Woodside Park owner Mark Rowsthorn is filling his quota of mares to Zoustar and the latest addition is Group 1 performer Power Princess.

Zoustar will stand alternate seasons at Widden Stud (NSW) & Woodside Park (Victoria) when he retires to stud.  He failed first-up in the G1 Canterbury Stakes last weekend but was slightly lame after cooling down.

Trainer Chris Waller will go ahead with Group 1 campaigns aimed at the T J Smith on April 5 followed by the prestigious Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot and July Cup at Newmarket.

“Our mares need to be of sufficient quality for Zoustar,” Woodside general manager Murray Tillett said.  “Power Princess fits that criteria having been placed twice at Group 1 level.”

Power Princess (7m Marwina — All Electric by Canonise) was bred by Bluebloods Magazine editor David Bay and won 12 races for a syndicate made up of Richard Farris, Greg Loughridge, Patricia Baker and Dan White.

She was a Group 3 winner of the Scahill Stakes, Roma Cup and Prince of Wales Stakes in Perth and was Group 1 placed behind Black Caviar (Robert Sangster Stakes) and Barakey (Winterbottom Stakes).

Power Princess (pictured) bowed out after an unplaced run in the G3 Bellmaine Stakes at Caulfield last month.  She arrived at Woodside Park last week and is booked to Zoustar at the completion of his racing commitments later this year.

Magnus stretched his margin at the top of the Australian third-season sires’ premiership with an opening double at Moonee Valley on Friday evening.

Flying Spur’s most successful sire son, Magnus stands at Eliza Park International in conjunction with Yallambee Stud.

Mightiest and Valid Contract increased his stats to 59 winners of 85 races since August 1.  That’s a significant lead over fellow Flying Spur stallion Casino Prince (45 winners — 70 races) well into the second-half of the season.

Magnus is second on the third-season prizemoney table ($2.32 million) behind Boban’s sire Bernardini ($3.53 million).  And he owns a 54% winning strike-rate which is one of the best among the Top 30 stallions standing in Australia.

MIGHTIEST (4g Magnus — Fantagonal by Octagonal) won the Mitchelton Wines Tour Hcp (2040m) thanks to a great ride by Vlad Duric.  “He’s been racing without any luck recently but we decided to throw the dice tonight,” trainer Wendy Kelly said.  “He can keep going through the grades this season.”

Mightiest is a homebred for Parador Park syndicator Ken King.  He also raced Bon Hoffa who gave Kelly her first Group 1 victory in the 2007 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield.

VALID CONTRACT (4m Magnus — Prenuptial by Take Your Partner) came with a perfectly timed finish under Craig Williams to defeat Darley favourite Metaphor in the Ascend Sales Hcp (1200m).

“That was a peach of a ride by Craig,” co-trainer David Feek said.  “She’s won twice in town now and there’s enough improvement in her to aim at some black-type further down the track.”

Valid Contract’s dam Prenuptial (2000 Angst Quality) and second-dam Deal (1985 Analie Hcp) were both Listed winners at Randwick.  All three fillies are homebreds for Helen Alexander and other black-type winners in the family include Winning Partners (G2 HKJC International Bowl) and Moonah Brooke (G3 Tasmanian Derby).

Magnus has sired four stakes winners in four states;  Platinum Kingdom (G3 BTC Classic), Magnifisio (LR WA Summer Scorcher), Prettyhappyaboutit (LR SAJC Lightning Stakes) and Missy Cummings (LR ATC James Carr Stakes).

Some of his other recent winners with black-type potential include Miss Promiscuity, Whistle Baby, Miss Maggiebeel and Mick’s Hustler.  All four were foaled at Yallambee Stud.

Miss Promiscuity is trained by Peter Moody for Rob Crabtree and she was runner-up in the G3 Typhoon Tracy Stakes at Moonee Valley on February 21.

Magnus was also prepared by Moody for a syndicate that included Crabtree, Yallambee Stud’s Woodard family and Eliza Park.  He was a Group 1 winner of The Galaxy in Sydney before retiring to stud in 2008.

Moody began the journey of a lifetime the following year when world champion sprinter Black Caviar won her first race at Flemington.  She is from a half-sister to Magnus.

Hoofnote:  Hong Kong based gelding I’m In Charge is another recent first-crop winner by Magnus.  He broke through for a convincing victory in the BMW Performance Hcp (1400m) at Sha Tin last Sunday.

