the filly, but an offer was made in May this year from the Ciaron Maher stable to buy her for $800,000, ten times her yearling purchase price.
“We didn’t want to sell our 50% share, but our co-owners of the other 50 per cent were happy to sell. So we negotiated with Ciaron and he decided to buy the other 50% for his clients, Tim Porter and Mick Johnson so we could race on in partnership. The plan is to eventually breed with her.” he said.

“One of the provisos of staying in the ownership was that she had to move to Ciaron Maher’s stable which was disappointing for Ben and JD Hayes’, who had done a great job with her.”
As well as having the excitement of racing her, Christian said he was looking forward to eventually having the mare in the breeding barn to continue the family he has helped build.
“That time will depend of course on how long she wants to keep racing for,” he said. “The plan to race on this season and re-assess next year to see how she’s going. We’ll let her tell us when she’s had enough of racing.”
Christian is extremely proud that he has bred up the family of Bella Nipotina.

“Her dam is Bella Orfana who is the fourth foal out of a mare Peter Morgan and I bought as a yearling called Bella Inez who had one run in the Blue Diamond Preview of her year in 2005,” he said.
“It was a controversial race because the gates didn’t open properly and Adam Sangster’s horse Langness “won” the race – but it was declared a no race.
“Bella Inez never raced again after hurting herself when she came out of the gates.”
But it wasn’t all bad news for Bella Inez and Christian.
He sent the mare to Starcraft and the first foal produced in the mating was Hallowell Belle, which won the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) and the Listed Darby Munro Stakes 1200m. Hallowell Belle, sold by Christian for $170,000 at the 2010 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, was multiple Group 1 placed and finished her career just short of $1 million in prize money.
“The second foal I bred out of Bella Inez was a mare called Fuddle Dee Duddle (Red Ransom). Lindsey Smith from Perth bought her and she won the Group 3 Champion Fillies Stakes in Western Australia. In partnership with Widden Stud we bought her back as a 4yo to breed from.”
“We’ve had some nice foals out of her, but the highlight was her Zoustar colt that sold for a million dollars on the Gold Coast in January.”
“A good client of mine bought Fuddle Dee Duddle, so she is still on the farm at Longwood.”
Bell Inez’s third foal was the filly Arctic Dream (Sebring), which won one race and had five minor
placings from 11 starts and was then sold.
“And then the fourth foal was Bella Orfana (Star Witness) which in Italian is beautiful orphan. Bella Inez was in foal to Fastnet Rock in the Hunter Valley and tragically had a colic attack and died at the age of ten,” Christian said.
“So Bella Orfana was left an orphan at six weeks. She showed enormous potential with Danny O’Brien but had a heart fibrillation problem which derailed her career.
“We kept Bella Orfana to breed from, and her first foal is Belle Nipotina which in Italian is beautiful granddaughter all in honour of her granddam, Bella Inez.”
Christian outlined that all but 3 of her 19 starts have been in stakes races and that she has only finished further back than fourth on 3 of her 19 starts underlining her toughness and honesty.
After Bella Inez died, Christian bought her half-sister, by Lope De Vega, as a weanling and named her Bella Sorellastra and she was runner-up in the Group 2 Edward Manifold.
“She has had a couple of foals and is in foal to Pride of Dubai which will make the foal a three quarter to Bella Nipotina,” he said.
“So we a have a bit happening in the family.”

Christian was keen to keep breeding from the family and bought a five year-old mare – Kennebec (More Than Ready) – which is out of Hallowell Belle at the Magic Millions Broodmare Sale in May for $300,000. She is due to foal to Brazen Beau.
Godolphin paid $400,000 for Kennebec as a yearling. Now a five-year-old, she was placed once fromfour stars.
Christian points out Bella Inez was a full sister to In Top Swing, who won the Caulfield Guineas.
“It’s a fantastic family,” he said.
Bella Nipotina will race on for the next season and then a decision will be made in the autumn on her future but Christian said if the mare continues to race with a real zest and continues to stay sound, they will consider racing her for another year.
“One of the reasons we went back a grade on Saturday to a city race was to try and push her earnings towards $1million. Just to have on her page that she is a million-dollar earner is something
pretty special.”
“She would already be well through that mark if not for a very narrow loss in the Inglis Millennium.
The prize money for first was $1.2 million and the prize money for second was $380,000, so there was an $820,000 difference. But those are the breaks – you win some and lose some,” he said.
And the day on Saturday got better for Christian’s 235 acre Longwood Thoroughbred Farm when another horse they bred, Naleigh (Nostradamus x Heigl) won at Morphettville. The filly gave jockey Todd Pannell his 1000 the win.
Christian said with their own broodmare band and those of their clients, they will foal down between 60 to 65 horses this season.
“We offer a full breeding service and still have a small capacity to take a few mares if breeders are looking to foal their mare down on great property with lots of care, love and attention,” he said.


