The day started off with a bang on Melbourne Cup Day for the Victorians.
The newly formed Victorian Alliance, which is headed up by Rosemont Stud and backed by several Victorian breeders, purchased 12 colts throughout the sales season earlier this year.
The objective of the Victorian Alliance is to purchase well-credentialed youngsters and, once they have earned their stripes, stand them in Victoria at stud.
Brereton, named after famous Hawthorn footballer Dermott Brereton, was bred by Victoria’s Longwood Thoroughbred Farm, which is owned by 1990 Collingwood premiership player Michael Christian and his wife, Siobhan.
The first of the Victorian Alliance colts to debut, Brereton finished a narrow second, earning black type, in the Debutant Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on October 9.
And on Melbourne Cup Day, Brereton and another purchase by the Victorian Alliance – first starter Quinlan – stepped out in the opening race at Flemington with the colt named after the former Hawk winning the Darley Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) for Peter Moody, with his trusted jockey, Luke Nolen, aboard.
Quinlan, among several horses named after champion Victorian footballers, bears the name of outstanding former Fitzroy player Bernie “Super Boot” Quinlan.
Brereton was knocked down for $1 million at the Gold Coast Magic Millions sale, where he was sold through co-breeder Widden’s draft.
The colt is out of Group 3 WATC Champion Fillies Stakes winner FUDDLE DEE DUDDLE, who was also bred by Longwood Thoroughbreds and is closely related to HALLOWELL BELLE and BELLA NIPOTINA.
Christian, as a centre half-back, often did battle with Dermott Brereton, who is regarded as one of the game’s all-time great centre-half-forwards, was ecstatic with the win.
“After what happened in the Debutant Stakes, and I still watch that race a couple of times, and I still can’t believe he got beaten, actually,” Christian said.
“It was very thrilling, particularly that it was a family that we have built up and bred up and to see that is very gratifying.”
Christian has since sold Fuddle Dee Duddle to a good friend and client, and the mare is still on their farm and “enjoying life.”
“I went over to her before to give her a good pat,” he said.
“It’s fantastic that she is still with us on the farm.”
Christian said Fuddle Dee Duddle has a Trapeze Artist colt which will be offered at next year’s Easter Yearling Sale and had a filly by Zoustar on October 10.
“The filly is a lovely full sister to Brereton, and she is back in foal to another full relation to Brereton,” he said.
And the footballer Brereton certainly joined in the banter after the horse was named after him and recently released a fun video on where he jokingly took aim at Christian.
“He said he hoped the horse was quicker than the breeder, and if he is not, he is going to be in real trouble and said he played on me once, and Leigh Matthews (Collingwood coach) dragged me and all this sort of stuff,” Christian said.
“It was quite funny.”
Christian said he played on Brereton three or four times, and when asked how he performed on the Hawk star, he quipped: “I smashed him. He never got a kick – and you can print that.
“I had reservations about naming the horse Brereton, but I’m only joking. He was a great player and great bloke, and it’s great to have the horse named after him, and the horse showed as much fight today as Dermott had.”
And Brereton, known for his on-field toughness, had one thing to say after the win: “Just as I thought, he doesn’t mind a fight.”
After going down in a bob of the heads finish on debut, Moody was pleased that Brereton had the right bob this time around.
“He couldn’t get two photos like that to go against him but credit to Rosemont Stud and the Victorian Alliance team,” Moody said after the race.
“They’ve outlaid a lot of money here and sourced these promising young colts for Victorian racing and breeding, ultimately.
“Tremendous for them to get a result with a young colt here that is now a Group 3 winner.”
Asked about Brereton’s next assignment, Moody said: “We’ll let the dust settle. He is a Magic Millions colt. Whether he gets through to something like that or whether we concentrate on the Diamond, we’ll have a chat in the next week or so.”
Winning jockey Luke Nolen was asked about the improvement in Brereton from his work race.
“I don’t think we’ll get any real gauge here today because he travelled sound in the first part, but he just didn’t know how to get into the race,” Nolen said.
“He had a couple of partners around him, but with the straight course, he was unsure when to kick off.
“When I put one behind the saddle, he showed good courage and tenacity. For an inexperienced horse, you’re buoyed when they show those sorts of things.
“He’s got it all in front of him, I feel, and he’s done a good job today.”