“It was only his second run here and there’s quite a bit of improvement to come with experience,” jockey Brett Prebble said.  “His best may not even be until next season but I think he’s quite a nice horse with a future.”

I’m In Charge (4g Magnus — Obbligato by Redoute’s Choice) was bred by Rob Crabtree and was purchased by clients of Caspar Fownes after winning a Geelong maiden by three lengths on debut last July.

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Given the high level of interest and the immediate demand for Equiano nominations, Swettenham Stud principal Adam Sangster has set the King Of Speed’s service fee for 2014.

Equiano (Fr) will remain unchanged at $15,000 (plus gst).

“We have already commenced taking bookings so an early announcement was essential,” Sangster said.  “We are grateful that so many new clients have made enquiries and we also want to support those breeders who have already sent mares to Equiano.

“It’s an exciting time for us and the Victorian industry.”

Equiano topped the first-season table at the Melbourne Premier I Sale with 15 sold at an exceptional average of $105,200.  Top price was the $420,000 colt from Hidden Energy that was the highest price ever paid for a yearling by a first season sire in Victoria.

Overall, his yearlings at the Gold Coast Magic Millions, NZB Karaka Sale and Inglis Melbourne Premier have averaged $90,000 while the median price of $70,000 confirmed there was no ‘tail’ among his progeny.

Broodmare owners are averaging 5.5 times his service fee and they can feel confident going forward that Swettenham is working side-by-side with them to ensure positive outcomes.

Equiano (Acclamation) has his first English-bred two year-olds from Newsells Park ready to debut and he has been installed favourite for European first-season honours by bookmakers.  That will ensure demand for his Swettenham nominations will spike again in April / May.

Swettenham has also announced the service fee for Americain will remain the same for 2014.

Americain (USA) will stand for $12,500 (plus gst).

“There were a significant number of breeders who were unable to secure a nomination to Americain in 2013,” Sangster explained.  “The early announcement of his service fee will allow them enough time to make appropriate plans for their mares.”

Americain (Dynaformer) is currently serving his second book at Calumet Farm in Kentucky.  He covered 155 mares in his first season at Swettenham last year.

Nomination enquiries for both Equiano and Americain can be made by calling Chris Belli, Swettenham’s General Manager of Sales and Marketing, on 0417 514 552.

Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm has announced its five yearlings withdrawn from the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale will now be presented at the Inglis Easter Sale.

They have been catalogued in a supplementary draft at the conclusion of the Inglis Easter Session II Sale on April 10.

Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm already had two lots selected for Easter and its draft now comprises;

Lot 28    — Street Cry x Gold Edition colt
Lot 310 — More Than Ready x Amarazetti filly
Lot 551 — Starcraft x Acceleration colt
Lot 552 — Encosta de Lago x Complete Control filly
Lot 553 — Not A Single Doubt x Emilydelago filly
Lot 554 — Exceed and Excel x Show Stealer filly
Lot 555 — Snitzel x Venus colt

The Lauriston yearlings will be available for inspection at the Newmarket sales complex from April 2 in Stable 2 Row C.  In the meantime, prospective buyers are invited to inspect, by appointment, the youngsters at its Corinella farm prior to their departure for Sydney.

TBV committee member Christine Mills is looking forward to the G1 Doncaster Mile next month after winning the LR Bendigo Golden Mile (1600m) with Fat Al.

Fat Al (pictured) won the G1 Epsom Hcp in 2012 and he has been given a 1kg penalty for Randwick’s other Big Mile on April 12.

Chris and her husband Peter race the Al Maher gelding with a syndicate that includes Steve and Leanne Bruhn.  “The rain made the enclosure a bit dodgy with high-heels,” Mills said.  “But that didn’t stop the celebrations.”

Peter Mills has owned a share in Fat Al since Gai Waterhouse bought him for $27,000 at the 2010 Inglis Easter yearling sale.  He was transferred to Peter Moody’s stables in June last year and the Bendigo Mile on Saturday boosted his earnings to $763,450.

“Fat Al lost form with Gai and she gave him the flick,” Chris explained.  “But he’s come good since coming down to Melbourne.”

Well-known in the industry as Chris Nevill since establishing Hollylodge Thoroughbreds at Avenel in 1998, she married Mills late last year.

They owns farms at Avenel, Northwood and Finley in NSW.  Mills also operates a bloodstock consultancy and stallion management service as well as standing Zupaone.

Zupaone is a Group 3 winning son of Flying Spur and there have been 6 winners from his first 11 starters.  He stands for a $3,500 service fee.