Article courtesy of TDN

Hirsch and his bloodstock advisor Mark Dodemaide were scouring the Godolphin mares on offer through the Inglis Digital July (Early) Online Sale last year when they came across a Lonhro mare with a familiar pedigree.


A couple of years prior they had secured Commands mare Sycophant for $30,000 through the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale, and now they had an opportunity to purchase her dual stakes-winning daughter, who at that point, had produced three winners, Courtly (Street Cry {Ire}), Submissive (Street Cry {Ire}) and Deference (Exceed And Excel).

“She came up through that Sale. She was a really good racemare and she had been a reasonable broodmare to that point. She had a couple of horses that had won including Courtly, who had won four races,” Dodemaide said.

“I went up to where Darley had a little parade at Northwood and had a look at her. I then had Eddie on the phone, when she was going through the Online Sale.

“I went up to where Darley had a little parade at Northwood and had a look at her (Obsequious). I then had Eddie on the phone, when she was going through the Online Sale.” – Mark Dodemaide

“As I remember, I bid $20,000 and then we bid $27,500. We thought she might make around $50,000-$60,000, but there were no more bids. She was a great buy. She had won those couple of Group races, the Light Fingers S. and the San Domenico S. and they are good races.”

In 14 starts for then Darley trainer Peter Snowden, Obsequious had shown plenty of racetrack talent, running second in the G2 Reisling S. and then eighth in the G1 Golden Slipper S. as a 2-year-old. Early in her 3-year-old season, she won the G3 San Domenico, ran second in the G2 Roman Consul S. and then returning in the autumn to win the G2 Light Fingers S. and running second in a Listed Typhoon Tracy S.

Retired to the Godolphin broodmare band, she visited Street Cry (Ire) her first two seasons producing the winners Courtly and Submissive. It took her three trips to Exceed And Excel to produce a foal, the dual winner Deference before she foaled an as-yet-unnamed Dawn Approach (Ire) colt.


In 2017, Obsequious visited then first-season Darley sire Frosted (USA), the mating that would produce Ingratiating, while she would then go to Sepoy, getting just her second filly, Surrenders, in 2019.

An opportunity

When Godolphin looked to offer 41 mares and race fillies for sale through the Inglis Digital platform in July last year, Obsequious was among the highlights, offered in foal to Frosted again.

While Hirsch knew the family well, having purchased her dam Sycophant, who had produced a Star Turn filly, it was the lure of getting access to a quality Lonhro mare that drew him in, according to Dodemaide.

“The decision to buy Obsequious wasn’t really driven by already having Sycophant. She was a really good Lonhro mare, who was in foal to Frosted and we felt she was worth the punt on her getting a good horse or two,” he said.

“Good racemares like that are always a chance to come up with a good horse.”

“Good racemares like that are always a chance to come up with a good horse.” – Mark Dodemaide

Discussions with Godolphin at the time indicated that the opinion of Obsequious’ soon to be 2-year-old colt was that he was ‘nice’, but what he has been able to do since has exceeded all of Dodemaide’s expectations.

Less than three months later, Ingratiating came out and won the Listed Maribyrnong Trial on debut before going on to then run a narrow second in the G3 Maribyrnong Plate.

In the autumn, he proved himself one of the most consistent 2-year-olds in the land, running second in the G3 Chairman’s S., winning the Listed Talindert S., before running an excellent second in the G1 Blue Diamond S. He then showed his true versatility, going to Sydney and running third in the G1 Golden Slipper S.

On Saturday, he showed his continued progress by charging home from last to win the G3 Vain S. at his first run back as a 3-year-old, a performance which was reminiscent of what stablemate Bivouac, a future triple Group 1 winner, did, albeit by a larger margin, when he won the same race two years ago. As a result, Ingratiating’s odds for spring features such as the G1 Golden Rose S. and G1 Caulfield Guineas have been slashed.


