Being born on Melbourne Cup Day and being by a Melbourne Cup winner, Americain’s Tarwin continues to show promising signs that one day he may fulfil his destiny for his breeder and owner, the Woolridge family of running in the big one.

After landing his third win from just four starts in Spendthrift Australia’s $310,000 VOBIS Sires race at Caulfield on the lucrative VOBIS Owners and Breeders Race day, a buoyant Mick Kent, was quick to make mention of the excellent bonus scheme for Victorian owners and breeders.

“The 1600-metre distance is well suited to horses by the Victorian stallions and Melbourne Cup winners American and Fiorente, who produce gallopers befitting middle-distance and staying races,” Kent said.

Tarwin defied a muddling speed and a wide run to finish off his three-year-old season in style and will now head to the paddock before a possible assault on the spring, including a tilt at the Cox Plate.

“He has a big future, potentially over further ground, but he is still maturing and learning as a rising four-year-old.”

“He’s fairly sharp, but as he was born on Melbourne Cup Day by a Melbourne Cup winner, he’s a fair way off that at the moment. He is a big, raw horse so we’ll just take our time with him,” Kent added.

Tarwin as a foal

A homebred for the Woolridge family, they have a long and memorable history raising, breeding and racing horses and Tarwin is only continuing to add to their passion.

Phil and Anne Woolridge met in the 1950’s through tennis as double partners in Paris. Phil a champion English schoolboy player and Anne representing Australia, fell in love with Phil following Anne back down under to married.

Although Anne grew up in the country and was a natural horsewoman, it was through their mutual tennis buddy, Doug Reid, that they were introduced to thoroughbred racing and breeding, being a committeeman at Flemington.

After attending the Adelaide broodmare sales in 1978 together, their breeding journey began, having secured three broodmares, including their foundation broodmare, Regal Dutchess.

An exceptional producer, she went to Doug Reid’s stallion Caboul, and produced Woking, who staunchly and successfully raced until he was ten.

For Jenny, their daughter, the passion for the industry has been lovingly passed down, as she is now also actively and enthusiastically involved.

“My family were fortunate to meet Joan Walker, and we sent our mare to Reckless, who produced Waratah Bay. He went on to win the St Leger in 1975 and ran in the Melbourne Cup,” Jenny Woolridge said.

Connections of Tarwin after winning the Spendthrift Australia VOBIS 3YO Sires , at Caulfield Racecourse on April 27, 2019 in Caulfield, Australia. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

“From dad’s point of view, you always have something to look forward to, when you have a youngster, and although we intended to sell some of our horses as yearlings, we never did. We just got so excited when we looked at the progeny, we always held onto them to race.”

“Interestingly Tarwin is from the Regal Dutchess line, as a fourth-generation descendant, and is possibly the most exciting galloper we have bred yet.”

“We were in tears of joy at Caulfield, and especially thrilled to win the race sponsored by the breeders – Spendthrift Australia.”

“We want to thank Spendthrift for sponsoring the race, as the breeders are what this industry relies on. When you look at their website and read the Spendthrift motto of ‘Without breeding, there is no racing’, you realise why the breeding industry is so important. This is what people need to remember and appreciate.”

“Breeders invest blood, sweat and tears. There is no doubting the love and dedication that they have for their mares and foals.”

Tarwin, nicknamed Bart (after the cups king) has been attracting some tempting financial offers, however, it is no surprise that the Woolridge’s will certainly never accept.

“This is why we breed, for the fun, and to have this success, and we would never ever consider selling him.”

The Woolridge’s typically name all their horses after places, either in Gippsland, with their farm based in Tarwin Lower, or from Surrey in the UK, where Phil was originally from.

They are currently breeding with two Brief Truce broodmares, the dam of Tarwin, Clandon and Sealer’s Cove, who is currently back in foal to Americain.

“Excitingly both will have their progeny running this Friday night at Cranbourne – Abinger (Teofilo) and Seattle Cove (Reset) – and as it is Dad’s birthday, let’s hope they can bring home a double – that would be the perfect present.”

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