Hollylodge has bred 33 individual winners from its own mares and the next one on the horizon is Al’s Kitchen (Al Samer).  He is trained by Mat Ellerton and Simon Zahra and faces the starter for the first time in the Super VOBIS 2YO Maiden Plate (1100m) at Moe this Friday.

Chris has also written an E Book;  ‘How to Breed a Winning Racehorse’.   It’s a great guide for the newcomer to breeding and racing or those who want more information on foaling down and much more.

It can be downloaded and purchased for $39.95 at:

The winners keep flowing from Darren Weir’s Forest Lodge stables.  He sent out 9 last week and Oxford Park stallion Gonski came to the party with a winning double.

Lindyhop (5m Gonski — Lindleywood Lass by Kenmare) broke through at Hamilton on Tuesday after placings at Ararat and Warrnambool in February.  Only lightly-raced, she had been sidelined since Anzac Day last year.

Lindyhop (pictured skirting the outside rail at Hamilton) is a homebred for Oskar Mustafa & Liz Fair and is from a daughter of G2 VRC Bloodhorse Breeders’ Plate winner Twirled.  “It was great to get another win for Oskar & Liz,” Weir said.  “They have been very patient with their horses since joining the stable.”

On Friday evening, Siwa Lady sprinted to a brilliant victory in the Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge (955m) at Moonee Valley.

SIWA LADY (5m Gonski — Siwa by Green Desert) clocked a sizzling 55.72 seconds but it wasn’t quick enough for Weir to win the keys to a Mazda.  Anthony Freedman has one foot on the accelerator with only the final heat  remaining after his mare Minaj was timed at 55.36 seconds on January 31.

Weir trains Siwa Lady for the Molloy and Mortensen families.  She is from a British-bred half-sister to G2 Royal Ascot winner Flying Cloud (Storming Home) and the dam of Longchamp G1 winner Laverock (Octagonal).

Speedy filly Happy Princess weighed in with another winning result for Gonski in Singapore on Friday night.

HAPPY PRINCESS (3f Gonski — Burned by Red Ransom) scored a slashing three-length victory in the Initiation Stakes (1200m) when facing the starter for just the second time.  “She was quite unlucky at her first run,” trainer Laurie Laxon declared.  “But she’s really come on since then and won very well tonight.”

Not only does the Gonski filly race in the same colours as Laxon’s 2007 Singapore Gold Cup winner Recast, but she also hails from the same family.  Gonski and Recast are both out of the Marauding mare Abonnement.

Studmaster Michael Howard stands Gonski (Danehill) for a $4,400 (inc gst) service fee at Oxford Park.  The Bunyip stud is also home to Volitant (Flying Spur).

Beach Front was an appropriate winner of the Telstra Phonewords Hcp (1200m) when the National Apprentice Series moved to Moonee Valley last Friday night.

The consistent mare is a homebred for Contract Racing’s David and Jennie Moodie & Musk Creek Farm’s David Kobritz and Teresa Poon.

Beach Front (4m Strategic – Cos Snip by Snippets) is prepared by Brent Stanley and his team races out of Kyneton under the Cloud 9 Thoroughbreds banner. Stanley is one of Victoria’s up-and-coming trainers and he knows what it takes to make the big time having won the 1996 Caulfield Cup as an apprentice on the Contract Racing mare Arctic Scent.

His first win as a trainer was with Beach Front at Moonee Valley in December. “She was with Peter Moody but wasn’t making the grade there,” Stanley said. “She’s come good as an older horse and has won five races since coming here twelve months ago.”

Star Tasmanian apprentice Sigrid Carr piloted Beach Front who is from a winning daughter of Ossie Cossie (Mister C). She was a speed machine winning 19 races up to 1200m including the LR Lightning Stakes at Randwick.

Cos Snip’s 3yo filly Liberty Star (Statue Of Liberty) and 2yo filly Moon Tide (Hard Spun) are both unraced. The mare foaled a colt by Master Of Design in October.

Crucial made a welcome return to the winner’s circle in the Newmarket Insurance / TBV Hcp (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Friday evening.

Her last victory had been in the G3 Schweppes Stakes at Morphettville in April 2012 but the Darley mare started an odds-on favourite in the Benchmark 90 event. Class prevailed when she shouldered top-weight to a three-quarter length victory over NZ bred mare St Izzie (Pentire).