For Dodemaide and Hirsch, every big performance he puts in further franks the upside of the decision they made to buy his dam.

“He’s developed into a really nice horse. Seeing him in the mounting yard on Saturday you could see that,” Dodemaide said. “You would have to say at the moment, he’d be a chance to win a Group 1 race.”

Building the family

Obsequious foaled a brother to Ingratiating for her new owners last spring, but while he would be highly anticipated at any yearling sale in 2022, Dodemaide said Hirsch is keen to retain him.

Obsequious is set to foal to Russian Revolution this spring and there are no prizes for guessing where she is headed to after that.

Russian Revolution | Standing at Newgate Farm

“From Eddie’s point of view you have Ingratiating, and he a has a nice Frosted colt, so it’s certainly worth another try. The way Ingratiating is going, it only makes sense to go back,” he said.

In what looks a bumper return for its double investment in that family, Sycophant is in foal to Frosted, with what would be a three-quarter sibling to Ingratiating and she is also headed back to the son of Tapit (USA).

“Frosted looks like he’s doing a really good job. If you look at his numbers and you measure him up to that crop of horses, they shape up pretty well,” he said.

Frosted’s first Australian crop has already produced five winners from 15 starters, with Godolphin pair Cloudy and Ingratiating both stakes winners, and Translation and Frost Flowers both stakes placed.

Frosted (USA) | Standing at Darley

The chance for Hirsch to source his own racetrack success with that family may come soon with Sycophant’s Star Turn filly, Psycho Star, having just turned three and building up to her debut with trainer John Salanitri. She is also a potential third string to the breeding bow in time.

The turn of good fortune with Obsequious and her extended family comes as Hirsch ramps up his thoroughbred interests after purchasing Woodside Park Stud last month.

The Victorian operation, the base from which now Yulong Stud stallion Written Tycoon was able to generate the lion’s share of the success which led to him becoming Australia’s Champion Sire in 2020/21, will stand FoxwedgeRich Enuff and Tosen Stardom (Jpn) in the upcoming season.

Article courtesy of TDN

Image courtesy of Daisy Hill Farm

Daisy Hill is sat in one of those ideal locations for a boutique thoroughbred stud, less than 30 kilometres northeast of Melbourne in the pretty surrounds of Doreen. It’s been around for the last 20 years or so, and run by the firecracker that is Colleen Bamford and her husband Kevin, and Stud Manager Shane Freeman.

In recent years, Daisy Hill has been the home of Melbourne Cup hero Americain (USA), whom the Bamfords raced and now stand as a resident stallion. Americain kicked off his stud career at Swettenham in 2013, and moved home to Daisy Hill in 2019.

Because of him, Colleen Bamford has her heart set on breeding a Melbourne Cup winner, and she has a particular eye on one of her 20 mares to do it.

Sunnyvale (Ger), by the late sire sensation Monsun (Ger), was imported from Germany in 2015, and since 2017 she has foaled progeny by Americain, Frosted (USA) and Toronado (Ire). She is carrying right now to Yes Yes Yes.

Frosted (USA) x Sunnyvale (Ger) 2-year-old | Image courtesy of Daisy Hill

“She’s basically Colleen’s favourite mare,” said Freeman of Sunnyvale. “Colleen brought her out for the Melbourne Cup and the horse basically cut its leg off. Where most people would have euthanised her, Colleen saved her, treated her herself on the farm here and sent her to Americain.”

Freeman said the result of that was a colt called Silicon Valley, who was rejected by all the major sales companies when it came time to sell.

“He’s had two wins now and was one of the favourites for the St Leger,” Freeman said. “He’s about to go back into work again, and Sunnyvale will go back to Americain this year.”

Sunnyvale (Ger) | Image courtesy of Daisy Hill

Freeman said Bamford’s affections for Sunnyvale run very deep.

“She’s personally very involved with her,” he said. “Colleen is really hands-on herself, and it’s been a big journey for her all these years. With Sunnyvale, if you look at the pedigree there’s five dams and the progeny are winning in Russia and Finland and everywhere else.”

“Colleen (Bamford) is really hands-on herself, and it’s been a big journey for her all these years.” – Shane Freeman

Sunnyvale foaled to Rubick last year, and her foal by Yes Yes Yes this spring will be one of four that Daisy Hill will welcome this season by that sire. They are the result of a loyalty to the Coolmore operation that Bamford has fostered for the last handful of years.