Yulong stallion Written Tycoon provided Caulfield trainer John Moloney with back-to-back victories when Milton Park won the listed Cup Day Plate (1800m).
The four-year-old, a homebred for Julie Sampson and Meridy Taite, won the listed Sale Cup (1600m) leading up to the Flemington victory.
Moloney said it was fantastic to win a race on Cup Day.
“We don’t get many chances at Flemington with a nice horse, but today we did, and he was able to do the job,” he said.
“He’s got that big stride and knows how to lengthen. He enjoys being a racehorse. You can’t take that off an animal.
“I think I’ll stop with him now. He’s only four; he’s going to get better. We can have a bit more fun with him in the autumn.
“If you look after the animals, they will improve if you don’t knock them out. He likes bigger tracks.
“He ran all right at Caulfield, but he likes the bigger tracks – Flemington, Sale, Ballarat.”
Another winner for Yulong’s Written Tycoon was Rich Hips (She’s Curvaceous), scoring in the Group 3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (1400m) for the second successive year.
The filly, trained at Cranbourne by Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, was a $130,000 Inglis Premier graduate purchased by First Light Racing and bred and sold by Woodside Park Stud.
“She’s gone up to that level where she’s been racing against the Group 1 mares,” Busuttin said.
“It’s tough. She’s run consistently throughout the year and been two or three lengths off them. She hasn’t had things go her way, and she had them go her way today.”
Local hope Incentivise finished a gallant second to Verry Elleegant in the Melbourne Cup but was far from disgraced.
By Rosemont Stud’s leading sire Shamus Award, Incentivise (Miss Argyle) was simply beaten by a better horse on the day, a horse that has now won 10 Group 1 races.
Incentivise’s jockey, Brett Prebble, certainly wasn’t disappointed.
“Courageous effort,” Prebble said.
“His first time on this trip, and it took a champion to beat him.”
Incentivise was aiming for 10 wins in a row.
It was an emotional victory when Spirit of Gaylard took out the TAB Trophy (1800m).
The colt, by Swettenham Stud stallion Puissance de Lune, was named after racing and media identity Rob Gaylard who passed away suddenly last year aged 70. This victory marked the third stakes-winner for the sire.
Puissance de Lune, who started his career in France before being bought by Melbourne Cup-winning owner Gerry Ryan, was a multiple Group winner in Australia before being sent to stud.
The three-year-old, an emergency in last Saturday’s Victoria Derby (2500m), was bred in New Zealand and bought for $120,000 by Phil Cataldo Bloodstock at the 2020 Karaka Yearling Sales for OTI Racing’s Terry Henderson and Ryan.
Other owners in the colt include Gaylard’s wife, Karen.
Spirit of Gaylard’s trainer, Ballarat’s Mitch Freedman, also paid tribute to the late Gaylard.
“Rob played a big part in racing and the apprentices or whether it be doing all the work behind the scenes as well,” Freedman said.
“He’s probably not seasoned enough to do it (the Derby) yet, but we thought we’d try and get there, and if we got the right conditions, then we’d have a crack at it.
“As you’ve seen today, he put them away quickly. He’s a really nice horse. He’s got a lot to learn, but he’ll make a nice stayer, and we look forward to the future with him.
“We’ll see how he goes towards the autumn, and we’re looking forward to what the future holds.”
Winning jockey Jordan Childs was also impressed with the victory, the horse’s second win from four starts.
“He keeps getting better and better, and he’s maturing into a nice horse,” he said
“I still think he’s a prep away, but it’s great to get the win today, especially for Mitch as well.
“A horse named after Rob Gaylard. When I was an apprentice, he taught us a lot in the apprentice school, and I feel very honoured.”
Gaylard mentored the apprentice jockeys in media presentation.
Spirit of Gaylard held out Blushing Tycoon (Written Tycoon x Crimson Kiss) by a half head.
And all the action for the Victorians wasn’t confined to Flemington.
The Guru, sired by Swettenham Stud’s Rubick, won over 2000m at Randwick.
Newly minted Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Chris Waller had success at Randwick earlier on in the day when Arranmore (Astern x Rathlin Island) won the three-year-old maiden (1100m).
The filly was bred by Robert Crabtree’s Dorrington Farm and sold through Blue Gum Farm’s 2020 Melbourne Premier draft for $110,000.
She is a half-sister to the Group 1 winning stallion Warhorse (General Nediym), who stands at Bombora Downs.