Crucial (5m Nadeem – Dawn Attack by Fantastic Light) is trained by Anthony Freedman for Sheikh Mohammed and her share of Friday’s $50,000 prizemoney boosted her bank balance to $213,200. She is from a half-sister to Victorian based stallion Desert King who found fame as the sire of Melbourne Cup legend Makybe Diva.

Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria and Newmarket Insurance combined to sponsor the race for fillies and mares at Moonee Valley’s penultimate night meeting of the season.

Newmarket Insurance offers a wide range of Bloodstock Services and the types of insurance covers available include; Mortality, Stallion Congenital Infertility, Stallion Loss of Use, Stallion Loss of Income, Prospective Foal and Transit.

For further information on how Newmarket Insurance can benefit you and your business please contact Peter Lewis at

Melbourne breeder Todd Lichti landed his most important race when Villa Verde swamped a top-class field of sprinters in the G2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Villa Verde (3f Not A Single Doubt — Young and Free by Kenmare) is from the first group of yearlings that Todd offered at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. She made $95,000 to the bid of trainer Shaun Dwyer at Oaklands Junction in 2012.

The grey filly (pictured ranging up to the leaders at Randwick) was a Listed winner at Caulfield and Flemington as a spring two year-old for owners Mike Buys and Rob Willis before Dwyer recommended she would be better suited in Sydney with Anthony Cummings.

“Shaun had given her a great grounding and she’s been working so well,” Cummings said. “We came here expecting to win.”

Lichti paid $10,500 for Young and Free at the Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale in June 2010. “She was 16 at the time but in foal to Not A Single Doubt and I thought he was a young sire on the up,” Lichti recalled. “She was a well put together mare and good value at the money.”

Young and Free has a 2yo colt named Free On Saturday (Any Given Saturday) and she foaled a filly by Dylan Thomas in October.

Soosa Rama defied a leader bias to maintain her unbeaten record in the 1 Print Hcp (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday evening.

The promising daughter of Bel Esprit stormed home from last at the half-mile for her third win in a row. With Damien Oliver aboard, she ran down front-runner Chloe In Paris by three-quarters of a length.

“We wanted her closer to the speed but things didn’t go according to plan,” trainer Colin Little explained. “That’s why you book a jockey like D Oliver.

“She hasn’t done anything wrong yet and it was a good effort tonight. I will see how she pulls up but we might give her a rest now.”

Soosa Rama (3f Bel Esprit — Make My Dane by Danehill) started her career with victories at Cranbourne and Moonee Valley in January. She is from a two-time winning Moonee Valley mare who is a three-quarter-sister to Danehill stakes winner Springsteen.

Phoenix Broodmare Farm sold her as a foal for $40,000 at the 2011 Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale. Phoenix owner Damian Gleeson topped Sessions I and II at the Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale earlier this month.

Soosa Rama (pictured) impressed Oliver with her finishing burst. “She’s going to win better races,” he declared. “She didn’t show much speed from the gate but felt comfortable in running. They weren’t coming from behind tonight so it was a good effort.”

Eliza Park International sire Bel Esprit is second on the Victorian premiership with earnings of $3.44 million. Darley resident Reset heads the 2013-14 table with earnings of $3.77 million.

Class filly Eloping turned the UAM Pty/Ltd VOBIS Gold Rush into a procession at Bendigo on Saturday.

Starting a $2.70 second-favourite, she exploded to a six length victory while clocking a quick 56.70s for 1000 metres. The Choisir filly (pictured at the presentation) had won on debut at Bendigo in December and followed up with a Listed victory in the Blue Diamond Preview at Caulfield over the Australia Day long weekend.

Eloping (2f Choisir — Runaway Jesse by Rory’s Jester) streeted the minor placegetters Jarklin (King Of Prussia) and Lady Trickster (All American). Lindsay Park colt Wilderness, a half-brother to Starspangledbanner who cost $2.40 million as a yearling, started favourite but faded in the straight to finish a well-beaten fourth.

The VOBIS Gold Rush was worth $150,000 in prizemoney, plus an extra $23,000 in Super VOBIS bonuses for the winner’s syndicate of 10 women. She was bred by Michael Christian at Saconi Thoroughbreds in Whittlesea and sold for $120,000 at the 2013 Gold Coast Magic Millions.

Trainer Peter Morgan and Craig Widdison always had the Gold Rush in mind for Eloping. “We targeted this one because she had done so well since the Blue Diamond,” Widdison said. “And what about the money? It’s just incredible.”