Yes Yes Yes | Standing at Coolmore

The fighting Irish

Daisy Hill has about 20 mares headed out to stallions this season, and top of the list is Bagitol (Pierro).

Bagitol has quite a story for Daisy Hill, purchased for a song at $500 from Two Bays Farm at the 2018 Inglis Great Southern Sale.

“We were going to buy her as a trade filly, and the horse that came through the ring was a very immature type,” Freeman said. “I thought it was the wrong horse and I ran out the back to tell Colleen not to bid on it, but she’d already put her hand up.”

It proved incredible shopping in the end, because the farm sent the unraced Bagitol to Coolmore’s shuttler Churchill (Ire) for her debut breeding season in 2019. The resultant foal was the colt We Shall Fight, which sold for $155,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in January.

We Shall Fight as a yearling

We Shall Fight was bought by Peter Morgan, and the now 2-year-old colt is with Grahame Begg at Caulfield. He’s such a nice horse that Daisy Hill will send Bagitol back to Churchill this spring.

“Bagitol throws really nice types, so she’ll go back to Churchill again.” Freeman said. “Colleen visited Coolmore in Ireland a number of years ago for the first time, and she was taken aback by Churchill. She said she’d have to send a mare to him, and Bagitol ended up producing this flashy colt first time out that was really popular at Magic Millions.”

“Bagitol throws really nice types, so she’ll go back to Churchill again.” – Shane Freeman

We Shall Fight was credited as being a really excellent type by Churchill when he was sold. The Bamfords retained a share, the colt was broken in by the Coolmore team and Freeman said by all accounts he’s looking a fair horse.

“We’ll go again to Churchill, and hopefully it pays off again,” he said.

In the meanwhile, the mare will foal to Merchant Navy this season and she has a yearling colt by Pride Of Dubai.

Churchill (Ire) | Standing at Coolmore

Going commercial

Continuing the Coolmore theme for Daisy Hill, the broodmare And Rock (Fastnet Rock) is among the farm’s band that will head to Jerry’s Plains. And Rock is booked to Wootton Bassett (GB) this spring.

The 13-year-old mare was a city winner during her racing career for trainer John McArdle, and she was purchased from Widden Stud by Robert Roulston for Daisy Hill at the 2013 Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale. She cost $130,000, and is also expecting a Yes Yes Yes foal this season.

“She’s had three on the track for three winners, the first two being Americains,” Freeman said. “She’s had a Pierro that sold on the (Magic Millions) Gold Coast for $160,000, and another Pierro that went to the Freemans for $170,000 this year. That was a November foal.”

“She’s (And Rock) had three on the track for three winners, the first two being Americains.” – Shane Freeman

For the five foals that Daisy Hill has sold from And Rock, four have made six figures at the yearling sales, and the choice to go to Wootton Bassett was a commercial one.

“He’s done it the hard way in France, and he’s a new horse to the market here,” Freeman said. “If things work out here, he’ll be a popular horse. We’re trying to get into the commercial side of things now, because originally we were just breeding to race, and now we’re looking for sales horses too.”

The track returns are very good for Daisy Hill, nevertheless. The farm runs on just under 70 per cent runners to winners, but the shift towards commerciality occurred in 2017.

“And that’s one of the reasons why we support Coolmore a lot,” Freeman said. “They were one of the only guys to help us get into some of those more popular stallions.”

Paper Round (GB) with her 2020 Justify (USA) colt | Image courtesy of Daisy Hill

Among those hugely commercial sires is the imposing Triple Crown winner Justify (USA), and to whom Daisy Hill is sending its mare Paper Round (GB) (Street Cry {Ire}) this season. She is an imported mare from England, purchased from Yulong for $300,000 (via Robert Roulston) at the 2017 Inglis Chairman’s Sale.

At the time, she was in foal to European Champion 3-Year-Old Golden Horn (GB), and that colt sold to Rifa Mustang for $425,000 at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale last year.

“Paper Round is in foal to Fastnet Rock at the moment,” Freeman said. “She’s got a yearling by Justify already, and he’s a lovely, big, leggy horse. He’ll head up to the Gold Coast no doubt, and we’re very impressed with him. Using Fastnet last year, we thought it might be one of the last years to get one by him.”