Runaway Jesse has a Starspangledbanner yearling filly that made $170,000 at the Gold Coast Magic Millions in January. The mare was covered by Sepoy last year.

The next VOBIS Gold event is the $180,000 VOBIS Gold Ingot at Flemington on April 5.

Written Tycoon sired It is Written and Written Up to a quick-fire Listed double on the weekend.

IT IS WRITTEN sent his earnings spiralling toward $500,000 with a strong finish in the LR Abell Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday.

He sat off the speed in the feature sprint before coming with a perfectly timed run under Matty Allen to win narrowly from Le Bonsir (Choisir) and Solsay (Mosayter).

It was his second black-type win after the LR Testa Rossa Stakes at Caulfield in September.

It is Written (5g Written Tycoon — Winning Team by Danehill Dancer) has a liking for the Moonee Valley circuit having won or placed in 9 of his 12 runs on the Strathayr. “He’s been a terrific horse and he loves this place,” trainer Robbie Griffiths said. “He’s been up a while and been racing well without a lot of luck.”

The Hodgson family’s Riva Ridge Stud sold him for $45,000 at the 2012 Adelaide Magic Millions and his sister was purchased by Victorian trainer Shea Eden for $65,000 at last week’s Adelaide Sale.

WRITTEN UP (pictured) won the LR Bendigo Guineas (1600m) on Saturday at his first start back at the track since breaking his maiden there last May.

Trainer George Osborne was confident after heavy rain swept the course earlier in the day. “The wet track was always going to help,” he admitted. “He wasn’t really wound up last time so we were pretty sure he would run a big race.”

Written Up (3g Written Tycoon — Octangle by Octagonal) swept to the lead when the field balanced for the run home and refused to surrender when challenged by Gracious Prospect (Tale Of The Cat) and Mahican (More Than Ready).

Osborne races the gelding with breeders Chris Morey and Terry Hurford. Fellow part-owner Fred Hyslop joined the line-up after winning a raffle last year. Osborrne had offered a part of his share during a membership drive by the Kyneton Racing Club.

Written Up is a younger half-brother to Raktangle (Rakti) who won at Kyneton for the same partnership before transferring to Hong Kong. Now named Win Chance, he is in training with Dennis Yip.

Written Tycoon (Iglesia) stands at Woodside Park and the winning duo join Howmuchdoyouloveme, Trump and Grand Tycoon on his black-type roll-call.

Roy Higgins was a legend of Australian racing. That’s not for debate. But the former jockey was an even better man. That was the theme of Higgins’ funeral, which was today held at Flemington.

Australian racing royalty was on hand to remember Roy Henry Higgins, who last Sunday lost a battle with illness at the Cabrini Hospital. He was 75.

“In the end, Roy put more into racing than he ever took out,” Legendary writer Les Carlyon said. “Right to the end, part of him was still the battling kid from the bush who thought he owed racing for all the fame it had brought him.

“The truth, I’d suggest, was the other way around; racing owed him.

“But Roy wasn’t just a great jockey and fine ambassador for racing, that’s only half the story. He was a great human being and that might be the biggest story because it’s harder to be a great human being.”

Damien Oliver, who this season joined Higgins in the select club of Australian jockeys to have ridden 100 Group 1 winners, remembered a jockey whose record was daunting but his disposition anything but.

“Roy was incredibly generous with his advice and his support and that’s something that I’ll never forget,” Oliver said.

“At the time, I didn’t know why Roy was so good to me but it wasn’t long after that I realised that was the same manner he used to everyone. He always had time and was always willing to go out of his way to have a chat and give people plenty of advice.

“Roy had been there and done everything possible as a jockey and I think he knew that I was determined as he had been to achieve his success and that’s what brought us close.

“It’s a very sad time but also a career and a life we should be celebrating because on behalf of all Australian jockeys, Roy’s been an inspiration, an icon and a legend. His legacy will live on forever.”

Higgins and Oliver also in the club that have ridden the Big 4 in Australian racing — the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Golden Slipper.

Higgins, who was born in Koondrook in 1938 and started his race riding career at Deniliquin in 1953, did not take long to gravitate towards Melbourne where in 1978 he equalled Billy Duncan’s record of 11 Melbourne Jockeys’ Premierships.

In 2001 he was one of the five jockey inducted among the inaugural intake into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.

But before that, he was a devoted family man, a father to Martine and Nicole. The latter recounted stories of a treasured childhood.

She remembered the day Higgins accompanied them to Pony Club, for a story arranged by The Sun newspaper regarding what Higgins did away from the racetrack, only for her to appear on the front page under the headline “Higgins Takes A Fall” after falling off.

Plus the time the girls accompanied their father to trackwork and engaged in some unscheduled trackwork aboard star stayer Ming Dynasty.

Or the role she played in the famous call of the two-horse Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 1970. The race was just a week after Nicole was born and Bert Bryant incorporated into his details of a bet Higgins and Pat Hyland on what would be the sex of the baby, which Hyland won.

But it wasn’t only family that Roy touched.

Legendary broadcaster Bruce McAvaney recalled the first time he met Higgins, at a sportsman’s night in Adelaide, where Higgins and Bill Collins were the guests of honour, but how special he was made to feel.

“My lasting memory of Roy that night is his accessibility, his ability to make you feel a little bit special,” McAvaney said.

“Roy’s greatest gift and his legacy is that he’ll be remembered more as the man than the legend. This was one champion we truly loved.”

The service was conducted in the Flemington mounting yard, where Higgins returned victorious after the 1965 and 1967 Melbourne Cups, aboard Light Fingers and Red Handed respectively, before the hearse took him on one final lap of the Flemington track.

Roy Higgins: 5 June 1938 — 8 March 2014

Mornington trainer Jason Warren was a winner on both counts with Pop Hero at Geelong on Thursday.

Pop Hero (pictured) scooped the prizemoney pool — Warren prepares the son of Swettenham Stud sire Kaphero for his wife Yasmin. “He was disappointing last time but stripped much fitter second-up,” Warren said. “He got the job done and Yassie is very happy.”

The Warrens have been on a roll with 7 winners in the last fortnight and stable star Bel Sprinter wwas beaten little more than a length in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

Pop Hero (3g Kaphero — Serendipity by Rory’s Jester) started a short-priced favourite at the Geelong meeting that was transferred from Werribee. He did some work to lead and then sprinted away when Craig Newitt hit the accelerator in the straight.

Swettenham sold him as a foal for $31,000 at the 2011 Inglis Great Southern Sale and he reappeared at the 2012 Gold Coast Magic Millions making $60,000. Bred by Avenel based Eileen Plant, he’s a younger half-brother to three winners by Swettenham stallions.

Their dam Serendipity has 2yo and yearling fillies by Kaphero and the mare foaled another filly by Swettenham sire Host in October.

Host (Chi) completed a Swettenham double at Geelong with Mighty Like in the TAB Hcp (1430m).

Mighty Like (4g Host — Mighty Fine by Keltrice) is trained by Mick Price for owner-breeder Julie Nicholson. She also raced the dam with Price to wins at Sandown (2), Moonee Valley and Caulfield.

Christie Woodard’s long-standing contribution to the thoroughbred racing industry was recognised on Thursday when she was honoured with the 2014 Wakeful Club Lady of Racing Award.

Each year since 1993, the award has been presented to a woman in Victoria who has shown outstanding passion and commitment to the industry in her chosen field.

Christie was nominated by Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria and the award acknowledged her success as a breeder at Yallambee Stud in Romsey as well as her contribution to the ongoing development of the industry through education and new technology.

Racing Victoria Chairman Rob Roulston presented the award at a special ceremony at Myer Mural Hall which was attended by more than 350 people including finalists Maree Ryan and Gaye Gauci-Marchant.

Racing Victoria recently announced that female participation rates in the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry are at an all-time high and RV has made further growth a key objective in its recently released three-year strategic plan, Racing For The Future.

“I feel incredibly humble to be the recipient of this award — especially up against two other women who are very deserving,” Christie said. “Racing and breeding has to be one of the most rewarding industries — where a single love for the equine allows a unique mix of business and pleasure.

“In this day and age there are so many opportunities for women to excel in the thoroughbred industry — in both racing and breeding — and it’s fantastic that there are more and more opportunities and avenues which can be followed.

“My experience in the industry has been that if you are committed, focused and enjoy what you do, you can achieve anything.”

After growing up on a farm in the western districts at Ararat, Christie originally tried to convince a pair of thoroughbred tragics — her husband Rick and brother-in-law Peter – that cattle and sheep were the way to go. Fortunately for the thoroughbred industry, that was one of the few arguments she’s lost!

With Christie at the helm, the Yallambee Stud yearling team has won numerous awards including the prestigious ‘Best Presented Draft’ at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale. Christie has sourced highly successful bloodstock on behalf of clients as well as enjoying considerable success in her own right on the track and in the breeding barn.