Golden Horn (GB) x Paper Round (GB) (colt)

Going local

About a third of the Daisy Hill run-sheet this season will head to Coolmore, while the rest are dotted among other stallions in New South Wales and locally in Victoria.

The mare Miss Shamrock (NZ), by Zabeel (NZ), is booked for Doubtland at Widden Stud Victoria, while Great Panache (Magnus) will go to Zousain, also at Widden but north of the border.

Miss Shamrock has had foals by Smart Missile, Americain and Real Impact (Jpn), and her Pride Of Dubai gelding, now a 3-year-old, is called Pride Of Galway and is with Grahame Begg. She has a 2-year-old filly by Merchant Navy and a yearling filly by Rubick.

Great Panache, meanwhile, is a younger mare for Daisy Hill. She has had only one foal, a filly by Hellbent in 2019, and was served by Zousain last season. The decision to use the same stallion again is one that Freeman said was largely dependent on the foals that arrive.

Hellbent x Great Panache (filly) in 2019

“Depending on the resultant foal, we are more than happy to go back,” he said. “Zousain is a lovely looking horse and if he gets early 2-year-olds, everyone will be on them. Capitalist is a good example there. You could pick up his yearlings quite easily at the Gold Coast this year. We were the underbidder on one for $170,000, and a couple of weeks later at Classic you couldn’t touch them, they were just too much.”

“Zousain is a lovely looking horse and if he gets early 2-year-olds, everyone will be on them.” – Shane Freeman

On this theme, Daisy Hill will send its stakes-producing mare Tahnee Topaz (Lonhro) to debut sire Hanseatic this season. The stallion is an exciting new addition to the Rosemont Stud roster at $17,600 (inc GST).

Tahnee Topaz was picked up by Daisy Hill last year at the Inglis Digital August Sale 2, already the dam of stakes winner Evalina (I Am Invincible). She cost $52,500, and the farm sent her to Strasbourg last spring, who is also at Rosemont and by I Am Invincible.

“Evalina is showing a lot of form, but we couldn’t afford to send this mare to I Am Invincible, so we went to the next best thing in Strasbourg,” Freeman said. “Hanseatic is one of those old Godolphin-Woodlands matings, Street Boss over a Lonhro mare, and we think it will work for us.”

Tahnee Topaz

The Daisy Hill broodmare band is a neat set of horses, and the farm’s alliance with Coolmore and willingness to support the middle market of local stallions has lent itself well to the Bamfords’ success. Freeman said they shop regularly for good mares.

“We’re always on the look-out for top-line fillies, but also something we can trade and get a return from,” he said. “It’s usually a case of the right horse coming along.”

Booked To
2021 Foal
2020 Foal
2019 Foal
Notable Progeny Or Results
Sunnyvale (Monsun) Americain Yes Yes Yes Rubick (filly) Toronado (colt) A winner and the dam of one winner. A half-sister to Stradivarius.
Bagitol (Pierro) Churchill Merchant Navy Pride Of Dubai (colt) We Shall Fight (unraced colt by Churchill) Unraced. A daughter of the Listed winner Caliente, the page also features Group 1 winners, Staging, Duporth, Excites and Delago Deluxe.
And Rock (Fastnet Rock) Wootton Bassett Yes Yes Yes Rock Girls (unraced filly by Pierro) A two-time winner and Listed placed. The dam of three winners including the Group 3 placegetter Barcali.
Paper Round (Street Cry) Justify Fastnet Rock Justify (colt) Unraced and the dam of one winner. A daughter of the Group 3 winner New Morning, her page also feature Fiorente and Tom Melbourne.
Miss Shamrock (Zabeel) Doubtland Rubick (filly) Merchant Navy (filly) Unraced and the dam of three winners including the Group 3 placegetter Amerock. A half-sister to Fighting Sun.
Great Panache (Magnus) Zousain Zousain Hellbent (filly) A four-time winner and the daughter of the seven-time winner Gladden. A sister to the dam of the Group 1 winner Polar Success.
Tahnee Topaz (Lonhro) Hanseatic Strasbourg Star Witness (filly) Tahnee Treasure (unraced filly by Merchant Navy) A four-time winner and the dam of the Listed winner and Group 1 placegetter Evalina. A half-sister to the dam of Group 3 winner Worthy Cause.

Table: Some of the Daisy Hill coverings for the 2021 season

Article courtesy of TDN