But it’s often her work behind the scenes that makes Christie Woodard such an industry trail blazer.

She was one of the first – if not the first – to write and develop farm administration and procedural software. She maintains Yallambee Stud’s website and provides clients with a photo and summary of their newborn foals, and has written widely circulated articles and features on areas as comprehensive as the “Causes of Infertility and Sub Fertility in Mares” to light hearted pieces about “Turning the Girls On: Teasing and the Teaser”.

She has also written countless educational articles, handbooks and documents covering the breeding and rearing of the thoroughbred, many of which are widely used by equine colleges throughout Australia.

Her knowledge of veterinary procedures is legendary and she designed and created strapless foal rugs capable of holding IV lines for short or longer periods of fluid therapy, allowing the foal to continue nursing from its mother. These are now widely used throughout Australia, saving many a foal’s life and improving the quality of care required.

And through it all, she has managed to raise two colts of her own. Christie Woodard is truly one of the industry’s unsung heroes.

Eliza Park International stallions Magnus and Shinzig topped two of the three sessions at the Adelaide Magic Millions yearling sale this week.

Magnus (pictured) sired the filly from Coniston Gem (Greig) that highlighted Day 1 when selling for $115,000 to Mornington trainer Mark Riley. Her dam was a Group 3 winner at Flemington and Caulfield.

Another Magnus filly, the sister to recent Moonee Valley Group 2 runner-up Miss Promiscuity, sold for second top price of $110,000 on Day 1. She is the fourth foal of the Melbourne winning Distant Music mare Zipstream and was purchased by the Victorian partnership of Bluegrass Bloodstock and trainer Wez Hunter.

Both Magnus fillies were presented by Eliza Park International, acting as agent for Robert Crabtree’s Dorrington Farm.

On Day 3, it was the turn of Shinzig to top proceedings with a $45,000 colt purchased by Singapore trainer Patrick Shaw. He is a half-brother to Super Kenny who has won five races at Kranji for Shaw and owners Mark & Emily Yong.

Super Kenny is by Swettenham Stud sire Host (Chi). He was a $30,000 buy at the 2011 Gold Coast Magic Millions and has earned the equivalent of AUD 239,670.

Duble Barrel Daisy scored a special win for trainer Darren Weir at Moonee Valley on Monday.

The Super VOBIS qualified filly broke her maiden by five lengths at Donald last month but only had a nose to spare in the Essendon Hyundai Hcp (1000m). “It was a head-bobber and I wasn’t sure whether we had won,” Weir said. “It was a good effort and she’s heading in the right direction.”

Duble Barrel Daisy (3f Dubleo – African Lily by Johannesburg) is a homebred for Angela Taylor-Moy who is an integral part of Weir’s Forest Lodge stable at Ballarat. “It’s a great result for ‘Ang’ and her parents who race this filly. She has been working for me since the early days at Stawell.”

Weir also recalled his formative years after welcoming winning jockey Harry Coffee back to scale. “I learned the ropes from Harry’s uncle Jack Coffey as a young bloke. Later on, his father Austy taught me to be a farrier.”

Duble Barrel Daisy is the first foal of former Coolmore Stud mare African Lily who died in October 2012. Her second dam Hint Of Glory is a half-sister to G1 VRC Emirates Stakes winner Sky Cuddle.

Taylor-Moy has an unnamed two year-old half-brother to Duble Barrel Daisy by Decanter. He is a Chilean bred son of Hussonet who stands at Kedarona Stud south of Pakenham.

Emirates Park sire Artie Schiller continues to be a hit in the auction ring with a colt bringing $575,000 at this week’s Ocala 2YO Sale in Florida.

The March 29 born bay was consigned by Halcyon Hammock Farm (as agent) and made the Top 10 leader-board to the bid of Conquest Stables. He had breezed a furlong in 10 seconds flat prior to the auction on Tuesday.

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Artie Schiller

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Artie Schiller (pictured) got him from of the unraced Lord Avie mare Sister Baby, he is a brother to Hammers Terror, a Listed winner of the Mystic Lake Derby and Brooks Fields Stakes at Canterbury racecourse in Minnesota.

Conquest Stables purchased an Artie Schiller filly at the 2013 Ocala 2YO March Sale for $240,000 and, racing as My Conquestadory, she landed the G1 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland last October.

There were 18 Artie Schillers offered at the Melbourne Premier Sale earlier this month and they sold to $150,000. Trainer Clinton McDonald took his top-priced yearling home to Caulfield. Offered by Burnewang North Pastoral, he is a half-brother to city winners by Testa Rossa, Anabaa, Henny Hughes and Catbird.

Artie Schiller (El Prado) shuttles from WinStar Farm in Kentucky to Emirates Park’s Victorian facility at Diggers Rest.

Dour stayer Outback Joe rekindled memories of champion mare Let’s Elope in the G2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) on Monday.

Outback Joe (6g Elvstroem — Let’s Elope by Nassipour) looked beaten when Perth Cup winner Black Tycoon ranged up at the furlong but he had enough in reserve to prevail by a short neck.

“It was a very brave win,’’ in-form apprentice Chad Schofield said. “They were going very quickly and I was happy sitting off the pace. I wound him up around the turn and he just outstayed them.”

Outback Joe was set for the two-mile test after winning the LR Bagot Hcp (2800m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day. A homebred for Dennis and Margaret Marks, he is by Blue Gum Farm stallion Elvstroem and is the fifth stakes performer for former Australian Horse of the Year Let’s Elope.

Now a spritely 26, she is in retirement at Lauriston Park in Euroa.

“I have always wanted to get him to 3200 metres and he didn’t let us down,” trainer Nigel Blackiston said. “He’s qualified for the Melbourne Cup so we will have a crack. Dennis won it with Let’s Elope and this bloke is still maturing.”

Blackiston was foreman for Bart Cummings when Let’s Elope cut a swathe through Australia’s staying ranks in 1991-92 winning the Turnbull Stakes, Caulfield Cup, Mackinnon Stakes, Melbourne Cup, C F Orr Stakes, St George Stakes and Australian Cup.

Transferred to the United States, she won the G1 Beverley D. Stakes at Arlington but was relegated for causing interference to home-town heroine Flawlessly.

Let’s Elope was retired to stud in 1995 and started with French stakes performers Yes I Will (Danzig) and Over The Moon (Storm Cat) before returning to Australia carrying G2 MVRC AAMI Vase winner Ustinov (Seeking The Gold). He currently stands at Moorookyle Park in Victoria.

Let’s Elope foaled Caught Courting (Danehill) a year after Ustinov and he won four races in Sydney and was stakes placed in Perth. He is based at Greenvale Park in Queensland.

Marks pensioned Let’s Elope after foaling Outback Joe’s younger sister Karata (Elvstroem) in 2008. She is also trained by Blackiston and has won a Seymour maiden in 16 starts to date.

By any reckoning, Yallambee Stud’s returns were very rewarding at this week’s Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale.

The Woodard family — Peter, Rick and Christie — arrived from Romsey with 21 yearlings and 19 changed hands for a second-best aggregate of $2.25 million. Eliza Park raised more money but the Kerrie nursery had to find new homes for 33 head to reach turnover of $2.91 million.

Yallambee’s average of $118,684 was by far the best of the big guns at Oaklands. Only those studs with 6 sales or less finished in front of the Woodards’ on the vendors’ list.

“It’s been our best ever sale,” Peter Woodard claimed. “The pre-sale inspections were positive but you can never be too confident.

“Inglis did a fantastic marketing job and trainers will keep coming back while they keep banking those VOBIS cheques.”

Yallambee graduates will go into local stables like Peter Moody, Mick Price, Peter Morgan, John Moloney, Clinton McDonald, Pat Carey and Shea Eden.

“Our yearlings are also heading to Gai Waterhouse, David Payne and Bjorn Baker in Sydney,” Woodard said. “And we also had the visiting South Africans among the under-bidders.

“Rick and Christie prepped the yearlings to perfection and Christie’s updates and photos on Facebook and our website was a huge help for all the interstate and international buyers. One of the South African guys told me he bid on a few of ours after logging on during the flight over.”
Topping their draft at $240,000 was the Choisir half-brother to Adelaide G3 winner Moment in Time (Lot 217) and the Magnus half-sister to Melbourne G2 winner Upbeat (Lot 554).

Yallambee’s Melbourne Premier I figures have kept well ahead of the overall average improving from $77,429 (2011), $97,125 (2012), $100,750 (2013) and $118,684 this year.

Next on the circuit for Yallambee is the Melbourne VOBIS Gold Sale on April 27 & 28 comprising yearlings by Magnus (4), God’s Own (2) and Street Boss (1).